Saturday, March 31, 2012

Things that make go "hmm."

Hello all! Happy weekend!

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

This pin represents my plan for today: Drink copious amounts of coffee in order to finish Catherine the Great in time for the Final Four games tonight! And so I can count it for the Winter Nest Book Challenge, which ends tonight. But of course, first I'm here to give you my interesting link round-up for this week. And if you missed my commentary on the young adult fiction debate that was in the New York Times on Thursday, please check it out and share your thoughts.

Photos of Swedish students with all their earthly possessions piled up around them show how to “live with less.”

A fascinating essay on the fashion evolution of the NBA and black America. Biggest “hmm” line: “Americans weren't used to seeing rich black kids, which is why we were asked to watch The Fresh Prince through the eyes of a poor black one.”

This blog.

This pin.

This very unique, Modern-Family-opening-credits-inspired vacation video.

My grandma always said she liked going to Mass when she traveled because it was the same everywhere. This beautiful post from C’est Christine captures a similar feeling.

An awesome infographic about interns in New York City. (The survey pool only included 100 people, but it covers a nice variety of topics. Plus, my friend Becky helped!)

What are your weekend plans? Also, I can't decide if this song is so bad it's good, or just bad. What do you think?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Week 10

I am so excited for this week's theme! I mean, who doesn't love a little rain? ;)

I have to say, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to find some cute and functional pieces. I would probably add knee-high gray socks to complete the look, and I realize a $1,400 raincoat is ridiculous, but that's why it's Friday's Fancies, right? :) Also, I think the braided headband look would be the perfect defense against any troublesome wind or water.

P.S. — Of course, right after I finished writing this post on Wednesday (I was so on top of it this week!), Capitol Hill Style posted about Anthropologie's adorable rain flats. Would you wear rain flats instead of boots in warmer weather?

P.P.S. — Semi-Charmed Kind of Life is on Facebook! If your blog has a Facebook page, please like me from that account so I can return the favor. :) 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The age of literacy.

I was going to save this post for my "things that made me go 'hmm'" round-up on Saturday, but I decided I just couldn't wait. Plus, the column I'm going to comment on was published today, and as a journalist, I have this urge to be "timely." In this post, I will describe my reaction to "Adults Should Read Adult Books," a short piece by magazine columnist Joel Stein. This column is part of a larger debate about young adult fiction in the New York Times opinion pages, and — fortunately — Mr. Stein seemed to be the only panelist who held a condescending view of the YA genre.

Source: via Chelsea on Pinterest

I tweeted a link to the article earlier today, and several of my Twitter followers shared my disgusted disbelief. Here are their responses (sorry for the screenshots; I've tried to embed the tweets but they always show up as just text):

Additionally, I checked the bitly listing for the article to see what people were saying. As you can see for yourself, the conversation was overwhelmingly negative toward Mr. Stein and/or in praise of the young adult fiction genre. When I realized I wasn't the only person who had strong feelings about Stein's point of view, I decided to devote more than a tweet to the subject. Hence, this blog post.

Bookworm humor.

It's time to link up with Jessica at Sweet Green Tangerine for her weekly book chat! The theme this week is "funny book/character," and though I don't often read funny books (remember how hard it was for me to find a "book that makes me happy"?), I couldn't be happier with the timing of this book chat because there's a video I've been dying to share with you! I've tweeted about it and pinned it, but I really wanted to include it on my blog, and I was waiting for a day that wasn't taken up by a link-up. So, instead of writing about the funniest book I've ever read, I'm just going to include some of my favorite book-humor videos, pins, etc. from the world wide web. Enjoy!

This literary rap is the video I referenced in the opening paragraph. I discovered it through a Goodreads tweet (they were really excited about their shout-out at 0:50). My favorite line is "Checked in with a pseudonym, so I guess you can say I'm Mark Twaining," but there are plenty of other good ones in there. Which part is your favorite?

I found this Hunger Games-inspired text message conversation on Pinterest, and I could. not. stop. laughing. (But now I've had the LMFAO song stuck in my head for days ... ugh!)

Source: via Megan on Pinterest                     Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Of course, I couldn't share a funny Hunger Games pin without giving some love to the wonderful world of Hogwarts. There's plenty more where these came from on my Harry Potter Pinterest board, if you're interested.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Warm weather wishings.

Happy Hump Day! As usual, I'm linking up with The Vintage Apple and This Kind of Love. This is one of my favorite blogging days because I look forward to scouring my pins each week and thinking about all the good things that have happened in my life recently.


First, a little synopsis of what I'm loving:
  • I'm headed back to Columbia next month! Y'all know how much I've been missing my college friends, and I can't wait to see their beautiful faces and enjoy some really cheap college-town drink specials!
  • I put the new biography Catherine the Great on hold at the local library weeks ago, and my spot in line finally came up this weekend! Whoop! Now I'm just counting down the days until it's my turn to hold Lone Wolf in my hands.... (Edited to add: I checked my library account this morning, and it's my turn for Lone Wolf! Going to pick it up on my lunch break today!)
  • And, of course, I'm loving this gorgeous weather Santa Fe's been having! In fact, that's what inspired my pin theme this week: How I want to spend my days now that the thermometers are regularly hitting 70 degrees.

A pleasant bike ride to the coffee shop.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Week 5

Welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! This week's prompt deals with food! A few example questions I provided last week: What is the best food you’ve ever eaten abroad? What American foods do you miss the most when you’re traveling? What foreign cuisine do you like to make at home? How do you feel about eating McDonald's in other countries? As usual, please link up with your travel-related posts below, even if they're a different topic than the prompt I suggested.

I traveled internationally for the first time when I was 10 years old. My family was heavily involved in the dairy industry during my childhood (yup, as in cows), and almost every year we traveled to the national American Jersey Cattle Association convention, which was always held in a different state. (See how many states I was able to visit through that opportunity here.) In 2000, my mom decided to attend the international convention in Italy, and she took me with her! Lucky dog, right?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Waiting for Instant.

So, as much as I love The Hunger Games, I waited until Saturday afternoon to see it this past weekend. No, the shows weren't sold out (Santa Fe isn't exactly the target demographic for the franchise), I just really wanted to save $3 by seeing a matinee show.

So on that note, here are five more movies I've been dying to see, but I'm crossing my fingers Netflix will add them to their Instant Queue soon so I don't have to pay a(n extra) dime!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

#8: Change someone's life ... for the better.

I feel a little silly—and slightly conceited—crossing this item off my bucket list, but I think I have sufficient evidence to say I have changed someone's life. I say this because he told me so himself.

For six of my seven semesters at Mizzou, I worked at the campus recreation center, first as an equipment attendant and later as a student supervisor. During my last year there I had at least one shift a week with a younger employee who ended up being promoted to take my supervisor position when I left. He was a great kid: hard-working, ambitious, smart, witty and always fun to work with, even before sunrise. (Yes, the rec center opened that early.) We didn't interact much outside of work, but I definitely considered him a friend. Even so, I was surprised after my graduation when a mutual friend of ours gave me a card from him. Inside was a Starbucks gift card (those early mornings had made it quite apparent how dependent I was on caffeine) and a Winnie the Pooh card containing some of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me, including:
"Although this is a congratulatory card, I would like for it to also be a thank you card. So, thank you Megan! What for? Well, as it turns out, you've been like a big sister for me over the past year. I never thought that someone who I only saw once a week at 5:15 in the morning would ever influence me as much as you have. You ... have influenced me more than anyone else I've yet to meet in college!"
As I sat in my mom's rental car on the way to my graduation dinner reading his card, I started crying. Seriously, it was that bad good. I was sad to be leaving Mizzou, obviously, but it was nice to know I had made a positive impact on at least one other person during my college years. I don't know if the person I'm writing about reads my blog (or even knows it exists), but if he does: Thank you. You definitely added substance to my college experience, I'm so proud of everything you've done for the Mizzou community, and I know you'll continue to achieve much more! Thank you for making me feel like I made a difference. (Oh, and of course: I hope MizzouRec is treating you well!)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Things that make me go "hmm."

My favorite pin of the week!

This is not a statement about the ethical issue of cloning one way or the other, but this cloned baby goat is adorable! See more pictures here. 

This cute and clever video from the New York Times explores the question of what makes a native species. (Spoiler alert: We European humans aren’t exactly native, if you were wondering.)  

I’d say these students could use some “cultural sensitivity” training. 

Funny longread: What happens when a 35-year-old man retakes the SAT? 

The 20 coolest bookstores in the world. (Oh, and the best ones are on my Pinterest already.)  

Having a long day at work and just need to “get outside” for a little while? This awesome trail view website can help

A drunk klepto with a conscience

Score one for endangered turtle species!  

TIME magazine announces the 140 best Twitter feeds of 2012.  

Absolutely crazy: This guy’s Reddit comments led to a movie deal!

Did you know we have eight new U.S. Historic Landmarks? Because we do!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Week 9

This week's Friday's Fancies is a little painful for me. It was a great idea, {av}, but it would be a lot more fun if my team were still in the tournament. *sigh* I even thought of skipping this week or doing a different theme because I was so heartbroken over Mizzou's first-round (and very unexpected) loss last Friday, but then I remembered this:

Even if the Big Dance didn't go quite as we had planned, I still love my Tigers, and I'm still proud to be a Mizzou student alum (I almost forgot)! (As evidenced by the fact that I wore my Mizzou headband on the slopes the day after our loss, despite seeing quite a few Jayhawk beanies.) As much as I wish I were getting ready to watch my boys play Marquette tonight instead of Florida, I will be a Tiger fan until the day I die! Plus, we're taking that Big 12 championship with us to the SEC ... and no one can ever take it back!

Mizzou Fan

P.S. — I pinned quite a few Mizzou items on Polyvore when I was creating this outfit, so if you're a future/current/former Tiger — knock yourself out!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Hunger Games vs. Uglies

Happy Hunger Games Week, everyone!

Photo via Pinterest

I'm participating in Sweet Green Tangerine's weekly book chat again. Today's prompt is: Share your favorite Dystopian novel. This is too perfect because I've been brainstorming this post idea since January and finally have an excuse to sit down and write it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring has sprung!

It's time for my usual Wednesday link-ups:


First, I am loving one thing in particular this week: Yesterday, I got two pretty sweet online gift card deals: a $15 iTunes card from Best Buy for only $12, and a $10 Amazon card (for new Kindle books, of course) for only $5. That's $25 worth of merchandise for only $17, or 32 percent off!
#savvyshopper #moneyinthebank

In honor of the first day of spring yesterday, here are some spring-inspired pins to warm you up! (The first image is what I like to imagine I'll dress like as an LC next year. But let's be real ... I'm just not that fashionable.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Week 4

Welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! This week's question(s): What destination is at the top of your travel bucket list? Why? What do you want to do there? Do you think it will ever happen, and if so, when/how? As usual, please link up with your travel-related posts below, even if they're a different topic than the prompt I provided.

I am so incredibly blessed to have already visited my number-one must-see destination when I studied abroad last year: Rwanda. During that same trip, I also went on a safari in Kenya, but there is still one African destination I would give almost anything to visit ...

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm a socially awkward penguin.

You've seen memes, right? Those funny images with block lettering that have gone viral in the past few months? Well, my favorite has to be the socially awkward penguin meme, if only because I can totally relate to 97 percent of them. In fact, I only got to page three of these memes before I had to stop because I had found too many that describe my life to a "T." Here are some socially-awkward-penguin behaviors I exhibit on a regular basis. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Things that make me go "hmm."

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! Here are some interesting links I found this week:

If you learn one thing today, let it be this: It’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day!

Check out this magical combination of two of my favorite things: geography and college basketball. This game is addicting!

Types of books found in a bookstore. (If you like Letters or Note, you will love Lists of Note!)

In case you were wondering what the heck the Ides of March is and why we still recognize it. 

Have you always wondered what a hipster was? Now you know. (Essay from my favorite recent addition to my Google Reader: Thought Catalog.)

Chop Suey: Culinary history’s greatest prank?

These aren't photographs; they're paintings. Say what?!

Talk about a poor sport. What sort of example are we setting for our children? Sheesh.

What are you up to this weekend? Any fun plans for the holiday? I'm spending the weekend in Vail, Colorado, on a staff retreat. I can't wait to share my pictures with you when I get back! 

P.S. — In case you missed it yesterday, check out my outfit inspiration for St. Paddy's festivities.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Week 8

Welcome to another edition of Friday's Fancies! I created an Ireland-themed outfit a few weeks ago for {av}'s "Let's Fly Away" link-up, for which I found these awesome green jeans. Of course I had to use them again for a St. Patrick's Day outfit! This time, I decided to do a one piece, two ways post (a la my Valentine's Day outfit), so here's two different ways to wear green jeans this weekend during your St. Paddy's Day partying:

St. Paddy's Day

For each outfit, I picked a fun spring purse/clutch because I was afraid the sweaters I chose made the outfits seem too autumn-y. I'm also a sucker for tacky holiday jewelry, hence the shamrock earrings on the left. I picked a gold Claddagh ring this week to match the earrings, and I chose some more costume-y pieces for the evening jewelry. Finally, I went with flats for the evening because—let's be real—you're going to want to be as close to the ground as possible.

See more details about each piece below:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

If I could live in a book ...

It's Thursday, which means it's time for another book chat with Jessica at Sweet Green Tangerine. I also got my $25 Barnes & Noble gift card from her giveaway in the mail today, so the timing is quite appropriate. (Thanks, Jessica! I'll be sure to let you know what I get!) This week's question:

Initially, I was going to pick one of the Harry Potter books (duh), but the majority of link-ups on Jessica's post had already chosen the wonderful world of Hogwarts, and I wanted to provide something different. I also thought you might be sick of hearing me talk about why Harry Potter is my favorite series, my personal identification with Hermione Granger, my favorite quotes from the series, or my general obsession with the entire franchise that began in 1998. (And those aren't even all my Harry Potter posts; you can see all of them here.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Zoos and cute animals and such.

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for two link-ups: The Vintage Apple's "Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!" and This Kind of Love's "What I'm Loving Wednesday."


First, a couple things I'm loving:
  • My little brother is in town for his spring break! It's been fun having someone to come home to and checking out some new restaurants around town.
  • After a few snowy days last week, it's warmed up considerably, so I can ride my bike to work again (following all these rules, of course)! It's also lovely to still have a couple hours of sun left when I got off work. (Thanks, Daylight Savings! I was mad at you on Sunday when you stole an hour of sleep, but now I like you a whole lot.)
  • I'm going to Vail, Colorado, this weekend for a staff retreat! I just hope I don't make myself look like a fool next to all the experienced skiers I'll be going with.
  • My $50 Visa gift card from winning Lovely Undergrad's internship attire contest came this week! (Thanks, Jessica!) See my winning entry here.

And now, on to the pins! Quick question: Am I the only person who feels bad about how much I love zoos? I mean, obviously I would prefer to see exotic animals in their natural habitats, but that is very time- and money-intensive. Instead, I get uber-giddy about visiting zoos, but then I always feel bad that the animals have been taken from their native lands. I try to console myself with the thought that endangered animals can breed in zoos and keep their species alive, but it doesn't help that much. The reason I've been pondering this is because my theme for this week is adorable animals! Enjoy.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

And finally, these puppies grew up together. Check out the photos taken five years apart. #adorbs

I actually did a similar post to this one way back in 2011, before I knew about Pinteresting Wednesdays, but I figure there's no such thing as too many cute animals, right? See my previous post (with more adorable photos!) here.