Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm Not A Platypus, or Don't Hate Because You Can Only Button Mash

Most of my titles make a decent amount of sense. This one will after reading the post, but it does grab your attention, doesn't it? When was the last time you thought about platypuses? I find them cute, but then again, I have a habit of being able to draw just about anything in a cute form. The point is platypuses are rare, so rare that it is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus(Ornithorhynchus). While almost hunted to a threatening level for their fur, they are currently not under any immediate threat. You just can't find them outside of Australia.

This little scientific background about the platypus brings me to the point of my longwinded-ness. I'm not a platypus. I'm not that rare, I'm not extinct, I'm not exotic, you just have to sometimes look a little harder to find me.

I'm not a platypus, I'm a girl who games.

Maybe I'm just not used to coming out of the technological, socially-challenged, adventuresome, ridiculous world of RPI. I got used to girls who game, flaming cereal, rubix cube costumes, cosplay, LAN parties, SSB tournaments, playing video games at work and reviewing the newest Mortal Kombat game for the Poly, the school's newspaper. Maybe this shouldn't be such a surprise, maybe I shouldn't be face-palming so hard at so many guys, but I just have to wonder, why are girls who game still considered an anomaly?

Since living in Madison for over three weeks now, and being in the "real world" there's been a plethera of responses to the fact that I own a PS3, play a variety of games, am decently good at said games, and used to play PC games. There were one or two responses of just plain acceptance, which is really nice. Then there are two others which include flirtatious joking about giving me a bad time for playing video games, in the sense that ::GASP!:: a girl who games? Don't be silly. The other, which I find a bit annoying is:

I've always found a girl who games to be kind of sexy.

Ladies, do you find a guy who games sexy? I'm not sure if the reverse is true, it might be, I'm not going to hate, but it doesn't always seem to be the case in my opinion. During my lunch break at work the other day, I found this interesting little infograph that you can see below. (I apologize again for the image disrupting my blog's formatting.)

According to their research, women now account for 40% of all gamers and 67% of households engage in playing video games. While 40% isn't half and half, it's still not really a minority considering the only categories are pretty much a) guys or b)girls. There's a lot of us who do this! Why is this odd?

Now, I will say that I didn't do a lot of follow-up research into this, so I don't know what they are classifying as "gaming". There are some statistics that incorporate women who play Farmville or Mafia Wars on Facebook as gaming. I don't know the break down of PC verses console games. My hunch is that it's a smaller statistic, but even so, 40% is nothing to shake your head at.

My musings above are turning out to be one of my more annoying posts personally, where I don't really make a solid point or reach a definite conclusion, but rather verbalize my own befuddlement. I don't understand why it's weird that a girl could play video games. Both myself and my two younger sisters always have and still do. I remember when I was five and I played Pajama Sam on our good old Windows 95 system. We all had Gameboys, then Gameboy Colors, Gameboy Advances, and both of my sisters currently have DSs. A paycheck or two from now, I'd like to have one of the new 3-D DSs.

Maybe it's the fact that we were raised by parents who's love story was set in the early days of Intel. Maybe it's because most of my cousins are guys, so many summers included playing Super Smash Brothers, StarFox, and Halo when we couldn't go to the beach. Maybe my family's just plain nerdy?

Who knows, maybe that (and many other) statistic is just flat out wrong and female gamers really are an odd phenomenon. I don't really understand it all. Back to coding work, followed by an evening of cleaning and restoring my FFXIII data.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

At Odds About Odds and Ends

In the grand scheme of things, this post has almost as much weight as angel food cake. That's being generous too. Relaxing on a Saturday morning in my pajamas, I'm allowed to be superficially indulgent. I get my first real paycheck in a little over a week, and my girlfriend Adya and I have already started the fantasizing.

There's the practical purchases; I'd like to get some more pots and pans, maybe a small dresser for my room. The foodie in me is dying for a good steak, grilled with my favorite Pappa Jake's seasoning, I can melt in the flavors of spice and smoothness of the pepper, natural juices, washed down with a good Cabernet. Mmmmmm.

Back to Saturday morning: there are the practical, and then there's the "I don't need this, but I want it and I'm enjoying having freedom with my spending" aka indulgence and wants. The real question is: girly fashion or rock climbing gear.

While I still don't have a car, and won't for a while, my friend Jeff is willing to drive anywhere and is always up for everything. On Thursday, we went to this climbing gym on the East side. I remembered how to belay, and the Girl Scout in me remembered a figure-8 knot. Climbing the 5.9 to show that I remembered how to move, my muscles seemed to effortlessly know how to balance, how to position. Damn I love moving.

I'm working on joining a swim club at work, and hopefully I can convince Jeff to make climbing a weekly release. If so, I'm really tempted to buy my own shoes and harness, you know actually have some gear. I've always enjoyed climbing, just never really had the time nor capital to fund this interest, so the thought of immediate advancement and gratification? That paycheck is going to be so satisfying.

Shoes and a harness? Just shoes so I can buy a shirt at Anthropologie, maybe a necklace too?

As a girl in the modern age, we've been told we can have it all. Sometimes though, it sucks considering that your optimization is unfortunately a constrained problem.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Personalization Preferences

Man, do I love a good alliteration. Anywho, as some of you might be aware. I'm a big kid now. I've got an apartment, soon to be co-habited my a roommate, a carpool, a t.v., and the ever elusive employment. At my lovely new place of paycheck sources, I do not have a cubicle.

What have I then?

I have my very own office (see stance of proud accomplishment). Well, technically, it's not all my own. I have an officemate, Corey who's pretty chill.

Since I do have an office, complete with desk, whiteboard, bulletin board, phone and dual monitors, how should I decorate it? I have a few favorite family photos and Gumby and Pokey currently on my desk. In addition, there is a mug that will never leave since Epic is aiding in fueling my caffeine addiction with free coffee.

I'll post photos soon, but today I forgot my memory card adaptor. Silly Sony Cybershot being all picky and exclusive.

Monday, July 11, 2011

On Jewelry, or Why Do People Like the Absolute?

Somewhere in the walks of life, I remember either hearing or reading this:
You shouldn't wear jewelry an ex gave you

Everytime this pops into my head I can't helpu but to stop, pause and disagree. First, I am not a fan of the absolute. The closest I've gotten to this is a personal rule to not kiss on the first date, and my best friend Patrick is still the sole exception. There's exceptions everywher in life.

Secondly, it just seems a bit, well, silly. I still wear a good deal of gifts from exes. I also don't throw things out, so take that as you will. I'm a pack rat at heart. I wear the white and silver scarf given to me from the co-producer of my worst break-up to date. I didn't throw out the handcrafted metal rose given to me for my 21st birthday from a crazy boy. I occassionally wear some of the necklaces given to me by my longest overall relationship. The main exception is that I do not wear the diamond necklace that was a Christmas gift from my first boyfriend.

I understand the above "rule" as a guideline to, don't wear something that weirds you out. Makes sense, right? That's what the diamond necklace does. I can't pin point exactly what it is, but there's just been this sentiment that leaves me no reason to put it on.

Thoughts dear readers? This mainly pertains to the female half, but I guess it could also extend to you dudes in the form of clothes? Any of you discard jewelry from someone in your past?

Is it dusty in the back of a draw somewhere, or does it have a comfortable home in your regular wardrobe?

Most Favoritest

One of my most favorite, simple little pleasures in life is when you're either doing the dishes or dispensing shampoo, and a spree of tiny soap bubbles comes whistfully darting out.

You just kind of stand there and watch their playful descent upon the tile. It always makes me smile.

Happy thought of the day.

EDIT: Sorry about the large photo size screwing around with the layout. I'm a bit too busy to fix it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Anger at the Interwebs

Earlier this week, on my first day of work actually, my gmail account was hacked/spammed, and overall compromised. It sent a lot of people a phishing email saying I had been mugged in London, and that I needed money wired to me.

Now while it would be great to be in London, I'm actually in Wisconsin. Working. I have enough to deal with; I didn't need this.

I reported it to Google that my account had been compromised, changed my password, altered filters, but I am still having problems recieving emails. Hopefully, I can get this fixed once and for all soon, and won't have dramatic troubles with my blog, since they are both connected on the same Google account.

Why do people really have to be jerks sometimes?

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Moving is scary and a lot of work. Prepare for road trip pictures.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm Not Homeless!

This past week marked a momentous occasion and the unloading of a lot of stress and paranoia. Why you may ask? Because I finally got my but in gear and claimed an apartment.

My future roommate, Rose, and I will be living in a new complex within 10 minutes of driving to work. For the first month, I'll be without a car, but I do welcome a 25 minute bike ride to work.

Also, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a breakfast bar in the kitchen, and a den? For less than $1300 a month? Hells yeah.

I'm excited. Feel free to post decorating ideas!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Lesser of Two Evils?

Warning: I am aware I will potentially piss off a good deal of sports fans with this post. Just remember, this is my opinion, so deal with it.

What is it about the Mets? Yes, I am aware they suck, aren't the best, and are consistently pummeled year after year, but why all this pity for the Mets? I've been a supporter of the Mets since I was around nine, when one day I bothered to sit down and watch a game with my grandmother in between Uno rounds. I normally don't really care what others think, let alone what people think of the teams I support (I am aware that the Blazers consistently don't always have the best players, track record, or well's Rip City, don't hate), but recently my friend Nick posted this on facebook to a friend:

And this is from NYC itself. I'm aware you guys have the Yankees, but come on.

I think that my recent defense of the Mets comes also from conversations with my boyfriend. As a resident of Massachusetts, he is prone to saying "wicked", having a love affair with Boston, and defending that his state has some of the best teams in all sports. I'll give them the Bruins. I'll agree that the Celtics can be, and are better sometimes, than the Blazers. Portland doesn't even have a football team, nor does the rest of the state, so I'm indifferent on the Patriots.

The Red Sox though?

You can't say that Red Sox fans are better than Mets fans.

Now just to be clear, I'm not saying that the Red Sox are a bad team. I cannot debate that they have been an excellent team this past decade.

What I am saying, is that prior to 2003, the Red Sox won just about as much as the Mets and both teams' fans were regarded as masochists.

Answer me this friends and interwebs: why pity and condescend upon Mets fans? Don't the Yankees already have enough to be jerks about?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Well...Part 2

I know this is weird, but I am kind of happy that I almost let my blog die.

I neglected, or well, did not commit as much time to, my blog due to all the other activities in my life. I could make excuses, I could list off everything, or I could even make a long rambling assessment of how every situation has molded and changed me. I'm not going to do that now. Probably later. I like to write, and have a habit of rambling, but not now.

In my life now, is a different stage. I graduated from R.P.I. with a dual degree in Mathematics and Economics. I landed a job back in February. I am moving to a new city where I have never lived before. I may soon be able to have a laptop without a sticking e key.

About three days ago, I received an email detailing my total of loans and outlining repayment plans. On Monday I bought a professional looking bag for work. I just paid my bills including my last utility payment for my apartment in Troy. I am calling to finalize apartments tomorrow.

I am an adult. It is weird.

Kind of like a mixed corgi.

Yeah. I'm tired, just go with it <3

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Thesis + Sculpture Portfolio + Boyfriend = Serious Lack of Posting :(

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Return of Materialism!

Hello good readers! As I've brought my fingers back to the worn down keyboard on my laptop, I have decided to also bring back an old feature of this blog: Wish List Wednesday. Partially because, why not? Also, on July 5th I start my first day of work at a real big-person job. Health Benefits? Salary! GASP!

In that light, I have to somehow figure out somewhere to live in Madison, Wisconsin and how to get all of my stuff there. While this task is daunting to say the least, the opportunity to decorate is delightful. The next few weeks of Wish List Wednesday are thus dedicated to frivolous home goods that I won'be be able to afford for a while, but heck, we could all use some pretty wishful thinking.

This week, I give you.....(drum roll).......


For some silly reason, ever since I was a little girl, even in my tom-boy stages, I wanted some form of chandelier in my room. While lighting is practical, chandeliers certaintly aren't. You've got to admit, they are pretty though. Below are two ones I've been lusting over from Pottery Barn.

First one: flowers are pretty.

Secondly, I think I have a thing for nature inspired pieces

Stay tuned for next week's dose of silly materialism!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Look How Far We've Come

When I was a little kid, I wanted to grow up to be an artist and a painter. I was going to have a studio house on top of one of the hills in Southern California, overlooking the beach. My days would consist of sketching, drinking iced tea, writing, playing with my dog, and throwing paint onto canvases.

Where did that childhood dream go?

While We're At It...

While on the subject of alcohol, I'd like to mention one of my better culinary explorations. As I was going through my camera's memory card, I came upon these:

Over Spring Break, I went skiing in Vermont, with my roommate Sandy. Being the conscientious college students we are, we chose to bring some of our beverages with us instead of spending more money. This resulted in me transporting Bailey's in a water bottle. Turns out, having Bailey's in a water bottle makes it much easier to have fun pouring into cookies.

Above are my concoction of dark chocolate Bailey's cookies. Take a basic cookie dough base, add in smashed Dove dark chocolate squares, squirt a very (read very very) generous amount of Bailey's, stir, bake and enjoy. To quote my friend Steph, the result is delicious and "BAM! Bailey's!"

Can one ever have too much Bailey's?

Monday, April 25, 2011

There's a First Time for Everything

Apologies aside for my lack of blogging, I do want to admit that I have been pretty busy with life, learning and the general disappointment that is Lenovo. That being said, I would like to talk to you today, boys and girls, about a beer. This beer, is not my favorite beer, possibly not the best beer, but is certainly a decent special case because it is an India Pale Ale.

For those of you who do not know me well, or we simply haven't had the pleasure of jointly knocking back a few cold ones, you should know this: I do not like IPA's. I love a good hefeweizen, stout, porter, lager, you name it, however, I really don't like IPAs. It boils down to the hops. The favor simply isn't my cup of tea--or glass of beer. It is surprising then, particularly to myself that I found one I could palate. Granted, it's a "pitch black IPA", but we all have to start somewhere don't we?

The beer that finally got me is Widmer Brothers Brewing's Pitch Black IPA, part of the 924 Series. 924 Russell Street back in Portland is the home of Widmer Brothers. Anywho, this IPA "takes you to the dark side". My approval of it comes from the black malt flavor to give a certain richness I don't normally find in pale ales. Smooth, dark, and hoppy, this brew certainly surprised me. Priced around $9.95 for a four pack at Hoosick Beverage, it didn't pack a punch to my wallet like hops normally do to my mouth.

While I was not converted, I'm more hesitant to give other IPAs a try, but don't expect me to still not make a face when confronted with hops. Baby steps my friends, baby steps.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


There are some times in life when the best course of action is to put on an oversize sweatshirt, cuddle up with your stuffed moose, and go to bed.

Monday, April 4, 2011


AH! Why is Senior year so busy?!?! More details later tonight!

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Aquatic Appreciation

Water Polo: breathing recommended, wedgies required.

Just a little phrase that popped into my head while cleaning my room. In organizing my suits, I still chuckle to myself that our Water Polo president ordered me the same size suit as a small, petite Asian girl because I'm apparently slim enough for it.

He doesn't understand the concept of pull apparently.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sucker Punch Should be Punched in the Face

Maybe I shouldn't have high expectations anymore. Maybe commerical cinema that is visually stunning, but at the same time thought provoking and mentalling entralling, is on the fast track to its grave. Maybe I should simply stop buying movie tickets in New York state.

Last night I saw Sucker Punch in IMAX at Crossgates Mall, and I want to punch someone in the face.

Not in a good way, but in a "I seriously just lost $17.25 for that?" kind of way.

I heard about Sucker Punch a good while ago. My first memory was seeing the trailer online last semester, well before Christmas time. Maybe it was four months of anticipation with baited breath that was my own undoing. Nonetheless, how could a film by the director of Watchmen and 300 fail? It couldn't right? Watchmen is in my constant mental clique of movies I can watch again and again. 300 is a visual orgy of CGI blood, sweat, and pure man muscle fueled by raw testosterone. To quote a friend:
bombs, blood, fighting, explosions, crazy effects = really pretty though to KT

Which is a pretty accurate statement. I like action movies. Heck, I like action car movies. I own all copies of all the Fast and Furious movies, even though I'm pretty sure Vin Diesel can't act his way out of a crushed Camero.

Taking that initial love with the promise of strong, powerful, girls commanding the screen, kicking ass, and taking names combined in a movie made me genuinely excited to see a movie in theaters. That doesn't happen that often, due to the normal lack of grapling cinema, and the fact that I am a college student. $10.25 for a movie? You've got to be kidding me. Sucker Punch looked visually appearing from the get-go. Throw in the promise of badass chicks with samuri swords and semi-automatic weapons? Steampunk samuri? A dragon?!?! How could you not want to see this movie?

Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead.

Last night I dashed out of water polo practice to meet friends. We drove to Crossgates to see it in the high quality IMAX experience. I even splurged on a pretzel.

The pretzel was not the highlight of the night, but it's a close second.

Don't get me wrong; I did enjoy many aspects of the film. As a girl, the skimpy outfits were not distracting or offensive. The opening premise to the plot was narrated beautifully and allowed for jumping in to the action. Visually, the battle scenes in Babydoll's (the protagonist) dancing induced alternate reality within a dream were stunning. From details of the baby dragon's nest of bones to the Todokai-like keychains on Babydoll's gun, everything was visually captivating. I even enjoyed the slow, syrupy covers of modern songs in the soundtrack including "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" sung by the film's star, Emily Browning.

Unfortunatley, I now have to start the reasons why I want my money back. In terms of pacing, the beginning of the movie seemed to take forever to build into rising action. Perhaps that's reflective of the alternate reality scenes starting from medieaval Japan to World War I. The ending, subsequently, felt rushed. Certain plot elements were thrust so obviously into your face it hurt. The girls in the film need to gather a total of five items to gain freedom. When battling for the third item, a knife, the film cuts back and forth between the realities. You know that the disarming of the timed bomb in the deepest reality is reflective of the limited time Babydoll has until water seeps into the exposed radio wire, which will stop the music of the dance, and crush their plans. By making climatic elements so obvious to the viewer, all suspense is lost. I was left waiting, not for the bomb explosion or radio sparks, but for the film to get to the next challenge and hurry up already. This murder of pacing and plot probably led to why the ending felt so rushed. Not to give everything away, but there is not a happy ending. There isn't even redeaming sacrifice. The nobility of sacrifice ended up feeling as cheap as my pretzel wrapper--an item to thoughtlessly toss away.

In short, the film was visually stunning but a major let-down in just about every other aspect. It can be compared to a peanut butter and nutella sandwich. Delicious to taste, sweet, incredibly thick, but lacking greatly in substance.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Correlation and Causation

Based upon yesterday morning and all of Sunday, I am starting to wonder if my mood is partially dependent upon the quality (fit, color, cuteness/sexiness) of my underwear.

High quality underwear makes me smile, yielding a higher probability of a sustained good mood.

Maybe this is why women should dress for themselves and not for other women or men?

Just a random thought that came to mind in Mathematical Statistics when discussing Bayes estimators.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Snot in my Sinuses and Thoughts in my Head

Being Saturday, this day marks the looming end of my last Spring Break ever. I did not go someplace tropical, exotic, foreign or even crazy. Instead, I went skiing in Vermont. There will be more on that endeavor later, don't worry there'll be pictures to boot, but first, just a random thought that came into my head at 10:22 p.m. on a Saturday night alone in my apartment listening to Ida Maria's "Oh My God" and attempting to work on my economics thesis.

Why is it that people have strong opinions and conceptions about the way a person takes their coffee, but not about tea?

A well-known caffeine addict, I do not discriminate and tend to absorb large quantities of both tea and coffee. I drink green tea, black tea, chai teas, herbal mixes, you name it. With respect to the bean, I like darker roasts, particularly French roasts and the occasional americano. When I have tea, if it is a black tea, then I drink it "grandma style" which includes milk and a copious amount of sugar. Other teas, due to their flavors, I drink straight. The only exception to my black tea protocol is when I'm skiing. In such instances, I enjoy black tea with lemon and some honey. In both of those situations, everything is fine. Drinking socially with friends, no one seems to bat and eye at my choice. If anything, tea drinkers go out of their way to provide the desired additions, like my friend Nate did at our last tea party.

With coffee, I prefer a splash of either cream or whole milk. No sugar, no crazy extra sweeteners or added flavors, but a little bit of real dairy is ideal for me. Drinking coffee around friends for the first time, or discussing how one takes their coffee results in horrified stares at my declaration of dairy. How could I? The tiniest drop of milk is sacrilege!

Believe me, I am not uneducated in the knowledge of coffee. Through living in Portland, aka Stumptown and land of overly opinionated hipsters, my own research, and a good friend who works in the production of the plant, there is no doubting my ability to be informed. I know that coffee is one of those beverages that should be savored in its pure, true form. If it makes anyone feel better, I don't add anything to an americano.

For some reason, my inclusion of milk is this horrible abomination and, I can't quite figure out why. Yes I have been told time and time again that it's better black. I can, and have, drank coffee black with no milk or sugar, however, it is just my personal preference to drink it otherwise. Even as I compose this, I have been racking my brain for a logical explanation as to why the way someone takes their coffee seems to indicate some gargantuan statement about their character. Perhaps it is because I have been sick and congested for the better part of the past few weeks and the mucus is getting to my head, but I just can't think of any reason.

For some reason, the way you take your coffee says a statement about your moral fiber, but no one bats an eye at the way you take your tea.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

3% of My Dancing is to Oldies

In a previous post, I let you in on the amount of time that I spend dancing in my apartment in my underwear. Of that time, there's a good chunk that is dedicated to "oldies". Oldies, for me, are not quite the classical definition of the genre. Instead, it's music from a by-gone era. Before auto-tune, before synthesizers, before music videos, there was still music that made people want to shake their hips and do a little dip.

The songs below make me smile. They make me move, make me dance. I know they make you and others dance too, since my Christmas Soiree went an hour longer than expected due to dancing to this music. Russ, Erin, and Jason, you all hold a special place in my heart for picking up your dancing shoes.

The following songs are some of my favorites to swivel and sway to. I adore Roy Orbison, and anyone who sneaks on to my computer will see the entirity of Elvis' music in my folders.

Roy Orbison "Mean Woman Blues": One of my favorites, we're all a bit mean sometimes.

Thurston Harris "Little Bitty Pretty One": You've all seen the movie "Matilda", if not, you need to remedy that. In addition, this song just makes me happy to dance in my room with the sunshine peeking through.

Elvis "Little Sister": The perfect song for a mischievous smile.

Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire": Start moving yet?

Roy Orbison "Pretty Woman": Can you not love this song? Seriously, if you have a problem with this song, I might question your humanity.

Enjoy friends. Put a smile on your face, some passion in your heart, kick up your skirts, and pick up your feet.


While this blog is not a food blog, I do occasionally visit that topic. If anything, it's trying to be a blog incorporating alcoholic drinks, however, the frequency of that is irregular and questionable. This blog is about my life and the adventures in between. Being a generally happy person, I stop and smell the roses in life. And the daisies, the dafodills, the tiger lilies and the violets. So while I find it a bit cliché to do food posts, I cannot argue that a lot of my simple little pleasures in life involve sources of nutrients.

Last night, I ordered the sausage, peppers and onions pizza with added mushrooms from DeFazio's, which is my personal favorite place to get pizza in Troy. While they are a bit pricier than Bella's, DaVinci's or I Love's, the quality is incomparable. DeFazio's is in a league of their own. Check 'em out.

In addition, my good friend Erin and I had some long overdue Erin and Katie/girl time together over a bottle of Chianti. A nice break in the chaos that is this week for me, having only a few days before my last Spring Break and a mathematical statistics midterm is a bit intimidating. Pizza, wine, and good company. What beats that?

You Might be a Mathematician....

You might be a mathematician if one of the greatest simple little pleasures you get in a day is from writing the notation for sets of numbers, aka the set of integers, rational, real numbers etc.


It's been about a week since I posted last. My life is super busy, but creativity has been relatively constant, so it's time for a BLOGSPLOSION!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Exception: Ignorance

I consider myself to be a fairly non-judgemental person. Specifically, I am willing to hear both sides to any story. Both sides of the political spectrum can hold my interest. What I have no interest, or consideration for, is incompetence. Unfortunately, this manifests itself often these days in Glen Beck. While he is probably best known for one of the fastest ways to raise blood pressure, I normally ignore his political, nonsensical rants, however, don't try to explain inflation, the gold standard, the Bretton Woods agreement, and the modern day monetary system with cupcakes and fail. There is enough of a gaping hole in the minds of the American public about economics as it is. Beck, you didn't need to dig a deeper hole and spoil the tasty innocence of cupcakes along with it.

Apparently Beck hasn't received the memo that the United States currency is no longer backed by gold, cupcakes, or any other material good. In addition, our assets are stagnant now? I suppose if you wanted to look at the most extreme snapshot of time, then sure, but that doesn't fit with Beck's argument. While we are up to our eyeballs in debt, the nation's assets are constantly growing. Lastly, he almost has an argument with wanting to examine the prices of other commodities such as butter, gas, and cotton which have increased in price. However, the CPI basket is not made up of three individual items, and this past year while food prices have increased, housing and other expenses have remained relatively stable. The current inflation rate is around 1.63%. Historically, that's pretty good since our average inflation rate is normally around 3%. It is especially good compared to 14% in 1980 and 12% in 1975.

Glenn Beck, please stop misleading the minds of the American people. My fellow citizens, please stop watching him. At the very least, leave innocent deserts out of your presentations. If you have to bring food into this, try using some Swiss cheese. It's more representative of your argument style.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Morning Advice

The best way to start your day is to take a step away from the boring and mundane. Put on your awesome underwear. Happiness starts from within, and it's best not to put anything in its way of escaping into joy.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend in Short

The best remedy to a cold is life. Go out, throw on your best smile, and attack the fresh powder with vigor only matched by the delight of a good hefeweizen.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Adventures into the Unknown

2010-2011 R.P.I. Women's Water Polo Team

As promised in the discussion of my epic weekend, a post dedicated to the RPI Women's Water Polo team. For some brief history with my involvement with the team, my friend Alex has been bugging me to join since sophomore year. I met her through swim club, a mutual friend, and a general love of being covered in chlorine. Sophomore year, I went to one practice. I tried again Junior year and became more accomplished by going to two. Senior year, I promised myself that I would stick with water polo. While I may dabble in many things, once I commit to something, I stick with it 110%. This year, the only practices I have missed have been due to illness or job interviews.

Apparently in previous years, we have not had enough girls on the team to compete on our own. In the fall, the Water Polo Team competed as a whole in a co-ed tournament at West Point. Our team has varying skill levels from hard-core kids who have played for years to some who just picked up the ball for the first time this year. This really adds to the accomplishment that I feel we have as a team. It is a challenge to get individuals to work well as a group; it is even harder if you are starting from scratch.

The chronicle of the tournament started on Saturday. We all met around 8 a.m. at the Union, which is a bit of an accomplishment to begin with since there were birthday parties and the 100 Days' Party the night before. Now, we left on time. It should have taken us around three hours to drive from Troy, NY to Syracuse. That estimate, however, is under normal weather and road conditions. That does not account for 40 mile per hour winds, blizzard white-out conditions, black ice, and the length of three exits being closed on the I-90. Needless to say, our voyage was epic, fitting with an epic weekend.

Heading westbound on the I-90, we had to take a long detour on Route 5 to get to Utica to join up with the highway again. Sometime when I was sleeping (14 hours of sleep for three days is not advisable), all traffic was forced off the I-90. Apparently, coupled with the conditions, a tractor trailer collided with a snowplow on the road. To quote my teammate Anna,
‎"A tractor trailer verses a snow plow?! Who wins? It's like a bear verses a tiger"

Who wins indeed? The answer, my friends, is no one.

With conditions being a death trap, we somehow arrived in Syracuse only to find that it's horrible in the winter. I can understand Portland being unprepared to deal with snow and ice, and subsequently, have horrible road conditions. We don't get either conditions a lot, but Syracuse? Your city is in upstate New York. In the winter. It's not like it hasn't been an established city since 1847 or anything. Apparently, Syracuse does not know how to plow their roads in a timely manner, despite it having some massive hills. Again to quote Anna,
Syracuse: the virgin city. It's never been plowed.

Ah the fair virgin indeed. Our driver, Heather, lives in Buffalo. She's been to the Midwest. I do not question her driving skills whatsoever, so if she can't navigate the roads, I don't really know who can. While attempting to find Syracuse University, we slipped and slid around many roads and somehow did not hit anything. We didn't even hit anything once we found the campus, got lost, and headed down a utility road.

At this point, I would just like to mention the image I have of Syracuse now. There is a spot on their campus, that in the winter, with snow coming down and 30 mph winds, looks exactly like what I picture the aftermath of a nuclear fall out to be.

Due to our late arrival, the game schedule had to be redone, which caused us to end up playing our first two games back to back. That is 56 straight minutes of polo if you don't have a sub. I ended up playing about 50 minutes. Go try sprinting in a pool for that long after being sleep deprived. It's hard. Needless to say, much of the team was exhausted after that ordeal, and the exhaustion resulted in trips into the cold for food, caffeine, and then naps. Never has a concrete bleacher been so comfy.

Our last game on Saturday was at 8 p.m. against Colgate. I can not go into extreme detail about this game since, well I find it difficult to reflect when you are sprinting. I will say that we did win. That was the Women's Water Polo Team's first ever victory and boy did it taste sweet.

Actually, victory tastes more like bread sticks, salad, lasagna and a pomegranate margarita martini. Victory dinner was at the classy establishment of Olive Garden. If I die tomorrow and am fortunate enough to step through the pearly gates of heaven, I hope it's filled bread sticks. I don't think I've eaten that quantity of bread since District's for Swim Team at Jesuit. Despite our team's five-year-old maturity level, our coach was proud, our hearts were happy and our stomachs were very glad most of us wore sweat pants.

Sunday, the second and last day of the tournament, we played our last game against Syracuse. While we lost, it was a very close game. It served a greater goal of team unity and a sense of how to play with one another. In addition, it gave us another excuse to gorge on food, this time at a second breakfast at Denny's. Our ride home was fairly smooth and uneventful, filled with scenic views and loud music from the 90s. An epic end to an epic weekend.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quick Thought

I have a lot of hair. I apparently have very gorgeous hair. It happens to be one of the ways people identify me in a crowd.

I ask you then, what would change if half of it was gone?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Garfunkel and Oates: Laughter is Love

More on water polo later, but in my lazying around I found this new song "Turn for the Douche" by Garfunkel and Oates. The duo is a comedy-folk group, who produce hilarious songs.

I first fell in love with them through the song "Self-Esteem".

"Self-Esteem" is a song about a guy who is an absolute horror upon life, and not-dateable due to girls actually having self-esteem.

Check them out and fall in love with laughter.

Beginning of an Awesome Weekend

Sorry readers for my absence of postings. This past weekend was hella busy combined with a week jam-packed with academics subsequently resulted in a good deal of time away from the internet. That, and my "e" key still sticks on my laptop's keyboard, which approaches a level of annoyance that is ridiculously hard to stand. Minor grievances aside, the past few days have been awesome.

On Thursday, I was unfortunately late for my first class ever at RPI. Those of you who know me, are aware that I am one of those people, who if I'm late for class, I just won't go. I like to be between five to ten minutes early for class. My tardiness was well worth it though, because on Thursday morning, I received my first job offer! To say I was excited would be an understatement. As a senior, especially in this economy, having a job offer is a huge weight off one's shoulders.

Friday was crazy busy. After the job offer, my productivity completely went AWOL. Attempting to complete procrastinated graduate homework then became a challenge requiring a huge sacrifice of sleep to the integer programming gods. Friday subsequently dragged. I had class from 10-2, purchased groceries, helped friends plan some awesome 80's outfits (proof below), hosted the girl's Water Polo dinner, danced my fishnets off at the 100 Days' party, hit up my two favorite local bars and somehow didn't give in to exhaustion.

Above is myself, Erin, Sarah, Matt and Jason hanging out at Erin and Sarah's before the walk down the hill to the party.
Note: Crimping, hairspray and back-combing is awful to your hair. What were they thinking in the 80's?

On Saturday, I woke up deathly early for the treacherous drive to Syracuse for our first girl's Water Polo tournament. I will post more on that later, but all I can say, is I don't think I've consumed that many bread sticks in a long while. Also, I have no idea why anyone would live in Syracuse, NY. In blizzard conditions, it looks literally like a desolate wasteland after a nuclear fall out.

Stay tuned for the chronicles of Water Polo. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy not having class today and play some more Little Big Planet.

Stay classy readers.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Layout

While it is still February, and far from Spring, I decided to do some Spring cleaning. The sudden warm streak that Troy had yesterday has thrown me off. I even walked back to the pool around 10 pm without my hair freezing! I've been toying with altering the layout design on my blog for a while, but I just haven't gotten around to finding what seems to fit the most.

Let me know what you guys think!

To Those Who I Have Loved and Lost

Over the years that I have been dating, I have been fortunate enough to know and date some awesome guys. I say this due to their own credentials, personality, spunk, and smiles, but also for the lessons they have left with me. Everyone you meet in your life impacts you, and changes you, hopefully for the better, at some point. This is a note of appreciation to those men who helped make me a bit better.

Thank you for,
-Getting me to stop biting my nails and actually use a nail trimmer and/or scissors
-Remembering to brush my teeth before going to bed, that actually inspired me to floss
-Promoting my self esteem for myself
-Forcing me to do things on my own
-A lesson in empathy
-Teaching me to laugh at everything
-Encouraging me to try playing Rock Band even though I am horrible
-Enlightening me to legitimate New York bagels and pizza
-Showing me how great downtown Portland is
-Taking me to the East Side
-Giving me the confidence I thought I'd never gain back in a situation
-Letting me love fully and truly
-Becoming my best friend
-Watching Star Treck with me
-Encouraging all my little doodles
-Lessons in how to get along with roommates
-Forcing me to challenge myself

This list really does not serve much purpose besides a place for publishing a personal reflection, because I am fairly certain only one ex-boyfriend reads my blog with any frequency. Despite this, a lot of my life is fairly public, so it is only fitting to share the thoughts that make me think and appreciate.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Set Your Sappy Meter to High

Happy Valentine's Day readers! Yes, a large amount of apathy amassed itself in my last post about this holiday, but you know what? I have no problem with the sentiment of this day. Advertisements and tired gender stereotypes, yes, love, no. How can anyone have a problem with love? Quoting myself, my sentiments regarding this holiday can be summed up in my facebook status:
oh hi there Valentine's Day. You've been good to me, yet never bad, even at your worst. Take this day to appreciate love. The love you have for family, the love for yourself, the love for your love, and love of love. Let your heart be happy, honest and filled with lightness today no matter where you are in life. You are loved. Happy Valentine's Day ♥

My jam packed schedule of romance today? Rock a black and red cute, yet sexy, outfit to my art classes, make dinner for my roommate and myself, have a rewarding and challenging swim workout, watch a horrible romantic comedy with some of my best girl friends, drink to good times, and maybe some Integer Programming. If that's not hot I don't know what is.

No matter where you are in life, there is love surrounding you. It might be hard to find, it might be so close you just can't see it, or it could be right where you expect it to be. Love is all around. Love is a many splendid thing. All you need is love.

Family, friends, and significant others; love comes in many forms. Just thinking about love makes me feel warm inside. Love lifts us up where we belong. So today, be happy for the love you have and for the love you have for others. For those of you who really can't seem to find any joy in the day, find a friend, watch a movie, have some drinks and laughs.

If all else fails, stare at the gorgeous piece of man-steak that is Jake Gyllenhaal.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

19% of My Life is Dancing in My Underwear

The title of this post says it all. If you are not my roommate, don't know me intensely well, or do not follow me online, you may not know this fact. I dance a lot in life. I sometimes dance well, I sometimes dance with uncontrollable angst, but a lot of the time, I dance like a dork: a cute dork, but definitely a dork. A lot of that dorky dancing occurs in my apartment in my under garments.

With that introduction in mind, due to my StumbleUpon habits, I have been on 8Tracks a lot. This post is then my gift to you: music that I sway to, that makes my heart smile, and that I dance to in my undies.


Ingrid Michaelson "Be OK": This song is actually a bit depressing if you listen to the lyrics, however, I think that's why I like it.

Florence and the Machine "Kiss with a Fist": One more reason I love 94.7 for finding this for me ages ago.

Cobra Starship "Guilty Pleasure": From my sisters' 18th birthday present CD to me.

The Strokes "Reptilia": Because I am a dork.

Franz Ferdinand "Michael": Because I am a sexy dork.

Vengaboys "Boom Boom Boom Boom": Feel free to judge me. I'm aware of it. Let the judgement commence, but doesn't everyone get some crappy pop from their high school dances stuck in their heads at some point?

David Guetta ft Akon "Sexy Bitch": Once again, I enjoy pop/hiphop for the beats. Get over it.

Ke$ha "Kiss N Tell": I am not a fan of her wardrobe choices, or blatant product placement, but girl makes some catchy pop.

Eight songs from me, well myself and whoever reads this blog or checks facebook. Go strip and dance in your undies!

Monday, February 7, 2011

One Week

No, I am not going to be discussing or nit-picking apart the amusing Barenaked Ladies video (Youtube is being annoying and won't let me embed the video). For those of you who are trying to forget that today is, in fact, a Monday, or for those of you who have lost track of their internal clock, today is February 7th. That means that it is one week until Valentine's Day.

No, this is not a bitter, angry, bitchy post.

This is a post of puzzlement and face-palming at advertising.

A while ago I "liked" or subscribed to some piece of merchandise from Victoria's Secret (VS). As much as I harp on them, I really do like the majority of their bras. The body stuff can be a bit much, the swimsuits are always good for a laugh, and I'm sure some of the "technology" in their bras really was created by NASA scientists. I have no idea how some of that "lift" is achieved. Anywho, due to my internet agreement, I often get posts by VS in my facebook newsfeed on my Droid. The postings are normally fine, intriguing, good for a laugh. Normally.

The exception to this is that I really do not need to be reminded every five posts that it is a week from Valentine's Day. VS, if you are able to see the information on my facebook profile, you would know I am not "in a relationship", "being complicated with" or any of the other non-single options. For that matter, I do not have any relationship status currently on my profile. It's just blank. I've been adopting a policy of not broadcasting this information to the world. It works out rather nicely. That being said, their programmed posts really should check if I have a "sweetie...or that hottie you friended last week".

Not to single out VS, I simply don't see the point of the excessive advertising that comes with this particular holiday. Yes, advertising publishes and circulates information about products leading to hopefully, greater sales of goods. I understand this for Christmas. I understand this for Thanksgiving and Halloween, however, Valentine's Day just seems like a mimic of old gender roles and stereotyping. If you are in a relationship, shouldn't the guy remember to do something sweet without images of pink teddy bears bombarding his brain? Shouldn't you yourself think to do something thoughtful for your guy or gal right back?

In my life since the start of dating, I've had Valentine's Days where I was single and happy about it, single and upset about it, and in a relationship. Heck, I asked one of my best boyfriends out on Valentine's Day at midnight and made him a delicious dinner after his computer science lab. I've had a boyfriend take me out to a great steak dinner. Chocolates have filled my stomach some years, and alcohol others.

I am not bitter, not angry, not lonely, not sad. I am actually at a pretty good place in my life. It's kind of awesome.

You know what I'll be doing this Valentine's Day?

Going to the pub with one of my best girl friends since it falls on a Monday, possibly working, and then looking like this watching romantic comedies with my roomie and red wine.

Oh, and eating chocolate. It's not Valentine's Day without large amounts of dark chocolate.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Will the Wonder End?

Maybe it's because I am still five years old at heart. Maybe it's because I ride the peaks as well as the valleys, and enjoy ever second of exhilarating rush that comes with cascading into the valley. Maybe it's because I still sometimes cuddle up with my favorite, and oldest, teddy bear at night. Maybe it's because I'm figuring out what to do with my life.

Nonetheless, I'm happy.

Maybe it's because I've been listening to happiness themed playlists on, or that I really enjoy my sculpture class, even though I burned my left ring finger using the hot glue gun today. Maybe it's because water polo makes me smile whenever I try to do a hold. Everything just seems right. I am normally a happy person, but only for the moments. Something is different.

Happiness seems like it could be a permanent gig.

I'm a cynic, I'm an optimist, I'm crazy, I'm lovely, I'm exuberantly unsure of future enthusiasm. I'm not sure where I'm going, but I know where I've been. I think the fact that I am seriously contemplating wearing a cape to work next Wednesday says something about how joyful I can be. I don't know where I'm going, but it always seems there's a fluffy unicorn able to carry me back along to happiness.

I don't think I'm ever going to lose that unicorn.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some Food for Thought

While the main purpose of this blog is to have an outlet for writing, I do periodically observe trends and data. I am dual majoring in mathematics and economics after all. With that in mind, I find it highly amusing that in the eight months that I have been blogging, my third highest, or third most visited post, has been about pierogies.

The secret to a man's heart is through his stomach appears to be true for both sexes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Portland Town, Oh Portland

By now, many of you, or anyone who is remotely internet savvy and possesses a facebook account, has heard of the internet show, "Portlandia" with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein from SNL. If you have not heard about it or seen it, well that's why there's a link above. Go click and check it out.

"Portlandia" is a little show that both mocks stereotypes of Portland residents, neighborhoods, and the city's attitude while still being ridiculously hilarious. For anyone who lives or visits downtown, I personally think it's so amusing because of how close it hits close to home. While I technically live in unincorporated Washington County, I say I am from Portland. I hang around downtown a good deal, know the West side like the back of my hand, and can find my way around the East side. Also, you'd have to pay me good money to say I lived in Beaverton.

Many people know the show, but did you know that Portlandia is actually a large, iconic statue for the city? It's not just a made-up catchy title.

While "Portlandia" the show may be entertaining, I'm still not quite certain how I feel about it still, however, it did encourage me. On my last day home over Winter Break, I set out to be a tourist in my own city. Armed with my point and shoot camera, which apparently had almost no battery, I started in Pioneer Place and began to wander. Unfortunately, my camera gave out just as I was entering the Pearl. Pearl shots are subsequently captured with my phone, and by the time I got to the North West area and the East side, well, there's documentation in my mind, but not in any format that I can upload.

Thus, below, I give you another highly visual post. Welcome to some highlights of Portland. My Portland.

Children playing by a fountain is always adorable. Hi Pioneer Place.

These type of fountains are along both sides of the Pioneer Courthouse. What's cuter than otters?

Sorry bear, the otters are cuter.

The courthouse itself, as seen from the if you were facing towards the waterfront.

Awesomeness is awesome.

No writing about Ptown is complete without the Portland Man.

There is a special place in my heart for the food carts. Gold star to anyone who knows where they go to sleep at night.

Artsy-fartsy time. Welcome to the rear of the Arlene Schnitzer Hall.

In an attempt to take a picture of the works outside the Portland Art Museum, I accidentally captured a snapshot of a true Portland beard. In the Rose City, we do everything hard core.

Southpark Seafood Grill, why are you always so tasty?

This doesn't necessarily have a lot of cultural or historic meaning, but Clay is how you get to Sunset Highway, aka my mad dash home.

FINNEGAN'S! Prepare for pictures of stuffed animals. Finnegan's is the Northwest's largest independently owned toy store.

Where else am I going to find a stuffed Tasmanian Devil? Not the Looney Toons character.

Quality reading right there.

I have no idea what their message or cause was, but the signs looked cool.

Oh hi, Living Room theatre.

Please pardon the blurred pictures. At this point, I was taking pictures with my phone. While my little Droid 2 is awesome, it still can't compete with a quality Sony camera.

If I could die wandering the shelves of Powell's, I would be a lucky lass indeed. I love Powell's. That's about the simplest way to put it without sounding like a crazy fanatic. Powell's is the largest independent bookstore west of the Mississippi River. Powell's gives me hope for the world. It is the physical embodiment that print is not dead. If you are ever in Portland, visit Powell's. Take a coffee and get lost. It'll do your soul some good.

The Powell's pillar.

There is also Powell's 2; the technical bookstore, which recently relocated from deeper in the Pearl. Someone's got to stock books about mathematics, programming, and engineering.

Once again, I apologize for the picture quality. While hard to see the sign, this is the Deschutes Brewery Portland Pub. While I gained vast amounts of Portland knowledge when I was 16, obviously my knowledge of bars and pubs has been a bit minuscule. This was my first legal beer in Portland. I highly recommend the porter. On Portland beer notes, the Widmer Brother's hefeweizen is also fantastic.

Two gold stars to whoever can say this street correctly.

Unfortunately this is where most of the pictures end. I miss shopping at Ray's Ragtime and Three Monkeys. Getting my movie time in at the Fox Tower and then grabbing a donut at Voodoo Donut's. I miss the Cuban food at Pamiche. I miss flicks on the bricks in the summer, and the tree lighting in the winter. Portland is my home. Ptown represent.