Tuesday, July 24, 2012

& Miles Don't Mean Anything

99% of the time, I hate being in a relationship that is sometimes long distance. Especially since that distance is 886 miles. But since it might be long distance again soon, I'm finding myself looking for silver linings. Like the fact that I will finally have enough time to apply as an RA, or tutor to build up my resume. But one of my absolute favorite things about being in my kinda sorta long distance relationship is all the cool places I've been able to see thanks to Brandon.
This is me and my boo thaang
Brandon and I met our freshman year. We were friends for a semester, more than friends for a semester, and then pretty heavily in love since. Unfortunately, I'm from Chicago, where we met, and Brandon is from Connecticut. Not at all close. Which means sometimes (summer, for instance, and possibly longer starting in a few months) he has to be there and I have to be here. Which sucks. But, here's the silver lining: before Brandon, I had been to the East Coast once. My sophomore year of high school, I went on a school trip to New York for choir. I hated it. I thought it was Chicago but louder and more crowded. Little did I know, the East Coast has a lot more to offer than just the big city.
I first visited Connecticut last July. Since then, because of dating Brandon, I have gotten to see Connecticut, Boston, Maine, Rhode Island, and New York again (for the record, I still hated it but so did he). And two weeks I will find myself in New Hampshire, another place I've never been, staying at a lake house with Brandon's family. The East Coast is so incredibly different than the Midwest, and I really love getting to see it all and experience new things. I never thought I'd get to hang out on a beach in Newport or see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. It also makes me feel closer to Brandon because I get to see the places he grew up around. And while the distance does suck a LOT, when I graduate we can finally pick a place to live together. But until then I plan to enjoy all of the new places dating my boy takes me.
Tubing in Maine!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Fighting Apathy, or Giving a Fuck

I tend to disagree.
Not to gang up on the generation I'm a part of or anything, but I'm really sick of hearing variations of the phrase "I don't give a fuck."
Apathy isn't cute, kids.
There's a whole big world out there happening around you, so by saying you "don't give a fuck", you're essentially saying you don't care to be a part of, as author John Green so eloquently put it, "the miracle of human consciousness."
I give a lot of fucks. So many, in fact, that I could be and have before been deemed a nerd. But you know, I would much rather be a nerd than be like so many of the kids I see on social networks these days with their statuses like "just gonna get wasted and get high as fuck because YOLO." (Okay, that may be a made up exaggeration, but I wouldn't be surprised if some poor kid had that exact status right now).
Because here's the thing: I think caring about things is beautiful. Even if it makes you cool, I don't want to "not give a fuck". I want to finish school, I want to become a teacher, and I want to achieve the goals I set out to achieve in life. If that makes me a nerd, guilty as charged. And with the power to mold young minds, I hope that I can convince even one kid not to give in to the pressure to denounce all passions as "uncool". Because, when it comes down to it, I might have a lot of emotions and sometimes I might hate it, but it's better than being numb to the world around you. I'd rather be myself (someone who is really emotional over the final season of Desperate Housewives, who reads 2 books a week, and who tries to keep up on what's happening in the world, even if it is via Huffington Post and not CNN) than someone who glides through adolescence only caring about where I'm getting drunk next weekend.
So whether what you love is running, or Glee, or crafting your entire pinboard, go do it! And get excited about it! Because what we need in this life is a hell of a lot more passion. 
So sorry for calling my own generation out, but IGAF.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blorft.

You might be wondering why this post could possibly be titled "Blorft". And it's because, even if it is a nonsense word, I've been feeling incredibly blorft for a while now. Here, let me let Tina Fey explain:
“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. "Blorft" is an adjective I just made up that means 'Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.' I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.”
Tina uses "blorft" in her book, Bossypants, which I haven't read yet but definitely intend to. I think she perfectly sums up what a lot of women feel, myself being one of them. So I decided instead of feeling blorft, I'd try to do something about the state of things. 
I've been MIA from the blogging world for the past week and a half or so, and it's because working 6 days a week and taking two online classes is definitely not recommended. You know the saying "I'm so stressed I could pull my hair out?" Well, I'm so stressed that my hair has started rebelling and falling out on its own. Obviously, my life is in need of some changes for the better.
I've been going between home and work with just enough time to eat some crappy fast food and sleep in between. Not good for you. And since all I've been doing is work and homework, I haven't had much time for myself. I decided to tackle that head on, and I just started doing yoga. Not like, extreme exercise class yoga, but this wonderful little program:
I would definitely recommend it for anyone who's stressed out. The woman who does the program is also a psychotherapist, so she really knows what she's doing when it comes to yoga for stress relief. I just started and I already feel a lot more relaxed. And the flexibility part is just an extra benefit. Since I stopped high school cheerleading my flexibility has pretty steadily been declining, so it'll be nice to get it back! Hopefully this small step of doing yoga every morning can give me back some time to myself and make me a little more fit at the same time.
People can't change overnight, but I did get vegetables in my omelette this morning. And for me, that's saying something.


Monday, July 9, 2012

The Quotable Twentysomething

A few weeks ago, I went to the Printers Row Lit Fest. It's a giant annual book fair in Chicago, and it happened to be taking place about 20 yards from my boyfriend's door, so needless to say I spent a ridiculous amount of time there. He even ended up liking it a lot too because they had a lot of antique things and he's a Pawn Stars-aholic.
Anyway, my favorite purchase had to be a handmade leather journal.
My new baby!
I've always wanted one, so I was thrilled that I could talk them down in price on the last day of the festival. It has parchment pages and its probably the prettiest thing I've ever owned. But there's one problem: as much as I love to blog and write stories, I have never been much of a journaler. I probably have about a dozen little notebooks in a closet somewhere that have one or two entries in them before I forgot all about them.
So because I didn't want this journal to succumb to the same "stuffed in a box in a closet" fate, I had to come up with something better to do with it. And that's where I got my new project!
I love quotes. I think it's so wonderful to find a quote that sums up exactly how you feel, because it reminds you that you're not alone in feeling that way. So I'm filling this journal with all of my favorite quotes. It's going to be quite an undertaking, considering I'm about seven pages in and my hand already started cramping like crazy, but I'm excited for it to be filled one day.
And when it's done? I like the idea of having a tangible catalog of quotes I love, not something on Pinterest. Don't get me wrong, I love pinning! This just seems more real. And my end goal is to one day have a teenage daughter I can give it to so that she can have all the wisdom of some of my favorite people (politicians, writers, celebrities) all in one place.
So in the theme of quotes, I'll leave you with one that I've already added to the book:
"If you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."  - Conan O'Brien

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Everything (useful) I Learned in Life I Learned From Blair Waldorf

Gossip Girl has been my go-to guilty pleasure TV since it's premiere in 2007. I was a sophomore in a suburban Midwestern high school, buying my clothes ate Target and Forever 21, and I wanted nothing more than to be Blair Waldorf. If you're not familiar, she's basically a cultured, well-read, classy bitch living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with hot boyfriends and the best wardrobe I've ever seen. And beyond all that, she is just so supremely confident. Even when she's being a heinous bitch, you still find yourself rooting for her.
So now, five seasons later, I realize that this girly-tween fictional CW character has taught me some valuable life lessons, and I thought I would share.
1. Always be a fierce friend
Blair is often a bitch, but it is almost always to help the people she loves. She takes friendship very seriously and will go to the ends of the earth to help her best friends. It's a great reminder for life in general. Everyone has a lot going on in their own lives, but it's important to always make time for the people in your life when they need you.

2. You can be with someone and be independent at the same time
Blair has been involved with every attractive guy on the show at some point or another, but she has almost always maintained her sense of self. A lot of teenage girls and women in their twenties can lose themselves in a relationship. Blair has been deeply in love, but she always has her priorities straight. She wouldn't settle for less than the best treatment from a man, and as much as she's in love, she wouldn't stay with someone if it wasn't in her best interest.

3. We've all got problems
 Blair has suffered through her parents' divorce and her father's subsequent move to Paris, her best friend leaving without a word, her boyfriend cheating on her with her best friend, and bulimia. And that's just in the first season. She's a good reminder that even those girls that you think are pretty, rich, and basically perfect, have problems too. Never judge a book by its cover, because you never know what someone might be going through.

4. Relationships should be fun!
Blair plays outlandish games with her beau where they seduce strangers, she dresses up as Anna Karenina, and she role plays as a dissatisfied customer and a waiter. In relationships it can be hard to really get it all out there and have fun, but Blair always does. She's not afraid to say what she wants and live life with a little kink, which we could all probably use more of!
5. Last but not least...
"Here's my advice. Have a little faith. And if that doesn't work, a lot of mimosas."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Skinny Bitch

I am an avid social networker. I have this blog, a tumblr, a facebook, a twitter, a pinterest, an instagram... the list kind of makes me feel ridiculous. But I've seen a disturbing trend these days among all of my favorite sites: Thinspo. From what I gather, it's just girls posting pictures that are either of someone who is near anorexic or someone skinny that has been photoshopped to look even skinnier, and this is supposed to inspire them to stay thin.
Just an example of what you can find on the tumblr thinspo tag
The caption to the above picture was "lose 6 more pounds to my goal weight!". Obviously, these thinspo and pro ana girls are extreme examples, but even fairly normal, healthy girls I know bash their bodies on a regular basis. It makes me sad. I want to shake them all and just tell them that being skinny does NOT mean being happy. 
I would know. When I was seventeen, I became very sick. I couldn't keep food in me, I was living on ginger ale and saltines, and I was missing tons of school. I lost almost 40 pounds and I was miserable. I was eventually diagnosed with Crohn's disease. To my disbelief, at school and work people were constantly asking me what my "secret" was to losing so much weight and complimenting me on how fantastic I looked. When I told them I was seriously ill, they would tell me how "jealous" they were and how they wished they had a disease that made them skinny. I could barely contain my disgust when people said things like that to me.
This is me (on the right), the day after I was diagnosed. I was 100 lbs and it was an effort to drag myself out of bed to go to Turnabout.
After my diagnosis I went on medication and starting slowly but surely feeling loads healthier and gaining weight back. Today, I'm not ever 100% healthy, as is the nature of having an autoimmune disease, but my quality of life is so much better. There are definitely days I wish I could pull off a bandage dress, but being so unhealthy senior year has really made me appreciate my body exactly the way it is. I would much rather be able to eat, be healthy, and be a size 6 than starve myself to be a size 2. Skinny does not mean happy, and I wish more girls realized that. 
This is me this year (i'm on the right!). 30 pounds heavier and happier than ever.
I know that not every girl's story is as dramatic as having an illness. But there's a quote I stumbled upon on one of my many social networks, and I think it's something everyone should realize:
"The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That's it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

True Life: I Cry During Movie Trailers

I've seen two good movies over the past three days. On Sunday, I wanted to get my sickly boyfriend out of the house because he was getting antsy on the couch. We had watched one too many episodes of Storage Wars and we were developing both cabin fever and a weird preoccupation with Brandi and Jarrod's personal lives.
We had way too much time on our hands
An avid fan of Family Guy, I've been wanting to see Ted pretty much since I knew it existed. I love Mark Wahlberg almost as much as I love Mila Kunis (she's been on my list of top girl crushes since her days on That 70's Show). When we got to the theater, the man behind us kept going on and on about how he hated Family Guy and that "this movie better be funny". If we had been sitting behind him I would have "accidentally" kicked the back of his chair, hard. Maybe it's just me, but if you hate Family Guy and you go see Ted and think it's not funny, that's your own freaking fault. 
I love movie trailers. Sometimes they're my favorite part of the movie experience, although I love the popcorn too. We saw a few trailers that looked really funny, including one about two girls running a phone sex line out of their apartment that I'm making a mental note to see. Then a preview came on for a new Disney movie, and I literally teared up and shed a tear. I need to get my hormones in check.
The movie was hilarious. Seth MacFarlane was a delightfully offensive genius, as usual, and Marky Mark and Mila were great to watch. I would definitely recommend seeing it. It had great obscure references to pop culture, which I realize not everyone likes, but I love.
In the spirit of today, Uncle Sam Ted
 Then last night Mal and I saw Magic Mike! There is nothing not to like about a male stripper movie, and my new goal is to go to Vegas and see the Thunder from Down Under. I've heard a lot of criticisms for this movie, ranging from "not enough plot" to "too much talking not enough stripping". We both agreed that it was a good balance of both decent plot and good looking, clothes-less men. I came for Matthew McConaughey, loved Matt Bomer and Channing Tatum as expected, but found a new favorite in Alex Pettyfer. His character turned out to be a let-down, but he was gorgeous. If you're on a budget I'd probably recommend Ted over Magic Mike, but both are definitely worthwhile, even if you only see Magic Mike for the sake of seeing Alex Pettyfer in a thong and a cop hat. Trust me, it's worth the ten bucks. All in all it was a great weekend to see movies, and I'm sure with Savages coming out this weekend I can expect to keep shoveling out money on some good summer flicks.

Happy 4th of July from me and the boys of Magic Mike!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Political blogging and being a kid with an autoimmune disease

I try not to get too political on the internet, but I’m so incredibly relieved that the supreme court upheld Obama care.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. It’s a chronic illness that can make you anemic, malnourished, and cause your immune system not to work correctly. When I was finally diagnosed I was consisting on a diet of only ginger ale and saltines, could barely leave the house, and had lost over 30 pounds. Things are better now that I'm on medication, but during flares sometimes its hard for me to go about my normal life because I’ll be in a lot of pain for days at a time. But mostly I’m lucky, my case is not nearly as severe as some people’s Crohn’s.
It is also an expensive disease. I have had test upon test to try to figure out how severe it is, what parts of my intestines are covered in ulcers, etc. I have to take my medication every day, otherwise I wouldn’t effectively be able to go to school, work, etc. My medication, though, is very expensive.
That is why I would like to thank the people who are fighting for affordable healthcare. I did not choose to have this disease, and it is an immense relief to know that when I graduate from college and am looking for a job that I can stay on my parents insurance and still be able to afford my medicine. Because without the insurance, I couldn’t pay for my medicine, and without my medicine I wouldn’t be healthy enough to hold down a job.
I understand that people disagree with Obama care. I just want to give a human face to the people that really need health care reform. Your views might change if you ever got diagnosed with a chronic illness.