Thursday, November 20, 2008

November 20th, 2008
Steven Spielberg
Short Response #11 – Film

I've never been a big fan of war movies. I've simply thought them to be unnecessary for me to see, never enjoyable; they rarely have uplifting plotlines, and I can't say that I prefer watching soldiers losing their arms to doubling over in laughter at a Will Ferrell monologue. But surprise, Steven Spielberg has managed to change my mind about movies once again and taught me to appreciate a movie outside of my genres of choice with Saving Private Ryan.
It was unquestionably the opening scene that did it for me. I have to say that it took me a few minutes to get into it; I had seen Forrest Gump a few days before watching this film, and I had a hard time imaging Tom Hanks with anything but that classic accent, speaking unforgettable one-liners (specifically, "Me and Jenny goes together like peas and carrots"). In fact, I may have been "that girl" to giggle during the beginning of Saving Private Ryan (for which I will be eternally embarrassed). But then the booms and bangs and dozens of other onomatopoeias shouted from my television, and I closed my eyes and the goosebumps came, and then the shivers began, and my eyes began to water, and then there was that extreme close-up of Tom Hanks' eyes and that's when I felt an inexplicable sadness, something that I'm not ready to delve into, but something that made me feel more patriotic than I've ever felt, actually profoundly, genuinely, cheesily proud to be an American.

this isn't about reva.

read this, because he buys his own lightbulbs, because his mom grows multiple gardens, but mostly, because he's adam duritz for the eyes:

also, how i felt tonight in the car:

Now playing: Envy On The Coast - The Gift Of Paralysis

steven spielberg: still hot at 61

i'm in a spielberg class, and we have to write weekly responses to various spielberg films/writings/whatevs. here are some to entertain you.

Like many children, I had frightening dreams about Jurassic Park for the majority of my childhood. Although, or perhaps because, the movie scared me for a long time, I am often reminded of a scene of the film while going about my daily activities. For instance, every time I see a Jeep Wrangler on the road, my first instinct is to stay away, as there might be a dinosaur nearby. As I pass through the oatmeal aisle in Publix, I always take a moment to stare fondly at the Dinosaur Eggs Maple and Brown Sugar Quaker oatmeal box and reminisce of the days when I used to eat that oatmeal only because it made me feel like I was actually in Jurassic Park. During a thunderstorm, I am often struck with the image of Sam Neill and two children hiding in a tree in the woods. Slightly frustrating is the fact that whenever I see Jeff Goldblum in a different acting role, I can’t help but giggle and picture him as a crazy mathematician dressed in black and acting like a rock star.
My very favorite “I love Jurassic Park” story goes like this: In middle school, I was a member of a softball team called “Velocity.” Always better cheerleaders than softball players, my two best friends from the team and I had a dance that consisted of us hopping around with our hands in the form of claws, saying, “Velociraptors, raah!” I don’t think any of the three of us ever scored a run in a single game that season, but we sure had a good time acting like vicious dinosaurs. (WORD UP, JESSIE CARR.)

Now playing: Incubus - Just a Phase

Sunday, July 13, 2008


look at these and browse others. florence is lame but the pictures are nice.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


so, i'm in rome, and i've been posting a lot of pictures on facebook that portray good stories, but here are some words to go along.

i'm on a program with UF called "UF in Rome" (clever title), and it's 37ish students and four professors. everyone takes an Italian class and then either Art History or Medieval Italian History. the students are living in Hotel Arenula, which is a hotel near the Jewish Ghetto and, essentially, in the heart of Rome. our classes are in a study center a few blocks away, right next to a huge bookstore, 239482 delicious cafes, and Italian classes are at 12:20 (!!), and then we have a break between 2:40-3:00, when Art History begins. it is taught via powerpoint in a dark room, which makes it unbelievably hard to stay awake. in fact, i have not yet stayed awake during a class. we are done at 4:45, and then we sometimes nap or shop or get gelato - or on the best days, we do all three.
some mornings we have walking tours; the first day, they showed us where to go around where we live, like the supermarcato, tabacchi shop (essentially a convenience store, they also sell train tickets and cell phone minutes), mini-walmart, textbook store, the bars, etc. day 2 was some big sites - circus maximus (totally not a circus), a turtle fountain, a hole in a door through which you can see three countries (malta, the vatican, and italy), etc. on the other mornings, we try really hard to sleep in, although that never seems to work, or just relax in the room. perhaps in the future we will decide to use our mornings wisely, but for now, cuddling is more fun.

so i got here on saturday the 28th and stayed in a room at our hotel, where i sufficiently enjoyed the lack of air conditioning by not sleeping and taking 3 cold showers (it was fixed monday, but is certainly not american a/c). on sunday many of the students had arrived, so i met a few and went to the great synagogue of Rome - stunningggg, and they sell Prigat and falafel and israeli ice cream all around. soon after that i met my totallylame roommates named Kristen, Maria, and Christine. in case you can't tell, this is the jewish room. we are on the first floor (110) and have internet!! hooray! the program started officially on Sunday evening, and we all met in the park across the street and went to the world's fanciest dinner. the food here in unbelievably wonderful/fresh/probablyfattening/whocares. after dinner we went to a bar and watched the final soccer game, not really caring about spain's victory, but feeling italian just the same.

i wrote this in an e-mail to my family on the second day (june 30th):

hello! it is 10:00 pm and we just did our italian homework! (it took 30 seconds) it's cool because three of us in my room are in italian I, and all four of us are in Art History, so nothing will be really hard because we all work together. today we had breakfast at the hotel - it was delicious and we have it every morning! they gave me delicious cappuccino and we had crackers and fruit to take/sneak for the day... anyway jerusalem isn't really full of convenient stores like mini office depot or great cheap clothing stores so i was a little worried that roma would be the same way, but no! they even sell pillows everywhere, it's like bed bath and beyond in italian. next we had art history and we went on a walking tour to The Pantheon and Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva. They were so stunning, we saw michelangelo's jesus and the place where Galileo was on on the block! the easy accessibility of fine art is astounding and also surprising, people can just go shit on a michelangelo statue if they want. after that we went to another fancy dinner, not as fun as last night but still ridiculous. i had an incredible panini today mozzarella tomato and eggplant, the bread tasted like deep dish pizza crust, i had it with orange fanta and it was "paradiso." the place where i got it is called Pascucci and is right next to our study center, so we will clearly be going there for break every day. they also have smoothies which are really any fruit you want mixed with milk, so refreshing and delicioso. they also have israeli/european ice cream here - such a plus! my favorite ice cream in israel when i was there in 2005 was solero, but they stopped selling it in israel. however, there is an infinite supply of it right next door to my hotel, so i'm as happy as a clam.
there is still no a/c so we're all like bleh, but in high spirits. there are also nuns everywhere, i can't help but laugh every time i see one.

back to the present:

the past few days have been good but i don't feel like giving every detail. let's just say i've been doing a lot of sudoku during art history class. yesterday we went to Villa D'Este, an amazing villa in tivoli that is... amazing. my pictures are on facebook - check them out here. we had a chill night, it was a long week and we were so tired, but still managed to have amazing FIG gelato!! today we went to the beach, which was pretty and mediterraneany and fun. we are about to go to go dinner and then to a bar and pick up hot italians. finally.

Now playing: Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

library west

i'm in the library right now with 3 folders, 3 textbooks, a calculator, 2 open word documents, and seemingly endless amounts of work to do. the most immediate assignments are some math and my rome essay (both due tomorrow). however, i also have a few chapters of bio to read, 2 weeks' worth of online chem (OWL, loves it), a paper on the Virtual Child, aaaand i'll stop. anyway, instead of working on anything important, i'm thinking about how effing good one tree hill was last night and how badly i want Pinkberry right now (sorry ice cream, i'm dreaming of a different dessert). but far more exciting is something i do quite often but never cease to be amazed by: listening to music in a busy environment, watching people interact without hearing what they're saying. every time i do this, which is essentially all the time, i feel like i am watching the most unique movie i've ever seen. one of my favorite thinking processes while i'm in this position is inventing storylines that go along with whatever i'm listening to. for instance, there is a trio of students sitting at a table in my view. it is two girls and an african man (i cheated, i listened to his accent when i muted the song volume for a few seconds). i'm listening to wet sand by the red hot chili peppers, and africans make me think of africa, which in turn makes me think of the dessert, and that makes me think of dunes, and dunes are made of sand, which circles back to wet sand. as per this connection, wet sand is the perfect song to be on the soundtrack of their interaction. it also helps that wet sand has a really nice rhythm, and would be great on any movie soundtrack.
it is now about 3:40 into the song, and the climax is building. coincidentally, there was just an enormous surge of people entering my floor of the library. now i am speaking in the past tense: as that part of the song was building, the people came closer and closer to me, and the space around me became increasingly busy. i felt overwhelmed when the song reached its peak: kiedis jamming out with such intensity combined with seeing so many different colors of shirts at once made me a little panicky. but the music served its purpose and gave me a perfect ending: the traffic in here slowed down, and the chili peppers slowly faded out, leaving me wanting to continue listening to stadium arcadium for the next three weeks straight.
i probably wouldn't have noticed this if i wasn't trying to create the soundtrack of my life, but hey, i did, and it's a pretty dopetastic album.

Now playing: Jimmy Eat World - 23

Monday, February 11, 2008

happy birthday esther shira!

today/yesterday/february 10th is/was the first birthday of my niece, little esther shira menaged, child of natalie and (rabbi) eli menaged. this little "punum," if you will, is the cutest, funniest, silliest, sweetest, best eylash-batter you could ever meet, and i/my/family/the world am/is so lucky to have her. i can't believe she has been lighting up my life for a solid year already. although either her parents or i have/has to endure cross-country traveling so that i can listen to her high-pitched and shockingly cute shrieks, esther shira is a huge part of my everyday life. her optimism and curiosity give me endless joy and inspire me to learn as much as i can, because as her wise mom/my wise sister says that babies are always happy because they are always learning. so happy birthday to the littlest, happiest, most popular, and (sorry guys) my favorite party of my family.
Now playing: Foo Fighters - Another Round

Saturday, February 2, 2008

it's britney, bitch

feel sooo bad for brit. "britney lapses into a british accent." "britney hasn't slept since last friday." "k-fed gets custody." i feel like she's probably suffering from post-partum something, whether it be depression or a mild psychosis, but this is so sad. she has no control over her life, and now not even her kids, and people are relentlessly poking fun at and bothering her. and the media is going wild. i beg to stop posting fug candid shots of her. i'd go bonkers too if they did that to me. and seriously, jamie lynn. wtf. you're 12. stop letting old guys stick it in you.

this one's for you, jc. enjoy the photo, because i love pregnant chicks so much.

Now playing: Britney Spears - Toy Soldier

Friday, February 1, 2008

i want a pap smear

so last week i went to the school infirmary for my "annual." usually this consists of a consultation, a breast exam, i guess some other things, and a pelvic exam/pap smear, as well as STD testing if you ask for it. this time around, they told me that i don't need a pap smear, and that they won't provide them if you are under 21 and have not been sexually active for more than three years. and when i asked for one anyway, they refused to perform the procedure. their (they being the new national gynecological guidelines, but i bet you one trillion dollars that no private practice would deny you a pap smear) rationale is that you're not that likely to be exposed if you're young and haven't been having sex for that long, and if you have been, your body would get rid of the disease on its own.
this makes me so angry. the two qualifications for skipping the pelvic exam, being under 21 and having less than three years of sexual activity, potentially have no bearing on the likelihood of exposure to HPV or any other STD. it makes sense that the more exposure you have to sexual partners, the more likely you are to contract the disease. but say i started having sex two years ago and have had 50 partners since. just because i have been having sex for a relatively short period of time and i am relatively young does not make it unlikely that i have one of these diseases. it does not take three years to get HPV.
second of all, it is called a disease/virus because it is harmful. true, a younger person has a stronger chance of recovery than one who is older, but is there ever enough strength in someone to get rid of such a disease on one's own? this makes no sense. i'm actually pretty pumped for the lawsuit that's going to happen when a 20-year-old girl dies of HPV that was never diagnosed because her gynecologist wouldn't give her a pap smear. not pumped for the girl dying, just the potential overturning of this nauseating new guideline.
STD tests can be done in several ways, one of the most common being during a pelvic exam. not only do i think that doctors should encourage such testing and make it clear to the patient that a pap smear diagnoses only HPV, but i think that the new policy on pap smears is going to do horrible things for the anti-STD brigade that these health professionals advocate. STD testing for this age group is going to decrease infinitely, leaving infected girls untreated and unintentionally infecting others.
i'd love opinions on this one. if your response really excites me, i'll make a whole post just about you!

Now playing: The Shins - Saint Simon

Monday, January 21, 2008

commercials that freak me out pt. 1 wtf?

Now playing: M.I.A. - Boyz

teenage hustling

so it's 3:42 a.m. and i'm creating a blog. so standard. i know it's like, hip, to be a college student who stays up all night and then brags about it, but really. so unhealthy. especially since i've just been eating strawberries/babka/gatorade and doing work all day. in fact my front door is still locked from.. yesterday. saturday. whatevs.
my deal: i'm a sophomore at UF. it's cold tonight. the spring semester is sort of just starting, and i want to graduate early so i am kicking my own ass by taking more classes that i shouldn't even be taking than i should be. (?) graduating early wouldn't be a huge issue if i didn't have 204820 prerequisites for the accelerated nursing/midwifery program i hope to enter after graduation. so i'm currently enrolled in bio, bio lab, chem, chem lab, trig, eating disorders, and human development. this translates into 15 hours of class a week (to which i actually have to go), plus 5 hours of online lectures/etc for eating disorders and human development. and 4 hours of chemistry work a day, as evidenced by my weekend spent (locked) in my room. when OWL (online web-based learning, if you will) yells at me for improperly entering my formulas, i just close my eyes and think of all the "PUSH!"es i'll be screaming later in life to remind me that this is soooo worth it. at least i have a lot of trip-hop to keep me going.
tomorrow we have no class. i've been told that i should spend the day relaxing. however, i'm not sure what this means. so, i'll probably spend the day writing essays for my italy summer abroad application, studying for the GREs, and cleaning the apartment (a.k.a. eating everything out of the refrigerator while it's being rearranged/emptied).
for now, i'm going to go try to sleep without my nightly glass of vino. it makes my arms feel funny. :(

Now playing: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Tell Me Baby