Thursday, December 27, 2012

Surviving Family Vacations

This is my first international blog post! Well if you count the U.S. Virgin Islands as an international is confusing. A U.S. citizen can travel in and out of the U.S. Virgin Islands without his or her passport, but the minimum drinking age is 18. Most cellular companies, for example AT&T and Sprint, don't charge roaming fees or anything that would normally be associated with international cell phone usage. However, the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands drive on the left side of the road. This is a complex island territory. And as complex as it may be logistically, it is a beautiful and wonderful place. I am staying in the island of St. John which is the smallest. The "main" island is St. Thomas, which you Real World fans will become jealous of me, is only a 40 minute ferry ride.

Ok so this post is not an advertisement for the Virgin Islands. The toughest thing about family vacations is that it basically is like being grounded at home, except you're in some exotic location. You may not even get the privacy of being locked up in your own room on family vacations.

The first couple of days, or even hours, of your vacation may be so much fun to you. But realize that it is all an illusion. You are just hypnotized by the idea of going on vacation. If your family has tension going through security checkpoint at the airport, don't expect to have the time of your life once you reach your actual destination.

I have gone on enough family vacations to finally be able to somewhat survive them. From the 7 hour road trip to the two week tour of Canada, I have survived my family and I am here to share my survival tips:

  • Get noise-canceling headphones
    • These are a God-send on airplane flights or car rides.
  • Make your own seat assignment
    • Sitting next to all of your family on a five hour flight is not always a good thing. You will be with your family for the rest of the vacation.
  • Research the hotel or resort you are staying at
    • Large resorts are perfect for "getting lost" from your parents. Smaller motels are just something to avoid. And check the hotel's internet policy.
  • Convince your parents to invite other families
    • Cousins or family friends that are your age can prevent potential homicides.
  • Allocate some of the liquor for yourself from the group
For international vacations:
  • Check whether your cell phone will work in that country or on that island
    • Trust me. It will be a lifesaver.
  • Figure out the local drinking age and their customs. 
    • Self-explanatory.
  • Learn key phrases in the local language
    • Knowing how to ask for vodka dry martini instead of a gin dry martini can save you from having a miserable ferry ride.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Netflix During The Winter

So you are home for the holidays. Either you just finished finals and you are back home for winter break're just home, whatever. For those of you are in college, coming home for breaks is a huge emotional roller coaster. You are excited to take a break from classes, see all your friends and family and just relax! But then're back home living with your family. You are back in that rut you were stuck in during senior year of high school where you were interrogated every time the thought of you exiting the house was brought up--even if you were going to check the mail outside.
And even worse, if you go to school in a big city, or even any college town, and you come back to your podunk hometown, you will be dying of boredom before Christmas Eve. Even if you are able to leave the house, you cannot avoid running into those annoying kids from your past. Like the "popular" kid who obviously peaked in high school and now busses tables at the local wine bar. There goes the chance of you using your fake ID at happy hour. And it's fucking winter. If you live in a normal climate zone, it is too cold to even do anything. There is no question of partaking in any outdoor activities--for those of you who still do that?
Now what do you do? You are basically a prison within your household, any escape from the prison is met with extreme awkwardness and it is too cold and miserable outside. Crawl back into your bed, open your computer, and open yourself to Netflix. Unless you somehow found a job for the winter, you will have enough "prison" time to finish all eight seasons of Grey's Anatomy within the month.

Here are some suggestions of options among the mess of Netflix's "selection:

Television Shows:

  • Grey's Anatomy (8 seasons)
  • Mad Men (4 seasons)
  • Weeds (7 seasons)
  • The Office (8 seasons)
  • Keeping Up With the Kardashians (4 seasons)
  • Pretty Wild (1 season) *
  • White Collar (3 seasons)
  • LOST (6 seasons)
  • Arrested Development (3 seasons)
  • Workaholics (1 season)
  • That's So 70's Show (8 seasons)
  • How I Met Your Mother (7 seasons)
  • White Chicks
  • Iron Man 1&2
  • Thor
  • Captain America
  • Transformers Dark of the Moon
  • Mean Girls
  • Bad Boys 2
  • King's Speech
  • Crash
  • Cruel Intentions

Monday, December 10, 2012

Finals Week

It's finals week out there for most of us in college--and if you're not having finals this week or not even in college, just go away for now. It is probably really typical for everyone to "brag" about their procrastination or how much of a studying-zombie they become during this week. But let's try to find some middle ground. 

Cramming in studying the night before each final will not get you that A or high grade you want. You may get lucky and it can happen, but not very likely. The best thing you can do, is to just study very effectively. Skimming through all your notes from the entire semester is completely useless. Try out a website like to make your studying more effective. And get your classmates on it too so you have a greater network/more study materials!

If you're that Comm major who just has to turn in one paper and give one speech in a class, leave campus for a majority of the week. No one wants you here. No wants to hear how bored you are or how much free time you have. You are literally, in the minds of everyone with a real finals schedule for this week, the scum of the earth. After that last day of finals, you can reappear on campus and do not mention anything about your lack of being a real student.

And for those normal people with an average stress load, try as hard as you can to keep it to yourself. You are not the only student with finals. Complaining to your roommate while he is trying to memorize Organic Chemistry mechanisms while you recite some random string of Excel formulas that you have to learn for your business final is NOT worth anyone's time. 

If you're looking for some de-stressing tips and blah blah, check out LesDivaDiaries post!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Shopping Guide

So the holidays are coming up/are in full-effect now, just in case you have been locked up in a cave for the past like two months. Here are some gift ideas for you to give out on Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa...?

For the wine enthusiast (closet alcoholic) you know

For that one person you know that still bikes:

For the hippie friend of yours who refuses to use bottled water:

For the bitch who doesn't have these yet:

For your senile relatives:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The X-Factor USA Season 2

I have been really getting into the X-Factor lately, mostly because I am so sick of the artists on the radio right now...*cough* Justin Beiber *cough*. Now you could be one of those people who are really into The Voice or even America's Got Talent and you think you are like a better person for supporting something less superficial and blah blah. No. Singing competitions are superficial. No concert is going to sell out if the performer looks like a troll--Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr or Javier Colon (winners of The Voice and America's Got Talent). And American Idol is starting to just give up with "winners" like Lee DeWyze or Phillip Phillips?? Omg or even Taylor Hicks. If you don't know who that is, you are doing completely fine. But seriously, the X-Factor has given us REAL stars, well X-Factor UK has...

Here are the current contestants on this season of X-Factor USA (in alphabetical order):

Carly Rose Sonenclar
At first, I was so annoyed with her. I just saw some 13 year old girl who really needed braces and I just skipped through her performances. And every week, she kept ranking at the top! So I had to figure out what the craze about her was. Damn, did I miss out. To quote Simon Cowell, "You are not a human being." She literally is so surreal and I regret not being her fan from day 1. 

(ELIMINATED :'( ) Cece Frey
Ever since her audition, she has been my favorite. I do not understand why the judges do not like her. They are just too old and do no understand what America enjoys listening to anymore. She is like a mix of Ke$ha and Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, but is still different. If that's still possible. She is definitely the underdog in the competition and deserves this win so much more than anyone else.

Diamond White
This girl is the reincarnation of Whitney Houston. Oh Lord. And she is just as alien as Carly Rose. When she was first sent home in week 1 of live shows, I was so sad. But then they brought her back and she was amazing.

I was really confused with this group. When they first auditioned, they seemed really douchey and arrogant. But their original song was so good and catchy. And they just kept getting more and more entertaining.

Fifth Harmony
These girls are bringing back the Destiny's Child and TLC style music to America. They originally auditioned individually, but were put together as a group in boot camp. For those of you who do not know, One Direction was formed the same way in Britain. And these girls are so good. Sometimes they are overshadowed and do not really stand out, but they do have amazing moments.

Tate Stevens
Tate is the final contestant for the over-25's group. Honestly, I do not understand why this category exists or why he is still in the competition. I believe he is only in the competition this far because he is the only artist who appeals to country music stars. All of the pop music fans' votes are split between 5 other acts whereas the die-hard country fans can concentrate all their efforts to one artist. Look for yourself. And to me, he just performs like a typical country artist. Nothing too unique or exciting.

Honorable Mentions

Paige Thomas
Paige was my number one boo until she got eliminated last week. I do not know why she got such a low amount of votes that week. Maybe the crude comments from LA Reid and Simon just manipulated the voters.

And this performance right here:

And I will NEVER understand why the judges never gave this artist a chance:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Parking Lot Etiquette

Who ever says that they LOVE to just spend their time roaming around in parking lots? No one. Then why are there always people driving their cars aimlessly throughout basically every parking lot--especially in LA. There needs to be a section in the driving test from the DMV on how to function as a integral part of society in parking lots. Until they do so, I will take it upon myself to educate the lesser beings of America (aka those annoying bitches who don't use their turn signals in parking lots).

Things to do:

  • Actively pay attention
    • There are 50 other people behind you who do not care about how funny your snapchat was.
  • Use your turn signals
    • You cannot "claim" a spot just by telling yourself, "I'm a strong, independent black woman and ain't no one gonna tell me otherwise."
  • Go with the flow of the other cars
    • Do not be that stingy bitch who has to go 5mph (not even touching the gas pedal).

Things NOT to do:
  • Park a large car in a compact spot
    • No explanation necessary.
  • Stop to talk to a friend who is leaving the parking lot or going to opposite direction
    • You're obviously going to see them again. And if you're catching up in the middle of a parking lot, you need to re-evaulate that relationship.
  • Take an excessive amount of time to leave your parking spot
    • In some neighborhoods, you will get shot for this.
  • Parking your car on the van-accesible side region of a handicapped spot
    • It doesn't matter if you are a handicapped designated driver, you still look like a douche. There are still other handicapped people that need that walkway.
Things I will hunt you down for:
  • Not driving your car all the way into the spot
    • Your car should never be sticking out of the line of cars nor should you be allowed to drive.
  • Pulling into a parking spot when it has already been claimed
    • If you are hit by the car that has already claimed the spot, ignorance is not an excuse for insurance companies. Fuck off and find another parking spot.
  • Driving the wrong direction in a one-way parking lot
    • Once explanation necessary.
  • Double parking
    • Who are you

  • Not parking within the lines
    • Those white lines on the floor are not where you line up the center of your car. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hot Mess Flashback

Remember back in the 2004 when gas cost $2 a gallon, the Atkin's Diet was a thing, and wardrobe malfunctions were common. One of the most epic wardrobe malfunctions was that of America's sweetheart, Tara Reid. At P. Diddy's, what he called himself that year, birthday party, Tara Reid was just casually walking down the red carpet posing for photags in her quite classy, yet not tailored enough, black dress. She was embracing the attention, fixing her hair as her arm brushed against her dress to expose what became one of 2004's most infamous moments. I'll just let you see for your own eyes. Btdubs, this is NSFW.