Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Another big gulp of haterade

Ok, so I tried to mentally prepare myself to do laundry last night. I sorted my loads (a new habit for me--I usually throw it all in as one unit) and lined up the baskets inside the door. I also scrounged for quarters and made tiny little piles by each load basket. A washer quarter pile and a dryer quarter pile. This morning, I discovered my quarter piles were missing. How could this be? Mr. Corey had sold the quarters to a neighbor. I ask you, when you see separated loads of laundry lined up on the floor with tiny load-sorted piles of quarters, does that not indicate to you that those quarters have been assigned already? He was already in the dog house for not recording American Idol last night. Now I have no AI to watch while I fold the wretched laundry this morning. I have hate in my heart!!!

So after I went to the damn grocery store to buy quarters from customer service, I grumpily hauled my loads down to the laundry room. The washing was ok. I went to changeover to the dryer, and it was full of underwear!!!! Not mine!!!! Don't leave your underwear in a public dryer. You just don't do that. If you didn't come out of my body or sleep in my bed last night, I don't want to touch your underwear. I really, really don't. I'm in shock. I have PTSD. I need chocolate cake. But I'd probably spill it on my shirt and make more laundry, so it's better if I just rant about it on here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Does anyone out there hate doing laundry? I really can't even begin to stand it. I actually enjoy the process of putting the wet, clean wash into the dryer, but the other stages are almost as bothersome to me as doing dishes. Perhaps it's because my laundry is almost always caked in mud from rugby, but I just don't want to see, touch, smell, or be involved in it once I've worn it.
This morning, Corey rightly called me a basket hog. I have all five of our laundry baskets full of either ancient clean, unfolded laundry or recent smelly dirty laundry. This is impeding his ability to wash his 22,000 pairs of boxer shorts.
My sister Sami and her husband, Richard, do a laundry share system. He carries it to the laundry room; she puts it in the dryer; he carries it upstairs; she puts it away. I could handle step 2! Why can't we live in the good old days with Laura Ingalls Wilder and only own two entire outfits that we wash by hand with a bar of lye and boiling water? I guess that wouldn't actually be any more enjoyable.
Someday, I'm going to be a successful enough writer to not need to do my own laundry. I will simply give all my clothes to Goodwill after one wearing.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Strange yet true

This morning I did something I never do. I weighed myself. I usually don't care to do that since I know I eat well and play sports, etc. I also know I've been working out extra hard at rugby this season and three separate persons told me I looked slender. So I gave it a go. I'm down 14 pounds from Christmas! That's pretty neat I guess. I'm more excited about the increased muscle tone than I am the lower weight number. But what strikes me as odd in this situation is I just had to climb up a cup size. Literally last week I had to go buy all new bras so I would stop spilling over. How can I be losing weight but my knockers are still growing out of control??

I have now exceeded the sports bra options available to me through traditional routes like Nike and Adidas. I'm even on the upper register of Title IX garments. At this rate, my breasts are going to suck all the energy out of my body. They are taking over the world. First I can't buy shirts that fit properly and now I'm running out of bras to choose from. I am counting the days until I am done having babies and can get them reduced to little c-cup nubbins.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

2 Crazy Kids in Love

Well, now Corey has quit a steady job to work in a bike shop. First I do it for rugby, now he does it for biking. Although he technically started it by moving to NYC to work for Sparta Cycling and then Breakaway Messengers. At what age/place in life do we stop quitting jobs to work at barely liveable wages in industries we are passionate about? Do we need to stop doing this? I suppose as long as we are content to rent apartments and remain childless it is ok to be a graduate student/rugby writer and a bike salesman.

Honestly I am just so glad he'll be a happy camper again. There was a long stint where he didn't even ride his bike one time. It horrified me. Now we are back to the good old days, where I wake up to the whir of rollers in the living room and Paulo Bettini on tv to spur him to pedal faster. Chamois on the couch, bike tools on the kitchen table, greasy things in the doorway. That's the Corey I miss nagging.

I think I'll leave my sweaty scrumcap and disgusting muddy cleats on his computer chair after practice tonight and see if we can't start a filth war in celebration of occupational happiness.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I'm thinking of learning to row this summer. I've been fascinated with rowing since I started college. The only reason I never started doing it was rugby's powerful allure and the forceful insistence of my teammates that I needed to play year-round. After seven years, dare I take a summer off from contact to learn (gasp!) something new?? How can I spend time in a city with three rivers and not guide a boat down one of them?

I started investigating the Three Rivers Rowing Association and they have a summer league for beginners. AND it meets in the evenings and not 5am like the experienced teams. The best part is that you get to participate in a regatta at the end of the summer.

I told my rugby team I was planning to be untrue to them. They looked at me with wide eyes, not understanding what I was saying. "Sooooo you're not playing for us this summer?" I don't know that they ever heard such a thing before. Several hours later, they had warmed to the idea and agreed to watch me row in a regatta, but only if I wore a green spandex outfit.

I'm having so many mixed emotions about this endeavor. On one hand, I don't want to get burnt out from rugby. On the other, this sport has given me so much and been my one true constant in life through periods of serious upheaval. Can I be untrue to my first love? Can I hang up my boots for a few months and take to the water? What will I do if I like rowing better? I can't even think about it. This will have to be a brief fling.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Weak and Impulsive

I'm going to be the death of myself. I'm supposed to have an article coming out in a magazine and I thought it was due in the March issue. I ran to the newsstands and ravaged the issue seeing not one mention of myself. Instead of calmly waiting until morning and phoning the editor, I fired off a crazed, midnight, post-L word email freaking out about not being printed or paid. Did I just shoot off my own foot at that magazine??? Are they going to continue to hire me for assignments??? I basically threatened to not write my next article for them until I got an explanation. I then immediately freaked out and called some other writers to analyze every word and puncuation mark in my email to see how the tone would be interpreted.

This morning, I had a brief email from the editor in which he gently (I assume the gently part) explained that the article was never intended for this issue and sorry about confusion, blah blah blah. So now I'm stuck interpreting his tone and wondering if he will ever call me again. I feel like I'm dating this person. I don't want to come off too strong and desperate. I don't want him to smell my desperation for clips. Maybe I should play hard to get. I don't remember how to date!! How do I win back this editor's heart? Or have I even lost it???

Clearly, the best thing to do is wait three days and then leave him a message on his voicemail in which I cry and break up with him.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Judy Blume is Smart

I was reading Dirty Old Prom Queen's blog today and got to thinking of my intense jealousy of Judy Blume. That lady is living large. She wrote a series of amazing books for young adults in the 70s and never has to do anything ever again. Kids today get their periods and read the same books as kids in the 70s. I can't even imagine creating characters so timeless that my books would just continue to get reprinted with different covers for the rest of my life. So what does Judy Blume do with herself these days? Does she have a pen name? Does she write more smut? I mean Wifey had some smutty scenes, but I think she could do better. Or does she write magazine articles? Newspaper stuff? Does she teach? What do writers do with themselves once they finish writing guidebooks to adolescence? What would I do after Superfudge and Blubber?

I think Judy spends her days on a chaise lounge in the Peruvian mountains writing sex scenes. I think she has a pen name and secret identity and writes trashy novels about pirates and bodices. I think she pays for someone to fan her 24 hours per day and someone else to be ready with scallops wrapped in bacon. Having tackled adolescence, I think Judy is waiting to be old so she can write books to guide elders through nursing homes. That Judy is a clever bird.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Gosh Dang Homeless Folks

There is this one homeless guy who sits at my bus stop all day and talks to himself or others if he can engage them in conversation. He's the one who addresses me as "Hey Pretty!"

This morning he asked me first for a cigarette and then for a quarter. Now I do not carry cash. In any amounts. Ever. I just am too lazy to go to an ATM. I use my debit card for single stamps and one dollar drafts at student bars. I did not have a quarter for this guy. Granted, I wouldn't have given it to him if I did, but I really didn't have a quarter.

So today, he got all mad at me for not having anything for him. He said "Well that's a nice diamond you got there," implying that because my fiance has the means to give me a nice diamond I should give him a quarter. It made me so angry.

I'm a graduate student and I don't have financial means to donate to charitable organizations. I give them my time, though. I work with at-risk kids and I work with the Hill House organization. I'm doing what I can to narrow the gap in education and affluence. I constantly think about the educational gap between affluent white children and poverty-stricken minorities. I study school pedagogy and raise awareness and try to help one student at a time to perhaps create a brighter future for people in similar circumstances to this man. I am an educational activist!!!!!

I don't need him implying that I should give him a quarter. I live in freaking East Liberty. If I had quarters to spare, I would live in Squirrel Hill or Shadyside. I think he pissed me off more than the homeless man who actually asked me to go to an ATM when I said I had no cash.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Recipes= Necessary?

Do people really follow recipes? I sure don't. I pretty much use them to give me an idea of what flavors go well together and a vague sense of what order things go into the pot. As I was hunkering down to make Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon, I decided I most certainly was not going to spend 50 minutes simmering pearl onions in broth while the meat stewed in the oven. Isn't meat yummier when the onions go in there with it? Why not stew the onions and meat together! I did relent to cook the mushrooms separately in butter, but wish I had just stuck those in the casserole with the other stew parts. Perhaps what I am cooking is not really a boeuf bourguignon? Either way, it smells damn good.

I was about to say that the only recipe I ever really followed was the one for walnut-lentil pate, but I cheated on that one, too. At first I followed all the instructions because vegan recipes scare me a little. Then I decided that no matter what you do to cooked lentils mixed with pureed walnuts and garlic, it's going to taste good. So, 24 hours later, I have a huge supply of pate to eat with my fingers while I cook other meated foods.

I guess years of experience have given me this food confidence (cockiness?). I know Corey follows recipes. I have seen him measure out the six cups of water to boil macaroni and watched him mete out salt pinches. Are recipes really just instruction manuals for novices? Are recipes to me what directions are to my dad? I'll sit here and think about that while I eat more pate.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


I just saw Transamerica. That film was fantastically amazing. I sat there the whole time trying to decide if the role of Sabrina would have been more difficult for a GG (genuine guy in tranny talk) or for a GG (genuine girl). I can't imagine making my voice that deep for an extended period of time and through challenging dialogue like that. I think my Aunt Judy would have been great in that role. Her voice is just right!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


The University of Pittsburgh has a lovely computer science program. They also have a computer engineering program in addition to an information technology program. So why don't they utilize the programs for their own operation? The library isn't equipped to email students for late fees and book requests. They waste postage and time sending you letters when your books are overdue. They still use the rubber stamp in the back of the book, a la the librarian from The Music Man. And that's just the start!

We still register for classes using triplicate forms. PAPER!! There is a little man whose job it is to type into PeopleSoft the courses we select. This persons' job should be a computer! How can we seriously be registering for classes using paper forms? Penn State had online registration and library services when I got there in 1999. Come on, Pittsburgh! Catch up to your CMU nemises and get digital.

I know I am not a computer guru. I don't understand html and I can't do coding or whatnot. But the students in the computer science, engineering, etc. programs can do these things! Why not use their skills?? The professors in those departments must spend their entire day slowly drilling out their eyeballs with pencils they shouldn't have to use anymore. I bet they bow before the one wireless router on campus and pray for modern technology.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Nerve!

Well I am in shock. Go, Dog. Go! is not written by Dr. Seuss. It was written by some poser named P.D. Eastman. Ananda and I were sitting around reading Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb which I also thought was a Seuss book. Why did I assume this? Because of the giant Cat In the Hat logo in the upper right corner of the front cover and the repeated references to the good doctor on the back cover of the book. Upon closer inspection (Ananda likes to read the copyright information almost as much as I do!) I saw that this is an I Can Read book. It's like a whole series of Seuss-like books that are not quite medical miracles, but come close. Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb was really not up to par, but Go, Dog. Go! has been a lifelong favorite of mine. I can remember Sami reading it to me when I was wee. In my mind, it is on equal footing with One Fish et al.

How can the publisher fool readers so? How can they just stick that cat in the corner and make parents and loving relatives think they are purchasing official Seuss-endorsed titles when they are just other rhyming books with drawings by a person who may or may not be the Seuss illustrator?? I feel robbed. I feel as cheated as when I discovered that a man I worked with at Pearson (Wil Mara) is one of the current authors of The Boxcar Children. Gertrude Chandler Warner kicked the bucket eons ago and they hire people off the street to continue the series. Benny has been taken over by strangers!!! The same thing is going on with The Hardy Boys. Probably Nancy Drew as well.

What lesson does this teach me, an aspiring author? I better hurry up and get all my ideas published while I'm alive because people are going to take them over when I am gone.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Shameless Bragging

I have no shame. I can use my blog to broadcast the genius of my nephew. Here in Los Angeles, I see he can do the following new things since turning one: blow kisses, click his tongue, clap his hands, and climb things. I like to think my visit has been instrumental in his learning. So far my trip has been fantabulous. All the Rank sisters together in cali!

We went into Hollywood to see the stars on Oscar day. Obviously it was mobbed, but I did snag a peek at Judy Dench, Jessica Alba, and Felicity Huffman. My sister saw Sandra Bullock and Selma Hyack in addition. Some crazy fan blocked my view when they drove past. I was trying to jump and scream and this jerk was jumping higher and screaming louder. Luckily, Betsy climbed up barrier and sat astride it to get a good look at everyong. I located Manidis and she came to hang out for the day. She made me feel bad about myself for star gazing since, as she rightly pointed out, such behaviour just reinforces their sense of elitism. Oh well. I like famous people, even if I can't spell any of their names.

Luckily for me this trip has not gone without chin blemishes. I get to feel super grown up and chic traipsing around the beach or Little India with bindis on my chin, made worse by constant digging. Betsy isn't doing a good enough job telling me to stop picking cause now it's a disaster zone.

Hopefully the lovely sun at Venice Beach will dry that sucker out. Next up on my agenda: Ashes and Snow photography exhibit and more kiss blowing with Ananda. Super!

Friday, March 03, 2006

My Heart is SOOOOO Fond

I never see my Corey anymore. I hate that he works second shift. I hate that I am at work/school while he is at home and I am in bed or very nearly in bed by the time he rolls in at 11pm. And now that both our competitive seasons have started, we are NEVER going to see each other until May. I'm looking forward to skipping rugby to go to seder with him just so I get to see him for more than ten minutes in a row.

Right now, he is furiously scrubbing dishes and trying to hit the road to coach the Pitt guys in the collegiate road race season opener in NJ. I saw so little of him this week that I had to find out about his trip from his mom on the phone last night! I thought he was going to State College to build mountain bike trails or something.

In the long run, I know it's good for us to have these athletic passions and I know we each have our teams to support us through the crazy stress of a competitive season. But for right now it sure is taxing on our sanity. Obviously Corey shrugs off stress and manages to stay calm enough for both of us while I rave like a lunatic. Will the painful absence from him pay off in the end? Is my heart fonder of him because I spend so long missing him? I sure hope so.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I hate litterbugs. Hate them. I have no room in my heart for people who litter. I think littering is the ultimate sin, the most horrible conscious transgression a person could commit. I have found ways to mentally justify many other crimes, but littering is unacceptable.

Three times since I've moved here, a person has deliberately littered at the bus stop next to a trash can. Most recently, a fat woman was eating a plastic cup full of shrimp poppers with her fat fingers topped with two-inch long gold tips. As she crammed the last popper into her fat mouth, she just let go of the plastic cup, dropping it to the ground six inches from the trash can and watching it roll on the pavement as the bus pulled up.

I freaked out and started screaming at her. It was my last straw. "There's a trash can right there!!!! What's wrong with you????" I blocked the entrance to the bus. Passengers stared at me. Other people at the bus stop feared for my life. I bent over and picked up that cup and dropped it into the trashcan and stared daggers at that woman the whole ride. The worst thing was she got off and went into the Cathedral of Learning. She was a COLLEGE STUDENT!!!!!

I don't care what your background was, what your upbringing was like, what horrible things you have suffered through in your life. Littering is not ok. It is not justifiable. It is not acceptable. It's the most selfish, filthy, horrible thing a person can do to this earth. I wanted to smash garbage in her face, to rip off her plastic tips and cram them into her eyeballs. Littering is not okay.