Thursday, December 13, 2007

Entering a New Dimension of Nerd

If this life is actually a metaphysical series of transformations from average joe to supreme nerd and there are certain checkpoints you have to reach along the way, I think I just reached one of the milestones.

For a while now I've been pretty far along on my way to nerdiness, although probably not quite at the halfway mark yet. I get nerd points for activities like regularly checking and reading the dictionary for fun, but I get points subtracted for buying new clothes at the mall and playing the guitar. I'll get there someday.

Anyway, I also recently became a member of YouTube and saw how easy it is for people to get famous these days simply by publicly showcasing a three-minute clip of their talent. Some of my favorites include a guy who simultaneously plays the Inspector Gadget theme song on his flute and beatboxes, and a high-quality animated short entitled Charlie the Unicorn. It got me scratching my head wondering if I have a talent I could get famous for on YouTube. What am I better at than everyone else? And then it hit me. I have the best Minesweeper scores of anyone I know. This skill has developed as my mouse inevitably drifts to the Minesweeper icon on my "games" menu every time I have writer's block. (Hey, don't knock it... J.K. Rowling does it too.)

Unfortunately, upon a quick perusal of minesweeper videos already posted, I found that I am not actually the best minesweeper-sweeper in the world (although my scores are not super far off, I'm proud to say.) However, I was excited to find this video by meganerd Mark Erickson on how to unlock a hidden Minesweeper mode. I tell you, he is a nerd master. It takes skill sometimes to distinguish between a true nerd and a pseudo-nerd but I was tipped off by several hate-comments under his video of people screaming "Nerd!" Hacks Microsoft games and is unpopular? A true nerd indeed.

So did watching this video result in several hours of renewed Minesweeper entertainment in Wraparound mode? Umm.... no. I'm ashamed to say that it didn't work on my computer, and I don't quite have the smarts to figure out why. Perhaps I was tricked into erasing all my high scores. But the point is that I actually tried to hack a computer game, which I'd never done before, unless you count using a cheat to get past a level in Donkey Kong Country. That makes me one step closer to master nerdiness, right?


Friday, November 30, 2007

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Fiend

Once upon a time there lived a young girl who dreamed of marrying a handsome prince. He would gallop up to her on a white steed, wearing tights, tell her she's beautiful, and throw an armful of red roses at her. "Oh!" she'd exclaim, "they smell just heavenly!" and she'd look up to realize he's now down on one knee, opening a small velvet box, and even before he opens it, she knows... she knows....

...that it's a 2 carat princess cut solitaire diamond held by four prongs on a 4mm 14k gold band. It's the ring she's dreamed about since she was eight. Dazzled by the rainbow sparkles reflecting into her eyes, there's nothing she can do but breathe, "yes!"

Because every girl is an expert on diamond engagement rings. Every girl must know exactly what cut, clarity, and setting they want when they're proposed to, because a girl can never be too prepared. Right?

I guess I missed the memo. Recently I found myself bewildered as I combed through pages and pages of this particular brand of women's accessories, coming across scary foreign words like "marquise," "inclusions," and "forever." As I looked and read through countless designs, I began to feel like I was falling deeper and deeper down a neverending hole of "why?" Why do I want one of these again?

-Because a hundred years ago, DeBeers told us that "A Diamond is Forever."
-Because girls like sparkly things.
-Because girls like expensive things.
-Because everyone for the rest of your life will ask to see it so they can ooh and aah while secretly judging you for your taste and the size of your fiance's bank account.

Well, I thought, I'm not going to let the world tell me what I want. No diamond for me! Maybe I'll get my ring made out of ivory obtained from my boyfriend hunting down a wild elephant in Africa. Or maybe I want one made of Alaskan Jade, and make him climb up and down Mt. McKinley, just to make it harder. Or maybe I want him to go to the moon and get me a moon rock.

But then I think, when it all comes down to it, they're just rings, no matter what they're made of. Will any ring really mean more to me than another? Am I just trying to skirt the responsibility of decision-making, but really making it even more complicated than it already is?

Maybe it would be easier to get a diamond after all.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

News on Views

I have reason to suspect that there are more viewers of this blog than just my sister Hatsuho, who I'd thought until recently was my lone reader and fan. So I've concluded that I should probably start doing more than a half-hearted job and add posts that are wittier, more exciting, and more grammatically correct. That's a lot of pressure I just put on myself. I give up already.

By the way, by the above comment I do not mean that Hatsuho deserves anything less than a half-hearted job, or a whole-hearted job for that matter. It's just that I know she would leave me a nice comment no matter what the heck I write. That's what big sisters are for.

Since I haven't written much this time, I'm going to use this space to reward Hatsuho for her loyalty by pointing you all to her blog here. It is a site that accurately portrays the life of my sister who likes crafts and all things "cute", and is more frequently updated than my blog. She is a second grade teacher which means she is a much more useful member of society than I am. Her blog is full of whimsy, pictures, and musings on married life that will make you smile, while my blog is full of sarcasm and lines that are meant to be clever but in actuality don't make you laugh, so you may wonder if we really are sisters in the literal sense. I assure you that yes, we are in fact blood-related. You may even notice that we both just happened to choose the same template. If that's not evidence of sisterhood, I don't know what is.

I'm secretly beaming inside right now because I'm so proud of myself for creating a link in the above paragraph. Do you see it shining up there in blue-lettered splendor? This is a milestone in the world of Sayakapella. I'm becoming so computer savvy I'm scaring myself.

Until next time, Hatsuho. Oh, and all you ghost readers who may or may not be real people.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ode to a 5'5" Giant of a Man

Recently, dinner conversations have become more regular at the kitchen table.

I don't remember what led to it, but someone mentioned the long black socks I'd worn with my skirt to church today. I nonchalantly replied that I hadn't had time to shave my legs this morning, and my mom and little sister nodded their understanding. I got up to put my dishes away and thought the conversation was over, but little did we know that my dad had been listening and was now deep in thought.

A few minutes later, the silence was broken.
"Do you really have to do it that often?" he asked.

The three of us stared at him. Our female minds had long since wandered to other engaging subjects, like what to wear tomorrow, dessert, and whose turn it was to take the dog out.
"Do what, Poppy?"
"Shave," he answered innocently.

Here we all stared at him in disbelief. He's been living with 6 women for HOW long and he has to ask us this??? Oh my poor dad. It just goes to prove that there are certain things that men will never understand about women, no matter how many daughters he has.

It made me recall a distant memory, when mom was away and we were still 5 little girls. He had served us a dinner of soup (probably from a can) and we were all slurping away at it around the kitchen table, our long hair falling across our faces and into our vittles. He saw the problem and tried to fix it by grabbing a handful of rubber bands (the kind that come wrapped around the morning paper) and attempting to tie all of our hair up into ponytails. I think it was probably the first and last time he has ever done girls' hair. The result was probably a comedic sight that would have given 80's hair bands a run for their money. Well, the "guy"ness of my dad is one of his most endearing qualities.

The years have gone by and we have all done our best to live peacefully together, our dad occasionally driving us to the drugstore to buy tampons and putting up with our monstrous tantrums, while we try to keep him looking respectable in public by informing him when his outfit doesn't match or when he needs to cut his hair.

When people ask my dad how many children he has and he tells them he has five daughters, they always say, "oh, I'm so sorry." To which he always replies, "why?"

We love our Poppy.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Map, A Quest, and A Seldom Seen Road

I think I've figured out how got its name. They generate the map, and you go on a quest to try and decipher it.

Today found me on one of many such quests. My task was to obtain a Nintendo 64 for a group activity from the other side of town. I looked up the directions, did a quick read-through, decided it looked easy enough, and set out confidently down familiar roads.

It seemed this time I was going to come off conqueror, as the first 10 minutes sailed by fairly smoothly. The trouble started on Riverside Dr., a familiar road, except this time I had to turn right instead of left, not familiar. Still I drove sanguinely, trusting that Mapquest would steer me right. (Not right as in the direction, because my next turn was left.)

I was supposed to turn left in 2.8 miles, but I had gone about 8.2 miles before I suspected that I had passed it. I did, however, find out why the road is called "Riverside." A roaring river runs alongside the left side of the road and stretches on for miles. This was one hint to me that I was perhaps not in the right (again, by right I mean correct) place anymore, as it is difficult to turn left when all that's on the left of you is a massive body of water.

Now this is where I have a bone to pick with Mapquest. Sure they tell you which roads to take, but sometimes that's not enough. In this case, it should also have read, by the way, the road you're looking for doesn't have a street sign, so you'll probably miss it. Then I would at least know to turn at a signless street, right?

During that 8.2 miles, however, I did see one street sign of note. There was a side road clearly labeled, "Seldom Seen Rd." Upon seeing it I let out a "hmph!" of contempt. Sure they label the road seldom seen clearly, but the only road I wasn't seeing was the one I wanted to turn right on (this time I mean right as in the direction, because by then I had turned around and was coming back from the other way.)

I finally turned onto an unlabeled street that I guessed was the right one (luckily, it was) and proceeded to try and find the next road. I ended up passing this one as well and blame Mapquest once again. The directions should have included the following caution: The people who designed the street you are on have decided, for aesthetic reasons, to use wooden posts with hard-to-read engravings as their street signs instead of the green, reflectant, legible signs used everywhere else in the city. These are impossible to see when the sun is glaring in your eyes. Also, they put some of these on the other side of the road, where you wouldn't think of looking, as a practical joke.

Those pranksters.

By the time I had safely gotten the game console into the front seat and to the activity, I had been driving around my once "familiar" home city for over an hour. The activity included a Mario Kart tournament, but I wasn't really in the mood to do any more driving.