Thursday, January 31, 2008

I have to admit, I am a sucker for a good advertisement, or a pretty or well-crafted box. I think I can blame some of this on my genes, being as how Dad is a package designer for Mattel, (yay Barbie!)

I can never really understand why people want to hate Barbie, but that is a different rant for a different day.

The rant for this day is advertisements. I don’t feel bad for my infatuation. Good advertisements are just the products of creative people, and I like those guys. I also have to respect them for casting off the cumbersome fetters of words; and using their freedom to knock people over with the sheer force of imagery.

Watch out this is where things are going to get linguistastic:

There are debates among linguistic philosophers about how much language impacts the mind and vice versa. Sir Dummett, Sapir and Whorf suggest that language dictates the extent to which your mind can comprehend an idea. (Sort of a “If I don’t have a word for it, it cannot make sense to me” idea.) There is Jerry Fodor and “knowledge-first” and his camp, who say first comes the idea which makes us invent a word to describe it. While they bicker about the chicken and the egg I am tempted to a different philosophy. I am more of a fan of Gorgias and the idea of that words are but shabby symbols forever failing to fully represent the incommunicable ideas that live in our minds. (Oh there is also a group in between who want brains and words to get along, but they are pansies.)

With this all in mind I admire the advertisements that utilize few words to season a monumental image. It is not a smart consumer standpoint, I know. It would be smarter to get a play-list from the jazz radio people to find out if they have what I like, and they could have plainly told me that their music is not something everyone will appreciate. Honestly a lady puking out music notes doesn’t tell me one thing about what kind of music I am being sold; but I want to look at it a little longer and somehow I feel like a am being dared to try it. It communicates a feeling where words fall short.

*I stole that ad off of this person’s blog, I don’t know where it was taken from first, but they have lots of other cool ads :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The other day I painted my toes. Bryce saw me painting them black and I think he was probably pretty sure I was going goth, but not so. Behold their pinky, flowered, un-gothness:

In other news tonight I am going to try making some German food. It is called Maultaschen. It is sort of like meat ravioli. I talked to one of my German teachers about the recipe, (she is actually from Bavaria so I value her opinion above most.) I have never made it before but I am notoriously cocky about my cooking 5k177z*, so I think it will turn out well. (Of course that is what I thought about the french toast and the giant Sour Patch Kid, so we shall see.)

*That's 1337 for "skills, talents or gifts."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rachel 1 the Man 0

Two months ago Bryce finally got a cell phone! My contract was up, so it was time for me to upgrade too. This is the phone I got:

It is cute, N’est pas? It is small and shiny and white and fancier than my old phone. We were getting along smashingly, until tragedy struck.

One day I took the phone out of my purse and the joystick was cracked!!! I hadn't even beat any muggers over the head with that purse either!

As the day went on, piece by tiny piece, the joystick plastic

flaked away until all I had left was a stick, and no joy. The components still worked, it was just hard to move because the stick was short.

So I called AT&T and told them my sad story (3 times before

they sent me to the warranty people) and the warranty guy, not paying particular attention to what I said, told me to take the back of my phone off. I thought this was weird because obviously the problem is on the front of the phone. He asked me what color a little circle on it was. I told him the circle was red, and he said "Oh, then we can't do anything for you because that means there is water damage on your phone." water damage?! "Is your battery all corroded?" “No! It is brand new!” I cried, "Well you must have left it in the rain or something." He said, as if the little litmus paper had whispered all of this to him. I tried to defend myself, but I know he thought I was lying. There are two other indicator stickers, and they are both still white, and this is all beside the point, water did not break my joystick! But the warranty guy was adamant that my warranty was void, he pawned me off to customer service, where they offered to replace the phone for $200. I explained that the phone worked perfectly, and can’t I please please just get the joystick fixed? ( I know if I pay the $200 they will put another 25 cent joystick on my phone and sell it to someone else for $200.) But she told me that they must replace all of it. In despair I moaned “but it is just the little joystick!” to which she replied “Well that is part of the phone.” I know that! My gas cap is part of my car but if it breaks I am not about to buy a whole new car!

In my fury I decided I must stick it to The Man. Behold my new and arguably improved phone!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Crusty French Toast

This weekend I decided to make baked French Toast, the kind that you prep the night before. I woke up, dragged myself out of bed, drizzled it with the syrup sauce, and put it in the oven so when we woke up for real there would be delicious French toast waiting for us. It actually was delicious, in the way that toffee, that welds your mouth shut, is delicious.

Plenty of sweetness and flavor, you just need a jackhammer between bites. Bryce said it was good, just a little “carmelly.” This leads me to believe he has a crush on me.

After breakfast we went cross country skiing. (It is similar to regular skiing, minus all of those hills and momentum problems.) Bryce told me it was similar to using an elliptical machine. I thought, “Elliptical machine? Splendid, I am the Imperial-Starship-Boss of elliptical machines!” But don’t be fooled, it is not like an elliptical machine. It is like having gigantic feet and being a snow plow! It was really fun, really a lot more fun that an elliptical machine, but it was tiring! We explored a snowy path and went down a hill a few times. (One of those times gravity caught me unawares and I discovered how impossible it is to stand up when you have giant slippery feet.)