Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Random Thought of the Day

I have a cousin who married someone named Conrad. Every time he comes up in conversation, which thankfully is not often, I get that terrible song from Bye Bye Birdie stuck in my head. For days and days and days and days and days.... And then I have bad feelings directed towards my dear cousin-in-law. Which is kind of sad because he really is a very nice person. It's not his fault his parents had a sadistic sense of humor. He once came on a road trip with my friends and I and I swear the whole 7 hours were spent singing: We love you Conrad, oh yes we do, We love you Conrad, and We'll be true, When you're not near us we're blue, oh Conrad, We love you!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Books Books Books

I'm pretty bored because EVERYONE is out of town and I have no homework because I suffered through a big rush of tests last week, so I really don't have a lot to write about at the moment. Virginia posted this meme a while ago and I've been meaning to do it because it's all about books so here goes:

1. Do you remember how you developed a love of reading?
My parents were pretty much always reading to me when I was little and the habit stuck.

2. What are some books you loved as a child?
I loved Madeleine L'Engle books, Where the Wild Things Are, and the Babysitter's club. Over time I amassed a HUGE amount of BSC books.

3. What is your favorite genre?
I don't really have a favorite genre. I do try to stay away from those books that are about 6" X 4" and an inch and half thick, ones that come in "special" romance, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy sections in Barnes & Noble. I'm a book snob, it's true.

4. Do you have a favorite novel?
I have a few favorite novels: To Kill a Mockingbird, Life of Pi, The Historian, The Time Traveler's Wife, and Emma.

5. Where do you usually read?
Anywhere with peace and quiet. Usually in bed or at a bookstore.

6. When do you usually read?
At night before I go to bed.

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
Always! This is one of my worst habits. I have book ADD. Right now I'm reading five or six books.

8. Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
Ummm... no?

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
I know I'm a horrible person for doing this, but lots of times I just sit in the bookstore reading books. If it's a really good book I'll buy it though!

10. Do you keep most of the books you buy?
Yes. Usually the ones I get rid of are books I bought on an impulse and didn't thoroughly love.

11. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them?
Yeah, don't have kids.

12. What are you reading now?
A biography about Thurgood Marshall, The New Kings of Nonfiction, Guns Germs and Steel, Angela's Ashes, Twilight...

13. Do you keep a To Be Read list?
Sometimes. It's mostly a list in my head and pretty disorganized.

14. What's next?
A biography on Sandra Day O'Connor. And I've been meaning to read Middlesex for a while.

15. What books would you like to reread?
I don't reread many books, even if I really liked the book. I read the Harry Potter series and my favorite books every few years.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Manic Wednesday

Ahhh! It's been one crazy morning. Here's how it went:

7:00 - I'm still sleeping instead of getting up. Apparently I don't hear alarms when they're wedged under my pillow.

8:15 - I woke up from a delightful dream where the cast of How I Met Your Mother was throwing me a birthday party. And then I looked at the clock. CRAP! CLASS STARTS IN 45 MINUTES! ACROSS THE CITY!

8:20 - I am in my car driving a bit recklessly and hoping that traffic will not be too bad and maybe I can make it only a few minutes late.

9:05 - I made it! But then I looked into my bag and discovered no binder of notes that we were allowed to use on the test. Uh-oh..... So I took the test. And luckily it was pretty easy because I knew my stuff. The notes were only going to be a safety net really. But I still couldn't remember all the names of specific clauses and laws and people. Oh well, what are you gonna do?

10:00 - I hopped in my car to drive BACK home to get the forgotten binder which also has notes in it for my 1:00 test today. Good thing gas isn't expensive or anything...

Anyway, I'm surprisingly not too upset or frazzled over the whole thing. It's kind of nice being home in the middle of the day, hanging out with my little Baerli, and blogging.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Adventures of the Deranged Kitty

I had my suitcase out on my bed today and found out my cat has a serious attraction to it. He climbed onto it and started thrashing all over it. Weird deranged kitty. I photographed the love-fest.

Another deranged kitty scene happened yesterday. My brother was cleaning out Kitty's litter box and his back made a perfect horizontal for the kitty to jump onto and attack. Like so:

Kitty says, "Take THAT for cleaning out my box! Hsssss!"

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bits of Absurdity

There have been some weird happenings lately. One of Lizzie's friends was starring in a musical so I took her to see it. During the intermission, I found her a boyfriend. Isn't he handsome?

They also had some weird, seriously creepy puppet animal heads on display. I have no idea what the owners of the theatre were trying to convey, but it was in Wisconsin, so I don't know what we were expecting.

Then Lizzie decided to channel her inner Wall-E, but failed miserably because I was making her laugh so hard:

During my lunch break the other day, Minnesota Public Radio was hosting a veterinarian fielding caller's questions. She said that if you have allergies, it's a good idea to give you cat a bath because their saliva can often be what's triggering your allergic reaction. So I gave my deranged cat a bath, much to his dismay, and then photographed it, because really, there aren't very many things more hilarious and ridiculous looking than a wet cat.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wishful Thinking

This weekend there's a big two night music festival going on downtown. I've been trying to decide whether or not to go. There are some good acts like Missy Higgins, Augustana, and Landon Pigg... but the price is a bit steep. I'll be honest, Missy Higgins is the driving force behind my desire to go. I've listened to her for a long time, but she's from Australia. Which means it's going to be quite a while till I'll even get the chance to see her again.

This whole internal debate made me stop and think about the many other artists I LOVE but for some reason or another never get to see live. And the top 5 are:

1) Jamie Cullum. There is no one, no one, no one that I'd rather see in concert period. He's a jazz musician who sings and plays the piano, but he infuses all of his songs and performances with tons of energy and newness. But he's also a non-American and seems content to stick to performances on the other side of the Atlantic. And when he does come on over, he only seems to play a couple of shows in California or New York. One of these days I'm going to plan a vacation around his tour schedule. My favorite Jamie songs: Twentysomething, All at Sea, These are the Days, and Oh God.

2) Ray Lamontagne. I can't even remember where I first heard his music, but it just swept me up. You can tell he's heavily influenced by Bob Dylan with his inspired lyrics and gravelly voice, but his songs are a bit understated and quiet like Damien Rice's music. It seems like whenever he comes to a place I live, I'm out of town or just moved. Without fail. My favorite Ray songs: Empty, Forever my Friend, and Shelter.

3) David Gray. Another artist from another country. Do you see a theme emerging? He did come to Salt Lake once, but his show was canceled because of some freak vocal cord thing. Favorite David songs: From Here you can Almost See the Sea, This Year's Love, and Sail Away.

4) Paolo Nutini. He kind of reminds me of Mika in some ways. Maybe not as much energy, but his music is inventive and it makes me happy when I put it on. He's (of course) a Scotlander who never tours in the US either. Favorite Paolo songs: Jenny Don't be Hasty, New Shoes, and Autumn.

5) Yoav. If you've never heard of him, look him up! He made his entire debut cd using only his voice, an acoustic guitar, and loop pedals, but you'd never guess it by listening to him. It sounds very synthesized hip hopish because he uses his guitar to make really unconventional percussive sounds. I didn't really get how it was possible until I watched this video of him. And yes, he's not from the US either, but he does call Montreal one of his homes, so maybe I'll have more of a chance to see him in the future. Favorite songs: Club Thing (You must listen to this one!), Beautiful Lie, and Adore Adore.

What musician(s) have you always wanted to go see live, but never got the chance?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Art Museum Bonanza

Like I said yesterday, my sister and I hit up the Minneapolis Institute of Arts last Saturday. We were all excited about some guy's black and white photography exhibit, but it turns out that you had to be a member to see the exhibit before Sunday. But we made the best of it and took in the museum's collection of Modern and European 1800-1900's art. We found lots of great work like this detailed work made entirely of different shades of ash. I wish the picture of the artwork could do the real piece justice, but nothing could capture the texture and detail like actually being there.

We also found several FABULOUS pieces by Salvador Dali, one of my favorite artists of all time.

The conversation my sister and I had as we stopped to look at this painting:

Lizzie: Dali was an artist?

Me: Yeah! He's great. You know that painting where the clock looks like it's melting? He painted that.

Lizzie: Oh! For some reason I was thinking he was a religious leader or something. Oh wait, that's the Dalai Lama.

And then we both dissolved into giggles despite the stares from other museum-goers.

We coveted this lobster phone, also by Dali:

The longer we were in the museum, the sillier we got. We found this retro scale:

But then we got a little confused by the mixed messages on the podium:

We found art boyfriends for each other. Lizzie's is the one with green hair and mine is the one in the yellow hat.

Three figures giving the stink-eye, what a photo op!

Lizzie imitating a statue's humble pose:

A squished statue man (he's being stepped on by some statue woman) puckering up for Lizzie:
And finally, posing with the colorful bunny: