Saturday, April 27, 2013

My sister is the only reason I own any 'relevant' music.

Fact:  my sister Gabi's CD collection will kick your CD collection's pasty non-comprehensive bum.  And not just because nobody buys CD's anymore.  She has hundreds of them.  Even the ones that are technically mine are hers; I'm just "leasing" them from her and she has the right to take any of them back at any time.

I, too, have awesome taste in music, but most of it is music that nobody's really heard of, or music that people associate with very specific things.  For instance, I told a guy that Sarah McLachlan is my favorite artist, and while I'll give him props for knowing that Sarah is the founder of Lilith Fair, I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm a lesbian now (I do wear Tevas, but that's irrelevant).  I don't really listen to the Top 40 radio stations very often, because very often, what they're playing is really the top eight or nine.  Gabi, however, is an expert in all radio stations, including the ones that play the new, hip music.

Because I have an iTunes account, Gabi regularly requests that I make mix CD's and gift them to her on special occasions.  For her coming birthday, she has requested one with a high concentration of modern pop music, and for this reason, I am now the owner of lots of songs that people can actually hear on the radio today!

Here's what's on her 31st Birthday Playlist:

  1. Feel So Close - Calvin Harris
  2. Look At Me Now - Karmin
  3. No One - Alicia Keys (This one is actually for my Mom.  She decided that she likes Alicia Keys.) 
  4. When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars (Also a "for Mom" one:  she really likes his voice even though she didn't realize that he was a he until recently.  Same thing happened with me and Michael Jackson in the early 90s)
  5. Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys
  6. Wild Horses (Unplugged) - Alicia Keys featuring Adam Levine
  7. Give Your Heart a Break - Demi Lovato 
  8. Brokenhearted - Karmin
  9. I Need Your Love - Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding
  10. Your Song - Ellie Goulding (This is one that I actually bought for myself.)
  11. Why Am I the One - Fun. (Also this one I bought for myself.)
  12. You've Got It (The Right Stuff) - New Kids On The Block (This song was 100% requested by Gabi.)
  13. Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice (Ditto.)
  14. Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men (My sister discovered this one, but I also like it.)
  15. Ho Hey - The Lumineers
  16. I Will Wait - Mumford and Sons (This one is one that I bough for myself.)
  17. Some Nights - Fun. (They have an edited version for sale now!!!  But it's cheaper on Amazon than on iTunes, so keep that in mind when you buy it for yourself.)
  18. Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawio'ole (Because I live in Hawaii.  Also because it starts out saying "this one's for [Gabi]")

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I'm surprisingly zen right now.

I shouldn't be.  Here are three reasons why I should be a bit stressed out:
  1. I have to get my crap to Boston by the middle of June.*
  2. I don't have a place to live yet when I move back to Boston.  I'm currently investigating a few sublet options, but I don't like that I don't have something confirmed yet.
  3. More immediately, I don't have a place to live for two-three weeks when my lease expires at the end of May.  I'm currently investigating primo spots under the Ke'ehi Lagoon Bridge, because all the good street corners in Chinatown seem to be taken.
That I'm currently facing.
However, I'm feeling quite okay right now.  Perhaps here are a few reasons why:
  1. I sold my bed to a person on Craigslist who turned out not to be a serial rapist (it's a real concern with Craigslist).  That was the biggest thing I had to get rid of, and now it's gone, and in its place is some lovely cash.
  2. My bedroom is kind of awesome right now.  I moved the cable modem in here (I don't have wireless) and I'm typing on my air mattress with the windows open and the ceiling fan on.  It's very chill, in every sense of the word.
  3. I get to go to D.C. (okay, College Park, MD, actually, but close enough) for work for two weeks, in two weeks.  It's a research trip wherein I will be pretending to be an historian.  Regardless, two weeks in a nice hotel on someone else's dime will be a nice break from having to deal with stuff.
  4. Finally, regardless of how stressful the next few months are and how much I hate moving, It'll all be worth it when I'm finally settled into the best city ever getting ready to start an awesome grad program.

*George Carlin would agree that no matter how much one likes one's stuff, "stuff" becomes "crap" when it all has to be transported somewhere, somehow.

Hawaiian Church Dance (Take 2)

There were no promises of tacos.  I just thought this picture was hilarious.  Also Dance Moms  is terrible.
I went to another church dance tonight.  Here is why:
  1. It was the last dance of the semester and therefore would probably be my last dance in Hawaii.
  2. I found the above picture on the internet forever ago and thought it would be perfect for a post about church dances.  Also I knew it would be super lame and I love blogging about super lame things in Hawaii.
  3. There would be food.  I tried these little mini pizza things for the first time.  They were kind of delicious, probably because I hadn't eaten dinner before I came.
  4. To have a chance to wear out my Boston shirt.  Boston has had a crazy week, and I needed a chance to outwardly express my Beantown Pride.  I even played up the accent a bit, and when this guy told me he was a Yankees fan, I told him that he sucked.
The following are not reasons why I went to the dance tonight:
  1. I love dancing to super awesome music.  The music at Hawaiian church dances is abysmal.  They played some of the same songs twice, and it was primarily hip-hop/rap/R&B (except for a painful reggae-fest toward the end because it's Hawaii and of course they're going to have a reggae-fest).  Would it kill them to play something slightly electronic?  I'm not asking for full-on trip-hop, but maybe some soft-core Ellie Goulding or something?  There was also some strange phenomenon that whenever a song that I knew started playing, people stopped dancing.  I then started to play a game that whenever a song I knew (e.g., "Hip Hop Hooray" by Naughty By Nature--released in 1993) started playing, I would look around the room and try to guess who wasn't alive when the song came out.  It was fun and also terribly depressing. 
  2. To meet new people (who are men).  You can't meet people at these dances, I've decided.  For one thing, the crazy loud music precludes any possible conversation.  For another, nobody else comes to meet new people because everybody else knows each other.  And as for the "men" part?  This particular dance was a total [Spoiler Alert:  I'm going to use a word that might offend people] sausage-fest, which, at first, one might think is a good thing for a single lady such as myself; however, it's kind of super intimidating to have to dance in front of that many men with so few other ladies.  Despite the overabundance of the Y-chromosomes, there was little-to-no slow dancing, so very little opportunity for one-on-one mingling.  I did give my last name to a guy who intended to find me on Facebook, which, admittedly, is the least committal thing a person could possibly do when initiating some sort of contact, but hey, progress is progress!* 
  3. I am a superb dancer.  Thankfully I am a woman and therefore can get away with Dorky Caucasian Dance Moves.  It's quirky and adorable.  If I were a man, I would look like this:
The White Man's Overbite

After the thing was over at freaking Midnight (yes, Midnight!  Longest dance ever!) I rode on a back of a moped a little bit, but then thankfully got a ride back the rest of the way in a car.  And then I continued to stay up super late for no good reason other than to write this post.  Overall, this dance didn't represent the worst night of my life.  I mean, at least I got some free food and a blog post out of it, right?


*I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that this guy was the Yankees fan.  If he ever does find me on Facebook (realistically, he won't), I will barrage his wall with pro-Boston sentiment.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For Boston


One of the things that makes me think that I might be a good mother someday is that I have this "Mama Bear" instinct to defend those I hold dear.  In other words, I am very protective of my people.  Well, today, someone tried to hurt my people in my city.  Thankfully, none of my friends were hurt, but other people were.  This is not okay.

I was surprised at how I felt about the whole thing.  When I first heard, I didn't think it was a serious thing, but as the news came in, I started to hurt.  Even though I knew everyone I cared about was fine, I just felt so sad that this happened in a place that I loved, just one block from one of my favorite subway stations.  It made me wish that I had been there, not because I feel like I could have helped, because I'm just one person whose only medical training of late comes from reruns of Grey's Anatomy.  And not because of any form of "survivor's guilt" or anything.  I wanted to be there because when someone (or someplace) that you love gets hurt, you want to be there.

I'm not going to try to convey any inspirational message within this post.  I'll leave that for better writers.  This is just a post for me to talk about how I feel.  And even though I feel sad right now, I feel hopeful.  I feel hopeful because in a city full of Massholes living in neighborhoods called "Murder-pan", we are going to bounce back with one friggin' wicked vengeance.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Weird Thing

I don't sing in church anymore.  I don't just mean solos and special musical numbers (even though I did one of those once here and it was horrible and I did not feel good about it at all); I mean all singing.  Not even the congregational hymns.  I don't know why; it's not like I'm deliberately rebelling against something in church by staying silent.*  I just physically can't sing.  I can't even bring my mouth to open to let the music out.  It's almost as if something is holding me back.  Like I have wings, but can't spread them.  I can sing just fine in other venues (e.g., the shower or my living room to YouTube karaoke tracks), just not in church.

What's that all about?  And do you think it's permanent?



*Okay, I actually do do this during the hymn "Love at Home."  But come on, it's kind of insensitive to make people who don't have super happy eternal families sing this.

Tender Mercy Sunday

I used to live with this person that whenever I'd be complaining about something, she'd be like, "yes, but [bright side]!"  It was really irritating.  Just let me complain, okay?  But since this is the Sabbath, I figure I'll enumerate a few tiny tender mercies that happened today.
  1. I slept in until 6:45 and was only woken up twice by some wrong 724 number and a text from some person in authority asking if I'd picked a song for Relief Society Musical Moment.*
  2. I got a seat on the morning bus.  Usually it's packed with Chinese women who fill the empty seats with giant bags of produce, but not this morning.
  3. Someone in charge of Honolulu Mormons decided that today was Fast Sunday, but nobody told me that, so I got to eat breakfast this morning and not feel bad about it.
  4. Five people showed up for branch choir today.  That's infinitely more people than showed up the last time I attempted to hold a choir practice.**
  5. The giant torrential downpour didn't start until I got off the bus heading home, so I only had to walk a block and a half in the most rain ever.  And I have a functional, non-coin-operated dryer wherein I could put everything I was wearing (except my shoes...but seriously...everything else was soaked...so, so much rain).

*aka My Calling that Nobody Cares About
**Any number is infinity times zero, right?  Or something with limits?  It's been like nine years since I've taken calculus, okay?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Decision Process

I know the whole BU vs. Ohio State thing was supposedly the "easiest" decision of my life, but it didn't seem easy for me at times.  While my heart was screaming, "move back to Boston!" the rational side of me wanted to make sure I was making a good, objective decision.  So I made charts.

The Pro/Con list for BU.  Note the overwhelming advantage of the Pros.
And  despite Boston's many good qualities, it's true that Boston winters are f---ing horrible.

The Pro/Con list for Ohio State.  Don't worry, the fact that I would have had to find a new bank was not the major deciding factor.  I was just being thorough.

A side-by-side comparison of qualitative and quantitative factors of each place.
And yes, that is the phrase "for when I'm inevitably 31 and still single."
I believe the data speaks for itself, and thankfully, the data and my heart are in perfect agreement this time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The "Big Reveal"

Okay, you've waited long enough.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I have picked a grad school.

Here's a hint:

If that's not enough of a hint for you to get it, please see me for Pop Culture Remediation 101.  But here it is: I will be spending the next five years of my life at:
...
...
...

Yep!  I'm going to BU for the PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology (Anatomy Track).  I know what you're thinking:  didn't I know that already?  Yes, you did know that.  Everybody knew that except for me, and really, I probably knew it way down deep.  Boston is where my heart belongs, and BU is where my brain will be getting smarter.  Also, the funding is really good.  It's official:  I've sent in my acceptance forms and I've told all the other schools I got into that I wouldn't be going there.  The best part was that after I hit "send" on the acceptance form, I had a really good feeling, which is good, because sending another email with a "just kidding" on it probably would have been awkward.

So I'm moving back to Boston, everyone!  I'm very, very excited.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

What I'm Doing This Weekend

  vs. 

I am making giant Pro/Con lists, as the decision for where I'll be spending the next five years of my life just so I can get that blessed little "PhD" after my name is much harder than I had expected it to be.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Grumpy Cake

My former-roommate/co-worker is having a birthday tomorrow, so some of the office-mates and I are baking.  Her favorite meme is "Grumpy Cat," so I figured I'd incorporate that into the cake.  Here's what happened:

Hard to believe I've never decorated cakes before, no?
Anyway, it prompted me to create this.