Tuesday, August 26, 2014

brief fupdates and evidence we still exist

bachelorette selfie with my sister, only semi relevant, but you need a picture right?  there will be more eventually.
let's be honest here folks, things are currently rather surreal.

my name is going to be different in less than 18 days and between trying to finagle a new job and tie off all the pre-nuptial loose ends it just doesn't feel like i have much to blog.  things are simply too vague or surprise-inducing to announce to the internet right now, so i've obviously found solace about my bloggers-block in the form of a 1028 page novel and 6 seasons of jersey shore.  rest assured there will be much more to be said, some hopefully sooner than later, but should you be knee deep in concern for my absence from this blog, you can expect to see more around maybe halloween-time, when hopefully things reach some semblance of normal.

in the meantime, here are some fleeting thoughts about our new home and current conditions:

1.  cost of living differences between houston and ann arbor are blowing my mind.  gas is so cheap (not really a shocker), groceries are basically free compared to michigan, also there are forms of gainful employment here that render people more upbeat than the metro-detroit attitude of "you have a job, you thus have no right to complain about anything ever.  genocide?  deal with it.  you have a job.  be thankful."

2.  on the topic of the upbeat people of houston the friendly-factor is probably the biggest culture shock here.  people are just so darn nice.  i feel like an ice queen for not striking up a conversation with the cockroach i found in my dishwasher.  midwesterners have a much more "you do you" (thnx jwoww) attitude about what constitutes politeness.  probably because it's so cold you can't really be expected to leave your house to talk to anyone 8 months out of the year.

3.  also yes i found a cockroach in my dishwasher.  just a small one.  he was not the first.  there also aren't 8 months out of the year here where everything freezes and dies.  thus bugs.  they happen.  i'm learning to deal with this.

4.  on the topic of cold: it is not.  unless you're indoors because, wisely, everything is air conditioned to the max.  i am essentially in heaven.  i hate the cold.  cold ranks somewhere below human trafficking and somewhere above the big bang theory in terms of things i do not appreciate.  if you read this blog often, i would guess about 80% of its contents refer to my hatred of the cold.  i'm so pleased and warm and tan in houston.

5.  on that note, the locals here tend to think it's way too hot and they can't believe i think the weather here is a plus.  this, to me, is like whining about your broken laptop to a starving child.  you do not understand the suicide-inducing misery of months below 0 degrees fahrenheit.  seriously.  i don't like cold.

also there are little lizards all over the place in our apartment complex and i love them.  hopefully i will get to posting the rest of the pictures from our bachelor/bachelorette weekend very soon (thank you to my 10/10 maid of honor sister for taking pictures and also crafting hard).

there: we still exist. ta for now.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

san antonio - {grams}

we became hardcore road-trippers on sunday when we decided to take a day trip to san antonio in 100+ degree heat.  we still had an amazing time on the river walk and walking through the galleries and restaurants.  we opted to split queso and a dos-arita from rita's on the river and after a little bird-related mishap, and lots of sweat we still successfully enjoyed our afternoon in san antonio.

namely, we have a great weekend itinerary planned for a future overnight mini-vacation.  it's a long haul to do in one day though.  but look!  we went to the alamo!  it feels good to be checking out our new digs.

hope everybody has a great week!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

sarah's wedding: pro edition

alright last time around for pictures of my sister's wedding.  i couldn't resist posting about it again because her professional photos turned out so great.  all rights reserved by oliver howell photography.

happy happy days!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

firmoo eyewear [sponsored]

here's a fun fact about me:  i'm legally blind without corrective lenses.  the world is murky when you're very myopic.  the "how many fingers am i holding up" test?  nada.  those aren't fingers, that is a fleshy colored mass at the end of what context dictates must be your arm.

so imagine my excitement when firmoo.com contacted me last month and asked me to showcase a pair of their prescription eyewear for my readers.

sometimes when you think something is too good to be true, you're completely correct in your skepticism.  this is not the case with firmoo.  color me blunt:  this website rules.  they have an amazing style selection of glasses, sunglasses, and specialty eyewear and everything is unbelievably priced.  these bad boys i'm wearing?  $39.

i remember when i was in middle school i had an art teacher who rotated between three different pairs of completely adorable glasses.  i remember thinking how much i wanted to be able to change my glasses to fit my style and now the means actually exist to make this happen.  firmoo:  realizing middle school fashion fantasies across the globe.

ok, seriously though.  i'm probably not buying glasses anywhere else from here on out.  the lenses are perfect, the glasses come in the cutest map-printed case, and they ship in no time!  yes, this is blind-person accessory heaven.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

road-trip-to-texas instagrams

here are a few instagrams of the long haul south from ann arbor to houston.  it was a pretty spectacular time-- i just wish steve and i had been able to share a car so we could laugh at the same casino-nail-salon-gas-station-home-of-the-original-deep-fried-pie-on-a-stick and play lots of 20 questions with answer "nicholas cage."  still, we made our way down from michigan via champaign, IL - memphis, TN - shreveport, LA and voila home to houston! the apartment is almost clean enough to document and introduce to y'all!

yes, i say y'all now.  and even though i have more reason than i used to, i'm somehow more self conscious about it.  don't worry.  let's move on... y'all...

over the course of our road trip i have upped my "states visited" number from 39 to 42 (i had never previously been in arkansas, louisiana, or texas).  i'm comin' for you oklahoma, idaho, oregon, mississippi, north dakota, montana, alaska, and hawaii!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

loose from the news: interesting reading

since i'm still a bit busy getting myself back together, here is some interesting reading for you to check out in the meantime.  some of these articles might be a bit dated (i was storing them in my drafts for a while before the move).

nisha cooch for brain blogger

"Whereas the neural differences in men and women may not underlie differences in mathematical ability, they may partly explain the difference in the tendency for men and women to pursue careers in STEM. Certain sex differences appear to be present from birth and are thus not attributable to cultural influences. For example, newborn girls spend more time gazing at human faces, whereas newborn boys spend more time gazing at mechanical objects. These observations are consistent with the enhanced tendency for females to process emotional information and to perform better in cognitive tasks that incorporate emotional and social information. The way such information differentially influences male and female learning is likely a result of evolution. Indeed, it has been demonstrated even in bees that reproductive success, in females specifically, is enhanced by cooperative abilities that rely on perceiving and engaging in complex social behaviors."

job interviewers
francesca gino for scientific american

"By relying on intuition, in fact, we can make biased decisions. To take one example, we tend to infer someone’s ability directly from his performance without adequately adjusting for the situation in which he has operated, a systematic error known as the correspondence bias. For instance, when evaluating which employees to promote, a manager might focus exclusively on their success and fail to adjust for the difficulty of their past assignments. Similarly, we might judge our leaders without factoring in market conditions, political challenges, and so on."
t.m. scanlon for ted.com

"If those who hold political offices must depend on large contributions for their campaigns, they will be more responsive to the interests and demands of wealthy contributors, and those who are not rich will not be fairly represented."

ryan chapin mach for huffington post

"In real life, there is no such thing as a "Not-Racist" - just a whole lot of people like us who are trying to navigate the complex problem of American racism. Knowing this, our job as people who care about these issues is to educate others with more compassion and less snark. Millennials already have a more progressive outlook on race than our predecessors - to make a serious impact, it's a more progressive look on racism that we'll need."

daniel yudkin and yaacov trope for scientific american

"That music can move us is no surprise; it’s the point of the art form, after all. What’s new here is the manner in which the researchers have quantified in fine-grained detail the cognitive ramifications of unpacked melodic compounds. This investigation of music’s building blocks may be more relevant than you suppose. Nowadays, experts in the production room can hone a track—the timbre, tone, rhythm, phrasing—with digital precision. These songwriters and producers are the true geniuses behind the success of popular music today, and they seem to have an intuitive grasp of the phenomena underlying the findings of this psychology article."

olga khazan for the atlantic

"Pediatricians are growing increasingly alarmed about the dangers of so-called “toxic stress”—certain kinds of childhood experiences, like turmoil, violence, and neglect, that, when chronic, can alter brain structure and chemistry and hurt a child’s chances of long-term success. Harsh parenting by itself won't necessarily doom a child, but when combined with other stressors, it might."