Let me tell you about my day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Kinder, Gentler Black Panther

The other day I saw a guy walking down the street in a Black Panther beret. A homeless man raised his fist in a Black Panther salute and shouted, "Hey, Panther!" and the Panther turned and waved and smiled quite cheerily. It was a very nice interaction between strangers. Maybe this is the new, less-militant M.O. of the Black Panthers?

In college, I once gave a presentation on historic events in the civil rights movement, including the attempted assassination of James Meredith. The source I was using just said, "he was shot in the head." This, to me, meant death. Naturally, I did no further research because, like I said, I was in college and checking to make sure my report subjects actually died is too rigorous for me. Yeah, I don't remember that going over well.

These two things are related because of (a) civil rights and (b) my concern that my report on the Black Panther walking down the street would make it seem like I didn't understand the Black Panther movement. I am here to assure you that I have done no research.

Let's Split the Bill

For someone who spends a lot of money, I think I might actually be cheap. I loathe going to big group dinners at restaurants, because I hate when everyone throws into the pot with little regard for what they ordered. What I don't understand and never understand is how people so grossly miscalculate what they owe. And this seems to happen just about every time I go out with a group. At some point, someone will say, "OK, everybody throw in another dollar." No. No, I will do no such thing. Why this bothers me is because I tend to order according to what I feel comfortable spending on that meal. It really irks me when I'm expected to pay more than my share because someone else isn't giving what they should.

Last night I went to dinner with a group (it worked out fine, I'm just using this as an example), and I ordered a $4 appetizer and a $12.75 entree. I drank water. I put in $20. I worked it out thus: $16.75 for food, plus 10% tax (a gross overestimate) would be about $18.50. I throw in another $1.50 to account for a margin of error in my calculation. The tip gets added in later. I always work in pretty much the same way--over-contributing slightly so there's no squeeze. Why don't other people do this? I really don't like splitting bills. Yep, I'm definitely cheap. I'd rather eat alone than have to pay an extra $12 for my meal for wine that I didn't drink.

Bag Lunch

Yesterday and today I have packed a bag lunch for myself! Woooooo! I'm hoping I can get into the habit of doing this so that I can save money and overeat less frequently. Even if I splurge slightly--good turkey from the deli, rolls instead of sliced bread--I still end up saving myself a good bit of money. And, on nasty, rainy days like today, it's pretty nice to not have to go out and find something to eat. I can instead sit in my office with the door closed and my shoes off and eat my little turkey sandwich.

Clean House

So, Operation: Keep the Dang Dining Room Table Clean is going quite well. I've even managed to extend some of the neatness to the living room and my bedroom! Maybe I can take some pictures soon! It will be pretty magical if I manage to get everything in my apartment clean at once because I don't think it has ever happened.

I was actually inspired by my brother and sister-in-law's place when I went to visit them. Somehow, they have a very tidy, well-cared-for apartment that feels welcoming and friendly. I think they're just consistent with it, and that's how it works out for them. But, I know my brother--he is a slob. He is also a hoarder. We are cut from the same cloth. So, I figure if he can do it, then I can do it.

I just want to get to the point where people stopping by unexpectedly is a pleasant surprise, and not grounds for panic. I think I'm getting there.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


So, my alumni association gave us all "thirstystone" coasters before graduation. I keep mine on my desk (1) to remind myself that I did manage to graduate from law school and (2) because it's a single coaster. What am I going to do, keep it on my coffee table and make people share?

Anyway, I guess the desk plan is what they had in mind. I put my bowls of hot oatmeal on it (see previous post on fiber intake) and my coffee. And let's just say that it's developed something of a patina. I googled "how to clean thirstystone coasters," and thirstystone told me to clean it with cold water and "a few drops of mild detergent." So, naturally, I soaped the shit out of it. And now! It's practically good as new! It has returned to its original creamy color!

Have we ever discussed my overuse of cleansers? It's something of a problem. I think it's probably responsible for the rapid build up of soap scum in my shower, because a quarter-sized amount of shower gel on my bath pouf translates to a baseball-sized amount in my mind. Also, the counter top spray--I need about 12 paper towels to get it all up and get my counter top dry again. And the dish soap? I go through it like it's the water I'm also using the wash the dishes. That was a good analogy.