Category Archives: friends

If You Want Mr. Mixer Back Alive…

So, the boy is a bit of a gym rat/health nut, which means he’s constantly downing protein shakes and other disgusting-looking concoctions in order to better build muscle and break down fat. Or whatever. (I tend to just go with it). This means he has this gross-smelling Mixer to break up all the protein powders so it’s not chunky when he drinks it. WELL… he left the Mixer at my apartment this weekend, and being the nice person I am, I grabbed it this morning and stowed it in my bag, ready to send it through his sister, my friend (and colleague!). But first I wondered if I should hold it hostage instead…

The agreement was Mr. Mixer would be returned, physically unharmed, via his sister for usage this week. In exchange, he is to give kisses upon request. If he fails to comply with his end of the bargain, the deal is negated, and Mr. Mixer may find himself disappearing for good. I sent the photos throughout the day as a warning.

Which is your favorite Mr. Mixer Torture Photo?

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100 Things That Make Me Happy

One of the many (101 to be exact) items on my 101/1001 list is to make a 100 Things That Make Me Happy list. I discovered recently that I’d started this list some time ago, but only got to the 60’s before I gave up. Upon re-reading of this original list, I decided not only would I finish it, but I would revamp it as well, adding new things and taking away the ones that didn’t seem relevant anymore (like “when a boy calls you for no reason”).

See the complete list after the jump:

Continue reading 100 Things That Make Me Happy

Seven Years Post-Breakup, Who’s Better Off?

After you break up with someone, inevitably, one of you will come out stronger and better. This could be with regards to looks, success, career, life, etc, but usually they’re all related. One person is bound to be the most improved.

Before The Boy, I’ve only ever really dated one person, and even that is questionable on whether or not to count it. Sure, I had flings of 1 or 2 weeks, and a high school “relationship” of a month that consisted of holding hands at school and making out on playgrounds, but it wasn’t a real commitment, especially since I broke up with him shortly after we began because I was bored. My first real relationship was also only a month, however, but as the two of us were high school seniors and could drive one another around and go on “real” dates, and my feelings for him were slightly more serious, I still count it. Plus, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have any other relationships on my list and would so feel like a failure.

Three, as I’ll call him since he was a third, was the first person who I enjoyed kissing and allowed myself to fall for. We stayed up late, talking on the phone, and I was enraptured. After a month, however, I could feel him pulling away. He’d previously told me that he’d never broken up with a girl, but always made it so she was the one doing the breaking. I kept this in mind as he came to our internship with his hood pulled tight around his face and he avoided my texts and calls, and I broke up with him. It took me a long time to get over him, and I later found out it was because he didn’t know what to say to me anymore. I still talk to him every now and then, as we text one another on our birthdays and at other random times. The last time I talked to him was 2.5 months ago, when The Boy and I first began dating.

At 2.5 months, I’ve almost tripled my longest relationship record (though barely made a dent in his), but still found myself curious when I received a text from Three last Friday: “really random but are you at bdubs?”

As I was with one of my high school friends/coworkers/the sister of The Boy, who also knew him, the two of us began looking around to find the previous record holder, who I hadn’t seen in seven years. It wasn’t until we were about to pay that I saw him, on his way to the bathroom.

I was shocked. Sure, I’d facebook stalked him a bit, trying to determine the winner of the “Who’s Better Off” contest, but I still wasn’t prepared for what I saw. When we stopped by his table upon leaving, it worsened. Not only had he gained probably 100 pounds, but his eyelids had become droopy, either with alcohol consumption or forehead fat, and one of them had difficulty opening. It was nice to see him again after so many years, but as I stood next to my skinny, fit, sexy boyfriend, wearing the smallest size clothes I’ve worn since I reached full body maturity, I definitely won.

If You Misspell in Your Texts, I Will Judge You

Ever since I started teaching English, I notice more and more poor grammar in the world. So many texts, facebook status updates, and emails are filled with simple mistakes:

your and you’re
their, there, and they’re
who’s and whose
it’s and its
loose and lose
we’re and were
to, two, and too

These are simple grammar rules, learned through years of schooling and forgotten immediately. If there’s an apostrophe, it means there are letters omitted, hence the apostrophe.

you’re = you are
they’re = they are
who’s = who is
it’s = it is
we’re = we are

Don’t get me started on textspeak: “U,” “R,” “Gr8,” “L8,” the leaving out of apostrophes, capital letters, and punctuation, and the abundance of misspellings.

I’m not claiming to be a grammatical genius. I still stumble on who and whom, lie and lay, etc., but I do not believe in grammatical mistakes as a result of laziness. So often I hear “If I’m texting, I’m not going to waste time or characters to add apostrophes or periods,” and other excuses. The problem with this is that it creeps into your everyday writing and makes you come across as an idiot when you type:

 “Your two hot four words.”

I judge you when you use poor grammar, and texts with misspellings and these common errors want me to print off screenshots and mark them up with a red pen.

Why is grammar so difficult? I somewhat understand my students, who have grown up with cell phones as playthings, who don’t read and think writing means a three sentence paragraph of their thoughts without any formulation of structure or ideas. Adults, though? No excuse. You can solve a multi-step math equation, but you can’t differentiate between who’s and whose? Ridiculous. Go back to English class, just not to mine.

Vegetarians Are People Too, We Just Aren’t Cavemen

I’ve been a vegetarian for two years now, which means it’s been two years since I’ve eaten chicken, fish, pork, turkey, steak, or any other form of meat. It also means I’ve been putting up with criticisms, complaints, grievances, and “I don’t understand”‘s for two years. My grandmother actually asked me a few weeks ago if I could please start eating meat again because she was tired of having to think about what to fix me.

It’s not that hard. Just make your regular meal, but cook the meat separately. Then, give me the grains and veggies and add the animal to yours. Simple.

Restaurants aren’t any better, though. I’m lucky if I find a restaurant with more than 3 vegetarian options, and ecstatic if that’s not including a salad. But still I find places without an option for me, so I have to order a salad without the meat, substituting beans for protein.

On my first group date with the boy, we went to such a place for dinner and drinks. I found a salad that sounded interesting (I actually really like salads and often order them because I want them, not because I have to), but made sure to both ask the waitress and reinforce to her that I didn’t want any meat on it, just in case I read the menu wrong. When the plate came out, however, there was pepperoni randomly placed throughout the lettuce. Part of this is my fault, since I read “pepperoni” as “pepperoncini”… but I did ask the waitress specifically, “This is meatless, right?” so she should have registered that when she put in the order, or at the very least, carried it to the table while staring at the pepperoni’s on top. I asked for another salad, so when the waitress returned with a supposedly pepperoni-free salad, I began eating, thinking I was safe. I ate a few pieces of lettuce and an assortment of vegetables before picking up one piece of lettuce and uncovering hidden pieces of pepperoni. Bitches just took off the offending pieces off the top and gave me the same salad! Needless to say, I called the manager, who offered to handmake me a new one, but by then I’d lost my appetite, so my meal of booze was paid for instead. Not the impression I wanted to make on my first “date”.

I’ve also had to get used to living off bags of chips and sodas at teacher workshops since they always order food and forget about those who don’t eat meat, assuming we’d be happy to just “pick the meat off”. No, I’m sorry, I don’t just pick it off and eat the same food. I don’t like my food touching the meat. Sure, it’s not the same as eating it, and it’s probably stupid, but oh well. I also don’t eat soups that are made with beef or chicken stock. CRAZY. How hard is it to order a veggie sub or pizza? Not everything has to have meat on it to make it good. My Mom, who often organizes these events, admits to not thinking about vegetarians before I became one. I just don’t get how people can ignore an entire subgroup of dietary restrictions.

These events have made me used to bringing and creating my own meals. If I’m told a meal will be “provided,” I often pack my own just in case. I’ve been stuck eating a single apple for dinner before, or a bag of doritos, so I’m cautious. So when my diet was ignored for the second time (out of 2) before last night’s game (parents provide meals for the team and coaches since we can’t leave before Away games), I hit up Subway (again) on my way to the game (I drive separately since I’m only the Assistant and live far away from the school) and while I was irked, I didn’t let it bother me. My diet can be difficult to cater to when you’re getting bulk meals from places like Arby’s, so I understand. Like I said, I’m used to it. Especially now that I’ve cut out dairy and eggs (for the most part – I’ll still eat them if they’re used to make the product, like pasta, but I won’t eat them outright). A head’s up would have been nice, though. Don’t tell me that you’re going to get me dinner and then not deliver. But I’m used to it. The boy, however, is not.

It’s actually kind of nice, having him get annoyed about it for me, saying I should be reimbursed and that he’ll bring me food if I’m ever starving at a game. I’m not sure how he’ll manage that since he works late and goes to the gym on game days, but the sentiment is sweet.

My other annoyance is the amount of people who think that because I don’t eat meat (or dairy or eggs), I must not be “right” or must be missing out on a great part of life. I like food, yes, but not enough to define my life. So what if I gave up cheese and ice cream, both of which I absolutely love, because I’m cutting back on unnecessary products and want to live a healthier life? No, I don’t like dressing on my salads, and I enjoy putting vegan chicken nuggets in it to get that bit of protein. I won’t try to convert you to my ways, and I won’t shove it in your face, but please be respectful of my choices. I know that I have to supplement my diet with vitamins and drink protein shakes and eat foods high in these missing elements.

Yes, I have weird diet. No, I don’t miss steak or hamburgers or bacon, and watching you eat them doesn’t make me envious. No, I don’t care if you eat them in front of me. Please don’t force me to eat it, because then I’ll get sick. No, I won’t start eating meat again. So if you’re having a dinner party and invite me, either make a salad stocked with vegetables (sans dressing, eggs, and cheese), or ask me to bring my own dinner if you’re not creative enough to make a vegetarian-friendly version. But don’t disclude me or treat me weirdly; I’m not an alien, and I don’t carry any diseases. I’m a vegetarian, not a leper.

I understand that people have been eating meat since monkeys evolved into cavemen/they were created (choose your own belief system), so it’s not the eating meat that I have a problem with. It’s the overconsumption, the processing, the chemicals, and the unnatural methods used to mass produce it. Not to mention, I really just don’t like it. I’m not an animal nut, I’m not a strict vegan. But a vegetarian diet is healthier, prevents fast-food gorging since I can’t eat 95% of anything found in one, and has helped me lose and maintain weight.

In short, I’m a veggie kid who enjoys eating salads and the taste of vegetables and falafal and couscous and certain tofu’s, and I’m tired of the stigma attached to this label. Just look at it as a diet and get over it.

In Which I Realized I am Not, in Fact, Johnny Tsunami

Ouch. Oof. Urgh.

That’s what was heard coming out of my mouth every 10 feet or so Sunday, as I tumbled down the “Easy” slopes at Snowshoe.

The adventure started on Saturday, when we went to the show of a fellow snowboarder that was pushed back from a 9:30 slot to one closer to midnight, which meant we didn’t get on the road until 12:30 or so. The two hour drive toHarrisonburgwent fairly quickly, but falling asleep once there was a different story. The neighbors above were having an epic party (still going strong at 3am, when we rolled up), consisting of stomping, yelling, and the playing of music so loudly that I could sing along to all the words. When the cops were called, it only got worse, with music turned up even higher and consistent stomping over our heads. At one point they even sounded like gun shots…

Needless to say, waking up at 7am on only 2 hours of sleep was not enjoyable. Driving another couple hours in the car around twisty turns that made my stomach queasy didn’t help.

When we got up the mountain, we went to buy lift tickets, and I borrowed the student ID of the other girl with us to get the discounted rate. When the guy asked what the school was, my stuttered answer of JMU received a balk, instigating a conversation of how the cashier doesn’t like any school but his own, UNCW. The other girl immediately looked at me, as UNCW was my school as well, forcing me to cover the situation by saying I used to go there but transferred. We were thisclose to getting caught in a lie.

Then came the snowboarding. We started at the Top of the World, where there’s a Black Diamond and aGreen Circleto choose from. Naturally, I went green, as it was my first time. Holy crap, that was the longest “Bunny Slope” ever. What should have maybe taken 5-10 minutes took me almost 2 hours to finish. The boy tried to teach me and was super nice about sticking with me and my continuous falling rather than speeding off ahead and actually enjoying the slopes. I just couldn’t get it. I understood the concepts – carving around, leaning on your toes, leaning on your heels, using your back foot as a sort of guide but not like skateboarding.; but everytime I tried, I started going too fast, freaked, and fell in an attempt to slow down. That, or I went too close to the dropoff and didn’t want a repeat of the last time I went skiing… I had little kids zooming past me on ski’s, asking if I was okay as I went down for the fourth time in 20 feet, blocking the slope and struggling to swing my board around and away from the dropoff, then lug myself back up on the board.

By the time we got to the top of the ski lift (which I fell from when sliding down the little hill), I couldn’t move. My entire upper body was screaming at me, I felt nauseated, and my knees and butt were starting to bruise (currently, my entire right kneecap and part of my left are turning dark red, I have bruises on my butt and arm, and the back of my right thigh is purple and greenish), so I sent the boy off on a solo run while I found a nice place to sit to rest my weary body.

When he returned, we set off to find the rest of our party back at the Top of the World, but couldn’t figure out which way to go. Which meant we got sort of lost meandering about the trails, lugging snowboards uphill toward the peak, fighting fatigue, exhaustion, chapped lips, and nausea. When we finally reached the top, we found our party hanging out in the lodge, and the six of us made our way to another part of the mountain (Silver Creek, maybe?) where the more skilled (everyone but me) could practice their tricks. I rode another green slope, with the other girl teaching me this time, and I was actually able to make it down some of the hills without falling! Eventually, I got stuck on flatland and walked the rest of the slope, giving up for the day and letting my tired body rest from the incessant falling. As the other girl put it, I got more of a workout than the rest of the group, since I had to keep pulling myself up and recover from wiping out. Snowboarding is rough, but I definitely had fun and would go again. Next year. After some upper-body work and squats.

By the time we left Snowshoe, WV, it was well past 7, and we had a 4 hour drive back toRichmond.  With all the winding curves taken at a slow pace and stops for gas and food, we hitHarrisonburgaround 10, andRichmondat midnight. When I stumbled in my apartment at 12:30, it took everything I had to turn on the heat, strip off my winter gear, and crawl into bed, where I could finally relax my aching limbs. Once I heard back from the tired boy, who drove the last leg of the trip, it took no time to give into the consuming exhaustion.

I’ve spent the week since recovering, unable to move my limbs. I couldn’t raise my arms above my head without agonizing pain until late yesterday, so blow-drying my hair Monday night was quite the workout and much more difficult than it should ever be. As I told the boy, it was my version of a workout (in comparison to his lifting his record-high in bench pressing that same night… ugh. Not fair. He doesn’t even have a bruise. The only snowboarding ailment he’s suffering from is peeling from sunburn, which at least I was able to avoid). Tuesday was absolute misery. I’m finally at the point now where there’s a little stiffness, but I’m close to normal again, as far as functioning of my muscles. The bruises will be around for a while, though…

Big Lights Will Inspire You

Part II

Since we spent all day Friday waiting in line for tickets and then sleeping off hangovers and sleeplessness, we planned Saturday as our “tourist” day – waking up pseudo-early and finding Carrie Bradshaw’s Greenwich Village apartment, then finding the “Love” statue, buying scarves and hats, walking down Fifth Ave and into Times Square, armed with cameras and stopping in stores along the way.

It’d been about six years since I’d last been to New York, so the paving over of Times Square was new for me… and what a good idea! Too bad TRL and it’s consistent blocking of the roads died (and with it, the last music videos of MTV), but it’s still a madhouse of people now, rather than cars.

By pure chance, we happened on the Discovery Center’s Harry Potter Exhibition and knew we had no choice but to cough up the $25. Despite the line to get in, and the overpriced photos that photoshop you in front of Hogwarts, once we entered pure joy overcame me.

The exhibit starts by walking down a hallway lined with movie posters of each Harry film, and then into a room of numerous television screens, where they play a Harry Potter tribute, with different images on alternating screens. Watching the montage of the last ten years, I jumped up and down with giddiness and couldn’t stop smiling. Next, everyone was ushered into the next room, where a witch with a Sorting Hat was waiting, and she asked for volunteers to try their luck with the Hat. Naturally, I raised my hand, but it being a “kid’s” exhibit, I was beaten out by three boys who all chose Gryffindor. Fail.

And then, a walk into the World of Harry Potter, with the Hogwarts Express steaming and props and costumes from the movie out in the open for all to see and admire. Let me tell you, I didn’t care about all the people crowding around me, I was lost in the world, and wish I could’ve spent hours there, reading and examining every little detail… but sadly, the line had to keep moving.

In the gift shop, however, I did finally buy my wand… Hermione’s (naturally), and resisted the urge to drop $200 (that I definitely don’t have) on a Gryffindor Robe and $100 on the Gryffindor sweater… one day…

And then came time to prepare for yet more waiting. We made our way back to Broadway around 9, where we staked our claim at the front of the barricades, entertaining the crowds as they slowly filled in around us… and making fun of the teenage girls who had “VIP” access inside the barricades but outside the door, who brought Hershey’s Kisses (with a note) for Dan. Gag.

We met John Larroquette and other members of the cast, and then… Daniel came out, amongst a mix of screaming and hushedly-excited girls. Autograph-hounds asked him to sign DVDs, and he ignored the item, claiming, “Not when you’re selling it, Dude.” The girl behind me complimented him, telling Dan he was awesome, and in a dreamlike state, I echoed her, hearing his bumbling thank you, and as he did so, he glanced upward and did a double-take, telling me, “Nice hat, by the way”.

The rest of the night was spent in a giddy stupor, calling everyone I know (only one person picked up, and the others told me later they were glad they didn’t) and reliving that moment. It’s become my “Happy Place” at work when Jellyfish screams an inch away from my face, and I ordered a frame for my signed Playbill.

I know he’s just an actor and not actually Harry Potter, but seeing as how the “real” Harry is a fictional character whom I have no chance of ever meeting in this world, Daniel is the closest I can come (besides maybe J.K. Rowling), and that moment will live on, next to the framed Hanson autograph and photos, my two passions hung neatly, side by side.

Like I do everytime I see Hanson live, I’ve been bitten and have already begun planning a return trip this summer.

Disappear Here

“People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles” 

On March 1, I officially met my one year anniversary of leaving Los Angeles. While I know I made the right decision, backed up by my success in my current occupation and the presence of my soul, I do miss certain parts of LA. Namely, my friends. But as people move and grow older, they drift apart. Friends I used to talk to on a daily basis while living in LA have now become facebook and bi-monthly conversation friends. Most have new jobs, and the 3 hour time difference, coupled with long hours in the film industry, means our schedules rarely align. Out of sight, out of mind.

The quote above is from Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero, a novel published in the mid-1980’s about youth culture in L.A. I arrived two decades later, and the book was still relevant to the lifestyle of the city. At eighteen, Ellis’s Angelinos have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too young an age, creating a generation of apathy. They’re judgmental, get what they want, and don’t care about consequences. They think they’re invincible, and laugh at death. The novel is haunting and incredibly sad, and the whole situation is devoid of any feeling or hope.

Along with the surprising realization that I wanted a “normal” life (something my high school self would have vehemently denied), this was the primary reason I left the city – this apathetic, hopeless aura that infects the citizens of Los Angeles. I could slowly feel my soul dying, and with it, all my passions, dreams, and optimism.

Not to mention, people ARE afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles.