0

Nepalapalooza

A fun title for what might be a not-so-fun post, or at least not the most uplifting one, but it’s the second book in the recent past I’ve read about Nepal and incidentally also the second one I’ve read by Jon Krakauer, so I thought it appropriate. Here’s my take on his book Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster.

Laconic recap: This book is not for the faint of heart. Granted, Krakauer’s books aren’t on the feel-good side in general, but this one was particularly striking. It was gripping, though, at the same time, and as I read more, I really felt like time slowed down to a stop, just like it must have been on that freezing, windy night up on Mount Everest in May 1996.

1

Why I Now Own A Snoopy Notepad

The other day, I found some delicious mixed nuts at Marshalls.

They were so delicious, in fact, that I returned a few days later, to buy the remaining three bags, but steeled myself to pick up at least one other thing so it didn’t seem like I just came for mixed nuts. So I picked up a few random items.

And that’s why I now own a Snoopy notepad.

0

What Fresh Hell Can This Be: International Mailing

I sent a book to Texas this week that cost me $4.

I sent a book half that size to Finland, which cost me $22.50.

What is wrong with this picture?

**another update to this post**

One of my favorite hobbies is sending and receiving books via BookCrossing or PaperBackSwap. Now that I’m moving to a new place in August, one of my goals is to get rid of unnecessary stuff, including some of my extensive book collection. In the past few weeks, I have managed to read and send out 15-20 books to people, mostly via PaperBackSwap, which is domestic only, versus BookCrossing, which can be international.

Media Mail is one of the most wonderful things ever invented for sending books around the country. It starts at about $2.63 per package, going up a few dollars if it’s a particularly heavy book, and given that I’ve gotten a lot of books for free either as gifts or from friends, it’s a very small price to pay for the cost of a good read. However, Media Mail only exists in the USA, and I learned the hard way this week that the base price for international mailing is a criminal $22.50, which I paid twice, once to Finland and once to the UK. For that kind of money, you could probably buy at least 2 copies of the same book over there and still have enough left over for a cup of tea, or whatever the Finns drink (cocoa?) to sip while you enjoyed reading. To make things worse, while Media Mail has free tracking (which used to cost extra), you have to fill out an extra customs form to send things overseas, and there’s no tracking system, so if you’re sending something to, say, Istanbul, and it doesn’t get there, it could be anywhere from under the desk of the postmaster in Madison or in the back of a truck halfway to Syria, for what it’s worth.

One other option for international mailing is FedEx, which is also criminally expensive but at least comes with tracking. I used it just once to send something to Israel, and it cost me twice what the item was worth, but at least I got to see it bounce from Madison through Memphis, London, and Paris before it eventually arrived in Israel, safely. Never doing that again unless it’s a real emergency.

So how do we solve this? I have no clue. Write to my congressman? My postmaster? I don’t remember it ever being this costly to send stuff overseas, and at this rate if I keep offering books to people in other countries, it’s eventually going to bankrupt me.

For now, at least, I’m sticking to PBS, and the occasional domestic bookcrosser. I guess the days of fun international shipping are over. Sigh.

0

Jenna Julien Podcast Commentary (possibly part one?)

So, I’m kind of obsessed with anything Jenna Marbles/Waffsicle, which includes watching each week’s Jenna Julien podcast in full, even if it’s over an hour long. Usually I do it alone, on my couch, on a weeknight. Today, I was preparing to do the same, when I randomly posted what I was doing in Waffsicle Skype chat and half-jokingly asked if anyone wanted to watch with me. And weirdly enough, I got a very quick bleep-blorp from another chatter saying that she would!

Everyone, meet my new best friend Gessica Getto (a self-made, Jenna-inspired pseudonym), coming to you live from Fort Collins, Colorado.

Below is the video we watched and our commentary on it. I’ll try to break it up every so often with a gif or a picture so it’s not just a wall of text.

So, here it goes…Jacob and Gessica’s take on Jenna Julien Podcast Episode #144: Don’t Get Me Started.

[9:55:32 PM] Jacob: OK, got my Google cast set up and about to stream
[9:55:53 PM] Gessica Getto: Ok I’m getting there
[9:56:15 PM] Jacob: Cool, maybe I can put this up as commentary on mah blog
[9:56:30 PM] Gessica Getto: Oh yes please do!
[9:56:57 PM] Jacob: This episode is brought to you by Naturebox WHAT A DEAL, Marble’s backpack, and Jenna’s fierce hair realness
[9:57:14 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂 yesssss
[9:57:41 PM] Jacob: And Meeeeundies, which I would never wear, because…I’m actually a garbage person IRL
[9:57:51 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂😂😂
[9:58:02 PM] Jacob: Jenna’s ready for her closeup with dat shawl doe
[9:58:36 PM] Gessica Getto: Ooooo yes gurl get it
[9:58:41 PM] Jacob: her hair shape looks like Princess Leia’s mother, IKR?
[9:58:52 PM] Jacob: or some red extension cords
[9:58:58 PM] Gessica Getto: It does 😂😂

Padme Amidala

Princess Leia’s actual mother is Padme Amidala. Not too far off… (photo from AboutSerialKillerMovies.blogspot.com)

[10:00:30 PM] Jacob: Oh Marble.
[10:00:49 PM] Gessica Getto: He’s so cute in his little suitcase 😂
[10:00:51 PM] Jacob: I’m up to the part where Julien is explaining.
[10:01:05 PM] Jacob: And Jenna’s wearing Wisconsin HELL YEAH
[10:01:11 PM] Jacob: I want a WI LMT so bad
[10:01:19 PM] Jacob: Jenna pulls from the hat…
[10:01:25 PM] Gessica Getto: HELLZ YES
[10:01:33 PM] Jacob: Renting your house?
[10:01:45 PM] Jacob: that was some noise, Jenna
[10:02:57 PM] Jacob: …and now we know how many toilets J and J have.
[10:03:23 PM] Gessica Getto: Yep 😂 it’s nice to know
[10:04:28 PM] Jacob: BTW, I wonder if Jenna has seen Waitress the Musical, I think she’d like it because the main character’s name is Jenna. Whenever I listen to the soundtrack I always imagine Jenna as Jenna.
[10:05:09 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂😂😂 Oml that’s hilarious
[10:05:19 PM] Jacob: I’ll link you when we’re done

It only takes…Jessie Mueller as Jenna in Waitress (photo from Pinterest)

[10:05:29 PM] Jacob: TBH, them talking about their house is kinda boring
[10:05:38 PM] Jacob: Unless plot twist, they have an open house@
[10:06:29 PM] Jacob: Ok, Julie’s turn
[10:06:40 PM] Gessica Getto: Yesssss
[10:06:42 PM] Jacob: LOL ITS ABOUT JENNA
[10:07:02 PM] Jacob: Jenna is absolutely right, she would rant about it.
[10:07:19 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂😂😂😂 SO TRUE
[10:08:18 PM] Jacob: “Will you wheel me around?” ::slow motion pull::
[10:09:28 PM] Jacob: Marbles in his PATW
[10:09:37 PM] Jacob: Jenna picks…Gildey
[10:10:02 PM] Jacob: No it was Julien
[10:10:10 PM] Gessica Getto: Oh lord Gildey 😂😂
[10:10:30 PM] Jacob: She’s not in the videos enough for us to really know a lot about her.
[10:10:37 PM] Gessica Getto: “She runs away!” 😂
[10:10:44 PM] Jacob: I only remember her from 4-way dog sweater
[10:11:22 PM] Gessica Getto: I remember her from Debbie bringing her around in the vlogs and stuff
[10:11:26 PM] Jacob: Heh, dogs that don’t know how to dog
[10:11:38 PM] Jacob: Yeah, but she was not really featured.
[10:11:50 PM] Jacob: I wish I had a dog 😦 never have
[10:12:06 PM] Gessica Getto: Yeah that’s true. You’ve never had a dog??? Really?!
[10:12:13 PM] Jacob: No.
[10:12:25 PM] Jacob: Not a lot of people had them where I grew up.
[10:15:39 PM] Jacob: Yeah, morning drinking, kind of pathetic
[10:16:02 PM] Jacob: It’s called Kathie Lee is watching her years trickle by.
[10:16:06 PM] Gessica Getto: *cat
[10:16:21 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂😂😂😂
[10:16:53 PM] Jacob: Yeah, Hoda is annoying.
[10:17:08 PM] Gessica Getto: Yeah
[10:17:23 PM] Jacob: LOL I almost thought he was going to say wine drinking ho

Much funnier gif than what you find when searching “wine drinking ho.” (photo from Giphy)

[10:17:38 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂😂😂😂 I did too
[10:17:46 PM] Jacob: SAMESIES!
[10:18:02 PM] Gessica Getto: TWINSIES!! 😂
[10:18:08 PM] Jacob: This is so much better than just watching it alone.
[10:18:20 PM] Jacob: With my lame lime water and chicken
[10:18:50 PM] Gessica Getto: It is! I literally don’t have friends so this is the most fun I’ve had in a while. Ooooo and chicken sounds good!
[10:19:21 PM] Jacob: Julien picks…
[10:19:37 PM] Jacob: huh?
[10:19:54 PM] Gessica Getto: What?
[10:20:11 PM] Jacob: ah, ok, Jenna explained it.
[10:20:18 PM] Gessica Getto: Yeah ok
[10:20:35 PM] Jacob: “for centuries in video games”
[10:20:56 PM] Jacob: Yep, just like Marie Antoinette did.
[10:21:08 PM] Gessica Getto: Yep
[10:21:53 PM] Jacob: Kind of a pet peeve when they say asinine comparisons like that.
[10:22:19 PM] Gessica Getto: Yeah it’s a bit annoying 😂
[10:22:52 PM] Jacob: Also, not a video gamer here
[10:22:58 PM] Jacob: You?
[10:23:29 PM] Gessica Getto: I know some but not much. I just play a lot of GTA 5 and the old original Nintendo games
[10:23:43 PM] Jacob: Yeah, another thing I did not have growing up.
[10:23:53 PM] Jacob: Although in theatre we had body mics

Image result for old original nintendo games

Maybe this? (picture from nesfiles.com)

[10:25:58 PM] Jacob: Is Julien doing all the picking from now on?
[10:26:02 PM] Jacob: AD TIME
[10:26:10 PM] Gessica Getto: I guess so
[10:26:35 PM] Jacob: Jenna singing Madonna
[10:27:07 PM] Gessica Getto: Her singing gives me life 😂
[10:27:21 PM] Jacob: I legit LOLed “have these been on your butt?”
[10:27:24 PM] Gessica Getto: I don’t either tbh
[10:27:31 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂😂😂 that was great
[10:29:51 PM] Jacob: Contact probs are real life
[10:30:08 PM] Gessica Getto: They are definitely
[10:30:17 PM] Jacob: Next up…something else I don’t know much about.
[10:30:29 PM] Gessica Getto: Yep
[10:31:15 PM] Gessica Getto: I’m so sorry I’m like the most boring person ever I don’t know how to talk to people sorry if I’m lame
[10:31:35 PM] Jacob: Just comment on what you’re seeing/hearing 🙂
[10:31:57 PM] Jacob: I think Katy Perry peaked at I Kissed A Girl
[10:32:02 PM] Gessica Getto: Alright 👍
[10:32:06 PM] Gessica Getto: Yes I agree
[10:32:16 PM] Gessica Getto: Her new stuff I’m not a fan of
[10:33:34 PM] Gessica Getto: I’m actually surprised that she is on YouTube and does livestreams
[10:33:53 PM] Jacob: I just feel like she wants to one-up everyone
[10:34:00 PM] Jacob: Out Gaga-gaga, Out Miley-miley
[10:34:59 PM] Gessica Getto: Yeah, it seems like it to me. I’ve never been a big fan of her, but I listen to classic rock so I don’t really have a good grasp on music from the present
[10:35:51 PM] Jacob: Whoop there it is

Image result for pitch perfect whoop there it is

Thank you, Rebel Wilson. (gif from Giphy)

[10:36:10 PM] Jacob: Katy Perry
[10:36:21 PM] Jacob: Katy Perry + YouTube = $$
[10:36:45 PM] Gessica Getto: It’s so true
[10:37:06 PM] Jacob: If you can’t do the content, get off the YouTewbs
[10:38:32 PM] Gessica Getto: She did a therapy session? Jesus get off your high horse Katy
[10:38:47 PM] Jacob: I think she’s on a marshmallow horse
[10:38:59 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂😂😂😂😂 true
[10:39:20 PM] Jacob: I’m up to pulp
[10:39:28 PM] Jacob: I don’t like orange juice at all
[10:39:49 PM] Jacob: Is he referencing Dewey Defeats Truman?
[10:39:57 PM] Jacob: That was unexpected.
[10:39:58 PM] Gessica Getto: I’m not supposed to drink orange juice because of the sugar content
[10:40:06 PM] Jacob: Me with the acid
[10:40:36 PM] Gessica Getto: Yeah. I do crave it once in a while but I don’t ever drink it
[10:40:49 PM] Jacob: You know what is good though?
[10:40:55 PM] Gessica Getto: What?
[10:40:55 PM] Jacob: Chicken made with frozen OJ
[10:41:04 PM] Jacob: it’s surprisingly tasty
[10:41:16 PM] Gessica Getto: OH YEA THAT IS VERY TASTY
[10:41:20 PM] Jacob: To make orange chicken
[10:41:37 PM] Gessica Getto: It’s really good I do agree
[10:41:54 PM] Jacob: Starbucks Refreshers have bits
[10:42:06 PM] Jacob: Heh he thought Starbucks too
[10:42:14 PM] Jacob: Bubble tea!
[10:42:19 PM] Jacob: Jenna, bubble tea!
[10:42:34 PM] Gessica Getto: I’ve never actually had bubble tea

Image result for bubble tea

Me, yelling at my screen (gif from Rebloggy)

[10:42:44 PM] Jacob: Jenna’s turn!
[10:43:06 PM] Jacob: Heh, we haven’t seen Ad in a while
[10:44:30 PM] Gessica Getto: Jenna scared Ad 😂 I feel awful but it’s slightly funny
[10:45:12 PM] Jacob: Julien describing what a hamster does
[10:45:44 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂😂😂 it’s perfect I love it
[10:45:56 PM] Jacob: Julien picks Post Mates
[10:46:06 PM] Jacob: Another thing I’ve never used and can’t relate to!
[10:46:12 PM] Jacob: But its J and J so whatevs.
[10:47:07 PM] Gessica Getto: I don’t have access to postmates in Colorado so I can relate that we can’t relate to using postmates
[10:47:27 PM] Jacob: I’ve never even looked if it’s here in WI.
[10:47:52 PM] Gessica Getto: No one I know knows what Post Mates is
[10:50:24 PM] Jacob: I’ve never seen Ree either
[10:50:38 PM] Gessica Getto: I can relate to Taco Bell tho
[10:51:10 PM] Jacob: Julien outros with a dog hat
[10:51:23 PM] Jacob: Dop dop dop dop deep deep
[10:51:54 PM] Gessica Getto: 😂😂😂 best out to ever
[10:51:55 PM] Jacob: That was fun, we should coordinate another watching!
[10:52:12 PM] Jacob: I think I’ma go check on my laundry
[10:52:36 PM] Gessica Getto: Yeah definitely! I’ll have to fix my computer so I don’t have to hop back and forth. Ok, have fun with laundry!
[10:53:01 PM] Jacob: Hope no one threw it on the floor. Don’t get me started….

 

 

If you came down this far, hope you enjoyed reading this kind of lazy post 🙂

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Legends of the Hidden Temple

I’ve had this one as a (misspelled) placeholder post for awhile, and in the coming weeks, I hope to go through all the ones like this that I have (and there are quite a few) and update them, so don’t be surprised if you experience some deja vu.

A few weeks ago, I finished a book I randomly selected from a shelf in the library, The Temple Goers, which is the first novel by Indian writer Aatish Taseer.

The back cover blurb is one hundred percent misleading; the event mentioned there doesn’t occur until about the last quarter of the book, and it’s not really the focus of the story. The story centers on the very unlikely friendship between returning Indian expat Aatish Taseer (no relation to the author of the book), and Aakash, a personal trainer who has some…shall we say, interesting hobbies. Aakash takes Aatish under his wing and reintroduces him to Delhi, but to a different Delhi than where the latter grew up. They go from high society parties to sordid sex dens to the eponymous temple, a portion of the book which the author describes in extreme, painstaking detail a ceremony which lasts all night. Other plot complications include Aatish’s relationship with his girlfriend Sanyogita – who’s obviously got a thing for her boyfriend’s new bro – and Sanyogita’s aunt Chamunda, a politician who allows Aatish to live in her apartment while he is in Delhi.

Overall, I would describe it as fair, maybe better than average. Some of the description is long-winded, but other parts are so delicious that I just had to put the book down and sort of fantasize. It’s less the story of Aatish than it is of the city in which he grew up, which looks completely different to him as an adult. As far as genre, it incorporates a but of magical realism, but I’d probably call it gritty neon realism, because the reader kind of feels like they spent the whole book shuffling from one crazy scenario to another, like barhopping in Cancun. The message of neocolonialism – which I didn’t even pick up on until reading some reviews, is really present; as much as the characters want to break down barriers, they are constantly putting each other in categories and on levels. In a society that is post caste-system, The Temple Goers shows that Delhi society just can’t seem to break free of classism, even if it’s not determined by outsiders.

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed Taseer’s writing and I’ve already picked his next book up from the library.

3

Things Adults Should Get A Medal For

This is either a statement of me accepting my reality, or getting way too into The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo.

So, here’s the preliminary list.

  1. Putting on pants before 3 PM.
  2. Shopping before midnight.
  3. Paying a bill with a check in an envelope with a stamp.
  4. Finishing a bag of lettuce before it all goes bad.
  5. Eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables each day.
  6. Drinking the recommended amount of water each day.
  7. Keeping plants alive for more than a week.
  8. Complimenting other peoples’ children even when they don’t deserve it.
  9. Resisting the urge to eat all the desserts (no medal for me today).
  10. Deleting dating apps from your phone.