17 Reasons B’nai Mitzvah Parties Were The Best

In eighth grade, you had a more poppin’ schedule than you’ve ever had since then. You had a guaranteed party to go to every single Saturday night and you knew your thirty best Jewish friends would be there. Plus, there was always cake, buffet food, and a killer dance party. Now, you sit on your couch bra-less every weekend, watching Law and Order: SVU well into the night, with your best friends, Ben and Jerry. So sit back, relax (maybe grab a blanket), and relive some of those great b’nai mitzvah party memories.

1. Those hotel room/banquet hall dance floors got really real. You and all your 13-year-old friends knew how to kill it out there.

B'nai Mitzvah - YMCA

You knew that when the YMCA came on, your parents would raid the dance floor and you’d have to pretend they didn’t exist – they couldn’t even do the letters right!

2. You knew all the classic DJ party games and dances – from the hula hoop contest to the dance off, the Macarena to the conga line – and you were always prepared to win.

Your goyim friends didn't even know what was coming; they thought they could win the limbo without doing it every week... boy were they wrong.

Your goyim friends didn’t even know what was coming; they thought they could win the limbo without doing it every week… boy were they wrong.

3. Your parents ended up knowing all your favorite songs, because they were requested every weekend.

It wasn't a successful night if you didn't hear "Barbie Girl" at least once.

It wasn’t a successful night if you didn’t hear “Barbie Girl” at least once.

4. Going to these parties meant you could wear your fanciest dresses… which is all relative when you remember that this was middle school.

B'nai Mitzvah - Dress 2 B'nai Mitzvah - Dress 3 B'nai Mitzvah - Dress 4

This nice plaid one takes the cake though:

You knew all your friends were jealous of this one.

You knew all your friends were jealous of this one.

5. Sometimes your parents would even let you wear heels!

B'nai Mitzvah - Shoes 2B'nai Mitzvah - Shoes 1

6. In order to not be dress too provocatively, you would throw on one of these nice babies to cover up:

You had them in ever color, because they were just the best.

You had them in ever color, because they were just the best.

7. Plus, these dresses would go perfectly with the amazing jewelry you were sure to get at the party.

You may have had an entire drawer full of these at home... but ever need some school pride? Don't worry, you (and all your friends were set to go).

You may have had an entire drawer full of these at home… but ever need some school pride? Don’t worry, you (and all your friends) were set to go.

8. You might even get a nice hat!

Wow. That is CLASSY.

Wow. That is a CLASSY hat.

9. And if the necklaces weren’t enough for you, chances are you could snag a few of these:

The rash on your neck usually went away by the end of the night...

The rash on your neck usually went away by the end of the night…

10. The food was always to DIE for.

Cotton candy machine? Ice cream bar? Sign me on up!

Cotton candy machine? Ice cream bar? Sign me up!

11. And don’t even get me started on the desserts!

This candy bar was just the beginning - there was also cake, a cupcake tower, a chocolate fountain, and personalized m&m's!

This candy bar was just the beginning – there was also cake, a cupcake tower, a chocolate fountain, and personalized m&m’s!

12. There were also always those nice mocktails for you to try.

You and Shirley Temple had a really intimate relationship in eighth grade...

You and Shirley Temple had a really intimate relationship in eighth grade…

13. The themed parties were by far the best, though.

Winter Wonderland theme anyone? Just please don't make me dress up - I don't know how to dress like a damn snowflake.

Winter Wonderland theme anyone? Just please don’t make me dress up – I don’t know how to dress like a damn snowflake.

14. You always knew you would get to leave with some pretty awesome party favors.

You had so many of these, you and your Hebrew school friends could have started a maraca band.

You had so many of these, you and your Hebrew school friends could have started a maraca band.

15. Sometimes the favors were even themed!

Blow up guitar or something to whack each other with?

Blow up guitar or something to whack each other with?

16. And at the really swanky parties, you’d get to leave with something amazing, like one of the following:

It didn't even matter what you ended up looking like, this was the best portrait that had ever been done of you.

It didn’t even matter what you ended up looking like, this was the best portrait that had ever been done of you.

If you were lucky, you would walk away at the end of the night with an airbrushed tattoo (which is ironic, since Jews aren't allowed to get tattoos...).

If you were lucky, you would walk away at the end of the night with an airbrushed tattoo (which is ironic, since Jews aren’t allowed to get tattoos…).

With these light-up glasses, you'd be the envy of your friends (but you wouldn't be able to see a thing).

With these light-up glasses, you’d be the envy of your friends (but you wouldn’t be able to see a thing).

17. And, of course, the best party was your party, when you got to choose the snacks and favors and the DJ would play whatever you wanted and you finally got to be the one lifted on the chair.

Don't let this girl fool you, when you're up there, you're clinging to the chair with both hands.

Don’t let this girl fool you, when you’re up there, you’re clinging to the chair with both hands.

The 10 Best Moments of the National Dog Show

Dog Show - Title

(aka Where to find the weirdest-looking dogs and the frumpiest-looking people ever)

What’s better than watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and then forgetting to change the channel and being utterly confused about the strange things that walk across the stage that they call dogs? Nothing, amiright? That’s what I thought. Also, I think they may have just called it a sporting event. Can you hear me snorting with laughter? Here are the 10 best moments from the National Dog Show!

1. We’ll start by talking about how they frequently reference the Kennel Club, and every time, without fail, I hear “kettle corn.”

Dog Show - Kennel Club Dog Show - Kettle Corn

2. Way too many of the owners look like their dogs (and yes, the people look like the dogs – because the dogs are supposed to look like that. The people aren’t).

101 Dalmatians understands my point.

101 Dalmatians illustrates my point.

3. Most of the dogs don’t actually look like dogs. Many of them should be in the “rat on a string” category.

What is this? This is not a dog. This is just a sure sign that Americans have too much time on their hands.

What is this? This is not a dog. This is just a sure sign that Americans have too much time on their hands.

4. And if they’re not rat-like, they look like horses.

I could ride that dog.

I could ride that dog.

5. Or a mop.

Where's my floor cleaner spray? Think you could just roll around a little bit for me now?

Where’s my floor cleaner spray? Think you could just roll around a little bit for me now?

6. Or… I don’t even know.

And then there's this. Which is just gross.

And then there’s this. Which is just gross.

7. You know that this dog is REALLY enjoying being poked and prodded.

Dog Show - GroomingI promise, all it really wants to do is this:

Dog Show - Lazy8. The handlers really take the cake, though. They are by far the most well-dressed people out there (I’m also 90% sure they put the dog treats in their mouths… which is really unacceptable).

Dog Show - Pink Suit

This one actually knows what color is. That’s throwing me for a loop.

9. Sometimes they have dogs that actually look like they’re supposed to.

Hey! That one's a dog!

Hey! That one’s a dog!

That one too!

That one too!

And this one!

And this one!

(ignore the brown monstrosity above the silver cake-like horror)

10. And, finally, this “dog.”

Do you really think you're fooling anyone? We all know you're just a mini-yeti.

Do you really think you’re fooling anyone? We all know you’re just a mini-yeti.

You're not convincing anyone.

You’re not convincing anyone.

Although, you could probably pass for Ludo from Labyrinth...

Although, you could probably pass for Ludo from Labyrinth…

According to one of the announcers, “This is what you got HD television for!” Umm… nope.

At the end of the day, though, they’re all winners… jk, they’re just dogs who pranced around in a circle. 

Especially this one, because it looks like the trophy.

Especially this one, because it looks like the trophy.

Happy Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgivukkah

Also, it’s not Thanksgivmukkah. Where is the “m” coming from? Neither Thanksgiving nor Hanukkah have an “m.” Just to clarify.

To hop on the bandwagon: I hope everyone has a fantastic time today at this once-in-a-lifetime holiday, Thanksgivukkah.

A year ago today, I was having the worst week of my life. I had cried more than half the hours I’d been awake and I felt worlds away from my family. This Thanksgiving, I feel so grateful for all the people who were there for me last year when I needed them, and all the people who have remained with me this year. I am also thankful for all of you who read my blog – when I started this, I expected to have my family, close friends, and a few random Facebook friends read it. Now, almost one million views later, I am still in shock that so many people enjoy reading what I have to say. So thanks!

I could keep writing about all the things I’m thankful for, but instead, I think I’ll go find some food (after all, I have two food-centric holidays to celebrate).

Frequently Asked Questions (For Which I Remain Answerless)

FAQ - Hook Up

“What are you up to later?” Why, hot guy who I’ve been crushing on for months? Do you want to hook up? Because then I’m not doing anything. But if you want to come over to copy my homework, then I’m suuuuper busy. This question just bums me out, because it makes me think for a second that someone might actually want to hang out with me later. But nope! Usually it’s a question asked solely to sound polite and act like you care. If I’m lucky, it’ll be one of my friends asking to make sure I’m not doing anything cooler than they are that night (spoiler alert: I never am). This question poses a problem for me because I never know whether to answer honestly (probably sitting in my room doing homework until my friends show up to entertain me) or to pretend like I’m not actually as lame as I am. One Saturday night, I went to urgent care with my roommate and another friend to make sure my roommate wasn’t dying (she wasn’t), and I had more fun than my normal weekend nights. Although, I had gone to a party the night before and had a worse time, so maybe I just need to reassess my definition of fun… clearly urgent care is where it’s at.

Thanksgiving Style

Here’s a great way to mix two classic styles of Thanksgiving – a coming together of Pilgrims and Native Americans. Dress it up or down, just make sure you have enough room for all that delicious food!
Thanksgiving

 

The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Ever Read

Previously, in a “Frequently Asked Questions (For Which I Remain Answerless)” Post (which can be found here: https://sometimesiweartiaras.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/frequently-asked-questions-for-which-i-remain-answerless/), I said I didn’t have a book that impacted my life or anything like that; but I can name the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. It wasn’t written by anyone famous, it isn’t a poem or a piece of prose, it probably doesn’t matter to anyone outside of my family. But it’s by far the sweetest, most sincere, most perfect thing that was ever written in my opinion. It’s a family tree, written by my grandfather. Many of the words are spelled wrong and it is very matter-of-fact. Let me preface this by saying that many of my mother’s relatives were holocaust survivors. Thus, the family tree is blunt and terrifying in its descriptions of deaths. For many members of my family, the death date is accompanied by “all perished,” or “died in ghetto,” or simply, “gas chambers.” Obviously that is not the most beautiful part. My grandfather included very sparse information in his descriptions – birth and death dates, occupation, family members. That’s all. Except in one spot. When describing his marriage to my grandmother, he wrote, “I married the most beautiful girl.” Those six words are incredible to me. They represent an indescribable love. My grandfather, in describing the deaths of so many beloved family members, had no descriptive words; it was all strictly fact. The idea that my grandmother was the most beautiful girl wasn’t a question for him – it was simply a fact, a known. My grandfather was not writing the family tree for anyone outside my family to read, he was just jotting down an informal note. That is the truest form of love – the kind that doesn’t need to be shown off or bragged about, but is always there. It is unquestionable and undeniable. For my grandfather, it did not matter what anyone else thought; whether it was the day they met or their 50th wedding anniversary, my grandmother would always be the most beautiful girl.

My grandparents on their wedding day.

My grandparents on their wedding day.

7 Fashion Trends Guys Love To Hate

This was such a fun piece to read and it puts a fun spin on how “trendy” clothes are seen by opposing genders. To steal a phrase from the author, all hail the top knot and all hail being trendy.

Unwritten

There are certain trends guys just hate, and we simply have no idea why, because to us, they rock. Trends in girl world exceed all expectations. However, we must recognize that fashion and trends are often for girls, just to impress other girls. Here are a few fashion trends that girls and guys just don’t see eye to eye on.

Girls love a good topknot, and why shouldn’t they? They’re trendy AF. I’m kind of sick of this whole “guys like your hair down” nonsense, especially since I am a firm believer in the topknot. The first time my ex-boyfriend saw my hair in a topknot bun, he shrieked, “What is this?” To his disgust, I replied in the only way I knew how, by sporting my hair in that very fashion all too often. Always say yes to the topknot.

Girls love showing off their midriff, but that’s…

View original post 477 more words

#makeupprobs

I’m going to be totally honest right now: I am twenty years old and I still have basically no idea how to use eye shadow. I really just don’t understand how to do it – I’ve watched Carmindy on What Not to Wear give people makeup advice more times than I can count and I still can’t do it… So I’ve decided to come to terms with this and I’ve been on the lookout for easy fun makeup styles for nights out, and so far I’ve found one winner, which I’ll share with you guys here! First though, I’ll show you all what my makeup struggles looks like (maybe you can relate).

Let's start by just accepting the fact that when I start to get ready I look like 2007 mid-meltdown Britney.

Let’s start by just accepting the fact that when I start to get ready I look like 2007 mid-meltdown Britney.

Then this happens. Obviously.

Then this happens. Obviously.

Followed up by this (yeah, closing both eyes definitely a good plan).

Followed up by this (yeah, closing both eyes definitely a good plan).

And if I'm lucky, I end up with some sort of Avril eye makeup catastrophe going on (don't get me wrong, I love Avril, but, come on sweetie, you're a small blond girl, what's with the pounds of makeup?)

And if I’m lucky, I end up with some sort of Avril eye makeup catastrophe going on (don’t get me wrong, I love Avril, but, come on sweetie, you’re a small blond girl, what’s with the pounds of makeup?).

If I'm unlucky, which happens more often, I end up with Jenna Marbles' drunk makeup. But I'm sober.

If I’m unlucky, which happens more often, I end up with Jenna Marbles’ drunk makeup. But I’m sober.

Alright, now for the makeup I actually can do! I found this look in a magazine – it was just in an ad, but I thought I could probably try it. Here it is:

MakeupI love this look because it’s really easy – just a line of liquid liner on top and a dots of liquid liner on the bottom, followed up by mascara. It’s really fun, you’re sure to be the only one rocking it, AND you get to look like Twiggy (and I can’t really think of anything better than that).

Twiggy

The 36 Best E-Cards

1. Yes, you counted correctly, the first five days after the weekend is the entire week.

1. Yes, you counted correctly, the first five days after the weekend is the entire week.

2. Some days? Wait... is this not supposed to be the highlight of every day?

2. Some days? Wait… is this not supposed to be the highlight of every day?

3. If the bag is not resealable, the serving size is one. End of story.

3. If the bag is not resealable, the serving size is one. End of story.

It's funny that you think my best friend doesn't know every single little fact about me.

4. It’s funny that you think my best friend doesn’t know every single little fact about me.

5. But after sweatpants, sassy pants are my next most comfortable pair.

5. But after sweatpants, sassy pants are my next most comfortable pair.

6. #macklemore

6. #macklemore

7. Seriously though.

7. Seriously though.

8. "Oh my god, you're so white!" Thank you, Captain Obvious, I actually never noticed that before.

8. “Oh my god, you’re so white!” Thank you, Captain Obvious, I actually never noticed that before.

9. And it can only be six characters long. Go.

9. And it can only be six characters long. Go.

10. Because, let's be real, cheese > everything else.

10. Because, let’s be real, cheese > everything else.

11. TRUTH.

11. TRUTH.

12. No. No no no no no no. Your online presence validates mine! Come back!

12. No. No no no no no no. Your online presence validates mine! Come back!

13. Yes, we're going to third-wheel you. Deal with it.

13. Yes, we’re going to third-wheel you. Deal with it.

15. And now I can cross that nap off my to-do list.

14. And now I can cross that nap off my to-do list.

15. I have to go, Justin just pulled up in our pink limo with our 4 pet alligators.

15. I have to go, Justin just pulled up in our pink limo with our 4 pet alligators.

16. It's just as uncomfortable as missing the last step, but 500% more embarrassing.

16. It’s just as uncomfortable as missing the last step, but 500% more embarrassing.

17. "Number 14 receives a two minute penalty for tripping."

17. “Number 14 receives a two minute penalty for tripping.”

18. And when I zone out when you're talking, that's a vertical life pause.

18. And when I zone out when you’re talking, that’s a vertical life pause.

19. If you know what I mean... ;)

19. If you know what I mean… ;)
(and if you don’t, you need to put your mind a little farther into the gutter)

20. It's like a homemade shag carpet! No...?

20. It’s like a homemade shag carpet! No…?

Would you like a shovel to help you with that hole you're digging yourself?

21. Would you like a shovel to help you with that hole you’re digging yourself?

What. I weighed that once.

22. What. It’s not a total lie. I weighed that once.

Oh, you did see me yesterday? Don't worry, I totally did laundry last night...

23. Oh, you did see me yesterday? Don’t worry, I totally did laundry last night…

And also this apple to balance it out. And then a piece of pizza because the apple was just so healthy.

24. And also this apple to balance it out. And then a piece of pizza because the apple was just so healthy.

26. Well it's not like it could take care of itself.

25. Well it’s not like it could take care of itself.

26. See, it's funny because there are two more cupcakes on my plate.

26. See, it’s funny because there are two more cupcakes on my plate.

27. Hah. Take that!

27. Hah. Take that!

28. There's an entire inning left. You're not fooling anyone.

28. There’s an entire inning left. You’re not fooling anyone.

29. Do you know how much stretching that takes? I have to bend, like, all the way over.

29. Do you know how much stretching that takes? I have to bend, like, all the way over.

30. To work out or to not work out. That's not even a question.

30. To work out or to not work out. That’s not even a question.

31. Come on, who are you kidding?

31. Come on, who are you kidding?

32. It was definitely Friday earlier today. No, it was. I could've sworn it was...

32. It was definitely Friday earlier today. No, it was. I could’ve sworn it was…

33. When Dermot Mulroney says this in "The Wedding Date," I melt. Every time.

33. When Dermot Mulroney says this in “The Wedding Date,” I melt. Every time.

34. Is that really so much to ask for?

34. Is that really so much to ask for?

35. Let's be real, if I've even matched my socks it's a good day.

35. Let’s be real, if I’ve even matched my socks it’s a good day.

36. Last week I only got out of bed because someone posted on Facebook about SVU. I wish I was joking.

36. Last week I only got out of bed because someone posted on Facebook about SVU. I wish I was joking.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (For Which I Remain Answerless)

The confusing, “Hey, how are you?” in passing when really all that is needed is a “hey” or even just a smile or a head nod. Come on, this is just awkward no matter what. You can choose to answer the question, but then the person never has time to respond because you’re already tens of feet away from one another. Or, you can choose to just say “hey” in return, but then the “how are you” part just hangs there in the air between you. Furthermore, it’s not like when you ask this question accompanied with a wave you actually care how the other person is doing. There are very clearly defined correct answers to this question, including (but not entirely limited to): good, fine, tired, awesome, alright, meh, you know… it’s Monday. How would someone respond if you actually told them how you are doing? Like, “Hey, how are you?” “Oh, you know, pretty shitty actually. My friends are fighting and trying to force me into the middle of it, my best friend won’t text me back, I’m pretty sure I’m PMSing, I got a C on a paper I expected to do well on, I’m tired as fuck, my roommate won’t watch The Bachelor with me because ‘she has too much work to do,’ I have to go to a meeting I really don’t want to go to in which a bitchy coworker will try to teach me how to be a better person, and midterms are about to start. How are you?” I’ve always been a little curious as to what someone would do if I answered like this, but then I’m also pretty sure that person would never talk to me again, so I’ve never risked it. Maybe I will some day when I’m feeling ballsy. Probably not. I think we need to change the way we address one another when we don’t actually care about the other person – I think a simple “hey” is sufficient, but it feels more intimate to pretend you care. So I guess we’ll just continue to pretend we’re fine, because, let’s face it, we probably don’t want to hear about their problems either.

24 Children’s Rooms I’d Be More Than Happy to Call My Own

As a kid, I was infinitely jealous of any kid with a themed bedroom. My best friend’s room was lightly underwater-themed (meaning green and blue paint and extra sea stuffed animals) and her sister’s room was jungle-y with big cats everywhere. Mine was a mess of Barbie dolls, glow-in-the-dark stars, Winnie the Pooh blankets, and leopard pillows. I’ve never quite gotten over the idea of theme rooms for kids (or for grown-ups) – thank you Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I would love to have any of the following rooms (like, today… right now… as a 20-year-old).

Let's start off strong. You get to sleep in a pirate ship. Enough said.

Let’s start off strong. You get to sleep in a pirate ship. Enough said.

Who wouldn't want an entire surf shack in their room? Because I sure would.

Who wouldn’t want an entire surf shack in their room? Because I sure would.

I'm the farthest thing from a street kid/skater, but it doesn't even matter. This room rocks.

I’m the farthest thing from a street kid/skater, but it doesn’t even matter. This room rocks.

This is a fucking submarine. You could imagine that you were always at the bottom of the ocean. Maybe you're going to find Atlantis! This room is great.

This is a fucking submarine. You could imagine that you were always at the bottom of the ocean. Maybe you’re going to find Atlantis! This room is great.

It's a space ship! You're sleeping in a floating bed! All you need now is zero gravity.

It’s a spaceship! You’re sleeping in a floating bed! All you need now is zero gravity.

Ever wanted to go on a safari? Now you can, from the convenience of your own bed! What could be better?

Ever wanted to go on a safari? Now you can, from the convenience of your own bed! What could be better?

I think this is my dream room. It's like straight up Cinderella-style, complete with singing mice and fairy godmother. Now, where's my Prince Charming?

I think this is my dream room. It’s like straight up Cinderella-style, complete with singing mice and fairy godmother. Now, where’s my Prince Charming?

Okay, this is probably the coolest room I've EVER seen. It has a boat in the ceiling, a rope bridge, and an amazing paint job. What more could a kid want?

Okay, this is probably the coolest room I’ve EVER seen. It has a boat in the ceiling, a rope bridge, and an amazing paint job. What more could a kid want?

Sleeping in this room would feel like you were on the Oregon Trail. And when you have sleepovers, you could make your friend have malaria before going fishing and trading with randos.

Sleeping in this room would feel like you were on the Oregon Trail. And when you have sleepovers, you could make your friend have malaria before going fishing and trading with randos.

Another boat! But this one is all fancy-like and you could sing "I'm On A Boat" every night before you went to bed.

Another boat! But this one is all fancy-like and you could sing “I’m On A Boat” every night before you went to bed.

Think about how many knights in shining armor you could have in this medieval room.

Think about how many knights in shining armor you could have in this medieval room.

It's a jungle in here! Literally...

It’s a jungle in here! Literally…

It doesn't even matter what the rest of the room looks like (spoiler alert: there's a giraffe). There's an elephant coming out of the wall.

It doesn’t even matter what the rest of the room looks like (spoiler alert: there’s a giraffe). There’s an elephant coming out of the wall.

So this one's a little underwhelming compared to some of the others, but it's a doll house! You could actually live in a dollhouse. And if you played with dolls in a dollhouse in your dollhouse room, it gets all meta-dollhouse.

So this one’s a little underwhelming compared to some of the others, but it’s a doll house! You could actually live in a dollhouse. And if you played with dolls in a dollhouse in your dollhouse room, it gets all meta-dollhouse.

Want to be a star? This room will DEFINITELY get you there.

Want to be a star? This diva room will DEFINITELY get you there.

So much Disney. So much princess. So much wonderful.

So much Disney. So much princess. So much wonderful.

Your bed is a dinosaur. The end.

Your bed is a dinosaur. The end.

You don't even have to wear a hard hat in this construction zone. This is such a badass room.

You don’t even have to wear a hard hat in this construction zone. This is such a badass room.

I don't even like chess but I still love this room.

I don’t even like chess but I still love this room.

Yay castles! You would always be the king or queen of this room (your parents - aka serfs - wouldn't even be able to tell you to clean up).

Yay castles! You would always be the king or queen of this room (your parents – aka serfs – wouldn’t even be able to tell you to clean up).

Swimming among the sharks? How about sleeping among the sharks? That's more like it! (Plus, my brother's name is Asher, so that's just extra cool).

Swimming among the sharks? How about sleeping among the sharks? That’s more like it!
(Plus, my brother’s name is Asher, so that’s just extra cool).

I don't know why Monica and Rachel didn't just keep the racecar bed in Friends... look how cool their room could have been!

I don’t know why Monica and Rachel didn’t just keep the racecar bed in Friends… look how cool their room could have been!

In this room, you could always feel like you were in Alice's Wonderland or Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.

In this room, you could always feel like you were in Alice’s Wonderland or Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

(This post was way cheesier than I meant it to be… oh well.)

Why Oregonians Don’t Believe In Umbrellas

If you read any travel guide about Oregon, it’ll tell you the one thing that gives away tourists is umbrellas. And it’s totally true. Oregonians just don’t use umbrellas. And we so adamantly don’t use umbrellas that we make fun of people who do. Here’s why:

Because this is the truest statement that has ever been made.

Because this is the truest statement that has ever been made.

Because ducks literally swim in the puddles that form. That's how big the puddles are.

Because ducks literally swim in the puddles that form. That’s how big the puddles are.

Because this is what Oregon looks like 90% of the year.

Because this is what Oregon looks like 90% of the year.

Like, I shit you not. This is what I could have gone home to spring break of freshman year.

Like, I shit you not. This is what I could have gone home to spring break of freshman year.

And when it doesn't look like gray and dull, it's too hot. One day it'll be 40 degrees and raining and the next day it'll be 85 degrees and sunny (and you'll be stuck inside, obviously).

And when it doesn’t look like gray and dull, it’s too hot. One day it’ll be 40 degrees and raining and the next day it’ll be 85 degrees and sunny (and you’ll be stuck inside, obviously).

Because the umbrellas only come out in the summer.

Because the umbrellas only come out in the summer. Which is embarrassing for an entirely different reason.

Because "It Never Rains in Autzen Stadium." Which is the biggest bullshit ever, but it just proves that we don't even believe rain happens.

Because “It Never Rains in Autzen Stadium.” Which is the biggest bullshit ever, but it just proves that we don’t even believe rain happens.

Because in real life this is what Autzen looks like most of the time.

Because in real life this is what Autzen looks like most of the time.

But it's fine, because the fans are ready to go.

But it’s fine, because the fans are ready to go.

You thought I was kidding. I wasn't.

You thought I was kidding. I wasn’t.

Because we feel so strongly about it that we have Facebook pages for it (and yes, of course I liked this one).

Because we feel so strongly about it that we have Facebook pages for it (and yes, of course I liked this one).

Because our license plates say the constant state of Oregon's weather.

Because our license plates say the constant state of Oregon’s weather.

Because when we hosted the Olympic Trials in June 2012, it still rained (so much that events had to be cancelled - yeah, we go hard).

Because when we hosted the Olympic Trials in June 2012, it still rained (so much that events had to be cancelled – yeah, we go hard).

Because this is OBVIOUSLY not Oregon.

Because this is OBVIOUSLY not Oregon.

Because we know that the way to go is ALWAYS rain coat, no pants, bicycle.

Because we know that the way to go is ALWAYS rain coat, no pants, bicycle.

Because only a true Oregonian could break the decathlon world record in the rain.

Because only a true Oregonian could break the decathlon world record in the rain.

Because we aren't the Wicked Witch of the West, and we won't fucking melt in water.

Because we aren’t the Wicked Witch of the West, and we won’t fucking melt in water.

So don’t be a little bitch. It’s just water. Put on your raincoat and suck it up. You’ll be fine.

… But Then It Was Harry Potter Weekend

Sometimes I go into the weekend assuming I’m going to get work done, but sometimes I see the weekend as a time to just relax and not do anything. I’m not quite sure which of those choices this weekend is, but I do know that I am ridiculously happy that it is Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family. So, in honor of Harry Potter weekend (which is the happiest weekend of every month, yeah it happens that much, let’s be real), I’m going to post some things that all Harry Potter lovers can relate to:

When there was always another midnight book release to look forward to.

When there was always another midnight book release to look forward to.

When you finally came to terms with your crush on Emma Watson.

When you finally came to terms with your crush on Emma Watson.

When you watched this live on YouTube because it was basically more important than any other thing that has happened in the history of ever.

When you watched this live on YouTube because it was basically more important than any other thing that has happened in the history of ever.

When this happened and you were glad that everyone around you almost threw up too.

When this happened and you were glad that everyone around you almost threw up too.

When you would stand outside in November for hours on end in a cold costume because the cold couldn't make it past your excitement.

When you would stand outside in November for hours on end in a cold costume because the cold couldn’t make it past your excitement.

When you realized that nothing creepier would ever happen in the series than this moment.

When you realized that nothing creepier would ever happen in the series than this moment.

When you realized you weren't the only one who was going to force your children to read Harry Potter.

When you realized you weren’t the only one who was going to force your children to read Harry Potter.

When Hogsmeade opened at Universal and you knew it was going to be so wrong but it didn't even matter because you wanted to go there more than anything.

When Hogsmeade opened at Universal and you knew it was going to be so wrong but it didn’t even matter because it was going to be the happiest place on earth and you wanted to go there more than anything.

When this picture gave you such mixed emotions that you had to sit down for a minute.

When this picture gave you such mixed emotions that you had to sit down for a minute.

When you read things like this and realize that there are people out there who do actually understand you.

When you read things like this and realize that there are people out there who do actually understand you.

p.s. This is definitely not going to be my only post about Harry Potter, just sayin’.

A Response to the Harsh Truth

Capture1

I recently received this comment on my “A Little About Me” post:

“How is this post going to make a difference in the world? Those who have been immortalized by our society  is their willingness to make selfless sacrifices to better their fellow man, regardless of the cost. In your own words this blog is a for “Shameless Self-Promotion”. Not only are you writing this for yourself and with the sole hope of being worshiped after your passing, but you don’t see how your very attitude has doomed your ambitions from the beginning. How dare you compare yourself to Nelson Mandela and Gandhi? Do you honestly read about them and believe that you could make the emotional and physical sacrifices they have made? You are nothing more than a spoiled teenager who thinks that posting about her well-off life and complaining about mild adversity (if it can even be considered adversity) will deify her. If you really wan to make a difference, volunteer, donate money and good to charity, and instead of buying your latte every morning provide a homeless person with a meal. That’s a good starting place, not writing a blog.”

-Senior Esteban

First off, I’m not going to lie, this stung a little. It’s not fun for anyone to receive negative criticism, especially when some of the foundations of what was said are based in truth. I AM a spoiled teenager (well, 20-year-old, but same thing), I AM posting about my well-off life, and I AM complaining about mild adversity. These things are all undeniably true. I am a young, middle class, white girl at an expensive small liberal arts college. I have a loving family, amazing friends, and am receiving an incredible education. I am fully aware that the adversity I will face in my entire life is not comparable to the adversity some people in the world face every day.

There are, however, some major flaws in the arguments of this comment. First of all, I’m not hoping, in any sense of the word, to be worshipped, especially not as a result of this blog. The sole purpose of this blog is to share some of my opinions – which may or may not be important (probably the latter).  In the blog post that this comment was responding to, I specifically said, “I didn’t have anything profound to say.” I have never claimed that this blog was going to help the world in any way – this is purely for the enjoyment of myself and the potential enjoyment of those who choose to read my thoughts.

Second, I never meant to compare myself to Mandela and Gandhi in the hope that people would think of me like them. I wrote, “So here I am, writing this, trying to make what I’m writing matter to people other than my two friends who just laughed at my failed attempts at dates, trying to become someone who matters (obviously a lot less than people like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, but you have to start somewhere, right?). Here goes nothing.” I made it clear that I was by no means going to matter as much as either of these two leaders – I do not honestly read about them and believe that I could make the emotional and physical sacrifices they have made – not in a million years. I was using them as examples of people who matter and who have made a difference – I do not consider myself someone who has done either of those things, I was just bringing them up because they are role models for people who would like to change the world someday.

Third, the piece of the comment that hurt the most was saying that I was nothing more than a spoiled teenager. I recognize the reasoning behind saying I am spoiled, but the truth is that I AM more than that. This blog is not my entire life, and I post about things that I think other people will find entertaining. I don’t write about every aspect of my life – like how I am the president of a community service club, or how I spend my spring breaks volunteering around the country, or how I spent my Halloween collecting cans for a local food shelf (oh wait, I did write about that… maybe you should read it). I recognize that I am in a very privileged position in society – most people do not get to have the experiences I do. I work very hard to check my privilege, though; I work two jobs, I donate my time and money to charity, I work hard in school, and I care about others. Writing this blog is, for me, just a creative outlet – it is not how I expect to change the world.

In conclusion, despite the harsh comment, I want to thank you for reading my blog (the entire thing, if I’m not mistaken), and for sharing your opinion. I also want to say that sometimes you really can’t judge a book by its cover, and I’d argue that this blog makes a strong case for that statement. So, Senior Esteban, I ask the following of you: don’t be so quick to judge, take what I’ve written into consideration, and please follow your own advice and “volunteer, donate money and good to charity, and instead of buying your latte every morning provide a homeless person with a meal.” That’s a good starting place, not writing snarky comments on blogs.

Coffee Name

I feel your pain, Mad-Ah-Lynn

I feel your pain, Mad-Ah-Lynn

I have a challenging name. I am aware of that fact. At high school graduation, I had to write “(pronunciation: Ill-ee-ah-na)” on the index card that some random teacher would read to announce me and I was still worried he would get it wrong. The first day of class is always an interesting day of me learning how incapable most teachers/professors are at pronouncing my name. I have gotten everything from Eileen to Elena, Leanne to Aileena, and those are only the ones that I can come up with spellings for. Usually, when I order food or coffee or something, I tell the server that my name is Ileana, and they should just spell it however they think it’ll be easiest for the other person to pronounce. If I don’t give them permission to spell my name wrong, I have to listen on the other end of the counter for every possible variation of my name.

You’ve all seen (or been the victim of) this kind of ignorance: http://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/starbucks-spelling-tumblr-23-hilariously-misspelled-names-on-starbucks-coffee-cups. Just imagine what people with names like mine get written on coffee cups. It’s rough.

THUS, I have taken to using a coffee name. NPR did a piece a few years ago on coffee names (which can be found here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128828538).

So “Hi, Starbucks barista, I would like a tall caramel frappuccino, you can put it under Lilly.”

Shameless Self-Promotion (although, what is a blog really if not constant self-promotion, so maybe promoting myself on my own blog has reached the level of shameful self promotion, if that’s even a thing… well anyways, here’s my artsy/Etsy stuff, along with possibly the longest blog post title in the world)

Summer 2013 430

In eighth grade, I started painting pottery with what has now become my signature style. Now, my painting hobby has transformed into a business (but not really because I’ve only sold two things… awkward). Basically I sell my clothes on Etsy (at www.etsy.com/shop/illiedesigns) and at Yellow Boutique in Saratoga Springs, and Skidmore’s Ujima Fashion Show will feature some of my clothes in the spring (assuming I get my act together)! So here are some of the things I’ve made, either to sell, or just for funsies. If you like what you see, I also do custom orders/installations/designs.

Yellow Ad

Westchester Shirt  Bow Shirt at Yellow Eugene Shirt Spring 2013 052 IMG_6644  Spring 2013 053 Spring 2013 054 Spring 2013 055 Spring 2013 056 Spring 2013 057 Spring 2013 058 Spring 2013 059 Onesies 003 Onesies 006 Summer 2013 069 Summer 2013 054 Summer 2013 194 Summer 2013 220 Summer 2013 335 Summer 2013 221    Summer 2013 223 Summer 2013 226 Summer 2013 246 Summer 2013 263 Summer 2013 257  Summer 2013 249 Summer 2013 337 Summer 2013 251    Summer 2013 348 Summer 2013 423 Summer 2013 427

On Being an Ugly Ducking

Directing Ducklings

“One of her chapters talks about the challenges of dealing with the vagaries of 21st century children meeting the 15th century English language: mispronouncing wench as wrench, wanton as won-ton, or changing characters’ names, such as Hermia to Hernia and Titania to Titanium.”
… “won-ton” happened on a weekly basis in my class…

In 2005, I sat by the edge of the pool, lounging on a towel, reading a middle school course catalog. I was getting ready to move across the country and start at Roosevelt Middle School, a year after everyone else had already started middle school. I didn’t really have any qualms about moving or starting a new school (I was just glad I didn’t have to go to Spencer Butte, which at the time I still believed was pronounced Spencer’s Butt), but I had absolutely no idea how to choose classes. All I had was a list of available classes, and a handwritten list of “good teachers,” written by my mom’s future coworker’s son (and my future classmate). I signed up for a bunch of classes I thought looked cool and got placed in none of them. Somehow, though, I ended up in Judy Wenger’s “The Taming of the Shrew” class – one of the three Shakespeare classes that performed a show at Roosevelt’s annual Bard Fest (what can I say, it was a very progressive middle school…). Anyway, I was kind of a train wreck as far as performing Shakespeare goes, but there was one overwhelming positive that came from that class: I got to have Judy Wenger as a teacher. I had the privilege of taking her classes two other times over the course of my time at Roosevelt, once in a sewing class called ‘Behind the Seams’ (we made the costumes for the musical, which that year was “Bye Bye Birdie” – it was a lot of poodle skirts and petticoats) and in eighth grade, the musical, “The Apple Tree.” All three of these were amazing experiences, mostly because of Judy. She was funny, intelligent, and made middle schoolers feel like they actually mattered, which is quite a feat. While I can’t say that I was really close to Judy or a stellar student in any of these performing arts classes, Judy still had an impact on me as someone who truly believed in her students and somehow saw the potential in middle schoolers to go from ugly duckings to beautiful swans.

After 37 years of teaching, Judy wrote this book, which I just ordered on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Directing-Ducklings-Lessons-learned-surviving/dp/1492805467/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384148642&sr=8-1&keywords=directing+ducklings

As another former student wrote (in the Amazon comments): “Judy – I had such a fun time reading your book! I got it in the mail yesterday and read the entire thing in the course of the evening. It was such a joy to be transported back to your classroom and all the wonderful memories that I have from middle school (which, by the way, I don’t think is entirely a common sentiment for most people, so I give you a great deal of credit there). Reading your stories and thinking back on my own experiences from the perspective that you described was fascinating and quite fun. I could go on longer, but let it suffice to say that I still think of and appreciate you so much, and I very much enjoyed feeling like I had the chance to reconnect with you by once again becoming totally immersed in your stories.”

Eugene’s local newspaper, The Register Guard, wrote an article on the book that can be found here: http://www.registerguard.com/rg/life/lifestyles/30694159-75/wenger-book-ducklings-students-teacher.html.csp