25 December, 2007

Merry Christmoose!

Such a nice two days with the family... and one more celebration tomorrow.

Plus, this morning I got a laptop!!! About time I joined the ranks of mobile individuals. Even my two grandmothers have laptops already, teehee. Actually it's about time laptops caught up with me; this thing is awesome and I'm so happy I'll be able to bring it with me to Italy so I won't have to worry about finding a computer on campus all the time.

My prayers go out to those who are out fighting to protect our country so that we can enjoy this wonderful holiday in peace. Bobby, I love you and hope you are staying cool in Iraq! Hope everyone else's holiday was as merry as mine :-)

18 December, 2007

Break It Off

Done with finals... good results so far :-)

Planning a holiday dinner party for this Friday.

Finishing up my internship.

Getting excited for ROME! (3 weeks!!!)

05 December, 2007

Look Up

So many people, while walking, keep their heads facing the sidewalk. Not just girls in high heels trying not to misstep on the concrete. Either there is something incredibly interesting about the sidewalk I haven't yet discovered, or people just don't realize that the view is much better at eye-level.

You get a chance to make a connection with someone, if only for an instant, and you can practically change the course of someone's day with a simple glance and a few muscle movements. It doesn't even have to be a smile. You don't have to show any teeth. You can pull one of those, "I acknowledge your presence" nods that guys like to give. Unless you know the person - then by all means, do more. Dare to say hello! But the opportunity to push a little of your positive energy in someone else's direction is presented so many times throughout the day. (Hermits excepted). And so often it goes unanswered.

27 November, 2007

Things Done

  • Readings for Advertising, as usual / Checklist for Advertising group due Friday - Ohhh, double dipper! Finished the last quiz before break with another 97 :-) Also finished our project, which took 11 hours one day in the Tech Center - AH! But now all that is left is our presentation, this Monday, which will be a cakewalk compared to the rest of this semester.
  • Speech homework - prepare Speech of Persuasion - Oh man, I love when I don't go through and update for a while. Not only did I finish the speech of Persuasion, I also did the Proposition of Fact speech before break, and the Policy speech tonight, Tonsillitis and all. Which makes me semi-officially done with speech class for the semester!
  • CIS project - dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun DUN! As in, DONE with that portion, now I have to finish my blog entries by next week and then we have a final, including take-home essays.
  • Get curtains for my room and downstairs - I think I can officially take this off the "To Do" list now because I have blinds now and already found a subleaser who will be taking over my house in a few weeks anyway. Definitely not worried about curtains at this point.
  • Make appointment with dermatologist - Yeah, not going to happen. Skin, heal. It's like I'm talking to a dog.

26 November, 2007

End of World Revisited

Had to bring this one back. Classic. Click "START" below to watch the most hilarious Flash movie ever made :-D

25 November, 2007


A sore throat that I thought was a result of dry heat in the winter turned out to be tonsilitis. Yuck. Apparently I'm not supposed to go to class for the next two days, but that poses a small problem-o because I have two presentations in the next two days. I suppose I will just do what I usually do and tough it out. I guess my body really does know when I need a little R&R, but it couldn't have come at a worse time: right before finals. These next few weeks are going to be so much fun.

24 November, 2007

Black Friday

My first Black Friday ever went something like this:

  • Wake up at 6:30 am when Sidney calls
  • Fall back asleep until about 7 am after staying up until at least 12:30 on Thanksgiving
  • Shower and leave house around 9 am after breakfast, directions, and magazine reviewing
  • Drive to Fort Lee to meet Sidney, on the way passing through the Express EZ Pass by accident instead of using the cash lane
  • Arrive at his house around 10 am
  • Drive with Sidney to Verizon store to get him a replacement phone after a toilet-bowl incident
  • Wait for Sidney, who emerges from Verizon store frustrated and disgruntled due to a magic monitor in the store which had rearranged the names on the waiting list right before his turn
  • Drive halfway to Garden State Plaza before becoming annoyed with traffic and turning around in favor of Palisades Center
  • Search for parking for a good 20 minutes
  • Debate over eating options and search for food court to get energy back up; indulge
  • Begin shopping at Express for Men; help Sid pick out 3 shirts
  • Enter Express (for women) and pick out one shirt; not finding the proper shirt to go under it, check out, realizing that the 20% discount for the day would only be applied to merchandise purchased before 11 am - now long past - and that sales tax is applicable in New York
  • Leave mall, still not understanding the whole fuss of Black Friday as Sidney and I had each purchased merchandise at full-price anyway
  • Return home, meet Sidney's family, see a movie, take a nap, go out to eat, sleep

Overall a great day unrelated to Black Friday. Maybe next year we will plan our adventure earlier than the night of Thanksgiving, wake up early, and buy electronics.

08 November, 2007

Awkward Voicemail

Memory card reader + Qualcomm's PureVoice converter =

...Freshman Year Relived.

07 November, 2007

Awareness... in Marketing and Dating

Sometimes you just need to let them know you're out there. In our 7UP campaign for advertising class this semester, one of our main objectives is awareness. We are targeting male consumers and using a variety of sports-themed appeals to generate awareness and interest in this market for our "all-natural" 7UP.

How ironic that the same concept can be used in dating. Think about it.


AIDA: A well-established conceptual framework in the marketing world. Now apply to real life. Ready:

Girl hears motorcycle being revved up - yet again - across the street at neighbor's house, at night, under her window. Grows some balls and finally yells out the window, "Hey, when can I get a ride?" Immediate Awareness. Guy approaches window. Interest verified. See how simple life is? Those marketers have it all figured out. Desire and Action still TBD.

05 November, 2007

Mobile Blogging Review

So Verizon adds a bunch of annoying text and links at the bottom of messages sent through the PIX/FLIX feature directly to Blogger (or anywhere). I have a VX8100. Thinking of upgrading soon but still trying to squeeze the useful life out of this one by exploring its other features etc. And I am a bit attached.

Mobile Blogging through VX8100's PIX msg feature - Pros:

  • 1000 characters.
  • Ability to include a picture, video, or sound...
  • ...which seems to agree with Blogger as well, saving me a little time not having to use the "upload" feature.
  • Only have to pay the PIX/FLIX message fee, no online fees.
  • Helps me get my thoughts out when I have them, not hours later. I mean, when don't I have my cell near me? A girl's gotta stay connected!

Mobile Blogging through VX8100's PIX msg feature - Cons:

  • Image did not default to centered and seems to be in some other format than regular images uploaded to Blogger.
  • Aforementioned annoying text.
  • Cannot classify posts through mobile message.

I could actually sign online through my phone but I'd have to pay either $5/month or $1/ 24 hours. Might come in handy when I'm in Italy, have service, and don't have a laptop or computer available. Other than that I don't think I'd be using the internet on my phone when I usually have free computers all around. This method would also require me to pay for "Mobile Web" and who knows how much that is. I wasted about 2 minutes just reading the prices!

The TXT message feature on my phone cannot send subjects, and has a 160-character limit. So unless I want a post that says the same thing as it's title - and very quickly - I will not be using that method.

The good thing about Blogger, though, is that it has the option to edit the posts before posting them on my blog. So I can use that feature in conjunction with my phone to get thoughts out if necessary throughout the day. Obviously my direct-to-blog ideal will have to wait for my next phone purchase.

And you will have to wait for my next update: another fun phone trick / media item. Hint: It's a sound clip. It's relateable, you will like it.

Testing out mobile blogging!

Dresser with peacock feathers in a vintage vase

Let's see if the subject line thing works and I don't end up with the same text and title for the post :-) In the meantime, a picture of my fun vase holding peacock feathers I was given this summer. Found the vase at the Salvation Army!

04 November, 2007

No Marketing

I was at UPenn all day Friday for a conference run by their AMA chapter, called "MUSE" (Marketing Undergraduate Students Establishment). The theme of the conference was "No Rules Marketing" but the flyer made it look like "No Marketing" because "Rules" was crossed out. For effect? We had a chuckle:

MUSE conference flyer
© MUSE Used with permission.

Anyway, the keynote speaker was fabulous, very high-profile with a depth of knowledge about emerging media, which she shared with all of us. Read her bio here. I also went to some interesting speaker sessions, and then participated in a case competition.

I had been really excited to go to this conference, not only because of the speaker session descriptions, but because I had a chance to see what Wharton kids are doing and compare notes. The Jon. M. Huntsman Hall resembles our Tech Center with breakout rooms, etc., and I enjoyed walking around the campus. I would love to see more networking opportunities between Philadelphia area schools and AMA collegiate chapters in general. There were even some students from Maryland and Virginia in attendance.

Overall, a very good experience. Any education missed from the 3 classes I skipped was definitely compensated for with the perspective gained. It is now permanently drilled into my brain that mass-media is dead, haha. Would have liked to see a bit more of an international perspective, though. I think that is something Temple does well. Maybe at the next one.

PS - We won second place in the case competition!

03 November, 2007

Connotations of "Prejudice"

It's interesting that even in a school like Temple, the "Diversity University," there is still so much prejudice, and we don't always recognize it. I'm not saying I don't have my own personal prejudices - anyone who tells you, "I'm not prejudice / racist / etc." is clearly lying. I don't think anyone in this world is 100% free of prejudice. When we first meet someone we already begin to form an opinion about them based on previous experiences with people that look/talk/act like them.

Not all prejudice is a bad thing and it helps us get through our daily lives; however, there is an obvious negative connotation to the word which makes most people deny their own prejudices. It's something I experienced firsthand at Lehigh, and am now beginning to notice at Temple as well.

The other day a fellow student described someone as "North Philly Trash." That someone happened to be a very dear friend of mine. Offended? Yes. Surprised? A little, but I guess I shouldn't have been. Another student described an experience on an airplane when he was placed next to a Middle-Eastern man. "Now I'm not prejudice, but," (of course "but") "this guy smelled bad, was wearing (etc., etc.) ... and he started to look shift through his bag, for a long time. So I'm sitting there like, omg what is this guy doing? ... Eventually he just pulled out an iPod." My classmate should have learned a lesson here. But probably not the right one.

I don't exactly blame my classmate for his reaction on the plane, but there's no denying it was racist. The lesson I wish my classmate would have learned, is that his actions were motivated by racism. His tension on the plane, his fear (again, not necessarily "wrong" responses, actually a fairly normal human instinct to sense danger, which is necessary for survival) were actions motivated by a stereotype, a prejudice, in this case racism.

Failing to recognize when your actions are being motivated by personal prejudices, you may miss out things: an intellectual conversation, a new perspective, a good friend, or a wonderful relationship. It's so unfortunate that we have been trained to say "I'm not prejudice, but" to avoid criticism. I have a lot more respect for people who say, "I know I'm being prejudice, but" than people who don't recognize this in themselves and think that the world won't either.

31 October, 2007

Oh, Shoot! More violence in the city of Brothely Love

3 shootings in one week. All I hear are sirens this morning as a police officer at a Dunkin' Donuts on 6620 N Broad St was shot a little earlier today. A shoot-out is about to occur with over 30 cop cars and 2 helicopters, according to the observations of fellow Temple students. Personally I have counted at least 10 cop cars heading up Broad Street just while walking back from class, and the sirens aren't stopping. I'd say ballpark 50 cars. According to CBS3, cops are coming all the way from South Philadelphia, and from the footage on TV a little after 10:30, most of them were still on their way. I guess it's goin' down right about now. I just hope no more good guys get hurt.

26 October, 2007

I See Hooters

In trying to find the location of the Bensalem Hooters for a roommate dinner we are planning for tonight, I came across this interesting new technology... "Bird's Eye View" of the map, an improvement on the aerial maps now used by Google and MapQuest. An even more interestingly is the fact that this map was on Windows Live Search, which I was using by accident through the toolbar at the Tech Center, thinking it was Google. Imagine that - a Microsoft product beating out Google in technology? I had to investigate. Here is the bird's eye view from "Microsoft Virtual Earth." If you zoom in, you can even see the Hooters sign!

So of course I had to go to Google and see if maybe I was missing something in the mapping world. Apparently I was... but a different technology called "Street View." Different from Birds Eye View? Let's see.

There it is, in all its wonderful glory. The only problem with Street view is that it's harder to navigate, these funny yellow lines are always following the road, it's slightly counter-intuitive, and it's VERY limited. Mostly major cities and some major highways. My area in NJ had none although I explored 287 a bit to see if I would get hit by a virtual car. Somehow Google doesn't let that happen - your lane changes or the car does, it's kind of weird technologically speaking. Nevermind philosophically speaking. This bring up some new Second-Life-esque issues. Even creepier, I found this image near Temple...

Note the Temple vs. Navy banner, which from my deductive reasoning tells me this must be sometime in August. Which also explains why the campus isn't poppin. I wonder who that guy is, and if he knows that he is now online for all the world to see, because at that very instant he happened to begin crossing the street and a satellite somewhere was taking his picture. Is someone watching me.... or you?

When aerial images first came out, it was cool to see a mini-pic of your house, your neighborhood, your friend's house. Your enemy's house, even? Now it's like, "aerial" images are not enough. We have to have "bird's eye" or even "street" view. Of course. So here is my hood:

Let the creepiness continue!

A real bird's eye view...

Bird's eye image
© Astra Ravenscroft Used with permission.


25 October, 2007

Nice Package

What the heck is the point of designing a package that doesn't work? I mean, what are these "easy open" pulltabs doing if you have to rip the whole thing apart anyway? I just bought some Energizer batteries to re-power my ever-needy wireless mouse and would have loved if the little plastic holder piece could have opened when I used the perforated opening thing on the back. But, no, I had to rip up the whole darn thing and make a messy looking holder case for my remaining 2 batteries. Which I will have to use for my ever-needy digital camera now. So I will be throwing it all away regardless. But, if I had been able to save the extra batteries, where would I have put them? Surely not back into the ugly packaging remnants.

Consumer Packaging

I mind ripping open batteries. I don't mind opening up Christmas presents, birthday presents, gifts, or Halloween candy. Or Halloween presents!

An example of good packaging by UPS!

Thanks, ma!

24 October, 2007

Things Done

  • Computer configuration assignment for CIS - And learned something about hardware. Might even build my own computer one day, if I'm feeling ambitious.
  • Meet with CIS group - Thursday Oct 11 - Accomplished something, plus wrote my part of the outline, and the introduction. Still to do: Prepare debate and wiki.
  • Erin's going away party - Met some of her fabulous friends who came from all over the country to see her off!
  • Return Verizon phone to store only after getting a third replacement device because the second one was so screwed up. Unfortunately none of my ringtones or custom T9 words or any other settings like that transfered :-(
  • Blog assignment on intellectual property for CIS - FINALLY did this, along with one other blog and two comments on other students' blogs, which means I still have 3 blogs and 3 comments left for the semester haha.
  • Get curtains for my room and downstairs - Kinda done, but still a wip because one of the shades didn't fit so we have to go back to Home Depot, and I would still like some valences. But since I'll be leaving the country in just over a *month* I might leave it for later. Maybe my sub-leaser will get sick of living with dusty blinds and take care of it.
Not to mention vast amounts of updates to all my websites! *g*

19 October, 2007

Shades as Censorship?

The other day, as I'm hanging up my new shades, sprawled out across my window with one hand clinging to the molding for dear life and another clasping the awkwardly long roller shade - not to mention one foot desperately balanced on the top of my radiator, hoping it can support me while the other precariously situated on the bottom molding of the window - anyway, as I'm situated quite comedically for all of North Philly to see, dozens of kids start marching up our block. I freeze for a moment like a deer in headlights, hoping they don't notice me splattered like a fly up against the window.

They definitely don't notice, and I dismount. They have a mission of their own, which I am now very curious about. My curiosity is soon satisfied, and my only regret is that I didn't grab my camera to capture the action sooner. An all-out fist fight breaks out between two of the youngsters, complete with cheering, screaming, and some vehicle interaction, which -thank goodness I wasn't parked on our street that afternoon- fortunately did not result in any damage, and finally the sound of a police siren which causes them all to scatter. Here is that part of the episode for your sadistic delight.

And to think, if my shades had been up I might have missed it all.

14 October, 2007

Fly Away

I went home this weekend, for my dear mentor Erin's going away party. Not that I see her very much anyway, but she is moving to Hong Kong for 8 months and that is quite a trip. The song "Only One Call Away" by Chingy comes to mind, as an antithesis to the situation.

I got a lot accomplished at home. A lot of which has to do with my life here in Philly. Bought shades for my apartment to replace the dirty broken blinds which are probably causing my immune system a lot of distress. Toothbrush holders for both bathrooms. A dish drainer. A switchplate for my bedroom light. And more useless comfort items that make our lives in America so wonderful. Plus my Aunt Leslie brought me a battery-powered drill, asserting "Every girl needs power tools!" as she handed it to me on Saturday. Power to the feminists!

Came back to my apartment and installed aforementioned switchplate, toothbrush holders, dish drainer. Shades still TBI: one is a hair too wide and must be taken back to Home Depot.

And now there is a fly buzzing around my room. Fly away, fly! Safe flight tomorrow, Erin :-(

12 October, 2007

Exploding Bananas

We've had a banana sitting on top of our microwave for a few weeks now. No one claimed it and, in retrospect, it was probably mine, but Anna and I had both bought bananas the other week so there was a general lack of communication on the matter. Until now.

This morning I went downstairs and found Anna cleaning up a huge mess which she described so succinctly: "the banana exploded." Lucy added that she had seen it last night and it "hadn't exploded yet." Unfortunately, an army of ants had found it before we did, and were thoroughly enjoying all the juicy gooeyness of it before we came and wiped them up. Moral of the story: don't leave your bananas out for too long - they WILL explode!

10 October, 2007

You know you're a design major when...

You get excited about Adobe products.

Even though I'm not technically a design major anymore.

Ah yes... Updates

Things from my "To Do" list on the right side of the screen that I've actually done in the past week.

  • "Accounting chapter 5 this week" - Not only that, but it would seem that we have just finished chapter 7, and have a midterm this Thursday!
  • "Pay / dispute my first parking ticket of the semester" - Not only that, but I have gotten another one for parking so impossibly close to the curb that it makes it difficult for one to "turn onto the highway" as the officer so kindly noted. Sure, 15th street is quite the intersection...
  • "Get magenta ink for HP Photosmart printer" - Strategically found a spot to pick it up at a CompUSA in Mt Laurel after my internship dinner meeting in the eponymous town last week. Online ordering for in-store pickup, sweet!
  • "Drop off book for return at post office in the SAC" - And even got the confirmation of my reimbursement from Amazon, unfortunately not for the original costs to ship it here.
  • "Speech homework" - Although this elusive topic will stay posted along with "Random Italian homework," I did manage to present a kick-ass informative speech last week, and had to sit through 3 more hours of them tonight.
  • "Readings for Advertising - next quiz Friday on chapters 4-8" - Ah yes, and I got a 92, because it was weighted, or else it would have been an 86. Not half bad considering I was enjoying some sweet Mojitos that Thursday night with Greek Steve and Dems.
  • "Schedule a lunch with my mentee Meghan" - A compromise, actually, in that we had brunch / coffee. It was nice to finally meet her but I don't know when we'll be able to meet again. Speaking of mentors, I haven't been keeping in touch with mine although I am going to see Erin on Friday for her going away party before she runs off to Hong Kong! Crazy girl.
  • "Return blank VHS to Rite Aid" - Along with the blank DVD-RWs that I didn't need to dub my speech tape after all. Yes, I dubbed it and all by myself! But no I will not post it until the embarrassment of hearing myself speak wears off.
And furthermore...

I completed my Visa application for Rome! What a hassle. I had to get a new passport photo taken, get my actual passport, an Express mail envelope which no-they-don't-sell-at-the-campus-post-office so I had to go all the way to the (truly ghetto, slightly unnerving) north Philly post office branch and the darn thing cost like 16 bucks! Luckily I knew where the post office was because of the time I escorted Anna there on foot, and luckily I have my car because I would NEVER want to do that again. I think the two parking tickets this semester were worth it just for that, haha.

Oh yeah and, the weekend... Michael came up for [his] 3-day Columbus Day weekend. We went to my homecoming game (we won!), South Street, the Gym Class Heroes concert, a club party at the YMCA, the art museum, and Pat's & Geno's. I feel like a real Philly kid :-)

25 September, 2007

After a not-so-good weekend, even Mondays look good

Adrenaline kept me going all day, but I woke up feeling unwarrantably refreshed.

I actually took the time to put together a cute outfit and do my makeup before walking to my 8:40 advertising class this morning. There, I got back an assignment from last week with a grade of 19/20, so that really started my morning off right. Plus I participated in class, which I haven't been doing much for some reason. I think it has to do with me not wanting to look like a smart ass in a non-honors section. Just laying low.

After advertising, I got some coffee and went to CIS lecture, which is usually pretty interesting. After that I went home and made myself a grilled chicken wrap. I am becoming quite the kitchen aficionado!

In our Italian lab we watched a music video on YouTube by an artist named Vasco Rossi called Senza Parole. When we watch these videos our instructor doesn't tell us what the words mean, so I just looked it up and this one means "Without Words," ironically. I guess the point of the video is that sometimes you just understand things and there are no words to describe it, or no need to try. At the end of the video there are a lot of couples kissing so I think it has to do with love. For lecture we went over sentence structures - even though the homework this weekend was to write a long e-mail to a friend using... oh yeah, sentences! Anyway it was pretty inutitive, and then I was done for the day!

I went to the Tech to try to do a video dubbing but Chris, who was explaining things to me the other day, wasn't there and the guy that was trying to help me had no more clue than I did about how to set everything up. In fact it was a struggle just to rewind my VHS. So now I am not even sure if my speech footage is going to be on the tape because I shouldn't have had to rewind it more than a few seconds. I guess I will have to find out later where there are VCRs on campus.

Worked up an appetite from all that waiting. Went home and cooked a pasta salad. I kinda like to do things without recipes but it turned out not bad. Actually I ate too much of it and got a stomach ache, then laid on the couch while watching the end of a show on the Food Network and passed out for a bit. When I woke up I had a lot of cleaning up to do and... the ants were after some spilled balsamic vinaigrette. Yuck! I wish they would just go away already.

Did some research for Speech class about the environment and corporate accountability. Then made guacamole. Unfortunately the avocado was a little over-ripe so it wasn't as good as it could have been.

Oh yeah, and I did a load of whites. Now I need more laundry detergent.

24 September, 2007

First post!

Okay I'm excited because this blog was a lot easier than I thought to set up and make look the way I want. I haven't blogged since Xanga in high school, hehe. But it is really late on a Sunday night and I have class early tomorrow. Unfortunately my body is still on the weekend schedule and does not want to go to sleep.

There's a lot of noise outside my window right now (my room faces the street). Click-clank and scraaape. At first I thought it was my music, or one of my roommates still up. But, nope, one of our neighbors is removing all their empty beer bottles from the vicinity of their living room and dragging them to the street for trash day tomorrow. Oh, Philly.

Follow this blog - it's easier than stalking and less creepy