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Thursday Trending: What’s Happening In My World This Week

Hey friends, sorry for being kinda absent this week from the blog; I feel like I’ve been absent in more ways than one. But there’s just been some not-so-fun stuff going on. Don’t worry, I am fine, it’s mostly in my head, I feel. Sorry as well for today’s post being on the personal side, and not so much on the fun side.

Someone told me recently that a month or two from now, whatever we are stressing out about at the moment will be but a memory. I don’t completely agree, but to an extent it is true. At least I hope it is, because if this keeps up, I’ll spend my summer hiding under the covers.

So, I thought I’d cheer myself up and maybe make some waves – or something like that – by giving a what’s hot and what’s not list of things that I’ve been into this week.

1. Green Smoothie.

I got this recipe from this awesome rabbi I met last week, and I’ve been drinking it every day. It sounds terrible but tastes incredible. Plus, the ingredients are cheaper than getting a Starbucks every day. I combine:

  • water
  • ice
  • almond milk
  • protein powder
  • honey
  • peanut butter or almond butter
  • banana
  • fill up the rest with fresh spinach leaves

Blend, and enjoy the fortifying vitamins. Yummo for the tummo, the heart, the joints, and the brain.

2. Rachel Sweet on Pandora.

I’ve adored Rachel Sweet for awhile, but only recently did I get the Rachel Sweet channel on Pandora, and it’s just the perfect mix of 1980s teenage angst, black leather jacket behind the malt shop, don’t-fuck-with-me soundtrack. Not only does it play the Rachel Sweet classics but some of her covers (“The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” “Shadows of the Night”) but also some people I like, like Toni Basil and The Go-Go’s. And some I didn’t know I liked, like Josie Cotton, Tracey Ullman, Chasing Furies, Virginia Coalition, Earth & Fire, St. Helena, and Kate Linne. When I was younger, I imagined my future self as someone who liked eclectic, obscure, ahead-of-the-curve music, or at least had a custom life soundtrack. This cuts it pretty darn close. There’s something for every mood, from not wanting to get out of bed in the morning to depressing times to party-for-one-in-my-living-room jams.

3. Panini bread.

Metcalfe’s panini bread is my bitchin’ food discovery. I eat one piece and it makes me feel both fancy and full.

4. Sitting up straight.

I woke up on Wednesday morning with a terrible pain in my shoulders, neck, and back. Laying in bed or on the couch only aggravated it, and reclining in the van and in class with a pillow wasn’t much better. However, I went running on Wednesday night, and though it initially hurt, the more I stuck my chest forward, the lesser the pain. I thought I was all better, but I woke up today just as stiff and sore. I didn’t do much in the way of activity until 2 PM, but when I finally got out of the apartment, I walked with my shoulders back and head forward, and it felt soooo good. Going to standard class tonight helped; I even got compliments on my frame for tango and foxtrot.

5. Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff.

Okay, this one’s probably going to become a regrettable addiction pretty soon, but at least the game makes it so that the further you go, the less frequently that you play it actually helps you get further. Good strategy, app-planners.

So there you have it, my yes-list for the week. And a half-decent post, or something.

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If LinkSys Smart WiFi is So Smart, How Come It’s Sitting in the Neighbor’s Car?

One hour, thirty-eight minutes and two Filipina technicians later, I have wireless internet in my apartment.

Talk about an ordeal.

More of the story as my sanity reappears.

Finally an update…five days later…

So, I purchased a LinkSys wi-fi router at Best Buy, and I knew it was trouble when the salesman tried to explain exactly what it would do. All I needed it to do was maintain a wireless internet connection.

I get home, and follow the three “easy” steps. Plug in power, plug in internet cable, go to a website and voila, hello internet.

Of course, I do all these things and nothing happens. I put the manual CD thing in, and all it is is the same thing in the packet, only in PDF form with useless hotlinks that don’t work BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE INTERNET.

So, I do the next best thing (okay, the SECOND next best thing, getting drunk would have been the first) and call the hotline. After only about 20 minutes of waiting, I say mabuhay to a Filipina named Dianne. She puts forth her best efforts, but one hour and several options later, I’m no better off than where I was. Dianne suggests I return the item to the store, and I ask to speak to a manager. Supervisor Michelle comes on the line, with a much better command of the English language and fortunately, a big heart. She does the override thing that usually solves everything, which they say is only for warranty-registered customers but she’s doing it for me for free because it’s now been an hour and a half. Of course, it’s one setting that’s wrong, and my device is not defective, as previously thought. Thanks, Dianne. But sincere thanks to Michelle, who after two excruciating hours delivered and helped me get on the Internet.

This is the first time I’ve set a connection up by myself, so I got to name the network. What do I pick?

“I Love The Wi-Fi I Got To Boogie.”

Thanks, Alicia Bridges!

See the inspiration for this post’s title here:

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Fraud-enscheude

In case anyone was wondering, I went to bed before finishing my theatre paper the other night, but at least I had 4500 words. Over the past two days I’ve been adding to it, and I can confidently say that aside from a conclusion, I am done with it at ~5600 words. And of course, the syllabus was revised so that it’s no longer due on Thursday but a week from Thursday, after history and poli sci papers…so joke’s on me,  I guess.

I did, however, condense that paper into a ten-minute version and presented it to my class today. There are seven of us in the class, so we each got ten minutes to presentation, followed up by one question from a prescribed class member, and then open discussion. I was the second to present, which was great since I hate waiting; I’d much rather get it over with and then have a much longer sigh of relief. My presentation itself went fair; I hadn’t really planned it much, but instead of writing out a script, I just had the document open on my iPad, and scrolled through it, pulling out points in the order which I wanted to share them. I riffed off the ideas and focused on making eye contact with others while I spoke. For some reason, this makes me feel like people are actually listening to me and not staring through me or imagining that I’m someone else, or a sandwich if they’re hungry. A lot of “ums” and “uhs” but I got the job done in under ten minutes.

I wasn’t really sure what my prescribed class question would be, but it ended up being a good one. I can’t remember the exact wording of the question – it was something about whether the playwright actually believed in seances at that point in his life or if he was poking fun at it – but the one who asked also noted that they’ve sensed a theme of fraud in my work.

 

 

My gut reaction was, are you calling me fake? But then, since I realized that my paper actually was about fraud, I was like…oh, you’ve got a point.

Last semester, I wrote and presented a paper on street gambling, and today, I spoke about mediumship and seances. So after hearing that, I could see how the connection could be made.

Honestly, hearing that was…strangely comforting, in a way.

Someone actually used my work to point out something that I’m interested in that I had never thought about before.

Before today, I never thought of myself as someone with a particular interest in this topic, but now that I think more about it, it seems true. One of the things that draws me to theatre and performance as well as headlines in the news are scandals and the question of “is this really going on? what is the meaning of this? WHY?” Goodness knows, I never make things easy for myself, and I am always up for a challenge. I love a good mystery and delight in solving mysteries of my own, which I’ve actually done. Part of my inspiration for a research project comes from…”there’s gotta be more there. And I’m going to find it.” I suppose you could say that about many other researchers, but for me, when I want to get to the bottom of something, I just fucking go for it until I find it, and if I can’t, I die a little inside.

This reminds me of one of my favorite lines from a favorite play of mine, Bluebeard by Charles Ludlam; in a contemporary theatre course as an undergrad at UMass, I got to play the role of Mrs. Maggot, and took great pleasure in saying one of my final lines in the play: “Women want an answer!” My inner sassy black lady came out in that performance, and I guess that she might be my spirit animal. Sort of like Loni Love, or Leslie Jones, or Loretta Devine, or even Sheneneh Jenkins.

But not Madea. Never Madea.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes…there’s something about frauds and cons and scandals that just lights my fire. If there’s a dead body, a love affair, a mysterious inscription, or any sort of deception, I’m there; but the performance of performance just makes me sizzle inside.

Sizzle.

So, in conclusion…I could live with that. I could be “the fraud guy.” I kind of like that.

And to my friend: thank you for helping me discover something new about myself.

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Fun New Words to Mumble Under Your Breath

One of the courses I’m taking this semester is a seminar in Irish drama. I don’t know much about Ireland and Irish playwrights as I probably should, hence the reason for taking the class. The reading list is gigantic, and with ten readings to be read before Tuesday, I spent the majority of my Saturday not reading them and have only read twenty pages into the first.

Reading an Irish play can be tricky. The language is colorful, to say the least, and it’s written in a dialect. It’s taken me the better part of an hour to read what I have so far, but I’ve been double dipping between reading and watching SNL. This sketch is kind of dumb.

But anyway, back to the play. The one I’m reading is Colleen Bawn by Dion Boucicault. The plot is fairly straightforward, and I’ve already learned two fun new words. And both of them have the same meaning.

First, spalpeen. Originating in the late 18th century, it can be pronounced either spal-peen or spal-peen. Versatile. According to Dictionary.com, it means “lad, boy, rascal, or scamp.”  It comes from an Irish word meaning “hired laborer.” I like the World English Dictionary’s reference to “rascal or layabout” better. I like this word because it doesn’t sound like anything in English, and is slightly sexual in nature.

Another fun one is blackguard. You may have heard this from the Family Guy episode where Stewie dresses up a la Tootsie to get a role on his favorite TV show, Jolly Farm Revue. I didn’t know what the word meant or even if it was indeed a real word. I actually thought it was “blaggard” because that’s how it’s pronounced, although saying it as if it were a compound of “black” and “guard” is also acceptable. And racist. Defined as “scoundrel,” the word refers to menial workers, who were often called the black guard. My favorite feature of this word is that it can be used as a verb or even an adverb, blackguardly, as in, “My man blackguardly left me with three kids and no money.” Now it’s not only racist, but doubly racist.

I…should probably not incorporate those into my daily speech. Maybe the world’s not ready for them yet.

But they still count in Words With Friends.