Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shopping For Jeans: The Saga

Today I went to the stamford mall to look for some jeans.

That was a simple statement–one subject, two predicates. Was the execution of the statement simple? Let us see. I spent three hours in the mall today, and yes, I did come home with two pairs of jeans. One of those pairs is likely to be returned if I can find them in a shorter version at another store. But really, three hours for two pairs of jeans? Painful. I just looked at my hands and there are blue fibers under my nails. That is how many pairs of jeans I tried on today.

I always hate jean-shopping because invariably I go through six or seven stores and come out with nothing, after what feels like some pants-inured quest for the holy grail.

Everyone knows that the whole challenge for women when shopping for jeans is in how they fit around your hips and waist, and how long or short they need to be to the ground. Jeans were a great concept for men because they are made from a material that dislikes bending, and men are pretty much the same size from hip to toe unless they've been hitting the bean dip pretty hard lately. For women, however, the art of wearing jeans that fit around hips and butt but still make thighs look flattering is comparable to finding a piece of burlap that looks nice when wrapped around a blender.

Then, there is the complete madness of the shelves. Shelves that contain jeans are never in order, and half of the stickers running down the leg that proclaim the size are incorrect. The size that you want will, in fact, never be labeled, but just in case you then conclude that the unlabeled jeans must be the ones you want, the store has meticulously left just enough other sizes in jeans unlabeled so that you can't find a pattern in the system.

Stores try to make the process even more frustrating by folding all of the jeans into squares that make it impossible to see if they are straight leg, tapered, wide leg, bootcut or flare without picking up each individual pair and flinging it open. Frustrated shoppers who have come before you have already tried this method, so when you get to the shelf you have the option of picking through the stacks of folded jeans, or through the piles of abandoned jeans flung haphazardly all over the display.

Jeans hanging up are a little more helpful because you can gauge a little more quickly what they will look like. Pictures of the jeans' cut above the display table are also helpful. But for the most part, the whole process is still one of the most painful in the shopping world. And this is a from a woman who–trust me–loves her shopping.

Friday, December 26, 2008

writer's block

i feel uncreative. it used to be that my mind would be wandering aimlessly and i'd suddenly have this spark of inspiration, and i'd run over to my computer and quickly write down whatever phrase had come into my head. i could sit and write for hours; the stories seemed to pour out of me in a river of words and everything was fresh and new.

now i sit down and try to write and nothing comes. blank. even recording my day in a journal or in a blog seems trite and mundane. did my life become less exciting, or did i just use to see reality differently?

what is more, lately i look back on most of the things that i wrote and now they seem like crap to me. at least my thesis has some merit–not a whole lot, but some–and i would love to sit down and rethink it. but my fiction, my characters, my plots that i imagined were so unique and witty–they were all just imitations of already published works, other people's genius, poorly mocked by me. i am not a Poet, it seems.

how do writers write as they do? where does that holy fire come from–the flame that supplies all of the energy and wit that becomes translated into the classic novels that stagger me by their greatness? i could never write like austen, or doestoevsky or shakespeare, or faulkner. actually i could write like faulkner but i believe in punctuation. no, that's not fair. he won a nobel prize. anyway, lately i feel bummed that i'm not writing inspired, passionate works about the meaning of life.

maybe because i haven't found out yet what it is.

Monday, December 22, 2008

holiday fun at admissions

i truly have the best admissions office ever.

on friday we had our holiday party and had a healthy little competition in decorating gingerbread houses, and we ended up breaking down and forgoeing our original time limit of twenty-five minutes out of sheer need to win. courtney, ryan and i decided to bring together "the best of a classic christmas with a modern taste." hence, tiny tim and scrooge in the hot tub:

it was a tough decision for gail, who acted as judge, but in the end she made the right choice. which was of course choosing ours. here, a photo of the victors, proudly holding up our beautiful and unique creation:

Thursday, December 18, 2008


ugh. this has been a stressful week in so many ways. my mom called on tuesday afternoon to tell me that my sister had gone to the emergency room monday night with a gushing nosebleed, and she was choking on blood and couldn't stop it. the emergency room--and this kills me, for greenwich, connecticut--didn't know what was wrong and kept telling her to put her head back and not cough, which of course is totally easy to do when you're trying not to swallow massive quantities of blood. she said it felt like she was drowning. :(

so they sent her to the e.n.t. because they didn't know how to help her (in the EMERGENCY room). god. i hate to think what they say when someone comes in with an even more serious injury ("wow, he's totally bleeding and his eyes are rolling to the back of his head. maybe give him an aspirin? i dunno, what'dyou think?"). fortunately the e.n.t. was a much nicer experience, and they cauterized her nose and plugged it up with what she calls a nose tampon.

now she's walking around with her nose tampon, poor thing, but at least it's quelled the bleeding. now i just need to finish all my projects, read my applications, and contemplate the weekend.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

advent! advent!

little drummer boy, you still know how to make me cry. why am i always so moved?

i love christmas so much. is it wrong that claymation is part of what makes it so magical?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

strange science

last night lisa and i drove to hanover to do some christmas shopping and saw on the horizon what looked like the moon about to crash into the earth. it wasn't, of course. but it was, rightfully so, called the largest full moon in 15 years, mostly because it happened to fall at the point at which the earth and moon are closest to each other during the year. this led to a discussion of aliens, and of lisa consequently making fun of my imitation of alien-speak and their obsession with walmart (because its massiveness would convince any alien life form that it must be the seat of government).

scientists say that the oceans' tides are greatest when the moon is closer to the earth because they are pulled back and forth by the gravity of the moon and sun. and they say that the myths about full moons making people loopy are false–but wouldn't it be interesting if the gravity of the moon and sun did effect people's moods? i don't know how it would do that, but i bet there's a badly made scifi movie about it out there, somewhere, perhaps starring kirstie alley, mark hamill and christopher reeves.

and furthermore, here are some other unexplained coincidences that i think science should make a point to figure out. namely:
• why are menstrual cycles and lunar cycles exactly the same length of time, but have no relationship to each other?
• how do birds use the earth's poles to figure out what direction they're going in?
• how come bees can be taken miles from their hives and then be released, and can still find their way back? and if they're smart enough to do that, how come they haven't taken over the planet by now?

Friday, December 12, 2008

holiday cheer and web brainstorming in the burg

today is a great day! why, you ask? why only because we just had a super-productive web communications meeting w/ our friends in penn hall, and i think we've come up with some great ideas to spread the word about gettysburg college, and to highlight some more of the amazing things our students and faculty are doing--like the GRAB program wilderness adventure to colorado this spring, one of tons that they do, and in which they kept us all back on campus posted on their hiking progress through google earth and their blog.

now i'm off to our ees division holiday party and can't wait to be challenged by some extreme holiday trivia games--i have been watching all of my favorite christmas claymation specials on tv, just to hone my skills. what's the name of the bad guy in "santa claus is comin' to town" who makes toys illegal? burgermeister meisterburger.

yes. i am so ready.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

why does happenstance hate me today?

my only hope is that everything that is going nutty today, will be contrasted by everything going beautifully in days to come.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

christmas cookies!

kayla and i made amazing sugar cookies for christmas, and i took great photos, but unfortunately i cannot find where i put my flash drive, and so they'll have to wait. i know. without the photos this blog entry is pretty lame.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

i have the best job ever

excuse me if i have some pride for my alma mater, but it has just been announced that for the sixth year in a row, gettysburg college has been voted best place to work in pa. out of 100 companies which were awarded the honor, gettysburg ranked #8.

do you like my emphatic bolding? i do.

i'm sorry, can't talk anymore-must go sing my alma mater out in front of penn hall. web communications and pr will have quite a show if they look out their windows at approximately 4:30pm today. just a heads up.

Monday, December 1, 2008


december, i am sure, is full of tricks and surprises for me. some wonderful, others perhaps not. but at least it will be eventful, i am sure. this year's holidays, as always, recall how i spent last year's, and that unfolds a whole stream of meditations on where i've been and where i'm going.

it's always this movement, never ceasing, like the prelaid steps of a labyrinth. have you ever walked a labyrinth? not the kind with a tall hedge; i mean the kind with stones laid in the ground in a spiral, oddly enough a bit like the yellow brick road in the wizard of oz. you are supposed to take one step forward, and then two backward, one forward again, and so on, until you reach the center; then you turn around and slowly make your way out.

the labyrith has always fascinated me, as anything does that physically represents a spiritual stage in your life. if you could make your own labyrinth, what would it look like, and where would it go?

it's not just for the classroom!