Thursday, June 24, 2010


If there's something I've noticed blogging over the years is that there are two types of posts that no one ever comments on (not that comments make the post, but that's sort of how I gauge their popularity): my political opinions and songs.
Well, anyway, this a post about a song. I used to hate Dave Matthews, or at least think he was merely tolerable. And while I still think some of his music is nothing special, and as a person he's a little weird (but aren't we all?), he's come out with some incredible stuff that has really impressed me recently. This is one of them.

"Crush" Live at Radio City with Tim Reynolds

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This morning, amid the calls of various birds and neighborhood gardening noises, I heard what sounded like the meowing of a small cat in distress. So I went outside to where it sounded like it was coming from, and a black cat was crouching by the bush in this picture.
As I approached, the cat ran off, and it looked healthy and unhurt, so I just figured it was being weird, and I went back inside. A few minutes later, the meowing began again. I went back outside, and the cat was crouching by the same bush again. Again, it ran as I got nearer, but this time I followed it into the backyard and called to it as it watched me and disappeared into the berry brambles. I went back into the house again.

Not a few minutes later, I heard the same meowing from the bush. I looked out my bedroom window, but there was no black cat. Thinking perhaps there was a kitten in the bush (and yes, secretly crossing my fingers for one), I went back outside and looked through the bush, as well as the surrounding area. Nothing.

I thought that perhaps if I lay in wait around the corner of the house, when the meowing started again I could spring out and surprise whatever cat was there, or at least peek around and see what was going on. So in my pajamas, I waited silently, crouching at the corner of the house. I stood for a while staring at the grass. A door slammed across the street, and a man walking away from his truck stared at me with raised eyebrows. I then realized I was tapping a beat out on the side of the house out of boredom. So much for that plan. I went back inside, and went about my morning business.

When I returned from taking a final at school (yes, I passed, thank goodness), I heard the meowing still emanating from the bush on the side of the house. Suddenly I remembered the story of a woman who'd heard desperate meowing coming from her walls one morning and, thinking a kitten was stuck in the space in her walls (à la Tom Kitten), called the fire department. After hours of searching and causing general destruction to her property, it was discovered that there was in fact a meowing frog known as a Cuban Tree Frog sitting pleasantly in her walls. No cat.

Thinking of how foolish I was to have been duped by the tricksy frog, I went back outside and checked the bushes again, this time for a tiny frog. Of course, there was nothing. I called to my roommate through her open window and began to tell her my frustrated tale as she peered down at me from her window. "I'm coming outside," she said, and we searched the bushes together for cats, kittens, or frogs. We found nothing. For all we know there could have been a convocation of kittens and frogs hiding in some secret bush, laughing at our ridiculous attempts to search. I thought perhaps the black cat earlier had also been checking the bushes for the source of the meowing.

As of right now, I have no idea what's going on out there. It turns out Cuban Tree Frogs live in (you guessed it) Cuba, though that one in the lady's house did make it to Florida. The chances that there's one in a bush outside my house in the mountain desert of Utah is very slim, however.

UPDATE! I went out one last time just now and searched once more through the bushes. Then, kneeling on the ground and looking in the thorny depths of the rose bush adjacent to the bush in the picture, I saw two tiny blue eyes staring up at me. It was a kitten after all! It appeared to be lodged under a branch, so I reached toward it with the intention of freeing it. All of a sudden, it took off like a shot, and by the time I looked around, it was running into someone's yard across the street and half a block away. So much for being desperate. It was probably hanging out under the bush in our yard all day just to torment me. And I'm not at all worried it's lost its mother or something, there are plenty of cats in this neighborhood, and I'm sure they'll meet up again. Plus, it wasn't that little of a kitten after all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NYC Mosque

Something I heard about a few days ago has really been bothering me. Apparently, they're building a mosque about two blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City (google it). And people are protesting it. Wow. Okay, it's time for a list:

1. It's two blocks away, not on the actual spot. Calm down.

2. Just because you're Muslim, doesn't mean you're a terrorist. Really.

3. Akin to that, mosques are places of worship, NOT terrorist training centers.

I can't really say more than that, except that I'm ashamed that so many Americans are enraged over this situation. Way to be intolerant, fellow citizens, you're sure not helping people's opinions of us.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Music From the Netherlands

Today I got a postcard from the Netherlands (via Postcrossing). The girl that wrote it was very friendly and told me the weather (sunny and 18 degrees celsius). She also gave me two song suggestions from the Netherlands, so I looked them up, and they're actually pretty good. I like the Lucky Fonz III one best I think. What do you guys think?

A Silent Express "I'll Be Around"

Lucky Fonz III "Ik Heb Een Meisje" (It means "I Have a Girl")

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Grampa, I'm Tired of Digging Holes!

Even though it's still ten months away, I've been thinking a lot lately about Field School next year. Regardless of where it ends up being, it's going to be really hot, and I imagine a lot like "Holes." Someone remind me why I want to be an archaeologist!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Movies in 2011

According to IMDb, there are 3,546 movies scheduled for release in 2011. I had heard of a few and wondered what else would be coming out that I'd be interested in, and intended to scroll through the whole list, but after only getting through 200 films in about 10 minutes, decided that it would probably take the term of my natural life (kudos if you guess the movie reference) to complete, so I'm just going to outline a few for you.

2011 - Movies I'm Excited For

1. Superhero Stuff (I'm clumping these because there are a million)
I mentioned once that I'm a sucker for movies based on comic books. Next year there a tons of comic-based movies coming out, including Thor (there was a teaser after the credits of Iron Man 2 that got me intrigued), Captain America (also a mild reference in Iron Man 2), Green Lantern (I don't really know much about Green Lantern in general, but it's a comic, so hey), X-Men: First Class (looks at the life of an "early" Xavier), Deadpool (which actually I'm not sure about because I feel like people were only into Deadpool in the last X-Men movie because it was Ryan Reynolds), X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2 (again, I'm not sure, especially since he goes to Japan to train with a samurai. What?), etc.
So, three X-Men based movies, two Avenger-related ones (by the way, Avengers comes out 2012 some time) and then Green Lantern. Yep.

2. Bond 23. I love the new James Bond. Daniel Craig is great. I don't know the plot since I haven't read the books, but Rachel Weisz is rumored to be the "Bond Girl" for this one, and if she is, that's awesome, because I love Rachel Weisz.

3. Water For Elephants. Bummer they picked Robert Pattinson for the role of Jacob, especially since it's rather important that Jacob have bright red hair, and R-Patz does not, nor did they dye it for filming. However, I'm pretty excited to see a movie version, since I thought the book was pretty good (though I hope they take out the pointless sex so it's not rated R. It ruined the book in a way, and I hope they have the foresight to take it out of the movie, or else dumb it down/alter it).

4. Super 8. I wasn't sure I wanted to add this to my list, because it looked like a continuation of Cloverfield, which, I'm sorry, was a terrible movie. However, JJ Abrams usually doesn't fail to intrigue me, and it's produced by Stephen Speilberg (which I know doesn't really mean much, but I don't think SS would put his name on something he didn't think was pretty great). Also, there's already a Cloverfield sequel being made (also due for 2011 release), so Super 8 can't be it. Plus the preview I saw kind of gave me chills.

5. The Brazilian Job. I loved The Italian Job, so I'm kind of excited for the sequel (if it really is the sequel, so far that's just a well-based rumor). Plus I love me a good heist film.

6. Untitled Sherlock Holmes Sequel. Sherlock Holmes!!! I'm so excited. I don't even have anything to say about it. If you know me, you know how excited I am about all things Sherlock Holmes. I might even go to the midnight showing, so you'll know where to find me at midnight on December 16th!

7. The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn. What? You don't know who Tintin is? Actually, most of you who read my blog probably do, but if you don't, look at this and/or this really quick. I grew up reading Tintin. Plus, it's directed by Stephen Speilberg, so that's cool. I'm a little bummed that it's being filmed in the same style as Beowulf and Christmas Carol, but I'm open to it, because it's Tintin.

8. (Last but not least) Deathly Hallows part 2. The FINAL chapter in the Harry Potter film story. It's going to be a bittersweet end. I hope they don't include the cheesy last chapter from the book though. That sort of ruined it. But I'm still excited for the movie.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Night Train

This morning my copy of Keane's new EP "Night Train" came in the mail. I was super excited, even though I'd already heard three of the eight tracks. I feel like I need to talk about it, because it wasn't entirely what I was expecting.

1. "House Lights"
Kinda different, but the last bit sampled a bit of "Playing Along" from the Perfect Symmetry album, the album Night Train is an EP for. I liked it, but that was really the only thing on the album connecting it to Perfect Symmetry in any way, which was a bit of a disappointment. It doesn't feel like an EP.

2. "Back in Time"
A little like Keane's style, but still a little different (it definitely has the electronic presence, but there's more guitar and...cow bell?) I like it quite a bit, but the effects added to the vocals kind of make it sound like Tom is singing in the bathroom.

3. "Stop for a Minute"
Really different. Keane collaborated with Somalian/Canadian rapper K'Naan, and it's a nice, catchy tune, but definitely diverges from the "normal" Keane style. I like it though, except when K'Naan rhymes "beautiful" with "cuticles." Also, in the music video, Tom Chaplin has a creepy peach-fuzz mustache that makes me want to go back in time, hunt him down, and force him to shave it.

4. "Clear Skies"
Once again, a little different (acoustic guitar, clapping, etc) but overall it sounds pretty good, and I like the lyrics.

5. "Ishin Denshin (You've Got to Help Yourself)"
Oh gag me. I'm sorry Keane, but you totally lost me here. I don't know if I would venture to say that this song is awful, but it's really...not good. It's repetitive and therefore boring, and the weird sampling of the apparently very popular Japanese song makes me feel like they just wanted it in there because it was popular. It makes me feel like they're letting their fame (yes, they really are famous, even though no one in the US has heard of them) go to their head or something. Sad day.

6. "Your Love"
At first I wondered if Tom Chaplin had had a sore throat when they recorded the song, but then I realized it was Tim Rice-Oxley (the pianist/principal songwriter/organizer of the band) singing! It's very cool to hear Tim singing. He's not as good as Tom, but he thinks he sounds bad when he sings, so the fact that he tried makes me happy. And he really isn't a bad singer at all, just different. The song has an 80s-ish feel to it, and since I love 80s music...

7. "Looking Back"
Also features K'Naan. This song is silly. They sample the Rocky theme, and K'Naan even mentions Rocky at some point in his rapping. I don't like it. It's not as clever as "Stop for a Minute," so it bothers me that Keane has rap in this song. Hm.

8. "My Shadow"
Here it is, the typical Keane style! And I love it. I love that they're branching out and trying new things, but this song reminds me of why I liked Keane in the first place. It has this really great part towards the end that really communicates emotion...haha wow listen to me. Whatever. This one I will post, since I love it so much (the video is the official music video, but was made by a fan. They had a contest and this one won):

Overall, I'd say it was worth the $2 I spent on it (thank you, Amazon). I'm glad I didn't pay full price for it though.
If you've never heard or heard of Keane, give them a try.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


There are some goals I have for the summer, and I figured I'd better write them down somewhere so I don't forget:

1. Be reading a book consistently (so far so good, I've read like four books since we got back from England)

2. Exercise each day, whether it be walking to work or riding Autumn's bike around the neighborhood or running in the mornings (done this nearly every day so far. It sure feels good to bike, I'm going to need to get my own!)

3. Eat "healthy" (I'm going to need to stop having corn chips and fruit snacks for lunch)

4. Finish all my Independent Study courses by the August deadline, but still keep up with the class/es I'm taking in Summer term.

I think that's it. In other news, for Memorial Day weekend I drove home to Fallbrook. I didn't take a single picture, but I assure you I had a very good time. I loved being home. We went to Magic Mountain, I went to the beach with my brother and got sunburned, I ate lots of *good* Mexican food, we had a grill (not so much a bbq, as it was salmon and vegetables, but we made it on the grill and ate it outside). Oh, and I got pulled over for the very first time on the way down. I also got my very first speeding ticket. I've been licensed for five years, so I suppose my lucky streak had to run out sometime.

Notes to all of you (and to self):

1. Don't speed. According to Officer Frabbiele, people WILL die if you speed.

2. Wear shoes when you drive in Nevada. Apparently it's illegal not to.

3. Make sure your insurance isn't expired. It's the same as no insurance, and that costs $1,132.

4. Be a good driver, so that when you DO speed, you get off with a warning on #s 2 and 3, and a reduced ticket for #1. Phew.

Oh, and wear sunscreen.