Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Reason I'll Soon Be Drunk On Non-Alcoholic Eggnog

When all else fails, its time to hit the 'nog. There is nothing like drowning one's creeping doubt of not having a brain in a milky holiday drink. It is especially helpful if said eggnog is in my favorite mug, the one from Japan that has a picture of a dancing frog saying: "I am excited. Very much." and "The King of the frog" on the other side. Oh, I love Engrish. Oh, I loath Math.

 I've been trying to understand a simple graphing Algebra 2 graphing problem with the aid of my mathimatically compatible mother and my college-boy brother for the last half-hour, all of us studiously ignoring the occasional airborne sister or Dad getting pinned beneath the tilting christmas tree. It went something like this:

Me: "I still don't understand. Whats y = mx + b again?"
Mom: "Its the visual representation of an equation."
Me:" what is that?"
Mom:"Ask Jonmark."
Me: "(Repeats original question)."
Jonmark: "Duh. Its the visual representation of an equation."
Me: (sigh) "Yes, but whats an equation?"
Jonmark: "A statement asserting the equality of two expressions."
Me:"Lets go back. Whats a line?"
Jonmark: "A straight line, you know, the shortest distance between any two points on a plane."
Me: "And where is this plane?"
Jonmark: "In the mathimatical universe."
Me: "Right. Where is this mathimatical universe?"
Jonmark: "All around us!"
Me: " whats a graph?"

Mum explained how my mind just doesn't grasp the concept of Mathimatics to Jonmark. They both nodded knowingly and then gazed at my quiet confusion, pitiously. I think Mom is still holding out on that hope that my brains incompatibility with Math is made up for by some hidden vein of genius, because goodness knows I'm not going to be winning any Nobel Prizes for inventing a new principle in the configuration of third-dimension variables, or some other such gobbledy-gook.

See, eggnog makes sense.  Band-aids make sense. Laughter makes sense. Decimals don't make sense. Graphs don't make sense. Variables don't make sense. You can't drink a decimal, or  protect a wound with a graph, or delight a child with a variable. To some, like my math teacher, mathimatics is a barely tangable universe with no physical location, a world yet to be discovered. To me? I'm the girl in the silver mini-van trying to find my way to a place I know hardly anything about. I can barely find my way out of a paper bag with mapquest, let alone a navigating the mind-bending sea of Math.

So what is my brain made for? What is the key to unlocking the keyhole of my purpose? Math isn't the key, obviously. Thats like trying to jam a lumpy carrot up my nose. A paintbrush might be the key, or a pencil, or a dancing slipper. I'm not sure. I'm just waiting for the moment when God finally reveals to me what my brain IS meant for and I can finally unlock that genius. Or at least some buried treasure.

In the mean time I'm going to go top up my "King of the frog" mug. Wait, did we leave Dad under the tree?

Tinsel and Tryptophan,
(P.S. Christmas is coming....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trespassing, Ex-Boyfriends, and Bad Directions: Poetry

Reading and struggling to interpret famous poetry, I've come to the conclusion that complex poetry needs to be translated into modern circumstance and language. So, for you understanding, here are three famous poems, updated.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Trespassing on a Freezing Day                               Translated by Hannah Hoo
I think I know whose backwoods I’m trespassing in,
But it’s ok because his house is near town
So he (probably) won't catch me
Taking my dog on a bathroom break in the snow.
My dog must think it’s weird
Being out here without any people or places around
We passed the trees but haven't gotten past the lake yet
Boy, I hate that daylight saving time.

His dog collar tags clink,
that dumb dog looks so confused.
Pretty quiet out here
Except for this bleeping cold blizzard.
It ain't to bad out here, 
But "Days of Our Lives" is on in half an hour,
and I’ve got a ways to walk before I can fall asleep on the sofa
my cushy, worn-in sofa. 

Ozymandias of Egypt 
by Percy Bysshe Shelley 

I met a traveller from an antique land 
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, 
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown 
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. 
And on the pedestal these words appear: 
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: 
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" 
Nothing beside remains: round the decay 
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, 
The lone and level sands stretch far away. 

"Meet Me By That One Statue!"
Translated by Hannah Hoo

I met this tourist in Egypt
He told me to meet him by the statue with the huge calves of stone
Said its in the desert, "Near the sand". Wow, helpful.
Half in the sand with a busted up face, frowning obviously,
what statue wouldn't have wrinkly lips and a cold sneer after being beat up?
The sculptor must have had a great grasp of the obvious,
You can see it in the lifeless statue.
What a stupid idea for a meeting place.
The tourist says the statue's nametag reads "Hello! My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Apparently its in the middle of nowhere
Just the hunk of bare stone
Alone in the sand.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud by William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

I'm So Lonely Ever Since My Boyfriend Broke Up With Me
Translated by Hannah Hoo

I walk around with no purpose, like a stupid fluffy cloud
Raining over everyone's parades.
I see a group of cute guys
Playing tackle football under a tree near the lake in the park
Jumping and smashing each other

Gosh, they were fit
Their eyes even twinkled, like in movies
It seemed like a never ending line of pulchritudinous college boys
Haha, that one almost got pushed into the lake
There must be thousands of them
Leaping after the football

I think even the lake has a crush on them
And the trees are crying leaves the guys are so attractive
Even a poet would go gay
After watching them play football!
I drooled, watching them like a mindless zombie
They should charge admission to this park.

When I go home and fling my broken heart on the couch
Depressed about my failed love
I'll just think about those guys
And i'll turn off my phone and ignore the world.
For a while I can forget my ex and be happy,
and remember that there are more fish in the sea. 

All the Worlds a Blog,

Putting the Fun in Funeral

One moment I was in my heavenly scarlet snuggie, the next, defying the basic laws of physics trying to run up a wet concrete hill in my heels. Time passes like that on sleepy days like this. I huddled under my lemon-yellow duck umbrella (as seen in my profile picture to the left), perfect for a funeral.

I've squirmed through many a grim funeral, and i've come to a few conclusions about needing to liven' thing up around here. Morbid as it may be to dwell on, something must be done. Before I write this I just want to make clear that I mean no offense to anyone, esp. the dearly departed (though they are probably much to busy to be preoccupied with my ramblings). I've lost friends and family like everyone, but I know that death is only the beginning for me and for all Christians. This life is like an elevator ride; despite being so breif it feels like it takes forever due to the painful elevator music and creaking pulleys. I might have to leave my earthly body behind (Goooodbye and good ridance!) but when I finaly arrive into God's Kingdom I'm going to be so indescribably joyful, I will barely remember my previous life. It sounds like a "Puff the Magic Dragon" fairy tale, but its one happily ever after that you can depend on if you are a believer. And thats why funerals should be a celebration, not a pity-party.

First of all, why black? I mean, besides being a slimming color, it looks I can just imagine on the announcements: "Location: StudMuffin Funeral Home. Dress: Costume of your choice except Clown. Those are just creepy." Well, maybe not a themed costume funeral. Maybe a classier version, like everyone has to dress like 1940 Hollywood starlets or in Elizabethian wigs.

My favorite part (if you can say that) about a funeral is when people stand up and share their funny moments and fond memories. Laughter is the best medicine, after all. How fun would it be if everyone would receive a balloon. Then, as the last chorus of "Moves Like Jagger" ended, everyone would release their balloons into the sky. Not exactly environmentally friendly, but sure is memorable.

Oh, and food. There has to be lots of food. Its time to leave the mint-brownies that vague taste of pickles in the trunk. Not just mashed potatoes and jello molds of Elvis's face but non-traditional yummy food, the departed's favorite foods. Pizza, french bread, hamburgers, and more. Desserts are, of course, a must. Pecan pie, gooey butter cake, crepes, and a chocolate fountain.

Music is another biggie. Hymns can be very sweet, but it would be fun to mix it up a bit. After Amazing Grace and a savory medly of contemporary worship, why not spice thing up with Toby Mac? 2NE1? Well, whatever it is it'll have to be pretty loud to be heard over the fireworks that any sane person would demand at their funeral. That or a flash mob.

The stylists at funeral homes should be fired. The pepto-bismol lipstick, the powdered afros; no. It is a crime. How about hiring someone who actually knows what they are doing for a change? Not to mention its never too late to try something daring, even beyond the grave. That tangerine nail polish they never got around to trying? The peach eyeshadow they weren't daring enough to wear? Its never too late for a fashion statement.

Every funeral I've attended its like a florist shop has exploded. Why not take that a step furthur and sprinkle rose petals on the ground? Or instead of a stuffy funeral home they could host funerals in one of the favorite places of the deceased? Alog with picturesq meadows I beleive McDonalds, T.J. Max, and Wall-Mart would be popular funeral spots.

I know one thing that I must have at my funeral: everyone must receive a little bag of Reese's PB Cups as a parting gift to remember me by. But don't plan on getting it anytime soon!

Mystery Sauce,
-Hannah Hoo

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Weird Things I Love

Everyone has those weird little things they love. The sound of cellophane, the smell of toothpaste, looking at the clock and it is 11:11 o' clock. Well, these are mine.

Recently i've noticed a lot of people writing blog posts about things they hate/pet peeves. I could easily write about that, but one of my pet peeves is the word pet peeves. It sounds so weird. Like when an irate person is saying, "Oh, I hate it when my neighbor takes bathes in his pool! It's my pet pee!"

So, for that reason and that if I think about the things that annoy me i'm going to be a persnickety old man for the rest of the day, i'm going to list the most random little things I really like. Caution: Some are pretty weird.

Starting with....

1. Dipping things into the pool of melted wax when a candle is burning. 
2. Playing with the little sticky tabs that come on junk mail.
3. The smell of gasoline.
4. Taking off my socks after a long day before going to bed.
5. Digging really deep holes in our freshly tilled garden in the summer then sitting in them and reading so that all you can see from ground level is my head.
6. Licking the spoon after making a dessert, any dessert. 
7.Standing forever in a hot shower on a freezing winter day and NEVER wanting to get out.
8.Walking through a store and trying every sample from every little old lady.
9. Finding a soulbook. Like a soulmate, only literary. 
10. The smell of mothballs.
12. Spinning in grocery store isles like a little kid. Those floors are just so perfect for sliding!
12. Raw cookie dough.
13.Lip-syncing the lyrics in the mirror and pretending thats me singing. 
14. Finding money in my pockets or old purses.
15. When I swim at the bottom of a pool I like to sit and hear the silence.
16. Running machines with a built-in t.v.
17. Laughing so uncontrollably that tears run down my face and my abs hurt. (My imaginary abs, that is.)
18. Wearing heels around my room for no reason at random. Like in my pjs.
19. Dipping animal crackers into my apple juice.
20. Rubbing Elmer's glue on the palms of my hands, waiting for it to dry, and then peeling it off.
21. Putting my whole face into a mug of tea or coffee and just breathing in.
22. Inside jokes with myself.
23. Pointing out the right answer when the teacher got it wrong and feeling like Albert Einstein.
24. Asian boys with British accents.
25. Slipping into my PJs after wearing formal clothes.
26. Filling in circles.
27. Cracking open a book and smelling the pages.
28. You! Wait...that means you're weird. Cutesy gesture just backfired...
29. That moment when you're talking with someone and you find something in common and its like you've met a long lost friend.
30.  Washing the turkey at thanksgiving then holding its arms and making it dance with wild abandon over the sink. You must try it.

What are some of the weird things YOU love?

Till' Homework Do Us Part,

Friday, November 11, 2011

DIY Projects of the Week: Toasty

Hello, crafty people! Here are a few of the projects that have popped up on my radar this week.

1. Furushiki

Photo credit:
The useful Japanese art of folding scarves and squares of cloth nto bags for holding a myriad of items. This can be really useful.

2. Toast!
Ever wanted one of those toasters that made a picture on your bread? Well, according to this project on Instructables you can! This is a slightly more complicated and techy craft. 

3. Cinnacakes

This. Is. Beautiful. Now, run along and make me some!

4. Parachute Bracelet

Now I know that there are some guys that read my blog and are probably shaking their heads in disgust at all these "girly" projects (though i'm sure they wouldn't mind eating the above cinnacakes). Well manly men, here is a project for you. I've seen a lot of guys wearing these lately, so heres the know how.

5. Fan- (ahem) Bum Pack

Love 'em or hate 'em, I've started to see bum packs everywhere and they seem to be becoming pretty hipster. If you are one of those people who are embracing the revolution, this is the project for you. 

 Thats all for today, ladies and gentleman. Craft on and see you next week!

Hot Glue Gun License,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Always Bring a Banana to a Dance. Always.

I dived, like a little kid into a ball pit, into the mass of duvets on my bed. Careless, I flung my purse behind me into a corner of my room. There might have been a crash and the sound of cracking glass, but I ignored it and threw my heels after the purse. Was that a cat yowling? Strange, since we don't own a cat. But whatever. I was sinking into a sleepy fog of post-dance.

There are all sorts of pain. There is the pain of closing a car door on your hand: Bad. Or the pain of singing a hymn of sorrow as I flushed my dead goldfish (creatively named Rainbow. Hey, I was like 6!) down the toilet: Bad. Or even the pain that comes when you are reading a book that reads like a dictionary of long words you don't know and weighs as much as a scaly armadillo: Bad. But their are the good kinds of pain, too. Like the pain of laughing so much your face aches at the end of the night. The blisters on your feet (covered in Buzz Lightyear band-aids) from dancing yourself senseless. Or, best of all, the pain of loving your crazy friends so much it hurts. Or maybe that pain was just when Jimmer elbowed by ribs while twirling...

So if you are a wonderful human being (or alien, Dr.Who has opened up so many possibilities ;) then you read that blog post before this one about getting ready for a dance. Well, you'll be glad to know that everything fell in line and I had an amazing time in my high but still surprisingly comfortable heels. Here is a picture my friend Stephy (her blog is 's Dad took of all my friends and I dressed to the nines. (Or, at least the eights.) I know its hard to look at that much beauty at once, look away from the screen if you feel faint.

Voila! Left to Right: Gab, Caity, Steph, Caleb, Laurel, Moi, Abby, Heather, Brandi.
                       No, this is not a cabaret  monkey. He is Steph's brother Caleb with his Dr.Who props.
Thanks, Mr.Steen!
The dance was held at a posh banquet hall. The tables were decorated with candy-corn centerpieces and the food was pretty good but the theme really confused me. Instead of the usual fake-flower trellis they had a photo backdrop of a lit up city. In front was a plastic potted plant and a park bench in a strip of astro-turf. Ok, but what was the theme supposed to be? The Bum I Once Loved? Maybe Once Upon a Mugging? Enchantment at the Bottom of a Brown Paper Bag? 

The room was definitely split into different people groups that occasionally mingled then reformed. There was the tightly knit crop circles of dancers. One corner was the "Tall Awkward People Who Hate Dances" designated corner. Correction, "Mostly Tall and A Lone Short Person" corner. Do super tall people have a dancing phobia I, as a medium-height person, am not aware of? Or a fear of hitting their heads on chandeliers? When it comes to dances short-to-medium people really do seem to be Fun Size. 

The rest of the people were in minority groups. There was the pacing chaparones/photogrophers, the couples that stayed at their table fondling each other all night, and that one kid who circled the dance floor looking at people's feet. Sketchy as an etch-a-sketch and almost worse than the couple prairie-skirt grinding. Almost.

So all and all, a fun night with my friends boogeying and taking cheesy pictures in the photo-booth. Before I end this blog post with the merciful click of the publish button, let me say this.

Guys: Stop being such chickens! Ask a girl to dance. It doesn't have to be romantic, you can ask a friend. If you are a true gentleman, maybe you could ask one of the awkward, shy, or maybe not so pretty girls to dance. Seeing a guy being a gentleman will melt a girl's heart more than any pick-up line or a smooth move ever will.

Dancing on Crushed Candy Corn,

(P.S. The post might seem slightly disjointed because my STUPID, STUPID computer erased everything and I had to re-write it. One day, laptopy, you're gonna end up being recycled into a egg-slicer. Just you wait.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lipstick, High Heels, and Bullets

Tis' the season to dance and freak out about finding a dress. Yes, Fall Formal is coming. Your friends are going and it sounds like fun so, sure, why not? You sign up. A few weeks later it pops up, surprise!, like an unexpected guest at your door. You realize all of those "Oh, i'm sure something will work out"s...yeah, they aren't working out. Whats a girl to do?

The reason i'm bringing this up is 
1) I'm going to a dance tomorrow night
2) Its kind of planking on my mind right now and pushing out all other reasonable thought
3) This is so UNFAIR!

Why, you ask, is this at all unfair? Maybe this comparison of what a normal guy does and a normal girl does getting ready for a dance will help:
Girl: Sign up, pay, arrange rides.
Guy: Sign up, pay, arrange rides.

(So far so fair- but wait)

Girl: Spend weeks searching for a dress, shoes, and purse that match and are just the right level of formal for the event. Thrift, borrow moolah from parents, occasionally have dressing room breakdowns. (C'mon girls, everyones had one.)
Guy: Look under the bed for their nice pants. Take out the dress-shirt they stuffed inside their drum. Retrieve leathery shoes from their pet's cage. Wash all of the above if the more industrious gentleman.

Girl: Begin preparing for the dance hours before they leave. Shower, blow-dry, curl or straighten hair, shave legs (unless its No-Shave November), defy gravity and natural science with hair-spray and bobby pins to keep their hair's intricate updo in place. Apply foundation, toner, blush, bronzer, cover-up, primer, eyeliner (wet, gel, and stick), a few hundred coats of mascara, lipstick, maybe even false eyelashes.

Guy:Comb hair. Shave.Maybe shower.

Girl: Wear a dress, 3 inch heels, and hold a clutch that all match and that you can dance in. The whole ensemble must be sexy yet modest, glamour yet not over-the-top, sparkly yet not glaring, and posh yet not overly formal. 

Guy: "Mom, can you help me with this tie?"

Do you see what I mean now? Sure, guys might have to drive or buy a corsage now and then, but girls feel a social pressure to look like super models. Not to say dressing up for a night on the town isn't fun, it is, its just uncalled for when men complain about how long it takes the women in their life to get ready for events. Give us a break, guys. You've never walked a mile in 4 inch stilletos, now have you? 

So to all those guys: Tell your girlfriend she is gorgeous. Hold her bag while she gets punch. Dance with her even if you feel like a fool and would rather eat broken glass and milk for breakfast. Appreciate her. And, above all, don't infuriate her. You would be surprised how many beauty products can be used as weapons or how sparkly rhinestone clutches are just the right size for a taser...

Just Dance,