Time to Come Out of Hibernation

It’s pretty dreary and cloudy in NYC today, but the past couple of days have shown signs that pleasant spring weather is here – it’s just facing a few minor setbacks. After one of the most brutal winters in recent memory (for me), it’s been nice to be able to leave the house without piling on layers or wearing leg warmers that keep slipping down.

To celebrate the beginning of spring, last week I went to the Macy’s in Herald Square to check out the store’s flower show. There were a lot of events scattered across the two week-long exhibition. When I went, I had a chance to see artist Joe Mangrum and his assistant create some beautiful sand art in the plaza in front of Macy’s. The inside of the store is also impeccably decorated, as you might expect. (Click images to make them larger)

In a few weeks, I’ll most likely be moving out of NYC, so I’ve started to curate a “bucket list” of sorts. One of the places I had never been to was Riverside Park, literally just a few blocks away from my apartment. Since yesterday was such a beautiful day, I went for an evening stroll to the park. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I really liked what I saw. It may be right next to a major highway, but you don’t really feel it. And check out this sunset!

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My First Tweet

On the eve of its eighth anniversary, Twitter unveiled a website that allows users see what their #FirstTweet was.Ā 

Here’s mine! Twitter user for 5 years and counting. šŸ™‚

OF COURSE my first tweet had to do with television.Ā I’m a little disappointed it wasn’t something meta about being a first tweet, though. But it is interesting to see I didn’t use a single hashtag or @ reply – probably because I had no idea what those were. Becoming an active Twitter user is definitely a learning curve. I wish I could remember more about why I joined Twitter; it just seemed to be the next big social media craze, so naturally, I had to try it out and see what all the fuss was about.

Twitter’s #FirstTweet website lets you look up anyone’s first tweet, as long as their account is public. So what was your first tweet?

Aladdin: A Whole New World (On Broadway)

Before “Harry Potter,” there was “Aladdin.”

Many people associate me with the Boy Who Lived (“Hey Steph! What’s that one spell that turns on the lights?”), but since I was a child, Disney’s 1992 “Aladdin” movie had a stronger hold on me than anything else. So when Disney first announced last January that they were bringing “Aladdin” to Broadway, I was ecstatic. I knew I had to see it. And on Saturday night, a week after it began previews, I finally did.

Aladdin on Broadway

The show was everything I could’ve hoped for and more. It stayed true to the movie, while also adding and removing a few things to make it more adaptable for the stage. Obviously, the genie isn’t going to be able to shape shift into different people and objects, but that didn’t make his character any less entertaining on stage. From the opening number, “Arabian Nights,” I had goosebumps. They kept all the songs from the movie and even added a few more, which were just as catchy!Ā Certain lines of dialogue from the movie were also included, but a lot was also changed to make it more relevant to the times we live in.

Jonathan Freeman, who voiced Jafar in the movie, reprised the character on stage. I cackled so loud when he said, “Prince Abubu” and was on the edge of my seat toward the end when he sang his (evil) version of “Prince Ali.” My brain could not handle hearing Jafar in real life, just a few feet away from me on the stage. The rest of the cast was equally amazing; Adam Jacobs who plays Aladdin even sounded a bit like the character from the movie (and wore the infamous vest well); Jasmine was as feisty and beautiful as you would expect, and every time the Genie was on stage, you knew you were in for a treat.

aladdin merch

I went to the show with my cousin, who is just as big of a fan as I am. We both wore Aladdin shirts from Hot Topic – seriously, check out their Disney collection – and went a little overboard at the merchandise stand. But we made a friend named Zach, so shout out to him for being so patient and awesome with us!

I already have tickets to go back next month with another group of friends, and I’m counting down the (32) days before I return.

Have any more questions about the show and want spoilers? Ask them in the comments! I’m only too happy to dish and continue fangirling.

Just 10 More Minutes…

the simssPlaying The Sims is like going into a black hole. Once the game loads, it’s difficult to press stop.

I used to be obsessed with The Sims around 2001. Every day after school, I would hide out in the basement playing until dinnertime. Some of you may have had legit extra curricular activities after school; mine was The Sims. I like to think I learned some valuable life lessons from it, such as if you don’t keep in touch with a friend, they will stop being your friend. And you will only get better at cooking if you keep practicing. And don’t forget to pay your bills or the repoman will come and take away your stuff!

I was recently given a copy of The Sims 3 to play, and WHOA has the game changed since 2001. The Sims actually age and they have personal mobile phones! Plus there’s a whole town to explore! As if I can afford to procrastinate in my life, here I am transported to being a middle schooler again, playing The Sims for an average of two hours in the evening.

I don’t think there are any valuable life lessons The Sims can teach me now as a young adult, but I do appreciate the fact that it lets me turn my brain off for a few hours every night before going to bed. My biggest worry during those moments is whether or not my Sim is starting to smell like rotten eggs, not how much I need to budget for rent. I’ve never been much of a gamer, but this is one game I will make an exception for. Our brains are constantly on “go” mode, so it’s nice to check out for a little bit.

Does anyone else have fond memories of playing The Sims? Or better yet, still play it? (Ohmahgawd Sims4 coming out this year!)

There’s a mouse in the house

“There’s a mouse in the house.”

This is just screaming to be turned into a Dr. Seuss poem, but I can’t seem to find anything else that rhymes with “house” or “mouse.” And I’m really not the poet type, so if anyone’s up for the challenge – go for it. Best poem gets a cookie.

Anyway, yes, there is a mouse wandering around my building and sometimes it comes visit my apartment. I’ve set out two traps in the past couple of weeks, but nothing seems to work yet. This has led me to walk around my apartment completely paranoid, not knowing when this little rodent will scuttle past me again.

In hindsight, though, having a mouse as a sometimes-roommate has brought about some good changes.

1) It gets me to the gym

I’m a notorious homebody. There’s nothing I enjoy more than popping some popcorn and marathoning a TV show on Netflix. But I also recently signed up for a gym in my neighborhood, and I’ve been really good about finding excuses not to go. Oh, I didn’t buy a lock yet to use on the lockers. It’s below 30 degrees out, I’ll freeze! I simply don’t have enough time to get a full workout in before I Ā go to work.

But now I’d much rather not stay in the apartment longer than I have to, so I run off to the gym the moment I get off from work. And the crazy part? I kind of dig it. I can bring my iPad and keep watching TV shows on Netflix while sweating it out and creating a routine for myself. So I guess I can thank the mouse for my bikini bod once summer rolls around.

2) I keep the apartment clean

I always try my best to keep the apartment clean, but now I have more reason to. Those dishes I might’ve left in the sink overnight? Forget about it – they’re going straight in the dishwasher now. Those crumbs that just fell on the floor? Grab a paper towel and wipe it up! If there isn’t anything for the mouse to eat, or any smells to attract it, then maybe it won’t come back. Maybe. (I’m just fooling myself.)

3) Nevermind

My number three reason was originally going to be: now that I’ve seen the mouse, it’s not so scary anymore. But that’s no longer the case. I first saw the mouse with my own eyes two days ago. And just when I think I’m getting over it and start telling myself, “It’s not so bad having a mouse as a roommate. Poor fella is scared of me, too!” I SEE IT AGAIN. My heart starts racing, my limbs lock up and I freak out.

So I guess there are really only two good reasons for having a mouse invade my apartment. But no matter the positive outcomes, I want it gone. NOW.

Maybe if it were cute like this mouse, I wouldn't have a problem.

Maybe if it were cute like this mouse, I wouldn’t have a problem.

Have a Very Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I know by this time of the month, it’s easy to be Christmas-ed out. The radio stations have been playing Christmas music since November and holiday decorations were slowly creeping into the aisles before Halloween was even over. Fortunately for me, I was able to avoid both these things by not driving and rarely going shopping. So it can be a little challenging to get into the Christmas spirit, but I made up for it this year with some good ol’ nostalgia.

Out of the blue earlier this month, I remembered a singing Disney Christmas decoration that I loved as a kid called Mickey’s Clock Shop. Some of you may remember it – it was pretty popular, from what I can recall. According to my mom (hi, Mom!), my parents bought it when we moved to the States for my first Christmas here. Maybe that’s why I’m so attached to it? Psychology aside, after many years, Mickey’s singing clock shop broke and my parents threw it out. I don’t think I ever really got over it. Actually, I’mĀ pretty sure I never got over it, considering I went on eBay and bought my own set.

Does anyone else remember Mickey’s singing clock shop? Or have another Christmas decoration, even an ornament, that they hold near and dear to their hearts? Sometimes a little nostalgia is what we need to get into the Christmas spirit. After all, there was nothing like being a kid who still believed in Santa and the magic of Christmas.

I’ll now let these popular Disney characters serenade you with a little Christmas carol. I apologize for the amateur iPhone quality.

This weekend, I also traveled to Hershey, Pa. and visited Hershey Park’s Christmas CandyLane. Most of the rides were closed; Can you imagine the wind chill as you speed 60 mph on a roller coaster? No thanks. Everything in the park is transformed to be something holiday related, but my absolute favorite was the light show at the “Kissmas” Tree. I’ve uploaded video below so everyone can ‘ohhhh’ and ‘ahhhh.’

I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday with family and friends you love.

Spot the Typos

Like any good, stereotypical millennial, I consume my news online. I don’t have cable at home to watch news broadcasts nor do I subscribe to a newspaper. So I rely on sites like USA Today, CNN, BBC News and my Twitter feed to keep me up to date with what’s happening in the world.

So you can imagine how disheartening it is, especially as a journalism major, to see reputable news sources with glaring and obvious typos in their articles. If I ever made just the tiniest typo in one of my articles for class, it would be an automatic D, maybe even an F. Case in point: I misspelled Jon Stewart’s name once by including an “h” in John. The rest of the article was solid, but because of that, I got a D. Never again will I forget how to spell Jon Stewart’s name.

A few days ago, I was browsing through E! Online (hey – I need my entertainment news, also!) and came across a small typo in this article: Everything We Know About the ’50 Shades of Grey’ Movie Based on Behind-the-Scenes Pictures. Please try to hold judgment that I was reading this article.

Ā …andĀ Dakota Johnson, the girl you’re not aure is right for the part but you’re willing to give her a chance, as Anastasia Steele.

It’s just one misspelled word, which the average reader might glance over, but what really got to me was the fact that the word is still misspelled on their website as I write this. No one has bothered to correct it.

I bring up this E! Online article because this is something I see frequently all over the web, and it also reminded me of my favorite typo ever that I saw on CNN. Except it wasn’t really a typo. It was more like an editor left their desk for a minute and a one year old came along and began pounding on the keyboard. It was so epic, I had to screencap it:

cnn-typo

This typo was left online for at least 30 minutes. I kept refreshing the page thinking clearly someone over there must have noticed, but it took a while. How does that even happen in the first place?! It’s one thing to have typos on a blog, but for a reputable news source, such as CNN, to have an error like that is awkward. And imagine, these are only the errors thatĀ I’veĀ stumbled upon. Who knows what else is out there.

Does it bother you when news sources make such simple mistakes like that? Or am I just being too picky? I was always taught that typos can make you less credible, which in my eyes is very true. If you can’t spell a word right, or have an editor pick up on a typo, how can I be sure that the facts being reported are true? I can’t.