Sunday, September 30, 2007

Those New Yorkers

Six Degrees I think I heard about this website, Overheard in New York, on an episode of Six Degrees that was on ABC last year, but that was canceled mid-season. I actually liked it too--or at least the idea that everybody is interconnected by at least 6 completely random links.
But anyway, the website is an interesting idea. People living in New York City send in snippets of conversations that they have overheard from strangers during their day. I think the only conclusion is that there are many New Yorkers who are mean, weird, don't believe in privacy, and lack intelligence. See for yourself my random sampling (of ones that have PG content).

Coworker #1: Is it just me, or are the rats in New York getting smaller? Seriously!
Coworker #2: Maybe you're just getting bigger.

Tourist man: Pardon me, officer, can you tell us where Orchard Street is?
Cop: See that naked Chinese guy?
Tourist man: Ummm...Yeah.
Cop: Walk down to him and make a left.
Tourist man: Um, thanks.
Cop: No problem.

Drunk girl: Kool-Aid is my most favorite drink in the whole world. When she moved in, it was like great, because it was like, "You love Kool-Aid, too? Awesome, we're going to get along great." But then it ended up, she tried to kill me with a steak knife.

Man: How much for two double-A batteries?
Bodega worker: The good ones or the one-dollar ones?
Man: The dollar ones.
Bodega worker: One dollar.
Man: I'll take two.
Bodega worker: That will be two dollars.
Man: Two dollars?!
Pilot: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm just going to power off the plane for a minute and restart it. Kind of like control-alt-delete on your computer.

Girl #1: As Shakespeare once said: "Thou shall not kill."
Girl #2: No, that would be God.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Holy Water

In reading the BBC news awhile ago, an interesting article popped up. The title read, Fake holy water warning 'working.' So what does that mean? In the UK they were doing inspection to see if vendors were selling 'fake' holy water because this variety of water can be filled with arsenic and nitrates. The 'fake' water is described as Zam Zam (from a well in Mecca) water but it isn't really from there. The article states, "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia forbids the commercial export of genuine Zam Zam, so we have no idea of the true source of the water which ends up on the streets of the UK."

I should think people concerned with buying 'fake' holy water only have more problems than they can handle. At least the 'real' (note the quotation marks) holy water won't poison you if you drink it.

See the article at the BBC website.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Last week my fiction class (man, I get a lot of inspiration for this blog from that class) walked to an old graveyard on Prince Street up from the university. Our assignment was to look at a gravestone and create a short character sketch based off of nothing more than the name on the tombstone. Actually, some of the stones were so old the names had weathered away; I think most of the people buried there lived in the mid 1800's.

So, anyway, our whole class is sitting in the graveyard writing in our notebooks, when suddenly, in the church right beside us, the door literally bursts open and out comes a coffin draped in an American Flag. They were having a funeral service at the church right by where we were using the graveyard as a class project, and a lot of older people started filing out of the door while they were loading the casket into the Hearse. We all felt so bad. At least they were going to another site to bury the poor man so we didn't desecrate the funeral too much. Geez, that was a horrible day to look at gravestones.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Car Smileys or Frownies

driving emoticonsYou know how they first came out with mood rings and then moved on to digital AIM smiley faces? Well, now they have advanced to the point of Driving LED Emoticons to share your emotions with the rest of world according to ThinkGeek. You can stick a lovely glowing representation of your mood in the back window of your car. Now every driver can know to ride on the brakes for awhile when behind a frowny face car. I love the disclaimer, "May not be legal in all states. Check your local laws before use." Do people really buy stuff like this? And what would you do if the emoticon changed in the middle of road? Was it something I did?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Funny Pics

I stole a few funny pictures from the FunnyHub.
The polar bear one is my favorite. Noooo, don't do it, Billy.

Obviously, this means I'm procrasting from doing something.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bits and Pieces

I remember walking to my tube stop in London one day with my friend (who didn't read much English so he couldn't appreciate this) and we passed a guy taking a snapshot of a sign. He looked over at us sheepishly, and I was like, what is going on? I looked at what he is taking a picture of, and the sign quite literally read, "No Begging. Fine: £200" How funny is that? I wish I had gotten a picture of it.

Unrelatedly, I heard a funny thing this week, said by another student in my fiction writing class. "Well, the story wasn't dry, so I guess that makes it moist. No... I guess that wouldn't make it moist." For some reason, that seemed pretty funny to me at the time.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Proof of McDonald's World Domination

Ok, so in my terribly boring class, Conservation of Natural Resources, (ahem for Tami if you should read this) I had my amusement for the day. We are doing population studies and have to use this particular website to download information.

Big MacNationMaster lists tons of data about countries. Really more info than you could ever want to know. One statistic jumped out to me. THE BIG MAC INDEX. Can you imagine? Among important, legitimate, valid information there rests stats about the price of a Big Mac across the world? I am telling you, McDonald's owns the world. They are corporate geniuses.

Of course I'm extraordinarily intrigued.
A Big Mac costs (from the most expensive to the least):
$6.67 in Iceland
$3.15 in the US
$.68 in Qatar

Qatar for hamburgers anyone?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Installations in the Tate

This summer, when I was in London, I went to the Tate Modern (an art museum) and basically spent a whole half a day there. I was so in love with the art work there. My favorites were two video installations.

Quarta-Feira de Cinzas
The first one was a projection of a natural setting with little tiny ants. There was tapping or rather plunking music in the background. The ants were carrying these little colorful discs on their backs over leaves and twigs and dirt. There were hundreds of these little guys and the shots got really close to follow them and showed how the little discs glinted in the sunlight. It was really magical, I could have sat and watched that forever. The explanation outside said that the installation was done by Rivane Neuenschwander and Cao Guimaraes after a celebration with lots of confetti (how fun by the way). The name of the piece is "Quarta-Feira de Cinzas."

The second one I loved was "Drum Roll" by Steve McQueen which was basically three vertical frames looking out of the top, side, and other side of a oil drum rolling down the streets of Manhattan, New York. The sound was normal, so you could here the artist say excuse me, watch out!, and see legs of people jumping out of the way; it was so funny. Also you could see the taxis swirling by and stiletto heels and bums and store front doors and dirt in the street. It was so surreal and real all at once. It really captured the chaos and beauty of the city. The other people and I sitting in the seats were laughing everytime the drum almost ran over someone. The exhibit in general became one of those experiences with art that you'll never forget. Unfortunately, I can't find any clips or photos of it to share with you. I guess a trip to England is in order...

Monday, September 10, 2007


I did a list of books. So now lets have my clearly unbiased review of a few movies:

The IllusionistThe Illusionist: Oh so good, times 2
Les Miserables: Also, oh so good.
Six Days Seven Nights: A ridiculous waste of 1.5 hours of my life that I can never get back.
Country: ditto
Lady in the Water. Wow, a real, what on earth just happened movie? but endearing nonetheless
RV: um, I was forced to watch it against my will, but it wasn't as bad as I expected

Charlotte's Web Charlotte's Web: Sad. Great childhood reminder. And Dakota Fanning.
Underdog: Could have been worse, being at the drive ins, it was bearable
Bourne Ultimatum: Good, action packed, and Matt Damon. yeah.
Night at the Museum: Watchable, but overrated. The T-Rex did boast of some good animation.
Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End: They've ruined the series!! I don't even want to talk about it. I'm so mad.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The death of the pot head

Take a look at my poor poor little plant guy. If you will remember the pot head (from an earlier post) that I grew, and loved, and cared for. Well, then this is him after I got back from Europe.

He was the first thing I noticed when I got home. I squealed in delight which quickly turned into disgust. Mom said she just didn't have the heart to throw him out, even though MOLD is growing on his face and his grassy hair has crumbled and died. The spores on his nose look like frost bite. Awwww, what sadness, I dumped him into the trash.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Melina from Guatemala

I am sooooo excited! Last week, I was cleaning my room Melinaand decided count the change that I had put in a little yellow piggy bank. I happened to find about $100 worth of change floating around in my room. That got me thinking. I'm not really using that money, and I have always wanted to sponsor a child in another country. So I did some research online about different organizations and finally settled on one. I am sponsoring a girl from Guatemala named Melina with the Christian Children's Fund. I just got her information in the mail.

I have always thought about how I am so blessed to live in America where we have so many resources and opportunities to better our lives. Many times I have said, Piggy BankI'm just a student; I don't have any money. While that is still true, I still have more change sitting around, than this little girl's family will earn in a year. I have always said, oh, I'll sponsor a child when I have a stable income and can be certain to be able to pay the monthly rate, but the truth is, with an attitude like that, I was being selfish and I would probably never get around to doing my part to alleviate global poverty and suffering. No matter how much I need the money I have, there are always other's who will need it more. I feel like I have at least started to do something. I hope God blesses this little girl and her family.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Labor Day

sunflowerYesterday, my family and I had our Labor Day festivities which included a nap for me in the afternoon, reading The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare (now you see the reason for the nap), grilled chicken, and homemade chocolate ice cream at my grandparent's house.

I have gotten myself on this horrible sleeping schedule, but what is new about that? I just figure the next two week will be brutal while I try to adapt to normalcy again.

homemade ice creamThe ice cream maker that we use is deafeningly loud, and really, you feel like you can't hear quite right for several hours after standing by the machine. The ice cream was so tasty though. Reminded me of a Frosty at Wendy's only better, much better. This time, it was rather runny; almost like a milkshake--but I'm not complaining.

I love lazy days off.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Summer Reading List

What are the books that I've read this summer you ask? Well, let me tell least a few of them.

The House on Mango StreetThe House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros: One of my new absolute favorites. Small story narrative form. Quick read about an immigrant living in Chicago. Makes the reader do a lot of critical thinking and webbing to intuitively tie the stories together. She has to be one of my new favorite authors too.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers: Excellent read. Exploring loneliness and relationships with other people in a disjointed life.

TwilightTwilight by Stephenie Meyer, a popular youth thriller about vampires, a perfect example of writing that has become annoying after a college education in writing. The author assumed too much power as the narrator and the action delayed till way too far back in the book. I only read it cause it was sitting on the coffee table, and I'm a sucker for books. Michelle graciously let me have the free tattoos that came with the book. Wouldn't I like to have the name, Edward, proudly displayed on my arm? Only when people as me if that is the name of my boyfriend, I can tell them, no, it's the name of the hot vampire in the book I read this summer, duh. (oh and the vampire totally reminds me of Neil from So You Think You Can Dance, pasty, yet beautiful)

Birth of VenusThe Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant was an OK read. I enjoyed the story, especially since we had just the studied the Renaissance and visited the city of it's setting, Florence, but I take issue with the writing. I found way too many typographical/grammatical errors for my taste, and the writing was somewhat less challenging than I normally prefer to read. Oh, and shout out to Pico. He got one mention, and this pacified me.

Our Sister KilljoyOur Sister Killjoy by Ama Ata Aidoo from Ghana: Also another great read. Beautifully poetic and insightful. An overflow from my globalization seminar last semester, but it was definitely worth reading.

I also read some crap for the class we had (like critical texts by Walter Pater + modern scholars and The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, parts of Nada by Carmen Laforet which I will finish reading sometime this semester, upon the recommendation of Mary, La Celestina by Fernando de Rojas which unfortunately I haven't finished reading yet either, and the first 5 pages of I Claudius by Robert Graves; that is--before I wanted to poke my eyes out with boredom.