What a tough life

February 28, 2010

I have a decision to make. In a few months, I’m going to take a week or two of vacation. I have two international destinations in mind. The first is a country I’ve been to before, one that I love, one where I could shop my brains out because I still have some of the local currency from the last time I was there, and there’s a cute girl waiting to show me around. But if I didn’t go in a few months, I could always go a year from now and travel the place myself, comfortably.

The second place is rather more exotic, and I’ve never been there before. There’s a cute girl there waiting to show me around. But she won’t be there indefinitely, and if she leaves, there’s really a pretty low chance I’d ever go there on my own. Or ever. But I hear it’s super nice, and it would be an adventure.

The first is a cheaper flight, and I would be able to spend the money I kept when I left there. The second is more expensive, but is sort of a once in a lifetime deal. I am not sure if it’s possible to do both of them. I have also, unfortunately, given the impression it’s almost a done deal to both young ladies,  so one is bound to be mad at me.

What to do, what to do.


Food Gatherers

February 28, 2010

There’s an outfit up here called Food Gatherers. If English is your native tongue, you can pretty much guess what they do – they gather food. Restaurants and grocery stores donate food that looks like it’ll go bad before it sells (for instance, they get a lot of pies that are totally edible, but because they weren’t “baked fresh that morning” people in a supermarket would pass over them and go for the fresher ones) or things that they overstocked (like canned goods, etc.) I think they also have some farms and stuff, and the receive food from food drives and such.

They operate a soup kitchen that I volunteer at on Sundays. Suffice it to say that the people of Ann Arbor should be proud as hell. In Ann Arbor, a homeless guy can get free breakfast lunch and dinner every day of the week, every week of the year. I like the food gatherers way of doing things, because it also fights waste.

On the other hand, sometimes things come in that surprise me. On valentine’s day, I cut up a whole bunch of steaks. Today, I had to butcher some sides of beef to make steaks again. The other folks were butchering chickens and turkeys (at least we think that’s what it was – those might have been some monster turkeys.) I guess what I wonder is, what restaurant is ending up with a surplus of steaks that they then donate to the soup kitchen? Their supply guy should be fired. Or maybe it’s hard to predict how much steak a place is going to need during a week? I’m glad the food was donated to the soup kitchen, but seriously, I can’t help but wonder.

Anyway. The point is, I work there 2 hours a week. If everyone did even this trifling, tiny amount of volunteering, my brain boils over to imagine what we’d get done.


February 10, 2010

So, at the university, when there’s a crime on campus, or a crime involving a student, we get an email about it. Last week some creep exposed himself to a young lady in the library, and when I got the bulletin in my email, I printed it out and hung it on the little tackboard next to my office. You know, just so that people know. Safety first and all that. A day later, it disappeared.

I thought that was strange, but maybe a custodian or something took it down. So, a few days ago, when a dude was hit in the face with a baseball bat over an iPod, I printed it out and hung it up. On the third day, as I was sitting in the office with the door open, someone took it down and slid it under the door with a little post-it note. The note said something along the lines of “every time there is a crime every single person in the university gets a copy of this bulletin so you see there’s not really any reason to hang it up so please stop doing it” in nice flowery handwriting.

This seems very strange to me. The other bulletin boards are used by professors to advertise the classes they teach, and by postdocs to show off what good taste in Dilbert comics they have. I mean, I guess the person was correct, there’s not a pressing need for me to hang up crime reports, but at the same time… I don’t know. This whole thing seems odd to me.