Archive for May, 2008

Fictional Characters I Would Date: Part Six

This next entry is from another of my favorite movies and it is a definite no-brainer:

Ben Calder from “Chasing Liberty”

Ben Calder (played by the dashing Matthew Goode) is one of those characters that is so perfect you just know that he could never exist in real life (there is the slight matter of him lying to Anna the whole time, but please……..I am not the president’s daughter so he wouldn’t have to lie to me).  First of all he is from Wales, which means he has a wonderful accent, but not only that, his voice in general is one of the most remarkable things I have ever heard.  My knees turn to jelly every time he says words like “adore,” “gesture,” and “un-bloody-hinged.”  He also is not bad to look at and does a great ‘brooding/smoldering look.’  And he looks smoking hot in a suit as well as unwashed jeans and a t-shirt.

He is the perfect gentleman who will rescue me when I start to fall off rooftops or when I am harassed by angry mobs.   He  is also an avid photographer who could take great pictures of my cats.  He manages to resist the advances of a very beautiful Mandy Moore because he knows it would be wrong to take advantage of her (until later in the movie of course).  He could also take me bungee jumping since he is experienced in that area as well.  There are many other qualities that I can’t quite seem to remember at this moment in time because I am too distracted by his killer smile.

I found this great video on YouTube that is totally devoted to the splendiferousness that is his voice, so enjoy!

Jen

Why I Love My Job…

Even though it is totally nerdy to blog about this, I can’t help myself. I had a real “librarian moment” today at work that made my whole week. This morning my co-worker and I went to one of the elementary schools and booktalked about 20 books for a gifted reading class of 3rd-5th graders. They were such a great audience because these kids truly love to read, but that wasn’t even the best part.

One of the books that I talked about is the amazingly awesome “Skulduggery Pleasant” by the incomparable Derek Landy. I don’t even have to mention how great it is because the cover pretty much says it all. Well, this afternoon while I was sitting at the desk, a boy came up to the desk right at 2:30 (they get out of school early on Wednesdays here which is totally unfair) and asked for this book! He was real shy but his Mom said he had heard the book talks this morning and was really excited about this book!

I actually got through to a kid, and not just any kid, a boy!!! The fact that my two minute book talk was powerful enough to make him race to the library to get the book makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (I am going to assume it was all my amazing booktalking and had nothing to do with the kickass cover.)

Jen

Flour in the face–classic

Yum, so it is just about time to take my oreo cake out of the oven! But get this–while I was coating the cake pan with flour I had this sudden urge to throw some flour on my face, mess up my hair (that was already done, I decided to screw showering today so my hair is up in a jiggly ponytail at the top my head like in the good ol cheerleading days) and spritz my face with fishbowl water so I look like I SLAVED over my baking. Whoa, commercial flashback!!!!! One of the best commercials ever created if you ask me. I think it is so ingrained in my cultured memory because it was aired during a break in the Wonderful World of Disney’s presentation of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on the VHS tape kept by my grandparents. A tape I watched over and over and over and that also included a recording of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Those are now two comfort movies for me. But back to the commerical–do you remember it? Well if not, youtube has the magic:

RICE KRISPIES TREATS! oh been awhile since I’ve had those–hmmm, and I don’t think they are like the easiest thing to make–I mean they are super sticky and marshmallow burns easily. Not nearly as easy as my Oreo Cake (basically I make a white cake and mix crushed oreos into the mix, and then I also mix crushed oreos into the white frosting. TA-DA!). In the end I decided to keep my face flour-free. It wasn’t really worth the mess, and no one else is here to share the moment with—I suppose I could have taken a photo and shared it with you all. That is what web 2.0 is really all about right? next time next time. I need to go eat this entire oreo cake by myself and then talk myself out of going for a jog.

amberj.

Graduated!!!

Hey readers!! 

As of yesterday at ~2:30 P.M. the University of Iowa chucked me out on my rear end while I was wearing a stylish and billowy black robe and an awesome orange tassel.  Yes, I have been graduated.  It’s official!  I shook hands with Jane Dorman- head of admissions (or something like that), P. Barry Butler- dean of engineering, Dr. David Murhammer- chair and (my personal favorite) professor of the chemical engineering department, and finally Sally Mason- president of the University of Iowa. 

The ceremony was peppered with bouts of recognition and speeches.  Well, actually only 2 speeches were given.  One by the student “representing” the graduating class, and then other by an alumnus.  The student chosen, who shall remain nameless in this blog, is hardly what I would call representative of my class.  …But then again I wouldn’t really call the kids I graduated with yesterday, “my class”.  No, I don’t really consider myself a member of the class of 2008.  I really consider myself a member of the class of 2007, but that’s just because all of my friends were in that class.  The class of 2007 was amazing and I don’t think that I would have had near as good a time, nor done as well as I did if I had been in any other class.  Why I didn’t graduate in 2007 was because I took 2 semesters off to do internships, so I’m not a super senior.  But that’s beside the point.  Anyways, this guy who gave the speech wouldn’t have represented any class well!  He graduated with highest distinction (meaning that he had a GPA that was in the top 2% out of the entire university, not just the college of engineering), was a member of the Iowa men’s swim team, and is a Canadian citizen.  Being a Canadian citizen doesn’t make him not a good representative though…I just put that in because it’s true…it’s mainly the first two things put together.

Anyways, think about it.  Most engineers did not graduate with any distinction, or even honors.  Most of us were not on a university sports team either.  This guy was an overachiever from the day he was born, and he’s going to be that guy that everyone likes but hates because he’s always going to show everyone up.  His speech was alright, but honestly it was the same speech you would expect to hear at every year’s graduation.  He talked about the good times we all had in the engineering building and its computer labs, staying up all night doing homework and studying and writing reports, going to the bars with your backpack straight after a class/test/homework session/etc.  Stuff that we can all appreciate because we’ve all been there.  However, the way he presented the speech was so unoriginal it was boring.  I wish that the person giving the speech would have been some kid from Iowa (because I think the larger percentage of the class was from Iowa), who had a GPA somewhere around 3.2-3.4, and was in a couple of clubs, but nothing major.  Not an overachiver, nor an underachiever, but an average achiever.  Somebody who really represented the class.  No, I’m not talking about myself…but I do believe I probably could have written/given a better speech.

The other guy who spoke – the alum – was the CEO of Black and Veatch (http://www.bv.com/).  His speech was actually quite good.  It entertained me, and made me feel (oh such a cliche!) empowered.  He talked about 3 S’s – Scenarios, Sustainability, and Security.  Scenarios in the sense of scenario planning – the what if’s.  Like how Shell was the only oil company back in the day that had plans for the scenario of ‘What if there’s an oil embargo?’ and totally came into it’s hay day because of it.  Sustainability as in complete sustainability (not just environmental) but also economic and social.  And then finally security, not necesarilly safety, but security as in using our skills and talents to our fullest ability in order to keep ourselves secure in our careers and to keep up to date in our field so that we never lapse into uselessness.  He also gave us a formula to think about I=P*A*T, or Impact equals population itmes affluence times technology.  The population continues to grow, which increases our global impact.  Affluence in terms of 3rd world countries and how other countries are “affluent” to them (aka social/economic disparity).  And then technology…which is pretty obvious…  He challenged us to try and make technology a divisor instead of a multiplier…to try and lessen the impact on the world.  All in all a good speech.

<3, lindsayd.

 

Stephenie Meyer’s “The Host”

Even though I was pretty far down on the holds list, apparently everybody is reading this book super fast because I was already able to pick it up at the library on Thursday. I was really intimidated by just how HUGE this book is. Maybe I am just so used to reading children’s books made for tiny hands, but I was actually worried I would injure myself while trying to hold this book and read. Not only is it over 600 pages, but it is also extremely TALL. Needless to say I finished it on Sunday night and I am going to be placing an order at the library today to get my own copy (if that says anything about how much I liked it).

For those of you who don’t know, this is Stephenie Meyer’s first book outside the “Twilight” universe and also her first book for adults. Aliens have invaded the earth and pretty much taken over the entire human population. They are silvery centipede like things that hook onto human brains and soak up all their memories. The invasion has been relatively peaceful except for a few human resistors. Melanie is one of those resistors who is finally captured. Wanderer is the “Soul” that is placed in Melanie’s body, but instead of just fading away, Melanie refuses to leave her body. Some of the best parts of the book are the ‘conversations’ that take place between Wanderer and Melanie as they try to figure out what to do with their situation. Through Melanie’s memories, Wanderer begins to love Mel’s brother Jamie and her boyfriend Jared. They decide to go and try to find out if Jamie and Jared are still alive and still human.

Even though this book is really long, it flies by so fast because you can’t put it down. I really enjoyed the characters in this book a lot. Especially Jeb, Jamie, Doc, and Ian. The story has lots of classic Stephenie Meyer elements: love triangles (or more like quadrangles), lots of good social/family interactions, and lots of cool alien lore (as opposed to vampires and werewolfs).

I did have one major problem with the book that bugged me the whole time I was reading it. Apparently Stephenie Meyer has a really hardcore “damsel in distress” complex where women must be physically or emotionally jerked around by guys. I did not appreciate the fact that Melanie/Wanderer gets beaten up by the men in her life on numerous occasions and then makes excuses for them. Granted, I know that it is because she’s an alien, but come on……….I just don’t like to read about the main character getting knocked around for the fifth time in sixty pages.

But aside from that, I did really love this book. I think I might have even liked it better than the Twlight books. Gasp! I know, I know….maybe not the first book, but definitely better than New Moon and Eclipse. So everybody who liked any of her previous books has to get their hands on this one because it is a fascinating read. Lindsay, this means you!!!! I don’t want to hear any excuses about a wedding.

I thought I would include this video because I loved the song before I read the book, but now it totally reminds me of “The Host.”

Jen

My Apologies to you, Dear Readers

If you haven’t noticed,  I took a little vacation from the blog.  I know, I know, you all missed me terribly.

Man, I wish I had something interesting to talk about now.  These past few weeks have been dedicated to making sure I passed my classes so that I could legitimately graduate.  And now that I’ve done that, I’m feeling pretty dang good.  I had my last final exam yesterday morning – organic chemistry lab…yuck!  I know, right!!  Seriously though – who even needs organic chemistry…besides organic chemists (which I will not be!)  Anyhoo, I could barely do anything after that test I was so nervous!  So I bought myself a book – The Mysterious Benedict Society (I think), and I’m pretty hooked.  If I didn’t have things I needed to get done today I totally would be engrossed in it still.  I love puzzles and I love reading about kids who also love puzzles, but are way better at them than me.

In other news, the wedding countdown is at 10 days now.  I don’t feel mature enough to be getting married sometimes…  Like yesterday – I played a game called IATL ball (sounds like i-ate-ul ball) that involved hitting empty pop cans with a PVC pipe and then running around trees to score points.  There were only 3 of us playing so that made it kind of hard since we were all constantly running – it made me super duper tired afterwards….I was also victory drunk.  And then every day I put some yarn up in the stair well just to confuse people…trust me, it works.  If I get caught, I’m going to claim that it relieves my stress and keeps me from going all insane like on everyone.  That should work, right?

In other, other news – did you all watch America’s Next Top Model last night?  Spoiler alert – Whitney won!  This makes her the first “full figured” model to win a cycle and I think that’s pretty awesome.  Whitney’s been my favorite ever since that whole spat she had with Dominique way back in the day when Dominique called Whitney a racist.  I think Whitney’s my favorite because I disliked Dominique soooooo much that I liked anyone who she didn’t like.  But then again, I didn’t really like Claire…she was too much of a know it all.  And I liked Lauren until she unleashed her potty mouth (OK, I still like her, but it was always obvious that she was just too grungy to be the next “top model”).  I was shocked though, because Anya was almost always the first girl put through to the next round at elimination, and at panel they talked about how high fashion she was and all that jazz.  But I don’t feel too bad for Anya – she got like $10 grand from 7-UP and will probably get lots of work from here on out.  I just hope none of these girls show up on The Surreal Life in a couple of years.

Well, that’s all for now – I’m super hungry and the IMU is calling me with its selection of soups…I hope they have creamy potato today!!

<3, lindsayd.

Our Favorite Family

So I love everything about this about this family:

  • Mom Sarah is my ultimate hero and mentor– and she always gets me, Jill and Chris treats such as animal crackers before our Databases class– and when some wizard rockers were freaking out (just a little bit) about missing LOST, she said “Hey, bring them here and I’ll serve cheesecake!”
  • Dad Kevin is like the nicest guy I have ever met– when playing guitar hero, he didn’t once laugh at my awkward brady bunch swaying!
  • Daughter Fiona is so smiley! and she knows that clapping hands is really all you need to have a good time.
  • Son Liam stood in a trash can for like hours and it never stopped being funny–that is serious comedic talent.

So please help support this great family and learn more about Angelman Syndrome at this awesome site created by Sarah and Kevin: www.recognizepromise.org and if you have spare dollars laying around you should donate to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation!

TEAM FIONA!!!!!

And here I will leave you with a video of Liam learning the harmonica:

amberj