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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

One of the many things about moving so far from home is missing my family. Christmas break has flown by. I missed Southern cooking, Chik-fil-A, church, the weather, the accents, and the people. I missed my large extended family and friends that I've known forever. And this year, we had SEVERAL new members to the family. Of my seven second cousins on my dad's side, three were under a year old. All seven are under seven years old. So there was lots of toys and coloring and crying and exhausted parents.

One of the perks of being the cool, older cousin who lives out of town is all the toys I can play with when I babysit.

Case in point: Ruthie's Justin Bieber doll.

Justin sings "One Less Lonely Girl" and comes with his own guitar!
Mobs of tween fans and the their moms not included.

Because I'm the coolest cousin ever, we held a Justin Bieber concert for her Barbies. The stage is constructed with Tinker Toys and pipe cleaners. Ruthie got the new Barbie RV Camper, so that became Justin's tour bus. He invited Skipper, Stacie, and big sister Barbie (or mom. Seriously, Matel? Who's heard of a 40 year old with teenage sisters?) backstage. Why wish for a dream house when you can have a world tour?

Please note that the dog was bored. He's a BSB and NKOTB fan.

Of course, no tour bus is complete without a hammock! 

Girls, here's my advice: never say never.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tim Gunn says I need to update my closet

Tim Gunn's wardrobe essentials
I don't know if these have been posted before, but I ran across this list and it seemed relevant to the community. It's Tim Gunn (the very greatest part of Project Runway)'s list of wardrobe basics every woman of any size, shape, or age should have.

Embarrasingly enough I have 3 of them. Maybe 4, depending on what you think of my jeans.
  1. Basic Black Dress - The basic black dress has been around for a long time. It is often called the "Little Black Dress" or "LBD", and it's true that shorter skirts on the basic black dress,when they hit you in the right place, can be more flattering than a long black dress.
  2. Trench Coat - The trench coat is one of the pieces that is both classic and currently a hot fashion item. Most any store sells this piece now. It is great for fall and you can pick it up in a wide range of lengths.
  3. Classic Dress Pants -Although it doesn't say black, this is probably what you want to look  for. Black is flattering on all figures and goes with everything.
  4. White Shirt -The white shirt is a definite classic. But it can also come in many different styles to make it look trendy and not dated or like a man's piece of clothing. Find one that accentuates your best attributes and minimizes trouble spots. For example, if you have wide shoulders, stay away from large collars.
  5. Jeans - Everyone has a pair of jeans, but does everyone have a pair of jeans that make them look great? The wider leg, low-rise jean style has been popular (and still is) but a narrower leg is coming back along with a higher waist, which eliminates the unflattering "muffin top" look.
  6. Cashmere Sweater -This is one item probably not many people own. But including it forces people to buy a piece of clothing that is high quality and that is also a luxury item. Having a cashmere sweater in your closet is like givinga gift to yourself. And aren't you worth it?
  7. Skirt -If you need dress pants then you also need a skirt. A skirt is womanly and can be flirty or businesslike. Nowadays women do not wear many skirts or dresses, which makes a lot of them fall into a rut of dressing sloppily or like men. See number 8.
  8. Day Dress - Women also are not wearing as many dresses anymore. It was certainly liberating to go from the '50s when women wore dresses every day to wearing more practical pants for gardening, exercising, and so forth. But the dress does not have to be abandoned altogether. They can be very flattering, and there is nothing wrong with "dressing up" for daytime.
  9. Blazer - The blazer sounds very masculine, but when you get the right one with a proper shape it isnot. Women's blazers should follow the silhouette of a woman's body and accent the hourglass curve at her waist. It is also a perfect piece to put with the skirt or dress pants, and white shirt. Or make it casual with a pair of jeans.
  10. Sweat Suit Alternative -As mentioned before, women wear fewer skirts and dresses these days. But some women have taken casual to the extreme and spend days on end in sweat suits. It is possible to be casual and comfortable without looking like a slob. Find a comfortable material (that's why this doesn't say jeans again – denim is not as comfortable as a nice soft cotton) that you would want to wear every day. It could be khakis,cords, a cotton dress, or much more.
Bonus: One Indulgent Trendy Item

Moral...I need to shop

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hey Y'all, Do I Have an Accent?

So here's my first vlog. I kinda like them better. Sure it's weird seeing your facial expressions and hearing yourself talk, but it sure is more time efficient!
note: I can't figure out how to make the video screen bigger. Any ideas?

Please respond!!! I'm just curious. ;-)

Thanks to Ashley for posting this vlog first; her blog is really funny, informative, on trend, and entertaining to read. You should read it, too. :-)
Apparently these questions were part of a dialect study at Harvard and the results can be found here.

The list of words:
aunt - route - wash - oil - theatre - iron - salmon - caramel - fire - water - sure - data - ruin - crayon - toliet - New Orleans - pecan - both - again - probably - spitting image - Alabama - lawyer - crayon - mayonnaise - syrup - pajamas - caught

The questions:
- What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
- What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
- What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
- What do you say to address a group of people?
- What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval shaped body and extremely long legs?
- What do you call your grandparents?
- What do you call that wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries in the super-market?
- What do you call it when the rain falls and the sun is still shining?
- What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I've Got a Fever and the Only Prescription Is...

Well, I officially got homesick. I should have had my emotional breakdown around Labor Day, but my cousin, Lynn, and her family took me to Maine for their mini-vacation. Too busy and surrounded by extended family, I finally started showing symptoms last week. Long story short, I broke down in tears in the Back Bay Fens while walking Mr. Big yesterday morning.

According to a poll of close friends, I am right on schedule. They all got homesick around 4 to 6 weeks after moving.

I had a tear-induced headache and nausea for the rest of the day; I promptly passed out after Property class and slept for three hours. I felt a bit better after my nap, but didn't really cheer up until I washed dishes. Why dishes? Firstly, I think cleaning is therapeutic in and of itself. Secondly, I have been known to seriously jam out while cleaning.
I sing into my hairbrush. I dance in front of my dog. Sometimes I even play air-drums. It's embarrassing. :)

Here's Dr. Tallant's prescription playlist for a really crappy day:

  • "I Need A Doctor" - Dr. Dre and Eminem  You can't argue with a doctor!
  • "Dirt Off Ya Shoulder" - Jay-Z
  • "Last of the American Girls/ She's a Rebel" - Broadway cast of American Idiot Because nothing says "angry punk in suburbia"  like Broadway show-tunes
  • "Coming Home" - Diddy
  • "So Says I" - The Shins
  • "15 Minutes" - The Yeah You's aka The best song from Easy A
  • "Overdrive" - Katy Rose aka The best song from Mean Girl
  • "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" - The Slits I love when bands cover songs that are completely outside of their genre.
  • "Mr. Brightside" - The Killers
  • "Pretty Girl Rock" - Keri Hilson
  • "Since You Been Gone/ Maps" - Ted Leo While it may be hard to find since it's a live recording of an acoustic show, it's so worth the effort to hear a guy sing a high-pitched Kelly Clarkson song

The first part of the playlist should get you get through the anger and frustration known as law school...I mean, life. Then you can sing into your hairbrush and dance around your bedroom in your sweatpants. You'll be smiling despite yourself at the end of the playlist. Drink coffee, shuffle playlist, and repeat.

P.S. Can I just say that I miss the golden days of SNL? If you're still depressed after this playlist, just YouTube any of The Lonely Island music videos. Preferably on a boat....
P.P.S. I miss eating Ben and Jerry's ice cream with Mel and Rusty at the pharmacy. Wonder what Mel would say about the SNL themed ice cream flavor, Schweddy Balls?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I heart Torts

"Law school is hard" is a huge understatement.
Imagine you've been thrown into the ocean and you can't swim. It's midnight, so you can't see anything around you. Someone is in a lifeboat and shouting instructions at you on how to swim so you can make it to the boat. After dog paddling for five minutes, you realize that your rescuer is shouting in French. So now you're struggling to stay afloat and translate French...all the while trying to just get to the boat. Did I mention that there's a thunderstorm, it's cold, and you're really tired? And the Green-line is late...again?!

Law school is a lot like being rescued from the ocean by Frenchmen. You're learning how to preform new tasks and analyzing material in a completely new language. Learn to swim, mon cherie, or au revoir!

So far, Torts has held up to my quintessential ideals of a law school experience. The teacher loves the Socratic Method (putting students on the spot and probing them with questions until they  discover the legal standard beneath the facts). Prof. Lustiq may seem stern and gruff, but he genuinely wants the students to learn and succeed. We have ungraded "quizzes" each week so we can monitor how well we understand the material. His midterm is only 7% of our grade, so we can have a full exam under our belt before the final without a huge penalty.

Torts is a hard subject, with or without Lustiq putting students on the "hot-spot". In a very basic sense, torts are wrongful acts fought in civil courts. We covered intentional torts (battery, assault, trespass, etc) for the first month. Here's how I taught myself about trespass and conversion of chattel (movable property).

I thought it was creative. :)

Proof that doodling in your note margins CAN be productive. Enjoy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Boston: I Spy...

Okay, so I finally made the move to Boston. Hurrah, right? Well...it's everything I hoped it would be and more, and it's nothing like I thought. Does that make sense? Trust me, I'll make some time to explain about law school, living in an apartment, the subway, hurricane Irene, a day in my life, etc...but I'm munching on a croissant for lunch and only have so much time before class.

So here's a list of some random sights and sounds I've experienced in my three weeks in Boston:

* a group of Buddhist monks walking through Chinatown
* Nuns
* a Greek Orthodox monk (bald head, long beard, grey robe, wooden cross as a belt)
* public urination
* several blind people. Some had seeing-eye dogs and most had the stick thingie.)
* People using sign language on the subway
* LOTS of homeless people
* a homeless man who lives in the park and the pigeons sit on his head. Remember the lady in "Home Alone 2"?
* Earthquake during Torts. The professor didn't notice and kept teaching
* really cute Freedom Trail tour-guides
* A protest about the war in Libya and the refugees
* Street performers being shut down by the po-po
* open-mic stand-up comedy at a bar
* got SOAKING wet in the rain
* more abandoned mattresses and futons than I've ever seen in my life!

There's more...but my lunch break is over. :) 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ABCs of Me

Instead of giving up coffee or Facebook for Lent, I've decided to add something to my life. I'm getting off my rump and actually blogging again. I miss writing. I think about writing all day. I even have a notebook of sketches and topics to polish. But somewhere between getting off work and curling up in bed, my writing drive disappears. 
So I'm committing to blogging for 40 days. The Culture of Cora is all about the things that interest and inspire me. Consider it a collage of self-discovery. :) And what better way to discover yourself (or introduce the readers) than a middle-school quiz? Enjoy!

Age:   24
Bed size:   twin
Chore you dislike:   vacuuming/dusting
Dogs:   Mr. Big, chihuahua
Essential start to your day:   hot shower
Favorite color:   kelly green or eggplant purple
Gold or silver:   gold
Height:   5'7"
Instruments you play(ed):   Piano, violin, French Horn, mellophone, and ukulele. All played   very poorly.
Job title: Certified pharmacy technician
Kids:    None
Live:   With my brother
Mom’s name:   Susan
Nicknames:    Co-wah!, The Old Foogie
Overnight hospital stays:   Too many to count.
Pet peeve:   People who are rude/unkind to their mothers... especially in public.
Quote from a movie:    Anything from 10 Things I Hate About You or Steel Magnolias
Righty or Lefty:   Right
Siblings:    Jody, younger brother
Time you wake up:    45 minutes before work
Underwear:    Always!
Vegetables you don’t like:    Okra
What makes you run late:    Everything? Brushing teeth, making coffee, dressing...anything. The more time I have, the more things I think I can accomplish.
X-Rays you’ve had:   CT scans for the nasal surgeries.
Yummy food you make:   Eggs in a basket.

Zoo animal favorite:    Kookaburra. Preferably when they're sitting in a tree...