might as well

I don't usually like 'real' things in my blog but it's Sunday so I thought I might as well preach.

To all the kids who "are just different" - typically the weird ones grow up to lead more interesting lives anyways. So keep an open mind and stay true to yourself. Once you can love yourself and start filling your own mold, you'll realize others' opinions and expectations don't matter so much. In the end you'll be fulfilled and happy, unlike the jerks attempting to build self-confidence by insulting others.

And to the jerks: work to get over your issues. And open your eyes. The world and humanity have so much weird and beautiful and amazing to offer, but you'll miss most of it if you let prejudices blind you.

It always shocks me to hear of ppl hurting others based on differences. Differences keep the world interesting. Without them we're all the same; and the same gets monotonous. But we get uncomfortable when someone pushes our boundaries or rearranges our system. We strike out because we don't want to admit our discomfort or challenge our mentality.

Maybe if we embrace the discomforts and put them out there, honest and vulnerable, we'll have an easier time at addressing and growing past them. Maybe honesty, love, and receptiveness - from all sides - are the way to go.

Now there's an idea.


She does exist!

Yes, I'm still around. Actually still around and without much changed, i.e. no excuse for the recent posting-hiatus. Except for a bad case of writer's block that was delivered straight from the demons' hands of Land of Lame. I'm sitting at the same computer, in the same house and town, and w/ a job disturbingly similar to the woes of graduate research. Except much more enjoyable because I get to leave it all after 8 hours, and at the end of each week I get two f r e e days. Research free. Research-thinking free. Research-worrying free. Fantastic.

But apparently I have EVEN less inspiration for writing. I blame this on two things:  1. I graduated and thus have no more graduate-school angst to draw from. 2. I'm reading "On Writing Well," which is really an incredible book. W. Zinsser makes reading about writing (but excludes arithmetic*) actually entertaining. I look forward to reading it and have learned a lot. So a great experience, except...now I'm afraid to write. Because it will suck. And be too wordy. And there's already enough suck-y, wordy crap out there so why add more? Well because I can. And because I need practice writing something people may actually read (that's what makes it scary).

But that's enough for today.

The title's an M&M commercial reference, btw:

*Zing! This had me cracking up. And then I added the "zing;" it's nearly too much.


Bottoms up

Let me paint last night's scene for you:

Day:  July 14th, 2010.  Evening.  Stifling hot.

Setting:  W. Lafayette, IN.  Backyard-slash-jungle.  Hammock.  Sadly, there is no sign of a refreshing pool.

Dinner:  A beer* and baked beans straight from their family-sized can.  Not heated, not cooled, just straight.

Me:  Lying in the hammock in red high school football shorts and a green bikini top circa 1992.  Munching on my baked beans and sipping some beer.

You may find yourself wondering how I became so glamorous...  I often wonder this myself.
No, this isn't my hammock. I just wanted you to think 
the phrase "banana hammock" today.

*It wasn't actually a beer, but a Woodchuck. Beer paints a better picture though.


Jay Z says it'll make me feel brand new

New York, that is.  The Mama, sister, and I are headed that way this weekend.  Ignore the composed use of periods, I'm very excited. (!!)

I'm trying to play it cool but the truth is I'm a bit worried.  See, I've developed this self-deception that I'm quite the fashionista here in the Midwest.  Charming, chic, and fierce are adjectives I readily use to describe myself.*  Fact of the matter is, I'm afraid those suave NY'ers are going to serve me up a dose of reality with a smack of fabulous shoes and haircuts square to the face.  The angst of it has me practically chewing my nails and rocking autistically.

So I decided I needed to demonstrate my class and convince you all (because, obviously, my 2 readers are in NY right now) of my stately style.  To do so I have composed this photo:

Ah, and I've succeeded at amusing myself again.  You're welcome for sharing this exemplary artwork with you.

One last thing, because Frank is the man:

*I hope you're comprehending the sarcasm here.


that's Ms Master if ya nasty!

That's right, defense - check. I can now sign all my thank-you notes as:  Name, M.Sc.  If I was prone to d-baggery that is.  But it is quite awesome to be done.  And the night of my success was celebrated w/ friends while sporting my brand new t-shirt created by a fabulous lovie:

 "That's MS Master if ur NASTY"

That's a Janet reference if you didn't catch it:

And of course the back:

 "ANSC Hottie"

"ANSC" is acronym for Animal Sciences because that's what my degree is in. We embrace our nerdiness to its very core. And of course "Hottie" is acronym for me. ...Ha. Hahaha. Sigh, I love when I crack myself up.

As you can imagine, there was a whole lot of this:
"No my name ain't baby. It's Stacey. Ms Masta if ya nasty!"
as the night and gin-induced haze became thicker.

Obviously I now have too much time on my hands, allowing my to tinker with my webcam. It's unfortunate that after all that tinkering I was still unable to take a decent photo...  Alright, gotta go get my nasty groove on.



Write thesis - check.  (Please, hold the applause.)

Which got me thinking:  In a month's time, I'm not going to be a student anymore.  Huh...

Which got me thinking:  WTF am I going to be when I grow up?

So here are my top 5 (not in any particular order, although dancer is prob at the top...obviously I'm not taking a realistic stance here):

1.  A dancer - contemporary, hip hop, jazz, pop and lockin', So You Think You Can Dance-style.

2.  A rock star - KOL, Andrew Bird, TVOTR, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Animal Collective, Feist-style.

3.  A professional activist - not the kind that just holds the picket signs and yells absurdities while tied to a tree; the bad-assery kind that actually gets things done, i.e. Harvey Milk-style or MLK, Jr.-style

4.  A nomad -                                                        ...I don't have an example for this one

5.  An author - honest, intelligent, eye opening, made me laugh, made me cry, didn't want it to end-style

Decisions, decisions.


just because

I don't have anything of importance to say. But here's another Florence + the Machine song you should become acquainted with:

And another one for good measure:

This is why I need to be a rock star.  I already dance like this every morning in front of my mirror, but no one takes notice.  If I was a rock star than I would get paid to do it in a room full of mirrors - How dope would that be?! (I don't know where "dope" came from...Sorry for the flashback.)

Some more dope dancing from Feist to illustrate my own (Imagine the skills required to do this without the moving walkway.  Yeah, skillz.):

This, on the other hand, is NOT within the realm of my talent.  Unfortunately...

Hell, I can't even compete w/ the 7-year olds:

(For the record, I don't think children should be taught to gyrate with such talent.)


I love a medical mystery

I came across this story recently due to a mention in an Allure magazine.  Brooke Greenberg is 16-years old in that she was born 16 years ago, but is only 2 1/2 feet tall, weighs 16 pounds, has 10-year old bones, 6-year old teeth, and a brain that is less than 1-year old.  Due to a mutation in the genes controlling development and aging, her body is not developing as a whole unit but rather as bits and pieces aging at their own rate independent of each other.  It's quite amazing.

(left to right) Older sisters, Caitlin, age 4, and Emily, 8, with Brooke, 1
Photo from Fox News.

(left to right) 11 years later, Brooke, now age 12, and younger sister Carly, 9.
Photo from ABC News.

You can go here for more photos.  It's interesting to notice that in the photos where Brooke is 1-3ish years, she still has her baby fat, but as she's gotten older it seems as though she has thinned out and lost the baby fat (as you would expect any growing child to).

I think it's especially intriguing to hear her family describe her personality.  Like this quote from her sister, Caitlin: She looks like a 6-month-old, but she kind of has a personality of a 16-year-old. [End quote]  And reports from her mom about how she likes shopping and rock music.  Now I'm no expert in babies, but it seems as though her mind is developed past that of a typical infant even though she is unable to voice it.  Makes you wonder what she's thinking or if she is aware that, somehow, she is different from her sisters.

Also mind boggling is her ability to surpass health obstacles thrown her way.  Such as seven perforated stomach ulcers, surviving a stroke with no apparent damage, and sleeping away a brain tumor (re: this article).  Seems as though there's more than some unsynchronized development going on here.

Frankly, not only Brooke, but her family as well, is a novelty to society.  They don't abandon her; they don't leave her w/ the nurses to go about their lives and play with all the other grown-ups.  They stick by her side and love her for the person she is.  "The Greenbergs take no vacations, have few nights out and involve Brooke in as many family activities as possible. 'To go to a swimming pool for the summer, or belong to a summer club ... we tried all those things, and it's lacking something,' her mother said. 'Brooke's not there. We're not a family without Brooke.' (re: this article)." 

It's settled, Brooke and her family are awesome.

 Brooke, age 16; mom, Melanie; dad, Howard; and sister Caitlin, 19.
Photo from Fox News.

And now I have to rant about some stupid people (Ok, they're probably not stupid, but they say some stupid things.).
First: A quote (re: this article) from Dr. Richard F Walker of Clinical Intervention in Aging:  Brooke is a unique individual because she has a mutation in the developmental gene that prevents her from aging, and she’s in the developmental phase...There’s no hope for her, but what she brings to science is information on how we may be able to delay aging. [End quote]
Are we as a society actually so paranoid of growing old that the first thing we think of from Brooke's story is the Fountain of Youth*?  Take a second to think about this.  Brooke's genetic anomaly seems to be affecting, not aging, but her development, which is at the opposite end of the spectrum as aging.  Her body doesn't enable her to walk, no coordination to dance or jump.  Her brain doesn't allow her to learn higher levels of communication; she clearly has an evolving personality and preferences, but she can't speak about them or write them down or express these through sign language.  Now, do we really want to dabble in these genetic mutations just so our skin stays smooth and our bodies remain enabled indefinitely?  Maybe there's a reason for becoming old and decrepit and dying.  Maybe it's the circle of life (yes, that was a Lion King reference).  Maybe we should get over our mortality and accept it.

Second, and related to first, is Greg (I don't know Greg but I'm using his name because he did.), he left this comment on a 2005 blog post that was debating whether or not Brooke's story was a hoax (At that time there wasn't much media coverage.).  Quoting Greg:  If this girl really is a medical miracle then the human race deserves to have their best take a look. Genetic anomalies like this are probably rare and maybe would be hundreds of years to have another chance to study. [End quote]  Really, Greg?  Really?!  The human race DESERVES to take a look.  So are you saying we DESERVE to poke at every single abnormality out there, without considering the desires of the abnormality's owner, the PERSON?  Really?  If so, can we have our "best take a look" into how you came to make statements reeking of such douche-baggery?

Ok, I'm done ranting.

*For the record, conquistador Juan Ponce de León, didn't actually mention the alleged Fountain of Youth in his diaries (Yes, boys keep diaries.); he stuck to the much more rational claim that he was searching for gold.  The connection between the two was made by the historian, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo; turns out though, he probably made it up to gain political favor (re: wikialwayscredible).  Damn politicians. 


is that hummus on my arse?

I just realized that I haven’t kept you, dear readers, updated on my Body-by-Glamour-destroy-my-lazy-and-gluttonous-ways affair (re: this post). Before I let you fool yourselves into thinking otherwise, this was completely intentional on my part. It’s been a bust. I think I kept with the program for approximately oh, a month, or say three to two-ish weeks, maybe. Now before you get all judgmental and squinty eyed and pointing fingers, just remember that I did warn you of the likelihood of this outcome. (And in my defense, I've been able to recommence my goals of sporting a teenage-boy body type simply by not caving to crazy emotional eating urges and by running and letting the wonders of yoga kick my ass.).

Ultimately I decided the whole B by G ordeal was too much effort, and I have much more important things to do… just take my word on that.

Another reason for the abandonment was that keeping track of calories made me think all the more about yummy food. And aside from that becoming quite annoying, it is, in fact, the opposite of ideal for weight loss. MSN concurs. See, they gathered all of their internet scientists* and came up with this article** that tells you how to think yourself skinny. For example, MSN specialists* report that skinny people take a care-free approach to eating and food – they just don’t really think about it and so their schedules are not contingent on where their next meal will come from. In dire contrast, chunkers think about food and eating constantly – whether they’re having too much, what’s good, what’s bad, too much fat, too sugary, too salty, not enough fiber, blah blah blah (Annoying already, eh?). The solution? Be care-free! Think like the skinny people and the world will finally be right!

Skinnies, again according to the authority* of MSN, take that same care-free approach and apply it to hunger. Stomach growling? Not a big deal! McDonalds is waiting right around the corner with a Big Mac to fulfill those familiar pangs. OK, so probably not the go-to answer for skinnies, but the point is that they know they’ll get fed at some point so it’s not imperative to address the rumbly in the tumbly right away. Chunkers, on the other hand, feel it necessary to rush to answer the stomach’s beck and call.

For example, that’s what happened to me after I went grocery shopping this evening. In all honesty, I went brownie and vanilla ice cream shopping because that’s what the stomach growls have been requesting ever since a certain hormonal rage reared its ugly head. However, upon entering the grocery store I was coerced into participating in the tangled web of marketing and bright packaging and so was forced to browse the aisles. And thank my lucky stars I did because, low and behold, hummus – ONE dollar (If you do not know, hummus typically costs 4ish dollars plus your firstborn, so this was quite the find.). You can bet I loaded up. And then I predictably had to pick up some pita bread for the delicious hummus and veggie sandwiches that follow this sort of discovery. Eventually I found the brownies and ice cream and made it out the door.

I was planning on running and yoga-ing once I got home, but I had to do a couple other errands first. Being the smart cookie that I am, I decided to gnaw on some pita and hummus whilst fulfilling these burdensome responsibilities. That way when I got home I wouldn’t be hungry, the food would be digested, and I would be able to slip into my running shoes and take off like a gazelle.

So I tore into the hummus and pita while driving around. Nyum nyum nyum.

I got to my office and ran in to retrieve some things when I noticed that the butt of my pants felt a bit moist. So I wiped my hand down my backside and what did I find? Why, a glob of hummus of course. If you haven't been acquanted with hummus, it is a creamy consistency and tan in color. So a glob of hummus may in some ways resemble a glob of yummy tan poo. On my ass. Hawt.

Now if I would’ve taken the MSN skinny approach I wouldn’t have felt the burning need to answer those nagging hunger pangs, as soon as possible, in my car while driving down the highway; and I would have successfully walked through the hallways without hummus on my arse. And maybe it would become a habit for me to be care-free about food and hunger, and I would one day be effortlessly thin. But then I wouldn’t have produced this awesome blog post, and you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to waste five minutes. Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me.

In case you were wondering, I also made the brownies this evening. And they were remarkable in all of their melted-ice-cream-and-brownie-goo glory. AND they were successful at chasing away the irrationally rageful lady hormones. Two points, brownies. Zero points, Body by Glamour and MSN experts*.

*If you haven't picked up on my sarcasm yet, I don't give much credit to the expertise of MSN articles.
**This article does actually have a few interesting points, though I can think of lots of people that don't fit their descriptions of skinnies and chunkers. Hmm...goes to show we weren't made from cookie cutters.


P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-E spells:

So if no other good comes of writing this thesis, at least it has provided me with sufficient voids of procrastination to be filled with grandiose explorations into various websites. This greatly speaks of the pure quantity of procrastination going into this endeavor, because I usually don't have nearly enough energy to force myself to focus on items I've dubbed inconsequential to my survival (say, for example, tacos) for more than a few seconds, minutes max. But place a daunting task in front of me involving hours of sitting and reading and ruminating and writing and deleting and rewording and more ruminating, and apparently I'm all ears (Figuratively speaking of course, as I am typically reading these items-by-which-to-procrastinate.).

Here I will provide you with some recent developments (Hold on to your hats!):

This video:

about this blog's subsequent book:

Upon coming across this I initially, and understandably, thought, "Ah, how nice to finally receive some recognition." Much to my dismay, however, the author has failed to devise a post about me.
No, but seriously, how adorable is that song and its story? I usually gag in response to matters this adorable, but this one may have actually caused me to squeal in delight.

TWO (and a half).
This trailer:

Because I particularly love watching awkward social situations played out onscreen; second only to seeing them played out in real life.
Oh, and this delicious film of awkward is about the going-ons of Davy Rothbart and his FOUND magazine, which also proves to be quite entertaining.

(One and two were discovered whilst carousing the new PostSecrets.)

This guy has multi-strain resistant TB that he contracted while tramping around S America. He's been in quarantine since December 9, 2009 and has since been dutifully providing us with online entertainment. Plus he's Australian which takes me back to my days in Brisbane, by the ocean, drinking boxed wine, not writing a thesis...
You should watch this one: Life in Quarantine
Or this one: F* you, I'm a Ukelele
They're prob my faves.

This song rawks:

Apparently this vid is a recent remake though (which has left snobby music fans with their panties all in a twist (according to youtube comments)...perhaps I'll post a rant about obnoxious music snobs some other day.), but you can check out the original one here: bad-assery. I must admit to enjoying the original better; though that doesn't mean you have to. Regardless, I dare you not to wave your hands around as you shimmy your hips to this one.

This post has made me realize that I've failed to post much original material lately; recent posts have mainly equated to synopses of others' talent (Let me say post one more time: post.). Sigh, that makes me sad.


I don't know what it is...

But I love this band.

I have this nagging feeling though, whilst rocking out to their anthem, that I may be enjoying it a bit too much and that perhaps they're not really all that great. Maybe they do have just another recycled garage sound, but something about hearing their angsty lyrics and grungy vocals and I warp back to high school; and I've got the windows rolled down in my 4-speed tercel, the radio is up as loud as it goes (i.e. not loud), and my single responsibility is jamming while driving down country roads juxtaposed only to cornfields. Not a care in the world but which cornfield we're going to drink bad beer in during the upcoming weekend or "Hmmm..maybe I should highlight my hair tonight." And I can legitimately laugh at all the grown-ups when they ask what I'm going to do when I grow up; because, c'mon, I'm in high school and driving a tomato red tercel, careers are the last thing on my mind.

Check out the doughnut tires!... I miss the doughnut tires!

Oh, nostalgia, you're not helping me write this thesis. Le sigh.


I said darlin' why so blue?

If you're feeling as bitchy as me today, turn up the volume, bob your head to the beat, and start jammin'...It's good

Ah, give it up for tiny under-age boys rocking it out.  I mean, if they can live their dream, surely you and I can too, right?

Now - you shake.


I heart to fart. I heart him too.

Disclaimer: Bodily functions discussed in this post. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

I’ve found a candidate for an SO (aka Significant Other) who may be around for…a long time. I don’t say things like “forever” because I think it’s silly to make plans with “forever” in mind. I mean, you should consider that your “forever” may develop schizophrenia in its 20’s. And lots of “forevers” die of malaria. And some “forevers” have unfortunate bungee jumping experiences. And lions and bears sometimes eat “forevers.” Makes you rethink “forever” a bit, doesn’t it?

So anyways, a long-time SO – I think I’ve found one.

“Gasp! How can you say such things, oh great Blogger?!” you ask.

Well, because. It’s all very logical you see. I happen to have a crappy colon (Teehee, pun intended.), which the all-knowing M.D.s have all-knowingly dubbed “IBS,” i.e. “You have a crappy colon that doesn’t function correctly and we don’t know why but we’ll blame stress.” So, if I may be frank, I’m quite the gassy individual. And a good fart to me is like good sssssssssstrawberry shortcake (Gotcha with that one, didn’t I?).

“OK, all-knowing Blogger, where is the logic?” you ask.

Simple: I can fart around this long-time SO candidate. And I’m not talking dainty, girly farts smelling of roses and butterflies, I’m talking a fart of mass-destructive powers; farts that clear the room every time, and clear the room for at least 20 – 30 minutes, minimum; farts that could bring down Zeus. Yeah, they’re serious. And I decided awhile back I shouldn't waste my time with an SO who I couldn’t comfortably fart around; because, honestly, if I had to hold them in I think my guts would spontaneously combust (There’s a reason that stuff needs to leave your body.).

And, really, if you’re going to shoot for almost-forever, a fart-tolerator is much more practical than a flower-buyer. Because flowers die way before forever, but as long as my crappy colon stays with me (which I’m guessing will be forever in all ways relevant to my earthly existence), I’m pretty sure my awesome farts will accompany me on all of my dates. Plus I think inappropriate bodily functions are funny; and I like an SO I can laugh with.

So, it’s settled, I can fart big nasty farts while sitting next to him and he just makes a you’re-so-gross face and then we make out. Yes, prime candidate.


Body by Glamour, Body for Me

I’ve found myself in a slump. OK, let’s be honest, this is not a new slump. This is a slump 2, 3-ish years in the making. And, ok, maybe it’s not a slump. Maybe it’s a crater or a canyon, scaled by mighty cliffs.

Anyways, I’m down. Call me a victim of grad school, being lost by the wayside, directionless-ness, binge eating, alcohol drinking, and stress sleeping. All in all, a good experience made better by good habits.

But I’m ready to get out now. To be realistic, on the scale of real-people-contributing-to-society, my slump would prob be classified grade A ditch, max. Perhaps a ditch deepening w/ each spoonful of ice cream but regardless, only a ditch. So, don’t get your hopes up, my tactics for removing myself from it won’t be too severe. No reason to let it deepen further though, bring on the 7 dwarves, let’s whistle while we work, hand me the hammer and nails, we’re building a ladder out of here.

First strike: binge eating and lethargy.
Weapon: Body by Glamour (BBG).

Le sigh.

This is a very sad confession for me. You may not understand if you don’t know me; but I used to find smug satisfaction in being a fairly fit individual, having muscle and litheness for no reason at all. Not for any sporting activity, as coordination is one of those skills where the critical age for development passed me by. Not for photos, as I’ve also failed to develop any grand photogenic qualities. Regardless of the reasons for my past eagerness to assume the body of a 16-year old boy, I always scoffed at work-outs in magazines such as Glamour or Cosmo or anything lacking a cover featuring a well-oiled and photo-shopped individual pretending to sweat.

However, given my present wimpy state, I think it appropriate that I come off my high horse and turn to these devices I long neglected for (fingers crossed) a radical change in my physique. Plus, BBG looks fairly all-inclusive (exercises + nutrition tips + sufficiently annoying motivation from Jillian Michaels (aka Biggest Loser guru (She’s the one w/ the ferocious eyebrows.))) and is free.

Now for those of you rubbing your hands together in anxious excitement, eyes wide with anticipation, and for those of you w/ mule-like willpower, who, upon setting your mind on something, soldier on w/ disgusting fervor until your goal is mounted upon your wall, thinking that you will cheer me on and provide me with the necessary motivation for whipping this ass into shape – allow me to forewarn you: I suck at all tasks concerning the annihilation of deep-rooted habits.

Exhibit A: Last year I decided to become vegetarian for moral purposes.  Later that year, I vacationed w/ S.O. (Significant Other) to England in the summer and decided to allow for a hiatus in my vegetarianism long enough to enjoy the cheeses and sausages that accompanied afternoon tea.  Back in the States, however, Veggie Me was back on.  That is, until one haunting weekend with a family BBQ. Let’s just say that after the BBQ disbanded (where I successfully remained vegetarian) many cocktails and much debauchery followed. I returned home, a bit off my senses, to ravage a refrigerator full of leftover bratwursts  and hamburgers and tartar sauce. I’ll spare you the details; it wasn’t pretty. Suffice it to say, Vegetarian Me soon retired.

Exhibit B, C, D,…, ∞: All of the eating habit overhauls I have tried to instill upon myself in the past few years. Fail, fail, and fail.

What can I say? I like to eat; which was never a problem until I decided to deal with my current loathsome situation (you know, that of being privileged enough to gain higher education) by becoming a lethargic mess of lazy.

But it all stops here. I will graduate soon and I don’t want my induction into society to be one for a lethargic mess of lazy. Posts of my experience may follow (Using “may” allows for a bit of a cushion in the department of me not actually following through, but not having my failure blatantly exposed here because I did only say I may post.). I’ve even considered including some awesome “Before” photos like in Glamour magazine, where the woman is standing in an unflattering stance in an unflattering bathing suit; but that's doubtful, as it would involve me throwing all pride to the wind. [Tangent: Isn’t it curious that the “After” photo is always the woman in a flattering black dress, hair and make-up exquisite, one-foot forward to best accentuate her curves? Hmmm…]


the best hipsters, anorexics do make

So the other night, a couple of my friends and I traverse across the river to get some dinner. [Background tip: For those of you not familiar w/ “across the river,” it refers to that half of town not associated with campus, i.e. that half of town where undergraduates have not yet learned to venture due to the general higher prices and increased need of a vehicle and driver.] We settle upon a small hot-dog-joint-slash-bar dubbed DT Kirbys. Immediately you should recognize the charm of this establishment by its status as not only a hot dog/burger/fries restaurant but also as a fully stocked bar. Its charm also arises in the facts that the venue is tiny, has original hard-wood floors, minimal and crappy decorating, and contains a TV set in one side of the front display windows, opposite of bleachers in the other display window, for your convenient sidewalk viewing.

So my two friends and I nestle into one of the close-quarters tables and begin to glance over our coffee-stained menus. Our waiter stops by to take our orders (notably without pad and paper because he is that good). He, indubitably doing his part to add to DT’s allure, is the quintessential across-the-river hipster [Background tip 2: Again for those of you not familiar w/ “across the river,” it is teeming with an unusual number of hipsters for a Midwestern rural college town. We have yet to determine where these hipsters come from. Perhaps they sleep all day only to come out after dusk. And perhaps water frightens them, preventing them from venturing back across the river to be spotted near our campus-dwellings. Or perhaps they’re all hiding out in the liberal arts buildings laboring away at their novels and poems and soulful paintings, and thus we have yet to cross their paths as we toil away with our soulless science.]. My two friends and I proceed to get into a discussion (see above, background tip 2) regarding these beloved hipsters whom we have repeatedly observed from afar, furtively noting their fashion sense (or, at times, lack thereof).

Sam remarks that most hipsters aren’t particularly friendly. Lina and I mentally scan the breadth of our hipster acquaintances and promptly nod our heads in agreement. Now, I hate to make broad-sweeping stereotypical statements so let me quickly express that I don’t think this is true for aaaaaaall hipsters, but in general this does seem to fit the mold. For example, Hipster DT Waiter - not particularly friendly. He was a fine waiter, don’t get me wrong, and (almost) promptly fulfilled all of our requests. But, there was no service with a smile. The tricky thing about hipsters, though, is that you can’t take their cold-shoulder-first-impression personally because they will often come around for a second impression and engage you with a witty comment or, if you're really lucky, an actual exchange of sentences. This interaction will inevitably leave you with a smile and a bit of hop in your step as you walk away thinking, “That’s right; that just happened. Hipster Acquaintance just talked to me. Who’s the cool cat now bitches?” (Of course it's still not you, because you just used "cool cat" to refer to yourself. Lose.)

Progressing through our intellectual conversation, I mention that the best hipsters are the skinniest hipsters. To get an A+ hipster grade I’m thinking you need to have a bit of an anorexic-look to you. To be fair to those of you who enjoy food, crack addiction should serve the same purpose. You know what I’m talking about though, that peakish appearance that is only achievable after a significant period of deprivation. No amount of exercise and sweat will achieve this appearance, for these things will build muscle and bulk – both, no no’s for hipsterdom.

I think this criterion is useful to hipsters in two ways. First, it acts as a discriminator: the hipster population will quickly plateau once the supply of individuals willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve a peakish look exhausts itself (or those individuals w/ fantastic metabolism). Secondly, the wispy look of being under-fed is favorable to the hipster style.
Think about it, chicken legs make the best legs for sporting skinny jeans and loafers/chucks.

Tiny biceps look the best in baggy tank tops.

A pixie-face best accentuates oversized sunglasses.

A hollow torso provides the best landscape for an oversized flannel.

A v-neck is flattered best by piercing collarbones.
pic courtesy of the one Mitchell Grant Gardiner

And no butt makes skinny jeans’ butt sag in the best way.
My friends and I decided the facts that 1) hipsters are always hungry and 2) their balls are tucked in a bit too tight, inevitably explain the perpetual chip on their shoulder… And this is why, much to my dismay, I will never successfully become a hipster. “Pass the cheeseburgers please.”


"a tragedy that didn't have to happen"

Quote from CNN coverage of the death of Sea World's trainer Dawn Brancheau.. seems a bit redundant; I mean, aren't most tragedies ones that didn't really have to happen?

Especially those involving massive wild animals we hole up in bland pocket-sized compartments for our convenient viewing and entertainment?

Quotes that I especially love from this article:

"'we went down to look at his full body underneath the isolation tank,' she said. 'Everything seemed calm and OK. The trainer was laying down on him and kissing his nose and rubbing him.' But the scene changed quickly, she said."...Hmm, maybe the whale didn't interpret kissing and rubbing quite like we humans might.

"Jeffrey Ventre, a former SeaWorld trainer, described...Tillikum (that's the whale by the way, 'Shamu' is just his stage name apparently) as 'a great animal' who has sired 13 offspring. 'He's huge, he's impressive; people just see him and they go 'Wow!' He's a money stream as well.'" ...Wow, awesome example of the way the zoo-community views its animals even while, wait for it...:
"Fred Felleman, a marine consultant in Seattle, Washington, said keeping the social animals in what amounts to isolation is bound to cause problems. 'The fact is we don't have the facilities to adequately accommodate not only the physical needs, the psychological and social needs of these animals,' he told CNN affiliate KIRO-TV." ...Huh, mind-blowing conundrum we've found ourselves in here... Reminds me of elephants. And polar bears. And any other large, cuddly, impressive mammal we rip from their natural environment for their own good...oh wait, no, for the fact that we want to rape the environment of all its natural resources.

Quote from a CBS article:
"Chuck Tompkins, curator of zoological operations at SeaWorld Orlando indicated that the marine park plans to continue using Tilikum in its shows. 'We need to evaluate our handling procedures and how we interact with him .... I can guarantee we will make any change necessary,' he said." ...Um no you won't; because you can't afford to make all of the necessary changes. And the millions and thousands of dollars you put into safely parading your impressive inmates could be put to much greater use in conserving their natural environments so we don't have to resort to captivity.

Sorry for the rant, I just needed to release some of my frustrations w/ human ignorance towards captive wild animals.

And p.s. I in no way want to lessen the loss of  Dawn Brancheau by this post. My rantings are in response to the timeless ignorance that society has displayed when addressing issues of conservation and animal use.


tiny biceps, chicken legs, and bad bangs

But beautiful bass, scintillating lyrics, unadulterated guitar, seductive drumming, and an oh-so-savory voice... Man, I heart them.

Some more old school KOL:

Love love the vibe of this video - Caleb's Farrah-hair and the constant color blocks, this one's definitely for you hipsters on your 70's hand-me-down couch, too cool for school, tokin' it up and passing the Doritos. (yes, i did just use 'vibe' and 'tokin' it up' in a sentence)

Cue some more current KOL (minus the bad bangs):
Not better, not worse, just different.

One more, for the crazy eyes:

Le sigh 

And this is why I want to Bonnaroo..
Cause I like to dance all night (it summons the day)

But... that's how I play
    Yeah, that's how I play

I said who are you?  ... Don't matter who you are - cause We dance all night and dance all day
 (re: Manhattan)
(I know, I'm lame...I could do this all day though)

i need some bonnaroo in my life

That's all...just expressing my yearning to live in puddles of filth and harmonies for a weekend.

Virtuoso artists on my list?
KOL (of course)
The Temper Trap
Stevie Wonder
Norah Jones
Regina Spektor
Avett Bros
Zac Brown Band
Gaslight Anthem
Nitty Gritty Dirtband
Miranda Lambert
Manchester Orchestra
Cross Canadian Ragweed

I could always go for a little Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, TVOTR, Andrew Bird, and Bloc Party as well. I'll just hope the Bonnaroo planning committee happens to read this post and takes it to heart..

Bonnaroo-bound 2010?...


going exinct..

So I've been blog-surfing lately (a sport much less thrilling than surf-surfing, but much more conducive to Indiana), and have noticed the bounty of blogs focused on families and children and pregnancies. Apparently making your own batch of humans is a big deal. I think I missed the train though, probably didn’t make it to the platform.

I almost (but not quite) feel as though my DNA is missing a link somewhere that tells me to succeed reproductively and procreate. - Hmm, maybe this is an example of natural selection taking control... That's an unfortunate thought regarding the awesomeness of my genotype though, so I'm just going to ignore it. - I currently have no interest in being a part of the propagation of my or my family's genes. And, really, I just can't quite empathize with other people's propagation adventures. I try to imagine myself in their place - "Happy in life as a mom and a wife!" (read that in a blog today) - but I usually get distracted by a shiny object and accidentally find my mind wandering off-trail from family planning and on-trail to adventures that will inevitably leave me poor and w/ a broken appendage.

Luckily I have siblings to carry on the family name while I'm busy playing. Maybe that's the secret of all the extinct species, they were actually the ones having all the fun (unfortunately 'were' is the key word here..).


my ever-evolving reading list

Books I've bought and have yet to finish (If crossed out, they've been conquered.):
Look Me in the Eye: My Life w/ Asperger's, John Elder Robinson - brilliance and honesty; an inspiration
Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin (...I know, it's despicable that I haven't read this yet..)
Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Michael Behe
In a Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson - hilarious and fantastic adventure in a laid-back land
Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine - entertaining, humorous, and despairing look into man's mark on nature
the Bible, many authors and editors.. (this is an ongoing endeavor)
A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales, Oliver Sacks 
Physics of the Impossible, Michio Kaku

Books to buy (and obviously read):
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, Bill Bryson
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, Donald Miller
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life, Donald Miller
Angry Conversations w/ God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir, Susan E. Isaacs
Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson
Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe, Bill Bryson
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-town America, Bill Bryson
I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Bill Bryson
Finding Darwin's God: A Scientists' Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution, Kenneth R Miller
The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins
There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, Roy A Varghese and Antony Flew
The Language of God: A Scientist Presensts Evidence for Belief, Francis S. Collins
The Man with a Shattered World, A. R. Luria
Just Don't Fall, Josh Sundquist

If you have any input on the lameness or awesomeness of these books, or suggestions - feel free to comment


this thesis won't write itself

And alas, neither will a blog.  Apologies to each of my two loyal readers, I'm going to continue to be a bit of a slacker with posts through April.  Of course, if you are actually a loyal reader you already know I'm a slacker and rarely post anyways...such is the life of one living in the likes of W Lafayette and writing a thesis - little material to blog about and increasingly less and less time to procrastinate.

Come back later though, once I've successfully muddled through this task, I have big adventures in sight...!