This Summer We’re Gonna Party HARD!

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For this Spoon Full of Sunday post, I’d like to spread the word about HARD Summer 2014.

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 This awesome two day music festival is being held at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Center in Los Angeles, California. HARD is famous for throwing amazing electronic music events featuring big names like Bassnectar, Skrillex, Benga, DestructoBig Gigantic, Borgore, and many more. For this year’s HARD Summer, they certainly lived up to their reputation by putting together a killer lineup:

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Aside from the awesome music, HARD Summer provides a fun atmosphere with good vibes and good people. It also has amazing food vendors some of which even cater to vegan and vegetarian needs. And, if I am not mistaken, there is even a FERRIS WHEEL!!!

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So, when August rolls around and you feel like a loser because you missed out on one of the greatest music festivals of all time, you only have yourself to blame. Have a happy Sunday, and don’t forget to watch the HARD Summer trailer below. It’s pretty hilarious 🙂

Holden Caulfield Hacked my Blog

ImageIt was late January and all, and it was cold as hell. I only had on my crumby blazer and no gloves or anything. I left my good jacket back at school, the one lined with fur, and there was no way in hell I was going back there. Anyway, it was one of those lousy afternoons, grey sky, no sun out or anything. I stopped to sit on a bench next to a newsstand, and I took out my cigarettes. I only had about four left. I was quite a heavy smoker. Anyway, I lit my cigarette and I started to look around. There were two business looking men in long, black petticoats and black hats. It looked like they were buying the paper. I kept looking, and I saw these lousy girls sitting on a bench right across from me. They had one of those phony, celebrity magazines. Only complete idiots buy of those goddamn things. The phonies that write for those things are no better than the phonies who read them. I mean they just sat there and stared at that goddamn thing, except for when they looked up at each other and giggled at whatever horse manure they just read about some goddamn actor. Those magazines were strictly for the birds. ImageI wanted to go right up to them and yell, “For Chrissake, what kind of person gets a bang out of that stuff?!” They looked over and waved at me, giggling and everything. Certainly I could have walked over to shoot the shit with them for a while, but I wasn’t in the right mood. You gotta be in the right kind of mood to do that sort of thing. Anyway, I damn near finished my cigarette, and I went over to the newsstand and asked for two packs. The guy didn’t get wise with me or anything. That’s what I love about the city, no one hits the ceiling when you try to buy a pack of smokes. They just count your money and chuck it over. Anyway, I lit up another cigarette, and I kept walking through the city.

To RV or Not to RV?

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As I mentioned in my first Spoon Full of Sunday post, my friends and I are attending Bonnaroo this year. We originally planned on leaving a day before the festival, driving the ten hours to Tennessee, finding a motel near the entrance of the campgrounds to spend the night, and getting in one last shower before we spend the next four days living in a tent. I think the music aspect of the festival is going to be a blast, but I’m absolutely dreading the part where I have no escape from the Tennessee sun for four days. Thus, my RV search began. Sadly, Orbitz doesn’t have an RV section, so I had to look at about fifty and a half RV rental websites. Then, I was blessed with Cruise America!

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They had a standard RV with a shower, bathroom, kitchen, and A/C unit. It was even at their Germantown local, which is about ten minutes from where we were planning on leaving. The price was right in our range too. It really seemed too good to be true! And it was. I got on the phone with a customer service rep to reserve a vehicle, and it turns out you need a $3,000 safety deposit. Because my friends and I are penniless college kids, we could barely muster up the cash to actually rent the thing. A safety deposit more than about $50 bucks is out of our price range. Needless to say, we grudgingly went back to searching for tents on the Walmart website. We actually found a pretty awesome tent.

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The Ozark Trail 16′ x 16′ Instant Cabin Tent is roomy enough to fit twelve people, comes with built in poles for hastle-free assembly, has three separate rooms, and includes a front awning so we can have some shade from the smoldering Tennessee sun. It even has an oversized ground vent that fits an air conditioner! Although we have no way of hooking up an A/C unit to a power source, so that’s just a tease amenity. Finding this tent made me feel a little better about camping out… but I still really really hate the idea of being stuck in a hot tent in the middle of June.

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As good of a find this tent was, I still couldn’t stop thinking about that RV. Let’s face it, a tent could never ever, not even in 2 million years, be better than an RV. The tent will never be able to prove the level of comfort and safety an RV would. You can’t just put a shower and toilet in a tent. You can’t keep fresh food in a cooler. You can’t safely lock up a tent. I suppose you could put a padlock on the zipper, but tents aren’t exactly made out of titanium canvas, so I still don’t trust that 100%. My point is, the RV is just better. So, I asked my parents if they would mind pitching in for the safety deposit if the other parents agreed to do the same, and they seemed to be fine with the idea as long as they got the money back upon our return. The tent is still ALOT less expensive then getting an RV, and the Bonnaroo camp sites offer drinking water, bathrooms, sinks to wash your hands, and- if you are willing to cough up the cash for it -showering stations. On the other hand, the RV takes all the annoying parts of camping away and gives us a safe place to hang out when we need a break. But it is also really expensive. But I hate being too hot. My face gets way too red and way too sweaty, and it’s terrible. It sucks being indecisive.

My Dog Is A Dick

If you cannot relate to this issue, consider yourself lucky. My dog, though not as bad as Katie’s, is also a dick. She isn’t overly destructive like Indiana (the dog in this post). Instead, my dog likes to hide my stuff around the house. As angry as it makes me not being able to find my left shoe when I am already ten minutes late to work, I just can’t stay mad at her cute “Oh! Did I do something wrong?” face. SO FRUSTRATING!!!

The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For: Spoon Full of Sunday!

That’s right boys and girls! It’s finally here! Gather round! Buckle up! Put your seats in the full upright and locked position! It’s…

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It has taken me a while to figure out what I could write about without complaining. If you follow my blog, you know this is not an easy task for me. But I finally found the perfect idea for my first annoyance-free post. On my very first Spoon Full of Sunday, I am going to share the best things that happened to me this semester. And because odd-numbered lists seem to be trending right now, I’m making it a list of eleven!

The Excellent Eleven of Spring ’14

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          -It just doesn’t get better than this-

#1: Parks and Recreation

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I know I am a little late to jump on the Parks and Rec bandwagon. Well, I guess five years is a little more than a little late. I actually think I started watching at the perfect time because the sixth season started up a few weeks after I finished the fifth. Anyway, I finally decided to try it out earlier in the semester, and I think I finished seasons 1-5 in about three days; I was instantly hooked! I love all the characters, the humor is smart yet goofy, and I have a crazy-huge crush on Nick Offerman. It is currently one of my all-time favorite shows. I may even like it more than The Office, which is another all-time favorite show of mine.

#2: Bedsider UMD

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I joined Bedsider UMD a couple semesters ago, but it was during Spring ’14 that I truly flourished as an In the Wild representative. I worked really hard to learn more about Bedsider as an organization and plan fun events to help spread the word about Bedsider. Not to be cocky, but I think I was pretty damn amazing. I planned my own event, co-directed several other events, and advertised like crazy! I really stepped up my game, and it all paid off because now, I am the Bedsider UMD group leader! Woohoo!

#3: Turning 21

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Technically, I turned 21 just before the semester started- January 3rd. However, I enrolled in the winter semester Spanish203 class that required 12 hours of homework a day, so I did not get to have a lot of fun as a 21 year-old until the Spring semester started. But I can assure you, the second my Spanish203 final exam was over, Bebí tragos de tequila!

#4: Cactus Cantina’s Gold Cadillac Margarita

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Cactus Cantina is by far the BEST Tex Mex restaurant in D.C.  the tri-state area the entire world! The food is authentic, delicious, and affordable. The decor and music are both very “cheesy Tex Mex,” but in the best way possible. The best part is the people; everyone is warm and welcoming, adding to the ever-present energetic vibe. When I’m at Cactus, I’m home. But now that I can drink, it is even better because now, I can get the best margarita in the world: the Gold Cadillac. They pour lime juice and Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila over ice, but then, they top it off with Grand Marnier! Sooooo delicious! And I can finally have one! But I can only have one because it’s very strong, and I’m a total lightweight. If you are 21 or older and live in the D.C. area, I suggest you try one.

#5: Making Bonnaroo Plans

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Making plans for Bonnaroo may not sound very fun to most- usually I wouldn’t find this activity very thrilling. However, I am going with my cousin this year, so I am really excited! She recently moved back home from Miami, so I have been trying to spend more time with her. My coursework this semester left me with almost no time to hang out, so I haven’t really gotten to see her very much. When I found out she wanted to go to Bonnaroo, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to do some cousin bonding- especially because it is a ten hour car ride. I fully expect to be best friends with her by the time we return 🙂

#6: Sexy Trivia Night

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As I discussed before, I have done some event planning this semester for Bedsider UMD. My big event was our ‘Sexy Trivia Night’ at a local bar, Terrapin’s Turf. We only had two teams compete, Big Booty Hoes and Great Sexpectations, but they were all very enthusiastic. It was a really fun event, and because it was off-campus, we could drink beer! The winning team, Great Sexpectations, received free T-shirts, beer koozies, stickers, and a grand prize of $50. They were very pleased with their winnings and said they would be very excited to attend another Bedsider UMD event. It felt amazing to have the trivia night I was in charge of be such a success!

#7: Finding Weeds on Netflix

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  When I was in high school, I watched Weeds constantly; however, I never saw the last two seasons because my parents decided to get HBO and drop Showtime. About two weeks ago, I was casually browsing Netflix to find a weird foreign movie or a very cancelled TV series. Suddenly, as if it were sent from the Netflix Gods themselves, Weeds pops up! Every single perfect season of Weeds at my finger tips! It was truly a wish come true. Naturally, I watched all nine seasons back-to-back. Below, you will find my favorite Weeds moment. It is truly amazing. Enjoy!

#8: Getting the iPhone 5s

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For those of you who read my post about getting the iPhone 5s, you know it was kind of a bittersweet moment. I definitely thought I would miss my old phone a little, but now that i’ve had my new one for a while, I can’t believe I waited so long to get the update. Of course, I only got the new phone because my old one broke, but you know what I mean. The gold plating is so pretty, it is 10x lighter, and it is the perfect length  for playing games. I am absolutely in love with it 🙂

#9: The New World in Plants vs. Zombies 2

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I have been waiting FOR-FREAKING-EVER and this semester, it finally happened! The Plants vs. Zombies Far Future level was finally released. And I have to say, it exceeded my wildest expectations. Plants vs. Zombies just keeps getting better and better. The new plants and zombies that came with the new territory are super awesome and really funny. I can’t wait for the next world to be released!

#10: Getting HBO GO

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Apparently, I have had access to HBO GO for years, but I only found out about it recently. Don’t get me wrong, Netflix had a great selection of movies and TV shows, but HBO Go has the newer and HBO exclusive stuff that Netflix doesn’t. Also, it is my parents account, so it doesn’t cost me anything. Without HBO GO, I wouldn’t have been able to watch all six seasons of True Blood, every episode of Jam’ie: Private School Girl and countless movies. It has truly been an amazing distraction 😉

#11: Discovering the Blogosphere!

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Discovering the Blogosphere may be the best part of this semester! I’m writing more, I’m reading more, and I’m connecting with people in a whole new way. I never thought I would enjoy blogging as much as I have. Whenever something annoys me, I immediately start thinking: how am I going to blog about this? I also can’t believe how many amazing writers I have come across while blog surfing. Of course, I expected to find a few really talented writers, but I didn’t realize how creative and unique most of the bloggers are. At the moment, I’m blogging for one of my English classes, but I fully expect to continue my blog well after the course is over.

 

Well, there you have it! My very first ‘Spoon Full of Sunday’ post, and my very first ‘odd-numbered list’ post. I hope you all enjoyed my negativity free post. If you didn’t, don’t worry about it. I assure you I have many more negative posts in the future 🙂

The Worst Thing Since Sliced Bread!

Before I get into my rant, I want to apologize for waiting so long to post! I know all of you must have been super worried 😉 The daunting combination of being sick and having an endless amount of work to do has kept me from blogging about how much I hate being sick and having an endless amount of work to do! Anyway, now I’m back and, of course, I have a lot to complain about.

Failing to concentrate on my book report, I scrolled through my Facebook feed in hopes of finding a worth while distraction. Instead, I found a website filled with absolutely ridiculous gift ideas:

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Some of the gift ideas were actually kind of hilarious, and I really liked them. For example…

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I freakin’ loved the Mustachifier! Being the hipster I am, I thought this was a really cute gift. I am completely in favor of mustaching everything and everyone. On the contrary, I hated almost everything else I saw on this website. My top three most hated products, in no particular order, include…

Evian® Facial Water Spray

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The Evian® Facial Water Spray is a bottle that “propels” a “natural mist” of water. This product is imported from a “unique underground  water source at the base of the French Alps.” For only $19.50, three bottles of this essential product can be all yours! Twenty dollars for a pre-filled spray bottle is a HUGE waste of money. Who buys this crap? Is water from the Alps really that much better for misting water at your face? Is it really worth it? You’re better off buying one of those $4 hand held spray fans.

Good Luck Stones

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I find these SO ANNOYING! The Good Luck Stones are small, polished stones engraved with notes of encouragement and inspiration words like “dream big” or “believe.” Personally, I have an intense hatred for any inanimate object that tells me what to do. Every time I see a poster, window decal, wooden sculpture, or any other decorative item that the tells me to “laugh more” or “keep calm,” I want to smash it into a million pieces. I really don’t get it. Do I really need a $40 pile of stones encouraging me to improve my life? No, I don’t, and neither do you.

Sushi Quik

Sushi Quik is probably the worst thing on this list. As you saw from the video above, it provides various tools that make it easy to create the perfect sushi roll for the low low price of $34.95! The only tool worth using in this kit is the sushi roller, which is worth about $1. As someone who has made sushi with absolutely no training, I can confidently tell you: it is really easy. Even if it is essential that you make the perfect sushi roll, I doubt this kit will make a huge difference in your ability to do so.

I know right about now you must be thinking, “Wow Lex! You sure are amazing at wasting time on gift idea websites!” I had a similar thought after about an hour of being angry at everyone’s stupid inventions; however, I can’t say this was a complete waste of time. After all, it did inspire this blog post!

You Gotta Know The Rules Before You Can Break Them

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As an English Education major, I have learned a lot about standard English grammar. I have also acquired a pet peeve for really shitty grammar. When people post things on the internet, they really just do not seem to care about whether or not their grammar is accurate, and I absolutely hate it. I am in no way, shape, or form an expert because there are about a million and two grammar rules; however, I do know a thing or two about revising my own work. I actually found an article on Copyblogger that outlines the same steps I take when editing. It’s really short and super helpful! I highly recommend it to everyone. Below, I have given you my take on each of the steps from the article in hopes that this streak of terrible grammar will come to an end. Enjoy!

Step One: Just walk away, Renee (or Kevin or Amy).

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I’m not sure what this title is referencing, a movie perhaps? In any case, taking a step back from your work and coming back to it later is great advice. Play hopscotch, spend a day and a half on food gawker, learn a new language,  whatever you need to do to mentally detach yourself from your work. When you reread your stuff too soon after you write it, it is harder to separate yourself from what you wrote, which leads me to the next step.

Step Two: Imagine you are not you.

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…except for when you are editing your own work.

When you read your own writing, you know what you are saying and how you are saying it. Readers, unfortunately, cannot see your work through your eyes. Correct punctuation helps people figure out how to read your work by creating smooth sentences that flow together. It is also important to read your work through a different set of eyes because you know the details of your story, your readers don’t. When you remove yourself from your writing, you might notice that you forgot to mention an important detail.

Step Three: Is your writing PHAT or FAT?

Remember these?

Remember these?

The article highlights the importance of making sentences short and sweet; however, I do not always follow this step. Sometimes it is better to replace “contemplate the possible meaning of” with “think.” But maybe you want to sound really pretentious. Sometimes a writer makes a sentence go on and on and on and on for a really long time because it creates a certain rhetorical effect with their readers. These exceptions lead me to step four.

Step Four: Listen to your high school English teacher – except when it’s best to tune her [or him] out.

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Coolest English Teacher Ever!

My favorite grammar rule is “you have to know all the rules before you can break them.” Following standard English grammar rules in your writing is the best way to make sure your work can be easily understood and read. After you have a good understanding of these rules, you can start intentionally breaking them to enhance your work. Grammar Alive, a guide for teaching grammar to high school students, has a list of unbreakable grammar rules we learned in grade school that are, in fact, completely fine to break, if done correctly. I won’t list them here to avoid a list within a list, but I encourage you to click the link and skim chapter 6.

Step Five: Now clean it up and read it again. Out loud.

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This kid’s got the idea!

Last, but certainly not least, read your stuff OUT LOUD! This step is by far the most important one. You would not believe how many mistakes you will find when you read out loud. Misspelled words, forgotten commas, weirdly phrased sentences, and many other errors will magically appear. Even though this step is the most important, it is also the most neglected. Rereading your work aloud is time consuming, boring, and seemingly pointless to most writers; I don’t even do this most of the time. But I guarantee your work will dramatically improve if you make this a habit.

Overall, I think the best thing you can do when editing your work is to give it to someone else. All of these steps basically say you need to pretend you are someone else when revising your work; it almost makes more sense to just take it to a friend. No matter what you do, just make sure you do something to make sure your work isn’t full of grammatical errors. It may not seem like it really matters, especially if you have awesome content, but the truth is, no one will take your work seriously if it doesn’t look like you took it seriously.

Oh Look! A Girl Reading a Book in a Tree. WHAT A HUSSY!

I was browsing WordPress the other day, and I came across a post about a girl from University of Maryland who did something AMAZING! For her senior art project, she hung her bed from a tree on the mall. As people stared in wonderment, she casually hung out on the bed, reading a book.

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I thought this girl was super awesome! Maybe i’m just a total nerd, but if I could hang out on a comfy bed suspended from a tree reading books all day and also get a grade for it, my life would be complete. Interested in reading more about this clever UMD student, I googled her and found the project featured on Barstoolsports.com. The people of Barstool Sports shared my views on the stunt: “This is AMAZINGHow the Heck did she get a bed up there?!” The commenters, however, had some different thoughts:

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WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?! How can you hate someone so much because they hung a bed from a tree? I really do not understand what compelled these people be such assholes. *Side note: GDI does not stand for Graphics Device Interface in this context* If you think these are bad, just wait until you read what else people said! I started with the lighter hate-filled comments.

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Readers, you cannot even begin to imagine how angry this made me. “She’s just asking to get raped?” Who says shit like that? It’s disgusting. And the cracks about her having sex in the bed, what is sexual about this stunt? Absolutely nothing! Look at this picture:

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She is fully clothed, alone, reading on a neatly-made bed. There is no sign of sexual activity, she isn’t wearing anything provocative, and there isn’t anyone for her to be sexually active with. Regardless of the sexual vibe she may or may not be giving off, calling her a slut is extremely off-putting. Just because a girl in on a bed she must be “asking for it?” I bet if a male tried this stunt he wouldn’t be called a slut. In fact, I found a blogpost with a man who hung a bed from a tree and he did not get any hatful comments:

enjoyingthescenery.blogspot.comOf course, this post was not on the same type of forum as the Barstool Sports one, but my educated guess is that he would not endure the same kind of ridicule as the student from UMD. Aside from not getting called a slut, I am assuming this guy would also dodge the “attention whore” insult- another term I find absolutely repulsive.

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This bright student thought of a badass final project for her art class. Apparently, strokes of genius are symptomatic of being a slut and an attention whore. I just don’t understand how someone can say such hateful, offensive things about someone they don’t even know! The post they were all commenting on didn’t mention who she was or why she was up there, and these repulsive people just went crazy with insults. It is so strange to me that these people feel okay about doing things like this. It truly baffles me. I don’t even really know what else to say about it; I am absolutely at a loss for words.

Too Nice

Nothing Worse Than a Crappy Mom

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Just thinking and I’m a bit too nice. Since I’m in college and all, I don’t work, I have no work experience so there are no jobs willing to hire me anyway. But I’m set, I don’t NEED a job right now. But to help someone out I decided I’ll babysit her 8 month old son because she needed someone. Now she brings him to me at 7:30 am sometimes 7 am, and she expects me to stay with him until after 6 pm. She only pays me $50 a week, which I told her in the beginning was okay because she is a single mom, but we made an agreement that it wasn’t going to be that late. We agreed from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Now since Mondays and Fridays I don’t go to school, she expects me to stay with him past 6 and sometimes they get…

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The Mother Teresas of Corporate America

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Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of Undercover Boss, a show that addresses CEOs’ lack of recognition for the people who work at the bottom of the company they represent: the factory workers, the servers, the drive-thru window attendants, etc. At first, I thought it was really great. I have a few business classes under my belt, so I somewhat understand the basics of running a business. It is important for employees to feel like more than just numbers; they need to feel heard and appreciated. This program showed out-of-touch CEOs first-hand how important their lower level employees really are and how hard their jobs can be. Some CEO’s could barely keep up with the factory workers. By the end of the episode, they would typically give some sort of financial assistance to the employees they met in an attempt to help them follow their dreams outside of work and thank them for a job well done. It really reflected that Mother Teresa, “creating ripples of change,” way of thinking.

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Larry O’Donnell, the President and C.O.O. of Waste Management, shaking hands with fellow employee after “the reveal”

About seven episodes in- yes, I am addicted to television -I realized it was really stupid for me to think of these CEOs as saints. Sure, they donated $20,000 to five or six employees to help them out with school or rent, but that’s pocket change to these people! In the Frontier Airlines episode, CEO Bryan Bedford had just merged the company with two other airlines, resulting in a sizable pay decrease for the lower level employees. By the end of the episode, he claimed the whole “undercover” experience helped him realize the importance of each and every one of his employees, and promised to get their salaries back to the way they were before the merger over the span of three years. I have three big issues with this whole situation:

#1: If he wasn’t such a selfish asshole in the first place, he wouldn’t need a reality TV show to realize his workers are an essential part of his company and should be treated as such.

#2: He takes in about $400,000+ annually for being a CEO. Outside of his salary, he makes around $1.3 million from stocks, etc. He could literally work for $1 a year and still rake in over a million dollars. Why did he cut his employees pack checks when they can barely make ends meet? He could have given $300,000 of his own salary and still made over double what his employees make.

#3: This show manipulates people into thinking these CEO’s are good people who understand the strife of the average American worker and want to selflessly help them with money from their own pockets. Really, this show gives CEO’s a chance to look like they are good people without having to do much, and because the CEO is the face of the company, their appearance on the show makes the company look good too. It is undercover advertising for big corporations; an opportunity to relate to their consumers at a time when the economy is shit and people want to keep their money in their pockets.

Bottom line: Undercover Boss is entertaining; however, like all reality shows, it rarely reflects reality.

Despite my disgust, I kept watching. Episode after episode it was the same old story: clueless CEO meets All-American worker, worlds collide, CEO has a new outlook on life! To my surprise- and probably yours by the looks of the unexplained pictures below -I did find one episode that didn’t thoroughly piss me off.

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Inspired by her hardworking single-mother, Kat Cole developed a painstaking work ethic and a desire for success at a very young age. Cole aitiously climbed up the corporate ladder at Hooters, coming in as a waitress and going out as the Vice President. Where did she go you ask?

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She left to become the President of Cinnabon at only 32 years old! And she did a damn good job. I think her episode bothered me less because she worked her ass off to make it in a field where most women do not get very far. Dare I say she “created ripples of change” in a male dominated industry? Perhaps Undercover Boss isn’t completely terrible…

 

 

… Nah, it’s pretty terrible 😉