Monday, December 31, 2007

[Feature] Here's to a new you, kid.


A tradition dating back to about 4000 years ago, celebrating the New Year and setting New Year’s Resolutions can be credited back to the Babylonians. While their most common resolution was said to be ‘returning borrowed farm equipment,’ the idea of using the new year as a benchmark to set new goals for bettering one’s life is something that has held steadfast over the years. Every year, around this time, people think about what they’d like to change in their lives, and set out to do so in the New Year.

In our modern day, the most common and popular New Year’s resolution is weight loss, or attaining/maintaining physical fitness and appearance. It’s hard to tell the percentage of people who actually end up achieving this goal, but it seems that just as easily as people set this resolution, they are likely to break it. It’s easy to get fired up for something in the beginning, only to have the lack of time, or resources, or energy get in the way of achieving it. But in the New Year, if weight loss is a resolution you are really serious about, then I really want to help you get there. Because there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment, and accomplishment through hard work and discipline.

These rules I’ve listed here are not hard and set, so don’t dispute me on anything. It’s just some things I’ve picked up along the way in my own weight loss experience. And you should really consult a professional if you're looking for a scientific, methodical way of going about it. But alas, if you want a little push, or don't know where to start, keep some of these rules in mind.

1) Commitment.
This is the c-word that everyone seems to be afraid of. But really, unless you’re committed to making a change in your life and sticking through with it, you’re never going to see it happen. Everyday is full of tired excuses. Without a long-term commitment (the keywords here being long-term), you can say goodbye to your weight loss resolution in about, oh, 2 weeks. Read on if you’re serious.

2) Go public.
Here’s the thing. A lot of people don’t like admitting their flaws, or what they want to change about themselves. Maybe you’re embarrassed, or don’t want to be judged when it all falls through, or whatever. But honestly, the greatest resource you can have is accountability. No need to go around pronouncing to EVERYONE you know your grandiose plans, but divulging your resolution/goal to people you know and trust can be a really good thing. Because when people know you’re trying to lose weight, they’re less likely to pressure you into eating crap, eating late, or eating seconds. And encouragement from people you love? What a lovely thing.

3) Eat only when you’re hungry.
Let me drill this into your head. Binge eating, BAD. So even if you’re not eating an entire carton of Haagen Dazs ice cream in the middle of the night, eating more than you should is always a bad thing. Because at that point, you’re just emotionally eating. What do I mean by that? You know, when you’re eating because you’re bored, there’s food in front of you and/or lying around the house, you’re depressed/lonely, there’s nothing else to do. Basically, you shouldn’t be eating if you’re not hungry. It’s a really simple concept, but it’s hard to do. But it’s definitely doable. You just have to be really conscious about it.

4) Moderation is key.
Let me drill something else into your head. Moderation, GOOD. Once you learn this, and actually learn to apply it, everything else gets easier. With this rule, you can pretty much eat whatever you want. For reals. Cheesecake? Yum. Cheetos? Double yum. Fried anything? Triple yum. Don’t deny yourself anything. But know that satisfaction can come with a couple of bites and not finishing an entire plate of fries or an entire bag of Doritos. This is where rule #2 can come into play, you can always find people to share food with. Also tying in nicely here is rule #3, because when you practice moderation, you don’t have to worry about overeating and that god-awful feeling of being stuffed. Remember now, gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, as demonstrated here in this painting by Hieronymous Bosch.

5) Sometimes, you just have to pay.
Money, that is. Join a gym. Join a weight loss program. Sometimes you need a little kick in your bank account groin to really get going. Americans spend more than $30 billion dollars a year on diet/weight loss related products and services. I know you don’t want to be that sucker. But some things are worth paying for.

For example, gyms aren’t that cheap, so more likely than not, when you sign up for one, you’ll go. Or you’ll try really hard to, anyway. When I see the money NYSC takes from me every month, it makes me go. Most gyms also have personal trainers who know what they’re doing, and who can help you set reasonable and reachable goals.

This year, I also joined Weight Watchers for a little bit, to kick-start my weight loss goal. It was easier for me to do because I had a co-worker be my WW buddy. For me, I really needed an established program to get me on track and teach me about the rights and wrongs of eating and losing weight. And yes, when I saw the money WW took from me each month, it motivated me to shed the pounds week after week. I’m no longer on it cause I think I can do this on my own, but I really do recommend it to anyone. All the points-counting may seem daunting, but it’s really a lifestyle-changing program more than anything. Talk to me if you’re thinking about it.

6) Run Lola Run.
So the title comes from a really great German movie of the same name. I don’t need to go into detail about how beneficial getting exercise is. What I will say is that for all the excuses there are in the book to not go to the gym or play outside or whatever, being physically fit is the best gift you can give yourself. You can't just fix your eating habits and hope for the best; that's only doing half the work. This for me was the hardest part. And even now, I’d rather do a million other things than run on the treadmill or lift weights or do sit ups. But once you schedule regular exercise into your life, it just becomes easier to do. Start small, and build on it. Jogging, yoga, basketball, whatever floats your boat. It doesn’t always have to be as dreadful as going to the dentist. So put some cool tunes on your iPod, drink a little caffeine to get you going, and get moving already. Your body will thank you, and in more ways than one.

I hope this helps somewhat. Notice how I didn’t mention dieting at all. It’s because dieting just doesn’t work. Weight loss should be a life-altering commitment, not just a fad. Learning, applying, and maintaining healthy eating and exercise habits should be your ultimate goal rather than reaching a specific number on the scale. Good luck. And Happy 2008! Here's looking at you, kid.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

Forecast:
Fri: 46, Partly Cloudy
Sat: 49, Sunny
Sun: 43, Mostly Cloudy


See


Opening This Weekend

The Great Debaters (starring: Denzel Washington, Forrest Whitaker)

Persepolis
(starring: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve)


Shop
Yellow Door Sale:
Ten percent off all sorts of house trinkets. Nothing like shopping for weird things in downtown Manhattan to brighten up your day.

Events
Radio City Music Hall:
Tis the season to do the obvious. The Rockettes are nothing new but if you've got family visiting for the holidays this might be the thing to do.

New Years Partay:
All Over. The biggest one being held of course at Time Square. For our part, the folks at Life In Boxes will be whine and cheesing the new year in. Have fun ya'll.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

[Mixtape] Mellow Yellow

Sometimes I like to take a break from the everyday ho-hums of life. Different things inspire me to take some time off for myself, whether if it's from drama-rama, friends, family, and life in general. And when it comes to music, I've been known to be a bit of a music snob, but really, if a song has great lyrics, I'll probably love it (yeah, I'm a sucker for lyrics). Here are some songs that I am currently listening to.

Anyone Else But You - Michael Cera and Ellen Page
This song is featured prominently in the film Juno. I would have to say that the song pretty much summed up the overall feel of the film, dealing with relationships. Originally by the Moldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson is also featured throughout the soundtrack, and just by listening to her voice, you'd be surprised that she is a 35-year old singer/songwriter. I was shocked to find out that the voice belonged to a girl; I actually thought it was a young pre-pubescent boy.

Sugar Skills - Wolftron
Wolftron is a side project by Daphne Loves Derby's very own Kenny Choi. Don't let the name mislead you; even as a die-hard DLD fan, I was a bit skeptical when it came down to the name Wolftron - I mean, it sounds like an electronic-pop band name. But Kenny Choi released a bunch of songs to remind listeners that he's still that mellow guy who can do without all that jazz and pizazz from DLD's last album. Anyone who is trying to deal with this crazy thing called life can relate to his lyrics: "This time I want to take it slow and try to keep this life in line / Maybe fall in love so I can learn to love the night / We can sail the seven seas and just leave behind these ghosts of mine."

Not Myself - John Mayer
Practically everyone has that one John Mayer song that made them realize how amazing he was. And yes, I said it. Personally, I thought that "Continuum" was a let-down, but listening back to his earlier albums reminds me how great he could be. Honorable mention should go to 83, Why Georgia, and My Stupid Mouth, but Not Myself is such a great song in its simplistic lyrics: "Suppose I said I am on my best behavior / There are times I lose my worried mind / Would you want me when I'm not myself? / Wait it out while I am someone else?"

Boston - Augustana
The one complaint I have about VH1's attempt to expose a virtually unknown artist into airwaves is the amount of times you could possibly hear one song while watching one of their "I Love the 80's!" shows. I mean, that's the exact reason why I cannot listen to the radio.
When Augustana's Boston was first put into play as VH1's "You Oughtta Know" featured artist, I was ecstatic. The song is great, with lyrics "I think I'll go to Boston / I think that I'm just tired / I think I need a new town to leave this all behind / I think I need a sunrise, I'm tired of the sunset / I heard it's nice in the summer, some snow would be nice." But damn you, VH1, for making such a great song become annoying.

Overdue - The Get Up Kids
Influencing bands from Fall Out Boy to The Early November, Overdue is a favorite cover for bands who grew up listening to this indie-rock band. Fans and rockers alike can appreciate such heart-felt lyrics, which can be categorized as a bit emo: "Went on a limb for you / Capsized when I turned 22 / Did it burn as bad for you? / No bottle serves to soothe my wounds." Too bad the music video doesn't do the song any justice.

Show Show - Daphne Loves Derby
Anyone who knows me can tell you just how much I love the band Daphne Loves Derby, and this list would not be complete without at least a song from them. I wasn't too happy with their last album, "Good Night, Witness Light," which made me forget why I fell in love with the band in the first place. But a few tracks still held that touch, and Show Show is one of them. The string instrumental in the intro of the song sucked me in (I love string instruments!), and who doesn't like a song of heartbreak? "If you'll be my love, I'll be your mistake / If you need your space, I'll face a distance / It's not that I'm brave, I just finally realized that / I've never, I've never been there for you."

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

While You Were Sleeping...

If you're like me, the outside world is a blur to me during the holidays. Here are a few of the things that you might have missed during the past few days...


Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

The former prime minister of Pakistan was shot in the neck while waving at a large group of her supporters. Bhutto was the first female prime minister of an Islamic country. This is certainly a blow to the political stability of Pakistan, an ally of the United States.


One Week Till Iowa

After so many months of talking and speculation the primaries in Iowa are finally winding down. The Democrats' race is predictably between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The surprise comes from the Republican side where front runner Mitch Romney is facing strong opposition from Mike Huckabee. Points for Mr. Huckabee for having a sense of humor. Still rooting for Barack though, sorry Huck.



Falling Stock

The stock market continues to fall following fears of political unrest abroad. I hope you invested in bonds earlier because the yields are falling quickly. I understand that to most people our age talk of the stock market hits our brain's snooze button. To some of us, however, the stock market provides the same thrill as a weekend in Las Vegas.


New Jersey Needs You!


The Garden State's population grew only .2 percent from July 06 to July 07. There are 42 states growing at a faster rate than New Jersey. Fellow Jerseyites, Jerseyans, whatever... put on your lingerie, turn on the Barry White, don't stop by the pharmacy before getting home! It's time to do your part and start making babies. If you don't live in Jersey, move to Jersey and make babies.


Quoting...

"I'm an English literature major. When we say, 'I saw the Patriots win the World Series,' it doesn't necessarily mean you were there..." Mitch Romney. Touché Mr. Romney. Pretty hard to see the football Patriots winning the baseball World Series. If that happens, all might be lost for the Yankee Empire.


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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Movie: La Vie en Rose


Movie Release Date: June 8, 2007
DVD Release Date: November, 13, 2007
Genre: Biography, Drama
Running Time: 141 Minutes
Director: Olivier Dahan
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Gerard Depardieu

Every once in awhile, a movie comes along and you're completely blown away by a performance. La Vie en Rose, a biopic on one of France's most beloved singers, Edith Piaf, is one of those movies. The tragic, complicated, and larger-than-life story of Piaf is perfectly captured in a tour de force of a performance by French actress Marion Cotillard. The scenes in the film jump back and forth, transcending through time, to chart her rise from the tough streets of Paris to her downfall into drug abuse, illness, and subsequent death at the age of 47. Because there is no straight-telling of the story, we are aided by dates that appear at the bottom of the screen, to help sort out the different time jumping that takes place.

I don't necessarily agree with the way writer-director Olivier Dahan has chosen to tell the story using this method. It requires the audience to do more work than necessary, to figure out what just happened in a scene, and how it relates to the next scene. Piaf's life, filled with tragedies, love affairs, tantrums, confrontations, moments of bliss, and of course, that voice and her performances, probably does benefit from an unconventional telling of the story. But the film eventually gets bogged down by its own novelty.

The saving grace of the film is Marion Cotillard. As far as celebrity biopics go, they are probably more of an actor's genre than anything. Just ask Oscar winners Jamie Foxx and Reese Witherspoon (for Ray and Walk the Line, respectively) whose careers turned a new corner from playing real people in biographical films. Cotillard is probably best known in the US for playing Russell Crowe's love interest in the romance A Good Year. She was actually my favorite part of that movie, just cause she's really pretty. =P Her performance in La Vie en Rose proves that she is more than just a pretty face.

I had no idea that same actress was the one playing Edith Piaf until I IMDB'd it afterwards. I was so completely blown away by Cotillard's portrayal of Piaf. She embodies the role, and throws herself into bringing the legend to life. Every hand gesture, every lip-synching performance, every crying tantrum- she completely disappears in the role. She says she studied hours upon hours of footage of Piaf, and what she does here is AMAZING. It's not easy to lip sync and make it look real, but watching her on-stage scenes, you think that she's the one singing. And not only does she look different from the way she usually does (she shaved off her eyebrows and scaled back her hairline for the role), but she sounds completely different as well. She just becomes Edith Piaf. Cotillard is officially my pick for Best Actress this year.

Grade
: B (watch it for Marion Cotillard's performance)
Notes: Check out Edith Piaf's amazing voice: La Vie en Rose, Non, je ne regrette rien

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Monday, December 24, 2007

A College Grad's Guide to Saving Money

For me, this month has been the perfect storm of finances: along with daily expenses, I’ve had car trouble, had to do a lot of Christmas shopping, and have begun paying off my student loans. I’m sure I represent a lot of the people who graduated last May.

Like me, I’m also sure there are tons of people who know very little about how to save money and build a solid emergency fund.

Now that we’re out of college, it is vital to stop living paycheck-by-paycheck and soundly manage our own money.

I’m not saying I know a lot about this stuff, but I’ll share the little knowledge I have and the system that I’ve begun to implement....


How Much Should I Be Saving?
As a recent college grad that lived comfortably off of my parents paying my tuition, getting into the real world and realizing that I need to start saving up my own money was kind of shocking. Now that I’m out of school, using my parents as my savings account has become less plausible.

The first question that I had was, “How much money do I need to save?”

Ultimately, the goal of saving money is so that you have safety net in case you lose your job, or have some other kind of financial emergency. That way, you’ll have enough money saved up to avoid becoming a hobo and make it through your rough patch.

While many people have different opinions on how big a safety net should be, the general consensus is that you should have 2 – 6 months of expenses saved up.

Of course, you aren’t going to save all of that money in a one shot. After all, you still have a lot of expenses to worry about in the present, let alone saving up for future bills. So, in order to build up this emergency fund, the general rule is to save 7%-15% of your check and put that directly into your savings.


Forming a Budget
So you’ve started saving 7%-15% of your check, but what do you with the rest of that money? Along with saving money, it’s important to set a budget and track your spending. Everyone’s spending habits and needs are different, so I’ll explain the system that I’ve recently starting using.

I started by giving myself a weekly spending limit that was reasonable and yet still helped me save as much money as possible. For me that number was $240 a week ($30 a day, plus $30 for gas).

ED: Now before you start thinking that is a lot of money, you have to put that in perspective. Granted, some days you can go spending $10 or less, but how about when you hang out with friends? A night at a bar or a date can get rid of 2-3 days of spending. If you drive a lot in a week, a whole day can go solely to gas. Hell, just buying a movie ticket gets rid of 1/3 of a day. All of that adds up quickly.

Now comes the hard part: tracking every penny spent. I had tried many other systems of tracking my spending and all of them have failed, but I have finally found one that works for me. Every time I buy something, I add it as an entry to my cell phone’s calendar. I always have my phone in my pocket, and it only takes a couple of seconds to type up “diner – 9”, so it’s pretty convenient.

After doing that, I use this really nifty website, expensr.com, to electronically monitor my spending. This very web 2.0 site allows you to enter your spending, and lets you to graph out where your money is going. That way, any time I want to, I log on and see how money I’ve used during the week.

This system is pretty hassle-free and very effective for me.


Get Yourself a Good Savings Account
In case you didn’t already know, your emergency fund shouldn’t be stashed away in a shoebox at home. The best option for this money is a savings account. And ideally, you’re looking for an account that yields the highest interest. Nowadays, getting a high-interest savings account means using an internet bank. Their rates blow traditional banks out of the water.

Finance blog, Get Rich Slowly, has a pretty comprehensive list of the best savings accounts available. Oh, and before you open an account up, find out if any of your friends already has an account, as they may be able to get referral money when you join (which they can then split with you).


Pay Off Your Debts
When it comes to debts, especially credit card debts, people do not realize how much money they are wasting on interest. After you’ve created a fairly large emergency fund (and arguably even before that), you should want to get rid of credit card debt over saving money.

Why is that? Because while the average savings account will yeild 4% interest, the average credit card interest rate will cost you 20%. So, essentially, by putting your money into a savings account instead of into your credit card bill, you’re losing 16% of your money.

It’s also important to note that paying more than the minimum payment on credit cards and student loans can save you a significant amount of money. This website lets you input your debt, interest rate, and amount you plan on paying a month, and it spits out how long it will take you to pay off your loans.

I used the site for my student loans and found that by paying $200 instead of the minimum $135.11 a month, I’ll save $1,742.98 and finish paying off my loans 47 months earlier.


Be Smart With Your Money
In the end, by keeping a budget, creating a financial safety net, and paying off your debts, you’ll be setting yourself up for a much more secure future. It definitely takes some time to get used to putting money aside and tracking it, but as the New Year rolls around, it’s the perfect time to start.

And even if you do take a little longer, at least now you know what you’re up against. And as we all know, knowing is half the battle.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

What are you doing this weekend?

Forecast
Fri: 38°F, Cloudy
Sat: 46°F, Cloudy
Sun: 57°F, Light Rain and Wind

See
Opening this weekend:


Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter)

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger)

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer)

Charlie Wilson's War (Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Phillip Seymour Hoffman)

P.S. I Love You (Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow)

Shop
Christmas is Tuesday, so get your final shopping done! Most stores have extended holiday hours for last-minute shoppers, call ahead to check.

Macy's Goes 24 Hours: Starting today, December 21, seven area Macy's stores (including Herald Square) will be open around the clock until 6PM Christmas Eve. So if you're in the city at 3AM and want to do a little shopping, there you go.

Events
Ice Skating at Wollman Rink
One of the most famous attractions in NYC, this rink located in the heart of Central Park is the place to get your ice skating on. Probably really crowded this time of year, but it's the experience that counts, right?

Holiday Train Show at the NY Botanical Garden
Trolleys chug past 140 miniature models of city landmarks constructed from plant parts, like berries and pinecones. Family-friendly.

Christmas Service at Metro Community Church
Let's not forget the true meaning of Christmas amidst all the shopping/gift giving-receiving hooplah. Metro is Jen and Jorge's home church, and Christmas Service starts on Christmas Sunday (12/23) at 11:04AM in Englewood, NJ.

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Sometimes you feel like a douche

Japanese Fishermen
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/12/21/japan.whaling/index.html

Japan has agreed to stop hunting humpback whales but all other whales and dolphins are still free game. Japan's marine life hunting gained notoriety this year when Hayden Panettiere and the group Save The Whales Again! personally confronted Japanese fisherman in a failed attempt to prevent the slaughter of a dolphin pod.
What earns the fishermen a douche award is not only the fact that they're killing endangered species, it's their idea of hunting. Hunting to these fishermen means rounding up the marine life in a confined space using nets and sonar barriers, then killing them when they can't go anywhere. Hunting cows could not be easier.

Dolphins

Dolphins get a douche for their constant sexual harassment of other dolphins and, in some reported cases, human beings. Shame on you Flipper!


CIA
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/21/cia.tapes/index.html#cnnSTCText

The CIA has been accused of burning videotape that shows incriminating evidence of torture being performed by US officials. CIA, BE A MAN! DO THE RIGHT THING! This CIA scandal has Alberto Gonzalez written all over it. Give the American public the run around for a bit, say you don't recall a lot of things, and wait for the media to lose interest.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Have Yourself a Green Christmas


During Christmas time, it's hard to think about anything but consumerism and waste. But if you want to try to do something a little green this year (and save yourself some green, as well), how about wrapping your Christmas gifts with items you have lying around your house?

Common items like supermarket paper bags and newspapers make for unique gift wrap that stand out in a pile of generic holiday paper.

This year, Julia wrapped all her gifts with paper bags and twine (pictured), giving the gifts a clean, parcel-like feel to it.

I, on the other hand, went for a more... creative approach by using a Sunday edition of the Record and sharpies to decorate all of my gifts (pictured below). I specifically picked certain pages for each item, whether because it fit the gift receiver, or it gave hints as to what was inside.

It has a more, how do you say, artsy, feel to it. Traditionalists may think Julia's look nicer, but as the author of this post, I have the authority to say that mine rocks out much harder.


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Music Video Roundup!

I love music videos. They're like short, 4-minute films set to your favorite songs. Here are three that I'm enjoying at the moment.

Jenny Owen Youngs - Hot in Herre
This folky singer-songwriter is from Montclair, NJ. It's a cover of Nelly's ubiquitous Hot in Herre, and I LOVE her version! The music video, with its party-in-an-igloo theme, is uber cute. Her entire album, Batten the Hatches, is worth listening to. She's been featured on Showtime's Weeds, and I also really like her other single "F**k was I."



Britney Spears - Piece of Me
Here it is, the second single and video off her Blackout album. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song, as you all know. I LIKE LIKE LIKE this video. It's still not the Britney/Britney videos of yesteryear, but infinitely better than the crap that was the Gimme More video. She looks cute, she looks like she's having fun, she's making a point about the paparazzi, and I like her choreographed dance moves with her backup dancers about 2:30 into the video.



M.I.A. - Paper Planes
I really like this feisty Sri Lankan rapper/visual artist. This is the uncensored video of her controversial song Paper Planes, which she says is a response to capitalism and search for income. I can relate. She was really pissed recently cause she made the video a MTV-friendly version with no violence instead of making it the way she wanted to, but apparently MTV is censoring it anyway. The problem is the gunshot sounds in the chorus, which were also bleeped during her David Letterman performance awhile back.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Facebook...Heart!

Facebook, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways...

The Economist: 30,739
Ragdoll Laser Dodge: 934,912
Pong: 7,160
Scrabulous Record: 26-13

If you've never heard of the first three games (shame on you for not knowing pong) they are part of the cheap yet ridiculously addictive games offered by the Mindjolt application. Scrabulous is of course scrabble via facebook.

Between Mindjolt Games and Scrabulous, Facebook is slowly trying to take over all time in the internet. If facebook, google, and yahoo fantasy sports ever merged, I think that would be it for me.

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Mythbusters: Is Brand-Name Gas Better than Generic Gas?


These days, gas prices are ridiculous. Personally, I've spent $240.00 on gas in the last month, so I really try my best to avoid getting screwed over at the pump.

One question I've always struggled with is whether I should be filling up at Exxon, or saving an extra 5-25 cents at the generic "Gas-n-Go" down the street. As a consumer whore, it seemed to me that the brand-name company would be better for my car; whether it's making it run better or the gas lasting longer. Logic would follow that since you're paying more, you're getting better product.

Is it true?

As it turns out, that's almost completely false.

ABC News did research by examining the contents of Mobil brand gas and a generic station, finding that, "By and large, it's one and the same. … You will find results will almost mirror each other."

Granted, the brand-names may add some better additives and detergents to their fuel, but the EPA requires a minimum amount of detergent in all gas, which all gas companies follow. The requirements set by the EPA are more than enough for most cars to run safely.

The only exception might be with higher-end cars that specifically
recommend high-octane fuel. And even then, it is disputed.

In short, brand-name gas and generic gas are the same, except maybe if you drive a luxury car. And if that's the case, you shouldn't be driving a Benz or Jaguar unless you can afford the gas for it.


**Bonus Mythbusting**
The same rule of thumb applies for the difference between regular gas and premium gas. Unless your car recommends premium gas, you are wasting your money by purchasing it. Your car will run just as well on regular gas as it will on premium gas.

And again, even if your car recommends premium gas, some people still say it's not necessary.

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News Flash

In case you didn't hear yet ...

Jamie Lynn Spears, younger sister of Britney Spears, is
pregnant.
-She's 16 years old. The "father" is 19 years old. Isn't that illegal? Apparently many think so, and have left some comments on Casey Aldridge's bebo page.

Lily Allen is pregnant.
-Blah blah. She's 22. She probably won't get as much press as the Spears spawn is.

Ex Hyundai CEO wins the South Korean presidential election.
- Voters elected Lee Myung-bak as president in hopes to boost up the country's economy. Besides preparing to run the country, the former Seoul mayor is currently undergoing an investigation for fraud allegations. Oh, and he's pregnant, too*.


*Just kidding.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

[Feature] Say What? Karaoke!

Growing up in Bergen County, an outing to one of the many local noraebangs (karaoke rooms, also known as nrb) is a given, whether it's for a birthday party, a random get-together with old friends, or just some place to go and unwind when there's nothing else to do. With the holidays in full swing, and kids getting off school for winter break, noraebang is definitely on agenda for some good, silly times with the people you can rock it out with. Here's our favorite picks amongst the vast book of potential songs to sing for a memorable night. Let the good times roll.

"Are You Going To Be My Girl" by Jet
This song is a nrb must. Yeah it's hard to sing, but you can't beat the fast-paced beat and the chance to imitate Jet's sauve, raspy, high-pitched voice.

"Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas
The reason this song is so great is that, even if nobody knows the lyrics, everyone knows when to make those awesome karate noises. Hwah! A great song to sing to bring up the mood after someone unsuccessfully tries to sing Coldplay's The Scientist.

"Wonderwall" by Oasis
Never heard of this song? Don't worry. After one listen, you'll be able to rock out to this slightly slow, easy to sing, Oasis hit. Good song + easy to sing = great nrb song.

"Twist & Shout" by The Beatles
The Topnotes were the first to record this catchy beat but the most popular version comes from the Fab Four. The song is extremely fun and the lyrics are not hard at all. As long as you can say "shake it baby," "twist and shout," and "ahhhhh" .. you will not feel left out.

"Bye Bye Bye" by *NSYNC
So contrary to what it may sound like, the song is a reference to the group's breakup with their longtime manager Lou Pearlman. It became their signature song and one of their biggest hits, staying in the top 10 on Billboard's Top 100 list for 12 weeks. Rolling Stone also listed it as the 17th most annoying song. The song epitomizes the dancey, poppy, boy-band of the 90s sound, and it's completely fun to sing when you're a little buzzed enough to do the dance moves along with it (watch the video above- it's not that hard, just stomp around while waving your hands).

"Don't Stop Believing" by Journey
Recently made headlines as the song from the final scene of the final episode of the Sopranos, which actually made it the number one song on iTunes by the end of that week. It has been parodied and used in countless movies, TV shows, even Hillary Clinton's campaign video. Nicely done, Journey, your song is still relevant even after 20+ years. Has a really great keyboard rift, which really does nothing for the purposes of this list, but it's still a great song to rock out to with your friends.

"Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
How could we not give a huge shout out to Jersey's own, Bon Jovi. This nrb classic requires every bit of strain from your vocal chords. Although we can't sing like Jon, it doesn't stop anyone from singing this song just as passionately.

"Basket Case" by Green Day
Even after a decade since it's release, "Basket Case" is the perfect nrb song to sing (or scream) in punk rock-fashion. With great lyrics such as "Am I just paranoid/Or Am I just stoned," this song is the perfect anthem for punk rock lovers, people struggling with anxiety, or for a great sing-along.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
One of Queen's best known songs, it's unusual in the sense that it's like a stream-of-consciousness flow, with no chorus and with various junctions of operatic, heavy metal, and a cappella segments. Basically, it's like you're getting 10 songs in one. It's fantastic.

"Staying Alive" by The Bee Gees
If singing falsetto and tight pants is what you do, then this is the song for you. Disco might be dead but who doesn't love this song?

"Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen
Voted as the "Greatest Driving Song Ever" on a BBC program in 2005, this song features Queen's trademark style of multi-harmony vocals for the chorus. A great song for those who are buzzed and feeling good, or a start-off for an inebriated night.

"Elevation" by U2
How can you have any song list without having U2 on it? Elevation is a great upbeat song, despite the fact that it's a bit hard to sing. As a bonus, it's a good test to see how much you've had to drink. The more comfortable you feel when you sing, "Woooo, wooo-oooh" the less comfortable you should feel about driving.

"You Get What You Give" by New Radicals
The upbeat message telling teens to remain true to who you are became the youth anthem of the late 90's, and is a karaoke classic for those who still believe in that belief.

"I Want It That Way" by Backstreet Boys
You really can't go wrong with a boy band song. See "Bye Bye Bye" above. This is our favorite BSB song to sing at the nrb, cause even though the song itself is slow and sad, you can totally get into it with all the "tell me whyyyyyy"s and riffs from the chorus. But you need to sing it with people who will get as into it as you are. SO fun.

"Numb/Encore" by Linkin Park/Jay-Z
Of course you need to have a good rap song for wannabe rappers out there (myself included - Yuri). Numb/Encore is slow enough that you don't need to be Twista perform it, yet still challenging and upbeat. Also, this song is good for a duet, because the Linkin Park part is pretty tough as well.

"I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy
Ever have memories of riding the bus home from a school trip and singing a song together as a group? "I'll Be Missing You" was not only a tribute to the late Notorious B.I.G, but a great song to sing when a group of people are feeling particularly nostalgic of those good old bus trips, or just missing anyone (but especially Big Poppa).

"Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson
Despite of all the craziness, Michael does not disappoint when it comes to his music. According to Mike, this song is about the crazy groupies he had to deal with. Sort of the same way you have to deal with crazy groupies at the noraebangs, right?

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana
Often dubbed as the anthem for apathetic kids of Generation X. The song is brilliant because the verse-chorus form is set up in a way that alternates a loud and quiet dynamic.
Starts off slow, but by the end, you'll be screaming words that end in o- 'hello,' 'mulatto,' 'albino,' 'mosquito,' 'libido.'

"The Sign" by Ace of Base
Who knew this Swedish dance-pop band would produce the greatest hit single of 1994, let alone one of the catchiest pop songs of the 90s?? Everyone knows this song, enough said.

"Always Be My Baby" by Mariah Carey
Who doesn't love this song? This is pure, lovely Mariah, pre-Glitter, pre-meltdown, pre-diva. Bittersweet lyrics, pretty melody, and the annoyingly awesome 'do do doop dum's make it a must at the nrb.

"Zombie" by The Cranberries
A social commentary on war, probably their best song even though it doesn't really sound like any of their other songs. A lot of repetition, and it can get kind of annoying, but that's what you have the stop button for.

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What to do when your car gets towed.


I had the incredible fortune of having my worst car nightmare come true on Sunday- having my car towed. With the exception of getting into a major accident, how horrifying is it to walk out to wherever you parked your car and not see it there?? ARGH.

So for anyone who works out at the NYSC in Englewood, you know that parking is a beeyatch. You either have to pay meter parking, circle around and around for free street parking a block away, park at the ShopRite parking lot 5 blocks away (make sure you at least walk into one of the stores in the plaza to look like you're shopping in the area), or, park in the NYSC lot for a $1/hr. Whatever. If I wasn't in love with my pilates teacher (hey now, the affection is mutual), I'd totally be quitting once my contract ends in January. Anyways, so I recently found that the Goodyear parking lot directly across the street from the gym is closed at night and on Sundays. So like a lot of gym-goers, I park there sometimes. Sunday was one of those days. Except it was snowy and crappy outside, and I think they wanted to plow the lot. So, hello tow truck, bye bye car.

For those of you who've never had your car towed, good for you. Keep it up. But here are some tips for whenever/if ever this happens to you.

1. Stay calm.
Don't panic. I didn't, which really surprised me. You think clearer when you're calmer. Easier said than done, but try it.

2. Call the police station.
Towing companies don't leave nice little notes on the spot where your car used to be to tell you where to come find it. You have to do some investigating. This doesn't mean calling 911. I know, your car's gone, it's a total emergency, but authorities won't see it that way. =T
411 the police station of the town you're in, or text google (466453). The dispatcher will be able to tell you if your car is in an impound lot somewhere, or if it's been stolen. I was able to get my friend Hanna to google area towing companies and call them for me, but if you don't have a Hanna around who can do this for you, calling the police station would be your best bet.

3. Call someone you trust/love to come pick you up.
Preferably someone who won't yell at you. So like NOT your parents. I called Jorge. He was awesome enough to come pick me up, as well as drive through the entirety of Englewood to find the stupid impound lot. All in the crappiest weather of the season. This is why you have friends, people! Be good to them, and they will be good to you.

4. Get cash.
Call the lot and double check payment methods before you show up. Most towing companies won't take anything other than cold, hard cash. So make sure you find a bank/ATM, and get lots of moolah. My little experience cost me $160. So, no new ipod for me for awhile. :( Bastards.

5. Learn from your mistake.
Listen, sometimes, paying $1/hr or parking in a lot for $40 (say, in NYC) is the way to go. It's a hell of a lot better than paying hundreds of dollars later. Use your judgment.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

NJ Bans Death Penalty

New Jersey has not executed a prisoner since 1963, and from this day on, it seems like it'll stay that way. As of today, New Jersey became the first state in more than three decades to ban the death penalty.

"It's a day of progress for the state of New Jersey and for the millions of people across our nation and around the globe who reject the death penalty as a moral or practical response to the grievous, even heinous, crime of murder," Governor Jon Corzine said. (CNN.com)
Instead of a death penalty, the new legislation enforces life in prison with no parole.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

What are you doing this weekend?

Forecast
Friday: 45/24 °F, partly cloudy
Saturday: 32/25 °F, partly cloudy
Sunday: 38/23 °F, wintry mix

See
Opening this weekend:
I am Legend (Will Smith, Alice Braga, Dash Mihok)



The Kite Runner (Shaun Toub, Khalid Abdalla, Nasser Memarzia)




Events
Wollman Rink opens today! So get your skate on at the best rink in New York City (imo). What makes it even better is that they are offering free skating today. But if you don't have your own skates, you'll still have to rent them for $6.

There is an Ed Hardy Sample Sale today. Find thousands of men's & women's t-shirts, long sleeve tops, sweaters, hoodies, sweat pants, jackets, hats and jeans for low, low prices. It starts at noon at 470 Broadway (between Broome St. and Grand St.)

Canada @ Bryant Park is where Ontario is hosting a week of happenings to celebrate all things Canada. The event, which lasts from December 15-18 will feature ice wine tasting, live ice sculpting, Chilly, the Festival of Lights mascot, and lots more.

Oh, and they have two awesome things to top it off: the world's biggest snowglobe (at 2 stories high) and a chance to take a picture with a Mountie. Fun for the whole family, eh.


Reminder
Get your holiday online shopping done soon! Monday will be the last day that you'll be able to use their free super saving shipping and still be guaranteed that your package will make it by Christmas.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Mitchell Report : Wah wah wah....

At long last the Mitchell report has been released and appropriately enough the weather called for the shit to hit the fan in New York. Of the 80 players mentioned in the report, 17 were or are New York Yankees and 13 were New York Mets for a total of 28 players coming out of New York (2 players, Mike Stanton and Jose Manzanillo, played for both the Mets and the Yankees). Kirk Radomski, a notorious steroid supplier, is responsible for revealing 53 of the players on the list and guess where he resides. Surprise, Surprise, New York, NY.

Regardless of all this reporting and reaction to reporting, I honestly feel that people don't care enough. Despite being in the middle of the "Steroid Era," baseball revenues are at an all time high. Am I disappointed? I guess. Outraged? Sure. But I bet you just like me will be there May 31 with the same excited look we've had every other opening day. Maybe we won't look at some of the players the same way but if we let them affect how we view baseball then we have forgotten one of the golden rules in every sport; no one is above the game.

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65th Golden Globe Nominations

I love awards season. Held in January, the Golden Globes officially kicks off the awards season (minus the various Critics' choices, which happen at the end of December). I like the Golden Globes because it brings the two worlds of film and tv together.

However, I don't like the Golden Globes because it is a misguided and outdated system of lumping categories together. And there are only 80 or so members of the Hollywood Foreign Press (they're like part time journalists who are affiliated with the media outside of the US) who are voting on the winners, and whose tastes aren't the best reflectors of current trends.

The nominations for the 65th GGs were announced today, and there were some glaring omissions and surprises as usual. I have to admit, at the moment, I don't really care about the film nominations as much. But I think people are pretty surprised Russell Crowe didn't receive a nomination for American Gangster, nor were the summer comedy favorites Knocked Up and Superbad even recognized. But Juno and its star Ellen Page was recognized, and I'm satisfied with that.

TV is where the most surprises happened, most notably in the comedy/musical category. Don't even get me started on why comedy is lumped in with musical. How can the Office, a critically acclaimed, modest ratings hit, not be nominated in the Best Comedy category? Desperate Housewives, which is on a creative upswing, was missing from the awards hooplah. Last year's winner Ugly Betty? Nope. Even Two and a Half Men, which is not my favorite show by any means, but is a giant ratings grabber, was passed over.

I'm happy for 30 Rock, which I think is the funniest show on air, but Entourage again? Californication? Really?? The GG were generous to the new show Pushing Daisies, awarding the show and its two leads with nominations. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan, but it still has a lot to prove.

In the drama category, no love for the final season of the Sopranos or its star James Gandolfini, or Lost, or Heroes or Friday Night Lights. But Grey's Anatomy, which is definitely going through a creative slump, got a Best Drama nod. And can people STOP nominating Katharine Heigl's annoying, uninspired performance on that show already? I don't know why Ellen Pompeo always gets overlooked; she's really come a long way since the beginning of the series. And why they lump together series with miniseries in the same category is beyond me. They're two different things, and it seems a bit unfair to judge a performance in a mini series with that of a performance in a long running series. Whatever.

I'll still be watching anyway. Here is the complete list of nominations.

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Review: Joeyness

Joeyness
Restaurant Name: Joeyness
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Location: Fort Lee
Price Range: $2.00 - $9.00
Info:
515 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ
07024
(201)461-2700
Website
Map

Last week, Julia and I ate a delicious lunch at Joeyness, a small, all-natural gourmet Mediterranean café in Fort Lee.

Expand the post for the full review....

To begin with, calling it a café is a bit of a stretch because there is only seating for about 4 people, at most, inside the store. The folding tables and chairs and the cold (it is winter and we sat right near the door) is not exactly appealing.

joeyness-coffee

However, all of these minor complaints were more than made up for by the owners. The owner’s mother (I unfortunately never got her name) greeted us and made small talk. They turned on their little space heater for us and were even kind enough to give us a cup of their organic, free-trade coffee on the house. Their hospitality really heightened the atmosphere and you could tell that they genuinely trying to please us, the customers.

joeyness-wrap

Julia and I ordered the Grilled Chicken Kebab Pita Sandwich ($6.50) (ed. We actually ordered the Kebab platter, but we didn’t say anything when we got the sandwich instead :x) and Baked Kibbe with Yogurt Mint Sauce ($6.95) to share. We found the food to be pretty good. The Kibbe, in particular, was very delicious. We finished off with a Blondie ($1.50), which was good, but a bit too thick for my liking.

Joeyness - Baked Kibbe with Yogurt Mint Sauce

Overall, I was very happy with my visit to Joeyness. Their atmosphere was not great, but their hospitality more than made up for it. Their food was very good and different from what you generally can get around Fort Lee, and the prices were perfect for a small, inexpensive lunch. I am definitely going to visit Joeyness again.

Atmosphere: C
Food: B+
Service: A
Overall Rating: B+

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Hump Day (pun-intended!)

I read an article in the recent issue of Maxim about bizarre animal-related deaths. One in particular caught my eye:

A 60 year old woman was killed by what the press refers to as her "amorous" pet camel. The animal apparently tried to have sex with its owner, after the 330 pound beast knocked her down on the ground and laid on top of her.

The camel was a gift from the woman's husband and daughter.
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I love how the article ends with the officer being quoted saying, "She had a love of exotic pets."

Zing!

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Kids Say the Darndest Things

From the Social Hall filled with students ranging from first to seventh grade...

L:"I know like 11 languages."
Me:"Wow. That's a lot."
L:"How do you spell merry?"

A: "All the Spanish kids at my school are stupid."

D: "Daniel Fu. D-A-N-I-E-L F-U! FU! FU! FU!FU!"

G: "My brother calls me an A-S-S-H-O-L-E."

A:"6C."

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[Mixtape] Pop Pop Pop!

I love pop music. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I mean, pop is a pretty general term, it encompasses everything from teeny bopper music to top 40 to pop-rock/pop-country/pop-alt. In my opinion there is nothing like good ol' 90s pop music (MMMMMBop/boy bands/old-school Britney anyone???), but here are some worth listening to at the moment.

Miley Cyrus - See You Again
If you're not a teeny bopper, you probably don't know who Miley Cyrus is. Chances are though, you know her alter-ego, Hannah Montana, the wildly popular Disney Channel program that has made her a household name. The sold-out tour has had parents scrambling for tickets, some going for as much as $1000s of dollars. CRAZY.

Anyways, I really like this catchy song. I mean it's obviously a song for a 14-year old. "The next time we hang out/I will redeem myself/My heart can rest till then/Woah, oh oh oh I / I can't wait to see you again." HAHA, I LOVE it.


Jordin Sparks - Tattoo
She may have won America's heart earlier this year, but winning American Idol doesn't always translate into instant stardom. Her debut album was the lowest selling album of all previous winners on the show. I don't like her, I don't like the boring video, but I really like this song. It's mellow, she has a nice enough voice, and it's R&B laced froth-pop. Not as good as say, Beyonce's Irreplaceable, but good enough.


Fergie - Clumsy
Fergie has had a lot of good singles off her solo debut album this year- London Bridge, Fergalicious, Glamorous, Big Girls Don't Cry. Her newest single is super catchy, super cute, and thump-alicious. Ok, I don't even know what that means, I just made it up. She has a sense of humor, which I like.


Linkin Park - Shadow of the Day
I really didn't like their last album Meteora, so I kinda fell out of love with them. I really like this new single though. It's definitely more melodic and radio friendly than the hard-core rock stuff on the rest of the album. Even though Mike Shinoda's rapping is non-existent in this song, it's a nice change from all the screaming that goes on in most of their songs.


Wyclef Jean ft. Akon, Lil Wayne & Niia - Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)
I HEART Wyclef. I love the fact that he is: an artist, musician, producer, activist, Good Will Ambassador. Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant is his first solo album in 10 years, and he brings other artists into the mix for this tightly produced first single. It is obviously a socially conscious album, and Sweetest Girl, with its theme of young prostitution, is no exception. The beats are kind of happy and upbeat though, which is a contrast with what the song is really about, but uh, whatever.

And of course...
Britney Spears - Piece of Me
You know me and Britney go way back. Not kidding when I say it's the best song off her Blackout album, and I'd like to venture to say that it's my favorite song of hers of all time. Even though she didn't have any part in writing the song, it's still as autobiographical as you can get. I will listen to it on repeat for days, I will hear it on the radio then play the song off the CD right after, I will literally drive everyone I know crazy with how many times I can play and still enjoy the song. The music video is coming (this one won't be self-financed/self-directed, thank you very much) and I am excited. Don't be a hater. Give it a chance. Embrace it and love it.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

'Tis the Season to Get Stabbed

An 18 year old victim was stabbed in the neck on Monday night. Right in the very packed Paramus Park Mall. Police believe that the altercation occurred over a girl.
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Yikes. I'm too scared to go venture out to the mall now.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

[Feature] Help! I Don't Want To Fail Out of My First Semester of College!

Dear _________,

Congratulations! You are close to finishing up your very first semester of college! It’s amazing how fast time flies when you are hardly studying having fun! But now it’s time to get into hardcore “study-mode,” especially if you want to be around for the next semester.

As a freshman in college, we make many mistakes. Whether it’s regretting to room with an old high school friend who turns out, doesn’t make a good roommate, or taking that 8AM class because you figured it would be alright since you had to get to school at that time during the past 12 years of your life, the choices we make always come back to bite you in the ass. But luckily, with two weeks until the semester ends, it might not be too late to (gasp!) salvage your grades! Take it from a self-proclaimed college slacker .. ME!

I missed too many classes and am totally lost as to what’s on the final.
Relax. Well, not really. The beauty of college is that you have all the resources out there, except you need to actively go out there and make use of them. If a professor keeps mentioning a study session, you sure as hell better be sitting in the front row of the study session, writing down anything and everything discussed
Also, talking to your professors has got to be the smartest move for many reasons. They are the ones who give you the grade, and when it comes down to straddling a grade between a C+ and a B-, the professor will be more willing to give you the better grade as long as they know your face. Sure, it seems lame to suddenly take an interest in your class and become a teacher’s pet, but college grades are a do-or-die situation. Linger after class or go to your professor’s office hours. And the key here is the art of conversation. Don’t go straight in and demand a good grade. Soften your professor up. Remember that scene in “Clueless” when Cher sweet talks all of her teachers to raise her grade? Sympathize with a professor who is stressed out about getting tenure. Or go the honest route and just tell the professor why you took the course and why you might be struggling. They’re human, too. They have hearts. In a few rare cases, professors have also been known to give a little information on exams during their office hours. But remember, you still should be studying your ass off.

My professor is an ass and known to be impossible to talk to. How else can I manage to get some last minute study tips?
Not all professors are awesome. Probably because they feel like they gave a lot of information throughout the semester, and had you been paying attention in class, you wouldn’t need help. Boo for them! But fear not! Find classmates on Facebook and send them a message asking them if they have the notes you need, or if they want to form a study session. You might come off a bit stalkerish, but trust me, you won’t be the only one freaking out about exams. Even the people who know their stuff will be glad to help out; strangely enough, by helping someone else study and telling them all you know is a great study tactic. It’s one of those you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours scenarios.

Aside from the studying, I think I might have too many absences! Augh!
This has got to be the worst feeling EVER! But before you freak out, go talk to your professor to make sure. If possible, try to find a loophole – who knows, you might have been in class, but the professor forgot to mark you in. Show the day’s worth of notes (as little as it might be) because it’ll be enough proof for your professor. Every little bit counts towards the end of a semester, and getting your grade lowered because of absences is crucial in making or breaking you.
If it turns out that you have too many absences, sadly, there’s no real hope there. There’s no point of stressing out over exams if you already failed the course, by means of absences. It sucks, but you need to learn how to manage your absences next semester. Just take the fail, and hopefully you’ll have learned your lesson later on when you retake the course to replace that eyesore.

What else can I do?
Study.your.ass.off. Pull an all-nighter or two during those study days. Surround yourself with a group of studious people. Say no to end-of-the-semester parties, especially if you’re still not done with exams. Retype your notes. Study index cards during meals or on the bus.

Disclaimer: These last-minute tactics will not ensure your ability to pass a class. Results may vary, depending on amount of studying done and effort taken to manage a good grade. If you are not satisfied with results, it’s probably your own damn fault. Learn from your mistakes and next semester, you’ll be at the top of your game. Advice is not for party animals, lazy asses, or procrastinators.

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Fire Videos (it is very hard not to make some cheesy fire pun here)


So as you know, there was a pretty big fire in Fort Lee 2 weeks ago. Julia and I were there to see a little of it, and even got some (not so) great videos of it.

As I was surfing today, I stumbled upon someone who video..graphs(?) firefighters in Bergen County at work, including the Fort Lee fire.

I don't really know if he works as a firefighter, or what his story is, but it's kind of interesting. In a weird, pyromaniac, sort of way.

All Hands Going to Work
His Youtube Page

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TV in Numbers

Here are some interesting TV statistics for this season, courtesy of TV Guide. I LOVE TV and entertainment statistics. Kinda like how Jorge loves baseball statistics. Idk, do you love baseball statistics, Jorge??

$73,000: The median income of homes that watch NBC's the Office. That is the highest of all network television shows. Scrubs is $68,000, ABC's Dirty Sexy Money, Big Shots, and Private Practice are $63,000.

24.1%: The lift in viewership for the Office when DVR playback is added into the number of people who watch it live the night of its airing (within the same week of its original airing). Heroes is 22%, Reaper is 18.7%, Grey's Anatomy is 18%, House is 17.6%, and Friday Night Lights is 17.1%.

45.2: The median age of people who watch NBC prime time, which makes it the youngest of the four major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX). CBS is the oldest, with a median age being 52.6 and up.

17%: The increase in viewers of FOX's Family Guy in the Sunday 9PM slot. Kinda amazing since the show has been on since 1999, but then again, they've had a kinda amazing and bumpy ride so far. Not any show can claim that they've been cancelled and then resurrected. This unheard of increase is probably due to its multiple syndication airings, which just went into effect this TV season.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

What are you doing this weekend?

Forecast
Fri.: 42 °F, mostly cloudy with chances of snow/rain
Sat.: 42 °F, periods of clouds and sunshine
Sun.: 44 °F, cloudy with chance of rain

See
Opening this weekend:

Atonement limited release (starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy)

The Golden Compass (starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig)

Juno limited release, opens nation-wide next week (starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Carner, Rainn Wilson)





Events
Cheapt Eats: Hungry for $0.08 falafels? Tasty Falafel is having their one-day $0.08 falafels from 4PM-9PM, located at 32 St. Mark's Place.

Fall into the GAP: Gather up your friends! The GapTidings mobile studio will be at the Union Square Holiday Market from 1PM-8PM for those who want to create their very own GapTidings video greeting. Click here for more info.

Shop Til You Drop: Stop by the 3 day shopping extravaganza for The Style Market at FIT, located at FIT's John E. Reeves Great Hall (7th Avenue & W 28th Street). Click here for more info.

For skiers and snowboarders: Check out the Princeton Ski Sale at Giant Stadium on Saturday (10AM) for some new winter sports-related gear. Click here for more info.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

How to Fold Your Shirt in 2 seconds



Fold A Shirt In 2 Seconds - video powered by Metacafe

This is a really nifty trick for those of us who don't really enjoy folding laundry. I actually fold my shirts using this method. And even though I think the 2-second claim is exaggerating it a bit, it still is fast. It's one of those things where I don't get why people wouldn't fold their shirts like this.


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Thursday, December 6, 2007

On TV...

For all of those wallowing in the from the pain of not being able to watch their favorite TV show, or if you're tired of Family Guy's 5th grade humor (I really enjoyed Family Guy, like the seasons they use to try to be funny...), I recommend trying The Boondocks. Episodes are on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup, Mondays at 11:30 and 12:00. For those who like to stay up real late, reruns at 3:00 and 3:30.



"Riley has gone from sugar to absolute crap in no time at all."

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Greatest and/or Sickest Marketing Ploy Ever?

According to CNN.com, the teen birth rate is up for the first time in 15 years. Reasons for the rise are not clear; however many attribute it to the federal-funded "abstinence is the way to go" health education in schools that urge kids to skip sex altogether, rather than teaching them the fundamentals, such as the use of condoms and other forms of contraceptives.

This issue will certainly bring back the debate on whether teaching abstinence-only health education in schools is efficient or not.

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In other not-so-relevant news (cough), I really want to watch "Juno," which finally opens in theaters next week. You know, the movie about a pair of naive teen friends who end up having sex, thus resulting in a pregnancy. Looks like a pretty decent film.

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