Sunday, October 31, 2010

He's Just Not That Into You And Other Life Truths I Learned From Hollywood

Today I watched He's Just Not That Into You for the 3rd or 4th time. Ladies, if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Guys, you probably won't like it, so I wouldn't bother. Yes, it's a cheesy romantic comedy, but I still think it's cute, and there are actually some very good points in there. And this isn't the only movie that has made me think, "Wow. That's SO true." Ohhhh no, my friends. The cinema is a powerful educational tool. For instance...

He's Just Not That Into You. There's a reason the original book is so popular. Because it basically READ'S MEN'S MINDS. Well, not quite, but it still points out the obvious "warning signs" that girls tend to ignore when they like a guy who doesn't like them back. Like if he doesn't call you... he probably is Just Not That Into You. (I know, the title kinda gives it all away up front.) After watching this movie, I refuse to believe that there are guys that are so shy that they can't get up the courage to ask a girl out. If they really liked her, they'd get their act together, right? RIGHT!

Pride and Prejudice. This movie proves that romance doesn't have to be over-the-top, corny or super sexy. In fact, I would put Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy at the top of my all-time favorite fictional couples list. They don't even kiss until the last scene!! And yet it's so incredibly wonderful all the way through. I suppose this movie is also proof that I'm not a complete cynic. I still cry when Mr. Darcy comes walking across the moors to proclaim his love. Why does nothing like this happen to me in real life? Here's why. It's not 1784 anymore and I don't live in an English manor. Shoot.

Little Miss Sunshine. There's just something touching about the ending of this movie. (Spoiler alert!) You know, when Olive gets up on the beauty pageant stage and starts dancing inappropriately. It's not the awkward dancing that gets to me, it's the fact that this little girl has no inhibitions, that she's doing what she loves, and that she wants to share it with the world. Then her family joins her (to save her from being booed offstage) and it's just all the more emotional. I'm glad to say I've got friends and family who will join in with me when I make myself look ridiculous (on those rare, rare occasions where I do not come off as totally smooth...) What more could I ask for in life? Maybe a million dollars and a baby penguin, but I'll settle for the reliable support system.

James Bond. This is mostly just to prove that I don't only watch girl movies. Also, the lesson I learned from the many 007 flicks I have seen is this: James Bond only likes hot women, and can't stay in a committed relationship. Ohhh, how many times I have seen this manifest itself in reality...
In conclusion. I will continue to watch movies. I will continue to make vast generalizations about how these movies always relate to real life. I will continue to be disappointed when I wake up at sunrise for my morning outdoor contemplation and do not find a 18th century gent striding toward me in the mist. And I will continue to write blog entries about things that probably no one finds amusing except myself and a select few people who tolerate my crazy. (please reference Little Miss Sunshine lesson)

Friday, October 29, 2010


Remember when TGIF was not only a saying, but a full prime time TV schedule? Boy Meets World...Sabrina the Teenage was good.

And speaking of great TV shows, can I just take a quick break here and mention a few other jewels from our youth? Legends of the Hidden Temple (terrifying when they went through that obstacle course at the end.) Clarissa Explains It All! What girl wouldn't want a cute neighbor boy climbing through her window any time of day? Actually, kind of creepy. Global Guts?? All That??? Ok, I'm getting carried away. But Spongebob has nothing on true entertainment.

Aaaanyhow. My point was not to reminisce about 90s television. Instead, I wanted to list off a few reasons why I am excited for this weekend DESPITE having no actual plans.

1. It's the weekend, duh.

2. I do not have to dress up in any kind of costume for Halloween, merely pass out the candy to the cute youngsters that come trick-or-treating. (Although I will be fondly remembering last year's Halloween-o-rama with joy in my heart.)

3. Tomorrow marks the first day I will be able to sleep in after about a month of volleyball tournaments and other Saturday morning activities. Bliss!

4. I will be screenprinting my little heart out, but that's OK. It's pretty therapeutic.

5. College football features Nebraska vs. Mizzou tomorrow afternoon. Go Big Red! Need I say more?

So while you're all off partying it up and being your wild child selves, I'll be at home in comfy clothes eating massive amounts of leftover candy. Woo hoo!

Happy Halloween! :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I feel like this is mostly Abby's blog, but I just wanted to say that had I more interesting things to say, or things that could be said in family friendly language.... I'd be a really good blogger.

Perhaps my time is coming.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Talkin' Bout my Geeeeneration!

Today was the first day that my fingers turned blue. Well, I assume they turned blue. My nails are painted right now so I couldn't tell for sure, but they definitely felt pretty cold. This is how I know that winter is almost uponst us. One day it was fall, a pleasant 70 degrees, and now we're going into that season that I like to call "one of the worst results of sin." Seriously though, I'm almost positive the Garden of Eden was sunny with an 80 degree dry heat.

And one of the things that comes along with winter is the recent memory of one day in Valpo when we had a little blizzard and got about 22 inches of snow in 3 hours. Remember that, Valpo-ites? There was snow up to my hip! The Wal-Mart closed the next day! But wait, I seem to remember... yes. We still had class. You couldn't make a Wal-Mart run to grab bottled water and canned goods but I probably still had to go to some crummy PR class.

And now I hear all this news via Facebook newsfeed that there was a tornado warning in Valpo and they cancelled class! No actual funnel cloud in site! Just a "warning." What kind of wimpy school did I go to?? Which leads me to my thesis statement...

Kids these days. (Picture me shaking my smirking face and rolling my eyes.)

In all seriousness though, it's interesting to think about our generation growing up and becoming parents and (eek) grandparents someday. Will we still be as attached to our cell phones as we are now? I admit, I kind of freak out if I leave home without mine. Will women be updating their facebook statuses as they go into labor? Will guys twitter their way through a business deal? What will this do to our kids? I suppose they'll probably be sending mind signals to their friends.

And I know we've all asked ourselves, "Is this Ke$ha song going to be considered an 'Oldie' someday?" I don't even know if I'm old enough to be listening to her lyrics. Why didn't the foxtrot or the waltz come back into style? It seems as though the bump 'n grind is here to stay. And this doesn't even begin to touch on all of the political, economic and social issues that seem to be worsening with every year.

Obviously, every generation has its own issues. Even the 1950s was merely another decade parading around as Pleasantville nostalgia. I just wonder if the things that make our generation weaker and more materialistic will only explode further as time goes on. Maybe our kids will reject our crazy, quick-as-lightning society and calm down a little. Or maybe not. I hope they'll inherit some of our common sense, but maybe not as much of the cynicism that often taints our age group. Take the tenacity, leave the arrogance. Take the willingness, leave the self-centeredness.

And then somedays I just feel like a kid myself, and I want my mom to fix everything for me. It takes a lot of energy to grow up properly, and life doesn't do us many favors. However, I'm pretty convinced that we as a generation won't turn out to be total losers. Although there's still a few years to go as the results come in... :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Things I'm Putting on my Shopping List

Today is Sunday, also known as the day of rest. So you won't hear/read any chatter about such heavy topics as life and love and feminism. Let's do something more fun, shall we? I like to call it "Fashion" or "Why Women Are Judged When They Buy Their Clothes At Target." Don't get me wrong, I love Target. But Michael Kors always uses Target as an insult on Project Runway, as in "That dress looks like it came off the clearance rack at Target." (said in a disgusted, high voice that one might use to remark upon a spider crawling out of the bathroom drain.) I happen to buy a lot of my clothes at Target, so I suppose this means I am only mildly fashionable. But whatever! Until I make millions, I'll refrain from buying these ensembles that are so IN right now...

I didn't need Elle magazine to tell me that animal prints are going to be all the rage in Spring 2011. In fact, I think they're a little behind the times. All the most popular junior high girls wear zebra and leopard print ribbons in their hair, duuuhhhh.
Now, I actually find this look pretty cute. The jacket is funky, the jeans are normal (shocking for a runway look) and the t-shirt gives that envied "I just escaped a slasher film" vibe.
It has a hood. Need I say more? Gem.
This is a look I was not aware was going to be coming into style anytime soon, but I am indeed convinced that after my next shopping trip I will return home with several pairs of see-through pants. WITH matching underwear, of course. Also, some flowy pieces of chiffon to stick in the back so I look super aerodynamic when I walk.
I think it's unfortunate they forgot to sew on the second half of her dress... PSYCH! It's supposed to be that way. It's fashion. If you don't get it, I'm not even going to try and explain it to you.
Needless to say, I will be sporting all of these looks as soon as I can my hands on the Target version of them. And Michael Kors, if you're reading this, I think your collections are always lovely.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Feminism, or Why Can't I Just Do What I Want?

Today I’m going to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: Feminism! (yes, males, you may groan and roll your eyes at this point. But I urge you to read on...)

Now, feminism means many different things to different people. To some, it’s the ultimate political, social and economic utopia. Away with men! Women can do it ALL on their own! Except reproduce, but let’s not talk about that. I’m sure there are ways to do that without men, too. Science, probably. To others, feminism conjures up images of forest women burning their bras and growing leg hair that rivals the burliest of men. It’s for crazies, hippies and liberals. And then there are others who hang quietly in the middle. I like to think of myself in this category.

I generally think the basic idea of feminism is fine. Women should be granted the same rights and privileges as men, especially when it’s something so simple as voting, owning property, and bringing home the bacon. But these battles have already been fought and won, and feminism's goals have changed. Unfortunately, feminism now sometimes casts a negative light on those women who do not ferociously seek the traditionally held male positions in society: high political figures, CEOs, university presidents, etc. When women reach a plateau in their life that isn’t the upper most echelon, hardcore feminists may wonder why they quit. This thought seems even more common when feminists think about women who choose to walk away from academia or the work force to have children and raise a family.

Now, I would be straight up lying if I said the number one thing I wanted to do in life is to get my PhD and run an art museum. It would be pretty sweet, but the really number one thing I want to do is get married, have kids and be a stay-at-home mom. Even as I type this, I’m sort of cringing, because our sometimes-feminist society has taught me that I can be “better” than that. That I can get that PhD, that I can climb the corporate ladder and get an amazing job, and that I can do all of this without a man or kids in my life. Heck, the family is only going to slow me down, right?

Why is raising a family the “old-fashioned” way somehow considered copping out these days? Sure there are people who still think it’s admirable, but it seems as though that population is quickly decreasing. Personally, I think helping small people somehow become good big people is a pretty big and important task. I mean look at the state of today’s youth...yikes. Plus, isn't birthing children the ultimate feminist act? When Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to have a baby in that freakish movie from the 90s, it made me want to gouge my eyes out. Pregnant men aren't natural. I just wish all of this was a more commonly held view. Or maybe it is, but people (women) are afraid to say it because they think they’ll look weak or unintelligent.

Basically what I’m saying at the end of the day is this: I want a nice husband. I want a couple of kids. I want to hang out with them and bake them cupcakes at the end of a long day. Yes, I’ll keep studying and pushing my way to that art museum dream. And I am genuinely excited about that road too. But don’t think I’m not really hoping and praying for some tiny hands and feet in my future.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kids these days...

So this fall I've been helping coach a junior high volleyball team. The team is comprised of 17 6th-8th grade girls of varying athletic skills. We practice every weekday (is this a lot for 12 year olds or am I crazy??) and they've made a lot of improvement. I'm so proud of the little sweethearts.

Now, before I go all melty on you, I just have to say ONE thing that I've (re-)learned from this experience...

Thank goodness junior high is a thing of the past.

I had forgotten just how terrifying every day was, trying to be noticed but not if it was going to bring teasing, trying to wear cute clothes but not looking overdone, trying to hang out with guys but NOT letting them know who you really like! Everything you do or say is judged and analyzed immediately by 8 different people, and you've got about a 3% chance of coming off cool. As soon as field trips are announced it's a mad dash to find a seat partner, especially if you have an odd number of people in your class. Becoming "popular" is probably the most attainable good in life. And never let anyone know you're smart, a family fan or musically talented. Those will get you nowhere in 8th grade.

So like I said, thank goodness I'm not in junior high anymore. But wait a second... I'm sensing some kind of trend here... Let's face it, high school is basically an extension of junior high, with more questionable characters out there. And now we all know, in many ways, college is kind of just like high school except you eat more late-night drive through food. And now we're in the real world and...wait. It's still basically the same. Let's delve, shall we?

1. Trying to be noticed but not if it gets you teased - still happens. Of course at this age, the goal is to avoid the "Uh, do you know what you're doing?"
2. Trying to wear cute clothes but not be overdone -my every-morning challenge.
3. Trying to hang out with guys without letting them know who you really like - it's only more complicated now. And that probably deserves its own post.
4. Being judged and usually not ending up cool - still happens. Don't try to hide it.
5. Trying to find a seat partner - maybe not a seat partner, but I still want friends, ok?? Preferably in even numbers because I'm crazy like that.
6. Becoming popular is a huge goal - if popular means that people like me, then yes, still happens.
7. Don't let people know you're smart, family oriented or musical - this might be the one thing that's different. Although I still don't like to sing for people.

Have I made my point? Overly so? Sure, we're not in junior high anymore, but we're still trying to figure out life. So I can't blame the girls too much, because when it comes down to it, I know exactly what they're going through.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Let's not be so hard on ourselves.

Today is feel-good Friday, so I'm going to spice things up by saying something that most people our age don't want to admit.

We're awesome for graduating from college.

I know that getting a BA is now basically the equivalent of what graduating from high school used to be. I know that you almost have to get an MA or even a PhD to have a "real" job in most fields. I know that a lot of times we look back at college and say, "So many classes were just blow-off classes." I know CC-ers are aware that we spent more time wondering if we were ever going to make conclusions than actually making conclusions. I know that we usually spent more time procrastinating and hanging out with friends than studying, and I know that most of our papers were written the night before (or the day) they were due.

I know all these things, and now that it's over I can easily say, "See? That wasn't so hard." I think that this is a scary mindset though. If college wasn't so hard, will we eventually think getting our Masters wasn't so hard? Writing a 200 page thesis wasn't so hard? Not to mention all of the life experiences... making a relationship work, finding a job, living on our own for the first time. When it's all said and done, will we just say that life wasn't so hard?

I always laugh when I read my old journals from high school and junior high because I wrote about all of my tormented loves and dramatic events that were happening. Why was it the worst thing in the world when I didn't have a boyfriend in high school? Why were little fights between my friends worthy of pages of distressed writing? It seems a little ridiculous now. And I can already feel myself starting to look at college this way - not giving myself any credit for what I felt and did in those four years, because hey, it really wasn't a big deal when it comes down to it.

Perhaps the hardest thing to remember when you're looking back in time is how you actually felt. I look back at the end of relationships (for example) and for a moment I'm tempted to say, "Yeah, I was pretty sad." But at the time, it really did feel like the end of the world. It really did cause genuine pain. I don't want to forget how I felt in college. Sometimes things were hard. I didn't always understand what my professors were saying, and I didn't get an A on every assignment.

I guess what I'm saying is this: don't cop out on your old self. You (probably) weren't just being silly when you felt stressed, frustrated, tired or dismayed. Life is hard, and it takes work. We didn't just graduate by sitting around all day. Give yourself a little credit when you feel like scoffing off your accomplishments. And if college really, truly was a 100% breeze for you, then you're much more of a genius than I am.

For the rest of us though... we're awesome. :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

love like in the movies

...and they lived happily ever after...

*cut to THE END, roll credits, cue the gaggy credits song*

But ladies and gentleman, we all know that sometimes, just sometimes, the final scene of a movie can be rather... how can I put this... stupid.  Stupid because the second we waltz out of that theater we go back to reality where there are conflicts. so overwhelming that we live happily...for awhile until we are so overwhelmed that divorce is the healthiest option. 

Still, we all find ourselves waiting for our movie perfect romance. 

Have you ever heard "Spiralling" by Keane?  Well you should...  (

I'm waiting for my moment to come
I'm waiting for the movie to begin
I'm waiting for a revelation
I'm waiting for someone to count me in

Doesn't that just say it all? But here's the thing... why wait? I tend to be a Love Actually kind of girl. See, I believe that love really is all around, and God help me, I love Hugh Grant. But that's not the point. The point is, true love is not a hit-you-over-the-head sort of thing. No, in fact true love is a very allusive mistress, and she often disguises herself in the so well that she gets away before you even realize she was ever there. If you wait for a true love, you could miss out on so many wonderful, thrilling, funny, heartwarming, idiotic, amazing things. 

Now, let's clear something up. I'm not broken hearted, at least right now, and I am not suggesting that you run out and become single. No no no. Don't do that. ( (PLEASE.) Love isn't easy. But listen. Friends, today I write you not to remind you to be in love, but rather, to remind you that love comes in all forms.  Do not discount the love that is given to you by your family, your best friends, your pets, your children, your co-workers, your neighbors, the stranger who let you turn left onto a busy street.  That, my fellow hopeless romantics, is true love.  The love we show to eachother everyday is truly what makes the world go 'round.

Love eachother. 

I know, I know.  I'm getting a little touchy-feely hippie girl on you, but my parents were children of the 60s and 70s so I feel it was always inevitable. But really, appreciate what you have. It's a lot, even if it's not your ideal perfectly scripted love story, the point is, you are loved.

That being said, I wish you all your own happily ever afters.  Gaggy credit song and all. 

<3 D

Smiling's my favorite.

I'm about to get super cliche. If you're not up for it, I suggest you stop reading right here.

As I was driving today, I flicked through the radio stations per usual and was struck by a duet that sounded as if it were being sung by the stars of Kidz Bop. Childish voices aside, the lyrics to the chorus were "something something You smile, I smile." And there were some other words in there, but I don't remember them. Now, I can't tell you if this song is new or old or what, but I had never heard it before and it made me think of the following things:

1. How refreshing it is to hear a song about young love that DOESN'T induce images of teenagers who aren't leaving room for the Holy Spirit OR oxygen molecules. Maybe these parts were included in the verse, who's to say, but the chorus was just that sweet line over and over and over again...

2. (Here's where I'm really packing the punch) What a true sentiment! And I think that despite its pop song origin, it really hits at something that is so innate in people. How often do you scowl at someone who genuinely smiles at you? It's basically an involuntary reaction to smile back. And initiating the smile is a little like saying, "You. You exist in the world, and I acknowledge your humanity as a good thing." This is why even when I'm having a bad day, and I feel like I'm at the end of my rope, I still try to smile at people. Because as someone famous who's escaping my mind once said, "Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." I figure it's the least I can do to show my empathy for the battles that others are fighting. I know I can use all the help I can get with mine.

So, smile at your friends and family. Smile at your neighbors. Smile at strangers. Smile at your co-workers, the grocery check-out lady and the mailman. And remember, kids, "You smile, I smile."