Showing posts from June, 2011

Fun Stats

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but I use Google Analytics to keep stats on this blog. It started when Blogger Stats was down for a bit, and I started going nuts needing the feedback. But now that the initial obsession is over, I've taken to checking it every couple weeks, mainly for the sake of identifying search terms people have found my blog with and countries from which I've had visitors. Both of these are incredibly amusing ventures. People have found me searching some crazy shit, let me tell you. Actually, let me show you.* They fall into several categories.
Search terms I'm proud to say led to my blog:

Search terms I'm not proud to say led to my blog, but that I can appreciate:

Search terms I am thoroughly confused by:

Search terms that are really oddly specific:

And these interesting countries (Hello friends!!) that I'd love to see, but never expected people to visit me from:
1. Dominica
2. Botswana
3. Azerbaijan
4. Turkey
5. The Baltic States (okay, so that's 3 countries, whatever)

Fun Facts:
-Over 50 people have visited my blog over 200 times! This blows me away. Thanks!
-This post about Colmar has had the most hits at 103. Like, what?
-Most people who visit use Firefox or Chrome, and 1 person used RockMelt, which I had never heard of until today.

The point of this story is you should probably head over and download yourself some Analytics. Though Stats will essentially tell you the same stuff on the occasions it chooses to function. I'm not being paid to endorse this product, just having fun. Ta

*Imagine that in the voice of diary-Tom Riddle circa Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Tuesday Tunes!

It's that time again! I am packing (still, I know) and mostly likely moving by the end of this week, so I apologize in advance if I'm not up to scruff on posting right now. I should, pray tell, have reliable internet connection and a place to live again come next week, so that'll be a huge stress off my back. Also, my fingers are in a right state from all the guitar playing and tape ripping I've been doing, so they probably need a break too. Without further ado!

1."Arms" - Christina Perri
2."Maybe Sprout Wings" - The Mountain Goats
3."Duet" - Rachel Yamagata ft. Ray LaMontagne
4."Scarlet" - Brooke Fraser
5."99 Red Balloons" - Goldfinger

Share Your Favorites!

Where Dreams Are Made

You all know that I usually refrain from discussing my political views or other controversial matters, because I want this to be a forum for constructive and positive review, not the kind of heated debate that usually follows controversy (no matter how respectful and awesome I think you all are). However, some issues I hold near and dear to me, and a change has happened that I feel like I need to document.

No doubt, you've probably figured out by now, that I'm referring to New York's recent passage of a marriage equality bill. I've posted before about gay rights and human rights, and this is a huge milestone to me. New York's always been one of the more progressive states in the country - more open to changes - than most others, so to say I'm surprised is going a little far, but I'm definitely pleased.

Any Google search on the topic will give you a million articles, videos, blogs, etc. on the subject, so I'm not really going to give you a whole lot of links, but I want to give my opinion. This is amazing and inspiring. I've read all sorts of amazing articles about people whose lives are changing because of this. New York's the largest state to pass such a law, and one of the great stories I've read is of Republican senator Mark Grisanti who changed his position and voted for the bill. That, to me, is almost more inspiring than the bill passing itself. What I've seen very little of is people in politics willing to change their views, change their opinions, and admit they might have been wrong about their views when presented with information contrary tot heir beliefs. I'm moved by the willingness of this man to face what was surely a tumultuous constituency and party and realize that a vote for this bill was a vote for human rights. For the LGBT community, yes, but for all people who deserve the same right to safety and community and to protect those they love. It fills my heart with joy to see great people, like Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka (and those countless more who are fortunate enough to not be subject to my Twitter-stalking), finally able to wed, .

I'm so glad New York passed this bill, and the pictures from the parades today have been hilarious and fabulous (I expected no less)! But that people are starting to change is what really gets me in this story. Things are starting to change for the better, I hope. =]

Sins of My Youth

Today is kind of an exciting day, because after work, I will be heading to the ever-magnificent San Diego County Fair!

via weheartit

One of the awesome things about the SD County Fair is that they have this huge free summer concert series. They get some pretty big names. This year, Switchfoot played, and last year, they had Weezer come and I am through the roof, because tonight I'm going to see Neon Trees. I sampled them for this Tuesday Tunes earlier, and most of you have probably heard "Animal" on the radio or on Glee, but even with just the one album out I really like their music. A lot.

And let's be honest, who doesn't like the fair? I'm going to eat fried crap and cotton candy like there's no tomorrow and bask in the playful freedom of whirling rides and flashing lights and tacky carnival music all evening. Hoo-ray!

Tuesday Tunes!

These next couple weeks might be rough because of lack of internet, but I am going to try and keep posting as regularly as possible. Even if I have to do it from work (though, I'm pretty sure the people I work with probably have their own ideas about this blog).

1. "Mad World (Tears For Fears cover)" - Gary Jules
2. "Champagne Supernova" - Oasis
3. "River of Dreams" - Billy Joel
4. "Valerie" - Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse
5. "All These Things That I've Done" - The Killers

Share Your Favorites!

First Class

A couple weeks ago, I went to go see X-Men: First Class with a friend. I'd been looking forward to it, but I think it really exceeded expectations! Since, I've read a number of good and scathing reviews, but I maintain that it's fantastic!

Considering that X-3 and Origins: Wolverine turned out to be incredibly disappointing (read: godawful. Ohmygod, I wanted to claw out my eyeballs), I'm so glad this movie was good. The amount of character depth in Raven (Mystique) and Erik (Magneto) was phenomenal, and all of the characters brought something different to the table. Apparently, none of them can speak Russian to save their lives (one of the friends I saw it with speaks Russian), but that's okay, because everything else - the acting, the fighting, the cinematography - was magical.

I would highly recommend it. In fact, I can say that with confidence because I saw it thrice.

Plus, who could say no to a James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender bromance? Not me.

Somber Life Updates

As you all know, I took the MCAT a couple months ago. Sadly, I didn't do quite as well as I wanted, so I'm probably going to take it again next year. But, I'm not particularly upset, because since after about a week after signing up for it, I made some changes to my life plans.

Originally, I'd intended to do an MD/MPH joint program (assuming I got accepted, of course), but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was not a fan of the set up, where you do the first two years of med school, then your masters, then your last two. I think I'd like my med school knowledge to be fresh for rotations. So, I decided to do an MPH first, which unfortunately means I get to take the GRE this summer. Woo!...not. Why am I telling you this? Because I feel like I whined, vented, and just generally blabbed to you all about the MCAT so much that I'm now obligated to update you on how it went and what's happening next, haha. But I'm really excited for Public Health, because ultimately, that's what I want to go into, and do with my life (yeah yeah, I'm a bleeding heart, deal).

In other sad news, I won't be going to Europe or India this summer. This is particularly depressing, because in addition to gallivanting, I was really looking forward to attending the London premiere of Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, but I guess it will be just as fun to dress up and go here, so I'm trying not to be too beat up about it. Plus, this gives me more time to practice guitar.

Instead, I'm just going to watch this new trailer and the other ones a million times over and over to make myself feel better about life. Okay.

Tuesday Tunes: Musical Edition!

In middle school and for a little bit in high school, I was enrolled in choir. In middle school we did these (admittedly terrible) musicals every year that were...interesting, but the idea was there and I guess they were kind of fun. But as such, I've long had a soft spot for musicals. Something about the theatricality of all the music and the storyline is pretty magical. And it doesn't hurt that the songs are always devastatingly catchy, or beautiful, or both. So, here are some of my all-time favorites (in no particular order, and I cut the list down from 14 so as not to bore you all)!

1."Music of the Night" - Michael Crawford & Sarah Brightman (The Phantom of the Opera)
2."Cell Block Tango" - Cast of Chicago
3."My Strongest Suit" - Sherie Rene Scott (Aida)
4."A Little Priest" - Johnny Depp & Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd)
5."Don't Cry For Me Argentina" - Patti LuPone (Evita)
6."I'll Cover You" - Jesse L. Martin & Wilson Jermaine (RENT)

Share Your Favorites!

An Eye for an Eye and an 'F' for Fight

Last days at 3809...

I am only just realizing that my lipstick and shirt don't match...

These are a few weeks old (again), though...sadly it is still cardigan weather in San Diego. But more importantly, I am DONEZO with finals! HOORAY! It's really strange to think this, but come like 6 months from now, I'm going to be done with my undergraduate education! I can remember my first day in beautiful sunny San Diego so clearly that it all just seems unreal. And not just school, but I'm currently in the middle of starting to pack to move to my first very own place! What am I going to do without roommates to set up a cleaning schedule with?! Probably my recycling will take over my kitchen before I take it out, maybe I will succumb to using paper plates so I don't have to wash them, and perhaps I will sometimes get a little bit lonely. But, I get to decorate it however I want and I can play music all the time and nobody will judge me for belting out Taylor Swift and Disney in the shower!* I am so nervous and excited for this!

*Okay, future neighbor, I know you will, but I'll pretend to not have any idea what you mean when you give me awkward knowing glances when we pass each other.

Some Guys Just Can't Hold Their Arsenic

Several months ago, as I was rolling through my usual science blog updates, I stumbled upon something truly amazing. Scientists had discovered life forms in California's Mono Lake that used arsenic instead of phosphate in their DNA.

A little background to hopefully make this all seem a little cooler (and less nerdy): Our DNA (and all known DNA to this point) uses a sugar-phosphate backbone to hold the nucleobases (A,T,C,G) in their double-helix structure (see picture). These phosphates have important chemical properties and interactions, without which our genetic code wouldn't be able to be expressed. So, really, this small structural change from phosphorous to arsenic (which has been thought to be totally toxic to cells) would open up a WHOLE Pandora's Box of problems that could have shaken the very foundation of what we know about evolution and modern biology.

A few days ago, though, I discovered that further studies have brought this discovery into serious question. The original findings have been deemed "not thorough enough" and lacking rigorousness of the scientific method. This article sums the arguments against the idea pretty nicely, but it's a little technical.

What's somewhat depressing to me here, is that I was so excited and all "Holy crap, this is science at its awesomest! Look at the awesome shit we are going to discover about life after this!!" but sadly, it seems that it isn't so. I get like this a lot about science, where I can suddenly see all these possibilities, but unfortunately it just isn't that simple. One study is rarely enough to be a complete and total breakthrough, and even then faces years and years of revision and opposition to hold on to its promise. That is kind of discouraging to me, and one of the reasons that I knew research wasn't always going to be for me. I love my work, honestly, but I'm totally one of those people that needs to see the fruits of my immediately.

Tuesday Tunes!

It's that time again! While I'm off taking my finals, I will leave these musical gems right here for your enjoyment! I've gotten into really random indie bands I didn't really listen to before, but somehow, the music is all catchy and mellow and awesome and helping me study like crazy. Listen and be amazed (f'realz)!

1."I Would Do Anything For You" - Foster The People
2."The Story" - Brandi Carlile
3."Everywhere I Go" - Lissie
4."Hands (Acoustic)" - Ting Tings
5."Helplessness Blues" - Fleet Foxes

Share Your Favorites!

Lust List Monday: Summer Dresses

Well, hello. It's been a while since I did one of these, but let's be honest, I am pretty much all year round and all the time in lust of summer dresses. I love the playful, full skirts and the patterns and colors that tease at frolicking in fields during bright, summer days. I need more summer dresses in my life like I need air. Maybe these in particular:

1. Secluded Garden Dress

2. Teal Infinity and Beyond! Dress

3. Sailing Into The Sunset Dress in Navy

4. Indie Darling Dress

What do you say, ladies?


A little over a month ago, I drove up to LA to see an early screening of this wonderful little musical made by my favorite new, hip theater production company, Team StarKid, referenced vaguely here and even more vaguely here. Starship is described as The Little Mermaid meets Aliens meets Avenue Q, an assessment with which I totally agree. It was really good (and the album hit number 4 on iTunes!!), but I was most excited about the meet and greet with some cast members. Actually, I was so excited that I'd made this pretty awesome shirt:

Most of the cast graduated from the University of Michigan theater department and now they're based out of Chicago. Their initial viral success was totally accidental from YouTube uploads of the musical parody A Very Potter Musical. Since then, their success has only grown with A Very Potter Sequel and the crude, but hilarious Me and My Dick, and with Darren Criss's success on Glee. Let me be clear: Each and every one of them is so talented. Many of them sing, play multiple instruments, are great actors, puppeteers, designers, comedians, what have you, and they're all under 25! I got to meet some of them: Brian Holden, Joe Walker, Brant Cox, and Nick Lang.

Such fine, classy men, haha.

Maybe this is a weird feeling because it feels like I've seen them grow in fame from the very beginning, but I'm so proud of all of them! I mean, the screening was at Raleigh Studios! How much more legit do you get than that?! Like, I was all driving in and it didn't hit me how official it all was until I saw these parking spots!

Jonathan Groff!

Taye Diggs!

All in all, it was SUCH A GOOD DAY. In addition to the StarKids, I met a lot of really cool fans and made some fast friends. This fandom is surprisingly small for how big it seems, but oh-so-dedicated. Before the show, we just kept randomly breaking out in songs from AVPM and there was this awesome feeling of family all around.

If you haven't guessed by now, I would seriously suggest taking time out of your weekend to watch all their shows on their YouTube channel, StarKidPotter.

Looking Forward and Back

As I mentioned here, I spent this past weekend at home for my brother's high school graduation. It was really strange walking into the stadium of my old high school and having to sit in the bleachers instead of out in the chairs on the field like I remember. It was even stranger passing kids from my graduating class and having them show no sign of recognition or smiling what could only be called awkwardly. There were some kids that I could tell pretty much hadn't changed at all since high school, and others that I had to do a double-take to even recognize! I wonder if they felt similar things about me!

All grown up!

Okay...obviously not that grown up...

This kind of defines our relationship, haha. As his big sister, I will always give him a hard time about stupid things (and vice versa), but ultimately, we are just goofballs together. I'm so glad everything worked out and got to go to his graduation (even though my ass was so sore after two hours on those godforsaken bleachers)! Good luck in college, kiddo!
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