Intrepid Girl Reporter

Saturday, 9/27: dorkus maximus
September 28, 2008, 4:38 am
Filed under: IGR Recommends, life progress, media, music

I would like to tell the media, all of them, that I am a little disappointed in them for not devoting more serious mockery to Joe Biden, a man who, by all appearances, is the very definition of a crazy old coot. I just watched another Tina Fey skit re: Sarah Palin, and it’s not that Tina isn’t terrific or that there’s not a lot of absurdity in the Palin situation, but come on. Joe Biden told an audience that when the stock market crashed in 1929, FDR got on TV to comfort the American people. This is a man who has the potential to be the next Dan Quayle! And yet the media, with the exception of the mostly-reliable (and ever-dreamy) Jon Stewart, seems to be leaving him largely alone. When media bias starts depriving us of cheap shots, it’s time to draw the line.

Yesterday I saw Ghost Town, which I recommend in the same vein as Definitely Maybe – it’s not going to blow your mind open, but as a romantic comedy, it was just really well done, every aspect, and Ricky Gervais is awesome (duh). There was a song playing in the credits and I was like, that’s a beautiful song, who sings it? They sound familiar. It was John Mayer, of course. Some force in the universe is driving me back hardcore to the music of my past, maybe because it feels like my ego needs to be taken down a few notches. (Evidently months of unemployment hasn’t done it yet.) I’m never going to leave adolescence, evidently, especially not considering that listening to “Heart of Life” actually made me feel a little bit better than I have lately, a little less sour and stale. Look, I need to hear that it’s okay that all my plans are sort of derailed and I feel directionless, okay? Even if it’s from the singer of “Your Body is a Wonderland.” And for the record, I met him once at EarXTacy in Louisville when I was sixteen and he was totally cool, even given the fact that I spewed nonsense about how I sang one of his songs at my high school talent show.

Oh man Kenan Thompson is starring in this next skit. I am so glad he is on SNL. This is the most context-appropriate, and perfect, child-star result I can imagine.

you know it’s nothing new
bad news never had good timing
but then the circle of your friends
will defend the silver lining

pain throws your heart to the ground
love turns the whole thing around
no it won’t all go the way it should
but i know the heart of life is good

I made siu mai with my mother tonight. When she paints the lines of egg along the wrappers they have this almost Mondrian precision. Mine, on a good day, are best compared to Jackson Pollock. But I’m learning.

Friday, 9/26: big announcement #1!
September 27, 2008, 4:18 am
Filed under: etsy | Tags:

IGR has an Etsy shop!

Me + Julio

I will now stop referring to myself in third person like Slade, who just got kicked off of Project Runway. Poor Slade.

Anyway: if you have ever received a gift or letter from me, this stuff will probably look familiar. It’s mostly upcycled materials, repurposed into THE BEST STUFF EVER. I also take custom orders if your idea of the best stuff ever differs from mine.

Also, The Office last night: good stuff! I’m so happy that they decided to be funny again. Also, Jim and Pam are finally together forever, and Andy is suddenly kind of sweet. And did anyone else love the way Creed cut his rice like cocaine?

Wednesday, 9/24: this is the room
September 25, 2008, 5:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

For all the football/NMH fans.

Sunday, 9/21: diamonds on the inside
September 22, 2008, 3:55 am
Filed under: IGR Recommends, music

Here’s another secret about me: I love Ben Harper. This is just another indicator that despite my bespectacled and intellectualed exterior, a little bit of my heart still lives in my sophomore dormitory and in the KKG house. In other words, part of me will always remain deeply fratty. I was listening to Diamonds on the Inside on my way home from Lexington, an album whose first song Soccer once proclaimed “too horrible to listen to.” Let’s not pretend that Mr. Harper is a subtle lyricist in any way. That having been said, if you’re willing to overlook that sort of thing, this album is so feel-good. Especially “Blessed to Be A Witness.” If I had to make a top-5 list of songs I actually enjoy that are rooted in Christianity, it would be composed entirely of Ben Harper and Sufjan Stevens songs, probably because they are the only ones whose music falls under that category. (Note: the folder link doesn’t contain all of the songs on the album, because I don’t have them all. You’ll live.)

The days I spent with Rooms and Rooms this weekend were marked by consumption, specifically: a torta, Graeter’s ice cream OM NOM NOM, fried pickles, and delicious Caribbean food at Atomic Cafe. The Festival Latino was filled with incredible dancing and about five too many country shout-outs, although I’m sure that the two people present from Uruguay did appreciate the announcer’s repeated acknowledgement of their presence. Last night we went out to Molly Brooke’s and then McCarthy’s, where we found ourselves in a very interesting political discussion with some German dudes who were studying mechanical engineering. After which we made our way back to R&R’s apartment, and I fell asleep and dreamed that I was raising from a hatchling a baby pelican named Vernon.

With the help of Rooms and Rooms, I also came up with the best idea ever: the anti-wedding playlist. The genesis of this came when I told Rooms that I wanted her to perform a duet at my wedding in which I would accompany her while we sang “Losing My Religion.” After Rooms drily suggested adding “Everybody Hurts” and “My Heart Will Go On” to the roster, I decided that the theme of my rehearsal dinner is going to be Inappropriate Wedding Music, with the centerpiece songs being U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and Squeeze’s “Tempted by the Fruit of Another.” Other potential inclusions:

  • “Wicked Game” – Chris Isaak
  • “Glycerine” – Bush
  • “My Best Friend’s Girl” – The Cars
  • “Lola” – The Kinks
  • “Creep” – Radiohead
  • “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish” – the Smiths

Of course, at the moment I have a million bridesmaids and no groom, but this list, I believe, will stand the test of time. Other suggestions, O Best Beloved?

Here are a few shots of the weekend. I’m still trying to learn the night aspects of the new point-and-shoot. (I couldn’t bring the big fat camera for obvious reasons.)

Rooms and her sister didn't like this picture, but I did

Rooms and her sister didn't like this picture but I did

Ale-81s are not only delicious, they are also .49 at the Kroger on Romany

Ale-81s are not only delicious, they are also .49 at the Kroger on Romany

Rooms eats black raspberry chip

Rooms eats black raspberry chip

I eat toffee chip with homemade butterscotch. Did you know that Graeter's pours their chocolate in during the churning process, resulting in large and awesome chips?

I eat toffee chip with homemade butterscotch. Did you know that Graeter's pours their chocolate in during the churning process, resulting in large and delectable chips?

Lexington by night...look closely and you'll see Rooms

Lexington by night...look closely and you can see Rooms

we're pretty sure that this woman Photoshopped herself into this Fayette Mall advertisement

Thursday, 9/18: not the news you were hoping for
September 19, 2008, 5:05 am
Filed under: IGR Recommends

New favorite song: Au 27-100 Rue des Partances by Pierre LaPointe.

IGR will be traveling to see Rooms and Rooms this weekend in Lexington. I will undoubtedly be fatter upon my return – fatter with joy, of course, but also as a result of pie from Ramsey’s and food from the Latino Festival. I am a sucker for a good festival.

I should have at least one of my announcements posted by Monday, although it’s unrelated to my travels. HOLD YOUR BREATH GO

Tuesday, 9/16: I can’t believe I forgot to post this
September 17, 2008, 5:32 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Quick, before it gets taken down: the campaign song of former Representative David Davis. He lost the primary, so I’d listen to that little ditty sooner rather than later. You will not regret it.

Also, the financial crisis in thirty seconds. Via Daily Intel.

Monday, 9/16: in lieu of content
September 16, 2008, 4:44 am
Filed under: DIY, IGR made | Tags: , ,

I hope to have a few announcements in the next week or so, but I would rather not discuss them, in order to a) hype you up and b) not jinx myself.

So instead I am going to display the quilt I made for La Sister’s graduation. This was a beast and a half. It is on her bed in her dorm at UT, where it should be, and if she ever messes it up I will kill her with my bare hands. WordPress will not let me put these photos in the correct order.

Saturday, 9/13: nooooooooooo
September 14, 2008, 5:48 am
Filed under: IGR Recommends

Please, allow me to torment you with what you cannot have:

I watched the terrific documentary “Hands on a Hardbody” (NO it is not porn), which was recently featured on a certain radio program with which I have a love-hate relationship, via Google Video. Then I navigated away from the window. As soon as I did, I was like, “Gee, I hope they didn’t just take it down and make it inaccessible or something, since I failed to save the link address.” WELL THEY DID, so now you will probably have to pay some sort of money to see it. But you should. It’s fantastic.

All you get for free is the trailer, which really speaks for itself.

Other news: I, former queen of the academic team and notoriously clueless spectator, have attended two football games in two days. I’m not sure how it happened either, just like I’m not sure how my family managed to produce a cheerleader, a nerd, and a member of the marching band. John Hughes called, he wants his cast back.

My brother’s high school has a long athletic tradition. Students mill around the bleachers, under the lights, wearing shirts that read “Topper Nation: Where Only The Strong Belong.” Casting aside the connotations of the Aryan Nation that such a philosophy suggests*, it is a very…traditional atmosphere.**  Nonetheless, the school still seems to feel the need to soup up the proceedings, as it were, by incorporating such tactics as the Extreme Time Out, sponsored by State of Franklin Bank, Home of Extreme Checking. I assume you have to tackle someone to open an account there. Further efforts to bring the game up-to-date came from the opposing team’s marching band, who, in an effort to avoid stuffiness, presented as their halftime show A Tribute to 70s Symphonic Progressive Rock. Ten minutes of Emerson, Lake and Palmer later, I was sold. On the game, the night, even the Extreme Checking. It’s difficult not to get swept up by such sincere efforts.

Today was La Sister’s*** debut as a cheerleader at UT, hence the second game. Opening day at Neyland Stadium is not to be missed: it’s a tangle of orange dresses, men dressed like coonhounds, sweat, and “Rocky Top.” The words to Tennessee’s unofficial fight song can be found below. I can play it on the mandolin, which makes me better than you.

Wish that I was on ol’ ROCKY TOP,
Down in the Tennessee hills;
Ain’t no smoggy smoke on ROCKY TOP,
Ain’t no telephone bills.
Once I had a girl on ROCKY TOP,
Half bear, other half cat;
Wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop,
I still dream about that.

ROCKY TOP, you’ll always be
Home sweet home to me;
Good ol’ ROCKY TOP–
ROCKY TOP Tennessee, ROCKY TOP Tennessee.

Once two strangers climbed ol’ ROCKY TOP
Lookin’ for a moonshine still;
Strangers ain’t come down from ROCKY TOP
Reckon they never will.
Corn won’t grow at all on ROCKY TOP
Dirt’s too rocky by far;
That’s why all the folks on ROCKY TOP
Get their corn from a jar.


I’ve had years of cramped-up city life
Trapped like a duck in a pen
All I know is it’s a pity life
Can’t be simple again.


*Which actually would be somewhat inaccurate, given that his high school has the highest proportion of minorities in a three-county radius.

**Dancing top hat of a mascot notwithstanding.

***New pseudonym. Miguk Little Sister takes too long to type, and La Sister fits her personality better anyway.

Friday, 9/12: love and piece
September 13, 2008, 4:43 am
Filed under: Cheki, photography

Chekis from Japan. These have been sitting on my hard drive for a while.

Also, the picture of the Suntory Boss begs the question: What’s with Asian beverage companies and domineering, vaguely sinister male mascots?

SUNTORY BOSS is the boss of them all

SUNTORY BOSS is the boss of them all

Mr. Brown really, really likes coffee.

Mr. Brown really, really likes coffee.

Wednesday, 9/10: conspiracies against IGR and other musings
September 11, 2008, 4:11 am
Filed under: blogz, IGR made

Okay, Jezebel, now you’re just trying to make me look bad.

Today I devoted an entire day to my trip to the post office. I suppose this is what unemployment does to one’s psyche. In complete fairness to me, I also unpacked the ceramics I had made and had shipped from Korea (half broken, an utterly draining experience), watched Project Runway, stopped at Ingles, and daydreamed about opening my own Etsy store. Maybe I should have set the manufacturing of inventory for such a venture as a goal when I originally came home from Korea. Instead, I decided to learn statistics and practice my French, and look where THAT got me. Not France, that’s for sure, and not a number factory, either.

In case you were wondering how I’ve spent six or seven hours of the past month, however, please note the gallery below, featuring letters to my students that I mailed today. All of these letters are in response to gifts or notes they gave me as goodbye gifts. What originally happened was that I got ONE letter and ONE gift, very early on, and I gave that girl a postcard I had made that I happened to have on hand. Maybe I’ve explained this already. Anyway, I ended up receiving approximately five million letters, which was great, don’t get me wrong, but – at least as far as the girls were concerned – they all had to receive responses that reflected equal effort, lest I be harangued with cries of “TEACHER YEON JI’S LETTER MORE BEAUTIFUL WHY?” The boys were okay with stationery. The boys also wrote me far fewer missives. At any rate, I finished a good deal of my responses before I left to come home, but there were still enough to do that it’s taken me until…today to finish them. (Note: the one with the “chai” symbol is obviously not intended for my students. That one is a bat mitzvah card I made as a favor to my parents.)