Friday, July 31, 2009

Last day as a meat eater (for a month)

Well, today has been rather uneventful. I had a cheese sandwich for lunch (typical). I got some Croakies for my sunglasses and ordered my textbooks online. I went with my mom to Wendy's (since Johnno's was closed for some reason) and got a burger. Because I know I'll miss burgers... wish I could have gone to Ray's Hell Burger before this... but oh well. I think I will get cravings, not unlike my Outback Steakhouse cheese fry cravings I got in New Zealand. But I lived without those for 5 months, so I think I can bear the meat cravings for only one month. And besides, maybe I won't miss meat as much as I imagine. Maybe it'll be completely fine. I have been mainly living off of macaroni and cheese recently, anyway. But if I start craving beef jerky, I'll know I'm in trouble (I hate the stuff)...

I will blog about what I eat, and also what I'm up to, since after all I'm flying out to LA on Tuesday. My Jeopardy tickets have been confirmed. Trebek, here we come!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

veg veg veggies

Alright, so, I've decided to go vegetarian for the month of August!!! I will be out of town most of the time - on the West Coast, in cities where there's sooo much vegetarian food. I'm going on a road trip for 10 days with my vegan friend who is challenging all her friends to go veg for August, so that part will be a breeze with her there to help me out. I will not be going vegan though I have no objections to eating vegan whenever possible. I have signed a pledge at to guilt myself into upholding this mission. Also, I have Twittered it so it's official. I almost feel like I want to start now, but it's not August yet, plus I just bought some turkey burgers and chicken enchiladas from Trader Joe's.

This is something that has been aggravating my mind lately - whether to go veg or not. There are many reasons to do so - health, environment, animal cruelty; all of which I'm concerned about. Recently I've gone down to about half of my meals being vegetarian. I think that a month of testing the waters should be a good thing. If it makes me feel good, physically, mentally, or all of the above, I might just stick with it. I intend to blog regularly on my trip on my trusty little netbook, Ceph (short for Bucephalus, Alexander the Great's horse), and will keep you updated on my veg pledge.

Monday, July 20, 2009

thank god it's fatal

That is a line from "Heretics" by Andrew Bird. I watched the Twilight movie today, and enjoyed it but not as much as the book. The line "thank god it's fatal" seems to summarize how Bella feels about becoming a vampire... she wants to die and become immortal. And when in New Moon (spoiler alert!) Edward goes to try to kill himself by provoking the Italian Mafia vampires, he's thinking the same sort of thing. In the end, eventually, life is fatal. And it's probably a good thing - do you really, really want to live forever? Each year would be barely meaningful at all - so much for living.

Another thing I wanted to share is how terribly awful a character Edward Cullen is. He's a creepy stalker, which is waaay more apparent in the movie (in the book you see his actions veiled through Bella's justifications). And he's so controlling and emotionally abusive... if not physically abusive (arguable). He wants Bella's blood, at least at first, and that seems like an unhealthy way to start a relationship. They end up becoming sickeningly codependent. Once Bella's a vampire, sure, the relationship is a lot more normal and healthy, but still, all that time in between. Jacob is so much better for her.... ugh. F*CK YOU EDWARD!!! Inspired by the previous lyric and my dislike for Edward, I wrote a poem from Edward's POV. (YES, I actually did this. Do with that what you will.). This poem is called "I would but I won't":

I would touch you but I can't
resist the thump-thump of
your weak little heart.
Don't let yourself get close
or my claws might come out
like a cat on the chase.

I would love you but I won't
since you're china-fragile
and I can't drop you or let
you break and shatter on
the floor. I need a fix of
your sweet drug sometimes
so I will keep you alive.

I will simply hurt you instead
because I'm fairly sure
my incisors would hurt worse
on your neck, and your heart
is the only wound I'll allow.

Damned sadistic bastard. Oh, and yes, I am addicted to TV Tropes thanks to that xkcd comic.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Shilla Bakery 2

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Shilla Bakery

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trivia at Ri Ra

I'm visiting Jeff this week in Fairfax, and we've already kicked off the fun activities. Last night, Carla and her friend Mary came over and we ordered delivery Indian from Masala Wok and started playing Settlers of Catan with the Cities and Knights expansion. The delivery got there with little time to spare and we ate (though I had to switch my pepper fry for Carla's chicken masala because mine was way too spicy for me, sadly). Then we drove to the Dunn Loring metro station and rode to Clarendon. Jeff had found a website showing DC bars' trivia nights. So we went to Ri Ra, an Irish pub on Wilson Blvd. It was a pretty classy pub, and we sat upstairs, though unfortunately next to some smokers. Not long after we got some trivia paper, including the first round which was cryptic movie titles in pictures. We got all of them right - my most proud one was a picture of orange juice and the book A Million Little Pieces, and the answer was Pulp Fiction. After the first three rounds, we were tied for second place, Alex Cross joined us, and I had just gotten pineapple juice. Later, Carla, Mary, and I shared a Raspberry Framboise, which is a Belgian Lambic and came in a large wine-size bottle. It was not too sweet, quite fruity, and didn't taste like alcohol. Basically - delicious! At the end of the six rounds, we weren't even in fifth. Still, it was a fun night. We went back to Jeff's and finished Catan - I lost miserably.

Ri Ra is a great place to do trivia. The announcer sang bits of songs for the music round. The questions were spaced well, and it was well attended but not hugely crowded.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What I'm Listening to Now: Tegan and Sara

Jeff got me into Tegan and Sara (as he has gotten me into many other great things) recently. They're sisters, and they make fabulous music. It's kind of indie pop/folk, and it's breathtaking. Also they're Canadian, in case you wanted to know. Now the music:

Speak Slow, which is a pretty cool song.

Here's a live video for Take Me Anywhere, which I really love.

I just love their voices and their writing, and the way that most of the songs are so understated since the music is so simple. Beautiful! Now, go forth and find ye more!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Independence Day

Fourth of July has passed nearly unnoticed for me for the past two years. This year, I was working, so it hardly seemed like a holiday. I did get to stand and watch the fireworks at work for 15 minutes. I had no customers, so I effectively got paid to watch fireworks. But I saw the fireworks on Wednesday and Friday, too, so it didn't seem special. Really the only thing to distinguish Saturday from the other days was the plethora of American-flag-related t-shirts. And even then, I saw almost as much Ed Hardy.

Last fourth of July, I was in New Zealand so it is easy to see why I hardly noticed it. I had just arrived in Dunedin 4 days earlier. It was cold outside and colder in my flat. It didn't feel like the season for barbecues and fireworks. The only time you can buy fireworks in New Zealand is around Guy Fawkes' Day (5th of November). New Zealand's version of Independence Day, Waitangi Day, is February 6th - summer for them. It celebrates the treaty that formed New Zealand as a country - or, rather, as a British colony. They don't celebrate becoming an independent country, since they still have strong ties to Britain (they're a constitutional monarchy; they celebrate the Queen's birthday).

Anyway, last year I went on a train trip on July 4th to the Taieri Gorge. There was in fact a barbecue at the end, but I wasn't more than dimly aware of the fact that that should have meant something. So I suppose I've not been celebrating America properly, and I've probably been taking it for granted. Going abroad didn't help; it made me long for things that America isn't, instead. I wished I had been born a Kiwi, while I was there. But, in the long run, I suppose you could say I am proud to be an American in some ways. Not in others. But I do recognize the great personal freedoms we have - yet I also see the danger in overestimating them. Everyone can't be someone in America, but I guess you could at least say they can try.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I am so very very sorry

But it's true! I loved Twilight. I read it, or more like devoured it, insanely fast. I am already 124 pages into New Moon and so far it is making me a little angry. But Twilight also made me really angry. It's so bizarre to fiercely hate and also love a book all at once. The fangirl waiting to exist in me (hasn't she gotten her outlet, with the massive Neil Gaiman crush and all?) adores these books so far. They make me voracious for more. I love them after only one. It's an addiction. I really really want to know what happens and I really really want everything to be lovely. It was a lot like this with the audiobook for The Host (also Stephenie Meyer) except in that book I got really annoyed by the main girl because she was just so goddamned selfless - OH WAIT, oh my god, it's exactly the same with Twilight. Except at least in The Host there's not so much overwhelming obnoxious chivalry. The men are better.

The feminist in me (oh man, I don't think I've ever called myself a feminist before in so many words, but there you have it) cringes at Twilight for obvious reasons. It is never, never, never up to Bella. It's all mighty-man-Edward protecting her and making all the important decisions.

Another thing is the writing. Sure it's somehow strangely infectious and I think I am going into a little bit of withdrawal just from taking the time to write this... but other than that it's riddled with cliches and a lot of times absolutely terrible. I am too unfocused today to look up any specific examples but oh my god did you have to describe everyone's emotional response to eggs! For thirty minutes! Oh wait, that was The Host. Well, never fear, plenty of terrible stuff in Twilight, too. But of course, the story makes up for it. And there are flashes of good writing. That line "and so the lion fell in love with the lamb" is a nice, compelling take on a well-known metaphor.

Also, the part of me that is not just okay with the love stuff that my 15 year old self was happy with - you know, the grown woman with raging hormones part - is pretty unsatisfied with the lack of tearing of clothes. Though, I'll give Meyer credit, she does the whole sexual tension thing rather well. And there's even an excuse for it here, which I almost believe and not that it's written for too young an audience for the whole heaving bosoms thing and/or because the author is Mormon.

So anyway, I dislike Stephenie Meyer and yet love her at the same time. At least the book makes me feel something, quite strongly. I see that as highly positive! So ends my review. Read it, or don't, but expect to want more.