previous posts
Goombas on the 50 yd line.
Now in color!
Halloween's most frightening skeleton.
Election Day mayhem.
Xmas lists.
And I'm in!

October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
October 2008
November 2008

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween.

At first I thought I was the originator of the pumpkin pi idea, but then I saw a bunch of pics online from other people who have apparently tapped into my vast pool of creativity. Oh well, I wanted to make one anyway. :D

pumpkin pi

Happy Halloweeeen. :)
posted by hilary at 2:30 PM | 3 comments | links to this post

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Begging v. Raising


Before it drives me insane, allow me to explain the difference between raising the question and begging the question.

Something raises a question when it brings up an important point that needs clarification or further inquiry.
Begging the question, however, is a specific logical fallacy. Also known as petitio principii, it occurs when the truth of a question is assumed by the premises.

Every time I see this misuse, my little inner grammar fascist has a hissy fit.
posted by hilary at 11:06 AM | 2 comments | links to this post

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I have a terrible social habit that, I think, stems from my shyness (hidden cleverly underneath a fairly outgoing personality). There's a scripted greeting in which most people of this culture participate, but I can't seem to get right. Here's how a typical greeting between acquaintances often goes:
Person 1: "Hi, how are you?"
Person 2: "Fine, thank you. How are you?"
Person 1: "Fine, thanks."

Of course, the actual wording of the script might differ a little ("How's it going?" for example), but the general discourse remains intact across the board: Greet, Faux Inquiry, Standard Response and Reciprocation.

It's the reciprocation part I have trouble with. This is how it often goes for me:
Not me: "Hi Hilary. How are you?"
Me: "Great! Thanks!"
Not me: "..."

And there it ends. Either we break off there and go our separate ways, or we continue on with a more purposeful conversation. Usually I end up kicking myself minutes later for once again failing to heed social etiquette.
Yesterday, I participated in a greeting that went a bit awry:
Friend: "Hi Hilary. How are you?"
Me: "Great! Thanks!"
Friend: "I'm fine."

She jumped the gun, likely assuming she was dealing with a normal person who possessed the ability to perform within normal social parameters. Oops.
posted by hilary at 8:47 AM | 1 comments | links to this post

Monday, October 24, 2005

More Paint.

So the cute guy at the paint store who helped me pick the (perfect! fabulous!) paint color, was doing his best to save me money. I think he did his job a little too well, actually.
First of all, he tried to sell me 1-ply plastic drop cloths. I've used these before. They rip. I put them back and got 2-ply. Then he swore I would only need one gallon to cover my 12x12 room with one coat.
"Won't I need more than one coat?" I asked.
"Oh no, that should be fine. You won't need more than one gallon," he assured me.

Guess what?
I ran out of paint while painting my much needed second coat last night. So apparently, I needed one gallon plus enough to second coat two of the four walls. Grrr...

Oh well, the half of the room that's done already looks amazing. I'm so pleased with the result and I can't wait to get it all finished and put the furniture back in there.

Embarassing moment of the day:
I wore icky paint clothes all day and threw on a nice outfit to run out to do an errand. Since I'd only had it on for like 10 minutes, I figured it wasn't dirty and didn't require exile to the laundry hamper.
Also, since I figured I would be following a different schedule and wouldn't see any of the same people, I could just wear the same outfit the next day.
Of course, then I saw someone I'd seen the day before. Don't think I didn't catch the elevator eyes and brief look of digusted incredulity when she greeted me.
posted by hilary at 12:22 PM | 3 comments | links to this post

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Green Paint.

I spent yesterday afternoon prepping a room in my house for painting. It's been about 6 years since the interior of this house was painted, and there are several rooms that could use a fresh coat. Actually, there's a hallway that's still wearing a basecoat after six years of wallpaper indecision on my part. Oops.

When it comes to color, I am a wuss. When I was 15,16,17,18 and harbored a secret desire to dye my hair something terrifically bright and unnatural, the furthest I got was a modest green braid, and later a few Manic Panic red streaks. I failed to take into consideration that hair generally grows back.
The walls in my house are equally unadventurous. Most of them are respectable neutral colors, and the only non-white or beige is hidden in the bedrooms. One bedroom is blue, the other is a pale pale pink that verges on white. My mom gets credit for the blue; she chose that color way back when she lived here and I just told the painters six years ago to repaint it the same color.

No more! Now that I'm tackling interior paint without professional help, I've resolved to go a bit bolder, realizing that walls can be repainted (even if it takes a few basecoats to erase a disastrous error).
I went to the paint store yesterday and purchased a gallon of Kittery Point Green! It's not almost-white, it's not beige, it's blatant color.

Today I roll on the paint. I'm still a little nervous.
posted by hilary at 8:23 AM | 1 comments | links to this post

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


The sound of the mispronunciation "Liberry" reaches my ears as razorsharp fingernails screeching against a chalkboard.
Presentation day in my library science class - two solid hours of liberry powerpoint speeches - surely qualifies as one of the innermost circles of auditory hell.
posted by hilary at 11:02 PM | 2 comments | links to this post

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I wonder if the really fun jobs require degrees that require withstanding terrific boredom to obtain?
For example... oh, I don't know, let's just pick something at random... Library Science. Just about every single aspect of being a librarian appeals to me. The organizing, the helping people, and (in the case of Children's or School Media Specialist) the interaction with kids. I love the idea of it, I love what I've seen of it, I admire most of the people I know who are doing it. Why oh WHY do I dislike the learning part of it so much?

I'm not averse to learning in general. In fact, if there were no expiration date on my life, I think I'd start by learning every known language on the planet. Perhaps because I'm unilingual, my desire to be omnilingual stems from the realization that there is a great deal of information out there in the world that lies behind a linguistic barrier.
This past summer, I took two Spanish classes to fulfill a university requirement. I found the classes enjoyable and really had fun learning to communicate in another language - especially one so readily available on my local Telemundo and Univision stations. It's so frustrating to get past SPA 101 with flying colors and then realize that's it. No mas. Nada.
My desire to learn other languages - like Spanish, but also my paternal family's Arabic - is somewhat scoffed at by my dad and my friends. "The whole world speaks English," they say. From my point of view there is truth to that statement, but isn't my point of view limited to the information that lies within my linguistic reach?

Now I know why so many senior citizens like to take college classes, and where their lament that "youth is wasted on the young" comes from. We youth have already put on our running shoes and sprinted out of the gate to join the rat race. We shun more education than required of us and streamline our course load for a quick exit, snatching the sheepskin prize on the way out.
When I retire someday, I'm going to learn as many frivolous things as my pension check allows. Photography, foreign languages, gardening, art history...
My grandkids are just going to LOVE it when I join them for lunch in the student lounge.
posted by hilary at 4:08 PM | 3 comments | links to this post

Sunday, October 16, 2005


I went out for coffee with a couple of friends to discuss a project we're involved with. Out of the three of us, mine is the age in the middle (not to be confused with middle aged). The elder (haha!) of our little group and I have spent pretty much our whole lives in this one small town, but separated by enough years to have few friends in common. The youngest in our group grew up in the Bronx and married a man whose family name graces every memorial in town dating back to the Civil War, and even a street name. She kept her own name, though folks around here thoughtlessly take it away from her fairly frequently.

It felt great to arrive at the coffee shop and sit down with my hot cocoa and two friends, yet there's this awkwardness that comes with being a party of three. We took a walk afterwards, and I rediscovered the lack of room a sidewalk offers for a triple breadth. As a teenager, I'd have had to juggle conversation topics in my head while jockeying for position, but as a grown-up, I discovered that this frantic social play is unnecessary. Somehow, we managed to move sort of amoeba-like, never leaving anyone behind for more than a few steps. Thank God for adulthood.

I don't know that I'd have dubbed the conversation 'awkward', but there were definitely moments that two were able to share better than three. For example, they are both Catholic, I am not. As such, they attend the same church and are involved in the same functions, which they took the opportunity to chat about while I was present. I didn't feel left out, but at the same time I didn't have much to offer to the conversation except an anecdote from when I was 8 and badly wanted to attend the mysterious "CCD" meetings because my friends did.
Having grown up in the same town as one of my companions, we got around to chatting about how things used to be - completely leaving our 5th year resident third at a loss for words when the conversation moved beyond her time. She was good enough to call our attention to this fact, but we blithely blathered on, ignoring her pleas of ignorance.

The best part about the outing was my self-imposed curfew. I arrived on time, and vowed to leave no more than two hours later. As much fun as we were having, we might have continued to chat for much longer, but that would set a precedent and influence future get-together planning. I figure, if we hang out for five hours (or some too-long period of time), the next time one of us calls the others to meet for coffee, we will be thinking, "Do I have time for a five hour commitment?" The way our lives go, the answer will more often than not be negative. So two hours, and that was that. Not too short, not overkill.

I think this is the kind of social life I can manage, instead of vice versa.
posted by hilary at 4:45 PM | 3 comments | links to this post

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I'm ba-ack!

See? I told you I'd be back. New look, whaddya think?
Life has been crazy lately with school and some kind of crud flu thing going around. Meh.
There is a silver lining to being sick, however. With all the reading I've been doing for school, I haven't had any real time for any unassigned fiction. Yesterday, I was sick enough to need to stay in bed all day, but not so sick I couldn't read something. I chose The Book of Joe, which turned out to be awesome. Cover to cover in one day, and I loved every page of it.
I figure a book is better than television to lure one's mind away from all the rotten ickyness. With TV, you end up with the couch-potato headache. You know, when you've been lying there for so long, your neck aches, your eyeballs feel like dried raisins, and when the commercial comes on you can't remember what you were actually watching to begin with. That just can't be healthy.
A good novel, however, grabs the brain and works with it. Like physical therapy, only... not so much physical. Everytime I put Joe down, the Ick would come flooding back into my consciousness and I felt almost forced to return my eyes to the pages for sweet escape.

So, to recap: I'm getting over being sick, and here's my blog back. G'night.
posted by hilary at 10:12 PM | 6 comments | links to this post