Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dancing Dweebs: An American Epidemic

As much as we would all like to randomly start to sing and dance in sync in the middle of the cafeteria, there are some of us (like me) for whom it's absolutely impossible to do so. This isn't High School Musical, I'm not Vanessa Hudgens, and you're not Zac Efron, and neither of us star on Glee. So instead we try out for school musicals to fufill that aspect of the American dream.

Maybe you long-time readers remember my inability to dance? Or maybe my extra-long-time readers (nobody) remember my first post about my failing theatrical career? Back then I thought that was going to be my lowest, but jeez, it just proves to show that horoscopes don't know anything...

So this season I tried out for Annie. I wasn't planning on it, because I wanted to spend this semester writing and studying/procrastinating, but somehow I let Jos and my music teacher, Mrs. Smith (yeah, I just linked my teacher) talk me into it. (Jos: Pleeeeease! It will be fun! Mrs. Smith: But you're in Select Chorus! We need more voices! You were in it last year!)

Last Year:
So let's just say I'm the actress to Annie the way Sarah Jessica Parker was to Sex in the City 2. (Translation: Bad.) I'm the dancer to Annie the way Bristol Palin was to Dancing with the Stars. (Translation: Very Bad.) I only have two lines but I can't say either of them. (i.e. "I think green is, tee hee hee, your best color, no--- HA HA HA!!!). I was in the dancing scene in NYC until I got moved out of it because I had a line right after it , and that line I can't say! I'm supposed to jump out from behind stage and shout --without exploding with nervous laughter (a huge feat for me)-- "IMMEDIATE SEATING THERE IS IMMEDIATE SEATING!" I can say it with a straight face at home in the bathroom mirror with toxic morning breath, but not on stage when the 18-year old pianist is glaring at me. So thank you, Master Piano, for making me lose my cool. Which I did have.

We have to wear high-heels so Mrs. Smith told us to start wearing them to rehearsals, to get to know them a bit, as I say. Well I've gotten to know mine pretty well, and they HATE me. They TRICKED ME into thinking that I had a future in tap-dancing, when I was tap-tappity-tapping away thinking "Hey, I could do this for a livin'..." and then BAM! My evil high-heel dug into the flesh of the girl behind me, releasing bloodlets.

Sometimes I wish so heavily that I could dance and act. I mean, look at all the fun Jennifer Anniston must have, acting and "dancing" her way through life (no pun intended), appearing on the red carpet weekly, able to do anything and go anywhere! That's the American dream, or more less, the American ideal. But I'm not gifted with those things. I'm gifted with my always-available sense of humor, my writing, and my ability to make friends anywhere. The word talent brings to mind singing and dancing and the Tony's and Oscar's. But that isn't exactly what talent is. Although I'm not the star of the school musical, I'm talented, in other ways than one.

So I'm going to practice my two golden lines and not let stage-fright/the pianist scare me, and on the night of the musical I'm going to recite them with pride (I promise Mrs. Smith!), and remember that I don't need to be a good dancer to have a great, successful future career.
Do you guys think dancing is an American epidemic? Do you think our obsession with fame is?
p.s. how do you guys like the blog makeover? do you miss the flies?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Hunt for Turkey

BIG Y. The food store. For you non-New Englanders, Big Y is the food store that has risen to power up here, the only remaining challenger being Stop and Shop. *growl* I hate Big Y. Why? Not only because they have these mega-cheesy, this-is-your-community-food-store, puke-a-full commercials, but because they bought out MY food store. The food store Marg and I grew up going to. A and P SuperFresh. Yeah. IT'S GONE. I have to hate Big Y.

So my mom and I went Thanksgiving food shopping on Wednesday there, and the place was like D-Day, everyone squirming around trying to get a foothold in an aisle and claim their turkey. I used to know EXACTLY where everything was (ok Jen, let's be real here), and Wednesday we couldn't find anything! No-thing! (p.s., Why only one more Clique novel??)

World Class Wellness? WHAT IS THIS?? I can use my own Purell, thank you very much!

So since my mom and I couldn't find anything, we asked a sales assistant where the turkey breasts were. There were a ton of whole turkeys, but since my mom really isn't the Martha Stewart type, she usually ops for the really-easy pre-made Thanksgiving stuff. And I guess most people are that way too, because, well...

Mom: Hello, can you help us find the turkey breasts?
Sales Assistant: They're right over... (A man in about his thirties approaches the meat section and picks up the very last turkey breast, examining it)... Oh, that was the last one.
Mom: Oh (dejectedly) thanks anyway.

It was a total "Christmas with the Kranks" moment. Mom and I stood around for a while, watching the man examine the turkey breast, begging him with our eyes to put it down, but he didn't, and he bought it. Thanks Big Y, for not stocking up on turkey breats. You're so cool.

So then we went to Stop and Shop, having already gotten everything we needed at Big Y, in search of a turkey breast. There was only a couple left when we got there.
The remaining turkey breasts. My mom was so relieved. That's her.

Lesson learned? Big Y = Bleh!! Unreliable!! BAD!!
If you're ever in New England, please don't go over to the dark side to Big Y. I'm begging you.
How were your Thanksgivings? Did you have any shopping problems?
p.s. I'm really going to keep posting on my other blog, my fashion/photography blog, http://www.suburbani.blogspot.com/ . If you followers could follow that one too, I would feel all encouraged and keep blogging!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pink Parties: Why are we celebrating Cancer?

I'm a part of a group at school called the Climate Committee, run by my English teacher Mrs.G. In Climate Committee we take the "climate" of middle school and try to solve social problems. On Friday we were talking about an event or something we could run to get kids to "step outside of the box" and "expand their horizons" and make new friends. I said, semi-jokingly,

"You know how celebrities have those parties to raise money for Breast Cancer research? We could do something like that..?" But I completely spaced on the fact that Mrs. G just finished chemo therapy for Breast Cancer last year.

Mrs. G said, "Yeah, well I, as a Breast Cancer survivor, think it's stupid that people are having parties about that. They're celebrating something that ruined my life!" she said with a laugh. "It's a disease, why are they celebrating that?"

On Saturday I was at my local library and I saw a framed flier with a picture of a librarian who I faintly recognized. It said she passed away from Breast Cancer last year, and that she will always be remembered. When I read that I felt like my eyes had been suddenly peeled open by surgical-gloved hands. Breast Cancer happens here. I see Breast Cancer now as not just a pink ribbon and a charity fund, but a disease that really does tear people's lives a part.

In the most recent InStyle, in the party section, they covered the sixth annual Pink Party. Not once in the article did they mention anything about cancer research, but about the question they asked the stars, which was "What's one thing nobody knows about you?". What the flying Fig Newtons?? My mom said, "Stars just use these benefits as a chance to be seen."

I believe it's really lame and stupid of celebrities to dress up in pink sequins and plaster their glittered faces on Breast Cancer. They misrepresent a horrible epidemic. They just show up at "benefits" and giggle and gossip with their other diamond-clad pals and answer stupid questions celebrity reporters ask (Come on, we really don't care Nikki Reed has a girl-crush on Jennifer Garner!). They act like they don't really know what they're there for.

But however by these celebrities showing up they raise a lot of money for the cause. What bothers me about it is that these celebrities don't really know what the cause is, or at least they don't act like it. They're partying. They just prance around drinking champagne, posing for cameras, while there are women right now lying in hospital beds going through real pain. If I was getting treated for Breast Cancer right now while these celebrities were trying to "help" me by partying, I'd be pretty pissed.

What do you guys think? Is it lame for celebrities to "celebrate" in the name of Breast Cancer?
p.s. i saw harry potter 7 part 1 on opening night! and in imax! so you can expect an hp post soon!
p.p.s. tyty has a blog!! Check it out!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Pros and Cons of Facebook

nice picture, huh? heh heh
Facebook has been acclaimed as the world's top social networking site, having the perfect blend of MySpace and Twitter. Now the love for the internet's ruling kingdom is felt all around thanks to the new movie The Social Network, which depicts the torn relationship between Facebook's founders (it was a great, Oscar-worthy movie and I highly suggest you see it!). But lately I've been feeling less than warm towards the site. Annoying applications and constant notifications drive me and my iPhone insane, which led me to the point in which I logged off (gasp!) from my account on my phone to keep it from vibrating.

So this means the return of the pro and con list! I haven't made one of these for this blog in ages! Let's reminisce!

  1. It's good for keeping in touch with old friends. With Facebook I can talk with people I see once a year. Also, it's great for keeping contact information. It always gives you a way to get a hold of somebody.
  2. It's fun to make a photo album and tag all of your friends. You can talk about all of the fun times you had and bla bla bla.
  3. When people you never talk to in person you leave you "happy birthday"s on your Wall it feels pretty nice!
  1. Getting tagged! Recently my whole grade and I were tagged in a class picture we took at the Kennedy Center in D.C., and a couple of boys were having this conversation in the comments section about Black Ops and it was going on and on and on, and my phone kept vibrating all night  (I got the worst sleep ever).
  2. Those stupid Social Interview and Yes or No apps. The Yes and No ones are the worst, because people can say mean things about you anonymously (it happens to me). Questions like "Is Jen cute?" and there were 4 No's and 1 Yes. The worst one was "Would Jen consider shopping at Walmart high-end?" There were 2 Yes's.
  3. Tag-My-Friends. I usually get tagged nice things but on Sunday I got tagged as "Eeyore the Downer." Everyone in Algebra was laughing today because I'm "the complete opposite," but I hate obnoxious stuff like that.
  4. Narcissistic updates! There's this one girl I'm friends with who I haven't talked to in years (we're not real-life pals) and everyday she posts a web cam picture of herself with the lyrics to a Bruno Mars song. So now I can say that I know all the words to "Just the Way You Are."
  5. Stalking people. It's pretty addicting. That's why I never post anything to my Wall so I don't leave a paper trail. Every con artist knows that.
As you can tell there are more cons then pros. Facebook in a hotbed for cyberbulling (Cyberbulling is real! Believe me!). So that's why I'm going to take a "break" from Facebook. Those who want to please join me.
What do you guys think? Is Facebook a haven or a hell?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jen and the Bee.

It's common knowledge to my family and to my friends that I stink really badly at spelling. My parents moan every time I call out a word for its letters. My friends make fun of my incapability (Thanks, guys, but who's laughing now? What? What? Yeah I went there!).

Thursday at school was the first round of the Scripp's spelling bee. Each English class from grades 5 - 8 (or something like that) had in-class bees. I'm usually out the first round, and I've never really cared. That's why we have spell check. Wright?

But guess who won in my class? ME! Really it's only because I got really easy words like "rhinestone" and "dandruff", while other kids got "abolitionists" (Marg got that) and "uncouth." Then for a while this boy and I were going back and forth spelling random words, while he got super-hard, hey-so-I-guess-that's-English-after-all type of words and I got "healthy." Yep. Then I messed up my word. If he spelt his next word right, he would have won and gone on to the next level. His word was "salary." Yes. Salary. But this is what happened:
him: Uh... Salary. W-E-R-G. Salary.
Mrs.G: Are you serious?
him: Um... Yeah.
Mrs.G: Uh, ok. Jen, you're back in.
Me: Uh, cool?

Then I got "ferryboat" right and he had "fortification", which he added three extra T's too. I had another word (I think) and I got that right... and I won. My awesome friend Bianca high-fived me and told me to blog about it.

In sixth grade Adam went all the way to regional's. He was one word away from going to Washington D.C. I remember Jos, Dani and I would squeeze each other's wrists until they were blood-less when Adam went up to spell. He told me he practiced for hours and hours a day... I'm pretty sure that's when my nightmares about dictionaries started.

What do you guys think about spelling bees? Are any of you guys good spellers?
p.s. sorry Bianca I know I said I would post this Friday but my computer jammed up!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Misleading Math Grades

Last Thursday I took a math test. I trotted into class today, knowing I was going to receive the graded test, convinced I had a D+ in the knapsack. I'm in a high school Algebra honors class now, and I have absolutely zero clue to how I got there. Because I DESPISE math. I hate it more than Massie Block hates Crocs (come on Jen when will  you STOP with the Clique metaphors?) and more than New Yorkers hate the Red Sox. Because I'm bad at it.

But today I got the test back! And my brain cells had a fiesta! (Translation: I was so happy!)

My thought process went a little like this:
"Oh my God, oh my Gawd, a B+! I'm smart! The world is a good place! I can become a chemist! Wait, that is an 87, right...?" But I just shook that thought right off, because it was bad and did not go with the others.

So arrogantly proudly I told everyone my grade when they asked, although I am usually secretive about grades. And it turns out I did better than my genius friends! I floated out of class on Cloud Nine, fully believing that I was going to save the world someday, thanks to this grade, that would DEFINITELY bump my average up a point, maybe from an 86% to an 87%, who knows, math works in mysterious ways...

I got home and told my mom about the thrilling, exonerating grade. She was psyched. Until I said, "well, I'm pretty sure it's a 7..." She asked to look at it, and upon seeing the unknown, Ancient Greek-esque symbol where my 7 was supposed to go, she said "I've never seen a number like that. What the heck is that?"
"Who knows," I said. "I got an 87%, whatever, let's just keep it that way."
"Let's add the points up," she said.
"I can just ask Mrs.G in class tomorrow."
"That would make you look stupid! Let's just add them up!"
"NO!" I roared hormonally, while the evil part of me thought that I didn't have an 87% after all.

So then she and my dad added up the points, me anxiously awaiting the verdict. "It's an 82%, Jen," my mom said.
"No! Can't be! But, I, but, the world is a good place..." They told me an 82% was still good. I decided to take my shower early and stormed to my room to get my pajamas. My mom called after me:
"Writers don't need math, Jen."
"But I need math to get into college!" I wailed, semi-slamming my door. My mom asked to come in.
After I told her about how excited I was, how I thought I could be a chemist, she said: "If you didn't know what that number was you could have added the points up."
"Yeah, but, numbers are hard..."
"Jen, it's easy! You lost 17 points."
"18," my dad added from the kitchen. (I guess that's where I get the bad addition skills) How he heard us, I'll never know. 

Then I took a shower, feeling grumpy. About life. About high school. About grades. About the world. IT LOOKED LIKE A SEVEN!!!

What do you guys think? Is it a 7 or a 2? Have you guys ever gotten misleading grades?

p.s. FELLOW BLOGGERS: I realize my comments on your blogs with my over-use of exclamation points must get pretty obnoxious, so I'm sorry and I'm going to limit myself to one exclamation point per sentence. I'll try.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Dreaded Doctor's Office: Why is it so hated?

Yes indeed, this is a squirrel eating one of our now rotten pumpkins on our porch. BAD SQUIRREL!! GO EAT SOME ACORNS!! YESSIREE WE HAVE PLENTY OF THOSE!!

Moreover, yesterday I was hit with a double-whammy: an orthodontist appointment in the morning and a check-up after school.

So after a day full of learning I was deposited at the doctor's office. Mom and I killed time in the waiting room by making fun of the latest Seventeen: "OMG his ex pulled down her pants to make him like her again? What is with American teenagers these days??" Then it was time for zee appointment.

My doctor is (thank Gawd) a woman and she is super-duper nice. She makes everything seem less awkward than it really is (which is MEGA awkward-sea turtle). After she did the standard ear check (and I thanked Johnson and Johnson: A Family Company for mass-producing Q Tips so I could clean my ears that morning), it was time for... er... well, you know.

She had to check everywhere. And I mean everywhere. At least this time wasn't as humiliating and pride-decapitating as last time. This time she didn't have to check everywhere. Which is really contradicting itself. Let's all use italics.

So while I was laughing my head off because I am so so tickle-ish, I was wondering: what is up with the stereotype (fear, humiliation) that goes along with a visit to the doctor's? Is that because it's true? Are the magazines in the waiting room really that obnoxious?

So I pondered, and pondered, and pondered. Maybe it's because most sane people (like me) are embarrassed to strip in front of people they see once or twice a year. Or maybe it's because shots, especially the finger prick, are scary.

But maybe, for kids, it's scary because they have to talk about the changes in their bodies. This year, Frankie wanted a male doctor because last year the doctor had to poke and prod his... well then.

Not to blame everything on reality TV, but I think that the media has portrayed check-ups that way. Anyone remember the SpongeBob episode where SpongeBob was scared to go to the doctor's office? Didn't Patrick tell him something about the magazines in the waiting room? But SpongeBob went, and the doctor healed his illness in a musical sequence, and he gave SpongeBob and a big lollipop! SpongeBob has all the luck.

But simply, going to the doctor's is to make sure you're on the right track. I always skip out of the doctor's office feeling blessed that I'm 100% healthy.

What do you guys think? Is the doctor's office to fear or not to fear?
p.s. i am overflowing with post ideas these days, so be braced for a posting hurricane.