February 23, 2012

Me Talk Pretty One Day, Reviewed

Welp, I just finished reading Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris...

It was...ok.

If you're at all familiar with Sedaris' other works then you'll recognize and be familiar with the short essay format that is often autobiographical. The book has two parts, the first being centered on his early life, while the second part was about his time in Paris. Most (but not all) of the stories were loosely related to language and speaking. Sedaris is known for being extremely funny, but I found his humor to get a little old in this book.

But I'll start with what I liked. I liked that it was a collection of short essays. Don't get me wrong, I love novels, but it was nice to open the book and close it 10 minutes later with a feeling of accomplishment and finality. Also, many of his stories are really funny. I can honestly say I laughed aloud a few times.

However, the majority of his work is extremely self-deprecating. And I found that it got old. While some of it is funny, other parts went on and on about his drug abuse or his inability to learn French. I felt bad for him, especially if I read more than one story in a row. It's not that his life is a bad one (especially now), it just became painfully obvious that he was picking out these tiny weird parts and expanding on them...and it was kind of hard to read after a while. At least for me. If something is going to be funny, I just want it to be funny. Maybe at the expense of someone else, but not all the time. I really don't need to hear about you dropping out of four art programs because you sucked so bad and didn't realize it. It got to the point where multiple people saw I was reading it and raved about it... and I couldn't understand why...

And now I kind of feel like a bitch for the above paragraph, but honestly, it left a bad taste in mouth after a while.

So in the end, I would recommend this book if you're just looking for something light and easy to read every once in a while. If you're going to be sitting on a beach next weekend and want to plop down with some reading material that will hold you over for a few hours, then find something different.

February 9, 2012

On geology

Ok so I consumed caffeine this morning for the first time in a long time, and I am WIRED. I already finished grading papers, did one run-through of my presentation, and have read a zillion articles and blogs, all in 2 1/2 hours. That's a record for me [that's also why I weaned myself off of caffeine--now when I need  it, it really REALLY works]. And right now I just feel like I need to write. It's a weird feeling, but if I don't I might EXPLODE!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I was in the structure lab this morning and something caught my eye. It was a hand-written note on the white board by one of the undergrads who also uses the lab. It said:

I love rocks, chocolate and Katie

That's it. But reading it brought back some strong (albeit weird) emotions. Mostly from my undergrad. When I really really loved geology. Like, I loved it a lot. I loved learning about it, I loved telling people about it, I loved field trips, I loved fantasizing about grad school and my life as a Geo professor. I just loved it. I loved how it made sense. How it combined my love for the outdoors with my desire to learn. I loved that it encompassed everything from volcanoes to landslides to glaciers to diamonds. I just found it so loveable.

But reading that thing on the board reminded me that I no longer have that passion. And before you stop reading because you think this is going to digress into a "woe is me, I should have done something different, my life sucks and I'm only in my twenties, I'll never find a career" don't. Because it won't. Don't get me wrong I have those thoughts all the time, but there's still a glimmer of hope.  And sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

Like when I go out into the field with the class I TA for. I love showing those kids how to map and I love learning more about the Wasatch Mountains. Those four hours on a Friday are some of my best all week.

Or when I'm making maps with Ron. Granted, it just started, but yesterday I had so. much. fun. doing it. Really!

Or when I'm hanging out with professionals that have cool jobs. It reminds me that there will be something out there for me that doesn't revolve around oil or academia.

But a lot of times I forget about that glimmer, and I get down on myself and I wonder what happened? What happened to the passion and the desire to learn as much as I could? I come to school each day now because I have to, not because I want to. I get all sorts of anxiety thinking about a future career. I ask myself pointless questions such as why I didn't become a doctor or a journalist?

But I guess I just need to remember those glimmers. They're there. And I still love geology. It's just not as strong or in my face as it was when I was an undergrad. I know this is sort of a pointless post, but I just needed to air it out. That's how I get through things. So, sorry if you feel like you've wasted your time. I just re-read it and realized I solved my own problem, but I guess that's why I write, you know? It's my own form of therapy.

February 3, 2012

That is all.

February 2, 2012

Now, let me tell you how to think

I don't often get political on here, but I really should. I have quite strong opinions and I refrain from posting them on the 'book because there are people I am friends with that I don't want to offend. I often feel like I am being a coward because these are things I feel strongly about, but apparently not strongly enough because I don't get the word out.

But here? Here I can do and say whatever I damn well please. This is because I have never told anyone to come and read this blog. And if you are reading it right now, it's because you came here on your own free will. So if liberal tenancies make you squirm you should probably leave now. Just sayin...

Let's start with the bad news. Mostly because it's not that bad after all! Susan G. Komen for the Cure (you know, the Pepto pink everything...?) just announced they're cutting their funding for Planned Parenthood. At first, I was devastated. I mean, it frustrates me to no end that people continue to think that Planned Parenthood is all about abortions, when in fact most of their services are not abortion-related at all, just affordable health care for women and men.

So to have a bunch of funding taken away because they happen to provide abortions didn't seem right to me (well, it still doesn't but read further and you'll see why I'm "ok" with it). Especially because the Cure's money went to breast cancer screenings and prevention. Nothing to do with abortion at all. Needless to say, I was pissed. But then I read this article from my favorite lesbian shitasses. In summary, it talks about how the Cure is mostly run by right-wing, Bush-supporting, tea-partying nut bags people. Therefore, I really had to ask myself why they just didn't do it sooner? Also, since this sparked such outrage, the donations to Planned Parenthood have sky rocketed and they are being cast in the light of the victim right now, which is great. Because they're not a bad organization at all. And hopefully people who thought that PP was all about abortions will learn something new with all this media attention. So there's that.

In GREAT news, Washington is quickly becoming the newest state to legalize same-sex marriage! Yeeeeeehaaawwwwww. Congrats, Washington, for standing up for what is right! I'm not going to go into too much here because I honestly could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on about gay rights issues (especially living in such a homophobic state as Utah) but I won't. I'm just so glad to see our country making progress in the right direction! Hopefully when Obama gets elected again next fall, he'll just come out and say he's for same sex marriage (pun intended).

And lastly I am going to tell you where to eat next. If you live in Salt Lake City that is. Last night my friend Nate introduced me to one of the best Indian/Nepali restaurants I have been to in a while. Kathmandu located on seventh east and second south (in the same parking lot as Sunflower Market). Now, I guess their other location has been opened for some time, but this was my first time eating at either location and it was fabulous. The service was excellent--they brought us some free appetizers, were very knowledgeable about the menu, joked around with us some but not too much and were more than happy to split the check. (I always take servers' attitudes into account on this one because as someone who had to split checks, it's honestly not that hard. Don't let anyone ANYONE tell you otherwise, they're trying to make you feel bad for them so that you'll give them a bigger tip. I give a bigger tip if they don't complain--that being said, I try to tell the server right off if possible, but sometimes I just forget.) The food was pretty good. I can't say it was hands down the best Indian food I've ever had, but there isn't a place in Salt Lake that's better than it to my knowledge. I can't emphasize enough though, it's not that it's bad, it's really really good, I just wasn't blown away. I had the Malai Kofta (duh) and Tommy had the Mattar Mushroom (the other two we were with had meat dishes, so I can't really speak for them). Mmmmmmmmmm sooo good. The vegetable balls in mine were sweeter than I'm used to, but I was ok with it. Next to Tommy's salty mushroom dish, they made a good pair. Both of us asked for "medium" spice levels (they have mild, mild plus, medium, medium plus, hot and Kathmandu hot) but easily could have gone spicier. Our server even told us at the end that for cream-based dishes--like ours--you really should go up to a medium plus or a hot to taste the heat. Best part is that it is cheap. Ok, it's slightly (like one or two dollars) more than other southeastern vegetarian fare in the city, but each entree comes with rice and naan. And they bring you extra rice free of charge if you run out (unlike that STUPID place in Chicago that not only charged for rice and naan, but charged again for extra rice!!!!!). The quality of food and service, combined with the price and location makes it hands down my new favorite Indian spot in the valley. Check it out yo!

Anyway, done with the rants. Whew, that feels good. Now I can go back to good ol FB and pretend I don't have opinions. Wish me luck!