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



Maroon
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.

Shamrock
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.

Periwinkle
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
109-tickle-me-pink-crayon
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.

Bittersweet
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

Intertextuality

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
http://screenrant.com/beautiful-creatures-movie-2013-reviews/
"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
http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/15/showbiz/movies/beautiful-creatures-review-ew
"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








Calories:
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. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

the commandment that should never be broken

Everyone has pet peeves and many of them, but I'm sure everyone also has one that really just drives them crazy. Mine is when people use incorrect grammar. Yes, I understand that some people may not have ever finished a formal education, and therefore, it isn't always their fault, but I believe that everyone should attempt to at least learn the basics. For instance, their, they're and there all have complete different meanings, as do were and we're and lay, laid, lie and lied.

Especially in my major of Public Relations, but certainly in all aspects of life, communication skills are key. Being able to speak and write well to represent yourself and your ideas are necessary to get through life and especially in today's job market.

Therefore, I believe that, at least for me, the eleventh commandment should be "Thou shalt not use incorrect grammar." Because our society today is so enveloped in technology, I tweeted my commandment. Obviously just me tweeting it doesn't make a huge difference, but if, say the Pope tweeted this as the eleventh commandment, he would have serious influence over a large population of the world, that is if he tweeted it before February 28.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

deliciousness

I've come to realize in my time here on earth that most guys names Ryan tend to be SMOKING HOT. I can give you three examples off the top of my head (let's be honest, I daydream about these men on the reg): Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, and Ryan Lochte. All really, really hot.

If I had to kidnap anyone, it would probably be Ryan Reynolds. From what I can tell in all of his movies, he's pretty cool, and in The Proposal, he let's a woman boss him around, so that could work out nicely for us. The only thing better than kidnapping Ryan Reynolds, though, would be kidnapping Ryan Gosling. He's super hot not, but let's be real; he stole my heart back in The Notebook.

So, my plan is to kidnap Ryan Reynolds (RR). I'll make a ransom note to be found by his wife, Blake Lively, who is just as perfect in every way like RR, except I'm not a lesbian. Anyways Blake will get my ransom note declaring my kidnapping of RR, and I will gladly return him to her in exchange for "the other Ryan," who would be Ryan Gosling (RG). This way, I figure, I'll get to spend at least a week with RR while Blake tracks down RG (celebrities are very hard to track down, unless you're me. I easily kidnap them), and then when we make the switch I get plenty of time with RG until the authorities come looking for me. In my eyes, it's a win-win situation.



Attention Grabber

Let's face it: guys aren't the best at taking hints. Ever. Try as they might, they don't usually figure out the romance thing on their own, but instead need a little push. Or a big one. So when my soulmate was about to walk away forever last night, I knew I had to act fast.

Let me rewind a bit to catch you up. I'm at the bar with my girlfriends, winding down after another long week. I'm not interested in picking up guys or anything like that. I just want a nice, chill evening. I look up to see my friend staring at the doorway, and following her eyes, see the most perfect male specimen I have ever laid my eyes on. He was average height: about five feet 9 inches, which is perfect for me since I'm barely over five feet tall. His brown locks were short but still long enough to run your fingers through. But those eyes were what got me. Usually I don't go for dark eyes, but his chocolate brown eyes looked as if they held thousands of years of secrets. So deep that I could stare into them forever.

As soon as I decided that this could be the one for me, he was already turning to walk back out of the door. I knew I had to get his attention, but wasn't sure how. That annoying pop song about giving some guy you just met your number popped into my head, but I didn't have any paper, and I knew that guys rarely called back, especially if they had been drinking and didn't even remember what you looked like. No, I needed to do something that would keep him from walking out of that door and out of my life forever. I grabbed the nearest napkin and scrounged around for my eyeliner to write the five words that I knew would grab his attention and keep it: I wanna have your babies.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Text and Reply



Elizabeth Williamson, who I sent the previous message to, is one of my best friends. I was unsure of what her response to the message would be, but since she is so close to me, I should have realized that she would go along with it, no questions asked. Elizabeth is a wonderful, loving friend, and she would send me a random encouraging text message as well. Friends are an interesting thing. Some people, had I sent this to them, would have responded with simply a question mark or another type of confused answer, but I am lucky enough to have a few wonderful people in my life who appreciate and love me for who I am.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One-Way Introduction

Everyone knows the song from the Sound of Music about "these are a few of my favorite things." It talks about kittens and snowflakes and other really dumb things that I guess could be some people's favorite things, but don't really tell you anything unique about that person, soI'm going to tell you about a few of my favorite things that most certainly don't belong in a song about kittens and flowers.

These are a few of my favorite things:

  • Unlike most people, I love it when my alarm clock goes off thirty minutes or even an hour before I have to be awake, because I feel like I'm allowing myself extra time to be lazy and lay in bed.
  • I love to add things to my to-do list in my planner, even if I have already completed them, just so I can check them off.
  • My dog, Bellatrix, is my favorite pillow, because she is warm and fluffy, and doesn't mind me laying on her, unlike most people.
  • Sometimes I deliberately miss a TV show live, just so I can watch it online and skip all the commercials. I guess that isn't something I love, but something I hate: commercials.
  • Harry Potter. 'nuff said.
  • Nail polish. I probably paint my nails at least once a week.
  • That moment when you're at the lake or the beach and the sun meets the water during a sunset. Nothing is more beautiful.
  • LONG road trips. I'm not talking about from here to Georgia. Driving to Miami two weeks ago for the Alabama/Notre Dame National Championship beatdown was the highlight of my Christmas break.
This may be an unconventional way of introducing myself to you, but it's certainly better than the typical, 

"HiMyNameIsLaurenI'mAJuniorMajoringInPublicRelationsFromMontgomeryAlabamaSomethingInterestingAboutMeIsThatIGotMyNosePiercedOnAWhimAndI'mGoingSkydivingSoon."

BORING