Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer magic.

Last Monday, I worked my way through a couple of airports en route to this most beautiful of places, Northwestern Missouri. They did this new thing at Sky Harbor where they swabbed my palms and ran the cloth through a computer. It was pretty nifty.

The past week has been spent reading and breathing deeply, grinning at every crash of thunder and staring up at the night sky like I was in love. Even the power going out made me disproportionately giddy.

If only a man could make me feel like this.

Listening to: Quigley Down Under
Reading: The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I'm in Missouri again, that wonderful place that smells of soil and wet dogs. Of course, it is also a place of more limited internet time. I'll update when I can, but if you don't hear from me, it's because I'm reading or outside starting at the stars.

Listening to: I Was a Male War Bride
Reading: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Friday, June 17, 2011

Geek out.

Yesterday, Bonster and I went to a couple of comic book stores. The first was dark and creepy. We only stayed long enough to ascertain that, no, we definitely couldn't stand that smell. The second was light and airy and packed to bursting with awesomeness. While B. went to town initiating herself into the world of comic books, I spent the duration of our stay trying to remember the name of a high fantasy series that was made into a graphic novel. I didn't make much progress. I couldn't remember the titles of any of the books or who it was by. I could only figure out what it wasn't. Ah, well. Next time.

Afterwards, we went and saw Prom at a two-dollar theater. I'm such a sucker for cheesy teen movies.

Also, I'm in love. Don't get too excited. His name is Nintendo 3DS, and he grants one the power to carry The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time around in one's pocket. I'm already beginning to pine the way I did before I got a Kindle. What is this materialistic society doing to me? I need an electronics purge.

Listening to: "Me Río de Ti" by Gloria Trevi
Reading: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sweet tooth.

It's amusing to watch the cashier's eyes widen as you plop scones, danishes, oatmeal cookies, Oreos, peanut butter cups, and milk down onto the convey belt with the simple explanation of, "I had a sugar craving."

"That's a big craving."

Listening to: The Mummy
Reading: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I noticed a little display of fireworks for sale in Circle K this morning as I bought...whatever those things I had for breakfast were. I think they were some form of chicken. The fireworks display looked crowded and conspicuous, obviously trying to squeeze into a space that was not meant to be squozed.

Just ten minutes later, as I motored down the road, I passed a forlorn building that used to be a Hollywood Video, the paint faded around where decorations used to be. Someone had strung a temporary banner over the "Hollywood", one that loudly announced "FIREWORKS".

The firework laws may have changed here in Arizona, making ground fireworks legal during certain times of year, but it's obvious that fireworks aren't native to the area or even naturalized. In this condensed urban sprawl, fireworks dealers are having to fit themselves into nooks and crannies, putting up cardboard displays next to the c-store register, squatting in defunct businesses, and cramming pavilions into weird open spaces outside the mall. Their appearance screams, "What am I doing here?"

I make this judgement fairly, having once lived in a place where the presence of fireworks was part of the town's identity. Evanston, Wyo., has at least four permanent fireworks dealers, three of which are giant warehouses clustered competitively around the same intersection. I fear I rave about Evanston far too much, so instead of typing another gushing review, I will instead direct you here. If you're only interested in hearing about Evanston's love affair with fireworks, head toward the end of the post.

Here and there sit in an interesting juxtaposition, one place only beginning to try to live in harmony with home-blown pyrotechnics and the other long living off the fumes of black powder.

Listening to: "Hells Bells" by AC/DC
Reading: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Culinary innovation.

Yesterday was movie day. My family went and saw Super 8 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Super 8 was incredibly awesome. I was struck most by the quality of the acting. I don't know how they managed to find so many child actors who can actually act. Immediately following the film, I was kind of questioning it's rewatchability. The plot was great, but it depends a lot on the viewer not knowing what's coming next. Upon further consideration, however, I have decided that this is not a deterring quality. I still rewatch Alfred Hitchcock films, and he was the master of startling moments. The acting alone is high enough quality to demand a second viewing.

Pirates was also incredibly awesome. I have to second the verdict flying around the internet: While it may not be as good as the original, it blows the second two out of the water.

Today's exciting moment is brought to us by Campbell's. Yes, the soup company. I finished the last corndog for lunch/breakfast, so when dinner rolled around, it was get creative or go hungry. I cooked the last thing of tortellini in the pantry, panicking while it boiled about what I was going to put on it. I recalled from my last encounter with the stuff that it was kind of dry on its lonesome. Enter ingenuity.

I'm not a brave cook. I don't experiment. I go by my grandpa's philosophy: If you can read, you can cook. When I'm pushed to it, I rely on  recipes like they're the last dry land in a roiling sea. Wow, I'm really going to town on the similes today.

Anyway, the point is that I found two contenders in the panty: a can of stewed tomatoes in tomato juice and cream of mushroom soup. I opened the tomatoes and decided their juice was a little too much like water for my purposes. They were relegated to the status of side dish. After I rinsed the noodles, I dumped the cream of mushroom soup into the empty pan and stared at it with regret. Sitting in a mound in the center of the pot, it looked like a bad life choice. Some daring part of my brain decided to kill two birds with one stone. My plan of action was to rinse the last bit of soup out of the can with milk and then use that milk to thin the soup out into a sauce. The regret only escalated after I poured the milk into the pan. I stirred hopelessly for a minute or two, convinced that my only two ingredients were going to stay separate. Then, miraculously, they started merging together, blissfully thinning out as I had only dreamed they could. Of course, the resultant sauce was still a little bland, so I popped open the spice cabinet to see what my options were. The outlook was grim.

We have the most ridiculous spice cabinet ever, and I don't mean that in a positive way. It contains only garlic salt, onion salt, crushed red pepper, parsley flakes, lemon pepper seasoning, peppercorns, and taco seasoning. You see my dilemma. I added a touch of the garlic and onion salts (Who buys salt instead of powder, anyway? My dad has no idea where they came from.), but they weren't really doing much. I wasn't really fond of the idea of either of them in the first place. In a last-ditch effort, I grabbed the taco seasoning. I remembered that my mom puts it in her spaghetti sauce, but that wasn't entirely comforting considering she makes a red sauce and I was working up from a very pale soup. Two puffs of red powder and some tentative stirring later, I was licking the spoon in amazement. I had done it. I had created something delicious.

My dad agreed.

Listening to: "The Best of Me" by The Starting Line
Reading: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Oh, my giddy aunt.

In the past, when I heard my friends talk about Organ Stop Pizza, I imagined a small, dark restaurant with little round tables and a little electric organ in the corner. I have no idea what could have possibly given me this idea.

I was in no way prepared for a two-story performance/dining hall that puts the gym at Penney High to shame and an organ that rests on a spinning platform and controls everything from an accordion and dangling marimbas to bubble machines and the creepiest cat marionettes you'll ever see.

We heard songs ranging from "Hey Jude" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" to "Under the Sea", including the entire soundtrack from The Sound of Music.

The pizza was pretty good, too.

Will I be going back? Just try to stop me.

Listening to: Eureka
Reading: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

The spice of life.

I have this crazy idea that I'm going to make a vlog about Mexican food tomorrow, but don't quote me on that. For today, I've been spending oodles of time on deviantART again, which has me oozing artsy thoughts out my tear ducts.

Conversations with new people always sound the same. "What's your major? What's 'linguistics'? Where are you from? What do you like to do?" My answer to the last is generally reading, writing, and drawing, though lately I've been mixing it up by throwing in sleeping and spending way too much time on the internet. Of those options, the one people always latch onto is drawing. I guess it stands out more than the rest in our literate, online world where everybody and their cat wants to be a famous author and most college students have an undeclared minor in napping. With the rest of the options therefore being old hat, for their first follow-up question, people always ask me what I like to draw.


Do I have to answer that? The simple answer is either girls or dragons. The first sounds creepy, and the second automatically either alienates whoever I'm talking to or brings out their ubergeek. I don't have a problem with geekdom. I'm actually quite at home there, but I'd prefer a conversation about art to be about art and not about The Lord of the Rings. The more complex answer is that I like to draw a variety of things, and I don't understand why I have to list specific objects. I mean, really. Art is experimentation. Why limit yourself? Of course, I don't want the first impression I leave to be based on some crazed rant about how their question is invalid.

In the end, I usually end up hedging the question and steering the conversation elsewhere. The real question here is, why am I blogging about this instead of drawing?

Listening to: "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas
Reading: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gummiberry juice.

X-Men: First Class has completely thrown off my sleep schedule. I didn't get to bed until 5 AM yesterday morning, and then I turned around and got up at 7:40 to go to the zoo with Bonster and Celery. I regret nothing.

Full of Wendy's tasty breakfast selection, we traipsed about, gawking at orangutans, cavorting in photo booths, and spending far more time than is customary at those penny squasher machines.

After the zoo we stopped by Jamba Juice to get something to cool down our systems. Were you aware that they have a secret menu? Naturally we ordered from it. I felt like I was being inducted into a secret club. Of course, at first I just felt like I was trying to pull some kind of prank when I walked up and ordered Fruity Pebbles at a smoothie joint. When they finished our orders, I accidentally grabbed Bonster's and tried it. That was awkward. It all worked out in the end, though. We'd always intended to try each other's off-menu flavors. I highly recommend the White Gummy Bear. Celery made an excellent choice in that one. There's a slight twinge of peach as it slides across your tongue, which I found entirely delectable.

With our Jamba Juice in hand, we motored on back to Bonster's house, where we watched Galaxy Quest and vegged out like zombies.

After much staring off into space, we settled down to some good, old-fashioned Mario Party 6. The CPU was incredibly annoying, so we spent a lot of time badmouthing Toad.

Bean and bacon soup for dinner and A Walk to Remember for dessert.

Listening to: "Iris" by The Goo Goo Dolls
Reading: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Saturday, June 4, 2011


If ever there were a time to dream about X-men, this morning was it. When I say this morning, I mean this morning (or Friday morning, depending on the time stamp). I went to bed around five. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Our story really begins on Wednesday.

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, I arrived at Bonster's house for six marvelous hours of X-men movies, Red Vines, and frozen pizza. There's nothing like a good movie marathon. Perhaps the best part of the afternoon was the birth of the phrase "pectoral cleavage".

This marathon was in preparation for the release of the new movie, X-Men: First Class.

On Thursday, I drove over and met some friends in Tempe Marketplace for the midnight premiere. There is also nothing like a good midnight premiere. In fact, I propose that we sometimes do the same things over and over again (movie marathons, midnight showings, rereading Jane Austen novels until we have them memorized) because these experiences and the pleasure they afford us are unique, and we want to keep experiencing that one-of-a-kind joy. Of course, that really has nothing to do with my story.

There were nine of us (ten later on), traipsing around, eating frozen yoghurt (which I was forced to get by She of the Awesome Bumper Stickers, which I am interpreting as a sign of affection), and playing Egyptian Rat Screw on the floor of the movie theater.

The movie was simply splendid, made all the better by the types of people that tend to go to midnight shows. Maybe it's all in my head, but it seems to me that midnight movie crowds are more apt to laugh out loud, cheer, boo, groan, and applaud as a collective. (As a side note, I'd like to point out that elegant little Oxford comma in the last sentence. They're terribly marvelous creatures, if you ask me.) Last night's theater-goers were no exception. I think it's safe to say that everyone in that room agreed on what the best part of the movie was, as evidenced by the roar of applause for a certain cameo appearance.

I really have no good segue to put here, but is this the right time to mention the guy sitting in front of us with gauges the size of Snapple lids? If it is, then it's probably also the right time to mention how hilarious it is when Laura her-hees into a silent, packed theater.

After the movie, we all moved on to IHOP, haven to the night owl and the all-nighter. We placed our orders in a hodgepodge of bad Russian accents, Scottish brogues, rapid-fire French, and scrumptious German. Far from being put off by us, the waiter was the one speaking French. Around 4 AM, after a discussion about laser-mounted polar bears, much quoting of The Princess Bride, and a long round of Two Truths and a Lie, we finally vacated the premises. My abs got quite the workout. I was light-headed from laughter long before we even got our food. By the by, I've decided that anytime I'm at IHOP after midnight, I have to order the Swedish crepes. It's a thing now.

The sky was already lightening as we split off for our cars and headed homeward. Zany me, I decided that I had to go running when I got home. My logic may have been that 4:30 is about the time I want to go running once I start exercising regularly again, and I was already up...

The weather is something else around here at 4 AM. It's also a great time for rocking out to "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" on 100.3.

Listening to: "Nice Guys"
Reading: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld