Archive for October, 2009

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swing.

October 30, 2009

I’ve decided to try dance lessons – swing dance to be exact. It’s taken me forever to sign up because I never wanted to do it alone. And of course, none of my male friends would ever take lessons with me. This clearly would have been something for the boyfriend, but it never crossed my mind then. Anyways, I finally decided that if I kept waiting, it would never happen.

I did some research online, but ultimately signed up for lessons with Downbeat Dance based on an email I received. It helped that it was only a three-week class. Trying to plan weeks ahead is always tricky when traveling, and even with only three weeks – I still have to miss the last class. But I finished my first two classes, and it was so much fun. Alex was a great teacher. He made it a piece of cake to learn.

One of my reasons for wanting to learn dancing was so I could then go dancing. But now, since I took classes alone, I have no one to go dancing with. And I don’t feel quite comfortable enough to just try it on my own. I’m very excited to take more classes.

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single.

October 27, 2009

TresSugar (don’t judge the sites I read) had this slide show up last month – 10 best things about being single. It included everything from crushes and flirting to getting more sleep and focusing on other goals. These kinds of lists kill me for two reasons.

First, do single ladies really need a list like this? It seems to imply that being single is so terrible that it takes some effort to come up with reasons why it’s not so bad. And while I have absolutely no experience in the singles’ world, I can’t imagine it being that awful. On the flip side, being in a relationship is no walk in the clouds. People get antsy once they pass the “new relationship” phase. A list, then, about the amazingness of singledom would create a want for that “freedom”. Which brings me to my second point…

Many things on this list and being in a relationship are not mutually exclusive. And if you believe they are, I think you need to reevaluate your relationship. Of the ten items listed, I only see flirting and new crushes as mostly exclusive to singles (I guess it could depend on how exclusive your relationships are too). But the other 8 areas (free time, friend time, sleep, dates, goals, etc) aren’t limited for those of us in good relationships. In fact, this list made me realize how awful it is to be in a long-distance relationship. I get few of the positives of being in a relationship, none of the benefits of being single, and all the effort to maintain the relationship.

I should make a list of 10 best things about long-distance relationships.

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autumn.

October 25, 2009

While it’s technically been autumn for a while, it’s only recently that I’ve been feeling the full atmosphere of the season. And with Halloween just around the corner, I’m now in a bit of a scramble to get fully prepared for the holiday. So I thought it might be time to list my 5 favorite things about the fall, seeing as it is my favorite season.

1) Fall fashion – I’m definitely not a trendsetter, but fall fashion wins above all other seasonal attire. The cool weather means boots, jackets, hats, and scarves. Frankly, I’ve never been a summer dress kind of girl; I like the heavier fabrics. Maybe it’s just because I grew up in Wisconsin.

2) Cold weather smell – The smell of cold weather is amazing. This is truly a winter thing when it get below freezing, but it starts in fall. I can’t even describe what I like about the smell, but it’s wonderful.

3) Autumn beers – They’re not too light and they’re not too dark. I haven’t really come across one that I didn’t like. It makes me a little bit sad that they’re only seasonal.

4) Colors – I like the darker hues of fall fashion – maroons, browns, forest greens, dark purples. Then, the colors of the leaves are so warm and bright. It’s an interesting pairing – the brights and the darks. But as long as I don’t have to have to wear the oranges and yellows, I’m happy with them.

5) Halloween – costumes, pumpkins, candy corn, trick or treating. What’s not to love? Despite how hard it is to come up with a costume, especially if you have to spend time outside, it’s pretty much just one big party. And I can’t bring myself to buy candy corn at any other time of year.

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overbooked.

October 23, 2009

This week I spent a few days in Philadelphia for work as usual. However, while I usually have really good trips because Philadelphia offers restaurants I just can’t get in Madison, this trip had to be my worst travel experience ever. The signs it would be a bad trip started when my travel department told me “something BIG” was going on in Philly this week and the only hotel they could book me at was the Comfort Inn.

Upon arriving around 11:30pm, Comfort Inn tells us (me and two co-workers) they’re overbooked and don’t have any available rooms (despite our reservations). I understand airlines do this. I was unaware hotels did too (though it does make perfect business sense I guess). Anyways, they called around to find us a room in another hotel for the night. Since Cherry Hill was full, they put us out in Trevose, PA (“just north of Philadelphia”). We should’ve realized this was a bad idea when the cab’s GPS couldn’t find the address, but we ignored it and took the directions the hotel gave us. Turns out, the Comfort Inn in Trevose is almost 30 miles away from the Comfort Inn Downtown, and the hotel gave us terrible directions. More importantly, between the cab GPS and our fancy smartphone GPS, neither  could find where the hotel was or even pinpoint where we were in the cab. When the road we were on had no streetlights, very few houses, and eventually started turning into gravel, we decided it was time to turn around and just find any hotel we could.

Problem – the 73rd ACR/ARHP convention was being held in Philadelphia, and not even joking, every single hotel in the city was booked. When we called our travel agency to find us a hotel for one night, we couldn’t get anything within the city or in New Jersey (and taking cabs in and out of the city gets real expensive real fast). And every hotel we saw along the highway – full. We eventually gave up on trying to find a hotel through the travel agency and got our cab to take us to the Courtyard Marriott downtown, our regular hotel. We figured the Marriott network had to be better than the Comfort Inn network. Besides, it was almost 1:30am and our cab fare was climbing toward $130 already. Our poor cab driver probably hated us, and let’s be honest – over an hour in a cab gets old pretty fast. Anyways, Marriott was nice enough (probably because one of us had platinum status) to give us one room for the night – which technically put them at over capacity, but it gave us a place to sleep.

In the end, let’s just say that I love my co-workers, but three of us sleeping in one room was not exactly the most comfortable situation. It wasn’t even awkward because I was the only girl, but more that it’s just weird to sleep in the same room with two people I don’t really know on that level. And I was reminded how much I like having my own bathroom.

Marriott will be getting a very nice thank you letter. Comfort Inn will not.

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social divide.

October 20, 2009

Probably due to where I grew up and where I went to school and where I live now, I don’t really think too hard about social divides. Not to say I don’t recognize that they exist, I just don’t have any active desire to get rid of them. So when those same groupings start happening online, I’m inclined to just go along with it there too. The hope that the Internet would be an equalizer is a bit too idealistic today. There’s nothing about the online world that would force users to behave differently than they do offline. So why is it news that social divides exist online?

It should be no surprise that Facebook and MySpace have a class/race divide. Facebook started at an Ivy League school. It then opened up to other colleges and universities. Guess what groups of people were most likely to use Facebook as their social network? And maybe, just maybe, being closed to everyone but college kids might have contributed to Facebook users often having more education than the typical MySpace user? Although these social networks are open to everyone, the influence of the original target audience is a huge factor in the final audience.

And that’s because we gravitate towards people similar to ourselves. That’s why you can predict gender based off your browser history. Females and males visit different site. From the article, the researcher labels MySpace users as “burnouts’, punks, or alternative-scene teenagers whose parents likely didn’t go beyond a high school education”. So why, if I’m a straight-laced, career-focused, rich kid, would those people be the ones I would associate with online? I guarantee those aren’t going to be the people I hang out with in real life either. And they probably don’t want to hang out with me. It’s not a bad thing to surround yourself with people of similar interest and ambitions. We don’t all have to be friends.

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disney.

October 18, 2009

I ran across this site a while back; it’s dedicated to posting pictures of those teen celebrities that were made by Disney. I can’t say it’s surprising, but I still find it depressing that this is who pre-teen girls are looking up to. I can’t even think of who were the role models while I was growing up, but I’m pretty sure it was more like this and this. It was definitely not this. And if this is any indication of normal non-celebrity girls – thank god I am not growing up now.

Other things I learned from this site:

  • Miley Cyrus wears terrible, terrible clothes.
  • I don’t really know who Ashley Tisdale is, but I think she should rethink her image.
  • Selena Gomez is super cute – but this was an awful idea – she looks like she’s pretending to be 40.
  • I have absolutely no idea who this Demi girl is.
  • Disney should go back to creating princesses.
  • I am clearly too old to understand anymore.

ps. WordPress spell check doesn’t know Demi either! But it does know Miley, Ashely and Selena. I think that says something about your celebrity status.

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luv u.

October 16, 2009

Ran across this thought the other week. It makes me extremely disappointed that someone thinks calling on the phone is now as personal as physical contact. Ridiculous – so of course I had to read the rest of the article. And you know it’s going to be bad when this is the first thing you read:

Can you imagine what a different movie “Casablanca” would be if, instead of suavely growling, “Here’s looking at you, kid,” Rick instead texted Ilsa: 😉

The article itself is not extremely insightful as it’s just the personal opinion of a few girls, and everyone knows how much that can differ. But, of course, I need to put in my two cents.

Given how prevalent texting is I can’t comfortably say it shouldn’t factor into the dating scene. Even though that’s kind of what I think. I am understanding that it is much easier to text “let’s get dinner” than make the same kind of phone call, which will inevitably have small talk conversation included. It’s also much easier to say no through text. However, if text is your chosen mode of communication, make sure to make sure to use correct grammar and spelling. I can’t stand text abbreviations of any sort. I think it makes you sound like you’re 14 – or stupid.

Flirting is obviously just fine. This would probably get me in trouble though (and not just because I have a boyfriend). With text, it’s much harder to determine what’s a joke. And when you only have one sentence to work with, the difficulty gets multiplied. So pretty much any text I send that doesn’t seem to have a functional purpose – it’s a joke and completely non-serious. I have a feeling that experienced texters probably don’t have this black/white view.

While I don’t have a problem with emoticons in general, I do see them as more female. And in general, male or female, I am judging your use of them. I also think they’re very insufficient, which is why I can’t use them. I read something and make a face, and for the life of me, I’ve never been able to find an emoticon that captures the face I made. Even the basic smiley – if I just smiled enough to warrant emoticon use, it’s way more than just “:-)”. It’s probably even more than “:-D” too. So I think it’s easier not to use them.

And look at this, sexting has come up again. Personally, I don’t need naked pictures of anybody. I definitely do not need them coming to my phone. It will probably not increase your chances of me wanting to have dinner (or sex) with you. And I will definitely judge you.