Monday, January 16, 2006

The Nectar of the Gods, or Franzia Fans Need Not Read On...

Before you get excited by the wintry allure of Ice Wine (or the intrigue of anything dubbed 'the nectar of the gods for that matter), collegienne is here to burst your bubble. While the rare wine, described as "intense - at once breathtakingly sweet and mouth-puckeringly tangy," does sound a hell of a lot better than Franzia, "the world's most popular wine" (remember, the world, collectively, can't afford to have such discerning tastes), ice wine certainly isn't as friendly to your ever-depleting debit card. This latest craze might be something to add to your "when-I-become-a-Managing-Director-I-will-finally-be-able-to-afford" list - some of the "elegant bottles" (read: slightly larger than a can of Natty Light) cost up to $100. I think it's safe to say we'll at be sticking to our gallon-size boxes and occasional splurges for that $7.99 bottle of Yellow Tail chardonnay.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The words she knows, the tune she hums

When The New York Times first ran the story, ballerinas of the Elton John variety swirled in collegienne's head. Almost Famous dreams of sing alongs and backstage passes? And a chance to join the ranks of reality TV b-list fame? Where do we apply?
Apparently Rolling Stone magazine and MTV will make all of this become almost a reality for a select few journalism and music crazed kids out there. Think of it as The Apprentice for the exploited coffee-fetcher demographic, The Intern. They're looking for qualified, dedicated music writers desperate to add one of the most coveted magazine journalism internships in New York to their resumes. I think we can think of a few hundred of thoses...If that's not enough, the one aspiring rock star groupie left at the end of the summer gets hired as a Rolling Stone contract writer. As of now, neither MTV nor Rolling Stone has posted any of the details about the casting calls. Until then, check out Gawker for all the details that have been released.
And of course we'll be staying on top of this one. Collegienne learned a thing or two (or a thousand) from Dave Eggers, and knows that sometimes almost making it on to an MTV reality show can pay off just as much as the real thing (if the currency is, say, a dozen amusingly well-written pages of memoir).

Friday, January 06, 2006

Sleep-induced bliss

For those of you wondering where the posts have been lately, collegienne shamelessly offers no apology, just two words that require no explanation: WINTER BREAK. Yes, those precious few weeks a year when we can all party like the rock stars we wish we were - and guiltlessly sleep the days away. Collegienne promises to come out of this much-needed coma next week, but for now, there's an empty bed to return to...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

There's such a thing as too much caffeine..

Red Bull might be illegal in France, but Coca-Cola is giving French caffeine addicts a new drug. Coca-Cola Blak, the illegitimate love child of coffee and Coke, will hit stores in France this January. No, it's not some sort of crazy concoction dreamt up by a stressed-out sophomore, but the Coca-Cola Company's attempt to reach new audiences. According to the official news release, "it is a blend of unique Coke refreshment with the true essence of coffee and has a rich smooth texture and has a coffee-like froth when poured." Mmm, coffee-like froth. We won't even make fun of the run-on sentence. The new product is being marketed at adults (curiously categorized as an "adult product"), but collegienne thinks that we will be the only ones crazy enough to actually stock up on the stuff. Despite Coca-Cola's descriptions of the drink as "stimulating," "invigorating," and "effervescent," we'll have to wait to see if this bitter/sweet beverage is worth all the buzz. While France gets to be the lucky guinea pig, Blak is expected to come to other countries, including the United States, in 2006.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Back At It..

collegienne apologizes for yesterday's lack of posting. An evil little thing called a thesis was majorly demanding attention.

Hussein Refuses to Attend Trial, So Judge Proceeds Without Him That's right, Saddam is boycotting his own trial because he feels he's being tried by an "unjust court." Chances you can refuse to take a final because of an "unjust professor"? Not likely, though imitating Saddam's tantrum by screaming "I will not be in a class without justice. Go to hell, you and your agents of Academia!" certainly would increase your chances of getting kicked out of school.

It's pretty much unbelievable that DC is just getting around to voting for a smoking ban. Dcist and Wonkette ran pieces yesterday on the Smoking Ban passed by the D.C. Council (but not yet endorsed by lame duck D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams). Today The Washington Post held a Live Online Discussion with the spokesperson for "Ban the Ban" and the co-founder of "Smokefree DC." The two guests and DC area residents discussed the two sides of the issue, as everyone awaits the fate of the legislation. collegienne is all for the ban - if NYU and Harvard students can deal with it, why can't the rest of us?

In the continuing trend to turn our computers into TVs, CNN is launching a new service called CNN Pipeline, which will let you access the video from all CNN news stories for $2.95 a month. According to the FAQs on the site, "CNN Pipeline Premium Player puts you in control of the news." And yet somehow Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper continue to control our news..

Monday, December 05, 2005

Snow Dance Edition

Ok, so the Snow Dance worked this time - DC is getting more than a dusting. In celebration of the snow (and preferring making snow angels to scouring the internet), just a few noteworthy articles tonight...

The New York Times has an interesting article on the American member of Saddam Hussein's defense team. In defense of his own case, Mr. Clark told the judge that America, I mean, "Iraq is a country I love and in a very dangerous time."

If you're worried about your 20 page government paper being ripped apart, take comfort in the fact that you'll be in good (?) company. The federal government just received a failing grade from the September 11 commission, according to The Washington Post.

If the CIA Leak Investigation still seems to you like a bad soap opera, check out an amusing posting on McSweeney's Internet Tendency entitled, A Sestina Explanation of the Valerie Plame Affair

(National Mall picture taken by brownpau.)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

You've obviously got your blood-shot eyes set on winter vacation, now only a few papers away. While collegienne is sure that you're busy planning ski trips and New Year's festivities for your time away from campus, it's also time to stop hedging and actually make definitive Spring Break plans.

It seems as if this year we're taking the cue from the producers of MTV and E! and following in the footsteps of the reality tv shows we love to hate and hate to love. This year's hot spots are Costa Rica, Croatia, and Cabo San Lucas. (photo by J. Conde)

We're all smart. No matter what year you are, you've survived at least one semester of college. Even the math majors among us can be creative when so moved (or forced to). So why have we become pop culture drones, taking travel advice from Tara Reid without even realizing it?

Sure, Hurricane Wilma wasn't so kind to Cancun. Thousands of hotels were damaged and destroyed this October, bumping the traditional spring break locale from college kids' lists. Cabo, on the tip of the Baja peninsula, was the natural Mexican replacement. It's always been a hot spot, particularly among the West Coast crowd, but this year college kids from the East Coast are flocking to the Sea of Cortez. Coincidence? Hardly.

It's ok to admit it. You saw every episode of Season Two of Laguna Beach. You hated Jason, and Kristen, and well, basically all of them, but their superficial fights still sucked you in. So of course you didn't miss their spring break extravaganza in Cabo San Lucas.

Cabo definitely has great beaches and an abundance of overpriced hotels if you're not looking to save this spring. But if you're looking for something a little more adventurous, you've probably been trying to sell the roommates on a trip to Costa Rica. The cast of the Real World took a break from their real taxing gig making documentaries for the South by Southwest Music Festival by partying it up in Costa Rica. Lessons learned from this year's cast bonding trip? Costa Ricans like pretty American girls. Weird. So, fortunately, the editors of the Real World left lots for us to discover ourselves, preferring to show more clips of the cast fighting at bars and their hotel than the rain forests and beaches waiting to be explored on canopy tours and horseback. And hey, you can actually drink the water there. (picture by ChrisMPowell)

If Central America isn't really your thing, there's something undeniably romantic about the Dalmatian Sea. Dubrovnik's Harbor (captured here by Fred Jala) provides old world charm just a short bus ride away from miles of beautiful beach. Tara Reid traipsed around the country on a recent episode of Taradise (possibly the worst-reality tv show ever conceived). Only drawback to Eastern Europe in March? The temperature. Average temperature in Dubrovnik in March is only 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

So maybe it's not our fault for wanting hit the beaches, rain forests, and red tiled roofs that reality tv taunted us with this fall. But if you're one of the 13 people that hasn't already booked a flight into Cabo, San Jose, or Dubrovnik, for the love of God, go somewhere else! There's nothing wrong with any of these destinations, but there is something wrong with going on vacation with your ENTIRE school. Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation, had to get away. Vacation, meant to be spent alone (read: your 15 closest friends). Yeah, looks like we forgot that last line in our otherwise infinite lyrical wisdom.

(note: collegienne will be futilely attempting to learn how to surf at playa tamarindo in costa rica. see you there..)