December 30, 2008

2008

January


February



March



April



May

June



July



August



September



October



November


December

December 23, 2008

viva something, that's for sure

Last night I dreamed
of making love to Fidel Castro
In a king-sized bed
at the Waldorf Astoria.
Viva la revolucion! he roared
as he vanquished my dress.
Outside the window
Nikita Kruschev watched us
Plucking a chicken.

-Mad Men, season 1 episode 6

hate hate hate

Shitty romantic comedies make me so incredibly angry. They're filled with ridiculous stereotypes and portray women as stupid and neurotic who need to figure out how to balance a career and a "life."

There's some yelling involved. I also hate Kevin Bacon.

December 20, 2008

In the wintertime when the weather is hot

The view out my window this morning.

We don't have a shovel so Josh and Amir had to sweep the driveway to clear it of snow, and then Josh took the broom to his car.


Amir received the lovely gift of slippers from a friend of ours so now we don't have to see his freakishly long toes in socks and flip flops. It's really a gift for the whole house. Plus they're really warm and I've worn them around a bit since he's left. Oops?

December 17, 2008

elbow splints and tennis shin

I think I have tennis elbow, shin splints and, at one point a few months ago, cancer.

I also think I'm a bit of a closet hypochondriac. Or a self-diagnoser. Can you be a hypochondriac if you think all this stuff is wrong with you but then never actually do anything about it?

I'm serious about the tennis elbow and shin splints though. Ok, shin splints more than the tennis elbow, but I do have elbow pain. And the shin splints are going away.

Ugh. Can tennis elbow get me out of two exams? Let's try.

Also - notebooks with the binding at the top:

Good in theory, but really damn confusing when trying to flip through notes and study. I get all confused about which page goes next, plus it's hard to flip through and look at multiple pages. I already decided that I'm going to take notes on my laptop next semester, so whatevs to you, top-bound notebook! Take that!

December 15, 2008

Study break post

As I read more and more of the church fathers, I find myself at odds with their use of male-gendered language for the relationship between the different manifestations of the Godhead. Most specifically, the Father-Son language that's used almost exclusively and widespread throughout patristic literature. I avoid using it in my notes, but as I'm studying for exams I'm beginning to realize that I may have lost some of the intrinsic relationship implications by avoiding those terms.

The terms "father" and "son" are fundamentally part of what these authors are describing - the relationship between begotten and the person who begat is at the heart of the debates taking place. The church fathers then verbalized this in whatever manner they knew best, which not surprisingly, was that of a parent-child relationship, and specifically the father-son relationship (fueled by a multitude of references to God the Father in the Bible).

I'm still very much a proponant of using gender-inclusive/gender-free terms for describing the Trinity in our daily use now (also empire/dominion-free terms), which means "father," "lord," "son," and other familiar terms are out in favor of "creator," "redeemer," and "sustainer." The bigger question now, however, is how to rethink the church fathers and put their male-dominated ideas into gender-free language while still maintaining the important relational aspects they were trying to convey in the first place.

Something I don't have the time (or background knowledge) for currently, but a book I'd be interested in reading some day.

apples and doctors and me

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what does two apples a day do?

I'll keep you posted as I experiment. No doctors today, as of yet.

December 13, 2008

surly is as surly does

I'm feeling a little surly today - not good Surly - but surly surly.

I ran it out this morning on my (still slow) run and I might have to color it out later today with Jake's new coloring book. Is there anyway I can study it out? I feel it's counterproductive to my general surly feel. Ugh. Maybe Yeah Yeah Yeahs can help me out. They kinda seem surly a lot in their music. If they're surly, then I can be study-surly.

My chain fell off my bike last night. I fixed it. My fingernails are still a little black.

December 12, 2008

Mmmhmm

My christmas list is a little off this year... I'm considering asking for these things which I have never desired before:

a blow dryer with diffuser
running shoes

Also, okgo is playing in New Haven on March 10 and I'm super super excited. I love them so much.

Bacher out.

December 11, 2008

Just can't win

Sometimes, I miss the Twin Cities so much that it's ridiculous. However, I also know that as soon as I leave, I'll miss New Haven. Why do I have to fall in love with all the places I live, or probably more accurate, all the people I meet in my life? Why must I surround myself with good people who make my life so amazing in every place I live? I spent my whole summer with my college roommates and Andrew and Kari and missed my div school friends, and now I miss my St. Paul people and spend my time with my div school friends.

It's so rough being me.

Also, I have lived in three main locations in my life, all with two word names: Green Bay, St. Paul and New Haven. I lived in Minneapolis for three months, but at that point I still lived in the Twin Cities.

December 7, 2008

funeral plans

These are my burial wishes:

I would like a viking funeral, in which my body gets set out on a boat and lit on fire, possibly with an arrow. Also, I would like an meaningful, acoustic version of "We Didn't Start the Fire" to play.

Maybe something like this:



Please plan accordingly.

December 6, 2008

Impossible yet logical

One of my favorite things to do is to take illogical or unrealistic premises to their logical conclusion.

For example, the defensibility of my house in a zombie invasion, what I would do with a unicorn as a pet and the usefulness of a house monkey.

Usually, this ends up with my mom saying, "Oh, Lindsay, you're so silly." It's true.

November 24, 2008

the first snowfall

I want to be friends with the type of people who have no shame in sticking out their tongues to catch snowflakes.

November 19, 2008

Battle Wounds

I received a grad school related injury today as I tried to wrangle a staple out of the 40+ page stapler. It dug into my finger and left it bleeding, aching as I tried to quickly staple the rest of my paper packets while not bleeding on myself or my fresh copies.

Then I wandered around school in search of a band-aid, to no avail. You can usually find me by following the trail of coffee drips around the building but this afternoon, you could follow my blood trail.

Earlier this week I got a cardboard cut while opening a box for coffee hour. Since I received my injury while on the job, I considered trying to get worker's comp, but instead I just found a band-aid so I wouldn't bleed all over the coffee hour food.

Apparently I've been bleeding a lot. Life is hard as a grad student. But apparently we're the worst people:

November 18, 2008

Make me beans, my women!

I can't seem to make myself sit down and do work. Uuugh. I have things to read and things to write, but all I do is check my email and Google reader. Normally I head home early on Tuesday afternoons (so I can procrastinate there) but I have a curriculum meeting today at 4. Then house dinner! At least if I'm procrastinating, I should be doing something still useful like updating my resume or working on my spider solitaire win percentage (28%).

My prof for my history class gave everyone a paper extension until Monday after break, so the pressing thing I had to do this week is no longer pressing. I spent a couple hours yesterday building a model for my church architecture class, so that's coming along nicely. My other things aren't due until after Thanksgiving break or even into reading week, so I'm feeling relatively stress free this week. I'll have to bring home work, but I should be able to get it all done.

I'm flying home Friday afternoon so that's also on my mind... I'm not sure if I'll get to doing laundry before then so I might just bring home a suitcase of dirty clothes. I hope I can do at least one load before then, since I'm really hitting the bottom of the barrel in terms of clean clothes. I might have to fly home in a paper sack. I blame this whole thing on Elm Campus forcing us to get rid of our washer and dryer.

I'm in the basement of the library now (in a failed attempt to get stuff done) and I just saw Josh. When he saw me, the first words out his mouth were, "What are YOU doing here?" Jerk.

I'll leave you with this exchange between Jake, Nichole and I yesterday as we all cuddled:

Jake: Cuddle me, my women! Make me some beans!
Me: Beans?
Jake: Isn't that what straight guys like?
Nichole: I thought you said beans because it was a Mexican thing.
Jake: Hmm... I would have said taco if I wanted it to be a Mexican thing!

I love my housemates.

November 14, 2008

Success! 50 books in 45 weeks!

I've done it! I've accomplished my goal of reading 50 books in one year; in fact, I've finished weeks ahead of time. Here are the last 15 or 16 books from my list:

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Truth and Beauty by Ann Pachett
Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows by J.K. Rawling
Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald
Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding
Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer
The Art Thief by Noah Charney
Awkward and Definition by Ariel Schrag
Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
Basic Christianity By John Stott
Discovering an Evangelical Heritage by Dayton
Crazy for God by Frank Schaeffer
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory by Randall Balmer

Italicized means it I read it for school, although the titles kind of give them away. Combined together, I read 14,474 pages with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows being the longest at 759 and the shortest being Awkward/Definition by Ariel Schrag at 84 pages (it's a graphic novel). Women authors made a fairly impressive showing at 21 strong, and although they mostly wrote the fiction books I read, with some exceptions. I'm not too sure on the racial makeup of the authors, but I'm fairly certain most of them are white. I know that Cornel West (Democracy Matters), Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Spendid Suns), Judith Weisenfeld (Hollywood Be Thy Name), and Barack Obama (Dreams of My Father) are people of color, but I'm not sure of any others. I'm also unsure of the sexual orientation of my authors - unless they state it specifically, I really don't know. Last year I had Dan Savage and Emilie Townes on my list, but I'm not sure about this year. I also had 26 women authors last year, which is more representative of the gender breakdown in society.

So goals for my next 50 books - more diversity in general including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic, gender and sexual orientations.

Huzzah!

When I listen to The Current (Minnesota Public Radio's alternative station), I write down songs that I like, and I kept writing down Yeah Yeah Yeahs songs. Finally yesterday or the day before I bought their latest album and the single Maps, both of which are amazing. I'm in love with Phenomena, Cheated Hearts, Gold Lion and Honeybear. Pretty much everything they have, actually.

November 13, 2008

I'm on my way out

I fear one day my work will kill me.

Not that the stress and high intensity will cause my heart or head to go or something like that, but that my giant stacks of books will finally tip over and bury me in a pile of theology and postmodern literature.

November 11, 2008

So hungry


View from my window. That tree was super bright red, yo.


That's the grape vine we have in our house. It's possibly dying for any number of the following reasons: 1: not enough sunlight, 2: can't live inside in a pot, 3: too much water, 4: not enough water, 5: doesn't like me because I try to eat it.

November 1, 2008

Saturday Morning at the Catholic House

I made a Micky Mouse pancake for brunch this morning! It was delicious.

When I cut into it with my fork, Josh said, "aaah!"

As I kept poking at it with my fork, Jake then said, "Take that, Mickey!"

I replied, "Why is Disney World so expensive, Mouse?! I know Minnie's been around the Kingdom..."

Olivia just shook her head in sadness.

October 23, 2008

Let it snow!

Every fall I go through a Christmas music phase, where I listen to Christmas music out of season. It happened last year and I've been getting the urge recently. My roommates are adamantly against this (with good reason), so I'm just listening to it while they're not around/with headphones on. I see nothing wrong with this - it's only for a week or so until I'm sick of early Christmas music.

My house has a Christmas tree, so I'm excited to finally have my own Christmas tree in my post-Green Bay world. More on this in a few months.

Matt's coming to visit this weekend! Mom's visit was good! I have papers due Monday and Tuesday after Matt leaves, so I have to write those now. And study for a midterm in a half hour. God, I'm so awesome at not procrastinating.*

*sarcasm

October 1, 2008

awesome! not awesome.

I have an interview tomorrow for the Yale seminar program I applied for - awesome!

My mom is coming soon - awesome!

I bought new red rainboots and a star umbrella - awesome!

Friday is the second community dinner and then my house is having a party - awesome!

110 days until Bush is out of office - awesomer by the day!

35 days until the election - awesome!

I have a bunch of bubble wrap from coffee boxes - awesome!

I have lots of reading to do - not so awesome...

Papers are due soon - not so awesome...

I either have a cold or allergies - not so awesome...

The end.

September 20, 2008

Wasting time


The view from the window by my desk. No wonder I don't get as much work as I should.


Another reason why I don't get much work done... don't worry, mom, it's apple tobacco and we don't smoke very often.

September 11, 2008

The downlow

Here's the downlow: School's started up and it took me forever to figure out my schedule.

I've started my new job as coffee hour coordinator, aka, make coffee for after YDS's daily chapel service.

Tomorrow is the first community dinner and I've been planning that for the past week or so and just decided today that we should have smores.

I haven't gotten my loan refund yet so either a) my lending bank is playing a horrible joke on me, b) YDS is playing a horrible joke on me, c) I'm missing paperwork and the internet isn't telling me, or d) my loan refund got sucked into a black hole created by the particle accelerator in Geneva.

Nonetheless, it means I can't buy the majority of my books or buy groceries or new bike tires or utilities or go visit Tessa this weekend. My mom fronted me some cash, so I was able to buy books for this upcoming week, but I already burned through half of that buying 4 books.

I have two morning classes, one that meets twice a week at 8:30 and one that meets twice a week at 9:00. I've decided to become a morning person, if only out of necessity.

Due to my new job as coffee mistress of YDS, but mostly because of my coffee addicted roommate Jake, I drink 3-4 cups of coffee each day. I had virtually no caffine at all this summer.

I like my roommates immensely and am super psyched to be living in such a great community with a cool history. On the downside, I have to talk about my feelings on a regular basis.

My advisor makes me all tense and jumbly on the insides whenever I meet with her.

I need to do laundry.

In addition to being a morning person, I still think I can be a night person. This is failing miserably, leading me to a loss of sleep, which is why I took a 3 hour nap yesterday and was still able to fall asleep at a regular hour.

On that note, I'm out of here.

August 26, 2008

I hate NWA part 2

Here's the short of my trip back to Connecticut on Sunday: I arrived at the airport in Green Bay at 9:00 AM and left the Hartford airport at 11:20 pm.

Now the long: The plane had mechanical problems so in GB they kept pushing back the anticipated departure time by half hour increments. I went up once and switched my connecting flight (remember?) and then at 2:00, when it was clear I wouldn't be making that one either, went to change my flight time again. We were supposed to fly to Detroit at 10:00 and we ended up sitting there long enough that another flight to Detroit came and left, with us glaring angrily at all the leaving passengers. I ended up getting on a 3:00 flight to Minneapolis and catching a connecting flight out of there to Hartford and landed at 10:30. Since my flight path was all messed up, my bag wasn't on the plane with me, so I had to wait in line for the lost baggage lady, only to have her tell me that it was on the flight from Detroit that landed at 11:00. Fortunately, Josh hit road construction and was late in picking me up, so I was able to wait for my bag and have it right away. But what a gross day.

Now I'm arranging my room at the CHouse and unpacking everything... trying to figure out the best spots for all of my things. I've managed to arrange my desk and bed so they're both by windows. That's my favorite spots for both of them, so it worked out nicely. I'll post pictures once everything comes together... I still have boxes of stuff in my room plus downstairs on the first floor. I need to get a dresser from Becca upstairs and I bought a bookcase, although I'm thinking I'll probably need more space than what I have. Once I get my clothes and books put away, then I can start hanging stuff on the walls. Not too shabby, I have to say. It helps that I'm not doing anything with BTFO and can sit around doing this as opposed to giving sage advice to first-years.

I'm glad to be back, though. I was talking to one of the professors yesterday at the BTFO dinner and I was describing what I want to study, and she said, "Oh, contemporary iconography." I had never thought of that phrase before, but I really like it because it aptly describes the mixture of culture and Jesus images. Plus it sounds good for Ph.D applications...

Time to put books on shelves.

August 24, 2008

I hate NWA

Ugh, so I'm in the Green Bay airport waiting to get back on the airplane. Apparently there's a some mechanical problem and they're trying to fix it and think it'll take long enough that it's worth getting everyone off the plane. I'm super frustrated and probably unnecessarily so because it's not like I can do anything about it. They're working to reschedule connecting flights for people who have original flights leaving Detroit before 1:30, hoping we can still get there by then. My flight to Hartford leaves at 1:45, so I just miss the cut off and probably will be fucked over at some point by the airlines. I just want to get back to New Haven. Is that too much to ask? I suppose it's fate that I'm really anxious and excited to get back to school and the actual physical thing bringing me there is broken. I suppose it's not worth it yet to call Josh and let him know my plane is broken until I actually know when I'll arrive.

Ugh, this really blows. Is it took much to ask that I just make it home as scheduled without getting screwed on the way?

Update: It's now 12:30 and we're still waiting in the airport in Green Bay. I rescheduled to the next flight to Hartford, so now I'm getting there at 5:10 instead of 3:30. Not horrible, but still sucks. If they don't get the problem fixed soon, I might have to bump the time back again. In my mind, I'm like "come on... let's give it a shot. The mechanical problems can't be that bad, can they?" I suppose it's probably not the safest mindset, but then again, I'm not the one flying the plane. My toes are cold. This air conditioning will probably freeze me first before I can even leave Green Bay. I don't think I have a sweatshirt in my carry on luggage - it's mostly underwear and socks, I think. Boo. Maybe I'll put on different shoes, though.

August 18, 2008

Tessa apparently wants me to write more. Ok. Here it is.

I'm in Green Bay for the next week and then I'm getting back to New Haven. I'm excited to get back to school and unpack my belongings and stop living out of a suitcase. It was sad to leave the Twin Cities and my friends and Andrew, but I'm so itchy to get the semester started.

Irish Fest in Milwaukee was fun - I'll put pictures up (maybe) sometime. Irish Fair was fun - Flogging Molly was sweet and Summit Brewery's Oatmeal Stout is pretty awesome.

More later. I still feel stagnant and unmotivated to write.

August 3, 2008

Totally unmotivated in everything

There's less than a month until I'm back in New Haven, and only two weeks that I'll be around here in the Twin Cities. As excited as I am about going back, I'll miss being here (although not the heat... screw 90+ humidity).

I'm reeeaaaalllllllllly ready to be done with my French class. It's just dragging on and I'm not interested in waking up at 7:30 every day anymore to go sit in a loud room to hear people talk in French. There's only a week left, so that's good. I feel if it were any more than that, I'd go crazy. It was pretty easy to pick up at first (maybe because a lot of it was repeat from high school), but now it's harder to learn everything so quickly. I feel if I had more time to digest the stuff, I'd be better at remembering it and all of that, but there's just so much that's similiar it's hard to distinguish and remember. I also feel like the instructor isn't as good at teaching the material as the one first session, so it's probably a combination of all those things. I'm ready to not have class for awhile, before the semester starts up again.

Last weekend when Mom and Erich were here, we had tons of fun. We rode our bikes all around Minneapolis and drank a ton. And saw fireworks! Exciting.

I'm feeling a little less than motivated, so we'll do this the quick and dirty way:
The Dark Knight: Awesome
Flogging Molly at Irish Fair: Awesome
Irish Fest in Milwaukee with Matt, Erich, Mom, Kari, Dawn(?): Awesome
Andrew's multiple birthday celebrations: Awesome
Baking cookies with Kari: Awesome
The cookies that didn't have enough flour: Not so awesome
Margaritas with the MOK kids, Watry and KG: Awesome
Next morning: Less than awesome

That is all.

July 15, 2008

Beer, birthdays and bittersweet memories

You know the game "Either Or"? It pretty much goes "Would you rather _____ or _____?" and then you have to choose one and whatever you choose says deep, meaningful things about your personality and life (maybe). Inevitably, someone asks, "Would you rather always be too hot or always be too cold?" I feel I always pick the opposite of whatever the climate is at the time because I'm fed up with the side effects of the cold/the summer. If it's summer, I say, "too cold!" but if it's winter, I say, "too hot!" But seriously. Being too hot blows massively and I'm not saying that just because it's been 85+ for several days/weeks now. Remind me of this in the winter when I'm going to say, "I'd much rather be too warm!" Although I do think I've said too cold before since when it's cold, at least you can put on layers. If you're hot and overheating, it's just hideous.

I first discovered the joy of a cold shower when I worked at Jesus camp in 2005. The best thing to do on my free Saturday afternoons was to take a cold shower, even if there were bugs everywhere. Since then, cold showers have been a staple of my summers, especially since I haven't lived anywhere with air conditioning for the past few years. Last summer when I worked at Jewish day camp, I'd come home from work, grab a beer and jump in the shower immediately. The best beer for drinking in the shower is Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, a delicious mixture of wheat beer and lemonade. I'm in love with the Shandy and wish, wish, wish like hell someone in New Haven sold it. The only Leinie's I've found in New Haven has been Original and the Trix-cereal milk flavored Sunset Wheat. If you happen to be a New Haven bar owner reading this in search of adding a Leinie's line to your bar, avoid Sunset Wheat at all costs. Go for the Shandy and you will have my business for life.

Another beer I'm looking forward to at the end of the summer is Summit's Oatmeal Stout. They only brew it for the Minnesota Irish Fair. Drew, Amy and I had the lovely experience of touring the Summit Brewery in St. Paul so we were able to get a preview of the Stout before the fair, and let me tell you, I made plans right there and then to hit up the Irish fair. I'm not a huge fan of Summit - I've always thought their EPA tastes like soap - but the Oatmeal Stout won me over with its dark coloring, sweeter flavor and creamy head (I really just wanted to say creamy head).

When I'm in Milwaukee for the Irish Fest, I think it might be fun to go to the Sprecher Brewery. I've really liked the beer I've had at Irish Fest, and I've been a big fan of the bottled Hefe Weiss and Mai Bock. Plus there's free beer at brewery tours so... there's no reason not to go.

Today's the boyfriend's birthday so we had a delicious Birthday Breakfast at Bruegger's Bagels before I ran off to take my oral exam in French (a lot of b words at the beginning of that sentence). We went to see Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band last night, which was fun. Ringo Starr's an amazing dancer. Here's my video:



Tonight there's a secret birthday surprise and then Friday we're going to the hideous Maple Grove, aka suburban consumer hell, for dinner with his high school friends and then to see The Dark Knight. Saturday we're heading to Blarney's in Dinkytown for drinking in town. Huzzah for birthday plans!

I've been around Hamline and while it's the same place I lived for four years, it's not at the same time. This becomes more and more apparent as time goes on, people move away and things change. Not that it's necessarily bad, just different. I've had the unlucky pleasure of passing by my old, beloved apartment above the Mirror of Korea and seeing lights on in Natalie's old bedroom and my old bedroom. I always think to myself, "Who do they think they are, living in my room. I'll cut them. They had better be awesome enough to deserve to live there." And then I continue on my way, passing houses and buildings where people I know used to live. The whole Midway neighborhood sometimes feels like just a facade of a life I used to know; a place that looks the same, but at its core, isn't. It's sad passing by my old apartment and not going inside, but then at the same time, I'm going to a place that's different but good in it's own right. I don't think I'd want to go back to restart my senior year over again, but I feel nostalgic nonetheless.

I never really felt this way about high school places, but I was never one of those people who thought that high school was the best time of their life - quite the opposite.

Anyway, Andrew's bugging me to go to birthday dinner (can you tell that I just add "birthday" in front of everything that happens on one's birthday?). Later, friends! PS the temperature is sunny and 91 F.

July 10, 2008

Pictures! Finally!


Ali and I on the train at Bay Beach


Andrew and Grace on the train


Peter, Carla and Katie!


Kari got something in her eye so she wanted Dad to fix it on the kitchen counter.


Ethan, which is really Pete in a baby body.


Me and my cousins!


Mom flicking the geese away!


That damn otter sleeping in the log

Mom and Sarah

My life is so boring and so is this post

I wish I had pictures to post, but they're all stuck on my camera... I think my cord to upload them is at Kari's place. If I could upload them, they'd all be awesome 4th of July pictures showing me having a rockin' time. Woooo!

French 1002 has started up and I've got my first test tomorrow. It's all about food, so at least it's something relatively useful if I ever travel to a French-speaking land - although I'd like to think everything I've learned so far is useful if I ever travel to a French-speaking land.

A few weeks ago I hung out with my former roomies, KT George and Amy. We're hanging out again this weekend and I think we should do it until I leave. Roommate solidarity!

Seriously, if I had pictures this'd be way more interesting.

In other news, I just finished my 39th book of the year, which means I'm way ahead of schedule and only 10 away from completing my goal of reading 50 books cover to cover in one year! Whoo! Right now, I've read over 11,400 pages and the year is just over halfway done. Crazy!

Ok. I promise pictures next time, I swear.

June 29, 2008

Life without Kari

Kari comes back soon!  I'm not going to lie; my life has been a little stagnant since she left.  Well, not completely boring.  On Friday, Andrew, Drew, Amy, Jeff Matzke and I went over to Katie George's swanky apartment and played board games - Andrew is surprisingly good at Apples to Apples and I'm not sure why.  It might be a fluke.  We'll see.  Then yesterday Drew and I went to the Twin Cities Pride Festival.  They were giving out a ton of free stuff - I got some cool buttons and two reusable grocery bags.  Pretty awesome, if you ask me.  Someone was also selling a "I (heart) MPLS" t-shirt that I wanted, but I'll just have to show my TC love some other way.  

Friday was the last day of the first French session.  Now I have a week off until the second class session starts and I'm going to sleep in every day!  Awesomeness!  It's nice because now we can leave for GB earlier for the badass 4th of July weekend coming up.  Fireworks!

I've been riding one of Kari's bikes around while she's been gone.  The 84 bus that goes up and down Snelling is either 2 minutes early (so I miss it) or 5 minutes late (so I miss my connecting bus to the U and am late for class).  It's only a 20 or 25 minute bike ride, so I'm leaving the house at the same time anyway.  Now that Kari's coming back soon, I'm not sure if she'll want it back and I'll ride her other, shitty bike or not.  Anna and Amy bought some bikes at a trade sale this past weekend, so I'm going to see if after Anna gets it tuned up, if I can ride her extra bike.  It's a road bike so that's a step in the right direction.  I'm planning on buying a bike once I get back to New Haven.  Through craigslist, I found a guy who fixes up bikes as a hobby and I emailed him and he's going to fix one up for me between now and when I get back.  There weren't a ton of bikes for sale when I looked this week so it's kinda nice to have it all taken care of ahead of time.

I'm going to go make hard-boiled eggs from the massive pack that Kari left here.  I can't eat 18 eggs alone, plus I haven't had hard-boiled eggs in a long time.  Ok, May was the last time, but seriously, before that it had been a long time.

50 books update:
Lincoln and Douglas - about the 1858 Lincoln/Douglas senate debates
The Mermaid Chair - pretty good

Right now I'm reading The Time Traveler's Wife (KT George lent it to me) and it's pretty good.  Interesting concept and how she structured the book/how the time travel works is interesting.


If anyone wants to read Kari's blog from her trip to Peru, she's been updating it while she's there.  Here is the link:  Peru!

June 18, 2008

Life in June in MSP

Everyone is leaving me.  Mom left on Monday for Bulgaria, Andrew went to his friend's cabin today and Kari leaves tomorrow for Peru.  Am I smelly or something?  Seriously, I can shower.  Just please come back and be friends with me.  

Apart from my whining, things have been good with me.  Busy, but good.  I actually feel more busy now than I did during the school year, which seems kind of backwards to me.  I have French in the morning and I work most afternoons, so I'm out the door by 8:23 (to catch my bus which when I'm on time, runs late, and when I'm late, runs early) to be at the U by 9 (the saga of the late bus has me arriving 3 minutes after my class starts... boo).  Then I eat my packed lunch at the U, catch the bus to downtown St. Paul and work during the afternoon.  Then I take the bus home and get back around 5:45 so I can do my French homework.  The days I don't work are nice just because I have the afternoons free and I can do my homework so I can have fun at night with Kari or Andrew.  

I've discovered a new favorite tv show that I knew I was going to like ahead of time, merely because of its subject matter:  the BBC's Robin Hood.  I am in love.  Robin is smokin' hot.  Not to mention the show has really good characters and plots for each episode.  You'd think that the Robin Hood storyline would get old quickly, but no, it doesn't.  The biggest problem now is that Andrew's going to his friend's cabin for the rest of the week so I have to wait until Sunday to watch the two new discs I just got in the mail today.  He thought it was kinda cheesy at first, but pilot episodes are always a little off from the rest of the show.  TV shows have to stretch their legs and they need time to move past impressing tv execs in the beginning to impressing the general audience, and sometimes that's not allowed to happen (ahem, Studio 60, I love you).  Now he likes it, just like I knew he would.  I also think everyone in my family would like it, so everyone in my family should watch it too.  I love it and I liked it first (ha, Kari).

I'm glad to be back in the Twin Cities.  I forget how much I like it here.  I like the Midway but I wish I lived closer to either one of the downtowns (maybe Minneapolis because I like the light rail).  I've noticed that I can't stop looking at the Minneapolis skyline.  When I'm driving by, when I'm walking, whenever.  I don't know what it is about it, but I like how it looks and it makes me feel like I'm here.

June 10, 2008

I don't think this is what they meant by "support"...

I'm at my summer job at a website company and I'm filling in random text for a vending machine company's website. For the support page, I wrote this: "We choose to affirm the personhood of all individuals as well as take care of their vending machines."

I thought it was funny.

I'm a nerd, a big liberal, inclusive nerd.

I'll write more later; I've been pretty busy lately so I promise to update soon.

May 31, 2008

50 books in 2008 update

Last 6 books I've finished:
Have a Nice Doomsday, Nicholas Guyatt
Jesus Freaks, Don Lattin
Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (highly, highly recommend)
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver (love)
The Dracula Dossier, James Reese
This Common Secret, Susan Wicklund

Books waiting to be read:
Plotted, Shot and Painted, J. Cheryl Exum
Breathing for a Living, Laura Rothenberg
The House of God, Samuel Shem
Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush, Eric Boehlert
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco (on my reading list for 5+ years now... the day I finish this will be the day I get a real job)
God's Problem, Bart Ehrman
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, Louise Murphy
I also have Nick Hornby's How To Be Good waiting as standby. I've already read it but I know it's good.

Books I've started but haven't finished:
Shakespeare's Wife, Germaine Greer
The Veil Unveiled: The Hijab in Modern Culture, Faegheh Shirazi
The Call of the Weird, Louis Theroux

Most of the books waiting to be read are library books so I have to have somewhat quick turn around, or at least renew them. Some are from the U library and some are from the Minneapolis Public Library, so the non-U of M books need to be returned in about three weeks. I'm getting a lot of reading time in while I'm on the bus to and from work. It's about a 35-40 minute bus ride, so I get plenty of reading time.

Andrew comes home today!

May 27, 2008

Long overdue update!

Well, I've successfully handed in papers, moved out of my apartment, flown home to Wisconsin, enrolled at the University of Minnesota and returned to the Twin Cities for the summer... all in the past week.

It was my great grandma's 90th birthday party this past weekend, so I was able to see my extended family for the first time since Christmas, plus we all congregated at a bar with pictures of the pope. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

I wish I could have spent more time in Green Bay, but my summer class started today so I needed to be back. My mom got a cold this weekend, so I could have stayed at home with her to cook her soup and take care of her! We went to downtown DePere for the Memorial Day parade, which was fun. Kari says she wants to be a Civil War re-enactor after seeing them in the parade. I got sunburned.

Today was my first French class since high school. It was pretty good... A lot of stuff I remembered quickly and some I didn't. I looked up my instructor in the U directory and apparently she's not even a PhD student but a Masters candidate. I don't have any problems with her teaching the course or anything, it's just a little depressing that we're at the same education level and she's teaching a class. True, it's Beginning French, but still. She's getting paid to be there and I'm the one paying her. When do I get to start teaching classes? I think I'm going to put together a syllabus on Jesus movies for a teaching opportunity through the residential colleges at Yale. Non-professors apply to teach self-made seminars at the residential colleges, so I'm going to apply for that at the beginning of the year. I'm going to work on my syllabus over the summer and get feedback from the various advisors/professors I've worked with over the years. Take that, French instructor! Just kidding. She seems cool.

I told Kari that after one day of class, I can already tell the difference between MY schools and a public state-school education. hah, it's fun pretending to be elitist. This is the third university I've been enrolled at... lots of fun.

Andrew comes home on Saturday! yay! I'm excited. I miss him.

I've passed the halfway mark for my 50 book goal. I finished Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love before I left New Haven and The Dracula Dossier (soon-to-be-published) the other night. Now I'm 30 or so pages into Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer, a book I've been wanting to read and one that Tessa highly recommended. Exciting. Now that I'm a U of M student, I'm going to get an ID card tomorrow so I can check books out of the library. When I told Kari, she said I was like the guy in Breakfast Club who gets a fake ID so he can vote. At least I'm not committing voter fraud.

May 19, 2008

I'm allergic to your face!

As I've been packing my apartment in the past few days, I've sneezed a couple times. I assumed it was from dusty books and things like that, but today as I was blowing my runny nose with threat of sneezing it occurred to me perhaps I'm allergic to something.

There was a few years/summers as a kid that I thought I was allergic to campfire smoke (I don't even know if you can be, but whatever), and I've taken allergy medicine before for something. Maybe I'm allergic to Connecticut summers. At least I'm not allergic to fragrances like Tessa's roommate.

Moving today. Yuck.

May 18, 2008

Have I been under the bus?

When did the phrase "throw under the bus" become popular? I've only noticed people using it in the past few years; I think first on Top Chef. How did I miss knowing this phrase before this point?

May 16, 2008

Whose house? My house, say what say what!

You know how I said I wanted to get my paper done by Thursday, Wednesday if I was doing really well? Wouldn't you know, I finished my paper on Wednesday. I think this is one of the first times I've set a deadline for myself and actually met it. Maybe not. I was pretty good at meeting my deadlines for my honors project. Anyway, first time this year. I feel like I've been plagued with procrastination since I've been at YDS, and this semester I've done really well with finishing my papers on time, if not early. And with that... I'm done for the semester. Halfway done with my masters. Holy crap, my friends.

Tessa's coming up tomorrow to celebrate with me before I leave the Eastern Time Zone for the summer. I mass emailed a bunch of friends, so hopefully some of them will be able to go out drinking tomorrow night. Other people with extended deadlines are finishing up around now too, so people are more free to be out late.

I'm heading back to Green Bay in less than a week, on the 21st. Whoo! I have to pack my apartment and move before then, but it's doable. I'm still figuring out how to move my stuff, but some friends offered to help and to let me use their cars. I'm still trying to figure out the large furniture, but I think it's just the futon, desk and bed that's too big to fit in a car. Maybe this chair, too, but it's getting pretty beat up. I love it, but it kills the back sometimes. I've used it since my sophomore year and it's stayed in pretty good condition that whole time. When I moved from Minneapolis to Green Bay at the end of last summer, we didn't have an enclosed trailer so it got rained on, unfortunately. I think that's why the leather is ripping a lot more.

I didn't get that internship I applied for, unfortunately, which majorly blows. When they called me, I was working on my paper and it pretty much stagnated any work I was doing. I don't know if the thought of going through the whole job search process was demoralizing or what, but it just felt really shitty to have to start all over again. Anyway, I hadn't seriously considered it before then, but I decided to take language classes at the U for the summer. I mean, I'm going to have to take French classes eventually for my PhD so this just means I don't have to take any next year. It's going to cost less at the U than at Yale, so it does make sense to take it now. I sent Kari the relevant information and had her run over to the French department to get the necessary signatures, so I should be a-ok registration wise.

I'm going to get a part time job so there's some cash flow this summer, and since there's people living in the Catholic house over the summer plus the 8 tenets for the fall, the rent is ridiculously cheap - between $200 and $250. So it seems like everything is going to work out for the summer... it's just kind of ironic that I spent so much time on the internships, between applying and interviewing for a different department, waiting for them to make a decision, and then interviewing for another department and waiting for that decision... I mean, I sent in my application before I went to Ireland, back in February. And then after they shot me down, it was pretty much a couple of hours later I knew what I was going to do. My registration form was to the French department less than 24 hours after they called.

For any students having trouble selling back textbooks, I highly recommend Abebooks Buyback. They'll buyback your books and pay for shipping, too. They don't take all books, but I had really good luck with mine. I'm sending in two boxes worth of books and making $50 bucks off of it. Not too shabby, I have to say. Plus I'm sending them off in the weird shaped boxes that will be awkward for moving. Anyway, I'm making money and getting rid of some of my stuff. Win-win, in my opinion. If only they took DVDs... I want to sell the ones I don't watch anymore and cut down on my DVD collection.

I've really enjoyed posting at Female Impersonator, the feminist blog I mentioned awhile back. Anyway, if you want to read what I've been writing, here are some of the ones I've enjoyed writing/been proud of: Are Sex and the City incompatible? and How to save money by looking like Barbie. Some of the things I've written have been linked to by much bigger feminist blogs, so that's pretty exciting. My friend Lisa says it's like I have a cool feminist internet persona. I don't know if I'd call it that, but it is cool.

Anyway, huzzah to me for being done with school! Huzzah for Tessa! Huzzah for $50 just by pulling books off my shelves! Huzzah for summer classes! (I'm probably going to regret this one).

May 11, 2008

School's out for ... someone that's not me.

Well, finals week is over so that means that finals are over. Except for people like me, who have papers due much later than everyone else. A blessing and a curse, let me tell you. It's nice that I didn't have to rush to get my paper done this week, but at the same time, having a deadline so far in the future (May 24) makes it hard for me to actually be productive now. I need to be productive now, since I'm flying home in 10 days and I need to pack and move my apartment by then. When I look around my apartment, I'm like "yeah, I don't have that much stuff!" but then I remembered moving here and all of the things I've acquired since then (thank you, YDS bookstore).

As finals end and people are more free to have fun, I'm kind of sad that I won't be around for the summer. I like New Haven and I like all of the people I'm living with next year - plus the current roommates who will be in the catholic house for the summer. I spent this weekend pretending I was done with work, which was nice but now I have to start writing my paper. Friday was Community Dinner, which I'm actually going to be coordinating next year, so I went early and helped set up. It was a ton of fun, mostly because after the dinner, some people still around started dancing and we had an impromptu dance party. True, much of it was fueled by the keg and wine from dinner (not to mention the beer run before the liquor stores closed), but it was so much fun. There were maybe 15 or 20 people still left, and some more came when they heard the music from the common room. I felt like shit the next morning (and afternoon) - but let me tell you, div schoolers know how to dance.

Then yesterday I went out with some friends for Chinese food and then to the bar (a really loud screamo band was playing. yuck). They'll all be around for the summer, working or taking classes or some of my friends are going to Israel for awhile, but they'll all be here having fun. I suppose I'm going to have just as much fun in MSP, but it makes me sad nonetheless. But Andrew's not in New Haven, or Kari or Mom or Amy and Drew. Plus I promised Nat I'd come visit her in Nebraska over the summer and it's a lot shorter drive from MSP than New Haven.

I'm going to go eat some leftover Chinese now... Procrastinate a little more before I get my work done. I'm self-imposing a deadline of Thursday, hopefully Wednesday. Tessa is probably coming down on Friday, so I want to hang out with her and I want to start packing. Bacher out!

May 8, 2008

I have the caffeine tolerance of a small rodent

Last night at 3 AM I realized just how much caffeine affects me. I had two cups of tea in the morning before my job interview (which went off really well!) at noon, and then two cups of coffee between 4 and 7. I'd say I had stopped drinking the coffee around 6 or 6:30, if anything, having small tastes of my cold coffee by then.

So assuming I stopped drinking my coffee at 6:30, I didn't fall asleep until 3 or 3:30. That's 9 hours. What the heck. I know I can't drink soda after 6 or 7 because it'll keep me up until 2ish, but afternoon coffee? Seriously.

I didn't even get any work done from being up that late. I'm at a point in my paper where I have to take a look at what I've written and I have to figure out how I want to structure the rest of my paper so it fits in the exam guidelines. I didn't want to start that, only to get sleepy and have to stop in the middle. I'm planning on getting this done today so once I finish this post, I'm being productive until I either finish this paper or die of natural causes.

Even crazier, I woke up at 8 this morning without my alarm. I lay in bed with my eyes closed for the next hour trying to sleep until my alarm at 9. What is with that?

May 5, 2008

Computer failure! And how to hopefully avoid the lost-file freakout

As the school year is winding down and finals week has begun, my mind always tries to think of the worst case scenario, just so when that doesn't happen, I'm excited.

One of my Finals '08 Worst Case Scenario is a computer failure - a complete loss of everything on my hard drive. I'm not going to lie... My laptop is pretty much my life. It's got homework, old homework, bank statements, music, pictures, internets... everything. It's beginning to show physical signs of wear - there's a worn out spot from where my hand sits on the computer, some worn out spots from where I pick up my laptop, the keys I use a lot are a little worn down (plus the right side of my space bar... I only space with my right hand). My laptop is only two years old so the internal stuff should be working fine. It's just physically showing my love.

Anyway, as I internally semi-freak out about that, I'm looking into new ways of backing up my hard-drive. In the past I've burned discs, but that often takes a lot of discs and a lot of time. Plus, if everything in my apartment gets burned up, that doesn't really help me much.

I'm thinking about investing in an external hard drive and backing up my info there. Just from a little bit of searching, those tend to be $100+ (which I won't be able to afford until I start my summer job... but I'm not planning on doing anything until after finals anyway). Does anyone use these and are they any good?

Another option I've come across is Mozy Online Backup, which for a monthly fee of $5 backups everything over the internet. I'm kind of leaning towards this one, personally. Actually, I just noticed they have a free 2GB service. I'm going to try this out in the meantime to test it out. If anyone is interested in testing it out too, here's a referral link that gets both of us extra storage space.

So this was meant to be a post asking for advice on backing up files, and now I'm telling you to test out this Mozy site. A bit of a turn-around... but that's ok. I'm still interested in what people use and how effective it is. It has to be financially smart, as well. I'm not wasting money on something I'll hardly ever use.

Time to write a paper about 25th Hour. Bacher out.

And my lost necklace and lost Daily Show tickets were the only two disappointments of the weekend (apart from it raining and being cloudy). Thanks for cheering me up, friends, mom and Andrew!

May 2, 2008

Crappy day.

These past 24 hours haven't been the best of my life, to be honest.

I saw the Daily Show had tickets available for their taping in St. Paul during the Republican National Convention in early September. I'll be back at school by then, so I sent links around to my friends in the Cities, to Andrew, to Kari. They had two days open so I thought they'd have a great chance to get tickets. I get a message from Andrew a few hours later asking me if I had reserved tickets. Yeah, they were already all booked by then. Damn it! I should have just reserved some and not forwarded links. I felt really bad about it since I saw there were two days available, but I didn't think to. Anyway, I reserved tickets for the regular taping in New York the weekend of Andrew's fall break, so hopefully he'll be able to come out and visit me and we can go then. It's the first weekend in May and already I've reserved tickets for late October. Crazy.

Second disappointment was this morning when I was getting ready, I accidentally knocked my amber cross off the ledge into my sink, where it broke into two pieces and fell down the drain. I would have tried to fish it out but it was already broken and I was going to be late for work. I got that in high school in Lithuania... I've had it for a really long time and I'd been meaning to get a new string for it. And now it's gone forever. I feel really bad about that too.

Apart from that, life has been just regular. So regular + bad things = crappy day. I'm just going to hole up in my apartment and do nothing all weekend. I'm going to see if I can wear my sweatpants all weekend long. I think I can do it. I have a paper due on Friday that I should start, but that can wait still. I usually don't get down about stuff, but those things separately blow and together just are super, super lame.

Oh yeah! Plus last night I had a dream that my whole family ended up dying and my parents died and Kari died and I don't know if Erich killed them, but then I knew I had to leave our house (I knew it was our house but it wasn't our actual house, if you know what I mean), but I could go and it was sad but then Erich died too... I don't know. It was kinda upsetting.

I wouldn't say that I'm depressed about this stuff, but I'm not happy about it either. I don't know. Maybe I'm just ready for the semester to be over. Maybe it needs to stop raining! It was sunny out last week and I was in a good mood. Now it's rained and been cloudy the past few days. That's it... It's the weather's fault.

April 30, 2008

It's official: McCain really IS a douche

Dude, screw John McCain.

McCain blames Minnesota bridge collapse on wasted money

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Republican John McCain said Wednesday that the bridge collapse in Minnesota that killed 13 people last year would not have happened if Congress had not wasted so much money on pork-barrel spending.

Federal investigators cite undersize steel plates as the "critical factor" in the collapse of the bridge. Heavy loads of construction materials on the bridge also contributed to the disaster that injured 145 people on Aug. 1, according to preliminary findings by the National Transportation Safety Board.

"The bridge in Minneapolis didn't collapse because there wasn't enough money," McCain told reporters while campaigning in Pennsylvania. "The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects."


The bridge collapse was an unfortunate tragedy and to use those deaths as a sound bite for a presidential campaign blows.

April 28, 2008

Let me just babble on for awhile about my academic interests

As you must have been wondering, I DID get my paper and annotated bibliography in on the original due date... woo hoo!

My paper was on Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ and his use of Catholic iconography - specifically the scene where Jesus pulls his heart of his chest in a morbid mock-up of the Sacred Heart. Then it magically becomes an axe out of no where... It's a messed up scene that's largely ignored by critics, so I wanted to put the history and meaning of the Sacred Heart of Jesus iconography next to the scene and see if/how his alterations change the meaning of the iconography.

Needless to say, it does change the meaning by taking an image representing Christ's divine love for humanity and turning it into a message of violence. The original image acts as a mediator to Christ's humanity, to ponder over Jesus' heart and his love for us. By changing the imagery, Scorsese takes this image of divine love and manipulates it in a way to cut off that access to Christ's humanity. Scorsese wanted his film to explore the humanity of Jesus, but it seems that everything he does stops that - including his manipulation of this Sacred Heart iconography. Scorsese tends to deconstruct himself again and again - what he wants to do is subverted by what he actually does.

Anyway.

I have three papers coming up in the next few weeks - two next week and one on May 24. I'm going to write one on Spike Lee's 25th Hour, based on David Benioff's book The 25th Hour. That's for my Christianity and Culture class, and I really don't know what I'm going to say yet. The paper for my Theology and Cinema class is about Saved! but the paper really is more of a project. We have to write about how we'd use a film in a ministry setting or professional setting (I suppose he really didn't account for people who want to teach film, and thus use film all the time... although maybe it'd be easier that way).

My paper due on the 24th is my Cinematic Spectacle course, and that's 15 pages - my longest so far (not counting the bibliography/pictures from my last paper). I have to give a 10 minute presentation on this tomorrow, so that's what I'm procrastinating from by writing this post. I'm planning on saying that The Ten Commandments invites participation from viewers on several levels - originally through it's widescreen proportions (a novelty when widescreen was released, promoted as engaging viewers) and then through it's yearly showing on TV, becoming a ritual in and of itself. Not only is the viewing a ritual, the film depicts the beginning of ritual - the original Passover. However, the movie isn't made for a Jewish audience, in fact it's often stripped of it's ethnic Jewish markers. It's Christianized (which is why it's shown at Easter) and Americanized in a Cold-War period. I'm still working on this, and I'm planning on starting to write the paper after my other work is done, so this presentation kind of conflicts with that. I wasn't even planning on looking at any of the material until those other papers were done, so that I have to put together this brief presentation is kinda annoying.

Anyway, after those two papers are due on the 7th and 9th, the Spectacle paper isn't due until after I leave for WI so I should have some free time after finals week to pack up my apartment and finish that paper. I have to move my stuff into the Catholic House (where I'm living next year, a intentional community living house) before others move out after graduation, so my stuff will be around the house until I come back at the end of summer. It's a big house and they have three floors, so it shouldn't be a huge problem. If anything, some of my friends are offering to store things in their rooms since they'll be gone for the summer too. Aside from moving and finishing that paper, I just have lots of drinking to do. I mean, spending time with friends. I'm actually really excited about it.

I posted before that I've started writing on a feminist blog Female Impersonators. Lately there have been some commenters who just don't get anything about the pro-choice movement. Their comments have been super frustrating and at times insulting (I stop commenting back when they do that - I'm a lady). Just today someone posted something along the lines of "but you deeply believe that all women should have abortions"... Yeah, because I'm so pro-choice that I think women shouldn't have any choice at all and just vacuum those babies out of their wombs. That's problematic enough, but the fact that someone wrote telling me what I believe? I told them they should come over and tell me what to have for dinner. Anyway, if you want to check some of it out, the particularly heated debates are in the Jessica Rabbit post and the Oklahoma legislature requiring ultrasounds before abortions post. There's also a really interesting link to a report about how scientists have been able to use menstrual blood to make similar tissue to heart tissue. It's really fascinating.

Here's some music I've been listening to these past few days:
Sweet Honey in the Rock - Wanting Memories (****)
Sia - Breathe Me (****)
Yael Naim - New Soul (****)
Tilly and the Wall - Bad Education (****)
Tilly and the Wall - Beat Control (****)
Hem - Half Acre (***)
The Poozies (hehe, Poosie) - Another Train (***)

Erich reminded me I haven't played Risk all year, and I'm jonesin' in a bad way. Riiiiisk. I miss it, especially LOTR Risk. Such an interesting board...

All right. Presentation planning time. I figure I can waste a couple minutes talking about the state of film in theological academia. All right. Bacher out.

April 24, 2008

Quote of the day

"Often times people ask me, 'Why is it that you're so focused on helping the hungry and diseased in strange parts of the world?' "

— George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 18, 2008

April 22, 2008

Procrastinator away!

Spring is in the air, so of course that means finals! Not only is it finals time, it is high time for procrastination... so another post about how I should be doing work but I'm not.

The work in question this week is my annotated bibliography for my Visual Cultures of American Religion course. I finished the paper for the class over the weekend, spiffied it up with a cover page, bibliography, even pictures. Both of these were originally due on Thursday, so I wanted to finish the paper before I finished the bibliography (since I figured that was more important than the biblio). However, my professor said since she wasn't going to get around to reading things until next week anyway, we have an automatic one week extension. So kinda nice, but then it gives me room in my mind to fuck around.

All of my papers were nicely spaced out and I had time to move from one thing to the other, but with this extension, it's not as necessary to finish my biblio by this week. I still want to get it done by Thursday, but knowing that I don't have to kinda sucks and rocks at the same time.

I finished annotating all the books and articles I used for my paper, now I have to go back and annotate the readings we did over the course of the semester. Of course, if I had been smart, I would have annotated things as I read them - the material would have been fresh in my mind and I'd have had more time back then. But of course, I didn't.

I'm at 12 pages right now, so this is going to be a monster collection when I'm finally done. My paper is about 14 right now, including pictures and cover page and biblio - about 10 pages of actual writing. My mom liked it, so that's good.

I should get back to my annotating. I've only got 20+ books and articles to go so, you know, piece of cake.

April 15, 2008

Bush approved torture

From the ACLU:

WASHINGTON – In a stunning admission to ABC news Friday night, President Bush declared that he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details of the CIA's use of torture. Bush reportedly told ABC, "I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved." Bush also defended the use of waterboarding.

Recent reports indicate that high-level advisers including Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and George Tenet were part of the National Security Council's "Principals Committee" that met regularly and approved the CIA's use of "combined" "enhanced" interrogation techniques, even pushing the limits of the now infamous 2002 Justice Department "torture memo." These top advisers reportedly signed off on how the CIA would interrogate suspects – whether they would be slapped, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning.

"We have always known that the CIA's use of torture was approved from the very top levels of the U.S. government, yet the latest revelations about knowledge from the president himself and authorization from his top advisers only confirms our worst fears," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "It is a very sad day when the president of the United States subverts the Constitution, the rule of law, and American values of justice."

Romero added, "It is more important than ever that the U.S. government, when seeking justice against those it suspects of harming us, adhere to our commitment to due process and the rule of law. That's why the ACLU has taken the extraordinary step to offer our assistance to those being prosecuted under the unconstitutional military commissions process. We unfortunately can't erase or make up for what has already happened, but at least we can attempt to restore some of the values and some semblance of due process that the Bush administration has squandered in the name of national security."

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Congress to demand an independent prosecutor to investigate possible violations by the Bush administration of laws including the War Crimes Act, the federal Anti-Torture Act, and federal assault laws.

"No one in the executive branch of government can be trusted to fairly investigate or prosecute any crimes since the head of every relevant department, along with the president and vice president, either knew or participated in the planning and approval of illegal acts," said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "Congress cannot look the other way; it must demand an independent investigation and independent prosecutor."

Fredrickson added, "Congress is duty-bound by the Constitution not only to hold the president, vice president, and all civil officers to account, but it must also send a message to future presidents that it will use its constitutional powers to prevent illegal, and immoral conduct."

The ACLU's letter calling for an independent prosecutor for torture crimes and any criminal cover up is available at:
www.aclu.org/pdfs/safefree/lettertocongress_2007_1213.pdf

ABC's recent news story is available online at:
abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/LawPolitics/story?id=4635175&page=1

Take a minute to send a letter to your congressperson demanding an independent investigation here.

April 14, 2008

You're tacky and I hate you!

I'm tried to find a video on YouTube that explained exactly how I felt about one of my classes, because it summed up my feelings better than I could... but I can't. So I'll just describe it.

It's a scene from School of Rock where Jack Black teaches the kids how to write a song.

Dewey Finn: Now, what makes you mad more than anything in the world?
[sees Billy who has his hand raised]
Dewey Finn: Billy?
Billy: You.
Dewey Finn: Billy, we've already told me off. Let's move on.
Billy: You're tacky and I hate you!
Dewey Finn: Okay, you see me after class!

I'm Billy and my class is Dewey.

I had to leave class early last week so I could help out with Admitted Students Day at YDS, but thank god for that. I was dying from boredom and a lack of interest. He sent me an email asking me why I had to leave (I didn't mention it before class), but how do you tell someone they're tacky and I hate them? I went with the real reason, but I reaaaally just wanted to send back an email that only said "You're tacky and I hate you!"

At least there are only two class periods left. For some reason, he thinks they last 2 hours and 5 minutes when in reality (according to the schedule), they're supposed to last 1 hour 50 minutes. To someone who thinks she's going to die in the class, those extra 15 minutes are more painful than many things in my life right now. Anyway, because of his confusion, we have to come in early so we can leave on time. Needless to say, it means I have to be out of the house a whole half-hour earlier than before.

Only two more class sessions... only two more class sessions...

April 10, 2008

Wooo!

I posted earlier in the year about the people riding their bikes up the hill in front of my apartment building. It was ridiculously nice out today, so I had my window open. Another person rode their bike past my window. Instead of riding the slow ride up, a guy whizzed by on his bike going downhill and as he got to the big incline of the hill, he shouted out "WHOOO!" I thought it was great. Although he should have been wearing a helmet.

I've started contributing to a feminist blog! I'm very excited, since a lot of the feminist blogs I read were kind of the reason I started this blog in the first place. It helps to keep in touch with my family and friends, but also I wanted to work through issues I was concerned with. Now I have a more specified way to do so! Anyway, check it out: www.impersonated.blogspot.com.

I sat outside and read today, wearing my sunglasses. It was beautiful. Sorry friends in the midwest, but spring has come to Connecticut!

I'm also at book 18 of the 50 books to read in 2008. I'm way farther than I was at this point last year, so go me! And last I heard, Kari's keeping on schedule too! We are readers!

And by the way, what's with no one leaving comments on my blog anymore? I know you're visiting since my counter tracks you (and your location - I know where you are...), so leave me some love.

April 7, 2008

I am back! I'm back from my Jane Austen weekend with Tessa and I'd say we watched enough Jane Austen to last for a lifetime. Ok, not a lifetime but still.

We watched:
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Pride and Prejudice (the 2003 Mormon version! Awesome? yes.)
Pride and Prejudice (BBC version with Colin Firth)
Sense and Sensiblity (Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet)
Sense and Sensibility (the second half of the PBS Masterpiece version)
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey

When all added up, we watched 986 minutes or nearly 16.5 hours of Jane Austen movies.

And because we're awesome, we also found time this weekend to go out dancing! A car commerical played "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and I mentioned how much I love that song (and that it reminds me of watching Now and Then with my mom), and Tessa said there's a bar she really likes by the East Village that plays good dancing music (not a lot of the crap that's in clubs). This was, of course, after we drank 2 bottles of wine so any idea we came up with would have been a great idea. So we peeled off the sweatpants and went out! It was a lot of fun; we met up with Tessa's boyfriend Dan. The bar ended up playing more 80's than oldies, but we rocked out to Prince and even a little Jackson 5 - I do love ABC. Dan lived only two blocks away and all of his roommates were gone, so we crashed there. Perfect! The only downside was some handsy boys at the bar, but I made perfectly clear it was unwanted and would end up no where. Also, when I was standing in line for the bathroom talking to the guy ahead of me, he thought it was a good idea to lick my face. Also let him know that wasn't cool, because who wants their face licked in a bar by a stranger? No one!

My weekend of fun is now over so now I have to do lots of work.... boo.

April 2, 2008

My obession with the UPS tracker

If there's one thing I like doing, it's checking the UPS tracker to see when packages I've ordered will arrive. The company will send an email that my package has shipped and then I get to stalk my package via the internet so I know exactly what day it'll arrive.

I'm waiting for three things right now, mostly stuff I put off buying until after I got my first post-Ireland paycheck. I bought a book I need to read for class (and one that I assume I'll use again, thus the buying as opposed to the librarying) called Hollywood Be Thy Name; I bought the Ten Commandments for a paper I'm writing (another thing I assume I'll use again at some point); I also bought a new bookbag. It's big and nice and sturdy and I'm going to use it until it falls apart (as a way to justify the cost). The bag I'm using now can fit my laptop and not much else - not the notebook or multiple books I'm likely to have with me, so it was time for it to go. Plus I grabbed it from the BTFO room so it was free anyway.

The Ten Commandments arrives on the 9th, my new bag arrives on the 7th (it left San Jose on the 1st!), and I'm not sure when Hollywood Be Thy Name arrives since the seller is an independent bookstore and apparently doesn't have access to the massive UPS technology of showing when something somewhere has been scanned. It should be here soon since I ordered it right after I got back. Lamezoid.

March 30, 2008

Unicorns!

While in Ireland, I had a dream that I was a unicorn!



No, not that unicorn. Just a regular unicorn (as if there is such a thing as a regular unicorn). I was a beautiful unicorn prancing around the countryside, trying to decide what to do. I was in love with Andrew, but he was a human. People didn't like that a unicorn and a human were in love, so they tried to kill us. We ran around the countryside (which was really just like a big yard on a hill) avoiding death traps and then we got pinned down by people shooting guns at us. Then I woke up.

The moral of the unicorn dream story is this: if you don't like Andrew and I being in love, I will unicorn-chop you! With my magical horn!

Ok, so the unicorn-chop part wasn't in my dream, but I feel that's what would have happened next if I had kept sleeping.

I e-mailed my film professor a paper topic idea at the beginning of this week. I wasn't sure if it was a topic he'd get behind, and it took him forever to email me back. So I spent the whole week semi-freaking out that I'd have to think of a new topic. I'm actually interested in the one I have now, so that's making the research a lot easier to do. I was worried I'd end up writing about something I had little to no interest in and that it'd show in my work.

Here's what I e-mailed my professor: " You mentioned widescreen as a participatory practice and some of Sobchack's
thoughts on repetition and the collapsing of temporality (lots of good stuff on
33-36). I'd like to tie these ideas to DeMille's '56 The Ten Commandments and
how the film invites participation through its content and the yearly Easter
showing. It's interesting because through the telling of Passover, it makes
present the past but also relates to seders and the repetition and
story-telling that occurs there. It allows for participation in the film (if
vicariously) along with the holiday - reminds me of the oldest church ever
found that has paintings on the baptistry wall of disciples going to Jesus'
tomb to find him resurrected, as if they are on their way to your baptism to
find you resurrected - another collapsing of past and present. However, it's
also complicated through the yearly television showing around Easter and how
DeMille constructs Moses as a Christ-figure - but at the same time, that
incites participation and ritual, clearly emphasizing the representation of the
event."

Anyway, that's my idea for my paper topic for my film class. I think it'll work out, and so does my professor. Which makes me glad.

In between the preliminary research for this paper and another paper on Scorsese's use of Sacred Heart imagery in The Last Temptation of Christ, I've been hitting the library like mad. I've requested lots of books from other libraries, scoured the divinity library (finding very useful books sitting next to the non-useful book I looked up) and I have a huge stack of books checked out. I barely have the shelf space for all of them. I've started piling books up in front of other books.

I bought some tikka sauce at the grocery store yesterday, and I'm testing it out today. I'm afraid I might have over-tikka'ed my meal tonight, but we'll see how it goes. I'm seasoning my chicken with the sauce and I mixed a small spoonful into the rice I made. I have a big thing of yogurt, so let's hope that balances it if it's too spicy - although for me, it's rare to find something too spicy. Unless Erich cooked it.

March 28, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

I'm back in New Haven, having arrived from Ireland late Sunday night. I've been pretty busy since I'm just realizing how little time is left in the semester. Here's an example from one of my classes: It meets once a week, and we met this week. Next week we're supposed to go to the opening of a gallery at a Middle Passages conference held at here at Yale. The week after that is canceled. After that, we have two more class periods and the paper and annotated bibliography are due at the last class session. Ahh!

I'll put up pictures from my trip soon. This weekend sometime.

March 22, 2008

More from Ireland

Tomorrow I come home from Ireland (sad). But it's been a lot of fun since I've been here, so that's nice.

This morning I made cream cheese french toast for Andrew and he said that it was so good he's going to hold on to me. What a compliment. But I think Mom and Kari should be pleased to know that their experiment ripping off IHOP will get me men.

We went to Dublin this week from Tuesday to Thursday. It was pretty fun, even at the same time as being tiring. There's so much to do in Dublin and we had so little time, so we tried to pack as much in as possible. That meant on Wednesday we went to 1. Dublin Castle 2. Chester Beatty Library (scraps of 1 c. parchment/Gospels!) 3. Christ Church 4. Guinness Brewery Tour 5. the place where Barney Kiernan's used to be (a pub where James Joyce set a chapter in Ulysses, a chapter on Andrew wrote a paper) 6. the Post Office 7. National Musuem of Archeology and History, 8. National Library 9. sushi for dinner! 10. Davy Byrnes (another Ulysses reference, where Leopold Bloom had lunch) and then finally to our hotel. Some places we just briefly stopped at (Christ Church, Barney Kiernan's, the Post Office), but all in all, we saw a lot and walked everywhere. I was v. v. v. tired by the time we went back to the hotel. Sushi helped my exhaustion, but there's only so much raw fish can do.

Thursday we went to another bunch of places before getting on the bus and heading back to Cork. We went to an exhibit at the Musuem of Decorative Arts and History (weird combo) about the Easter 1916 Rebellion and then to the James Joyce Center. We also walked through St. Steven's Green where the waterfall was NOT working. Bullshit! Dublin is about a 4 hour bus ride away from Cork, so by the time we got back to Andrew's apartment, I was pretty tired again. Not as tired as on Wednesday, but tired nonetheless.

Last Saturday we also went to Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. I have a lovely picture of Andrew kissing it, but not me. I blame this on Andrew. He didn't take a picture of me kissing it because "it was the wrong angle. It would have only been your legs." Laaaaame. He's a jerk. (In his defense, he did offer to buy me a copy of the one the Castle takes, you know, like on a rollercoaster. I think those are ripoffs to begin with, and since you couldn't even get it printed on a mug or mousepad, I didn't want one.)

Today we're going to go to an Easter beer festival held at a local brewery here. I'm pretty excited since I love beer and I love Easter. You know, Jesus dying and raising and all. Then tomorrow I fly home where I land at 11:00pm and take the midnight shuttle, putting me back in New Haven at 2am where I can sleep for a bit until I have work that afternoon. I'm going to go see Tessa in a few weeks, so that's exciting too. The semester is almost over - I have about four weeks of classes, then a reading week and then exams period when all of my papers are due. Crazy.