Archive for February, 2010

I miss the telly!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 23, 2010 by Cristina

I haven’t had TV since 2007 and for the most part, it hasn’t been a big deal. My parents don’t quite understand it, as they prioritize this electronic marvel very high on the list of items that make up a home (akin to their belief that a meal’s not a meal without meat). A photo from our apartment in Romania before it was fully furnished:
I’ve been too busy with social stuff to notice any absence of sitcom entertainment and maybe it allows me the time to act out my very own ridiculous sitcoms in real life. In that sense, less TV = more actual entertainment. During Spanish class today, we were discussing television in light of a 70s performance art piece in which a gentleman sits in front of a TV punching himself in the face with boxing gloves, then cuts up a huge German sausage and tries to feed it to the screen (I couldn’t help but think of American Psycho’s Bateman trying to feed a stray cat to an ATM). PS, have I mentioned that I love school?  Weird performances aside, many people including poet T.S. Eliot have qualms with the tube: “Television is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.” I mentioned this sad quote back in the day when I was ranting about my love-hate relationship with technology … ummm, in Spanish. I bring it up again because I really miss television at times like these: while sports awesomeness is in full swing! During the last World Cup, I watched the games at my local East Village bar with a bunch of Senegalese dudes who were probably scoffing in French at my red-yellow-and-blue outfit. Needless to say, I was the only woman AND the only Romania fan in the joint. Now with the Winter Olympics just a stone’s throw over the border, I’m jonesing for some snow/ice action. I haven’t seen any events and am particularly sad that I missed this drama:

I can do without TV 98% of the time, but I’ll be damned if I miss the last figure skating event of these games on Thursday afternoon. Ladies free skate at my local sports bar—be there if you wanna see more of these faces!


Departing Whine Ville

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2010 by Cristina

Sipping my coffee this morning, I was lamenting how hard this week will be with a presentation, oodles of research, a lot of grading, blah blah blah. I was surprised that I felt so tired when the week had barely started, then I realized that it was my thoughts that were weighing me down… those ridiculously pretentious notions of the Monday Morning Blues that afflict many bourgeois North Americans. After a relaxation-filled weekend and 9 hours of sleep, I had absolutely no excuse. Meditating on this idea, I recalled an image that cured me instantly:

Looking at this photo that I took in my hometown (which isn’t too unlike this scene from EuroTrip), I tallied up my luck: living in a beautiful city, getting paid to do what I love, sleeping on a dreamy mattress, hot water all day every day, no oil lamps, no earthquakes, avocados, escalators (or at the very least, Mitch H’s convenient stairs), uninhibited laughter and on and on and on. The railroad track lady above would kill to grade some Spanish compositions and read books about AIDS. No more whining from now on, only gratitude for how great life is. If you hear this girl whining again, just remind me that I used to play with a ball made of a pig bladder, that’ll bring me back to my senses.

Fun with the future

Posted in Uncategorized on February 21, 2010 by Cristina

One of my favorite web comics, Toothpaste for Dinner, illustrates the often annoyingly vague or outright wrong fortune-telling aspect of supposedly wise bits of paper thusly:

I’ve already shared with you my frustration with the cookie version of these and have since learned that the best solution to this problem is to make your own. I was at a friend’s house being mildly interested in the outcome of the Superbowl when us girls decided to make one of those infamous fortune tellers that we used to rely on in 6th grade for such issues like “When will my mom let me shave my legs” and “What kind of convertible will my future husband have?” Nearly two decades later, we’re more mature but the childlike wonder hasn’t faded. Our superb host, with a good memory for all things nostalgic, dexterously folded the fortune teller thusly:

And so we were nine steps closer to knowing what the future held. I then graced the inside flaps with good and bad fortunes alike: you will develop a latex allergy… your dog will save someone’s life… your adopted Nigerian kid will win the World Cup… you will marry someone with gold teeth, etc. Like I said, maturity. You may scoff at the improbability of these fortunes, but today this one came true prematurely: you will discover your mutant powers in two years. The friend who doubted the veracity of her prediction suddenly became aware of her ability to shoot rainbows out of her nipples. These happiness-inducing rays could have phenomenal implications on the crime in our community; all deviants will be blinded by
Rainbow Rack-a-saurus thusly (excuse the photo quality, it’s hard to keep a camera steady near such a strong force field):

So much more fun than typical fortunes.

Pipe dream gardens

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2010 by Cristina

I’m pretty sure that spring just happened in Portland! The sun has been glorious the last few days, making all the buds around town explode into colors (also the name of an interesting local band). This sun-orgy puts me in a state of ecstasy that impedes productivity and heightens the eye candy all around. I made zero progress on research projects this week but you’d better believe I went on many walks and discovered mini gardens in pipes. First, a micro-mossy field fenced in by rust:
And second, a rooftop flower garden that softens the grayest of metals:
I spent many years in the Arizona sun not thinking twice about how precious it was. Thanks, Portland, for teaching me how mind-altering this fireball drug can be! Otherwise, my neighborhood pipes would be just industrial eyesores. Back in the day, Ernest Hemingway shared my sentiment about springtime awesomeness, so let me share my favorite quote of his with you:
When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself. 

Harroo? Interwebbz?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 19, 2010 by Cristina

Dear internet,
Sometimes I think I love you but other times I feel like we don’t really know each other. You think you know me, but it seems like you don’t. We’re never going to make it if you don’t stop playing mind games, so let me set some things straight in an attempt at better communication. I love it when you do that Pandora thing and play great music. That said, quit guessing that I’m going to be into the following things. Item # 1:

Yes, I’m 28 and no, I’m not driving and F-you, this image is a terrible way to get me to buy insurance. Let’s move on to Item #2:

You should know better than to recommend this. I’m trying really really hard to be a good vegetarian and this kind of stuff is making it hard. Don’t be a dick, internet. Finally, Item #3:

NOOO! I’m a fickle person who changes her likes and dislikes often, but two things are for sure: 1. I hate the misuse of apostrophe’s (funny illustration here) and 2. I’ve hated Uggs ever since I laid eyes on them… as donned by sorority girls with miniskirts in the dead of summer at the University of Arizona. Don’t insult my fashion style and/or sluttiness level by suggesting that I purchase these furry atrocities. Interwebbz, you have a lot to learn about me… until then, stop predicting bullshit things that upset me. ¡No me gusta!

White stripes

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2010 by Cristina

Getting dressed for a carnie party last weekend, I felt like I was maybe overdoing my outfit. Electric blue tights and starry dress and a forehead headband felt like enough but at the last minute I decided to throw on some knee-high red & white socks for good measure. 

Boy, oh boy, was I glad I did! It turned out that red and white stripes were part of the unspoken dress code at this super-entertaining soiree. My red-haired regal friend was decked out in her stripy tight-rope walker costume:
I couldn’t imagine a better outfit to wear on a fishing expedition. She only caught a creepy mask but the rest of the evening’s performances made us forget all about that. This awesome jazzercise duo were also sporting stripes as they warmed up the crowd:

A night full of stripes, free-ish beer, chiclets, burlesque shows, balloons, music and waltzing… I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I am officially back to being pro-carnie and can’t wait until the next time I can dust off my socks! Rock on.

So a sidewalk says to the sky…

Posted in Uncategorized on February 12, 2010 by Cristina

I was walking to a meeting (still sans umbrella) getting miserably wet during yesterday’s morning rain when I witnessed the following conversation. The sidewalk said to the sky:

No joke, the glove was really like that and I laughed out loud because that’s precisely how I felt too. I’m on your side, sidewalk.