04 April 2009

News Brief

For my last post of the week, I just want to provide you with some interesting pieces of news. Let me know what you think of them, and we can discuss: 1. The New York Times has an informative story on North Korea's defiant missile launch, going against the U.S., China, and various UN resolutions. 2. Metallica and Run-DMC will soon take spots in the Rock Hall of Fame, according to a story at Online Athens. I never realized there were rappers in the Rock Hall of Fame... 3. And for a little culture flavor -- here's some recent news from Hungary about their housing market. I think I should head over there and bolster their sales!

Short Hair Stories

Alright, so I was reading this article about why women get short haircuts. As someone who has tried a lot of different hairstyles -- from as long as my lower back to mohawks to chopped really close to my head -- I found it slightly amusing, slightly annoying and altogether detrimental to women with short hair. Women cut their hair short for five reasons, according to this writer for The Frisky. Number one on the list is that they move to France. I'm not really up on French culture, but as far as I know, it's Eastern Europe that's known for it's women with short hair. When I was in Hungary, I almost considered growing my hair long again because so many people had styles that looked like mine. In fact, my older female cousin there had just about the same exact look - cut, color, roots and all. The other reasons for short hair: becoming a lesbian, teenage angst, building character, and boy problems. I get that it was probably (sort of) satire, but I think it just tries to box us and our reasons into certain stereotypes. When I cut my hair, it wasn't for any of those reasons -- it was just that I wanted to try something new and exciting. And that short hair is way easier to take care of -- and much more fun! Think of the different, crazy styles you can do. (Although, mine's getting too long for all of that right now). I think the article almost discourages women to cut their hair short, but I encourage you to protest! Cut your hair! Break down stereotypical barriers! Show them that you can make short hair look sexy and still feminine! (Alright, so maybe I've got a little bit of leftover teenage angst...)

03 April 2009

Photo Post

I don't like over-used sayings that have lost all meaning, so whenever people say that pictures are worth a thousand words, I staunchly defend my position that nothing is worth more than a thousand, or even a hundred, well-crafted and well-thought-about words. But, at the end of the day, everyone likes a good picture or two, so here are a couple that capture the mood of the week. Which is your favorite? First things first, I'm ready and aching for summer to be here again! I took this picture last year at Coney Island -- which, I regret to announce to those who haven't heard -- is going to get commercialized and more crowded than it already is. Although, for some good news, some of the attractions (and the Cyclone) will re-open this summer despite plans to turn this run-down beautiful relic into a tourist trap. Either way, just think about it -- wouldn't you love to feel the sand squish through your toes as you stand in that magical spot where the ocean fleetingly meets the shore? What could be more comforting and filling than delicious vanilla and butter pecan ice cream and a thick wedge of cheesecake crammed into huge dish and topped with sweet whipped cream and a juicy strawberry? Probably nothing. And you'll definitely be full after eating one of this gigantic ice cream dishes from Serendipity, on 60th street, a block or two after Lexington. Although the ice cream shop's a little bit pricey (around $10 - $15 for this type of sundae) and the wait can get as long as two hours, it's a good bang for your buck if you have a big of a sweet tooth as I do. (Let's hope not, because you don't want as many cavities as I've got, either). Despite what you may think, I didn't put this pic up here out of vanity or a desire to introduce you to my newest boyfriend (of about one month now, who I've known for about four months). Well, okay, maybe I did... But I also wanted to demonstrate that this week is one where it just feels right to be rockin' a pair of ripped jeans. John's jeans, from American Eagle, have lasted him over five years of intense teenage-boy behavior. (Now he's 20, but I can't imagine he acts very differently). He's got two huge rips on both knees and one significant rip on the right pocket. My jeans, which I can't remember where I got because I'm pretty sure I stole them from my mom, back when I was as skinny as she was -- have rips along the back (don't worry; you can't see my butt!) and on the right knee, as well as a little bit lower down the left leg. So, word of comfort, even if you put on some weight like I did, don't despair. Just feel good about yourself enough to turn those ripped jeans into a new and improved style!

02 April 2009

Relaxation Tips

The monthly Barnes and Noble poetry reading is coming up again this Friday and, as always, I'm planning on reading a couple of poems. I always get pretty nervous right before I go on, and then come down a little bit once I'm up there reading. It's not like it's a big crowd, or anything, but having to strip my soul bare through crafted words always makes my hands shake a little bit. Don't get me wrong -- I don't really care if they think I'm terrible. But I'm also hoping they actually like my poetry and are not just clapping to try and be nice. So then, why do I get nervous? I think it's pretty typical, though, for people to get nervous before speaking in front of a group, or even when preparing to meet someone for the first time. I've been wracking my brain for some good ways to get over this little fear before Friday. And I wanted to share with you the tips that I've concocted: 1. The easiest thing to do is practice! Make sure you read over your speech, poems, or questions out loud as much as you can beforehand. And if it's a conversation you're nervous about, practice with a friend. I find that reading my poems to my mom before going to the reading helps me feel more relaxed when I'm actually up there, because I know I've done this before, and thus can do it again. 2. Another simple way is to drink some chamomile tea or light a candle with a chamomile or eucalyptus scent. Both of these smells awaken the 5th chakra of the throat, which helps with clear communication and expression. A dab of a lavender or frankincense scent will encourage the 7th chakra (representing the crown of the head) to relax and prepare you. 3. You can achieve this same goal, not with scents, but with colors. Or combine candles and colors for an even powerful effect. The Throat chakra corresponds with the color blue, especially turquoise. (You can usually see me in a lot of turquoise). The Crown chakra responds to purples, but white or gold can also be a good choice. The orange Sacral chakra is sometimes said to help with relation to people, so you might want to don a pair of orange socks or underwear if you're doing primarily blues and purples. 4. Get a friend or boyfriend to give you a massage beforehand to help you relax. Just don't get so relaxed that you fall asleep up there! 5. Get to know the people that you're going to be speaking or reading in front of. I find that I'm less nervous when Barnes and Noble is filled primarily with poets I've met or heard read, as opposed to when a bunch of new people come to experience the event. This is obviously hard if you're meeting someone for the first time, but just think -- after that first interaction, the hardest part is over! 6. Most importantly -- believe in yourself. If you believe in your own strengths, talents and abilities, everything is possible. Once you're sure of yourself, others will be too. Good luck, and wish me luck!