Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

No Longer a Mallrat

Dec
2011
29

posted by on Life

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As a teen I hung out at the mall with friends (just like in those 90s movies that you see). We were poor but we did window shop a lot. Plus not everything was so expensive & as a teen girl my main interests there lie in CD singles & costume jewelry from Claire’s. Top that off with a slice of pizza and some cheap photobooth shots and you could call it an afternoon.

I rarely go anymore. For years the two local malls were ghost towns, one more so than the other. The one nearby also jacked up their prices. Then the worst thing happened…a bunch of preppy stores opened up. Although I did a small happy dance when they introduced Hot Topic & Spencer’s I scowl every time I now have to pass Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters and whatever the names of the other breeding grounds for assholes have assigned themselves.

Today I went. I went for the after Christmas sale. I believe this is the first time that I hit it up in 2 years. Usually if I go to the mall now it’s with a very specific purpose & I’m in and out of 2 stores in a nanosecond.

Not so today. Today the stores were crowded, overly loud and hot. Effeminate teen males roved all over the place. I couldn’t tell if their next moves were to lean in and smooch each other while insulting passersbys or insulting some prepubescent girls in animal hats and then say crass things about their rear ends.

Let’s bypass the fact that I don’t belong there. I’m already aware of that. At this point the mall is mainly a hangout for teens who are taking a break from sexting and the mall walking seniors.

However I used to at least be able to find things to buy there. Today I visitied Spencer’s and realized that the full makeover had taken place. It’s now the land of Tapout and gag sex gifts. When those took up small spaces in the store I didn’t care. To each his own. Now though if I want to look at tees, lingerie, jewelry etc I have to overhear a kid ask his dad what a dildo is. Not to mention the fact that much of the old awesome stuff has been fazed out.

At Hot Topic I was assaulted by the smallness, as always but this time more so. Boxes were crammed everywhere. It was like shopping at Aldi’s. The music was as loud as when you stand right next to a speaker connected to the sound system at a concert on the side of the stage. The cashiers were wearing nondescript (but at least still black) clothing and there were 5000 Justin Bieber shirts for sale. Now given it’s a sale, they can’t get rid of those but WHY THE FUCK DOES HOT TOPIC NOW STOCK BIEBER SHIT? I looked around, I’m old now, I don’t recognize all of the bands on the tees. The ones that I do recognize are the type of shitty, forgettable post-emo, post-goth, post-any type of style/sound bands that you see (and use as your excuse to grab another brew and hit the john) during Saturday Night Live. There a few cute bras, tutus and semi odd/fun clothing choices. But for the post part it was all baby looking shit. Don’t get me wrong, a pair of Domo slippers is awesome, a cupcake tee is awesome but two walls covered in pieces/accessories made entirely out of fake hair that I would have passed on at the age of 7 (for it being too babyish) is lame. Where’s the Lip Service? Where are the hot guys with six facial piercings, skateboard pants and fishnets shirts who snarl at you while they ring up your purchases? THAT was Hot Topic. This is wishy washy bullshit.

We don’t have any of the in between stores I enjoy such as Old Navy and Victoria’s Secret. I have to say this town just keeps getting worse and worse and I see no escape on the horizon.

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posted by on Christmas, Family, Life, Lists

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My grandma still has game.

Recently I’ve seen people posting about their holiday traditions. I read, thought that’s nice and then moved on. I assumed that we didn’t have any. It doesn’t bother me. My mother and sister always get up in arms about that though and say things like “we don’t have any traditions” or “did you buy new decorations, again?”. Now it’s easy to think that you don’t have any. As a child you are mainly worried about which package holds the Barbie instead of the hideous pants. As an adult you’re just thinking “I hope they like it, I hope they didn’t spend a disproportionate amount on me“.

I realized that we actually do have some accidental traditions. They’ve come about organically but there’s no reason that you can’t just start incorporating some of them into Christmas day or Christmas weekend.

Play a Board Game

"Why are you laughing? It's a nickname for Richard"-my mother

I know what you are thinking, “What’s a board game? Where do I plug it in?”. Okay so I am not a video game person. Perhaps your family could play video games but they strike me as more solitary (especially if one player is more advanced). Also if you are an adult with older parents they may not be keen on them either.

Well we like to play board games. Usually my sister or I have to talk/beg everyone to play. Yes, we know it takes a while, yes people may argue but it’s fun.

If you don’t have a game ask someone else who is visiting to bring one. Of course you can also buy one. The price will vary drastically depending on the game, store, etc. I’ve bought Monopoly sets for $5 and Clue for $30. You can also check out a thrift store. I see games I’d play at our local store at least 30% of the time. Yes, I have bought some for $1, score!

The silliest exchanges can come from playing board games. I found a 40 year old version of Risk recently. We played it and it was hilarious. We were fighting for countries that don’t exist anymore and ones we’d never actually want. I’m like “No, I will never give up control of Afghanistan!”. If you play a themed version some people will have no idea what’s going on. My mother on Star Wars Monopoly, “Why are the houses ships?”. My mother on Seinfeld Monopoly “What is sponge worthy?”.

There must be some game that you would enjoy out there. Here’s a small list that includes our favorites.

Monopoly
Scrabble
Battleship
Yahtzee
Mancala
Mall Madness
Clue
Life

Sing with Your Family

I'm surprised they went with the original lyrics on this one.

As a child we used to bring home free booklets of Christmas carols and my parents would make us sing. “Hey, this is not cool. I do not want to sing with you guys”. A few years ago my father bought those inexpensive karaoke microphones that plug right into the TV or DVD player. We used those until they went kaput and when that happened last year we kept singing. Some people get entirely to into The 12 Days of Christmas. You don’t have to just sing Christmas songs either. My father likes the beat of Walkin on the Sun. It was too funny to see him singing about smoking weed and not even realizing it. I’ve read that some people make their own YouTube playlists of the karaoke versions of songs and sing along to those. You can also go for those bigger karaoke models. Just make sure that you buy compatible CDs if you do. It’s such an easy mistake…that I’ve made.

Document Everything


As a child my parents drove me insane with recording Christmas…for years. My dad had just bought a cutting edge VHS camera and he was eager to shoot people’s feet as often as possible. We also always take photos at family gatherings, especially holidays. Nowadays you don’t even have to wait a second for your digital camera to pop open since it’s likely that someone will have a cutting edge phone that shoots photos in 5MP. Just remember to beg that person to send the photos to your email (so you can print them later). Another option is to pick up a one time use camera. This goes hand in hand with wearing silly head wear (ex. Santa hats and reindeer ears), as I’ve mentioned previously. Don’t forget to don some cute new PJs or a Christmas sweater (non-ironically please). These days my sister and I are the ones taking pictures after my parents or other siblings enthusiasm has waned.

Eat Chocolate

After all of the above commotion, plus eating a huge meal and opening presents you’ll probably want to unwind with some chocolate. We like to give each other candy as presents. Everyone has a different favorite and then we will, of course, steal some from each other. It doesn’t have to be a large amount if you don’t want to have to eat it for days or a week. There are Rocher 3 packs and small bags of fake chocolate coins that you can get that will be gone pronto! My sister’s favorite? You guessed it, that orange chocolate ball above.

Give an Unexpected Gift

As a child we received gifts from the Angel Tree program. It was really great. I’m still a poor person but we take care of our own. (Don’t believe me? Guess who donated to Hurricane Katrina when I was a cashier? It wasn’t the people with Chanel bags.) In the past I never remember until it’s too late. Last year I had some dough and actually remembered in November. I was very excited. I chose a young girl who seemed very much like me as a kid. She liked My Little Pony and the color pink. This year I was a little slow on the uptake and didn’t remember until early December. I chose an older girl who seemed uncool and wouldn’t be picked. I put myself in the mindset of myself at that age and thought of what girls today like and I think I found her a few cool things.

It’s simple. You can choose someone online (with a search function) and even buy and have it shipped directly from JC Penney if you want. I bought my gifts at the store (so I could get stuff from different locations) and hand delivered it (last year) and shipped it (this year) to that branch of the Salvation Army. I recommend choosing someone local since when I mailed it I had to think about the size of the package, which means you may not be able to include larger items.

You can’t do it this year but you can participate next year. There are a ton of other programs like this out there. I recommend reading this post from the Bloggess with many donation ideas. Don’t forget to check the comments too.

You can also always just give a present without expecting one to a friend or acquaintance. The problem with this is that it often puts them in a situation in which they feel like they have to give you something too even if they are busy or can’t afford it.

You may also enjoy:
Top Christmas TV Shows On Netflix Streaming
Christmas Photo Set and Playlist
The IFB Blogger Holiday Party: Antlers are Underrated-on Christmas fashion, includes another fun antler pic.

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posted by on Excursions, Family, Halloween, Life

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In 2007 I visited The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore with my sister. We had a ton of fun. I just happened to come across these while looking through holiday photos. I was actually surprised to see that I had some decent photos because (as I recall) it was overly hot that day and many animals were taking refuge in their habitats. Since it was years ago I also had a lower megapixel camera but since I was extra photo crazy back then I had a taken a ton of pictures, some of which I find really freakin’ adorable.

I’m not familiar with all of these animals but I used the zoo’s site to try to identify them. When possible I have listed the name of the animal under its photo linked to info on it at the official site. If I’ve misidentified any and you can let me know the actual name in the comments I would appreciate that.

(click the photos for the larger versions)


Coquerel’s Sifaka
This is a type of lemur from Madagascar. It’s so cute that I wished I could’ve kidnapped it.


Chimpanzee
When I visited they had quite a few of these. At one point a child of about 7 years old was standing next to me. He leaned in and touched his face and palms against the glass. A second later the Chimpanzee struck the same pose and the kid jumped about a foot backwards. It was hilarious.


Eastern Screech Owl
This owl had a problem and the zoo rescued it. I believe that it had one eye. They had 1 or 2 other animals with problems too. I thought that it was great how they were taking in those animals.


African Leopard
This leopard was more active than the other animals that day. It was quite entertaining while leaping around.



Addra Gazelle
This is the tallest and largest type of gazelle. It’s also critically endangered.



Lesser Kudu
This is a type of antelope from Africa.


African Penguins
These black-footed penguins can swim up to 12 miles per hour.


Ostrich
These guys can run up to 40 miles per hour.


Reticulated Giraffe
Male giraffes can grow up to 19 feet tall.



I don’t know what this is but it creeps me out. I think if we came face to face it might eat me.



Oh yeah, it was during the Halloween season. Neat, huh?

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posted by on Life, Movies/TV, Music

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Corrupting the Amish Since 1992


(click the thumbnails to view the full photos)

When I lived in Maryland and answered the “Where are you from?” question with “Pennsylvania” the next question was “Are you Amish?” and then “Did you live on a farm?”. The quick answer to both is this
Photobucket

However some Mennonite kids did attend our high school. NOTE: They were just teenagers, like anyone else. What was really cool though was when I was in grade school one of our teachers arranged a field trip to an Amish school that wasn’t too far away after we had studied their culture. Since my mother thought that I was responsible she lent me her 110 camera. Yes, I’ve been taking way too many photos for years.

A classmate and I were teamed up with this nice Amish girl named Helen who asked if she could take a picture. When I said yes she ran off and finished the roll. At the time I was a little peeved. Now I think that this is pretty neat. I mean not knowing then that they didn’t allow their photo to be taken it’s probably rare to have a bunch of photos taken by an Amish girl of her everyday life.

I don’t much from the trip but I do remember that they served the best ice cream that I had ever eaten.

Note: I do not recall exactly which faith these particular people followed and I don’t remember the name of the school either.

Amish Paradise by Weird Al Yankovic (1996)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdw3stAjowc
You didn’t think that you were getting out of here without something Witness related did you?

Check It Out
Amish on Wikipedia
Mennonite Information Center
The Amish in the Media at AmishNews.com
The Amish Village Tour in Lancaster County, PA ($8.25 for adults, $5 for children 5-12, children 4 and under are free)
Plaza Flea Market – If you are in the Baltimore, MD area check out the Amish Farmers Market section where they sell some really tasty fresh food including the best pretzels and ice cream.

BUY

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posted by on Life, Lists, Radical Self Love

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*Don’t Call These Resolutions (I created this in March).

with David Faustino 'Bud Bundy' on Married With Children at the Steel City Con

I never really thought about how many posts I had on this blog until I got up to around 89 when I thought, wow, and was a little impressed with myself. Then a few posts ago I realized that I was almost at 100. What comes after 100? That’s right 101.

Last spring I read about the Day Zero Project in which you complete 101 tasks in 1001 days. At first I dismissed joining. I mean I’m not exactly a normal, healthy member of society. I’ve also come to terms with my failures so I’m not one of those overly optimistic people who have never learned the meaning of ‘insanity’. Then I realized that it would be my list with my own unique, fun, lofty in a manageable way goals. Despite that I still didn’t expect to get many of them done. Of course now that I am finally ready to post and link back to the list the site is down. I don’t know if this is permanent or not but I still want to post this. (It’s back up!) Without further ado are my ‘non goals’ and the where, when, why and how of them.

I am not numbering these but there are less than 101. That is just the max you were allowed to do.

Despite having a nontraditional life I had already done a lot of things that were on other people’s lists like going to Disney World.

This was originally supposed to be completed by November 2012 but that’s not possible.

go horseback riding – I don’t think I’ve ever rode a horse. I have a couple of photos of me on ponies at amusements parks as child but I don’t remember riding them. I have no idea under what circumstances this would actually happen though.

walk a marathon (I don’t run, I’ve had arthritis since I was 14) – I wanted to do this for years. It would most likely be for Breast Cancer.

go to a shooting range – Really been wanting to do this for a while but no one is keen on going with me. They think it’s manly.

go on a cruise – I have talked to a couple of people about this but I’m not sure of any of the specifics. I have looked at cruise lines though. I love the idea of Carnival’s Superstar Live Karaoke in which a full band backs your singing!

get a passport – I definitely need to do this soon so I can do any of the out of country traveling on this list.

attend Mardi Gras

be an extra in a movie

buy a new printer***(finished)

tandem skydive – I’ve been wanting to do this since I was 17.

lose weight*(in progress)

cook once a week***(ongoing)

do yoga at least once a week – I’m just out of the habit. A few years ago I did yoga 5 or 6 times a week. Plus a really nice blogger made me copies of Steve Ross’ Inhale which they don’t air any more and is my program of choice.

go to a jazz club – I’m not even sure that I like jazz but I want to do this.

ride a mechanical bull

wear makeup every day for a week***(finished) – I’ve been through periods in my life where I didn’t wear any makeup due to self esteem but I actually love it. It’s so fun to apply. However if I wear it that much it is not kind on my skin.

take a karate class – I’ve been wanting to do this for years. Unfortunately around here it appears that the only way to learn from the ground up would be with little kids, not happening.

go to another convention***(finished) – I attended a Steel City Con a few months ago which I have yet to blog about. When I wrote this I meant a big con but that was a con so it does count.

Also considering DragonCon in the future.

join the Marine Reserves – ah, the craziest one, but yeah, I’ve been wanting to do this for a couple of years. I wanted to join the army out of high school but didn’t which probably saved my life because it was the year of 9/11 & I probably would have been sent there. Later I decided on the marines. I will probably eventually join some branch but not the navy (I hate submarines!). This is probably out of the question, uh forever, now. xd.

keep doing fun ‘modeling’ photo sets***(ongoing)

buy new cords for my pilates machine

Choke (book) Photo Set

get eye exam, order two boxes of contacts***(finished) + got glasses later from CoastalContacts.com

I need to do this again.

buy a computer or video game***(finished) I bought Sims 3 but barely played it. Sitting at a computer playing a game after working at a computer all day is not exactly relaxing so, eh.

buy scenery exercise DVD for my dad

go to a Model Mayhem meetup

become good friends w/ someone in this town who doesn’t act like everyone in this townlike searching for a unicorn

See SNL live via standby line

buy a Christmas gift for a child from the Xmas tree at the hospital***(finished) I was the beneficiary of this as a child. They don’t do it at the hospital anymore like when I was young, or in department stores like when I was older, it’s all online now. Some people thought I was a little ridiculous for doing this because I don’t make a lot of money but uh, it’s mine to spend how I want. Mind your business. FYI: The current name is called The Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree Online Presented By JC Penney. I chose a 5 year old who likes My Little Pony and Pillow Pets. I got her both of those, clothes and a couple of other things. I hope she liked them.

1 week w/o social media sites

go bowling once a month

have sex w/ a black guy and Jewish guy (can be same guy) – Did you really think this list would be PC? This is not a form of sexual racism but more a way of mixing things up.

attend another all day (or 3 day) music festival

go to Vegas again (do more partying than sightseeing this time) – I finally made it there last year but I kind of always assumed it would be a one time deal (or I’d love it so much I’d want to move there). Neither were true but I do want to go back and go wild.

take a trapeze class – I’ve wanted to do this ever since I saw it on Sex and the City.

take a strip exercise class

ride with someone on their motorcycle

get that piercing I’ve been wanting – *warning* links to nudity, I don’t know when or where I would get this but certainly not in this town. There’s one place to go and they fucked up my belly button piercing years ago so I wouldn’t trust them to pierce my ears.

make Limoncello

go to a NY museum – I haven’t had a chance the other couple of times I visited. I would have loved to go to the King Tut Exhibit but that ends soon.

take a lifeguard class – I’m a great swimmer. People have always told me that I should have done this. I think they actually offered this or an opportunity to use it when I was in high school (we had a pool) but I was too screwed up to fathom it. I’m probably too old now.

buy a dress from Shrinkle and wear it for my birthday – I sort of have already done this years ago but it was a completely style of dress and these are awesome.

go to Universal Studios

go on a Hollywood Movie Home Tour in CA

attend a taping of The Price Is Right or Let’s Make A Deal

see the Craig Ferguson Show live

see David Spade live again but buy the meet and greet this time – yeah, I cheaped out and didn’t pay for the meet & greet but I was already spending a lot (for me) on the Vegas trip itself. It seemed to me the meet and greet was him just very quickly shaking people’s hands (I saw this as I was leaving) so it did seem pretty high but I do love him.

adopt an ex Greyhound racing dog

write reviews for EdenFantasys.com more often*(in progress)

watch all of the released Saw movies back to back.***(finished) – I did this over the summer.

eat at a White Castle

take my mom w/ me to Wheeling.***(finished)

get in a hot tub again

try to be a tea drinker***(finished) – I tried various flavored teas and I just can’t get into it.

hang art and posters I haven’t hung yet***(finished) – You can see the art in this previous Style File.

subscribe to 2-3 magazines on my Amazon Wish List – I already get some magazine subscriptions but the ones on my wishlist are girly which I usually try to avoid.

try NutriSystem for a month

buy a new Gazelle – My treadmill died, then my Gazelle died and now I’m using old stationary bikes.

marathon the Nightmare on Elm Street series

sponsor a Child from Child Fund International – I’ve been wanting to do this for the last year but was worried something would happen and I wouldn’t have the money one month but I’m gonna trounce this fear. Uh, not anytime soon cuz I have less money now.

visit Marseilles, France – I think it’s gorgeous.

buy an electric guitar and teach myself to play

learn to speak better French – I took one course in high school.

learn to make my own wine – I’ve become a fan of wine in the last year. In the past I hated it.

take a trip to Toronto with my sister – They very recently added service from Mega Bus to my state. So now I could go to DC then to Toronto super cheap. I went on a trip with the school band in Junior High but I had the worst parental chaperon and saw nothing.

go vegan/vegetarian***(finished) I kept this up from June or July of 2010 to February of 2011 (vegetarian mostly, I still ate cheese sometimes and I did let myself eat meat one day a month). However this just wasn’t right for me. You may get slightly thinner but it’s not worth missing out on bacon and sausage for, xd.

NEW

take a trip out of the country with my dad

working on myself*(in progress)

attend the Masquerade Ball at the Carnival of Venice

Johnny Depp Movie Marathon Tweetathon-details coming soon!

super secret IndieGogo project-next year

write my satire ebook

put together my PDF

MP3 album forthcoming*(in progress)-preliminary researched is finished

Note: Last updated July 2011

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