Buying gifts on a budget can be tough, but it's even tougher to show up without a gift. Leave the gift giving to Santa and reach for one of these stocking stuffers that will leave Santa himself in shock because they're all that good!
Subscribe to our
Walking down the narrow street towards the Red Light District, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But when we came across our first “peep show” I was shocked. I knew that prostitution was legal in Amsterdam, but I didn’t realize the extent to which it filled this district. With the smell of cannabis and urine in the air, I realized everything anyone had ever told me about Amsterdam was true.
As a 21st century girl, I was appalled at first. Seeing these Barbie-like women standing in the windows like mannequins in nothing but their underwear freaked me out. I felt sorry for them and their life. But then I started to think more and more about it. These women are working in a thriving industry in Amsterdam. The culture is vastly different from that of America and it was more than acceptable for them to strut their stuff in those shops.
As the day went on and we passed more and more shops boasting the prettiest women in Amsterdam, I did not feel as appalled as I originally did. Amsterdam has its own culture and this is just another part of it. There is no need to shield your eyes as you walk down the streets or feel embarrassed. This is their life. You can only hope that their industry treats them and pays them well.
The other aspect of Amsterdam culture is weed. The smell reeks in the air and around every corner there are little coffee shops or convenient stores where you can buy paraphernalia. It’s just another part of the culture.
That’s the thing no one really warns you about when you study abroad. Sure, they tell you that the culture of your new home will be different, but you often forget that when you travel, you enter into an entirely new culture. As a world, we need to be accepting of these cultures as long as they follow the laws of their home country. Some cultures may seem flawed, but that’s a personal interpretation. Live and let live is my motto and it pertains to any and everyone you come into contact with. Embrace new cultures and see just how different lives can be when you live in vastly different countries.
There are new colors out there.
Have you ever tried to think of a new color? Or come up with your own new sound, or taste--something no one has ever seen or heard or tasted in all of history? I've tried before, and failed each time. I started to think that such things as new colors were fantasies, that new sounds could only be found in heaven and that new tastes were nothing more than the hazy daydreams of hungry tourists. But then I came to Hawaii.
The moment I opened the plastic lid of my poi and watched the purplish goo ooze back into its container, I knew I was in trouble. The tomatoes and raw salmon also threw me; the bright red mixture zapped my tongue with strange bursts of tangy flavor that I couldn't handle. Clear noodles reminded me of congealed chicken noodle soup. They tasted like it, too. Pork and cabbage, sticky rice, dark purple sweet potatoes, pineapple and Hawaiian bread completed the meal--most of which I couldn't finish, even for the sake of politeness. I hate to turn my nose up at anything, especially if it's at the expense of someone else's labor, but my picky taste buds took one bite of that poi and started screaming, "No! Please, no!"
Some sounds I've come to associate with home: the sound of the ocean rolling into the coast, the sounds of loud tourists shouting at each other, the ungraceful flapping and squawks of seagulls trying to steal your french fries and the creak of the tiny bamboo forest in the arboretum by my house. But they sounded crisper in the filter of the island air. It wasn't the whooshing rush of hopping-cold waves splashing into the California shore--it was the lapping bathtub water washing the coral and rocks in Waikiki. It wasn't the jubilant shrieks of kids with mouse-themed ears running around--it was the blend of voices with completely foreign accents all trying to learn how to say aloha and mahalo like they belonged on the island. The whipping of birds' wings as they dipped for crumbs on the sidewalk was a blissful reprieve from the aggressive cacophony of the birds back home. And there's no way to compare the whisper of the tiny section the arboretum cordoned off for bamboo with the mighty groaning of the tall bamboo forests growing wild in the jungle.
But the colors of the jungle really did beat them all. It was as if God invented a new shade of green for every leaf we passed. Rusty crawdads scuttled along the bottom of a mossy green creek. We clung to a dusty gray vine for dear life as we swung across the water, landing on the soft brown soil on the far side. A gentle rain bathed the tree bark a dark brown and swirled the dirt into a muddy chocolate. Amethyst blooms and orange fungi painted the green on our walk up to the crystal water of the lovely Manoa Falls.
It's slightly insulting to try to cram something as exceptionally fantastic as this paradise into a short article. I had always told myself I'd never get the chance to fly across the ocean and see it. I would have loved to hear that it's possible to eat something I couldn't have imagined, or hear a fresh sound or see a new color when I thought it couldn't be done. I might not have believed it, but hearing it would have given me hope. Now I tell you: there are impossible sensations to explore in the world, and you can find a new color somewhere out there in the jungle.
After the prequels, plans were made for a live-action television series - so what happened?
Until recently, television wasn't really the place for large-scale projects. But with the successes of online streaming shows such as Stranger Things and Black Mirror, as well as the high-budget epics like Game of Thrones. It was recently revealed what the premise and title of the upcoming Disney streaming exclusive, live-action Star Wars series would be – The Mandalorian. While it's the first real project the service is actively working on, it is not the first shot at a television series in the galaxy far far away. In the time between the Prequel Trilogy and the Disney sale in 2012, Lucasfilm was working on and off on a live-action series that would be the new step for the saga, but over time it proved that some things are just not meant to be.
The earliest inklings of a live-action Star Wars TV show came about around the same time as the original 1977 release, as science fiction movies had been moving to the small screen, notably Logan's Run and Planet of the Apes. George Lucas did have some early conversations with networks, which over the next few months would turn into the Star Wars Holiday Special. After that failure, Lucasfilm stepped away from television for a while, returning in 1984 with the premiere of a movie that was designed to spin off into a full series, titled The Caravan of Courage – focusing not on the iconic space battles or the continued adventures of Luke Skywalker, but the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi. While a sequel was produced, neither film was received well enough for Lucasfilm to consider doing their live action Ewok series, instead making it into an animated program. While the Star Wars craze was dying down in the mid-80s, another Lucasfilm project had come along and grabbed the attention of the public, being Indiana Jones. Following the release of The Last Crusade in 1989, Lucas once again looked to television, leading to the highly successful The Young Indiana Jones Adventures, which was, as the title sounds, about a young Indiana Jones growing up and into the archaeologist we are introduced to in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Think of the show as if Solo was a series instead of a single movie – a younger actor playing a role originated by Harrison Ford, and telling the stories of how he met Sallah, etc. Once the show was wrapped in 1996, Lucasfilm went back to their golden child, and the Star Wars prequels were made and released between 1999 and 2005.
As production was ending on Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas was working on plans of continuing the saga without needing to do new movies. Around May of 2005, the plan was set in motion to do a live-action series that would chronicle the nineteen year gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, as well as another animated series about the Clone Wars era (the previous version was hand-drawn short form episodes, this idea would lead to the famed The Clone Wars, aired between 2008 and 2014, with a final season premiering on the Disney streaming service). From here, details were kept pretty secretive, though it did come out that Boba Fett, the iconic bounty hunter from the Original Trilogy, would feature in the series, as well as introducing new characters that would bridge the trilogies together. One of these proposed characters was Saw Gerrera, who debuted in The Clone Wars, and later made an appearance in Rogue One. Directors were being met with, writers were coming on board, and early casting was beginning. One such director was the son of Richard Marquand, the late director of Return of the Jedi, and likely Lucas himself would be directing and writing several episodes, or even contacting his friends such as Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg to direct episodes, though the latter two were just rumors at best. Eventually, the title was decided on, though kept secret for years: Star Wars: Underworld, hinting at the premise for the program.
Now for the plot, we only heard basic ideas. At first, it was said that we would rarely, if ever, see characters we knew from the movies, though this would be changed as time went on. What was confirmed was that it would be more about the darker, criminal side of the galaxy, less a story of good and evil and more existing in a morally gray area. Tone wise, it was to be made for an adult audience, pushing the bounds of what was acceptable in Star Wars, going so far as to be offered to HBO. It was also at one point set to be an anthology series that would occasionally feature movie characters, including one episode about Emperor Palpatine, where he was "wronged by a heartless woman" - this would later inspire developer Cory Barlog to write the story of the unrelated (in every sense of the word) video game God of War. The origin of Han Solo was also suggested, and John Knoll had met with Lucas about working on the series finale – the story of how the Rebels stole the Death Star plans, a story that would later be rewritten into becoming Rogue One. The Church of the Force (The Force Awakens),Coruscant level 1313 (the canceled video game Star Wars: 1313), and some ideas used on Star Wars: Rebels all came from the meetings George Lucas had with the writing and art departments while working on Underworld.
So why would a series based on the most successful media franchise of all time never get off the ground? Well, in 2005-2011, television networks didn't really want to put millions of dollars per episode – Underworld was budgeted at almost twenty million per episode, if not more due to actors or effects that would be developed, and even HBO only wanted to put a single million for every episode. Which, in the time before Game of Thrones, would have been expensive for them. The Clone Wars series was a massive hit, but George Lucas was paying the same amount per episode for that show, practically out of pocket. It also didn't help the growing hatred of Lucas within the fan communities, still angry with the prequels and Special Editions, which over time led to Lucas announcing his retirement from filmmaking in 2012. Meanwhile, he was writing scripts for his own Sequel Trilogy, and by 2011, was considering selling Lucasfilm. The company was sold to Disney in 2012, and the newly reorganized company started to work more on the upcoming movies, even canceling the 3D re-releases of the saga, though they were able to get The Phantom Menace re-released earlier that year (come on, why start with that one?) In 2013, ABC Television expressed interest in programs from the Star Wars franchise, as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe – getting the latter out long before The Force Awakens. In 2017, Jon Faverau was brought in to be the showrunner for a live-action series, and well, The Mandalorian premieres in 2019, ending the decades-long attempts to bring the galaxy to the home.
So yeah, maybe we could already have had a live-action series. But I'm kind of glad we didn't get one back then, because it wouldn't have been as well made. Money is everything when it comes to Hollywood, and while there was plenty of money to be made with the brand, there was a concern that networks wouldn't be able to recoup the money. Now, with the advent of paid streaming services and a rebirth of the public love for the franchise, Disney can put one hundred million dollars to a Star Wars show and easily make it back through merchandise and subscription costs. This is a new medium for the series, and if the Netflix co-productions Marvel has done are any indication of how things may turn out, The Mandalorian could turn out to be one of the best stories in the franchise. We still get little bits of what could have been from Underworld, and perhaps we will see a similar show in the future. But for now, I'm excited to see a new story in a relatively undocumented era of the saga.
Could I ask you to look a little closer, beyond Hollywood and tiktok?
Not going to lie, before this particular trip, you were by far my least favorite city. I hadn't seen you in your true light and honestly, I don't think many people do.
You deceive people with your Hollywood lights and impressive financial district. The proximity to sun-soaked beaches and piers keeps the focus off of what's actually there. Could it be that you don't want to acknowledge the less-than-presentable parts of the city?
What if I asked you to walk just five blocks from the financial district into the heart of Skid Row? How would you respond? Would you be afraid or could you learn to recognize the fear that dwells in the own eyes of a young man without a home? Can you say, "Oh those people just want handouts," when you already demand so much for yourself? Would you just shrug and say, "Oh, I''m sure someone will take care of it", even if I told you 85,000 people in your city do not have a home?
Could you believe me if I said that many people you encounter on a day-to-day basis are finding it difficult to scrape by? When the end of the month comes, many mouths are open with bellies aching to be fed.
Would you look at your city in the eyes and apologize for not looking directly before?
When you see the woman sitting alone on the park bench, bring her water.
If you see hungry children feed them with food and compassionate love.
The next time you see a man who has been dealt a worse hand than you, don't assume he is a drunkard.
Step into the stories of your own city. Walk the streets of Compton and see the light bursting through. The light that paints houses and makes them new each week. The light which explodes from Faith Inspiration Church where the congregation prays for powerful changes. And although they are the last people who should feel the need to pray for President Trump, pray humbly and genuinely for the leader of this country.
Love your people and talk with the people in your borders. Don't turn away, invite in. Don't just give money, give time, a life-giving word, a smile.
Don't brighten Hollywood's lights,
Work harder to end a larger fight.
Stop focusing on the amount of your wealth,
Pause for a moment and care about this great city's health.
When you have no ideas for what to wear to this date function
Discover creative ideas for rhyming without reason with this comprehensive guide to innovative poetic rhyme. Gain a better understanding of the poetic style with this educational piece.
I am going to a rhyme without reason date function and I have looked at so many different rhyming words and I figured there need to be a new list of words. At these functions, there are usually at least two rockers and boxers and an umpteenth amount of dogs and frogs. I have come up with a list of creative and unique ideas for these functions.
If you like what you see, get a shopping cart going with these costumes.
1. Dime and a Mime
I think that this one would be super cute except one of the dates would have to not talk the entire function which would be extremely difficult.
2. Ramp and a Lamp
This is my personal favorite except it would be difficult to dress up like a ramp.
3. Hooters and Shooters
For this you could have one person dress up like hooter's girl and have one person wear plastic shot glasses with color glue in them.
4. Sherlock and Woodstock
For this one person could wear a cape and a Sherlock hat with a magnifying glass and the other person could dress up like the bird Woodstock or the festival.
5. Spaghetti and a Yeti
This would be the coolest idea to do. To dress up like a bowl of spaghetti and a Yeti. The only thing you would have to watch would to make sure that the Yeti didn't eat the spaghetti.
6. Whale and snail
This would be very cute. You could use a backpack or a laundry basket for the shell.
7. Ladder and Bladder
I don't know if you have seen the bladder cartoon but just imagine someone dressed up like that. Wouldn't that be so cute?
8. Rake and Snake
The snake could use the rake. This would be a very easy to dress up for.
9. Jam and Ham
You could dress up like a thing of jam or like a dollop of jam and just wear a single color.
10. Pig and a Twig
You could dress with pink and then the other person could dress with brown.
11. Banana and Nana
All you need for this one is a banana costume and old lady clothes
12. Dairy and Fairy
One person would dress up as a milk carton and the other as any kind of fairy.
13. Hibachi and Versace
I think that this is the most creative pairing that has ever been thought of. The hibachi person would definitely have to have one of those tall hats they wear.
14. Trash bag and American Flag
You could put your arms through the straps that come out of the trash bag and just wrap an American flag around yourself (as long as it doesn't touch the floor).
15. Gumball Machine and American Dream
This would be super cute if the person who was the gumball put puffballs onto their shirt and wore silver pants.
16. Bob Ross and Dental Floss
This is super easy and everyone would know exactly who you were.
I hope that as you go to functions with this theme or need a costume for Halloween or another event, these will be a help to you! I hope you like them as much as I do!
What is a rhyme without reason date function?
A rhyme without reason date function is a social gathering when partners show up wearing outfits that rhyme with each other. It opens up an opportunity for creativity. It is most popular on college campuses, though it can be extended to other parts of society as a fun way to play dress-up. It also gains additional popularity around Halloween time, given the interest in costumes and dressing up for that holiday.
What are some top ideas for a rhyme without reason?
There are so many options: A Dog and a Frog could be fun. A Ramp and a Lamp, a Whale and a Snail, a Rake and a Snake, a Trash Bag and a Flag, and Bob Ross and Dental Floss are just some ideas for a rhyme without reason date function. Using your own creativity, you could think of countless more options and if you explore the web, you'll find lists out there to provide inspiration. Rhyming without reason at the end of the day is all about having fun.
What are some sources of rhyme without reason inspiration?
For starters, TikTok has a whole collection of rhyme without reason ideas. You could browse those for quite some time and find plenty of inspiration. You might also look toward Her Campus for plenty more ideas or our handy list. There's no shortage of options around the web, but some of the best ideas may come from you. Start with the rhyming perspective and then think about what fun pairings would be for a real-life rhyme without reason costume party.
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign