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!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

a little now and more to come

So I'm waaaay busy and can't really set aside enough time to do my review of the Brand New concert today. Argh! Between a phone interview which I had to prepare for, the dance performance that took a big chunk out of my evening, my successful efforts at procrastination, and my now-becoming-desperate need to start studying for Pompeii, I really don't have time for much of a post (note though that I'm doing one anyway...).

So here's what I've got for you:

Absolutely stunning weather photography.

Boing Boing's having a fiction contest.

Essay from NYT on literary vegetarianism.

And yeah, sorry, that's all for you. I promise I'll get to more meaty stuff... eventually?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Review: Fiddler on the Roof

Directed by: Norman Jewison (seriously that's his name)
Written by: Sholom Aleichem and Joseph Stein
Starring: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Rosalind Harris

This is a classic musical about Jews. It's about changing times in Russia and the struggle between change and tradition. The dad tries to stop his daughters from doing things outside of tradition but loves them too much and fails, and accepts their decisions until finally one of them challenges his faith.

The songs are really catchy, and there are some funny moments. In fact it seems that Gwen Stefani song "Rich Girl" is based on a song from this musical which I think is kind of hilarious. But in the end the story turns rather depressing. However, I still liked it and thought it was quite good.

But I REALLY don't want to know how they made that horse lame...

Grade: B

first off let's lol at this

Behold, the first time I've ever been drunk facebook chatted:

guy I know from NZ

hey rachel :)


hey there


how are uu cutie its been too long!


I'm great, how are you?



good drunk

sry im drunk facebooking lol



no worries




i liked ur tattoos tho!


well thank you :)

I like them too



i thought u were a cutie too!




where is it that you're from again?





oh right

well i hope life in connecticut is treating you well :)



it is



haha... awesome

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tonight I'm gonna rock you tonight

WOOO I have no idea what to write a post about. Awesome. Bear with me.

I know fairly few people read this but nevertheless I wanted to alert you to the fact that Doctor Who Seasons 1-4 (2005-7) are on sale for $32 each new on Amazon! GO FORTH AND BUY! Indeed I was going to splurge on them, then thought I am getting ready to move to DC, this is a bad idea... then I cam up with a genius plan. I am notorious in my family for not writing a Christmas list (gosh, isn't that annoying?). Most of the time I legitimately cannot think of a damn thing to ask for (because usually if I want something I buy it). But this year I have a few ideas. And this was one of them. So I called up my mom, and said "I actually know something you could get me for Christmas" and she was like "buy it now and send it to the house." Yeah! So I'm getting seasons 1-3 for Christmas. EXCITING!

In other news, Google Wave is out as a preview! I've been excited for it. I got an invite and am on it now. So far, though, I haven't quite figured it out but I think a good part of it is that a) it's still buggy and b) it's the kind of thing that works better if you have more friends using it, much like Facebook. I think once it's all ironed out and I have people on there I need to collaborate with on, say, projects, plans, trips, etc., it will be pretty cool. I'm trying to build a map of stuff near my new apartment, but it seems like right now you can't actually add a gadget to a wave. As of this point I still have 2 invites left, so hit me up (though bear in mind I've advertised this on a Facebook status which at this point gets much more traffic).

Tonight I'm going to see Brand New and Thrice at the Norva, and potentially stay with Suz, Stan, and Carla afterwards! It's been quite a while since I've been to a concert that wasn't a free one at school. You can bet there'll be a blog about it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Review: Doctor Who Series 4 (SPOILERS)

Well hey there, ladies and gents, here at last is my review of the fourth (and as of yet last) season of the new Doctor Who. By the way... the next special, Waters of Mars, is premiering Sunday on BBC! Then there will be two more around Christmas... and then next year the new season will come on.

The fourth season was, in a word, amazing. I had said before that I didn't like Donna in the Christmas special she appeared in, which is true. But let's just say she's much better in this season (thankfully). Indeed I quite liked her.

I won't do an episode by episode type of thing this time. That's because they are all good, with the one exception of "Midnight." That one was a dud. The library ones and the final three are the best, but they are all very good. There's one about Pompeii which makes me happy as a Classics major despite, well, being incorrect (or maybe not how could we know).

I loved how in "Turn Left" we get a glimpse of how things would have been were the Doctor not there to stop certain events happening, as Donna is pulled into an alternate world. And of course I was extremely happy for the return of Rose Tyler. It was foreshadowed throughout the season and of course I'm too curious for my own good and already knew about it thanks to the internet (though I didn't know any details... I'm not that bad).

The ending of the season was so great, but so bittersweet, I just have to talk about it. First of all we have all the companions that have appeared so far in the new series all converging in this one episode, which is brilliant. Donna gets a bunch of Timelord wisdom which I liked and creates a human/Timelord alternate Doctor as well. In the end the Doctor takes everyone home, and we wonder if Martha's going to join Torchwood (no clue... or even Mickey?). He has to erase Donna's mind so she doesn't go crazy with the Timelord brain and all... which is pretty sad because now she's back to being nothing significant. Worse still, she remembers nothing of her travels with the Doctor. That is so tragic!

My favorite thing that happens (and this is all out of order) is with Rose. So there's still the alternate Doctor and he's killed all the Daleks which the Doctor doesn't like so when he takes Rose and Jackie back to the parallel universe, he leaves the half-human Doctor there. Rose is of course not entirely pleased because, after all, she traveled to another universe to get back to the Doctor. While this half-human Doctor is pretty much the same, the Doctor will still be out there. I love the scene where Rose asks both of them to finish the sentence left hanging at the end of season 2 and the half-human Doctor finally says... whatever he says which prompts Rose to kiss him. So anyway... I imagine that Rose will not be fully pleased with the events at first. She'll think often of what the Doctor is doing and wish she knew. But eventually she'll realize here she has a man who is the Doctor (except that he will age and he's not the only one). He has the same thoughts and memories and looks the same and - most importantly - he is a Doctor who will not be afraid to love her. Sigh. Awwww. Now I know they'll have sex.

Grade: A+++++++++++++

Footnote: I also just watched the two specials since then, "The Next Doctor" and "Planet of the Dead." The second one is definitely better, but I did like them both.

Up too late as usual

OMG I just finished Doctor Who season 4 OMG. More on it later!!! But anyway... here's some linkies I found just now.

Keyboard designed things. Love those doormats!

Want to know all there is to know about how to eat at a buffet? Here you go.

What could be this serious about macaroni salad?

Tattoos: good and also bad. I like the Tetris one!

Do you like hamburgers? Here's something mouthwatering for you.

These games might be for kids but I personally am obsessed with testing my geography knowledge. Also apparently it is Geography Awareness Week. Please be aware that geography exists!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans' Day/my Dad's Birthday!

Oh man, it has been raining and windy like crazy today. Apparently Northampton County on the Shore got out early because they were afraid of flooding. It was one of those days where no matter your amount of rain gear, you were gonna get wet.

So a friend of mine contacted me last night and asked to go to lunch with me. I hadn't heard from this friend in a month or more, and I thought perhaps he was avoiding me. Today we went to lunch and I said, "so I thought you were avoiding me" and he was like "what? I thought you were avoiding me." So the moral of that story is, kids, never assume, and instead, just call a person. Maybe it will end up being awkward, but maybe not!

And the moral of this story is never listen to your elders.

Juggling Club is performing at Casino night tomorrow. A chance to show off my skills!

AND NOW TO GO FINISH DOCTOR WHO SEASON 4 no matter how late that means I stay up. Ha! Sleep. Who needs it? (ME).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Review: Peyton Place (novel)

By Grace Metalious

We had to read Peyton Place for my Sexuality in America class. And you know how that usually goes: you hate the fact that you must read said book and so you dislike the book and desire to throw it in a fire. Well as it turns out Peyton Place is actually quite good.

As you may or may not know, it was really scandalous when it came out but nevertheless extremely popular. I thought, scandalous in the 50s, probably not so shocking now. But actually, it's quite shocking indeed. There are in fact pretty explicit sex parts, and pretty explicit violence, but most of all just the things that happen are kind of disturbing and for me unexpected. You've got a 16 year old girl raped by her step-father (apparently Metalious originally wrote it as her real father but her publisher made her change it) and then getting an abortion, and a couple people dying in gruesome ways.

The favorite quotes of the 50s and 60s were as follows:
Rod, the rich playboy, takes Allison (a "nice girl") to the school party, but goes for a make-out session with mill girl Betty in his car - until Betty says: "Is it up, Rod? Is it good and hard? Then go and shove it into Allison McKenzie!"
Connie, the sexually repressed dress shop owner (Allison's mother) goes for a midnight swim with Tom, the virile high school principal, who tells her, "Untie the top of your bathing suit, I want to feel your breasts against me when I kiss you."

Now, which one do you think was popular among young men, and which among young women? The class was split evenly in its guessing, but there is a correct answer.

The scene with Connie and Tom having sex for the first time seemed to me to be bordering on date rape, and I was really uncomfortable with it. He's supposed to be getting her over her false repression when he knows she really wants sex/love but... it wasn't cool.

Basically the novel is lashing out against the norms of the time. Funny how some of those are trying to make a comeback.

Grade: B

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Apartment!

above: the loft
above: view from our balcony
above: the bathroom
above: stairs to the loft, below: bed alcove

Oh man, I was doing so well on a post a day until this weekend. Let's just say it was a good weekend but rather tiring and with little down time to spare for blogging. Friday I went to my job interview (mixed) and recently my friend Sarah told me the company is going bankrupt, so... I suppose it's okay that I probably didn't do very well in the interview (I hate job interviews...).

After that and the horrors of driving back to Jeff's house (thanks to the GPS telling me to go all the way back on 50, the worst possible route, and me not knowing the area well enough to go a different way - so I'm not sure how I feel about my first time using a GPS while driving), Jeff and I got bagels at Einstein's and then headed into DC to check out some apartments. The first we went to was in the same house Jeff had looked at a room in before, but that room had been taken but it just so happened that two other rooms in the house were vacated at the same time. So we took a look at both of them, shown to us by Tia, the girl who was moving out of the first room Jeff looked at (who is totally awesome by the way). The first room we say was #4. It was on the 3rd floor right at the top of the stairs. Both Jeff and I were instantly taken by it. It has a loft and a balcony, and is lovely. We also saw #5 which was much smaller. Tia had said the landlord was awesome, and the house itself was very nice, too. More on that later.

We then left and checked out the nearby organic market and also the hip bar/restaurant/bookstore Busboys and Poets. We had another apartment to view at 7, and this one was really close by, too. It was sort of a condo but mostly an efficiency apartment. You open the door and there is the tiny room, with a bathroom, closet, and kitchen. That's it. Though the kitchen had brand new appliances (the fridge was HUGE) and was really nice (the one in the other house is pretty small, well about the same size but shared).

After that we actually ate at Busboys and Poets which is rather delicious. I had a poached pear salad because my toothache is coming back (although at this point potentially receding again). We talked about how much we liked the first room and how much we were going to call the landlord immediately and try to sign the lease. After dinner we went outside and both called our respective moms. Then Jeff called the landlord and we set up an appointment for the next day at 7 to sign the lease.

Saturday we helped Greg and Steph move into their new apartment (also it turns out Suz was moving in that day too). We left to go into DC at 4:15. We had dinner at Love Cafe (which is affiliated with Cake Love). My black bean quesadilla was delicious. Then we shared a cupcake. The icing: awesome. The cake part: highly disappointing. Sad face. After that we made our way to 13th and Fairmont which is where the house is. We met with Ernest, the landlord, at a little after 7 and went over the lease and signed it! It is going to be so awesome. Jeff is moving in December 1st and I am moving in after exams are done (the 15th perhaps). Other tidbits: a maid comes every other week to clean the common spaces (but you have to do your own dishes - it's an added bit actually in the lease which I am very pleased about), we have a little atticy type space up in the loft, there's already a dresser in there (and a bed which we'll probably replace though), and did I mention we have our own bathroom? Also we got the keys already and the landlord is fine with us moving stuff in early. Though we need to copy the keys for me.

In our boundless excitement we went to Ikea on Sunday and several furniture stores in Potomac Mills. We weren't actually ready to buy anything - but also I'd never been to Ikea. So it was fun! Now I can't even concentrate on school a little bit!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

kind of stressed

I am kind of stressed right now because I have a job interview Friday. I'm going up to Jeff's tomorrow night but I have to wait to leave until 8 because I have rehearsal then I am taking Tal. I am too nice to ever say no. Also I have to finish Peyton Place for Tuesday and make progress on Omnivore's Dilemma as well. I have a response paper due Tuesday and a bibliography for Anthro due Wednesday. I went to Swem to get some books today. But I also have to look at them. Argh. Let me give you some links real quick like.

Christopher Walken reading Poker Face dramatically. Awesome.

8 recent racist ads via Cracked. I love Cracked, btw.

Sometimes the CIA is silly.

Also, my acquaintance Leigh has started a baking business. I haven't tried it but I'm sure the stuff is delish.

I have some things to say about obentos, but I'll save that for later.

Meanwhile, you can see the crest I made for Minda and Amanda's castle on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Review: A Beautiful Mind

Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Akiva Goldsman, based on the book by Sylvia Nasar
Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Paul Bettany

This was a lovely, I might even say beautiful, movie with fantastic acting. I didn't expect the thing about the roommate despite knowing it was about John Nash's craziness. Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly are fantastic (who am I kidding, Connelly is always good).

I have little to say except to confirm that yes, it's really as good as they say. Also yay for a movie about economics (despite it being often talked about as mathematics in the movie)!

Grade: A

Monday, November 2, 2009

moar links

Sorry I don't have anything substantial to say. I've been marathoning Doctor Who, starting research on my anthropology project, limping around due to a pulled muscle, and awesome Halloweening lately. I has for you more links. Halloween-related ones. Because I still am looking at people's awesome costumes.

Awesome homemade costumes from Mental Floss.

Yeah let's dress the dog up sexy! Just what we need!

Continuing the dog spirit, 10 reasons dogs hate Halloween.

I saw a dog dressed as a pumpkin on Halloween in Colonial Williamsburg. It was pretty cute.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Link-o-rama

What did I go as for Halloween, you ask? A fangbanger, that's what!

And now some links for your enjoyment:

Inappropriate costumes for kids! Oh yes, let's dress the baby sexy this year.

These are WAY COOL - comic book bento! Holy crap, you talented Japanese people!

A tiny model train! Oh how I love miniatures.

It turns out the guy whose name really is Harry Potter is even more emo than the fictional wizard. Wow!

These are some wicked awesome clouds.

And finally, a very Nedroid Comics Halloween! I LOVE pumpkin Beartato! And lookit Reginald's little fangs! :D