I've been talking about Paula Deen too much. You can tell because all my ads are for Mayonnaise and Whoopie Pies. So from now on, when I'm talking about Paula, I'm going to refer to her as The Woman Trying To Kill America.
Because I'm going to try not to mention her anymore, but I can't make that promise.
Sometimes the constant calorie counting in my head is useful.
2 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donuts @ 210kcal Each: 420kcal
Hamburger Patty, AT LEAST 6oz: 560kcal
Fried Egg (I'm assuming just one even though it looks like it could be two): 90kcal
The Two Tablespoons of Butter I'm Sure Are In There Somewhere: 200kcal
Total: 1330kcal. Untold amounts of saturated fat.
And Paula Deen standing there grinning like she's just made the best food ever. No wonder "Paula Deen is trying to kill me" is the most searched phrase on Google that starts with "Paula Deen is..."
In related, ironic news, I'm not actively counting my calories anymore! This is kind of a major thing for me. I started counting when I wanted to lose weight at the Canyon, when I need to lose weight because I had gotten to 165lbs, and it immediately appealed to my OCD. Everything gets counted up, quantified, and assigned value. It's all under my control.
So I took to counting like Slim Jenkins to rice. Everything people complained about when they were told to count calories was everything I loved about it.
I was good at it and it showed. I went from 165lbs to about 135lbs in about eight, nine months. After that my progress was slower, but I chipped away to 125lbs, incorporating more and more exercise - walking and intense stationary biking at the gym. And then we had a snowstorm, and the gym was closed for four days. Jonesing for my hard workout fix, I started running.
Running did things to my weight that nothing else could. Those last 10lbs to my goal weight just dropped away - and then some. Before I knew it, I was 107 and struggling to put at least 5lbs back on. Counting then had a different purpose - to make sure I was actually eating ENOUGH, and getting the right proportion of all three macronutrients.
But now I'm... you know, I'm OK. I'm a few pounds heavier than I want to be to run my best, but I'm fixing that. I realized that I needed to stop counting when I realized I was just trying to get as few calories as possible in me - getting to 1800, on the low end of where my doctor wants me eating, felt like a bad day. As The BFF put it, "That's some eating disorder shit."
So I stopped. I'm working really hard to eat well while simultaneously not microanalyzing what I'm putting in my mouth. I've been counting long enough that I know what I should eat, and what I shouldn't, and how much, and that's enough for me to be able to get back to 115 and maybe feel like an attractive runner again.
If I ever count again, it'll be when I'm in a headspace to be able to do it responsibly and mindfully. That's just not where I am right now.
EDIT: In keeping with the Paula Deen, "This Is Not How You Do It" theme, here's how you don't exercise. Kudos to her for trying, seriously, but the whole time you're exercising you're telling those watching you not to do it. I'm confused and your husband looks like the Gorton's Fisherman.
A while back, Glee did a 'Bad Song' episode, where they took all these supposedly bad songs and made them good again. However, I happened to think that most of the songs featured were not bad so much as just not good.
So I started thinking about BAD songs. And ladies and gentlemen, straight from the archives of my pre-coffee brain, here's my vote for the worst song ever made. Bar none. It fails on both fronts - it's not only a bad song musically, but its subject matter is more than a little offensive.
It's called 'Some Girls Dance With Women.' In it, JC Chasez goes to a lesbian club and thinks all the girls are dancing for him, instead of staring at him because he's a dude. In a lesbian club. It features him not-really-singing, and not-really-dancing, though he tries because this is close enough following his N*Sync days.
All "Oh, the poor ignorant boy bander - all the lesbians probably think he's a girl so they DO hit on him" jokes aside, JC Chasez had to know that sometimes people are just GAY. I mean, he was in a band with Lance Bass.
Today marks a momentous day. Today is the first day I ever seriously thought, "Ugh. I don't want to go to this class." I even thought - and hold the phones, people, because I never thought this could happen - "Maybe I should skip it."
That's what Tom Cruise does to you, ladies and gentlemen. Because we started watching War of the Worlds in class today, to go along with our reading of Wells, and I'm very firmly convinced that in the first 20 minutes of that movie, Tom Cruise is not acting at all. It's his personality, on screen, for all of us to see. And it annoys the living daylights out of me.
If I ever met Tom Cruise I would punch him in the face, probably not just once, and it wouldn't be on purpose at all. He just does that to me. His face, the way he smiles and holds himself... something about him makes me very aware that he believes that he is entitled to everything. Like he's nodding along when Charlie Sheen is talking about tiger blood and Adonis DNA and being better than common people.
So, yeah. I almost skipped class for the first time since I started here, and it's all Tom Cruise's fault.
Oh! I almost forgot to tell you that I was terribly inspired by Sandra Lee this morning, and I wrote a recipe. Yes, for real. It's a special Easter recipe.
"Semi-Homemade" Chocolate Easter Lollipops
6 Cadbury Eggs, original Creme flavor (wait until you've mastered the recipe before making dangerous substitutions here)
6 Decorative Party Skewers, assorted colors, Bunnies preferred
1. Take one egg and figure out which end is the bottom (hint: it's the less pointy one).
2. Peel the aluminum wrapper off.
3. Insert pointy end of one skewer into the bottom of the egg. Don't push it all the way through!
4. Hey, look, you made a lollipop.
5. Repeat 1-4 with the rest of the eggs.
6. Put all 6 lollipops into the freezer and leave them alone overnight. This is the very important part that makes it a recipe, so don't forget to do this.
Here's a guy named Mic Terror. I can't tell you anything more because his website asks you to please 'bare' with him as he gets it off the ground, and Wikipedia's got nothing.
If only he didn't have such good flow. Then I could just tsk and move on. But it's hard to pick my favorite part of this video... the part where he steals a little boy's basketball, the little coin purse hanging from his pants, or the fact that every time he says, 'Riverdale,' I hear, 'Rivendale,' and my brain supplies me with an image of hobbits dancing.
Oh, no. My favorite part is the gratuitous shot of the Burger King. Hioooo, y'all.
First Things First: Congratulations to my friend Margie over at The Marathon Years. She just kicked the National Marathon in the face. But I'll let her tell you all about it over on her blog.
I feel like I'm waiting to get fast again.
I don't know why, really. I'm not SLOW - when you look at an average pace on DailyMile, it's 8:32, including my bad days and my admitted slow runs - but when I run lately I just feel like I'm not keeping up with myself.
I realize this doesn't make much sense. But it's how I feel. I feel like when I admitted to myself that I wasn't gonna be keeping up with those members of my running group who are training for Boston, something within me let up a little bit and decided that we (as a bodily unit) were just not going to run that fast in general. I started hockey and track in the same week, and wound up with runner's knee, and I HAD to slow it down, I know. I did what was right for my body, and my knee got better, and I certainly don't regret the time off. But I can't seem to get over the 'take it easy' mentality I had to adopt.
I'm not training for anything right now - so it's not important, except to me, and my constant need to go faster/be better. And I'm a little morose right now just by token of the fact that I had a kind of terrible long run this morning. Running after hockey night is tough.
When I start actively training for Richmond, I'll really focus on getting faster. But right now I'd settle for a long run under 8:30 that feels good.
I'm watching Cupcake Wars, which is possibly the most annoying show on FoodNetwork. The contestants don't seem like real people. One of them just had to scrap an entire batch of cupcake batter because she 'wasn't sure' if she'd added the eggs or not. What kind of "cupcake baker" can't stick a finger in the batter to tell if she added her eggs? What kind of baker calls themselves a cupcake baker? And prances around the kitchen in high heels? Seriously, they make me NOT want a cupcake, and that's hard to do.
Occasionally Kim Kardashian's Shape-Up commercial comes on, though, and that makes me laugh.
I take it back - Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee is the most annoying show. I saw a clip the other day where she took store bought vanilla icing and added cocoa powder to make chocolate icing. Whyfor? Also, when she was narrating herself, she said, "Now, I'm going to add a teaspoon of cocoa powder," and was clearly adding a HEAPING tablespoon. Have another drink, Sandra Lee.
Oh, good. Iron Chef America is on. I'm gonna eat my broccoli with garlic sauce now.
It would have been totally, 100% perfect, except certain Narnian Cats were freaked out by the noise and lights, and for some reason being scared means jumping on humans' faces with claws. I got up expecting to have scratches all over my face, but no such luck. Just the memory of a night of pain.
Today's song has been in my head for three days, owing to the trouble I had remembering the name of the band. They're called The Ting Tings. They're fun.
I made that a while ago for a DeviantArt meme, but it perfectly illustrates the point of this post.
Reason #1: ZOMBIES CHASE YOU.
There are two kinds of people in the world. Those that will survive the zombie apocalypse, and those who will not. You probably know which kind you are.
Zombie preparedness is important. One must always have a zombie plan, and that plan will always be better served by good cardiovascular/musculoskeletal* fitness on your part.
It is highly likely, at some point during the apocalypse, that you will have to run. Run from zombies, run from other survivors who have lost their minds and/or realized that killing you would remove one competitor for dwindling food supplies, run from the inevitable packs of very hungry dogs who think you have or are kibble... There's probably going to be lots and lots of running.
And you should be ready. You should already know how to run, and be able to do it at a decent speed for a good distance (zombies are persistent and have a lot of time to chase you).
There are other elements to zombie preparedness that you should at least be aware of. The most important - more important than physical fitness - is mental preparedness. You have to be ready to face the reality of zombies. You can't waste a lot of time caterwauling and crying and saying, "Dave! Dave! It's me! Why are you trying to eat my brains?!" You wake up in the morning and the zombies are on your lawn. Don't waste the few precious seconds you have to plant sunflowers before the first wave approaches.
If you're prepared, you already have a plan in place, and you stick to the plan. I have a plan**. Running is part of the plan.
And if you think my zombie preparedness is silly, then you belong in that second category of people. The ones who won't believe the zombie apocalypse has happened until it's too late.
*Google spellcheck says this is not a word, but I beg to differ.
**I also have a Robot Apocalypse plan and a Giant Flaming Meteor Plan***, but running does not factor into either of those. Robots are rather faster than me, and you can't outrun the destruction of the entire planetary ecosystem.
***My Alien Plan involves volunteering to be in a human zoological exhibit on their home planet. So it's not really so much a plan as a logical means of avoiding the inevitable extermination of my species.
Good morning. I'm sitting here, drinking coffee out of a Magic Hat Hex pint glass, and devoting a little bit of precious morning brainpower to wondering what the hell was up with the dream last night where I was making pants with magic.
I have really weird, really complex dreams. Anyone who's been around me first thing in the morning knows about them, because usually some part of the pre-coffee morning involves rehashing them, pressing my palms to my eyes and groaning, "What the hell was that about?"
I do think dreams have meanings, I just think that mine bury them in layers upon layers of meaningless plot development and dialog.
And apparently something I've always taken for granted as a weird me thing is actually something more common to men - I dream in 'watcher' mode. Sometimes I'm not even in the dream, and it's like falling asleep in my bed and waking up at a cineplex. I've woken up and written down the plot of my dream and made it into a short story. They're that logical.
Apparently men usually dream in watcher mode, and women actively participate in their dreams. I do dream in color, though, which is a more female characteristic - men dream in black and white with touches of gold, red, and green.
I have dreamed myself in myself before. It's always a momentous occasion.
In keeping with the theme of the morning, this is Priscilla Ahn, performing 'Dream.' I'm pretty sure that it's a tragedy I'd never heard of her before this morning when Pandora suggested her to me.
I know I'm supposed to find The Warblers' classic, perfect unity and shiny smiles an annoying contrast to the grittier, rock and roll, modern New Directions, but goddamn I love the way they sound. Put anything in multi-part harmony – GOOD multi-part harmony – and I'll like it.
I totally love Glee, by the way. Even if I really can't see any of them as high school students. Even if in real life, Lea Michele is a diva jerkface who is mean to little girls. Even if I think it's wrong that they've outsold The Beatles. Glee is like a drug. They tried to make me go to rehab and I said no, no, no.
I'm just a sucker for good covers, big voices, and people who believe in making the epic out of the normal. Because, you know, life isn't really like art. It's not a novel and it wouldn't even make a decent indie flick. I mean, we admire realism in those things, but even realism isn't real. When you make something seem real, when you really study something to the point of being able to translate it into a creative form, you're making it so much more beautiful, so much more epic than it was before.
Writing about love is easy. The words and forms and conventions have been growing and shaping and evolving for centuries, in our language alone. But the emotion, the psychological and physiological and intellectual and emotional forces at work, is so utterly complex that nothing on paper or film or in music will communicate it. The tired cliché is that Eskimos have over a hundred words for 'snow,' and yet we only have the one word, 'love.' Love of a child is the same as the love of a partner is the same as the love of a television show.
I was saying today that I've decided my life is an allegory, and I just haven't figured out exactly what I'm supposed to represent yet. In reality, everything is too complex for allegory. We guess, and we fumble, and we try to break a thing, an emotion, down to its most basic elements because that's what our art tells us to do. Life imitates art. Does it? For a while, art imitated life, and then art got self-conscious about doing that, so it decided that it was just Art, for itself, for the sake of Art.
But that failed because Oscar Wilde always had a moral to the story, didn't he?
If Brittany and Santana don't get their shit together, then I don't know what the moral of the story is.
Reason #7: "Yeah, there's a little sadomasochism there..."
This is one of my favorite jokes:
"Running is easy. Everyone can do it."
It may not seem funny to you right now, granted, but trust me, when you're struggling to maintain an 8:30 pace over a long run after playing ice hockey the night before, it's basically the funniest joke ever.
The fact is that running isn't easy. Not even when you've been doing it for a while and you'd consider yourself pretty good at it. Sometimes running hurts; other times it just plain sucks.
Part of running is a certain capacity to give and accept a certain amount of physical punishment in order to attain a goal. Otherwise, no one would ever do track workouts and there would be no such thing as a tempo run or a hill workout.
And I think sometimes that this part is the point for me.
I'm human and I live in society; I therefore have concerns. I do things wrong and there are things about myself that I can't fix. And running is a really, really effective outlet for my frustrations. When I fuck up, or say the wrong thing, as I inevitably do, I can't take it back, and the way my brain works means I can't let it go, so maybe that day I run a little harder, push it a little farther.
I'm aware that maybe this isn't healthy, as a mindset, but at least running is a healthy activity. The capacity - maybe the need - for self-flagellation is there, and running is an effective means of letting it out to play.
I don't hate myself and I don't feel the need to intentionally harm myself, but sometimes I think that maybe if I didn't have running, I wouldn't be able to say that.
I love Lissie. So much. Too much. The Librarian is aware that I would break up with her for Lissie, should Lissie ever a) turn out to be gay, and b) express an interest in being gay with me. I count neither of those things as likely to happen, but it gives you an idea of how much I love Lissie.
She's amazing live, and if you ever have even the slimmest chance of getting to experience it, do it. I mean it. I don't recommend live concerts too terribly often, because I know how hard it can be to get to them, but sell your kidney or something, and go see Lissie.
This is a cover of the Kid Cudi song, "Pursuit of Happiness."
In the span of time The Roommate slept this morning, I have:
1. Woken up
2. Fed cats, made coffee, cleaned the litter box, packed up my weekend bag and gotten ready to leave the house.
3. Gotten back to the dorm, restarted my computer, fed my fish, located and posted the song of the day.
4. Gone to breakfast, listened to half a Car Talk while eating breakfast, returned to the dorm.
5. Studied for my English Literature In Transition exam.
6. Run 10 miles at an easy pace.
7. Taken a shower.
8. Eaten lunch (previously procured so as to have more study time).
9. Left for my ELT exam at 1:30pm (I'm posting this half an hour in advance but I very much doubt she'll move before then)
I feel it should be noted that I'm not a particularly industrious person. In fact, there are a lot of things that need doing that I have not done as of yet. Like, clean my room. Make things to sell on Etsy.
When I say, "My Roommate is always sleeping," I really mean, "My Roommate is ALWAYS SLEEPING." I try to make as little noise as possible before noon, but after a while I have to make a choice between living and allowing her to keep sleeping. I had to borrow a pair of old school headphones from The Librarian because I was wearing earbuds so often my ears started hurting.
So The Roommate Question, like The Woman Question of post-Victorian England, is actually a complex, multi-faceted series of questions, perhaps without answers, encompassing things such as, "When does she go to class? When does she eat? What does she eat? When does she go to the bathroom?" I've never seen her shower, but the room doesn't smell, so she must be showering. She apparently hasn't failed out of classes, but when does she have time to study, with all the sleeping that she has to get done? She goes to sleep around the same time as me - 10 or 11. Sometimes when I get in bed, she goes to sleep so immediately afterwards that I know she's been waiting for me to turn off the light.
In many regards, she's an ideal Roommate. We're not friends; we've had a total of 4 conversations and I can relate all of them to you, word for word. (One of them goes like this: "It's raining." "Oh. Well, I'll need an umbrella, then." "Yup." "Thanks." "Yup.") She doesn't care where I go, what I'm doing, or whether or not I'm home for dinner. She doesn't know my parents and she doesn't know my girlfriend and she doesn't care to find out. I similarly do not care about her business, save for the one Question, and at this point it's more of a scientific curiosity than anything.
I simply do not understand how a person can sleep so much.
In other news, in about an hour I'm going to be writing a master of an essay about the relationship between Everard Barfoot and Rhoda Nunn in George Gissing's The Odd Women. I'm calling it "In Defense of Everard Barfoot" at the challenge of the professor, and I'm going to try and prove that Everard actually does fall in love with Rhoda.
The Odd Women is a nice little novel about the New Woman. I'd recommend it but not to the extent of suggesting you abandon your current reading material to pick it up. It starts out plodding and didactic and it really takes you a while to get invested in the characters; when you're reading for pleasure you shouldn't have to struggle for more than ten or fifteen pages.
One day I'll read for pleasure, and it will be glorious.
I didn't post all weekend, as I'm sure not one of you noticed. I noticed, however, and feel I must apologize. I had a really good reason, or set of reasons, however, and they are as follows:
-extra long naps
I'll tell you all about it later, but for now, here's Swedish Indie rock band The Sounds, who the Librarian clued me into. Enjoy your Monday morning to the best of your ability, people. The week has to start some time.
I was commenting on a run the other day with some of my running buds. I hadn't wanted to do it at all, but I knew that if I didn't run, it would be just one more reason to hate the day - I had just found out that a friend of mine had died, and was stressing over all kinds of personal stuff to begin with, so it all combined to make me feel like hell on toast, and it was really hard to force myself out the door at all.
My friend Margie, who blogs over at The Marathon Year, said something along the lines of, "A run can redeem a crappy day. That's reason number 42 why I run."
So naturally I wondered what the other 41 reasons were. And then started thinking about what all MY reasons were. How many would be on the list? Should I rank them in order of importance or just the order in which they occur to me?
I sat down yesterday and began writing out my list. They're numbered, obviously, but I'm not going to write about them in order. I'm going to write about the ones I want to write about, when I want to write about them.
So, Reason #3: Because I'm going to eat the Cadbury Mini Eggs.
I'm a foodie. Not even a snobby one; I like almost all food. I like diners and I like haute cuisine - diners more, actually, since I tend to not like a lot of rich, buttery foods. I eat my weight in Chinese food and I have dreams about donuts and basically I Eat A Lot Of Food.
I also have more than a few body image issues stemming from my childhood Fat Kid identity and lingering overall self-esteem issues. So sometimes running really is just a means of weight control, nothing more. Food and what I've already eaten and what I'm hoping to eat in the future is sometimes the only thing that gets me out the door. It's a reason for when all the other reasons fail me.
My usual lone ranger running route takes me right past a house my brother used to live in. He doesn't live there anymore, obviously, but I'll still always think, when passing it, "I wonder if my brother is home."
When he lost his place in that house, he decided that he wasn't going to give his landlord the satisfaction (read: have the decency) of leaving it entirely clean and devoid of his presence. So he left quite a lot of stuff that, in his opinion, he did not need.
Much of it was the kitchen stuff my parents had been kind enough to buy for him. I'd roll my eyes and say nevermind that, but it's the point of the story, which is that a week or so after he moved, I ran past his old house and the trashcan was overflowing with his old stuff. So much so that there were bits and pieces of it all over the yard.
And sitting on the grass getting trampled was a potholder that I remembered being in my mom's kitchen since I was really little, a patchwork job with Mother Goose on it.
I ran past - you can't really carry things, and it was in the dirt, and I didn't want to stop, and what if someone saw me picking it up, and and and....
But today, while I was busting my ass trying to get home in time to meet a friend, something made me stop. Turn around. And pick up my mom's potholder.
It's Mother Goose.
In a roundabout, I-was-already-thinking-about-it-kind-of-way, it made me think about heroes. Childhood heroes and adult heroes (which we call 'role models') and the things that keep them with us.
My professor today was talking about how Frederick Douglass had a voice like James Earl Jones, and that got us on the subject of Darth Vader, which meant we got to hear this story: "So, we all went to the mall because they had the Batmobile there, and we wanted to see the Batmobile. And there were all these kids there... so the Batmobile pulls up and the doors opened and... Batman had gained a lot of weight and Robin looked like a thug. And then all the kids were chanting, 'Batman, Batman!' but it turned into 'Fatman, Fatman!' and Robin started a brawl."
I never really admired superheroes as a kid. I mean, I loved them but I never really idolized them. In fact, my first hero was Theodore Roosevelt.
No kidding. Teddy Roosevelt was the man. Look him up some time. The guy was a for real cowboy, and basically an all-around adventure man who just happened to be in politics. When William McKinley was assasinated, they couldn't find TR for two days to tell him he was president because dude was camping in the wilderness.
And look at this mustache.
Tell me that's not the face of a man you only wish you were.
Apologies for the accidental early publish - this keyboard in the lab has an inconveniently placed enter key. It's been a long time since I used a full keyboard. So while I mean well, by typing this out in order kill more time before I head out, so I can go straight to dinner and then home to study, I sabotaged myself and revealed my position to my enemies.
But, you know, zombies don't have internet access that I know of, so I might be safe while I finish typing. If you don't hear from me tomorrow, they got me. Brains.
As I've already revealed, I'm working in the SuperLab here on campus today, due to a charming little thing called Linux Prejudice. It works like this:
1. I am a geek. I use Linux because I am That Sort of Geek.
2. As That Sort of Geek, I don't particularly care for social interaction except under certain circumstances.
3. Therefore I want to do as much as possible via the internet.
4. Other Types of People, perhaps deciding that allowing me to live my life like a much more banal Second Life would be indecently kind, make things that would allow me to accomplish All Necessary Tasks while at my desk not work in Linux.
5. I become so upset I forget how to structure a good sentence.
6. Lady Gaga and I have to go and sit in a Public Place while I get my shit done. I feel exposed and violated, and am convinced that the chair in my peripheral vision is actually a white b-boy in a blue velour track suit who is trying to steal my identity. And also possibly my soul.
The boy next to me is playing Bejeweled. I assume also in an effort to kill time, but I admit that this is an etic assumption. Maybe he's really into Bejeweled. Just because I'm not doesn't mean everyone isn't. I'm not into guys but babies keep getting made somehow.
I sometimes think that life would be much more fun if we all treated it like a big Live Action Role Play. Then I remember that people who don't understand the concept of LARPing think that LARPing is kind of silly, because Real Life exists. But sometimes a run is much, much better if you pretend the whole time that zombies are chasing you and Ali Larter is yelling for you to hurry up so her helicopter doesn't have to leave without you. That's LARPing. I suspect that we all do it from time to time.
Maybe not to that extent, but everyone does it. When you walk into a bar, intending to pick up someone, you're pretending that you're the hottest creature that ever did walk into that bar. This is probably not true. It is pretend. We all have our things that we tell ourselves in order to get by.
We all have to reference our character sheets from time to time, sit back with our dice and count up the damage points other people gave us, do diplomacy checks to see if we can make the joke we feel like making. Remember our back stories and that we've been trusted with important quests and artifacts, and are therefore worthy of at least a modicum of respect.
Well and so. I've filed my taxes for the year, because in my heart I'm a good and law-abiding normal person, despite my ennui to the contrary. And now because I've gotten used to sitting here in the middle of a massive room full of computers I'm glad I don't have to maintain, and also because I ran ten and a half miles and my legs are sore, I'm taking the time to educate people on Linux Prejudice and LARPing instead of scuttling away.
I'm also stubborn. Blue Velour Track Suit is not going to win.
I wish you could customize your cable package and only pay a certain amount per channel. Because I only really need about three, maybe four channels - FoodNetwork, History Channel, and A&E for Criminal Minds.
I'd pay for Discovery Health, too, except I think Oprah took that over with her new network, and Health merged with Fitness. I don't want to pay for Dance & Be Fit Brazilian Body - I want to get Dr G: Medical Examiner, Mystery Diagnosis, and Untold Stories of the ER for my money, thanks.
I'm an English major and an avid fan of the movie Matilda, but I really do like television. I think a part of it is that I can rarely just do one thing. When I do buckle down and focus - 'remove outside distractions' like they say you should in order to study - I get antsy and actually find it harder to concentrate than when there are distractions around. Nine times out of ten, when I'm studying for an exam I'm also streaming a documentary off of SnagFilms.
I don't know if that qualifies me for ADHD or not - it's not like I can't pay attention and it's not like I don't get things done. I just don't like doing them singularly.
I think it's one of the reasons I like running so much. When I'm running, it's like I don't need the distractions. When I'm running I can think about one thing for miles at a time. I've written entire papers in my head while out for a run. I solve problems. I mean, I'm not kidding when I say that I can do math much better when running. I'm never bored when I'm out for a run.
Do you sometimes wonder if you would be a better person on medication? I don't think I'm a bad person, but my mom loves to talk about how I'm not living up to my brain's potential. One of the reasons I don't believe in IQ testing on children is because I've been harangued my whole life on the basis of a test I don't even remember taking. But what if my mom is both right and wrong - right that I'm not up to my potential, wrong to prevent the doctors from putting me on ADD medication when they wanted me to.
Without really understanding anything about the human brain, we have hundreds of chemical compounds designed to accomplish all kinds of science fiction things. This pill will make you happy, this pill will make you focus, this pill will make you calm. This pill for a quick fix; this pill for a long, slow burn.
Sometimes I wonder if people have always been the way they are now, or if somewhere along the way we broke ourselves without even realizing it.
How can they possibly make a new Buffy? A "reboot," as they're calling it.
For starters, those actors are those characters - you won't be able to sell me a non-Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy. I mean, you can't even sell me Kristin Swanson, who played Buffy in Whedon's original movie.
I can't have some fresh-faced interloper coming around, pretending to be Willow Rosenberg. How can they remake Willow's coming out story? Everyone already knows. She's going to wind up being this out-and-proud uberdyke with a bad haircut right from the beginning and then oh, hey, look, magic, how nifty and we just won't care the way we did with Willow.
Faith will just be evil - if they even bother to include Faith, I mean, she's not everyone's favorite character, just mine. Xander is going to be the goofy male friend who can't ever get a date, and Angel is going to be... well, okay, so Angel will still come across exactly the same, just played by someone less David Boreanaz and probably a little more Fucking Twilight. And how will they choose which Big Bad to put in, and how will Spike be portrayed,and... and...
It took six years and seven seasons for us to care about the Scoobies, and they think they can pack all of that love, all of that devotion, into a two hour feature?
I'm trolling the internet, trying to find more information about what happened last night on Glee, cursing my stupidity for letting myself get so far behind that it'll take hours to catch up, and trying not to think about how Everything I Love Dies and they probably won't fix this Brittana thing to my satisfaction.
I mean, I got a little comfortable when they let Katherine and Robin ride off into the sunset together on Desperate Housewives (shut up, we all do things we're sometimes embarrassed about) and I've been happily surfing along on this sugary Glee rollercoaster of subtext. Now's about the time that Network Television yanks the rug out from under me again.
I also just found out that they're planning to make a Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie... without Joss Whedon. I assume everyone was keeping this from me to preserve my feelings. Thank you for your efforts.
Maybe... just maybe... enough of the Whedonverse is mainstream that some part of the show will remain intact. I mean, there are things inherent to Joss Whedon's work that are certainly part of my personality. When I hear that someone hasn't seen Firefly, I tell them they have to watch it so that "I'll make more sense." I think if you respected it enough, you could continue Joss Whedon's work. But the fact that they're doing it while Joss is still alive would suggest that they're not respecting it at all.
And what's this about a new Charlie's Angels series? Why are they remaking everything? I don't buy the argument that the old stuff doesn't appeal to the younger generation. I think it totally would if you gave them a chance. Instead, you just shove the new shit under their faces and they never even learn how amazing and earnest the originals were.
Nissa the Cat has discovered that if she sticks her paw in the empty bag of popcorn, it comes out salty and delicious. Points to her for being the first of the cats to not just push the bag around the living room with her face for a while and then give up.
The song of the day is off of Robert Plant's album, Band of Joy, which is amazing.
I say 'Olivia Benson' instead of 'Mariska Hargitay' for two reasons.
Number one, Olivia Benson is a long-running character - SVU has been through 12 seasons so far - and so I consider her a 'person' in the collective consciousness of American viewers. You say 'Olivia Benson' and people know who - not what - you mean.
Number two, I don't like Mariska Hargitay.
It's true. I don't like her. She's homophobic and virulently against anyone even thinking Olivia Benson is gay, despite the fact that Olivia Benson is the second gayest thing on television ever.
We'll get to that.
My current point is that, when I was growing up, Olivia Benson WAS the gayest thing on TV. I didn't understand my fascination at first. I only knew that I adored her. Olivia Benson was a strong, independent role model for me and my budding sexuality. I needed her to show me you could wear sensible shoes and leather jackets and still be attractive. She was crucial to the later development of my self-confidence.
So I don't for the life of me understand why Mariska Hargitay would want to take that away from me, why she railroads the writers - who are totally cogent of the subtext and welcome the gay viewers - into giving Olivia male love interests and having her make veiled comments alluding to her heterosexuality every now and then. It feels like a betrayal every time it happens.
Contrast this with the gayest thing on television today:
Criminal Minds' Emily Prentiss, played by Paget Brewster.
Who totally knows what I'm talking about. Don't let the face fool you.
Actually, I don't like duck sauce (the sauce), but I do love this song.
American-Canadian duo Duck Sauce, composed of Armand Van Helden and A-Trak, with their song, 'Barbra Streisand,' which does not actually contain Barbra Streisand. The video does, however, contain Kayne West, Chromeo, The Roots, and according to Wikipedia several other famous people making cameo appearances.
Are Bac'n Bits an acceptable lunch?
Also, for some reason this is the Calgary Flames' goal song. Since apparently Babs loves hockey. Or hockey players like Babs. Or no one really knows what's going on at all anymore.
Because apparently my brother is Romanian in his aesthete.
This isn't the song of the day. I found it while scoping out the real song of the day, and one frame of the look on his face had me laughing. So if you need something to perk up your Monday, this could be it.
Here's Dan Balan with 'Chica Bomb' ...technically safe for work but maybe don't let your boss see you watching this. It would be embarrassing to watch except for the times when Dan shows up, and then the funny kinda takes away the hot. At one point I'm pretty sure his pants are falling down. And not on purpose. He's just too busy making his best Jersey Shores face to pull them back up.
They made an alternate version of this video. Its title is, "Dan Balan Chica Bomb GIRLS ONLY VERSION NO DAN," which says to me that they understand their target audience fairly well. Oh, Romanians.
What does Dan actually do in this video/song anyways? As far as I can tell, he just says, "chica BOMB," over and over, and shakes his head in time to the strobe effect. So GIRLS ONLY NO DAN is kind of an accurate statement. Apparently to be a rock star you just have to have spiky hair and posture next to some Romanian underwear models.
Now I have to go add "hair gel, super spiky" to the grocery list.
I just finished my Better N Peanut Butter breakfast sandwich, and I'm planning on sitting here for two hours while my stomach figures that out. The sun is shining through the blinds and making everything all idyllic, so the cats and I are content enough to lounge here. I'm on vacation; the cats are cats. I'm gonna run ten miles and then go grocery shopping.
I love grocery shopping. No, seriously. It's one of my favorite things to do. And I'm an excellent grocery shopper. I make lists, organized by general section of the store, with footnotes and addendums such as, "If they don't have Cinnamon Bears, regular Graham Bears will do." If I'm feeling especially OCD, or if someone else is shopping with me and likely to suggest splitting the list to save time, an asterisk beside an item indicates that I require that brand name; otherwise I do as my mother taught me, and buy off-brand.
Once, when I was a kid, I went shopping with my grandma, and she remarked that she had never met such a thrifty kid in her entire life - I believe while I was selecting a jar of sweet pickle chips for the peanut-butter-and-pickle sandwiches I had requested for lunch. (That's good stuff, man. Trust me. Even better on saltine crackers like super-redneck hors d'oeuvres.)
Now that I'm older, two things drive my buying decisions: Price, and Calories Per Serving.
I have fussier rules within those categories, such as my rule about serving size and cereal. Some cereals try to hide their calorie content by suggesting you eat, say, half a cup. Even if I'm okay with that calorie count doubled, I won't buy it because I think they're being dishonest and I won't support that. No one eats half a cup of cereal and they knew that when they put it on the label. Also, Apple Jacks and Corn Flakes are both 100 calories a cup, and it's hard to compete with either of those.
I think I would make an excellent personal shopper. My friends send me on grocery runs all the time as is; I think some of that is because I'm rarely the one cooking and I'm not that good at baby-minding, but also it's been noted that I get it done faster and better. I could easily parse my overly analytical brain into a useful and entertaining career, if only people would see the wisdom of it.
Because otherwise, I'm just an obsessive compulsive whose Librarian will read this and ask, "Why can't you just go grocery shopping like a normal person?"
Later in the day, after consuming a truly impressive (for other people) amount of Broccoli With Garlic Sauce, I feel ready to tackle a real blog post. Johnny Virgil, over at 15 Minute Lunch, has inspired me via his Sunday post to muse about the adventures of my childhood - or rather the utter lack of them.
I'm a city kid. I can't pretend to have been anything else growing up. I was raised to be fussy, leery of activities that might cause me injury, and to Always Wear My Helmet.
It's not because I'm a girl, either, because there was exactly one girl my age in the neighborhood, and quite often I did not understand her motivations. Her Barbies were princesses - fiscally responsible princesses, no less - and mine were emergency room patients who were, shall we say, a little too interested in each others' injuries. I tried my entire childhood to be Best Friends Forever with this girl and always suspected she didn't actually like me at all. (I went through a phase of trying to alleviate the stress of this by stealing things from her. It didn't work as planned.)
There were significantly more boys in my neighborhood. By which I mean there were four. Five, including my little brother, but who does that? The point is, that two of those boys were almost my age, and they were Cool.
And more importantly, it was okay if I hung out with them.
So for one bright, shining year of my life, I stomped barefoot through the running cesspool that separated our neighborhood from the highway, digging around in the sand for treasure and little snapping turtles. I motored up and down the cul-de-sac on my bike, going so fast in Cops and Robbers that it didn't matter that Santa had brought me a hot pink bike when I specifically said no girly colors. I crashed that bike so spectacularly picking up speed down a steep embankment that Johnny ran two blocks to my house to get my dad without being told, only to have him meet me at the bottom of my own driveway, bleeding and limping. I was all right in their books, and it was amazing.
I don't really know exactly who or what shattered this for me. I just have this feeling, this sneaking want-to-blame-someone-else feeling, that one or both of my parents noticed that I was not behaving the way a Little Girl was supposed to behave, and thought they should perhaps give me a few more examples of my gender group's behavior, since I really only had the one, and she was six years old and saving her pennies for college.
I played girl's soccer, and was at first quite good, for a seven year old who had never played before. On a whim, my coach put me in goal one game - the final game of our season, I recall -and I was so good that in his little pep talk at the post-season trophy handout he joked about how he guessed he knew who the team goalie was gonna be from then on. I played on that team all through elementary school and middle school, becoming progressively worse and worse as I became less and less active in the rest of my life. We almost never won. It was never about winning.
Somehow along the way, though, I stopped playing Cops and Robbers, and creek stomping until it was dark, and breaking into neighbors' yards after blizzards because their hills were the best for sledding. I slowly became the chubby girl, and my self-confidence cracked and peeled away from me until I was too awkward to ask Johnny and PJ if I could come along when they came to collect my brother for a game of glow-in-the-dark football. I stayed inside and read books and ate things and picked at the acne puberty was kind enough to inflict upon me.
Fast forward to now. I run 45 miles a week, and I finally feel like I'm in good enough physical shape to try things. In high school, you could never have convinced me to even put on a pair of ice skates for an hour. I'm playing hockey now; I have my own skates and I just bought myself a left-handed stick. I think seriously about joining adult soccer leagues, and playing frisbee in the park on a sunny afternoon.
I'm taking my inner fat kid on all the adventures she was too afraid to go on.
The magical (or frightening) thing about Nissa is the fact that, no matter what mood she's actually in, her face will be the Grumpiest Face Ever. True facts. Ask The Librarian. We never known what Nissa's really thinking, but we assume it's, "Everybody in the entire world hates me."
Sunday Morning + Rain = Sit on your butt on the floor with a computer in your lap, headhunting Amazon for free music and trying to convince the cats that they don't want to sit on your computer when really you both know that they do.
Then Nissa will spend ten minutes macerating your liver and licking your wrists, and you'll finally be grateful for all those typing classes they put you through in elementary school, because you can type through a cat.
The song of today is from Sister Hazel, who, as I've recently discovered, have been releasing music all this time, when I though they had possibly broken up or something the way a lot of 90s bands have.
So, in apology for ignoring them all this time, here's "All For You," which I totally still remember all the words to.
Fun Fact: Sister Hazel named themselves for Sister Hazel Williams, a nun from their home town who ran a homeless shelter.
An album called '11411' is currently available for free as an Amazon MP3 download. It's good, even though apparently it's not considered actually an 'album' so much as a compilation of new songs they've never released before. That makes sense, huh? Go here and get it, whatever it is.
I absolutely hate it when people ask, "So, what's your favorite ___?" I consider it a totally unanswerable question. Ludicrously so. How do you pick just one book, one movie, one band, one color, one food?
Generally, the answer I give in response should have two words tacked onto the front of it: "Right now..." Because certainly, I have a favorite food in that moment. It might just be whatever I happened to eat last. It might be whatever I would like to eat next. It might be whatever I last saw pictures of while stalking the food blogs.
And certainly I have a favorite song at any given moment. What song did I hear last? What mood am I in? Which artist am I currently obsessed with (and who is my Favorite Band of the moment)?
I've never had a Favorite Book Of All Time. I have a top five list Of All Time, but it's impossible for me to choose between Rant and The Minotaur Takes A Cigarette Break, and I can't really compare either of those to Paradise Lost without making a mood-driven and arbitrary decision. And I forget all the time how much I love Catch-22, and then I re-read it and it fucks the entire list up. My favorite vegetable is broccoli, unless you just plunked a plate of brussel sprouts down on the table, in which case, back off, Buckwheat, they're mine.
I was once told - and I have no real evidence to back this up, but I was told it and it seems sensible - that if you ask someone from, say, Great Britain what their favorite color is, their reply will be, "Color of what?" You can't have the same favorite color for everything. Your favorite wall treatment is probably not the same as your favorite eye color in a sexual partner is probably not the same color you feel you look your best in.
If it is, I guarantee you'll say your favorite color is purple, and you're gonna be looking for someone with purple eyes your whole life, buddy. And when you find her, she won't be interested in you, and you'll find out after an ego-bruising amount of wooing that they were contacts.
Not that anything like that has ever happened to me.
It startles me how many people on YouTube think "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None The Richer is actually done by The Cranberries. Now, I love Sixpence None The Richer. No one (at least, no one here) is questioning the merit of the group or the talent of lead singer Leigh Nash. But think about this for a minute.
Let's pretend I am Leigh Nash. Hold on, I have to go apply some black eyeliner for verisimilitude. All right. Now. You are Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries. Do you feel powerful? You should. Now let's pretend I have been seated next to you on an airplane. Should I hit on you?
No. Because you are way out of my league. Your league is so far away from mine that, if my league exploded, you wouldn't hear the sound for three days.
It's not me. It's the unfair nature of the comparison. It's like putting Adele next to Leona Lewis. Same time period, same 'school' of music. Entirely different realms of talent. How you could possibly mistake the one for the other is just beyond me.
This is my favorite Leigh Nash song, now that I get it.
Sometimes you start reading a fan fiction and within a couple of sentences you know you need to close the window before you hurt your brain. Just like sometimes you start listening to a song and you know you need to rip out your earbuds before you rip off your ears.
This is not one of those times.
Kim Kardashian made a "jam," however, that I would counsel you against "turning up." The boys may be spending, and the girls may be looking good, and she might have her hands up like it's her birthday, but no amount of tequila is gonna make it okay again. I listened so you wouldn't have to.
Today in American Sign Language, we were learning how to identify ourselves (and others) as different religions. One of the ones we learned was 'Buddhist.'
A girl behind me says, "What? Booties?"
I said, "No, Buddhist. As in Buddhism?"
And she says, "What? You made that word up."
I'm just too flabbergasted to speak. The Networker, next to me, tries to formulate response. "No, it's a religion... really more of a philosophy, and it's all about peace and meditation and... you know, the Dalai Lama's religion?"
The girl's face clearly says, 'Dolly Llama? Now I know you're making this shit up.'
And that was when I realized that, as horrific as it was that a girl made it at least two semesters into college without knowing that Buddhism was a Thing, the whole conversation was just about the funniest thing that had happened to me all morning, even though only two hours prior, I had seen a genuine pair of parachute pants marching their was across the quad.
It would have been the funniest thing to happen ever, but, well, "Who threw that ham at me?"
Here's a great song that was playing at Bestway while The Librarian and I were shopping for pizza toppings and wound up with Bac'n Bits, green chiles and buttermilk. Mm, Bac'n Bits. The vegan gift that just keeps tasting like bacon.
The Men At Work are from Australia, which I hope you could figure out. They started out in 1978/1979, but broke up in 1986. Two original members, lead singer Colin Hay and saxophonist Greg Ham, got back together in 1996, but it seems like mostly they just sing this song at special events.
I mean, who wouldn't want this song played at their opening ceremonies? Boring people who don't know how to have fun, that's who.
This is not the song of the day, but it made me happy, so I assume it will make you happy, too.
Yes? No? Even a little smile?
I miss the old Disney Channel Original Movies. I don't mean these new ones that come out sometimes - High School Musical, Camp Rock, et cetera, yes yes, whatever you say. They're just not Zenon: Girl Of The 21st Century, or Johnny Tsunami, or Rip Girls, and you can't make me think they are. It's just... not the same.
Like the new Star Wars movies. Yes, they were somewhat bad movies, but let's be honest - they're fairly on par with the rest of the science fiction movies being made around the same time. They just somehow, along the way, lost the EPIC quality that made the original Star Wars movies so very worth our time.
How? Why? Questions perhaps best left to those who made them. We viewers are just left to pick up the shattered pieces of our adoration and try to fit them back together. And while Darths and Droids made a valiant and, I think, effective attempt to make The Phantom Menace ok, there's no one out there trying to make High School Musical fit within the finely tuned Disney Channel movie compass that swings wildly from left to right, trying to find something, anything, like Brink! and Pixel Perfect.
You can't do it. There's something missing. Some earnest quality we know to look for and can't find, something left behind in the plot of Eddie's Million Dollar Cookoff that we'll never be able to get back.
You might have heard of Terra Naomi. She was really one of the first musicians made popular by demand of YouTube viewers, a singer-songwriter with a really stripped-down style that I appreciate for the sheer lack of digital assistance. She's in the process of releasing a new album through PledgeMusic, which is really cool - you can go here to check it out.
I wanted to post 'You For Me' as the song of the day, but the video for it on her channel is her sitting in front of the camera and singing it while accompanying herself on guitar. Something about her face sucks me in and makes it hard to concentrate on external things. So here's the link for it and you can just listen to the song in the background if you want to.
This is the song and video that I, along with many others, discovered her through. Made with the assistance of other YouTubers, it still makes me really happy.