Wednesday, November 30, 2011

4 Trends I wish NEVER came back (But unfortunately did...)

1. Blood Red Lipstick
Or any dark colored-standout lipstick. Trust me, you stand out. But only because I'm wondering why you are in your twenties and still playing dress-up with your grandmother's make-up. Plus, at one point throughout the night you're sure to get a lipstick stain on your tooth, and that just makes it painfully awkward for the rest of us. Lastly, if you're following Gaga's latest advice and thinking it's sexy to see your lipstick smeared on your guys face...well, you're more likely to look like Edward Cullen at the end of the last Twilight flick (anybody else wondering why he couldn't just wipe his damn face?). 

2. Anything 70s Influenced
I don't know about you, but I wish the 70s would stay tightly tucked away in the past. I'm not sure what the decade ever did to me, but to be honest, I'd be happy if we did away with the whole thing. Just wiped it clear from the timeline. Something about bell-bottoms, disco shirts, and platform shoes just cause me to shake involuntarily. Ugliness will do that to you. So, when I see bell-bottoms are once again sneaking themselves into to magazines, I want to just tell them to stop crashing the party. I mean, how many times as a culture can we bring back one trend until we realize there's a reason it went away in the first place?
3. Leather Leggings
The 80s called them leather pants, we call them leather leggings, I call them repulsive. Actually, I saw the Kardashians' new line and they went so far to mix suede and leather -- the two most beastly fabrics -- together in one pair of leggings. Make it stop, please.

4. Blunt Bangs
I have to say, some people can pull them off. Like celebrities and models. Otherwise, you look like you're two. Something about bangs just takes me back to my childhood where everyone had the straight across bangs, because face it -- they look good where they belong, on kids. Maybe I've just always held resentment because I have a giant cowlick in the front of my hair and bangs were just never an option. Either way, hate them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don't Say Gay!

Don't Say Gay! 

It's refreshing to see an eight grader who has more brains that most Americans.

Who Makes a Facebook for their Newborn?!

Okay, so I know when you have a baby, you want all your Facebook friends to see them sleeping and crying in their cute little bows and mini UGGs. You even want them to see the baby as a little cashew in your black, ultra-sounded tummy. I'm guilty as anyone -- usually if I find out someone is pregnant, I creep their profile more than usual just to see how cute their baby is (what, you've never done that?!) In case you don't already have a handle of this baby-on-Facebook phenomenon, how many of you have a friend that says: "Aw Jackie's new baby is so cute!" In which you think aloud: Who is Jackie?! "Oh you know, this girl I graduated high school with... her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend's sister."

I have my own opinions about the sharing labor stories on your Facebook status. And as far the pictures of you in labor go... you know the saying, "A picture is worth 1000 words..." Yeah, I think I can come up with some.  But that's an argument for another day...

What got me going this time, is the fact that a (deleted) Facebook friend made a Facebook profile for her newborn, just a shy TWO MONTHS after the monster was born. Okay, maybe that is not nice -- no baby is a monster. But I guarantee this baby is destined for monster-ism if their mother is already making them a Facebook profile page. I'm sure they are friends by default, so when you think about it, the kid didn't even get a chance to ignore her mother's friend request (the poor thing).

Anyway, I didn't check the profile out (I have limits on my creepiness) but what do you think she wrote as the statuses? Do you think the mother of this child wrote statuses like "I finally burped! Thank you, Mommy, for not giving up on me." Or do you think she actually lets the baby on the computer and the whole page consists of updates such as, "ahufeaigrjfskfsi?"

Well if nothing else, I think I just found out the fastest way to lose some Facebook friends and to coin the term "crazy."

Someone please make the craziness stop...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Annual What-I'm-Thankful-For Post

Since I'll be busy eating everything vegetarian at dinner tomorrow (aka starving while everyone is feasting) I figured I'll get a head start and share my thankfulness tonight :)

1. My family: My family has always been around for me. Together we've had our tough times and our good times, and that's what family is all about. I really got lucky when it comes to family. We're not perfect, but we love each other and that's what really matters in this world.

2. Daniel: My other half. We've had some hard times (being 3 hours apart at almost all times is not the easiest thing in the world, although I need to keep in mind that others have it worse.) What I love about our relationship is that we are both willing to work at it -- and to find a guy that's willing to work through the hard times, no matter how hard they might be, well that's certainly something to be thankful for.

3. Friends: The people I laugh with, the people I cry to, the people who make my life a better place. I've been fortunate enough to have the best friends in high school when I was bullied. Those same friends are still my best friends, because they stuck by my side, stood up for me, made my life a little easier. For that, they will forever be my bestfriends. I've made some new bestfriends in college as well -- most of them I met during my first week of summer session freshman year. We spent the last four years together, and what a great four years they were.

4. My Dogs: I've said it before -- if only we could drunk text our dogs, God, would life be grand. They understand everything. They are so loyal and so loving, and they are purely themselves. All animals are amazing in my book, but I don't know what I would do without my dogs to cuddle and play with.

5. The essentials: I've been fortunate enough to live a life where I've always had food, a home, and people to share it with. I've always gotten a present on my birthday and Christmas, and I don't say that to sound materialistic. I say that because I'm lucky to have had people around me that cared enough about me to provide me with those things -- not all people are that lucky, so I think it's something to be grateful for.

Well of course I can blog all day about the things I'm grateful for -- like lattes from Dunkin' Donuts and Facebook, for example -- but I think I hit all the essentials. Plus, I gotta go eat.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm not a Vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate Plants...

Ha, ha. Just kidding. I really do love love love animals (I can just think of their cuteness right now). But mainly, I'm a vegetarian because I love a challenge. Life is so boring, why not make some changes once in a while?

People ask me why I'm a vegetarian all the time (I come from a big family, and we love our meat). Well, the first time it occured to me is when I watched Food, Inc. Now I know there is controversy and people who believe Food, Inc. twists the facts. I don't really know, but it was enough to get me thinking anyway.

Now, I'm not going to toot my own horn, because I haven't saved up enough yet to even buy the horn itself. I've only been vegetarian for two months. But what a great two months it has been!

My pledge to myself is to try out the Vegetarian lifestyle until January, and from then on out decide on whether or not I want to stick with it. Right now, I don't think I can go back to eating meat.

Truthfully, it hasn't been as big of a challenge as I would have thought. The only problem that presents itself is when chicken wings are in a ten foot radius of me... in which case I feel like the sharks in Finding Nemo -- ready to become a barbarian and eat all the wings in site. So far I've held myself back. Last night was a little rough when my family had roast beef -- one of my favorite meals. Again, I made it through. It's kind of a cool feeling when you have that kind of self control.

Other than that, I feel like I've gained so much more than I lost. The foods I've come across since this change have been delicious and for the most part, a lot healthier. As far as protein goes, I think I'm getting more protein now than I did when I wasn't a vegetarian. I've tried things I never thought I would before -- case in point, General Tso's Tofu?! And tonight, I ate my first veggie burger which I found out is DELICIOUS. I actually  found it better than a beef or turkey burger, which makes me feel good since those were two items I was not happy about giving up.

If nothing else, it makes me actually think about the foods I'm consuming, instead of just eating whatever the hell I want.

So case in point, try something new. I did, and two months later, I'm happy as a bee. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Tiring Battle with Faith

So recently, I've put more faith in my religion. (Just to warn you, this entry is a little long)

Let's start from the beginning. When I was young, I attended a Roman Catholic church that used so much incense my allergies hated me for a month, and chanted in Arabic. To each his own, but I did not get much out of attending that service. It certainly did not strengthen my relationship with God because I did not understand what that relationship meant as the church was teaching me nothing.

After my parent's divorce, and my dad's remarriage, we started attending a nondenominational church which I grew to like. However, I still didn't feel a connection with God, whether that be because I was rebelling against my family or because I just thought there was too much sickness in this world to really be someone up there. That lead me to high school, where I self-righteously dubbed myself an "agnostic" because I wasn't sure of my beliefs. "How could anyone prove there was really a God?" Those were my philosophical years. Everyone knows when you're a teenager you know everything.

After that, I just did not invest much time and thought into my religion. For a long time, I just didn't believe in anything at all. Which is really just sad. I mean, when you have faith in nothing, life seems a lot longer, or maybe even shorter, because you have nothing to look forward to afterward. I just don't want to live my life that way.

About a month or two ago, I went through a rough patch, in which my family and friends helped me through. I would pray to God that someone would help me through the night, because I was in such a dark place that praying to someone, anyone, was worth the chance that it might work. And miraculously, it did. The most random people would send me text messages, stay up all night talking with me until I felt better, and I felt I got more support within that month than I ever did before. Maybe someone was actually answering my prayers, and my resolution was that all I had to do was ask and have faith.

Which brings me here.

I decided I would start attending church again. If God was good enough to answer my prayers, I think I can be good enough to devote an hour to him each week. I didn't know where to start, so I chose the closest church to my apartment -- a Catholic Church. I have never really agreed with the rules of the Catholic church, so I figured I'd go there once to get in my weekly session with God, and find another place after. The thing is, the church made me so happy, and made me feel safe, so I did not want to stop attending.

So I kept going, and I kept feeling great.

Now, reality is setting in. There are all these rules with the Catholic faith -- and unfortunately, I think they are stupid. They suffocate me. They mold me into the perfect Catholic girl, when I don't want to be molded and I certainly do not want to be perfect. I want to be Monica, and I want to follow my own rules.

I have a good relationship with God, so why is that not enough? I know I can just find another religion, but it is more complicated than that since my significant other is a Catholic -- and he is strict in his rule-following, and expects me to be the same.

Anyway, any other religion is going to have their own set of rules -- I'll probably just let them down, too. But religion is supposed to be liberating, not suffocating, so what do I do? I felt so liberated a month ago, and now I feel like I can never be the perfect churchgoer. However, I think God is up there shaking his head at all these stupid rules. I don't think God cares what church you go to and what rules you follow as long as you put time and dedication into your faith.

So does anyone have any suggestions for me as to where to go from here? Comments are greatly appreciated.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why Pediatric Cancer Sucks

Yesterday I had the honest pleasure of hearing a 7 year old speak about her fight against cancer.  You may wonder why I picked the word pleasure to describe that experience, but the reason is -- she is still here to tell her story. She is now a healthy seven year old, and I'll make sure to pray that she stays healthy (any free prayers you have would be great, too.)

The experience was actually quite painful. She described the discovery of her diagnosis (very abnormal and very upsetting), the chemotherapy, her battle with steroid-induced depression, and finally her recovery. She mentioned how good it felt when she was able to go out again and enjoy herself. (How sad to think that a seven year old could make a statement so mature about depression when I would like to go back to my childhood to get away from the hassle of everyday life). Still, even with her recovery, she has to take growth hormones to make sure her body grows like a normal child's body should.

No type of cancer is good, and I think that is agreeable. However, to watch a seven-year-old calmly describe her battle with cancer, that is something I will never forget for as long as I live. It just is not fair. It is not fair how the world can pick a perfectly healthy 1, 2, 3 year old and decide that this is the one that will get sick. It is not fair that there is no cure. It is certainly not fair that so many children have lost their lives to this disease.

This is why I THON. In case you don't know, THON is a student-run philanthropy at Penn State University that raises money for pediatric cancer. Last year we raised over 9 MILLION DOLLARS! This money all went to the Four Diamonds Fund at Hershey Medical Center. This organization helps families pay for their medical bills, allows further research for the cure, and provides the families with comforts during their battle against pediatric cancer.

One father of a Four Diamonds Family talked to us, and he described how some people have criticized his parenting as too "lenient." He then stated that he was just plain happy to have his daughter around, so if they felt he was being too lenient than that was just too bad.

I felt that statement hit home. How different would our lives be if the person we were mad at, or upset with, was battling cancer? How mad would we be?

Treats and Snoozin'

In case you missed the latest installment of the greatest YouTube series ever:

You're welcome :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Information Overload at PSU

I've been trying to gather my thoughts on this one, in order to write a post that may do justice to the delicate topic at hand. I have been thinking that maybe if I could write a blog post and get it out there, people may realize what it is like to be a Penn State student at this time. The problem is, it's impossible to get a grip on anything. This is not to sound dramatic, but I have been talking it over with classmates, friends, and family and the only thing we can come up with is that this situation is effecting us very negatively -- and logically, we cannot exactly pinpoint why. I mean, it's a terrible tragedy, but tragedies appear in the news all of the time, so why is this particular case rocking the nation?

If you have not yet guessed, I am referring recent incidents at Penn State -- mainly the Sandusky/Curly/Shultz allegations and the firing of Graham Spaniar and Joe Paterno.

The thing is, I'm not going to give an opinion -- not here -- because my opinion is not going to give innocence back to the children who had to lose it at such a young age. My opinion is not going to change the disappointment in heroic figures on campus, and my opinion is not going to give back the reputation that took so long build and seconds to lose. If anything, my opinion might just revoke negative emotions -- and this is not the time to add gasoline to the fire.

Right now our university is in shock, anger, and grief. How did such a great senior year turn into a time that we will remember forever? And more importantly, where do we go from here?

The hardest thing to deal with is this information overload. Twitter, Facebook, you name it, has been taking over with opinionated posts, disturbing pictures of "barbaric" students, and a general sense of anger and devastation. Half of the posts are reclaimed later as false rumors. The posts and articles are way too much for a university in shock to handle right now. It is hard to form an opinion because there are way to many opinions sprouting in every direction.

As students, no matter what your specific opinion is, we need to be strong. We cannot let our opinions tear us apart right now. It is so hard with such controversy slamming us every two days, but if we are going to move on from this, the worst thing we can do is fight with each other over the executive decisions of people we will never meet. We just need to focus on staying far away from the media and rebuilding our own image -- as students -- that we unfairly had tarnished for us.

I would like to end this by giving my regards to the victims. I urge everyone to wear blue tomorrow (11/11) as a symbol of child abuse awareness. Also, take some time away from Twitter and Facebook, and allow yourself time to really think about what you believe, instead of posting your initial reactions in anger.

"If we don't seek our knowledge to be greater men, when the rain starts falling we're gonna drown before we get our feet wet."