Check it out! I wrote something for this cool website called BurnThis. The website brings together various resources like local studio reviews and talented fitness/healthy foodie bloggers to provide you with tools to live an active, healthy life. This way you don’t have to filter out all the nonsense you usually find online. They are bringing part of their focus to Portland and I’ll be writing some studio reviews for them. I wrote a personal fitness story and here’s an excerpt:
“It was always the same, I’d lift a piece of furniture, pick up one of many adorable nieces to play “Airplane,” or spend an extra three hours sitting in front of my computer in order to make a deadline and then… Pain. Tingling, pulsating, stabbing aggravating pain would overcome my lower back. A car accident displaced a few discs about ten years ago, and after years of physical therapy and three surgeries it was still affecting my ability to be active, social, and, most importantly, the best aunt in the world.”
I can’t stop reading young adult novels and watching coming of age films and TV shows. I’m currently sweating off a binge-watching session of Buffy the Vampire Slayer whilst couch ridden with the flu and just caught the new coming of age movie The Spectacular Now. I also read all of John Green’s books over the summer and just started The Brothers K for the third time. I can’t seem to pry myself from stories of major transitions and heartache and redefining oneself – it just won’t stop!
It’s also Fall so that means I’ll probably start reading Harry Potter again so I can live vicariously through Hermione.
Maybe it’s the nostalgia of remembering a time when I was younger and more awkward (yes, that’s possible) and brimming with the type of teen angst that comes with growing up during the 90s, but I am experiencing bouts of melancholy that accompany the turning of leaves and crisp mornings. Fall always makes me remember returning to school every year with thoughts of new beginnings and “maybe this year I will be cooler and prettier and more popular.”
My teenage self invokes an “Oh, honey…” from my twenty-eight year old self.
When I visited my parents this summer I read some of the poems and short stories I wrote as a kid; writing was a passion, therefore I wrote about everything. Memories of feeling embarrassed about my lack of boob-age, inadequate around popular boys, and incomparable around their equally popular and pretty girlfriends crashed over me like a rogue wave. I wouldn’t have called myself “unpopular” or “one of those outcasts” in high school, but I definitely wasn’t the Regina George of the place. Beneath these nostalgic feelings I actually found myself, wait for it, longing for my long lost teenage ability to feel my emotions without hiding or ignoring them.
There, I said it. I wish I had the emotional capability of a teenager again. My passion is storytelling, whether it’s about an awkward experience I had walking down the street last week, or about how pop culture affects our society. At one point in my life I purposely stuffed this passion into the attic of my mind and ignored it for more “grownup things.” It’s silly, I know. I left home, went to college, got married, started a career, paid my taxes, bought a new car, I deemed these kinds of things “important” because I thought I had to. It took a dramatic life changing event like a divorce to resurrect my real passions and put me in touch with feelings I haven’t looked in the eye for a long time, since I was in my teens.
“…teenagers don’t create ironic distances between themselves and their experiences the way that adults do. They’re deliciously unafraid of feeling. As adults, we don’t tend to look directly at those questions. It’s like looking at the sun for us. Teenagers are really alive inside the emotional experience of being human.”
Boom. There it is. Nothing is more adult than the compartmentalization and repression of the feelings that come about as a result of our experiences. Yes, it comes paired with a dose of hormone surges and awkward body transformations but I want to capture a part of that impulsiveness and wanderlust in my search for real living. Nobody feels more alive and invincible than a sixteen year old and though that does tend to lead to bad decisions it can also lead to awesomeness. What can we do to make sure we don’t lose this as we venture into adulthood while focusing it toward doing awesome things?
Think about the people in this world that act on their urge to make positive changes. We have incredible young women like sixteen year old education activist/gave a giant finger to the Taliban by surviving their assassination attempt Malala Yousafzai who brought me to tears during her interview on The Daily Show last week.
Did you need to grab a tissue during that? How about Andy Didorosi who, only 25 at the time, started his own bus company when public transportation failed his community.
What if they had ignored their passion for education or love of their community in lieu of taking action toward creating change?
There are many studies in progress on the attitude and work ethic of the Millennial Generation (Generation Y), which is anyone born between 1980 and the early 2000s. We are called the “Me Generation” because of our self-entitlement and narcissistic tendencies, but at the same time we are more civic-minded than any other generation, and at a younger age. More and more teenagers are starting charities in their hometowns, twenty-somethings out of college are demanding a better work life balance while investing in their communities; who is to say we are less mature than the generations of our parents and grandparents were when they were our age? We just have a different way of utilizing our maturity and boy are we good at it.
This goes to say that we need to harness this optimism instead of calling it naiveté and capture this need to fervidly pursue a certain interest instead of calling it “a phase.” We shouldn’t ignore our feelings and disconnect from our passions. We can’t silence this teenage part of ourself and be completely happy at the same time; it’s a good part! Let it live! Let it do awesome things!
I almost left the comma out of this post’s title. Don’t hit and run kids!
Also, best use case of “DAMN YOU AUTOCORRECT!”
I heart my friends.
I made the stupid decision to drive through SW Portland at 3:30 in the morning. My friend told me I could stay the night, but damn it I wanted my comfy bed and a cat under each arm while I slept before I drove four hours to my parents the next morning. I look back and curse my stubbornness and inability to sleep well in unfamiliar beds.
I pull up to a stoplight with my right turn signal on, another car is across the intersection with their left turn signal blinking away in the dark. I’m singing over Katy Perry with close-to-sweet-desperation:
I got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
The light turns green and I timidly pull forward to make sure I get my entitled “right of way.” The car graciously lets me turn and they pull in behind me. Alright, I’m on Scholls and will be home in approximately ten-ish minutes. The speed limit is 30, so I’m going 39 like a rebel with Katy Perry singing the soundtrack of my drive home that night:
You held me down, but I got up Already brushing off the dust You hear my voice, your hear that sound Like thunder, gonna shake your ground
And that’s when the car’s headlights suddenly appear in my rear-view mirror and the car rams into my behind like a spastic Saint Bernard in heat.
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING?”
“ARE THEY STOPPING?”
“OH HELLS NO!”
As I pull over to the side of the road, the car proceeds to pass me, pulling into the other lane and speeding away, their license plate clearly visible on the well-lit road.
“I GOT YOU! I GOT YOU, YOU STUPID BASTARD!”
I chant the license plate out loud like a mantra so I don’t forget it and immediately dial the Beaverton dispatch from memory (thanks to my days at SARC) to report the hit and run. I have their license plate, make, model, color, all wrapped up with my anger. VINDICATION! Within ten minutes they send out a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy who even tried to track the car on the way, but was unable to catch them driving. I didn’t care, they weren’t getting away with this!
What baffled me and the deputy was the fact that the car was driving behind me, with knowledge of my location in front of them, for at least 10-15 seconds before they hit me. Were they drunk? Were they texting “LOL” to their adorbs bestie? Were they just crazy as hell? Who knows, but they were getting arrested that night. The deputy, who was extremely helpful and comforting throughout the whole process, sent someone out to check the registered address of the car, which was the 21 year old woman’s parents, but she wasn’t there and they didn’t know she had the car. He told me to go home and get some sleep (it was now around 4:45 am) and that he would track her down that night.
I got home at around five and my phone rang. The deputy tracked her down already and was on his way to arrest the woman. That was that!
I went to the doctor and my neck is just strained, but it still smarts some while the bumper of my car only has some small marks on it. Honestly, if she would have stopped, I would have taken a look at the minor damage to my car and said not to worry about it. For realsies peeps, don’t hit a car and then drive off. It’s a misdemeanor only if you don’t cause any harm, but if you do, it’s a Class A felony! Also, it’s a super dick move.
This has been on my mind for a while (and one of many unpublished posts) since I’ve seen a lot of traffic online made up of articles and lists like 23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert (why should it be a secret?), or Introvert v. Extrovert: Who’s Most Likely to Succeed?, and my personal favorite: How Not to be A Dick to an Introvert. While I completely identify with and own my introverted-ness, I don’t understand how it suddenly became “cool” to be an introvert. Seriously, Google “Introvert” right now and see how many articles have been posted about it within the past month. So what am I doing as a result? Why I am writing one of my own to add to the masses of course!
Part of me is annoyed with this outpour that seeks to tell me things about myself that I already know while also putting me in a box. Nothing causes me more frustration than when someone assumes that they have me “figured out.” At the same time I think it’s great that society is seeing the value in living a more internalized life when the tendency to over-share on social media is literally lingering at our fingertips. Yes, I really mean literally. As in our smart phones.
So how about dating? Dating an introvert can have its rewards and its frustrations. Believe me, people (a.k.a. men I’ve dated) have told me straight to my face how I’m “hard to read” or “it’s difficult to understand what hints are being dropped” (who says I am in the first place?). It goes without saying that relationships are two way streets and take work from both sides and part of this is knowing your partner’s weaknesses and strengths. Introverts’ strengths in particular, while awesome, are also a pain in the ass.
1. Be prepared to make the first move. We’re cautious with our feelings and don’t open up to just anyone, so this goes for making the first move in a dating relationship. We aren’t typically the person in the bar that will just walk up to a total stranger of the opposite sex and strike up a conversation. We aren’t usually the one to go in for the first kiss or ask for a second date. Due to spending a lot of time on the sidelines thinking and digesting our surroundings, we aren’t one to stray into the field and into the endzone until we’ve thought through every possible outcome. Our biggest fear is this:
2. Be mindful of body language and facial expressions; these are the keys into our soul. For realsies. We hide behind a reserved manner and don’t usually verbalize our feelings outright because it can be difficult, and if we’re asked “What’s wrong” we will most likely become flustered and say “Nothing” until we can deliberate about it and then bring it up at a more opportune time. Timing is everything when an introvert is verbalizing their feelings, so if you can perceive a hint, it saves everyone time. A certain coy smile or downturned/clenched mouth will be our tell that we are either pleased, or very much not amused. Also, the eyes; those bitches betray me all the time.
Beer and sunglasses are my only hope.
3. Be genuine. We see through that shit. Seriously, if you give off any hint of exaggerating a story, humble bragging, or worse yet, flat out lying, we will know and that’s that. Nothing is more repulsive to us than a fake smile or interest because we really really really really value the genuine. Introverts are very observant individuals and we notice a lot more than you may expect. If you seem false, you aren’t worth our time and you can forget about us opening up, let alone dating you.
I love you, Barney, but I would never ever ever ever ever sleep with you.
4. Be available. We don’t like to ask for help, because if we do, we tend to have this guilt complex that will cause us to feel like a gigantic burden. Yeah, it’s dumb. However, as a last result, and usually after some serious hand wringing and hair pulling (not the fun kind), we ask you to step up and help us with something important and you don’t try to make time for us, it will be a very long time before we can put ourselves in a position of depending on you again, if ever.
Analogy time: This guy = Introverts. About 20 minutes would go by before he would ask those skinny bitches for help.
Awwww. I take it back. Look how nice they are.
5. Be understanding about our need for solo time. Without it, we may become Manson-like psycho killers on a rampage for peace and quiet. This can include wanting to go home and sleep in our own bed, or if sharing, sleeping on our own side without your strait-jacket arms. Also, attending movies by ourselves, especially those cheap ones where you can sit in the back alone and gorge yourself on pizza and beer. While we love to be around people and socialize as much as the next extrovert, we need time in between engagements to recharge and gather ourselves. We will be so much more happy and enjoyable to be around if you give this to us. Clingy partners are every introverts’ worst nightmare.
In conclusion, introverts as a rule are not entitled to special attention just because we are introverts. Introverts are assholes too. We aren’t some magical unicorn made of golden fleece that poops rainbows. Like I said earlier, relationships are giving and receiving, so if you give an introvert these things you will get a lot of awesomeness in return. Also, lots of blow jobs.
I don’t actually have a huge problem with Robin Thicke’s original video, I just love me a good parody.
One more note: I appreciate the comments from people on Facebook whenever I post something, but if you could add comments under the blog itself in WordPress I’d appreciate it! It makes any conversations or interactions less disjointed. Thanks peeps!
Why is it, that when some men put themselves out there they expect something specific from you, and when you don’t deliver they lash out? They feel like you owe them something as a result of their behavior and it is a very unwelcome thing for a woman, not to mention jarring and anger-inducing. Reading articles about unwanted cat-calling and street harassment like this, or this make me angry and a bit emotionally volatile, which isn’t good for anyone.
I was walking to my car earlier this week when I decided to walk a bit further and around the block so I could enjoy the glorious weather. When there is a warm wind and setting sun I cannot be indoors, I must walk. And walk I did, enjoying the solitude and cooling breeze in the somewhat deserted southwestern part of downtown Portland.
And then Anthony thought to introduce himself. He pulled up next to me on his bike and followed me down the sidewalk. He wanted to know how old I was and if I was from Portland. I asked him how old he thought I was and he said “18? God, I hope you’re at least 18.” As someone who always seeks to be aware of their surroundings, I glanced around the vicinity and yes, there was no one around; the block was empty of moving cars or pedestrians except for me and a complete stranger. Just great.
Anthony looked like he was in his thirties and dressed in baggy jeans that practically rendered his legs useless for riding a bike, an oversized FUBU t-shirt, and some bitchin’ neon kicks. You could say he was friendly, but held a gleam in his eyes that gave hint of his buying time until he can ask something of you. Anthony told me he was 37, I managed to avoid telling him my age because it was none of his business.
“Can we be friends? Let’s go do something.”
“Wow, you are very straightforward.”
“Wanna hang out?”
“No thanks. I’m just enjoying some needed time alone right now. See ya.”
I turned the corner to circle back to my car but my new “pal” Anthony was determined to sustain contact. He continued walking his bike, holding a supersized soft drink from McDonald’s, which he dropped twice while juggling with his bike and telling me he was from Atlanta and that he only tries to “make friends with girls because he always get in fights with guys.” Quite the winner.
“C’mon, let’s go find something fun to do.”
“No, sorry, not interested.”
“Why not? Where you going?”
“Walking to my car so I can go home.”
“To your boyfriend?”
“Oh, yeah he probably wouldn’t be too happy with you, huh?”
“Come on, don’t you wanna hang out with me?”
“No, I need to drive home and get some stuff done. Bye.” True
“You don’t really have to go home, you just don’t wanna come hang with me.” Duh
He left me alone to walk to my car, but continued the conversation on his own and at a louder volume.
“Yeah, you just don’t wanna come with me. You have nothin’ better to do.”
“Think you too good for me, huh? Ain’t that right, stuck up little bitch?”
“You a hussy you know that? Letting me walk with you a whole block and then blowin’ me off?”
And that’s when I was far enough away so I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
The whole “tête-à-tête” left a bad taste in my mouth for four reasons:
Why did this 37 year old man purposely approach a girl he assumed was “around 18” and try to accost her into “hanging out?” I know I look young for my age, could pass for a high schooler if I acted the part, but I am alarmed to think this has worked in the past. This guy was not giving off good vibes and his purpose was most likely shoddy. Everything about his persona was sending off red flags and I am one to usually trust my intuition. Leave the poor teenage girls alone, Anthony!
I felt the need to lie (I don’t have a boyfriend) in order to get him off my back. I am conditioned to avoid simply saying “No” because the alternative will either hurt their feelings or turn into a debate as to how I should spend my time. I use the “boyfriend excuse” to avoid an argument with a complete stranger about who should make decisions that concern my being and it didn’t even work! The more I think about the logic behind that, the more absurd it sounds. I should be able to just say “No” and not have to explain myself. It’s laughably ridiculous to have to justify myself to a stranger!
He completely ignored the verbal or physical hints I was giving off, the ones that were telling him: “Please leave me alone, I’m not interested.” It’s almost as if he saw me as this challenge to complete or puzzle to solve as I said the words “No,” “Boyfriend,” and walked faster without giving him any sort of smile, eye contact, or inviting pose. I was congenial, kind, human, but not flirting in the least. Before anyone uses the whole “well you were probably dressed provocatively” clause, I was wearing baggy, holey jeans, this t-shirt, and Old Navy flip-flops, but that is 100% irrelevant.
Tony felt the need to yell his disapproval and verbally abuse me due to my decision to walk away. He just couldn’t let it go after I said the ego-crushing word “No” and his words were utterly hateful, abusive, and uncalled-for. According to this man, I caused him a huge inconvenience because he wasted five minutes of his life walking with me around the block and the gift of his presence warranted me giving him my adoring attention and, let’s face it, he was hoping for my body. His actions. His decisions. I say NOT MY PROBLEM.
I’m hoping this gives some people food for thought. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes catcalling can be fun on the receiving end, but only if you’re not gross, don’t call me “Baby” or “Sexy Mama,” I’m with a group of friends (i.e. not by myself), and it doesn’t get closer than from across the street or a passing car. If you are following me to my car while telling me how I am obligated to spend my time with your punk ass, I’ll tell you to fuck the hell off.
Wil Wheaton posted a link on his blog awhile back that takes you to a site that will “Check which famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers.” I did this with three different samples of blog posts and found this:
Pretty excited about the first two, wasn’t sure who the last guy was, but when I looked him up I wasn’t complaining. Give it a try yourself!
It’s taken about an hour, and a long shower, but I am just getting over being mortified. Absolutely MORTIFIED.
I worked late, took my bi-monthly trip to Trader Joe’s, and was looking forward to getting home to clean up the pigsty that is my apartment. I go through these random moody times a few times a year, during which I struggle to maintain a hygienic appearance and a livable abode. To other pairs of eyes it may just look a bit cluttered and disorganized, but in my current state of mind it looks like a clan of meth heads squatted here all month along with a group of chimpanzees and those kids from Lord of the Flies.
Exhibit A: Meth head house. My cats spend most of their time under the bed in disgust and embarrassment.
So the first thing I do when I get home to my shelter of neglect and shame is take off my pants and pick some things up while I heat up some delicious frozen enchiladas I impulse-bought at Joe’s (grocery shopping while hungry people). I do not like wearing clothes if I don’t have to. There’s no point when you’re home alone and it’s hot. I’m spending the night in which means it’s time for some Breaking Bad, so I’m all set with a TV dinner, a margarita on the rocks, and entertainment with my two cats that bravely ventured out into the clutter for some love (yeah, didn’t spend that much time “picking up”).
You think that the “No pants” issue would be the biggest problem to deal with when someone suddenly knocks on my front door and says “Knock Knock! It’s your neighbor!”
Oh no. Oh no no no no no.
See, at this point, I wasn’t still eating and watching Breaking Bad which would have been totally socially acceptable. Yeah, I wasn’t wearing pants and the curtain that “covers” my french door is a bit see-through to do the job, but at least it would have looked like I was doing something appropriate and non-creepish.
You see, as my neighbor knocked on my door and most likely saw me sitting watching something on my laptop with no pants on, I was watching the guilty-pleasure otherwise known as True Blood and puttinglotion on my thighs.
If you’ve lived under a rock for the past six years you wouldn’t know that True Blood is full of explicit sex scenes that sometimes come at the most inopportune, awkward moments, especially if you have the sound way up in order to hear the sexy-voiced Eric Northman croon to Sookie and make-believe he’s actually speaking softly to you, just you…
Bite me baby a bajillion more times (thanks Brit).
You see where this is going? If you don’t, just leave. Leave now and spare yourself.
“Uhhhhhhhh” <hurriedly slaps the laptop closed> “Be right there!”
I pull my t-shirt over my bum and scamper to my bedroom to pull on the jeans I wore today. I walk calmly to the door and am presented with some steelhead fillet, just removed from the smoker. Forgetting I was a vegetarian (I don’t care about this part in the least) my kind-hearted landlord came all the way downstairs to share some with me! It is presented, still warm, on a paper plate while I thank him for the fish, kindly remind him that I don’t eat meat, but that I’ll make an exception just this once!
He grins and walks away, “Sorry to interrupt!”
I cringe while I feed the fish to my cats. I’m sure it was delicious fish, but the rich smell made my stomach turn while I agonized over the idea of my landlord thinking he caught me masterbating to porn. How will I ever look this guy, or his family, in the eyes again? Seriously? Of all the times to be sitting in my underwear, putting lotion on a sunburn in a place that is usually considered sex-ish, and watching an explicit sex scene making very loud explicit sex noises? Hey Universe, THANKS. I immediately took a shower and decided it was time for bed, safe and unseen in my bedroom where I can hang my head in shame.
Remember my little fluid-filled friend Chester? Well, my readers, he is no longer with us. He’s journeyed to the home of heroes and legends. He is sowing the wholesome soil of the Elysian fields. Chester has moved into upper management. He is now jumping with glee on the sweet bouncy castle in the sky.
May the little bastard rest in peace.
Also, I may have just drank three homemade margaritas and might be a little drunk as I write this.
I haven’t posted anything in a while. I was on this whole “let’s blog about dating and crap” thing and then that got old and I was spending so much time, well, dating and hiking and rock climbing and kayaking and drinking with friends that I didn’t make time for writing. Welp, I’m back, for now.
The doctor says I developed tendinitis in my left hand so no rock climbing/kayaking/paddle boarding for a while. I think this is Chester’s way of saying “So long and thanks for all the fish” but I don’t know. I wouldn’t put it past him to leave something behind for me by which to remember him. What a dick.
So, what’s the occasion for the three margaritas? Last week marked the one year anniversary of the beginning of the end of my marriage. Also, I’m trying to sell my wedding ring and when I went to the jewelry store today to get it all cleaned up and re-etched I had an internal emotional breakdown.
Looked something like this, only in my brain as I walked aimlessly to my car in the parking lot.
Sometimes people call a close friend, family member, or go to therapy when they experience a difficult moment. I cry alone in my car and then recklessly drive home in order to get drunk alone while watching The Last Unicorn.
Pretty pretty unicorns.
Yes, I specifically planned to go home, drink three margaritas, and watch this movie. Nothing was spontaneous about this plan.
This is how I roll. I compartmentalize and internalize things (wow, words that end in -ize are hefty) and then when they shoot out of my memory and barge into my present state of mind I look to alcohol, sugar, and fantasy genre (in that order) to cope while I work to deal with them. This is why I write, people.
What was the trigger this time? I haven’t had one of these incidents in a whole month, since a difficult phone call, but going to that jewelry store, where I picked that ring out weeks before my wedding day five years ago, was excruciatingly difficult. It wasn’t the fact that I was surrounded by couples picking out sets together for obvious reasons. It wasn’t because the store employee said “Wow, what a beautiful design! Your husband picked out a good one!” (I picked it out and paid for it by myself those years ago) and I struggled to hold my tongue before I burst inappropriately “I’m divorced and I’m selling it so shut up!” It was the fact that I left that place by myself; I walked, just me, across the parking lot to my car and then sat, by myself in my car, with no one else.
The tears came slowly; like can’t-get-the-ketchup-out-of-the-glass-Heinz-bottle slow. I am not one to burst into tears easily and I always bust out the butter knife at restaurants that provide that torturous device in order to get it over with as soon as possible.
I always always ALWAYS buy the “Easy Squeeze” bottle. I pay MONEY not to deal with that crap.
At first it hurts, like you’ve just jumped off a cliff into the river and tilted your head a little too far to the right so that the surface of the cement-like water met your ear like a belly-flop. It’s painful as the pressure causes a POP and you feel like the Russian Olympic synchronized swimming team is rehearsing in your head . The pressure builds and all you want is to tap your other ear and knock out whatever is causing that super annoying wet sensation. Get it out! Get it out! Then, with the effort I usually put toward sucking a Frappuccino through those ridiculously tiny straws, I cried.
Oh, sweet tears of unfathomable sadness.
I lied, I didn’t go straight home after that. That was the last thing I wanted to do. I drove out of my way to a coffee shop, ordered an iced tea, sat outside on their patio in the 90 degree, 99% humidity weather and read a whole volume of The Sandman.
Then I went home and got drunk while watching The Last Unicorn and then I thought it was a stupendous idea to write about crying and ketchup and frappuccinos. In all seriousness, I have been loving the new life I created for myself, packing my days with sunshine, friends, and doing awesome adrenaline-inducing activities. Crying reminds me that I’m human and need to stop, slow down, and think about difficult things when needed. The point is (and there needs to be a point or this is just drunken rambling): life is good and it just keeps getting better and better, so SUCK IT, KETCHUP.