Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't Let Dr. Z Keep You Down

1. Yesterday I hung out with some teenagers who are part of a GLBTQ youth group in Ithaca. They asked me how old I was. I answered "I'm 23," and one girl said "Oh, but you look young, though." Thanks.

2. Rebecca Black's 'Friday' as Radical Text. If you haven't seen or heard of this song, you're lucky. But if you want to inform yourself about something that has united Americans, if only in hatred and distaste, here it is:
I'm not saying that I like this song, I'm saying that I like the critique linked to above.

3. Quakers got some love on the Colbert Report last night. Unfortunately, Stephen Prothero wasn't quite correct about what meeting for worship involves, but it was nice that he thought of us when Colbert asked what the best religion was.

4. There's a tumblr for everything these days. The Fuck Yeah Pyschology Student Platypus tumblr is not all that it could be (and why is it a stuffed platypus? It should be a dog with a fistula), but here are my favorites:



  
5. Tomorrow is April! It's going to snow. But spring is that much closer. (Thanks again to Max for reminding me via text message that he enters April six hours before me). 

Distressed Haiku - Donald Hall

In a week or ten days
the snow and ice
will melt from Cemetery Road.

I'm coming! Don't move!

Once again it is April.
Today is the day
we would have been married
twenty-six years.

I finished with April
halfway through March.

You think that their
dying is the worst
thing that could happen.

Then they stay dead.

Will Hall ever write
lines that do anything
but whine and complain?

In April the blue
mountain revises
from white to green.

The Boston Red Sox win
a hundred straight games.
The mouse rips
the throat of the lion

and the dead return.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the End is Near, Eat Some Vegan Desserts

1. Hyperbole and a Half! I really enjoy all of her stories, but the most recent one, the Scariest Story, had me chortling. And I rarely chortle at things I read on the internet.

2. While writing this, this song came up on shuffle. It's one of my favorites by my favorite band, the Mountain Goats.


2.This website that enables you to send an e-mail to yourself at a given time - assuming of course that you have the same e-mail address in however many years. And that e-mail is still a form of communication that we use. And that we're all still alive. The cook at the diner says that the rapture will begin by the end of the year, so maybe you'd better not waste time writing an e-mail to your future self.

3. I'm not vegan, I'm not even vegetarian, but I really love reading vegan blogs and trying out new vegan recipes. Here's another good one: Post Punk Kitchen.

 4. On the subject of delicious vegan food, two of my favorite vegans have recently started vegan baking companies in their respective cities. So if you're in the Chicago area, check out the Mixing Bowl Bakery. If you find yourself in the Atlanta area, be sure to try some goodies from the Kandai Cakery.

5. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Me in a Tree

1. Sporcle! Today I was reminded of the many glorious hours of senior year that I spent doing Sporcle quizzes instead of work. I often did them with groups of friends in my living room, on my bed, or at work at Runyan desk. It's really not ideal to do them as a group, as it results in a lot of people yelling answers at one person trying to type quickly enough and listen at the same time. The best. Some of my favorites were Top Songs of the 90's, the Beatles in Latin, Game by Cupcake, Books by Their Covers, and all of the many Movie Poster quizzes.

2. Last night I made a very good and very easy vegan chocolate cake. Recipe here. Whipped up a mocha icing with coconut milk creamer, powdered sugar, coffee grounds, and cocoa powder.

3. This interesting study that compares brains' reactions to pain - both physical and emotional. The study suggests that the brain reacts the same way to thinking about a lost love as it does to mild pain. It also mentions the pain associated with social rejection. I would be really interested to see where else this research can go - what about other traumatic events such as death or violence? How long do the physical effects of emotional trauma last compared to the effects of physical trauma?

4. I like it when people send me things that they think I might like to post on my blog. Finding things on the internet to entertain you all with on a regular basis can be time consuming. Thanks for your contributions! Feel free to send me more videos, songs, articles, pictures, links, etc - either in the comments, on facebook, or my e-mail (hmstaab@gmail.com).

5. Whenever I need a picture to spice up a blog post, I just open up iphoto and look for something interesting. Today, I found this picture of me in a tree in Honduras in 2004.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Put a Little Strut Into It

1. The mucous monster has set up camp in my sinuses, BUT Halls Mentho-lyptus (not a word) Triple Soothing cough drops provide momentary relief. AND, on the wrappers, they also provide "A PEP TALK IN EVERY DROP." Some favorites:
- You can do it and you know it.
- Get through it.
- Put your game face on.
- Hi-five yourself.
- Nothing you can't handle.
and my all-time favorite: Put a little strut into it.
It's like an over-enthusiastic PE teacher every time I unwrap a cough drop.

2. Coasting down hills.

3. (Thanks, Annabee).

4. Staab sisters fashion and attitude. Don't mess with a Staab girl.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Dad is Cooler Than Your Dad

1. Tune Yards' "Bizness" video

2. This optical illusion.

3. Another great better book titles.
4. It snowed again and I've been sick, but this morning I was joined in bed by three puppies, and that was pretty great.

5. Alright, first watch this video and get offended:
And then watch this video, and feel a little better:
 
I know that this isn't a thought blog, but I would be interested to hear people's opinions about Alexandra Wallace. After posting that video, she received threats, was harassed, and eventually decided to discontinue her study at UCLA. You can read more about this, from two different opinions, in the NY Times and the Huffington Post. I certainly agree that Alexandra Wallace's video was racist, offensive, and generally just plain stupid. But I think that the appropriate response is exactly what Jimmy Wong (there was a piece on NPR about him) did - point out the ridiculousness of her statements and render them powerless through parody.

Monday, March 21, 2011

the slush in thunder

1. I spent a wonderful weekend in Harrisburg, PA, helping out with a PYM (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting) middle school aged youth retreat. Hung out with great youth, great FAPs (Friendly Adult Presences), and I even got some free out of season non-local vegetables to take home. And you all know how much I love free out of season non-local food.

2. Qwerty Beats.


3. Mark Jenkins' street art.

4. My cousin Janice's wedding video.

5.

Black spring! Pick up your pen, and weeping,
Of February, in sobs and ink,
Write poems, while the slush in thunder
Is burning in the black of spring.

Through clanking wheels, through church bells ringing
A hired cab will take you where
The town has ended, where the showers
Are louder still than ink and tears.

Where rooks, like charred pears, from the branches
In thousands break away, and sweep
Into the melting snow, instilling
Dry sadness into eyes that weep.

Beneath - the earth is black in puddles,
The wind with croaking screeches throbs,
And-the more randomly, the surer
Poems are forming out of sobs.
- Boris Pasternak

Friday, March 18, 2011

last night's feathers exchanged for new ones

1. The Sistine Chapel, complete with mood music.

2. GOOD - a news website dedicated to spreading good news (not the Good News, just news that is not bad).

3. The snow is almost completely melted. If it stays this warm for another two or three days, it may all be gone soon.

4. I know I've shared about inter-species friendships before, but I just think that they're awesome.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Deep Fried Watermelon

Yes. I've changed the colors of my blog. This was the only way I could find to deal with the strange blue-link phenomena. Maybe I'll try to change it back later. What do you think of the blue?

1. Happy St. Patrick's Day! I like the muppets, and I like the song Danny Boy, and I like that these guys sound a lot like what a large group of Irishmen in a pub sound like when they start singing. Which they do.

2. I have fond memories of St. Patrick's Day. Two years ago, I was lucky enough to be in Dublin for almost a week for the holiday. It was pretty insane. Here's a picture of us singing with strangers on Temple Bar (taken by Hallie):
Last year, I drank beer on my roof with friends, and tried to think of foods that no one would ever deep fry. We then googled each food, and found that, indeed, someone had deep fried them.

This year, I was amused by the St. Patty's Day display in Wegmans. You might not be able to see it, but that's a fountain of green liquid pouring constantly from a keg (it also has a loop of cheesy Irish songs playing):

3. This video by Flushing International Highschool students made in response to a racial hate crime at their school.

4.  More Back to the Future pictures here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Croatian Fan Base

1. We've all been there. I'm perpetually surprised by the fact that we can do things like start cars remotely (really? do we need to do that?) but I've still yet to encounter a printer that didn't give me lip.

2. This is probably old news to all of you, but I recently discovered that you can look at "stats" about who reads your blog and such things. My biggest readership is in the US, and then (in descending order) Germany, Spain, Russia, Latvia, Denmark, the UK, Croatia, South Korea and Canada. Some of those makes sense, but to my Russian, Latvian, Croatian, and South Korean readers, I ask, who are you?

Another strange discovery is that two of my biggest traffic sources are the following sites: www.yandex.ru,  and pingywebedition.somee.com. That's even more puzzling to me than my Croatian fan base (or is it the reason for my Croatian fan base?).

3. (found on Holly's tumblr)

4. I really love the band the National. I don't tend to enjoy watching youtube videos of live music, but this one is really spectacular. It feels like you are there in the room with them.
 

5.

Thanks, Tia

Recently I've been receiving e-mails containing amusing/cute pictures from one Latia Jointer. My favorites so far are these:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daylight

1. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes - the International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault, and Gender Violence. Kudos, men, cuz I can't even walk across a room in those shoes.

2. Put a little girl with long black hair in a hotel corridor, and see what happens.



 3. More past and present pictures here.

3. Daylight savings! Daylight!

4. I realized that I don't talk very much about books, even though books are definitely something that I like. I recently read the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

Friday, March 11, 2011

there was nothing under my skin but light

Birthdays inevitably make me think of this poem.

On Turning Ten

by Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I’m coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light–
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.


But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.


This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.


It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wine, Cake, and Glee

1. Thanks for all of the birthday wishes via internet, phone, and mail.

2. Tonight, I drank some white wine, ate some cake, and watched some Glee. Santana and Brittany sang "Landslide," and it was pretty good (although I really don't see how it was "Sapphic"). But it made me think of the cover of Landslide done by the group the Back Beats in the acapella competition "the Sing Off." It's a shortened version, but it's really great.


3. Notice how I embedded that video there? Yeah, just learned how to do that.

4. Another video, (sorry Maggie and Chez). I like this video with college students speaking out about their need for, and support of, Planned Parenthood.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

what we use everyday to open cans

I don't know what's up with the colors on my blog. They will not let me fix it. Hopefully it's just me who sees it all wonky, or it fixes itself.

1. the song "Someone Like You" by Adele.  If you don't have her new album yet, get it.

2. Cake vs. Pie: a Scientific Approach. I have to disagree with the data stating that the best part of cake is the icing, though.

3. G-mail's got my back. When I type "I've attached _____" in an e-mail, and then inevitably forget to attach it, g-mail now stops me and asks if I'd intended to attach something. So great. 

4.
Credo  

I believe there is something else
entirely going on but no single
person can ever know it,
so we fall in love.

It could also be true that what we use
everyday to open cans was something
much nobler, that we'll never recognize.

I believe the woman sleeping beside me
doesn't care about what's going on
outside, and her body is warm
with trust
which is a great beginning.

- Matthew Rohrer

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pancake Tuesday

1. I almost put off updating this until tomorrow until I remembered that today is Pancake Tuesday. Tomorrow will not be Pancake Tuesday, and while I could still write about how much I like it, it wouldn't be the same. Today is Pancake Tuesday. And I like it.

2. Try to beat the computer at rock paper scissors.

3. Daniel Craig in drag for Women's Day. Also Judy Dench's voice. Did you know she was a Quaker?

4. Tonight I browsed the romantic comedy category of Netflix watch instantly, and decided to watch the trailer for the movie "Good Dick." The movie has been repeatedly appearing on my recommendations list, but I'd always ignored it, cuz, you know, who names a movie "Good Dick?" And who am I to watch such a film? But I watched it. And I really, really liked it. It is not a romantic comedy, I don't think. And it's not as cute as the trailer makes it look. And I can see why it got 53% on Rotten Tomatoes. And it has a truly unfortunate and ill-fitting title. And it's rated R and will probably make some people uncomfortable. And I don't think that the shot that they have as the cover for the movie ever actually happened.  BUT it is unlike any American romance movie I've ever seen, and handles the subject matter of sex phobia and how horrific intimacy can be for some people so gracefully and without being the least bit exploitative.

5. It is still winter here. I don't like that. There's two feet of snow outside. Don't like it. But, I do like looking at pictures of a time, just seven months ago, when I was in Hawaii. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In all Moments of Our Absurdity

1) I know Post Secret is old news, but I did recently discover the Post Secret Archive. See, when Frank Warren posts new secrets every Sunday, he replaces the ones from the week before. But the Post Secret Archive has a lot of the old secrets. Myself, I started saving my favorite secrets on my hard drive six years ago, and I now have a collection of 447 secrets. Here is one of my favorites of my favorites:

2) Speaking of moments of absurdity, I like this poorly scanned picture of Emily giving me the finger during the picture line up for prom (and isn't prom just about the most absurd things ever?):


3) Annnnd one last moment of loving absurdity, here are my parents in the early seventies:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Honey Juice with Wings

1) At the Diner yesterday, a mom and small child (probably around three years old) came in. The mom let the little girl order for herself, and when I asked her what she wanted to drink, she said "some honey juice." The mom explained to me that that was something she made at home - warm water and honey - and then started to explain to her daughter that you couldn't order that at a diner. I told her that you totally could. So I made my first cup of honey juice. As they were leaving, mom asked for a to go cup for the rest of the drink, and the little girl said "Yeah, a cup with wings!" So yesterday I made my first cup of honey juice, and then cut little wings out of extra receipt paper, and taped them onto the cup.

2) Finally. A horror movie about a tire. It's about fucking time.

3) Kevin Richardson, this South African guy, can cuddle with lions. I don't really feel the need to cuddle with lions myself, but I think it's cool that he can. There are a lot of videos on youtube of him, and this one is kind of a compilation of them.

4) This poem by Shel Silverstein, documenting perfectly the reason why I struggle with insomnia:

Whatif

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!


4) This is gonna be a cheesy shout out to my readers. I don't actually know how many of you there are, but I'm really grateful to all of you who do read this, and who let me know that you like it. Especially those of you who read and enjoy this blog even though you cannot watch videos for whatever reason. There are some days when I don't really feel like I like anything, anything at all. Knowing that some people are checking for new posts, and will pester me if I go too long without posting, forces me to think of things I like. And there are always things I like, in the end. Cheeseballnuts.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just Used "Sleuthing" in a Sentence

1. "Take Off Your Sunglasses" by Ezra Furman and the Harpoons. The video is not special so you should probably just listen to the song while you read this blog post. (For Maggie: don't worry, it will be on the Rowntree Spring Mix).

2. Today, for the first time ever, I got the comfy chair at Waffle Frolic, the coffee/waffle place I hang out at. It was great. It's also great even when I don't get the comfy chair, because on the second floor there are seats that are right up against the windows. You can watch everything going on on the Ithaca Commons, and also have an excellent view of that Mate place run by that cult where all the men have ponytails (I'm pretty sure there's more to the cult than that, but that is all the information that my sleuthing from across the way has earned me).

3. If I had the kind of readers that commented on my blog, I would have a caption contest for this picture of my sisters:
4. Inspired by spring and my love of daffodils, I decided to teach myself to paint them. It's a learning process, but here is my first try:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

“I am a beautiful animal! I am a destroyer of worlds!"

1. It's March! February is over! March greeted me last night at 12:30 with a text from my friend Max in Germany (through g-mail), who gloated that he finished February before I did. I really don't like February in general, and the start of March is always super exciting. When I was younger, it was because my birthday is in early March. Although I still get excited about my birthday, now I'm mostly excited for the beginning of the end of winter.

2. Animals being friends. Speaking of, if you haven't seen this video yet, you should.

3. I don't know that this case really changed Obama's mind like the title of the article claims, but I like it. The video is wonderful. I also really like that Obama has finally decided to take some stand when it comes to gay marriage. It's not my priority when it comes to gay rights, but it is for a lot of people I care about.

4. Yesterday I got a wonderful package from my friend Beka. I got a watercolor palate, a small watercolor pad, and some tubes of paint. I'm really excited about the Payne's Grey, because people keep on talking about it in my watercolor class, but I can't really justify the expense of another tube of paint right now.

5. Found yourself suddenly living in a mostly vegan household with a small shared food budget? Me too! Check out Vegan Dad.

6. Wizard People, Dear Reader. This guy narrates the whole first Harry Potter movie. Stuff like this :
"Harry feels right with himself. He’s down there, a new god who has found his calling. He holds up the Snitch and bellows: “I am a beautiful animal! I am a destroyer of worlds! I am Harry Fucking Potter!” And dear reader, at last, the world was quiet."

7.