Monthly Archives: September 2010

Hilarious

With the recent wave of Sesame Street videos on YouTube (I’m thinking along the lines of Katy Perry and Elmo), I think it is highly appropriate to show this completely inappropriate video. While the humor might not appeal to everyone, for others it might be exactly what they need to make the day brighter. Enjoy!

Fall is in the Air?

It’s almost the last day in September, but that didn’t stop the temperatures hitting into the 80s today. As much as I love the seasons in Maine and the crisp air associated with fall, I can’t say that I’m hating this absurdly warm fall. It almost makes up for the fact that it was so incredibly hot all summer, limiting the amount of outdoor activities for people who aren’t fans of a sauna-like atmosphere. According to our friendly local weatherman Kevin Mannix, the weather should be much more seasonal next week, but chilly in comparison to the past few weeks. In my sociology class, one of the students is from Russia, spending her first fall in the northeast. It is alarming to her what the weather is like her, but the professor was quick to inform her that this is a true rarity that we are experiencing. Although it’s rare, I think we should all embrace the beautiful fall weather. The balmy air quality is summer-esque, almost convincing me that Christmas isn’t a short ways away. It won’t be long until the snow flies (maybe – you can never tell with the weather we’ve been having!) and we’ll be looking back fondly on the warm weather, anticipating the tropical weather of summer that is months and months away!

Timmy Ho Ho’s

Everyone loves to poke fun at Maine for being a part of Canada, but being so close to our northern neighbors has it definite benefits. Canadian businesses infiltrate our towns and we are left with the pleasantries offered by such companies as Irving oil and Tim Horton’s. Today I had the pleasure at stopping in to a Tim Horton’s in Old Town for coffee and a donut. I’ll admit that the coffee is not nearly as good as that offered by Boston-based Dunkin Donuts, but the delicious donut more than made up for it. Not only was the donut amazing, but the service is not what you would expect from a minimum wage job at a restaurant. The clerks, regardless of location are always chipper and helpful. Not to mention, Timmy Ho Ho’s is open 24 hours. Obviously this is of great appeal to someone like myself who has had my share of late nights (as well as early mornings!) Thank you, Canadian friends, for giving me such simple pleasures as a delicious coffee and a smiling face when I’m in a bad mood. I’ll be sure to never say a mean thing about Canadians for a while. And if someone wanted to bring me a lifetime supply of old-fashioned glazed donuts….I wouldn’t be opposed.

No Consequences for the Social Elite

Type Lindsay Lohan’s name into a Google search and you’ll find your request yielding over 160 million results. The has-been childhood star has been in the media for an astounding number of things, whether it be family turmoil, substance abuse issues, or her reported relationship with Samantha Ronson. In recent years, its been Lohan’s numerous run-ins with the law that have made her the brunt of so many late-night talk show host’s jokes, but the humor doesn’t end there. Lindsay Lohan, with her frequent jail visits, makes our criminal justice system look like a huge laugh.

Recently, after violating conditions of her probation by failing a random drug test, Lohan was sentenced to jail time. After serving less than 24 hours of her sentence, she was released from prison, after having met the $300,000 bail. This isn’t the first time this has happened either. It seems that most times Lohan is reprimanded for her disorderly behavior, the consequences aren’t nearly as dramatic as they would be for someone who lacks celebrity status. By placing terms of bail at $300,000, the judge knew that Lindsay would have no problem coming up with the cash sum, and would quickly be released from jail just in time to prepare for another night on the town. By being so lenient in the case of Lohan, the judge is only surrounding the judicial branch of our government with questionable motives and a lack of efficiency in its attempts to crack down on disgraceful actions.

Celebrities are not above the law, and it’s about time that this is reflected in our current court system. Although it is nearly impossible to set bail at a price that a celebrity like Lohan is unable to meet, there needs to be a new standard to keep social elites behind bars just like their more common counterparts. Were someone of less social status to be caught in similar situations as Lohan, they could guarantee themselves a significant jail sentence and frequent drug tests, as law enforcement would be chomping at the bit to put them back behind bars. On the basis of equal rights, everyone should be given the same treatment, whether it be in good times or bad. By making exceptions to the law to people who are exceedingly affluent, the system looks less than effective.

Growing up in such a society where celebrities could hypothetically get away with murder is by no means an environment in which children should be raised in. Each time you turn on the news, you are bombarded with stories like Lohan’s, in which it is seen as no big deal that her sentence got written off by meeting her bail. It is important that each and every individual be held accountable for their actions but it is highly unlikely that people are going to take such responsibility when they see others getting away with it so casually. Yet again, this is an occasion where our criminal justice system could step up and make a difference. By holding celebrities accountable for their offenses, it would be sending forth a message to citizens that it is wrong to commit such crimes and that by doing so, there are prices to pay.

As a country, we sometimes wonder why substance abuse and other issues became the problems that they are today. I think it is no coincidence that figures like Lindsay Lohan are notorious not only for their usage of illicit drugs but their uncanny ability to get away with serving their sentences, as it correlates almost directly with the amount of substance abuse currently observed in the United States. Were people to see that there are consequences to disobeying the law, I think a decline in drug possession would ensue. Judges and other court officials need to start implementing drastic measures on offenders so that word of mouth might travel that illegal behavior will be reprimanded. We should no longer have to put up with the shenanigans of Lindsay Lohan and her party girl friends, and its about time that their reign of illegal activity end.

An Explanation

I am doing an absolutely miserable job of writing in my blog lately, but I almost feel as if my lack of attentiveness if rightfully justified. Overwhelmed with my workload from school and trying to juggle any sort of a social life is a huge task in itself, and with a little extra stress added on the side, my life is not always as calm as it should be. Writer’s block keeps me away as well – it seems that I can longer think of quick, snappy things to critique. Excuses are lame though and I need to stop making them. However, until I have more time to myself, my posts will continue being sporadic. With that being said…it’s Sunday. A wonderful day to be lazy and productive at the same time. On the agenda for this girl: homework, studying and hopefully sometime to squeeze in a bit of leisure reading. I’m thankful to have so much to do though – if I have too much time to dwell on the things that have been bothering me, that would just lead to a bad, depressing situation. At the same time that I’m being productive, I’m also keeping my mind busy and not getting upset about things that are out of my control which is a beautiful thing. I won’t complain about the work, but I will grumble about the lack of leisure time.

Childhood Photography

A trip to a local apple orchard this weekend provoked many thoughts as people happily milled around in the crisp fall air. As a self-proclaimed people watcher, I shamelessly observed many families as they went about their business and was appalled by the amount of photos being taken by doting parents. Instead of enjoying the apple picking experience, many parents were much more focused on chronicling every moment of their kid’s childhood, whether it be posing their babies in a pumpkin patch or enthusiastically directing said offspring to stand near the entrance to the corn maze. Although this seems harmless, a huge problem lies in the innocence of such a simple act. People are spending more time taking pictures than actually creating memories. It’s time that we remind these people that a memory lasts a lifetime – and a photo could easily be destroyed or misplaced.

Photography is not to be looked down upon, but there comes a point when it becomes slightly obscene. By no means does any child wish to have multiple people looming over it, pointing flash bulbs into faces and shouting “cheese!” Instead, this kid would probably much prefer petting goats, drinking cider and wobbling about like a typical toddler. The parents are obviously afraid that they’ll someday forget this menial trip to a local farm and need hundreds (if not thousands!) of photos to look back fondly on the day they paid so much attention to their child that they nearly forgot the true reason why they were doing what they were doing.

This poses a question of neglect. Neglect is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “to pay no attention or too little attention to; disregard or slight.” It can easily be argued that these hyper vigilant parents are neglecting the true needs of their child by focusing solely on taking the perfect picture of their kid, just so they have a cute photo to put on the family Christmas card. The youth’s basic desires of having fun are being disregarded by the caregivers and all means of spontaneity is taken away. A wise person once told me that if thing’s are overly planned, all the fun is taken out of the occasion and this could easily be applied to the over indulgent parent-turned-photographer. By living life with a cute snapshot always in mind, the real purpose and enjoyment of being a parent is taken away. It’s important to show love to your child, but by taking countless photographs, the essence of childhood is subsequently disappearing at the same time.

As a child growing up, my parents took few photos of me. In it’s place was a heavy emphasis on having fun and simply going with the flow, which is something I look back upon fondly. Neither my mother or father were chasing me around with a 35mm in hand and I was able to wonder about freely without having to stop every few paces for a corny, staged photo. To the total disbelief of all of the camera-yielding parents I speak of, I still can remember events of my childhood without having to thumb through numerous pages of photo albums to elicit memories of the first time I rode a bicycle or the day I became a big sister. The things that are truly worth remembering will be engrained in my memory forever without having to be triggered by a photograph.

This phenomena is not just limited to first time parents though. You’ll notice the same kind of behavior at a college party. Every where you turn, a photo will be snapped whether it be a worthy moment or not. These photos are all over Facebook, and I’m guilty as charged of being tagged in my fair share of totally pointless photos. Chances are low that I’m going to forget all of the friends I’ve made but I still snag the opportunity to take a photo with them every chance I get. The difference between this though and the overly photographed toddler is that I am consenting to such an act, while the child has no stand against the flashbulb.

If parents want their children to really enjoy their childhood and look back fondly on their youth, the adults need to put their cameras away. A picture might be worth a thousand words – but a memory last’s a lifetime.

Compliments are Nice

I hate to admit it, but a compliment could very well be the deciding factor in the difference between a good day and a bad one. I once associated compliments under the same umbrella heading as doting, which is something I greatly despise, but am slowly beginning to see the perks of receiving compliments. By no means am I any sort of compliment seeker, but if you say something genuinely nice to me that you actually mean, chances are I’m going to have a good day. With that being said, it’s no fun at all being the recipient of run-of-the-mill compliments. You know the ones I’m talking about. “You’re soooo prettyyy!” or the incredibly popular, fake “I love you.” No. That is not acceptable whatsoever. If you don’t think I’m cute, don’t tell me otherwise. If I think you’re ugly, I’m not going to go out of my way to say something nice to you, and I expect the same in return. There is nothing worse than this fake nice crap, and it totally contradicts the point of even complimenting someone in the first place. Today, I received an email from a professor I had last semester, telling me how much she’s enjoying my column that I’ve been writing for the school paper. I know that’s genuine, thus meaning a lot to me. If you’re going to compliment me, try to make it unique and specific to who I am as a person. I know I can’t be overly picky about how I’m complimented, but a basic set of ground rules couldn’t hurt! 😉