22 June 2007

Steve McQueen Returns: Squee at Eleven

MY RATTIE IS COMING HOME TO ME! Some of you have met him. He is a furry ball of love with adorable fuzzy nose that loves burrowing into my elbow like a melty package of cute. I hadn't realized just how much I missed him until I arranged to pick him up.

Will has been rat-sitting since I finished college, and apparently he and Chad have fallen in love with Steve McQueen as well. Because he is that charming. Will called him "Master Longtail" and "Sir Rat." Steve McQueen has been knighted in my absence! He has also apparently gotten a new aquarium because the old one developed a crack (!!!). (Steve McQueen lives in an aquarium with a two-storey wire fortress on top, with ramps and levels and stuff. He spends most of his time on the middle level.) Steve McQueen is adorable and sweet and kinda dumb--no, make that really dumb--and lovable and partially blind and cute and he hearts me. So there. Squee!

20 June 2007

Becoming More Findable

My kid brother's graduation party was last Saturday (yay kid brother!). We had more family over at our house than we have since...well, my high school graduation, back in the Primordial Soup of Time. Family from Ohio, family from Colorado, family from distant Morningside. It was crazy. And somewhere in the midst of family I hadn't seen in ages asking me about my trips to Crete, to Greece, to Egypt, to dig up pyramids, and to go on Semester-at-Sea, I realized that there was a some misinformation floating around due to crappy communication.

I thought about how to fix that, and I came up with the Internet. I know some of you guys aren't exactly techno-savvy, but if you can keep up with my blog, then you can handle this. It's a Google calendar that tracks my every movement from place to place.

Okay, not as stalker-ish as that. But it will tell you which country and/or state I'm in at any given moment and roughly what I'm doing there. If you have a Google account, excellent, you're already equipped for this and you can click here:

If you don't (that is, if you do not use Gmail, Writely.com, Blogger, or any other Google service), then you can get a Google account here or you can subscribe to the calendar by XML (for feed readers), iCal (for Mac iCalendar and other applications), or straight-up HTML (for just bookmarking the page if you don't use a computer calendar. This the best option for you technophobes).

I hope this is useful for you guys. This is good for planning in general, not just for my peace of mind at parties. And, family, please don't be offended. I'm not trying to talk trash about you; obviously I've been less than helpful before about telling you what I'm up to, and you all have lives that don't revolve around keeping up with my every project. Friends, you're in the same boat; I'm not exactly fantastic at this keeping-people-updated thing. This calendar is here as a reference tool for all of you, anybody reading this. Download it once and check it any time you're wondering what I'm up to these days. All of the versions linked above will update automatically every time I add something to the master calendar. It's all for you, honey.

17 June 2007

Nonstop Excitement

I haven't made a single post about being back in the States since I returned, so here we go.

It's boring.

Now, Cyprus wasn't all fun and games. I washed pottery with a toothbrush for hours at a time. I walked along hills staring at the ground. I grew to loathe the company of certain people whose personality quirks really got under my skin. But there was always something to do. My most boring time those three weeks was the last two days, when the IUP All-Stars (Mara, Megan,* and myself) had time off for souvenir shopping and packing. I loathe the idea and practice of souvenir shopping** and had almost nothing to pack, so even after I spent half a morning shopping and drew out the packing as long as possible, I still ended up with vast tracts of unused time. I napped. I read. And then I begged to go out in the field after the other All-Stars had left. I want to do something with my time.

Now I'm home. Unemployed, living in my parents' house, waiting for PALCI books to come in so I can do research I don't enjoy. I'm checking the internet every few hours and continuing to get no love from it, and I'm slowly reordering my entire room so it'll be good to go when I leave for Jordan, instead of piled with mess as it usually is when I leave. I'm bored out of my fucking skull.

Writing, you say?

SLUMPED, I reply. I'm so bored thinking is hard. Tomorrow I'm going to call the climbing wall in Cranberry (10 minutes from my house! Score!) and check them out. I need to get out of this goddamn house. I need my peeps -- where are my writers, my queers, my dorks and geeks and nerdy types? I feel underrepresented in my own house.

And so, to the point, as per always: LET'S DO SOMETHING. BEFORE MY BOOKS COME IN (probably late this week). AFTER THAT I HAVE PAPER TO DO.

*That's "MEE-gen", with a hard G. It's Australian.
**Which is not to say I don't love buying you guys stuff. I do. But souvenir shopping is not about finding good gifts; it's about finding kitschy shit to appease the people back home you're going to assail with ungodly mountains of vacation photos. Combined with my normal loathing of shopping even at the best of times, this really is the lowest you can go.

Neil Gaiman picked up my brain waves

At the bottom of this post, there are a couple of links to mp3's of the beginning of Neil Gaiman's Interworld, read aloud.

People, that is exactly what it's like being lost in Some Town That Is Not Larnaka. You know where you're going, then suddenly you have no idea where you are. Everything looks simultaneously familiar and alien. Somehow, Neil Gaiman picked up on my brain waves from the past, and wrote them down. Perhaps this is another miracle.

16 June 2007

Crazy techno gamer geek vid

You gotta check this out.

1) Cool techno done with a racing game steering wheel console.

2) He looks just like Julian. Down to the glasses. Only Ukrainian. Go look; it's freakish.

10 June 2007

Lost video

I spent my last Sunday in Cyprus lost. Not my finest hour by any stretch of imagination. However, as I was going through my vids for the scavenger vlog, I found this bit of video that I took right at the moment I realized that I was, in fact, rather far from home. If there were anyone from PKAP reading this, they'd probably find it hilarious, but I hope you enjoy laughing at my expense as well. I certainly did when I found it.

07 June 2007

Back From Cyprus

Back in Pittsburgh. Mostly dead at the moment. For some reason the weather is hotter here than in Cyprus. Possibly the humidity, despite Cyprus being an island. No idea.

But I found out this morning that I've gotten a Gilman Scholarship, which is sweet. Also flabbergastifying. Will blog about that more later, especially since this blog is part of my follow-on project for said scholarship. (Paid to go abroad and blog about it? Brilliant!)

All is well. I have to unearth my bed from the piles of stuff I left on it when I was last here, and then I'm crashing.

Official Summaries:
Number flights rerouted: 1 (of 6)
Number of hours 6 June lasted for due to the magic of time zones: 28
Number of clean clothes brought back: -6
Amount of time spent walking in a straight line: infinite
Improvement to ability to fake out drunk tests: equally infinite
Beers native to Cyprus: 2
Good beers native to Cyprus: 1
Overall success of Cypriot beer: 50%
Amount of confusion as to why I'm still blogging and not sleeping yet: 100%

Good night, all. Be well. I will be at the Parsec meeting on Saturday, so you should be there too.