Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I always forget to lotion my hands

Week 9 is upon us. Even if I did not have a calendar and considerate teachers reminding me daily of impending doom, I'd be able to tell what week it is solely by the amount of blemishes on my skin and bruises on my legs that have appeared. Blemishes because, dear God, why not? after all, it is Lent, and it appears giving up credit cards by default wasn't enough (I STILL DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE ONE SINCE MY WALLET WAS STOLEN, I HAVE TO RESTRAIN MYSELF FROM HURLING MY BOOKS ACROSS THE ROOM RIGHT NOW AND PULLING OUT THE FEW REMAINING STRANDS OF HAIR ON MY HEAD AND WHY ME, WHY ME WHY ME WHY ME), zits would complete the real deal and guarantee my lowly spot in heaven, and bruises, because the later in the quarter it is, the more books I have to swing around campus, and the more fights I have to get into to get to a table at the library with an electric outlet for my computer.

So, as an enjoyable diversion, I've decided to interrupt my solitary vigil over Very Boring Books to bring you the latest:

Variation #638 on Scrambled Eggs: With Walnuts

I would recommend toasting the walnuts with some chopped onions before pouring in the egg. Then it might not taste so...weird.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's Saturday night, and I unclogged the shower drain.

There are many useful reasons to study a foreign language, but perhaps this excellent website is the determining factor.

One beauty of this website is that it conjugates verbs for you. If you've been dying to use the future perfect in Spanish of a certain verb, then its handy-dandy verb conjugator will provide you with the correct form. All this of course also makes writing essays a cinch.

Another beautiful part of this website that I discovered last year is that it has a discussion forum where people can post some technical grammar questions so people can answer them. So if you're not sure exactly how you should use that future perfect verb, someone more knowledgeable can tell you, or if you don't really know how to use "whichever," you just go to the definition of "whichever" and post your question in the forum.

Last year I did not really pay much attention to these forums. I guess you can say my idea of fun last year was something like wild parties and late nights, but since my idea of fun has transformed into sitting on the 3rd floor of the library instead of the 4th and maybe using the Mexican Seasoning in my scrambled eggs instead of the usual Lemon-Pepper Seasoning, intently examining these discussion forums have provided an on-the-edge-of-my-seat sort of exciting time.

It started with just looking at the words I had to use. All those words that would insure I sound magnificently pretentious in every sentence, like "ambiguity," "inarguably," "duplicity," "multiplicity," or "underlying." Then I realized that by slightly altering the words, I could come up with some interesting forum discussions.

Let's have a look.

For "girlfriend," we have someone inquiring:

Would someone translate this sentence to Mexican, spanish?

I want to be your girlfriend and I love you with all my heart, but we are two different people, you just let me know when you are ready.

If she needs help translating something that has a maximum of two verb tenses, then that relationship has to be deep and there are absolutely no language barriers.

Then there is also the amusing question of translating:

"Tell your ex-girlfriend you broke up with me so she doesn't call me looking for you"

it's necessary to tell my boyfriend. i get more late night calls from her than my boyfriend!

For "boyfriend," we've got some naiive girl saying...

Hello, I'm having alot of trouble trying to translate this letter into spanish for my spanish boyfriend and i know a few words like "te quiero" is i love you, "ninguna" is nobody, "feliz" is happy, "corazon" is heart and things like that, but it's so hard for me to put it all together, can somone please help me?? this is the letter:

"I can never stop thinking about you. I miss you all the time, even right after i see you. You are so amazing and no one else is like you. I don't think I've ever felt this way about anybody and there is no one that can compare to you. You are the one man that i love and always will love with all my heart and soul, you mean the world to me and nothing else makes me happier than when I'm with you. I love being in your arms and giving you kisses and I love when you kiss me because you have the sweetest kisses and the most caring hugs. You make me very happy and you are the sweetest guy that says the cutest things and you always know what to say to make me smile and laugh. You are so special to me and I can't wait to see you again."

Gag. Vomit. I hope she wrote it on scented paper and I hate to say it, and I bet he's cheating on her.

For "stupid" (ok, this one is too easy) someone says:

How would you say "stupid white buffoon"?

Would it be:

"bufon blanco estupido"?

Thank you for your input.
But for something more innocuous like "dragon," you get

Como se dice "the dragon shot fire out of his nostrils"

That's some pretty contagious snot he has.

As I continue writing essays, I might post some more interesting forum discussions. For now, though, since it is Saturday night, I'd better be getting to sleep...er...I mean...I'd better be on my way OUT to some crazy party....before someone thinks that I am some loser who has nothing better to do than to look at wordreference on a weekend evening.

Edit: I highly recommend these photographs. I have no idea who he is, but he's got great pictures from Italy and all over Europe, if you're feeling a little nostalgic.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A little too eager

Today I got to the library before it opened. I've only done this one other time before 2 years ago. I can't even begin to explain the deep feeling of rejection one experiences when he arrives too early to the library. It's like getting rejected by THE brace-face, four-eyes, be-pimpled nerd in high school when you ask him out to senior prom.

And oh, by the way, I have got the world's COOLEST friend.

What a city slicker.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Just thinking

When my sister came to visit me in November in Rome, she and I went to "fouri i muri" (outside the walls...IN ITALIAN. GOD. I AM SO CULTURED IT MIGHT KILL ME) to see what was there. Aside from many fields over catacombs and none of the giant man-sized cobblestones we were looking for, there were miles upon miles of crazy Roman-driven cars hell-bent on killing every tourist alive and lots of little churches where miracles had happened. And there were no buses.

There was one church in particular that we stopped to see outside of one of the fields where we were run over by a herd of sheep. No joke. If you see some pictures of sheep on my computer, then you know where they came from. In this church, it was reputed that there was a stone someone had brought of Jesus' footbrints imprinted onto a stone slab. We walked around this miniscule church looking for some footprints, ethereal or otherwise. There were none to be had. So, since I was feeling pretty confident that day, I figured I'd ask (in Italian) some of the (Italian) construction workers outside where one could find Jesus' footprints.

So I sauntered over to the construction workers, all smooth, cool, and whatnot, and proceeded to barf my small Italian vocabulary all over their very Italian ears. In the middle of my rant, while serenading them with my shrill voice, I realized I did not have the slightest idea how to say footprints. But there was no turning back now. So I finished with:

"Where are Jesus' shoes?"


"Where are those awesome Nike Air Dunks of Jesus all those people came to see throughout thousands of years? And more importantly, are they on sale?"

So they just started to laugh. And laugh.

Geez, Spanish essays stink.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Most Romantic Sort of Day

While some people seem to be living in places like this:

I seem to be stuck in something like this:

And I would like to remind everyone that 6 months ago or so, I was like this:

Instead of like this:

As you can see, Chicago has turned into the Arctic wasteland. Within a couple of days, I think the top of the Sears Tower will be covered, and I'll be living in my igloo permanently. For now I just take my meals in there after I catch my fish from Lake Michigan.

In any case, before I head out to do some art history, I'd like to wish everyone a very romantic Valentine's Day. On my part, I had a remarkably unromantic one. The closest I got to having a valentine happened at around 11:40 PM when someone was desperate enough to make an attempt at not dying single, lost in the snow. At 11 PM, when I realized that my nutritional value information for the day looked remarkably scant/like a 5 year old's intake on Halloween, I went to Walgreens for some REAL food. While waiting for the bus, I ran into the zealous librarian whose name is Twjan. Written something like that. Pronounced Taiwan. Known as T. Which makes sense. A single person can't handle me, so a nation was sent to deal with my imminent threat waiting to obliterate the world.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

An overall Hungarian sort of weekend

Who remembers that one internet cartoon video floating around sometime between my junior and senior years of high school of the earth exploding and various international leaders saying stupid things? I hardly remember anything about that video, but the one thing that has stuck with me is some sort of a creature screeching “AHHHH MOTHERLAND” while something detonated.

That dialogue has been running through my head intermittently since I decided that it might be sort of cool to do something with Hungary (AHHHH MOTHERLAND) art for my BA. I initially started out with “I think the Baroque is cool?” which developed into “Hungary (AHHHH MOTHERLAND) is sort of cool too?” and then that morphed into “Maybe the Baroque in Hungary (AHHHH MOTHERLAND) is cool?” which is why I’m sitting in the stacks of the Reg on a Saturday afternoon reading about Art Nouveau in Hungary (AHHHH MOTHERLAND).

Yeah, Art Nouveau. Don’t ask me how THAT happened. Baroque = very late 16th century/17th century – very early 18th century. Art Nouveau (from what I gather) = late 19th – early 20th centuries.

I foresee several problems.

1. My experience with Art Nouveau has been limited to me strolling through the second floor of a museum in Paris among the Art Nouveau furniture, signs, and paintings saying “Golly, this is pretty, I wonder where the bathroom is?” and picking up some really pretty Art Nouveau-ish looking wrapping paper in my favorite bookstore in Rome saying “WHOA, I’d like to hang this on my wall, why would I wrap a CD in this?”
2. I have taken NO classes in art past the Baroque. Sure, when I was taking my Baroque art class one summer we walked through the top floor of a museum where the teacher gave some sort of an introduction to modern art with “So art didn’t stop after the Baroque, there were one or two developments afterwards.”

I guess I only have myself to blame for this large gap in my art history education. I started out college first quarter first year taking a late Byzantine art class, and the next quarter I wanted to jump to “Art in the US in the 1960s.” But then my mom brought up a good point: How would I make the transition from the 1st century to the 20th century? So then I started plowing through the centuries of art, through Romanesque, Gothic, Late Gothic, Early Renaissance, Late Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, Rococo, Flamboyant, Medieval Mongol and Mamluk Art and Architecture, Prints and Drawings of the 16th-18th century and then I sort of got stuck in the Baroque.

I don’t regret doing this. In fact, my first art history class ever, even if I didn’t have any idea what in the world I was doing in a Byzantine art class, and at the time I didn’t understand the art, was extremely useful in teaching me how a sleep deprived, hungry student can stay awake in a darkened room. Now you can put me in any sort of art history class, one that talks about different nail head formations of carpenters and the ruts their hinges formed in the bottom of cabinets during the Renaissance, and I will stay awake. Guaranteed. It’s a sort of mark of pride of third year art history students: you can tell a third year from a first year judged by the condition the students emerge from the class. If you stand outside the Self-Portraits, Autobiographies and Diaries art history class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the first years will skip out of the class, fresh from a 1 hour and 50 minute nap, while 3rd years will drag/crawl out from class with a glazed, bleary look on their faces having just spent an hour and 50 minutes listening to how interesting it was that that one artist drew curly hair when he REALLY had straight hair.

(aside: I actually have no idea what the class is about. I did want to take it, though)

So anyway, the long and short of this is that my understanding of Art History is entirely linear. I have to move chronologically from one period to the next because if I don’t then I break out and the world explodes. Kind of like in that one cartoon video.

I know I obviously have to talk to someone about the dilemma on my hands that basically Hungarian Baroque art is nonexistent, since in a moment of brilliance I forgot that HEY! HUNGARY (AHHHH MOTHERLAND) HAD HARDLY ANY ACCESSIBLE IDENTITY IN THE BAROQUE! and this emerging interest/more information I can find in early 20th century developments.

And then also, I am just sort of allergic to people who cling unnaturally strongly to their national roots in order to establish a personal identity. My reaction to this is “You know what, first deal with what’s on your hands first, and then try to make a complementary blend of the two,” but that is a whole different can of worms, which involves “Why Adrianne always felt uncomfortable at Hungarian (AHHHH MOTHERLAND) Scouts. And it wasn’t just because she had to tuck her shirt in all the time.”

The rest of my Hungarian (AHHHH MOTHERLAND) sort of weekend involved Bruce ever so nicely taking my suggestion of studying the Hungarian (AHHHH MOTHERLAND) language for a language project he has to do in a class, and my mom yelling at me this morning in Hungarian (AHHHH MOTHER(LITERALLY)LAND). But actually, that’s how Hungarians communicate. They don’t know how to speak below 80,000 dB. So Bruce, when I make those sound recording for you, expect nothing less than a full-bodied bellow when I say “A bear is chasing Ferenc.”

And expect me to walk around campus like this from now on:

Because I owe Motherland one great big thanks for maybe fueling my BA.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Foodnetwork makes you delusional

Just a little bit ago I put my clothes in the dryer. It's 2:04 AM right now, Friday February 9th, and I thought it would be a good idea to do laundry NOW, seeing as I have no clean underwear or socks, even though I have to get up in a mere...6 hours or so. At around 1 AM when I put my clothes in washing machine, I was overcome by the most powerful urge to taste my Tide with Downy liquid detergent.

I successfully fought the urge to swipe of dollop of Tide deliciousness into my drooling mouth, but why I wanted to taste it I'm still wondering about. I was putting my clothes in the washing machine when it occurred to me "This stuff smells REMARKABLY like watermelon. Like a fresh watermelon on a hot, summery, breezy day! I wonder if it TASTES like a fresh watermelon!" And that's when I decided I might be able to make a sandwich with Tide and some dryer sheets. And that's when I went outside to take a few deep breathes.

I'm blaming this ALL on The Foodnetwork. Last Saturday, after Mary Kate and I woke up sort tired and bleary-eyed from an uncustomary Friday night, I spent 3 hours in the fetal position in front of The FoodNetwork watching Rachel Ray, Giada, The Barefoot Contessa, and some man making a Bloody Mary imparting their wisdom upon me. By the end of the 3 hour session, after I had stretched out in a horizontal position and decided that this standing up business wouldn't be so hard to do, I mean, all I have to do is stand up while still holding this position, I was entirely convinced that I could go out into my back alley, pick some branches from a rosemary bush to make some rosemary chicken before going out into the front courtyard to rip some fresh basil leaves off of my basil plant.

(These plants are imaginary. I do not have, nor will I ever have rosemary or basil plants.)

It's Giada and Rachel Ray who are particularly dangerous. Mary Kate and I end up watching their shows, nodding our heads vigorously at their suggestions, like "CINNAMON GNOCCHI! WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT BEFORE?!" or we both run over to the fridge after Rachel Ray says "You can totally make Ham and Spinach Hash with Fried Eggs with the leftovers you have in the fridge!" and decide that why YES, with these three carrots and this wilted onion we can make the Ham and Spinach Hash with Fried Eggs, or even the Oregon Style Pork Chops with Pinot Noir and Cranberries, Oregan Hash with Wild Mushrooms, Greens, Beets, Hazelnuts, and Blue Cheese, Charred Whole Grain Bread with Butter and Chives! And only in 30 minutes!

And then when I'm making my own gourmet meals, like instant oatmeal or scrambled eggs, I've got a dialogue running through my head every step of the way. Like:

"Now what you want to do is to pour the milk ALL OVER the oatmeal (Rachel Ray handmotion) and make sure that you mix it up just a liiiiiittle bit (over-vigorous little shaking motion) so that the brown sugar isn't stuck entirely to the bottom. This is so you don't get that great big chunk of sugar at the bottom after you take this out of the microwave. Then you want to put your bowl in the microwave without getting any of the liquid on the side, because then you just get those ugly burnt oats on the side of the bowl, and then you're going to want to close the microwave door and hit the cook button twice for two minutes. Now some people like their oatmeal in there for one minute, other people 2 minutes and thirty seconds, but I'm a 2 minute kind of gal."

The dialogue for scrambled eggs is a little longer because you have a choice of two spices to flavor your eggs with.

So I'm going to go get my clothes out of the dryer. I will try not to eat my socks along the way.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

One thing only

If you live around here, I'm sure you suffered just as much as I did when on Tuesday it would just not...stop...SNOWING. My friends reading this in California might be all "...but it's SNOW! RUDOLPH! YETI!" but there is a line drawn somewhere between dashing through the snow and baby it's cold outside, and that line came yesterday.

When I was still taking Egyptian I would have a study session with a grad student named Katie. In addition to having the most beautiful wedding ring I have ever seen on anyone, including Catherine Zeta-Jones's 10-carat bowling ball hanging off her ring finger, Katie had a great sense of humor and had studied around 12 dead languages. She had gone to Harvard for a bit, and I remember her telling me that the minute it started snowing in Harvard, there would be people running around with cups collecting the snowflakes, and then I'm sure they went into some vault where they would be labeled with something like "Snowflake sample #17,985,423, acidity 3%."

Not here! I was forced to leave for class 10 minutes early to trek from the Reg to Cobb and why? Not because those two buildings are far away. Merely because I had to use the whole "Right foot down, hold for 10 seconds, left foot down, hold for 10 second" technique and going up slippery, steep staircases meant "Right foot down, hold for a minute, left foot down, hold for a minute."

In conclusion, some snow is no longer that beautiful. Adding together my near slips and falls, I'd say that it would amount to a grand total of 3 fantastic smashes into the ground, but since I've caught myself every time, I'm still ok. Not like that time where I slipped down and entire staircase in Cobb and ended up with the most delicious smack at the very bottom.

So I'm just going to tally this up as Snow: 1 Adrianne: 0.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Expanding our food groups significantly

Thank you for the oranges!