bien dans sa peau

'Good in one's skin.'

It's a French expression describing when things are good. (Incidentally, many people accurately used it to describe feelings of the Spirit, evidencing to me (at least) that God is alive and well and working among the children of men.)

I'm not bien dans ma peau when my house is a mess. Is that weird? If we pull the sheets off the bed to do laundry (which has been known to happen) and we don't immediately replace them with the backup set, very often this leads to going to bed at the end of the day too tired to put the sheet on. So we very lazily lay a blanket down to sleep on and go to sleep. I feel like white trash. I never get a good night's sleep that way.

Likewise with sleeping in. If I'm not up and doing something productive by 9, I feel like the day is wasted. I feel lazy and indolent. I feel like white trash.

Likewise with showering in the morning. This dry western air drys my body out, so if I shower in the morning, then my regular body oils (yeah I said body oil) don't return to normal when I go to school. I just feel dry and icky all day.

The biggest problem is when my house is messy. This might be borderline OCD, but... Whatever. I LOVE a borderline bare room, vacuum lines on the floor, clean bathroom and nothing blocking my path from the bed to the can for quick and easy access at 2AM. I feel good when there's no scum buildup on water surfaces. I love seing an empty sink. I am absolutely bien dans ma peau when the front room is sparkling and I can sit and stare at my tank.

I am a neat freak. What can I say?



I have a bunch of pictures online from Picasaweb.

Last Friday was the last day of Spring Break, and my neck of the woods has experienced unseasonable warmth. As such, I blew the day off and walked around the Quad on campus taking as many pictures as my nubby little fingers could handle. My camera's quite fun to play with, and since I had recently purchased a mini-tripod (that's right folks: the dollar store carries tripods) I decided to put my time to good use. It took me roughly two hours in celestial weather (between 70F-75F with a wonderfully gentle breeze) to produce 94 images. Some of these images were horrible, and some were fantastic. Sometimes when you try really hard you fail really hard. In my attempt to impress people, I was trying to get funny angles. I imagine I made more than a few people laugh as I laid on the concrete, or otherwise twisted myself into funny positions to get a decent snapshot. I was trying to be artsy. My brother in law kind of laughed at the pictures and said 'Yeah, I used to try to take really nice pictures too.' as if it were a phase I was going through, or as if I was fooling myself; fancying that I was some great photographer.

But you know something? I don't care. It felt really good. It felt fulfilling. I get walled up the drudgery of the grind. Normally, relaxing involves me on the couch watching Star Trek or sports. This kind of relaxing involved walking quite a bit in the open air and beautiful sun of an early Spring day. I wasn't trying to be Ben Crowder, Ansel Adams, or anyone else. I did it for me. I made art for me; to express what I was feeling that day.

It felt great.


News and Notes

Food news:
I was watching the Food Network a few days ago and saw this special on garlic. They had a restaurant from San Francisco highlighted which served garlic in everything they served. Well, I guess some of the drinks didn't have garlic. But the ice cream did. As they were showing some of the entrées and other dishes, they actually told you the recipes for the dish they were highlighting. One dish was a garlic and parsley bread dip. Chop parsley and garlic into fine bits and add olive oil, salt, and vinegar as desired. I got hungry for it yesterday as we were shopping and I bought some garlic and parsley. We had (obviously) the other stuff back at home.

So I started chopping garlic and parsley and added it to a bowl. I then poured in the olive oil, some vinegar (white) and some salt. I mixed it up and dipped some California sourdough bread into it. I was rather pleased with my concoction and proceeded to consume mass quantities of bread and dip, largely forgetting that dinner was on schedule to be consumed in the next half hour. Mrs. Sixline had prepared some shredded beef for the better part of two days to go into some fine burritos. She hates it (duh) when I munch and crunch not waiting for dinner because she puts so much effort into making wickedly awesome food. As such, I assured her I'd eat at least one burrito. (Did I mention I went through half a bag of Gardetto's rye bread chips before the garlic and bread dip?)

Then Mrs. Sixline does a number on me and prepares a warm fresh baked cookie smothered with chocolate ice cream. Who can resist that? So I chow down on that.

By this time, the garlic bread is starting to produce gas that results in garlic tasting burps. So I swallow chocolate chip + chocolate ice cream, and revel in the taste for a few moments when all of a sudden garlic comes rumbling up. I manage to get the dessert in my stomach before the burp surfaces and my mouth is filled with garlic again. It was a rather disorienting experience going back and forth between garlic and chocolate, but I didn't stop.

I can only conjecture that Garlic swooped in, planted roots and setup shop in Stomachland when Shredded Beef Burrito landed troops and began the assault. By the time they sat down for peace talks, Shredded Beef Burrito called in troop reinforcements (because both chocolate and burritos are brown) and Garlic began sending for help (the burps.)

I obliged them and went to bed, dreaming of very strange tales which shall be blogged about soon after.


Interent diet

What a week...

I've been doing too much internet browsing and such instead of doing work lately. It makes me feel useless and slothful. Since the outcome of my education is directly dependent on the output of research and literal work I accomplish, I felt it necessary to really begin chipping away at the large tasks before me. No internet (aside from chatting with friends-- I'm not inhuman, you know). This means no blogging, no message board participation, no ESPN.com scores/articles, no news.google.com, no random browsing of Wiki, no fish stuff, no nothing. Nada. Rien. Zip. Nil.

The results have been mixed.

On one hand, I'm getting tremendous amounts of work done (in comparison to previous quotas.) On the other hand, I'm kind of cranky. Work is more intense, I concentrate more, and I play less. I come away feeling like I'm not having any fun because I'm not doing exactly what I want when I want. (I am an adult, aren't I?) I also end up more tired and mentally exhausted because what used to take me a day or to complete takes me one day. You'd be amazed how much you can get done when you stick to the task rather than stopping every 10-15 minutes to see what your message board has to say.

So posts will probably be one a week from here on out. It feels weird, and I'm already suffering pangs of hunger from this internet diet.