Posts Tagged ‘new year’

Those Little Things

(January 15th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

January has to be the most depressing month of the year: there is no doubt about it. Aside from New Years being on the first, there are plenty of other downsides associated with this month. Stemming off of New Years is the idea that we all have resolutions to prove in 2010 such as trying harder at work/school or losing a certain number of pounds. It’s frustrating having to carry out such demanding resolutions. Of course, I may just be making a big deal about it but I think it is the very minor things about life that tick us off the most. I know I have to deal with them right now while I am writing this. In the corner of the room I can hear the faintest ringing noise while I am typing this, yet it seems to be so loud when I put my attention on it. Little things like that make us irritated. Thus, resolutions are pain-bearers.

Aside from our goals: the weather outside is just so frightful. Even though we can avoid it by staying indoors as much as possible, it is the absence of natural light that makes everything seem so depressing. I’ve been affected by it greatly, since I have to live in a house with very few light fixtures to make the room bright and cheery. Like I mentioned before, just a little alteration in the atmosphere can make the grandest difference in our attitude and emotions.

Probably one of the largest factors adding to our pain and misery is the cold and weather outdoors. Of course, people do travel, so this is very difficult to avoid. I know I dread having to get in the car in the morning after just waking up because the garage is so disturbingly chilly that my skin cries out in pain when I try to make any movement. Luckily I can deal with the pain a lot better when I am fully awake, but the feeling of cold still has a terrible effect on the way I feel. In the winter my hands start to get dry from the lack of moisture in the air. At any point in my day the skin on my knuckles just cracks and bleeds. It is heartbreaking it have it continuously happen each and every day. I have to spend extra time just to make sure I put on enough creme in the morning or at night to deal with the pain.

January is a month full of other causes of stress and depression. It is currently the week before finals at my school, and so I’ve had to work extra hours every night just to finish projects and papers, and study for tests. So far I’ve had some form of testing every single day this week and I am sick of all of this misery, especially right after returning from Winter Break: completely relaxed. Maybe this extra-long break is the reason why I am doing so much poorly. It has lowered my toleration for schoolwork so that I was unprepared coming back from break. Adults are most likely going through similar struggles with their work as well. I know in January all of the bills from the holiday celebrations come in and have to be paid. I guess it is just misery for everyone!

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Crêpes!

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I felt like sharing a recipe that I had prepared a couple of days ago for some delicious crêpes. I’ve been dieing to make them ever since I got something to top it with! My creation is shown above in the form of a dessert crêpe: decked out with chocolate syrup, a french vanilla ice cream filling, nutella, and powdered sugar! Of course, crêpes can be prepared in several ways, including a breakfast crêpe (with fruit  whipped cream, or pancake syrup), or a savory crêpe (with cheese, turkey, chicken and/or vegetables). Depending on what kind of mood one is in, a crêpe can be prepared to fit that style! Below is a basic recipe that I used to make the one above. It serves about four people, so make sure there are some hungry guests who would be delighted to try some as well!

Ingredients:
2 Large Eggs
2/3 a cup of milk
1/2 a cup of flour
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1/4 a teaspoon of salt

1. To start off, melt the butter in a microwave. It ought to take only 30 seconds depending on the type of microwave.
2. Mix together all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl:  the eggs, milks, flour, butter,  sugar and salt. It could take a little while! The lumps should disappear after about a minute or so. Even if there are still some small lumps afterwards, it really shouldn’t affect the taste or texture in the end
3. Place a skillet of medium size on a stove top at medium heat. Apply some form of grease to the surface. It is best to use vegetable oil or a small amount of butter. Sprinkle a small amount of water on the pan to see if it is warm enough. If the water starts to dance (aka sizzle), then you are set!
4. Measure 1/4 a cup of the batter and pour onto the hot skillet. Tilt the pan so that the batter flows to clear the empty areas on the pan. Once the edges of the crêpe start to turn a little brown, it is ready to flip! For the first crêpe, this may take a while, but the time required on the skillet will decrease as the cook makes more. I’ve found that it is best to use a spatula to scrape the edges off the sides of the pan before flipping it so that it does not collapse into pieces. Let the crêpe cook on the opposite side (it shouldn’t take as long to cook).
5. Dress with toppings and eat immediately. These crêpes cool off very quickly!

Have some fun spicing up your crêpe! I had one other thing to say: the Mikeroni page is now going to be merged in with the homepage. All of my past entries will still be located on the page, but the ones for 2010 and later will come out in the form of posts. I’ve found this to be more efficient and visible to viewers, which is why I’ve decided to bring this into effect. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great New Years. I decided to spend mine at my friends house this year, which is a complete change of plan for me. Anyway, I came around six and we had snacks, played video games, and watched a movie. Most importantly, we tuned in to watch the ball drop in Times Square. I barely recognized it since my trip there during last spring break; there were so many people cheering and partying! Anyway, some wise guy decided to light some fireworks at midnight, so we all went outside in the below-freezing weather and started yelling and screaming. A while later, my friend showed me how to use my iPod, since I had just gotten one a couple of days ago (I know, I don’t really keep with the times *heh*). iTunes still bothers me greatly! I still am confused how to navigate its many tabs, pages, and clickables. I do hope I will eventually get used to it. In the mean time, I’ve been relying on my family to set it up for me. So far it hasn’t been great, since one wrong move in syncing it with my computer completely clears away all of the songs I had put on it. I slept over at my friends house that night, it was just so late to get a ride. Luckily there was a guest bedroom: it was sweltering hot during the night, but I managed. My friend told me that I finally fell asleep around 2:25am -exhausted. I don’t know how, but he managed to fall to sleep in a rocking chair! How uncomfortable! We woke up around eight o’clock. I’m not sure why, but waking up during a sleepover is always an awkward moment, since the early bird has to check over on their friend to see if he/she is up yet. Plus, it is nearly impossible to tell whether someone is fake sleeping, resting, actually sleeping, fake resting, or just lying in bed. The signals are so screwed up, that early bird just has to wait for that other guy to make a move. My panic about “what to ask/what to say” finally ended around ten: we decided to actually get up. I enjoyed a nice bowl of cereal and freshened up for the day.

Can you believe the school week is coming back in two days? It is rather frightening to think about, since I’ve been away from academic thoughts for so long. I hope I didn’t knock out any brain cells! It’s going to take a little while to readjust, but I believe in myself.

Interior Design (I’m Finally Back!)

I would like to start off by saying how glad I am that Winter Break has started. It seems as though it has been on everyone’s mind for weeks and finally the day (or more accurately week) has come for celebration. So far my break has been quite hectic because of my move. I am proud to announce that we have finally settled in and I am thankfully starting to enjoy the comfort that this house has to offer. I never realized how much I adored the power of internet until I was stranded without it for a couple of days. Luckily I found things to keep me occupied. I started to decorate my walls and put lights up around my room and it is starting to feel like my own private paradise.  In a tragic way I was reminded of when I was decorating my igloo on Club Penguin: I think that is what started me to have interest in interior design, quite sadly. Well, to continue, it was a nightmare having to go through all the boxes and picking out things from the large assortment. After countless experiences, I’ve realized that the greatest thing about a bedroom is a theme that is clearly visible, since it electrifies the personality of the one staying in the room. I know it seems a bit odd to pay so much attention to a single bedroom, but I found that it was worth it in the end. I have to admit that I am a huge fan of everything tropical and beach-y, and this part of me is reflected on the walls and shelves of my personal space. Over the years I have collected wall ornaments and other decorations in the shape of palm trees, fish, dolphins, surfboards, and islands. I’ve always felt this warm sense of comfort when I decorate like this. It helps, especially since we are in the dead of winter. I think everyone ought to find something to spice their surroundings up with. Just be creative! Here’s a picture of my back wall of my room:

Anyway, Christmas has just passed, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there to make everyone’s holiday wishes come true on account of my lack of internet. I hope everyone had a nice time with family and friends this season. and I hope everyone is excited for New Years as much as I am! Can anyone believe that a new decade is coming? 2010 all the way!


The Real Deal On Advertising II

Hello everyone! This is Clonez, admin of skydays147 .wordpress .com. I decided to post another one in my series of Real Deal On Advertising. Club Penguin posts are to come back in the New Year.

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I believe I am a pretty creative person, there is no arguing with that. Ever since I was little, I have always loved to draw, paint, build, cook, act, and sing. I was in the Art Club for every year of middle school, I participated in a ceramics class when I was about eight years old, and who could forget my lead role for the play I was in at overnight camp. My mom would tell me to keep going at my dream of being more creative. My drama teacher in high school would see me in the hallway and always encourage me to join the next play that the school was performing. And my art teacher could not stop praising me enough to continue art in the future. You might be confused what I am getting at and why this has to do with advertising.

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Well, I decided last night I would plot the three rules to follow while looking at an advertisement so that you would not fall right into their grasp and buy their product. Those rules turned into only two guidelines, and eventually those two guidelines merged into one massive rule: don’t let your mind run wild. That is a very tricky rule to follow when you are one of the most creative people in the world. Everyone telling you that you should try and be more creative in order to do well in life. Well, that rule does the opposite effect when it is applied to advertising. By letting your mind run wild, you think of the endless possibilities of things to do with some product you see on a billboard, or in a commercial. This is more common among younger children. Young children are not able to distinguish between commercials and TV programs. They do not recognize that commercials are trying to sell something. (1)

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On a regular Sunday morning, my Dad, my sister and I had this daily routine that we would go around to the stores in our hometown and look around. My father would stop at the local Dunkin Donuts for a coffee, we would then go to the Walgreen’s, the Target, or the Michael’s Craft store. When we usually go to Michael’s, it is because my sister needs some project to work on at home. I usually wander around the store and look at the different craft ideas. There is one thing that bothers me though when I walk down the aisle of the different types of clay. There is this modeling clay bag on a hook on the wall. On the package, there are always these great ideas on what to make with the clay, but they are always impractical when you actually sit down to try and make them. When looking at the picture on the bag of clay, the creativity in my mind runs wild. I really think I am able to build something like that turtle, or that fancy car, or that teddy bear. I would then beg and plead to my father to get the clay so that I could make that masterpiece. By the time I got home, I would rush straight for the bag and try and create that impossible figure that only a professional could make; only to end up in tears: not all of the colors were included in the kit, there was too much of one color and too little of another. There’s a flaw with people: they always want something to come out their own way. They want everything to be perfect. Even if I had tried to make something my own way, I would have still ended up in tears because, compared to the photograph on the bag, it is supposed to come out perfect like that. The same thing applies to you builders out there. There was this one commercial I kept seeing on television with these kids playing with these magnetized rods and silver balls. It was called Magnetix. The product showed a group of children building a giant skyscraper, and a scale model of a bridge with these magnetic rods and balls. Watching television, I actually thought I could make something like that. The thing is, the box of magnets didn’t include enough pieces to build that skyscraper. In fact, you probably needed to buy at least 30 others sets of the same thing in order to make it: a waste of time.

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The best example that I can think of for a product that is a total waste of time is a pet rock. Pet Rocks were a popular fad in the 1970’s, and finally people had the common sense to not play with a rock. Who would want to pay for a rock, and what kind of person would pay money for one when they can be found outside?  It’s like a  doll  mixed with  nature.to form a complete disaster. Being creative when looking at an advertisement makes something seem like it is the greatest product in the world; it is making it sound like you absolutely need it. You develop an idea in your head and you try to make it happen through this product. Yet, it completely fails.

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There are some pretty convincing advertisers out there. One of the ones that me and my family fall for a lot is Billy Mays. He is the man who has a large beard, and usually advertises products for home-use. His tactic for advertising is very unique: he yells at the consumers so that they buy a product. I swear, Billy Mays will go to any limit to try and sell a product. It may be one of the craziest products, yet he still advertises it. There are a lot of products out there that can be completely useless, and it is your job as a consumer to find out which of the products aren’t what they seem to be. I remember this one product, which I actually bought; which turned out to be one of the biggest pieces of junk that advertising has to offer. I was watching television when I was little, and I saw this advertisement for some slime that looked like a lot of fun. Without any thought, my mom decided to get it for me. There were so many things wrong with it. The biggest problem was that it stuck to our rug in our old house and we had to replace it. Also, after a few days the slime wasn’t sticky anymore. In fact, there was lint and dust stuck to it, which was impossible to get out. I ended up throwing that slime out in the garbage. Even later in life I still get problems with products that ruin other things in my house. My parents had to throw out their computer and replace it because the computer game I had bought at the store had a huge virus in it and it totally destroyed everything. The sad part of it is, that game turned out to be my favorite computer game of all time. Of course, I wouldn’t want to mention that game on here. My parents banned the game from the house; we aren’t allowed to talk about it. Anyway, there was this book that I have heard of about crazy inventions that ended up being completely useless. It was created by some Japanese group of people.  One of my friends had recommended it for me a long time ago, and I never got to it. These are inventions that, at first, you think are going to be very useful in every day life, yet they turn out to be completely useless when you really think about it. There is one that I see every time I look at the book. It is a t-shirt that you wear, and it has a grid on the back of it. The point of it is that you have to try and tell someone a pair of coordinates on your back and that is the area that they should scratch if you have a hard-to-reach itch. Seriously, what person would want to scratch your back? This is a perfect example of some useless invention.

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I had a couple of ideas for a step two to talk about, yet this mainly goes along with not letting your mind go wild. When you look at that slide at the end of a commercial, there are tiny bits of information that are found, along with some gigantic printed text. When you look at that screen, your mind only focuses on the larger text. The larger text usually consists of a phone number, a price for the product (not the actual price), and of course the name of the product. The reason the advertiser makes certain text bigger is because he or she wants you to think that that is important and the rest is just a jumbled up mess. Yet they have to put the small text in for legal reasons. They really don’t want you to read that. And neither do you: you want to think that that item you see in front of you is a good deal. By doing that, you are letting your mind run wild. So you show your parents just the larger text. “Mommy, mommy, look at that it is only 30 dollars for that fishing pole!” you say. Then mommy gives you a look and decides to buy it, just because she loves you, but she knows in her head that that item actually costs over 100 dollars.  I am just going to focus on that price that they give. There are so many smaller words that will throw the price off: two/three/four payments of, shipping, handling, processing and of course tax. It can be quite tricky to calculate that actual price in your head. They don’t show you have to add tax to that on that information slide. Why would they? So mommy notices that she needs to pay three payments of 30 dollars, and then another 8 dollars for shipping and handling. Then possibly another 2 dollars for tax. Wow, isn’t that fun? By not telling you about it when you are little, it is just one more lesson that needs to be taught in consumer education.

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I like being creative. It really is a skill that you don’t want to lose. I hope you thought I wasn’t saying it was bad. What I really wanted you to get out of this is that you can apply creativity to almost anything, but please don’t apply it to a consumer watching an advertisement.

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(1) “Children And Advertising.” Mediawise. 7/08/02. National Institute on Media and the Family. 30 Dec 2008 <http://www.mediafamily.org/facts/facts_childadv.shtml&gt;.

Edited By Dublanous1

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