Hello, Strangers

{ Sunday, February 28, 2010 }
I've neglected my blogging habit this week, and I already feel incredibly out of touch! Needless to say, this week was a rough, rough one. My boyfriend of over two years, Leighton, and I came the closest we ever have to breaking up. Hopefully, things won't push each of us to a breaking point again. Although we were both at fault for miscommunication and have made up since, I still feel hurt and at some kind of odd loss. According to dear Mr. Leighton, I was agitating him by "forcing him to grow up." I'm not stranger to the widely-known truth that guys despise the idea of growing up and committing, yet at the age of 20 and dating as long as we have, I thought his reaction would have been more positive. Sigh.
A good lesson was learned out of all this, however, and I think I'm going to stick to living by a new philosophy : I need to slow down.
I won't deny that I'm a planner. I apply for writing internships endlessly, for fear that my future depends on it. I want to know if I'll graduate college with honors, land a good job, end up with Leighton, and have financial security. These are all things that are essentially beyond my control. I'm turning 19 this Wednesday, yet I feel like I'm 30 at times...
On a happier note, I had a great time Saturday afternoon with two of my best friends!
Carrie, Erin, and I embarked on a picnic-adventure to the local creek, which was beautiful. Of course, no picnic is complete without sushi :)

I'm off to cram for an American Government exam, wish me luck!
I hope everyone has a wonderful and exciting week ahead of them.

The Buried Life: "We Aren't the Message, Only the Messengers"

{ Tuesday, February 23, 2010 }
It's a simply phrased question, but not so simple to answer: what do you want to do before you die? The four ambitious and free-spirited young men of MTV's hit documentary series, The Buried Life, have dedicated the last three years of their lives to answering just that. Hailing from Canada, longtime friends Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood, Jonnie Penn, and Duncan Penn collectively decided to embark on a nationwide sabbatical after ditching a life of conformity and normality. They left with the steadfast mission to satisfy the 100 most important things they wished to do in life, but with a twist: for every achievement they marked off their list, they must give back to someone in need. The story behind The Buried Life is remarkable, and the project's positive impact upon the lives of others is even more outstanding. I recently had the great honor and privilege to chat with Dave Lingwood and Jonnie Penn thanks to CollegePublisher.com. Both Lingwood and Penn were extremely friendly and informative about their groundbreaking journey, making for a wonderful interview full of insight and inspiration.

Q: How did your friends and family first react when you told them about your mission to go across the country and pursue The Buried Life?

A: Dave- "The first reaction was a fairly positive one I think, when we said 'hey guys, we’re going to keep on doing this,' and continued to do it for three years with no funding. Jonnie and I were in Montreal going to school, and we had no money. Jonnie’s got a story of going to buy a yam for $1.39 and not being able to afford it, so he had to get the smaller yam for 55 cents, which was not nearly as appetizing (laughs). But we’ve had really great support from our friends and our family. Our friends have always been extremely supportive, and
we’ve kept The Buried Life alive by throwing events in our home town, Victoria. We threw parties where our whole community came out and supported us and allowed us to keep this project going."

Q: I saw on this week’s episode that while you guys were in Compton, a gang found out and they weren’t too happy about it. Have there been other times when your safety has become an issue?

A: Dave- "Yes, there have been a few times where we should have been like, 'you know what, I need to walk away from this situation.' When we were shooting the seventh episode (which you’ll see after next week), to tell a joke on Late Night, there was a bit of an incident at Letterman – when we were trying to tell a joke on Letterman, they (security) called the film commissioner of New York, the sheriff of New York, and they came down and essentially kicked us out of the city. It's all about putting yourself out there."
Jonnie- "It was really funny too."

Other interviewers asked equally interesting and thought-provoking questions, generating quite a response from Lingwood and Penn.

Q: Have you received any kind of negative feedback for what you're trying to accomplish on The Buried Life?

A: Jonnie- "Yes, that’s been a big one. There have been questions about this show promoting entitlement, saying that everybody should go out there and get whatever they want if they just ask for it. Personally, I don't think that is what the Buried Life is about. We’re not saying you have the right to get what you want, we’re saying you have the right to try. It's been interesting to gauge the response."

Q: What has been your most rewarding mission thus far; something absolutely amazing that you've witnessed while doing this?

A: Jonnie- "For each of us, it was different. The one story that changed my life was Queen, a student at the University of Memphis. Dave and I ran into her while walking down the street- she pays her way through college, and has no family. She lost her mom and father in Katrina, and never got to say goodbye to her mom. Her mom was shipped to a military hospital in Denver, and we had the chance to raise enough money to get her out to Denver to say goodbye. It was confirmation that her mom was really gone when she actually saw the tombstone. It was a blow, and it reminded us of all the reasons we do this project- not because life is short but because life is long, and it’s worth celebrating. You can’t lose touch and imagine that you’ll live forever, you do need to do the things that you want to do before you die."

It was wonderful to communicate with and listen to the wonderful, heartfelt responses of Lingwood and Penn. If you haven't already caught an episode of The Buried Life, you're missing out! Catch the inspirational caravan of four ordinary guys on the road to achieve the extraordinary, every Monday night at 10 p.m on MTV.


"Mister Blue Sky, Please Tell Us Why You Had to Hide Away For So Long..."

{ Monday, February 22, 2010 }
The sun decided to make a quick cameo during my school day, which was only the cherry on top to the great Monday I had! My first class was cancelled- thank goodness- so I was generously allowed to sleep in until 6:45 am. Nice, right? My presentation in speech went smoothly, and my American Government on the Senate...well, that's questionable. Sadly, English was cancelled today, and I'm positive that I'm the only person in my class to become disheartened at that news.

Dress- Wet Seal
Cardigan- Target
Coin necklace- Charming Charlie
Beaded cuff- Charming Charlie
Tights- Target
Messenger bag- Pac Sun
Boots- Herstyle

I came home to the finalized transcript of my chat with Jonnie and Dave of The Buried Life, so I can finally start on the story I've itching to write up! I encourage all of my aspiring-journalist blog pals (and I know there are a good bit of you!) to create an account on http://collegepublisher.com/ and take advantage of the wonderful writing opportunities they make available to young journalists. If I had created my account a month earlier, I could have participated in a conference call with Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. Totally kicking myself at the moment! College Publisher will present its members with interactive opportunities each and every month, so be sure to regularly check the site for updates!
I don't know if anyone else is as much of a Michael Buble fiend as I am, but I have a completely irrevocable crush on him. He isn't your typically "sexy" guy, but his boy-ish looks and charming demeanor make up for any apparent faults. Plus, his voice! I could honestly go on for hours, but I won't. Buble's video for "Haven't Met You Yet" makes me smile and, yes, sometimes tear up. With my current relationship issues, the song gives me hope that there is someone perfect out there. I just haven't met them yet :) Watch it below- I dare you not to crack at least a little smile.

And with that, I leave you! I'm off to the library to score some more CD's to put on my iPod and grab a quick cappuccino before math. Lord knows I'll need it...


Spring, Sprang, Sprung

{ Friday, February 19, 2010 }
It was a delightfully sunny, 50 degrees in Georgia today. A stark contrast to last week's 4 inches of snow that we received! Despite the spring-like conditions outdoors, we're in for yet another cold snap next week. Boo! Although it was beautiful outside, I spent the majority of my day writing papers and scrambling to catch up on my American Government assignments. I skipped my first college class ever on Wednesday, and I'm feeling some major guilt. It was a ridiculously cold day and I just couldn't sit through a lecture on the Senate, so I split! Even though I was fully aware of my assignments due next week, I still feel horrible about missing class. Arg. Academic anxiety is the worst. Which inadvertently brings me to my next point...
I need to stop being such a darn perfectionist. Seriously.
Yesterday Leighton stopped by and was thumbing through my class binder, awestruck. He finds it completely ludicrous that I 3 hole-punch every handout, separate them by classes, and file them in chronological order of when I received them. I see my habits as simply being organized; he sees them as obsessive compulsive. What gives?
I just need spring! The warmer temperatures will melt away all of my worries and compulsions, right? Sigh. For now, I'll rejoice over everything that I'm looking forward to, come the vernal equinox on March 20th :)

Floral dresses, freshly-blossomed flowers, endless amounts of hot green tea, and Spring Break with my best friends on the beach are all things I'm looking forward to after the turn of seasons. My beach trip with my friends will be the first time I'll ever travel without my parents- finally. Needless to say, I cannot wait! I love my family, but a trip with two of your greatest friends is incomparable.
I'm currently waiting for the official transcript from my Q&A session with Dave and Jonnie from The Buried Life to be posted on CollegePublisher.com, and I honestly haven't been this excited to write a story in a long, long time! It seems as though I have been having incredible luck in the writing department lately, which I'm extremely grateful for. This morning, I was informed of a writing opportunity with Spinner Magazine and AOL to interview one of the many bands performing at the SXSW music festival this year. I feel fairly qualified and confident about the position I applied for, so now I just have to keep my fingers crossed and wait to hear back from the editor!
I'm off to spend some quality time with the wonderful Stephen King, I hope everyone has a warm weekend :)

Life Is Short, Not Long: What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?

{ Thursday, February 18, 2010 }
Today I participated in The Buried Life conference call hosted by CollegePublisher.com, which went wonderfully! Dave and Jonnie were very informative and a pleasure to listen to while talking about their amazing 3 year journey across the country. Luckily, I decided to record the highlights of the interview session to share with my readers! Check out the video below to hear about the crew's journey, complete with funny and interesting anecdotes. I'm waiting to view the transcript of the entire session online to write the full story, which I will post shortly. In the mean time, enjoy the video!

I'm Getting a Case of Idol Fever...

{ Wednesday, February 17, 2010 }
It's that magical time of year when masses of us media-obsessed Americans tune into Fox nightly to anxiously await the fate of the musically inclined hopefuls on American Idol, all narrated by none other than Ryan Seacrest, of course. I honestly haven't paid much attention to the show since Season 2, when I was much younger and had endless hours to spend idly watching Idol (ah-hah), but my nonchalance towards the show has made a complete 180 thanks to this year's season. The current contestants are a breath of fresh air compared to previous years' hopefuls, and I've already become a fan of a contestant who made it past the group rounds last night- Luke James Shaffer (or Luke James, for short).

Hailing from New York City, James possesses a cool, casual air and flawless voice that is hauntingly similar to that of Maroon 5's Adam Levine. Being a huge fan of Maroon 5 and the gang, I was instantly turned on to Jame's soulful style and intent on hearing more. Turns out, he has a Youtube channel, complete with acoustic covers from the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, The Fray, Train, and even Lady Gaga. His original song below, "As I Am," embodies the slightly jazzy and soul-infused sound that I crave.

Check out the rest of James' great covers on Youtube. Also, be sure to follow him around the web on:
Twitter- @lukejameslive
Myspace- http://www.lukejameslive.com/
We'll find out tonight if he's made it into the Top 24- I've got a great feeling that it's going to happen!
In other exciting and awesome news, I just nabbed a spot in a Q&A conference call with Ben and Dave from The Buried Life for tomorrow afternoon! Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of the show and their mission, but extremely nervous about actually interviewing them! Leave your questions for the guys in a comment, and hopefully I'll get some answers tomorrow. Thanks everyone! Keep your eyes peeled for the Q&A feature posted later this week :)

With All the Bells and Ruffles...

{ Monday, February 15, 2010 }
Ah, the start of yet another hectic school week. I can do this, yes I can! After a dreary weekend full of snow and sludge, I was happy to escape the confines of my house for classes today. Odd, I know. The plans I had made months in advance to spend the day in Atlanta shopping the $1 sale at Rag-O-Rama in Little 5 Points didn't happen, thanks to Mother Nature's cruel, frigid hissy fit. However, my spirits were brightened a bit on Sunday when Leighton took me out for a Valentine's dinner...to Shane's Rib Shack. I know, just the name alone sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen, but I love the place. Plus, Leighton appreciated me going easy on his wallet this time!
After eating, we ventured over to the ever-wonderful Target, where I nabbed this high waisted, ruffled skirt that I've been coveting since I first saw it in October. The $4 price tag wasn't half bad, either!

V-neck sweater- Forever 21
Ruffle skirt- Target
Tights- Target
Scarf- Handmade
Motorcycle bag- Balenciaga lookalike -wink-

Luckily for me, my school day flew by in a whirlwind of returned tests, pop quizzes, and smiles. Why the smiles? The much-anticipated meeting with my English professor went surprisingly well; so well that I'm not required to write a second draft of my argumentative essay- I'm done! Such a heavy weight has been lifted off of my shoulders with this good news. Now I won't be up to my eyeballs in parenthetical documentations, bibliographies, and MLA citations, whew! My only current worries are finding a decent, compatible roommate for the fall at GCSU and getting fit for my Spring Break trip in a month. A month! I can hardly believe I'll be at the beach with my friends, wading in the ocean, in a month's time while the snow is still melting around town.

The Fratellis' Costello Music has been keeping me great company for the past week or so, and I'm undoubtedly a self-proclaimed fan. What I would give to see them live! My favorite song is "Whistle For The Choir," a soft ballad that contrasts the album's typically incessant, upbeat melodic tracks. Give it a listen, I love the soft strumming of the guitar.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, stay warm! :)


Let The Weekend Begin!

{ Wednesday, February 10, 2010 }
What's the one, solitary perk of jam-packing all of your classes into two days? Weekends beginning on Wednesday night, lasting all the way through Sunday. Wonderful, huh? I have an exciting weekend ahead of me, but I hope it doesn't get ruined! The temperatures around Atlanta have dropped to an all time low, not to mention the 20 mph winds that feel like a constant, frigid slap to the face. Plus, I feel like I'm starting to get a cold. I haven't gotten sick this entire school year, why now? :( My friend Carrie and I have amazing plans for this weekend, and nothing is going to ruin them! On Saturday we're venturing into the city for some much-needed shopping, namely the infamous, semi-annual $1 sale Rag-O-Rama is holding in Little 5 Points. After that, we're going to have our own little sushi fest, yum!

Dress- Forever 21
Cardigan- Old Navy
Tights- Target
Lime flats- Old Navy
Necklace- Etsy
Anyhow, my Algebra class dismissed early this evening so Leighton and I went out for some Starbucks. While we were sipping our rooibos lattes (the new full leaf teas are awesome, by the way) I spotted a cute postcard hanging on the bulletin board. I went over to look at it, and realized it was promoting Sorella Vintage, an Etsy shop I had heard of a few months ago. Apparently they're hosting a vintage clothing trunk show in my town on the 20th, complete with drinks and snacks. I think I'll check it out! Plus, if I bring the postcard with me to the sale, I get $10 off of my purchase. A win-win situation, right? Check out the Sorella Vintage shop here on Etsy: Sorella Vintage

Warped Tour Style Scouting '10

{ Monday, February 8, 2010 }
As I was thumbing through my sister's most recent issue of Seventeen over the weekend, I saw an ad for American Rag announcing their search for three girls with "a sharp eye, sugar-rush energy, and a serious love of music." Although I'm not constantly bouncing off the walls with adrenaline, two out of three isn't so bad! Turns out, American Rag is on the prowl for three Warped Tour style scouts, who will document the style (or lack thereof) throughout the day of the music festival, as well as report on band style from backstage. The best part? The winners get a trip to L.A or New York City! I'd certainly take The Big Apple over The City of Angels any day, thank you :) Anyhow, here is my required video submission. I'm being a major nerd, as usual, but hopefully American Rag will realize how much I'd love to grasp this opportunity!
In other great news, I received my acceptance letter to my dream school this week! How exciting is that? I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I'll be experiencing real "college life" in less than six months. I bid adieu to you, my melancholy little community college.

"Swimming in a library, we're not going anywhere"

{ Saturday, February 6, 2010 }
For any of you wondering how it feels to spend three hours of your precious Saturday morning number crunching in a library, heads up! My friend Carrie and I decided to get together around noon to study for our upcoming Algebra exam (shiver, cringe), which I'm still not feeling so confident about. However, 24 measly practice problems and three hours later, we rose on wobbly legs from our study area and explored the public library. Low and behold, they had music! No, not only albums consisting of Barry Manilow or elevator music (which are identical, if you ask me) but great selections like Paolo Nutini, The Kinks, Elvis Costello, and Wolfmother. I was absolutely floored by the amount of good music the library had to offer. I came home tired, drained, but happily listening to my newly checked-out albums from Blink-182 and Arcade Fire. An unlikely combo, but great new additions that are sure to make my iPod happy.
Striped sweater- American Eagle
Scarf- DIY
Necklace- Etsy
Jeans- Domaine
Boots- Herstyle? Yup.

I honestly didn't feel like putting much thought into an outfit only to be seen in a library, so I played it safe with soft, muted colors.
All in all a productive day, right? I'm feeling so! I came home to my warm room, had dinner with my boyfriend, and just wrapped up watching The Devil Wears Prada with him. Leighton watching a "girl's movie?" Absurd! In all honesty, however, he admitted he "got into" the movie which put a smile on my face. He made me promise that no matter what path my journalistic adventures send me down, that I wouldn't wind up in Andy Sachs' shoes (unless they were Blahniks, of course...), to which I eagerly agreed :)
Happy weekend!

Relax, Take It Easy

{ Thursday, February 4, 2010 }
I'm taking the kind words of Mika into serious consideration today. When was the last time I didn't obsess over deadlines and grades, or the last time I had a lengthy amount of time for pleasure reading, not required texts for school? I honestly cannot remember. So today I'm taking a 24 hour sabbatical away from anything that causes stress or the exertion of strenuous brain strength. This semester is already draining all the steam out of me. How far away are we from May, again? I'm planning on reading all day, and watching Radio tonight with my boyfriend. I'm so excited! Now for an outfit post! I know they're few and far between, but I'm going to try harder to post more. Ahem, excuse my lack of make up and hair maintenance.
Dress- Target
Cardigan- Thrifted
Tights- Target
Scarf- DIY project
Flats- Old Navy
Key necklace- Etsy!
Painted ring- a 50 cent machine, of course
I actually had time for an outfit post today! Isn't that just grand? Although I probably won't even be leaving my house today (unless Leighton feels like being chivalrous and taking me out for a surprise dinner!) I still love playing dress-up. My initial purpose of having this blog was for outfit posts and thrifting finds, but over time it evolved into something more personal, so I can't said I'm not happy with the way it has turned out. I wish I had more followers, but the ones I do have are absolutely golden and I appreciate all of you!
I'm off for some much-deserved quiet time with Stephen King, but I wish you all a happy and warm Thursday!

"Believers Never Die..."

{ Wednesday, February 3, 2010 }
As several of you may or may not have found out via Twitter's trending topics, online music gossip or simply through the pop culture grapevine, Fall Out Boy officially broke up today. Honestly? I'm just shy of devastation. Love them or despise them, you've heard at least a few of their songs, and maybe even had one stuck in your head for a few days. I'm trying my absolute hardest not to come off sounding like an over-zealous, adolescent teeny bopper, but when it comes to Fall Out Boy- the one band who single-handedly aided me in surviving high school- it's hard to restrain myself. Think of your favorite band. They might be obscure, a thing of the past, burning up the Top 40 charts, or a local favorite. However large or small, to you they're all yours.
I began listening to Fall Out Boy in the summer of 2005, mere weeks before entering high school. Not only were their songs catchy, but the words and crafty metaphors completely consumed me. I had never listened to music for the actual meaning and connotation of the lyrics prior to that summer, yet all of a sudden my world had changed. I spent hours with my trusty headphones, devouring and interpreting the lyrics. They were truly "the therapists pumping through your speakers, delivering just what you need." The following spring I connected with two girls through their music; one of which I'm proud to call one of my best friends to this day. When our peers ridiculed us for our love of the band, we had each other to laugh it off with.
I cannot possibly begin to describe all of the stories, inside jokes, and friendships made due to Fall Out Boy. I'll never be able to hear the words "Bedussey", "duck hunt", or "Bad Twin" without laughing hysterically. My friends and I will continue to "panda wave" even though it's complete nonsense. Every time someone at school shouts "hey, Chris!" to someone, I will still chuckle to myself.
I saw Fall Out Boy for the first time at a relatively small venue in January of 2007. It will go down in history as one of the most memorable nights of my life. Since that first show, I saw them four more times, with the final show being in April of 2009. The feeling of connectedness, whether I was in a sold-out arena of 10,000 or a small room of 30 with the band, was irreplaceable.
Meeting the guys with my best friends on November 3, 2007.

Seeing Fall Out Boy play an acoustic set in a crowd of less than 30 was surreal. It was such an intimate and memorable experience.
Even something as trivial as a wave from Patrick Stump was exciting. We felt so awesome sneaking back to the tour buses before the show, in hopes of saying thank you for their music. We waiting in freezing temperatures for hours, but it was all worthwhile.
A pretty cool car, no? The summer of 2007 was highlighted by a perfect night in June, where my friends and I stood in the wake of twilight, singing our hearts out.

Today is not a day to be remorseful or sad, but a day to celebrate my youth. To reflect upon the wonderful high school memories I made in singing crowds full of unity rather than in the back seat of a car. Fall Out Boy honestly taught me to live out loud, and that it's okay to be the underdog. They've finally grown up, and then again so have I. I'm not ashamed of the way the songs and the words own the beating of my heart. Why? Because believers never die.

Eternally in the wake of Saturday,

Ah, First Day on the Job...

{ Monday, February 1, 2010 }
I began my blogging internship for Vode Vintage LA this afternoon, and I believe I'm really going to enjoy it! Since I haven't technically done any type of journalistic writing fit for a portfolio in nearly two years, this opportunity to write online about fashion, art, and nearly anything else creative on my mind for the next three months will certainly keep my mind busy, as well as my keyboard.
I cannot fully express how immensely determined and motivated I am to transfer schools in the fall and begin to take my writing to the next level. However, a lot of time and preparation will be invested in my portfolio over the summer, sigh. Honestly? I'm already stressing over it. To date, my writing collection consists of my favorite articles written for my high school's newspaper- namely my interview with a member of Say Anything and my Fall Out Boy press conference piece. Narcissistic interjection, but I had to :) There is also a small collection of music reviews and opinion pieces, which I'm debating whether to even showcase in the scanty portfolio. I suppose everything will work out in time; let's hope!

Love this photo! Thanks, Tumblr.
Anyhow, I'd love for you great bloggers would spread the word about Vode Vintage! All you have to do is copy the code below for a nifty badge to show your support for Vode on your own blog. Leave me a comment letting me know you posted it to your blog, and in turn I'll add you to my link list if you're not already on it :)

Lastly, music time!

Urban Outfitters has done it yet again, blessing us with another week's worth of catchy tunes to thrive on. Could the beginning of a busy week start any happier? I think not.