Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm In Love With My Own Shortcomings Today...

...which may seem unreasonable, but hear me out. Fair warning, this post may make no sense, or it may be something you've already read a million times from other people. Deal. With. It.

I woke up sick this morning. Not death-bed, barely-able-to-move sick, but sick nonetheless. And for a minute, I contemplated shooting an email to my supervisor explaining that I would not go in to work today. But then I realized it's okay to be a little less for a day. So I showered, put on ZERO makeup (the first time in the year I have worked here), got some tea at Starbucks, and went in.

I'm not saying this to brag, or lecture, or pat myself on the back. I'm saying this because I'm 25 and I whine. A LOT. I complain about things that I think are abnormal about my life. I see the highlights my friends present to the world via Facebook and Instagram, and I think, wow, I suck at life. I'm at the very bottom of a giant pile of debt from the stupid decisions I made in my teens and early 20s, and I don't make "much" money, and I spend way too much, and I suck at relationships, and I don't work out enough to combat the 20 pounds I've gained in the last year, and I suck at being a friend sometimes, and I can't check my stupid ego, and I have split ends but can't get a haircut because I spent that money on pretentious drinks Saturday night. Oh, but I fake it with the best of them on Facebook.

By my own invented measures of success, I am failing. And not even with style, because I can't afford to go shopping. But I gloss it up and show it off like it's perfect.

And then, in the midst of my whining and my faking, I think about all the billions of people who have it worse than I do. And that makes me feel like a spoiled brat, but it also makes me feel resentful at people who throw that out as an excuse, like it somehow negates any feelings I have. It's kind of how kids feel when they won't eat their cauliflower and their parents say, "there are starving children in Africa!" SO WHAT? How does that change the fact that I don't want this? How does that make my problem less than real? Okay, so that's a little extreme, but still. Just because it's not "as bad" as something else, doesn't mean it doesn't suck. And having someone point out that you're being selfish and myopic just makes you feel worse than you already do, especially if you are the one pointing it out to you. But we don't let it show.

Just stop. Stop excusing your feelings. Feel them. Allow them a space to be validated.

If you see your friend going to Europe and you're jealous because he can afford it, and you're climbing Debt Mountain with one hand tied behind your back and your Sherpa left you, be jealous. Admit that you feel like he's no better or smarter or more deserving than you are, and that you kind of hate that. It's okay. Then love him, because he may be hating his job and needed to escape. Or maybe, he put the whole trip on a credit card that is $20 from maxed out. Perception.

If you are nowhere near ready to get married and have kids (or you are, or you never want to), but you see wedding pictures or baby pictures on your friends' pages and you get all, "no one will ever love me," feel it. Admit that you might like a partner, or just a day that's all about you, or the attention that comes with a baby. Or, admit that you hate that people get attention for procreating and adding to the overpopulation problem, and you get no props for the fact that you just paid off your credit card or won trivia at your local bar, or ran a mile without stopping for the first time ever. Accomplishments are not measured by how someone else values them - your own pride is worth much more.

Don't be afraid to be real, either. We use the internet to be "more connected," but really, we're just able to filter and edit our lives. I can Facestalk you for an hour and not really know what's going on with you, because you left the "real" stuff on the cutting room floor. I do it, too. I love me some Instagram, but how many of my photos are carefully selected, filtered, and captioned just right? The fact that #nofilter exists as a novelty, as a notion against the norm, shows just what we're doing. So take off the filter.

I'm not saying post a Facebook status saying, "I'm in $20,000 of debt, my car is a piece of junk, and I barely make ends meet because I can't control myself when it comes to spending, alcohol, food, going to the gym, or using other people to fill emotional voids in myself." That kind of transparency isn't for everyone, doesn't really help, and doesn't necessarily mean much. I'm just saying be honest with yourself. Give yourself a break. Be brave enough to admit a need for help. Have the courage to refuse plans because you want to sit on your sofa and cry into your ice cream. Admit that no one can "have it all," because it's impossible, and that no matter how pretty someone else's story looks, everyone has a void. EVERYONE.

Then go do what makes you love and overcome your shortcomings. Even if the process takes a few years or a lifetime. Even if you want your goals to happen RIGHT NOW and they're happening BEFORE I'M 30, 50, 100. Even if you have to part with things and thoughts that you've held on to for far too long. You're here, you're alive, and you have choices. Even in the darkness, there's always a way, a light, a hand, something. And it may be your own helping hand, or it could be someone or something else. But pacing yourself against someone else's measuring stick or time clock is just a prescription for discontent and self-loathing.

I'm not saying I found the secret, the magic bullet, the balm of Gilead. I'm saying that I'm making this effort, and I think it's working. For me. My grandfather always said, "you can get happy the same way you got sad." While I know that is patently false in some cases (depression, etc.), it holds a certain value to me when it comes to the idea of choice. I can choose my perspective, my priorities, and who I listen to. I can choose my takeaway from a given situation. So today, I'm choosing to love this crazy, messed-up, not-picture-perfect life, because there's beauty in the pattern, even if I can't see it today.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Birthdays and Booze...A Survival Guide

STOP THE PRESSES! Two posts in two days? It's almost like I'm a real blogger or something!

Anyway, dear readers, tomorrow is my 25th birthday!!

I love my birthday, like, a lot.

That's me rocking the yellow bow and some fierce bangs.
My brother is the one with a hand over his mouth -
December all up in there trying to blow out some candles.

I celebrate, like, a lot.
21st Birthday at my cousin's wedding reception.

Midnight birthday shot of tequila!

But this year, I am having a seven-part birthday blowout.

(Special thanks to my company, who gives me my birthday as a PAID HOLIDAY!)

So, in the spirit of gifting, I decided to run down my tips and tricks for an epic party weekend, sans any consequences - physical, mental, or legal.

*If you are offended by drinking, partying, or shenanigans, please exit to your left, and have a magical day!

The key to ANY party weekend, but especially a birthday weekend, is to keep hydrated so that all those birthday shots and sneaky mixed drinks don't catch up to you. It also keeps your skin looking glowy and fresh, which is important, since you're getting older.

Food is your friend. If, like me, you are a summer baby, a pool party and swimsuit may be involved, so you may be thinking, eh, I'll eat light. WRONG, sir, WRONG! (Name that movie) Chow down on meats, carbs, and anything else that fills you up and soaks up whatever you're finna drink. Laying down a base will prevent you from a) drinking out of hunger and b) getting sick. Plus, anyone who says ANYTHING about your weight on your birthday should promptly disembark from the party train.

Listen, I'm a fan of pre-medicated parties. No, don't go popping crazy pills, but if you're going boozing, you might want to prepare. I typically hit two ibuprofen and two Pepto capsules before a night of drinking - this wards off a headache later and keeps my tummy from getting funny or grumbly.

Alright, everyone knows (or should know) to designate a driver if you're throwing down, BUT, did you know to designate a handler? That's right, party animal, if you're going all out, you need a handler. What, pray, tell, does a handler do for you?

Job Description - "Handler"
A handler is required to do the following for their designated charge: ensure hydration, upright stature, avoidance of "swamp creatures,"* prevention of access to vehicles, prevention of drinks from randos**, and general well-being of the charge.

*"Swamp creatures" - refers to any person one might ordinarily find unattractive but, through the magical wonders of alcohol, suddenly seems fit for consumption.
**Randos - random people you do not know. DO NOT ACCEPT DRINKS FROM THESE PEOPLE UNLESS YOU PHYSICALLY RECEIVE THEM FROM THE BARTENDER. Roofie-coladas are majorly no bueno.

Olivia, my 22nd birthday Official Handler!
Also, provider of the ridiculous fluffy tiara. It lit up. For. Real.
As you can see, this is important for keeping you alive, unharmed, and out of jail or a Coyote Ugly*** situation.

***Coyote Ugly - FAB MOVIE, refers to a situation where you would chew off your own arm to get away from someone, like a "swamp creature." Also refers to dancing on the bar, usually in a mini skirt or otherwise poorly planned outfit for such activities.

There is nothing worse than not remembering ANY of your birthday, except maybe being sick AND not remembering your birthday. Your handler can help you here by keeping the water (or club soda, my hydration of choice) coming.

If you are out on the town, you need to have a general idea of your final drop zone. If, like me, you will be partying outside cabbing distance to your home, you need to prearrange with friends to crash at their place or be driven home. There's not much worse than having to pound water at a sketchy gas station for an hour or two waiting to sober up so you can drive home.

Ah hah, your handler comes in handy again. No drunk texting, kids. Give that phone to your handler once you hit that level.

Follow these simple rules and you, too, can have a wonderful, albeit hazy, weekend.

Cya on the other side of 25!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Soul Mates

Hello again, readers! This is not a real post, more anecdotal evidence of the true nature of my friendship with my Homegirl, Mags.

Actual text conversation today:

Mags: So Saigon at noon?

Me: Indeed

Mags: Yay. K.

Me: I love you but you can be hilariously hypercritical so I have to preface our lunch with the following:
1. I spilled coffee on my original outfit for today. It was a cute one.
2. I was running late so I threw on the first thing I grabbed in my closet.
3. Yes I know my bra is sorta showing thru my dress and the skirt is a little short for work.
4. The humidity killed my hair today.
5. I am hangry so let's just eat.

Mags: Shhh
I was planning on not talking today. Lol
I spilled coffee on my black shirt 3 days ago. Still wearing it.

Me: Soul effing mates.

LOVE this girl!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Every once in a while, I am blown away by just how self-destructive we humans can be. I can know something is absolutely going to end badly, and I will do it anyway. I know the mantras of wisdom - "a stitch in time saves nine," some malarkey about an early bird and a worm (which frankly disturbs me because I've never really wanted a worm myself), the correlation between anger and shame, and other things everyone is sure Ben Franklin said. We all know them, and occasionally, or even frequently, attempt to uphold them. And then it gets hard. Or we get bored. Or our basic human need to screw up takes over. Yes, I actually feel like I have a genuine need to mess up on a semi-frequent basis. It keeps things interesting. It's like the "bad boy/girl" you date, knowing that he/she is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad person, but dear, sweet Christmas do you ever want to go there! Rebelling against common sense feels good, like picking at a scab or screaming at the top of your lungs until your throat hurts.

I have been self-destructive lately...pretty much ever since I returned from Florida (which was AMAZING).
I LOVE the beach. Maybe more than I love paper towels.
And y'all know how I feel about my Bounty.

Late nights - even when I have work the next day.

This was 3 AM - my sassy face never tires.

Countless drinks (but no drunk driving - that's never cool).

Approximately seven hundred Red Bulls.

Overspending...and this...

THIS is how I have been "keeping" my house for the last two weeks.


What. The. Actual. Crap?

So last night, after an INSANE weekend, I decided I'd had enough. Time to right the world again.

And the people said AMEN.

Don't worry - I'm sure it won't last. Nothing gold can stay, am I right? Plus, I have the next FOUR DAYS off work - there's plenty of damage to be done. Y'all are on notice.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Not Quite Your Momma's Miss Manners - Part 4

Hello, my lovely readers! The muse is upon me once more, encouraging me to provide a little lesson in etiquette and good breeding. Today's topic: making, breaking, and keeping plans.

Ah, plans! One of the joys of friendship, family, dating, and the like. Ah, plans! One of the pitfalls of social interaction! In today's world of Facebook events, eVites, and casual contact, we seem to forget the basic rules of social planning. Well, lucky you - I'll help you get it straight!

1) The Invitation
So, you want to hang out with a friend? Maybe go to a movie, hit the bar, walk in the park? Sounds good. Want to ask someone on a date? Lovely. Let's start with how we ask:

a) Friends & Family
If you are making plans with a friend or family member, do this in whatever way you feel best. Phone call, text, Facebook message - your choice.

b) People You Want To Date
If you are trying to make a date, I SUPPOSE you could text, but it's nicer to call. I've covered this before. PLEASE be specific. Do not ask "wanna hang out sometime?"
Instead, offer an actual event (dinner, coffee, etc.) and an actual date. That's why they call them "dates."

c) Group Things
If you are doing something in a group situation and want someone to come, refer to the friends & family rule. Be aware, however, that some people view Facebook invites as less meaningful than a text or call requesting that they come to your shindig.

2) The Confirmation
Alright, listen - if you really want to hang with/date someone, for the love of all things sacred, CONFIRM THE PLANS. This goes for any interaction. If you have ever asked me to hang out and I call or text you the day before to ensure that we are still hanging out, it's not my way of trying to get out of it. This is my way of ensuring nothing has come up - and that we can still party!

In an ideal world, the person who extended the invitation should be the one to confirm the plans, but if you are unsure, check them yourself. I may sound mean, but if a guy asks me out and fails to confirm the plans (unless they were very clear to begin with about when, what, where, etc.), I am really not inclined to view him as a responsible, respectful person.

The ideal time frame for plan confirmation varies, but generally, you should speak to the person at least 1-3 days in advance of the plans (unless they are same or next day plans). In the case of a formal, mailed invitation requesting an RSVP, respond as quickly as possible.

3) Keeping Plans
For the love of pete, SHOW UP ON TIME! If you know you will be late, CALLThat's all.

4) Breaking Plans
We've all been there - something suddenly came up, you feel like crap, etc. In the event that you must break plans with someone, do so as soon as you are aware that you cannot keep them. Also, make sure that you apologize for this and offer to reschedule. If you agreed to go to a party that would normally require gifts and you must cancel, you really should send a gift anyway. Not being able to afford a gift is not a reason to cancel (although it could be a reason to decline in the first place). If you cancel at the last minute, your friends have a right to hate you a little.

5) The "Maybe"
Oh LAWD, for goodness' sake, if you want to, say yes. If you don't want to, say no. "Maybe" should only be used if you have another obligation and are unsure if you can make it. In this case, be honest. I once agreed to two parties in the same day and made both hosts aware of the fact that I had to split my time, so no one got their feelings hurt. That being said, be realistic in your thinking - do not commit to two things at relatively the same time that are across town from each other. Beyond being rude, that's just stupid. Additionally, do not shop around for a bunch of plans, then pick the one that sounds the best. That's REALLY rude.


Once again, this is just what I was raised to do and what I have found works. It is also what I prefer to do and have done unto me. I'm no expert, but I'm also not a flake when it comes to plans.

Y'all behave yourselves, and I'll see you soon!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What IS That Smell?

Oh, dear readers, have you ever asked this question?

You smell something that's not quite right. You light a candle, or spray some air freshener, and move on.

Then, it gets worse.

Your apartment begins to reek.

You take out the trash, de-stink your sink, change the cat litter, light a candle, and move on.


Now your apartment has an odor you can only liken to Dementor's breath. And you CAN'T. FIND. THE. SOURCE.

You know the call is coming from inside the house - you just can't seem to figure out where.

So, if you're me, you employ your ridiculously attuned Scooby Doo super sniffer and start searching high and low. Yes, I have sniffed every inch of my apartment.

And then you find IT....

Let me take you back to Sunday night. I am a big believer in sales, so when I found turkeys at a huge discount after Thanksgiving, I bought one and froze it. Frozen stuff really only keeps about 6 months, so since it was coming to be that time, I roasted my turkey Sunday afternoon. I carved up the meat, put it in tupperware, and put it in the fridge.

Now you're thinking, "oh, she must have dropped a piece of meat somewhere and it started to spoil and smell."

Not with a catfish-type dog around. That would be too easy.

Then, being a student of my father's frugal, "use every part" ways, I boiled the carcass to make stock, then drained off the fat, strained the broth, and froze it.

Now you're thinking, "oh, she didn't get rid of the turkey carcass. That's what smelled."

If only it were that simple.

After three days of worsening smell, I found IT.

You see, while boiling my turkey carcass, apparently the boil got a little crazy and began spilling over the sides of the pot, where it began to drain UNDER the drip pans on my stove and POOL IN PUDDLES OF NASTY beneath my cooktop.

Yes, that smell, that God-forsaken, dead fish mixed with Satan's rear end mixed with other nastiness smell, was rotting, fat-laden turkey broth.

Half a bottle of Fabuloso, 39 paper towels, 6 gags, and a little candle burning later, and the Dementor's breath smell was gone.

Only me, y'all. Only me...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Best Friend a Girl Can Have

Five years ago today, I fell in love with a boy in a picture.

Sure, he was furry and only 8 weeks old, but I was in love.

Sure, he cost the same as a down payment on a Honda, but he was worth it.

Four weeks later, I lied to my parents (because at 19, you do that) and flew halfway across the country by myself, armed with a pink and polka-dotted dog carrier, a blue alligator leash and collar, and a heart full to bursting.

I never stood a chance against this face.

I have yet to find a single situation that he can't improve...


...sick days...


...waterfall jumping...

...Saturday errands...

...St. Patrick's Day...

...lake days...

...this little guy is everything.
And I couldn't be more grateful that he's mine.