Friday, November 12, 2010

Reverend Me

So, I became a Minister last night. lol.

I am a minister of the First Church of Atheism, which is a "church" which basically allows people to become "ministers" so they can officiate weddings and funerals and such. Legally, in order for a marriage license to be valid, a minister or a judge needs to witness it. Unless you're friends with a judge, it's hard to find someone meaningful to officiate a wedding in a non-religious context. So, the First Church of Atheism allows people to become ministers legally.

Obviously, it's not supposed to be an actual church or congregation or anything. It's a way around legal discrimination that says weddings must be done by a judge or a minister. If you wanted a friend to officiate, they can go online to any website/church and get a ministers license for free. However, they're mostly Christian or non-denominational organizations that do that. The FCA does the same thing but for non-religious people.

I don't know if I'll ever officiate a wedding or anything, but it's generally $300 per service, so if I do, it'll just be extra income, and I get to make a positive non-religious difference in peoples lives. If you need a minister for anything, let me know!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm still here

I'm very sorry. I have been focused on other things. I am still alive, still busy and poor, and still overachieving and awesome. This blog is on my list of priorities, but only after work, class, sleep, homework, extracurriculars, eating, and the small figment of my imagination I call my social life (it's basically me sitting in my living room until one or more of the housies join me, or occasionally getting invited somewhere).

I love living in my house. We get along so well (aside from messiness), and just understand each other. For example, 6/7 of us, inspired by a woopie cushion, took a good 15 minutes to make farting noises together. Fun times. Tonight, we watched Troll 2, which is not about trolls, or even 1 troll, but about goblins and vegetarianism. The protagonist was able to escape the goblins by eating a double salami sandwich. The movie ends with goblins eating his mom (after she's been turned into a plant, of course). One of the worst movies ever.

I kind of want to quit Target, but my bank account says no to that. Tuition's gotta get paid, bills gotta get paid, money has to be saved for Thailand (which I'm supes excited for, btdubs). I hope it will be magical! In any case, January is the best time of year to visit, because it's not overwhelmingly and oppressively hot and sticky, nor is it rainy. In any case, my jobs in the caf and at the middle school are much more fulfilling, even if they are less demanding.

I'm going to go to bed now, but I thought I should let you know that I am thriving.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


So, since school started, I have had almost zero free time. Any free time I've had has gone to sleep.

Until starting yesterday, when I developed such a bad headache at work that I ended up crying in the bathroom for 5 minutes before asking to go home early. Since that time at 1:30, I've slept 17 hours, and it's only 9pm the next day. Headache, nausea, and fever/chills gone in an instant. And by instant, I mean 17 hours of sleep and some Aleve. I called in sick to work because I was still feeling crappy after 12 hours of sleep, then I went back to bed.

I think the main issue is that I'm working at 6am at Target on Saturday and Sundays lately. Which wouldn't be so bad, except I work til 11 on Fridays, and then my Saturday afternoon is spent doing Monday's homework, and Sunday afternoon is spent doing Tuesdays homework, so I don't have a chance to get caught up on sleep. (Monday evening is then spent doing Wednesdays homework, I don't have time for homework Tuesday, Wednesday afternoons I do Thursday homework, Thursday evening are spent doing Fridays homework, and then I work right after classes/lunch on Fridays, ergo, no sleep, and no updating the ol' blog)

Luckily, next the next two weekends, I close most nights, so there is more designated sleep-time. I'll squeeze the homework in there somehow. Today, I didn't work, and I got all of Mondays and Tuesdays homework done, and had time for 2 movies and a House dinner.

I almost wish I could quit Target, but it's my only non-school income. All of my other income goes right to tuition, and I have to be able to buy food and pay off my credit cards. Target is the lowest paying job, the most demanding job, and the least flexible job. Plus the hours are either really early in the morning or really late at night, and it's a 3 mile bike ride at either 5am or 11pm. It wasn't bad during the summer when I had nothing else to do, but now it's almost not worth it. I guess I'll be able to quit second semester, when my tuition will be paid off, and I can work more at my higher paying jobs.

Sigh, anyway. I'm going to see if I can get a head start on Wednesday's homework. Or get distracted by something else. Classes are fine, even though I only like 1 of them. Orgs are fine, house is awesome.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


So, back to campus. Yup. Work. Sleep.

Can classes start now? Let's get my busy schedule going! Although the more I look at my schedule, I won't be all that busy.

My only complaint is that I have an 8am Friday class. I don't care that it's at 8am on Monday and Wednesday, but most of the senior class goes to Froggy Bottom's on Thursday nights for Thirsty Thursdays. I'm not a big drinker, but I am definitely going this Thursday after the Cloud Cult concert, for I turn 22 on Friday. Yay!

Unfortunately, I work from 2-11 on Friday, so I am celebrating on Thursday night. Well, I'll celebrate in many small ways, so there is no one single celebration.

Anyway, once again I find myself looking forward to the future. I'm sure I could try to live in the moment, but I always enjoy the moments I look forward to thoroughly, and appreciate every moment, really. I rarely complain and mean it. I sometimes complain to fill awkward silences, but I know I am very fortunate in my life, and I appreciate that.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A bit more description this time

So after spending a relaxing day unpacking, I am taking yet another break to be a little more descriptive than "Flegh,Catey sleepy!"

Moving was pretty fun. I enjoy it for the most part. By hour 6 of the pack/clean/load/unload cycle of moving day, though, you just want to stop. Storm clouds are a pretty good motivator, though. We got the last load moved in around 5pm, then I bought dinner for my parents and KT, all of whom were EXTREMELY HELPFUL!!!!! If it weren't for them, I'd have rented a trailer and had to load everything onto it by myself, then pulled it uphill for a mile, and unloaded everything. I would be in the hospital, probably, if it weren't for them!


Anyway, today has been pretty relaxing. I went to the ol' landlords office to return my keys, where I waited outside for 5 minutes while he chewed out the manager of the cleaning crew for not doing a good enough job. Awkward.

Anyway, today was a laundry and sort out the mess of my packing job day. I've taken many breaks. I had a good long lunch, and all I have to do now is put a few more things in storage downstairs, rearrange the furniture, and decorate my room. And make dinner. That is most important.

For I will need pre-prepared meal this coming day, a day in which I work for 13 hours from 10am to 11pm. Luckily, I'm just cashiering, but good lawd, it'll be loooong. Hopefully I get sent out to do reshop or something. Even getting carts would be a nice break, and I hate getting carts. But it'll be nice to get in 2 shifts in one day before school starts and I will have only weekends to work.


Flegh is the best way to express how tired I am. I'm not a "mmm... time to relax." or a "effff I just wanna sleep!" I am in between the two. I feel slightly drunk from exhaustion, but also fairly crabby.

It was a long hard day, and I want to let my fellow movers know that I really appreciate their help today!

I got enough unpacked that I will survive through tomorrow when I can spend more time unpacking, and I've got my furniture situated in my room. The living rooms and kitchen, not so much yet, but I tried. I really did.

Anyway, bed. Sleepstime, please!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Movin' on Out

I am laying on the couch, taking a break. I've packed my power cord, so I've only got 6 and a half hours to last me until I start unpacking tomorrow. Otherwise, I know I will spend more time on the computer than I will packing and cleaning.

For tomorrow at noon or one or so, I start to move. I didn't plan ahead very well. I see something, and I pack it. I'm going to have to use my drawers to move, because I don't have that many boxes left. Oh, well! I'm sure I'll have a box or so with just stuff that I forgot to pack earlier.

I have one tupperware with leftover Mac'n'Cheese'n'Peas, and after that, all my food is packed, so it's peanut butter sandwiches for me until after everything is moved tomorrow. Yumyum!

Ok, time to ration the computer power.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Day: Part II: Canoe Trip!

I love canoeing! Today, we went on our annual canoe trip down 7 miles of the St. Croix river. We left my aunt's house and took the "scenic" route to Taylors Falls. (This should be interpreted as we forgot how to get there, but figured out a way to get there that was less direct)

Anyway, the water was really, really high. Normally, we have a nice sandy beach from which to push off our canoes out of a long line of canoes. However, the water was so high, the nice sandy beach was completely submerged, leaving the water line only a couple yards away from the canoe rental. About 7 or 8 canoes were able to fit in the small grassy cove that had formed in lieu of the beach.

However, the high water meant that there was a very helpful current. Whole logs floated downriver along with us. While we were eating on one of the few spots available to stop and get out, we were passed by a log which looked like a sea serpent. We named it Nessie of course. It had a snake-like head, a small hump in the middle, and a tail sticking out of the water. Our usual lunch spots were completely submerged. The many sandbars and islands, and even campsites on the islands that have been hospitable to us were gone. Instead, we managed to find a not-as-steep place to park the canoes with a fallen tree that sufficed as a bench/table.

And in not-surprising news, I am sunburned. My chest, arms, shoulders, upper back, thighs, right knee, my shins and my feet are sunburned. Also, my hands and the inner half of my first finger segments are burned. My face, lower torso, scalp, back of my legs and my left knee were left unscathed, and my forearms are less burned than the rest of me. I put on some sunscreen, but only in the places that were already a little darker. However, it appears the sunscreen on my right knee wore off. Except for a couple splotches. I also have a rather large pale spot beneath my left knee. The joys of being pale, freckly and kind of red-haired.

After, we explored Franconia Sculpture Park, a recommended visit for artistic people, and also people who like to interact with sculptures. I climbed on a melted car, walked through a log tunnel, creeped through a shed/rocket/I'm not exactly sure what, and sat on a very artistic bench. It's a fun place, and it's free (except for the gas money needed to get there).

We finished the day by exploring my grandparent's/aunt's neck of the woods by going to the Harriet Alexander Nature Center. Right when it closed. Luckily the guy was nice enough to let us in, anyway. So we spent a few minutes there looking at skeletons and bees and a turtle and stuff, then went to visit my grandparents, who live a few doors down from my aunt. It was nice to see them. I see them only once or twice a year, and my grandma's health is deteriorating, so a visit is nice. Plus, it gains me "favorite grandchild" points. I'm near the bottom in rankings, so any points are helpful. This is totally unofficial, by the way. For all I know, they secretly love me more than anyone. But most likely not, since I almost never visit, or do anything for them, even though they don't want anyone to do anything for them.

Anyway, the rest of the day is detailed in the second part of My Day: Part I. Have a great day, yourself, kiddos.

My Day: Part I: Transportation

Today, I headed up to Roseville to attend our annual family canoe trip (more on that in My Day: Part II). It wasn't particularly eventful getting there or back, but it took FOREVER so I had a lot of time to think.

I left my apartment this morning at 5:15am to be there in plenty of time for the 5:45 bus from St. Olaf to Minneapolis. I remembered everything but a towel this morning, but it turned out I didn't really need it, so it didn't matter as much. Impressive for waking up at 4am after getting less than 3 hours of sleep.

Anyway, as the bus left Olaf in the dark of the morning, with traces of light beginning to highlight the clouds, I noticed how annoyingly bright the St. Olaf streetlights are. They also contribute greatly to light pollution. I actually closed my eyes because they were so bright. This, of course, would normally make me fall asleep like nothing else. However, I had had some coffee, so I just stared out the window and watched the day wake up.

Then I took a few Metro Transit buses to get to my aunt's house. On purpose, I got off the bus right next to another aunts house who lives about half a mile away. I got me some golden retriever loving on my way there. However, one of her two goldens scratched my arm a bit, getting what I hope was mud on it. Ah well, they're darling.

Anyway, my mom and one of my cousins met me halfway down my aunt's road. It was nice to see them coming toward me. At my aunt's house, more dogs! Her husband's two beagles, and her giant Great Dane/Black Lab mix (appropriately named Moose) sniffed me up and down until I went to the bathroom to wash off the dog spit and mud from my other aunt's house. Gosh, I love dogs. Must love dogs: one of my requirements in a partner.

Anyway, I'll go on about the canoe trip in the next post. I'm just getting all the transportation themed news events together in one post.

So, on the way home, I caught the Northfield bus from St. Kates. I am not particularly fond of Northfield Metro Express buses, and waiting to be picked up from St. Kates is one of the reasons: Every driver stops at a different corner. I never know where the bus will park, or what direction it will be coming from. Super annoying. Luckily, I didn't have one of the douche-y drivers who barely stop when there's no expected pickup. He actually parked where he's supposed to, and pulled up to me when I saw I had a boarding pass in my hand and was headed to him. Thanks, Cheech.

Anyway, the bus ride home was also uneventful. The sun set as we left downtown Minneapolis. Then something weird happened. I was listening to a song, and suddenly I started crying. I guess this is a song that has always gotten to me, and I must have been so tired and sore and sunburned that the emotions welled up more easily. The song is Cancer by My Chemical Romance. It's a short song, but one that is emotionally poignant to most people, I think. I've put a link to the lyrics at the end of the post.

Anyway, I got home safely after a long, awesome day.

Cancer - My Chemical Romance

Turn away,
If you could get me a drink
Of water 'cause my lips are chapped and faded
Call my aunt Marie
Help her gather all my things
And bury me in all my favorite colors,
My sisters and my brothers, still,
I will not kiss you,
'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you.

Now turn away,
'Cause I'm awful just to see
'Cause all my hairs abandoned all my body,
Oh, my agony,
Know that I will never marry,
And baby, I'm just soggy from the chemo,
We're counting down the days to go
It just ain't living
And I just hope you know

That if you say (if you say)
Goodbye tonight (goodbye tonight)
I'll ask you to be true (cause I'll ask you to be true)

'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you
'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you

It is 5am...

And you are lisssstening to Los Angeles.

It's actually 4:45am, but that just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Why am I up at 4:45 am? I am going canoeing. We probably won't start canoeing until after11, but I have to get from my apartment in Northfield to my aunt's house in Roseville first. Considering public transportation and walking are my sources of transportation today, it then makes sense that I need to get up at 4am. Yay public transit!

Anyway, I'm not exactly dressed for the weather, but here's hoping it's warmer outside than they're predicting. It's bad decisions and lack of forethought like this that make me feel like a teenager again.

We are all in some way or another going to Ricida, someday, to die.

Friday, August 20, 2010

War is Over If You Want it

So, Operation Iraqi Freedom is over. Well, all combat troops have left, in any case. There are still peacekeeping troops and private contractors to finish training and rebuilding so we don't end up with an unstable shitshow that is our fault. Can't pull out too early, now!

I remember the day that the war started. It was in 8th grade, and my math class went to Subway for some reason. Tyler S. lent me money. I've paid him back since then, of course. Anyway, there were protesters on every street corner on Main Street by the government center.

I remember I wasn't too happy about it. Only in 8th grade and already angry at Bush.

What a weird wartime it has been. There have been no war bonds or victory gardens or ration cards like the days of WWII. There was no peace riots or draft cards or backlash against soldiers like in Vietnam. The beginning was fanatic, crazed patriotism that eventually reverted back to the mindless consumerism that is modern America. As long as we got our luxuries, (and unless we knew people who were fighting overseas), life went on as normal.

I feel the Iraq war wasn't/isn't very real for most people. We hear tales of heroism and of dogs rescued from Iraq, and how heartlifting stories of how free Iraq is now, but the Middle East is so very foreign to most of us. A war in Europe, or South America is much more real to us than Iraq because we have more cultural and historical connection to it.

One thing I am grateful for is the renewed emphasis on Afghanistan. Iraq was a much more winnable war. Afghanistan, not so much, and I feel Bush put more resources and energy into Iraq (partly) because of it. I think all we can hope for in Afghanistan now is a stable situation where the majority of the population in Afghanistan and Pakistan are turned against the Taliban. I think that's what Victory will be for us. I don't actually know what we were hoping to accomplish by going into Afghanistan in the first place, but I am glad the Taliban have less control than they did, even if we did screw up royally by invading. Now we have an obligation to fix it as best as we can. Let's not be the Soviet Union. Let's nation build.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Music of the 90s

Man, the 90s were great. I'm watching Top 100 Songs of the 90s, and it always makes me nostalgic for the 90s music scene. I'm sure in a decade, I'll miss Beyonce and Eminem and Jay-Z and Green Day---wait.

Just kidding. They were around in the 90s and are still around today. But seriously, that was a unique decade for music. The emergence of hip hop (yes, I know it was around before 1990, but it wasn't as mainstream) and grunge, and the new direction of pop music was a really experimental time which allowed for individuality.

I don't think the same thing can be said today. There are some gems, of course, but I feel that is more segregated. Or maybe that's just because I watched a lot of MTV and VH1 in the 90s, and had a grungy older brother, so I was exposed to a wider variety of music. And since I was a kid, how could I say I didn't like something? Besides that song "You're still the one," which annoyed me. I didn't like that song. The rest I liked. (I like it now, but then, you couldn't get me to stay in the same room as that song)

Maybe I'm just too laid back to have tastes. And by laid back, I mean that I'm uptight, but easygoing. I thrive in stressful situations, but I roll with the punches. In any case, I rarely dislike music. It's a form of art, and self-expression. Even if it doesn't move me as much as other songs, how can I dislike someone's inner soul? Or even if they just write it for money, how can I hate something that moves someone else? Even if it physically moves people (try not dancing to Baby Got Back)

There are exceptions, of course. I dislike music on the basis of lyrics. "Fix You" by Coldplay made me hate Coldplay, for example. Arrogant bastards. Also, I like Rage Against the Machine, but only 1 song at a time.

I hate country western. I like country, and bluegrass, and folk, and most pop country. I guess I like bluegrass, folk and female country stars. Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, Reba McEntire, Jewel, even Taylor Swift. I have a lot of respect for women in such a sexist and male-dominated industry. Especially those who mean what they sing, wrote what they sing and/or play their music while they're singing it. Most country western songs involve this cowboy losing his little lady because he drank too much and it made him sad, so he's drinking more. Yeah, can't empathize or sympathize with you, deadbeat alkie. Get some help and face the consequences.

Granted, most mainstream rap isn't much better. Drugs, bitches, guns and cars. I could care less. I love meaningful rap that isn't bragging about how they're so G, and so real because they disrespect women, do a lot of crack, and shoot people. Can't stand it. Grow up. Even angsty emo kids singing about how they hate their dad are more real than they are. It's all a front, imo. They aren't impenetrable macho gods. They're just as experiential as the rest of us.

Anyway, this was probably enough topics for like 10 posts. Ah well. I don't have many opinions about music, and yet, I have as many as anybody else, I guess.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Taro and Wintermelon

Lately, when I've been getting Taro and Wintermelon bubble tea shakes.

The flavor is indescribable. It's rather nutty. It's very sweet. It's a little smokey, like Thai tea. It almost tastes like Nutella.

The color of a Taro and Wintermelon shake is purple.

It's probably the color/taste combination that confuses me most. Why is a nutty, sweet drink purple? This is wrong, but it tastes so right. I recommend the combination highly.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer Chill

Yes, I am going to blog about the weather. I love weather, and I love talking and learning about weather. What would I small talk about if I lived in California? "Oh, it's warm and sunny again today." Bo-ring!

Anyway, a short MN summer heatwave just ended. I am sitting on the couch, drinking hot cocoa under my snuggie. It's a nice change from being splayed out on the couch, drinking water and daydreaming about ice cream. It was nice to be able to use the stove this morning to cook my egg sandwich without making the apartment too hot for comfort.

And I'm sure the bike ride to work later today will be awesome without the sun beating down on me and the air oppressing me. And it sure was nice to be able to cuddle with my comforter last night as I slept.

But I kind of miss it. I hate being cold. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Considering I have to wear clothes 90% of the year in order to feel comfortable temperature-wise, it's nice to be able to wear a skimpy tank top and short shorts and not feel chilled at all times. Maybe I have thin skin, or maybe it's because I have a lower body temperature (97.2 F), but I am cold even now because my arms are sticking out. Lol. I am using the blanket with sleeves, but I am not using the sleeves. What's wrong with me?

In any case, I am extremely grateful that the biggest of my weather worries is slightly cooler sunny weather. All around the world, people are suffering from drought, forest fires, floods, and other extreme weather. In my Eurasian Geopolitical Energy class, we joked that climate change would benefit Russia because it would actually be warm enough for people to want to go there, which explains why they refuse to become more energy efficient. However, if climate change means that Russia will face drought, food shortages, wildfires, smog and smoke every day, they may soon be changing their tune.

Climate-change doubters need to take a look around the world this summer and tell me that this is all coincidence. The most extreme weather in recorded meteorological history has been increasing in incidence in the past couple decades. We're destroying our Earth as we know it. Life will go on, of course, but billions of people will suffer, and our ecosystems will be completely different. We're definitely entering an unknown future. Who knows what will be safe, and what will still exist in 20 years? Who knows if we will exist in 20 years? We will reap what we have sown, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. The environment rarely changes rapidly, but we're causing it to change faster than it should.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

And people don't understand why I don't like driving, or using AC, or eating feedlot animals.

"If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pad Thai, by request

I just noticed that my Mom asked for the Pad Thai recipe a couple of days ago, so here it is!

1/2 package of Thai rice noodles
1 pound of protein (chicken, tofu, or mock duck would go best. I supposed tempeh would go as well, but it's really gross and you should not eat it because it is disgusting)
1/4 cup of Soy Sauce (or less. At least 3T, in any case. I know, it's a lot. Get low-sodium soy sauce)
2 T vinegar
1 T peanuts
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cup green onion (I just used onion, because I didn't have any green onion on hand, and it tasted fine)
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 t ground chili powder
2 T sugar
1 egg
Vegetable oil. The more you add, the better it tastes! (but remember that your daily recommended serving is as little as possible. But you know, canola oil and olive oil are healthier than most oils, so use those and you can add more with less guilt)

Soak the noodles in warm water for 10 minutes or so while you prepare the other ingredients. The nice thing about these noodles is that they only need to be soaked before you toss them in the pan/wok. No other cooking is necessary. Cool.

Anyway, cut your tofu into matchstick-like pieces, (or if using mock duck or chicken, make sure it's in bite size pieces. Also any meat needs to be pre-cooked). Then julienne the green onion so its the same size as the tofu (and the bean sprouts). Reserve half the bean sprouts and onion. Mince some of the onion with the garlic.

Anyway, heat up some oil in a wok (I don't have a wok, so I used a large pot, but a 12" pan would also work, but I don't have one of those, either). Fry the peanuts until toasty-looking, then remove them and set them aside for now.

Add the minced onion, garlic, and tofu to the pan. Stir fry until brown. Drain and add the noodles when they are soft and flexible, but don't soak them too long. Stir and mix quickly to coat the noodles with the oil and everything, otherwise they will stick.

Add vinegar, soy sauce, chili powder and sugar. Stir some more until evenly coated. The dish should not be very wet, so if you have a lot of juices at the bottom, turn up the heat a bit. Push everything to one side of the pan, and scramble the egg in the empty space (or if your pot is too small to do that, cook your egg in a separate pot), and fold it into everything else.

Add some of the bean sprouts and green onion and mix it in. While that's cooking, take those roasted peanuts and crush them. I used a bowl and glass as a mortar and pestle, but if you have a mortar and pestle, use that.

Anyway, the Pad Thai is finished, so serve it up in bowls, and sprinkle the rest of the bean sprouts, onion, and crushed peanuts. Voila! It takes only around 20 minutes of intense cooking and it's super delicious. You can also add squirt some fresh lime juice on there, and it'll taste nummy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Swimmin' Hole

This Sunday, I headed north to St. Cloud/Waite Park to go swimming with some friends. One of my friends who lives up there took us to Quarry Park, which is an old granite quarry that is now a park/nature preserve. One of the quarry holes is dedicated to swimming/diving. The edges of the quarry go 0-55 feet above the surface of the water, and the water is 115 or so feet deep. And since it's a quarry, it's that deep pretty much the whole way through. There's a few feet near the dock that is painfully rocky that is 2-3 feet deep, and then it drops off completely.

In any case, I didn't do any jumping, but I did go swimming, and it was a really weird experience. Normally when I swim, I just kind of stand in shoulder-deep water and float around. There's not much shoulder-deep water in a quarry, so I found a rock in shallower water, until someone gave me a lifejacket so I could float on it.

A pretty fun time, with dozens of people swimming around and jumping off of cliffs. You should go there sometime, if you're ever in the St. Cloud area. : )

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Coconut Curry!

To make a delightful coconut curry, you will need:
1 can coconut milk
3 T soy sauce
1 1/2 t curry powder
1 1/2 t ginger
1 t chili powder (you could use chili paste/more of it for a spicier curry)
1 finely diced medium onion
1 large can diced tomato (or a few diced tomatoes if you have fresh ones around)
1 lb protien (I used seitan, but tofu or chicken would go good, as well)
2 cups chopped celery (or bok choy, or something along those lines)
1/4 cup chopped basil
Optional add-ins are: mushrooms, snow peas, etc
Serve with rice.

Okay, so. You mix the coconut milk, soy sauce, curry, ginger and chili powders in a large pan until boiling. Then add the tomatoes, onion and protein. Cover for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the celery and basil, and cover for an additional five minutes. Uncover, and cook for a little longer to thicken it up a bit, but it will end up fairly runny. You could add corn starch to thicken it more if you wanted. Serve over rice.

Very simple, and super delicious! It's really creamy with a little kick to it. Be sure not to eat it all at once, because curry is always better as leftovers.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I love dogs!

This Saturday, I got to spend time with 4 Golden Retrievers. I love dogs! They're so amazing and cute and endearing. Maybe because I had one as a child, but goldens are especially awesome. They're very assertive in their need for attention, but their eyes and the quality of their fur make it almost impossible to resist petting them.

I am not a big fan of Labrador Retrievers for that reason. I know they're really nice, easily trainable, family-friendly dogs, but their fur makes me want to take a shower. It's so oily and coarse compared to a golden. Even the short and curly haired goldens (like my old dog was) have nicer, softer, less oily fur than a lab.

I love all dogs, but labs and Boston Terriers are less "awwww!"-inducing than all other dogs. I'll still pet them and love them and give them attention, but meh. Also, really high energy, nervous dogs, no matter the breed, are off-putting. My dad's German Shorthair Pointer is a really beautiful (and chubby) dog, but she doesn't interact with people the way most dogs do. She wanders back and forth until someone lets her outside, or inside, or feeds her. She doesn't enjoy being petted or played with, and barely gives people attention.

Dogs are amazing because they are one of the only species who are capable of empathy with humans. Cats, as awesome as they are, will not worry if you are sad. If they lick away your tears, it's because they want to lick your tears, not because they think it will make you feel better. Although I did have a cat who seemed to be able to empathize, but maybe he was always just clingy and I didn't appreciate it as much as when I was sad.

Anyway, in conclusion, go adopt, foster, sponsor or even just play with the dogs at your local animal shelter. They're awesome and deserve to be happy and safe. So do cats. Remember to spay and neuter your pets so they don't make unhappy, unsafe and unwanted potential pets roaming around. You don't need to breed it. Go adopt a perfectly perfect animal from the shelter instead!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I've been working at Target for one month today. I like it a lot. It can be a little stressful sometimes, and the scheduling can be annoying, but overall, I enjoy going to work everyday. Not to mention it gives me a lot of exercise, between biking 4 miles there and back, and walking for almost the entire time I work.

The 10% discount is nice, too. Also, knowing what's on sale and what just went on clearance. For example, I bought an eggplant polo and a purple and green striped Tshirt for a total of $7 today. I put them on the clearance racks this morning. Can you tell I like purple?

Also, working at Target gives me an opportunity to interact with kids and regular people. At St. Olaf, things get a little isolated, and I interact with students and people with Ph. Ds. And students and doctors of philosophy are not regular people. So, my jobs let me interact with people whose life doesn't revolve around the Ivory Tower. Also, listening to kids whine "Daddy, I need a bike. Can we get this bike? I need it. Daddy, I need this bike!" or scream just to hear themselves scream reminds me that I can wait many many years to start thinking about kids.

Also, dog food is expensive. A reminder that I cannot afford a dog right now, even though I can't have one anyway. But still, I'd love to adopt a big ol' mutt or two. Or even foster an older dog.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Something Silly I Did Today

Welcome to the first edition of "Something _____ I Did Today," which will feature something odd or unusual or endearing or silly or bold or fill in the blank that I did that day.

Today's adjective is Silly.

It was a rather chilly day today, due to the considerable amount of rain last night. So I snuggled on the couch with my hunter green Snuggie, when I decided I needed Cocoa! So I got up, and made myself a hot mug of Suisse Mocha, from one of those International Coffee House tins. Yum!

Later, when I was putting dishes away, I found the tin in the silverware drawer. "How on Earth did you get in there?" I asked it.

It, of course, did not respond. I've gotten used to it. I'd be surprised if one did respond.

The way I figure, I was looking for a smaller spoon, and I know I have about 6 of them. Alas, I could only find two, and they were dirty when I was making my Suisse Mocha. Could I have been so fixated on finding my smaller spoons that I put my cocoa tin in the silverware drawer?

Probably. In any case, the cocoa tin was tucked very neatly into the front corner. I did a very nice job of putting it away, except it wasn't in the cupboard over the sink where it's supposed to go.

Target must be rubbing off on me. Even my misplaced items are put neatly away.

And so concludes my story of my silly act of the day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Today, I found tickets from Bangkok to Tokyo and from Osaka to Minneapolis for a total of $1,070. Compared to other itineraries, this is about 30-50% of the cost of most trips. It made me so excited for January and February, that I made Pad Thai for dinner.

( It turned out pretty good. Nice and dry, but I think I added a little too much vinegar. )

In any case, I can't afford the plane tickets yet, but hopefully the price stays the same and/or goes down. All the flights are through Delta, which doesn't tickle my fancy, but I know I'll never be able to afford to fly Korean Air while in college, as much as I would love to.

Anyway, the flight leaves Osaka at around 6:50pm on a Saturday. It arrives in Minneapolis at around 6:20pm on Saturday. No, that's not a typo. We will be flying back in time. Muahaha.

Today's planning also inspired me to only bring carry-on luggage. While it will be wintery in Japan, Chiang Mai and Bangkok will be 80 and sunny. I can last on a few pairs of shorts, 1 pair of pants and 2 weeks worth of t-shirts, tank tops and 1 pea coat. With my netbook, a small amount of bathroom supplies (I can always buy more shampoo and toothpaste if needed), a book, textbooks and my DS, I'll have plenty of room for souvenirs! If I need to, I can check it on the way home if I buy more souvenirs than I intend (like I did in Slovenia, when I bought a giant purse just for souvenirs).

I only wish I could spend a couple days in Phuket. Ah well, I guess I'll just have to wait for my honeymoon to spend a week in a beach bungalow for $15/night in paradise. : )

Becoming a Cook... But Not Really

So, in the past 2 years, I've discovered that I really like cooking. I'm also not that bad at it. I have my misses, but everything I've made, I have enjoyed eating. Even the overdone, rock-like cookies and blander than bland soupy beans and rice.

I love cooking! I want to cook more! I wish I had more money so I could buy enough food to perfect recipes. At least I'll be living with 6 other people in a couple months so that I can test recipes on people with different taste buds than me. I am not so particular with eating. I do not care how something tastes as long as it doesn't taste too bad. Texture and smell are more important.

If I were going to lose a sense, it would be taste. I love being able to smell, but that's the one everyone picks if they had to choose to lose a smell. Taste is almost always voluntary, so I would be missing only what I chose to miss. We need to be able to smell. How would we tell if something was burning, or if there's a dead mouse in our dryer, or if we need to shower, or if a baby has a poopy diaper? Those are important things to be able to know, and we usually don't think to look to see if those things are happening without smelling the hint of it first. I guess people check diapers pretty often because babies poo a lot, but really, how often do you check your dryer for a dead mouse? Smell is so important!

I'd lose taste, because then I could eat anything as long as the texture and smell were all right. I wouldn't feel the need to eat chocolate chip cookies at 11:30pm or hash browns, bacon and eggs on a Sunday morning. I could just eat whatever and whenever was best for me. I guess that takes the pleasure out of eating, but taste isn't necessary. Being able to taste things won't save your life.

I guess that is why I shouldn't pursue cooking as a career. Cooking should be a hobby for me, since I am no perfectionist or purist. I'm just too practical. Safety and health first, then pleasure. Hopefully, they always go together, but the longer I can live, the longer I get to live life! I love being alive.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Well, biking 8 miles 5 days a week and walking around for 4-8 hours 5 days a week is starting to show. My muscles are starting to become more toned on my legs, especially in my thighs. Even when I sit down, my legs don't do that thing where they pool out and look flabby. My belly paunch is also starting to diminish.

The khakis I bought in 9th grade, which have always fit me, are now starting to get a little big. I mean, I'm sure a washing them more often would make them a bit more snug, but this is kinda cool. I am slimming down. I suppose exercise really does work. I've never really tried to work out, like really. I mean, I exercised in my everyday car-less routine, but I tried to avoid sweat as much as possible. But now that I'm doing an hour of moderate-heavy exercise most days in a week, I'm starting to see results.

Cool. Probably part of it is that I haven't significantly increased my food intake from what I used to eat, so my net calories are probably zero or below most days. I'll have to mess around with it a bit and see what happens. Any suggestions for high calorie healthy snacks? Maybe I'll get protein shakes. Haha. Why are all the yummy snacks being packaged in 100 calorie servings?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Minor Pet Peeve

Something that really annoys me are religious people who believe that God intervenes all the time, and that prayers work. Prayers (at least according to my beliefs and you are encouraged to think and believe for yourself) are just well wishes. Wishes don't come true. People make them come true.

"I found my phone! Thanks for your prayers! God's will and love is so great!"

Um, you found your phone because you looked for it. If God did exist, why would God care about your damn phone? If you really think that God helped you find your phone, you damn well better start using your phone for more than sending texts to your friends.

Some things have a legitimate air of mystery that could be Gods presence, if God does exist, such as untreated cancer disappearing or... well, that's all I can think of.

If you narrowly avoided an accident, why were you almost in an accident in the first place if God wanted you to survive it? If it's a test, why would God intervene on your behalf during a test?

I don't get it. You narrowly avoided an accident because you swerved at the right moment, and/or coincidence.

Now, I'm not saying don't pray for people if they don't work. I certainly keep people in mind if I know they're going through a hard time, but I am not so disillusioned to think that my positive thoughts in any way affect their situations (unless I think about it so much that I do something to help them).

Anyway, this is something I've been wanting to say for years, but posting a snarky skeptic response to someone's Facebook status is not the place to say it, so I'm saying it on my soapbox.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I got my first bad sunburn of the summer today. I in no way expected to get sunburned when I left my apartment this afternoon, so I only had sunscreen on my face from my moisturizer.

Anyway, I walked a mile to campus to check my mail, and back. Then I walked to Econofoods and the Co-op for groceries and back. It totals about 6 miles of walking today in the afternoon sunlight. Why didn't I expect to be sunburned? I don't know.

It's not too painful, though. Not my worst sunburn. Not even in the top 5. It looks awful, though. It's on my shoulders, chest and upper back, minus where my tank top and bra straps were located. I'm sure it'll fade a bit by tomorrow, so only my roommate and a friend who stopped by got to see just how bad my sunburn is.

So, wear sunscreen! I'll probably have to get a few moles on my shoulders and arms removed in the next decade because I refused to wear sunscreen when I was younger, and now I'm just thoughtless. Be safe, and prevent skin cancer!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


So I've been biking 8 miles a day, 5 days a week. It's the quickest way to get to and from work, and is probably safer than walking at 11pm when I get done with work.

I am a slow biker. Haha. I prefer to take the back roads, but they're hillier than the main roads, making me even slower. Maybe its because I have a town bike instead of a mountain bike, and its not designed for speed. Also, this is the first time in a long time I've biked regularly, so my biking muscles aren't what they could be.

Although today, I was crossing highway 3 by Target on a crosswalk, and some lady taking a left turned right in front of me! I had to stop in the crosswalk or else she would have hit me. I know she saw me too. I yelled "What are you doing??!" at her, because her windows were open. I felt a little bad because her daughter was sitting in the car (although she was too young to be sitting in the front seat, so there's another reason that lady was dumb), but I guess this is my first road rage.

I generally mutter things under my breath at people (like the bikers who go through red lights. Stop signs are one thing when there are no cars, but going through a red light at an intersection is just rude and stupid), but I generally don't yell at people. Although, earlier this year, when I was walking to school, someone drove in front of me while I was halfway through the cross walk. I actually had to jump back a bit because they were so close. I yelled at them, but they probably didn't hear.

Anyway, overall I like biking, except the back of my head gets sweaty where the reflectors on my helmet are located. Also, biking into the wind really sucks. Still not sure how I'll get to Target in the winter, but I could probably bike still if I really wanted to. Transit and taxis will probably play a large role. It's $6 to get from Olaf to Target through First Choice Taxi. Not bad, considering they're almost on opposite sides of Northfield.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weird dream

Last night, I had a dream that someone with my name, from my hometown who was living in Northfield died in a freak bike accident.

I then had to call everyone I know, and facebook and email, that I was, in fact, alive. I even wrote a letter to the Star Tribune, asking them to clarify that not-me went to a charter school and not Anoka, so that more people would be able to figure out it wasn't me.

Even my college announced my death erroneously, an awkward mistake.

But the weirdest part was, I went to her funeral, and most of the people there were there for me. I felt really guilty for not-me's family, but kind of pleased that so many people came to my funeral, despite my widespread attempts to spread the knowledge that I was alive.

What a weird, dream, eh? That's what happens when you've been having a 1am-10am sleep schedule, and try to go for a 10pm-6am schedule for one night instead.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chocolate Strawberry Crepes

Hello all.

This morning for breakfast, I decided to make crepes (pronounced crep not crape or creep). I figured what better way to finish off my carton of strawberries before they went bad?

So, to make Chocolate Strawberry Crepes, you will need a mixing bowl, a whisk, a spatula or pancake turner, a skillet or 8+" frying pan, and a small saucepan.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for the crepes:
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
dash of salt
2 T melted butter
1 T sugar (optional)

Ingredients for the sauce:
1/2 carton or so of strawberries, washed, cored and sliced
1/4 cup of chocolate chips
1 T sugar
1/2 cup water

To make crepes, you mix the eggs, salt and butter with the whisk in the mixing bowl. Then, add small amounts of the flour and milk alternately. If you throw it all in at once, it gets lumpy. Then add the water and sugar, and mix until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate for an hour.

In the meantime, put the strawberries, sugar and water in the saucepan and simmer on medium-low heat for an hour. Mash it up pretty good, too! Stir and mash more from time to time as its cooking. When you're about to start cooking the crepe, add the chocolate chips, mix well. Once they're all melted in to the strawberry sauce, remove from heat.

Anyway, to finish crepes, heat up a lightly greased skillet on the stove. Then put 1/4-1/3 cup (depending on how big you want the crepes, and how big your pan is. I had a 10-inch skillet, so I used 1/3) of batter on the skillet. Pick it up and swirl it around so the batter spreads out in a largish circle.

When bubbles appear, and the edges darken a bit, gently loosen the edges and skillfully turn over the crepe. (Note: skillfully happens eventually. My first one was a disaster) I used whole wheat flour, so they were a bit easier to turn than white flour, but they probably won't splatter all over the place, either. Cook for a while longer, than transfer to another plate. Repeat until batter is gone.

Now, on a separate plate from your stack of crepes, put one crepe. On 1/4 of the crepe, put a filling of your choice (I used chocolate pudding, but you can put the sauce inside as well, or ice cream, or PB or nutella or etc). Fold it in half, and in half again. Repeat until all the crepes are filled and folded. Then spread the strawberry chocolate sauce over them.

Serve and enjoy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bucket List: Kiss Memorably and Meaningfully in the Rain

So, some of my posts will be "bucket list" posts, some things that I think I should do pretty soon, before I kick the bucket. Which isn't going to be soon, but kal ho naa ho (tomorrow may never come, you know, the movie I posted about last time?). In any case, who knows when I'll have the opportunities or spare time to work on this when I'm all grown up?

First on my list? Kiss in the rain. And not just any kiss in the rain, but a kiss with someone meaningful at an exhilarating and meaningful moment.

Actually, this has already happened. I just remembered as I was typing this. There was a crazy and beautiful rainstorm by a lake, and my high school sweetheart was the kissee. Wild, crazy, adrenaline-high, once-in-a-lifetime teenage love? How much more meaningful can you get?

Awesome. I am kicking this bucket list's ass!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kal Ho Naa Ho

I watched an epic movie today. Kal Ho Naa Ho (which in English means Tomorrow May Never Come).

It's a really complicated story (the movie is 3 hours and 8 minutes long), but a beautiful story of love, sacrifice, duty and family. It's a Bollywood film, so there's dancing and singing too!

I highly recommend it if you have a few hours to spare. There's a handy intermission built into the film, so its a good place to pause it.

I laughed a lot, I smiled through most of it. I cried through the last hour or so.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


In order to promote companies I like, I'm dedicating this post to Annies, a pleasant and happy food vendor that makes bunny shaped organic food. They make non-bunny shaped things, but so far I've had cheddar bunnies (goldfish crackers in the shape of bunnies, only organic and made with whole wheat), and bunny fruit snacks (vegan, gluten-free and organic. Yay for not eating animal bones!). I have found Annies products at the Co-op and Target. You can probably find them in other places too.

Anyway, working at Target is funner than I thought it'd be. I prefer cashiering, but sales floor is really just moving stuff around. Move things from the back room to the floor, make them look neat, move some things back to the back room, and make labels and the like. Only it's more complicated than that because there are PDAs involved that tell you more than you need to know, but not everything you need to know.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Proper Post

I don't have to work tomorrow, so I can properly explain my awesome Pride and non-Prideful but still Pride Weekend where I worked all day.

I left my apartment Friday morning, laden with everything I needed for the weekend, plus a tent, 2 tote bags of St. Olaf Swag, and a sign. Then, I took the bus to downtown Minneapolis, and took the train to Anoka. I arrived about 3 minutes before a storm. Lucky me!

It was scary looking, and its weird to drive in pouring rain, but there was a poor, senseless man on a motorcycle. He wasn't wearing a helmet, and it was raining sheets. He was shielding his eyes from the rain and everything.

Anyway, I went to sleep in my bed at Mom's house, which hasn't been slept in for quite a while (this becomes important later, so remember that).

I got up at 6am, and caught the bus back to Minneapolis, taking everything with me, plus a collapsible chair for us to sit on. The bus driver let me ride the handicap ramp off the bus because my cart was heavy and burdensome. It was kinda fun. Luckily it was a Saturday morning and I was the only person on the bus, so I didn't slow down traffic at all.

Anyway, long story short, I set up the St. Olaf booth, and tabled most of the day, until 5ish, when Teddy came to join me so we could go see Ellis! It was actually a village people concert, but it started raining during the second group, Electric Avenue, so Teddy and I headed to the 90s instead after a couple songs by the third performer, CeCe Peniston. Seeing Ellis was great, though. I lurve her. We invited her to Olaf in October, so she'll be performing at some point that month. Excited!

Anyway, 90s. One of Teddy's friends has good connections, so we got front row seats reserved for the drag show. I love the 90s queens. They're so lively and awesome. Anyway, there were also $3 Bacardi cocktails, so I spent $6 on heaven. Dragonberry and 7up? Awesome. Razz and Sprite? Equally awesome!

So, at 2:30 am, Teddy and I headed back to Northfield. Bed at 3:30, up at 8:30 to shower and go to campus. I noticed as I got ready for bed a strange splotch on my upper thigh. I figured I just scratched myself somehow. The next morning I noticed another one underneath my bra strap by my collar bone. Must just be some skin irritation. I ignored it, and just went to campus.

You see, instead of going to the Pride Parade, I babysat during a wedding for a couple of Ole alums. Another girl and I hung out with 5 kids, ages 17months to 10 years. It was hard to keep them occupied, but apparently 10 year olds are into this thing called Club Penguin. It works. The 17 month old was really fussy, so she occupied herself by crying herself sick all over the other babysitter. Poor dear. At least we got paid $35 for the 2 hours.

After, I went to my first shift of work at Target. I cashiered for 4 hours, and I'm pretty good at it, if I may say so. After, I came home and crashed, dead tired. I noticed a few blotches on my shoulder before I went to bed. Weird. Oh well, right?

I got up this morning for Day 2 of work, and my shoulder and back were covered in red splotchy welts. So I made an appointment for after work (which went well. Theres a lot to remember for salesfloor, but I'm sure I'll get it right eventually). My doctor examined the bumps for a while, in awe over this weird rash.

We eventually decided it was probably some sort of bug bites that my body was not reacting well too. Most likely spiders (you know, from my bed at Moms which I haven't slept in for quite some time? Told you that you should remember it!). So, she wrote me a prescription for a stronger allergy medicine than Target-brand Claritin, and told me to pick up some hydrocortizone for the itching. So far, my sinuses are really clear, but thats the only difference.

Anyway, the lesson learned from this weekend: (1) Pride is awesome, even with rain. (2) Sleep is important. (3) Keep your room clean and spider-free!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What a Weekend!

Pride. Little sleep. Work. More work.

While staying at the 90s until 2:30am on Saturday when I had to work from 10-6 on Sunday probably wasn't the best idea, I had such a good time that it was worth the lack of sleep today.

The 9 miles I walked this weekend didn't help.

Anywho, bedtime. I am exhausted.

I love Pride.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Today, I went to my first day to work at Target!


It was pretty good. Bruce, Riki and I (the other new people) watched videos. Apparently, being Fast, Fun and Friendly are important qualities to emulate. I'm excited because I get to get discounts. I can get 20% off my cell phone bill! And 10% off my purchases (if I get a Target card)! And other stuff, I guess. I haven't look too extensively. I need to sign in on the kiosk thingy on my first shift.

Which is Sunday! Not only do I babysit during a wedding, but I also work for 5.5 hours at Target. Awesome!

It's nice to have a job where I work more than occasionally. Yay! Summer job!

Also, I'm eating a PB sammich with a chocolate bar. Be jealous.

Also, PRIDE is this weekend! I love PRIDE!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I had some awesome friends come visit me yesterday. So, I decided to make them dinner!

I made Cheesy Green Casserole and Chocolate Strawberry Pie.

To make Cheesy Green Casserole, you need to have:
3 cups of brown rice, uncooked
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic (or more!)
1 bunch of greens (I used spinach and dandelion)
4 oz of Cream Cheese
1/2 cup of Cottage Cheese
3 eggs
1 cup packed shredded cheese
Splash of lemon juice
Your choice of herbs (I used a little oregano, but really go with what you like. It's a versatile dish)

Step 1: Cook the brown rice. Preheat oven to 350.

Step 2: While the rice is cooking, remove the stems from the greens, wash thoroughly, and chop into teeny tiny pieces.

Step 3: Chop the onion and garlic, cook in oiled pan on the stove. Add the greens, and cook until the greens are wilted, but not dry.

Step 4: Add cream cheese to greens pan, stir until melted.

Step 5: In a separate bowl, mix cottage cheese with eggs.

Step 6: Mix rice with greens and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, then add the eggs and cottage cheese and mix. Add lemon juice and herbs here as well.

Step 7: Put in 13x9 pan, cover with shredded cheese. Cover with tinfoil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serves 6 hungry college students.

As for the pie, you'll need:
1 graham cracker crust
24 oz of cream cheese
1 cup of chocolate chips
Strawberries (the recipe I used called for 4 cups, but I did not use that many. Personal preference)

Step one: Bake the crust for 7 minutes, let cool.

Step 2: Melt chocolate chips, and allow to cool a bit

Step 3: Whip room temperature cream cheese.

Step 4: Whip chocolate into cream cheese until thoroughly mixed. Any cream cheese lumps will make it taste funny.

Step 5: Put cream cheese mix into crust. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Step 6: core strawberries, and cut to bite size. Put on top of pie in a pretty design.

Simple, non?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


A couple years ago at the Minnesota State Fair, I got a free T-shirt from BP.

As you know, BP values profit more than safety, and hasn't acted swiftly to resolve the greatest single human-caused environmental disaster since, Chernobyl. Ergo, BP is evil.

So what should I do with the shirt? I don't want to wear it as is. It implies that I support BP, which I don't. I want to use the shirt to be a metaphor for what BP has done/is doing to the Gulf. Unfortunately, I'm not so arty or symbolically-minded. I need advice!

I could soak it in oil for a while, then wash out the flammable bits and wear it around? That seems a little wasteful, but it would effectively stain the shirt in authentic oil stain. But buying oil for the express purpose of ruining a shirt and wasting the oil itself seems a bit against what I'm trying to accomplish by ruining the shirt.

Maybe I could draw dead birds and sea turtles with black sharpie on the shirt. Or maybe just dye it with black tie dye?

I don't really want to cut the shirt, and I want it to be done sustainably. What do you recommend?

Monday, June 14, 2010

World Cup, fer realz

I am not a sports fan.

However, every couple of years, I give in to my inner nationalist and obsessively watch sporting events. Only legitimate world-wide events though. Only the World Cup and the Olympics (even though its only mostly privileged nations who participate, so it's still not really worldwide. The US has dozens of athletes in the Olympics. Where are the dozens of worthy Malawi and Kazakhstan?)

I root for teams arbitrarily. Of course, I root for the US. Also, countries I've been to, like France, Slovenia, and England. Other countries I like because I know people from those countries, like Mexico, Japan or South Korea. Others, I like for political reasons, for example not Serbia or North Korea. I am actively not rooting for them. In most cases, I pick a team and hope it wins. Sometimes, I don't care and just wait to see if one seems to be winning, then I start rooting for them.

In any case, I've been getting up at 6am to watch futbol games. If I care, I stay awake. If I don't, I usually wake up at 10ish to catch the end of the second match. Then I watch again at 1. I don't really care for sports, but I like soccer because it's more subtle than most sports. Of course, at 6:45 am, my appreciation for global subtlety comes second to my love for sleep.

Granted, even with the most sleep, I've only ever watched the Super Bowl twice. The first time was in middle school because I heard the commercials were good. They weren't that great. The second time was this year, because I was in the living room, and my roommate was watching it. It was okay, but I arbitrarily picked a team (I forget what teams were playing, or if the team I was rooting for won or lost).

That is the extent if my interest in sports.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Creating a Fold

What is an atheist to do? When atheists decide to get married, who do they have marry them? In Minnesota, and most other states, one must be a minister in order to solemnize a marriage. Now, many of these ministers do have actual congregations, but there are websites where you can become an ordained minister by registering and printing off a certificate.

However, these are only for Christians, or those who claim to be Christian. So, there may be non-denominational ministers, but they are still Christian ministers. Not really what most atheists are looking for in an officiate.

Anyway, I did some research and I found this: the First Church of Atheists. They register people as ministers and thus give atheists what they need to legally officiate weddings, funerals, and any other clergy-necessary ceremonies.

"Church" has taken on a cultural association with Christianity, but "church" means a community of people with similar beliefs. I guess it makes sense, and I have no issues with organized religion (or non-religion), but it's still a little weird to have a church of Atheists to me. But, I suppose that by organizing as a church, it provides legal recognition for atheists, and allows ceremonies that normally would be legally religious (ew...) to be legally secular.

I approve. Now, should I become a minister? It'd be fun, and an interesting and educational experience for me, and I'd be able to provide a community service for other non-religious people. And it'd be a source of income, as becoming a minister is free, and usual charges for officiating a wedding is $300.

But, what responsibilities do ministers have? Would I have to offer some pre-marital counseling? Marital counseling? Pre-nuptial agreements? Funeral stuff? What do ministers do at funerals anyway? I am certainly not qualified to offer counseling. But I suppose I could work with local secular counseling services.

Maybe I'll register when I've graduated and I have time to do it. And I've had time to convince myself to/not to do it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Makin' the World Go 'Round

I've been thinking about money a lot lately.

Between tuition for next year, my class in Thailand, my trip to Japan, needing a new computer (and wanting a good one), and preparing for life after Olaf.

To add to the money stress, I've been watching the Home and Garden channel between things I actually want to watch, where they show a lot of people buying their first homes and renovating their homes.

I want to buy a home! Haha. My ideal living space would be a spacious condo in Minneapolis with 10 or so acres of heavily-wooded lakefront property out in the middle of nowhere in northern Minnesota, on which I would build a nice cabin.

I guess I'll just have to wait until (1) I find a good job, (2) I get all my student loans paid off and (3) I have my future settled.

Maybe I should just stay in the moment: I get to live in an awesome house in a few months, I live in a nice apartment, and I know I'll be able to find an affordable place to live after I graduate. I don't need to worry about whether I'll be able to afford a $300,000 mortgage, or be able to afford to build my own cabin. Or worry about whether or not I'll have a cushy enough job to afford the life I want.

I am 21. I am now a senior in college. (inner tangent: shiiittt....) I am privileged and fortunate to have a lot of my life easily obtained. I know I will be able to find some sort of work that will support me, even if it isn't my ideal career path.

I will be okay, and I will likely excel. Awesome.

Thanks for the pep talk!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mousse Au Chocolat

Last night at 8pm, I really wanted chocolate mousse. I looked up a good recipe that used ingredients that I had already. Luckily, Julia Childs recipe had ingredients that I had on hand.

I just had one bowl of it. Take it from me, it is amazing! Not super rich or super bitter like many mousse recipes. It was light, fluffy and sweet. I would even make it again, and I hate making things that are ridiculously fussy. Mousse is the fussiest of the fussy.

So, in order to make this delicious mousse that serves 3-4, you will need:
3 oz of semi-sweet baking chocolate
3 oz butter (yes, use butter! no margarine! no oil! butter! lots of it!)
1/4 cup water
2 eggs, separated
1 T rum
1/3 cup of sugar, for the egg yolks
1 T sugar, for the egg whites
1 pinch of salt
1 t of vanilla extract

Stuff you need:
At least 1 double boiler, I used 2. Well, 2 pots with metal mixing bowls over it, because I don't own a double boiler. :)
A whisk (or hand mixer. A hand mixer makes this go 100 billion times faster)
A spatula.
Many bowls.

Prep work: get a large bowl and put ice water in it. Sounds weird, I know, but it is important.

Step 1: Melt chocolate, butter in a double boiler on a low simmer (or, if you don't own a double boiler, like me, a pot with water covered with a metal mixing bowl), and add water. When mixed thoroughly, remove from heat and make it wait patiently until you use it again.

Step 2: In another double boiler (or a different metal bowl over a pot of water), barely simmering, whisk the egg yolks, rum, and sugar until thick and almost mayonnaise-y. I strongly suggest using a hand mixer. I whisked by hand for about 10 minutes before I lost patience and whipped out the hand mixer. 3 minutes later, I had thick, almost mayonnaise-y egg yolk mixture.

Step 3: Put the yolk bowl in the bowl of ice water (make sure the water doesn't get in), and keep whisking/mixing until its even thicker and more mayonnaise-y. Fold the chocolate in with the egg yolk mix. It looks really cool. Seriously, I spent a good minute or two admiring the brown chocolate and yellow eggs mix together.

Anyway, Step 4: In yet another bowl, use a different whisk, clean your whisk, or clean your mixer attachments, to attack the shit out of the egg whites with the pinch of salt in it. Make sure your whisks are clean, or else your egg whites won't fluff. Oils and fat in the egg whites will make the egg whites from foamy awesomeness. Anyway, when its mostly fluffed (but not stiff), add the other tablespoon of sugar. Mix it in a bit more, than add the vanilla. Mix it moar! MOAR!

Step 5: Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolaty egg yolks. Then fold the rest in, but not too much otherwise the egg whites will be less fluffy.

Step 6: Put in 3-4 bowls or cups or whatever you want to serve it in, and chill in the fridge for 4 hours at least. They can stay chilled for 4 days.

There is raw egg in it, so you are at risk for salmonella, but the risk is fairly low. I mean, how much freakin' cookie dough have you eaten? How many bowls of cake batter have you licked clean? We've all eaten a ton of raw eggs and we're all alive.

Anyway, it was a little on the sweet side, so I had it with a cup of instant coffee thing from Starbucks. It was gross. Don't drink it. I added 2 T of sugar and it was still pretty gross. There's better coffee than that. Or even tea works. Something bitter to even out the sweetness. I love sweet desserts, and I love sweet desserts and bitter drinks together.

Also, eggs are weird. They get take on so many forms and are just really weird. I mean, they super slimy in the shell. If you whip them, they turn into really foamy. If you fry them, they turn rubbery. If you pour water over them, they bubble. They're so versatile and creepy.

Anyway, enjoy your mousse. I hope you have a hand mixer or immersion blender.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This morning at 8:20 am, Eric the HR Guy at Target offered me a cashier position at Target. Yay!

I don't start for another two weeks, but I am grateful to have a job this summer. I was worried about money, but now I can relax a bit. I will be paid money, and hopefully a lot of it.

I can pay my rent, bills, buy groceries, a new computer, and then save the rest for my trip to Thailand and Japan next winter. : )

This makes me happy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The End, only it's The Beginning

Well, that's over.

I took my GRE today. I did okay. I did how I thought I would do. I got at 570 on the verbal and a 710 on the quantitative. I have to wait 2 weeks to get my writing scores back, but so far I'm around the 75th percentile, which isn't bad. I needed to get above the 55th percentile to be above the average score for the Humphrey Institute. Glad my school of choice isn't that competitive in terms of GRE.

Instead, I get to worry about my lack of experience. Goody. : )

If I don't get in, I'll join the Peace Corps or Americorps for a couple years, then try to find a real job. Or just try to find a real job. Or find a crappy job and an internship that might turn into a real job.

The nice thing about my potential degree program is that most people go mid-career, or after a few years of working, so I am more likely to go back to get my degree than someone who wants to go to med school or something. Med students need to know a lot of information, and if you're out of school for 10 years, you've probably forgotten most of it.

In any case, I at Chipotle, my favorite fast food restaurants. Someone wearing a burqa just walked in. Like, a full burqa, not just hijab. I haven't seen one of those in person before. That's cool. Props to her for having the courage to wear that, you know?

Sorry, tangent. Anyway, the future is far away and doesn't need a lot of detailed thought right now. Next week, I'll start working on my personal statement. : )

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My best Chana Masala yet!

Hokso. I LOVE Indian food. However, both of the Indian restaurants in town here sell their cheapest entrees at $7-15, and of course I have to buy samosas and naan, which add another $8. And I enjoy buying two entrees, to diversify my meal and to get as much deliciousness as I can.

So... I've been trying to learn to cook my own Indian food, so I can control what goes into it, and to save money. So far, they haven't been very successful. Mostly kind of watery and while I put a lot of spices in, I can't really taste them.

But! This time I tried a new recipe, with a bit more work involved.

You need:
1 cup uncooked rice (I made brown, but basmati would probably be more authentic)
1 onion
2 cans of diced tomatoes, drained
4 cloves of garlic
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Plenty of Canola Oil
some of the following spices: curry powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, chili powder (I just put in a few to several dashes if I wanted that spice to be more present)(also, why do they all start with C?)

Anyway, make the rice at some point. I made brown rice, so I did that first because it takes forever.

Then, finely finely chop the onion and garlic (or chop not so fine and just put it in the blender or food processor)(I need a blender if you want to buy me something). Then, drain the tomatoes, and actually, squeeze them out too. You're going to want a rather thick paste. Mix your squeezed out tomatoes with your super fine onion and garlic. Like, really mix it. I smooshed it together in my makeshift mortar and pestle (aka a bowl and a glass) to mash the tomatoes in a bit more.

Anyway, heat your oil on med-low into a pan (I put a lot in. Just because I like it that way. You could go crazy and use clarified butter too if'n you want). Then put your tomato mixture in the pan, and let it cook for a while. I added the cinnamon, ginger and cardamom here, but really, I have no reason why I did that.

After letting that fry for about 5-10 minutes (stirring it occasionally), I added the other spices, and let that sit for about 10 more minutes (this is a good time to do some dishes). Add the chickpeas, mix it together. Put the cover on, and let it stew for 10 minutes.

Serve over rice. Maybe a dollop of yogurt on it. I thought it was pretty good, but the leftovers were a little dry.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I've made a decision

I have decided that I will, in fact, have a graduation party next year. It's terribly far off, I know, but I like to plan ahead. I don't care how pretentious it may seem. I have worked hard (harder than I did in high school!), and next year, I deserve a party.

Why are college grad parties so unpopular? I don't get it. I deserve and need a party way more than I did when I graduated high school.

My only problem is where to have it. Should it be in the cities, so it's more central so more people can come? Or should it near home? Or school?

I do not know. Any opinions?

Will work for French Toast

A friend of mine on campus called me tonight, as I sat on the couch, recovering from an intense walk earlier in the day (and by recovering, I mean eating chocolate Malt-o-meal!). She was moving her stuff from the 9th floor of Larson Hall to the 8th floor of Mohn Hall and had to move by tomorrow morning, and would I help her?

Well, considering I was just sitting on the couch, and she's a good friend, I said "Sure!"

Ohmaigawd she has soooo much stuff. We probably moved 20 storage bins and 10 giant garbage bags and several boxes and 2 mini fridges and other stuff. Luckily, she has no furniture, there are elevators, she has an SUV and found a dolly somewhere. Plus, she took me to Perkins afterwards.

Totally worth it. : )

5 cups of coffee and 3 french toast for a couple hours of going up and down an elevator? Not bad at all!

By the way, I will not be going to bed anytime soon. Why did I drink 5 cups of coffee at 11pm again? hahahaha. Good times.

Anyway, about the intense walk... I went to the grocery store to pick up some things (remembered everything but malt-o-meal and wild rice!), thinking it wouldn't rain until 3 or 4. Nope, it thundered and started raining at 12:30, right when I left the store.

"Oh no!" I thought, "I left the window open right by the power strip and my laptop!" (dumb, I know). I started rushing home, with a backpack full of canned goods, and two tote bags full of food. Easier said than done. Luckily, it didn't rain all that much until the end of my walk, when I had given up rushing, and was trying to cool down. No water reached the power strip or my laptop. Thank the wind currents!

Also, I realized that I've only eaten breakfast food for the past couple days. I had eggs, hash browns, facon, green beans and yogurt for lunch yesterday, French toast for dinner, a PB sandwich for breakfast, Malt-o-Meal for lunch today, and French toast for dinner again tonight. Goodness. I should really stop typing this now, but I HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY!!!!!

You know where this energy could be productive? Studying for my GRE. Or playing Pokemon. Hmmm........... I'm starting to get nervous for my GRE. I take the test on Monday. Luckily I'm taking it early enough where I can take it again if I suck ass. But I am trying not to suck ass because the test costs $160, which is ridiculous, but less so than the test prep classes, which cost $500. I think I'll skip the classes and study on my own. I'll just read the dictionary, or maybe learn Latin and Greek this week. That'll help with the vocabulary.

OOH! I bought my ticket to go see the Village People today. They're playing at the Twin Cities Pride festival this year, and tickets are only $10! And one of my favorite singers is playing too, Ellis. She's an Ole alum who is awesome and funny! She's also gluten intolerant, in case you were wondering. And she has the best laugh ever. Her music is pretty kickass too.

By the way, all of this was written in like, 10 minutes.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The End

Well, the end of the year is finally here. No more finals or anything. I feel like it hasn't quite sunk in yet. Normally at the end of the year, I pack everything up and move. This year I'm staying in Northfield, so finals week wasn't paired with a mass scramble to move everything.

Instead, I went home for a couple days. It was nice and summery. I came back to Northfield. So far, its felt like a weekend, only less stressful. I've played some Pokemon. I'm caught up on Farmville and such. Now what do I do? Tomorrow I work for 10 hours, and 6 more on Saturday. But after this weekend, I have to find a real summer job, not just a weekend job. Le sigh.

Hopefully Target hires me. Otherwise I'm going to apply at Subway and the Co-op, and maybe wherever else I happen to stop by. Bother. I need to have money for a rent, groceries, bills, and a new computer, and a month in Thailand and a week in Japan. Haha. Yay money. Bleh.

Ah well, If I don't have a job, I have many hours to spend on Amazon working for pennies. Or babysitting or pet sitting.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

LOST! contains spoilers.

So, a major chapter in my life closes tomorrow. For the past 6 years, I've followed LOST. Or rather, for the past 3 years, I've followed LOST obsessively, and the three before that I watched it occasionally (last summer I rewatched the first three seasons to make sure I didn't miss any!).

I love the show mostly because it makes me actually think about what I'm watching and what I have watched. Most shows just tell you what's going on. LOST makes me analyze. Take, for example, the character of Libby. We know that she was in a mental institution after her husband, David, died. We also know that a character named Dave, who is dead, visits Hurley, who can talk to dead people, and who talked to him a lot while Hurley was in the same mental institution as Libby at the same time. Ergo, Dave is Libby's dead husband. Do they ever make that connection in the show? No.

My theory is reinforced when early in the series, Dave shows up on the island and tries to get Hurley to kill himself. Coincidentally, the Smoke Monster can take the form of dead people and is trying to kill the candidates, but cannot directly kill them. Hurley is a candidate. Pretty sure Dave on the island is the smoke monster.

Also, Desmond's boat is called the Elizabeth, given to him by David. So many connections! I love this show!

A lot of my energy goes in to thinking about this show, if you can't tell.

What am I going to do after tomorrow? Well, I'll probably spend a lot of time in the next week or two on LOST forums. After that? I'll have to find a new show to obsess over.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Sun is Gone but its Warmth Remains

I just looked out the window. It became cloudy at some point since I got home.

I've had a pretty awesome week. Classes are finally over. I turned in one of my finals yesterday, so now I only have to finish a paper and then take two tests next Tuesday. Almost done and today is the first day of finals! The final countdown?

In any case, I've been working a lot because of my super relaxed finals week. Last night I worked a double shift in the caf, and got home around 12:15am. Every reading day, they have the Late Night Breakfast which is free for pretty much anyone who comes in, and a lot of professors and staff serve the food instead of us caf grunts. I got to count the number of people coming in. Cheney and I got counters where you hit the button and it adds one to the number. I have to say, it's the funniest shift to work. People don't need to swipe their meal plan cards, and everyone just gets really confused. Some people say "Omg, I don't need my card? Why did I bring it? Omg I'm so dumb!" or something along those lines. Others get really confused and spin in circles until they finally get that they can just go in. Others get really excited and shout with glee and enthusiasm. In any case, I laughed so hard at people last night.

Then I had to clean. Not so fun.

Anyway, today was my last day working at the elementary school. Sad day. Although Sr. Siedl gave me a nice gift, and Sra. Amundson will be sending me a package I guess. That's so touching. I love all those kids. My 5th graders and I talked about bullying today. It was so cute because the tough latino boys were talking about how they keep people from bullying each other at school and how when they go to middle school, all the bullies are going to start up again at the elementary school. The latina girls are actually dealing with bullying, too. One of the girls is feuding with the other girls. I'm not sure why, but they won't talk or sit near each other, and will actually do everything they can do avoid sitting by each other. It's sad...

At least they're not making fun of the two in the class who are so going to be gay in a few years. : )

Monday, May 17, 2010

Family and Walking

I had a fun weekend. Saturday, I spent the day at my Dad's house for a family barbeque. My dad, his wife, his mother-in-law, his two brothers and sister, my brother and I were all there. It's the first time in a loooong time that my dad has been friendly with his younger brother. They've been at odds for over a decade, so it was a really big step for my dad to invite him over. They all had brats, and my aunt made sure to buy Boca burgers for me. Yummy!

Sunday, I went to the MN AIDS Walk at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. I raised $180 dollars for the event, which was $30 more than I raised last year! I went with two freshman at Olaf, and met up with my roommate and his friends there. It was a lot of fun, but now my calves are hella sore.

After, my roommate and I showered (separately), took a looong nap (simultaneously in the same room), then went out to eat (together). We went to Chapati. It was SO good. I love Indian food. I ordered Chana Masala and Alu (whatevertheindianwordforpeais), and some garlic naan. Delicious. It was bittersweet, however, as this was our last roomie dinner. He's moving out this week, and then will be leaving to Cambodia and Vietnam for 2 months. I shall miss him. Anyway, we went for ice cream after, then went home to do homework. I finished my 15 page paper around 3 in the morning, and finished putting in citations today before class.

Only 1 class left, and then 2 final papers and 2 final tests and I'm done! And the two tests are a week from Tuesday. I will have so much free time. Awesome!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fortunate Me!

Today, the Gender and Sexuality organizations held the annual end of the year banquet as a goodbye to the seniors who are part of the departments or organizations at St. Olaf.

We had an alumna as our guest speaker, a lesbian woman from the class of '86. She spoke of how her different parts of her life had to be separate. Her faith and family and sexuality and neighborhood and career all had to be distinct because of her sexual orientation, Lesbians should not be employees, and God apparently hates gays, and lesbians cannot have any familial support, and they can't participate in their community because they should be ashamed.

Then, society started changing as she grew older and became a mother with her partner, her distinct and separate worlds started fusing. This coalesced when her family moved to Costa Rica for two years, to a small village because her partner was working in a mission school. Suddenly, her neighborhood and family and faith and career and everything was all located in one small village on a mountaintop. And it was okay. No one did anything or said anything against them because of their family. It was okay to live as a gay person.

I find this fascinating. I am so lucky to be able to be out as a pansexual and genderqueer person. Be out and still be successful. Where I know I won't be fired because I'm not a woman or a man, and I am still a valued member of the community no matter who my partner is. Granted, not everything is available to me that is available to heteronormative people, but society is warming up to the GLBTQ community and I appreciate that.

Thanks, society!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank you to those who came before!

So, today, I went to my doctors to get my quad-annual injection of progesterone.

I just want to say thank you do the men who invented birth control and the women who pushed for its FDA approval, and the men in the FDA who approved it, and all the men and women and others who have kept it legal and readily available. And Medica Elect for providing progesterone injections for $20 (as opposed to Blue Cross Blue Shield, who make it available for $80, which is still nice but 4 times less so than my previous insurance provider).

Dear Pharmaceutical companies,

Even though you are generally exploitive asswipes, I do appreciate your service in my life, even though it is almost entirely driven by greed. By providing chemicals to inject into my body, you prevent countless pounds from being gained, dozens of zit from forming, a heart attack or two in the future, and needless tears from being shed. Also, thanks for disclosing the fact that this injection will probably cause bone-loss, so that I may take supplements to replenish the calcium I lose. I'd have osteoporosis when I am older if it weren't for your cooperation with the FDA.

A pleased but jaded customer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Patiently Waiting.

I have 15 minutes before work starts. Dodododododo.

In other news, I was accepted in the Lambda Alpha and Alpha Kappa Delta, the Anthropology Honor Society and the Sociology Honor Society today. Pretty cool! I have certificates and everything. Even membership cards.

I also have a job interview at Target next Thursday - the first one I've been able to get not at St. Olaf in 2 years! Signs up an improving economy = summer jobs available for college students at retail stores. Hopefully I get a job this summer. That means either I've gained charisma or the economy really is picking up! Either way, I'm happy. Or I hopefully get a job painting dorms at St. Olaf, which would be closer to my apartment and probably pay higher as well. We shall see!

Yay work!

Dang, still 10 minutes before I have to go to work. Now what?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Rainy Day

It hasn't snowed here. Yet. It might tonight, but today was just chilly and wet. It was honors day at school, so whoever had a living sugar daddy (aka an endowment scholarship from someone who is still alive) had to go to a ceremony type thing. I have a dead sugar daddy scholarship, so I didn't have to go. Because it usually goes late and into the 10:45 class time, my 10:45 class was cancelled. So, I had a lot of free time this morning to do homework and take an extended shower.

The homework I was working on was my political science presentation, which was supposed to be 5-10 minutes long, but I took 20. That's all right though. I had a lot of info, and we only had 3 presentations for a 55 minute class.

In any case, it was an odd day. It's been a long day. I realized it wasn't Saturday just a couple hours ago. Still Friday, I guess.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day of Reason

So... I am pleased with today. I got up, and helped a 3rd grader with the attention span of a gnat and the shyness of a mouse finish her test even though she had 15 minutes less than the other kids to work on it. : ) Granted, she rounded 4,187 to 4,298, but hey, she finished and got a lot of other questions right! She could only round to the 10s place. After that, she was just really confused.

After work, Brigit, Tom, Zak and Tanner came to pick me up and we went to the state capitol in St. Paul. Brigit and I were asked to speak on behalf of SANRA (St. Olaf Society for Atheism, Non-Religion and Agnosticism) for the Day of Reason. The Day of Reason is a response to the Day of Prayer, the nation-wide government call for all citizens to pray (so much for the first amendment, eh?)

In any case, I've never given a non-school speech, let alone a speech at the capitol. It was pretty cool. : )

Since then, I've been working on my PSCI presentation for tomorrow about how gas relations have affected the political relationship of Ukraine and Russia. I should have picked a different topic... At least there's a lot of information on the subject. Just look at the wikipedia page for "Ukraine Russia Energy Relations."

Also, I finally managed to get my computer to restore to default factory settings without overheating. I'm in the process of waiting to use it. It is Vista, after all. Can't wait for a new computer.

Also, there's a girl in the elementary school whose name is Abcde. Pronounced Absidy. Is this a common name? Or was this an ironic parent? It's a pretty-sounding name, though. Also, I work with a woman named Usa (Ooh-sah). I wonder if it was wishful thinking on her parents part, or if she changed her name. Or I suppose it could be a common Thai name, but I doubt it. Reminds me of that comic with Ruthie in it who has a friend called Nosmo King.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Relay for Life

This weekend, I participated in Relay for Life, a nationwide fundraising event sponsored by the American Cancer Association. I raised $50, but others I know raised $2,000+ Crazy!

Anyway, Relay lasts 12 hours, but I was only there for 3. Basically, you raise money, and your team walks for 12 hours. The first lap is walked by cancer survivors and their caregivers, and then everyone else joined in. I made a few luminaries for cancer victims and survivors I know, and then I just walked. They had different kinds of entertainment, such as musical performances and dancers. Aside from little girls dancing like women, it was an enjoyable day. Really windy, but enjoyable. I somehow managed to get a blister on top of my big toe, though. I don't really know how that happens. lol.

In any case, I am now raising money for the Minnesota AIDS Walk. If you want to help prevent HIV/AIDS and support research for a cure, or at least easier, cheaper medicine then go here and donate:

Friday, April 30, 2010

Two Kenyan Guys

So, I was watching some TV with my din-din, and I saw this show called "Two Kenyan Guys" on NatGeo. It's about two Kenyan men: A Masai warrior named Lamarti and a Samburu warrior called Boniface. They are traveling around the US to learn more about our modern culture so they can learn to live in the modern world while still preserving their own traditions.

It's so funny! I can't get over it! I am watching an episode about their trip to Texas. They helped the cowboys push their cows around, and then went to learn to play football and cheerlead, ate some barbecue (where they talked with an African American man, which was interesting), and helped a wildlife rescuer. That was my favorite part. They helped him take a couple of raccoons out from under a house. Boniface went under the house with the worker. Lamarti described the noise from under the house, and it was hilarious! Also, they wanted goat meat and went to a farmer. The goats have this odd genetic condition where when they get scared, their muscle stiffen up and they fall over. It was sad to see, but really funny at the same time too.

In any case, funny show. A little weird because they dress like warriors all the time, even in their chaps and cowboy boots. Very tokenized in that sense but still a very good show. I think it's a fair balance of showing their culture but not in a patronizing "look at those goofballs in Africa" kind of way. It's almost the opposite way, actually. Or maybe that's just my pre-existing prejudice against Texas.

They did make me realize that cowboy culture in the US is really really aggressive. They are the cowboys of Kenya, and they don't need horses or cattle prods to get their cows to where they need to go. Their cows don't run away from them, but like them because they protect them. They sing to their cows so they know their voice and know they can trust those people. Cowboys in Texas trap their cows in cages, enrage them and then rope them and pull them to the ground for sport. Hmm....

<.< >.>

Cruel? I think so, but I'm sure there are those that disagree.

In any case, I like the show a lot, and I think you would too!