Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rollin'

I finally added a blogroll to TPI! Ok, and don't believe that I knew what a blogroll was before a month or two ago.

Luckily, Blogger also calls it a "blog list. :) I added the gadget which was super-easy to work with with the whole Google/Blogger deal since I could directly import the blogs in my Google Reader to the blogroll. I wish I could have organized the blogroll by category like in my reader, but they are now in alphabetical order and alphabetical order is sacred, so I'm good.

Basically, the blogs are a mixture of:
  • just fun/random/entertaining blogs I go to
  • blogs based out of and/or focusing on life in Greensboro
  • cake and food in general
  • languages and language-learning, and
  • media and marketing
Well, that's that. You now have a glimpse into where I sift through for information in life! But, hey, I must say, if it weren't for my RSS feeds and Twitter, I wouldn't read the local paper and consume local media as much--which was minimal to none in the past.

Partly because I didn't pay to even have the basic channels and I didn't want to pay for anything but the Sunday paper but now I gots da inter-net so...no excuses!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Timeless?


I came across this at some craft store and thought, "If I wasn't scared of these characters as a kid, then I'm scared now."


Remember sticker books?

Friday, March 26, 2010

I can't even spell "tongue" half the time...

Yes!

"Previous studies have shown that bilingual people have tip-of-the-tongue moments more often than those who speak only one language." ...

I always felt like this, but I secretly also thought that it was just a lame excuse I had! Still pretty lame? haha QuƩ pena...

Science Explores "Tip of the Tongue Moments" By Sara Duane (@SaraDuane)


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rhyme and plenty of reason

I heard the term "roach coach" on the radio today.

I almost didn't need context clues. I knew exactly what it referred to. And, damn if it doesn't rhyme like it's getting paid to.

I was taken aback at the cupcake trucks that were popping up in--yes--the cupcake blogs I subscribe to. I guess I knew all along that there were taco trucks or something of that sort. Hey, even my parents had a food truck as a more suburban upgrade from their hot dog stand in Washington, D.C. back in the day.

Anywho, I will peruse this Wikipeda page and wipe my hands of this random collection of information for the day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_truck

Read the Wiki article in Polski! haha just kidding, unless you can.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fat plants.


I think it's ok, SlimCado. The fact that we are even in the produce aisle should be enough for a round of applause. I'll take the regular California and spare the mozzarella sticks or something.

I heart avocados.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

As opposed to...

...a Star of David?

"Six Point Star"

Hm. These should make up for the manger cookies that Larry ate, right?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A place to suff my things. Part 2.

So, I now have a cardboard box filled with this and that, trinkets and baubles. I have confirmed with myself that the things in this box—the things that I purposely put here and not in the trash can or recycle bin—have no material worth or practical use.

But, I still keep them.

These are the little things that take me back, remind me of a time, remind me of a place and remind me of a person. I keep them just so that every once in a while, I sit with the box in my lap and dig through the treasures so I can pick them up, look at them and smile.

Now, this is progress. I went from a room filled with this and that all over the place. I now have a concentrated space—a box—that is only overwhelming in the emotions I have by enjoying the little things in life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A pretty popular price per gallon

That is one worn out button. I am thinking of getting my car washed...professionally? I am using my Caring Club card to get a car wash and such at Golden Touch Car Wash. Anyone have experience at that car wash? I'm pretty set on that though every time I think of it I also think, "What is a green way to wash a car?"

Water?

A place to stuff my things.

I have been called a packrat in more than one way and, guess what? It’s true. I keep. I keep things. But to me, they aren’t just things. They are the memories of things. They are the who, what, when, where and why of my life. I don’t know why, but I’d rather call them “things” than refer to them collectively as “stuff.” “Stuff” has become somewhat of a dirty word to me (thanks to commentary like that of another language lover, George Carlin) in terms of consumerism and such. All the same, it’s not all the same. And I realized that recently when I decided to re-evaluate my things.

I wanted to give away the clothes I promised myself I’d wear for years now. I wanted to streamline my bags and purses since I really only used the same two or three. I wanted to sort through all of my craft supplies that range from markers and paints to stray pieces from flower garlands I bought at Walmart a few years ago. I wanted to shred all of the paperwork that I kept since I started at UNCG in 2003 (the time before I could hoard—I mean, store—all of that info in my email inbox).

I made considerable progress in this not-Spring-Spring-cleaning. Rooms were bigger, brighter, and tidier. I knew what I had and where things were. I made mental notes—a plan—about how to receive and store things I’d get in the future.

And, I started up a treasure chest.

I don’t think that I mean to call it a treasure chest in the first place. As my intention quickly swam through a sea of words and phrases and fond memories of Muppets on the sea, I jumped at referring to this cardboard box as a treasure chest.

And this treasure chest is effective.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Troy!

Add falafel connoisseur to the list.

Maybe my life is just that lame, but I get a thrill out of the little things…like, finding new falafel.

Ok, well that wasn’t really the case, but my word-o-phile-radar went berserk a couple of weeks ago as I was getting lost on Piedmont Parkway. I discovered this:

As soon as I say “Troy” and “restaurant” in the same title, my mind quickly went from anxiety-mode from being relatively lost at the tip of afternoon rush hour to intrigue by the possibility of chickpea variations, pita bread, and the always far-reaching hope of pistachio baklava.

I decided that trying out the establishment would be a service to my fellow Greensborians (though that whole Greensboro/High Point/Jamestown area around Wendover gets me confused enough where I don’t even want to know where I am).

I got the falafel sandwich on pita (not in the wrap) and got the fried zucchini appetizer. The falafel was cut up into bite-sized pieces as opposed to the balls or patties that I often get (and those seem to be harder for me to handle). I think that I actually get offended at bad pita bread (which is… dry?) but this sandwich had the moist and salty bread that I love that is also totally different than the Neomonde pita bread that I also love (that is also…dry).

The zucchini appetizer was the real trial. I only discovered in 2009 that I love zucchini and until I recently went to Carraba’s, I did not know the awesome-ness of fried zucchini. Taste of Troy’s zucchini appetizer was different than what I expected. It tasted more fresh and was made into thick patties and then fried. It wasn’t as crunchy as I hoped it would be. It had less pronounced flavor and was softer than I would have liked, but I suppose the zucchini itself was still present and enough for me to still gobble it down.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Sorry for the Vevo, but...

...did this video come in a styrofoam container?

Ugh. I hate lazy videos. It's all subjective I suppose, but I can't stand when an artist or band makes a lazy video. What do I think a lazy video is? Well, off the top of my head, I can't list the qualifications. But, it's basically a video that seems to exist only because the artist goes, "Ah, what the hell. I've got some time tomorrow. Let's shoot a video for this joint."

I guess that even sadder are the videos that are pretty complex but still suck.

Timbaland's/Justin Timberlake's "Carry Out" song grew on me as one of those songs that have straight-up dumb lyrics/metaphors. It sounded pretty cool and I got over the fact that I can't tell without screen titles whether the song is by Timbaland, produced by Timbaland, or featuring Timbaland. Anyhow, I purposely searched for the possibility of a video for the song today, and I was about 3 ounces of giddy when I realized that one exists.

*Sigh* and it's lame. Honestly, the girls in the video are pretty good and not only relative to T and JT. The "carry out" theme is addressed here but...um, people don't get cake and such like that as carry out. I mean, sure, you can get a dessert with your meal or probably as carry out on it's own. But, until someone steals my business idea (with my pleasure) to open a take-out/delivery service of all desserts, this video missed the "carry out" mark. In my opinion.

Random note: I only recently found out that "opine" is a word. Embarrassing. (And I just spelled "embarrassing" wrong before spellcheck smacked me in the face with some red squigglies. For shame.)

And finally, what are T and JT doing? I mean, Timbaland is no dancer--or, at least, I don't expect him to dance. He and Justin already sort of did that coordinated thing that I don't know how to refer to where they dance side-by-side. I mean, I like the move, but it's very reminiscent of 2006's "Let Me Talk To You/My Love" (which was amaaaazing).

Wow. I'm a complainer. On the upside, I would guess that JT is having the time of his life. Or at least I hope he is!

Re-evaluating the relationship...maybe later...

Hotmail's sign-in page looks different. Different font. I mean, couldn't you just make the service better instead? Still love you, though. I caved in and got Gmail a while ago after finally getting a taste of it at my old office. I do love Gmail now and it is a better service than Hotmail, but, you know...I just can't break up with Hotmail. We're too attached. I've cleaned things up and tried to make it easy to migrate all of my stuff. But, that will just have to be a day that I set aside to do all of that. I almost don't think that I should delete it since it is useful for receiving e-newsletters and notifications from websites and organizations. I don't mind using the account for that communication. It's mostly all of the old things that I need to wade through.

I'm a packrat of sorts. Even with e-mail!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I hate to be a hater, but...(Part 2)

I really wanted to spontaneously jump back into being active and I did not want to pay for gym "privileges." I wanted to be more in control of my money and...do something different.

I started looking for stand-alone classes and for climbing gyms. The stand-alone classes were easy to find and there are basically only two good climbing gyms in the area, as far as I know. I needed something more concrete than a room of workout options, machines and brightly colored polygons and starbursts.

Climbing is pretty expensive and what are you gonna do? There are only so many options for climbing gyms. Yoga classes, and I guess other classes, are at least $10 a class and of course cheaper for a package deal. But I can't hate on that.

I went outside the box to find active things to do. I'm just not an active person--never did sports or worked out on a regular basis. I actually enjoyed my time and experience at the Y downtown but, again, I got stuck in the elliptical rut. But those fresh towels, every time you came in the door. Now that was worth the membership.

Anyhow, all I have to worry about now is stretching. I never do it! That'll keep me a sore and sorry body that won't be able to get to the next class in the week!

All's well that ends well, eh? Now, on to my diet...

=)

I hate to be a hater, but...

If there is one business that leaves a bad taste in my mouth, it's the Rush. Now, I know enough people that go there and that don't negatively comment on the experience and even without knowing those people, I can see that they have enough members to keep them afloat.

My experience, though, was...annoying, inconvenient, costly...and so, I got out.

I went to the Rush in the first place strategically/on a whim to sort of force myself into an exercise routine. Well, not force. I just wanted to be spontaneous, not think about it too much and just do it. Just walk through the door.

The Rush was a close and I guess safe place for me to go to get in gear to work out. Honestly, its proximity to where I live was probably the biggest factor in me choosing it as a gym. Also, as I told the--let's be real--salesman, I was choosing the Rush at the moment instead of any other gym because it had a climbing wall, which are few and far between in Greensboro.

I wanted to get out of my non-active rut but I also didn't want to fall into the work-out rut that I had at UNCG--socializing and trying my damned-est to read a (free) magazine while doing 35 minutes on the elliptical. Besides the random few-yer stint I had where I climbed the climbing wall almost compulsively (it was great), I didn't really move too much (does dancing at clubs count?).

At the Rush, with the orientation by the trainers, I knew a few more moves I could do to add to my workout routine. I still defaulted to the elliptical. I never used the sauna (bummer), the climbing wall paled in comparison to a climbing gym, and I finally felt like I was paying too much.

I was relatively paying too much because I chose to pay month-to-month. By the way, I caught the salesman trying to write me into a 2-year contract but my upside-down reading skills caught it before I signed without reading (which I may have done).

At the end of the day, I was just sick of looking for a gym.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Exploring "Community"

According to social reproduction theory, each generation simply reproduces itself and quite frequently so at a lower level. Is this proof of "Kids these days..."? I hope this isn't true. Well, I'm sure that there is research to tell me that it is and that it isn't.

I will use "community" as the catch-all term like many of us do anyhow. There are many valid and/or upsetting reasons why we all don't live in a utopia (or various utopias differentiated by...what?). Humans, civilization, groups, politics...it's all gotten complicated. But, that's what makes us charming, right?!


Is social cohesion stronger than aspects of society such as poverty? I mean, do we think that fostering and maintaining social cohesion that eliminates social conditions like poverty is worth it? I guess everyone and every group has their interests.

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Community" versus "Society"

Do you ever find "community" to be a buzzword? I do sometimes. I think that people exchange the word "society" for "community," purposely or not.

I have been interested in the concept(s) of community for years now and especially after studying conflict resolution in grad school. Now that I work in a local non-profit, I use the word often. But I often think...which community? What are we all talking about? Now, I studied geography in undergrad for a reason; I think that place and one's sense of place is very important in life and in history. However, when I heard about the Glenwood, the Greensboro or the Guilford County communities, I think, Wait, those are locations, boundaries--not necessarily communities. I guess that on a small enough scale you can get away with it? I've hear a lot about but have not been active with the Glenwood neighborhood, but to me it seems like community could be used to describe this--yes--geographic area. I was going to write "local community" at some point but I thought it seemed vague...and it does. But, that's why I now like it because it could refer to one of many local communities. Great, now I'm going to obsess over what "local" means. Me and my semantics.

So, does someone's level of activity, or affinity, or something like that make them a part of a community or not? Is it your address? Have you ever felt like someone labeled you as a part of a community that you did not feel connected to?

I guess that when you use the word, you know what you are talking about. But is your meaning of "community" really being conveyed to whomever it is you are talking to? It may be since many people may accept the nebulous meaning of the word. Still, people feel like they are a part on one community or another or of many communities--jut like culture(s). So, when you bring up community, are you referring to that person's community? The group that that person has strong enough ties to that he or she is very active in it or wants to be?

There was a book (ahem, chapter in the book) I read a while back that seemed to ease my anxiety on the idea of community. I can't remember the title! Ok, now off to comb through my old bibliographies...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

To sing and to cry and to smile a million-fold.

The great thing about knowing a considerable amount of language(s) different than your mother tongue is that it opens a totally different world for you. Or different worlds. Not just culture in general. I suppose you could enjoy the food, dance, sport, and nuances of a culture without knowing the language. But when it does come to language as we think of it, understanding foreign languages opens a whole new world of music. New songs to cry, laugh, dance, and sing to. Those more tangible or visible aspects of culture I just alluded to could be in addition to the telling rhythms and instruments of a particular culture and though you may understand the lyrics, it may still seem foreign to you. It just sounds that way.

But (and I say this as an American), when you hear an R&B or pop-y or rock or pop rock song in another language and you understand it and it make you cry...are you glad?! I can't shake the dilemma-ish feeling of being super glad that my translation skills made it past Top 40 wherever in the world and feeling exhaustingly emotional over the actual lyrics.

Yay, YouTube! =) Keep learning foreign languages. It will help you understand English better. Bis spaeter and see you later.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ain't no low acid, this is fresh-squeezed!

The early bird gets the fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Last week I finally learned a bit more about Iron Hen and found my way there for a simple and filling breakfast.

And because it was me, I couldn’t order a breakfast meal or one biscuit or Danish; I had to make a meal out of sides. I got the fresh-squeezed orange juice* (and I am glad to pay the premium), a biscuit, and some home fries.

I had to resist putting in my Bojangles order of an egg-and-cheese biscuit. Not that I go to Bojangles that often, but I know that it’s that over-the-top combination of eggs and cheese that I will love until the third bite (after which I gottawannaneeda cleansing fast). I’m glad that I got out of the house early enough so I could get lost on Cridland for at least 15 minutes. I’m pretty used to seeing Cridland from driving on E. Wendover but I’ve never ventured past the intersection. Before discovering the location of Iron Hen, Cridland and Wendover’s shining glory for me was the Dunkin’ Donuts. Yet, I have never actually been in that DD location…

I really need to eat more fruits and vegetables.

The biscuit was large and in charge; I couldn't finish the whole thing so it was biscuit for lunch, too! The home fries were amazingly perfect; they weren’t too oily and if I can confirm that they aren’t prepared on the same surface as the bacon, ham, etc., Iron Hen just may need to stock up on the potatoes because I’ll be there.

*I suppose I became addicted to fresh-squeezed orange juice in Macau this summer. I got it as often as I let myself from Hyper Gourmet because, even with the exchange rate in my favor, I thought it cost a pretty pataca.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Beans on Buns

I need to figure out why Summit-anything in Greensboro is called “Summit.” I need to know the origins of such things! That knowledge is my life-force (or is it life-source?).

Oh, and my other motivation to make do every day is a good home-made veggie burger. Ok, not home-made, because though it seems like it would be easy enough, I’m not trying to make any anytime soon. I am still dealing with my cupcake-hangover.

I used to default to the burger section of menus at restaurants because I figured that there would be a veggie burger option. Soon enough, though, I got irritated by the fact that these “burgers” were most likely the Boca or Morningstar Farms variety. Sometimes, the restaurant would point out the brand with no shame. Alright, alright, there shan’t be any shame (oh my goodness I didn’t know that “shan’t” was a real contraction); the restaurant is just trying to cater to that set of customers, right? They gave us something! Um, yeah.

Well, if you do like I do and go to Five Guys and complain that even their grilled cheese sandwich is, um…not good…you really can’t complain. Some places just may not take the initiative to create dishes that are vegetarian or vegan. Now, one often enough finds dishes that happen to be vegetarian or vegan and are also pretty complex, even haute, or just plain great. Is that just being lucky?

Anyhow, before I depress myself too much, I know that what makes me happy is when I see that a restaurant has an in-house made veggie burger. Even if the restaurant used the same basic ingredients or flavors as a Morningstar or Boca mushroom or black bean burger that would be fine with me because those flavors ain’t that bad. Perhaps the worst thing about those frozen patties is just that—they’re patties. They are “veggie burgers” to be categorized with the other burgers on the menu. If we called it anything else, it would just be a sandwich, right? But, who makes sandwiches with patties that aren’t hamburgers? Oh, sure, there are chicken patties, yes, yes. Hmmm…can we just call it flavor-fun on a bun? Because, you know, all good sandwiches come on buns. Of course.

Last week I tried two, count ‘em, two veggie burgers of the house at The Summit Station and from Hogan’s Groovy Gourmet. Both were very different and very flavorful on non-competitive levels. The buns were different, the patty ingredients were different, and the toppings were different. Yes, even the veggie burger can have variety beyond “Grillers,” mushroom, and black bean.

The Pinto Burger at The Summit Station.

Can I have fries with that?