Friday, August 29, 2008

What does this say about me?

Quick update on my witchcraft class yesterday:

There are only 3 guys in the course, and 14 girls.

I am friends with all three guys.

I am friends, in fact have met, only one of the girls.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

War, drugs and llama fetuses.

Remember that job I forgot how to do? I'm not so worried about it anymore. That's because I've met Fred.

Fred is the professor I'm TAing for. We had arranged to meet at IC Square (or the snack bar, as he called it -- thank goodness I guessed right) after I had finished classes yesterday. I saw a man who resembled the picture I'd seen online and went up to introduce myself.

Fred seems to me to be a grizzled old war veteran, though I can't be sure that he's actually fought in a war. He's got this black Celtic-looking tattoo on his arm, not his forearm but the top part of that section of the arm. (Leave me alone -- I'm not a scientist or even remotely familiar with what various body parts are called.)

We start talking, and he asks me what classes I'm taking this semester. I tell him about the witchcraft class I'm taking. Ten seconds later the conversation turns to llama fetuses and how our experience with southest Asia are like witchcraft.


It didn't take me long to figure out that every conversation with Fred will somehow turn into one about war, usually Vietnam or Iraq. The kids in our class soon learned this too, I'm pretty sure.

The first class began today as a discussion (one-sided since the kids were probably frightened a bit) about the history of war and what we're willing to kill or die for. Then we went around the room and said what we needed to work with in writing. A nice flip there for you. The weird thing is, it all seemed to flow together very nicely. I don't quite understand it.

He said that most of what the students mentioned they'd like to work on were bad habits, like drinking or smoking: wordiness, bad grammar, run-on sentences. One girl said she was bad at avoiding run-on sentences. He asked her if she liked writing them; she was confused.

His explanation: "Well, most people who have habits do them because they like them. Why do heroin addicts shoot herion? Because it's fun! You ask a herion addict why they do it, they say it's fun, I get off on it, it makes me feel good. Not that I'm condoning drugs. You shouldn't do them. But that's why people do drugs. They enjoy them."

"Oh God, please don't do herion..." I mumble from my place a little behind the circle. A girl, Kelly, looks back at me and starts laughing, which most of the class is already doing anyway. A kind of uncomfortable laughter, but still, I guess it's better than silence.

So these are my first impressions of Fred. I'm not writing his last name because I don't really want him to somehow find this and read it, but whatever. I like him. He's out there, but I like him. At any rate, I think this shall prove to be an interesting semester.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What is this TA business? Oh, that's right, I forget.

So I spent today and yesterday going through training for a job I can't really remember how to do. Good luck, little writing students. I hope I don't screw up too badly and mar your experience at Ithaca College. In my defense, the last time I did this was about eight months ago.

At least I'll remember not to climb onto a table and accidentally almost flip it over onto some students this time around.

Monday, August 25, 2008

O Lord, give thy servant a horse.

This weekend, I accompanied my reporter housemate/good friend Erica on an excursion to Romulus, NY, to see the Sermon on the "Mount." Not mount as in mountain, but mount as in horse.

One Mr. Lew Sterrett from Pennsylvania goes around the country, giving sermons using the analogy of horse training. Walking on the site of the sermon was like being in some alternate dimension -- there was a corral that I can only assume Lew brought with him, lots of people surrounding it in lawn chairs, and the man himself riding around on a horse talking to those who wished to speak with him. A regular cowboy. Bluegrass served as a nice score for the evening.

The sermon took an hour and a half. At least I got a free hot dog.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Movin' in.

So I was wrong. We did have electricity and hot water. Thank goodness.

But all three of us moved in on Saturday, and since then our house has been in a state of constant messiness, and I love it. My room is great, and pretty clean considering, but the downstairs area needs to be picked up a bit. I wish I weren't so lazy. Despite this, we've hosted two dinners at our place, both of which I think were successful.

Unfortunately, we won't have internet until September 4. So if you email me, it might take a while for me to get back to you since I would need to be at the school in order to see it.

Other than that, not too much is going on. I'm being really lazy, and the only work I've done so far is monitoring for BSG. I've also spent a lot of time at the Ithacan office because of this, and also because I miss the people here. It's nice not to have any responsibility whatsoever and still be around.

Friday, August 15, 2008

O Pioneers!

Okay, so I messed up. Big time. Because I'm a greenhorn at this take-care-of-yourself type thing, I call our electric and gas company until Tuesday. Apparently this is too late to get electricity or gas (meaning hot water and a working stove) in our house by the time we move in. The earliest they can get there?


So, because of my colossal goof-up, we're going to have a pioneer week. I just wish we could light a bonfire to roast hotdogs on a straightened-out wire hanger.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My brother is one of the goofiest kids I know.

I walk into the family room after monitoring tonight, and see my brother Zaven sitting in an armchair with a bucket, a stick, and sandpaper. He is sanding the stick.

"What are you doing?" I ask.


I look at my father, who just shrugs. "What happened to the triangle on top?" he asks.

"I sawed them off."

"But that made the stick!"

Let me just take the time to point out that my father sees nothing strange about this. I walked away, because I could think of nothing else to do in response. As I'm leaving, I hear Zaven say, "Peace pipe, Dad. Peace pipe."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Okay last one.

Didn't I tell you the title might change again? I like this one better. But let me know how you feel about this very important and life-changing event.

And I thought I was the one moving.

I guess I'm moving back to Ithaca this Saturday, instead of this Sunday. Apparently it's not necessary I know which day I'm moving.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ah, family.

I know that people think I'm crazy for doing this. But I figured, my dad has been doing this for the past, well, I guess my entire lifetime, so it couldn't be so bad, right?

What I'm talking about is this. With the rest of my family (both brothers and parents), I drove about 12 hours a week ago to Michigan to visit my uncle. Now, I have an internship, so I didn't want to miss another whole week (I had jury duty one day and it was July 4 the other day I was supposed to go in that same week), so I flew back home with my dad, who also had work, the next day. That week was pretty much business as usual, I went to my internship two days and B&N three days. Then we flew back to Michigan Thursday night.

Of course, our flight was delayed about two and a half hours, most of which we spent sitting on the plane. Too bad I was at the window seat next to Talky Guy Who Likes To Take Up All My Space.

So I spent a weekend with my family. All I have to say is it wasn't a vacation and I'm sort of looking forward to Ithaca next weekend.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stop it.

I hate it when people dismiss something as being "emo." I hate that word. It makes a stereotype that degrades some people who might have a real problem, or a legitimate concern. It makes things sound ridiculous when they might not be, and that can be dangerous.

I thought of that because my friend recently described The Perks of Being a Wallflower as possibly too emo for him to reread. I really love that book and don't think it's "emo" in the sense that people now use it in. And it just got me thinking about all the times I had heard that word used to describe something that it shouldn't have been used to describe. People are getting too cavalier with their use of that word, and it makes me mad. Not everything is emo. Find another way to express your feelings for whatever it is you're describing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Man, naming a blog is hard.

I don't know if this one will stick, but we'll see how long it lasts. I'm pretty sure everyone will refer to it as "Tahleen's blog" anyway, all two of you.

This one might be a little long, but I came up with it with the help of Lena, who described me as being "delightfully sarcastic," which I must admit, I enjoyed. I've not quite settled with this yet, though. Let me know what you think. By the time you read this the name might have already changed to something else.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sweet addiction.

I've decided I'm addicted to Dunkin Donuts iced tea. One good experience is all it takes.

Pff. I'll break YOUR dawn.

So Friday was the big day. My marathon day, and the epitome of teen girl excitement. Yes, the release party for Breaking Dawn.

So I won't bother describing the mob scene, since that's pretty much what it was. Just picture teen (and younger) girls dressed up, some inappropriately (think under-the-asscheeks short dresses). At one point when we were lining everybody up (poorly, I might add), I even got YELLED at by some fat girl who had a crazed look in her eye. Listen, buddy. I don't have to listen to you yelling at me. I've done enough as it is. I was in here at 6:30 am putting freakin' Christmas lights up on the ceiling using nothing but paper clips and a ladder. I carried my stupid fake Christmas tree in so I could make you a forest. BACK OFF. I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON EITHER.

Anyway. I looked good and that's all that matters. I'll post some pictures once I get them from Rob, whose camera I did not lose, despite my panic attack after I realized it wasn't around my wrist anymore.

So we ended up getting through the insane line that wove all through the store in about a half hour, miracle of miracles. Unfortunately we were there for an hour longer, not cleaning up but peeling some kind of tape from hell off of the carpet. A word of caution: Never use tape that looks and feels like tinfoil with sticky on one side. It took about seven of us to get about 20 feet of it off of the floor.

Other than those gripes, the evening wasn't so bad. It was busy, and some people took it a little too seriously (I'm counting employees on this one), but nothing we couldn't really handle.

I have to admit, these books are a guilty pleasure of mine. Mostly because I feel guilty reading them. But I did decide, at the last minute, to buy the new one. And oh my goodness it's SO BIZARRE.

I won't give anything away for those of you that read it, but it is SO not appropriate for most of the girls that read these books. I don't know what the heck Stephenie Meyer was thinking. It's so sexual and gory, considering how chaste the other three were. But oh, did she make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN to promote abstinence until marriage. Which I guess is a good thing, considering that a lot of the girls that read the books shouldn't even be thinking of sex yet.

But this posed an interesting problem for me in particular, since the website I monitor for is for tween girls and I know that a lot of them read these books. I had to write a warning for other monitors today about the book because it's so graphic and it will certainly become a problem. What a loop she threw us all for. And she's supposed to be Mormon.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I have a large iced tea from Dunkin Donuts next to me. Let me tell you why.

This morning at 5:45, I got up to get ready to go to B&N. At 6:30. Why? I needed to help set up for the fantastic Breaking Dawn release tonight. So for two and a half hours, I moved fake Christmas trees to the second level and hung up white Christmas lights to the ceiling with bent paperclips and a ladder.

At nine I left, not to go home, but to come here, my internship at B*tween. Fabulous. I am amazed I lasted as long as I did without any kind of food or caffeine -- I had a piece of coffee cake that Kim so kindly brought the workers this morning at the store and that was about it until 1:15. Thank God Bobbie had me train this guy for monitoring -- I don't know if I could have done the task she had given me (it is SO BORING and now I know I never want to work in PR, as she told me it is a common task entry-level PR people do). Basically I'm collating coverage on a word document. It's great fun.

This is why I need the iced tea. My day isn't even half over, and I'm exhausted.

I get to go back to B&N later today to work the actual event, which I must say I'm looking forward to if only because girls are ABSOLUTELY INSANE about this whole series. There was a line of around 30 people this morning, waiting for the store to open just to get their wristbands (which will either determine their place in line if they reserved a book or will get them a book if they haven't reserved).

God bless Dunkies and FM radio.