slubs in the city

Slub (adj): Maverick; unorthodox; independent in behavior or thought.


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slub of the week: Random Image Searchers

I really like to know about pretty much everything that goes on in the world.

That’s why I love that WordPress has an entire section devoted to detailed and minute site statistics. I check that baby every day. And let me tell you, I have learned some very interesting things about the people who stumble across slubsinthecity.

For instance, based on the image searches that lead you to click on a photo from our blog, I have learned that you all really like miniature pigs. Our top two most-visited posts were written by the amazingly talented Kathryn, a fellow slub, and both extol the numerous virtues of the miniature pig. (Check out those posts here and here.)

You also really like Tex Mex. I completely understand.

So it is you, Random Image Searchers, who have been honored with the Slub of the Week award. Congratulations! Even though you don’t like to use capitalization, punctuation, proper grammar or correct spelling when you type in your image searches, you have provided me with countless minutes of entertainment and for that I am thankful. Please accept a hearty pat on the back and a light dose of highly constructive criticism from me as your reward.

In order to highlight your more prolific life choices, I have decided to list my top 10 favorite search terms that have guided you through the rabbit hole to slubsinthecity. They are listed in no particular order (although the more I think about it, #6 is quickly becoming a personal favorite). Thank you for your incidental patronage.

[The number of people who have typed a particular term into any given search engine and have somehow landed on this blog is placed in parenthesis next to the term itself.]

1. smack the slubby (1)

I don’t know what this means, nor do I ever want to learn what it means.

2. what is slub cotton why is it everywhere (1)

According to dictionary.com, slub cotton is a loosely twisted roll of fiber prepared for spinning. Additionally, a “slub” refers to a slight irregularity in yarn produced either accidentally or purposely by knotting or twisting, or by including uneven lengths of fiber in spinning. In slubsinthecity terms, slub cotton may also describe a slubs’ clothing choice (examples of slub cotton are stretchy pants, sweatpants, sweatshirts, and flannel shirts).

And it’s not everywhere – you’re just being overdramatic.

3. cute miniature baby piglets that are real with the name bella in the back round.of the pig (2)

This is the most incredibly detailed search slubsinthecity has yet to see. It also sort of hurts my eyes. I can only assume that the same individual used it twice; otherwise, it is truly freakish that two separate people typed this exact term into a search engine and somehow both stumbled upon this blog.

4. pig in red rain boots not blurry (2)

I’m incredibly sorry that you’re both having such a hard time finding a high-resolution picture of a pig in red rain boots. I sympathize with how frustrating it can be to locate the image that you want in the vast ocean that represents internet photography, and I sincerely hope whichever picture you finally discovered was much more satisfactory than previous blurry photos of pigs in red rain boots. Find peace my friends.

5. tiny racing pigs with coats (2)

The three most important questions here are: can tiny pigs actually race against each other, or are their tiny legs incapable of such competition? Also, would racing in a coat prove too cumbersome and impede your chances of winning the tiny pig race? And finally, did you mean to suggest that we are all simply tiny racing pigs with coats in this grand illusion called life, or were you two really just hoping to find an image of swine scurrying around in unnecessary clothing?

6. moroccan tagine exploded (2)

I really hope that your Moroccan tagine didn’t actually explode. That would be heartbreaking.

7. mex-tex food (2)

…so close. Please improve your comprehension of fine cuisine and come back later.

8. minicher pigs (3); also minicher pig (6)

It makes me sad to know that 9 people in this world misspell the word “miniature”. I apologize, but you are no longer allowed to visit this blog.

9. sexy piglet (4); also mini pig sexy (4)

No guys. Just no.

10. bacon pig in rain boots (5)

What does a bacon pig in rain boots look like? My assumption is that once a pig becomes bacon, it no longer has feet and thus has no need for boots.

UPDATE: I typed “bacon pig in rain boots” into google. This is the first image that popped up:

oh em gee. pig in boots. [image credit: here.]

That is not yet bacon. That is a picture of what is still very much a pig wearing absolutely adorable green rain boots.

Nevertheless, congratulations again, Random Image Searchers, on being named the Slub of the Week. You guys are weird.

con amor,

shan


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slub of the week: The Hunger Games

In the 282 days since graduating from St. Olaf, I have started and then abandoned approximately a bazillion books.

Fortunately, amidst the graveyard of discarded books in my room are 2 that I actually have read. One of those books was the final installment in the Harry Potter series, because of the corresponding film’s release this past July. As fellow slub Kathryn points out in her truly lovely ode to all things Potter, it isn’t hard to completely devour J.K. Rowling’s imaginative series so I’m afraid reading The Deathly Hallows may not count as having accomplished much in the way of literary consumption.

Then again, you could say the exact same thing about the only other book I’ve managed to fully read since graduation: The Hunger Games. For a while, without any good reason, I resisted the craze. Multiple friends had recommended that I read the series some time ago, but I was too lazy to go to the library. Plus, the waiting list for the books is truly astronomical.

Then, Kat and Anna had a viable conniption over the series in early February.

[PLEASE NOTE: I have made every attempt to keep this review as high-level as possible. Don’t expect me to drop any spoilers.]

[image credit: here.]

They absolutely sped through all three stories and undoubtedly sacrificed sleep and their social lives to read every last page in a matter of days. They raved about the series and then went on to rave about the impending movie production of the first book, coming out on March 23rd. They adamantly claim that they will be attending the midnight showing dressed as tracker jackers. I give in to bandwagon syndrome more easily than perhaps I should, so having been directly surrounded by such enthusiasm for the phenomenon I decided to crack open the first book a few days ago.

I think I read the entirety of The Hunger Games in two nights, pausing only to do normal human things like go to work and sometimes eat and perhaps even maintain one or two vital relationships.

What is it about this series that’s so instantaneously appealing to the masses?

I’ve often wondered what the critically elusive formula is to creating a written sensation. What makes an idea like Harry Potter catch fire? Why in the world is Twilight so damn popular? How have certain classical works withstood the test of time, with novels like Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird and One Hundred Years of Solitude appearing again and again on Top 100 lists? What makes Suzanne Collins’ story about one girl’s bid for survival so engrossing to read?

Perhaps it’s because Collins’ fictional world of Panem — ruled with a heavy hand by a central dictatorial government — is so well conceptualized in the first book of the series, titled The Hunger Games (the name by which the series in general is also known). The novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic America, the political and social landscape of which looks in many ways different from our nation today. In reality, the United States is basically a strange experiment in the longevity of the democratic dream. Though I am proud for so many reasons to be an American, it is important to realize that democracy is neither an iron rule nor an immortal organism; the structure of our current political system doesn’t guarantee that the United States will not one day slide into the depths of a dictatorship. Collins explores this idea with creepy imagination, and I believe that her dual conversation on the nature of government control, and the ever-present will of the individual to thrive under repressive circumstances, is made all the more poignant by situating her books in the very real Appalachian region of North America.

[image credit: here].

Maybe The Hunger Games is so addicting because it’s hard for the reader to predict exactly what will happen next. Sure, some of the concepts in the novels are relatively recycled. The love triangle between Katniss, the main heroine, and Peeta and Gale, her two love interests, is a bit overdone. Who will she pick – the brooding and impassioned handsome rebel, or her steadfast and brave partner in the Games? While the answer isn’t revealed until the third installment, and the romance itself is a guilty pleasure to read, for me it’s neither the focal point nor the redeeming plotline of the book. What’s more, the very concept of the Games itself sounds a bit like The Lord of the Flies…although I must admit that I’ve never read that novel before.

OH THE ANGST OF IT ALL. [image credit: here.]

Collins’s virtue as a writer lies is in her ability to reiterate on older storylines and make them her own. I found myself skipping ahead whole sentences while reading the first book because I was dying to know the results of the Hunger Games themselves, a bloody and psychologically twisted fight to the death that is also the highlight of entertainment in Panem’s richest city and government headquarters, the Capitol. Though the concept brings to mind gladiator fights from Roman times, Collins relies on modern technology and her own projections of the future of American culture to reconceptualize the main event. And while the notion of rebellion against a dictatorial government seems to ring a fairly classic tune, for the most part Collins’s use of the Games as a unique metaphor for complete social and mental control supplies just enough surprises to keep the reader guessing. After all, we’ve never seen the Hunger Games themselves in any other book – so Collins has a monopoly on that particularly imaginative concept.

you know, just bein a bamf, nbd. [image credit: here.]

For real though, all attempt at reviewing aside: it’s just a really fun read.

It is with great pleasure that the slubs present the Slub of the Week award to The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins, accept this honor with great pride. It may not be a Nobel Prize for Literature or a Pulitzer, but really it’s the next best thing.

So, dear readers, tell us: What is your opinion of The Hunger Games hysteria?

Before you run off to read the book yourselves (that is, if you haven’t already…and if that’s the case you seriously need to get with the program), here is the trailer for the much-anticipated movie:

con amor,

shan