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Archive for July, 2010

If you have not yet seen A Very Potter Sequel (the sequel to last year’s A Very Potter Musical), I recommend getting onto your fat ass and watching it via Youtube.  Click here for the link.  I’ve been sitting around for the last few days, deciding why I’m strangely attracted to Lupin (aside from the very handsome Darren Criss).

Anyway, I’ve been musing around lately about how I’m going to be setting up my dorm this upcoming semester.  And when I say musing, I mean worrying and trying to figure things out.  The main point is that I need to find a place to fit my desk where it will get natural sunlight from the window but not disturb my room mate when I turn on the desk lamp early in the morning (because our sleeping schedules are quite a bit off sync).  I was worried that I’d also need to position my desk in an area so that the shelving on top of it could serve as a night stand to my lofted bed, but I’ll try to get a clamp on shelf for that.  It’s dumb that I’ve lost sleep over deciding where to place my desk, but welcome to my life of being an interior design nerd.  I sit around looking at house tours on Apartment Therapy while sipping down hot tea with Cat.  If you are interested in the neatest ever decor or vintage furniture or anything about making a house unique and interesting, check-ch-check-check check-ch-check it out.

I’ve been reorganising my room a lot lately.  Or perhaps it’s just cleaning.  A very deep cleaning that it has been neglecting for years.  The only other thing on my list to still clean out would be the top of my closet, which has not felt a human hand since sixth grade, when I dumped the entire contents of my floor onto the shelves in a matter of three minutes so that I could go over to a friend’s.  Ever since, it’s just sat there, and I’ve turned a blind eye.  But, since I’ve cleaned so much else over the past year, why the hell not tackle that one of these days?  The storage space is unbelievable, and I’m ashamed that I’ve been wasting it all of these years.

I’ve also been giving away a lot of things.  Hefty bag after hefty bag after hefty bag.  My mum always has been a pack rat, and she passed that onto me at an early age.  But, as I grow, I’m beginning to leave that–much to her chagrin.  She’s definitely not delighted when I give away all of my old stuffed animals or clothes from elementary school or old school supplies.  But I always tell her, ‘what am I to do with it?’  If it hasn’t been used in six years, that means that I never will use it later on.  If it’s a stuffed animal that has eight years of dust on it, do you really expect me to want to play with it five years down the road?  She has trouble understanding that I am an adult who has no need for all of the crap that I have managed to collect over the years.  After a while, you have to let a lot go because it’s flooding your life and slowly drowning you.

For me, the release is all I ask for.  Becoming emotionally attached to objects is a bad habit that I’m strangling out of me.  I don’t want to be dependent on things that I do not need or want or care for.  If they can be donated to someone who will actually use them, then everyone is better for it.

But that’s an example of only one of the many differences that my mum and I have.  There are many others, mostly in personality.  She is very high strung, irrational.  And I used to be that way completely, but I’ve also been growing away from it over the past few years as I figure out just who I am, and I’m not sure if she’s willing to accept that yet.  She may never be ready to accept that I am not the same person as her and a separate entity.  But I’m more than willing to break away.

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I haven’t been sleeping well the past few days.  Between the overbearing thunderstorms, thinking too much, and the weirdest dreams, it’s been a gamble whether I’ll get a full night each day.

More than the other things, though, the dreams have been getting me.  I dreamt a friend from uni drove all the way to my house simply to say ‘hello’, then next thing I knew, I was swimming in the Missouri River.  Only, it wasn’t tainted muddy brown.  It was small and as clear as a swimming pool but with a currently flowing through it.  And as I swam, the current of the river began to get streaks of dark black.  Shit.  Oil spill.  And I was running and swimming and running and trying to get away from the oil, but, well, it completely invaded.

I woke up a bit confused.  For a girl who lives in Missouri, I shouldn’t be quite so worried about this oil spill, but I guess it effects even those who don’t live near the coasts.  Maybe I’m upset that it has taken three months just to contain the oil.  Or maybe it’s that, even though I don’t eat seafood, I can still feel sorry for the seafood economy and the local businesses of the south.  Or maybe it’s just my chagrin at how the government is handling the mess by not allowing reporters to even be 60 feet from the oil.  Yeah, not even sixty feet from oily seagulls or even a hospital that was treating someone who was injured by the oil (some type of allergic reaction).  That upsets me, since it isn’t allowing for freedom of the press.

But that right was taken away a long time ago.

Still, I suppose I’m stressed and that that’s just bubbling in my subconscious, alongside a million other things.  I’m very eager to get back to school, so that may be another thing making me bounce off the walls and have my mind doing flips.  Tell me what you think of the oil spill / disaster.  I could talk for days about it, but I’m interested in hearing what other people have to say.

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It was a long day of working outside in 96 degree heat with small children around a camp-fire, cooking up stick bread and dump cake and making our own butter.  Six bottles of water, one packed lunch, and an entire outfit soaked in sweat later, it was time to go home and chill.  Of course, first things first, I needed food.  So I took some old black beans, added pepper jack cheese, onions, and a tomato, cooked it in the microwave and ate it along with bread and butter and yet another bottle-amount of water.  And then I showered.  Or, rinsed off would be the more correct phrasing.  And, finally, I was then able to chill and read random fashion/living blogs and avoid Facebook like usual.

The reason that I mention this to you is because I was informed during my blog reading this afternoon that this is not normal teenage culture.  Nothing seemed weird to me when I was making my own breakfast, lunch, and dinner; volunteering at an historic site; or not washing my hair.  But, turns out that these are all faux-pas.  During my reading based off of a Seventeen article, we are supposed to eat macaroni and cheese or go out to get good food.  Then, we’re supposed to work at the mall in some fashion forward boutique where we will be yelled at by gorilla-managers and stomped on by customers for a small pay check.  And, last, we’re supposed to take that second shower of the day where we rewash and then attempt to add the oils back to our skin and hair before blow drying and straightening our hair before just going to bed.

And it left me thinking, “What the fuck?”

Or maybe it just had me reeling that some ordinary day wasn’t ordinary at all in the standards of big businesses or media that would like to think that teenagers are all one stereotype.  According to them, at nineteen, I should still be painting my toenails every night before talking to my gal friends about who I should totally go on a date with after watching that new Twilight film.  They believe that women my age should be more interested in clothing, make up, and hair rather than careers, education, or our own opinions.

As much as I suppose I’ve known all of this goes on, it still manages to sicken me.  Teenagers are not the same person duplicated over and over again.  We are a force of many different people–perhaps even more varied than the majority of the adult world.  As a woman (and, yes, a WOMAN) who is both an adult and a teenager, I feel that my word on this should be fairly solid since I can see both worlds for the time being.

Media outlets try to push every piece of merchandise and accessory available to teenagers through the presumption that we are all the same person, and maybe they make a lot of money doing that.  But they also lose our trust when we are all labelled as trouble makers or fashion addicts or skater punks.  As an example, there was an occasion once at the mall when I was fifteen when I was followed around by a security guard and then questioned just because I was a teenager and because I was wearing the colour black (which happened to be a black polo with a grey pearl necklace, mind you).  When confronted, I commented that I was being pushed into a category I didn’t belong in simply because of my age and that it was blatant ageism.  And that security guard no longer had my trust because of that, which is sad since authority figures should be respected–not flattened because you have no faith in them.  I’m not saying that Media should be authority, but if it wants to act as such, then it needs to win over our trust by treating us as actual people.

So here’s what I have to say to those who believe my life is not the norm of teenage culture:

What is the norm?  Is it really that abnormal that I don’t work in the food or fashion industry?  Is it that abnormal that I love uni and learning?  Is it that abnormal that I not only cook all of my meals myself but cook them very healthily?  And is it really that abnormal that I don’t always wash my hair?

I mean, really, I like that my fifty year-old co-worker at the historic site quotes Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while talking about politics or that my hair is healthy because I don’t over wash it.  I like the food I eat, even though it’s not fried, full of chicken, or dumped in sugar.  So to those who say that I shouldn’t enjoy these and that they aren’t normal teenage culture, stuff it.  Here’s to all of those teenagers out there who are real people rather than what someone would like to think of them as–one dimensional zombies, bumping into each other while trying to buy another 26 dollars in anti-frizz serum.

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I can sum up this post in one sentence: I like to bitch about facial features of story characters even though I have no facial recognition (whaddup Prosopagnosia?).  Really, don’t bother to read this.  It’s confusing and weird and quirky.  Sure, some good pictures along the way, but really now, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking I’m humorous.

I have this super bad habit of trying to figure out what a character in a story looks like so that I can properly read a book and reinact their movements and gestures in my head.  But I also have a lot of trouble with facial recognition and imaging the right face.  This ends with me reusing the same male characters for just about everything or me scouring Google images in order to find something better.  It’s why you can see me reading A Great and Terrible Beauty but also parading Google in order to find better dress/hair styles for the characters or reading Dan Brown books while searching for the perfect picture of Johnny Depp to be my image of Robert Langdon (which Molly ended up finding for me, which was spectacular).

“Angels and Demons would have been a much better movie, had I starred in it.”

But let me sum up my lack of imagination and help I often need when thinking up how a character will look.  No, let me just explain how I reuse characters.  You know Howard Roark from The Fountainhead?  I put a beard on my image of Edward Cullen for that one (my Edward Cullen looked nothing like Cedric Diggory, by the way).  You know Joe Gargery from Great Expectations?  He happens to look identical to Simon in A Great and Terrible Beauty, but again, I added a beard.  And the protagonists from both Fahrenheit 451 and 1984?  Same exact person.  I’m so freaking lazy.

“Um, hi.  I happen to be Missi’s go-to-guy for every baddass character over the age of forty.”

“Hi.  I have a beard, which allows my character to be used even more times.”

But it’s infuriating for me to not picture someone as the character.  It’s easy for me to picture the women, and I can make it be a variety.  But the men?  I have to have them perfect.  Maybe it’s because I want to fawn over the book character, or maybe it’s because I’m just some type of OCD about the men of the story.  I don’t know, but it bothers me when I can’t come up with something right–especially for the guys my age in books.

So, it’s that kind of dilemma that I have hit while reading Great Expectations.  I’ve been able to come up with what every character looks like just fine–except the main character.  Pip.  Oh Pip.  What the hell do you look like?  I could imagine young Pip just fine.  A kid.  Easy.  But handsome Pip around my age?  Shit.  I haven’t a clue.

I could go the easy route and imagine a young Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom or what-have-you.  But you know what?  I keep seeing the same thing over and over in my head.  This:

Why Barnes and Noble?  Why?  Why on earth do you ever put what you think a character looks like on my novel?  Why would you not give me the opportunity to try and figure out what Pip looks like?  Why would you ever give me this weird ginger kid to be Pip?!

I know, I’m obsered.  But imagine that you have a character that looks like this in your head:

And every time you open your book, BAM!  This is what you see:

WHY?!

I have enough trouble as it is imagining characters without the book itself trying to put yet another face into my mind!!

So, that is my dilemma that I have been bitching about in my own head.  Sorry you had to bear witness to it.  Sorry also to those who have seen my copy of Great Expectations and wondered what the weird mass was over the picture.  It happens to be a painting I made out of black paint and nail polish so that I wouldn’t have to see that guys ugly speckled mug any more (wait, Ron Weasley from Potter Puppet Pals?  No!  That would have been a great choice; not this rubbish).

So, there you have it.  I have to have the perfect image in my head of a character, but I have trouble when the books tell me what I should imagine.  GRRR!  FEAR ME, BOOK COVERS!

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Day 1 of my Floridian adventures comprised of a relaxed day at the pool and later walking around the beach with my dad.  We cooked food, and I once again ate fish.  And, again, I’ll keep on eating it, even though it makes me feel sluggish and weighty.  Day 2 was filled with grocery shopping and a day at the beach to not just walk around but to swim and sit under our half tent.  Unfortunately, I’m slightly sunburned, hungry, and headache-y.  I’ll be pink for the next few days, and my freckles are getting darker by the minute, I swear.  But, that’s the price I paid and will continue to pay for being outside without sunscreen while being a redhead.  Luckily, there won’t be any blistering or skin damage at this point.  Just some irritation at myself when I look in the mirror (but hey, that’s not uncommon).  I jest.

Anyway, as I like to talk about food as much as possible, here are some of the great things I’ve been eating:

German style buttered bread with Swiss cheese.  It makes the best breakfast.

Sushi.  Yeah, I tried it and found that I’m a fan of the wasabi.

Fish with steamed vegetables, rice, and salad.  Speaking of salads, I’ve been making the best cucumber, avocado, tomato, onion salads.  Add some bleu cheese dressing, and it’s awesome (and that’s coming from the girl who usually doesn’t like to have dressing).  My dad also makes a great Greek salad from just cucumbers, tomatoes, and black olives mixed with this dressing that he makes from combining Greek dressing and Greek spices.  I could have said Greek more times in that sentence, but I didn’t feel like it.

Anyway, here are some photos from the beach as proof that I’m actually down here.  Meanwhile, it’s time to make some asparagus pesto and watch the rain fall down–even if I’m doing more watching than actual cooking.

Day 2 ended by me realising that I’m incredibly sunburned.  Day 3 began with me throwing up and rolling around in nightmares—probably because of the sunburn.  What a stupid, stupid idea to think that I could go out into the sun for four hours without any protection other than shade.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  My shoulders, arms, chest, knees, and even feet are bright pink, and it hurts to even move.  Luckily, though, I bought some Sarna this afternoon (as recommended by my friend Jenn, who had supplied the stuff to my roommate for a sunburn this past spring) and kept mostly inside.  Then again, even staying outside wouldn’t have been too awful, as it’s been raining all day.

As always, I ate fairly well today.  We went to a fruit stand and bought some mango butter and orange-coconut marmalade and later went to Sweet Tomatoes—a fabulous salad and soup buffet.  I’d been once before in Saint Louis a few years back, and the second time was just as good.  I recommend the split pea soup and triple berry green tea while there.  Both are delicious.

The rest of day 3 was spent driving out to a bird sanctuary, only for it pour once we got there.  I still took some pictures and had a bird talk to me (see last post), but we spent an equal amount of time at a local fruit stand, buying the previously mentioned jam products and questioning what fruit was what.  The good of that came with me now knowing what a lychee is.  Yay.

Day 4 was rain.  Lots of rain.  And a very itchy sunburn on my shoulders and chest.  I spent a good deal of the day trying to relieve the pain and itch with Sarna, lotion, et cetera, none of which did the job as well as simply distracting myself—which came in the form of eating super hot peppers.  My dad was cooking up some ceviche when Olga and I heard a mighty WHELP come from the kitchen.  There stood my dad, flinging his hands and trying to get the pepper from his mouth.  Even a tiny sliver had turned his mouth on fire.  He gave me a piece the size of an ant (literally), and I didn’t think much of it.  So I ate a slice the size of two ants, in which my dad gave me an odd look.  Olga came and took a similar bite, which immediately found itself on the kitchen floor along with a slew of Russian in complaint.  So I ate an entire sliver.  Still nothing.  It was a little spicy, but about the same as any salsa.  I wondered what was broken with me since I felt practically nothing from the pepper but decided not to care because I had finally stopped itching.  I would try the same thing the next day by just taking a bite out of the pepper.  The pepper then immediately found itself not on the floor, but in the trash, along with the remnants that were in my mouth.  OH GOD!!  My mouth wasn’t just on fire.  It was the most painfully spicy thing I have ever felt in my life!  I immediately poured orange juice down my throat as it was closest.  Then tried to immediately stuff a banana along with it, then two cups of milk, then an ice cube, then tea, then anything else I could find to stop the burning.  And it still burned—for a half hour, actually.  My dad got home after fifteen minutes of my burning adventure and found me sucking on an ice cube on the couch, not even paying attention to Anthony Bourdain in the background.  He told me I should do it again and let me film him; it would be a hit on YouTube.  I declined the offer.

Much of day 4 was rain, though.  Heavy rain that ended our plans of seeing fireworks for Fourth of July.  We would have gone to the beach, two miles away, to see a wonderful display from the pier.  But, it rained, and we stayed at home, watching the telly and eating leftover asparagus pesto, mushrooms, and berries.

Day 5 was even more rain, but we didn’t know about it until we had reached the riverfront in Fort Lauderdale for fifteen minutes.  Then it poured.  Poured until you could barely see anything, and we were trapped under trees and awnings, shoes saturated, my pants and vest completely saturated, hair sticking to my face in wet tendrils.  Miserable weather, and I was still wet even after a full hour of lunch at a café (where I had marguerite pizza—so good).  As we were still wet, we braved the rain a little further with our umbrellas to see shops selling shirts for 300 dollars and ice cream for an equally ridiculous price.  Though, even with the price, it might have been worth it: think roasted coconut rolled in chocolate and then put into vanilla ice cream.  Absolutely freaking delicious.

Later in the afternoon and evening, my dad and I made some tea and chatted it up on the porch, watched Anthony Bourdain (as I only realised today that there has been a marathon because of the new season starting Monday), and ate ceviche.  I also tried stuffed tea leaves (interesting with a lot of vinegar and a very earthly flavour from all of the tea) and Mediterranean/Russian olives (so salty, that I had to run for some orange juice to wash my mouth out).

Any times in between have been spent lounging about with my computer: playing Sims or internetting or reading Great Expectations (surprisingly good) and my favourite fanfiction which I saved into a Word document (the only fanfiction I’ve ever enjoyed and a secret guilty pleasure).  I’ve been trying to update my wordpress for days, but I’ve only managed one little post from when I went to a bird sanctuary that we quickly left from because of the rain.  I certainly brought the rain with me; suppose I’ll have to go back up to Saint Charles to get rid of it.  And here I leave you.

Leave you with a picture of Anthony Bourdain–love of my life, right after Chris Thile.

“Missi is fucking awesome and has great taste in food.”

Really, Anthony?  Aw, love you, too.

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Quick Update

Me: Hello, bird. Hello!  Hello, pretty bird–
Bird: HELLO.
Me: Ah!  It said Hello to me!!  Say it again!  Hello!
Bird: HELLO.
Me: Ah hahahaha!
Bird: HA. HA. HA.

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