Sunday, June 28, 2009

testing 1 2 3

Last week at church, a very loud couple sat in the front row right in front of my family. They noisily shuffled to the middle of the pew, scrambling over churchgoers who were trying intently to decipher Monsegnior's homily. The woman sat down, asked her husband if he had "written the check yet" and proceeded to fiddle around on her iPhone for several minutes. I had already been fighting to concentrate over my brother's constant fidgeting- cracking knuckles, biting fingernails and playing with his shoes- when these people came in. It was hard enough trying to concentrate on the gospel and forcing my brain not to slip into daydreams or lists of what I had to do later.
Then I remembered praying for help concentrating at a daily mass the week before (I really needed help then, I was surrounded by 100+ small children). Slowly I realized the placement of these annoying people was entirely my fault. When you pray for strength, God doesn't just give it to you. He gives you an opportunity to find it. So, I was forced to pay attention by my own request. Funny how that works, getting what you ask for.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

go big or go home

One of the things I miss about college life (one of the many things) is weekly trivia night. Every tuesday at 6:30 we walk to O'Malley's for two hours of generally pointless questions. During the summer, however, my trvial knowledge has gone untested...until last night. Who would have thought that Starbucks is a good place for trivia? Actually, the tables are small, there's no food, and the host reminded me of a love child spawned from the romance of Bill Nye the Science Guy and The Cat in the Hat. Also, like most trivia hosts, he gave the answers with a smug smile that implies he knew the answer the whole time, or even wrote the question. I used to think this was the case. In reality, trivia hosts recieve the weekly questions from a nerdier nerd who doesn't have to sit in a crowded Starbucks all night. Don't get me wrong, I seriously wish that were my job.

I mention this because our trivia team (J, G, M, Y, K, K, and H) won first place last night. There was a small argument about how much to bet for our last question, but we decided to go all the way. At least, the person who wrote the wager decided. But it payed off. Meow Zedong! Go big or go home!

Oh, and apparently trivia hosts enjoy small pictures of our mascot, Meow Zedong.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

what ever happened to girl power?

If you ever have any doubts about the whacked out gender roles present in the Twilight saga, see here.

Last night I surfed the web to my fullest extent, using all my resources to find free episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer online. I know, lame. But it is summer and that is just what I do. Besides watch iCarly and sew, apparently. Try as I might, I could not find seasons four through seven anywhere. Looks like I'm going to have to expend energy walking or driving somewhere, or even restarting my Netflix (or sneaking onto my parents') to watch those elusive episodes. Unfortunately, I don't think I want them that bad. Pardon my digression. The point is that I have been craving some vampire slayage lately. While perusing channels today I happened upon our rather newly acquired HBO channels (for free!) and two minutes before it starts, I find the movie: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nuff said.
So, of course I watched it. I heated up some leftover mac n' cheese, poured some iced tea and settled down to, well, a rather bogus movie (to use the vernacular of the day, which happens to be 1992). I could blabber about differences, draw up a Venn diagram, but I know no one wants to read that. Basically, Joss Whedon is a genius and somehow turned a pretty comical concept into a kick ass TV series. The keys to this transformation, I believe, are dropping Donald Sutherland (or rather, killing him), changing the actress, and most importantly COMPLETELY redesigning the vampires. Sure, getting rid of the creepy Watcher (Sutherland) who I think betrayed her in the end- it's all a bit fuzzy, and I finished watching it less than an hour ago- was a wise choice but the success lies in the last two components.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is amazing. You believe that she could take down any demony bad guy and still make somewhat witty remarks while doing it. You even don't mind that she's dumb, a trait too many TV characters make a weakness and not an endearing character flaw. You want to be her, or her friend, and you even want to hang out in the library with her and the Scooby gang. She works.

The vampires are of course key to the success of the show. Making them almost goofy with pointy ears and lame hissing sounds perhaps led to the lack-luster ratings on the silver screen. Of course, adding a lion roar and squishing their faces when they "vamp-up" always seemed a bit comical to me, but I wouldn't want to meet any of them in a dark alley. The Pee Wee Herman look-alike from the movie, however...let's just say he got his arm ripped off by a non-slayer. Not so tough.

This brings me back to Twilight. Within the teen romance snow globe that is the "twiverse," vampires that sparkle, don't have to be invited in (uh, he watched her sleep... for months), have color changing eyes like Del Sol nail polish, and who can't be killed by anything except another vampire (or possibly a werewolf that isn't really a werewolf) may seem almost normal. within the gaze of Edward Cullen, all logic and sense melts away. I know because it happened to me. But simply watching this video (top) shows just how much of a creeper he really is. It's quite sad that nearly all of America- or the entire world- thinks he's the perfect guy.

These books, which I enjoyed along with everyone else, display some of the worst gender roles I've seen since I don't know, Wuthering Heights. Bella is the classic damsel, only twice as clumsy and three times as stupid. She fell in love with a vampire. Not just any vamp either, but an overbearing, overprotective, bordering on abusive, sparkling maniac. The fact that so many teens worship him as a character and Robert Pattinson, who represents all the unwashed creepy awkward kids you ignored in high school, is ridiculous.

To sum up, I wish Buffy were still on the air so that these now vampire obsessed teens and tweens could be exposed to a true heroine and positive role model, and not some lusty brown-eyed girl who constantly underestimates her own beauty and falls for the first guy who treats her like sh*t.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Summer seems to be the worst time for getting sick. Most of the time it's not entirely physical either. Sometimes summer afflictions last longer than an eighteen hour bug. They can't be helped with medicine or rest or even Gatorade. In fact, summer vacation is often a time of too much rest. I thought I had had my dose of summer illness with that weird food poisoning stint, but apparently not. Instead, I seem to have been bitten by the crafting bug. [insert B-movie horrified shriek]

Indeed. My idle hands are no longer the devil's playthings, as creepy as that sounds, because they are now busy (not with 24-hour blogging, I'm afraid) with the construction of a quilt. I shudder at the domesticity. Two days ago, fleeing the constant chaos of the main floor (more specifically the kitchen), I retreated to my room. I took a step or two in and remembered there was nothing interesting waiting for me. I had the Internet, of course, a TV and a Bill Bryson book (though lately I've been losing my interest. more on that later). All overused and under-stimulating. A quick glance around my room alerted me to the fact that I had been living in a dump for the past month. Seriously. I had been (and still am) living in the discount shopping cart at the front of the grocery store. You know, the one that always has Easter candy and broken candles or 2 dollar DVDs. Of the many things I noticed, a pile of t-shirts caught my eye. I had set them aside at the beginning of the summer due to limited drawer space upon the reentry of my

(Cat in the Hat day shirts ^)
college wardrobe. They all still fit me; nearly every one a size adult small and most of them were free. Even though I regularly donate to Goodwill (and frequently shop there, therefore replenishing the newly vacant portion of my closet), I could not bring myself to give up these shirts. I didn't want someone else running around with my 10th grade orchestra shirt. Or flutter about wordlessly claiming they worked at the Country Club of Roswell in the summer of 2008. I would create an army of frauds! Imagine the confusion:

person 1: Oh, hey. You went to Centennial. Remember that crazy Dr. Bartley? What a troll.

person 2 (aka IMPOSTOR): Uh, yeah.

1: ...and the salt on the football field. Man what a prank. Hey, who did you have for physics?

2: Actually, I just bought the t-shirt at a secondhand store.

1: What? So you lied to me?

2: only in the loosest sense of the word.

1: ... (at this point, person 1 slaps/punches person 2 until satisfied and stalks off, newly disappointed in humanity)

So, you see, I could not release these shirts for the good of the general public. It was my civic duty to collect these artifacts of my teenage life and preserve them in a shapeless lump on my window seat. Yesterday, however, I decided their time had come. So I cut em up, and I'm gonna sew em back together again. In an aesthetically pleasing pattern of course. At the very least it gives me something new to do. I even believe this urge to create is my brain's way of trying to save itself from atrophy. According to an article I read in a woman's magazine, crafts support brain growth and create opportunities to problem solve and hone new or semi-used skills. So there you go, brain. I'm trying. We'll see what comes of this...

Friday, June 19, 2009

let the right one in

I was recently invited to watch a movie with a friend from high school. It was last night, to be exact. I think that's pretty recent. Instead of some dumb cheerleader movie (Fired Up) we watched Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In, or as he referred to it: "Swedish Twilight." Indeed, the movie centered around a vampire "love story," though in a thoroughly different fashion. Eli, a "twelve" year-old vampire girl moves in next door to a nearly albino child named Oskar accompanied by her "friend" (a 47 year old man who sedates strangers, hangs them upside down from a tree or a lockerroom shelf, and drains their blood into a Tupperware container which, let's face it, probably came from Ikea).

Of course, as the common name would suggest, they have a puppy love romance. As vampire lore (and especially Twilight) goes, she warns him to stay away from her. He confesses he likes her after she climbs through his window and into bed with him (naked...those Swedes) and asks her to go steady. Earlier she asks if he would still like her if she weren't a girl. he says yes, which is good, because she's not. And not in the not-a-girl-but-a-creature-of-the-night type of way, but in the castrated-boy-bitten-by-vampire way. This nugget is displayed in a scene in which she changes into his mothers dress (hers is covered in blood of course) and he peeks through the door and sees a lack of "stuff" in the downstairs region. I did not understand this. I was pretty appalled at the movie at this point and was in shock that they even showed a downstairs region, so I had to read this online.

There are too many interesting/gory things about this movie to disclose in this post. If you're looking for a movie with lots of snow, bloody hermaphrodite kiss scenes, Swedish bullies, switchblades, alcoholism, acid-drenched faces, and Rubik's cubes, I highly recommend it. In fact, I recommend it for anyone not necessarily looking for any of those things. As horror movies go, I was sincerely creeped out by this movie. As I said after it finished, it was not pee-in-your-pants scary, but definitely made you nervous to go to sleep. Luckily, Eli is a fairly gentle vampire shemale, so I rarely felt threatened that she would pounce out of my closet at my slender neck, as I usually am.

On the box some newspaper or off-beat magazine claimed it was the "best. vampire movie. ever." Maybe not. But I would say "most. Swedish. vampire movie. ever" and that's from the heart.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"meaningless consumer-driven lives"

As an avid TV watcher and being on break from school (also on break from work of any sort), I find myself most days "vegging out" and watching hour after hour of television. Interestingly enough, vegging has nothing to do with actual vegetables. which I feel is a shame. I love veggies, especially when swimming in ranch dressing or covered in peanut butter. Luckily, I have not come to the stage at which my friend Kala is; that is, watching multiple episodes of Maury per day and memorizing the schedule so she can plan her day accordingly.

In summer watching mode, shows are not prioritized as they are during the school year. For nine months of the year, when all the "good' shows are on, the tivo manages season passes like a TV watcher's personal assistant. Shows may then be watched at leisure and commercials are skipped entirely. During the summer, however, channels are perused again and again, and I find myself watching 48 Hours: Hard Evidence or I become engrossed in an E! THS about the Olsen twins. Again. When I find a show even remotely interesting, which is not very ahrd considering the low summertime standard (past obsessions include, but are not limited to: Dawson's Creek, celebrity poker tournaments, Buffy the vampire slayer and The Price is Right), I normally stay on the same channel and watch through the commercial break. I feel this truly emphasizes the power of boredom, because I would only do this if I were heavily sedated or if the thermostat read over 80 degrees (don't tell my mom, because she'll find a project for me, oh yes she will).

It is during those 30-second segments that I can escape into a tiny, perfect world. If I could live in any commercial, it would be either Garnier Fructis or, of course, Coca Cola. The sheer joy of life depicted in these commercials is almost enough to make me get up off the couch and do something happy. Almost.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

not to harp on...

The anatomy of a summer bedroom is simple and yet incredibly messy. At the moment, I have two fans spinning perilously; one at my window (which, until noticed by my brother, was blowing air OUT), and one, of course, on the ceiling. The floor finds itself littered with sandals, a tool box, boxes full of unpacked dorm gear, unhelpfully warm blankets and a bathing suit or two. The bed lays unmade, a resting place for a book or the remote control. The comforter sits at the foot, folded and forgotten. Sheets are crumpled but clean. The fan in the window cancels out bird noise and wafts in smells from the grill outside. The air moving is hot. My keyboard is hot. My knee-pits (which do not have a medical name) are sweaty. How lovely.

On days like this, it is best to lie, inert, on the closest flat surface. Also helpful would be a drink, itself sweating with condensation and a paperback book about living in Alaska. Or the top of a mountain. Or the inside of a Coca Cola bottle. However, this immobility, no matter how comfortable, always comes with a side of guilt. At least in my family. My mother feels guilty pausing to watch something on TV, yet feels no qualms about farming* on Facebook, probably because it feels more "active." All joking aside, this is a popular rationalization within my family. My father believes he is going faster by taking a shortcut around traffic as long as the car is in motion. I feel it too. I have convinced myself that writing this is more productive than watching iCarly or another episode of Clean House, but is it really?

I know the answer is no, but it still feels like a yes. And now that I've accomplished something today, I'm going to take a well earned break and turn on the tube or read some Bill Bryson. The sad thing about summer is that it will be more than what I did yesterday.

*I love my mother and think fb farming is pretty cute, but also kind of ridiculous. right?

gatorade: savior of the sick

So the lack of posts can be easily explained (she explained to her non-existent fan club of ravenous blog readers). Food poisoning.

There, I said it. The big FP. NOT swine flu as my brother suggested/hoped, but a bad mussel or iffy mayonnaise or something equally sneaky and/or evil. Come to think of it, mayonnaise and mussels probably don't get along too well, but luckily and less repulsively, they were in separate meals.

Anyway, the other night around 11 or 12 all the food I assumed was quietly digesting within the peaceful walls of my stomach decided to exit with such intensity and ferocity that I am still traumatized by the experience. However, after a few hours of violent digestive pyrotechnics and a day of rest, Gatorade, and lots of television, I am back. Now I can spend the day relaxing and watching television! huzzah.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

summer lovin' (and some hating too)

Most people from the south look fondly on summer memories of their childhood. They recall muggy nights with dusty fans slowly churning the thick wet air and the “symphony” of cicadas and crickets drifting in through the charmingly broken screen of their bedroom window. Some reminisce about playing in the sprinkler or slurping watermelon at a block party. All these are picturesque summer events fondly treasured by those who experienced them and remarked upon whenever the conversation should turn to childhood memories or the upcoming summer season. However, these people seem to always forget some key parts of summer living, like the sound of your own feet melting to hot asphalt or the way a sweat drop meanders down your spine to the waistband of your shorts.

Summer has always been my favorite season, and I believe it is simply because I forget the parts of summer that make me want to scream, live naked, or scratch myself to the point of drawing blood. Every year during the summer, I go nearly crazy. Every year I sit on my bed, sick of the same posters on my walls and disgusted at how my bare skin sticks to the sheets. I revisit times where I have claimed summer as my favorite season and shake my head sadly. What was I thinking? Sure, I love the beach and my birthday and not having to (or being able to) wear itchy wool sweaters. Yet even as I doubt myself and the answer I put on that internet personality quiz deciding which Jonas brother I should marry, I still feel a connectedness to summer that goes beyond my current discomfort. Somewhere in the back of my mind I have a Beach Boys song playing and a flashy Margaritaville sign hung up on a cranial wall. Because, you see, summer is a season that sticks with you (quite often literally, especially if you have leather seats).

Perhaps it is the memories that keep me in a summer state of mind. Positive memories from a young age have a way of preserving an attached emotional state, the same way the ice cream truck still gets your attention. For me, every summer is like returning to your favorite restaurant as a kid and discovering rats in the kitchen and a bug in your salad. Maybe it hadn’t always been that way. Maybe time had slowly faded the paint job and rats had only recently moved in. Either way, you feel betrayed by your memories and sad to be away from such simple, happy times. But you never lose those feelings. You still remember your tenth birthday party and various family dinners. And so it is with summer. I can never forget the times that made me love it, but as of now, I’m sweating at my keyboard and wishing my houseful of brothers didn’t necessitate a full set of clothes.

This may sound depressing or hateful towards this season but it assuredly is not. I simply remark upon these feelings because I find it truly odd how startled I am at this revelation year after year and how it always seems new to me. I find it odd that somewhere between September 22 and June 21 I forget the heat and the trouble sleeping and the feel of sunburn. I forget about flipping the pillow and standing in front of the refrigerator and the incurable laziness. I forget about upper lip sweat and milk jug condensation and mosquitoes (how could I ever forget? But I do). I forget the fact that I am terrified of my ceiling fan. Petrified. I frequently picture the entire apparatus wobbling out of control and soaring through the air to slice open my neck or abdomen or even remove a limb or two. Mostly, I forget the noise. So much noise. At night, insects are the “music makers,” endlessly rubbing legs or clicking abdomens. Many writers equate this noise to song, often regarding it as symphonic. It’s not. It is cacophony.
Human forgetfulness is this season’s saving grace. Perhaps this is true of all seasons. Winter may seem majestic until snow melts in your boots or Jack Frost nips at your nose a little too hard. Spring and autumn have their moments as well, and logically they make sense as someone’s favorite season. Spring brings life and vibrant dewy wild flowers, while autumn throws colors like Jackson Pollock. They don’t boast sunburn or heat exhaustion or poison ivy (a gorgeously itchy plant that rears its head for the summer months). Yet for some reason I cannot switch teams. I am not a winter girl or a spring chick or an autumn babe. I love summer.

As much as I complain about the nasty bits, I truly love these three months. All it takes is a little reminiscing and I pine for summer by October 1st. I remember water balloon fights and the smell of sunscreen. I remember the Fourth of July, summer blockbusters, the cool blast of air conditioning, the healing power of cherry slurpies, beach chairs, sand castles, reading piles of books, unsightly goggle marks, salty hair, and the steady rhythm of flip flops. Memories, both good and annoying, keep summer in my heart. And it’s going to stay there no matter how awful it is now. Maybe this year I’ll write a post-it to myself that says: remember to hate summer. You got 47 mosquito bites.

captain obvious

I don't have much to say here, and that worries me. I've been worried that writing in a blog would just be white noise among a sea of witty needlepointers or fantastic oarswomen travelling across the Pacific. Solo. (see Roz Savage, Ocean Rower) I can't compete with that! Even if my summer life involved teaching seagulls to tapdance, I would still barely rely on the readership of my own blogging mother. Mostly because I walk downstairs and announce I have written a new blog post. However, I need to write for my sanity and will continue to do so no matter how few people actually see this site. :P

movie review take 1

Ok, I'll just give you a second to scroll through that. yeah. I know no one wants to hear my girly squeaks or obsessive gushing about this gorgeous man, but I would like to comment on this recent movie, as I have just reseen it in the form of a rain soaked drive-in (more on that later).
To understand the movie fully, all one has to do is examine this poster. things to notice:
  • position? primal scream. one of Wolverine's specialties (not necessarily Hugh Jackman's because he's good at just about everything) and a frequently used tool in most of the x-men saga. EX. a scrunched I'm-not-gonna-cry-over-my-'dead'-gf-here-because-it's-too-macho-but-i-probably-will-in-the-shower-later-so-no-one-can-hear-me face followed by a bellowing growl towards the sky that says whatever it takes he's gonna get even. So there's the plot.
  • weapons? adamantium claws. Which, for those of you who didn't know, are simply plated around bone spikes which he uses in the early parts of the film. They are pretty creepy and no where near as cool or sexy as automatic hand knives (which is saying a lot, because I hate knives. HATE them.)
  • attire. here's my favorite part. Of course, the classic wife-beater (which I read cost at least $50 each and they had to keep buying more because he kept ripping them with his huge muscles. sigh) BUT (and I do mean butt) I would like to point out that this man knows how to wear some jeans. It's amazing he could find any that fit over his Serena Williams-like thunder thighs, but they did, and it did not go under appreciated.
  • finally, the muscles themselves. My favorite thing to tell people is a fact I learned from an interview with him promoting the movie. In order to get enough protein and keep his metabolism going, he would wake up at three in the morning to eat copious amounts of food, sometimes eating an entire chicken. An ENTIRE chicken. I have no more words

All in all, this movie has more action than plot, but that's all to be expected from a summer blockbuster: lots of explosions, a few mega-hotties and usually a fast car or slutty girl in a bikini. This movie didn't have either of the last two, which is the only reason, I believe, why some people were disappointed. In my mind, Hugh Jackman makes up for any short comings, and I am happy with that. But please, keep in mind how many chickens were killed for the making of this movie. Hopefully that will help you appreciate it a bit more.

Friday, June 12, 2009

chew it over

I find myself puzzled by nervous habits. Possibly because my own do not follow any normal or average pattern. I don't have nervous tics or pull out my eyelashes when I stress over school or money. I bite my nails. An oh so common affliction many disregard as even a vaguely interesting personal tidbit. People don't even take the time to find it disgusting or unladylike anymore. Of course, from my mother or more commonly a grandmother, I hear a disappointed sigh when my nails are sighted as if to say "oh what a waste, she could have been a hand model." Sometimes these words actually follow the audible sigh.

It's not as if I can't help it either. As evidenced by my frequent remissions, I am fully capable of stopping if I am in the right state of mind or if I really like my nailpolish. My friend Naomi claims to be in total control of this bad habit, yet doesn't care about the state of her nails. Obviously she does it because she likes it or wants to, which in an odd way every nailbiter does, and does so because she chooses to. In fact, I am ashamed of my stubby nails because I feel like it says "look at me, I can't control myself from being gross." And then of course, I can't help but remember Freud's psychosexual stages and the corresponding "stage" of development (I do not, for the record, agree with Freud): the oral stage. This means theoretically I was understimulated as an infant when breastfeeding so now I am stuck trying to make up for it but putting things in my mouth (in layman's terms).

It makes some sense that I transferred from thumbsucking to biting my nails, and I refuse to ever smoke a cigarette because I fear that is the next logical stage. Which, if that is the case, might cause some minor, tiny, health problems but give me great nails.

I am puzzled by my bad habit because it has uncommon fluxuations. Normally, when people are busy or stressed out, they have a nervous flare up and chew to the quick. I, on the other hand, tend to have worse nails when I'm bored than during finals week. Maybe because my house during the summer is more stressful than college life during finals. That's very likely, in all seriousness.

Hm. maybe I should watch a thriller and let them come back a bit.

jumping off

So I've decided to start this blog in the hopes of solidifying my writing style and keeping my meager skills in practice during the summer months when I am not required to write boring essays for boring classes. I know I will have to write some doozies for the mandatory western civ class next semester and I can hardly wait to set my pen to that blue book. If you can't sense the sarcasm, I blame the forum. Usually I am very sarcastic, probably to a fault, and trying to convey this tone throught the written word is an assignment I am setting myself for this blog, so here goes (not right now, but trust me, it will come up eventually).

I have blogged before, but not seriously. I had an account on xanga that served as a text box for bitching my way through my high school years and also to read the bitchings of my high school friends. It was a great writing experience. AND due to the miracle of the internet, I can now look back on entries from say, the year of Hurricane Katrina and read and entry or ten about how frustrating it is to live with your paternal grandmother or the trials of AP World History (it really did suck). However, this will be different. This blog is for writing, not diary entries.

Oddly, I named this blog my sleeping foot because for some reason the most comfortable seating positions at my keyboard leave me with sleeping appendages. I might need computer chair therapy to repair this tendency. I find that after spending some time writing on my computer, I get up to walk out the door and discover I have tiny ants crawling all over my foot/feet (metaphorically of course, we have a very good pest guy). And so, I begin this foray into blogging. I don't expect anyone to read this, but I expect myself to write it. You are welcome to read along.