Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Shoulder Shrug ™

What I've noticed a lot in the modeling world/just-a-quirky-girl-with-bangs genre of movies is that the lead actresses or models are always shrugging their shoulders, either making intense facial expressions like they're constipated or "laughing" so "hysterically" they have to put their hands on their hips and make their chests concave. It's weird. I guess they do it to make themselves look skinnier, but seriously, they look like they're in severe pain.
These aren't really the best pictures, but whatever, you know what I'm talking about. 
It just looks so unnatural! Seriously, do you know anyone who, when they laugh, throws their heads back and hike their shoulders up? I can't think of a time ever where this pose would fit into daily life. People don't even shrug like that! WHAT HAPPENED TO GOOD POSTURE?? AREN'T PEOPLE SCARED OF GETTING SCOLIOSIS??

Too bad standing like a normal person isn't really popular in the fashion world, and this stupid raise-my-shoulders-so-my-clothes-hang-off-me-like-a-hanger thing is. There are so many other sassy poses out there! The Hands on the Hips, the Ancient Egyptian (ok I'm probably the only one who thinks that's cool), but just overtly hunching your back like the Hunchback of Notre Dame looks really lame. It's just  so, um, affected. 

I get that it's supposed to make you look skinny, and yes I'm doing it in my profile picture, but I'm also doing the Kissy Pose with Key Lime Pie on my face so, yeah.
What do you guys think? Is hunching your shoulders for pictures cool or lame? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Life is suddenly crazysauce! Where did normalcy go?

Hi guys... sorry no post long time... sorry for not using full sentences... sorry for my obsession with caps lock.... I'M JUST SORRY OK?
(also sorry for no word of the post. Too lazy to walk downstairs and get my vocab book.) 

But like I was saying, life for me has been absolutely bananas lately -- mostly good stuff (thank bejeezus) and some bad stuff. And in my first week of being 15 I definitely learned something: People actually read this blog. Like, people I know in person.

And that led me to another conclusion: I'm tots ma goats going to start a website! A real website. I want it to be a website based on people's opinions, where people (mostly teens) can publish what they think. And it's not going to just be for girls either, it's for everybody. Kind of like an online magazine/mega group blog. I'm debating over the name but I really need suggestions. AND I REALLY NEED CONTRIBUTORS! As in people who are going to write for it! Often! If you're interested in being a writer, email me at (my gmail is pretty much filled with spam now).
Now being 15: I don't want to sound lame or anything but I actually think it's a big difference from being 14. Maybe that's just because a lot has happened this month, but whatever, here's some of the things that have happened to me that make me feel older.
  1. I went out to see movies with friends two nights in a row. I don't know why that makes me feel older but it does.
  2. I met a boy! Who likes me! And he's a sophomore! I'M SUCH A PLAYA
  3. I wasn't at home at all this weekend.... I was going to a book fair and visiting my grandparent's new house out partying.
  4. I have zero free time. Zero. 
I just want to say thank you to my friends for making this birthday a really really really great one. Thank you guys for decorating my locker and making me that cookie and those T shirts and really you guys are just awesome. 
I cropped the bottom of this picture... I was sitting criss cross apple sauce so yeah.

But Marg and Anneka made me this shirt for my birthday! MY BLOG URL IS ON IT! Well it's backwards for you guys but pretend!

BUT ISN'T IT AWESOME?? My other friend made me a shirt too! Unfortunately not pictured. BUT MAN DON'T MY FRIENDS HAVE AMAZING T SHIRT MAKING ABILITIES???
What do you guys think? Is there a big difference between 14 and 15? Any ideas for a website name? Interested in being a writer for the site?Are your friends good at making T shirts? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Curse you online grade book! / birthdays

clairvoyant: adj - supernaturally clairvoyant. I couldn't decide if he had clairvoyant abilities or he just knew me really well. 

At my school, the teachers use this online computer program where they input our grades into it so we can constantly check our averages. At first I was excited at the prospect of being able to check my grades every single waking moment until I found out that
from here
So it turns out that all of the parents get usernames and passwords to this online gradebook so that they can check our averages constantly, also.

In middle school my parents were really cool when it came to my grades. "As long as you tried your best" was pretty much my mom's motto. I always made a big deal of when I got a good grade so that when I got a bad grade my parents would remember my good grade and think "Oh, well it must have been a hard test" (that's basically how I got through Algebra). But now with this stupid gradebook thing, I'm doomed.

This is EXACTLY what happened when I got my iPhone! iPhones have a tracking device, and when I went on my class trip to DC, my parents were tracking me THE WHOLE TIME!

My parents practically live on this website now. They know EVERYTHING. Our conversations are dominated by my Biology grade and "staying on the honors track" if I "want to get my pick for college." My mom's new motto is "we have to find something cool and quirky to put on your college resume."

"Mom, you mean, I have to find something cool and quirky to put on my resume," I say.
"Excuse me, I'm the one paying for college," she says.


Anyways, tomorrow is my birthday!! And Friday is Anneka's birthday!! This is going to be the best weekend ever!! Why you ask? HERE'S WHY:

a) hanging out with my friends!
b) going to see that movie CONTAGION!
c) and most awesomely, THE NEW HAVEN APPLE STORE OPENS ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!

Yes you read correctly. New Haven is getting an Apple store. Seriously, my life is complete now.
What do you guys think? Are your parents strict about grades? Do you have an online gradebook at your school/uni? 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

7 Awesome Documentaries (recommended by my grandma!)

ancillary : adj - subordinate, subsidiary; auxiliary, assisting. It was one of the ancillary factors of my decision to move to Germany. 

So, as I've noted innumerable times in attempt to show off my hipsterority, I love documentaries. My grandparents love them too, and because my grandma is always trolling, I'm never out of a ready supply of cinematography gems to tap into after a long day (Thank bejeezus for instant queue). So I decided to make a list of my all-time favorite documentaries! In no specific order! 

1) Please Vote For Me 
You probably know this one. It's like my all-time favorite movie in the world. Well obviously I haven't seen every movie in the world but whatever let's just drop it. 

This is the best movie. Ever. EVER.
This takes place in a 3rd grade class in China. The class does something unusual that year: they have an election for class manager. Each of the three candidates, chosen by their teacher, strive for the votes of their classmates. "Please Vote For Me" is hilarious, heart-wrenching, and provides a really neat and unexpected perspective into Chinese life. There's just no question; you're going to watch this, like right now. NOW. 

I'd give you a Youtube clip but I didn't really find any good ones. But this (like probably all of these movies) are available on Netflix instant queue AKA my life source. 
BEST FOR: Feel good movie/ insight to China

2) Last Train Home

So every Chinese New Year, all of the migrant workers in China's big, industrialized cities return home to their villages, creating the world's largest annual migration. And that's what this movie is about. IT'S AMAZING! 

Maybe you see on the poster how it says "From the creators of 'Up the Yangtze''? THAT MOVIE IS AWESOME ALSO. 
BEST FOR: Thinking philosophical thoughts

3) Hot Coffee

In 1990something, an old lady sued McDonald's when she spilled their coffee on her leg and burned herself. This started a rapid-fire trend of frivolous cases in America, costing taxpayers thousands. But what people don't know is that the old lady's burns were so bad that she needed skin grafting. 

This documentary explores the cost on Americans' freedoms and the justice systems when Congress tried to stop "frivolous" cases from showing up in court. This movie made me cry at some of the injustices it brought to light. 
BEST FOR: Politicalness and insanely interesting. 

4) Mad Hot Ballroom
SUPER SUPER CUTE! In New York City, all fifth grade public school classes are required to learn ballroom dancing. And then there's this big competition in the Financial Center and it's beautiful and adorable and the kids are so hopeful and hilarious and PLEASE OH PLEASE WATCH THIS MOVIE. 
BEST FOR: Feel good movie/ insight into NYC life.

5) Exit Through the Giftshop
This movie is the wildcard of this post. "Exit Through the Giftshop" reveals to the public the underground world of street art while keeping a somewhat-steady narrative: The street art world is shook up when a random LA thrift store owner with not much artistic talent decides to make street art of his own and call himself "Mr. Brainwash." The catch is that he hires people to do the art for him. 

The movie pokes fun at alternative culture (thousands of LA hipsters are attracted to Mr. Brainwash's art show by Mr. Brainwash's clever business-like marketing skills) while bringing like to a similar issue:  people don't really think for themselves anymore. 
BEST FOR: Comedy/ underground artsyness

6) Afghan Star
This movie follows the lives of contestants on an American Idol-like reality show: however, the show takes place in Afghanistan. Any Afghani with a cell phone is eligible to vote for the winner, so it's a lot like "Please Vote For Me" in the sense that it's Afghanistan's first election in a long time. Amazing. 
BEST FOR: Feel good/ thinking philosophical thoughts

7) Koran By Heart
Every year in Egypt, Cairo plays hosts to a worldwide competition of kids who can memorize and sing the Koran the best. The movie was kind of hard to follow, but the determination and innocence of the competition's youngest competitors made it terrific. 
BEST FOR: Insanely interesting.

I hope you guys think these movies sound interesting! If you decide to watch any of them, be sure to tell me what you think of them! 
What do you guys think about documentaries? Do you have any favorites? Have you seen any of these? If so, what do you think about them? 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ten years today

(Ok well maybe I should say "word of the post considering I don't really post everyday... ahem)

pugnacious: adj - inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome, belligerent, combative. The pugnacious teenager was ready to fight anybody who called him... uh... stupid.

As you all know today is the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I had another post planned for today but I thought it would be weird for such a momentous event to go by and to not acknowledge it.

Today my family and I went to the local "Let Freedom Soar" 9/11 remembrance ceremony in my town. It was on the green and there were a lot of people there, which I was glad for. Our state representative in Congress, Rosa DeLauro was there, who I like a lot. She always has these cool scarves on (ok I know that's not a reason to like a politician but pish posh).
Cute old ladies holding hands during when the high school choir was singing "Amazing Grace."
I painted over where it said the name of my town on the town hall building. The second one is of the flag at half staff, which honors fallen soldiers, but in this case normal civilians. 

Anyway, the big magical part of this ceremony was supposed to be letting all of these butterflies let lose and fly around and stuff. It didn't really happen that way. When members of the Rotary club shook them out of their boxes, they just fell down on to the sidewalk. It was awkward.
photo credit: all of these are mine! mine I tell you! MINE! these pictures are the fruit of my cell phone! 
The guy in red is the Governor's Foot Guard.

But then some of the butterflies awoke from their paralysis and started to fly and it was happy and beautiful and whatnot.

In all, the whole ceremony was great. Rosa DeLauro's speech was amazing! And a retired FDNY guy who moved to our town in 2006 spoke about his experience that day. It was tough to listen to. Also the high school choir sounded amazing. I'm just really glad so many people came out to remember and support each other together. It gave me a real sense of community.
What do you guys think? Did your town do a 9/11 ceremony? Did you attend a ceremony? What do you think about 9/11? If you live abroad, was the tenth anniversary mentioned in your country? And the classic question: where were you on 9/11? 
P.S. It's my brother Frankie's birthday today, wish him a happy bday!!!!!!! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I got detention... for wearing green shoes

Hey guys! I've decided that my normal greeting of "hey guys!" is pretty blaaaaa, so instead I'm gonna do a
(please try to contain your excitement)

Sophomoric - adj - intellectually pretentious, overconfident, conceited, etc., but immature. Adolescents aren't the only people whose behavior might at times be considered a bit sophomoric. 

Heh heh... nice word right... I thought it was interesting because it's like sophomores, and I'm in high school, and sophomores are tenth graders... heh heh... Ok moving on now.

My grandma and I picked out these shoes for school:
photo credit: me so don't go stealing my low-res cell phone pic
My mom and grandma and I thought these shoes would totally fly with the dress code of brown or black shoes. They're mainly brown! And they're fancy and academic looking (they're Oxfords for God's sake). Well maybe if my mom and grandma weren't so colorblind and I was less "oh rules pssssh they don't pertain to me" I wouldn't have worn them but WHATEVS IT HAPPENED OK? 

So there I was in homeroom, swaggering in my oxfords, yip yapping away to the other girls sitting in our desks, thankful to be out of those Godawful Topsiders (you just cannot walk in those things. I mean the laces are SUEDE. How is one supposed to tie SUEDE laces tight enough?), and then our homeroom teacher, the Spanish teacher, comes down the aisle and points under my desk.

The Spanish Teacher: What are those?
Me: Uh, shoes?
The Spanish Teacher: They're green. 
Me: Well, they're mainly brown... ish...
The Spanish Teacher: Do you have other shoes in your locker you can change into?
Me: (thinking to myself, "why the heck would I have a spare pair of brown or black shoes in my locker?) Uh, no.
The Spanish Teacher: I have to give you a detention.
Me: Uh, ok.

Then the "doo doo doo doo" of the PA system goes off and our principal starts the prayer from the main office and we all stand up and pray and then the Pledge of Allegiance and the whole enchilada. So I don't know the definites of my detention (the where, when, and what the heck does one do during a detention??) but... for now it's safe to say that I got my very first detention on the first week of school. For wearing green shoes.

I don't want to go all "but I'm a freshman how was I supposed to know," but honestly? And how am I supposed to break the news to my grandma??

Well at least everybody else at school agrees with me that I shouldn't have gotten one without getting a warning. That is, all of the students I mean.
What do you guys think? Have you ever gotten a detention before? What was it for? What is detention like? Are detentions given out willy-nilly at your school or are they a rare punishment? 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Treadmill Confessional / Headphone Shopping

THE INTERNET HAS RETURNED! Well technically it returned 2 days ago but anyway. 

Now that school has started, and I'm not doing any sports this year besides tennis, I'm trying to get my exercise "funk" back; so yesterday I headed over to the YMCA with my mom. And it was nice! Like returning home (Ok no gym has ever ever ever felt anything like home to anyone anywhere but that expression worked in that context). 

I usually stay on the old folks half of the gym -- the half with the treadmills, the weird running things that are kinda like treadmills but not, the faux bikes, and the pre-set weights: AKA the soccer mom/ old people/ 12 year old boy side. The other side of the gym is the intense, working-out scenes of Rocky and High School Musical bench presses and other doughnut-shaped weights, heavily populated by Axe slathered high school boys. I don't go there. 

But what I hate about the treadmills is how loudly you can hear yourself think. I like gyms in general because the TVs make for a mindless work out. Mindlessness = best work out ever. But without my glasses I can't see the TV, and most of the time my iPod is stuck playing one of those stupid sample songs that come with iTunes. So I think very loudly. And it's miserable, because most of the thinking is "why the hell haven't I run a full mile yet??"

On another note, my mom read somewhere that headphones are much better for your ears than earbuds, and since I use my earbuds a lot and she's convinced I'm losing my hearing, my parents birthday present to me are going to be headphones. But I'm having trouble deciding which one.
pictures from the websites of the headphones whatever linking pssh. 
The first one is Urbanear's "Plattan," which means something in Swedish I guess, but like with Ikea, the translations are beyond my comprehension skills. They're $60, extremely cute-looking (in my opinion), and got a "good" review on CNET. They also have a socket in one of the ears so somebody else can plug their earbuds in and listen too. The second ones are Roc Nation Aviator, got a "very good" review on CNET, and are $149. 

I don't know which ones to go for. The Urbanears ones and cheaper and cuter but the quality isn't as good as the Roc Nation ones. I don't want to use all of my birthday money on headphones, but if it's investing in good quality.... What would you guys do?
What do you guys think about gyms? Do you like gyms? If you don't how else do you get your exercise? Do you use earbuds or headphones?