Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deathly Hallows

Have you seen the new teaser poster for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2?
The comment was made here that the series has matured incredibly since the first film:
I feel like I am one of the lucky ones to be someone who grew up in a way with Harry Potter (as cheesy as that might sound). I feel like I've been about the same age as the characters almost the whole time, and the Harry Potter books make up a huge part of my childhood post-elementary school. Anyway! That's only a part of the reason why I love it so much. Sidetrack.

I also recently became aware (from here) of a deleted scene from DH part 1 that was released pre-DVD (which comes out April 6th-- woohoo!). Take a gander:

Also, just because, here are a couple of neat videos to check out:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trevor Hall: Or, How I Learned to Stop Criticizing and Love the Hippies

Monday night marked the occasion of my very second concert (not including the strange Christian Rock concert I went to for reasons I still don't understand). I wasn't terribly excited because I knew there was no way it could outshine my very first concert experience. In any case, it didn't start off with a (good) bang.

The time on our tickets said the doors opened at 6pm and the show began at 7pm. Two of my roommates went early, and my other roommate and I arrived at 7pm. Unfortunately, the folks at Velour must have slept in, because the doors didn't open until 8pm. We spent the hour in the shadow of the building, forlornly watching the thermometer at the bank across the street as the temperature slowly dropped from 32 degrees, to 31, to 30...and finally the doors opened. There was then a good 45 minutes of sitting on the hard wooden benches under the vigorously blowing fans before at last the first opening act ascended the stage: Cubworld, a large bearded Hawai'ian man and his accompianists. I'd heard a few of Cubworld's songs a couple of years ago, and they seemed mellow and nice, but this time around, it was quite different, way more rock-y. After Cubworld came Cas Haley, another large bearded man who was very fun and funny as he sang. He gained a lot of respect from me until he sang a song about legalizing marijuana, which was just ridiculous. But I'm still going to brag about how he pushed past me in the crowd afterward at least three times.

Finally, FINALLY, Trevor Hall's band came on stage to set up, and one of my roommates and I weasled our way up through the harangue to the front where the rest of our party was standing excitedly waiting. As we were waiting, listening to the incomprehensible music coming over the speakers and chatting casually, I felt a sharp pain in my back, as though someone had rammed their cranium into my shoulder blade, which is actually what happened, as some random hipster dude in tight pants had passed out onto me. This definitely happens to me a lot-- a girl passed out on my feet during a boring tour of the Denver Public Library on our King Tut trip last semester. Actually, people passing out kind of freaks me out a little, because I feel obligated to use my first aid skills. Not that I don't want to, I just don't want to find out at the wrong time that I'm incompetent.

Anyway, after that episode, fog filled the room, a sitar hummed, and Trevor Hall descended from the ceiling. Just kidding. He walked on stage nonchalantly, feet bare, jeans cuffed, prayer beads and dreadlocks swinging. Most of the songs the band played at first, I hadn't heard (apparently the 18-song CD my roommates made for me in preparation wasn't half of what he has put out), and I was beginning to feel a bit ridiculous, and the French Composition I had yet to write began to nag at the back of my mind. The two boys at my left pushed past me to show a message to the two girls at my right (which read something to the effect of "Let's hook up after the show"), and I felt even more ridiculous. The drummer suddenly was the only one on stage, playing a crazy solo that could've been at any metal show (but what do I know). But then, the noise stopped and the drummer disappeared, Trevor Hall walked back up on stage, the crowd obnoxiously began yelling requests, Trevor Hall felt embarrassed and criticized and shyly began to play his solo song, and I had a revelation.

He played a song called "Te Amo," and it was beautiful. I can't get it out of my mind, and as we all stood silently taking in the simple melody and poetic lyrics, I surprisingly felt like crying. The whole night, the crowd had been loud and crazy, and suddenly we all felt the same quiet peace. At risk of getting far too overly cheesey, I'll leave it at that, but really, there was something there.
Trevor Hall playing "Te Amo" (that's actually a lie, but it's the best picture of T-Hall by himself)

Listen (ignore the chit-chat and just focus on the song):

After "Te Amo," the band came back and they all played a number of other songs, one of which was "Om Shakti Om" (yeah). During the chorus, we all clapped in time and sang "Om Shakti Om" (those exact words) together, and my French essay faded away, and the criticism I knew would come when I recounted these events to certain people subsided (but now that I'm thinking about it again, I fully expect the criticism to come!), and we jumped and clapped and chanted/sang together and it was wonderful.

There were a few more songs, including a two-song encore, a slightly random poetry recitation (of the song "My Baba"), and then came the last song, the only one played that night (besides some Bob Marley remixes from Cas Haley & Trevor Hall) that I knew all the words to-- "Lime Tree," one of my favorite songs that appeared on the CD from my roommates.
The band playing some song

When the concert finally ended, and the crowd rushed to greet Mr. Hall, my roommate and I pressed our way through the throng and finally escaped into the cold air, away from the smells of patchouli and energy drink. We ran quickly to our car, still on a high, ears ringing in the way they do after over-exposure, much like how everything appears green when you come inside from a bright day. As soon as we were home we went directly to bed, and I let the memories of the sounds sink in, smiling a little as I realized it was okay that hippies were silly, because sometimes it's nice just to let go.
Check out these good songs by Trevor Hall if you're interested:
Te Amo (see above)
Lime Tree
Other Ways
To Zion
31 Flavors
...and a few others. If you're interested, let me know and I'll send you some more.

P.S. If you get the movie reference from the title, kudos to you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


A few days ago, I noticed that there were flowers growing on the side of the house! This is totally normal, we have tons of flowering plants around the yard, but it's only the beginning of March! These are the first flowers I've seen growing in a long, long time. I'm totally stoked to see these purples beauties, and I hope the rest of the yard (and state!) quickly follows.
There's even a BEE! Hooray for pollination!

The End is (not) Nigh

I meant to write this on Tuesday, so I'm going to pretend like it still is, because it's more relevant that way.

Today is Tuesday, March 8, 2011! According to the Maya calendar (as I was informed today by my Mayan Archaeology professor), the date is:, 13 Cimi, 19 Kayab

Those numbers refer to the different position on the Maya calendar that today is. Bear with me, this may get complicated. There are two calenders that the Maya used-- a 260-day one and a 360-day one. The two calenders combined created a calender that you rotated through in which there were periods of days with one name (pretty much like our months), and a certain number of days that made up units that were numbered (like March 11, for example). With the two calenders combined you get two names for each day. The system kind of looks like a series of gears rotating and lining up periodically.

You cycle through these and no day will be repeated until the end of a cycle. A cycle typically lasts about 52 years (although there is a longer cycle that I don't really get...), and then the calender realigns at "1." These 52-year cycles are rather like our centuries, and the Maya celebrated them like we do. Part of the celebration was carried out in fear, however, because the Maya believed, like many of us do, that one day the world would end. The end of the world would occur, they believed, at the end of one of these cycles, though the Maya didn't know which one it would be.

Now, Maya recorded their dates by the number of days since the beginning of the last cycle. That's another reason the number that is today's date is so long-- it takes a lot longer to say what day it is if you're counting DAYS from 0 AD up to March 11, 2011. This system is called the Long Count. Long Count dates were used primarily during the Maya Classic period (and before, but not as extensively). However, in the Postclassic Period, the Maya got lazy and started using what we call the Short Count. Instead of starting at the very beginning, they started at the beginning of a 7,200-day cycle, called a Katun (read like "cartoon" without the R...and I swear every time my prof says "katun," I think of Daffy Duck, really). When the Spanish arrived in the Yucatan in the 16th century, the Maya were still using the Short Count.

Since the Maya switched the way they recorded dates, we have a hard time lining up their calendar with the Gregorian one that we use. Also, there is apparently some disagreement over whether one part of the Long Count calendar ends after 13 units or 19 units.

Now, as you all know, people are freaking out about December 21, 2012. I'm pretty sure you've been told that "the Maya predicted the end of the world," or "the Maya calendar ends, at that means the end of the world," or some other such nonsense. Here's the deal:
-IF the cycle is only 13 units instead of 19, then the date on Dec 21, 2012 will be the date that marks the end of that particular CYCLE.
-IF the cycle is 19 units, we have a good 4,000 years to go before the end of the cycle.

Aside from the fact that Maya scholars (who know WAY more about reading the Maya calendar than you and I, I promise) cannot figure out for sure whether the end of the cycle is next year or four millenia from now, and aside from the fact that I'm pretty sure YOU are not Maya, or even subscribe to the Maya religious beliefs, and aside from the fact that Y2K came and went without a hitch, I really think that you (meaning the world, not you in particular) really need to calm down.

Although maybe it would be better if the world ended before I had to translate this huge load of number and date glyphs...

That's all. Phew!

P.S. I just read through this and it's sort of confusing/possibly contradictory. Sorry, it's because I'm still trying to understand it myself. But you get the point.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

An Explanation

One of my favorite people in the world is Adam Savage from Myth Busters.
This is why:

Sorry for all the video posts lately. But this is worth it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Très Excitant!

I'm pretty excited for some things coming up (relatively) soon. Time to share:

1. Trevor Hall at Velour. Yeah, he's kind of a hippy, but I don't care. His music is sort of Jack Johnson-y, but his voice is a mix between Bon Iver and Matisyahu, which is sort of awesome. I can't stop listening to his music since my roommate introduced me to it a few weeks ago. And the show is in Provo, and only costs $8, so I'll be there.

2. Going home! As soon as I finish my last final on April 20th, I'm OUT of town and driving home for four or five days to see my beautiful home in Fallbrook, CA for what may be the last time. I hope not, but such is life.

3. Field School I know last year sometime I said I was really nervous about Field School or something, but since the start of the semester when I started taking the Field School Prep class, I've been totally stoked for the 6 weeks of hard labor that I pay to do. This week in class we practiced survey-mapping by going out and mapping/measuring the sidewalks, trees, planters, etc and drawing the stares of passers-by. Whatever, they were just jealous of my giant meter tape. Starting April 26th, I'll be here:

4. SUMMER. Need I say more? I'm so sick of this weather. And the lack of greenery. And the limitation on activities. Etc.
5. Visiting D.C. This summer Adrien has an internship at the Smithsonian, and she wants me to come see her for a couple of days. I'm totally down for that! Especially since there's talk of maybe going up to New York for a day to see a Broadway show that may or may not feature Daniel Radcliffe...woohoo! Of course, this is all dependent on me making enough bones to pay for the trip, but I'm confident.

6. Graduation? I put a question mark after this because I'm banking on quite a lot in order to be able to graduate this December. But hey, I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

By the way, if anyone knows of any dive shops in Utah/Salt Lake counties that certify through SSI (not PADI), let me know. I really want to do Dive Instructor Training so I can teach and hopefully have options for jobs after I graduate. Eep! I'm so excited :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kittens in Bowls

Kittens + bowls + Beatles soundtrack sung by Japanese child + wacky sound effects + a gameshow(??) = the randomest thing I've seen in a long time.

I want In N Out.