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.