Monthly Archives

April 2014

How To: Survive Finals Week

April 29, 2014

Dear Reader,

This week and next week are pretty much the weeks from Hell. In case you’ve never known the particular strangeness and pain of a finals weeks, it is this weird combination of manic work time where you feel so stressed you can’t find time to eat or shower or talk to anyone you love and then… down time where you are so exhausted by the previous manic time you can only really lay on your side and binge watch The Vampire Diaries until you fall asleep. I really wish I had to write a twenty-five page analysis of The Vampire Diaires. I could rock that paper.

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I know a lot of my readers are going through the same stressful period as I am, or at least will be going through it soon. So I thought I would share some of the ways that I have been getting through it. Hopefully then you will emerge from your studying cave with a few shreds of sanity left intact.

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How to Survive Finals Week:

1. Melatonin: It is really likely that your sleep schedule is going to be massively messed up during finals week and the week directly before it. It is also likely that when you actually do have time to sleep your brain is going to be thinking about the Louisiana Purchase or chemistry things. Melatonin supplements are a nice way to fall asleep pretty naturally and sleep soundly. A little will do you, I take half a tablet every once and a while. So don’t be getting crazy. Also, don’t be taking this like every day because then your body will get used to it and no one needs that nonsense. But having it on hand for a series of weeks like this is really helpful.

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2. Apples: Or another kind of fruit, really. But I like apples. The finals week desire for chocolate and fun-dip is well-documented. Don’t gain ten pounds in finals week from a combination of stress and replacing all your meals with Kit-Kats.  Grab an apple and feel that satisfying crunch. Clementines are good too. Not only will they give you energy and not drain you later, they won’t make you feel like your stomach is made of marshmallows and you will never be desirable again.

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3.Videos of cats being annoyed by dogs who just want to love them: This one pretty much stands for any hilarious animal (or baby etc.) video that has gone viral on YouTube for no real reason other than that it makes you cry with joy and hold your stomach and cry “It hurts! It hurts so good!” You need to watch something besides the words dancing on the page before you. Take a couple videos long break.

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4.Tulips: Go to Whole Foods and buy yourself a bouquet of tulips, find a vase, and set those up in your room. You will look at them while you study and remember that outside exists. You will also remember that it is spring and somewhere in the world there are beautiful things. You may even be able to imagine yourself after finals week frolicking through meadows and receiving or giving flowers to significant others before holding hands and skipping off on a date to see all those movies you haven’t had time to see because you are trying to memorize all the authors in the eighteenth century who used animal imagery.

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5.Crazy Stupid Love/almost any episode of Gilmore Girls/any movie with a studying montage: Sometimes we feel unable to go on. When this happens turn on one of these things to perk you back up. In Crazy Stupid Love Emma Stone is gorgeous and gets to touch Ryan Gosling’s abs a lot. She also passes the bar in the film, all while looking flawless. I find it inspirational. It also makes me feel like maybe my finals week prize will be Ryan Gosling. So there’s that. The same (minus Ryan Gosling) works for any episode of Gilmore Girls or a movie with a studying montage. Add some eighties music to a bunch of shots of people cracking books, falling asleep on books, becoming miraculously smarter, going to Yale… watch that and you will be back in the game in no time.

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Grad School Prom

April 28, 2014

Dear Reader,

Last night was the Boston College Grad Ball, an event dedicated to being classy and hilariously weird. It was basically grad school prom, something that is as dorky and odd and awesome as it sounds.

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A projected image on the stairs, in case we were wondering where to go.

They played music from the nineties and the early 2000’s, as well as some modern hits (Drunk Love for the win) that everyone freaked out about. I felt like I was back in high school, seriously.

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We were obviously the first people there. Because cool is our middle name.

Everyone was really into it, which was probably helped by the generously alcoholic drinks being offered to us. Two drink tickets was quite enough when they are putting that much tequila in my tequila sunrise.

Grad School Prom- The Person I Am Tonight

We might have been playing our own game of “What Not to Wear” as people came in. Not judgey at all.

I got all glammed up in a Modcloth dress I bought a while ago but have never had the chance to wear.

Grad School Prom- The Person I Am Tonight

This is a photo of a mini-cheeseburger. I had six.

My only real problem with the event was they didn’t crown anyone prom king or queen. Come on guys. Get it together- I love crowns. 🙂

 

A Kick-Ass Wonder Woman

April 24, 2014

Dear Reader,

I am very new to comics. Comic book movies has become one of my favorite genres, largely introduced to me through Joss Whedon’s involvement with Marvel. However, D.C. deserves a little love too. So this past weekend, when I found myself at a comic book store, I picked up volumes one and two of Wonder Woman’s new 52 storyline.

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For those who don’t know, in 2011 D.C. cancelled all of its existing titles and restarted its entire monthly line. That means that all the superheroes you know and love, and many you may have never heard of, got a fresh, revamped start. All story lines could then line up with each other, cross over, and generally do some really awesome things. I think it is a brilliant move on their part and my first real taste of it, in the form of Wonder Woman’s new origin myth, makes me hungry for more.

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Wonder Woman is the superhero to watch now, as she is set to appear in the next Man of Steel movie and undoubtedly in the Justice League movie that will follow it. There have been speculations she will get her own film as well, since she is one of the most well-known and well-liked female superheroes of all time.

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Gal Godot has been chosen to play the kick-ass heroine, something that has caused a good deal of criticism as she is a rather willowy young woman, nothing like the amazingly athletic Wonder Woman. Godot has been working out like crazy ever since she was chosen though, and her progress is at least a little encouraging. She has some big boots to fill if she is going to make fans of the comics happy.

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Volumes one and two, titled “Blood” and “Guts” respectively, give the reader a Wonder Woman to cheer for. They also give the reader a taste of a revamped Greek mythology. Wonder Woman, whose name is Diana, has always had a connection to Greek myth. Blood and Guts both explore this to its fullest, depicting multiple gods and connecting Diana’s own origins to some among the pantheon.

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Diana’s past as an Amazon as well as her future as something a whole lot more powerful are explored  with art that gives readers hungry for a truly kick-ass, strong, and fair heroine exactly what they are looking for. What I love about her is she isn’t just strong and cool and pretty and all that necessary nonsense. She is genuinely a good person who cares about doing the right thing and has to deal with a whole bunch of people who really aren’t trying to do the right thing.

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The series is written by Brian Azzarello and the art is by Cliff Chiang and Tony Akins. Check these out. They are a great introduction into comics, into D.C., or just into awesomeness.

God-Like Grilled Cheese

April 23, 2014

Dear Reader,

I am back from the alternate universe I escaped into over Easter Break. And I have come back with a great piece of wisdom that I like to call the God-Like Grilled Cheese. Now this might be a bit blasphemous, but if you try it, I doubt you will find much reason to disagree with me. You might also have a heart attack from the beauty of it, so then you really won’t be disagreeing with me. So here I give you the God-Like Grilled Cheese:

Step One: Bread

I used just normal cheap supermarket bread and it was absolutely fine, but because this is so good, nicer bread would not go amiss. I would try a softer bread that absorbs well.

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Step Two: Cheese

I used fresh mozzarella. This is pretty non-negotiable. Find yourself a ball of fresh, lovely, gorgeous mozzarella and slice off a few slabs and lay it on your bread.

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Step Three: Bacon

I used applewood smoked bacon, because applewood smoked bacon is the bacon that will make all other bacon seem inferior. It is just smoky and perfect. Fry up a few pieces of that and put it on top of the cheese.

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Step Four: Cooking it all together

Drain off most of the bacon grease from your pan but leave just enough in there to make your grilled cheese God-like. Then place your prepared sandwich in that pan and grill it up. What emerges is a treat that will make you look at grilled cheeses as the main feature in one kick-ass dinner.

God-Like Grilled Cheese

Now this is a pretty simple grilled cheese recipe. It isn’t really that much of a recipe, to be honest. But it doesn’t make the result any less delicious. It is also super super easy to make this. It has one more step than a regular grilled cheese, and that step involves bacon, so it is automatically delicious.

Enjoy!

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

April 18, 2014

Dear Reader,

Today I picked up One Hundred Years of Solitude and started reading. It seemed like the right day for it, as Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died at the age of 87. He has been one of the most beautiful voices in literature for many decades. I started reading perhaps his most famous novel today because I felt the need to place a finger close to something that he has touched. I recommend everyone who reads this to take at least a glance at some of his work. He does first lines really well, so even just those will give you a sense of the talent and genius he possessed. In honor of him, I want to let his words speak for themselves.

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Some of my favorite Gabriel Garcia Marquez lines:

1.“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.” –Love in the Time of CholeraGabriel Garcia Marquez- The Person I Am Tonight

2. “With her Florentino Ariza learned what he had already experienced many times without realizing it: that one can be in love with several people at the same time, feel the same sorrow with each, and not betray any of them. Alone in the midst of the crowd on the pier, he said to himself in a flash of anger: ‘My heart has more rooms than a whorehouse.” –Love in the Time of Cholera

3. “But when a woman decides to sleep with a man, there is no wall she will not scale, no fortress she will not destroy, no moral consideration she will not ignore at its very root: there is no God worth worrying about.” –Love in the Time of Cholera

4.“Blood circulated through her veins with the fluidity of a song that branched off into the most hidden areas of her body and returned to her heart, purified by love. Before I left at dawn I drew the lines of her hand on a piece of paper and gave it to Diva Sahibí for a reading so I could know her soul.” –Memoirs of My Melancholy Whores

5.“Gaston was not only a fierce lover, with endless wisdom and imagination, but he was also, perhaps, the first man in the history of the species who had made an emergency landing and had come close to killing himself and his sweetheart simply to make love in a field of violets.” –One Hundred Years of Solitude