Thursday, January 31, 2013

More Books the World Should Read

If you've stuck around at my blog you may remember two of my older posts, one called “13 Books Every Girl Should Read Before She's 25” and the other called “Summer Reading: My Top 10 Suggestions.”  Both offer some great book recommendations If I do say so myself (and I do). But since it has been a while since I last wrote on the subject, I thought I would once again regale you all with recommendations of a few of the books I love. 

Beauty by Robin McKinley – This is my all-time favorite retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast.  I stumbled across it years ago at my local library and never looked back.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson – This book… What can I even say?  This is one of those books that you probably don’t want to try to read in public because you will laugh out loud and people will look at you strangely.  This woman just lives quite a strange life and I think we all owe her thanks for sharing her stories with us.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman – The sequel is also very good but this one was hauntingly so.  Basically, it’s the story of a girl in limbo deciding whether or not to continue living.  There is much more to it than that but that is the main premise.

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini – I saw this book in stores for years before finally picking it up and I’m so glad that I eventually did.  It’s a basic teen angst slash coming of age story but the cast of characters make it come to life the way some books like this might not.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – I won’t lie, when I decided to read this in high school it took me a while to get into and consequently took me longer to read than most books.  That said, it’s still a book I think about sometimes. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snow Induced Vehicular Jackassary

My fellow drivers, today I would like to take a moment to dispel some of what I can only assume are common misconceptions regarding snow and the common driver.

To begin, I feel it is important to say that if you do any of the following when it’s snowing you are a jackass.  If you do any of the following when it is not snowing you should really just go turn your license over to the DMV and be done with it because you have no business endangering the rest of us with these sorts of shenanigans.

Lesson number one: A dusting of snow on the ground does not, in fact, give you reason to use your vehicle to body check another thus forcing them to change lanes.  Snow does not cause exits to move.  You know when it’s coming up so get over in time.  Just because it is snowing does not mean you get to be a tool and try to kill people.

Lesson number two: Light snow in no way justifies you driving 22mph on a major highway.  This is just absurd and will likely cause more accidents than it prevents.

Lesson number three: Winter weather does not give you leave to cut people off!  Again, the exits do not change when it snows.  Engage your brain and stop acting like a Neanderthal.

Lesson number four:  While I understand that snow can make it difficult to see the lines on the road, it does not mean you get to totally ignore them and drive down the center of two lanes.

Lesson number five:  You should really try using your breaks.  Snow does not always mean you won’t be able to stop and as such, you should still do the lawful thing and attempt to stop yourself from running a red light.

There are probably more instances that I have not mentioned but these were just the ones I was privy to on my drive into work this morning.  And keep in mind this doesn't even mention the countless drivers who are so sure that the snow won't do anything to hurt them that they drive even more recklessly than they normally would.  So come on people, let’s remove heads from butts and use some common sense.  A bit of snow on the ground in no way gives you a license for vehicular jackassary. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

11 Things that are the Absolute Worst

1. Having a scratch on your eye. Like when it feels like you have something in your eye but you can’t seem to do anything to make it stop. Just awful.

2. Stubbing your toe. There is little more painful than this. I think part of the pain comes from the shock of the whole situation. Like when you fall or something you have a bit of time to anticipate the coming pain but stubbing your toe usually happens with no warning.

3. Biting into a delicious looking chocolate chip cookie and finding that the delicious chocolate chips are actually raisins. Don’t get me wrong, oatmeal raisin cookies are good too but not when you’re expecting chocolate.

4. Having food get into your windpipe. Not even to the point where it chokes you but just enough so you have to do that irritating spastic cough thing.

5. Trying to paint the nails on your dominant hand. A.K.A. painting nails with your non-dominant hand.

6. Waking up in the middle of the night because you have a charlie horse.

7. Eye twitching.

8. Reading a book really quickly and then learning that it’s the first in a trilogy that won’t be finished for at least three years.

9. Forgetting to take a book to a place where you will have to wait (doctor’s office, dentists, etc.)

10. Being so tired that when you take your contacts out you forget to put solution on them and wake up to shriveled little discs of unhelpfulness.

11. Honey Boo Boo.


Octavia adds wet socks.  Excellent addition. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Marketing That Confuses Me

I have a marketing degree.  I notice marketing literally all the time.  You’d think that knowing what is going on would help me be less influenced by marketing but it’s totally not.  In fact, I often think I’m more susceptible to good marketing now.  I say this because I frequently buy things that I really don’t need just because they are advertised well.  Luckily, when ads suck I can also recognize it and it saves me from making some absurd purchases.  It’s like absurd buying yin and yang.  Super Zen.  

Anyway, sometimes I call my sister when I hear or see marketing that confuses me and she usually makes fun of me for it.  Today I’d like to regale you, dear reader, with some of these examples.

1. The current Applebee’s Ads.  I hear these on the radio at least once a day.  They’re fine up until the closing line.  They tell you all about the new foods and give you reasons why you should eat there and everything is going well.  Then they sign off with “see you tomorrow.”  I don’t get that.  Like why isn't Applebee’s confident enough in its products and advertisements to think it might have convinced you to alter your dinner plans for tonight?  Why do they want you to wait until tomorrow?  Come on Applebee’s, lets have a little faith. 

2. The new Target ads.  All are pretty bizarre but this one in particular really takes the cake. 
What exactly does baby want?  Is it the food or the mayhem and destruction?  Because if baby wants the food mommy should probably stop destroying it / throwing it everywhere.  I mean did you see what she did to that orange?  I hope baby realizes that mommy is kind of a beast.

3. The Skittles Pox ad.  Honestly, this one just freaks me out.

I don't know, maybe it's just me but I don't think I will ever not notice this kind of stuff.  If you find / see / hear any weird ones let me know! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

People I Want to be When I Grow Up

Throughout my life, I have often uttered the phrase “I want to be you when I grow up.”  You’d think this would have stopped years ago, but no.  I still say it.  And while it is often said in jest, I decided to make a list of all the people I want to be when I grow up.  In an attempt to limit myself I’ll leave out any guys I may have said this to slash thought this of.
  1. Jenny Lawson
  2. Libba Bray
  3. Emma Stone
  4. Kat Dennings
  5. Lilly Aldrin
  6. Tina Fey
  7. Lana Del Rey
  8. The  woman who owns the independent bookstore in Broad Ripple (not naming her since that seems the right thing to do.)
  9. Juno MacGuff
  10. Also Ellen Page
  11. Emma Watson
  12. Rory Gilmore
  13. Tish from The Weekenders
  14. Nikita Eagleson
  15. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
  16. Jennifer Lawrence
  17. Zooey Deschanel / Jess Day
  18. Morag Miller
  19. Taylor Momsen
  20. J.K. Rowling
  21. Meg Cabot
  22. Luna Lovegood
  23. Lena Kaligaris
  24. Allison Wisher
  25. Adele
  26. Sarah Strobl
  27. Lucy Hale
  28. Belle from Beauty and the Beast
  29. Matilda Wormwood
  30. Michelle Trachtenberg
  31. Jenna Mourey
  32. Either of the girls in this video.
  33. Jane Austen
  34. Topanga Lawrence / Matthews

So yeah, that seems legit.  I mean it’s a lot of people to be when I grow up but I've totally got time, right?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Suck at Feminism?

On more than one occasion a friend of mine has said something to the effect of, “Kyley Eagleson, singlehandedly setting the feminist movement back 50 years.” While this was always said as a joke, I’m sort of seeing the validity behind it recently.

I understand that this post may upset some people but frankly, it might be time to return the favor because some things I've seen recently have just annoyed the crap out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want to go back to a time when women could not vote and were supposed to have dinner on the table every night by 5 o’clock, but at the same time I have seen and heard some things recently that just baffle me.

I’m totally for equal rights and I firmly believe the government has no place in my uterus. I know that rape is horrible and that no one deserves it. I get that objectifying women is a sore spot. All that said, there is one instance in particular I’d like to mention.

The whole ESPN commentator debacle. From what I gather an old sports commentator waxed not so eloquently about a player’s girlfriend. Was it tacky? Definitely. Is it something women need to be in an uproar about? Probably not. For starters, the woman is a former pageant queen which means she’s probably okay with people noticing her for her looks first. I get that being in a pageant once doesn't mean you’re condoning being judged by your looks for the rest of your life but I think it probably does alter your view of the issue. And in that vein, if I’m not mistaken she later said she didn't mind. Like I said, I see that it was gauche but at the same time I can’t understand the outrage others feel about one woman’s beauty being recognized when the woman involved didn't even think it was a big deal.

The whole thing really goes back to the issue of objectifying women. Which I know isn't ideal. But similar to most things, I think there is a bit of a double standard here. I say this because I know many other young women who look a little too long when guys are running around the city shirtless in the summer. But since men were not historically viewed as what amounts to an ornament, there isn't a stigma. No one got outraged when Glamour magazine did a whole spread of the US men’s swimming team in their speedos this summer, that’s all I’m saying.

And that’s not even mentioning the fact that few girls would turn down a free drink from a man when out at a bar or the guy who insists on paying for a first date. I guess what gets me is that so often “feminism” doesn't really stand for equal rights. That’s the apparent ideal but I don’t see a lot of women fighting to end chivalry entirely. Like I said, I just can’t get past the double standard.  I don't know.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cartoons That Might Have Shaped My Childhood

I was going to do a list of shows but then I knew I’d need to include a bunch more things (Boy Meets World, Sabrina, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, etc.)   So I decided I would limit my list to cartoons. Additionally, I’m going to break this down into two separate lists.  The first will be cartoons I believe had a positive impact on me.  The second will be those cartoons which either totally freaked me out or just likely had a negative impact on my fragile child psyche.

Cartoons That Rocked

1. Science Court / Squigglevision – Seriously like nobody knows about this cartoon.  My sister and I loved it.  It is so forgotten that I can’t even find a clip on Youtube.  Just this sad Wikipedia article.

2. Sabrina the Animated Series – Enchanted cookie jar, talking cat, weird teenage aunts, what more could you want in a cartoon?

3. Gummi Bears – They bounced here and there and everywhere had high adventure beyond compare and lived in a sweet tree house thing.

4. The Weekenders – Probably one of my favorite cartoons of all time.  If nothing else I love how frequently this cartoon would break the fourth wall.

5. Pepper Ann – She’s much too cool for seventh grade.  She’s like one in a million.  And the show was awesome.

6. Doug – Both Nick’s version and Disney’s.

7. Hey Arnold – Stoop kid, football head, you’ve just got to love it.

8. Rocket Power – We are riders on a mission action kids in play position. Rocket Power!

9. As Told By Ginger – The grass was much greener on this show.

10. The Wild Thornberrys – Really cool and not a bit secret.

And last but not least,

11. DuckTales – Taught me that diving into a pool full of gold coins will not hurt you at all and will in fact act just like water would.

Horrible Cartoons

1. Rocko's Modern Life – Hated it.

2. The Ren & Stimpy Show – Awful

3. CatDog – Not good.

4. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters – Terrifying.

5. The Angry Beavers – Just bad. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Love Letter to the Indiana State Police

Mild profanity caution.

Before we get started, I need to tell you the back story…

It’s the morning of December 10, 2012 and I am driving to work. A substantial portion of my drive takes place on IN-465, the big road that basically encircles Indianapolis, and that is where I was driving when I was pulled over. By “pulled over” I mean a police officer who was standing outside of his vehicle on the side of the road flagged down three separate cars and motioned that we should pull to the side. I was the middle car.

I wait for approximately 5 minutes while the officer talks to the driver behind me. The officer then gets in his car and makes the one behind me pull up closer to me. Apparently, he didn’t feel capable of walking that 100 feet. But I digress. Once he has us in a nice row he comes up to my car, looks to the one in front of me (the occupant of which we now call “lucky bastard”) and waves it on allowing it to leave. He finally focuses his attention on me after literally 10 minutes of waiting.
Officer: “Miss, do you know what the speed limit here is?”
Me: I think for a second and decide to answer honestly, “I’m assuming it’s around 60 but to be truthful I was just following traffic.”
Officer: “Well I don’t know what traffic you were following. The speed limit here is 55.”
Me (Internally): Really? That seems strange considering the fact that you just pulled over three separate cars all for speeding and I was in the middle. Simple logic alone indicates that I was following the car ahead of me and being urged on by the one behind. (Aloud) “Okay.”
Officer: “Can I see your license and registration?”
Me: “Sure thing.”
And I wait some more. He finally comes back and hands the guy behind me his ticket and then comes and gives me mine. I’m doing well with the whole “trying to be a grownup and not letting it show that getting in trouble absolutely terrifies me” thing until he basically starts lecturing me about my speed. I mean I had told him I wasn’t 100% sure how fast I was going. He knew I was just following the car in front of me. I was resigned to the fact that I was getting a ticket. But he just had to push it to the point where I finally broke and started crying. At this point I guess he felt he’d crushed my soul enough so he left.

I continue on my way and arrive at work.

Over the next two weeks I play a fun game with the Indiana Traffic Court. It goes like this:

Step 1: It will take at least 8 days for your ticket to post online. You don’t know how much you owe until it posts. 
Step 2: If you try to call the Clerk’s Office for help they say they can’t help you and you need to call Traffic Court. 
Step 3: You call the Traffic Court number and are instantly clicked over to a voice that says “due to uncommonly high call volumes we cannot take your call. Call back later.” This will happen literally every time you call regardless of how much later it is. 
Step 4: You call the Clerk’s Office again to explain this to them and they tell you “We’re sorry but we can’t connect you to the Traffic Court, we don’t even have another number you can try.” This just really says all it needs to about the system as a whole if you ask me. 
Step 5: Wonder how the hell the city has not fallen apart if the governmental agencies can’t even work together.

Step 6: Repeat step 3 indefinitely.

So now I feel like I need to call my dad. I was planning to wait until I had the cost and everything figured out so I could get his advice on whether or not to defer the ticket but since I could not even manage to find the ticket online I really felt this was my best option. It was. My dad works in a law office and emailed me literally less than 5 minutes after the state did when the ticket finally posted. Pretty impressive, no?

Anyway, I talk about it with him and decide that I should defer the ticket. This choice is what brings us back to my catalyst for writing this post.

For those of you who don’t know, by deferring the ticket I basically make a promise to the state of Indiana that I will not be involved in any infractions related to vehicular velocity within the next six months. That said, since paying to defer this ticket, I have not exceeded a speed of 60mph on IN-465. In doing so I have likely angered countless civilians and have been passed by no less than 700 of them.

That’s not what gets me though. Oh no; what really acts as the icing on the cake is that since adopting my habit of not speeding I have been passed by 4 Indianapolis police officers, 3 state troopers, and one brown police car like they have in my hometown. 2 of these happened this morning. That makes 8 separate officers in a month. And for 11 days of that month I wasn’t even working so I didn’t drive on 465. This just irritates the crap out of me! I mean if the people responsible for “upholding the law” don’t even want to go 55mph why don’t they reevaluate the speed limit?

As you can probably tell from the length of this post, the whole thing was just annoying as hell. To recap, my main issues were as follows:
1. Officer was a jerk even though I was being a polite civilian and accepting the consequences for my actions.

2. The process of attempting to locate your ticket once it is written is an absolute shit storm. 
3. Since ceasing to speed I have been passed by 8 separate police officers on the same road I was pulled over on.

So yeah, “love letter” might have been misleading.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In a Perfect World...

Someone would pay me to just read books all day. Maybe I should have gone into publishing? Who knows. Someday I want to either own a bookstore or work in a library. Maybe when I'm old and gray and retired it can happen. Anyway, I've recently read a few really good books and thought I'd share:

1. The Thirteenth Tale - This book is haunting and engrossing.  For me, it was the kind of book I just wanted to sit and read all at once.  The story was woven beautifully and I never found myself just wanting to get through it.  I wanted to know the nuances and minor details because they all seemed to add to the overall effect.  I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a lover of books to begin with.

2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - I think what drew me into this book was its simplicity.  It is a story that is both engrossing and concise.  The narrator is a young autistic boy and his voice really adds something.  I feel like a lot of the time authors rely on heavy emotion to pull the reader into their story.  But with this book the narrator does not feel strong emotions and that is transferred across to the reader.  I enjoyed reading a story that was so straightforward.

3. Let It Snow - Absolutely adorable Christmastime read.  John Green was involved so there was very little chance it would be anything less than enjoyable.  It's written by three different authors and is technically 3 different stories but in the end they are all connected.  I thought it was really cool and a great quick winter read.