Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ellensburg and Yakima Canyon


Instead of sitting around watching movies, eating junk food, and waiting for Cute Robert to call me, which he can't do because he's busy studying for his ASVAB and GRE, I decided to go take some pictures of Ellensburg and thereabouts. My original intention was to drive up to Vista House (a strange sort of white adobe building with a turret that's up on a hill overlooking the rodeo grounds) and take pictures of the mountains and then head to campus to wander and take videos/pictures of my school. Unfortunately it's blowing about 50 mph, and the wind chill is, to say the least, "biting." All I ended up with was one decent shot of what I believe is Barge Hall (admin building) and some of the local houses that were on the way.









4th Street: A pretty little house, and a castle letting a 2-bedroom flat.






The Barbie House. Enlarge the images so you can see the colors up close. Note the molded plastic shutters. There's even a matching garage out the back side of the house. No. Joke.

Barge Hall and Ellensburg High School. If you're wondering why I posted a picture of the high school, you've obviously never seen my high school in Athena.

After I took these pictures, I still wanted to take pictures of campus, but it was so windy I didn't want to get out of the car and wander around, so I decided to drive down "Canyon Road" and see where that led me. I was hoping to find a back road that would take me up Manastash Ridge so I could get a good picture of the mountains, but instead I ended up following the Yakima River through the foothills.
To the Southwest and Southeast of the Yakima River.

It was so windy I could hardly stay upright. Or breathe. Or smile. And then I almost dropped my camera.

I hopped back in my car and drove along a little farther and noticed there was a little recreational area. It was so windy I had to open my car door with both legs because I couldn't push it with my arms. I then decided it was a good idea to walk across this seemingly-unthreatening suspension bridge:
To the left and right of the rickety-ass suspension bridge. Note: I thought I would die.

A rare siting: The Valry, in nature.


After several more unsuccessful attempts to get shots of the gorgeous mountains, I headed home to nurse my wounds: I have several slivers in my hands and fingers from the bridge. It was actually very stable, but since it's not solid it moved around a lot in the wind. Combined with the disorientation from the water rushing beneath my feet, I was very unsteady and had to keep bracing myself on the rail, which felt smooth but wasn't. No worries, though. The slivers are small and if they bother me too much I can just ask Cute Robert to get them out for me. I wish he'd call....

Friday, March 27, 2009

M.

This fire! This voice! This Agony!


I rented a movie this week called M. It's directed by Fritz Lang and was released in 1931. It was one of the first audio films made and is considered by film buffs to be one of the most influential and best-made films in cinematic history. I agree.

Based on real-life events (Peter Kurten, "The Vampire of Dusseldorf"), this story follows Berlin Police and Underworld as they race to catch the child killer. The Police use every modern technique and technology available to them, while the Underworld rely on complex networking.

The film is visually stunning, and nothing ended up on film that was not meticulously scrutinized by Fritz Lang. Unlike most talking movies (even contemporary films), M is not dialog-intensive. There is no score, and no sound-effects that aren't of importance (you can hear the sound of a coo-coo clock in one scene, but there is absolutely no audio for several scenes showing police driving around town, arresting people, etc). Sound is used strictly for plot development and, critically, to allow the audience to visualize the world outside of the shot. For the first time in cinema, one did not need to see The Monster to know he was around - audio (in this case, whistling) alerts audience to danger.

Peter Lorre plays Hans Beckert, the Monster. His performance is one of the most realistic and horrifying I've ever seen. During one scene he delivers a monologue pleading for his life and explaining his sickness:
"Who knows what it's like inside me? How it screams and cries out inside me when I have to do it? Don't want to! Must! Don't want to! Must! And then a voice cries out and I can't listen anymore!"

Normally I don't recommend "films" to people unless I know they are into "films," but I have to recommend M to everyone. Pay close attention to details when you watch it the first time, and then watch it again with commentary on. Nothing is there by accident!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Posty


This is me in Joann's this afternoon whilst shopping for wedding stuff. I hate fake flowers.


This is the Benji dog. He is amazing. He has never been trained to do anything - but he does everything. Absolutely brilliant, sweet animal. If I had the money to do it I would clone him. No joke.

I took some pictures of Ellensburg but hadn't adjusted the settings on my camera so they didn't turn out. I'll probably head up the pass one of these mornings (so that the light is good) and take a bunch of shots. I bought a memory card today that will hold over 1k 8mp pictures, so I'll be able to have a ball.

Tiki Teryaki

Yesterday, after spending several hours popping around Walla Walla looking at wedding stuff, Rea, Katherine, and I went to this AMAZING Hawaiian restaurant that opened up here a few months ago. Every single thing they make is "the best thing I've ever eaten"* and they have this steamed cabbage that is just so ridiculously good I've decided to start buying, steaming, and eating cabbage on a regular basis (good source of vitamin K).


The stoic Valry, going for the First Grade Teacher look (that adorable headband came from the dollar store, and I was rocking it).


Rea, very excited about having her picture taken!


The lovely bride-to-be, Katie Jean!

Katherine got their Teryaki chicken and Rea and I split their beef - UN REEEEEEEAL! Every order comes with two HUGE scoops of steamed rice (*droooool*), cabbage (ours was actually diced red cabbage with chives, which was delicious, but disappointing because I was hoping for steamed cabbage), and either a green salad (iceburg, olives, croutons, grated provalone and this asian sesame awesomeness dressing) or Hawaiian macaroni salad, which is the most bland, awesome addition to the rest of the food, which is all really, really strongly flavored (and delicious). I also got a side order of rice (because it's just so good) and a pina colada smoothie - it actually isn't that fabulous (reminds me of suntan lotion), I prefer actual pina coladas from the Mexican restaurants around here, but it's still really good. If anyone ever visits Walla Walla, we are GOING to eat there!!!!!

* Tiki Teryaki has now joined the company of Kobe Beef, Stafford, Virginia on my Best Restaurants list. It's been the lone star on the list for the last 15 years, and I'm sure it's happy to have company.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bridesmaids Dresses


Back (Nevermind the redness - I developed severe skin allergies a few years ago and now, if my skin comes into contact with anything - anything - it breaks into hives. Don't worry, it's not contagious and I'm not dying).
Side - with tag. Also, simper.
Front, with black boots. If I wear boots they'll be my OTHER boots (http://www.bootstoyourdoor.com/boots/platform/platform.jpg)
Still getting used to the camera.
And just a face shot.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Skin and Bones

Iew, I have lost a lot of weight, apparently. I have been kinda bingeing for the last few days (at least I feel like I have been) and then came home and ate two MASSIVE hotdogs and two HUGE brownies and I'm still several pounds lighter than I was last night I weighed myself. That is unhealthy and gross! Plus my butt is so bony....it hurts to sit down. I have to keep shifting positions because my tail bone "sticks out like a foot." I won't be gaining any weight, either, so I guess I'll have to start carrying a pillow around to sit on.

I. Am. Over it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's the FINAL COUNTDOWN!

Can't study for this final, though. I'm so not motivated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZkllM8znx4

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hump Day!

It is WEDNESDAY, dear readers! Hump day!

I am OFFICIALLY done with my Intro to History class. I will probably end up with a C in the class - the ONLY C I'll ever get in college. I worked my bum off in that class, too, which makes me so angry. Oh well, at least it's over.

Yesterday I wrote almost 4 pages worth of essays in my US history class WITH NO PREPARATION or studying at all, then I completed 8 pages for my Irish History class, then wrote TEN PAGES ALL AT ONCE for my Intro to History class - the paper actually turned out FABULOUS, so I hope she gives me a good grade. It's one of the best papers I've ever written, actually, so it may be enough to keep my grade above a C. Probably not, tho, considering I skipped a 50-point assignment.......ahem.

So now I've had an extra day to chill out and take my time with Dr. Ervin's assignments. I lounged in bed until 8, then got up, edited my paper, took my time getting ready, headed to campus to email my final into my Intro to History prof (didn't want to have to sit there and "explain myself" for not showing up the last two weeks of class.....) and then came back here and cleaned my car out for my trip. WHEEE!!!!!! I'm not working on my last book review for Ervin and will then move onto prepping for my final exam. His tests are REALLY hard and he gave me a 75 (!!!WHAT?!) on my midterm so I really need to do well in order to get an A from him again. I was so disappointed with that midterm because my papers - for the first time - had been SO good, I got A's instead of really low B's like last quarter. ARGH, my grades are going to SUCK!!!!!!

I use exclamation marks a lot. Hooray for Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Finals, Spring Break....yikes!

After being up until past 1 last night I set my alarm for 6:00 this morning to make sure I had time to study for my US History final at 8:00. I woke up, per usual, to the sound of my downstairs neighbor closing his closet doors (it's not super loud, but loud enough for me). I felt pretty well-rested, and looked up at the window to see the beautiful sun shining through the blinds. At six in the morning???

HOLY HELL! 7:44!!!!!!

It's an 8 minute sprint to get to campus from my apartment, so I FLEW out of bed, LAUGHED at my phone (I truly could not believe it, I even opened and closed my phone several times to make sure the outer display was working properly) and had only enough time to hop into a pair of pants while I went to the loo before I had to rush out of my apartment. FORTUNATELY the prof for that class provides the paper, so all I needed was a pen - if I had needed anything else I wouldn't have made it, because it was scattered everywhere.

FORTUNATELY I made it on time. UNfortunately, I never managed to study for the final. I hadn't even looked at two of the four possible essay prompts. Of course he picked one of those two. I didn't put a single date anywhere in my essays, and the only name I could think of was wrong (I'm realizing now - not that I had any doubts that it was wrong when I wrote it down!), so I've ruled out getting an A on the test. Thankfully I worked hard all quarter and have an excellent grade in the class, so I should be okay even if I get a low B on the test. I may even still sneak by with an A (I had excellent participation as well).

I came home, stunned from the experience. I have had nightmares every single quarter since I started college that I've slept in and missed a final. For the record, I have NEVER EVER slept in. I always laughed at the nightmares because it illustrated how obsessed I am with education - I had an irrational fear of doing something I would never do. Well, boys and girls, I very nearly did it. I am human, after all.

Once I got home I started working on my Irish History final. For those of you who don't know, I struggled all quarter with that class. Aside from the delicious distraction that was CuBe, I really paid attention in the class, took about 20 pages of notes, and did all of my assignments on time. I managed to get B's on all of them (even though I had no idea what I was talking about) and did well on my quizzes. But when I looked at the Final Exam prompt I panicked. There was only one option that I even had a CHANCE of answering, and we were supposed to pick two - and then write 4-6 pages for EACH! I managed to get part way through the first one last night, but didn't have any idea where I was going with it. Fortunately, the stimulation to my brain from the absolute PANIC this morning seemed to have lifted a veil. The first essay turned out very well - and was even the correct length. The second was a bit short (but Prof was flexible in his wording), but it too was excellent. I finished it up, answered the two-point extra credit question, then rushed off to the library to print it off and make it back in time to meet the Post-Man to get........

I missed him yesterday when I went to the library to study (and got distracted by CuBe), and my attempts to arrange a redelivery failed because the internet was unstable.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mawage.

Also, and this is, you know, more important: Katherine and Charliepoo are ENGAGED!!!!!! They haven't set a date, picked a location, or any of that kind of thing, but they are now officially engaged to be wed.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Go figure...






Almost done with the quarter. I'm officially a senior in 2 weeks. YAY!