Sunday, October 25, 2009

Book Reviews and Projects

I've been doing a lot of reading for class lately, so I haven't had a ton of time to get in pleasure reading. The stuff that I have been able to squeeze in, however, has been fully it.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire, both by Stieg Larsson, were surprise enjoyments for me. I have to admit, the titles threw me off a little bit, and it took awhile to get into the books, but once I did I couldn't stop. They're intriguing and catch you up in a world that you can't get out of, and the second book ended with such a cliffhanger that now the wait for the third and final book is going to be long. I generally don't like to give out a ton of information about plots or anything, I'll just say that these are worth starting and giving a chance because they're different and thoroughly enjoyable.
I re-read Twilight and New Moon since I'll be going to the movie when that comes out in late November, and as per usual they were fast and fun. I'm not a full-out Twilight-crazed fan (Harry Potter was mine) but they keep me entertained, and I'm always up for a girl's movie out. Plus I almost always have to read the book before I see the movie... just because. :)
My American Renaissance class has been requiring a lot of transcendental reading, including Thoreau's Walden and Emerson's Nature essays. Once you get past the different style of writing and language, it's incredible to read and even more incredible when you consider the time and age that these guys were writing in. Thoreau goes into a long rant in one of his essays about clothing and how ridiculous it is to follow trends, because "Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new". No wonder it's still read today- it's universal, and very funny. You can see why they've been quoted time and again in yearbooks.I got some great mail yesterday- my new ballet slippers have arrived! I love dancing in brand new slippers- the canvas is still pretty and unmarked, fitting perfectly to my foot when I push out into tendu or up into arabasque for an extension. I fitted them yesterday and did some stretches and basic warmups around my apartment, and I'm excited to use them for class when I (finally!) am well enough to go back. I also started a project to make a scrapbook of all the mail I receive, just to keep things tidy and display some of the beautiful postcards and letters that people send me. I don't like the idea of throwing any of that away, and by putting it in a book I can go back and read through it when I want.
Today- more rest, watching the rain come down outside and being glad I'm inside. I have a lot (a lot) of reading to do for class and paper research, so I think I'm going to make a pot of coffee, grab my highlighter and pencil and snuggle under a blanket to work hard on that. I have a pair of socks that require my attention when I want a break, and hopefully I'll be showing off those soon.
Au revoir, mes amies. Stay dry and warm today- it's gross out!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How I Spend a Friday Night

After recovering (I thought) from the flu, I went back into full studying and work and dancing mode this last week. My cough that had lingered from the flu got worse and worse, and it wasn't until I went into the doctor that I got diagnosed with Bronchitis for the second time in my life. I was supposed to go down to the cities for a Wedding Fair with the amazing Larissa, and now I have to spend the weekend at home, in bed, taking stuff to keep the inflammation of my throat down. If I take it easy I was told it would be over soon, but I'm still very unhappy to be out of commission two weekends in a row. Boo!
Last night I rebelled a little and decided to do something productive with my time. Or rather, 43 productive things with my time.
I had some Halloween-esque cupcake holders and two boxes of cake mix I got awhile ago, and I decided to have a crazy Friday night and make as many cupcakes as I could, frost them with orange frosting, and sprinkle with black and purple and ghost sprinkles. :)
Armed with tissues, Halloween (the original) on TV and enough tea to sink an ore boat, I set out to have a night that was relaxing and hopefully help me to not feel as terrible that I was missing things this weekend. Luckily, I had help in the shape of a Tyler!He was in for the night, sick with both cold and just getting over flu so I was in good company. It was a ton of fun, sprinkles got all over everything and I enjoyed the original Michael Myers slicing everyone to pieces. I'm thinking about doing a Halloween marathon Sunday night if I'm done with homework and am staying awake all right.
One last story- we didn't have any eggs for the cake mix, so we had to run real quick to the Co-op to get some in my car since it was raining buckets outside. On the way out I suppose I was really distracted between the rain and getting the keys out and a coughing fit and stuff on my mind and I yanked opened the door of my car... right into my forehead. If you look closely at the picture above you can see the goose egg forming on the left side of my head, and this morning it's nice and blue and big with a gash in the middle. I always hurt myself doing stupid things, and now I have to tell people I opened my car door too violently into my own head.
Maybe I'll make up a different story to explain this one...
At least I have lots of delicious cupcakes to help me get over this one...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Flu and Pumpkins

I think the excitement of the car (or something of the sort) got the best of me with everything else going on, because I've spent the end of the week and most of the weekend down and out with the flu (not of the swine variety as far as I know). It was longer than one of those 24 hour bugs, too, where anything that required effort winded me (getting up my 4 flights of apartment stairs was an ordeal). I finally really started recovering last night though, just in time to carve pumpkins before Halloween!It is important to note that Ghostbusters is on in the background- a key point while carving pumpkins is to have some Halloween-related thing going on in the background, whether that be a movie (so many to choose from!) or a scary soundtrack (Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorites). Tyler helped out, especially with the whole carrying-the-pumpkins-up-the-stairs thing since I'm still recovering and would have passed out halfway up.We went hardcore this year, drawing patterns on in sharpie marker before cutting them out. Last year I did Jack Skellington, so I stuck with the Nightmare theme and did a pic of the Oogie Boogie Man's shadow on the moon, which I thought would look especially cool lit up from behind on a dark night!Tyler decided to get a little more elaborate, having a guy with slashes for eyes and a hanging mouth with lots of teeth that made it look like he should visit the dentist more often.
I was pretty impressed when he started to get into the details, going as far as carving the skin off the teeth to make them more visible during the day, and perhaps glow more at night!They turned out pretty sweet in the end, and will hopefully show off the Halloween spirit proudly from my balcony for the next couple of weeks!Knitting has been very very slow progress (close to nonexistant) between having the flu and never having time between class and work, but I've made a preliminary Christmas knit-list and it's long enough that I really have to start on some smaller stuff, not to mention pull the Dale out of the corner again. I thought about knitting while I was down and out, but the last thing I wanted was to get germs all over my gift knitting, so decided against it and did reading for class instead.
This week will be busy- midterm on Wednesday for my American Renaissance class, and I'm starting in hardcore on my research for my Critical Theory class paper to make up for all the time I lost last week, so not much room for breathing in there. Not to mention working on my Halloween costume... ;)
Off to do some studying, looking at the pretty fall colors outside my window with a cup of coffee warming my hands. My favorite type of fall morning.
PS- Apparently this is my 300th blog entry- woohoo!! Thanks for reading and checking in, faithful readers! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vroom, Vroom!

Meet Abe.
He's my new car, and he's going to keep me safe from all the snow and cold and wind and ice and everything else that's bad outside.
I'm pretty excited. I'm a little worried I'll be less in shape, but it's hard not to be excited when you have a pretty new (well, new for me) car at your disposal!
It'll make going up the hill much easier, that's for darn sure...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The last couple of weeks have been a hectic mess for me, and I'm sorry I haven't written.
Luckily, a lot of good stuff came about.
I settled more towards a subject for my Grad School Theory class- I'm looking at adaptations of literature and novels into drama and then onto the stage. Specifically one book (Great Gatsby) into one script written specifically for one show (performed in '06 by the Guthrie). I'm very excited about my choice, and especially about my subject matter. Excited enough that I'm looking into PhD programs for this tract- called "Performance Studies", and thus far I've found it exclusively taught at NYU and Northwestern. More on that when I figure out more, but it looks pretty promising.
I have had a lot of Barnes and Noble, then school, then VE late then homework the past couple of weeks, and not much time for other things. For example, the only knitting I've done was to start the short row heel on the ridiculous socks for Sam- and that was just today, mostly. I can't believe how much time constraint I have had.
There was time to hang out with some pretty special ladies, though.Dani, Lust and Kimmy came up last weekend to go to an old friend's wedding and crash at my place of residence. We had big shopping day on Friday, a stay-up-late awesome girl's night on Friday night, a true Scandinavian breakfast on Saturday, Pizza Luce on Sunday, helping me not fall apart on Sunday night, and topped it off with Uncle Loui's on Monday morning before Dani had to fly out back to Vermont. I haven't seen those girls forever (Dani especially) so it was amazing to be able to hang out with all of them again. It was exactly what I needed.
This week has been stressful until yesterday, and from tomorrow onward it's going to be smooth sailing. My parents are bringing my NEW CAR up Friday afternoon, and then they're going to help me organize, clean, and decorate my cleaned-out and messy apartment this weekend (believe me, my Mom is excited for the decorating part). It'll be a nice chance for me to hang out with them, and I'll probably treat them out to a local Mexican favorite- Hacienda Del Sol. A little more expensive, but worth it.
Hopefully I'll have redecorating pictures up soon, along with some projects that I've kept in the dark for awhile once I get some stuff figured out. ;)
Off to do more reading homework now (it never ends... which is good!) and a nice cuppa tea before bed.
Cheers, all :)