The IceBlock [13]: Updates for School, Affiliation, & Future Reviews

Hi all! I hope you're enjoying the weekend. A lot of stuff has happened since my last post, so I thought I'd write up another IceBlock post to cover it all. I'll touch briefly on a few miscellaneous things first.

~ It's been nearly three weeks since my lumpectomy and I feel great. A week before the past Thursday, I had my stitches removed and finished my course of antibiotics. I'm still wearing a more-supportive sports bra (that really does make its appearance in every summer outfit) and the wound is still covered with gauze and waterproof tape (and, I may as well add now, I still haven't looked at the surgical site!), but I feel so much better than before. I can even lay on my opposite side without much pain!

~I start working again this coming Tuesday at my new job, though I have to say I don't know how I feel about it yet. I was ridiculously excited when I was getting trained and finding out more about it, because I was thrilled to have found a job that I thought would pay a lot better than my previous job. But, this past week I was told that I'd be starting at minimum wage - and my heart sunk. I felt disappointed in myself because this was the second job I managed to get and, with my college degree, I was still being offered minimum. They have clarified that minimum wage is only temporary pay during training, but I don't have high hopes about the pay afterwards either. So I'm not sure what to think.

Anyway...onto the main topics of this post.


I haven't really gone into this much before I don't think (sorry if I have), but at the end of last year I decided I wanted to return to school and pursue an animal-/science-related degree because I discovered that the animals I am most passionate about - Adelie Penguins - were indeed kept at zoos in the U.S. - SeaWorld, to be exact. I remember when I started watching the Penguin Cam at SeaWorld San Diego last Spring, and how shocked I was when I noticed a penguin swim by with the characteristic white ring around its eye. And then job hunting started, and I realized how little employers valued my degree in Creative Writing, honors or not. I believe that my degree is important - after all, being able to communicate clearly both through speech and writing is essential in professional environments. But for a lot of jobs that isn't enough.

So I decided to pursue the aforementioned animal-/science-related degree. I thought a Bachelor's degree in science would not only be more time than I wanted to spend (3 years+), but much more money, too. I eventually decided to look into becoming a Veterinarian Technician, and saw that a community college here - LaGuardia Community College - had a program for that certification. Well, I'm going to say now that I am so disgusted by this college that I would never recommend it to anyone. I applied to the program for the Spring 2013 semester, was accepted (not the clinical phase, mind you - you can't apply for that until after your first semester of prerequisites), and discovered that the program only followed a Fall-Spring schedule. Thus I decided to wait until the Fall 2013 semester. I was set on returning to school to pursue this certification - in fact, my future was built around it.

But then LaGuardia decided to close the program to incoming students just for the Fall 2013 semester.

All I have to say is (and excuse my language): fuck them. They are the only school in NYC that offers this program, so to have the audacity to just 'happen to decide' on closing it for a semester out of nowhere pisses me off like no other. Thank God I realized that if I returned to my home college, I could potentially acquire a second Bachelor's degree in as little as 2 years, so I reapplied to that college and just found out two days ago that my readmission application was accepted. This Monday I will be declaring a major in Biology. I am so excited about returning to school and achieving the education needed to qualify me for my dream job, and I'm even more excited to know that my Creative Writing degree's worth will be amplified like crazy in conjunction with a Biology degree. It's going to cost a lot, and be an enormous amount of hard work on top of that, but I have the motivation to present and achieve my best.


A couple of months ago, I discovered that CDJapan, my go-to website/company for Sakamoto Maaya (and other Japanese artists') musical releases, had an Affiliate Program. I applied to it when I felt confident enough to do so, and recently found out that this blog, The Penguin Critic, was approved and that I was therefore accepted into the program. I will be making a separate page for the purpose of providing an elaborate disclaimer policy now that I am actually affiliated with a company, but I want to discuss my reasons for applying for affiliation with CDJapan here, especially since affiliation with anything seems to raise questions of trust, reliability, and the like in some readers/viewers (depending on your media platform, of course).

I have been a customer of CDJapan since June 2007 - making it 6 years exactly as of this month. I have purchased (and, as time passed, preordered) nearly every Sakamoto Maaya release through them (I mention her specifically because she is my #1 favorite artist). I have enjoyed the first press bonuses that came with the first press editions of her releases on their site. I have always received prompt and courteous customer service replies (taking into account the huge time difference between NYC and Japan) from them. I have always received my packages - in perfect condition - in an extremely timely manner. Overall, I have always been a happy customer of theirs through my, as of now, 15 purchases with them.

Bottom line: I would not have applied for affiliation with CDJapan if I did not believe in them as a professional, reliable company. 

I will reinstate the following specifically in my disclaimer policy once it's up: as an affiliate of CDJapan, I will therefore be posting affiliate links from now on when I review purchases from them (and will eventually add them to posts that already exist). Yes, I will receive a small percent of your purchase if you choose to buy the product through my link. No, you do not have to click the link! You can even open a clean page of CDJapan and navigate to the product page yourself if you do want to purchase the product from them, but are against the idea of affiliation/commission! I 100% respect that. But if you do enjoy the content I provide through my review of their products - or any of the content on this blog at all - and decide to use my affiliate links, I will wholeheartedly appreciate your decision. I hate money matters because I think they fall into the same level of touchiness as, say, religion (lol), but I like being 100% honest on here and will therefore say that yes, of course even the tiniest commission once every blue moon will be helpful to me, especially since I'll be dealing with college tuition and book expenses. But I want to stress that utilizing any of my affiliate links for your purchases is up to you, so you've been warned! =P


Finally, the last of the 3 main topics in this post! I've been giving it a lot of thought, and testing many new products thanks to my skin being healthy again. Plenty of the lipsticks I use often are lipsticks I already own in multiple colors since I enjoy them so much. Two such examples include the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters and the new Milani Color Statement lipsticks. The problem that arises with these types of products is that it's hard to get lip swatches of every color within the same day (and, therefore, same lighting) since some of them stain or are tough to remove completely. As a result, I thought it would be most useful (and, for me, convenient) to write separate reviews for each color of a given product that I own multiple colors of, with the first of each group of reviews containing full product information ('The Basics,' claim information, etc.). Then, at the end of each review, links would be provided to posts on the other colors in the same product line. I thought this would also help to avoid super long posts, such as my Maybelline Baby Lips post where I reviewed the six permanent shades in my collection.

Of course if there are colors that I feel look similar in a certain product line, then I might review those two (or however many) together. But, otherwise, the colors will be reviewed/swatched separately. If you have any other suggestions, then please do share them in the comments below, but know that I (and my lips!) like this idea quite a bit already!

That's about it! Can't wait to see you guys in my next post! 'Til next time. ('<>')>


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