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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Resolutions Are A Lie Made Up By Hallmark!

Ask any regular gym-goer when is the worst time for gyms.

Some might be idiots who misunderstand the question and reply something like “Uhh...maybe around 6 pm?” or “Mondays.”

But most people will tell you that it’s right around the corner. January sucks. As someone who drags my butt to the gym 4-5 days a week, I can tell you that you ridiculous flash-in-the-pan new years resolution people are the worst. You’re there at peak hours, you’re wearing clearly new gym clothes, and you crowd the place up.

I just want to do my butterfly curls in peace, people. Not on a rotation with 3 other people!

For those of you who think I’m being harsh, let me clarify. I think it’s super-awesomely-great that you’re taking an interest in working out and getting healthy. Exercise is great for you, including releasing endorphins, which make you feel great, increasing your endurance and stamina, and can help you stay healthy long term.

But the people who sign a 12-month gym contract on January 1, only to work out like a fiend for 4 days and then quit, those are the ones I’m talking about.

Don’t fall prey to the idea that you HAVE to have a new year’s resolution, and don’t join a gym because you “should.” Join because you genuinely are ready to get healthy, feel good, sweat a lot, and you WANT to. That’s the only way you’ll stick to it.

It’s a big waste of money to have a contract membership at a gym you've only gone to a handful of times. Especially considering you can run outside or do workout DVDs at home for free (if you already own Sweatin’ To The Oldies. If not, buy it, it’s amazing).

I hate New Year’s resolutions.

I hate feeling like I “have” to decide to fix something about myself. You know what? I go to the gym year round because I want to be healthy and not die young. Which I wouldn't anyway, since I've heard from a very reliable source that only the good die young.

I do not make resolutions for new years. One thing I do is at the very end of every year, I tend to go back and think about the previous year, about things that have changed and happened, the people, the events, the highlights and pitfalls, and I usually write a fairly sappy and myopic journal entry about the previous year and what I am thankful for and looking forward to in the coming year.

And you know what? I don’t write anything about stuff I hate about myself and how I’m going to go charging around on January 1st fixing it.

Changing and improving of self is an endless, timeless thing. You don’t have to focus on the new year as a time for change, but instead, focus on yourself and what you WANT to (not “should”) improve, and take small steps throughout each year to improve yourself.

Don’t stop smoking just for the New Year. If you only do it because of a deadline, it won’t stick. Do it because you are ready, and it’s the best thing for you and your lungs.

And for the love of gods, get the hell off of my elliptical machine!!!!

But seriously, while some people need to relax on the whole resolution thing, it’s not a bad thing to look at what you want to improve and plan on doing so. I just don’t think you should have to do it at a specific time or force it before you’re ready.

I’d like to write and publish a book about confidence for young people, finish writing the musical I’ve been working on in my spare time and see it blow up on broadway, and write and record more songs and then sell them and make lots of money.

None of that is being declared for the new year. They are simply goals I’d like to someday achieve.

To end, here is an inspirational quote from Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe:

"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden."

And one from Winston Churchill: "To improve is to change; To be perfect is to change often."

So, go forth, set goals that don't rely on a specific time of year! Be happy, be healthy, be abnormal and original. Be silly, be fun, and be with good people. --That one is from me. :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Made A New Meme!

So, I've given this at least a little bit of thought, and I think it's about time I was internet-famous. Not real famous, because I don't like the idea of living my life in a fishbowl and having random tabloids taking up close and personal pictures of cellulite and telling the world I am either pregnant or engaged every 15 minutes.

But internet-famous is a whole other ball game. First of all, the internet is awesome. Feel free to ask Redditers and people on Tumblr what they think about it.

Secondly, memes are a big thing. It's a picture with basically a short story on it, aided by the picture. One of my favorites is the "NAILED IT." meme, which is when someone tries to recreate a craft or food item, usually from Pinterest, and fails horrifically and hysterically. Here is a link to a recent buzzfeed article compiling some funny "Nailed It" memes. Pretty awesome, really. And people are laughing at themselves, which I also appreciate.

So after at least 3 minutes of intense thinking, I came up with a new meme that I'd like to introduce to the world. "ALMOST DIED."

Short stories of people who thwarted death. 

I messed around with the pictures as the basis of the meme, and finally landed on an entertaining tripping sign as the one I used for almost all of them. I used a different picture for a couple of them, just to see if it would still work with a different picture for different stories of almost dying. 

My friend Megan got into the spirit and contributed some of her own harrowing anecdotes of times she has stared death right in the face, smiled, and flipped it off as she went about her day.

Enjoy! And don't be too critical, it's my first shot at making memes! (To do this, I used an online meme generator that allows you to upload your own pictures as backgrounds and not just use a template of pre-existing memes. I used this one.)

The following 7 pictures are anecdotes of times I've laughed in the armpit of death.

The following 7 images are courtesy of Megan, who bravely faces down death on a daily basis. We are all kind of waiting to hear stories about her death, which will most likely involved a cat or 17. To be fair, Megan is my very favorite crazy cat lady, and the following memes are not accurately indicative of the amount of cat anecdotes she has in her life. 

What do you people think? This could become popular and viral and make internet HISTORY. Or, you know, be fun for awhile and then get overplayed and annoying. :) 

Either way, bring on the internet fame! Megan and I will be sitting with a bunch of cats, waiting for the phone to ring.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

See, Write, Sing.

I have been a writer for longer than I can remember. 

I kept journals as a small child, writing about the depth of emotions only the young can feel that passionately. How much I hated school, my brother, bedtimes. How cute a boy was, or how unfair my parents were.

Normal childhood angst.

Around middle or high school, my writings changed from insolent musings and critiques of the world around me and all those damn emotions, to poetry and lyrics. I still keep a journal, but it's more of an intermittent update of my life and a collection of lyrics and poems now.

I have been a singer for as long as I've written. 

My family is musical. My mom plays piano and sings, my brother plays drums and piano, and I did 7 years of violin, followed by another 7 or 8 of singing. Unfortunately for me, I can't play piano, which kind of sucks.

Boyfriend is a great guitar player, and while he did give me one of his old guitars, and I bought a bunch of books, so far I haven't done much with it. I will though. I'd love to be able to compose music, along with writing lyrics and melodies.

I don't know how it works for other songwriters, but I typically think of a lyric and a melody simultaneously, as if they were meant to be together. Very rarely do I have a poem all written out and later go back and add a melody.

My not-so-secret dream when I first moved to NYC was to find a way to record some of the songs I'd written, and maybe attempt to sell them. I met with a couple of very nice music producers, who took the time to sit down with me, see my lyrics, and give me some advice.

The strongest piece of advice was that no one was just a lyricist anymore. People wanted to buy completed full songs, not just lyrics or melodies. 

I lucked out and met Al Cohen, a producer up here that I could afford to work with a couple hours a week. He listened to my lyrics and melodies, then we worked together to make an accompaniment, and he plays every instrument you can imagine. 

Then we recorded. I'm lucky that I'm a decent singer! I didn't have to pay for someone to come in and sing on my demo songs, since I could do it myself.

Here are 2 of the songs I recorded. 

"It's All Me" is a more rock-y song, about a girl who tells a guy "It's not you, it's me" when breaking up, and accepting that he's mad about it. It was very fun to sing and write, and own. My favorite lyric is near the end:

"Not calling you.
I won’t apologize.
I never check my baggage at the door."

"Charming" is a cynical more pop-y song about the transition to carefree childhood to adult. My favorite part of this song is the bridge, which goes:

"And we don’t know what happened to forever.
And we stopped learning how to give our trust.
And someday, we’ll look back on all those summers.
And start to see exactly what we’ve lost."

So, check them out. I'm not promising that you'll suddenly be able to fly after hearing them, but for me, recording songs I wrote was a pretty life-changing experience. 

I haven't done anything about selling them, and maybe I never will. But I'm a dreamer, and who knows what will happen next?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Buses, Butts, Foreshadowing, and Fancy Words.

Sometimes when typing “regards” I accidentally type “retards” without noticing.
That is why I always sign my work emails “Have a great day!”

This is a good view of what it’s like inside my head. These thoughts just come out of frickin’ NOWHERE.

Here is some lovely poetry that I sent Boyfriend via text while I was on a bus going from DC to NYC this past Sunday. Let me preface this by telling you that 1) I don’t do well just sitting down for a long amount of time while bored and 2) I don’t handle boredom all that well and 3) Patience may well be a virtue, but I never claimed to be virtuous.

Also, I have a flat butt and it provides zero cushioning and my butt had been numb since Maryland.

Boyfriend and I were texting, and he encouraged me to stop thinking about how annoying buses are, and maybe distract myself by writing poetry or something. First, he asked me how it was going. I said, “Boring.” then made fun of him for missing out on challah bread french toast that morning, then added “Die, bus. But after I get off of you.”

He said, “Oh, relax. Contemplate the meaning of life. Look up new games on the tablet. Muse on how awesome your boyfriend is.”

I did muse on his awesomeness for a moment. Until I remembered I was on a bus and my butt hurt.

I responded, “There is nothingness in contemplation. The bus has succeeded in sucking every meaningful and beautiful thing out of my world. My butt will never be whole again, not while I am riding this metallic monstrosity.”

...I have a penchant for drama when I get bored.

So he suggested I write some poetry. Something I enjoy, am fairly good at, and do often, when inspiration strikes. This was not a inspired set of verses. They are, however, entertaining and were very spur of the moment (as you can well see).

Here, I give you the most poignant verse and lines of our generation. The most moving of all poetry coming out of twenty-somethings in 2013. Someday these words will grace the texts of writing classes everywhere. They shall be chiseled into building faces and passed down orally between generations.

“Roses are red
Buses are gray.
Dear Jesus get me out of here.
To thee I pray.”

“Violets are purple
Not actually blue
I can’t feel my butt.
Can you?”

“Daisies are happy
Sunflowers, sunny,
I’m so hungry now
I’d eat bread and honey.
But not that gross bread with nuts and crap in the actual
Bread and not just on the crust.”

“Patience is a virtue
Or so I am told
But I never quite learned it.
I broke the mold.”

These were all sent as rapid fire texts, one right after the other.

I stopped for awhile, basking in the glow of my amazing words forming poems of beauty, which the world has never seen.

The I began feeling hopeful, as we were almost back in NY! I sent an excited text to Boyfriend about being so close.

He responds “Hopefully the tunnel won’t be too backed up.”

I swear, he says that stuff just to mess with me. Guess what? THE TUNNEL WAS BACKED UP. Thanks, jerkface! I could have sharkpunched the troll look right off his face for that dire foreshadowing.

To return to my previous dramatic mood, once I was in the tunnel, I sent Boyfriend “I’m in the tunnel. If it floods and I drown slowly, you would be sad.”

He agreed that he would be sad, but offered no reassurances as to my safety.

I finally got home. Eventually, I found my way to dreamland and into work the next day, and all is well.

Moral of the story: boyfriends are sorcerers who foresee crappy traffic and don’t even tell you that you won’t drown a sad, slow death in a tunnel under NYC.

Side note: Thanksgivikkah with my family was awesome. Presents are good, family is great. Drinking is nice. At one point, my brother, sister, and I all got a little tiny teensy bit drunk, chased each other around the house and wrestled. My brother threw me on the floor and “tickled” me. I put tickled in quotes because when I was a little kid, he would actually tickle me until I cried, and in this case, it was less of a tickle and more of a painful poking me in the sides repeatedly. I HAD BRUISES THE NEXT MORNING. And my poor sister had no idea why her shoulder hurt. I had an awesome time telling them how she threw herself over the banister on the stairs when bro and I were wrestling because she was trying to “help.”

….she never explained who she was trying to help. Brother or me? CONUNDRUM.

One time, I used the word “conundrum” in regular conversation with some coworkers, and one of them (not the sharpest stick) had been drinking and at the top of his lungs, he screamed out “DON’T USE YOUR FANCY JEW WORDS ON ME!”
It was hysterical.