Monday, October 18, 2010

Things That Make Me Happy

I had a damn good weekend. I spent lots of time with good friends, new friends, old friends, family... and after my stressful week of mid-terms, this was just what I needed. I was going to blog all about this weekend's events, as they were all pretty fantastic, but instead I'm going to share something I found the other day (and just in the nick of time, I might add). I found a list I made on February 8, 2010, of 33 things that make me happy.

I wrote it one day at Alexandra's house, after a rough couple months of boy problems and depression. At that time, I felt like I had been overlooking all the good things in life; I needed to remind myself that there were plenty of reasons to smile. It hung on my fridge at my old house, and now it's hanging on the fridge at my new house, right where it belongs. Here it is, uncensored:
  1. music
  2. coffee
  3. sunshine
  4. stretching
  5. exercise
  6. breakfast
  7. Weight Watchers
  8. bike riding
  9. reading
  10. cleaning
  11. clean clothes
  12. Sunday phone calls/emails
  13. doing my hair & make-up
  14. matching underwear
  15. sex
  16. parties (especially theme parties)
  17. dressing up
  18. drawing
  19. singing
  20. practicing instruments
  21. watching movies
  22. dinner with friends
  23. museums
  24. swimming
  25. painting nails/toenails
  26. going to the movies
  27. Chicago
  28. crafting
  29. kids
  30. car coffee
  31. massages
  32. painting
  33. dancing
  34. showering
  35. going out for coffee
  36. poetry
What makes you happy?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Target Women"

Once again, some random internet surfing has led me to a very fun little corner of the web that I never knew existed. In this case, that fun little corner is "Target Women with Sarah Haskins." Its a segment from a satirical news show called infoMania, which can be found on CurrentTV (or YouTube, where I discovered it). "Target Women" delivers a hilarious take on current feminist issues involving the ludicrous, female-targeted ads and other media we're bombarded with on a daily basis.

I've been watching episode after episode of these 3 minute shows and laughing my ass off! I've posted two of my favorites below - the first is about birth control, and the second is about yogurt. "Target Women" covers a wide array of topics... :)

I always appreciate when a social cause that I'm so passionate about, like feminism, is portrayed in such a way as to make me think AND laugh.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Facebook Killed the Class Reunion

I read a great blog post yesterday at The Good Badger about the ways that social media if effecting our face-to-face social circles. I found it most interesting because I recently experienced an in-person event that was TOTALLY effected by Facebook - my 10-year high school reunion. I posted a comment on the entry and decided to share it here, as well:
"Last weekend I attended my 10-year high school reunion, and the experience was completely different for me than it was for my brother, who had his 10-year reunion back in 1997-ish. Why? Because his occurred pre-Facebook.
"Thanks to Facebook, I already know what most of my classmates are doing, where they are living, and if they are married/have children - even the ones I haven’t seen since the day we graduated. Apparently, so did everyone else, because only about 25% of our class showed up, and our small talk seemed dishearteningly redundant. Social media has practically eliminated the need for a class reunion. This might seem like an insignificant change, but it’s representative of something much larger.
"Don’t you love being part of a generation who has experienced life on both sides of the internet invent? I truly do."
My reason for re-posting is that I am totally fascinated by technology, and I get a rise out of seeing the change it creates, especially when it's played out in real time, right before my eyes. Granted, there is nothing comparable to seeing a friend in person, and I had a wonderful time catching up with old friends at the reunion - Cindy, Staci, Christine, Steve, Jake, Allison, Lindsey, it was wonderful to chat with you all after so many years. But things definitely would have been different without Facebook in our lives. All but one of the aforementioned people is on my "Friends" list, and we could communicate on a daily basis if we were so inclined. Just a few years ago, that would not have been possible.

My family got hooked up to the World Wide Web when I was 12, I think, in about 1994. It was slow, clunky, restricted, and absolutely magical. eWorld was where it was at! I know me and my online boyfriend certainly thought so. ;)

How has your life changed since the invent of the internet? What was the first service you used? How has the connectivity of social networking sites effected your real-life interactions?

One more tech-related note before I go... did you know that cars can drive themselves these days? So cool. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Juicy Hilarity

Since joining 20SB a couple days ago, I've found so many amazingly witty blogs. My favorites have been the ones by single, smart-ass women who are navigating the dating world and allowing us to read all about it. I wish, wish, wish that my blog could be half as juicy as some of the others I've stumbled across, but, alas, it cannot. Why? Because I posted a link to it on my Facebook months ago, which has been clicked by way too many family members.

I love my family dearly, and I'm happy that they're interested in my life, but I DO NOT feel comfortable ranting about the details of my love life (or lack thereof, as it currently stands) or any other debauchery that a single 20-something college girl may or may not encounter. Who am I to kiss and tell, anyway? (That's what the diary next to my bed is for.)

Since I'm not giving you the juice, check out these other bloggers who are...
... then come back to me to hear about my travel adventures, movie-watching binges, band hi-jinks, art student interests, and overall thoughts on being a woman-child trying to break into adulthood without sucking the fun out of her life.

As juicy as it's going to get... a panel (introducing yours truly) from my friend Alexandra's graphic novel "Adventures Close To Home." (Note: You need to login to Facebook to use this link.)
Also, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who have read and commented on my blog in the last few days. It's a wonderful feeling to know that people are reading what I'm writing, and taking the time to let me know that they are. Thank you, thank you, thank you! After perusing so many of your blogs, I am thinking about organizing my blog a bit, and possibly gearing posts toward specific topics on different days of the week. Any thoughts, ideas, or advice?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jump in on my first blog hop!

Today I am participating in my first "blog hop!" Fantasy Casting is hosting the "Hump Day Blog Hop" to compile a list of good reading, plain and simple. There are no restrictions on topics, and it's meant to promote readership and introduce some random bloggers to each other. Check out Fantasy Casting's post all about it, and join in. :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

6 Movies in 2 Days

I have two rooms in the flat that I share with my roommate, Sarah. One is my bedroom, and the other is my art-music-media room, which I recently cleaned and rearranged. Since it houses my overwhelmingly large VHS collection, I created a cozy little video-watching area that's getting a lot of use. I've seen five movies since yesterday afternoon - while doing other productive things. I swear.
  1. Half Baked
    • It always makes me giggle.
  2. Se7en
    • Brilliant story, brilliant acting. "What's in the box?!"
  3. Milk
    • It was my first time seeing this one, and I loved it; a funny, inspirational true story that had me emotionally invested to the extreme. It even made me cry a little, which is tough for a movie to do. I highly recommend this to anyone who's interested in political activism, gay rights, contemporary history, and/or emotional biopics.
  4. Office Space
    • I watched this one twice in a row. Seriously. 
  5. Friday the 13th
    • Slasher classic.
...and I'm currently watching a 6th: The Squeeze, on VHS. It was still in it's original shrink wrap, which was pretty exciting to tear open. The cover sold me, with its classically corny 80s style and a tagline promising a "comedy thriller," starring Michael Keaton, no less. Unfortunately, I'm 10 minutes into watching it and can already tell it's not going to be as fantastically bad as I expected; it's going to be "mediocre bad," which is the worst.

Frances Whitehead Lecture Summary

I recently attended a fascinating lecture at my school (see: "Where is my mind?"). Since I didn't go into much detail in that entry, below is a summary of the lecture that I wrote for one of my art history classes. I added plenty of links for your surfing pleasure, and found a couple video excerpts from the actual lecture on YouTube, which I've included at the bottom of this post.

Frances Whitehead
Climate Change: Culture Change

      On September 13, 2010, “designist” Frances Whitehead visited Northern Illinois University to speak about sustainability and the various cross-disciplinary projects in which she is involved. She gave a very informative and inspiring lecture on the importance of artists collaborating with people in different fields, specifically in the struggle to improve our environment and increase clean food and water sources. She began her artistic career as a sculptor, who often looked to the aforementioned problems for inspiration in her work. She soon realized, however, that she was only talking about the struggles themselves, and not the possible solutions to them. It was at this point that she changed direction and decided that she wanted her projects to take on a larger scale, while contributing a more pro-active (rather than reactive) response to the same issues.
      Whitehead moved into the realm of city planning, working with government officials in the City of Chicago. With her input, they developed a four pillar “Model of Sustainability” that includes cultural vitality, social equity, environmental responsibility, and economic health. She began identifying as a “designist,” a combination artist-designer, who believes that good design can improve the world around her. Working off this four pillared model, Whitehead and her cross-disciplinary colleagues have combined science, art, and government to come up with solutions to Chicago's (and other cities') pollution problems; they are currently working at planting beautiful, fruit-bearing, and fragrant plants on the sites of abandoned gas stations within the city. The plants will not only beautify the land and provide fresh food to residents, but will also clean the pollutants in the soil, renewing its richness (in a process called phytoremediation). Whitehead has spearheaded many other cross-disciplinary projects, as well, including The Greenhouse Chicago, the Embedded Artists Project, and K Lab.
      She ended her lecture by discussing ways that artists can become more involved in their communities, and giving tips on how to contact city officials and scientists with whom they may join forces. She explained that she often asks the question “what do artists know?” and the answer is that they know beauty, design, creativity, and culture, which are all very important items to be taken into consideration when solving sustainability issues in the world.

If you'd like to read more about Whitehead, check out this entry from the Art: 21 Blog.

Monday, October 4, 2010

20 Something Bloggers

I just joined a blog networking site called 20 Something Bloggers, and have been tooling around on it for hours. I love it!

So far, I've gotten tons of possible post ideas, learned what a "blog hop" is, become addicted to the juicy rantings found in Mommy Has A Headache, and opened more Firefox tabs than I ever thought possible.

Check out my profile on 20SB, then join up, fellow bloggers and blog enthusiasts.
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