Thursday, August 20, 2009

August vacation summary

Oh man I am having so much fun on vacation! This is a boring vacation post, I hope you are ready for that. I left my camera in P-town, but that has allowed me to worry about actually enjoying myself and not about documenting all my fun. On Friday my mom picked me up from the airport and we went to Telegraph in Berkeley. I had some chicken curry from this fantastic1 Indian place and we bought a few books at Moe's. Saturday my whole family here went to a tidepool beach and hiking by the shore.

Monday we went with to the Monterey Bay Aquarium - great seahorses, river otters, and cuttlefish! I looked into getting my own cuttlefish when I returned, but my little brother informed me that they would require a large tropical saltwater tank, which is more complicated than your regular Beta fish. The Internet also informs me that cuttlefish are difficult to find in petshops (especially in land-locked states) and don't hold up well with shipping. If only I lived in Australia I could just catch my own! They're supposed to be really intelligent, and I wouldn't be surprised if they had personalities and could tell people apart. Speaking of intelligent animals, I was just reading that crows can tell individual humans apart. Maybe I should get a crow as a pet2!

Wednesday I went to this classic car museum with my dad. We rode his motorcycle there and back, which was a bit different and a little fun. There was a really cute Mercedes and some stunning BAT designs. Then today I met up with friends to go to the Museum of Modern Art. The O'Keefe/Ansel Adams exhibit was great and so was Richard Avedon; I wish we had had more time to look at everything. They had a Magritte on display I don't think I had seen before (this one!). So it was good times! I don't want to leave. I enjoy my Provo friends, but it seems like whenever I'm there I have things like work and school to do. :-/

1Okay, I haven't had that much Indian food to know if it was fantastic or not, but I really, really enjoyed it.
2Or do I already have one??

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

celebrities, and I whine

Woo finals time! I think there's such a catharsis with taking a final, but also stupid stress.

So, I watched Star Trek again. Chris Pine is quite attractive! Man, I'm starting to become one of those girls who just watches movies for the cute guys. :-/. Which reminds me, I had this dream I was giving Cary Grant a back rub, and William Shatner was trying to get my attention, but I wasn't having any of it. Like, celebrities in my dreams? This is going too far!

I think Crow is working really long hours or something; he's never online anymore. I'm so powerless to do anything. I miss him a bit, but I'm learning to be less emotionally reliant on him, I guess (I just use my other friends, which isn't bad, but...). I want to encourage him to move back to Provo, but I don't know how without sounding whiny. I was hoping he would move down for fall semester. I'm really annoyed about it. In case you couldn't tell.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Foodies, childhood, and books

It occurs to me that there are different kinds of foodies. There are the vegan or vegetarian or slow food people who are very concerned with the ethical and dietary problems associated with processed food, and then there are the chef people who know the difference between cake flour and bleached flour (or at least can taste it) and are ultimately concerned with how a food tastes. I think there is some overlap between the two, but sometimes less than I'd think. While a vegan would use vegetable or olive oil to make refried beans, the lard alternative gives a meat stockiness flavor that the oil will lack. Lard, I know, gross! I guess it depends on who you talk to. I might be getting my taste neuroscience mixed in with this (which says that ketchup only needs one variety because it's not there for flavor). I think there's a similar overlap between environmentalists who want to save the trees so that we can have more oxygen and wood for later, and preservationists who want to keep critters reproducing so they have something to hunt. They both have very different ethics attached to their beliefs.

Another (unrelated) thing I was thinking about is what it would be like to have grown up in a more academic family. One of my professors is a daughter of Hugh Nibley, and it strikes me that while it might have been fun to know things that other kids weren't taught, it was probably incredibly annoying to get attention through proxy (a famous relative). My parents are smart people, just not the "academic" type (don't get me wrong, my dad has an MBA from a prestigious university, but I think that's different). So, I put myself through some thought experiments (that's a fancy way of saying "seemingly objective fantasies"). I'm not sure if I would have had much interest if my parents had tried to teach me a foreign language, or if I would even have accepted their book recommendations. I was kind of an independent kid, but easily influenced. I liked watching cartoons and playing computer games. I liked reading books that didn't overtly teach me anything.

If my parents had been more interested in academic pursuits, would that have changed the things I liked? Would I have been just as excited to discover Shostakovich if he had been sitting on our music shelves forever? Sometimes I wonder if my "love" of classical music and classic literature is just because it's so different from what I was brought up with. We had some classical music (Tchaikovsky #1 and Rachmaninoff #2 on the same tape, and I still get them confused today, embarrassingly), but it wasn't a focus.

Maybe I'm not giving my parents enough credit. They really encouraged me to pursue my own interests, but I feel like in some areas, I had to rely on other sources to introduce me to Dostoevsky or Chopin. But, I think that my forced exploration was a good thing. It helped me achieve early familiarity with the Internet. Many afternoons after graduating from jr. high were spent chatting with other gamefaqs fans of the Gameboy game Magi Nation, which I never beat, actually. I enjoyed exploring the early archives of (back when they were all midis!) in my early high school years. I got book recommendations from online booklists for music lovers (which led me to read An Equal Music before I was, er, mature enough for it). Along with the internet though, I listened around. If there was a book I had never heard of that the other English classes were reading, I'd go read it. This is a device I still use today - it's how I read Infinite Jest and Brideshead Revisited. But, it makes me wonder: Do I just want to know what everyone else is talking about, or am I interested in the book itself because of its acclaim? Anyway. Stuff I've been thinking about.