Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thing I Like #15: Little Favours

This is something of a final post, only because I've moved on to an "official" blog (i.e. not a school sanctioned one). But it's an appropriate one, I think.

Seeing as how it's the final stretch for most of us, the all-nighter is not an unfamiliar friend. Yesterday, in hopes of tricking my body into think it got some rest, I planned on taking a quick powernap. But knowing that I actually desperately needed rest, I knew that I'd have a hard time waking up. So, naturally, I asked someone to help me make sure I didn't sleep myself to death. A quick name change on MSN before I hit the sack: "maid mariam - can someone please wake me up at 7pm? msg, txt, call, whatever." An addendum added that "nudges are also acceptable."

9:34, two and a half hours after the fact, I wake up to a wildly buzzing cell phone, several messages, a few missed calls and a handful of nudges. I should've known that a couple of computer noises wouldn't rouse me from my comatose state, but it was an awesome feeling waking up to find that some people tried their damnedest to help me.

Thank God/Darwin/your deity of choice (or lack thereof) for little favours.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thing I Like #14: annathered (or awesome bentos)

I was originally going to title this post "Sweet Video Game-Inspired Bento Boxes." A bento box is a Japanese lunch box, sorta. Often, the lunch-maker will go to great (awesome) lengths to make the lunch look as aesthetically amazing as possible.

I needed some photos so, naturally, I turned to the intertubes. To my surprise, it turns out that most of the frakkin' awesome ones are made by the same magical person! Thus, Thing I Like #14: the culinary genius that is annathered.

You can (read: ABSOLUTELY SHOULD) visit her flickr site here or her blog. Hope you're not wearing socks, 'cause they'll be blown off so hard, you're gonna need crutches.

Some of my absolute favourites:

Portal bento! Please refrain from making any jokes related to the truthfulness of baked goods.

Half-Life bento! It's funny 'cause the crowbar's made of crab, but the headcrabs aren't.

No worries, indie gamers-- there's a bento for you too! I hope this bento isn't as ego-crushingly difficult to eat as it is to play. (It's still a fun game though)

The best one though, in my opinion, is clear. Behold!

Great! Even better than Mama!

I have no words.

I'm really not doing annathered justice though. Visit her flickr stream and see for yourself. Some other favourites:
-Her Katamari, if only because it's a meta-meal: the katamari is made of food... that's made of other food!
-Bioshock bento: who knew cheese could look so terrifying?
-I haff tvelve feesh cake: This would've been first, if not for Mama. Sorry Professor, I've let you down.

She also makes not-gamey related (but still equally phenomenal) foodstuffs, like meat buns (mmmm) shaped like those creepy things from Princess Mononoke and, for you non-gamers, Wall-E sandwiches! He's looking a little sad but-- let's face it-- if you were that delicious looking and were sitting on a giant plate, you'd be sad too.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find some socks.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thing I Like #12 + #13: Twofer #2!
Random Acts of Kindness + Robots Not Out to Take Over the World

A student from NYU set up an experiment in which a cute little robot guy was set loose in the northeast corner of a park in order to reach the southwest corner. Because it was only programmed to move forward, it had to rely on other people to rescue it from any troubles they might encounter.

Rarely do I come across stories that are able to break through the icy defences aroiund the hole in my chest where my heart is supposed to be. I have to admit: this one did the trick. Hope you have some insulin lying around, because this video is ridiculously sweet.

Check out Tweenbots for the rest of the heartwarmingly cute story.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Things I Like #10 + 11: Twofer!
Top Ten Lists + Good Cover Songs

Two posts today to make up for lack of updates. This isn't at all a copout, I swear.

First, an example of NOT a good cover song: My Chemical Romance's Desolation Row. You've probably heard it during the end credits of Watchmen. I refuse to link to it though, so treat yourself to the original, minus a minute or so.

#10 is Karl Wolf's Africa. Okay, granted, it's not /technically/ a cover, but the original is just so good, I had to get it on my list somehow. Besides, 6,953,237 people can't be wrong.
(Page view != individual person, shut up, I know)

#9 is a no-brainer: Avril Lavigne's Knocking on Heaven's Door. ... I'm totally messing with you-- it links to Clapton. Though you have to give Lavigne credit-- her video features clips of children from developing countries, so any naysayers are immediately castigated as baby-eating, obnoxious-cell-phone-using Nazi sympathizers. Which country are they from, you ask? Lavigne plays it safe and gets a few kids from each. Because she cares.

But not all covers have to be classics! This Ukranian band, apparently calling themselves Los Colorados, does a wicked cover of Katy Perry's Hot and Cold. The backup vocals /make/ this video. My personal favourite part is the "EY!" shouted near the beginning. It's a seriously sweet cover, accordian and all. 2:07, dude forgets the lyrics. Don't worry, you guys still rock, in your own odd folksy way.

#7 is a rare case of a cover being so awesome, it totally kicks the ass of the original artist (sorry, Nick Lowe). It's hard to deny that Elvis Costello rocks (What's so Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding pretty hard, in that charming Costello charmy way of his. What a dreamboat.

This one's another rare case a la #7 and most people don't even know that #6 is a cover. I didn't, and I still to this day don't know who sang the original (sorry, Unknown Original Artist, you're not even worth a quick Google). For most, though, all that matters is that the Beatles sang it. That, and they damn well rock it. Just ask any one those screaming girls, or perhaps your mom*. lol 1960 fangirls.
* = Not a yo' mama joke, I promise.

The next one on my list is pretty controversial: Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah. The penultimate question among indie music snobs (I mean besides "What kind of bands do you listen to, so I can berate you for having inferior musical tastes?"): is Cohen's better? I don't know. Battles have been fought hard for both sides-- mob riots en masse, houses burned down to ashes, lives destroyed-- and I'm not about to get involved now.

I know, I know, Joni Mitchell is totally awesome and a huge influence on the overall musical etc. etc. but, regardless, I still like the Counting Crows' cover better. If you're real quiet and listen closely, you can hear the footsteps of angry music purists storming to my house to draw and quarter me. I don't know why I like it better, I guess it's got that poppy appeal to it. It must be that, 'cause it's certainly not Vanessa Carlton's backup whining vocals.
...I'm kidding, I don't actually have a problem with her, but she was in White Chicks and I was forced to watch the movie (twice), so I gotta take out my anger somewhere. Sorry, Vanessa. We're still cool though, right?

Okay, the top three. They're not in any particular order, only because they're all totally awesome and it'd be way too hard to choose which I like better. I love all three of them equally. They're like my children, except not mine (and not children).

#3's a tie (also not at all a copout). I suspect this kind of threw people off, since Joey Ramone is not quite the first person that comes to mind when you think Louis Armstrong's It's a Wonderful World (...maybe the second), but he makes it work anyway. Skip to about :40 to get to the sweet, sweet Ramoney punk goodness. My other favourite's New Found Glory's Kiss Me). Actually, there are a bunch of NFG covers I like (and the obligatory shoutout to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes), so they all fall under #3. It's like a 9-way tie. That counts, right?

#2! Cake's I Will Survive. Hot damn! Listen to that bass line! I know absolutely nothing about music, but even /I/ know that bass line rocks the pants off anyone in a ten-kilometre radius. And just when you think it can't get any better-- bam! Trumpet! Mind = officially blown. I wouldn't say that he took Gloria Gaynor and made her song /better/, but he certainly worked his magic and made this song his own.

#1 is like a reverse-french-toast-bacon-and-syrup sandwich: it takes two fundamentally fantastic elements (and one catalyst) and synthesizes them into a byproduct of sheer brilliance. If I retained anything from Grade 10 science class, I'd break this down into your basic catalytic chemical reaction, but since I don't, I'll just use regular math:

(Ben Folds + Elton John)amazing sunglasses = ...what's the mathematical symbol for AWESOME?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thing I Like #9: How Awesome Books Are

This isn't a real post. I just splurged on and felt the urge to document it, for whatever reason.

Something less facetious coming soon, O adoring readers (i.e. Ryan and Robin).

note to self
yep, girl talk still looks like a douchebag