Category Archives: girl talk

Homesick in the Summer Time

Lately I’ve been feeling very nostalgic for the Midwest. I’m not sure what’s causing it, but it’s probably heavily influenced by the fact that two of my good friends from high school are getting married this summer and a third friend is engaged.  And they’re running around doing wedding planning together. Maybe it’s just the fact that it’s summer time, and I wish that I was still in school so that I could be on summer break. Whatever the reason, I’ve been longing for my Indiana home…

Also, sorry about the lack of posts; life got super crazy with interviews and mild crises. I’ll be writing something more about Game of Thrones soon, and maybe a post on writing styles in fantasy novels. 

Oh, and now two escalators are shut down for repairs in Farragut North. When I say that the universe is out to get me/prove me wrong about things, I usually get a response along the lines of “the universe is too big to pick on you” etc, but I am beginning to believe that the universe is a micro-manager and likes to fuck with people sometimes, just to laugh. That is all. Have a great week. 🙂

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DC food trucks

So one thing that I love about working in the city are the food trucks! They come out only during lunch hours and are highly specialized. There’s one bright pink one that’s exclusively cupcakes! But they basically drive around the city and are at a different “park” every day. Farragut Square seems to attract most of them and every day there’s at least 4 or 5 different trucks to choose from. Now I don’t normally buy lunch from the food trucks because I try to be healthy/cheap and pack my lunch, but on rare and special days, I’ll be adventureous and try something new. And today, a truck with an adorable piece of toast and the words “BIG CHEESE” hooked me in.  And yes, it’s an entire truck that specializes in different kinds of grilled cheese. Check it out here (bigcheesetruck.com). On their website you can look at the menu, check to see where they’ll be each day, and even sign up to follow them on twitter.

I got the Mt Fuji grilled cheese sandwich: brie, toasted apples, and honey on multigrain! It was so good that I just had to write a blurb about it. Definitely give this truck a try because I know that I’ll be stalking it in the future!

What I miss most about college

I’ve recently been discussing books with my officemate, and we had a discussion about the film adaptations of the Chronicles of Narnia. She’d only seen the movies, so I began breaking down the books and why they’re better. She let me rant for awhile, but it was obvious that she couldn’t keep up and that she wasn’t really interested. And then I realized, what I miss most about college is talking to educated and engaged minds about the books that I’m passionate about. I miss the structured setting where people have a common group of books to base discussion off of and then people bring further insight and reading material into the conversation as necessary. It’s so difficult to talk to just anyone about books because you might have nothing in common. Of you can’t fully illustrate a brilliant point because your audience hasn’t read one or more of the books that you’re comparing.

What I miss most are my peers. I miss watching “Interview with the Vampire” in Dan’s living room at one in the morning to further prepare for our Screening Fiction class the next day, stopping after every other scene to break down the motifs and compare it to the other clips that we’ve watched in class. I miss writing papers next to classmates T-minus 12 hours before it’s due and being able to engage them in conversation to help ease you through writer’s block. I miss theorizing about our professor’s lives with Rachel up on her roof on sunny spring days.

I miss being challenged to see deeper than the page. And I miss having someone adequate to challenge me.

Are there any other young adult literature enthusiasts that would like to engage in discourse about favorite books? I’m most familiar with the Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials, the Abhorsen trilogy, and The Hunger Games trilogy.  I’ve read much less scholarly YA books as well that I could discuss at length, but I haven’t done much outside research on them. I guess Harry Potter counts too, but I’ve only read them for pleasure, not for analyzation. *sigh* I guess that The Twilight Saga has to count too, but I’m warning you right now that while I admit to reading them several times for pleasure, I WILL rip them to shreds on a literary level. Of course, I’m always up for reading new books to talk about. I’ve heard that Ursela LeGuin’s “Earthsea” series is a must read for someone of my interests.

Starting the New Year with a post

Well, it’s been awhile. I’ve finally reclaimed my life from my horrid proposal writer job, and I’ve started a technical writer job. Again, companies and work specifics will not be disclosed. Keeping that in mind, my new job is closer to home and is a steady 40 hours a week with no overtime. Needless to say, I’m over the moon.

So we’ve just begun a New Year, everyone makes resolutions, and the TV is unbearable because it seems like every commercial is about weight loss programs, eating healthy, joining gyms, or quitting smoking. I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because I think it’s stupid to limit goals and good life decisions to one part of a year, but if it works for people, more power to you. I realized over break though that I have a lot of passive aggressive tendencies that I learned from my mother and decided that I definitely need to work on that. It just happens that I’ve made this new life goal around the time when December ends and January begins. So my first step towards that goal is to no longer post passive aggressive tweets or Facebook statuses. To define a passive aggressive post in my opinion: a vague statement made to one person or a specific group of people in order to guilt them or make them angry over a public medium.

I did make some goals last year that I’d like to reflect on though, if you don’t mind:

1.) Read it or toss it: I’ve worked in a bookstore on/off since my senior year of high school. Pair my love of reading with an employee discount and you get a LOT of books. Well, when I moved to DC, I realized just how many books I actually had… A LOT. And there were a good number of them that I haven’t read before, or read it once and probablys won’t read it again. So I decided that by the next time I move, only the books I’ve read and love will come with me. This goal is amazingly on target. I’ve weeded out ones that I don’t want, and I’ve slogged through a bunch to be able to say that I finished them. I’ve probably eliminated a whole shelf/a whole box. Now that’s not much considering I have 4 bookcases with 3 to 4 shelves per case. But still! Progress is being made.

2.) Become a minimalist: Ok, so that will never really happen, but I have been getting rid of things! I’ve halved my purse collection (down to 6 or 7), and I’ve gotten ride of a few pairs of shoes (still need to further weed that down, but I’m in love with all of my sneakers. How can I get rid of sneakers?!?!). I need to sort through my closet again, but I’m still hesitant to get rid of my “part-time retail” wardrobe. With this economy, who knows if I’ll need them again?! (Yes, I am a pack rat.) But it’s eating away 2 drawers of clothes that could store some sweaters… I’ve also gotten rid of a lot of my arts and crafts supplies, because honestly, when am I ever going to craft or scrapbook anymore? I’ve also gotten rid of a lot of what my mom calls SAS (sit around shit). Decorative music boxes, figurines, extra bookends, brain teasing puzzles, etc. The junk is getting tossed!!! So while I’ll definitely never be a minimalist, I am make some improvements.

3.) So one goal I had before I moved out was not to get into a serious relationship for a year. I wanted to date and look around, but mostly, I just wanted a nice, quiet year with Beth. This plan did not work out, but I’m very happy that it didn’t. I’ve been seeing my boyfriend now for a few months, and everything is going nicely. Let’s face it: I’m head over heels in love with him and get mopey when he’s not around (he goes to school 2 hours away from DC). Yes, I’m hopelessly in love and it’s grand. This one is definitely a keeper.

4.) Live on my own without help: I’m going to say that this goal was also accomplished. Even though Dad paid for my contacts and has bought me dinner a few times, I’ve paid all the bills on my own, paid everything for my car, and haven’t had to beg for anything yet. Although I may have to swallow my pride and ask Dad to put me on his medical benefits before the Republicans take it away from me.

So there you have it. I think 2010 was very productive. Definitely the most I’ve grown in a long time too. There are times when I wish that I was back in college or living with my parents again or I’m homesick for Indianapolis… but those times are getting fewer and farther between as time goes on.

My goals for 2011? Keep living on my own, don’t screw things up with the boyfriend, work on the passive aggressive behavior (will help with the not screwing things up part), and maybe start eating better (damn you TV influence!!! I must remember to cancel the cable…. *grumbles*).

 

Happy New Year.

My new job is slowly crushing my soul

I am losing sanity. And quickly. I finally got a writer job in DC, and it’s driving me nuts. To be professional, I’m not saying where I work, and I’m legally bound to not discuss anything that I work with (trust me it’s really not that exciting). But I can tell you that I’m a Junior Writer Intern, and I write government contract proposals. What’s that you say?

Well, the government contracts out a shit ton of their work (and yes, a “shit ton” is a technical word in this field). And to be fair and not choose the same company over and over again, they send out Requests for Proposals (RFPs), and the best proposal gets the job. Now these contracts can be awarded from a few thousand dollars to MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. Millions on the line. And I’m writing the proposal. You can only imagine my complete and utter panic most days.

Now, the work itself is not so bad. I’m writing a lot, but it’s not fun writing. I want to use poetic words and flowery sentences. The government only wants to hear three things: best quality, lowest price, on schedule. That’s really all they care about. And it doesn’t leave much room for flowery, beautiful prose. But I can deal with that. What’s starting to crack me like a ripe nut are the hours. OOOOOOOH the hours. I have an hour commute to work in the morning and about an hour and a half to an hour and forty five minutes commute home. I leave my house at 6:20, and I don’t see it again anywhere from 5:30 to 8. It just depends on how much overtime they need that day, when the deadline is, how many other people are working on it, how much they give me, if I take a lunch, etc. The hours are BRUTAL. I’m too tired when I get home to do much more than flop on the couch and hate the world. And my little pity-party is starting to affect my relationship with the roommate, which I reeeeeally don’t care for.But I’m working on that bit; just takes some adjusting.

And the worst part… I feel like if I keep doing this for too long, I’ll forget how to write well. I’m afraid that I’ll sound like a proposal, that I’ll never use poetic language again, that everything will be “efficient” this and “cost-effective” that. When all I want to do is write something that will change the way just one person looks at the world. Something beautiful.

So anyway, enough excuses, I just wanted to update on why I haven’t written anything in a long time. It’s because my job is slowly crushing my soul.

In search of the right Alpha male, or Disney lies!!!

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Beth and I had an interesting conversation the other day about alpha and beta males. The topic came up in a weird roundabout way like most of our convos do (we went from “is your ring finger longer than your index finger” to this topic. I’ll give you a home-made breadloaf of your choice if you can guess how. You don’t count, Beth!!!), but it got me thinking about the men in my life and what women classically say they want. Women want a man who talks about feelings and his past, who’s sensitive, who compromises, who’s an equal partner in the relationship, who thinks with his brain and not his head. But really, these are mostly characteristics of a beta male, and as Beth, being the classy broad that she is, put it, “No one wants to fuck a beta.”

So I started thinking. Most of the guys that I’ve had the strongest attractions to have been classic alphas–leaders, charisma, physically appealling, dominate, walled off. These are also the men that have hurt me deepest wtih lasting scars–the type that make me run into the arms of a beta. But the thing is, I’m not happy there either. All the alphas I’ve dated have left me, but with all the betas I’ve dated, I left them. I’m too much of a beta female to keep an alpha male’s attention for long, but I’m too much of an alpha female in comparison to a beta male. I just don’t seem to work with either type of men! And I’m inclined to blame men and Disney at this point. Men because they’re so black & white, and Disney because it gave me unrealistic expectations about men.

Women aren’t nearly as definitive as men when it comes to being either an alpha or a beta. I feel like a pretty good blend of these two categories: I can lead when I need to; I’m bitchy when I need to be; I’ve got the bust-waist-hip ratio to set off men’s “she’ll bear me healthy sons” instincts, but I also like to be submissive, nurturing, and sensitive. It’s a lot harder for me to pinpoint which of my girlfriends are alpha or beta. But it’s easier than a blond with a tramp stamp to classify the men in my life as one or the other. Why is it that they’re so black and white? Maybe I’m just a bitter, man-hating rhymes-with-runt (which a bitter beta called me just last week), but I can’t seem to find a balance of the two catergoies in men. They’re either assholes or pussies. And frankly, I don’t want either.

And Disney, way to go with screwing up an entire generation of women’s expectations of their partners. Every single prince is a strong alpha male with a sweet soft side for the princess. He rules a country with charisma and a winning smile, but he also likes romantic gentle boat rides. He’s a wise-cracking, loner who goes all lovey mushy at one peek of a disguised princess’ eyes under her head wrap. He’s an adventuring explorer, but not a conquerer and repects the native people. He’s a beast who’s heart melts to the first person to stand up to him. He’s uninterested and bored with all the women introduced to him at a ball until he sees one just wandering in the distance. I haven’t watched Sleeping Beauty or Snow White enough to tear them apart as well, but I’m sure the princes are just as improbable as all the others. These types of men just don’t exist!!! And don’t give me that crap about reality vs fiction. When every single leading Disney man is the same impossible blend, it sends a message. The only “prince” that comes close to actually being realistic is Simba, and he’s not even human!!! In my experience, if he first appears to be a beast, he is a beast, and he doesn’t really have that warm, soft, mushy place inside where he keeps his feelings all locked away just waiting for the right girl. If he’s a smart-ass, lone wolf, he may be fun for awhile, but he’ll go back to his solitary ways sooner or later.

So, I guess this is all just one instinct-driven reason to stay single. It won’t stop me from making eyes at that toned, pierced, and angsty looking stud on the Metro though. *drools* Lord, I love those angsty alphas.

And I’m stronger because of it…

So July 13th is a pretty important day in my life. Not that I really want it to be and not anything that deserves a celebration. Not that kind of important. Important as in the start of hitting rock bottom. One of the major turning points in my life.

Before July 13, 2007 I was a mess. I was deeply depressed, doing poorly in school, cutting myself off from friends, hardly ever leaving my room, sleeping too much, having one night stands, getting high, and getting fat. I’d made a lot of bad choices, and they were catching up with me. But in the spring and summer of 2007, I had started to pick myself up and dust myself off. I wasn’t doing spectacular or anything, but I was doing better. I spent the summer at home, living with my mother and hanging out with my girlfriends. I hadn’t slept with anyone in six months, and I was very proud of that because I really wanted to end my trend of one night stands. I didn’t want to do it anymore because it only made me more unhappy. I was making better choices. If only I had known.

Going out to the hookah bar with your gal pals seems totally harmless right? And then running into an old guy friend you’d known elementary school through high school is also harmless right? Having him join us, smoke and drink with us, catching up on old times. And then he invited us back to his place for a few more drinks.  … If only I’d never gone. If only WE’D never gone. Because if he hadn’t done it to me, maybe it would’ve been one of my friends. And I hate that thought even more than what he did to me. On July 13th, 2007 I was raped by someone that I thought was a friend. In the week following that, I believe I hit rock bottom. Imagine not being able to shower or change clothes without dissolving into tears because being naked seems so painful and venerable. I cried constantly and refused to leave my mother’s house.

Eventually, slowly, I began to heal. My short creative non-fiction story “Second hand” talks about this healing process and the friend that helped me through it. A lot of people helped me through it actually. And writing that piece especially helped me through it.

On July 13, 2008 I tried to plan the most super fun day that I could think of to keep my mind off of what had happened only a year ago. It backfired. The day didn’t live up to my expectations, my friends all cancelled, and I ended up crying in my room most of the day. July 13th, 2009, I was at a summer publishing program with no one that I knew (in fact it was only the third or fourth day of the program). And you don’t wanna start off something like that by going “Hey! Guess what terrible thing happened to me!” So I sat quietly in class, ate lunch alone, and generally avoided people all day. There were definitely some tears that night as I watched the Denver stars, sipping on boxed wine and bottling all my feelings up. edit:hahaha I always forget about Denver for some reason… 2009 is updated/correct now. I probably had a harder time remembering this cause it was sort of my routine behavior in Denver. I know, I’m such an emo when I wanna be.

But July 13, 2010, I went to work, I worked out, I had dinner with my roommate, and I ate cake. I had no expectations for the day. I just wanted to be normal. And for the most part, it was and I was. Beth and I had a long talk that evening about the past and how every single tiny little choice affects us. What if we had gotten a table inside the hookah bar and not out on the patio? Would we have run into that bastard then? Would fate have found another way to put him on my path? Or would that just mean that it would happen to someone else and not to me? Every choice has a great impact on our lives whether we realize it or not.

It has taken me three years, but I’m finally able to say that I wouldn’t change it. It was the most horrible thing that’s ever happened to me in my entire life. But it made me who I am today. And the person that I am today is so much stronger, understanding, selfless, and more compassionate than who I was before. Rock bottom didn’t erase all of my character flaws–I’m certainly not perfect, although there was a time that I’d tell lie after lie to make you think so–but it did smooth out a lot of my rough edges. It’s like Tyler Durden said: “It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything.” And it’s so true.

I was going to post this reflection on the third anniversary, but I was doing other things and trying to be normal. But I’m doing it now. Because I need to. Because I’m better. Because I’m stronger. And because I took myself out on a solo date–something I’ve never had the guts to do before. Yep, two weekends ago, right before my black anniversary, I took just me onesie out to a movie. Completely alone. And I wasn’t self conscious, and I actually had a good time. Yes, I saw Eclipse and bought a 12 pack of beer because I’m one classy broad like that 😉

Happy anniversary. I’m so proud of you