Saturday, 27 February 2010

Day... Oh no!

I was awfully good about doing the 25 days of random, wasn't I? I mean, I did all 25... not necessarily in a timely fashion, but it was FAR more timely than the way I usually blog. I decided to engage in the 25 days of random in order to give myself a boost, as it were-- force myself to write a little and actually get this blog back on its feet. And it worked... sort of. I mean, I DID write (hurrah!), but I am having no easier time thinking of topics to write about than I was BEFORE the 25 days of random. For now, today, I'll write about a fun week that is coming up... after that, I'll try to think of some actual topics to address. Deal?

My friends, there are so many wonderful things about college- and certainly I'll talk about some of the others later- but what I choose to address right now is Spring Break. Ah, please don't doubt my dedication to academics, but do appreciate all that spring break is: It is a chance to spend time doing Precisely What One Wants for a week in the middle of an otherwise busy semester. If you plan it quite carefully, there is no need to do school work at all! Instead, you can hang out with your family, friends, or get some peaceful one-on-one time, knowing that there are no meetings to go to, no papers to turn in, and no classes to attend. It is what we call Bliss, friends: sheer bliss.

My first year, Polka Dot and I went on a roadtrip through Arizona, spending time in Phoenix, Tombstone (heh), the Grand Canyon, and of course on our friend's ranch. It was delightful. My sophomore and junior years I returned to my family's home to spend time with them, PNW friends, and "my" kids. This year, I'm going no where. Why, you may ask? Because I LIVE in an area where people go on holiday! It would be silly not to take advantage of it, don't you think?

So for the first part of spring break, my friends and I are going to explore Disneyland, the Getty, Santa Monica, Old Town Pasadena, the beach, Hollywood, and the Venice Boardwalk. There will be so many adventures in places that are so close but that we rarely have time to appreciate.

And THEN? Well, THEN (the second weekend of Spring Break), we are heading down to San Diego for a weekend long bachelorette party for my dear friend Aslan, who is marrying her wonderful fiance, Hanz, in July. (There's something to be said for being the first of your friends to marry-- we are SUPER into the idea of a weekend-long bachelorette party.) The weekend will feature feminist drinks (strong, sweet, and pretty), beach time, a hot tub, and delicious Mexican food-- not to mention some of the most delightful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing!

Yes, it will be an excellent spring break indeed.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Day 25

Day 25: Whatever Tickles Your Fancy

What tickles my fancy at present is giving you all a recommendation! A fellow student at Scripps makes the most beautiful jewellery-- I recently discovered it, and I am QUITE infatuated. She sells them online through Etsy, and can be found here. I highly recommend you go check it out! There are some beautiful birdnest necklaces (my favourite!):

and some really fun necklaces that include a message in a bottle (you write the message-- what a great gift):

and many other options including necklaces and earrings from sea glass, shells, beads, and so on. Go investigate!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Day 24

Day 24: Your Greatest Fear

I'm going to skip all of the Deep and Meaningful Greatest Fears, and go straight to the most "real" fear.

I am Terrified of Heights. Fear courses through my body when I'm standing more than about 6 feet above the ground, doesn't matter if it's on a balcony, by a window (love the Eiffel Tower-- didn't love being at the very top!), in a small plane (big planes are fine), anything like that. My limbs feel rubbery, my knees start to quiver, and I am what is colloquially referred to as a "hot mess."

It's so bad that when I watched Up in the cinema (in 3D!), my palms sweated through the entire movie, and I tried to slide further back in my chair during the scene on top of the blimp. Oy.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Day 23

Day 23: A YouTube video

Here are several that I think are hilARious:

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Day 22

Day 22: A Website

What ABOUT a website? One that I use all the time? (That would be Facebook, Gmail, and Blogspot.) One that makes me roll my eyes, but I read sometimes anyway? (Fmylife, Mylifeisaverage, Texts from Last Night.) A website I wish existed? (A visual google, where you could take a picture of something, and it would search for it-- like a reverse image search.) A cool new website that you probably have never heard about before? (No idea-- I'm always the last to know.)

So there you go. Pretty much regardless of what that prompt meant, I have answered it. Ta da!

Friday, 19 February 2010

[Belated] Happy Birthday, Neptune!

Though I spoke to Neptune on his birthday, and did in fact communicate my birthday wishes to him, I neglected to write a birthday post on his Very Exact Birthday, which was yesterday.

Goodness gracious, World-- Neptune is 7 years old, and I can hardly believe it. It was lovely talking to him on the phone yesterday, but I quite wish I had been there to sing happy birthday and celebrate this brand new age. Seven. That's getting up there in years.

Neptune keeps me constantly laughing, he is a peculiar, delightful child who aspires to catch 17" rainbow trout, dances like a maniac (seriously-- this is the funniest thing one could ever see), enjoys making cookies, swims in such a way that it looks like he is drowning, wears elaborate and fantastic costumes, has been known to wear goggles while he plays pool, and knows more about snakes and sharks than I will ever hope to know.

Happy [belated] birthday, Neptune-- I'm wishing you a wonderful year full many adventures and lots of laughs!

Day 21

Day 21: A Recipe

I'm giving you two recipes, because I have two that I think are positively delicious. Here they are...

Lentil Soup

In a large pot sauté 3 Р5 minutes:
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot chopped
1-2 stalks of celery, chopped

Add and sauté 1 minute more:
½ tsp each dried thyme and marjoram leaves

3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry lentils, washed
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (or a tablespoon or so of dried parsley)
1 lb canned tomatoes

Cook in covered pot until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.

I love this with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top, and French bread and a salad on the side. And wine.

Best Chocolate Cake Ever Eaten by People:

3 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup butter or margarine
½ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 cups sifted flour
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Melt chocolate, set aside. Grease and flour two 9-inch pans, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixer bowl cream butter or margarine until smooth. Add brown sugar and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With mixer on low speed, beat in vanilla and melted chocolate, then baking soda and salt. Add flour alternately with sour cream, beating on low speed until smooth. Pour in boiling water, stir with a spoon until blended. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 35 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Turn out on wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with icing made of butter, cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add sprinkles (of course).

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Day 20

Day 20: A Hobby You Have

Oh, my hobbies range far and wide. I do theatre (in most capacities), scrapbook (even though I am only 22), and travel as much as my budget and time allow. That last one is my favourite: I LOVE to travel, and I revel in new experiences. I've been many places, and have been so fortunate to see so many things (that's actually how I started my other blog, while I was studying abroad in London, and travelling). My favourite city to visit is definitely Istanbul-- I'm all about the Asia-meets-Europe feeling, the Bosphorus, the Grand Bazaar, Turkish delight ("lokum"), unbelievably gorgeous mosques, and fun atmosphere of the city. In terms of a more "natural" environment, nothing beats Borneo-- a tangle of rainforest, orangutans, proboscis monkeys, turquoise ocean, sandy beaches, and sea turtles-- though the Calanques in France were also overwhelmingly beautiful.

Yes indeed, I'm quite a fan of going on grand adventures.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Day 19

Day 19: A Talent You Have

Instead of one valid talent, I have chosen four ridiculous ones. Enjoy. Try not to be too jealous.

1. I can make my tongue do that clover-leaf thing
2. Occasionally, I am capable of making my eyeballs vibrate. I won't say it's useful, but it certainly shocks people.
3. I make excellent lists.
4. My most amazing talent of them all: I can lick my elbow.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Day 18

Ok, so my "25 Days of Random" don't necessarily follow one right after the other. Sorry about that.

Day 18: Whatever Tickles Your Fancy

Well, friends, what tickles my fancy today is telling you a story from Inside a College Dorm.

The time was 12:15am. The date was Thursday, February 11th. Aside from the murmurings that are always present on a college campus, the dormitory was relatively silent until... a rhythmic thumping began. "Drums?" the sleep-addled mind wondered, "Perhaps construction the middle of the night?" For fifteen minutes, I lay there, trying to ignore the sound and drift into the sleep I was confident I deserved. My phone buzzed, alerting me to a text message.

"Are you hearing this???" Zee, my next door neighbour, was also disturbed.
"What the hell is it?" I answered, still partially asleep.
"Sex. Lots of sex. Come into the hallway, and you will know."

She was right. As soon as I exited my room, the sound became immediately identifiable-- a bed was slamming into the wall (THUMP...THUMP...THUMP...) and the bedsprings were squaking angrily. There was a pause, and the noise changed (THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP). We giggled, rolled our eyes, and observed that the action taking place in the room across the hall sounded far from... well... FUN.

Soon, two students from downstairs appeared, having followed the sound to its source. Then Wednesay, who lived next door to the thumping, appeared, irritated at having been woken up. Loris followed, then her neighbour, and we were soon joined by a girl from around the corner. Soon we gave up all pretense of whispering, and discussed the event openly. Time passed. We puzzled over the lack of the vocalisation, and the seemingly unending energy behind the thumping. More time passed. We wondered how long this would go on for. It stopped. We paused, hopeful.... and then it started again.

45 minutes after the thumping began, it ended. The crowd in the hallway bid each other good night, and we all headed back to our own rooms. Thus ended the impromptu social hour on the second floor.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Happy Birthday, Clover!

Today is Clover's 10th birthday. I can hardly believe it-- double digits! I was fully intending to call her in the afternoon, but she beat me to it (good thing too, as it turned out they were going to be at the cinema when I was planning to call). My phone rang at 2:30, and I didn't hang up until 3:20! It does not seem that long ago that I would have a conversation of her that consisted of me asking questions and her answering in monosyllables. Her phone skills have QUITE improved, and now every sentence starts with "Guess what?!" and goes on to be something rather exciting. (My favourite phone conversation with her started "LLAMASLLAMASLLAMAS!!!!" but that's another story.)

I adore this girl, who is in turns clumsy and graceful, patient and demanding, flexible and stubborn. No one word sums her up, and I rather like it that way. She is daring, mischievous, absolutely ridiculous, very smart, and hilariously funny. We share a pretty absurd sense of humour, an appreciation for skirts that twirl, and a deep respect for the wonder that is a Truly Good Cupcake. We have been on some grand adventures, and there are more (scheduled and unscheduled) yet to come. I can't wait!

Happy birthday, Miss Clover!

Day 17

Day 17: A Piece of Art

This is the poster I have hanging on my wall, surrounded by all of the postcards I have collected or been sent. The painting is La Primavera, by Botticelli, and I saw the original (and got the poster) at the "Galleria Degli Uffizi" in Florence. What a grand and glorious adventure!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Day 16

Day 16: A Song That Makes You Cry

I can't say there IS a song that makes me cry, to be honest. It's all about context, as far as I can figure.

Also, I'm aware that "Day 16" came several days after "Day 15." Apologies. I'll be sure to write about Day 17 tomorrow. Really.

Plus, I have a funny story to share. So please standby!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Day 15

Day 15: A fanfic

I object.

I think fanfics are silly.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Day 14

Day 14: Non-fictional book

Well, I like a lot of my texts for classes-- especially Identity Development in Minority Youth, Psych of the Black Woman in America, and Philosophy of Feminism. I also have a quotation book that I love (The 2,548 Best Things Ever Said), and-- of course-- The Diary of Anne Frank.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Day 13

Day 13: Fictional Book

I'm going to take that to mean *favourite* fictional book. There are many, so just hang tight while I list them. In no particular order they are:

Fancy Nancy
The Giver
Ella Enchanted
The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Most books by Jodi Picoult
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Alice in Wonderland
Most Shakespeare plays

And there are more, of course. So many more....

Generally, I like just about every book that is handed to me.

Oh, how I love to read!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Day 12

Day 12: Whatever Tickles Your Fancy

I wish this was a nice long entry, but it's not.

Whatever I fancy?

Today I went on an adventure with my friends to San Diego for Mexican food.

While we were there, we visited Esquire's aunt's organic farm, and hung out with her goat, Elsa.

Then later I came home, did homework, and just (at 11:00pm) had a quesadilla and a bottle of Corona for dinner.

And all of that, my friends, is precisely what tickles my fancy.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Day 11

Day 11: A Photo of You Taken Recently

This photo was taken in November, and it is my current favourite picture of myself. I think it's hilarious. Who knew I ever made a face like this? And what am I saying? And why does Esquire have that expression? Mysteries we'll never know...

Thursday, 4 February 2010

We interrupt this programming..

I'm interrupting my 25 Days Of Random to discuss something that is Making Me Want To Hit People. Or one person, in particular. My friends, last night had the distinctly aggravating experience of hearing Mr. Newt Gingrich speak.

He gave a short talk supposedly on leadership, and though I disagreed with some of his examples, it is hard to argue with the overall suggestions-- ie, know your goals, prioritise your goals, and cheerfully persist at the things that are important to you. Yeah, ok. I mean, it's kind of hard to mess up an inspirational message like that.

And then... THEN, my friends... they started the question and answer session.

My friend asked one of the first questions, asking Gingrich to comment on women in politics, what it took to make a successful woman politician, and why there are so few women in the area.

TURNS OUT that in fact, there is NO difference in women and men in politics. WHY, you may ask? Why, it's because Gingrich can list 10 women in politics off the top of his head. And did you know one of his friends wrote a book about Margaret Thatcher? WELL. If that doesn't scream "equal opportunity," I don't know what does! It's interesting, isn't it, how he neglected to notice that Congress is, in no uncertain terms, MOSTLY MALE. And he couldn't even comment on that honestly. GR. (Oh, and he also noted that race and ethnicity aren't issues anymore-- I'm sure they're not if you're WHITE and MALE...)

In your speech, you seem largely in favour of using police forces to reduce crime rates. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the underlying problems of crime-- lack of education, poverty, and so on.

I agree with you TOTALLY! Education is IMPORTANT! That is why I created a campaign to pay poor children $2 a book to read over the summer.

Because, obviously, PAYING CHILDREN TO READ not only fixes the failing US education system, but also creates a desire in the children to seek out and appreciate knowledge, not to mention to read for fun. Good use of money, Newt.

(Paraphrased) What about the 46 million Americans without health insurance?

What about the 250 million Americans WITH health insurance (wait... what?)??? Do you want to take away THEIR options (well, no, but I'd sure like to give some to other folks...)? Do you want to take THEIR money? (Well, kind of. I mean, I think we should all pay taxes...)

But... wait, hold on, what about the question? Seems his conclusion is that no, in fact, he does NOT care about the 46 million Americans without health insurance.


Money is coming out of my paycheck for Social Security, and yet that system is failing and I will never see a penny of it. Do you have a solution?

Compound interest! Start saving! And I hope you don't begrudge paying into a system that will benefit your parents! (Fine, fine, play the "parents" card...)

Wait, I'm still waiting. What about the people who don't have enough money to save for when they're older?


No? We don't care about them? Oh. Ok.

OH! But it turns out this is all the current administration's fault, because of the giant debt....


I thought the Bush administration was the one that cut taxes for the wealthy, and started a really, really expensive war.

But I guess I could be wrong about that...

IN CONCLUSION, I am fascinated that Newt Gingrich cares so little for the people in this country who are not rich, white, and male. I never knew such indifference could exist. It makes me shudder (literally) to realise that people like him have so much power.

So when the opportunity arises, VOTE, my friends... because it is up to US, the voters, to say that People Matter.

****And yes, obviously I realise that my questions and responses were not exact quotes, but they certainly do accurately reflect what was being said!****