Saturday, March 26, 2011

4th Chance Prom

I almost feel like there's no need to blog about this one, because it seems that most people who even read this anymore were co-experiencing last night with me, and don't need a recap of what they already know. But for the sake of journaling, and for the few that weren't there, I went to a "2nd Chance Prom" last night with all my IV friends that was close to one of the most fun dances I can remember. I'm sure everybody agrees. Reasons why it was AWESOME! -

1. Great Music! I humbly acknowledge that a lot of it came from my iPod, so good thing I have good taste, and good thing our DJ agreed and wanted to play the same songs I love to dance to. I can't explain how happy I am when I'm dancing and totally in the zone. And of course I'm always self conscious just a little bit, but we got to the happy crossover point where the self consciousness went away and I could really just go crazy and act like a fool, not even caring if what I was doing looked right. Which probably was an effect of the next factor ...

2. Great Length! Too many times a dance is slow to warm up and then it's over before you know it, too soon after it really starts to get kicking. This prom was 4 hours long, and I got there half an hour late, so still got in a great 3 and a half hours. And it wasn't all that slow to get started either, so we used up a majority of the time sweating. I probably burned a lot of calories! We pretty much danced all night long.

3. Cute Outfits! Seeing everyone all dressed up puts a smile on my face. Some girls wore full-length prom gowns, some wore shorter homecoming-style dresses, and the guys all looked really dapper in their slacks, button down shirts, and matching ties, and sometimes matching sweater if they were particularly fashionable. I was very pleased with the $9 dress I ended up wearing, because it was cute and there was no chance of wardrobe malfunctions, so I was worry-free for the night. Plus, it was only NINE DOLLARS!

4. Great People! Did I mention the dance was for the IV gang? I just love all their faces off.

5. Photo Booth! This group of people especially likes taking pictures, goofy and serious. Often guys and girls took a break to ham it up in front of the camera. I can't wait to see all of them posted on facebook - my awkward couple picture with Captain Jake, the 4 of us roomies from Chapter Camp, and then the few I had with my girly friends.

As with most proms, the slow dances can be painful if you don't get asked. And actually, some of the girls humorously agreed that it can still be painful when you are asked, because awkwardness abounds no matter who you're with. So the few times we were left staring at our phones at the table, the party points lowered a little bit, but they were mostly made up for elsewhere during the night. I got to have conversations with people I'm getting to know better. I screwed up and kind of missed the mark on conversing with the one person I wanted to get to know better, but I've decided to give up on him anyway.

Oh hey, did I mention we even went to Denny's afterwards? I couldn't believe how long the night was lasting, but a lot of us were starving and wanted to hang out more. I had a delicious strawberry-banana smoothie and the "Super Bird" sandwich, which was like a grilled cheese with turkey, tomatoes, and bacon. At 1:00 in the morning, it really hit the spot. We took more stupid and unflattering pictures, and then bid each other farewell for the night.

My favorite part was when a group of high school kids asked if we just got back from our prom, to which we replied yes, and they asked us which school we went to. With a laugh, I told them the university we attended, and they asked no more.

Song of the night: Whip My Hair
(It is still stuck in my head)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hot Rock Singles of Early 2011

I can't think of anybody to tell about how ecstatic I am for all the spectacular upbeat rock singles that have been released in the past few months. So I will do it here!

Lies of the Beautiful People - Sixx: A.M.
I only have one other song by this band, so now my total count is two, but the two are really great. Lies of the Beautiful People is one that you belt out as loud as you can in your car, but you must be very careful about who is around you and possibly snickering at your one-man show. The bridge is cool because it calms down and has a heavy drum beat in the background without all the rest of the instruments going on. It is intense and builds anticipation for the chorus to come back again.

I'm pretty sure this qualifies as a "single" because it was on the radio the other day, even though it wasn't the first song they've promoted off their new album. Did I blog about that CD yet? I think I just said it was too awesome to put it into words. Anyway, if this song isn't hardcore, I don't know what is. (And they're Christian! Always a plus.)

Rope - Foo Fighters
Out of all the songs on this list, I think this one takes the cake for being the most elementally diverse. It's one of those songs that you can't predict what's going to happen next, but everything still blends together well. I especially like the noticeable 'ting ting ting' of the snare on the chorus. It's upbeat (yay!), and it actually has a short drum solo section for once, which is somewhat rare in this day and age. 

Country Song - Seether
If you haven't noticed, this one I like so much that I put it on the sidebar of this here blog, under "what I'm listening to." It might be hard to tell, but it's always a struggle picking the music I'm MOST into at the time to display in that section. Anyway. Describing this song is kinda hard. It has a funky beat - so funky that I have to stop typing in order to tap my hands on the edge of my laptop in syncopation. And somewhat like the previous, you don't expect the melodic progressions of the chorus to go where they go, which makes it pretty unique. But all around, the song is successful for it's cool country vibe that you just have to listen to in order to know what I'm talking about.  

Hesitate - Stone Sour                            *Good song for all music lovers!*
I have to be honest and say the first time I heard this song I actually thought it was David Archuleta. You know, that cute kid who won American Idol when he was 17 (and is from Utah!). Then I found out it was Stone Sour, and I was reminded of all their other ballad-like songs that I'm a fan of. I was surprised, since "Hesitate" is kind of sweet for a rock song, and has fewer traces of their scratchy and rough sound. Which doesn't make them any better or worse, because in the end I still like it enough to put on here :)

Architects - Rise Against              
Rise Against is kind of like the ADHD kid of the preschool class. They have such speedy tempos, always bouncing around and super excited, more so than anyone else on the playground. They are coming in concert soon ... I'm still debating if they deserve my money more than other bands I really want to see around the same time period. It's going to be a tough decision. Note: I don't know how I ended up with this song, because their #1 on iTunes from the new album Endgame is actually "Help Is On the Way," which easily could fill this slot on the list as well. Both are good new singles. 

Hold On - All That Remains
Technically this came from a 2010 album, but they're just promoting this song now. I'm starting to like this "metalcore" band for their really heavy and deep percussion ... stuff ..., and at the same time their kinda catchy choruses that you can actually sing along to. iTunes accurately describes it as "melodically infused hardcore death metal." While I don't know if I could listen to a whole album of this straight up, I do really enjoy this song. 

When You're Young - 3 Doors Down
3 Doors Down has an easily recognizable style; most of their songs follow a similar pattern. This one can be compared to "Let Me Be Myself," "Here Without You," and "It's Not My Time." They all start off with a slow  acoustic guitar intro, and then pick up speed with added instruments. On this list, it's one of the more subdued singles, but it's still noteworthy.

Move Your Body - My Darkest Days                     *Good party song!*
I'm fast becoming a big fan of My Darkest Days. Believe me when I say I was one of the first on the bandwagon with their first single "Pornstar Dancing," that took a while for people to catch on to, but when it happened, it shot off like a rocket. "Move Your Body" doesn't have exactly the same dose of magic as "Pornstar," but it comes close with its catchy chorus that makes you want to dance and shake all over. As such a new band, My Darkest Days is truly making a great name for themselves early on with their unique vocals that sound like no other band on the radio these days. When I heard this one, I knew it was them even though I'd only ever known that first single, just because they have a recognizable sound. Job well done. These guys will be big soon. 

That was fun. Thanks to all the great bands who know exactly what I want to hear this season. The end. 

Slightly Strange Occurences of the Conscious & Unconscious

Last night I had a dream. In this dream I was trying to sleep, in my same bed I was sleeping in for real. Except I couldn't, because there were demons in my room, whose presence I could feel so menacingly, but they were hidden and I couldn't find them. Somebody must've told me they were within the pictures on my walls, and in this dream I had a lot of artsy pictures on my walls, so I laboriously removed every one of the wall hangings, hoping to God that my efforts would eradicate the demons that so frighteningly haunted me. They were still there. Meaning a part of the devil was constantly watching me in my room and I could not sleep (in the dream). In fact, one of the times I woke up (in the dream), there was floss-like string all over me and my bed. Don't ask what for, but it was physical evidence of an evil spirit! Other stuff came about that alluded to their existence, but I can't remember the specifics now. I was then told the demons might be hiding out in the dolls that reside on the shelves above my desk ... creepy. I removed all of them, but still the demons were there. It felt so real; I was legitimately freaking out, and it wasn't one of those dreams where you know you're dreaming. I thought it was real life. And then I woke up, and I remember first being so happy it was all fake, and then after that I had a profound thought which I have since forgotten. Funny how that happens. I wonder if Thomas Edison had the whole lightbulb thing figured out in the middle of the night a couple times before he thought of it during the daytime, in an actually lucid state. He might've been wasting all that time simply because the idea escaped him so quickly, like some of my best ideas do in the night.

Strange occurence number two. Well, first of all, let me just say today was a really good radio day. I heard a few not-so-well known songs from some of my favorite bands, which is always cool, because they usually only play the hit single at the time. Anyway, lately I've been thinking a lot about free will and God's plan for our lives, and to what degree those can actually coexist. I've also been really frustrated that I have so many doubts because of these things - puzzles that my brain cannot work out because they don't make sense, which leads me to distrust everything except that which I know. The good news is I've just had some profound thoughts (that have stuck with me!) that have helped me get a better grasp on this logical struggle of sorts. Or at least I've found a sort-of answer that sort-of satisfies my psyche for the time being. And while I was pondering this more in depth on the way home from bible study tonight, a Depeche Mode song came on, and immediately I heard the words "If God has a master plan That only He understands, I hope it's Your eyes He's seeing through." This lyric (from Precious) doesn't exactly describe what I was thinking about the whole thing, because I mainly got lost on the seeing through your eyes part, but other than that, it was a perfect link. God's master plan, and me not understanding. It was just weird how it happened to come on the radio right as I was thinking about it. You know?

Strange occurence number three. Yesterday I took a nap and woke up feeling like I had done the most intense arm workout the day before. Like maybe in the hour I was lying down for, I did a bajillion reps of whatever exercises make your arms super sore the next day. Except I had not lifted or done any reps of anything. The only thing I can think of is that I played Just Dance the day before the nap, but it still doesn't make sense, even if it was a vigorous workout, why the soreness appeared during my nap. Makes no sense! Stretching out my arms now, I can still feel it.

Strange occurence number four. Sometime during the day today while I was awake, I think I broke my pinky-toe. All of the sudden it started feeling bruised and painful, and it kind of got worse as the day wore on. Now i'm looking at it and there is a noticeably purple line that kind of goes across the skin. I mean, it's one thing to be baffled at the injuries you obtain in your sleep, because you don't know what's going on the whole time, but when I'm awake the entire day and suddenly a part of me starts hurting for no reason ... I have to worry a little.

Yeah, that's all I wanted to say. My apologies for the abnormally large first two chunky paragraphs. I hope I don't dream of demons again. For some reason, I had this feeling like it wasn't the first time I had that dream. But I don't know. If it comes again, I'll know something's really up.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break in Glorious Glorieta

If ya'll didn't already know, I went to Glorieta, New Mexico for spring break this past week with a bunch of people I considered friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, and I came home with a family. Lots of people have been using that phrase, and it's pretty cliche, but it's true. Laughter and tears bring you together so powerfully, but much more so with the Holy Spirit in the midst. We studied the Bible a LOT, ate meals together, confessed our past demons and current struggles, prayed for each other, and shared bathrooms! Which is A Big Deal, because it's something I'm not accustomed to doing. And maybe I even came home with a crush or two.

For recollection's sake, here's the skinny on my week with God: My group studied the first half of Mark 1 to learn all about Jesus calling the disciples, and their sometimes wavering, sometimes faithful responses to him. We applied many things to our lives, and learned how intentional Jesus was with every little thing that happened. Connections were made between minute details you never would've noticed, and we were constantly playing detective to search them out and solve the puzzle. I also learned a lot about Jewish culture, because without the background of the story, the meanings can be distorted or even lost, something that people nowadays also don't think about too often.

Worship was pretty great. I fell in love with two or three songs that were new to me, and had fun experiencing the African language in song, and the energetic gospel style as well. You couldn't deny the happiness in the room when everyone was dancing and clapping and praising the Lord.

In our free time, we did lots of cool things. Zip-lining was one of the big ones, set on the actual campus we were staying on. It was a hop, skip, and a jump away from our dorm rooms, but instead of walking the 25 minutes it probably would've taken to get there, we crammed/piled 15 people in/on one person's suburban ("the tank") for a shorter ride down. That means 4 people in the back seat, 5 people in the middle, the 2 in front, and 2 on each side hanging onto the top. It was great fun! Other memorable things happening during the week were ultimate frisbee (I took a nap instead), a volleyball tournament, campfire with s'mores, and a day trip to Santa Fe, the capitol. There we did the tourist thing and visited the Cross of the Martyrs, the Loretto Chapel with the famous Miraculous Staircase, and the street vendors selling jewelry, ponchos, clothes, etc. Dinner and more shopping rounded out the day. I wish I had more time to talk about those places I just mentioned, but I can't - I encourage you to look them up! Or ask me about them later.

The most talked about part of the trip, though, probably had to be the road trip to and fro, during which Murphy's Law totally reigned and every problem that could happen, happened. On the way there, so many complications arose that my car arrived an entire 4 hours late! A list of the dilemmas we suffered from:
Wrong turns, 45-minutes long bathroom stops, hour-long breakfast hold ups at McDonald's, failed transmission (twice, the second one resulting in a double-back to pick up the people in the car who could no longer use their automobile), an hour's waste of time in a city just getting lost and trying to find everyone in our group, a flat-tire (resulting in driving slower for the rest of the way due to the donut tire), and then getting lost again in another city while trying to simply find a gas station and a starbucks, navigating the stupid one-way roads that made us circle around multiple times till we got it right.

On the way back, the car I was in (and that I drove for half the way) beat everyone else back home in perfect time. We were champs, but I heard that other cars got pulled over for speeding, peeing on the side of the road, and apparently the van drove about 100 miles in the wrong direction and had to turn back and start all over again. This meant that when we got to our meeting place at 12:30 at night, we had to wait till 3:15 for these guys to get there with our luggage in the trailer. I could be a lot more bitter than I am, but I just mention it because it's funny and tells a good story.

We had good fun during the drive, though, rocking out to the best dance music and playing games like 20 questions, crossword puzzles, and the one I call "The Packing Game." I always force my family to play it when we drive to our boating destinations, but this time we carried on the absolute longest game I've ever played. The way it works is one person starts off saying, "I'm going on a trip to ________ and in my suitcase I'm packing _______." If you said something like "a wine cooler," then the next person repeats that sentence and has to add another thing to the list that starts with R, because R is the last letter of the previous item. Everyone keeps taking a turn and the list of things to remember gets longer and longer. Usually I just play to see how far the chain can go, but Fiji is so competitive we had to make sure someone won, so the rule was you got out if you forgot one of the links. With that, we eliminated two of the four people, yet Fiji and I kept going without fail. Here's what the whole list ended up being:

"I went on a trip to Glorieta and in my suitcase I packed: a water bottle; earrings; shampoo; oral cleansing products; snake food; a diaper; rat poison; neosporin; a noodle; an egg; a gigapet; a trampoline; extra kleenex; a xylophone; EmergenC; a cow; willy wonka candy; your mom; mini eggs, cadbury; Yoohoo; octopi; an ipad; deoderant; travel-size lotion; a Nalgene; the energizer bunny; a yellow t-shirt; toilet paper; a rickshaw; a watermelon lollipop; a pillbox; xanthum gum; a monk; a kangaroo's eyelash; a hill; a ladder; a rhinoceros; a soap opera; an Argentine alpaca; apple pudding; ginseng; grey nail polish; a haircomb; a Bonobo Chimpanzee; an entourage; Ella Enchanted; Damon, Matt; and Taylor Lautner.

At that point, Fiji thought for a minute and said, "I think we have everything for our trip now. You can have Taylor Lautner, I'll have Matt Damon, and we'll be good." So we called it a tie. Because it had gone on way too long and neither of us was about to lose anytime soon. It's amazing what you can do with your memory using simple tricks. As you can see, you can get pretty creative with this game, and some of the things we said brought up hilarious conversations on the side. The buddy car behind me texted Fiji to ask if I was ok driving, because I was swerving a little, but it's only because they made me laugh so hard!

I'd like to also point out that not only were we winners for getting home first, and Fiji and I for never giving up on the "Packing Game," but I was also awarded the "Best Car Dancer" accolade by the one and only YB (Yellow Boomerang). AKA my best friend. I have to thank her for the immense amount of support and love I received during the week when I was having a hard time with some emotional things. I really don't know what I'd do without her.

Now my wrap-up paragraph! It is safe to say I had a blast on this trip. Although I was very frustrated internally a lot of the time, the more I think back on this week the more I love every minute of it, even the hard ones. I hope we get to return to the same place for camp next year, and I can't wait to do so. Right now I'm just excited to spend more time with my new "family" and get to know and love them even more. Here's to the power and wonders of God, and the love and support of people that know what really matters in life. Love you guys!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Attack of the New Mexico Germs

Up high in the beautiful forested mountains of New Mexico, I sit here at what is essentially bible camp for college kids, loving this week but hating my body's reactions to the transition from winter to spring. I wonder if it has to do with my location, but I have a feeling that if I were anywhere else, my runny nose and watery eyes would still persist because ... gasp! I suspect that I am developing allergies.

It started out with what seemed like the common cold. Last Thursday was when I began the nasal decongestant meds and vitamin C uptake, along with a dose of good ol' chicken noodle soup for lunch. I was determined to not bring this state of groggyness with me, but I didn't have much of a choice. The car ride up really sucked because we were going up and down intense elevation levels and the crap in my head was compounding and building up pressure. Day one of camp had me blowing buckets of that crap out of my nose every two minutes - astonishing me as something that could even happen. I thought, "Where does it all come from?? Surely that's not what resides in my skull, where most people have brains." And I thought everyone else was thinking, "Good Lord, that girl is never going to stop blowing her nose!" The afternoon arrived and the skin around my nose was completely raw and broken: Major ouch. Good thing I brought my neosporin.

Day two presents me with a different challenge - drainage is not as constant, but in its place comes the intense tickling of the inside of my nose. This is mainly the reason I'm starting to think I have allergies. We'll be sitting in a session listening to people talk about a passage and I don't have to do anything but breathe just like every other normal human being, when all of the sudden foreign germs begin their attack on my immune system, which takes the form of an electric fence jolting maniacally in defense. You know that feeling - very similar to when you're about to sneeze and you have to scrunch up your nose and just wait for it to go away. Except it doesn't! Not until the floods start pouring out of my eyes, tears, like the rain falling from clouds after the thunder and lightning strike. I'm just sitting here with my bible in the middle of nothing really emotionally deep, yet I appear to be weeping uncontrollably at every little word that I read. Not the case, people! Nothing is upsetting me except the physical intruders that don't get along with my nose hairs.

The decongestant meds continue, but now I wish I had some allergy stuff to go along with that. Hopefully this bout of itchy/runny nose goes away soon, and maybe next year if the same thing happens, I'll be prepared, and officially diagnose myself as someone with legitimate allergies. Until then, I will continue to delve into the wonders of manuscript study with my peers and friends, with the occasional zipline through the woods and bonfire with smores on the side. Did I mention tomorrow we are going to Santa Fe? Yeah, this trip is awesome. To be continued when I get back . . .

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Bet I Have More _______ Than You

List No. 42 or Some Large Number Like That, I'm Sure:

Things I Have a Lot Of

In Other Words:
A Log of My Useful and Not Quite As Useful Collections of Stuff

#1. CD's
In this day and age, it seems like the intentional ownership of CD's is a rare thing. I personally love the permanence and tangibility of whole albums. They especially come in handy when you're in a car that doesn't support your ipod adapter and the only alternative to the radio is the CD player. Just today I found out I filled up my entire CD holder, which has something like 72 sleeves that are in use, plus extras lying in the back that have no home.

#2. Nail Polish
Normally I don't ask to see my friends' nail polish collections, but I feel like mine could hold its own in a competition. If you ever want to borrow any, just ask! I have pretty much every color. 

#3. Windshield Imperfections
And by that I mean chips and cracks. I think I'll start naming them soon, although it might be hard to keep track of who's who. To start off, though, the dynamic 4 incher on the left shall be called Lulu. In total, I counted 2 actual cracks and 6 chips.

#4. Shoes
I'm actually not going to try claiming that I have the most shoes out of anybody I know, because I've heard worse than my current state, which is something in the mid to late 20's. My favorite apparatus for storing shoes, especially sneakers, is shown here, as well as my trio of boots that I just noticed all have something in common - a buckle on the ankle. Interesting coincidence. Flip flops, tennis shoes, work shoes, etc. are not pictured.

#5. Earrings & Rings
What can I say? I like to accessorize. Going to a school that requires uniforms for your whole life, you learn to express yourself in the small ways, such as always having fun jewelry. The big ring phase started after high school actually, when I suddenly became enamored with the red costume ring I got at the arcade for 50 tickets, and after that it was a love affair. Please note there are more rings in my collection than are in this picture. They are just too unusually constructed to fit into the normal mold. 

#6 - 10 
-  Notes from previous classes (high school and college)
-  Stickers - especially word and thought bubble ones 
-  Old movie and concert ticket stubs
-  Travel-size shampoos, conditioners, lotions, etc.
and of course,
-  God-given talent, in the form of pure Awesomeness

What do YOU have a lot of?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I swear, in the 11 months that I've been blogging, I'll never get back to the glory days of last summer when I was cranking out posts left and right, every few days. Now I either don't have inspiration or time. Both situations suck and I can't decide which one is worse, but I need to keep reminding myself to chill and stop playing the numbers game. Years from now when I look back, though, I don't want to think that all the fun stuff happened during the summer, because honestly, even though school and work are in the mix, the fun quota has not dropped one bit.

Anyway. A new vice has been increasingly manifesting itself to me. Whereas the thing I've been focusing on the most in the past few months is my bad eating habits, something new wants to take over. This vice has always been part of my life, but keeps getting more and more serious as I have to take on more and more financial responsibility. It is none other than the glorious activity of shopping (Haaaaallelujah!). 

Why do I think shopping is so awesome? To try to put this into words, it pretty much boils down to the fact that when I look good, I feel good. And when I get to find clothes that flatter me and I love, those things happen. I feel more confident, I get more compliments, yada yada. It's pretty simple, really. The problem is that I find too many things I like and would love to wear, so I end up buying them if they're cheap enough, but they pile up and I end up having too MANY things to wear. Or the outcome has it that one particular item just isn't something I want to wear that often, for one reason or another, even though I love putting it on, and that money kind of goes to waste. Good thing I'm a pretty thrifty person and don't like to spend more than $15 on a shirt or $30 on jeans, but in proportion to my own personal budget, shopping still takes up more than it should sometimes.

The most dangerous times to indulge in my habit are during the transitional seasons of fall and spring. I would have to say spring is a lot worse, especially this exact moment, because all I've wanted since December was for summer to come back again. Normally I'm not like this but suddenly I intensely don't care for winter at all, so every time the weather teases us with warm, sunny afternoons, I just can't help myself from buying clothes suitable for the warmer months, which actually aren't here yet. Add to that the fact that our family just booked a tropical cruise for June, and I have my sights set on even more cute summery dresses than I was planning on. Plus, every time I walk through Target they seem to have new clothes out, and there is never a time when I don't want to own something on a rack there that I don't already have.

I really want this watermelon shirt from Delia's.

I used to hate shopping because it was so hard to find clothes to fit my body type, but I've had enough experience by now that I just know the right places to look. I can usually tell by looking at something on a hanger if it will fit me in the right places or not, so I can eliminate those unwanted feelings of self hate from standing in front of the mirror in disappointment by just not presenting myself with those opportunities. That's not to say that I don't still try on plenty of things that don't work out, because that certainly happens a lot, too. I'm kind of infamous for being the girl that tries on 20 things and comes out with 2 or 3 that I like. When I walk into a changing room with clothes spilling out of my arms' grasp, it's not because I expect all of them will work out perfectly. In fact, sometimes I try on clothes without intending to buy any of them, just because I want to see what they'd look like. I feel bad for the dressing room attendants sometimes, especially at stores where their job is to specifically help you find things you like, because my shopping agenda is not usually what they're used to.

I've also become accustomed to always trying on dresses that I find cute, no matter what time of year it is. For me, personally, it's hard to find a dress that fits me right, so when an occasion comes up and I only have limited time to shop for one, that means my chances of finding a winner are much more slim. So all year round I keep my eyes open, just in case I find some buried treasure unexpectedly. I even lucked out today by finding two fantastically cute dresses that are both possibilities for a semi-formal event I have coming up. One of them was $9!! Did I tell you I was thrifty, or did I tell you I was thrifty? But of course, my mom usually buys my dresses for those kinds of things, and that's part of the reason we only shop inexpensively. Still, it's a good standard to have.

Another good rule to live by is always leave the tags on and keep your receipts until you wear everything. This seems like common sense but I still suffer setbacks from it. Occasionally when I'm getting ready in the morning I'll put on a new t-shirt with the intention of wearing it, take off the tags, and then decide 20 minutes later that I want to wear something else. The next week I will realize I probably won't want to wear the shirt that much at all, and I should probably take it back, only to remember that I already threw the tags out. I must stop doing this! It happened today, but it will be the last time. 

The principle I'm still debating on is this: Should you or should you not make it a habit of looking at the price tag before you try something on? A previous boyfriend and I disagreed on this - he said you never should, but I was set on the idea that it's a good practice. His point was that your notion of how expensive an item is will affect your like or dislike of it while you're trying it on. But his family's wealth situation was one that allowed him to bypass certain higher numbers on those tiny pieces of paper that would normally break my family's budget. The cool thing about this, though, is when you DO try on a dress that you really like and then find out it is ONLY NINE DOLLARS, that just makes everything ten times better. You pretty much have to buy it. 

One thing I also forgot to mention in previous posts was another thing I love about going to concerts is planning my outfits for them. I seriously think sometimes about starting a fashion blog, to keep record of all the perfectly put-together ensembles that I've adorned for numerous events. I would've taken pictures of the last few that I've been so happy wearing, but I'm not a fan of divulging what I look like to the anonymous audience that could be stalking me right now. Because I'm paranoid like that. 

Because I am so excited about it, I just found online a dress very similar to the one I got today (at Ross) that I hope I can wear in a few weeks to a dance. Here in this picture it doesn't look like anything special, but trust me, it is way cuter on me. It wasn't the $9 one - that's for backup - but they are both very chic.