Monthly Archives: February 2007

To help or not to help, that is the question

I got a fortune cookie once that said “You will be involved in many humanitarian projects.” Now I am no superstitious gypsy, believing that my future can appear within a little deep fried knot I got with my fried rice at a dingy Chinese restaurant called Chopsticks, but I think it was a little inspiration I needed. I have always contemplated running off to an underdeveloped country and getting down and dirty, really helping, seeing a difference. No more of this ivory tower crap. I’m not the only one with this little flame of passion waiting to explode inside me (wow that was kind of more grotesque than I was looking for.) I have plenty of friends that are waiting for the right time to give up on the glamour of their idealized jobs and join Teach for America or the Peace Corp. My sister is currently struggling to decide whether to major in Special Ed when she goes off to college next year, advancing her love of helping autistic children.

I hear plenty of people saying they are going to help, shifting their goals from individual success to success through others. But why are my friends still running off to grad school so they can jump to the tops of their industries and make a 6 digit salary right out of the gate? Why is my sister looking at law school? Why am I sitting in a cubicle? Money. Our parents don’t want to see us moving back into our old bedrooms, working for less than we can get by on our own. A valid concern. A catch-22. It’s not that our parents don’t want to see us help a child learn to read or build a home for a family; it’s that they want us to have a home as well. Apparently, my group of friends are not the only ones with this conundrum.

http://www.collegejournal.com/careerpaths/findcareerpath/20060703-shellenbarger.html

I love seeing positive trends within my generation, instead of the constant nagging of the shallow exterior of today’s young adults that we hear from our older counterparts in the media (which is ironic considering the superficial frame of the media right now, but I’m sure they blame that on us too).

So where is the balance? I do admit that I find my parents pulling me back down to earth when I tell them I’m quitting my job to do something more rewarding, to feel like I’m making a difference, instead of formatting excel spreadsheets and pulling endless numbers from databases. But they continually remind me that I need the money before I can run off to South America to work in a cocoa bean field. Untill then, I have to find fulfillment on a smaller, after-work, scale. Volunteer. So I found a local art center that needs volunteers to work in its gallery during shows. Not only does this get my foot in the door in the art world, something that I have more passion for than queries, but also have something that I am doing where my work is needed, where people love what they are doing. Get involved.

Playing in the Attic

I was going back through old files on my computer because I save EVERYTHING (even that birthday card for Mom I made in Printshop back when people still made cards with Printshop). I adore reading essay I wrote in high school, and angry letter I would write to people and never send, or song lyrics that I wanted to save, emails people had sent me that I keep to put a smile on my face, and late night AIM conversations with cute boys or girlfriends. I love reading all that. So tonight I feel upon three things I would like to share. My London experience, a college application essay, and a 12th grade creative writing assignment.

1) I decided to post all my emails from the summer of ’05 when I studied abroad in London. Enjoy http://jennyslondonlog.blogspot.com/

2) When I applied to U of M (the second time around) I was very determined to get in. I don’t understand this now. Looking back, MSU was a perfect fit like a couture red carpet dress, but probably a lot easier to breathe in. Anyway, I wanted to wow them with my progressive ideas and outside-the-box philosophies on the US. So I attacked this question with something that was very near and dear to me. Illegal downloading, which in 2004, was in the midst of randomly prosecuting teens that were furiously downloading Dave Matthews and Jay-Z. We all know in the back of our mind we were afraid the RIAA was going to knock on our dorm door, hand cuff us to our futon, take our computer and throw it out the window. It was the first thing I found myself passionate about. Here we have it.

Discuss an issue of local, national, or international concern. Why is this issue important to you? How would you resolve it? What impact would its resolution have on others?

Internet piracy is an issue whose importance is many times overlooked by people. There are issues, such as terrorism and discrimination, which are clearly more important to the safety of the country. I am not one to downgrade the significance and anxiety of these issues. But to many Americans, no matter their age, ethnicity, or income, music makes just as much of an impact on their life as terrorism or discrimination, but in a positive way. In the past 5 years, the government has found that people all over the world are downloading music and movies free off the internet from peer-to-peer file sharing products. Popular artists saw this as a threat to sales of their CDs, while independent bands saw this as an opportunity to expand their fan base.

How would I resolve this conflict? I wouldn’t. I believe people should be able to download music free. Free peer-to-peer file sharing programs such as Kazaa and LimeWire give independent bands a gateway to the public. I learned about one band in particular, Dispatch, who owes much of their success to these programs. Their popularity did not reach the radio air waves, yet they still had sold out concerts in cities they had never been to before. How? Fans would learn about them through word of mouth, then explore their website, and download their songs from the internet. There have also been polls and surveys taken that show that most people that use peer-to-peer file sharing still buy many CDs. They download songs from the internet of artists they hear about and, if they like what they hear, they will go out and buy the CD. Consumers understand the economics of it. They understand that artist receive a percentage of the profit from album sales. They will buy the CD of artists they want to support. I can attest to doing the same myself.

I think if the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the US government stepped back and allowed peer-to-peer file sharing to control the music industry, they would see a new wave of musical popularity. My theory is as follows. Artists’ concerns over illegal downloading have developed from their concern over their profits. I don’t believe that artists should think about the money, but the success of allowing people that may not be wealthy enough to purchase CDs to listen to their music. If artists saw this, music would not be a job or career, but a passion. This would increase the quality of music to songs that artists write and play from their hearts. Their focus would not be on profits but on having an impact on listeners. The government, RIAA, and other supporters of a ban on peer-to-peer file sharing only see the industrial problems of the programs, but they are looking superficially at the issue, instead of the potential for a shift in the goal of music.

Unfortunately, UofM was too busy accepting 8% Indian teens and Jewish German students to “increase students experiences” to take on my theory. I like to think I was just too advanced for them. And too white.

3) This is the best thing I have ever written. Not the most sophisticated or deep or flowing, but the best. We had to write an exaggerated profile about someone we know. I chose the most exaggerated person I know, one I didn’t really need to stretch the truth on. My sister, Andrea.
Caricature of My Sister
If you were a fly on the wall of our house during dinner, you would most likely become very confused, thinking you have flown into a classic Jim Carey movie. It starts out relatively civil. My mom calls us down to dinner. I tear myself away from the computer and walk downstairs. My dad and I wait patiently for my sister to come down, and wait, and wait, and wait. She always has to make an entrance. She waits until her presences will be seen by everyone, irritated or not.

Suddenly we hear the toilet flush and a blood-curling scream. Andrea comes hurdling down the stairs and into the kitchen, soaked and disheveled. Looking like a dog after an unwilling bath she exclaims, “Had I been drinking out of the toilet, I would have been killed!” I, personally, can’t contain myself when she does her impromptu performances and I have tears streaming down my face. After a few minutes, my mom forces a straight face and tells her to march right upstairs and change. Ann responds with an “Allllrighty then!” and walks back up, snickering over her successful little recital. Somehow, my parents lecturing over her crazy behavior never faze her.

By the end of dinner she has effectively made me fall out of my chair… twice, made my dad cry of laughter, and had my mom laughing like Phyllis Diller. It’s always a fun night when a Telemarketer calls. My dad always hands the phone to Ann when they request to speak to the homeowner. Tonight it must be a carpet cleaning companies because I can hear her in the family room terrorizing the poor person on the other end of the receiver, “Can you get out blood? Can you get out GOAT blood? How about HUMAN blood?” Then she does her little victory dance around the table when they hang up on her. For petrifying the Telemarketer, my mom tells her do the dishes. To that Andrea says, “Your request is not unlike that of your lower intestines, stinky and loaded with danger.” After one more stab at getting out of the dishes, we all glare at her and she exits stage left sputtering like Daffy Duck, “Well then, this is nice room of DEATH.” I don’t know anyone else that can fit a line from “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” so casually into her conversations.

You can tell by now that my 13 year old sister, Andrea, is going to be then next big thing to hit Hollywood. Her role model is Jim Carey. She has perfected every line from “Dumb and Dumber”, “Ace Ventura”, and “The Mask”. Every crazy, seemingly non-feasible, facial expression of his comes second nature to her. And if she doesn’t make it to the glitz and glamour
of the movies, her second string dream is to be a regular on the primetime comedy skit show “Saturday Night Live”. She has a knack for entertaining people. Sometime she doesn’t even realize she is doing it. For example, one morning I went to wake her up because her alarm had been going off for ten minutes and there was no sign of significant life coming from her room. I walk upstairs and see her standing in front of her dresser staring blankly at her alarm as it blares on. I stumble in, laughing hysterically, and ask what in the world she is doing. The only response I get is, “It just blinked at me.”

She isn’t much of a morning person. She doesn’t fully function until she comes home from school at 3 o’clock and you can’t expect much to come out of her mouth anytime before noon. So she spends the rest of the day catching up and you can’t shut her up until 7 o’clock the next morning. She even talks in her sleep! She talks to anyone who will listen and do anything for an audience. She once had a spirited debate with a mannequin in the women’s department of “Marshall Fields” over fabric softener. She successfully gained the applause of half of the department. Yes, she is still my annoying little sister, but she’s always good for a few laughs.

Playing in the Attic

I was going back through old files on my computer because I save EVERYTHING (even that birthday card for Mom I made in Printshop back when people still made cards with Printshop). I adore reading essay I wrote in high school, and angry letter I would write to people and never send, or song lyrics that I wanted to save, emails people had sent me that I keep to put a smile on my face, and late night AIM conversations with cute boys or girlfriends. I love reading all that. So tonight I feel upon three things I would like to share. My London experience, a college application essay, and a 12th grade creative writing assignment.

1) I decided to post all my emails from the summer of ’05 when I studied abroad in London. Enjoy http://jennyslondonlog.blogspot.com/

2) When I applied to U of M (the second time around) I was very determined to get in. I don’t understand this now. Looking back, MSU was a perfect fit like a couture red carpet dress, but probably a lot easier to breathe in. Anyway, I wanted to wow them with my progressive ideas and outside-the-box philosophies on the US. So I attacked this question with something that was very near and dear to me. Illegal downloading, which in 2004, was in the midst of randomly prosecuting teens that were furiously downloading Dave Matthews and Jay-Z. We all know in the back of our mind we were afraid the RIAA was going to knock on our dorm door, hand cuff us to our futon, take our computer and throw it out the window. It was the first thing I found myself passionate about. Here we have it.

Discuss an issue of local, national, or international concern. Why is this issue important to you? How would you resolve it? What impact would its resolution have on others?

Internet piracy is an issue whose importance is many times overlooked by people. There are issues, such as terrorism and discrimination, which are clearly more important to the safety of the country. I am not one to downgrade the significance and anxiety of these issues. But to many Americans, no matter their age, ethnicity, or income, music makes just as much of an impact on their life as terrorism or discrimination, but in a positive way. In the past 5 years, the government has found that people all over the world are downloading music and movies free off the internet from peer-to-peer file sharing products. Popular artists saw this as a threat to sales of their CDs, while independent bands saw this as an opportunity to expand their fan base.

How would I resolve this conflict? I wouldn’t. I believe people should be able to download music free. Free peer-to-peer file sharing programs such as Kazaa and LimeWire give independent bands a gateway to the public. I learned about one band in particular, Dispatch, who owes much of their success to these programs. Their popularity did not reach the radio air waves, yet they still had sold out concerts in cities they had never been to before. How? Fans would learn about them through word of mouth, then explore their website, and download their songs from the internet. There have also been polls and surveys taken that show that most people that use peer-to-peer file sharing still buy many CDs. They download songs from the internet of artists they hear about and, if they like what they hear, they will go out and buy the CD. Consumers understand the economics of it. They understand that artist receive a percentage of the profit from album sales. They will buy the CD of artists they want to support. I can attest to doing the same myself.

I think if the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the US government stepped back and allowed peer-to-peer file sharing to control the music industry, they would see a new wave of musical popularity. My theory is as follows. Artists’ concerns over illegal downloading have developed from their concern over their profits. I don’t believe that artists should think about the money, but the success of allowing people that may not be wealthy enough to purchase CDs to listen to their music. If artists saw this, music would not be a job or career, but a passion. This would increase the quality of music to songs that artists write and play from their hearts. Their focus would not be on profits but on having an impact on listeners. The government, RIAA, and other supporters of a ban on peer-to-peer file sharing only see the industrial problems of the programs, but they are looking superficially at the issue, instead of the potential for a shift in the goal of music.

Unfortunately, UofM was too busy accepting 8% Indian teens and Jewish German students to “increase students experiences” to take on my theory. I like to think I was just too advanced for them. And too white.

3) This is the best thing I have ever written. Not the most sophisticated or deep or flowing, but the best. We had to write an exaggerated profile about someone we know. I chose the most exaggerated person I know, one I didn’t really need to stretch the truth on. My sister, Andrea.
Caricature of My Sister
If you were a fly on the wall of our house during dinner, you would most likely become very confused, thinking you have flown into a classic Jim Carey movie. It starts out relatively civil. My mom calls us down to dinner. I tear myself away from the computer and walk downstairs. My dad and I wait patiently for my sister to come down, and wait, and wait, and wait. She always has to make an entrance. She waits until her presences will be seen by everyone, irritated or not.

Suddenly we hear the toilet flush and a blood-curling scream. Andrea comes hurdling down the stairs and into the kitchen, soaked and disheveled. Looking like a dog after an unwilling bath she exclaims, “Had I been drinking out of the toilet, I would have been killed!” I, personally, can’t contain myself when she does her impromptu performances and I have tears streaming down my face. After a few minutes, my mom forces a straight face and tells her to march right upstairs and change. Ann responds with an “Allllrighty then!” and walks back up, snickering over her successful little recital. Somehow, my parents lecturing over her crazy behavior never faze her.

By the end of dinner she has effectively made me fall out of my chair… twice, made my dad cry of laughter, and had my mom laughing like Phyllis Diller. It’s always a fun night when a Telemarketer calls. My dad always hands the phone to Ann when they request to speak to the homeowner. Tonight it must be a carpet cleaning companies because I can hear her in the family room terrorizing the poor person on the other end of the receiver, “Can you get out blood? Can you get out GOAT blood? How about HUMAN blood?” Then she does her little victory dance around the table when they hang up on her. For petrifying the Telemarketer, my mom tells her do the dishes. To that Andrea says, “Your request is not unlike that of your lower intestines, stinky and loaded with danger.” After one more stab at getting out of the dishes, we all glare at her and she exits stage left sputtering like Daffy Duck, “Well then, this is nice room of DEATH.” I don’t know anyone else that can fit a line from “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” so casually into her conversations.

You can tell by now that my 13 year old sister, Andrea, is going to be then next big thing to hit Hollywood. Her role model is Jim Carey. She has perfected every line from “Dumb and Dumber”, “Ace Ventura”, and “The Mask”. Every crazy, seemingly non-feasible, facial expression of his comes second nature to her. And if she doesn’t make it to the glitz and glamour
of the movies, her second string dream is to be a regular on the primetime comedy skit show “Saturday Night Live”. She has a knack for entertaining people. Sometime she doesn’t even realize she is doing it. For example, one morning I went to wake her up because her alarm had been going off for ten minutes and there was no sign of significant life coming from her room. I walk upstairs and see her standing in front of her dresser staring blankly at her alarm as it blares on. I stumble in, laughing hysterically, and ask what in the world she is doing. The only response I get is, “It just blinked at me.”

She isn’t much of a morning person. She doesn’t fully function until she comes home from school at 3 o’clock and you can’t expect much to come out of her mouth anytime before noon. So she spends the rest of the day catching up and you can’t shut her up until 7 o’clock the next morning. She even talks in her sleep! She talks to anyone who will listen and do anything for an audience. She once had a spirited debate with a mannequin in the women’s department of “Marshall Fields” over fabric softener. She successfully gained the applause of half of the department. Yes, she is still my annoying little sister, but she’s always good for a few laughs.

Minority Report

I may be going to my first political rally next week for Barak Obama. I could turn this post into a political rant, but seeing as its only 8:30 in the morning and I’m sleep deprived without caffeine in me yet, I’ll limit my questioning mind when it comes to the checks and balances of the US. Plus, I used to date an overwhelming Conservative pre-law guy that made politics seem exhausting and attacking with the extent that he talked about it, which has turned me off to the majority of politics aside from the 4 year Pres election (I don’t feel that you can criticize the government unless you attempted to change it. So I do it so I can complaint for 4 more years).

I would just like to state my excitement over the 2008 election. Being fresh Democratic meat (having only voted in one other pres election), I am still new and excited about my party. And I must say that the Democratic party being the first to successful promote TWO minority (if you include women as the minority in DC) candidates is something to shine on about. Finally. Years after equal rights for blacks and women, bra-burning, sit-ins, segregation, Remember the Titans, we finally realize that other people actually have some decent ideas for the new direction of America (which is fairly obvious it needs).

I am excited for this election, not simply for this point, but because I am at a political maturity to see the vitality and challenge of the primaries. It’s easy for Democrats to bash the Republican views and vice versa, but this is your people against each other. They can’t bank on winning votes from their overall views, because they are pretty much the same. You have to look deeper. So maybe this election’s Democratic primary is extra heated because of the two progressive candidates and Democrats new spotlight in Congress, or I’m just getting more educated in the ways of Washington. But I LOVE the fact that we have two minorities going head to head. It shows a new front for politics and, hopefully, America’s future. Obama is slightly ahead in my book, and the book of most Democrats, due to his end-war campaign and complete anti-war mentality from the start. Hillary has that damn scar of a relationship with her husband, supported the war initially (although she has said it needs to end now), and conservative liberalism, which isn’t the way to attack change.

But this also creates some very interesting aspects of minority popularity. I find it interesting that Obama seems to have a leg up on Clinton. Could this mean that the US is ready for a black president before they are ready for some estrogen in the White House? I realize that most of the news-making is from the candidates themselves, but when you take a step back and picture the election in 11th grade history books in 20 years, that is what will be said. Although, in a year, the whole face of the election could change.

Love from across an Ocean

The NYTtimes never fails me. Today, while surfing through the headlines, not finding much that interests me, I found a section I had not explored yet. Travel. My goal in life is to visit enough of the world to retire as a travel agent, sending people on the same tours I had experienced, giving them advice on the best markets, local music, beaches, wineries, people to get the best out of their break from life. And the place that has forever been at the top of my list is Africa, for multiple reasons that hit areas far outside the simple tourist targets. Of course, there isn’t one spot that will satisfy my explorative needs.

I want to go on a safari, stay in luxurious, locally decorated with natural, bare amenities tents set up in the middle of killer game territory, nomads land for miles over miles. I want to see animals in their natural habitant; I want to learn about life outside the zoo, life outside the ozone-destructing developed countries (catch-22 when you think about it). Zambia has yet to be hit with the tourist cameras and Hawaiian shirts, maintaining the chilling serenity of the open land. And then, as I read an article about penthouse safari stays in incredible houses, I imagine a private getaway with your other half, lounging on your hammock overlooking the African sunset, sipping champagne in the pool watching the backyard waterfall run, lying on your outdoor bed watching zebra roam through binoculars. You get the picture. Picture it in one of these suites: http://www.safarihouses.com/ I may want to be one with nature, and will probably only ever be able to afford those canvas tents and outhouses in the desert, but I am still a girl that would give her entire collection of Vanity Fair back issues to be glamorous in this exotic way.

I want to experience the culture. I am a cultural guru wannabe. And Africa has this mysterious, exotic, untouched by American commercialism feel that it is impossible not to imagine what life is like in those tradition soaked, rich community towns in Morocco, Kenya, Zimbabwe. The butterflies in my stomach get excited just thinking about the amount I could learn about life outside capitalists and money-run cultures like the US, Europe, Asia (and at least Europe and Asia can preserve parts of their history and traditions). As involved as I am in corporate America, I am no hypocrite, I just know there’s more out there and cannot wait to find it. A unique culture mix I’m learning about is on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. Also known for being the last stop on Dr. Livingstone’s African exploration (A name near and dear to me). It is situated just close enough to Africa and the Middle East to have established its people as moderate-practicing Muslims while integrating African clans, creating an artful mix of music, color, and people. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/travel/10zanzibar.html?ex=1172206800&en;=31925d5e864c2d99&ei;=5070

And (Angelina Jolie, Bono, and Oprah would be so proud) I want to help. Because I don’t want to see this patchwork culture covering Africa to fade due to poverty, disease, and political upheaval. I am eternally grateful for being in that 5% of the world with an education, good health, financial and emotional support, comfort. And the least I can do is help. I know I won’t change anything single-handedly, but I also know I won’t sit back and ignore what I hear in the media about the conditions over there. I not only want to experience their lives, but help them. http://www.i-to-i.com/destinations/ghana/

So maybe eventually I’ll have a trip under my belt to tell about.

Mardi ‘my pants off’ Gras

There are a handful of music festivals (or along those lines) that I will try until I go deaf to experience. One of those is Mardi Grad in New Orleans. To get in the middle of that hot, crazed, tasty celebration is something i would give my entire iTunes library to take in. Beads, masks, jazz and blues, bourbon, jesters, ancient (in American tersm) chaos. Loves it.

Other festivals I will try until I go deaf to check out are Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. Most Lolla right now since they ahve discovered that rock and rap and jam and hip hop can live in sweet musical harmony. When Justin (Boutit, not Timberlake) finally broke me into the world of rap that doesn’t include Eminem or ‘Slap that ass up on the floor’ and actually has a hot beat and deep lyrics, I have been trying to educate myself in it a little more, opening myself up to more than just indie rock. And then this recent discovery that labels are actually finding that the two genres can, in fact, go hand in hand, with rock melodies and guitar lines to back up the deep hip hop beats that give the music a little more kick than your average bass. Par example (just from flipping through my Ipod):
Jurassic 5 + DMB ‘Work it out’
Jay Z + Chris Martin ‘Beach Chair’
The genius of Danger Mouse’s Grey Album Beatles + Jay Z

So when, last year, Lolla broke some internal barriers by headlining Kanye and Chili Peppers and following that with a 130 band mix of rap and rock, I was hooked on this new relationship.

A festival I never thought would BE on my list, let alone get checked off, was Live 8 – the 20 year anniversary of Live Aid. I grew up hearing about Live Aid, a worldwide festival to support famine relief in Ethiopia in July 1985, three weeks before I was born. My parents love telling (and I love hearing) the story of how, on an 90 degree day in July, my mom sat in an ice bath 9 months pregnant with me while my dad, refusing to go somewhere with proper air conditioning like a movie theater, sat in front of the TV for 12 hours watching the cameras cut from London, Philly, Moscow, Sydney as bigger than life bands played on together, with the likes of the Who, Elton John, The Beach Boys, Elvis Costello, Madonna, Floyd, Dylan, Jagger, Paul McCartney, Run DMC, Sting, Zeppelin, Duran Duran, CSN&Y;, Patti Labelle. I could go on. My dad taped the entire concert on his Beta recorder and, every few years, would pull it out for a 12 hour rock ‘n roll lesson for me. My mom says that’s why I have such a music knack is because, ready to pop in her belly, I listen to 12 hours of incomparable artists trying to change the world one song at a time.

Well, as good as that story is on its own, it gets better. 20 years later, studying abroad in London for the summer, my trip fell right on the date of the reunion concert, as a new generation (and some of the old) tried to get the world’s (and the G8’s) attention for famine relief in Africa once again. I sat on the lawn of a park in London and watched as Sir Elton, Sir Paul, Madonna, FLOYD, The Who relived history alongside Coldplay, U2, Dido, REM, Annie Lennox, Keane, The Killers, and a list of other new British bands. They would cut on the big screen to Philly, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, and other cities as they played on too. Ending 12 hours later with “Hey, Jude” I knew it was pretty much fate that I was in this city for something so big to me. And, as you can see, I love bragging about it.

I will not become a crazy cat lady

And now, on a much lighter note (so I don’t start out as this angst, media induced, above-you-all snob) I got a cat over the weekend. I just graduated from college and moved to a new city (the birthplace of rock ‘n roll, non-the-less) to start my first (and hopefully not only) career workin for The Man in corporate America. I quickly learned that the amount of me-time and amount of frenzied go-time with friends shifts from college to the ol’ 9-to-5 office cubicle job. More me. Too much me. So I desided to get a cat. Something to stop me from thinking about myself all the time. Plus, sitting in front of the TV watching commentary from the Sex and the City season 2 DVD, reading Vogue, and having a loney glass of wine (which your friends left behind accidentally on purpose when they visited the other weekend – thanks ladies) at night seems just a little less sad with a companion, regard of how many legs she has.

So after weeks of searching, trying to find that perfect cat that complimented the charateristics in my old cat (the one I grew up with for the first 20 years of my life) while maintaining her own, new, kitten quirks that I never got from Mitzy because by the time I was old enough to not attempt to dress her in doll clothes or feed her glittery pom-poms she was past that kitten age of adventure and pure catnip-induced madness. I found the most beautiful long haired calico kitten at the rip age of 9 months waiting for my when I went to PetSmart one day and couldn’t tear myself away from her. I looked like a kid at the windows of the Marshall Field’s Christmas display along Michigan Ave in December. A week later, she was mine. And I got her from a local shelter, which made my animal-loving grandma very happy that I was indirectly saving the world one lost cute kitty at a time.

The naming process was stressful until I let her, terrified, out of her cage after the drive from the pet store to my one-bedroom apartment. I had spent weeks thinking up the best, most unique and stylish names I could come up with. I was so impressed with my finalize list that I was stressing myself out at having to choose only one. I was like a socialite teenager in a Manolo Blanik store, I wanted them all. Edie, Ramona, Baila, Tegan, Carrie, Lady, Sophie, Gracie, Mali, Keaton, Neko. But as soon as she was wandering, excited and causious, around her new home, slowly all the names were crossed off. They instantly fit or did not fit her, like trying on new jeans, an exhausting process, but so worth it when you find the perfect pair. Zoey. After one of my favorite underrated actress, Zooey Deschanel, known mainstream for her ‘A Christmas Story’ inspired efl costume alongside Will Farrell. The name was just exotic enough to satify my artistic, uncommon, itch yet normal enough that she isn’t the kid that gets made fun of for the the crazy name in middle school.