Monthly Archives: November 2009

Giving Thanks

Over my Thanksgiving break I was in South Carolina, and had no Internet. That is why I have been absent my darling followers! Anyway, even though it is way late, I am still going to make a thankful list. As you write your Christmas lists and get ready for the holiday, I think it is important to remember what you said you were thankful for not even a week ago. So, in no particular order, here is what I’m thankful for:

My mom and dad (in balloon form… he couldn’t make it to Thanksgiving) who let me do crazy things like live in England and travel to France and New Zealand:

My crazy family because they make life interesting:

My brother because he is one of my best friends:

My sister because she is so funny:

My grandparents because they are so amazingly awesome it is unreal:

Making silly faces:

Christmas lights in my dorm room:

Fall festivals:

The beautiful nature that surrounds me:

The wonderful opportunities I have had traveling:

And my AMAZING camera that let me take so many beautiful picture of my beautiful family:

I thankful for so, so, so much more than what is listed above, but these are what I am especially thankful for at this moment in time. I hope everyone had a fantastic thanksgiving!

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A Conversation of Awkwardness.

I’m currently in the process of two (yes, that’s right! TWO!) Thanksgiving posts, but for now I just HAD to share the conversation I had with the evil French Professor today. I’ve gone ahead and translated it for you, because it is even more ridiculous in English.

Evil French Professor: “Lauren, what famous basketball player, or baseball player, or hockey player do you like?”

Me: “I don’t like sports.”

Evil French Professor: “YOU DON’T LIKE SPORTS???!?!??!?!!?!?!?!?”

Me: “No, not really.”

Evil French Professor: “Well what famous player do you like?”

Me: “Uh, I don’t know. I don’t watch sports.”

Evil French Professor: “YOU DON’T WATCH SPORTS? AT ALL????!?!?!?!?!?”

Me: “I played volleyball in high school, but that is about it.”

Evil French Professor: “What famous person do you like?”

Me: *silence* “Uhhh… Julia Roberts?”

Evil French Professor: *silence*

Me: “Are you asking me what famous person I like?”

Evil French Professor: “Yes, what famous sports person do you like?”

Me: *turns to friend* “Quick, what is a famous sports person?” (My mind was completely blanking at this point.)

Friend: *laughs* “I don’t know! I hate sports too!!”

Me: “Uh…. I don’t know!” *Starts speaking English* “I DON’T LIKE SPORTS!”

Evil French Professor: “Oooookkkkaaaaayyyy……”

*turns to my friend*

Evil French Professor: “What famous basketball player, or baseball player, or hockey player do you like?”

My friend: “I don’t like sports.”

Evil French Professor: “YOU DON’T LIKE SPORTS???!?!??!?!!?!?!?!?”

Internet, I have eight more days with this douche-bag (sorry mother, but he is). Then I AM FREEEEEEE!!!!!

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Oh How I Loath Group Projects.

Sometimes when I sit down to write blogs, I get very distracted. It starts with checking my email which has some word in it that reminds me of a song. Then I have to listen to that song, so I go to iTunes and find it, play it. But when I am searching for it I come across another song I want to listen to, so I must sit there for about ten minutes trying to decide which song to play, even though I could have probably listened to them both about four times. I go back to my webmail which reminds me to check my grade for my latest paper. Then I get a twitter notification and I have to check that and it is 11 Points saying he has crafted yet another awesome list that I must read, so I go read that. Then I check facebook, like I do every other second, then I go and check my webmail again. Why? I don’t know. I just always check it after facebook for some random reason. Then I sit and try really hard to think of what I was doing and suddenly I remember I was going to write a blog.

So here we are. As I began typing this I felt a little off balanced; like my left foot was much colder than my right. How odd! I looked down and realized that I had one rainboot on and one off. Somehow I had managed to change from my jeans and nice shirt into sweatpants and t-shirt… and only took one rainboot off in the process. Sometimes I have no idea where my mind is.

ANYWAY.. the point! Get to the point Lauren! Today I was able to register for classes for spring semester! I love registering for classes. SO FUN! My registration time was 9am. The thing is, I have class at 9:05. So of course I took my computer to class and, along with the majority of other seniors, didn’t pay attention to a single word of what my professor was saying. What was supposed to be a five minute thing turned into a forty minute ordeal. Why? Because we managed to crash the University website, we are just that good. Thirty minutes later they had us up and running and I successfully got into all the classes I want. So this is what my schedule looks like for next semester (particularly for my mother and father’s sake… hi mum and dad!)

Monday/Wednesday/Friday:

9:00-9:55 Diversity in Secondary Education

10:10-11:00 World Lit

11:15-12:05 French 107 (Mon/Wed only)

Tuesday/ Thursday:

9:30-10:45 British Lit II

11:00-11:50 French 107

So, can we just take a quick second to look at this schedule? I mean… I’ve never been out by 12:05 or earlier every single day of the week. This semester my last class doesn’t end until 4:30 (mon-thurs)!! I’m so excited! Plus I’ll have all that time to complete my field study. This means I can get it over with exceptionally fast, as I can go every single day of the week. I’m quite happy. My last class I am taking is an online course, and it is all about detecting Art forgery. Sounds interesting, so hopefully it will go well. I’ve never had an online class before…

I think (I hope) next semester will be a million times better. This semester has been… an experience. I can’t wait until it is over with. Also, I just got asked to live with a few friends in an apartment next year! Exciting! My university has this rule that no seniors can live on campus… lame, I know. So I think I’m going to live with some really nice gals.

Thanksgiving is so very close… only a few days away! I’m hoping to post what I’m thankful for before, or on, Thursday. However, I don’t know how well the internet is where I’ll be staying, so it may have to wait until I get back. But I am thankful for a lot of things!!

For now I must drift off to the land of dreams. I’m leaving tomorrow! So very excited!!

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The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Be Watching CSI: MIAMI Over CSI: LAS VEGAS

So when CSI first started, I was there. I watched with baited breath as they apprehended criminals, I shouted at the television when they missed OBVIOUS clues only to see that it all worked out in the end. I loved this show so very much. This, of course, was CSI: LAS VEGAS. Back then it was just CSI: Crime Scene Investigation because there were no other ones on. Then the network got scared that other stations would adopt the idea and use different states, so they created CSI: MIAMI and hired a down and out David Caruso. Internet, my heart leaped with joy. I love, love, love CSI: MIAMI. Once I started college I had to quit watching it weekly because projects and tests and quizzes and my booming social life got in the way (those frequent trips to Disney didn’t help either). Then I moved to a new school and while I have friends, and a social life, there is no Disney or Downtown Disney to escape to. I find myself with a bit more free time. Watching TV one day I saw a commercial for the premiere of season eight of CSI: MIAMI. Season EIGHT! I stopped watching at the end of season four! So I decided to catch up on the seasons I missed.

Well, I went home this weekend and found myself with no new CSI: MIAMI to watch, which forced me to watch CSI: LAS VEGAS. And Internet, can I just say how much disdain I have for LAS VEGAS now that I have a borderline obsession with MIAMI? That is why I’ve decided to create this special list, just for you. It is a list of ten reasons why you should be watching MIAMI instead of LAS VEGAS. If you’ve never seen either, but maybe you want to watch an episode or two to see if you are interested, please read this and realize that you need to watch MIAMI. I’ve done all the necessary research, YOU’RE WELCOME.

Also, it should be noted that I did not care one little bit about CSI: NEW YORK, so don’t even consider that an option. And without further ado, here are the top ten reasons you should be watching MIAMI instead of LAS VEGAS:

10. Better looking cast.

This is number ten because it is the most superficial of all the entries on this list. But a nice looking cast is a plus for any show, and MIAMI definitely has the better-looking cast. The exception to the lackluster cast of LAS VEGAS is George Eads who plays Nick Stokes. That man is just…. more than exceptionally fine. The exception to the otherwise beautiful cast of MIAMI is, I hate to say, David Caruso who plays our main man (and my personal hero) Horatio.

We are CSI: LAS VEGAS. We are not that pretty!
We are CSI: LAS VEGAS. We are not that pretty!
We are CSI: MIAMI! We have awards for our beauty!
We are CSI: MIAMI! We have awards for our beauty!

9. Closer, more supportive staff.

From the beginning of LAS VEGAS it seems as though Catherine is out for Grissom’s job, even if she has to move to the daytime team. At one point in the series the team actually splits into two separate teams, Catherine leading one and Grissom leading the other. I did not like this. The dynamic was lost and it just felt like a competition. With MIAMI, Horatio is in charge and everyone on the team trusts them with their life, because he is just that good at always being there when needed. No one wants his job because he is just so darn good at it. They know their place, and often Horatio will bail them out of trouble because he trusts them and is always on their side. Grissom is just all, “Do you know what this bug means? No? Are you joking with me right now? I can’t tell because I don’t have social skills. Bye.”

8. More techniques and explanations of the lab.

Oh come on. You may know what DB stands for (dead body) and GSR (gun shot residue) and maybe a few other little terms, but for the most part you have no idea what they are taking about. The great thing about MIAMI is that they find creative ways of working into the dialogue what they are doing, or why they are doing it, or the machine they are using. LAS VEGAS doesn’t spend a whole lot of time showing lab procedures which makes MIAMI more informative, and FUN!

7. It is just brighter.

Okay, I need to state the obvious reason it is brighter. CSI MIAMI focuses on the daytime team. CSI LAS VEGAS focuses on the night team. But! Before you say that makes this stupid, I must submit to you that inside the lab it isn’t that dark. They need to invest in some lights! Pronto! The offices are all gray and black, dark and drab with a sort of macabre feeling. MIAMI is all white and clean and crisp and oranges and blues and color! It is a fun, festive environment they work in.

We are CSI: LAS VEGAS! We like to creep around in the dark!
We are CSI: LAS VEGAS! We like to creep around in the dark!
We are CSI: MIAMI! We can actually see what we are doing!
We are CSI: MIAMI! We can actually see what we are doing!

6. Swamp trumps desert.

You learned this with your basic episodes of M*A*S*H. Scenes in the Swamp were significantly better than the scenes in the open desert, healing some sick family the doctor’s couldn’t communicate with. It is just a fact. The go-to location of MIAMI is the everglades complete with gators and many amazing places to dump bodies, hide cars, drown people, etc. LAS VEGAS has the desert, complete with… heat. I hate the heat. I hate deserts. You can die of thirst and heat exhaustion. No thank you.

Nothing but heat and awfulness.
Nothing but heat and awfulness.
At least if you die here, you die surrounded by pretty trees and nature!
At least if you die here, you die surrounded by pretty trees and nature!

5. MIAMI has an episode telling how the team became the team.

The season premiere of season 8 had continuous flashbacks, complete with characters that have passed away since the first season, and showed how certain people got into the CSI business and how their characters have developed. It was quite entertaining. I loved it.

4. More things happen to the characters.

I originally wanted to put on my list the episode where Ryan gets shot in the eye with a nail gun (season 4 episode 8), because Jonathon Togo’s acting is fantastic, and LAS VEGAS can’t match that. But then I remembered that time Quentin Tarantino came onto LV as a guest director and CSI Nick was buried alive. That episode scared the crap out of me because I do not like watching people in movies and TV shows get buried alive. And if you are thinking this is Uma Thurman in Kill Bill buried alive, you are wrong. This is very different, and a LOT scarier. The episode (s 5 ep 24-25 ) STILL gives me the chills. So I changed this category to more things happen to the characters in MIAMI. Someone is forever getting shot, held hostage, attacked, held at gun-point by ex lovers, etc. LAS VEGAS is all, “do de do de do we like bugs!” See? Boring!

You think YOUR day was bad? This guy has a nail coming out of his eye.
You think YOUR day was bad? This guy has a nail coming out of his eye.

3. MIAMI has more action.

They are all the time blowing things up, shooting people, being shot at, having high speed chases (on land and sea), running after criminals, going to Brazil and killing people… the fun and adventure never ends. Just when you think things are all calm, BAM! Something happens and you are all, “Oh MIAMI. You got me again!” I mean, by the end of one episode Horatio would have caught the suspect, gotten him to talk, gotten him to give up his drug pals, taken down the biggest underground drug rings in Miami, gotten his son out of jail, saved his CSI from impending death, AND have time for a quick moment to gaze out of the window, taking it all in. Grissom? He would still be at his desk wondering what a specific bug was trying to tell him.

2. MIAMI Justice.

Here is a clip. You do not need to know what the setting events are for this scene, you just need to know that this would NEVER happen in LAS VEGAS.

And finally, I present to you the number one reason why you should be watching CSI MIAMI over CSI LAS VEGAS.

1. Horatio’s infamous opening one-liners.

The first season doesn’t have the high quality one-liners because they were still in development at the time. By the end of the first season you see them coming into play, but they just get better (and by better I mean cheesier) as the seasons go on. This is what makes the show worth watching. The first few minutes of the show sets up the murder with Horatio and his team showing up on the scene. Horatio talks to someone, be it another CSI, the lead detective cop guy, or the medical examiner, and somehow they set him up for the PERFECT line. Then, of course, comes the theme song Who Are You sung by The Who. The thing that makes these moments so perfect is the timing of when he puts the sunglasses on. I found a video for you (the short version), compiling some of the great one-liners. Enjoy.

I hope this list helps you realize the amazingness that is CSI: MIAMI and the just-okayness that is LAS VEGAS. I know you will make the right decision. If not, I could always get Horatio to persuade you.

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And the Jay Z song was on…

I was going to save this for later on in this post but I simply can’t hold it in any longer. I heard Party in the USA for the first time tonight and…

I like it. No; I take that back. I LOVE IT. It is quite addictive and there is nothing I can do to suppress the urge to listen to it over and over and over and over. Now, I do realize that I am late into the game, but I had heard nothing but negative things about the song, so I held off listening to it. I never listen to the radio unless forced, so I didn’t have to overhear it at any point. I finally heard a couple of people mention it so many times today that I had no choice but to listen to it. Bad move Internet.

Anyway, this morning I had the pleasure of waking up at 6:00 to get ready and take the Praxis exam. What is this Praxis exam I speak of? Well to pass my certification I have to do a few things: 1) take the Praxis I 2) take the Praxis II 3) student teach and 4) devote hours upon hours of my life to making a stupid portfolio of pretty much everything I’ve done during my college career. Good thing I saved all my papers!

The Praxis I is basically a watered down version of the SATs, minus that gross science part. It was a three hour test that took five hours to complete, yes you read that correctly, and the first part was the reading comprehension part which was fine and all but I have no idea where the heck they get these passages from. I mean some of them were the most random things ever! Then I took the math section which I still don’t know if I passed because, let’s be quite honest here, I can’t do basic math. Yeah, it is embarrassing, but to all you math people, can you read Shakespeare and understand what he is saying? Didn’t think so. The next part was BY FAR the easiest thing I’ve ever taken in my life. It was the whole, “here is a sentence and we’ve underlined random parts now tell us which is the incorrect part of the sentence” and then it faded into the, “we’ve underlined part of the sentence now tell us if one of the options below would sound better” type of things. We had thirty minutes to complete both sections- 40 total questions. I finished in about 10, went back, checked my answers, and still sat there for what felt like an eternity. The last section was the essay which was really, really easy.

Overall I think I did well, still unsure about math, but I’m just glad it is over with. What a lot of people don’t understand is that this is not just a test I take for certification. If I don’t pass a section I have to retake it until I do. With the SATs you just take the thing and then they tell you how good or bad you are. With this there is a set score that you have to reach for your state, and if you make above it, congrats. If you make below it, YOU FAIL. I don’t like failing $90 tests.

Speaking of the $90, they didn’t let some kid take his test today for what is possibly the STUPIDEST reason ever in the history of all testing. When you got there you had to check in with a form of photo id, preferably with your license. This kid’s license said his name was JAMES and his test ticket said his name was JIMMY. So they didn’t let him take the exam.

Are you freaking kidding me? He was visibly fuming, and he looked at the woman administering the test and said, “well can I have my $90 back?” Except it was more like, “WELL CAN I HAVE MY $90 BACK?” with the unspoken “bitch” at the end. I felt so bad for him! It was really, really ridiculous.

Other than that my day has consisted of coughing, nausea, sniffles, sore throats, whining, wheezing, and just grossness (I have strep throat in case you didn’t know). I watched my favorite holiday movie, Eloise at Chirstmastime and that made me feel better. Then I realized I had no more CSI: Miami to watch because I am currently awaiting the next discs from Netflix, so I had no other option but to watch CSI: Las Vegas. Now, there was a time that I liked Las Vegas. Except that Georgia Fox. I never have liked her and I never will. But then Miami came onto the scene and I was smitten with Horatio and Las Vegas got lost in the desert dust. I wrote an elaborate and helpful and fantastic post for my Bullshish blog about why you should be watching Miami instead of Las Vegas. You can find it here. I’m all about bringing you the FACTS people!

Now, if you will excuse me, there is a PARTY in the USA that I need to get back to.

And the Britney song was on…

And the Britney song was on…

And the Britney song was on………….

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12th Night Character Relationships Explained by Yours Truly

Yes, you read that long title correctly. Here I’ve taken the time to explain in the simplest way possible (which, as it turns out, isn’t that simple) all of the characters from 12th Night and how they are all related. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Viola loves Orsino who is her boss, who loves Olivia who loves Cesario who is really Viola in drag.

Sebastian is Viola’s twin brother who marries Olivia which causes Orsino to fall for Viola (while, I might add, is under disguise as Cesario.)

Malvolio is the only serious one in the play who is tricked by Maria who is Olivia’s gentlewoman. Malvolio loves Olivia who loves Cesario who Malvolio attempts to battle when he really mistakes Sebastian for Cesario who is still Viola in drag.

Feste is the clown who is really smart but dresses up as a priest and imprisons Malvolio for madness even though Malvolio is not mad. Feste also sings a lot.

Sir Toby and Sir Andrew are the two men who remain drunk the entire play. Sir Toby is Olivia’s uncle who marries Maria. Sir Andrew loves Olivia but doesn’t stand a chance between Cesario/Viola, Sebastian, and Orsino.

Antonio is the man who never admits it but really loves Sebastian. He rescues him from the shipwreck and goes with him to Orsino’s house which is where Viola is, in drag as Cesario.

Viola and Sebastian think each other dead. Antonio later mistakes Viola for Sebastian and gets his feeling hurt.

But don’t worry, this is a comedy, so everyone gets married and dances and sings at the end.

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And I took the One Less Traveled by/ And That Has Made All the Difference.

Oh Internet. We haven’t talked in a while, and that is entirely my fault. I mean, I AM the one who writes this thing, but whatever, go with it. Can I complain for  a moment? I know, I know. I’m here for witty stories and insane exaggerations that make you smile, but you have no idea how hellish this semester has been for me. I am someone who LOVES, LOVES, LOVES school and I wake up every morning and ask myself, why? Why did I pick this stupid career choice, why did I choose this British Lit class? Why did I choose to take French?

I chose to be an English teacher because I was so influenced by my high school English teacher. I can only hope to be as half as amazing and influential as she was. I chose that particular British Lit class because it was taught by a man named James Dean. That is the LAST time I ever choose a class based on a professor’s name. NEVER AGAIN. And yes, I wanted to learn French.

Yes, I am technically bilingual now (side note: how exciting is that?!?!?) but French this year has been one humiliating event right after the other. And when I say humiliating, I am not exaggerating in the slightest bit. My professor has made me cry in class, and I’ve had various people come up to me and tell me they don’t think the professor likes me. At all. And he doesn’t! I may call him a douche and complain about him, but in class, for those fifty minutes every Monday through Thursday I am respectful. I (attempt to) answer every question, I (sometimes) volunteer to read from the text book, and I am very… cordial. I’m not going to go out of my way to be extremely nice to a man who when I asked him a question about future tense conjugations he looked at me and said, “Come on. This isn’t that difficult.” Maybe not when FRENCH IS YOUR F***ING NATIVE LANGUAGE YOU PRICK!

Let’s all take a deep, calming breath. Onto psychology. Now, overall I don’t mind that class. The subject is interesting, my professor is nice, it is all well and good. At the beginning of the semester we were placed in groups, at random. My group is very, very nice. I like them! We sit at the same round table every day, in the same seats, and I just so happen to sit across from a guy with perfect teeth. (In case you don’t know this about me, I have this thing about perfect teeth. Yes, I do get told on a daily basis how weird I am. I’m okay with that.) Anyway, at the end of the semester my group has to do a microteaching. For non-education majors, a microteaching is a forty minute lesson taught to the rest of our psychology class. The topic was ours to choose. At our particular table we have three history majors, a science major, and an English major (me!). We are all education majors, hence the microteaching. SO we decided to do a lesson on “Losers in History” and we would talk about the losers of major wars, what they did wrong, etc. We presented the lesson to our professor and she told us we had to incorporate EVERYONE’S majors into the lesson. So we changed our topic to Harry Potter. I would teach the literature part, the history people would teach about witch hunting and the science person would teach about chemistry and potions. SOUNDS BRILLIANT HUH?

Well last night I got violently ill. I got out of bed this morning, stood up, and fell down. I couldn’t talk, swallow, and my throat felt three times the normal size. I couldn’t think and my head was hurting so badly; basically I thought I was dying. So I skipped my first class. I set my alarm to wake up for my next class and felt SO FREAKING HORRIBLE that I skipped all of my classes, except for French. Why not French? I had an in class writing assignment that I didn’t think my professor would let me make up at a later date because remember, he hates me. So this means I missed psychology.

I get an email about an hour or so ago. Today my group changed our entire lesson plan. And now we are doing the Age of Enlightenment! Ya-freaking-hoo. I’ve not studied the AoE. Sure, I’ve read some texts here and there, but do I actually remember any of this stuff? No. So I am going to have to pour hours of research into this stupid effing project because my group decided to change everything up.

In case I haven’t said it before, I HATE HATE HATE this semester. I don’t think I’m a good writer anymore, I know I’m not good at French, and I know nothing about the AoE. This semester has officially killed my spirit.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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