Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

In honor of the holiday, here are some of the funnier pictures I've seen floating around the internet. Even though some are political or religious (some of which I don't agree with), I can still be a good sport and see the wit in these. Hope you guys can too!

Mean but still kind of ironic.
Only posted this one because it's a campaign year. I disagree with this.

This one's poking fun at the recession.

Here's one about dogs, to end on a lighter note:

I'll update a picture of Eric and I later tonight. We're taking his siblings trick or treating. Be safe!
Happy Halloween!
til next time, stay classy!♥

Here we are, E&M. (Eric & Michelle but also Elvis and Marilyn) Get it? Yeah, lame.
I apologize for the disastrous wig, lol.
I posted the funny one on Facebook but I also liked this one. :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gossip Girl: All I Want Is Everything

I'm about a third into the fourth book. Sorry there's no topher (two for one) today. Also, I was getting registered for next semester so I apologize for the late post.  Need to get better about that!

Author: Cecily Von Ziegesar
Pages: 215
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Without giving too much away, here are the main events that occur during Christmas and the New Year:

The book starts off with Chuck, Kati, Isabel, Serena, Blair, and Aaron heading out to the club for the Black and Whie Ball that Serena and Blair are hosting (they are friends at this point). She tries to distract herself with Aaron's new friend (Miles Igram) while Serena is busy flirting with a rock star named Flow. Aaron doesn't really like what's going on because he's secretly into his step-sister, so he's been pretty distant lately. Flow makes a shout-out to Serena and Blair, but invites Serena to party with her afterwards which causes the rumor mill to start talking. Everyone ditches Chuck, Kati, and Isabel because they're passed out in the limo while everyone else is about to head to the afterparty. Aaron doesn't want to a be a third wheel so he also splits. As the rest of the group loads up, Nate and Jenny are passing by the club and Serena invited them to join. Nate is kind of bored with Jenny already (although he won't admit it) while Jenny is still very much in the moment. She eagerly accepts the offer but the moment they get into the car, it becomes extremely awkward because everyone runs into each other for the first time since 1) Blair and Nate broke up and 2) Nate and Serena being in the same room since the Blair reconciliation.

At school the following Monday, everyone is treating Serena like a complete celebrity because of the run-in with Flow. Blair is getting told to rewrite her essay to Yale after blowing her interview, Jenny is speaking up in class about sex, Dan's not putting out to Vanessa because he wants his first time to be more poetic, and Nate can't stop comparing Jenny and Blair. During the break, Blair and Serena head off to St. Bart's while Jenny and Nate go Christmas shopping before Nate heads to Maine. As they walk in the park, they get taped being kind of kinky and it's leaked to the internet by accident.

Meanwhile in St. Bart's, Blair tries to lose her virginity to Miles but Aaron ends up walking in on them before anything happens. Dan and Rufus see the video and tell Jenny (who is mortified). When Dan eventually finds out that the tape came from Vanessa's camera, he hates her and writes his first poem since before him and Vanessa started dating. He called it "Sluts" and sends it to Vanessa after a period of not talking. Although it hurts her feelings, she realizes the poem is a gem. She then sends it to the New Yorker to have it published. He gets a letter from the New Yorker on New Year's Eve that he's being published. Initially, he's enraged because he had no idea it was even submitted but then he actually ends up getting back together with her because of it. At this point, Nate is trying to get back together with Blair, Aaron is getting over Blair with Serena, Serena is ditching Flow's heavy attempts to impress her, Jenny is ditching her punishment to go see Nate (who really doesn't care at this point), and poor Flow is getting rejected a second time by a heartbroken Jenny. Ken Mogul sees Vanessa's tape and thinks her cinematography could be useful so he goes to the park to see her in action on New Year's Eve. This is when Dan makes up with her and they share a New Year's kiss.

First of all, I apologize for the longer review. I guess I went a little hay-wire since I didn't do two books. There's a lot of ground to cover since there's a lot of social activities for these characters going on. There's also a lot of feelings and doubting so I just kind of listed that stuff. It seems really fast and forced, but I'm trying to leave the juicy details out. After all, it's supposed to be a summary, not an entire outline (lol). By the third book, you start seeing some weaknesses in the writing. When Von Ziegesar reintroduces characters, she uses mainly the same descriptions. Ex.) "Ms. Gios is always getting nosebleeds and was thought to have some rare contagious disease. All the girls were afraid to touch the handouts she gave them. (page 65)". It's an okay description but it's pretty much the same thing as the second book (almost word for word). She could've changed it up a little since she does this with multiple characters and places (the Humphrey apartment, Rufus, Cyrus, etc.) Also, the whole "Flow following Serena around thing" didn't really have a point in the plot other than to show that Serena was seriously wanted. I don't think it was needed. That's the only criticism I'd have. It was still very entertaining.

Also, these came in the mail today. Yipee! I pre-ordered the book so I'm thrilled it finally got here.

til next time, stay classy!♥

Friday, October 26, 2012

Financial Friday!

Hello and thank you for staying tuned!
I know you probably have better places to be on the web (like watching some people fall on YouTube or something) so I really appreciate your visit. :)

It's Friday; this is supposed to be a day dedicated to videos to start your weekend off right. Well, I hate to be a bore but I just wanted to share an article on Yahoo that I found about impulse shopping. Women are usually the ones that are labeled as the impulse shoppers, but this article shows that men actually spend an average of $350 dollars more than women a year.

The article also mentions this site called Spendster. (You can click on the link to go there if you'd like.) It's a website dedicated to showing people how much money is being wasted. Now, it may seem a little lame but I'm always down to learn something on the internet as opposed to getting more ignorant. I like seeing websites trying to bring awareness but I could be one of the few that enjoy it. There's even a calculator that shows you how much you could be saving a year.

I felt compelled to do this instead of a funny video after reading about a sexual predator getting her own reality show after being accused of having sex with her 17-year-old student. I figured I may as well contribute something meaningful instead of encourage stupidity but that sense of inspiration could wear off by next Friday. If you're interested in reading that, here's my source. Celebitchy is my guilty pleasure but once in a while, it has actual news like this. You can also watch a video from there. This high school teacher used to be a Bengals cheerleader, fyi. This is where we're at, people!

If you're interested, here's the article on shopping: Biggest Shopping Regrets.
As I said, it's a little different from the upbeat mood I wanted to set for Fridays, but I felt motivated after looking at my classes for next semester. I have to take some upper level electives and was looking at a "Money and Banking" class to get better informed with all that jazz...BUT I didn't have the prerequisites. :( If I can't learn at school, I'll look online and educate myself (and also share it online with you guys).
Something to consider since the holidays are coming up.

I mentioned in the beginning of this post how you could be watching funny videos on falls instead of being here, so I'm being nice and combining funny and shopping. Here are some shopping cart fails to end on a lighter note. Enjoy! :)

Be safe and have a great weekend!
'til next time, stay classy!♥

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Family Edition Wednesday

So this week's Wednesday post is dedicated to my brother, Chris. He just got married today in San Antonio. He barely told me yesterday..and guess what? My parents don't know. He wants to surprise them... I smell some craziness brewing this weekend!  
He left home 7 months ago to go to basic training for the army and he's already such a man! It's crazy! It's gonna take me a while to process this. The first picture is a screenshot of what he's uploaded on Instagram and the second is a picture taken just last Christmas. He told me that he'd send me some pictures soon. Hopefully he does since I wish I could've been there personally.

I'm happy for him but as his big sister, I worry.
I'm wishing him nothing but the best in this new chapter of his very young life (20!!!).
I'll meet my new (and first) sister-in-law this Friday!
Congratulations, Chris!                          
Us a little under a year ago.
'til next time, stay classy♥
Happy Hump Day!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gossip Girl: You Know You Love Me

Author: Cecily Von Ziegesar

Pages: 227

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

The opening scene is with Blair having dinner with her now gay father, who treats her to Manolos and an early birthday cake. A lot is covered in this book; Serena and Dan have their "first date" (at least in Dan's eyes). Dan turns into what the book calls "stalkeresque", writing her a love poem and consistently pushing for some alone time. This usually doesn't happen because Serena keeps inviting friends along to join their time together (like the time when Nate and his friends hitch a ride to Brown with them for their interviews, as well as when Nate and Erik get in Serena and Dan's limo at the Waldorf wedding).  Blair gets cock blocked again but gets informed of her mother's wedding coming up in three weeks (which is the same day as her birthday), gets ignored by Nate, and blows her interview at she gets into an extreme state of melancholy  She also has to deal with Aaron, her new hippie stepbrother. He's really nice all throughout but Blair isn't giving in until the last half of the book. Nate is ignoring Blair because he's been hanging out with Jenny Humphrey. At the wedding, Blair catches Nate with her and heads to the bathroom. Serena cheers her up and takes her out, which is the first time they hang out on a mutual basis since the series started. After Dan realizes that he's experiencing an unrequited love with Serena, he finally sees Vanessa as a potential girlfriend (which Vanessa has been dying for).

You begin to feel bad for Blair because she has no one to turn to. The inner monologue that Von Ziegesar uses so well gives you a clear picture at everything she's feeling (her lack of self-sufficiency and her chronic loneliness . The Gossip Girl blasts do a really good job at tying in parts of what's going on (for example, in the first book (Kati or Isabel?) returns her pink camo bag after Blair and her minions talk about how tacky camo and animal print are when they discuss party favors for the Kiss on the Lips party). All of the characters emotions seem so tangible and genuine and you can really relate, despite the fact that they're filthy rich (and I'm not, lol). Really awesome second addition; can't wait to read the third!

'til next time, stay classy!♥

Gossip Girl

Author: Cecily Von Ziegesar

Pages: 201

Publisher: Little Brown and Company


The book begins with introducing the main narrator of all the characters, Gossip Girl. She's an anonymous Upper East Sider who runs a popular gossip blog that keeps tabs and everyone's dirty laundry. Then, we start the actual book with Blair Waldorf attending a party at her house with her friends Kati Farkas and Isabel Coates. Blair sneaks off to her room with her boyfriend, Nate Archibald, in order to finally loose her virginity. However, that was cut short by the arrival of Serena van der Woodsen, Blair's best friend who left one year ago to attend boarding school. Blair was always left in her shadow and had grown accustomed to being the new "it girl" once she left. Needless to say, she was less than eager to see her. Blair finds out that Serena and Nate had sex the summer before Serena left. Serena does not understand why she is being ignored by all of her friends, but the reader knows that Blair had something to do with that. So this makes her explore the city on her own (for once) and she ends up being the center of a fashion campaign that's all over New York, infuriating Blair. Despite this attention, Serena realizes that she's not as credible as she needs to be to get into an Ivy League school, which is why she attempts to audition for film that Vanessa Abrams is making. Dan Humphrey freaks out when she sees her show up because he's in love with her. Jenny Humphrey, his little sister, is equally infatuated with her and all the rich kids so she needs her way into getting invited to the big party by doing the invitations. At the Kiss on the Lips party, Chuck Bass tries to pull a fast one on young Jenny. Serena and Dan come to the rescue. Blair also makes Nate swear to avoid Serena in order to make amends for breaking her heart.


The books are really so much better than the series. It's really hard not to compare when you've watched both. Von Ziegesar takes her time to develop character personalities, and it's also a lot more uncensored than the show. Nate smokes pot, most of the kids smoke cigarettes, there's a couple of f-bombs throughout the book, and there's even characters in the novel that aren't on TV. Blair has a younger brother named Tyler (and a kitty named Minky), Chuck has a brother named Donald, and Serena's brother Erik is really an older freshmen at Brown. The characters that are mentioned in both print and TV are better described in the novel. Ms. Waldorf (Blair's mom) is actually rocks a blond bob and lost 20lbs. post-divorce, Cyrus rocks a mustache   Jenny actually has curly brown hair and (a 34D chest), and Vanessa is a tough looking indie chick, rocking black turtlenecks and a shaved head. Chuck and Dan go to Riverside Prep, while Nate is at St. Jude's. Rufus is made out to seem like a has-been writer (that's rocking some salt and pepper hair) unlike the sexy rock star he's portrayed as on the show. You just really get a feel of everyone better, and the interactions are a lot more organic. It's all very juicy. :) 

'til next time, stay classy♥ 


Friday, October 19, 2012

Hong Kong Madness.

Happy Friday, ya'all!

I decided to make this the first video on the "first Friday post". 

This dude is Hong Kong is nuts! He reeeallllyyy takes the whole "work with what you got" thing seriously, making 24 rooms out of roughly 300 square feet. Makes you really think about how much we complain about lack of space, huh? It's hard to complain after seeing this. This is probably why we outsource, lol. I don't know if Americans would be that innovative...and be so stylish about it, too. Way to go, man!
Something to think about over the weekend? Probably not, lol. Nonetheless, very cool.

Be safe this weekend!
Also, thank you for checking my blog out during its first official week of change. 

'til next time, stay classy♥

P.S.- The posts will get a little more exciting with time. Right now, I'm just being diligent about updating it on time. I'm already done with the first Gossip Girl book (and about a third into the second one). Check back on Monday for the reviews! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Disney can predict the future.

 You know when a meme is too good to pass up? 
Yeah, that's what happened when I saw this one.
I wanted a little more substance on the first official "Wednesday" post..
oh well. Anything funny is always a good thing.
Happy Hump Day everyone!

'til next time, stay classy!♥

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Monday!

I know I'm supposed to do a book review today but considering the fact that I stayed up pretty late last night totally changing this blog around, I wanted to just give a sneak peak today. Thanks to eBay, I got these bad boys for only $24 in the mail today. That's a little under $3 a piece! :)

I started watching Gossip Girl on The CW because I read the first book back in 2007. The series is good, but I've always wanted to compare. I loved the book but never got around to buying the rest. Fast forward to 2012 and they're on their last season. So, as a tribute to the final season of Gossip Girl, I'll review the series. I might do two books at a time to make it a little faster for you guys. There's also a 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th book and I've already received those separately. Should be fun for all the fans! :) 

Have a great week!
'til next time, stay classy♥

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Writing everywhere but here..


I'm taking two writing intensive ("WIN") courses this semester so I have to be constantly reading and writing. Two article reviews, one in-class essay, three journalistic writing stories, and 8 chapters worth of discussion questions and journal entries later, I have finally been awarded with some precious blogging time. I'm almost thankful for the fact that I got laid off at Guitar Center around the time I did. I loved it so much but my term ended in early September. I won't go into detail but it wasn't the most harmonious ending. The way I see it, it was like a ticking time bomb went off and I'm actually doing well in school now instead of stressing. I've even been selected to be published in the local student newspaper, The Bridge, and you can see the story here if you'd like. I have a partner I work with and we've two other pieces about astronomy and a political science organization on campus so hopefully it won't be our only slot. I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I'm there mostly all day and during my one hour gap, I've managed to finish 5 novels. Safe Haven is down there, which I blogged about already, but I'm retouching on it just to tie in the similarities of Sparks's novels. I've noticed some definite patterns and have decided to address them here. I've also read Lori Gottlieb's two novels and want to talk about them a little. Okay so some quick paraphrasing on  plot, characters, and thoughts. These are very informal reviews but let's get to it.
This plot centralizes around Julie: the attractive hairdresser who works in Beaumont, North Carolina. It quickly covers the tragedy of becoming a widow early on and addresses all of the immediate characters fairly well. She works with Mabel and she is painted as the sassy salon owner. Then there's Andrea, the insecure woman who dresses provocatively and dates every guy but her ideal man. There's also Henry and Emma who are happily married. Last but not least, there's Mike (Henry's brother). Julie knows Mike because he was Jim's (her late husband) best friend. He's always been liked by Julie's Great Dane named Singer, who's her final gift from Jim after his passing. Your typical "best friends" situation that deals with unrequited love that everyone else can see until Julie finally opens up her eyes and decides to give Mike a chance. This happens after dating Richard, a seemingly irresistible catch. Although he treats her to extravagant dates, says the perfect lines, and has a respectable career, something doesn't feel right about him in Julie's eyes which is confirmed by Singer's apprehension towards him. Long story short: Richard's dark past is exposed as the chapters progress and he starts to plot to have Julie all to himself, no matter what. The authorities (the "dumb cop" stereotype experiencing delusions of grandeur shown through the character Pete) are no help, except for new export Jennifer. Throughout all the chaos, both Mike and Singer are there for Julie until the final confrontation of the story. Ultimately, this book is the only Sparks novel I've read where there's suspense and grim twists. It has a darker side to it but also proves the loyalty dogs can have. As a dog owner myself, it touched me. Although it's one of the more lengthier novels, I read through this book in about 2 sittings and in two days because I was that hooked. 
Logan walks across the country with his dog, Zeus, until he stops at Hampton, North Carolina to find Elizabeth ("Beth"). He begins this journey after his fellow Marine says that the picture of her is what kept him alive in Afghanistan. Initially, he doesn't believe him but after returning to the states and having difficultly adjusting to civilian life, he decides to try. Beth has no idea about his motives when he comes into her shop to ask for a job looking after the dogs in her kennel. Unsure of what to make of him, she hands the decision over to Nana, her beloved (and quirky) grandmother. She hires him and soon, everyone is falling for Logan. Even Beth's son has taking a liking to Logan, which doesn't sit well with possessive ex-husband, Keith. Most locals know that his family controls Hampton but Beth doesn't know just how much he controls her. This book develops in a point-of-view format, unlike your typical numerical chapters. It jumps from Beth, Keith, and Logan, and does a pretty decent job at developing characters and personalities. 

For the sake of saving time and space, read here.

*CAUTION* (Somewhat of a spoiler)
There's two stories in one with this novel: The story of what some call the "meet cute" between a couple and The Choice that Travis must make. The book is in a normal numerical format and starts with Travis at the hospital. Anxiously debating in his mind, he begins to flashback to the first story. The first story is somewhat of a love triangle between Travis (the easygoing vet), Gabby (the meticulous nurse practitioner), and Kevin (the commitment-phobic 4 year boyfriend). Gabby moves to Beaufort, North Carolina to get closer to her boyfriend. Her arrival next door shakes up the predictable yet content lifestyle that Travis has been living. She has been one to follow a plan her whole life but upon meeting Travis, this mentality starts to change. Meeting Travis's sister, Stephanie, further shows her there's hope for a different type of life. She ultimately chooses Travis over her boyfriend Kevin. They marry and have a happy life together until the accident, which is where the second story lies. Travis beats himself up about how Gabby ended in a comma and wrestles with keeping a promise to her or keeping their love alive. He promised her that if she ever turned into a vegetable to pull the plug for everyone's sake but he doesn't want to lose the love of his life. This choice is ultimately asks a very universal question: What would you do in the name of love?

What I noticed about all these novels were that the main love interest is always with a more calm demeanor while the ex is always painted as more of a monster. Either that, or the main love interest is always a reminder of a man in the girl's past. For example, in The Guardian Mike reminded Julie of Jim. In The Lucky One, Logan was a reminder of Beth's brother. There always has to be a sassy supporting role (i.e. Nana, Stephanie, Jo, etc.) An epic tragedy always has to happen as well (i.e. confrontation in all the stories). North Carolina is where all these characters reside (maybe they even know each other. lol ) Although the dialogue between all these couples is very playful, it's still very endearing in each one.There seems to be a specific formula Sparks always follows and he doesn't stray too far from it. I think that's what everyone always criticizes.I don't know if it's a bad thing but I do know he won't ever make a great novel if he keeps it up. There has to be some innovation to this formula before it becomes so much of a recycled mold that people stop reading. 

Lori grew up being a very bright child in Beverly Hills but was often discouraged and isolated because of it. Even her superficial mother would tried to encourage a change in her interests. This story is chronicled through Lori's diaries as an eleven year old. They provide insight to a girl's thoughts while dealing with anorexia. The format is in "diary form" but seems to be edited for an older audience. I don't know if I believe that it was authentic journal entries or entries fabricated based on the real thing. However, it was entertaining. The tone changes from laughing at the things Lori says to being genuinely concerned and upset by how she slowly morphs her thoughts before she starts to engage in the behaviors that begin her anorexia. Even as a child, Lori points out some very solid insight that's beyond her years. It almost makes you question who's smarter in the story: her parents or her? I think a second theme ties in as well. It shows how controlling and oppressing a child can turn them to unorthodox ways to cope with it. It was an easy read that left you wondering, which was the goal from the beginning. 

Marry Him has a title that basically sums up the story. It makes women pause to think about their selection choices in their romantic life and suggests an alternative. Basically, it addresses how women "judge a book by its cover" and because of it, their dating lives are suffering. She suggests a more realistic approach to dating and shows the results with "case studies" , interviews, statistics, and her own experience. It's hard to argue with the evidence. Although it was a New York Times best seller, I feel changing the title would have attracted more readers. This is quite honestly one of the most insightful books I've ever read and because of a title, I think it will propel readers away. It makes "settling" have a negative connotation to it. Gottlieb basically wants to redefine how we view "settling" and I feel that if most women would take off their masks and lower their egos a bit, they can admit that she's right in some of her points. I almost didn't buy this book because I was scared that my boyfriend would think I was reading it because I was reconsidering our relationship and I'm sure I'm not the only one who would have similar apprehension. Women are so scared of what message they're sending and carrying a book around with a giant "Marry Him" won't help them enjoy the content. It's really a worthwhile read.

So this is how I've been killing time: school, relationships, and books. Not a bad combination if you ask me. Sorry for the long entry. More structure for next time.

'til next time, stay classy! ♥