Thursday, January 31, 2008

Phil of the Future

I was thinking about the future (again) and I was reminded of my favorite Disney Channel show, Phil of the Future. Have you seen it? I know it's supposed to be for kids, but it's so adorable. Phil is from the future but the time machine he used to travel our current year is broken. His haphazard dad can't ever seem to fix it, so he is stuck here till the machine is repaired. Phil uses his cool gadgets to impress a girl from his school and his little sister uses them to torture her classmates. I love the episodes. They are such fun.

Boston UniversityFuture related, I finally submitted my last grad school application today. Boston University is crossed off my checklist. I've been getting emails almost everyday saying: urgent, your application is incomplete. Deadlines are panic, my friend, sheer panic. I am waiting for tragedy to happen. I don't want something bad to happen, but I fear awful mailing mishaps.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Coast of Chicago

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek was my latest read. I really liked this example of literary fiction. This compliation of short stories was very poetic and well-written. The Coast of Chicago by Stuart DybekThey flowed and spoke to a true part of human nature and experience. Actually, I liked all the stories but the one entitled Nighthawks, which I felt like was trying too hard to imitate Edward Hopper's painting shown above (which I actually got to see on exhibit at the National Gallery in Washington DC). Other than that section, I would highly recommend The Coast of Chicago for a good pleasure read. I will leave you with one of my favorite lines although it isn't exactly representantive of the whole, "I would sit out of sight beneath the dining-room table, my plastic cowboys galloping through a forest of chair legs, while I listened to Mrs. Kubia talk about Marcy." A beautiful way with words.

I'd like to visit Chicago someday. It is on my must-visit list.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Operation State of the Union

Last night was the State of the Union Address. May I just say that I love the State of the Union Address?

I love watching the people. I love watching half of congress stand up and cheer and stolid glances on the other side. I love closeups of people trying to find the perfect balance between paying attention and falling asleep--that balance in appearing to enjoy yet hate the speech. I love begrudged standing for statements about liberty and American advancement, because let's face it, begruding or not, we all agree, no matter who is saying it. I love the commentary afterwards, complimenting the unity of the American political system, able to put party differences aside and applaud the same issues. It is a show, a formality, a tradition. And I love it.

Unfortunately, I missed the first half last night, because of my night class, but I'm sure the whole broadcast was great entertainment.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jane Austen

Pride and PrejudiceThis weekend was Jane Austen weekend for me. I not only watched Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, but also had a real 18th century English teaparty. It twas delightful! Yummy blueberry tea and British jargon are the way to do teaparties, let me tell you. (No stuffed animals were invited)

As for the movies: I believe I liked the filmography much better in Pride and Prejudice. Sense and SensibilityThe scenes were fresh and beautiful. Also, I'm a big fan of Kiera Knightly. Oh, and Mr. Darcy.

Sense and Sensibility though, I like the story-line much better. Kudos to Jane Austen. There seems to be more twists and turns and romanticism in her later novel. That darn Mr. Willoughby!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Booksthatmakeyoudumb is an interesting study of the correlation between SAT scores and favorite books listed on facebook. Virgil Griffith created it and posted it online. Interestingly enough, the books I most enjoy fell near the higher end of SAT scores, and books I really despise fell toward the lower end. The data is quite intriguing to peruse, but I do have some problems with it. First, the data is collected through the favorite books at a specific institution where the mean SAT score is reported, so my relative 'smartness' is filtered through Shippensburg's SAT scores which are actually a heck of a lot lower than my personal scores. Second, the books you list as your favorite books may just be what feel like you have to write down for social and/or other reasons. For example, indicating you like a certain classic could make you appear more well-read simply because it is popular, but you really think it is crap. Also, I love how listing "The Holy Bible" is akin to being dumber than the people who list "I don't Read."

Anyways, just go visitBooksthatmakeyoudumb an decide for yourself.

On a related note, I just read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez this past Christmas vacation. It is full of poetic writing, style, and a fast paced, uniquely thought-out action. I had meant to read it for the longest time, because I heard it was so good, and I was not disappointed. I loved it, although I have not added it to my favorites in my facebook profile yet. Now I'm glad to know I enjoy books that do not make me dumb, but rather smart, very very smart. One Hundred Years of Solitude was the second 'smartest' book in the booksthatmakeyou dumb study. Yay me.

PS. I don't honestly believe that reading books of any type or caliber can make you dumb. In fact, if you feel dumber after reading a book, it means that you got smarter because you learned more about yourself, about writing in general, and about how to craft a story better than that moron's that you just read.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Panera Bread A Panera Bread just opened up on the Walker Road Exit in Chambersburg. Before, the closest one to Shippensburg was in Carlisle. Mmmmm, I love their food. It's so tasty, although a carbohydrate attack. I like their brand too; their crisp, clean, retro, cafe italiano image. The same company that did Starbuck's logo also did Panera's.

Should you be making a stop at your local Panera, might I recommend their frontega chicken panini with a side whole grain baguette?? Delish.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shakira's Hay Amores Translation

ShakiraI decided to post my Spanish to English translation of the song, Hay Amores, from Love in the Time of Cholera by Shakira as well. Translating is like doing a puzzle. In general, translations aren't completely literal and that is what makes doing them such fun...but on the other hand, difficult. Everytime you work through a passage to translate you can't but help improve your knowledge and appreciation of the complexity of language.

Hay Amores

Ay mi bien,
¿qué no haría yo por ti?
¿Por tenerte un segundo,
Alejados del mundo
Y cerquita de mí?

Ay mi bien,
Como el río Magdalena,
Que se funde en la arena del mar,
Quiero fundirme yo en ti.

*Hay amores que se vuelven resistentes a los daños,
Como el vino que mejora con los años,
Asi crece lo que siento yo por ti.

Hay amores que se esperan al invierno y florecen
Y en las noches del otoño reverdecen
Tal como el amor que siento yo por ti. *

Ay mi bien,
No te olvides del mar
Que en las noches me ha visto llorar
Tantos recuerdos de ti.

Ay mi bien,
No te olvides del día
Que separó en tu vida,
De la pobre vida que me tocó vivir.

(Repite seccion entre las *)
Yo por ti...por ti...como el amor que siento yo por ti.

And now my Englsih translation (WordReference is a great help for those stickler words or phrases that could mean one thing or another, like "me tocó vivir"):

There Are Loves

Oh, my well-loved
What wouldn’t I do for you?
To have you a second,
Far away from the world
And close to me?

Oh, my well-loved
Like the Magdalena River,
That melts in the sand of the sea,
I want you to melt into me.

*There are loves that that remain resistant to damage,
Like wine that gets better through the years,
So grows how I feel for you.

There are loves that wait until the winter and flower
And in the night of autumn sprout again
Just like the love I feel for you.*

Oh my well-loved,
Don’t forget the sea
That has seen me cry in the nights
So many memories of you.

Oh my well-loved,
Don’t forget the day
That separated your life,
From the poor life that I had to live.

(Repeat section between the *)
And for you…for you…like the love I have for you.

Here's a link to my translation of La Despedida as well.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Let Me Look Into My Crystal Ball

NYU logo I submitted my NYU Steinhardt application today! This makes it 3 graduate schools down, 1 more to go. Wouldn't it be amazing to live in New York City for a couple of years? Imagine the scene. Imagine the learning. Imagine the experience.

Imagine the cost of living.

All these applications make me excited--that is a nervous, scared, silly, happy, sad, anxious, elated, tentative, ready for it, roller coaster kind of excited.

Being completely unsure of the future is an interesting place to be in. I am graduating from college in a matter of months. Who knows what I'll be doing next year at this time or where that unknown will be? I am at that point in my life when it really counts, when my entire future is really decided, when I am not really in control of my own destiny. This moment, this chunk of time, is both wildly freeing and decidedly enervating.

Where will I end up?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tyson's Corner

Tyson's CornerYesterday, a group of friends and I went to Tyson's Corner in McLean, Virginia to shop since we didn't have any classes in celebration of Martin Luther King Day! I think that was the biggest mall I have ever been in. It is soooo huge--the biggest shopping center in the Washington DC metroplex. I can't believe I had never been there before when it is only an hour and a half drive away. The stores are nice; it is more upscale than the good ole' Chambersburg Mall. They have H&M, my fav. (even though I purchased nothing there). I showed self-restrait, yes I did.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

You Sunk My Battleship

Battleship Game, Milton BradleyI had a strange urge to play Battleship this week. You know, that Milton Bradley game you played when you were nine. I don't know why I had to play this game after years and years. And I don't know why I remembered it existed. It was strange.

In the classic Battleship, you arrange your naval war ships in a grid and try to take out your opponent's ships before they take out yours. When your ship is full of red plastic you make a hideous bombing noise and say, "You sunk my battleship."

Wikipedia's history of the game is actually interesting. Excerpt:
In The Dillinger Days, historian John Toland writes that prisoners in solitary confinement in the Indiana State Penitentiary played a version of Battleship during the 1920s, marking squares on their cell floors and calling out attacks from cell to cell. "For years the more obtuse guards wondered what was being plotted when they heard men calling: 'B-7.' 'Miss.' 'C-8.' 'Destroyer sunk!'"
If you have the unexplained desire to play too and can't challege or um, bribe someone into playing a game with you, you can always use the not as fun computer version.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Strike...or more likely one pin left

BowlingI went bowling for the first time in about 4 years last night. Why does bowling always get such a bad rap? I actually had a lot of fun. I broke 100, and exceeded my goal of 80 in all games. We went to Licoln Lanes in Chambersburg first, but it was too full, so we went to Nellie Fox that only had one lane open, but that is all we needed. We even had to got to wear the sexy bowling shoes. Bow, chicka, wow, wow.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Denver and Mile High Orchestra

Denver and Mile Hight Orchestra DMHO I got my parents tickets to see Denver and Mile High Orchestra this past Christmas. The concert is tonight in Camp Hill, and I am thinking this might be the first present that actually turns out right. (Perhaps some of you remember my past post on the unfortunate and even creepy presents I have gotten my parents) Although...this year, my dad was going to buy the tickets so he asked me the day before Christmas to put them on my credit card so Mom wouldn't find out. I held my tongue and agreed to do so. He was shocked when he opened them up the next morning, because there was no way they could have been mailed to our house so fast. At least I know I got them something that they definitely wanted.

DMHO performed their way into the top three bands on The Next Great American Band on Fox. Their sound is a brassy big band one, only revitalized into much more hip style.

University of Maryland Logo I completed my University of Maryland application today! Two grad schools down, two more to go. I'm checking things off my to-do list like Santa Claus at Christmas time. Gee, I'm hoping I get in to these schools.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow Flakes

Snow scene The snow today was beautiful. I love looking at the trees. The contrast of the brown bark against the snowy white crystals is startling. I was hoping for canceled classes, but no such cigar.

In other news, I am upset that the University now charges us to print. I missed the email and already used up a big chunk of my quota unknowingly. What's with the charging for everything? We pay so many thousands of dollars to go there and they can't even let us print for free? Even stuff that we are required to print for classes, because of the whole online, Blackboard craze anyway? I can not read endless articles on the computer screen. My eyes already suffer from too much screen-staring. And I cannot proofread as well in Word as on paper. Booooo.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Keep your STDs over there, thank you

Christopher Columbus and his seamen did bring syphilis into Europe from the new world.

Emily C. has been insisting that since she did research for Mirabile Inventu, studying the Renaissance accross Europe this summer. And if you don't take her word for it then you'd have to take MSNBC's word for it.

...the study lends credence to the "Columbian theory," which links the first recorded European syphilis epidemic in 1495 to the return of Columbus and his crew.
In case you were wondering.

I'm guessing that would be one not-fun disease.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shakira Translation

ShakiraAs requested (by Emily) from this post a few days ago, here are the lyrics for Shakira's song, La Despedida, in Spanish and then in English:

No hay mas cielo , no hay
No hay mas vida, no hay
No hay mas vida, no hay
No hay mas lluvia, no hay
No hay mas brisa, no hay
No hay mas risa, no hay
No hay mas llanto, no hay
No hay mas miedo, no hay
No hay mas canto, no hay

Llévame donde estés, llévame
Llévame donde estés, llévame
Cuando alguien se va, él que se queda
Sufre más
Cuando alguien se va, él que se queda
Sufre más

No hay mas viento, no hay
No hay mas hielo, no hay
No hay mas fuego, no hay
No hay mas vida, no hay
No hay mas vida, no hay
No hay mas rabia, no hay
No hay mas sueño, no hay

Llévame donde estés, llévame
Llévame donde estés, llévame
Cuando alguien se va, él que se queda
Sufre más
Cuando alguien se va, él que se queda
Sufre más...
Sufre más....

Lyrics from Complete Album Lyrics

Now here's my translation into English:

The Farewell

There is no more life, there is none
There is no more life, there is none
There is no more rain, there is none
There is no more breeze, there is none
There is no more laughter, there is none
There is no more crying, there is none
There is no more fear, there is none
There is no more song, there is none

Carry me to where you are, carry me.
Carry me to where you are, carry me
When someone leaves, he who stays
suffers more
When someone leaves, he who stays
suffers more

There is no more sky, there is none
There is no more wind, there is none
There is no more ice, there is none
There is no more fire, there is none
There is no more life, there is none
There is no more life, there is none
There is no more rage, there is none
There is no more dreaming, there is none

Carry me to where you are, carry me.
Carry me to where you are, carry me
When someone leaves, he who stays
suffers more...
When someone leaves, he who stays
suffers more...

Also check out her song, Hay Amores (There are loves), which is almost equally moving. Here's the YouTube link to both songs in one video.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Good People

AE Wallet and MoneyMy faith has been restored in humanity. Today I went into the post office, got up to the counter, and realized my wallet was not in my purse. I went home, ripped the house apart and could not find it. I remembered I had been in the computer lab on Sunday so I ran in there asked if someone had turned in a wallet. And surprisingly it was there, along with all my credit cards, license, ID, and cash. I was shocked. I was preparing to call the bank and credit card companies to tell them to freeze my accounts. An honest person found my wallet. I got lucky. The world does have good people in it, and these are the ones who never get thanked, even for doing something as small, yet significant as turning in a wallet. I want to thank that person whereever they are, whoever they are. If only more people in the world were like you...

Penn State In more good news, I finally compiled the final parts of my Penn State application and sent it rush delivery from the post office. Whoooooo. Here's to hoping I get in! One grad school down, three more to go.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Faces Everywhere

Apparently there is a big artistic sub-culture out there that searches for faces. Faces in household items, shopping malls, vehicles, houses, clothing, appliances, nature, and the list goes on. There are actually many people who make it their hobby to search for unintended smileys and photograph them. Francois and Jean Robert created a book out of their findings, and many others follow in their footsteps. Sifting through the photos is actually kind of fun and make me think, hmmmm, maybe I could find some faces around my house or neighborhood.
I've come across bunches of sites that are face finding fans, but here are just a few links to get you started if you are interested:

Tricks and Illusions
A pbase Collection
Faces in Places

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Don't Worry, I'll Photoshop You In Later

death takes a holidayI am a big fan of Photoshop, and so are a lot of other artists out there. hosts regular contests to encourage submissions on a particular topic. The photos are such fun to look through. People can make the added elements look flawless. Sometimes, I would swear that it the image is real, if they weren't so absurd. I am quite impressed. I have a feeling the key is in the shadows. The quality of the shadowing is how you can tell beginer from an expert. I think it has a lot to do with integration too. The lines blending the new element and the old have to be the same level of intensity as the rest of the photo. How to hide an elephantThat is where a lot of people go wrong. I'm also amazed by people's wittiness for the contests. He he. This site makes me smile. Maybe I'll submit something someday.

A few of my favorite advanced Photoshop contests include:
Death takes a Holiday
Planet of the Apes
Color Blind
How do you hide an elephant?

Friday, January 11, 2008

♥ Virtual Love

Have you been wondering how to type those cute little hearts in your text while typing?

Blue HeartsYeah. Me neither. But I learned by accident, and now I can use a ♥ any time I want to. I can soften all my words with one little symbol.

I can say for example: "Screw You!♥," "Loser♥" and the popular "I ♥ you, not."

Really. I don't have issues.

But the secret is: Push Alt and then press the 3 on the number pad.

I heart blogging!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

La Despedida

Shakira La Despedida Performance Shakira steals our hearts again. I love her music. It is passionate and beautiful and moving. She is a first class artista. In addition, she is always sweet in her interviews and always presenting herself well. I am a huge fan of Spanish music and always a fan of Shakira.

Here is a clip of her new song that she recorded for the movie version of Love in the Time of Cholera, which I have not seen yet. But, I certainly have downloaded La Despedida which is an absolutely gorgeous song. I could listen to it a thousand times.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fair tax? Give me a break

Ever since Huckabee was on Jay Leno's first show back despite the writers strike and explained his "Fair Tax" plan to America I've written him off my list of plausible presidential candidates. That is a horrible idea and the NY Times agrees with me, as does every sound economist out there. Here's a link to Huckabee's explanation of it if you haven't been keeping up with the political scene.

Fair Tax no more IRS Some insist that no income tax sounds like heaven (and believe me I'm a conservative so I dislike burgeoning governments), but come on now. Who is going to suffer from this wacky idea to tax almost 30% on every purchase? Middle to lower America, that's right. Reverting back to a flat taxation system is preposterous. Let me reference Megan McArdle, Kriston Capps, and Matthew Yglesias as a few among the many economist bloggers who scoff at the fairness of the fair tax.

And on Clinton winning the New Hampshire primary for the democrats... I expected it anyway. I'm telling you, my prognostication is that she will win the next presidency. I've been calling this ever since about 2002.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Pickle Ice Cream

Dill Pickle Icecream. Have you ever tried it? It is about as bad as it sounds. At first it's like, oh this isn't so bad, but then...the aftertaste. Yuck.

Pickles, many many picklesI tried a sample of it at the farm show last year, made by a company in Pennsylvania. Pickle flavor and frozen dairy just don't blend together well; no matter how hard you try. Gross.

The pickles in the photo are only half of the ones my pappy brought over to our house to be canned last summer. Woah, pickle overload. We should've stuck them in ice cream and tried to sell it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Is there a bunny in there?

Bunny and Cowboy at the Farm Show And then there are the animals at the farm show too. The cows, horses, ducks, birds of variety, pigs, sheep, alpacas, and bunnies. I love the bunnies in particular. I want one. I was deprived as a child only ever having cold blooded pets like fish and turtles. I never had anything with hair. That's perhaps why I think the angoras are the cutest. They are lumps of fur...with eyes...and ears.

Angora Bunny

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I Can't Believe It's Butter!

Harrisburg butter sculpture The Pennsylvania Farm Show has come again, and so that means the butter sculpture too. Nine hundred pounds of butter was lumped together to form a bus, cow, and children. Yes, 900 freakin' pounds. It takes a cow 9 months to produce enough milk to make that much butter. Jeepers creepers! Oogling at the giant hunk of butter is always one of my favorite things about the Farm Show.

Potato Donuts Sign My other favorites are the rodeo and the food. I had onion rings and a strawberry smoothie this year. Mmmm. I am sad I had no honey waffle with ice cream though, because I just couldn't eat anymore. I couldn't do it!

And the potato donuts, have I ever mentioned the potato donuts? Those are heavenly too. They are like donuts, only much much better.

My goodness, I just realized that the farm show is incredibly unhealthy. The giant sculpture of butter should have been some indication...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Insult Me Again

Are you the type of self loathing individual that enjoys a good insult every now and again? Take these:

Shakespeare PortraitThou spleeny guts-griping malcontent!
[Thine] face is not worth sunburning.
Out of my sight! Thou dost infect my eyes.
Thou odiferous boil-brained measle!
You are as rheumatic as two dry toasts.
Thou venomed clapper-clawed clack-dish!
How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?
Thou villainous motley-minded foot-licker!

Gotta love Shakespeare.

The Shakespearean Insulter will take your self esteem down a few notches. And it will feel good.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Blood Suckers

Red blood cells Key chains got me thinking of the free little key chain flashlight that I got for donating blood last month. The Red Cross sent me another postcard this week saying that if I donated now, I'd get a free long sleeve t-shirt. Darn, I let them take my blood for too cheap. I'd donate again if I didn't have to wait the required 8 weeks. I have bunches of crappy free stuff that they've given me for my blood, but now when it's something good I can't even go. Boooo.

blood donationsIs it sad that part of the reason I donate blood is to get the free stuff? I'm guessing other people are that way too, otherwise they wouldn't keep offering gadgets for blood. I wish they would stop sending quite so many solicitations for the red, but I guess I understand.

If you haven't given blood before, and you are healthy, you really should. It ain't so bad; and it might really save somebody's life.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Frosty on a Chain

Snowman Keychain I love cutesy decoration thingies (but only to a point where they don't clutter, note 78.4% of my stuff). But anyway, I got this snowman keychain for a mere 50 cents at JoAnn's last year after chirstmas. And he's good all through winter, not just during the holidays.

Frosty makes my keys so much more fun...and plush. I don't imagine he'll stay snowy white for long though.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Hershey Candylane CostumesHershey Park at Christmas time is the greatest! They have millions of lights and lots of chocolate-y fun. I can't believe they started charging for entrance. We used to go for free:( But now I guess you can ride the rides without charge. We rode the Reeses Cup Challenge a zillion times and I pretty much suck at it. That one is shooting a laser gun at targets while zooming through the ride.

The whole town smells like chocolate, and I love it. If you have not gone before, you must next year, even if you have to travel miles to get to PA. As far as amusement parks go, it is my favorite one I've ever been to. Nothing can compare.

kissablesThe free candy they gave out after the chocolate ride this year, though, was those darn Kissables. They are too much candy-coating and not enough chocolate. Where's the good stuff?