Link Love Wednesday: Dark Lord Funk

maxresdefaultHi everyone! As always,  I hope you are having a wonderful week. 🙂 Unfortunately for me, since last week’s Link Love, I have been a little under the weather with pharyngitis and laryngitis. When I do talk, I sound like a 13-year-old boy whose voice is finally starting to change! Thankfully, between cups of tea and bowls of hot soup, I have been relatively productive, going through some spring cleaning, publishing a few guest articles, and (of course) collecting our latest batch of Link Love. The Internet sure is a wonderful place to go when you’re not feeling well enough to do much else!

What are some of your favorite links and articles from the week? Bloggers, did you post anything you’re particularly proud of this week Share in the comments section below! 🙂

The Weekend Five: Worst Girlfriends on Television

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Last week’s edition of The Weekend Five focused on some of the worst boyfriends on television, so as someone who believes in gender equality, I think it is only fitting for this weekend’s post to focus on the worst girlfriends on television! (I’ve also written about the worst boyfriends and worst girlfriends in literature.) We may be huge fans of these characters, but I doubt that any of us would, in good conscience, introduce these ladies to the single males in our lives.

What TV character do you think would make a terrible girlfriend? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

The Weekend Five: Worst Girlfriends on Television

1. Marissa Cooper (The O.C.)
Okay, this show has been off the air for quite a long time, but Marissa Cooper was a memorable teen soap character for so many reasons — mainly, the drama she often brought with her. From shoplifting to dating the lawn guy just to upset her mother, Marissa constantly needed to be rescued, and often dragged the men in her life (especially bad boy next door Ryan Atwood) down with her. While nice enough on her own, Marissa Cooper was always better off single.

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2. Catherine de’Medici (Reign).
I mentioned Catherine’s husband (King Henry of France) in last weekend’s post, but of course he didn’t get to be the way he was on his own. The fictional version of Catherine de’Medici is power-hungry and conniving, not to mention one of the worst mother-in-laws currently on TV. You wouldn’t date her for the same reasons you wouldn’t date Lady Macbeth.

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Jan3. Jan Levenson (The Office).
The Office may no longer be airing new episodes, but Jan still stands out as terrible girlfriend on TV. Once the love interest of Michael Scott, Jan revealed herself to be crazy and unpredictable over the course of the series. After losing her job and moving in with Michael, she even commands him to get a vasectomy, reverse vasectomy and another vasectomy at different points. Jan becomes even more insane and uncomfortable to watch over time… which means that she does not get better with age. Better avoid this one!

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4. Paige McCullers (Pretty Little Liars).
A lot of Pretty Little Liars fans enjoy Paige’s character and believe that she and Emily Fields (one of the Liars) make a great couple. However, what people fail to remember is that before the two high school swimmers ever dated, Paige tried to drown Emily in the pool during a fit of jealousy. Someone like that is not someone you should ever trust again in close quarters!

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ouat5. Emma Swan (Once Upon a Time).
Let me preface this by saying that Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, is an awesome heroine and an interesting character to follow. I have nothing against her. But bad things seem to happen to the men who fall for her: the Huntsman has his heart literally crushed by the Evil Queen, Adult Pinocchio almost dies and is returned to childhood, her New York boyfriend turns into a flying monkey, and don’t get me started on Neal/Baelfire, the father of her son! While I am not-so-secretly rooting for Emma and Captain Hook to wind up together, I fear for his own safety in a relationship with Emma (a.k.a. The Savior). Besides, Emma is often too focused on breaking a curse or saving the town to even think about being in a relationship!

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Your turn! What TV characters do you think would make the worst girlfriends?

The Weekend Five: Unhealthy Relationships on Television

As busy as I may be throughout the semester, I happen to be an avid TV viewer. I’m not ashamed of my silly television habits, and many readers will note that I love to discuss some of the fictional (and non-fictional!) characters in relation to my beliefs about dating, ambition and more. Today’s blog focuses on the less healthy relationships that have been recently portrayed on television, some of which are fan favorites, and my thoughts on each pairing. 🙂 Enjoy!

The Weekend Five: Unhealthy Relationships on Television

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1. Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl.
Don’t get me wrong… I used to love this couple (when I was seventeen). When the show first planted the idea of Blair, the scheming Queen B of the Upper East Side, and Chuck, the wealthy and womanizing bad boy, a part of me thought that the pairing was just crazy enough to work out. I enjoyed watching as their relationship developed, with both characters struggling to admit their true feelings for one another, but after the second season or so, things took a turn for the crazy. Chuck traded Blair for a hotel, hooked up with a character’s younger sister on the night he planned to propose, and even became physically abusive to Blair, who ultimately married and divorced a Monaguesque prince. A relationship this rocky is not worth the time or heartache; in fact, both characters thrive when they aren’t together. Personally, I believe that Chuck needs to go through a ton of rehab, and that Blair is much better off with Dan Humphrey, her best friend and intellectual equal. (As a couple, Dan Humphrey and Serena van der Woodsen are a close second for unhealthy couples!)

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2. Ryan Howard and Kelly Kapoor from The Office.This couple was hilarious to watch throughout the show’s run, but definitely not a “healthy” relationship. Kelly herself was one of my favorite characters while she was still on the show, probably because of her knack for the dramatic (ie: faking pregnancy or swallowing a tapeworm to lose weight), and Ryan’s pretentious behavior was enough to make you love to hate him. While Kelly constantly latched on to Ryan, Ryan only showed enough interest to keep her around. In fact, when Kelly moves to Miami, Ohio, with her new pediatrician boyfriend, Ryan moves there as well (seemingly to get her back). In real life, this kind of relationship would be troublesome, but on the small screen, Kelly and Ryan are one of the most entertaining unhealthy couples to watch.

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3. Belle and Rumplestiltskin from Once Upon a Time.
Okay, let me start out by saying that I really am pulling for these two to end up together. I think Belle is exactly what Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin needs to stay grounded and not let his powers overcome him. However, in its current state, the relationship could arguably use some improving. While Belle remains supportive of Rumplestiltskin and committed to making him a better man, Rumplestiltskin struggles to put his love for her in front of everything else. Once he finally changes for the better and isn’t so obsessed with making deals with every single fairy tale character who ever existed, I believe that he and Belle will make a great couple.

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4. President Fitzgerald Grant and Olivia Pope from Scandal.
Olivia Pope, the former communications director for the White House, has an affair with Fitzgerald Grant during his presidential campaign and long afterward. Although the President is married to someone else and expecting his third or fourth child, he just can’t quit Olivia. The two are so drawn to each other (although, to this day, I’m unclear on why) that every scene between them is extremely emotional and intense. Every time Olivia tries to break things off, Fitz does something crazy to win her back – for example, having his Secret Service men kidnap Liv in the woods so the two of them can have some alone time. His need to be with Olivia borders on controlling, and the fact that their relationship must be kept secret is enough to make it unhealthy. (Don’t forget – his wife is pregnant!)

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5. Victoria Henley and her mother from Cycle 19 of America’s Next Top Model.
As a huge fan of Top Model, I couldn’t let this one slip by! Victoria is a homeschooled girl who now attends online college, and she has never really been apart from her mother. Immediately in the season, she talks about her devotion to her mother, as well as the idea that she never wants to pursue a romantic relationship with a guy in the foreseeable future because her relationship with her mother is fulfilling enough. Now, I love my Mom and talk to her about nearly everything, but Victoria takes it to a whole new level, crying out “Momma!” and bursting into tears every time she rings up her mother on the phone. This attachment is a little scary, considering this girl is getting into her twenties and hasn’t formed a relationship of any kind with anyone else.

What TV relationships do you think are the most unhealthy?

The Friday Five: Holidays to Observe All Year

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s nearly impossible not to have the holidays on your mind. Of course, as much as I enjoy pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, I absolutely love the holiday’s vibe – the reminder that we should be thankful for all that we have and more. Of course, November 24 is not the only day we should set aside to give thanks — that day should be every day!

This week, I would like to take a look at some of the holidays we should observe more often. Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments section below!

The Friday Five: Holidays to Observe All Year

1. Thanksgiving.
Well, if that wasn’t a given, I don’t know what is. 🙂 We should take some time out of every day to reflect upon how fortunate we are, regardless of how stressful life can be.

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2. Valentine’s Day.
Telling someone “I Love You” shouldn’t be restricted to February 14. Doing something spontaneous and sweet for your significant other will mean a lot more to that person if it happens on a random Tuesday rather than a holiday when everyone feels obligated to be romantic. Similarly, you should show small acts of kindness toward everyone throughout the year, instead of saving up for one grand gesture and a remainder of mediocrity and halfheartedness.

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3. New Year’s.
This doesn’t mean you need to get rip-roaring drunk every night and cheer when the clock strikes 12 — you can save that until December 31. However, many people wait until the New Year (and occasionally Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year) to make amends for past mistakes and to create new goals and resolutions. However, we should spend the whole year working on ourselves, not just one small window of time. If we set reasonable expectations throughout the year, we are more likely to stick to them and see some real results. Besides, it is never too late in the year to reinvent yourself.

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4. Independence Day.
Most people tend to be patriotic around the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or a national disaster, but when barbecues and fireworks aren’t taking place, a lot of us forget what it means to be American. You don’t need to be in-your-face about your nationality, but it is important to be present by recognizing how lucky you are to be where you are. (I understand that some readers do not live in the U.S., so feel free to replace this one with one of your homeland’s own national holidays!)

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5. Halloween.
The spookiest holiday of the year is all about overcoming your fears and allowing yourself to have fun. As Robert California from The Office says in a recent episode, “Fear plays an interesting role in our lives. How dare we let it motivate us? How dare we let it into our decision making, into our livelihoods, into our relationships?” By stepping out of our comfort zones more than once every year, we allow ourselves to develop and grow as human beings (or ghouls).

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What are your favorite holidays, and what have they taught you?

Happy holidays, everyone! 🙂

The Friday Five: Things To Do On April Fools Day

Your day may be nearly over, but you still have some time to do something fun for April Fools Day if you haven’t already. (Or you could follow these tips on any other day!) Here are five fun pranks and activities to enjoy this April Fool’s Day. (Tweet this!)

The Friday Five: Things To Do On April Fools Day

1. Watch “The Room.”
Deemed by many to be one of the best worst movies of all time, The Room (directed, starring, written by and produced by the eclectic and enigmatic Tommy Wiseau) has developed a cult following throughout the years. Every year, Adult Swim has screened this movie on April Fools Day around midnight, which is why I was a little late in posting last night’s Freshman 15. If you missed the on-air showing, you can always watch clips of the film online — trust me, it will be more than entertaining.

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2. Change your relationship status.
Okay, maybe a little juvenile, but always fun to shake things up a little. Join a civil union with your roommate or enter an open relationship with your best friend… or make a relationship seem real by talking to one of your platonic friends of the preferred gender. Note: If you are in an actual relationship, do not break up with your significant other as a joke. It is mean and will probably deem you permanently single.

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3. Tell your parents that your sibling is back together with the ex they hated.
… Because my sister did that to me!

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4. Let The Office inspire you!
Take a page out of the wonderful Jim Halpert’s book. Jim is constantly pranking his coworkers (Dwight in particular) and he never ceases to amaze us. Whether he dresses up as Dwight’s doppleganger for a day, creates a series of fake diseases or surrounds his coworkers’ staplers in jello, Jim is always thinking on his feet. See which of his pranks should be revisited in your own life, or just let them give you some rough ideas for fun and harmless tricks you might want to try.

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5. Do something outrageous.
By this, I am not implying a huge prank, but rather, a huge decision. Commit to something you have been considering on and off for a while, because it isn’t just April Fool’s Day — it’s also the start of a new month. Use this day to spark a new beginning.

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How did you spend your April Fools Day? What is the most epic prank you have ever pulled?

What’s Hot/What’s Not: November 2010

As we reach the middle of November, let’s take a look at some of the latest trends and stories that have affected our lives and touched our hearts.

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What’s HOT
Love is in the air! Kurt’s got a cute new beau, Blair and Chuck have been more or less back together, and Pam and Jim are still going strong. TV romance has never been so wonderful.

What’s NOT
People who choose ignorant slurs over the love. Grow up!

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What’s HOT

Thanksgiving is fast approaching!

What’s NOT
It’s smack dab in the middle of the worst season ever.

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What’s HOT
Feeling vintage and listening to oldies — REO Speedwagon, anyone?

What’s NOT
Watching vintage music videos. (I’m not sure which incarnation of the Hoff is the worst!)

 

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What’s HOT
Getting all dressed up for the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1!

What’s NOT
The fact that there’s only one installment left after this!

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What’s HOT
Seeing a place that’s familiar to you in the news for something harmless and mildly innovative.

What’s NOT
Seeing a place that’s familiar to you in the news for something embarrassing and awful.

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What’s HOT
Having fun with Star Wars and stormtroopers.

What’s NOT
Those who don’t embrace the wonderful dorkiness that is Star Wars.

 

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What’s HOT
The upcoming release of Tangled, the new Rapunzel movie, for all of the Disney lovers out there!

What’s NOT
Being the oldest non-parents in the theater!

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What’s HOT
Cher’s commentaries on celebrity and non-celebrity life.

What’s NOT
The fact that any of the people she’s talking about are actually famous.

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What’s HOT
Ryan Reynolds, according to People Magazine. And, okay, according to me.

What’s NOT
His high school quotes. What does forever really mean, anyway? 😛

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Speak Now (Or Forever Hold Your Peace)

Over the past few months, I’ve come to realize just how important it is to be honest to yourself and to others. It may sound like I’m merely stating the obvious, but my closest friends know just how hard I try not to hurt other people’s feelings — even going so far as to forget about my own — and how little I really do speak up when I feel injustice. Slowly but surely, however, I’ve vowed to make assertion and honesty a much bigger part of my life.

The idea has hit me from multiple directions in the last few days. On Tuesday, as I was getting my fix of The Office, I revisited the “Beach Games” episode, in which the sweet-but-often-stepped-on receptionist Pam Beesly (who often reminds me of myself) finally sticks up for herself. After feeling ignored, unappreciated, and taken advantage of by her boss and coworkers, Pam confesses her discontent to the rest of the office on their beach day. She doesn’t do this at all in a mean-spirited way, but she does stand her ground and states her relief of getting everything off her chest.

Pam wasn’t the only person set free by her honesty. For her upcoming album Speak Now, Taylor Swift has explained in interviews that “track by track, each song is a different confession to a different person.” What I learned from these latest articles was that the theme of coming clean to others was at the very core of Swift’s newest CD, and that she too found the experience of writing these songs cathartic.

While I still don’t think it’s classy to voice every opinion you’ve ever had and believe that it’s better to choose your battles wisely, I do think that when you keep your lips sealed shut, you’re hurting yourself and the people around you. If you’re not happy with certain aspects of your friendships or relationships, and you’re not speaking up about the things that matter, then how can you expect the situation to improve? If you see your friend doing something that isn’t in his/her best interest and you don’t want to hurt them by telling them, then how can you help your friend?

Takethe movie He’s Just Not That Into You as a prime example. Although Gigi the Protagonist has about ZERO chance of settling into a relationship with most of the guys she dates, her friends at work are constantly reassuring her that those guys will call, and then they make up excuses as to why nothing has happened thus far. Or look at the season premiere of Jersey Shore, in which Snooki tries to convince Sammi that Ronnie still has feelings for her, right as the camera cuts to Ronnie, piss drunk in a club, making out with two girls at once. (More on that show in another post!)

The lies we tell ourselves and others, even for the “right reasons,” can hurt us more than they help us. Tweet this!

Whether we’re harboring pent-up frustrations that we just aren’t letting out, or we’re trying to shield others from the truth, it’s important for us to be aware of what’s real and to try to open ourselves up to whatever that may be. It may hurt, yes, but it’s better than living in an illusion. Maybe each of us needs to practice affirmations, or maybe we just need some sort of outlet to express our innermost feelings candidly when we’re afraid of offending others. Maybe this blog is to me what Speak Now is to Taylor Swift — a way for me to convey, as Swift said in her interview, the “things that I wanted to say in the moment that I didn’t.” Hopefully, as time goes on, we can all start saying those things in real life. : )