Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Social Network: A movie review!

 As an early Christmas present to myself, I started subscribing to Netflix after my fall semester finals last year (December 2010).  Since then I've watched a lot more movies than I would've alone.  As much as I like movies, I've seen an unusually small number of them.  I've just never had the impetus to watch movies alone.  It's the rare case that I want to watch a movie so badly I'll illegally download it, much less watch it by myself. 

Anyway, my point is, since signing up for Netflix I've watched a lot more movies than I usually would have.  Both streaming and via their DVD service.  A few months ago I watched The Social Network.  Unlike the majority (it seems) of people who've told me they didn't really like it or Zuckerberg's character, I disagree.

I guess a lot of people don't really like Zuckerberg because he comes across so binary, so black and white.  Something is either a fact or it's not.  Something either matters or it doesn't.  (And I know this is a probable dramatization of his character, but a college friend who went to high school with Zuckerberg says it's pretty true to life).  Anyway, I didn't dislike Zuckerberg.  I rather got him.  

I'm not afraid to say that in some ways I'm kindof like Zuckerberg.  I can be annoyingly practical.  When you tell me something, I ask, "So?"  This drives my parents (and at least one ex-boyfriend) up the wall.  But my inquiry was Why are you telling me this?  Why should this information matter to me?  There's a lot of information in the world and I don't want anything unnecessary.  I don't think I'm nearly as extreme as how they portray Zuckerberg, however.  I like to think I have some more social sense and acumen and thus, maintain better relationships with the people I care about in my life.  (I mean, since I'm clearly not a genius in the way he is, I've gotta compensate somehow, no?).

There are other traits I could discuss, and clearly this wasn't just a movie about Zuckerberg's somewhat autistic/Asberger's-ish/sociopathish-ness, but for me, this is what struck me the most about the movie.  The fact that he was so misunderstood for just being himself.  He's not a bad guy - at least the way the movie showed it, he never intended to screw over Eduardo Saverin and the way I see it, too, he really never intended it.  Given the pitfalls of seeing everything as merely black and white it's a good thing I'm loyal to a fault!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Just joined Goodreads.com.  Can't believe it's taken me this long to hear about it.

If you wanna see what I'm reading, what I want to read, etc., join!

Check out my reading list on Goodreads:

Deathly fears.


In the spirit of sharing things about me you may not have known: I have a death-fear of snorkeling.  Ok, maybe death-fear is a bit strong. But I really really really don't like snorkeling. Something about fish touching me FREAKS me out!!!

There IS an explanation.  The first time I went snorkeling was in high school.  We went on a family trip with another family right after school got out in 2001.  The kind guide who wanted to attract fish so that I would have more to see just threw the fish bait/food/bread right on top of me so that fish were swimming all around me. Fish swarmed all around me, inevitable a few touched me and I started screaming bloody murder. My mom thought a shark had attacked me so they actually pulled everyone back into the boat and then when they got me on board and realized I wasn't physically harmed they asked me what happened. Blubbering, I could barely get out, "A fish touched me."

At which everyone was very annoyed and just got back in the water. Needless to say, I did not. I very much enjoy swimming/floating on top of the water and looking down at nothing. I do NOT like snorkeling when there are fish nearby. The last time I was forced into snorkeling (winter 2008) I actually swam away from the group just to look at the empty clear water. Then I somehow thought about how huge the ocean is and how tiny I am and how quickly a whale, or shark, or giant current could pull me away from EVERYTHING. And then I freaked out and climbed back on the boat as quickly as I could...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ghost "towns."

I meant to share this earlier and it got lost.  I thought this would be an interesting question to discuss especially around New Year's when people make such grandiose claims and declare their hopes and wishes for the coming year: What are the consequences of dreaming "too big"?  

This article takes a look at 6 modern ghost "towns" and it means towns in terms of projects.  Man-made projects that have ended up... empty.

I have a bag of new yarn and a halfway to halfway finished blanket.  This summer I picked up knitting, thought I was going to do it forever and started to knit one of my goddaughters a blanket.  Here I am 6 months later, past Christmas and her birthday and the blanket is still sitting in my "knitting bag."

My sister has a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle she bought and started before Christmas. My mom has 2 empty except for 2 pages scrapbooks she started making when I went off to college. We are all sometimes a bit more ambitious than might be productive. It's not necessarily a bad thing but where exactly do we draw the line to balance resources and investment?

So that leads to my question: What's your "ghost"?

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Can someone please tell me, what is the point of chives? Maybe the make some foods pretty, but they don't taste like anything...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Please let them know what killed me.

I've been using ketchup packets I found in our break room cabinet. I don't think they are so old I might die, but if I fall violently ill, please tell them to check the ketchup in our break room.

Monday, January 23, 2012

If Sherlock Holmes were a bit racist.

So, I've had a long week and made plans to meet my family at our Korean sauna after work. I've taken the bus to the sauna before when I was still living in the city. So, no big deal right?

Wrong. Now that I'm a commuter, I have a monthly NJTransit bus pass and it turns out the bus I need to take is a Rockland Coach line bus. Meaning they won't honor my monthly pass and I have to buy a new ticket. No way. I'm not paying for another ticket when I'm already entitled to a ride into NJ from NJTransit.

From my own keen memory I remember that in all my time spent on Broad Avenue (2 blocks from my destination) I've consistently seen 166 line buses. Score. I now know which line to take. But which gate???

Luckily for me, my own usual bus gate is in the farthest remotest corner of the terminal. This means I've passed lines of people at nearly all the other gates. I've also noticed that there are an unusually disproportionately high percentage of Asian folks in the lines at the cluster of Gates 208 through 214.

Aha!!! All those Asians must mean at least one thing!!! Not only is that where the Bergen County bus lines are but it's also where the Bergen County bus lines that go to super-Asian places are. Like my own destination!!!

Having thus narrowed down which bus to take and where I need to be to take it i walked towards that cluster and start looking at the tables next to each gate for the right line.

Yes. There it is. Line 166 with service to Palisades Park departing from Gate 211 Door 2. Don't mind if I do. I feel so accomplished. :)

Can you tell I really used to love Nancy Drew and that I really currently love Sherlock Holmes?

Source: http://www.telesalesmagic.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/F0K3VBKFBVHECHB.MEDIUM.gif

Friday, January 20, 2012

Liam Neeson.

I've been a fan for a while but only recently decided that there is something irresistibly appealing/intriguing about Liam Neeson.

Source: http://www.deadhippo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/The-Grey-Poster-e1325800251396.jpg

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is that really too much to ask?

Urges. I get them.

And sometimes I successfully ignore them! Successfully, but not happily :(

DYYYYYYYYING to pick up The Hunger Games to read Just. One. More. Chapter.

But I can't. Must wait for my commute.

Because I know it could never be JUST. ONE. CHAPTER. (It wasn't with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and it wasn't with The Help or A Thousand Splendid Suns or any number of books I pick up to help me doze off).

That plan NEVER works. Even when I guiltily finish the book I feel let down by the over-ness of it all, as though the end of the book is the loss of the story. And that gnawing, empty feeling haunts me and prevents me from getting some much-needed sleep at 4am.

Once, when I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch, I called in sick because I was up all night reading and couldn't face the idea of a 12-hour Memorial Day shift. So bad.

Ugh - so I must go to sleep instead of finding out if someone finds Katniss and Peeta in the cave together... DUN DUN DUN!!!!

Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0439023483

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How I organize my emails.

I have this thing where I like to keep less than 20 emails in my "Inbox" at any given point in time.  If I'm REALLY being honest, I like to keep it at less than 15.

I usually immediately read, respond to, and archive my emails with appropriate labels.  The 15 or so I'll keep in my Inbox are usually emails that need me to take some action that I cannot do "immediately."  Usually, to write a lengthy or thought-out response (so monthly emails from my faraway friends stay here), something I need to refer to quickly from my phone (the ticket pickup information for the ballet I went to last night), something I want to RSVP for but need to check my schedule first, etc.

After coming home to over 100 new emails after my week in Cancun, I narrowed it down to less than 30 pretty quickly and easily.  But it's been at 27 emails for the beginning of this week.  I just got it down to 17 and I feel SO SO good.

Mission: Accomplished!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Little victories. And making peace.

Saw this on friend's gchat status:

"I have a week left at this place, and I'm going to steal all the fucking Splenda before I go" - my secretary

And it reminded me, sometimes life is about the little victories. By little victories, I don't necessarily mean the battles we (actually) win or lose.  What I mean is what we consider to be victories and how we make peace with the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in.

For example, let me illuminate with the concept of "Aldrin justice."  This was introduced to me via How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) and it has to do with how the character of Lily Aldrin doles out "justice."  She was previously a kindergarten teacher and believes in punishing bad behavior by taking away something from the perpetrator.  For example, someone at The Gap was mean to Robin and Lily took a pair of khakis (not stealing because she is doling out Aldrin justice).

Aldrin Justice
Lily, as a kindergarten teacher, thought that taking away a "toy" from someone to punish their meanness was fair, i.e. an appropriate response.

My friend's secretary thought that taking all the Splenda from a firm (that probably sucked out her soul and leeched off her blood/sweat/tears for its profits) was fair as well.

As for me?  What is my little victory?  Where do I find my own small justice?  It's maybe super-lame and even a bit of a cop-out, but I'm a huge believer in karma.  So, rather than partaking in my own form of vigilante justice, I make peace with what I perceive as inequities or little rudenesses by reminding myself that karma is indeed a B-word and that other person will get theirs (in the end).

It's a small way out - but it works for me.  One more strategy I use, it's not really a strategy so much as a perspective but it helps me get through the day.  I used to get very frustrated and annoyed at employees in the service industry - particularly restaurant workers: when they forget my order or request, when they were slow in getting me water, and cashiers: when they are SUPER-slow at their job, when they forget to remove the security tag, when they mess up ringing you up/giving you change.

One day (actually, probably many times), my dad would see me get annoyed and verbalize some version of "[This job] is NOT that difficult!" and he told me, "If they were as smart as you, do you think they would be doing this job?"  He meant this as a compassionate comment - that I should have mercy on these folks doing the best they could with what they were genetically/societally given and be more understanding of their shortcomings.  However, I've found you can stretch that into what can amount to small victories (by comparing myself to people who are rude or mean to me).

For example, I had a series of "misunderstandings" with a "friend," where basically I felt I was being used (this friend would only call/text/want to hang out under the pretext of "catching up" when she needed me to do something for her) and would conveniently be busy whenever I initiated contact/spending time together (because, you know, I thought we were friends).  I was upset and a bit angry at first, but then the more I thought about it - I saw there were things missing from her life, her insecurities, her flaws.  I saw that although she had a group of outwardly fabulous friends, she couldn't count on them to support her or be there for her in her times of need.  I realized I was indeed lucky in having great friends I could rely on - friends who were not merely fairweather friends.  And although it's not really "justice" - I realized that I'm lucky in a way that she's not.

I guess, this could be a "victory" if I thought about it as, "Well, you may be using me but ultimately I have true friends and you don't."  But that seems petty and small (but ok, I maybe think that way sometimes - when I am especially upset by how someone has treated me).  But really, I want to be the kind of person my dad is: someone who views the other person's mistreatment of me as a manifestation of their own flaws and then is able to act compassionately in response to understanding that flaw/shortcoming (instead of the way I sometimes see it, which is, as previously mentioned, "Haha, I'm smarter than you and not a McDonald's cashier and so I won't let it bother me when you give me attitude").

So, as per usual, this turned into a bit of a rambling-on about how I make peace with (little) things that annoy me in the world, but here's your USEFUL TUESDAY TAKEAWAY:

Find your own (non-violent) way to make peace with (what happens to you in) the world.

And stick with it.  It'll lower your blood pressure.  You'll produce less cortisol and gain less weight.  You'll be able to let things go instead of letting old grudges fester inside you.  You'll be a happier person.  Eventually.  Maybe.  Then you'll smile more.  And your future spouse will fall in with your smile.  See how I just helped you find the soulmate of your life and future parent of your kids???  Haha =D  Just try it.  Thank me later by serving ice cream cake at your wedding.  ^^

Monday, January 16, 2012

Talking clock!

I don't think I've ever just posted a joke but I saw this on someone's facebook and thought it was quite clever.  (Made me laugh at any rate).

A drunk was proudly showing off his new apartment to a couple of his friends late one night.

He led the way to his bedroom where there was a big brass gong and a mallet.

'What's that big brass gong?' one of the guests asked.

'It's not a gong. It's a talking clock,' the drunk replied.

'A talking clock? Seriously?' asked his astonished friend.

'Yup,' replied the drunk.

'How's it work?' the friend asked, squinting at it.

'Watch,' the drunk replied. He picked up the mallet, gave the gong an ear-shattering pound, and stepped back.

The three stood looking at one another for a moment.......

Suddenly, someone on the other side of the wall screamed, 'You jackass! It's three-fifteen in the morning!'

Overheard in the Museum of the City of New York.

"It's amazing that you guys can be so cool like that.  I mean after he tried to kiss you and everything.  But you're still friends with a guy you were sleeping with but not dating, so."

- Two girls in line for The Greatest Grid exhibit.

Still trying to figure out if that was a compliment.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Talk the English good.

I've seen this poem before but forgot until I saw it on a friend's wall whilst poking about on Facebook.

Maybe I'll record myself reading it and post it - clearly I have perfect pronunciation =)

EDIT/UPDATE: This is what happens when I rush-schedule posts.  I miss images from my hoard that go together (because, let's face it - everyone likes a post with pictures!).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

PSA: I don't want to get cancer!

Asian flush is no laughing matter!  Apparently if you get the flush and have 2 beers a day it increases your chance of contracting esophageal cancer by 10 TIMES!!!  Not 10%, 10 TIMES!!!

Yuck!  See, yet another reason I don't drink: I'm classy AND I don't like getting cancer.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Oh, the gym.

Because clearly so many people (will) make resolutions about losing weight or getting in better shape: snarky and hilarious "rules" or things to know about "the gym."

My favorite?  Rule 11:  

Gyms have two types of members: Members who wipe down the machines after using them, and the worst people in the universe.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Not dressed.

For the weather that is.  I forgot that a January 50 degrees is not the same as an April 50 degrees.  Thusly, I think I chose a too-light/thin coat this morning.  Oh, well.

Also, I am wearing two pairs of pants (don't worry about it).  And while not nearly as uncomfortable as I'd expected, I do feel a bit like Joey, below.

And the video, here.  LOL my face off (yes, I know that makes no sense, but it's Friday at nearly 3pm).

Hands down, "The One Where No One is Ready" is one of my top 3 favorite episodes of Friends.

Beautiful libraries.

If you remember from an earlier post, I TOTALLY LOVE LIBRARIES!!! Like, head-over-heels LOVE LOVE LURRRV libraries.  I think they are so beautiful and I love walking through them and reading in them.

So when I saw a facebook friend link to one of the articles below, I just had to share.

First, the publication's choice of the 25 most beautiful college libraries in the world.  And then they knew I couldn't get enough and published a reader's choice of 20 more beautiful college libraries from around the world.

I'm not even sure where I collected all these pictures, but I do in fact just hoard pictures I find on the internet of BEAUTIFUL libraries and now I'm sharing a few:

My first favorite/dream library

Look at the spiral staircase!

In case you couldn't tell


So beautiful

Books up to the sky!

Doesn't this look a lot like the 3rd floor of Butler?

Biblioteca do Palacio e Convento de Mafra I

Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra IV

Queen's College Library, Oxford

Beautiful ceilings

Skyscrapers of books!

Le DROOL!!! Seriously, I would fall madly in love with any guy who took me on a tour of libraries.  (I did have a wonderful date going through the Morgan Library once). I would be ECSTATIC if I could go on a tour of beautiful libraries for my honeymoon... ~~SWOON~~

Thursday, January 5, 2012

SCIENCE! The world's youngest mother.

How could I not?
So a few weeks ago when I was trying to find out more about that ridiculous smoking toddler, I came across another strange child-story.

This 5-year-old girl is the world's youngest mother!  (A longer article with more scientific info).

Apparently she started menstruating at 8 months old. I think it's weird and sad that they never figured out who impregnated her (b/c seriously, who gets a 4-year-old pregnant?) but apparently she was totally normal and healthy in other ways.  Also, it seems like this episode got her family to supervise her more carefully because the next time she got pregnant was at the age of 38, after getting married.

Brings a whole new meaning to "children having children."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sacrifices that are worth it.

Left work at 8pm yesterday. But still with a smile on my face.

Why? I'm working late to do all the work I can't do next week. Because I'll be beachside in Mexico :D
Our resort

Will be pulling long days for the rest of the week but I'm sure it'll be worth it.

Excited for my week of fun in the sun. Especially since this past weekend my mom bought me my BARBIE BATHING SUIT!!!

It's this top:

From Everything But Water
With this bottom:
From Everything But Water
So this bathing suit but in the above color:

I FREAKING LOVE IT!!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH that I danced around the store wearing it and singing "I'M A BARBIE I'M A BARBIE!!!" until my mom just bought it for me (mostly I think to make me take it off and stop terrorizing other customers).

Then I came home and wore it for five hours and kept singing "I'M A BARBIE I'M A BARBIE!!!" until I had to get ready for a New Year's Eve party.  And even then, my mom and sister had to convince me I couldn't wear my new bathing suit to the party SADFACE.


I've been so lucky lately.

Lately I've been trying this new thought experiment. Anytime I get annoyed or start to get annoyed by someone or something I try to turn it into a "how lucky am I?" situation.

For example, a few weeks ago this handicapped wheelchair guy was slowing down my bus and making me late to my orthodontist appointment. In NYC, the buses have this foldout ramp that lifts the wheelchair onto the bus and then the driver has to strap the wheelchair into the designated seat area.

Anyway, even though it makes me sound horrible, the truth is that I was annoyed by this process slowing down my bus. Then I DECIDED to think about how lucky I was for being able to walk and for being mobile and independent and how I shouldn't take that for granted.

I say "decided" because it's truly a conscious choice I need to make to feel that way. If you know me at all I'm truly not the world's most patient person and annoyance is probably my most frequent negative emotion.

One more example: I get really annoyed by tourists both on my commute and just actually in NYC. But this morning I saw the sun shining on the NYC skyline and I couldn't help but smile. I get to come to this, the greatest city in the world, one of the top must see tourist destinations in the world. I get to come here everyday. I used to actually live here for three years.

It's a rather small change in my thinking - but it's been making a world of difference.  Try it: "I'm so lucky."  (Best done with a smile and a slight exhale/sigh hehe).

Honest to God, I don't know if this is why, but I've seriously been a MUCH happier person in the past few weeks.  I'm hoping it's this and sticking with it =D

Back to work!

The holidays are officially over. Yesterday there were 7 people on my bus. Today it's standing room only.

Source: http://www.zazzle.com/now_get_back_to_work_card-137328070255090875

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holy smoking children, Batman!

Image source
I came across the image above as a photo (didn't know it was an album cover) and was a bit disturbed but I thought to myself, "Alas, this is what America has come to," and actually now that I think about it - I'm a little upset that I wasn't MORE upset.  The fact that this picture didn't shock my conscience is saying something about how jaded or cynical or even numb I've become to horrible things in society.

Then I saw something on imgfave.com that said it was a photo that accompanied some scientific paper/study about an uber-manipulative/controlling child who got her mother to let her do whatever she wanted, including smoking cigarettes.  Now, I was intrigued by this so I started using Google to search for this backstory.

Unfortunately, I didn't find anything about this alleged psych case, but I DID find some interesting and disturbing news about smoking babies/children.

There is a 2 year old smoker in Indonesia who smokes 40FORTY40 cigarettes a day - I'm no expert, but I think that's something like 2 packs a day ...  The kid is SO unhealthy that can't even run or walk around on his own - he smokes while riding a toy truck all day.

I don't even know how you GET a child younger than 2 to start smoking - and how it GETS to this point.  Literally, I have no idea and my research didn't turn up anything further.  My guess is, dad gets drunk and thinks it'd be funny/amusing to have kid take a puff of his cigarette.  Gives it to kid - kid has no idea what to do but still has natural sucking reflex. Coughs and gags but the nicotine has an UBER-strong effect on his tiny baby brain and body.  Kid starts nagging and fussing when dad has cigarette and sh*tty dad doesn't want to deal with the noise and idea of discipline and just hands the kid a cigarette the way suburban parents hand their kid their iPhone to appease them.  And this starts the cycle.  (JUST A GUESS).

And if you thought that not actually making smokes available for your kid but just doing it yourself didn't cause problems, here's another article that says otherwise:
It was found that when 2 to 6 year-olds children were asked to "shop" for groceries for a hungry doll, they were four times more likely to choose cigarettes if their parents smoked, and three times more likely to pick wine or beer if their parents drank at least once a month.
 Useful Tuesday hint? Don't smoke around your kids.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fetish? Proper grammar, please.

So ridiculous, but true (for me).

Total turnoffs?
  • People who say "would of"/"could of"/"should of"
  • People who don't know "their/there/they're"
  • People who don't know "it's/its"
  • People who don't know "your/you're/yore"
  • People who can't spell
  • People who use incorrect grammar
  • AND OMG WHERE DID THIS ONE EVEN COME FROM: People who say "WAH-LA" or some such bastardization of "voilĂ "

True confession: One of the reasons I've never dated a "native," an "organic," or FOB guy: I don't think I could fight the urge to correct every little linguistic mistake...

EEK.  Am I a horrible, anal person?