Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Years!

Look at the beautiful "corn in the snow" picuture my sister took this morning.

corn snow sunrise
Have a great end of the year, everyone!!

I am looking forward to another year of blogging. And, I promise more frequent blogging in 2008.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Christmas!

It's finally christmas!! Yay.

Merry Christmas Bows
Merry Chrismas everyone! Feliz Navidad. Wi na ge nyare Su dome Kirismass. Bonn e Erez Ane. Sugeng Natal lan warsa enggal. Ia manuia le Kilisimasi ma le tausaga fou. Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.

So that's Merry Christmas in a bunch of different languages. Yeah. And for all I know, I could have just said you look like an elephant and smell like one too. I am a trusting soul.

Merry Christmas in 360+ languages...

Monday, December 24, 2007

O Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree I absolutely love my grandma's Christmas tree. It is so quaint and endearing. The colored lights make me feel nostalgic. She sets it up in a large antique basin/sink structure so people can see it from the front window.

And I love my mom's Christmas tree. After dumping the the old one last year, my parents got a new, 'cheating' tree, as in the lights come already installed in the fake green piney branches. Let's just say it made my dad happy as it practically eliminated his job. My mom, nevertheless, laments about how we are all party poopers and won't bother to help her with the decorating anymore. We tell her to just not put it up then, and that makes her sad so she ends up making it look like a Martha Stewart tree year after year. Her tree standards are just too high for the rest of us.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies are for me

chocolate chip cookies in the ovenMy family's annual cookie-baking day was this week. Look at the yield below.

If that's not enough cookies to last a year long, you either smear cookies on your toast for breakfast or are friends with the cookie monster.

My grandma's house was so nice and warm and smelled Christmas-cookie-delicious. Mmmm.

Christmas cookies
Seriously. We made bucket-loads of cookies. The whoopie pies are my favorite, but I don't have any pictures of those. Amazinlgy, I escaped the day only eating one cookie. That is self-control my friend!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Icing Explosion

May have had a little mess while baking cookies yesterday.
mixer messWhen I was mixing up the icing for the whoopie pies, I may or may not have used a bowl too small for the recipe. Everything in the kitchen got splattered with powerdered sugar, including myself. I ran to get my camera and left empty floor-colored footprints where I had been standing. Whoops.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Hey, I just now discovered StumbleUpon. It is so cool. You create a profile, select your interests, download a bar for you browser, and then click on the button. Every time you click it takes you to random site in cyber space. They have a subject for every fancy. Satire, humor, bizarre, advertising, blogs, linguistics, literature, varius nerdy topics, photography, everything! You can learn such cool stuff.


You can also piggyback on the cool stuff that other people have found too. If you want to be my friend, let me know and I will add you. (I also added an icon to the right if you want to Stumble my blog).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Choir Clash

Clash of the ChoirsA guy from Shippensburg is actually on Clash of the Choirs on NBC. He is part of the Oklahoma City choir directed by Blake Shelton. That's exciting. He was stationed at a military base in OK and made it onto the show.

About the show: Writer's Strike evident, no big news flash there. I hate how every clip had a sob story. "Oh, something bad happened to me and I overcame it. Vote for me and my choir." If you are good at singing, then you don't need the sad, sad story. The melodramatic edge was really insulting and over the top by the end. Patti LaBelleThe only choir that didn't have one of those stories was Patti LaBelle's, and hers was amazing--exactly what you think of when you think of the Southern Baptist church choir, only from Philadelphia

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If only I had a Harley

I love this ad. It makes me smile. The small details are what counts.

The gloves, the headphones, the neckbrace, the black socks with white pants and shoes, the long corridoor, old man's little tiny head. It's just advertising art.

Friday, December 14, 2007

3 YEARS!!!! Fiesta.

Whoooo! Who is turning 3 today?

It's you blog. It's you.

It been 3 *tear* beautiful years.

Thanks for reading. Those who do. My blog loves you!

At the Berlin zoo, polar bear Knut had a giant marzipan for his first birthday. "His giant birthday cake was made from 300 eggs, more than 30 pounds each of flour and sugar, and 22 pounds of marzipan." MSNBC

Now that's a polar bear sized cake! That's what I got for you too, blog. A 22 pound hunk of ooey gooey sweetness. (in theory) Mmmmm.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Finals and Icicles

winter tree icilclesI'm done with finals!! I was afraid I'd never make it, but yay, I'm done. I had my last one this morning in English Renaissance Drama. I'm hoping for straight A's but I fear an A- in Conservation of Natural Resources. It's always the gen. eds. They always rip down my GPA, because I get so bogged down by my real classes. Grrrr.

Now I can focus whole-heartedly on grad school applications. I've sifted through my choices to 7 schools. I'm hoping to cut one more, but I'm not sure which one is gonna get the axe yet.

I noticed how beautiful the trees were as I was driving home today. Then I snapped a pic of the tree dripping with icicles in my back yard with one sad, brown, lonely leaf. Hold on little guy, it's only what?, 4 more months till spring thaw.

Goats in Trees and Everlasting Storms

Morocco goats in trees When I went to Morocco I didn't see the goats in the trees. This upsets me. Look how cool it is.

"The goats climb them because they like to eat the fruit of the argan tree, which is similar to an olive. Farmers actually follow the herds of goats as they move from tree to tree. Not because it is so strange to see goats in trees and the farmers like to point and stare, but because the fruit of the tree has a nut inside, which the goats can't digest, so they spit it up or excrete it which the farmers collect. The nut contains 1-3 kernels, which can be ground to make argan oil used in cooking and cosmetics. This oil has been collected by the people of the region for hundreds of years, but like many wild and useful things these days, the argan tree is slowly disappearing due to over-harvesting for the tree's wood and overgrazing by goats. "

7 Incredible Natural Phenomena you've never seen

Relámpago del CatatumboThe "Relámpago del Catatumbo" is pretty interesting too.

"Located on the mouth of the Catatumbo river at Lake Maracaibo (Venezuela), the phenomenon is a cloud-to-cloud lightning that forms a voltage arc more than five kilometre high during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours a night, and as many as 280 times an hour. This almost permanent storm occurs over the marshlands where the Catatumbo River feeds into Lake Maracaibo and it is considered the greatest single generator of ozone in the planet..."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Free Rice... and Words

Coolest website ever. I wish I had found this before I took the GRE's.

A word pops up. You click on the correct definition. For every vocab word you get right, the United Nations World Food Program distributes 20 grains of rice to impoverished peoples. The money comes from the advertisers on the site and everybody wins. You learn words, corporations get advertising, and hungry people get rice. I'm just guessing, but the last one is probably the best.

-I dare you to beat my score. Suckers. My highest is 40 as of right now, but I probably average at the 36-37 range.

I am a vocab beast, I dare you to surpass my mad skill. Do it. Click on the green.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Alexander the Great

Alexander the GreatI did a paper and presentation in Art History about Alexander the Great, especially the famous Alexander Mosaic that once graced the floor in the House of Faun in Pompeii. Today, the original rests in the Archaeological Museum in Naples, which we got visit this summer with Mirabile Inventu!

In doing research for this project, I found a website that records the process of creating a copy of this mosaic for display. The steps that this team went through and the intricacy and tediousness of their work is amazing. At this Reconstruction Website they show pictures of each step of the process.

If I had to deal with that many little stones I just know I'd poke my eyes out after just one day. I thought mossaicing my bathroom floor was a nightmare, this one took about 500,000 tessarae. Kill me now.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

GRE update

Here's the outcome of my GRE.

Snow-yes. Ridiculously slow driving on 81 both ways. Limited visibility and numerous rubber necking slow downs.

The good news: I improved 60 points on the verbal section, exactly my goal.

The bad news: I dropped 60 points on the quantitative section. Not so much my goal.

I ended up getting the same freaking score, only reversed. I know exactly why too. They made me take the math section twice, one is for their 'improvement of the test for future test takers', and one you actually get a score for. The first one I took my time and probably did awesome. On the second one, my brain was fried. I lacked the motivation and mental clarity to answer how many sides that triangle had. ha. I'm 100% sure they took my score from the second one. Darn it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


GRE Ok, so GRE go #2.

I'm freaking out.
I want to improve my score by about 60 points in each area.
Yes. In my little Utopian happy world. That will be the outcome.

I had wanted to take the test 2 weeks ago so they'd be in by deadlines for my grad school applications, but all of the seats in all of Pennsylvania and Maryland were filled. Hence, I shall take them tomorrow. Or really it's today at this point of my writing this.

Goodness, what if my score goes down?

Then, that'd be another $140 down the drain. And no grad school would want me at all then. I would assume students who get more stupider is generally frowned upon.

*Nervous Anxiety* And I hope it doesn't snow too much. I'd like to make it to Harrisburg and back again alive.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Naked Mole Rat

PBS logoI have a dirty little secret. I like PBS. Shhhhh, don't tell anyone else. It is my guilty pleasure. The Antique Roadshow? The History Detectives? British movies? Sesame Street? Arthur? V-me? Nova? Documentaries? Special Performances? Educational Programming? It's great. Come on.

Naked Mole RatThe other day I saw an episode of Nature: The Beauty of Ugly. Oh my gosh. It was so cool. They hunted down the ugliest creatures in the world, and made a show about it. There is a contest at some elementary schools to find the ugliest bug. Why didn't my school do that? huh? The best animal, by far though, was the naked mole rat. Ewwwww. They are so ugly they are almost cute!

PBS' website about it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Relax'n on the East Coast

Parade in Atlantic CityOne last post on Atlantic City. There was a parade that took up one side of the street while cars continued driving on the other side. That was something I've never seen before. We walked up and down the boardwalk even though it was chilly. We also went shopping on black Friday, as tradition goes. Didn't really find any killer deals though.

Me in Atlantic City in front of CaesarsCaesar's Palace was definitely the most impressive resort/ casino in Atlantic City. the Pier Shops are pretty cool, not like I could afford to buy anything there though. And we went to see a show that was actually a lot of fun. The Duprees. The senior Miss America party was there and a lot of drunk old ladies were throwing themselves at the singers. It was hilarious. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Atlantic City, Baby

Atlantic City Skyline
For Thanksgiving we went to Atlantic City as I mentioned before. We actually didn't do any gambling, but we did walk around the casinos to see the hustle and bustle of the city. Let me just tell you. Those casinos must make a fortune. I had no idea that so many people play slot machines. There were literally hundreds upon hundreds lined up in a row and people swarming everywhere.

At first I thought the atmosphere was exciting, but then I started feeling pretty down. Think of how many people are throwing their money away. Also, you'll know if you've ever been to Atlantic City, across the streets from all the casinos are shady liquor stores and pawn shops that "Buy GOLD for CASH." The part of the city that is not touristy is grim and scary.

If you want to gamble and you have money set aside for entertainment go for it. I'm not being judgemental. Unfortunately, I'm afraid too many people are decieving themselves into thinking they'll walk away a winner, and end up broke and depressed themselves.

The Glitz and Glam don't last forever.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Meandering Thanksgiving

Seagull on the beachWe had intended to go to Wildwood, NJ for Thanksgiving but when we got there, we quickly found that it is abandoned during the winter. There are no hotels, no entertainment, and no people. It is a deserted town.

So what did we do instead? We drove further up the coast to Atlantic City. It was actually a lot fun. It was not the Thanksgiving we were expecting, but perhaps better.

The seagull in that photo is from the one day we spent in Brigatine on the beach too. It was really nice that day--perfect weather.

My Italian SaladThis Thanksgiving wins as the most unusual meal ever. We had a leftover salad and bread from an Italian Restaurant the night before, travel snacks, and coffee from Wawa's. While you may be feeling sorry for me at this point of your reading, don't be. That salad was perhaps the best one I've ever eaten in my entire life and I didn't want to throw it away, just because the next day was Thanksgiving. We were still thankful. And, we ate turkey at the Hilton on Saturday night anyway.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Take that, Brainiac

This is a test. Look at the image and determine which way the dancer is rotating. Which direction is she turning? Counter-clockwise or clockwise?

Which way did you see her spining?

If you saw her rotating clockwise you are right brained.
If you saw her rotating counter-clockwise you are left brained.

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

brainWhen I looked at her first, I saw her twirling to the right or rather clockwise. That means I'm right brained. I'd agree with that. I'm generally more creative than concrete, more philosophical, and a present and future kind of gal. But more emotional? Nah, they got that wrong. If anything I'm more "logical," "practical" and "reality based." When I examined her shadow, all of the sudden, I saw her spinning the other way (even before I read the significance of determining direction). Does that mean I'm abnormally balanced between the left and right brain?

I've always felt that tests like these suggest too much conformity and black or white categorization of self that is limiting and dangerously destructive. When sciencey people shun the arts and artsy people shun the sciences we only further create a divide that doesn't belong there. Advanced physics is more abstract. Good art makes mathematical sense. All fields converge into one larger base of knowledge that interconnects all parts. I guess my question is how singularly left or right brained can a person be? Most of us have the whole freakin' brain there, why must one half if be dominant all the time? Give your other side of the brain a cup of tea. Take it out to dinner every once in a while. Be a well-balanced individual.

Brain functions list and image from Perth Now, part of Austrailia's

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blue and Green

Assateague LighthouseGo to this link to see my post on the blog, Field Notes From the Sea Around Us.

I've included the poem I've written for my Honors Colloquium Course.
Blue and Green: A Tribute to Rachel Carson

Usually I don't like to post my poetry online because of the whole publishing and copyright fiascos that have victimized other poor writers, but this is an exception.

Check out the blog!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Teaching Golf

Golf courseEvery Saturday I had been teaching golf at Majestic Ridge to little kids from the Chambersburg area. It was so much fun. But now it is over, because it is simply toooooo cold. The kids were so cute. And I've forgotten how much I love golf. I haven't really gotten to play much since the whole ordeal with the Links a couple years ago. But anyway. Yay fun. Little kids and golf. It was also good stuff that I got paid a boat load of moolah an hour!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tapas and Dancing

My super wonderful friends took me to Harrisburg for my birthday. They took me to Suba, a cozy little Spanish tapas restaurant. We ordered a whole bunch of different plates and then shared them. They were so beautifully presented, and tasty, mmmm. The sea-scallops and the gambas al pil pil (shrimp) were the best. There was also live flamenco music right beside our table. That made me miss Spain sooooo much. Afterwards my awesome friends took me dancing. What fun guys! I love you all!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Cap-i-tal

Sewer SmokeOn Friday, I got to go to Washington DC. It was a good time. I like DC. It's such a well-groomed city. And, all the museums are free. First we went to the National Gallery of Art, The National Archives that houses the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence, ate a street egg roll, looked at the White House, made a fool of Veteran's Day Flags, DCourselves in the Environmental Protection Agency, gagged in the sewer smoke, ate at the Hard Rock Cafe, wasted time in Barnes and Nobles, and froze to death on the rainy streets.

Since it was right before Veteren's Day, we also got to participate in sticking the flags on the mall beside the Washington Monument. That was really cool. Shaun and I are true patriots.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


facebook Facebook. I love it.

I love being able to contact friends that I haven't seen for four years. I love being able to remain friends with people that live in different cities, states, and even a few in other countries. I love stealing people's pictures that they post. I love stalking people.

No longer do you have to be the 'last to know' that so-and-so is going out with so-and-so.
No longer do you have that awkward moment with a new friend when you find out that they hate republicans, and well, you are one.
No longer do you think, ohhh, hottie, just to find out later that he has a girlfriend he's been dating for the past 3 years, um yeah.
No longer do you have to wonder, hey did that dude go to my high school, he looks familiar?
No longer do you have to ask yourself what happened to my best friend from a bazillion years ago? Did she get ugly?
No longer do you have to make real friends
No longer do you have to have real life conversations.

But really...Facebook was such a good idea, and I think its popularity speaks for itself.

And thank you to all my lovely friends. Their 'happy birthdays' on my birthday made me feel super special! Thank you!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I'm old--way old. No more birthdays please. I remember when November 7th was an exciting day for me. Now it's much more ominious.

22To think, 22 was always the number on my basketball jerseys in junior high and volleyball jerseys in high school. I remember thinking that 22 was a totally cool number. Then, I turned 22. Today.

I do not have my life together. I have no more idea of where on earth I'm going than I did 5 years ago. I am completely and utterly clueless. I am a butterfly that could drift away with any wind or get squashed on any windshield. At what point does life REALLY begin? And at what point are you REALLY living your life? I think I always expected to know by this age. 22. And I am still me.

I liked 21 better.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pumpkins Continued

English Muffin Pizzas Pumpkin seeds with cinnamon and sugarWe also made English muffin pizzas (a few in scary faces) and toasted some delicious pumpkin seeds. And to be honest, pumpkin seeds with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on them weren't half bad.

Pumpkin Patch We couldn't find a pumpkin patch nearby, but at least we got to pick our pumpkins and take them inside. Who said we had to pick them straight from the vine?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pumpkin Carving

pumkin line-up
Alright. Some backtraking. A few weeks ago, some friends came over to my house for a pumpkin-carving-good-time. We went to the little farm store, Maplewood, got our pumpkins (in the pouring rain) and went to work. We used the little tools that Emily got, that actually cut better than large sharp knives. It was amazing, really, that little plastic things could function so much better. Here you see our lovely creations. Mine went from scary face to sad French guy with fangs. hmmmmm, yeah. I made the eyes slant the wrong way and the mouth was too mustache-looking. I think I have some pretty talented friends. Theirs all turned out pretty well.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Nicole took me on the strangest scavenger hunt ever at one of her friends' house. We dressed up in Halloween costumes and took to the streets of Chambersburg. Nicole was a convincing Shakira and I went as a cowgirl. Some of the items we had to find or bring back included: a Red lobster bib, a black gum ball, a grave stone rubbing, a fortune cookie, a manager's business card with their signature, a red straw, a McDonald's monopoly piece, and many others.

Some of the tasks we had to complete were to pump a stranger's gas, wrap a stranger in toilet paper as a mummy, lay on a bed a Kohls, carry someone's groceries to their car, ride on the horse at Kmart, find someone with more than 4 kids, have a stranger sing "I'm a little teapot," and get a picture of your team with a flaming dessert (our happened to be ice cream).

It was quite interesting Halloween fun. Not only were we asking for ridiculous stuff, we were also dressed up. People thought we were crazy for sure.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's in the Trash Can

No Babies Trash CanAs I went to throw my paper towel away in the women's restroom in the Huber Arts Center, I was a bit taken aback by a sign on the trash can. It read, NO BABIES. I was shocked; my sensibilities were offended. On another sign I saw someone had scrawled 'distasteful' underneath it, to which someone had responded, 'art'. Hmmmm, I think posted words on trash cans are pushing the definition of art.

...and if I think about it, art is new, art is uncomfortable, and art is unable to be bound by transient boundaries.

...and if I think about it, poking fun at throwing away babies is inappropriate in it's own right.

I haven't really decided whether I think the sign is classified as art and therefore important social commentary, or rather blatant, unsavory, juvenile words. One way or the other, it got me thinking.

Then I decided to take a photo of it in the bathroom, so I could blog about it. Gosh, I'm glad no one saw me do that. That would have been weird.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Subservient Chicken

Oh my holy word!

subservient chickenBurger King wins creepiest mascot award again. First it was The King and now it's the chicken. Actually, I'm not so sure it's the chicken, or if it's what the chicken will do.

"Have it your way" Go to

Burger King ChickenI can't believe I didn't stumble onto this site earlier, when it has been around since 2004. It wins most disturbing on the web. Whatever you type into the box, the chicken will do on camera. I probably spent an hour yesterday torturing the chicken.
A few of my favorite commands:

Play dead
Shake your tail
Sit on the couch
Eat McDonald's (ha ha ha)
Lay an egg
Do a cartwheel
Take off the chicken suit (he didn't like that one)
Kiss me (don't worry he'll only make out with the pillow) but...
Kiss (he'll give you a peck)
Turn off lights
Hide and Seek

I just wonder how much they paid the guy in the suit?
I hope it was enough to salvage some dignity. Right.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mr. Crabby

Maryland Blue Crab
Ok. I just love this picture from my fall break at Wallops Island. And I could not not post it.

Say hello to the famous Maryland blue crab. He won't pinch. I promise.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Finally! I got everything sorted out with my Fulbright Application before the Oct 19th deadline, and my part is all done. Now it's up to the big whigs. They hold my future precariously in their hands. Let's hope they don't squash it. Ha.

I applied for an English Teaching Assistantship to Argentina for the 08-09 year. We will have to see how it goes. Last year's stats were something like 122 applications for a meager 15 spots. Maybe everyone studied those horrible odds and redirected their applications to Uruguay?? Wishful thinking, eh?

I'm hoping-- really hoping that I'll get it. No Shippensburg student has ever received a Fulbright (at least within the past 15 years), so perhaps that will give me an edge. I'm sort of a minority, right? I think it would be so awesome to teach English in a country I have always dreamed of visiting. Plus, a Fulbright grant is freakin' prestigious! It is sponsored by the US Department of State. I'm confident that I'm extremely qualified for the position. We'll see what the review committee thinks. Oh. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Oysters in the Chesapeake

oyster census
More about my Fall Break. The one day we rode out from Deal Island in Maryland on a boat with oyster watermen and another boat that was doing an oyster census. We watched as a giant claw thing scraped the bottom of the ocean floor to collect the shellfish. With evey dip, they only collect a few acceptable oysters. They have to be at least 3 inches, not have and spat (basically baby oysters) on them, and of course, be healthy and alive in order to keep them. Tons of the oysters are plagued by diseases, and the men who have been doing this job for generations simply can not survive on this livliehood anymore. The number of watermen and oysters decrease every year.

eating raw oystersAnd then, on a less depressing note, we ate raw oysters. Yeah. Actually, it wasn't so bad. Without chewing, it just tasted like a lump of salt water going down. Tasty.

Good bye little oysters.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wallops Island

Marine Science ConsortiumMy fall break rocked! Like I said in an earlier post, we took a trip to Wallops Island to participate in a celebration of Rachel Carson and do some marsh clean up. The weather was gorgeous and we had a good time. The first night we went to the Baltimore Aquarium. Saturday, we presented our lovely poster on Rachel Carson at the Fish and Wildlife Service and kayaked from Chincoteague to Assateague. *no wild pony sightings* :(

Marsh Clean-up Sunday we cleaned up the marsh in the morning finding giant nets littered everywhere. We got muddy digging them out (and got attacked by blood thirsty mosquitos). Then in the afternoon we went to the beach. Haha. Playing in the ocean was so much fun. I remember my freshman year spring break when we got hit with a freak snowstorm, and here I was in the ocean during this FALL break in OCTOBER. Awesomeness.

I'll post more later.