Monday, February 27, 2012

Where ARE you from, really?

After failing my road test on my birthday 1.5 years ago I've decided that it is time I tried again now that I've moved to an area where tree sex is a fad. 
Observe the tree sex.
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After calling a local driving school I scheduled my 5-hr video class and my first lesson for Saturday (the one that passed already). The 5 hr video was standard (aka BORING). Now the lesson was when things got CRAZY. 

My instructor picked me up promptly at 4:15pm. She was already in the passenger seat so I took the drivers seat feeling super nervous. I am not trying to feed to the belief that Asians (especially females) can't drive, but I know my own abilities and I know that my anxiety of driving hinders my abilities to drive logically and well. I told her so and said that I've only drove for 12 hrs of my life. 
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My instructor seemed nice enough. She is a middle-aged, caucasian woman who is very blunt. Shakily I started driving following her directions. While trying to focus on driving (not crashing) she progressed to tell me about her day. Every mistake I made she would comment on how everyone she taught that day did the same thing and how they didn't listen to her when she tried to teach them. I apologized because I know that I basically suck at driving (which is why I'm paying her to teach me) and am sincerely sorry for hurting her neck from braking too hard. She retorted with "You don't mean that so stop apologizing and just listen to me. I teach a lot of foreigners and they all say the same thing and never listen to me." 

After telling me to turn right she then asked me "So, where are you from?" I answered as I normally would with "Brooklyn." Normally, I would not be offended when asked this question but it was her response to it that irked me. "No I mean where are you from, really?" I responded steadily with Brooklyn. She looked at me and said "So you were born in Chi-." "I was born in Brooklyn, my parents were from China though." 

I know I may have a very 'Fobby' face, but they usually get that I was born here when I say Brooklyn and would just ask where my parents were from. Am I too sensitive towards small talk? Did she really mean nothing from this? Am I feeding too much to the Chinese stereotype? This is the thought that has been racking my brain since Saturday. Where is the line that divides thinking too much and letting people get away with being racist? I feel like I should be offended but I also can't help feeling like I am just getting angry about something she didn't even mean. (BTW when I told her I worked for a pharmaceutical company she responded with I figured that much.) 

What I can't figure out is why I didn't say anything to her. But then what could I have said? I've always had trouble with confrontation especially if it is concerning myself. I think it is her passive racism that brought me back to a time in my childhood where I was basically helpless in defending myself against such acts. Have I grown soft and learn to accept the racism? 

What are your thoughts? Should I switch instructors or should I man up and confront her?

Until next time! 

<3 Nibs n Ink

Music Mondays: Don Omar

Weeeeepa!! I am getting my reggaeton/salsa on (salsaton? I might have just made that up.  I am a visionary), people.  

My gawgeous sistah, @CraftyBelka, got engaged a little over a week ago and I am HBIC a.k.a Maid of Honor, so I've been doing lots of preliminary planning (but only the kind I enjoy), like online dress shopping and mentally creating DJ lists of songs I want to hear at the wedding.  

Currently on my list and on repeat in Grooveshark is "Hasta Que Salga El Sol" ("Until the Sun Comes Up") by Don Omar.   
Sadly there's no video yet, but this shall suffice.  Don Omar's a pretty cool bro.  I have a ton of his music on my iPod and he's done collaborations with some pretty famous Latin artists like Aventura, and most recently Lucenzo for "Danza Kuduro" which became ridiculously popular. 

This song is fun, it's happy, and it's exactly what I need when working in a window-less, oxygen-less, box of death.  

Have a listen and let us know what you think! 
-Beetle, xx 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Project 10 Pan

Happy weekend everyone!

I know it's not a custom to post on a weekend at Alpaca Clouds, but seeing how I've been M.I.A. this whole week, I thought it wouldn't hurt to post on this lovely Saturday afternoon, or as Sheldon Cooper would call it "pre-evening."

So not only am I posting quite late, I am also jumping onto this whole New Year's resolution wagon late as well. I mean, I did write it up somewhere (meaning, I have a list in my head, which isn't hard to remember because there's only two things: 1. Get employed and 2. Move out). But I'm late in the sense that I'm announcing it to the blogosphere almost 2 months later New Year's. Leetle Beetle was the only one who did post about her New Year's resolutions at an appropriate time at AC. Just today, as I was looking at my vanity and playing around with my make-up, I decided to take on Project 10 Pan. This project was started by some beauty guru(s) who have accumulated an ungodly amount of make-up and thought it was about time to dedicate a few months to using them up until they've "hit pan." Although you can only hit pan on eye shadows, blush, powder, etc., this project is useful for those who want to use up skincare products and hair-care products. I watched one video where the youtuber recommended for book collectors too!

Continue reading if you want to see my list!

Friday, February 24, 2012


As much fun as reading 30 pages of standard operating procedures on how to use a glorified dishwasher sounds, I find myself trying to find many ways of keeping my hands busy while at work. Whether it is fiddling with my pen or sipping some tea, my hands can't seem to find peace while I'm sitting at work reading long procedures on how to do the most mediocre thing. 
Image courtesy of!
One of the quickest solution I found was eating finger foods. I've eaten tangerines, clementines, granola bars, cereals, cheese with crackers, cheese without crackers, crackers without cheese and an assorted (absurd amount) of candy. As unhealthy as this sounds I always find myself hungry in the work place. I think that the healthiest (cheapest) of my choices is cereal. Which makes my grocery shopping very fun and exciting since I get to try out many new cereals. For example Cheerios came out with a new Dulce De Leche flavor.. and YES it is as good as it sounds!!
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AND Honey nut chex!!!!!! 
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As you can imagine... I've prob gained 10 lbs since I moved.. and it's barely been a month! 

On another note I've found a replica for a delicious cereal my dear Leetle Beetle shared with me one rainy high school day. It was a crunchy chocolaty cookie-like outer shell with a melty chocolate inside. I shared some with my younger sister and she fell head over heels in love with it. My sister then asked me to ask LB what it was and where she can get some.  Turns out LB's awesome grandmother got it for her in some random Jewish place in Brighton. But lo' and behold I've found it in the form of Kellogs Krave!!!
Image courtesy of!
Turns out my sister has already tried it and did NOT tell me about it (that jerk/DW). 
Anyways what is your favorite cereal?? 

Thanks for reading!
<3 Nibs n Ink

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Help Us Win the Naked Palettes!

So... you can't really help us do this, but maybe if you send out good vibes to the universe and the lovely Megan of The Frugalista Diaries, she'll give us these two Naked palettes from Urban Decay!   

I've only recently started getting into make-up thanks to Wah Yizzle (I know, late bloomer.  Are you shocked?) and learned that people use multiple brushes for your eyes!  Who woulda thunk it?  I'm getting pretty obsessed with this stuff and when I heard about Urban Decay's Naked Palettes, I had to get my hands on them .... until I found out how much they cost.  Sadly Mama hasn't won the lotto yet.

Now, if we do win them, the question is who will get them?  Perhaps we'll duel over them with a fair game of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.  I feel that's the only way.  

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Check out the give away here and follow her blog too!  (She's a badass and can find ridiculously affordable clothes like none other.)  

Wish us luck!

-Beetle, xx.

Experience Required Part II

The future is a topic that has been on my mind since I was old enough to know what it is. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an ophthalmologist when I grow up. Now that I am actually grown up (nice old age of 22,) I've noticed many more options out there. I went into college for a bachelors degree for Biomedical engineering and pre-med. After two years and organic chemistry, I've realized that going to med. school seems bleak. I've decided to look for a job within BME instead. I graduated, like most of my peers, in May 2011 (except for leetle beetle who got out a semester before I started job-searching in the beginning of my last semester of my college life. However I was not getting any on-site interviews. 
Thanks Seanrock @Photobucket.

Also my trip to Hong Kong RIGHT after I graduated didn't help. (My parents wanted me to go in hopes of my finding a job there... yeah right and leave New York? I don't think so.) But I was still applying to positions in America EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. If I had to make a list of all the jobs I applied to, I think it might be around 3 digits. For everyone of you who had job searched before or is job searching still, you know that it ain't easy. I even have the wrinkles to prove it. 

Before Job Hunting- NO Wrinkles! (I'm on the left BTW)
Look how young I look.. and then BAM:
LOOK at ALL that under-eye baggage!
Believe it or not, I'm not trying to complain, but trying to show you that all hard work will get rewarded. It's been Half a year But I've landed a offer from my DREAM company. :) The only fall-back is the fact that it is in Albany. But you know what? Better in Albany than Utah. (Yes I applied to Utah jobs and Michigan jobs and Georgia jobs and Florida jobs.. it's and endless list... sorry.) 

So for all the people who are still searching for the light at the end of the tunnel where the workplace is not a personal hell, it IS possible. Just be persistent and know what you want. Just keep trying no matter what!!

Please let me know where was the most random or weird place you applied to! My weirdest place is applying to be a painter for a Hospital In NYC. XD 

Until next time~ <3 Nibs N Ink

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday Webcomics

In the spirit of things I love, I thought I'd write a little sut'm sut'm about two favorite webcomics.  I honestly cannot start my day without reading these two web comics and I've been with these characters since the very beginning, to the point that I think they're real people. (which is terrible.) It doesn't help that the authors have made Twitter accounts for them either.  So I blame you, Jeph Jacques & Danielle Corsetto. 

Up first is none other than Questionable Content (aka QC.  This got very confusing when I started working and found out that QC also stands for Quality Control) by Jeph Jacques.  QC follows the life of Marten, a socially-awkward 20-something guy who is constantly surrounded by a group of crazy girls and a horny anthro-PC named Pint-size.  

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 My other morning necessity is Danielle Corsetto's Girls With Slingshots, which follows Hazel, a loud-mouthed, kind of drunken but hilarious writer.  She says whatever first comes to mind, drowns her sorrows in alcohol, and is pretty violently insulting.  Is it terrible that I think she reminds me of myself sometimes? 

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Check them out and let us know what you think!  Do you have any favorite webcomics?

(P.S.  sorry for the weird image sizes.  It was either too small or readable, but too huge for the blog.  Zoom in to read the text or, better yet, go on the websites & read them all!) 

-Beetle, xx.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day! Let's get sexual.

As someone who has never had an actual Valentine on Valentine's Day (gal pals & family aside.  YES YOU ARE THE LOVES OF MY LIFE), I honestly don't feel any different on this day than any other day.  I've definitely had teenage angst-y Valentine's where I wore Claire's jewelry and black clothes, wallowing about how emo my life is and how no one will ever love me. glad last year's over.  (Just kidding.  Kind of.  No, really.)  

These days Valentine's Day for me is just another day to celebrate the people and things that I absolutely adore and make me laugh.  Last night, my fabulous sister, @CraftyBelka, and I took our mom out for a Galentine's Day dinner a la Parks & Rec.  We bought her flowers, treated her to a delicious meal at an adorable restaurant called Penelope, and topped it off with strawberries & nutella.  
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It was a night full of food, chocolate, hugs, and love.  Who could ask for a better way to bring in this Day o' Lovin? 

As for today, I'm surrounding myself with all things that put a smile on my face.  (Mainly to distract myself from the hell cave.)  A peak into what's on my list today -- 

1.  Jenna Marbles' Face:  For those bitter souls out there who don't want to even think about significant others (I've been there.  I'm mostly there about 80% of the time), I give you Jenna Marbles' famous "Face."  This video is genius and I've even gone so far as to perfect my own face.  I must say, I'm pretty good at it.

2.  Krav Maga:  Tuesdays are krav days.  I can't tell you all how much krav maga has changed my life.  Whenever I get overwhelmed or worried, I go to krav and it all goes away.  (Mainly because I'm too focused on how much pain I'm in.)  It's the BEST stress reliever, teaches you how to defend yourself, and just be more confident as a woman overall.  My instructors recently made it onto the Anderson Cooper Show and kicked serious ass!  I'm so proud to train with them.  

3. The Brooklyn Brainery:  Words cannot describe my love for this place.  The Brainery is changing the way education happens in this city one funky food/karaoke class at a time.  But seriously, this little organization gives ridiculously affordable classes on anything, ranging from economics to beekeeping to whiskey.  It's all taught by community members (I even taught Spanish there!) and they're quite possibly the nicest group of people I've ever met.  

4.  Michel Telo "Ai Se Eu Te Pego":  Wouldn't be a list of things I love without my current musical obsession.  Most recently on repeat on my iPod is this little Portuguese ditty.  Although I do speak Spanish, I haven't the faintest clue what he's singing about, but it sounds happy, so I'm gonna go with it.

What are you loving today?  How are you spending Valentine's Day? 

-Beetle, xx.      

Monday, February 13, 2012

Music Mondays: Whitney Houston & The Grammy's

Today, Alpaca Clouds is dedicating Music Mondays to Whitney Houston. When I heard the news, I was in a state of disbelief. I'm not a devoted fan, but I have respect for that woman and I have good memories listening to her songs on 106.7 Lite FM in my father's car when we would drive out of state for a respite from the city. I thought why can't singers like her stay in the business instead of *cough* MDNA *cough*. While some people may know how to persevere in the business and continue to roll out "hit songs," Whitney Houston had an amazing voice. She was a beautiful singer rather than just an entertainer. 


There is no doubt that she made some wrong decisions in her life, but it made me mad that that was the first thing most people think of when they heard about her death. "It must have been drugs," they say. Why can't people just wait for the coroner's report, which just said that there was no foul play? 

And while we are mourning a singer who has been through an abusive and drug-laced relationship, Chris Brown is performing at the Grammy's. I should not even have to explain why it is fooked up that he performed at the Grammy's, with Rihanna in the line-up as well, and just 3 years after he committed a crime for which he did not even serve jail time. 

Why don't I give him a second chance? Because in order for me to believe you're sorry, you have to stay apologetic, even when people bring it up again. It's a crime you have committed; don't expect people to forget it, even though we might give you props for doing "Look At Me Now." (of which the best part was really Busta Rhymes's rap, not yours!) If you need more convincing, read this Hello Giggles article or look at this list of disturbing tweets and posts

Chris Brown is the reason why I did not watch the Grammy's and missed Adele performing live. But I finally saw a clip of her performance this morning, and you know what? Adele makes everything better.

What's your opinion of the Chris Brown controversy?  And did you spend your weekend in a 90s haze listening to replays of "I Will Always Love You"? 


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Frenzy: Laughter is the Best Medicine

This week has been crazy busy for us at Alpaca Clouds.  I worked two jobs to make some extra cash moneyz for my future cardboard box of an apartment and it exhausted the HELL out of me.  NibsnInk moved to a new place (& will probably be posting about her moving madness soon).  WahYizzle got to go with her, which made me jealous, because they had fun girly moving times and I slowly suffocated in the windowless hell cave where I work.  Drama queen? Yes.  But I'm sleep deprived and entitled. 

So today I decided to post a ton of ridiculous videos because when I stress out, nothing feels better than laughing to the point of tears.  (and shopping.)  Sit back, stop doing work, and enjoy! 

First stop:  Kristen Bell's Sloth Meltdown.  If you haven't seen this, you haven't lived.  Make sure you're sitting down: 

The lovely BHB tweeted this video and I laugh EVERY time I see it.  Best 9 seconds ever.  (Yes, I realize there's a "that's what she said" in there somewhere.)  

Prepping for some down time this weekend with Theo Katzman: 

And lastly, whenever I feel depressed or discouraged about the challenges I face, I think of Jessica.  This girl is a badass and she knows what's good about life!  All of us should really wake up like this every morning:  

Happy Friday, all!
-Beetle, xx. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I GOT MAH HURR DUN a.k.a. Turning Over a New Leaf

While I am not unsatisfied with my hair as Leetle Beetle can get, I do not remember a time when I was ever happy with a new haircut. I've always felt that a fresh cut is awkward and unflattering on me. Lo and behold, I'm eating my words today. I absolutely love my new haircut. Just for fun (and probably vanity), here's a visual history of my recent do's:

The Side Bangs of Early College Years
The Punked Up Senior Year
Trying to Grow Out the Side and Ease into Mainstream Society

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Update: Tiramisu Recipe 2.0

As promised, I did tweak the tiramisu recipe to my liking and here it is for your delicious cake-eating pleasure! 


Mascarpone cheese (1 container, ~227 grams)
Egg whites (2)
Egg yolk (1)
Sugar, brown or regular (4-5 TBsp) 
Lady fingers (1 container) 
Strong coffee (3 tsp coffee : 1 cup) or espresso (1 cup of either)
Kahlua (2 TBsp)
Hot cocoa mix (to sprinkle on top)


With electric mixer, beat mascarpone cheese, egg yolk, and sugar in one bowl.  In another bowl, beat egg whites until you have peaks once you lift the mixer out.  Pour beaten egg whites into mascarpone/yolk/sugar mixture and beat the whole thing for a while, until you have a light, smooth, even consistency.  

In third bowl, mix in coffee & kahlua.  Dip lady fingers in Kahlua/coffee mixture one by one and place in a tupperware (or other container of your choice), making one layer.  Then spread one layer of mascarpone mixture over lady fingers.  Do this as many times as your little heart desires.  

I usually do 2 layers.  (So, ladyfingers, cheese, ladyfingers, cheese.)  Then sprinkle with cocoa powder and stick into fridge overnight or, if you make it in the morning, until dinner time.

Ta da!  Easy, quick, and delicious.
- Beetle, xx.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dinner Parties: Oh god. There's more.

Aside from being able to walk around with no pants on, one of the things I am most looking forward to when I have a place of my own is dinner parties.  I don't know who came up with this idea, but that guy deserves a nobel prize.  Or at least a life time supply of chocolate.  

Dinner parties are so great.  They're an excuse to get a ton of your friends together for no reason at all, dress up, and eat enough food to feed a small country.  (Or in the case of my Jewish self, enough to feed the Western Hemisphere.)  

Last weekend I went up to Boston for no other reason, but to have a dinner party.  My friend RE, who used to be a bartender, is known for throwing amazing parties (I spend basically every Halloween there drinking delicious beverages and playing drunken limbo).  He decided to have a Holiday After Party and get everyone together for a soiree after the Chrismakwanzakkuh season ended.  

Everyone dressed up (the boys even wore ties!), brought something to eat, and stuffed their faces.  And really, who can argue with a night like that? 

This was just the beginning.
RE's pride & joy.  
We called them the Blue Shirt Brigade.
My tiramisu!
Recipe has been tweaked & was a huge hit.
By the end of the night, we ate so much we could barely move and ended up watching Robin Hood: Men in Tights along with a slew of other random movies.  Food coma, friends, and Mel Brooks.  You can't really argue with that. 

Do you have any fun dinner party stories?  Tell us in the comments!  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Music Mondays: Ben l'Oncle Soul

A man in a bow tie makes me weak in the knees.  That being said, if Ben l'Oncle Soul picked me up in a dirty pick-up truck a la "Elle Me Dit" for our wedding, I would probably marry him.  And by probably, I mean definitely.  (That video actually reminds me way too much of Paolo Nutini's "Candy," but I digress.) 

Ben l'Oncle Soul is an amazing soul/motown singer from France who has the most kick ass back up singers/dancers/superheroes ever.  I first heard about them when one of my friends sent me his video for "Petite Seour" and as someone who went through an extreme '50s phase in high school, I was sold. 

Seriously, guys.  Look at that bow tie and tell me you don't love him.  He does such an incredible job of bringing that '50s sound to today's generation without making it boring.  

In addition to his own original music, he also does covers of modern songs that sound nothing like the original songs.  And I have to say, for the most part, I like his versions better.  At the top of my list are the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" and Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Other side."  (I honestly hate the original versions of both of those songs but can't stop listening to Ben's.) 

The highlight of my 2011 summer was him performing at Central Park's Summer Stage for free.  (One of the many reasons I love living in New York..) He performed "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" better than anyone I've ever heard.  There's no good video from that day, but here's a clip of him killing it in France.     

Listen & let us know what you think!

-Beetle, xx. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Frenzy: The Manic-Depressive Shopaholic Shawty

A frenzied WahYizzle is a bipolar WahYizzle (I realize this sounds like a Pokémon description and I’m okay with that).

Furious and Feminist:

I love New Girl, but this analysis of Zooey Deschanel’s character is spot on. Even though I have to agree with Jennifer Wright's article, I’m not going to stop watching it because the show isn’t over yet, so there’s still time for her to grow out of the naïve, childlike girl with a heart of gold trope (yes, that is intended to be a pun of sorts, now RECOGNIZE!). Here's a video by Anita Sarkeesian on the many manifestations of manic pixie dream girl in contemporary pop culture.

Happy and Materialistic:

Anyone want to line up with me on Sunday, Feb. 5 for the launch of Jason Wu for Target line?

Picture from
Picture from

Hope you guys have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Remedies from the Home Country

Last weekend, after bumping into my grandmother on a day that I dared not to wear a scarf and proceeded to get yelled at for 20 minutes, I got sick.  Note:  No matter how many times I claim my grandparents lack common sense and remember advice that gypsies gave them on the streets of Ukraine (true story), they somehow always end up being right. 

So I've been spending most of this week sniffly, with really bad jaw pain.  My mom told me to keep my jaw warm so I wrapped my face in a scarf and sat at work like this: 

At my desk at work.  Considering I work in a hell cave and
rarely have human interaction, the ability to speak is optional.
One of the best conversations I've had with my friends is about the bizarre remedies our immigrant mothers employ to cure our ailments.  

On Monday, my mother was making a salad while I passed by the kitchen.  I came up to taste some of it, and she said "Come here.  Smell this." and shoved an onion in my nose.  I smelled it, it stung like a bitch, and made me cry.  But according to her, "it will kill all germs in your nose." 

My list can go on and on, but my current favorite is the countless times I had bronchitis as a child (or any form of terrible cough) and my mother would put a sack of boiled potatoes on my chest when I went to sleep.  Yes.  A sack of potatoes.  In Soviet Russia, medicine takes you.  Basically, to keep your chest warm and break up your cough, people would boil potatoes, mash them a bit, and wrap them in cloth with a bit of oil.  Then they'd put them on your chest in a bag and have you sleep with it.  For all of my adventurous friends and/or those without health insurance, take note.  

In college I saw one of my best friends, the Kaizasaurus, who is from Colombia, heat up orange juice and honey with a melted Halls at the bottom of the glass.  I don't dare question it.  

And today, NibsnInk told me about one of her Chinese remedies that involved putting a large silver coin (any large silver coin will do, I had this clarified) in a hard boiled egg and rubbing it against any painful spot on your body.  Headache, stomachache, Back ache.. you name it.  Once you rub it, the coin is supposed to turn black and that means it worked.  

No matter what, though, my favorite thing to do when I'm sick is curl up in my PJs with a cup of tea.  Say what you will, modern medicine, but black tea cures every ailment on the face of this earth. 

What are your ancient home remedies for sicknesses?

-Beetle, xx.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Are the 90s back?

I should have noted this when I bought my pair of Jeffrey Campbell Tardy, but I had to write this post when I read Topshop's newsletter last week. Apparently, one of the trends for Spring 2012 is 90s grunge; this is barely anything new. Platforms have been back for a while and plaid has become a signature of hipsterdom. Now, I'm no fashion expert, not even a fashion junkie, but I do love it and follow seasonal runway shows once in a while. Realizing that the latest decade to emulate is the 90's, I am concerned that 10 years later, we'll run out of past ideas from which to contrive, because by 2000, we were already bringing back bell bottoms of the 70s. I think Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past perfectly explains what the heck is going on.

Topshop Ad for 90s trend 
(Photo from
My JC Tardys!!! I just had to sneak it in. 
(Photo from )
Photo from
I think there are great designers doing great work and bloggers like Susie Bubble encapsulate all that is refreshing in fashion, so perhaps the marketers, publicists, and magazines (Is "Neo Grunge" the best description you can come up with?) from whom we get our information, are main contributors to this hebetudinous and tame fashion machine. What's funny is that this mainly pertains to mass-producing clothing companies. Another reason to support small businesses and thrift stores? Take what you will from this rant, but this girl is sick of seeing $90 price tags for a holey shirt and ripped jeans.

How are you guys feeling about what's in stores now? on the runway? Tell me what's your favorite new fashion piece!