THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #120

LOVE:

Open Library:

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I have fairly good luck finding anything I want on the Internet. Especially books. They aren’t hard to find. You can always find a used copy for a penny on Amazon or a digital copy to download from Google books. That is a great resource if you’re looking. I have failed a few times. I’ve never found a copy of Le Description de l’Égypte, so I had to buy a copy of a very abridged version. That’s upsetting, but I haven’t given up. My latest mission has been to find a copy of The Dawn of Conscience by James Breasted. He was one of the most well-written Egyptologists of the last century. Too many of them are dry and far too verbose, but he writes almost poetically. To my shock and absolute horror, I couldn’t find an accessible copy anywhere. The used versions were nearly a hundred dollars on Amazon. No libraries had them. There weren’t even shady copies floating around on the black market. I have rarely been more appalled. Finally I found one to download from a place called Open Library. I didn’t trust it, but when I did a bit of research, I found out that the Open Library is part of the Internet Archive, a site I adore, so I signed up. It worked like a dream. Soon, I was downloading the book and had a license to read it for two weeks. It’s like a real library…but on the Internet. I’m thrilled. What a time to be alive! I can check out centurys-old books and do research from bed! I deplore modernity, but it works out in my favor sometimes. The future isn’t all bad.

Mac OS X El Capitan:

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In my younger years, new operating systems were cool and exciting and I would happily thrust my credit card at the nearest Apple employee for a disc. What a strange time the early 2000s were. Now, the operating systems are free, and I don’t even have a disc drive on my laptop. I don’t even know when I bought my last CD. It feels archaic to buy a physical copy of a movie when you can just stream them online for a subscriber’s fee. The latest updates to the Mac operating system have been fine. They don’t change a lot, but it’s a very well thought out program that I adore with all my heart. I would never, nor could I ever return to the world of Windows. Why would you ever make yourself suffer in that fashion? I regularly sigh at work and hold my arms up like this when the children ask me questions:

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The latest update has a few features that I really appreciate. It seems quite a bit quicker. And, there is the new ability to have two windows open at the same time. I didn’t think I’d use this very often, but I use it almost every day. It is incredibly convenient to have your notes open next to a word processor. And it’s fabulous to have your notes up when you’re taking a test for your online classes. My life is forever changed by this feature. I just wish I had a larger laptop now! The newer iPads have the same function, and I’m so jealous. It’s time to upgrade. I haven’t bought a new iPad in four years and this one is reaching its end. Sad, but I’m ready to move on. Hello, iPad Pro!

“Inside the Egyptian Museum” ebook:

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Zahi Hawass and I have a long and delicate relationship. I’ve never met him. He probably doesn’t know I exist, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t a player in my life. As a child and an adult obsessed with ancient Egypt, it was inevitable that he would be familiar to me. He was, and probably still is, the most famous Egyptologist of the modern era. He has been on countless documentaries and specials. His face has been plastered on books and magazines all my life. And I respected him because of his knowledge and of his intimate access to the treasures of the past. As I aged, and after the Mubarak regime fell, it began to dawn on me that perhaps he wasn’t as grand as I had once assumed. He was vain and loved self-aggrandizement. He behaved deplorably towards a great deal of Egyptologists when their findings and theories didn’t align with his. He had a bizarre fashion line that still traumatizes me. And then he fell from power. Last year when I was in the Valley of the Kings with my Egyptologist friend, Yazmin, we chatted about his impact and the view of him in the field. I was not at all surprised to find that he was reviled. But, a series of occurrences have started to make me change my mind. For one, Dr. Bob Brier respects him, and I respect Dr. Brier tremendously. Secondly, he released a new ebook called Inside the Egyptian Museum which I preordered and downloaded onto my iPad. I love that museum with irrational fondness, so I turned a blind eye toward the author. The book is beautifully crafted, the way a modern digital book should be. There are special features and scrolling text boxes and it all works together remarkably well. I want to have all my future textbooks like this! But beyond the fabulous photography and the insider knowledge, I have developed an unexpected closeness to Zahi. He’s pompous as ever, claiming that the statues speak to him…but I realize for the first time that he is larger than life so that he can make his passion, ancient Egypt, even larger than himself. He loves these artifacts and his nation’s history. And I respect him tremendously for that. Ancient Egypt and modern Egypt are both areas that need a lot of love, especially right now when there is so much turmoil in the nation. So…I suppose I’ll attend one of his lectures sometimes and instead of being dismissive as I was in the past, I’ll shake his hand. He has made a great impact on a field I love.

HATE:

L’Oréal Paris Product Line:

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I have gorgeous hair. I won’t deny it nor can I. It is apparent to all who see me. My locks flow in the wind with gently rippling waves. I’m literally Harry Styles’s less curly twin. It’s absurd sometimes. Remember when people screamed at me in Santa Clara? That was phenomenal. I’ve rarely felt more alive…aside from all the other times I say that. Anyway, my hair has been boring me a bit lately. I want it to be more wavy and glossier, and I saw an advertisement in one of my hundred magazines that I get every month that inspired me. It was Jennifer Lopez with her gorgeous good hair flowing around her face. I was impressed instantly and bought the full line of products as soon as I could. They are nice…but my hair does not look like Jenny from the Block’s. It just looks like my normal hair, which is not at all what I was going for. I don’t hate the stuff, so it’s not really appropriate for either category here. I won’t buy it again. I’m still looking for whatever product will give me hair like Caitlyn Jenner. Honestly, she has my favorite celebrity hair. Is it Magic Hair? Probably. Whatever it is looks fabulous. I just want to be more beautiful.

Cooking:

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Basically me.

This is another one of my half hates. I really don’t hate cooking. I enjoy it tremendously. I just don’t like cooking at all during the work week. If I didn’t have four hours of college classes every night, I wouldn’t mind it so terribly, but after working all day, studying/writing for several hours, attempting to clean the house and maybe my hair, and then halfheartedly trying to exercise, I have absolutely no willpower or ability to do anything more than pour a bowl of Cheerios. Honestly, that is all I have eaten for nearly a month for my dinner. I have no complaints since I could live off of Cheerios and Smarties, but I felt that I should probably attempt to make myself something a bit more nutritionally satisfying. So, I made a nice pasta dish with tomatoes, good cheeses, an obscene amount of herbs, and onion. It was fabulous and I gorged. And then I fell asleep. It took about an hour to put together, fifteen minutes to consume, and then I was in a coma. I woke up at three o’clock with Murder, She Wrote still playing on the television and my glass of Diet Coke teetering dangerously close to the edge of my table. Sighing melancholically, I went to bed. Cooking ruined my life, reader. I just want to make myself nice things and enjoy the rest of my life, but I honestly don’t have the time. I hate when people say things like that, but it’s true. I need to utilize my new Ina Garten cookbook, Make It Ahead. She’s fabulous and I want to be just like Ina. Who wouldn’t? She’s got it all…the house in the Hamptons, the Paris apartment, millions upon millions of dollars, and her darling husband who takes her all over the world. I’m envious. I need a Jeffrey.

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