Dining Hall Entertainment

We actually left our house this weekend! As much as I love being home, it was glorious to get out of the house! We visited Virginia Tech, and while there, decided to go eat at their buffet dining hall, Dietrich Hall. I went twice (breakfast and dinner)! Buffets are actually easier to fill up on plants while eating out because most typical restaurants don’t realize that people need more volume to fill up on plants! But lets be honest here, I really went for the people watching. And boy was it like reality TV. Live! In-person! I purposely parked myself on high top tables to get better views, and conveniently, it was right by the soft serve machines. Soft serve for breakfast is a thing. Sadly, the machines were empty during breakfast. I could see myself use it as a coffee creamer in college.

At dinner, I observed people put soft serve on their plates of sweet sour chicken and other meals. Creative combinations! I also witnessed a male student approach a trio of three females dining together and he asked one of them for her phone number! She seemed flattered and nervous and happy as she dialed his phone using hers. Then after he left, the trio giggled happily. Witnessing this, I was second-hand over-the-moon. In Sim-world, they have three kids already and have climbed to the tops of two careers.

Year 13

This is kind of a TS moment, being the 13th year of this blog. It’s a new decade so this blog has now spanned three decades – the aughts, 10s, and 20s. I’m not sure what the groundhog is thinking but I’m thinking spring is going to come early. This winter has been unusually mild.

So how am I doing with that 2020 resolution, now that it’s been about a week. The resistance bands I got some years back have finally justified the space they occupy. I just do a 45-minute or so bit of exercises and stretching in the evenings. It seems to help me digest after dinner and I seem to fall asleep more easily. I don’t do anything vigorous or strenuous but there’s definitely a burn and the stretching bit is nice afterwards. I’m hoping to keep this up as an evening ritual. All I need is a good tv show to keep me going.

Would you do this?

I found a hair tie on the ground outside this morning. It was one of those plastic coil hair ties which I’ve been wanting to try for a while now but refuse to get because zero-waste, Kondo blahblah. So my instinct was to keep walking. Not going to pick it up, even to throw it in the trash. Yuck, it’s outside on the ground and someone clearly used it before. But in an odd out-of-body experience, I doubled back and picked it up. I washed it at work and used it. It’s nice. It doesn’t pull my hair. I don’t know that it’s sturdy enough to use at the gym, but it works for a lunch. It mildly makes me want to hop on Amazon and buy a bunch more. Not this year though.

I read a blog post once of a zero-waste lady who entirely stopped buying hair ties and bobby pins and exclusively used ones she found. Hair ties and pins are one of those things that sort of disappear into the same netherworld where the other sock and matching glove goes. I don’t know that I’ve encountered enough rogue ties and pins to keep me in steady supply, or I subconsciously choose to ignore them, but I kinda like the idea of adopting strays and giving them purpose again.

The Life and Good Times of Allie Aloe

Allie moved into the neighborhood wanting to start her life as a mother. She’d given up on finding a relationship or partnership or whatevership. She just wanted to live up to her name, and bear many pups, as a good Aloe should. Allie first met Blair Lothario at the local park where she liked to hang out. This man happened to be spending the day at the park with his seven other housemates. Lucky Allie introduced herself to them all. That night though, it was Blair who was lucky enough to go home with Allie and then they both got lucky. Allie was pregnant on their first try. Allie bid farewell to Blair. Then, she went to the park to relax. There, she got to know Chet Lothario a bit better, so she took him home and they got to know each other even more. After he left, Allie went to the hospital to have her daughter, whom she named Blair, after the child’s father. Allie thought it easiest to keep her baby daddies straight by naming her child and all future children after their fathers.

Once Allie brought Blair home, she called her now close friend, Chet, over to introduce him to her baby. Then Allie and Chet got to be more than just friends and lo, Allie Aloe was pregnant. Pregnant Allie called a sitter and set off to meet new people at the park. There, she chatted up Wayne Lothario. Wayne followed her home and they got to know each other very well. After Wayne left, Allie gave birth to Blair’s little brother, Chet.

Since Wayne had grown to be such a good friend, naturally she called him first to invite him over to meet the new baby. Then Allie and Wayne bonded over this family and decided to make another. Now pregnant with her third and two young ones at home, even with the help of a sitter, going to the park while pregnant and tired all the time was not going to be possible. She called Colin Lothario to chat, just wanting to have adult conversation.

As they grew more familiar with each other, she invited him over and they became more than just friends. So much so that after Wenya was born, the first person she thought to call over was Colin. In the excitement of meeting the new baby, Allie and Colin found themselves expecting another baby. Having toddlers Blair, Chet, baby Wenya, a babysitter whom she had to keep her hawkeye on, and pregnant with Colin Aloe, it was all Allie could do to keep it together.

Allie had to find a relief valve from the stress and she found it in Steve Lothario. Steve bravely visited Allie and tried to help with her children. Facing a challenge together helped strengthen their budding relationship and they found themselves passionately in love. So in love were they that after Colin was born, the first person Allie wanted by her and the children’s side was Steve. And being by her side, Allie found herself with child again.

After Steve Jr. was born, Allie’s equipment needed a break. Also, she could barely keep it together with five needy wee ones. Luckily Blair was starting to be a little more independent. After Blair grew old enough to start helping with her younger siblings and Chet was old enough to care for himself, Allie had her two youngest back to back, with Arnold and Jaden.

By the time Jaden was born she had plenty of help with the younger toddlers and newborn and Allie Aloe could mostly kickback and relax and be pleased with herself. She had seven beautiful children with seven charming Lotharios. And they all grew up to be master gardeners.

Except Wenya, the little hussy. She decided to seduce her brother’s father, Chet. After finding out Wenya was pregnant with her older brother’s nephew/brother, she shared the news with Allie. Allie found joy in being a grandmother to the third Chet. Nobody was confused by the three Chet’s in the neighborhood.

Wrong number

I got a text message, which is annoying, since my flip phone isn’t really for texting.

Hi Gail, nice meeting you last night at J Grays.  Its Brian. Any chance you would like to meet sometime for a dinner and/or drink?

I wonder if Gail’s even her proper name.

Oh L’amour

Atop the Empire State Building, at around 11 PM, as we were gazing out into the city, applause erupted through a small crowd. We had just witnessed a proposal for a lady’s hand in marriage and the acceptance of the engagement! She was crying with joy exclaiming how she had no idea it was coming and people snapped photos for them. Walking away, I saw her smiling at her ring.

As the Metro train was coming to a halt after work this evening, I saw a man prepare to get off. But before the doors opened, he quietly approached a woman and whispered something to her. She looked expressionless as he handed her a note. She kept her head down reading the note, maybe avoiding eye contact with the man as he watched her read. Then right before he was about to turn around and step off, she looked up at him and gave him a half smile, slight nod, and a mouthed “Okay, I’ll call.” As I followed the man out, he had a bounce in his step and kindly let another lady in front of him as he stepped on the escalator.

Alarm clock issues

I’ve overslept two mornings this week because my alarm clock wasn’t working right. Last week, my space heater tripped the circuit breaker and I had to reset my alarm clock. Since then, it had been malfunctioning, not setting off in the mornings.

On Thursday, I woke up at 6:28 and somehow caught my bus at 6:35. Amazingly, I got to work fully clothed. This morning, I woke up at 7:30 when I had originally planned to have been out the door by 7:00! Thankfully, since everyone was late, including the professor, it worked out nicely.

So just now, I went to see what was wrong with my alarm clock. Turns out I set the clock wrong. The alarm’s AM/PM was correct but the clock’s AM/PM was flipped. No wonder this week, coming home from work, I’d hear my radio going off.


For the past few weeks my mom and I have been engrossed in a Korean miniseries. It’s your typical stupid waste of time that sucks you in and you keep staying up way past your bedtime only for the storyline to inch forward barely. Every night is anticlimactic but I’m now a Plants vs. Zombies expert because that’s the other thing I’m doing while not paying attention to what’s not happening. So the other night, as we’re watching the main female character, my mom goes, “Is that a guy?” Me, “No, where’s that coming from?” Mom, “Look at her neck.” OMG when she talks her adam’s apple goes up and down! So now we think she’s a he. Yesterday we checked out her hands because I’m of the belief that you can change just about anything but manhands are hard to alter. She has womanhands. But she’s dressed crappy which is unusual for a Korean show. Anyway, I just checked online and apparently women can have larger than normal adam’s apples. Kinda’ like how I have a mustache.


BreakfastsYesterday, I went to the local courthouse because the county summoned me for a case against someone. By the time Mom and I showed up the courtroom was hearing a trial against a guy who was charged with second degree assault against his girlfriend’s family. He had been in jail since May and the judge gave him probation for a year and no more hostile contact with the girl’s family. He also had an alcohol problem and a record of drunk driving. He’s also an illegal immigrant. He pled guilty. The next trial I sat through was the county against a 22 year old guy who was caught selling pot. He had an 8 month old baby his mom was helping him with while he worked at a chain restaurant. College graduate, no prior record. As soon as the police caught him, he confessed to the whole thing and explained he was just looking to make quick cash.Pancake The judge gave him a warning and put him on probation. I felt like the court was pretty fair, understanding, and humane. She gave these people a second chance and realizing they had financial hardships, only requested they pay for probation officer costs. Next up, the case I was summoned for. I’m not exactly sure what the case was supposed to be about but it didn’t matter because the defendant didn’t show up.BELT The lawyers told the judge they had a warrant but the person wasn’t home when they looked for him. So I left and went for breakfast at a nearby chain restaurant (FirstWatch) with my mom. Our eyes were way hungrier than our stomachs and after ordering two entrees, we decided to have a pancake too. Everything was so buttery good. See those toasted english muffins at the top? Warm chewy buttery goodness. And just in case we’d be hungry later on, we got two BELTs (bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato) to go. They don’t make em as good as the ones we had in Australia but still good because it’s bacon.


“Guess what Mom did?”
“She sat on her fingers and smashed them on the chair. Like serious, Chinese ointment-worthy smashing.”
“Hahaha!! She sat on her own fingers?!”
“Yeah. Dad didn’t say a word. Unfazed.”