Category Archives: list

My Senior Year Bucket List

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying the beginning of your summers! I actually just have one more final before freedom, so in these last couple days of being a high school junior, I am contemplating what life will be like next year. I am almost a senior, which, despite the grueling college applications and anxiety of hearing back, is supposed to be a pretty important year, I guess. So I have decided to make a sort of bucket list for senior year. (Just so you are aware and don’t think I am 100% lame, I won’t actually be checking back with this list or anything. It’s more for my present entertainment.)

1. Participate in all the Dress-Up Days!
This one has been on my mind for a while, actually. At my school, we have dress up days for Homecoming week, Wish Week (a fundraising week for the Make A Wish foundation), and we also have two different weeks of dress up days for only seniors. These often include country club day, skier day, “senior” citizen day, tacky tourist day, what you want to be in 10 years day, and more! That last one is often the most entertaining because many people like to have fun with it. Being a part of the theater department, lots of people dress homeless. I’ve even seen one girl with a Starbucks apron and a sign reading “want to read my manuscript?”. Obviously, I haven’t been allowed to dress up on senior days (yet) but I am allowed to for Homecoming week and Wish Week. For some days I dress up, but for most, I opt out. However, it is my goal to dress up for every dress up day this year, and I don’t care how ridiculous I look! Because I’m a senior and I do what I want!

2. Go to Putt Putt
As I mentioned, we have a Wish Week, where we dress up and raise money for the Make a Wish foundation and the Wish of a Lifetime foundation. Throughout the week there are restaurants who will donate part of the proceeds to it for us and there are a few events at school. One is putt putt golf one night of the week. I have never been in attendance, since it is usually populated by the…er…type of people I don’t associate–excuse me–am not really friends with… But I’ve decided, why not pull together some people I actually like and go for my last year? If only because I’m super curious as to how they transform one of the buildings at my school into a mini golf course. (Will there be a windmill!?!?) And I will do it even if my lack of mini golf skills are laughed off the course (court? field? stage?). Because I’m a senior and I do what I want!

3. Go to the Homecoming Pep Assembly
I think most schools have this, so I won’t explain. But for us,the assembly is optional, so most people (at least upper classmen) who are not interested in school spirit (me) or who don’t associate with “pep” (me) or who have a car and can leave and go to Starbucks instead (me) don’t attend. I went my freshman year, but after a pretty uninteresting hour sprinkled with chants of “Go Home Freshman”, I figured I had seen it all. However, I’ll admit that there are some fun events and things they do, I can always just laugh at the cheerleaders/poms team, and they make a big deal about the seniors. So maybe I’ll go and be pampered and indulge in a “Go Home Freshman” or two. Because I’m a senior and I do what I want!

4. Be in the Talent Show
During that Wish Week thing I mentioned, there is a school wide talent show, which, for attendees, is basically the only time non-theater kids are caught dead in the theater! Score one for the Thespian cult! I mean troupe! I went my sophomore year, but I have never auditioned, so I figure, why not try my senior year? I’ve got nothing to lose! (Other than my dignity!) However, I’ll definitely try out with one or more other people, so that then I’m not losing my dignity alone. And if it isn’t singing, it’ll be my flawless stand up comedy routine or maybe juggling and unicycling (actually that’s a real act every year–we have a club for it). Because I’m a senior and I do what I want!

In a somewhat pathetic turn of events, I have taken the time and energy to think of only four things that I even vaguely want to do next year. Other than get into college of course. So this is where our list ends. But I hope you got a kick out of my unfulfilled high school life thus far. Because what on earth was I doing if I wasn’t playing mini golf in the hallways??

Submitted with undying love for,
(almost) being a senior, dressing up like a mermaid for “what I want to be in 10 years day”, perfecting my juggling routine, and the hatred of pep,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Everything You Need to Know About Prom

So recently (last night) I went to my first school prom (woohoo, what a milestone). And I thought I would compile a list, since I seem to be fascinated by lists, of everything you ever really need to know about prom.

1. The Dress
Note that I am a female, and therefore, I am dishing out advice on prom dresses. If you are a male and are looking for info on tuxedos, you have come to the wrong place and I sincerely apologize. So for the dress it depends what people at your school do. At mine, most people wear long dresses for prom, but a few wear short. Either is fine, whichever makes you comfortable! Get one you think is pretty and flattering and comfy, etc. etc. The important thing here is that you can dance in it. DO NOT BE THAT STUPID KID REFUSING TO DANCE. Did you really spend a ton of money on prom to stand in a dimly lit and well dressed room doing nothing?

2. The Group
Who you go with to prom is possibly the most important aspect of going to prom. Remember, you’re going to be hanging out with them for a lot of straight hours! If you have a date, rock on. If you don’t have a date, rock on. Go with just your date, go in a group with several other couples, go in a group with some couples and some singles, go with a whole group of single people. Don’t sweat about not having a date–you could go in a big group of girls (or mixed gender singles or whatever) and have an awesome time! (Plus, dates are overrated [unless maybe you have a steady significant other]. Like I have to hang out with this random person the whole time? I don’t want to babysit some boy all night.)

3. The Transportation
While cars are fun, limos/party buses are REALLY fun. Now I realize not everyone can afford such a thing, and that is understandable (don’t worry, it won’t make or break your prom experience). But if you can get a lot of people, split the price, get a deal, cut down the amount of time the limo is needed, etc. I recommend getting one. And if possible, I recommend a party bus, as it, clearly, brings the party wherever you go (I mean who even needs the actual dance, right?). However, please note that many party buses come with a stripper pole in the middle. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can get one without. If you’re into that, go nuts. Just make sure the windows are very tinted before you get too crazy.

4. The Pictures
The all too important prom pre-requisite includes not only all of the pictures you take, but all of the pictures of others that you Facebook stalk! Sure, it’s fun to spend an hour taking lots of low-quality pictures of two people putting a corsage on each other or a row of dressed up girls in various poses, but it’s MUCH more fun to sit on your computer and look at everyone else’s pictures (of the same things). Why should the party end when you get home?

5. Never Say “Prahm”
You’re not funny.

The rest, my friends, is up to you. Get some dinner, dance the night away, and make good choices! (Even when there are stripper poles involved.)

Submitted with undying love for,
prom, Facebook stalking, party buses, and surviving the night the tween girls fantasize about,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Tips for Relaxing from a Very Stressed Teenager

Welcome to Detox 101: How to Relieve Stress in the opinion of one very stressed out teen. I hope you refer back to this list whenever you need to just chill–because life can be hard. From constant homework to immature peers to interminable AP tests (5 1/2 hours, AP Spanish? Really???) to people who cannot walk in the halls (see post #3: Hallway Horror) to bothersome teachers/bosses to a college search creeping up behind you whenever you check the mail, and more, the life of a high schooler is rough. However, this guide is designed for stress relievers of all ages. So sit back and relax.

1. Light Candles
One of the oldest techniques in the book, but take it from someone who has a counter full of a growing candle collection–it works! I recommend scented ones (my favorites that I own are pine, lavender, and some random gardenia and tuberose thing in a jar). Scented candles make your room smell fabulous, and if you leave them burning for long enough, your room will smell fabulous even after you blow them out. It’s like that dog that follows you home and sits outside your door even after you’ve told it to go home (but you secretly want to keep it). Actually I don’t think that analogy related at all.

2. Drink Tea!
Not just for Brits or old ladies anymore! If you’ve read my About Me section or my Meet Me post, you know I consider myself to be something of a tea aficionado. A lot of people think it doesn’t taste good (I used to agree with you!) but I resolve that you are just not drinking the right ones. There are some really flavorful ones and they are actually so calming. See the Meet Me post for my favorite teas and recommendations.

3. Watch Gossip Girl on Netflix (or another TV show of your choice via the outlet of your choice)
Watching TV is a great way to wind down. We all know that. However, I personally recommend Gossip Girl simply because it is exactly what the readers scoffing at me right now think it is–ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But it is utterly, obscenely ridiculous. It is a good de-stressor because you get completely swept up in the complicated lives of “Manhattan’s elite”. They have so many constant and far-fetched problems that you honestly start feeling as if your problems cannot possibly be so all-consuming as the stuff you are witnessing. “Two thumbs up.”

4. Sit Outside and Read a Book
Here comes the chorus of teenagers: “Ew, I don’t read for fun.” Well, you should. Similarly to the TV thing I just mentioned, when you read a book you thoroughly enjoy, you are transported to another world with a whole new score of possibilities, personalities, and adventures. Find somewhere nice (PREFERABLY OUTSIDE IN NATURE SOMEWHERE) and just sit and read. Lay down, nap, sun bathe, lounge, allow yourself to just be. It sounds stupid, but if you do this even for fifteen minutes and rid yourself of all your worries and responsibilities, you will be so much more carefree.

5. Listen to Angry Music
Yes, you read that correctly! It sounds a bit counter productive, but when I am really pissed off, I listen to my “angry music”. (This, for me, includes a lot of Three Days Grace, Skillet, and some other assorted artists. It generally is more “metal” and has a fast beat that I can angrily walk to in the hallway.) While this can sometimes work you up, it also actually does just the opposite. For me, it is a kind of outlet where I can release those emotions just by listening to music that mirrors my feelings. Try it some time. Just for fun.

Some other popular and useful stress relievers include, but are not limited to:
-bubble baths
-blowing bubbles
-hanging out with friends
-punching things (like pillows–please, please don’t punch a wall)
-tequila (JUST KIDDING! Unless you are over the age of 21 that was a total joke!)

I hope you appreciate and draw inspiration from this user-friendly guide. The next time you are feeling stressed, remember to head on over to this website and refer to “Tips for Relaxing from a Very Stressed Teenager”.

Submitted with undying love for,
candles, tea, and Gossip Girl, (my three main loves)
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

What To Do When People Don’t Know What They’re Talking About

Hello friends!! How are you?? I am FABULOUS (my friend I talked about in that last post was FOUND and she is now home and safe and sound! haha that rhymed.). So I thought I would take a break from that whole sappy thing and go back to doing what I do best–ranting while simultaneously assuming I know best (about everything). This week’s rant is called: What to do when other people have no clue what the heck they’re talking about. I hope it proves useful to you the next time someone says something cringe-inducing, or otherwise dim (to put it nicely).

Now I know in this crazy, mixed-up world, there are lots of people who all have lots of different opinions. And everyone is entitled to their opinion–it’s just that theirs may be stupid. When confronted with a narrow-minded, haughty, and/or ridiculous individual, there are several approaches that can be utilized, and I will list them here in order of effectiveness in most situations, for optimum satisfaction (guaranteed or your money back) (just kidding, you didn’t pay me so you get nothing).

1. The Least Effective: Blowing Your Top
The “Blowing Your Top” approach may, and usually does, involve many cuss words, frantic gestures, or becoming red in the face (or blue, depending on your complexion I suppose). This form of argumentation is most often used among road ragers, drunks, and hillbillies (read rednecks) who may or may not be fond of guns. While this can be effective in an “oh crap, I better back down from this crazy person” kind of way, it can also be taken less seriously. It is seen, not as a good rebuttal of the stupid thing someone just said/did, but as a child throwing a temper tantrum. Not cute.

2. Moderately Effective: Obviously Irritated or Precisely Persuasive
These two go hand in hand as both being equally as effective in some ways and ineffective in others. The “Obviously Irritated” approach generally goes as follows: someone is dumb, you respond semi-calmly and with rational vocabulary that may contain some swear words (but they aren’t running quite as rampant as in approach #1), but you are quite obviously irritated. This  may not be as effective as  you tried to make it because it is simply a less intense version of #1. You may sound like you’re trying to be rational, but it isn’t working too well. The “Precisely Persuasive” people are interesting. This is the kind of argument that is well-structured, with impressive vocabulary, crafted arguments, and passivity. It is almost like an actual persuasive essay–effective except for the fact that you sound like an egghead. Also keep in mind–the insufferable fool to which your rebuttal is directed probably won’t understand anything you’re saying. Speaking slowly with smaller words is not only easier for them to comprehend, but can be more satisfying for you (and as an added bonus, it will infuriate your “opponent”).

3. The Most Effective: Calmly Sarcastic
As you may have guessed, this is my approach of choice. When someone says something utterly idiotic, I prefer to lay on the sarcasm like that road rager in #1 lays on the horn. However, it must be carefully done, or else you will seem like the “Obviously Irritated” arguer. With this form of comeback, you speak calmly and with seemingly no bias. It may include, and should include, large words (just not SAT egghead words). It is almost like the precise persuader, but not as meticulously crafted and with a clear opinion present, just not overwhelming. The sarcasm usually comes in at the end, where you can add in a “punchline” to make it clear you think they are moronic. This sort of response may look something like, “Well, sir/ma’am, thank you for sharing your riveting and important opinion. But it would be much appreciated if you would take your ignorance/negativity/etc. elsewhere.” and may end with something like “And I apologize of any of those words were too big for you” or “I realize it can be frustrating to live with fewer brain cells, but there are people who can get you the help you need” or something equally sassy. I also like to call this one “The Subtle Bitch”.

I hope you have made or will be able to make use of this carefully compiled guide. We all meet those out there who just are too insensitive or under developed to say anything intelligent, and that’s okay, as long as you know which approach to use in response. Find the one that works for you, and enjoy making people feel (more) ridiculous! And remember, forget the haters.

Submitted with undying love for,
biting sarcasm, devastating wit, and cutting edge sass,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

P.S. I promise I am a nice person.

Blogging at the Beach!

Welcome to my new favorite past time: Blogging at the Beach! I also like to call it Keeping Sand Off My Laptop, Ridiculous Bliss, or The Amazing Wifi Search. But hey, I’m here, I am sitting on the beach as we speak (type/read?), and well, cross that off the bucket list.

So far, I have done a little hanging out in the freezing cold water until I become numb enough that I can trick myself into thinking it’s warm, and I have almost had a pelican land on me. Some other highlights of Beach-Blogging include tanning (or in my case, burning while mysteriously not feeling it ever), looking at myself in my laptop screen (sunshine=yay, glare=nay), and, oh yes, people-watching! My mom and I also partook in some bird-watching earlier, but in case the funny looking bird whom we saw and named Frankie does not interest you, I’ll document some people-watching fun here. Please enjoy this guide to People of the Beach.

1. Basic Girls Tanning
This is the one you think of, the girls who are one or usually all of three things: in their late teens/early twenties, tan, and trying to get tanner. They often wear bikinis and sunglasses, magazine optional. The one nearest me is wearing an orange bikini that somewhat resembles her skin.

2. Children
Ah, the children. They are generally fascinated with one or all of a few activities. The first is the most popular: running a few feet into the water, standing there in awe, and then promptly turning and running, terrified, out of the water as it chases them back to shore. (Who are we kidding, beach-goers of all ages partake in this activity). The next one is searching thoroughly for shells. And the last is building sand castles that look more like giant lumps. They often, as is the case with the child nearest me, pick up handfuls of wet sand and toddle over to their lump to continue building their lumpy sand empire. Repeat.

3. Cool Surfers
The surfers frequent beaches all the time, though I can’t imagine why. You can recognize them by their surf boards, their wet suits, and their air of ” laid-back SoCal coolness”. They will often parade up and down the shoreline, boards in hand, as if to make sure as many people at the beach as possible are aware of their abilities. Sometimes they even band together when they see each other as part of an exclusive surfers-only club to which you have not been invited. (You now probably think that I am either mean for no reason or bitter because I too wish I knew how to surf. Honestly, it’s both.)

4. Wholesome Families
These can range from all-American-stereotypical-über-wholesome (the family on Leave it to Beaver) to incredibly dysfunctional and determined not to show it (my family, God bless ’em). Either way, they are always there, out for a relaxing day of getting sand everywhere and finding it still all over them later.

5. Beach Rubble
The final thing you will most definitely find at the beach, especially one in America where the trash is abundant and the people are lazy, is your beach rubble. This can range from seagull feathers to peanut shells to peach pits (all of which are near me somewhere). Until us Americans become less lazy and more environmentally conscious or something, the beach rubble will probably be here to stay. Just make sure your child knows it’s not another shell.

I hope that this user-friendly guide assists you in categorizing your people watching when at the beach. Until next time!

Submitted with undying love for,
beach-blogging, People of the Beach, vacations, Spring Break, wearing a cardigan even on a beach, and Frankie the Bird,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

San Fran Shenanigans

Hello people of the Internet!

Long time, no post! How’s it going? Sorry I’ve been a little AWOL recently, as I have been swamped after getting back from my (thanks for asking) ah-mazinggg tour to San Francisco! Here were a few highlights (not necessarily in any order):

1. Alcatraz
Alcatraz island, home to one the of the most famous prisons in the country, is insanely cool. You go and take this audio tour where these voices tell you where to walk and point things out and describe prison life. I recommend going there. So please enjoy this dramatically edgy photo of my in a cell (a cell-fie if you will! lol puns). Also please excuse the awkward audio tour stuff I’m wearing.

2. The Ferry to Alcatraz
So this is completely deserving of its own thing on the list. Obviously, Alcatraz is an island (God, pay attention), so you have to take a boat there. And I realllllyyyy like boats. And I could show you some pictures of the ocean or something, but I think I’d rather share the obligatory Titanic-esque picture with my friend Jordan. #shesflying

3. Grace Cathedral
Grace Cathedral is the single prettiest church I have ever been to in my life (which is a limited amount of churches since I’m Jewish, but whatever). It legitimately looks like a castle, the door has all these gorgeous carvings on it, and there a ton of colored ribbons hanging from the ceiling inside. It was founded during the California Gold Rush and, oh yeah, we got to sing inside it. If you aren’t as much of a choir nerd as me and that doesn’t sound cool to you, let me break it down for you: the more amazing the church, the higher the ceiling, the more the echo, the better the sound. So trust me, it’s cool.

4. That One Hotel with a Sense of Humor
So a couple friends and I were walking to lunch one day, and we passed this hotel. And the doormen/bell boys had these great uniforms. And I know because we saw one getting luggage out of someone’s car. And basically it was a beautiful moment and I felt it should make this list because it was clearly a highlight.

5. Roller Skating
Normally this wouldn’t be a highlight because this is an activity that I do the opposite of excel at. Clearly, I don’t even know if it is one word or two. However, we rented out a roller rink for a few hours, and I mean we all started out skating (Disclaimer: I only fell once!), but then we ended up just dancing barefoot in the middle of the rink (cause they play music, we aren’t just weird). So my friend Tricia and I decided it would be a cool idea to make an Instagram video of us doing ballet to a hip-hop/dance song (since she started dance classes this year and I was a dancer for 11 years–let’s just put that out there first). So we took some videos of us both dancing, and finally we got one of me that was an acceptable length and we went to work again on hers. And luckily, our friend got this on camera. (You should know: she was not wearing skates, nor, clearly, was this the original goal of the video.)

6. Cable Car Ride
Cable cars, basically like open air buses on train tracks in the street, are really not all that spectacular, unless you make them so. Which, trust me, I did. The cable car was pretty full when we got on, so me a few of my friends were standing on the ledge holding onto poles. And we faced the street, and I immediately began waving at everyone on the street (that’s a lot of people in San Francisco). It kind of started as me goofing around and doing the princess-on-a-parade-float-wave. But then I was really enjoying myself, and some people waved back, and then we made it this huge game where we waved at everyone and saw who waved back. I did not stop waving or smiling the entire ride. (Sappy example of something small and stupid can brighten your whole day, which it did.) All I have is this picture of Cristina and me on the cable car, so enjoy that.

7. Lombard Street
By now I’m just kind of listing off basic San Francisco tourist attractions, but they’re attractions for a reason! Lombard street is “the crookedest street in the world”. On a side note, I ran down it like I was an airplane.

8. Ghirardelli Square
Ghirardelli as in the chocolate company. And I like chocolate. I recommend everything.

9. Church Service at United Church of Christ
Hopefully, you are staring at your computer screen confusedly: “Wait! You’re Jewish!” Pick up your jaw, we sang at the service instead of their usual church choir. (Nothing gospel, sadly.) And for non-religious reasons, it was really cool! As you can imagine, I’ve experience my fair share of church services (lol no) but this one stood out. Most notably, the minister there was a lesbian woman who quoted Harry Potter in her sermon. Sadly, no pictures for this one, so use your imagination.

So just to recap: I like San Francisco and I also like choir. Peace and love.

Submitted with undying love for,
San Francisco, choir, chocolate, my hotel with the enchanted forest, it’s finally Spring Break, and posting again!
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Where Are They Now?

Today I was reading People magazine, like I do every week for God knows what reason, and I saw something about Selena Gomez just finishing a stint in rehab. Now, I don’t know about you, but I consider myself to be pretty in tune with what’s happening in the famous-person-stratosphere (because of my incessant People reading), and I was unaware she went to rehab at all!
I know what you’re thinking. Who gives a shit? Just calm down, I’m getting to the point.
It is often a point of discussion: all of those child stars end up corrupted and in rehab. And then we reminisce on the rare child star who made it boldly through the Hollywood party scene unscathed and went on to have “happy families” and “bright futures”, unhindered by their “immense talent”. So let’s talk about those stars for a minute, and take a moment to find out Where They Are Now.

1. Hilary Duff
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Her start: This bubbly personality starred on Disney Channel’s Lizzie McGuire from 2001-2004 and also starred in the movie. Lizzie McGuire aired when she was 13, but her first role came when she was 10. She was also in a few other movies such as A Cinderella Story in 2004 (it’s kind of the only Cinderella remake worth your time) and she even guest starred on a few shows, including Gossip Girl.
Where are they now?: Despite her own show on Disney Channel, Hilary Duff was never in rehab and married and had a son! Sadly, her and her ex-husband, hockey player Mike Comrie, divorced (amicably!) in January. But they still co-parent and raise (almost) 2-year-old Luca!

2. Raven Symoné
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Her start: Raven starred as the sassy psychic Raven Baxter on That’s So Raven, also a Disney show! It ran from 2003-2007, but her first role was on the Cosby Show at 3 years old. Aside from her success on That’s So Raven, let’s not forget her other starring role as a Cheetah Girl in the first and second movies! She also released several albums and had roles in a few other movies and shows, as well as voicing Monique in Kim Possible.
Where are they now?: Today Raven lives mostly out of the spotlight and often steps out with her model girlfriend (Yes! You read that correctly!) AzMarie Livingston. She was in Sister Act on Broadway in 2012 and has not been to rehab nor has she been caught in any sort of cheating scandal! Props.

3. Cole Sprouse
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His start: You know him as 1 out of 2 of the mischievous twins from the Tipton Hotel in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, which he starred in at age 13 from 2005-2008. Him and his twin brother (who doesn’t appear on this list due to his nudes that are floating around) then starred in yet another Disney Channel show, The Suite Life on Deck, until 2011. However, Cole’s first role came at age one in Grace Under Fire. He had a few other guest roles on various shows, but most of his roles were as Cody Martin.
Where are they now?: Today, Cole Sprouse is something of a hippie/philanthropist and he is interested in archaeology, anthropology, journalism, photography, and performance (or so his Twitter bio claims). Turns out him and twin brother Dylan Sprouse wanted to get involved with the production side of things on their show before heading off to college. When Disney shot that down, they left, and now both attend NYU. Cole recently took trips to Japan and Bulgaria, and enjoys college life with his longer-than-shoulder-length hair.

4. Miranda Cosgrove
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Her start: The first of the list not to have her own Disney show! Ah but wait, she had her own Nickelodeon show. Miranda starred as a perky teen in iCarly from 2007-2012 after playing the evil little sister Megan on Drake and Josh from 2004-2007. Her first role, however, came at age 8 on the TV show Smallville. She has also appeared in several shows and movies like School of Rock and Despicable Me (1 and 2) as well as releasing one album and two EPs.
Where are they now?: After wrapping iCarly, she voiced a role in Despicable Me and is currently filming two different movies while she attends USC! She also works with Oceana to protect dolphins from seismic airgun blasts (cue the “aww”). So no rehab stints, no scandals, no nudes, and she’s a college student working to save endangered animals?

5. Emily Osment
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Her start: Though she began at age 7 in The Secret Life of Girls, Emily Osment really found success as Miley’s quirky best friend Lilly on Hannah Montana from 2006-2011. She has also had small roles in many other shows and movies such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Spy Kids, and Family Guy. She has also had one album and one EP.
Where are they now?: With no big scandals to speak of, Emily Osment continues to work on movies, some of which are filming or in pre-production. After Hannah Montana, however, she went to college! So luckily her post-Disney life has been pretty low-key, different from her friend Miley’s, because we all know how that one turned out.

Submitted with undying love for,
Disney Channel: the creator of well-rounded and well-adjusted humans, the actually well-rounded and well-adjusted humans (rare, but there), Hilary Duff, Raven Symoné, Cole Sprouse, Miranda Cosgrove, and Emily Osment,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Hallway Horror

The following is a fun little paper I wrote for my AP English class in which we had to write an op-ed commentary. An op-ed is an article generally featured in a newspaper (OPposite the EDitorial) and is usually opinionated and not too long. So our assignment was to choose any topic we cared about and write an opinion piece. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I have a lot of opinions. So I chose a topic I was passionate about and tried my darnedest to write a great paper. I got a 90 on this one (thanks Mr. Mazenko) but I am still quite proud of it. So please enjoy! (By the way, I have changed the name of my high school in a lame attempt at keeping up a little anonymity in a scary online world.)

“Hallway Horror”

High school is full of hardships.

Between homework and tests, teachers and peers, high school is filled with emotions, drama, and difficult tasks. However, it seems to me, that the most taxing struggle of all–worse than memorizing vocabulary in a foreign language, more frightening than the common app–is walking in the hallway.

Yes, it may be logical to assume that the hardest challenges of high school occur in the classroom, but alas, it is the hall that really gets teenagers stumped. For whatever reason, high schoolers, especially those at Lincoln High School, are suffering from “Hallway Horror”, a gripping disease that impairs their ability to walk efficiently between classes. They are simply not grasping the concept of walking through the halls. What is this elongated room I am in? Where do all these doors lead? Which way is my class again? Wait, look! There’s my friend! Maybe I’ll stop and chat!

Sure, why not? Ignorance is bliss after all.

But how long can students remain utterly unaware that they are stopping traffic, that their social interactions are causing a blockage? I am all for being friendly, and of course school should not be getting in the way of these kids’ social lives, right? But teens should learn how to navigate their hallways, in order to maintain a happy, healthy high school career. So we will take this in three, simple steps.

Step 1: Pick up the Pace. High school is extremely stressful, and it is always nice to have a break in the day to stroll leisurely to the next class. However, how do you expect anyone to reach class on time if they are delayed by your laziness? And at a school with 3,600 students and 200 faculty members, maneuvering around you is rarely an option. Keep it brisk, ladies and gentlemen, and don’t be afraid to put the car in drive. Think the purposeful walk of a preschool line leader, not the easy gait of the McDonalds employee serving fries.

Step 2: Practice Safe Speeds. Now, I know I just told you to pick up the pace, and you should, but that being said, there is another important piece of knowledge every student must know: never run in the halls. This is not just a rule you heard shouted at you by a teacher as you rushed by them in middle school. This is a fundamental guideline for successful hallway navigation. While you should be walking with purpose, you should never need to run to reach your class. Each passing period is seven minutes long. 420 seconds. Even at Lincoln High School, an unusually large campus at 80 acres and four buildings, you will be on time without running – I promise. If you run, you may not only cause an accident, but you will look, quite frankly, like a disoriented and terrified freshman.

Step 3: Pull Over. The third, and possibly most important rule, applies to that ever so important social life of yours. When you see a friend in the hall, by all means, wave, say hi, make a hysterically awkward face at them as you pass each other (my personal go-to). But please, for the sake of hallway navigators everywhere, if you must have a conversation, pull over. If you stop in the middle of the hall to chat with your pals, you create a general confusion for the first few people behind you when you stop and also for those after them, who must stray from their path to get around. You and your buddy act as a giant highway divider that has been thrown across the middle of the actual highway. If your small talk is really important enough to warrant parking, please pull over first.

It is my sincerest wish that these steps will help high schoolers from all walks of life to navigate their halls – and their high school careers – more easily. If we all remember to pick up the pace, practice safe speeds, and pull over, we can avoid the hallway horror that affects so many high school teens today.

Submitted with undying love for,
opinionated articles, getting an A on this so it’s cool Mazenko, and not so subtle jabs at the kids in my school,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Surprisingly Sexy?

Welcome to a very unique and uplifting list entitled: “The Top 10 Things that Totally Shouldn’t Be Sexy, but Somehow Are”. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you either become inspired and relieved or envious and depressed after reading it as well!

1. Turtlenecks


Gabriella Wilde in Emilia Wickstead for Instyle March 2014
Gabriella Wilde in Emilia Wickstead for Instyle March 2014

Now when I think turtleneck, I think dowdy old lady and something my mother used to make me wear. And maybe it’s just because it’s Gabriella Wilde, the unbelievably hot-without-trying star of the remake of Endless Love, but this turtleneck dress is somehow made to be weirdly sexy. Could it be the alluring bright blue, the lace up heels, or the high-low hem? Who knows. Just remember that if you want to try out a turtleneck dress, you are not the tall, blonde, former Burberry model in the picture.

2. Tweed

Nicole Kidman in Chanel for InStyle March 2014
Nicole Kidman in Chanel for InStyle March 2014

If you are like me and the thought of tweed brings to mind something old and decidedly British, you have not seen this colorful tweed Chanel dress and more importantly, you have not seen it on Nicole Kidman. The pearl buttons should make it seem even more outdated–yet they give it an even more modern feel. Maybe if we all wear tweed with mussed hair and our finger to our lips, however, we can achieve the same sexiness of this photo. (But probably not.)

3. Capes

Lupita N'yongo in Ralph Lauren at the 2014 Golden Globes
Lupita N’yongo in Ralph Lauren at the 2014 Golden Globes

Apparently not just for super heroes anymore! Unless, like me, you consider Lupita N’yongo to be a super hero. She is undeniably drop-dead gorgeous, especially in this vivid Ralph Lauren ensemble with–what is that? A cape?? I could never pull it off like she does, but then again, I would resemble one of the Incredibles, while she exudes grace  and serious sex appeal.

4. Plaid

Miranda Kerr in a Chanel jacket
Miranda Kerr in a Chanel jacket

Plaid: synonymous with a schoolgirl or a kilt. But wait! On Miranda Kerr, it totally works with black separates like leather shorts and sheer tights. (If this makes you feel like you too can rock a plaid jacket, remember, you probably aren’t a Victoria’s Secret model.)

5. Anything You Wear at the Airport

Jessica Alba in J Brand jeans with daughter Honor at LAX
Jessica Alba in J Brand jeans with daughter Honor at LAX

Raise your hand if traveling means sweats, Uggs, and no makeup. (Congrats, you’re a white girl!) But for some, like Jessica Alba, it means looking just as fashionable as any other day. Sure, we don’t have paparazzi following us to the airport, but she could tone it down a little, right? I mean she is LITERALLY TOTING A CHILD and she looks more put-together than I probably ever have.

6. Jacket Tied Around Your Waist

Miley Cyrus out and about in LA
Miley Cyrus out and about in LA

This is that thing that your mom made you do when you were a kid because you didn’t want to carry it and neither did she. It wasn’t until later that you realized you looked like a poster child for Gymboree. However, it’s totally making a comeback, and Miley updates it with flannel, a crop top, and high waisted shorts. Not to mention the red flannel is a pop of color in a black and white get-up. It’s cool in the best hipster kind of way and totally sexy.

7. Gym Clothes

Nicole Richie in a Balenciaga jacket and bag
Nicole Richie in a Balenciaga jacket and bag

Much like effortless airport syndrome, the gym for me means shorts, a T-shirt, and atrocious hair (if I go to the gym at all, that is). However, once again, some like to prove they can be fashionable anywhere (thanks for making the rest of us look bad). Here, Nicole Richie makes sweating stylish by adding a scarf, an oversize bag, retro sunglasses, and a leather jacket in an unexpected color to her top and leggings.

8. Pajamas

Dakota Fanning in Louis Vuitton at the Fall 2013 Louis Vuitton fashion show
Dakota Fanning in Louis Vuitton at the Fall 2013 Louis Vuitton fashion show

Now I think we all learned from an early age that your PJs aren’t for public, but fashion icons are breaking the rules–with surprisingly sexy results. For example, Dakota Fanning went for a silk dress at Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2013 show. The pastel pink silk and lace trim is alluring, but she adds polish with a jacket and structured bag. You can try to duplicate the same thing, just make sure you are A. Dakota Fanning, or B. at a major fashion show.

9. Shoulder Pads

Blake Lively in Balmain at the HBO Emmy after party
Blake Lively in Balmain at the HBO Emmy after party

Apparently not just for football players or the 1900s anymore! With the right modern touches, shoulder pads can be a cool accent and can have sex appeal, or so I have found after browsing the good old Internet. Blake Lively chose a Balmain dress with a deep V and sparkles, adding the perfect backdrop for unexpected shoulder pads! If you want to get something like this and try it out, try being Blake Lively.

10. Neoprene

Khloe Kardashian in Alexander Wang
Khloe Kardashian in Alexander Wang

You know those wetsuits you have to wear when river rafting? Yeah, that material is neoprene. However, it can be made into something stylish, and even sexy with V-necks and zipper detailing, seen here on Khloe Kardashian. She also kept accessories in the same color family to let the neoprene shine (there’s something you don’t hear everyday).

So there you have it! You too can take something you never would have thought could be sexy and make it so! By the way, I was only a little bit serious when I said you could only pull this off by being these people. I’m sure with the right fashion savvy (that’s a word, I promise), you could look just as sexy as the women in these pictures. I just probably won’t try it myself.

Submitted with undying love for,
turtlenecks, tweed, capes, plaid, airport wear, jackets tied around the waist, gym clothes, pajamas, shoulder pads, and neoprene,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken