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One year more. It's going fast. Am I taking advantage of every opportunity? You betcha.

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It has revolutionized the way that I use information. It’s called Evernote. It’s free. And it places all of the internet under your command.

I've already got some great songs queued up to listen to the next time I'm looking for something new!

Have you ever been going through your favorite radio on Pandora and realized that you really like the song that is playing? Nine times out of ten you’ll probably forget to write it down, and then you’ll move onto another song and forget about the first forever. Then, when you’re on Spotify, you can’t think of any good new music to listen to! The way Evernote avoids this issue is that it allows you to save every bit of information that you want to remember and localizes it into one place.

You can save web pages, you can take screen shots, and you can put notes along with all of these. I have three key functions for it at the moment: research, music, and recipes. I often browse the internet for recipes, and instead of losing them forever in the virtual ether, now I can save them and always have them for reference. It’s a program I highly recommend! Plus if your phone has a high IQ (aka a smart phone) then you can sync that with Evernote to your computer.

Wreck-It Ralph Rocked It

My faith in Disney was nearly destroyed when Home on the Range was played across the nation. I don’t think I even had the willpower to finish it. That’s why I’m thankful for Wreck-It Ralph; it has restored my faith in the Disney name.

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The movie was a whimsical journey through video games, where the imaginative power of the writers made the rules of the game subject to change. We saw Ralph travel through his own classic Mario-style game, through a racing game that was a mix between Mario Kart and Strawberry Shortcake, and thought a thrilling alien-incinerating world.

The jokes came quick and often, and there wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t entertained or left wondering when it would be over. And, as any Disney movie, there’s a heartfelt message at the end that, although not entirely original, was cathartic nonetheless.

So where has Disney’s resurgence come from? I’ll take a stab and link it to their acquisition of Pixar. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” goes the old adage, and Disney took this a step further and thought they’d buy ‘em. Need evidence? Look at the new Disney animation short. If this doesn’t have clear Pixar roots, then I’m a salty pirate.

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Resolute in the New Year

It’s very easy to be swept up in the celebrations of the new year. And why not? It’s the end of one cycle, the beginning of another. This has been part of the celebration since the time of Julius Caesar (wait, isn’t he the salad guy?) when the first month of the year was dedicated to the Roman god Janus, the god of gates, doors, and new beginnings. He was depicted as a god with two faces, one looking forward and one looking backwards. (Don’t believe me? Check out my incredibly legitimate source.)

Here’s one way people are looking back: YouTube Preview Image

It shouldn’t be a surprise that people take this moment to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. I’m surprised at the grief that new year resolutions can receive. My sister said she wasn’t going to bother with them because it seemed pointless, how the whole world could get swept up in positive change that inevitably failed after a few months.

I immediately wanted to respond that the failure of others shouldn’t be the cause of not trying yourself. But I thought about it a little more and realized that the idea wasn’t flawed, only the system through which it was implemented. Find out how you can create lasting change in yourself and your daily routine here.

Resolutions the Right Way

Here’s an example of one of my new year’s resolutions. I’m not buying any fruit snacks for the coming year. That’s it. I’m not even saying that I cannot eat the delicious gummy treats. I am only going to resist the purchase. So let’s see how I got to this point, and why it’s going to be so much more effective than the traditional goals.

1) Name my goal: Putting it in broad terms is the first step. Do you want to lose weight? Live a healthier life style? Start creating that masterpiece you’ve always had in mind? Find that and write it down. For me, I hope to live a healthier life style.

2) Break it down: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nor was any city, large or small. In fact, very few accomplishment worth mentioning came from a day of preparation. If you are going to improve yourself, write down all of the various modes of accomplishing this. To live healthier, I could exercise, eat more of some stuff, eat less of others.

3) Easy attainable goal: I could try and overhaul my entire diet. Or, instead of over reaching, becoming frustrated, and quitting, I could find something manageable to move towards my goal and accomplish that. I chose fruit snacks because I spend a considerable amount on a product that is 80% packaging, 19% sugar, and just a dash of vitamin C.

The most important part of this comes in the continuation of the process throughout the year. Maybe every month I could focus on something new. Don’t stop here. Always be improving. By next new year, your hope should be that you can look back and list all of the improvements that you have brought upon yourself.

Winter Break: 2012 Edition

We all experience it. After the initial joy of returning home to family and good food and old friends, boredom sets in. How can a young adult push off this ennui? Here are a few modern day tips that don’t involve figgy pudding or chestnuts on an open fire.

My parents' idea of a fun-filled evening. Aren't they adorable?

1) Instagram Nature Walk: It’s snowing, or just snowed, and it’s beautiful outside. You know who would really appreciate this? All of your friends on facebook and twitter! Take your iPhone with you on a walk, and after a few hours of editing (would this snow look more hip in sepia or black-and-white?) the world will rejoice at your artistry.

2) Spotify Playlist: Music is the best way to make any dull activity exciting. Washing all of the dishes from Christmas dinner? Throw on some good tunes and it’s a party! Spotify lets you select the classics (Greensleeves never gets old) or some new favorites prized for their novelty (Straight No Chaser’s “Twelve Days of Christmas” would be my pick).

3) Post-Christmas Shopping: Since most people receive some sort of gift card as a present, that means they have to run that errand to find the gift their “loved one” wasn’t able to pick out (She likes shoes, I think. Or clothes. Groceries? Here’s a Target gift card!) Just be careful on the roads, they’re slick.

TDKR: Review


Giddy with the excitement of smuggling candy into the theater, I sat waiting for The Dark Knight Rises, the new Batman movie from Christopher Nolan, my favorite director. Wait…maybe this was the real cause of my excitement. Yeah! I get it now!

Two and a half hours later, I walked out of the movie. If you had asked me what I thought, I would have told you that the conclusion to the trilogy was good…but, just good. I was baffled. Still am. There isn’t a single part of the movie that I can point out as bad but it just didn’t blow me away like the last one did. And who can expect lightning to strike twice? Who can expect to win back-to-back lotteries? Who can expect Apple to continue on like before without Mr. Jobs? (NO ONE. That’s who.)

Thankfully, means of garnering entertainment from the batman franchise still exist. YouTube Preview Image

And if that video doesn’t do it for you, maybe this one will. YouTube Preview Image

Come to think of it, I was remembering these videos during the new movie. Maybe that has something to do with my lukewarm reception…YouTube Preview Image

The moral of the story: if you like Batman, you’re gonna enjoy TDKR. Or anything batman themed. Nerd on!

Sushi: Indianapolis Style

Sushi Bar on UrbanspoonAfter expressing my love for sushi I couldn’t help but cry out with joy for the new Sushi Bar that recently opened up in the area.

Broad Ripple is constantly changing, welcoming the hip and new and exciting. This sushi bar went up in a building right on the main drag, between frozen yogurt, bagel sandwiches, and “burritos as big as your head.” The decor of the sushi bar is elegant in its oriental appeal. Bamboo panels the walls, swaying over dark cherry furniture. A golden swordfish hangs on the wall (that’s so boss, right?).

The food is fantastic in its range. Whether you want a few rolls of sushi (ranging from the more sophisticated styles at $11 to the simpler, more manageable $3-6 per roll) there are also plenty of dishes with noodles. From my limited experience, it seems authentic. At the very least it has avoided the run-of-the-mill chain sushi that Naked Chopsticks brings to the table.

I give this restaurant 1.8/2 chopsticks (equals 9/10).

If anyone has gone to this place and likes it, I hope you will go to this website and give them a positive review. I think this restaurant is a great enough addition to the Broad Ripple lineup that I would fight for it to stay. Check it out!

International Friends

It’s come to my attention that some of my readership demographic has become Italian. Therefore, I will mix up my agenda for this post. In a single blow, I will write a homage to my Italian friends, and welcome them into my blog with a translated post! (See Above)

New friends, good food...perfect!

I consider myself incredibly blessed that I have stumbled upon a wonderful group of Italians. From the start, they were all accommodating to our miserable attempts at Italian, offering us support and innumerable corrections that have helped cultivate my improving language skills.

Not only that, but they have opened up for me parts of Perugia I would not have experienced otherwise. We played indoor soccer (where unfortunately I perpetuated the myth that Americans are terrible at soccer), ping-pong, gone to Mass together, and above all, learned Italian swear words.

So, thank you new-found friends, you are truly making my time here memorable.

Piazza Spagna: Reflections Atop History Pt. 2

Last Time

The night was incredibly poetic. Beauty struck me in the infinite as well as the fleeting. The steps, the fountain, the street, those had been around for years and will go on much longer unchanged for the most part. The stories behind them give a life to them that is both subtle and formidable.

Yet the people rushing around brought vivacity to the square. It would not have been half as stunning if the night were dark and silent. It would be like a fountain without water, like a street without lamps.

The people and the city, the city and the people. They can’t be separated, unless you only want the lesser half. The family hosting me was even better evidence of this. The city would have been a less vivacious place if I did not have arms open to me, willing to show me the wonders of this historical goldmine.

I’m excited to learn every aspect of this country that is  brimming with history, with life, the static and the erratic. Viva Italia!



It’s like the “Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants,” only with people of all genders, and pants aren’t a major player. I’m talking about the companionship of travelers, whether they’re local or international. Let me lay it out for you: it’s like going to a new school or away to college, and everyone is a little bit nervous, resulting in more open interactions (no one can act superior or aloof, since you’re all in the same boat. Or plane, for that matter).

The smoking booths we both found funny :)

On the plane from Chicago to Frankfurt, I met Manar, a 38 year old Palestinian woman who had spent six years studying to be a Pediatrician in Italy, and who was returning to Italy to renew her license after several years of travel. She speaks four languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, and English. You can’t make this stuff up.

So, for the three hours of lay over that she shared with my five, we wandered around the Frankfurt airport—which couldn’t be more bland—talking about whatever. We made fun of the German accents, marveled at the “Camel Smoking Stations,” and she even showed me her pictures from trips throughout Italy, offering pointers on places to visit. I know that I haven’t even reached my final destination, but for some reason I feel like I already made it.