Wedding Registries: What to do and What not to do

After the bride or groom says yes to the ring, then what? of course, the next step is planning the big day. However, various corporations have integrated the option of a wedding registry. My assumption of the creation of such market (and wise too) is the prevention of unwanted gifts. Per say, an awkward lamp with a shape of two frogs kissing. Some may like, while others may find this gift tacky. Wedding registries solves this issue because the couple have the opportunity to pick their gifts before the wedding event. Yet, there are benefits and drawbacks of wedding registries.

As I mentioned before, many corporations started this program for various reasons. Of course (cough, cough), a guarantee of capital with the wedding season which commonly starts in May through June. Another reason is to promote their brand and gaining more customers to their store. Crate and Barrel, Walmart, Bloomingdale’s, Target and beyond dominates this market which is suitable for the customer seeking certain brands and price point.

For example, Crate and Barrel’s registrants benefits of a 10% discount card for six months after the wedding date. In addition, a private wedding registry event which closes the store for two hours. This is a one-on-one interaction with the associates if the couple have questions about the products. Others like Target offers easy returns and exchanges for a year. Another service through a secondary party is from Bed, Bath, and Beyond personalized stationary.

Yet, there are couples that exaggerate with their registries. Let’s avoid these intricacies.

Marriage in Lightyears

When a couple announces their engagement, it is a beautiful milestone;nonetheless, the event will not happen the next day. The appropriate time to open a registration is within 6 months to one year before the big day. Please do not open a registry 2 to 4 years for several reasons, but most importantly it’s too early.

Another reason is inventory. If the wedding is happening in three years, there’s a possibility 1/2 of that inventory will contain discontinued products. Also, be aware of seasonal items. For example, if the registrant starts adding items to their registry in December, then many of the products are Christmas themed or inspired.  Therefore, ask an associate which items are seasonal. If the word seasonal is throwing you off, seasonal means that the item will last for a short period of time.

It’s Not a Divorce

Managing a registry may turn into a guilt trip because couples may change their minds about the items they originally picked. It’s common to change their minds after the couple receive their gifts. And it’s okay to seek other products and returning them for store credit.

It’s a rare assumption, but it occurs when couples expect to have a cash refund or get every single gift from their registry. Another troubling realization is seeing an item as a purchased item and not receiving it. It sucks to say this, but there are guests that purchase the item from the registry and decides to keep it. Although it is a surprising news, let’s keep in mind the guest did pay for it, not the couple. Therefore, it’s impossible for the company to give away the undelivered product because it was paid for it. Of course, in other situations brings the sour the news that gift was lost. After a mituculous investigation from the company and the couple, some companies may replace the item. It depends on the companies policies and rules about registries.

The Necessary Absurdaty of Reality

Why did I get 24 wine glasses when I just registered for 8?! If this happens to you, there’s a possibility the registry was a high maintenance one. What I mean with the term of high maintenance? Is that the registry had a couture price tag with guests that earn 20,000 a year…that’s silly.

When opening registry ask yourself and with your significant other: Can we afford this item? Do we really need it? If I was a guest , would I buy this? It’s easy to ask beyond our needs. Keep in mind the income of your guests too. It’s absurd to add items worth above $150.00 with friends earning $9.50 an hour/ part-time. If the cheapest item in your registry are wine glasses, then that’s an easy way to get easy repeats. It’s not a coincidence, your registry was a bridezilla for your guests.

My best advice is to keep your registry short and sweet. Unless the wedding is a huge one (500 guests), it is reasonable to have 5-6 pages. But, I kindly ask to not register for a sofa. If your friends are part of Forbes list of millionaires, I will expect an eccentric wish list.

3-4 pages long is a reasonable amount of pages for a registry. Keep in mind the things you register for are items that will be part of your daily lives. Coffee mugs, flatware, and more are things that will have accessible prices for all kinds of incomes. Also, request the option for gift cards.

If the registry also offers gift cards, this is a pleasant suprising wild card. If a guest is currently in college and has a part time job and lives in a studio – this guest might be second guessing what to buy. With this option, this guest will buy the gift card. Life is already a stressful roller coaster, so why add more stress? The key is to keep it easy and simple.

 

Why Red Door Animal Shelter Matters?

More than a decade ago, The Red Door Animal Shelter open its doors to rescue cats, dogs, and rabbits. The shelter is one of the few animal shelters that is a “No Kill Shelter.” This mention is crucial to understand the difference between a no kill shelter, a pound, and a shelter. Between a shelter and a pound it is common to rescue or relinquish animals to these places, but the animal has a grace period to stay. Because of space limitations, if the animal has not been adopted then the animal is euthanize. My skin crawled when I learned this horrible truth; however, not all shelters are measured the same. The Red Door Animal Shelter will keep the animals until their adoption. The RDAS was also featured in the popular talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009.

 

According to their blog, Behind the Red Door posted an article on Huey’s story and Red Doors’ commitment..

Huey was severely abused as a kitten and, as a result, suffers neurological damage. The cat has no control over his hind legs, tail and bladder. Huey was brought to Red Door as a kitten. He has lived at the shelter ever since. Red Door employees estimate that the cat is now between 8 and 10 years old. The extra care that he requires makes it hard to find a home for Huey said employees at Red Door.

A few years back, I met Huey. He is a very sweet and a playful cat, but he is an elderly cat. Most of his time he is laying down, yet likes to get attention such as caressing his soft head. Huey’s story touched my heart deeply because he is a survivor and if it wasn’t for the Red Door Animal Shelter care, Huey’s future would have been a tragic one.

Behind the Red Door: Huey

Red Door Animal Shelter is not governmental funded. In other words, the shelter does not receive city, state, or federal funds because they are 501(c)(3) organization. The 501(c)(3) organization means that their funds are from private donations and grants from private foundations. How can you help? click this link http://www.reddoorshelter.org/donations.html From cleaning products to office supplies will help the shelter to continue their mission.

On May 13, 2009: RDAS (Red Animal Shelter) appeared in ABC channel 7 news. The local news broadcast the story of Ramone and Lucky. These rabbits from Kuwait were rescued by a couple from Illinois. The rabbits were spotted in a Kuwait market; however, Ramone and Lucky were not the only rabbits in the market, but there was at least 15 rabbits. Sadly, the couple could not rescue all the rabbits. They wanted to make a difference and they were able to take two: Ramone and Lucky. A year and a half later, the couple were transferred to Germany and in the European country is it prohibited to import rabbits. The couple from Batavia, Illinois decided to bring Lucky and Ramone to the shelter.

Oprah’s Facebook Picture

In the same year, Red Door volunteers Lou and Steve thanked the acclaimed actress, Betty White for her generous support for RDAS. White has been for many years an animal advocate and certainly a true Golden Girl. Now, the shelter also hosts several events that are fun and to help the shelter. The first time my mother and I heard about RDAS was for their Christmas Bazaar held in November. During the event, they had several stations such as selling items like plushies, cards, and people may bring their pets to take a picture with Santa Claus. What we adored about this event was the fact that animals were also encouraged to come. This is my way to encourage others to help this amazing local shelter. Please check their events and for other inquiries about adoption and donations visit their sites.

http://www.reddoorshelter.org/

Like them on Facebook

Follow them on Twitter

They also have a blog!

http://behindthereddoor.blogspot.com/

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Smoking Mirrors: Glorifying Vanity Above All and Cosmetic Surgery becomes a Religion

I do clarify this article is not intended to shame plastic surgery. I’m writing this article to caution the public that if one desires to go under the knife; it is crucial to go to a certified doctor. Beware of malpractice.

“Like an apple is my face!” the Korean sensation, Kwang Hee gleefully promotes in a 30 second commercial for the Special One: Korean Plastic Surgery. The idealism of a flawless body has blended into Korean culture quickly. In fact, Korea surpassed Brazil as the new heaven of cosmetic procedures. The surprising factor is what Dr. Anthony Youn for CNN points out. Youn claims that younger generations are going under the knife. He explains,

Plastic surgery is hot in Asia. One in five South Korean women from 19 to 49 have undergone cosmetic surgery, according to a 2009 survey from market-research firm Trend Monitor. That’s reportedly compared to about one in 20 in the United States.

Females and men in South Korea have one goal in mind: the absolute beauty.  But, what is this ideal? Commonly, Korean Pop stars are open about their cosmetic procedures. And, their looks are influential because it is not a taboo topic. For example, shows like Let Me In focuses in transforming ugly ducklings into beautiful men and women. (Not so different from the early 2000s American show called, The Swan.) Yet, there is a staggering effect because this obsession may lead to dire consequences.

For instance, some experts have said that many patients have Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). An example of BDD appears in the reality show called Botched. Doctor Nassif and Doctor Dubrow have rejected patients with this condition because they explain the patient may never be satisfied with the result and they need to seek therapy.

Yet in the opposite spectrum, there are millions of people who feel accomplished with their many surgeries like Justin Jedlica. In the last 15 years, he has gone under the knife more than 150 times. On his recent quest, Jedlica wanted to remove the veins from his forehead. Although this surgery may lead to blindness, he wants to become one-hundred percent plastic (Huffington Post). People like Justin may call BDD rubbish, but when will his Human Ken goal end?

Whether cosmetic surgery is for vanity or for medical reasons – The fact that in South Korea alone, plastic surgery is a 33 billion dollar business; this also shows that a large amount of the population  (foreigners and locals) are unhappy with their natural features. An extreme case is the 2012 lawsuit in China: Feng vs. Feng.

Mr. Feng married a beautiful woman (which he claims he married her out of love in his interview for the Irish Times) and their fairytale marriage started to end with the birth of their daughter. He suspected his wife had an affair because their daughter is “extremely ugly.” The result of this saga is the controversial decision of the judge favoring the husband because she omitted that she had cosmetic surgery before meeting him. Sadly, their children will learn sooner or later that their father rejected them because they are “unattractive”. As a result, more adults would like for their children to go under the knife, Dr. Youn found this reality very disturbing after he read an email from a possible patient. He reads,

I received a request from a mom to perform an Asian eyelid surgery on her son. “He really wants the surgery done,” the mother said. “He wants to look handsome.” Then I found out her son was only 8 (CNN).

How influential is plastic surgery? Extremely, but Eunjeong, a Korean artist claims that people are not obsessed by the actual surgery; people are obsessing with their looks (SBS). This effect is not entirely different of women wanting to look like Pamela Anderson back in her Baywatch era. Still, it seems that in every country, their definition of beauty varies; however, in this variation a drastic outcome catches the press attention like the recent case of the Brazilian model, Andressa Urach.

Back in November, she was in life-support fighting for her life. The model and reality-television star was an advocate of plastic surgery. In People Magazine, Urach  survived a deadly malpractice. The article reveals,

Brazil’s Plastic Surgery Society claimed that Urach was given a dose of silicone gel 200 times the amount that the government permits and that doctors allegedly used a hydrogel not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the AP.

Urach regrets her poor judgment and glorifying vanity above all. She risked her life for a contest called, Miss Bum Bum. After her surgical disaster, she’s not fully recovered. Now, she speaks against this fixation and warns the public based on her experience. Recently, she protested in RedeTV! about the cultural view of beauty in Brazil. She said, “Society, which unfortunately holds a standard of beauty in which you have to be perfect.” At the age of 27 years-old, Urach is aware she’ll never be the woman she was once before. Nonetheless, she made a promise to herself to never treat her body like a product.

Her promise made a resounding effect in my mind because it made me wonder. Are people losing their identity through surgery because they see their bodies as a product? Taking in consideration the K-Pop Effect, are men and women viewing surgery as a religion? It has been proven that when an individual has a goal in mind – he or she might take dangerous measures to meet his or her ambitions. Such as Lance Armstrong, all he wanted to become the number one cyclist and he achieved it. He fooled everyone for several years and dodged previous accusations successfully. Then, in 2011, the USADA accused him of using drugs to enhance his performance and the lawsuit proceeded. Finally, in 2013, Lance publicly acknowledges during an interview with Oprah Winfrey his side of the story (Armchair Spectator). Armstrong decisions were dangerous like excessive surgery – the ending result will have one outcome. Sometimes, the finish line is a deadly one.

In the end, if one decides to go under knife for vanity or for medical reasons –it is up to the individual’s judgment. Regardless of what I’ve written here, I am not demonizing cosmetic procedures. Take in consideration, the pros and cons of each procedure and the reason behind this decision. The worst case scenario is getting cosmetic surgery to satisfy somebody else’s desire or based on a criticism. Another advice I want to give is be careful of a fake prophet. There a billions of surgeons illegally operating worldwide. When surgeries are inexpensive, be wary of this offer because it is likely the doctor is an unlicensed surgeon. Even if the procedure is within the USA or overseas, it is imperative to know who the doctor is and if their record is clean. Even if it’s a Botox shot, be sure it is the real thing and not a substitution like cooking oil. Above all, be sure to take the route that is best for you without compromising your identity, your dignity, and above all your life.

All Rights Reserved. DISCLAIMER: alsy365 blog claims no credit for any images or videos featured on this site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respective owners. alsy365 blog Information on this site may contain errors or inaccuracies. If you own rights to any of the content and wish to have it removed please let me know.

Sources

https://armchairspectator.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/full-transcript-lance-armstrong-on-oprah/                Full Transcript: Lance Armstrong on Oprah By Denis Mahon

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/25/health/asian-beauty/                                                                              Asia’s ideal beauty: Looking Caucasian By Dr. Anthony Youn

http://www.eonline.com/shows/botched/news/556146/botched-before-and-after-breasts-noses-and-even-a-butt-see-the-recap                                                                                                                                 Botched Before and After: Breasts, Noses and Even a Butt—See the Recap! By Carrie Dilluvio

http://www.examiner.com/article/man-sues-wife-claims-ugly-baby-born-horrifies-him-1                            Man sues wife; claims ‘ugly’ baby born horrifies him By Bruce Baker

http://www.people.com/article/andressa-urach-speaks-out-plastic-surgery                                              Brazilian Model Andressa Urach Opens Up About Her Plastic Surgery Disaster By Jacqueline Andriakos

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/dateline/story/k-pop-effect                                                                             The K-Pop Effect By Jeannette Francis

Another Messi hat-trick as Levante thrashed again

Originally posted on barçacentral:

Messi Neymar levante 2015Leo Messi inspired Barça to a 5-0 win over Levante at Camp Nou this afternoon to keep Real Madrid’s advantage at the top of La Liga down to one point. Messi, playing his 300th league game, set up the first goal for Neymar Jr in the 17th minute before netting his 31st club hat-trick. Luis Suárez completed the scoring with a spectacular overhead kick to seal Barça’s 11th straight win since losing at Anoeta at the start of the year.

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Magic in the Moonlight

Set in the 1920s, Magic in the Moonlight brings the story of the battle between fantasy and reality. The famed illusionist, Wei Ling Soo travels around the world with his act, but he is a British man called, Stanley (Colin Firth).

Copyrights is reserved to Sony Pictures Classics

He does not believe in spirits or in anything related with the afterlife (including fortune tellers). Until he meets Sophie (Emma Stone). The twenty year-old charms her way into Stanley’s heart with her innocence and her ability to speak with ghosts. At first, like most cliché romantic comedies, the protagonists hates each other. Yet, there is a hidden plot which unravels towards the end of the film. In addition, while Stanley is falling for the ginger clairvoyant and possibly loosing Sophie forever if she marries her millionaire fiancée, Brice (Hamish Linklater).

Not because is a Woody Allen film, I had high expectations. Indeed the director and writer has a long list of successful films – certainly Magic in the Moonlight lacks charm, enthusiasm and it has an exhausting predictable plot. I adored the idea of a clairvoyant protagonist with the skeptical magician; however, the screenplay is dull and not magical.

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If

One morning, I wake up and out of the blue I thought to myself…how would a senior feel if he or she fall in love again? I imagined an elderly that is shy and afraid. And simply the words poured out…

If

If we hold hands, will you feel the same?
If I act young and bold, will you be ashamed?
It’s been too long that we’ve been alone
It’s been too long that we’ve been unloved
I want to ask what colours you like?
If you’ve seen an aurora in this lifetime?
Yet, my lips refuse to make the next move
My throat shuts down
Every nerve within me just stops working
I wish I was twenty and not care about the consequences
I wish I was twenty and not care if you say no
But, I’m not twenty
My heart is too rusty to hear a no
Age hasn’t made wisher, but it has made me realistic
I’ve survived two unnecessary wars
Three bullets in my legs, yet I can’t fully express how I feel
I shatter like particles from the Apollo
I break like the Titanic hitting the iceberg
and I sink miserably like Romeo and Juliet
Because I refuse to hear that two lettered word
I refuse to break my fantasy
I refuse to wake up from this dream
Yet, it is a dream
Just a dream
Where we hold hands
Where we feel the same
Where we act young and bold
Where we don’t feel ashamed
Where we won’t feel alone
Where we are deeply and madly in love

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Princess Jellyfish: A Rare Gem

A few years back, I saw a preview of the manga, Princess Jellyfish and then found the trailer of the series online. Intrigued by it, I took the daring decision to buy the DVD series (well, it is one season after all) without watching the series first. In my case, anime shows are like a rare gem in American television. Although YouTube, Hulu etc. may have episodes of many series, it is common that these series are incomplete; therefore, it is frustrating from time-to-time to find anime shows outside of Adult Swim TV block known as Toonami.

What is pleasant about the series Princess Jellyfish  is a distinctive perspective of the Otaku culture among a group of socially awkward girls. The main character, Tsukimi is 18 years-old and she recently moved to Amamizukan (the building) which only women resides there. Because all the women are social misfits, they have several rules including a notable sign by their door step reading, “No Boys Allowed.”

Until one night, Tsukimi’s tiny circle of female friends enters a bold and stylish young woman named, Kurako. The beautiful Kurako helps Tsukimi and without her permission, Kurako falls asleep in her bedroom. The next morning, the real Kurako emerges and Tsukimi’s life changes into a comedic adventure filled with socially ungraceful moments when Kurako reveals her true identity.

I vastly appreciate the series. It is a pity that only one season exists. The downside of the series is that the viewer is left with an open-ended finale filled with questions or it is up to viewer to decide the destiny of each character. For me, it is entertaining to have closure when a series end; nonetheless, it is difficult to know if an ending will be effective for the audience. Such as, The Big O its second and final season is a perplexing one. Let alone, the ending is simply bizarre. Another example is the final episode of Friends. Although all the characters had a happy ending, the audience felt the sadness of the characters when Monica’s iconic apartment is empty. Perhaps, the Takahiro Omori (director of the series) made a wise decision in the end. Without a doubt, the series is outstandingly amusing.

Find the series on Amazon.com, http://www.funimation.com/shows/princess-jellyfish/home or on Hulu.com

 

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