Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Happy Wednesday and last day of January! (I'm celebrating with a blueberry scone and some steamed almond milk at Barnes and Noble this morning).
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
In other news that has nothing to do with me:
1. Wolves are being taken off the endagered species list in three states and might be removed in three more in the next year! Isn't that cool? I think its cool. (To clarify the reasoning (kindly pointed out to me), it is because they are no longer endangered).
An Idaho Wolf. Soon to be taken off the endangered species list!
2. Japanese opposition parties tell the health minister to resign for calling women "birth-giving machines". Haha. Go brilliant men in politics!
The Tokyo Domes lit up. Much more interesting to look at than a picture of the Japanese health minister.
3. Archaeologists say they have found a huge ancient settlement used by the people who built Stonehenge. Real news. Fascinating news.
4. Malta is the only place in Europe where abortion is completely banned. Even to save the life of the mother, which is silly, because most of the time, if she dies, she takes the baby along with her. Ireland is the next most strict country.
5. Am I boring you with the news? Two more.
6. Three ex-ministers of Nepal's King are arrested on suspicion of conspiring to encourage violence in Southern Nepal. Brilliant! Suspicion of conspiring to encourage violence.
One of the Malta Ministers in the back of a police car! Conspiring to encourage violence!
7. And in England, the euphemism for drunk used for the press (since it is considered slander if you actually say drunk, plastered, inebriated, etc) is "tired and emotional." What my English friends must think of me!
Colin Firth. He's English. You can tell by the wallpaper.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I wasn't excited to watch it unless
I learned something new
That wasn't untrue
And didn't leave me with feelings of distress. (BAH!)
NCLB isn't working however
It hasn't been given the chance
Immigration is a concern
We want illegal workers to earn
A temporary worker program we must finance. (Wow. This is terrible!)
Health Insurance still must be privatized
Is privatized even a word?
Another tax break
Designed just to make
A problem today to tomorrow deferred.
A Diversified fuel supply is a must
But does "clean coal" even exist?
A half hour of this depression
And he's on to the bigger question
How long in Iraq will we persist??
We have a new strategy this time.
America has to give it a chance!
This time we won't fail
It's down to detail
Twenty thousand more troops to advance!
Iran is a problem once again
We fear they might be going nuclear
Some crap about diplomacy
Nothing rhymes with diplomacy
Bush still mispronounces it nucyoolur. (which doesn't rhyme)
The thing that really upsets me
Is the genocide going on in Darfur
With our sense of responsibility
Isn't it just hostility
To ignore it and let it occur?
Finally, the speech started to bore me.
Everybody falsely seemed to agree
I started to daydream
Because this address didn't seem
Like anything that would have an effect on me.
Time then to turn to Gilmore Girls:
My typical Tuesday communion.
A fantasy town
To successfully drown
My despair over the state of our union.
This is the worst poem I've ever written. In fact, I can't call it a poem. It is a mess. And if you read this far, well...... WOW! You must really love me!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Also, in Colonial America, women were occasionally put in the town stocks with wooden clips on their tongues for talking too much! Can this be true???
In other exciting news, the world has now taken my advice and is putting wine in juice boxes. That's right moms! When you're the refreshment mom for your child's sporting event, pack a little extra for you!
And now for the news that I don't care about! It has been snowing all weekend. The Bears are playing today and will probably lose. Lindsay Lohan is in rehab.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
But, just so you don't think I'm still overboard on the raw foods, I tried today, a Karyn's Raw Cranberry Cookie. It was made of (I should say, IS, because it still exists since I didn't finish it) cranberries, cashews, almond butter, dates, and honey. It had a weird pasty taste to it. I didn't finish. I put it away and got myself something COOKED to eat. I think I'd rather eat all the ingredients separately. Why try to make raw food look/taste/behave like cooked food? I don't understand. What are we trying to hide by forming cookies out of it?? Let it be what it is. (clearly at this point, I've lost my sense of who I'm talking to).
So this blog wasn't a waste, in more important news, Britney Spears buys the love of men, and Miss Nevada turns down Girls Gone Wild for Playboy.
Monday, January 15, 2007
I was given pictures of two people (Reemolap and Vabbenif) follwed by statements about their actions. I was then asked to categorize them into right and left columns along with words that fit under the categories "good" and "bad." The combinations changed and I was asked to respond to each as quickly as possible (it measures the time it takes you to hit the correct key). These are my results:
"In this study, we are investigating the formation of preferences for different groups. By having you read positive and negative statements about two social groups, and then measuring your automatic associations, we are hoping to better understand how information that occurs in the environment leads to automatic associations. We used fictitious social groups in this study because we wanted to see how new automatic associations form; we could only do so by using groups about which people have no preexisting attitudes. You may have noticed one behavior that seemed very strong compared to the others that you read ('burned a flag at a soldier's funeral' or 'beat a man to death for being gay'). The addition of strong statements allows us to test whether the quantity or strength of information has a bigger impact on implicit attitude formation.
Your data suggests little or no association between Vabbenif and Reemolap with bad and good.
Depending on the magnitude of your result, your automatic associations may be described as 'slight', 'moderate', 'strong', or 'little to no preference'. How implicit associations affect our judgments and behaviors is not well understood and may be influenced by a number of variables. As such, the score should serve as an opportunity for self-reflection, not as a definitive assessment of your implicit thoughts or feelings. This and future research will clarify the way in which implicit thinking and feelings affects our perception, judgment, and action."
Hmmmm. So, even though I was told that Reemolap beat a man to death for being gay, I didn't automatically and unconsciously associate him with the words that fit under the category of "bad." From what I've read, that means that my unconscious isn't working like it ought to or that I think too carefully with my conscious. I'm going to go back and take other tests like these and find out if there are ideas I have that I don't realize might affect my reactions.
This was fun! I encourage all of you to participate!
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Today, aside from a guide on writing cover letters, I started a couple of other rather interesting books which I intend to go back and continue reading until such time as I either finish the books, or decide to buy them. Anything I read in these books that I want to share, I will do so here. This way, you can keep track of my literary criminal activity.
The first of these books is titled This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin. Having studied music for years, a bit of music psychology and enough music therapy to consider pursuing it as a career, I find this book right up my alley, as well as easily readable to the non-musician. You know how we call low sounds low and high sounds high? Well, according to Levitin, this was not always the case. Apparently the Greeks used the labels oppositely. Since the instruments they used were typically vertical, the shorter strings and shorter organ pipes (that produce what we call "high" pitches), which were also lower to the ground produced the low sounds.
The second book that I am reading at no expense is titled The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine. I have not read further than the first 30 pages, but I am astounded at all the evidence of hormonal interplay in the early development in boys and girls! For example, in the first two years of life, when a girls brain is being flooded with estrogen, she is extremely susceptible to the stresses her mother might feel and those could be with her for the rest of her life. In animals, this can even be passed down through several generations of females!
My good friend Lesha brightened my weekend by sending me a package which included the following hat:
No wonder people stare at me.
She MADE the hat though. I'm so excited about it. There are three things that I am excited about regarding this hat: a) it is purple.... I've never had a purple hat! b) it has pom poms on the ends of the strings.... now I can hit myself in the face when performing stupid jumps of excitement! and c) it has EARS. This is perfect because my ears are covered up by the hat! How am I supposed to hear clearly???
One of the books she sent me I have been waiting to read since I heard about it months ago (no.... it is not the trashy romance novel she sent me. The other one). The book is Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It is about those split decisions we make without thinking. I'm excited about it because as a rather impulsive person, I always make decisions that way. I'm reading this book to feel more justified in my decision making strategies.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Also, when leaving that raw food restaurant I mentioned several blogs ago, I bought some cookies and snacks for the road. Well, I didn't eat them on the road (what DID I eat???) and so I'm enjoying them now. Today I had a Pumpkin Seed Cookie. The ingredients are: pumpkin seeds, almond butter, dates, cinnamon, walnuts, and honey. I am lazy. So, if anyone can put those ingredients together to come up with a cookie (kinda sticky, which is okay), please send me the recipe! If not, and you're interested in it, it'll be probably about a year before I get around to it. My 2007 is sort of booked.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Okay..... the word for 2006 is disquiet.
Last year, there was a distressing amount of war. It is happening all over the world and I think you can feel it. At the same time, there has been an astounding increase in philanthropy in Americans. I don't think it is enough. I think it is easier to give money than to make changes in yourself and the world around you, but at least people are noticing.
There was a 20% increase in bank robberies in Chicago compared to 2005. Researchers that looked into it have declared it to be a result of the increased number of banks.
Britney Spears, Katie Holmes, and Angelina Jolie all had babies. Nobody ought to care, but there they were.... all over the news.
Dick Cheney shot lawyer Harry Whittington in the face, gas prices continue to rise, there is genocide in Africa, Teri Hatcher almost lost an eye, the Democrats have taken over Congress and are now expected to work a five day week, we can expect to hear very little of Donald Rumsfeld, Pluto is no longer a planet, and we are "staying the course."
The Winter Olympics were this year (I'm surprised I remembered), the Republicans have had a hard year ethically, the real estate boom is over, the NSA has been collecting telephone records on us, Americans no longer eat vegetables since it has been reported that you have to actually wash them, immigration is still an issue, and Pirates of the Carribean; Dead Man's Chest has made the most money.
Speaking of movies though, quite importantly, and as a sign of the times, the following movies came out this year as Americans continue to awaken to what is important: Thank You for Smoking, Fast Food Nation, An Inconvenient Truth, and Final Destination 3. However, in this same year, The DaVinci Code and World Trade Center were released. The DaVinci Code was a fun movie, though the controversy over the ill-written book highlighted some of the strange fanatacism in our day. I think however, that it is cheap and inconsiderate to have already released a movie about September 11th. It was only 2006.
The Omnivore's Dilemma made the New York Times top 10 list for the year. I mention it because I read it and loved it. James Frey's book A Million Little Pieces was touted as spectacular and important, and then, received even more publicity when Oprah announced her feelings of personal betrayal when it was outed as a pack of lies. There is an website on the best space books of 2006 (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/12/20/best-space-books-of-2006/), and Playstation 3 is OUT.
In more personal news, we bought a house. I am now a citizen of Colorado, though my license plates tell you I'm from Wyoming, and my drivers license tells you I'm from Illinois, and am also ugly. I got my green belt in Tae Kwon Do and promptly quit. I have a beautiful Schimmel Grand Piano, a dog who just turned a whole year old, and a pink front door. I got my MTNA certification (its a music teachers thing), visited New York, have a storage unit, and am exasperatingly tied to material posessions. I have zero friends in Colorado Springs, but feel so grateful for the ones outside of it. As I get older, the years get crazier. While this one was nuts, I expect the next one to be eccentric (that means crazy, but with more money).
Happy New Year!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I have now tried the following scotches and have this to say about them:
1. Isle of Jura, 10 year old. I found the aroma to be very earthy and light and the finish very fresh, earthy and actually with a second finish of nuttiness. This wasn't mentioned in my guide (the nuttiness) and so I wonder if it was something in the glass or my nose! Anyone drink this? Very light though overall, I'm not sure I really liked it as a highland.
2. Laphroaig 10 year old. UGH. I remember trying this as a kid. Horrible. There is a pretty interesting and very distinct seaweedy taste to it and it is very medicinal. The taste is also salty. Ick. My poor dad. He likes this!
3. Macallan 12 year old. I was surprised by this one! I really enjoyed it! The flavours were mostly in the nose, which I like and it was sweet and a little orangey I thought. The finish was fuzzy. I could easily polish off a bottle of this!
4. Strathisla 1987 vintage. Wow. Seriously? WOW. This had a very fresh and citrusy aroma, was very creamy in the body and had a spicy and strong finish. My tongue tingled! Whew. Mmmmmm.
For those of you who don't drink scotch, these recent blogs are probably not that interesting. However, luckily for you, I don't see myself having the opportunity to try many more in the near future. You know..... work, life, money...... all getting in the way of my nasty new scotch habit!
On my list to try as soon as possible: Glenlivet 18 year, Glenlivet Nadurra 16, Aberlour a'bunadh, and Bushmills Malt 16 (I hear the 21 is pretty good too!).
I went to this wonderful restaurant in Chicago the other day called Karyn's Gourmet Raw Food. For more information on this restaurant if you're interested, go to: http://www.karynraw.com/. There is a cooked restaurant, a raw restaurant and a sort of cafe type store. We had Basil Ravioli, Stuffed Pizza, Pesto Linguini (the "pasta" was zucchini), and a burger (made entirely of raw grains and vegetables!). Then we split [we, by the way is Monte, me, Tim and Luke (two of my brothers)] a carob pudding comprised of carob, avocado, dates, and walnuts. I felt SO GOOD after this meal. And now I'm all pumped to learn how to cook like this!
Well, I WAS..... until I found out that I need a blender, a food processor, and a juicer. Sigh. Next time perhaps. Happy New Year Everyone!
3. Tzatziki and pita bread (to share)
Well, I went last night with my very special scotch guide (The Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch) to find myself a nice (and interesting) bottle. Back in Colorado, I'm almost out of Auchentoshan as well as my Glenmorangie so I was about due for a new bottle.
This liquor store is so cool... in fact, the gentleman who helped me even tasted the scotches with me. That's right. I got to sit around a liquor store tasting whatever scotch I could come up with. (I know some of you are just gagging right now. To each his own. Go get yourself a wine cooler).
I tasted a Glenrothes Select Reserve which I thought had a semi sharp scent, no taste at ALL and a beautiful butter cookieey finish. I then tasted a Compass Box Hedonism which is supposed to be very popular. I bet it is popular due to its name. Compass Box is actually pretty interesting. It is a vatted malt, meaning it uses malt whiskeys from different distilleries. It had little scent, a very sharp and smoky taste, and quiet finish. Almost the exact opposite of the Glenrothes! I then tasted an Aberlour 10 which was simply tasty. It really opened up at the end with a very doughy flavor.
I am typically very fond of Glenmorangie. They started a trend in identifying the varying types of wood finishes used. I am fond of the sherry or the madeira. I didn't get one though because they are easy to come by. I recently tasted the Glenfiddich Solera Reserve which I thought was fabulous. But, I was inclined to use my gift certificate to get something different. I got a bottle of the Glenrothes which I drank last night with my dad (the only one around who actually appreciates scotch)!
Although I'm nervous now..... my step-mom and my husband both expressed interest in several sips. Must be the sweetness. I should learn how to drink the nasty Islay stuff in order to keep it all to myself!