Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ribbons & Glitter & Writing Through Insecurities

Such a relief, right?

After wrapping three gifts and feeling completely exhausted with the Christmas spirit, I decided to take a break and do something I haven’t done for some time—write a blog post.

So while my tiny living room sits littered with glittery ribbons and wrapping paper pieces that will inevitably drift under my couch, not to be discovered until I get that random excess of energy to actually move the couch when cleaning, I lie on the floor of my apartment, staring at a blinking cursor, thinking about how I could have done 30 minutes of cardio by now. I know—the scene is so literary that I’m basically Jane Austen.

It’s strange because unlike this time last year, when I was blogging the most, a lot has happened within the last few months that I could have written pages about. The problem is, I’ve struggled with how candid I want to be on here.

For example, should I talk about that guy I went out with who blew my phone up and seemed really into me and then oddly disappeared? This clearly vulnerable moment is easy (alright, not really easy, but tolerably okay) for me to laugh about now, but right after I realized he didn’t like me (which was basically an hour after he didn’t respond to my text. I refuse to be that delusional girl making excuses for why a guy won’t text her back. Seriously girls, I know it sucks, but let’s be honest with ourselves—he has service, he isn’t busy, and he didn’t go on a camping trip where he fumbled his phone into the river) I went through that awful checklist that we all neurotically analyze following rejection: Everything That’s Wrong With Me That Guys See And Hate (this was also what I planned on titling my memoir in my darkest moments.)

I mean, some of these dating experiences would probably be humorous and healing to write through, but at the same time, it’s my life. Which is, you know, my actual life and not the plot the heroine in a romantic comedy is seeing to fruition. I am also one of those girls who, despite the incredible pace of my mind, will meet any guy’s flippancy or aloofness with an equal amount of indifference. Yet another reason I can’t risk blogging an experience that I’m trying to give the impression I care nothing about.

So, even though I probably won’t be blogging about my unfortunate dates or guys who move way too fast and cause me nightmares about being tricked into marrying them (this nightmare did happen), I’m going to make a habit of blogging again.

Not sure if anyone’s interested in my little voice on this little platform, but I’m here to Live, Cry, Laugh, Cry, Love, Cry, Laugh-So-Hard-You-Cry**, with you.

**I wish home interior signs or “about me” sections just told the truth. Let’s face it—there’s a lot of crying in life and during sentimental holiday commercials.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Online Dating, Jerky Guys & Me


So tonight, following a vulnerable afternoon and a vow to never allow myself to be attracted to jerky guys who toy with my emotions ever again (as if that’s something I can truly control without, I don’t know, therapy) I decided to entertain the idea of online dating.

This lasted about five minutes.

My fear of online dating has a lot to do with the fact I’m afraid of everything. I’m wildly insecure (while simultaneously thinking I’m better than everyone else—cute, right?) and basically assume strangers are all psychopaths hell-bent on murdering me. This paranoia is courtesy of my mother, who has consistently reinforced her personal theory that strangers are all psychopaths hell-bent on murdering me. So, it should be no surprise that the idea of meeting someone off a website is terrifying.

During dinner with my dear friend, Kacie, she tempted me to sign up for OK Cupid with the one thing she knew I’d fall for—a personality quiz a la Seventeen magazine.

Uh, duh. I have to know if I’m the “Girl Next Door” or the “Classic Romantic.” These things are important.

Whether this suggestion was a result of me ranting about jerky guys and their emotionally confusing signs for the millionth time or if it had more to do with my admission of becoming teary-eyed during that “Every Dog’s A Champion” commercial for Pedigree dog food (I’m sure as a friend, this concerned her), I still took it to heart considering my other dear friend, Jen, had just suggested the same dating alternative earlier.

It was a sign.

So once I got home, I hit the site up.

It was somewhat smooth sailing until I was almost done with the quiz and OK Cupid decided to show me a possible 90% love connection in my area.

This would have been great and totally normal for a dating site had my match been maybe, I don't know, a normal photo of a normal looking guy and not what can only be described as a blurry action shot of Sasquatch in the woods taken on someone’s Nokia flip-phone in 2004.

I mean, what? Come on, Ok Cupid.

It’s great that my match is showing me where he’ll drag me when I get murdered, but the pixilation and weird dimness is really getting in the way of identifying him to police.

So, in world-record time I’m sure, I disabled my Ok Cupid account. And when asked for a reason by the site, I selected, “Met someone!”

I mean, I will eventually, right?

**And I think the fact I didn’t delete the account (deleting is permanent, so says OK Cupid) is a step toward “getting myself out there.” So, if it doesn’t work out with this guy I told OK Cupid I was leaving them for, I can come back any time and pick things back up with Sasquatch. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons, Sometimes You Cry in the Lemonade While You're Making It

So, today sucked.

There’s really no other way to adequately articulate that. I woke up at 5 a.m. with a splitting headache that I’ve battled all day, I was given some disappointing professional news and the maintenance guy in my building saw me crying on the elevator.

And I really didn’t want to establish such an intimate relationship with the maintenance guy.

After burying myself under piles of blankets and self-pity for the majority of the morning, I waded through my migraine and eventually pulled myself to an upright position.

I know before long this disappointing day will just be a blip on my timeline, but it’s always difficult dealing with disappointment—and I always seem to struggle with how to react.

This harkens back to the fact I’m severely self-aware, so it’s no surprise I’m always afraid that if I show my true blue, pouting sadness to the outside world, I’ll be quickly discredited as an emotionally immature brat who can’t handle adulthood.

So that’s why I retreat and internalize things for fear of coming off as petty and juvenile. Or I laugh away the sincerity of my hurt because I know there are way bigger issues out there than what I’m dealing with today.

But the truth is, it sucks when things don’t work out the way you thought they would. Whether it’s job promotions, relationships, or realizing a day too late that your Kohl’s cash has expired, disappointment is disappointment—I don’t think it’s awful to admit that you’re momentarily overcome with pout face.

I think what does matter is how you recoup, though. I mean, as temporarily healing as it may be to eat Nutella straight out of the jar while watching reruns of Bridezillas, it’s likely not the best first step to pulling yourself together.

I instead opted for my tried and true method of revealing too much about my emotional complicacies on my blog. And I’m already feeling a little better.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stories from the Self-Aware

Being self-aware means you live your life as both an active and inactive participant. Like, you could be sitting with a group of people trying to engage or connect in any way you can, while there’s another part of you sitting at another table alone, watching how uncomfortable you look--cringing at how many times you shift awkwardly in your seat just so you have something to do other than vacantly staring off into space.
It’s weird.
And as a result, most self-aware people are pretty weird, too.
Sometimes I like being self-aware because I’m the first one to admit when I’m being awkward. Listen, I know it. But another part of me wishes I could just relax and embrace my awkwardness and make it endearing like in rom-coms starring Reese Witherspoon.
But then I remember my life is not a romantic comedy and scripted awkwardness is way cuter than my reality. So I'm back to fidgeting with my hair and scanning the room for the 100th time as though I'm conducting a thorough inventory of every wall ornament in the place.
This is mostly why I refrain from social situations that don’t involve people I’ve known for a minimum of 10 years. I feel like my entire tone is somewhat apologetic while I’m out. Like, “Sorry guys, I don’t know how to behave when I’m around people! Sorry I can’t participate in this conversation because I’m sheltered and have no idea what you’re talking about! Sorry I keep bringing up how awkward I seem because I need everyone to know that I’m aware of it, too! Sorry I just did that weird thing with my arms that was supposed to be dancing!”
See, to most people, none of this ever even crosses their minds. At all. And if it did, they’d likely not admit it for fear of seeming neurotic or socially inept. But, I’m a writer. While all this is happening, I’m thinking of ways to translate it to paper so I can in some way transform my social tragedies into something productive.
And in that, is the good thing about being self-aware; you're also hyper aware of those around you. I feel like I have a really good sense of people that developed from years of being the wallflower. It’s probably why I’ve been writing stories since I learned how to write my name—my characterizations are based on what I observe from people around me.
So, I pretty much know when someone else feels awkward, too. Or when they’re trying too hard. Or when they’re bullshitting me.
The thing is, I never call them out on it. (I mean, why would I? That would be awful.) So, I write about myself. And I take these attributions I observe in others and assign them to various characters in various novels I write at various times of the night when I can’t sleep.
I’m sure I'm probably way too candid about these things on my blog, but it’s all in hopes that maybe someone, somewhere can silently relate in some way.
And if not, well, then I guess this is all really embarrassing and a complete waste of time and made everyone who I know in real life kind of uncomfortable.
At least I’m aware enough to realize it though, right?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Listening to The Smiths & Thinking Morrissey Is Your Boyfriend

I knew this girl in college who was a friend of a kind-of friend, who claimed to be completely obsessed with The Smiths.

I didn’t realize this was a thing until college. Girls being into The Smiths. Not that it should be uncommon—The Smiths are great and gender shouldn’t define a person’s interests—it’s just I questioned the sincerity of certain girls’ infatuation with this band.

See, this girl was really peppy and into anime and stuffed animals with big doll eyes—all things that terrified me during my late teens and early twenties. It didn’t make sense—how could she possibly relate to Morrissey? I was quiet and soft-spoken and a smidge broody. I was the one who decorated her dorm room with things like Miles Davis posters and wrote melodramatic sayings like “Teenage Wasteland” on the tongue of her converse sneaker. Morrissey was singing to me, clearly.

The point is, this girl made me dislike The Smiths for a while. In my mind, all these freshmen girls who had just discovered Urban Outfitters and coffee houses and boys with black-framed glasses, were tainting the band (not to mention stealing the cute boys wearing black-framed glasses. I'm looking directly at you, blonde guitar player in my Economics class. I will never forgive you for persuading that bespectacled, dark-haired classmate with the right amount of facial hair to sit near the front of the class when for so long he sat near me at the back of the class.) I felt like if I said, “Yeah,  ‘I Know It’s Over’ is one of my favorite songs” real music enthusiasts would smile blankly and turn the other way, rolling their eyes like John Cusack in “High Fidelity.”

And having John Cusack circa “High Fidelity” not take me seriously was too much to bear.

But, a funny thing happened when I grew up—I realized I was an idiot. Once something becomes popular, it doesn’t mean it’s complete garbage that everyone should shun. It makes me embarrassed to think there was a time in my life when I allowed my elitism to shut out The Smiths. Today, I came across them in my library and decided to have a listen again.

And I realized their melodies and melodrama will always have a place in my heart, even if the majority of their fan base is now a result of “500 Days of Summer.” That movie was awesome, anyways.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things That Worry Me About Having My Picture Taken

Posed photo shoots terrify me. It's not like the photos I have full control of on my Facebook page. It's not like I can filter the shots through a Nashville haze on Instagram, then blur out the background and darken the edges so all that's shining through is an outline of my eye. I mean, the photographer may actually get a full shot of my face when it's not tilted slightly to the left--a pose I rely heavily on in every photograph I've ever taken ever.

See, in my mind, posed photo shoots are like when you went to the Sears Portrait Studio in 7th grade to get BFF portraits done with your bestie (wearing matching overalls with one of the straps undone to make you look extra cool.) It's like your Senior yearbook picture--you know, the one where you're holding a rose in front of crushed velvet draping because that says elegance and maturity.

I realize my fears are completely stupid and outdated and based largely on traumatizing pictures from years gone by, but an impending, legitimate photo shoot I'm participating in (combined with my natural inclination to panic over anything that may draw attention to me via a median I have no control over) has pushed me to blog.

Things That Worry Me About Having My Picture Taken:

What do I do with my hands? Will someone give me direction or will I have to improvise? If left to my own devices, I'm likely to forget how I normally stand and will instead opt for a completely unnatural look of discomfort.

Will my smile be weird? I mean, how will I know for sure if I'm smiling like a normal person if the photograph isn't being taken on my Macbook?

Will they have me do something corny like put my hand under my chin while I lean on a Roman-esque podium? I think this has a lot to do with the trauma endured from my Senior portraits.

Will people be looking at me while I get my photo taken? That's out of the question. Even the photographer needs to look the other way.

Will I look like a chubby amoeba monster? This is a fictional, amoeba-shaped monster I just created that is every woman's nightmare in every picture she will ever take. This is also what they see staring back at them in that horrible yet inevitable photo their friend will tag them in on Facebook without their permission.

Even despite my list of fears, I have to admit I'm a smidge excited. I mean, it's mostly fear and anxiety, but somewhere deep down there's a hopefulness that I will not look like an idiot. Maybe the photographer can capture that somehow?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Writing Samples and Mosaic Ideas

"If she was being honest with herself, she wanted to punch him right in the face. It was petty and unwarranted and she knew he wasn't even close to being hers, but she still felt incredibly hurt. She wanted to punch him, then immediately nurse his wounds. She wondered why a combination of violent hysteria and wild mood swings couldn't be a desirable quality in women.

She thinks about him at the end of the day as she nods robotically to motion some sort of consciousness in a conversation she won't remember later. She wishes she could offer up generic responses, but she can't make her mouth form the words so she remains unspeaking and tries to tune out the sound of nothing being loudly discussed ."

So, that's a tiny snippet of what I've been working on lately. I have this really horrible habit of just jotting down small thoughts or scenes or blips of dialogue randomly, without any idea of where it will find itself in the grand scheme of this novel.

I've been toying with the idea of doing something really out there with this piece, but I can't seem to reign myself in enough to focus on how to approach it. If any of you are familiar with mosaic writing, that's what I'm thinking about.

Completely random bits of a novel coming together to create one cohesive story. Like a mosaic.

But, I can't seem to even find where to begin. How do all these writers do it? How do they have the endurance, the focus and the time to write something amazing? I just hope one day, it all comes together for me.

What do you think of my mosaic idea, reader? Does the snippet I offered even mildly entice you into reading more?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Adventures in Rooftop Writing

Whoa! That's the most radical place ever, right?!

The building I live in has this rooftop terrace that overlooks downtown. You’d think that as I resident I’d take full advantage of this really wonderful commodity, but nope. I typically only visit the rooftop in the following situations:

1. If there’s fireworks. I mean, let’s face it—there’s no cooler place to be during a fireworks show than on a rooftop somewhere.

2. If it’s the first time someone’s been to my apartment. Admittedly, I become a stiff tour guide with first-time visitors so I feel it’s my duty to take them up there. (Which, I’m now realizing I handle that moment really awkwardly, too. Instead of grabbing a glass of wine and saying, “Hey, you guys wanna hang out on the rooftop?” I opt for the weird apartment stand-around where everyone stands around while I motion to different things and say the obvious, “Yep, there’s my stove and there’s my couch.” Then I abruptly turn back toward the door and say, “Well, let me show you the rooftop terrace.” You know, not like I’m talking to friends but rather to complete strangers who I’m obligated to show the most attractive parts of the building to in hopes they’d want to sign a lease.)

3. There is no third situation, but having a list of only two things seemed weird so here’s something to make it even weirder.

Today, however, in my romantic writer’s whimsy, I thought, “I’m gonna go write up there. Here’s to being adventurous!” Because adventure is going to the rooftop of the building you live in on a Wednesday afternoon to listen to Buddy Holly while you agonize over sentence structure.

I tuck my laptop under my arm and head toward the elevator, feeling totally outrageous.

I see a neighbor (a “down the hall” neighbor, so I shouldn’t feel so bad about not remembering his name) and his dog (whose name I have managed to remember but will not say in my irrational fear that my down-the-hall neighbor will somehow stumble upon my blog and tell all the other neighbors whose names I can’t remember that I can’t be trusted with the seventh floor secrets due to this salacious blog he found.)

“Hey!” I say enthusiastically—I’m really fake like that in socially awkward situations—then I motion to the dog and with much more sincerity say, “Hello little miss (insert cute name here like in a game of Madlibs).”

“Oh hey, how’s the apartment?” says dog’s owner.

“Awesome—it’s really quiet, I like it,” I say.

I realize in that moment, this is the only conversation we ever seem to have. Whenever I see him, I say “Hey!” and then motion to the dog and then he asks me how the apartment is and I answer, “Awesome—it’s really quiet, I like it.”

We have a Groundhog’s Day relationship.

We hit a tiny rough patch when we realize we’re headed in different elevator directions—who goes first and who waits? How does this work? Will it take a long time to find elevator etiquette results via a Google search?

Luckily, because I’m only going up two floors, dog’s owner bids me farewell and I get on the elevator first.

Once I’m on the rooftop, I find a nice little table to sit at and open up my computer. I wait a minute, you know, so I can bask in the artisness of the moment. I am a writer about to write something way awesome while a breeze blows in from the lake and birds flutter around me.

But, it’s really hot and I’ve made the terrible decision to wear a sweater material. Now all I can think about is how hot I am and if I should load my stuff up and go back downstairs and change.

Before I can decide, the terrace door opens and out walks a small group of friends—now, of course, I start to feel even more uncomfortable and fussy.

Like, how dare they. How dare they ruin my writer’s afternoon of solace on the rooftop? Despite being completely annoyed by their existence and loud laughing (which is not acceptable unless I’m a part of it because otherwise I will assume I am the one being laughed at; I can’t get past my “life imitates 90s teen movies” holdup, I guess) I remain seated and smile warmly at them as they walk past me.

I am wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers; I am the cool girl writing at a table alone, not the weirdo lurking in the corner.

But, it’s really hot. Why didn’t I grab water? I am so unprepared for this, emotionally and otherwise. But I feel like if I get up now, it will be obvious it’s because of them. It’s like casually trying to lock your door at a red light when there’s a questionable person outside your car. It’s difficult to pull off the, “Oh, well, what do you know, I just happened to realize right when this slightly terrifying person was standing nearby that I forgot to lock my door! And I just always have my door locked, so it’s in no way because of you, scary gentleman who may or may not try to jack my car” logic.

So, I stay. Not writing, not thinking of things to write, just feeling out when it would be a good time to get up.

Eventually, after I checked Facebook and Pinterest and downloaded this new app on my phone that lets me add cute doodles to photographs, I close my laptop and head back to my apartment.

And that's where you would've found me this afternoon—sitting Indian style on my bed listening to an Aretha Franklin record, finally writing.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An Exercise In Writing

A twenty-something girl sits cross-legged on a couch that she's decorated with too many pillows. The excessive accessories look great in photographs she posts on Instagram, but are completely impractical when she eventually puts her iPhone away and wants to sit down. So, she throws almost all of them on the floor and assumes her evening position in front of a TV that's likely beaming out images of a show she'll claim she's too intellectual to get into. Her laptop is perched on the edge of a coffee table cluttered with magazines she still hasn't read, but will thumb through from time to time for outfit inspiration. She feels guilty knowing she's a "writer" (she's not confident enough to call herself a writer without using air quotes) and yet she doesn't actively read the writing of others.

Maybe that's her problem. She's already ignoring rule one of every writing workshop ever: you need to be a reader to be a writer.

She stops the train her mind is on before it reaches that place where she tears up over things like her Feature Writing professor saying as long as she's writing, she'll make something out of herself. But then again, she tears up at pretty much anything (including but not excluded to manly men crying or sad looking animals.)

See, right now, she's not writing. She can't write. It's like the universe is preventing her fingers from pressing the keys to form the words that she can kind of hazily see in her mind. And the universe has been a total bitch to her lately, so she feels okay using it as a scapegoat for her creative mind block. Just last week she tried to “get out there” and “do different things” which for her was doing something really normal and not at all crazy like going to a new bar with co-workers. And what happened? The universe was like, “Calm down crazy. Here’s a splitting headache that will make you go home at eight.”

And so is how her life usually goes.

She takes a sip (gulp, really, but sip sounds so much more delicate and lady like) of wine before grabbing her laptop with determination.

She will write something--anything--tonight.

But first she should probably find the appropriate album to write to. She mutes the TV (but will leave it on, for really no reason at all) and places her laptop back on the coffee table, probably too close to that Bath and Body Works candle she leaves burning for hours.

She goes to her record collection and starts flipping through the albums. She feels like the image of her sitting in front of her record player is very “indie movie” and wishes someone was there to photograph it, then filter it through Instagram and tag her in it on Facebook. It would make a really artsy profile pic and some cute, quirky guy who looks like Justin Timberlake when he hosts SNL (you know, when he wears eyeglasses) would be into it.

Finally, she decides that Carly Simon’s “Boys In The Trees” is the ticket to unleashing her creative genius. So she places the needle on the groove and once again, reaches for her laptop.

She stares at the blinking cursor for a little bit before deciding she should work on a project she’s already started. Her novel. Or short story, as it stands now since it’s about seven pages long.

She opens it up and realizes it hasn’t been formatted for her Mac. That’s how long it’s been since she’s accessed it. She heaves a dramatic sigh as if she’s some kind of elderly man at a bar recalling his younger days with wisdom and regret, and tries to figure out how to open the document.

Nothing makes sense.

She just starts double-clicking things until some kind of hieroglyphic text opens in front her. Among the “National Treasure” looking inscriptions, bits and pieces of the original text is there but it’s completely out of order.

It’s too much work. And besides, that novel/short story was awful anyways.

She goes back to the blank page and blinking cursor.

She has nothing. Absolutely nothing. She looks around the room and sees her pillows thrown on the floor.

As an exercise, she starts writing about a “writer” who excessively accessorizes her couch

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Bird Flew Into My Window Today

So, a bird just flew into my window.
The scene of the incident.

It was one of those moments that if you’re alone, you just sit and look around the room doing that “Did anyone else just see that?!” thing,  then immediately feel unsatisfied because the inanimate objects you’re looking to for confirmation aren’t responding.

So, I had to blog about how a bird just flew into my window.

I was writing a really profound piece of literature while simultaneously learning how to play the violin—you know, really productive stuff that’s not at all just sitting on the couch watching re-runs of The Office—when out of my peripheral vision I saw dark feathers ruffle past the window. As soon as I turned, I heard a thump, and then the bird was gone.

I live on the seventh floor which means my exterior windows are like, never washed, so the fact that a bird accidentally flew into it sort of astonishes me. I had that stunned, delayed, and illogical reaction that caused me to get up minutes after it happened and look out the window. As if the bird would be hanging onto my ledge by its wing, hiding.

But, nope. It was gone. And all I could think about is what if the window had been open and the bird flew into my apartment? Would I have died? Would the newspaper headline try to cleverly reference Hitchcock’s “The Birds”? Or would the bird have become a fun pet that ties ribbons in my hair and listens to me sing Huey Lewis and The News songs to myself when no one’s around?

Guess we’ll never know. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lists & Catfish

Note: I actually wrote this post a while ago, posted it, re-read it and wanted to edit it, reverted it back to a draft, and then likely fell asleep and never came back to it. After sitting in front of a blank document for about 20 minutes tonight, I decided to just tweak this entry and post it. Here's to blogging again! I promise I'm trying, so just stay with me here.

I haven’t really been inspired to write, which is the worst feeling ever. So I thought to trigger something, or at the very least, keep me writing, I’m going to start posting about things I’m into right now. Sort of like an ongoing list because list making is my favorite and my self-indulgence tells me everyone would love to know what I’m interested in.

So, here goes.

I wasn't really watching MTV anymore. And when I say wasn't really, I mean never. I’m not even mildly interested in their television programming, which is saying a lot because I watch some seriously stupid stuff sometimes. But this show, (which, thanks, Kacie for introducing me to it!) is so addictive. If you don’t know, it’s based off of a documentary by the same name.

Breakdown “Catfish” the cute, sweet guy Nev was the subject of a documentary by the same name a few years ago. He fell for some girl online who happened to be absolutely not who she said she was. It's a really good movie--go watch it. But now Nev is helping other people meet their online loves to see if they’re legit. ~~SpOiLeR AlErT~~ (I think it’s a requirement that you write it like that) they’re almost never legit. I don’t understand this.

Maybe I’m just super paranoid (I know I possess this really cute personality quirk that makes me assume everyone is guilty until proven innocent) but I would never trust some random person in Nebraska who adds me on Facebook. No matter if this guy is like a Ryan Gosling with a Joseph Gordon Levitt charm and a Caleb Followill sense of style kind of guy who somehow became a millionaire by saving stray animals. In fact, I’d be DOUBLY suspicious then. Like, um, why are you messaging me, of all people?  I’m just some girl who lives in some town that has to be identified by the cities it’s sandwiched between. Not to knock myself, but I know Dexter Banks, the model/jetsetter/millionaire who lives in Nebraska and has no access to a webchat device (but he’s a millionaire) probably wouldn’t be into me.

Why do none of these people see this? And I know I’m sounding really cynical and harsh, but understand that while I’m watching these shows, I’m like, actually into it. Not even in an ironic way. I’m invested in these people and I always want Banks the business mogul with a six-pack, to be the real deal.

I mean, thanks to “Catfish,” I pretty much think anyone I don’t know on the Internet is the exact opposite of the image they’re putting out there of themselves. And we all know a heightened sense of paranoia is great addition to anyone’s TV lineup. Can't wait for season 2.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Can't Believe I'm Awake Right Now

There’s this really disturbing alley/club thing that I don’t totally understand within earshot of my apartment building. Every Friday and Saturday night, this phantom club that pops up on weekends yet is completely invisible during the day (seriously, I always look for it, but I’m met with a suspiciously small, literal gross alley way with the club’s name above it) plays aggressively loud music in between muffled sounds of a DJ shouting random things at club goers.  (Which, by the way, no thanks. I’m not a club person, but I can’t imagine that someone telling you to “Hype up the party!” actually energizes you into having a great time.) A few minutes ago, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” was blaring through the streets, up seven flights of stairs, and into my little living room.

For some reason, I felt the need to go look out my window. I mean, what I was looking at, I’m not sure (sounds can’t really be seen) but it didn’t stop me from prying the blinds apart long enough to peek in the direction of Journey (maybe the music was coming from John Cusack’s boom box in a sweet attempt to motivate me?), then realize how creepy peeking through blinds is. (It’s super creepy. There’s nothing wrong with looking out an open window—it’s so artsy and transcendent—but when you add closed blinds, you take a turn for the weirdo.)

So, I decided to sit down and write. About nothing, as usual.

This week has been pretty uneventful. I felt a blur of days that I couldn’t completely differentiate swirl past me and suddenly, it was Friday and the week was over. I really hate when that happens. I’m not one of those awful “Seize the day!” people who make you feel incredibly insignificant in comparison to all these awesome things they’re constantly doing (think of that friend you have on Facebook who you don’t even really know that well outside of that one class you took freshman year. Why’s that jerk always rock climbing or canoeing or landing great jobs that are not even really jobs, but legit careers?) but I’m also not one to be content to have not done anything slightly productive over the extent of  several days.

The only thing I did that was at all impressive (and by impressive I mean I wasn’t watching Seinfeld re-runs while simultaneously watching Youtube videos) was that I went running (okay, briskly walking/kind of feigning a jog) last night around a lake I thought would’ve had much more lighting than I was actually met with. I blame the creepy, murderously dim areas of the trail for why I couldn’t really run much. I can’t risk tripping in the darkness and making things easier on the psychopaths who just love attacking young women jogging (okay, briskly walking).

Despite my dramatic assumption that I was uncomfortably close to becoming the topic of a Lifetime movie, my walk made me feel accomplished. And not even because I somehow benefitted physically from it, but just being outside made me feel better. That's a weirdly simple realization to make, but it's true. I forgot how much I enjoy breezes and water and nature and not being inside getting untanned by fluorescent office lighting. I really, really hope it starts getting lighter out sooner--I want to actually start running and it not be because I’m afraid some shadow creep is chasing me.

And on that note, the alley club is playing “Super Freak” and it’s really super loud. Like, it’s really loud.  For real, you guys. No one should have to endure this.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Is Kind Of Like A Food Blog, But Not Really At All Like One

A riveting photo of the random items in my fridge right now.
I decided at the beginning of the week to not buy groceries until Saturday. Part of this was due to the fact I don't get paid until Friday, but the larger reason was how insanely inconvenient purchasing groceries is for me. It's like an eye roll and a huge sigh all at once every time I reach for the shopping cart.

A few reasons for this:

1. I make a list every time but then don't reference the list once I'm in the store. Don't ask why I do this. I have this obsessive-compulsive, idiosyncratic desire to write down each and every item the slightest whim brings to my mind, but once I'm actually inside the store I get so flustered, I don't even want any extra garbage getting in my way. Suddenly, I'm like, "Fuck this list and all the pressure it brings! I need to go with the flow and just find things the natural way!" So, here's my first problem.

2. People always want to look at the exact same thing I want to look at. Oh, that really off brand of crackers that no one else has ever heard of but that I read about in a newsletter from Whole Foods, and Publix somehow carries? Oh yeah, that lady over there wants to look at them for a minimum of an hour at the same exact time I inch my way toward the shelf. I could always say, "Excuse me" but then again I assume everyone should understand that my quiet, polite mannerisms translate to, "SCRAM, RUDE LADY!" (Yeah, I just said scram. Deal with it.)

3. I almost never buy based on meals. Again, this may harken back to the list debacle since I'd have a better shot at getting meal-conducive items if I didn't feel like a single sheet of paper was such an incredible burden to pull out of my purse, but I hardly ever purchase items that make sense for a meal. Oh, hummus and peanut butter and sun-dried tomatoes? Gotta have all that! Not sure what to do once I actually want to, you know, eat.

4. I get distracted by gimmicks. Wait, Triscuit crackers are buy one get one free? Better buy, like, four boxes since I will probably be entertaining a lot of people in the future and crackers are always a hit, I guess. Or something. (And I always regret that I've purchased things I usually don't even want in such large quantities that don't make sense to my lifestyle.)

So, knowing all that, I procrastinated and as a result, this entire week I've had a skeletal selection of food. Last night, for instance, I finished some cottage cheese and hummus with the last of the oddly abundant Triscuit crackers I'd been hoarding since November. For breakfast, I had a weird egg wrap featuring leftover sweet potato fries (can't waste money!) that I threw away after a few bites (okay, I guess you can!) And that's another thing, since realizing the incredible price of just existing, I feel like any food I bring into my apartment must be eaten. I will save the smallest amount of leftovers imaginable because, hey, I may want a bite-sized portion of an entree at a later date. (Does anyone else do this?)

But, tomorrow is Friday which means I'm one day closer to not making meals that could possibly be featured on an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives."**

And I have a pretty long list written out, too. Wish me luck.

**Although, one night, I did use up the rest of my arugula and spinach and basically felt like writing a cookbook after I created my own brown rice recipe with it. Totally sounds fancy, right? I was so close to photographing it for Facebook, I swear to God.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Being A Size Smug

If you’re friends with me on Facebook (and let’s face it, most of you are. I blog under no illusion that I’ve reached a status that doesn’t require solicitation on my part via the social networking site. Unless you count the random views I get from international readers—which I do count. Every day to boost my already weirdly inflated yet extremely fragile ego) you know I was starting an exercise regimen last night.

Despite being temporarily derailed by a multitude of distractions that included requesting catalogs for various department stores online and a labor-intensive, healthy meal (which, by the way, was a little too healthy. I ate a few bites and felt overwhelming dissatisfaction and thought, maybe that’s how insanely healthy eating works—you starve from unhappiness because your food is weird) I actually got up and completed 20 minutes of cardio.

And now I’m waiting on a call from NBC to cast me as the next trainer for "The Biggest Loser" since I’m a fitness expert.

I won’t tell you what I’m doing because I’m kind of embarrassed by the cheesiness of it, but it’s a DVD fitness series thing that I specifically requested for Christmas (and no, it’s not Flirty Girl Fitness. I have some self-respect).  It’s insane that even in my living room, with the blinds shut and the volume down low enough so my neighbors can’t hear, how insecure I am about the fact I own fitness DVDs. Like it’s some weird thing I have to keep hidden under beds or in underwear drawers.

Despite my irrational fear of people knowing I work out to high-energy videos that feature pop hits from Britney Spears and P!nk, I will try and do this everyday. And it’s not for some noble reason like wanting to be a “size healthier” (looking at you, bullshit weight loss commercials. What does that even mean?) but because I want to lose actual pounds. You know, the kind that when you add them up makes it possible for you to buy a pair of jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch. And hey, let’s talk about that store. I don’t think I’m some abnormally sized person ready for immobility, but yet Abercrombie refuses to offer sizes beyond size 9 in their stores. SIZE 9. So if you’re above that, then I guess you should just never see the light of day and consider your life a failure. And I honestly don’t even want a pair of their judgment jeans, I just want to be able to buy jeans there, but choose not to. Being able to smugly walk past their store (and probably have no one even notice) is the ultimate goal here.

So, yeah. Last night I started an exercise regimen.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Fancy For The New Year

I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Eve. And this dislike hasn’t developed as a coping mechanism for the fact I’m shy and rarely ever attend any party I’m invited to. New Year’s has always been a strange celebration to me. I mean, technically, each day signifies a year’s over. Your birthday, for instance, means a year has gone by and you’re a year older. I just never understood the fascination with switching out your calendar.

But, I mean, I guess I get the appeal. It’s a definite date of renewal. On this date, the past is the past and I have a whole new year to do something with my life. It’s a pretty liberating mindset. And I do like the idea of having an excuse to start over and regain motivation.

One year, I will have a very fancy New Year’s Eve. If I do ever decide to celebrate it in some grand gesture such as staying up late enough to actually see the glow of the digitized 12 on my clock, I’d like it to be fancy. I’d like there to be lots of gold confetti and glamorous, sparkling dresses and guys wearing ties. And this music playing in the background.

Fancy for the New Year mini mix

1.     The New Year – Death Cab for Cutie
2.     My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year) – Regina Spektor
3.     New Year’s Resolution – Otis Redding
4.     Io (This Time Around) – Helen Stellar
5.     Where to Begin – My Morning Jacket
6.     January Hymn – The Decemberists
7.     Auld Lang Syne – Various Artists

So maybe that’s my New Year’s resolution: to have fancy parties and throw gold confetti in the air more often.

What’s yours?