Archive for July, 2009

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dressing up.

July 30, 2009

Don’t laugh at me. I don’t normally take pictures of myself, but I’ve recently acquired a bunch of new clothes that I just had to show off. Most people I know are probably laughing at me right now. But, everyone else on the Internet takes pictures of themselves, so I can too! Also, I learned tonight that it is extremely difficult to take decent looking pictures of yourself, and this is probably why I don’t do it that often.

Now, to kick things off, the first dress/skirt is one of those convertible ones. There’s maybe 5 different ways to wear it, even though I think I’ve only mastered one or two. Very exciting since it’s like several new dresses instead of just 1! Plus, it’s reversible. What’s not to love?

Wrap dress v1 Wrap dress v2 Wrap dress v3

Next up are my purchases from this past weekend. Madison had it’s annual Maxwell Street Days, when all the stores on State Street have massive sales. This event clearly resulted in two new dresses and a pair of shoes. The yellow dress is super comfortable and summery, even though I don’t love the color yellow. The pink dress I found while waiting in line to try on a different dress. The shoes, I will most likely kill myself in, but they look amazing. And they make me very tall.

Yellow dress Pink dress shoes

Now all I have to do is find an opportunity to wear them all, like during Restaurant Week

On a complete side note: I absolutely hate working with images in WordPress. Terrible experience, forcing me to work with HTML significantly more than I expected (not that I hate HTML, but if I can’t even get a stupid line break to show up, I get beyond frustrated). I always think I should have more images, but every time I try to put them into a post, it makes me want to switch platforms. In fact, I almost gave up on this post and switched over to my Tumblr to post there instead.

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truth.

July 25, 2009

Are we really looking for the ultimate lie? The kind of lie that won’t have any negative effects but will ease all our minds. Is the truth just a fabricated ideal? And if it’s not, how do we explain all the little white lies that inevitably spill out in every day conversation?

When it comes down to it, people don’t want to hear a lie; they don’t want to tell a lie. Period. But they don’t really want to hear or tell a negative truth (that she’s fat, that the girlfriend doesn’t really care about your favorite sports team, that we’re losing a war). It ends up being a rock and a hard place. So it’s not that we want lies, we just want all truths to fit what we want to believe.

The idealization comes from the naivete that the truth is always positive. The stories (exception being Washington & the Cherry Tree when truth really stands for courage and responsibility), teach us that lies result in worse situations than the truth. But that’s just not true; sometimes the truth hurts. When we falsely act interested and make polite comments, we’re attempting to give the other person the truth that they want. Why point out a bad haircut when the damage is already done? Maybe on some level, we’re trying to convince ourselves of the same “truth”. Maybe we’re hoping for a self-fulfilling prophesy.

For the record, I’m a big supporter of lying when it will be better for a given situation. That being said, you have to take into consideration the consequences if things get worse rather than better (often this makes lying the worse option).

But for some reason I never thought acting interested when I’m not even counts as lying. It’s not really telling the truth either. It’s more a polite omission of information. Is that omission of the truth a lie? If we withhold information that would change a situation, is that better or worse that speaking a lie about it?

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dating.

July 22, 2009

Everyone knows I’m the kind of girl who loves a bit of good old-fashioned chivalry. Several weeks ago, I saw the following (my comments in italics):

How To Treat A Woman On A Date: The Basics

  1. Do not let more than 1 day go by without contacting her – don’t be a stalker, but call if you say you will
  2. Be on time – obviously
  3. Open her car door – I’d appreciate it
  4. Help her put her coat on – hasn’t happened to me, but I can see it being helpful
  5. Hold the door for her to enter/leave an establishment first – pretty standard
  6. Pull her chair out for her in the restaurant – if you can do it without being awkward, go for it!
  7. Order for her (Note – this does not mean tell her what she’s going to have for dinner. Have a conversation about what she wants and then when the waiter comes, order for her.) – discussed below
  8. At the end of your date, don’t drive off until she’s safely inside – go ahead and walk her to the door too

If you click through, you can see many people agreed with these guidelines. Many people also disagreed. Now, admittedly, it’s pretty hard to come up with a list of 8 things that will be a hit with any girl. Although we may be a single gender, we are not a single person. And while this list might not guarantee a second date, it’s a pretty solid foundation.

The biggest upset seemed to be number 7 – ordering for the girl. It’s never happened to me. Given how many girls would apparently be insulted, I’m guessing it never is. However, I would really love if a guy did. Probably would completely throw me off, and probably the waiter too. But I would still be impressed. It’s just one step up from ordering me a drink, which I am completely in favor of doing. And really, I hate making decisions, so if you can suggest something I’d like, you get even more points.

The feminists of the world probably think I’m contributing to the problem, but I just don’t understand how you can be insulted if a guy does any of these things. Exception being if he makes a rude comment while doing so. The poor guy isn’t trying to insinuate that you can’t open doors or put on your coat. Obviously, you have made it thus far doing just fine on your own. He’s just trying to be nice. Give him a break, because everything he’s doing is extra on top of all the expected aspects of the date (hygiene, conversation, etc.). If it’s bothersome or uncomfortable, smile, say “thank you” and nicely let the guy know you’d appreciate it if they didn’t pull out the chair, help you into your coat, etc.

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hold steady.

July 20, 2009

A couple weeks late – I know. But I went to The Hold Steady concert when they came through Madison on July 10th. They played at the Majestic, which is quickly becoming a favorite for concerts given it’s small space and usually cheap tickets.

Their opening band was The God Damn Doo Wop Band from Minneapolis. I actually really liked their sound. However, the volume of the mics to the music was off balance for their whole performance. I wish they had done a sound check before playing. And since the band wasn’t advertised before the show at all, the audience seemed less receptive of their music than if there had been more of a warning. It’s hard to be excited for doo wop when you expect something else.

The Hold Steady was pretty incredible though. The audience was super excited; the band had a ridiculous amount of energy. And Craig Finn’s awkward dancing is way less awkward in real life. For some reason I always think it’s going to be a good idea to be near the front row at concerts. And, like every other time, I was completely and totally wrong. I am just not strong enough, excited enough, or large enough to keep the crowd from crushing me. So I lasted about three songs before having to make my way out of the crowd so I could breathe. Thank god the audience was good about letting people out. But the band didn’t talk too much; they played all their big songs; they played an encore. Overall, I’d definitely try to see them again.

Strange thing with concerts is that when they’re amazing, I don’t have that much to say about them. Maybe I just don’t have enough skill or vocabulary to put it into words. Maybe because it’s not a specific thing that makes it great – instead, it’s the meshing of everything (I know – very deep). But not having anything to say is still better than complaining!

favorite song – give it a listen if you haven’t heard The Hold Steady!

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hypothetical.

July 18, 2009

My friend wrote this post on the positive effects of certain events of his life. He references a study about how people, who are asked to describe a hypothetical situation of a positive event never happening in their lives, actually experience a more positive mood afterward than those asked to describe the actual positive experience. And while I can completely hypothesize about how different my life could be, it doesn’t make me happier or sadder.

Perhaps it’s because I feel that I have had a choice in every life-defining moment, or at least, I very much don’t want to believe that my life has been determined by other people. Sure, on some level, it was dumb luck that I met my boyfriend. And the same dumb luck had me growing up in the Midwest with three siblings. But I chose to go to Cornell for college. I chose to get into my relationship with my boyfriend. I chose to come back to Wisconsin. I chose the job I’m in currently. And, I’ve chosen all my friends – at least as much as anyone can.

Hypothetically though, I could’ve gone to school in Madison. I probably would’ve made similar friends to the ones I have now, and I would have found a nice Midwest boy. Or I could’ve stayed with my old boyfriend. And probably just broken up a year or so later. Or I could’ve gone to the West Coast after graduating. I’d be with the boyfriend – maybe married? Maybe just doing about the same thing I’m doing now.

I could just have a very positive outlook on life. I guess some people might view it as arrogant to think that I make only good decisions. But I trust myself enough that if I make a decision, things are going to work out.

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contact.

July 16, 2009

Keeping in touch with friends and family across the country is always a challenge. I just never know what to say in a quick email. And I’m always nervous that people don’t appreciate random emails. Personally, I love them. I get so many emails from newsletters and airlines and stores that getting email from an actual person is very exciting (yes, I am very easy to please). However, email has a couple problems: 1) it’s very direct; you really need to have something to say, and 2) I’m terrible at continuing to write after more than one or two emails.

And that’s where my online activities come in. I originally started all of them for myself. I didn’t really tell anyone about them, and I could just do my own thing. I always thought (and still think) that if my friends read my blog, I would have to self-censor my ranting and raving. Though, if this blog were dedicated to complaining about my friends, it would be exceptionally boring and I should really get some new friends. But turns out, it’s a fantastic way to keep in touch. My life, boiled down to a nutshell, is being broadcast – somewhere between here and there. It’s probably the easiest way for anyone to find out how things are going.

Likewise, I have a much better connection with the people I know who have regular online activities. I can keep up with their lives without having to necessarily respond. And I can still shoot off a quick email if I feel the need to be a bit more personal. It’s strange though. Most of my close friends aren’t Internet geeks. So the people I keep tabs on are people I didn’t (and still don’t) know extremely well. Funny how that works.

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thanks.

July 13, 2009

Thank you note to men, from Mary Louise Parker (nsfw!)

To you, whom it may concern:

Manly creature, who smells good even when you don’t, you wake up too slowly, with fuzzy, vertical hair and a slightly lost look on your face as though you are seven or seventy-five; you can fix my front door, my sink, and open most jars; you, who lose a cuff link and have to settle for a safety pin, you have promised to slay unfortunate interlopers and dragons with your Phillips head or Montblanc; to you, because you will notice a woman with a healthy chunk of years or pounds on her and let out a wolf whistle under your breath and mean it; because you think either rug will be fine, really it will; you seem to walk down the street a little taller than me, a little more aware but with a purpose still; to you who codifies, conjugates, slams a puck, baits a hook, builds a decent cabinet or the perfect sandwich; you who gives a twenty to the kids selling Hershey’s bars and waits at baggage claim for three hours in your flannel shirt; you, sir, you take my order, my pulse, my bullshit; you who soaps me in the shower, soaks with me in the tub; to you, boy grown-up, the gentleman, soldier, professor, or caveman, the fancy man with initials on your towels and salt on your chocolates, to you and to that guy at the concession stand; thank you for the tour of the vineyard, the fire station, the sound booth, thank you for the kaleidoscope, the Horsehead Nebula, the painting, the truth; to you who carries me across the parking lot, up the stairs, to the ER, to roll-away or rice mat; to you who shows up every so often only to confuse and torment, and you who stays in orbit, always, to my left and steady, you stood up for me, I won’t forget that; to you, the one who can’t figure it out and never will, and you who lost the remote, the dog, or your way altogether; to you, wizard, you sang in my ear and brought me back from the dead, you tell me things, make me shiver; to the ones who destroyed me, even if for a minute, and to the ones who grew me, consumed me, gave me my heart back times ten; to most everything that deserves to call itself a man: How I do love thee, with your skill to light fires that keep me warm, light me up.

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more princesses.

July 10, 2009

I’ve already said my piece about princess movies. But with Pixar’s recent announcement of their new future princess movie, there’s been another outcry about why girls always have to be princesses.

I’m not anywhere near the girliest girl out there. I like my video games and action movies. I’ll even watch sports (though I don’t play them). I wear jeans and t-shirts and sneakers. No make-up, no styled hair, no perfume. But on some level, I still want to be a princess. I want pretty dresses and a tiara and a carriage and a castle. Maybe along the way I’ll think that I can’t fight the bad guys by myself and I need to find myself a prince. But if I was a guy, I probably would want to be a knight in shining armor and have a sword and a white horse. And I would never be able to be afraid or weak and I’d always have to save the day.

Besides, Disney did Mulan back in 1998 and Lilo and Stitch in 2002, but those movies didn’t bring in nearly the same audiences or have close to the same nostalgic factor. In fact, Mulan really gets left out most of the time even though it’s a great movie (and I don’t think that just because I’m Asian). Even Pocahontas saved John Smith’s life at one point in the movie if I remember correctly. Maybe just the white princesses are a bad influence? Given Pixar’ s movie repertoire, their princess movie probably won’t be anything like the Disney princess movies. And maybe they could use to make a purely girly movie. Take an look at their inventory – robots, cars, rats, monsters, bugs, fish, astronauts and cowboys. Where are the fairies, mermaids, kittens, and of course, princesses?

Really, if the goal is to appeal to the biggest audience, I firmly believe girls can more easily be entertained and interested in slightly “guy” characters and plots, while boys will probably not want to watch a girl main character. Flaw of society that we intimidate boys at such a young age to shun and avoid anything remotely non-manly? Probably. Should we make boys watch princess movies to overcome this shortcoming? Eh, probably not necessary.

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year one.

July 8, 2009

It’s been one year since I graduated and started working at my current job. Seems like it’s gone so fast, but been so long. And it’s calling for a “highlights” list post, but isn’t that what this blog is – one giant list of realizations from my life? What’s there left to say?

Working is infinitely better than school. If my thoughts of graduate school had ever even existed (which they didn’t), they’d definitely be gone now. Not that college was terrible or that work is amazing. I just strongly prefer:

  1. not working when I get home
  2. feeling like I’m actually doing something useful
  3. making money to do fun things in my free time.

And I finally feel grown up. I still hope that in five years there’s going to be some obvious difference in myself, but I just can’t think of what that difference would be at the moment. Logically, the next life-changing moment would be getting married, having a kid, buying a house… No need to rush though, right?

Celebration time then?

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fourth.

July 5, 2009

Fourth of July is my second favorite holiday (nothing will ever beat New Year’s Eve). First, there are fireworks. Holidays that don’t have fireworks aren’t even in the running. Plus, Madison has Rhythm and Booms, which was an amazing fireworks display even though it wasn’t actually on the holiday. It was a beautiful night, and I got to sit incredibly close to wear the fireworks launched.

Rhythm and Booms at Warner Park

Rhythm and Booms at Warner Park

Second there are parades, which to me are a lot like tours. They’re a fun way to kill time, and everyone’s excited at a parade. There’s usually music, balloons, candy, old cars, and people on stilts and in costumes. It’s very nostalgic for me. In my town, everyone comes out for the parade, mostly because at some point you’ve probably walked, driven, or rode in it.

Third, it’s the only true summer holiday. Memorial Day is like the kick-off of summer, and Labor Day is the tail end. Having a summer holiday didn’t matter so much when I was still in school and had summer vacation. But now that three months of vacation are no longer available, it’s nice to have a holiday break.

Fourth, everyone in the US is celebrating (or they should be). No matter where you go, there will be barbecues, picnics, festivals, and parades. People are in red, white, and blue. You don’t have to worry about politically correct holiday wishes. It’s probably the one time of year that I feel even remotely patriotic.

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