Spring Break 2K15!! Photos!!! TRAVEL QUOTES!!!!

Yay! I went on an awesome trip over Spring Break and had so much fun! I’ll prove how much fun I had with all of these beautiful photos that I took in a different country. I’ve captioned all the photos with vaguely philosophical travel-related quotes to show that not only do I have the best vacations, but I also have the best, most sophisticated feelings about them.

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“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury

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“Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” — Peter Hoeg

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Pollerbears: It’s finally Spring Break!

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You know what makes the spring semester so superior to the fall semester? The week-long break after a hectic midterms week. (Spring Weekend and the–hopefully–approaching warm weather also don’t hurt.) BlogDH is about to peace out for the week, but before we go, we want to know what you guys are going to be up to this week.

What are you doing for Spring Break?

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Sextion: Spring break edition

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Vacation is not real life. You eat whatever you want; drink beverages that easily have over 500 calories; and lay around doing nothing for hours (what reading?). Therefore, vacation is the perfect time for a no-strings attached, purely fun hook up with someone you honestly will probably never see again. Yet, a problem that arises: without your friends and/or a space you already know (a.k.a. not Whiskey or my friend’s house/dorm party), how do you meet someone you can get down and dirty with? Just like our packing list, let’s lay out the necessities in advance.

Tinder: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Tinder is great. Tinder is even better, though, on vacation, as it enables you to peruse so many options from the comfort of your hotel/hostel bed. During an extraordinarily boring spring break with my family last year, I started chatting with Will, a recent college graduate and aspiring singer/songwriter. After a day or two of texting, he asked if I wanted to hang out. I invited him over to my hotel, where we went for a night swim and hooked up in a cabana. Mission accomplished, and all it took was a swipe right.

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A Misanthrope’s Guide To The Movies: Bad Words, Divergent, and The Grand Budapest Hotel

Spring break is over, but its memories will last forever. Or at least that’s what half a dozen Facebook album names and airport location check-ins tell me. But I can’t say I disagree. This break I travelled from Napa Valley to Minnesota, to Western Europe, and even back to my hometown of Chicago. Chicago in a future dystopia, that is. While some people may have been counting shots or blackouts (no judgment) this break, I was counting movies, and I’m proud to say that in 9 days I watched 9. Of course within movie viewing experiences, there is a hierarchy and as much as I love Netflix, truthfully nothing short of cold hard cash excites more than seeing movies in theaters–the trailers, the popcorn, the people, the glitz, the glamour. Here are some thoughts on a few of the movies that hit theaters this break:

Bad Words

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It truly pains me to speak ill of Jason Bateman. I have stuck with him through Horrible BossesThe Changeup, and even Identity Theft. “He’s just trying to find himself in a post-Arrested Development world,” I would explain to myself and some inanimate objects. But Bad Words is one of the worst movies I’ve seen recently [Ed–Hey, I kind of liked it…] and I am no longer able to convince myself that he’s simply in it for the paycheck as Jason not only starred in, but directed this film. The plot centers around a 40 year old man who insists on competing in children’s spelling bees much to the bewilderment and chagrin of parents and the bee’s coordinators, as a result of a loophole in the rules allowing anyone to compete who has not graduated the 8th grade. The problems with this movie start with the racism (Bateman’s character continually refers to a 10-year old Indian child as “slumdog”), continues with the sexism, and culminates in a very thin and abrupt plot. The movie seemed to start too late in Bateman’s journey to properly introduce his character to the audience and ended far too early to justify any of his extremely inappropriate behavior. The saving grace of the film is Rohan Chand who is adorable and the only likable personality on screen. I won’t lie and say I didn’t laugh at all, but when I did it was usually strained and against my better judgment. Something like when you see a small child slip on ice. For an hour and a half.

Divergent

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My sister and mother insist that this was a popular book, but I have no memory of them or anyone else I know reading it. This lack of expectation or any conception of the coming plot was the perfect way to go into this movie, and I was genuinely entertained. Set in a dystopian Chicago where society is divided into factions based on defining personality trait, Divergent follows the Hunger Games trend of teaching children about murder and the evils of human nature under the guise of being an age-appropriate young adult novel. Shailene Woodley led the cast and is already getting hailed as the new Jennifer Lawrence both in coming fame and quirky likability. But if Jennifer Lawrence’s quirky move is asking for french fries on red carpets, Shailene’s is bringing her own herbs to interviews.

Sure, she’s a fairly stiff actress, and I’m not sure why people are so willing to forget that she started on Secret Life of the American Teenager, but she does seem like an interesting person and she was good for this role. Fans of Downton Abbey will recognize Theo James from his infamous appearance as the lover of one of the British women on the show (I don’t know, I don’t watch it). Humans born on earth in the last 100 years will recognize Kate Winslet from life.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

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As much as I enjoyed DivergentThe Grand Budapest Hotel was by far the best movie I saw in theaters this break. Fans of Wes Anderson will love his signature style and stunning cinematography, but even non-fans will enjoy the film’s persistent dry humor. Anderson usuals like Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Edward Norton are back, but this time only for brief cameos, leaving room for Ralph Fiennes and the young Tony Revolori. The plot is elaborate and relies on Anderson’s characteristic voiceover narration to keep the audience straight on what’s going on, but The Grand Budapest Hotel in essence tells the story of the title hotel and its employees after its concierge is framed for murder. Overall the movie is both serious, suspenseful and laugh-out-loud funny.

If you can only see one movie in theaters because for some reason you only have 24 hours left to live, make it The Grand Budapest Hotel. And if you only have 24 hours left to live, what’s the point of seeing Divergent? You’ll never know what happens in the sequel.

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10 ways to be a competent airplane traveler

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We have almost reached our much-needed spring break! If you’re traveling by air this spring break (or ever plan on flying in the future), I beg you: be a competent traveler. Please.  If Home Economics was still a class in high school, there should be a chapter on airport and plane etiquette. While I love flying (especially the people watching), it also makes me bitter by the time I actually make it to my destination. Here are a few tips to make your travels, and your fellow passengers’, a much more enjoyable experience:

1. Weigh your bags before you get to the airport.

Airlines use any opportunity to snag another buck from you, so you can save yourself the overweight luggage fee!

But also, if I’m trying to board my flight on time, and you’re opening your checked bag deciding what you’re going to shove into your carry on so you won’t be charged, you need to reevaluate your life. Generally, 50 pounds is the max weight. Don’t throw a tantrum with the poor attendant because you went a few pounds over. If you weighed it at home, you can decide what to remove and save the people behind you in line and the attendant the trouble.

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Friends describe their spring break adventures as sand-strewn beaches that sparkle with the light of a thousand suns

"The clear turquoise water lapped at my feet like an eager puppy, its salty fingers tickling my toes until I giggled with joy at my perfect tropical spring break."

“The clear turquoise water lapped at my feet like an eager puppy, its salty fingers tickling my perfectly tanned toes until I giggled with joy.”

A rippling sea of familiar faces greets me as I step into the Blue Room, and I sigh with happiness at returning to my beloved university after Spring Break. As I breathe in the sweet spring air scented with freshly baked cookies, I spot my friend through the gaggle of chattering students.

“How was your spring break?!” I cry, my voice high with my lack of caring.

“I went to the Bahamas!” She replies, giddy with excitement, and my face falls. “I lay on the beach and soaked in the beauty of my surroundings for hours on end. The sand sparkled as it reflected the daggers of sunlight like tiny diamonds. The ocean reflected my joy in its leaping waves, while the sun caressed my face until my melanin levels shot up in delight.”

“That sounds amazing!” I say, a fake smile plastered on my pale, melanin-less face. “What else did you do?” Continue Reading