Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Coolest New Things to Enter My Life

This past week has been pretty devoid of spectacularly blog-worthy events to discuss, due to it being summer and there being not much to do (and also my stupid foot thing going on), but I HAVE been making some cool discoveries lately on my own time. I just want to take a moment to share.

**Jimmy Eat World - Work
This song was on one of the episodes of One Tree Hill that I recently watched (season 2) and I LOVE IT. That show tends to produce good soundtracks overall, but I seem to be addicted to this song in particular. I haven't really listened to their music before now, but I might become a fan pretty soon.

**The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
A cute novel my mom bestowed upon me by an author we previously had both liked. It's got romance, self-discovery,
and a touch of magic (but not in the Harry Potter fantasy-genre way). In the words of the blurb on the back cover: "
Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that’s just for starters." 

**The Oatmeal
Never have I enjoyed the taste or texture of oatmeal as a food, but this website with a name and purpose similar to the satirical publishing The Onion, is overflowing with humorous comics and short articles to read for pleasure. From "Ten Reasons to Avoid Talking on the Phone" to "How Twilight Works" to "The 9 Types of Crappy Handshakes," these short, creative pieces are funny and oh-so-true. If you don't L-O-L at one, you're sure to at least crack a smile on others. A bonus are the helpful guides to commonly misspelled words, usages of punctuation, etc. that I hope will somehow find their way to all illiterate idiots in their 20s and 30s who still can't tell the difference between their and they're. If you know people like this, send them links to these How To's! (
How to Use An Apostrophe, for example)

**Mash ups/Collaborations
I'm going through a phase of music where I really like collaborations and mash-ups done with either similar sounding artists, or completely opposites that somehow mesh well when put together. There are a lot of them circulating around that aren't very good, you just have to look till you find the good ones. For a taste of soft alternative rock, try the one with Coldplay's "The Scientist," and Sum 41's "Pieces." An awesome friend introduced me to Super Mash Bros. who exclusively produce albums of just mash-ups, such as All About the Scrillions, where their specialty is taking the present popular songs and combining them with classics from past decades. Also, Timbaland is pretty skilled at collaborations with artists such as Katy Perry, Chad Kroeger, Justin Timberlake, OneRepublic ... the list goes on. His and Miley Cyrus's "We Belong to the Music," is a pretty fun dance number that is easy to bounce along to. 

A side project of the free dating website OKCupid, this awesomely fantastic thing, for lack of a better word, allows you to submit pictures of yourself to be graded against others and reported back on, with results indicating "your best face!" The goal is for people to find out what photo of themselves is more appealing to certain types of people they want to attract on dating/social networking sites. Many people judge those they don't know by their appearances, like you would judge a book by its cover, and face it: everyone does. Once your report is finished, you'll get to see what types of people liked your picture the most (self proclaimed Deviants, Conservatives, Geeks, Free Spirits, etc.), who you beat out in competition, and the overall photo that got the most votes. I've been playing around with it for a little while just to experiment, and it really is the coolest and most analytical device, as long as you're ok with being judged and sometimes rejected. But they're all strangers who are voting, so it doesn't matter, right? I see it as a good chance to learn what works for you. What you thought was your most flattering photo might be what other people see as generic, unoriginal, and just not as inviting as others. Regardless of whether or not you frequent the match-maker websites, it can be useful simply to find out what makes you look your best and brightest. 

Sooooo I hope someone actually reads this post or that will all have been for nothing. Haha, but no matter, I still enjoy writing to an imaginary audience and pretending I'm making some small difference in the world. Cheers! 

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