Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Redesign an Everyday Object

We've all been to some sort of party or luncheon where there's a buffet line for food, and you're trying to hold your plate, drink, and untensils all while picking out what you want to eat. As a human, you only have two hands, and you don't want to have to go back to get something you didn't have room for on your plate. Therefore, I propose an innovation be made to allow you to hold your drink and your plate in one hand, having a hole in the middle of the plate to go around the drink. My example works well with a beer bottle.

Instead of this:

You have this:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Open At Your Own Risk

Having been an avid consumer of Nutella several years ago before it's huge fame, I know the perils that can come with being addicted to it. I guess you could say it's the new Pringles. Instead of being unable to eat just one chip, it is impossible to eat just one spoonful of Nutella. It's basically a proven fact. And grocery shoppers need to be informed. 

Eight Colors of Me

I have a LOT of maroon t-shirts. I mean a lot. Crimson and Maroon are not the same thing. I soon realized this after coming to college. My high school's colors are maroon and gold. The colors of ketchup and mustard. I hated the gold part, but loved the maroon. There are so many different shades of plain old red, and maroon is my favorite. So sorry Crimson Tide, but I'm sticking with maroon.

Macaroni and Cheese
Being a girl, I babysit a lot. And babysitting young kids, you learn to love Kraft macaroni and cheese A LOT. And I'm not talking about the mac n' cheese that comes from a tiny pack with a serving size of one. Babysitting allows you to make a huge pot of the stuff and eat WAY more than you should. But it's okay. Because when you're babysitting and the kids don't eat it all, someone has to be the human garbage and eat all of the leftovers.

My mother's mother immigrated from Ireland. That makes me 1/4 Irish. So let's just say, I love all things Irish. Green. Potatoes. Shepherd's Pie. I love it all.

For more years than I can count I've gone to the same beach house, during the same week of the summer, with the same people. The house is a perfect shade of periwinkle, and I absolutely love it. Periwinkle makes me think of the beach: the waves, the sand, the shopping. 

Tickle Me Pink
I love to be tickled, but I hate to be tickled. I scream, kick, and fight when I'm being tickled. But, unless some creeper just decides to tickle random people, someone who tickles you is someone who loves you, in my opinion. Those people who tickle me are my loved ones, and while this form of showing me affection makes me want to kill myself sometimes, it reminds me of all the people I love in my life.

Life is full of many bittersweet moments. In a couple of weeks, I'm going to have to say goodbye to people who have been some of by best friends in college (that's what I get for being friends with seniors). Goodbyes suck, but they are a part of life and are necessary for forward movement. 

Jazzberry Jam
This crayon doesn't really have important significance to my life, except that I really like the name, because it sounds sassy, and I tend to be sassy. 

Midnight Blue
I firmly believe that only good things happen after midnight. The middle of the night is when some of my craziest, most exciting moments in life have happened. Life is all about being crazy and doing whatever you want (within certain legal limits), especially when you're young. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I would like to preface this post by stating that I have read all four books of the Caster Chronicles series, and Beautiful Creatures is amazing. It's like Twilight but much better. So, needless to say, I was stoked when I discovered they would be making movies! I was greatly disappointed.

However, I decided to do this project on intertextuality on the movie, because reminded me of so many other texts, movies, and cultures.

Movie: Beautfil Creatures (2013)

Four Horizontal Intertextual Connections:

The Chronicales of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005)
Genre: Film


In the book and the movie Beautiful Creatures, Sarafine, the evil Dark Caster, disguises herself as a sweet, loving Southern Belle. I connected her deception to the Witch in The Chonicles of Narnia, who first appears to one of the small children under the pretenses of being a lovely queen.
Spiderman 3 (2007)
Genre: Film

Throughout Beautiful Creatures, the main character, Lena, is struggling with both her Light and Dark powers as she waits for her sixteenth birthday--when she will discover whether or not she has been claimed as a Light or Dark Caster. This fight between good and bad directly correlates to Spiderman 3, in which a darkness attaches itself to Peter Parker.

Forrest Gump (1994)
Genre: Film


Not only do Beautiful Creatures and Forrest Gump share southern accents, but they also contain similar scenery. The huge trees and hanging moss in the 2013 movie immeidately made me think of the 90's hit.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Genre: Film

Lena and Ethan spend a good bit of Beautiful Creatures inside the Caster Tunnels, which created in my mind a connection to all of the Indiana Jones movies, where Dr. Henry Jones spends most of his movies searching for some sort of treasure within different tunnels and secret passageways.

Four Vertical Intertextual Connections:

Hermione Granger
Genre: Literature
Moreso than in the blockbuster films, the Harry Potter books show Hermione Granger as being uncannily intelligent, especially coming from a non-magical family. Likewise, Lena Duchannes is a naturally powerful caster, who is possibly to become the most powerful caster of all.

Southern Culture
Genre: Geography

Not only do the students of Jackson High School participate in a Civil War reenactment in Beautiful Creatures, but the enire movie is saturated with Southern accents, manners, and other cultural references such as food, clothing and architecture.

Twilight book series
Genre: Literature

The Twilight book series puts a huge emphasis on the tension between the vampires and werewolves, along with the romance that emerges between Edward, a vampire, and Bella, a human, who cannot be together. In Beautiful Creatures, there is also an emphasis on the tension between not only Light and Dark Casters, but also between all Casters and Incubi, who are creatures similar to vampires. Essentially Beautiful Creatures has been named "Twilight with the genders reversed," because in this movie, it is Lena who has the powers and Ethan who remains human.

Good vs. Evil
Genre: Literary themes

Good versus evil can be seen throughout history, literature and film. It is a common theme that every person can relate to. In Beautiful Creatures, Lena must try to understand both her dark and light tendancies and struggle to wait until she discovers her true identity as either a Dark or Light Caster.

Two Public Tertiary Texts:

Ben Kendrick, Film Critic- Screen Rant
"Beautiful Creatures is a flawed but harmless entry for supernatural romance fans or readers who are excited to see the Caster Chronicles adapted to the big screen."

Owen Gleiberman, Film Critic- CNN Entertainment
"Beautiful Creatures is arriving in a marketplace full of Twilight junkies still eager for their supernatural teen-romantic fix, and the film's concept couldn't be clearer: It's "Twilight" with the sexes reversed."

One Private Tertiary Text:

Shelbi Brown (@shelbihope) via Twitter
"The Twilight movies are better than the Beautiful Creatures movie. #worstadaptationever"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Death by Obesity

Taco Bell Party Pack : 2,040
KFC Mashed Potatoes & Gravy: 120
KFC Mac & Cheese: 170
Naked Grape Pinot Grigio: 688
Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy: 18,240

Total Calories: 21,258

Holy Cow....I'm pretty sure eating all of this would kill me. Seriously. I don't think my body could even handle that much food. But, it doesn't matter, so hypothetically, this is definitely what I would eat.

As for my meal choice, Taco Bell is definitely at the top. Since I was in pre-school, my grandfather would take me to Taco Bell most days after I had a half-day of school. I still blame him for my obsession. I probably eat Taco Bell at least twice a week, if not more. My mom calls me her little Mexican. It's bad. But I love it.

I don't care if most people think KFC is disgusting. I love it. I could forgo the actual chicken, but it's the sides that get me. Being a majority Irish, you would think that I would be a mashed potato snob, because my mom makes THE BEST, but I'm a sucker for KFC's famous mashed potatoes and gravy, as well as their macaroni and cheese.

I don't drink soda. Ever. It's gross and adds unnecessary calories. Although, in this instance, it wouldn't matter. However, I am always drinking water, so since that is zero calories, I didn't add it. But, I also love wine. I'm a self-proclaimed wino, and I'm okay with it. Therefore, my other drink of choice would be (at least) one bottle of Naked Grape's Pino Grigio. I like this brand, because I'm in college, and it's cheap wine.

Finally, my dessert of choice would have to be Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy Ice cream. I ALWAYS have a container of this in my freezer. It's my go-to dessert of choice, whether I'm wallowing, celebrating, or just bored. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Letter to Will Tucker (the editor)

If your waitress at a restaurant messes up your order, you usually still tip them. It may be a small amount, say 10%, but it’s something. Now think about any given weekend in Tuscaloosa, especially during football season. Every bar is packed and bartenders are frantically trying to serve everyone their correct drink order. Are they tipped by every customer? Not even close. The average pay for a bartender is $2.13 per hour, the same as a waitress. Sure, on a weekend when bars are packed, there may be enough tipping customers to help raise the salary. Think about the five days during the week when the bars aren’t packed, though. Why is it that we are so apt to tip our waiter, but not our bartender? Do we value food more than alcohol? I think most people would say no. Does a waiter work harder than a bartender? In a college town on a Saturday night, probably not. We grow up going to restaurants with our parents, who teach us the importance of tipping.  But think about the first time you went to a bar. Were you with your parents? More than likely, you weren’t. Most college kids have their first bar experience when they are underage. They wash off their “X” and try to subtly order a drink. The last thing on their mind is tipping the bartender. That being said, next time you order a drink, take the time to think about the person on the other side of the bar.