Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't lie, you'd do it, too

So, I'm at Mellow Mushroom with some friends, because it's trivia night. (We totally kicked ass, and then blew most of our points in the final round, but we still came in second and got a gift certificate. Awesome. Also, I was the only person who knew that the the Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Because I rock.)

Anyway, I'd already eaten dinner, so all I ordered was sweet tea and a brownie sundae. And that brownie sundae was pretty damn good. (Although I could have gone for a softer brownie. But the chocolate chips kind of made up for it.) They had arranged this dessert on a large triangular plate, with the brownie and ice cream (both topped with whipped cream) in the middle, and dollops of whipped cream at all the corners, and chocolate sauce drizzled over the entire plate. Amazing. I demolished it. Then, because I obviously wasn't going to let any of that deliciousness go to waste, I was scraping up the chocolate sauce and bits of melted ice cream and whipped cream. Our waitress came around to take up whatever plates and such we were finished with. She asked if I was done. I (naturally) said no.

She judged me. She judged me so hard. I could tell. (She asked if I wanted to keep "playing with" it. Um, not playing. Doing some serious eating, here, woman.)

It's cool, though. I have no regrets.

Except that I managed to drip chocolate sauce on my sweatshirt (I can't take myself anywhere!). And I have a food baby.

Overall, though, that dessert was a great decision. And honestly, madam waitress, I'm pretty sure if all you ordered at a restaurant was dessert, you'd milk it for all it was worth.

Just saying.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cold toes are the bane of my existence

Dear car manufacturers,

Thank you thank you thank you for making cars with floor vents! Then, when I put on shorts and flip-flops (Because the predicted high is in the 80s! That's hot!) and discover that it's actually quite chilly outside (60 degrees feels a lot colder at the end of summer than at the end of winter), I don't have to suffer through my drive to campus with freezing cold toes.

I and my toes would like to express our deepest, most sincere gratitude for the lovely invention that is my car's heating system!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

I suppose technically they'd provide some protein...

Dear Lab Members,

I'm really confused over why there are envelopes containing butterflies in the food fridge. I am almost positive no one is eating them. (Although, I don't know whether monarch butterflies are toxic to people as well as birds, so maybe it's possible...) Not that I'm complaining! I do smile a little bit every time I open the fridge.

Only in an entomology lab...


P.S. Interestingly, "bemused" has apparently been changing in meaning from simply meaning "confused" or "lost in thought" to also encompass the state I'm referring to, in which I am both puzzled and amused by something.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hi, my name is Katherine, and I'm a dog person

Dear cats,

This food is my food. It is not for you. Please stop trying to be sneaky and eat it. Purring at me and acting friendly will also get you nowhere. I don't feed dogs my food (unless I drop it on the floor), and I certainly won't be giving it to you.

Also, my bedroom is off limits while I am asleep. Please stop trying to get in. I've never cuddled with a dog in my bed. I don't want you in here, either. When I actually have a dog of my own, I will also not be letting it sleep in my room because I am cold and heartless like my sleep relatively uninterrupted.

Also also, you are creepy. I am just minding my own business, and I turn around and there you are!! Please stop sneaking up on me.

I know I have to live with you for the next year, but if you could try to be a little less cat-like, I could try to like you a little more.


P.S. And stop eyeing Claude! It is my snake, I love it, and you are not allowed to play with or eat it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

$2 only sounds like not very much if you're not a grad student

Dear Bi-Lo,

I can't believe I haven't been taking better advantage of this deal. Just by buying (mostly) milk (and occasionally cheese and produce and such) at your stores, I paid 20 cents less per gallon when I bought gas this morning! It. was. AWESOME. Please never stop letting me do this. Gas and groceries are basically the two things I can't live without, so to be able to save money on both is about the sweetest thing ever.

I think with my newly realized wealth, I will splurge on a milkshake. Or do something really crazy, like buying another giant jar of Nutella. The possibilities are overwhelming!

Thanks for making my morning amazing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Can you tell what a huge dork I am?

Dear Internet and World at Large,

This is my notice to you that, should science not work out for me and I end up opening a bakery, I am calling dibs on the name "Dessertification" because it is awesome and punny. (Get it? Because desertification is basically the transformation of land into desert, dessertification is the transformation of food into delicious dessert (or dessert-like) items!!)

I just thought you should know.


PS: Also, major props to Josh and Chuck of the "Stuff You Should Know" podcast (which, seriously, everyone should check out because you learn tons of cool stuff) for the inspiration, by pointing out that "desertification" is only spelled with one "s," thus making me think of how amusing it would be if someone did spell it with two, and thereby realizing it would be the best bakery name ever.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If I never graduate, I know who to blame

Dear Steven Moffat,

I think you have broken my brain. Seriously. All I have been able to say for the past 15 minutes is, "HWHAT?!?!... I don't... I... WHAT?!?!?!!... I don't even... But... but... HWHAAAT?!!!?!" and variations thereupon. I mean, okay, I kind of started suspecting, when I saw Amy's baby's name... but I thought, "No... That couldn't ever happen!" And then I was actually right!!!! I mean... WHAT the HECK?!?! Seriously??!?!!

Yeah, I'm pretty sure my brain is now broken. And I haven't even really TRIED to think about the timelines!!!

I really don't know how you could ever top this moment, as far as sheer WTF-ery is concerned. But I'm interested to see you (and all the other "Doctor Who" writers!!) keep trying.

Love (maybe. I'm not sure what I think about anything anymore!!),

Dear Committee Members and Future Employers,

If I never earn my Master's Degree, you can write angry letters about my inability to brain to Steven Moffat and the producers of "Doctor Who," as I am placing full responsibility for the breakage of said brain on their shoulders. And if you want to know why, watch "A Good Man Goes to War" (although for full brain-breakage effect, I recommend starting with "Silence in the Library" and progressing from there through the rest of Doctor Ten and then through Eleven so far. Of course, to really understand Doctor Ten, you should at least watch all of him, and to get that, you might want to watch Doctor Nine (because he's pretty awesome, too, and explains quite a bit of what ends up happening to Ten)).

But, yes, Steven Moffat is to blame for the breakage of my brain.

With sincerest apologies,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Story of my life..

Dear Internet,

It would be a lot easier to get work done (actually, it would be a lot easier to even get to work in the first place) if you would be less interesting. Here I am, all set to head to my lab, and you present me with this cool new blog I've never seen before! I should totally read through all the archives before I go because it's interesting and thought-provoking!! (This morning's impediment, if you're wondering, was carefree white girl - it spurred many thoughts and feelings in me. And I seriously couldn't stop reading.)

Also, showing me things like foodgawker to drool over, when I already have an RSS feed full of craftgawker things to ogle (among the other various food blogs and craft blogs and funny blogs and real-world news blogs I read) is just not fair. I only have so much time in a day, but you make me want to spend it seeing EVERYTHING EVER ON THE INTERNET instead of doing things I actually need to be doing!

Or I guess I could just learn to control myself when it comes to these things, although that's not very likely...

Yours in distraction and procrastination,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Nightmares on top of nightmares

Dear Matthew Graham,

It's not that I didn't enjoy this episode of "Doctor Who"... It's just that you managed to cram every single nightmare into "The Almost People"!!!

Seriously, I thought the gas-mask faces in "The Empty Child" were awful... but seeing a human mouth stretch that way is horrifying. And eyes on the wall? Awful. And the whole "not knowing who's original and who's a double" thing isn't exactly a comforting thought. But then, on top of all that... suddenly waking up in labor!! That is possibly the most terrifying idea ever.

I hope you're happy - I may never sleep again.


PS - No hard feelings, though, really - it was a great couple of episodes!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I kind of like having good vision, actually...

Dear chromosomes,

Please keep yourselves together when you get stained. I don't appreciate straining my eyes constantly to try and determine how many bands you have. It would also be really helpful if, when you get squashed onto slides, you could not be all twisted and coiled up. Let me tell you, trying to decipher banding patterns is difficult enough without the added bonus of having you crossing all over yourselves like a tangle of yarn!

I'd really appreciate it if you would be nice to me... I would like to still be sane and not blind when I finish my degree!


This blog is in serious danger of becoming too serious...

Dear People who call yourselves both Christians and Objectivists,

I spent literally over an hour the other day responding to the idea that being Objectivist and Christian aren't contradictory. It turned into, essentially, an essay outlining many of my own personal beliefs (which, frankly, are far from Objectivism) and how they fit with my personal interpretation and experience of Christianity. I think the underlying basis of most of what I wrote can be summarized in this way: I don't think that using every avenue available (including action by governments, from local to national) to help work towards a just, equal society for all entitles me to abdicate my own personal responsibility to help my neighbors (a category that includes... well, everyone). I think government can do many things to help the disadvantaged that I, as an individual, or even as a member of a church, can't do - things like passing laws preventing discrimination based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and age; things like using tax money to provide assistance, both monetary and non-monetary, for those who cannot afford food, shelter, healthcare, and other necessities for a decent life on their own.

(On doing some brief reading about Objectivism, I found that Ayn Rand sharply criticized altruism and self-sacrifice, which, as far as I'm concerned, are pretty key tenets of Christianity. And, actually, of all 3 main monotheistic religions, as well as many other religions... So there is that, too.)

What this really comes down to, ultimately, is that I think your philosophy on life doesn't actually match up with your professed theology.


Friday, May 27, 2011

I hear you also have lots of cheese.

Dear Wisconsin,

I admit it: there are already several things I miss about you. The relatively cool weather. Cheap milk. Lots of beer. Long daylight hours.

There are also things I don't miss so much, including the straight roads (I like my roads with some curves), crazy accents, cold days (seriously, it is MAY. Not March.), and the extremely high number of massively oversized mosquitoes.

Overall, though, I did enjoy our 2 1/2 weeks together. Perhaps we will meet again some time!


Monday, April 25, 2011

There are 8 bananas in my freezer, but I have to do real work

Dear Microsoft Word,

I'm not blind. I don't need you to open at 125% zoom. Please stop. I like 100% zoom and that's it. This shouldn't be difficult to understand. Considering every time I open a document I have to change the zoom, there should either be a way for you to "figure it out" and just start at 100% or a way for me to set the default view to 100%.

With annoyance,

Dear Lab report,

Could you just write yourself, please? I have many other things I'd like to do with my time, including working on the proposal I have to turn in on Thursday, making banana bread, unpacking from this weekend, or getting ready for my trip to Wisconsin in a couple weeks.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I don't care if Monday's blue, Tuesday's gray and Wednesday, too, Thursday I don't care about you...

Dear Friday,

Please get here soon! Your arrival means that my proposal defense will be over, and I'm really looking forward to having that done with. Even if I fail, at least I won't be dreading it anymore.

Also, being the day before the weekend, I will welcome you even more.

I can't wait to see you!


Monday, April 4, 2011

I've been putting this off for way too long

Dear Tomomi from Japan, Tish from Canada, Michelle from San Antonio, Rebecca from Arkansas, Petra from Germany, Gina from the Netherlands, and the anonymous person from Russia,

Thank you for the postcards! I really enjoyed receiving them, and reading your advice was pretty awesome, too:
Smile always!
Always be honest, and value your friends.
Don't sweat the small stuff because at the end of the day it's not going to matter. 
Look up; look closely; just look. Never feel bad for crying. be the friend you'd want to have, both to yourself and others. Learn to read, and learn to love to read. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Be thankful for light. Remember to BREATHE. (It's totally cool that you couldn't make up your mind, Rebecca!) 
Always love yourself no matter what others say. 
Grow, enjoy and laugh, let yourself go and shine with your presence. 
Existence is determined by your mind. Listen to your senses and feelings and have a great will to live.
Pretty profound stuff!

Hopefully I'll be sending out a few more cards in the near future - life has gotten a little crazy recently!


*Note: Postcrossing ( is "the postcard crossing project", in which you "send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world!" As part of my profile, I ask people to answer this question on their cards to me: If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?*

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Republicans just don't make sense

Dear Republicans,

Honestly, I understand that you are pro-life. I can understand your position. I am pro-choice because I believe women should make medical decisions about their own bodies - I don't believe women run around getting abortions willy-nilly. I think in all cases, women who choose abortion do so because they are aware of their own mental/emotional, physical, and financial health and the impact that just being pregnant can have on their lives. But I do understand that you value that potential life. I just disagree that the interests of a clump of cells/fetus (that can't survive outside the womb - and even when it gets to the point where it takes dramatic, expensive medical intervention to keep it alive) automatically take precedence over the health and well-being of the mother.

What I don't understand is why you think it's okay to restrict abortions to the point where they are nigh impossible to get safely. Because, if you think about it, it's actually cheaper (for society as a whole!) for a woman to get an abortion than to carry a baby to term and have to pay for pre-natal care, take maternity leave, and pay for delivery and any neonatal care. Plus, if the baby isn't even wanted, it then enters the foster care system where it is supported by tax-payers (and not supported very well, at that) for up to 18 years. (Other recent anti-woman action makes me question your devotion to "small government" - so small it can not only fit inside a bedroom to prevent gay people from being with those they love, but small enough to fit inside every woman's uterus to prevent them from making their own medical decisions!)

Wanting to defund Planned Parenthood makes even less sense in light of your purported pro-life stance. Planned Parenthood provides family planning and contraception services. Which prevent unintended pregnancies. If women don't accidentally get pregnant, they don't need abortions. I'm not sure why you can't grasp this concept. Opposition to comprehensive sex education in public schools is also illogical, for a similar reason. Teaching teens how to have safe sex prevents teen pregnancy; fewer teen pregnancies lead to a decreased need for abortion. (Nothing I've ever seen has convinced me that teen pregnancy is anything but harmful to everyone involved - the girls themselves get behind in school, as well as the stigma of being a pregnant teen; their families get stuck with an additional mouth to feed that, as far as I can tell, generally falls to the new grandparents to care for; the babies, if they are given up for adoption, get put into foster care, which, as I stated above, is not an ideal place for a child of any age - everybody loses!)

Basically, your actions just scream to me that you are only pro-life until that fetus is actually born. Then you don't care about it - especially if it grows up to be a woman who finds herself pregnant and wanting an abortion.

You baffle me. (And trust me, there's much, much more I could talk about...)

Stay out of my uterus, please.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You've got no reason to be upset with me.

Dear Right Ankle,

I really don't know what I did to you. Seriously. Except exercise, which is good for me and, therefore, you. I'm not sure why you felt the need to get all swollen and painful. And to stay that way for going on 3 1/2 weeks now. It's awful. You aren't sprained. There's no loose tendon. No joint problem. No broken bone. The left side isn't giving me these sorts of troubles. So what on Earth is wrong with you?!

You aren't even responding consistently to my activities. Some days after I exercise, you are fine and practically look like a normal ankle. Other days (like today), you decide to be extra swollen and hurting. In case you were wondering, I don't appreciate it. At all.

It is time for you to pull yourself together, shape up, and start behaving like a proper ankle again! Because I really don't want to have to get an MRI. Please start working again soon!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Atheists and fundamentalists have something in common... pissing me off!

Dear people of the world,

Okay. Let's get something straight. Religion is not science. And science is not religion. They address completely different questions.

I'm tired of Christians (and other religious people) acting like science has no value. But I'm also tired of atheists who act like all religious people are idiots and deserve to be told that their beliefs have no value.

Here's the thing: religion and science are not mutually exclusive. I'll say it again. RELIGION AND SCIENCE ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.

One answers questions about how the world works. And the other answers questions (or at least attempts to answer them) about what it means to be a person and, generally, how to be a good person. Hopefully you can figure out for yourself which is which.

As a scientist and a Christian, I'm sick of hearing religious fundamentalists discount science. I'm also sick of atheists discounting religious beliefs (perhaps you would be more comfortable if I just referred to them as a philosophy). For the religious fundamentalists: stop treating theological texts like they're scientific/historical texts! The Bible (or Torah or Koran) is not now and never has been a science book. Acknowledging that it is not literally true does not take away from the moral lessons that can be obtained from it. (And guess what? "Cherry picking" is what we all do, and it's not actually that bad.) Science is not out to get you and your beliefs. Science is based on real, observable facts and testable, falsifiable hypotheses. Incidentally, religious beliefs in the existence of a God are neither testable nor falsifiable, and so do not qualify as scientific (which is why Intelligent Design should never be taught in science classes). Just because I'm a scientist does not mean I don't believe in God. For the atheists: stop acting like you're so much better than believers because you choose not to believe. Just because I'm a Christian does not mean I don't accept scientific truth (or as close to truth as you can get in science). Here's the way I see it: you're like the first kid in class who finds out Santa isn't actually a real person, and then you have to tell all the other kids that what they're believing isn't true. Except, if you watch the Christmas specials, it quickly becomes apparent (at least, it does to me) that Santa doesn't have to have existence in this reality to have power. That idea of doing something for someone else, of sacrificing your own time and energy to make others happy, of helping other people have a better life and see a little magic in the world, is what Santa is about. I'm sorry that you refuse to believe in any sort of "non-real", "non-scientific" phenomenon, but I choose to see magic and beauty and meaning in life, because I'm a human and it makes me feel connected to other humans (and other life). I'll listen to your belief (or lack thereof) in a deity, if you'll listen to my (admittedly not entirely clear even to myself sometimes) beliefs. But my choosing to continue to believe in a Santa of some sort does not give you the right to treat me like I'm stupid. Yes, I have faith. And I'm happy to continue with my faith. My continued belief in God does not harm you, and as such it is none of your business. It is between myself and the God I choose to belief in. I don't need you to act like my admission of belief is an invitation for you to try and prove to me why I shouldn't believe. I don't treat your admission of non-belief as an invitation for me to try and convert you to my faith. I'm sorry if other religious believers have treated it that way, but I will not. Please return the favor.

One final time: RELIGION. IS. NOT. SCIENCE. AND. SCIENCE. IS. NOT. RELIGION. They are not mutually exclusive.


PS - I think that Santa analogy kind of got away from me there... It did come off rather "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus". Granted, I obviously support that idea, so...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I don't even know how I hurt myself

Dear ankle/foot,

I'm really not sure what I did to you to deserve this. In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything. Except exercise, which is good for me, and therefore you. But it's been almost two weeks and you're still swollen, and kind of painful on occasion when I move the wrong way. I really don't appreciate it. Please get your act together and start functioning again soon. And please, please, please don't be broken! I really would like to stay friends.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How you can edit Billy Joel like that I don't know

Dear Magic 98.9,

I'm not sure who told you it was okay to cut an entire verse out of "Piano Man," but it's definitely not okay. That song is amazing and should always be played fully. I'm just not sure I can listen to your radio station if you're going to do things like that!

With indignation,

Monday, January 31, 2011

My musical tastes haven't really changed that much in a year

To whomever created these prompts:

I maintain that "Drops of Jupiter" was my favorite song last year. However, in the spirit of sharing more (and not repeating songs), if it was something different, it would have been something off Save Me, San Francisco. Something like "If It's Love", which makes me smile every time I hear it. Granted, I like basically every song on that album. But "If It's Love" is definitely amazing.

And now I've finished! I feel pretty accomplished, and, I think, a little more comfortable with this blog, which means I achieved my goal as far as doing this challenge. So thank you for creating it; it was a fun, sometimes thought-provoking experience. And I liked sharing my music.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 30 is "Your favorite song at this time last year". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ah, memories...

Dear Hanson,

I was actually excited to hear about your new song this past summer. Partly because (like every other pre-teen at the time) I also loved "MmmBop". (Also? We at least had decent taste in music, because y'all, unlike the Jonas brothers, can actually sing. Talent is a pretty big plus.) At any rate, hearing "MmmBop" always takes me back to the '90s, when I didn't have any worries and life was pretty amazing.

I hope you keep making music - don't waste that talent! Good luck in the future!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 29 is "A song from your childhood". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I was doing so well! And then... failure.

Dear Professional Clarinetists,

I only wish I could play that glissando at the beginning of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". It gives me chills. Every time. But I think I'll have to settle with wishing - I don't have the time to dedicate any more to practicing enough that I could play that, unfortunately.


(Also, apologies to Disney for using their version. But it is an excellent recording!)

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 27 is "A song that you wish you could play". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Dear Parents,

I'm sorry. But I do wish you would try not to make such a big deal every time I have to leave after a visit. It makes me feel awful.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 28 is "A song that makes you feel guilty". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This was my favorite pep band song ever.

Dear Mighty Mighty Bosstones,

I'm not really sure what your name is about, but I love "The Impression that I Get". I got really excited when I first heard it on the radio, because I knew how to play it from marching band. (Or, to be totally accurate, I can play the clarinet part of the particular arrangement that we played.) And it's a good song in general.

Props to you!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 26 is "A song that you can play on an instrument". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's about fish. And in a French accent. What's not to like?

Dear Chef Louis,

While I disagree with your reaction to Sebastian being alive (really, destroying the kitchen was a bit much), singing to the fish you cook is pretty hilarious. I think the "Hee hee hee! Haw haw haw!" part is pretty much the best. Makes me giggle, every time.

Maybe you influenced me, so now when I bake and cook things, I have the urge to sing and dance about. It just makes life more fun!

Au revoir!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 25 is "A song that makes you laugh". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This is a tad morbid...

Dear Future husband/children/friends,

At this point, I don't know who will be planning my funeral. Frankly, it's not something I've ever given much thought to. To be honest, I don't really know what songs I might like played at my funeral. There are plenty of hymns I like. But I don't want it to be too sad - I should have plenty of good times that people can remember me by, I hope. So, in that spirit, and in the spirit of Dumbledore, who said that those we love never truly leave us, I would like Train's "Always Remember" to be played. (Sad note: I could not find a decent version of this online. As a substitute, here is a link to "When I Look to the Sky," which has a similar feel.)


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 24 is "A song that you want to play at your funeral". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Monday, January 24, 2011

I've been saving this song for this post.

Dear Future Husband,

I admit it. Sometimes, I'm a total girl. And I'm a little ashamed of it. Weddings are like a drug. I like watching TV shows about them, I enjoy flipping through magazines to look at wedding dresses... I have a disease. And one of the symptoms does happen to be planning certain aspects of what I'd like at my wedding. I do know what I want my dress to look like, and I'm planning on wearing red shoes. (But whatever certain friends of mine might say, I do NOT have the entire thing all planned out already!! Far from it! Also, I'm not as bad as some people apparently are, because I only caught this disease after entering college and being exposed to "Say Yes to the Dress". I haven't been planning my wedding since I was 6.)

At any rate, one thing that will happen, at some point during the wedding, is there will be a playing of the Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". Because it's amazing. And the best dance-party song ever.

I thought I should let you know.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 23 is "A song that you want to play at your wedding". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's been a very giraffe-y week

Dear giraffes,

How are you so ridiculous? You're just all neck and leg and hilarity.

Also, why are you suddenly in my life so much? I went from an average of 0 giraffes per week to 4. That's a pretty huge jump. First, there was this picture, which inspired my roommate to say "nipple-licking giraffe," which is possibly the funniest phrase ever. Then, I saw this picture, which made me laugh as well. You heartless bastards. (As a side note, the commenters seem to think the correct answer is A, or possibly B, but it's totally C. For the answer to be A or B, there would need to be some reproduction going on; since it's just showing that some individuals are less able to access the limited resources, C should be correct.) When I first saw the picture, there was also a link to Eddie Izzard talking about evil giraffes, which is a funny idea. And, because his running giraffe impression was spot-on, I had to look at some actual running giraffes, which is probably the most hilarious thing by far. All I can think when I see a running giraffe is, "What the hell?" And then I laugh. Because when you take an animal that's originally awkward looking, with spindly legs and knobbly knees and a ridiculous, gawky neck and then make it move fast, the result is pure, hilarious ridiculousness.

I do appreciate the humor you have added to my life. It vastly improved my week.

But you definitely look ridiculous.


I mostly use music to cheer myself up.

Dear Matt Harding,

1) You're pretty awesome. Getting paid to go around the world and dance in different places is pretty much the most amazing job I can think of.

2) You choose excellent music for your videos. I particularly like the song that gets played with the video that got chosen as the July 22, 2008, Astronomy Picture of the Day.

3) This video restores my faith in humanity. It's a great pick-me-up when I'm feeling sad about things.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Keep being awesome!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 22 is "A song that you listen to when you're sad". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Problematic: most of my music is happy music

Dear Jesse & Joy,

I'll admit that I don't speak Spanish. I know approximately 20 words (and some of them aren't very polite). But "Espacio Sideral" sounds so happy that I just can't help dancing to it. It just makes my whole body happy.

(I have to say, though, quite apart from the fact that this video is reversed, it's really, really strange!)

So thank you for the wonderful music!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 21 is "A song that you listen to when you're happy". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Friday, January 21, 2011

Angry music is not my usual fare

Dear Boy Kill Boy,

I enjoy "Suzie" in general, but I find it especially helpful for de-funking myself when I'm angry about something. I think it's the guitar, plus an overall peppy sound. Whatever it is, I enjoy it!


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 20 is "A song that you listen to when you're angry". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This is only the third Train song I've done

Dear Train,

Maybe it wasn't clear in the previous two posts about your music, but... I love your music. Pretty much all of it. Which makes choosing a "favorite album" difficult, and picking one great song from that almost impossible. Fortunately, I'm pretty awesome and managed to do both. Which is why I'm posting about "For Me, It's You", from the album of the same name.

I love this song. And I love the entire album. (To be honest, if I had done this a few months from now, I might very well have picked a song from Save Me, San Francisco. Because when I listen to those songs, I often get the feeling that they kind of capture all the slightly different sounds of your previous albums into one style that is quintessentially Train. I just haven't listened to it enough, I think, to be quite as attached to all those songs as I am to all the songs on For Me, It's You.)

In brief, please continue making amazing music!


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 19 is "A song from your favorite album". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There is a lot of good music in this world

Dear Radio DJs,

Not that I disagree with all your song choices, but I do think you should give small, "amateur" bands some radio time. Example: Glorydive. Because "In the End" (and, in my opinion, pretty much all their songs) is amazing and deserves airtime.

You should take it into consideration.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 18 is "A song you wish you heard on the radio". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. -Roger Caras

Dear Tess,

I wish you hadn't left so quickly. At least when we had to let Nutmeg go, we could see it coming for a long time. And 11 isn't young for a dog, but you should have had so many more years with us. Cancer is just so unfair. It's just hard to fathom the idea that you won't be running to greet me when I visit home any more.

I know you weren't perfect, but you were such a good dog! It just doesn't seem right that you had to go. I hope there are lots of squirrels for you to chase in heaven. At least you can bother Nutmeg again!

I love and miss you, my beautiful baby!


This song is quite catchy

Dear Ke$ha,

I'm really not sure how your songs are so catchy, but they are. Which must be why they play them on the radio so often. I get "We R Who We R" stuck in my head all the time.

Thanks for the tunes!


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 17 is "A song that you hear often on the radio". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grow a backbone already...

Dear Supremes,

I used to enjoy "Stop! In the Name of Love". At least, when I really only knew that one line... Then I listened to the rest of the lyrics, and I just can't enjoy it any more. Seriously, if you find out your man is cheating on you, you should just leave the bum. (Naturally, the reverse is also true - basically, if you find out your significant other is cheating, leave them!)

No love,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 16 is "A song you used to love but now hate". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's my birthday. I'll do what I want.

Attention World:

As it is my birthday, I believe you should all sing "Happy Birthday" to me. That is the song that best describes me today.

Also, those of you who actually know me might be able to get some cake. It's pretty amazing. I even decorated it. (But you can't judge my decorating skills, because I'm not a professional.)

I await your congratulations on my successful completion of another year.

With anticipation,

PS- I considered taking this more seriously, and actually finding a song that I feel describes me (some contenders were Meredith Brooks's "Bitch", Erin McCarley's "Pony (It's OK)", India Arie's "Video", Kate Earl's "Melody", "I Have Confidence" from "The Sound of Music", something by Five for Fighting, something by Glorydive, something by Sara Bareilles, or something by Train). But I would have had serious trouble narrowing it down. So, since it is my birthday, and I get to do what I want, I took the easy way out.

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 15 is "A song that describes you". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Is it cheating to schedule these posts?

Dear Willow Smith,

I just want to let you know that I really enjoy "Whip My Hair". Perhaps you intended to write a song for the whole world, but I think a lot of people might not expect me, personally, to like that song.

But I do!

And props to you for creating such a spiffy song when you're only 8. When I was 8, I pretty much just read lots of books and played dress-up and stuff in my spare time.

Congratulations, and cheers to your future success,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 14 is "A song that no one would expect you to love". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Friday, January 14, 2011

Why is this thing so expensive?!

Dear Cushzilla,

Oh, my gosh. I'm not sure why you decided to create this thing, but it's like you crawled inside my brain and found my most secret desires and gave them form. I really, really want one!! I mean, seriously, who could possibly resist it?

Not me, that's for sure.

Okay, well, I guess I can kind of. Because I haven't actually bought one. But that's just because it costs $60, and I just don't have that kind of money. Also? Imagine how much stuff you could carry underneath it!! You could totally rig up a pillowcase to go over your shoulders (or I guess you could just wear a backpack backwards or something, but that's less exciting) and cut some discreet slits in the side of the costume, and then you could carry like 10 pounds of candy. Or adult beverages, if you're a lush like me. Either way. It would be awesome. And I would get fewer strange looks for acting like a dinosaur. It's a winner all around!

I feel like my life will be incomplete until I get one of these.

Katherine (a future customer? Maybe!)

I should just put these things on a schedule...

Dear Miley Cyrus,

I really, really don't like you. Or, generally, your music. ("The Climb"? Worst thing ever. It's painful to listen to. I thought it was pretty fitting when Rachel "lost her voice" trying to sing it on "Glee". Clearly, the "Glee" producers know how many people would have changed channels if she'd actually sung the song. But I digress.)


"Can't Be Tamed" isn't too bad... (I have to say, though, the video was kind of... um... aggressive... about its message...)

And I can't really resist dancing to "Party in the U.S.A." It's kind of a guilty pleasure. I'm ashamed that I'm even admitting to remotely liking that song. But I do.

That doesn't mean I want to see your face. Or hear anything else you put out. No offense.

Not really a fan,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 12 is "A song from a band you hate". Day 13 is "A song that is a guilty pleasure". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You might think snow day posts would happen, but you'd be wrong

Dear Dan Gibson,

Your instrumental songs, combined with nature sound, are the perfect falling-asleep soundtrack. They remind me of a tape I had when I was little; my sister and I listened to it almost every night when we went to bed. I think we actually wore out the tape. Anyway, it's very soothing and relaxing, which I appreciate.

Restfully yours,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 10 is "A song that makes you fall asleep". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Dear Train,

I was so excited when I heard "I Got You" for the first time! Because I really enjoy "Black Water"... and then you mixed it up with your own sound. Possibly one of the best days of my life. So thanks again for being so awesome.

Love always,

PS: I watched "The Bachelor" the other day just to see you perform. Except I would have definitely wanted to make requests if something like that happened to me!! Clearly that girl did not know how lucky she was.

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 11 is "A song from your favorite band". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Monday, January 10, 2011

Really, I can (and will) dance to just about anything...

Dear Cascada,

"Everytime We Touch" is awesome. It's great for dancing to in general, and it even lends itself readily to my (admittedly ridiculous) interpretive dancing. So props to you for that! And you get bonus props for using normal-looking people in the video. Although a few less props for disabling embedding. I still love the song!

With appreciation,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 9 is "A song that you can dance to". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I fail so hard at daily blogging...

Dear Sarah and Halli,

Does "Something There" from "Beauty and the Beast" remind you of something? Because it always makes me think of our fall break adventure to Atlanta to see the whale sharks. Just one more reason for me to love that movie, I suppose!

Love and miss you both,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 7 is "A song that reminds you of a certain event". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Dear shoes,

I adore you. You are adorable, and I just can't seem to get enough. So it seems fitting that I should dedicate Paolo Nutini's "New Shoes" to you. It makes me smile to sing a song about my favorite clothing items.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 8 is "A song that you know all the words to". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just pretend this first one was posted about 3 hours ago...

Dear Mom,

I think you might be pleased to know that hearing The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" makes me think of you. You always enjoy it so much! :-)


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 5 is "A song that reminds you of someone". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Dear Glorydive,

I really love your songs. And they always make me think about the times I've seen you live at The Pourhouse (and how awesome you've been every time!). But, to just pick one song, I think the one that most reminds me of The Pourhouse is "Animal Instincts". It is one of my favorites of yours.

Thanks for the amazing music - any chance you'll come out of retirement sometime soon? ;-D

Your fan,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 6 is "A song that reminds you of somewhere". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Thursday, January 6, 2011

There is something seriously wrong with this woman.

Dear Sandra Lee,

Why do you exist? The things you do are beyond crazy. You are seriously like the Antichrist of cooking. A roux should never be made with oil!! You use butter. That is your fat. Oil is not an acceptable substitute. There is no need to buy a whole seasoning packet to just use a couple tablespoons. Here's a thought: create recipes that use actual spices - it's really not that difficult. And then you can use those spices in different proportions and combinations in other recipes, instead of being stuck with random, partly-full packets of pre-mixed seasonings. And you don't have to worry about "avoiding onions" when you scoop seasoning out of a packet of dry soup mix. Nobody wants ice cream that looks like a baked potato. The pudding is going to fall off your little banana pudding bites. (Also? A real chef would come up with a way to have an individual-size banana pudding dessert without that complication. Like adapting it into cupcakes. Or little tarts. Or just serving regular banana pudding in a little dish.) Please stop glopping store-bought icing with weird crap added in onto angel food cakes. What did the angel food cake ever do to you? Here's a hint: angel food cake tastes great on its own, without frosting. Also, when you frost a cake, you could just put it on a pretty plate instead of an upside down pie tin which you then frost. Wasting frosting on decorating a pie tin is unnecessary and awful. Have you ever seriously tried to frost a cake? I don't think you have. Because if you had, you would know about gel paste food coloring (which works much better for frostings than liquid food coloring) and you would, at least occasionally, use actual piping bags with real couplers and tips on, instead of just cutting a corner off a plastic bag. I'm not saying there's never a time and place for that sort of thing, but you should not do that every time you decorate!! It's also a good idea, when combining two "media" (e.g., frosting and melted chocolate), to make sure you have the same shade of green (or whatever color you're using). And if someone ever showed up at a wedding (or other "love"-themed party) with a cake like your "Love Cake", I would literally throw it in their face.

And it really, really kills me that you are teaching your children to "cook" this way!!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to comfort myself by looking at recipes and cookbooks featuring real food, created by real cooks and bakers. I might also have to make myself some macaroni and cheese (from scratch! With a roux made with butter!!) to feel better.

There is no word that properly captures my abhorrence of your creations,

PS: It's not that I'm against making things from store-bought mixes, or using those sorts of short-cuts occasionally… I'm against the mutilation of food. Food should be tasty and enjoyable. No one cares if you don't make changes to a store-bought mix - there's a reason the mix made it to the store - it's already tasty! And yes, it is possible to change things in a good way (there are multiple "Cake Mix Doctor" cookbooks proving this; also see just about any cooking blog out there). But the changes you make… Are generally not what I would term improvements. (Also? The reason your sugar cookies "taste better" than the frozen mix is because you add a whole bunch of fat and sugar to them with that cream cheese. Just sayin'.)
PPS: It is no wonder you are so thin. I can't imagine many of these recipes, especially the desserts, actually taste good.
PPPS: I don't think these sandwiches are the "nutty star" on this show... 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Depressing songs are really not my favorite.

Dear Eric Church,

You are talented, but I have to say, your song "Lightning" is really kind of depressing. Not my favorite. I'm just not a big fan of songs that actually make me sad. (And there's a difference between sad songs and songs that make you sad.) It is a good thing I had some wine while I was making my dinner this evening, because just thinking about this song makes me need it!



*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 4 is "A song that makes you sad". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hallelujah indeed!

Dear Julianne Hough,

Thanks so much for "My Hallelujah Song"! It never fails to cheer me up and make me smile. (And I guess I should thank iTunes for making it a free song one week...) I love it.

Thanks again!


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 3 is "A song that makes you happy". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Monday, January 3, 2011

Worst song ever? Maybe.

Dear Enya,

I'm sure you're a wonderful person, but I really don't know what ever could have possessed you to release the song "Only Time". It is awful. It makes my ears bleed. I kind of want to hurt something when I hear it. And it was tough, because they played it on the radio ALL THE DAMN TIME about 7 years ago. (Yes, I still remember my pain. It was that awful.) And you couldn't even be satisfied by torturing me with radio playtime. You had to write a song that gets stuck in my head when I hear any little snippet of it. So my pain lasts even longer than just the three and a half minutes of the actual song. It's horrific.

I hope in the future you can spare my ears from this sort of awfulness.



PS - Youtube is clearly on my side, because I can't embed the video; all I can do is provide a link.

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 2 is "Your least favorite song". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oh, is it a new year already?

Dear 2011,

I have some pretty high hopes for you. Like I hope you will be more awesome than 2010. And 2010 was pretty awesome. On the bright side, you can get an early start at being awesome because my birthday is in two weeks. Here is a big chance for something awesome to happen. Please don't let me down!

With anticipation,


Dear Train,

Thank you for writing "Drops of Jupiter"! That is, quite possibly, my favorite song. Ever. It always makes me feel better to hear it. It's kind of funny, because if I hadn't heard it about 8 billion times in seventh grade English (when we were doing poetry, and then talked about the meaning behind the lyrics), I probably wouldn't have fallen in love with you and your music. And apparently the rest of my classmates are musical Neanderthals, who now don't like this song. I really don't know what's wrong with them. But I love your stuff, and "Drops of Jupiter" most of all.

Thank you so much!



*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 1 is "Your favorite song". I am using the prompts listed here.*