apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Math - PiMP)
A customer comes in wearing a t-shirt with the Greek letter π surrounded by a spiral of about 100 of the known digits of the mathematical constant. It starts on the outside with 3.1415926... (etc.) and then spirals inwards to where it fades away.

Me: I like your t-shirt!

Customer: Oh! Yes, that's 'pi'.

Me: (stunned silence) I...know. I'm a math tutor.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Grown-ups)
Tonight, while getting ice out of the freezer, I noticed a box of supermarket brand "Buttermilk Waffles" sat on top of a carton of supermarket brand "Rocky Road Ice Cream". Because they're both the same store brand, the packaging for both items looked similar, and for a moment I thought the waffles were actually Buttermilk Waffle Ice Cream, which I am now convinced is the best idea I have ever had about anything ever. In trying to think of how I could turn my idea into profit, I was reminded of one of my most favorite overheard conversations ever.

The conversation took place between a homeless man and the US Patent Office via a bus station pay phone. He was trying to patent the idea for "Minnesota Mint Soda". Not the recipe, per se: he'd tried to work something out with Coca-Cola, but for some strange reason, they weren't interested in working with him. No, rather he was trying to patent the name: Minnesota Mint Soda.

The person on the other end of the line must have been skeptical, but the man did his best to sell the idea. He started off by naming every food named after a U.S. state or city: "There's Texas Toast...Boston cream pie...Chicago-style pizza...baked Alaska...Boston baked beans...Buffalo wings..."

He also went on to list other things he'd named, to varying degrees of success: a band he used to perform in, and his ex-wife's dog. (It's of great sadness to me that I can't remember the name of either.)

But mostly he just said the name over and over again: Minnesota Mint Soda. Minnesota Mint Soda.

Minnesota Mint Soda.

I swear to Bob, the more you say it, the better it sounds! I don't care what it tastes like, I know I'd buy a bottle. And really, sometimes a great name is all you need!

So, if anyone has any contacts with any food scientists, you might want to clue them in so they can get on this. Just remember: there's a homeless man in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area who's owed some royalties!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Schroedinger's Cat)
I had a minor twinge of agoraphobia in Dick's Sporting Goods today. I went there because I need a new combination lock, and I thought they might have a larger selection than the local hardware store. And I had time to kill. PANIC AT THE DICK'S )

Funny kid, irritating kid: a fine line. )

Going to Chicago this weekend! I'll be visiting my friend Kelly and her new family, my friend Cassie, her husband, and their 6 month old baby Ella, and Miss [livejournal.com profile] evilhippo, my lovely Queen of All Things Meta and Surreal. (We'll work on the title.) The plan is to do the museums and just catch up with friends, but if there's anything super fun or super special I should check out while I'm there, do let me know.

Now, four songs I've had on constant repeat lately: Musique! )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Math Nerd)
(If I ever get around to joining a personals site, that's going to be my headline. [livejournal.com profile] rachel2205, my love, you put up with so much! :P xx)

Spring Into Sherlock over at [livejournal.com profile] sherlockmas is going well! *knock wood* The submissions are rolling in, and I've managed to design things in a way that I don't have to threaten to break any kneecaps if people don't come through with their commitments! (Though I may have threatened the lives of a few anonymous kittens. Hey, whatever works!)

Here's a conversation I had with two students tonight: (Isabelle is 10, Max is 13.)

Max (apropos of nothing): How do you think the world is going to end?
Me (unfazed): I think in a few hundred million years, the sun will expand, and...
Isabelle: You don't think the world will end in 2012?
Me: No...
Max: You don't think the world will end in a zombie apocalypse?
Me: I don't know...what if it did?
Max: I would hide out here! (Meaning the math center.)
Me (scoffing): Are you kidding me? Look at those big glass windows up front! The zombies would get right through that...
Isabelle: I'd hide in the prize case!
Max: I was going to say that!
Me: How would you even fit in there? Besides, it's made of clear glass...you guys really gotta work on your zombie survival plan!
Max: Well, then I'd hide in the trunk of your car!
Me: I don't know...I don't have a very big car.
Max: We'd drive over to Kroger (a grocery store), and eat a bunch of food!
Me: That could be a plan...I could die in a Kroger.

Sometimes, being a good tutor means teaching the kids about life, and not just about math. :P
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Omelette)
After scouring the internet for days looking for a US-based company that imported a particular tea blend I wanted to buy, I started looking at European websites. Most of them I dismissed out of hand, as they charged between 20 and 30 Euros for shipping; 27-40 USDs. Definitely not worth it for a few boxes of tea!

I decided to try one more website: that of a company based in Poland. Like many websites, they didn't specify upfront how much shipping cost. I started going through the process of filling in my details for the order, waiting to get to the point where you're asked to confirm your order and they finally tell you how much it's going to cost to ship. One of the options I was offered was designated "personal acceptance", and didn't involve any additional cost. They way I figured it, "personal acceptance" meant that I would "personally accept" the shipping charges; meaning, I would be asked to pay on delivery. Like a fool, I selected that option and confirmed my order without knowing exactly what shipping would cost. I started to panic over it in the next couple days, but figured: well, at least I'd get my tea out of it!

Livin' la vida gringa )

I think I'm going to come up with a poll to explore these ideas further. (Watch out for that! :P) In the meantime: any thoughts?
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (PiMP)
So, two of my most challenging students have left. Aurora, my little ADHD princess, had her last day at the end of January. She left in a torrent of suffocating hugs and too-loud goodbyes. I am most definitely going to miss her.

The other child I am less sad to see go. Let's call him...Ernesto. He's seven, and terrifically smart: just a genuinely bright and clever child. He's also incredibly spoiled. His mother, though the nicest lady on the planet (she brought me Godiva! Yum!), babies him terribly: getting his book for him, hovering over him while he works (on the days she stayed), wiping his mouth for him. She tries to goad him into being polite, and yet indulges his every complaint: there's a line between making children feel heard and allowing them to express themselves, and teaching them to be complainers.

And while I'm on the subject, here's a tangent for all the parents of clever children: )

Anyway, with my two most challenging students gone, and two others suddenly transformed into model pupils, I should be relaxing and enjoying the relative ease of my job: instead, I'm wondering what type of kid will get thrown at me next!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Math Nerd)
My students really need to stop making me feel old just days before I'm about to be...not 28 anymore!

Camille, one of my new favorite students, was working on some math problems involving change. As an example of what a nerd I am, I told her that when I used to work as a cashier, I used to get excited when I owed someone 41 cents in change, as that meant I got to give them exactly one of each coin from my cash drawer: a quarter, a dime, a nickel, and a penny. It turns out that anecdote was a whole lot nerdier than I thought (YA THINK?), and it had Camille and another boy in stitches.

Once she stopped laughing and regained the capacity for speech, she asked where I had worked as a cashier. I told her I've worked several cashier jobs in the past, but the first was at a department store called Mervyn's. She'd never heard of it, and I explained that was probably because they went out of business about 10 years ago.

Now, how old does THAT make me sound? I noted as such, and that inspired another fit of giggles from her and Beau. "I swear to God, you guys, I'm not that old!" I told them. I don't think they believed me. But then again, they are 13!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Amy "Oh Dear!")
I MAY be psychic guys. I was out doing some holiday shopping, and I was looking around the toys and the children's clothing in a department store, thinking about what I was going to get my "nephew" (friend's son) for Christmas. I was looking at the infants' clothing, and thinking: I bet Lauren and Matt are going to have another baby soon. Since I haven't talked to her in awhile, I decided to give her a call right then.

Yep, she's pregnant! I can't wait to see in what other areas my powers will manifest. I just might be pondering my X-Men superhero name in anticipation.

Also, why am I not an old lady yet? While I was talking to Lauren, I came across these long flannel nightgowns with red cardinals on them, and I WANTED ONE SO BADLY! You know the type: covers you from neck to ankles, wide yoke, lace around the sleeves? It just looked so comfy.

Because, as the tag implies, "I like making lists": here is a list of things I'm looking forward to when I'm an old lady. )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Beauty and the Beast)
Background information: Due to my horrible sinus infection, I haven't been able to smell anything for more than a week. Since sense of taste is largely sense of smell, I can't really taste food at the moment.

INT. DINING ROOM - LUNCHTIME

Amy has just returned home from class and is looking for something to eat.

MOM
Why don't you eat the pumpkin soup I brought home from Aunt Marge's?

AMY
You know, I still can't smell or taste anything...it would be wasted on me. Why don't you eat it?

MOM
Oh...but I already told Marge that you enjoyed it.

AMY
??? Why did you tell her I'd enjoyed it when I haven't had a chance to eat it yet?

MOM
Well, everyone was talking about it on Facebook and saying how good it was, and I had to say something...

AMY
... ????


WHAT HAS FACEBOOK DONE TO MY MOTHER?
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (PiMP)
Highlights from my trip to Indianapolis to attend my future sister-in-law's wedding shower:

Here! )

How was everyone else's weekend?
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Gashlycrumb Tinies)
My brain does many things well: sarcastic comments, fractions, and crossword puzzles being some of them. There are also things my brain just can't handle. For instance: chess. I cannot, for the life of me, play chess. Oh, I know the rules and how each piece moves, I'm not a drooling idiot: but when it comes to playing an actual game, I cannot capture even one of my opponent's pieces. Even when the computer is set to "Easy" or "Beginner."

You might say: "Oh, but Amy, you just need practice!" I don't think so. You see, not only am I terrible at chess: I can't handle CHECKERS. I might manage to scoop up a couple pieces my opponent sacrifices, but in the end I'm always crushed. And I've spent my life working with children and playing games with them. I have been well and truly beaten by a five year old. Somehow, no matter how hard I try to concentrate on the whole game and think one or two moves ahead, I end up setting myself up for one of those embarrassing plays where my opponent jumps six or seven of my checkers at once.

And yet I'm unbeatable at Connect Four.

Another thing my brain doesn't do so well? Directions.

It's not that I can't read a map. I am awesome at reading maps. It's not that I can't follow directions. I can follow directions! It's just when it comes to making a mental picture in my head of how roads link up and which go where and whatnot, I am HORRIBLE.

I've always maintained I'm much more a verbal than visual person. Yet, I can look at a map detailing a route for 20 seconds and remember it for the rest of the day. It's something to do with my spatial reasoning, I'm sure of it! Even if you asked me to give you directions from my house to my work (which I could drive in my sleep) I'd get half of it wrong. I'd remember the main highways and most of the exits, but the little turns and sidestreets I can't picture until I see them.

People ask questions like: "Is it the third exit?" or "Is it next to the Taco Bell?" and I have no idea, because I don't notice things unless I'm looking for them. I can visit a store a dozen times without ever noticing what it's next to. I might know there's a bank on the corner, but I probably couldn't tell you which one. How many houses from the corner is the student co-op I used to live in? *shrugs*

All of that explanation is leading up to this: there was an accident on my usual route to school this morning. I decided, instead of slogging through it, to go another way. Bad idea. Of course, I didn't know it was a bad idea. In my head I knew this one highway linked up with another.

What I did NOT know was that they linked up much further west than I needed to go. Since I thought I knew where I was going, and I'm used to not recognizing my surroundings, it took me FOREVER to realize I had gone out of my way. I called my mother so she could look up on a map where I was, and I was 25 minutes late to class.

No, I'm sorry: 25 minutes late TO MY EXAM.

It's not that big of a deal. I'm taking a makeup on Wednesday.

When I came home for lunch before work, my mother asked, "Weren't you anxious?"

I said, "No, I knew she would give me a makeup."

And she clarified, "No, about being lost: I get so anxious when I don't know where I am. Weren't you nervous?"

I thought about it. "Mmm...not really. I get lost all the time. I'm kinda used to it."

That's me in a nutshell, folks!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Typewriter)
So, [livejournal.com profile] originalfic_las, a Last Author Standing competition for writers of original fiction, has started. The prompt for the first challenge is "change". I was hoping for something a little more detailed, but I can work with this. I'm getting a few ideas rattling around my brain, I'm just waiting for them the gel into something writable.

ETA: I meant to mention that if you wanted to sign up for this challenge, you still have until Wednesday to do so!

I just want to make it through the first few rounds, get some idea of where I stand and what I'm up against, and then who knows? I'll blunt my ambitions until I have a better feel for the competition.

I know a couple folks from my flist (like lovely [livejournal.com profile] ladylovelace) are signed up for the competition--holla back if you're one of them so we can commisserate and cheer each other on!

I'm also in the midst of writing something for [livejournal.com profile] she_is_to_me's latest challenge. It's an AU challenge, and I'm REALLY excited about my idea, but I still don't know exactly where I'm going with the story. I also have to write my entry for the dark!fic challenge at [livejournal.com profile] thegameison_sh. It's amazing how these commitments tend to snowball, isn't it?

And now, in honor of National Coming Out Day (October 11 in the US, 12 October in the UK), here is my coming out story:

Re-posted in a cleaned-up version from my old Livejournal )

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