Sunday, April 20, 2014

So I Made a Twitter...

Spring Break is coming to an end, so I thought I'd do a bit of a general update. So many random things happened, so I might as well just list out a few to save the trouble of trying to find connections between all these events. Here are three notable things-that-happened this week:

1.   Hell Week (supposedly insanely intense workouts for a week) for swimming fell apart by Wednesday, when we took team pictures. On Thursday, traffic on Almaden Expressway was so bad, the coach showed up 30 minutes late, so a lot of people left to go get food. I went with two friends to get donuts and Starbucks, and when we got back, the team played football instead. It was really hot, so I just wore my suit and leggings and sat around the field, but despite not really moving, I got stung by a bee right on the middle of my back. At first, I assumed a tick or something had bit me, so without thinking, I yanked what I thought was a small bug out of my back. It looked like a thorn, until a friend told me I had a bee still on my suit. It wasn't too bad, I guess because I pulled out the stinger so quickly, but it still itches. The winning team (Frosh/Soph vs Junior/Senior) did not have practice on Friday, so basically we only had two days of actual swim practice.

2.   I am currently crushing on ThatcherJoe, a British Youtuber who is absolutely hilarious, and also quite attractive. On Saturday, he did a live show on a website called YouNow, which was also hosting an iPad Mini giveaway, so I thought, why not, I have as much of a chance as anyone else of winning, right? Unsurprisingly, I didn't win. He also promised to follow people back on Twitter who used a certain hashtag, so (I know this is pathetic don't judge me too harshly) I made a Twitter account. Just so I could get a celebrity to follow me. Is that sad and shallow? Yes. Do I regret it? Also yes. Right now all it is a a vomit of bright garish purple, because I didn't care enough to customize the theme too carefully. If I don't get a follow, I think I might just get rid of it forever, because it is too open (not enough privacy) for my taste. I waste enough time on Facebook already, and that is enough social media for me. Another thing with websites such as Twitter or Instagram is that it all just seems like a big popularity contest: how many followers, how many hashtags, how many likes. Though Facebook also has likes, it feels different, as more is not necessarily better (it depends on how many friends you have, which in turn depends on how many people you know, which isn't something to compete in, because it's better to have quality over quantity, for the most part).

3.   During breaks, I like to catch up on movies, and today I watched In Time. I didn't like it a lot, but I didn't dislike it either; the idea was good, but it could have been executed better. Basically, in a future society, everyone stops aging at 25, but once you hit age 25, you only have one year to live, unless you earn more time. It got me thinking, what if everyone knew exactly how long they had to live? Suppose, if everyone, regardless of race or gender, had exactly and only 50 or 70 years to live, no exceptions? What would the world focus on? Would people finally cooperate to make everyone's life as easy as possible, or would each person selfishly try to live life to the fullest? It is a question that will never be answered, but it is interesting to think about nonetheless.

I'm glad I did a lot of blogging during this break. AP testing is coming up, so I probably won't be able to do another blog post in a while. Now, back to work that I procrastinated on!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

DIY Earring Shelf

In my last post, I mentioned shopping and accessories. With so many new earrings, I needed a place to store them, but I have neither the time nor money to go get a nice storage rack, so I decided to make my own. My mom had bought me a new pair of TOMS-like shoes in a cute beige, flowery box, so when I was cleaning my room today, I thought, "This could be useful," and didn't throw it away. Barely five minutes later, when I decided to make my own earring shelf, it came in handy.

You will need:
  • 1 paper box
  • Skewers (I used 3 little bamboo ones) or similar object, must be at least 1/2'' wider than box
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Item that can make holes (in my case, I just used the pen)
  • Earrings
  • Tape
  • Optional: Dried sponge and can lid
  1. Decide which end of the box you want to use as the top. Starting on one side, line the ruler on the side perpendicularly down from the top. Mark the first hole at 1'' from the top, the second hole 2'' from the first hole, and the third hole 3'' from the second hole. Do the same for the other side.
  2. Punch out small holes just big enough for the skewers to fit through at each of the holes.
  3. Slide in the skewers through the corresponding holes, making sure that some of the skewer pokes out of each side of the box.
  4. Hang dangly earrings or hoops on the rungs of the shelf, according to length. Backs do not need to be removed.
  5. Remove backings from stud earrings. Stick stud earrings in dried sponge. Place backings in can lid. Arrange as needed.
  6. Tape down box if necessary.
If my earring collection grows, though not likely in the near future, I will probably make a new one, or buy a proper shelf. It's certainly not perfect, nor is it the prettiest or biggest, but it serves its purpose for now. What I like most about it is that you don't need to remove the earring backs for the dangly earrings, and the ends on the skewers that stick out can be used as a post to hang large sets that are still on the plastic cards. On a sturdier box that has longer rungs, I could also hang bracelets and necklaces, if I had any. I do look forward to buying more things and enjoying the little perks in life while I can, and making more crafts and tutorials.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Feelin' Fancy

So it is SPRING BREAK and I am in an extremely good mood. The week was off to an awesome start beginning on Sat, April 12, because it was Junior Prom! Going in, I had no idea what to expect, because I had never been to a high school dance before, so I made up my mind that no matter what, I was going to have fun. It wouldn't matter who I was with, or what song was playing, I was just going to go out there and enjoy myself. If that meant just flat out ignoring the people that I did not like, and floating between friend groups, so be it. I didn't have a date, so the second part was a bit easier, and I'm glad to say that my strategy worked. I was able to dance with all of my friends, not just four or five people, so I was always seeing fresh faces. The dance itself was an amazing experience; so many of my favorite songs came on (of course, at a Leland dance, the night would not be complete without the Cha-Cha-Slide)!

The day started off earlier than that, because first of all, I had yet to buy shoes and earrings. I had mentioned the fact to a friend earlier that week, and we made plans to meet up and go shopping together at the last minute on Saturday morning. We went to at least six different stores, but ended up at Claire's after all. It's always fun to go shopping with a friend, because so many sales are "Buy Two, Get One Free!" and you know you can never pass up a deal like that. As a result, we were each able to buy one pair of earrings, and I was able to get a third set for free!

After that, we went on a slight detour to De Masqe, because the clothes there are cute and most of all, cheap. The preeminent reason for going in in the first place was a huge, plain sign, advertising "BUY ONE GET ONE FREE." I left the store with two hi-lo dresses for $25! Though I'm not very good at wearing strapless dresses, I bought the striped one because I really like the top design. Even if I can't wear it, I figure it would still make a nice gift. The black (it looks navy blue in the picture) one is very simple and light, but also neat enough for a semi-formal affair. I plan on wearing it to the swim banquet at the end of the season.

If I had to say, the best part of the day was definitely shoe shopping. We went to Macy's and Nordstrom, and some other smaller shoe shops, but all of the shoes were either too expensive, too uncomfortable, too hard to walk in, or just plain ugly on my feet. Curious, we went into Payless to see if they had any nice shoes, and I was astounded by the wide selection they offered. I fell in love with this pair, and when I tried them on, they were perfect. Not only are they super tall and comfortable, they were only $20, but that's not the main point. This pair of heels is probably the first and only pair that I've managed to wear for three hours without tripping, soreness, blisters, raw patches, or slippage. People called me crazy, but I actually danced with these on the whole time. I couldn't be happier, and next year I will definitely be looking for a dress based on this pair of shoes – no joke! As a side note, the customer service at Payless was excellent. The cashier was incredibly positive and helpful, offering to find sizes and even applying a $10 off discount to my friend's shoes. I will certainly be going to Payless first thing next time I am looking for shoes.

Finally, we stopped at Target because I wanted some sparkly, silver nail polish. Even though it was a bit of a splurge, I got the Essie "Ignite the Night," very aptly named, considering that I was going to wear it to prom. I originally wore it as an accent nail on top of blue polish to match my dress, but since that manicure washed off over the course of a week's worth of swim practice, I repainted my nails in just silver polish. I like this one a lot; it looks dark in the bottle, but it is actually a very light, glowy shimmer that makes my nails look longer. The glitter is very fine, and because it's Essie, it is incredibly durable. Though I bought it on a whim, I don't regret it at all.

Finally came the event itself. My friend Sonia did my hair and makeup, and for one night, I felt perfect. I had the earrings, I had the shoes, I had the dress, and I had a wonderful time. The dress, with a halter top, wasn't the best to dance in (it was really hot) but a lot of people remarked that I looked like an Egyptian queen. My opinion differs, but it was very popular, apparently. I even got a compliment from a cheerleader that I didn't know very well, which was a weird experience, but I guess it was nice. The only problem was that it was a lot longer than I had thought it was, especially the train in the back, so people kept stepping on it, but at least I didn't fall flat on my face. Another fun, random moment was when I saw a big, white feather lying on a table, as part of the Gatsby theme, and I stuck it in my shopping friend's hair. Since she wore an updo, it was very simple, and it went with her silver dress, but I didn't expect other people to try it too. Pretty soon, girls and guys were pilfering the decorations for feathers, and I had started a trend. The only problem was most people wore their hair down, so without a ton of bobby pins, the feathers didn't stay in. Prom turned out so much better than I had expected, and I am so glad I took a risk and went, because you're only this young once. (Picture from Isabelle.)

After shopping and prom, I was feeling particularly fabulous, but tired, so I spent the Sunday in bed on the internet, recovering from three hours of dancing in heels. While trawling through every procrastinating website I could think of, I stumbled upon this Buzzfeed article. I am now #obsessed with this song, "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX. I love the chorus; it makes me want to buy accessories – necklaces, rings, you name it – and look like a queen every day.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

More Pancake Fun!

I cannot cook. Once, I literally burnt a salad. Don't ask how, because I don't know.

But, if there's one thing I can do, it is to cook a perfect pancake. Yes, I do use a mix, but that is irrelevant.

Today I made banana pancakes!

The trick is to use real maple syrup. The last time I went to Safeway for maple syrup, I noticed that most of the regular bottles of "maple syrup" in their plastic, cabin shaped (for whatever reason) jugs are actually just high fructose corn syrup. The "Real, 100% Organic" maple syrups were in glass flasks. Curious, I bought one of the real syrups, though they were more than twice the price per ounce. The difference was well worth the cost. Real maple syrup is light and sweet, and you can taste the amber goodness all the way through. I don't think I can ever go back to fake maple syrup. Time to move to Canada!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Showers

Today is the first day of April, which means that I only have two months to get my life together, salvage what's left of my GPA, apply for summer programs, and take about seven different types of standardized tests. Needless to say, I am worried sick.

I also happen to be literally sick. I blame it on the weather after swim practice yesterday, but there's not much I can do about that. From what I hear, school was pretty interesting today. There was a pop quiz in AP Environmental Science that turned out to be an April Fool's joke, and there was a substitute teacher for math. English went to an assembly to prepare for choosing senior year classes instead of doing synthesis essays. In general, there was no homework, and on top of everything, it was a short day because it's Tuesday.

Despite missing out on all that fun, I haven't had to do much either today except for reading and sleeping, but I should be studying more for math. The calculus final begins tomorrow, and is in total a span of four days over the next two weeks. I am scared to death about this final, because I need to raise my grade to at least a B in this class, because at this point, I've pretty much accepted that I won't be able to earn an A.

Again, thinking about all this makes me worry for my future, and combined with the rain, everything looks grey and dreary right now. Luckily, I am armed with homemade pear juice, homemade cookies, music, youtube, and the limitless resources of the internet (which I use mostly to read books). I could be studying. I could be writing an essay. But it feels good to be able to put everything aside and just relax for a while.