- It was originally called "Decoration Day"
- It wasn't considered an official holiday until 1971
- Civil War General John Logan was the one who founded the holiday
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Here's a little photo of the day.
*The photo and poem are owned by me.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
In a nutshell, this is a quiche. We didn't even realize it until the end because the recipe just said "Baked Spinach." The ingredients besides spinach, however, included eggs, cheese, milk, flour, and also bread crums sprinkled on top. We also tossed in some mushrooms just for giggles. AKA we made a quiche. It actually turned out quite delicious, but at the very end it got accidentally burnt from sitting in the oven too long.
Overall Success: 3/5 Stars (not bad for our first time cooking in a very long while)
Broccoli with Lemon Almond Sauce
Okay, if I could name the dishes I make, this one would be called Lady Disaster. It took us about twenty minutes to blanch (peel the skin off of) and sliver the almonds. [[Quick Blanching Process: Let almonds soak in boiling water for one minute, then carefully peel skin off.]] We tossed the almonds in butter and lemon juice and poured it over cooked broccoli. It wasn't that great in my opinion. We could barely taste the lemon and it was basically just distasteful. The only good thing I have to say about Lady Disaster is that the almonds gave the broccoli and very interesting crunch.
Overall Success: 2/5
A small portion of both dishes. We created these two dishes to complement the rest of our dinner, which consisted of ribs and other meaty lovelies. I apologize for my crappy photos...I do not do a good job taking food pictures for some reason. =/
Since I happen to be talking about cooking and dinners and whatnot, I guess I'll just go ahead and tell you what I had for breakfast and lunch as well, hehe. For breakfast, I had one of Marie Callender's Pasta Al Dente selections. Chicken Piccata, of course. Delicious! For lunch, I had my own signature macaroni and cheese. =)
Macaroni and Cheese
I've had a sort of infatuation with macaroni and cheese for about nine years now. I cook my own with Velveeta cheese, a small spoonful of butter, and a drop or two of milk. It's soooo delicious, if I may say so myself. :P I've heard many different ways of cooking macaroni and cheese, including baking, cooked with eggs, etc...how do YOU do it?
I also sprinkle Mac&Cheez with garlic salt and garlic powder. Granted, it makes me stink an awful lot, but there's something about those little grains of salt and powder that make the texture of the macaroni even creamier than before. It's amazingly good! I know it sounds pretty gross, but every person who I have been able to convince to sprinkle a bit on their mac has loved it. So try it. :)
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Anyway, enough of my contemplations. Recently, I went shopping with some friends for the first time in a while and bought some really neat things! I thought they'd be perfect for this season. What sort of outfits or styles do you enjoy wearing for warm weather?
Owl necklace: Body Shop. A little less than $4. A bit expensive but I REALLY liked it. =)
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Now that my AP exams are over, I'm finally getting back into my reading mode. This summer, I hope to finish reading The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and also complete Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton. The latter is actually for my college's Summer Reading Program, and I thought participating would be a great way to jumpstart my freshman year. Both books are quite well-known; I will definitely be rating and reviewing them once I finish and, of course, sharing my thoughts here with all of you! If you've already read these two books, shh!! Don't tell me anything! ;)
I don't think I've done any book reviews on my blog before, so this is what this post* is all about. My book reviews aren't nearly as extensive as my movie reviews; plus, I'd like to keep my posts shorter than before since I realize now that my previous ones tend to be long-winding and very texty! D: Sorry about that. I've been blogging for quite a few months now, yet I am still learning everyday what it means to be a good blogger.
Top 10 Most Influential Books
This is in my personal opinion and in no particular order.
1) Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe
2) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
3) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
4) The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
5) Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin
6) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
7) Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
8) 1984 by George Orwell
9) War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
10) Little Women by Louisa May Alcotte
Now, here are a few books that have recently been recommended to me and are on my never-ending list of books to read. Feel free to give me short reviews, but I'd appreciate if you didn't ruin any endings or give too much away! And any other recommendations would be awesome...my summer this year is gonna be packed full of books! Hurrayy!!
-Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
-Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
-On Writing by Stephen King
-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Review #1: The Best "Everybody Book"
The difference between this novel and other children’s novels such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is that it challenges the mind to think outside the box. Giant peaches are not your typical fruit and ladybugs, grasshoppers and centipedes are not your average best friends, but the book almost forces you to ask questions like, “what if I was James and those things did happen to me?” It is difficult for a children’s novel to be simple yet sweet and contain tragedy and love, friendship and terror all in one book.
Khaled Hosseini is one of the most interesting and prolific contemporary authors of today’s society. He came from a brilliant family that seems to specialize in history (his father was a diplomat of the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother was a history teacher) and had an almost immediate success with his most famous novel: The Kite Runner.
This novel fascinated me the first time I read it because the meaning is extremely powerful and had a permanent impact on my outlook on life. Hosseini incorporates much of the politics and history of his own childhood homeland, Afghanistan, into this book. In doing so, he shares a lot of his personal knowledge about the current status of Afghanistan and what its circumstances have done to many families native to the area.
Several of Hosseini's other books, such as A Thousand Splendid Suns, are just as powerful and eye-opening. There are few prominent Middle-Eastern authors in America, much less ones that are able to create such prose filled with the sins, the beauty, the anger and the honest truths about their own country. What strikes me as most fascinating about Hosseini is that he has succeeded in all of the above and much more.
Review #3: A Must-Read Young Adult NovelFrom the first sentence of My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, I could not stop reading. This contemporary novel tells the story of two sisters: Kate Fitzgerald, who has been suffering from leukemia all her life, and Anna Fitzgerald, who was genetically engineered to be a donor match for her sister. Although they have an extremely close relationship, there is a constant battle that must be fought and never seems to end. The family is torn apart when Anna decides to sue her parents for the rights to her own body, and the lawsuit becomes even more controversial and significant than even the Fitzgeralds realize.
Several dramatic events occur that lead up to the heightened climax towards the end when the ultimate truth about Anna’s real intentions is revealed. It was difficult for me to imagine the emotional and physical difficulties that Kate and her family had to endure. Even though it is fictional, this book represents the many life-changing situations that families struggle go through everyday; it really opened my eyes and made me feel grateful and thankful for all the good things in my own life. In my mind, this book reminds me of a bottomless ocean: it will grasp you by your shoulders, suck you into its depths, and keep you until you have soaked yourself within its waters through and through.
*This post was inspired by literary agent Nathan Bransford.
Monday, May 3, 2010
So here are the pictures** of my Washington, D.C. trip from a little over a week ago. For those who didn't see that post, I went to the 101st Annual American Association Researching Meeting, which lasted from Friday, April 16th, to Tuesday, April 20th (I think). It was a ton of fun and I'm really glad I decided to go with my parents. I didn't really learn very much but I got to see all the the different products that were advertised and sold at the exhibit's different booths and read on various professors' posters about some interesting research studies that are going on.
In addition, I also go to get some sightseeing done! I now realize that, as a citizen of the USA, a trip to Washington D.C. is completely wasted if you don't spend time to get to know it, especially since it IS America's capital and whatnot. ;]
But yeah, sorry my post on this trip is so late! Like I said, I am studying for AP exams, but luckily tomorrow I have my last one! :) Enjoy, hehe.
Left: Between the doors of our hotel and the actually lobby, the entrance had this beautiful electronic graphic thingy up on the wall. It's basically an outlining of Washington's streets and notable sights; it changed colors every few seconds which was REALLY cool! I wonder how it works. XD
Up: This is what our hotel looked like...it was really nice! There was free internet access at the main lobby, coffee shop, book store and sit-down reading area, private meeting rooms, and other neat services. I especially liked the waiting area in the middle of the lobby that was confined by several sticks (see?). I'm pretty sure they're meant to look like pussy willows. I wish I'd taken another picture close up so I could compare them to the real plant!
Right: It was a beautiful day when I took this photo but a little too cloudy!! This is the Washington Memorial, named after our amazing first president, George Washington!
Unfortunately we didn't get to go in because we were running out of time, but apparently you can go on an elevator all the way to the top and look down! =D I hope to go back and actually do that someday haha.
There were LOADS of tourists and visitors there, though, just taking pictures and staring in awe at this great monument. You MIGHT be able to see some of the people in the picture amidst the many American flags...?
Top: Lo! and behold, this is Capitol Hill! Thankfully we were able to take a full tour in this historical structure, and I actually learned A LOT! It was amazing being able to go in and see firsthand the place where real history has taken place and still takes place everyday! The greatest thing is that THE TOUR WAS FREE!! It's great that the American government isn't trying to suck our money through tourist sites and are allowing us to learn about our great country freely (literally)... xD I mean I guesss that shoud be obvious anyway but you never know what governments are up to these days. Haha I think I've been in AP Comparative Government too long!!
Left: This is what the inside of the Capitol Hill looks like, at the central core of all things. All around, there are magnificent paintings of important historical time periods with real gold frames as well as statues (created with different types of stone) of significant historical figures, including our presidents of course! I can't remember which statue it was, but one of them had pieces of the Berlin wall at the bottom of the statue. Cool, eh?
Left: I think anybody could recognize this building anywhere!! Of course, it is The White House, where the First Lady and the President and his family lives. To be honest, it's A LOT smaller than I thought it would be, but it was still an amazing sight to be able to see in real life! Needless to say we took a ton of pictures. You can't really see it, but the flag that's usually at the top of the building was halfway down that day as a sign of mourning for the loss of the Polish president, who died just a few days beforehand from that plane crash. And no, I did not meet President Obama. XD
Up: This was the Convention Center where the 101st Annual American Cancer Association Researching Meeting was held, as the huge banner you see up there (^^) indicates. All during the few days we were there, TONS and tons of people --graduate students, postdoctorates, and professors-- came to the meeting to share their findings and learn about others'. It was AWESOME. And everybody was always dressed in a suit or something similar; even at nearby streets and hotels there were people with AACARM tags sporting shiny suits...they were everywhere! I think the Cancer Association people advertised their meeting very well. :3
Left: This was the "Poster Room," where there were loads of bulletins, posters, demos, and tents where research was shared and freebies were given out! They gave out lots of cute stress balls (my favorite was one shaped like a sheep), sample science lab tools, handouts, ice cream, LOTS of candy, notebooks, and other really neat stuff. I basically pretended that I was a student, but didn't dare to ask any real questions in case I sounded dumb. ;P I didn't meet any new friends, but I learned a little bit more about the type of research that's going on in the science world today and what products are used in the lab. AND I got some awesome free stuff!!
Right: This is one of about four or five works of art that were being hung from the ceilings of the convention center. If you can't tell, the circle is made up of several guitars. They had many other similar sculptures (is that even the right word to call them?) that were made from tennis rackets and even canoe boats!! I just can't imagine how many darn canoe boats, guitars, etc. were needed! Where did they get them from? How did they assemble them all together? Pretty innovative, huh?
I wish I could've taken more, especially of the neat experiment products and posters that I was able to see, but I don't think we were allowed to take pictures. =/ But yeah, that was my D.C. trip!! I can't wait to go back in the future. :) Have any of you been to Washington D.C. before? If so, what were your experiences like?
**All photos in this blog post were taken by me, (c) The Red Angel. By the way, sorry if the photos and text are positioned oddly; it's hard uploading photos on Blogspot with this specific layout!
Yes, yes, here is the Character Profile #2 that I know all of you have been waiting for for over a week! I am very sorry for being MIA...no, I did not die and return back to life, I was merely studying for my AP exams. I had my first exam today and have two left! Wish me luck!
Enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think about Jayla*. :)
It had been an uneventful day. Same working hours with the same colleagues, same coffee to go and the same "Hello" to the bus driver. Now, I was on the same bus ride that I took everyday downtown to my apartment complex. In a few hours, I would be patting the same golden retriever named Travis that I've had since I was a child while reading the same newspaper that I've been reading for years. The New York Times.
Sometimes I wondered if things would always be the same like this. On one hand, I loved having the same routine over and over; things were stable and my life was simple. But there were times when this routine got old. Very old. And there were days like these when I wished desperately for a change, something to spark my interest and make me feel lively again somehow.
"Are you okay?" For the first time, I heard her voice. It was steady but rough, as if she had a
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.