Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dissertations are Hard Work

Above: the understatement of the year. Last week I finished my 14,000-word Master's dissertation on Toni Morrison and Dante Alighieri (yes, you read that correctly) entitled "'Bound and gathered in a single book': Reading Toni Morrison's Beloved, Jazz, and Paradise as a 'Dantesque' Trilogy." Very impressive-sounding, I know. It combines the medieval concentration of my undergrad years with the modern/postmodern study of my Master's degree, and this is super nerdy so I'm gonna stop. If you really want to know more, leave a comment or email me or whatever.

Anyway, I guess what I'm getting at is that I'm finally finished with it, and now I can focus on other things, like blogging. I have a lot of great blog post ideas lined up, which I'm totally going to follow up on. Just you wait! I will!

Here's a sneak peak of what's to come: The jnd, Fringe Festival, moving back to the US, and more! Hey, I might even get around to blogging about Dublin some more. (Remember that? Yeah, me neither.) I'm sorry I've slacked the past couple months, but I'm back, dear readers, and it's going to be great!

For now, I leave you with this important Public Service Announcement*:

*Mommy, Etsy is an online store that sells cute handmade crafts, like those earrings I bought, and Manic Pixie Dream Girls are explained in this Wikipedia article.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Perhaps the best thing I've ever had to drink

Back in April I was home for a few weeks and found myself hanging out with a few friends (as I am wont to do). We got to talking about Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, and one of my friends brought up a drink he had there once, which was essentially puréed kiwi and Sprite. Immediately I knew I had to have that thing. What about that doesn't sound wonderful?

So the three of us got in the car and drove directly to our local supermarket, where we purchased twelve kiwis and a bottle of Sprite. On our way out of the store, the other of my friends suggested we stop in at the liquor store next door. 'Twas there that we discovered the magical elixir that is Skyy Dragon Fruit vodka. Knowing very little about dragon fruit aside from the fact that it looks cool, we decided to purchase this vodka and incorporate it into our concoction.

Back at the house, we peeled and chopped our dozen kiwis, puréed them in the blender, and then set to work mixing our purée with the Sprite and vodka. I can't tell you the exact proportions we decided on. Mostly because I don't remember them. But play around with it. In the end, what we created is perhaps the best drink I've ever had. And just in case you think the dragon fruit vodka might have been superfluous, it was not. It was essential to the perfection of this drink. So go out, buy some kiwis and vodka, make this drink, and then tell me it wasn't one of the best things you've ever done.

The plums and oranges are unrelated. They just looked nice in the picture.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Disney can get so creepy...

There are a lot of creepy, or downright gruesome, deaths in the Disney pantheon of "children's" films. I had intended to create a list of some of my favorites, but Cracked already did that. So I just wanted to include a screenshot of something they forgot to mention under #3. Gaston, likely because they didn't know they were looking for it. I have been an avid fan of Beauty and the Beast for as long as I can remember,* but I never noticed what I am about to show you until a friend pointed it out. It took me a lot of fiddling with the pause and rewind buttons before I was able to capture this exact moment (and it really is only a moment, which is why you usually miss it). Just in case anyone thought Gaston may have survived his terrible fall off the castle, Disney's animators made sure to include this single frame:

Seriously, Disney? Be a little more morbid. I can't help but wonder how many of us saw this bit of subliminal messaging in our childhoods and incorporated it into our subconsciouses in strange and upsetting ways. Actually, no, I'd rather not wonder that. I'd rather just think about the funny singing candlestick.

*My grandmother used to tell a charming tale about going to see it with me in the movie theater when I was three, and because I had already seen it, I would cover her eyes during the scary parts. I was adorable.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Attack of the Fringe

Well, the Fringe is on, and it is everywhere! I can't even walk across my school's campus without accruing a dozen fliers about "the must-see" show of the festival. No, let me re-word that: I especially can't walk across campus. The whole place has been transformed and taken over.

For those of you who don't know, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and the jewel of the Edinburgh festival season, a month-long smörgåsbord* of music, theater, musical theater, comedy, dance, art, literature, etc. To give you a little context, the population of Edinburgh is usually around 420,000. During festival season, it goes up to about 1,000,000 because of all the tourists who flock to the city. So it's kind of a big deal. There are thousands of events, put on by performers from all over the world. Whatever you want, you can't find it. You like one-woman improvised comedy shows? You got it! You like Thai lady boys? They've got that too!

Basically, they have everything here, and I hope to take advantage of as much of it as I can. Particularly after August 17.

In related news, my dissertation is due in 14 days. So far, I have managed to keep my panic mostly under control, but as my remaining time dwindles, I expect my sanity to begin showing increasing signs of fray. I will keep you updated as I continue to procrastinate while watching the Olympics.

*I spelled this word right on the first try (weird accent marks not included).