Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Keith Richards, it's your birthday!


It's been a crazy year... you claimed you snorted your dad's ashes, and then said you were joking. The year before, you fell out of a tree in Fiji. I can't wait to see what happens in 2008! So here's to another year of wackiness and unpredictable anecdotes. Happy Birthday, Keith-- you're still the king of cool...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #93


Title: The Magus
Author: John Fowles
Judgin' The Book By Its Cover: Ugh, I hate this cover. Purple and red? Yuck.

Thoughts: It's been a long, long time (read: 10 years or so) since I've finished a book and really not known what it was about (although, I know for certain that I read Nightwood during a time of intense insomnia in my life, but I can't remember a thing about it-- not one thing!).
But I had the distinct pleasure of struggling through this nearly 700-page book just to walk away confused. The story is about a young British womanizer who takes a position teaching English at a school on a remote Greek island. He meets an enigmatic millionaire with a penchant for the dramatic and quickly loses his bearings in a complicated world of deceit and intrigue. The plot takes turn after turn after turn, and I didn't have the patience to follow the unlikable characters through the labyrinthine plot. Moreover, the story is deeply rooted in metaphor and literary allusion, very little of which I could decipher. I'm not a total doofus, but I don't have the classical education (or extensive understanding of French, Latin, and Greek, large passages of which are left untranslated) that's necessary to get every reference. Unfortunately, I finished the book feeling unsure of what the point was and feeling disappointed that my toil was all for naught.

However, The Magus made me want to visit Greece even more and, luckily, all the cravings for the delicious food described in the book can be easily satiated in Astoria (yay, Astoria-- where else can you run around the corner when the urge for lemon- and oregano-sprinkled lamb hits you?).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Quest Update

Wow, I probably shouldn't title this "Quest Update"-- that might give people the wrong idea of what I'm into (online role-play gaming perhaps?). But it's too late now! I'm already committed to the title.

Lest you're concerned that I've given up, allow me to reassure you: I'm still working on the Modern Library novels quest. But... I'm kind of stuck in The Magus. I'm on page 430 (out of 668), and I just can't seem to get into it. So I'm slowly but surely slogging through it. I decided to skip the novels that I've already read (the point of this was to get acquainted with new authors and novels), so I'm bypassing #94, Wide Sargasso Sea. That said, I HIGHLY recommend this book-- it's incredible. I'm not much into the retelling-well-known-stories genre (the book depicts the untold story in Jane Eyre), but this book stands alone and will haunt you long after you finish it. Read it! Now! I'm not kidding.

I can't believe I'm only on #93.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

As the last bits of Thanksgiving turkey simmer in a big pot 'o' noodles, I'm realizing that fall is over, Christmastime is officially here, and an awful lot of time has passed since I was last with you, faithful blog readers! Don't think I was slacking all this time-- I've been busy as a bee! OK, I was slacking a little bit... But I have been busy! Littlest Sister and Crazy Brother-In-Law came out from Virginia and Indiana, respectively, for a fun- and Guitar Hero-filled visit, I cooked my first solo Thanksgiving dinner, and I learned oodles of new French words (wow, how often do you get to use "oodles" and "noodles" in the same paragraph?!). And now it's December!

Unfortunately, I've been struck with a new and terrifying affliction this December-- total numbness in the Christmas area of my brain/heart. I just can't seem to get the Christmas glow on this year (I haven't had even the slightest urge to throw on my Bing Crosby Christmas album!!). I'm not sure what the cause of this illness is (maybe it's because I spent Thanksgiving in the city rather than at home?), but I'm left wondering what Christmas means to me when I strip away the traditions, the carols, the cookies, candy canes, and whipped cream-topped hot chocolate, the thrill of choosing, wrapping, and giving gifts, the favorite Christmas movies that always make me cry... Am I ever truly focused on what Christmas is really about? Is Christmas just a chance for me to get wrapped up in nostalgia and sentiment (an activity that is always paired with bemoaning my current life situation)? Does the Christmas story fill me with reverence, awe, and joy, or am I just happy to be revisiting a comforting holiday routine? Am I amazed by the incredible gift of Christmas even if the Christmas mood switch hasn't been triggered in my mind?

I don't have an answer for these questions, but I'm excited to take a look at the Christmas story anew this year before getting swept away by the traditions and rituals of the season. And I wish the same for you! So... may the unbelievable gift of God that is Christmas take on new meaning for you this season, and may the joys of traditions, carols, cookies, candy canes, and whipped cream-topped hot chocolate, choosing, wrapping, and giving gifts, and favorite Christmas movies that always make you cry be icing on the cake (instead of the whole meal)!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #95


Title: Under the Net
Author: Iris Murdoch
Judgin' The Book By Its Cover: I think I can see a lady... and a cat... or is it a puppet? Maybe it's a stained-glass window?

Thoughts: I loved this book. It was engaging, and its scenes varied from laugh-out-loud funny to achingly beautiful (the scene when a man sees the woman he loves on the other side of the Seine is incredible). I also loved the main character, Jake Donaghue, a sometimes-writer whose neuroses are as plentiful as his charms. He reminded me of Sebastian Dangerfield in his freewheeling ways, but without the wifebeating and cursing (so I guess they're not very much alike after all...). The book talks quite a bit about existentialism and philosophy, but it isn't dry at all. Also, it left me wishing that I had a movie star dog to walk beside me on the time-worn streets of London.

Here's a quote that I loved from the book about reading the first few pages a book: "Starting a novel is opening a door on a misty landscape; you can still see very little but you can smell the earth and feel the wind blowing." If you like the taste of that mustard, read this book!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hot Wings and Fried Green Tomatoes

After the Ryan Adams concert at the HamBall last night and a feast at Justin Timberlake's Southern Hospitality tonight (not quite as delicious as Virgil's, but with a Stones and Crowes-heavy playlist, which more than makes up for that), I'm feeling a Dirty South weekend coming up. In keeping with the theme, here's a little Southern-themed factoid for you (courtesy of ESPN's college football coverage): apparently when Nixon was vice president, he visited Russia, and the only song that both he and Khrushchev knew was the Georgia Tech fight song, which they sang together. I can't think of a stranger duet than Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon singing Tech's song-- can you? If ya got one, let's hear it!

In related news, the one state below the Mason-Dixon line that's getting the evil eye from me these days is South Carolina-- their decision today to bar Stephen Colbert from entering the SC presidential primary race has senselessly destroyed 4,520,937 laughs before they were even given the chance to see the light of day...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Intern Chris= CrazyFunkyCool


Just wanted to give a shout-out to Intern Chris and his band-- we saw them play at The Bitter End Thursday night, and they rocked the house. Check out his website-- if you like his stuff, you can download the albums on iTunes. Also, he has moody photos on his website because he is deep and intellectual. Sometimes he thinks about really heavy stuff.

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #96


Title: Sophie's Choice
Author: William Styron
Judgin' the Book by Its Cover: Super boring cover art... that's all I have to say on the subject.

Thoughts: I'll be honest-- I've been dreading this review for some time (I finished the book two weeks ago-- does that tell you anything?). But, as I'm learning, Quixotic quests ain't easy and you're going to have to do things that you would prefer not to.

Here's the thing with this book: every time you think that things couldn't possibly get worse, a horrible new truth is revealed. It was a little bit like a Lifetime movie in the sense that the atrocities that dogged the character seemed unrealistic and made it difficult to connect with the main character or to view her as a fellow human. But I guess that tells you a lot about human nature-- it's incredibly difficult to look evil, heartache, and pain straight in the eye. It's much easier to ignore, try to forget, or laugh it off.

Sophie's Choice had a lot to say about guilt and ways that people deal with it. The book really illustrated the way that people hide guilt by telling untruths to themselves and to the people around them to keep from addressing an ugly reality. It also depicts how it is often only with lots of time and lots of telling and retelling that we hear the true story of someone's life. It challenged me to be a listener and an observer, someone who patiently waits for others to feel safe enough to tell stories that they desperately need to share.

On a different note altogether, this is the first book from the reading list that is set in New York, and it is an intriguing window into a New York of days long gone. The narrator's experience as an outsider living in Jewish Flatbush in the days immediately following WWII is ably described and quite fascinating.

Overall, this was a well-written book that wrestled with a variety of difficult topics. It's well-worth a read, but probably only when you have the time and energy to properly absorb the material.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Rocktober!!


I'm going big and bold on this one-- October is the best time of the year. I'm particularly fond of it, not just because of the great and detailed childhood memories that the scents of the season evoke, but also because it's one of the few times in the year when my cold-weather-loving Main Squeeze and I both really enjoy the Great Outdoors (well, maybe I should say that we enjoy the Great Outdoors more... the Main Squeeze has been known to brashly state that he'd be happy if he could live under a dome and never really be outside again).

Reason #1 why October= Rocktober (the MS's nickname-- I can't take credit): apples! Sure, you can get apples other times of the year, but I'm really grateful for them now-- the nip of cold air at night now reminds me that I don't have too many trips to the farmer's market left before winter. (Sidenote: I finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Friday, and I highly recommend it. It was definitely good reading. Stay tuned for a report on home cheesemaking, which I've been newly inspired to attempt).

Reason #2 why October= Rocktober: pears! OK, name one thing more delicious than a juicy, October pear... I dare you! OK, I WILL... and it's...

Reason #3 why October= Rocktober: apple pear turnovers!! This delicious recipe is courtesy of Williams-Sonoma's cooking for kids (laugh it up, fuzzball... the kids' recipes are simpler and call for fewer ingredients... hey, I'm not ashamed!). Frozen puff pastry is expensive and bad for you, but, wow, this is an amazing let's-celebrate-fall treat!

Reason #4 why October= Rocktober: fall movies! (Disclaimer: I'm not advocating in any way the usual moody crop of fall let's-beg-for-an-Oscar bitter dramas disguised and marketed as comedies... despite, not because of, the overload of this sort of thing, I still look forward to fall movies every year). Saturday night brought the advent of The Darjeeling Limited, so of course I was there, gleefully chewing on my overpriced Milk Duds (I always forget to smuggle in my own snacks...). I liked it a lot-- as usual, the production design was incredible, especially with the infusion of the rich, vibrant colors that seemed to saturate every frame, the script was funny, and the characters were lovable (Adrien Brody is hilarious... although, it was pretty unsettling to see Owen Wilson in light of recent events). The Main Squeeze was a bit disappointed by the movie-- he felt like Wes Anderson was rehashing his old material, i.e. The Royal Tenenbaums Go to India. I see his point, but at the same time, I thought that the story, while not as unique as it was a couple of movies ago, to be compelling and true. I may just be partial to the themes of family reconciliation and restoration because they make me optimistic about my own family's future, but hey, what are you going to do? Sue me? Just go ahead and try-- I'm invincible! It's Rocktober, for crying out loud-- everything's turning up Millhouse!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #97


Title: The Sheltering Sky
Author: Paul Bowles
Judgin' the Book by Its Cover: The cover art stinks. Seriously, how am I supposed to read books with ugly cover art? I would never have picked this up if I saw it on a shelf at a bookstore.

Thoughts: After a quick detour from the reading list to read Everything is Illuminated (I know, I know, I should've read it ages ago), I got a little bogged down in this book. I've had a hard time processing it and deciding what I thought about it.

First off, this was an interesting read. It's a little strange-- although it was published in 1949, the first half of the book felt like something written in the late '20's about the post-WWI generation. It's a ponderous, serious study of humans in a foreign (and harsh) environment. One Amazon reviewer mentioned that each of the characters in the book is an example of a different Western approach to alien cultures. It's interesting to examine the book in this way and to see how each character's attitudes and prejudices influence not only their experience in the desert, but their fate.

However, the depictions of the North Africans are almost entirely negative, which makes the book difficult to enjoy. Even worse, the book perpetuates the myth that women secretly (or not so secretly) enjoy sexual violence, which is an idea that I have a major problem stomaching. These two things were huge obstacles to my enjoyment of the book. But it was thought-provoking, at least.

I'm finding this quest a difficult one-- it's tough to dive from one serious, hard-hitting novel right into the next. I'm taking a brief sabbatical (here's looking at you, K-Dub!) to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle , which I've been dying to read ever since it came out-- I added it to my library waitlist months ago and it has only just now been ready. I'm really looking forward to that, especially since I've been trying to introduce more fresh, locally-grown, and plant-based food items into my diet (which mainly consists of pizza, Coke, and Greek takeout). I'll let you know how that goes. ;)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bored At Work?

Here's an amusing little game... it's actually pretty fun.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Married With Children, Kremlin-Style

According to the New York Times, the sitcom is appearing for the first time on Russian television, and "Married With Children" is the hottest "new" show. Watch the clip-- the Russian dad even sounds like the Al Bundy that we all know and love! So weird...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Saxomaphone...

This A.V. Club article lists 10 great songs that were nearly ruined by a saxophone... it supports my long-held theory that the saxophone should NEVER be used in rock music. Seriously, name one song that's better because of a sax solo (fact: if you think there is one, you're probably a lame Kenny G fan who doesn't deserve to read this blog).

Getting in Touch With My Masculine Side

Despite the warm weather, telltale signs point out that fall is on its way-- the days are getting shorter, the neighborhood hooligans are back in school (finally!), and football fever is ravaging my home. Yes, football season is here, like it or not, and suddenly I find myself plunged into a world where I'm supposed to care deeply about a stranger's torn ACL (pop quiz: where is the ACL located?) and share the shame of a disgraced kicker who just missed the extra point. It's not that I don't like football-- I do and I actually know a lot about it (probably because of my time at USC). I just don't have the stamina to watch 10 hours of football in a day-- after a couple of hours, watching fat guys in spandex jump on each other seems a little lacking in entertainment value. I'll be honest-- my interest in football is focused mainly on the football snacks department. A football game is always a great excuse to eat chicken wings.

This weekend wasn't ALL football and no play, though. Friday night the Main Squeeze, the Third Man, and I went to see Shoot 'Em Up, and I'm pretty sure I was the only girl in the place. I hadn't seen a trailer before the movie, so I had no idea what I was getting into. I'm all for the cheesy action movie (seriously, if both Die Hard 3 and Speed are on TV at once, it's a gut-wrenching decision to make), but this was probably the most gratuitously violent movie I've ever seen. It probably should be shown with a body-count ticker at the bottom of the screen a la Hot Shots: Part Deux. The first person gets killed about 20 seconds into the movie, and then it's about 40 people per minute for the duration. The boys enjoyed it, but it was way too violent for me. The movie was strangely like a hopped-up-on-speed meathead remake of Children of Men. The basic plot is similar: moody Clive Owen protects an infant from gunmen. Only in this version, Clive "Could My Face Be More Chiseled?" Owen kills about 800 people, including a dude who gets stabbed in the eye by a carrot.

All this man stuff is making my inner romantic schoolgirl revolt-- I find myself wanting to take long, lingering walks in the park, speak French, and bake chocolate souffles. Even crazier, the other day I was enamored with the idea of embroidering a dresser scarf. Seriously, a dresser scarf?! But that's alright- I can be as girly as I want to during these last summer days. I'll have the whole winter to eat brats, wear sweatpants, and cheer for the Bears.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #98

Title: The Postman Always Rings Twice
Author: James M. Cain
Judgin' the Book By Its Cover: Boooooo! If your favorite kind of book cover is one which abstractly depicts a man grabbing a woman's, um, bosom, then you're in for a treat! If not, well, you're probably out of luck...

Thoughts: Although I've never read any of Cain's novels, I've seen the film adaptations of two of his most popular works, Mildred Pierce and Double Indemnity (two words: Billy Wilder), and like both movies, especially the latter. I'm a big fan of film noir and also of the hard-boiled crime fiction of the '30's and '40's, especially anything by Raymond Chandler (who doesn't appear on this list-- he got robbed!) or Dashiell Hammett, so I was pretty psyched to see this on the list. However, this book was much darker than anything I've read by the two previously-mentioned gents, and a bit dirtier. The narrator, Frank Chambers, is no Philip Marlowe-- he's a sleazeball with no principles and none of the dry wit that characterizes Chandler's hero. Moreover, the connection between violence and sex in the book is truly unsettling-- Frank and the femme fatale seem drawn to each other by their mutual love of violence. One thing that sets the novel apart from others in its genre is the use of a true workingman's voice-- Frank isn't a super-articulate wisecracker, and he even uses poor grammar (in a believable way). This added realism makes the story somehow more disturbing-- it's as if someone you know is talking about a murder they committed. Overall, the book is a visceral pageturner, but it's really short and is entertaining in its own way, so probably worth a quick read.

Down= 3
To Go= 97

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #99


Title: The Ginger Man
Author: J. P. Donleavy
Judgin' the Book By Its Cover: I kind of like the cover art... it's subtle, yet manages to convey a lot, plus, it's 10,000 times better than this cover.

Thoughts: I was unfamiliar with both the book and the author before I encountered the Modern Library list, so I didn't really know what to expect. Donleavy employs a strange combination of first and third person narration, often switching between the two mid-paragraph. This technique, although jarring at first, works pretty well in the novel-- the hero, Sebastian Dangerfield, behaves despicably throughout the story, so hearing his thoughts firsthand makes him more human and more likable. That said, I wasn't very into this book until it was nearly finished. Sebastian is a heavy-drinking, abusive, lazy, and dishonest guy, and it's hard to be sympathetic to his problems (since they're caused entirely by his self-destructive habits). However, his unquenchable optimism made me root for him a bit despite all of that. Overall, I guess I'm pretty ambivalent about the book-- I didn't hate it by the end, but I didn't exactly like it, either. Was it the 99th greatest novel written in the 20th century that I've ever read? Well, probably not...

Down= 2
To Go= 98

Friday, August 31, 2007

Ain't That the Darnedest Thing?


Here's a strange tale: apparently four orphaned baby hedgehogs have adopted a scrub brush as their mother. That's right, a scrub brush. It's cute, yet, somehow, very sad... I'm just not sure how great your parenting skills are if you can be replaced by a common household item. But it sure makes for a cute picture!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #100

Title: The Magnificent Ambersons
Author: Booth Tarkington
Judgin' the Book By Its Cover: Ooh, the cover art gets a bad grade on this one... I mean, come on people, you could have used an illustration or a photograph or something... did you even try?

Thoughts: My first impression when I picked up this book was, "Wow, Booth Tarkington-- great name!" Plus, he's a fellow Hoosier and the book is probably set in Indiana, so you gotta give him props for that. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, although I had the rare experience of having seen the movie prior to reading the book (the Welles adaptation was very true to the book, so I kept feeling like I had already read it). The book immensely succeeds at creating an engaging story about family, wealth, love, and pride while also depicting the rapid changes the Industrial Revolution wrought on American life. It's a very American story-- the fortunes that our entrepreneurs build overnight into empires are transient, and the emperors themselves usually vanish from popular recollection in a few short decades (as my dad always says,"Easy come, easy go"). Kinda makes you stop and think what you spend your time, energy, and money working towards, since, after all, there's only one Kingdom that's immutable.

Down= 1
To Go= 99

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?

This is the most disturbing commercial I've ever seen. Period. Poor Elvis is probably doing somersaults in his grave (if he's really dead, that is).

Yep, I'm a Bookworm

And now for something a bit more pretentious... I've resolved to read every book on the Modern Library's list of the top 100 novels of the 20th century. I've noticed that since I graduated from college I've gotten progressively stupider-- writing is a laborious and unpleasant task, my verbal communication skills have seriously suffered, and my vocabulary is alarmingly similar to Homer Simpson's. I've decided to start with #100 and work my way up, mainly because I don't have the chops to dive headfirst into Ulysses, but also because that seems to make the most sense-- after all, no VH1 countdown starts at #1 and works its way down. That would be stupid! Now look-- I've used a form of "stupid" twice now in this article (crap, now that's three times). Do you see what I mean about the Homer-like vocabulary?

I'm planning to write a little post about each book I read just to get in the habit of writing more frequently. Feel free to chat with me if you've read the book I'm working on-- there isn't much I enjoy more than talking about books (except for maybe talking about movies... or Elvis...), and that's something that's been sorely lacking from my life since graduation. But if you'd rather just mock me, that's fine, too. This is somehow geeky and pretentious at once-- how often in life does that combination occur? Sigh. I'm pretty excited, though, and now that my Harry Potter fever has subsided, I'm ready for some more serious reading. It's about that time.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Deadlier than Sharks...


As we lay Shark Week 2007 to rest, I'd like to take this opportunity to celebrate nature's lesser-known assassins. First on this list is the innocent- and cuddly-looking marmot. While these little guys may seem harmless, the marmot, a close cousin to the also cute woodchuck, may carry the bubonic plague. Bubonic plague! I suggest that you write to your congressman to request that the Whack-A-Mole game be renamed Whack-A-Marmot to raise awareness before the U.S. becomes one giant Hot Zone.

Next on the list of terror: pigs! I always suspected that Babe had it in for me, but my worst fears were confirmed this week when I read in The Good Good Pig that pigs kill more humans every year than sharks, and are, in fact, so vicious when raised in crowded conditions that they are known to eat anything that enters their pen, including babies or small children! As a result, I've decided to increase the pork products in my diet by 300% to fight this epidemic of pig violence towards children. It's the least that I can do.

Well, I hope you take this into consideration next time you head out to the petting zoo at Central Park. These animals WILL kill you, so I suggest you avoid them entirely. After all, they're deadlier than sharks.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Love Movie Posters

What's cooler than a smartly-designed movie poster? Nothing, that's what. Check out the poster for the new Wes Anderson movie, The Darjeeling Limited (which appears to be about men with jacked-up noses, but I guess there's probably more to it than that). I'm really excited to see it, but that's probably pretty obvious since The Royal Tenenbaums has been the subject of a very unhealthy obsession in my life for a time now. What can I say? Who doesn't love anything that makes dysfunctional family life seem hip?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Voracious Jumbo Squid Invade California

Somehow, this article failed to cash the check the headline wrote... what a letdown...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Odd Jobs

Do you ever meet people who really catch you off guard when they tell you what they do for a living? You innocently ask, "So, what do you do?", and they reply with something like this: "Yeah, I'm a chemist and I'm trying to design a more accurate artificial banana flavor" (true story, by the way). On the other hand, do you ever stumble across something on TV and think to yourself, "Who in the world watches this?!?!". WELL... in a strange combination of both those scenarios, Blake started a new job today! So, he's working as an editor for an animation company here in the city, and the show that he's cutting is (I'm totally serious) a live-action show about thumb wrestling starring real thumbs with luchador masks on. They shoot the show in a tiny little wrestling ring in his office, and they're fully stocked with assorted thumb costumes.

Intrigued? The show is called TWF: Thumb Wrestling Federation, if you want to check it out. What's that you say? You need more info (specifically, the convoluted backstory, a tale of treachery, revenge, and woe)? Well, I think that you'll find a simple search on Wikipedia will clear up any questions you might have. ;)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Git Along, Little Doggie

This is the puppy that I really, REALLY want to buy. I fell in love with him a few weeks ago when I was checking out the website for the breeder my coworker got her three dachshunds from. Imagine my surprise when I saw him today in a cowboy suit!! We're DEFINITELY a match made in heaven... Why, oh why, can't I get a dog?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Knocked Up

Just to be clear, folks-- I'm not making any big announcements here! I just want to talk a bit about the movie I saw last weekend, Knocked Up. For anyone who doesn't know, it's a comedy about an unlikely couple who try to forge a relationship after their drunken one-night stand results in an unplanned pregnancy. It's jam-packed with lots of folks you'll be happy to see again if you're a Freaks and Geeks fan (or if you just think guys with big beards are dead sexy).

The movie got me thinking about the ways that I deal (or don't deal) with unexpected change in my life. I've never been in a situation anywhere near as difficult as that scenario, but, absurdly, I still tend to dread any change in the status quo (regardless of how minor the change may be!). It's really pretty stupid to try to avoid impending change-- the baby is going to come whether or not you read the books or buy the crib, but things will probably go a lot smoother if you take the opportunity to prepare for the event! It's just as ridiculous to drag your feet when God is prompting you to make some changes. Sure, change can be seem like an inevitable pain in the neck, but it's almost always a huge source of joy and beauty in my life when I take a step back and adjust my attitude. In the movie, even though the road to the delivery room was scary, awkward, embarassing, and painful, the happiness the new parents experienced when they held their baby daughter far outweighed everything else. That's the way God works! It's like He says in the Book: "For I know the plans I have for you, [...] plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

So I'll try to relax, let go, "read the baby books", and get ready to roll with the punches knowing that God has great things in store for me if I can trust Him and follow Him down an unknown path!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Great American Sport

Yesterday I witnessed history in the making. In the titan clash of man vs. hot dog, Joey Chestnut rose above all others to set a new world record: 66 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. The humble lad from San Jose, California restored America's pride and joy by defeating the six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi in a dramatic upset. Even now as I pen this tale, salty tears of joy fill my eyes and the sweet smell of American victory caresses my nostrils.

Long story short, it was a great day. I got to see about 300 hot dogs get eaten in 12 minutes, there were people wearing straw boater hats, and I got to scream, "USA! USA! USA" until I was hoarse. Heck, I even got to eat a funnel cake for lunch!

I will say this, though-- Coney Island attracts a strange crowd...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Very First Post

It seems that such a momentous occasion as the first post from a freshman blogger should commence with a brief introduction from the author. However, my vocabulary is limited at best and my imagination is virtually nonexistent (thanks to my constant diet of trashy TV). So I guess I'll spare us all a lengthy treatise on the art of writing and I'll dive right in.

Consider yourself warned-- my loftiest goals are to publicly air my gripes about people who think it's cool to wear purple and to keep my readers supplied with fresh photos of dogs dressed like people. But if that's the kind of thing that tickles you pink, well, have I got a show for you!!

So saddle up, cowboys-- it's time to ride!