Oprah’s List of Her Fave Things Is Out! Let’s All Revel In Our Inability To Buy Any of It!

Oprah has just released her list of favorite things for 2013 and under each product was a quote from her. Some of the quotes explained what the product was while others told just why it was she loved this product so much. After perusing the list I was left with the feeling that A) I want everything on that stupid list and B) Oprah doesn’t know much about how other people live these days. Not hating, just observing. I compiled a list of things on the list that made me realize this truth.

Reasons that we know Oprah means well but is actually 100% out of touch with the real world:

  1. Her body wash costs $75 (for 6.8fl oz).
  2. She has a $400 tablet that is solely used for cooking. All it has on it are recipes. I’m pretty sure they make books that do that. Like just regular books.
  3. She has a $400 pillow with her dogs face on it. But I mean, this one is kiiiiind of worth it. The dogs face is printed on Belgian linen so…
  4. She said this, “What do you get for the dog who has everything?” That’s only a problem for you, Oprah. Most people’s dogs just about die/pee any time you give them a toy. Or a bone. Or a friendly glance. Or just a glance.
  5. All of her knives are handmade in Italy, created by a single artisan. I don’t mean like all the knives in her knife block. I mean just the regular ones that you cut your chicken with. Does Oprah eat chicken? Chicken seems really middle class to me for some reason.
  6. Oprah considers earrings that are $220 awesome because “[t]hey look much more expensive than they actually are.” Scoreeeeee
  7. Oprah’s jewelry box costs $300. My jewelry box? A bowl.
  8. Oprah has a stationary set that costs $300. She likes stationary because, “E-mails are incredibly convenient, but they’ll never replace the real thing.” Now, I tend to agree with that. But my handwritten letters tend more to be written on notebook paper so…yeah.
  9. Oprah said this: “Don’t you just hate when you’re at a dinner party and[…].” Doesn’t even matter what came next.
  10. One of Oprah’s favorite things is a $100 mediation CD. Nothing really remarkable there. Except that it’s HER OWN meditation CD. Apparently even Oprah can’t resist plugging her own stuff. Respect.

Oprah seems like a cool enough lady and if she was offering me anything (and I mean anything) off that list I’d be super pumped but come on…$75 for body wash? It takes a gargantuan mental struggle and five minutes in the soap aisle at the grocery store to decide if I should splurge and get Dove or just cheap out and get Dial. I usually get the Dial.

Just in case you’d like to see the list for yourself and revel in all the stuff you can’t afford: look it over here.

Summertime

Ahhh summertime is upon us. Living in Florida, summertime brings some very specific feelings to mind.

To someone who lives somewhere up north, or just generally not near a beach, Florida in the summer may conjure these images:

  • A warm, tropical breeze
  • Cool, salty water
  • Salt-rimmed margaritas and icy strawberry daiquiris
  • Soft sand keeping your feet cool
  • The sound of waves gently crashing on the shore

As someone that lives here, I think of this:

  • Getting into my 102 degree car (that doesn’t have A/C)
  • Opening my front door and having a heavy, wet, HOT wall of air hit me
  • Feeling my back get sweaty enough to stick to my shirt
  • Knowing that because I live here and am not on vacation, the chances of me having time to go to the beach in the next month are slim to none
  • Realizing that for the next seven months doing my hair is superfluous
  • Having to take two showers in one day because I was unfortunate enough to spend more than three minutes outside

There are a few choice things I do love about Florida (mainly having to do with the people that live here), but during the summer those tend to get blotted out by my intense hatred of the seven to eight month long season that we call summer.

Three cheers for vacationing in New York!

The Deepest Level of Hell

Being an English major means that (as you would expect) I read a lot of books for school. For the most part, I love it. My horizons have been sufficiently broadened since starting my program. Of the things I have learned, I feel one  lesson in particular is one everyone should know. For that reason I am going to share it here.

DO NOT RUIN THE ENDING OF A BOOK FOR SOMEONE ELSE.

The people that do that are the ones that end up in the deepest level of Hades and for good reason. This has happened to me twice this semester and both times it filled me with a rage akin to the feeling I get when I see ignorant political posts by distant family members on Facebook (except even a little bit more mad than that).

The first time this happened was when I was reading Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s a fantastic book and I highly recommend it. During our class discussion one day a girl who had already admitted she had read it before said out loud for all the world to hear, “Well Character X is really Character Y so yada yada…” and then followed it up with, “I mean, that’s just what I think might be going on.” I KNOW YOU ALREADY READ THE BOOK. That changed the way I read the entire thing. Why? Why would you do that? The reason books don’t tell you the ending on the first page is because it’s a book. You are supposed to go on a journey with the characters. You grow with them, learn with them, and in the end can finish the book with them. To know key plot points before you’re supposed to defeats the purpose of reading the book in the first place.

The second time this happened was even worse and it just happened yesterday. I’m in my third semester of French and we’re reading a French children’s chapter book. It actually has a fairly interesting/complex plot so I’m pretty happy with it so far. I was sitting outside our classroom yesterday before class started with a few of my classmates. One girl who shall remain nameless was talking to the kid sitting right next to me about the book. I was playing spider solitaire on my phone at this point. Suddenly she says, “Spoiler alert! The narrator dies in the end.”

At this point I stopped playing spider solitaire, looked up, and shot her this look:

are_you_fucking_kidding_me_clean

The above look was followed by this conversation:

Me: “What the hell? Why would you do that?”

Her: “I didn’t say it!”

Me: “Clearly you did. Otherwise I wouldn’t know the ending all of a sudden, would I?”

Her: “I just whispered it under my breath.”

Me: “Doesn’t matter if I still heard it. Now I get to read the book knowing all along the main character is going to die.”

What in the world makes people think that saying “Spoiler Alert!” immediately before blurting out sensitive information makes it socially acceptable? Spoilers to anything, be it books, movies, tv shows, whatever, should be contained within the confines of spoiler websites. If someone wants to know the ending of a book, by all means go and find it. But you should have to actively look for it. Throwing that information in someone’s face is the highest level of asshole-ery I can think of.

So this is meant to be a lesson and a warning to anyone reading this. DO NOT tell me the end of a book unless I ask for it. I will cut you.

A Piece of My Mind

Today, boys and girls, I’m going to talk about STEM. No, not the long shaft-y part of a plant. I’m talking about Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. These are the four areas that my state government (Florida) and national government are pushing today’s young people towards. Currently being a part of the public higher education conglomerate and an English major I’m sure you can understand why this is a subject I am most keen to share my feelings on. To make it known from the get-go, I’m not hating on UCF. While there are plenty of related subjects I would love to discuss that involve UCF, this isn’t one of them. The only reason UCF is singled out here is because I obviously go there and so that’s where my experience stems from (pun 100% intended).

Over the past few years the acronym STEM has been soldered into my brain time and time again. And a discussion about STEM wouldn’t be complete unless the name Rick Scott was involved. He’s quite a gem of a governor.

Yeah, he looks like a sweetheart. (linked to source)

Yeah, he looks like a sweetheart.
(linked to source)

He has been very vocal about his feelings towards STEM majors versus Arts and Humanities majors (particularly Anthropology which is hilarious if you know a little back story..look it up). Here’s a quote by Scott from the Central Florida Future back in 2011:

“Do you want to use your tax dollars to educate more people who can’t get jobs in anthropology? I don’t. I want to make sure that we spend our dollars where people can get jobs when they get out.” (Read the whole article here.)

I might understand his view if my higher education were free (heavy on the might). As it stands, my higher education is certainly not free. Even worse, the Arts & Humanities at UCF are put into one of the four oldest, dingiest buildings on campus, our teachers can’t afford to print out tests for us, our classes are offered occasionally at best so most people have to stay longer to graduate, and our professors get paid a minuscule amount compared to professors in STEM areas. I don’t even get a printed Dean’s List certificate because the department can’t afford to print it. The College of Sciences prints Dean’s List certificates on heavy paper and hands it to the student in a plastic sheet protector. I got an email congratulating me.

Now there’s talk of making all non-STEM degrees cost MORE than their STEM counterparts. Before it’s even suggested, the money would not go solely to the Arts & Humanities department which is the only way an idea like that would be valid. To get my English degree from the University of Central Florida I would have to pay MORE than my friend the Biology major. Let’s let that sink in for a moment.

So if you’re poor during your college years (as most of us are) and you don’t have piggy banks for parents you will be forced into what? A STEM major. The choice would no longer be “What do you want to do with your life?” It would be “Can you afford to go to school for what you actually want to do?”

Rick Scott said that he wants funding to go to programs that get jobs. Here are my problems with that statement:

  1. In the Communication class I took last year, I was shown the results of a study that said communication/writing skills are the #1 skills employers are looking for. Knowledge in the field came after that.
  2. People with Arts & Humanities degrees get jobs in countless fields. It’s not all teacher, poets, and actors.
  3. Speaking of teachers, while there are hundreds of jobs you can get with an A&H degree, teaching is one of the most common. Yeah, I’m not going to get into this too much because I would probably never stop, but I will say that the day we realize how VITAL teachers are to our society will be the day that a lot of things change.
  4. Pièce de résistance: I don’t think it actually has anything to do with the jobs we will get after college. Here’s why:

(Note: I’m about to make a lot of generalities. I know generalities aren’t 100% correct but as the term “generalities” suggests, in general they are.)

It all has to do with power. We are supposed to be in control of our own government. You know who’s in charge of our government? Business people. They run the big companies (Haliburton, anyone?) that control mass amounts of revenue and are intricately snared with the government running our “free” society. Business and government are essentially the same thing with different names (we’ll call it bovernment). So who’s interests do you think the government has in mind? All the poor, lowly poets? No. Bovernment has their own interests at heart. That being the case, do you think they may want to spend tax dollars to fund their future progeny? What Statistics major is going to care or even notice when his tuition is less than other majors? I doubt he’d be hard pressed to get to the bottom of that mystery. So he’ll grow up, get educated, get a degree, get a job, and take his place as part-ruler of the country.

The A&H kids (I use kids loosely) are the ones who think. Not numbers and business strategies. We think. We see the world through a different lens. We can’t sit at a desk forever crunching numbers. We are out experiencing life and thinking about it. So why would it surprise anyone that the kids who think deeper and harder about the subjectives in life would be the ones that are being kept quiet, swept under the rug? We are removed from the big, bad government and that’s exactly how they want to keep it. It’s a vicious cycle of mathematical units parading as people being turned over from the big businesses, streamlined into government, and straight into a chair in Washington making decisions on how to direct funds for education.

If you enjoy math like I enjoy words, if you think finding out the exact function of the left side of the brain is the bee’s knees, if you go to sleep at night thinking about soil samples you collected that day then by all means please major in Math, Science, Engineering, or Technology. But don’t for one second think you can ever force me into a mold that fits the societal need. Because I am a lover of the arts. I am a thinker and a writer and a head-clearing-walk lover. I am not a puppet that can be manipulated or confused. And I will never be silent.

Hashtag Etiquette

Hashtags have become a vital point of social media communication over the past few years. I use them myself. Just the other day a friend pointed out that instead of referring to “#” as a pound key I called it a hashtag instead. Whoops. But with the overwhelming use of hashtags on Twitter and Instagram there have been several breaches in etiquette. I don’t know if there’s been a list compiled yet (Who am I kidding? This is the internet) so I thought I’d jump in and provide one. Here is my list of hashtag etiquette rules:

1. Hashtags are great on Twitter and Instagram. Leave Facebook out of it.

2. No more than three hashtags should ever be used on the same post.

Example: A picture I posted on Instagram a couple weeks ago and what you should NOT do in the way of hashtags-

#Wii #Friday #Bowling #WiiBowling #Margarita #yum #redwriting #whiteboard #Best #Night #Ever #love #awesome #family #I #heart #my #family #funnight #home #Ididn’twin #ohwell #redmarker #hashtag #instaWii #instawhore #instafamily #this #is #great

3. Don’t make them overly long.

Example: #Ihateitwhenpeopleaaredumbontheinternetandfightwitheachother

4. Keeping #3 in mind, don’t break up your hashtag into serveral different ones. It looks stupid. “And” should never be used as a hastag.

Example: #I #love #bacon #and #eggs #because #they #are #delicious #yummmmmm

5. This one is more personal preference, but steer clear of those stupid trending topics on Twitter. I never lose respect for someone on Twitter faster than when they have about a hundred and fifty tweets in a row that start out with things like #inevertrust, #thingsigetalot, and #ifiwasinvisibleiwould. Really? No one cares what you’d do if you were invisible, this isn’t a fifth grade expository essay.

6. Putting “insta” in front of words is dumb and does not make for a good hashtag. To be clear, I’m referring to things like #instawhore (Why are people calling themselves whores? Let’s have some self respect, ladies), #instafood, #instafamous, #instalife, I could go on.

7. Lastly, remember that hashtags are supposed to add something to your tweet or gram. If it would sound just as good or better without #baller tagged on the end, chances are it’s better to just leave it off.

Fringe Benefits

So as you may know, I spent the summer becoming a “runner”. All my life I vehemently denied that running could be in any way not evil. It’s just NOT fun. That is, until you’re decent at it, I guess. I wouldn’t say I’m in love with it now. It’s more of a love/ hate type of thing.

ANYWAY, as I’ve gotten more used to the idea of running for fun (my fingers burned a little as I typed that) I’ve become a bit of a snob. That, my friends, is a fringe benefit I was not expecting. I’ve compiled a list of all the annoying things n00bs do on the track that really grind my gears.

1. Walking in the jog or run lanes. This is the biggest one. There is a SIGN that clearly denotes the proper lane for each activity. Yet when people see lanes they immediately think they should take up a whole one while walking with a friend or feel as though they should walk in whatever lane they happen upon first. I don’t want to frighten you, but I’ve given some nasssssssty looks.

2. People like races. It’s just a natural sport. But if you want to race your friend let’s not do it on an oval track with 30 other people. They come up behind you and switch lanes like madmen darting around people. If I can feel the wind from your movement, you got too close.

3.The people that stretch for ten minutes and then run one lap and leave. This one is more amusing than anything, really. My track is 1/8 of a mile. The stretching is really not necessary.

I’m sure there are plenty more but as I don’t generally carry a notepad while running, I tend to forget them.

Anybody have any good pet peeves? If so, please share. I love it.

Politics

Ahhhh what a scary word! Watch out, I might say something offensive. But then again, maybe I won’t. Maybe you’ll agree with my beliefs. Or maybe you won’t agree with me, but you’ll respect the fact we both have the right to have opinions.

Either way, I wanted to share some things with you.

I watched Michelle Obama’s speech. The woman can give a speech. For twenty-three minutes she had my attention. She had my heart. She is me. Except more so. Barack and Michelle have worked for everything they have and honestly that almost means more to me than stances on certain subjects do. One of the many reasons I usually shy away from politics is that I have the tendency to lean towards pessimism. I feel like every politician is corrupt. Every one of them has some back alley agenda and they’re using promises of more jobs and tax cuts to achieve them. I know that’s not always true but I have a hard time deciding who I trust.

I trust Barack Obama. He has worked for what he has. Unlike a lot of Washington today, he did not grow up with a wealth of opportunities served up to him on a silver platter. His family was not rich. But he had a work ethic. And he wanted to help people. To make their life better. So he worked. Hard. The fruits of his labor: he became the president of the United States.

Because of his background he is an adamant supporter of federal aid for students. You can imagine that’s a subject I have some interest in. He wants equality for same sex couples. He believes a woman should have full rights over her own body (a very tricky subject for me, but I agree).

I wholeheartedly believe that Barack Obama is a good man. Not just a politician. That’s why I plan to vote for him this November.

If you don’t know who you’re going to vote for, do some research! Take charge of your right as an American. Don’t pick Obama because he’s black. Or Mitt Romney because he’s a Republican. Or Batman because he looks cool. Think about the people you’re voting for. What they mean. What they stand for. KNOW who is going to be in charge of your country.

Anyway, I thought I’d share my opinions and maybe get some of yours back. In the meantime, I highly suggest you watch Michelle’s speech.

Boy Howdy…

You know when you get really pissed off about something and want to act on it IMMEDIATELY? That’s how I feel right now. Let’s all take a deep breath and thank the high heavens that it’s 12:30 AM and I can’t act on my current feelings. Sometimes I think I could run the second largest university in the nation better than the people that currently do.

Full of myself? Nope, just not really stupid.

Manners

You know when you’re talking to someone and they spit on you? It could be anyone– your mom, your friend, a total stranger. Why do we feel the need to pretend it didn’t happen? At least with me, I always continue the conversation as if nothing has happened. But something has happened. I have been SPIT upon.

Where in the manners rule book does it state that YOU’RE the impolite one if you point out that your conversation partner just expelled fluid from their mouths that landed on you (Probably your face, too. OH! Even more likely, on your lip. That always seems to happen.)?

This is how the conversation should go:

Me: So, like I was saying. Our dependence on foreign oil is really detrimental to our future.

Spitter: Yeah, I ag*spits*ree.

Me: Umm sir, you just spat upon my face.

Spitter: Wow, I’m horribly embarrassed. Please accept my apology in the hopes that we might one day regain the bonds of our once strong friendship.

Me: In time…

This is how conversations actually go:

Me: So, like I was saying. Our dependence on foreign oil is really detrimental to our future.

Spitter: Yeah, I ag*spits*ree.

Me: *dies a little inside as I think about the spittle now resting on my lip* Yeah…umm…what were we talking about? Oh right, foreign oil. I think I’m going to go take a nap or die or something.

I’m calling upon everyone that participates in conversations. Speak up! TELL people when they spit on you. Don’t struggle in silence. Together, we can end this.

P.S. If you haven’t already, please do check out the new blog I’m participating in with some pretty ladies. We’re training for a half marathon (starting from scratch…trust me) and it should be pretty interesting to see the progress along the way. Click here to check it out.

Situations I Love

This just makes my day (always through texts, of course)-

Anonymous Person: Hey, can I borrow/use/eat your _______?

Me: NOOOOOOOO! OMG I’m saving that/I need that/that was my great-grandmothers and her dying wish was that I keep it forever!

AP: Oh…I thought you’d say yes so I already borrowed/used/ate it. :/

Why? Why would you go through the pretense of asking? It’s like a fake question. If there’s any injustice in the world I will not tolerate it’s fake questions! They make me feel like this:

So please, for the love of all things holy, when you ask a question WAIT FOR A RESPONSE. Otherwise, the question is void and you’re a douche.