Monday, February 28, 2011

Nighttime Musings of the List Girl

Will it be possible for me to crank out one more post to add to my February tally? I want to get my numbers back up, but this probably isn't a good idea to just start out writing with no real topic in mind.

See, that's all I've got so far. Stuck already!

We went to Red Lobster today for my dad and brothers' birthdays. It was yummy.

A person from my past who has caused me many conflicted feelings randomly up and texted me today and we had a rather long conversation. I don't know exactly how I'm feeling about it, though. Good, I think, but it's hard to tell. Hopefully when I go to sleep tonight I'll have some sort of revealing dream that makes everything clear. Lately I've been having this issue where I end up having to get up in the middle of these dreams that are just so entertaining, and it's almost depressing to have to leave. It's like I'm placed in someone else's life, where nothing really magical or interesting is happening, but there's a STORY that I'm captivated in, and it's really hard to get up without trying to go back to sleep. That really doesn't sound too special, but when all my dreams as of late aren't memorable at all, the only chance of escaping real life is so appealing.

And then today I was so tired from lack of inadequate sleep this weekend, that I went to take a nap in my room and I just could not fall asleep for some reason. I think a lot of things were going through my mind that I need to take care of this week, and I've just been on such a go-go-go schedule that I can't relax until everything's done. And I could tell that the pressure of only having so much time to sleep before getting up to do things again was making it worse, because when I know I've got a small window for getting good rest, it never ends up happening. Like when I took the ACT for the first time and I wasn't really nervous at all, I just had the worst night's sleep because all I could think about was how much I NEEDED to sleep so I could function well and do a good job. Everybody in the morning was like, "It's totally nerves!" but I was like no it's not, guys, I know what it feels like to be nervous and this is not it. Anxiety, perhaps, but those are completely different. It wasn't anxiety over the test, it was anxiety over getting adequate sleep.

Something I've been thinking about recently - The more I grow older and realize all the funny things that have happened in my family, the more I appreciate those silly experiences that I normally would take for granted. I didn't even know that I was run over by Christopher on his tricycle when we were kids until he said it tonight, but just imagining it makes me laugh. I could tell it was something he remembered vividly, and he was surprised that I didn't. We all have those memories that stick in our minds for some reason even though they're nothing close to monumental events. With our limited capacity at such a young age, I wonder what causes us to keep certain memories and leave others out. For instance, I always always will remember that in kindergarten I taught a girl named Tess how to snap her fingers. Did that mean anything in the course of my life? Of course not, so why do I remember it? Just something to ponder, I guess.

But anyway, I'm going to have to start keeping a catalogue of all the funny stories to tell when new people enter into our family - fiances far in the future, perhaps? People often say we are such a sitcom family (mainly my mom, actually), but I just don't normally think about our experiences in that way. However, I'll always remember the time I was pretending to swing our wooden kitchen mallet at Garrett from across the room and the top part came off flying through the air, soaring across the way and hitting the wall behind him, leaving a serious dent in the wall. And now we'll forever get to tease him about breaking his thumb from running into a tree skiing. I wasn't there so I don't know the circumstances, but just the idea behind it is quite humorous. And now I love telling the story of how I drank a bottle of Benadryl when I was 3 or 4, playing house and being the one who needed medicine, when Christopher tattled on me and I was taken to the children's clinic and forced to throw it all up. Mom never fails to mention how stubborn I was - I didn't want to throw up so I kept holding it in, despite the fluids they gave me to prevent otherwise. This might explain why I have a high tolerance for things that should normally make me gag. I couldn't even be bulimic if I tried, because those muscles have been built up so well to not allow for up-chucking.

Is this getting a little uncomfortable? I still don't know where I'm going with this post.

Another thing - I find it increasingly shocking to myself how much time and effort I'm willing to spend on some of my classes to prep for tests that take up almost no time at all. I would estimate at least 15 hours total of reading/note-taking/studying for my second Visual Arts QUIZ all culminated in a 30 question assessment that took me no more than 20 minutes. The material covered 5 chapters, with so much information that we could have been tested on - 100 questions, easily. I almost feel like I've wasted all that time, but I can't go that way of thinking because there would be no way I could pull off grades in the 90s without it, despite how not time-consuming the quizzes are.

And don't you hate it when you take a test not on the computer and you actually have to wait a few days to know how you did? I'm getting so used to automatically knowing my score when I finish, it drives me nuts that I can't know my grade for the test I took in another class today. I rushed out of the house this morning to get to school early so I could squeeze in extra study time and get my 3X5 notecard ready with the notes allowed, only to forget said blank 3X5 card and have to purchase a whole pack of like 500 hundred just for the one that I needed for 50 minutes. The things you do for good grades . . . Sigh . . . It'll all be worth it when I get my scholarship back and graduate with supreme confidence two years from now in my area of specialty, ready to start my career and take on the world.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Linkin Park Rocks!

Words cannot describe how thankful I am that my friends and family always have the best luck with getting free concert tickets. Ever since I found out the date of Linkin Park's stop in SLC, months ago, I'd been dreaming of how awesome it would be to go, but I wasn't about to spend $50 or $60 on mediocre seats. For some strange reason I still kept that Friday open, in hopes of the extremely unlikely occurrence that I'd be able to go, and it just so happened that my concert buddy from last week won tickets on the radio just two days before the show (like he always does), on Wednesday. And for some other strange reason, I didn't say yes right away - I'm weird and I have to sometimes talk myself into doing things that I know I've been looking forward to for a while. But it didn't take a divine message from God to convince me to go. I snapped out of that phase quickly, and good thing, or else I would've missed out on an epic night.

Epic. A word that I've been using to describe lots of things recently. Also, a word that has no other substitutes when it comes to describing last night. The opening band was called The Prodigy, an English electronic group that specializes in hardcore rave-style music. At first I wasn't impressed by their efforts to get the crowd jazzed up by using the technique of shouting f**k every other word, with no actual meaningful language in between. They didn't need this strategy, because after feeling a few of their insanely loud techno beats pump through my body, I (and the audience) was definitely on board for some fun. Other than the music, what I was most dazzled by during this half of the show was the light choreography. Burst of reds, blues, yellows, greens, and pinks were flashing constantly along with the beat, as if thousands of skittles had been shaken up in a giant bottle and forced to explode from the energy. A few of the pictures I took on my phone and camera somewhat captured this, but nothing compares to the video I started taping when I unexpectedly heard the song that my drill team danced to for our jazz dance in 2008. Actually, now that I'm playing it back on the computer, I'm reminded of just how crazy the lights were - this is a sad thing to say but I'm sure anyone with epilepsy would've been in a really dangerous situation.

Following The Prodigy was a lengthy break during which we could chat and observe the daring tech crew hang out at least 100 feet above the ground while setting up different things up top. Concert buddy and I pondered how intense the fireworks and lights would be for the main show, but I'm actually pleased to say pyrotechnics were absent and ridiculous lights were minimal. The epicness of Linkin Park's show came from their perfect delivery of the songs, the enthusiasm every band member put into it, and the pure fire within the entire crowd that comes from so much love and support of this great band. When there was not sound coming from the speakers, there was plenty of it coming from the audience, because rarely did we stop cheering at the end of a song before the next.

Yes, the displays on the background screen were very cool and created the right ambiance, but I think it's safe to say Linkin Park's success was due to the songs they played. Every old-school LP fan would've been satisfied by their selection that included more of their original hits and less of the not-as-popular ones from the newer albums. I was so pleased when their last song of the encore ended up being One Step Closer, from Hybrid Theory, which is one of my absolute favorites. I can assure you I could not have been rocking out harder during their last few numbers, when I wished the night would never end. Comparing this experience to last week's smaller concert that I attended, back then I wanted it to last longer in hopes of hearing better stuff, but with Linkin Park, I just wanted the already-there perfection to keep going and going. On the drive home while listening to their other music, I just kept thinking how awesome it would've been if they could have played EVERY song from Hybrid Theory and Meteora (at least).

If I haven't stressed this enough, here's me saying again how happy I am that their MUSIC is what makes them great. In contrast, I love Nickelback and all, but I honestly don't think they would rock as much live if they didn't have the whole beer-party-fireworks thing going on. LP was true to their hits, with occasional trippy visual effects and some gnarly auto-tuned creep music that placed you in another world. And when you read the words "auto-tuned," don't think Ke$ha or Kanye West, because it was different and a lot cooler than that.

Venue-wise, I'm starting to love arenas. Here's why:
a) I get to sit down in an actual chair with a back. So much more comfort than standing for 4 hours!
b) There are clean bathrooms with more than two stalls.
c) Multiple food choices
d) It's almost guaranteed that everyone there wants to have a good time and has huge support for the main band. Never will you be let down by the collective enthusiasm of the crowd in a stadium setting.
e) You can take really cool pictures that capture the epicness of the whole stage and surrounding area. Like these! As a wrap-up of this post, my favorite shots of the night:

As usual, click on individual photos to see them bigger

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Rather Boring Survey

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4 and write the sentence here: 
"Many modern prisons, however, still suffer from a "lock psychosis" (a preoccupation with security) among top- and mid-level administrators as well as a lack of significant rehabilitation programs."  -  Criminal Justice, a Brief Introduction by Schmalleger

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What’s there? Air and empty space. I can't imagine a different answer, unless people who takes this survey live in a closet. My arm is pointing towards a bookshelf, which is the more interesting question to ask here.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?: I was just watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and switching to The Craigslist Killer during commercial breaks.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is: It's gotta be something like 6:15. I just looked and it is 6:21. 

5. Now look at the clock. What is the actual time? Ha! Beat you to that one. It is now 6:22. 

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? Two televisions - one with the news and one with something else that I can't decipher. 

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing? Last time I was outside I was scraping snow and ice off our driveway for an hour and a half this morning.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at? My list of previous posts. (I'm coming up on 100 pretty soon here!)

9. What are you wearing? Skinny jeans, socks, a brown long-sleeved shirt, and my university hoodie. 

10. Did you dream last night?

I'm sure I did but I can't remember any of the dreams I had. 

11. When did you last laugh? 

Today when I watched the last two episodes of glee that I had to catch up on. The Justin Bieber Experience was so funny! 

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in? 

A quilt that my mom made depicting our house and the beautiful mountains behind them. A few swords are also hanging up on the walls, as well as plaques that my dad has earned from his career. Oh, and a calendar and two clocks. 

13. Seen anything weird lately? 

Um. . . no?

14. What do you think of 

What is that? I've never heard of it. But I'll tell you I think is hilarious! 

15. What is the last film you saw? 

Last night I watched Beauty and the Beast on blue-ray and it was fan-freaking-tastic! 

16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? 

I would probably go out shopping and get some clothes, jewelry, music, and GH Warriors of Rock, and take my friends and family out to eat multiple times at nice restaurants. But I wouldn't buy a butt load of clothes because I actually don't like having so many things to wear that some only get used a few times. OH! I would definitely buy a new hybrid automobile, and maybe a newer car for my dad, too. I would start paying for my own insurance finally, and probably move out, and then save a lot. AND of course go to Disneyland FOR SURE this summer. I mean, I'm ready financially right now, but that would just solidify the deal. I would even pay for my friends to go. 

17. Tell me something about you that I don’t know. 

I once open mouth kissed a horse.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change? 

This is a tough one. It's essentially asking for a solution to the problems of the world. I can't take this too seriously or it would cause me to delay answering for the rest of my life because I would need that much time to think about it. But right now I can say that one thing I'm considering is that I'd fast forward through to the complete integration of alternative fuel sources so we wouldn't be constantly worrying about gas prices and everyone would be powering their homes with the sun. Or whatever plan lies in the future that doesn't involve running out of nonrenewable resources, I want to get to that without all the time and hassle for adjustment. 

19. Do you like to dance? 

DO I?? I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, singing Ay-o gotta let go. 

20. What do you think of the president? 

I actually don't know much about him because I'm self-absorbed and too lazy to put forth effort into paying attention to how our country's being run. But I think I like him. He knows what's up with the economic crisis, at least. In theory. 

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her? 

My top girl name picks have changed many a time while I've pondered it. Most recently I've been pretty stoked about the name Charlotte, and being able to call her Charlie. She can be a tomboy and a girly girl if she wants. 

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him? 

Noah. or Liam. That one just popped out of nowhere, but Noah has been at the top of the list for a long time.

23. Would you ever consider living abroad? 

Not really, no.

24. What do you want to say to G
od when you reach the pearly gates? 

Finally! I have so many questions. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The 9th on the 18th

This past Friday night I got to experience the earth-shaking loud music of some awesome rock bands at a small vintage theater down around the Salt Lake area. This was the Monster Outbreak tour, which featured Rev Theory headlining, and the openers Aranda, Black Cloud Collective, and Pop Evil. I had planned on this night mainly to see Rev Theory because they were the only band I knew, but at the end of the day I think I benefited more from being exposed to those bands that were new to me, as they had just as much (if not more) talent than the guys I went to see.

Performance-wise, it's difficult to peg down who had the best stage presence, because I was impressed by different elements from each go-round. Pop Evil was more well-known, so naturally the crowd carried a higher excitement level, but I also just felt a solid energized rock vibe from them as a whole. They would probably take the cake for best appearance as well, since the lead singer Leigh Kakaty (a dude) was probably the hottest person on stage that night, and the luscious locks of long hair on the bassist Matt Dirito were tantalizing to watch as he expertly headbanged his way to a promising migraine. Seriously, this guy came on stage and I immediately thought, "He has Pocahontas' hair, and it's way prettier than mine! Not fair." If you've never payed attention to anyone whipping such long hair like that around in the air, it's quite a sight, let me tell you. I used to just think it was cool and all if the rockstars want to get a little crazy while playing their instruments, but it's actually FUN to watch. Is it weird of me to think that? I hope I'm not the only one that does.

Matt Dirito.
Can't take credit for this pic - my camera sucked 
at the concert. This is a la internet. 

Even before Pop Evil dazzled the audience with their catchy songs and pumped up attitude, Aranda surprised me with a few tricks up their own sleeve. At first I didn't realize the guys setting up the equipment in plaid flannel and skinny jeans were the actual band, but when they started playing they definitely didn't sound like any emo posers. The guitarist Damien Aranda was especially skilled, as displayed most prominently during their cover of Led Zep's "Dazed and Confused." After that face melter, they did some cool things with the guitar where the lead singer would hold it parallel to the ground while Damien sort of played the strings like a keyboard, even going so far as to pull what I'm assuming is his signature move and use his designer boot to play the instrument at the same time. He used a delicate sweeping motion over the strings, which made a really cool effect when paired with the high speed plucking thing. It was very unique, something I have never seen or heard of before. 

Black Cloud Collective's performance was unfortunately mediocre. I have a feeling their tracks are probably better on a CD than you would observe from hearing them live, because the volume of their many sounds together was so loud over the singer's voice, you could barely hear the melodies in their songs. When I did catch a glimpse of some kind of musical pattern, I thought, "That's actually not bad, but I wish I could understand some of the words," because yeah, the sound levels were a little imbalanced, but also the lead singer was not an articulate one at all. My friend commented about him not quite looking the part, which I felt too, but on the other hand I liked that the majority of the other guys sported rugged beards as their go-to hair style, because it was different from most of the bands I've seen.

By the time Rev Theory finally came on, people were anxious to hear the band they'd been waiting for, but sadly more than one technical problem led to a performance that didn't live up to expectations. The microphone was doing a horrible job at picking up sound, so the lead singer Rich Luzzi (who looked like a cross between Stanley Tucci and my more attractive cousin, Greg) basically had to scream his lungs out for us to hear anything, and frankly that just sounded bad. On a side note, I just googled Luzzi and found some awesome pictures of him with a different look, one that included many ripped muscles and a lack of upper body clothing. I may rescind my statement that Leigh Kakaty was the hottest person on stage. But anyway, the vocal problems were a let down, and I honestly expected to hear more songs that I knew. The only redeeming factor was that the last two songs of the night - "Hell Yeah" and "Justice" - were the most kickass in their repertoire, and completely filled up my satisfaction bar. 

All in all I was pleased with the bang for my buck ($13), since I had mostly been exposed to bands that I'll probably get some music from in the near future. I quite enjoyed my time at this venue that I'd never been to before. Typically at concerts I can get cranky real easily if I'm standing the entire night, especially between bands when there is nothing going on. Luckily this place had rows of rectangular block benches that we could rest on while waiting for the next band, and that might've been one of the contributing factors to the night being a success. Feet and back aches were minimal, and I was able to maintain a *lovely* personal space bubble because the place wasn't jam-packed, and we happened to pick one of the best spots in the room to sit. The only thing that needed fixing was their bathroom - two stalls is not enough for a hundred women. But that won't deter me from attending concerts at this venue again (ask me the name if you're interested) because like I said, it was a successful night. Thus ends my post on the 9th concert of my life so far!

And listen to that song up there. It's one of my faves, possibly ever. In the category of hyped up rock, anyway. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why College Classes Are Messed Up

Dear Blog,

I sincerely want to apologize for being absent for a whole week - not that I haven't done it before - but I've been wanting to write many times, I just have not had time! School and work and social activities are seriously piling up and it has been a stressful few days. Hopefully I will have time to relax over the three day weekend coming up. Actually I shouldn't even be writing now because I still have studying and homework I could be doing! But I couldn't stay away from you much longer :)

As one of my facebook statuses said this week, I'm really sick of putting so much effort into studying and practicing problems for my classes and never being able to get the grades I want. I KNOW the material, but college tests and quizzes are ALWAYS structured so questions come up that are impossible to answer correctly due to strange wording or unexpected topics. In fact, most of the professors I've had tell the class what the high score and the average was after every test, and I never remember hearing that anyone has ever gotten 100%, no matter what class. This is why college sucks! Add to that the typical incorrect answer I always have every time because I'm stupid and I inevitably misread one question - and I get rather cranky ending up with a B (or much drastically worse on some Stats quizzes) instead of a deserved A, since those scores make up the majority of our grade at the end of the class. Seriously, teachers should either curve all tests or give more weight to other regular things, like actual assignments, if the exams are always impossible to ace, by at least one person.

Since I'm on a rant about this right now, I might as well go on about the other things currently pissing me off related to school, although I must be very careful about the specificity of my words. Within the first few weeks of the semester, I declared one of my professors an idiot, in my head and probably on facebook too (unnamed, of course), and I still sometimes hold to that. For instance, today he told the class that the phrase "mind your P's and Q's" came from something that was completely false. Back in 6th grade, and a few times after that, I learned that the phrase meant "mind your pints and quarts," and was used in pubs to remind people to keep distinction between the two sizes. I just now looked this up for confirmation, and sources say it is one of the theories, yet there is no provable origin. However, the point is that what my professor said was completely unrelated and wrong, not cited as a theory on any of the websites I found. I thought he might've been joking at first, but I wasn't sure. I'm choosing to assume that he was being serious because it makes it easier for me to be mad at him. I felt bad for the rest of my class because they probably believed him and are now telling their significant others at home the interesting factoid they learned in _____ class today. Which is wrong.

Another thing the same teacher did was use the nonexistent word "heighth," and even proceed to write in on the board as if it were real. Again, if these people do no know better, I pity their minds for absorbing false knowledge brought on by professors who are bad examples. In the same category, we have online teachers whose syllabi and assignment rubrics are littered with grammatical and spelling errors. I can honestly say that I don't try to stick to the correct rules of grammar all the time on here, but at least I'm aware of it, and I'm not writing for something professional like a college course. It's pretty sad when students can find multiple corrections to make on a single page of text written by their "superior." Not to mention that the actual organization of the instructions for the assignments is so horrible that they don't even make sense half the time.

And have you ever encountered a professor who decides that his way is better than the book? This would typically be OK with me, if a) We weren't still assigned problems that tested us on those debatable methods, where our answers can never be in line with the book, and b) The "better" formulas we learned didn't carry through to every subsequent topic in the class, and possibly even mess us up in following courses. It also doesn't help when the prof says one thing and then confusingly changes it up slightly after you've already messed up on a quiz by following his first advice.

Phew. I think I got most of it out of my system now ... if any more annoyances spring up, I'll add them here and notify readers of the update.

**As far as past updates go, this might seem pretty random but I have to say I was a little harsh on my opinion of Three Days Grace back in the 10 Years post when I compared the two bands. After being reminded of their impressive success with hit singles, I have to correct myself and say that they DO have many memorable songs, and they don't all sound the same. However, I still stand by my statement that their song titles could be more unique for ease with remembrance. But not every song is a hit either, so I wasn't completely out of it when I wrote that post.

I feel much better now. Hope to see you again soon, Blog. I miss our good times.

  -  S

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blood, Hard Rock, Number Crunching, and Technological Innovations

Things I Am Loving Right Now

Giving Blood....
It's hard to explain why this has always been one of my favorite things to do. Despite the whole process taking sometimes up to two hours, and the same person asking me both my name and whether or not I am allergic to iodine 4 times each in 5 minutes, I still enjoy that short amount of time when I can actually give away a piece of myself to share with someone in need. Plus, my blood type is the wildcard for all, which means hospitals need it even more because it matches anyone's blood.

"Until We Have Faces"....
RED's new album (released 8 days ago)!! Words cannot describe how strongly I feel for the sounds I'm hearing on this CD right this minute. RED is one of my top 5 all time favorite bands (Christian/Metal), and yes it takes me a few listens of most albums to start falling in love with the songs, but now that I've heard it enough times, I am head over heels. I wish I could write a legitimate review for a substantial blog post, but all I can say is that this music literally resonates with my soul. It's "hitting the spot," so to speak. One of my favorite expressions in reference to music. If anyone's interested, ask me to recommend a song.

Relief: An emotion I'm feeling as this semester continues and I'm still enjoying my freshly declared major as much as I did when I made the quick decision of what career path to follow. A LOT of information is soaking into my head every week, and I suspect it will only increase in intensity as I progress with this degree. But I actually have fun doing homework and practice exercises, just because the satisfaction of getting the right answer as a product of complete understanding is so awesome! I feel like I own the problems, and what's great is that Accounting is the type of path that people only pick because, like me, they truly like it, or else they wouldn't be doing it at all. I mean, most of you reading probably hear the word and think "Ew, numbers and math," so it would take a lot of outside motivation for a normal person to go that direction. It's never like, "Oh, well, Accounting isn't a complete nightmare so why not?" It's a love or hate thing.

Right now we're on the chapter about Activity Based Costing, which in simple terms is the way you allocate various costs that go into production of goods and services, to the specific products themselves. It's a more accurate, detailed, and complex approach than the broader method using a predetermined overhead rate, which just seems silly to me now (for reasons sort of explained in a second), but as I've been reading, ABC methods are a lot more costly to implement. I was thinking today if I ever partner up with someone to start a business, I'll start off with all the smartest accounting methods, but that may not be possible when they cost so darn much to implement. But seriously, ABC is so much better because you get a much more accurate calculation of the cost to produce each product in a line. Sometimes companies estimate poorly and end up with misleading figures, causing them to make the wrong decisions based on that incorrect information. I wonder if this is making sense to you right now because in my head everything clicks perfectly, and I just hope I'm putting it into words understandably.

Thinking along the lines of publishing again (thinking again, not publishing again), I really REALLY wish I could put a video/sound clip into a book, because sometimes the songs from my posts are what capture my mood and thoughts the best. Sometime during my lifetime this better be made feasible. Heck, we have picture frames with changing photos, and that must've sounded like a crazy idea 30 years ago, but they're totally in use right now. It's just a shame I can't turn the entire first year of my blog into a yearbook, all forms of media included.

But we are at least making progress with cool inventions. Like I said, those digital picture frames are pretty cool, and I've seen ski/board goggles with a camera built in for videotaping. I still think hovercars are taking too long, as are a simpler, portable storage form of music that actually lets you listen at the same time - I'm thinking a USB drive that you can plug headphones into. I always want to get a few CD copies from friends, but until I get them on my laptop and then my ipod, they are stuck on that flat disc unless I can find a CD player, and who carries around a walkman anymore? We could be sharing 50 songs at a time on cheap USB drives (or something similar) and walking around campus listening to those instead of wasting so multiple CDs for the same amount of songs that aren't even accessible by themselves. Does this idea make even less sense than the benefits of accurate cost accounting methods, or can you picture what I'm thinking? Feedback is appreciated.

Also, what do you think are some cool new inventions that have sprung up recently?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Photo Diary of My Iphone

Today: I successfully, although not intentionally, melted through ANOTHER plastic tupperware piece while making popcorn in our freaky microwave oven contraption. Fool me once, microwave, shame on you. Fool me twice ... still, shame on you for truly being a horrible piece of technology.

Owning at minesweeper at work. When I'm not busy, of course. Working hard, not hardly working, I swear! But still, 174 seconds is pretty dang good - more proof of my awesomeness (if you couldn't tell by the professional tupperware meltage.) 

This is a Lego version of a yummy Taylor Lautner pic, courtesy of the app called LEGO Photo. It only actually works well on a few certain photos, most of the time the product is an unrecognizable chaotic jumble of colors not resembling their true subject matter. This one came out ok, though. You may think this detracts from my awesomeness, but I only did it because I was bored and had to kill time. 

Here we have Mr. Moose trotting alongside our car on the way to work. He was all like "I'll race ya!" and we were like "Or we could just keep driving slowly and wait for you to get out of the road so we can be on our way!" Eventually we won when he exited the track and forfeited the competition.

Funny story! Mom and I are driving around town one day and she reads this sign on the back of a car, the one that says "Lamiglas: Fish With Confidence," and she says, "How do they know the fish have confidence?" Then she realizes the word "fish" was used in the verb form, not as a noun. Haha! What an awesome person I am for having an awesome mom! 

This picture marks the first truly Indian meal I had as an intentional cultural experience. If there's any way I prefer to experience new cultures, it is through the taste buds! I quite enjoyed this meal, and the representation of the plate is so aesthetically pleasing. I mean just the geometry of it all ... and the balanced color palatte ... a work of art. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I am not unlike many of my peers in the fact that a large portion of my budget goes to food and eating out. It is one of my main "extra" expenses that comes out of every month's paychecks. However, when I pay a totaled $12 for a mediocre lunch while killing time between obligations during the day, that does not fly with me.

While driving around town today I had a place in mind for a cheap lunch, but when I got there, I found out they weren't opening for another half hour, so I went into their neighboring restaurant, Iggy's Sports Grill instead. I've always liked the ambiance of that place. The layout is open and friendly and they have the perfect balance of interior design - not a chaotic mess of decorations on the wall, like some popular chains. I quickly ordered a BLT and strawberry lemonade and quickly my meal was delivered, since the place had just opened and not a lot of people were in there at the time. For this I am thankful. I barely got done eating my slice of bread (dipped in their unique sweet/tangy sauce) before my sandwich arrived, and that's much preferable to waiting half an hour.

$6.95 got me two pieces of bread, shredded lettuce, bacon, and tomatoes, along with a large side of fries and a very tiny cup of coleslaw. Oh, and a pickle. Which looked like it would have been a pretty good quality pickle if I were the kind of person that enjoyed cucumbers soaked in evil. My sandwich was fine. Nothing wrong with it except the crusts of the bread were stale and hard to bite off. All of the components of a good BLT were there (including a good amount of crispy bacon), but somehow altogether the sandwich as a whole was just lacking excitement. On the other hand, at least I had some excellent fries for supplementation.

The thing that really got me, though, was the $3 strawberry lemonade that was so strongly flavored with artificial sugar syrup, that I ended up pouring about 1/3rd of my bottled water into the drink throughout my stay there. Every time I added more it didn't even seem like the overbearing taste was getting any lighter. There were no strawberries either, which is just unacceptable. I left without finishing the entire lemonade, and was quite pissed I spent so much money on it, especially since I had to almost remake the drink myself.

After leaving an appropriate tip, the total spent on my ho-hum lunch was about $12, and I wish I could take it back. I know I could've gone to McDonald's and gotten a cheeseburger combo for like $4 or something, but I wanted to avoid that type of high-fat fast food. Except at least their burgers are tasty (in my opinion). Taking Iggy's out of the equation, I'm getting more and more annoyed that healthier options are always more expensive than those that clog your arteries and offer no nutritional value. It's a trade off between saving money and preserving your body. In the case of today's lunch, I probably didn't so well on health either, with those french fries and bacon. But whatev. Tomorrow is a new day.

And even though my meal today was unimpressive, I'll still probably go back another time. I know that other items on their menu are well done, and their service is good, so I probably just need to learn what their best choices are before I order something boring. For example, the one time I've had dessert at Iggy's I shared the "Homemade Bread Pudding" with one of my besties, and it was delicious. Trial and error is the name of the game I guess, but now I'll be more careful when going to a sit-down restaurant and expecting to get a good meal for a cheap price.