Archive for October, 2011

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kikkoman

October 30, 2011

Halloween always feels like it takes a lot more planning than any other holiday. You need to find a costume – one that’s original or funny or awesome. And take into account the weather or parties. Then you need to find somewhere to actually show off your original/funny/awesome costume – whether it be hosting your own party or venturing out.

Last year, I was working 12 hour days in Alabama during Halloween. That meant no parties and no costumes.

This year, it was more of a divide and conquer effort. The boyfriend made our plans and I came up with our costume idea. It was my first year to do a couple’s costume in forever…or really ever. We ended up going as sushi and soy sauce. Asians dressed as Asian food! It turned out to be a perfect costume really. Not too hard to maneuver in crowded parties and extremely versatile for all kinds of weather (though in San Francisco, I’m not sure how necessary it was to prepare for that – though I bet New York wasn’t expecting inches of snow either!).

And while I usually don’t post pictures into this blog, here they are (of course taken off my phone).

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coupling.

October 21, 2011

This Atlantic article on single women seems to be making the rounds recently. It discusses how women today have more options than previously before, when marriage seemed to be the end goal. Which is great, because the marriage thing isn’t for everyone.

But the article hits on a lot of other topics too.

1) As women move up, there are fewer men falling into the “marry-able” category. But no matter how well women are doing – between college and careers – I’d say the majority of us still want to “marry up”. It may sound terrible. But in the dating world (which I’m told can be pretty harsh), getting a date is way easier as a guy if you’re successful. And if there are less attractive fish in the sea, is staying single seems less of a choice and more of a result – because women nowadays know better than to settle.

2) Children. I think this is the big one that women always think about and men rarely do. At a certain point (or really any point), choosing to stay single is also going to impact decisions about having kids or raising them. Biological children vs adopting. Single mother or a nanny or a nuclear family. It fundamentally goes hand in hand if you want a so-called traditional family (mother, father, children, house), then committing to singledom is probably not an option for you. If you want to be an executive, there are going to be some parts of being parts of being a parent that you will most likely give up.

3) It all does make me wonder though – what goes into the decision to stay single? Is it just a plan not to spend unnecessary amounts of time finding “The One”? Or even if you find someone who’s awesome, it’s better without that commitment? Or is it just not necessary – and you could essentially “be married” without being married?

Disclosure: I can acknowledge being single as a choice, but it’s not a choice I would make. I may also be highly influenced by my Midwest roots. When I look at my Midwest friends vs Coastal friends, their views seem to be different.

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movie madness.

October 14, 2011

 

It’s been a while since my last movie post, so this is a pretty long one.

Source Code: I was expecting to like this movie more than I did since I am awesome at ignoring bad science and time travel loopholes. Ultimately, it was kinda boring. And repetitive (given that the main character continues to relive the same 8 minutes over and over). I was also annoyed that if the main character was just given more information from the beginning, probably would’ve saved about half the time in the movie. There seemed to be no good reason to send him back in time blind.

Green Lantern: Was anyone expecting a lot from this movie? In terms of superheroes, Green Lantern is pretty low on my list. He wears a magic ring, powered by will. And in this movie, he’s fighting fear. It’s like they just got lazy creating characters /plot to represent this theme and just go with a more literal interpretation. But beyond that – Ryan Reynolds was fun, Blake Lively looks better as a brunette, and the movie moved along at a good pace.

Drive: So disappointed. It seemed like the Internet exploded about this movie; everyone was seeing it, everyone was loving it. And I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I can’t get over Ryan Gosling from Lars and The Real Girl, so when he might have been the strong, quiet type in this movie, it felt like the really socially awkward quiet. Maybe it’s because the pacing was pretty slow. Maybe it’s because you know next to nothing about any of the characters and therefore, I really didn’t care who was gonna get hurt. On the positive side though, it was visually interesting and had a good soundtrack.

 

The Face is Familiar – A Starz original (I like ’em because they’re pretty short and interesting). This one was about character actors – aka the actors you recognize in movie after movie and are like “oh it’s THAT guy”. It includes Jane Lynch, Stephen Tobolowsky, Luiz Gusman, etc. I thought it was a pretty amusing movie.

Tangled – This movie was cute. I was slightly disappointed because, given bits I’d seen, I thought Rapunzel was going to be this awesome character who can fight with her hair. That’s not really true and really wouldn’t have fit with whole story anyway (since she is trapped in a tower her whole life). But it was still a fun movie.

And the ones that I have nothing to say: Babies (not good unless you really like babies), The President’s Photographer (good, short), The Perfect Score (oh, teen movies), The Ramen Girl, and Bill Cunningham New York.

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fiction.

October 12, 2011

I’ve been trying out the whole borrowing library books on the Kindle thing. It’s been working pretty well. There are a few weird things like automatic returns – meaning no renewals and no returning early – that I figured out perusing the FAQs. The collection isn’t as large and my Kindle can’t have the books transferred wirelessly, but it does save a trip to the library. So now I’ve got a mix of reading on the Kindle and reading actual books.

The Weird Sisters: I chose this one because I kept passing it on the new fiction display at the library. It’s about three sisters who don’t get along and how they all come home when their mother gets cancer. I liked it overall. However, the author did a really strange narration, which bothered me the entire book. She spoke from a first person plural point of view even though it wasn’t narrated by a character. This made it seem, when the book talked about two of the sisters that you were the third sister (even though you weren’t). I guess it helps you step into the characters’ shoes better, but it kept throwing me off.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: This was one of those books I constantly see – at the library, at book stores, at book sales, in people’s houses. It’s told from the perspective of an autistic boy. I can’t judge how genuine the main character seemed, as I have no real experience with autism. But overall, I didn’t really like the book. The story wasn’t that interesting and the characters not too likable.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson: Oh man, this is straight young adult fiction. Two boys, two totally different lives, same name – so naturally their lives start to become intertwined. One’s a shy kid, dealing with getting a girlfriend and losing a best friend. The other is a depressed kid, dealing with being gay and having a boyfriend for the first time. Interestingly, the book’s written by two authors – each writes one of the boys. Conclusion: I think I’m getting too old for this kind of YA book. If you’re not, it was good – especially the end.

Lace Makers of Glenmara: A quick read about a girl who visits a small town in Ireland and brings with her a little bit of freshness to the tradition in the town. It was one of those “find what you really want in life” kind of plots. But I think the book/plot moved too fast to have any good character development.

The Walking Dead Vol 1: Yi and I read this together and I liked it.

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donate.

October 7, 2011

There’s been a recent outpouring of support for Amit Gupta all over the internet. Background: Amit was diagnosed with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Now there’s this tremendous push (especially those of South Asian background) to get tested to see if you’re a match. It feels like it’s everywhere now.

It’s one of those things that makes me love the Internet.

It also got me thinking – how many people have been in Amit’s position, but didn’t have his presence on the Internet. Because, when it boils down to it, he’s definitely got some friends who are reaching way more people than the normal person.

On one hand, it doesn’t matter because the more people who join the registry to help Amit, the more people who are in the registry next time. On the other hand, how many people who are testing to help a specific person would be willing to be a bone marrow donor for a stranger? If only bone marrow were as simple as blood donations. But it’s not. It’s an outpatient procedure, and it will entail a small recovery time. Would the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to find a match pressure you to donate? Would you do it?

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run.

October 5, 2011

No one is going to believe it. But I started running. <pause for shock and amazement>

For those that are in the dark, I really don’t like running. I don’t run for fun or sports. I don’t even run to cross the street if the light is going to change. The last time I ran any amount of distance (aka, more than a block) was back in high school when they made us do those tests: stretching, pull-ups, running. I could 6 pull-ups (when the girls average is 0-1) but it took me 10 minutes to run a mile.

And yet, since I’m poor and gyms are too expensive, I’ve been suffering from fear of getting terribly out of shape. I’ve been trying at-home workouts and walking a lot, but it’s not quite the same productive feeling I got from going to kickboxing or Zumba back in Wisconsin. Plus, I live by a park. And the weather in San Francisco is perfect for exercising outdoors at almost any time of day. Running started to look like a better and better option.

Now, for almost two weeks, I’ve gone out every other day to run for 30 minutes. This comes out to about 2.5 miles for me. It meant my legs were awful sore for the whole first week. But I’m doing it. Slowly. And getting better. Funny thing – running is just not fun for me. It’s so incredibly boring, even with music. I’m hoping that maybe it’ll just get better if I keep doing it.

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space.

October 3, 2011

San Francisco has this One City One Book project, where the library encourages the city to all read the same book. They have various programs, author readings, book discussions to supplement the reading as well. This year, San Francisco chose Packing for Mars, by Mary Roach.

I love her! I read her other three books – Stiff, Spook and Bonk. Her books are hilarious and interesting. I’d highly recommend Stiff, which is a book about “the curious lives of human cadavers”. Essentially Roach investigates what happens to cadavers – from practicing surgery to crash testing to being studied for forensic science. Spook (about the afterlife) and Bonk (about sex) were not as good. In my opinion, it was their subject matter. There’s not a whole lot of hard science on the afterlife and sex research is actually pretty boring and/or disguised as something else. But since I like her writing, why not try out her newest book – even though I’m not all that interested in space.

Well, this book definitely redeems the two I didn’t like. It’s doesn’t cover your typical space travel topics. Instead, it covers the more human aspect of living in space – what NASA had to be concerned with if they actually wanted to send a human up. Roach covers what personality traits and tests would-be astronauts go through. She looks at motion sickness and vomiting, isolation and confinement, crash testing and animals in space. But what I really liked was all the very human parts of space travel, especially when it was new. Who knew if any of our internal organs depended on gravity? Would something stop working once a human got into space? What about bathing and going to the bathroom (there’s a whole chapter) and sex and food? She covers it all with her standard jokes and interesting facts and totally expected view of a normal person doing this research (example, she goes on a parabolic flight that allows for testing in zero gravity during which she reveals the only notes she took were “Yippee” and Woo!”)

Totally read it.