Sunday, January 29, 2012

"it started out as a joke, but it's becoming real!"

1. Cartographic bird cut-outs by Claire Brewster.

2. My 12 year old little friend/sister showed me this video, and I enjoy it in spite of myself. My favorite bit is the dude in the suit dancing. 

3. Cecilia Paredes's portraits. More about them here. (Thanks, Laura!)

4. Finding out that someone you know has a really fantastic/strange/hilarious middle name.

5. Sometimes I think I over-identify with Liz Lemon. If you could hear my thoughts, you might agree. It's like my brain is where all of the Liz Lemon jokes that aren't quite funny enough to be on the show are born, and also where they die. 

Stop being holy, forget being prudent,
it'll be a hundred times better for everyone.
Stop being altruistic, forget being righteous,
people will remember what family feeling is.
Stop planning, forget making a profit,
there won't be any thieves and robbers.

But even these three rules
needn't be followed; what works reliably
is to know the raw silk,
hold the uncut wood.
Need little,
want less.
Forget the rules. 
Be untroubled.

- Lao Tzu in "Tao Te Ching: A Book About the Way and the Power of the Way," New English Version translated by Ursula K. Le Guin

Thursday, January 26, 2012

here's an apple with a tougher skin

1) $.79 cans of chick peas at Wegmans.

2) According to iTunes, I've listened to this song 188 times. But still, when it comes up on shuffle I always listen to it, and it always makes me feel things. I think that means that it's a good song.
1. Stare at the red dot on the girl’s nose for 30 seconds.
2. Turn your eyes to a plain surface (your ceiling or blank wall).
3. Blink repeatedly and quickly.

"Outlived" by Pat Perry

5) When I go shopping for a specific item and that item just happens to be on sale. This has happened to me three times at A.C. Moore alone. First, picture frames 50% off. Second, terra cotta flower pots 50% off. Today, water color pads - I got a huge one for $12 instead of $24, and  a smaller one for $5 instead of $8. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rules For My Own Damn Self

Remember Rules for My Unborn Son? Well I've been working on compiling a list of rules for myself. They're all rules that I already live by, just thought I might as well write them down. Here's what I have so far:

1. Always leave the party right after you've had the most fun.
2. Tell the people that you love that you love them. Especially before hanging up the phone.
3. Never say "I love you" if you don't mean it.
4. You don't have time for people who don't have time for you: 3 strike rule. (This is mainly about potential friendships/relationships. Established friends don't count).
5. Have time for the people you care about.
6. Always replace an empty toilet paper roll, or inform someone of the situation.
7. Leave a space better than you found it.
8. If you say you'll do something, do it.
9. Know who your friends are.
10. When it comes to doing the right thing, pretend that money doesn't matter.
11. Don't loan money if you can foresee resenting it if it's not returned. Also, think about your motivations for your generosity.
12. Always be stronger than they think you are.
13. Don't take naps after sun down.
14. Unplug everything before going away for more than 24 hours.
15. Homie don't play that game.
16. Keep in touch.
17. No caffeine after 5pm if you have something you need to get up for in the morning.
18. If you hurt someone's feelings, apologize for it (your intention should never be to hurt someone, so if it's an accidental/unavoidable effect of your intentional/necessary actions, apologize for the effect, not the action).
19. Offer help even if you doubt that you can be helpful.
20. Ask questions. Listen to the answers given.
21. Change them with kindness.
22. Bring food to share.

Monday, January 23, 2012

the things we sacrifice for love

1. Not too shabby.

2. My dad is the best.
I went to visit my folks this past weekend for my dad's birthday. He wanted us to go to an Indian buffet and then to see the Artist. Planned it all out. Saturday morning, we woke up to find it snowing quite a lot. My dad would not be discouraged. We piled in the car and drove, 30mpr on the highway, passing 4 cars that had spun off, until we got to that buffet. Dad walked up to the spread of various Indian dishes, looked down at them, and walked back to me with the biggest grin on his face. "I'm in heaven," he said, and then went back to serve himself.

3. In the movie theatre, a preview for "W.E.," the movie about Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII. I'm not particularly interested in that movie, but when the trailer finished a man behind me said to his wife/girlfriend/partner: 
"It was the greatest love story of the 20th Century, you know."
 "Really?" she asked. 
"Yeah, when you think of all they gave up in order to be together..." 
He paused for a few moments and then said "No, ours is the greatest love story. You gave up Long Island."

4. (thanks, Q-Shack)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Face Making

photo credit: Nick Hoskins

I showed Natalie this picture and she proclaimed it the quintessential Quaker photo. You've got the tie dye, the massages, the turquoise leopard print, the dude with painted fingernails...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sharing is Caring

Okay, SOPA and PIPA are bad news. Sign this petition. 
If you want to know more about this issue, check out the online guide to SOPA.
Here is an Open Letter to Washington from Artists and Creators.

Some bloggers are abstaining from blogging today in an act of protest. Instead, I am going to share music with you! The internet has changed the way that we experience music. It means that I can swap new songs with people I've never met, in countries I've never been to. It means that bands that no one would have otherwise heard of are able to grow and spread their music. SOPA means censorship, not an end to piracy.
There are plenty of wonderful and currently legal ways to share music. I finally figured out how to make playlists on Spotify permanently available, so here are all of the Rowntree season mixes that I have made since graduating from college:
1. Summer 2010
2. Fall 2010
3. Winter 2010
4. If I Had an Orchard - Spring 2011
5. Hey! Must Be the Money! - Summer 2011
6. Leaves Become Most Beautiful - Fall 2011
7. Better Year - Winter 2011

Here are some of my other playlists that are also available:
- Honey Badger Don't Care - Best of Rowntree (as of Spring 2010)
- We Outta This Bitch - Rowntree 1 Year Graduation Anniversary
- Good Songs, Good Claps, Abridged
- Good Songs, Good Claps, Extended
- Songs I Listened to the Most in 2011

and listen to music while doing it

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

drinkin' carrots

1. I've gotten back into smoothies (I used to do a lot of smoothies when I was in High School, but broke the habit in college). I hope to drink a smoothie a day, and I'll buy different frozen fruit to make a different kind every week. This week: frozen strawberries, banana, greek yogurt, a little apple cider, and carrots. Yes. Carrots. I did some reading about smoothies and it said that you can add raw carrots to smoothies and you won't really taste it. It's true. If anything, they made the smoothie sweeter and richer, but I wouldn't have been able to say "I am drinking liquified carrots right now" if I hadn't made the smoothie myself.
I haven't been measuring but here is roughly what I've been doing:
About 3/4 a cup of yogurt in the bottom of blender
One banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
About 1/2 cup cider
About 1/2 a cup chopped raw carrots
Blend. Drink. That's about four servings of fruits and veggies in one delicious snack.

2. I've watched this twice and it made me tear up both times.

3. I can't stop thinking about Weekend, the movie I talked about in the last post. Seriously. Watch it. I'm considering watching it a second time myself.

4. Tia, for being the most dedicated soup maker I know.

5. Chez, for being Chez. Happy Birthday, girl. 
Spring 2008

Sunday, January 15, 2012


1. I watched this movie this weekend (it's on Netflix Watch Instantly). Here is the NYTimes Review.

What I have to say about it is this: this is what movies could do. Or should do. I won't recommend it to everyone, it does deal with explicit content (no full on nudity, but some sex scenes and plenty of talking about sex), but it was honestly one of the best movies I've ever seen. It was well paced and honest without being exploitative. I teared up at two different points but I never felt like I was being emotionally manipulated, or that the content was unrealistically cheesy. It talked about the experience of homosexuality in a way that I've never really seen in movies, but it wasn't just about being gay. There was a little more recreational drug use than I would have liked, but still. Worth watching.


3. I just went night-sledding in 1 degree weather with my 13 year old housemate, and it was great.

4. “I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”  - Harun Yahya

Saturday, January 14, 2012

enjoyable winter weather


2. The fact that we haven't had a real snow all winter is letting me actually enjoy this one. It helps to be in a warm house with the knowledge that I can always walk somewhere if the roads are impassible. Also, my bedroom window provides a beautiful panorama of the city, Cayuga Lake, and the hills beyond - made even nicer with snow falling. 
I've discovered that it's pretty much impossible to get a picture that shows you the view beyond those trees, so you'll just have to take my word for it. 
3. Another one of my new year's resolutions/hopes is to try a new recipe once a week. Last week I made butternut squash risotto, which turned out pretty well. It was a fair amount of standing and stirring, and while the end result was tasty, it was a little too rich for me. This week I'm going to try a thai chicken soup. I will let you know how it turns out. 

4. A fairly accurate depiction of how I got through last winter.

5. I'm reading the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (thanks, Q-Shack, for the recommendation), and it's very good. As I read, I write down all of the Spanish words that I don't know to look them up later. Turns out, they're almost all vulgar. If anyone who speaks spanish finds that list, which is also my bookmark, I hate to imagine what they'd think of me. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

no problem a tiger cuddling with an orangutan can't solve

1. I think I like inter-species friendships more than most other things. Here is a very large collection of pictures. Some of them are more "hey look two animals in the same area" than friendships, but some of them made me squeal. 
"Cora, a two-month-old baby tiger with her adoptive mother, a four-year-old dog. Cora, born in a circus, was rejected by her mother. The adoptive mother feeds the baby tiger as it were one of her puppies."
"Owner Steph Tuft, 25, takes duck Essy on a lead for a walk with her Staffordshire cross dogs Rachka and DD in Bournemouth, England. Essy, a nine-month-old Cherry Valley duck thinks she is a dog, and likes to walk with the other two pets."
""Dema, a 26-day-old endangered Sumatran Tiger cub cuddles up to 5-month-old female Orangutan, Irma at the 'Taman Safari Indonesia' Animal Hospital in West Java, Indonesia."
let it go-the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise-let it go it
was sworn to
let them go-the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers-you must let them go they
were born
to go
let all go-the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things-let all go
so comes love.
-e.e. cummings

3. One of my resolutions (really I just make a list of things I want from the year and see how it goes) this year was to spend at least an hour a day doing something creative or intellectually stimulating. Without a computer. An hour might not seem like a long time, and it's not, except when all you want to do is not think or make anything. But so far it's been really good for me.

4. WHAT. Holy, holy crap. Thinking about how long this guy spent on this project makes my measly one hour a day of creativity seem pretty pathetic.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

we all say shit

Videos today. Pictures tomorrow.


2. Youtube knows what I like! Which is mostly music, Ellen, and cute kids. Thanks to them tracking my every move, they recommended these gems:

3. Okay, I shared Shit Girls Say a little while back. Since that came out, there have been a string of responses. There is shit everyone says now. Shit Gays Say, Shit Black Girls Say, Shit Drag Queens Say, Shit Fat People Say, on and on and on. Some of them are pretty terrible, some are hilarious, but the whole thing is pretty interesting. Particularly Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls and Shit Girls Say to Gay Guys - it provides this forum for discussing the ways in which we interact with issues of race and sexual orientation, or with any person perceived as other. It's funny because it's painfully true. Check it.

That was a lot of videos. For those of you who can't watch videos, I will make an extra long picture post for tomorrow. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

When in doubt, otters.

1. Bluetooth headsets. I don't have one, but the fact that they exist means that when I'm loudly talking to myself in the car, people assume I am on the phone with someone else.

2. Quakers.

3. I made a spotify playlist of my favorite songs in the year 2011. These aren't songs that necessarily came out in 2011, just ones that I listened to. Please let me know if you try to listen to the playlist and it doesn't let you, I've been having some problems sharing playlists.

4. Mondo! He is back, on Project Runway Allstars. I would not be watching this if it weren't for Mondo. There is no Tim Gunn. No Heidi Klum, who I didn't think I would miss, but I kind of do. I'm pretty sure Mondo is going to win, but I want to watch it happen. I want to watch him slowly eliminate all of the competitors until he wins the prizes bigger than Gretchen could ever have imagined.

5. That's all I can think of right now, so here are some cute pictures of otters.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"has anybody felt everything?"

1. Trying to explain gangs to a 7th grader, I mentioned that the Bloods are a nationwide gang. She said "So it's like Petsmart?" "Did you just ask me if the Bloods were comparable to Petsmart?" "Yeah, well, they're like everywhere."

2. Jenny shared Old Man Search with me. The explanation is "My dad is 81 years old. I'm teaching him how to use the internet. I told him twitter was how to search things on Google. These tweets are what he's searching." I can't help but laugh, and then feel like a terrible person. Poor guy. He just wants his free veterans haircuts. 

3. If you haven't watched Girl Walk / All Day yet and don't have slow internet as an excuse, the time is now. Do it. Never has anything made me feel so consistently good about the world. There are new segments released every Tuesday and Thursday. Each time I think that it can't make me feel as happy as the last one did, and each time I am (joyously) proved wrong. 

4. I posted about Rick Perry and his silly youtube video a while back, and all of the hilarious parodies that followed. I failed to include the fact that the jacket that Rick's wearing in that video (a video in which he hates on gays) is remarkably similar to that worn by Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain (a movie about one gay cowboy lovin' on another gay cowboy). My dad is convinced that someone on Rick Perry's publicity team must have known, and was playing a prank and/or sabotaging it.

5. Colin, my platonic electronic life partner, because I can gchat him to call my phone when I can't find it,  and it will be understood that once I do find it, we will continue our conversation on gchat, not the phone, because I hate the phone.

6. Ever tried to take pictures of fireflies? I have, and it's damn hard. Check out these pictures taken in Japan using a slow shutter speed.

learn people better


2. Woody Guthrie's resolutions from 1942.

4. The Obliteration Room.
More pictures here. Artist's site here.

5. I like making lists. At the end of every year, with the help of itunes and lastfm, I make a list of the songs that I listened to the most that year, and record it diligently in my journal. Here's 2011's list. I will make a spotify playlist and share it later.

1)   Never Quite Free – Mountain Goats 
2)   I Don’t Want Love – the Antlers 
3)   Scorpio – Dutchess and the Duke
4)   Under Mountain, Under Ground – the Lighthouse and the Whaler 
5)   Kiss Me Again – Jessica Lea Mayfield 
6)   Civilian – Wye Oak 
7)   Blacberry Stone – Laura Marling 
8)   I Made a Resolution – Sea Wolf
9)   Haystacks – the Cave Singers 
10)                  My Heart is a Drummer – Allo Darlin’ 
11)                   Love the Way You Walk Away – Blitzen Trapper 
12)                   Strictly Game – Harlem Shakes 
13)                   Like Water – Ladi6 
14)                  Record Collector – Lissie 
15)                   I And Love And You – the Avett Brothers 
16)                   Never Had Nobody Like You – M. Ward 
17)                  Skinny Love – Birdy 
18)                  First Love – Emmy the Great 
19)                   Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men 
20)                   Love Love Love – Of Monsters and Men 
21)                  Half Light II (No Celebration) – Arcade Fire 
22)                  You and I – Lady Gaga 
23)                  My Oh My – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis 
24)                   Swim Club – the Cave Singers 
25)                  Dylan – Emmy the Great 
26)                   Turning Tables – Adele 
27)                  Please Move – Bad Books 
28)                  October – Broken Bells 
29)                   Land of the Bloody Unknown – the Middle East 
30)                  Wild Feeling – Ezra Furman and the Harpoons