Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Forgot One!

A little while ago I made a list of things that irk me to no end. I was surprised that I could only think of eight things, and knew I was forgetting something (another thing that annoys me--knowing I'm forgetting something). And I remembered what it was:

I can't stand when there's a musical performance of some sort and the audience decides that it can't wait until after the song to start clapping. All of a sudden, the tempo of the song starts to get a little "poppy" and the audience starts clapping along "with the beat." I use the quotations there because not everyone's internal metronomes are as they should be.

Get one of these, people.

Anyway, this concerns me, because I'm going to be part of this amazing acapella piece that my friend arranged for our talent show, and I feel like people are going to start clapping during the song, miss all of the amazing musical nuances and vocal percussiveness, and just be distracting and stupid. Furthermore, things like this get recorded, and nobody wants to listen to a recording of people clapping. So listen up, talent show audience members, I'm warning you now. Don't even think about clapping in the middle of the song. Your percussion will have repercussions (see what I did there?).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Internet Fame

I was talking to my friend today, who didn't know that I had a blog and then commented on the fact that he wants no part of his life to be on the Internet. I, however, have decided that the Internet and I are going to be friends, and have now crafted a scheme to pay off my student loans by becoming Internet-famous. Here are a few of my ideas:
  1. Get married, have cute kids, and make this my "Mormon Mommy Blog" to get all sorts of sponsorships from Deseret Book, Down East Outfitters, and (where you can chase and be chaste).
  2. Make a music video of myself singing an insanely catchy song about what day of the week it is.
  3. Post videos of myself singing other songs/performing in a musical and get a recurring guest spot on "Glee" in which I sing all the solos and take part in a tastefully-done makeout scene with Mike Chang's abs.
  4. Have CBS launch a sitcom about my blog co-starring George Takei as the voiceover to all of my posts.
  5. Make a Twitter account and tweet about nothing but Wheat Thins so that the Wheat Thins people will give me a lifetime supply of crackers so I can spend all of my grocery money on paying back my loans. Or maybe do the same thing with UBurger so I can get some protein in there.
  6. Blog about how much I hate a certain actor, get sued by said actor, countersue with Laura Taylor as my lawyer, win, get all of said actor's money, and then write a book about how said actor didn't "win" this time.
  7. Wait until Laura Taylor becomes a super rich and successful lawyer and have her pay me advertising fees every time I mention her in my blog. The same goes for Lindsay Sorenson when she becomes a famous YA historical fiction novelist.

Any other ideas?

Restaurant Review: Zume's

I've decided that every now and then, this blog is going to contain restaurant reviews, because, as I've recently found out, some people have been to even fewer food places than I have! Also, I never find review websites all that helpful, because I don't know the people, so maybe the people who give horrible reviews are snobs, or the people who give great reviews have no standards. So here's my review for all of you that know me.

Zume's Coffee House is located at 233 Main Street in Charlestown, MA. When I first moved to Charlestown, I was really excited because it was a short walk from my house and looked cute. So now that I've been there a few times, I figure I can write about it.

First things first, I don't drink coffee. So I can't comment on the coffee. I know what you're thinking, how can you review a coffee house if you don't drink coffee? Chill out, there are other things at coffee houses besides coffee! In terms of drinks, I've had the rooibos iced tea, which was decent, and the hot caramel apple cider, which was far too sweet for my taste. I've also tried a few of their baked goods: the glazed and jelly donuts, which are significantly tastier than their less expensive counterparts at the Dunkin Donuts across the street; the chocolate chunk bar, which was pretty nice the first time, but kind of stale the second time; and the cheesecake brownie, which was lovely in presentation, but pretty lackluster in terms of taste.

They have other real food items there too, sandwiches and soups and such, but I've never tried any of it, since it's a little more expensive than other options. The price to deliciousness ratio of the baked goods and drinks is also a bit high. Other reviews have pointed out a lot of problems with customer service at Zume's. I'm not really a customer-service snob, in that I'll stop going to a restaurant I like if the staff isn't friendly, but I must admit that on all but one occasion (that occasion being the second, stale chocolate chunk bar excursion) I never felt like the people waiting on me were incredibly enthusiastic.

The atmosphere of Zume's is pretty nice, it's moderately-lit, chairs are comfy, menu items are written in colorful chalk, and local artwork is displayed on the walls. I guess it's kind of a hub in Charlestown, a home away from home for residents and their cute babies and cuter dogs. Overall, I'd say that if you can afford this place and like "coffee culture," it's worth a visit, but if you're looking for amazing bakery items and affordable drinks, you might want to take your visit elsewhere.

I must admit that this review may be a little biased, as I've applied for a job at Zume's on two occasions and haven't been hired either time, yet according to Craigslist, they're always hiring. I'm guessing, after this review, they're probably not going to hire me ever.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Pet Peeves

My last blog post was definitely too cheerful and Mormon, so I'm going to take a page from Laura Taylor and make this my "angry blog," just for today, and talk about all the things that annoy me. Really, if you think about it, this post is a "how-to" guide for not making me hate you. So here, in no particular order, are some rants about some of my big pet peeves:
  1. It's spelled "definitely." Every email program in the world has spell check; there's no excuse for "definately." Add other awful misspellings and grammatical flops to this point as well--especially using subject pronouns as prepositional objects (e.g. "Kim went to the store with he and I.")
  2. Put the lid to the toilet down! There's a lid for a reason, and that reason is so all of your toilet germs don't get all over the bathroom and on my toothbrush.
  3. When you step onto the train, don't just stand there in the doorway. People have to get in behind you. And while we're on the subject, if you're not on the train when the doors start closing, you're not going to get on the train. All that's going to happen is that the overly-possessive train operator is going to yell at you for holding up the train full of people.
  4. Walk on the left side of the escalator; stand on the right.
  5. Charlie Sheen. I hate him. I don't hate many people, but I hate Charlie Sheen. I don't think he should get any attention at all. I actually hate myself a little for mentioning him in my blog.
  6. Reset the microwave when you take your food out! I don't know how many times I've freaked out because I momentarily mistook the amount of time remaining on someone's breakfast burrito for the actual time.
  7. I really can't stand when I'm in a seminar/lecture/family home evening lesson which has already gone way too long and am forced to sit still during someone's extremely tangential question for the lecturer/teacher. Just go up and ask your question privately while everyone else is eating their cookies.
  8. If you're in the library computer lab and there aren't any free computers, you'd better not be on facebook. If you're the reason that I can't get on the computer, you'd better be doing something insanely academically important...or reading my blog.

Do I really only have eight things? Maybe I'm just in a charitable mood today. I did eat an awesome hot dog at UBurger (spoiler alert: anytime I use the word "UBurger" in a sentence, the word "awesome" will also be in that sentence). And then I bought yarn, and the guy working at the yarn store was pretty cute. On the home front, my roommate Sheena bequeathed me her mattress and box spring that she no longer needs because she's married (yay!) and for some reason no longer needs a twin bed...this will be the first time in over two years that I've slept on a mattress that couldn't double as a life raft. Also, the "Drain Doctor" (that's what he's called, really) is doing his magic in the bathroom right now, and with hope there won't be any puddles in the shower tonight.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Six Days Shalt Thou Labor"

I really don't want to make this my Mormon blog. But I am a Mormon, and sometimes I do have opinions that are somewhat related to my religious beliefs and I want to blog about them.

For those who read my blog that aren't LDS, we're big fans of keeping the Sabbath day holy. I know that commandment isn't specific to Mormons, but I definitely notice it more among LDS people. Living in Boston has definitely been a contrast to living in Provo, a city that was essentially shut down on Sundays. Of course, "keep the Sabbath day holy" means different things to different people. For some, it just means "don't go shopping on Sundays;" for others, it means "stay in your church clothes all day and don't watch TV (unless it's the Superbowl)." I feel like I'm medium-left in this one. I sometimes keep my church clothes on all day; I try to only watch "church-friendly" TV (or the Tony's); and I don't listen to the radio on Sundays. I have, however, tried to keep one rule for myself, a rule that would shock most of my classmates and professors: I don't do schoolwork on Sundays.

I know what you're thinking: but Alex, you're in grad school! You're writing your thesis! How do you do it? I don't know how it works, but it does! I could say that since I'm consecrating that day to God, I get blessed with extra time and the ability to get things done in only six days. I don't necessarily know that God works that way; it would be nice, and it makes sense, but I really don't know. I do know, however, that I am much less stressed because of this. For example, the second draft of my thesis is due tomorrow, a Sunday. I turned it in today, in the early afternoon, without any stress. Not to rub it in, but I know that I'm currently feeling so much better than my classmates who will be frantically scrambling to finish and turn their theses in tomorrow night. And I find it such a relief to have one day per week that I don't have to worry about school to decompress. I never feel guilty about not studying on a Sunday, or that I'm "slacking off" when I should be doing homework. I just have a six-day week, and it feels like enough time to get whatever I need to do done.

So maybe it is a blessing after all.