Sunday, March 30, 2008

blogging articles

Sorry this took so long, but there have been many small children in my life lately, and you know how that can be.

Why Blog? Reason No. 92: Book Deal
Wal-Mart Tastemakers Write Unfiltered Blog
So You Want to Be a Blogging Star?
After Suicide, Blog Insults Are Debated
Washington Doesn't Sleep Here

Wondering about the above list? For your information, it's just a few recent--from the past 30 days--New York Times articles. They're all about blogging, in fact. And the Times isn't the only newspaper that's picked up on the blogging phenomenon; many other publications are too. I only picked the NYT ones because I wanted to emphasize the magnitude of the amount of articles out there recently.

Amazing, huh? Check out the book deal one--it's about one of my favorite edgy blogs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

taking advantage

Sorry, but I had to take advantage of the five minutes I have and the fact that I've posted very little this month.

I know I told you I was charmed by White Noise by Don DeLillo, but I've found a new love. It's not just the son's addiction to crystal meth, not just the father's addiction to his son's addiction: Beautiful Boy by David Sheff is an addiction in itself. And I don't say that lightly; I haven't read a book this enchanting in a long time. All the other ones I've read lately have just been forced upon myself.

My mom started reading it before me. She's on page 81. I've got about that many pages left to read. THANK YOU SO MUCH, MOM!! I LOVE THIS BOOK LIKE MY OWN SISTER.

Oh yeah, and I just saw The Nanny Diaries--cute, but the ending's so unrealistic.

spring cleaning (can you say ick)

Dear everyone,

I guess this is why we pay $10,000 in taxes every year: our garbage collectors ROCK. Our public schools? Honestly, we could use some more tracking. But the trash guys--and gals--kudos to you.

This morning, while I was still blissfully asleep, my mom apparently called up the garbage collectors and asked them if, for two hundred bucks, she could have them pick up anything we wanted to dispose of. They agreed, and at 10 in the morning, she was standing in front of my recently woken-up self with a looming box of Hefty bags, saying, "We have a project."

Well, we then spent over two hours (until my mom had to go pick up my brother and sister from their half day) pulling out dirt-covered sleds, wooden planks, too-small clothing, and other equally pleasant items from a garage, where we had to stop when it started raining; attic; and sunroom slathered in useless stuff. Yes, I feel like I've accomplished something, but I also have the horrible urge to vacuum.

See, a couple of months ago, I discovered our cleaning ladies had stolen not just several hundred dollars from me, but also a gold ring with a good-sized ruby and six small diamonds. It wasn't the kind of thing you can replace. My mom found it on the streets of New York City years ago. So even when my advisor kindly offered a gold ring with a ruby and diamonds that she "didn't want," it wasn't the same, and I just couldn't take her jewelry.

So my mother fired them, and, long story short, my stairway and room became dust hell. While in a cleaning frenzy a couple of days ago to make my room acceptable before a friend came over, I pulled a rather unfriendly-looking wad of dust out from under my overloaded and tilting bookshelf. It's disgruntling to see layers of the stuff sitting around the place where you live, especially when your little sister has horrible asthma triggered chiefly by dust mites.

I have to go--my sister's got two friends over, my brother's got one, and I've got up the motivation to vacuum.

Adios amigos.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the new black

Actually I prefer black to the new black, whatever the new black is.

But I wanted to talk about new things, and I figured the stupidity of this title would grab people's attention. I've just started learning Hungarian Dance on the piano, and it's a really fun piece. It turns out that there are all these twists and trills along the way of a tune that's been saturated into tasteless simplicity for countless cartoons and Disney movies.

Also, I'm reading White Noise (link later), which I'm finding to be a serious page-turner, and I haven't even gotten to the plot yet. This kind of addictive quality in a book's beginning really attracts me and is a definite plus.

As always, I'll keep you updated.

Monday, March 24, 2008

tall vs. short

The world's tallest man, as I just learned, is 8 foot 5 and still growing, his physician says. Leonid Stadnik, living in Ukraine, and the various issues that accompany his vast height are described in depth right about here. Now, I find this fascinating, especially things like how his shoes have to be custom-made because of their rough length of 17 inches, or the constant knee pain he suffers from. Guess how much he weighs? His height affects so many different and unexpected aspects of his life. You might think being in the Guinness Book would be fun, but I wouldn't wish this body and all its setbacks on my worst enemy--and that's saying something.

Cool as it is to be tall, shorter stature is also fun. My favorite shortness celebration, tall though I may be, is the song "Short People" by Randy Newman. I don't care if it seems offensive. It's just so funny. If you're a littler person, I apologize, but can't you take a joke?

Thanks and bye for now.

PS: My brother's back to normal.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

retail therapy

My brother's been having some health-related issues, but I won't get into that here for a few reasons:
  1. I'm sick and tired of explaining it
  2. All my friends know about it by now
  3. It would sound tacky
  4. There isn't a reason to
Instead, I will discuss Target, every suburban girl's dreamland. (I hate to exaggerate, especially in sexist and classist ways like this, but this particular stereotype is so fun to say and I really do need a picker-upper--and it includes me, so honestly I don't think I'm trying to offend anyone here.)

I went shopping there earlier this week with my mom and brother to do some "retail therapy." I got one hoodie, two swimsuits, and two pairs of shorts, in addition to various bat mitzvah shenanigans that I didn't even consider, like centerpieces, which I realize only now is kind of vital.

Well, I'm getting tired. So that's all for now, thanks and come again.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


There are a lot of confusing things around. For instance, people are confusing because you can't tell what they're thinking. Sharpies are confusing because they wash off everything in time but your nails. And Ginger Rogers is confusing because when you see one of her movies on TV but forget the name of it, you browse a Wikipedia list of all of her work, and you find out her real name was something like Hildegaard Vinderlet Smitty...or something equally confusing in its non-resemblance to "Ginger Rogers," anyway.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

australian man gunned down in driveway by killer robot

Does this sound like a scary, technology-gone-mad sort of article? Well, it's not--it's a scary, the-internet's-horizons-are-too-broad sort of article. I won't tell you more because I want you to read the piece, but would you guess that one can find how to build a robot who can fire a gun?

Please read it, creepy stuff!

(PS: I've labeled this post with the "illness" tag because I think this article has a mental illness component.)

sick but excited

Well, this was set up to be one of the most boring days ever...until, that is, my mom brought home the Utne Reader's article Feminism 2.0. This piece is concerned with the booming portion of the blogosphere now devoted to feminism. Apparently, there are some major sites and then a menagerie of more minor ones. Some bloggers write about pop culture, some about abortion, some about equal rights for both sexes. Some of these journals are for GLBT communities. But throughout all of them, there is a string of feminist vibe. Check out the article--it's a fast, absorbing, fascinating read, and it's got me hooked on this whole idea.

-oh yeah it's the smart one

Monday, March 17, 2008

murder on the orient express

I'm hungry. Hopefully the carton of strawberries I'm working on eating will suffice.

My sister's dress rehearsal for her play, my mother's adapted version of Murder on the Orient Express, went interestingly today at her school. I sat behind the 8-by-8-foot sheet, stapled to a wooden frame, projecting this image onto the sheet throughout a production that was slightly over an hour long. Around me were four fifth-grade boys, walking back and forth in front of the projector, irking me to no end. Everyone kept forgetting their lines and speaking in mouse tones, but all in all, it was pretty funny, what with all the stuff they improvised.

Hey, if I get a chance, do you think I should try to go for middle school president?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

chocolate whipped cream

My mother enlightened me recently on the many virtues of chocolate whipped cream. While it may sound less than scrumptious and more than a little tasteless (as in tacky), it actually gives off the taste of something resembling chocolate mousse. How deliciously--if you'll excuse a pun--ironic!

Well, I should probably go do something worthwhile and important now. More soon.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

sick on break

Hello literate beings of the world:

I'm sick and miserable, with my stomach killing me, as well as my throat and ears. I have a relentless cough, and even when I clear my throat, the congestion comes back immediately.

Anyway though...I truly do apologize for not posting for a week; this time it wasn't of my own accord. I had a punishment that stated I wasn't allowed on the computer because I've been so mean to my brother lately. I'll try to be more consistent.

Is anyone else on spring break? Tell me about it--unless you're one of those people who are actually going somewhere on vacation, like everyone else I know.

By the way, it's been a great week for my mom. She got a promotion and a brand-new, bright red, shiny set of laundry machine and dryer! (YES)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

hepatitis c scare

I was watching the news last night with my mom, brother, and sister--my dad is away on a business trip--and as we were trying to find a channel that had something about the elections on, not just weather or health food, we found CBS News and their shocking broadcast about the Hepatitis C scare at a Las Vegas medical center. (The article can be found here.) Apparently, the clinic has been using previously-used syringes. Six patients have already been found to have Hepatitis C, and 40,000 more have been informed that they could have it, or even HIV.

And it doesn't stop there: as these conditions can be transmitted sexually, there is widespread danger already about the high numbers of other people, people who weren't even patients at the clinic, who could have HIV or Hepatitis C.

I find this unbelievable. I mean, of course I do, but really it just makes me mad. What are we as a country if we can't monitor the actions and procedures of our medical treatment centers and make sure our doctors aren't breaking the Hippocrates Oath? After all, this is violation of the first rule, do not hurt a patient [knowingly].

Please, please respond, I am so eager to hear your opinions on this incredibly horrible story.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

quick talk

Today I had my meeting with my rabbi about my bat mitzvah speech. He said I've certainly picked up NJ speaking rhythms--I talk enormously fast.

Have to go--bye. More tomorrow, I swear.

Monday, March 3, 2008

regrets and updates

Dear browsers,

Sorry sorry sorry for not posting for over a week or responding to your comments or updating any HTML or anything. My life has become completely crammed with stuff between social problems, fluctuating grades, bat mitzvah insanity, midterms, the school play, piano, and the fact that I am now restricted to one hour a day--with supervision--on the computer because I put videos on YouTube, which I was not supposed to do.

My bathroom recently got revamped. My dad got new curtains, a rug, a caddy with frosted glass in the door, a soap dispenser, and towels. The whole thing looks really coordinated because everything is white and therefore matches the walls, bath, toilet, sink, floor, and each other, but also the dark trimming on the curtains, large mounted mirror, and towels all match in this really great way that I just can't pinpoint.

Perhaps the best way to say it is that the perfectionist in me is deeply excited.

Has any portion of your house/tumbledown shack by the old railroad track/apartment/whatever else you've got gotten redone?