Tuesday, July 28, 2009

O Embleer Frith!

Guybrush Threepwood: Do you know anything about lifting curses?
Murray: Oh, right. I know a lot about lifting curses. That's why I'm a disembodied talking skull sitting on top of a spike in the middle of a swamp.
Guybrush Threepwood: You seem bitter.
Murray: I'm sorry. It's been a rough day.

-Guybrush and Murray, The Curse of Monkey Island

I'm still alive. I was playing Perseus for a bit, battling a hideous Medusa, and I fancied myself turned to stone. Not to worry, fair Readers; The gorgon is slain, and I am no worse for wear.

A longer, more intelligent post is hopefully forthcoming.

Love, Tana

Friday, July 10, 2009


Good friend, and knows she what her heart doth seek?
For time and trial will all attest, that all
Done naught but for its sake will naught but dregs
Of bitterness impart. And mark it well:
'Tis true for bitter hearts that cup is sweet,
But for the summer's youth 'tis poison'd draught
Which cannot in its life deliver breath, but steal away
That heated breath of maids, and leave them none
Save widow's ice to fill their hollow breasts.
To cast off what she were, and seek instead
A mask : oh ho! now that is folly sure!
So tightly has she set the thing upon
Her face that 'fore a fortnight has been pass'd,
A common friend should pass her by
All unaware of who it is beneath.
The dev'lish front will quickly turn what dwelt
As gentle smiles and nods to gruesome frowns.
Yes, 'til at last her dearest kin, the flesh
from painted mask, will, by no chance, divine.
Why want you that the ends be change? 'Twould best
Be that the means be so, to some new good,
Else I am learnéd not, in thoughts or deeds.
Here, thinking for a change, now that is great,
I'll there concede; but doing for a change -
And naught but for a change - now that is false.
If sport be sport, and prize be sport, who then
should want to play? Or play, indeed, they should,
But hopelessly. And one who calls his change
Both means and ends, has traded pay for work.
At none and two, and ten and two, has she
Been given golden chains to wrap about
Her throat; yet calls she these by what they are?
Oh nay! She calls the pretty things as cords
That bind and cut her skin in malice cold.
Instead, in search of new and fresh, she takes,
For gems, dead iron cuffs, and cries that though
They seem to bear less worth by rite, that they
Are new must give some value to their weight.
Stand I by what I spoke before: that wise
Is one who takes his prize as prize, and names
It by its name, and adds his wealth to that
Which hath he so already earn'd in faith.
An heed this not, nor live by 't shall you find,
A swift right death to heart and might and mind.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no?

Sir Bard, I love thee.

P.S. Iambic Pentameter is fun.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Cool things are going down:

1. The Payson Scottish Festival -Every year, I hear about this awesome festival, and somehow manage to miss it. Not this year - oh, no! It's on Friday and Saturday, and it's going to be phenomenal. I can barely contain my excitement. There's even going to be a bunch of highland event things, like a caber toss! Should be good times.

2. The Winter's Tale Workshop - Grassroots Shakespeare Co. is doing it again! Only this time, it's a workshop, meaning that if you're interested, you email them, and if there's a spot left open, they'll give you a script and stuff. It's on July 16 (rehearsal starts at 6, if you're participating), with the sole performance beginning at 9. I have taken a gigantic leap outside my comfort zone, and signed up to play a part; I don't know which one yet - they'll send my script this weekend. It's going to be splendid!

3. Hot & Sour Soup - This isn't really an event . . . It's just a personal undertaking. I'm still pretty excited for it. I've got a recipe to use, but it's not exactly vegetarian friendly . . . yet. If it turns out decent, I'll post my version, so that you may all enjoy the Hot & Sour goodness.


Edit: Well, I made the soup, and it worked out excellent. Here's the recipe:

3.5 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ginger root (finely grated)
1/2 tsp pepper
4-6 oz. tofu (bite size)
1 Tbs corn starch
2 Tbs water
1/2 cup frozen peas (they probably don't need to be frozen . . . Just what I use)
1/2 cup carrot (grated)
2-3 Tbs green onion (chopped)
1 egg (beaten)
10-15 dried red chili peppers

1. Cook the tofu. I take half a block, dice it, press as much water out as I can, then dry fry it with a little bit of salt until it's firm.
2. Combine the broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and pepper in a pot and add the cooked tofu.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the water and corn starch until thin, then add to the pot with other liquids and cook over medium-high heat.
4. Add peas, carrots, and green onion.
5. Drizzle in the beaten egg while stirring.
6. Break the peppers into a sieve or a tea strainer and then soak them in the hot soup. Do NOT put the peppers directly into the soup (unless you are a masochist). Let them soak until the soup is spicy enough for your taste, then remove.
7. Continue cooking over medium heat until warm all through (usually when the frozen peas are all thawed out and hot in the middle). If you cook it for too long, the vinegar will start to boil out, so just be aware.

Sorry if the details aren't great; I'm kind of a haphazard cook. I ended up adding more vinegar, more ginger, and more carrots. For those of you who are carnivores, feel free to replace the tofu with any kind of meat (my friend uses pork a lot), and use chicken broth instead of veggie broth.

Note: It doesn't have much to do with the actual recipe, but it's really awesome if you cook this while listening to a mix of Cut Copy and Chromeo. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I am endlessly fascinated by the concept of collective human consciousness.

I was introduced to the concept by my AP Biology teacher. He told us about an experiment where a group of chimpanzees were split into two separate troupes and taken to opposite ends of the continent. Both groups of monkeys were put in identical cages, and taught how to use a key to open the door. In the next phase of the experiment, they placed the key a few feet away from the bars (out of the chimps' grasp) and gave them a pole with a hook. For a month, the chimps remained oblivious to the simple tool that would so easily facilitate their escape. Then, the scientists taught the first group how to use the hook to grab the key, and within a week, the second group - on the other side of the continent, mind you - figured out how to use the pole without any human assistance. Jesse mentions a similar experiment dealing with crossword puzzles in Waking Life.

To be completely honest, I love the idea. It gives credence to a lot of little things in my life; things like the euphoric sense of oneness with an author who somehow manages to define an idea I've wanted to vocalize but couldn't, and the unshakable feeling that when I'm sitting completely alone at the top of a waterfall, dangling my feet in the spray, that I'm closer to the essence of humanity than I've ever been before. I like the potential it has; I mean, when I'm happy, I have the joy of 6 billion other humans to feed my own, and at the same time, I have a reason to try and feel the most brilliant joy that I can, to give something back. It's also a cool new facet to explore in the understanding of personal relationships. Perhaps a friendship isn't just two people who can talk or appreciate the same things, but who are actually feeding off of the "mental broadcasts" of one another. It's a little more intimate.

You start to walk a really fine line, though. Ayn Rand seems to really dislike the concept of collectivism, and when it reaches a certain extent, I guess I'd have to agree with her. For example, in Atlas Shrugged, Dr. Ferris says, "There's no such thing as the intellect. A man's brain is a social product. A sum of influences that he's picked up from those around him. Nobody invents anything, he merely reflects what's floating in the social atmosphere. A genius is an intellectual scavenger and a greedy hoarder of the ideas which rightfully belong to the society, from which he stole them. All thought is theft." I don't agree with that at all. If we begin to look at life that way, thousands of new ways to break man's spirit begin emerging. In another of her books, Anthem, Rand discusses the possibility of the other extreme: not the concept that all new ideas belong to society, but the concept that unless all of society discovers it, there is no idea. I think that the second possibility is almost worse, you know? There's not really a way to give anything back; it's all consuming, no producing. What sort of bleak existence is that?

So, it's not that I want to become an emotional or an intellectual monopolist, but at the same time, I don't want to owe my musings to a society that demands it.

Boy, who is John Galt, huh?