Saturday, January 31, 2009

Big Panda!

Cory and I had a date night last night (for all of you who don't know me that well, Cory is my 16 year brother... no worries, no boys in sight.) We played some quality Rock Band and then headed over to Panda Express. I frequently crave Panda's Orange Chicken so I was pretty stoked. Panda is pretty much the top of the line as far as over-priced fast food Chinese restaurants go. We pulled up to the restaurant and saw the above and below giant panda! I didn't think I could love that place any more, but turns out if you add an oversized blow up bear... it's possible! Photo documentation was a must.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

I thought this show was dead but it randomly has come up in my life twice in the last week (in Slumdog Millionaire and today.) Here's a funny story for you...

Today I was riding the bus to campus when the bus driver (not that it matters, but just so you can get a mental picture, she was a larger African American woman) yells out, "What's the disease when you fall asleep randomly? Epilepsy?" No one really answered her, so I was near the front and said, "Actually, I think it's narcolepsy." And she said, "Oh! Narcolepsy? Hm, one of the other bus drivers was just diagnosed with that. I'm not saying it's funny... but it is strange. I thought that only happened in the movies." She went on to tell us that in the movie Deuce Bigalow some women fell asleep while bowling. I laughed but thought it would be awkward to continue the conversation because it was silent on the bus besides her and me.

A little while later she said, "So what's epilepsy then?" And I replied, "I'm pretty sure that's when you have seizures." Some girl on the bus agreed, and she once again replied with, "Oh! Ok..." Silence again. A little while later, the bus driver said, "How do you know all that stuff? Are you studying medicine or something?" "Nope, I'm actually a Spanish major."

More silence. "You should go on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire since you know so much stuff. You'd at least make $1,000 because the first five questions are easy." I laughed and replied with something like, "Yeah, that'd be nice. I could use $1,000." We then arrived at campus and she wished everyone a good day and as I walked off she said, "Have a great day! I'll talk to you later!" I hope I do talk to her later. She made my day.


Yesterday in my Cross Cultural Psychology class we did this activity where we were basically supposed to guess the populations of the world that fulfilled certain criteria and then she gave us the real statistics. For example, how many women vs. men, how many people of different religions, countries, languages, etc. Nothing really surprised me until the last few topics. Here they were:

-40% of the world's population cannot read
-33% have access to clean drinking water
-7% own a car
-1% have a college degree
-.1% own a computer

I easily have access to all of the above. I have been able to read since kindergarten. Even the water in my own toilet is drinkable (for the most part...) I have my own car. I am one semester away from obtaining my college degree. I have my own laptop.

Overall, I'm shocked and thankful. I just wanted to put these statistics out there because they reminded me how blessed I am. And how much I want to help the rest of the world who isn't as fortunate.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Random Thoughts

-I was going to the bathroom on campus today when I looked down to see (you think this is going somewhere it shouldn't, but I promise I'm a very polite girl) the toilet paper wrapping on a few unused rolls. The company that makes MU's toilet paper is called Envision. I just am curious to know when they were brainstorming names of the tissue that cleans your dirty bum, WHO thought of the name Envision... and WHO thought it was a good enough enough idea to keep...

-Today I flipped on my TV to Bravo, my favorite channel, and Inside the Actors Studio was on. That show is so awkward and intense. The interviewer guy can even create awkward silences with funny guys who fill those silences in a heartbeat like Chris Rock and Ricky Gervais (the two that I saw today.)

-I think it's funny how teachers use YouTube videos in class these days. Today my Spanish teacher showed the video below. Pretty weird, huh?

(The sound he is actually making with his mouth, and the sound you are hearing are two different sounds. That's why it's weird... Ay, las clases de espanol!)

Sharpie Pens!

After a few days of use, I officially love my Sharpie Pens. (I accidentally bought blue instead of black and whined about it for a bit, but once I embraced the blue I fell in love...) If you enjoy a good pen, you should invest in some ($2.96 for 2 at Wal-Mart). It's the best of both worlds: very Sharpie like yet very pen like. And it doesn't bleed or smear! In Spanish today when I was taking notes for a full hour on Spanish history that I don't think I would have understood even if it was in English, this pen is what helped me survive. (And I know, a post dedicated to a pen is ridiculous, especially the pictures... But I had to pass the time before my next class somehow!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I saw the movie Slumdog Millionaire last night at the Ragtag and I loved it! I was kind of surprised that a movie that has won big awards like some Golden Globes (and maybe some Oscars!) had a happy ending. It seems like so many movies these days that the critics actually approve of are all about killing and have sad endings. Slumdog Millionaire for sure had its intense times but I also laughed a lot. It was a great balance of the movie. Plus the cinematography was pretty interesting and I liked the setting of India in the background (it reminded me a lot of where I've visited in the Dominican Republic, which I loved...)

Overall the movie was great and I would, for sure, recommend it. I loved seeing it at the Ragtag as well. I think my new hobby is going to be seeing indie flims. Next up may be Milk, The Reader, or Che, I'm thinking those are probably going to be sad though. I'm just thankful I got the warm fuzzies in this one that I so long for in a movie.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Highlights of the Last 24 Hours

There has been something special about the last 24 hours... Many perfect moments that must be mentioned. (I typed in happiness in Google images and the above image is what they came up with, funny...)

-Late night chatting with Valeria and Sarah including busting out old Shania Twain (we literally just stood there and sang along with "That Don't Impress Me Much") and watching some YouTube classics like Connie Talbot, "Blood!" boy, and some good ol' Trigon commercials.

-Not having class therefore sleeping in until 11:15.

-Trying the new Love Latte from Kaldi's and taking one over to Valeria at the Mustard Seed. I love that place even though I'm too poor to buy anything.

-Finally catching up with my beloved friend Colleen at Kaldi's and the lovely(s) Emily Lewis and Christine joining a little later. (P.S. Inside Columbia Magazine awarded Kaldi's "the best place to get a cup of coffee!" Hurray!)

-Going with a friend to get a spontaneous hair cut. (It may still be a secret so I'm not going to name names) Good times full of good conversation and LOTS of laughing...

That's just the beginning. Tonight should be a great time as well, stopping by Sara Haslag's and then off to my first experience at the Ragtag to see Slumdog Millionaire with some of my favorite people. What a completely non-productive yet incredibly fulfilling day!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mail, weather, journals, pens...

A few weeks ago, after Joel's encouragement, I sent for a picture from photographer Kevin Miyazaki's show 100 Very Small Observations. The show consisted of pictures he posted on his blog, so afterward, he sent out all 100 of the prints to readers of his blog... for free! I wasn't a reader of his blog before, but I am now. Anyway, I received my print in the mail today and I'm pretty excited about it! Above is a picture... of the picture.

Another thought: I know I should be terrified of global warming, but I must admit that I was quite thankful for it when I was driving with my windows down and music up today, in the middle of January. What a beautiful day today has been!

Also, I bought new journals today. Valeria found them at the bookstore and shared their goodness with me. They're called Writersblok notebooks: they are cheaper than Moleskines AND they suport some cool non-profit organizations (you can read more on V's blog!) I also got some Sharpie pens to write in them. Haven't used them yet, but I am pretty stinking excited. It seems silly to get excited about new journals, but there is something special about the feeling of writing in the first page of a journal that not many other feelings can compare to.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good stuff!

Today, my brother Joel's blog brought this music video to my attention. I loved the song "Life in Technicolor" by Coldplay from the very beginning. I was a little skeptical when they added lyrics and created "Life in Technicolor II" on Prospekt's March, but it has been growing on me. Below is one of the most creative and ridiculous videos I've ever seen. I don't think you can get much more random, but that's ok. I like it.

I'm currently watching Lost. I know, it's ridiculous that I'm blogging while watching Lost. It deserves my full attention, but I needed something to do to fill the commercials, so here I am. GREAT show. I must admit though, I'm ready for more answers. I don't want this show to ever end, yet at the same time I want it to end now because I want the answers. Soon enough, I suppose. (P.S. I'm calling it right now, 9:32 pm January 23, 2009: Sawyer and Juliet are going to hook up. Let's wait and see.)

Monday, January 19, 2009


For the past many years of my life I have been buying earrings and throwing them in a bag because I had nowhere else to put them. Over break I decided to do something about that and made the above earring holder. I had fun making it and it's doing the job so I'm happy!

Two Homes

On my drive back to Columbia today I had some time to think. It's always hard for me to transition from one place to the next. Normally I would shed a few tears about leaving home, and I'm sure I would have today if I wasn't blasting David Archuleta's "Crush" to keep me from thinking about it. It's hard coming back to this life here at college after living my life at home in Kansas City for a month. The funny thing is that I remember feeling a similar way when leaving Columbia and thinking about how it's hard to go home and leave this life here at school. It's like I'm never happy...

But that's not it at all. I'm incredibly happy... and incredibly lucky/blessed to have two places that I can call home and two places that I love so much it hurts me to leave. So today instead of feeling sorry for myself for having to leave, I decided to be thankful that I have two special places to live and tons of awesome people to surround me no matter where I am. Cheesy, but true. I'm thankful.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ok, no more after this...

I know, I know. I've talked about Maya a lot lately but today was my last day babysitting so this is the last you will have to hear about our adventures. Today she was SO cute, I just had to write about it. We started the day off with a project, because she had learned how to make snow flakes out of coffee filters and wanted me to try. Then we had a tea party... with real tea and Frosted Flakes. We dressed up, had a few stuffed animals attend, it was quite the deal. We finished the event off with the dishes, of course. (She washed, I rinsed and dried. No worries, I wasn't a slave driver...) What a great day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Over break, I have picked up (or just exhausted existing) three hobbies that I have decided are carpal tunnel risks:

1. Knitting
2. Rockband
3. Tetris

I can barely feel my right hand therefore I think it's time that I go back to college.

Real Simple Art

It's interesting how opening up the mail box and seeing the latest issue of Real Simple magazine inside can turn a whole day around. I love the magazine. It's one of the few that I actually read the majority of the articles. One of my favorite things about the magazine is the collection of paper constructions that it uses to introduce each section. Matthew Sporzynski is the artist at Real Simple who creates these amazing pieces made of paper alone. To read a little bit about him, go here, and to see more of his work for Real Simple, go here. He's even on Facebook (Google told me that, I'm not a stalker...) I'm tempted to friend him, but as of now, I've resisted the urge.
Another cool thing about February's Real Simple is that they gave MU a shout out!! It's nothing TOO spectacular, but still... here's what they said:

"4 things: That's all most people can remember at one time. So say researchers at University of Missouri at Columbia. That would finally explain why the fifth item on your mental grocery list never seems to make it home."

Like I said, nothing spectacular, but way to go MU researchers, you got us a shout out in Real Simple!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ah la musica...

Yesterday was a good day for music... I acquired three different albums that are just amazing.
The first is "Songs That Duke Wrote" by Ben Rector. Since my brother Joel introduced me to Ben's music a few years ago I have been eagerly awaiting the release of his new album and finally got it yesterday. After listening to this album a few times, I, for sure, appreciate the variety and really everything about it. It's poppy at times but intense and thoughtful at others. This album is such a good investment. I think everyone should buy it... You won't be disappointed
The second is "Hand Built By Robots" by Newton Faulkner. This guy has everything I could desire musically in one album. Catchy songs, awesome guitar, interesting lyrics. Thanks to my lovely friend Valeria for sharing him with me. I like him a lot.
The third is "Limbs and Branches" by Jon Foreman. I had heard a lot of good things about this album from my brother Cory and my cousin Anthony. Last week we sang a song of his ("Your Love Is Strong"; SO good) at church so I decided to check out the album and it's great. I like how simple and acoustic it is. Quality stuff.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I babysat again today. So fun... Maya and I were coloring when she busted out this glitter stick type thing. It was basically glue with massive amounts of glitter in it. Anyway, Maya refers to sparkles as "sprinkles" and it's just adorable. She put a little bit on her finger and said "sprinkle dot here, and sprinkle dot here..." Anyway, I just really appreciate the cute things that kids say. Here are some more pictures of Maya and her art work and "sprinkle-y" hands. :)

It's finished!

I have a problem. I keep staying up late and waking up late(I woke up at 12:30 today...). It's this horrible cycle. Last night I stayed up until 3:00 am watching Prison Break, knitting, and reading Twilight. Yep, all pretty lame things to do but they kept me occupied... One good thing that came out of last night was that I finished my first (well, third...) cable knit hat! Apparently third time is a charm because my first two attempts didn't go so well (the first one was so small it looked like a yarmulke and the second could have fit a two year old). Anyway, I finished it and I'm pretty thrilled. Below is a picture:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Secret Dream(s)

My dad and I drove separately to church tonight and on our way home we unofficially decided to race. It was exhilirating! I love driving fast! I always have... And tonight I didn't feel as guilty because my own father was leading the way in the lawbreaking activities. Anyway, I think I want to be a stunt driver or something when I grow up so I can drive fast for a living and can learn how to do it in a safe manner. Above is a picture of a chase scene from The Italian Job. I love that movie and I remember watching the special features a long time ago where it showed Charlize Theron learning to do her car stunts. I want to be her!

Other jobs that I secretly want to pursue:
-Cupcake baker (opening a bakery that specializes in cupcakes, how amazing would that be!)
-Disney singer (like the singing voice of Belle or Ariel or something. Sadly they don't make movies like this anymore...)
-Song picker for soundtracks (this would be one of the coolest jobs ever. I already love how music can make you feel things, I would get to determine the mood of a scene by the songs I pick, plus it would be my job to search for new music)

For now I will stick with the career path of being a Spanish teacher porque me encanta el idioma.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Girl After My Own Heart

This is Maya! She's five and I get paid to hang out with her for the next week but I probably would even if there was no money involved. She's awesome... Working the glasses with QT in hand. I love this picture. It's just plain awesome. I wish I would have had the chance to take a better one but we were sitting at a stoplight so my time was limited and she wouldn't let me take another one later because she liked this one. She's a bit of a drama queen. :) That's why I love her.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My New View on QT

I love Quik Trip. I know this guy who recently moved to KC from Portland and we were discussing QT and he said, "Where I come from, we don't go to a gas station for a good drink." He still hasn't been so he really has no idea what he is talking about, but whatever. Anyway, there is NOTHING that quenches my thirst more perfectly than a 32 oz. Diet Coke with crushed iced from Quik Trip. I love it... I, for sure, frequent QT more than I should. But hey, I always get diet, so I'm ok, right? Anyway, tonight I had an epiphany! I should start reusing my cup. Here are the reasons why:

1. It saves the environment. I don't want to count how many of my QT cups are trashing the land fills right now.
2. It saves me money. A refill is 10 cents cheaper!
3. It saves time. If I go in with my lid and my straw ready, that saves a good 5 to 10 seconds of the time spent choosing the right size lid, putting it on, getting a straw, unwrapping it, and putting it in my lid.
4. It won't be hard to find it. I go so often that it will likely be in the cup holder of my car so the inconvenience of keeping my cup is really no inconvenience at all.

So anyway, I tried this out tonight for the first time. I felt a little lame as I held my cup up and said, "Refill," but it was worth it because it is clearly the better choice. I know, this post is lame and pointless but I got really excited about this tonight. If nothing else, I hope this makes you smile. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

City Love

A few days ago my lovely friend Christine commented on how much I talk about my love for Kansas City in this blog. I must admit that today isn't any different. I still love Kansas City. My brother Joel and I walked around downtown this afternoon taking pictures of the city while he handed out handwarmers to people who looked like they needed them. It was a fun afternoon. My pictures weren't anything spectacular and for sure don't do the city justice, but here are a few anyway...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What a stud!

My brother Joel recently quit his job so he could basically do bigger and better things for the world than financial work at an advertising agency. Yesterday he went and handed out lunches and gloves to some homeless people downtown and a writer from the Kansas City Star was on a break and saw him and ended up writing a story about him. He made front page news! You can read the article here. I'm incredibly excited about this and proud of my brother because I feel like Joel is made for big things and this is just the beginning... To read about Joel's take on things, you can read his blog here. (Oh, and I had the honor of taking his picture so I am unofficially a photographer for the Kansas City Star. Ha!)

In other, less substantial or even worthwhile news, I got a hair cut today! Here it is...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bares Trees

A year or two ago my roommate and amazing friend Valeria (you should check out her blog, she's awesome...) told me that she liked bare trees. I remember saying something like, "That's ridiculous. They make me sad because they remind me of winter and death..." But gradually as time has gone on, I have unexpectedly fallen in love with bare trees.

So today I was at Michael's and saw they had canvas for really cheap and I bought some and decided to paint some bare trees. I spent the evening on the piano room floor painting with my mom who was doing a puzzle as we both sang along to some good music on Pandora. It was completely relaxing, even therapeutic... I loved it. Below is my finished product. Nothing too amazing, but I am decently pleased.

For the first time...

The other night I went to the Plaza for dinner with my aunts Cindy and Charlotte and my pseudo-cousin Robyn. Robyn had never been to the Plaza before so we tried to get there in time for her to see the lights turn on. We were driving through trying to find a parking spot and Cindy said, "Now Robyn, if you look, you might see the lights turn on..." and right as she said "on" the lights turned on! It was a perfect moment. I have always loved the Plaza, but it was even more enjoyable to go with someone who had never experienced it before. What a great time!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Favorite Songs of 2008

My brothers Cory and Joel have been blogging about their musical favorites of 2008 and the other day Cory said, "You should write a Top 10 Albums list, Abby" and I replied, "I don't even think I have bought 10 albums this year..." I'm kind of a slacker when it comes to finding new music and I'm also poor, so that hinders things... Anyway, although I haven't bought a lot of music, I do still listen to a lot so I thought I would make a list of my Top 10 Favorite Songs of 2008. And actually, I'm not even sure if all of these came out in 2008, or any of them really. I just enjoyed them in 2008. Here goes...

10. Rehab- Rihanna (at least one of her songs had to be on here...)
9. No Air- Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown
8. Baleen Morning- Balmorhea (one of my favorite instrumental songs of the year)
7. Where I Stood- Missy Higgins
6. Misery Business- Paramore
5. Crush- David Archuleta
4. After Tonight- Justin Nozuka
3. Orangitango- Fly Golden Eagle
2. When Your Mind's Made Up- Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
1. Viva la Vida- Coldplay (I know, this is everyone's favorite, but who cares)

I know, I have weird music taste, but there it is!