THE MILLENNIAL QUESTIONNAIRE: COMPLETED

Let’s get this straight. When in college, everyone has been asked the same questions over and over again by adults who still dare to pinch their cheeks. We don’t want to answer them. We didn’t even want to see the interrogator in the first place.

The following is an answered questionnaire to be given to family members at your third-cousin’s birthday party, classmates who you haven’t seen you since 5th grade, and parents of old friends at the supermarket. Give this to them and quickly retreat to that safe place under your bed where you’ve been hiding in.

How are you?
Regretful that I’m here.

How old are you again?
Guess.

You’ve grown! How tall are you?
I haven’t grown since sophomore year of high school.

What college are you going to?
Not the one that my parents probably told you when I was applying to college. I ended up going to my fourth-choice college. I’d rather be a big fish in a small pond, anyway.

What’s your major?
It doesn’t matter. I’m working on my real passion during the evenings and weekends, y’know, my collection of short stories and dubstep remix of the latest Skrillex album.

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
My iPhone is good enough.

What are you up to these days?
Making sure that I never run into people that I used to know. Facebook is already a lot of pressure. By the way, have you checked out my latest Instagram photo?

What are you want going to do after college?
Go back to sleep.

What are you doing later? Let’s catch up.
No, thanks. I have plenty of friends that I’ve made after you came into my life. I’m actually much cooler now than before.

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THE UNREQUITED LOVES OF LIFE: Denim & TV

canadian tuxedo

I’m in two great relationships right now. They don’t know about each other, but I’m sure they’re okay with it. The thing is I never knew that I would ever be in a relationship with either of them. I  have a relationship with denim and TV now in that I never had them growing up. It’s almost like an unrequited love story, except that it was never one-sided love since I didn’t appreciate them, while denim and TV didn’t really know about me.

I grew up as a dancer. I did ballet, jazz, tap, the whole works. So it gave me pride that I was the only one in my 5th grade class who could do a split during gym class. What is the only thing that could restrict me from showing off my splits, pirouettes, and grand jetes? Denim.

The constricting fabric that held my legs together could never let my legs make more than a 40 degree angle. Wearing jeans was like being in jail. I was a nerd, so jeans never fit my personality either. Multi-colored sweatsuits and Capezio jazz pants were a large part of my repertoire on “dress down” days at my uniformed private school. At one point, the only pair of jeans I had were from the boys section of GAP with patchwork all over the legs and formulas written on them.

The same goes for my TV viewing habits. My love for TV now is garnered by the fact that I hated TV when I was a kid. I spent endless hours in libraries and I grew up in a home that watching classic movies during lunch was normal behavior. In fact, I distinctly remember watching Gandhi with my dad for snack time.

Of course, I still kept up with pop culture with crushes on Zack Morris and creeping in the next room when my brother watched The OC. Still, the relationship was meant to be when TV came into my life like a long lost friend in high school starting with Saturday Night Live. Now, my Monday morning schedule simply consists of reading reviews of last night’s episodes of Mad Men, Silicon Valley, or Veep.

As I felt like elaborating my teenage wardrobe in high school, I subscribed to ELLE. It was then that I saw a new trend of stretchy jeans, which were so cleverly advertised by having a ballerina do an arabesque in the so-called stretchy jeans. It’s like they were trying to sell them specifically to me.

Fast forward to present-day, I wore my own version of a Canadian tuxedo. Rolled-up my favorite Madewell high-waisted jeans, with a J. Crew chambray button down. I guess you can say that the two-toned Ralph Lauren loafers are an homage to the nerdy me who used to never wear any denim and thought jeans were just blasphemy. If 2001 called, then surely Justin & Britney would have a great rebuttal outfit.

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GREATEST NATURAL DISASTERS OF NYC (or how I stopped complaining about everything)

iloveny

Two years ago when I went to Washington, D.C. with my parents, I experienced my first earthquake. I was sitting on the National Mall about to stuff my face with a questionable hot dog when I felt the ground shake and saw the glass walls of the National Air & Space Museum wobbling. It was for five minutes…in Internet time, and probably two seconds in real time. My mom, an experienced human of natural occurrences, proceeded to tease me the whole day for seeing my face turn extremely white when the ground shook. The “earthquake” was 5.8 on the Richter Scale and my precious moment of experiencing tectonic plates shifting was a solid 10.

Growing up in New York City, I have never experienced any natural disasters like the ones that are going on right now around the world. Mud slides, earthquakes, and typhoons have never come near Brooklyn as hard as they are in California or the Midwest. I’ve never seen the sky form a circular cloud (AKA a tornado) or feel the earth shake so badly that I had to hide in my bathtub (as advised by my 5th grade teacher). New York City is pretty lucky that way…and unlucky.

In a study by the engineers of Trulia (that real estate website you’re on looking for the perfect apartment), the safest region to live in is upstate New York and Ohio. No potential earthquake, hurricane, or tornado risks. Not even Hurricane Sandy which messed up Lower Manhattan could ever touch those places. Maybe that’s why every single Lifetime movie takes place in a sketchy suburban neighborhood in upstate New York. There’s no other natural way to die there. You never hear anything on the news about Syracuse or Akron, so Mother Nature never really allows them to have any airtime.

From what I’ve experienced, the greatest natural disaster that native New Yorkers fear is gentrification. While those fake-glassesed, jean-jacket-wearing, coffee lovers on their MacBooks fear that they will never get published or pay back their parents for last month’s rent. Of course there are they stereotypical New York-natural disasters like getting splashed by a yellow taxi on a rainy day. Then there’s the moment you realize that you walked five blocks only to find out that the L train is “under construction.” Poor, New Yorkers. You don’t get natural disasters, but you do get overpriced studios.

So watch your back, New York. Mother Nature is just waiting for the day when she hears you complain about your “problems” just enough so that she hits you hard with another snowstorm. While we watch these natural disasters unfold around the world, it’s worth it to just appreciate that it’s not happening in New York. You’re going to have to start a new small talk conversation besides, “How do you like this weather?”

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BREAKING: SOCIAL MEDIA PRINCESS LEAVES INTERNET

Jordan DunnWe all know why you post your Instagrams of clean eating and $3000 juice bottle packs. I feel obligated to “like” your Lo-Fi filtered picture of your mirror pic at the gym, too. You want us to know that you are trying to be a good human. Thanks for letting us know that you’re taking better shits. You have the same place in my heart that Jaime Lee Curtis and her yogurt have.

Now just how am I supposed to brag to you about the fact that it has been a solid month since I have connected to WiFi? I have no access to Instagram to prove it nor Twitter to publish my feelings. I want all of you to know that I am looking at life through my eyes and not my camera lens.  I need to “check-in” to museums and parks on Foursquare. I need to show you that I have not downloaded the Twitter/Instagram software update yet, and that I am actually shaking from not being able to iMessage.

So am I supposed to just send all of my followers a handwritten letter with a drawing of some latté art?

I have been forced into going cold turkey. The side effects that come with going cold turkey are the same for overcoming any addiction. I should clarify, however, that being in Europe and not connected to WiFi is not the same thing as going on an “e-cleanse.” An “e-cleasne” is voluntary, and the fact that we have to call “living life” a name such as “e-cleanse” is doing great things for our virtual generation.

So while I cannot tell you how miserable I am that I cannot play on Tinder, I’ll just have to share with you what it is like being WiFi-less. It’s like when your mom told you that you cannot eat ice cream or else it will ruin your dinner. It’s not as bad as getting your seat taken at Starbucks, however, it’s almost worse.

Being unconnected to WiFi…this is as close as I’ve come to going on a juice cleanse.

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Photo by Alasdair McLellan

10,000 Lessons From Haiyan

For readers of this blog, I appreciate your interest in my humorous (and sometimes ridiculous) cogitations that keep my world balanced. Then I remember that all the situations which I don’t tend to write about, due to their disinterest, make my world feel like its spinning out of orbit. But alas, this blog has helped me keep my feet on the ground.

In this crazy world in which we live, I am the Editor-In-Chief of a college newspaper and in addition to that, gruesome weather seems to happen too often. Below is an excerpt of a short piece I wrote for the newspaper with links on how you can donate to help disaster relief in the Philippines. You can participate by reading it first, then donating. Or the other way around.

By an accident of geography, Typhoon Haiyan passed through the Philippines after incubating in the largest ocean in the world and wrought havoc that was never seen before. Is this weather a foreshadowing of the future of our world? What is the future? Most importantly, is there a future for us?

Whatever the cause of the super typhoon is irrelevant, more so for the innocent victims who were living a sustainable life in the least developed part of the world. The reports and photos taken of the devastation is horrific to say the least and our hearts bleed for them. What is important, however, is what we as humans will do about it. Can we talk together about the future of climate change and these typhoons increasingly becoming the norm? We cannot have these 10,000 lessons to simply be forgotten.

Do the adults of this generation care to plan for the future, or have they accepted the fact that there is no future? Those planning to create a better world for us to inherit must learn to see beyond their lifetime.

For more information on how you can contribute to disaster response, click through the following links for lists of organizations:

How to Help Philippines Typhoon Victims | The New York Times

Typhoon Haiyan Relief | Clinton Global Initiative

Organizations Offering Relief to Typhoon Haiyan Survivors | NBC News

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WHAT I LOVED: Funny, Friends, Flying To Where?

Cold weather is a great excuse to climb back into bed and indulge in the warmth of 500 thread count. It’s like a good piece of banana bread when the butter hits the back of your tongue and you know life is food good. As it is Monday morning and there is no time to make excuses for pushing aside productivity, here are some special stuff that I’ve been indulging in that will make you crave just five more minutes in bed or five more slices of pizza.

Food for Thoughts & Giggles: “The Most of Nora Ephron”

As soon as I was to start writing about Nora Ephron for this post, I ended up down the YouTube rabbit hole and watched every clip of her films (Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally, Julie & Julia). When I found out that a new book of her essays was published, I rushed to get my hands on it, naturally. After years of dedication and devotion aspiring to be at least one-eighth of this woman’s wit, I can only accomplish so much. If you’re reading this blog, then you’ll probably want this book.

Friends & Admirers: Rachel Antonoff’s Spring 2014

There are circles of friends that I only wish I were at least one degree of separation to. Rachel Antonoff’s is one of them, especially after watching her latest video debuting her 2014 Spring collection. Last season, she and her brother’s girlfriend (new break-out up-and-comer out-of-the-blue, Ms. Lena Dunham) created a short documentary about best friends, all for her fashion line of course. This year’s features Gillian Jacobs and Jack Antonoff retelling her parents’ love story. Can you just imagine what their group text messages are like?

Funny Femme Fatale: Kerry Washington on SNL

Let’s talk about it. Kerry Washington is amazing and maybe should just join the cast already (which would do a lot for diversity, Lorne). If you follow me on Twitter, then you know my live-tweets of SNL every week is just a lot of word vomit. There is no need to write a recap of a show that you’ve watched, but I so loved Ms. Washington that she deserves to be tagged on this blog.

An American in London, Amsterdam, Brussels…

11 Travel Start-ups You Need To Know | Mashable

It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend and a daze of confusement since I found out that I will be travelling to Europe throughout December! I’ve taken initiative and started a board on Pinterest. I will never leave you out, so this blog will be filled with wanderlust next month. I’ll be updating you with my travels and posting daily vlogs.

Tell me, what do you want to see when it comes to travelling?

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THE LEGEND OF THE UNPAID INTERN

INTERN

In the spirit of Halloween, spooks, and horror, let’s talk about one of the most frightening things to ever happen to our generation– internships.

Conde Nast announced last week that their internship program will be ending after being sued by a series of former interns. Naturally, it blew up on Twitter and upset all the aspiring Carrie Bradshaw’s out there. It’s unfortunate, but in my opinion, the interns should have asked for secure jobs instead of suing them. *WINK*

A ubiquitous complaint among college students is the eagerness to graduate and get out there. What’s so special about rushing into “real life” anyway? It’s a classic case of the “grass is greener on the other side of the…diploma.” It all seems better when we trade the sweatpants for dress suits and our dignity for minimum wage. Internships are a great preview into that lifestyle. But just like our first time at summer camp, we want to go home after two days.

Internships are indeed valuable. It’s a great source of experience and enough labor to know that that is not what you want to do for the rest of your life. So to relieve the stress of looking for internships or currently having one, I’ve compiled a list of things to do in between answering phone calls.

(Note: the following advice is coming from someone who cried and quit her first job as a babysitter after one day)

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR UNPAID INTERNSHIPS:

  • Use your free time to think about all your life’s mistakes and regrets
  • You could be laying in bed watching New Girl, so instead, write your own plotlines
  • Over-analyze the text that you just sent to your potentially significant other
  • Eavesdrop on the conversations behind you because they could be the storyline to your hit HBO series
  • Talk to everyone…who is willing to speak with you like you aren’t an “unpaid intern”
  • Realize that your hero in life (Beyonce) released her hit song, Baby Boy, when she was 21

And remember, millions of girls would kill to have your dress suit.

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THE LATEST LIE DETECTOR 2.0

pinocchioLying is great. Obviously, it didn’t turn out too well with the lady who swallowed the horse, but other than her situation, lying is fun…in the moment. I do, however, feel about lying the way I feel about hats. They may work for other people, but I just can’t pull them off.

It was Sunday, and it is a time to celebrate brunch and a contest to see who can stay in their pajamas the longest. While I was scheduled to be somewhere, I opted out, taking one arrow (white lie) out of my quiver and get out of this “engagement” by saying that I had a “previously schedule engagement,” which is obviously rewatching last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live while wiping the Reddi Whip off my mouth. With my Sunday routine already in progress, I figure that it was an Instagram moment– you know that moment when the sun hits your window in the right spot and you realize that you are a product of technology, so you snap a pic in Lo-Fi.

On some level, I agree with what our parents are telling us, that social media is making us more disconnected and less empathetic. We’ve heard what you had to say, Louis C.K., one of today’s most successful and critically-acclaimed comedians, we get it. If we are to get anything positive as a society from social networking, it is catching lies. Lying is as popular as the puppies you see on the popular page of Instagram. Tweeting your flu symptoms or Vining your #OOTD is just a reflex, but your social network has become a time capsule for everything.

You do not need a lie detector, you need to login to Facebook.

So when the person you cancelled a meeting with “likes” the Instagram you took of yourself with whipped cream all over your face, it just means that you have become a more honest human being.

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P.S. Little did I know, after writing this post, I found a TED Talk explaining precisely what I’m getting at…in a way that I’ll never accomplish…because of course, it’s a TED Talk.

BABY, WE BELONG TOGETHER

SPICE GIRLS UNIFORM

Being called a “teacher’s pet” or “suck up” for the majority of one’s life can lead to the inevitable demise of such connotations. On my journey to exchange my pastel variety of Lacoste polos for leather pants, I knew I was missing something.

Last month, I bought my inaugural pair of Doc’s, an experience every Brooklyn native has probably gone through. Having gone to an all-girls school that required us to wear construction boots reminiscent of the Spice Girls, stomping around in large shoes was a familiar adventure. Soon after, Ms. Miley debuts a new music video notoriously wearing nothing but my Doc’s that I thought would be my induction into my new age of Punk Renaissance. Then much to my dismay, my classmate turned to me and asked what color my Doc Martens were because she wanted to “buy herself a pair.”

I’ve only taken one Sociology class and it will probably stay that way. And while I probably will not and could not remember how Goffman or Mead contributed to the study of something or other, I do know that there is a human and natural need to belong. I’ve already examined the culty nature of SoulCycle, but of course the reason we all still go there or to the gym is not to just “be fit,” right? We just need to belong somewhere. It’s obviously a theme that I’ve been exploring lately.

During my weekly visit to Facebook, I have discovered through NewsFeed (if that’s what it’s still called) that BBM is apparently on the iPhone now. A few of my Facebook “friends” complained about people sharing their new BBM Pin because they just want to copy everyone else who is using it. Yes, this is something that is literally “discussed” on Facebook. Maybe it’s because I didn’t understand what irony was until my sophomore year of high school but it is the only thing that I log on to Facebook for. And while we complain about women being Photoshopped for magazines, we admittedly take one hour to choose what Instagram filter makes us look best.

It’s hard to know who to admire and who’s a phony, except for Holden Caulfield. Remember Dash from The Incredibles? When his mom tells him that everyone is special, he responds with typical Pixar wit, “Which is another way of saying no one is.”

The only people I admire are those who stay in their “outside clothes” inside their house. I mean, really, if changing your shoes and removing your bra are not the first things you do when you get home, then I will assume you are Superman.

As for the color of my Doc’s, they’re 1460 Cherry Red.

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LET’S TALK TABOO: RELIGION, POLITICS, SOULCYCLE?

GUIDE TO CONVERSATIONAL TABOO

A lot of people ask me why I am studying Journalism, which some might argue is a “lost cause” (THANKS A LOT, CNN). After three years of taking classes and twenty years of never closing my mouth, I think I finally have an answer. Being a journalist is just a good excuse for talking to people who I never normally would approach. And though it takes a great listener (and a good Moleskine) to be a journalist and writer, I will manage to find a way to talk about myself. Then if no one cares to listen, I resort to Twitter, where RT’s and Favorites are basically applause. Thanks to Mindy Kaling, I think I can finally steer every conversation towards me.

I have no doubt that conversation is an art. And not “my 3-year-old kid can do that” type of art. My dad gave me a book in high school called The Art of Conversation, when I probably needed a book called, How To Stop Talking Because There Are Other People, You Selfish B*tch. I have encountered “foot in mouth” syndrome along the way, but I’ve learned to add more to the list of conversational taboo.

SoulCycle: Move over, Scientology. The culty, trendy bikers at SoulCycle are taking the lead in controversy. It’s the church where “Sunday’s best” means LuluLemon, and wine is replaced with SmartWater and the instructor’s sweat. I have compared my best friend to a Mormon missionary working for the gods of SoulCycle, while I am simply the one who goes on Easter and Christmas. Months ago after taking my first class and self-indulgently posting about it on Facebook, one of my “friends” immediately makes a New Yorker-worthy status cynically shooting down SoulCycle. In a victorious turn of events, I got more “likes.” Then somehow, SoulCycle has managed to find itself in the middle of a conversation again, which is no surprise in Brooklyn. I was speaking with someone whose friend had just quit teaching at The New School to be a SoulCycle Instructor. I tread lightly on the subject, unsure where my conversational partner stood on the issue, realizing the polarization between cyclists and bikers and everyone else. But at least they can just brush off haters with their killer calves.

Flashdance: Late Friday night, I was in the middle of a conversation I never thought I would have. Three others, who were in their late 20’s and early 30’s, started talking about Flashdance. I am a person who only watches political debates in the event one candidate makes a pop culture reference. Here I am, too young to be having a conversation about a movie that came out in 1983, ten years before I was born? This can’t be happening. I made a comment about banana clips, just after googling what they were. Some people have not watched Flashdance, therefore should not be mentioned in a conversation. This can also be applied to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi— yes, another movie I have yet to watch.

Journalism with a capital J: Tom Wolfe would be rolling in his grave if he read the tweets of The Huffington Post. Oh, he’s still alive? Then send him a link to my blog. I was attending an event for High School Journalism students when the MC asked the audience for a joke– I think I was a bit too loud when I responded with, “Ha! Journalism.” If CNN now has to keep reminding the audience (and itself) that “This is CNN,” then maybe we may be losing the point of being The Fourth Estate. As naive as it may sound, I still believe that the next Woodward & Bernstein are somewhere out there…but they’re probably too busy updating their blog and Tumblr.

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P.S. What’s on your list of conversational taboo?