Friday, December 16, 2011

New Light Fixture

Upon hearing a strange noise coming from the bathroom, Kevin went to investigate. There, he discovered that Kyle had found a new perch:

Now how do I get down?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Final Countdown

My third semester of grad school is almost over!  As of Friday, it will officially be Christmas break.  Needless to say, not a lot of blogging happens when you live and breathe school/work/gym.

Some recent photos from around here:

Yes, our cat owns me.  Hopefully I'll have a real post to go up after this week!Have a great week, friends!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Dystopian Lit Review, Part 1: The Hunger Games

I was recently talking to Kevin about books, and I realized that many of my favorites fall into the dystopian genre.  I found this rather surprising, because I guess dystopian novels can be a bit of a downer, or perhaps a little too similar.  But regardless, the heart wants what it wants.  This is the start to (hopefully) a series about the dystopian books I've read, either in the past or recently.  And let's start with one of my current obsessions:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is one of my new favorite books.  (The trilogy as a whole is supremely excellent, but for our purposes today I'll be talking only about the first.)  If you haven't read it, here's a synopsis via Daily Blam:
THE HUNGER GAMES chronicles a dystopic Capitol which requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl, forced to participate in the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death live televised event. Katniss Everdeen’s little sister is chosen in the lottery to participate and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Although persevering through hardship is commonplace for Katniss, she must start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return home.
Don't be mistaken - this is not the same as Battle Royale by Koushun Takami.  You can read about the differences here.

So why do I like The Hunger Games?
  1. I think it's very well-written, and for a piece of young adult fiction, Collins does not pull any punches.  It's a brave book and it really does make you a little uncomfortable.
  2. Katniss is a strong female character and a role model for young girls.  A lot of people compare HG to Twilight, but I think that, aside from a main female character and a love triangle (one which is much more emphasized than the other - guess which), you can't get much different.  The difference between Bella and Katniss would need its own post, however.  I like Katniss because she's young and hot-headed, but she fights for what matters to her.  And just like any other teenage girl, she doesn't always know what she really wants, but she moves forward anyway.
  3. It's a social commentary (as most dystopian stories are), but with a new twist: reality television.  The Hunger Games in the novels are televised for all of Panem to see; citizens of the twelve districts and the Capitol city itself tune in to watch these children kill one another.  How far off are shows like Survivor, Fear Factor, and Real Housewives?  Is this the future of America? 
  4. I'm also intrigued by the Roman influences in the trilogy, with the fight-to-the-death event itself and the country's name, Panem.
  5. I always love a series with a good following.  I think that's what makes Harry Potter so great - the community that surrounds it.  I feel like, with the help of the movies coming out starting this March, the Hunger Games community is really growing.  And who doesn't like having a bunch of people to talk about books with? (Oh, is it just nerdy people like me?  All right then.)
Hunger Games Extras:
  • Visit The Capitol here to be placed in a district.  I'm a member of District 3 (the Technology district):

  • Check out the trailer for the movie (out March 23, 2012) here!
  • Hunger Games Wiki - if you're really hardcore about this whole thing.
  • And I'll leave you with some character posters for the movie, because they look totally badass (see all eight here):

Did you read Hunger Games?  What did you think?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cake Walk

Blogging is tough.

This month has been incredibly busy, and blogging has been the last thing on my mind!  I will obviously have to extend my day zero six months of blogging again, but that's okay.  Some photos from around here, edited with Little Photo on my Android phone:

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I'm hoping to get into a better blogging groove for the rest of my "6 months."  I have a couple of ideas, so it's just a matter of sitting down and writing them out.  I already have an idea for my last post in this challenge.

Now it's time for me to go listen to some Christmas music.  First up?  A Charlie Brown Christmas on vinyl.

Do you listen to Christmas music?  What's your favorite?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day Zero Fail

Yes, I made this in Paint.

I realized today that while working on #45 on my list - Blog Once a Week for Six Months - I actually missed a week where I did not post at all.

The purpose for my Day Zero Project was to have fun and try new things, and while that is definitely happening, I'm finding that a lot of my tasks are harder than I initially anticipated.  While this is good, and I do want to challenge myself, I realize that I don't really like the goals that have a time limit on them.  I love "Read 10 books I've been meaning to read," but I don't like "Cook dinner twice a week for a month."  The unfortunate thing about goals like that is, if you miss one week, or one night, you lose all your progress and have to start over.

Blogging once a week is really difficult!  Especially when you work 30 hours a week, go to school for another 6, go to the gym 4 days a week, and have an hour-long commute each way.  By the time I get home, I have no more energy left to spare.

I have decided that, instead of losing all of my progress on this task and starting over, I am going to extend it one week to make up for the one I missed.  I started this task on June 19, and the new end date is December 25.

I will not let this task defeat me!  Here's to two more months of blog posts.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Today is my birthday.  I am now 23!

Also, it's snowing.  In October.  Thanks, Mother Nature!

Taken from our balcony!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hey, Arnold!

Vondell Swain hypothesizes where the "cast" of Hey, Arnold is now:

[via The Mary Sue]

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

List Wednesday: Words I Like (To Name a Few)

List Wednesday is a series of personal lists. The idea stems from Listography, a website and book series that you can use to keep any lists you could possibly want!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pottermore: I'm a Hufflepuff!

Have you been on Pottermore yet??  Maybe you're not as obsessed with Harry Potter as I am, but it's a magical thing.  Once I got sorted I found out to what house I officially belong:

I'm a Hufflepuff!  I'm not gonna lie, I was a little sad at first because I always imagined that I would be a Ravenclaw.  But I've decided that Hufflepuff's not a bad place to be.  Even if we do have a reputation for being unremarkable...

If you're on Pottermore, add me!  CharmSpell20.  But comment here with your username so I know that I know you first!

Are you on Pottermore?  Even if you're not, which house do you think you belong to?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

List Wednesday: Countries I've Visited

Epidaurus, Greece. May 15, 2008

1. Bermuda
2. Mexico
3. Jamaica
4. Haiti
5. Grand Cayman
6. Greece
7. The Netherlands
8. Norway
9. Denmark
10. Estonia
11. Germany
12. Russia
13. Finland
14. Sweden

List Wednesday is a series of personal lists. The idea stems from Listography, a website and book series that you can use to keep any lists you could possibly want!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Day Zero Twofer

This weekend I completed TWO things on my Day Zero list!

#68 - Read in the New York Public Library

Have you been to the NYPL?  It is the most gorgeous building!  I knew I wanted to read in the reading room and after wandering around for a bit, we finally found it:

The library.

The reading room ceiling!


#88 - Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find

Maybe it's cheesy, but I thought it would be fun!  So if you're ever in the New York Public Library, be on the lookout for secret messages in your books.

Yes, I left it in a cookbook...

Thanks to my mom for making me do more on my list!

How're your goals coming?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So Long, Summer

Tomorrow is the first day of autumn! In honor of the last day of summer, I would like to show off smoothies that Kevin and I made for breakfast this season.

I'll miss you, summer. But I'm really looking forward to fall...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why My Boyfriend is the Best

Last week, I had a bad day at work.

Isn't that the worst? When you feel like you can't do anything right?

Luckily, I had a wonderful Sunday to look forward to: Kevin and I had already made plans to stay in bed the whole day while watching TV and computer-ing. In order to remind me of these plans, he made me this:

Yes people. This is a cake. Shaped like a bed(!!!). Our bed, in fact. See photo below for reference.

He made the fondant himself, and dyed it with food coloring until it matched our colors perfectly.

It totally made my week so much better. I'm so lucky to have such an incredible boyfriend!

What do you do on a lazy Sunday?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

List Wednesday: Favorite TV Shows

1. Friends
2. Sex and the City
4. Psych
5. The Office
6. Glee
7. So You Think You Can Dance
8. Gilmore Girls
9. The West Wing

List Wednesday is a series of personal lists. The idea stems from Listography, a website and book series that you can use to keep any lists you could possibly want!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sorry Friends...

I apologize for my lack of interesting posts of late, friends. A bunch of lists, not exactly good times reading.

Until I get my act together, please enjoy this video of Rives, an incredible slam poet, speaking about "Deaf Poetry Jams."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

List Wednesday: Pets I've Had

Magic, Dante, and Kyle
  1. Saki - Big black cat, had it when I was a baby, don’t remember much about him.
  2. Darth Beta - A gift from a family friend, lived for five years or so.
  3. Darth Beta II - After Darth I died, Darth II was a gift from another friend.
  4. Annie - Named for Little Orphan Annie, a tortoise shell shelter cat we adopted and gave away when she wouldn’t stop peeing on the carpet a few years later.
  5. Maui - Black Labrador Retriever, named for the island in Hawaii because that's where Dad decided he needed a dog.
  6. Magic - A black cat we took in from a family friend. He was an outdoor cat who went out one night and never came back.
  7. Dante - A long-haired blue Chihuahua who loves people more than any other dog I’ve ever seen!
  8. Kyle Field - Our new Mackerel Tabby, with whom I am completely obsessed. (You may have noticed.)
List Wednesday is a series of personal lists. The idea stems from Listography, a website and book series that you can use to keep any lists you could possibly want!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

List Wednesday: What's In My Bag?

List Wednesday is a new series of personal lists. The idea stems from Listography, a website and book series that you can use to keep any lists you could possibly want!

Take a peek inside my purse!

Purse from Fossil

1. Ladies Emergency Kit - a bridesmaid gift from my friend Jenna
2. Burt's Bees Chapstick - this one is pomegranate flavored
3. iPod Classic - a high school graduation gift from my father, still works great!
4. Phone - Samsung Impression
5. Kindle - my favorite toy!
6. Liberty of London for Target wallet - tri-fold
7. Wayfarer Sunglasses - in tortoiseshell (I can't remember where I got them)
8. Camera - Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS
9. Keys - with a cute Poketo owl keychain from Target

And as a bonus, here's an outtake from the purse photo shoot, courtesy of Kyle Field:

What's in your bag?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Linked In: Women's Issues Edition

Sexuality and gender are two topics that I'm very passionate about.  Here, some links I've found recently covering topics in said realm.

"NY Times to YA Publishing: Stop Being So Girly" - an excellent article on The Mary Sue in response to Robert Lipsyte's "Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?"

From Jezebel: "New Children's Book Encourages Young Girls to Diet." - This book has been floating around the blogosphere a lot lately.  Please educate yourself on how to promote positive body image in young girls.

On victim blaming - from Fbomb: "What Is Rape Culture?" and from Teenagerie: "A 'Don't Get Raped' Campaign (maybe) Reduces Rapes; A 'Don't Rape' Campaign Reduces Rapists."

Hilarious: "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Pooping During Childbirth."

Video: Ritchard Ludlow on being a male feminist. [via Fbomb]

A long, but relevant article from Etsy, The Tyranny of Trends. [via Adored Austin]

What do you think? Any articles you've come across recently?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bad Lip Reading

I'm pretty sure the next big YouTube sensation is a group called Bad Lip-Reading, who take videos from various artists, read their lips, and create new (sometimes even better) songs with the lyrics!  Here are some of my favorites:

[via The Frisky]

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

List Wednesday: Places I've Lived

The Kappa House at A&M

List Wednesday is a new series of personal lists. The idea stems from Listography, a website and book series that you can use to keep any lists you could possibly want!
  1. Mom's House - Pink brick house in a Texas suburb. Wood floors, canal in the backyard, crepe myrtles.
  2. Dad's House - Red brick house in another Texas suburb. Old swing set in the backyard we rarely ever used.
  3. Commons Dorms at Texas A&M - Central campus dorms, food downstairs, cinderblock walls and a suite-style bathroom.
  4. Kappa House - Four girls living in a very small room, sharing a bathroom with four more. Weekday meals prepared by a kitchen staff, no windows in the room = lots of sleeping in.
  5. Horseback House - A brand new house for the summer with two female roommates and a live-in boyfriend. Large black lab that left hair all over the couch, pond in the backyard.
  6. College Station Apartment - Typical college apartments, two bedroom, fully furnished
  7. Queens Apartment - Two bedroom, relatively affordable, same live-in boyfriend and one more male roommate. Wood floors, pristine off-white walls, huge patio.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

List Wednesday: Favorite Books

List Wednesday is a new series of personal lists. The idea stems from Listography, a website and book series that you can use to keep any lists you could possibly want!

  1. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  4. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  5. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  6. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  7. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
  8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
I realize that my favorite book choices make me look like a 15-year-old girl. But I can't help what I love!

What are your favorite books?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Texas, Our Texas

As I mentioned before, I just spent a week back home in Dallas, Texas. It was such a wonderful trip! I got to see a lot of old friends and ate a lot of good food. I got my Chick-fil-a and Sonic fixes, and had a lot of frozen yogurt. And tacos. Many tacos. Plus my mom made lots of yummy things to eat, as well. (Can you tell I love food?)

I did not do a very good job of taking pictures, though. Here are a few from my week:

With Courtney and Sarah at Tappy's Yogurt

At Daddy's, on his two computers

Lunch with Mom (and Dante): Turkey, Apple, and Brie Wraps

A visit to Jenelle's house with Courtney

I also got to play with my Dad's iPad 2! I took several photos of myself with it. I'm so vain, I know.

What do you do when you go home? What foods do you like to eat? What people do you like to see?