Friday, November 9, 2012

I am getting old

I'm only 26, but I already feel like an old fart. Is this common?

-I don't understand facebook anymore. I just can't keep up with and adapt to the changes like I used to be able to. It doesn't make sense to me.

-I get tired of shopping really quickly. Not grocery shopping, which I've always hated, but clothes and mall shopping. It's supposed to be fun for girls right? We're supposed to love it, aren't we? Then why do I get tired and grumpy after 2 stores??? I can drag myself to another couple after that point, but it's torturous and nothing good will come of it.

-I can't drink energy drinks anymore. They make me really light-headed and sick.

-I can't stay up all night anymore. Granted, I've only successfully done this probably like 4 times in my life when I was trying to finish a paper for school or for my friend's church youth group lock-in when I was about 14, but still, I could do it. Now? Not so much. No matter how much caffeine I put in my body, it no longer accepts a lack of sleep and will basically shut down on me for trying to force it. Everything hurts and I feel like I have the flu on days when I am severely sleep deprived.

-I have a myriad of small health complaints: wicked heartburn every day, tendonitis in my wrists, pinky toes that were sprained once and have never seemed to actually heal, iliotibial band pain (this has been since I was about 15 though so it doesn't really count), shifting knee caps, the beginning of deep wrinkle lines in my forehead, increasingly dry skin, and a couple other complaints that I'm going to spare you from (you're welcome).

I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or if this is normal for mid-20s, but if this is what my twenties is like, I'm so not excited for actual old age.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Let's re-think our votes this year.

I can no longer stay silent on today's political scene. This isn't about Chik-Fil-A, or Obama, or Romney (well it sort of is, by default). They may claim otherwise, but they will not be able to effect the drastic change and reform this nation needs if it is to survive. They are in the pocket of big government and wall street. I can't think of any other way that America is going to dig itself out of this hole besides looking to other parties. I don't really care which ones. There are great candidates to be found outside of the two major parties, with fresh, intelligent ideas on how to solve America's biggest problems. Ron Paul (who I believe is still campaigning as a republican but should probably just admit he's a libertarian) and Jill Stein (of the green party) are two great examples. I'm sure there are more.

Everyone is always invoking the founding fathers in political debates, and claiming to know what they would think on modern issues. The undeniable truth is most of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention abhorred the thought of a two-party system.

"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." -John Adams, Letter to Jonathan Jackson, October 2, 1780

"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
    Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
    It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
    There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume." -George Washington, Farewell address, September 17, 1796

I know the second one is long, but well worth reading and thinking about, especially the lines that I bolded. It gives me chills to see just how much George Washington's fears were justified. But what interests me just as much is that George Washington wanted to avoid parties altogether, let alone a mere two-party system. These are the men who designed this country. If we're not going to listen to them, who will we listen to instead? Radio and TV pundits? The Huffington Post? The CEO of Chick-Fil-A?
I wish we lived in that world, where candidates for every post campaigned on their own laurels and individual platforms, instead of having to be associated with a party, and thus automatically guaranteeing their blind acceptance or rejection by all Americans who identify themselves under one party's banner.

I have to confess, I was inspired to write this post because I have been following the Stein/Honkala campaign's facebook page. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala were arrested this week at a protest of Fannie Mae home foreclosures. She spent a full day and night in jail, all to show support for the families across America who have lost their homes in the recession while giant lending companies wallow in dough. You can read more about it in this excellent article and I highly encourage you to do so:
What were Obama and Romney doing this week? I'm pretty sure it wasn't getting arrested at a peaceful protest of what is at the heart of today's economic crisis. And I know that in all honestly, one of these two men will be president in 2013, and not a third party candidate. All I'm asking is to please consider what will be accomplished by you voting for one of these men in November, and then on the flip side what might be accomplished if you showed your support for a lesser known candidate who could actually shake things up a bit. Maybe not in 2012, or 2016, or even 2028. But somewhere down the road, I wholeheartedly believe that asking third party candidates to help us solve our biggest problems is one of the only things we can do to prolong the life of this Republic.
I love this country. I think America really is beautiful. I sincerely hope it prospers indefinitely, and that we never have to have Hunger Games. And that's why I care so much about this issue.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just run to the side, dammit!!

Ok. Wow. Prometheus. So many problems.

I wanted to like this movie. I really did. I love Michael Fassbender, and the trailers made it look like it would be all blow-your-mind-Inception-y. I had never seen the original Alien movies, but I was told you didn't need to have prior knowledge of the franchise to enjoy this movie. But then last night I sort of watched Alien Resurrection as my boyfriend watched it on the computer and I played Twilight Princess, so I got the gist of it. There are big scary aliens that germinate inside human bodies. Moving on.

SPOILER DISCLAIMER GOES HERE. Don't read this if you don't want to... um... read any spoilers. I'm not talking about any big secrets really of the movie, it's most minor mechanical plot details that bugged the heck out me. But still, you've been warned.

First problem: why is this ship equipped with hair dye?? I understand that a ship of this magnitude would be very well stocked, but hair dye??? Were they expecting the three women on board would need to have a salon day mid-expedition? Furthermore, only like a week or so passed between the hair dye-ing scene and the end of the movie. David's roots would not be showing that much. Unless android hair grows faster than human hair or something.

Second problem: (and this one really is a spoiler): What made the archaeologists think the cave paintings were an invitation? They were done by pre-historic humans, not the engineers, and the archaeologists would/should have figured that out. Pre-historic humans cannot invite you to somewhere they are not and have never been. Oh and before I forget it, that very first scene, you know the one with the waterfall, and the DNA? WTF? It was never explained. At all. Why was it in there? The only thing I can think is they're setting something up for a sequel that is already in the works.

Third problem: How many freaking people are in charge here? There's a ship captain, a mission commander, and then Weyland puts the doctors in charge too. It's obvious from the beginning that there are too many chiefs, not enough Indians. It should have also been obvious to whoever organized this mission that this would be a problem in execution.

Fourth problem: what a freaking COINCIDENCE that they ALMOST IMMEDIATELY find signs of the aliens' leftover colonization! You know, I can actually get over this coincidence, but then the fact that NO ONE on the ship mentioned how coincidental this was, and maybe we should check other parts of the moon too because there are probably lots of other things they left for us to discover on this huge moon besides just this one place we happened to land. I understand that within the scope of the movie, they couldn't actually show them visiting more than one place, but why did no one even mention plans for exploration beyond this one little valley? It's just too big a logical gap to be ignored.

Fifth problem: This happens in a ton of movies, and it drives me crazy in every single one. Character(s) are running away from a giant inanimate object that is falling or rolling towards them. The object is falling/rolling in a straight, predictable path towards them. The character(s) continue to run straight. If they ran at a 90 degree angle in either direction, they would no longer be in the object's falling/rolling path and would not get crushed. Despite this obvious fact, they continue to run straight ahead. AND THEN (real spoiler alert), Dr. Shaw trips and falls and the ship is about to crush her, and all she has to do is roll a teeny little bit to the side and she is fine. The same thing happens to Vickers, and she just lays there and screams and lets it crush her. Was no one involved in the making of this film bothered by this inconsistency? Seriously you guys.

Sixth problem: Vickers' entire character. Clearly the movie didn't have enough time to include her backstory, so why did they make her such a strong character presence? There must be something behind her stony and heartless demeanor. To be honest, I'm not sure why this character made it into the movie at all. There is a teeny amount of backstory provided with Weyland, but not nearly enough to justify or explain anything at all about her character, or why they draw such strong parallels between her and Ellen Ripley. I'm just disappointed, because she represents a missed opportunity for a level of emotional richness that could have been added to the story, but wasn't.

Seventh problem: Androids. Shouldn't. Have. Personalities. So we're supposed to believe Weyland programmed David to be conniving, manipulative, deceitful, and just generally a pot-stirrer? I understand Weyland put David on the ship for a certain purpose, but that doesn't explain almost all of the weird and underhanded things he pulls on the expedition, nor does it explain his sweetly torturous and sometimes condescending manner. And just as a side note, wouldn't having his head ripped off impair his functioning in some noticeable way? Because it doesn't. I've never tried it personally, but I'm pretty sure that violently ripping a computer apart breaks it.

Despite all the problems I listed here, I actually did like this movie a lot. It was a really interesting premise, and I'd love to see it explored further in a sequel. I just found the execution of this idea disappointingly sloppy. If anything, this movie's fault is being too full of interesting things without giving them all their due attention. Like they showed us a toy box full of a ton of really cool-looking toys, and then only gave us ten minutes to play with them all as fast as we could. We barely got to enjoy any of them. That being said, the acting and special effects were all amazing here. I doubt it'll happen, because the academy generally doesn't take sci-fi movies seriously, but Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender both deserve Oscar nominations. You can tell they both have ginormous careers ahead of them.

So if you see Prometheus, I hope you enjoy it despite all its flaws. It's not always easy or fun living inside an overly critical brain.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

token diet post

It seems like everyone is on a new diet and/or exercise regime right now, doesn't it? I jumped on the bandwagon. I haven't put on any weight lately, but I also haven't been feeling totally comfortable in my body lately, plus I'm a bridesmaid in my good friend's wedding this summer and I want to look amazing in the bridesmaid dress!

Pioneer Woman is doing the slim fast thing right now, so I decided to give it a try. I'm on day 2, and I am so, so hungry all the time. How do people do this?? I replace two meals a day with slim fast shakes, which are only about 200 calories apiece, so I guess it works because you're cutting your calories drastically.

I know what you're thinking, this won't last because it's only a temporary reduction of calories and as soon as I stop I'll gain the weight back, I need to make a permanent lifestyle change if I want to stay thinner, blah blah...or at least that's what I was thinking. I don't know, I just thought it would be fun to try since I don't have any convenient ways to work out right now (no good/affordable gyms in town, and my kneecaps shift when I run outside- it sucks), and PW's recipe for her slim fast shake sounded really good! Besides just 1% milk and milk chocolate shake mix, I add ice to make it thicker and a tablespoon of instant coffee powder. Mmmm. Chocolate + coffee = BFFs 4ever. But it's still only 200 calories, so I get hungry again an hour later. This is going to be tough, and so far I've been snacking a little more than I probably should. Hopefully after a little while my stomach will start shrinking so I won't be so hungry all the time?

My friend's wedding is in July so I've got a while to figure things out in case the slim fast doesn't work well enough. Ideally, I'd like to lose about 15 lbs, and when you're trying to lose those last few pounds, it tends to get really hard, so we'll see how good the slim fast really is at its job.

I have never wanted a quesadilla so bad in my entire life.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ethics and Values

I'm going to try a new thing here where I lay out a situation in which I faced an ethical dilemma and anyone can comment on whether or not my actions were ok.

Tonight I went to Little Caesars. Classy, I know. Was this an ethical move?

...Just kidding that's not the ethical dilemma. Hot, ready, $5...why WOULDN'T you go there? (This is not a paid advertisement for Little Caesars, I'm just trying to look less white trash-y.) So I went to Little Caesars which is located in a small strip mall, so there's not much parking. The three spots right in front of the store were taken up, so I went to park on the far side of left-most car, only to find that this driver had chosen to park their car well outside of the lines. It was egregious; they were taking up like a third of the spot I was trying to park in. The parking lot was well lit, so I had a hard time believing that this person couldn't see the lines. It had to be a willful disregard of parking lot etiquette.

So I thought, "Hey, I drive a compact car. I bet I could still fit my car in that spot, while also teaching the driver of this stupid blue minivan a lesson not to hog two spots for no damn reason, since my car will be too close to it for them to be able to enter their vehicle on the drivers side." Never mind the fact that the spot one more over was very much vacant, and I could have easily parked there without causing any controversy. If I had parked there, I would have been ONE SPOT FARTHER AWAY from Little Caesars. I would have had to take, like, THREE extra steps (SIX!!! if you count round trip) to get my pizza. Unacceptable. Plus I wouldn't have been teaching anyone a lesson.

I was right, sort of. I fit my car in the spot with my wheels ON the white line on my left side, and my rear view mirror pretty much touching the other car's on my right side, so technically I stayed within the spot, right?

I go into Little Caesars and there are only two other customers inside. One is a young woman, probably around 20, and the other is a grandma. I didn't look that close, but, like, pushing 70 and couldn't get around very quickly. And I'm thinking to myself, "What are the chances that that minivan belongs to that 20 year old? About 2%. What are the chances it belongs to the grandma? 2000%." "Shit," I think. Now I'm not being an avenger of parking justice, I'm being an ass to the elderly.

The grandma finished up at the register and it was my turn- I got my pizza and paid as quickly as possible so that I could get back out there and move my car before grandma had to stand outside in the freezing temperatures any longer because I stubbornly blocked her in.

As I walked out the door, there she was, putting her pizza in the unblocked passenger side of the car, and starting to walk around to the driver's side. I powerwalked over to my car, very determinedly looking at nothing but the pavement directly in front of my feet, got in, started it, and backed out faster than I ever would have if I was, say, late for work. All the while, grandma is just standing on the pavement at the front edge of her car, probably giving me a dirty, judgmental look and shivering in the cold. I don't know for sure because I was too ashamed to actually look at her. I didn't need to see her scorn to be punished.

So there you go, comrades. Obviously I shouldn't discriminate against the elderly, but not knowing who drove that minivan, was I justified in somewhat jerk-ily blocking them in to send the message that they need to pick just one spot to park in? I feel like this incident, and the need to do things like this, speaks volumes about my psyche.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I work in a restored brick building, originally built in 1912. It was converted from a dilapidated Pack'n'Ship (sp?) business to a restaurant several years ago. It is haunted. I'm told his name is Herkimer. Don't believe in ghosts? This post probably won't change your mind, but I heard tidbits and anecdotes from everyone who works there (everyone who speaks English, that is) about disappearing sugar caddies and salt shakers, air conditioners turning off on their own, the sound of footsteps on the stairs or glimpses of another person upstairs or in the basement storage when alone. My favorite anecdote is when Herkimer moved a vase of flowers from the bar counter to the adjacent bar sink. The vase was completely unharmed, without a scratch or a flower askew, but simply standing upright in the bar sink when it had been on the counter a moment ago.

I finally had my own firsthand experience with him tonight. I think he's shy around newcomers, and so it took him a couple months to want to properly welcome me. Another server, Jean, and I were closing the restaurant after all the customers were gone. We were sitting at the bar, organizing our receipts and money, when we heard an indistinct crashing noise come vaguely from the direction of the staircase to the second floor behind me. Jean and I were the only ones left there, the cooks having already left for the night. I brushed the noise off as probably a cat in the alleyway, or something clanging on the train tracks right outside, but Jean was a little more spooked by it.

Jean went downstairs to fetch the vacuum and I started moving chairs around so we could begin the annoying nightly ritual of thoroughly vacuuming the shabby, navy blue carpet in the dining room. Just as she re-emerged from the basement, we heard a high-pitched beep come from the bar/kitchen area on the other side of the dining room. We paused for a moment. There it was again. "Where is that annoying beeping coming from?" I demanded as the sound continued to repeat every few seconds.

We walked over towards the bar, only for the beeping to cease. Eager to get back to work so we could both go home, we moved back toward the other side of the dining room and resumed our work. About ten seconds later, the phone screeched, abruptly shattering the relative silence of our work. Ok, now it was officially creepy. It was after 10:00, we'd been closed for over an hour, and the phone never rings this late in our sleepy, small town little restaurant.

I was closer to the phone, so I hurried to answer it, firmly trying to deny the eerie feeling pervading my senses. It was Adam from the security company. A smoke alarm in the hood over the stove had been set off, and they wanted to make sure everything was ok. "Wait," Adam said. "The alarm just reset itself, so everything should be fine now, but let us know if you need anything."

We hung up, and Jean and I went into the brightly lit kitchen to investigate. We could still feel some heat emanating from the industrial burners, but that was no surprise in view of how recently they had been on. All the knobs on the stove were off and we couldn't see any fire, smoke, black marks on the wall, or any reason at all that the alarm would have been set off.


Many would just write this off as a malfunctioning alarm, but we knew better. Maybe Herkimer was finally ready to welcome me, or just wanted to get some attention or cause some mischief. In any case, I see no viable explanation for the night's creepy and unusual series of events except our resident spirit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

24 and treading water

I'm at that point in my life. The one where people expect me to act like an "adult" and get a real job or do something with my life. I like that idea, and I want to do it, I just don't like the pressure. I want to do it on my own time, because I'm still deciding what exactly it is I want to do with my life. I never liked the idea that I'm supposed to decide what my life's work will be while I'm still becoming an adult, growing, and figuring out who I am and what my priorities are. I guess those things never stop evolving and growing though, so maybe I should stop being so wishy-washy and just pick something.

I could see myself doing any of the following:

-going to grad school to become a physician's assistant
-teaching English anywhere outside of the U.S.
-being a nanny overseas (probably somewhere Francophone)
-going to culinary school (in France???)
-working for an environmental or animal rights lobby/non-profit company
-being a movie or fashion reviewer (are there fashion reviewers? there has to be, right?)
-working just about any job for an airline so that I can travel for free on my time off
-being a professional harpist, maybe even going to a music school to refine my talent
(another excuse to go to Europe)

How do I pick one right now?? I HAVE NO IDEA. I do know that I see the trend of traveling or living overseas a lot in my ideas, so I should make that a priority while I'm still young and not stuck with a mortgage or kids. I also keep coming back to the idea of culinary school. I try not to think about it, because I know that field is really competitive and it seems kind of pipe dream-ish to me, but it's also what I'm passionate about and find a lot of joy and satisfaction in doing.

The physician's assistant thing is my practical, secure, "adult" option. It really only appeals to me because I know I'd always have a job and make a decent wage doing it. I'm not passionate about health care, but I'm keeping it on the table for now in case the economy doesn't get any better.

I could go on about how I feel about each option and their pros and cons, but I've blabbered long enough here. My uncle James once told me he thought it would be ideal if everyone could switch careers every ten years. When he said it, I thought it was a stupid idea, and that you were supposed to devote yourself to the same career your whole adult life, but now I think that idea is spot on. I feel pulled in so many directions that it's going to be easier for me to pick just one right now if I know it doesn't have to be forever.