Friday, April 27, 2012

Question ?

"Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers."

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."
-Dr. Seuss

Question Game
Over the years I have noticed that the easiest way to get to know someone is to play "the question game" especially if you don't get to see that person much and are texting. Most people I know like to play this game as a way to get to know someone better. Sometimes people have a hard time thinking up original and good questions... so I have assembled a list here of 200 questions that you can use when you are playing the question game and making conversation. If you have more to add, please feel free to comment on this post! You can never have enough questions.

1. Do you like to use Post-it notes?
2. Do you have freckles?
3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
4. Do you dance even if there's no music playing?
5. What is something people tend to gloss over when it comes to you that you wish people would know?
6. What is your favorite material possession?
7. What is the least innocent thing you've done?
8. What is your song of the week?
9. What do you dunk a chicken nugget in?
10. What is your favorite food?
11. What is your favorite drink?
12. Who was the last person you kissed/last person who kissed you?
13. How old were you when you got your first kiss?
14. Can you change the oil on a car?
15. Favorite kind of sandwich?
16. Best thing to eat for breakfast?
17. What is your usual bedtime?
18. When you were a kid, what did you dress up for during Halloween?
19. What is your favorite love story?
20. How many languages can you speak?
21. Are you stubborn?
22. What are your fears?
23. Do you ever sing in the car?
24. Are you a good singer?
25. What are your talents (and secret talents)?
26. Do you ever sing in the shower?
27. Have you ever fired a gun?
28. When was the last time you had your picture taken by a photographer?
29. What is your dream job?
30. Describe your dream house.
31. Do you ever have a de-ja-vu feeling?
32. What was your first concert?
33. If you could see any band/singer (dead or alive) in concert, who would it be?
34. What do you wear to bed?
35. Do you ever cry?
36. What makes you cry?
37. When was the last time you cried?
38. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
39. What was the last concert you saw?
40. Are you patient?
41. Do you want a DJ, band, or your own music playing at your wedding?
42. Have you ever won a contest (what was it)?
43. Have you ever had surgery?
44. What is the best room for a fireplace?
45. Who was your high school crush?
46. Where do you want to get married?
47. If you could look like any celebrity, who would it be?
48. Do you want kids?
49. What is your favorite color?
50. Least favorite food?
51. Favorite number?
52. How old were you when you had your first relationship and how long did it last?
53. Have you ever had your heart broken?
54. Who was the last person you saw?
55. Who do you trust most in your life?
56. What is your favorite book (books)?
57. What is your favorite eye color?
58. Favorite hair color?
59. Favorite poet?
60. Favorite quote?
61. Favorite movie(s)?
62. What are your favorite TV shows?
63. Who has hurt you the most in your life?
64. Worst tragedy in life?
65. What was the best day of your life (so far)?
66. Have you ever been told someone loved you (besides family)?
67. Are you happy with where you are relationship wise right now?
68. Do you believe in love at first sight?
69. What is your dream honeymoon?
70. Was yesterday fun?
71. Do you believe that the last person you kissed still cares about you?
72. What were you doing at 1 in the morning yesterday?
73. Are you a jealous person?
74. Who was the last person you hugged?
75. Do you have any drugs in your bedroom (prescription, OTC, or other)?
76. What's the last movie you watched?
77. What annoys you?
78. Who is your celebrity crush?
79. Are you friends with your most recent ex?
80. Three thoughts going on in your head right now?
81. Does anything on your body hurt?
82. Where did you meet the last person you kissed?
83. What always makes you feel better when you're upset?
84. If you could have one superpower what would it be?
85. What are your strengths?
86. Weaknesses?
87. If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
88. What is your kissing fantasy?
89. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
90. 5 years ago, where did you see yourself now?
91. What were you like as a child? Quiet, outgoing, bratty...?
92. What is one thing you could not live without?
93. What is the most beautiful thing in the world to you?
94. What was your favorite vacation?
95. What is your favorite childhood memory?
96. What is the best present you have ever received?
97. What are your regrets?
98. What is your favorite way to chill out?
99. What do you consider your most admirable quality?
100. Great achievement?
101. What's your favorite kind of cheese?
102. What is something you would never ever do?
103. Favorite place to visit?
104. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
105. How do you handle change?
106. What makes you unique?
107. What was the last book you read?
108. Dream car?
109. What kind of qualities in people do you dislike?
110. Dog or cat?
111. Love or money?
112. What is your worst habit?
113. What would you do if you won the lottery?
114. What is your favorite clothing store?
115. Hot or cold?
116. What do you look for in a partner?
117. Favorite gum?
118. What is your favorite smell?
119. Favorite candy?
120. What is your idea of the perfect date?
121. What is your middle name?
122. When is your birthday?
123. Favorite season?
124. Favorite weather?
125. Comfort food?
126. Favorite ice cream?
127. What is your favorite music/bands/singers?
128. What is the most played song on your iPod?
129. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
130. What is your favorite form of exercise?
131. Are you allergic to anything?
132. What sound do you love?
133. If you could stay a certain age forever, how old would that be?
134. If you knew the world was ending in 2012, what would you do differently?
135. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
136. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
137. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
138. Have you ever had anything bad happen to you that turned out for the best?
139. What was the last movie or TV show that made you tear up?
140. What's the hardest thing you've ever done?
141. What do you miss most about being a kid?
142. Do you have any siblings? What are their names/ages?
143. When was the last time you were nervous?
144. What story does your family always tell about you?
145. What's something I don't know about you but should?
146.  Are you a morning or night person?
147. If life is so short, why do we do so many things don't like and like so many things that we don't do?
148. What's one thing you have not done but want to? What's holding you back?
149. Do you feel like you've lived this day a hundred times before?
150. If today was the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?
151. What worries you most about the future?
152. If you had a friend that spoke to you in the same way you speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?
153. What impact do you want to leave on the world?
154. What do you do with the majority of your money?
155. What do you wish that you didn't know?
156. Do you think you were born in the right era?
157. Write me a Haiku about anything?
158. What are some of your nicknames?
159. What was your first job?
160. Do people praise you for your looks?
161. What's the cutest thing someone has ever done for you?
162. What were your favorite cartoons growing up?
163. If you had a choice, would you like to have been given another life?
164. Describe your dream wedding?
165. How tall are you?
166. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
167. Do you write?
168. What was the best year of your life?
169. What was the worst year of your life?
170. What are your hobbies?
171. What does it mean to have courage?
172. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for (excluding unlimited wishes)?
173. Has anyone close to you passed away?
174. What is a quality you admire most in others?
175. If you could eliminated one type of insect permanently from the earth, what would it be?
176. If you could have any room in the world be your bedroom, which room would you choose?
177. If you could have the staring role in any movie already made, which movie would it be?
178. Describe an activity you think is truly romantic.
179. Do you squeeze the middle of the toothpaste or roll it?
180. What do you do if you can't sleep at night?
181. Do you save old greeting cards, notes, and letters or do you throw them away?
182. Whose autographs have you collected?
183. Do you get homesick easily?
184. What is your favorite game?
185. Do you wish you were famous?
186. How often do you get sick?
187. What's the craziest belief you had as a child?
188. Hugs or kisses?
189. What is the most embarrassing moment of your life?
190. What sound drives you crazy?
191. Who is the smartest person you know?
192. What do you think about before you go to sleep at night?
193. Are you ticklish?
194. Who do you run to when something bad happens?
195. Are you good at multitasking?
196. What's something that amazes you?
197. Are you usually early or late?
198. If you could change one major problem in this world, what would it be?
199. What are your favorite types of clothes and shoes to wear?
200. Do you believe in fate?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Portion Distortion [Perception Deception]: The Ugly Truth & Our Duty to Stand up to "Beauty"

I wrote an essay for a college communications class a few years ago about digital enhancement in advertising, magazines, and the media. 
I think it is now more relevant than ever before... and sadly I believe unless we all stand up to society's unrealistic obsession with perfection and cruel, brutal judgment on the definition of beauty, then the problem will continue and lead to drastic consequences that are already occurring all around us in the form of unhealthy eating disorders, low self-esteem, self harm, bullying, stress, and sometimes suicide.
I commend Ashley Judd taking a stand and sharing her message and frustration with this. 
It's up to us to speak now.
You aren't ugly. Society is.
Here is my essay...

Magazines, the media, and ads shouldn't Photoshop images or should be required by law to state if they have digitally enhanced or retouched an image. They should be required to disclose this information or else it is deceptive and can lead to eating disorders and have negative repercussions on society. Photoshop digital enhancements are not only deceptive but unrealistic. They are a form of false advertising.
The definition of false advertising, according to the Dictionary of Law, is "the crime or tort of publishing, broadcasting, or otherwise publicly distributing and advertisement that contains an untrue, misleading, or deceptive representation or statement which was made knowingly or recklessly and with the intent to promote the sale of property, goods, or services to the public."
Jennifer Aniston said to Vanity Fair, "The media creates this wonderful illusion--but the amount of airbrushing that goes into those beauty magazines, the hours of hair and makeup. It's impossible to live up to because it's not real."
According to photographing editor Ken Harris, models can't even measure up to their own images. He explains every image you see has been worked on, but it's like magic. He covers his tracks to prevent being obvious that an image has been retouched.
Newsweek reports in their article "Picture Perfect" that "Retouching techniques that were once used mainly to erase blemishes or stray hairs have become tools for radical human body distortion, shrinking waists, and vanishing years, turning models and actresses into leggy dolls of literally inhuman proportions. Fashion, women's, and lifestyle publications may not admit it outright, but it's common knowledge within the industry that retouching and thinning models and celebrities is not just standard procedure, it's expected and often demanded." 
A Manhattan based photo editor, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of professional backlash, told Newsweek, "We're always stretching the models legs and slimming their thighs. Sometimes I feel like Frankenstein."
According to a 2004 global survey by the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, "Several studies show that women feel worse about themselves after reading fashion magazines. An average girl today will see more than 77,000 advertisements by the time she's 12--and you can bet most of those have been retouched. If that girl is like 42 perfect of the population she'll want to be thinner by the time she's a third-grader, and by age 10--if she's like 81 percent of her peers--she'll be afraid of being fat."
Prevention Magazine reports, "A healthy weight for a woman who is 5' 9" is 129-169 pounds. An average 5' 9" model weight is somewhere around 110-115 pounds."
The New York Times states, "Boys as young as 10 are bulking up on steroids." As you can see this problem affects boys too.
U.S. News reported, "Most of us don't see our bodies digitally doctored and spend way too much time staring at ourselves in the mirror, comparing how we look to those "perfect" bodies that grace magazine covers. 1 in 10 partakes in behaviors such as bulimia, over exercising, skipping meals, abusing laxatives--eating disorders."
While lack of control, depression, and abuse do have an impact on eating disorders, the media plays an equally important role in pushing people to partake in these behaviors and should take responsibility. 
Newsweek reported in February 2009, "In response to the uproar over some well-published alterations of celebrities, through the trade groups that represent those publications, in both Britain and the United States, say they are considering voluntary codes outlining how far art directors can go. And late last month the National Assembly of France went a step further when it approved a bill that, if passed by the Senate, would make it a crime for anyone, from pro-anorexia websites to advertisers to editors, to publicly incite 'excessive thinness' or 'extreme dieting.'"
According to Rader, an eating disorder treatment clinic, "Following viewing images of female fashion models, seven out of ten women felt more depressed and angrier than prior to viewing the images. 80% of women who answered a People magazine survey responded that images of women on television and in the movies make them feel insecure."
Victoria Beckham, Mary Kate Olsen, and Karen Carpenter are a few among the many celebrities who attribute the media and advertisements to their eating disorders.
Advertisements that have been digitally retouched do more harm than good. Women and men alike would like to see more "average" and real people on their magazine ads, covers, and media.
The 2004 Dove Survey, mentioned earlier, found that "68 percent of women strongly agree that, 'the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can't ever achieve.' 76 percent wish female beauty was portrayed in the media as being made up of more than just physical attractiveness.
"75 percent went on to say that they wish the media did a better job of portraying women of diverse physical attractiveness, including all ages, shapes, and sizes."
Advertising executive Christy Turlington explained to Elle magazine, "Advertising is so manipulative. There's not one picture in magazines today that's not airbrushed. It's funny. When women see pictures of models in fashion magazines and say, 'I can never look like that,' what they don't realize is that no one can look that good without the help of a computer."
Photoshop (or other photo editing software) either needs to be banned or the ads and pictures that use such imaging retouching tools need to disclose that they have been used to ensure consumers (men and women everywhere) are not viewing false advertisement and will no longer suffer from this perception deception.

EXAMPLES of Photoshop (Before & After)

celebrities before and after photoshop 21 in Celebrities Before and After Photoshop

The definition of beautiful is YOU.
There are 7+ billion people in this world but only one YOU.
Be the best you that you can be.
Beauty isn't just on the outside, it's inside of you, it's your heart.
As you can see, what the world calls beautiful is completely distorted... in fact, it's not attainable because it's not real!
You can exercise and be healthy, that's beautiful. Eating disorders aren't beautiful nor healthy. They are destructive and can lead you down a path where you have to keep getting skinnier until finally you disappear (die). 
The people that matter will love you no matter what. 
They will think you are beautiful no matter what.
You are beautiful no matter what anyone says.
How do you feel beautiful in a world like the one we live in?
How to be happy with yourself?
You are one of a kind... embrace your individuality. 
Someone somewhere thinks you are the most beautiful person in the world.
Everything has beauty, just not everyone sees it. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Heart Will Go On

If you know me or read my blog you are already very well aware of my TITANIC obsession of the movie Titanic. I love Titanic. If I could, at the this point in time in my life right at this instant, make the movie a reality and trade places with Rose I would do it without a second thought or the blink of an eye. I know most people would find that crazy, but I have my reasons. It represents what I desire most in life and what I believe. It's love at it's rawest, truest, and most epic form. It's adventurous. It's about making each second count. It's about sacrifices and breaking free from what society and the people around you expect you to be and doing what YOU want to do for once. It's about being saved. It's about feeling more alive in the few days before the ship sinks, than you ever have in your lifetime. The love between Rose and Jack is what I want. I love Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio). I love the manners used in those times. I love the clothing and dresses. I love the music. I love the era. I love the message of "making each day count", "that your heart will go on", "if you jump, i jump devotion", and how in the end, Rose and Jack are reunited in this perfect heaven. So yes, I'd love to be Rose, and I'd love for it to be real. It is my favorite movie. I could watch it a zillion times and never get tired of it. And I hope and pray with all of my heart, that one day I will find my Jack Dawson and have my "if you jump, I jump". 

Titanic-100 Year Anniversary

I adore this movie. It's seriously one of my favorites. I know it's overrated to most people but it will never get old to me. It inspires me. Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet are two of my favorite actors.  
Kate Winslet expressed my feelings about it completely: 
"One thing that's very important to me in life is, through having a relationship with somebody and loving that person and being allowed to feel the whole emotion of love despite all of the risks, you can find out who you are. And when Rose meets Jack she cuts through all the class and money nonsense and connects with something real and alive and passionate in his soul. And when I read the script I was in floods of tears, because it takes you to the point where you would do anything--absolutely anything--to stop that ship from sinking."
Things I learned from Titanic
-Jack Dawson taught me how to spit like a man.
-Life is a gift, make each day count.
-A woman's heart is an ocean full of secrets.
-I want a man like Jack Dawson.
-That Rose mirrors my feelings about my life, "It's the world around me and all the people in it and all the while I feel like I am standing in a crowded room, screaming at the top of my lungs and no one even looks up and the inertia of my life plunging ahead and me powerless to stop it."
-That your heart will go on.
-Nothing on earth can tear love apart or come between you.
-That I wish I lived in those days or that people continued some of the ways of those days (i.e,  the fashions--the dresses are absolutely stunning and breathtaking, the men dressed nicely in suits, and the shoes and jewelry are gorgeous, the manners and chivalry that Jack has, how polite everyone was, etc)

-Love > Money
-And so much more, but those are the main ones off the top of my head.
     One of the most amazing experiences was going to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition in November 2010 in Las Vegas. It was incredible. I would recommend it to anyone who loves Titanic. Words don't do it justice. They have a replica of the deck and the grand staircase and the rooms of first and third class passengers. Walking through a replica of the hallway felt so real and it took my breath away. You get to touch an iceberg and get a ticket of an actual passenger and at the end you find out if your person lived or died. 
This is a picture of one of my bedroom walls. It's part of my Titanic collage. :)

This was my boarding pass from the exhibition. I got to take a picture on the grand staircase! That's me, but it's very blurry! All I'm missing is my Jack ;)