31 December 2008
30 December 2008
25 December 2008
24 December 2008
20 December 2008
p.s. see here's the benefit of the stretch blog format: we can enjoy this picture how it's meant to be enjoyed!
19 December 2008
It's pretty isn't it? There should be some foothills in the background but they are hidden by the clouds.
Fortunately I was able to hit up the little convenience store at campus housing before it closed so I could stock up on nutritious non-perishables to see me through the storm. It was the perfect day for The Dark Knight to come from Netflix. Can't wait to party by myself tonight! Technically only three pages of thesis left to write!
(no, they do not sell Bacardi at the student store... but it's just too cold for gimlets so rum and cokes will have to do!)
p.s. I changed the layout to a stretch format to benefit those of us with widescreen computers-- feedback?
17 December 2008
Hot Buttered Rum (if you spill it on yourself, you'll smell like Christmas)
NYT talks to Julian Zelizer (I read this for pleasure)
= a pretty good Wednesday!
Portrait of the Barack as a Young Man. Also badass.*
Oh snap! I thought I was clicking on a preview and it's really the whole episode of the new Flight of the Conchords! Go Wednesday!
16 December 2008
Your husband's name is Clive Owen (you don't have to twist my arm) and you have 4 children (good lord!). You're a Public Historian who drives to work every day in a Red Dutch Bike (fancy that).
It's truly a wonderful life when you consider the countless romantic nights you have spent with Clive Owen in your shack in Washington (indeed!).Well, that takes care of things.
15 December 2008
But it's funny, in the midst of all that I have to do, two hours is a lot of time to come away with only ten minutes of actual usable material. What do I make of that, a second instance in which few of my questions were answered? I concluded that really the whole of the two hours, regardless of content, was so much more than just doing oral history research-- it was sharing in this profound, intangible human experience that I don't even think I can start to describe. I love that my research puts me in touch with people that I would never otherwise meet.
Today I think I finally realized how sublime it is to just listen, and how much people appreciate the small gesture of someone listening to them with an open mind. I can't even tell you what it is like to be in a completely quiet room just listening to someone interpret their life. I came away from the interview with a higher respect for the opportunity I have. I don't know that the end result of preserving people's contributions to history is number one for me anymore; I think there is something to be said for giving people the opportunity for telling their stories and embracing the value of those stories to that person. I think the process is more important than the product. I think history is less about understanding the world and more about understanding each other. I think regardless of what happens with my applications and my life long term, I can really appreciate the education I'm getting in the moment and what it does for how I think about what it means to be human and to be alive.
And you know what? I am starting to have a damn good time writing my thesis too. As I start to realize that I am getting very close to my chair's very firm 30 page limit and as I rediscover really cool stuff in my notecards from St. Louis-- remember St. Louis??-- I am getting kind of stoked. It took me twenty-odd pages that I have to go back and revisereviserevise, but I am finally feeling some flow! I am writing a history that has never been written before! This is pretty bad ass.
You know what else is bad ass? The video I'm posting. We all need these kinds of kumbaya lovey feelings this time of the semester, and I feel so fortunate that people that people have been sending them my way that I want to put more of those feelings into the universe. And of course, I love Whitney Houston. Also-- I dedicate this one to all the Arrested Development fans out there.
13 December 2008
This morning I found a nice way to cope with a mild hangover*: a nice protracted meandering through the Life photo archive in my bed. This was of course great until, being in bed and everything, my laptop overheated and shut down. I didn't realize that was why it happened and felt pretty convinced that it would never turn back on.
As it failed to come back on after several attempts, and I saw my thesis draft flash before my eyes, it occurred to me that in the past, such an incident would have freaked me out a lot more. But the panic that I would've felt-- perhaps accompanied by some tears and frantic phone calls-- just wasn't there. There was even a moment where I was kinda glad, since it would mean taking the day off to order another computer and maybe actually getting my act together on my projects.
But alas, the computer came back on with a big SHAME ON YOU FOR LETTING ME GET TOO HOT message. As soon as it did, I backed everything up, and of course heaved a huge sigh of relief while I continued to entertain thoughts about getting a new computer in time to write it off. It was a very mellow little crisis.
I daresay, in the process of growing up and getting hormonally regulated, I have become completely uninteresting and entirely unfamiliar.
*don't have Imperial Stout and Outlaw Red in the same evening, ok?
10 December 2008
08 December 2008
07 December 2008
06 December 2008
that Robert Redford was one of the sexiest men to ever grace the silver screen. Seriously, out of the blue I was like, "Good lord, please bring mustaches BACK!" (really?!) It's like you think you know who you are and what you want and then Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid waltz in and turn it all upside down.
05 December 2008
Here's is a dark but intriguing slideshow of Cuba. Castro wants to talk with Obama, and I really hope Barack will take him up on the offer. Our policy on Cuba requires reevaluation and I will be deeply disappointed if the embargo is still hanging on in four years.
For Mark Kozelek week, here's a really lovely live version of Salvador Sanchez.
04 December 2008
So I found it almost annoying when I saw this picture. Ugh! I hate it when the positive energy of the universe speaks to me in my own language, right down to the bottle dynamo. I want to be negative, dangit!
03 December 2008
"Challenge to a Cynic"
You are a cynic.
Because show me where
I have ever said
That there's absolute proof
That nothing that man
Has ever conducted
Or engaged in,
Has had any effect,
Or no effect,
On climate change.
Piece related to coffee.
Piece tying coffee and Russia together, more or less: The increasing popularity of White Russians is tied to The Big Lebowski. It reminded me that the only time I've ever had a White Russian, which was while watching The Big Lebowski. It knocked me out pretty early in the movie and as a result of this story, I am not qualified to be an alcoholic nor a hipster.
02 December 2008
I think it's turning into Mark Kozelek week here at COTGB, which is alright by me. Click here for "Revelation Big Sur." It's lovely.
Thank Bicycle Jesus that we have Chris Buttars to save Christmas.
01 December 2008
It's already clear that it's going to be one of those kinds of weeks. Cranking the soothing music and enjoying some Coca-cola, trying to muddle through.
Bike commuters get tax breaks via the bailout!
I'm not entirely sure how it works, but for 20 bucks a month I am definitely on board. Though lucky for me, the ODT doesn't require much maintenance.
I like that scene because it features lots of Mark Kozelek. Watching that movie totally reignited my Sun Kill Moon / Red House Painters love. This song is not connected to the movie at all:
Ah. That was nice.
29 November 2008
28 November 2008
Yes, yes I did.
I could not resist the allure of Bicycle Jesus.
There is nothing more appropriate to wear when I ride my bike to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, methinks.
27 November 2008
I'm grateful for my humidifier, sweats, scarf, Netflix instant movies and soft sweater, all of which make being sick a little less lame.
I'm grateful that I have a great friend who invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family. That means a lot to me.
I'm grateful to be in Salt Lake even though it is the hardest thing I have ever done.
I'm grateful for all of the opportunities that I have.
I'm grateful that my future is probably more forgiving than I think it is, and that even though I haven't done everything--or anything-- perfectly, I'm grateful that I'm getting to wherever I'm supposed to be.
I'm grateful that I don't feel regret.
I'm grateful to have a good job-- to work for good people and to work with good people is rare.
I'm grateful to be an Aunt, and that just thinking about what that means to me makes me cry.
I'm grateful to be the sum of my parts, which is to say that I am so grateful to be a little piece of everyone in my family.
I'm grateful that I have changed-- or maybe just that I am being more true to who I am. Something to that effect.
I'm grateful for my plane ticket that will get me home in 24 days.
I'm grateful that I have 24 days to get everything done.
I'm grateful that I have much left to learn.
I'm grateful that I encounter so many passionate people because of what I study.
I'm grateful that I have new car tires for winter and a bike that keeps me fit.
I'm grateful that I still have friends that I grew up with, friends I only just met and friends I have yet to meet.
Thanks for reading my blog, and Happy Thanksgiving!
26 November 2008
25 November 2008
For the design people: FONTS! The 'Aller Sans' font is really nice for an every day font, I think it's going to replace 'Corbel' as my default font.
For the history and juvenile lit nerds out there: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Twitter account.
For the bike riders: Speculation on whether or not Obama's transportation secretary will be a bike proponent. Survey says probably not.
Something for everyone:
Only two days left until we get past the biggest barrier to wholesale Christmas obsession (although the whole 'being a grad student' thing may cramp my style a bit). The fact that Thanksgiving has not yet happened is not stopping me from listening to Christmas music. Not even my pumpkin-pie-free state of being could keep me away from wishing I was one of Mariah's backup dancers.
23 November 2008
“We have sort of a swagger. If you want to win a conference championship, you’ve got to come through us. We feel like it’s ours to lose.”
Well, it was Max's game to lose. As the Trib notes:
"BYU quarterback Max Hall was intercepted five times and lost a critical fumble in the third quarter when BYU trailed only 27-24."
Utah went on to win, 48-24. I'll leave you with this lovely quote from the Times story so you can truly appreciate the tension of the rivalry and the douchey-ness of the BYU team.
The most dramatic [game finish] came two years ago, when B.Y.U. quarterback John Beck scrambled around from the Utah 11-yard line as the clock ran out. He eventually threw across the field to a wide-open Jonny Harline, who sank to his knees to make a catch that delivered a 33-31 victory.
The symbolism of seeing Harline go to his knees to receive Beck’s prayer was not lost on many. But in case it was, B.Y.U. receiver Austin Collie gave it an accompanying sound bite last year after he caught a 49-yard pass on fourth-and-18 to set up a last-minute touchdown in a 17-10 come-from-behind win.
“Obviously, if you do what’s right on and off the field, I think the Lord steps in and plays a part in it,” said Collie, the Cougars’ leading receiver this season. “Magic happens.”
That comment has not been forgotten by the Utes.
“It definitely rubs guys the wrong way,” said Utah defensive end Paul Kruger, who is Mormon. “We’ve got guys who go to chapel every day after practice, people who are doing good things up here. People think that just because they go to a religious school, God’s blessed them with success.”Oh, and speaking of Paul Kruger, I will use this opportunity to post a picture of him (with the amazing QB Brian Johnson). I saw him on the field after the game (you know it's a big win when the fans storm the field with 29 seconds still left on the clock) and he is an Adonis (who knows something about being blessed by God beyond the realm of his awe inspiring hotness).
21 November 2008
20 November 2008
It took a damn while, but it was worth it. This is the best dinner I've made since I roasted the cornish game hen and red potatoes about a month ago. I have included the recipe here, reworked with my own commentary and tips as usual. (original can be found here) I found the dill cream to be a little thick for my taste-- to be quite honest, I think you could dumb these down by throwing some dill in with the patty mix and dipping these bad boys in ranch and be no less happy. I personally am going to go pass out because that dinner was just too awesome. Can't wait to reheat these in the oven all weekend!
Time: 45 minutes plus at least 30 minutes’ chilling
FOR THE POTATO SALMON PATTIES:
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 cups mashed potatoes, chilled (I don't think I had quite that much)
2 cups panko (it's in the Asian foods section)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
FOR THE GARLICKY DILL CREAM:
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I buy mine prechopped, no shame)
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (mine came from a cannister, bite me) (I think I used about a tablespoon, it was fine)
Olive or vegetable oil for frying.
1. Squeeze as much water from spinach as possible (use your hands and squeeeeeze). Place in a bowl and add potatoes, salmon, 1 cup panko, 2 eggs, salt and pepper; mix well to combine.
2. Place remaining bread crumbs in a wide, shallow bowl. Place remaining eggs in a second bowl and beat lightly. Place flour in a third bowl.
3. Form spinach mixture into 3-inch patties, about 3/4-inch thick (mine were smaller, and to make them again I would make them even smaller--easier, faster frying). Dip each patty into flour, tapping off excess, then the egg, letting excess drip into bowl. Coat evenly with panko crumbs. I recommend doing allof them in the flour, then all in the egg, then all in the panko. Otherwise you get this otherworldly clumps of creation on the ends of your fingers that will not quit. Even then, this part is so messy. Don't let it break your spirit. Transfer patties to a large baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
4. Meanwhile, make dill cream: In a mortar and pestle or with the back of a knife, mash garlic and salt together to make a paste. (yah right) Stir it into the sour cream or yogurt. Add dill and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Chill until ready to serve.
5. Heat 1/4-inch oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; if using olive oil, you don’t need to use good extra virgin oil (oh snobby NYT, how I love you). Cook patties in batches, turning once halfway through, until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes a side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve hot, with a dollop of dill cream.Yield: 14 patties.
Rivalry Week aside: All a BYU education gets you is a bag of stinky underwear and a cot from Smith's. Noted.
So glad that somebody is speaking out about what a piece of shit the Electoral College is; so sad that our country has MUCH BIGGER PROBLEMS than what would inevitably be a protracted awful nasty amendment attempt.
Rivalry Week aside: Cosmo the Cougar's dumb outfit is made from the skin of recently shot rhinos. Cosmo the Cougar is also stupid. (zing!)
On a more positive note, I love this package design website and I really appreciate the art of Frank Plant.
Rivalry Week aside: BYU doesn't even like art.
You know what else I appreciate? GQ made Jon Hamm a man of the year. Of the four, he tops my list! Heh heh heh. Rivalry Week aside: Jon Hamm won't even make appearances in your dreams if you go to BYU because BYU sucks and Jon Hamm hates BYU and he hopes that they lose lose lose on Saturday because they are losing losers who lose.
What, that was too much for you? Fine. Then I'll leave you with an image of something really fantastic, something I'm going to make out of my leftover mashed potatoes.
Rivalry Week aside: It's something almost as good as watching BYU suffer at the hands of the Utes. Close, but not quite.
19 November 2008
18 November 2008
Could the day get any better?! Oh wait! It could! Bill Kristol might be leaving The Times (hopefully for outer space!)! Mittens had interesting things to say in The Times! Ted Stevens lost! Thanks for keeping felons out of the Senate, Alaskans.I would say my faith in democracy is restored, but really, this is the country that elected Barack Obama two weeks ago. My faith in democracy is sustained.
17 November 2008
I also love the fact that they spoofed it. (can't find it on the interwebs, sorry)
Not the funniest thing in the world maybe, but I do love that Andy Samberg.
Yay Gawker for beating Hulu to the punch!
15 November 2008
Also, this is really sad. I remember Tuba Man inspiring me as a young tuba kid going to concerts at The Key. I thought it was poignant that they had a tuba ensemble play Salvation is Created at the memorial service. While there aren't any good recordings of it up, I found this one (performed at my alma mater, no less) to my liking. The tuba part in this song was always one of my favorites.
Now I'm busting out all the old band hits. Add a tuba to my fantasy Christmas list.
14 November 2008
i can't tell if this shows that i really care about what i do or whether it justs boasts about my ability to make a great sandwich.
I say this because I think that such effort-- such devotion to my craft-- should certainly be rewarded by the magic of the text-- the six books I need to read are, after all, in my field! This should be an unending pleasure cruise of an evening! And then I opened up The Longest and Newest Book on My List that I Shall Not Name and my evening started to feel like that Office episode where they go on the cruise, only not even funny or entertaining. I have not been so enraged and annoyed by a book after reading only the introduction EVER. I already hate this book more than any book I've ever read, and I mean come on, I finished... no, nothing even compares. My sensibilities have been so assaulted. I feel so wounded, injured, insulted, and aghast that somebody entered my subject area, injected this nasty, biased, bourgeois consensus liberal intellectual elitism into it and then, THEN, called it OBJECTIVITY! The children of post-modernism weep at the very existence of such a book.
So I just wanted to thank artisan bread, mayonnaise, red leaf lettuce, salt and pepper, rosemary infused roasted turkey breast, homemade whole cranberry sauce and whipped cream cheese for settling down the bustling atoms that make up my body. I very nearly exploded.
This Eleanor Grosh print on canvas. Pretty much sums up my favored aesthetic, and would look good with my fantasy brown modern couch (with cute Japanese pillows) in my fantasy PhD apartment where I have my fantasy queen sized bed, my fantasy docile pet and my fantasy freezer that doesn't stank.
These cutie slippers by Simple. My awesome felted wool slippers are beyond repair. :(
A roof rack and carrier to ease the stress of moving all these G-D books next summer.
Oh wtf, this is fantasy. Somebody find me a road bike, stat! And hey, I want to build a Muppet too!
13 November 2008
I noticed this only after a pronounced juxtoposition just minutes earlier. I had gone down to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts for a lecture-- a lecture about the history of libraries-- a lecture that though interesting and engaging but at the same time, embodied the hues of graduate school-- black, gray, cream, white-- words a page (literally, talking about the history of books as well), words in the air, expressions of concepts and insights and interpretations. It was nice then, after the talk, after the reception, to wander off alone into the gallery.
While I liked the works of Shauna Cook Clinger, I was struck by an exhibit of 1960s paintings-- bright, vibrant colors, punchy, in your face, a black circle on a yellow square, a bevy of acrylic colors arranged in perfectly straight lines, So that what you see in the painting is what it is, the painting has no life outside itself, the descriptive card said, or something to that effect. It was like being in a tunnel and suddenly reaching a window. A moment of clarity. A moment of feeling something. A moment of being outside of my self-- outside the realm of my satisfying yet lonely, absorbing life-- and having no life but that sensory one of experiencing the painting. It was revitalizing, exhilerating, and sad all at once-- the joy of existance and being fused with the unaknowledged exhaustion from the consuming scholarly habits of a life of the mind.
Walking back afterwards to where I had parked my bike, before I realized that even my bike rides have changed, I allowed myself to do what I have not done lately. I left the present, the demands of writing and applying and doing, and allowed myself to enjoy what it might feel like when the work is done, when I can play with the kids and meander through foreign lands and overload my mind with superficial movies like The Terminator, to know what my path will be but to momentarily have all the work I can do done. I actually daydreamed rather than press my mind towards what I must do to meet the rapidly coming deadlines. It was marvelous.
I am resolving to reclaim my time on the ODT as something peaceful and restive, to be my little window in my daily tunnel.
11 November 2008
10 November 2008
For fifteen minutes I had been listening to the gathering rally of Chinese voices in the kitchen. I had hoped I had been forgotten so that I might immerse myself in my professor's latest essay, or that book about Central Texas, or maybe a browsing of some must-read book on my list (how am I going to move them all in six months?!). Alas, I was not forgotten. Met by Miss Nigh's slender form clad entirely in green, I excused myself noting that I had much studying to do and might join them later. I was surprised as she said forcefully that the food would not be good if I waited and that, as she grabbed my wrist, I should come join them. It's hard to say no to someone who's got a grip you, so I joined the celebration.
And wouldn't you know, I shared in debates about which is bigger-- America or China (I dissented from the women in that gendered debate and came out on top, China, of course), and whether or not the Utes are actually better than TCU (debatable). If anything, the Chinese love me because I can, without flinching, suck down two room temperature Heinekens (strangely complimentary taste to the regional fair of Schzwan, Dombe and Hainan) (most of them share them between styrofoam cups). I ate tofu, chicken and napa cabbage, brocolli and sausage, 'old air' fungus and get this- I found out what that mystery meat was-- pig's ear! It tastes good, classic pork flavor with a bit of crunch, served parched, with a sauce-- but a little too intimate for me, nibbling on Wilbur's ear (it makes me want to whisper sweet nothings, really).
I served them family recipe molasses cookies to mixed reviews. I think the full bodied molasses was a bit strong for the more mild Schzwan people. Miss Ling, my other roommate, seemed to like them. I like to throw them for a loop after they've served me fungus and pig's ear, it makes me feel like I'm part of the joke.
Anyways, there is nothing like a potluck dinner with the Chinese. Surrounded by jovial conversation I couldn't understand, I just had to sit back and smile. I have really great roomates, and I forget that sometimes.
-Doh! I don't really have a writing sample for my PhD applications.
-15-20 Chinese will be here in an hour to drink two cases of Heineken and feast; I really need to do some reading.
-Mistakenly wrote first thesis draft in my own voice; must write second draft in someone elses. HOW DARE I HAVE MY OWN VISION FOR MY WORK.
-My recreational reading book, Revolutionary Road, ended in a tragic and bloody fashion. Sorry for the spoiler.
-Think I may need new tires soon.
-Dunno why, I just feel like running down the hallway screaming.
08 November 2008
07 November 2008
It has been really nice to talk to people around campus who voted for McCain and have acknowledged that no matter the outcome, democracy has done its job and the people have spoken, and they'll support Obama. I think that people can get past the loss and see that we all have to move forward and solve the problems our country is facing really shows that regardless of who is at the helm, we all have to rise to meet the time that we live in. It's nice to feel unity again.