December 3, 2011

Winter is Coming!

I'd bundle up with that. Yup, the title is a nod to the awesome Game of Thrones and foxy Jon Snow.

I hate winter
I know, I know. Hate is a strong word. But I strongly dislike to the point of hating winter.

     I hate snow.
       I hate driving in snow (in the air or on the ground).
         I hate long sleeves and multiple layers.
           I hate shoes that I have to tie and socks.
             I hate being sick.
               I hate being cold.

Winter is just unpractical. And anybody who sits here and tells me they love winter or that "It's better than summer" or some derivative has not really sat there and thought this shit through.

I'm serious. Ok, in summer, yea, it's hot- I get that. But it's not so hot that you cannot start your car. Kid you not, there are places in this country where people's gas and other fluids freeze in their car making it undrivable. You never have to wake up early to scrape heat off your window or shovel the heat out from around your car. Heat does not obstruct your vision while driving or make the roads slick. People do not drive slower in heat, arguably, they drive faster in order to get a breeze in their car. Anybody with a libido will tell you that summer and the half nudity it produces is very nice. There is nothing flattering about winter clothes and if they are flattering- you're cold.Once you're inside, you are now carrying around a hat, gloves, a jacket, a sweater, a scarf, etc. Have fun with that. People do not slip and fall in the heat.

Ok, now I know there's people out there thinking about their own reasons why winter is awesome and summer sucks so let's tackle the common ones:

  • "At least in winter, you're not sweating." False. If you bundle up properly, you are sweating in some places and frozen in others and then you go inside and you're sweating buckets because you have all this shit on.
  • "In winter, you can put on layers and become comfortable while in summer you can only take off but so much." Ok, true. But frankly, I don't want to feel like that kid in A Christmas Story and become some upside-down turtle of winter clothes ("I can't put my arms down!"). Also, in the morning when you wake up, it's cold and the last thing you want to do is get out of the cocoon that is your bed while in summer, you're hot and getting out of bed is sometimes halfway appealing.
  • "I like the holidays." Touche, the holidays are nice. But if you ask people in Florida, I promise you they'll tell you the holidays still happen without having to freeze their nuts off.
  • "I like cozying up to a fire." Summer night camp fire. Done.
  • "I like watching the leaves turn." That's fall, dumbass.
And finally, (my favorite)
  • "I love snow. It's so pretty." This is just the dumbest thing I've ever heard. It's even better when it's followed up with "until it gets plowed". What, you don't want your snow to be plowed?! You're fine staying inside all winter like a damn bear? I certainly hope you ate like one because here in a couple weeks, I'm sure you're screwed. Enjoy that unplowed snow while you starve. Meanwhile, I, over here in summer awesomeness, will be driving to Rita's and be living it up with delicious food that I can access. Another great follow-up is "just for a couple days, then it can go away". Well that's not the way it works, simple bitch. So unless you're out there with a hair dryer, you better accept that snow hangs around and continues to be a lingering pain in the ass. At least rain (which I'm not a fan of either) will move itself along down into the sewer. Snow sucks. Please read above arguments.
And here's my final argument for why winter sucks balls. A solid 80% of those fools who claim to love winter and snow and all that other bullshit from August to December, end up being sick of it by February. You love it or not. Make up your fucking mind. If you like something because is in this very moment you want it (i.e. it's the middle of summer and you're wanting winter or vice versa), you are 5 years old. Think about it.

Although the Russian winter did conquer the Nazis. Touche. Score 1, winter. Score 308745463, summer.

I got bear coasters to make me feel mildly better about winter. They're awesome. But winter still sucks.

November 19, 2011

Empower Yourself to Pull Your Head Out of Your Ass

I arrived early for training yesterday at my internship. I had a little less than an hour to bullshit- so I called my mom. Amidst our bitching and catching up on the various shenanigans in our life, I exclaimed this post's title in reference to other people, "Empower yourself to pull your head out of your ass." I know, I'm a fabulous therapist. I told my mom she was free to use that statement when talking to coworkers.
I finally went to training which ended at 11am when it usually ends at 12pm. This means I could make the 45 minute drive to the other office for outpatient sessions and still have *gasp* an hour to eat! This was very exciting and I won't lie, I had been looking forward to it all week.

Granted, my lunch was a meager peanut butter sandwich and a package of Swedish Fish but it's better than my typical lunch on Fridays- nothing. When I first started the internship, I grazed on my food throughout the day at my desk. But I had the worst ants-in-the-pants and I figured it was probably because I forced myself to be in that miserable office for 11 straight hours. So now I make a point to eat in the break room and socialize with my coworkers or at least get my mind totally off of paperwork and clients.

So I waltzed in, with my hour sandwich. Immediately followed by my coworker.

     Now, before people get the wrong impression, I understand that
     people need to vent (I mean, come on, that's my job!) and I know
     that people in my field can only vent to people also in the field.
     So bitching during lunch in the break room is inevitable. I GET

But,  Jesus. There's a point where you have got to stop bitching. For example, when people ask you, "How are you?", there IS a correct answer- I don't care what people say, that's the damn truth. The correct answer is "Fine." or another 2-syllabled answer like "Tired", "Busy", or "Good". After 2 syllables, I've got 3 syllables in mind, "I don't care." You have reached your update quota. Why does Twitter only allow 120 characters per post? Because we want an update- not your fucking lifestory. You have a 2 syllables to convey your point and if you cannot do that- expand your vocabulary.

Not this coworker! Nope! She will tell you EVERYTHING (Katt Williams "Everything?") that's going on and every time it's bad. Ok, I'm exaggerating. There are moments when she's not negative... she's not exactly positive either, but, you know, whatever.

And fortunately, she just wanted a soundboard. So while I dazed out thinking about American Horror Story (love that shit) while still saying, "No way!" and "Uh-huh.", I was able to suit her needs to vent without really doing anything. But even when I try to agree and give a short example peripheral to my life- which people do-, I could barely get the words out before she was back on herself.
"I'm on my fucking lunch break!"
Again, I recognize that sometimes people need to do this. But this is the one hour I get once a month when training ends early on Fridays (I frequently don't get to eat lunch on Wednesdays either until 3) that I can relax and appreciate my food. .Fuck. Off.I was definitely 2 seconds from a Bad Santa moment. I listen to people's problems all day- I just want this one hour to eat my sandwich.

And then I was late getting my 1pm client from the waiting room because I was listening to her issues.

I spent the trip home wondering how she didn't realize that I didn't care. Or maybe she did realize it... and didn't care. It made no sense.

I have to stress- I don't mean to be mean when I say this shit. I just use this as an example to encourage people to empower yourself to pull your head out of your ass. Again, not in a mean way, just recognize that there is a world outside of yourself and what you see. Other people's priorities and paths are different. Have faith in yourself to manage and endure through the shit surrounding you (HA! Pun totally not intended) because whether you believe it or not- it can get worse. Pull on those big boy/girl pants (see last post) and keep movin'! You can do it! And I have found when I put my problems at the same level as others' (even if it's to think about the starving Pygmies in New Guinea like Larry the Cable Guy) my problems look like nothing- a cake walk.

     ...a cake walk lined with Swedish Fish. Those things are fucking delicious.

November 14, 2011

Upgrade From Pampers

Total failblog! I know, it's Monday and I should have posted THURSDAY. But maybe this means two posts in one week?! Oh, we never knowwww ... Ok, maybe we will know on Saturday but that's a minor detail.

So last post was pretty lame and I apologize. I was having a moment. This past week I've been dealing with other people's moments. SEGUE INTO THIS WEEK--->

People need to grow up.

Not when you're young or something but eventually. And maybe this is my problem, I'm starting to transition into adulthood and my peers are slacking- like, peers a few years or more older than me are slacking- and I find it absolutely ridiculous.

So, I'll admit this may totally be my bias, but I feel like your early twenties are the last fleeting moments to expend the immature and irresponsible notions, your mid-twenties are awkward transition into adulthood, and your late twenties are to work out the kinks and genuinely own your adult self. You may go through changes and revamps down the road but this is it- you're an adult and all those scary responsibilities are not going to be on hold while you work shit out. This is the model I've had. I have no idea where it comes from but since most seem to follow this pattern, I've ran with it I guess.

But not everyone has. My 25 and 26 (and all the way up to 30!) year-old friends/friends-of-friends have missed the memo that IT IS TIME FOR YOUR BIG-BOY/GIRL PANTS

This past year I have dealt with the following:

     A man (ironically using that word loosely) on the verge of tears because a girl is mad at him.
     A woman (again, ironic overuse of the word) ACTUALLY crying because someone is "being mean" to
     Even further, neither of these people chose to go to the person that they saw as mad at them and
     address the situation.
     Even further, both people expected changes to occur despite not informing the other person that they
     were upset...
     This then went around the rumor mill and other people unrelated got mad.

Did I forget to mention that in both cases I'm thinking of different people? Did I forget to mention that I'm 24 and the youngest of all these people? Yeah, factor that in and there's my beef. Because even if I'm not part of the unrelated people whom got irritated, I still feel the repercussions of the (for lack of a better word) drama. For we cannot hang out with so-and-so and so-and-so because they're fighting over bullshit that happened (and sometimes didn't even really happen) months ago. And that's just the majority of drama cases- there have been several other instances where I look at the person and think, "Seriously, how old are you?"

Life is funny- I was talking to a coworker this week about how clients will say something in passing or within the content of their issues and it resounds so much with what's going on with your life. For example, this week, my 16 year-old client was upset about typical drama that comes with being in high school (HS). In my mind, I had to laugh (cannot cry!) because I thought drama was a HS-related phenomenon. Then I got into college and still had drama, but less, so I thought, "Oh, this must be a youth-related issue." Oh false. I'm still dealing with it and it's surprisingly the same shit. I felt exactly like this girl, dreaming about the wonders of drama-free college. I had to break it to the client- this shit isn't going anywhere so let's help you deal.

Two days after that client, I had one of my 20 year-old clients discussing issues with people in her life and she kept repeating the words "Grow. Up." Again, another moment in my head where I had to laugh because I couldn't cry-
     My 20 year-old client knows you need to grow up and my 25+ year-old classmates (i.e. future counselors) do not seem to acknowledge this fact.

 Let that marinate.

Preach! Rejoice in the power of grown-up pants!
So I implore you, people, before you walk outside your house check to make sure you're wearing your grown-up pants! Is griping about that stereotypical coworker worth it? Can you talk directly to the person? If you feel like the same problems keep "happening to you" check yourself- YOU are the common denominator here and whether you're the problem or not, it's time to take action! You need to resolve the issue, prevent it from happening again, or learn to deal! If you're about to walk out of your house and constantly bitch, and throw temper tantrums like you always have, take off the pampers. The time is now to empower yourself with the responsibility of big boy/ big girl pants. It's ok if you're scared, but eventually they will be second-nature and you'll be the cool new kid- uh, ADULT- on the block with your fancy-ass grown-up pants. Ohhh. Ahhh.

But seriously though, if you catch yourself walking out of the house in diapers, get some help, you West Virginian! (as my dad would, lovingly, call you)

November 3, 2011

Bridget Jones' Blog

When I've had a bad day, I watch one (or both on REALLY bad days) of the following two movies: 

     Bridget Jones' Diary
     Rob Zombie's Halloween

Ok, you know what, don't judge me. They are both good films... in their own way.

Bridget Jones makes me feel better about myself (I thought I had problems) and Halloween is my vicarious revenge (Now YOU have a problem, Bwahaha!).
In the past two years or so, I've been avoiding watching Bridget Jones even when I have a real JONES to. I know, I'm fucking hilarious! It all stems from my old roommate totally shaming me about my Bridget Jones behavior.

     A couple years ago, when my roommate and I originally moved into our apartment together, my ex cheated on me. Dick. 
     Instead of handling it like any normal person,  and sending him a dead rat covered in the Ebola virus I watched Bridget Jones' Diary
     about 6 different times, most of which was out in the living room. On my sixth viewing, my roommate walked through
     commenting, "Bridget Jones- again?" Yea, shutup about it. I was not able to even enjoy the movie I had memorized in record
     time, I was fuming. The movie ended and I went in my room to huff and feel sorry for myself when logic came out of his
     hiding place (because let's face it, you don't have logic when you're sucked into the sappy world of a chick flick) and
     said, "Well Lauren, maybe it's time to move on and not BECOME Bridget Jones- except not witty and British."
     Fast forward a solid 8-12 months. I had moved on, had a new boyfriend, life was good- but I didn't watch Bridget Jones-
     even though I thought I had earned it. While doing homework one day in the living room, I noticed a very familiar DVD
     box from across the room- IT WAS BRIDGET JONES! I checked my collection- it was a different copy. And here I was,
     avoiding it. I was pissed. I called practically everyone in my phone and upon answering I would scream-whisper (our walls
     were paper-thin), "SHE BOUGHT BRIDGET JONES!" Yeah, nobody was nearly as upset as I was. Nor did anybody know about the initial
      incident which just made for many awkward conversations.
So now I'm in a different state than this person and I still avoid watching it. I force myself to watch Halloween for the 320984029th time because I've yet to be ashamed about that. But last night, it happened. Bridget Jones went into my DVD player and played. Well, after some coercion of my DVD player which is the epitome of a piece of shit.

The magic is gone. Bridget Jones wasn't the same. I saw the uncanny parallel between a line I've heard over a dozen times and my life the past few months- "I've decided to take control of my life and start a diary to tell the truth about Bridget Jones- the whole truth." Every time someone in the movie implied to her biological clock, I cringed all the more. For now I not only have all my peers, teachers, coworkers, friends, and family talking about "when I have kids" but now CLIENTS. And I don't have the luxury to tell them like I've told several others "I find tapeworms more appealing than children." I have to smile and nod... and die a little on the inside... Maybe I'll send Michael Myers after them. But judging how he treated his psychiatrist, I probably have a slim chance of that working out.

So, I've lost my pathetic character to push myself above. I feel as though I have sunken to the same, sad level. And in my abysmal, self-pity state, I want to watch Bridget Jo- dammit.

I guess now I have to reach to an even lower character to push myself above on those rough days. BUT, on the plus side, I expect to be dating a successful, foxy (although I find nothing foxy about Colin Firth), rich man with an accent (crossing my fingers on an Australian accent) very soon! Mark your calenders for that blog post, people! Yeah, and hold your breath too

Ironically, I'm lying down, on my stomach, on my bed, writing this post-

October 27, 2011

The Memory of an Elephant... with Demetia

"The happiness of this life depends less on what befalls you than the way in which you take it." 
Let it be known that I have a huge philosophical crush on Elbert Hubbard. I chose this particular quote because I have a rather abstract and nostalgic post coming at you. Prepare yourself.
<--- Look at that foxy man! Gotta love the hat and

At my internship, we have a wealth of crazy individuals all with different backgrounds. Side note: For those of you who don't know about my internship, I'm currently doing outpatient therapy in a place located in Lebanon, PA- more commonly known as Bumfuckandnowhere. Without breaking ethics and going into too much detail, we have a client at our location who is 20 years old and has brain damage due to a recent motorcycle accident. I'm not saying this guy was the most normal person on the planet before the accident, but it hit me- this kid's life will never, ever, be the same.

It's kind of ridiculous that I realized this now. Psychology classes (at least the ones I've been in) are huge fans of showing extreme/bizarre cases then discussing the human mind and behavior in relation to those cases. Like Phineas Gage, this perfectly normal and healthy man who got a rod blasted between the hemispheres of his brain and lived (which is pretty impressive since it was around the turn of the 20th century). After the blast, he turned into a royal asshole and harassed the local women (scandalous!). Lesson to pull from this? You know, besides the fact that dynamite is a tricky bitch. The structure of the brain affects behavior. Again, considering the time, this was a pretty wild concept. There's also the extreme child abuse cases we talk about. For example, the kid who was left in the woods and was literally raised by wolves or the little boy who had an unfortunate accident and was raised a girl. Obviously, these people's environments totally changed their lives.

So why did our client in BF-&N, PA hit me so hard? Because this kid had reality and then it was gone. Just like that. And unlike Phineas who had a full life and died a few years after his trauma, this kid didn't. And thanks to the glories of modern medicine, he can continue for many more decades reliant on his parents, struggling to get his GED, and attending therapy until he dies. Yea, it's better than death but man, THAT SUCKS.

And that's when I marveled at life and the universe- one event can alter the course of one person's life. Not only that but everyone around that person's life. I mean, this kid would have never affected my life and my appreciation for my life enough to write a blog which you are currently reading if he had not gotten into a motorcycle accident. Wow.

But even the little things change us everyday. And I think I pretty much knew that before I heard about this kid- I just thought about it more. We all remember both good things and bad things from our past- but what are we forgetting? Are the things we remember worth the loss of what we don't?

     For example, I remember EXACTLY how I felt when a certain person (I remember who the bitch
     is but I've chosen to omit her name) randomly approached me in 8th grade in the hallway
     when we were all signing yearbooks and screamed at me, "LESBIAN!" I went into the
     bathroom and cried and didn't get any signatures in my yearbook.

Years later I think, "Why the fuck do I remember this?" Meanwhile, I have long-since forgotten many, if not all, of the nice things my first boyfriend said to me. Why do I a) care about what someone I barely knew/liked said to me versus someone I did care about b) have a clearer vision of the far past than the recent past c) bother to remember something negative over something positive? I like to think that I'm more understanding towards the hardships sexual minorities have to go through- and even further, what it's like to be bullied for something that doesn't even make sense to you- because of this incident.

People will always say nice things to you (hopefully- ha!) but the negative things in your life are a gift. Maybe not to you but to someone else who can have deep thoughts about it and write on an insignificant blog about it.

October 20, 2011

Be Where You Are- Not Rachael Ray

It's Here!!! By various demands, I have given into blogging. Who knows how long I'll be able to keep up with it but here it goes!
Through the course of life, I have recently been going for it. What is it? Everything. Everything that I said "I will/want/need/should/could/etc. do when..."

I will lose weight before it gets out of hand.
  I want to build my own furniture for my future dream house.
   I should cook more often and get better at it.
    I could make my own decorations and make my home look cozy 24/7.
     I need to put more effort in my daily appearance particularly at work.
       I wish I could be more productive.

Somewhere early last September I finally woke up and embraced "There's no time like the present." I'm not getting any thinner. I'm not getting any richer. I'm not getting any less busy. I'm not getting any younger. And I'm certainly not following my personal credence of  "Get shit done" while sitting on my ass mastering every moderate killer sudoku online.

I don't know what got me to wake up and smell reality, but here we are.

It's tough making yourself do all the coulda/shoulda/wouldas. For years I thought that starting slow and gradually adding each one into a routine would work. But it never did. I've started countless journals/diaries/pen pals/notes over the years and I could not tell you where a single one is right now. I've started menus that could cover a month and buy food that could feed an army but all of it would go to the wayside by Tuesday and I'd return to the same tiring meals of noodles+sauce or cereal. I've made mental notes to remember something I saw so that I could try to reproduce it in 10 years when I have money, time, energy. Ok, Lauren, where will all of that come from?

Moral of the story is, I've flooded myself with every shoulda/coulda/woulda in reason and I'm treading much better than I would have if this was actual water. Hell, on my stovetop right now is some red sauce (note: NOT my standard meat sauce from a jar) simmering and some roasted pork cooling. Were these items supposed to be made Monday? Yes. Are both dishes supposed to have wine in them? Yes. Do they? No, I hate wine. But I made them anyway? Sure did!

My mom sent me a Rachael Ray (or Everyday Magazine, what-the-hell-ever, it's Rachael Ray in magazine form, that's the point) and to be honest, I was pretty bummed it wasn't my homegirl Paula Deen or the Food Network Magazine which I perceived as being much more applicable to my tastebuds (Rachael Ray is strung out on Extra Virgin Olive Oil-which she has coined as EVOO-, smoked paprika, and spicy foods). But then I got the hell over it and opened the thing. I read more and got more out of it than I had in the last year of Cosmo. Shocking. I never thought the day would come when I would find Cosmo boring- every other page is sex, booze, and gender-stereotypical nonsense sprinkled with period and makeup talk!

One article got me really stoked- cook one day and eat for a month. Shit. I can cook for a day! AND eat for a month! This was an awesome plan... a $200+ plan. Ouch. One thing I have learned in my new carpe diem lifestyle- money is a harsh enforcer for me. I'm currently dropping 45 bucks a month for a gym that I attend only about 5 days a week- that's more than $2 every time I walk in! But I've gone every day I have planned to or have made it up another day (except this week due to health stuff, but that's for another post). Now I have dropped the dough and I need to go Martha Stew- eh, Rachael Ray on this bitch!

Fun facts about this stellar plan that will never. happen. again.:
  • The meals are for 4-person families. This means that I'm paying for, cooking, storing, and eating food out the yin-yang.
  • The magazine assumes that a 4-person family would, naturally, live in a 4-person home with a 4-person kitchen containing 4-person cooking supplies. Being a 1-person with a studio and 2 square feet of counter space and a small oven and mainly kitchenware stolen from my parents, naturally, I cannot power through these shenanigans like R-squared even if I vaguely had her skills.
  •  Simultaneous cooking can be done if the aforementioned 4 people, kitchen, supplies, skills are available. Not having any of these, simultaneous cooking does not happen.
Essentially, 1 day of cooking has turned into 1 week of cooking and I curse the RayRay about every 5 seconds.

So here's to being where you are! Be in the moment even if that involves sweating like a pig in front of hotties in the gym, splattering red sauce all over your kitchen (which is approx. 1/5 of your apartment), ending the day wondering where you'll be in a year and what you forgot to do today. Take it for what it's worth and search for the silver lining that may be hideously tarnished.

How did I not find a picture of the Ray with her precious EVOO?
But this picture is just as good.