Tuesday, December 15, 2009

sorry about all these surveys... blame tumblr


B - BIRTHDAY: January 13th
C - CRUSHING ON: Jeff :)
F - FAVORITE SONG: dunno. Really addicted to Bad Romance right now.
J - JUGGLE: Yes, I can.
L - LONGEST CAR RIDE: 14 hours.
O - ONE WISH: to travel the world.
Q - QUICKIE: mmkay :)
S - SONG YOU LAST HEARD: Clockwatching by Jason Mraz
V - VEGETABLE(S): delicious!
W - WORST HABIT: cracking my knuckles.
X - X-RAYS YOU’VE HAD: teeth, maybe some others.
Y – YO-YO’S ARE: so 90s.
Z - ZODIAC SIGN: Capricorn.

Random About You:
—Spell your name without vowels: rchl.
—What color do you wear most?: green and red
—Least favorite color?: hmm... bright yellow.
—What are you listening to?: Set Fire to the Third Bar - Snow Patrol featuring Martha Wainwright
—Are you happy with your life right now? yes!
—What is your favorite class in school?: it was probably Global Sex and Gender
—When do you start back at school/college?: I'm finished. Potentially forever.
—Are you outgoing?: yes
—Favorite pair of shoes?: sneakers
—Where do you wish you were right now?: in DC already.
—Can you dance?: yes
—Can you tie a cherry stem with your mouth?: no.
—Can you whistle?: Yes.
—Write with both hands?: Yes.
—Can you walk with your toes curled ?: maybe?

—Do you believe there is life on other planets? I won't discount it completely.
—Do you believe in magic?: Yeah, sort of.
—Love at first sight?: Not really.
—Do you believe in Santa?: no.
—Do you know how to swim?: Yes.
—Do you like roller coasters?: Yes.

—Have you ever been on a plane?: Yes.
—Have you ever asked someone out?: No, actually.
—Have you ever been to the ocean?: Yes.
—Have you ever painted your nails?: Yes.

—What is the temperature outside?: 49 degrees Fahrenheit.
—What radio station do you listen to?: 100.5, 94.9, 96.1
—What was the last place you ate at?: Jamestown North.
—What was the last thing you bought?: Pizza.
—What was the last thing on TV you watched?: hmm... How I met Your Mother probably.

—Who was the last person you IM’d?: umm... Jeff? Zach? Carla?
—Who was the last person you took a picture of?: Jeff?
—Who was the last person you said ‘I love you’ to?: Jeff

—Ever really cried your heart out?: Yes.
—Ever cried yourself to sleep?: Yes.
—Ever cried on your friend’s shoulder?: Yes.
—Ever cried over the opposite sex?: Yes.
—Do you cry when you get an injury?: Sometimes.
—Do certain songs make you cry?: Yes.

—How many times have you had your heart broken?: Once.
—What is your current hair color?: Dark blonde/light brown.
—Current piercings?: Ears X2 in each
—Have any tattoos?: 5
—Eye color?: Brown.

—Favorite eye color: don't care.
—Short or long hair: Short.
—Height: Any.

—Been to jail: No.
—Mooned someone: No.
—Ran away from home?: No.
—Laughed so hard you cried?: Yes.
—Cried in school?: Yes.
—Thrown up in a store?: No.
—Is there something really stupid that you still laugh at today?: Yes.

—Pepsi or Coke: Coke.
—McDonald’s or Burger King: McDonald’s.
—Single or Group Dates: Single.
—Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate.
—Strawberries or Blueberries: Strawberries.
—Meat or Veggies: Veggies.
—TV or Movie: Movies.
—Guitar or Drums: Guitar.
—Adidas or Nike: Nike.
—Chinese or Mexican: Mexican.
—Cheerios or Corn Flakes: Cheerios.
—Cake or Pie: Cake.

Quirky personality traits

Here is a list of quirky personality traits! Bold what applies to you, strike what you can’t stand.

I always announce when I have to pee/use the bathroom.
I won’t eat my food if it touches a different food.
I will not blow my nose in front of other people.
I put my feet up on everything.
I say hello to everyone I see.
I have a tendency to make everything awkward.
My mind always wanders to the “sexual” side of things.
I always follow things up with “That’s what she said!”
I’m too embarrassed to ask my friends/family for tampons.
I use chapstick/lip balm religiously.
I check my accounts online in order every time I get on the computer.
If I get up from the computer, even for a second, I put an away message up.
I’m always leaving my phone in random places.
I always keep on earbud out, in case someone needs to talk to me.
I mark off every day on the calendar.
I have the same routine every time I take a shower.
I will not go out in public without makeup on.
Everything about my life is very neat. It has to be.
I make a to-do list every day, and I’m lost without it. (or most days)
I always check my phone the second I wake up.
I have to pee before bed.
I laugh when I hear/see the number 69.
I yell “Burn!” when someone disses someone else (or I do).
I take off my shoes when I get inside the house.
I can’t stand silence. Especially when I drive.

I have to listen to something or I can’t fall asleep.
I have to have the TV on or I can’t fall asleep.
I don’t use public bathrooms. Period.
I will NOT fart in front of anyone.

I will absolutely NOT fart in front of my boyfriend/girlfriend.
All my music on iTunes has to have album art.
Going a day without changing my underwear, NEVER, EVER happens.
I tend to skip showers frequently. (when I'm taking classes it's an every-other-day thing)
I count to 20 (seconds) when I wash my hands.
I’m always forgetting to take my pills.
I have panic attacks frequently.
The door(s) must be shut before I go to bed.
I’m always saying chat lingo out loud (example: “L-O-L” or “W-T-F”)
I swear way too much for my own good.
I re-write (or type) all my notes.
Without thinking twice, I always correct spelling/grammar mistakes.
I go for weeks without checking my email.
I show up late to work all the time.
I number my surveys (in the title).
I number the questions on all my surveys.


things i did in 2009.

( ) stayed single for the whole year
(x) made out in/on a car
( ) kissed in the snow
(x) celebrated Halloween
(x) kissed in the rain
( ) had your heart broken
( ) broke someone else’s heart
( ) had a stalker
( ) went over the minutes on your cell phone
(x) had a good relationship with someone
(x) someone questioned your sexual orientation
( ) gotten pregnant
( ) had an abortion
(x) have a relationship with someone you’ll never forget
( ) done something you’ve regretted
( ) lost faith in love
( ) kissed under a mistletoe
( ) painted a picture
(x) wrote a poem
( ) ran a mile
( ) shopped at Hollister or Abercrombie and Fitch
(x) posted a blog
(x) listened to music you couldn’t stand
(x) went to a sleepover
( ) went camping
( ) threw a surprise party
(x) laughed till you cried
( ) laughed till you peed in your pants
(x) visited a foreign country
( ) cut in a line of waiting people
(x) told someone you were busy when you weren’t
(x) partied to celebrate the new year
( ) cooked a disastrous meal
( ) lost something/someone important to you
( ) broke a promise
( ) lied
( ) went behind your parents back
( ) cried over a broken heart
( ) disappointed someone close
( ) hid a secret
( ) pretended to be happy
( ) slept under the stars
( ) kept your new years resolution
(x) forgot your new years resolution
( ) met someone who changed your life
( ) met one of your idols
(x) changed your outlook on life
(x) sat home all day doing nothing
( ) pretended to be sick
(x) left the country
( ) almost died
( ) given up something important to you
( ) lost something expensive
(x) learned something new about yourself
(x) tried something you normally wouldn’t try and liked it
(x) made a change in your life
(x) found out who your true friends were
(x) met great people
( ) stayed up til sunrise
(x) cried over the silliest thing
( ) was never home on weekends
( ) got into a car accident
(x) had friends who were drifting away from you
( ) had someone close to you die
( ) had a high cell phone bill
(x) spent most of your money on food
( ) had a fist fight
(x) went to the beach with your best friend
( ) saw a celebrity
(x) gotten sick
( ) liked more than 5 people at the same time
(x) became closer with a lot of people

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

tv shows

from mimisaurus

- Bold all of the following TV shows which you’ve ever seen 3 or more episodes of in your lifetime.
- Italicize a show if you’re positive you’ve seen every episode of it.

7th Heaven
American Gothic
America’s Next Top Model
Arrested Development
Babylon 5
Batman: The Animated Series
Battlestar Galactica (the old one)
Battlestar Galactica (the new one)
Beverly Hills 90210 (original)
Bosom Buddies
Boston Legal
Boy Meets World
Brothers And Sisters
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Chappelle’s Show
Charlie’s Angels
Clarissa Explains it All
Commander in Chief
Crossing Jordan
CSI: Miami
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dark Angel
Dark Skies
DaVinci’s Inquest
Dawson’s Creek
Dead Like Me
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Designing Women
Desperate Housewives
Dharma & Greg
Different Strokes
Doctor Who
Due South
Everybody Loves Raymond
Facts of Life
Family Guy

Fawlty Towers
Freaks & Geeks

Get Smart
Gilligan’s Island
Gilmore Girls
Gossip Girl
Grey’s Anatomy
Grange Hill
Growing Pains
Happy Days
Hercules: the Legendary Journeys
Home Improvement
Homicide: Life on the Street
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy
Invader Zim
Hell’s Kitchen
Kim Possible
Knight Rider
Knight Rider: 2008
Kung Fu
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
La Femme Nikita

LA Law
Laverne and Shirley
Law and Order
Law and Order: SVU
Law and Order: CI
Little House on the Prairie
Lizzie McGuire
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Lost in Space
Malcolm in the Middle
Married… With Children
McLeods Daughters
Melrose Place
Miami Vice
Mission: Impossible
Mod Squad
Mork & Mindy
Murphy Brown
My Life As A Dog
My Three Sons
My Two Dads
Ned Bigby’s Declassified School Survival Guide

One Tree Hill
Perry Mason
Power Rangers
Press Gang
Prison Break
Private Practice
Project Runway
Pushing Daisies
Quantum Leap
Queer As Folk (US)
Queer as Folk (UK)
Remington Steele
Rescue Me
Road Rules
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Seaquest DSV
Sex and the City
Six Feet Under
Slings and Arrows
So Weird

South of Nowhere
South Park
St. Elsewhere
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Enterprise
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Starsky & Hutch


Teen Titans
That’s So Raven

The 4400
The Addams Family

The Amazing Race
The Andy Griffith Show

The A-Team
The Avengers
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Big Bang Theory
The Brady Bunch

The Cosby Show
The Daily Show
The Dead Zone
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Flintstones
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Golden Girls

The Honeymooners
The Jeffersons
The Jetsons

The L Word
The Love Boat
The Magnificent Seven
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Monkees
The Munsters
The Office (US)
The Powerpuff Girls
The Pretender
The Real World
The Shield
The Simpsons
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Sopranos

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

The Twilight Zone

The Waltons
The West Wing
The Wonder Years
The X-Files
Third Watch
Three’s Company
Twin Peaks
Twitch City
Ugly Betty

Veronica Mars


Whose Line is it Anyway? (US)
Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK)
Will and Grace


Xena: Warrior Princess

Updated 1/21/11: Have now watched all of Buffy, Firefly, Freaks and Geeks, Pushing Daisies Veronica Mars, and Wonderfalls; some of Six Feet Under, Smallville, Weeds. Have no longer seen all episodes of Dexter.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Review: Brothers

Directed by: Jim Sheridan
Written by: David Benioff, Susanne Bier (she wrote the Danish version)
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal

Brothers is about a man, Sam (Maguire), who goes off to war and is reported dead. His wife Grace (Portman) is devastated, and his brother Tommy (Gyllenhaal) steps in to help with the house and the kids. Sam ends up not being dead and returns, having gone through a harrowing experience and coming back changed. His kids don't like him anymore and he suspects his wife and brother are sleeping together.

The movie seeks to portray what war does to a person, and how our soldiers are not properly treated, psychologically. It probably does a good job of just how much it would suck to come home and know you can't relate to people in the same way. And what that does to a family. It's tragic, it's sad, but it's well done. Good acting. Oh, and it's based on a Danish movie.

Grade: B-

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hello December, you're here already?

Well so I apologize for the posting dry spell. I have been busy what with visiting Jeff, writing my 10 page Ancient Greece paper, and having end-of-classes celebrations...

So that's it. My classes are over. No more undergraduate classes for me. My academic career is over, at least temporarily. Wow. I feel mixed about it. Certainly I'm ready. But there are people and things I'll certainly miss.


The campus is just beautiful, and there are lots of great places to walk and fun, spontaneous things to do. Not that the city will be lacking in things to do... but right now I don't know as many people there. Of course, that will change. I'll get to know and love DC, too.

In other news, I got an Amnesty International internship for the spring. Waiting to hear back from Greenpeace, then I've got to decide.

Blowout was nice this year, except I'm getting a cold.

I have decided to create a Tumblr. Not sure how much I'll use it, or how it'll affect this blog. We shall see!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm at home on the shore for this Thanksgiving holiday. I have been mostly chilling and getting very little work done (as expected). Mom and I went shopping on Wednesday and saw 2012 as previously mentioned. Today we went down to the pharmacy and I interviewed Tina for my anthropology project. I've gotten good responses on my online survey as well (in fact, I just checked, I have 100 responses. I can only have 100 on a basic membership). After that I was lazy and sort of half-helped Mom cook some. We watched Angels and Demons on Pay-per-view. And you know, I will probably write a review eventually, but I thought it was a pretty good adaptation of the book. Now, the caveat with that is, of course, it has been quite a few years since I've read the book, and the details are fuzzy. So there ya go. Eventually I put together some Devils on Horseback, recipe courtesy of Brad Weiss follows:

dates, pitted
Parmesan cheese, shredded

Stuff some cheese in each date, wrap with bacon, spear with toothpick if desired. Cook in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Eat.

It's the lazy man's bacon appetizer. Seriously - could not be much easier (of course if you have to pit the dates yourself it's a bit more...). I ate about one and the smell of all that bacon was actually not sitting so well with me. Eventually dinner was all ready around 7 (Dad was working so we had to wait for him to come home). It was delicious but I had very little turkey... again, not sure how I feel about meat. Signs point to not so good. Anywho... we had green beans, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, cranberry sauce, and rolls to go with it so I was not at a loss for food.

After dinner and cleanup and me almost falling asleep and definitely having to unbutton my pants... my parents and I watched Adventureland. It had its moments... but that's about it. Tomorrow Jessi Long and I are going to lunch and then I'm going up to Jeff's. Yay, break!

Review: 2012

2009 (so many numbers!)
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Written by: Roland Emmerich and Harald Kloser
Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofer, Oliver Platt, Woody Harrelson, etc.

My mom and I went to Salisbury to shop around and ended up deciding to see 2012. It wasn't my top choice (that was Pirate Radio but they didn't have it) but I figured the crazy CGI might be worth seeing.

And boy, was I right! I mean, this is one of those movies that you can watch and totally forgive its ridiculous plot, fake science, and downright dumb things that happen for its sheer awesomeness. It's monstrously epic. They destroy everything - yes, you've got your famous monuments going down, but also just random shit like Yellowstone Park, all of California, Las Vegas, etc. That shot of a tidal wave pushing the USS John F Kennedy onto the National Mall is pretty crazy amazing. Basically, they destroy the entire world. It is beautiful, heart-pounding, thrilling action and has its fair share of explosions and volcanoes. It will get you excited, scared, and laughing, and maybe a little teary-eyed, all in the same movie.

So basically, yes, you should see 2012, in all its gloriously epic disaster-movie terribleness which is always especially good in theaters. But don't worry - all that stuff won't happen. Right?

Grade: B+

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Review: New Moon

Directed by: Chris Weitz
Written by: Melissa Rosenberg and Stephenie Meyer (novel)
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

If you want to get the hots for a 17 year old kid, this movie's for you (I feel less creepy because I'm only 21 I suppose). Seriously... Lautner is really excellent looking in this and fabulously buff. RPattz's supposedly compelling pouty look is really getting annoying though, but at least we can giggle at the sparkle motion moments.

Enough about looks, let's talk about the movie itself. I thought it was a pretty good adaptation of the book on screen, and perhaps better than the first (Twilight). However, it was also often unintentionally hilarious. Slow motion Edward with his shirt blowing in the wind - hilarious. Tender moment with Bella and whoever - hilarious. Especially the 'serious' parts. There are some pretty dumb lines ("you're kind of beautiful") which if I recall correctly are close to what's in the book.

Perhaps I should be embarrassed that I actively loved the books when I was reading them. But I think the movies are terrible. Fabulously, hilariously terrible. So yeah, pretty much the most entertaining and enjoyable movie-going experience for me in a long time, perhaps ever, thanks to the girls I went with, Sarah and Katy, and the fact that everyone in the theater was a college kid and we were all laughing.

Grade: Too awesomely bad to grade.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A recipe for deliciousness! (and specifically pavlova)

We had a feast day in anthropology last week, and I decided to make a pavlova. A what, you say? A pavlova is a holiday or celebratory meringue cake eaten traditionally in Australia and New Zealand. It was created in honour of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova who toured Australia and NZ in the 1920s (it's light and airy just like her I guess - plus I bet she was crunchy on the outside). Australia and NZ equally claim the creation of the pavlova. According to Wikipedia, research has proven that New Zealand has the more legitimate claim. But don't listen to me, I'm biased. So anyway, a pav as it is colloquially known, is delicious and easy to make. Here is what it could look like:

Note: this recipe isn't mine originally. But since cookbook writers don't even feel the need to always cite their sources, neither do I! (it was procured somewhere on the internet and possibly combined a few different sites' interpretations).

So you want to make a magical pav! (it's the eggs that supply the magic) Here's how. You'll need:
4 large egg whites (you could make an omelette with the yolks, or something)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 and a half teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a baking tray with foil and draw a circle (they said 7 inches) on it with the blunt edge of a knife (don't cut the foil!).
-Beat the egg whites on medium speed until they form soft peaks.
-Continue beating as you add the sugar, a little at a time, until it forms stiff glossy peaks.
-Fold in the cornstarch and the vinegar, and then the vanilla, with a plastic spatula.
-Spread the meringue in your circle on the foil - the edges must be a little higher than the middle so it doesn't become a pav pancake.
-Bake for an hour and fifteen minutes. It should be a pale pink color - but remember: do not open the oven door! I have made this twice and the time was perfect both times, so you shouldn't need to check it.
-Turn oven off, let the pavlova cool completely - do not open the door or it will crack/flatten. I let it cool for about 3 and a half hours and that was good.
-Shortly before serving, cover with whipped cream. I used cool whip, but if you're more discerning, you can make your own topping: whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream until you get soft peaks, then add 1 and a half tablespoons granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
-Put on fruit on top of the cream. Think tart fruits, here, to counteract the sweetness of the meringue. I prefer kiwifruit, but raspberries and blackberries work well too - go wild!
-Eat and enjoy! Easy as!

Who doesn't love kiwifruit? MMMM

PS - sorry vegans, this isn't going to be an easy one to substitute :( I'm not sure that so far we have egg substitutes that are as magical as eggs. One day, perhaps? I still love you though and have a great cake recipe for you - I'll post it sometime. Also, if anyone knows of a way to make this vegan, or tries it out - let me know how it goes!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Review: Fantasia

Directed by: James Algar and Samuel Armstrong
Written by: Joe Grant and Dick Huemer
Starring: Leopold Stokowski (the conductor)

Now, I've seen Fantasia before, when I was little, and probably more than once. But this is the first time I've seen it as an 'adult.' Some lovely people and I went to Blair and watched it in a classroom. The parts I had remembered were the myth part, the Mickey part, and the dancing hippos. The little unicorns and pegasi were my favorites as a kid.

My first impression was, holy crap, did I just drop acid? The beginning at least is like that. It gets a little less weird, though, when instead of trippy colors they have actual scenes. Some parts bored me to tears. Other parts were great. I still like the myth part. But now I also like the Rite of Spring part with the dinosaurs.

My friend Amanda kept pointing out parts of the movie that make recurrences in later Disney films, which was quite interesting! This is a movie that most people saw as a kid, and it's a classic, so I guess I think you should watch it. But you might laugh at it, a whole lot, and be a little shocked at the blatant racism. But that's the 1940s for you I guess. And Disney.

Grade: C

Chasing Arrows at The Point

Friday night, after seeing (500) Days of Summer at the Kimball with Zach, I met up with my friend Suz, who is currently living in Newport News, to go see a Chasing Arrows show. Suz is friends with these guys (they're from NN) and in fact she lived with Joe (the drummer) and Nate (lead guitarist) for a few months. I had met Joe on several occasions before, and Nate once, briefly. First we went to Taco Bell, then we got gas and headed over to Gloucester Point. It was really close by, in fact, only about 15 minutes via the Colonial Parkway. I had a little trouble finding the venue, The Point, because it was disguised as a different name (Olivia's) since it was a restaurant by day. We got there and sat at the merch table and I met the rest of the guys: Graham (lead singer), Walter (guitarist/keyboardist), and Tate (bassist).

above: L-R - Nate, Graham, Walter, a tiny bit of Joe, and Tate

I stole some of their fries and then they started playing. We were sitting right in front of the stage and I really should have accepted the offer to borrow earplugs from Joe. Oh well. You live and learn. They played 3 sets, so we were there for about 5 hours in total (woah). The bar was really smoky so my eyes got irritated.

above: Nate, Graham, a little of Joe, a little of Walter

Despite those complaints, it was totally worth it. They were great, and I ended up buying a CD (actually guys IOU $10 - soon, I promise). They had some great covers, like "Inside Out", "Hurt", a couple Foo Fighters songs, "Dani California", and other songs that I love.

Graham, Walter, and Tate

Also their original stuff was good, too. I like that they occasionally throw in some keyboard action. Overall they sound quite good. I like their album that I bought.

Nate, Graham, Joe, Walter

More about the overall experience of the concert: there was this skanky girl dancing up on a bunch of guys, and at one point she got in front of the stage, pulled up her shirt a little, and was pointing down her pants. Classy. There was also a guy really trashed, trying to dance seductively I suppose, but his beer gut was just not that attractive... ha ha. Suz and I were called cute or attractive or hot by a number of gentlemen (or some not so much), and at one point Graham actually pinched my cheek. I thought, is this for real? Like, really happening? It was. A girl walked in at one point with this atrociously furred white boots (Suz: how many animals had to die for those ugly boots?). I was told my dancing was too scandalous for this conservative bar, in what may or may not have been an epic fail attempt at flirting. Basically, it was a lot of fun and highly amusing but there were indeed a few really trashy people there. But every once in a while it's fun to watch people like that, no?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Review: (500) Days of Summer

Directed by: Marc Webb
Written by: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Moretz

(500) Days of Summer is a lovely little film about breaking up (yes, it's not a love story). I loved the use of anachronistic storytelling, it actually drew you in more instead of being confusing. Plus, it's kind of the way you think about the past - not usually in chronological order like a traditional story, and there's the 'oh wait right that happened' aspect.

Gordon-Levitt is adorable and so is Deschanel... their interactions make a lot of sense and seem so realistic. They're both somewhat average characters - as in, you probably know people like that. The message is mostly that yeah, there will be girls (or guys) like Summer who will be total bitches, but in the end life doesn't end when the relationship does. There are other people out there.

The movie reminded me of one of my all-time favorites, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It was similarly quirky and disjointed, though not quite as weird. There are also little tidbits that push it to that next level, like the 'author's note' in the beginning, and Tom's friend's comment that "you should turn it into a novel." Kind of great.

Grade: A

PS - Awesome soundtrack, too. Two Regina Spektor song including "Us" which might be my favorite of hers, the Smiths, and a bunch of indie stuff I'd never heard before but really liked.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I can't resist you... Lists Galore

So recently I found this blog, Lists Galore. It puts up lists with themes of links to lists that fall under that theme - brilliant! You know how I love lists. I've RSS'd the blog and it will waste tons of my time. So all these links below were found there.

Comic book movies that were better than the comics. I didn't know MiB was originally a comic! Also, I am in agreement with their sentiment about Josie and the Pussycats (love it).

Creepy comic sex scenes (it's on Cracked so I judge it NSFW - the images are mostly okay though).

Good and bad comic book vehicles. Ha ha, I totally love the Green Goblin's original broomstick! Also that Helicarrier bears a striking resemblance to the Valiant from Doctor Who (obviously there it isn't an original idea).

Upcoming comic movies! Shia Labouef as Yorick? Mumble mumble. We'll see. Must finish Y the Last Man. Also, ABC has picked up Fables?! I hope it's good. I love Ryan Reynolds - yayyy.

Alan Moore comics to read - who doesn't love some Alan Moore?

Awesome, weird Marvel characters.

Thirsty? Make some comic book cocktails!

How much did that sandwich really cost?

Sandwich art - though is the bacon one really art?

School lunches from around the world. Really? Tater tots AND chicken nuggets? Mmm, health food.

Really really cool sandwiches.

Are these what you would consider the appliances you can't live without? Definitely true for me.

Jeff and I need a bookshelf for our apartment. How about one of these?

10 interesting inventions for the home. The dog speaker is just creepy.

Interesting faucets and tables - these are really cool.

Weird furniture - they say terrifying, but I wouldn't go that far.

Uncomfortable chairs. I think that panda one, contrary to what they say, would be uncomfortable to sit on, too. It's all uneven and think of the button noses!

Neat beds - I like that tree bed, and shower heads - the inverted one is interesting, but why is there someone who's almost a furry?

That should keep you entertained for a while...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Review: Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

By Michael Pollan

Omnivore's Dilemma sheds light on the industrial food complex, especially on America's heavy reliance on corn, and what brought that about. I learned an amazing amount reading this book. It is really a must read for everyone, if you're living in this society. Everyone ought to know where there food is coming from, and what those unintelligible words on nutrition labels mean.

Pollan tries to find out exactly what happens in the industrial food chain, the industrial organic one, a food chain that comes from a farm that describes itself as 'beyond organic', and one where he hunts and gathers himself. He clearly learned a lot in the process, and you will too. You should also know that 'organic', while having a positive impact on the environment nevertheless, is a much vaguer term than you think - it doesn't mean what you think it means. A fact that the book doesn't mention is that WalMart is the largest seller of organic produce in the country. You will learn that industrial organic is only a narrow shade different from pure industrial - and just as problematic but in different ways.

The description of Polyface farm and its fully sustainable ecosystem are awesome. You can see that it is possible for the animals we raise for food to get to that point through fairly natural lives (aka the chickens can do what chickens are meant to do). You also discover that this method is not just beneficial from an animal welfare perspective, but also from an environmental and health standpoint.

The chapter on the ethics of meat eating was interesting to me, because it added a few points to the discussion that I have not heard before. Pollan brings up the fact that domestication was never a one-sided deal - it has always been a way to create a symbiotic relationship. Initially it was in the cow's interest (cow as a species) to be raised by humans who could protect it from predators and the like. Of course, our industrial food system has negated the benefit for the cows and now it's purely exploitative. And that made me remember - plants were domesticated too, thanks to the adaptability and cleverness (stretching it?) of the plants which benefit greatly from human cultivation. Now I realize that animal rights activists won't agree with this, but I think it is a perspective that is not often addressed. Certainly today, the way we use animals for the food industry only benefits us to the maximum amount, and so perhaps this argument is no longer even relevant. However, if you look at Polyface, you see that that kind of beneficial relationship can still exist.

Basically, you must read this. I could go on more, but mostly I'm just going to put it in my research paper.

Grade: A+

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brand New and Thrice at the Norva

Here begins my review of the Brand New/Thrice concert at the Norva in Norfolk, VA. Unfortunately the pictures uploaded backwards so I'll just show those right now...

Brand New's Jesse Lacey on vocals plus check out the tambourine

Brand New performing "Archers Bows Have Broken"

Brand New's Jesse Lacey and drummer Brian Lane

Brand New


When Will, Kristin, Jeff Black, and I arrived at the Norva, the opening band (Crime in Stereo I think but I can't quite recall) was on. For the first time I didn't have to get those godawful black permanent marker Xs on my hands which not only smell all night but then refuse to come off later... for several days. Thankfully I'm 21 now! Xs no more! It was pretty crowded and we decided to move to the balcony. We stood at the side that faces the stage (and therefore is furthest from it) and got decent spots with just a couple standing in front of Kristin and I at the railing. I kept my thought beams pointed at them, telling them to GTFO, hoping it would work.

So Crime(s?) in Stereo was/were fine. I wasn't totally into them but they weren't at all bad. The balcony which I have never been to turns out to be a sweet spot because it's less crowded, you can see much better, and they have cleaner bathrooms.

Thrice came on after a record-breaking 15 minute set-up delay (wow! who would have guessed?). They did a really sweet cover of The Beatles' "Helter Skelter" and had a few other good songs. I certainly didn't like all of their songs, though... oh well. I was mostly there for Brand New.

Brand New took way more time to set up... as the main act usually does (though my bro claims they were co-headlining with Thrice). My mental energies must have paid off, because the couple in front of us left and so Kristin and I rushed in to fill the space at the railing. Awesomely, we had something to lean against and it made for excellent pictures because you could steady the camera (also I took some pretty decent video clips which maybe I'll get the energy to embed one day after uploading them...). So then Brand New came on. For one thing, they had really cool, dynamic lighting that was different for every song. It went with the music, too, seeming to respond to it all on its own (hooray for the lighting tech!). On some songs they had a pretty backdrop on the screen, or short film clips or pictures. In addition to the visual coolness, they were also incredibly good. They play extremely well live (it sounds a lot like the album but with an added oomph of live energy - just the way I like it) and beyond that their setlist was phenomenal. They played all my favorite songs by them, songs from their last 3 albums (and since many bands just play their newest stuff, this was a great mixture). They played such things as Archers Bows Have Broken, Limousine, Jesus, Degausser, Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don't, The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows, Sic Transit Gloria, Play Crack the Sky, and stuff off their new album, Daisy, which I hadn't really heard yet.

Basically Brand New is awesome. See them live. Especially if you were like me and were obsessed with Deja Entendu when you were in high school. YES!!!