Nov 6, 2009  •  In Art/Design, Blogging, Web

And the Winner Is…

Thank you to all who entered my custom illustration giveaway!

I received a whooping 178 entries total: 76 via comments (I subtracted 2 since I commented twice) and 102 via Twitter.

I numbered the comments 1-76, and the Twitter entries 77-178. Then I used to choose the lucky winner…

Congratulations to Marissa!

I will be emailing you shortly to work out the details.

Again, thank you to all who entered, and stay tuned for more giveaways in the near future!

Nov 6, 2009  •  In Personal

My New Driver’s License

I have lived in New York for the majority of my life. Hence I have been trained and brainwashed to think that New Jersey is an inferior state reserved for wannabe New Yorkers.

The armpit of America. The toxic wastedump of the northeast. A garbage dump for New York. I have heard, and used, them all.

So imagine my embarrassment when New Jersey became our first home after marriage.

I’m still in denial. I really am. When people ask where I live, I say “the New York area” (which is technically true, seeing that my commute into midtown Manhattan is a lot shorter than that of those living in Brooklyn, Queens, or even uptown Manhattan itself). On the rare occasions when I get carded, I proudly produce my New York driver’s license and turn my nose up on those carrying other states’.

Until now.

A couple of weeks ago, I realized that my New York license would be expiring on my birthday this year: December 7. And since I had no idea how long it would take for me to get a NJ license, or if I would run into any difficulties, I decided to go in a whole month early to make the change.

Today, I traded in my NY driver’s license for a NJ one.

*hides in shame*

The process itself was pretty painless, and there wasn’t even a line at the DMV (oh, excuse me…NJ calls it the MVC, or the “Motor Vehicle Commission”). I almost felt like the state of New Jersey was mocking me for making such a big deal out of it.

Ladies and gents, I present to you my new license:

I had to take a picture with my camera, because the scanner amplified the holograms and you couldn’t see a damn thing.

Compare that to my old license (I made sure to take a scan of my NY license before leaving the house since I knew that they would be taking it away):

Oh, young Jenny…there’s just so much I need to warn you about. And yet, tragically, I cannot.

Compared to the NY license, the NJ one is definitely inferior in quality. NY licenses are coated in some kind of material that allows it to bend and flex in every way without tearing. This pictured license has even been through the washing machine and survived to tell its tale!

In contrast, my NJ license is laminated by a thick sheet of plastic. The image quality is sub-par (can you see how blurry it is in the picture above?) and if you look at the edges, you can see that it is crooked!

Another reason I had been carrying my NY license with pride is that it was issued before the change in design, so I felt speshurr that no one else I knew carried this design. Actually, my learner’s permit had the classic, no-frills blue and white design which I loved. When I obtained my license, they changed it to the pink design above (eww) and now, NY issues these monstrosities (double eww):

The design keeps getting worse and worse, no?

Another thing I should mention is that when I was filling out my forms, they asked for my weight…but as you can see it isn’t included in the license. If memory serves me right, NY does not ask for your weight at all during the process.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that California licenses include your weight. I wonder how many people fib on that section!

Do you like your state’s driver’s license design? Which state do you think has the best license? The worst?

Nov 6, 2009  •  In Android, Apple, Gadgets, Geek

How Many iPhone Apps Do You Use?

I admit it — I’m a cell phone whore. And as much as I love my HTC G1, I hate, hate, HATE the T-Mobile network. The problem is made worse by the fact that I had switched over to T-Mobile from Verizon (the best network in the U.S.) for the G1.

I refuse to switch over to the iPhone. I hate that it is a closed platform, and that it forces developers to jump through hoops and wait unreasonable lengths of time for an app to get approved.

(Case in point: the Squarespace iPhone App was finally released this week. Apple’s approval process had taken so long that the Squarespace team is already well into the next version of the application. As with all freshly-released applications, there are minor bugs and issues with this app — which have been fixed in the newer version — but Apple’s lengthy approval time forces the users of this app to keep waiting.)

I also have had bad experience with AT&T in the past, and I hear that they are not much better these days.

This is precisely the reason I have been waiting with baited breath the release of the Motorola DROID, which is available on the Verizon network TODAY.

Just in case you do not follow numerous tech blogs like me, you should know that the DROID is being touted as a “killer phone.” Read Mashable’s roundup of reviews here.

Enough with the drawn-out introduction. Let’s get to the crux of the matter here.

Having read numerous reviews of the DROID over the past month, I am always tickled when I read that one of the “cons” of the DROID (or the Android platform in general) is that it “only” has 12,000+ apps when the iPhone boasts 100,000+.

100,000+ apps? You better be sure there’s an app for that.

But when you really think about it, isn’t 12,000+ a significant number too?

I mean, how many apps do you really need? How many apps can you really use on a phone that cannot run background apps? (Which, to me, counts as another “con” for the iPhone.)

I use my G1 extensively. And after having downloaded tons of applications, I end up deleting the majority of them and only use about 5 extensively. Because let’s face it: whether you use the iPhone, an Android phone, a WinMo phone (shudder), a Palm or a Symbian, almost everything you need comes pre-packaged with the phone. While there are great applications out there for download, the great majority of what is on the marketplace is hogwash.

So I would like to pose this question to all my readers who own iPhones:

How many iPhone apps do you regularly use?

As for me, I’ve alread made up my mind. As soon as my T-Mobile contract ends on December 22, I will be switching back to Verizon and purchasing the Motorola DROID.

Nov 6, 2009  •  In Beauty

The Return of the Cone Bra

I read on StyleList yesterday that the cone bra, or the “pointy bra,” is making a comeback.

I have always loved the fashion and trends of the 1950s and 1960s so I’m a bit intrigued.

Of course, I would draw the line at something as extreme as this. But the photo of Marilyn Monroe above, and the impeccably dressed ladies of Mad Men, prove that the look can be quite classy.

Would you try a cone bra?

Nov 5, 2009  •  In Personal, Relationships

The Need to Impress

Six years ago on this exact date, a boy asked a girl if she would like to go check out an all-you-can-eat sushi joint. They had been friends for ages — and best friends for the past few months — so the proposed plan did not seem out of the norm. However, they found that upon calling/texting/IMing mutual friends, no one else was available to join them for dinner.

The girl shrugged her shoulders as if to ask “Why not?” and proceeded with the plans. They would have a lovely dinner, just the two of them, as friends.

Three hours later it was clear that they were not just friends, as the boy had made “the move” and the girl had readily accepted.

On a dark and stormy night some three and a half years later, the boy got down on one knee and asked the girl if she wouldn’t mind spending the rest of her life with him. A year later, they got hitched. And currently, the girl sits in front of her laptop, typing out this story.

I know we no longer celebrate this date, but happy dateaversary all the same.  :-)

Soon after we first started dating. We look so young!

Isn’t it funny how time flies? It may have been a full six years, but the events of November 5th, 2003 are etched forever into my memory and I can still remember it as if it were yesterday.

I was telling J the other day that after all this time, I still feel the need to impress him.

“Isn’t that a bad thing?” he asked. “You should feel completely comfortable with me — I’m your husband!”

I then realized that my need to impress him is different than it had been many years ago. When we first started dating, I wanted him to only see the best of me. I would force myself to be the best that I can be whenever he was around.

In other words, I wanted him to think that I was hot sh*t when I was just cold diarrhea.

I no longer care if J sees me without makeup, with horrible morning breath, or donning my ugliest, most unflattering pieces of clothing. I no longer make him sing loudly whenever I need to pee while he’s in the shower…I even sometimes *gasp* leave the bathroom door open while taking a piss!

This isn’t to say that I always look like crap when we’re home alone. I still like to doll up on occasion, and I love the look in his eyes as he first sees me step out of the bedroom after my primping ritual has come to an end.

In fact, it is these occasions that mean the most to me…

…because his approval matters most.

I seek J’s approval not only in matters of appearance, but with all aspects of my life. After I have slaved away in the kitchen making a (hopefully) delicious meal. After finishing a new design or a new piece of code for work. And yes, even after writing a new blog post.

Am I implying that I am a brainless bimbo who can’t think for herself? Of course not. What I am trying to say is that J is the most important person in my life; ergo, his opinion the one I value the most.

And let me tell you; it is damn hard to get this guy’s approval. He is a QA engineer by trade. It’s his job to break down and break apart materials and ideas that others have meticulously labored over. He’s not the type to gloss things over just to make someone feel better, so I know that when he gives his seal of approval, I really did do a good job.

After explaining all this to him, I added, “So no, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it’s a good thing, wouldn’t you say?”

All he did in response was give me his trademark, “I love this woman and I feel so lucky to be with her” smile.

And I knew my answer had impressed him.

What about you? Do you feel the need to impress your significant other?