Monday, February 23, 2009

My First Oscars

So this was the first year that I sat through the entire Oscar ceremony and I have to say that there were enough funny moments to make it worth it. I did mute it often as I didn't really care about the acceptance speeches and the million commercial breaks. I think I watched a total of about 45 minutes, but they were some great 45 minutes. I can't say much about previous broadcasts, but I really liked how they used previous winners to introduce the big categories. I also liked the montages about the various genres and the films from the past year. So below are some of my comments from watching the Oscars.
  • Angelina's 180 carats of emeralds looked like $5 worth of costume jewelry.
  • Ben Stiller's Joaquin Phoenix was fantastic. Look it up.
  • I had no idea Anne Hathaway had theater training and I was surprised at how good she is at singing.
  • Hugh Jackman singing and dancing.
  • James Franco and Seth Rogen with the comedy montage=brilliant. His comment about turning the award into a pipe cracked me up.
  • I cannot whistle and have great respect for Kate Winslet's dad, though I am sure that place has great acoustics that helped him.
  • Asymmetrical dresses are terrible despite what any fashion magazine tells you. (See Reese Witherspoon)
  • "I am Wolverine." Nice plug for his upcoming movie.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day Tradition continues

So Valentine's Day should be about a nice time with your significant other right? Well, Kyle and I decided we are cursed when it comes to this holiday. Our first two were spent at my mom's house, which makes it less special and more weird. That second year we had reservations at a nice restaurant and everything, but things never quite work out as planned. My college gave us a week off in February so I was going to be in PA over Valentine's. It all seemed perfect. Saturday of break I visited Kyle and came home in the afternoon as a snow storm was coming into the area. By the next morning, I felt like crap and didn't want to get out of bed other than to move to the couch. Monday morning it was confirmed that I had the flu. I had never had the flu before and I recommend that everyone avoids getting it at all costs. Also, DO NOT allow the nurse to test you using the new nose test. They place a "flexible" stick thing up your nose to gather a sample to test. It saves days of wondering and such to verify whether you have it or not and it's so great, blah, blah, blah. Well, that stick was NOT flexible and ended up poking me so bad that I cried. It was like getting hit in the nose, which anyone who has had it happen, knows it automatically brings tears to your eyes. This was worse because it was actually hitting you in the nose on the inside. My mother, being her nice self, was crying too, because she was laughing so hard! I told the nurse that Mom should be tested too as I had been around her so long with the flu, but she didn't go for that. Anyway, Valentine's fell on Tuesday and Kyle came to our house again as I was still not well and Mom made us a nice dinner. Definitely not the plan.
The next Valentine's I wasn't in the area and last year doesn't register in my memory, which means we probably didn't see each other. This year I went to Kyle's for the weekend and he was sick all weekend. He was feeling well enough to go out for a nice lunch, but I didn't even get a Valentine's kiss because I didn't want to get sick. Maybe next year we'll have a nice illness free holiday. Since it will be our first Valentine's as a married couple, I have a feeling that that won't happen.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Trying to Concentrate Here

So this is my last semester of school ever and seeing as it is grad school, I'm trying to really focus to wrap everything up. To help with this, I do not have a job for the first time since freshman year of high school. This means that I can really focus on my work (or I can sleep in and read a lot of fiction, which is what I have been doing so far this semester). Seriously though, I have spent several days reading in the library so as to avoid all computer, tv, and fiction related distractions. What I have learned is that all the library etiquette drummed into people in elementary school has been forgotten by years of college and grad school pressure. Or at least that is what I assume has happened.
Most university libraries have carrels available for use by students that are strategically located around the floors. These are just desks with walls on three sides to help you focus on your work. They are quite useful, but they are still open to the surroundings. Yesterday afternoon I went over in the lovely weather and settled into my carrel of choice. A little while later two students come in to look for books. At first I assumed it was an employee with a cart of books to be shelved, but then I saw that the obnoxious rolling was from a suitcase/bookbag. I heard the woman talking as they entered my section, but then they proceeded to look at books in the aisle right next to my carrel. All I had to do was look right and they were in the aisle and they weren't just looking. They were basically talking as if they had to yell to be heard over the massive amounts of noise in the library! The place was dead silent (before they came) and they were a foot apart. They obviously forgot about the 12 inch voice or was my elementary librarian the only one who used that? Their list of books must have been huge because they wandered around the section forever, always talking.
Later, someone came up and asked me if this was the west portion of the library. The library here is two rectangles, one being slightly larger than the other. These are labeled the east and west halves. What's funny is that they guy was an employee who was trying to shelve books. Shouldn't he know which half is which? And why couldn't he just look at the call numbers and the corresponding labels on the shelves? It really isn't that difficult.
Last, but not least, stupid grad. students. Normally I find the undergrads to be more annoying, but last week when I was reading, all the stupid behavior was done by the grad students. Most university libraries provide locked carrels for students doing dissertations (or honors theses as with my undergrad which didn't have grad students). These are just small rooms that lock to allow you to keep out the mountain of reading and work you have for your dissertation. They're useful. I had one for my honors thesis in college and it was nice to not have to pack everything up when I was done working. Anyway, the carrel I was reading at was at the end of a row of locked carrels. At my school these have number locks so you have to punch in a code to enter. A grad student walks by and goes to open a carrel. Her code doesn't work. She moves to the next one and tries again. It still doesn't work. She tries several before actually getting in to what I assume to be hers. What's even more stupid is that she looked in the windows of them and then still tried the door. Wouldn't she recognize her stuff? In the end, she went into hers and then left a few minutes later. I was so tempted to ask why she doesn't memorize the room number for her carrel. She probably wouldn't comprehend the question, but that may be too harsh. Then again, she's a grad student. You would think she'd have a brain, but obviously some of the people on this campus need to track down Oz and make a request.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Crying Over Spilt Soup

So last week was the first week of class in my final semester as a student. I have been going to school since approximately 1988 and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Anyway, for my last first day of school, it was pretty crappy. I only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which makes for a nice week. My Tuesday schedule involves my being on campus for over three hours between my morning and afternoon classes. Because of this, I took some leftover vegetable soup in for my lunch. I used the same container I used multiple times last semester with no incident. I walked to campus in the first snow storm I have seen here in Maryland only to open my book bag to find a mini lake of soup in the bottom. The lid didn't come off; the broth just leaked all over my bag. My stuff smelled like soup the rest of the day. What pains me the most about the whole incident is that the snow storm finally caused the school to shut down at 11:30am. This meant that my afternoon class was canceled (woohoo) and I didn't need a lunch. I left the stupid thing in the fridge for Thursday and walked home to scrub the bottom of my bag. Now the next time it rains, Tide bubbles will probably form on my bag because it's tough to rinse out. (This has happened to me before when Tide was accidentally spilt on my book bag so it does happen.) What a very frustrating last first day.