Wednesday, April 15, 2009

...And Eat it Too!

Apparently my buddy Sasaki decided she needed to make a cake with something cute on it.  She'd never done it before.

This is what happened next:

Keep in mind that this is her FIRST cake with art on it.

If I had tried to do this, it would not look like that.  It wouldn't even look like a cake.
It's a good thing SOME of us have talent!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Geography--like, WHY?

OK.  I'm probably going to expose myself as a HUGE ignoramus here, but I really see no point in having a Geography department and major at a university.

Honestly.  You study geography up through 8th grade or whatever and you know where countries are and things--but like, that's not enough?  You have to MAJOR in knowing where countries are?

I work as a TA, and our lab shares space with the Geography TAs among others and I was sitting in my office hours today listening to some pompous young male person go on and on about the weather conditions in the British isles and how you don't get snow and ice there and how in the winter it just rains and doesn't get below 40 and blah blah blah.  So I stuck my head in.  "Actually, you do." I said, and then some other random bit of information and the male person gave me this glare and then said "That's why I said 'very often'," and proceeded to ignore me.  So I went back to my chair--humiliated.  A whole other group of people had heard the exchange--and you know what?  


He's NOT.  

Why do I know I'm right?  Because I spent HOURS shivering in a tent in below freezing circumstances in JULY in SOUTHERN WALES, which is one of the vacation hot-spots of the British isles, and it wasn't just some freak weather pattern.  It was the norm.

So my opinion of Geography and its usefulness has taken yet another plunge.

The TA then continued to talk, spewing all sorts of stuff about different places, throwing out the words "Nation-state" and things like that the same way a athlete would flex his muscles.

Pardon my french, but what the Hell does a geography student know about nation-states?  Leave that to the political scientist, the historians and the anthropologists, hon, and go get a REAL major.

/end embittered rant

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why I Don't Listen to the Radio Anymore, or, Pink Fish are De Rigeour for Handbags This Season

I made the mistake of turning on the radio on my way home from the grocery store tonight.  I don't listen to the radio very often, and when I do it's usually talk radio (one way to tell you're getting old--political talk radio is actually INTERESTING), but tonight I was in the mood for music and I didn't have my iPod with me to plug in to the cassette deck.  Anyway, there was only No Doubt on my favourite station, which I happen to hate with a passion, and then really unremarkable things on the succeeding stations, even the oldies.  

Side note--have any of you noticed that 94.1 (which has previously been where I go for Beatles, Crosby Stills and Nash and the Monkees) has started playing 80's music?  Does anyone else find that a little...disturbing?

Anyway.  Radio.  I ended up on a "HOT NEW MUSIC" station which sometimes plays some fun stuff and settled in to listen--they'd just gotten in the "HOT NEW MUSIC" of the week and were talking about how great it was.  "It's called 'My Flow is so Tight'," the announcer said enthusiastically, which caused me to blink more than a little, but I listened on.  It started like approximately 85 billion other hip-hop/"R&B" "songs" with some beat that's all base.  The beat kept going, adding a little this and a little that--and then a distorted voice came in with the moving and memorable line:

"My flow is so tight, the beat is so sick, Chris Brown should get his butt* kicked."

Total mystification.  

There was no way I could turn it off at that point--I HAD to find out who this Chris Brown person was and why he needed this indignity perpetrated upon his hinder end.  Surely the song would explain it, right?  So I persevered and l kept listening.  

I discovered that it's apparently perfectly acceptable to repeat the same inane line over and over and over while just adding more looped bits to your "sick beat" and then call the resulting piece of musical detritus a "song".  I was getting nowhere with Chris Brown, so I changed the channel.  Still nothing--I listened for a little bit to someone who wanted to sell me a book of "Secret Remedies T-H-E-Y Don't Want You to Know About!" and a few other things, then began to scroll through the stations again.  Finally arriving again at the station with the "HOT NEW MUSIC", I discovered to my horror that it was still going.  And the singer--er, speaker, whatever--was still repeating the same line!  It had to have been at LEAST five minutes.

So I turned the radio off.

Pink fish are an absolute MUST this season.  Why?  Because I am weird enough to like to use different coloured pens to take notes in my classes.  That alone isn't so bad--it the combination of weird colours and my snobbish attachment to liquid ink pens which has proved my ultimate downfall.

Somehow my violet pen came open in the little purse I bought in Japan.  Honestly, the thing is falling apart and has already been through an encounter with a leaky Drano-bottle (and Maceys tried to make it right, bless their hearts, but I had to admit that the purse had only cost me eight dollars, when REALLY it was worth far, far more than that.  You can't put a price on a piece of Japan).  But there on the outside were several large and malignant purple stains, visible despite the fact that the fabric is dark green.  It's also got these adorable little quilted-look fish on it in light colours on the background--darling, just darling.  I'd buy bolts and bolts of the fabric if I could find it.  Anyway--I decided that it would probably not be too bad to wash the excess ink out and just deal with a few dark spots on my purse.

A word of warning: purple ink is extremely pervasive--kind of like a bad mother-in-law.  It gets in all the cracks, runs all over the place and changes whatever is around it to match itself.  I spent probably 20 minutes at the sink soaping and rinsing and scrubbing and rubbing and succeeded in making the water that I was rinsing down the sink a lovely electric pink colour--but that was an improvement from dark violet.    By the end I was getting rather satisfied with myself and how easily the ink was coming out--until I noticed, to my horror, that all the little pale fish are now a rather distressing shade of pink.

This could be worse.

But I don't WANT pink fish.  So I set the bag to soak in diluted colour-safe bleach (And how is THAT supposed to help, I ask you?  Colour is colour!) and only got a little more pink water for my troubles.

My purse has now been soaking in a bowl in the sink for a little over eight hours, and still my cheerful little Japanese fish look like they've had a run in with a bad 80's anime.  Tomorrow I will call my aunt, who is the guru of all things fabric and see if I can do something to preserve the dignity of me and my Japanese hand bag.

Post script--

KHII: Backfired? by *Chajiko on deviantART

*I have inserted a relatively socially acceptable term here in lieu of the one used by the "artist".