Monday, January 31, 2011

So I narrowly avoided traffic disaster this morning at UTEP. I couldn't figure out the roundabout (what's all this about yielding?) and was so distracted I went through the crosswalk when a student was going into it. It was lucky I didn't come close to hitting the poor girl. The next was coming out of the parking garage and having another car almost back into me. Fortunately the driver stopped in time. Otherwise I would be fuming and probably not writing this post because I'd be dealing with how I was going to get to work tomorrow. Ugh, I hate dealing with traffic. Today showed me I need to be more vigilant.
I bought a book for $0.01 on Amazon (well, plus $3.99 shipping and handling). Hope it is not a reflection on the book's quality, ha ha.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This morning my church pastor said flirting is a sin. Not sure if I agree.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My post on fasting got linked on reddit. Hmm, that's weird...
Interesting article on the new "global elite" and income inequality from The Atlantic magazine:
Meanwhile, the vast majority of U.S. workers, however devoted and skilled at their jobs, have missed out on the windfalls of this winner-take-most economy—or worse, found their savings, employers, or professions ravaged by the same forces that have enriched the plutocratic elite. The result of these divergent trends is a jaw-dropping surge in U.S. income inequality. According to the economists Emmanuel Saez of Berkeley and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics, between 2002 and 2007, 65 percent of all income growth in the United States went to the top 1 percent of the population. The financial crisis interrupted this trend temporarily, as incomes for the top 1 percent fell more than those of the rest of the population in 2008. But recent evidence suggests that, in the wake of the crisis, incomes at the summit are rebounding more quickly than those below. One example: after a down year in 2008, the top 25 hedge-fund managers were paid, on average, more than $1 billion each in 2009, quickly eclipsing the record they had set in pre-recession 2007.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vineyard Spam Salad

I saw an ad for this recipe in my Gmail and had to click on it: "Combine grapes, Spam, pea pods and onion in a large bowl." Grapes and Spam? It sounds odd but also sounds like it could be tasty. I wonder who comes up with this stuff and why it is appearing in my Gmail.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One more day of work, I think I can make it. I spent my lunchtime walking around downtown, as I sometimes do. I went to San Jacinto Plaza specifically to see the new monument to presidents Taft and Diaz meeting in El Paso. I like to see the Mills Building and the progress of the big parking garage. Things are happening downtown, that is exciting.

I sometimes wonder if there's anything that makes me interesting anymore. Hence the walks downtown and the reading of books at my lunch hour. Trying to put the interesting-ness back into my life.
I've posted 1,001 times to this blog. This is 1,002.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I wonder if there's a measurement for how much less tired you are by waking up 15 minutes later? It's a little experiment I'm trying.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I was mesmerized by yesterday's Oprah. Really, what an amazing story.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fasting, part 3

Last day of fasting. I really didn't feel hungry this morning, maybe because I had a feast of brownies and ice cream the night before. I was also too late for work to think about my lack of breakfast much. I have to admit that not eating breakfast is a time saver.

I didn't feel starved before I ate my lunch of sandwich and fruit. But as the afternoon wore on I did feel hungrier than usual. I almost caved and bought one of my coworkers' chocolate bars that she sells to raise money. But I thought, while not technically breaking the fast, no, that would not be in keeping with the spirit of it. Then my other coworker delivered about ten boxes of Girl Scout cookies to another coworker. Oh, torture, I wanted to stuff my face with thin mints. But I resisted the junk food and am currently waiting to eat a healthful dinner.

I'm happy to be done with fasting, even though in its own way fasting is sort of addictive. You get a little dizzy, you do feel "holier-than-thou" when you see people around you eating normally or eating too much. And OK, I'll admit it, weight loss is not a bad benefit. But I don't feel like I got into the praying component of praying-and-fasting enough so that it was truly a means to get closer to God. I think feeling smug about your holy actions isn't what Christianity is about, and that is the feeling I got while fasting.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I was in Las Cruces yesterday. My sister and I ordered bubble tea and she gave me advice about dating. I listened and didn't say anything. Actually, I said, "I think I'm going to be old and just have a lot of dogs." Yeah, I think that sums it up right now.

I went to this bookstore, which was cool but I decided against buying anything. Funny, I downloaded a FreeBooks app on my iPod touch that has a mind-boggling array of books available to download, and now I wonder how long real live bookstores are going to be around.

Time goes by so fast on the weekend. I always envision myself spending a few hours on the weekend getting lost in music or in books and magazines, but it usually doesn't happen like that. I'm visiting people or doing chores or too amped up to just sit, which is what I do all week. My main accomplishment today was doing laundry. Ha ha, that is funny but also not funny. At least I actually went somewhere this weekend, even if it was just to Cruces.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oh Saturday, so full of possibilities...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Purchased this weekend on iTunes

"Chasing Pavements" by Adele
"Back on the Chain Gang" by the Pretenders
"Forever Young" by Bob Dylan
"Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" by George Harrison
"Dance the Night Away" by Van Halen

Fasting, part 2

Second morning I fasted. It wasn't so bad this time, maybe because I got in some exercise this morning and thereby raised my metabolism some. I didn't feel that hungry, that is until lunchtime when I dug into a large turkey club sandwich and ate more of it than I usually would. Then still felt like I could eat more during the afternoon. Oh no.

Once again I didn't spend the whole morning praying, but before I left for work I did have a moment of refocusing. Like, one morning a week, can't I stop grumbling and stop thinking of gratifying myself and instead think of others and of God? I need to refocus like that more often.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: PopCo

PopCo is the kind of book that makes you think. Shouldn't all books do this? Yeah, I've read other books that made me think about big corporations and environmentalism and exploitation of Third World workers. But it's a rare novel that also ties in cryptanalysis, Gödel, and the Monty Hall paradox. Let's also reminisce about being a teenage girl and unpopular, shall we? Scarlett Thomas does know how to make me wince but in a good way. My only complaint is the ending feels a little too simple for a novel that until that point I thought was pretty complex.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Someone stole my sandwich from the work refrigerator AGAIN yesterday. Lesson: Never leave a peanut butter sandwich in there. I ended up paying $11.74 for a sandwich and coffee at a Downtown coffee shop. I waited about a half hour to get my sandwich. I find the sandwich thief irritating but mildly amusing. Kind of disturbing to think, though, if someone will just steal someone's lunch like that, what else will they steal?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I found this piece in Time to be pretty mean but I can't say I don't agree: "The very existence of her website suggests Paltrow assumes we are eager to sit at her knee. She has said she wants to share the wealth of opportunities she's had — from talking novels with Christy Turlington to staying at the best hotels — and she does, magnanimously, in e-mail newsletters signed, 'love, GP.' The implication is, Of course you'd like to be me."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Finally, something at Quizno's I enjoy: the chicken caesar salad.

Monday, January 10, 2011


My pastor is urging the entire church to fast during a three-week period. For those of us who are new to it, he said fasting one meal a week for three weeks would be OK. So I decided to do it today. I skipped breakfast. No oatmeal squares with milk today.

It's pretty weird to change your eating habits. I would say I'm a person who gets used to a certain routine and dislikes change, especially when it comes to eating and sleeping.

I think the fasting period had the intended effect, in that I felt groggy all morning. I watched with a newfound envy as my boss ate a banana during our morning meeting. It looked so good. I was afraid my coworker would offer me some of her caramel popcorn and I wouldn't be able to turn it down. But she didn't offer, which I suppose was good.

I usually take my lunch around 1:30 but by 12:15 today I felt lightheaded and like I might pass out if I didn't eat something. My body was going into that stage where it felt like it was eating itself. So I broke the fast and wolfed down my peanut butter and banana sandwich. I felt kind of bad about it, like I was caving in to the flesh while I was doing it. It's only a sandwich, not a sin!

I wonder how people don't eat breakfast. How do they function? I felt about 10 times worse than I usually do in the morning by not eating breakfast. I suppose you can get used to anything, though.

Did fasting bring me closer to God? I don't know. I successfully denied the flesh. I didn't eat for a specific purpose, and that purpose was not losing a few pounds. But I didn't have time to pray or read the Bible during the morning rush at work. I'm not sure if God appreciated what I did. I didn't hear a voice.

If I had the whole day off, maybe I could go through the whole fasting, praying and meditating sort of thing. But during a workday I just felt more hungry and tired than I usually do, not more enlightened. I think this time the purpose was more symbolic. I'm supposed to do this two more times. Is it terrible to say that I'm really not looking forward to doing it again?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Sunrise photo from earlier this week

"In Treatment: Season 2" may be the most brilliant TV I've ever watched, and I don't say that lightly. The deathbed scene and the plight of the child caught in his parents' divorce I found most affecting, but all five plotlines just grab your emotions and never let go. The last disc is triumphant for a change. Paul finally gets the upper hand, reaffirms the value of his occupation to himself and his patients and reminds us, if you don't recognize the patterns in your life, how can you ever hope to change?

Friday, January 07, 2011

So it's the end of the week and I barely feel human. No more work. Please. I don't want to talk, a couple of hours of TV time sounds really, really good right now.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Toddler in the lunchroom

There was a toddler in the lunchroom today, which is fairly unusual. Several of the female employees were hovered around him and the mom, who had a big stroller with her. He looked maybe two, cute little boy with brown hair dressed in a sweater vest.

I read the paper and kept to myself, eating my leftover beef and potatoes and then a yellow apple. A funny thing happened, though -- the toddler went past all the women making a fuss and his eyes landed directly on my apple. He stretched out his little arm like he wanted some. I didn't know what to do -- Give him the apple? Give him a piece of the apple (hard to do lacking a knife)? Fetch him a cookie instead? Somehow I think he liked the color of the apple and really wanted to play with it more than he actually wanted to eat it.

I ended up awkwardly covering up the apple with a paper towel and waited as one women went to look for a ball to distract the toddler. For a minute or so it looked like he might cry. *Oh no please don't cry* Fortunately he didn't. *whew* I know from babysitting experience that toddlers have short memories and he would probably soon be on to something else. Which was true, in this case.

Still, am I total jerk because I didn't give him the apple and instead ate it all myself? Am I lacking in maternal instinct or plain old generosity? It's the kind of situation I don't have the grace for but wish I did.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

- Enough with January, already. I'm tired of the cold and driving home in the near-dark. I need some sunshine.

- I passed on the key lime pie at work today and I am glad I did.

- Inertia is a powerful thing. Hard to change the status quo, isn't it?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

I probably should not have eaten half a box of jelly beans.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I can see the steam rising from the balcony as the snow melts.
It's 2011? Really?