bio: January 2006 Archives


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Okay, I don't spend a whole lot of time attending to my telephone, so I don't have a great deal of prior events to compare this to, but this phone message, received at 10 in the morning or so on Sunday, is definitely one of the oddest I've ever gotten. For those of you not inclined to listen to the mp3, here's the transcript:

[breathy voice]
Hey, Collin.
How are you?
We had a great time last night.
If you want, you can still call me back, at XXX-X901.
I know it's exactly the same number as yours.
Coincidence, huh?
Almost the same anyway.
I wanna hear from you soon.
Call me back, baby.

Umm. Okay. One of three things happening: either someone is giving out my name and number, someone's having a little fun with me, or someone's having a little fun with the person whose number is only one digit away from mine.

If this was really a person who knew me, then they'd also know that my Saturday nights are much more likely to be spent working in my office (which is where I was during our "great time together" last weekend) or in my apartment. And since my less-than-great times don't involve me waking up before noon on a Sunday, what makes her think that I'd be available at 10 am after the alleged great time?

Really, I'm almost flattered that someone would bother. Almost.

A Time to Freeze, A Time to Cry

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I have to keep reminding myself to simply be thankful for the temporary warm snap that pervaded upstate NY last week. If I don't, I fear that I'll find myself more bitter than normal about the single-digit weather that we had last night. In roughly 48 hours, the temperature dropped almost 60 degrees, disproving once and for all the idea that we live in a zone that even remotely resembles temperate.

So it was a good weekend to stay inside, and inside I stayed, only to see the two teams I root for (Colts and Bears) stink it up. I feel a little better about the Bears, because they just hit the wall after having overachieved this season. The Colts, though, looked a lot more human than they were supposed to. The best observation I heard on ESPN was the fact that the Bears actually outscored the Colts, and I can't imagine what the odds on that would have been.

Classes start for us tomorrow, and while that might be cause for sadness for some, I'm not teaching this semester thanks to my various administrative responsibilities. Of course, thanks to those same responsibilities, I've basically been "at school" since last Monday--I had meetings every day but Friday. "Course substitution" doesn't sound as appealing as "course release," but really, it's the former that I've got. And as is sometimes the case with said "releases," it's not unusual to get a semester's release for what is effectively a year round task. Without sounding too much like I'm complaining, I hope, I will simply observe that there is a certain amount of this "release" that was earned last fall, believe me.

So, welcome back everyone. Here's hoping that we all have semesters that are productive and rewarding. That is all.

The City of Lost Nail Clippers

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For another change of pace, I thought I might detail Something That I Bought Myself Over the Break That Doesn't Really Qualify as a Gift. Specifically, I purchased what may very well be the first of 20 or 30 nail clippers this year.

You see, while I know my apartment pretty well, having lived here for close on five years now, there remain parts of its geography that are still a mystery to me. One such is the City of Lost Nail Clippers, the place where each nail clipper I purchase retreats after one or two uses. This City, I have come to believe, has passed particularly liberal emigration policies, policies that are irresistible to each subsequent nail clippper I buy and bring home.

Once, I bought a nail clipper on the way to school, and managed to keep it in my office for close to two or three months. Somehow, it got into my bag, though, and soon joined its compatriots in the city.

And sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly stubborn, I like to imagine that someday soon, I'll just let my fingernails grow to epic proportions, give up typing altogether, and refuse to cut them until at least one of my nail clippers returns to my medicine cabinet.

In the meantime, though, I suppose I can't begrudge them their City. Their needs are few, as far as I can tell, and they're not interfering with my life other than the occasional bother of an extra 89 cents at the convenience store.

Best. Gift. Ev0r.

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Rather than placing my various gift-givers in competition with each other, I thought I might simply compete amongst myselves, and tell you all what the best gift I gave myself for Christmas was. And yes, I got myself more than one, and yes, the gift I have in mind is the best despite the fact that one of them was a new television (replacing the one I bought me when I got my first job 8 (!!!) years ago).

boetje.gifThis reflection is prompted by the fact that yesterday, I got online, and bought myself a gift box containing a six-pack of 8.5 oz. jars of mustard. Specifically, I bought myself Boetje's Stone Ground Dutch Mustard, and if I do say so, it is the best mustard known to Collin.

Shall I tell you of a quest for the perfect mustard that began some 20 years ago, when I left home for college and left the supply radius of Boetje Foods? Shall I tell you of my disappointment with the Grey Poupons and the stone ground German, Polish, and American mustards? Shall I wax nostalgic for the days when I could spread Boetje's on a sandwich or between a cracker and cheese, and it would evoke just the right combination of mustardy goodness with sinus-clearing, eye-watering spice? Shall I recount for you the number of sandwiches I've eaten in the past week, simply because I brought a jar of Boetje's back from the Quad-Cities with me? Shall I sing you for you the parody of the old Judy Garland song "I'm Just Wild about Harry" that I sing every December, wherein I announce that "I'm just wild about Boetje's"?

Okay, maybe not. But I kid you not when I say that I've tried every mustard I could lay my hands on, and never found one that I like half as much. As dorky as this entry may seem, the fact of the matter is that if I had to name a favorite condiment, this would be it. And while the absence of Boetje's never stopped me from eating a sandwich, its presence will make a condimental difference in my life. Okay, I just wrote that sentence so that I could use the word "condimental."

Maybe it's the nostalgia of putting it on crackers and cheese at my grandparents' house when I was a kid (and figuring out how much I could put on before it would make me cry). I don't know. But as goofy as I felt yesterday ordering jars of mustard online, not to mention talking about it now, believe me when I say that I'll thank myself for it in a few days...

That is all.



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This page is a archive of entries in the bio category from January 2006.

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