Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Journey Begins

So long friends. I am leaving for Madrid in oh 12 hours.
Very excited. A little nervous. But very ready.
My suitcase weighs a ton. Hope the wheels don't give out. I just got the cutest new luggage set, each piece has a pink curvy stipe down the side. I got my scholarship from ISA in the mail this week too! Yay

I don't know when I'll have access to the internet again so I will blog as often as possible. Adios.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Can we stop clapping yet?

Ailey IITonight we went to see Ailey II Dance Troupe perform. They did interpretive dance to classical, jazz, and African music. Their dances were so beautiful, very nice formations, and a great performance.

Sadly though, the one guy's fly was open for about 3 songs. I felt so bad for him. He got a few extra cheers from the audience when he bowed too, everyone knew why the girls were screaming, but I suppose he'll go home later, watch the tape, and be mortified.

At the end of the show the audience was clapping like all good audiences should until they did an encore. But then the lights would go off and we would think it was over but then the lights came back on. This happened about 15 times. We clapped till our hands were raw. I think the lighting guys were playing some sick psychological game, "how long will it take till the audience realizes we are going to make them clap all night and finally just stop" Not that the performance wasn't excellent, but the clapping was amusing...


I found this website where you can chat with people trying learn English and Spanish, so you help people with your language and vice versa. I had a bit of a funny conversation with one guy; this is how it went (the names have been changed to protect their idenity)
Chico: como es tu nombre?
Chico: jajaj
-Jenn-: me nombre es Jenn
Chico: Jenn... supongo...
Jenn: ja ja
Chico: Mi nombre es Jenn...
Chico: ok?
Jenn: realidad?
Chico: no...
Chico: es que escribiste mal... tu respuesta debio ser: "MI NOMBRE ES JENN"
Jenn: Fui confundido
Jenn: si, que es tu nombre?
Chico: Jose...

Basically I thought he was saying that his name was Jenn too and I got excited, but really he was just correcting my Spanish. Whoops.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


This is nice. This is what inspires me to blog. Yep that right there, directly beneath these words. Nothing like knowing no one cares.
I must admit, I do question why I blog. I say it is for myself, and yes it mainly is. But all the people floating in cyber space, and still no one cares? That IS a bit depressing.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Save the Whales

woodpeckerAwhile ago I saw a special on PBS about an elusive woodpecker that scientists thought to be extinct, but now they suppose it may still be around. The show interviewed endless scientists that have dedicated their lives to finding these birds and to the preservation of natural habitats. Then recently in the news, this whale that is in danger of being beached has sucked millions of dollars out of conservation groups. Who freaking cares? How can someone waste their entire lives loving animals when people are dying everyday. Starving children in Africa don't have enough money to buy food, but yet us lavish westerners spend 100 bucks on a pretty collar for our pet dogs. When did treating animals well, trump human rights? The same people who spend their lives rescuing wild animals have no qualms about getting abortion. Homeless people mill around on the street while PETA member picket in front of KFC to stop hurting chickens. Don't get me wrong, the abuse of animals is not good practice, but how did our priorities get so messed up?

When blogging for the whole world...

A thought about blogging.

I love how you can post whatever. I love how you can write/design/post freely without constraint. The only problem is that there is no protection for you, the writer/artist/creator. If I write something profound, but put it on the web, I can no longer ensure it is truly mine. People anywhere can claim it as their own. Anything exceptionally worth while you can't really post if you think there is ever a chance of its publication. Sigh, the struggle of an artist who wants to share their talent/work with the world. It is really the public who loses in the end.

In the ancient days private creation and thought was, by nature, public domain and never governed by petty rules of ownership and copyright. It's hard to find a balance between the two in which both the individual and society win. As it is now, often both entities end up losing; and that is not good for anybody.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Digital Fortress128-10-93-85-10-128-98-112-6-6-25-126-39-1-68-78 you ask?

On the last page of Digital Fortress by Dan Brown there are those numbers listed. I recognized it as a code right away so I went to the Internet to help me out, but much to my appall, the answer was spoiled. I clicked on a link that said clues, but no, they told me the answer. I'm mad. I wanted a clue to what the numbers meant, not the answer!

Here is what you do, if you are like me and don't want the whole answer all at once: Each number corresponds to a chapter. Take the first letter from each chapter and write it down. Then make a Caesars Box by writing the 16 letters into a 4 by 4 square. Voila! Now all you have to do is read it. (I put the answer at the bottom of this post. Don't read all the way if you don't want to know.)

The VillageWhat fun are puzzles if you already know the answer? It's like knowing an ending of a movie before you watch it- especially when it's something like the Village (which was an awesome movie by the way). It can completely ruin it. Sigh. Yuck.

PS. M. Night Shyamalan is coming out with a new movie, and yes I had to look up how to spell his name.

Answer to code. Read at own risk!!!
---We are watching you---

Oh geez. Now I feel like I just cheated, but you were warned, right? You aren't mad at me for telling you are you? The book was still awesome.

Master of Mystery

davinci codeangel and demonsAs of last week I have finally read all of Dan Brown's books (who now happens to occupy the place as my favorite author); Angels and Demons, DaVinci Code, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress. All captivating, all highly controversial, and brilliant. I only worry that he has become a bit delusional. I watched a documentary about the Davinci Code and Dan Brown said he was starting believe some the strange conspiracy theories that he writes about. I am worried that he has spent too much time researching and has lost touch with the real world. Even so, my favorite aspect about his books (aside from the suspense/mystery) is the way he expertly weaves fact and fiction together.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton MarsalisFor the past 4 years I have gotten my parents Christmas gifts that bombed. This year it has not... yet. On the brink of 'quitting Christmas'; I got them tickets to see Wynton Marsalis at the Luhrs Center. Marsalis is a super famous jazz trumpet player. My dad plays the trumpet and I'm pretty sure he unhealthily excited about the concert. I really really want them to have have a nice time.

Just for fun, let's make a list the top 5 most disastrous Christmas presents I have given my parents over the years. I always try so hard, but that just makes the let down all the worse.

Top 5 Most Disastrous Christmas Presents
From Me to Mom and Dad

1. (For my mom) Victoria's Secret massage oil that I innocently thought was perfume but later found extraordinarily disturbing that I had bought massage oil for my mother.

2.Harrisburg Symphony tickets- Giant snowstorm on day of concert preventing travel beyond the driveway let alone to Harrisburg, wouldn't switch dates on tickets or give a refund.

3. 2 half hour massages but they waited 10 months to take advantage of the certificates, only to find the place had gone out of business.

4. Tickets to Totem Pole Playhouse, but the play (they selected) turned out to be about homosexuality of which they don't approve and made them very uncomfortable.

5. Hopefully NOT Wynton Marsalis tickets!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lost in Translation

So in my last ditch effort to learn some Spanish before I leave (in only 7 days now), I've been reading blogs written in Spanish by random people. (I've included a map of where Malaga is in case anyone wants to know where I'll be studying abroad.) I think it has actually been helping me. I have learned some slang and can read Spanish relatively well. The only bad thing remains: I can't speak it. They talk too fast, I comprehend too slow. I am so screwed. On a brighter note, another reason to blog: for the benefit of those trying to learn your language (The easiest to understand are the ones with pictures). I also stumbled upon the linguistic fun page! And a bunch of sites with funny stories about translating boo boos. I love reading those!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

American Idol

American IdolBelieve it or not, I watched American Idol for the first time tonight even though I have liked Kelly Clarkson for the past 4 years. I only like the begining and end of talent search shows. I like to see how they pick the contestants out of everyone who tries out, as well as the competition at the end between the really good people; but the whole middle is long and boring. I also started watching dancing with the stars this season too. I think I like it better than American Idol because dancing is a bit more interesting to watch.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Moulin Rouge

Yesterday we had a fun get together at my house before school starts again (Frowny face on the school starting again part). Today we watched Moulin Rouge and A Knights Tale. Wow, I had no idea Moulin Rouge was going to employ the creepy factor. I thought it was going to be classy and such, but it definitely was not what I expected. It was like watching a car wreck, a bit disturbing but you can't really turn away.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Finallly, a new episode of LOST is on tonight. I'm so excited. The show is so new, and inventive, and intriguing. Anyone could die at any time, because there is no real main character. Wait, give me a chance to explain, take for example Alias. You know that Jennifer Garner will always appear alive again no matter how many times she gets shot, tortured, blown up, double crossed, etc. In Lost, anything could happen at any time. Oh, the suspense. Goody goody.

Awhile ago Tami directed me to Oceanic Flight 815 website, and I just now checked it out. For all LOST fans, it is a must; discussion boards, videos, pictures, everything you could ask for.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The perfect black coat

Nooooo, I just found the most beautiful black coat in the world. It was calf length, pretty black wool, button down, and the hood was lined with elegant black fur. It fit me perfectly. I took it up to the register expecting it to be 70% off like the sign above the rack said, but no, it rang up much more expensive. I had the sales clerk come over to where I got it to prove it was 70% off, but the sign had deceived me-- it was "up to 70% off." Now I am depressed, I really liked the coat, but I couldn't justify the expense. If only I weren't so logical all the time; not just with shopping, but with everything in life. Spontatnaity is the spice of life, and I think I am lacking it. My life is dull.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Purple Frillies

I got the cutest sewing box the other day; a little unpractical, but ever so me.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

The Farm Show

Today my parents and I went to the farm show in Harrisburg, PA. There were animals and produce of all sorts, a butter sculpture, demonstrations, farm stuff (duh), food, and a rodeo. The weird chicken/rooster thing scared the living daylights out of me when I tried to take a picture of it. It just about pecked my camera. Doesn't it look like the death chicken that could kill you while you sleep?

The butter sculpture display is carved out of lots and lots of real butter and a farm show tradition. I couldn't get a good photo of it since it is basically in a glass refrigerator case that lights like to reflect off of. This year it seems to be a man lifting a milk vending machine off of a cart, I don't think they went all out this year with the design and risk taking. Oh well, I only see 800 lbs of butter lumped together once a year.

The rodeo was fun to watch, especially the bull riding. The blood thirsty crowd only got one cowboy casualty for the night, so I suppose that would be considered a success.
As much as I despise country music, I just want to know why they kept playing hip hop/rap music during the rodeo. Does that make any sense at all? The spirit of the rodeo was somehow tainted when The Candy Shop by 50 Cent blared out of the speakers. It's like chillin' in the hood with a Mozart symphony, it's like singing gospel hymns at Bill Clinton's birthday party, it's like going to a ballet and seeing the ballerinas piroueting to Metallica; something just does not add up.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

A bad memory

I was just thinking about the time I went into a grocery store in Texas with my grandparents and sister on a mission to find fast actin' Tinactin foot spray to cure a case of stinky sneakers. It comes in an aerosol container so I go over to section near the front of the store where the aisles are shoulder height. I pick up a can, hold it into the air, and yell to my sister across the store, "THIS IS WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!" It wasn't until she came over to see what I had picked up until I realized I had just excitedly held up a can that read, not foot deodorant, but rather "Jock Itch Spray." Needless to say at that point, my face turned bright red and I wanted to disappear into the floor. Lesson? Always read the label before inadvertently announcing to the world that you've found jock itch spray.

Also I found the hilarious StinkyFeet Diaries: An 'interesting' quest for athlete's foot.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha

We went to see Memoirs of Geisha today in Hagerstown. That is the only theater near us that is showing it. I think it should be more widespread, because it was so good. They did a nice job keeping the essense of the book. The book was definitely better since it went into so much more detail, but for a movie I thought it was great.
The beautiful kimonos, Japanese landscapes, and culture of the orient is quite fascinating. I liked how the book/movie talked about how the geisha were considered artists and were highly respected in their society. Unlike prostitutes, they would sing, play music, and dance for which the men would pay them. Unfortunately this usually meant they would do whatever then to keep their customers happy. While I want to say being a geisha would have been respectable and noble, it conflicts with some core beliefs of mine. When women are defined purely as objects of sexuality, I can not endorse that thought.

Monday, January 2, 2006

Boyds Bears

Tony got this unsettling gift at a Christmas dinner. It is a santa stocking hanger. The body is ceramic, the legs plush, and the place where you hang the stockings is, well, the most disturbing part. Creepy is the word that comes to mind. This is one of those things that would be embarrassing even to re-gift. It needs to be taken outside and shot.

Today we went to Gettysburg to the Boyd's Bear Country where I got a cute little rocking horse. 4 floors of cuteness is almost too much to handle, literally.