Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sweet Caroline

I love music.  I absolutely love it.  I also really love movies and TV shows.  I don't know why they are so dang entertaining to me, but they are.  It's also really easy for me to get addicted to a show.  So, take that combination, and what do you have?

GLEE!   :)

Haha.  Yes, I joined the hype.  I didn't watch it forever because I figured I'd probably get sucked into it, but the other day while procrastinating, I decided to watch the first episode.  Just the first episode.  I mean, that couldn't be bad, could it?  Just one episode.

Ha!  I was hooked.  But, not as hooked as you'd think.  I don't think, "OH MY GOSH I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT EPISODE!!"  I'm not obsessed like that (shocker!).  I just really love the music.  It's fantastic!  They have a lot of talent, and do some really amazing songs.  I also like the singing-and-dancing combination.

I'm not a fan of the drama that goes on in each episode, nor am I a big fan of many of the characters.  They're either too erratic, or too stereotypical for me to really like them.  I want to like Finn, but he's just so... stupid.  Haha.  There's no other way to put it.  It really turns me off when somebody uses a big word (that's not really that complicated) and he says something like, "I have no idea what you said."  He's cute, but he doesn't have very many neurons in that brain of his.

I like Mr. Schuester, kind of.  I think he makes a lot of dumb decisions, and that's also a turn-off.  I mean, a lot of dumb decisions.  But he's very attractive, has a spectacular voice, and just radiates energy.  So I like him... sometimes.

Rachel bugs me like crazy.

Puck, though... :)  Now there's my man!  His character is totally girl crazy, lies a lot, and is very promiscuous with his sexual life, but I like him because beneath all that, he actually has a brain, and has a kind heart.  I didn't like him so much in the beginning because he was being a stereotypical football player, throwing people in the dumpster, stuff like that.  But his voice, looks, and sarcasm have won me over.  This guy plays his character so well!  There are so many layers to him, and the actor does a really good job with him.  That's why I like him.

Also, because of this scene. :)  This song has been stuck in my head since I watched this episode three days ago.  It's at the top of my list of songs to learn on the guitar as soon as I get home.  I've heard this song sung by the Jonas Brothers, Neil Diamond, Elvis, David Archuleta, and even the Red Sox fans, but none of them came even close to how amazingly Puck sings this song!  His voice makes me want to melt.  So, enjoy!  I certainly did.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tom Riddle's Diary

You know what?  I don't think anyone can blame Ginny for writing in what she thought was supposed to be her journal, and then not telling anyone about it when it wrote back.  She was so lonely, and I bet it was nice to just talk to someone who seemed to understand her, and really listen.

She was only eleven years old, after all.  Poor Ginny.

You want to know something really cool about our modern world?  Someone has created a version of Tom Riddle's diary and put it on the internet.  Google "Tom Riddle's Diary" and click on the first link.  I'd link you to it, but my commputer's not being very friendly at the moment.  It's flawed, but what isn't?  It's kind of entertaining, actually.

Oh, don't worry!  Tom Riddle's not going to possess you because you write to him via the web.  He's long gone, and so are his horcruxes.

Did I just geek out?
           Yes, I did...  But I'm okay with that. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

For There Is Much To Learn

Every now and then, I requre a boost of interest in my subject of study, which is History.  I get bummed out about "Why can't I do this instead?" or just the simple fact of having tons of reading I have to do for my classes.  Getting out of those rutts is really hard, but defnitely possible.  All it takes is a new History. :)

I call it a "new History," but really, all it is the discovery of something in History that I haven't read about before.  As I cleaned my room tonight in anticipation for tomorrow's carpet cleaning, I popped in National Treasure to listen to.  A movie matchable in magnificence only by Batman Begins and Beauty and the Beast, it immediately made my cleaning duty a little bit more manageable.  When I got to the end, I watched the extra features for the first time, having never actually watched it on DVD.

In this extra features section, there was a learning bit about cryptography.  Cryptography has always fascinated me, even though finding hidden meanings and secret codes has never been a strength of mine (sadly).  That's probably why Sherlock Holmes and Dr. House are so intriguing to me, come to think of it.  Anyway, in this wonderful little section of information, I learned about Cardinal Grilles.

In the early seventeenth century, Cardinal Richelieu of France (yes indeed, the same Cardinal of The Three Musketeers fame) was obsessed with cryptology.  Cryptology is the practice and study of hiding information.  Through his obsession, he developed the grille.

To create a grille message, you start out with a normally-written message.
Then, lay a piece of cardboard on top of your message and cut out holes over the words of the true message.  By creating this device, your normal message becomes something else entirely.
Being without cardboard and a box cutter, I simply used a piece of paper and a nail file.
Cardinal Grilles became one of the most popular methods of sending secret messages.  Even though the invention of morse code came in 1865, Cardinal Grilles were used heavily in WWI, the most intense of which had over one hundred slots.

Doesn't this little piece of History make you eager for more?  Doesn't it just make you want to reach over and grab the History book closest to you and read it cover to cover?
That's what I feel like when I learn something new about my beloved History.

And one day, I hope that's what my students feel like too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Minnie the Minolta

I finally broke out the q tips and paper towels.  Have you ever seen a cleaner vintage film camera?  :)  I'm so excited to take pictures with this baby.  I've got a roll of black and white 35mm film ready to go!
I've dubbed her Minnie.  I imagine Felix is quite enamored with her, but she's quite a bit older than he is (Minnie is a 1971, whereas Felix is a 2007).  Who knows?  Perhaps his digital ease will win her over eventually.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Tupperware of Cookies

For several days, I've been looking forward to today.  It's April Fool's Day!  :)  That, to me, is synonymous with "birthday," because I was born on April 1st... some years ago.  I've always loved my birthdays.  In fact, I can't ever remember not having a good one.

Last year, my sisters and my mom threw me a surprise bash (that I partly knew about).  I was still surprised, though, because one of my friends scared me half to death when he jumped out and screamed, "SURPRIIIIISE!"  There were also people there that my sisters and best friend had invited--people that I didn't think even cared that I existed, yet they came.  There was also the slightly awkward presence of all four boys that I'd ever kissed...  But the party was really amazing.  I'd always wanted a surprise party! :)

Looking back at it, I realize that the gifts I remember receiving were the ones that really meant something.  I vaguely recall a book, and a pen, and a picture frame, but only after thinking about it really hard for a few minutes did I even remember those.  One of my best friends gave me a HUGE bag full of Supernatural inside jokes!  I laughed and laughed and laughed, even though nobody else knew what the heck was going on.  There was even an apple pie!

Another best friend gave me the item currently hanging above my bed: a canvas of pictures of my trio of high school friends that she decorated herself.  She printed and cut out the pictures, made a collage, and added animals and flowers.  I was shocked, because nobody outside my family had ever spent that much time on something just for me.  She also gave me a Batman blanket, which I cherish greatly.

So, today, I cut open the package sent from my parents in Texas to my apartment in Utah.  Inside was a note from my mom, telling me that this was for my birthday, and that was for Easter, and not to open them until the appointed days.  She reminded me that "it's the thought that counts."  I interpreted that to mean that she was worried that whatever she sent wasn't going to be something I was very excited about.

Then, moving aside the colorful grass stuff that emerges in stores around the time of Easter, I saw the tupperware of cookies that she mentioned.  Earlier in the day, while talking to my seven-year-old niece, she'd said, "Did you get you package today and eat the cookies?"  I laughed and told her I hadn't.  "Oh... Well, surprise!" she said, completely undaunted.  So, I knew they were there, but what I saw wasn't what I'd been expecting.

My all-time favorite thing to eat in this world is a home-made-and-decorated sugar cookie.  I just love them.  I love making them.  I love making the frosting into different colors.  I love pouring copious amounts of sprinkles on them.  They're fun to make, and taste so, so good!  I think I like them so much because they're something that takes a little bit of effort, but not a whole lot of talent, so anybody can make them.  Little kids can make them.  They're the perfect food.

So, I have to say that my excitement about the cookies in this tupperware was absolutely paramount.  I opened the lid and took one out immediately, biting into it and relishing the sweetness and the melt-in-your-mouth frosting.  Upon examining them, I noticed the subtleties that proved my mom really had made them.  The way they were frosted--the way the frosting was spread evenly, in swirls, going right to the edges but leaving about a quarter of a centimeter between the edge of the frosting and the edge of the cookie--that was my mom.  The sparseness of the sprinkles--that was my mom.  The time and the love that she'd put into those cookies was completely obvious.  She knew I loved them, so she'd made them and sent them to me, just because it's my birthday.

As I sat down on the couch with a couple on a plate (I knew I was kidding myself, I was definitely going back for more), and a glass of milk, I had a really odd reaction to the simple tupperware full of home-made-and-decorated sugar cookies.  My eyes started to sting, and my vision blurred as tears threatened to fall down my face.  I know it was a very weird thing to do, crying over a tupperware of cookies...

It was a simple act--my mom making sugar cookies and sending me a package for my birthday.  But it really meant a lot to me.  They were my favorite, and she knew that.

Sometimes it still shocks me just how much my mother loves me. :)