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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Passions & Hobbies

Things that I am passionate about:
-Writing songs and singing anything.
-Writing in general (including blogging, poems, and in my journal).
-Spreading the message about Confidence and how it affects every part of your life.
-Reading. Reading ALL THE BOOKS.
-My Kindle (If you’re reading this, Kindle, I love you more than cheese, I swear).
-Cooking & baking (but only when I am in the mood to cook or bake).
-Fluffy fat baby animals (also, fat babies in general).
-Science. Reading and learning about science and new discoveries.
-My family and friends.

And there is certainly more! But I find myself in the position of wanting a hobby. I tried book clubs for awhile, and while I really enjoyed the gatherings, inevitably something would come up and I’d be unable to attend two or three times in a row, and then I felt all weird and self-conscious going back after a long absence, and I ended up just abandoning the book club all together. I learned how to knit, proceeded to knit my mother a six-foot-long scarf, and then couldn't for the life of me figure out how to knit anything else, and eventually kind of gave up.

Reading IS something I personally consider a hobby, though. I read a lot, and I thoroughly enjoy the time spent with books. I read approximately one book every day. I read on the train, when I’m walking to and from the train, when I’m jogging on the elliptical machine at the gym, and randomly throughout the days. I never understand people who think reading is silly or stupid. How can escaping into a story of another person or another world or a big adventure, or learning interesting new subjects, or about the lives of famous people or historical figure possibly be boring?! I love reading, and will always continue to read, but this is about finding a new hobby and integrating it into my life.
Oh, Kindle, you mechanical ball of love, joy, and books. I love you so very much. I shall never leave you! We will be together FOREVER. Kindle + Jyssica = TRUE LOVE.
I’m a terrible artist! I want to be able to draw or paint the things in my head, but I just can’t seem to get what’s in my head on the paper! I can mimic other things, though. I’ve freehand drawn a number of comics, like Dilbert, Far Side, and Calvin & Hobbes, just looking at the original and recreating them. But while I suppose I could always embark on a fun and thrilling career of cartoon forgery, I am really not the fugitive type, so I think I’ll refrain. Maybe I could take an art class?

I love to cook and bake and experiment with new foods and recipes and just wing it with no recipes and a dream, and try it out for dinner. Boyfriend and I cook together at home, and I find it fun and interesting. He likes to be in charge of cooking the meat, and he’s all BAM like Emerill on the spices. It’s really nice! I’d LOVE to take a cooking class, actually. But all I’ve found here are little 2 or 3 hour classes on a specific thing, like pasta making (rad!), when what I want is a one night a week class for a month or two!
How I feel when I cook: Fancy as hell.
I love my singing and songwriting, and I’m really not bad at either. I sang competitively in middle and high school and even won some awards. I also won a couple for poetry contests. But neither of these things are really something I could make a living with, or are what I consider a “hobby” in terms of taking time every week and really focusing and learning more and being engaged with it. I sing all the time, and I write when inspiration strikes.

I’m crafty and I love to make things and DIY stuff, but can this actually be a hobby? I’m not scouring pinterest for ideas or spending my weekends making random crafts as gifts or party favors. What would I do with random things that I crafted if it wasn’t something I needed? Example: Made a framed chalkboard for my apartment, but I don’t need to craft an endless supply of them. I made a cool shadowbox for Boyfriend’s and my collection of foreign money, but I only need the one. Unless I was able to give them away as gifts, what could I do with a crafty ability?

I’m at this age of upper 20's, in a stable relationship, with some but not TOO much time on my hands. So, I want a hobby. Boyfriend has video games and building these really cool e-cigarette contraptions of wonder and mechanics, some of my friends have kids, which is certainly more time-consuming than a hobby, and I just want something I can be interested in and learn about and work on, but not a full-time-job's worth of time needed to invest.

Any suggestions, world?

I leave you with this picture of the greatest food in the world.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How Do You Feel When Your Face Is Naked?

I recently read this article on Buzzfeed about a girl who went makeup-free for a week and the things she learned from it. First of all, she was super uncomfortable with her own face when she wasn't wearing makeup, and had a bit of a self-conscious meltdown, followed by the eventual acceptance of her face and the epiphany that she doesn't NEED makeup all the time.

This kind of article offends me a little bit. Not in the way that I’m throwing things around or resentful towards the author of the article. Just in the way that as a woman, she felt that she had to wear makeup every single day in order to be accepted, and it took a fairly abrupt and severe experiment to cure her of that way of thinking. I’m offended FOR the author.

What does that kind of thinking mean for girls like me? I don’t wear makeup. Not to work, not at home, and only occasionally for a nice date or family event. And even then, it’s just mascara and eyeliner, and then I feel FANCY AS HELL. I’m all like “Look at me, I’m so fancy! I have bits of chemicals and stuff on my eyes!” And yes, when I do wear it, I feel like I look good.


This is a very important point. I am not a hideous troll, nor am I in any way a supermodel. I am an average, very-pale female. I keep myself relatively groomed, I get my eyebrows waxed and my hair trimmed. These things I do for me. I have bushy eyebrows and I like the way I look when I am groomed. But I feel no inclination to cover my face in makeup, or spend a ton of money on expensive makeup or beauty products. I do what feels good for me.
Not me. At least not once I shower!

In the end, I like my face, makeup or no. I am comfortable with the way I look. Do I occasionally get self conscious about my looks or my body or my super-thin hair? Of course. Do I compare myself to airbrushed perfection in magazines or on tv? NOPE.

People, PLEASE don’t compare your physical looks with anyone else. You are you and there is nothing you can do about it. Be comfortable with yourself, or change yourself in whatever ways make you feel good. But don’t compare yourself to others. What’s the point in looking at someone else and categorizing all the things you don’t like about yourself or that you wished were different? It only serves to make you feel bad about yourself.

Trust me, there are enough things in this world that will try to make you feel bad without adding yourself to that list. You should be your own biggest cheerleader, your own staunchest supporter of who you are. People may try to bring you down, but only you can control the way you feel about yourself.

If wearing makeup makes YOU feel good, then by all means, go for it. I’m not saying that no one should wear it. I’m saying that we shouldn’t be wearing it because of the world telling us we should. Listen, the makeup companies just want to sell their product. Magazines and tv commercials are the best way to do it. Telling you you need it is a good way to do it. It has nothing to do with YOU, it is about them. Do what feels good for yourself, not something an article may you feel bad for not doing.

Should I feel about myself because I don’t wear any makeup to work? Would you? A better question: Would you feel badly about yourself for not wearing any (you rebel!), or for what you think other people will think? How would it make you feel if other people didn’t even notice? Would it make you feel worse if they did notice?

Maybe these are the types of questions we should really be answering. Thoughts, anyone?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

25 Things About Me

In US Weekly and those other tabloids, they always have those lists from famous people about "25 things you don't know about me." Usually it's just random facts or stuff the person likes or doesn't like. 

Well you know what? US Weekly didn't ask for my 25 things, so I can only assume I was overlooked for those other super famous people. So I'll ask myself! Clearly, I am rad. Obviously, I'm right on the edge of being internet-famous. And duh, people NEED TO KNOW.

Anyway, because I talk a lot, many people already know many of these facts, but I'm doing it anyway because not everyone knows everything and that is SUPER IMPORTANT.

So, here we are.

1. I have little to no patience. For MOST things. I hate waiting in line, or for food, or for answers to questions. BUT, I have all the patience in the world for reading books, doing puzzles, writing songs, outlining yet another random idea, or rolling coins into those tiny paper sleeves.

2. I used to sing competitively.

3. I did 4 years of jazz, tap, ballet, and modern dance when I was little. This was before little league, but after starting violin. None of the dance classes helped my coordination level as an adult.

4. I’m a big ol’ baseball fan. Go Yankees and Marlins!!

5. I didn’t really get into football until college, and that was mostly because everyone in the entire town got all excited about game days and it kind of draws you in!

6. I am a science nerd. I have an Anthropology degree, and am also extremely interested in astronomy.

7. My best friend and I have been BFF's for literally over half our lives. Despite living 2000 miles apart, we are always there for each other.

8. I've been with my boyfriend for 4 years. He is awesome and I like his face quite a bit.
BF and I in Wellington, NZ in 2014.
9. I sing when I'm bored, or nervous, or if I have something stuck in my head. Not at full volume, but really quietly, kind of to myself. I don't even always notice that I'm doing it until someone pokes me and tells me to quit it.

10. I cannot whistle properly. I can only whistle by sucking air in through pursed lips, not blowing air out.

11. I WISH I could do that extremely irritating sports-and-cabs-two-fingers whistle. I've spent a surprising amount of time attempting and failing at this.

12. I haven't broken a bone since 1997, but before that, I'd broken like 6. I was and am a clumsy person. Though I haven't broken anything as an adult, I have managed to dislocated my right elbow, tear a tendon in my right knee, and have constant nicks and scratches from accidentally swinging an arm or hand into a wall or doorjamb.

13. I am slowly but surely convincing my boyfriend that he really super wants to get a kitty.

14. My dad is a nomadic doctor, and it's really rad to get to visit him in cool places. This year, we went to New Zealand!

15. Though I've lived in NYC almost 5 years, winter continues to surprise, irritate, and disgruntle me.
Pouting because it's so cold.
16. I sleep best in what I call my crypt: dark, silent and cold. 

17. I HATE being cold when I'm awake.

18. I have gone skydiving and to Israel with one of my best friends: my first cousin Jamie! Both were unforgettable experiences that I'm so glad I got to share with my partner in crime.
Western Wall in Israel.
19. I love animals. I have contributed more to animal charities this year than to human ones, including adopting a penguin and donating to baby polar bears.

20. I graduated college with a Bachelor's at 20 years old. I actually got a lot of flack for my age at my first job out of college. I was constantly getting those disappointed "...oh." looks when people heard how old I was. It felt very unfair.
My best friend's favorite pic of me from graduation. I'M SO MATURE.
21. I am super confident in who I am, what I look like, and my abilities, and I try really hard to spread the message about positivity and confidence to other people, especially women. I cannot stress how important confidence is in every aspect of your life!

22. I took piano lessons for awhile as a kid. My brother is decent at piano, and my mom is good. I wish now that I'd stuck with piano and gotten better.

23. My brother plays drums, piano and can carry a tune, my mom can sing beautifully and play piano, and I sing and (could when I was young) play violin, and a few chords on a guitar. We were a very musical family, and I loved that so much. We sang together on road trips and goofed around on the piano a lot.

24. Becoming an aunt to 3 little ones is the single most rewarding and satisfying thing in my entire life. I'm very involved in those kid's lives and I couldn't love them more if they were my own. And their parents are pretty amazing!

25. I have written songs and poetry my entire life. I write a lot of real lyrics, and a good amount of joking/funny ones. I've even recorded a couple of songs with a music producer to see it all come together! My songs are often written from a place of imagination, and sometimes from real things/feelings.

Recently, I wrote an Ode to Hummus to make my friend at work laugh (we really love hummus):

Hummus is a delightful food
Always smooth and never rude.
It fills my belly, so satisfying
Hummus would never leave me crying.

Hummus can be many flavors
And all are good to sit and savor.
If you do not at all agree,
We cannot be friends, you and me.

You are disgusting and vile and wrong
And you have no part in my life’s song.
Hummus is a beautiful thing
Yet another reason to sing.

Hummus can really take you places!
A sea of carrot and broccoli faces
For dipping, and holds up to the challenge
Of savory spices and such lovely balance.

So take a pause in your day
To give thanks and to get down and pray
For more hummus! More hummus!
More hummus among us!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween & Other Holiday Fun

Life is like a giant choose-your-own-adventure novel, except when you don’t solve the mystery, or when you die by being crushed by a bed of nails in a snake pit in a cave somewhere, you can’t just go back to page 75 and choose differently.

Think about it, that’s super deep.

This Friday is Halloween! There is just something about holidays. I love holidays. The family time, the festive atmosphere, the celebration. Many holidays actually make me think about the future or the past.

I generally enjoy most holidays, but Halloween has a special significance to me. I LOVE HALLOWEEN. I love thinking of something interesting to be (last year I was Quailman, another year was a sumo wrestler, yet another was a penguin, etc.), I love putting together a costume, I love nagging Boyfriend into going costume shopping and carving a pumpkin together.

I’ve long held this theory that Halloween and fireworks shows are the two times that adults, no matter how old or stuffy they are, seem to enjoy something with the delight and abandon of a child. On Halloween, kids and adults alike will dress up as characters, and enjoy the pretending just one more time. Fireworks shows amaze us all, and if you ever take a second to look at the crowd during a fireworks show, you’ll see that everyone, young or old, are staring up and smiling. It’s a happy thing, and I love that we never truly get over the fireworks magic.

The 4th of July, is another favorite holiday. At one time in my life, it was simply a festive celebration of the anniversary of our independence as a nation. This is the time I usually reflect on the freedoms I take for granted, that other countries don’t have, and that so many other people don’t enjoy. Having grown up in America, I was taught to question everything, including the government. As a society, Americans have an obligation to question the government and make sure that we are taking part in making changes and protecting our freedoms.

I do feel like voting is a civic obligation. No one has any right to complain about our government unless they are willing to at LEAST vote and try to make a difference. Not that our government is perfect, or that I believe they are doing everything right. Far from it. But I care about our country and our freedoms and our laws, and I vote so that I can have a small part in placing the people I believe are right for the jobs, in office.

Aside from those musings, the 4th of July has come to mean so much more to me in the last 7 years. My niece’s birthday is July 5th, and we all get together as a family to celebrate her birth and 4th of July together. We do the parade in DC, and we shoot off fireworks in the neighborhood. It’s very fun!

Other holidays I love are Hanukkah/Christmas (of course!), my birthday (duh), as well as the birthdays of my friends and family, and Thanksgiving.

When I was a kid, my dad’s family had a big family reunion every year for Thanksgiving. We cooked, we ate, we sat around talking about how full we were, we played board games, and exchanged Hanukkah presents. It was a great tradition, and one that ended abruptly about 6 years ago, when all of the kids were starting to move away, going into or out of college and such, and it became more difficult to get everyone in one place.  

THIS YEAR, we are bringing the tradition back, and I for one, cannot wait. It will be so awesome having us all together again!

But for now, Halloween is the focus. This is the first year in four that I managed to convince Boyfriend to do semi-matching costumes (he would be a mad scientist every year from now until death if we let him; he is unnaturally attached to his costume lab coat). We’re being a flapper and mobster! Excited!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Adult-y Things & Great Advice

I have a love-hate relationship with food.

I was a very picky eater as a kid, and the older I get, the more I have intentionally branched out and tried new things. It’s amazing! There are all sorts of wonderful foods that I have tried and loved, like scallops and crab and sweet potatoes.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some foods that my 8 year old self was completely right in hating irrationally. Squash and zucchini are perfect examples. I clearly remember being about 8 or 9 years old, and telling my mom that squash made me throw up. She did not believe me and made me eat some. I promptly threw up, and have not touched either one since.

I also have a weird texture thing with food. I don’t like odd or unexpected or contrasting textures. Cottage cheese is a great example. It’s smooth like yogurt, but has lumpy disgusting things in it that look like the lumps in spoiled milk. Is it delicious? I will never, ever know.

Tomatoes are another example of the texture thing. I can’t bring myself to eat raw tomatoes. They are smooth and shiny on the outside, mushy on the inside, and then have phlegmy looking seeds in the middle. Nope nope nope.
But in the last 5 years or so, I have made sure to try new things. It’s great! Turns out I love scallops and crab. I still hate mushrooms, but I learned that I enjoy the hell out of sweet potatoes! I like haricot vert and sauteed kale, but I still dislike nuts.

Maybe I’m building it up in my head, but I see this willingness to try new things as a very adult-y thing. I’M SO GROWN UP, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.

My stepdad says that when you’re really an adult, you won’t have to tell people that you’re grown up. But what does he know, anyway? I’m 28 years old, a college graduate, a city dweller (well, Brooklyn, but it’s way better. Trust me.), a relationship-haver, and a really awesome Aunt to 3 of the cutest shorties I’ll ever know (unless I get more, then the ranks will swell, though it will not diminish the cuteness of the current frontrunners).

Since when does being an adult mean not having any kidlike fun? SINCE NEVER. I have seen many an adult enjoy go karts, laser tag, paintball, bouncy houses, fireworks shows, and trampolines.
[Sidebar: Saw a funny joke online. Relevant. “They used to be called jumpolines, until your mom jumped on one back in ‘79.” lol!]

I think being an adult means being self-reliant, self-sufficient, and a contributing member of society. I do NOT think being an adult means that you can’t enjoy things with the childlike ease or happiness of young people. I take my nieces and nephew out, and I cannot adequately explain the joy I get out of introducing them to new things, or seeing things from their perspective (Their perspective on parades is the same as mine. BO-ring.). My nephew has more fun running in circles than I do with practically anything!

Why lose that joy? What makes us lose the sense of wonder in the world around us? And though we grow up, grow skeptical and somewhat jaded, does that justify us losing the thing that lets us still see magic in the world around us? Not to me!

Boundless optimism may annoy some people, and that’s fine. I never claimed to be easy to be around all the time, or adult about everything. Can I argue competently about the political issues I care about? Sure. Do I read the news so that I’m not willfully ignorant of what is happening in the world? Yes. Do I still jump in puddles sometimes and sing happy little songs that make me laugh? Of course. Do I still love Halloween and the cham and joy of dressing up, and nag Boyfriend into dressing up and force him to enjoy himself as well? YEP.

Being an adult means being whomever you want to be. It means being comfortable with and confident in who you are, regardless of what others may want or expect from you. Being an adult means working hard and doing your job well because you are paid to do so, paying your bills and taxes because it’s required, and then being who you are simply because being that person makes you happy.

We all have flaws. I certainly do! But overall, I am happy with who I am. How many of us can say that and mean it?

So here’s my advice to you, World: Really figure out who you are, or who you want to be. Embrace it, love it, and be confident in yourself and your abilities. Confidence is honestly the key to everything good in your life. Confidence shows in how you carry yourself, how you interact with others, how you do your job, and more. Confidence allows you to enjoy yourself without fear of reprisal from others, such as dancing like no one is watching, even when they are. Because I am confident and happy with myself, I don’t care that others may not like my dancing, at least I am enjoying it!

Go forth and be confident. And if you can’t be wholly confident yet, here is a secret: Fake it ‘til you make it. Force yourself to carry yourself and act confidently, and over time, it will become real. Be proud of who you are and what you look like.
In conclusion, Dr. Seuss is the best: “Today You are You. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

If I could someday teach my kids only one thing, it would be this. Not in the “you’re a special snowflake, everyone is a winner, here’s a participation ribbon” type of way, but in the “be yourself, be happy, learn who you are and embrace your weirdness” kind of way.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm Not Skinny, But My Jeans Are!

Just because I’m packing a few extra pounds on my 5’4’’ frame, there is no reason I can’t be stylish and fashion-y and professional -- and on a budget. I am always on the lookout for good deals, and I do not follow or covet any trends.

Honestly, I’m not a huge of fan of random fads or trends in the first place, as the word fad implies that it is a temporary thing. I prefer to make sure to wear clothes that fit my body type, are flattering, are classic, and of course affordable.

Not classic like designer suits, just fairly simple pieces that can be easily mixed and matched and work in different outfits and styles.

Perfect example: I have a pair of black skinny pants with a white tuxedo stripe down the side. I wear them with t shirts or tank tops on the weekend and flip flops, and with work blouses and sweaters during the week to work, with ballet flats. They are super comfortable, flattering, and I got them for $25 from Kmart!
Today's feel-good outfit: my black skinny pants, a button-down that I stole from Boyfriend this morning, a V neck argyle sweater that I bought 7 years ago at a New York & Co, and beige/shiny gold flats from Payless. The only item I'm wearing that was purchased in the last 6 months is the pants!
Trends come and go, popular fashion changes in the blink of an eye, but a well-fitting sweater and work pants never go out of style!

I have spent most of my life as a comfort-first girl. Shorts or jeans and T shirts, either flip flops or sneakers, and the same watch and necklace that I’ve had for years. Even in comfort-mode, I always attempted to be wearing well-fitting and body-flattering clothes, but still, it was casual at best.

At work, I have long had a similar theme. Work pants that are comfy but fit, and a blouse that is usually soft, plus a soft cardigan. Again, comfort has been at the forefront.

I recently realized that I don’t have a personal style. “Comfortable” isn’t really a style choice, and I feel like that makes it sound like I’m one pumpkin-spice-latte away from wearing yoga pants and a man’s undershirt in public (I’m not. I don’t even own yoga pants!).

Since that realization, I have been on a mission to find a style that works best for me. Mostly, that has been buying things that I always liked but never thought I’d wear, and then actually wearing them. My expanding wardrobe now includes dresses (I always thought dresses wouldn’t look good on my body type), skinny pants in tons of colors (great for work! Comfy but fitted, can have them in every color, totally work appropriate if they aren’t denim), and ankle boots. Blazers that are more fitted to my body, pants that are tighter than I used to wear, and even the occasional belt around my natural waist!

I still wear pants, ballet flats, and cardigans, but I’m figuring out how to pull it all together in a way that makes me look my age, and makes me feel good.

I think one of the biggest fashion crimes I ever committed was wearing clothes that were too big on me. I’m not a skinny-minnie, and I think that I thought larger or more billowy clothes were masking my tummy. But looking at them now, I realize that they just made me look bigger! Trust me. Try wearing a baggy top and taking a picture. Now simply tuck in that same top into your pants, barely at all blowse it, and take another picture. It’s hard to see the difference in the mirror, especially when you’re self conscious, but you’ll be able to see it when you compare the two pictures. Just by tucking in that baggy top and having it closer to your body, you’ll actually look slimmer -- exactly the opposite of what I once thought.

I buy some pieces from one of my favorite stores for work clothes, LOFT, almost exclusively from their semi-annual big sales, where they do 40 or 50% off of already-on-sale items, and I do my shopping from LOFT mostly online, as the online store has a lot more variety and sizes of the clearance items than the physical stores, and luckily, their sizes are uniform, so it always fits. Bonus is that if I don’t like the stuff I buy, returning them to a physical store is really easy and you don’t have to mail anything anywhere. LOFT is more expensive, so I don't really buy anything full-price there, unless I just HAVE to have it...which is not often.

I also buy a lot of more lower-end pieces from places like Target, Kmart, and TJMaxx. It’s often more hit-and-miss of finding the things you want at these stores, but the prices cannot be beat! And a great pair of pants is a great pair of pants, no matter where they come from.

I am definitely budget-conscious. After deciding I wanted to find more of a style and revamp my wardrobe, I didn't just go off and buy a whole new wardrobe! I cannot afford that, and neither can most people I know.

What I did was go through all my clothes and turned a critical eye to the actual fit. If it fit and looked good, I kept it, and if it didn't fit or was completely hideous, it was either right to the donation pile, or considered a “maybe.” If it was only a bit too small or large, I generally kept it, if it was something I just really loved, I might try to find a new use or way to wear it.

I kept a large amount, actually. And since I’ve always tended to buy things that can be mixed and matched, I had a great base wardrobe! Bright solid-colored tops, neutral bottoms, and colored cardigans are all very versatile, and each piece can be dressed up with a new pair of pants, a printed top or skirt, or just accessories.

When I started making purchases, it was with an eye specifically to fit and how it fit with my new style, never an eye to trends. I’d never really worn skinny jeans, wrongly assuming they wouldn't look good on someone who wasn't skinny. I now have several very versatile pairs! I own them in black, teal, hot pink, and a great gray. I found sales and only bought the things that were going to fit my new look and flatter my body, not just anything that was on sale and fit!

I kept an eye out for statement pieces. I found an amazing red blazer that was only $35! I found a great pair of flat ankle boots in a gray that goes with almost everything I own, including all my new work dresses (I bought 4 different dresses on during their big sale recently and got them for $9 each, in my size!!), my colored pants, and more. The boots were only $23 at Payless!

You don’t have to spend a fortune to find your style. I am 28 years old, and I am finally figuring out my style now, and it feels really good. It makes me feel very adult-y. 

But it also makes me feel really confident. Instead of just feeling “meh” and comfy in clothes, I’m feeling more confident and pretty, and looking forward to getting dressed for the day, because I am dressing my body, not hiding it. I am totally embracing this. I’ve always felt really good and beautiful on the somewhat rare occasions that I would dress up for an event, or wear my suit for an interview, and I wanted to have that feeling every day. Confident in myself, happy with the way I look. This is all quite self-actualizing!

Of course, I still wear shorts and flip flops on the weekends!! Some things never change!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I'm, I'm Unapologetic

I started writing a new song. I’m calling it “Unapologetic.” Which, really, would be a dolphin-flippin’ sweet name of an album, too. If I were to ever put together an album, pretty sure that’s what I’d call it. Also, dibs on the album and song name “Unapologetic.”

I CALLED DIBS. It’s mine now. Also, it’s mine because I came up with it and wrote it and it’s my intellectual property. Similar to calling shotgun, except that this is real and legal. And stuff.

Here is the main part of the chorus for this song:

You don’t have to like me,
I’m not looking for approval.
I don’t care if you disagree, and
I don’t need your applause to validate me.

I know who I am
I know for what I stand
I know what I believe
And I won’t apologize for the truth.
I do what I want, and
I’m, I’m, I’m unapologetic. sounds better with my melody and not just as words on a page.
I find that a lot of the songs I write are about standing up for yourself, being confident in who you are, and also, of course, love. It's pretty nice to realize that!

Sappy love songs are sappy. Epic 80’s power ballads are not. They are amazing and fun and great to dance to.

Speaking of love songs, Boyfriend and I have been together for 3.5 years, and we have never had a song. We can never agree! I keep suggesting these amazing songs that are ubercool and fun, and he always says no. They are either “too sappy” or “too old” or “stop suggesting ABBA songs” or “how many times do I have to say no to your Motown suggestions?”

Which is ludicrous. Motown is amazeballs. Go listen to some Temptations and then get back to me. And who doesn't love a good ABBA playlist? Hello...Dancing Queen??

One of the songs I tend to sing in public (and at home) a lot is “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It goes from sweet and love-y to power ballad and back. How can anyone not love that song?? Sing it out loud. Trust me, it’s superfun to sing. If you’re a really terrible singer, you can sing it in your head, if you want. Your choice. I’ll listen to you, even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket. I might wince, but I’ll listen…

On New Year’s Eve this year, Billy Joel was playing live at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, and they flashed to him on the NYE program, the Dick Clark thing. And he rang in the year with “You May Be Right.”

It was perfect and Billy Joel is amazing and if you don’t agree with that, then meet me in the parking lot at 3 today for some explosive hand gestures and some ridiculously harsh smack talk, because IT IS ON.

I think Boyfriend and I have found our song! (He is not in full agreement yet. I'm working on it.) How does this not describe us perfectly?

“You may be right
I may be crazy.
But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.
Turn out the light,
Don’t try to save me.
You may be wrong, for all I know
You may be right.”
Billy Joel's fierce face.
Now that that epic dilemma is solved, what shall I tackle next?

I leave you to ponder this question: Why do the drivers in NY always drive like they are in a constant race for the Holy Grail? Or, as if they are in Mario Kart?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

When googling for a good image for "unapologetic," I learned that stupid Rihanna has stupidly stolen the name "Unapologetic" as an album name and I AM DISPLEASED.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Proud Mom of a Penguin Baby

His name is Sir Philip Waddlebottom, and he and I are going to be superbestmegafriends!

Some people get married. Some people have babies in their late 20s. And then there's me. And my friend Megan. Grown-up adults who now own penguins. BOO YAH.

My mother finally has the grandpenguin she’s always wanted!

I'd like to introduce the world to my penguin baby, Sir Philip Waddlebottom! He's adorable and I love him so much. He's a 5-year-old Magellanic penguin. So far, it seems as though he’ll be one of those cool guys who go by their last name, because people are refering to him as Waddlebottom already, and welcoming him into their lives. I think he might be the unofficial mascot of my work, too.
Waddlebottom in his little burrow!
He lives on Magdalena Island, near to the city of Punta Arenas in southern Chile. He loves fish, swimming, and long waddles down the beach. My friend Megan's penguin baby is named Sir Stewart Patrick, and his burrow isn't far from Waddlebottom's burrow! Who knows, maybe they're best friends already and go on adorable penguin adventures together!
This is where my beloved Waddlebottom lives!
I get a lot of amusement in thinking about sending out formal birth announcements for Waddlebottom. Like actually going to Walgreens and having his picture and an announcement printed up and physically mailing them to my family and friends.

People already know I love penguins. I’ve certainly made no secret of that! Everyone also knows I’m kind of weird. I don’t think it was surprising to anyone who knows me at all that I went out and adopted an adorable 5 year old penguin. Some people probably wondered why it took me this long!

Even if you aren’t interested in adopting an actual living penguin (and why WOULDN’T you be interested in that?!), check out and see what they are working towards and the conservation efforts they put in. Adopting is not expensive, but if you don’t want a baby penguin or seal or something, you can always just donate to their conservation efforts!

Waddlebottom and I are going to have a wondrous life together. We’ll take walks, and of course go swimming, and he’ll probably love the slide at the playground. I think I’ll put one of those child-leashes on him and take him everywhere with me. If anyone tries to say anything about him, like at a restaurant or bar or something, I will look them straight in the bellybutton and tell them he’s my seeing-eye penguin. Can they truly refute that claim? Probably not easily and without a few phone calls, which would give me plenty of time to finish my meal and head out, or pay for my groceries, or whatever.
Here's Waddlebottom's little burrow-home.
I love penguins. I love my new penguin baby. My mom has already expressed her happiness at being gifted with a new grandpenguin. Who knows, maybe she’s already knitting him a blanket or something. Not that I’ve ever once known my mother to knit anything.

Once, I thought I’d learn to be a knitter. A friend taught me how to knit, and I spent weeks knitting at night while watching TV, and eventually gave my mom a hand-knit 8-foot-long scarf in various colors. It was not the most beautiful thing in the world, but at least I accomplished it! It certainly turned out better than the time I thought I’d become a scarf-wearer, and I made 3 different kinds (pinterest projects, they actually came out pretty well!) and bought like 4 or 5 different colored ones. They have pretty much never been worn. I’m attempting to become one of those girls who wear dresses to work. I bought 2 cute comfy looking dresses online the other day. They should arrive tomorrow, and we’ll find out if that’s going to be a thing. Dresses require leg-shaving, which I don’t really have time for in my 6-minute morning showers before work, so we’ll see!

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to check out Waddlebottom, he and I are very happy together so far, but it’s only been a few days and he’s only 5. We’ll just have to see how it goes when he becomes a surly teenager!

Check out the website to see how you can donate to their conservation efforts of penguin, seabird, seal, or sealions, and even adopt your own! And feel free to gush about how adorable my little penguin baby is!
If Waddlebottom has babies, I hope they look like these fluffy bastards. SO FLUFFY!