Friday, October 31, 2008

Free Wifi @ Starbucks for iPhone / Blackberry Users!

Another good reason for me to switch out of Verizon and join the AT&T bandwagon? Free wifi at Starbucks with an iPhone or Blackberry.

The fine print includes that you need a Blackberry Bold (though Pearl users, and maybe even other phones, will be included in the future) or an iPhone with an unlimited data plan.

Even with those extra details, it still seems like a very good deal since you can find a Starbucks pretty much everywhere, including in most Barnes and Nobles.

So if you're lucky enough to have an iPhone or are planning on getting a Bold, go get yourself some free wifi.

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His and Her Blog: Uncrate and Outblush

Two weeks ago, I posted about Bargainist.com, a simple deal blog. This week, I want to plug two more websites run by the same corporation, which fittingly enough for today, is named Zombie Corp.

Uncrate and Outblush are the like the his and hers blog of the interwebs. They both post about cool things you can buy, with Uncrate focusing on men's goods and Outblush on women's products.

The things they post range from afford things like video games to the more drool-worthy Lamborghini's and jewelry. And both websites have the same straightforward feel of the Bargainist.

The blogs are great when you're feeling very consumer-like (for me, that's always) or when you're looking to find a cool and unique gift. Uncrate is a blog I check daily, so you should do the same.... Well, if you're a girl, you should hit up Outblush.

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Album of the Day: Viva La Hova

Uhm, I like Jay-Z and I like Coldplay. So what do I make of Viva La Hova, a mixtape mashup of Jay-Z and Coldplay done by Terry Urban and Mick Boogie? Consider my mind blown.

Okay, okay, I've only heard one song so far, but to be fair, it was a good song ("What If We Cry" - Jay-Z's "Song Cry" and Coldplay's "What If").

I'm currently downloading the album, which is free here, and will probably like the rest of the album too.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Artist of the Day: T.I.

Not being a HUGE hip-hop fan, I never really thought much of T.I. before he released his album, Paper Trail, last month. I only really knew him as the rapper on my least favorite Justin Timberlake song, and from his spotty personal life. But uh, T.I.'s latest musical efforts are all kinds of awesome.

The first single off Paper Trail, Whatever You Like, is the bomb. And apparently lots o' people think so too, since it jumped from #71 on the Billboard 100 chart to #1 in a week, breaking a record. Impressive.


And then, oh man, he releases Live Your Life ft. Rihanna. AWESOME. SO FREAKING CATCHY. Probably cause it samples that annoying-yet-also-catchy Numa Numa song, but like, I LOVE this song. Oh, I should mention that T.I. broke his own record (mentioned above), when the song jumped from #80 to #1 on the Hot 100 charts. (I will also throw out there that the following week, Britney broke his record when Womanizer jumped from #96 to 1, but...this post is about T.I.). Anyways, thanks for providing auditory awesomeness, T.I. You are my artist of the day. And you're hot. :)

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Website of The Day

Electoral-Vote.Com provides readers with daily updates on the latest poll data. I know many of you are skeptical about polls, but following them can be quite addicting. If you like statistics and politics (might be talking to two people), than check this site out.

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New Movie Clips, Trailers: Twilight, Harry Potter

Twilight and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - two movies that I cannot wait to see. This week, a new clip for Twilight and a new trailer for The Half-Blood Prince were released. Enjoy!

Twilight: Cafeteria Scene

Twilight is set to be released on November 21, 2008.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which was originally set to be released on November 21, 2008, got pushed back to July 17, 2009.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MTV Music


MTV launched a site called MTV Music yesterday, and music video lovers everywhere are rejoicing. It's an archive of practically every music video ever made, and a preliminary search on the site suggests that they have a pretty good collection so far. I LOVE MUSIC VIDEOS, people. They're like little nuggets of visual fun/short films that are set to your favorite songs starring your favorite artists. I mean, what is not to like?

I think this is the first step in MTV offering an olive branch to everyone who has been disappointed in their inexplicable move away from offering music and music related programming to reality crap like, Paris Hilton's My New BFF. Perhaps when Paris finds her BFF, you can start airing more music videos, yah? MORE MUSIC, MTV!!!

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Freebie of the Day: Free Tacos at Taco Bell

I'm not much of a baseball person, but the one cool thing about the MLB World Series is Taco Bell's annual "steal a base, steal a taco" deal. Yup, TODAY from 2PM - 6PM, you can go to any participating Taco Bell and get a free crunchy beef seasoned taco.

'Cause nothing says MLB more than a crunchy taco from Taco Bell.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

[Feature] Too Old for Halloween?

Halloween has always been a fun, festive time of the year for as long as I could remember. Dressing up in costume, having adults willingly give you candy .. life did not get any better than that, for a kid.

But is Halloween really just for kids? Even in my group of friends, only a few of us are excited about Halloween, and even from that few, only 2-3 of us are making moves to get costumes and actually make some plans for the night.

So what gives? Why is it that Halloween no longer ignites that excitement and anticipation? Most likely because we're just "too old," right?

Talking to a friend the other night, we came upon the conversation about parents who do not allow their kids out to go trick-or-treating. We've all heard the myths - needles or razor blades in apples (ouch!), kidnappers waiting for kids to willingly walk up their steps, etc., so it's no wonder that today, rather than going out trick-or-treating, parents opt for Halloween parties at a known family's house or community-setting. But family-oriented Halloween nights call for adults to dress up in costume, too, and shoot, you would make a pretty good pirate, right?

But wait, we're not all at the age to be going to family Halloween parties. And trick-or-treating is a little too kiddie for us .. but that doesn't necessarily mean that Halloween has to be another Friday night. In recent years, despite it being a weekday or weekend night, Halloween has evolved from being just a kid's holiday, into a Mardi Gras-esque holiday for adults. Best example: The Village Halloween Parade in New York City. Definitely not a place for the youngsters, and a place for adults to strut their creative costumes. From skanky to classy, or funny to scary, the Village Halloween Parade has got it all, and you don't even have to embrace your inner child to enjoy it.

Other Halloween options include going to a Halloween-themed club, dressed in costumes and mingling with those who are old enough to enjoy Halloween with a drink.

Personally, I'll opt out of partying the night away, and might spend an hour or two trick-or-treating while I still look young enough to get carded.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

Forecast
Fri: 63°/47°, partly sunny
Sat: 62°/48°, windy with rain
Sun: 67°/44°, sunny and breezy

See
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (starring Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale)

Saw V (starring Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson)

Pride and Glory (starring Edward Norton, Colin Farrell)




Events
Chanel Mobile Art (Oct. 20 - Nov. 9)
Chanel has decided to make their legendary quilted bag the main focus for this art event. Fashion lovers, bag lovers, and art lovers should definitely check this exhibit out - admission free of charge! You can find it in Central Park, at Rumsey Playfield.

The New York Art Book Fair (Oct. 24 - 26)
Art titles, photobooks, rare magazines .. if any or all three of those interest you, you should definitely check out this artsy fartsy event this weekend, at Phillips de Pury & Company (450 West 15th Street at 10th Avenue, 3rd floor New York, NY).

2008 Central Park Pumpkin Festival (Saturday, Oct. 25)
Pumpkin picking at Cherry Hill, located in Central Park. While you're at it, check out the citywide scarecrow competition around Bethesda Fountain and watch the 20-foot-tall jack-o’-lantern tower (lit at sundown). You can catch it all from a hayride starting at the bottom of Cherry Hill.

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"B" for kcaraB

Cops Eye Inconsistencies in Alleged McCain Campaign Worker Attack -Fox News

Ashley Todd, a McCain campaign volunteer, claims that she was robbed and then attacked after her assailant noticed that she was a McCain supporter. Todd says that after seeing a McCain/Palin bumper sticker on her car, the robber became furious and carved a B for Barack Obama on her face. Pittsburgh police spokeswoman, Dianne Richard, isn't convinced that her story holds up.

Richard said Todd later added to her tale, saying she was groped by the robber
and lost consciousness during the assault. Neither of those details was in the
original report. Richard said after a second interview, Todd also was not
as definitive about the assault or the motives behind it, nor could she say
for certain whether the robber took $60 from her as she initially reported
but maintains is missing. Todd took a polygraph test late Thursday or early
Friday after police heard the inconsistencies, Richard said. 'There were
major changes in her story" before and after the polygraph test,
Richard said. As for the wound on her cheek, "it's very shallow, it's more
of a scratch."

The moral of the story is, if you're going to fake your own attack don't carve the "B" backwards!

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Waterfalls: Seoul > New York City


In June, I wrote about New York City getting waterfall installations. The exhibit, which recently ended, was a big success, bringing the city $69 million dollars.

That's all great and good, blah, blah. But seriously, after visiting the waterfalls a few times in person, I was tremendously underwhelmed. Unlike the artist's renditions, there was not enough waterflow to cover up the industrial-looking metal poles that made up the structure. It just wasn't as awesome as I had hoped.

If you really want to see some good water/urban combos, you apparently need to visit Seoul, Korea....

Since September, the Banpo Bridge in Korea has had 9,380 water nozzles shooting out water off the bridge.

Not only does this thing have lights, the nozzles also move up and down, allowing for some neat designs.

The pictures look nice, but they do not do as much justice as watching the video of them in action (below).

Who wants to go to Korea with me?


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Video of the Day: Crazy Yoyo Guy



When was the last time you played with a yo-yo? For me, it was, like, 10 years ago. I was really into yo-yo'ing back then, but eventually the interested faded.

For some people though, these things don't become boring. Instead, they become crazy good at it and go to Jamaica for yo-yo contests, like Hiroyuki Suzuki.

No matter how much I would want to make fun of him or say he's a loser, I can't really do it. He's amazing at what he does and that's more than most people can say, even if it's at something so... non-traditional :x

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why I Love Best Week Ever Blog Better Than the Actual Show

One of my daily sites to check out is the Best Week Ever blog. Sure, there's a weekly tv show that tries to summarize the week in pop culture, but I think that the blog is funnier than the actual show. I mean, there's only so much the talking heads can say about the same topic .. but to see the brilliant writers at Best Week Ever blog have to write about, even about the silliest topics of the day, is definitely entertaining.

My favorite LOL post of the week from BWE? Definitely the Gary Busey-dog story. Gary Busey + pics of a Pomeranian with crazy eyeliner = hilarity.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

One of my favorite all time films is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I mean, besides the fact that I think that director Michael Gondry is awesome, think about it: erasing bad memories of an ex or someone you are trying to forget .. who wouldn't want to do that, especially after a horrible break-up?

Well in recent developments, with experiments involving lab rats, turns out a group of scientists believe that fiction can become reality:

In both mice and people, this enzyme is often referred to as the "memory molecule" because of its key role in facilitating brain cell communication -- especially people's ability to learn and retain information. To hone in on the specific workings of CaMKII, Tsien and his team first developed a "chemical-genetic method" that enabled them to instantly turn the protein "on" or "off" among mice intentionally bred to overproduce the molecule. After exposing the mice to emotionally powerful stimulations, such as a mild shock to their paws, the scientists then observed how well or poorly the animals subsequently recalled the particular trauma as their brain's expression of CaMKII was manipulated up and down. When the brain was made to overproduce CaMKII at the exact moment the mouse was prodded to retrieve the traumatic memory, the memory wasn't just blocked, it appeared to be fully erased. (news.yahoo.com)

--
Would YOU want to have certain memories erased from your brain?

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Website of the Day: Umbrella Today?

In the past couple months I have been caught a handful of times in a rainstorm, all because I either forgot my umbrella at home/work, or decided that the weather looked too nice at that moment to warrant bringing my umbrella with me. Yeah, I check the weather every morning, but the forecast can be so vague sometimes... Also, it doesn't help that I carry half my body weight in my bag, so I try to lighten the load whenever I can. So the first thing that goes everytime would be that "unnecessary" umbrella. Well, Umbrella Today? will tell you if you need your umbrella that day. Just type in your zip code and you get a simple YES or NO. You can also sign up your cell number, and they'll text you on mornings you'll need an umbrella. Pretty accurate. I like waking up to texts, even if it's just one reminding me to take my umbrella around.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Really, Sarah Palin??

The big buzz in the "liberal media" world today is Politico.com's article on the Republican National Committee having spent more than $150,000 for VP candidate Sarah Palin and her family during this campaign. According to financial records, the RNC footed bills from Saks Fifth, Neiman Marcus, Barney's, and Bloomingdales, among others, as well as from high-end baby store Pacifier, suggesting that even the littlest Palin got the ultimate treatment during the campaign so far. Really?

Right, cause every other plain-Jane hockey mom can afford to have a wardrobe/hair/makeup bill that costs more than some people's houses. Let's see, you guys want to 'relate to 'real' Americans?' How about you not spend $3,500 on a jacket that will be worn half a day before being tossed for another?

Obviously, the RNC's strategy for Palin is this: looking good and being able to change your outfit two, three times a day takes front seat to... being coherent, informed, and capable of being the second in command. Oh, well I mean, I guess it all makes sense. It's a distraction point, right? Be pretty, and no one will know that you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Here's the kicker though. In response to the obvious backlash to all of this, Tracey Schmitt, a spokesperson for the John McCain and Sarah Palin campaign said: "With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses. It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign." ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME? Yes, with all the important issues facing the country right now, you're damn right we're spending time talking about the exorbitant amount of money your party has spent making Palin look like the Caribou Barbie she is, even if the clothes are being donated to charity (a BIG FAT PUH-LEASE on that front, btw). In the collapse of the economy and during the beginning of a probable recession, it boggles my mind that the RNC went ahead and did something SO SO stupid, WHEN, the campaign is based on appealing to the average Joe-the-plumbers of middle-class America.

I'm all for women in power, and despite our differences, I wanted to like Sarah Palin, I really did. But just when I think she can't possibly sink lower, she does. All I know is, her and her Brady Bunch of a family need to go back to Alaska and continue leading quiet lives after November 4th. It was nice knowing you, Sarah Palin, you're done.

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"Doh" Of The Day

When asked what the vice president does by a third grader Sarah Palin responded by saying that the vice president is the president's "team mate" but also "runs the Senate" and "can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes." Once again, although the VP is the president of the senate, the only power the position has is to cast a tie breaking vote if necessary. The VP does not run the senate.

A Palin spokesperson that she was merely trying to explain the role of the VP in a way that a third grader could understand it. Now if we could only get a third grader to explain it in a way that Sarah Palin could understand it.

The gaffes aren't only coming from the republican side but from the democrats as well. Recently, Joe Biden was quoted as saying "Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack ." Oh, Joe. You got two weeks till E-Day and you resurface the whole inexperience issue. With VPs like these two who needs attack ads?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Screenshot of the Day: Oh Really??

Taking cue from SNL's Weekend Update:


John McCain and his VP running mate Sarah Palin are currently running ad campaigns that include their favorite slogan, "The Original Mavericks."



OH REALLY?? The ORIGINAL MAVERICKS? Um, wasn't the original maverick someone named Samuel MAVERICK?

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Monday, October 20, 2008

[Feature] Weekend in Montreal

This weekend, I took a trip up to Montreal with my friend Stella (who I went on my Paris trip with earlier this year) and her fiancee Adam. Anyone who has talked to me since my Paris trip knows that I am in love with the City of Lights, and want to go back as soon as I can. Now, while Montreal is NO Paris and should not be confused for it, the facts that they have great architecture and everyone speaks French were good enough reasons for me to jump on this opportunity. We were only there for a 2 days, but you can see and get a lot done in a short time. Be sure to pack your GPS, walking shoes, and passport!

Quick Facts:
* Montreal is the largest city in the Canadian providence of Quebec.
* Official language is French, and it is the largest French-speaking city in North America, the second largest French speaking city after Paris.
* From NY, Montreal is 1 hour by plane, 7 hours by car.

See:
Old Montreal
The historic part of Montreal that is located downtown feels distinctively European. Great and looming facades of old buildings and cobbled local streets give it that Parisian feel. The City Hall is a beautiful building, and so is the Notre Dame Basilica (pictured on left), which reminded me of Paris's Sacre Coeur. Apparently there is a light and sound show, but we didn't see that, just the spectacular outside.

For us, the main attraction was Rue Saint-Paul, a cobblestone lined street that is probably the heart of Old Montreal. Lamp-lit buildings, tiny boutiques and souvenir shops, and restaurants line this street. It is decidedly very romantic (sorry I was the third wheel, Stella and Adam!) especially at night. The street is also the home of Bonsecours Market, which is a 2-story domed public market. It's almost like an artists' co-op, where jewelry makers, furniture designers, clothing and accessories designers, and other artists show and sell their art.

Do:
Montreal on Wheels
Ok so this was my favorite and least favorite part of the trip. One of my 30 things to do before 30 was to learn how to ride a bike. I kinda accomplished that last Saturday, where I learned and rode around for 10 minutes before I had to call it a day. Well, exactly a week later, this past Saturday, we ended up renting bikes and biking around half of Montreal. Um, scary, considering I still am a newbie and am still scared of riding! Montreal on Wheels rents out bikes and rollerblades at $9/hr, and there are bike paths along the St. Lawrence River, which is what we did. We biked along the river past Habitat 67, which is a series of housing that looks like piles of blocks on top of each other (picture on right). Very experimental, very cool, very modern.

On our bikes, we ended up all the way on the other side of our starting point at the Biosphere, which was first built as the American Pavilion for Expo 67. It's a geodesic dome that is an amazing sight to see, and now houses a hydrology museum whose interactive kids section was the most fun for all of us. So all in all, from the bike rental place to the Biosphere and back was probably 3 miles. I DID IT! Minus my blisters, my butt hurting from the seat (TMI, I know), and my weird penchant for biking into oncoming bikers (I'm going to work on that) this riding excursion defined my Montreal experience for me.

Eat:
Definitely above all else, try the Montreal bagels. My friend Howard told me to do this, and also requested that I bring some back for him. They're less doughy than New York ones, but still really good. We went to Fairmount Bagel, which apparently is one of the best places to get an authentic Montreal bagel, and has been in business since 1919. We managed to beat the morning rush, but right after we grabbed ours the line was out the door.

Fairmount Bagel is also near Boulevard Saint-Laurent, also known as the hipster area. We visited on Sunday so a lot of the stores were either closed or opened late, but there was definitely a hip vibe among the people out and about as well as in the storefronts. Lots of unique boutiques and furniture stores, worth a walk around while munching on your bagel.

So, that's it. Remember, Montreal does not equal Paris, but for the road trip and the fact that you're that much closer to a European country without ever having to leave the North American continent makes the trip worth it. It's totally do-able in a weekend, so grab people you like, a gas-efficient car with a reliable GPS (we relied on ours THE ENTIRE TIME), and go! I think summer is the hot season for tourists, but I loved the drive up with the leaves changing color, and Montreal is also beautiful this time of the year.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

Forecast
Fri: 56°/42° Sunny
Sat: 57°/40° Sunny
Sun: 58°/38° Sunny

See
W. (starring: Josh Brolin, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Elizabeth Banks)



Sex Drive (starring: Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew, James Marsden)



Max Payne (starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Ludacris)


Events
Apple Picking at Demarest Farms
244 Werimus Rd., Hillsdale(201) 666-0472 or (201) 666-0350
Not only apples. Pumpkins and peaches as well.

Free Night of Theater
The Mission of Free Night of Theater New York City (Free Night NYC) is to seek out new audiences and invite current theatergoers to try new theater venues, as well as ignite interest in and create awareness about the incredible variety of live theater options across all five boroughs.

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Deal Blogs of the Day: Bargainist.com and DealHack.com

Bargainist.com and DealHack.com are two blogs that I have been checking daily for the past few weeks.

They are deal blogs, where they post coupons and other good savings happening around the internet and in stores.

The reason I like these blogs as opposed to, say, checking Slickdeals all the time is that Slickdeals gets flooded with lots and lots of posts. These blogs cherry pick the best the find online, doing some of the dirty work for you.

Yes, you'll miss things here and there, but for pure simplicity and convenience, these blogs are a good way to keep up with good deals.

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Getting Out of Verizon Wireless Without Paying Early Termination Fees



One of the biggest forms of buyer's remorse is signing with a cell phone contract. If you decide to go for a two-year contract, that means that you're forced to stay with that service through thick and thin, no matter what. The only way to get out of it is to pay them exorbitant Early Termination Fees (ETF).

For this very reason, I used to only sign up for one-year contracts. But with my previous phone, I kept it for two years anyway and thought that, with my new phone, it would be worth saving the $50 and signing for two years. Of course, a little over a year into my contract I want to ditch Verizon Wireless for the greener pastures of.. well anything but Verizon.

So now I'm stuck with three choices. First, I could just pay the ETF and deal with it. Second, I could just stay on Verizon for 10 months (bleh). Or third, I could go through a long, arduous, hassle of getting out of my contract sans ETF.

Ely Rosenstock of Crastinate.com put up a very interesting video on how he got out of his Verizon contract by arguing that government taxes (which shouldn't really be passed down to the consumers anyway) constitute a breach in his contract. He said it took him a few days and multiple calls to finally convince Verizon to drop him, but it's worth the effort if it saves you money.

I'm not sure if I have the resolve to deal with all of this, but if I do try it, I'll let you know how it goes.

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Can't Get Enough of The Office?

I absolutely LOVE NBC's The Office. I love it so much, that I am subscribed to a few of their fansites, getting daily RSS feeds about news and updates on episodes, character developments, cast members, etc. Yeah, it's kind of a big deal to me.

Anyway, one of my favorite Office-related subscriptions is my monthly email for the Dunder-Mifflin Scranton Newsletter. Different employees from the Scranton branch "put together" - and by "put together," I mean that it's most likely the writing staff for The Office - a newsletter, filled with whatever their quirky characters might be saying in a newsletter:


Here's a few excerpts from this month's newsletter:

"Dwight Speaks! Chewing on pens is completely unacceptable. It's a disgusting habit that some of my co-workers partake in. This oral fixation is offering up a slew of germs and/or viruses to not only the chewer, but the person he/she passes their pen on too. When you put office supplies in your mouth you are sharing a dose of your infectious saliva with all your co-workers. Although my writing utensils are heavily guarded, I still come across a chewed pen every now and then. The other day I found Andy chewing on one of my pens - to retaliate I walked over and spat on his desk. I've reached my wit's end with pen chewers - their filthy habit will no longer be tolerated. To encourage everyone to halt this behavior I will be applying a dose of an anticoagulant to all of the pens in the office. Consider yourself warned."

"And Now Michael Scott: Sometimes I think I could invent things better than the inventors do. There are lots of times when I know what will make an invention better long before the inventors themselves. Like when the first cell phones came out, I looked at them and instantly thought, 'They should make these really small.' It was years before the telephone manufacturers got that idea..."

"The Celeb 411 (with Kelly Kapoor): OMG you guys! I just heard that Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant! Again! She just gave birth to a super cute baby girl, Maddie Briann, three months ago. Now it looks like Maddie is going to have a little baby brother or sister to play with pretty soon! Leave it to a member of the Spears family to start a new trend: teen pregnancies. Having a baby before you graduate high school has gone from "totally bad news" to "super cool" in the last year (sort of like cardigans)."

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

[Mixtape] Jason Mraz

I have seen Jason Mraz countless times in concert, 3 of which happened this year. I reviewed the first one, and last weekend, I went to see him two nights in a row, which was nothing short of amazing. Jason Mraz is one of those artists where people either don't know him at all, or they kinda sorta know him as that guy who sings..."I'm Yours." I want EVERYONE to know who he is, but I also don't want him to become too big, cause I like that only the cool cats know and love him. My friends Jeannine and Christina are like in love with him and want to marry him (FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!!), where as I would just like to quit my job and follow him around on tour (you know, in a non-skanky, non-groupie kinda way). For you newbies and fans alike, I put together a playlist of songs, with input from the superfans as well. These songs are a must. And make sure to check out live versions of his songs, they're even more awesome than recorded versions.

1) Plane - My absolute FAVORITE song of his. Off his second album, Mr.A-Z, which as a whole is my least fave, but has some of my favorite songs of his. So heartwrenching, and a tour-de-force of vocals. I think it's a song that showcases his vocal range, and while the lyrics are kind of bewildering (well, I think they are), he proves that he is a master of wordplay.

2) You and I Both - Probably one of his most popular songs, the second single off his debut album Waiting for My Rocket To Come. Jeannine, Christina, and I all really love this song. Really catchy, really sweet, and one of my favorites for him to perform.

3) The Remedy (I Won't Worry) - This is the first single he ever released, and the song that made me want to get his album, which turned out to be one of the better decisions I made. The song is about his friend who got struck with cancer, and how that changed Mraz's outlook on life. He sang this at the recent shows we went to, and it's one of my favorites to sing along to at his concerts.

4) Tonight, Not Again - Christina's favorite song for Mraz to sing live. She thinks its THE song that shows off his amazing live skills and vocal range the best. Can't disagree! Christina's favorite lyrics ever: "It's when you cry just a little but you laugh in the middle that you've made it"

5) A Beautiful Mess - The closing song off his third and most recent album, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things, a really beautiful ballad. Jeannine's favorite song at the moment. He closed the second show we went to with this one, and it's really beautiful.

Also check out: O.Lover, Geek in the Pink, Make it Mine, Live High, 0% Interest, Song for a Friend, and God Moves Through You.

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Joes, Joes Everywhere ..

After watching last night's final Presidential debate, a lot of us are wondering who this "Joe Plumber" is. But while everyone was talking about Joe the Plumber, I was wondering why are there so many effing Joes mentioned in this race to the White House: at the one and only Vice Presidential debate, there was that one Joe [Biden], the Democratic VP hopeful .. then we recently met Joe Plumber, the average American example who Obama and McCain would like to sway .. but what about a Republican's Joe?

Anyway, here's something a friend of mine posted on Facebook about "Joe Republican" .. I'll warn ya'll, it's pretty left-sided, but definitely an interesting read:

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined he banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

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WTH News of the Day: American Girl says PEACE OUT to Samantha


It's a sad day for little (and big) girls everywhere, as the American Girl company announced earlier this week that they would be discontinuing one of their original and most popular dolls, Samantha Parkington. What, the hell?? For those of you in the dark, American Girl is a line of dolls and accessories based on pre-teen girls from various periods in American history. Every doll has a line of books that provide a young girl's viewpoint on what life was like during important periods that helped shape America.

Samantha is from 1904, an only child growing up in the Edwardian period. She was never my favorite, but she is iconic, and the only doll all of my friends who have American Girl dolls own. My FAVORITE is Molly McIntire, whose story is set in 1944 during World War II. I used to get the American Girl catalog every month, but my mom wouldn't buy me a doll cause it's like $85. My friends bought me a Molly doll in college, and the little girl inside of me is so happy whenever I see her. One of the things on my to-do list is to hit up the American Girl Store in the city and buy her a new outfit. Yeah, I know I'm not 7 years old anymore, ok? Leave me alone. Anyways, if you're a fan of Samantha, better get on buying up the doll and/or accessories, before she's moved into the archives for good. =(

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trip Of the Day

Hello, New Jersey! It is grand to be back from a trip to the Dominican Republic. I always want to travel next to the cute girl on the plane when I'm traveling alone. I got to do that once. Things were going grand, then she mentioned her boyfriend and how he liked taking pictures. I'm almost certain she broke up with him because she hesitantly mentioned him as though it had slipped from her tongue. The only thing more telling of an inevitable break up is when people mention their significant others within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone else. On this round trip I sat next to an old man who asked a ton of questions and a little kid who kicked me while he slept and I tried to. Better luck next time.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Coupon of the Day: 25% Off at Urban Outfitters

In one of the best offers we've seen from Urban Outfitters, coupon code LUCKYBREAKS8 cuts 25% off total purchases. Save on unusual, hard to find apparel, shoes, and accessories for men and women, as well as apartment furniture and decor.

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These Four Things I Know Are True

1) Don't ever say out loud, to your parents, joking or not, that they're embarrassing. I had to put up with 40 minutes of passive-aggressive weird behavior from them as a result. I didn't really mean it, per se, but I wasn't completely kidding either (hey I know I'm not the only one who feels this way). Nonetheless, they were offended, and I felt bad. Parents have feelings too.

2) My hair and fashion inspiration is Katie Holmes, minus the weird rolled up jeans look she was rocking for awhile. On occasional good days, my hair does look like this. Most days however, this is what my hair does. I guess it could be worse.

3) Jason Mraz is the best musician to see live, and I don't say that lightly. He puts on the most awesome, entertaining shows, so much so that I saw him 2 consecutive nights in a row this past weekend and I loved every minute of it. Mraz mixtape coming up later this week, but for now, enjoy this and this and this.

4) Britney's Womanizer music video debuted on Friday. I like it, but it's kind of reminiscent of Toxic, which I LOVE. But, nonetheless, she is looking good (cue, gratuitous nude shots), and continuing onward with the uphill battle that is her comeback. YESSS.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

[Feature] The Liberal Media

The presidential election is only a few weeks away and the Obama/Biden ticket has opened a 6%-8% lead in most polls; of course, the McCain camp is working hard in order to make up this difference. One claim coming from conservatives is that the "liberal" media is not going after Obama as tough as it should be. The notion that the media gives liberal candidates a break and unfairly criticizes conservative candidates has been claimed by conservatives as far back as the Nixon presidency.
Is it true?
A 2004 study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that more journalists share liberal points of view than conservatives points of view. According to the report, 34% of national journalists consider themselves liberals while only 7% of national journalists consider themselves conservatives. Although the study does not show any evidence that a journalist's political point of view affects his ability to be objective, it does lead to speculation about the fairness in the media. The following appeared in an article in Accuracy In Media, an organization that monitors the national media:

Conservatives justify their belief that a liberal media bias exists by arguing that journalists are liberal, and that their ideology affects how journalists cover the news. For example, a survey in 1992 showed that 89% of Washington, DC, journalists voted for President Clinton in the 1992 Presidential election. These results may explain why throughout 1992, the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) found that more than 70% of the networks' sound-bites about President Bush were negative, whereas the majority of sound-bites about Governor Clinton were positive.
The liberal media argument could be used in order to gain political advantage even in cases where there is no evidence of a bias media. Eric Alterman of the nation writes that during the 1992 election Rich Bond, the chairman of the Republican Party at the time, said "There is some strategy to it [bashing the 'liberal' media].... If you watch any great coach, what they try to do is 'work the refs.' Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack on the next one."

The liberal media argument has been used before. In those cases the groups making the allegations were less than reputable. For example, during the civil rights movement, some white southerners accused the media of being too liberal. Clearly, unlike some of those southern whites, the Republican party has nothing but the best intentions for the future of the United States. However, I do feel that accusing the media of being liberal is a losing argument for a public figure. Why would you call the guy who's going to write about you a jerk? I understand that the media should be as objective at possible in most cases, but I also know that it is possible for personal bias to leak into one's professional work.

There are media outlets that tend to be liberal (NBC) and there are those that tend to be conservative (FOX). I believe that there are others that are attention whores and will do anything for ratings (CNN). Is the media liberal? It probably trends that way, but it is not nearly as bad as some conservatives make it out to be.

Sources:
Bottom-Line Pressure Now Hurting Coverage, Say Journalists
What Liberal Media?

New Evidence of Liberal Media

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Friday, October 10, 2008

What are you doing this weekend?

Forecast
Fri: 73°/50°, Sunny
Sat: 71°/51°, Sunny
Sun: 71°/56°, Sunny


See
Body of Lies (Starring: Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio)

Quarantine (Starring: Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris)

City of Ember (Starring: Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan)



Events
The New York City Waterworks - Final Weekend
The waterfalls will be up until the 13th, so if you haven't checked them out at any of the 4 locations they're set up, this weekend is your last chance!

Taste of Chinatown
Lots of food, parades, street vendors.
Saturday, October 11th, 12PM-6PM
Mott Street from Canal Street to Worth Street

Columbus Day Parade
Because every holiday deserves a parade. =P
Monday, Oct 13
Fifth Avenue from 44th to 86th Streets

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How Low Can You Go

World Markets Plummet- AP

The financial markets around the world seem to be playing an intense limbo match. The Dow Jones has dropped roughly 5000 points in the past year and continues to plummet as I type. If you listen hard enough, you can hear the tears dropping from hedge fund managers. Unfortunately, the tumbling stocks affect the smallest of us as well. Those depending on their 401K to retire are finding that their retirement funds are a lot slimmer than they use to be.

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Hilarity of the Day: Dramatic Readings

The internet is full of stupid people (except you guys; you guys are cool) who write really ridiculous things and don't bother to make sure they aren't coming off as completely brain dead.

What's even funnier than reading these comments is this and this: having someone giving a dramatic reading of their ridiculous writing.

Pronouncing "babby" and "WORLDDDDDDDDD" ftw.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

TV Tonight: SNL's Weekend Update Thursdays


Mark your calendars, guys: Thursday nights on NBC are going to get a bit more weekend-ish.

Weekend Update Thursdays, based on SNL's Weekend Update segment with Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers, premieres tonight at 9:30PM.

ALSO: After last week's hiatus (anyone catch the VP debate?), The Office is back tonight at 9PM for a half an hour episode.

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Bad Idea of the Day: Remaking "10 Things I Hate About You"


I love me some 10 Things I Hate About You, one of my favorite high school movies ever. It was genuinely funny, it made me understand Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," it introduced us to the great, late Heath Ledger. I've worn my VHS copy out, and sometimes when I am channel surfing and some network like Oxygen or Lifetime is playing it, I always stop and watch. Well, you know how Hollywood just can't leave a good thing alone, so of course ABC Family has greenlit a 10 Things I Hate About You pilot, which will go into production this fall. Basically, it's going to be a half-hour comedy that will focus on the Stratford sisters as they juggle their social lives, boys, and overprotective dad. I can't really see how this is going to work, as the movie was pretty perfect the way it is. But, I don't know, maybe it'll actually be...decent. So, come fall, I'll definitely at least check out the pilot. Hey, I'm an equal opportunity TV watcher.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Life in Boxes!

It all started with a tiny idea, wondering how it would work, if it would work, and who would work for it. Thoughts were shared and words were exchanged, until the first of many Thursday night blog meetings was established. "Yes, this is it!" we all thought, nervous in anticipation and out of fear of the unknown. And here we are, with a year of blogging under our belts..

So in lieu of our one year anniversary of blogging, the editors of Life in Boxes reflect on a year of blog meetings, posts, features, and .. Life in Boxes:

Jen Shin
I can't believe it's been a year since we started Life in Boxes, it's amazing how fast time flies. The blog lasting this long is a testament to how committed we the editors are to it. Some of you might think we're big dorks for having weekly blog meetings, but honestly, without that effort on our parts, you wouldn't be reading half the stuff you find on our blog. For all the time we spend with and talking to each other, we're lucky that we actually like one another. :)

I remember my first post being about the simple conundrum of finding the perfect cereal-milk ratio. While I still occasionally write about hard-hitting issues such as that, my forte is more along the lines of tv/movie/music, with the occasional and passionate Britney Spears posts thrown in. :) I think my favorite post that I've done is 'What to do when your car gets towed' which was never meant to be a hard guide on what to do when your car gets towed, rather me venting about what had happened to me, but became one of the most visited pages of our blog. I also loved my open letters to Miley and Hillary who just happen to be one of my least favorite and one of my most favorite women in media, respectively. As for my fellow bloggers' work, I always enjoy mythbusters by our mythbusters resident Yuri- who knew that the 'close door' button on elevators just doesn't work? See, our blog is educational as well as being entertaining.

We hope to be around for much longer, so we all appreciate you guys visiting and commenting (WE LOVE COMMENTS, even the occasional hateful ones). Thanks for keeping our little blog chugging along!
--
Julia Park
Like all blog writers, we all come from humble beginnings; sure, our first few posts weren't exactly stellar, but we were excited to blog and share our words out in the blogosphere. But from our humble pie beginnings to our more recent posts, the editors of Life in Boxes have definitely grown up a bit, learned a lot, and have changed some (such as our layout!). Lesson learned: investing time into something yields to something. Surprise, surprise! Thursday blog meetings do make a difference (so stop making fun of us for Thursday night blog meetings!).

For the most part, the posts I found most enjoyable to write were ones which I felt super-passionate about. So all of those posts about Harry Potter (nothing but genuine excitement, here!), rants about Top Chef (I bet you loved my photoshop skillz, as much as I enjoyed making them!)...100% passion! And like Jen, I guess I would consider myself to be more of the tv/movie/music writer, with occasional news, marketing bits, and Cuteoverloading.

I think that my favorite post that I personally wrote was my feature on Moving Out, since it was something that I was (and still am) considering to be my next big step in life, and something that people my age-range can definitely relate to.

As for my favorite post written by the other editors? Definitely the joint post on 30 Things To Do Before You're 30.

Anyway, cheers to a full year's worth of blogging experience; keep the comments rolling and let the suggestions for making Life in Boxes legen-waitforit-dary better flow in!
--
Yuri Kim
Looking back at our one year anniversary for Life in Boxes, I realize that it hasn't really been about getting readers or trying to express our ideas to the internet (although that was a great bonus :x). As cheesy as it sounds, it has been about personally getting through this odd time that comes after graduation.

As I look back on a year of posts, I am able to confirm that I am cheap and that I love food, Kanye West, and the Do-It-Yourself subculture. It was really through the discipline of posting multiple times a week and having our weekly meetings that I was kind of able to manage all of this. If you think about it, that's pretty cool.

I think each editor probably can also find out a bit more about their own personality through their posts. Whether it's them loving sports, Britney, or loving to hate pirate hookers, we all have a voice that is unique, but still from that same viewpoint of recent college grads.

Things will change. We'll all eventually grow up. Hopefully you readers will be able to see it all unfold through our posts!
--
Jorge Feliz
Oh LIB, what can I say that hasn't been said already. From choosing a name to writing the features, it has been nothing short of interesting. To LIB I say, stay charming. To the readers I say, keep reading, especially my stuff.

My favorite posts are those that are useful to you. Yuri's Gift Guide for the Christmas season was something that I think most of us last minute shoppers used. Julia's Top College Majors By Salary made me contemplate learning more about computers and her 20 Healthy Foods>$1 made us think about getting more french fries (technically potatoes and on Wendy's Value Meal). Jen's What To Do When Your Car Gets Towed was a big hit with readers, and having had a part in the ordeal, I learned a lot. That being said, my favorite post has got to be Say What Karaoke. Why? I really like singing. Clicking on those videos and singing along to those songs are like crack to me.

Happy Bday LIB, get drunk, and I'll see you again next year.

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Pwntage of the Day

Ensuring Junior Goes For A Mild Ride- New York Times

As if teenagers needed another reason to rebel. Ford has created "MyKey" technology which allows parents to control the driving habits of their children.

"Like V-chips that restrict what children can view on television, MyKey allows
parents to limit teenage drivers to a top speed of 80 miles per hour, cap the
volume on the car stereo, demand seat belt use and encourage other safe-driving
habits."

If I were a teenager, I would make sure never to buy a Ford car when I'm an adult. Wait, no adults are buying Ford cars anyways. I guess invasive technology is not enticing enough to ignore shoddy manufacturing.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Itis


Today, we successfully made out to the Shake Shack for staff lunch. I got the Shack Stack Burger (see picture above). The Shack Stack consists of two beef patties with cheese, sandwiching a block of fried portabello mushroom with melted cheese. Taste=Heaven. Of course, eating this behemoth of a burger has the same affect as sleeping gas. There's a really good scientific explanation as to why this happens. However, I've decided to let Grandad explain it instead.

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Become a Budget Hero

With the country at the state it's currently in, you've probably thought to yourself, "Hell, I can run this country better than this!"

Well, you can kind of try to prove that with the flash game, Budget Hero.

Basically, you are able to decide how you want the government budget to look like. You can take away or give services as you please, which affects how big the government becomes and how much debt the country has. Obviously, the more government welfare plans you add, the bigger and more expensive government will be. If you cut all discretionary spending, you'll end up with more surplus and small government. After you decide how you want to set the budget, it simulates how well your budget perseveres through a span of 10 years.

The game obviously has certain flaws. Like, no repercussions for getting rid of all military spending or cutting all school aid. But it's a good time killer and can help you figure out what kind of government you think would be best for the country.

Kill 15 minutes, play the game.

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Death Cab for Cutie @ Radio City Concert Review


Death Cab for Cutie @ Radio City Music Hall, NY, NY. Monday, October 6, 2008, 8PM.

Last night, I had the most awesome and not so awesome concert experience of my life. The awesome- my favorite band Death Cab for Cutie's show at the spectacular venue that is Radio City. The not so awesome- having my concert buddy back out on me at the last minute (though he had a good reason), leaving me to attend the concert by myself. Ok, so I've always kinda wanted to go to a movie by myself. A concert at a major venue with thousands of people? Not so much. But surprisingly, it wasn't a bad experience. And that has a lot to do with the show that Death Cab put on.

I've never seen them in person, and with the seats I had, I can't really say that I know what they look like. =P But, once I got over the fact that I had an empty seat next to me, I got really into it. If you know Death Cab only through their albums, I think you'd be surprised at the amount of energy they bring to the stage. I would say that most of their songs are quiet. On stage, however, the songs are played louder and with more intensity than their catalog lets on. The lead singer Ben Gibbard exudes restless energy, jumping from his guitar to keyboard and back and forth. The songs are louder, more intense, and rock-ier than the recorded versions on the albums. I mean, this might have to do with the fact that Radio City is a HUGE venue, the biggest they've played in NY, and they needed to exude that sort of energy to reach people like me, all the way in the third mezzanine.

I was pleasantly surprised that they played a lot of old stuff. Some of my favorites, in fact. The New Year, Summer Skin, I Will Follow You into the Dark (solo performance by Ben, and with the whole 1000+ audience singing along to it, so amazing), Transatlanticism, The Sound of Settling, and my FAVORITE, Marching Bands of Manhattan. They of course also played songs from their new album Narrow Stairs, which included I Will Possess Your Heart (the crowd really went wild for this one), Bixby Canyon Bridge, Cath, Long Division. The ONLY thing I was sad about was that they didn't play Pity & Fear, which is my favorite song from the new album.

Also, I don't think many artists come out for an encore and play a 5-song set. I was sad when it ended, but didn't realize they'd be playing for another 20 minutes during the encore. It was like a second concert! Would I do it again, if I had to go to another one by myself? For Death Cab, absolutely. I hope you guys check out their stuff, especially their Plans album, which consistently gets played on my iPod. Maybe next time I'll have more people to go see them with?? :)

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Video of the Day: The Great Schlep

I'm not really a big fan of Sarah Silverman. I mean, for the most part, I find her humor to be a bit immature and .. not funny. But I'll admit: every once in a while, she can crack me up. The Great Schlep is a great example:

The Great Schlep aims to have Jewish grandchildren visit their grandparents in Florida, educate them about Obama, and therefore swing the crucial Florida vote in his favor. Don’t have grandparents in Florida? Not Jewish? No problem! You can still become a schlepper and make change happen in 2008, simply by talking to your relatives about Obama. (thegreatschlep.com)

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Well done, Sarah. But I still think you're not THAT funny :x

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Monday, October 6, 2008

[Feature] Why Buying Generic is Awesome (Spoiler: It Saves You Money)

Uhm, I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the economic sky is falling.

In times where every penny needs to be spent carefully, it seems fitting to talk about the pros and cons of buying generic goods.

There is a very powerful stigma around buying generic. You can mostly blame genius marketers and their ability to sell you their brand instead of the contents itself.

While some claims of generic goods not being as good as brand names are true, many more are completely unfounded. A lot of times, the generics are literally the same product packaged differently and sold for a few bucks cheaper.

Buying generic can usually save you a lot of money on your grocery bills without suffering any quality. So what should you go generic for and what should you avoid? Let me tell you how I roll....

Things I Buy Generic:

Over-The-Counter Drugs
I used to work at a drug store, so I have first-hand experience with the awesomeness that is generic medicine.

Things like Tylenol, Robitussin, and Claritin are all brands of medical ingredients. Usually, the drug companies that originally created these products hold exclusive patent rights to these formulas for around 7-12 years. Once that time is up, other companies can make generic versions with the exact same formulas! What's more, they sell the same active ingredients for a lot cheaper.

So next time you're sick, save yourself money and buy that Target Tussin instead of Robitussin.


Milk
Honestly, I didn't even know that milk had brands. Really. I just look for the cheapest milk and then dig to the back for the one with the best expiration date. Milk has always tasted like milk to me, whether it was the bottle with the flying cow or not.

One thing that I've always wanted to try though, is the milk in the glass bottles. Those just look like they would taste better (even though that's probably not true at all).


Batteries
While it's much better to invest in rechargeable batteries, if we're talking generic batteries vs. Duracell, it's generics for the win. Some argue that the charges don't hold as long or that they're more dangerous. First, even if the individual battery charge is weaker, chances are that cumulatively, the generic pack has more energy than the brand. Secondly, we have government agencies to make sure things like batteries are made safely and properly.

Especially when it comes to low-maintenance items (remotes, clocks, etc), generics batteries save you a butt-load of money in the long run.


Disposable Paper
By disposable paper, I mean any paper product that you throw out: paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper, etc.

I used to be a type of person who would not buy no-name toilet paper, but then I went to a friend's house and told them their toilet paper was really nice (TMI? -___-), to which they replied that it was Kirkland brand toilet paper. I was surprised and now will buy the oxymoronic high-end generic toilet paper. Because really, you end up throwing all of this out anyway. So why pay more?


The Generics Rule of Thumb
I'm not saying that everything generic is better and buying brand name is always a waste of money. Generally, Buying generic only works when the product has a simple, imitateable formula, or when they are identical to their brand name competitors.

That's why buying generic soda doesn't work. Coke keeps their formula secret for a reason. America's Choice just creates their own drink by attempting to deduce how Coke is made. It's not the same and that is evident in the taste.

The best way to figure out what you should buy generics or not is to compare two products side-by-side. Are they the exact same ingredients (generic drugs)? It is something that is not very difficult to mess up (milking a cow)? Will it even matter if the quality is a little worse (paper products)? If you can say yes to any of those, you're probably better off saving the extra money and going generic.

Of course, if you don't agree, tell me what you do/don't go generic for in the comments section!

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Friday, October 3, 2008

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

Forecast
Fri: 66°/46°, Partly Cloudy
Sat: 68°/46°, Mostly Sunny
Sun: 67°/48°, Partly Cloudy

See
Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist (Starring Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Ari Graynor)
An American Carol (Starring Kevin Farley, Kelsey Grammer, Jon Voight)
Blindness (Starring Don McKellar, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo)
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Starring Drew Barrymore, George Lopez, Andy Garcia)
Flash of Genius (Starring Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Alan Alda)
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (Starring Kirsten Dunst, Simon Pegg, Jeff Bridges)
Religulous [limited release] (Starring Bill Maher, Tal Bachman, Larry Charles)
Rachel Getting Married [limited release] (Starring Anne Hathaway, Debra Winger, Bill Irwin)
RocknRolla [limited release] (Starring Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton)


Events
Taste of Korea Restaurant Week
19 New York City Korean restaurants are participating in the Taste of Korea Restaurant week, which sadly ends tomorrow. If you have a chance to hit up these restaurants, then you'll be able to pay $7-$15 for lunch or $15-$25 for dinner. The restaurants serve a main course of Bibimpap and offer a variety of appetizers and desserts.

Free Museums
Yet again, Bank of America has their free museums event. If you are a card holder, you can go to a number of museums, sans admission fees. Also, Target sponsors free entry to the Brooklyn Museum of Art during the first weekend of the month, as well.

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Sad News of the Day: RefundPlease.com is Now Useless

A couple of months back, I wrote about how Amazon has this great policy, where if you buy something and the price goes down within a month, Amazon will refund you the difference.

I wrote how Amazon was awesome for doing this and how it helped buyer's remorse, etc., etc.

Unfortunately, Amazon has recently removed the post-order price guarantee. That means no more refunds and that RefundPlease.com is pretty much useless.

Amazon, you have just become a little less cool in my book.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

These Four Things I know Are True

Tonight's debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden will be more entertaining than any of the presidential debates. Why? Sarah Palin! Watching Palin speak is like watching an Evil Knievel jump through a ring of fire over 13 trucks. Youtube is hanging on her every word. Biden will sit back and enjoy the show.

The Yankees didn't make the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. I wanted so much to believe in them but they let me down. Still, no fanhood can compare to the pain the Metropolitan fans are experiencing. Two years in a row they choke on the last day of the regular season. How can people still root for a team like that?

Google has the best email service, the best chat program, and the best search engine. If Google ever decided to add fantasy sports to their repertoire, Yahoo would be done for. Make it happen Google.

New York City is the greatest city in the world. Shame on South Jersey for referring to Philly as "the city."

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