Friday, July 29, 2011

We Bullet the Words At the Mocking Birds, Singing

      Last Sunday my parents and I had a Christening to go to, for my cousin's third. Naturally, since my mother is the most undeservedly criticized and mocked of the family, she didn't want to go. But my dad insisted. Sigh. This meant forsaking our gorgeous summer Sunday afternoon to sit at a table to listen to the rest of the of family talked themselves up, competing for who displayed the most money. It went a little something like this:

"Well, I just bought a four-family house after I vacationed in Portugal."
"Well, I just bought a new beach house in Florida, and it has a top of the line pool."
"Well, I just bought a whole development of beach houses in Florida, and they all have pools!"

I don't mind the blatant snobbery after a while; it just grates on me that none of them appreciate the pursuit or importance of knowledge the same way I do; in fact, my uncle (the richest, who bought the housing development) says that books are a waste of time and that it's stupid to read them because they were written by man. Well, I'm all for people having their own opinions, but seriously! Just because it's a book written by *gasp* a human doesn't mean we can't learn something from it. Has he ever heard of nonfiction? Probably not.

Anywho I wore this delightful little ivory dress from Forever21; it was splattered with cute little black polka dots, had those gathered 80's type sleeves, and an elastic gathered waist. Normally I love dressing up but when I consulted my copy of Emily Post's Etiquette (a book! I read one! How scandalous!) I discovered that normally Christenings and Baptisms are very informal, intimate events for your closest family members and friends.

Pretty little red manicure, Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro in Stiletto Red.
       That's my backyard in the background there. Very green, no? My backyard's quite tiny but to me it's a little piece of paradise in this urban prison.
       That little green pot thingy I'm holding was the centerpiece at our table. Isn't it the cutest?! Although the party was in the middle of the summer, this centerpiece just makes me think of spring. This centerpiece is the epitome of spring. The very essence of springiness. I think those are white carnations and some sort of pink baby's breath or something. If any of you readers out there know what flowers those are, please enlighten me. Haha.
Look at little baby Megan! Trying to use my hand as a teething ring!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wizarding Chess, Anyone?

      Last night, as my mother and I were attempting to clean out a little bit of our basement, I stumbled upon an old, rather beaten up, and exquisitely carved box. I asked my dad what it was, and he said he had bought it 15 years ago at a flea market in Englishtown, New Jersey. The box opened up, to reveal a bunch of little hand-carved stone chess pieces lined up in the felt interior; the outside of the box, when folded open, acts as the chess board. IT'S MARVELOUS. I swear, it was the best thing we found cleaning today, better than the thermos or the deluxe massaging foot spa tub thingy.
Look at the intricately carved sides! And that precious clasp!

Those little stain-like markings are actually stamps that say "made in Korea". Sigh.
One side of the board has grey soldiers, the other, olive.

Sorry for the flash!

The Rook! So much detail! *Swoons*

And here's the Knight! Doesn't it look just like the knight Ron Weasley played in Sorcerer's Stone?   

Okay well maybe it's not an exact match...but it's pretty damn good, and God knows how old this set actually is, since my dad got it at a flea market.
      I really wish my camera had gotten better cell phone camera just does not to justice to this incredible find.  Really, you it's hard to see most of the incredible skillwork that went into each unique piece. What a treasure.                        

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Problem with Novels of the Teen Genre

     In the midst of this humid, heavy summer weather, my best friend and I find that the best place to relax is within the book-lined shelves of the heavily air-conditioned local library. Yet, as both of us are avid readers, we find it difficult to find a book in the Teen Novels section that is both satisfying and challenging. Most of the novels are of the same cookie-cutter type, with similar plots and characters which make them all too predictable. It seems that in this day and age many authors of books that are aimed at teens follow a basic, boring format, which usually consists of:

           1. Awkward nerdy girl feels sorry for herself, gets bullied by popular, pretty girl with the jock boyfriend who is secretly in love with the awkward nerdy girl OR popular pretty girl just feels sorry for herself and goes on a reckless rampage OR teen discovers he is a witch/ magician/ vampire/ werewolf/ god/ goddess/ other magical creature who is bestowed with the task of saving the world.

          2. Awkward nerdy girl flirts with popular pretty girl's boyfriend OR popular pretty girl flirts with awkward nerdy boy OR teen who is a witch/ magician/ vampire/ werewolf/ god/ goddess/ other magical creature feels sorry for himself and decides not to save the world.

          3. Popular pretty girl's boyfriend falls in love with awkward nerdy girl OR popular pretty girl falls in love with awkward nerdy boy OR reckless teen keeps being reckless and out of nowhere has sex and falls in love.

         4. Awkward nerdy girl discovers something new and great about herself and is happy OR popular pretty girl discovers something new and great about herself and is happy OR teen who is a witch/ magician/ vampire/ werewolf/ god/ goddess/ other magical creature completes his task and is happy.

      I hate that I can read some books and by the end of the second chapter I already know what's going to happen. Please, publishers and editors of books of the teen novel genre, if you can hear me, please foster more creativity among your writers. It will be greatly appreciated.

There's Nothing Coupons Can't Do

      In lieu of the 4th of July festivities today, my family decided to buck it to the mall in order to take advantage of the ridiculous sales. For example, J.C. Penney was having a 40% off promotion in their Intimates department, and well, I was sadly in need of some new unmentionables.
      After the run through J.C. Penney's Intimates department, and with a handful of Macy's coupons just begging to be spent, we trekked off to Macy's, straight to the Juniors' department because my mother enjoys feeling "youthful" and because I'm 17.
      Since we had a handful of "Get $10 off of every $30 spent" coupons, we aimed to find bundles of clothes that could fit into the $30 bracket in order to get the best run out of our coupons. I fell in love with a pair of shorts that were baggy enough to go incognito as a skirt. I'm sure there's a technical name for these kinds of shorts/skirts. I refuse to call them "skorts" however, because that would be as insulting as calling a choppy haircut a "mullet". Anywho I'll post pictures of those later.
      I usually tend to stray away from the Material Girl line at Macy's because I feel really underwhelmed with the whole line. Every time I look at it I feel like Madonna just regurgitated cheap copies of her own signature looks, and this strangles me with disappointment because I kinda expect more from Madge. I became especially disappointed a few months ago when I was perusing the Material Girl rack at Macy's and I found a pretty, albeit plain, black blazer. The tag listed it at over $40-something, yet when I turned it inside out I found that it wasn't even lined. I feel like for $45 you should get something of reasonable quality, even something that is half-lined, rather than something with all the raw seams out in the open.
      Well today I felt as if some of the clothes might have been displaced because I found a dress that was really unlike the rest of the Material Girl line; oh, and not to mention it was very well constructed. It was an adorable mustard yellow colored sweetheart neckline dress.
Image via Google
 See, and its got a little white something pattern scattered all over it. It was adorable! However my father was convinced it was too short on me (although it did not look as short as on the model above) even though it was merely a few inches above my knee. I have skirts way shorter than this and they do not seem to complain. Sigh.
      So I did not end up buying the dress.
      I also tried on a pair of "skorts" that were similar to the ones I bought (above), except they were not as breezy; they were black, with white polka dots, and a plethora of little pleats all around, and they were much more fitted around my waist. However they kind of flared out awkwardly around my butt, since the fabric was so much thicker, and I decided not to get them.
      In a desperate attempt to find $30 worth of clothing that I liked and that fit me, I bought a cute tee with some sort of rock-and-roll-motorcycle-route66 theme that had the words "Born Free" written across the top. I shall give this to my friend for her birthday. I feel accomplished.