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Not Just for Old Ladies

Along with everything else retro, clip-on earrings have also made a comeback. Gone are the days where clip-on earrings could only be found in a smelly, 84-year-old woman's box...and I mean jewelry box for all of you pervs out there (who most likely read this blog).

Clip-ons, whether old or new, are classy, stylish, elegant, and you don't even have to have pierced ears! Although, if you don't have pierced ears, you should probably get on board. Either that, or you're 12, and you should know that this reading material is more along the lines of PG-13.

It's true that many clip-on styles could easily sport the ole needle-in-the-ear backing, but I think it adds to the retro vibe to have the hinged hunk of metal gnawing on your earlobe. As long as you adjust and loosen up the hinge ever so slightly, you don't even realize they're there. Careful with the fresh new pairs; the pinching sensation after a long day's wear isn't exactly one of those "no pain, no gain" scenarios.  If you have fat earlobes, then loosen the clip. Either that or go back to school to work on your critical thinking skills.

Anyhow, many current brands are producing clip-on earrings at boutiques, big name department stores, and smaller chains, but they're also enjoyable to hunt down at local vintage shops or consignment stores. They're typically big, funky, and pair well with various outfits. Definitely an investment. Here are some faves...check out the links below the pictures.

                          1928 Jewelry                                                                  Milly 


                     Kate Spade                                                                Ben-Amun
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Pierre's Potato

Sorry for the hiatus; I was off on a Caribbean adventure with (almost) the whole fam. There was much talk of thongs and dongs, per usual in our household, but obviously multiplied with the possibility of a banana hammock sighting on the beach. Luckily, everyone kept their hoo-hah's covered with full board short action. With all of these subjects floating around, the beach family vacation always reminds me of one of my mother's favorite jokes...Pierre & and the potato mishap.

An American is vacationing in the Caribbean when he notices that his advances towards women on the beach are failing miserably. He meets a suave Frenchman named Pierre who seems to be a babe magnet. He asks Pierre for advice to pick up women, and Pierre explains, "You have to put a potato in your bathing suit!" So the American runs off to the nearest store to get a potato, throws it in his swimsuit, and heads off again down the beach. He still seems to fail at attracting anything resembling a woman. The American runs up to Pierre at the end of the day, angered that his advice was useless. When Pierre briefly surveys the American's potato placement, he cries, "Uh, the potato goes in the front." 

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Protein Powder Au Naturel

It's highly amusing to see all of us Americans rushing around snatching up protein powder this and GNC that. Why do you need to purchase artificial, human-manufactured supplements when we have plenty of protein rich, natural foods lounging around our supermarket, eagerly waiting for us to realize that maybe biologically engineered foods are not the answer to health, longevity, or agriculture issues. Would you like to drink a chalked up "vanilla" or "chocolate" protein shake made from a giant jar of powder, or a health frappe of sorts made from legitimate food items? 

Just try it out. Eyeballing the measurements Mama-Dalvet style, throw in a banana, a heaping tablespoon of reduced fat peanut butter, a couple spoonfuls of nonfat cottage cheese, some ice cubes, and a couple drops of milk/soymilk/almond milk. 

peanut butter

Bananas and peanut butter added together are a dynamic duo in any way, shape, or form, so use them with some cottage cheese to increase the protein intake. You'll be happy once you taste it, and this shake is great for any main meal or a little healthy dessert after dinner. Smoothies and health shakes in general are great ways to get some good food into your McDonald's infested body. You want to know why you can't drop that extra weight? It's cause we eat shit for food everyday, just like Shooter McGavin. If you're not a fan of bananas and peanut butter because you're some sort of freak, then switch it up and try fruit with cottage cheese. Just keep the overall caloric level low by throwing in ice cubes to increase volume and a small amount of milk of some sort. You don't need to hit up Jamba Juice and get the "energy booster". Chances are, if you start eating well overall, you're going to have a lot more energy anyways. No need for grainy shakes and supplements to fill you up right. I know as Americans we always want the quick fix, the "5 Hour Energy" in a magic bottle. Not to sound like my mother, but how do you know what effect these food products are going to have on our bodies when we're 50, 60, 70? In most other aspects of life, quick fixing your dumb problems never seem to have a legitimate result. Get off your lazy ass and go buy some fresh fruit or frozen veggies. It's really not that difficult.

Curious about more food issues? Check out Food, Inc., available on Netflix to watch instantly. The movie might take away your appetite, but the overall message encourages you to eat healthy, avoid any corn products, and attempt an organic life. 

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Hollywood, Get Off Your Knees


Sorry, but no, I'm not referring to Lindsay Lohan. I just saw The Town, also recognized for one of the worst movie titles in history. Maybe I'm being harsh? Maybe you're just dumb.

Dun, dun, DUUUUNNNNN!! Not the TOWN!

First of all, the previews were warning enough. I should have known better. They opened the trailer saying, "there are over three hundred bank robberies in Boston every year." Uhh, did I miss something? In my three years of living in Boston, I don't ever think I've seen masked men running into the local Citizen's Bank. I've never even heard of a bank robbery in the more dangerous hoods, like Dorchester or Roxbury. I would say I'm not the most informed person when it comes to bank robberies, even in my own surroundings, but I'm going to guess that the fact given during the trailer is a tad false or at least exaggerated. Secondly, why is the movie called The Town? I would not agree the Charlestown is a rough place, and the neighborhood is eons away from being the bank robbery capital. Sure it may have Bunker Hill Community College (one of the best community colleges, I might add, if that means anything to anyone) and the U.S.S. Constitution, but that doesn't make the place a war zone for Irish American criminals to go around planning $3.5 million dollar robberies of Fenway Park. You're joking Benny-Boo...right? There are far too many statistics stating the obvious, the exact opposite. If you're going to do a movie that's fictional, then you might want to ease up on sounding so serious, deep voiced movie trailer announcer man. 

If you haven't seen the movie, your eyes are not deceiving you. They actually have an elaborate plan to rob Fenway Park, and attempt to carry it out. I'm glad 12 year old boys obsessed with Call of Duty and other action packed entertainment will find this movie enthralling. The only thing that caught my eye was the edge of that Rebecca Hall's snaggle tooth as it pierced through the movie screen. Kudos to Ben for another Beantown flick with a highly talented group of actors. Maybe next time, though, you should choose something a step above. I didn't realize you were trying to top Gigli.
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Let's avoid ALL human contact!

Going off of the whole e-reader trend that seems to be flying off the shelv--err--out of the cold, plastic distribution centers, I start to wonder when we are going to stop our "progression" towards a human-connection free world. Don't pause and say, "But, but, you have a blog!" That's a great observation, Nancy Drew, but think about it. With proper self discipline and an equally important physical social life, social media via the interweb only opens doors to human interaction, but we need to be careful of the many vices in our electronic,  interconnected universe.

We basically have two routes of electronic connectivity, or de-connectivity. We interact with our cellphones, computers, iPads. Through these, we utilize Facebook, Twitter (which still sounds like some dirty, sexual act to me), blogs, Pandora, Google, Skype, et cetera. We lose touch with fewer people, can reach out to someone with the click of a button or a like, and spend hours over Skype having high definition video chats with loved ones (or my personal favorite, randoms via Chatroulette) around the world...all for free. Personally, I wanted to express here that I feel especially touched by all of you reading. Through this blog I am actually reaching out to friends who I thought had fallen by the wayside, when in fact they are eagerly sharing in my own experiences, emotions, and jokes.  Hopefully you all can keep me updated in your own lives along the way. Yes, that was real feeling. From me. You betta believe it.

Back to reality, we need to understand the other half of this double edged sword. We may be able to keep in touch with friends who are participating in relief efforts in Palestine, teaching English in various developing countries, and surviving major natural disasters in Japan. We feel more, faster, better, and harder. Now I see what Daft Punk was getting at, those Frenchies. However, we also disintegrate the good things in our life: the real human interactions. We lose that physical touch when we log into our phones and computers too much, rely on e-readers instead of supporting the intricate system of libraries and bookstores, and would rather miss out on talking to the local grocery store cashier in order to check out with our iPod still jammin' in our ears. To find out if you're too connected, try unplugging for a day, or even a few hours. If you start to itch and foam at the mouth, you've got to tone it down. If you own an e-reader, you're already an asshole. Ok, you can have your cozy, white plastic Kindle or Nook, but save it for those long commutes to work or those long vacations, when the weight of the device actually saves some stress off your shoulders. Don't disregard real books all together, for the sake of our culture. Nooks, iPods, Blackberries and the like might be evil temptresses in some ways, but the e-world's worst enemy, in my opinion, is the tech craze that's taking over grocery and drug stores:

These things don't ask you how the kids are doing.

Do we really need to lay off thousands of cashiers at various CVS stores, Shaw's Supermarkets, Stop & Shop's and whatnot because of these electronic check out systems? Are they actually more convenient? You can't even get cash back! They don't establish that neighborhood feel, they never ask how your day is going, and they are taking away full and part time jobs from people all over the nation. Thanks, Capitalism. As individuals, we need to make a conscious effort to examine what goes from being a simple convenience to becoming a job-destroying, life altering nuisance over time. I'm glad the machines are saving those companies money. Phew. At least there's a corporate benefit. I was worried for a second.
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Getting in touch with my Irish roots

In the spirit of the Irish holiday today, I'd like to share some stories about the delight that was my paternal grandmother, Kathleen Foley, also known as Bonnemaman. Bonnemaman is an ironic name for such a woman, as it is the French word for grandmother with the literal translation of "good mother." Unfortunately, she completely missed that target. Surprisingly however, not too many families refer to their grandmothers as Mauvaisemaman, so Bonnemaman had to stick. She represents the Irish gene supplier in the family, and she was a complete nutjob. 

When everyone first found out that my mother was pregnant with me, Bonnemaman's mother, Grandmother Foley, called my parents and said that I was going to be a retarded child and that my mother ruined my father's life. They claimed that I was going to get leukemia and die, develop a wide array of mental illnesses, and I'm sure she threw in some sort of physical handicap as well. Little did they know, the retarded child ended up being my little sister! Hah! (Just joshin'). I'm pretty sure it was a creepy prank call type of scenario where my mother answered the phone and there was heavy, scratchy breathing with the occasional, "You ruined that boy's life...that child will be retarded...," et cetera. Luckily, my mom had plenty of practice with lunatic mother-in-law's in her first marriage, so this wasn't too much of a shock to the system. And of course, they proved everyone wrong when they had me since I'm the perfect child. 

If Bonnemaman had had Facebook, this would've been her doppelganger.

Bonnemaman of course had to visit when I was finally born 9 months, 9 lbs and 12 oz later (Apparently it was all in the head--literally, the circumference of my head was above the 95th percentile). While she used to look like Grace Kelly, my mother always says she turned into more of a Jabba the Hutt in her older years. When her fat, crazy ass showed up at our house to greet her first grandchild, and she decided to don a medical mask, since I was clearly a disease ridden child. Everyone knows a child conceived out of wedlock that forces a couple into matrimony is going to experience some serious illnesses. It's a direct correlation with plenty of scientific evidence. I'm sure my parents and grandfather experienced a fascinating encounter with her that afternoon, and obviously the rest of the visit was filled with laughter and familial love (not). When my grandfather came over later that week, my mother threw on her best elephant mask in imitation of Bonnemaman, hissing about disease and retardation. Not sure if my mom's ever seen Grandpere laugh harder in his life. Poor guy had to be married to that woman. He deserves a solid laugh and maybe even a slight pee-in-your-pants moment.

As a young teen, I wrote to Bonnemaman here and there, basically with the intentions of scoring a sweet Christmas and birthday present lineup. She started off only preaching a little bit in her letters, but by the time 15, 16 rolled around, she was ready to control my entire life and force me into whatever life track she had failed on. She told me that I should quit soccer and play a sport that was more "ladylike" such as tennis. To me at the age of 15 and 16, soccer was my entire life. I played 50 weeks out of the year and worked out 6-7 days a week, both on teams (2) and on my own. Telling me that I couldn't play anymore was devastating, and I immediately burst into tears at the thought of my grandmother disapproving of my decisions and talking about soccer like it had the same effect on my reputation as giving handies out in the school bathroom. My father wrote her back a letter threatening to cut off all communication. 

She always carried an opinion, and a strong one at that. Her perspectives had to be opposite of everyone else's whom she loved for whatever psychological reason, and for that, she was doomed to shatter all relationships in the Dalvet family. 

When she passed away in 2007, we learned she had been lying to the government about my great grandmother's social security benefits. Bonnemaman had been posing as Grandmother Foley after she had passed away and proceeded to collect two separate retirement payments for many years. She was riddled with debt, bad karma, and worst of all, none of us could decide if we were glad to see her go or sad to see she successfully killed herself slowly with smoking, medical manipulation (she had several doctors that she lied to about prescriptions), and weight gain. While I have not encountered a close death directly (I have only experience extreme grief and hurt through others' experiences with death), watching my father struggle to read a poem by Dylan Thomas about the deteriorated relationship between the poet and his dying father was one of the most difficult things I've had to go through. I hope my dad knows that he has overcome having such an atrocious mother as he has become an incredible parent himself.

So while St. Patrick's day seems to be all fun and games for many, and we all look forward to wearing green, getting drunk, and pretending that we are off the boat Irish-Americans, I am reminded of my roots and hope that my family, myself, and my friends never become what Bonnemaman had become. I hope she is resting in peace while her ashes rest in the Charles River (yes, seriously). She deserves some peace, even after all she has destroyed in her lifetime.

"Do not go gentle into that good night"  
Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night. 

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night. 

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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My dogg, Nate Dogg

I'm going to have to break the bad news to my father, unless he already knows since he's so in the loop with the rap world. He's going to be devastated. 

Nathaniel passed away at 41 years of age. His health was deteriorating as he had strokes in 2007 and 2008. He was an LBC native along with Snoop, and while dropping out of high school at 16, he also joined the Marines where he served for three years. Nate Dogg's vocal talents were noticed by Dr. Dre at a house party back in day--where he went on to make many appearances on Dre's album The Chronic. He went from the Crips to signing with Death Row Records. Despite his success, he evidently didn't take care of himself.

I don't mean to be the bearer of even more bad news--but this guy had to have done some coke in his day. You don't have a stroke in your thirties without some sort of serious history with hard drugs. Don't shoot the messenger if this hurts his name and reputation or offends you in any way. At the same time, if people doing cocaine have these serious long term health issues, maybe others will stop ingesting such ridiculous substances. If a drug has an incredibly intense positive effect on you in 2011, it's most likely going to have the equivalent negative effect on you in 2041. 

Regardless of his drug habits, this is a sad time for the rap community as a legendary artist passes. He has collaborated with Dr. Dre, Warren G, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, and Eminem to name the big guns. Homie, you will be missed. I'm sure we'll hold a memorial service in the Dalvet household.

Ludacris featuring Nate Dogg -- Area Codes
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Tsunami? Grab a swimsuit

Obviously, I'm joking. I've never felt very affected by a natural disaster in another part of the world, but this time around I actually sat down and genuinely examined the situation that Japan and the surrounding coastline areas are going through. In all honesty, my heart and prayers go out to all of those encountering the earthquakes, tsunamis, and all other reverberating effects, physical, emotional, etc. I jokingly put this title on today's post because I wanted to reach out publicly to those suffering. 

The rest of the post will be about bathing suits since it's finally warming up outside and many of us have been or will be going on spring vacations. I will be headed to St. Croix next week! 

When buying bathing suits, it's a good idea to buy the basics and then a few unique ones. You can always mix and match the tops and bottoms if you've got the basic colors, and those puppies will never go out of style. I'm a big fan of not going out of style, since I don't really have an internal alarm clock that screams, "Omigosh, you like, totally have to go get a new spring wardrobe with all of the latest trendz!"

Trends, schmends. Buy something you like that is comfortable and looks good. No one wants to see your ass crack, and don't go get super padded bathing suits. Just like that boobilicious new bra from Victoria's Secret that adds TWO cup sizes, we can all tell. Even the dudes. Besides, retro bathing suits are back with everything else retro, and that means less skin. I know, nuts!! We have to leave something to the imagination? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Covering up the skin? That also means more UV protection. And we all know how I feel about skin cancer. Check out some of my favorites. 

La Blanca Ruffled One Piece

La Blanca is great for those of us who don't feel like they hit the gym enough before the beach hit them. I think all women feel that way regardless of their size (let's be honest ladies), so La Blanca bathing suits should find a home in all of our closets. They have a bit of control to them despite being slinky skin tight sex kitten swimsuits, and they are elegant, basic, and definitely timeless. This one comes in bright blue and coral along with the white.

Juicy Couture Beach Ruffle

I don't mean to post two bathing suits in a row that are white, I just like the overall look for those of you searching for similar styles. I'm not discriminating against other bathing suit races. If you want a poop green swimsuit, go buy one. This one is really feminine and flirty, something we may need when baring basically everything to jump in the water. Let's face it, you don't want to look like you're going on an underwater biological research mission on the white sands of the Caribbean, even if you actually are.

Betsey Johnson Layer Cake Swimsuit

Lord, you cannot give me enough of this deep blue shit. And I am not referring to fecal matter that is blue for whatever reason (don't ask) and deep because of a high fiber diet. I mean, this color is fantastic. It's like that VW golf in high school that was categorized as "blurple"--those Germans could not have found a better word to describe this color. At least Germany did something right. And now it comes in a bathing suit! By Betsey Johnson nonetheless! My life is complete. Before I even knew what a designer was, I knew Betsey Johnson. This knowledge was most likely attributed to the fact that my mother is crazy and therefore likes the nutjob Courtney Love inspiring fashion designer whose initials also stand for Blow Job, but that's besides the fact. BJ is a bucket o' fun, and I don't mean fellatio. Buy her clothes, and if you cannot handle the clothes, then buy the swimsuits.

Those are some nifty suits in basic colors, but for even more basic swimsuits, head to your nearest Ralph Lauren retailer. Ralphie makes some great fitting, comfortable bathing suits that come in the best of the basics (yesssss stripes). Avoid the logo, since we are not in high school anymore. No one cares that you shop at Abercrombie, and even if you do, you should probably be shot. Another tip for comfy-sexy-cool (TLC's motto as older mothers, RIP Left Eye) is to shop at lingerie boutiques or look for brands manufactured by bras and panties companies. Those guys are gonna know how to hold up the ta-ta's while keeping comfort and/or sex appeal at numero uno. I know I need the twins held up since I'm the first one diving into the water. Oceanic waves are ruthless, especially with all that tectonic shifting.
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Dope Beatz, Vol. 4

Two weeks without some beatz, I know. You've probably been crying yourself to sleep listening to Justin Bieber instead. You should know better. Next time, hold off for Newman's recommendations.

Cut Copy -- Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution 
Eliza says: This song is off their new album Zonoscope, which sounds like summery- electro-pop disco 80s snytho-rock, or something like that.  The album doesn’t have any of those really poppy singles like “Lights and Music” but there are definitely some jams, even if you can’t dance to them.  This isn’t necessarily my favorite song on the album but I love the title. 
I say: Rad choice. Song title is cool, especially in the wake of everything going on with revolutions these days in Northern Africa. Even though this song probably isn't actually addressing sociopolitical changes in developing countries, it's cool to see the coincidental timing. You never know when the power of communication and the people coming together is going to overturn an entire nation. France, 1789, anyone?

Twin Shadow -- Slow
Eliza says: This is an especially new band, whose debut album Forget came out just a few months ago.  The whole album has that 80s new wave vibe to it, which is pretty standard for indie rock bands.  I really like this album and I think the band is very entertaining, even though the lead singer rocks a thick pedophile mustache coupled with some pretty greasy hair. 
I say: That is one sweet, pedophile mustache. At least someone is following in MJ's footsteps of being creepy, RIP. I feel like I'm jamming along to the Sixteen Candles soundtrack, which is perfectly fine with me. Except for the fact that I'm expecting Jake's chiseled jaw to be waiting for me outside in his porsche. Viva la 80's.

Joan As Police Woman -- The Magic

Eliza says: The Deep Field came out in the end of January.  She’s got a smooth sultry voice that close to that of Joss Stone, but much better in my opinion.  I just found out she’s performing at the Middle East on April 19, which I would love to go to if I didn’t have to work! 
I say: Take off of work? Is she going to be performing with those men? That could be interesting in the banana hammocks they're sporting. Who is the old dude though? Gotta love these indie hipster 80's vibin bands who try to be as weird as possible.

Chiddy Bang -- Baby Roulette
I say: Who doesn't like a song called Baby Roulette? You can probably guess what it means--luckily no guns involved.  Chiddy Bang seems like a couple of goofy kids making beats and spitting raps so I almost expected them to come out with a song about putting on a condom. While it's obviously halfway joking, it's kind of nice to see an artist mention birth control, especially a condom vs a pill, cause so many kids don't understand the threat of STD's until they're either older and have skidded by, or actually catch something. Condom's are cool, kids, condoms are cool. As my mother always says, "Gabrielle, you better use rubbers! I hated using rubbers when I was younger. But you have to!!"

Lupe Fiasco -- All Black Everything
I say: I love the fairytale violins in the background, like Cinderella is about to head to the ball. It would be a fairytale to live in a world without racism or discrimination of any sort. Definitely something pleasant to dream about, and hopefully while we're imagining repairing our history, we start to move towards a more racism free world. My mother is friends with MLK's lawyer, Clarence Jones. Shortly after President Obama became elected, we met Clarence for dinner. With tears in his eyes he took my hand and thanked me, and mainly my generation, for helping elect our first black president and for progressing into a culture that is finally beginning to not see in color. While I think the world has many strides left to hurtle through, it's true that slowly but surely change is happening.
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Speaking of the Apocalypse...

...Stephen failed to write in proper English using complete words and sentences.

If this isn't a sign of the end of the world, then I'm not sure I want to see that sign when it actually arrives. I know he's got a rinky dink pay-as-you-go phone "just for emergencies" since he believes that technology is the antithesis of education and progession, but he couldn't take two minutes to press each numerical key the appropriate amount of times in order to generate "Thanks, just read this"? I've never even seen someone reference "read this" with the letters "rt" before. Where did he even come up with that? Or "jst" for "just"? You can't hit the 8 key twice to provide a "u" for that four letter word? I know it can be difficult for a 49 year old tech-tarded man to actually text, call, open up a new word document, or avoid breaking every electronic device he touches, but he is Ivy League educated. And not only Ivy League--top tier Ivy. Yale. His brain should be able to process the complicated process that texting is.

To elaborate on how important grammar is to my father, let me do a little recap on my childhood. Every single time I asked someone, "Can I have the peas?" I would get, "May I have the peas," from the grammar guru. If I said, "Me and Marielle..." I was rudely interrupted by "MARIELLE AND I!!!" If correcting your children's grammar could count as verbal abuse, then my domestic situation would have been considered questionable. Social Services would have come knocking at my door, and I would have been thrown to a foster family who could at least understand the importance of the occasional "ain't".

The irony of it all. Irony. Another literary aspect we learned while in his class at Cheverus High School. Stephen finally fell victim to the watered down language that is text message shorthand. I feel like I could cry.

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Charcoal Smudge Wednesday!

Burnt plants on yo face!

Not big on the whole relig thang, but Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent has always intrigued me. I feel that is indeed important for all of us to go without, at least for some period of time, especially in today's society when even the lowest of incomes can afford some serious luxuries. Whether or not you need the big man G-O-D to tell you what to do is completely irrelevant in my opinion. I don't think God tells us to do shit. He just wants us to live our lives and progress and grow. If you have a problem with that and want to claim that he tells us not to get married to someone of the same sex, not to have abortions, and not to partake in premarital sex (gasp! not premarital sex!), then maybe you should do some research or even read the bible for yourself. It really doesn't say anything of the sort, and if it does, you need to smack yourself in the face and remember that God didn't write the bible, some freaks from the BC era puffed on their pipes and listened to his "word." Riiiight. I mean, should they even be considered primary sources?

If you've got one of those one track minds, you can start educating yourself by reading up on this BU alumni magazine's review of Jennifer Knust's book about the Bible's contradictions--regarding sex and everything else. And then you can read her actual book, move to the Old Testament, and maybe finally get around to the ole Christian hullabaloo that is the New Testament.

But back to Lent...you want to try giving something up? I encourage you to go for it. It's a strong indicator of self control and discipline, something we all must practice, regardless of theological influence. As stated in a previous blog entry, you don't need any organized religion telling you how to behave morally. It's there, deep down, but you may have to dig. Ash Wednesday's a good place to start shoveling. I'm going to give up...um...I'll get back to you.
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The Apocalypse Sounds Cool

 AMC's The Walking Dead
I don't know why I'm so mesmerized by the idea of some worldwide event that wipes out all but a few of the population. Obviously, this idea is only entertained if I am one of the few who exist, but wouldn't that be so crazy to have to live without all of our luxuries and have to resort to old school existence techniques? We'd have to rebuild society, ward off disease and enemies, and travel to find other pockets of healthy human beings. I've always been obsessed with these types of movies, books, and television shows, and I think I'm starting to understand that I am simply captivated by this sort of imaginary situation where I need to use some serious critical thinking skills so that I can simply survive. Granted, I have some thyroid issues that could possibly make me a weak link in the survival of the human race--but that's neither here nor there. I don't actually want the entire world to be wiped out, but dreaming of the event and what I would have to do is thrilling.

To pique my interest, I've recently started watching AMC's new show The Walking Dead, whose second season will be airing sometime next fall. In the past, I've quenched my zombie and post-apocalyptic thirst by reading and/or watching I am Legend (Both book and movie!), 28 days later, Resident Evil, The Book of Eli (Which was far too religious for my taste), Z for Zachariah (Younger read--though I remember it well), The Handmaid's Tale, The Omega Man, Children of Men, Oryx and Crake, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, to name the ones that come to mind. You should check them out for yourself--although for most of those, you've probably already taken a gander. Never hurts to brush up. Should you ever need tips from Will Smith on how to survive the zombie apocalypse of Manhattan, it might be difficult to find electricity to power up that DVD player after those freaks start sprinting around the city. Just sayin'.
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Service Ain't No One Way Street.

"Raise your hand if you've never worked in a restaurant!!"
"Woooo!!! Yeahhh!! We haven't!"
"You people are assholes."
-Daniel Tosh

I could not have said it better myself, which why I think D. Tosh's stand up CD is a gift from comedic heaven since I desire to express the very same frustrations and weird ass stories that he does. 

Honestly. Go work in a restaurant if you have not already. That way, you will understand the importance of two-way service. Servers are certainly not your slaves, nor are they the paid servants that you take them to be. They are taking time out of their busy days, most of which they spend attending to other important matters like children, restaurant business development, graduate degrees, and just enjoying life in general. They do not wish to be your personal bitch for two hours, and they do not intend on succumbing to your every whim just because you think you've worn your big boy pants to the restaurant and own the server's balls since you're paying the bill (tip). No. You are quite wrong, my friend. 

The bottom line is, follow the golden rule. Ask nicely and you shall receive, without spit in your food and with an authentic smile on the server's face. No, I have never seen someone spit in a customer's food, but that doesn't mean that we haven't thought about it...or yearned for the opportunity. If you're the asshole that likes whatever the f-- condiment isn't included on your plate, then use those manners that are buried away in the depressingly dim folds of brain matter, and politely request some honey mustard. If you're at a "fancy" restaurant, then get a clue and learn how to eat food the way it was meant to be prepared. You are insulting the chef. 

In several hundred words or less, wait patiently, sit down quickly, do not ask stupid questions, order efficiently, be polite, don't house your water (I know it's free and all but come on. Do I need to fill it every 5 seconds?), don't house your alcohol (I don't want to have to cut you off), put your cellphone and iTampon (sorry, iPad) away, don't sexually harass me, don't speak to me like I'm an idiot (when I'm most likely the more intelligent one), shut your kid up, don't bring your bratty kids, don't bring your bratty friends, don't bring your bratty significant others, avoid being awkward, shower first--we can smell you, too--, eat steadily, enjoy your experience, pay rapidly, and always, always TIP WELL. 

And remember, besides the specifics, this sort of behavior is recommended for all customer service encounters. Try not to make my life a living hell with flames and blood, and I'll try to avoid farting on your blueberry tart in retaliation. Blueberry tart, pair of defective shoes, broken cellphone, shoes that need polishing...learn how to interact with people and simply say please and thank you before and after your request of "Could you kiss my ass?"
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Don't be a C's hater

How does one hate the Celtics?

I read an interesting article by J.B. Bird today explaining the multitude of reasons for which one could loathe our precious Boston basketball team. And yet, I still don't understand what honest, intelligent person could become so stricken by jealousy or by the fact that KG plays "dirty" that they choose to hold a personal vendetta against one of the greatest teams in NBA history. I wanted to illustrate the various examples of why we all should celebrate their success.

The Boston Celtics' alumni roster is home to Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, and coach Red Auerbach. Larry Bird established the first "Big 3" with Robert Parish and Kevin McHale, and of course we all know the new Big 3 in town as Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. For those of you who don't know the history behind some of these guys, Bill Russell was one of the leaders in the civil rights movement as he was the first African American NBA player to achieve immense success. Bob Cousy revolutionized ball handling for the Celtics and earned fame and nicknames such as "The Cooz," "Houdini of the Hardwood," and "Mr. Basketball." He also proudly sported the PF Flyer's line of sneaks created in collaboration with the Celtics star (What up PF!):

John Havlicek is regarded as one of the best players in the history of the National Basketball Association. In the 16 seasons he spent lovingly with the Celtics, he won 8 championship titles. 1 for 2 ain't bad. And of course, we all know Larry Bird. Need I say more?

Civil Rights
Coach Auerbach made it possible for the Celtics to have the first all African American starting lineup and was the first to draft an African American player in Chuck Cooper. In 1966, Bill Russell became the first African American NBA coach when he took over for Auerbach. "In a time when America was grappling with civil rights, the Celtics were colorblind.

There's No I in Team
There may be an I in Celtics, but before that there's a T for team.  And the Celtics exemplify the importance of teamwork: cohesion, determination, and motivation to win as a group. The Celtics may have big time players in every decade of their history, but their most notable performances consist of their ability to work with their comrades in order to capture a title. Some of their most celebrated players come in threes--in the groups nicknamed the old and new "Big 3." Sorry Lebron, your little tripod in Miami isn't going to cut it. You can't win rings on your own. Will he ever learn?

They Win Titles in a Real Athletic Sport 
Sorry Jeter, baseball doesn't count. Let's do fitness tests on baseball players and see how they match up against athletes that actually run. Sure, it's America's favorite pastime, but that's it...a pastime. They don't exactly have the same cardiac capacity as rowers and swimmers. Partnered with the fact that I don't like the Yankees, I wanted to demonstrate the Celtics' athletic prowess and their team unity that has allowed them to take home 18 championship titles in a sport that actually gets your heart rate up for more than the sprint to 1st base. I'm not claiming that baseball is not difficult; I understand it requires patience and skill. I just think it's a little far fetched to throw confetti on the Yankees for winning so many titles in a sport when the Celtics have clearly athletically speaking worked harder for their wins. 

How Can You Not Appreciate KG, Pierce, and Allen?
KG might have a temper, but he plays basketball and does it well. He's allowed to get a little frisky on the court. He's not out there pulling a Tonya Harding all over the place. KG just gets a little into the game sometimes and might become carried away, but the guy hasn't killed anyone. Pierce and Allen on the other hand make up for any aggressive issues. Paul Pierce was nicknamed "The Truth" by then rival Lakers player Shaquille...and Ray Allen is, well, Ray Allen. He holds the record for most 3 point shots ever. End of story?

If you're jealous of the Celtics, then get over it. They are skilled, unified, humble, and awesome. How can you not love them?
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Money can't buy happiness. It buys greed, depression, misery.

As we recent college grads get older, we realize what we want out of life in terms of our success, careers, and paychecks. We live in a materialistic, consumer-driven society where we all want. But at what point do you stop to examine what's actually significant in your life? Does that promotion or that flat screen mean as much to you as the love of your life, or your aging parents? I've encountered several books and movies with which I plan on investing a lot of time, so that I learn not to invest a lot of time in big financial business. Talk about reverse psychology. Show me Inside Job, Wall Street, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and books like Den of Thieves, and I'll vow to remain content til the end of days as a middle class semi successful suburban wife and mother of four who actually understands what being happy really means.

I had a discussion last night with these topics in mind. Some claimed that they would give anything for that golden executive paycheck. I didn't disagree for the sake of argument; I disagreed because that's fucking insane. If you actually think you can be happy and morally content with that sort of position, you need to reevaluate what your life means to you.  If you want to start your own company or join a rapidly growing business that grows exponentially until you're taking home a seven figure paycheck, congratulations. Hopefully I'll be right there with you. Just don't get to the "top" of the food chain by screwing everyone else over and laughing with those misogynistic, depraved lunatics that you call "coworkers" while you hustle your filthy (and I mean filthy) rich asses up and down the Manhattan streets to your cherished financial firms. You must be joking if you truly believe that could grant you the key to it all.

"Uh, do you know how much they get paid?"

Yes, thank you. I wasn't born yesterday. I understand that you can purchase a lot of really cool things with millions of dollars. If you cannot tell, I find it difficult to adequately express the sarcasm bleeding out of these sentences. Newsflash! I can buy a lot of really cool things with my salary right now. It's not much; I don't want to live on it forever; and I'll certainly need more when I have children, but at least it actually means something to me when I set aside some money to put towards a new apartment, an expensive object, or some new clothes. I don't want to sell my soul to the devil of corporate finance. I do like nice things and want to make money as I grow older, but there are many ways of doing so and they don't have to involve insider trading. If anything, we should observe the careers of the people we know, for they are all testimonies to the idea of achieving wealth, success, & happiness. All in one, without having to F someone in the B on Wall Street.

I'm going to assume there are some firms out there with actual humans inside of them. To those, I say "Cheers." You are real. Please don't forget what we are on this Earth to achieve. We are here to progress, develop, learn, teach, love, care, and enjoy. We are not here to wallow in despair after we have officially alienated anyone who truly mattered in our lives simply because we wanted to make a buck or two. Grow up and get some real goals.