Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hannah goes to Beardapalooza

I have a not so secret love of facial hair. Well, I have a not so secret love of beards. For the most part i think mustaches are stupid, but I love me a good beard. Not that its a requirement or anything, there are plenty of clean shaven men that I find incredibly attractive. But if an already good looking guy can pull off an awesome beard? Yes please. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that the 2014 World Beard & Moustache Championship was happening in Portland and it was on my day off. Of course I was going to go.

Oh my God, it went above and beyond my wildest dreams. Did you know there are multiple types of beards and mustaches, and they all have names?! The competition was divided into three groups; Moustaches Partial Beards and Full Beards. Then each of these groups was divided into subcategories. All in all, I think there were like 18 different types of beards and mustaches. Click on the links to learn all about the different types, because I am too lazy to type them out. It was awesome. On top of the actual competition, there were also vendors and there was even a seesaw that looked like a mustache. A free mustache ride, if you will. Basically, it was everything I didn't know was missing in my life, and I now aspire to someday be able to be a judge for the competition. It also gave me the excuse to yell "hit him with your beard!!!" a bunch of times, which doesn't happen very often. I took a ton of pictures (because duh), so enjoy!

This guy won the Garibaldi beard category, and actually ended up winning the grand prize trip to next year's championship in Austria. 

I admired his commitment to the product placement.  

This is an Imperial Partial Beard, in case anyone was wondering. 

Photobooths are always a crowd pleaser, especially when they involve fake facial hair. 

I really liked the guy in the red because his beard looked like a fan. 


Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the Gay 

I guess this guy is on Portlandia? 

See that thing that looks like a rope? THAT'S A BEARD. It almost touched the ground. 

Freestylin' their beards 

A really terrible picture of all of the winners to wrap it up. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Books I think you would like

People ask me for book recommendations a lot, so here's a bunch of them. 
  • The Tiger's Wife - Téa Obreht 
    • Whenever anyone asks me to recommend a book, this is the first one I say. I'm so bad at describing it, but basically its about a woman who gets to know her grandfather after his death through the stories that he told her as a little girl, the main ones being the Tiger's Wife and the Deathless Man. The acceptance of death is an important theme in this book; Natalia comes to terms with the mysterious circumstances surrounding her grandfather's death, and the people of her country attempt to rebuild after a war. Its a beautiful story, and it'll make you want to call your grandparents. 
  • Little Bee - Chris Cleave 
    • OK I can't actually tell you what this book is about because it will completely ruin it (it says so on the back of the book), but I can tell you that it is one of the saddest and most beautifully written books that I have ever read. You have to mentally prepare yourself for this one, but its worth it. Funny story about this book: everyone makes fun of me because I always read morbid books, so I picked this one because the cover was bright orange and it had butterflies and bees on it, so I thought it would be happy. That was some false advertising, because I've never cried so hard reading a book in my life. 
  • The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini 
    • This book gives "Little Bee" a run for its money in both beauty and the ability to make you cry. "The Kite Runner" tells the story of Amir, a young boy from Afghanistan. While the main focus of the story is on Amir and the choices that he makes in his life in regards to his friend Hassan, its set during the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy, the invasion of the Soviet Union, and the rise of the Taliban. Its an intense book, and I was in a funk for about a week after I read it. If you like it, you should also read "A Thousand Splendid Suns". 
  • The Dark Tower series - Stephen King 
    • This series is pretty cool, because its like one (huge) novel divided into 7 chapters. If you're a fan of Stephen King, you will definitely like this because he manages to bring most of his other works into the story. It is truly an epic tale. For everyone who's like "waaahhhh I don't want to read it because I don't like horror and Stephen King is scary", you'll be fine. None of the books are scary. They're just awesome. 
  • Salem's Lot - Stephen King 
    • Scariest book that I have ever read, but I couldn't put it down. Its about vampires, and not the sparkly ones. There was one point where it was like 2:00 am and I was almost in tears because I was so terrified, and yet I continued reading it. 
  • Geek Love - Katherine Dunn
    • When I first got this book, I thought it was going to be about finding love on the internet. Turns out I was wrong, and its actually about a family of carnival freaks. This book is really cool because it shows how the idea of being "normal" is completely relative. In the Binewski family, the weirder (and by weirder I mean the amount of physical deformities that you have) you are, the more you're loved and celebrated. 
  • The Devil In The White City - Erik Larson 
    • Erik Larson's books are rad. He takes a really important moment in human history (in this one its the construction of the Chicago World's Fair) and then ties it in with a crime that is related to it (serial killer H.H. Holmes). If you have any interest in Chicago, architecture or serial killers, you will really like this book. 
  • In The Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson 
    • Hi, I really like Erik Larson. This one is about the American Ambassador to Germany and his family who were living in Berlin during the beginning of Hitler's rise to power. It is so so so interesting. 
  • The Snowman - Jo Nesbo 
    • If you like anything having to do with serial killers, you'll like this book. Its about a cop hunting down a serial killer in Norway, and its soooooo so so creepy. Like the give you goosebumps and make you sort of uncomfortable kind of creepy.
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet - David Mitchell 
    • I won't lie to you, this one takes a little bit to get into. Mitchell is very into detail, and is pretty much a walking thesaurus. I've read the beginning a bunch of times, but I haven't always made it to the end. The story takes place in Japan during the 1700's, and its an interesting look at how one decision can affect the entire course of your life. 
  • A Brief History of Me - Stephen Hawking
    • I just finished this book last week, and its awesome. Its very short (126 pages) and to the point, and its actually a lot funnier than I thought it was going to be. I liked it a lot because Hawking doesn't focus on his ALS. He's very matter of fact about it, like "yeah this happened and its a bummer, but here's the parts of my life that are way more important to me". If you're interested in Hawking at all or just want to prepare yourself for the movie that's coming out about him in November, you should read this. 
  • Please Kill Me - Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain 
    • This is an oral history of punk rock, so its all interviews and essays from people who experienced the whole crazy thing. It goes from Velvet Revolver to the Ramones, and even if you're not really interested in punk, its just a really interesting book. I don't know how most of the people lived long enough to add anything to the book. Shit was crazy back in the day. "Oh yeah we used to do a bunch of coke, then drink a fifth of whiskey and go out and party until 5 in the morning". That's fine. 
  • A Girl Named Zippy - Haven Kimmel 
    • Probably one of the funniest books that I have ever read. I recommend reading it in public places, because its always fun to have people give you weird looks because you're sitting by yourself laughing your ass off. Its a collection of short stories from a lady who had a truly weird childhood, and its hilarious. If you enjoy it, you should also read "She Got Up Off the Couch", which is the sequel.
There are about 7,000 more books that I would like to add to this list, but I'm tired. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Help me, I'm poor.

When I was a little kid, I was awesome at saving money. I had a beautifully hand painted piggy bank, and every single dollar and cent I got went straight into Judy Pig (Judy was the lady who painted it). I almost never spent it, and when I did, my tastes were pretty cheap. Archie comics and the sticky hands from the quarter machines at Albertson's were my jam, and the only thing I remember ever really wanting was a membership to the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Fan Club. This was denied by my mother. As I got older, I was still pretty solid. I think the only big purchases I made from 6th grade to the beginning of my freshman year of college were a video camera and an iPod Touch, and I worked my ass off to save up for both of them. Still have the iPod, haven't seen the video camera in years.

Fast forward to the last couple of years, and I have made a complete 180. I suck at saving money. I don't know what happened, but I somehow regressed to having the fiscal sense of a spoiled 16 year old. One working theory I have is the fact that back in Flag I never had to pay for food. My grandma (God bless her sweet soul) wanted to contribute to my higher education, so she paid for a meal plan every semester that I was in school. I'd say about 75% of my meals were eaten on campus, and if I ever wanted some variety, I would just go to my mom/grandma/aunt's houses and grub. The only stuff I really had to buy at the grocery store was alcohol and breakfast food. I also developed a wicked Starbucks addiction in school, thanks to the conveniently located Starbucks on campus that accepted dining dollars. Then I graduated and moved to Hawaii and was like "HOW DO PEOPLE EVEN FEED THEMSELVES!?!?!?!?!" I still haven't really figured this out and haven't really embraced the joys of cooking, so I eat out a lot more than I should.

You know the most frustrating thing? I have nothing to show for my financial stupidity. I sort of wish I had a shopping addiction or something, so I could at least be like "yoooo yeah I'm broke, but look at all of the super cute clothes I have and all of the awesome electronic gadgets I own!!!!!!!!!" Too bad all I do is go to Starbucks way too much and eat food that I didn't cook. I also sort of feel like I'm the only person who's absolute shit with money. I see so many people on Facebook (goddamn Facebook) who are like "oh my ticket to insert awesome/exotic location here has been booked! Adventure time here I come!!" And I'm over here crying into my overpriced sugar in a cup like "howwwwwwwwww?!?!?!" Ugh. Its so frustrating, and so stupid, because I have nobody to blame. My poor parents have tried so hard to teach me their ways. My mom is the most financially responsible person I've ever met, and my dad's life motto is "live cheap, be free". Tiny Hannah was all about that life, but adult Hannah is like "pfffttttt".

Anybody have any tips on how to be more responsible with money? Team Hannah is struggling. Maybe I need to get another Judy Pig.