Archive for March, 2009

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re: pressure

March 31, 2009

A while back, I mentioned my terrible ability to stand up to peer pressure and the fact that I just don’t face that much pressure from friends (or peers). Now I’ve had the opportunity to sit on the other side of the fence. And I think it might be better to avoid the yard altogether.

Admittedly, most of the pressure did not come from me because I wasn’t overwhelmingly excited about our plans for the night. It wasn’t worth the effort to convince others the idea was great. However, when you have a group split in half and only half the group has interesting plans, I’m definitely going to side with them. So I was more of an observer, watching the peer pressure ooze it’s way into every spoken word. And frankly, it made me want to cringe. I can’t even explain why I felt so terrible. I was in support of the idea, and I firmly believe all my friends have enough balls to say no when they don’t want to do something. But it still felt like manipulating or exploiting or bullying (which according to this, I’m not!). Maybe I felt bad because I wasn’t completely vested in the decision, and if I had decided not to go along, it could have turned the tables. Wishful thinking since I probably would’ve just caved to the pressure.

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too sexy.

March 29, 2009

While catching up on my RSS feeds and waiting for my very delayed flight back to Madison, I came across a blog post – Understanding Sexy. Honestly, it was a little bit cliche. The old idea that a woman’s not sexy if she’s just running around in lingerie, high heels, and make-up. Of course, this is not a new idea. More often than not, overtly sexy things are more awkward and hilarious than actually sexy. But the post did point me to a report on Victoria’s Secret attempting to change their image. Apparently, Victoria’s Secret feels that it’s gotten “too sexy” and wants to pull it back a little to appeal to more women.

Then, later this week, I read a depressing article on the hit women have taken from our uber-sexualized culture. It presents the idea that despite the feeling that women are now sexually liberated, we’ve instead become restricted by cultural images – that being porn, media, advertising, etc. And sadly, women, being so caught up in shaping themselves to the stereotypical sexy image, are facing major anxiety and self-esteem issues. It seems the commercialization of sex has made it some sort of ultimate, unreachable goal – mostly due to the fact that it’s contingent on being young. As the article quotes, “is there anything more ridiculous than a middle-aged woman waxing off her pubic hair to look prepubescent?”

And if this is where we are right now, maybe Victoria’s Secret’s image change will be positive. It’ll be interesting to see where they decide to take the idea that sexy isn’t purely young and flashy.

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haircut.

March 28, 2009

In my life, I’ve never had a haircut that I didn’t like – not counting any “growing out” period because there’s just no good way of coming back from very short hair. For those that don’t know me, here’s a bit of background:

  1. My mom has always cut my hair. I’ve been to a salon once in my life.
  2. I cut and dye my hair because I get bored. If it grew faster or was blond, it would change much more often.
  3. I’m pretty daring. I’ve had all different lengths and styles of hair – have not tried an asymmetrical cut yet.
  4. I’m terrible when it comes to styling. I’m lazy and my hair just does what it wants no matter how hard I try to keep it in place.

This weekend, with my trip home, I felt it was time to change it up again. I explained to my mom what I wanted, which is the same cut that I had a few years ago. Somehow this got strangely misinterpreted. Probably my fault – I either did not explain what I wanted in any way at all, or my hair was much shorter than I thought. So I ended up with a very different haircut that I haven’t fully accepted yet.

It’s troublesome because sometimes I think it looks cute, especially when paired with the right clothes. It’s got this wispy, messy look if I can get it just right. But the rest of the time, it either looks like I’m a boy (with a terrible cut) or like a mom (also not so good). And getting it to look really good requires blow-drying, mousse, curling iron, and probably some hairspray. That’s a lot more effort than I am willing to put in most of the time. Besides, I don’t even have a curling iron. Let’s hope it grows on me quickly.

haircut 1haricut 2

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style.

March 26, 2009

GQ just came out with its picks for the 50 Most Stylish Men. It’s a good list, spanning generations. Many of the picks are expected; many I’ve never even heard of. It’s interesting how men’s fashion actually stays stylish no matter how many years go by. Personally, I believe it’s because a man’s style is more dependent on the man than the clothes. If you’re cool, you look good in pretty much anything. But the main take-aways were:

1) Dress like a gentleman. What does that mean? It means wear a suit. Because all guys look good in a button-down shirt and a suit.

2) Dress like a rock star. Confidence and individuality are the best accessories. If you can act like you’re pulling it off, things somehow work out.

 

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re: redesign.

March 25, 2009

Dear Facebook,

I was extremely disappointed to see the title of your blog post: Responding to your Feedback. I’ve already mentioned how much I liked the most recent redesign. And I actually think the changes you are thinking of making are pretty good – especially moving requests to the right hand column. However, I am saddened that you felt the need to spin it like you did – the same way Google spins every single one of its decisions. It’s what the users want, consciously or unconsciously. In this case, it was 1 million users saying they disliked the design (but not enough to stop using it). When it comes down to it though, we don’t know what we want. That’s why we haven’t started companies like Facebook or made products like Apple. We can’t think outside the box like that. We just want someone to tell us what’s cool, tell us what to want. That’s what you did with the News Feed, and statuses, and chatting, and gifts. Let’s face it, these upcoming tweaks have probably been in the works already. Telling us it’s a response to our feedback is like giving us a pat on the head for not staging a protest like people did for the News Feed.

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home.

March 24, 2009

I went home this weekend for the first time since the holidays. Despite living so close, I just never seem to make it back to Milwaukee very often. Turns out this past weekend was the last weekend of UW Madison’s Spring Break, so both brothers were home – one of whom would need a ride back to Madison on Sunday. So it seemed like a decent opportunity to drive back for less than 24 hours. It was a great decision, as I got to bring back a cute coat, stylish boots, frozen home-made perogies, and some corned beef.

The best thing about home is being with my family. Now that we’re all spread out because of college and work, we don’t get together very often. But when we do come home, all we do is hang out with each other. We just watch movies, play games, eat, cook, and catch up. And since my family is so close, we all know each other’s friends. It’s almost expected that if you’re home, your friends will be stopping by to chat, hang out, or at the very least say hello to my mom.

My friend, who had also gone home for the weekend, brought up an interesting point that I never really thought about: home isn’t so much the place as it is the people. His reasoning was that people don’t seem to change as much as the environment does. I, however, know that people change just as much as surroundings do. But the way you feel around your family or best friends doesn’t. And that’s what makes it home. Being home without having everyone else there isn’t the same. I think that’s why I’m never itching to drive to Milwaukee for any random weekend, but I get super excited for the holidays.

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bicycle.

March 23, 2009

The other weekend I bought a new bicycle. Madison is a fabulous city for owning a bike because there are so many nicely maintained, paved bike trails that go all over the city. The recent weather has made me antsy to get active and be outdoors, so I took a trip to the bike shop. Plus, I live close enough to work that I can hopefully motivate myself to bike instead of drive. More specifically, the Budget Bicycle Center.

I freely admit that I know nothing about bikes. In fact, it’s been more than a year since I’ve even ridden one. However, I was super impressed with the Budget Bicycle Center. The guy helping me asked a few questions: what I’m looking to do, how much I want to spend, etc. Then he showed me several options, explaining the differences and why they might be a good fit. I got to test them out. It was fantastic service (and this is the second time I’ve seen it in action). I’d highly recommend buying from them.

I’m very excited now for the weather to stay warm.