Wednesday, August 29, 2012

10 Terrible Life Lessons Super Mario Taught Us

This was too good not to share :)

10 Terrible Life Lessons Super Mario Taught Us
Aug. 29, 2012
The following are 10 terrible but arguably true life lessons that I’ve gleaned from the classic video game Super Mario Brothers (and a little from its sequels).

1. The more money you make, the longer you get to live. Every time you get 100 coins in Super Mario, you literally get another life. That meansthat the richer you are, the more times you can fail miserably with the comfort of knowing you have the safety net of reincarnation.

2. Drugs make life easier. If you take the red mushroom, you get become bigger and mildly invincible. The green mushroom gives you an extra life. If you eat the psychedelic glowing flower, you can SHOOT FIREBALLS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. I’m convinced there is a direct correlation between this game and the 1960s.

3. Whenever you meet something different than you, kill it. In the original Super Mario Brothers, there are only two characters you don’t kill. Mario and Princess Peach. Everyone else must die in order for you to live happily ever after.

4. Destroy everything you can; you might make money. I can’t count the number of headaches and near-fractured skulls I’ve had because I head-butt bricks floating in the sky above me hoping that money falls out of them.

5. Women always need you to save them. This is not a world for Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Katniss Everdeen. Unless we’re talking Super Mario Brothers 2, because Peach is awesome in that one. And Mario Kart. Long live Mario Kart.

6. When you’re a star, nothing can hurt you. This is my favorite one. When, out of a mixture of luck and skill, you become a flashing, magnificent form of yourself, you can literally run over anything, kill anything, and do whatever you want with no repercussions. Except fly. You can’t fly.

7. You’ll be rewarded for running through life as fast as you can. Were you aware that there are “points” in Super Mario Brothers? Well, there are, and you get more points if you finish the level as fast as possible. Because speed makes everything better. Who needs to slow down or take a look around?

8. Nature only exists so you can exploit it. Or it means to kill you. You can either use nature (mushrooms, flowers, Yoshi, big vines, clouds) or it can kill you (every animal that isn’t Yoshi, those spooky flowers coming up out of drainpipes).

9. Turn your animal best friend into your slave so your life will be easier. I’m firmly opposed to Yoshi’s oppression. He was just a baby, right out of the egg, when you took away his free will. Note that every time you accidentally touch something dangerous, he runs away in fear. I’m sorry Yoshi, I love you.

10. Occasionally, there are shortcuts so you don’t have to deal with life. If you’ve played Super Mario enough, you’ve learned that there are places in the game where you can skip entire levels or take secret passage ways to the end of whatever level you’re currently playing. Basically, you learn that whenever there’s something difficult in life, there’s always a chance you can avoid it by cheating.

I know this is all ridiculous and I’m not actually claiming that Super Mario Brothers is dangerous or destructive for children. At the same time, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that mundane actions do mean something. Or at least, the constant routine of a mundane action might mean something.

For instance, when I drive to work in the morning in MY car by MYSELF that does something to me. It makes me think that I’m in charge and it makes me think that I’m alone. And I do that day after day after day after day. Do you really think it doesn’t affect me? Do you really think it doesn’t affect you?

This isn’t a call to deconstruct every mundane action in your life, every movie you watch, every meal you eat, or every mile you drive, but maybe we do need to think about it a little. Be mindful about what our lives are doing to us.


Monday, August 27, 2012

They're back!! Tips for surviving the first day/semester of classes for Student Affairs Professionals

So, that time of the year has come to pass and well, They're back!! You can say goodbye to quiet summer streets, quasi regular traffic, short lines (if any at all) wherever you go, and just a general sense of peace and quiet. Now don't get me wrong, I love my students and I love my job, but some of my students' fellow Aggies just tend to complicate things here in Aggieland. Hence, without further ado, here are some tools and tips of the trade for surviving the first day/semester of classes: *Disclaimer, I know that not all of these may apply to you, but they've been helpful for me in the past...

Tip # 1: Depending on where you’re coming from in College Station or Bryan, you’ll probably have to add an extra 15-20 minutes to your morning drive (thanks to lovely traffic and school zones)

Tip # 2: Do your grocery shopping at odd hours (if possible) to avoid the crowds. We've actually started shopping late at night or early in the morning depending on what we're buying.

Tip # 3: Be prepared for potentially exceedingly long waits at restaurants

Tip # 4: Take caution when driving (especially on Texas and University) as we have a bunch of students whom either have no idea where they are going because they are experiencing Aggieland driving for the first time or they’ve been here before and just forgot where everything is over the summer. Be aware that many of them have never heard of a turn signal or choose not to use it, so it's not uncommon to see them cross 4 lanes of traffic in one foul swoop.

Tip #5: If you are working odd/late hours like me, make sure to have the conversation with your boyfriend/girlfriend, significant other, roomate(s), and family, and if you're anything like me, you'll have to remind them that you love them even if you become a crazed, over tired and stressed newer version of yourself for a few months.

Tip # 6: Work/Life Balance: Very appropriate in regards to #6, make sure to take time for you and talk to your supervisor about finding balance in your schedule. Burn out does happen before you know it and the last thing you want is to make yourself sick and/or allow your relationships to suffer.

Tip #7: Know when to say No and don't be afraid to say it

Tip #8: Make sure to set expectations with your students so that they know what you expect and how to work with you best

Tip #9: Make the most of the time with your students and just be you! They may drive us crazy sometimes but they mean well!

and Finally, Tip # 10: Just remember, Only 255 days 13 hours 39 minutes and 15 seconds until summer!!

Have an amazing first week of classes!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sigue Pa Lante Mujer, Pa Lante!

Thanks to my new favorite blog and as many of you may have noticed in my last few posts, I've become recently addicted to Thought Catalog. For those of you whom haven't paid a visit it's an incredible resource for random ramblings, funny quips about life and relationships, and some incredible gems like this one below. While she and I haven't had the exact same experiences I echo her words of frustration and hope. Being a triple minority isn't always easy but we must never give up the fight because one day we will change the world. Como dice mi Alle, "Pa'lante, pa'lante, pa'tras ni pa' coger impulso"

Overcoming The Hispanic Stereotype

Jun. 7, 2012
I attend University in pursuit of a degree in Communications and Media studies. My dream is to become editor of ...

I am a Hispanic college student and naturally that means that I must have lived a difficult life to get here. My mom must have debuted on Dr. Phil (or some other drama-filled daytime talk show) screaming at her “baby daddy” for child support. I’m Hispanic so I must be an illegal immigrant from Cuba or Mexico. I’m Puerto Rican so I must have friends in a gang. I’m Hispanic so when there’s an increase in poverty, crime, and teen pregnancies, I must have something to do with it. And of course, when applying to a scholarship for being Hispanic, the essay topic would be to write about the challenges in my life and how I overcame them, because you know, I am Hispanic and therefore my life has to be complicated. I must have had a set of obstacles that others don’t and risen above. Right?

Wrong. And yet, as a person of Hispanic heritage, all of the above are stereotypes that I have to deal with on a daily basis. At school, I am a minority within a minority. In high school, walking around the halls, so many of the students acted as our ethnic group is portrayed in mass media. They very well may be part of the troublemakers, the loud ones, the uneducated ones, the ones wearing clothes two sizes too small — the stereotypical Hispanic — and we get the labels that come with it. But really, that’s how most of the school acted, so why is it that my ethnicity is the one targeted and blamed for this behavior? Everyone seems blissfully unaware that our generation is the one who could shape the image of our minority. Of course there are people who look like me that fulfill these traits, but these characteristics exist in all races. It is not centered on one demographic.

I didn’t grow up in a broken home, a poor home, or an uneducated home. My childhood is filled with pleasant memories because my parents wanted better for me. They wanted more from me than to be that stereotypical “chonga” that got very little out of life. I am an honors student and I graduated at the top of my high school class. I took AP courses, I was Vice President of the BETA club and a member of the National Honor Society. I attend a good university and am in the honors program. I play the violin and am an active member of the community through Girl Scouts. I did everything right, the good way, the “normal” way. So why is it that in all of my accomplishments, I only ever get the question “How did you face cultural challenges to get to where you are today?” Why does the fact that I am Hispanic mean I’m not a normal candidate to be successful?

If I have overcome anything in life brought on by my culture, it would be the stereotypes waiting for me to prove I am a failure. When taking standardized tests where we have to fill in our racial group, why is it that they take the scores and categorize the means by ethnicity? And why are Hispanics always one of the lowest? Perhaps it’s because of the stereotypes we carry every day, that live within us. We all know that people expect us Hispanics to be poorly educated, so there are many who just live up to that standard — expect nothing, they give nothing. Well, that standard is not enough for me. I work at raising the standards for my minority everyday. I maintain my grades so when I graduate and become successful in life, I can say “I proved you wrong.”

I can only speak for one group, and maybe all of us don’t even face these challenges, maybe it’s where I am, who I’m with. You could very well ask the same question to Native Americans, Indians, Asians, Europeans, Africans, and everyone else we see every day. What do they live with? But for me, for today, I see the stereotype I am forced to carry — that we are forced to carry. This is my challenge and how I overcome it. This is what I am doing instead of following the ugly stereotype, instead of dressing like Chiquita Banana and practicing carrying a basket over my head.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Crushworthy cooking: Chocolate covered bananas

Unless you live under a rock or don't have a TV you have to have heard about this ridiculous heat wave that has taken over. While I'm a beach baby and love to play in the water and sun, I'm also very well aware of my half Polaca skin, thanks to my dad's side of the family, and it's unfondness of all things hot (at least related to the temperature). With all of this, I've been searching for cool summer snacks that won't break the bank or my weight watchers points, so thanks to my guilty pleasure Pinterest, I've discovered my new go to snack. Drum roll please...

Milk Chocolate Covered Banana Bites
Here we go…
chocolate covered bananas
The ingredients:  Chocolate Candy melts (or Chocolate Chips), a Banana, Plate covered in wax paper.
slice bananas
Slice banana into even slices, unlike I did here.  Again, do as I say, not as I do.  Kidding. Although I wouldn’t slice them too thin or they’ll break during the Chocolate covering process.
microwave chocolate
Melt Chocolate Candy Melts according to package directions.  Usually you nuke them for 30 seconds, then stir, then another 30 seconds.  If using Chocolate Chips, melt in a saucepan in medium low, stirring often.
stir melted chocolate
Melted Chocolate should look like this.  I usually add a tablespoon or so of Crisco to thin the Chocolate a bit for easier coverage. I added a little non fat milk to mine
cover banana slices with chocolate
Place one sliced banana at a time into the melted Chocolate.
cover bananas in chocolate
Use a spoon to pour the Chocolate on the banana slice, then gently stir around to cover entirely.
lift banana out of the chocolate
Lift out the banana slice.
shake or tap off excess chocolate
Shake or tap off the excess Chocolate.  It’s OK, you can eat it left over Chocolate later!  :)
Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more or until set. (I put mine in the freezer)
chocolate covered bananas
Voila!  Chocolate Covered Bananas!
chocolate covered bananas

Once done the bananas will be silky smooth and delicious! Not only are they amazing, they're relatively healthy too! You can even try dark chocolate instead or add nuts for an extra kick!

Stay hungry my friends!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wait for it...more Texts from Dog

Warning...some of these texts may cause one to come near to peeing oneself. Take caution before perusing...


Sunday, August 19, 2012

10 Lies Disney Told Me

10 Lies Disney Told Me


God, I love Disney so much. In my spare time, I have been known to create entire dances to various Disney songs, and have not yet met princess fan art I won’t stare at for a decent 15 minutes while thinking, “Damn, I wish I could draw.” But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing; I’ve had to put up with a fair amount of deception — we all have. And here, the most significant lies told to me by my childhood guiding light:

1. If You’re Pretty Enough, You Can Communicate With Animals
From Pocahontas to Snow White to Giselle, pretty much any girl with a button nose and a decent wardrobe can just pick squirrels off a tree and get it to help her run her errands. I remember, at one point, going out into the woods behind my house when I was about 8 or so and trying to get the birds to come to me by sing-whistling at them. For a while, I was convinced that it didn’t work because I wasn’t a molten-hot princess in a super pretty dress. We were taught to believe that there was a certain class of women whose appeal and charm extended past princes to actually bring all manner of fauna to their side at their will. It was something of a disappointment when you started watching The Discovery Channel and realized that the people who actually spend their time figuring out the communication techniques of deep-sea squid were named Kevin and had more hair on their back than their head, and the squid didn’t dance around the research boat helping them clean the crew cabin.

2. Incredibly Rich, Hot, Popular Guys Are Husband Material
As much as Disney Princesses give girls a pretty tough standard to live up to in terms of beauty, wardrobe, and general behavior — the guys have it pretty bad, too. In order to bag a Princess/live happily ever after/be a hero, they have to be: ripped, two weeks away from coming into their inheritance, live in a castle... They have to be pretty perfect. And the thing is, guys that are beautiful, come from rich families, athletic, and charming do exist — look at Armie Hammer. The thing is, though, they are almost universally assholes. Remind me of that guy from high school who lived in that Victorian manor on the good side of town, and was captain of the lacrosse team, and had eyes like pools of sapphires, and a chest like Rambo — and he was super sweet and awesome and sacrificed everything to be with you? Oh, right, no. That guy’s diet was probably 40 percent jungle juice, and he only liked talking about the BMW that his dad leased for him. Not husband material, by any stretch of the imagination.

3. Pocahontas Was A Romantic Tale Between Two Consenting, Sexy Adults
Lol she was 12 and he was almost 40 in real life, and she probably didn’t have a whole lot of choice in the matter. Children’s movie material if I ever heard of it. She did have a talking raccoon best friend though, that part is true.

4. Ugly Girls Look Like Anne Hathaway
Oh, The Princess Diaries. How chock full of deception that film is, from beginning to end. (And we can also thank it, inadvertently, for making us suffer through Anne’s painful Oscar hosting with James Franco some ten years later.) But nothing in that film stands out as untrue quite like the idea that the dowdy, nerdy, unfortunate-looking girl at your school who has to be transformed is going to look like Anne Hathaway. We get it — she has puffy hair and glasses. But I think even the 12-year-old me watching the film was familiar enough with school politics to think to myself, “Wait a second — Anne Hathaway is actually smoking hot, you just messed up her hair and put grandpa glasses on her.” Disney wasn’t ready to give us the rough truth, that the school “ugly ducklings” are actually incredibly unattractive, and aren’t going to be transformed into starlet material with a simple chignon and swipe of mascara.

5. Disobeying Your Parents Can Only Yield Fabulous Results
I remember when Ariel was like, “Betcha on land, they understand, that they don’t reprimand their daughters,” and six-year-old me was like “Hoo child, if only. If only,” and then we smoked a cigarette together and commiserated about getting grounded. But in all seriousness, Disney films have been chock full of zesty young women breaking free from their overbearing parents and running off into the sunset to…get married several weeks later. And though my goal wasn’t necessarily to walk down the street past my bedtime and go get engaged to the neighbor boy, it certainly planted this idea in my head that if Belle can ditch her father and get a castle library out of it, I could at least probably stretch my TV-watching privileges past 7:30. Little did we know, though, that running away dramatically from your parents and doing the exact opposite of what they have decreed for you usually ends in crucial childhood privileges being taken away, including the right to watch the very movies we were getting our bad habits from. We should have left the rebellion to the Princesses, who had all those talking animals to help them in their exploits.

6. Captain Jack Sparrow Will Never Get Old
I remember settling in to watch the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie and thinking, “Wow! That Captain Jack Sparrow character is just hilarious! What can’t Johnny Depp do if given the right script and a little bit of makeup? ‘But where has the rum gone?!’ Comedy gold!! Gosh, I could watch a million of these movies and never get tired of it…ever.” Granted, I was already 14 when the first film came out, but I was still young and naive enough to believe. Along comes the second movie, which started to feel a bit tired, but still kept a somewhat fresh story line and decent banter. The third film came around, I felt like it was probably time for them to hang up their tri-corner hats for the last time and call it a day. And then of course, we found that a fourth film was coming out. A fourth film. And we were exasperated, tired, and just wanted Jerry Bruckheimer to let us sleep. But it came and went, and we made it through to the other side. And now IMDB is telling me that a fifth film is coming along. I thought only Tim Burton was allowed to exploit Johnny Depp until he’s a withered husk of a human being no longer sure of where he is or what he’s doing, only that he has a silly costume to wear and a couple cheesy lines to deliver. But it seems Depp signed some flaming contract with the devil, because he’s got more than one franchise/director/character to keep running into the ground until it has lost all meaning. Apparently “quirky goth guy” wasn’t enough for Johnny to do 12029383428 times — he’s also got Keith Richards Pirate Man left to ruin forever. God speed, Johnny. God speed.

7. Computer-Animated Films Are Going To Be The Greatest Thing Ever
Dammit, Pixar. You made Toy Story, and we were all like, “THIS IS THE FUTURE. WE ARE LOOKING AT THE FUTURE.” The film was so slick, and yet so warm and touching, and so perfectly crafted as to resonate through two stellar sequels over the course of 15 years. Between A Bug’s Life, Ratatouille, Wall-E, and The Incredibles, it seemed an infallible medium. And then the other films came — Planet 51, Shrek Forever After, Mars Needs Moms — that proved, without a doubt, that this was indeed just another movie medium. When it’s good, it’s extraordinarily good, and when it’s bad…it’s Ice Age 68: The Re-Freeze feat. That Hilarious Squirrel Creature Again. I would like to pass a law that only Pixar can make computer animated films from now on, and the rest of them should be scooted under the proverbial rug — except for Antz. Antz can stay in our national film registry if it wants to.

8. Life Was Pretty Sweet For Women At All Moments In History
Man, whether it was 1400′s Baghdad (excuse me, “Agrabah”), mid-18th century rural France, 1600′s Jamestown, or medieval Paris, things were good for the ladies. Sure, there might be an arranged marriage here or there, but they were quick to talk back, mill about town freely, and pretty much do whatever the hell they wanted. It’s an idyllic view of history, sure, but certainly not one that you want to carry with you, rosy-eyed, walking into history class. You remember Jasmine saying, “I am not a prize to be won!” and then you read a book or two and realize that, lol, girl, that’s exactly what you were. Belle? Would have been paired off with Gaston the second she turned 13. Ariel? I haven’t finished my Victorian mer-politics class yet this semester, but I’m pretty sure she and her 18 dancing sisters would have been in some kind of harem. Pocahontas? We all know what happened to her IRL. Mulan? Pretty sure she wasn’t going to get off with a slap on the wrist and a hot night with her former army captain, that’s for sure. Cinderella? Probably would have died of the black lung from cleaning chimneys out all day before she could ever put on a nice dress and go dancing. Life would have been pretty bleak for these ladies, but I guess that doesn’t make for as charming a story.

9. No One Had A Brighter Future Than Lindsay Lohan
I feel like Disney should be obligated to go pick her up wherever she is and take her to Disney Land and let her have a whole weekend where she just rides roller coasters and eats cotton candy and relives whatever childhood she clearly missed out on so, so hard. She gave them The Parent Trap, dammit. They owe her something! She played two roles in that movie at once, and she had the most adorable nose-freckles America had ever seen. Sure, Herbie Fully Loaded, Confessions of A Teenage Drama Queen and Freaky Friday were kind of lackluster, but she was a Disney kid/teen star! That company is legally required to squeeze their child actors like a tube of toothpaste until they get every last drop of adorable, charming youth out of them. And unfortunately, she (like so many Disney child stars before her), simply had nothing left when all was said and done. But if she — and maybe Kim Richards, too — could just have a little time to themselves to be normal kids, not hovered over by parents with dollar signs in their eyes and executives telling them to “do it again, but cuter this time,” they’d probably be okay. Disney, can you hook this up? You own half of the developed world. You could make it happen.

10. Everything — Absolutely Everything — Has A Happy Ending
If Disney has taught me anything, it’s that whatever bad thing is happening, or whatever negative feelings I’m having, it is clearly not over with until I’m singing a bouncy outro song and skipping into the sunset towards an awesome life. How sad I was to find out that people actually do break up, for example, and your ex is absolutely not showing up on a white unicorn under your castle window to apologize/let you in on his incredibly generous trust fund. And could you imagine my surprise when I realized that sometimes unattractive people don’t get transformed by a group of singing forest animals/royal staff into a gorgeous, charming princess that everyone suddenly loves unconditionally? It was like a cold slap in the face from reality when I found out that I would need 4 years of orthodontic work and an accutane prescription just to get to “mediocre ending,” let alone riding off in a chariot with Ryan Gosling. I guess, in some way, I still anticipate that things will have a Disney ending. When you grow up with it for so long, it’s hard to shake the idea that everything is going to end in a catchy song and flashy, bright colors. I guess I’ll just save a handful of confetti to throw whenever things are looking particularly bleak — no problem that couldn’t fix. 



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Things: 25 Things I Realized In College

Even though I've been out of college for a minute, these definitely ring true...
25 Things I Realized In College

Jul. 10, 2012

These are 25 things I never read from a book during college but were definitely worth the tuition.
1.You win some. You lose some.
The lowest moments might end up being the best stories. Crucibles build backbones. So what you lost your shoes while you were wearing them, on two separate occasions, in two separate cities and then had to walk home barefoot, your feet caked with mud? So what you dislocated your knee while dancing to Florence + the Machine, then promised to write Bernadette Peters a thank you note for her inspirational come back? So what you just professed your love to your friend in the dorms and he responded with a silent high-five? Drink a Fresca! Tomorrow’s a new day!

2. Don’t live by the idiom, “go big or go home.” It should be, “go big, then go home.”
When you go big, then there’s no other option but to go home. Sometimes that might involve a certain authority figure telling you and your friends to go home. Enjoy these nights while you can.

3. Take your work seriously. But don’t take yourself too seriously.
Whether you focus on research or work on a manuscript, art installation, or YouTube channel, what you do in or outside of the classroom matters a lot. If you aren’t woohoo-ing your “passion” or the “passion” that your parents say is your “passion,” curb stomp it and find a new one.

4. Let people off the hook.
Also remember to let yourself off the hook. People make mistakes. Forgiveness opens doors. Holding grudges keeps them closed. Recognize when people are just being themselves and try to believe that they are doing the best that they can. With that said:

5. Stick your feelers out for bull sh-tters and establish your boundaries.
Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of because you are a precious angel from the heavens and better than some yahoo who mooches off of other people’s generosity. Typically, people are pretty great, but everyone turns a corner and runs into Mr./Ms./Mrs. Tight Pants who thinks he or she can just sweet talk their way through life.

6. When you DGAF about the little things, life is more amazing.
As my friend puts it, “Slow your roll about the trivial things, collective world.” No one wants to hear about how your macchiato wasn’t “extra hot.” Don’t live your life wringing your hands with worry. When the real stress comes your way, you’ll need more than just a macchiato.

7. Never use the excuse, “I’m tired” to turn down a good time.
If you are actually tired then go home, put on your bedtime romper, brush your teeth and sleep. Otherwise, get your shite together and be out in the world with people. All your best friends will never be within such close proximity. Unless you end up joining the Navy; then you’ll be living in a submarine with all of them.

8. Be grateful for all those awful first dates.
Some of them weren’t even that awful — just an overall “meh.” They weren’t for you and you won’t be it for someone else. Probably for a lot of people. You are still the most beautiful/handsome, cool, funny human of all the humans. It’s hard to figure out your type, but it just takes one person to make you realize what your type is.

9. A spark is special. Don’t think it comes around often.
Whether that’s with a potential love interest or your new best friend — we are animals, my dear Darwin, and the pheromones are at work. You can’t resist your nature! In the case of romance, that sparkly individual will most likely be one of the best kissers you will ever lay your lips on.

10. “Ohana” means family and family means no one gets left behind.
That’s right, I just quoted Lilo & Stitch. You have your family and then your friends, which make up your second family. Put them at the top of your list because people are indispensable and they are the breath of life.

11. Follow your intuition.
Forty-five minutes before a final, I had this sudden urge to leave the coffee shop I was studying in and go to the testing room. As I was walking through the center of campus, I ran into my friend who was in the class but going the opposite direction. I stopped her to see where she was going and she said, “Didn’t you get the email? The testing room was changed.” I would have never known if I didn’t listen to that weird moment of intuition to get up and go. We can say this was just a coincidence, but that small moment meant a lot. I would have missed the final, subsequently failed the class and probably would be in jail now or living off the grid somewhere.

12. Obsessions are okay.
They are heightened moments of passion and interest that always come to a natural end. It’s like Picasso’s Blue Period, if his Blue Period is your laptop streaming Downtown Abbey, Mad Men, Parks and Rec, Game of Thrones, or anything regarding Honey Boo Boo Child. You’re an artist and will not be deterred!

13. The best things you discover are typically late at night.
You will never regret losing sleep over talking with a friend or going on an adventure. Keep a notepad next to your bed. Record your dreams. Look at your web browser’s history the next morning after you come home late from a night of shenanigans. What you discover will surprise you (see: Wikipedia page for Sandy Cheeks, SpongeBob Squarepants’s aquatic and squirrely friend).

14. Discover your alter ego while you still can.
Not everyone is Sasha Fierce. Beyoncé has boatloads of money. You probably don’t (see: minimum wage job), so celebrate your alter ego as early as possible. In the real world, your alter ego, “Tiny Face” signed to “Snaggle Toof Produckshunz” is unfortunately a falsehood. Enjoy it while you can.

15. My sorority sister says, “When you see a cray, go the other way.”
Yes, I totally agree if you see them with a shiv or a weird look in their eye. But being a cray isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes people mistake crays for the people who just don’t take anything from anyone and who do their own thing. I like to sit that cray down and just ask them about life.

16. College can be a habit-forming time, for better or worse.
College is the most optimum time where each new semester or quarter is like “a fresh start.” But really, there is always a fresh start in life — if you want there to be one.

17. Working for minimum wage is worth it.
For the time being. You may mistake me as your baby-boomer father stroking his dignified beard, but you will never learn the value of a dollar until a job drives you a bit bonkers. Everyone pays his or her dues in one-way or another. But…

18. Your time is just as valuable as money.
They aren’t lying! Time is literally money. Evaluate the cost-benefit of how you spend your day. Sometimes you’ve got to think of yourself as a business with different forms of currency whether that currency is grabbing a cup of coffee with friends or ditching a class that doesn’t even take attendance anyway. What pays you more?

19. You can make anything you want happen.
It’s just a matter of discipline, taking the small steps each day with laser focus. But give yourself some breathing room for life to happen. Timing is everything. Loosen that ninja grip on your goal. Have a bit of wiggle room between you and your nun-chucks.

20. But when things don’t go your way, the universe has a way of working out.
Trust that the universe will take care of you as long as you put the work in, are a good citizen to humanity, and keep on keeping on.

21. Travel is a luxury but also an important one.
Your environment dictates your life. Going to Budapest or Berlin for a couple months won’t make you cooler (believe mean, I’ve tried) or, as a matter of fact, it won’t even make you smarter. That’s your own job, not the city’s. Travel rattles your internal story a bit. Study or work abroad if it is financially possible because you will never see yourself the same way. If not, take the bus to a different part of town, to a new city. Just go places, and your personal plot thickens. As my English professor always said, “The story happens when you place a character against a landscape.”

22. Things grow back.
So the loss of your two big toe nails might have been due to your half marathon training (more likely that one fateful night in Las Vegas). Screw sandal season. Orthopedic sneakers are always in, right? Or maybe things didn’t go your way when you let a friend cut your hair, leaving you with a comb-over, which pushed you over the edge into buzzing it all off like Britney in her Dark Years. It will seem like the worst thing in the world and then it won’t be. Time is a wonderful thing. After a break up, an embarrassing moment, or a falling out, your heartstrings will mend.

23. But sometimes it might take longer than you expect.
The people you love and the people you lost will always stay with you. Give yourself a break. You loved them. And yes, everyone is vulnerable to heartbreak. You aren’t just a starfish that can sever the feelings like a limb. Celebrate the fact that you aren’t a sociopath and you are a human with a heart.
24. Vulnerability is strength.
Don’t be afraid of your emotions or being vulnerable with people you care about. You often regret what you didn’t say to someone more than what you did say. Moments pass; so don’t pass up the moment to tell someone you care about them.

25. Come from a place of yes.
Explore more. Introduce yourself. Always join in on the game. As Hunter S. Thompson wrote, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” Run and try to catch that train that’s leaving the station. No one looks back and wishes they didn’t try.

Thursday Things: 10 Things 90s Kids Will Have to Explain to Their Kids

10 Things 90s Kids Will Have To Explain To Their Children

Nov. 23, 2011
While most things we experienced as tots in that headiest of eras seems pretty self-explanatory (plaid was everywhere, Leonardo DiCaprio was the molten ball of light around which the solar system turned, and there was no color too bright for your sweatpants) there are some things that will be a bit harder to explain. Here, a primer for when your future children want to know what the hell you were doing with your boxy, multicolored electronics.

1. Topanga was at some point in human history considered not only a legitimate first name for a human being, but the kind of name that would inspire in malleable teenage boys a life-long infatuation. Topanga, in our day, was leading lady name-material. Topanga (pronounced Tah-payne-ga, for those who will have only ever seen in it written down) is the name of the quintessential girl-next-door who will live, along with Feeney, in our hearts forever.

2. At some point, we carried around little plastic eggs with tiny screens on them — in these screens lived our hearts, our pets, our raison d’etre, our very own Tamagotchi. We loved them, we listened to their tiny electronic screams of malnourishment, and we occasionally forgot to pick up their poop for long enough that they died a tortured, poop-filled death. They were perhaps our first foray into the life-consuming world of electronics and self-absorption, later to be fully manifested by Facebook.

3. The black Power Ranger was black and the yellow Power Ranger was Asian because…we were so completely ahead of our time and beyond the capacity to even think in terms of something as inconsequential as race that… uh… I don’t know. Casting directors were racist in the nineties.

4. Long before he was spending his days foisting his mediocre children on us, Will Smith was actually the perfect human specimen. He also undoubtedly holds some world record for saving the world the most times while simultaneously delivering flawless catchphrases and giving cool guy nods to the camera. The Men In Black rap song, at the time, was created and received by the public without the slightest trace of irony. Really. He was that good.

5. In some inevitable shift of the time-space continuum in which James Cameron continues to rob humanity of all that is good and sacred in this world, Fern Gully will be known as that movie that ripped off Avatar. It will be up to us to crusade for what is right. It is up to us to explain that Fern Gully was not only a predecessor to Avatar, but far better, in that it contained both Tim Curry as a singing pile of molasses and Robin Williams rapping about animal testing in the pharmaceutical industry. (As a side note, if you have not recently listened to the full lyrics of the “Batty Rap,” I recommend you do, as they are horrifying.)

6. A neighborhood boy who completely disregards your family and puts a ladder directly under the teenage girl’s window to climb up at his discretion is not only acceptable, it’s charming. It’s the kind of stuff that would make said family take the ladder boy under their wing and into their heart. The nineties were a simpler time, one where we didn’t have to worry about things like breaking and entering. Clarissa today would have steel bars on the inside of her window and her father would continually remind her that the next-door boy with his ladder and his touchy hands have no place in his household.

7. Though on the surface, they are the exact same thing in every conceivable way, whether you liked The Backstreet Boys or N*SYNC said more about your character than all of the terrible macaroni art you could ever make for your child psychologist. Essentially, liking *NSYNC meant you liked Justin Timberlake, as he was clearly the Seabiscuit in that race from the get-go. You even liked him with his terrible, icy-blond mini-fro. Liking the Backstreet Boys gave you a bit more of a cultured palate, as there was no clear Diana in those Supremes. Nick was kind of the wholesome, if northern-Florida-redneck safe choice (save for his humiliating younger brother, Aaron). Brian was the shy, sensitive type. AJ was the hottt, dangerous meth addict. Kevin Richardson was mute with sexy, sculpted facial hair. No one liked Howie. Choosing between the two groups was like choosing between two beloved children, but once that line was crossed–there was no going back.

8. “I wanna really really really wanna zig a zig ahh,” has a meaning, and all true nineties kids know it, but we must never share it. Like the Illuminati, it must remain between us, the keyholders. With great power comes great responsibility.

9. Lisa Frank is not the name of a woman, it is the name of a movement, a culture, a way of living. It is a theory, a concept, a belief in something greater than yourself. It is the belief that all girls are entitled to dolphins covered with rainbows, jewel-encrusted frogs, and unicorns in acid-trip colors hugging each other. It is the ideology that no notebook is complete until it literally hurts your eyes to look at from so much color saturation. It is the hope that no school supply, no matter how insignificant, will be left un-bedazzled. It is the knowledge that your eraser cap, and that of your granddaughter’s, and her granddaughter’s after her, will not be some boring little nub–it will be a diamond covered with butterflies in a rainbow of colors. It is the dream of a better tomorrow.

10. Incredibly depressing women in Indiana covered in cats and glass figurines they buy at The Hallmark Store used to troll the web 1.0 to invest thousands of dollars in tiny stuffed animals filled with plastic beans. That happened. Beanie Babies were not just significant, they were the first example most of us had of envy, greed, and wrath. If someone messed up that little heart-shaped Ty tag, so help you God, that was the end of whatever contact you had with that monster of a human being. That tag-less Beanie Baby was now trash, and you had to deal with the consequence. It was at that moment, that de-valued Beanie Baby moment, that most of us accepted the truth… we’ll never have nice things

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reinventing your weekend...

And another one...

We're definitely going to try some of these...

20 Methods To Make Your Weekend Interesting

JUL. 28, 2012 By Christopher Hudspeth 

By attempting the actions on this list, I can’t guarantee you’ll have an ideal weekend – but it’ll damn sure be interesting.

1. Be someone else. Create a character. Wear glasses and a wig, speak with a fake accent – whatever you want. Introduce the public to this unique personality for the day.

2. If you’re single, meet someone you find attractive and get their contact info (or at least attempt to). If you’re taken, treat your sweetheart to something special. Either way, it’ll be an exhilarating time.

3. Test out a new drink; one that you’ve never had. Order whiskey, a different brand of beer or some type of mixed concoction that will be pique your taste buds for the very first time. Non alcoholic drinks? Yes sir. 

4. Let out your inner photographer and take an abnormal amount of pictures. Document your weekend through an abundance of still shots. Invite strangers into these photo-ops and you’ll create an epic album for future viewing pleasure.

5. Watch multiple movies, but specifically ones outside of your favorite genre. Horror buffs can test out romantic comedies, and suspense enthusiasts can give dramas a try.

6. Perform a childhood activity. Maybe organize a game of kickball, or devour cereal while watching cartoons. Heck, you can even build an epic blanket fort. Forts were one of the joys of childhood, so it’s only right that we relive the glorious experience as adults. I promise, it’ll still be a blast.

7. Have a yard sale. You’ll get rid of unnecessary clutter and make some cash simultaneously. Kill two gigantic birds with one magnificent stone.

8. Take a shot at creating a comedy sketch, or short film. Write a script, record it with friends and throw it online. Who knows, it could go viral and make you Youtube famous.

9. Get together with old friends. It’s always nice to gather and reminisce on, or even recreate the glory days.

10. Begin reading a new book series. Choose something that has multiple installments in its saga, so you have more than just one novel.

11. Watch Food Network or browse the web for a tasty looking recipe, then attempt to make it. If you’re as bad as me, have the fire department on speed dial in advance.

12. Rearrange your home. Move couches, tables, chairs and beds until it looks like a brand new place. Sometimes it’s refreshing to have a brand new feel to a regularly visited place.

13. Wear an outfit that’s on the edge of ugly. You know, the one that sits in your closet because it’s teetering on the line between stylish and appalling. Sport it with confidence and see what type of reactions you draw.

14. Attend some type of local event. Maybe a fair, sports game, or circus. Or you could just go to WalMart. Surely you’ll see a double-take worthy spectacle there. Strange individuals and always low prices.

15. Gamble with a set amount of cash. Play only with that specific money — nothing more, nothing less. Hit the casino, or buy scratch/lottery tickets. It’s risky, but somebody has to win.

16. Get a very intense workout in, then feel inclined to eat and/or drink whatever type of garbage you’d like to consume this weekend – to the point where you start craving healthy food. (I suggest finding the nearest place that serves a cookie A La Mode. It’s well worth the calories.)

17. Drink coffee after 10pm and see what the end result is. You’ll certainly be perky and alert up into the wee hours of the night, so the possibilities are endless.

18. After a night out, visit IHOP. I recommend ordering the Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity. Even if you don’t enjoy fruit covered pancakes, doused in whip cream – the name makes them fun to order.

19. Learn a new dance, and then try it in public. It’s quite alright if you have to consume multiple alcoholic beverages before attempting – in fact, it’s encouraged. Hit the club with a little double dream hands.

20. Change your birthday to today on Facebook and see how many comments, messages and invitations to hangout you receive. If pulled off properly, you could have unaware folks buying you free drinks this evening.



37 Things...

While not all of these apply to me I definitely feel that they're valid...

37 Things You Don’t Need To Be Sorry About

Aug. 2, 2012
1. Eating the last piece of bacon.
2. Telling someone how you feel.
3. Ordering something better than a well drink.
4. Watching the Olympics in hopes a swimmers speedo falls off.
5. Moving to advance your career.
6. Not returning a text sent past midnight.
7. Knowing the lyrics to any Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, or Disney Starlet song.
8. Talking about dating in front of children, especially if you’re gay.
9. Responding to emails too quickly.
10. Being proactive.
11. Posting articles that make people mad on Facebook.
12. Speaking in a French accent when saying French words.
13. Working too much.
14. Going on a date, not paying for it, and not calling back.
15. Openly crushing on people you may never meet.
16. Wanting to make more money, and then doing it.
17. Caring too much.
18. Not having sex as much as people expect or want.
19. Holding people accountable.
20. Yelling when you want to yell.
21. Hating New York.
22. Wanting to be a stay at home parent and not work.
23. Throwing paint on a canvas and calling it ‘art.’
24. Wanting to have a child in your twenties with the person you love.
25. Getting married in your twenties, if the government lets you.
26. Snoring on planes when you fall asleep.
27. Dating someone your ex kind of dated, but never got serious with.
28. Wanting to love someone, and being scared to tell them.
29. Having brunch on Sunday and then going to bed afterwards.
30. Forgetting “i” comes before “e” except after “c”
31. Needing a substance to get on a plane.
32. Making a mistake and not learning from it the first time.
33. Still being weird about your parents’ divorce.
34. Only getting your news from Twitter.
35. Being hung-over.
36. Screening your family’s calls and later saying, “I was really busy!”
37 Loving when you want to love, and not loving when you don’t care too.


About Mariam

Life is sweet

Life is sweet

And they lived happily ever after

And they lived happily ever after

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

About Me

For those of you who know me, writing has always been one of my passions, with the exception of my Masters or any ridiculously long testament within the wide world of Academia. I've only had the pleasure of blogging a couple of times, mostly for a few classes in graduate school, but figured it was time to organize my numerous thoughts and musings with all of you out there in cyber land. I created this page because my mind is always running and often times my thoughts get lost in the hubub. Plus, my friends have always said that I'm a great storyteller, so I'd love to share them now with you. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this... Throughout the past 33 years of my life I've seen, heard, and experienced so many different things as well as had many adventures and dream of so many possibilities. But in short, what it comes down to is this..I'm just a little Jubana trying to make a difference in the world. Everyday I live my life to the fullest and have fun doing it. Life can't always be about work or how much money you make. There's so much more to life than that.