Thursday, December 31, 2009

England! Day 8

Happy New Year Everyone! (In about 20 minutes here.) And happy birthday Mom! I hope you all are having a lovely time.

We had a lovely day today! Eddy and I went to Tesco's with Karen in the morning so that we could stock up on Jaffa Cakes and Yorkshire Tea before we went home. After lunch we drove to Rochester to visit the castle and cathedral. Sadly, Rochester Castle was closed due to safety concerns - it was dark and rainy and they didn't want us to fall down the staris - but the cathedral was really lovely. No good pictures though; I don't like taking pictures with the flash in churches, and it was quite dark so they've come out all blurry.

Curry for dinner and then games until midnight! We had a blind chocolate tasting, which was fun, but now I'm feeling a bit ill. Champagne soon!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

England! Day 7

Not too much going on today. We were planning on going to a castle, but the weather was so dreadful that we stayed home and watched the new BBC Day of the Triffids remake and played games. I really liked this version, though it had a few big plot holes that are bothering me a little bit. It had Eddie Izzard as the main bad guy, which is a bit distracting because all I can think about is his "CAKE OR DEATH" sketch whenever I see him in serious films.

We went out to a lovely pub for dinner, which did a pretty dreadful garlic chili prawn stirfry, but had delightful lentil soup. I knew I should have stuck with the fish and chips! More games after dinner.

Tomorrow we're hoping to go out to a castle or something like that, but the weather may stay gray and gloomy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

England! Day 6

So. I did something silly today. Eddy, Alexis, Andrew and I all went to London today. I packed my camera, with extra batteries just in case, but as I got to the British Museum, I realized that I had left my camera card in Eddy's computer. Oh no! I was able to take about 13 pictures using the camera's internal memory, but I have no idea how to upload them onto the computer. Sadly, I have no pictures for you today.

Despite my silliness, we had a lovely day today! We took the high-speed train into London, which took about 40 minutes. It really didn't seem that fast to me, but it got us there and that's all that really matters. Eddy and I headed off first to the British Library, which was about a block from the train station. The British Library not only houses thousands of archival texts, but has a large museumish display of precious documents. My favorites were the medieval illuminated manuscripts; they had the Lindisfarne Gospel on display, which is just truly stunning. They also have the Cotton MS Vitellius A xv - which contains the oldest copy of Beowulf among other texts - and I really enjoyed seeing that. It was much smaller than I thought it would be, and quite tattered around the edges, but it was still really cool.

After we spent about 2 hours in the British Library, we trekked our way over to the British Museum! It was only about a mile away, and a lovely walk at that. We saw the early European exhibit - which displays the artifacts from the Sutton Hoo dig - as well as the Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Mexican, North American, Assyrian and a little bit of the Ancient Greek exhibits. Of course, I wish I had been able to take pictures of all of them. The British Museum is seriously overwhelming. Not only is it so enormous that you have no idea where to go first, there are immense numbers of people trying to see whatever it is that you want to see. The rooms with the Egyptian mummies were completely insane - you had to shove your way through just to get from one end of the room to the other. Actually looking at a display was another trial all together. We busted out our pointy elbows, though, and made our way through!

We had burgers at a nearby pub when the museum closed - they were out of fish, so no fish and chips! - and then made our way back to the train station. After we got back to Hawkinge, we finished our day with tea and were thoroughly trounced at Trivial Pursuit by Eddy's Nana. I don't think the game was fair though, because it was clearly prejudiced against Americans!

No plans for tomorrow, but we'll see what happens!

Monday, December 28, 2009

England! Day 5

Off to Dover today! During the last couple of years, the British Heritage Foundation has undergone a HUGE restoration of Dover Castle. From what I understand, it's one of the most intact castles in Britain. They've completely redecorated with reconstructions of what would have been in the castle during the reign of Henry II; there are great tapestries, wonderfully colorful furniture, swords, shields as well as the more common items such as cooking implements and a medieval toilet. It is pretty much the coolest thing ever to go through.

When you walk into certain rooms, a holographic image of a person comes up and starts talking about their life and what went on during their time and so on. Even greater than that, there are actors walking around the castle dressed up like Henry II and members of his court! When Eddy and I first got there, he was knighting very small adorable children, but he went on to interact with his son John and his ward Alice. It was all a bit silly, but great fun.

The castle itself would be impressive enough without all the decorations, but the decorations really bring out the culture of the place as it would have been during the 12th Century, instead of just presenting an interesting architectural specimen.

London tomorrow!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

England! Day 4

Back to Canterbury today! Eddy and I did the Canterbury Tales Experience, which had to be the most ridiculously fun thing yet. We were each given a headset to listen to and wandered around this series of connected room while the audio tour (narrated by Chaucer himself) told us the story of the pilgrimage and a few of the tales. Each room had life sized figures of the character and other figures from the tales; sometimes they moved, or panels would light up. It went through 5 of the more famous tales - The Knight's, The Miller's, The Wife of Bath's, The Nun's Priest's and the Pardoners Tales - in an abridged retelling. Dad will be happy to note that the Nun's Priest's Tale was the one with Chanticleer, so I thought of him the whole time.

I made Eddy take my picture next to each of the Pilgrims who told tales.

KT with the Miller

It took us about half an hour to go through the whole experience and we headed off to the cathedral afterward. I was a bit shocked to find out that they charged you to go into the cathedral! I suppose it makes sense, considering the amount it takes to preserve and restore everything, it just seemed odd to pay to get into a church. It was well worth it though, as the inside of the cathedral was just stunning. There was one room down in the crypt that still had the original 12th century wall paintings, which was so cool. I couldn't take many good pictures though, because I didn't want to use the flash in case it damaged anything and the cathedral was quite dim. Oh well.

Off to Dover tomorrow! They've recently done a huge restoration of Dover Castle and it's all made up to look as it did during the reign of Henry II (so mid 12th Century, my favorite!) More tomorrow!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

England! Day 3

We didn't do too much today. It was mostly a game day; we had an epic 5 hour King Maker battle and we've just finished playing charades. I've somehow become a charades fan, despite dreading the prospect of playing when Eddy told me that it was a family tradition.

Tomorrow will be an exciting day however! We're off to Canterbury to get a proper look around the Cathedral and then we're going to visit the Canterbury Tales visitor attraction. I'll have to take pictures and bring them into my Chaucer class next quarter.

Friday, December 25, 2009

England! Day 2

Merry Christmas to All! I don't believe I've eaten so much food in my life as today! Apparently in England you have a big Christmas Lunch instead of Christmas dinner, so we polished off goose, potatoes, parsnips, chestnut stuff and all sorts of lovely things around 1ish and then waddled off to the living room to pass out. Here's my plate:

Just lovely!

It's about 8 now. We've just finished opening all of our presents and I think we're about to have round two at the goose!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

England! Day 1

We drove to Canterbury today, to do some last minute shopping and to walk around the town a bit. We didn't have too much time to spend there - we had to get back in time for dinner after all - but we walked around the big shopping district, saw Canterbury Cathedral (see above) and Canterbury Castle. The Cathedral was having their big Christmas caroling service today, so we weren't able to go in, but we're hoping to go back to see the inside. As we were walking around, we managed to catch a big procession that included the Archbishop!

He's looking rather fetching in that shade of yellow I think.

After we walked around Canterbury, we stopped for a cup of hot chocolate and then headed back to Hawkinge. We're now sitting around relaxing in the living room, reading and playing Wii, waiting on dinner. More adventures to come!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Figuring out some picture stuff, so ignore please! Or Sir Oatmeal will come for you!

ETA I figured it out, but this picture is too awesome to take down

Book Review - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is truly a lovely and charming book. Christopher, an autistic (though that word is never used in the book) 15 year old living in England discovers that his neighbor's dog has been killed with a garden fork. Inspired by Sherlock Holmes, Christopher decides to investigate the dog's death, against his fathers wishes. In doing so, Christopher discovers the truth of his family, and that his own independent capabilities. The book is interspersed with drawings, diagrams and Christopher's random musings about life, humanity, physics and math. Christopher's is a genuinely inspiring story.

View all my reviews >>


Tuesday was my great curry adventure! I've had Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries for over a year now, but had never made anything out of it. The book, though incredibility thorough and helpful, is a little daunting. For one, there are - as the title suggests - over 600 curries to choose from, which makes choosing just one curry to make somewhat difficult. Secondly, most recipes have long lists of ingredients that include spice blends and pastes that I would have to make myself. It always seemed like so much work, so I never managed to do anything with it until now.

In the end, all of my fears were unfounded. I picked Chana Paneer to make - paneer and chickpeas with tomatoes with a toasted fennel spice blend. We had all the spices I needed for the Balti Masala, and the toasting and grinding of them took no time at all. Even making the paneer was easy. Sure, it has to drain for 3-5 hours, but the parts that I was actually involved in only required me to stir and pour. Simple! Once I had prepared all of that, the actual curry making took about half an hour.

This curry was so wonderful! I'm trying to eat less meat, so the paneer and chickpeas were perfect - hearty, without being heavy. The only thing I would have changed would be the heat level. The recipe called for 1-2 thai or serrano peppers, but since I'm such a spice wimp, I ended up using only half of a jalapeno. That made the curry mildly spicy, but I could have handled a good bit more heat.

I'm making this again on Monday for Mom to take in to work. I hope they all enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

School's Out....

This quarter is officially over and I made another 4.0!! This will be my 5th 4.0 quarter in a row, out of 7 quarters. Woohoo! This was a tough quarter for me, so I'm really proud.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finals Update

We've now come to the part of the quarter where I really feel like I'm going to die. Ha. This quarter has been especially tough because I'm taking 20 credits instead of the usual 15, but I'm powering through! I have FIVE WHOLE pages of my Pilgrimages paper written (6-8 needed) and Dr. K loved my prospectus for my Arthurian Romance paper. I need to outline my PoliSci in class essay, but that's not until next Thursday. Everything's going pretty smoothly, but I can't help freaking out every once in a while.

So! To relieve stress, I leave you with Flight of the Conchords!


Saturday, November 14, 2009


So. It's 4 in the morning. I've been up since 1. I've watched Finding Nemo. I've written a 500 word French composition. I'm considering moving on to some Lit homework, but I may try to go back to sleep.

Meanwhile, here's a video!

This is my absolute favorite Belle & Sebastian song. The album version (from If You're Feeling Sinister) is much more subdued, but I do like this raucous live version.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hamlet Musings - Gertrude

We were talking about Hamlet today in class and the topic of how we feel about Gertrude as a character came up, which got me thinking.

One of the essential questions I think we need to ask when judging a character like Gertrude is how much personal autonomy does a woman like her have in what is presumably medieval Denmark? Sure, the question gets thrown out the window if you set the play in a more modern time, but I think that the question is valid when contemplating the play in its original setting. How much power did she have in regards to her marriage? It seems highly doubtful that she would have had the freedom of choice to choose who she marries. While we have a romanticized view of marriage in our modern world, this was not so for the time period that Hamlet is set in. More likely, Gertrude was married to King Hamlet for dynastic reasons; maybe their two families formed some sort of alliance through the marriage, maybe she would inherit great wealth and land from her father or some other sort of similar scenario, but I find it highly unlikely that they married for love. Sure, Hamlet claims that his father cared for her dearly, but what child doesn’t romanticize their parents’ relationship? Additionally, he has been gone at school in Germany for presumably some time and thus his memory of his father’s relationship is obscured from lack of everyday contact. Stricken by grief and what he feels as the horror of reality, Hamlet venerates his father to make him out to be a glorious figure. It makes sense then for him to think of his father as this great devoted husband.

How then, can we judge Gertrude too harshly for her actions? It was very likely that she didn’t even love King Hamlet in the first place – but this begs the question why do we care if she loved him in the first place? Why does her being a good person revolve around her loving her husband? Because we have the expectation that a woman should be a good and loyal wife? True, if she was part of the plot to kill Hamlet then we should condemn her for that. But why should we judge her for trying to find happiness – through marrying Claudius – within the confines of the place of the woman in this society? Others cite her treatment of Hamlet as cold and distant, condemning her for that, but again, can we really blame her for feeling distant from a child that she was forced to have? In this society she would have essentially been forced to have children; though she obviously has a high political status it is still her role as a woman to do so. Is it any wonder that she might feel distant from a child that represents the fetters that society has forced upon women? This is a moot point though, because she obviously shows affection for Hamlet, even if she does act perhaps insensitively towards his father’s death. But why should she sacrifice her happiness for his comfort? As she wisely states, all people die. Hamlet will eventually get over his grief. But will if marrying again will bring her happiness, I think that it was prudent for her to jump on this chance.

I don’t necessarily think that Claudius loved Gertrude. If he had, I think he would have found some way to stop her from drinking that poisoned wine and afterwards he would have not claimed that she was just swooning from the sight of blood. He wanted her to wife and, as with her marriage to King Hamlet, did she really have the power to refuse his desire? He would have been the king regardless of whether he married her. If he found another wife, where would Gertrude be? Her husband can no longer protect her and her son is an adolescent studying in Germany. Marrying Claudius was safe. Yet there is evidence that Gertrude values romantic love. At Ophelia’s funeral she states that “I hoped thou shouldst be m y Hamlet’s wife. / I thought thy bridebed to have decked, sweet maid, / and not have strewed they grave” (Act V.1 line 233-236). Ophelia and Hamlet would never be married because of their disparate social statuses, but Gertrude wishes that they had been allowed to. Perhaps she even wishes this for herself.

All in all, I think that Gertrude is as trapped in this society as Ophelia is and that we judge her far too harshly.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Music Tuesday - "The Final Countdown"

Europe - The Final Countdown

SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW!!!! I'm super excited.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Music Monday - Back to School!

Pete Seeger - What Did You Learn in School Today?

Yikes! School starts in two days!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Note

The new Beatles Rockband? Totally awesome.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Review - The Wasp Factory

The Wasp Factory: A Novel The Wasp Factory: A Novel by Iain M. Banks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have really conflicted feelings about this book. I honestly cannot say if I enjoyed reading it at all. I suppose that enjoy is really not the right word; The Wasp Factory portrayed a great deal of violence against both animals and humans that I found difficult to stomach. The pivotal scene that explained Eric's mental illness made me dry heave for an entire afternoon.

Basically, The Wasp Factory tells the story of a Scottish boy named Frank. As Frank has no birth certificate and does not officially exist, he lives in seclusion with his controlling father Angus. Frank narrates the book and tells us of his childhood, the rituals of his daily life, the atrocities that he has committed, etc etc. A great deal of his psychological issues seem to be a result of a terrible accident that he has as a child (the family dog attacks and castrates him). The plot set in the present revolves around Frank's brother Eric who has escaped from a hospital for the mentally ill and is making his way back home. As Eric nearly reaches the house - lighting an entire flock of sheep on fire on the way - Frank discovers that he was actually born and girl and just raised by his father as a boy after his accident.

I'm still not really sure what to make of this book. Frank has some serious issues with women and his masculinity in the book, yet once he realizes that he's actually a girl he comes to terms with it remarkably quickly. That really doesn't make sense to me. Eric's mental illness also seems a bit iffy. The books seems to suggest that his violence and psychosis stems primarily from this one afternoon in the hospital when he discovered an infant with it's brain eaten out by maggots; it's a horrific image, but does mental illness actually work like that? I admittedly don't know enough to be a good judge, but Eric's actually are so terrible that I don't think they can be a result of the trauma alone.

Despite my objections, The Wasp Factory was a compelling read.

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Music Wednesday - Bumbershoot Edition

This is super late, since Bumbershoot was this past Sunday, but I figured I'd post it anyway. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs live are fantastic. Karen O has such an exuberance that it was just a joy to watch her on stage doin' her thing.

Maps by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Thursday, August 20, 2009

History Musings

The one thing that is always disappointing when you actually study history is that all those glorified heroic figures are never as cool as you want them to be.

I absolutely love the Robin Hood myths. I watched the Errol Flynn version at a very impressionable age and the Disney Robin Hood was probably my favorite Disney movie. So while I was reading Alison Weir's biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine it was a huge blow to learn about the true character of Richard Coeur de Lion. According to the Robin Hood myths that I've encountered, Richard is supposedly a great and honorable king who champions the cause of the Saxon peasantry and fights courageously in the Holy Land. Once he returns to England, he saves the nation from the clutches of the evil Prince John who has attempted to usurp the throne.

For one thing, it is completely unlikely that Robin Hood would have lived during Richard I's reign; most sources place him in the 13th or 14th century, at least 100 years after Richard was king. But to make things even worse, Richard was a horrible king! He had a reputation of excessive cruelty, to the point that the character of Malik-Ric (evil Richard) was used for centuries by mothers in the Middle East to make their children behave; while on crusade, Richard had nearly 3,000 Turkish men, women and children beheaded because Saladin wouldn't surrender to him. His sexual appetite was so voracious that he abducted and raped the wives and daughters of his vassals and fathered numerous bastards. The man didn't even speak a word of English! (While the monarchs of England were still Normans, they usually had lived in the country long enough to speak some of their subjects' language. They'd be just beginning with Middle English I think.) Raised in Aquitaine with his mother, he understood only the culture and lange d'oc of Southern France. Richard I spent less than a year out of his 10 year reign actually in England; the rest of the time he spent in France or crusading in the Holy Land (the expense of which sucked the country dry). King John's early reign actually proved that he was a better king than Richard and was morally neither better or worse than his brother. (From what I've read, King John became much worse later in his reign - which is why his barons forced him to sign the Magne Carta - but the book ended with Eleanor's death, not with John's).

Robin Hood was probably just a bandit who stole for his own gain too. Phaugh. I'll take Errol Flynn any day.

Book Review - Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life by Alison Weir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really like Alison Weir's biographies. She writes in a very accessible tone so that her books are neither too stuffy nor too dumbed down to read. Weir's biography follows Eleanor of Aquitaine's life from her childhood in Aquitaine through her marriages to Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, her reigns as queen in both countries and on through her old age as she championed the causes of her remaining children. This book portrays a fascinating picture of the politics of Medieval Europe in the 12th and very beginning of the 13th century. As it is a biography of the queen of France and England, it focuses mainly on those two countries, but also deals with the Middle East as both Louis VII and Richard I go on crusade (the 2nd and 3rd respectively).

The only real problem that I have with this books is that it focuses so much on the people and events that surround Eleanor of Aquitaine rather than Eleanor herself. I understand that this is due simply to a lack of primary sources that deal with Eleanor, but I feel after reading this that I know much more about her husbands and sons than I do about her. Despite this, the book was an enjoyable read as this was a very interesting period of European history.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Food Update!

I've cooked a whole bunch of stuff lately, so here are some pictures!

I was really surprised that this cobbler turned out to be so delicious. Well, it's a Cook's Illustrated recipe, so I shouldn't be too surprised, but I so love Mom mountain pie style cobbler that I was a little wary of the biscuity topping. The biscuits tasted really good though - they were moist and just barely sweet...really tasty with the peaches.

I can't take full credit for this pie. It was totally Eddy's mom Vickie's idea to bake it, she made the crust and I just assembled it. It's a banoffee pie, which is toffee topped with bananas and then covered with whipped cream. The banoffee pie is pretty much the most ridiculous pie I've ever seen, but it was definitely good. I'm not a huge toffee/caramel fan, so I though the toffee layer was a little overpowering, but it went really well with the bananas and whipped cream.

This was a big fussy pistachio cake that I was honestly disappointed with overall. It has layers of marzipan, apricot jam and chocolate ganache between the layers of cake and all those flavors way overpowered the pistachio. I absolutely loved the way the plain cake tasted, but the dominating flavor of the put together cake was just dull chocolate. I think the cake would be really good maybe baked in a bundt with a lemony glaze. The marzipan was a pain too - mostly because I bought chocolate covered marzipan by mistake, but the rolling out and cutting process was just way to fussy for my taste.

I also made Pasta Carbonara, Chicken Marsala, Lemon Cream Scones and Zucchini Bread, but I don't have pictures of any of those.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Music Friday - Psychedelic Edition

For Eddy this time

I want to tell you a story
'Bout a little man if I can.
A gnome named Grimble Gromble.
And little gnomes stay in their homes,
Eating, sleeping, drinking their wine...

KT and Eddy's New Hobby

That's me climbing through a tiny hole in Bend's Boyd Cave

After nearly a week, Eddy and I finally went caving! We were originally going to go down to the Lava Beds National Monument in California to go through the lava caves there, but it was way too hot down there to go camping. There are tons of lava caves around Bend though, so we're going to spend the next couple of days going through them.

We went to Boyd Cave yesterday and it was so much fun! It was a little tricky getting through - we had to crawl on our stomachs a few times and there were two places were we had to wriggle through very small holes - but there wasn't anything too hard. We're definitely going to have to do this more often. Eddy and I are going to try to find some caves in Washington when we get back, and anyone who wants to come with us is welcome to!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Catch - Up

I haven't posted in ages, but I've just uploaded some pictures from the last month onto my computer and I figured it was a good time to do so!

First some cooking pictures...

This is Julia Child's Cheese Souffle recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I know it doesn't look like much, but it was really delicious! A perfect light meal for a Vegetarian Tuesday.

Next are some cream scones (recipe here)

These were amazing! According to Eddy, these scones were much more of a traditional English scone than most you find in America. They were moist and flaky - pretty much the same texture as a biscuit - and just barely sweet. I did just currants the first time (yummy) but then did another batch with craisins and orange zest (SUPER yummy). This is definitely a great recipe, one I'll be making over and over again.

Other updates:
My room is painted! It's a bright sherberty orange on three walls and a lovely turquoise on the fourth. The room is so cheerful that I absolutely love being in it. We've rearranged my furniture too so now the room seems to have way more space than before. I've even brought in a rocking chair and have a little reading nook.

Eddy and I are leaving for Bend on Friday (woohoo, 6 hour drive with no air-conditioner!) for his family reunion and then we're heading down to Northern California to do some spelunking at the Lava Beds National Monument. I've been looking forward to this since we came back from Crater Lake. Hopefully it won't be too hot!

It's way too hot for Poulsbo right now and I just don't feel like doing anything. Off to bed!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book Review - Four Queens

Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Goldstone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I absolutely loved this book! Goldstone's writing was so engaging - much different from most other historical texts that I've read - that I could hardly stop reading this book. It details the lives of four sisters from Provence who marry the kings of France, England, Germany and Sicily. The books begins with the history of the parents of the Provencal sisters and their future husbands and ends with their eventual deaths. Their stories encompass crusades, civil wars and other great political dramas. While the political intrigues are oftentimes convoluted, the author leads the reader clearly around the key issues and illuminates the characters of the lead players. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, and not just those interested Medieval history.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Music Thursday - Flight of the Conchords

"Hey Bowie, do you have one really funky sequined space suit? Or do you have several ch-changes?"

Love it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Finals Update - 4

I finished my French final in half and hour. No more tests! I just need to write two more pages for my philosophy paper, edit my biblit paper and turn them all in. (Oh and finish packing of course.) Right now I'm taking a break to go to Café Presse with Eddy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Last Day!

Today was my last day of classes for the year. I'm a little sad about that, but I'm excited for the summer and next year! Things are going pretty smoothly final-wise. My biblit paper is mostly finished (I just want to go through and edit it a little bit) as is the take-home test for that class (turned it in today). I took my French oral exam today and il a été fantastique! My French final is on Wednesday at noon, but I've been studying for that over the weekend and it shouldn't be hard. The last big thing I have to do is finish up my philosophy paper (5.5 pages) but I'll have all of tomorrow and most of Wednesday to get it done.

As per tradition, today was Senior Streak Day. I missed it last year, so Eddy and I made sure to go to the quad to watch this time. It was definitely entertaining.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Finals Update - 3

BibLit Paper: FINISHED! (10 2/3 pages. I think this is the longest lit paper I've ever written)

Only 5.5 pages of Philosophy to write, and that shouldn't be hard.

In other news, I went over to Eddy's apartment today and made apple fritters. Actually, Eddy made them, but I helped. They were my first deep frying experiment, and I think they went well!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Finals Update - 2

Biblit Paper 9/10 (well, in reality the paper will probably be more like 11-12 pgs)
Biblit Exam, in class and take home
Philosophy 1/6.5 (haven't done much more on that one)
French oral written

Finish Papers
Study for French Oral/Take French Oral
Study for French Test/Take French Test

Finish Biblit Paper
Study for French Oral
Do at least one section of the Philosophy Paper

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Finals Update

BibLit Paper 7/10 pages
Philosophy Paper 1/6.5 pages
French Oral Final spiel written

BibLit Final - this Friday
French Oral Final - Monday
French Written Final - Wednesday
Papers 8.5 pages to write - next Friday

Phew! I'm getting there...

Music Wednesday - Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan

Feelin' low late at night...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pasta alla Vodka (or White Wine)

Look at the deliciousness that I have just created!

It's basically Pioneer Woman's recipe, but I've substituted white wine for vodka (since I didn't have any and didn't have a legal means of acquiring any) and about a third of a shallot for the onion (since I'm an onion hater!) It's mostly regular pasta, but with a couple of handfuls of whole wheat to get to a pound.

This was pretty much the best thing I've eaten in a while. Eddy and Tyler both loved it as well. I want to try it with vodka sometime and see how it tastes, but I loved the floral wineyness of the sauce, it really went well with the tomato. (I think I lose all foodie cred using a word like "wineyness". Ah well.)

HAAWWT (channeling my inner dad here...)

Today I thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for yogurt parfaits and Italian sodas. I don't know when I became a wimpy Seattle-ite, but it is way too hot for me today. Sadly Janet took her fan when she moved out, so my room is broiling right now.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Paper Update

3 pages down, 7 more to go! (Only 5 if I'm going for the minimum, but the way I've outlined it, it should work out to be 9.5-10) I figure if I write a page or so day this week, I'll have it done by the weekend, giving me plenty of time to write my philosophy paper and study for my French exams.

I am also apparently channeling my inner Kafka and writing gigantically long paragraphs. Good times.

Movie Review - Mongol

Another film that Eddy and I watched recently, Mongol tells the story of Genghis Khan's rise from being a slave to the Khan of all of Mongolia. The film humanized a historical character who is usually thought of a cruel and ruthless person and was an interesting story about a culture that I have pretty much no knowledge of. The sweeping shots of a barely populated Mongolia were stunning. The film was pretty bloody - lots of warring Mongol hordes - but the violence was realistic without being gruesome. The score consisted of what I assume was tradition Mongolian music, which was really interesting and added a lot to the ambiance of the film.

This apparently is the first in a trilogy about Genghis Kahn's life, and I will happily go see the next two. ***1/2

Movie Review - Up

Eddy and I went to see Pixar's new movie Up yesterday and I was honestly a little disappointed. I'm not saying that it wasn't a good movie - I don't think I've seen a Pixar film that was without any redeeming qualities - it just wasn't as good as many of Pixar's other films. The story revolves around Carl, an elderly man going on the adventure that he and his wife had planned before her death. One of the things that I respect Pixar for is that it deals with themes like death and aging (or environmentalism with Wall-E) that you don't normally find in children's movies. They always strike me as very sophisticated for movies geared towards younger audiences. Anyway, Up's plot felt fairly disjointed to me, with the first part of the movie not really meshing with the second part until the very end. I though the talking dogs were a little gimicky, but Kevin the bird was absolutely gorgeous and charming. This, like many of Pixar's past films, was devoid of any major female characters, which annoyed me.

One thing that I've always liked about Pixar that I missed in the films is that the subjects of their movies are usually not something you would think of making of film of - like robots, monsters, fish, toys etc. There is something so clever about making films about these un-thought of subjects, and Up felt somewhat dull because it only focused on seemingly normal human beings. Yes, it is unusual to have an old man as the protagonist of children's film, but Pixar's medium seems better suited for more fantastical and visually interesting creatures. The imagery of the balloons, Kevin the bird and South American were all visually interesting, but I didn't think that the main characters were in anyway improved by the medium - certainly not in the way that Sully or Wall-E were.

The film is definitely worth seeing, but I don't think that it was Pixar's best effort. ***1/2

(The short at the beginning was fabulous. That's the kind of creativity that I expect out of Pixar.)

Music Sunday - Steve Miller Band

I played this on guitar hero yesterday, and now it's stuck in my head.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hair Update

So. Don't freak out. Being sick of my current state of shagginess, I finally buzzed off all of my hair. Here's a picture.

(Please ignore the ridiculous messy room. My roommate apparently moved out over the weekend, though that doesn't excuse my side.)

I think it looks cute!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Music Monday

In honor of Memorial Day

ETA: Apparently Dad and I think the same way...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Il fait soleil!

Today is a glorious day, even though I have to work for 8 hours! I woke up early, went to the gym and then had a pretty un-eventful day at work. Now it's bright and sunny outside, I had a package (full of shoes!) waiting for me and Dr. K just emailed me and told me that I was officially in Arthurian Romance. All is right with the world!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Music Tuesday - "Ce Jeu"

Unlike Dad, I don't have an official day for posting random music, so have a music Tuesday. This has been my favorite song for the last month or so. It's upbeat, poppy and I can understand a good bit of the French. I think it's a perfect song for a crappy gray day.


Today, one the school washing machines decided not to go through the rinse/ spin cycle - leaving my clothes sopping wet - one of the dryers ate my quarters, proceeded to leave my clothes wet after 80 minutes of drying and then ate more of my quarters. It's raining, I locked myself out of my room and the library gave me the third volume of a book that I put on hold instead of the third.

Today had so much promise! Blarghl


Things Today:

I went to the gym for the first time. I've been meaning to go for ages, but I finally got my butt out of bed early today and went for about half an hour. I felt really good afterward though, so I'm going to try to go again sometime this week.

I register for classes tomorrow, yikes! I've become really paranoid since registration last quarter was so awful, but I think I'll be able to get the classes I want this time. Hopefully!

I'm meeting with Dr. Earenfight - the chair of the Medieval Studies department - this afternoon to talk to her about history classes and how to officially declare a minor. I have what lit classes I want to take in the next couple of years down, but I really want to take at least one history class. She's apparently an awesome professor, so I hope I'll be able to take something with her.

Hmm, I think that's it for today...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Á l'Opéra

The opera last night was fantastic! Eddy and I had some stressful adventured actually getting there, but we made it with 5 minutes to spare! Whew! The show was a great deal of fun and the seats we had gave us a great view. It was a bit difficult to read the supertitles though, being so close. I definitely want to go back sometime.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bagel Update

Success! Though, they're a little soft. It's not that they're undercooked, they're just a little soft. I think next time I'll boil and bake them a little longer so they're a bit chewier. Still, they taste really yummy. I'll post pictures soon.

Recipe here

Music Saturday (Copying Dad Here...)

I went through this phase in junior high and high school when I decided that I did not like country music (because it wasn't cool!) and rejected a lot of the music that Mom and Dad played when we were growing up. In the last couple of years, I've started to slowly phase much of it back into my music library and I'm really happy that I have. The lyrics of this song are a little weird (as is Mr. Lovett's hair) but I really like it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Book Review - The Name of the Rose

I finished Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose a couple of weeks ago. I've been meaning to review it, so here we go.

First off, I absolutely loved this book. LOVED it. Set in an Italian monastery in the 14th century, the main plot of the book revolves around a series of murders. The visiting William of Baskerville - an English Franciscan - is the story's Sherlock Holmes figure, armed with empiricism and the philosophies of Roger Bacon and Aristotle. The novel is narrated by William's scribe, Adso of Melk. The story goes beyond the simple mystery, however, and largely discusses the politics of the Roman Catholic Church, medieval heresy, the nature of truth and the danger of knowledge. This heavy discourse, coupled with the suspense of the mystery, make the book absolutely fascinating. Of course, the Medieval period fascinates me, so of course I'm going to enjoy this book.

The only complaint I have is that the subplot with Adso and the young village woman (she has no name in the book) seemed really forced to me. The writing of that section was gorgeous - the prose of Adso's narration was mixed with quotes from the Song of Soloman and other texts - but I really cannot understand the girl's attraction to Adso or why she got involved with him at all. This was not a hugely significant subplot though (unlike in the movie) so I didn't mind it too much.

The prose is a little dense, but totally rewarding to get through.

Boldly Going...

Tomorrow I'm seeing the new Star Trek movie on Imax at South Center Mall. Ahhh! I'm super excited. It's a 10:00 show, which means I won't be getting home too late (I have a French midterm on Friday.)

ps. Sara, do you want to go see it this weekend when I come home?

Ice Cream Epiphany

One thing I love about living in a big city is finding fabulous shops and restaurants that have been right under my nose for months. Yesterday, while walking to the mall to do some mothers day related shopping, I found the most awesome little ice cream shop on 10th and Pine that I had no idea existed until then. They make fresh waffle cones in the store, which you can smell a couple of blocks before you actually see the store. Eddy had a cone of balsamic strawberry ice cream and I just about died. The chocolate was good too. Sadly, I have no idea what the name of this store was, but it was pretty much divine. You can buy their ice cream in pints too...yummy!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Well, I think that went well. It was a little weird though, because the student consultants were the ones interviewing me, so I was interviewed by a guy in my philosophy class. Hopefully I didn't say anything too stupid. I think I'll hear whether or not I got the position next week. Here's hoping!


My interview is in 45 minutes and right now I'm sitting in my room flailing my arms and going "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!"

Good times.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Apparently the swine flu has broken out in Seattle (with 3 people) and I've already seen someone wearing one of those face mask dealies on campus. I love how people are freaking out and the article in the Seattle Times keeps saying to make sure to wash your hands. I know that this is actually good advice, but it seems like such an insignificant way to prevent plague.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Le Francais

Somehow, when I came up with the brilliant idea to squeak a French minor into my schedule, I managed to miss the fact that in order to do so I'd have to get 15 credits (a quarter's worth) studying abroad. Hmph. Sadly, I know this won't be possible, so I've been revising my plans for the next two years. We'll see what happens.

Teh Interwebs

We're learning some internet related vocab in French, which somehow lead to us having to explain to Professeur GG what icanhascheezburger is. The idea of cat pictures with funny captions is really bizarre to those unfamiliar to it. Hilarity of course ensued.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Yee-haw! Pt 2

I finally heard back from the Writing Center and I have an interview on Friday! I was really getting worried about that...


Well, it's become a gorgeous sunny day and I just rocked two tests. The French one was super easy as usual and I finished it in half an hour. I was one of the last two writing during my philosophy test, but I knew what I was talking about and had a lot to say, so that's not a bad thing! The poor guy sitting next to me though seemed pretty panicked. Oh well.

Now, unfortunately, I'm going to try to get a tetanus shot because I keep get threatening emails about it. No fun.


Today I have two tests, one worth 25% of my grade (philosophy) and I have absolutely no motivation to get out of bed. It's too gray to go outside. Blurgh.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Poetry

Because I'm still in a Medieval poetry mood, I give you Caedmon's hymn:

Nu sculon herigean heofonrices weard,
meotodes meahte and his modgeþanc,
weorc wuldorfæder, swa he wundra gehwæs,
ece drihten, or onstealde.

He ærest sceop eorðan bearnum
heofon to hrofe, halig scyppend;
þa middangeard moncynnes weard,
ece drihten, æfter teode
firum foldan, frea ælmihtig.


Back from the Medieval poetry reading. It was awesome! It was a bunch of SU professors reading in Old Norse, Medieval Czech, Polish, Welsh, Latin, Catalan and of course Old and Middle English (swoon). A couple of students read as well, so maybe I'll get to next year or the year after.

Now I really want to read Beowulf again...


One of the greatest things about going to Seattle U is that they quite frequently offer really cheap tickets to go do things around Seattle. So, for 60 bucks, Eddy and I are getting two tickets for front row seats to see The Marriage of Figaro at the Seattle Opera - tickets that normally cost between $115-$150 each. I am so stoked.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Today is finally a beautiful day that I can actually enjoy! I only have one class today at noon and I don't have to work, so earlier this morning I decided to go Cal Anderson Park.

I walk through this park every time I go to Eddy's apartment because it's much prettier than walking down Broadway. I brought my French homework this morning and just sat and studied a while in the sunshine. Glorious!

I'm back inside now, sadly, but I'll be back this afternoon!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Tonight I'm going (for free and through SU!) to see Laser Queen at the Seattle Laser Dome. I know you all are jealous.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


The only beautiful day this week is of course the day I have to work both shifts at Arrupe. No fair!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

School Stuff

So, I went and talked to Dr. Koppelman today (my favorite prof and one of the Medievalists in the English department) to ask her some questions about the Medieval Studies minor and what kind of things would be helpful for grad school. At her recommendation, I have officially decided that I'm going to minor in French as well as Medieval Studies. I was kind of on the fence before about the French - I like French, but it's not my favorite subject in the world - but since both of my French professors have told me that I should definitely continue with it and now Dr. K is saying that it will be good for grad school, I'm going to go for it. I'll have to overload for all of next year, but I really don't think it will be that bad.

So for the Medieval Studies minor I'm going to take:
Arthurian Romances (Lit 5 credits)
Chaucer (Lit 5 credits)
Medieval Sexualities (Lit 5 credits)
Medieval Philosophy (Phil 5 credits)
Some sort of Medieval History (Hist 5 credits)
Latin I,II,III (Lang 10 credits. For some reason Latin I doesn't count. Who knows why)
That's 35 credits and I think my Intro to British Lit I class counts, so really that'll be 40 credits. I only need 30, so there's some leeway here. All the lit classes will count towards my major too.

For French I'll just need to take French IV,V,VI and a culture class, so 20 credits.

I'm excited!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


2001: A Space Odyssey is a truly bizarre film. Seriously, giant space fetus the size of a planet? I don't understand at all. According to Eddy the book is a little more comprehensible, but the movie is officially too strange for me. And that's saying a lot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


For some reason, the Saturday before last I randomly decided that I wanted to learn to play the guitar. I've dabbled with bass some, but it never really went anywhere; sometimes I think that I just don't have the patience for musical instruments. But for some reason I decided what I really wanted to do was to play American folk music and weird old country songs on the guitar. Who knows why.

So I picked up Dad's guitar on Saturday and Eddy's guitar today and now I can kinda-sorta painfully bang out all three chords of "This Land is Your Land" (D, G, A7). The tips of my fingers feel like they're about to fall off, but it feels good.

Friday, March 20, 2009


My scrambled eggs looked like France this morning. I'm serious! Look!

It's a crappy camera phone picture, but you get the idea. I of course took this as an omen that my French final would go really well. And it did! Tres facile as the French say (that first e needs an accent, but I'm way to lazy to look up how to do that. I know I have it bookmarked on my computer somewhere...) And now I'm completely finished with this quarter. I just need to pack and hop on a ferry and then I'm home!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Descisions, Descisions

So I'm thinking about selling this sucker back to bookstore, which makes me really sad for some reason. I can't really think of a good reason to keep it, other than the fact that I've grown irrationally attached to it. Sure, it's full of interesting texts that I'll probably want to read again, but it's over 3,000 pages, so I'm not very likely to just pull it out of my purse and read it on the bus. If I don't sell it back, it will more than likely just languish on my bookshelf for years until I finally get rid of it.

I'd probably get $20 for it - 10 americanos at Stumptown, though in reality I'd probably give the money to Dad, being the one who paid for it originally. Descisions, Descisions. I keep giving myself ridiculous reasons not to sell it back: I'd have to take all the color coded sticky notes out! It has my inane scribblings in it, that I really don't want other people to read!

I have until Friday to sell it back. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Plan B

So, originally my plan was to post picture on this blog. I was thinking, maybe one a day with some sort of witty commentary under it. I had everything planned, even what I was going to take a picture of today, only to realize that I have absolutely no clue where the chord to my camera is. Well. I have a blog. I have pictures on my camera. But ne'er the twain shall meet!

To make up for this, I leave you (who is this you you speak of? It's not like anyone is reading this yet) with a Flight of the Conchords Video. Just because.

Here We Go Again

When I told Herr E this morning that I was thinking about starting a blog, he looked me and said "Don't you already have one?"

Well, I do. This is probably the fifth or sixth blog that I've created. Of the other ones, I've forgotten most of their addresses and log in info, so I couldn't update them even if I wanted to. By now I've run out of catchy title's and usernames, hence the random Beowulf references. I'm not sure where those came from.

But the plan for this blog is to keep track of oh so interesting things that happen in my
fabulous Seattle life, though in all likelihood I'll be too distracted to keep up with it by April. We'll see how it goes.