Saturday, March 24, 2007

bandolier of carrots

this is the first of many BOC (bag of crap) entries. inspired by my current obsession with woot!, the BOC entry will contain many small bits of news and reflection that don't warrant their own post.

(and, for those of you who aren't familiar with woot!, when "BOC" is entered into a forum post, it is automatically and randomly replaced with a phrase starting with b-o-c, like "bandolier of carrots" or "blinged-out cabbage" or "braille on cookies".)

i'm at home sick today with the flu that has been ravaging my office, so it's as good of day as any for a BOC...

+ if you read my 2006 recap post, you'll remember that i had much my of my life this fall working on the MMSD report. well, this week it got bounced, which is to say that Region - the final step in the approval process - rejected it. we got a newbie approving official whose basically read the front and the back, found some problems and sent it back. usually they only bounce if they have some serious policy or science issues, neither of which was the case here. needless to say, that sucks. everyone's pissed, and it was like a blow to the stomach for me, after putting in all that work. but we'll fix it, send it back, the reviewing official will read the middle, we'll fix those things, and finally sent it to print. i just hope that no one goes postal in the process.

+ i saw the following object as i was driving home the other night, and i had to look twice:

it makes me wonder... is there truly a separation between pop culture and state?

+ we've finally managed to score a wii, after many trips to target and standing in line at ciruit city and toys r us. it's been a long time since i was part of a geek obsession, and it was kinda fun (and annoying).

+ we're about to join a gym. it's one of those class-based, no weights or cardio machines gyms where you use medicine balls and scary balance toys to humiliate yourself in front of others. my biggest fear is that i'm going to fall off one of those big exercise balls and make a big "splat!", but i need to overcome the fear. in general, i'm a fan of this approach - it's whole-body, strengthening entire muscle systems that you use everyday instead of an isolated muscle set. i've heard the first month will totally kick your ass, so we'll see how we fair.

i think that's about all for now. i'm off to minneapolis this weekend to visit tony's sister sara and her husband brent (assuming i'm not still hacking up my lungs). i'll try to take some pictures and have some good stories when i return.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

my wanderlust is temporarily satiated

this entry is dedicated to my art-school friend and favourite illustrator alex, who is already harassing me for not adding any content for two weeks. check out his sketchbook and porfolio; he's got mad skills.

ever since it got really cold and snowy in january, i've had a severe case of the twitches. the immediate spring solution to my wanderlust was a trip to Boston last weekend with tony. we looked for warmer places, but scheduling and lack of money prevented us from going anywhere else. but we were able to visit tony's childhood friend, matt, and his wife, heather, who recently moved to Lynn, just north of Boston proper (they're pictured here in front of the famous "Make Way for Ducklings" statue):

i'm embarassed to tell you that we really didn't see anything of the amazing historical sights, or do much of anything tourist-y besides visiting the disappointing Museum of Science (science-lite, in reality). we did wander around the city, eat lots of seafood (i solidified my dislike of clams, raw or cooked), drink a lot and laugh a lot. it was wonderful, both to be with kind and interesting people, and to be in a city again, one with history and character. i was surprised at how small it felt; it was the same impression that i had of D.C.: the core cities themselves seem small, while it's the suburbs that make them huge.


as i continue with my adult life, i've begun to recognize a personal trend: i need to move or severely change up my life every few years. it helps to live in a large city with many unique neighborhoods where a simple apartment change can feel like a whole new world. i lived in st. louis for 7 years, and lived in three distinct neighborhoods. i lived in D.C. for 2 years. and i've now been in madison for almost 5 years (can you believe it? 5 years!). and it's time to go.

i think that some of this wanderlust springs from my tendency to get bored easily (with my job, with my surroundings, with my daily routine). once i feel like i've learned all i can about a place, i'm ready to move on.

interestingly, all this is in complete opposition to my desire to own a house, to really make a home, and i wonder if i will ever find a place where i will want to settle down. part of me wants to be able to paint my walls, grow a large garden, have a guest room, design my own kitchen. part of me yearns for the two places where i could have settled down: the soulard and dogtown neighborhoods in st. louis. but, sadly, since i'm now interested in coastal management, st. louis is now off the table. and i worry that i never will find a place that feels like home to me. i'll forever be stuck with a futon for a couch and hoarding boxes for the next time i have to move.

but, as i hope that one day i will have a job that i will love for many years, i also hope that i will find a place that will be my home. one day, i will not wonder if there is a better place to be.