pets and items from work

I bought 7 goldfish a couple weeks ago, and a Betta. There are now 2 goldfish and the Betta still lives (although it does not eat as much as my last one). The other fishies went belly-up, one by one.

The security guy at work told us that a lady had a little dog in her shopping cart, and apparently she walked right past me at Guest Service without me seeing it. People that carry their little doggies in a purse or something…ugh.

I caught two boys playing baseball in the sporting goods aisle today. That seems to happen a lot. I also picked up a bottle of bath bubble soap that turned out to be VERY slimy and leaky. eww.

Other Items I Found Today:
– chewed lollipop stick
– bandaid stuck to the floor
– candy wrappers
– dead lightbulb
– a nice little collection of used tissues in Toys
– green marbles on the floor

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utterly gray

It has been
utterly gray outside
the kind that shifts my mood
from blue to almost purple
and back again to white
It has been filled with red
(I think that is the color of stress)
with a bit of green thrown in
for good measure.
I think brown poked his head in
for a moment there,
but scurried out when he saw
that yellow was nearby.
Orange seems to be non-existent
She took a sick day, perhaps.
Yes, today
was completely, utterly, gray.

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“good news is on the way…”

At work (Target) they play music videos on the TV screens in Electronics. They’ve been playing a lot of Modest Mouse and the Postal Service, as well as Los Lonely Boys. Therefore, I’ve had Modest Mouse’s “Float On” stuck in my head for the last week. And I own the the Postal Service cd, thanks to Adam, so that’s been in my cd player.

Also: if you have to return items, please do not yell at Guest Service. They are merely doing their job. We had 3 guests in a row yell at the poor ladies behind the desk on Sunday, and more yesterday and today. The nicer you are, the more likely they will go out of their way to help if they can.

The team members have begun referring to me as “the intern”, which I find amusing. One of them tried to use it to bug me, then got disconcerted when I laughed in his face.

A guest stopped me today when the store was closing. He was looking for “…fine point gel pens. They have the medium point, see, right here? But no fine point. Oh, you’ve never used gel pens?! They’re the best! Seriously, you should really try them. I want the 10-pack, but all I see is medium point…” Continued in that same vein. We never found the fine point. haha.

Did you know that the Target Corporation sold Marshall Fields and Mervyn’s to the May company, which owns Lord & Taylor? Sale is not final till mid-July, but it has been a topic of conversation.

Oh yeah, and the best information of all? Wal-Mart is opening next door in August. ewww.

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To be an Intern…

The reason I have not been online much: my Target internship. I’m loving it, but I’ve worked two 10 hour days and two 8 hour days so far, so I haven’t slept as much as I should and I’ve been on my feet.

Very sore feet, I must say.

I’m learning a great deal, and the folks at my store are helpful and friendly. It is hard to explain in this little space what exactly my day is like because every day is different. I have been training in Guest Services this week, which involves learning about cashiering, the Guest Service desk, numbers (sales, cashier speed scores, and Visas), and various other things. It is very hands on.

So every night I come home, collapse, and try to relax a little bit.

Also, whenever I see babies at work I go all silly and want to hug them. Can’t, of course, but dang they are just so cute!

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KFC, Yoplait, etc

I’ve been eating a lot of chicken and yogurt recently. I wonder why.

In any case, the job is going well, I’m learning a lot although today was rough. 10 hours on my feet = pain. I’ll get used to it.

The link for the New Food of Life is here. πŸ˜‰ Speaking of food and cooking, leave a comment with essential ingredients for any kitchen. I’d like to see what people think are essential. It can be a cooking implement such as a spatula or food processor, a spice, or something else. Talk amongst yourselves.

Chicago DOES have beaches. See?

View Image

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Anna Karenina

While browsing a charming old bookstore in Uptown, in south Minneapolis, Sarah suggested Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy. Since it was only a few dollars, I picked it up.

I’m a little less than halfway through it, and I must say I am enjoying it. I don’t know why people say that Tolstoy is a slow read…he gets bogged down in details sometimes, but that helps me envision the characters and story.

I’m trying to read as many books as I can this summer, I just wish I had more time. If you want to suggest something to me, leave a comment. I know Tiffany will give me at least one book. πŸ˜‰

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I look around and realize
How little I know of the friends that I’ve spent hours and days with
The trials in their minds and souls
The fragility with which their thoughts are shaped.
Clumsy, I stomp through this web
Unknowingly cutting ties and lines and lives…
Stumbling through, tracking flour through the snow.
Now with gloved hands I pick up pieces
But the glue makes my fingers stick together
So I look around and realize
I’m slowly losing what I was asking for.

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summer plans

I was going a little stir-crazy, wondering what I was going to do this summer, when I finally got a phone call from Target for the 12 week management internship program. I got the job! It is paid, and I’m going to be working near my house. Now I’m just waiting for the details in the mail. I start June 2nd.

In other news, I decided tonight that I’m going to Minnesota tonight with some of the local youth, so I’ll be back Friday.

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simple dream

If I could sleep right now and dream
it would be…perfect.
If I could look at you and smile right now
I would be so happy.
But I’ve memorized that glance
with the slow grin
And I’ve imprinted every memory
in my mind and heart
And I sit here waiting
and remembering
and the corner of my mouth lifts
in a measure of delight.

I dreamed and it came true.

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reading BusinessWeek

My parents get magazine subscriptions, so I have the benefit of being able to read BusinessWeek, Fortune, and Newsweek.

There is a short blurb in the May 17, 2004 issue of BusinessWeek that talks about an article from the April 23 issue of Science that “…presents fresh evidence that learning improves when lectures are mostly replaced by hands-on involvement.” They’re talking about changing the way science is taught at universities, but I really think it needs to be applied in all areas of learning. The best business professors I’ve ever had taught through their experiences and real-life examples.

Granted, I attend a public university that has an emphasis on research, but I really wish I saw more of the real world in our classrooms. I hate theory so much.
Something slightly…disturbing…was a short note in the same magazine about MassMutual “offering estate planning with creature comforts in mind.” “Now you can get help setting up a trust fund to ensure that your pet gets quality care when you pass on.”

You’ve got to be kidding me. Trust funds for PETS? I continue to be baffled by the world.

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moving boxes

The reason I have been so quiet the last few days? See the pictures below. I cannot function without my computer, and so my parents lovingly provided a desk in the office for me to set up my computer and assorted items (scanner, printer, etc). I feel happy and content now.

Well, also happy because I’m home, and that is always good. Plus, my mother is one of the best cooks out there. Seriously. And she is good at a million other things too.

Now that I’m home, I promise I’ll try to think of more interesting and enlightened topics for my entries. I’ve got a few in the works.

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Writer’s Block

I have a problem with writer’s block. Recently, no matter how hard I try, I struggle with this problem and cannot seem to overcome it.

Of course, it is probably stress from various facets of my life manifesting themselves in my writing. School is over and I’m going back home, and I hope to get some new inspiration there. I’ve found that whenever I move, I get to see things with new eyes.

But it is quite frustrating when you look at a poem you just wrote and think, “Oy. That is worse than the stuff I wrote in high school.”

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Moving time

Since I am moving back home on Friday for the summer, my dorm address is no longer valid. If you don’t have my summer address, please email me or leave a comment. My cell # is the same.

3 more finals and I’m done! whoohooo!

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Orange Roughy

I have discovered that I really like Orange Roughy, a white fish. This discovery comes about as I am trying to clean out the fridge by eating everything (which makes for some very random meals), since I move out on Friday. I discovered some frozen food I didn’t even know I had.

To cook a frozen fillet, I did the following:

1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
2) Place fillet in a small baking pan or casserole dish
3) Squeeze lemon juice over it.
4) Sprinkle some paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (a very tiny bit of that!)
5) Put in oven for about 10 minutes, turning it over halfway through to cook a bit more.

Ta da! I enjoy eating it with broccoli and mashed potatoes, but side dishes are negotiable. πŸ™‚

I am finding that this blog is turning into a place to put recipes that I discover. I’m cool with that. This is not its only function, but I’m enjoying sharing the things I make up.

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There is some event going on over on the baseball fields. I hear drums and shouting. There is the wind screaming into my window and the roar of the highway 3 blocks away. Cars drive by on the street with windows open and bass thumping, and when the sun feels like it, it might just peek out from behind the clouds, granting us sunlight for a brief moment.

Every 15 minutes a bus goes by. “Number 8 Halsted, to 79th…” I can hear the announcement from my window, and then the bus squeals as it pulls out. The garbage truck backs up to the trash door of the dorms, beeping as it goes.

My roommate is washing dishes, mostly because I usually forget to wash them and she is kind enough to take over. The steady rushing sound of water fills the apartment and mixes in with other noises.

The wind chime that a friend sent me from Malaysia hangs by the window and sings when a gust blows in. Now rock music comes in from the fields and clashes with the chime.

Sometimes I miss the quiet, the sound of birds and the wind in trees instead of between buildings. But I really like knowing that the world is alive.

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The Baha’i House of Worship

Even after living in the Chicago area for nearly 13 years, after guiding at the House of Worship since I was 8 years old, after spending hours there for Holy Days, events, or just hanging out with my friends and family, I think I don’t appreciate this building enough. It is not only the physical shell, but the spiritual signficance. I can’t wait to see everything when they are done with the restoration.

This weekend was National Convention…good times. I’m a bit sleep deprived, but thats how it goes.

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It is a sign from the Divine, he said
A mysterious smile at the corner of his mouth
Something falling randomly
Taking hold and taking shape
Twisted gently and broken down
Something given from the hand of fate
Built up slowly from nothing
Or perhaps the first spark was there
When a smile was given and, unaware
Both souls knew, though far away
That this was something to pursue
So often we hide from truths we see
But here, the truth was in front of me
Not so close that I had to
Close my eyes to find it
Not so far to make me deny it
I am here now to stay
Simply because of that end-summer day

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experiment with food

I looked into my (now empty) fridge, and realized that I had to cook this chicken breast. I decided to make something up. It turned out pretty well, I think!

Soy Sauce & Peanut Butter
Garlic, chopped finely
1 tablespoon butter
a pinch of basil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons peanut butter (the smooth kind)
Sugar snap pea pods or something similar (1 small pkg)

make some rice to put it over.

In a small saucepan, melt butter. Saute garlic, then pour in soy sauce and peanut butter (you can heat the peanut butter a bit before in the microwave to make it easier to mix). Mix until blended on low, then pour in lemon juice. Stir, take off the heat immediately.

In a small pot, boil water, put pea pods in. Cook for 5 minutes, no more. Make sure they don’t get overcooked and soggy. Drain.

In a large pan, pour some vegetable oil, heat on medium. Put chicken slices in, cook for a few minutes. Pour sauce in, mix. Add 1 cup water, stir. Put top on, checking every few minutes and stir to mix everything together. Be careful that the peanut butter doesn’t burn. When the chicken is nearly done, put the pea pods in and cook on low for 10 minutes.

Eat over rice!

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A piece of advice: never start a paper 4 days before it is due. Especially when it is 12-15 pages long. hmph.

To take a break from pulling out my hair over how to compare 3 target companies when I’ve only been able to interview 2 of them, I played with some photo effects. Whee!

(me on the left, Carmen on the right)

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chocolate factory

I love when the wind comes from the north, bringing with it the sweet smell of chocolate. There is a chocolate factory just a few miles north of the University, and when the wind is just right I can catch a whiff of it as I walk down the street.


When I cut open my left index finger years ago, my parents went and bought me chocolate. The one I remember best was the Toblerone bar they handed me…my finger was in stitches and a splint, but man, did that chocolate taste good!

A note for the unaware: Baha’i Distribution. Oh yes, you can buy Baha’i books online in the USA now!

(at a diner after Feast…)

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Today as I walked to the CCC (the union), there was a protest in full swing. On one side were the pro-lifers (Honk Once for Life), and on the other were the pro-choice folks (Honk Twice for Choice). I was on the phone, and had to not only dodge buses, cars, and other pedestrians like I normally do, but also the protestors with their signs. The cops looked bored and so did some of the protestors. I wish I had my camera.

The conference this weekend was a huge success. I want to thank EVERYONE who helped, and especially the other members of the Chicago Baha’i Youth Desk.

(poster design by Andrew. awesome, huh?)

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Not having to cook

Just to illustrate exactly how much I don’t have to cook this week, I took a picture of my fridge. I love it when my mom cooks for me. She is the best cook EVER.

(click on it to make it bigger!)

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Air & Angels

Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name;
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame
Angels affect us oft, and worshipp’d be…

-John Donne, 1572-1631

Something about this selection just makes me…I don’t know. Peaceful? Yeah. You can read the whole thing here.

Check out the coolest website in the world. Ok maybe not, but certainly very well done, and definitely needed. The conference is what has been keeping me busy for the last few weeks, and therefore the lack of interesting blog posts. I promise this will change soon. Um…maybe after finals? haha.

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“The bounties of the Blessed Perfection are infinite. We must endeavor to increase our capacity daily, to strengthen and enlarge our capabilities for receiving them, to become as perfect mirrors. The more polished and clean the mirror, the more effulgent is its reflection of the lights of the Sun of Truth. Be like a well-cultivated garden wherein the roses and variegated flowers of heaven are growing in fragrance and beauty. It is my hope that your hearts may become as ready ground, carefully tilled and prepared, upon which the divine showers of the bounties of the Blessed Perfection may descend and the zephyrs of this divine springtime may blow with quickening breath. Then will the garden of your hearts bring forth its flowers of delightful fragrance to refresh the nostril of the heavenly Gardener. Let your hearts reflect the glories of the Sun of Truth in their many colors to gladden the eye of the divine Cultivator Who has nourished them. Day by day become more closely attracted in order that the love of God may illumine all those with whom you come in contact. Be as one spirit, one soul, leaves of one tree, flowers of one garden, waves of one ocean.”

Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

It is good to have a reminder that we aren’t alone on this earth, and what we need to do. Thanks to Jason for sending me the quotation.

Already 1:15 pm. I need to get out of the house!

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