Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week

Archive for August 2008

Classes are back in session at Cornell University, and for the first time in seventeen years, I will not be sitting in a classroom with a blank notebook thinking this year is going to be different and I’m not going to procrastinate. Yes, this year will be different, because I will not be sitting in a classroom at all. It’s a strange feeling.

Ever since I got that expensive piece of paper last May, I’ve been a little confused about, well, everything. The summer seemed to pass pretty quickly and not much differently than the past few summers. I worked, I spent time with friends, I picked up a new hobby (furniture refinishing!?!) that I grew tired of quickly. There was ice cream and beer, picnics and rainy day indoor picnics. Overall a nice break from life. But while yesterday was (technically) the last day of summer here in Ithaca, today is no different for me. I didn’t have to put together a new schedule and plan the best route to take between classes. I just got up and went to work, the same way I always did.

It’s not like I’m done with school forever. The nineteen law school applications I have in progress will be submitted in the next few months, and a few months after that I’ll be making plans to start the next phase of my education. For now, I’m in a weird academic limbo. Working in the same place I went to school is both a good thing and a bad thing. It almost feels like I’m still going to school here, with basically none of the stress that Cornell seems to pile on, but it is also a little confusing. I think I like it though.

So while everyone’s Facebook status says first day of classes!!!11, mine will say, anyone want to hang out later, (with the exception of law school applications,) I’ve got no academic obligations for the next twelve months.

(Side note: I have like a week of pictures to post. That will happen when I come home tonight. Now I’m off to my first non-student first day of school!)

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Before I start, I want to say that I am taking pictures for Project 365, except my camera cord has gone missing. I will be going to my other apartment tonight, so I should have some pictures up soon.

1. Netflix. It was broken for a few days, which made me very sad. The system is finally back on track and I got three DVDs in the mail yesterday. Tonight I get to watch How I Met Your Mother and Heavyweights. Amazing.

2. The 50k Racewalk. I still can’t believe I “watched” most of the 20k, and when I found out there was a 50k, I got very excited. Heather brought it to my attention, and she also makes a good point when she mentions that it’s sexist because this event is for men only. I think the question is not “can women not walk fast for 31 miles” but instead “why would any self-respecting woman waste her time walking nowhere for 31 miles.” I think this is a classic case of boys being stupid.

3. Bob Saget. Yesterday, Ilyssa and I watched Danny Tanner get roasted. We laughed a lot. Good times.

“You used to give Mary Kate acting lessons. You said “Act like this never happened” and she said “You’ve got it dude.”

3a. “I just got a text message from my self-respect and it says I have to leave.”

4. 30 Rock. I was rewatching some early season one episodes the other day. Chamillionaire! I so want to take that show behind the middle school and get it pregnant. I think a season two rewatch is in order soon. Are the DVDs out yet?

5. Diversity Day. I’m not a huge fan of season one of The Office, or so I say until I rewatch it.

“Hi. I’m Michael Scott. I’m in charge of Dunder Mifflin Paper Products here in Scranton, Pennsylvania but I’m also the founder of Diversity Tomorrow, because today is almost over. Abraham Lincoln once said that, ‘If you’re a racist, I will attack you with the North.’ And those are the principles that I carry with me in the workplace.”

6. This Weather. I am such a late-summer/fall person, it’s not even funny. August-October is my time of year. I love when it gets cool at night, but it’s still warm during the day. The leaves change and get all pretty. I don’t sweat the second I walk outside. Amazing.

And that’s really all I like this week I guess. I don’t know. Excessive drinking and excessive moving are really messing with me. I need a sleep schedule, a normal eating schedule, and maybe a life coach.

Dear People that Read my Blog,
You know those roll things that hold the toilet paper in the toilet paper holder? What are they even called?  Where do you buy one of those?
Love, Rachel

I went to my new apartment this morning, and while it is furnished (can anyone suggest what to do with four end tables?) it does not have a thing to hold the toilet paper in the dispenser.  Time for another google hunt.  This time, the topic is toilet paper.

1. The iCarta iPod Toilet Paper Holder. For the low price of $69.95 I can replace the metal brackets in my wall with a four speaker system that plays music and dispenses paper.  Uhh…

2. I found some snarkily passive-aggressive directions for how to put toilet paper on the roll.  Fascinating.  I can send this to a few of my former roommates. Except I’m looking for a roll to put my toilet paper on, but still a funny find.

3. The Great Toilet Paper Debate. (Warning, this site makes noise.)  There are some people with way too much time on their hands.  Personally, I’m a front, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

Ok, we’re going nowhere.  Sometimes Google is not the best answer.  Sometimes, you need to call your mom.  Apparently they sell these things at the grocery store.  What a lame answer.  I’ll check it out later and update you on the ongoing saga.  Maybe I’ll even find out what they’re actually called.

One of my life goals is to learn something new every day.  Seeing as I read newspapers, magazines, blogs, cereal boxes and more on a daily basis, this is not hard to accomplish.

Coolest thing I’ve learned today: the same guy invented both the Atari and Chuck E. Cheese.  That’s like two of the best things ever, all by one guy.  I’m impressed.

1. Olympic Boxing. It’s like watching real life Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots. I don’t usually watch much (any?) boxing, but when I saw the headgear on nbc.com, I had to click on the video.

2. All unusual Olympic sports. Trampoline, table tennis and rhythmic gymnastics are some of my favorite things to watch and/or mock. On one hand, these people qualified for the Olympics, which means they must be good. On the other hand, table tennis, really?

3. Heroes. I am about two years behind the rest of the world on this one, but I started watching Heroes from the beginning. I watched a few episodes when it was on originally, but this was pre-DVR so I lost interest and just never finished. Now I can watch both seasons on Netflix on demand, so there are no excuses.

4. Banana smoothies with the hangover supplement from CTB. Enough said.

5. Isabella and Connor. Whatever happened to those two? Everyone is crazy over the new Kidman/Urban offspring, and of course Suri Cruise and her bottle appear daily on all the trashy gossip blogs I read, but whatever happened to the other kids? I feel bad that they have been forgotten. I guarantee that at least one of them develops a drug problem in the next year to get attention.

6. My iPod’s amazing mind reading powers. I think “Green Day” and then I go to shuffle, and what do you know, I only have to skip about 60 songs until a Green Day song comes on. This would be more impressive if I didn’t have hundreds of their songs on my iPod, but I still think it’s something.

7. The Upcoming Birthday Week(s). The hype: We’re kicking off birthday week this Friday night, even though my birthday is not until Monday. We’ll keep the party going until the day before classes. Heather’s 21st is a week from this Friday, so it falls right in the middle. Just think lots of booze and fun. The reality: We’ll drink a few bottles of champagne and pass out before it gets dark. You know, like last week. Then we’ll say we’re never drinking again, and five minutes later we’ll run to the store to buy more because we’ve changed our minds. Repeat.

8. SurftheChannel. We now have internet. We still don’t have cable. That’s ok, because SurftheChannel lets me stay on top of the newest Project Runway episodes and catch up on all the Muppet Babies I’ve missed over the past twenty years.

9. The Wake N’Bacon. So much better than a George Foreman in a rabbit cage. If Michael Scott had one of these, we never would have had one of the best Office episodes ever, but I feel that it’s still an amazing invention.  This is one of those things that I say I want really badly, but I know if I ever used it, I would be sick.  As much as I talk about waking up to the smell of freshly cooked bacon, the reality is that I can not eat meat in the morning.  I’m strictly a toothpaste/coffee for breakfast person.

10. Someecards. I’ve been sending out quite a few of these, there are just so many good ones on the site. I’ve also been getting a few as well. There are tons of topics, ranging from the Olympics, to the Office, to things you can (but shouldn’t) send your parents on their anniversary. This is why I’m no longer allowed to use the internet while intoxicated.  My current favorite:

Bonus. The Sticky “T” Key on my Keyboard. I need to make sure that I actually type a t when I intend to, because it is starting to stick. I just posted this entry, and as I was scanning through it to catch any obvious mistakes, the words “rabbi cage” jumped out at me. That’s just not right.

Two things before I start:

  • This post is about pregnancy tests.
  • I am not pregnant. And I did not need a test to tell me that. Stop worrying mom.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, we can discuss the following question. Can you send a (used) pregnancy test through the mail? To another country? The reasons for doing this are probably not as funny as anything you can come up with, so I’ll let you come up with your own explanation. Let’s just say a friend asked me to investigate this for her, so I am embarking on a google quest for knowledge.

Stop #1: The United States Post Office Website

The good old USPS seemed like a good place to start looking for information. I know there must be information about what is allowed. I remember finding a website linking to the outrageous list. I’m sure once I find it I’ll feel the need to share with you some of the crazier restrictions, but until I find that list, I will ramble here. I can view the different rates, fill out a customs form, but there is no link to a page about sending urine sticks. Let me look harder.

Stop #2: A List of Postal Restrictions by Country

Bingo. This should be what I’m looking for. The country in question is Australia, which is pretty close to the top. I can read and spell! I clicked on Australia, and there is a page that lists prohibitions and restrictions, as well as some more useful information, such as maximum package girth. I’ll pause so you can laugh.

Unsurprisingly, pregnancy tests are not one of the items listed on this page. But I’m not sure if that’s because pregnancy tests are ok to be mailed, or just because there are certain rules that apply everywhere. For example, it does not say that you can’t send live animals (but it does say you can’t send dead ones) because nobody tries to send a live animal through the mail. Do normal people try to send pregnancy tests?

Stop #3: The Domestic Mail Manual

This document must be where the term “going postal” came from. It must be thousands of pages long. It lists every single rule and regulation about the United States Postal Service. It also has a search feature! “Pregnancy” returned one hit, in section 601L Mailability:

“Typically, exempt human specimens are specimens for which there is a low probability that the sample is infectious, such as specimens for drug or alcohol testing; cholesterol testing; blood glucose level testing; prostate-specific antigens (PSA) testing; testing to monitor heart, kidney, or liver function; pregnancy testing;…”

So it looks like pregnancy testing fluids (such as urine on a stick) are ok to send through the mail domestically. And if something is allowed domestically, and it is not specifically prohibited internationally, I therefore conclude that you can send a used pregnancy test through the mail to Australia.

Now we need to find a pregnant woman to pee on a stick for us. Any takers?

PS:A few interesting links I ran across in my search:

How do you make a homemade pregnancy test?
Am I pregnant if I’m bleeding?
Some mail order products not allowed in the mail

Heather and I are officially cooler than you.  We were sitting in the kitchen yesterday when we decided on our next (mis)adventure.  Water balloons.  This Sunday, we are going to launch a massive attack.  It’s going to be awesome.

Our apartment has an awesome porch in the back.  It’s slanted at a pretty steep angle, it’s high up, and we have a futon.  We also have our neighbor’s futon piled on top of ours, but that’s another story.  This porch is a fun place to sit and drink, and we spend a good deal of time doing that.

During our last Andre-tacular, we came up with the idea of dropping pretzels onto innocent bystanders on the sidewalk below.  It seemed funny at the time, and it’s still amusing now.  We also tried throwing things at our noisy across the street neighbors.

Let me backtrack.  These people fascinate us.  They have a large porch at the front of their house, and they spend about 25 hours a day sitting there drinking.  When they are not there, their alcohol usually is.  They have interesting furniture, including a rocking chair and a hammock.  And for a while, they had a supply of bottle rockets that they did not know how to correctly shoot.  They’re fun.

At some point in yesterday’s kitchen convo, we (ok, I) decided that we should throw water balloons at our neighbors.  So Heather and I went out to get supplies, and we came home with some balloons and some slingshots.

Our kitchen at the beginning...

Our kitchen at the beginning...

It took a while to figure out how to fill these things, which is something I have not done in maybe ten years.  Our kitchen sink was not well equipped for this task, but I managed to get a bunch filled without completely flooding the place.  Later when we popped a few on the floor, Heather busted out the Clorox and used it as an opportunity to mop the kitchen.

We got a few ready and went outside to test our slingshots.  It turns out that monster sized balloons and tiny slingshots do not mix well, and I got pretty wet.  We learned that small balloons can fly far in a slingshot, but big balloons are good for throwing.

If that poor guy who happened to be walking down the street at the wrong time reads this, I’m sorry.

In any case, we’re ready for this Sunday’s attack.

The cart has wheels, in the event we need to make a quick getaway.

Our Arsenal. The cart has wheels, in the event we need to make a quick getaway.


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