Happy Halloween!

For the first time in several years, 31 October actually felt like Halloween. Last year was the first time in my entire life I did not dress up for Halloween. No one threw any parties and no kids come trick-or-treating in my area of town (alas apartment life) and I was caught up in finishing my thesis, so the holiday passed without my notice. But this year we had a Halloween celebration at work! I got to dress up with my colleagues and eat candy. If that’s not proper Halloween I don’t know what is.¬†Then I stopped at CVS, bought some Milky Ways (also toothpaste, but that was not related), and then came home.

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It’s Tuesday!

Yet another week and I find myself entrapped by X Factor. Curse you Fox!!!

Quick post today. One thing I noticed this evening is that all of the singers in the over 25 category are better than most of the boys and girls (i.e. people under 25). It seems so unfair! I just feel like the good people should get through and it’s just never case. Also, the way they just sweep right on with the show after the light goes all red and sweeps the losers into darkness is very sad. Someone’s dreams were just crushed! ūüė¶ Wehhhh. </end rant>

But good news on the X Factor front, the band Alex & Sierra made it through. They are so cute. But actually.

There are only two whole days until November 1. I am still pretty uncertain about this whole NaNoWriMo thing. I really want to do it, but if anything I am doubting myself. I have an idea, which is better than having¬†no idea. I’m just a little uncertain about the execution. Can I do it? Perhaps.

Nothing like a healthy dose of anxiety! Until next time. xx

Review: Persepolis

I don’t know a whole lot about Iran or Iranian politics, outside of what I picked up in school. That might be one reason I found Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novels so enthralling.¬†Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and¬†Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return¬†are parts of a memoir in two installments, detailing Satrapi’s life as an Iranian girl growing up both inside and outside fundamentalist Iran.

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As a child, Marjane enjoyed freedoms. She went to a fairly liberal French school and did not have to wear the veil. Her parents were open and warmly indulgent. All this changed after the revolution, where instead of installing a legitimate republic, a fundamentalist Islamic regime took over. I think that details the most difficult part of the book. Marjane is given a taste of freedom as a child, and then it’s all rescinded. These books are equal parts horrifying and inspiring. Marjane was resistant as a teen to the restraints pressed upon her by Iranian traditionalists and religion. This caused her to be sent to Austria at age fourteen to complete her education. In the second book, she returns to Iran. Continue reading

Brrrr baby brrrr

Today it was proper cold. It actually felt like fall for a change. This does not bode well for my skirts and dresses. I am going to have to invest in some more tights. When I was walking to work this morning, my route was detoured slightly by tree maintenance. I had to walk across the leave strewn grass, crunching the brown, curling bits as I went. A good leaf crunch is highly satisfying.

This is the time of year when a hot shower feels like magic. Our apartment isn’t exactly freezing, but we haven’t turned the heat on just yet so it isn’t exactly warm either. Cooking dinner was kind of nice. I cranked up the oven, which warmed things up for a little while. We’re trying to see if we can go to November 1 without turning the heat on. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Space heaters are not cheating.

In other news, I understand why my mother was occasionally frustrated with my brother and me as we grew up. The last thing you want to do after you cook a big meal is clean up the mess you made and I only cook for two people. I can’t imagine constantly doing it for a whole family. I have to do it though, almost compulsively. Cleaning is a necessary evil. The sight of a full sink drives me completely bonkers.

That is all for now. xx

Podcasts and Zucchini

I made¬†zucchini for dinner. I sauteed it ¬†on the stove top. I thought it would come out crappy but it was pretty good, if you like squishy, salty vegetables. I don’t know why they don’t label zucchini as zucchini in grocery stores. They always label it as squash (which it is), but I think of it specifically as zucchini. The more you know.

I’ve been listening to the Savage Lovecast, which is a sex/relationship advice podcast from Dan Savage. I first heard Dan on This American Life talking about how he’s going to ruin the Republican party from the inside (great episode). He is hilarious: blunt, honest, political, and quite knowledgeable. He is kind of like the sassy gay best friend you deserve. It’s a call-in type show where people ask advice, but he also has experts on and debates and all sorts of things. Dan is also just very opinionated and knowledgeable. I like hearing him talk passionately about things. The show might not necessarily be for the faint of heart (some of it gets a little¬†detailed), but it’s a fun show. I do feel a bit weird about listening to it at work, ¬†but no one but me knows what’s going on inside my ear buds.

How did I live before I discovered podcasts? Seriously. Podcasts and public radio are currently my lifeblood. These days I’m listening to This American Life, Welcome to Nightvale, 99% Invisible, and the Savage Lovecast. They keep me running throughout the day. I’ve been listening to This American Life from the beginning. Only Ira Glass’s dulcet tones can get me through another reference set at work. I’m at episode seventy something.

One of my favorite podcasts/public radio shows is currently doing a kickstarter. 99% Invisible is probably one of the best shows in radio right now. It’s an architecture and design based podcast. The stories they get on there are different in style, beat, and tone than a lot of radio work out there. It’s just so good. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an episode I didn’t like (and I’ve heard them all). Plus I have a huge crush on Roman Mars’s voice. Seriously, just¬†listen to him talk. It’s MAGICAL. You should first off give them a listen if you haven’t already (they stream FOR FREE) and next donate to the kickstarter:¬†http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1748303376/99-invisible-season-4-weekly.

Until next time! xx

Relish Review, Comics, Festivals, and Writing

To keep on my graphic novel kick, I recently finished Relish by Lucy Knisley. I first read Lucy’s work when Neil let me borrow her debut novel¬†French Milk¬†(he gave it to me right before we went abroad – the story takes place in Paris).¬†Relish is a much more personal novel, focusing on Lucy and her relationship not only with food but how it relates to her familial life.2013-10-20 09.45.54

Her mother was a professional chef; both parents cultivated in her a great appreciation for food. The memoir documents her life from babyhood up to now including moving from New York City to the country with her mother after her parent’s separation, her travels to various foreign locales including Mexico and Japan, and her college experience in Chicago. It’s something of a coming of age tale; she grows as a person and is very open about how she’s changed. Also, the memoir is dotted throughout with recipes (all illustrated) and all sounding very delicious. Finally, the art is gorgeous. It’s in full color and Lucy’s style is really quite lovely. I highly recommend it.

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Bioshock Infinite: REACTION SHOT (warning – SPOILERS)

I just finished Bioshock Infinite. I imagined. I hoped. I dreamed it would be a pleasant experience. I never, ever could have imagined it would be THIS CRAZY GOOD. I guess I am also not Ken Levine and also not a complete and utter GENIUS. The game is beautiful on an artistic level. It’s minutely detailed and atmospheric. It’s the kind of game you could spend many hours exploring. But the beauty of the game has¬†nothing on the story and the amount of detail and precision that went into crafting a brilliant fiction.IMAG0123

Now, I am going to discuss some SPOILERS. Do not read further if you do not want to be SPOILED.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT. ALL YE WHO DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED TURN BACK NOW. Continue reading