Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some bad news

So my 96-year-old grandmother is not doing well.

She was rushed to the hospital two nights ago because she wasn't breathing properly and my fam in Santa Cruz got a call at 5am yesterday from my aunt saying they should come up asap to the hospital because of how severe the situation was. As of right now my grandmother is on an intubator at UC Davis hospital and all of my family is with her, except me.

I am here, 3,000 miles away. (Insert anger slash frustration slash guilt slash indescribable feelings of resentment toward J at the moment that he didn't just go to UC Berkeley or Stanford and we had to move so far away for so long, making it impossible for me to just hop in a car and drive a couple hours up the state to be at her bedside for her final moments.)

J and I are taking the next plane out of here today and flying into Sacramento to be with my family over the weekend and attend the funeral. Unfortunately J's finals start Tuesday, but he can continue studying on the plane today and Sunday because there are more important things school.

I'll be MIA from blogging for the next few days, but I'll be back soon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Current obsessions

My New Hats. These actually aren't that new (I bought them in February), but I haven't worn them out yet and so they're new to me. This first one makes me feel like I'm a character from a Fellini film wearing a dainty lilypad on my head:

This second one is a blatant Pucci knockoff, but I needed something to wear when I'm shopping at some exotic outdoor market in the Rio de Janiero sun laying out next to my apartment complex's peanut-shaped pool:

Mid-Century Modern. People, I cannot get enough of mid-century modern everything. Living rooms, homes, books, clothing, decor. I want it all, and have lately found myself staying up much later than I should googling the fine art of credenzas and coffee tables, wooden wall art and floating nightstands from the Eisenhower/Kennedy era. You know you're obsessed when finding a genuine set of Danish Modern drinking coasters makes your afternoon. Or when you're thisclose to ordering a boomerang-shaped red glass ashtray from 1961 -- and you don't even smoke. (Yes, this actually almost happened). One of my secret favorite things to do is scour the back area of my grandma's house in Walnut Creek where no one ever goes anymore to look through all her old books and decor from that period. By myself in that empty wing of the house I pull out old books about dining room etiquette printed entirely in Futura font, the binding yawning with loud pops and cracks after years of being unopened as I scan the text inside and bring the pages to my nose, close my eyes and deeply inhale that old, musty smell of "the past" from their surfaces. It's so...well...satisfying.

Once we have the means I can't wait to go antiquing and pick up pieces I can see in person, versus what I find on eBay. There's something fascinating to me about the potential stories behind authentic pieces of a certain time period (especially during my favorite period: 1950 to 1970). But even the brand new pieces that mimic the design aesthetic of yore intrigue me; the lines and simplicity of the furniture and decor speak to me, as weird as that sounds. Maybe in a past life I was this woman:

It looks like both she and he are totally appreciating that credenza. Check out my favorite tribute site to the period: The Mid-Century Modernist.

Simon's Cat. Since we gave our cat Moneypenny to my BFF in California to take care of until we move back next month, I've been missing her like crazy. (Who'd have thought that me, the hater of all cats, would eventually find myself missing one?) Fortunately I've found a cartoon version of her, otherwise known as "Simon's Cat". Apparently this guy in Britain began animating his cat in hilarious short sketches and they gained such popularity that now he's got a book deal and millions of YouTube subscribers (including yours truly). This video is older, but is still one of my favorites:

Jonathan Adler stuff. I never would have guessed I'd be pining over a ceramic dachshund, but I am:

Jonathan Adler is a genius when it comes to the art of mid-century modern. His sculptures and other design accoutrements encapsulate retro aesthetics with a contemporary twist. Adler's goods are definitely not cheap (the dachshund in question is $88), but a girl can dream -- and eBay.

Breaking Bad. While I wait for Mad Men Season 4 to premiere in July, I've found a new show to obsess over:

Breaking Bad is about a high school chemistry teacher named Walt White who finds out he has lung cancer and a couple years left to live. After coming to grips with his imminent death, he resolves to set up his family (a pregnant wife and teenage son) financially once he passes on, and so he begins using his talent at chemistry to cook crystal meth with an ex-student-turned-drug-dealer. The premise is what initially drew me in -- how desperate does a guy need to be to make and sell drugs to secure his family's financial future? -- but it was the theme of moral ambiguity that's kept me hooked. Walt is not a bad guy -- he's dying and looking out for his family -- and yet he becomes the "villain" when viewed through a social and legal lens. Fascinating stuff, reader-friends, especially when he gets mired in the dark underbelly of the drug world -- a world he as a straight-laced science teacher was never prepared to deal with. Bryan Cranston (the dad from Malcolm in the Middle) does an AMAZING job as Walt White, and the story arc is incredible (major props to the writers on staff). Behind Mad Men, Breaking Bad is one of the best shows on television.

Tom Ford Sunglasses. So maybe they look a little costume-y, but I don't care. I'd love to own a pair, they're so Mrs.-Robsinson-meets-vintage-Catwoman:

With Carolyn Murphy's tousled locks, '60s tan lines and black liquid eyeliner, this is an Anne Bancroft-esque look I'd love to rock every single day.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches.
Does this even need an explanation? Oh all right, fine. There was a span of a few years where I absolutely abhorred peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I know, I'm crazy. But it hadn't always been that way. In fact they were all I ate in elementary school, but by the time I reached 6th grade I was burnt out. I told my parents I would only eat turkey sandwiches from there on out. Fast forward to last week. I was in the throes of a Breaking Bad catch-up marathon when I witnessed Walt eat a PB&J sandwich at the beginning of an episode and suddenly found myself craving one. Badly. To the point of where I walked across the street to the supermarket that evening to buy the essential ingredients, and spent the next four days making PB&J sandwiches for dinner. (If you can't tell already marketing works horrifically easily on me.)

Now I wonder how I could have ever gotten sick of the things. If my kids ever complain that they're tired of PB&J sandwiches I'll tell them they don't know what they're talking about, that their "liege" -- which is what they'll call me -- once said that too, and that the subsequent 16 years were barren and could never be taken back. "I won't let you do that to yourselves," I'll tell them.

This T-Shirt:

Confession: I'm a total nerd when it comes to puns. (Favorite joke: What did the mother tomato say to the baby tomato as they were crossing the street? "Ketchup!" Terrible, I know.) I can't help but crack up at the cheesiest, worst puns, and feel the one above definitely deserves to be worn in some capacity. I'm not a t-shirt kind of girl, but this would be perfect as one of my workout shirts.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Overheard last night

Paul and Julia Child, one of my favorite couples.

9:45 pm. Our studio. I sit on the couch, feet up on coffee table, laptop balanced in front of me as I edit Chapter 7 of the book. J sits across from me on a pillow he's using as extra padding on the worthless Target chair we bought the year we married. Two or three thick textbooks are cracked open on the table in front of him as he outlines for his last semester of finals on his laptop. I've attempted to catch his attention multiple times tonight. . . dancing seductively near him with finger cymbals, pretending like there's a fire in the kitchen, even lying across his books like a petulant housecat. But to no avail. There's always some other legal pad or some other book that his overzealous eyes can devour in their quest for straight A's. Sigh
. TV flickers silently in background as I wait for the season finale of Project Runway to start in 15 minutes. . . but I can always watch it later online. Tonight I want to run amok and howl at the moon.

Me: "Why don't we go paint the town red tonight?"

J (without looking up from books): "Because we can't afford paint."

Silence for a few moments, then we lock eyes and laugh out loud.

"I'm working on it, my Love. I'm working on it," he says, tapping the edge of the book with his pen.

"As am I," I say.

Studying slash editing resumes on both sides of the coffee table.

Teamwork, humor, patience. Julia and Paul had it. Apparently so do we.

(Ed. Update: Just got mentioned again on MediaBistro! Thank you J, for your witty responses to everything I ask you.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A bold fresh piece of humanity

Well, we made it this far. Today yours truly is 28 years young.

I never thought I'd actually be 28, as it sounded so old and mature back when I was spry, but I have to say I don't feel that much different. Not older. Not wiser (even a genius like me has limits). Definitely not more mature. When people ask "How old are you" I still blurt out, "24..." followed with a quick "Oops, er, I mean, 28." Guess this automatic response means I'll always be 24 at heart?

Anyway, I've resolved to make 28 the best year of my life. How so, you ask? I have no clue. But I will.

I'll try more things I've never done; say "yes" more than "no"; dance more; sing more; send out more of my short stories, keep chugging away at novel after novel; listen to music louder; learn to cook as well as Tony Bourdain; possibly even meet? Bourdain (I would die, that would be ah-mazing); pay homage to my youth by getting into the best physical shape of my life and finally take those professional pin-up pics I've been wanting forever; invest in an apartment complex (or five) as part of my retirement plan; force persuade J to learn the dance at the end of Dirty Dancing with me; be completely fluent in Farsi; listen to more Journey (if that's even humanely possible); be Gilda:

I want to live. Really live. I've done an excellent job of living to this point, but now I want to ramp it up a notch. I'm 28, after all. I want to go to the big annual New Orleans Jazz Festival; I want to bicycle down the length of California (and then possibly tackle bicycling cross country); I want to eat what's been called "the best sushi on the planet" at the hole-in-the-wall sushi joint Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo; I want to get seriously involved in making puppy mills illegal (I hope it helps that after this summer I'll be married to a law student lawyer); I want to go salsa dancing on a regular basis; I want to join a book club; I want to dance in a fountain and publicly blame it on the wine (only J and I would know that all I had to drink was water); I want to see a tornado in the flesh; I want to be an expat for at least a year of my life; I want to live near my brother and sister so I can stop by at a moment's notice and vice versa; I want to break bad in some way or another.

I want to go wine tasting in Santa Barbara and pretend to know what I'm talking about as I swish Zin across my palette; I want to get my books published and see my name on the spine of a copy (or three) at a bookstore; I want to go camping cross-country; I want to laugh so hard I puke (J beat me to this one); I want to read everything F. Scott Fitzgerald's ever written; I want to try going blonde for a spell just to see what I'd look like; I want to rent a sparse flat in Florence and write near an open window with a view of the Ponte Vecchio; I want to sit down with my two grandmothers (who are 98 and 85, respectively) and let them each recount their life stories into my voice-recorder, then I want to do the same with my parents; I want to drive a black Porsche 911 Carrera and feel the leather steering wheel gripped in my hands (even if it's just for a test-drive down a few miles of 101 on a slow Saturday afternoon. Hey, the sales guy doesn't need to know I'm not actually serious about buying).

Foolish? We'll see. I can't possibly accomplish all of these things and more in a year, but I can start by accomplishing some. The point is I've laid down the gauntlet. This will be the year that's going to kick me into a higher gear. Life is short; I want to experience as much as I can.

Theme song to kick-start 28: "Foolish Heart" by Journey Steve Perry, on loud.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Money and I aren't speaking at the moment

A dryer full of money would do me wonders right about now. (P.S.: You absolutely must watch Breaking Bad if you haven't yet. It's amazing.)

So I'm stressing about money right now. I know, I probably don't have the right to complain since I was the one who made the decision to walk away from a steady salary last year (a decision I still don't regret), but I knew back when I made it that times would eventually get hard and now those times have come.

I feel like I'm living in some alternate dimension of the life I'm supposed to be living. Kind of like there are different variations of my life playing out all at the same time, parallel to one another, and I just ended up getting caught in this computer-glitch of a variation, the one that snarls savage orders at me that I must comply with, like "You will eat that top ramen and you will LIKE IT!!!" In this current reality glitch I live across the street from a handful of dollar stores, "checks cashed" storefronts, a suspicious bowling alley, and my building reeks of general ghetto-ness ... the kind of ghetto-ness punctuated by neighbors who allow their dogs to use our elevators as toilets. In this life I get a puerile kick out of free samples in my mailbox, I share one washer and dryer with an entire high-rise floor (which takes strategic planning if you ever want clean clothes, people), and my "check engine" light is always on, warning me of some expensive repair looming on the horizon. Who am I?

Thankfully I'm not stuck alone in it all; J is also mucho stressed out, evidenced by my increasing reminders to "stop pulling out tufts of eyebrow" -- a bad nervous habit he has when things aren't so copacetic. (He's also got the added pressure of keeping up his grades to graduate top-third in his class next month, coupled with the general stress he's under on a daily basis to find a job post-graduation. Once he takes the Bar this summer I know he'll find the job he's been looking for -- and not have to settle -- but this still doesn't seem to raise his spirits. It also doesn't help that he's reminded of it all every afternoon as he chows down on his 99-cent turkey and cheese Lunchable at school like a fifth-grader.)

Not that we don't have padding -- we're selling some stocks this week to pad out our cash situation even more -- but it's disturbing how far money doesn't go in this country. (I guess it could be worse. I could be living in parts of Europe that, though beautiful, would result in me paying out the nose for everyday things like groceries while steeped in a land of 34% unemployment.) My part-time tutoring job pays well, but the hours are somewhat erratic and the semester ends in early May so those paychecks will taper soon enough. J is currently interning for free and taking no school credits for his legal gig at the SEC three days a week, so it's not as if he could pick up part-time work between the internship and his full load of classes.

Anyway it makes me really, really uneasy when our bank account starts to ebb, even though the cushion is still there. I'm a "buffer" kind of a girl and tend to get irritable when my finances tread close to my buffer. The bills are piling up and costs in the near-future are what are really getting us down. My private health insurance, his Bar class and test fees (about $5,000 total), our moving costs to get back to California ($1,500 for a Uhaul truck, not counting gas), and little costs are quietly adding up (i.e., his graduation invitations, cap and gown, Law Journal banquet tickets - $40 each, etc.).

It would be at this point in any sane marriage that a couple would crack under financial pressure and the relationship would fall apart. Luckily we aren't sane. Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger, I suppose. Like I said earlier this week: "If, as newlyweds, we not only get through law school, but also our financial situation this last year, then we're bullet-proof, kid." He agreed. Right now all we can do is laugh at the current circumstances. It helps that we find the humor in these even dire situations and can make light of our misery. It really does. Because the alternative would probably end up looking like a Shakespearean tragedy.

Needless to say I've cut out most everything I enjoy doing for the sake of saving whatever funds we have. This means absolutely no more shopping (I can't remember the last article of clothing I bought), no going to the movies, no traveling, no eating out (unless it's Taco Bell), no more concerts, no more happy hours, and no more buying whatever I want at the grocery store if it isn't on sale. And yes, I've become one of those people who reads through all my weekly grocery inserts and travels to each store to get the best price for different things on my grocery list.

I guess these complaints all lead in to my 28th birthday, which is on Monday. My last couple birthdays haven't been all that amazing and for some inexplicable reason I want to try and make this one special. Obviously taking a trip is out of the question, and now I'm wondering if we should even go out to a decent dinner. (Clarification: Technically we can afford a dinner, but in the effort of saving cash would we want to drop $60-$100 for one meal? Would I even enjoy the meal as I mentally balance our checking account with each margarita?) It doesn't help that J and I are attending a Law Journal banquet of his tomorrow evening that we had to spend $80 worth of tickets on, but I totally get that networking and socializing is part of the "education" at his school, and that establishing lifelong professional relationships with classmates there is part of the whole package. Still, $80 is $80.

So, this is where I'm at. I hate worrying about finances to this degree but I'm starting to think that the only way I'll stop worrying about money is if (when?) I'm disgustingly wealthy. Until then no amount of money ever feels like enough. Anyway I feel better venting about it and I know most of my worries stem from the cost of moving slash J taking the Bar. Putting down between $5k to $10k in a one month span is never fun, especially when I'd much rather take that money and save it as a down payment on some property. Or travel. But such is the way of life. Right now nonessentials take a backseat to priorities, but my chin is up -- I know it won't be like this forever.

Now, what to plan for my birthday?...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The root of real happiness, a case for the virtual office and how to make work cool again

Want to see what a horrifying 2.5-foot sea bug looks like? Ever wondered how Othello might have ended if Desdemona had had a Sassy Gay Friend? Better yet, did you know the new weapons of terrorism conveniently come in the form of explosive-laced breast implants? Neither did I. Here's what I've been reading (and watching) recently:
  • What if no one went to the office anymore? Can you imagine a completely remote world, where everyone telecommuted and that corner table near the window at Starbucks became the new corner office? Inc. Magazine put the theory to the test in a fascinating article making a case for the virtual company -- where colleagues interact not in person, but entirely remotely over Skype, email, instant messenger, and phone. (If you have ADD are an article skimmer, here's an abridged version.)
  • Admit it: You are chomping at the bit to see what a 2.5-foot prehistoric bug looks like. Disclaimer: It's terrifying. These "bugs" (if you can actually call them that as a bug to me connotes something I can smash with my shoe) live at the bottom of the ocean feasting on giant whale carcasses when they're not plotting to take over the world from their cockroach-brethren and scuttle across your kitchen floor in the middle of the night. Pray that you never wake up and find one of these on your face.
  • Apparently if Desdemona had a Sassy Gay Friend (as all of us really should have), she might have avoided her untimely death. Same thing goes for Juliet. Best line: "Yeah, well he's also ordered a pillow from Bed, Bath, and Beyond that's good for smothering, so Tina Turner? We've got to private dance-it out of here."

  • Finally, someone (aside from me) has formally recognized what YouTube is really good for: Discovering classic rock. Whether you're a relative new-comer into this world and need an education in The Kinks, The Who and Led Zeppelin, or are somewhat of an expert (like me) and looking for a classic rock graduate degree in The Band, Ten Years After, Stephen Stills and Jethro Tull, YouTube is the go-to destination for your classic rock education. Take it from Auntie Crystal. We know these things.
  • The new face of terrorism comes in Femme Bot form: Explosive boobs. According to Gizmodo, British intelligence has discovered that Al Qaeda female suicide bombers are getting explosive charges inside their breasts, using a similar procedure to breast augmentation. This makes these bombs almost impossible to detect at airports. Hooray.
  • What dictates happiness? Is it social trust, winning the lottery, or earning a higher salary? (P.S.: Did you know the daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting? That makes SO much sense.) Anyway, according to this NY Times column economic and professional success is important to happiness, but these successes emerge only out of happiness in your interpersonal relationships. (Translation: Even though your work life may be flying high, if your married/home life is excruciating, you are probably not a happy camper.)
  • The case for telecommuting continues, with the White House wanting to make work "cool" again. Their answer for higher employee retention? Flexibility. "It's about attracting and retaining top talent in the federal workforce and empowering them to do their jobs, and judging their success by the results that they get -- not by how many meetings they attend, or how much face-time they log, or how many hours are spent on airplanes. It's about creating a culture where ... work is what you do, not where you are," said President Obama. He wants this thinking applied to the private workforce as well. Thoughts?
  • The Most Amazing Alan Greenspan Painting You're Ever Going to See. I think the headline alone about sums it up. It really is amazing. Very comparable in style to one of Eli Cash's giant murals in The Royal Tenenbaums:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

James Franco, literary prodigy

Laughing all the way to the bank.

So I'm not sure how I feel about James Franco's short story, "Just Before the Black", in Esquire. Annoyed is probably the right word. Why? Because I'm sure J-Dog queried it hundreds of times like every other writer has to do, before Esquire decided aloud one day:

"James Franco? Never heard of him, but let's give this kid a shot. He's got no real literary credits to his name besides an MFA from Columbia, just like countless others that we reject on a daily basis, but his story has spit-shined promise. I especially like this line: 'I poke the knife at him, at his fat stomach, lightly poking it with the tip, but he's wearing a puffy North Face jacket, so it doesn't stab him.' It's artsy and hip. Readers will love the prose of this relative unknown." Now I don't want to be one of those angry faceless people behind this pitchfork-wielding Internet mob that's out for Franco's blood, but the whole thing kills me. Kills me. And here's why: Just because you're a well-known actor doesn't make you a writer worthy of being published in Esquire. Or being published, period. Based on that magazine's track record of rejections not even many good writers are worthy of being in Esquire (present company included -- we admit, we still have a lot to learn).

Perhaps my standards for Esquire are too high, but they reject tens of thousands of incredible short stories every year from gifted people that deserve an honest shot, and then Jamsie-poo, with his famous last name and movie about Pineapples, can waltz up to the front of the line and cut in front of Those More Talented just because he's got name cred and once played some dude in a Spider-Man movie. It reeks of self-importance and entitlement and I can't stand it when that sort of thing happens with line-cutters at the DMV, much less with a well-known publication. I know, I know: This is the way the world works, I should just suck it up and get used to it, which would be easier for me to do if his story was actually...well...good. I love being pleasantly surprised when someone can wear more than one hat well. But I would call this story a Fail, and I'm disappointed in Esquire for perpetuating Jamsie-poo's narcissism.

Sure, J-Loco is worth his weight as an actor (it can be argued that his portrayal of James Dean was incredible), but a writer he is not. Granted I'm no literary critic, but I've read a lot in my life and feel I'm entitled to an opinion. Reading over "Just Before the Black" and wanting to give it an honest shot wasn't enough to make me ever want to pick up anything Franco-penned again.

I think Sady Doyle over at summed it up perfectly:

"... Although James Franco is Salon's Sexiest Man Living of 2009 for good reason, and one of our most valuable Bizarro Celebrities, no one should excuse Just Before the Black. ... The word "gap" is used so many times in this story – in relation to teeth, road barriers, windows. I don't know if it's an intentional motif, or if I just figured out where James Franco shops.

"It's true that, as these things go, James Franco is both interesting and crush-worthy. Unfortunately for him, he is also famous – which is the adult equivalent of being very handsome at a small liberal arts college, in that people will continually tell you that you are great whether or not it's true, and let you get away with far too much. They will, for example, publish your terrifying short story in Esquire. (Or in a book! James Franco will soon publish a book.)"

Yes, Jamestastic has a book deal.

It'd be one thing to accept it as kitschy gimmick -- Lauren Conrad's ghostwritten novel "LA Candy" is the first thing to come to mind. She wrote it "all by herself" within a "two-month span" and a month or so later it was already going to press. Most of us familiar with the publishing process can see through this and take "LA Candy" for what it is: Yet another piece of memorabilia to complement LC's burgeoning celebrity empire. As hard it is for me to admit there is a place for the "LA Candys" in our celebrity-obsessed world.

But the opposite is true with Jamsie-poo. Unlike other celebrity works, "Just Before the Black" is meant to be looked at with a critical eye, in a magazine that has historically produced quality prose and writers. J-Loco does deserve some credit -- he wrote it all on his own without employing the ubiquitous ghostwriter that lurks behind so many celebrity works -- but it still sucked and we as readers aren't supposed to think that. It's not meant to be laughed at as a joke, or cast-off with an eye-roll as a publicity stunt to add to his growing brand. It's supposed be taken seriously. The beginnings of a literary career. And how far it got, laid as ink on Esquire's precious real estate no less, is what is laughable. I think there's a line for just how much crap we can be spoon-fed. What's next? Lauren Conrad writing a piece for The New Yorker?

I hope I haven't spoken too soon...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Buying into the hype

A few weeks ago a panoply of Jostens pamplets pushing graduation packages arrived in our mail box. Basic package (25 cards, envelopes and gold school seal stickers)? $125, not including shipping and handling. Curse you, Jostens. You've figured out how to completely monopolize the graduation playing field with your commencement cards and diploma frames and caps slash gowns, from high school all the way up to post-grad.

Anyway since we're in emergency saving mode $125 seemed a bit pricey for something most are going to admire for a few days under a fridge magnet till the date is committed to memory and the card is tossed. But...when it comes to these things I'm a sentimental sap. No, I'm not one of those scrapbookers who saves every piece of pocket lint and gum wrapper to chronicle our life's journey with in the pages of a Michael's scrapbook. I don't even own a scrapbook. But I do tuck away the important things in my life. Pictures, train tickets from Europe, the occasional movie stub. Somewhere in one of my unpacked boxes I have a couple old wedding invitations of mine; in some other box I have one of my parents' wedding invitations (pre-me as a wee zygote) that I found somewhere back at their house and just had to keep it.

Much in the same way I'd like to happen upon one of these grad invitations in the future, maybe in my 40s when we're moving to a nicer house and it falls from the pages of a book being packed away and I'll pick it up and remember what it was like "back then", when everything was easier and it was just the two of us and our biggest problem was worrying about 125 stupid little dollars.

Now I know we could save money and just make the grad announcements ourselves. We did that for our wedding invitations -- not to save money but more to get the exact look we envisioned, and those came out perfectly. Then I remembered how life felt like it was being slowly drained from me as I sat pressing the glue on our 120th wedding invitation three years ago:

I think the look on my face said it all.

Sure, they were better than any card shop samples I saw, but there was only so much pink and brown tagboard, rubber cement and ribbon tying that one girl (and guy) could handle. Plus, J's law school invitations come with this gold-embossed school seal on the front of each (ugh, would you listen to me? I've already fallen for their marketing):

I love how presidential and "lawyer-ey" they look, and well, that's just not something we can replicate. So even though I feel like we're being majorly ripped off I think it's worth it. Someday we'll look back on this time and be glad we didn't skimp on everything -- I hate living with regrets and, really, money comes and goes. Plus he's only going to graduate law school once, and the fact that he's come this far in his life -- when the odds were stacked against him -- makes me very, very proud. His ambition alone deserves that pricey gold-embossed stamp.

On a side note, did/do any of you feel ripped off by the entire graduation industry? Granted, it's not as exploitative as the wedding industry, but still...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Boy devastated by father's anti-"single lady" sentiment

Behold the scene when a father flat-out crushes his son's dreams of being a "single lady" alongside his two sisters, effectively ostracizing him as a young male from any future Beyonce sing-a-longs. I think a pair of Dereon jeans is in order:

Even more hilarious is the girl in the middle in the awkward glasses, arms crossed, glaring at the camera with the wisdom of someone far older than her seven years of age. It's like watching a "freedom to choose" advocate in the making. Priceless.

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