Wednesday, August 26, 2015

CardiNO

Here we go again, right? Exercise is obviously not for me so why do I keep trying? Honestly, when I run (like for a bus or to get to Wendy's before it closes) I actually get a rash on my legs. My body is literally rejecting physical movement. But I workout for times like these so I can chronicle my misadventures for you. If you would click on more advertisements, I could afford liposuction and we could put this whole mess behind us.

Why do I hate working out? Well, first of all, sometimes people make fun of other people for exercising and that is just inexcusable. I have heard so many rude remarks made towards people who are in the gym to improve themselves. Whether you're working out for your health or to lose baby weight or to help deal with stress or because there's a really cute guy at your gym, no one should ever make you feel bad about yourself for working out. Anyways, if there's anyone we should be ostracizing in the gym isn't it the fit people? You're done. Why are you here? You look like an "after" picture.

And second of all, there's the whole actual physical exercise part. But not all workouts are created equal. Some are more enjoyable than others. For instance, getting punched in the face repeatedly is more enjoyable than running any distance. For me, I have the option of going to the gym and lifting weights with my dad or going to church and doing a group exercise session with my mom. These are 2 very different experiences, as detailed below.

Dad 
We normally use the elliptical machines for 45 minutes to an hour when we first get to the gym and my dad has exchanged pleasantries with his requisite 50 people. This is great because each machine has its own television and you can pick from plenty of channels and sometimes at my dad's gym, I don't know who their cable provider is, but sometimes, on some magical days, Jeopardy! comes on in the middle of the day for no apparent reason. So I normally plug in my headphones and watch the news or Jeopardy! or Lifetime and my dad normally pretends to watch ESPN with no headphones in for about 5 minutes until he proceeds to talk to me for the remaining 40 minutes. This is fine, I love talking to my dad, but I don't love talking while running on an elliptical (okay tbh barely jogging but still). After about 15 minutes in it's a struggle to breathe, let alone make conversation about Tom Brady and the republican debate. My dad also does this thing where he pretends the conversation is over, playing dead I call it. So we just run in silence for a few minutes and as soon as I have the earbuds securely stationed in my ears, he starts up again. If I have on a rerun of Keeping Up With the Kardashians I don't mind that much but when I'm halfway through a Criminal Minds I haven't seen this becomes nearly unbearable.

After our cardiOhNoI'mDying we either do a circuit of machines or do exercises that my dad has accumulated after over 30 years of working out every day. Plenty of tricks up his muscle tee. Though I must say, some of these exercises seem made up or at the very least ill-advised for a delicate girl such as myself. A few weeks ago we held weights while doing shoulder shrugs. I asked my dad what this was working on and he said the trapezius muscle. I immediately thought of that Uber Immortal giant beast from 300 and tried to explain that I don't need muscles there because I'm a girl. But for as much as my father talks at me, he never really listens.

He almost always wants to do an ab exercise and I keep telling him that I don't have abs so I can sit that one out. But it's not for lack of trying. One day I sat on an exercise ball for a full hour. And no 6-pack to speak of yet.

My dad also loves to do floor exercises which are literally exercises that we do on the floor. He particularly loves floor exercises done on one's side and they really hurt my hip bones. I didn't even realize that I had hip bones!

Not that there aren't perks to working out with my dad. Most of the time my aunt joins us and it's a family affair, we completely take over the gym with their physical prowess and my sarcastic comments. And although something tells me I won't be meeting my future husband while wearing no make up and struggling to lift a 50 pound bar, at least it could happen at my dad's gym. Stranger things have happened. I've held a wall sit for a minute and done 20 push ups in a row so meeting a nice man can't be that far outside the realm of possibility.

Mom
A group of women get together at my church to exercise 3 days a week and after my first day I promptly called my grandfather to inform him that what these women are doing in the Lord's house is purely satanic. God is love and love is not burpees.

At church the women use workout DVDs which I just love in theory. I told my mom that my favorite thing about workout DVDs is that you can fast forward them and get through the whole workout in triple time while not actually doing anything any faster. I just keep doing crunches at my normal pace and the 60 second ab blast is done in 20 seconds with the push of a button. What I hate about workout DVDs is the rampant false advertising. I bought the 21 Day Fix well over 3 weeks ago and I am no more svelte or toned than I was before I bought it. Maybe you have to open the DVD or watch it everyday? But 21 days is not doing the fixing, there's a secret ingredient involved somewhere.

The really fun thing about working out with my mom at church is that I also clean our church so I can always excuse myself at any point in our hour-long session by simply explaining that I would rather scrub toilets.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

7 Stages of Grieving Your Graduation

It's a hard time for the class of 2015. College students are going back to school. Our schools. As much as I want to be happy for you current college kids, I'm blinded by jealousy and my taste of what adults are always referring to as "the real world". So yes, it's petty, but I'm not "liking" your Instagrams of the Old Well on FDOC. I'm not going to retweet #UNC16. Imma let you finish but...UNC 2015 had one of the best senior years of all time.

And here's what we're all going through now:

1. Shock
(The literal second they hand you a piece of paper that's like an IOU for your diploma that will be mailed MONTHS later.)
4 years and 2 hours later is my collegiate career really over? It really seems like just yesterday that I was buying my first energy drink and making Wikipedia my homepage. I feel like such a fool now for once complaining about time spent in the library and food questioned in the dining hall.

2. Denial
(When your family goes home after your graduation and you go through your ice cream stockpile while watching rom-coms and ugly crying.)
No. There is absolutely no way I have spent 4 years here. I graduated high school like 3 seconds ago. What do I do now? Get a job and use terms like "401k" and "mortgage" and "cholesterol"? As if! I'll stick to quoting Clueless.

3. Anger
(Your first FDOC post-graduation.)
Who are all these infants on my campus? There is probably someone living in my first-year dorm room who wasn't even alive when O.J. was acquitted. Now THEY get to go to MY parties and MY classes and hang out with MY friends while I go to work and pay bills. Now I see why old people get frown lines.

4. Bargaining
(When your parents ask you if you have a job yet for the 5th time that day.)
I can always go to grad school right? Let's brainstorm ways I can have an income with all the flexibility of unemployment. I know! Write a super successful blog and get paid every time someone clicks on an ad. (That's where you guys come in.)

5. Guilt
(When friends you graduated with post pictures from grad school and that could have been you.)
How could I have let this happen? I ALMOST failed a few classes, it wasn't that hard. With more absences and less completed assignments I could have easily stretched it out another semester. I will never forgive myself, or my adviser, for letting this happen.

6. Depression
(Might wanna go ahead and set up shop here, make yourself comfortable.)
Basically the rest of forever.

7. Acceptance 
(TBD.)
Not an actual stage. This never happens.


*I was either challenged or asked to blog about cheese this week, I'm not quite sure which. It was either a dare or someone just has reason to believe I might be particularly adept at blogging about dairy products. So...my personal favorite is goat cheese but it's not very versatile so I'm also quite partial to American cheese but, and this is very important, white American cheese is much better than orange/yellow American cheese. Think Subway or the Top of Lenoir at UNC and wow this post has really come full circle.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Universe Wish List

Today's post is a look at the innermost workings of my mind. Below are my hopes and dreams for this world. Everything that I want to happen so that I can be proud to someday share this planet with my children and grandchildren, or more likely, an impressive collection of Beanie Babies since I don't care for pets.

  • Ann Coulter will have her own channel kind of like OWN. All programming will be 100% focused on her fabulousness. She will have several political shows of course as well as talk shows and entertainment news programs.
  • Big Rich Texas will return in all its reality show glory.
  • Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton will get back together and become my godparents. 
  • David Sedaris, Khaled Hosseini and John Green will release new books every single month. 
  • There will be a sequel to Bride Wars. Honestly the lack of a second movie for the past 6 years is infuriating. The film ended in the perfect position for a part 2. I look forward to seeing all of you at the Baby Wars premiere.
  • Someone will teach me how to contour my face.
  • There will be HUGE developments in the science behind fingernail polish. Major breakthroughs. Don't sleep on it.
  • Mullets will be illegal. 
  • I will not rest until Brendan has a decent Twitter handle. I will leave no stone unturned and no hashtag unread. 
  • There will be a simple way to see if someone follows you on Instagram without searching through all of your followers.
  • Raccoons will be domesticated and will make loving pets.
  • There will be a television series based on The Baby-Sitters Club where each book is turned into a 30 minute episode. Completely different from the attempted show in 1990.
  •  Tinder will add a search option where you can look for the specific profiles of specific people you know before you match.
  • Every restaurant will have a drive through option and every store will have self-checkout. Because honestly mankind is trending toward the complete obsolescence of human interaction.  
  • Selfie shame will be eradicated and selfie stick sales will skyrocket.
  •  In the near future, a feature film will be made about the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. I'm not talking about Dare to Dream, another film. It is very important to me that Sandra Bullock play Mia Hamm, and it has been for as long as I can remember.
  •  ABBA will get back together and tour continuously.
  • Friends will pick up where it left off and continue, uninterrupted, forever. 
  • Harry Potter fans the world over will recognize Severus Snape for his devotion and loyalty.
  • The Oxford comma will be vanquished forever.
  • There will be newspaper full of trivia, crosswords, word jumbles, sudokus and no actual news.
  • There will be no need for private social media accounts.
  • All DVDs will be manufactured so that you can insert them into your computer's CD drive and import the soundtrack to your iTunes library. 
  • In the same vein as Prince of Egypt and Joseph King of Dreams, DreamWorks will release movies about all the other great Bible stories and accompanying soundtracks.
  • Pluto's planethood will be returned. The time for planet equality is now. Or 2006 I guess.
  • Bojangles' will bring back the southern chicken biscuit. The cajun chicken is just a little too spicy for me and I don't know this is a small thing but it would just really improve my quality of life I think.
  • There will be a musical of my life with Lea Michele starring as myself. This is utterly non-negotiable.
  • Laughing at your own jokes will be socially acceptable, encouraged even.
  • Dunkaroos will come back full force and be sold in Walmarts across the globe.
  • Songs on iTunes will go back to being $0.99.
  • Ants will be extinct with no repercussions to the animal food chain and we will develop a new food source for anteaters. Like chihuahuas.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

America's Got...Talent?

If you’ve never seen this series, it’s like what a middle school talent show wants to be when it grows up.  There are no participation ribbons and contestants are judged on factors other than applause. Simon Cowell is an executive producer so that certainly tells you…something.

My immediate family really loves this show but I stopped keeping up with it once I moved out because an inherent part of the show is judging people. I just hate seeing people feel bad about themselves. (That’s why I don’t look in mirrors. Too far?) Sometimes there are acts that are legitimately terrible, and the judges have to be honest with the contestants. Well, not every judge. If a bad act has already gotten bad reviews from the first 3 judges, the 4th and final judge has some leeway to play good cop. It’s normally Heidi Klum or Mel B. After the other judges completely eviscerate the act and there is no chance of it moving on, the last judge, knowing he or she will never have to see this person again, can really lay on the charm. “I completely disagree with the other judges, I thought that your brother-sister yodeling of Total Eclipse of the Heart was fantastic!” But watching someone who really believes they’re talented being told that they aren’t good at what they do is heartbreaking. It reminds me of literally every time my family hears me singing. 

Furthermore, sometimes the judges comment on performances that they are completely unqualified to speak on. I completely understand Mel B. saying that a singer was pitchy, or Howie Mandel saying that a comedian’s timing was off.  But the second Howard Stern tells me I didn’t hit a note…no. Stay in your lane. It’s like if John Stamos told me I was ugly I would say “You know what, you’re right and I’m sorry” but if Marilyn Manson told me the same thing I just wouldn't care as much, his opinion doesn’t hold the same weight. 

I try to get past the fact that this show crushes the hopes and dreams of perfectly nice people every week and I watch it when I’m home. Which brings me to another fun AGT fact. Only 1 current judge on this show is an American. That wasn’t a political statement just a point I find humorous. But then I realize that as Americans, we are terrible judges of talent. France had Coco Chanel. Italy had Michelangelo. Canada has Shania Twain. And we are a nation that idolizes Paris Hilton. Suddenly I see why with all the jobs America outsources, we've added these 3 more. 

Maybe that’s why there are so many acts on AGT that I just don’t get, TMZ has made me soft. One drag queen had a singing act. That I don’t understand. The whole point of this show is that the winner gets their own show in Las Vegas (and like a million dollars). Why would I want to spend 60 minutes in Las Vegas watching a guy who looks better in an evening gown than I do? Talk about demoralizing.

Pretty much any act that isn’t comedy, I don’t enjoy. There are a lot of great magicians I’ve seen on this show that incorporate comedy into their acts and let me tell you, magic and comedy is a beautiful union, like pineapple and A1 (I promise it's delicious). I even love the magicians who just do magic because magic makes you think, and not just about the world we live in, but also about the world that rabbits live in. Every time a magician reaches into a hat I imagine the chaos going on in the bunny realm as they choose a sacrifice. 

Watching this show I can’t help but think about what my talent would be if I were to audition. After weeks of contemplating it has become apparent that I have no discernable talent, but I do have a lot of quirks that could pass as talents. For instance, I can stand on an empty stage and have audience members send in personal photos that I come up with Instagram captions for. A talent that’s giving back, I like that. A natural extension of that show would be a follow-up act where I tell audience members which filters to use. I can pull random celebrity names out of a hat and list everyone they've been married to and all their children. I can recite every card in Cards Against Humanity. I can do a number of daily tasks with only one hand while my other hand holds my book open. I can't imagine the kind of people who would pay to watch me brush my teeth and put on makeup with one hand but a few more years of Paris Hilton and who knows how low American standards will drop?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dear UNC 19

This week I'm back to giving unsolicited advice on something I know nothing about...succeeding in college. For those of you who didn't go to college with me, I'm kidding! I rocked at college! Okay, I was decent at college. Well, I survived. I really hit my stride senior year, approximately 3 years later than I planned when I first started college but who's counting? When I saw #DearUNC19 trending on Twitter I thought to myself, "Just what the internet needs, my opinion!" and proceeded to write this post. Several of these points are UNC-specific but some are universal so I would advise everyone reading this post to ignore my advice equally, with no regard to where you attend school.
  •  UNC spelling lesson: it's Dook. And every year when Dook and UNC play basketball we get #DookFans trending on Twitter and it's amazing. I'll be twatching. Don't let me down.
  • Dey Hall is pronounced die and you will understand why once you struggle through mandatory foreign language classes.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, wear your lanyard from orientation around campus in August. It's like getting "first-year" tattooed on your forehead. Speaking of which, at UNC you're a first-year not a freshman.
  • The bricks are much more treacherous than they appear. Beware the bricks. Respect the bricks.
  • Nextbus is awful. But you will need it. Finally deleting that app ALMOST made up for the countless lies it's told me over the years. Almost.
  • Class registration really never goes well for anyone. You'll live.
  • Don't be that person who arrives early for a class and proceeds to sit at the end of a row so that all subsequent classmates have to squeeze past you. Never be that person.
  • Pizza in Rams Head Dining Hall is infinitely better than the pizza in Lenoir. Trust me, that's important to know.
  • Your first FDOC (first day of class) you will be afraid that there was an assignment due in class that somehow everyone knew about but you. And in my experience, that feeling never went away. I walked into plenty of classes worried that I was going to fail out of college by missing one assignment. And I actually did, on a few ocassions, completely forget an assignment. And I survived relatively unscathed.
  • You're going to procrastinate. Go ahead and make your peace with that now.
  • Fun fact, you actually don't have to be best friends with your first year roommate. If you guys don't mesh, you will make other friends and live with them next year.
  • Take as many cliche UNC pics as possible. At the Old Well, the Bell Tower, Kenan Stadium,  Wendy's. It's all iconic, I promise. 
  • The arboretum = Coker Arboretum, the quad = Polk Place, the union = FPG student union. That's important for your Instagram locations.
  • Take advantage of FallFest! You don't know what you have until it gets rained out. 
  • Taking a study break to watch Netflix in the library isn't wrong and if anyone tells you otherwise then you don't need that kind of negativity in your life. As long as your study sessions are slightly longer than your study breaks, you're doing great in my book.
  • This might be the most important piece of advice in this entire post so I'm hiding it in the middle. Never, under any circumstances, hit reply all to an email. An entire listserv will hate you. Forever. 
  • You might roll in to Chapel Hill a pre-med chemistry major and roll out a communications major. Or a geology major. Or even a pre-med chemistry major. Crazier things have happened.
  • Trying to get a table at Lenoir for lunch or Rams for dinner is a feat that will require at least 3 people and excellent knowledge of squatter's rights. Be prepared. 
  • Check your school email before you go to class. You don't want to be that person who walks to class to find out it's been cancelled and if you live off campus you definitely don't want to bus to campus if class has been cancelled.
  • That being said, it is very unlikely that class will be cancelled at the University of No Cancellations. Not for snow. Not for hail. Not for a hurricane. Not for losing to Dook. Is it college or the U.S. Postal Service?
  • The Undergrad Library actually isn't the worst place in the world to spend a weeknight. Davis on the other hand...Davis is where dreams go to die.
  • Please don't let failing a science class ruin your life.  
  • Getting involved is a great way to force people to be friends with you. Fact: I had very few friends until my involvement with the Carolina For The Kids Foundation forced tons of cool people to be my best friends or at the very least tolerate me for a year.
  • Your parents are paying a lot of money for you to be able to attend what is in my unbiased opinion the best university in the world. GO TO CLASS. 
  • Phillips Hall and Carroll Hall are alternate universes where logic and reason mean nothing. If you're a math or journalism major you may very well find yourself asking for directions your senior year. If you want to get to the 4th floor of Phillips you need actual super powers.
  • Advice from one of my favorite professors, "It's only a lot of reading if you do it.". Smart man. I'm only kind of kidding. Don't study long, study smart. And form study groups! If you can get 2 other people to need your help just as much as you need theirs, you can reserve a room in any of the libraries. Reserving rooms is so important because reserved rooms make it slightly more socially acceptable for you to be overly loud and obnoxious in the library.
  • Get a selfie with Carol. Any chance you get. That woman is my fashion icon.
  • You might get kvetched about. Or Yik Yak-ed (no idea how to make that a verb) about. And that's awesome. Some think being kvetched about is shameful but I was proud of my kvetch. As in I cut it out and framed it. And someday, if you're lucky, you can too!
  • Sometimes you will go to the wrong classroom on FDOC. And you will live. True story I did this in my final semester on my last class of the day. Let that sink in. My last time ever entering a UNC classroom for the first time, and I went to the wrong one. Luckily I realized it before raising my hand and insisting that I was enrolled in the class. So before I made a complete fool of myself I left and to everyone else it just looked like I was trying to get into the class and there wasn't room. But I knew. And more importantly, I didn't care. 

That's the trick. It's just life and it's just college. You'll live.

I'm a conservative NC State fan. If I can love UNC, anyone can. Just know that while you're all attending orientation, moving in, sipping from the Old Well on FDOC and making Carolina your own, UNC 2015 is watching. And we're crying. 49% happiness for you and 51% jealousy :D

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Questions That Need Answers: Social Media Edition

This post was almost titled "An Open Letter To People Who Tag Themselves On Instagram" but I decided that was too aggressive. This blog is a judgment-free zone. Sort of. It's a zone where only I can judge but every judgment is made up and my opinion doesn't matter. Y'all know that I'm all for ending selfie shame and posting whatever you want on social media (kind of). So don't think of the following as judgment. These are just honest questions I have that I would like answered. Soon. 


Why do people tag themselves on Instagram?
The question that started it all. This phenomenon perplexes me.  I'm not judging you, some of my very best friends tag themselves on Instagram. I just want to know why? Shouldn't we be able to tell from your profile picture or 12 years of friendship which one you are? I have tried to look at life through whatever filters these people use and in their defense, perhaps they think the rest of us are trying to hide something? I think thanks to online dating we've all been fooled into hoping for the best in a group picture a time or two. So maybe these people just feel very strongly about being the most attractive person in that photo and they want some credit? Just a guess?

Why do people subtweet themselves?
Granted, they probably don't realize that they're subtweeting themselves, but still...why? I see people do this all the time. Some boy will tweet "Why do girls always fall for jerks?" and I just think to myself...but that's you! You're a jerk! I don't believe I often tweet rhetorical questions (or anything of consequence), but I do know that I'm not tweeting things like "Some people are too obsessed with Dance Marathon." or "People these days can't drive." because those people are me! Check yourself before you tweet about yourselves people.

Why send mass Snapchats that are also on your Snapchat story?
Am I supposed to feel special that you snapchatted me when I see your story and realized that not only did you probably send this snap to a dozen other friends, but it's something that you shared with all of your Snapchat friends. Now admittedly, I don't open Snapchat stories because I'm incredibly self-involved. And why would I when a possible outcome is discovering that you've only ever sent me mass snaps? I thought we had something special. Does the fire emoji not mean anything to you?

Why use hashtags that aren't ironic?
I know it's 2015 but there are still people posting #YOLO unironically. This has to stop.
When you think YOLO I want you to think "I better remember to wear a seat belt!" not "I'm going to do something stupid and life-threatening now!".

Why Facebook RSVP and then not come?
I'm still pretty new to Facebook so I don't fully understand the etiquette involved here, but I feel like my friends are constantly RSVPing to events that they have no intention of going to.What's up with that? I understand that if I have a party and invite Brendan in Massachusetts that he is going to RSVP "yes" while not actually buying a plane ticket to come to North Carolina for every single Mary-Kate & Ashley movie marathon that I host. That would cost him thousands every year. But if you live within 20 minutes of me and RSVP, I expect you to come. And I'm going to make enough puppy chow for you. And I'm going to end up eating it alone while I watch reruns of One Tree Hill. So just think about that the next time I invite you to a Baby-Sitters Club-themed craft night.

Why do I have more Instagram followers than Twitter followers?
I'm not sure how common this scenario is, I think it's the norm for people to have more followers on Instagram now that it's what all the cool kids are doing. Take it from a cool kid. But I am surprised by the size of the discrepancy. It's almost 2x. And I don't know about you, but I am a lot more funny than I am attractive. When random people follow me on Twitter I get it. It's because I'm hilarious. When random people follow me on Instagram I like it, but I am perplexed. I don't think any of my selfies are #artsy enough to warrant a follow, but thank you brave souls.

Why decline my invitations to like Facebook pages?
Additional question: Why does Facebook feel the need to tell me that someone declined my invitation to like a page? Is that not in violation of the 8th amendment? I think it's cruel and unusual. If I invite you to like a page, it is probably the Carolina For The Kids page. And it you decline my invitation to like it...we probably aren't friends anymore. While writing this very paragraph I paused to invite people to like the CFTK Facebook page. So if you don't want to like it that's totally fine and I understand but you're wrong and bye.

Why do you have to be in middle school to be Insta-famous?
Honestly, I think about these things more often than I should, but I don't over-analyze because I care. I over-analyze because YOU care. And it appears to me that if you're roughly 12 years old you are almost guaranteed a thousand followers. Active followers who actually like your posts and comment, sometimes I feel like half of my follower-base is old accounts or ghost users. But maybe the better question here is why do middle schoolers have smart phones? What do you need to tweet about in middle school? I believe that Twitter is primarily for me to complain and post hilarious one-liners. But even I wasn't that funny in middle school, I was too busy devoting most of my free time to being enshrouded in angst. And what do you have to complain about?
"Man, pre-algebra got me feeling some type of way."
"Gas is so expensive for people that can no longer demand to get chauffeured everywhere."

Why do people unfollow me?
This question has 2 meanings. The 1st is what makes people unfollow other people on Instagram?  And the 2nd is what makes people unfollow ME specifically on Instagram? Because there are a few reasons why I unfollow people. A. They're just too young. B. They post ALL the time about things that NO ONE cares about (group rates, tbhs, shout outs). or C. They unfollow me/don't follow me back. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I ain't no follow back girl. But I don't think I'm guilty of any of these cardinal sins of social media. So you people who have unfollowed me, you know who you are and I know who you are because I'm the type of person who cares way too much about stupid stuff like followers and not enough about important stuff like tire pressure. Just DM me an explanation of why you unfollowed me. Of course, to DM me you will have to follow me so...these things have a way of working themselves out.

Why do people think that Instagram is going to delete their accounts?
Srsly. I promise you it is not going to happen. So stop reposting those images about #savemyaccount or whatever. If your account gets deleted because you took my advice, I will personally contact Kevin Systrom and get your account reactivated. But what's the worst that could happen? Your account gets deleted and instead of spending 3 hours a day on an app you spend that time reading my blog or petitioning your local bookstore to carry my book of essays?

Why do people have private social media accounts?
I will admit...I currently have private social media accounts for employment purposes. And I totally understand when someone has to make their accounts private for their job. But other than that, I just don't get it. I shouldn't have to deign lower myself to request to follow you in order to stalk you, am I right? Is it really "social" media if it's private? When I made my accounts private, I felt like I was announcing to the world "Put a ring on it! You don't get my amazing, original content for free anymore. If you want the milk, you have to follow the cow!" and the world responded with a resounding "Tbh, we could take you or leave you." and that still hurts.

Why do people take forever to respond to follower requests?
If by the time you accept my friend request, I don't remember having sent it to you, you took too long. It is very uncommon for me to ignore a follow/friend request. Either A. I legitimately have no clue who you are and we have 0 mutual Facebook friends or B. you're still too young. But why would someone ignore MY requests? I think my social media accounts do an excellent job of hiding my inherent creepiness and I don't look like a middle schooler with an iPhone 6. Most days. So why do you people hate me? And why do you continue to post and like things instead of replying to my friend request? I just hope you know that when I dedicate my first book to "friends" if you haven't accepted my friend request yet, that DOESN'T mean you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Red, White & Better Than Japan

Over the weekend America celebrated 239 years of running things and I observed the birth of the greatest country in the world in our nation's capital. This was actually my first trip to Washington, D.C. as I passed up a field trip in high school because of volleyball practice and my 17th birthday. Practice got cancelled and my parents forgot my birthday. Lesson learned.

We begin our journey in Chapel Hill frantically throwing red, white and blue clothing and accessories (I have plenty) into my bag in an attempt to "beat traffic". I really don't know why we even bother, traffic always wins, kind of like America. After securing my red, white and blue Nike dunks in the trunk  one of my favorite Ann Coulter books in my lap, we were ready to head out. Going on any road trip lasting longer than an hour with me will require pit stops. I have a drinking problem. Ice water is my drug of choice. I would take it intravenously if that didn't seem medically unsound. So if I don't make a conscious effort to avoid all liquids, I will need to stop at a restroom every 2 hours, which I understand is terribly inconvenient and I'm sorry. But this trip was special thanks to a Mid-Atlantic gas station chain called Wawa. Fun fact about me, I love going to Walmarts, drug stores and gas stations in new cities. So I was pumped full of H20 and excitement to explore a Wawa. As someone who does not spend an inordinate amount of time in gas stations thanks to the convenient ability to pay at the pump and the inconvenient anxiety of human interaction, I am constantly impressed by how much some stations have to offer. At Wawa there was a soda machine, an Icee machine that appeared to be completely functional, a luxury where I'm from, and several food items that weren't made by the Mars company or Frito-Lay. I'm talking donuts, fruit parfait and mozzarella sticks warming right by the cash register waiting for the smell of marinara to impede my better judgment.

Once we arrived, the food situation got more complicated. D.C. is a pricey city. In between fast food staples like McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts and Shake Shack, we had to try some local restaurants. Here's what no one tells you about the capital...the service is terrible! All weekend we had waiters who couldn't remember our orders, or that they were supposed to be waiting on us. Our first D.C. dining experience was by far the worst, dinner at a bookstore that doubled as a restaurant. Our view overlooking the bookstore was great and the food was fine, I would totally recommend this place if you have 4 hours to kill and no plans for the foreseeable future.

In a charming subplot of country meets city, later that night I somehow happened upon a cute little bunny in the middle of Dupont Circle. Or so it seemed. I spotted the little darling hopping around in the grass and shouted "Bunny! Look guys, there's a bunny!" but none of my friends seemed to care. Finally, Jean-Luc indulged me and looked right as I was making my way over to the bunny, fully prepared to pick it up. Just before I got it within arm's reach he stopped me, "Rae, that's a rat." Oops. Moral of the story is that you may think that you see a bunny in the middle of D.C., but you could be wrong. Very wrong.

While in Washington, D.C. for the Fourth of July, naturally politics came up. And I think that my group discovered a very important political issue that needs further consideration. America is in a position to start thinking about what this country would look like with a woman president. I'm not diametrically opposed to having a woman president. I'm just opposed to that woman being Hillary Clinton. Might I suggest Carly Fiorina? In any event, if America has a woman president, that woman's husband will set the tone for what that position entails. What will we even call it? First Gentleman is the obvious choice but for a title that may fall upon Bill Clinton it seems ill-advised. Isn't that playing fast and loose with the term "gentleman"? Even the staunchest Hillary supporters have to ask themselves, do I really want Slick Willie to be the inaugural First Male? Another important issue we discussed...what is stopping the U.S. government from renaming Guam Genovia? Seriously, what's the harm? America deserves answers.

Aside from debating fundamental political issues, we took time to visit monuments, view the parade and tour museums. One thing that surprised me is that the White House is actually shockingly white. At first I thought it was just an archaic nickname, but 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is certainly not off-white, pearl, cream or champagne ivory. Red, eggshell and blue just doesn't sound the same, does it?

If you can avoid the "bunnies" and losing your favorite flip flops to the mean streets of Chinatown, nightlife in D.C. is an...experience. My friend Alex got called a "sassy little kitten" by a Madhatter patron. If you pronounced that in your head as pay-trun, congrats on your English. If you pronounced it as pah-trone, congrats on being Andrew. At one bar, the restroom had a "bathroom attendant" that was really an unaffiliated citizen quick to capitalize on tourists. So naturally my friend tipped him for handing him a paper towel and I spent the rest of the night claiming to be a dance floor attendant or a sidewalk attendant or a Metro attendant and asking him for cash.

After brunch Sunday morning we raced home to watch the Women's World Cup Final. We had been following the tournament. The day before we spent several hours in a restaurant watching England beat Germany in a very physical game and trying to finish our pizzas. One referee in particular took command, making several game-changing calls and even breaking up an altercation between the two teams. My friend pointed out she probably found it ridiculous that she has to break up a fist fight over third place, but I guess countries that aren't America get excited over stuff like that. After the women's game finished we turned our attention to the men's Copa America final where Chile beat Argentina during penalty kicks. Great day for the Lone Star State (Hint: Google flag of Chile & flag of Texas) but I was pulling for Argentina and was surprised at how upset I was when they lost. For years I've had no interest in soccer when America isn't directly involved, but here I am emotionally invested in Copa America because I cannot watch a competition without picking a side. How very American of me. I refuse to not have an opinion. I was only pulling for Argentina because it's my favorite basketball player's home country. I may have many faults (yet to be proven) but being neutral just isn't one of them.

When America defeated Germany (for a third time) there was a lot of buzz about the final match. It could be against England or Japan. While many Americans were excited about the possibility of playing England on the Fourth of July weekend, I wanted Japan and I wanted blood. After the 2011 World Cup and December 7, 1941, nothing feels as good to me as beating Japan. Not even shopping. So if the Fourth of July is my Christmas (which it is), then Sunday's World Cup final was my birthday. And Rapinoe's.