Blog, Sweet Blog

Archive for August 2009

Mood: 8.5 on the Rock-o-Meter
Music: Black Flag-Room 13

Insert obvious, American college themed photograph above.

So, I started back to graduate school on Monday.  The first class was pretty interesting, but getting there was hilarious.

I work within walking distance of my school and regularly walk to campus and back during lunch.  There’s a wonderful pub transpo sys (isn’t unnecessary abbreviation the best?) in town but, for some reason, I decided to hoof it.  I started the workday in a low-ish wedge, but switched to, what I thought, would be a much more comfortable pair of flats.  For those of you that don’t know, women’s shoes, in general, can posses three desirable traits: affordability, beauty, and comfort.  However, according to Stanton’s Law of Shoes, there will never be an intersection of all three traits in a single pair of women’s shoes.  For the record, the flats I ended up wearing to class were pretty and inexpensive.  More on that later…

The walk to class wasn’t painful.  Even though I thought I was going to be really late, I made it to the building just as the 5:30 bell rang.  I say building, but it’s actually called an Engineering Center because it’s so gi-mongous and as complex as a city center.  The Center is basically one giant building, but it has all of these charming (unless you’re late for class) secret passageways, blind corridors, moats, and drawbridges.  Yes, I’m in the post-grad program at Hogwarts.

All of the engineering disciplines have space in the building.  The various engineering departments thought it would be a good idea to help students by adding that department’s abbreviation to the beginning of each room number.  So, CHME 14 would, theoretically, be a room on the first floor of the Chemical Engineering department.  My class’s room was something like, CS1B56, so somewhere in the first basement level (yes, that means more than one basement level)  of the Computer Science section was room 56.  It’s kind of like a big hospital with all the signs on the wall telling you that Radiology is down the hall from Oncology and the gift shop.

The “funny” part is that there weren’t any maps in the entire building and only some areas of the building were accessible by others.  I’d take a staircase down to Basement Level 1 only to discover that that section only contained rooms ECE1B1, ECE1B7, ME1B65, and CS1B42.  To get to one of the other 968,000 rooms, I’d have to take a different staircase, or find an exit to the secret courtyard and press the hidden switch in the gargoyle’s right eye to open the hidden passage behind the mural of Gustav Kirchhoff.  Only then would the Red Swordsman allow me to pass after correctly answering three riddles.

I tried asking one girl for directions, but she was as new and lost as me.  Later, another new student asked me for directions and the best response I could muster was, “It’s over there, I think…outside…in the other part of the building? Please don’t ask me any more questions!” And then I ran away.

I managed to find my class after another 30 minutes of blind searching.  Let me reiterate that.  Had I not accidentally, through sheer luck and random chance, stumbled upon my class, I might still be searching for it today.  And, I don’t know if you guys have ever toured the science-y bowels of a giant research university, but they can be kind of scary.  I work in a place like that and I always walk through the halls on the lookout for scientific catastrophes.  Like, I’m going to pass by one of the labs in time to spy  an out-of-control Half-Life-esque, time-space rift emergency.  Or, I’ll be evacuated because the human hybrid genetics experiment in Sector Orange decided, violently, that it didn’t like living in a cage anymore and has, inexplicably, developed a taste for human flesh.  Or, maybe I’ll fall prey to something  more pedestrian, like a  plutonium spill or steam pipe failure  The point is, these buildings kind of scare me and I’d rather not dawdle in their secret, science-y bowels any longer than I have to.

So, I get to class, but had to detour to the bathroom to towel off the lady glow and try to look presentable after my hour-long campus expedition.  I went back to class to wait for the first break (the class is 2.5 hours long).  In most classes, I’d just sneak in and find a seat at the back.  I could only see the instructor in the doorway, so I had no idea how many people were inside or if there were even available seats.  So, I waited until people started coming out for potty break.  I made my way inside and passed a few smiling students.  Post-transition, whenever people are really nice or smile at me, I always have to remember, oh yeah, people are nice to women and you are a woman…smile back stupid. The instructor was at the front talking to another student, so I waited for him to finish.  When he did, he came over and I introduced myself as the new, late girl.  He found me one of the few remaining seats and I sat down.

The rest of the class was thankfully, uneventful.  It’s going to be an interesting and fun class, but it’ll be a lot of working in teams and presenting in class, eep!  I kind of planned it that way, though.  I’m trying to branch out and be more social and this class will be a great opportunity.   So, I think it’s going to be alright.  Ugh, but he’s one of those that assigns homework before the first class.  So now I have to turn in that and this week’s homework before next Monday.

Oh!  I almost forgot the “funny”, walking home part.  Even though my feet were already hurting, I decided to walk back to my car at work.  This decision, the decision to walk to class, and the decision to wear those horrible shoes turned out to be the day’s giant mistakes.  Honorable, bad decision  mention goes to the fact that I was walking alone, on a American college campus, near dusk…not smart.  I need to find someone to walk with or find a way to take the bus back to work.   Anyway, if I hadn’t been so afraid of being assaulted or consumed by C.H.U.D.s, I probably would have just spent the night in a tree or an abandoned classroom.  Somehow, I endured the pain and limped back to my car.  I surveyed the pedi-damage at home–two heel blisters, one pinkie toe blister, two cuts where the edge of the shoe sawed away at the underside my ankle, and the balls of both feet are still sore.  So, next time, I’m either wearing tennis shoes or hiring a porter.

And that’s it! I’m sure this class will become a wellspring of amusing, bloggy anecdotes and you have my word I’ll share them all with you.  Until then, good day!

Mood: Eh, you know
Music: TAD-Candi

Why can’t every blog post be about cheese?  Srsly…cheese…so great. So, hello again, Internets!  I’ve been crazy busy lately but I’ve been having the urges to keep you, my virtual friends, appraised of the happenings in mah life.

Let’s start with electrolysis.  If you’re scoring at home, I’ve now spent just over $4000 and 70 hours on facial hair-removal.  Like I said in the title, the woman that tortures me for money and I just celebrated our one-year electrolyversaryaganza.   We spent the day in the way we spend all of our days together–she stuck a needle into my face, turned on the heat, and pulled out hairs while I made awkward conversation, tried not to cry, and paid her for the privilege at the end.  Srsly tho, we are making progress.  My small talk is getting less and less awkward…jk.   Within the next month or so, I should be able to cut down on the length of my sessions.  My face seems a lot more clear than it had this summer and it seems like she’s able to get a lot done all over my face and neck.  So, that’s good.  I can’t imagine how much longer this will go on (forever still seems entirely reasonable), but it’s beginning to feel like less of a lifestyle and more like an occasional hobby…you know, like taxidermy…or designing evening gowns for kittehs.  Then again, I think I’ve repeated that sentiment so many times that it’s beginning to sound fresh and new again.  But I’m funny like that, hope and grim realism springs eternal.

Recently, my virtual friend, Jamie started electrolysis and I had a couple of thousand words of unsolicited advice for her.  I won’t bore you with most of it, but it can be boiled down to electrolysis sucks and since you’re going to be doing it for the next, too-long period of time, hang in there and try not to worry about how long it takes or what did or didn’t get done that week.  Also, try not to touch your face too much afterward…and drink plenty of fluids…and eat at least one apple per day…and treat yourself to ice cream every once in a while…and kittens are nice.

When I was writing the advice, I had to really think back to the beginning and how awful it was.  I’ve had some painful, voluntary “medical” experiences, but electrolysis ranks among the worst.  Until she completely cleared it the first time, I would shed the pain tears every time she touched my upper lip.  Now, it hardly hurts at all and the lip heals faster than the rest of my face.  I guess it’s easy to lose perspective when you’re fighting something every week, but hard work does pay off, kittens.  And at the end, I’m totally getting an electrolysis merit badge for all of this hard work.  OMG you guys, we should totally start the Trans-Scouts and have sashes with little badges for every milestone we complete…also, berets.

Mmm, what else?  I started back to graduate school, click here for some hot, grad school action.

Work has been nutso-majutso and busy and frustrating.  Not in a bad, permanent way, it’s just that sometimes I hate development and computers…which is super unfortunate since that’s 75% of what we do here on the farm.  When I’m really having problems with, say, compiling a program, I get to feel like my forehead reverts back to Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer sticky-outy-ness and I start to drool and make a low durrrrrrrrr sound under my breath.  Acio illustrative picture!

Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: "Did little demons get inside and type it?" I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know - when a man like my client slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of a public library, then he is entitled to no less than two million in compensatory damages, and two million in punitive damages.

And I curse a lot, out loud.  So, that’s been fun and it won’t be improving until I finish this project.

Other than failing at that project, work is going well and people seem to be happy with what I’m doing.  And in September, I get to go to Washington D.C. for work!!!!!  It will only be for three days, and I have to, you know, work and stuff, but I’ve never been and I’m just about to pass out from the excitement.  Full-color Lincoln Memorial souvenir photos and tiny American flags for everyone! I keep having these fantasies about how me and my co-worker are going to stay in sexy hotels and be wined and dined by Washington’s Beltway elite.  Perhaps we’ll become embroiled in some international intrigue or be taken on fabulous, exclusive tours of all the best Washington landmarks?  Maybe we’ll be invited over to the White House for some late-night drinking and CoD:4 deathmatching with the President, Shelly O., and Al Gore?  Even if none of that comes true, I’m sure I’ll still have a good time.  And our hotel is dead sexy!

Two college classmates work at the USPTO in D.C., so I’m going to try and see one of them while I’m in town.  I sent him an email (the coming-out kind) a couple of weeks ago when I found out I was going.  After a few missed calls, we spoke on the phone.  The first thing he said was, “So, are you using some kind of electronic voice box?”  I laughed because it was kind of flattering and because he’s always been the type to ask the questions that no one else would think to ask, e.g. Hey guys, I think it’s time my girlfriend and I had anal sex.  How can I talk her into it? It was sweet and charming, in an invasive, off-putting way.  Still though, it’ll be nice to catch up with him and did I mention I’m super excited about getting to go to D.C.?

Finally, kittens, things may be improving on the Mom-acceptance front.  A couple of weeks ago, she sent me an email asking about how one would go about watching my YouTube videos.  They weren’t loading for her or something, so she wanted some help.  She also said that she really missed my sister and I and that she was trying to get used to “the new me.”  I kind of bristled at that.  I’ve talked before about whether the “but I’m still the same person” defense is valid or not.  After some consideration, I decided that I am pretty different.  I mean, I don’t think my core sensibility has changed, but I don’t think someone would figure that out if they hadn’t spent a lot of time with “the new me.”  Anyway, it makes me happy that I might be able to have a positive relationship with her again some day.  In her email, it kind of sounded like she wanted to come out and  see us.  I would love it if that happened.

Enough already!  I had better post this before someone else sends me a thoughtfully concerned email.

Mood: Eh, you know
Music: The Mighty Lemon Drops-Happy Head

Eric Cartman (not real) standing in front of the legendary Casa Bonita (totally real)

Not that you care, but I just remembered this thread on Boing Boing I contributed to almost a year ago.   It started off as a spot where past and current residents of Denver (and the Front Range) could post about whatever they loved, hated, or barely remembered from their time spent in our fair city.  It’s kind of taken on a life of its own since then and is still going strong (it was posted to as late as yesterday).  If you look closely, there are quite  a few posts from Bonnie Burton and Kip Winger.   For what it’s worth, here’s what I contributed…

#181 posted by annahell, September 10, 2008 3:23 PM

Wow, great thread everyone and a really fun topic. I moved here in the summer of ’82 (right before the blizzard) and have lived all over the area (Arvada, Lakewood, Evergreen, and Denver) ever since. Here are some of my memories…

-Yes, KBDI, Channel 12 used to be a lot better, more edgy. Besides Teletunes, does anyone remember the Home Movies show and how they used to broadcast live from the Boulder Mall Crawl? I think it’s a pale imitation of KRMA now.

-Celebrity Fun Center, good times. Why can’t we have a place like that now? I liked the pool and water slides the best, but they had a great arcade. For some reason, I can still recall the arcade’s smell.

-How about the Denver Gold, the USFL team? My folks took me to see Alabama (for some reason) and one of their games one time.

-The UZI store? Wow. I lived with Mari’s brother for about a year. He always had a lot of Foreskin 500 albums around.

-So many great record stores…JB&H was great, I think I’ve been to every Twist & Shout iteration, the first time I went to Chicago as a kid I was like, “Oh, there’s a Wax Trax here too?”

-Casa Bonita, god, the food is so awful but I’m always down to go there a few times a year. We went all the time as kids. I even had my 33rd birthday party there.

-After the Gold Rush-um, OMG, I think that was one of my (then, recently divorced) Mom’s favorite haunts. My Mom really liked KIMN and I really liked the chicken.

-The Gothic, I’m glad it’s still around, but its vibe has changed considerably. I remember seeing Ministry there in 1990 and Nirvana open for Dinosaur Jr.

-The Wet Spot-sooo many post-drunk breakfasts, so many stories. It was sad to see it close down because of the memories and the fact that it was one of the last (maybe the last) example of a California-style diner in Denver. All of the Pete’s restaurants are still really good. Muddy’s and Paris on the Platte (and Poudre) are/were cool. Benny’s is still just about my favorite place for Mexican.

-I was almost too young, but I need to give a shout out to Cinderella City, Nathan’s, and The Organ Grinder. I have vague, but very pleasant memories from each.

Jake Jabbs and Dealin’ Doug are sweet, kitschy parts of our culture but, to be honest, I could go the rest of my life without seeing another one of their commercials. Why does Doug Moreland have to yell all the time?

-Finally, I was away when this happened, but can someone tell me why the Big Three networks stations played musical chairs at some point? I remember how channel 4 used to be the NBC affiliate.

#274 posted by annahell, September 18, 2008 1:11 AM

I’m also glad to hear this thread is still going strong…best.thread.ever! Especial thanks to Kip W, I’ve enjoyed your very unique perspective.

Re: #182 – Um yeah…neither Jake Jabs nor Doug Moreland would be classified as men that my mother would approve of. Like I can imagine either of their houses being filled with beyond Trump gaudy gold leaf/lamé everything, numerous stashes of significant amounts of coke, a collection of man-medallions, etc.

Re: #222 – Awww, there it is! Thanks for finding that Bonnie, . I wish they had complete shows up somewhere tho…like the Mall Crawl episodes.

Re: #269 – I was wondering if someone would mention the Kamikaze Klones. They were quite a bit before my time but Jimmy Murphy (the lead singer) served as director for a couple of plays I was in at Evergreen. He somehow convinced me to participate in an improv touring group he put together (The Kamikaze Kids). He had the most adorable children and his wife made really good Kentucky Fried Tofu. Anyway, it was fun to see him again.

And now you know a lot of my childhood trivia…use it wisely.

Mood: sleepy
Music: Sonic Youth-Madonna, Sean, and Me

Shhhh, don't be sad.

Thus endeth Blog, Sweet Blog‘s longest, most unfunny, in-joke.


Mood: blague absurde fromage
Music: Sonic Youth-Trilogy

Come and sit, hear my words, tiny baby. The elder prophecy tells of a warrior prince who will one day reveal the secrets of cheese and restore order to this broken house. It is the sacred duty of every tribesman to search for the hero of legend and, should the hero deem you worthy, accompany him on his holy quest. Be vigilant, child! The warrior may walk among us, even now. Ha! Even you tiny one, even you could be the incarnation of the chosen one.

mad kid

URNGHNG! Foolish, musclebound, mortal oaf! The prophecy foretells of a son, native born, that will wrest the Helm of Longing from the horrors of the Locryan Abyss and restore it to its rightful place in the Hall of Rejoicing. Look upon me, ye mortal, and tremble. I...AM...RETURN! Come mortal, we must prepare for the long journey ahead, and adventure!

an introduction

Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.


All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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August 2009