Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It Snowed. A lot. So We Had a Brown Out. And it's Going to Snow Lots More.

"Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."

Douglas Adams

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oohhhh I Like Him



Not like that silly. I'm talking about an artist I recently discovered that I really really like. His name is Fernando Botero. Excuse me if he's old news, but he's fabulous. He paints/sculpts everything all roly-poly, and it's irresistible. His MonaLisa is pretty irresistible, but the following are two of my favorite paintings by him. This first one is titled "Bailarina" which I think is pretty perfect, and the second one is "Man Drinking Orange Juice." I can't resist the giant oranges and bananas. Ooh, they're all so good. Check him out for a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, or at least a few laughs. Love love love! KSM


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pastiche






It's a cool word, isn't it? That's what my brain has to deal with all the time- a pastiche of languages. And todays blog is a pastiche of images. Oh, and do you want to know something cool about Irish? (The language.) The verb is always the first part of the sentence, coming even before the verb, so it's sort of like this, "Is me good," "Is name ______," "Is you my heart," and etc. It's a very beautiful language, and like French it utilizes seemingly unnecessary letters. But I promise, they're all necessary, just like they are in French. Moving on to some cool pics....

So these are, in order, probably my best piece of calligraphy (it says 'magic tricks'), the treats from my social last Thursday (including no-bakes, lemon squares, a fruit/veg tray, and iced tea), the most beautiful celery I've ever seen that I got very cheaply at the campus grocer, a wicked cool Celtic know I designed, and a pic of me with my Chinesey room on the Chinese New Year/ Valentine's day. That's all folks!


Smile smile,

KSM


Saturday, February 20, 2010

NYC

I don't get it, it just doesn't impress me. Seriously. I had to go to the city today for Art History class, since my teach was too lazy to come teach us here. So we had two hours of class there, and then went to the met for another three hours of lecturing... No free time in the city (not that I would enjoy it much) and way too long listening to him babble. Also, too much time not doing homework and just sitting on my behind on the bus. Oh well.

Every time I've been there I just haven't enjoyed it much. Los Angeles is the same way, although I do enjoy the company I've had in both of those cities. I didn't like Beijing much either, and Shanghai was slightly above Beijing on the list of cities enjoyed. I guess I'm just picky about my cities. I love D.C., and I love SanFran. In China, I loved Qingdao and Nanjing. And Toronto is fabulous. Buffalo is not a bad city either, for as much of a bad rep as it inexplicably has.

More soon, hopefully!

Love you all,

SMILING BECAUSE THAT WEEK IS OVER!

KSM

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Homesick

Don't we often think that going somewhere new, starting with a completely clean slate is just what we need? That's why I went away for college, isn't it?A new start, nobody knows me. Nobody knows anything about me. I can just tell them what I want them to know.

I think maybe I was wrong. It wasn't what I needed, and it isn't always good.

I'm afraid my friends here don't see me very clearly, or don't see me how they should see me, how I'm trying to make them see me. And it's not like you can just tell them, "Hey, girl, this is me."Why are the only people here who do understand me guys? All of my guy friends get me just fine. Well, and SL, but that's just because we've lived together for two years. 

I was already thinking about how set apart from my peers I am, when today in my anthro class, one kid said, (in response to a movie about Irish Travellers and how their kids are an integral part of maintaining the household) "Well, I mean, her mom was always sending her to get water, or to get gas, and doing all these things a parent should be doing. Not watching TV like we imagine a kid doing." Now I do realize that not everybody has the same family history I do, I get that, but I mean, my sibbles and I were already doing lots of chores before the sick days. WE were an integral part of the household. 

I feel like my friends don't understand that if I want something for myself, I have to get it. And if I want to have a future, that I have to make it. That I have to study hard and work harder, because I want to someday change my socio-economic status. I can't constantly be running around spending money and doing things, and I don't mind it a bit, but I hate feeling pressed by my friends, and no matter how much I tell them that I'm broke they just don't get it. And I love giving to people, and I give and give and give until I can't give anymore and they just continue taking, and I get so mad because they just don't understand that I still have needs that I have to take care of. And then they think I'm being stingy and preposterously selfish. And I'm not, am I?

My suities also don't understand that, in my book, cleanliness IS next to godliness. They make a pigsty out of the common area, leave their crap lying around all over, cook and don't wash the dishes and don't wipe the counter. And heaven forbid you ever pick up the vacuum cleaner or wash the dishtowels yourself. It's the same every day, I get up to make myself breakfast and have to wash MY dishes just to cook. I've been threatening them all year and I've finally had it. So I brought MY pots and pans into my room, thinking to prevent them from cooking at least until someone went to town and bought new ones, and instead, they call a friend over (a friend who has decided to move in on our couch, who leaves her slippers and other crap lying in the common area) and she brings pots. And they washed HER pots, and left all of the other dishes lying around and the kitchen a mess. This is not okay, on any level. I get that you're all only children who come from upper-middle class families, and that you've never had to do a damn thing in your life for yourself, but is it so much to ask that you could wash your bowl and chopsticks so that your food doesn't get cemented on when it dries? Do they enjoy living in a pigsty? Because I REFUSE to live in a pigsty, especially when I like to have my friends over for tea and cookies once a week. But every week I have to vacuum and scrub everything down and ask them to bring all of my dishes out of their room so they can be washed. And why am I starting to sound like my father?

In other words, I'm homesick. I miss my home, I miss my home people. They know everything there is to know about me, and I LOVE THEM FOR IT. They understand me, and they also like living in a CLEAN SPACE.

Okay, I'm all done now.

Love you all.

KSM

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Discovering Something

About myself, of course. 

Since the beginning of this semester's "Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Anthropological Imagination" class, I have been developing a strong dislike- even loathing- of anthropology. Well, modern anthropologists at the very least, who (more and more) take it upon themselves not to just report and preserve a culture, but also to try and "repair" what they see as wrong in the culture. Good gracious, I thought the cultural meter stick went out the window with cultural relativism 100 years ago!!! 

Okay, I'm done. Thanks.

KSM

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love

Just wanted to wish you all a happy Chinese new year and a happy Valentine's day!

Love

KSM

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Literature

I'm not going to talk about my recent literature at all, just some of my good old favorites that you should pick up if you've never read them.

The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

The Last Cavalier, Alexandre Dumas (unfinished)

Tartuffe, Moliere

Hamlet, Shakespeare

Small Gods, Terry Pratchett

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Rosencrantz and Guildentstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

Okay, seriously now. I may be too into more classical (older stuff) than a lot of people these days. But they're so good. And if I can't convince you to read the old ones, at least try some of the newer ones. Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams are the BEST and the FUNNIEST people. I love British humor. Small Gods is not only phenomenally funny and well written, but it's also a good social (religious) commentary. You can almost always count on Pratchett for an education and a good time. The more I read, the more I love him. But I still think Small Gods is my favorite. In order to encourage interest in any of Adams' or Pratchett's texts, I have decided to give you two quotes, one from each of them, to make you squirm with laughter. 

"For children: you will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It's quite a simple difference, but an important one. Friday comes at the end of the week, where as a fried egg comes out of a chicken. Like most things, of course, it isn't quite that simple. The fried egg isn't properly a fried egg until it's been put in a frying pan and fried. This is something you wouldn't do to a Friday, of course, though you might do it on a Friday. You can also fry eggs on a Thursday, if you like, or on a cooker. It's all rather complicated, but it makes a kind of sense if you think about it for a while." D. Adams (P.S. - His non-fiction essays are also quite enjoyable, see The Salmon of Doubt for some laughs about life)

"People have believed for thousands of years that newts in a well mean that the water's fresh and drinkable, and in all that time never asked themselves whether newts got out to go the lavatory." T. Pratchett (For another fab read, see Good Omens, co-authored by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman)

Love love love

KSM


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Not Ready for the Real World

I catered yesterday from 9:30 in the morning until 10 at night. I am NOT ready for 12 and a half hour shifts of standing. And then I had to walk home in the FREEZING cold, although thus far we've avoided the storm that was supposed to come up on us from the south.

Since the last time I've chatted at you, I've switched meal plans- 65 meals for the semester at Kline Commons, and 850 Bard bucks, which can be spent at cafes or at the campus grocery. I mostly cook for myself now- which I love- although I sometimes eat at the commons. Other times, when I'm catering, I don't have to swipe in at Kline, so that's a 'free' meal, and a lot of times we're allowed to take home leftovers from the events we cater. Also, when I do eat at Kline, I kidnap a lot of raw ingredients- fruit, vegetables, butter, etc. from Kline, which saves me from spending all my Bard bucks on groceries very quickly. I've got the system wrapped around my finger....

In other news, I'm on top of everything except sleeping this semester, which means classes, work (30 hours this week), cooking for myself, coordinating my moderation and senior project, and coordinating next year: applications for colleges and scholarships and everything else that goes with study abroad. And there's always homework, Scottish country dancing, and keeping up social appearances. Next weekend, on Saturday, I'm headed to Esopus New York for an Irish immersion today with one of my awesome professors. I can't wait until then!!!

For next semester, I'm looking at the ACC program through Hamilton College, in case anyone wanted to check it out. It's one of the hardest and strictest programs out there- and the best, so long as you are willing to work. It's Fulbright funded, so if I can impress the judges, I'm good to go. If not, I have some back up scholarships lined up. Then, for the following semester, I'm hoping to attend Saor Ollscoil na hÉireann, which is in Dublin. It's an inexpensive (extremely) college... my ONLY worry for that school is that Bard may decide not to accept the credits, which could be detrimental to an outside scholarship that requires me to be registered for a full year of school...

Lastly, for all of you chocolate lovers,  here's a chocolate cake MEM loves to make- and which everyone I know loves to eat. Enjoy!!!

Black Magic Cake

1 3/4 c. flour

2 c. sugar

3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 c. strong black coffee

1 c. sour  milk (add 1 Tbsp of vinegar to a c. of milk)

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixer bowl. Add eggs, coffee, sour milk, oil and vanilla; beat 2 minutes. (Batter will be thin) Pour into a greased and floured pan, 13 by 9 inches, or two 9 inch layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes (for oblong pan) or 30 to 35 minutes (for layer pans) OR until cake tester comes out clean. This is a very moist cake, and delicious served hot or cold. I usually leave mine in for a few minutes short of the mark... So it's not that last bit done. It's extra moist just then. SO GOOD. 

Love love love you all!

KSM

XOXO