Awkward, Dating, Girls, Humor, Internet Things, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

I Don’t Want to Be a Princess

We can go ahead and consider this a new Single Schmingle installment since I’ve discussed this very topic with Myka and Meghan. Bear with me here.

I always thought Mia Thermopolis was crazy. Who wouldn’t want to wake up one day and find out they’re a princess? The girl got a full blown makeover for free, a millions beautiful ball gowns, a tiara she got to wear occasionally, and full service at her disposal. Granted, if you’re introverted like Mia, all of that attention can make you feel like you have a thousand tiny ants crawling all over your body. You’re uncomfortable nearly all the time. You might even feel guilty. And I am exactly like that.

Something Colleen said to me last week struck a chord with me and I can’t shake it off. After I told her the complete switch in enthusiasm from Navy Man when I told him I wanted to be casual and friendly, she said, “You shouldn’t have said anything. You should have just let him treat you like the princess you are.”

“But I don’t want to be treated like a princess,” I said.

“Why the hell not?”

I thought about this for the past few days. I can’t be the only girl out there who feels uncomfortable using a guy to feel special, only to know that I’m not actually interested in him. I’m shocked that girls actually do this. They let these guys take them out to fancy restaurants, buy them presents, and then whisper to their girlfriends that they don’t really like him, they’re just waiting out the storm.

I feel weird if a guy even pays for me all the time. I just don’t think it’s necessary. I’m the type that if a man brings me to a fancy restaurant, I’ll order the cheapest item on the menu. I’m more of a hot-dog-cart-with-a-side-of-cheesy-fries kind of girl. But I know that’s just how my mom raised me. She always said, “Never depend on a man. Learn how to take care of yourself.” I think a mother with three daughters has to feed them that mindset nowadays. Especially a single mother.

Of course, it’s always nice to get pampered every once in a while. Some flowers or an ice cream run when I’m feeling down. But nothing major. I’ve been in relationships where I never got those things, mostly because we grew too comfortable with each other that we forgot how to appreciate one another. And even if those small gestures did happen, I was so surprised by the event that I was asking a million questions to figure out why it was happening.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if the roles were reversed. What if was the one to ask a guy out on a date? What if was the one to court the guy around and pay for the date? This isn’t some feminist, all mighty woman power post. It’s just a thought. How would the date turn out in the end? Would it be the same? I feel like with every date, the guy is the one who is trying to impress, meanwhile, I think the girl should be equally impressive. We don’t give men enough credit. Some women out there might roll their eyes at that last statement but I’m serious. It takes a lot of guts to ask someone out. And then you have to take that person out and all of the pressure is on them to impress them, and make sure they’re having a good time. Here I am, nervous for nearly every single date, when it seems all I really have to do is stand there and look pretty, maybe laugh at his jokes, and share an anecdote or two. That’s my only job.

I’ve never laughed over a guy asking me out on a date. I’m always flattered, no matter who they are. But men get rejected all the time. For women, it’s once in a blue moon. And when it happens, it doesn’t feel good, does it? Let’s face it, ladies. When it comes to casually dating, we’re kind of spoiled. Even if you never make it to date number 2, you still got a free meal.

However, after discussing this with Myka and Meghan why we may perhaps feel weird about going on dates, no matter how long we’ve been doing it, it could be the slight chance that men have kind of given up. In 2017, a typical date is “Netflix and Chill”. We could have done that in the comfort of our own home. You invite us over to “watch a movie”. We know what that means, gentleman. We suddenly feel like they don’t want to actually get to know us, because who discusses life, hobbies, and family in the middle of a movie?

Of course, this post is all over the place. A lot of it may be contradicting. But that’s just because I’m another crazy woman who doesn’t know what she wants.

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Dating, Girls, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

Little Bird

A little bird gave me a wonderful piece of advice and wisdom recently that I’m trying to hold onto dearly.

But first, I’ll explain how my date went with Navy Man on Monday. He was a gentleman, for sure. He held the door open for me. He paid for me the entire evening. He made good conversation with rare moments of silence that didn’t really feel awkward. However, I did find out within the first 30 minutes that he turned 21 in March. Instantly I knew, this guy is too young for me. I was confused because he explained that he went to culinary school for 2 years, and then has been in the navy for the past 2 years, which is why I thought he was more in the age 24 range. Did this guy graduate from high school at 16?
I accepted his age in that moment and decided to just enjoy myself. After dinner, we went to another bar, tried a few weird cocktails called a Jimlet, which tasted exactly like a gimlet, and listened to a Beatles cover band.

On Wednesday, he texted me saying that he had an amazing time and hopes that this wasn’t a one time thing. He said he really enjoyed my company and wants to get to know me more. Now, I don’t like hurting people’s feelings. After a couple of days, I decided I really wasn’t interested in this guy anymore for various reasons, and not just the slight age difference. I politely said that I really appreciate what he has said and I had a great time and would like to hang out again sometime on more casual friendly terms. I told him I’m not looking for anything serious or long term, which in hindsight, is true. Suddenly, he pulled a 360 on me. His response was, “I could be on the other side of the planet in 6-7 months. I don’t know where my job is going to take me. I’m just looking to have a little fun while I’m still here…”

Oh, so now I’m an escort. Or a Geisha. I’ve been downgraded. Immediately, I was even more turned off by this guy than before. I know he responded that way because I kinda sorta rejected him. He said all of these nice things and now he’s considered me his party animal. Oh, okay.

To be fair, I did tell him I wanted things to be casual and light hearted. But he could have responded in a better way.

After that comment, I don’t have an intention of seeing him again. Which brings me back to what my little bird friend said to me a few weeks ago. To sum it up, they explained that dates are kind of pointless. People treat them more like a checklist, which is not the way to find your potential partner. You should find your future someone when you’re comfortable with them and nothing is forced. If you have to force conversation simply because you “matched” on Bumble, then it’s kind of doomed from the start. Everything should come naturally.

Which brings me to my question: if what I said to Navy Man is actually true, that I’m not looking for anything long term right now, then what the hell am I dating for? To pass the time? To seek out attention when I’m feeling the most vulnerable? Writing that out makes me feel like I’m wasting my time and I’m already annoyed with myself.

So, how can you just accept yourself for who you are, without the needs of someone else? I’m getting there, slowly but surely. Especially a few weeks ago when that guy made the cute comment and I shut it down immediately. I’m tired. I’m tired of the same conversation over and over again. I’m tired of the same compliments. I’m tired of trying to find a way to let people down gently. It’s all very exhausting.

I need to stop dating out of boredom. I need to learn how to take myself out on dates, and be content with myself. I’ve been told you can’t fully love someone unless you love yourself first. But that’s easier said than done.

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Anecdote, Awkward, Girls, Humor, Thoughts, You're Fine

How to Fend People Off

I had an attractive evening last night, I say with sarcasm. I met up with my new friend, Felicia, who I met on Bumble BFF (yes, that’s a real thing. Bumble isn’t just for dating). Since Felicia and her boyfriend, Larry, are also new to Charleston, they join these MeetUp groups in various locations to meet other new young people. It’s kind of a nice way of making new friends and breaking the ice since you’re both there for the same thing. So, I gathered with a MeetUp group last night and it was all kinds of shenanigans.

I turned into Miss Sassenfrass, probably from the tequila shot I took. THEY MADE ME DO IT. Peer pressure at its finest. So I’m going to give you four solid examples on how to shoo unwanted people away, Jess style.

1.) The Cute Comment

A guy I had just met with the MeetUp group decided to flirt with me by asking if anyone has ever said how cute I am.

I wasn’t even sure how to answer such a stupid question. Now, it’s not stupid because I think highly of myself. It’s stupid because I’m a girl, so when I go out with my friends and a man comes up to me, 9 times out of 10, it’s the first thing he says. I’m 5’1”. That’s usually a straight shot towards the cute comment.

So I stared at him and said, “Um…yes. All the fucking time.”

In which he said, “Oh, so you think you’re hot shit?”

WELL THAT TOOK A TURN.

In which I said, “No, not at all. But that comment isn’t exactly bizarre either.” Which I think was my way of hinting that I was not impressed by any means.

2. ) The Tough Guy

Larry was joking around with Felicia and he pushed her. They were both pushing each other in a playful way, so the whole thing really was innocent. All of a sudden, some guy jumped out and shoved Larry up against the wall yelling, “You think you can touch a female like that!?”

^^^ By the way, why did he have to say “female”?

Felicia and I were a bit surprised and we had to grab the guy off of Larry and explain that they were just joking around. However, the tough (and drunk) guy decided to follow us and heckle Larry down the street, accusing him of beating girls. After about 15 seconds of him following us, I whipped around and yelled, “Can you fuck off!?” (I think that was the tequila talking.)

My lady bark was big enough that the tough guy quickly walked away.

I may be small, but don’t underestimate my barking capabilities.

3.) The Guy Who Rubs the Seat Next to Him Like a Creep

In one of the bars we were in, there was a giant swing that can fit about four or five people. A few of our friends decided to sit on the swing and I pushed it out of friendliness. For some reason, the guy sitting on the end kept motioning me to sit next to him like we were in a Marvin Gaye music video. It was weird and uncomfortable. So, I pretended not to hear him, and continued pushing the swing.

Now, this is just a simple Ignore-Him-Until-He-Gives-Up-Because-He-Will-Eventually-Give-Up.

4.) When Everyone Wants Your Pizza

Felicia, Larry and I (Third Wheel for Lyfe) decided to get pizza. Naturally. I got my pizza (I will not tell you how much pizza I got because I’m still thinking about how disgusting of a human I am), and walked all the way home. However, the drunks on King Street tried to take my pizza. Every ten seconds I’d walk by someone yelling, “Can I have some?” So, I put on my good old New England gremlin face that says, “Don’t talk to me” and walked as fast as I could to get away from the leeches. Once I turned a corner onto a quiet street, I happily dug in.

I hope this post serves you well. If you have any suggestions on how to fend people off, please share them in the comments. I will be taking vigorous notes. As vigorous as the man rubbing the seat next to him.

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Family, Girls, Home, Humor, Thoughts

The Love Of My Life

I stole this title from Cheryl Strayed. If you want to read her personal essay, you can find it here: The Love of My Life. We may have the same title, but it’s not the same story.

I didn’t realize before how bland my life really was. It wasn’t always bland, but only for a brief time. I’ve been living with Colleen for two months now, and I feel warm inside. I’m convinced it’s the twintuition. It’s been wild, tame, stressful, and celebratory all at the same time. I’m going to punch myself in the face for saying this, but you know that Taylor Swift song “22”? It’s kind of like that. It’s horrible, yet fun. It’s confusing, yet care-free. Now that I’ve said that, please forget I ever said that.

Any person who steps foot in our apartment is freaked out not by me, and not by Colleen, but by both of us.

Together.

We make bird calls from the next room. I cook her dinner and she tells me she loves me. I try to teach her how to cook dinner and she yells, “WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE DOING THIS?!” We FaceTime even though she’s in the living room and I’m in my bedroom. She pulls a seat next to my bed and we talk for hours. I buy her Wasabi Peas when I think she’s running low and she buys me green apples. In the middle of the night, I hear her crashing around in her room and then she takes off. I don’t know where she’s going but I know she’s fine. I find her in her room with all of the lights on and the TV blasting, and she’s passed out with Ragnar on her chest. We go to yoga together and I admire her headstand. When I clean up, she rearranges everything. We can relate to Anne Perkins and Leslie Knope. We can relate to Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison. When we both got the jobs we wanted, we stood in the kitchen and screamed. Some nights, we crawl into bed together with our cats and watch Moulin Rouge and Big Fish. We tell each other about our casual dates. I paint something and she wants to buy it. She rants about her liberal views and I sit and listen because I know she just needs to vent.

We fight too. But it’s not average fights where we say mean things and don’t talk for two days. Our fights are more like heated discussions where she angrily tells me how wonderful I am and that I’m acting stupid, and I tell her she’s reading too much into it and I don’t agree with what she’s saying. Then we make jungle noises and throw the middle finger around and yell, “I HATE YOU BUT I LOVE YOU”, or “I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SAYING BUT YOU’RE BEING WEIRD ABOUT IT.”

Or the heated discussion looks a little like this:

Colleen: GAHHHHHHHH You’re just so wonderful but you’re being dumb about this.

Me: I know I am but you’re being a bitch about it!

Colleen: I KNOW I AM!!!

If we get mad at each other, it’s never for selfish reasons. After a couple of hours, we laugh and grab a bite to eat.

We go to an Irish pub and listen to an Irish folk band. We dance, we sing, we clap, and we don’t care. We do each other’s laundry. We both avoid the dishes. We sometimes feed the cats four times a day without knowing it, those greedy bastards. She buys silly string, and there’s no telling when she’s going to use it. We like tequila. When she’s stressed out, she’ll rearrange her room for the 500th time. We FaceTime her friends back home, and one of them decided to impregnate me with a boy and name him Benjammin’. We talk about books and world history. She tells me she wants to marry a Russian. And then she gags over marriage. We run into Sephora and walk out broke. We wear matching kitty t-shirts in case we lose each other in a crowd. She eats my leftover pizza and takes selfies with it to let me know she’s done the crime. We eat crap, talk about how we need to lose weight, and then eat more crap because we are twenty-six and too young to abandon all good things. We invite everyone we ever knew to our apartment just because we like the company.

So, the point in this post is this. Whether I do meet someone new, get married, and eventually live a life expected, Colleen will always be my soulmate.

Who wants to come over?

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Art, I Wasn't Worried, My Idea Of Being An Adult

I’m Alive and Well

Long time no see!

Cheerio!

Guten Nachmittag!

I have not abandoned this blog, although at times, it felt like I would never write again. It’s been a long few weeks since my move to Charleston. It’s been stressful, hilarious, fun, and also worrisome. I searched high and low for jobs, and then some days, I gave up, and then the next morning I’d get the urge to conquer the world again. But isn’t it funny how you can go from having absolutely no job prospects to having far too many that it stresses you out even more than if you had none?

That’s what happened to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a job in catering for an event company. It was serving, which I’m no stranger to, although I’d never done it through catering which can sometimes be fine dining. I’m not a fan of eating at a fine dining establishment, let alone work for one. The pay was practically nothing but I figured if I got a full time job, I could still work for this company to make extra cash. I had my first shift yesterday and in my personal opinion, it was not worth the time and money. It’s great for younger people, like high school or college kids, but I am neither.

It was a long, 13 hour nonstop day. And it wasn’t just serving food. I got in at 5:15am, loaded the truck, drove to the venue, unloaded the truck, set everything up, served breakfast and lunch, broke everything down, cleaned the entire venue, loaded the truck back up, drove back to the warehouse, unloaded the truck, and then put everything back into its final resting place, or at least until the next event. At the end of the day, I realized I only made about $120, given my hourly wage. After serving in restaurants, I came to the conclusion that I could work half of that shift, and not have to do nearly as much work, and make that much money, which led to my bitterness towards the whole situation. Do I sound bratty? Yeah, probably. But I don’t care. I’m twenty-six years old now. I’ve done the waitressing thing. I know the grueling hours and work it takes to make the money some of them make. If I were eighteen years old complaining about this, I’d smack myself in the face. But I’m older and have more experience than most people want to believe so yeah, I feel entitled enough to know that this job was not worth my time. #Sorrynotsorry

Anyway, I found an ad on Craigslist for a Gallery Associate at a downtown art gallery. The ad gave no name, phone number, or email address so I had no idea which gallery it was. I replied to the ad anyway, not expecting to hear from someone. The following day, I received an email requesting to send my resume and by the next day, I was getting called in for an interview. I danced in my apartment for 20 minutes. I also had another interview at a restaurant that reminded me a lot of the diner in New Hampshire where I served, and that position sounded promising and I was genuinely excited about it.

I just had my interview with the gallery today and I was hired on the spot! She didn’t even ask me any questions about my resume. We just chatted about the position, and then she said, “So…what do you think?”

I said, “This sounds perfect.” She shook my hand and we both squealed. That was that. I’ve been searching for a gallery position for over four years, and I somehow lucked out with the nicest woman on the planet who is willing to show me everything on how to run a gallery. And I mean everything from stretching canvases, framing, and installing to selling the work myself. The starting pay isn’t good but after a couple of weeks, if I show I’m able to learn fast and do well, she will give me a raise plus commission on any works I sell. I don’t care if I get paid in rocks…I made sure to tell her how much this position would mean to me and how thrilled I am to be working with her. She hugged me and I feel like I could die of happiness.

The whole point to this move to Charleston was to find myself in the art field. Charleston has a huge art and medical environment. What would be the point if I turned down the position due to the pay, and ended up in accounting again? When I’ve tried for years to get out of accounting? That would make this move utterly pointless and I wasn’t about to let that happen.

I was supposed to work at an event tomorrow in catering but I called up the company and quit, explaining my situation to them. He didn’t sound pleased but I really don’t care. They are a catering company and they have wide range of employees they can call up. I’m usually very responsible when it comes to this stuff and I wouldn’t normally quit on the spot like I did, but this gallery is my top priority. It has to be. Instead, I’ll be starting my new position tomorrow.

I’m feeling hot hot hot.

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Attempting to talk sports, Festivities, Humor, Thoughts

19 Thoughts While Filling Out My March Madness Bracket

‘Tis my favorite time of year. Let the March Madness begin.

  1. This is happening. It’s happening. Oh my god it’s happeningggggggg.
  2. There’s something so satisfying about filling out a bracket.
  3. I think I’m sexually attracted to March Madness brackets.
  4. Hmmmm Wisconsin or Virginia Tech?
  5. GOING WITH VIRGINIA TECH BECAUSE I’M A SPICY MAMMA.
  6. Isn’t Baylor a form of Ibuprofen?
  7. I just Googled it. It’s not. But it sounds like it could be, doesn’t it?
  8. Ask your doctor about Baylor today. Side effects include…
  9. I swear to God, Baylor is some kind of pill. Allergy pill? Anyone? If you find the pill, please let me know so that I can stop feeling crazy.
  10. Purdue sounds like a type of soup.
  11. When I say Gonzaga, it sounds like the dramatized version of “Mufasa”. And now I’ve potentially ruined Gonzaga for you. You’re welcome.
  12. Why am I not tweeting this shit?
  13. I feel like those gamers with the headsets and four different screens in front of them while filling out my bracket.
  14. This is the first year I’m betting money with a group. I better win.
  15. Heart palpitations.
  16. Water water water.
  17. Heart palpitations.
  18. North Carolina, do not fail me. Go for the gold.
  19. And now I get to do this all over again with a second bracket. And I cannot wait.
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Awkward, Dating, Girls, Humor, Thoughts, You're Fine

Single Schmingle: Conversations with Hey Meghan

I did kind of a sad thing yesterday. I googled “How to Casually Date”. Some of you may be on the same train. If so, welcome aboard the Casually Dating Express. There are no Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, or Cauldron Cakes on this express. Instead, there are the Traumatizing Truffles, Confusing Cookies, and Humiliating Hobbob’s (I don’t know what a Hobbob is. I made it up. Why am I not a famous novelist yet for such brilliant creativity?).

I found a wonderful article on Thought Catalog titled “24 Thoughts Every Chronic Over-Thinker Has While Attempting To ‘Casually Date’”. I found it hilarious and a little heart-warming considering the entire list was filled with my very thoughts. I related way too much to number 5.

I want to be on Tinder, it feels like Tinder is a place I should be, and yet there’s some part of me that is convinced someone I’ll know will be on there and they’ll know I’m actively seeking love and I won’t look cool I’ll look thirsty and they’ll go home and say to their friends, oh I saw them on Tinder guess they’re lonely. Oh my god I can’t do Tinder.

I’ve been single for three months and I’m not sad about it. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m being a basic bitch and sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop Carrie Bradshawing it because I needed to get out of the apartment and explore my new town. And guess what? I can stay in this very seat for as long as I want. I have nowhere to be after this, and it feels nice. I’ve always been extremely monogamous. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you were to ask me what my type of man is, I’d have no answer for you. I have no idea because I’ve never dated around. I’ve also never been the type of person to cut someone out over something small. For instance, if I was to meet someone and they were like, “I hate travelling and I have no interest in it”, that would normally not be a deal breaker for me even though I absolutely love to travel. But maybe it should be. There’s a difference in being picky and being a brat. If I want to travel to a new country every year, I want to date someone who wants to do that too.

So, I found myself googling “How to casually date” because I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to “dating”. I think the fact that I gave my number to three different men in the last week proves that because I wasn’t entirely interested in them in the first place. But I sat in bed and realized that with all three men, I had the exact same conversation over and over again.

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“Where did you grow up? What do you do? How old are you?” Blah, blah, blah. Boring. It’s like a broken record. It’s to the point where I can’t even remember what their answers were because it’s all the same.

As soon as a man starts talking to me, I forget how to human. My intelligence is gone, I have nothing of importance to say, and I get tongue-tied. I’m fully aware that I’m acting like an idiot, but I don’t know how to turn it off.

Let’s turn to my blogger friend Meghan (go follow her blog if you haven’t already). I texted her explaining my awkwardness and since she is newly single (well, kind of), we decided to collaborate a series of blog posts consisting of our weird interactions with the opposite sex. Is this a dating blog? No, not really. If this blog turned into a dating blog, just go ahead and unfollow me now because I have nothing concrete to say and you’ll probably end up an old, battered person with not just cats, but parrots, geese, chickens, and maybe a llama.

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This is what Meghan has to say about her predicament:

Oh hi there is it my turn?! Well for those who know I just got “dumped” Aka the guy I had been casually seeing for the last year said he no longer saw a future with me. OUCHHHH. If you want to punch someone in the heart tell them that. Instant ouch. I was already “single” but now I’m SUPER SINGLE. I don’t really think I’m ready to mingle yet. At this point I’m just waiting for my secret fantasy to come true. What is that you ask?!?!
WELL:
I’m at a concert and some super hot rocker guy is on stage and see’s me in the crowd and instantly falls for me. He hunts me down after their set and the rest is history. He will write cute but slightly emo songs about how much he loves me and will have cute little kids with mohawks and converse.

YEAH…..okay I’m just embarrassing myself right now. That will never happen.

Being in your mid 20’s and dating is weird. I have friends getting married and having kids. I on the other hand can’t even keep a cactus alive and would eat dino nuggets every night for dinner if I had the choice. I guess we are all at different stages of life??

J: I’d eat Dino nuggets all day every day.

M: Dude I just bought more. They are great.

J: So you basically want to marry Tony Hawk?

M: More like Kellin Quinn. Tony Hawk is old. 

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J: My aunt told me to find someone 10-15 years older than me. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.

M: Ewww. I have a five year limit. 

J: Is your dream to go back in time to 2003?

M: Maybe…

J: My dream is to find a man casually wearing a Doug t-shirt. Is that weird?

M: Bwahahahaha. Slightly but very you. 

J: It would match my Reptar t-shirt. I feel like I’m not asking for much.

M: I was just thinking that. I have a Legends of the Hidden Temple t-shirt. 

J: STOP IT. I forgot about that show. I should just start wearing my Reptar shirt when I go out. See how many suitors comment on it.

M: DO IT. DO IT NOW.


So it’s official. Next Single Schmingle post will reveal if Meghan has found her 2003 lover and switched over to different nuggets, and I will attempt to wear my Reptar shirt out to a bar to see if men either think I’m weird as hell or think it’s absolutely amazing. There’s only one way to find out, right?

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Art, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

My Quarter Life

There has a been a weird vibe in the air. I don’t know if any of you can feel it but I certainly can. It’s been here for a while. It could still be the aftermath of January and all that it has to offer me, which is usually nothing. It could be the fact that I’m still adjusting to my move. But something seems…off. Things seem strange with friends whom I haven’t talked to in a while, but I have been busy over the last month. Life in general feels like it’s tipping over. I no longer have a routine.

My days are now mushing together and I don’t like it. I find myself sinking into my bed, staring at the twinkle lights I hung up around my closet door for what feels like hours. I like to stay busy, but I have very little motivation lately. Every day, I find a new bruise on my arms, legs, or neck from putting together furniture since I arrived in Charleston. My body is sore. My mind is weak. I haven’t even had much inspiration to blog. If I go on WordPress, I glance through the feed for about two seconds before tossing my phone at the end of my bed and crawling under the covers for the rest of the morning.

But I was in my car this morning thinking about my quarter life crisis I had nearly a month ago. I was home in New Hampshire visiting my family before I moved down south. It was 2am, and I was sobbing into a pillow with my mom by my side. I’m not even sure what happened to make me so upset. It wasn’t the thought of moving away from my family. I’ve already done that what feels like a thousand times. I think I’ve said goodbye to them more than I’ve said hello. I was telling her about a potential job in an art gallery in Charleston that I’m both excited and terrified about it. I finally admitted to my mom that I’m scared I will fail. After all those years in college, studying, memorizing, practicing, and drooling over the art I was taught, I’m scared that in the end, I will find out I’m not actually good in the field at all. Then what? Perhaps that’s why I’ve had such trouble finding a job in my field since I graduated. I’ve secretly been sabotaging myself into believing I will fail and I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Then my mom brushed the hair off my face and simply said, “I have never, not even once, been worried about you succeeding. When it comes to art, you know exactly what you’re doing and saying. I have no doubt you will be great.”

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So, I’ve been trying to remember what she said. I have to stop convincing myself that something will go wrong. I have to focus. But, if I wake up every morning like I did this morning, with Mumford’s paws wrapped around my leg and his head digging into my ankle, I will definitely spend an extra fifteen minutes in bed.

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Anecdote, Awkward, Girls, Humor, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts

I Need to Learn How to Say No – UPDATE

I got a lot of wonderful feedback from you friends on my post from yesterday, and I want to thank all of you. Since I never responded to Maybe Cory’s text from the other night and he’s been silent since, I figured that was the end of that. I was thankful he didn’t turn out to be a psycho stalker who would eventually become scarier and scarier with each unanswered text.

But, I woke up this morning to a text from Maybe Cory saying, “Don’t want to chat?”

Oh boy. It’s official. I have to answer him. The text was slightly passive aggressive, filled with annoyance and perhaps regret. I immediately felt bad and tried to think of what to say without hurting his feelings. I kept thinking this morning about how aggravated I’ve been in the past when my messages had gone unanswered. I tend to overthink things way too much and I didn’t necessarily want to do that to him or anybody else. He seems perfectly nice.

I apologized for not getting back to him due to the stress of moving to South Carolina. <– I had to remind him of this very important fact.

He said he understood and then the light bulb went off. “You live in Connecticut?”

I said yes.

“Ohhhh. I missed that part. *insert sweaty smiley emoji*”

And that was the end of the conversation. I have a feeling I won’t be hearing from Maybe Cory again.

So I realized many things from this very small experience.

1.) Maybe Cory was probably too drunk to comprehend what I was saying to him that evening.

2.) Maybe Cory wasn’t actually listening to anything I was saying to him that evening.

3.) It’s more than likely a mix of both 1 and 2.

4.) I need to take a chill pill.

So even though I didn’t get a chance to actually turn him down, it makes me feel a little bit better that I sorta kinda tried. Until next time.

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Anecdote, Awkward, Girls, Humor, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts

I Need to Learn How to Say No

Why is it so hard to say no?

I read an advice column a few weeks ago and the reader asked, “How do you say no to people?” The advice columnist put it very simply – just say no. However, for people like myself, it’s a lot easier said than done. And I’m not talking about drastic situations like, your best friend wants your help committing a murder. If my best friend asked me to participate in murder, I would very easily say no and then run away/go to the police.

Here’s my example from this past weekend:

I was out with my mom, aunt, and two older sisters in a small downtown area in New Hampshire. Since it was my last weekend visiting them before I leave for South Carolina, it was kind of a big blow out. My oldest sister just had a baby back in October, so she was shaking her little mom self the whole evening. My second oldest sister was handing me Jello shots while my mom and my aunt took videos of me and my sisters reenacting the rap scene from Teen Witch. We are a close-knit family, as you can tell.

I ran off to the ladies room and on my way back, my arm was tugged ever so lightly by some guy with thick-rimmed glasses. I was wearing my glasses as well (long story short – I put my contact in my eye and it just disappeared without a trace. I looked like Jessica Day all weekend). He pulled me aside and said, “Hey, you seem interesting to talk to.”

Now here’s where I tend to ruin things. In an overly sarcastic tone I asked, “Is it because I’m wearing and you’reeeee wearing glasses?” But then he started laughing and asked for my name. Our conversation was going smooth and I knew it was going to be brief. After all, I was just being polite. And if I really thought about it, this guy had some balls to just pull me aside and strike up a conversation. Bonus points for him. He will go far in life. I told him that I was out with my family because I’m moving to South Carolina. He thought that was cool and congratulated me. And then I started looking at his face and realized he seemed pretty young. Perhaps even younger than myself.

So I did what any obnoxious older woman would normally do in this situation and I asked, “How old are you anyway?”

He was twenty-two.

And then the grandma side of me kicked in and I began reminiscing my college graduation.

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He was still a senior in college. I informed him that I will be twenty-six next month. He didn’t seem to give a shit. I got nervous because of the situation I was in and began spewing out advice like I’m his career counselor and he needed help on his resume. I then quickly ended the conversation and told him I needed to get back to my mother, which we both looked over and I’m fairly certain she was holding a Jello shot. But he still asked for my phone number.

Now, a few key points popped into my head at this point.

1.) I just informed him that I’m moving to South Carolina.

2.) I’m nearly four years older than him. That doesn’t seem like a lot but when I realized that he was a freshman in college while I was graduating and stressing about my student loans, it wigged me out a little.

3.) I don’t even currently live in New Hampshire, which he knew.

4.) Our conversation really wasn’t all that interesting to be honest. It felt like we were speed dating – what was your major? What do you do? Where do you live? Where did you grow up? —> How on earth can you tell if you like someone by asking these basic questions? I want someone to ask me what my favorite episode of Doug is, and if I thought Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears should have worked things out.

So I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth this guy wanted my phone number. For what purpose? I think it was pretty obvious we were never going to see each other again. I’m sure some of you are like, Oh Jess, you’re so naive. You’re right. You’re 100% right.

But I panicked and said, “Sure” and inserted my number into his phone. I had zero intention of speaking to him after our encounter. Some of you might think, Wow you’re an asshole. I wasn’t trying to be. I just don’t know how to say no. He was perfectly nice and polite.

My oldest sister yelled, “Why didn’t you give him a fake number? I did that all the time before I was married.”

“Because I’m not a jerk. How horrible would that be if you got the balls to ask a girl for her phone number only to find out that it’s not her phone number? If I were to do that, what’s the point of giving him a number at all?” I said.

“You could have said you have a boyfriend,” my mom suggested.

“I don’t think that quickly on my feet.”

Flash forward to the following night, and I received a text that my iPhone very cleverly labeled, “Maybe Cory?” It took me a second to realize it was senior-in-college-guy.

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I never answered the text.

It’s so easy saying no to people who are just not very friendly, or if it’s someone asking to do something for you. Whenever a guy asks to buy me a drink, I always say, “No, thank you” unless I know them. I don’t like feeling as though I owe them something in return, if you know what I mean. I know plenty of girls who go out and get free drinks from gentlemen all night, and they have no intention of actually conversing with them after. I’d feel like a dick by doing that. I’m a working woman and I can pay for myself. Also, there’s an unspoken fear among females that we don’t want to get roofied, so shout out to guys, if you’re wondering why some girls turn down your drink offer, just know the roofie thing is like, half the reason. But if someone asks for my phone number, it sounds kind of weird saying, “No, thank you”.

In the end, I guess it doesn’t really matter. Turning them down from the start is the exact same thing as ignoring their messages. Sure, it might hurt their feelings, which I don’t like doing, but if I have no intention of speaking to them anyway, then it’s a web I can’t break free of. Eventually, I just have to grow a pair and say “No” so that I can stop getting messages from people I don’t want to talk to.

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Books, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, Thoughts

Rory’s Books

Okay Gilmore Girls fans. I found the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. I’m sure I’m a few years too late but I don’t care. I’m acting as if this list was released yesterday.

I know. You’re just as excited as I am. As if the Goodreads Reading Challenge isn’t stressful enough, let’s just add another one to the mix. But, I am a woman with goals. Maybe this list will take me five years, twenty years, or a hundred years. But golly oh mighty, I will finish this list.

So friends, come wallow with me in the pain that is this reading challenge. I’m sure you’re all jumping to the opportunity to read The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

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RORY GILMORE READING CHALLENGE

1.) 1984 -George Orwell
2.) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
3.) Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
4.) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon
5.) An American Tragedy – Theodore Dreiser
6.) Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
7.) Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
8.) The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
9.) The Archidamian War – Donald Kagan
10.) The Art of Fiction – Henry James
11.) The Art of War – Sun Tzu
12.) As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
13.) Atonement – Ian McEwan
14.) Autobiography of a Face – Lucy Grealy
15.) The Awakening – Kate Chopin
16.) Babe – Dick King-Smith
17.) Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women – Susan Faludi
18.) Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress – Dai Sijie
19.) Bel Canto – Ann Patchett
20.) The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
21.) Beloved – Toni Morrison
22.) Beowulf: A New Verse Translation – Seamus Heaney
23.) The Bhagava Gita – Unknown
24.) The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews – Peter Duffy
25.) Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women – Elizabeth Wurtzel
26.) A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays – Mary McCarthy
27.) Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
28.) Brick Lane – Monica Ali
29.) Bridgadoon – Alan Jay Lerner
30.) Candide – Voltaire
31.) The Canterbury Tales – Chaucer
32.) Carrie – Stephen King
33.) Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
34.) The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
35.) Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
36.) The Children’s Hour – Lillian Hellman
37.) Christine – Stephen King
38.) A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
39.) A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
40.) The Code of the Woosters – P.G. Wodehouse
41.) The Collected Stories – Eudora Welty
42.) A Comedy of Errors – William Shakespeare
43.) Complete Novels – Dawn Powell
44.) The Complete Poems – Anne Sexton
45.) Complete Stories – Dorothy Parker
46.) A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
47.) The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
48.) Cousin Bette – Honore de Balzac
49.) Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
50.) The Crimson Petal and the White – Michel Faber
51.) The Crucible – Arthur Miller
52.) Cujo – Stephen King
53.) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
54.) Daughter of Fortune – Isabel Allende
55.) David and Lisa – Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
56.) David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
57.) The Da Vinci -Code – Dan Brown
58.) Dead Souls – Nikolai Gogol
59.) Demons – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
60.) Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
61.) Deenie – Judy Blume
62.) The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America – Erik Larson
63.) The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band – Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick
Mars and Nikki Sixx
64.) The Divine Comedy – Dante
65.) The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood – Rebecca Wells
66.) Don Quixote – Cervantes
67.) Driving Miss Daisy – Alfred Uhrv
68.) Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
69.) Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems – Edgar Allan Poe
70.) Eleanor Roosevelt – Blanche Wiesen Cook
71.) The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
72.) Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters – Mark Dunn
73.) Eloise – Kay Thompson
74.) Emily the Strange – Roger Reger
75.) Emma – Jane Austen
76.) Empire Falls – Richard Russo
77.) Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective – Donald J. Sobol
78.) Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
79.) Ethics – Spinoza
80.) Europe through the Back Door, 2003 – Rick Steves
81.) Eva Luna – Isabel Allende
82.) Everything Is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
83.) Extravagance – Gary Krist
84.) Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
85.) Fahrenheit 9/11 – Michael Moore
86.) The Fall of the Athenian Empire – Donald Kagan
87.) Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World – Greg Critser
88.) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
89.) The Fellowship of the Ring – J. R. R. Tolkien
90.) Fiddler on the Roof – Joseph Stein
91.) The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
92.) Finnegan’s Wake – James Joyce
93.) Fletch – Gregory McDonald
94.) Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
95.) The Fortress of Solitude – Jonathan Lethem
96.) The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
97.) Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
98.) Franny and Zooey – J. D. Salinger
99.) Freaky Friday – Mary Rodgers
100.) Galapagos – Kurt Vonnegut
101.) Gender Trouble – Judith Butler
102.) George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President – Jacob Weisberg
103.) Gidget – Fredrick Kohner
104.) Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen
105.) The Gnostic Gospels – Elaine Pagels
106.) The Godfather: Book 1 – Mario Puzo
107.) The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
108.) Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Alvin Granowsky
109.) Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
110.) The Good Soldier – Ford Maddox Ford
111.) The Gospel According to Judy Bloom – Judy Bloom
112.) The Graduate – Charles Webb
113.) The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
114.) The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
115.) Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
116.) The Group – Mary McCarthy
117.) Hamlet – William Shakespeare
118.) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling
119.) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
120.) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
121.) Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
122.) Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders – Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
123.) Henry IV, part I – William Shakespeare
124.) Henry IV, part II – William Shakespeare
125.) Henry V – William Shakespeare
126.) High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
127.) The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Edward Gibbon
128.) Holidays on Ice: Stories – David Sedaris
129.) The Holy Barbarians – Lawrence Lipton
130.) House of Sand and Fog – Andre Dubus III
131.) The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
132.) How to Breathe Underwater – Julie Orringer
133.) How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Seuss
134.) How the Light Gets In – M. J. Hyland
135.) Howl – Allen Ginsberg
136.) The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
137.) The Iliad – Homer
138.) I’m With the Band – Pamela des Barres
139.) In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
140.) Inferno – Dante
141.) Inherit the Wind – Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
142.) Iron Weed – William J. Kennedy
143.) It Takes a Village – Hillary Rodham Clinton
144.) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
145.) The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan
146.) Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare
147.) The Jumping Frog – Mark Twain
148.) The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
149.) Just a Couple of Days – Tony Vigorito
150.) The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar – Robert Alexander
151.) Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly – Anthony Bourdain
152.) The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
153.) Lady Chatterleys’ Lover – D. H. Lawrence
154.) The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 – Gore Vidal
155.) Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
156.) The Legend of Bagger Vance – Steven Pressfield
157.) Less Than Zero – Bret Easton Ellis
158.) Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke
159.) Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them – Al Franken
160.) Life of Pi – Yann Martel
161.) Little Dorrit – Charles Dickens
162.) The Little Locksmith – Katharine Butler Hathaway
163.) The Little Match Girl – Hans Christian Andersen
164.) Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
165.) Living History – Hillary Rodham Clinton
166.) Lord of the Flies – William Golding
167.) The Lottery: And Other Stories – Shirley Jackson
168.) The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
169.) The Love Story – Erich Segal
170.) Macbeth – William Shakespeare
171.) Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
172.) The Manticore – Robertson Davies
173.) Marathon Man – William Goldman
174.) The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
175.) Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter – Simone de Beauvoir
176.) Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman – William Tecumseh Sherman
177.) Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
178.) The Meaning of Consuelo – Judith Ortiz Cofer
179.) Mencken’s Chrestomathy – H. R. Mencken
180.) The Merry Wives of Windsor – William Shakespeare
181.) The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
182.) Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
183.) The Miracle Worker – William Gibson
184.) Moby Dick – Herman Melville
185.) The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion – Jim Irvin
186.) Moliere: A Biography – Hobart Chatfield Taylor
187.) A Monetary History of the United States – Milton Friedman
188.) Monsieur Proust – Celeste Albaret
189.) A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister – Julie Mars
190.) A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
191.) Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
192.) Mutiny on the Bounty – Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
193.) My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath – Seymour M. Hersh
194.) My Life as Author and Editor – H. R. Mencken
195.) My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru – Tim Guest
196.) Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 – Myra Waldo
197.) My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
198.) The Naked and the Dead – Norman Mailer
199.) The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
200.) The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
201.) The Nanny Diaries – Emma McLaughlin
202.) Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature – Jan Lars Jensen
203.) New Poems of Emily Dickinson – Emily Dickinson
204.) The New Way Things Work – David Macaulay
205.) Nickel and Dimed – Barbara Ehrenreich
206.) Night – Elie Wiesel
207.) Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
208.) The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism – William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
209.) Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A
Time to be Born – Dawn Powell
210.) Notes of a Dirty Old Man – Charles Bukowski
211.) Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
212.) Old School – Tobias Wolff
213.) On the Road – Jack Kerouac
214.) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
215.) One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
216.) The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life – Amy Tan
217.) Oracle Night – Paul Auster
218.) Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood
219.) Othello – Shakespeare
220.) Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
221.) The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War – Donald Kagan
222.) Out of Africa – Isac Dineson
223.) The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton
224.) A Passage to India – E.M. Forster
225.) The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition – Donald Kagan
226.) The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
227.) Peyton Place – Grace Metalious
228.) The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
229.) Pigs at the Trough – Arianna Huffington
230.) Pinocchio – Carlo Collodi
231.) Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain – Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
232.) The Polysyllabic Spree – Nick Hornby
233.) The Portable Dorothy Parker – Dorothy Parker
234.) The Portable Nietzche – Fredrich Nietzche
235.) The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill – Ron Suskind
236.) Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
237.) Property – Valerie Martin
238.) Pushkin: A Biography – T. J. Binyon
239.) Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw
240.) Quattrocento – James Mckean
241.) A Quiet Storm – Rachel Howzell Hall
242.) Rapunzel – Grimm Brothers
243.) The Raven – Edgar Allan Poe
244.) The Razor’s Edge – W. Somerset Maugham
245.) Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books – Azar Nafisi
246.) Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
247.) Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm – Kate Douglas Wiggin
248.) The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
249.) Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad – Virginia Holman
250.) The Return of the King – J. R. R. Tolkien
251.) R Is for Ricochet – Sue Grafton
252.) Rita Hayworth – Stephen King
253.) Robert’s Rules of Order – Henry Robert
254.) Roman Holiday – Edith Wharton
255.) Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare
256.) A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
257.) A Room with a View – E. M. Forster
258.) Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
259.) The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition – Rough Guides
260.) Sacred Time – Ursula Hegi
261.) Sanctuary – William Faulkner
262.) Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay – Nancy Milford
263.) Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller – Henry James
264.) The Scarecrow of Oz – Frank L. Baum
265.) The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
266.) Seabiscuit: An American Legend – Laura Hillenbrand
267.) The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir
268.) The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
269.) Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette – Judith Thurman
270.) Selected Hotels of Europe – Unknown
271.) Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 – Dawn Powell
272.) Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
273.) A Separate Peace – John Knowles
274.) Several Biographies of Winston Churchill – Winston Churchill
275.) Sexus – Henry Miller
276.) The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
277.) Shane – Jack Shaefer
278.) The Shining – Stephen King
279.) Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
280.) S Is for Silence – Sue Grafton
281.) Slaughter-house Five – Kurt Vonnegut
282.) Small Island – Andrea Levy
283.) Snows of Kilimanjaro – Ernest Hemingway
284.) Snow White and Rose Red – Grimm Brothers
285.) Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World – Barrington Moore
286.) The Song of Names – Norman Lebrecht
287.) Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos – Julia de Burgos
288.) The Song Reader – Lisa Tucker
289.) Songbook – Nick Hornby
290.) The Sonnets – William Shakespeare
291.) Sonnets from the Portuegese – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
292.) Sophie’s Choice – William Styron
293.) The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
294.) Speak, Memory – Vladimir Nabokov
295.) Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers – Mary Roach
296.) The Story of My Life – Helen Keller
297.) A Streetcar Named Desiree – Tennessee Williams
298.) Stuart Little – E. B. White
299.) Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
300.) Swann’s Way – Marcel Proust
301.) Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals – Anne Collett
302.) Sybil – Flora Rheta Schreiber
303.) A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
304.) Tender Is The Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald
305.) Term of Endearment – Larry McMurtry
306.) Time and Again – Jack Finney
307.) The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
308.) To Have and Have Not – Ernest Hemingway
309.) To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
310.) The Tragedy of Richard III – William Shakespeare
311.) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
312.) The Trial – Franz Kafka
313.) The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters – Elisabeth Robinson
314.) Truth & Beauty: A Friendship – Ann Patchett
315.) Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
316.) Ulysses – James Joyce
317.) The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 – Sylvia Plath
318.) Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
319.) Unless – Carol Shields
320.) Valley of the Dolls – Jacqueline Susann
321.) The Vanishing Newspaper – Philip Meyers
322.) Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
323.) Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) – Joe Harvard
324.) The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
325.) Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett
326.) Walden – Henry David Thoreau
327.) Walt Disney’s Bambi – Felix Salten
328.) War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
329.) We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews – Daniel Sinker
330.) What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 – Richard Nelson Bolles
331.) What Happened to Baby Jane – Henry Farrell
332.) When the Emperor Was Divine – Julie Otsuka
333.) Who Moved My Cheese? – Spencer Johnson
334.) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – Edward Albee
335.) Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West – Gregory Maguire
336.) The Wizard of Oz – Frank L. Baum
337.) Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
338.) The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
339.) The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
Read: 31
Remaining: 308

 

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Anecdote, Humor

Welcome Tierney to WordPress

I had a sleepover last night with my best friend, Tierney. We get together at least twice a month and watch movies or stand-up specials on Netflix. Sometimes it’s in Connecticut, sometimes it’s in New Jersey. We like to go to this little diner in New Jersey the next morning and chat over coffee, tea and pancakes. We melt over beautiful men we see on the TV, our love lives, who we feel we can trust or not trust, and anything else that comes to mind.

I met Tierney during my first week at grad school on Enders Island in Mystic, Connecticut. She was my roommate for the whole nine days we were on the island with other potential writers. I always luck out when it comes to being randomly assigned a roommate. We instantly clicked. I could tell she was nervous, and so was I. We are both introverts, which lucked out because while other writers sat outside until 4am drinking with the professors and getting rowdy, Tierney and I were reading in bed by 11pm. She has a loud and infectious laugh, which got us in trouble one evening when we were laughing about God-knows-what, and a girl in our hallway knocked on the door loudly and told us to pipe down. It was funny then and it’s still funny now. When the professors told us to leave our windows closed during our winter workshop even though the heat wasn’t working properly and it was 90 degrees in our room, Tierney cracked the window open and said, “No ragrets.”

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A piece of our conversation last night went a little something like this:

Tierney: I wrote a blog post last week for the first time.

Me: What do you mean? On tumblr?

Tierney: WordPress.

Me: 200-3

 

Tierney: Yeah…I started a blog on WordPress.

Me: But…I’m on WordPress.

Tierney: Yeah I know.

Me: WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?

Tierney: I followed you!

Me: Hogwash! When?!

Tierney: Last week!

Me: I think I would have noticed…

Tierney: I swear I did.

Me: Mmmm…no.

Tierney: Well I thought I did.

Me: But that doesn’t answer my question. WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU STARTED A BLOG ON WORDPRESS?

Tierney: I DON’T KNOW.

Me: 200-2

Tierney: I’M SORRY!


So, right now, even though I’m mad at her for not informing me of such news, I begrudgingly tell all of you to follow her. Despite the events from last night, she’s pretty cool. Let’s encourage her to blog more and more. Keep pestering her in the comments until she writes another post.

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Art, Books, Movies, Thoughts

1.25.17 Art Project: Understanding Film and Text

I just started reading William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. I’m having a hard time with the first chapter, but I’m enjoying the fact that I’m having a hard time. The first chapter is approximately 90 pages long and in the point of view of Benjy, a mentally challenged thirty-three year old man. Benjy has no sense of time. Every event in his life is blurred together, making the 90 pages seem like utter nonsense. One minute, a character in the book is only seven-years-old, and then the next they are fourteen. His memories shift back and forth constantly, without much warning to the reader. It’s like when you have a dream – you’re at the beach, and you go to step in the ocean only to find yourself in your mother’s kitchen and not understanding how or when you got there. Luckily, after a few dozen pages, I’ve gotten the hang of identifying the shifts in time.

Every once in a while, I have to turn to SparkNotes to understand what it is I’m supposed to be paying attention to. If I didn’t know Benjy or his sense of time, I would have thought this chapter was complete gibberish, especially since the chapter is titled April Seventh, 1928. All of these events seem to take place on this particular date, but they don’t.

The way Faulkner wrote this book reminds me of art in the form of text and film. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has a moving text window near the gift shop, and I always find myself sitting on the bench staring at it. The few dozen times I’ve visited the museum, I’ve been irritated by the fact that I can’t just stay where I am and see where the text goes because it never truly ends. The text spits out sentence after sentence, and each one doesn’t seem to relate to another by any means, but it keeps flowing, and I keep reading.

The same can be done in film. When I visited the Tate Modern in London, I sat in the theater and watched a film play on a loop. It was a series of random images. Have you ever seen The Ring? It’s kind of like that but less scary. But there’s still something creepy about it. I remember seeing multi-colored bubbles, a lone chair, mountains, birds, balloons, a close up of an insect. But it had the same effect. I couldn’t stop watching it. I still walked out of the theater thinking, what the hell did I just watch?

Andy Warhol created a 1964 film called Empire. The film is eight hours and five minutes long. It’s a single shot of the Empire State Building from when the sun sets until about 3am. All you see are the changing of lights inside the building, and for a short period of time, complete darkness. Every once in a while, you can see Andy Warhol’s face in the reflection of the glass window in the Time-Life Building as he changes the reel.

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A few years ago, as an art major, you would see me scratching my head when learning this material, trying to find the reason behind all of it. As an artist, I can relate to the idea that things just exist because they exist. But since it’s art, viewers want a reason. I remember in high school for the senior art show, I had to fill out notecards explaining my pieces, and what my purpose and focus was. That was the hardest part. It wasn’t the frustrating moments of not getting the shape done correctly, or trying to mix the right colors, or spending hours after school trying to finish a painting on time. It was the fact that I had to sit down and actually ask myself why I painted this or that.

There’s an episode of Gilmore Girls that gets me laughing every time. Rory is at the Yale Art Show covering for the newspaper and she grabs a cup of water from the bubbler. The show introduces a new character named Lucy who scolds Rory, claiming she’s trying to drink her friend Olivia’s art piece. They call it Olivia’s “self-portrait”. After Rory awkwardly tries to put the water cup down and apologizes, Lucy laughs and says, “I’m kidding! It’s just a water cooler.” I can appreciate a scene like this because even some of the most bizarre art pieces I’ve come across, such as the Tate Modern film or Andy Warhol’s Empire, we can certainly find art and reason behind anything.

While the first chapter in The Sound and the Fury got me a little loopy, confused, dazed, and bewildered, I knew that each piece of information given to me was important to Benjy and the story. Each moment Benjy experienced throughout the day gave him a memory. And he has a lot of them.

Next time I watch a random series of images in a film, or flowing texts in a window, I’ll have to remind myself that they exist for a reason.

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My Idea Of Being An Adult, Out of the Ordinary, Thoughts, Travel, You're Fine

Welcome to Charleston

I can’t be the only one who has that one month out of the year when a series of unfortunate events takes place. For me, that month is January. It happens nearly every year when it seems my walls come crashing down. My walls are by no means sturdy.

However, I just spent nearly a week in Charleston, South Carolina. Yes, it was fun and relaxing, until I came home to a flat tire in the parking garage of the airport, and then a letter from the unemployment office in California, which I won’t go too far into, that would make anyone’s heart stop. By the time I put my bags down, I was ready to fall into tears and fly back to South Carolina to avoid life in general.

Luckily, I will be going back to South Carolina very, very soon. Colleen and I decided to move there. Since my lease is up at the end of February, it’s very important that we make this happen as soon as possible.

Colleen and I sat in the living room of her friend Zach’s apartment while him and his roommates were off at work. We grabbed a bottle of wine, blank sheets of paper, and jotted down the pros and cons to living in Charleston, Washington D.C., and New Hampshire/Maine.

Let me fast forward to when we were leaving Charleston and Colleen was chatting up the Uber driver. He was confused as to why we could just pick up and move without a care in the world.

“What about your jobs?” he asked.

“Well, we don’t really like our jobs,” Colleen answered. The Uber driver laughed hysterically.

“Nobody likes their job!” he said.

It was at this moment I wanted to jump out of the car. I’ve come to really despise that excuse.

Yes, I realize not everyone likes their job, and that’s unfortunate. But there are people out there who love their job. I don’t see what’s wrong with wanting a job I enjoy. One of Zach’s roommates named Jack went on and on about how much he loves his job, and he gets up much earlier than he needs to because he can’t wait to go to work. That right there is the kind of life I want.

I can’t understand why people just accept the reality that they don’t and probably will never like their job. Then why are you doing it? There are bills to pay, and rent, and the overall need to live. I’ve been living this life since I graduated college almost four years ago. But in my downtime, I’ve been searching for other opportunities. It may seem like I’m flaky and I jump from job to job, but that’s because I’m scared of getting too comfortable in a field I don’t actually have an interest in. Even though I haven’t been successful in finding something I love, I at least have been trying. I haven’t given up. I don’t have a reason to. I’m not married, or even in a relationship, and I have no kids. I have no excuses.

Back to when Colleen and I were sipping wine and going over the ideas of living in three entirely different places, we had to be realistic.

Washington D.C. is too stuffy and expensive. It’s also a place Colleen is used to and she needs a change of pace and environment.

New Hampshire/Maine was ideal in the sense that my family is there, and New England is where our heart is. We love the seasons, the beaches, and the people. But the job market is terrible. All I thought about was how I would end up a waitress again, scrubbing the chocolate pie out of my apron every night and smelling of french fries. New England is the type of place I’d like to end up once I feel a bit more established. I just don’t feel comfortable enough there.

Even though Charleston is far away from our families, we have more connections to the job market than we do anywhere else. We have a better chance of succeeding. It seemed like the obvious choice. Even if I do have to serve food for a little while, at least it’s not in my hometown where I feel like I have just given up. I’ll feel more motivated to make it all work.

So, even though January tends to give me a headache, at least I have something exciting to look forward to.

I’m certainly tired of moving. I’ve lived in three different states in the last three years. I’m exhausted. But until I find my place in the world, I won’t stop. I don’t know if Charleston is my forever home, and I’m okay with that. Maybe I’ll fail, or maybe I’ll thrive. But it’s worth a shot.

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Anecdote, Home, I Wasn't Worried, Thoughts, Travel, You're Fine

I’m Fine I’m Fine I’m Fine

The year 2016, for me, started on January 12th. It didn’t start when the ball dropped in New York City, or when everyone cheered with their champagne glasses. At that point in time, I believe I was in a bathroom of a New Year’s Eve party crying while my friend wiped the mascara off my face, telling me everything was going to be okay.

Many people have complained that 2016 was one of the worst years we have seen in a long time. It was definitely one of the more bizarre years considering the amount of celebrity deaths and America’s recent election. But I don’t review my year based on things like pop culture and politics. I think about the past year and wonder if I became a better version of myself, and if I actually have learned something from my accomplishments and failures.

On January 12th of last year, my car was packed, I said goodbye to my neighbors in California, and I set off back to New Hampshire by myself. As soon as I got out of Orange County and realized I was entering the dusty mountains of Arizona, where gas stations appear once every 45 miles, cell service is scarce, and it seemed as though I was the only person left on the planet driving through the desert, I started to worry. I kept repeating, “I’m fine I’m fine I’m fine.” A little tune similar to Sylvia Plath’s “I am I am I am.” I ignored my morbid thoughts and put on my brave face. For years, I was meant to believe that I couldn’t handle life in general. I was meant to believe that my sense of direction was terrible, mostly because I’m a girl. I was meant to believe that I couldn’t take care of myself, and I was made to feel stupid at times. I’d say it was natural of me to have those thoughts as I started driving thousands of miles alone to places unfamiliar to me. Every town I stopped in for gas, or grabbed food, or just simply needed to use the bathroom, I held tightly onto the mace in my pocket and kept a straight face.

A friend once asked me what my favorite part of the road trip was, and she expected something grand like the skyline of Chicago or New York City. But my favorite part was in the middle of nowhere in northern Texas seeping into Oklahoma. For what seemed like hundreds of miles are fields of giant white windmills. It doesn’t sound exciting but they are hypnotizing. It was in that moment, I felt safe. I felt in control, comfortable, and for the first time, relaxed. I wanted so badly to stop and sit on the hood of my car and watch them turn, but I decided I needed to keep moving.

2016 was one of my better years. I learned a lot about myself that I can either accept or change – I haven’t quite figured that out yet. I’m a naturally impulsive person. I don’t like receiving help unless specifically asked. I’m stubborn. I don’t always speak my mind. I overthink and read too much into almost everything. I rarely take my own advice. I’m independent, yet I rely too heavily on other people. I value my friendships more. I’m able to love unconditionally. I’m okay with rejection because that just means another door opens. I’m a little more optimistic.

I’m looking forward to 2017 not just because it’s a new year. Time is merely an illusion. I’m excited and open for whatever may come. There are still many places to see, people to meet, friends to grow closer with, along with many more accomplishments and failures. I’m a little bit happier with myself than I was a year ago. I will have fantastic days, decent days, and terrible days. But I keep reminding myself that it will be like this for the rest of my life. What really matters is how I look at it.

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