Tagged: Lifestyle

The Muse: Your guide to summer 2014

By Hannah Landers, Muse Editor
@hannland

Summer is almost here, time to relax with good music, movies, and food./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Adam Baker

Summer is almost here, time to relax with good music, movies, and food./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Adam Baker

Sweet summer is almost here, which means it’s almost time for The Muse to take a vacation. But before we grab our flip-flops and short-shorts, we have a few final suggestions to make this summer the most Muse-tastic ever. Below is a list of movies to see, albums to listen to, food to nom on and lifestyle events to check out during the long, hot days. Enjoy your summer, Musies! And don’t forget the sunscreen!

Movies

Book adaptation: “The Fault in Our Stars” (June 6) — Sure, “The Giver” promises performances from the likes of Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and, er, Taylor Swift. But “The Fault in Our Stars” has a beautifully tragic story and a fresh-faced cast. If the trailer alone doesn’t make you tear up, you are a monster.

Epic: “Godzilla” (May 16) — Walter White from “Breaking Bad” takes on one of film’s most infamous monsters. Need I say more?

Comedy: “22 Jump Street” (June 13) — If you liked Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as undercover cops in high school, you’re going to love them as undercover cops in college. Ja feel?

Superhero: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (August 1) — With a team of characters that includes a genetically engineering raccoon marksman and a “tree-like humanoid,” “Guardians” promises to be “The Avengers’” weird younger brother. The diverse cast is another draw, especially with a newly buff and mostly shirtless Chris Pratt leading the pack (am I right, ladies?).

Once in a lifetime: Boyhood” (July 11) — Director Richard Linklater tells the story of a young boy growing into adulthood, but because he shot the film over a period of 12 years, the audience is actually watching young actor Ellar Coltrane age from 7 years old to 18 years old in a span of three hours.

Music

Rock ‘n’ roll royalty: Jack White’s “Lazaretto” (June 10) — Jack White’s last solo venture was filled with a lot of good ol’ blues-tinged rock ‘n’ roll. Here’s hoping that this album is more of the same.

Girl power: Lykke Li’s “I Never Learn” (May 6) — The ethereal Swedish songstress is back after three years, promising more subtle brilliance with her one-of-a-kind voice.

Indie comeback kid: Conor Oberst’s “Upside Down Mountain” (May 20) — Bright Eyes front-man Oberst usually injects a little more of his country-tinged Nebraska roots into his solo releases and vocal assists from folk duo First Aid Kit only sweetens the deal.

James Blake 2.0: Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour” (June 17) — If you caught Smith’s performance on “Saturday Night Live” in March, you know the power of this Brit’s haunting and soulful melodies. At only 21 years old, Smith is slated for a meteoric rise.

Movie mix-tape: American Laundromat Records’ “I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson” (May 13) — This 23-track album features a diverse array of artists covering songs from Wes Anderson’s iconic films. Muted color schemes and Jason Schwartzman not included.

Food

Chocolate chip cookie milk shot: From the genius who brought you the “cronut,” the chocolate chip cookie milk shot is exactly what it sounds like: a chocolate chip cookie in the shape of a shot glass filled with milk. It’s a magical update on a childhood favorite.

Infused ice: Ice cubes no longer have to be the boring frozen treat of your summer. Restaurants are starting to see the potential of infusing them with herbs, fruit and other goodies in order to spice up cocktails and other drinks. Cheers!

A spot of tea: From tea leaves in entrees to tea-based cocktails, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy tea without having to sip a steaming hot cup in the middle of July.

Ice cream sandwich smorgasbord: After enduring years of the cupcake’s reign as most popular dessert, it looks as though we’ll all be screaming for ice cream sandwiches from roaming food trucks soon enough.

Adult popsicles: Booze-infused popsicles aren’t a relatively new idea, but the fun flavor possibilities and their simple prep make them a no-brainer for summer.

Lifestyle

Music festivals: For many, summer is equated with hanging outdoors and listening to their favorite bands. Muse did a blog post earlier in April with a list of the best music festivals across the country. All you have to do is pick one (or two … or five).

Get your drink on: You don’t have to be in traditional “wine country” to take a tour of a winery. Or, if beer is more your thing, check out a brewery. Sites such as Groupon offer great rates that include tours, food pairings and of course, tastings.

Stuff your face: Food festivals happen nearly everywhere, and they’re a great place to expand your palette and maybe even find your new favorite restaurant. Some of them are even tailored to a state’s signature dish, such as the Maine Lobster Festival.

Pay homage to your favorite author: Okay, this one is kind of a stretch, but if you happen to be in Florida this summer, why not remember a famous author who used to live there? Hemingway Days is a five-day festival in July that includes book signings, readings, a fishing tournament in honor of the author’s favorite sport and a look-alike contest (Google some pictures and thank me later).

Five reasons to live in specialty community residences

By Heather Goldin, Multimedia Editor
@HeatherGoldin

The time has finally arrived to choose a housing option for next year. You know you don’t want to be stuck in one of the freshman dorms, so you may want to start doing research on the Boston University Housing website. Do you go for one of the well-liked sophomore dorms? Cross your fingers and hope to get pulled into Student Village? Ditch your housing deposit completely and opt for somewhere off campus? How about a specialty community residence?

It’s not the first residence option that comes to mind, but there are actually several benefits to specialty community residences at BU. Not convinced? Here are some reasons to consider an SCR.

1. Sweet Crib

SCRs are far different than your average college dorm. Forget sharing a bathroom with your floor of 30-something, brownstones limit your entire floor to no more than eight residents. It is also notable to mention that each floor of the brownstone has two bathrooms, complete with little cubbies for your bathroom storage needs. Did I mention there’s a kitchen in the basement?

PHOTO VIA/ tumblr.com

PHOTO VIA/ tumblr.com

2. Kitchen Access

Love cooking? SCRs allow students the luxury of making a meal at home when they don’t feel like trekking to the nearest dining hall. You can bake goodies for friends, or invite the friend group over for a dorm-cooked meal.

PHOTO VIA/ holidayhotmess.tumblr.com

PHOTO VIA/ holidayhotmess.tumblr.com

3. Common Ground

SCRs give students a way to instantly forge a connection with their roommates. Whether you share a common language, major or passion, SCRs are a great way to make friends with common interests.

PHOTO VIA/ le-coeur-noublie.tumblr.com

PHOTO VIA/ le-coeur-noublie.tumblr.com

4. Role Models

Where do you see yourself two or three years from now? Your special community resident adviser might be none other than future you. RAs and upperclassmen in SCRs have great insight on leadership positions and events. Older students are also great to talk to about anything really: stress, life, the universe, you name it.

PHOTO VIA/ thegifofthemagi.tumblr.com

PHOTO VIA/ thegifofthemagi.tumblr.com

5. Adult-like Responsibility

Forget waving your BU IDs in front of security guards (and the hassle of signing in your overnight guests), SCRs program your IDs with tap access to the residence. In addition, only residents who live in a specific specialty residence can get in with their ID. With so much freedom, SCRs are a great way to mature during the college years.

PHOTO VIA/ niketalk.com

PHOTO VIA/ niketalk.com

Don’t believe me? Take it from current students living in specialty community residences this semester.

Going vegan

By Katie Doyle, Food Editor

“Every reason that a person is vegetarian is a great reason to go vegan,” said Rachel Atcheson, a College of Arts and Sciences senior.

Rachel is also an animal rights activist, and accordingly, a vegan. So is Graham Boswell, a College of Fine Arts junior, who has been a vegan for six years now.

When I sat down in the George Sherman Union to interview Atcheson and Boswell, my intention was to write a story about veganism: its pros and its cons, how it’s perceived both on the inside and out and its cultural significance. And, with the information I gleaned from our interview—such as how most meat eaters will consume roughly 30 animals a year, 29 1/3 of which are chicken; how the average omnivore eats close to 200 fish per year; how being part of a strong community is extremely helpful in staying vegan—I probably could have written that piece.

But, I had no idea our interview would have such personal consequences.

While both students weren’t actively trying to persuade me to go vegan—as animal rights advocates, they are inherently armed with a hefty load of facts, figures and details about the modern food industry—the sheer passion of their argument inevitably resonated with me, a long-time vegetarian, but also a long-time animal lover, who grew up around kittens and puppies, horses and pigs and to this day just has to stop and pet every dog walking by on the street.

The thing is, I always used to say that I was a vegetarian not necessarily because of ethical reasons, but because I simply didn’t like meat. After all, one of the reasons I gave up meat was because I found myself having to coat my chicken tenders in so much ketchup to disguise its texture and hide the flesh. I wasn’t sure why it bothered me so much, but I shrugged it off as simply, well, not liking meat. After talking with the two of them, though, I think I may have been wrong; maybe there was more to it.

“So, if you take some of the main reasons people are vegetarian – they don’t want to harm animals – well, factory farming, the way our modern agriculture is now, you harm animals that are within the production line when you’re vegetarian,” Atcheson said.

“For instance, you think maybe you’re not killing an animal vegetarian when you’re a vegetarian, but the fact is, because of our egg industry, little baby male chicks, sadly, get ground up alive, and that’s to get eggs,” she said.

Boswell explained that because male chicks can’t produce eggs, and aren’t bred to produce meat, they are ground up, suffocated or otherwise disposed of as soon as they’re hatched.

“If you really don’t want to harm animals, look at where your eggs and dairy are coming from, because sadly there is no cruelty-free eggs or dairy out there,” Atcheson said.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, and when I went home to research the startling reality of the dairy and egg industry, I could barely watch the behind-the-scenes videos on YouTube or listen to the graphic descriptions of animal cruelty taking places in those factory farms.

Truth be told, I felt sick. And it got me thinking. While I’ve thought about going vegan before—I rarely eat eggs on their own, occasionally substitute soy for dairy without any issues and don’t have a particular craving for cheese—I was worried about the alleged inconvenience and cost of a vegan diet. Still, though, I was interested. And, as a writer, I thought it would be just the perfect process to document.

“It’s just forming new habits and getting rid of the old habits,” Boswell said. “I remember distinctly getting a glass of milk and a candy bar at my grandmother’s house because that’s what she always had, and it was sort of like comfort food, and that was just what I was in the habit of doing, and I had to stop myself and remember the commitment I had made. Now I have new habits, and new comfort foods.”

Boswell, who since going vegan has attained a healthy weight and even recently ran half-marathon, added that he has never been healthier. They both explained how a whole food, plant-based diet comprised of beans, nuts, tofu, tempeh, lentils and the like is not only packed with protein and nutrients, but can be surprisingly affordable, especially if bought in bulk.

So, I thought, maybe it would easy for me—a vegetarian who already loved to cook—to go vegan. But what about an omnivore, who loves meat and cheese?

Undoubtedly, the transition from a vegetarian’s perspective is certainly different from an omnivore’s. So, I enlisted the help of my girlfriend, and there it commenced: we would “go vegan,” or eliminate dairy, eggs and all animal byproducts, from our diets.

Over the next two weeks, I’m going to write about our transition in this blog: just how different it is from vegetarianism, and especially from eating meat; the cost and convenience; and ultimately, how we felt mentally and physically after saying goodbye to animal products once and for all.

Defeating the campus fashion no’s

By Karolyne Ridgill, Staff Writer

So, what’s your personal style? Edgy? Simple? Vintage? Jeans and a t-shirt? The definition of fashion and style has morphed and become as broad and personal as possible. And with college comes a world of virtually no dress code, like you might’ve had in high school. There are no rules, no limits! Ahem. Well, not so fast. Here are a few fashion fads that have run their course. They came, and we saw on every campus and now. Now they’ve got to be conquered.

Extreme accessorizing:

Without a doubt, a few accessories can really spice up even the plainest of outfits. Yes to earrings, hairbands, necklaces, bracelets, belts, rings and shoes that are important staples to creating that perfect outfit, but please don’t wear them all at once! Accessorizing doesn’t mean pairing your chandelier earrings with a chunky necklace and 10 bangles on each arm, a neon headscarf and some sparkly four-inch pumps. If your outfit is assailing the eyes and ears of the public, you’ve got on too much. Remember, you want to look put together and not like a Claire’s store exploded on you.

Hipster glasses without lenses:

As a person who’s been afflicted with severe astigmatism most of my life, I’ve always viewed glasses as more of a resented lifesaver than a fashion piece. I mean, is “four eyes” no longer a thing? Regardless, the rising popularity of oversized glasses has forced those blessed with 20/20 vision to get more creative in order to look ocularly disabled. Non-prescription glasses?If you must, but please make sure they have lenses. Punching out the lenses from the RealD Cinema glasses you stole from “The Avengers” makes you look ridiculous, not smarter—definitely not  the ironic look you wanted.

Pajamas to class:

They’re warm, soft and downright comfy. Nothing compares to lounging about in your pajamas all day. However, when there are things to be accomplished in the world like, for example, going to class, being outfitted in pajamas gives off the wrong image. Instead of the laid back and comfortable look you were maybe hoping for, your cotton Tinker Bell pants in lecture are telling us you’re sloppy and lazy. People may question if you even brushed your teeth that morning! Even if your brain is still fast asleep and your body is on autopilot, it doesn’t take more than two seconds to pull on some jeans and a hoodie.

Just … Ugg: 

I’ve saved the worst for last. Uggs are never appropriate. Whether they be worn with sweatpants, jeans, shorts or, the absolute worst, a North Face jacket, Uggs really have no use except as overpriced house slippers. They look like soggy, dirty potatoes in the winter and like lost arctic animals in the summer. Sure, when you drag yourself bleary-eyed to class you want comfort, but there are thousands of actual shoes out there that are comfortable and have arch supports! Uggs: bad for your outfit and your health.

In case you missed it: Gangnam Style

By Gina Curreri, MUSE Lifestyle Editor
@ginacurreri

For those of you who’ve lived under a rock for the past month, I introduce to you Gangnam Style, further reaffirming for me that South Korea is the coolest of cool. (Why haven’t Americans figured this one out?)

South Korean K-pop singer Psy released this bad boy back home recently. He said he invented the Gangnam Style dance to “dress classy and dance cheesy.” The video best speaks for itself.

 

Well, do you love it? Here’s a bit of the closest translation to English I could find. It’s most likely off a bit.

A girl who is warm and humane during the day

A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee

A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes

A girl with that kind of twist

I’m a guy

A guy who is as warm as you during the day

A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down

A guy whose heart bursts when night comes

That kind of guy

And why does any of this matter? Well, Psy went to Boston University and even had a stint at Berklee College of Music! I figured BU students would have been a little more on top of this than they have been. Psy hilariously admits to Ryan Seacrest that he snuck in loads of alcohol to American students. This resulted in a swarm of ambulances outside BU. Well, Psy, not much has changed, except maybe that the current foreign students aren’t as cool as you were. U da man.

View the story on Storify!