Tuesday, September 9, 2008

favorite indie band names

Disclaimer: I haven't actually listened to these bands. However, this seems like as good a method as any to discover new music. I'm linking to the MySpace pages because it's easier to hear their music right away than trying to navigate through their official band pages.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness
Stars Like Fleas
A Place to Bury Strangers
Hammer No More the Fingers
Hercules and Love Affair
Thunderbirds Are Now!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Paris, Day 3

The best thing about going to bed super early post-jet lag? Getting up early. Here's the view from our hotel room in Paris.

After the quite embarrassing crash from the day before, I was ready to tackle the rest of Paris. I was determined. We returned to Musee D'Orsay (did I mention that I am task-oriented and stubborn? No?). However, this was well worth it; the D'Orsay is quite possibly one of the best museums I have ever been to. It was crazy to see "Bal au moulin de la Galette" by Renoir, in person. It also helps that Impressionism is the most familiar artwork to me.

I was also determined to do the whole picnic-in-the-park thing. We also wanted to steel our nerves for the Louvre.

The Louvre is huge. I had anticipated this, and overplanned. Essentially, the plan was "we pick one thing, explore that wing, and get the hell out." We settled on the Mona Lisa, which is housed in the wing with the 15th century Italian paintings (Botticelli), and 18th and 19th century French paintings (The Consecration of Napoleon and the Coronation of Josephine was vast -- 10x6 meters!). In the attempt to find a bathroom, we stumbled through the ancient Egyptian artifacts wing.

We next went to the Arc de Triomphe, and eschewed the Eiffel Tower for dinner. We settled for a picture instead.

We ate at Cafe du Marche in Rue Cler, and it was fantastic. Something that was hard to get into was the fact that people in Paris ate dinner at 9-10 pm; that was the peak dinner hour. It helped that the sun didn't truly set until 10:30 pm during the summer, but it was a little odd for my Americanized "don't eat less than 3 hours before bedtime" paradigm. But for food this good, I would eat it at 2 in the morning. YUM.

day in the life

I remember discovering The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" through my dad's vinyl records.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Days 1-2: Paris

I had planned to do some posting and uploading of pics while in France, but our internet access was spotty at best. Here is some catch up.

Our hotel was about 5 minutes from Luxembourg Gardens, although we never got a chance to have a picnic out there (there were just so many great restaurants, and not enough mealtimes).

We were on the same flight as our housemate, Evan, who was en route to Belgium with some other cycling team members to do some races there. Everyone first met up in Paris for some food and sightseeing. Talk of disc brakes and seat tubes were surprisingly minimal.

There were about 20 million other tourists and a school choir at Notre Dame cathedral. I didn't really take pictures inside, because there were actual people praying in there, and I felt really rude doing so.

Sainte-Chappelle was probably the most amazing thing we saw in Paris. After walking up a narrow winding staircase, you are rewarded with a 360 degree, stained glass interpretation of stories in the Bible. That extended up 3 stories. Absolutely incredible.

[Whit and I after lunch, Notre Dame in background]

A naughty stereoscopic inside the Musee D'Orsay. This is right before I fell asleep for 10 minutes on a bench on the ground floor. It had been a long day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"The Authentic Ethnic Experience"

Pet Peeve #4: Anyone (but especially white people) accusing minorities of "acting white" implying an inauthentic ethnic experience.

Example: Ralph Nader accusing Barack Obama of "talking white."


(new piano, June 2008)

Our house has acquired a piano, and so what was established as the social area known as "around the beer fridge" has become a piano parlor.

I've been reluctant to get a piano of my own since I left Las Vegas, partly because I didn't have any place to put it and couldn't keep moving it back and forth across the country and Pacific Ocean. But realistically, it's because I suspected that I couldn't play as well as I did in high school, and I didn't want to actually face it. But since this one was free, and 3/5 of the house wanted it, we are now the proud owners of a baby grand.

I've been slowly working up to par on Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C Sharp Minor. And just as suspected, I am not as good as high school. Shocker. But it's surprising how quickly it's been coming back. After my band director said that for every day you don't play, you backslide two, I expected that it would have taken approximately eleventy-billion years to get back to that level.

on the list for dream dog

(K, at the bike-making class final exam and party)

Very cute dog. Cute, but jaded. It wouldn't look at you when you whistled, ignored you when you called to it, and moved quickly away when you tried to pet it (but not in a "I'm-scared-and-possibly-abused" but in a "I-cannot-condescend-to-your-physical-contact").

So really, it would almost be like getting a cat.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Start

I definitely have a talent for excelling at starting things, but performing less-than-satisfactorily at ending it. Case in point: I've been knitting a neck cowl for the last 4 months. By this, I mean that started the neck cowl 4 months ago, put it down, and haven't revisited it since.

This blog is in line with that habit (except possibly not so dependent on weather -- it's hard to motivate knitting a neck cowl when it's 98 degrees out). I'm trying to make a fresh start, clear the plate, etc. cliche etc. I'm trying to be more responsible for documenting my life. I'm in my last year of my 20s; next year will bring on another decade and set of external pressures. I'd like to think I spent this year doing interesting things upon which I can reflect fondly. At the very least, I am crossing my fingers that this isn't as cringe-inducing as my high school journals. Boy, was I an asshole.