evilhippo: hippo (31 [awesome])
( Nov. 11th, 2010 09:49 pm)
I had so many grand plans for tonight, involving (in this order) Working Late and Catching up on Service Transferred Files, followed by things involving Word Counts, and probably some Grocery Shopping. I made it fifteen minutes into Working Late when I noticed that it was dark and I'd just spent the last fifteen minutes with my head in my hands wondering why one of our clients was asking me to confirm that their system was correct in listing the property in question as being located in the city of "3 Chicago" and another was shouting at me in CAPS LOCK about how my careless mistake due to not being trained on the software and not being able to get answers from any of the reps was something that just CANNOT BE THIS WAY. Then I got home and the rest of the plans rapidly devolved into Eating Rocky Road Ice Cream for Dinner and Reading the Yuletide Fandom List (Anthropomorphic Academic Institutions? Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)? Entire Andrew Bird albums?). This cheered me a bit, and pretty much cemented my desire to participate this year. Also: next year, I am going to find a way to nominate NPR as a fandom, because... because let's not get into that but it should happen.) But now it's after 9:30 and I've done utterly nothing with the only free evening I've had this week. (I think this means the mental downtime was probably necessary, and so I'm doing my best not to feel useless about it.)

So, putting all that behind me now... I am stealing a meme from [livejournal.com profile] bluerose16 because it is awesome funtimes and you guys can make fun of how Chicago is creeping into my otherwise-innocent midwestern accent, or make me try to read my awkward prose aloud. Or both. Or, you know, the crux of the thing:

Ask me questions. Something you're curious about, just feeling silly, whatever. I will answer in a voice post in a couple of days, when I can answer them all in one go.

Edit: Oh wait, NPR is a fandom. I love the internet. But there is a sad, sad lack of Lake Wobegon and Garrison Keillor, which is, in fact, what I would write about.
I am absolutely digging this 60-degree weather we're having. Last week (and even this weekend) I thought I was going to have to give up my bike for the winter, and now I've had two absolutely lovely nights of biking home without even needing a jacket. And it's a good thing, too, because otherwise I would be pulling out my hair.

Even the city is giving me advice now:



I spotted that as I was crossing the bridge over the Metra tracks by the Art Institute, and I figured, okay, it's the Blue Cross building, they're probably telling me to quit something. (Yes, despite that seemingly-strategic lamp, it does actually say "QUIT.") Smoking? Eating junk food? But... apparently no. Unless the array of blue lights above it is actually meant to represent a blue Tetris block and it's telling the city to stop playing Tetris?

I'm going to choose to interpret it as a Sign, because today we had two people give their notice, and both of them were of the rare, sane variety, who actually do work. We still haven't replaced people who left in August. I don't think there's a single department in the office that isn't behind right now, and I don't know how they're going to cope with losing two competent, well-adjusted people. (I'm almost certain I'm going to lose all my help, and I would crawl under my desk and cry except there's no room because of all the files at my desk.) I haven't filed something on time in more than a month... and I used to be the only one who was ahead. Now I spend all my time fighting with other legal assistants and attorneys to get their work done and have no time to do anything I'm actually supposed to be doing. Stupid nightmare job.

One positive upshoot of the current situation, though, is that I've been listening to a lot of music lately to drown out Ego Girl, and I recently wore out my crappy old $15 headphones. So today I invested some of my overtime money into a set of actually-good headphones (it actually occurs to me to be embarrassed as to how much I just spent on headphones). But music... guys, music has bass! And dynamics! And... and... I forgot how much I was missing by just listening to things on crappy headphones and crappy laptop speakers. (I thought I wouldn't like in-ear headphones, but it turns out they're not as creepily claustrophobic as noise-cancelling ones and the general effect is that the music is right there and all the outside noises are behind it. I rode past a helicopter on the lakefront tonight and could still hear my music, but I could also hear other cyclists coming up behind me at times when there was no helicopter. Fancy!)
evilhippo: hippo (76 [bubble])
( Aug. 26th, 2010 07:57 pm)
In the interest of repairing some of the damage I did with the endless barrage of novella-length comments in the previous entry, some light news today, divided into bite-sized bits:

Dirk Gently! )

Sufjan Stevens! )

Transformers! )

Refrigerator! )
Right. You know those incredibly stupid days that are always at the start of young adult novels, where the protagonist has something important planned and it's about 7:45 in the morning and they're having this odd dream where they're a werewolf in a school full of other urban legend creatures and the janitor, who they thought was their friend, has abandoned them in the vampire hall with a tin of lip gloss that absolutely proves they're a werewolf and all the vampires hate werewolves but there's one vampire that actually happens to like that kind of lip gloss after all so they become friends. Then it's suddenly 8:15 and the protagonist wakes up and in the middle of a great big lazy Saturday stretch they realize that it is, in fact, Friday and have to take a flying leap out of their loft bed, nearly breaking their ankle in the process, and get dressed in about ten minutes flat and call their boss to apologize for running late and of course they don't give an excuse because, forgive them, they've only been up for about ten minutes and their head is still full of vampires and werewolves (and where did that come from anyway?) so they bike like mad to the bus and the bike rack on the first bus is impossibly stuck and so they have to wait for the next bus which is ten minutes later and doesn't get as close to work either, and they don't get in to the office until after nine and really this protagonist would've just called off except she was the only one in her department because someone had just quit on absolutely no notice and the other person was out on vacation and threatening so send photos of waterslides just to rub it in, and the protagonist had to be downtown anyway for the something important she had scheduled so it was really a giant cluster-eff-star-star-star (because you can't say that word in young adult books) and in reality she'd told her boss that she was going to leave at 11:30, but that had been before she found out the something important was downtown and not an hour and a half away by train, so she told her boss she'd leave at 12:30 instead to make up the time she'd missed except everyone caught wind of the fact that she was still in the office and apparently alive and therefore capable of doing whatever menial task they demanded so she didn't get out of the office until 12:50 which gave her ten minutes to run the three blocks to the something important, except she'd transposed the numbers in the street address so she was looking for a building that didn't exist and finally at 12:59 she ran into a building that had approximately a right number and it turned out to be the one. Then she attended the something important and it was marginally enlightening and she spent some time picturing herself in one of several glamorous potential professions until they completely failed to explain how she could justify spending $80,000 on an education that would, quite probably, land her a job that would pay a maximum of $40,000 a year, which kind of put a damper on that plan, at least for a little while, and then as the something important drew to a close her attention kept wandering back to work because, though she'd planned to take the entire afternoon off and stick around at the session to ask pertinent questions and hobnob, there were mountains of files at work that no one else would take care of because everyone else was vacationing or had quit and she didn't want to come in on the weekend again. So she had to sprint back to work and in the end even though her bosses had already docked her pay for taking the half-day she ended up working all but two and a half hours of the day, and one of those hours should've been her lunch anyway, which she didn't get. Also, you can tell this is a young adult book because, even though the protagonist is employed, there are vampires and werewolves all this takes place on a Friday the 13th, just to make sure you know Bad Luck is involved.

Goshdarn terrible young adult literature. (Give me my normal author back! What did you do, sack them because they made me happy for a couple of days? And seriously, where did that dream even come from?)
Still owe myself (and by extent you, my semi-captive audience) a post about the Doctor Who finale. I was pretty far off on a lot of things, but thankfully things were different in a way that I enjoyed anyway. (Why do I love Rory so much? It doesn't even make sense! Maybe it's my soft spot for the normal guy caught up in everyone else's mess?)

Work is pretty much exactly how I expected it would be by this point in the summer (ie: eating up all of my time). I am trying not to complain, but I don't think I'm going to be able to manage that for much longer. Unfortunately, the really truly crazy stuff has pretty much all gone on to greener pastures, so I'm more or less just left with the work itself being nonsense. I'm not yet sure how I feel about this. I don't even have anything interesting to complain about anymore. Which is probably why it's been more than three weeks since I last used the law-clerking tag. (Though I'd like to think it's more a matter of me being busy with other, more interesting things.)

But! I've realized I never gave the full update on the whole The Stig is Dead saga. After a weekend-and-a-day of mulling it over, I got a call from the claim manager telling me that they'd cover my bike. Needless to say this was great news (the scale of which, in comparison to the rest of this year, I promised not to repeat, as it's depressing). They came for the Stig Thursday afternoon--unfortunately, it happened too quickly for me to leave a note with him, so his future owners will just have to realize his name on their own. I got the check Friday. I'm actually still a little amazed that the whole thing went as smoothly as it did. I even have my new bike, complete and whole as of Monday night (after a bit of haggling, in which I negotiated away a brand new, special-ordered stem in order to get a scuffed-up second-hand stem that was exactly like my old one. Everyone at Village Cycle probably thinks I'm flat-out nuts at this point. Brought in a three-month old bike, already destroyed, and a gigantic bruise, came back a week or so later and bought a new bike without even having my insurance check yet, came back again to get parts swapped out and spent the better part of half an hour trying to get them to match the invoice for my original bike and telling them that one of the things they'd added to my bike was "too shiny."

The new bike doesn't have a name yet. With its old handlebars it was almost certainly Nine (for some reason, they made the outsized nature of its wheels really stand out). With the straight black bars I'm not so sure anymore, though the fact that it already has an old, scuffed-up stem, it's not a stretch to consider this a regeneration. It moves in a straight line too reliably to be the Doctor though, really. I'll give it a few more days.
evilhippo: hippo (2 [politics])
( Mar. 21st, 2010 10:04 pm)
Well, it appears that we have passed some form of health care reform. In the future, depending on how this all goes, I will probably want to look back on this, so I just want to remind myself that at the time I was sitting on the floor in the middle of my apartment correcting foreclosure complaints. Next time something important happens, future self, I sincerely hope you're doing something better than that.

Go team socialism!
evilhippo: hippo (53 [poke])
( Jan. 7th, 2010 06:29 pm)
Exhibit A:

"TRAVEL ACROSS NORTHEAST ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA WILL BE HAZARDOUS. THE THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND FRIDAY MORNING RUSH HOURS WILL BE IMPACTED."

Exhibit B:

"Please be advised that we have a meeting tomorrow Friday 1/8/2010 at 8:15 a.m. Please do not be late. Sorry for the short notice."

I would like to draw the attention of the court to the timing of Exhibit B. Though the exact timestamp was omitted from the exhibit I hope the court will trust my honesty in saying that it was sent no more than two hours before the end of workday Thursday, January 7. Also, though no exhibit is available I hope the court will also admit as evidence the fact that there has not been an employee meeting for approximately 8 months, or since the conference room was converted into more cubicles, whichever is more recent. In light of the excerpt provided from Exhibit A, the full text of which was available at the time of dissemination of Exhibit B and for several hours beforehand, I hereby pray that the court will adjudge the defendant guilty of attempted murder or, should a lesser count be necessary, contemptuous employee abuse.

(Man frak guys I was half an hour late today how am I supposed to be 15 minutes early tomorrow? This is the midwest. After December we don't move snow, we just sit around and wait for it to melt or blow away or something.)
evilhippo: hippo (35 [waiting])
( Dec. 31st, 2009 08:53 pm)
So, what do you even say to a year that pretty much everyone maligned? It started out all glossy and hopeful and we were going to save the world, sort of. But we're right back in the dystopian future we started out in, only now we're even more aware of it. Funtimes, eh?

But despite the global bitterness, I owe 2009 at least some small bit of respect. Compared to the last two years, it was actually leaps and bounds better. I can say without reservation that it is firmly in the middle ground between "awful" and "actually pretty okay" (obviously I am using my sarcastic voice here but I still mean it). I imagine a good bit of this optimism about 2009 is just because I grew up a bit this year and learned to accept that some things are just going to suck until proper opportunities present themselves (ie: everything in this tag). So I backed off on my teeth-bared, full-speed-ahead, desperate efforts to find another job and found other things to do. I wasn't always successful with my attempts, but I'm at least not sitting down at the computer crying and writing entries about how I'm a failure (I found some of those. Old entries that are that embarrassing should be a minimum of three years old, not from just a bit over a year ago).

So, in a short-standing tradition... The Random of 2009 )
evilhippo: hippo (3 [grr])
( Oct. 5th, 2009 09:48 pm)
I keep half-drafting letters to NPR and Google and Oprah and all the Chicago museums in my head. Mostly because there hasn't been an even vaguely relevant job posting anywhere recently and I'm sick of working 11-hour days just so people can lose their houses more quickly.

I wish I could actually get myself to finish letters, so I could at least test my irrational belief that well-written letters might eventually get me somewhere interesting someday.
evilhippo: hippo (53 [poke])
( Sep. 16th, 2009 07:23 pm)
I was on the train this morning, and... and... I realized there's something I want to write.

And then, at work today, I realized there's something else I want to write (though this something is unlikely to leave the internet. And requires an artist willing to draw an absurdly cute rendition of Ruth Bader Ginsburg).

But guys the idea I had on the train this morning... I actually still want to write it. And it's been almost 12 hours, most of which was spent in disaster mode at work, because (dundundunnnn) the Client is visiting tomorrow. This is good! This is very good! (Not the client thing, of course. The client thing is really annoying, and one of the attorneys hid his ENTIRE mess at my desk so he wouldn't have to clean) ... I should probably go work on it, rather than talking about it.
I feel like there's a very accurate parallel to be made between testing the entire fleet for Cylonness and finishing the gabillion complaints I have to get filed this week (tomorrow, specifically), but I can't quite make the metaphor work un-awkwardly, so accept this meta-commentary instead.

(I worked until 7:30 tonight, that's the best you're going to get out of me.)

I wonder if asking my boss for a raise at this point is like trying to ask Adama for a spare nuke... Would I get credulous eyebrows raised at me, but get it in the end?

(Also, sadly, I was outbid on the boots at the last minute, but I suppose it's all for the best because I was already bidding a fair amount higher than I'd planned to anyway. Now I'm going to have to spend just as much on plain old boring rain boots sometime soon, though. Alas.)
evilhippo: hippo (25 [space])
( Aug. 5th, 2009 10:55 pm)
I actually left work at 5:30 today... and took a lunch break. (The break was a mistake. I need to replace my cell phone, and ended up ogling the Palm Pre and trying to justify the purchase. It's $200, but it's very pretty and the phone plan itself is only about $30 a month more than mine now, and includes internets. But... yeah. Considering how much more I'll be spending on my apartment, I can't imagine being so weak-willed as to end up with a smartphone at this point. Unless my job strips away the last bit of sanity I have... which, considering I've worked 13 hours of overtime since last Tuesday, is actually kind of possible.)

Lollapalooza is already gumming up traffic downtown, and so I didn't actually get back down to Hyde Park until well after 6 anyway, but, on the plus side, I took the museum bus all the way down to 57th and walked up the lake shore trail, which afforded me a prime view of some kind of boating debacle that required two firetrucks, an ambulance, the coast guard, and a helicopter. I really, really wish I knew what happened. No explosions or fire, though there was a strong burning smell in the air for a little while.

And I made dinner for the first time since like, Pitchfork. Cornmeal-breaded tilapia with mango-pineapple salsa, and some beans from my back porch. It was good, because it was an actual meal, but I really need to figure out how to make fish actually good. It wasn't bad (in fact, it was in the top five fish dishes I've made this year), but I either overcooked it or over-breaded it, because it was far too dry. Someday... someday I will figure this whole cooking thing out. Or at least the part of it that involves preparing fish so it doesn't suck.

And yeah... this entry is kind of entirely pointless, but I'm trying to waste time until the stomping from upstairs stops. Then, I am going to bed so I can joyfully face another day of law-clerking. Woo.
evilhippo: hippo (41 [indescribable])
( Jul. 30th, 2009 09:45 pm)
I find it amusing that this is, obstensibly, the Year of the Yushityu 2007 Mimetic-Resolution-Cartridge-View-Motherboard-Easy-To-Install-Upgrade For Infernatron/InterLace TP Systems For Home, Office, Or Mobile [sic] and I'm spending a lot of time typing things like Bank of America as Trustee on behalf of the holders of 2006-A Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates recorded as document A270532 and known as Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates 2006-A. It is very hard not to type [sic] afterwards.

Tangentially, pages 321 to 342 of Infinite Jest contain one of the funniest, most bizarre scenes I have ever read.

I want to try to get a game of Eschaton going somewhere now.
evilhippo: hippo (74 [closer look])
( May. 13th, 2009 09:35 pm)
Tonight, on Cooking With Evilhippo, I bring you yet another installment of First Google Result Recipes.

Tonight's special: French Bread Rolls.

Things to remember for next time: When it says "Add until the dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl" it actually means "Add the full 4 cups of flour no matter what." I always seem to end up with super-sticky dough, and while it's fun to be all aliengoohands when my roommate is around, when it's just me it's significantly more annoying. I also think this would've fixed them being too flat (I handled them way too much, too, trying to get them off of my fingers). Also, I need to be more careful with the flour. I somehow managed to even get some on the back of my shirt, under my hair. I have no idea how I did that, but it should be easy to imagine the state my kitchen was in by the time the rolls got into the oven.

On the plus side! Though the bottoms are a little hard, the actual bread part is thoroughly acceptable. It's missing something, but that shouldn't be too hard to figure out. I made a few with parmesan cheese and some other seasonings (part of my spice store haul) on top, and they're much better.

In other news, today was an utterly ridiculous day at work. I got about half a dozen phone calls, which is almost half a dozen more than usual. (These being phone calls specifically for me, rather than the status calls that get transferred to me.) One of them was from Citi asking me if an assignment had been recorded. I'd told them exactly 363 days ago that it had. Then I got another call from a frantic Citi person here in the US, who claimed I'd never sent her the original copy of her assignment back. Naturally, I'd already tossed the copy of it that I'd kept, since she'd sent it a good four months ago. I mobilized the troops (meaning me, basically, and a lot of old paperwork) only to have her call back almost an hour later to tell me someone must've gotten it, since it had been put in her system, but she had no idea who it was that got it. Typical Citi. Someone probably scanned it and threw it out. Then I got another call from India, from a guy trying to get me to explain whether we were charging for the new Grace Period Notices. I tried very hard to explain to him that THEY were supposed to do that, but it didn't really work out. I am dreading next week so much. So very much.
evilhippo: hippo (71 [o rly?])
( Apr. 29th, 2009 07:53 pm)
Dear Job,

I am writing this knowing that by putting it into words I'm making it less likely to happen, but that is a risk I am going to have to take. Job, if you cause me to catch swine flu, I am going to laugh. I am going to laugh through the pain and misery. Hard. Personally, I would prefer that the risk that a co-worker's girlfriend is likely to have it scares my boss enough to have him quarantine the office and have us all work from home for a while, but I also know that, since I was only sick once this winter, in a very minor way, cruel irony is likely to make me one of the predicted 100 or so cases in Cook County. I even have experience at being an unlikely carrier in minor flu-like outbreaks. I'm an excellent candidate.

But seriously, though, if I catch the swine flu, it's going to be really funny. It'd basically be the best thing work has even given me.


evilhippo

P.S. It's true, I'm not sure how sarcastic I'm being here, and how much I'm telling the truth.
evilhippo: hippo (107 [snob])
( Apr. 6th, 2009 09:08 pm)
Pat Quinn, I'm sorry I said you'd never have as much hair as Blago. Thank you for signing that bill. People at work said they'd never seen me so happy. And, as far as being at work goes, I'm pretty sure that's true.

Now I just have to hope I don't get laid off.

And, so I don't spam the crap out of everything...

Holy crap, guys, I wasn't going to watch the new FMA anime but the new Central looks fantastic and it makes me want to reboot some things that were long-since forgotten. Oh, this is the Central it was meant to be! It's all noir and dense and there's more to it than the military, and I don't doubt a bit that it's kind of based on Metropolis, which makes it even cooler. I could live in this Central. Hughes has an apartment. It makes so much more sense for a city.

Also, the gratuitous Hughes scenes made me want to cry. You are so cruel, FMA! Setting him up the same way you set Nina up the first time around. Oh man. And giving him and Gracia an actual relationship. Hughes without the hair gel! Oh, it tickles things that existed only in fanon for me. I missed this world! (Though I did not miss canon!airhead!Hughes a bit. And is it me or are the rooms in this universe incredibly large and sparsely furnished? Also, I can never figure out when Roy is talking, because he sounds so very different... I do think this makes him sound more his proper age, though... Oh, and man, I hope it was the translation because if there were that many puns about ice in the Japanese I'm going to cry.)
evilhippo: hippo (37 [listening])
( Feb. 24th, 2009 08:37 pm)
1) This is adorable: • He cherishes family dinner in the White House, where "thorns and roses" is now the favorite family game. Each family member describes the day's highlight, or rose, and the day's worst moment, the thorn. We were told after describing one particularly challenging day at the White House, Malia Obama had this to say to her father the president: "You have a really thorny job."

2) Today's Thorn: CITI'S VOLUNTARY MORATORIUM IS FAKE. I was given the go-ahead today to proceed with pretty much everything, even though most of the people working for Citi haven't been told about this. This now pretty much makes completely FUBARing my department the only purpose of this publicity-stunt moratorium crap.

Today's Rose: Walking down Division St. and then Chicago Ave. for several miles in search of a bakery I had passed once, in the hopes of finding some пампушки (pampushky, or, basically, eastern European jelly donuts made for Fat Tuesday. They're so much better than jelly donuts. Also, rose jelly filling. That is all). Also, the fact that I was the only one in the bakery that had to order in English. I love Chicago's neighborhoods.
evilhippo: hippo (67 [icicles])
( Feb. 18th, 2009 07:29 pm)
Blue Remy's case and strap arrived today. Still no Blue Remy. (He is apparently shipping straight from the manufacturer, and while that makes me feel better about the care he'll receive on the way, I don't have a tracking number, so I have no idea when he'll be here.)

I have subsequently decorated the case for his arrival. It's about forty times more hardcore than I thought it'd be, but this pleases me. My requirements were basically 1) Light and 2) Able to be strapped to my back. It fulfills both of these requirements, and as an added bonus there is no way anyone on the CTA or elsewhere could ever harm him without harming me seriously first. There's also no way I could harm him without harming myself first, and since my clumsiness makes this likely, I'm glad I won't really have to worry. Unless I get hit by a truck.

In other news, today was my one-year anniversary at work. I had such great plans for this day. Curse you, economy! Curse you!
Lately, as this political season is finally coming to its end and the rancor among my coworkers becomes evermore biting and sarcastic, I've been finding myself more and more tempted to break with my "Silent Bob" approach to the workplace. This is, in part, because I've found myself tagged as a sort of one-dimensional character who somehow represents the whole of liberal thinking. No doubt my silent resolve to grit my teeth and get through the day with as little drama as possible is seen as some kind of carebear "Love everyone, even those who take advantage of your work ethic" mentality. I managed to stop myself from dressing up on Halloween as "Me, as you imagine me" with hippie pigtails, birkenstocks (I've been meaning to get a pair anyway), and a petition to rename Michigan Ave "Barack Obama", explaining that 1) I wouldn't ask them otherwise, but my signatures were due on November 1 so we could rename it before inauguration, 2) I was working for ACORN and would be paid by the signature, and 3) "And isn't it cool that we're just going to name it 'Barack Obama'? Really, we think that the word Obama will come to mean a path toward hope and the future, so it doesn't even need to be a street or avenue. It can just be an Obama." Thankfully I realized that the glee I would derive from them believing me, though wonderful, would quickly be followed by despair at them believing me. And then one of them would probably get me fired.

So now I'm sitting here with a bag of arugula in my fridge, and thinking "Wouldn't it be a great idea to bring it in to work on Tuesday and offer some to everyone?" I'd already planned it as my victory arugula, but I keep thinking that I need to get that jab in against them, just to prove that I've been listening to their nonsense and am perfectly prepared to counter with some of my own (and I think it's about to go bad so the sooner I use it the better). It's just... irony. Victory arugula is ironic, especially on Tuesday (I can't let myself have confidence yet, it'll jinx things). And there are approximately two people in the back office that would understand. So what do I do? Do I make the joke that gets me antagonized more as it sails over their heads? Or do I just sit quietly and continue to be the one-dimensional hippie Obama-worshiping liberal? (... I mean, truth is the only word that doesn't technically apply there is "worshiping." I think I'm just offended that they think I've put so little thought into my decision, and so my response to social adversity, as it always is, is to make fun of myself and them.)

Dear 2008 Election,

I WANT MY WEDNESDAY ARUGULA TO BE VICTORY ARUGULA!


[livejournal.com profile] evilhippo

P.S. Even if I fail to be ironic at work, I am wearing some of the arugula in my hat when I go to the rally Tuesday night, and nothing is stopping me. Except maybe security, if they find leafy vegetables suspicious.
Wednesdays are going to be a problem.

Today I ran out of complaints to type and had to learn something new. There's always something nice about doing something different. And so that cheered me up. And it was sunny, and that cheered me up. And I went to a music store on Michigan on a whim, because I always see it from the bus, and it was in the Fine Arts Building, which is wonderful and old, and full of people doing arty things, with elevators that have actual human operators. It's so, so, so early 1900s I was stunned and grinning for some time afterward. I highly recommend wandering into it if you're ever in the area. This, also, cheered me up. And I picked up prints from Walgreens, and am once again fearing an addiction to the slightly-delayed gratification of printing things cheaply from my camera's memory card.

And then I had my mandolin lessons, which were, as usual, wonderful fun. (Other than realizing that I'm still nervous when playing anything alone. I, er, in a brief lapse of self-restraint, started noodling around over my instructor's noodling, and played things right, and then, afterwards, realized my heart was beating a bit too fast for having done something like that. Goshdarn freaking retroactive stage fright.) My instructor is a bit... elitist, though not openly condescending. Thankfully, it just makes me want to work harder, though I do wish he'd be a bit more ambitious in teaching us things. The best part of lessons, though, might be the "second half", when we all sit down and play three- or four-chord songs with all the guitar classes. Everyone up at the Old Town School seems to have a political agenda during the second-half, which I imagine would be annoying if we weren't pretty much all a bunch of hippie liberals with guitars and mandolins. We sing union songs and today we had a song about Victor Jara, and Obama buttons were passed around. It's great fun to actually be around fun people, which is a pretty big chunk of the reason I'm there in the first place. So... mission accomplished!

Needless to say I'm all hyped up on sunshine and music and hippie liberalism. It's a nice feeling. But I'm going to have to go to work tomorrow anyway. (And, as I've stated before, nothing is more of a buzz-kill.) Maybe I'll call off because of the cramp in my left hand.

I also made some postcards on the train, which I intend to send to people next time I visit the post office. Looking back at my Christmas cards entry, though, I realize I mostly have addresses people aren't at anymore. If you'd like a random nonsensical postcard (with little-known facts or nonsense pop-quizzes with questions about Spiderman, or advertisements for the end of days), I'll need your right and proper address (you can e-mail it if you like, I'm too lazy to screen comments individually, and I'm still mostly without internets).

P.S. Guys I've figured out the chords to Magpie. The world is in severe danger now. (Also it's nearly midnight. I'm going to regret this in the morning).
.

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