Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Cooking Adventure!

My day got off to a rather rough and downtrodden start, but it shaped up to be a great one by the early afternoon. I'll list the reasons fairly quick (as that's not what this post is about, but I feel the need to share):

1. Ran into an old friend, had lunch, caught up.
2. FLEET FOXES ALBUM LEAKED (I still plan on buying it, though...it's a respect thing I hold for musicians I like)
3. Found out my Medieval Art & Architecture class is cancelled until next Thursday.
4. Went to Whole Foods, got to the checkout, paid, realized I forgot to buy something--I go back and get it, then the girl "rings it up" and tells me it's on them... as in... FREE. A glorious thing. (Mama didn't raise no fool...I got the fuck out of there once she said the magic word.)
5. Well, this didn't happen today...BUT...my brother is officially out of the Navy! Yay! I've barely seen him for any consistent time longer than 2 weeks during the last 4 years, so it's nice to have him home again.

With the good, however, also comes the bad. Or, not bad...just, frustrating...

1. I knew Carl Broemel was playing a solo show at Zanzabar last night (technically Everest, another great musical act, was headlining with Carl as an opener) and I wanted to go, but I didn't even bother looking into it since I was pretty sure Zanzabar has a strict 21+ policy. And I knew, I fucking knew that other members of MMJ would more than likely be there. Well, guess what? Not only were other members there, hell the entire band (save for Bo--the keyboardist) made an appearance. I mean...the world isn't about to end...it just sucks. I turn 21 really soon, and sometimes it feels like the universe just dangles things like this in front of me (I'm sure this happens to other folks, too, of course).

2. My cooking adventure. I have been wanting to eat falafel for about 3 weeks now, but my friends are all too worthless to like food outside the realm of chicken fingers and hamburgers (okay, that's a bit of a stretch...but they definitely don't have an appetite for things too "exotic"...and I guess mediterranean food falls in that category). So...riding on my happiness high, I decided to cook it myself. I'm an avid fan of allrecipes.com, so much so that I signed up for their daily recipe--that I normally never look at; and yesterday, on Meatless Monday, the featured recipe was baked falafel. It was a sign from the universe that this was meant to happen. I took the recipe, went to ValuMarket and then eventually Whole Foods, gathering all the ingredients to make the falafel.
Jesus...you can tell I'm an artist because I set this up like a classroom still life...

Then, once I made it home...IT. TOOK. FOREVER. TO. MAKE. Oh my God. I am not exaggerating. Not to mention, the recipe (I actually ended up using this one) calls for the use of a blender* and a food processor* (*see, things I don't own). Did that stop me? Why, of course it didn't! Because I'm a stubborn dumbass, and I wanted to see-through my project. The photos that follow are from the "culinary adventure"...
(starting above) Here I was...a solid 45 minutes in...still chopping up fresh parsley, garlic, and an onion. And mashing chick peas with just about any kitchen utensil I can find (since, apparently, I don't own one of those wire smash things--I could have sworn I did!!)

After using primitive methods to mash them together, they turned out decent...rather clumpy, instead of pureed together...but they can't all be winners, ya know...?

Oh yeah, and I couldn't find tzatziki sauce anywhere...so I had to make it, too. Once again, sans blender/anything helpful (I had a hand blender, but it didn't do shit). It was also gross cutting up a cucumber, just because I think they are so nasty...but I still like tzatziki sauce for some reason!

Annnd...3 HOURS LATER here is the finished product. It made WAY too much for one person (or two, or three)--but that is a tragedy you face frequently when living alone/cooking for one. I would normally try to pawn some off on friends, but, well...I already mentioned all that business...

The saddest part of all (brace yourself)? I spent, as I mentioned, 3 HOURS (!!!) making this...and how did it turn out? Actually, quite good. It tasted like falafel and tzatziki sauce...it was good... And I spent so long cooking it (plus I had barely eaten today), that by the time I finished...I didn't want it anymore. I ate, maybe, a third of what you see on that last plate and just called it a night. Sigh... :(

Final Verdict: For future reference...it's not worth it. I'd rather lug myself down the road to one of the mediterranean restaurants that line Bardstown Rd. and eat alone than go through all that trouble again.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I'm taking a break from studying for an exam in my History of Rock and Roll class (which, really, you'd probably think it wouldn't take much studying...but we're expected to know all the record labels, producers, influences blah blah blah all that other shit...so alas, here I am)...and I figured I'd stop by my blog and post something. More specifically, I was going to post a few things on my mind right now/today:

1. The new Strokes album is sort of a toss-up for me. Is it good? Yeah. Hell yeah. It's just like all their old stuff. What's wrong with it? It's just like all their old stuff. I'm sure I'm not entirely alone on this, but I guess I just sort of hoped after a 5-year hiatus they would deliver something, uh...new? Jeez, I just sound mean. Forget it. Enjoy this song.

2. I finally got my new stereo installed in my car! Now I can listen to CD's again (and even my iPod without one of those horrible radio transmitters) and not worry about anyone stealing the unopened stereo that sat in the back of my Jeep since January.

3. Speaking of my History of Rock and Roll class... We're just now beginning to start on the 70's (because the class is, in truth, the history of popular music in the 20th century and how fucked up the music industry behind it was/still is???), so we spent a good deal of time covering all the British Invasion and psychedelia music, but we specifically spent a good deal of time on the Beatles. No big deal, well...it was, but you know what I mean...all I was going to say is that my favorite "fun fact" I learned through all of it is that, for the cover of Sgt. Pepper's all of the band members had to submit people they wanted for the cover. The only two people that John Lennon submitted didn't make it on the album cover. Why? Because he submitted Hitler and Jesus. Yeah.

4. And finally, a Jim Carrey (circa "Liar Liar") gif that sums up how I interact with most people on a daily basis...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


If I had to guess, I would say that you could ask any friend of mine what I'm majoring in or studying at school, and they probably wouldn't be able to tell you...or, at the very least, they'd start out by saying, "I don't know, last time I heard I think she was studying _____." Hell, I think this is the same response my own mother has to use... But it isn't for lack of trying. I've always known that I would get a degree in some form of art, it's just that pinning down a specific field has been really difficult...because I love everything related to art. I wouldn't mind having a degree in all of these fields: painting/drawing, theatre, English and music history; I just know that I'd rather endure a root canal procedure than spend that much time in school.

With all of that in mind, I spent the last year and a half in school in some back and forth mental tango between visual art and theatre; one that has left me in limbo, confused, frustrated and immensely depressed most of the time for reasons I can barely explain.

As I near the end of a 3-year run at my university, I know I need to pick a major and stick with it (I should have chosen a major "officially" a few semesters ago), but I still find myself doubting my options. It is with great pleasure, however, that I was fortunate enough to find a copy of The Artist's Way a few weeks ago. This book is essentially an artist's manual/workbook, geared at curing creative blockages and reviving the, er, inner artist(?) that has always been a part of you.

I first heard about this book a few months ago on Laura Veir's website. Apparently, a few years ago, Laura was teaching music lessons (talk about wishing I had a time machine to jump on an opportunity like that!--I'm assuming she doesn't teach now...) and requested that students use this book as a supplemental text. After some extensive research on the book and the stored faith I already have in her as an artist, I decided I needed this book in my life. And talk about making a great investment...

I am only now just beginning to approach week 1 of the 12-week "recovery process," and already I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I don't think I knew I was creatively blocked until I began reading this book, but now it all makes sense! You know, I haven't completed a painting or drawing in the past 2 years... TWO YEARS. I've started on somewhere between 20-30...and never finished one of them. I think I haven't finished a book either... Well, that's probably a lie. I know I've started on at least 50-70, though, in the last 2 years...and I don't remember finishing many of them. It's like there is some stopping point in my mind, where I just drop off and quit with things. That can't be healthy...right?

What I'm getting at is this: I don't know where or what caused me to become so creatively blocked, all I know is that I'm working to un-do all the damage. And I realized yesterday that, the healthiest thing for me to do regarding school is to go back to fine arts and focus on painting and drawing. Would I rather have a degree in theatre? Maybe. However, if I plan on staying at the school I'm at (and really, at this point, it's the smartest option...even though I can be a bitchy, sulky whinebag about it), I don't want a theatre degree from there. As much as I love theatre, the department itself has presented me with more problems than solutions (something that I can NOT say the same for the fine arts department). I know I'm not alone in this regard, either. My favorite teacher and semi-confidant in the theatre department once referred to the department as "toxic"...a mental image that has stuck in my mind ever since. I'm not saying that I am completely innocent regarding the hand I've been dealt, I'm just saying that for the sake of my mental sanity it would probably be best if I just went back to my ole faithful, visual art, and stuck it out there for the remaining year or two. It's not like I plan on using any bachelor's degree I get once I graduate, anyway.

On that note, I leave you with (bet you saw this coming...sort of) Britney Spears' song "Toxic." It seemed fitting, however I'm not a totally sadistic individual...I'm leaving you with the Yael Naim version, which is definitely a better recording (IMO) on all sides: vocally, musically, compositionally, you get the idea...

Confession: I actually like Britney Spears' version of "Toxic"...Jesus H.....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Did I Mention...

...I like to dance?

Check out that sweet ass moon walking at 1:40. I'm tired of hearing about Rebecca Black, let's focus on some Flynt Flossy.

I have nothing good to say right now, so I figured it was best to post this video and write very little. In fact, I think I'll just leave a small list of things I'd like right now and leave it at that...

1. My brother to officially be released from the Navy (any day now...it's one of those things where he's just waiting on paperwork to go through.......bleh....)

2. Quit going to college and actually pursue things I care about.

3. A decent job.

...and I'm just going to leave the list at that, cause those are the big ones.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"It's such a fine line between stupid and clever."

Note: Just a quick little note...not that anyone gives a shit, but the title of this post has nothing to do with the post itself...just sayin'... Also, it's from "This Is Spinal Tap"...which I watched earlier...

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the first
half of my spring break in Nashville, TN (well, okay...I was just outside of Nashville's southern tip, but what the fuck ever, it counts) at my near and dear friend Erin's house. I am also happy to report that it was exactly what I needed from life right now. I was so burnt out and downtrodden from school (did I mention that I also had a chest cold and had ALSO lost my debit card for the first time ever last week?) that, as much as I like Louisville--and I really, really do!--I needed to get as far away from here as I could physically and financially muster. So with that, I headed further South and stayed at Erin's...

I went to pack my bags, and Inky told me (via her death stare) that I wasn't allowed to leave Nashville...

Erin is one of those people who, ironically, makes me feel like maybe there is a God out there somewhere. I say ironically because she is one of the most cynical and sarcastic individuals I have ever met, specifically when it comes to religion. But the reason I even say that she has the former effect is because I feel like we only met by a bit of luck granted to me via the universe (something, if I continue blogging about my life, you will realize I don't have much of). It's a simple story, really: we were both going to the same college and got paired as random roommates by chance. A story that would be unimpressive and mediocre if you didn't know that the apartment-dorm-whatever complex we lived at was comprised of (and these are rough figures): 93% athletes for the University of Louisville, 6.2% girls who want to fuck said athletes, and 0.8% normal and/or cool people. With that in mind, it is truly by the grace of God that we ended up as roommates...and I've been a different person ever since.

I don't think Erin influenced me in the sense that she changed me, I just think she's got such a palpable personality that it can either bring out the best or the worst in people...and for me, it brought out the best. She helped me, sort of, let the world see the best in me, without even lifting a finger or realizing she was doing it (I'm sure she doesn't even realize now that she's done it). I had been so shy and awkward (something that was the product of multiple factors, I'm sure, but partly because I had grown up in Eastern KY...in a non-progressive town...around people who not only shunned most of my artistic interests, but didn't give a shit about any of it...of course I was quiet!) when she first met me, and she was the push I needed in the right direction to accepting and thriving as who I am.

I guess I'm mentioning all of this because Erin is someone who I feel like I always learn from indirectly, and on this last trip to Nashville I found myself discovering something very true about myself that I had never really acknowledged: I really, really like weird people. Specifically speaking, weird guys.

Now, you gotta understand...my definition of weird isn't necessarily obscure...sadly, in today's society, I think weird is replacing the term unique. But it doesn't just mean that I like people who are unique...it's people who are so tapped into their life that they say and do weird shit (usually things that most of us are thinking, but never say or do). God, I feel like I'm explaining this poorly...let's see... Well, I don't know. Maybe I can't explain it. Maybe I shouldn't have to. Either you get it or you don't. Being weird is a really beautiful and strange thing anymore, and on that rare occasion that I meet people who qualify in the category, the feeling is indescribable. It's just a shame that there aren't more people who can qualify under this category. I'm still waiting for Mr. Right-ish Weirdo to come along, but until then I'll just have to keep ignoring every fuck I pass on campus or on the streets who doesn't put off that transcendental aura of odd...

Well, I promise I'll start posting shit that is more succinct and compact soon. Until then, hopefully you took something away from this mess of a post. Also, enjoy that pointless music video (which I hadn't seen until I just posted it and good lord, it almost ruined the song for me it was so bleh...is that mean? I still love the song!). I'm heading to Eastern KY for part deux of spring break, so wish me luck. It should be a rip-roaring, grand ole time! Not really. Well, maybe. We'll see.

Also, here's a gpoy with me wearing my new crochet poncho/shaw thing that is the best thing I've bought in years...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

School is for Fools?

I've reached a point of being so burnt out with school that I literally have to bribe myself to do required work. I tell myself that I can watch a movie or read something I actually want to if I can just finish those next 7 bullet points on my study guide. Otherwise I am the most convincing person when it comes to talking myself into/out of things...and my school work literally won't get done. I redefine procrastination by using due dates and times to their full capacity (sometimes even opting to surpass them and "test the waters" of whatever course I'm taking and the professor who teaches it's limitations). For the most part I have managed to skate through college relatively unscathed (a fact I attribute solely to my diligent [retired-teacher] mother's hustle with me and school), but it doesn't always work in my favor...and right now, this semester, it's catching up with me.

Depending on where you are right now, you may or may not notice that I am typing this entry at 3:56 A.M. (EST)...and the reason I mention it at all is because, contrary to popular belief, I don't really like to stay up super late like most college kids. Don't get me wrong, I love to stay up late as fuck...IF I know I can sleep in the next day and all will be well. Other than that, I hate staying up late (especially if I'm doing work). Sleep and I get along really well. In fact, when we don't see each other for periods of time, the universe throws both of our schedules out of whack until things can settle back into some semblance of rhythmic order. Tonight, however, sleep and I will not be having our daily rendezvous...instead I am having an affair with my school work. Oh yeah, you heard right, and it's just as exciting as it sounds!

What it boils down to is this: I'm fucked. I put off studying for my first exam in my "Medieval Art and Architecture" course (which is tomorrow...er, I mean, later today); a course which, let me just say, is a split-level class...meaning it's offered at both a 300-level and a 500-level (for the graduate students) and also meaning that those of us in there at the 300-level made a huge mistake signing up for it. Of course it's catered to the grad students, with an expansive workload featuring in-depth studies of every basilica and relief you ain't never heard of...Hell, if I were them I know I'd want it to be that way...but what about the rest of us? Oh, who am I kidding...I'm just whining because I put off all the required reading and studying until literally last night and now I'm having to cram hopelessly until the sun comes up.

What am I getting at, you ask? Well, I don't know. Maybe the fact that, deep down, I fucking love school. I love learning, I love reading, I love studying...love love love. But there is some soul-sucking element lying in the walls of my university that has almost drained me of all life...an element that I've spent the last 4 semesters trying to discover. I'm constantly frustrated because I know that when I graduate...IF I graduate...my GPA will only reflect the product of my unhappiness instead of any semblance of aptitude, intelligence or perseverance. I'm frustrated because I can't enjoy this time of my life that is supposed to be the "end all, be all" apparently (and let me just say, if that's true, well...WOW...the future is looking bleak ya'll). And I'm frustrated because I just don't want to be in school.

It's moments like these that I wish quitting college was easy and practical...but alas, it doesn't seem to be. All I gotta say is, if a bachelor's degree is the "new" high school diploma, where is the GED equivalent of a bachelor's degree? Cause the second they create one...sign me the fuck up.

And yes, I'm posting a Beach Boys video to end this post. Listen to the dulcet tones of Carl Wilson and get sucked into his porkchop sideburns...Lord knows I am!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Well, here I be.

After a tumultuously busy year and the encouragement of a friend (and fellow blogger, Erin), I have decided to join the self-indulgent masses and create a blog so that I can talk about anything I think is relevant or interesting. But since you probably don't know me, here is a small crasher course on me:

Some basics:
My name is Natalie.
I'm 20 years old (almost 21).
I am a burnt out college student, currently finishing up my "junior" year.
I live in Louisville, KY...but am originally from a Podunk town in Eastern Kentucky.
I promise this smile wasn't as forced and painful as it looks...

I have eclectic art interests/passions that include, but are not limited to: music, theatre, film, visual art (specifically, painting and drawing), and reading/writing.

I like to talk about serious things regarding life frequently and I value youthful maturity and intelligence... At the same time, though, I'm a hugely sarcastic cynic with a bad sailor's mouth who thinks that life should never be taken too seriously and tries to find humor in almost everything.

I am very ambitious and hopeful with regard to my future, even if I have a bad tendency to sound like the world's biggest pessimist. I also consider myself to be a misanthrope...which is frustrating, because I don't necessarily want to hate people, they just make it hard to like them.

I'm a huge My Morning Jacket fan...just letting you know up front, because there is a slight possibility that I might talk about their music here and there. Or just reference them as being BAMF's and a complete and total inspiration to me.

I mean...goddamn...just listen to them...

Uh...what else...I'm an actor, a theatre major. I may talk about things regarding plays or courses or etc./whatever in regard to all that.

Other than all that I've listed (and excluding the fact that I consider myself to be a uniquely interesting individual--maybe that's just wishful thinking?), I'm pretty much your average 20-something , young woman who is trying to find her way in the world and make sense of it all on the way.....and maybe have someone read this blog on the way, too(?).

Yeah. That's all I got.

...oh wait, just kidding. You can also find me here:
Facebook ...maybe one day I'll return to Facebook, but for now my account has been "deleted" (a.k.a. deactivated) for a month, and I'm happy with it.