October 31, 2007

Save energy - eat sushi!

You know how I decided to share my voice and feelings on particular issues more often? Well, seems I feel like I should do it all the time now. This CNN article is about the wasted energy of useless, plugged in appliances/electronics. Think about how many things sit around, unused but still on, wasting energy? Printers. DVD players. Here's a big one - cell phone chargers. Computers. So much wasted energy. Even if you just start by unplugging one thing and plugging it back when you're ready to use it, we should be more conscious about the useless drain of energy in our homes. Sure, it's a pain in the ass, but it's not a HUGE pain in the ass. It's just a small pain. I'm not saying everyone should run around unplugging everything immediately, but start by making small changes. Everyday Activist has lots of really good tips for making the small changes in your home, at work, school, shopping, ect. I already do a lot of these (mostly out of my own laziness - I'm looking at you, short showers), but if I pick one each week to implement, then slowly but surely I'll be making big changes. Here's more tips from CNN.

One day I also want to have a
worm compost. Maybe not right now... but some day.

My friends Olivia and Sarah and I were talking at lunch today about American Girl dolls and how we should make our own feminist version of the dolls - one who attended the Seneca Falls convention in 1848, one who worked for women's suffrage in 1920, one who participated in the women's movement in the 70's, and one involved with the womanist movement. It'd be awesome. The 70's one comes complete with a package of birth control pills. We'd call them American Womyn dolls and life would be awesome. I'd buy one for my kids.

(Ok, Andrew does these things, so the picture isn't a dig on him. He's great. Le awesome, even.)

Want to know what I finally decided for my costume for Halloween?

I made my very own homemade sushi yesterday for dinner - all by myself! I'm such a big girl. I ordered a rice steamer online, and it's soooo cute!

I had only made sushi with Oren before, so by myself for the first time was exciting - who knows how I could mess it up?!

I made too much rice, so I ended up making about 4 rolls - or about 2 rolls too many. Next time I'm just making 1 cup of rice.

I put cream cheese, cucumber and avocado in my rolls, but I was thinking about it today and I could always put tuna in mine. I'm not sure how if the canned tuna they have in the store works, but we'll find out next time.

P.S. You can tell I sadly live alone since I'm making sushi for myself and taking pictures of it. Aw.

October 26, 2007

When I get to the bottom, I go back to the top of the slide

I know you were all anxious about my New Testament midterm, but I have to say that it went fine. There were a few I messed up on, but for the IDs (which is 50% of the exam) there were only one or two that I know I got wrong. So I'm pretty pleased with myself, especially since I'm not great at identifying passages from texts with the texts themselves. It usually has something to do with the fact that I'm not the most ambitious about reading everything assigned.

Next Tuesday I have a group presentation in my Political Economy of Misery class, which is shaping up nicely. It's on Texaco, by Patrick Chamoiseau. It's about the history of Martinique through the eyes of a shantytown founder. It's pretty interesting, but I only started reading it this past week or so I'm not finished yet. I can't bring myself to read a novel when I've got tons of other reading due sooner, but I figured I should at least start the text so I know what I'm presenting on. But after yesterday, I'm about halfway through it, so that's not bad. I was going to read a little bit every night before I went to bed, but it's hard to get into at first and sleepiness doesn't contribute to that very well. Besides, I like my pre-sleeping reading to be 100% for my own pleasure. Recently I've reread Reading Lolita in Tehran and Blue Like Jazz, and am now on to one of my favorite authors, Nick Hornby. He's so great, I love everything he writes. I bet I'd even enjoy his grocery lists. Right now I'm rereading A Long Way Down, his most recent book. It's about four strangers who meet on the top of a building on New Years Eve, all planning to kill themselves. It's v. good.

It's Halloween weekend, and tonight there's a party at the Div school. I love dressing up for Halloween, and right now I can't decide between three costumes. I could go as what I was last year - a member of the Rockford Peaches for A League of Their Own. Or I could dress up like I did this summer for costume day - Rosie the Riveter. Or I could go with a costume idea I've had around for awhile - Lovely Rita from the Beatles song. But the dress I bought for that is super itchy, so we'll see.

For years, my favorite Beatles album has been Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Before I left, Andrew ripped a lot of their other albums for me - so not just the bunch of random songs I had before. I have to say, the White Album is inching up to the top of the list. And Revolver and Rubber Soul are really good too. And Abbey Road! They're all so good. But I definitely woke up with Glass Onion from the White Album stuck in my head this morning. And Sexy Sadie is maybe my favorite song on the album, with I Will and Blackbird and Happiness is a Warm Gun and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and Helter Skelter... well, all of them. I also really like Love, but that doesn't count since it's not one of their original albums. But a lot of the songs are really good. And some of the songs from the Across the Universe soundtrack are pretty good. I just like all the Beatles songs.

Most Fridays I don't have class because instead of having three lectures a week, we have two lectures and one discussion section, so I didn't have class this morning. I haven't been outside yet, but I saw a group of people walk by in winter-like coats. I think I might have to bust out the peacoat today. I checked the temperature too, and it's low 50's. We'll see. Ok. I'm out.

October 20, 2007

Do you have a zombie defense plan?

One could say with some level of truth that I am indeed a grown up. I have my own apartment, I haven't lived with my parents for several years now, I shop responsibly at the grocery store*, hell I even have a savings account with more than $100 in it (barely). I don't know why I'm prompted to think of this, but it might be that for the first time in my life, I bought a sack of potatoes at the grocery store today. Not a bag, but a sack. Well, it was in a plastic bag, but I like saying "sack of potatoes" better than "bag of potatoes." Also, Friday night my lovely friend Rebecca had people over to her apartment for a dinner party. Her roommate Adrienne, a grad student in the sociology department (I'm not sure if she's Ph.D or just Masters), is a great cook and it was a really delicious meal. There was corn stuff and artichoke stuff and then banana frites for dessert. I can only remember the name of one dish that's not made out of a box at a time. I even dressed up - well, I changed out of my somewhat holey long sleeve t-shirt and put on something with a little more class. There were some Div students there, some sociology students, some School of Management students, some chemistry Ph.D students, ect. A good time. Of course, with such an opportunity for interdisciplinary mingling, I talked to pretty much only Div students. Ok, I talked a bit to some of the other people, but next time I'll do it some more.

Monday is my first midterm exam at grad school. Well, I had a somewhat midterm in my Iconography class, but it consisted of 10 true or false questions and 10 fill in the blank questions, so it wasn't a comprehensive, exhaustive exam or anything. My test is in New Testament, so along with the final and the exegesis paper, it's one of the main sources of points for the class. I wonder if you get points for good spelling. Anyway, I shouldn't be procrastinating as much as I am, but I'm thinking I'll be sleeping with my study guide under my pillow tonight. Education by osmosis.

Last night I went out with my friend Marshall and two of his friends from Chicago. It was really fun, I hadn't been out to the bar in awhile (not since Erich's wedding... so not that long really. A while since I'd been out in New Haven). People are already starting to get dressed up for Halloween, so we saw a Jack Sparrow out, and some other costumes. While Marshall and I were walking from the bar in search of a taxi, we passed these people dressed like zombies who were staggering along the sidewalk (I'm guessing from the alcohol and not from rigor mortis, since one of them looked like she was going to vomit on the Yale Art Gallery) and one of them decides to be weird and pretend to be a zombie. I'm sorry, but fake zombies are no issue. I don't care if you're drunk and want to weird people out, it's not going to work for me.

Real zombies, on the other hand, are a big issue and everyone needs to have a zombie survival plan. You need to think about your home, your work, the places you go and what to do in case of a zombie attack. Do you have big windows? How many entrances/exits in your residence or place of work? Do you have access to weapons? Have you considered different plans if the zombies are the slow, staggering Night of the Living Dead zombies or the fast, running, freak-your-shit-out zombies of 28 Days Later**? My old apartment was great in case of a zombie attack. Lock the door on Snelling (no windows to break through), lock the big metal down on Englewood and it's virtually impossible to get up to the apartment level. Plus, we could go across the rooftops of all the businesses on Snelling - all very useful businesses in case of zombie attack - a hardware store, a restaurant, all with very little street access. I should have lived there forever. But seriously. You need to prepare yourself, or at least have an idea of a plan. Consider yourself warned. It's like a public service announcement.

Next week is the Div School Saints and Sinners party. Apparently everyone comes dressed up as something saintly or sinnerly, and it's a good time. You can go literal (slutty anything) or metaphorically (someone wore a sign "Babylonian Isle" and put egg cartons all over them - so Babylonian Exile/Eggs-Isle). Erich and I were brainstorming ideas for both of us - something slightly offensive but still funny. He likes being someone "above reproach," so we were coming up with ideas like assassinated John Lennon or JKF. Katie and I are going as the same thing, but we're in different time zones so it's ok. I'm going as Joan of Arc, but post-bonfire. I think it'll be good, especially for the party.

Along with my quest to be more politically vocal, I'm also working on being more environmentally friendly. I don't know what it is, but here I'm more concerned with my "environmental footprint" than I ever was at Hamline. I think it might be at Hamline there really wasn't a lot of action - just a lot of talk, while here at least small things are offered, like using your own mug at the coffee shop or a place where you can keep dishes in the Refectory so if you want to reuse a plate, you can. Anyway, I've been thinking for awhile that I've wanted to buy reusable sacks for my groceries. I bought some at the store yesterday and I'm excited to go grocery shopping next so I can use them! It was kind of funny/irritating since I bought my sacks and started filling them up with my groceries, and the young gentleman who was checking my groceries finished scanning and started helping me pack by putting some of my groceries in plastic bags. I mean, I just bought reusable grocery bags and you're putting my groceries in plastic bags. Did he miss the point? Or thought I was running out of room in the bags? I don't know. Anyway. Now I have two Stop and Shop reusable bags. They have their logo on the side, so that's annoying, but whatever.

My birthday is a long ways off still, in February, but I know what I'm doing. Kari and I are hanging out! We are hanging out ... and going to see a Spice Girls concert. The things I will do for her, seriously. I can't believe it. A fucking Spice Girls concert. She had better get me an awesome birthday present (not from the concert, thank you). But at least I get to have birthday breakfast with her! Hopefully, anyway.

I think I've procrastinated here enough, and I can move on to my next procrastinating tool -washing dishes. Then, seriously, I am going to study. I think I'm going to go outside since it's a beautiful day. When I was walking down to the little market down the street (procrastination 1 of the day), my skin soaked up the sunlight like a sponge. I miss spending lots of time outside every day like I did during the summer. I am going to sit in the sun and get some Vitamin D, since my cave of an apartment barely lets any light in, and no directly sunlight (damn northern exposure!). It will be wonderful and I will absorb the sun and the New Testament at the same time.

* This means I don't buy exclusively Pringles and Pop Tarts. Sometimes, when I feel super grown-up, I get Pringles, Pop Tarts and Eggo Waffles. Ok, just kidding. Maybe.
**I know they aren't zombies in 28 Days Later, but the Infected. So technically they're still alive and don't need to be killed only by destroying the brain, but they're still zombie-enough where there's no coming back from being infected and the only thing you want to do is eat human flesh.

October 17, 2007

Use the voice you have

Awhile back I said I was going to make a conscious effort to be vocal about my support or dislike on certain things. This issue certainly lies in that category.

Bush has appointed Susan Orr to the head of the family planning section of the Department of Health and Human Resources. This position "oversees $283 million in annual grants to provide low-income families and others with contraceptive services, counseling and preventive screenings."

Orr, however, doesn't put the "plan" in "family planning." In 2001 when Bush moved to remove the requirement that federal employee's health insurance cover birth control options, Orr said, "We're quite pleased because fertility is not a disease. It's not a medical necessity that you have [contraception]." Another fine quote from Orr, "It’s not about choice,” said Orr. “It’s not about health care. It’s about making everyone collaborators with the culture of death.”

Additionally, she's a strong supporter of the Global Gag Rule, which states that no federal money can be sent overseas to any health clinic that doesn't promote a straight abstinence-only policy. Health providers can lose all funding for any mention of family planning, or god forbid, abortion. (Thankfully this provision has been removed in the past few weeks, after being in place since early 2001, when Bush approved it in his first few days in office). There's lots of reasons why this doctor shouldn't be in a position of power to approve funding for low-income individuals and families in need of family planning and reproductive health services.

Unfortunately, the position is appointed and not subject to congressional approval. However, you can sign this petition and let Bush know how you feel. I did.

More information found here and here.

October 13, 2007

Saturday Numbers Game

Original Beatles songs in my iTunes: 149
Beatles covers in my iTunes: 37 - 32 from the Across the Universe soundtrack
Total number in my iTunes: 186 Beatles songs (or forms of them)

Sunflower bundles bought at the farmer's market for Katie's wedding bouquet: 3

Days until I get to go see Andrew again: 33
Days until our 1 year anniversary: 38

As of Saturday, Bacher sisters: 3

October 11, 2007

Me in 15 years

It's like looking into the future.

October 3, 2007

One thing that bothers me frequently is when people misuse the words "Islam(ic)" and "Muslim." I think I picked this up from Mark Berkson because he gets annoyed by it too. So:

You can be a Muslim, but you can't be an Islamic person. Islam is an adjective that has to do with the religion and traditions. Muslim is a noun (a Muslim) and an adjective that has to do with the people. To go with the definitions of the words, Islam means submission, surrender to the will of God, and peace, while Muslim means someone who submits.

Someone misused "Islamic" in my Iconography class today. I think a lot of people here don't have much experience in religions outside of Christianity. Even Judaism is stretching it sometimes. Sometimes I think being multi-traditional means knowing about all the different denominations.

I went to the Peabody Museum the other day to see a mandala being made by Tibetan monks. Monks work for several days making a really elaborate piece of sand art that they destroy when they're done. It has to do with the impermenace of life and that crap. After we saw the mandala, then Mike, Marshall and I wandered around the museum. It was a pretty fun Friday afternoon, in all.