live life pantless

Full disclosure:  I live life pantless. I am proud of this. I have no shame.

What does this mean exactly? It means I like to spend 73% of my time while awake without pants, and 99% of my time while asleep without pants. If these percentages are messed with, my legs get grumpy which sometimes leads to my face getting grumpy which leads to all kinds of unpleasant and grumpy things. Life is better lived pantless.

Without pants, life is...

  • Happier.
  • More exciting.
  • Incredibly breezier.

Let's take it one thing at a time. First, happier!

As a visual aid, take these 2 stick men. The one on the left has pants. The one on the right has no pants.

Wait. Hm. As it turns out, the only difference between Mr. Stickman with Pants and Mr. Stickman without Pants is... a balloon? Hm. Well... Hm. Let's see... Oh! Yes. Here we go. Balloons are one of those things that make people happy without really having a good reason for it. If you ask a random man named Joe [who may or may not be the stick man on the right] to tell you some random objects that make him feel inexplicably happy, he will undoubtedly include the no-brainers of Llamas, Crayons, Clouds Shaped Like Crayons, Soy Beans, and Rainbows. But, there is also a 78% chance [not too shabby!] that he will also mention Balloons. Because balloons are happy. So perhaps this isn't the most conventional [or convincing] argument that a pantless life is a better life, but trust me, this picture really is all you need at the end of the day.

Let's move on to number 2. Life is more exciting without pants.

Allow me to paint a purely hypothetical situation. It is just a normal day filled with normal life things. You wake up at 8:22 a.m. You sit up in bed and rub the sleep out of your eyes for 47 seconds,  13 seconds on the left eye, 13 seconds on the right eye, 13 more seconds on the left eye, and 8 seconds more on the right [you have your reasons]. You scrounge around for your shirt that has fallen in the crevice behind your bed. You step out of bed and land on a penguin. You leave the bedroom and trip over the cat who has it in his feral mind that if he can somehow get to the living room before you he will magically win something awesome. You fill a bowl with cereal and rice milk and start your morning's internet goof-off time. You start work.

So far, nothing out of the ordinary has happened. Life is normal. Life is good. And, of course, all of this life is happening without pants.

But then. The clock strikes 11:30. You consider taking your lunch break. You consider what to eat for lunch. You consider whether to go to the bathroom before or after your prepare your lunch. But then. Right in the middle of all of your run-of-the-corn-mill considerations, someone starts cheerily banging on your front door. Your brain freezes. What to do? You are in the middle of an active job with time ticking away. Your ears are attached to the computer via purple magic wires [some call them harmless earphones, but I think they are ever more insidious than that... but that's another story]. Your cats are going bonkers because they know the knocking means someone wants to kill them. And, as always, you are pantless. What to do? Oh, what to do?

The knocking suddenly stops. You think to yourself, "Ah, it was just a delivery man dropping off a package. What luck!" But before you even have time to re-remember your lunch options [bean stew or oven-baked sandwich?], another round of banging commences. The UPS man never does this. This can only mean one thing:  The apartment maintenance men have finally come to evaluate the holes they made in your walls weeks ago. You know this is almost-worst-case scenario. WHERE ARE YOUR PANTS?

You know you have a very limited amount of time remaining before a considerably embarrassing situation ensues. Maintenance men tend to knock only twice before pulling our their set of master keys and just barging right in. Barging right into your home while you stand in the middle of the room, spinning in not-quite-frantic circles, completely pantless.

As the second round of knocking ends, your pantless legs kick into motion [despite the obvious lack of help from your brain]. You dash to the bedroom to find some appropriate covering for your soon-to-be-mortified legs. The gray cat dashes with you, making you trip into the hamper of "Oh, we'll do laundry soon" clothes sitting in the hall. You suddenly realize that what you're looking for is actually back out in the living room in the pile of clothes haphazardly draped over the arm of the couch, what your husband has jokingly been referring to as your "living room dresser." Do you have time to dash back out and grab some shorts before the front door opens? As the only other option at this point is just quickly crawling under your bed pantless and hoping the maintenance men don't find you [that'd be weird to explain] or stay for an hour, you decide it is worth the risk.

So out you dash to the living room. Your gray cat dashes with you, nearly careening your face into the bookcase. You scoop up your entire living room dresser and haul it back to the bedroom. You find something to appropriately clothe your legs. You shove the rest of the pile under the blankets. And then you nonchalantly stroll back out to the living room... just as a third round of knocking starts.

Wait. What? They're knocking a third time? This is... unheard of. This is... Sigh. All of that frantic dashing about when you really had all the time in the world*. So you answer the door as if you wear pants all the time and those three unsuspecting, hammer-wielding maintenance men are none the wiser.

Excitement at its finest. The pantless life is an exciting life indeed.

Final point! Life without pants is breezier.

I really don't think this one needs to be explained. I just wanted to include it because A) you need at least three items to make a legitimate bullet-pointed list [I know I have mentioned this before, but it holds enough truth for another mention] and B) it is so true. You want a breezy life? Live it pantless.

So there you have it. I live life pantless. I am proud of this. I have no shame. And I have reasons for it. Who doesn't want to live a happier, more exciting, and [above all] breezier life?

So, the next time a day just starts going awry, you feel your face getting grumpified, or you just feel, well, just stifled...

Sometimes you need to just take the pants off.

I imagine this goes without saying [and so I will say it anyway! like everyone does! because that's the thing to do!], but for the sake of those with poor self-awareness or anyone who happens to follow the "If you don't explicitly state it, then I will assume otherwise" mentality:  The removal of your trousers should only be done in the privacy of your own home, no matter how stifled you feel while in public, and preferably only around those who are comfortable with your unashamed legs [i.e. spouse, pets, alter ego, etc.]

As that one fellow said, "You have to wear pants even if they are uncomfortable. It is important to wear pants when you leave the house." Wise, wise words.

Don't let their judging eyes fool you; they honestly don't mind you pantless.

*As long as "all the time in the world" means "more than 30 seconds but definitely less than all the time in the world."


maze reloaded

Yesterday we went back to that corn maze Sharayah described in this post two years ago. This time Shawn and my parents joined us, and it was a good time. Technically we didn't go back to the same corn maze, because they change it every year. Anyway. This year the corn was still pretty green and alive, and it was absurdly tall. I'm thinking it was about 10 feet tall. When I read that, it sounds ridiculous, and I think, "this kid is totally exaggerating," but I am not. That's really my best guess.
I don't know how they got corn so tall, but it really helps make you feel like you were lost in an inescapable maze while you were in there. Which was only half true (it was a maze, but it was escapable, which is apparently not a word, so then what is inescapable? This isn't a nonchalant vs chalant issue. Escaping is a thing. I hereby declare that escapable is a word [it has come to my attention {Sharayah told me, and I confirmed on google} that escapable actually is a word, just like I thought it should be. I thought it wasn't because when it comes to spelling, I guess I trust myself a lot less than I trust the little red wavy line. Well, not today, red wavy line. Not today.]). It was tall enough that if you held the flag (the one they give you to wave in the air if you get hopelessly lost, so they can come rescue you) straight up over your head, it barely reached the top of the corn. Now that I think about it, that means that if you got lost, the maze really just might be inescapable. No one would see your sadly waving flag, so no one would rescue you. There are probably still people stuck in that maze... Now, where was I? (Haha, I'm talking about a maze and I said "where was I?" like I got lost in thought while talking about how someone might get lost in a maze. Get it? Lost? Because it was a maze. And you can... nevermind.)

Right, so Sharayah and I were at the maze with Shawn and my parents. You might wonder how 5 people can spend quality time together in a maze (rather than wandering separately through it) and still each feel like we are contributing to the navigation decisions as we made our way through. Well, one solution would be to discuss at each crossroad which way we each wanted to go and come to a decision together about which path was more likely to get us to the exit.
That sounds boring, though, so instead we let each person lead for 3 minutes at a time. Shawn's phone made a beeping sound every 3 minutes, and once the timer beeped, it was time for another person to assume control. This was pretty entertaining, especially if the timer went off right before or after an intersection. While not leading, we could mock the decisions of the leader. While leading, we could make everyone follow us on whatever path we wanted. If the group ever had to backtrack or if we found ourselves coming upon an intersection we knew we had seen before, we could assign blame to whoever we thought was in charge when the wrong turn was made. Just plain good family fun. I will not point out who made the wrong turn that cost us the most time, because this person would then point out who made the wrong turn which cost us the next most time, and then they'd proceed to argue that my... I mean, that person's... wrong turn was in fact worse. When it wasn't. And it doesn't even matter if it was, because it probably wasn't me. Just get off my case, ok? You weren't even there so what do you know about it?

Hmm. I seem to have lost track of my story. (Lost. Heh.)

Oh. Anyway, we had fun in the corn maze and eventually escaped. We went through some of the other mazes and then we went to... the pumpkin patch.

Sharayah and I must really have been tired last time to have decided to skip the pumpkin patch. It was really fun. They take you to a huge pumpkin patch (I couldn't see the ends of it) and we got to wander around and choose whatever pumpkins we wanted and take them right off the vine. Well, you had to buy them, but it was fun and surprisingly addictive to try to find the best pumpkins. We got a nice medium one and a little one. My dad wanted to buy them all, or at least as many as he could find, but my mom kept him to 4 or 5.


Once again the corn maze was awesome fun and (especially with the pumpkin hunting at the end) left us very tired. We all went to eat and then headed home for some hard earned sleep.

sailboats throughout this brilliant sky


belly full o' bean soup

This will be an educational post. Don't worry, though; I know you've always wanted to be educated about the topic of this educational post.

Having read hundreds [possibly thousands] of books that have touched on briefly [or in great detail] either hay or straw, I often wondered aloud in my head, in the split-second moment that I pay homage to the tiny black dot declaring the statement I just read to be complete, "Are hay and straw two different things?" But then I continue on with my reading, and the thought is forgotten. Until the next mention of straw or hay. And the cycle continues.

Cycle, STOP. I am here to save the day.

Before launching into this eye-opening topic, I suppose I should mention what triggered my desire to be ignorant no longer. String of events commence!

  • Jason and I like to read books to each other. We each have books we're reading separately on our own and then a nice easy read together. I wanted to reread the Little House of the Prairie series [nostalgia!] and since Jason easily gives in to my random whims and fancies, Laura Ingalls it was. [Adult observation: Ma Ingalls seems a tad racist against Indians.] We've made it all the way to the Long Winter, and I think it's safe to say that we are both thoroughly enjoying it. However, it is no surprise that hay and straw come up pretty frequently in this type of story, so... Event number 1. 
    • Reaction:  Hm, what's the difference between hay and straw?  
  • The Civil War era book I was reading on my own also mentioned straw and hay, though for a more amusing reason. Apparently, when recruiting young, probably not very educated, farm boys, there was the very irking problem of them not knowing their right from their left. When teaching them how to march in unison, this was... an issue. Hay and straw to the rescue! Obviously the poor lads, having grown up on a farm, knew the difference between hay and straw. So, tying a bit of hay to the left foot and a bit of straw to the right, their drill sergeants could guarantee marching synchronicity by referring to their "hay foot" or "straw foot." I find this brilliant and hilariously awesome. And, people, THERE IS A SONG.
March! March! March, old soldier, march!  
Hayfoot, strawfoot, 
Belly full o' bean soup.
March, old soldier, march! 
Event number 2.  
    • Reaction:  Hm, what is the difference between hay and straw?
  • As Jason mentioned in the previous post, we went to Kennett Square's Mushroom Festival this past weekend. [Incidentally, this brought back super strong memories (some really good and others not so much) of the hours spent in similar festivals helping out at my brother's booth. It's intriguing to me how clearly I can relive certain moments and how certain smells or sounds can instantaneously transport me to a different time. I like it.] There was a Mushroom Exhibit tent that was poorly queued. Inside the tent, there was just a long line of tables that attempted to show a progression of how to grow and harvest mushrooms. The first table had containers of various things such as... hay and straw [and horse manure, but that's not really relevant]. Honestly, the material in each little container looked the same to me, so it was only helpful in piquing my interest, yet again, to find out what in the world made hay and straw noticeably different. [I suppose I should also mention that the container labeled 'horse manure' also only contained a straw/hay-like material, which was very clearly not horse manure, so... maybe the material in the straw and hay containers was not actually correctly labeled either and that's why it all looked like the same stuff? (Hey {hay?}, maybe the horse manure was relevant!) Obviously, I did not understand this part of the mushroom presentation.] Thus concludes Event number 3. 
    • Reaction:  WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAY AND STRAW? Imustfindoutimmediatelyorlifewillnotmakesense.

So. Clearly, all of these events in succession demanded that I remedy my ignorance when it comes to hay and straw. Clearly. As soon as we got home from mushrooming, I went to the google and got 'er done. [FYI, searching for "What's the difference between h..." you will find that people have a hard time differentiating between 1) hair and fur, 2) here and there (??), 3) hotel and motel, and 4) hay and straw.] And now... With my newly acquired knowledge, I will enlighten those of you who fit at least one or more of the below conditions:

  1. You are now unbelievably intrigued by the topic of hay and straw differences/definitions but do not consider it a good use of your time to search out these elusive truths for yourself.
  2. You don't think there really is a difference between hay and straw OR you don't see the big deal even if there is, BUT you're willing to humor me and/or you feel compelled to keep reading since you've already devoted so much time and effort to it to turn back now.
  3. You are a 5'2 Korean who is married to a dapper mathematician and you know you will later forget whether hay goes on the left foot or the right foot when teaching your children to march and you just need to jot down the information now for future reference.

If you said yes to one or more of the above, read on. Someday, this information may save a life [who knows?]. You are welcome.

What is it?
  • Hay:  Green grasses or legumes [such as alfalfa or clover] cut and dried.
  • Straw:  The stalks or shafts of grain [such as oats, wheat, barley, or rye] after being threshed and dried.

What is its purpose?  
  • Hay:  Used primarily as fodder for animals.
  • Straw:  Used primarily as bedding for animals [or basket weaving!].

What is the use of this information?
  • Hay
    • You own farm animals:  If you use hay to bed down your animals, they're probably going to eat their bedding.
    • You own a cat:  If you use hay to bed down or feed your animal... no.
    • You don't own animals:  You probably have no use for hay. 
    • Hayfoot is left.
  • Straw
    • Good bedding.
    • Good baskets.
    • Good hats.
    • Not very good food.
    • Strawfoot is right.

What now?
  • As it would be a waste of hay, you probably have never gone on a hayride. It was a strawride. Yep. Straw. Ride.
  • It is very possible I am still sorely mistaken on the fine differences between hay and straw and some hay/straw expert out there is having a conniption because of my oversimplified generalizations.

Ok. Whew. I'm glad all of that is out in the open for the bettering of the world. 

Now, as is usual, I had several things I wanted to mention in this post, but my initial topic got out of hand and so everything else will have to wait until next time. Except there's this one last thing that needs to get taken care of...

Jason and I have typically used separate toothpaste. Weird, I know. We just each had the kind that we liked to use when we got married, and we kept replacing them until that was just what we did. So we had separate toothpaste. No big deal. Anyway, Jason's ran out recently and we haven't gotten around to replacing it yet so he's been using mine and you guys he squeezes it all into the front of the tube. I mean, he really just goes at it. Just squashes the thing, right on the very end of the tube. So every day I slowly squish it in the middle so that it all goes back to both ends and squirt out my toothpaste like the whimsically odd but ever so frolicsome person that I am, and every day he smashes it all back to the front. Oddly enough (because I've heard of couples fighting over this sort of silly thing), I think it's pretty funny. But, he may be getting his own tube again sometime.

My sentiments regarding Jason's toothpaste methods exactly. <3


frustration, mushrooms, and toothpaste

How can we relate these three things? Well you see, it all started when... Ok, just kidding. They're unrelated other than the fact that all three are mentioned in this blog.

It's been a tough few weeks for me in the math world. We're very close to finishing a nice (though small) result, just one little loose end to prove. It's crazy frustrating because it seems like there should be an easy way to do it, but nothing works. Twice now I've had what I thought was a proof, only to notice later there was a mistake.

This particular problem has frustrated a lot of people. Last year a friend at UD was working on the problem and thought he had solved it, which would have made a nice addition to his dissertation (he was graduating at the end of the spring). He thought he had it, but that same day (or maybe a couple days later?) he found out someone else had already submitted a proof to a journal. He left it alone and found something else to finish up his dissertation. He graduated fine. But it was frustrating for him to lose a month to this problem.

Jump forward to a couple months ago, the journal article is out, and we find out there's an error in the proof. Oof. Those guys didn't know the problem had frustrated them (their proof was short and easy, if only it had been valid), but I'm sure it's frustrating them now...

Now I'm working on the problem with my adviser. Why still work on it if my friend proved it last year? Yeah, his proof had an error too (although, in my opinion, a much less serious error than the guy who actually got his proof published...), so, more frustration.

We've been working on it a few weeks and we came up with a nice proof Tuesday to the part we had left. Excitement. I typed it up and noticed... nope. Mistake. It wasn't valid. So yesterday, one last time, I solved it. Elation. Relief. I went to a mushroom festival with Sharayah, even. Ok, I would have gone with her anyway, but still. Anyway, when I got home and reread it... No. Wrong. This problem. It's so stupid. Frustration.

So, I'm back to square one again.

Things I learned at the mushroom festival while I still thought my problem was solved: There are a lot of people who really, really like mushrooms. There are many, many different foods you can make with mushrooms. Mushrooms are sometimes grown from a bag of oats or rice or wheat or... lots of other grains depending on the mushrooms, and I think some other stuff was in there too, and they just let the fungus grow in it, and then it starts poking holes in the bag to grow out of it. There are also other (perhaps less weird) ways they grow some types of mushrooms. There are pink mushrooms. There are yellow mushrooms. There are not that many foods sold at a mushroom festival for someone who does not eat mushrooms. Oh! But I ate a frozen banana dipped in dark chocolate. They had a person in a banana suit at their booth. It was like I stepped right into Arrested Development. Without the dysfunctional family part. So. A++, would go again.

Sharayah and I have typically used separate toothpaste. Weird, I know. We just each had the kind that we liked to use when we got married, and we kept replacing them until that was just what we did. So we had separate toothpaste. No big deal. Anyway mine ran out recently and I haven't gotten around to replacing it yet so I've been using Sharayah's and you guys she squeezes it right in the middle of the tube. I mean, she really just goes at it. Just squashes the thing, right in the middle. So every day I slowly squish it all back to the front and squirt out my toothpaste like a civilized person, and every day she smashes it all back to the back. Oddly enough (because I've heard of couples fighting over this sort of silly thing), I think it's pretty funny. But, I may get my own tube again sometime.