Monday, February 28, 2011

To Help You Love Life...

... and renew your faith in the awesomeness of humanity, I send you this.



P.S. There is a particularly wonderful laugh at about 00:22.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What A Weekend


It's been a busy one. Supa supa busy.

I ...

...

...

Hold on. I definitely did something.

...


Oh yeah.



I took lotsa pictures (240-ish), finished a couple drawings, went on a date, played Scene It with the Student Film Production Club, got a gazillion picture texts from my mom of my niece's first birthday party, and watched the Oscars.

And my little bro turned twenty yesterday. Seriously?! WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!

I remember playing Barbies Legos with him when we were little ones. We were inseparable as children, frenemies when I was in middle school, and great friends in high school. Now that I live far away, I don't really get to talk to him (or see him) as much as I want, but I'd like to think we get closer with every phone conversation. Someday, maybe, we'll again live closer than two states apart. Till then, Happy Birthday dude.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

. . .

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘awwww!’
[ Jack Kerouac ]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Words of Wisdom

"Verbalizing your fears makes you see them for what they really are... which is completely irrational."
- My roommate Madison

Quote of the Day

While discussing a Bollywood film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula in my capstone class...

Professor: "Does anyone want to watch a clip of Dracula violently inseminating a poor village woman?"

One person raises their hand.

Professor: "Okay! Let's watch it!"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Amen, Sister



Yes, ma'am. I couldn't agree more.

Seriously though. It amazes me that a five-year-old girl can put exactly into words what I was trying inarticulately to describe to my roommate Madison the other night.

"I don't care if I marry you. I don't care if I marry another man. I care... if I do something that's special."

The View on My Walk

"Exercise gives you endorphins.
Endorphins make you happy.
Happy people just don't shoot their husbands."
-Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde

I have finally, after almost three years of college, created a work-out routine that fits in comfortably with my class schedule. Even now, I only go two times a week. But hey, it's better than nothing.

Despite the cold weather, and maybe because of all those endorphins, I love my walk home after the gym. It's still early, so there aren't very many people out, and the air is still crisp and fresh.

And most days, to shorten my walk, I get to meander through the football stadium.

*taken with phone

Without thousands of fans to put the place in perspective, it actually looks quite small.

Weird to think I'll never see a game there as a student again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Vagina Monologues
























"I am woman. Hear me roar!"

.
..
...

Sorry. Had to get that out.

I saw The Vagina Monologues this evening with my roommates, and it was fantastic -- like it is every year. In fact, this is my fourth time attending the awesomeness that is the Monologues, and I absolutely love it every time.

My favorite part about the Monologues is that they are all so honest and open. To me, it's fantastic the way each monologue can -- through beautiful language, plenty of metaphors, and a sprinkling of vulgar humor -- perfectly describe complex emotions about intensely personal things like a woman's sexuality. Things that aren't talked about very often, and words that aren't used very often, are thrown out in the open and discussed, analyzed, and celebrated. And, in the case of words like c*nt, reclaimed.

I love every part of the show (and the book). And while I wasn't able to participate in the performance this year (due to prior commitments and stupid things like missing the audition date), I haven't yet given up on the goal of participating in at least one performance during the course of my lifetime.

In fact, I think that's officially going on my Bucket List. Get excited.

Acting as Cupid's Emissary

Because dinner is "free" for me on Mondays and Wednesdays, I stopped by my sorority house for a delicious meal this evening. Now that I cook for myself most nights, I practically crave homemade meals prepared by someone else. Where the food just magically appears, and I don't have to do the dishes.

And the food has gotten so much better since I moved out. Not fair.

But not my point.

I got here a bit early, before dinner was set out (buffet style), so I opened up my laptop to get some work done. I was deep in concentration, trying to decide if I had enough curiosity to click on a YouTube link someone had posted on Facebook, when I heard a knock on the door.

Which is pretty unusual.

Usually people either automatically get into the sorority house because they live here and have a key code, or they ring the doorbell.

No one else was milling around the lobby or front door area at the time, so I got up to answer the door.

On the other side was a timid looking fellow, who handed me a note.

"Can you give this to Kirbi?"

"Kirbi who?"

He told me her last name, but didn't know what room she was in. Neither did I. I don't live here anymore, and my grasp on the names of the freshmen and sophomores is vague at best.

But I asked around, and luckily found her up in the second floor TV lounge with a couple friends.

"Kirbi?"

"Yeah?"

"A gentleman at the front door just left this for you."

Her friend shot up from the couch. "No way! Again?!"

Kirbi grabbed the letter eagerly, and opened it with a huge grin.

There's something wonderfully heartwarming about being a messenger. I'm still smiling.

Ah, young love.

But seriously. If a guy decides he wants to write me love notes and mysteriously drop them by my house or place of work, I wont complain. I'll melt, actually.

Puddle of mush.

My friends would be routinely wiping me up off the floor.

I'm just so happy now. It's amazing how being a part of a moment like that, even from the very outside, feels so . . . fulfilling.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

. . .

When life pokes and prods you, it is not punishment or abuse. You are being pushed out of the nest. Spread your wings and take flight. See how well you can fly. 

- Melody Beattie

This is me this weekend...

(from here)


I am having the hardest time thinking of things to write about. I’ve done some painting — finally finished a couple half-completed paintings that have been sitting around the house — but no writing.
Nothing productive at all, really.

I read a blog post today by a guy who claims that the best way to get into the flow of writing (or anything creative) is to remove your sense of time. Take the clock off the wall or laptop bar. Lose yourself in the moment, don’t care how long you’ve been at the same painting/blog/story, and just keep going until your imagination decides it needs a break and simply stops producing.

That’s great and all, but it requires actually getting started on something.

Which is where the difficulty lies.

I am currently inspiration-less.

I should follow my own favorite quote about chasing inspiration with a stick. But I’m too lazy. Running seems like a difficult task today. So instead I’ll just complain.

And I’ll leave you with some awesome new blogs I just found. Which should make up for what I lack, since these blogs are frickin’ awesome. I want to be like these people.

Enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mapping the World Through Facebook Connections

Someone who works at Facebook (read the article for details) used the connections between 10 million Facebook friends to draw a map of the world.

So cool!

I also think it is really interesting which countries show up brightly -- and which ones don't. For example, I immediately assumed that China isn't really on the map because of government censorship. But the article states that they actually have their own, more popular social network site and don't really use Facebook.

So Facebook has not, in fact, taken over the world ..... yet.

. . .

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
–Albert Einstein

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Things I'd Never Tried Before Coming to Oklahoma:

I think I'm getting all nostalgic for Oklahoma already. And I still have three months left. It's because the "I'm not ready to leave this place yet" conversations are rolling in thick and heavy at my house. I think we have one just about every other day now. 

It's depressing. 

I keep thinking about all the things I'm going to miss about this strangely backward, strangely awesome place that I've come to call my home. 

Tonight, my mind is on food. 

So is my stomach. 

My torso is making sounds eerily similar to a water cooler. 

Anyway, I decided to make a list of all the foods I'd never tried before coming to Oklahoma. I guess some of these things could fall into the "I don't remember previously trying" category, but either way, these are foods that I now love -- and they'll always remind me of good ole Oklahoma. 

1. Cinnamon Toast
This one comes first because I JUST tried it.

Delicious.

Photo from The Pioneer Woman
Mind blowing. 

I didn't think that kind of thing existed outside of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.

But it does. Sha-bam! 

Excuse me while I go make myself a piece.

*recipe courtesy of the ever-awesome Pioneer Woman.


2. Queso 
This one actually has a funny story. When I was a freshman, my friends and I were getting dinner at a Mexican restaurant on Campus Corner when I asked them what this strange menu item called "queso" was. Chaos ensued as everyone stumbled over one another to be the defender and champion of queso's incredibleness. 

It didn't make any sense to me. It was like nacho cheese, but it wasn't like nacho cheese. White, not yellow? Dip at a restaurant, not a jar from the grocery store? Whaaa? 

But I decided to try it. After all, I was a freshman, and one does a lot of stupid things as a freshman. So I boldly stepped up to the counter and ordered. 

"... and I'd like some queso cheese, please."

Everyone behind me laughed. 

I thought it was because of my awesome rhyming skills. 

It wasn't. 

I guess queso actually means cheese in Spanish. 

Anyway... I can assure you that the most embarrassing moment of my freshman year (or at least the only one I still remember) definitely didn't diminish my love for the stuff. Quite the contrary, actually.

Queso is probably going on the Top Ten list of things I most love about Oklahoma in general, right after my roommates. Yup. It's that good.


3. Fried Okra
So tasty. And one of my dad's favorites.

4. Sweet Potato Fries
'Nuf said.

5. Fried Catfish
Mmmmm. The best fried catfish I've ever had was right inside the Oklahoma border. The guy I was dating at the time and I were driving back from Arkansas and just happened to stumble upon an old catfish joint just sitting by the side of the road. 

Random tip about small town dining: Always go where there are the most cars. Always. Because if the locals will eat there, then it's safe for you to eat there too. 

Anyway, definitely the best fried catfish I've ever had. And it was All-You-Can-Eat King Crab day. Need I say more?


6. Raising Cane's Chicken
Possibly the best chicken in the entire world. And that saaaauuuce...... ZOMG.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

. . .

Madison (when looking at a friend's baby on Facebook): "It's like a little nugget baby. It's so tiny."

Tess: "It's probably a preemie or something."

Madison: "I don't want a nugget baby. I want my baby to be bigger than everyone else's boy babies."

Steven Poster at OU

Today is a big day. Steven Poster, the cinematographer of Donnie Darko, Spread, and The Box, is coming to campus to give a Master Class in Lighting.

I'm really excited about it. The Student Film Production Club (in conjunction with the Film and Video Studies department) has worked really hard to bring him to campus, and I hope so much that a lot of students show up. It would be embarrassing if they didn't, especially after how generous and friendly Mr. Poster has been about coming.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love

"Life without you is like a broken pencil. Pointless."

Ah, the simple joys in life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Smooch! Project



I was going to save this to post on Valentine's Day, but I can't wait. It's too good to hold in.


The other night I was lazily browsing through the interwebbs (instead of responding to emails) when I stumbled upon this website called The Smooch! Project.




What is The Smooch! Project, you ask?



It is a project started by Minnesota photographer Bonnie Fournier, who one day noticed just how much joy she felt when looking at a photo of her sister smooching her on the cheek. She decided to start a project based on the idea of mudita, or "appreciative joy," a word used to describe the feeling one experiences when witnessing another's good fortune.

And this project, she decided, would be a testing of that idea. So she take pictures of people kissing their loved ones on the cheek.



And she already has thousands of them!




According to the website, it is "intended to serve as a documentary record demonstrating that all humans, regardless of social, economic, or political barriers, share a joyful willingness to welcome love and affection into their lives. The artist's goal is to collect 10,000 exhibition-quality images."


If you ever need a reminder of the basic beauty that is love, this is the place to go.






Today I kinda needed a pick-me-up. So I opened The Smooch! Project on my browser and probably watched a solid five minutes of pictures slide by. By the end, I felt so much better.


If that was the goal of her project, then I'd say it was a huge success! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Open Letter to Guys with Facial Hair

Dear Scruffy Boys,

There's just something about you that makes my heart go pitter-patter.

Even if, on second glance, you may not be my particular type, I will still crane my neck, awkwardly stop talking, lose my train of thought, and all around embarrass myself immediately when I first get a glimpse of you.

You men just look better with facial hair. I don't know what it is.

For example, we'll start with Zac Efron. Not my cup of tea... too "pretty boy" for me.


But give him a little facial hair, and ...


Not bad.

Or let's look at Jake Gyllenhaal. He's looking kinda cute as a clean shaven fellow. 

Not bad. 
But with some facial hair -- SHA-BAM!



And last, but not least, the Sexiest Man Alive, Ryan Reynolds.

A beautiful specimen already.
 

But add a little scruff, and ....

 
.. Be still, my heart.

*Excuse me while I catch my breath*

*
**
***

Aaaaannywaaay...

Gentlemen of the world, please stay always rugged and natural. It suits you.

Though, let's not get carried away.



That, my friends, is the definition of getting carried away.

Also, on a side note, let's maintain at least a little weight and not revert completely to a hipster state of being. I prefer a little meat on the bones.

Sincerely,
Looking for My Own Mountain Man

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Someday, I will have a personal library...

... and it will look like this.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Signing Up for a Little T.L.C.

I just spent $20 on a coupon for an hour-long massage (which is normally about $45).

Swoop!

Don't laugh. I think it's a perfectly good way to spend my money. In fact, when I get rich, I am going to get a massage at least once a month. They're heaven. 

And if I don't do all the other expensive things like dying/highlighting my hair, getting manicures/pedicures, and/or drinking a venti chai latte with two shots of espresso every day, I'll be able to easily afford (and justify) that massage. 

Yup. Can't wait. 

Maybe I'll treat myself to that massage on Valentine's Day. A single girl's got to do something special for herself on a day like that.

I mean, Valentine's Day is a day of love, after all. And I can't think of a better way to say "I love myself" than with a little massage therapy. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Winter Drearies

It’s still wintery and dreary outside. I’m ready for a change of pace. I’m ready for school to start.

You’d think that having so much time off would be a godsend for creativity. With all this free time, surely I’d be able to get around to all the things I want to do, like finish that novel, take a gazillion pictures, finish setting up my blog.

I’ve done some of it. I have this fancy new domain name — www.virginiafrommontana.com — which I am really excited about (but it isn't finished yet, so no need to start heading that direction regularly just yet). And I’m on the constant lookout for the perfect background theme for my blog (still haven’t found one). 

I also got out of the house to take a few pictures, and I’ve been fairly constant about blogging.

But life is slow and boring. I need responsibilities back.

Every time I start imagining I’d be happier giving it all up and living a secluded life as a hermit in the mountains, painting and writing for days with zero human interaction, something like this snow storm happens.

Then, of course, I realize that I’d shrivel up and die without contact with other people. And I love being under pressure. I love stress. I gravitate toward it.

It’s a disease. Currently seeking the cure. Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Strolling Through Campus


Cabin fever is definitely hitting hard. After all this is over, we'll have been doing practically nothing for six days. That's almost the length of spring break, except we're all stuck inside.

So yesterday, after getting out of the house for lunch and coffee, I decided to take my Canon out for a walk in the snow.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another Day Off and Counting

Today is the first time in about three days that I have put on pants.

Jeans.

I meant jeans.

That being said, not wearing pants at all would have been quite liberating. And cold. Not sure how much my roommates would appreciate it either.

Anyway, what I meant to say was that I am wearing jeans today. And I got out of the house. Another first.

Val and I are at Panera, where I ordered their delicious, to-die-for mac and cheese. I saw a few friends, wrote a couple blogs, read a few other bogs, and have basically frittered away a solid three or four hours doing everything but my miniscule amount of work I actually need to get done. This is pathetic.

And school was just cancelled for tomorrow. Which means that, including the weekend, we'll have had six days off. A mini spring break in the dead of winter. Excellent.

I need to get out of the house more.

The Pursuit of All Things Trivial


In an effort to stem the tide of boredom flooding our house during the "snowpocalypse," my roommates and I whipped out the Trivial Pursuit.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another Great Way to Waste Time

If you are still stuck in the snow like I am, or need a distraction from your otherwise busy life, check this out.

Just type in a film title, and it pops out a thesis statement that's way more articulate, concise, in-depth -- not to mention incredibly pompous (just what professors love) -- that I could ever be on my own.

Brilliant!


I may or may not be planning to use this on absolutely every paper I write between now and graduation.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Excursion to the Garbage Bin



The garbage bin may or may not be only five feet from the door. But from the vantage point of our front door, the trek between looked dangerous. Maybe watching the weather report for a couple hours straight this morning filled us with a bit more caution than we would normally feel.


Taking pictures of the snow.

But about halfway through the morning, Madison needed a change of scenery.

She decided to take out the garbage.

About Me

... A few thoughts to pass the time...