Mysteries of the Universe

1. How people can French braid their own hair.


2. The internet. (How does it work? You know you aren't sure.)

3. How some people can just, on random occasions, forget to eat. Like, "Oh, you know what, I totally forgot to eat dinner today." Ha! Sometimes I forget that I already ate, and I eat twice.

4. Crop circles.

5. What happens in the last two-thirds of Heart of Darkness. After 3 failed attempts, I'm begging someone to please just tell me. Or don't. I obviously don't care that much.

6. Where all the hippies go when there aren't any wine festivals happening nearby. I never see any hippies around until I go to a wine festival, then I feel weird because I'm the only person there wearing a bra.

7. The universe. They say it's expanding... but into what space is it expanding? Maybe it's getting bigger to hold all of these mysteries I'm writing about!

8. How our floors can accumulate this much filth in a single day:

Really and truly, I swept this floor YESTERDAY. The dirt... it's starting to get to me. I can't keep up with that thin layer of plaster dust that manages to creep beneath closed doors or clumps of dirt that appear out of nowhere. How can an infinite amount of filth be produced in a house that stays the same size?

My theory: Hippies. They're hanging out here without our knowledge, kicking up dust and tracking dirt around until the next wine festival. I hope it's soon.


  1. You never finished Heart of Darkness? That's funny considering how many times they wanted us to read it in college. Way to buck the system!

  2. I gave it the ol' college try! Well, once in high school (unassigned) when I thought it would make me smarter (it didn't), and twice in college when it was assigned. I'd be ok until that guy on the boat would start going on about that eternal story, and my eyes would start rolling around in boredom and anger b/c no one tells stories that way! Heaven knows we had LOTS of other, more interesting things to read. Like Jane Austen! Although I never finished Sanditon. I should dig that out...

  3. I LOVE this post ... reminds me of Grad Center sillyness, aka: our existence.

  4. Biggest Grad Center mystery of all time (aka sophomore year): Who keeps forgetting to put the orange juice away????!!!!

  5. Wow, I think I am way older than you and your post here is hitting home.
    1. French braiding your own hair is a dark art. You have to attempt it about 150 times and all attempts will look like a bad trip to Fido's groomer. Then voila! on try 151 it looks great and you fool yourself to thinking you can do it again. I never have. Although my sister kept long hair in the Navy and had to either pin it up or French braid it, and she was really, really good at it. So I may just be inept.
    2. Internet..I don't know either and I had one of the first "real" PC's back in '81- probably been thru 20 or 25 since then. I was using Compuserve to order Vermont white cheddar when you still had to use DOS. My "out" now is to say, "well...we all know that just exists out there in the ether otherwise known as the programmer's brain" and pretty much you get a by because it's always taken as a compliment.
    3. Forget to eat...talk about a Freudian slip, I actually had to go back and put this into the mix bc I forgot to address it. You forget to eat when you eat to live and not live to eat. When you realize, OMG I can't run an hour in the morning if I don't get some food in me, then you eat. It also helps if you have a husband that finds McDonald's food to be on the same par as Olives.
    4. Good luck on that one. I don't know either but I liked the movie about it.
    5. Heart of Darkness...I was assigned to do a class presentation on the book at Penn State in '81 or '82. Not only do I not remember the book, I don't remember the presentation.
    6. The Hippies...no they aren't waiting on your wine fest. They are all at the Schwag in Missouri. You have never seen so many hippies in your day (nor have I). Google Schwag in Salem, MO or the Schwagfest and you'll see what I mean (warning: most of your links will be pot-related). I should add that I live near the area and so know about it, I've never actually been there. But I did hear a replay on the radio, and The Schwag is actually pretty good.
    7. And my theory on the universe: We perceive at a certain vibrational leval. Just as all light (IR or UV and such) is not apparent to us, neither is the expansion (or contraction). We are just going to have to wait to find out. And probably by the time we do, we won't give a damn.
    8. And I don't want to talk about dirt/dust accumulation. I live on a dirt road. And it's an artery of another dirt road. And there is a gravel hauling business (dump trucks) about 4 miles away. It helps to think of dust as decorative :-) Thanks for the fun! anna

  6. Anna - which PSU campus did you attend? The universe may be big, but the world is so small. I didn't go to Penn State but grew up close by. Thanks for your comments! I enjoyed reading your POV on things. When I was really young, I was so baffled at how my mom would occasionally send documents to her work "through the phone." She'd be sending a 3 page document and we couldn't pick up the phone for an hour while it sent. It was like magic. Slow magic.

  7. Hi Emily Kate,
    I started at State College but changed to Altoona PSU when my boyfriend was going there and not State College. How dumb we are when we are young. The only good thing about that era was I lucked into Richard Russo's lit classes (3 times), who evolved into a Pulitzer Prize winning author and screen writer (Mohawk, Risk Pool, Nobody's Fool...) and he was such a cool person to be around. I always wondered why he was teaching at a branch college when he was so talented, and obviously it was only a matter of time. He was very one-on-one, very accessible and very funny. I would say the same things about perhaps 3 other instructors I've had (none of whom became as successful in the mass media), but when I say it now (about Russo)it sounds like name dropping so I usually don't say it, but I felt justified here so I could redeem something about the Altoona campus (and he told me I needed to do a lot of work on my lit anyway :-) I graduated from Bellwood-Antis HS, which is near Altoona PSU, but was only at BAHS about 7 or 8 months (lived in Tipton but most friends were in Altoona) before HS graduation and so don't really have any ties there. My husband and I were talking about the early 80 years last night, and I said I think I miss the sub/grinder/hoagie shops from the central PA area more than anything. I love to go to nicer restaurants, but for plain pig-out food, those places couldn't be beat, especially when you're feeding 4 people for 10 bucks (remember this is almost 30 years ago). The only sandwich places where I live now are all Subway and they are everywhere. And they pale by comparison but they do get points for consistency. Btw, can't wait to see the new wood on the house. It will make a HUGE difference. I think you'll be even more surprised than you expect. Good luck!! Anna

  8. Anna, I grew up about 40 minutes from both Altoona and State College, and spent a lot of time in both towns since they had the closest malls. In high school I played sports against both Altoona HS and BAHS. Of all the people to stumble randomly onto my blog, what are the odds that it would be someone from my neck of the woods?


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