Monday, October 31, 2005

Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals

Where have I been!? I dunno, around and stuff. I know I haven't posted anyhting in a while, but I'm back now, and I'll try harder. I'm sure you're sick of hearing about Katy's fungus, so I come to you with some real excitement, BIKES!

This past weekend was the collegiate mountain bike nationals, which were being held at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, which is about 50 miles southeast of the Burgh ( The last couple years it was held in New Mexico, so how could I not go since it was practically in my own back yard, right?

So on Friday I went down there to watch the Short Track race, which is basically a spectator friendly version of a mountain bike race. Penn State had 3 women and 2 men there, and they did pretty well. The women got 4th, 6th, and 24th. The men got 10th and 19th. Here are some picture I took:
Here is Jennifer (Left) and Anna after their race. As you can see it has snowed up there earlier in the week and the conditions were pretty muddy from the melting (Did someone say freeze thaw cycles?). Unfortunatel I didn't arrive until their race was almost over, so I have no action shots of the ladies.

Here's Jed before and after. The loogie shot was Katy's favorite, so I had to put that one up.

Eric mid-race. Eric used to be a bike messenger in DC for a number of years. His nickname was E-mail (can you guess why?). Now he is a part owner of a bike shop in State College called Mt. Nittany Wheelworks. Him and the other Wheelworks guys have been a big help to Freeze Thaw, giving us advice, sending customers our way, helping with a distributor, and just general encouragement.

Jed mid-race. Jed is riding on a bike that he personally designed and fabricated the rear section of. It's made of carbon fiber and is designed to flex, giving him an inch or two of suspension in the rear, which is just enough to take the edge off without the extra weight of normal full suspension bikes with their multiple pivots and shocks.

Eric finishing in 10th place here. And he only had one gear. Why, you ask? Cuz derailleurs are for failures!

Some more random shots and I'm done.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Libraries, Writing

The library system through this University is so messed up. How is it that Penn State can be totally electronic and lead me to believe the rest of the world was so? I have to register for class with a piece of paper! A carbon, triplicate form!!! Can you believe it? Also, when you want to request a book from the library at another campus, you write them a letter. Then, when the book comes, they write you a letter and you go there and get it. You can't just email the library and they can't just email you when it gets there. They could spend the postage money developing an electronic system! I bet they wouldn't even have to pay student interns to make it for them. Grrrr.

Augusten Burroughs said it totally counts when you blog or email as writing. He says he does 5 hours per day of writing. I don't think I can do five just yet. I'll try to start with 2. I really want to publish a personal essay in Phoebe, which is a literary journal. I want this personal essay to be about my fungus. I wrote a rough draft and am hoping Emily (Em) Hancheck can give some help because I feel like it has a long way to go right now.

I am still a little angry with the radiator, but I think I have come to terms with it now. I go to bed earlier and just lie there thinking about things in a half awake state until my alarm actually goes off. My next goal is to get Corey to stop falling asleep on the love seat and actually spend the night in a bed where he can straighten his legs.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Radiator Battles

I can easily see this radiator problem propelling me into madness at the same rate as the drug dealers from my Slum Corps apartment. Remember when I lay awake every night planning intricate ways to make them miserable? How I signed them up for homosexual mailing lists and had tampons delivered to them? How I called the police every single night and talked about them incessantly, wishing horrible diseases on them and feeling very much the righteous martyr? This is not different!

Today, the radiator started to clang at 6:40 AM. Twenty minutes before I was due to wake up. Why oh why could it not wait twenty precious minutes? To think I was considering spending $50 on one of those ambiant alarm clocks that gently wakes you up with heat and light. Wasted money if your radiator clangs like a shipyard for hours at a time!

This morning, in my near death state, I decided I would buy a tape recorder and record the radiator clanging through the night and mail the tape to the landlord. Suzanne from next door said her radiator spits boiling water at her when she yells at it. Perhaps I could videotape the radiator as well. Can't they build a box or sound buffer around the thing? It's only the one in the bedroom that clangs. The one next to me in my office is silently, politely warming my toes as I type. I might just drag our bed through the apartment and cram it into this room. THEN the comparison to the drug dealer apartment would be complete: 2 different places where I've had to sleep with a bed in a room not 2 inches wider than the bed!

I think I have lost my mind. Corey hasn't heard the clanging yet. He also talks in his sleep and leaves bowls of soup lined up on the counter as art, so that's not saying much.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Are radiators supposed to hiss so loudly they wake you up every night? Our bedroom sounds like a ship creaking through a squall. The radiator is the sea crashing against the rocks. I think it might be louder than Corey's occaisional snoring, which I would actually prefer to the horrible hissing sound.

Speaking of Corey, my fiance, he is just so good to me I can't even stand it. Twice a day, he dons rubber gloves and helps me put cream on a disgusting and horribly contagious fungus I have growing on my entire torso. Who would do that for me? I am trying to think of something nice I can do for him. I'm never home to do anything for him. I can't even make him dinner!

I'm probably only going to take two classes this spring for several reasons. First, if I were to take three classes I would be halfway done with the program and would have no coursework for my third year. Second, if I only take two classes I would have everything totally paid for through my assistantship.

On the other hand, it might seem attractive to get my courses all done and just write my third year. But do I really want to take out thousands in loans to get some extra time to write? I don't self motivate very well anyway...

These are things I think about while the radiator hisses away. At least we aren't paying for the extra heat!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


It's autumn and I'm engaged! I have a beloved one! I took some photos of the flowers my mom sent. I took the bouquet apart and out of the crappy florist foam. Now I have small vases in different rooms to enjoy throughout the apartment. I am totally writing this to procrastinate a difficult assignment for class. It's working. I'm sure not getting it done. And the time creeps closer and closer to 1pm when I need to leave to catch my bus...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Apartment, At Long Last

Here are some pictures of the apartment. One is of the pot rack in the kitchen, another of the built in bookshelves, another of my office, and lastly Corey's office. See if you can guess which office picture is Corey's.

Rugby Mud

Here is what happens when you play rugby in the mud. The top one is blurry, but it's me and a select few of the zillion Penn State girls who were at Pumpkinfest. The bottom one is me with my new team, the Angels.


Corey proposed to me! And I said yes!!! It is all very exciting. I got home pretty late Sunday night from a rugby tournament in Philly and had an ache in my shoulder and chest and I needed to ice a lot on Monday. After a "surprise" that consisted of test driving a mini cooper!!!!! he cooked me chicken parm and then helped me ice my shoulder. Then we watched 2 hours of the Wire. I was starting to get majorly bored with the Wire so I started doing other stuff and then iced again. Then Corey said "Are you done icing yet? I have a present for you." And he came out with a potted azalea bush. I sort of knew at that moment...

Then he said "Look. There's a ring in your flowers." and he asked me to marry him. And I said Yes!!!

It's really hard taking a picture of a ring. My mom is so angry that I can't send her one, but I've tried dozens of times and it gets really blurry all the time. I will make one more attempt when I get back from work today and then I'll post the photos on the blog.

But anyway, this is mucho exciting!!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Grad school is very time consuming. This week I am supposed to be going crazy doing all my work plus my work for next week, but the book I am supposed to read is boring. So I can't focus. Plus I started knitting a present for Sami, so I am distracted by that. Plus they put new Sex and the City episodes On Demand. I mean really, how is a girl supposed to concentrate?

Corey and I sat down and talked about goals a few days ago. I decided to print out our goals and put them on the fridge to inspire us, but he ripped his off and took them down. He's so sucky. Jordie will probably leave a comment that I am dorky with my fridge goals, but whatever. I'm just motivated.

For example, I applied to a really prestigious writers' colony for this summer: Hedgebrook. I am super nervous about it. My classmate Taha, who spent last summer there, thinks I have a really good chance because I want to write about women and they are into that there. I am going to apply to three other programs that are beginner centered, but I need to calm down from that application.

ALSO, I have three queries in circulation to three different magazines. I'm totally motivated! Plus, this evening I applied for an internship with the City Paper for the summer time. I think the job was for undergrads, but I'm hoping the editor will read my samples and offer me a job for the summer anyway. Just because I'm awesome.

I'm getting pretty excited for Pumpkinfest this weekend. My team is going as Vikings. Vikings! I am making a cardboard sword and Ellen mailed me the Viking hat from the Park Street basement. All I need is some fur from Jo-Ann's and I am totally set. I wish I could make us a cardboard boat to sail around in. Oh well! I guess I should focus on the rugby aspect of the tournament.

Ok, time for Sex and the City. If I'm not going to do work, I should at least enjoy myself.