Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cool Photo of the Week

I have no idea who to credit this photo to - someone I follow on Twitter directed me to it. I'd like to know what the story behind it is. I really like the color.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Twenty-six things that I am thankful for:

1. Awkward pictures of Hannah Fuerhoff (Hannah's in the background)


2. lolcats


3. Star Trek
4. my parents
5. internets
6. T9 word
7. credit cards
8. Hulu
9. my health
10. Buddha
11. Westboro Baptist Church
12. gentrification

13. Apple
14. Alias 


15. German tourists
16. the fact that Pepsi/Coke can be bought anywhere in the world
17. Facebook

18. indoor plumbing and related inventions


19. my American citzenship!


20. Stephen Colbert
21. Celtic Woman
22. my 1990's childhood 

23. my travel experiences (thanks to my parents again!)

24. thunderstorms
25. having access to a plentiful water supply

26. this song

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chinese: Choral Tribute to Lily Allen by Capital Children's Choir

When I was in Israel, I listened to Lily Allen on repeat for hours at a time - while carrying buckets of dirt, while riding on buses, while sitting by the sea of Galilee... *sigh* So, I can't keep myself from thinking of Israel when I hear Lily Allen. If I had to choose one of her songs, it'd have to be "Chinese." It just puts me in a different world... just seems so close. I really want this song to be true for me. It just sounds so nice, so comfy. The video is a re-imagining of "Chinese" by a children's choir. It's pretty amazing. And by amazing I mean ethereal.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hello, not much happening...

Nothing exciting in my life...  well, that's not true, but nothing I want to post about right now!

I have an irrational fear of spiders, as does Natalie. I have to say that Natalie's neurotic inner-monologue is exactly like my own. Every time I kill a spider, I'm afraid that another spider witnessed my crime and is going to try to take revenge.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Magical Security Guards

On Monday morning I went to campus early to ensure that I'd get a certain French assignment completed and turned in by 9 AM. I was sitting in the library with my computer and my books scattered across a desk for a couple of hours, working feverishly. For some reason, when I haven't gotten enough sleep, my allergies kick in, and Monday morning my nose was running like crazy. I had a pocket pack of tissues in my bag, but I quickly used all of them. There weren't but a handful of people (nothing compared to how many there are around noon), so I thought it'd be okay to run to a bathroom quickly to take care of my nose situation - without packing up my stuff of course. I actually jogged to and from - it couldn't have been more than three minutes that I was gone. But upon my return, I noticed a little card that had been placed on my keyboard. I looked around quickly like I was in an espionage movie or something. The only time I've seen security guards is when I'm on the 3rd floor late at night - they'll occasionally walk by the row of study desks with heavy footsteps and stern faces. They must have cameras...or magic!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jewels: A Secret History by Victoria Finlay

I just finished reading a good book!  I read another Victoria Finlay book a couple of years ago called Color: A Natural History of the Palette, which I enjoyed very much. Color was a wonderful introduction into the world of pigments, with each chapter discussing the history of a different chemical that has been used to color our world. The research for both of the books took her all over the world, and her writing style is so friendly, I couldn't help but imagine myself exploring right along with her. Jewels: A Secret History is comprised of nine chapters, which are ordered from softest to hardest according to the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The minerals discussed (in order) are: amber, jet, pearl, peridot, emerald, sapphire, ruby, and diamond. I have to say that I had never even heard of "jet" before opening this book, and really I learned a lot about all of the included gems. Jewels really are a fascinating and relevant part of human history, but I seriously doubt that the average person knows that emeralds, once the most desired gem in the world, were only found in Egypt, or that to wear even a single pearl in ancient Rome would have been a display of tremendous wealth. Her report spans from ancient opulence to modern poverty, and begs you to reconsider the way you look at pretty, sparkly things.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I love Natalie.

Here's why...

If my YouTube subscriptions feel like my friends, then Natalie is like my bff, for sure. I love all of her videos...actually I just spent like 2 hours watching me some Nat. Yeah, I'm cool.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Keanu Reeves and Bernadette Peters

I recently started Twitter following this guy who I think is really cute (and smart, too!). He has no idea who I am, but that's okay. Occasionally he'll mention that he's going tanning, and that he's very excited about it, like he's going to Disney World or something. I can't really remember a time when I was tan, although I remember many times when I wish I was tan, even when I was little. I know that if enough elements come together, that I can develop a noticeable tan on my arms and legs, and if I'm lucky, on my face.  But a full-body tan is something that I can only dream about. That being said, even though I'd love to be tan, just for kicks, whenever I attempt to lay myself out in the summer sun, the entire time all I can think is "Skin cancer skin cancer skin cancer." A few days after my unsuccessful tanning session, I'll notice a new freckle and be completely convinced that I'm being punished for going against my lifelong indoctrination in the horrors of sun damage.

My brother is slightly darker than I am. He's more athletic, too. He was in the army and the navy - he tanned. And just a few years ago, him and his wife went on a big tanning bed kick. Now that he's in his 40s, the sun damage is beginning to show up. I asked him how he felt about tanning. Bad idea, he says. He told me to look at Bernadette Peters - hasn't aged in like 20 years. Apparently she's never been sunburned in her life. Then look at Keanu Reeves. He may be immortal.  Or maybe he just doesn't tan. Actually, I know two things about Keanu: he's Canadian and he played hockey growing up. Maybe that's the secret to looking immortal. Get a lot of exercise, while simultaneously avoiding the sun. Sounds promising.

Bern Hill

I love Antiques Roadshow. I never plan to watch it, but if I'm flipping through the channels and see that it's on, I'll always watch the entire thing. Yeah, I'm cool. I was having trouble getting into sleep mode last night, so I found myself watching PBS at 2 in the morning. This particular episode was in Louisville, which, btw, I refuse to pronounce "Louvul." I saw something that I really wanted to have for myself. An American artist, named Bern Hill, produced a reasonable number of illustrations used to advertise train travel in the mid-twentieth century, and I think they're due more recognition. I especially love the different perspectives he used and the theatrical use of color.

When I searched "Bern Hill" I found very little (not even a Wikipedia page!). Actually, my biggest find turned out to be the product of another blogger who saw the exact same episode of Antiques Roadshow when it originally aired last year. I laughed when I saw that most of the blog comments were from random people who had also just watched Antiques Roadshow. Here's the blog: Alphabet City: Bern Hill.  The pictures I included below (except for the last, which I stole from here) are ones that the blog's author took of his television. I really enjoy the illustration that shows the shadow of the bridge over which the train is traveling. I would love to have one of these posters to hang in my home.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yelling at my dreams

Lately, I haven't much liked my dreams. They're awful! Last week, I had a dream that I was talking to my mom on the phone while driving at night. She was trying to help me figure out how to get somewhere, but when I saw a bridge in the distance, I declared, "Oh no, this can't be right." And then I crash in a huge concrete wall - obviously I thought I was in a real lane, but I wasn't!

Although that dream did startle me enough so that I had to wake up and turn my bedroom light on, I wouldn't say that it's the best example of how weird my dreams are lately. I have this thing, where as soon as I wake up, my internal dialogue will be "What the hell was that dream? Where the f*** are you pulling that shit from mind? Like what bizarre horror movie did I see when I was 12 that enables you to incorporate these images in my dreams?" I talk to dream like they're a human to whom I'm giving money for a service...if you didn't pick up on that. I wake up and basically get mad at my dreams, as if I'm have no power over them at all, like I'm just a paying consumer hoping for a good show. It takes me a few seconds to realize how ridiculous that is, but I do it anyway.

I woke up from my last dream out of annoyance because I was basically watching two people argue whether wine was better than beer. I listened to a lot of it before I said, "Why the hell am I dreaming this?" But that's pretty typical - me just watching people I don't know in painfully every day scenarios that don't interest me...but I watch them anyway.

There's another kind of dream that involves people I do know, usually the people who I think of as my best friends. It goes something like this. I find myself somewhere (basically anywhere that I've ever been), standing alone idly. The friend comes out of nowhere, briskly marching toward me. They've made obvious changes to their appearance that I don't care for. They'll have gotten a nose job to make their nose larger, or dyed their hair an unflattering color. But really the problem is that this person suddenly doesn't like me, and that's the reason they're in my dream. It's not so much that I've done anything (after all I'm just standing alone minding my own business, right), rather it's just that we don't get along anymore. Sometimes it's a basic personality change, other times it's that the person has seen the light and thinks that we never really should have been friends to begin with. This is usually such an unpleasant scenario that I wake up, after a brief stint of in-dream crying.