Thursday, August 4, 2011

Debt Ceiling Bill : How this impacts students (and screws grad students)

I'm the first to admit that I am not savvy enough to instinctively understand all this talk about debt ceilings and defaults. I'm still really proud that I can figure out how to do my own taxes.(go me!)  I also can't really fathom the "blah-blah-blah" trillions of dollars that the US is in debt for. However working in a university setting makes me acutely aware of when things affect university students.

That being said this debt deal bill royally f**ks graduate students. As part of the deal, Congress has decided to scrap the subsidized portion of the Stafford Direct loan. For those fortunate enough not to have to deal with loans, the subsidized loan means that the government will pay the interest on the loan for the duration of time that a student is enrolled in school full-time. By eliminating this benefit, when grad students enter repayment they will have on average 6% more debt to repay, which at the end of the day, amounts to thousands of extra dollars to repay.
On the upside, they are using the money that they save to continue to fund the Pell Grants for extremely high-need students but that still seems completely lopsided.

At the end of the day people will still be able to go to graduate school but they will be in crippling debt by the time they come out.

*Sigh* There ends my rant.

P.S. if you want to read more about all the ways in which financial aid has been affected click here to go to an article on

Monday, August 1, 2011

The end of an era: ode to Zinnia

Today was the last day at my second job (the one that I got specifically to keep Sallie Mae from taking the shirt off my back). In the way of all endings I have mixed feelings about moving on from the job. Its a great feeling to realize that you no longer have to work 50-60 hours a week just to keep your head above water but starting a whole new chapter in life is really difficult.

I started looking for a second job roughly a year and a half ago because I just couldn't see myself paying my bills without it (Sallie Mae is a harsh taskmaster) . I also happened, incidentally, to be really depressed because in the transition from college student to real live adult, I felt like I had been left behind by all my friends. In my mind, everyone was doing something better, cooler and more awesome than me and I was just struggling. Once I got this job something totally unexpected happened. I made friends with my coworkers. Perhaps it is because I was working in a jewelry store but I became friends with some really creative, interesting (sometimes off-the-wall, in the best sense possible) people completely by accident. 

Over the year I've had so much fun, seen so many crazy people , and gotten so much great jewelry that it makes me sad to go. Oh well, they can't get rid of me that easily... I'll still be shopping there I'm sure. 

Btw a quick shout out to two Zinnia girls on the interwebs. You should check them out.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I love this!

This may be the cutest beach bag that I've seen in all my life!

H&M Beach Bag

Monday, May 2, 2011

Met Gala 2011

The Costume Institute's Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a great excuse for celebrities to get away with dressing like Lady Gaga does on a regular basis. They push wear haute couture straight off the runway and they hope that their vision of cool translates through the camera. It is perhaps my favorite fashion holiday ever! (That's right... its a fashion holiday. Just like the Globes and the Oscars and any other excuse for people to break out their designer gowns.) 

 That being said... while I respect them pushing the envelope, sometimes I don't agree with their vision. Here are my top 5 best and "worst"* dressed of the evening so far.

*Disclaimer: I reserve the rights to my opinions and really I don't think that there can be any worst-dressed people at this event. It's just too fun. :-D


Janelle Monae - I love that she wears a tuxedo everywhere she goes and I'm still intrigued by what she is wearing

Christina Ricci - fierceness personified! 

Seriously the best that I've seen her look! I love this dress!

Ashley Greene - Very pretty

Dakota Fanning - I'm not sure why I'm obsessed with this dress but I am, So there! 

Crystal Renn (ok so I had to include her because this was literally more awesome than I could take)


Rihanna (only because of her hair. what was up with that?!?)

Lucy Liu - tons of feathers, oh my!

Leighton Meester - somehow she just looks really awkward

Blake Lively - Makeup flawless... dress makes her look like she just threw a sheet on.

I know this is totally her style and to each her own but its just SOOO big! 


Ciara - pretty

Matthew Morrison- Mr. Shue! 

Miranda Kerr

Pharell - yum!

Jessica Stam

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Birther Movement makes no sense

This whole movement to discredit President Obama has really ticked me off.  I am soo very tired of all the news articles that are focusing on this. I don't want to hear it anymore! The man has released his birth certificate, his "long form" birth certificate, had Hawaiian officials swear that they are authentic and yet there are still people in this movement that persist in believing that he was not born in the US.

C'mon people! If you dislike his politics, have some integrity and challenge his issues rather than his basic qualifications. He was sworn in as President! Don't you think that they would have checked that before they put him in the Oval Office???

Underhanded acts like this just a bad taste in everyone's mouth and make you lose allies.

That is all. Rant complete.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The Shiba Inu Puppy Cam is back in action! This family films their new-born puppies during the workday and they are the CUTEST!

Live Streaming by Ustream.TV

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Summer Movies

My boyfriend (who will henceforth be referred to as Boyfriend) and I love to watch movies. One of the reason we work is because, at our core, we are just two nerds looking for someone who understands.

We watch an astonishingly large number of movies each year. Since our nerd specialties are completely different (his being video games; mine being books) we meet in the middle with the wonderful movies that have been made from both. So you may imagine that summertime might just be our mecca.

Here are some movies that we're really excited to see and their trailers. Enjoy!

1. Captain America: The first Avenger

2. Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

3. The Hangover 2

4. X-Men: First Class

5. Green Lantern

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

8. Thor

9. Fast Five

Monday, April 4, 2011

Addicted to Real life

I watch a lot of reality tv. This is an indisputable fact. Given a choice between a classic old movie and the latest episode (or even a re-run) of the Real Housewives of wherever-is-currently-popular, I will choose the housewives. I can trace this fascination back to the very first reality progam: Survivor. I remember sitting in my aunt's house and watching every episode. "This. Is awesome. I get to watch people do stuff on tv. Regular people like me." The fact that there was a winner and a loser each week just made it even better in my opinion.

Even after Survivor was no longer popular, the spawning of different types of reality shows kept it interesting. After the competition shows came the "follow-me-around-while-I-live-my-life" shows. Finally came the "I'm-really-weird" shows a la Hoarders, Intervention and all those others. And I embraced each new genre with open arms.

Now everyone likes to looks down on these shows and call it a waste and that's fine. But I wonder.... did you watch Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune or StarSearch ? Because the same Survivor, American Idol or America's Next Top Model that you disparage were more than likely based on those family shows that you and your grandparents watched. 

I know that it is ridiculous I should be out there viewing new art shows or going to museums or engaging in some otherwise stimulating cultural activity. But don't act like you aren't secretly watching WEtv Wedding Sundays or the Say Yes to the Dress marathon on TLC.

I'm a well informed, educated woman with a pretty expansive reading list but sometimes I just want to see some dude/lady and their wise-cracking, long suffering assistant navigate life on the "hard" streets of L.A. or watch a crazy lady eat toilet paper (true story from last night's "My Strange Addiction").

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cambridge crazies

Now as you know I live in Somerville but I spend most of my time in and out of work in the illustrious city of Cambridge, home of the largest number of crazy homeless people I have ever seen in my entire life. I realize that every city has its fair share but somehow Cambridge crazies  seem to have the whole thing on lock. After extensive research (aka living my life, riding the T and walking to and from my job) I've encounter a couple different types that I would now like to illustrate here.

1. Crazy that hangs out at the bus stop
        - this genre of crazy person seems to have only one goal in life: bum cigarettes and change off commuters waiting at the bus stop. Now this is a smart move... they have a ready audience of people they can bother. There is one man in particular that waits at my regular morning bus stop that is the prime example of this stereotype. He's always dressed in short-shorts and a puffy jacket and comes up to people to ask for change to call the welfare office. Now usually I would fall for a sob story like that except for one fact that I can't get around... his hair is dyed a different color every 3 days. Now tell me readers.... wouldn't he be better served using his hair-dye money to front his phone calls costs and generally tobacco needs?

2. Crazy riding the T
     - a key component to the T-riding crazy person is volume... its almost like theater, you need to have a great sense of dramatic timing. Their voice rises and falls with the sound of the train, taking each lull in the train's sounds as a cue to start yelling random nonsense at the top of their lungs. The content of their speech is not important, it just has to be nonsensical enough, with enough random curse words thrown in for flavor, to draw your attention away from that really good book you were reading on your kindle/smartphone/ipad device. Luckily for you.. this crazy tends to stay on the T so you can switch cars or just get off at your stop and watch the crazy drive away in the train.

3. Central Square crazies
        - What is so atypical about the Central Square crazy is that they are not really interested in the regular folks out there. They take particular delight in bothering their own people aka other crazies. Any time I go to Central, I always see a fight of sorts break out among the people that hang out there. They politely step around regular folks going about their business but continue to antagonize and upset the one guy they decided to pick on that day. In short, central square crazies are bullies with an ever-changing hierarchical system so the bullied becomes the bully from day to day.

Now despite what you may think, I do not necessarily dislike living among all of these homeless people. I know that they are just misunderstood, misguided or they have not been given the proper care and attention necessary for them to become members of society. For some it is even a conscious choice. But at the end of the day, that is what makes living and working in Cambridge so interesting. You get to know your neighborhood crazies and start to pick up on aspects of their life. And at the very least, they will always give you an interesting story to tell when you reach your destination.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Back after hiatus (approximately a year to be exact)

Well hello readers! I know its been a while since I've posted anything on here but I have to say that 2010 was a crazy year. I'm once more fully committed to writing my random thoughts down and.... guess what? You get to read them. I know... this is better than your daily "need-it-like-crack" morning cup of coffee. This blog also has the added benefit of updating my friends on my life thoughts, especially since I'm often too lazy to pick up the phone and call them. (love you guys :D )

Anyway, look forward to many more regular postings.