Tuesday, December 23, 2014

News Bulletin 103

Last week Obama took a first step towards friendship with Cuba by reinstating diplomatic ties with the country. Immediately the world broke into song and dance, but Congress is advising everyone ‘not to break out the BFF necklaces just yet’ because they might block a full lifting of the embargo, prohibiting most travel, tourism and trade. The Cuban government wishes to remind everyone that, ‘We still definitely  Communism.”

Sony Pictures made some comedy about a plan to assassinate North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un. This made N. Korea angry so they (allegedly) hacked into Sony pictures, sent death threats, and claim the U.S. government produced the film. Then North Korea lost internet access and everyone is wondering if the U.S. shut it down. Washington is weighing its overall response to the hacking, conflicted between evidence incriminating N. Korea and astonishment that the country has internet access.

Falling gas prices have drivers everywhere in a panicked tizzy of road trips and SUV purchases. It seems a principal reason for the decline is Saudi Arabia’s decision not to limit production in order to drive prices up again. Oil producers with troubled economies say everyone is conspiring to bankrupt them with cheap gas. American consumers are mainly concerned with the big picture, chronicling each cent by cent price drop with informative Facebook posts.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lauren goes to Latin

This fall semester finds me auditing a Latin class. If I was any good at Latin this might be a little nerdy; however, I am terrible because I don't study and it's very difficult. In fact, many experts agree that the Latin language is impossible.

Did you know there are 44 different ways to spell Latin nouns?? It depends how you are using the noun grammatically in the sentence. I won't get into it so as not to bore you, but I could. For sure.

Here is a little story: Once upon a time some Latin studying took place at W.A. Frost. Frost had the perfect wine cellar basement in which to bring Latin books, realize Latin is impossible, and order another glass of wine.

There have been some fun tidbits along the way.

Have you ever heard the word defenestrate? It means to throw someone out of a window. Well, the Latin word for window is fenestra. How about that?!

Or have you ever said, 'Well at my alma mater we did this.'? Or are you a normal person and just say, 'Well at my school we did that'. Either way, alma means nourishing/kind/gracious and mater = mother. Obvious right? It's easy to miss at first, but once you know it's a total *facepalm* how did I not see that before.

Delere = to destroy or erase. 1678 years later we now have ----------------> delete

One more - magna cum laude. Magna: large (plural), cum: with, laude: praise. So something like: with big praises. That one is kind of cool, and we do say 'with high honors' sometimes which is sort of the same idea.

The class really has been a lot of fun. The professor loves talking about Latin and languages in general, and it's been a much needed review of direct/indirect objects, present participles, all the stuff you learn in 4th grade grammar, etc.

But in summary, while Latin is pretty neat, here is a fear that should no longer keep you up at night: Lauren saying stuff like, 'Actually, as one says in the Latin....' while wearing small glasses and a beret.

Because there is no way that could even happen!

At best, I may point something out as 'definitely Latin.'

Monday, September 8, 2014

Oh Anne!

 The other day at Anthropologie I was with a friend in the midst of some delightful books when all of a sudden there was a gasp, and there was one of the best stories of all time bound in the cutest cover. Faced with holding in our hands the equivalent preciousness of one thousand sleeping bunnies, we barely knew what to do with ourselves and nearly burst into tears. 

Admirable self-restraint limited me to a purchase of only one copy. There was another overcoming reach-for-the-tissues fit of joy when I realized I had an appropriately precious bookmark to use whilst reading. The collective adorableness of this whole episode was enough to make one explode into a well-arranged variety of garden flowers.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

When I said I would l die without it, I did not think I would live to own it.

For a long time I was very opposed to Lululemon. My reasons were strong:
1)      it is too expensive
2)      people who wear Lululemon are annoying (Seriously. People are really obsessed with it and have a weird self-righteous attitude about how it’s magical and better than everything!)

Then I realized Lululemon is amazing and a slow process started during which I thought, maybe, I might want some Lululemon.

In a moment of light headedness I went to their warehouse sale.

That feeling you get when you put something on and think, ‘I need to own this’, happened to me 8 times. There were a bunch of signs AND a DJ, saying ‘This stuff is not too expensive or annoying.’

Side note: The DJ was annoying. Let people shop in peace and quit causing stampedes by making announcements about the ‘$10 yoga mats in aisle 8’. Yes, I’m headed that way but not running only naturally walking faster than other people.

I bought a bunch of gifts and then a couple of things for myself, because you had to buy a certain number of items to get the special deal.

So I caved. Sue me. Wearing Lululemon stuff is like playing with puppies. It’s really cute and definitely magical. Any day you see me wearing Lulu is honestly the best, most comfortable day of my life.

A couple weeks ago my mom and I went to a Lululemon outlet and tried on tons of things before settling on even more adorable and perfectly fitting exercise wear.

Friday, June 27, 2014

It's Science

During a recent class I took the professor played a TedTalk in which the speaker was all excited about how science says “rewards can actually lead to poorer performance of tasks that require creativity”. 

And companies are always shocked that their rewards for high levels of creative performance lead to low levels of creative performance. 

Why in heavens name are we ignoring science???

Everyone in the class, including me, was appalled by this outrageous oversight.

Then I came across an article about Whole Foods that mocked the unscientificness of today’s obsession with things like blood building chocolate and paleo and vegan and ashwagandha root.
“I invited a biologist friend who studies human gut bacteria to come take a look with me. She read the healing claims printed on a handful of bottles and frowned.
“This is bull----,” she said, and went off to buy some vegetables.” 

And I thought of 187 other things we do that aren’t supported by science. (And 187 things we don’t do that are supported by science. Like eat vegetables.)

Later in the semester we talked about the usual order of life operations:
      1. Decide what is wanted.
2. Look to science for support or justification. 
When science doesn’t support our inclinations we panic and are offended. 

Do you think this is true? Which comes first: the chronic couch potato or expertise in the benefits of relaxation?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm so fancy

I often think about how I should spend more time on my porch. So last Sunday I brought out some dinner and a book.Which was great. 

Until I looked at myself with caprese salad, pinot grigio and The Brothers Karamazov and wondered, “Is this too much?”

And yes.
Yes, it was. 

Things spiraled out of control when I considered it probably couldn’t be too much without fresh basil on the caprese salad. 

Thankfully it was only last week I learned how to correctly pronounce Karamazov.

One of the neighbors walked by and I quickly mentioned nothing can truly top Miller Lite and Spam.