Sunday, October 12, 2008

Awesome Dog Collar and Lease Give-Away

This awesome blog, Mimi Blog, is doing an awesome give-away for a dog collar and leash. All of their options are super cute.

If I win, this is the collar that I love the most:

Because It's OK to Complain

My new favorite thing:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Halftime Lessons Give-Away

Halftime Lessons is doing an amazing giveaway called "Jewelry, Art and Starbucks??!!" that I'm SO excited about. Who wouldn't be?

She's giving away adorable earings, a piece by Oranje (all of which are amazing looking) and a $20 Starbucks card. Like I said - who wouldn't be excited about this???

If I were to win one of Oranje's pieces, I would ask for one of these. Aren't they phenomenal?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tina Fey does Palin (Brilliantly)

This video is amazing, and I'm very angry that I can't figure out how to post the actual video itself in my blog. It's a Saturday NIght Live intro of Sara Palin and Hillary Clinton addressing the nation. It's done so brilliantly, I can't wait to show Zach when he gets home.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Women Against Sarah Palin

One week ago, the creators of this blog sent an email to 40 of their friends asking them to respond to Sarah Palin's nomination as the VP candidate. Those 40 friends forwarded the email to more friends, and to date, they have received over 100,000 emails from women expressing their varying degrees of dislike and disapproval for Sarah Palin and her political standing.

The fact that "Women Against Sarah Palin," which was created one week ago, and has had such a wide influence makes me feel very positive that we will not see the McCain/Palin pair take the seat in Washington. I hope that this blog, and every other form of media, is able to convince people not to vote Republican this coming November.

Here is an example of a few of the emails that have been posted on the blog:

As a woman and a registered Republican I am very concerned about the choice of Mrs. Palin as a vice-presidential candidate. I do not believe that she stands for most American woman as she is against a woman’s right to choose in medical decisions concerning her own body, she has demonstrated an intolerance for differing beliefs, she does not believe in birth control or sex education. I was planning on voting for McCain but the Republican ticket has lost my vote because of this choice.–Carol C., Tiverton, RI

Sarah Palin represents everything I fear and dislike about my own country—the anti-intellectualism, the arrogance, the divorce between style and substance. We have to rise up and show we're better people than this.–C. H., Fortuna, CA

First of all, thank you for doing this. Many of us have been pulling our hair out with fury, rage, depression, and disbelief that Sarah Palin received the Vice-Presidential nomination. Unfortunately we find ourselves at a moment in history where words and actions no longer have an equal relationship. Where the language of sincerity, thoughtfulness, and true intellect has been co-opted into a bad or suspect thing. Coupled with the sheer apathy and cynicism of American voters and their delusion that voting for someone "just like them" is actually a good thing leaves us at a potentially disastrous tipping point.

What is remarkable to me about Sarah Palin is that she seems to have no awareness that feminists of previous generations are what have made it possible for her to present her unwed, pregnant daughter without any public shame. As few as thirty years ago, Bristol would have been shipped off to have her baby in private and the child would have been put up for adoption. Because of Roe v. Wade feminists, unmarried women can now have children free from the shame of previous generations. Every generation of feminists has a burden or hurdle to overcome. Seventeen years ago Susan Faludi coined the term "backlash", but at this moment we are experiencing something infinitely worse: it's more like "whiplash". The powerful discrepancy between the image of a woman and what that woman represents is going to result in a dangerous election for all women.–Jana H., St. Louis, MOThe strongest impression that Sarah Palin has made on me so far is that she will say and/or do ANYTHING to get what she wants. And she has a long history of doing just that. Most of what she brags about in her speeches is an outright lie! The governor's private chef, the governor's private jet, and the bridge to nowhere, for just a few quick, easy examples. The rest of her claims to fame are at best distortions of the truth. The Alaskan legislature took to wearing buttons that said, "Where's Sarah?" because she spent so little time in Juneau. Once again, the GOP is deceiving the American people in a most callous and calculating way—just because they put a skirt on this time doesn't change a damned thing!–Peggy T., Lawrence, KS

These are just a few of the many many entries that are posted.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Floating Dogs

I found this picture on CuteOverload, and it completely made my day. Actually, it's made my week. And I've had a pretty great week.

I started classes (which are awesome), trained my replacement at Warm Biscuit (which I'm finishing at next week), started the marketing meetings at the Writing Center, and had my first UNV 101 class as a Peer Leader (which I am SO excited about).


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fun New York Pics

I very often feel like I'm not taking full advantage of this amazizng city that I live in, so here are a couple pics to prove that I am.

The first picture I took when leaving Shea Stadium after seeing the Yankees play against the Mets there. The Yankees lost, which made it much less fun, but I got to spend the afternoon with my cousins and Zach, so it wasn't a lost cause.

The 2nd picture is of a waterfall coming out of the Brooklyn Bridge. No I'm not making that up. Yes it is really there. Well, it might be gone now because it was a summer thing, I think, but it was really there. It was some type of "art." There were a few of these giant waterfalls all around the area.

And McSorley's Pub! I love this place. Everything about it... the sawdust, the wishbones, the really old pictures layering every inch of the walls, the cheese platter, the mustard, and most of all... the light and dark beer. Oh, and the giant furnace in the middle of the floor that will actually burn you if you're not careful.

Awesome Dime Store Daze Give-Away

Subu is hosting a give-away for these awesome double-sided earrings hand-made by DimeStoreDaze.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Little Mermaid Give-Away

I'm so excited - this is the greatest give-away ever! Okay... maybe not ever... but I am SO excited about it.

When I heard that Disney was making a prequel to The Little Mermaid, I was ecstatic. Here's the review as written by Erica of 5 Minutes for Mom:

Jodi Benson as Ariel and Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian, reprise their famous roles and put on an incredible show as they help to tell the story of a time when music was banned from the underwater kingdom of Atlantica. We watch as Ariel, torn between family duty and her love of music, makes a difficult choice in hopes of restoring music, friendship and love to the kingdom.

Since a Disney movie isn’t complete without a villain, Sally Field joins the stellar cast as the voice of Marina Del Rey, the evil governess for King Triton’s daughters.

I enjoyed watching the beginning portions of the movie, where we get to see Ariel, already a daddy’s girl, as a young tot. As a mom, I was also touched while watching Ariel’s mother as she lovingly sang to her daughters.

The animation is definitely up there with the original film. The musical numbers are also fun, but don’t compare to those we instantly fell in love with in the original Disney classic. For a straight to DVD movie, however, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning is superb.

In stores, the movie retails for $29.99, and I do feel it is worth every cent.

I've entered the contest, and I hope I win, but if I don't, I'll definitely go buy the DVD myself.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


My "About Me" mentions my spastic miniature dachshund, and just in case there was any confusion about him... I thought I would post some pictures so you could get to know him a little bit.

He loves sleeping in our clothing... sometimes he even burrows down into our laundry basket.

As much as he loves sleeping in our clothing, it's only a substitute for our laps. I really think that this dog wants nothing more in life than to be cuddled up on Zach and my laps, and if he can't be on top of us, then he settles for cuddling up next to us.

I realize he doesn't look especially long or dachshund-ey in any of these pictures so far, but really... he's a hot dog.One afternoon when I was sitting on the computer next to the coffee table, he crawled down my shoulder from the couch, and slowly extended himself so that he was sitting on my shoulder, but had his front paws on the table. He's such a funny little dog.

He's also one of the least photogenic dogs EVER. I've taken what must be hundreds and hundreds of pictures of him, and in ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ONE he either squints, closes his eyes, moves at the last second or does a special combination of the three. I've tried everything I can think of: flash, no flash, calling his name, jingling things behind the camera, hold treats behind me, but nothing results in great pictures... except for chance.


So I recently discovered this, and it's amazing! Prizey lists dozens and dozens of great give-aways, and while a lot of them are aimed at kids or moms, a lot of them are just awesome for anyone, like one of their more recent ones, a $200 American Express Gift Card. See? Cool.

And what's even better... Prizey led me to discover PrizyBooks! Give-aways... for books! Free books! It isn't updated quite as often as Prizey, and doesn't have as many give-aways, but I'm still excited about keeping an eye on it. I really can't imagine many things more exciting than a list of chances to win free books.

One of my favorites!

The Warm Biscuit Bedding Co. is holding a give-away for one of my favorite childhood toys: the Fisher Price Chatter Phone!

I'm so excited - if I had kids (or was planning on having them anytime in the near future) I would definitely participate in this giveaway.

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Quote

You read your first draft to find out what you have written. As simpleminded as that sounds, it’s both true and profound. You can’t revise intelligently until you have an accurate and comprehensive sense of what is actually on the page, and the difference between what you intended to write and what you actually wrote can mean the success of failure of the project. Don’t assume that you wrote about what you set out to write about.” Philip Gerard

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Goal #99 Reread 1984, Brave New World, and Farenheit 451.

I just finished re-reading Farenheit 451, and I loved it just as much as the first time that I read it. I can't remember exactly when that first was; I've read the book at least three or four times.
I held my breath as Montag went through his transformation; I fell in love with Clarisse and books all over again with Montag; and I looked around with wonder as Montag discovered the whole new world of scholars that existed outside of the normal civilization.
Today I started re-reading Handmaid's Tale because I thought that it was also part of this goal. But I was mistaken. I have to re-read Brave New World and 1984. Ah well, I'll read a different good book.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Miscellaneous Poem

I found this poem that I had written when I was in high school. I thought it was cute, and being how I have a couple goals about writing things and getting published, I thought I would post it up here. I realize that this isn't going to be published, but it's heading in the right direction.

Untitled Poem
Fall '02

I sit gently upon the grass


Watching the brown and red leaves

drift gently to the ground.

The surrounding forest offers

a splendid array of trees to

shed their summer clothes around me.

Are there faeries guiding

each and every falling leaf?

I catch a glimpse of a leg

and hear a soft giggle.

The flutter of a wing,

a soft whisper;

I believe that faeries

truly do exist.

Is that their elixir?

Does faith feed them on

just as disbelief kills?

A gold leaf with blood red veins

lands gently on my outstretched hand

and floats away

inviting me to follow it.

I rise and stroll down the path

leading into the darkness of the trees.

Soft fae music seems to

come from the trees

as I walk among them

inviting the sprites to come and join me

in a dance of joy and life.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

23. Re-read the Tao of Pooh and finish the Te of Piglet.

I read The Tao of Pooh for the first time in 10th grade. There was an amazing English teacher at school that year (I didn't have him, he was just so wonderful, that he reached out to everyone in the school). My best friend and I would stay after school just to talk about books, literature and life in general. We formed a mini book club, and I read some really amazing books that year.

One of them was The Tao of Pooh. It opened my mind so much. It was my first real influence to Taoism. At that point, I had rejected Catholocism, and my interest in Wicca was beginning to fade. I was still searching for something that made sense to me, and Taoism seemed to. I tried reading the Tao Te Ching, but that's a bit of hefty reading for a 15 year old. The Tao of Pooh was perfect for me. It used Winnie the Pooh and his friends to teach the principles of an ancient way of thinking. I still think that Benjamin Hoff was a wee bit of brilliant for thinking that up.

The Tao of Pooh encouraged people to live simplicitically, saying that Pooh (in his simplistic existence) had found the secret to a happy and peaceful life. The Te of Piglet takes everything one step farther and encourages readers to embrace their inner self, but somehow Hoff manages to make it seem like your inner self is only valid if you are meek and humble. Now, while I like to think of myself as humble, I'm definitely not meek. Obviously, the main character of The Te of Piglet is Piglet, the other 100 acre woods characters made cameos, but they were mostly only used as if to contrast with Piglet's purity and worth. Pooh was portrayed as arrogant and selfish, Rabbit as conceited, Owl as a know-it-all and Eeyore as hopelessly pessimistic. While all of this may be true, they aren't necessarily bad things. These traits are all perfectly acceptable as long as they are balanced by other, more positive, traits.

And there was also this entire section where Hoff compared Eeyores to feminists, who apparently are out to take down the current society and destroy the educational system. Granted, I'm not the most active feminist in the world, but I'm pretty sure I would have noticed people running around pulling down the country's schools.

Overall, I enjoyed re-reading The Tao of Pooh. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first read, but it was still pleasurable. I found very little worthwhile in The Te of Piglet, and I actually wouldn't even recommend it to anyone. It just seemed like Hoff was rambling throughout the entire book, and I guess, when you're trying to write a sequel to a best-seller that you never even intended to write, you might have some difficulty putting in decent topics.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Goal #24

This goal was to get my Tree of Life tattoo. I've been wanting this tattoo since high school, and I realized that I would always push it off if I didn't have something pushing me towards it.

I haven't crossed this goal off completely because I need to have a few things touched up with it, but I plan on doing that within the next month.

My tattooist's name is Ralph, and I went to him after he did an amazing peacock feather on my best friend's leg. I went into the shop with a few (really) rough sketches of what I wanted, and he sketched this right in front of me. After a few alterations, we were both happy, and he started tattooing my back.

It took over 2 hours... and it hurt... A LOT. My back was numb throughout most of it... but the parts over my tailbone and the detailing on the ribs was excrutiating. I only ended up taking one break, and went through the rest of it non-stop. My skin was very angry at me.
But voila! It looks amazing! I can't wait to take the next step and finish up the whole thing.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Goal #80

80. Stay completely up to date on the news for three monthes.

I decided (since I'm a lazy boob) to have the NY Times emailed to me every morning so that I would be able to read it, and it's been working wonders! When I'm busy, I only get to read through the headlines and skim through a few of the more important articles, but when I have spare time, I leisurely read through as much as I can. I love it.

I also read Feministing, a great feminist blog that helps to keep me up to date with everything pertaining to women that's happening around the world. I love reading it because the things they write about A. pertain to me a lot more than most of the Times articles, B. focus on things like women's rights in Israel, which the Times often overlooks.

The most recent article that I saw on Feministing, I just had to reprint here.

Valena Beety is an attorney and a board member of Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER), an organization that works to empower students and hold colleges accountable for sexual assault in on- and off-campus communities.

Melanie Ross thought Daniel Day, her college classmate, was fun and a decent date - until they were having sex and she told him he was hurting her. She asked him to stop - and he didn’t. After that, Ross broke up with Day, and avoided him.

Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Day from raping her a month later.

Her lawsuit against Day is now on appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court, in part because of the victim-blaming actions of the trial court judge. Judge Phillip Brown, despite a Georgia rape shield law, compelled Ross to disclose every person she had ever dated, or engaged in any sexual activity with, including their names, dates of interaction, and contact information. This evidence was supposedly to show “consent;” the actual purpose was to humiliate the victim and discourage her and other victims from pursuing these cases. Under Georgia state law, and federal law, a victim’s sexual history with third parties is supposed to be irrelevant. The result of this case is that any victim who brings a civil claim for sexual battery in Georgia must be prepared to discuss all of her previous sexual partners. The judge ultimately found Ross was not raped in part because, as all that testimony showed, she was not a virgin.

The trial court judge not only dismissed Ross’ claims - he ordered her to pay $150,000 for the court costs of her attacker. The judge found there was no evidence to support her claims of rape, in large part because Ross did not remember anything from the encounter: “There’s no witnesses in there. There was no evidence. It’s a closed door. And there’s no possibility that there could be any proof that there was rape...”

This was after the judge had dismissed the evidence: Ross could have received lacerations and redness documented in a rape kit from shaving, and “[b]ruises can come with a bump into furniture or from other causes.” As far as the claim that Day gave Ross a rape drug, defense counsel responded, “neither Day, nor anyone else for that matter, would have to use any type of drug to convince Plaintiff to participate in sexual conduct.”

The judge found that since Ross and Day had previously had a sexual relationship, Ross should have known her claims were “frivolous... there was no reasonable belief that a court would accept Plaintiff’s claims...”

The nightmare of this case, for Melanie Ross and for all future rape victims in Georgia, is that she was forced to discuss in elaborate detail her sexual past, and then she had her claims dismissed in part because she wasn’t a virgin. Moreover, not only did Ross lose her case, the judge fined her $150,000 for bringing it in the first place - a fee sure to dissuade other victims from coming forward with their own claims. This case is currently being appealed to the Supreme Court of Georgia, which can choose to hear it or not - let’s hope they right this wrong before it hurts more victims.

Posted by Jessica at 04:04

Sunday, March 23, 2008

101 Goals in 1001 Days

So, I've begun this adventure. I created a list of 101 goals that I want to accomplish in the next 1001 days. I began on Feb 1, 2008, and I have until October 29, 2010 to finish all of them. I haven't been sure how I was going to record everything, but it would seem that this is the most convenient place to store all of my experiences and accomplishments. Here is my list of goals.

101 Goals in 1001 Days

1. Get engaged.
2. Take three random weekend road trips.
3. Lose 15 lbs and keep it off.
4. Drink only water and tea for one month.
5. Eat 3 fruit everyday for one month.
6. Exercise five days a week for one month.
7. Buy a car.
8. Publish something.
9. Finish my book.
10. Get $3000 in my savings account.
11. Keep $1000 in my checking account for more than three months.
12. Fill another bookshelf.
13. Paint the dining room and bedroom.
14. Learn how to knit.
15. Learn how to tango or salsa.
16. Learn how to cook 20 easy meals.
17. Create my own cookbook.
18. Find/buy a new apartment/house.
19. Do an English related internship.
20. Earn my degree in English and Women's Studies with at least a 3.5 GPA.
21. Revamp my wardrobe.
22. Finish Pace's 5-year Publishing Master's program.
23. Re-read the Tao of Pooh and finish the Te of Piglet.
24. Get my Tree of Life tattoo.
25. Figure out a career.
26. Volunteer for a fundraiser.
27. Celebrate every Wiccan holiday for one year.
28. Go to a Pagan festival.
29. Take 4 belly dancing classes.
30. Travel to England, Scotland and Ireland.
31. Read all of Shakespeare's plays.
32. Write on the beach.
33. Whiten teeth.
34. Play 5 hours of music a week.
35. Keep the apartment really clean for a month. Really clean.
36. Find a better paying job.
37. Camp out on the beach with friends.
38. Eat organic for one week.
39. Take a wine testing tour on the North Fork.
40. Read the entire Berea Reading List.
41. Complete Guitar Hero III on Expert.
42. Go to yoga classes for one month.
43. Buy three staple dresses that I look amazing in.
44. Make ice cream.
45. Learn to drive a stick-shift.
46. Save $1000 in my IRA every year.
47. Take a painting class.
48. Photo-document an entire day.
49. Go to a spa and get the works.
50. Travel to the west coast.
51. Eat New England Clam Chowder in New England.
52. Eat a Philly Cheese-steak in Philadelphia.
53. Learn to do a cart-wheel.
54. Learn how to make apple pie from scratch.
55. Make a giant sandcastle.
56. Take a glass-blowing class.
57. Make sea-glass jewelry.
58. Get a nice tan.
59. Throw a masquerade ball.
60. Learn how to make peach cream pie from scratch.
61. Learn how to bake bread from scratch.
62. Wander around the New York Public Library.
63. See at least 4 plays a year.
64. Talk to a Tibetan monk.
65. Donate blood.
66. Be able to write a full paragraph in Latin.
67. Read five books on Oprah's reading list.
68. Read the whole Bible.
69. Go to the opera at least once a year.
70. Stretch at dawn five days a week for one month.
71. Watch a new movie once a week for three months.
72. Throw a surprise birthday party for Nikki.
73. Go to the TriBeCa film festival.
74. Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art every season.
75. Make peanut butter from scratch.
76. Make orange juice from scratch.
77. Sing and dance in the rain.
78. Stay up talking all night, and then sing "Good Morning" from Singin' in the Rain.
79. Read "the Faerie Queen" by Edmund Spenser.
80. Stay completely up to date with the news for three months.
81. Train Turbo to sit and stay.
82. Get an 80 gb iPod.
83. Fill an 80 gb iPod.
84. Listen to 1,001 new songs.
85. Write every day.
86. Go an entire month without cursing.
87. Play "Throught the Fire and the Flames" on Hard.
88. Celebrate another country's independence day in that country.
89. Have all homework done in advance (before the day it is due) for two months.
90. Read the Koran.
91. Find a new haircut that I love.
92. Find a signature drink.
93. Learn a new instrument.
94. Take vitamins every day for three months.
95. Stop cracking knuckles constantly.
96. Take Turbo for at least 2 long walks a week for four months.
97. Take Zach out for a really nice evening "on the town".
98. Beat Nikki at a game of Scrabble.
99. Reread 1984, Brave New World, and Farenheit 451.
100. Lay in the grass and do nothing.
101. Make a scrapbook or slideshow of my goals.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Did I get on the Crazy Train?

So my ride home from work today on the train was.... bizarre.

I pulled out my book and began reading as soon as I got on the train. Two stops later, three... kids got on. They couldn't have been more than 15 and they were loud and obnoxious. After shouting mindlessly for a few minutes, the one girl in the group turned to me and asked me what I was reading. Upon showing her the cover, she stared blankly at it for a few seconds, and then I explained that it was a story about King Arthur. Her blank look didn't change, and she asked me if he was English. King Arthur?? Of course he's English - who doesn't know who King Arthur is? But she just started laughing and scoffing about dead white men. Because mocking what you don't know always makes you seem more intelligent.

These youths continued to mock everyone on the train, as loudly as they could. And about halfway home, this troupe of Christians came onto the train. I can't call them anything besides a troupe. .There was one guy preaching about his love for Jesus, while the other people in his group sat or stood around the car. As he was talking, the trio was shouting and mocking him. They repeated everything he said and laughed whenever he paid attention to him. As soon as the main guy stopped talking, they all turned to the people near them and began asking what they had thought about the guy's speech. One girl asked me how I felt about Jesus. Then we came to the next station, and they all got off. It was odd.

A few stops after that, the trio got off, and I could hear them hollaring as we pulled out of the station. I finally got home, and was very wary as I walked home. I was afraid of running into more weird people.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Job

This is mostly a quick experiment.

I just got a new job working for this company - the Warm Biscuit Bedding Co. (
People always ask me if I cook dinner for my boyfriend. And they always seem shocked when I say that he does it more often than I do. In order to explain why I am slacking in the my womanly duties, I usually tell them that he gets home before I do, and that it's just easier on both of us not to wait. But... why should I have to explain myself? It's becoming more and more normal for men to hold their share in household dutes. And fine, I may not cook dinner most of the time, but I do the majority of the dishes, and I clean the apartment. Zach does the laundry most of the time, but again, he usually does it because he needs to clean his work uniforms more often than I need to wash my clothes, so we just throw my stuff in with his.

We share chores. Why do people find that so odd?

I <3 this blog:
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Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr