Orange is indeed the New Black

I like the rest of the nation am in love with this show. You get human nature or women nature I should say in its rawest and most glorious form for a blissful 13 hours worth of episodes nonstop. Thank you Netflix. You see these women without the normal backdrop of society, without the clothes and jewelry they’d wear in this society, and without their friends and family,. You see that they’ve created their own system within a system in order to survive and make sense of their freedom-stripped lives. Their everyday struggles in prison are at times hilarious and other times heart-wrenching. The best parts are when you get to see who they were before they were wearing orange uniforms. Some stories are more riveting than others but people’s lives are for the most part are not that bombastic. I was also reminded of an important lesson: don’t break the law.

Completely unrelated to the title of this post: interviews. I have never been on the other side, that is the interviewer’s side. I have only ever been the interviewee in life and it has never been easy to sit there in front of someone you’ve never met before and try to convey to him everything that you are in 60 minutes. I have never not been nervous, no matter how nice and easygoing the interviewer may be. Because every single word you’re saying is being scrutinized, every muscle movement in the face, every pause, every mannerism from the moment you step in to the moment you step out.   I’m very easy to get along with, intelligent, and very good at whatever I put my mind to. I try my best and that’s all I can do. Everything else is just left to fate.

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Picking up the Piano Again

I’m glad I had a mother who insisted that I, at least, stay committed to one hobby.  As a child I tried everything from ice skating to the bowling league, Taekwondo to swimming, surfing to pottery.  But I never stuck with any of these through my adolescence, except the piano and the clarinet.  I stopped playing both instruments once I left for university and now it’s been 5 years since I’ve played.  I will never forget the grueling competitions, master classes, hours spent practicing, and the gratification I received after it all.  Now that I have a piano again to play I’ve decided to master this song that I never got a chance to. Those 10 years were worth it. Thanks mom.

Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptum, a  very technically difficult yet intensely beautiful piece.

I’m a big fan of contemporary classical music.  Years of playing Bach and Mozart kind of make you numb to pieces from the Baroque and Classical era of piano. I’ve always wanted to master this song by Ravel. Just utterly beautiful and even more difficult that Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu.

BookPeople Best of 2012: FICTION

BookPeople

In no particular order…..

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

“The first thing to know about Adam Johnson’s marvelous book is that nothing is as it seems. The protagonist, after an arduous childhood, does not really have a name. Like many things in North Korea, appearance is more important than substance; thus, his name is that of one taken from a martyr’s grave, the name of some war hero who died resisting the influences of the West in the Korean War. That his mother was a beautiful singer whisked off to Pyongyang only enhances this dream-like quality of his existence…(Johnson’s) book is an open letter to metaphorically examine the North Korean state of mind. Engaging and well paced, The Orphan Master’s Son will charm and terrify you at the same time.” – Raul, First Floor Inventory Manager (Read his full review.)

 

This is How You Lose Her by…

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Switching from Unhealthy to Healthy

Lately, I’ve really become concerned over aging. It’s not something that ever crossed my mind when I was 16, 18 or even 21.  But now that I’m 23 it feels like I’m jumping hurdles towards 30.  I find myself suddenly scrutinizing the wrinkles and skin elasticity of women when I’m watching TV and I’m wondering how long before I start to noticeably age.  If these are the peak years for a woman, then I must already be starting the long descent downwards.  Many women would consider this a crime, but I don’t use any special face wash or lotion..just soap, towel dry, then sleep. And while I used to be an active gym rat, the past few years I barely exercise. I have been trying a little to eat more healthily, but now I’ve decided to go all out and try to make most of my diet about vegetables and vitamins.  If I’m not putting in the nutrients that my body needs and just stuffing it with processed foods, pizza, sweets, and meat, how will my body look like 10 or even 5 years from today?  How will these habits manifest themselves on my skin and face, where aging is most noticeable? It’s time I start taking care of my body, making more careful choices of what I decide to put in it, and exercising even if its just 15 minutes a day. These small differences each day I believe should add up as the years accumulate. Today I’d like to try out a few vegetable- based dishes and see how they come out.  I’m an amateur cook but if I can learn by trying out recipe one by one I’m hoping I can make vegetables taste not only edible but savory.

Vegetable Dish 1

Picture of Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Vegetable Dish 2

Picture of Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip Recipe

Revenge Anyone?

If you haven’t heard of this show, shame on you, because it’s one of the best new-ish shows out there. The second season just started, and for those of you who became hooked through Season 1, the new season’s first few episodes do not disappoint.  While I’m a fan of many many sitcoms, it’s hard for me to find a drama and not get annoyed by it within the first episode.  But when I do find that show that satisfies my fix for well-acted, well-written, and well-orchestrated drama, I am extremely loyal.  Case in point, Lost.  The reason I watch this show is obviously because of Emily Thorne, the main character of the show.  She’s like the epitome of the perfect woman, and everything I wish I could be.  She has unfaltering determination and purpose in every single one of her calculated actions, has millions in her bank accounts, speaks fluent Japanese, knows martial arts like Neo, and has the social grace of a gazelle, allthewhile maintaining impeccable posture.  And the other reason is obviously because it’s about time there be a show that’s all about a mission of revenge Count of Monte Cristo style.  If you think about all those times you wish you could have had your little moments of revenge, on those HR people who never responded to your job applications, that professor in college who screwed you over, on Bank of America, watching this show is like a process of catharsis.  When I watch this show, I don’t feel like a bystander. I AM Emily Thorne for an hour and I WILL have my revenge.

And let’s not overlook those deep quotes that begin and end each show.  They speak the truth man.

“Absolution is a washing away of sin. A promise of rebirth. And the chance to escape the transgressions of those who came before us. The best among us will learn from the mistakes of the past. While the rest seem doomed to repeat them. And then there are those who operate on the fringes of society. Unburdened by the confines of morality and conscience. A ruthless bread of monsters whose deadliest weapon is their ability to hide in plain sight. If the people I’ve come to bring justice to cannot be bound by the quest for absolution, then neither will I.” -Emily Thorne,Revenge

“The greatest weapon anyone can use against us is our own mind. By preying on the doubts and uncertainties that already lurk there. Are we true to to ourselves? Or do we live for the expectations of others? And if we are open and honest, can we ever truly be loved? Can we find the courage to release our deepest secrets, or in the end are we all unknowable… even to ourselves” -Emily Thorne, Revenge

“Doubt is a disease. It infects the mind creating a mistrust of people’s motives and of one’s own perceptions. Doubt has the ability to call into question everything you’ve ever believed about someone and reinforce the darkest suspicions of our inner circles.” – Emily Thorne, Revenge