Tuesday, November 1, 2011

...

We are still looking for more people. We have only had a few people e-mail us for joining. We'd like a lot more to apply. Until we get all of this figured out.. there won't be any new posts... so please help us out so we can get back to writing!

xo
Stephanie

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hiatus...

Here's a little update for everyone. Degrees of Life will be taking a Hiatus until Sunday, October 30th, 2011. These next 2 weeks we will have no new posts. We are trying to figure out some things and a new schedule and to replace a girl or two.

So, if you'd like to join our team. Go to the page tab that says JOIN US.

Sunday, October 30, 2011 will be the the theme Cities.

Sorry for the inconvenience to all of you!

We love you!

xo
Stephanie

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Holy Cow

I love to read. Lately I've been getting more into memoirs. Some Girls by Jill Lauren I just finished and I am now reading Holy Cow by Sarah Mac Donald. Both books involve girls going abroad and their misadventures. Jill Lauren's books is by far a more interesting read, but I'll keep an open mind about Mac Donald. Augusten Boroughs and Diablo Cody also have great memoirs.

But by far my favorite authors in fiction are Lisa See and Wally Lamb. I think they both manage to portray their narrative females convincingly.  See's books I'm sentimental for because they often are about friendship and how important it is. Her heroines go through many hardships, but their bond is what keeps them strong through to the conclusion.  Lamb surprised me, I'll admit. Never have I read a book, written by a man, that made such a convincing female character- narrative-wise, as he does. My favorite books by him are She's Come Undone and I Know This Much is True. Both are fantastic reads! IKTMIT is 900 or so pages, but I couldn't put it down!

I just started a GoodReads account. I think this is the right link to mine My list isn't complete yet, but if you have an account- lemme know! I'm always looking for new books. C:

Side note: anyone doing anything for Halloween?

<3 Tiff


Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's England Baby

I know we usually have a theme we follow every week, but this week I absolutely have to write about the good ol' UK! I've been living here for a little less than a month and it has already been the most amazing experience of my life.

Plymouth, England- Lighthouse by The Sound

I'm spending the year abroad here in Plymouth- one of the most southern bits of England located right next to The Sound. Actually, the first group of settlers aboard the Mayflower launched from Plymouth! It is the 14th largest city in England and is rich with culture, scenery and historical and modern sites alike. 

I'm studying Media Arts at the university here and I couldn't be more in love with my course. I get credit for making pinhole cameras, taking pictures, making silly videos, writing stories and having craft time! I have already learned so much in the span of a few short weeks and I can't wait to see what is in store for me the rest of this year...

Rolland Levinsky Building- University of Plymouth

I never realized what terrible stereotypes are placed on Americans until I came here until one day in class a girl asked me if my life is really like 90210. I'm not saying that people here hate or even dislike Americans...on the contrary! For the most part they really like America and (some) Americans as a whole. We are described as "fun, loud, sometimes rude, extremely opinionated, and a little naive." I don't think that is a bad or wholly untrue way to sum us up, do you? 

Is This How Americans View The World?

Unfortunately coming here made me realize just how uneducated I actually am about the world. The one bad thing about the American education system is that it tends to focus primarily on the US and the US alone. What about the rest of the world, though?! I have learned so much about geography, world beliefs and politics, stereotypes, wars, and the view of America since coming here. Let me just say: It has been an eyeopening experience. 

Well, that's just a little bit of background on my visit/experience here so far. Next time I will tell some exciting stories and show a little of my photography that I've been working on whilst here! Enclosed below is a picture of myself and some of the members of a club I joined here at the Uni! Can you spot me??

Plymouth Windrider's Club- "Colours" Night!


xoxo Mel




Monday, October 10, 2011

Authors

I decided to write about Authors this week. Now when I first saw this as a possible theme I immediately thought to write about one of my favorite authors. When today finally came, I didn't know how to pick my favorite author because I have so many favorites. So, instead of talking about a specific author... I decided to write about different authors and what it's like being an author (not that I am a published author, other than this site, but I do write and would like to have my stuff published).

For starters, I recently join this amazing site: Book Blogs and let me tell you, I have met quite a few fellow bloggers and it's only my fourth day there. However, there is an actual story to tell you. I became friends with this girl, Emlyn. She is having this blog tour that I will be participating in. It includes a whole lot, but what I will be doing is featuring all of it on my new blog where I write book reviews and so much more. I think this is an amazing idea. It not only promotes her self-published novel but it also lets her get to know awesome people and let her fans/readers get to know her more. I'm definitely recommending this as a must for fellow writers/authors to do this for your own works of art.

Secondly, ever since I started this new blog ("Little Red Reads"). I have a deeper love for writing. This is a whole new world for me (yes, a disney reference, haha) in the aspect of writing reviews and having contests and gaining other writers/authors as friends. It makes me want to write and finish my writings (and my collab book) even more!

I know this is short, but there's a lot of information here and I do have to get ready for work. However, there is one more thing I'd like to touch base on... Tracey and I have been having some trouble with this site and some of the members that participate on this site. We have been thinking that maybe we have to take a VERY short hiatus and get this blog up and running better and smoother. Also, we are still taking in applications for new members, GO HERE for what to do.

Hope you all have a wonderful week
xoxo
stephanie

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Time, time, time... have you got any?

It's sorta funny. The shortness of this blog is related to the fact that this week I have been entirely too busy. Well not that bad, but more than usual. I have had a lot of occasions come up last minute. It's one of those things where you really think you have a lot more time to do things that you really don't have time for. But the last few days I feel like time has been blooming out of nowhere. I felt as though I was going to have no time to do anything. But really I was able to fit in a lot more than I thought I would. It seems as of late...it is always the opposite of what I think.

Sorry this is so short. I have an incredible need to go to sleep right now because I have a super long weekend! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Passionate about this topic

In my ideal world everyone would be so fortunate to lose their virginity with someone they have passion for. It's a moment everyone will remember, it's one of the many "firsts" people have. Sex is a taboo topic for many, which I respect. My best friend spat out her drink over a lunch meet-up when I told her about my previous retail occupation, which I talk a bit about later.

Passion is important. I don't think passion is a synonym for lust.  Passion, to me, means to have a deep love for something or someone.  But first hearing 'passion' and 'virginity' the two seems so distant. Virginity gets a bad rap, and it shouldn't.  Too many people rush into having sex. Which is their choice. But it saddens me when boys and girls out there feel pressured to lose their virginity to 'fit in', only to regret the decision. If you feel ready or unready- trust your gut and don't succumb to peer pressure because no one lives your live but yourself.

I realize that not everyone is comfortable talking about passion in terms of sexual activity. My old job involved the sale of "adult novelties" and it was actually a joy to help people find that passion again. They still had love for their partners, but the spark dimming. And apparently it's common enough to base a whole industry around to enhance and rekindle that type of passion. Just like how I feel that virginity should not be shamed, I don't feel like people acting on their sexuality-related passions should feel shamed.

Hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend!

<3 Tiff

PS. Nikita is amazing! Love that show!<3

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Passion Doesn't Have to Be Sexy (Asian Americans in Television)

Here are some things I will talk about today:
  • The Glee episode "Asian F" 
  • Asian Americans in television and film 
  • Disney 
Here are some things I won't be talking about (extensively anyway):
  • virginity 
  • sex
First off, I'm just not comfortable talking about sex.  I firmly believe that nobody is fully, completely, and totally comfortable talking about sex.  There is a taboo about it and I am 100% under its control.  I don't like talking about anyone's virginity or sex or anything related to genitalia for that matter unless you have a yeast infection and need me to go pick up your medication or something.  Okay.  End of that matter.  Just not comfortable.  End of story.

I do, however, love to talk about my passions.  I am never happier than when I'm watching a television show I like or introducing a television show to someone and watching them laugh or become interested, and then all of a sudden I'm improving their life.  Like just today I was watching Angel (Buffy spin-off) and our guests lingered for about 10 minutes just watching it because it was so engaging.  I was so pleased.  I love TV.  I love movies.  I love when TV and movies feature Asian Americans.  I even cut Glee some slack because it has Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.), and I watch it every week even though it constantly breaks me heart.  I am so passionate about TV that I let Glee break my heart weekly with the way it portrays Asian Americans.  TV breaks my heart a little but at the same time mends it weekly with some progress and set backs in terms of Asian Americans.  That's my thing.  That's my passion. 

I was so happy when Nikita renewed.  You should all watch it so it gets renewed again.  Girl power!
Spoiler alert.  This week's episode of Glee called "Asian F" would lead you to believe that the episode would focus solely on Mike Chang's conflict with his parents.  Success at Harvard or dancing, being an artist? Mike's very Chinese American parents (well his dad anyway) want him to give up dancing and the glee club so that he can focus on his grades so he can get into Harvard.  Ohnoes he got an A- THAT'S A FAILING GRADE.  It was so stereotypical and insufferable, I was so embarrassed.  Then after a few minutes of Mike Chang Footloose-ing it out in a dance studio room his mom came in and said everything was going to be peachy.  I think Mike Chang's exciting "background story" lasted 10 minutes out of a 42 minute episode.  I was so disappointed. 

But it's not all bad.  Glee just has its cocky head up its butt right now.  Blaine (Darren Criss) and Coach Beiste are really the only consistently good elements, but I firmly believe that anything remotely good automatically makes the viewing worth it.  And oft times just one Asian American character on a tv show is enough to make me loyal to it.  Take Pretty Little Liars for instance.  So many people make fun of me for watching it, but did you know that one of the main characters who was supposed to be this red-headed wasp lesbian (who didn't need to be white in the tv show) is actually this gorgeous Filipina-Canadian? Progress. 

Filipina-Canadian Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields on Pretty Little Liars
So here's a list of TV shows I feel everyone should watch for the Asian-descent/ Asian American characters, mostly because I hope that this will boost viewership and prevent the eeky studios from cancelling them.  :3
  • Nikita (lead character Nikita played by gorgeous Maggie Q) 
  • Terra Nova (British Sri-Lankan actress Shelley Conn plays Elizabeth Shannon)
  • Pretty Little Liars (Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields) 
  • Community (Danny Pudi as Abed, Ken Jeong as Señor Chang) 
  • Modern Family (you should watch this amazing show anyway, but the gay couple's Asian daughter Lily is adorable, AND she's growing up) 
Is it really sad that I was imagining that list to be longer? Anyway, that's what I'm passionate about--that's what my life revolves around.  I love TV, and I love being Asian American, and I hope one day I'll make an impact on the film industry where it will treat Asian Americans nicer (see: basically all of Hollywood history where Asian American actors were discriminated against, but if you want to look at the one film that screws them all, check out the travesty that is The Last Airbender).  I could write a whole, beefy post about what I find wrong with The Last Airbender

Anyway, it's 4 in the morning.  Bed time for me.  Tata!~
xoxo
- Nerd Girl

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

(The Loss of) My Virginity and Other Views on the Matter of Sex


I remember virginity being a HUGE deal to me throughout middle and high school. I was pressured by my family, teachers and the community to remain chaste... In high school we even had to sign "ATM" (abstinence 'til marriage) cards in our sex ed classes. We were told it was optional but, c'mon...


Due to all the nonsense I was told, I ended up feeling extremely closed minded about sex and intimacy as a whole. I thought it was dirty and I looked down on others who were starting their sexual journeys simply because that is what I was taught. Looking back now, I feel terrible for the pretentious and puritanical way in which I acted towards my peers who were just doing what is only natural. 


Needless to say, I did lose my V card eventually. Luckily, I lost it to someone I really cared (and still care) about. Although, let me just say now: PLANNING on losing your virginity is a big NO NO. Although we were definitely in love at the time and had been dating for years, the fact that we planned when and where to lose our virginities completely took the spark out of it and made the whole night absolute rubbish! And also, choosing to lose your virginity on Valentine's day is, well, a liiiiiittle over done. 


Well, after the big loss of my V card on that fateful V day, my horizons sure have broadened! I definitely don't think sex is bad or wrong or immoral any more. Now that doesn't mean I'm going to have sex with every Jim, Jack and John that walks through my door; in fact I don't ever plan on having sex with someone I don't really care about, but sex is an extremely personal thing- everyone has their own view on it. Some people may have sex with hundreds of people in their lifetime and some might only have sex with one, but either way it's an individual decision that people need to learn to respect. 


xoxo Mel

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Little Update & A Little Passion/Virginity

THE UPDATE:: Okay, so most of you have noticed that we haven't had very many postings as of lately. Most of it is due to schooling. Unfortunately, Vicki will no longer be writing with us because it's too much for her at this time. So we will be looking for at least 1 more girl (depending on if we hear from everyone else). For now, I will be taking over on Mondays. Also, we'd love to have some Guest Bloggers! It's 16 weeks into this and we have only had 1 person send in a post and hers is being featured on our Guest Bloggers Blog at http://dolguestposts.blogspot.com/ It's simple to do. All you have to do is pick out one of the themes that we have done (or the current one) and email us at degrees.of.life.blog@gmail.com Include your posting (and any pictures if you want them), your name, and if you have a blog give us the link so we can feature you! Also, I made a vlog for it and here it is::
Okay and that's enough, now for my post! =]

passion flower
Passion and Virginity. The two sometimes collide, if you're lucky. For me, losing my v-card had no passion or romance in it whatsoever. I literally lost it in the back of a car in a church parking lot. I know, I'm going to hell. As much as I would have liked to have my first time be some magical moment, I'm almost glad that it wasn't. By not having it be magical and passionate and romantic, it gave me the sense that it's overrated. Now, I'm not saying that it's not fun, because it is. But now, I only want to give that part of me to someone I truly care about and who cares about me just as much or more. Now, I do believe that you shouldn't partake in that act without having feelings for each other. I do think that it is a very intimate act and it should be done with people that care for you. And yes, I am going to tell my kids to wait until they actually care for someone rather than getting into the back seat of a car with a guy who is a total "Barney Stinson pre-Robin." Because I do think that it is important.

 Passion isn't always about sex. It could be about things that you are passionate about. Now, as most of you know that my biggest passion is writing. It makes me happy and it's therapeutic. I not only write in this blog, but I have a personal blog ( EdenKaye ) but I also have a writer's journal blog ( A Red Head Writer's Journal ). I do not update every day, but I am getting better. I also write stories. Currently I have about 20 unfinished stories that I would like to finish and maybe hopefully get published. I am also collaborating on a book with Tracey (yes, the very Tracey that is also on here =] ). Tracey and I have a blast when we are writing our book. I'm also trying to get on the Newspaper at school. Writing is just an all around great thing.

Anyways, I know this is a short post from me. But I have a lot of homework to go do.
Much love to all of you!
xoxo
Stephanie

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beauty spill into passion and passion into...

It's funny. I used to think passion was always involved in losing one's virginity. See I grew up hanging out with a group of people that believed fully that we would save ourselves for marriage unless we got in a very passionate situation and let it go. Oddly enough, that is not at all what happened for me.

I do believe the experience of losing your virginity is a different experience for everyone.

Mine wasn't so romantic or passionate. Over the years my beliefs and opinions on these things changed quite dramatically. This is not to say that I no longer believe in God- because I do. But I got to a place where I really didn't care about my virginity in the least bit. So, a drunken night out with friends ended in the loss of my it to someone I didn't know all that well.  I am not upset about it really. But I do wish I had a better story that didn't make me sound like someone that would sleep with anything that breathes.

As much as it may sound bad, I wouldn't take it back either. Ever experience has it's purpose. I feel every person that has been in my life has been their for a reason and is still/isn't still in it for a reason as well. I don't judge others for the ways that their virginity no longer existed because I know that even though I am very sexual, I'm also not a slutty person at all.

I can see the importance in saving that sort of thing for someone that means a lot to you instead of someone you barely know. It's interesting how it doesn't really bother me I made that "mistake." I guess I just feel as though maybe someday if I have a daughter of my own... I can be completely honest with her about the topic.

Although passion has been involved in the rest of my sexual experiences. I don't know if that is saying too much, but I will leave it at that. I have been told several times that I am an extremely passionate person, and I am. I believe I have said more than once now that I feel everything pretty deeply.

I feel as though my personality is quite quirky. That being said, I can be passionate about any one feeling I have at any time. I can go gun-ho happy about something as meaningless as a sports game to something as important and life changing as a wedding day. Passion is something that runs through my veins.

Like I say last week, I see beauty in a lot of things even a simple song that I am listening to. I believe that when I say I feel my heart beating to it that has a ton to do with the level of passion I have for the things I do, people I love, and things I am interested in.

Most people have those things that just get them going, it just gets them so excited. You see a smile spreading across their face or they actually start jumping up and down. Passion runs so many places just as beauty does. It just takes different forms depending on the different person.


beauty

Beauty can be defined in many ways.  "Beauty" or "Beautiful" is not only used to describe physical aesthetics. A person's character or attitude can also be viewed as beautiful by many. Sometimes beauty is inexplicable.

In my Philosophy of Beauty course we discussed this ad nauseum. Many of us can watch a sunset, ooh & ahh at it, and many would say "that is beautiful". But why?  We, as humans, are attracted to beauty and we attach meaning to beauty. Thus attaching a value to beauty. And if an artwork is perceived as beautiful, then by default the artwork has value.

Or we can just live life and stop analyzing the details of why we enjoy sunsets. Silly professor (Interesting course though)! Sometimes people think too much and forget to accept the joy the simple things in daily life can bring. Watch the sun rise and set, dance in the rain, have a snow ball fight during the first snowfall of the year. You'll meet people who's character will touch you, changing your life forever. You don't have to travel to Paris or go to a museum for beauty (though I support travel and art), it's right here. It's in the people you surround yourself with, it's in you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Beauty Is Everywhere; So Stop And Smell The Roses



     Beauty is everywhere in the world. And beauty means something different to everyone. To me, I find beauty in a multitude of things. Life is full of beauty; a lot of it could be superficial like the kids from 'Toddlers and Tiaras.' However, to me, I find more beauty in natural things. Beauty is everywhere, you just have to look for it.
    
     Since it is now fall, my favorite season, you can walk down the street and probably find thousands of things that are beautiful in just five minutes. I know I do. I will walk down my street and I could get entranced by the clouds moving in the sky. The bright colored leaves falling off the trees. Animals singing their tunes. The cool breeze whoosh past me. A hummingbird zipping by. Beauty, to me, is entrancing. It's not this superficial idea that society has made us believe (or try to believe).
     Nature is a very beautiful thing in my eyes. Even the natural disasters that Mother Nature throws our way are beautiful. Scary, yes, but also beautiful. Same with any kind of natural storm. I guess that's what makes me different. I think that storms are prettier than the sun. I prefer cloudy days as to sunny days. I like night rather than day. My mom calls me a vampire for it.
     Speaking of vampires. Vampires are known to be beautiful. They entrance you. Mermaids. Fairies. Mythical creatures who have beauty.

     My absolutely favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn, I feel was very beautiful. She wasn't perfect. She was quirky. She had her faults. But that's what made her beautiful. She had flaws, so she wasn't perfect (nobody is and the sooner people realize that, the better off and more beautiful they will be). She was kind and kept other people in her mind.

     Beauty is not hard to find, you just have to open your eyes and look. Most of the time pretty is on the outside of people and beauty is in the inside. I fully believe in that. I also believe that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder (Plato).

     The next time you walk down the street, stop and smell the roses. Embrace the beauty that nature is giving you and it will make you a bit happier; it always does for me.


xoxo,
Stephanie

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pretty on the Outside, Beautiful on the Inside

First off, just wanted to mention a milestone: I got my first comment on my beauty blog!!! YAAAY.  Isn't it just so satisfying when people show real interest in what you're writing? Wink wink.  

I've been thinking lately a really depressing thought.  People who are more symmetrical, less spotty, skinnier, paler, more sleek...those are the people who are going to successful, aren't they? I've always been afraid that I could never be beautiful because I'm Chinese American.  There's just no way for me to fit into the Hollywood mold of "pretty" that I'm surrounded by in Los Angeles.  Just no way.  But then I heard something that really made me smile: 
The difference between being pretty and being beautiful is that pretty just sits on your outside like a coat of foundation.  Being beautiful means you're beautiful through every fiber of your being.
That makes sense, doesn't it? It explains how people who are charismatic are also seen as pretty attractive.  And I think charisma is so much more important than physical outward beauty.  January Jones can pluck and primp and Wonder-bra herself all she likes but if she's still a bitch, then I will never think she's really "beautiful." 

It's my hope that people try to shine from the inside, which will translate to a beautiful glow on the outside.  Has anybody else ever noticed how when someone is truly, truly happy, they kind of glow a little bit? A little smile tugs at the corner of their mouth, their face is just lit up like a lightbulb, their eyes are shining, and they always look like they're happy at an inside joke they're having with themselves? I know because I get that way whenever I go to Disneyland or watch Doctor Who.  

You know what mystifies me? How my perception of beauty is not completely skewed by my obsession with Disney.  
Bazumbas. 
I want to straighten out the Disney + Beauty relationship.  People all over the USA have for years been condemning Disney for promoting an "unhealthy" image of beauty.  But let's evaluate this.  1) They're 2-D.  And then when you get to Enchanted, when Amy Adams portrayed a live-action Disney princess (not technically an official Disney princess though), she had flab.  During "That's How You Know", she lifted her arms into the air and there was definite atonality in the tricep area if you get what I'm sayin'.  But she was still beautiful because her persona was kind and charming and, well, a Disney princess-ish type.  2) I have a feeling the people who are condemning Disney's portrayal of women's waists have children who weren't old/mature/smart enough to realize that this is not a normal, realistic expectation for our waists.  Do you know why women had to stop wearing corsets? The corset was morphing their bodies and squidging all their organs into the space where only their abdomen and bladders should be.  Tha's not healthy.  Corsets were also being strung so tight that they would crack ribs.  And that's really the only way to get a waist like Ariel's.  Well, unless you are crazy skinny like this woman.  She's a friend of a friend, and I suspect she works really, really, really hard to get her body in that spankin' condition.  She does a smashing Slave Leia, too.  If you got it, amirite?  

I'm not going to end this by saying that everyone is beautiful.  I firmly believe that you can't be beautiful if you're mean to others or your priorities are screwed up or something in your psyche makes you unkind to others.  Beauty is such a subjective thing, it's totally in the eye of the beholder as Plato says.  But really, I believe the only way to be truly, really, definitely beautiful is to start on the inside, by which I mean your mind and soul.  This isn't to say go out and donate all your life savings to Oxfam or PETA.  Nonono don't do that.  But maybe take a moment to realize just how lucky you are, the ways which your life doesn't suck.  I'll give you an example: 
  • I'm about to miss the deadline to turn in the budget form for this organization I suddenly found out I'm the executive vp of, but I don't owe these people anything.  If I don't get it done in time, then whatever on that.  
  • My family lives 20 minutes away from where I go to school so I can go see them whenever I want. 
  • I'm able to hook up my computer to the huge HD tv screen that comes with my apartment so I'm watching Finding Nemo while writing this on a huge HD screen.  
  • I don't have class until 3:30 tomorrow.  So I'll probably wake up in time to put makeup on! I'm thinking a cafe latte lip and a Fall/Autumn-inspired eye, goldy-burgundy shade.  Pleasing to the eye and such :). 
I am so pleased by these things that my happiness will just shine through my skin.  And it's infectious.  Just ask the security guard who returns a smile at me whenever I leave the building to go to class.  So let your happiness shine through your skin, that's a sure-fire way to work towards beautiful! I'll end my post with this poem that happened to be a favorite of Audrey Hepburn's.
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived,  reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.
Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the  figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Beauty's Potential is Tamed By The Beast That is Our Society

On a philisophical level I agree most definitely with Aristotle's theory stating that beauty is an "excellence dependent upon particular relations". However, some of the best insights come from the guy a couple dorms away. I asked him simply to speak on "beauty" and after a couple stutters and "I don't knows" came wisdom. I polished and shaped his unfinished sentences into this,  " I believe beauty is derived from within. One necessary variable for achieving inner beauty is having a good heart". Sure it didn't come out just like that but maybe I speak Dude ;)


One Examply Of Organized Vanity


What he said was nothing new to my ears, it was actually all too familiar... but it filled me with calm to know boys (He would probably prefer I use the word men)...  men are at least somewhat aware of the fact true beauty is within and outer beauty fades. For as much as woman like to complain about not being appreciated for our souls and kindness, we are just as guilty as the pig headed men we complain about. Never do we oppose chasing after perfection. We pluck and straighten/curl and draw on the faces of the woman we praise in magazines. "If you can't beat them join them", this phrase lingers in the back of my mind like the smell of acetone in the shops of asian woman who promise to primp and alter everything they believe is in the way of me aquiring a boyfriend. And most of us prefer to join them rather than take a stand against organized vanity.


Who We Fear Society Will See When They Look At Us

This woman had inner beauty to spare in my opinion. She let nature take over her body and she remained strong, she was confident in the way we can't be unless we have spent hours achieving a certain look. My final take on beauty is that it starts in your mind and not your eyes or genitals. Beauty is something that I find impossible to define. It means something completely different to every individual. For instance, beauty varies from culture to culture. Imagine the positive change we would see in the self esteem of girls if we simply decided to have a deeper sense of beauty rather than the shallow perspectives we have grown up with. At the end of the day you ultimately decide whether you are beautiful, your eyes are the beholders of your own beauty. If you accept yourself, love yourself and respect yourself then  your oppoortunities will be limitless.

-Camii





Sunday, September 25, 2011

Beauty

Life is beautiful. The ebbs and flows are so wonderful. There maybe some patchy waves at times but they always seem to find a more comfortable flow after some time.  I'm not going to lie it gets a bit rough at times to deal with the waves. But in hindsight it is oh so beautiful to see how individuals power through or fall to the bottom. It is especially glorious when the end result is a happy, healthy person.



I enjoy learning from the experiences of life. It may be the artist in me. Don't get me wrong I can't draw worth a penny.  But I have always viewed artists as those that have a creative mind. That love the expression of ideas, however they may come. I love music for that very reason. Having an artistic mind draws me to things like  photography or other art forms such as paintings, movies, music, and we cannot forget the ever so passionate written word. Life seeps through all the mediums of art. I think it is those creative minds that crave the ebb and flow, the rocky waves, and silent lulls. They all have a purpose.
 
There is such beauty in all of that.  I get so excited in my heart when I get to read or listen to music. It is really very hard to describe. When I get to spend time with my family and it is oh so beautiful,  I want to bubble with happiness. That is beauty to me. When I listen to a band and feel my heart beating with the music and I need everyone to not talk because I just want to feel it. That is beauty to me. Getting a photograph of the turning leaves fall from a tree is another beauty.



I could go on and on. But mainly, I feel (at this point in my life, at least) beauty is more than a perfect body. I think someone is beautiful when they glow with happiness or passion. I think a beautiful body is one that is taken care of...not chiseled away because fat is thought to be ugly. Some of the most beautiful people I know don't have the most "perfect" bodies. I see beauty in colors and words and things that express the everyday life.





There is so much to find beauty in. I know not every day we will find beauty or feel beautiful. But it sure is there. It's when you notice it that it becomes that amazing feeling.

Disney Princesses



I love love love Disney films. Mostly the 2-D movies I grew up watching constantly. It makes me sad how Disney doesn't make their films in 2-D anymore. I feel like more time and love went into those films as opposed to churning out as many films they can possible produce. (Toy Story trilogy and Tangled are awesome though!) My favorite Disney songs are "Part of Your World", "If I Never Knew You", "A Whole New World", and the entire soundtrack of Mulan and Hercules. Your singing is so pretty Éli~!




The Disney Princess I am most like is Belle. A total bookworm who is bored with the small town she lives in.  A caregiver, always looking after her family. I like Disney's portrayal of Beauty & the Beast the best. Others' versions paint Belle as weak and passive. But Disney's Belle stands up for herself, even to a beast who is obviously superior in physical strength. And she is loyal through and through.


My Brother & Me 93'

Since I work at a fabric store, lots of parents are coming in with their children to buy fabric and patterns for their Disney costumes. Rapunzel and Alice is pretty popular due to the recent movies. But it's nice to see kids wanting to be the oldies. Just today a little girl and her brother were getting costumes made of Belle and Beast. Disney is ageless. I enjoy them as much as the first time I saw them when I was little.

<3 Tiff

Walt Disney and his Princesses

Right off the bat, check this out if you haven't:
Then go to the comments and see if you can find all the idiots slamming the Snow White and Pocahontas girls for being Asian American.  Really disgusting stuff, I was so upset. 

I have....a lot of biographies on Walt Disney.  Besides John Williams, Walt Disney is my hero.  I've written papers on him and gotten A+ on them.  I think I own maybe 5 biographies.  I won't even acknowledge that Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince trash because it's just one disgruntled journalist's sullying cash-grab.  Can't stand it.  The fact is...I owe Disney my happiness.  I was part of "that generation", not even "that generation" but that age group.  I was raised on Disney.  The animated Disney films of the 1990's and before didn't give me twisted perceptions of body image or unrealistic expectations about marriage (as in to princes) because I'm not stupid.  Disney isn't even about escape.  What Walt Disney really wanted was to improve the world.  And you could see in his films, that was his mission.  

Here's a list of Disney films I feel everyone should have seen just to know them, not in any particular order:
  • Snow White
  • Sleeping Beauty 
  • Cinderella 
  • Beauty and the Beast 
  • The Lion King
  • Hercules
  • Mulan
  • Hunchback of Notre Dame 
  • The Little Mermaid 
  • Pocahontas 
  • Tangled
  • The Princess and the Frog 
  • Fantasia 
  • Make Mine Music 
  • Peter Pan
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Aladdin 
  • Mary Poppins 
If it seems like I listed basically all of them, that's because I did.  I watched all of these in 2009 when I was feeling lost and lonely at (where else?!) Boston University.  It saved my sanity.  It completely changed me.  I live and breathe Disney.  I actually want to write my next paper in my advanced writing class about something related to Disney, perhaps the psychology of the songs or the racial issues in the movies--it has always grilled my hamburger so badly that Mulan is never included in the Disney princesses. 
Where's Pocahontas?! 


And I'm sure every girl has thought of it, and if they haven't, they will now.  "Which Disney princess am I most like?" I've known this for years.  I think since I was 14.  I'm most like Princess Jasmine.  Hands-down.  No contest.  Maybe a little bit Tiana, a little bit Rapunzel, being super ambitious (so much so I feel like I have no friends sometimes), and stuck in my house kept away from, well, everything.  But I'm like Princess Jasmine because, get this, my father figure is super powerful and my family is upper middle class.  In LA, that's pretty good, because our state is pretty durn bankrupt right now l.o.l., anyway.  My dad expects me to marry a certain type of guy (aka Chinese American), but I secretly want to marry whoever I want (shh don't tell him).  Then in high school, a half Chinese half white guy who comes from a less fortunate family than mine (his struggling musician parents had a really ugly awkward split so he basically did everything for himself) took an interest in me and basically tried to get me to do all these things that just sounded really out of the box to me.  Going out past 10pm?! What the heck?! Going to get frozen yogurt at Old Town instead of going straight home after school? Crazy! SOUND FAMILIAR?! It should, because that's basically Princess Jasmine's deal.  This guy was my Aladdin. 

I.  am.  Princess Jasmine. 

Oh Disney, you and your watermark...
If I could, I would hire myself out as a Disney expert.  I want to work for the Walt Disney corporation as a Disney history and culture expert.  WOULDN'T THAT BE SO COOL?! I would totally do that.  Just to show how obsessed I am with Disney, I'm going to embed some tracks of myself singing some Disney songs in Mandarin for my extra credit project in my Chinese V class.  I think I spent 5 hours singing nonstop; you can kinda tell in "Part of Your World".  I am so brave for doing this....take a gander:
Part of Your World (Mandarin):
God Help the Outcasts (Mandarin):
Colors of the Wind (Mandarin):


And...no...I had no idea what I was singing, I was just doing it phonetically. Real Love. Live & Breathe.

Also major apologies for being late.  I've got an origins of humanity midterm tomorrow that I haven't even started studying for....maybe I'm not like Tiana...x).  Toodles! 

xo 
-E

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Disney-esque

Sorry for the late post, I've been super sick the past couple of days. Hope everyone else is doing good, I have no idea where everyone else has been. But if it seems to be too much of a deal, it looks to me like we might have to get some new people in here.



Anyways, Disney. I am a HUGE fan of Disney. Every single time I am at the mall, I have to go in there! More than half of my presents from my boyfriend are from the Disney Store:: (Stuffed Flounder, Stuffed Ariel, Stuffed Pascal (the chameleon from Tangled) and the movie Tangled). When my parent's got a divorce my dad gave me a present from the Disney Store. It was a Little Mermaid Snow Globe. I still have it. And it is still one my most treasured items.



Even though the idea of Disney (the fairy tale part of it) is not very ideal... the stories are still wonderful. They have meaning, action, love, etc. There are so many adaptations to Disney stories within movie and book form.

My favorite Disney movie today would be Tangled. =] I love it! As a small child it was The Little Mermaid. In High School it was Sleeping Beauty. However, I have loved all of the Disney movies. I still watch the Disney channel (for Wizards of Waverly Place). =] I know I am such a dorky kid at heart. =]


One of my favorite things from Tangled, other than Pascal, would be the part where they have all of the floating lanterns. I have always wanted to see that in person and/or be a part of a floating lantern. It's so romantic and beautiful. It just looks awesome!



One of my favorite Disney songs would definitely be Poor Unfortunate Souls
Me and my friend, Aaron blast it in our cars all the time <3

xoxo
Stephanie

Monday, September 19, 2011

Belated Career Post, Overbubbling emotions

Sorry for the late post, guys.  A lot of crap has been happening and I never though this would happen to me but I literally haven't had time among the emotional blah and schoolwork to fit in a nice post here.  But yeah.  Careers.  Let's tackle something here. 

Grades. 

Do grades really matter? I'm a junior in college and I'm already burnt out.  I spent this past weekend feeling blue and depressed and lost.  Completely lost.  I know what I want to do for my career.  I want to go into film.  But this past weekend, I felt so burnt out that I couldn't even bring myself to do any homework even though I had the whole weekend and the whole apartment to myself to do it.  Instead I watched episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and binge-ate a whole pizza plus cinnamon sticks.  And now I'm paying for it today.  And the only word I could find to describe my feelings is that I feel "lost."  I just don't know where to go from here to get myself back to that ambitious "I'm going to effing get it done" attitude I had before. 

I'm going to try to put together a "Motivational Folder" full of past assignments I've done and letters from my friends saying they loved me which hopefully will help get back up on the horse.  What are some ways you guys deal when feeling the pressure to succeed is too much?
Disney makes me think of the theme from a couple weeks ago: childhood.

Disney has it's own little string that tugs at several of my heart strings. I think a lot of people can say that... especially those of you, like many scorpios, that are in touch with the multi-layered nature of their emotions and memories.

Disney immediately invokes a thread of memories along the trail of my childhood. They all were insignificant and wonderful. Most people can say that though right? I don't think my feelings about this are much different than others.

It is probably true for a lot of people that the Disney place in their heart is where their innocence lays. It almost always brings a smile to my face. If there isn't a smile on my face I probably wasn't paying attention at all and you should repeat yourself.

A lot of memories that Disney invokes include my friends (whom were also my neighbors: Sean and Laurel) and my sister. We used to watch Fantasia on a regular basis. There was on particular part of that movie that freaked me out to no end without fail every time. It was the dinosaur part. I don't really think I can explain anything else about it because I made it a point to leave the room promptly when I knew it was coming up next.



There is another movie all of us became enthralled with for a VERY long period of time. The movie: The Lion King. The obsession: the soundtrack.

We put on NUMEROUS performances for our parents, siblings, the air that was surroundings us, our imaginary friends, etc. Gosh, I can recall those moments so easily. They make me smile so big in my heart, but also makes my heart a little heavy. 


How wonderful it was to be young. The biggest of our worries was weather to do the Mufasa song or not that day. Now, things are a lot different. I don't even speak to Sean (the boy neighbor). And well... the biggest reason, honestly, is that Laurel and her mother were killed in a car accident in February of 1999. Both of our families distanced ourselves from one another. Probably because too much pain was involved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                   

Ironically, before I read that of the theme and thought of it's connections I was having a fun time with my sister waiting in the car at the drive-thru window of a local hot-dog diner. We were kidding around, being total goofs. I peer over and there is a man with a white beard and LOTS of white hair. I notice he is staring at me. And I turn back to my sister and say (in a really weird, loud, funny voice), "There's an old man staring at us!"

My sister looks at me like... um, Tracey what? But she says something that changes the tone. 

"Tracey, you know who that is. Don't you?"

I look more carefully this time.

Oh God. *heart sinks*

It's was Laurel and Sean's father. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                        

So, I thought it funny when immediately all my thoughts about this week's theme involved that lovely family. That aside, let me just simply state... I love Disney movies.... Disney anything really. I remember one of the times Stephanie and I were downtown we were walking past a Disney store. I asked her if we should go look. 

Short story shorter she concluded we would be WAY too tempted by everything in there to make that a wise decision.


Have a great week everyone!
<3 trixierambler





Saturday, September 17, 2011

Working 9 to 5~

Ever since I was thirteen years old I knew I wanted to be a psychologist. Weird, right? Before the age of thirteen I went through many career options: stay-at-home mother, R.N. (like my mother), lawyer, graphic design, then settled on psychology.  It honestly all started with television shows like Law & Order:SVU. I became facinated with B.D. Wong's character's job- forensic psychologist. It was the first time I heard of psychology being mixed in with criminal justice.  The human mind and behaviors facinate me. What motivates us? Why do some deviate from the 'norm'? I engrossed myself in other TV shows and books about psychology.

Now that my graduation date is approaching fast, I'm suddenly not in that certain "I know what I'm gonna do" thirteen-year-old me mindset.  Though criminal-profiling and forensic psychology still facinates me, I think now I may want to focus more on clinical psychology. I've grown more into helping people on a person-to-person level than putting away the baddies. But I know for certain I do not want to be a researcher, I've had enough of statistics for these past three  years- I don't want it to be my life. Decisions, decisions....

Looking back at my college years, I wish I became more involved in school activities. Y'know, maybe live on campus,  go to more hockey games, maybe join a club. College has really been a blur, it went by so fast. On the other hand I wish I had taken a year off before college. A little self-exploration. Go on road-trips, travel abroad.  Hopefully I'll do that before graduate school. Because there will be years of graduate school. OTL  All I can say is I can't wait to get out of retail!

<3 Tiff

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ca Ca Careers?!

Seeing as I spent thousands of dollars and am, furthermore, in debt thousands and thousands of dollars it frustrates me to not have a career after earning my Bachelor's degree with a major in journalism and a minor in political science.
A couple friends and I being a little excited about graduating


It would be easy to just explain that I had an internship at PBS in Washington, D.C. I was on both the National Communication Honor Society and National Political Science Honor Society. I was treasurer for the NCHS my senior year. I was the new section editor and the assistant to the executive editor for my university newspaper. I worked for the radio station and the television station while studying there.  I also spent a year as the public relations assistant for the library on our campus that actually resided as the local library in that town as well. I could keep going on and on about the things I worked hard to obtain, but that isn't what this is about.

I spent those years working towards a journalism degree while getting experience in all areas of communication. Except after I graduated I got a temporary job at the local newspaper as the assistant news editor. I was only working one day a week because this was a new position that they created for me and they didn't quite know what to do with me. So after several months I decided to resign from my position. I realized this is not where my passion for writing was taking me.

This realization that I didn't have a passion to be a reporter was quite an important aspect to me. But so far from what I started my college career thinking.

My roommate and one of my very best friends likes to tell the story of the first time I met her husband. I was hanging out with them and he asked if I was one of the girls that went to that school to get my M. R. S. degree (which actually was a common goal since I attended a small, private Christian school). I responded with a resounding, "NO. I am a CAREER driven woman!" I have always been really driven.

I have found after college that I can't just pursue a career in journalism because that is what I went for at the time. I have experience in many other areas and I am trying to figure out a way to be able to write and be creative with my career life. That may seem lofty and close-minded. But in my mind it is quite the opposite. I think it is open-minded to go outside of the box. I am just a little bit particular that I want to be able to be creative and write without being a reporter.


I am already living my career in a way. I am collaborating on a book with fellow blogger Stephanie, and I have these blogs and several writing outlets. I have a part-time job to pay the bills and save. Hopefully, I will be able to save enough to take this communications internship with an environmental group in California.

For a while I was depressed about things not going the way I wanted them to. But I realized that there are ways to be still doing what I want while working and earning money. I continue to search for jobs, but at this point I can't say I have that much to complain about.

I suppose that goal-oriented person I started college with definitely never left.

<3 trixierambler

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shallow(ness)

(I realize this is going to be a long post; but I have to make it up to you guys for not posting the past couple of weeks. I realize if you don't want to read this but it is a very important posting, I promise you that. And please, excuse some of the vulgar language I use.)

My dad and I when I was 3, at my uncle's wedding.


I think it is very interesting that this week's theme is Shallowness. I have been thinking and thinking about what to write this week and it hit me; my dad. Today would have been his 47th birthday. Now, I know you are all wondering... why would she talk about her dad during a week of shallowness? Well, the answer, my friends, is the fact his second wife (my ex-step-monster) drove him to the depression that he was in when he decided to take his life. Now, not many people know the extent of what had happened but I am willing to share it with all of you because my ex-step-monster was a shallow piece of ass, pardon my language. She was a rotten person. Only my closest friends and family know what happened but here goes.

My parents had gotten a divorce back in '97 and it tore me apart. My dad had cheated on my mom and my mom had asked him to cut all ties with the bitch who stole him away but he couldn't because she brainwashed him. So, since my dad couldn't give my mom 100% of him in their relationship, she left. She didn't want to be stuck in a loveless marriage and I don't blame her. I would have done the same thing. However, my mother never stopped loving my father. If he had ever wanted to come back, she would have taken him back.

I cried on the day my dad married that wicked witch (granted she hadn't shown her true colors to me, but she wasn't my mother). I was a part of the wedding (Jr. Bridesmaid) and I remember the plane ride up to Minnesota with my aunt and uncle and my brother. I remember crying the whole time up there. I didn't want my dad to get remarried but there was nothing I could do about it because I was only 8 years old.

As the years went on, I lost a lot of contact with not only my father but with my father's family. I had no idea why we were losing contact, but we did. I did find out why after my dad died, but I'll get to that in a little bit. I saw my dad maybe once a year and talked to him maybe once a month unless it was a holiday or a special day. As the years went on, I started missing my father more and more. In 2006, he had moved from Minnesota to Colorado. It was hard enough that he was in Minnesota and I was in Illinois, but now Colorado? I couldn't drive out to Colorado like I could to Minnesota. I saw my dad once in Colorado... and it was for a long weekend... 4 days at max.

The last time I saw my dad alive was on May 27th, 2008. It was for my High School Graduation and we had gotten into a huge fight. I had kept so much in me that it finally just blew up. I remember yelling at him at how I didn't feel like I had a father anymore because he was barely in my life. I was 18 at the time and I do regret this fight. I remember both of us crying and I wish I hadn't said any of that. Around August 11th, 2008, or so, we had gotten into another fight because I needed help financially for college. Another fight I regret having because a short week later my dad committed suicide. The last words I had said to him were not, "I love you" they were words of anger.

And here's where the shallowness comes in::

We rushed out to Colorado (me, my mom, my brother, and my grandpa) to go to the memorial service. My mother was not allowed in the church because my ex-step-monster's true colors were finally revealed. She was the one who confronted my dad's family that they had to cut ties with us in order for my dad's second marriage to work. She was the one who brainwashed my dad to move far away from me and my brother so that we weren't a part of his life as much. She was the one who only married my father as a "ten year plan" and then was going to divorce him. She was the one who caught him attempting suicide a week before he succeeded and did nothing about it to help him. She is a shallow, inconsiderate, spawn of satan, bitch. She brainwashed my dad into taking me and my brother out of the insurance money so that we were left with nothing after he died. I can barely afford college but she can go ahead and get botox and her fucking nose job. Really? How shallow can one person be? She drove my father into the worst kind of depression ever. She made him feel like a piece of shit. He didn't feel loved by her. He wasn't happy because of her. All she could think about is "me, me, me, me." She didn't think about her kids.

Me at my dad's grave; where I covered up her name with grass.


So, today is my dad's birthday and it has been three years since he has died. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him or apologize to him about the things I said and pray that I wasn't any help into his decision to kill himself. I miss him, a lot. And the only reason I am able to cope is that I have a wonderful support system from my family, friends, and loving boyfriend.

I could have talked about people who are shallow and have check lists of what type of people they are going to marry; but, I felt that this was more appropriate because it is an experience I have gone through and much more shallow can you be than my raging thundercunt of an ex-step-monster?

Hope you all have a wonderful week and I hope none of you have these kinds of people in your life; and if you do, my advice to you is to run. Don't let them control you. Just leave.

xoxo
Stephanie

Superficialfragilisticexpialidocious

I'm only a few minutes late! Huge apologies...major work load this semester plus procrastination equals no time to do anything else, it's a major problem, but today I took a personal day which means 1) I skipped all my classes, and 2) I spent the whole day watching Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.  And who is a more perfect specimen to examine shallowness than the utterly shallow but thoroughly enjoyable Cordelia Chase. 

She's so shallow.  Look at the shallowness in her eyes. 

Cordelia was at the typical mean girl at school, overly obsessed with clothing and way other people dressed, only with boys who played football, and she would never look twice at a nerd like Xander (one of Buffy's best friends who happens to be a "major loser").  But like with every high school-themed television show, the shallow girl gets her redemption, she develops, her shallowness isn't just shallowness, which makes the audience dislike her completely.  She's actually one of my favorite characters now, and whenever she appears, her superficiality is actually one of the most refreshing parts of the show. 

I don't believe anyone can truly be shallow, unless they're a spineless dumbwit with the social maturity of a blueberry scone.  Human beings are human beings because we're so deep, that's what separates us from things like a lamprey or a squirrel.  Have you ever noticed that people who pretend to be shallow in order to be funny or something are actually super deep, thoughtful people? My friend Kat always says she's superficial and fussy and girly and prissy like Cordelia Chase, but she's actually quite not.  When her bunny died, she became this stoic, super strong pillar of strength for the rest of her family.  She is my inspiration for when disaster strikes.  Could a truly shallow person do that?

So the next time you think you think someone is shallow, watch them for a bit....they probably aren't.  You're just not in the right situation to view them when they're not being shallow, irritating and distracting like that girl in my Advanced Writing class who sits next me to spells like something I suspect is marijuana and is always shopping online and constantly distracting me during class....:)

xoxo
has everyone started school like me?
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