Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ramble On

Have you ever found out something and felt like you were punched in the stomach? A surprise that actually hurt you? It's not a great feeling, especially when you went looking for the information in the first place. If you attempt to open the proverbial Pandora's box, you might not be pleased with what you find inside. I apologize for being so vague but tonight I learned a valuable lesson; ignorance truly is bliss. Sometimes it's better to just leave things to the imagination. The truth has a way of naturally revealing itself in due course. There's no point in disrupting the rhythms of the universe. Let it be.






Now Playing: "Simple Math" by Manchester Orchestra

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yes, Please


If I could design a boyfriend, he might look like Shia LaBeouf does on the cover of Details... but the car would be black.

Somewhere Out There

As I was checking my twitter this morning, I came across a posting by one of my favorite radio programs, Coast to Coast AM. It linked to a London paper's coverage of a UFO sighting with an accompanying video. I wanted to share it with you. I don't know if this is real or fake but I can say with 100% certainty that I saw a very similar phenomena along the Pennsylvania/West Virginia border back in October 2007. I was at Rich's Fright Farm for a haunted house/hay ride. The farm is located outside of Morgantown, WV (where I went to college) in Smithfield, PA. It is a popular place to visit in the fall. It is in the country near the Allegheny Mountains. The sky was very dark and there were white orbs flying very high. The balls of light would come together then speed off in opposite directions, only to rejoin again. The discs seemed to hover for about 20 minutes before traveling outside of my eyesight. I was with my cousin at the time and I pointed out the "lights" to her. We both were amazed. I attempted to take pictures but it was very dark, the lights were too high up and my camera wasn't working properly. We both live in an area with heavy air traffic (North Side of Pittsburgh) but had never seen anything like this in our lives. We seemed to be the only people who noticed among hundreds (maybe thousands) who were at the "fright farm". I attributed this fact to people being distracted by chainsaws, music, carnival rides and their natural West Virginia way of thinking. The lights had nothing to do with the attraction by the way. The two things were completely unrelated (I asked). It was not a spotlight that you often see to promote a nightclub nor was it air traffic control signals that swirl in the sky. I did a lot of research and read that a lot of odd things have happened in this part of the country. I assumed that it could have been the military testing something... or maybe it wasn't from this world at all? I just know that it's a sight that I will never forget. Keep Looking Up...

A "Summer Heights" Summer

If you know me at all, you know that Summer Heights High is one of my favorite television shows ever. Unfortunately, it was somewhat of a special project that only lasted one season. To satisfy my need for laughter, each week I'll be posting one of my favorite clips from Summer Heights High. If you're not familiar with the show, you're missing out. It's basically an Australian mockumentary style show (think The Office) about high school. The creator of the show, Chris Lilley, plays the three main characters (none of whom interact with one another). It's genius and you can read more here.

But enough about the details... on to the laughs:

This clip is an OUTTAKE from my favorite character, Ja'mie King. Keep in mind, she's being played by Lilley. Her character is the stereotypical rich, spoiled, conceited girl. I could dedicate an entire post to Ja'mie's one-liners. Love it!






Now Playing: "Big Jet Plane" by Angus & Julia Stone (Lady of the Sunshine)
How beautiful are they?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summertime Tunes

One of my favorite radio stations, WYEP is asking for "summer song" submissions. They are compiling suggestions for its end of the season countdown. There are so many wonderful songs written about the summer. Here is the list that I submitted from the top of my head:






1. Having a Party by Sam Cooke
This is one of my favorite songs of all time. While it can apply to just about any part of the year, this one reminds me of summer parties spent with friends and family.

2. The Boys of Summer by Don Henley
I listen to this song often come late August/early September. It's the perfect end of summer anthem.

3. Summer In the City by The Lovin' Spoonful
As a city girl, I have a soft spot for this one. I love the beat.

4. The Sun by Portugal. The Man
While this song doesn't really refer to summer directly, it's still my favorite song that mentions the sun itself.

5. (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
Just a nice, relaxing tune. Since Pittsburgh is lacking in bays, I like listening to this one when I'm
poolside or by the river.

Word of the Week: EPITHET

Your word of the week for June 27th - July 3rd:

Epithet n.

Definition: 
A characterizing word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of the name of a person or thing.

Example:
"His charitable works have earned him the epithet Mr. Philanthropy.

Origin: Greek

First Known Use: 1579






Now Playing: "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Get Lit Book Review: Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me


Allow me to preface with the fact that I am a major Chelsea Handler fan. I have been for over six years. We all like to claim that we heard our favorite band first or picked up on the newest fad before anyone else but this is one race that I can claim the gold medal. During my sophomore year of college, I wasn't watching very much television. My mornings were consumed with sleeping, my afternoons and evenings at class (if I made it there) and my nights on the town. During this stage of my life, I didn't bond much with the romote control. But there was one particular program that would run very late at night on the E! network. It was one of those shows that would discuss celebrities with color commentary from random talking heads. Most of those talking heads were desperate nobodies but there was one charismatic comedienne who seemed to speak everything that was on my mind. Every time she got some face time on screen, I would laugh out loud. I had to find out who this blonde jokester was. Unfortunately, every time I tried to find out her name, the super was either nonexistent or flashed too quickly for my brain to compute the information. I didn't have a DVR machine so I scrolled through the TV guide listings and arranged a time to catch a reairing of the show (fortunately E! runs its shows frequently). I was finally able to read the super and jot down Chelsea's name. Below her name was her professional title: Author, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands. The title alone sold me. This girl was my new favorite person. The next day, I went directly to Barnes & Noble and bought the book. I read it immediately and have been in love ever since. This was the book that inspired me to write my own essays and be an author. Needless to say, I have a soft spot for Chelsea. I've read all of her books, watch her show regularly and have seen her live.

I preordered Lies and received it last month. I read it pretty quickly and have to admit that I wasn't all that impressed. Granted, for the most part, this book wasn't written by Chelsea but by her friends and family. Some stories are better than others and at times it does make for a decent read. But I can't say that I loved it. The book basically tells the story of how Chelsea picks on the people she loves the most. Rather than be pissed or eternally mortified by the lies and pranks that Chelsea pulls, her friends consider it a display of affection. The whole thing reminds me of the playground. The boys who pull your hair are supposedly the ones who like you the most? Twisted logic that often rings true. It can be a bit much to read an entire book about how amazing someone is (even if you think they are as well). But its saving grace is the circle of friends that most of the stories are centered around. This is a group of people that we can all relate to. It's a tight-knit group that you want to be a part of. It's easy to place yourself in these situations and imagine how you might react. For that, it's something I would recommend.  


If one of your friends has a copy, I'd suggest checking out these essays:

3. How to Make a Marriage Work by Heather McDonald
The section where she talks about working on a movie with Chelsea based on the Challenger explosion was hilarious.

4. A Brother's Testimony by Roy Handler
Roy Handler has an amazing sense of humor. His perspective was really interesting to read into. Good comedic timing must run in the Handler gene pool.

5. My Name is Brad Wollack and I Am Unattractive by Brad Wollack
I love Brad. He's adorably odd. He's got a wicked sense of humor and I appreciate that he can make fun of himself and the situations he ends up in.

8. Sisterly Love by Shoshanna Handler
This story was a lot of fun. Chelsea and her sister are complete opposites. It's amusing to see how they get along.


All in all, as Chelsea might say, "Not great," but certainly not too bad either.

3.5/5




Now Playing: "Hey Lover" by LL Cool J
(One of my best friends and I live for the line: "Ugh, vanilla ice cream!")


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Across the Universe



By now, many people have already seen this video but it doesn't get old for me. The universe and all of its infinite possibilities has fascinated me since I was old enough to speak. When I was little, my mom says that I often asked questions pertaining to the moon and stars. I was born a few days after the Challenger exploded. I'm pretty sure I was named Krista because Christa McAuliffe was mentioned so frequently in the news that week. It seems like so many people walk through life and never pause to recognize how beautiful our world truly is. It doesn't get lost on me. I haven't stopped asking the questions that may never be answered but it's really interesting to think about.



Now Playing: "Rocket Man" by Elton John

Just Give Me Some Candy

Since it's the last Saturday in June and so many lovers are tying the knot, I wanted to share one of my favorite music videos that contains a wedding. "Candy" by Paolo Nutini is a big favorite of mine. It has been a few years since I had the opportunity to see Paolo live but I remember him being so talented. He sings with such a tremendous amount of passion. "Candy" is so romantic and always makes me smile. So many people stress about their wedding day or spend astronomical amounts of money trying to impress their guests. This video is the pefect example of what it's all about, love. xx.


Paolo Nutini - Candy

Friday, June 24, 2011

Inside the Actor's Studio

Over on one of my favorite sites, dlisted.com, they posted an amusing mock interview with Jennifer Aniston. I thought the questions were pretty good so I answered them myself.

JL: What turns you on?
Good music, good drinks, good people.

JL: What turns you off?
People who are closed-minded and arrogant.

JL: What is your favorite word?
 Love.

JL: What is your least favorite word?
For its overuse, epic comes to mind but I don't really have one.

JL: What sound or noise do you love?
Talk radio. Coast to Coast AM in the middle of the night. It relaxes me, opens my mind and takes me back to a time when there wasn't distractions like the internet or DVR.

JL: What sound or noise do you hate?
Loud motorcycles. See a specific episode of South Park for reference.

JL: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I've always wanted to be an inventor of some sort. I don't have an interest in the business side of things but the creation process appeals to me very much. The idea wouldn't have to be a life changing product or service but hopefully something helpful or fun.

JL: What profession other than yours would you not want to attempt?
I could never be an accountant. I loathe math and find it to be extremely dull.

JL: What is your favorite swear word?
All of them. Preferably used in conjunction with one another.

JL: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say to you as you enter the Pearly Gates?
"That's what she said." Seriously. Did you catch the last part of that sentence? I have been told that I have a dirtier mind than anyone; I'd be grateful just to be there.




Now Playing: "St. Elsewhere" by Gnarls Barkley

One of the Most Powerful Videos I Have Ever Seen

Midsummer Eve



In honor of Midsummer's Eve (a popular celebration to observe the summer solstice) which is being held in many parts of the world this weekend, I wanted to share one of my favorite paintings with you. Midsummer Eve was created in 1908 by the English artist Edward Robert Hughes. I love the feeling I get when I look at this image. It's breathtaking. I adore the redheaded fairy (yes, I am biased) and all of the magical creatures holding their lambent orbs. I had this painting framed in my apartment when I was in college and look forward to displaying it again when I eventually find a new place. It's an enchanting depiction and one of my favorites!


From the pseudo-credible source that is Wikipedia:

Solstice celebrations still center around the day of the astronomical summer solstice. Some choose to hold the rite on the 21st of June, even when this is not the longest day of the year, and some celebrate June 24, the day of the solstice in Roman times.
Although Midsummer is originally a pagan holiday, in Christianity it is associated with the nativity of John the Baptist, which is observed on the same day, June 24, in the Catholic, Orthodox and some Protestant churches.
The celebration of Midsummer's Eve was from ancient times linked to the summer solstice. Some people believed that mid-summer plants, especially Calendula, had miraculous healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again. In later years, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other powerful beings.

Flashback Friday



Dakota by Stereophonics is a song that takes me back to my college years at WVU. I often played this on my iTunes when I was getting ready for a wild night out with my friends. What exactly is going on in the music video is up for debate but the song itself is fantastic. This is a great one to blast in the car and sing along to on a warm summer evening.


You made me feel like the one...



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quoteworthy


I came across this quote while I was at work. I always attribute quotes because I like to learn about the people who spoke the infamous words of wisdom. It turns out, Bertrand Russell had a lot in common with one my favorite people today, Bill Maher. I'm fascinated by the intellect of men whose thought processes were/are well ahead of their time. We can learn a great deal about life by reading into the past histories of others. I love this quote!

Here is something from Russell's 1951 piece for New York Times Magazine called “The Best Answer to Fanaticism: Liberalism.” In this, he wrote a “Liberal Decalogue."
  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.





Now Playing: "Fader" by The Temper Trap

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Album Review: Bon Iver by Bon Iver

Bon Iver by Bon Iver


Like many other fans, I eagerly anticipated the release of Bon Iver's sophomore album. For Emma, Forever Ago was one of my favorites in recent years and I couldn't wait to hear more from Justin Vernon. Overall, I found the new album to be a nice effort. Clocking in at just under 40 minutes and containing 10 tracks, Bon Iver is full of the raw emotion and haunting beauty that Vernon has come to be known for. It was pretty much what I expected and I am pleased. I just wish it were a bit longer.

Initial Favorites:

3. Holocene - Relaxing. Beautiful lyrics. This will be used in countless TV shows and movies and rightfully so.

5. Michicant - Gorgeous vocals. Adore the arrangement of the second half of the song.

8. Calgary - Possibly the most commercial song on the album despite retaining a unique sound. Love the beat, sound and lyrics. One of the best.

10. Beth/Rest - I love the '80s vibes. It makes me feel like I'm watching an old episode of Saved by the Bell. I can picture Zack and Kelly dancing in the Bayside gymnasium to this one as Screech looks on from the DJ booth with envy.


Would I Recommend to a Friend: Yes


Overall Impression:





Monday, June 20, 2011

Word of the Week: ROUÉ

ROUÉ n.
\roo-AY\

Definition:
1. A man devoted to a life of sensual pleasure
2. A dissolute man in fashionable society

Example:
"Girls run off with bad boys all the time, always have and always will. But in the past, when deemed press-worthy, he was likely a notorious roué or dangerous musician, not a dropout trying to muster enough gumption for a GED."
-From an article by Bridget Foley in Women's Wear Daily, July 16, 2010

Origin: French

First Known Use: 1800

Sunday, June 19, 2011

MY TOP 15 PREDICTIONS: MISS USA 2011!

Yes, I am a closeted pageant fan; not the type that attends the kiddie circuit competitions on an idle Saturday afternoon but I do love the Miss Universe system. I have been watching the Miss USA pageant since I was a little girl. I always make my predictions (consider it the female equivalent of sports betting). I usually get between 11-13 out of the top 15 correct. A couple years back, I was one of the top 3 pageant predictors in the world through an online betting system. I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of beauty. It's completely vain and ridiculous but I enjoy it. This year's class of girls is beautiful. The competition is stiff and it was hard to choose just 15! There is easily 25-30 delegates who would make an excellent Miss USA.

There are some rumors that this year there will be a top 16, 8 and 4 rather than the traditional 15-10-5 format. I don't want to get confused so I'm sticking to the old method. The list at the end is "bubbles". These are states that I feel could easily snag a spot in the top 15 but I was on the fence for one reason or another. As mentioned before, the competition is so tight that it really will be interesting to see who the judges have selected. But without further adieu, here is my list in receiding order...


MISS USA 2011... CALIFORNIA!



Bubbles:
Michigan
Massachusetts
District of Columbia
Alaska
Nevada


All photos used courtesy of The Miss Universe Organization for intentions of promoting the pageant.





Now Playing: "Intro" by The xx

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flashback Friday

I'm not a particularly big Michael Jackson fan but one song I LOVE from him is this week's flashback Friday pick- DIRTY DIANA! This song reminds me of the Summer of '09. My friend Valerie & I always played it on the touch tunes jukebox at our favorite, local dive bar (JKS - DEA for those in the know). At the time I had a huge crush on both the bouncer and the cop who was regularly posted outside the door for security (he always ended up inside with us). We'd all dance and go crazy when Dirty Diana played. It's a crowd pleaser and one of my favorite songs. It's clearly an ode to all the groupies out there who love themselves a hot musician- or cop, bouncer... you get the point. I can admit that I relate to Di. And who can't get behind such FIERCE lyrics as these:
"She said he's not coming back
Because he's sleeping with me!"

Listen below or watch the unforgettable video here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Make Love Not War

Photo Courtesy Richard Lam, Getty Images


This picture was taken last night in Vancouver. Apparently there was some rioting going on after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins. But that didn't stop these two lovers from showing their PDA. Oh, Canada. Crazy/beautiful.




Now Playing: "Born Under a Bad Sign" by Richard Hawley

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guilt from Gilt?

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have accumulated a pretty nice collection of designer handbags. But like any addict, one more never sounds like a bad idea. Since joining Gilt Groupe a couple years ago, I have developed a habit of online shopping. The merchandise and sales are often too good to pass up. The result- lunches spent snatching up anything that looks luxe. My most recent purchase was a few hours ago. I purchased Botkier's Howard Street Satchel in iris. It should arrive sometime next week. I've been lusting after this particular shade of blue leather for the past couple of seasons. It was only a matter of time before I came across a design and price point that would satisfy me. This will be my first Botkier purchase and I hope it won't disappoint. I think it will be the perfect pop of color to pair with light denim cut-offs, neutral blouses or a solid black ensemble. Needless to say, I'm excited to get my bag but I do have a bit of guilt from all of my Gilt purchases. The sales are just too good to be true. It almost seems like I'm sinning. But as long as my wallet isn't empty, my heart is still full. The new addition:





If you have yet to experience the thrill of a flash designer sale, sign-up for Gilt today! My exclusive invitation: http://www.gilt.com/invite/kristaselene




Now Playing: "The Zephyr Song" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy 25th Birthday, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen

I'm just a few months older than Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen. I grew up loving them on one of my favorite television shows of all time, Full House. As an adult, I look to the quirky twins for fashion inspiration. While many are puzzled by the often street urchin appearance of the pint sized stars, Mary Kate and Ashley are always seasons ahead of even the most stylish individuals. It's best to view their sartorial choices with an open mind for the future. Here are some of their most interesting fashion moments in recent years:




































All photos courtesy Google Images



Now Playing: Bon Iver album by Bon Iver

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm living life in beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I hold a journalism degree from West Virginia University. I have worked in television news, fashion marketing, PR, and cosmetic sales. My love for writing and sharing with the world my various passions is strong. One of my many ambitions is to be published and continue creating in the fields of digital and print media, literature and film. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going to concerts, reading, following Pittsburgh sports and traveling as often as possible. Some of my favorite things include beauty, style, architecture, books, tarot and astrology, thrifting and my shih-tzu, Ireland. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!