Officially Technological

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I've Got A Crush... On A State (?)

I'm so homesick. It's a very strange feeling to be homesick. It's kind of like having a crush on home. You hang on every word that is said about home, you think about it all the time, even when you know you should be thinking about other things, you talk about it until you about drive your friends (and your husband nuts). You fantasize about moving back, where you're going to live, and what you'll life will look like. Every time you go home you get a huge lump in your throat when you leave.... Yep. I've got a crush on Michigan.

Last weekend, Brian and I were at his parents' house near Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids has never been home to me, although I went there often enough when I was at Michigan State (often to see my other crush - Brian). And it just felt right. It looked right, it smelled right, the noises were right... it was just... right. The stores at the mall were all my stores that I grew up with. The problems people faced were all my problems that I grew up with. The clothes that people wore were all my clothes... It just seemed so familiar and like I didn't need try to fit in because I did. Just naturally.

Anyway, I feel like I've been talking about being homesick more often than normal. And I also feel like a teenage girl whose friends are tired of listening to her gab about the latest and greatest thing that her crush did. But we've decorated for Christmas now, and even the biggest humbug has to admit that places feel more like home with lights and tinsel and garland.
posted by Julie at 4:44 PM 3 comments

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

7 Eleven

I think when I find something in life I can’t explain, I’ll think about it until I come up with some explanation, whether reasonable or not (which I decidedly prefer the less reasonable explanations – much more interesting). So, I was thinking the other day about the convenience store, Seven Eleven. I don’t know why things enter my consciousness at some times but not at others. I believe this particular incident was contrived after reading that it was 7:11 PM on the clock in my car.

So, I thought about that for a while. Why did the owner name the store Seven Eleven? And I thought there must have been a fellow who worked in a little shop (some time before neuroses were considered negative things – probably the 20’s or so). This little fellow probably worked in a little boring shop (like a shoe-repair shop) on the second shift, and was often bored and lonely because he worked alone and didn’t have very many customers due to the dinner hour and nightly radio schedule. And this fellow, probably suffered from OCD, and would wait until his shift was half over to walk across the street to the little general store and buy himself a soda (and most likely a licorice). And every evening he went across the street at exactly 7:11 PM. In my theory, this fellow (with his OCD) would have to always abide by his break times and throughout his life he would always stop what he was doing and get a little snack at exactly 7:11 PM. Then, when he was older he decide to have a snack shop where people could by licorice flavored soda and other break necessities and he called his store Seven Eleven which in his mind was synonymous with “break time.”

Then I thought, that that was probably much too romantic for something like a convenience store where people are mugged, and it dawned on me that probably the store was named after the address of the first location (which, I don’t like, though much more reasonable). But, there’s not really much of a story in that.

So, I think I will continue to think of Seven Eleven as the little store that Mr. So-and-so opened before OCD was a disorder.
posted by Julie at 4:56 PM 8 comments

Friday, November 09, 2007

Just Minding My P's and Q's

So, I was sitting in church last Sunday, just minding my own business when, out of no where a cardinal dives into one of the windows in the front. I guess I should explain why I saw this and no one else did. Our church is fan-shaped and one side is completely covered by windows overlooking a little pond (which frankly needs some chemical readjustment - it's just unnatural), the other side of the church is the nursery with those one-way windows so people in the nursery can watch the service and so that the people in the sanctuary don't have to watch what's going on in the nursery. Anyway, it's all very symmetrical and pretty (no, symmetry is not my only qualification for beauty - even thought I am a math geek). In the pulpit area, the pulpit is at the center of the stage, above the pulpit is a large round window, and on either side of the pulpit are two rectangular windows. These windows are mostly hidden from the congregation because when looking at the stage, you are looking at the sides of these windows. However, the farther you get to one side or another, the better you can see out the windows as your listening to the service (I add that to emphasize that I was actually listening to the service at point of impact).

I was sitting on the far right hand side of the church. Way, way over and pretty close to the back, and had a better view of the left-hand window than just about anyone. I saw the bird coming towards the window (it was a bright, red cardinal), and when it hit the window (a move I had not foreseen), I clutched at my throat, and gasped - loud enough to gain the attention of many of my fellow church-goers. Upon looking around, to see if other's reactions were as severe, I noticed that most people hadn't witness the Kamikaze-like event, and were passively and indifferently (indifferent to the fragile lives of birds, not to sermons) listening. Their hearts did not look effected by the incident, nor were their necks craned to watch the dazed bird disappear (disappear most likely from embarrassment). It was like watching some spectacular mishap in a play, and being the only one to have noticed it. I'm sure the person who first saw the actor who had killed himself on the set of "The Wizard of Oz" could not have been more shocked to see other things blithely maintained, as I was at that moment.

On the way home from church, I mentioned to Brian about the bird, and he said (in his usual calm way) that cardinals are very aggressive and territorial, and it was likely that the bird had seen his own reflection in the window and thought it was another bird. An assumption I am sure he regretted for at least one night as he was undoubtedly recovering from a concussion (I hope his mother woke him up every thirty minutes that first night).

I wonder what he was thinking as he flew away. My boss thought he might have been thinking something like, "I sure hope that hurt him as much as it hurt me." And I think that is the most likely thought. I doubt he thought that maybe he had run into a window. I have a hard time believing that a bird is anything but the most annoying kind of cheerfully optimistic. I think it would be too depressing to a bird to think they had striven to protect their family and their toil and suffering had been meaningless. So, I hope when he got home that afternoon, his mom smoothed down his feathers and played along (because moms always know better about things like that) and said something comforting like, "Aw, you poor, poor dear. I'm so glad you saved us from that nasty bird. Would you like some hot chocolate?"
posted by Julie at 12:36 PM 3 comments

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Verbal Faux Pas

To Brighten Your Day

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." -Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life," - Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign.

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body," -Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country," -Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC.

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." -Al Gore, Former Vice President

"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix " -Dan Quayle

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?" -Lee Iacocca

"The word 'genius' isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy Like Norman Einstein." -Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." -Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina

"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas." -Keppel Enderbery

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record." -Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman
posted by Julie at 10:57 AM 4 comments