Archive | September, 2011

Another day, another crappy haircut

27 Sep

I hate the hair salon.

The last good haircut I got was three years ago. Three years ago. Since then I have been jumping from place to place, running on tips from other people, begging for a decent hair cut and receiving the total opposite.

Today I decided that I wanted a professional, chic doo for my brand new job that I start tomorrow morning. I bought a sharp new first day of work outfit, made sure my pants were hemmed and pressed and made the impromptu decision to get my hair done at this salon that a million people suggested to me. Every time I do this I get the same feeling: this one will be the one I like.

I wanted something like Nicole Richie’s hair here on the left. Short-ish with really cute, prominent side-swept bangs that would frame my face. I thought that this would be a simple cut that would look effortlessly cute on me and be easy to do. I took a picture on my camera phone to show the girl who was going to cut my hair, this lady that looked less than pleased to be walking the earth today (always a great way to start a haircut).

Here is my result:I’ve always wanted to look like David Cassidy circa 1978.

As you can see there are plenty of reasons for me to not be happy with this outcome. There is no shape to it, no anything. Just a tiny little lump of bang on one side- not very side-swept if you ask me- and the rest just lies there.

Has anyone else been through this hair nightmare? Where are there good hair salons in the South Jersey area? Who knows what they are doing? Maybe I just have cursed hair, or I don’t know how to request what I want correctly. Does anyone have any advice?



It’s Business Time!

24 Sep

One week ago I was behind a counter ringing up over-priced produce. And today?

Ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at the new editorial assistant at South Jersey Magazine.

There’s my acceptance letter and everything (I have to apologize for my appearance. If we’re being honest I really did nothing to improve my awkwardness before taking this picture. I just put a cardigan on so it looked like i wasn’t wearing pajamas. Which I am.)

I have a job!! I am seriously completely floored right now. Back in 2010 I interned at the magazine and had a seriously amazing time. It was a great place, a totally interesting magazine and I really did well there. Well, the other day I was sitting around being my poor self AKA window shopping at the mall when I got a call from my old Editor-In-Chief with a job offer! Of course I answered with a perfect response…

“Uh….Uhhh… OH MY GOD OKAY!!!! OH MY GOD… What!?” Literally. Growing up is a process…

Here I was, prepared for the next few months of steady unemployment and substitute teaching and a job opportunity that I would only dream about just sneaks out of nowhere. I’m seriously blown away. I feel like one of the luckiest people on earth right about now: first I got this job, then I found my favorite pair of pajama shorts, then I realized that I actually have a career and cried a little. I’ve been in a state of shock and surprise and smiles pretty much all day long.

Growing up may be a process but I guess it begins on Wednesday for me. I just can’t wait to wear a work outfit and fancy shoes every day. I’m a grown up now!!!

Vide-OH! of the Day

22 Sep

The Second City is a great comedy club in Chicago. It’s where stars like my idol’s Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Chris Farley and Mike Myers got their starts and it is one of my dream places to work.

The acting troupe at Second City has created this totally phenomonal YouTube page with what I believe to be some of the funniest videos on the site. Some of you may have already seen their “Sassy Gay Friend” videos, which are awesome, but I have to pay my respects to the chick comedians out there and post one of my favorites. Second City actress Danielle Uhlarik stars in “Advice for Young Girls from a Cartoon Princess”, a series of videos that take all those cute little quirks from the Disney movies we grew up loving and shows them in a newer, more realistic light.

Check it out (and laugh a lot) here:

An Open Plea to Facebook

21 Sep

Dear Facebook,

Not to sound like a hipster, but I have been a loyal follower since- gosh I can’t believe I’m saying this- before it was even cool. I created my page back in 2006, a simpler time when everything made sense. Ah, the glory days.

In the last three years you have taken this simple social networking site and changed it so many times that no one even knows what to do with it anymore. People are even creating articles like this, from Gizmodo, as a sad attempt to explain your Facebook updates. I was about to sit down and really focus on this article, but then I realized that nowadays the Facebook guys change the layout more often than I sneeze, so I wrote this post instead.

When I log into this new page I have no idea what is going on. Stories from two, three hours ago are pasted between brand new updates, so I haven’t a clue what is actually happening at this moment. There’s a weird update bar that just seems annoying to read, and the pictures have been magnified to a really ridiculous size. I know plenty of people have logged on this morning to see what was up and reacted the same way as I did… Oh no not again… but I can’t tell since all of my complaint- updates are somewhere in cyber space where I’ll never see them.

As a loyal Facebook-er I am begging you to just stop. Social networking works because it is simple, or at least it used to be. Nowadays I find myself more drawn to Twitter or blogs because at least I know what to expect. Facebook has become this annoyance, no longer sending update e-mails and moving things around so much that it really doesn’t even compute with me anymore. I think I speak for many people when I say that we as a market like simple. We like that Facebook once gave us the opportunity to shoot onto our page five minutes before work, check out what’s new really quick and maybe leave a pointless and annoying status (something like “is going to work!! lol!!” or something else that makes every other reader think… OH MY GOD WHO CARES!?). These were easy and fast ways to be apart of the world of social media, and now it has been turned into a complicating process of updates and scrolling. No, thank you.

There have been many times through all these changes that I have even considered leaving Facebook because it’s just too darn annoying to relearn and it’s getting old, but you have me trapped in your web of annoying statuses and drunken pictures. In all honesty I only keep my page still because I have friends all over the world that I would lose contact with if I did not have the page. Now that I’m slowly transitioning into a somewhat responsible adult, I have friends getting engaged or married, having non-accidental babies, moving into apartments and homes, things that I would like to know about without searching for twenty minutes. My biggest concern is that all of this will no longer be evident, and Facebook will turn into a big old waste of my time (not that it isn’t already but…).

I know that you know that I can’t leave Facebook, but stop dangling that power struggle over my head and give us all a break!

You used to be cool,

A concerned social media stalker

Falling Into Autumn Styles

21 Sep

I am absolutely nuts about the fall. The perfect temperature, the leaves changing colors all along the highways, sweaters, boots, no jackets… I could go on forever. These next three months are my time to really shine, mainly because they’re packed full of holidays and I am a total lunatic when it comes to anything festive in any way at all.

As it starts to cool down I am starting to spend most of my nights sitting at home, online window shopping for new trends that I love this fall. If I happen to win a pile of cash through scratch off lottery tickets or, say, get a job, these are the places I would run to and grab the trends I am falling for this season.

  Oversized Crewneck Sweaters

I love the concept of looking totally adorable while being the epitome of comfortable. When winter rolls around I kind of abuse this concept by wearing leggings, moccasins and any shirt bought two sizes too big almost every single day, combining that with a sloppy ponytail and no makeup. I understand that is not a cute look, but I really hate the cold and darkness of winter and I usually just don’t care. I want to use this fall as an opportunity to reach my comfy quota while still looking cute. To me this means a big, beautifully-colored sweater, like the one seen here from Urban Outfitters. Pair that with some really great leggings, some equally-great boots and a beautiful long necklace. Oh, and some mild attempt at personal hygiene, AKA combing my hair and using at least some mascara. I feel like this outfit is great for a day out pumpkin picking (Yes, I seriously do this stuff. Like a lot.) because it would look adorable without a jacket.

Mustard Yellow

The other day I saw a girl wearing this great mustard yellow pashmina with a black shirt and jeans, and I immediately fell in love with the color and anything in that color. It is such a perfect fall color: I’m already a fan of yellow, and making it a little warmer and less in your face is perfect for the season.

I’m also pretty obsessed with Infinity Scarves this year. This mustard yellow Infinity Scarf from Modcloth is like the best of both worlds. The craft blog that I always use, Art Is For All also has a great make-your-own Infinity Scarf shown here that is perfect for the thrifty fashion fan. I would make one myself if I didn’t go through such a terrible “punk rock” phase in high school, leaving me with only black, ugly t-shirts that wouldn’t be much fun to wear.

 Steel Grey Nail Polish

I have been obsessing over this color for about a month or so. While working at Whole Foods, a lot of my customers had it on and it looked totally amazing, especially when paired with darker colors like black or grey. It’s a little bit edgy, but still pretty subdued and professional-looking. Finally I ran out and picked up my own bottle of this beautiful purpley-grey color. I went with Rimmel‘s Lasting Finish Pro in Steel Grey, and I am actually sitting here waiting for it to dry right now! There are a ton of companies making similar colors right now, but I buy anything Zooey Deschanel tells me to and Rimmel products are really reasonably priced.

Vintage-esque Cardigans.

I’m a cardigan nut. Right now I am staring into my open closet (which I will close before bed to ease my lifetime long fear of closet vampires) and can count six cardigans right off the bat. I wear them all the time, and this year I want to invest in a really adorable old-school style cardigan. I made this decision after stumbling on the cardigan pictured, from Mitchell and Ness, while shopping with my boyfriend, Alex. He’s a big Notre Dame fan, so I thought it would be cute if I paired it with a pair of skinny jeans and some ankle boots. It’s actually a men’s cardigan, so it would go longer and could also be worn with leggings, but I really love the back-to-school vibe it gives off, with it’s letterman prints and big, gold buttons.

Brown Leather Boots

When it comes to brown boots, I want something that is femininely-rugged, like these boots from Steve Madden. I’ve always been really into buckles, and leather, and a style that looks worn-in and used. Nothing too flashy or over-embellished. This fall I want a pair of boots that are more simple but look well-made and sturdy, like I might actually walk out of the bar or mall or wherever I may be, hop on a horse and ride off into the sunset or something. These boots are great with skinny jeans for almost any outfit, and can take a simple look and make it look so much more refined and pulled together. I have a feeling that when I find a great pair of boots they’ll probably be something I’ll wear every day until someone calls me out on it.

Sweater Dresses

The best part about summer is that I can wear a dress every single day. The worst part about the fall is that dresses can be hard to come by. That’s why I am pumped to find a few really great sweater dresses to add to my wardrobe this season, like this dress from one of my favorite stores, Old Navy. Like my oversized sweaters, they are super-duper comfy, but they are more tailored and more work-appropriate. Put this white dress with my mustard infinity scarf, some leggings and my signature brown boots and I think I’ve created a pretty cute little substitute teaching outfit. There are so, so many different styles of sweater dresses now that I can still find a way to wear a dress every single day and still look cute!

Brown Leather Jacket

As much as I love going coat-less in the fall, we all know that our parents can, at any age, read our minds, call us at any time in any place and demand we put a coat on. Seriously, how many times have you gone through that experience?

On days when a coat is necessary I am looking for a really fun and stylish brown leather jacket to pair with a dress or jeans. This season is the perfect time to find a cute jacket that isn’t needed to bundle you up against the terrible-ness that is a New Jersey winter. I want something that will look cute when I’m out apple-picking with my man or on a haunted hayride with some friends.

Most importantly, I want to use my style as a way to embrace the season. This is the most beautiful time of the year, and I love paying homage to it’s changing colors and crisp climate with anything and everything that seems to sing fall. Who knows, maybe a few seasonal additions to your wardrobe will turn you into a fall freak like me!

The Good, the Bad, the Emmy’s

20 Sep

I love award shows. They give me the opportunity to click through dozens of online photo galleries and judge richer, more successful people for what they are wearing (clothes I would never be able to afford, mind you).

To be honest, I don’t like watching awards shows as much as I love sitting online and looking at pictures of dresses. So, yeah, I didn’t actually watch the Emmys but I get the Emmys general idea. Now that the awards show is wrapped up I thought I would share my opinions on the best and worsts of Emmys style, since I’m oh-so-fashionable and my opinion is super important.

The Best

Red! The women of the red carpet seriously rocked the reds. Kerry Washington, Lea Michele, Kate Winslet and at least a dozen of other starlets rocked some shade of red. Long red gowns, some strapless and some like Kate Winslet’s on the left that looked totally sexy and daring. I loved the red accessories as well: one of my favorite outfits of the night came from “The Big Bang Theory’s” Kaley Kuoco, who paired a black tea-length dress with red satin peep toes and a red satin purse. I also noticed a lot of shades of plum, pink and coral, like host Jane Lynch’s awesome plum strapless gown and stacked bangles.

The second hottest trend of the night? Neutrals. While some stars really failed at the neutral dresses others found a way to show in a more subtle color like beige, tan or even light grey. Jane Krakowski, Maria Bello and Anna Faris (who, fun fact, is married to Andy Dwyer from “Parks and Rec”… thank’s Emmys!) were just a few of the women that paired a calm color with amazing embellishments to create a seriously successful look. Heidi Klum’s nude Christian Siriano dress popped with a giant, puffed out pile of frill on the bottom (to any fashion designer that might read this, please be gentle, I don’t know terms!)

The best part about the dresses that came onto the red carpet were the colors. They all had a bit of a natural tone to them, and with fall beginning to… umm.. fall… it seemed like they were really appropriate for the season.

Dressed: Women
My top three best dressed actresses was a tough pick. Honestly, when I watch an award show I usually find a ton of disasters. Maybe because I have very limited style or maybe because I’m picky, I don’t know, but I usually can get a pretty good laugh at the red carpet. On this night, however, most women played it really smart and looked great. But these three women stood out as soon as I saw them, and I’m totally jealous.

Aubrey Plaza of “Parks and Recreation” was a surprise to me that night. On the show she plays a pretty immature kid, dressing in Uggs and sweaters with lots of eyeliner and straight, plain hair. She’s just ordinary, but still a very cute ordinary. At the Emmys Aubrey let the grown-up in her shine, with a very elegant cream gown. It was slightly form-fitting at the hips and billowy up to the neck with a subtle ruffle. Then she took these two awesome thick gold bangles and put one on each wrist, with simple nails, makeup and a really gorgeous hairstyle. She looked so beautiful and so mature.

I don’t actually know why Kelly Osbourne was at the Emmys, but I’m glad she was because she looked hot. Kelly was wearing this super dramatic one-shoulder plum evening gown, that kind of did a mermaid thing at the bottom and was tight everywhere else. She’s got awesome curves for a skinny girl and they were shining in this dress. She also seemed to have really light pink highlights in her hair (bleach blonde) that complimented the dress she was wearing, and she was smiling so much in every picture she posed in that it’s kind of hard not to see how gorgeous of a girl she is.

Sarah Hyland of “Modern Family” is my number one without a doubt. The minute I saw her dress I swooned. It’s completely gorgeous, it looks fabulous on her and I am in love with her accessories. She collaborated with Christian Siriano to create the dress, and there isn’t a thing about it I don’t love. The color and the belted waist are my main sellers. Plus she paired it with a totally rocking bracelet on the middle of her arm, which is a little bit bold but just enough for an award’s show (in my opinion). Love.

Dressed: Men

So if you haven’t guess it by now I am not a fashion designer. If you were looking at me in Alex’s that I stole my Florida Gators shirt and 5+ year old sweatpants you would have no idea, but I don’t know much about style. That being said, take a wild guess at my level of expertise when it comes to mens fashion…

Yeah none.

This is how I gauge men’s fashion: if he looks handsome, it’s a success. I am a traditional girl. I like a Don Draper/Disney Prince looking guy when it comes to these awards shows. After all, they are one of the last events that really require a person to get serious and put on a damn set of cufflinks and bow tie. I like a man that walks on the red carpet looking like he took some time to get ready for the evening: he styled his hair, shaved, pressed his suit, gave half a damn about his appearance. If it were my world, men would have to dress like this every day!

That being said, I did have some men that were the Don to my Betty. Ed Helms, from “The Office”, looked just adorable. He was clean cut, with a nice little bit of style and a simple tux. He wasn’t trying to be flashy or obnoxious, he was going out on the red carpet dressed to impress. Don’t get me wrong, I love the pastel pants that Andy Bernard rocks every week in Scranton, but I’m glad he played it safe for the Emmys.

Uncle Jesse John Stamos is a god in the world of men. Anything he does, says or wears is perfect. That is all.

I’m not normally a Mario Lopez fan. He’s super muscle-y and wears really tight shirts on T.V. that kind of gross me out.  Nevertheless, I was loving the way he looked last night. His suit, in my professional opinion, fit him perfectly. So many dudes on the red carpet were rocking these skinny legged pants… what are we at Hot Topic? Put on a pair of slacks and act like a man. Show ’em how it’s done, A.C. Slater!

The Worst

What was with the nerd glasses last night ladies and gentlemen? Apparently the hot new accessory is ironic hipster glasses? Because they match a three-piece tuxedo or evening gown so glamorously and don’t make you look portentous at all.

Rachel Harris, Darren Criss, Guy Pearce, Jerry Ferrara and Mark Salling were a few of the stars rocking the really out of place glasses last night. Has anyone ever seen Turtle rock a pair of super thick-rimmed nerd specs on “Entourage”? No, because they are obnoxious. Not only do they look stupid, but everyone knows that none of these celebs actually need them, they are just throwing them on to appear more intellectual or something. I don’t know, but I don’t like it.

Above all, though, my least favorite trend of the night came from the men. It seemed as though every Rite Aid in California ran out of razors overnight, because the number of five o’clock shadows at the Emmys was overwhelming. Jon Hamm, Adam Scott, Joel McHale, three men that I find irresistible in any other context looked terrible last night because they all decided to look dirty and mangy and not shave or style their hair.

Here’s the thing, men of the small screen: You are at an awards show honoring you for your life’s work. You are not at an Arby’s. It might have been cool when you were a teenager to dress sloppy and work really hard to show that you don’t care, but at a national awards show you better bring your class. I wonder if Jeremy Piven just didn’t feel like shaving, so we texted his friend Jason O’Mara to not shave who texted his friend Mark Wahlberg and so on and so on until they all went into last night looking like a unified bunch of slobs.

Women, on the other hand, seemed to forget how to do their hair last night. There were a whole mess of ‘do’s that were complete don’ts (see that, mom, I’m getting clever!).

Kristen Wiig had a pretty impressive dress: a chocolate brown gown with layers of gold and other similar tints and a deep neckline. It looked great on her, but her dress was completely overshadowed by her horrible choice of matching hair color. Kristen’s locks were flat and drab and made her look like a straight up mess. She’s cute as a blonde, and I think if she had picked a better hair color she would have been one of my best dressed of the night.

Katie Holmes looked like a mess from all angles. I’m looking online now, and she is listed as one of the best dressed of the night, and in a plain blue oversized dress with a belt that didn’t fit, I couldn’t disagree more. Then she took her hair, forgot to shower for, like, eight days and flipped it back and that was just the icing on the greasy hair cake.

Elisabeth Moss was one of my biggest disappointments. She’s totally adorable as Peggy on “Mad Men” but last night she fell short in all departments. Her dress washed her out and made her orange-y tan-line really pop and that wacky blowout she’s got going did nothing to help. I have to assume, with the way some of these women looked last night, that it was super duper windy, or humid, or something to have set these actresses off.

Dressed: Women
While there were a stunning number of hits in the fashion department last night, there will always be the occasional miss. Some people (me, myself, I, etc.) just don’t know how to dress.

I love Amy Poehler. It’s pretty obvious from my big long rambling post declaring my love to her that I love Amy Poehler. That’s why it breaks my heart to say that she was one of the worst dressed women at the Emmys. Amy was wearing this tight metallic blue dress made out of some type of fabric that looked like it belonged on an ice skating outfit. The top of the dress looked like a t-shirt from a Spice Girls Halloween costume and the bottom looked like it was half of an alien. I was super bummed. The form looked great on her, but that’s about where the compliments end.

Jenna Ushkowitz and Amber Riley of “Glee” managed to be found in many pictures together, both dressed terribly. Jenna looked like she had just gotten back from prom in 1987 in a black and white geometric taffeta gown with super sharp makeup and a slick, high ponytail, while Amber donned a lavender mother-of-the-bride frock with way too much bunching and awkwardly placed beading. Here’s my tip: when shopping for the Emmys don’t stop at Goodwill.

My least favorite of the night went to Lena Headley, placing first in genuine awful-ness. Lena decided to channel “The Crucible” for her outfit, going with a long-sleeve, floor length black nun’s outfit gown and a sloppy hairstyle. I wonder when, while getting ready, Lena looked at herself and though ‘yeah, this looks good and not totally psychotic’, because I wish I was there to slap the sane back into her head.

Dressed: Men
It saddens me to announce my top three worst dressed men, because they are also three actors that I really like. They are usually handsome and can look pretty great on television, but last night they totally shocked me.

My dream man, Jon Hamm did not live up to the looks of his alter-ego Don Draper at the 2011 Emmys. Instead he is rocking a tux that you can find on the discount rental rack at Men’s Wearhouse. Add that to his unshaved face and a greasy, too-long doo that kept falling out of place and you have the opposite of my Mad Man.

Topher Grace, while clean shaven and handsome in the whole face area, really struck out with his tux. He looked like a little boy in his dad’s suit. Topher isn’t a huge-looking guy, and by wearing a giant suit with 6,000 buttons, huge shoulder pads and even bigger pockets he looked super ridiculous. His jacket almost looked like a trench coat I have in my closet. Though I do love that coat…

Oh, Joel McHale. Such looks, such character, such terrible outfit choices. When a man is wearing a suit jacket and dress pants tighter than any woman at the event’s dress you know you have a problem. Joel tried so hard to look hip and modern that he completely struck out and ended up just looking silly. I mean, honestly, can’t we push the hideous trends of today aside for a few hours and stick with a simple, clean look that stands the test of time? Could you imagine how handsome he would look in a real suit? What a waste of face.

Try this!

14 Sep

This was my craft of the day!

They were super, duper easy and they look absolutely adorable. Want to know how I made them? Check out this amazing craft blog for this and other really neat stuff!

Vide-OH! of the day

14 Sep

Almost everyone has heard of the Snuggie. Let me correct that: everyone that has, at some point in their lives, had the ability to hear, see or process thought, has heard about the Snuggie. My family even got my wonderful grandmother a saucy leopard-print Snuggie for her 90th birthday.

We live in a fast-paced world. Newer, better things are constantly ready to sweep in and steal the spotlight of our human culture. Well, Snuggie,  I think you met your match.

The Forever Lazy. An even worse Snuggie. It’s basically a terrible looking set of footy pajamas that you’re supposed to wear out in public (see the video. I’m serious you will absolutely love it) It even comes with a butt flap, so you can poop in warmth!

You know, readers, Christmas is coming, and  since I spend so much time writing about my embarrassing life and making you feel better about your own, I feel like I at least deserve something.

Try This!

12 Sep

Oh, Whole Foods.

As my days as a cashier wind down I am taking this opportunity to gobble up everything delicious in the store with my discount. In one week I will be another broke schmuck that can’t afford a bottle of water in that store (no, seriously, I accidentally payed $2.50 for a bottle of water the other day), so I might as well use the 20 percent off I have now to it’s fullest advantage.

That being said I have had my eye on this one drink that my boyfriend, Alex, bought the other day, the Vanilla Chai Tea by Bolthouse Farms.


I’m not even going to try and use an adverb (if it isn’t an adverb I’m sorry. Alex and I had about a ten minute discussion trying to figure out what an adverb was. Damn public education) to describe how good this stuff is because there is none. It is smooth and creamy with just the right amount of cinnamon and vanilla and it probably tastes like John Stamos looks when its warmed up… ohhhh I gotta try warming it up… Have Mercy!

On top of that it is pretty good for you and one serving is actually a really decent amount to drink (the bottle pictured is four servings, not one). On my break at work today I couldn’t even get through one serving before I was full.

Oh my gosh just talking about this stuff makes me want to drink more of it. I’m glad I still have like half of the bottle left. Bolthouse Farms also makes some pretty killer smoothies. I’m a strawberry-banana fanatic myself. And that giant bottle of really good quality tea was actually only four dollars. It is worth it, and if you had more self-control than I do it would last a long time.


Remembering 9/11/01

11 Sep

When I was very young my family and I would visit my great aunt, we called her Dimples, in Staten Island. She had this really neat apartment in a high rise that we would go to, and every time we visited she would take us up to the roof. From that roof we had the most clear view of the New York City skyline. My best memory was when Dimples would show us the World Trade Centers, the “Twin Towers”. I am a twin, and she would always make it a point to show us the towers so that we could laugh about how they were named after my brother and me.

I was twelve years old on September 11, 2001. I was in seventh grade, which pretty much proves that I was at my peak of terrible-ness (have you ever met a pre-teen that isn’t generally awful in every sense of the word? Me neither).

To be 100 percent honest, I had absolutely no grasp on the severity of September 11th. None whatsoever. My middle school didn’t actually tell us what was going on that day, and even now I wonder how my classmates and I didn’t have any hint of anything. I faintly remember my Social Studies teacher, Mr. Pont, looking like he was crying, but we had just lost one of our English teachers in a car accident the previous week, and I thought nothing of it.

When I got home from school, oddly enough nobody else besides my brother and I were home, and I remember turning on MTV (back when TRL was still around and cool) to find it was shut down on stand-by, as was most of the other channels a 12-year-old would tune to. My twin and I jumped around the house laughing about whatever was going on that would warrant all of our shows to be shut off. We eventually got to a news station to see what was going on, and I still really couldn’t process how horrible this day was. I guess I assumed that if something serious had happened then our school, the culmination of a kid’s day, would have at least have said something, anything to us.

This was the day before cell phones were given to every infant while leaving the womb, and I called my friends from our landline to see how I should be reacting. Some of them were crying and some were panicked while others were just as confused as I was. Mind you, I live relatively close to New York City, and to a lot of people in my area this day was much more significant and heartbreaking. If I remember correctly my dad was away on business in Oklahoma, and when my mom came home she looked pretty broken and empty. I was used to seeing her excited, angry, shocked, pretty much any emotion besides blank.

To be honest I think that a lot of my emotions were a reaction to other’s emotions. I really couldn’t understand how horrible this day was. The televisions played over the crash so often that it wasn’t really shocking anymore, and I learned how to deal with that terror very quickly at a very young age. This was around the time in my life that I began seeing dead bodies in the media for the first time and reacting to them with very little compassion. It couldn’t be helped, really, because it was everywhere.

This desensitized view of life prepared me for the aftermath of 9/11: the wars, the constant fear of attack, the death. The next year I sat in history class and watched Shock and Awe, followed by a war that is still going on today, followed by a crippling recession that seemed to just kick our country when it was down. I grew up hearing about parents going off to the Middle East, and now I watch my own friends leave behind their families to fight.

Now that I am ten years older I have a real understanding of what happened. Ten years later I can’t look at videos or pictures of that day without getting upset. I can understand how the broken families feel and I can see the pain that is still hidden in the hearts of my friends and families from what that day did to our country. It makes me upset and angry, because I now realize how much harder September 11th made it for kids like me to grow up. There was so many more issues that we were taught to deal with, on top of all of the hard things that come with being a teenager and young adult.

It’s not fair that we had to go through this, but I still feel lucky. I feel lucky because through those hard times I was surrounded by a support group of people that taught me the right way to see terror and how to cope with all of what I was feeling.

I wish there was more that I could say than just “thank you” to the heroes of September 11th. The cops, firefighters, civilians and passengers that all helped save so many lives deserve everything they could ever want in life, and there will never be enough thank you’s for them. But now that I look back on my life, I have my own personal heroes that I feel deserve thanks as well. I want to thank the teachers, family members, friends and parents of friends that taught me how to cope with what happened to our country throughout the last ten years. I don’t know if I would be able to make sense of life now if I didn’t have the strength of the people that guided me through this last decade. We are all stronger because of the heroes and because of the memories of those we lost that day.