Saturday, January 29, 2011

i've got a word or two to say about the things that you do

i'm not a very political person, and i think that i have managed to pretty much keep politics out of this blog up until now. but with chaos taking the middle east by storm, i think it is time for me to come right out and say it: i think all the revolutions are insane, and not in a good way. (yes, i realize i may be making quite a few enemies by saying this.)

granted, i'm not currently living in any of the countries revolting, so there may be some really, really good reason for going completely crazy that i am just missing, but from where i'm standing, i think everyone needs to just calm down. in my opinion, there are very few situations that would warrant an extreme revolution. if you are afraid to go to sleep at night because you don't know that you'll be alive to wake up in the morning, then by all means revolt. hit the streets and start all kinds of trouble. if you have a safe house to live in, food to eat, a car to drive, money to go watch a movie... then what exactly are you rebelling against? sure, you may not like the government, but i honestly think that violent revolutions are one of the stupidest ways to show your dissent. how is burning down restaurants going to help you? breaking into banks and stores? setting yourself on fire? destroying mummies? last time i checked, people who have been dead for centuries were not your enemy. thing is, a lot of the people seem to think that the result of a revolution will be instantaneous utopia. um, it won't. and all these things you're taking for granted in times of stability? yeah, you'll probably be missing them pretty soon. you know what comes after a revolution? rocky times as the country tries to stand on its feet again. and sure, there are times when that is better than what there was before and when hope for a better tomorrow will make the misery of today worthwhile, but i don't think this is one of these times. so while you're lounging by your pool responding to facebook invitations to the revolution on your thousand dollar computer, you may want to think about that.

there are no words to describe how desperately i hope saudis grasp onto their individuality and refrain from jumping on the revolution bandwagon. with the flooding from the rains, people are upset, and i just hope that their disgruntledness does not affect their senses. i see no reason for a saudi revolution. destroying a country is not the only way to make changes. yes, they are not a democratic nation. so what? who decided that democracy was the only right way to run a government? yes, it works great for america, but that does not mean that it is a one size fits all solution for world peace. it isn't. saudi arabia follows an islamic regime. i can't see how a democracy will be able to stick as completely to islamic law as it does now, which i believe it should.

that brings me to another point. being the islamic capital of the world, saudi arabia really has no right to stop muslims who want to go to mecca or madinah from going. even ousted government officials have a right to get in touch with their islamic roots, and the saudi government really has no right to stop them. i mean, sure, if the guy is an actual threat to people, then of course they wouldn't let him in, but an ex-leader on the run is pretty much powerless so why shouldn't they let them in? especially when they never really had anything against him in the first place. (this is a general him encompassing every ex-leader who has fled to saudi arabia, which they have been doing for quite a while.)

let me just stop right here before this gets really long, but remember what i was saying before about society being sheep? the arabs have obviously been perfecting their baa's.

agree? disagree? either way, i'd love to hear your thoughts. there's an amazing little box you can write comments in that a bunch of you seem to have missed. it even lets you comment anonymously! try it out, and let me know what you think.

*Think For Yourself - The Beatles

Friday, January 28, 2011

you'll be a pop star... all you have to do is change everything you are

i've mentioned my disdain for lady gaga before in this blog, and though i hate to be one of those people who obsesses over something they don't like so much that they just can't shut up about it, i think it is time for her to return for another post.

one of the morning shows on the radio a while back (i forget which one) talked about how when lady gaga was first starting out, she was told that she was not pretty enough to be a pop star. if she wanted to make it big, she was going to have to have a different kind of image, and she went with weird. between crazy hairstyles and dresses made of meat, we've all seen this weirdness. and, though i might think it's the stupidest thing since bad grammar became cool, even i have to admit that it does get her a lot of attention. and there's no such thing as bad publicity, right? (is that the saying? it sounds wrong to me.)

though we were all subjected to look at her hideous "unique" style, it was really limited to only her. i may just not be going out enough, but i haven't seen many people wearing meat dresses or anything lately. but now, she is getting ready to sell her stupidity to the masses. like all celebrities that can stay in the spotlight long enough, lady gaga is coming out with her own signature scent, as you may have heard. and do you know what she wants her perfume to smell like? blood and semen. yes, you read that right. she wants to sell blood and semen to millions of people across the world. 

let's all take a moment to really let that sink in. now, i know that she prides herself on being different. i know that at least part of her fame is directly linked to her image. i know that she strives to be the most out there person alive. i even know that she has a right to make her perfume smell like whatever she wants, but come on. there have got to be some limits, and she must have crossed them by now. i mean, really

you know what the saddest part is? you just know that despite the fact that she's planning on coming out with perhaps the most disgusting perfume that ever was or ever will be created, people will buy it. as long as it has her name on it they will be lining up to get it, putting it on wishlists, and walking around smelling like bodily fluids. grossgrossgross as it is, you know it's true. our society is made of sheep. 

*Don't Let Me Get Me - Pink

Thursday, January 27, 2011

then you took me by surprise

yesterday was a snow day. well, i had no classes either way, but if i did they would have been 4:30 or later, and if they were, they would have been cancelled. but my sister with her afternoon undergrad classes went, and i stayed home with my brothers. i could go into an elaborate story about how my parents left the house at 3:30 to pick up my sister and didn't get back until eleven with her when the school is twenty minutes from our house, but since i didn't play much part in that story i won't.

instead let's talk about the secret garden. we (my brothers and i) recently read it together, and when we read a book that has a movie, we watch the movie next time we get a chance. with the way our house has been playing lobby to the world over the past few weeks (read:months), we really haven't had much time. but yesterday we made a big bowl of popcorn, popped the tape into the vcr, and sat down to watch.

you know what's weird? when i watched the movie as a kid (i haven't watched it in over ten years) i hated mrs. medlock. she was evil and mean and kept trying to get into the way of the children's happiness and collin's recovery. watching it yesterday, i didn't feel that way at all. she really had no idea that mary was doing a world of good for collin. she really did think he was sick, and she was trying to keep him well and alive, and not only because it was her job. at some point of the movie, abdullah says, "god i hate mrs. medlock. she just wants collin to die," and i remembered feeling that way myself. and when did i begin to think logically and see the point of view of the adults? when did i grow up and why wasn't i informed of this earlier? i didn't correct him, though, because hating medlock is now linked to childhood in my mind and there's no reason to rob him of that.

speaking of mrs. medlock, she is played by maggie smith, and when she first came on screen my brothers broke out into a chorus of she-looks-familar's and where's-she-from's. when i said she was in harry potter, ali goes, "oh yeah! voldemort!" it made me laugh.

speaking of ali, he just came into my room to show me the flier he's working on. apparently he's starting up a drawing class during school to make some money. he's charging a dollar per lesson.

*Everything Will Be Alright - The Killers

Monday, January 24, 2011

be patient i am getting to the point

today was the first day back at school. i get to campus early (and by that i mean 6:45 pm) and go to the bookstore to try to get the book i need for my monday class that i was supposed to order three weeks ago. the bookstore is located in the JC, which also holds the main food court, a library, a computer lab, and a bunch of couches and stuff. it's basically the main hangout for most people on campus. i get there during feeding time and mobs of hungry college students are not fun to navigate through, let me tell you that.

but this is not a post about my return to school for my last semester of master's as a full-time student. (next semester i'll only take one class.) this is one of the posts where i swamp you with links to things that caught my attention.

random off topic side note: sometimes i really wish i could just ctrl+f my room to find what i need. 

first, a link telling you when the best time to sleep is. you know the feeling when you wake up completely rested, realize you still have half an hour before you have to get up, go back to sleep, and wake up again feeling like you haven't slept in years? apparently that's because the first time you woke up was between sleep cycles and the second was in the middle of a sleep cycle. waking up mid-cycle makes you feel groggy and tired for the rest of the day. this site will tell you the optimal times for you to sleep so that your alarm will catch you between cycles.

second, with our wonderful generation of people that have the vocabulary of mimes, words are dying. people don't want to spell words with more than one letter and can barely manage to pronounce multi-syllable words as it is, so the more obscure words are falling right through the cracks of all the hearts that are breaking over our ignorance. what can you, awesome reader, do to help these poor words? well, you can mosey on over to here and adopt one to use regularly and return it to the common vocabulary. i did. actually, i adopted three. they sit there yelling "choose me!" "pick me!" "over here!" in these high voices that broke my heart because i knew the ones not picked were close to death, and even my sister couldn't narrow my list down to less than three. so my words are: vacivity (emptiness), cosmogyral (whirling round the universe), and sevidical (speaking cruel and harsh words). aren't they beautiful? let it be known that chrome does not recognize any of my words as belonging to the dictionary.

while scrolling through blogs of pretty things, the list of things that i don't need, would never use, but reallyreallyreally want has grown to include: a calendar that would let me look back and know my overall mood for every day of the year, pillow cases with stories on them (this actually looks like a really fun thing to make), a mini car jumper thing (if you only knew how many times we've all forgotten the lights of the car on in my family, you'd realize how useful this would be), lightbulb planters, a usb typewriter, an awesome recycled suitcase chair, a moleskine kindle cover, a mural on a wall papered by book pages (though i probably couldn't destroy a book), these old fashioned telephones, this office in a trunk, socks for chair legs, and this nesting bookcase (though my mind changes about this one from like to not like every time i look at it). i would put pictures but this post is already too long, and i'm too lazy.

also, if you like to write but can never manage to just sit down and do it, this is a kind of cool site. you basically go and write one page per day into it (just plain writing with no formatting or anything). you can write more if you want, and they'll send you gentle reminders if you miss a day. after a while, go back and read what you've written. it may just be the next great american novel.

oh, and have you noticed that it is still january? is it just me or have four months already passed this month?

*Spinning - Jack's Mannequin

oh, look what you've done

four years ago (or something like that) a friend told me to watch skins, and i did. i stuck with the show for a while, and when they announced that mtv was making an american version i was rightly outraged. i am not a very big fan of mtv (read: i think they have a poisonous touch and destroy everything they even think about), and america doesn't have the greatest track record with turning good british shows into good american knock offs. (i know, i know, everyone loves the office. i get it. really. but for every show like the office i can give you five that are awful.) plus, america's tv laws or whatever are waaay stricter than the british ones, so i really didn't see how they would get a show like skins to comply with them.

after watching the first two generations of skins, i opted to not follow the third one because, really, i just don't watch anything anymore. it's kinda sad. and as i had already decided to not watch anything even related to the american version, i thought that me and skins were through. (well, at least until they made the movie if it had the original cast members.)

but then the articles started to flow in. the show started to air here, and it is apparently the most scandalous thing to hit our tvs despite claims by the british actors that it is extremely censored.

the british skins boasted from the start about how, unlike american shows, all the underage characters would be played by underage actors. no twenty-somethings playing high school students. they went and got the real deal. the american show then decided to do the same. only problem is, here in america, we have strict laws concerning a little thing called child pornography. child pornography can basically be anything (picture, video, whatever) of children (under 18) that is sexually suggestive. so when shows were casting older actors in everything that wasn't aired on the disney channel, they were kinda saving themselves from child pornography charges. something the american skins might be facing.  major companies - like taco bell, gm, and wrigley's - are even pulling their advertisements from the skins time slot because they do not want to have any association with such a controversial show. if it can't make any money, i can't see the show staying on for too long even if it doesn't get charged with child porn.

with all the media about the new show, i finally caved and decided to watch the trailer. i was shocked by how amazingly similar it was to the british show. if you were going to copy exact story lines to the t, you might as well have just aired the british show (which in fact was/is? aired on bbc america only censored a bit) and which is probably loads better.

the show is not the most family friendly show on tv, or anywhere close, but the characters were real and the acting was good and it instilled in me a love for british cussing. is it only me that prefers it over american? anyway, here's some youtuber's comparison between the american and british skins trailers. i would not suggest you watching it if you are easily offended by bad language, sexual references, or really anything else.

*Look What You've Done - Jet

Friday, January 21, 2011

we think the same things at the same time

i have a friend that lives on the other side of the world. what with her rarely going online to do anything and me rarely calling people, we often lose touch with each other for stretches of time. but one of us will always initiate contact after a while and we can talk like we had just met up for lunch the day before. there's none of that awkward "wow so much time has passed there's really nothing to talk to you about" kind of stuff. anyway, i haven't spoken to the girl in months. i'm not sure exactly how long it was, but definitely before i graduated in the spring.

last night, she suddenly shows up in my dream. it was a weird dream that i only remember bits and parts of with us starting out at some warped version of my old high school and ending up at what i'm guessing is the airport in riyadh, though since i've never been there i wouldn't really know. i wake up and decide that i should email her. first i go do the brothers breakfast/get them on the bus morning ritual thing. then i watch tv in a tired daze till nine. i go online half an hour ago and guess who i have an email from? if you were guessing anyone other than my friend, well, then i really don't think you're getting the point here and maybe you should go read something else.

so i see the email from her, think haha weird, and open it. that's when it got really weird. you know what she said in the email? that i was in her dream so she decided to see what's been happening in my life. apparently in her dream we were at ISA (my old school) but decided to ditch and go to her house. not the house she used to live in here, though. no her house across the world. but when we got off the plane, we ended up just hanging around the airport. in riyadh. and is that not the weirdest thing you have ever heard?

it looks like me, in my bed here in virginia, and her, all the way on the other side of the world, had the same dream. or at least really, really similar ones. weird, right? but also kindasortareally cool. i don't think i've ever had the same dream as someone else. i didn't actually think it was possible. but who knows? maybe i'm dreaming the same things as you every night but since we never discussed our dreams we never knew? yeah, probably not.

*Harrowdown Hill - Thom Yorke

Thursday, January 20, 2011

and there are some things i'll never understand

last night was weird. it was mostly spent in half-sleep, but i clearly remember having julian casablancas, from the strokes, in my dream. this is weird because a) i don't think i've ever had a singer appear in my dreams before ever, and b) though i like the strokes, and you only live once has been on my list of all time favorite songs for years, i am nowhere near a die-hard fan. also, my first thought on waking up was, "what's the date? maha's [a friend] birthday is coming up soon." not that there's anything wrong with remembering a friend's birthday, but i thought it was an odd very first thought to have, even before the usual "what is that obnoxious noise? oh, the alarm." but she's a strokes fan so maybe it had something to do with the dream (which i don't really remember too well)? i dunno.

on a completely unrelated note (because aren't those just the best of the best?), i went downstairs the other morning to find my brothers glued to the tv screen. not that big of a deal really, because it seems like they are either wrestling or stuck to some screen or another, but i glanced at the tv to see what had them so engrossed anyway. they were watching a pirate movie. a lego pirate movie. because apparently animation and live actors are so overdone we need little lego men to take over hollywood. but they're not just taking over hollywood; they're taking over the world. i mean, really, when did legos become so popular? they have stores and amusement parks and movies and video games and board games and boxed sets and god only knows what else. how did this happen?

you know what i remember most about legos growing up? i remember stepping on a piece that we forgot to put away and dying from the sheer torturous pain of it. i remember sticking two blocks together and then spending hours trying to pull them apart again. i remember flipping through the zillion ideas they give you of what to make, though everything they suggest would take hours, if not days, and would probably need more pieces than were in the box. i preferred flexiblocks and tinker toys.

maybe it's just me, though. my brothers seem to enjoy their legos, and my grandma was just saying a couple of weeks ago how it was the only toy that could keep my uncle and his best friend calm when they were kids. but really, do people like them so much that they want to watch movies and play video games of them? is a lego board game really any more fun than, say, clue? (i wouldn't know as i have yet to play one, but i'm guessing not.)

*Last Straw - Jack's Mannequin 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

while we're quietly losing control

have you guys heard about IBM's Watson, a new supercomputer designed to accurately mimic human thought? it is labeled as a "question answering machine" that can understand all the nuances of natural speech and come up with a simple answer. to test it out, they are pitting it against jeopardy champions in three jeopardy matches that will be aired sometime in february. jeopardy questions cover a vast array of topics. they deal with puns, metaphors, and slang. you have to buzz in quickly and think even quicker. all of these factors make it impossible for artificial intelligence computers that otherwise excel in things like chess, archery, or eating dead bodies for fuel. (click the links. enlighten yourselves.)

here is a video of a sample round played with the three contestants:

now, i don't know about you, but i think we might all end up ruing this very day. who cares about the zombie apocalypse or the world ending in 2012? so what if we're in a recession and there's never anything good on tv? we just created a computer so intelligent that it just might take control over the army of less smart but way more deadly robots we've already created. so go ahead, eat that extra donut, take that trip you always wanted, splurge on the ridiculously expensive pair of shoes. pretty soon, you may not have the chance.

also, you know all those unexplained mass animal deaths? i'm thinking it's time we take the robots in for questioning.

*I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light - Brand New

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

over the past two days i have written four blog posts. when it comes time to read over them for glaring mistakes, i get incredibly lazy and hit save instead of publish. sometimes, i get in moods when i just don't want to read anything i've written. even little blog posts.

i also noticed that when there are a lot of things going on in my life, i am less likely to blog. it's not because i don't have time (though there are times when i really may not) because i don't even like to share anything that's going through my head - thoughts, ideas, stories, etc - with people in real life. like in conversations or whatever. i think that when it gets crazy and people start crowding in on all sides, my head is the one place no one but me can go. so i retreat into it as a sort of refuge from people. inviting anyone in, even a little, would totally defeat the purpose of the walls i built to keep them out. of course, the fact that i have yawned three times in the past two minutes may just mean that this is tiredness's psychobabble being spewed across the internet. who knows?

there was no reason for the word also in the first sentence of the previous paragraph. i'm leaving it in anyway.

when i first started this blog a couple years back, i said "anyways." now i use "anyway," and "anyways" sortakinda grates on my nerves a bit. interesting, is it not?

i have also become obsessed with playing snake on youtube. i found it by accident a week or so ago and now, nothing makes me sadder than a video that loads without pausing right away. or the ending of a video when i am on a roll. that sucks too.

anyway, there is no point to this post. there are however more interesting (or you know... not) posts ready to be proofread and posted soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

cause there's no comfort in the waiting room

i am sitting in the waiting room while my sister is in one of the brightly lit rooms in the back getting her wisdom teeth pulled out. the waiting room is creepy in a way that you just can't put your finger on. there is a big picture hanging on the wall of pandas doing circus tricks against a red background. as they balance on chairs and unicycles with stacks of plates on their heads, they give smiles that could perhaps be considered friendly if they were somewhere else. but here, they send a chill down my spine. next to the children's books is a small table of dark wood surrounded by four small leather high-backed chairs. the leather furniture and dark wood around the room brings to mind images of sociopaths in old movies. the giant dead plant in the corner does nothing to dispel this illusion. the sound of drilling filters through the office over the sixties music they keep turning up.

on the flat screen tv, though, chefs and bakers are nothing but cheery smiles and laughter as they compete to make the best banana cream pie or grilled chicken. they talk about making a peanut butter frosting with cream cheese and whipped cream, and suddenly i am overcome with a desire to bake. to cook. to make from scratch foods that look just as good as they taste: awesome. when i leave this office, though, i know the disdain i feel at the moment for macaroni and cheese from a box will disappear. canned soup will once again be completely acceptable.

i am eating fruit loops out of a zip lock bag and debating whether i should go get myself a turtle mocha from caribou or stay in the waiting room until my sister comes out like i promised my mom i would. i think i'll leave the coffee for another day and maybe go read the cat in the hat.

*What Sarah Said - Death Cab for Cutie

Monday, January 10, 2011

'cause i need to know now

let me take a minute to pull my girl hat out from the back of my closet, dust it off, and dedicate this post to me acting like your average girl about to be married. in other words, here's where the wedding plans stand.

i have my dress chosen out, and it is very pretty. it's white and strapless and puffy-skirted and pretty. it's being sewn up or whatever at the wedding dress factory and should arrive here in a couple of months (no i'm not gonna post pictures here because too many people read this that are supposed to be surprised by the dress). i also have the shoes and jewelry bought, the veil and tiara ordered, and no idea what to do for hair and makeup. i don't think a place was booked yet, but since my uncles in jeddah are in charge of that, i might just be out of the loop. i need colors, music, cake, and photographer, too. suggestions? also, the wedding is july sixth. i'm not sure if i told you that or not. if anyone reading this will be in jeddah on that day, let me know and you can come! wouldn't that just make your entire summer?

a week or so after the wedding, we will be honeymooning in london. besides all the main touristy stuff, if you know of anything that i should just not miss while i am there (end of july) then please please please let me know (comment/ email/ formspring/ smoke signals/ carrier pigeons/ whatever). i've never been there before, so i really have everything to see. if you've gone, what was your favorite part?

because my sister and her husband have decided to up and leave the country soon, i had my bridal shower yesterday. besides the awesomeness of seeing friends that i hadn't seen in years, i also got a bunch of really cool presents. my younger sister made me wear a flashing tiara and pink feather boa that was shedding feathers like a molting chicken, but it was super fun. before most of the guests arrived, my sister's friend told us that every time there's an awkward silence, a fairy dies. later in the shower, that was repeated and other people said that it was from a movie, but no one could remember what movie it was from. this is one of those few occasions that google has failed me, and the movie is still a mystery. one that i am dying to solve. so if any of you lovely readers know, i would be forever grateful. i'll even send you a handwritten thank you note, and how awesome is that? (yes, i really do need to know this that badly.)

anyway, there's still a lot of planning to do, but since the dress was the part i was most excited about, i feel like the important stuff is already taken care of. so what if we get married on the street? at least i'll have my dress.

*Baby One More Time - Britney Spears

Friday, January 7, 2011

it's crossed my mind, just a thought

yesterday my sister and i went to school to get copies of our transcript sent to the scholarship people because mason does not have anything set up for you to just request a copy be sent at the end of every semester. we walk out of the parking deck and our eyes are assaulted by the brightest sunshine in the history of the earth (or significantly less so, but it was bright). my sister, queen of sunglasses such as she is, pulls a pair on. i have a pair i keep in the car (which i did't feel like walking back to) but nothing on me. so i was left to suffer. and that's when i got to thinking about those glasses with transition lenses that automatically shade in bright light. you know the ones? well i decided that there should be contacts that do the same thing. i mean, it's only fair. of course, people would look a bit creepy if their irises were suddenly just black circles in the sunlight, but i'm sure there would be some way around that. anyway, i think one of you lovely readers should get to inventing and make me some. you can take all the credit for my idea when it becomes the super cool new thing everyone wants and the money starts to really roll in, but i would like free pairs of them once they are made. fair trade if i do say so myself.

so when you decide to make it, email me and let me know.

*Just a Thought - Gnarles Barkley

Thursday, January 6, 2011

can't get out of bed

sometimes, right after i turn off my alarm i flop back down in bed because, though somewhere in my brain knows it is time to get up, the rest of my body needs a few seconds to find this part and be convinced. and sometimes, in this last moment i allow myself in bed, i find the most comfortable position in the world. a position that, if i had found it earlier in the night, might have ensured me a better night's sleep, and maybe then i wouldn't have felt the need to lay back down in the morning. the mattress, the pillow, the blankets all work together to make me so comfortable that i never ever want to get up because i just know that nothing bad could ever happen when i am as comfortable as this. there are a million things i need to do, but they can wait a few seconds as i just lay there. but this moment can never last long because the sun refuses to indulge me by staying below the horizon and whatever had me setting my alarm the night before refuses to just go away. so i drag myself out of bed more reluctantly than i would have had i not found the position that would grant me eternal happiness.

my life at the moment reminds me of that moment of comfort. i've been pulled out of dreamland and a million things are waiting for me as soon as i take that first step away from my bed, but i am turning a blind eye to them all and relishing the absolute comfort of a few stolen seconds. i'm not exactly sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing yet.

i also am not really sure what i'm writing. sometimes, completely inane things make sense in my head and puff out their chests enough that i think they are important until they leave the safe enclosure of my mind, but i have not written a single word in two weeks and anything is better than nothing.

*Can't Get Out of Bed - The Charlatans