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Reason # 200,114 Why I Love My Family.

These final three days of spring break are going to be tricky. Although normally I associate “being at home” with “having the right to blare music loudly without pissing off anybody but my little sister, who can suck it because she does the same thing”, that isn’t  exactly true at the moment because (dun dun dun) my grandparents are visiting. Well, that’s actually not a problem because I like my grandparents pretty well. But whenever they visit, they need to sleep in my parents’ room on the ground floor because my grandma can’t do stairs. This naturally forces my parents upstairs, to the guest bedroom, which is right next door to me.

Therefore, it is absolutely silent upstairs at night. Which teh awkwardz, because my parents are in the habit of having normally-secret-but-now-fully-audible heart-to-hearts with one another in bed every night before falling asleep.

When they started talking earlier tonight, I figured it was no exception.

My mother’s voice, worried: “I just don’t know. Is this the kind of decision where you should go with your heart, or with your head?”

My father takes a few seconds to respond. “It’s hard to say. I guess a little bit of both.”

A sigh. “But this is so important to [my little sister]. You saw how she was acting earlier. I don’t want to let her down like I did last time.”

God damn it. This is another conversation about la freaking cadette, I think, taking a break from doing a history reading to roll my eyes. Yeah, my little sister is very much having a rough time in high school, and I feel really bad for her, but I also feel like having a helicopter mother isn’t helping her at all.

In any case, I’m starting to feel like an eavesdropper, and am about to plug my headphones into my computer when I hear the next line of dialogue.

“You won’t let her down. I think she’s mostly just excited that you agreed to do it in the first place, even though you lost last year.”

...wait what?

My mother still sounds doubtful. “Well, okay. I guess…” a sigh. “I guess I’ll have Syracuse win this one. Even if it’s against her team.”

And then I feel really dumb, because of course my mother is just filling out her bracket for our extended family’s NCAA tournament pool. Duh. I guess you hear some kind of interesting things when you don’t flood your ears with music all the time...

Daily Dose of Twain.

Yes, that is an artistic representation of Mark Twain, surrounded by bolts of electric discharge, grinning maniacally as he puts the finishing touches on a triumphant speech that no doubt makes little sense out of context. It is also one of the more fantastic things I have seen in my life.

Allow me to explain.

So, a few weeks ago I started reading League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, because that's what all the cool kids are doing. (Well, by "cool kids" I of course mean "steampunk enthusiasts". But they're/we're one of the trendier styles of geeks, right?) That series is about as fantastic as one would imagine it is, by the way, although it's forcing me to become uncomfortably aware of how limited my studies of Victorian-era fiction have been. Basically, I recognize Wells, Verne, and nothing else that isn't really famous :( But at least I can deeply understand the sheer win that is their depiction of Captain Nemo!

Cough. Yeah. Mark Twain.

Though I'm not up to date with the League yet, I at one point became curious about other steampunk comics. A few minutes of searching brought me to a list of titles, which I filtered through carefully, and then an hour or so of torrent hunting availed me of this gem here. "The Five Fists of Science", written by Matt Fraction and arted by Steven Sanders. It's shortish (about 100 pg), but everything there is just so freaking perfect that I almost can't deal with it.

Things that are good about this graphic novel:
1.) Mark Twain
2.) Nikola Tesla
3.) Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla being best friends (which they lead us to believe is actually truefax) and joining together to fight crime.
4.) Huge mecha
5.) Robber barons and Edison being a black magic cult.
6.) Migouuuuu!
7.) The fine detail and overall great loveliness of the art
8.) There being a female main character (Bertha von Suttner) that, though not viewed with complete impartiality, does not become the romantic object of anyone.
9.) Random shorty TIm and his dangerous prosthetic arm. AU Edward Elric?
10.) Social commentary.
11.) Twain's ridiculous fanboying of the concept of "science" without knowing any of the particulars of anything. (I feel like this is the kind of thing I do a lot with engineering...)
12.) fucking everything.

In short: I love this strip so much that it hurts. I just bought it in hard copy, and I'm one of those horrible snobs that don't buy things unless I really deeply appreciate them- that's how good it was. Hearts all around.

Bonus bamf!Tesla:

Oh my.

It is 97 degrees in Bamako right now, whereas it is 30 degrees here.

This should be a formidable incentive to finish my study abroad apps, but all I want to do is curl up with my coffee and read cheesy sci-fi BD. So hard is the life of a lazy college student...


Nicholas Courtney

Could not have more love for this man if I tried. I won't pretend I know much about him (other than that bit about playing one of my all-time favorite TV characters ever), but I know that he's brought a lot of people a lot of joy and will be greatly missed.


Un peu trop.

Found this on a French page describing English letter-writing etiquette (finally getting to work on that secondary study abroad app... so easy, but so much pressure!). It made me chuckle.
"La bonne nouvelle c’est qu’en anglais, ils sont beaucoup plus direct mais à la fois sans doute un peu trop  !"

Oh, taisez-vous, les francais. You're just jealous that you don't have as many beautiful and diverse methods of expressing a thought to perfection as english-speakers do.

(ethnocentric? me? pas du tout...)


riddle for you: if I am taking orgo solely to prepare for the mcat, and if I am studying eliminations right now for orgo, does that mean that I am indirectly studying for the mcat?

answer: not even the tiniest bit, silly. There are no alkenes on the mcat.

...wtf, world?

xxxholic chapter 213



.   .   .   


the more i think about it, the more i like it from an intellectual level. but emotionally... i've been following this manga since the most earliest days of... being myself, really. everything about xxxholic is a big deal to me. and from a purely personal emotional level... like, i wouldn't have been fulfilled with a nice tidy happy ending, but i wish that at least the basic cast of characters had stayed the same. by forcing us to look at this huge wheels within wheels thing, it's lovely but kind of dehumanizing. and from my perspective, the perspective of *that*... that's what i've asked for, but never ever been what i've wanted.

(From Mars...)


(...to Rwanda)

Always nice to know that what you believed to be a beautifully original bit of songwriting is just an awkward translation of a French saying :/ Life's kind of been like that lately, I guess...

Black Beans and Rice

 I know, I know, it's an idea that's been done to death- but not by somebody with the exact same rice cooker as me and the exact same ingredients on hand, so I might as well write my spin on it down now before I forget it later. Because this- this is really good. It's also fully vegan and, because of the tomato sauce, I think? makes fat cravings go away! 

1 cup (I just filled the measure that came with the autocuiser up to the top, flat) of long-grained white rice
1 normal-sized can of black beans, drained (not all that carefully, though)
1 8-oz (baby) can of tomato sauce, plain
1 onion (the smallest in the shop and stop bag, as an onion lover it probably wouldn't kill me to use a bigger one in the future)
1/2 jalapeno, with about half of its seeds and veins intact (could have used a bit more pop, though).
a few flicks of garlic (I wish I could be more precise, but since all my spoons were far away and I'm lazy, I just heaped a little onto the chopping knife)
some cumin (not very much, and I don't think i'm really tasting it in the final product so whatever)
between 1.25 and 1.5 cups of water

Mix them all in rice cooker and set to "cook". Seriously, it's that easy. Have I mentioned that I love this machine?

Really good. I was worried right after it finished, because it looked pretty soupy, but after a little patience and stirring it thickened out just perfectly. This is probably enough for one meal and one leftover for a normal person, but I might eat it all now because it's me we're talking about. This could easily be unhealthified/yummified by using veggie broth or butter or something, as well as by adding some salt. It wasn't spicy at all, which normally might bother me but, as I said before, I was having a fat craving so that matters less right now. All and all, a delicious, healthy, and EASY comfort food.