Freshman Year Recap

Well, it’s that time of the year again. No, not the time when I apologize for writing so infrequently. I’m talking about the time of the year that students dread. The one that features an excessive lack of sleep, an unhealthy amount of coffee, and probably some embarrassingly delirious late night Snapchats. That’s right. I’m talking about finals.

This finals period in particular is pretty significant for me because I have now almost finished (read, “survived”) my freshman year of college! It has been one wild ride, my friends, and in case you want to take a break from your own finals studying, or if you’re just bored, you can go ahead and read this recap of freshman year that I have drafted for just such an occasion. Here you can find all of the new fads and personal highlights of this year, from finstas to dorm life at Tulane. Enjoy, and happy finals week!

  1. The Boot
    If there is one place every Tulane student is familiar with, it is the Boot, a seedy college bar/club (don’t worry, it’s 18 and up) that somehow made it onto’s 2015 list of the Top 40 College Bars and was ranked #1 by USA Today in 2013. All this despite the fact that the men’s bathroom features urinals and no toilets. I suppose the true draws are its 6am closing time, its nightly drink specials, and the pizza and crepe establishments flanking it on either side. Either way, I am no different in that I have become intimately familiar with The Boot and its frightening toilet paper deficiency.
  2. Mardi Gras
    It happened. It was a lot. If you want more info on this New Orleans staple, see my last post.
  3. Finstas
    I assume we all know Instagram. In case you’re an older reader or perhaps a recluse, it is a social media site where people exclusively post pictures. This year, someone out there decided to make a fake Instagram account (a finstagram, if you will, or simply and affectionately, a finsta) and it spread like a rash. Like an itchy, annoying rash you cannot get rid of. A finsta, for those are not plagued by them, is like a pseudo account, almost like an online alter ego. People keep them private so that only those they approve can see it, and it is designed to be a place that you can post all of your embarrassing, ironic, and/or under the influence photos in a funny way. At least that’s the goal. I, however, am of the opinion that if you want to say something, say it, and if you need to make a secret account to say it, then probably don’t say it at all.
  4. Dorm Life
    I live in the picturesque Monroe Hall, a place where the garbage truck comes loudly at 8am, the elevator often breaks or is home to condom wrappers and beer cans, and sewage problems and shower hair abound. Add to this the fact that New Orleans has pipe issues in general and the water shuts off fairly frequently, and you’ve got me counting down the amount of showers I have left here.
  5. Rush
    Yes, I’ve #GoneGreek. Tulane rushes sororities in the spring though, so I came back from Winter Break and spent two weekends standing in lines outside houses and chatting with complete strangers. It was all worth it though, as I am now a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the first and the finest. Yes, we were founded in 1851, making us the first sorority on this planet, so use that as your next factoid.
  6. Trivia
    This year trivia nights became my friends’ and I’s THING. We’ve been to several at Dat Dog, a gourmet hot dog restaurant near my school that is home to perhaps the best business plan ever, as well as a few other scattered ones at other places. The real highlight, however, was on Spring Break when two of my friends and I went to Vail and won trivia night. Even though we probably did it by a sheer lack of teams (around 7) and by betting zero points on the final question, we still got a $50 gift card, so I’m going to go ahead and call myself a trivia champion anyway.
  7. Crawfest
    One of Tulane’s crowning glories is Crawfest, a day long music festival with bands, food trucks, and LOTS of crawfish. For the low, low price of being a student (of which the price is not low at all), you can get a wristband to a day full of music and all you can eat crawfish, which if you haven’t tried them, are pretty yummy and thoroughly horrifying. I have probably sworn off of crawfish, as I cannot eat meat if it looks like the animal it is, and it took me around 15 minutes just to be able to pick one up. Crawfest is still a good time though. They also give out vegetables.

    Save a crawfish, eat some corn
    Save a crawfish, eat some corn

    And there you have it. Everything you needed to know, but mostly what you did not at all need to know, about my freshman year of college. Hopefully as summer rolls around I can have time to write more often, but I am hoping to get a job so we’ll see! (If any business owners in the Denver area are reading, I would be a fantastic hire.)

Submitted with undying love for,
Tulane, freshman year, a nicer dorm for sophomore year, corn, ADPi, and NOLA,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

A Glimpse at the Mardi Pardi

Greetings friends and Internet users. Happy almost Spring (she said hopefully) (although I know I’m no one to talk, since I live in beautiful New Orleans)!

I’m here today to talk about everyone’s favorite holiday! What, Valentine’s Day? No, not THAT piece of Hallmark trash. I am talking about everyone’s favorite rowdy, outlandish, no-holds-barred schmooze fest that I experienced for the first time this year. That’s right–Mardi Gras.

For Christians, Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday, the last “hurrah” before Ash Wednesday and Lent when they are expected to give up something they love until Easter. For most New Orleanians (and for myself, staunchly secular in her beliefs), it is approximately six days, give or take, of parades and mild debauchery. Now mind you, the debauchery part mostly stays in the French Quarter, that wildly mystical land of balconies and booze. I, however, along with my friends and most of the other college kids stick to Uptown, the area along historic St. Charles Avenue near Tulane where the parades still go, where the walk to and from isn’t too grueling, and where, oddly enough, we intermix with families and old people alike.

Mardi Gras is a pretty crazy time–people literally fight over strings of plastic (ok, not FIGHT fight. You’re more likely to get a black eye from being hit by a package of beads thrown from a passing float). And this post is not designed to be a guide to surviving the melee; those posts are far over done, and is there really such a concise list that can provide advice for what’s to come Mardi Gras weekend? No, this post is merely a glance at some notable moments in my Carnival experience this year–I am now still sick enough post-Mardi to have time to comb through my pictures. So please enjoy this scrapbook of sorts, and if you ever come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, remember to never pee in public.

  1. The Chicken
    Krewe of Muses
    Krewe of Muses

    At a Mardi Gras parade, much more than beads are flying. There may be cups, trinkets, capes, stickers, bags–you can catch any number of things really. Here I would like to direct your attention to the jacket zipper on my friend at the right there. Yes. That is, in fact, a plastic chicken. No, not a rubber chicken, although it looks like one. It is actually, and stay with me here, a plastic model of a rubber chicken. That’s right. And my friend Henry here didn’t catch it so much as it landed in a patch of grass enclosed by a fence behind him and he dove to retrieve it. So that is a hard earned plastic model of a rubber chicken.

  2. The Plunger
    Endymion Parade
    Endymion Parade

    Speaking of crazy parade finds, yes, that is a plunger. And despite my friend’s unicorn ears or my other friend’s wig that resembles a pom pom, or even my bright yellow tutu, I think it really makes the picture.

  3. The Selfie (of the Selfie)
    The Tulane shuttle

    Now I do not use the term “meta” lightly. But if you can make out my features in the washed out bottom left corner, you can see that I look–shall we say bemused?–at my capturing of my friend Allison taking a gung ho selfie (in the middle of my selfie). It doesn’t get more Millennial than this, folks.

  4. The Y
    Loyola University New Orleans
    Loyola University New Orleans
    IMG_2674 (1)
    An undisclosed location

    Here we have before and after pictures of an apparent “tradition” that seems to take place every year. You see, this is Loyola University, a school right next to Tulane (they practically share a campus). On our way back from the parades one night, we thought we would take a picture on the Loyola sign. Running over to the letters, we noticed some other kids flocking over as well, thinking they were following suit. As we stood on the letters, one mildly drunk boy started pulling on an O next to me. “Excuse me!” I shouted to him and his friend, who was close behind. “Sorry, you can try and steal the letters all you want, but could you take a picture of us first?” It took some prodding, but we managed to get a picture on the letters–right before most of them were stolen away in the night. Apparently Loyola reinforced them with more concrete this year, as I guess this is not the first time “LOYOLA” has become “L   LA” come Friday morning of Mardi Gras weekend. They also must literally have a stash of concrete letters and a concrete guy on hand because by the next afternoon, they were Loyola once more. And I won’t tell you how Henry came to be in possession of this Y.

    Okay fine…he caught it in a parade…

  5. The Puppy
    St. Charles Parade Route
    St. Charles Parade Route

    Mardi Gras can be a rough time. There are a lot of people, there is a lot of noise, there is a drastic shortage of bathrooms, and you are never immediately near some amenity you may need. This is my friend Siena right after she fell, hitting her elbow pretty hard, scraping her knee, and ripping her leggings in the process. We got her up and were not but a few steps along when we ran into two nice young men holding the cutest puppy I’ve seen in my young life. Now by this time, Siena is having trouble keeping it together–she is in a lot of pain and we are all pretty astoundingly sleep deprived. So she asks to hold this puppy and just about loses it. You can’t really tell, but she is literally sobbing into this puppy. But I mean look how adorable it is.

    So there you have it. Mardi Gras 2016. I may be suffering right now from the worst sore throat I have ever experienced, but I must say it was worth it. Probably. (Seriously I am in so much pain.) Until next year, Carnival.

Submitted with undying love for,
Mardi Gras, that puppy, Loyola University, NOLA, and getting two days off of school to watch parades,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Airport Chic

As a busy, busy college student (and as such, I haven’t written in a long time; I profusely apologize), I am becoming an expert at airports. Over the past six months, I have flown on a plane approximately seven times, which is probably up there with Ryan Seacrest or the Bachelor or something. Traveling is a hassle, and comfort is important, but at the cost of style? In order to navigate the many pitfalls of air travel, I have compiled a Guide to Airport Chic so that you can always travel in style–enjoy!

  1. Neck(lace) Pillow
    This is probably the most important, and therefore the first, piece of advice. We all know about neck pillows–those glorious circular poofs most often found on airplanes. Take it from me: invest in a neck pillow. Granted, you don’t even need to really “invest”, as they are generally under $20. I used to scoff, but when you nap on a plane (or try to, since I am awful at sleeping on planes) with a neck pillow, you never look back. When you buy one, however, I highly recommend ones that snap or button in front. Not only is this convenient to snap around the strap of your purse/backpack when not in use, but it is convenient to snap around your neck! That’s right, don’t believe what those fashion magazines tell you about never wearing your neck pillow around the airport as a necklace. Hands-free is key and the neckless look is in.
  2. Layering…
    At any given time, you may be flying somewhere with a very different climate than where you came from, and everyone knows that it can get chilly at 30,000 feet. Therefore, layering is your friend. That can mean layers upon layers…upon layers…upon layers. Start with a clean base: long underwear is nice, or perhaps a lightweight tank top and shorts in case you get realllyyy hot. And then just start moving up from there! You can go from cardigans to vests to scarves to coats and even parkas for the truly faint of heart. The bonus is that your jacket can become a blanket on the plane. Furthermore, other fliers love it when you share your coat blanket with them! Your seat is 17A? What better way to befriend the guy in 17B than to cover him with half a blanket, or maybe just a sleeve if he seems cold?
  3. …Or Just the Top Layer
    Layering not for you? Skip all of those steps with a simple onesie! Comfort is key, and footie pajamas are a super warm and eye-catching option that also offer a streamlined silhouette. Plus, they come in fun patterns or animal designs! Totally a conversation starter if you’re feeling friendly on the plane, or a conversation repeller if you’re not. After all, would you want to talk to the crazy grown man/woman in the footie pajamas?
  4. Carry-on Queen (or King)
    These last two tidbits are only semi-fashion related but will definitely help you with your airport experience! If you are an over packer like me and you find the two-carry-ons-per-person rule stifling, cheat the system! Here’s how. For “one” of your carry-ons, put things in multiple bags of varying sizes (think anywhere from mid-size purse to large tote). There should be a bit of room at the top so that you can stack them in each other. Hold all of the handles as one bag, and voilá! You’ve fooled TSA!
  5. Rollin’ Into a Window Seat
    Today as I waited in Boarding Group B for Family Boarding to finish, I saw a man with two small suitcases that looked like smiling monkey faces jog hastily towards the line of families. It turns out he was just meeting his family in line with his children’s bags, but at first I thought, “Genius! He’s pretending to be with children so he can get on the plane sooner!” So why not steal this fake idea? Simply bring along a backpack that looks like an animal or is graced with the faces of superheroes or Frozen characters. Wait a moment for the line of families with children six and under to establish and begin moving before running into line and standing near (but not too near) a one-parent group. Remember to bring your own grown-up looking carry-on so it looks realistic, and be sure to make the small one a rolling backpack. Kids. Love. Rolling backpacks.

So there you have it. I hope you never again find yourself wondering how to stay both fashionable and functional while flying. Safe travels, and remember never to let TSA keep you down.

Submitted with undying love for,
neck pillows, footie pajamas, and being back at Tulane,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

My Guide to the Best Halloween Costumes this Season

Well, it’s that time of year again–Halloween. The night where it is suddenly acceptable to call lingerie a costume and/or to eat literal pillowcases full of candy solo. It’s already October 27th, but just in case you haven’t fully figured out your costume yet, here are some ideas that are sure to wow ’em (whether that’s your party peers or children trick or treating at your doorstep). Wanna be classic? I’ve got that. Wanna stay on trend in an ever-changing fashion world? I’ve got that too! Look no further for your Halloween needs than this comprehensive list of the season’s best hidden costume gems.

Madilyn’s Guide to the Best Halloween Costumes This Season

  1. A Roll of Toilet Paper
    You’ve seen the mummy costume. Now get ready for it’s utilitarian cousin–the toilet paper roll! It’s essentially the same costume, admittedly. Simply dress in brown (you are the cardboard here) and wrap yourself in your favorite toilet paper! (I prefer two-ply.) Not only is this costume nice and comfy, but think how creative you’ll seem when people ask, “Oh, are you a mummy?” and you blow their minds with your response. Bonus: If you’re tending to the trick or treaters this year and you’re looking for a healthy alternative to candy, keep the motif going and hand out mini packs of tissues! You’ll be the talk of the neighborhood and parents will love you–happy flu season!
  2. A Pretzel
    If you’re going for a sexy costume look this year, have I got a suggestion for you. Stay with me now–this look can be hard to pull off, but it will totally be worth it when the fellas think of the contorting and yoga themes associated with a pretzel. That’s right, you’ll be dressed as an edible pretzel, but metaphorically you’ll be referencing the pretzel pose! MAJOR CREATIVITY POINTS! So here’s what you’ll need: all brown clothing and white cotton balls (or if you prefer, and are committed, real salt). Simply dress, affix cotton balls to your person, and start contorting! Could there be anything sexier?!
  3. A Potato
    I know what you’re thinking–another food? Or what you may (and should) also be thinking–another sexy costume?? The answer is yes, as I understand that contorting may not be within everyone’s physical realms of possibility. For this costume (my personal favorite of the list, by the way), you’ll still need brown clothes, but this time focus on making them baggier. Next, wrap yourself from the waist down in tin foil (bonus: you’ll shine so bright, no one will be able to miss you!). Finally, decorate yourself with whatever toppings you please–that’s right, you’re a “Make Your Own Potato” (innuendo intended)! Extra points if you let people slather butter on you.
  4. Rihanna
    If you’re going for a more relevant/on trend costume, look no further than Rihanna, Queen of Fashion’s Most Daring. Here, we’re looking to evoke her now iconic Grammys look with a similar one. (see below)

    Rihanna in Giambattista Valli Couture at the Grammys 2015
    Rihanna in Giambattista Valli Couture at the Grammys 2015
    A cupcake
    A cupcake

    Let’s face it: none of us have anything Valli-esque in our wardrobes (although, I suppose I don’t know who this blog reaches, maybe you do; if so, I won’t ask how you got it). So why not model the costume after something closer at hand?  Simply dress in neutral colors from the waist down and wear a pink tutu around your neck. Violá! Bonus: Make it a party game by letting your friends toss sprinkles on you!

  5. A Katy Perry Shark
    If Halloween is going to be a bit chillier where you are, stay bundled up and cozy in a look that’s as funny as it is fierce! This year at the Superbowl, Katy Perry wowed us all, not just with her musical talent and snazzy outfits, but also with her backup dancers–two sharks who, let’s face it, stole the show.

    Katy Perry performing at the Superbowl 2015 in Moschino
    Katy Perry performing at the Superbowl 2015 in Moschino

    Go watch the video if you’re unfamiliar with it, but if you want to stay warm and still amaze on October 31st, you can order one of these bad boys on Amazon (who put it perfectly in calling these shark suits FINtastic).

  6. Donald Trump
    And finally, if you REALLY want to make a statement this season, why not go as the man who has made the most this year? Stuck on just how to nail the look? Here it is in a few simple steps. First, put on a suit. It doesn’t have to be particularly nice, as people may throw food at you if you get this look right. Next, get a wig reminiscent of a blonde baseball mitt. No need to invest in wig glue or anything like that–just slap it on. The next step is optional: either visit a tanning salon and ask for “Oompa Loompa”, or simply paint your face a nice shade of orange. Finally, furrow your brow and yell at people. Don’t worry about what to say either! What you say doesn’t need to make sense for you to get this costume right!

I hope you have found this list helpful as Halloween steadily approaches. Whether you’re trying to garner creativity points, stay warm, be a popular parent in your neighborhood, or attract some attention without being too uncovered, I truly tried to fulfill everyone’s needs. Remember to stay safe this Saturday, and Happy Halloween!

Submitted with undying love for,
Halloween, Halloween in New Orleans, 2 nights of Halloween, and the fact that one of my costumes includes a tutu obviously,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

CEOs and Corporate Strong, Empowered Women

Well hello! It’s me, your favorite unreliable blogger, back from her hiatus settling into college (which has been great so far, and if you have any specific questions/requests regarding that, you could comment/email me, and maybe I will write about them)! College has brought all kinds of new experiences so far, and today I address one of them: frat parties.

Besides a loud, sweaty mass of desperate young people, frat parties are also an environment in which the gender norms and outdated views of society are painfully emphasized. This is demonstrated the most with their many party themes. These themes usually provide a choice of “costume”, with one presenting a clear expectation of being for males, and one expected of females.

For example, last night there was a party with the (optional) dress theme “Yoga or Toga”. Fairly self-explanatory, it’s options were stereotypical-Animal-House-style-toga-made-with-your-bedsheet-that-you-probably-will-still-sleep-in-later or spandex/lycra/any-other-tight-clothing-that-one-would-wear-while-sexily-bending-in-different-positions-on-a-yoga-mat. Furthermore, while not stated specifically, it is the general understanding that the toga option is for guys, and the yoga option is for girls. This makes it really easy for a guy to be already practically shirtless and and for a girl to wear tight, form-fitting clothing with the possibility of a sports bra sans shirt. Speed things up, why don’t we? However, are we really–as fully functioning and aware college-age women–supposed to ignore these obvious practices as reinforcing our position as sexual objects?  As things meant to be looked at and used as men see fit and as available at their disposal and for their enjoyment only?

Also last night, there was a different party with an even worse–and more obvious–theme: CEOs and Corporate Hoes. Besides the use of a derogatory term for women, this title also implies that women cannot be CEOs, but are simply in the workplace to fulfill fetishized schoolgirl/sexy secretary fantasies. In 2015, at the actual #41 school in the country (a ranking that could and probably will move up in the coming years due to a graduation rate overcoming Katrina), we are really expected to play to the stereotype that women can not be both beautiful AND smart, or that we should not be taken seriously in a workplace? We are the closest we have ever been, as a nation, to having a female president for god’s sake. If we aren’t going to legitimize women now, then when?

While I am fully aware that these juvenile party themes are only meant to be fun, and not necessarily to say anything about our society as a whole, it is difficult to ignore their implications. I find it hard to believe that there is no way to throw a party (even a themed party) free of misogynistic overtones, despite the fact that said party is thrown by a group of males. College girls are already throwing themselves out there enough in their normal party attire without having to wear a half open button-down and thigh-high socks.

Submitted with undying love for,
writing again and being the party pooper that points out perhaps meaningless flaws in the system,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Does “Trans-Racial” Exist?

Greetings, Internet users! I hope everyone’s summers are going well (and on the off chance my blog reaches anyone in the Southern hemisphere, I hope your winter is going well!). Since I pretentiously consider myself intelligent enough to sound off on all of the world’s latest hot topics, I’ve got another one for you. I am a little late with this one, but have any of you heard of a woman named Rachel Dolezal? In case you haven’t, she is a now ex-NAACP leader who is white, but who has been living as a black woman for years; she has changed her hair and skin color to “look African-American”, she has lied on official documents, and she has fooled the NAACP and the world. Apparently, word got out about her actually being white by a family member who finally told someone the truth, and now she is claiming to be “trans-racial”. Now this is a somewhat debated issue because a lot of people are wondering if that is okay.

In a society that is finally learning more about the transgender community with the introduction of Caitlyn Jenner and the new slew of TLC shows, many people are seeing Dolezal’s “trans-racial” fantasy as possibly another branch of this complex identity crisis. “If you can be born a man, but feel as if you are a woman”, people are wondering, “then why can’t you be born white, but feel like you’re black?” Here’s why not.

The bottom line is race contributes to who you are, but it does not contribute to how you are. Race brings with it a culture and a background, but not a way of living. Gender has practically everything to do with your identity and how you live your life. It affects legal documents, the bathroom you use, and largely what you wear and the way you carry yourself, as well as countless other little things that you wouldn’t even notice unless they were taken away from you. Race, however, has practically nothing to do with how you live your life. It makes you look different and gives you a culturally diverse background apart from other races, but it does not affect your daily life. In fact, arguing that race plays a role in how you act is buying into racial stereotypes. Some people of [insert race here] may act like [insert behavioral type here], but not all do. So feeling like you must be black (or white or Asian or Latino or infinite other races) because of a way that you act or a way that you are is actually indulging in racial stereotypes that do nothing to break down the barriers of race that Rachel Dolezal tried to get through.

Hopefully, I have made this clear enough. Claiming to be “trans-racial” and that “trans-racial lives matter” (quoth Dolezal’s Twitter before it was suspended) is actually rather insulting to the transgender community, which is full of people who have gone through extremely tough situations and long, emotionally grueling internal struggles to figure out who they are and why they can’t live life as those people. It is perfectly okay to maybe wish you were a different race for whatever reason, but that does not mean that you adopt that race, because doing so is in fact, counter-intuitively, racist.  Racial stereotypes have nothing to do with actual race and how that does (or does not) affect one’s identity.

Submitted with undying love for,
that fact that Rachel Dolezal’s Twitter account was suspended, Queen Caitlyn, and sounding off on anything and everything I can apparently,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Please Pour Out Your Bomb Water

Greetings from beautiful Kauai, Hawaii! The sun is up, the sky is blue, and my God, is it nice to have arrived and gotten off of that darn plane! Getting up at  4:45 in the morning to catch a 6:50 flight for two hours followed by a plane change and a five and a half hour flight, descending into a sticky hot expanse of baggage claims and car rentals, and driving a confusing thirty minutes to a hotel was not exactly as fun as it is now that we are here and lying on palm tree lined beaches. As my mom so eloquently put it to our flight attendant while begrudgingly handing over her credit card for in-flight fruit and cheese plates (no meal on a 5.5 hr. flight?!), “It used to be such a pleasure to fly”.

Yes. It did used to be such a pleasure to fly.

Well, I assume. I am only seventeen, so really, I wouldn’t know. I DO know, however, that the glamorous pictures of celebrities and wholesome families boarding planes in the 50s and 60s look a lot more fun than the stressful experience it is now. Between waiting in lines, getting through a grueling security check, and making it to your gate, onto your plane, and into a seat on time (with carry-ons properly stowed and seats in their full, upright positions), flying anywhere is just painful. I certainly think that when the Wright brothers invented the airplane, they were not anticipating for someone to use it to make a bomb out of toothpaste.

I mean, no liquids? Seriously? You’re telling me I can bring 3.4 ounces of lotion on the plane, but any extra ounces are dangerous? You’re going to pat me down and wipe my hands with weird wipes because I’ve obviously hidden gunpowder in the folds of my hands? I have to empty my water bottle just to rid it of my homemade explosive-ridden water, but I am perfectly welcome to fill it with safe water after security? What if I know how to make a weapon with water? Because if I did, I could sure as hell do it with the airport water. I’m no scientist, but I bet it could be done.*
*By the way, if TSA is reading this, I promise I can’t do that.

And what’s with the cell phone rule? What does airplane mode even do?? I mean, I put mine on airplane mode, but honestly, I’m only doing it because it conserves the battery. Because if the systems of a giant Boeing aircraft can be tampered with simply by my phone being on, I think we have bigger problems. Plus, what about that guy in 22B who already has huge headphones on and seems to be nodding off? Do you think he turned his devices on airplane mode? Is my safety dependent on him?

Oh, and is it really necessary for me to walk barefoot on the gross airport floor so that x-rays can check my shoes for National Security threats? I mean, I guess I get it, that seems a little more plausible than it hiding in my liquids, but even when I’m wearing sandals? Come on.

All I’m saying is, I want the image of those cute fifties kids being served glittering trays of goodies by a perfectly polished flight attendant. Not the screaming baby or the kid kicking my seat while I try to fall asleep and forget this horror. Whoever said it’s the journey, not the destination, clearly never flew on any major airline in post 9/11 America. It’s long, it’s stressful, and it’s riddled with weird security rules that don’t seem to be doing much.

And don’t even get me started on that airplane food.

Submitted with undying love for,
Hawaii, the many places one can apparently conceal a bomb, getting off of a plane, and the potential TSA agent reading this and doing a background check on me,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

WCW: Female Celebrities to Be Jealous Of

Hello there, computer/phone/tablet users! I’m sorry I’ve been a bit off the grid, as I’ve been incredibly busy with graduation parties (and their menus) as well as college orientation. I’m hoping to get back into writing more regularly, but I make no promises, so don’t complain this time next month when I am apologizing again.

For today’s post I decided that, in honor of #WomanCrushWednesday (are people still doing that?), I would compile a list of some the top women I find to be awesome (just some, as there are too many to pick from, so don’t go getting all huffy if your favorite Hollywood woman is not here). PLEASE NOTE: This is by no means a list of the women who are doing the most to better our society or who are striving the most for social equality or who are doing the most to break down gender barriers or anything like that. They definitely contribute to that and offer (I think) a positive image for women, but for our purposes, they are only on the list because I think they are basically perfect and I want to talk about them and I also would not at all mind switching bodies with them for a day or something.

Okay! So now you understand the list! Here goes:

The Top 5 Female Celebrities Who Are Sweeping the Nation With Their Perfection (Plus Eight More!):
1.) Blake Lively
Okay, Blake Lively is my absolute #1 famous woman who I would want to be if I could be anyone. Not that I don’t love being myself nor do I think we should want what we cannot have and blah blah blah, but come on. Here is Blake Lively (in jaw dropping ensembles, I might add):

In Gucci at the Met Gala 2014
In Gucci at the Met Gala 2014
In Zuhair Murad at the Time 100 Gala in 2011
In Zuhair Murad at the Time 100 Gala in 2011

Whether exuding Old Hollywood glamour or Disney’s The Little Mermaid, she is stunning. But that’s not all. Here is Blake Lively at six months pregnant, rocking a plunging neckline:

In Gucci at Gabrielle's Angel Ball 2014
In Gucci at Gabrielle’s Angel Ball 2014

And here she is at nine–yes, nine–months pregnant in a backless, NON-MATERNITY dress:

In Kaufman Franco at the L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Awards 2014
In Kaufman Franco at the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Awards 2014

Is there a flaw on her? And besides being physically perfect, Lively is a great actress (if you enjoyed looking at her in various amazing outfits, you need to see her in Age of Adaline, which came out in April) and now, lifestyle guru. On her new site Preserve, she dabbles in everything from fashion and food to decor and design, while also probably giving me a run for my money with her blogging efforts. So all in all, she’s multi-talented, family-oriented, and beyond gorgeous. Perfect is not really a word I use a lot, but it may be appropriate. If you’ve never watched Gossip Girl, you wouldn’t understand.

2.) Rose Byrne
In case you are living under a rock and don’t know who she is, meet Rose Byrne. She is beautiful, talented, and funny. Here she is at the Emmy Awards two years ago:

In Calvin Klein Collection at the Emmys 2013
In Calvin Klein Collection at the Emmys 2013

And here she is in her new movie Spy:

In Spy, 2015

Are you kidding? That hair, that dress, that cold and powerful stare! Did I mention she’s Australian? For more jaw-dropping photos, check out her shoot for Violet Grey. After really exploding onto the scene in 2011’s Bridesmaids (and flashing those enviable abs at the Emmys above), she has done everything from hilarious and cool in Neighbors to friendly and adorable in This is Where I Leave You to now totally ruthless and oddly likable in Spy. If you have not seen her in anything yet, buy a movie ticket or start up your Netflix.

3.) Sophia Bush
Sophia Bush is the epitome of hot, although those who don’t watch One Tree Hill or haven’t seen her in anything else (like her current venture, Chicago P.D.) would not necessarily know it.

In Gucci at PaleyFest 2012
In Gucci at PaleyFest 2012

She has perfected the sultry stare and that subtly husky voice is the clincher. (Not to mention she was once married to Chad Michael Murray.) But looks aside, Bush is a really talented actress. On One Tree Hill alone, I’ve seen her be everything: mean, creative, intelligent, thoughtful, devastated, furious, heartbroken, heart warming, powerful, powerless, drunk. And now she’s a badass detective on a cop show. Take notes.

4.) Beyoncé
Not to include the queen herself would have been criminal. Although I’m not a huge fan of most of her music (so sorry, please keep reading my blog), she is unbelievably talented as well as stunningly beautiful.

In Nicolas Jebran at the 2014 VMAs
In Nicolas Jebran at the 2014 VMAs

Besides a picture perfect marriage complete with adorable kid and a ridiculously impressive singing voice, Bey was People magazine’s “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” in 2012, and she is practically a crusader for being curvy, makeup-less, and otherwise natural in any way. Just check her Instagram.

5.) Anna Kendrick
She can act, she can sing, she’s immensely beautiful, AND she’s just as hilarious in real life as she is on her Twitter account?! A quadruple threat. She stuns at red carpet events…

In Ellie Saab at the 2013 Oscars
In Ellie Saab at the 2013 Oscars

…slays in simple T-shirts…
…and staggers down the steps perfectly as Cinderella in the remake of Into the Woods

In a costume designed by Colleen Atwood
In a costume designed by Colleen Atwood

As if all that were not enough, Kendrick is a major supporter of the Love is Louder movement, a campaign against bullying, discrimination, and hate that is based on the idea that love is louder than the internal/external voices trying to bring us down. Kendrick’s Twitter bio reads: “Pale, awkward, and very, very small. Form an orderly queue, gents. Location: Probably by the food.” Where’s the said queue? Let me get in line.

6.) Julianne Moore
This woman is 54. Hopefully, she’ll teach a class called “Aging Gracefully with 2015’s Best Actress Oscar Winner”. It will probably include a bottle of red hair dye for those errant gray hairs–unless she doesn’t have any…?

In Alexander McQueen at the premiere of What Maisie Knew at the Toronto International Film Festival 2012
In Alexander McQueen at the premiere of What Maisie Knew at the Toronto International Film Festival 2012

7.) Jennifer Aniston
She’s taking the world by storm with perfect hair, mesmerizing eyes, and an Oscar nomination or two. All in a day’s work.

In Kaufman Franco at Elle's 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute
In Kaufman Franco at Elle’s 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute

8.) Elizabeth Banks
Between hysterical banter with John Higgins in Pitch Perfect, Banks is actress, director, and mom of two sons. Those cheekbones are still in place, though!

In Emilio Pucci at the LA premiere of Man on a Ledge in 2012
In Emilio Pucci at the LA premiere of Man on a Ledge in 2012

9.) Emma Watson
Our favorite Harry Potter actress grew WAY up and blossomed into a cool, beautiful, articulate womens’ rights activist (with the HeForShe campaign) rocking a dress over pants. I mean, have you given a speech to the UN lately?

In Dior Couture at the 2014 Golden Globes
In Dior Couture at the 2014 Golden Globes

10.) Emma Stone
As if that gorgeous hair weren’t enough, she’s exploded onto the scene with about a hundred Oscar nominated movies by now. Oh, and she’s dating Spiderman.

In Thakoon at the Met Gala 2014
In Thakoon at the Met Gala 2014

11.) Mila Kunis
The incredibly hot girl that you can also bring to sports games. And is it just being Ukrainian that gets her that gorgeous skin?

In Ellie Saab at the 2011 Oscars
In Ellie Saab at the 2011 Oscars

12.) Gabrielle Union
Where can I buy the underground Black Market face cream she must be using to get that pore-free skin?

In Issa at the 2012 premiere of Good Deeds
In Issa at the 2012 premiere of Good Deeds

13.) Jennifer Lawrence
Is it possible to be so badass and so hilarious at the same time? Either way, Lawrence seems to be doing it, one Hunger Games arena at a time.

In a Dior ad
In a Dior ad

Well, there you have it. Envy may be one of the seven deadly sins, but it’s still appropriate when it comes to these thirteen amazing women. Remember, be comfortable in your own skin. I just sometimes wish that skin was flawless and Ukrainian.

Submitted with undying love for,
these women, their style, their aesthetic, their hard working attitudes, and that face cream I am going to get from the Black Market,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Criss Cross Applesauce

Today was a good day.

Why? Because for my last week of high school (what?), we have senior dress up days, and today was Kindergarten Day. I got to dress like a six-year old. I got to carry around a teddy bear. All day. My friends and I got kids meals for lunch. I ate a PB&J and drank chocolate milk. I smiled. A lot. I got to be a little kid.

The reasons why this is appealing are obvious. Little kids have more fun. They have no responsibilities except to keep their rooms clean (maybe), no stress except for about what they want for lunch (PB&J), and no fears except for the dark (which is scary). All a kindergartener has to do is have fun. Play with their friends. Go to soccer practice or Girl Scouts. Probably learn to read or spell a big word. As we age, our worries increase exponentially. We forget how we were as children. We look back fondly on days gone by, reminiscing nostalgically that those days are gone. It’s time to go finish that project or pay that bill or run that errand. And where did I put those keys…

It’s true, in many ways we can never be quite like we were as little kids. And why should we? The world has more and more to offer as we age too. But we should strive to maintain the way we saw the world as children. As new and magical and wonderful and exciting. And why should the loss of innocence equate to a loss of spontaneity? It’s fun sometimes to throw on your overalls and go to a park instead of studying. It’s invigorating to rip off your shoes and play in the rain rather than sprinting, head down, to your car. It’s important to hug your old teddy bear and remember that everything is going to be okay.

In today’s society, we are constantly put under pressure, judged on our appearance and our lifestyle, scrutinized from all angles, and worried about each little thing we do/how it will be perceived. Isn’t it time we shook that off? Of course, those things never fully go away, but it’s fun to pretend. And it’s possible to at least make them fade a bit. When was the last time you wore overalls or played in the rain or hugged a teddy bear?

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Submitted with undying love for,
being a kid, kindergarten day, overalls, rain, teddy bears, letting go of worries, being spontaneous, and four more days of high school,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Roll Green Wave

Hello readers–long time no blog. Sound familiar? It is, because lately that’s all I’ve opened my posts with because I’ve been too busy or too lazy or too uninspired to write. So here I am again with a fun announcement about college…

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year again: college commitment time. I realize this only affects a teeny tiny fraction of the population at large, but for those of us affected, it’s huge. May 1st, the commitment deadline (for most schools anyway) is fast approaching. By this time just two days from now, most of the world’s high school seniors planning on attending college next  year will know where they’re going. *shudder* Change is terrifying.

As for me, I am proud to announce that you’ll find me in the fall at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, or Nawlins, as the locals refer to it. As paralyzingly, cripplingly scared  as I am, I cannot wait to be throwing beads at trees during Mardi Gras, spilling on myself at CrawFest, or embracing the “Freshman 15” (or 50) with all of the Southern food. Ever had a beignet? Well go to Cafe Du Monde and get one.

Yes, in just a few short months, I will be a college student, and the friends I see every day will be flung all over the United States. I’ll be living largely alone, choosing a major, and maybe starting to figure out what I want to do with my life. Stop me before I have a panic attack.

In all seriousness though, I am also really excited to move to Tulane. It’s horrifying and thrilling. It’s awful and liberating. Wish me luck! I’ll be studying and “ya’ll”-ing with the best of them.

Submitted with undying love for,
beignets, festivals, jazz, a new chapter, Magazine Street, Audobon Park, saying ya’ll, NOLA, Nawlins, and all its other names, and the Tulane Class of 2019,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Your number one spot for missives, musings, misadventure, and mayhem told from the amusing and often awkward viewpoint of a 19-year old.