Monthly Archives: April 2010

Friday Five: Welcome to the Shire.

What a week! We started off on Monday with Boobquake and ended it with a million people on Facebook who want our president to die. Guess which one I enjoyed more. (Hint: As a non-lesbian, I am not ashamed to say I like boobs.)

Lots of fun stuff this week! Here’s just a sampling of the nifty things found by my Twitter and Facebook friends!

1. Winscape

Mary Ann, a friend on Facebook, linked me up with this amazing site. Ever wanted to wake up overlooking the ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge or other world landmarks, or even outer space? Now you can! And the beauty of it is, this technology is available right now. Well, that is, if you have the cash to buy two flat screen HDTVs. Which I don’t. But it’s still a freakin’ cool idea!

Source: RationalCraft.com

Photo by Maddie Chambers

The outside of Maddie Chambers' Hobbit Hole. You should see the inside! Such amazing detail!

2. Hand-made Hobbit Hole

Maddie Chambers has some serious skills. She’s created an amazing model of Bag End. Actually, I’m not even sure “amazing” is sufficient enough to describe it. It is a beautiful piece of work, and as a bonus, she even shows you how she made the model on her blog. Be sure to check it out, because I’m insanely jealous and wish I had an ounce of her talent. I’ve borrowed one of her photos to whet your appetite. Now go check out the rest!

Source: Maddie Chambers at Madshobbithole.

3. Gaga a capella

I’ll admit, I like some of Lady Gaga’s music. Not so sure I like Lady Gaga herself or her wacky lifestyle, but some of her music is not bad. Actually, it’s really quite good when performed by an all male a capella group from the University of Oregon. They’ve got the moves to match, too. Bonus!

Source: Huffington Post

4. Star Trek meets Monty Python

Last week, I made a post with a list of TV shows I’d love to see crossover. Seeing as how all the shows I listed were on different networks, really the only way I’d ever see any of these crossovers is in fanfiction. Or, apparently, on YouTube. Take a look at what happens when two iconic franchises meet. The result is hilarious.

Source: StarshipConductor on YouTube

5. 8-bit Dr. Horrible

I could not let the conclusion of the amazing 8-bit Dr. Horrible game go unlinked. DoctorOctoroc has done an amazing job re-visioning Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” as an 8-bit video game, complete with ’80s video game music. If you haven’t seen the end yet, here’s Act 3, Part 1 and Act 3, Part 2.

Source: DoctorOctoroc

Forgive me for ending with a bit of self-promotion, but I made my podcast (sort of) debut this week over on Geek Bits. I recorded a Geek Byte with Dan, Matt and Opey about our reactions to the movie Kick-Ass. I sound like an utter dork, but give it a listen if you’ve got time. 🙂

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Divided we fall

I dislike talking politics. Mostly because I tend to get too emotional and I’m afraid someday I’ll lose my cool and beat someone’s head against a wall for sheer idiocy. I’m a hard-left liberal Democrat and proud of it. But I’ve tried hard to not talk politics, especially lately. Especially after a certain incident with a former friend that I will not go into, but still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I did not want my blog to be a bitch-blog. I have my locked-down LiveJournal for that.

HOWEVER.

You right-wingers who are so hung up on stupid things like birth certificates. You make me angry. You make me want to stab things. You make me weep for this country.

President Obama was born in Hawaii. Get over it. President Obama is a natural-born citizen. It does not matter that his father was not. Get over it. He is our rightful president, elected by the people (which is more than you can say for the last guy).

Get over it.

And you. You morons. You so-call “Christians.” Shame on you. Shame on you for joining groups like the one of Facebook called “DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN.” Praying for another human being’s death?

You make me sick.

This is why I want nothing to do with your religion or your party. This is why our country is so divided right now. Instead of entering into a realistic debate over how to solve the problems of our country, or even just praying for our leaders to find a way out of the mess we’re in, you pray for the president’s death? Really?

Grow. The fuck. Up.

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5 years ’til hoverboards!

My friends on Facebook love joining groups. “I know I’m weird. I accept that.” “I don’t feel like folding my laundry so I just restart the dryer.” “Dear sleep, I know we had problems when I was younger, but now I love you.” A lot of these make me laugh. Sometimes they make me think.

One of my friends recently joined “the world won’t end in 2012 because Marty McFly went to 2015.” That one made me think.

To be honest, I don't know if my heart (or my bladder) could take scary holographic movies.

Twenty-one years ago, I remember sitting in the theater, watching Marty McFly travel to the year 2015 to rescue his son, Marty McFly Jr., from Griff Tannen, Biff’s grandson. How awesome was the future? Flying cars. Robotic gas stations. Food hydrators. HOVERBOARDS!

But it got me thinking. This is 2010. 2015 is only five years away. R&D departments need to step it up to get all these things out by 2015!

Sure, some of the stuff in the movie have come to pass. We do have games where you don’t need to use your hands. If you’re filthy rich, you can get your home automated. And while thumbprint technology isn’t quite here yet, many people can make mobile payments using cell phones.

Remember the holographic Jaws that popped out of the movie theater and tried to eat Marty? Not there yet, but with the recent strides in 3-D technology (thank you, Avatar), can holographic movies be far behind?

But fine years… can we really get flying cars in five years? Think of all the arial infrastructure we’d have to build. But I can live without flying cars. Forget flying cars, people. Start working on that hoverboard technology! Most of us 30-somethings are still drooling over the possibility of owning our own hoverboard. We expect them to hit the shelves by 2015, or else Back to the Future II was all a dirty LIE!

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Boobquake 2010: Will the earth tremble?

I can’t remember where I first heard about Boobquake. Probably Twitter because that’s where I find the bestest stuff. But I remember thinking that, even though I don’t own much in the way of low-cut, “immodest” clothing, I’d participate. You know, all in the name of science.

Blogger Jen McCreight came up with the idea for Boobquake after reading a news article about an Iranian cleric who blamed the recent earthquakes on immodest dress and promiscuity.

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.

I agree with McCreight that this kind of thinking is utter poppycock. McCreight decided to test this theory by urging those women who would like to participate to wear the most immodest, cleavage revealing piece of clothing they own on Monday, April 26. The idea was to see if the earth would move under the weight of so many exposed boobs.

My virtual participation in Boobquake. Let's face it, these are nicer to look at than my own anyway.

McCreight offered her idea as mostly a joke, but it took off, exploding on Facebook, Twitter, then TV. The Facebook page has dozens of photos of women daring the earth to quake today. So far, I haven’t felt a thing.

I wanted to participate. I even remembered this morning that today was Boobquake day. Unfortunately, I really don’t own anything that low-cut. The couple of shirts I do have that might have worked are in the laundry. So from what clean clothes I had left in the closet, I picked the lowest-cut top I could. Which isn’t very low at all. And then I had to add a sweater on top of it, because it’s been bloody cold this morning. So I may not be participating as much as I could, but I’m participating in spirit.

I’m not going to get into the controversy of this movement. I don’t care whether feminists feel empowered or pissed off. It’s the Iranian cleric and those who likewise believe that “immoral” behavior — by anyone — leads to natural disasters who need to be shown that their so-called theories are hogwash.

So ladies, today, if you’ve got ’em, flaunt ’em. And if you don’t got ’em… flaunt ’em anyway.

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What happened to Doctor Who’s originality?

If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge “Doctor Who” fan. Though still a relative newbie to the show, I’ve watched the revised series enough times to have whole chunks of it memorized and I’ve been renting as many of the old ones as I can.

I cried buckets when David Tennant left the show. I loved him and I think he will always be my favorite Doctor, but I was pretty gung-ho to see Matt Smith in the role when it premiered last weekend. I loved the story so much that I was willing to give the new guy as well as his writers a chance.

I'd hit the 'forget' button too if I had to walk around covered in vomit.

The first episode, “The Eleventh Hour,” was OK. Not brilliant, but not bad. It served its purpose in introducing us to the Eleventh Doctor and his new companion, Amy Pond. Smith’s version of the Doctor seems slightly more insane than Tennant’s, and I’m still trying to work out whether or not that’s a good thing. Karen Gillan is cute as a button, but her character, Amy… well, I don’t really like her. But then, I hated Donna when I first met her, and by the end, she was my favorite of all the Doctor’s companions. So I’ll keep an open mind.

The second episode, “The Beast Below,” really threw me, though. With “Doctor Who,” I want to see new and exciting things, but with this episode, the story was just too familiar. I expected more from writer Steven Moffat, who gave us the much-loved “Blink.”

The things that bothered me were first, the obvious Star Wars references. Normally, I love it when shows reference Star Wars, but not this one. “Doctor Who” is its own phenomenon. It doesn’t need pop-culture references. The line “Help us, Doctor, you’re our only hope” had me rolling my eyes. Then, coupled with the Doctor and Amy being shoved down the garbage chute into the waste disposal (mouth) section of the ship, even my mother said, “Well, that’s right out of Star Wars, isn’t it?” Was it done on purpose? I don’t know, but I didn’t care for it.

The second thing that bothered me was that this was not a new story. It was just too much of Ursula K. Le Guin’s story, “The One Who Walk Away From Omelas.” In “Omelas,” Le Guin introduces us to an almost-Utopian society whose inhabitants, upon coming of age, are told that “the good fortune of Omelas requires that a single unfortunate child be kept in perpetual filth, darkness and misery.” Instead of being offered a choice of forgetting, most of the population of Omelas come to terms with the fact that their perfect society requires the sacrifice of one child. Those who don’t walk away.

In “The Beast Below,” the citizens of Starship UK are shown that their society is dependent on the enslavement and torture of a star whale, a benevolent creature and the last of its kind. But most of them choose to forget, though subconsciously, they know something is wrong.

There was just too much similarity to the two stories, and others with the same theme, such as “The Lottery,” for me to really enjoy it for what it was supposed to be — the first real adventure of the Doctor and Amy.

But I’m far from giving up on this season. We still have the return of the Weeping Angels and River Song to look forward to. I’m just disappointed in how this season has begun.

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Friday Five: Parting is such sweet sorrow, Doctor.

My two-year old nephew has been staying with us this week, so there hasn’t been much online time. Actually, there hasn’t been much time for anything except the same episode of “Barney” over and over and over and over. And over. I hate that damn purple dinosaur. Is it just me, or does anyone else get some serious child molester vibes from that show? How does watching the same episode over and over and over not go against the Geneva Conventions?

Fortunately I was able to escape the purple menace (Barney, not my nephew) for a few hours while I went to work. And my social networks feeds did not disappoint! I really am having a hard time narrowing things down to five. (Which, according to Barney, is the highest number you need to learn.)

1. Gundam Café

I went to Japan eight years ago, but unfortunately missed out on seeing Tokyo. I may have to rectify this soon, especially since Bandai has opened its first Gundam Café in Akihabara. The pictures of this place look amazing. It’s any Gundam fan’s wet dream come true. Even the snacks are Gundam-shaped. So, Bandai, when does Gundam Café USA open?

Source: Akihabaranews.com

2. Eyjafjallajökull Magic: The Gathering card

I’ve never played Magic: The Gathering, but I’ve seen enough cards to know that this one? Would be awesome. The name of Iceland’s volcano alone is enough to scare the bejeezus out of me.

Source: @Towski on Twitter, via @GeekyClean

3. MOAR DOCTOR!

“Doctor Who” made its American debut of the Eleventh Doctor this past weekend. The jury is still out as to whether or not I approve of this new guy. I still hold a torch for Nine and Ten. Which is why the “Tenth Doctor: The Musical” made me laugh so hard I think I peed a little. And then it made me misty-eyed. If you’re a “Doctor Who” fan, this is a must-see.

Source: di0br on YouTube

4. Iron Man mash-ups

Ladies, having trouble making your fellas watch your favorite chick-oriented movies? This may not be a problem anymore, since three of your favorites now star Iron Man!

All with bonus AC/DC soundtracks!

Source: Huffington Post

5. Such Tweet Sorrow

Today being April 23, William Shakespeare’s 446th birthday (and also his deathday), it seems like the perfect day to link to Such Tweet Sorrow, a modern-day, real-time Romeo and Juliet… played out on Twitter. Brevity is, after all, the soul of wit.

Source: Such Tweet Sorrow

My nephew leaves tomorrow. I’ll miss him. But I feel like I have to watch massive amounts of porn to counteract the damage that has been done by “Barney.”

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5 TV crossovers I’d love to see

A couple of issues ago, TV Guide had a feature where the actors from “Lost” were asked which TV shows they’d like to see their character end up in after “Lost” ends. And some of the answers made me totally want to see it happen. Benjamin Linus on “The Big Bang Theory”? Sayid on “True Blood”? Yes, please!

But that got me thinking as to what other shows I would love to see have crossover episodes. And since I love making lists, I decided to make one of the five TV mash-ups I’d most like to see happen. I decided to only use shows currently on the air, as the possibilities would have nearly been endless had I used beloved shows that had already gone by the wayside.

Big damn crime writers

1. Bones x Castle

Just think about it. Bones and Castle are both mystery writers. Booth and Beckett are both in law enforcement. Bones would probably appreciate the general attractiveness of Rick Castle but would point out forensic anthropology inconsistencies in his books. Castle would obviously be fascinated by how literal Bones is. Booth and Beckett would probably get into a pissing contest at some point, but would ultimately find common ground. And there would be flirting. Lots of flirting. On both sides.

2. The Big Bang Theory x The Guild

OK, I know that “The Guild” is technically not a TV show, but I own the DVDs, so it plays on my TV. Just go with it. How fun would it be to watch these two groups of social misfits meet? Perhaps even as rival guilds (though I doubt TBBT boys could rival the Axis of Anarchy). Zaboo would definitely try to hit on Penny, while Howard would try (and fail) to impress Codex and Tink. Vork and Sheldon could bond in their stoicism. And the best part? Evil Wil Wheaton is in both series.

3. Ghost Hunters x Medium

Jason: If there’s anybody there, could you please knock?
Allison: *rolls eyes*
Grant: Could you please knock louder?
Allison: Yeah, the spirits asked me if you could keep it down a little. They’re trying to watch “Ghost Whisperer.”

4. House x Grey’s Anatomy

Please, please, please let this happen someday! House would absolutely slaughter all of those self-absorbed “doctors” at Seattle Grace. I would pay money to see this happen.

5. Doctor Who x Caprica

OK, I will admit I’ve not seen one episode of “Caprica.” Yet. I’ve just started season 4 of “Battlestar Galactica.” But I know the general premise. I can only imagine what the Doctor would have to say about creating cybernetic lifeforms. I dare say he has had a bit of experience with similar beings in the past. But that might change the timeline to where BSG never happened. Wait, is that really a bad thing? (Yes, I said it.)

Sadly, none of these shows are on the same networks, so I know my chances of ever seeing any of these are slim to none. But a girl can dream. And read fanfiction.

What dream TV crossovers do you have?

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Review: ‘Kick-Ass’

(WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the movie Kick-Ass. If you don’t want to be spoiled, please skip this post.)

I don’t go to the movies very often. I love movies, but most of the time, I’m content to wait until a movie I’m interested in hits DVD. But there are some movies I make exceptions for.

Kick-Ass is the first movie I’ve seen in 2010. Actually, it’s the first movie I’ve been to in almost a year. For those who may not know much about the story, Kick-Ass is the story of Dave Lizewski, an ordinary high school kid who dreams of making a difference and fighting injustice in the world. So he dons a wet suit and becomes Kick-Ass, which in turn spawns a wave of other masked vigilantes and angering a local drug boss.

Nobody messes with Big Daddy's little Hit Girl.

I had never heard of Kick-Ass until I listened to the Geek Bits podcast where the guy seemed absolutely ga-ga over it. A link in their show notes to one of the trailers piqued my interest. And when the red-band trailer hit the Internet, I figured it might be a movie I would pay to see. It looked pretty awesome, and I was very intrigued by the Hit Girl character. Also, the trailer was pretty funny.

Unfortunately, this was one of those movies where most of the funny bits are in the trailer. That’s not to say I didn’t like the movie, but it wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be, at least in the way of humor.

I expected the violence and the gore. I’m not usually squeamish about movie violence, but there was one scene where I had to look away (the scene where the bad guys stick the other bad guy in the giant microwave… I knew what was coming and just couldn’t watch). I’ve heard a bunch of criticism over the violence committed by the potty-mouthed, preteen Hit Girl, but none of that bothered me. Hell, it made me feel a bit empowered, even though I am separated from 12 a couple of decades.

Even though the movie wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be, watching Chloe Moretz’s portrayal of Hit Girl was definitely worth the price of admission. I’m not a big Nic Cage fan, but he also rocked the part of Hit Girl’s father, Big Daddy. Aaron Johnson, an actor I’m not at all familiar with, also did a really good job at playing the nerdy, but lovable Kick-Ass.

I have not read the comic that this movie was based on, so I can’t comment as to whether or not I liked or disliked the deviations from the source material, but overall I did enjoy the movie. I think, perhaps, the humor of the movie might have come through more if there had been more than six people in the theater when I saw it. I tend to feed on the energy of the audience. It’s hard to really laugh out loud when the theater is totally silent.

The action was crazy and Chloe Moretz shines in her role. Enough to where I’m actually hoping for a sequel, just so I can see more of her foul-mouthed, ass-kicking character.

All in all, a good movie, just not exactly what I was expecting.

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Friday Five: Mmm… bacon

Twitter was a goldmine of fun sites and news this week! It was hard to narrow down everything that was shared to just five, but these were the five fun things that amused me the most this week.

1. 8-Bit Dr. Horrible, Act 2

This just keeps getting better and better. It has all the feel for those old Nintendo games we used to play, with all the charm of the Web musical. Plus, bonus round! Act 2 is divided into two parts on YouTube — Act 2, Part 1 and Act 2, Part 2.

Source: Doctor Octoroc

The pork is strong with this one.

2. Bacon AT-AT

I love Star Wars. I love bacon. I just am not sure the two should meet. Or should that be meat? Anyway, someone apparently thinks otherwise.

“The Bacon AT-AT stands 3 ft tall and is made with over 40 lbs of bacon.”

Many pigs died to bring us this creation.

Source:  This Is Freaking Ridiculous

3. Whack Your Boss

Everyone experiences some frustration at work. It’s natural. But someone has created a very fun, interactive way to relieve some of that frustration. Now, I happen to like my boss, but that didn’t stop me from finding all 20 ways to whack the boss in the game. I just imagined some other annoying person in the boss’ place … not that I’m a violent person. (After you’ve whacked your boss for a while, listen to his entire berating speech. It’s hilarious!)

Source: Winkler Daily

4. The Most Epic Cross Stitches Ever

Now, I know yesterday I made a post about how I don’t mind not being a girly-girl. But I do have some girly hobbies. I cross stitch. It’s a soothing, relaxing hobby that I can do while I watch TV at night. But I work from kits. Other people can create their own. I’m jealous. Especially when that creativity includes Mario, Tetris and Chuck Norris.

Source: The Huffington Post

5. Death of the Web site

I only heard about this this morning, but it made me too freakin’ excited. I know this may only be of interest to copy editors and journalists, but the AP Stylebook has officially killed “Web site,” changing it to “website.” Not the most dramatic news, but when you’ve been adding a space and capitalizing the W in the word in press releases for over seven years, learning that an end to that repetitiveness is in sight is cause for celebration!

Now, AP Stylebook, how about eliminating that hyphen from e-mail?

Source: Mashable

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I don’t have to be girly to be a girl

I look forward to spring for really only one reason — the warmer weather means I can eschew socks, chuck my clunky winter shoes in the closet and break out the sandals! Last Monday was the first day I was able to indulge my bare-toe fetish and I slipped on a pair of brown slides I had bought on sale at the end of last season.

Upon taking my first few steps, I realized these shoes might be a bit problematic. I do not remember them having a two-inch heel when I bought them. Granted, two inches isn’t much, and it’s a flat heel, but since I have all the grace of an elephant in a china shop, two-inch flat heels can be extremely dangerous.

I don’t know what possessed me to purchase these walking death traps, other than they were on sale and they fit. I am not a shoe person. I hate shopping for shoes. When I absolutely have to go hunting for a new pair of shoes, I’ll find a style that’s comfortable and wear them until they start to fall apart. I only buy neutral colors so they’ll go with anything in my wardrobe. As long as they don’t make my feet hurt, I don’t care what they look like. Unless they have heels.

Instruments of torture

I am not a girly girl, but I’m no tomboy either. I like pretty, but I’ll take comfort over pretty any day. I detest clothes shopping more than I do shoe shopping. When I need new clothes to replace ones I’ve worn for years, I’ll put it off as long as possible, then give in and hit the mall. My idea of clothes shopping is to walk around, find three or four pieces of clothing that looks comfortable, take them to the dressing room and try them on. If it fits and I don’t feel like I’ll have to stand as stiff as a board all day due to lack of movement, I’ll go out and buy two different colors or prints of the same style. Shopping done.

Clearly, I am not a fashionista. I couldn’t tell Gucci from Prada if my life depended on it. And yet, I am addicted to shows like “Project Runway” and “America’s Next Top Model.” I don’t watch for the fashion. I watch for the artistry. I am a great admirer of people who have the talent to make beautiful things, such as the designers on “Project Runway” and the photographers and stylists on “ANTM.” It’s also why I love shows like “Top Chef.” I’m a very picky eater, and would probably never eat 95 percent of the food the chef contestants make, but I do love watching them cook. I guess I’m just a little envious of people who have an abundance of talent. I never learned to cook or sew, and my photography is… passible. For an amateur.

I sometimes feel I lack the “girly” gene. I don’t do anything with my hair. Wash, comb, air dry, done. Some days my vestigial “girly” gene will kick in and I’ll put it up in a pony tail. I see my hairdresser once every 18 months or so. When I decide my hair is too long to manage, I’ll take a trip down the street to see my stylist where she’ll whack off most of the length and give me some highlights. (‘Highlights! Isn’t that girly?’ you may ask. Not when your brother gets his hair highlighted more than you do.) Then I’ll let it grow out again until I get sick of it. Later, rinse, repeat.

I also don’t wear makeup. To me, this just validates that fact that I don’t have the “girly” gene. I’ve never met another girl who shuns the makeup aisle. I’m sure they exist… but I’ve never met one. Even the lightest coating of makeup makes me feel like I’ve caked my face in it, and I’d be terrified that one wrong move and I’d smear it all over the place and walk around looking like a hung-over clown the rest of the day. Exfoliation, antioxidants, dermabrasion, free radicals — I see these words in the makeup aisle and they may as well be written in a foreign language. I only have enough patience to wash my face and put a little moisturizer on in the drier months. I’m sure skin care experts are fainting in horror.

Needless to say, I’ve never had a facial. I don’t do mani-pedis. I don’t keep my fingernails long enough to bother painting them (having long fingernails, I’ve found, interferes with the speed of my typing). I hear pedicures can be relaxing. I had one once, right before my brother’s wedding. I figured I could be girly for one day and have professionally done fingers and toes. Unfortunately, I got horribly sick the day of the appointment with a full-blown head cold, and was miserable through the entire process. (I was pretty miserable through the wedding, too. I wanted to boogie at the reception, but was too sick to do so.) Perhaps one day, I’ll give in to the “girly” gene and try again, this time with clear sinuses.

I am happy with being a non-girly girl. I get to sleep in a little longer because I don’t have to waste time painting my face or putting goop in my hair. I don’t have to meticulously plan my wardrobe for the day, making sure my shoes and purse match my outfit. All my shoes match and both my purses are brown.

But I suppose I will have to dig down to find a little of my girly gene in order to get used to these heels. I can learn as a I wobble and try not to pitch down the stairs. It will be challenge, but it’s one I’ll have to eventually master, since I also bought the same pair in black.

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