Here's a meme I nicked from Sonnjea B. Feel free to add your own answers in the comments or nick it yourself.

1. Closest red thing to you? A Valentine's Day chocolates tin my roommate gave me. (No, I didn't get to eat the candy.)
2. Last thing to make you angry? Myself...for not studying when I had plenty of time.
3. Do you have a temper? At times...
4. Are you a fan of romance? Yep

1. Closest orange thing to you? A package of Hall's cough drops.
2. Do you like to burn things? It makes it worth getting up for a 7:30 botany lab when we get to ignite spores...
3. Dress up for Halloween? Not usually.
4. Are you usually a warm-hearted person? I'd like to think so...but maybe I'm wrong.
5. Do you have anything against redheaded people? I think it would be silly to pass judgement based on hair colour...
6. Are you usually full of energy? Some times more than others. Generally I'm pretty laid back. Give me cappuccino, though, and I'm liable to do just about anything

1. Closest yellow thing to you? My string of bamboo lantern lights.
2. The happiest time[s] of your life? Right now.
3. Favorite holiday? Orthodox Pascha (Easter.)
4. Are you a coward? Depends on the situation.
5. Do you burn or tan? Burn, big time. (Shouldn't this go under red?)

1. Closest green thing to you? A pair of flip-flops
2. Do you care about the enviroment? Yes I do
3. Are you jealous of anyone right now? Yep - my friends who know what they want to do with their lives, major-wise
4. Are you a lucky person? Not lucky, blessed
5. Do you always want what you can’t have? I usually want something I don't have. That doesn't mean I can't have it, though...
6. Do you like being outdoors? Absoloutely
7. Are you Irish? No, but just the other day I told my roommate I wished I was...she thought that was hilarious for some reason.

1. Closest blue thing to you? A tie-dyed sarong hanging on my wall
2. Are you good at calming people down? I can be
3. Do you like the sea? Yes. Someday I want to ride a ship out to sea and see what it feels like to have no land in sight.
4. What was the last thing that made you cry? I almost cried while watching Stranger Than Fiction tonight. Pathetic, I know. It made me laugh out loud more than feel like crying, though.
5. Are you a logical thinker? Sometimes overly so.
6. Can you sleep easily? No

1. Closest purple thing to you? My undergraduate course catalog.
2. Like being treated to expensive things? Nope...time spent is better than money.
3. Do you like mysterious things? Intrigue is the spice of life.
4. Favorite type of chocolate? I have yet to meet a chocolate I don't like.
5. Ever met anyone in royalty? Does homecoming royalty count?
6. Are you creative? I suppose

1. Closest pink thing to you? A pair of Asian-inspired casual flats
2. Do you like sweet things? Too much for my own good
3. Like play-fighting? As in...mock sword duels? If so, then yes
4. Are you sensitive? I can be
5. Do you like music? No - I LOVE it

1. Closest white thing to you? Printer paper
2. Would you say you’re innocent? Until proven guilty
3. Are you good at keeping the peace? Most of the time
4. How do you imagine your wedding? I don't
5. Do you like to play in the snow? Yep
6. Are you afraid of going to the doctors or dentist? Yes...the dentist's office creeps me out

1. Closest black thing to you? My computer
2. Ever enjoy hurting people? No. I'm actually disturbed that this is even on here...
3. Are you sophisticated or silly? A little of both
4. Would you like to go to space? I like my home planet...but it might be cool to see it from the air
5. Do you have a lot of secrets? Nah
6. What is your favourite colour? Don't have one
7. Does the colour you wear affect your mood? No. But my current mood might affect what I choose to wear


isn't it gorgeous?

(Pics from tashian.com, chocolate-fish.net and wgu.hu/art.)

My art history class is studying 15th century Italian art. While I think Michelangelo's sculptures and Duccio's paintings are moderately interesting, what really blows me away is the architecture. Just look at the facade of the Duomo in Florence, Italy (bottom picture.) How does someone even dream up an idea like that, let alone mathematically calculate it, and actually build it?
I've become increasingly interested in architecture since the beginning of the year. I have a friend who is (quite passionately) pursuing an architecture degree, and based on his stories of endless hours in studio and excruciating attention to detail in model-building, I know I could never make a career that way. Which oddly enough, seems to make it even more interesting. For now, I'm just content to see what structures other people dream up.
* This happens to be my 100th post. Wow, 100 random musings. Thanks for reading along!


our lovely language

As hilarious as this translation is (photo snatched from an article in the Wall Street Journal), I don't really blame Chinese speakers for not being able to figure out the complexities of the English language. My linguistic anthropology class is teaching me just how complicated it really is.
However, the Chinese are cracking down on such English translations for the 2008 Summer Olympics. This BBC article tells about the undertaking, and adds additional mistranslations spotted by visitors to China. Among them:
- "Please do not climb rocketry," in order to keep tourists from climbing rocks.
- "The oil explodes the shrimp." Mmm...chef's surprise?
- "This tastiness cannot be carried, even with both hands." (on a chocolate snack cake package) I want to try those...
- "Show Mercy to the Slender Grass" (from the Wall Street Journal article)


When one door closes, another one opens. Or in this case, the reverse. I finally got my computer re-formatted after a killer virus gutted the hard drive. ("It's just a pinched Ethernet cord," the repairman told me when he came up to my room. The internet was down again five minutes later.) The only original stuff I have left are the documents and pictures I saved on a flash drive. And now, although I can blog and surf the net again, I have no sound driver. Alas, I can only stare at my YouTube 'Favorites' list and hum the sound of Coldplay's 'Yellow' or 'Losing My Religion' by R.E.M. But it's just not the same.

The one good thing about computer repair on campus is that it's free. But that doesn't make the quality quite top-notch. "You can bring your tower down to us and we'll look at it," I've heard three times in a row now. But do I really want to lug my entire modem two blocks through icy patches and slush, down slippery sand-covered stairs of doom for the fourth time this week? Not so much. Maybe when the sun comes out...


sushi night

We had a sushi-making night at the home of one of my Yosakoi friends the other night. It was really cool to see how sushi was actually made, and try it for myself. Plus we got to eat some other amazing Japanese food as well.

There were lots of colourful chopsticks to choose from. There were also forks available, but one of the girls who was there said "It tastes better with chopsticks." I think she's right.

The first step was to cool down some cooked white rice and combine it with a mixture of rice vinegar and sugar. I learned how to stir the rice with a "slicing" motion so it gets sticky, but doesen't form big lumps.

Next, we put down a seaweed sheet on a little bamboo mat, and covered about half of it with rice.

After the rice comes the sushi filling. This one has sliced carrots and cucumbers. We also made some with cooked salmon.

These are the seaweed sheets we used to wrap the rice mixture.

We curled up the rice and seaweed inside the bamboo mat. Once it was made into a roll, we took it out and sliced it up.

This is another kind of sushi we tried - it has egg and cream cheese in the middle. I was a little apprehensive about the combination, but it was actually good. The cream cheese made it sweet.

We ate our sushi with a variety of other Japanese foods. In the bowls is miso soup - cubes of soft tofu in fish-flavoured broth. There was also salad and gyoza, little meat dumplings. And for the very brave there were pickled plums - probably the most sour thing I've ever tasted. We also had brown rice green tea (in the blue cups), and banana bread for dessert. Definitely a meal I wouldn't mind repeating...

you don't know what you've got...

They say you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

Recently on campus, a bicycle turned up lodged in the branches of a very tall tree. It was definitely a conversation piece for everyone walking along the sidewalk between classes. I don't know how many people I saw stepping off the path to take a picture of it on their phones. It was a random object that made us realise that sometimes the important question is not "why?" but "how?" (It was a pretty tall tree - I really want to know how they did get it up there.) I kept wanting to take a picture of it, but always forgot my camera. Then, after almost a week, it was gone. It was up in the tree when I walked into class, and when I came back, it wasn't.

Weird to say, but I kind of wish it was back there. I'm just waiting for it to turn up in another tree somewhere else...


normal people make me laugh...

Sometimes people just have habits that amuse me to no end. The things they say and do, which might be totally normal to them, make me want to burst out laughing. (What is "normal", anyway? If you meet one sometime, let me know.) Some examples:

- A boy in my Composition class last semester, who was extremely logical and rational about everything. He got good grades, always had assignments in on time, and always had argument to back up whatever he said in class. On the day our paper was due he walked into class halfway through the period, red from running from the library burst out with: "I am on Step 12 of my stress relief strategy!"

- A girl who gave my roommate and I a Mary Kay facial yesterday. She sounded so rehearsed, just like a Mary Kay commercial. While she was going on about the products we tried, I was trying to stifle my laughter, and thinking of the scene in Napoleon Dynamite where they try to sell Tupperware, and throw in the model boat for free. "I want that boat..."

- My roommate in general, who has a fetish for tearing down outdated posters around campus, and running out of her way to step on crunchy patches of snow around the sidewalk.

- My botany teacher, who keeps saying the most interesting things, like "You can draw meiosis vertically or horizontally, but I'm going to do it like this, because it's my drawing. So there."

music meme

It's February, so that means I can do another meme, right? I've been discovering some intriguing bands, so I thought one to do with music was appropriate. Here goes.

Music that changed my life
Deep End by the Newsboys - it pretty much exactly reflects my trip to Boston two summers ago.
Byzantine chant - visit an Orthodox church sometime and you'll understand.

Music I can listen to on repeat
Dil Nai Lagada - great Bhangra dance
Snow Patrol

An album I'd take to a deserted island
Something by Oasis - and not just because of the name. Probably the second disc on their Stop the Clocks collection. Good stuff, that.

Music that makes me smile
The Numa Numa song by O-Zone. Fortunately it's in Romanian; the actual lyrics are quite sad. good thing the tune is so catchy.
Million Ways to be Cruel by OK Go - just watch the music video.
Fivetweezy by Axel F
Celebrity by Brad Paisley - one of the few country songs

Music that makes me cry
Run by Snow Patrol - so sad, even though it's a little hopeful

Music I wish had been made
Not sure exactly what this means...music I had made? That probably wouldn't be so amazing. But the world could always use another Beatles album...

Music I wish hadn't been made
I can do without most screaming rock and country. But there is a time for everything.

Music I'm currently into
Kings of Convenience
Bhangra, or anything Indian
Snow Patrol
Jack Johnson
The Beatles
The Hush Sound
World Salsa
Caesar's Palace

Music I've been meaning to explore
The Cranberries
Bob Marley
Carly Simon
The Decemberists
Shhh ( a local band)

And there you have it.


busy busy

I guess the one good thing about not having any posts lately is that I've actually been getting some stuff accomplished here. Since the last post I have successfully:

- conducted my first interview for News & Feature Writing class
- tested my spit for enzymes in Botany
- begun applying for my passport
- recovered from the trauma of realizing how much it's actually going to cost to go to Japan
- survived my first meeting as President of our school's Orthodox Christian Fellowship
- restrained myself from beating my dormroom computer after two weeks of next-to-nonexistent internet connection
- started learning a new Yosakoi dance that's harder than all the other ones I've learned combined

Yeah, it's definitely different than last semester.