Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Please don't feel entitled to read this. It's a list of garbage. But I feel it is my blogging duty to forever answer a list of ten provided questions on Tuesdays. Forgive me. 

1. How many blogs do you read every day and what are they? (I’m talking the ones you NEVER miss)
I would read Lauren's blog every day if she posted every day, however I am forced to read a string of 2, or 3, or 12 days in a row of her uploaded pictures-of-the day. Check her out.  I also read a bunch of random blogs "blogger" suggests for me. 

2. How many “best friends” do you have? Do you have different “besties” for different areas of your life?
I feel like I have three options in answering this question:
1. Seriously; and risk the pain and trauma I will unavoidably bestow upon those loyal readers who thought they were my besties but really are just friendsies -- along side the embarrassment of labeling my friends "besties."

2. Romantically (aka Mushy Gushy); and say my boyfriend is my best friend. dawww. (sidenote: although my boyfriend holds best friend tendencies and I trust him as much as I do my best friend, he is still my boyfriend. My best friend is my best friend.) 

3. Comically; here I would think of something witty to say. I can't, so I won't use this option. 

4. What is your ideal girl’s night?
Shopping followed by a manicure and pedicure folllowed by pizza and wine.  Bring it on besties! 

5. Do you keep up with your nails/toenails or are they au natural?
When I'm at home I get manicures every two weeks.  At school, I usually have an at-home paint job to the best of my abilities ... I rarely go au natural unless I'm trying to give my poor fingies a breather.  Oh and as for my toes ... they are ALWAYS always always painted. Unpolished toes are a no-no. Gross.

6. What’s your best roommate story (assuming you had a roommate at some point in your life)?
The first night Katlyn and I went out together, I locked her out of the room and woke up with my pants inside out, backwards, with two legs in one hole of my Maryland basketball shorts.  More details upon request. 

7. What’s your “go to” outfit that you wear more than anything else?
Black shorts and a sweatshirt.  However, if you're referring to a going-out outfit, it's tight jeans and a black v-neck blouse. (I have no idea who this "you" to whom I am referring is...)

8. Do you have a beauty secret?
Well I wouldn't if I shared it with the blogosphere! 

9. Did you read Seventeen magazine growing up?
As much as any other fourteen year old girl, I guess. But once you turned 17, it was no longer acceptable to read Seventeen.  I vividly remember asking my mom to buy a Cosmopolitan magazine once in middle school because I thought it was cool.  I was shocked when she said no... I now understand why. Reading it at age 20 still makes me blush ... good parenting, Mom. 

10. How did you learn to put on makeup?
Dance competitions. If there is one benefit to drowning pre-pubescent girls in make-up for middle-aged people to judge it is that we are now semi-professional make-up artists.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Movie Review Monday - Water for Elephants

After unexpected car trouble (I'll leave this story for another post...) I raced home Thursday night to make a pit stop at Loverboy's apartment, and then continued to New Brunswick to meet Diana and Jessica for the midnight premiere of Water for Elephants. My excitement was hardly containable as I fidgeted in my seat throughout the twenty-plus(!!) minutes of previews.  D & J were slightly less excited (I later found out they never read the book) and I have a feeling they were more entertained by the giddyness of their overly-excited movie-goer of a best friend.
I was not disappointed.  Nor should I have been, with major players like Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, and Robert Pattinson to build off the strong foundation of a #1 NYT Best-selling novel.  The amateur movie critique in me (thank you ENGL329a: Cinema of Liberation) would like to proclaim the following: The scenery was extraordinary.  The circus scenes were nothing less than magical, and I think the movie truly captured the experience of life during the depression.  I had low expectations for Pattinson's performance after seeing the Twilight series, but he was surprisingly animated and believable as the college student he played.  What wasn't easy to believe was the romance between Marlena (Witherspoon) and Jacob (Pattinson.) Maybe it was the knowledge of their real-life age difference that put a mental barrier against their on-stage love, or maybe there wasn't enough plot development for their romance to flourish, but either way the on-camera chemistry simply wasn't there.  August, the dangerously moody villain of the movie, was the shining star of the entire film.  Christoph Waltz brilliantly balanced the charisma of August's upswings and the dark abuse of his downswings; Loved every scene he was in.

Overall, I was very pleased with the movie. I highly recommend it, even if you haven't first read the book!

On a side note, I spent Saturday night waiting for C to finish his second ink session by watching Little Fockers with Mom&Dad.  Funny flick. Not as funny as the first two, but certainly entertaining. I'd give it a B-.  Lose Jessica Alba and I might bump it up to a B.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Word of the Day Wednesday


Drown is a verb. Its past tense is Drowned.

Today I was walking in front of a small group of clowns boys discussing the proper ways to suffocate someone under water via headlock. (Needless to say, fear paralyzed me from turning around to see their faces and potentially giving a wrong look that would make me said victim.) 

"If you get behind him while he is under water he will definitely drowneds." 

That was verbatim. And Wrong.  I am no longer afraid of you, dorky man, because it is obvious to me the only thing you slaughter is the English language. And when I turned around, you were wearing socks and sandals. Scholars nor Killers wear socks and sandals. 

Glad I got that off my chest.  Happy Hump Day! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

That awkward moment when...

.. you ask the person sitting directly in front of the only outlet in the room if you can plug in your computer cord.

What's that? Not so awkward you say? 
Consider this:

At approximately 11:52am I lapped the Baltimore room of the Student Union not once, but twice, in search of a vacant outlet.  The girl sitting in front of the only outlet without electrical occupant was obliviously listening to embarrassingly loud pop-music blaring from her headphones. I blindly grab the square base of my charger out of the front zippered compartment of my old gray Jansport (yes, I wear a backpack, and yes, it is the same one I carried in 7th grade) and gesture to her what I think signals "Do you mind if I plug this in?"

By the quizzical look her wide-eyes and burrowed brows responded with, I think the gesture actually delivered a message more along the lines of "Hey, I'm a stranger but I'm showing you the charger for my MacBook and the Tampax Pearl I keep in my backpack just in case." 

The moment I realize I'm waving feminine products in this poor girls face I blush and nonchalantly return the tampon to its home in my backpack, and swiftly duck under the table to plug in my charger without a response. 

It happens. 

Ten on Tuesday

1. When someone asks you for a book recommendation, what is your go-to book?
Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen was always, always my go-to recommendation ever since I first picked it up two winters ago.  My mom recommended it to me, prefacing it with "It's a little strange, but I think you'll really like it." Hmm...
lo and behold, it was indeed strange, and better than I could have imagined.  Now I find myself prefacing my recommendation the same way my mother did, with a little extra push for all of my friends to read it immediately.  


However, now that Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon are starring in the film version to come out this weekend(!!!!) it is less likely that friends will be surprised by my suggestion -- I guess I should find a new recommendation. Any suggestions?? 

2.  Do you buy your books, or are you a library patron?
I mostly buy and borrow my books.  I'm considering getting a new library card though. I plan on reading more than my wallet can handle this summer :) 

3.  E-readers, yay or nay?
I don't have one... but I wouldn't be opposed to getting one (my birthday is coming up, hint hint...)

On second thought.. maybe not.  I don't think the convenience of an e-reader can outweigh the sweet smell of a new paperback or the gentle touch of the cool, smooth surface of a hard-cover. 

(You know you're a nerd when thinking about a books texture gets you excited...)

 4.  What was your favorite book as a child?
Goodnight Moon.  My mom must have read it to me a hundred and three times. 
As for books I could read for myself, I really liked the "Dear America" series.  They were written in journal format from the perspective of an adolescent female struggling through a historically significant time period ... although I think originally I chose them for their aesthetic appeal and fun built-in ribbon bookmark more so than the content. I felt regal and scholarly all at the same time when my mom would let me take one home from the Frenchtown bookstore. 

5.  If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?
My first instinct is Scout Finch. She's adventurous, innocently naive, and has the coolest Dad in the world.  

Oh and what about Charlie Bucket?! Sure he struggled for the first decade of his life, but HELLOOO he ends up with ALL the CHOCOLATE he can eat for the REST.OF.HIS.LIFE. Not to mention I could have Grandpa Joe as my imaginative friend and confidant. 
Yes, yes...I think I'd be Charlie Bucket.  

6.  What book would you love to see turned into a movie?
I'm not usually a fan of books-turned-movies.  They typically don't do the story justice, and I always end up feeling bad for the author (but not too bad, I wouldn't mind earning that hefty paycheck either.)  My fingers are crossed that Water for Elephants surprises me!

I detest when publications change the cover of the book to a picture of the movie-stars. Water for Elephants no longer portrays the mystery of an identity-less man entering the unknown of some sort of tent. Instead, if you were to go to Barnes and Noble you would find the book adorned with a sultry picture of Reese Witherspoon in the arms of her hero, Robert Pattinson.  (vom.) 


7.  What is your all-time favorite book?
To Kill A Mockingbird. 

8.  How many books do you read at once?
Just one.  And I always finish it. I refuse to start a new book before I finish another. 

9.  What is your favorite book genre?
I'm a sucker for fictional drama. My guilty pleasures include Jodie Picoult and Nicholas Sparks. Oh, not to mention the Twilight series. All through middle and high school though, I was very much intrigued by historical fiction, especially Civil-rights fiction. Reason #21 I'm a dork? 

10.  Which Harry Potter book is the best?  Or haven’t you read them at all?
I only read the first one. I never got into Harry Potter -- but maybe I should give it another shot?  After all, an aspiring middle-school English teacher should probably be up on her Hogwarts. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

(My Ideal) Afterlife

I got an unexpected phone call from my good friend Diana today, asking for a favor.  She needed someone to answer a survey about the "Afterlife."

I quickly agreed without inquiring what the survey would entail.  Soon I learned that I got myself into more than I bargained for.  The survey asked me to answer questions based on the most recently deceased member of my family.

What was this person like?
Were they expecting an afterlife?
What are they doing in this afterlife (recreation, entertainment, etc.)?
What is different about their afterlife in comparison to their life on earth?

Obviously, I chose to write about Pop.  45 minutes and half a tissue box later ... this is what I came up with:

My grandfather, George Creighton, was a working-class male from the midwest.  He worked nights to care for his wife and four daughters.  Moving from state to state throughout the midwest, he finally settled his family on the East Coast in New Jersey where he earned the title of Manager at a local bowling Alley.  
Not much of a church-goer, Pop’s house was well-known around the neighborhood as the Christmas Eve party house. Drinking, dancing, and having fun were the ways he chose to celebrate this traditionally pious holiday.  His carefree charisma and unusual sense of humor made him popular amongst his acquaintances and friends alike.  “Mr. C” to his friends, but “Pop” to his seven grandchildren, George Creighton was a loyal friend, companion, and guardian. 
Pop surprised us all in the last two years of his life when he chose to start going to church most Sunday mornings.  Although we thought it peculiar, we joined him and never questioned his unexpected new tradition. I can still feel the familiar squeeze of his chilled, manicured hand one Sunday afternoon when he whispered in my ear,
  “Marg, I hope I make it to heaven."
I believe Pop made it to Heaven. Not because he started going to Church, but because of the amazing person he was without a scripture telling him to do so. My grandfather is enjoying an afterlife I’d like to call Heaven.  I know he is enjoying his new place in heaven more than anyone up there. Pop could have a good time anywhere he went, and there is no question in my mind that Heaven isn’t any different. 
 If one thing is different, it’s this: he’s healthy.  Heaven doesn’t require oxygen machines, and it doesn’t allow limps.  I’m sure Pop feels lighter than ever without the heavy weight of the oxygen that was a literal ball and chain on his once active life style.  He’s the same old Pop when it comes to cracking jokes at anyone who walks by, and he’s probably still the only one sincerely laughing at them. I hope the other angels in Heaven aren’t quick to get defensive; dirty jokes may be less acceptable in Heaven than on earth... but I don’t think even the most religious Angel beyond the Golden Gates could change his sense of humor. 
 If there are fish in heaven, you better bet he’s caught them all already, with his favorite fishing rod in one hand and a Michelob in the other. His diet isn’t an issue in Heaven; he can drink all the beer he wants and eat salt until his face is as puffy as his over-sized Chicago Bears coat.  He’s wearing his favorite baseball cap and cheering on my intramural soccer games (even if they mean nothing in college life, they sure do mean something to him.) He’s probably shouting down at my oldest, recently engaged, cousin about the perks of single life, but secretly praying his oldest grandson has the wedding of his dreams.  Knowing he is living in the afterlife impacts my family because of the influence he without a doubt has upon us: Aunt Georgia continues Pop’s noon “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” tradition because she knows Pop is watching too, Aunt Doe is planning a second wedding despite a lack of desire to plan so her Daddy can have a front row view of the marriage she deserved the first time, and Billy won’t ever take the nail clippers out of his bowling bag in fear of the warning Pop will send down from Heaven if he dares eliminate the integral piece of the Creighton Emergency Kit that is a bowling bag.  
Reunion is the most highly anticipated aspect of Heaven. Pop will reunite with the brothers and sisters he has lost, and most importantly, with his wife.  My Mom-mom will be there to greet him (and scold him for the things she’s seen from her view in Heaven) with arms wide open. 
The countless hours of hard work and over-time hours Pop tirelessly labored will be rewarded in Heaven.  If I could give him one piece of advice, I would tell him to accept those rewards.  He was never the type to think much of luxury (why go to NYC for dinner when there is a Denny's right down the road?) I want to tell him to put his feet up, relax, and enjoy the luxuries Heaven can offer which he was too blind-sighted by hard work to accept and appreciate.  

I miss him more than my rambling words can say. At least I know I'll see him again, maybe share a beer and talk some sports. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ENGL 313: so hipster

(According to the University) English 313:  A detailed study of selected major texts of American literature from the 17th century to the 20th century. Issues such as race, gender, and regionalism. Authors such as Franklin, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Hemingway, and Morrison. 

(According to yours truly) English 313: An overly ambitious and impossibly detailed study of texts only heard of by English Professors of American literature from the 17th century to the 20th century.  Issues such as boredom with the occasional interesting discussion will be present, no thanks in part to the less than famous Authors actually covered.  A lecture of 150+ students comprised of the cliche "hipster" English majors and snobby over achievers of UMD.  

Too bad I don't write the class descriptions ... maybe there wouldn't be any need to reserve the unbelievably technologically advanced lecture hall in Tawes Hall for the English Professor who has never seen a Power Point... 

OK i'm done ranting.  I really honestly don't mind the class so much -- I enjoy reading (although not usually 300 pages a night) and I think it is imperative as a self-proclaimed English fanatic to read the American "classics" my superiors tell me are important (why I have never heard of them prior to my third year of college, I do not know. I guess I need to get my head out.) 

However, I will not amend my comment regarding the abundance of "hipsters" scattered among the lecture hall's stadium seating.  Take Speciman A: Nonchalantly strolling in late to class, she adorns herself in a flannel shirt (despite the 70 degree weather) paired with tattered black leggings; a long knitted hobo bag; and a droopy hat (which I have absolutely seen at Urban Outfitters) worn at the back of her unkempt, blond-streaked-jet-black hair.  To top off the outfit: she's wearing impeccably clean, seemingly new, black Uggs.  The kind with extra button accessories on the side.  I ask you this, Ms. Hipster; Do you feel the homeless look you are going for is amplified by the brand new pair of $200 UGG boots?  

5 minutes into class Ms. Hipster is obviously, blatantly disinterested.  She's yawning obnoxiously and lifts her head only to reach into a secret black wallet. What does she pull out?  An electric cigarette.  Not only does she allow the black stick to hang from her gaping mouth, but within seconds she is puffing on it and blowing the smoke into the faces of surrounding pupils.  Really, girlfriend?  Are electric cigarettes even legal in lecture halls?  No one thinks you look cool, and no one wants fake smoke blowing in their face in the middle of the Professor's lecture on Southern Gothic Novels of the Civil War Era.  Thank you. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pretty things


I would like this to be in my future home.  That is all.  Carry on with this gorgeous Monday.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Moment to Reminisce

is completely necessary right now.  It's Thursday, a typically uplifting reminder that the weekend is around the corner. However, with the way my week is going, Thursday just means the fourth day in a row of sleep deprivation*, an unnecessary abundance of due dates, and an unjustifiable amount of stress ensuing in mediocre work, overeating, and the guilt that accompanies the two.

As a reward for my four consecutive days (that really feel like 45) of woe, I decided to post pictures from Spring Break: four days of uninterrupted relaxation and laughs with four of the best friends a girl could ask for.  South Carolina was the perfect escape - the weather was pleasant, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was relaxing at it's most eventful moments.
Love my new floppy hat. A self-proclaimed must-have for South Carolina livin'

Perched up on a scenic tree with Ash & Kate in Harbour Town

The epitome of relaxation: holding an ice cold Corona with your toes in the water, ass in the sand. 

The "Georgia Queen" -- we didn't take a ride, but loved Savannah enough to take a picture.

Sunset bike ride on the beach .. perfection. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

The theme of this Ten on Tuesday seems to be "dating" -- always a humorous topic when it comes to me and my Christopher.  This should be interesting...

1. What is your ideal best date?
First of all, my ideal date would be preceded by a day on the beach (or, in my dreams, on a yacht); basking in the sun with my favorite beach-bud is the way I wish I could spend my entire summer. Not to mention, a fresh sun-kissed tan is crucial for feeling my most attractive for a big date ;)  I would enjoy a nice dinner with my handsome boyfriend, followed by a stroll down the boardwalk and concluded by snuggling up on the couch watching a funny movie.  (Oh, and if we're being idealistic, I'd also throw in a brief shopping spree ... but in reality I can do without it. Just sayin'...)

2. How long does it take you to get ready to go on a date?
Within the ballpark range of about an hour and a half - two hours.  

3. What would you wear on the date?
A pretty sundress and summery wedges! 

4. If you are married, how often do you go on dates? If you are single, when was your last date?
My last date was at the end of Spring Break - We had dinner with C's parents and took a trip to Rita's in less-than-ideal weather (note: Mango Gelatis are much more enjoyable in weather over 45 degrees) We went to see the Bradley Cooper (yum) movie, "Limitless" in theater (- don't get me started on that one, I'll leave my critique for a different post.)  After the movie we went back to his house to hang out and watch TV. I couldn't have asked for better time spent (so what if we fell asleep by midnight?) I'd prefer a lazy date night with C over a wild late-night any time :) 

5. What was your worst date?
I've tried to block out dates pre-Christopher, so let's just stick to my current relationship.  I don't think we've ever had any obviously bad dates, per-say, but I can think of a couple awkward ones.  For example, our first big night out: his Junior Prom.  I attended as his date after already accepting to (and canceling) another date.  Long story short, the other boy didn't come.  His friends judged me.  C felt uncomfortable.  Buttttttttt we made the best of it ... by the end of the night we were over it, and I think it ended up being a really good time, and at the very least, a night to remember. 

And then there was our first REAL, romantic, dinner-for-two, roses and the whole-nine-yards date on my 17th birthday.  Those of you who know me are familiar with the awkwardness of the night's events, and for those of you who don't, I'll be posting about it closer to our anniversary.  I'll leave you with this: I am SO THANKFUL he still treats me like a Queen even after that night at Dominic's Restaurant.

6. Do you/Did you kiss on your first date?
Ha. I WOULD have kissed C on our very first "date" (aka we went to the movies with a group of friends and he put his arm around me to scare unnamed creepy boys away) but he decided to wait another year and a half.  So, I'll answer "Yes," I would kiss on the first date, but when it comes to Christopher - no, not even close.   

7. If married, how long before you knew he/she was the one? If single, how long before you know if the person is marriage material?
I'm not going to answer this question.  I will say this - the first day I met C I knew I would make him my boyfriend ;) 

8. Do you prefer day dates or night dates?
I prefer day dates that turn into night dates :) 

9. How old were you when you first were allowed to date?
I had my first boyfriend the summer after 6th grade - my mom let me hang out with him and even drove us to the movies, but warned me to be "smart." She wasn't afraid to tell me she didn't really think going to the movies with a boy alone was an appropriate action for a young lady of 13. 
If you asked my dad in high school, he'd say I wasn't allowed until I was 30.  I think Christopher helped to change his mind.   

10. What is the most embarrassing moment you have had on a date?
Oh gosh ... I bet I could write a book on moments that were unbearably embarrassing in my mind, but in reality weren't so bad.  I think my relationship freshman year of high school was one year-long embarrassment in itself.  I'll leave it at that.  

Hola, Ya'll. (Parte Dos)

I've been missing Barcelona a lot lately. The freedom of walking through the city to the beach in a matter or minutes, the beauty of a language I still long to master, the fresh food, the sweet drinks, and especially, the people. I catch myself endlessly looking through facebook photo albums entitled "Barca" in my spare time (not to mention my Spanish shrine of photos adorning my entire room) and reminiscing on the summer I wish I could relive over and over again.

 Luckily for me, a good friend met through ISA in Barcelona was traveling to DC last week for work, and asked to visit with Lauren and me! We could barely contain our excitement. The drawl of her Texan accent was familiar and welcoming; picking her up from the College Park Metro felt like meeting her at the Urquinanona Metro stop in the heart of Barca.  We spent the afternoon sharing "American" stories and remembering the amazing times spent in Espana and Roma.  (See here for a recap of our adventures and my struggle to habitually use Spanish while simultaneously avoiding the infectiously catchy southern term, "ya'll")

Morgan was only able to stay the night, but it was enough for me to start formulating plans to visit a) Spain for a second time and b) Texas to reunite with my Spanish bffs Morgan and Mallory!

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