December 12, 2012

50 Shades of Borrrrrriiiinnnngggg

Everyone and my mom have recommended that I read 50 Shades of Grey for reasons... I don't know, actually.

It's ironic that no one understands why I don't have any interest in reading the books (minus the people in my human sexuality program-- and for that, I love them so, so, so much) and I'm sitting there thinking, "Why the fuck would I WANT to read them?"

A similar situation happened with Twilight except it was less extreme because Twilight doesn't involve BDSM (actually, it qualifies as a straight-up abusive relationship but I try not to go into that with the women who are queer for this "romance"... seriously sounds like a Freudian problem though). With both series, women will introduce the books as being total crap writing but having some wonderful plot or perk of containing sex.

Ok, first and foremost, there's this thing called the Internet and the most highly searched term is "sex" quickly followed by "porn" and "free porn". Alright, you don't want to go into searching Internet porn and having it on your history, risking get a virus, seeing something you can never unsee, and potentially crashing your computer. I get that. But a) that doesn't mean that all of us what to navigate shit writing to access sexytime and b) if you use this reason for reading Twilight or 50 Shades, you're done judging people who do watch Internet pornography. You're either done or you're a hypocrite.

Second, I'm in a human sexuality program. I don't need the excuse of reading crap to access sexual material plus I like to think that my sexuality is not solely accessed through reading high school drama.

Which brings me to another point-- everyone claims to hate high school-level drama (here is where we could insert the random tirade of whoever tries to claim to hate high school-esque drama is full of shit because they are usually the purveyor of said drama) soooooo why would I want to read it? Even if it does have sex in it, wouldn't I want to access something that doesn't have the drama attached? Oh wait, that's porn. There's no drama in porn... just sex (See? That free Internet porn is looking better and better, isn't it?).

Finally, what the hell do you do when you read this shit for the sex? I mean, I know what people do when they watch porn (I even know what you're doing if you're watching porn in a human sexuality class-- analyzing the behavior and your emotional response). But what do you do when you read drama-filled sex? Do you really sit there envious? Are do you walk away frustrated with your sex and/or relationship because your partner is not some abusive dick protecting you?

Side point: you know that enjoying an overprotective dick for a partner is like feeding misogyny, right? Can we just put that out there? You actually want to be lesser/incompetent beings. Seriously, there's no other way of slicing this-- you are advocating and swooning over patriarchal themes that you KNOW are written badly. And by further reading this crap for the sex rather than just going out and having sex or outwardly activating your sexuality through pornography, you're continuing the gender stereotypes that maintain a misogynistic culture. Just throwing it out there.

Pretty much.
And men are guilty of the book recommending nightmare that I experience too. Several guys have suggested I read the Game of Thrones series. First off, the TV show is epic-- why do I need to read 700+ pages a book to re-ingest the same material? Second, the shit is 700+ pages a book-- file that under not fucking happening. Third, my big struggle when reading Shakespeare (besides being written in ridiculous) was that I couldn't keep track of the characters, especially if I couldn't pronounce the names. So people became their first initial, "Ok, that's P-something." Then after about 4 Fs on quizzes, I realize there are 3 different P-somethings. No wonder the shit didn't make sense. And while watching the show, I've joked around with my friend that they needed to slap name tags on these people which includes all their nicknames. Like poor Peter Dinklage. Everyone in the show is a dick to him and calls him "the Imp" and that's all I know him as. And then you have about 12 hot brown-haired males approximately in the their 20s and half of them are some dead dude's bastard son. I cannot keep up with that shit. Moral of the story-- how am I supposed to keep up with these people when reading if I don't have the visual information of what the person looks like?

I'm not reading Twilight, 50 Shades of Bullshit, or Game of Thrones. You know what I read? I read articles for my dissertation or books to improve myself as a therapist.

Because of this, I noticed a couple months ago that there isn't a single thing I read that I do not take notes on. It is exhausting and makes reading even less enjoyable than previously thought (which is saying something because I cannot stand reading, it takes too long-- which actually should be the primary reason why I wouldn't read any of these series). So I decided I needed to start reading information that is completely and totally useless but interesting enough to hold my attention. The only other subject that has ever held my attention for an extended period of time was serial killers (I used to want to be a criminal psychologist). So, after some digging around online, I found a book that was written by a criminologist but watered-down enough so that I'd understand it since I've never taken a criminology course.

I've gotten through the book impressively fast for me and as of last night, I don't want to read it anymore (but I've got 30 pages left, so I'm going to power through it). Most chapters I'd finish reading in one night and then would think, "What the hell was that chapter about?" The whole thing is written in stream of consciousness and doesn't go into details on many things. Further, the book is repetitive and somewhat dramatic in places. The straw that broke the camels back that made me totally done with the book was a paragraph I read last night which gave very incorrect information. I became so mad that I was able to call this well-renowned author and criminologist on his bullshit in a topic I know nothing about.

But that's when I realized-- I don't think I can read anything but the things I take copious notes on or find challenging. I just have no patience or respect for it which fueled me to post this explanation to everyone whom INSIST I need to read certain series.

I'm still looking forward to that book on Ed Gein, though. Crazy bastard.

Plus, a book nor my imagination has this level of foxiness, rendering it boring.

December 10, 2012

What I Learned in School Today...

Before I get started on my post, I have to laugh because I just watched 50/50 with Foxy McFoxerson more commonly known as Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I laughed because I remembered my last post referenced The Help and since neither of those audience group overlap beyond myself, I'll just let you know now that the girlfriend in 50/50 was the woman who got a lot of used commodes on her lawn in The Help. My other thought on 50/50 was that they cannot cast such a hot man as lead role because when his girlfriend cheats on him and no women in the bars are interested in him, it's far-fetched and unbelievable. Also really makes you hate that bitch from The Help.

ANYWAY! Go see the movie, it stemmed those "What would I do if my life were ending soon?" thoughts I covered in a previous post so I won't hash that stuff out again.

Onto this post--

Earlier today, I was dishing out my advice which is becoming more and more fleeting and my friend, whom was listening, remarked, "And this is what she does as a therapist." I laughed and automatically responded, "Honestly, the techniques I learned have been super helpful in my social life but otherwise, the degree was useless." It was laughed off as a joke but I was really struck by what I had just said. That was the truth. Like, more honest than I have been with myself truth. And it was entirely unprovoked.

The last few weeks I have been truly disappointed with my masters. I thought this was the easier route to a job than human sexuality and that the information would help me leaps and bounds on how to work with couples. As I'm applying to couples therapist jobs, I recognize that there is a good chance I will screw myself over in another interview because I don't know dick shit about couple therapy. Even some of the marriage and family therapy models are fading in my memories as they were never commit to my brain for tests. I have couple therapy books I'm about to read because it's required for one of my spring courses in my doctorate but I cannot help but wonder, "Then why did I get that degree again?"

I've been searching for some meaning to satisfy my questions as to why I just spent 2 years and a shit-ton of money for credentials I don't even bother to put at the end of my signature. It was my statement today that I recognized, "Maybe the only point was to learn those techniques, grow as a person, and keep walking through life." So what did I walk away with?

  • don't give advice

It would be interesting to sum-up how much of my life I have spent doling out free advice whether the person asked for the advice or not. What would add a new layer of depressing to it would be to compare to the sum number of times someone followed through on that advice. Ironically, learning this reality has made receiving unsolicited advice all the more infuriating. I want to give the advice to the person to take there advice and stuff it in their fucking holiday turkey.

  • sit on it

In connection to the above, there's frequently a time when I want to say something, but I've learned to just sit on it. In the past, I felt that this was dishonest and would eventually share what is on my mind. I'm still not sure if it is dishonest, but there has truly been times when saying something allowed social interactions to continue to be painless for everyone involved. There is a time and place for everything-- sit on something if you feel you should even if it seems like your head will explode.

  • reframe

Reframing things for myself has become my saving grace. I'm not sure if it gives me excuses (except when I reason procrastination as "self care"-- that's definitely just excuses) but I also know that it has helped me to sort of pack things away in my mind and help me sleep at night.

  • my gut is on point

I have a sixth sense for the most bizarre things-- peg the occasional exact line of a chick flick or criminal minds episode; knowing if I will attend a social event or not (ie will the other person bail); etc. I've also gotten more in touch with my internal reactions which allows me to muse over things until I fully understand why I'm having certain internal expression happening.

  • the most childish things are unfortunately the most helpful things

Why do we teach kids to count to ten or take deep breaths when angry? Why did we practice simpleton "I *feeling*" statements in 6th grade? Why do we harp on kids to make a colorful schedule of their activities? Because the shit works. I've started practicing these things in life and every time I get a little frustrated that the methods work and I haven't been doing them since I was 5, when they were originally taught to me.

  • take the victory when you can and just because you didn't take it yesterday, doesn't mean you cannot today. Don't wait, just do it.

Be where you are. Carpe the fucking diem. You're human and you're not perfect so take what you can get and if you get more of it, awesome, take that too.

And when all else fails, assemble your thoughts into words because while you may have a faint picture of what you learned in your masters which is collecting dust, memories fade like pictures but words are concrete and once they are said or written, the imprint is made and you can continue to remind yourself with a simple list of why you bothered with the degree. You did not know these things without the experience that provided this information and for that, the experience was worth it... even if it doesn't find you a job.

December 3, 2012

Touché, Falls Churchian, Touché

For the record, I'm not a politics person. I'm just generally not a fan of talking politics because a) I'm not a politician and I try not to be serious talking about something I don't know seriously anything about and b) I'm probably not going to change someone else's mind anytime soon so why the hell bother and c) I study sex-- I just have better and more interesting things to talk about that I'm BEAST talking about.

Having said that, this is a political-ish post.

For those of you who don't know, Falls Church is a city that is so far up it's own ass it's also a county... a 2.1 square mile county. Every one and their mom works for the government in someway and most people have more money than they know what to do with.

When my grandfather (and then my mom and then my dad and then me) moved into Falls Church, it was the not-so-hot-shit it still is but people are unwilling to admit. But that's how we got in and managed to be in the same home for 24 years and have, in that time, erected an old horse-pulled John Deere mower in the front lawn (which now has it's own little friend-- a scoop! So exciting). I was the redneck in high school despite my best efforts to purposefully blast Rob Zombie out my car while I run over 5 popular kids every day I left school. We were those people with the extra classy lawn around the corner from our neighbors with the 365 Christmas lights in their front tree (there's a definite possibility that there's something in the water).

But on my way to Panera today, I saw that we have been trumped for most unclassy yard-- someone had placed a toilet in their front yard with a sign above stating "Flush right wing, tea parties, and young guns". Being a true Virginian, I proceeded to exclaim, "What the hell?! Are we in West Virginia?!" and then on my way back, I slowed to a crawl just to make sure, yes, someone ACTUALLY is trying to make a political statement with a shitter in their yard. At this point, I stated (to myself, mind you, because I've officially gone around the bend being unemployed), "What? Were they inspired by 'The Help'?!" Ok, maybe I was working on that while waiting for my sandwich...
Scene from The Help-- too much to explain. Go see the movie. It's hilarious and because I have a major girl-crush on Emma Stone

BUT SERIOUSLY. This baffled me. Being only about a month since the elections, we all have it fresh in our minds the stupid, obscene, excessive, and confusing lengths people will go to make their political voices heard.

And I really don't get it.

This person was just the prime example because, really, what was your thought process? You're sitting on the toilet and thing, "Porcelain throne, you were meant for better things. Instead of TAKING shit, I think you should be out there GIVING shit! A really empowering statement that will change the way my neighbors think about me." I mean, if you were aiming to change the way your neighbors thought about you, mission fucking accomplished because I used to just see your house as one on the way to Panera but now I know a batshit crazy liberal lives there.

I guess part of my alarm was what my neighborhood is-- we have multi-million dollar mcmansions being built around us all the time and amidst the holiday season, you expect lawn decorations. But a toilet? Total curveball.

Continuing my Panera-aromatic ride home, I continued to puzzle, "Why the hell do people feel it necessary to make a big damn deal about their political beliefs?" You really cannot keep your shit[ter] to yourself? And then I remembered that I, too, put some political things on my wall, usually in a joking manner, but all very clearly anti-people against civil rights. I immediately tried to rationalize, "But that's because I care and know about those topics passionately." And if this person passionately care about those things, how is it different from me passive aggressively stating my viewpoints. I walked up to the steps of my house humbled because I finally started to understand a little more why some people choose to be stupid, obscene, excessive, and confusing in broadcasting their beliefs.

I was also humbled that we were no longer the trashiest lawn in all of Falls Church. Seriously, a toilet in your yard?

November 13, 2012

Once Again, Misfortune Has Humped My Leg

Yes, we're starting off dramatic this bucket list update, but I just love that quote from Reno 911!

This is the part where I would reference the 6 other obscure pop culture references but I'll refrain.

Call me weird, but, I have always found something hopeful or positive about that quote. It's not "fuck my life" or "I want to shoot myself"-- 2 phrases I'm becoming known for as well-- "misfortune" doesn't sound as bad as "bad luck" or "sadness" and I feel that being humped in the leg implies that it will end at some point. I don't know, just my thoughts.

ANYWAY! We're updating on the Bucket List today as I have been inevitably slacking on this stuff and updating peoples. It's almost the end of 2012-- insane, right? But then that means another milestone on the bucket list is approaching and I'm breaking a sweat a little bit as some things will not be done.

So, recap: Everything to be accomplished by the time I left Philly was except finishing that textbook for my doctorate. The gender chapter threw me for a loop as I got bored and/or pissed off every 5 sentences and eventually gave up reading. Fortunately, the chapters that were required for the course, were all the chapters leading up to gender and a couple others were optional so, I lucked out there. Probably will be the first sexuality book I sell too-- it was just terrible. All the rest I've kept as references but I really don't need 4 basic human sexuality textbooks-- 3's good.

Moving onto things by the end of 2012:

  • Have the basement mostly done.
Well, if I keep up the pace I'm going at, it should be but who knows. Some time in October, I really lost momentum. I think it's because I thought being unemployed and all, I would get the basement done by the end of September- end of October at the latest- and could have the place decked out with some fantastic Halloween goodness. Well, that didn't happen. The basement is still mostly a hot mess and I'm getting discouraged easily which causes less work to get done, then even more discouragement. It's a bad cycle but we'll see what we can do.
  • Build a piece of furniture I have designed from scratch.
It's funny how in the original post I have written "hopefully, I'll have 4 done"-- Yea. Right. Not happening. One will get done, especially if you count my closet build-out which is in progress of being a post on the other blog.
  • Start another blog for my DIY escapades illustrating the previous 2.
This has gotten done! Exciting! There's 2 posts over on Impatient, OCPD, and Clumsy even thought they're over a month old now. But again--there's closet building fun coming soon!
  • Lose 5 pounds.
Confession: I haven't been to the gym in 2 months. I guess I was spoiled by the new equipment, new building, friendly staff, smoothie bar, convenient location of the Philly LA Fitness. The one down here is... well... none of those things. The exercise bikes aren't plugged in (they're like little decorative chachkies, the building is 2 levels, has no smoothie bar, few machine sanitizer stations, the weight machines increase in 15 lb increments, and the pool has been taped off with crime tape every time I went there the first month and a half I moved back to Falls Church. So, today, being sick of paying for a gym I'm not going to, I went to go cancel my membership and then I was going to head over to the fancy, new 24 Fitness that just opened (new, closer, bigger, 24/7-- all Martha Stewart aka "good things"). I tell them I wanted to cancel and gave the reason that there's one that's closer and 24/7 (excluding the details that their gym blew) and he said, "Ok. And since you paid for you first and last months when you joined, your membership ends on January 5th." I looked at him, surprised, "What? No. I want the membership to end now. Can I get my money back or can you apply that to the last 2 months when I haven't been here?" "No ma'am, sorry." I glared at him, "I don't like that." There's a pause before he says, "I can tell."

That is the third fucking place that made me pay for "first and last month" and then when I go to leave, they're like, "Oh wait, you're still stuck here for another 2 months." You. bitches. No means no. I want to leave and I want to leave now. I feel like my wallet has been roofied and I find out months later that my wallet has the STD of being stuck at this shitty gym for another 2 months! Now, I know I could go start at the other gym today, regardless, but that seems like wasting money! Not only have I blown the last 2 months of membership (which I'm more ashamed of than not losing weight/being healthy) but I'm not blowing these last 2 that I have to take! Fuck. That. Sorry, I'm still so pissed off by that. I mean, honestly, that is the most bullshit shit that has ever been pulled. Why do businesses do that?! What a bunch of assholes!

Ok, sorry. I could and probably will go on verbally but I got pissed (in case you didn't notice). Anyway, yea, I haven't lost 5 pounds.
  • Get on top of the focusing problems and find another general practitioner.
Yea, I haven't done this. And the focusing problems are getting worse. If I get this job I'm waiting to hear back from, I'll definitely be needing to be doing this ASAP!

And the misfortune comes in here- I've actually gotten more done on my long-term goals than my short term ones.
  • Study the shit out of BDSM and other topics on my own without being prompted by Widener.
I've done so much reading about BDSM recently, it's not even ridiculous. I mean, it is ridiculous but I guess in a good way. And technically it's all towards my dissertation so Widener hasn't told me to read this stuff... yet. But when they do, it will, in theory, go against this goal of not being told... but whatever.
  • Be a licensed MFT.
So, this is actually closer to happening than anything else. I've applied to about 40 jobs and only about 3 have contacted me back with a "No, try again!" It's like the damn lottery. BUT I did apply to this one job providing in-home therapy for at-risk teens which has fabulous benefits and would give me supervision towards licensure. It was one of those jobs I was hoping wouldn't call back but did and I think I'm going to take it if it's offered. I'm waiting to hear back for an interview so we'll see.

And that's all! I mean, the final goal was to keep you guys informed and... done. So, I'm out!

October 18, 2012

Sincerely, Future Employee

Sorry, folks! I could've sworn I posted something brilliant here a few weeks ago but it appears that there are 2 blank draft posts on here. My spidey sense is telling me that technology is hating me again...

But I guess we'll move on since I have no idea what I wrote.

I hate applying for jobs.

It has to be the biggest bullshit ever second to the dating game- which I also find epically bullshit. And maybe that's because I suck at both of these things but *shhhh* go with me on this.

Every time I delve into applying for another boat-load of jobs, I feel the compulsion to rewrite my resume and cover letter since they CLEARLY didn't cut it last go-round.

So, I go online and find about a dozen jobs that I could maybe, sort of, kind of, see myself rocking. Then I go to upgrade my resume to awesome status in order to get these jobs, which, as an unemployed person, look EPIC!!!

Side note field trip- The umpteenth person called today about the fucking election. I was initially joking when I said, "I'll vote for which ever candidate stops calling me." but that is quickly becoming a reality. I genuinely believe that the best day of all time is the 2nd Tuesday of November after elections because it has been a week for people to be all hysterical about the results and then calm the fuck down and I can go the longest without being bothered by political "discussion" shenanigans. I'm sorry, but if you're being a stubborn ass and making bold statements either way, you're just being a bitch, not discussing- you think you can do better? Do it or shutup. I don't give two turtle shits about your political party- politicians are uniformly boobs. Except for that one dude in Maryland who apparently swears to not run again if he cannot get his shit together in 1 term. I would totally vote for that guy.

Oops, got on the political soapbox I try to avoid, let me get back to the story...

So anyway, this guy on the phone had, from a researcher's perspective, the shittiest multiple choice answer selections. It's like asking if I'd vote apples or bananas as the best fruit. There's pleanty of other fruit out there and I vote pumpkins, bitches because you never see it coming in a fruit war! And it's fall- the answer's always pumpkin. But he asks me how much I commute for my job- 0 to 15 minutes, 15 to 20, etc. I waited for him to finish before I asked, "Really? In this economy you assume I have a job? That's the stupidest thing ever. I'm unemployed because I'm being BONED by life." *awkward pause* "Um, thank you ma'am for your participation."

Sorry, had to share that- who the hell doesn't at least provide "unemployed" as an option? Horrible research. Shit, that can be my job- walking in, announcing that someone screwed the pooch, and that I can fix it. So anyway, back to me (Priscilla reference)-

I start rewriting my cover letter and resume. And we all know that regardless of how good you actually are, you have to play up like you're hot shit. "My name is ___ and I'm the best thing that ever happened to... what's your company? Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory? Yes, right, um, I'm the greatest thing to ever hit chocolate- better than peanut butter. I'm like the new peanut butter and the new caramel because I'm that awesome. I mean, I could run your company because I live for some chocolate, but I'm humble and a team player so I can totally manage the shit out of some orange green-haired little people from the jungle for you. Because if there's one thing I know almost as much as chocolate, it's little amazon people. I'm actually well known in that community, you just don't know it because you don't speak Oompa-Loompa, which is another reason why you need me for my awesome."

Ok, I had a lot of fun writing that (and now have a major jones for some Gobstoppers) but when writing ACTUAL cover letters, I feel like I am so full of shit, my eyes are brown (Archer reference). And then since I've sat there and purposefully amped myself up as the creator of sliced bread, the let down is all the more rough as nobody wants me.

But I continue to plug away. And in the meantime, I'll study BDSM in Oopma-Loompas or something...

September 18, 2012

Sorry and Other Things That Matter

I'm taking a break from Bucket List updating because, well... because I haven't done shit. That's the long and short of it. I haven't gone to the gym, I didn't finish that horrible book for school, I have no job (consulting or otherwise), I. Haven't. Done. Shit.

Except working on the basement and attending my first weekend class which are respectively not interesting enough updates to warrant a post and does deserve it's own post which is brewing (a.k.a. I don't feel like writing it and it most likely will not get written until months later when I think "Oh shit! That's right...")

No, we're talking about philosophical life shit that matters today, people.

I just saw the movie "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World". It's a funny movie with a wide range of humor and a cute ending and cute puppy. Go see it. It will prompt you to have deep thought-provoking blog posts. Steve Carrell stars as an insurance salesman who has planned everything out with a safety net his whole life. The movie opens with him and his wife in the car on the side of the road, listening to an extremely urgent message- a meteor is set to collide with the Earth in 21 days, ending all of life as we know and don't know it. At the end of the announcement, Steve Carrell continues to stare ahead, aghast, muttering, "I think we missed our exit." He and his wife look at each other, she opens her door, and sprints off into the night, never to be seen again. The movie continues as you watch Steve and everyone else handling the news in their own way. Steve, naturally, takes the middle-aged, meek, White man comedic turn of drinking Windex and passing out in a park. When he awakes, someone has tied an adorable mutt to him and left a note on Steve's chest reading, "Sorry." Steve takes Sorry home and feeds him chicken pot pie while comforting his neighbor played by Kiera Knightley (I really don't care if I'm misspelling these names- it's not the point). Anyway, the majority of the movie is Kiera and Steve trekking across the northeast (with Sorry, of course) in search of Steve's high school sweetheart whom dumped him ages ago.

After the movie, the friend I went with asked what would I do if the world was ending in 21 days. My only answer was, "Get a dog."

And after further contemplation, that is honestly my only answer. I mean, I would like to get everything on my bucket list accomplished and build my dream house and build most of the furniture but I only have 21 days.

The point of being a sex therapist and studying BDSM was to help people.

The point of losing 10 pounds was to look better and be healthier for when I'm older and it would be more difficult to change my habits.

The point of getting a consulting gig was to prevent burnout which isn't going to happen since I a) don't currently have a job and b) am having my career cut short with the world ending and all.

All my goals are a means to make my life more enjoyable while I'm on this planet. Finding the man of my dreams and having that person there for the end of existence would be nice but since I clearly have no means of finding that person, I doubt my odds would vastly improve in the final 21 days of the Earth's existence.

Then there's also the upsetting realization that if I found that person, I cannot spend a lifetime with them. It would be like a cosmic tease that would, in the grand scheme of things, really suck.

One day, little furry friend.
But a dog? A dog has no fucking a clue a meteor is coming. All it knows is that you came into it's life and it was good. You can be there for each other and make each others' final days a little bit brighter. I would die knowing that I made Sorry (because, of course, I'd name him that) happier by being overly loving and affectionate for a few intense weeks all while getting to savor every last moment with a complete and total wrinkly dope who just wags his tail at my presence. I would adopt my dream Shar Pei from a local group and take him to all the places I loved over the years and all the people I care about and then we would end on Cove Point Beach, playing in the surf like we have nothing better to do.

Because, in the end, there is nothing better to do. There is nothing else on this Earth but to love and be loved. All the goals you "ran out of time for" or couldn't do were for your comfort, for your life. But as the external condition of time draws to a close, the only matter lies in the moments you share with others.

But the world isn't ending in 21 days. I'm still going to be a sex therapist and build a house, fix this basement, and maybe find a job. Everything else is within and between the times we plan which is why I try to always remember to be where I am.

And hopefully in a couple years, where I am will be Shar Pei-friendly

September 6, 2012

Dances With Boxes

Greetings from Virginia!

I moved backed into the parental's place on the 23rd. I'm not thrilled about it but I'm looking forward to some of the things I have planned (be where you are, people!).

Last Monday and Tuesday were nuts as I scrambled to finish paperwork for my internship and get ready for the final day on Wednesday. On Monday or Tuesday I got a lovely email from La Salle informing me that I had not paid my tuition for Summer semester. And since I have been able to see the bill since April, they slapped me with a fine. Oh, and since I attended classes with overdue payments, I got slapped with another fine. Since this past week has been so hectic I thought "Hell, this has been here for months- what's another week" and I am currently enrolled in two different schools- earning my masters and doctorate at the same time.

And to be honest, I wasn't even all that upset. La Salle has pretty much become the herpes of my life. One week into the program, I found out that Widener had a human sexuality program including a masters- that moment you realized you've made a bad life choice that you will now have to live with. Fast forward almost two years when I walked in the graduation ceremony (done the first time) but then returned to class the next week. The week after Memorial Day, I completed the rest of my mandatory work (done the second time) but still had a lot of work in my elective. Mid-July,  finished all my work (done a third time) but still had to go to classes. Beginning of August, I finished my classes (done again?!) but still had internship. Two weeks later, I submitted my paperwork (and again) but still had to finish out the required 50 weeks. Now I have finished internship, my classes, all paperwork, and have moved and yet I'm not done with La Salle. Fucking life herpes.

Meanwhile, my online course for my doctorate started on the 14th... which I didn't know until the 17th (oops! Off to a fabulous start). Luckily, the teacher didn't send the syllabus via email until the 15th and the course involves just checking in online in your free time so no one at Widener knows that I totally was not paying attention the first few days of class. So don't tell anybody. I finished ordering my books and, go figure, the one I absolutely need has not been sent out yet. Just. Fabulous. Meanwhile I've gotten some other books in like the Encyclopedia of Unusual Sexual Practices. They have a name for everything! Like sexual arousal to trees. Trees, huh? I guess that's where the term "tree huggers" came from...

And through all of this, I finished my internship. Like, I'm done, done. I finished most of the paperwork and left less than an hours-worth of work for my supervisor. At least I think/hope... Which was a huge goal for me since the last few interns that had left, two left tons of work for our supervisor and the third had to come in multiple days to get it all done. I wanted it done last Wednesday, no return, no leaving things behind. I ran around busy all day, even overcoming my focusing issues (you know I was busy if I could do that!). I worked even 10 minutes after we closed. Chances are, I could have managed my time somewhat better and gotten every little thing accomplished before we closed but I would've missed out on saying goodbye to wonderful people.

I really assumed that I was an intern and I was just "that crazy intern who will temporarily be working here" for my cohorts. During my last day, I had a handful of people whom went out of their way to approach me and provide card congratulating me, little gifts, and kind words. I was really touched especially those that encouraged me to reach out to them as references, if needed. It was very sweet and I greatly appreciate the fact that I was able to work with such fabulous people as a lowly intern!

Beyond these precious moments, Wednesday was terrible as I sat in traffic to and from internship and then came home to find that my Internet had been shut off prematurely. Oh wait, then my phone dropped the call when I was on hold. There may have been two minutes there where I sat on the bare floor of my apartment and cried because I was so stressed and tired...

Thursday morning was the big move and I fit everything into my car with some serious box shuffling. It's like Tetris but worse since some boxes have fragile things and others cannot be closed... and sometimes vaccuum cleaner attachments attack you.

And down in Virginia, the box shuffling continues. I'm almost done with Dad's Area and most of my time now consists of wondering how I can keep moving. It's infuriating because in order to pack all this crap on the pool table and in my bedroom, I need to move furniture A; to move A, I need to move furniture B; to move B, I need to move furniture C which is behind furniture D; to move furniture D, I need to move furniture A. Let's not forget that boxes, clothing, stuffed lions are all in front of/on top/weighing down/in the way of all these pieces of furniture.

I have become Dances with Boxes. I'd put another Kevin Costner reference here but I honestly haven't seen that movie in years.

August 13, 2012

Wrapping Up in the City of Iladelphia

I saw a street cleaner with the "Ph" missing off of "Philadelphia" and I had a major dork moment when I thought that was the funniest thing ever and I wondered why I haven't been calling Philly "Iladelphia" for the last 2 years. *le sigh*

But now you can use it and quote it as my trademark. Merry Christmas.

Where did I see this street sweeper, you ask? Why, while I was finishing up my Philly Iladelphia bucket list, of course!

  • Climb the Rocky steps and take some rocking victory photos.
  • Visit the "Love" statue and take some dork pictures.
  • Go to the Reading Terminal Market one last time.
  • Go to Brauhaus Schmitz one last time.

Well, before I get into that, I have to share my trip to Longwood Gardens. It's this place outside of the city and is absolutely GORGEOUS. When I get around to marrying that bazillionaire, I'm renting out that whole place and getting married there. It has beautiful landscaping and flowers from all over the world and fountains with every little detail of pure beauty just everywhere. I was a kid in a fucking candy store running around that place- I took 512 pictures because I wanted every moment to be commemorated forever. We went for broke (literally) on the experience and ate at the schnazzy fine dining restaurant on the grounds.

Now, as a redneck, I walked into the "fine dining" restaurant expected to a) be turned away or b) not be interested in much of the food served and probably not liking what I ordered c) pay out the ass for everything. Well, we walked in and they immediately suggested we sit outside (clearly the undesirable section) which was nice since the weather wasn't unholy hot as Hell and we could look out at the gardens (dem rich folks were missing out in my opinion). They brought out this yellow tomato with a basil leaf on top in a spoon on a plate. I think it was supposed to be a palate cleanser/awakener of some sort but my. God. I'm pretty sure that was just some candid camera shit where they put stuff in front of customers and then film them eating it, not knowing any better. That was rancid. It was like I walked off the path of the conservatory and just ate a handful of foliage or something. Just. Horrible. For the entrees, I actually saw 2 meals I was interested in which were 19 bucks a pop (yikes!) but the meal I really wanted was the special which was, of course, 38 bucks... so, in a way, I was totally thrifty... right?... Probably not but let me have my moment. We both got one of the 2 dishes and they were both pretty good. I loved my friend's dish more and she couldn't stand it but I was happy I was able to clean my plate even with grits being on it. That's right, ma! Look at me go! We also got an appetizer (after the meal, oops) and a dessert each. I didn't think either of them were hot shit but I cleaned all them up (hey, you don't become 170 pounds by leaving food on your plate, nor do you survive in a redneck household by wasting food- especially expensive food). All the ingredients were super fresh and fanciful and I ate it all. Me. Super notoriously picky eater. Ate. It. All. 

Being with food baby, we started to burn off all those tasty calories by walking around the conservatory and fields. I frolicked frequently and loved the kid's area, taking a bazillion pictures like I was some creepy pedophile (note: children were NOT in the photos, it was just in the kid area, by myself, with a camera, super excited about the fountains and flowers). As night fell, their new exhibit of lights across the park started up and we made multiple laps, ensuring that we saw everything. It was so beautiful. I wish I could do the whole experience again, especially if I had a better camera. Just wonderful. I'm so making a trip up there in the winter to frolic with whatever event they have planned. I loved the place.

One of the better pictures I took at night- so patriotic!

Piggy! At the Reading Terminal Market
On Saturday, my friend and I ventured out for her first trip to the Reading Terminal Market. Every time I go there, I walk by this one place that has all these chocolate truffle flavors that look super tasty and I think, "One day, I'll actually buy some." Well, I finally did. And I've only had one two- eating my second right now- but they're pretty epic.

Then we drove down a couple blocks parking next to the Philadelphia College of Fine Arts and took some cool pictures on the sculptures there until I got yelled at for sitting on it (then why make it look like a chair?!) and walked over to Love Park, taking more photos along the way. No super dorky photos were taken right in front of the statue (since the line to do that was unreal) but I got some cute city living photos.


We trekked along to the Art Museum, where I took all sorts of pictures of buildings, statues, memorials, etc. I have no idea what most of them were for because my friend wasn't into stopping for copious photo opportunities and learning about some of the culture but the photos look really nice- I'm getting so much better at photography, thanks to scrapbooking.

Which leads me to a slight detour from this past weekend (but still on the bucket list track). I'm thinking for the consulting gig, I'm going to go with scrapbooking. Maybe hospital sex therapy consultant will pan out down the road (especially since I met another networking lead this weekend- even though he doesn't know it *evil laugh*). I came to this conclusion after considering my last group supervision (I know-my LAST!). We discussed some self-care stuff and another intern happened to throw out there how she has this creative side which for years went neglected until she forced herself to do it. I thought about how I could conduct scrapbooking parties like my cousin used to do and long story short (too late), I'm going to go with that as my consulting venue for the time being. I'll do more research in the next few weeks but I'm pretty sure that's the best to do in order to meet my goals and develop some self-care stuff.

Speaking of self-care- I'm totally slacking on Finish my first textbook for my doctorate. I keep rationalizing my lack of reading as self-care but the reality is 90% of the information is review for me (sometimes a review for the 6th time) and while it's exciting to learn the new 10% of information, having to bore through the 90% to get to it is slowly. driving. me. mad. The chapter that has officially taken me over a week to complete is about gender, which as an androgynous person, I know the dog crap out of. Plus, the next couple of chapters is sexuality in childhood/adolescence/adulthood which incorporates development (which I hate, loathe, dislike with the fiery passions of Hell) into sexuality to form a hot-mess-of-statistics-which-carries-on-for-several-pages which makes me want to power through this gender chapter even less.

I feel like the "Final Countdown" should play with this picture
Now that I've totally shot my productivity down, back to this weekend-

We got to the Art Museum/Rocky steps which were, of course, ridiculously busy with tourists and people actually training. I don't know why I didn't expect to see people training there. I think it's because I felt embarrassed by my desire to have a touristy moment, I just assumed no one would do the cliched douchiness as a daily life habit. But, uh, there they were.

There's no good cliche pictures of me at the top of the steps, so they're not here. But we did stand in line to take photos with Rocky himself. Because I love Sylvester Stallone like that... *psh* not.

As we walked back to my car, we made it just in time before it started to downpour. We got into my car and began to go to Brauhaus. Side note- after looking at some of the parking expenses I've paid over the last few months and starting a budget for myself, I'm soooooo not going to miss that when I move back to the suburbs. Throughout the day, I kept wondering if there was anything else I wanted to do in Iladelphia and the only thing I could come up with was "I wouldn't mind having one of those ridiculously strong daiquiris from that place that has a shit-ton of flavors served out of slurpee machines." which I had my first night out on the town and out with my guy friend and I distinctly remember being unable to finish a frozen drink for the first time because it was THAT potent. It was Fat Tuesdays, which come to find out later is well known for being super sketch and very popular for it's daiquiris.

In some cosmic manner, my guy friend randomly suggested we go to Fat Tuesdays after Brauhaus. Sold. So after I enjoyed my 3 raspberry beers, German sausages and potato pancake and berry tart,. we headed over to Fat Tuesdays. I finished 2 whole daiquiris without feeling a thing (oh, have times changed!). From there, it was to the gay bar, Bob & Barbara's for some classic music from a small jazz band (including Let's Stay Together). Good night out.

And that's it for my Iladelphia (sick of that yet?) adventures! Next weekend it's moving back half my stuff which I'm currently glaring at in the corner and then finishing up my internship next week! Chances are, I may not get back on until I'm in another Commonwealth, trapped in the basement but that will begin another fun chapter of excitement...
Beer is good, so we should drink some more!

Thanks Unconscious, Not Like I Noticed That Already...

So, we're breaking from bucket list updating (which does need another post) because I had a jacked up dream last night that's just sticking with me today.

For anybody who's known me for an extended period, you know that I'm at a constant Cold War with my sleep... and now all the rest of you know too, I guess...

ANYWAY! I've had chronic insomnia since, like, the womb. You can still get my mom fired up about my shitty sleeping habits when I was a baby- "We would've killed, KILLED for 5 hours of sleep! We heard other parents talk about their baby sleeping for only 8 hours and thought, 'Oh, must be nice...'" Unfortunately, you're missing my mom's facial expressions which I can vividly see in my head but they very closely resemble some combination of the Grinch looking down at Whooville and PETA member in a steakhouse.

I don't have many memories before the age of 6, but most of the ones I do have are of playing with my stuffed animals, cleaning, and/or singing/talking to myself into the night. Hey, don't judge me, I'm an only child- got to find some way to keep yourself entertained and when you're awake 20 hours of the day, you run out of options. I just don't remember sleeping... ever... Although I'm sure I did because I also remember constant nightmares. I didn't have a nightmare-less night until I was 13 or 14. It got to the point where "nightmares" became a fluid term- there are the nightmares that disturb me so badly that I never go back to sleep or there are the nightmares where I wake up scared shitless and/or crying but I can self-soothe and go back to sleep.

On the plus side, I've gained a ridiculous amount of control over my dreams. When I see a dream turning for the worst, I can wake myself up and then go back to sleep or pretty much say, "Fuck this" and start flying around the dream. I've heard all my life how TV kills imagination and I've always thought, "I. wish." because my unconscious will take a concept from a TV show or movie and blow it into extreme proportions rendering sleep useless.

Some 4 or 5 years ago, I no longer had such an issue. Dreams were exaggerations of real life sprinkled with the occasional disturbing dream. Every now and then, a dream will stick with me throughout the day for some reason (usually I can process it and move on), like last night.

Last night I dreamed that I walked into my internship on Wednesday and everything had been changed, there were new therapist which cause me (as an intern on her way out) to be ousted from my assigned office and out every office, forcing me to conduct therapy in the conference room. To add insult to injury, in the mix-up of the new office, my client got scheduled an hour before I entered the office and had been waiting for 40 minutes when I arrived. The rest of the dream was me yelling at people to get out of the conference room because I was trying to conduct therapy. I even surprised myself in my dream by my voice raising several octaves while screaming, "WHAT?!" when the 70th or so person tried to enter the room. I finally escorted the client out since I was clearly in no stance to provide therapy and when I walked to the front, I found that everyone whom I had been screaming at were accusing me of not being LGBTQ sensitive (like that has anything to do with anything) and I explained to the CEO how I was unable to do anything where I was.

Except the CEO didn't look like our agency's CEO, she looked and sounded like the Horse Master from the summer camp I used to go to, whom I haven't thought about for years but I love her so that made the dream very enjoyable for a hot second.

Everything in the dream has actually happened to me at my internship (well, except being accused of not being LGBTQ sensitive- don't know where that shit came from). I also have never had to end therapy because I was in a bad state. But I have been forced to use the conference room and then had 6 people walk in on three of my sessions (which is why there is a bright orange sign saying "Check schedule and knock first before entering" on the conference room door that just HAPPENS to be in my scrawl); I have recently been ousted from the office I was in; I have had a client scheduled before I started work; and I have walked into the office with everything changed multiple times.

But my brain took this, exaggerated it, and threw in an ongoing theme in my dreams- struggling to keep people out of my space. I woke up really annoyed but my real beef is that my unconscious will not let me take a break. I get it, I feel I have no space that's genuinely my own, particularly with my apartment looking like unholy hell and the toilet constantly running (making me constantly fuming). It's something I sit here and think about all day in one way or another so, shit, let it go for these brief 7 hours when I'm trying to sleep. Think about Reno 911! since I just watched a 4 hour marathon. Think about being a criminal profiler for the FBI (hells yes, Criminal Minds). Think about puppies and rainbows for all I care, just let go of the shenanigans I waste my day thinking about for 7 freaking hours... geesh.

And then, of course, I wake up and write a blog post about how infuriating that shit is... if that's not ironic, I don't know what is.

August 7, 2012

She Decided She Was Going to Have a Bad Time and You Know What? She Did.

For those of you coming from Facebook, that is a repeat title but here I can explain it-

Wait, can we have a moment to recognize that I'm back on top of this blogging thing?

Did we get it? Have we truly embraced this moment?

Ok, super.

Anyway, this weekend was the last big blow-out my classmates have been planning for weeks. And soon as plans got nailed into place it was clear we were going to Silk City. Now, our group hasn't found a really good bar since Paradigm got shut down for alcohol violations (R.I.P), but Silk City is up there on the list of clubs I have not been remotely impressed with.

First, it's half a fifties diner; and as I explained to my mom- you cannot sell the best milkshakes in Philadelphia and also be a good night club. Just not possible. Second, we went there three times previously and each time they started the night out with top 40 of the last 5 years. I'm not crazy about this music but, hey, it's a club- I walk in expecting that. Then, somewhere around 11pm (which is when things pick up), they started to play Spice Girls... then N'SYNC... then Blink 182... Ok, blast from the past music is ok for a few songs or even dispersed throughout the night but THREE HOURS LATER, nostalgia time is over- time to replay the shit played earlier. Following 90s pop with douche-bag White frat guy music is also not acceptable. For those who do not know what douche-bag White frat guy music is, it's essentially classics that are played to be seen as "unique" or "different" except it's the same "unique", "different" shit played by every other DJ in the city. This would include "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "Build Me Up Buttercup," "Billy Jean," and a Jackson 5 song, usually "ABC"- again, epic songs but after hearing it for the 10th time in a club, especially after hearing N'SYNC (which I didn't even listen to when it was cool), it's not cute. It's not unique. Stop it. To top it all off, everyone in the group would agree that the music sucked and blew and we wouldn't go back again. But they were drunk. So, naturally, when the place would get suggested again I'd get pissed exclaiming how we ALL thought the music sucked! And none of them would remember. Um, hello, you were blackout drunk. I'm telling you, as the only person with a fully intact memory that you did not like that place.

But I digress. I was complaining to my mom how this was the chosen place by the group and I was pissed. And of course, being a mom, my mom reminded me that if I decide I'm going to have a bad time, I'm going to have a bad time. She even texted me this family joke while I was walking out with my friends to start on our day-long adventuring on Saturday afternoon. I had to laugh aloud and my friends asked about it, to which I relayed the following story which created this family joke:
When my grandmother (Suzanne) was in her late teens, her parents paid for her to go on an epic trip to visit family in San Diego during the summer. Being stubborn (I know that doesn't sound anything like someone you know), my grandmother was convinced the trip would suck and she didn't want to go. Afterward, my great-grandmother described the trip to others, "Beautiful trip! Wonderful trip! Anybody would have loved it. But Suzie decided she wasn't going to have a good time. And you know what? She didn't."
I concluded the story saying how I try to make the most out of anything. Because if you decide you're going to have a bad time- you will. Nobody is going to have a good time for your ass so you might as well do the work.

Having said that, I had a wonderful weekend. Silk City played pretty good music (I was very surprised) but was hotter than a gnat's snatch on the equator! Like, my God, we walked outside and it felt like a refreshing Fall day in comparison. It was hotter than Satan's armpits. Shit. was. HOT.

BUT I HAD FUN! And crossed something off my bucket list (see previous post)!
  • Have one last blow-out with the dorks I call colleagues

Done! And this weekend I'm hoping to go out again (yup, pushing back that moving even further) and knock off the Rocky steps, the Love Sign, Brau Haus, and Reading Terminal Market. It'll be sweettt!


I'm working on other stuff on the list too! I'm working through the textbook (even though this weekend's shenanigans set me back a bit), work through the focusing problems (I had an epic conversation with my supervisor about it- for a later post), design a piece of furniture (it's going to be a French credenza/pie safe combo which sounds bad now but it looks awesome... in my head), I've established a last meal schedule for my final weeks (minor detail I did it to buy the exact food I needed and to cook everything so I can move back the cooking supplies), been going to the gym (to work on that weight situation which I'm trying to not let bug me in all the fun beach pictures we took on Sunday), and as far as having a strong relationship with an awesome man...

I LOVE the movie PS I Love You. If Gerard Butler's character were real, I'd be all over that. Besides the obvious sexiness (particularly in the arm area), I love how he's funny, patient, says the sweetest things (we'll ignore that it was scripted), has a good time, is ambitious, has a hobby (singing and guitar), and can calm the neurotic Hilary Swank chick ridiculously quickly... because Lord knows I need that!

Probably shouldn't go for an Irishman though, being as I'm mostly English and Scottish... BUT I have a template. Now if building a man were as easy as building a French credenza/pie safe, we'd be in business.

Yea, reusing this picture since I wasn't sure about posting pictures with other people.

August 1, 2012

Bucket List

Let's have a moment to consider why there's no "living list" term. It's only the bucket list. You need to accomplish this, this, and this before you croak. Since there is a time limit on this shit, it is now becoming a bucket list.

Before I leave Philly:
  • Climb the Rocky steps and take some rocking victory pictures. I've never seen the movie nor do I really have plans to but seriously, you're in Philly, whats the most immature cliche thing you can do and still relatively argue yourself as a badass?
  • Visit the "Love" statue and take some dork pictures. This was the only thing I wanted to visit in Philly besides the Reading Terminal Market (which has been checked several times over). No idea what attracted me to it initially (since I'm pretty over it right now) but I feel like if I lived here for 2 years and didn't do it, I'd be one lazy ass.
  • Speaking of the RTM... Go to the Reading Terminal Market one last time. I feel I don't need to explain this one- that place is the fucking shizz.
  • Go to Brauhaus Schmitz one last time. Also does not need an explanation. My favorite place in Philly because who doesn't like being a German and enjoying some snau-sages?
  • Have one last blow-out with the dorks I call colleagues... at least one.
  • FINISH MY INTERNSHIP. Ok, that probably should have been the first thing on the list but I'm really not trying to jinx myself.
  • Finish my first textbook for my doctorate. I've already started reading it and it's just so depressing that I will have absolutely NO break between my masters and doctorate. Like, not even 2 second break. No stopping from here for the next 4+ years.

By the end of 2012:
  • Have the basement mostly done. And when I mean mostly done, I mean being able to wake up and not think, "Ugh, God, I have to fix that." Honestly, this is the biggest stretch on the list but, hey, go big or go the fuck home.
  • Build a piece of furniture I have designed from scratch. Hopefully, I will have built 4 or so but after the overly ambitious previous item, I wanted to cut back and feel better about myself.
  • Start another blog for my DIY escapades illustrating the previous 2. Because if I cannot even keep up with one blog, I can surely keep up with 2.
  • Lose 5 pounds. I really thought I'd be looking at 155 right now after a year of going to the gym but honestly, I have gotten very little out of the gym- we're talking only 5 pounds lost, no inches lost (arguably inches GAINED and in all the places that weren't bulky when I bought my entire wardrobe *grumblegrumble* fuck my life *grumble*), and I still hate it... a lot. I have gotten more energy which may be contributing to the SEVERE focusing problems I've been having in 2012.
  • Anddd speaking of the focusing problems... Get on top of the focusing problems. This also involves finding another general practitioner since I'm pretty much fed up with my previous one whom wants me to get a CT scan before she's willing to prescribe me anything for my focusing problems which sounds a whole lot like ADHD. But what do I know about psychological disorders? I'm just a lowly psyc major and therapist...
 By the end of 2014:
  • Be moving out of the parentals. Ideally, into my own place but since Northern VA is SO expensive, I'm not trying to set myself up for failure, here.
  • Be working in mental health again. I've already resolved that I have to get a temp agency for the next year or so and if I want to save dough, I have to get a job that actually PAYS as opposed to an internship in the field which probably will not.
  • Established a meal schedule... and actually stick to it for more than 2 weeks!
  • Lose 10 pounds (including the previous 5). I feel that that is reasonable especially since people lose that much in 1 month, shit...
  • Hang out with my relatives more. Including connecting to my mom's former stepmom (if she's willing), reconnecting to my great aunt, reconnecting with all my cousins (my youngest cousin is, like, 6! and I think I've seen him in person once and he was totally only 2- I have no idea what the hell happened to him because it hasn't felt like 4 years), and hanging out with my grandmother at least once a month (but ideally once every other week).
  • Start therapy for myself. Ideally, I want to start this by the end of 2012 but as I'm looking at my list, I may be shooting my wad, here.

By the end of 2016:
  • Have my doctorate. I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hope so... really
  • Be in a strong relationship with an awesome man. Yea, I feel like I should not list this as a goal to be accomplished in a certain time frame but I like to dream.
  • Study the shit out of BDSM and other topics on my own without being prompted by Widener. I know I've been talking about my disappointment in my programs (a brewing post), but to be honest, I don't want to settle with the education given to me. The moment I stop searching for more answers is the moment I know I'm missing stuff.
  • Take a course not related to my career. I'm aiming for furniture-making course but if drumming or something else works out, I'll go for that.
  • Start a consulting gig. I wouldn't mind being a sexual consultant for hospitals, schools, sex toy party consultant, -hell- even a scrapbooking consultant would be really cool.
  • Be a licensed MFT. This is the one thing on the list that if I don't have, I won't be super bummed about since it's quite possible that that is not in the cards yet.
  • KEEP YOU GUYS INFORMED OF MY PROGRESS!!! And keep up with this blog. I don't always promise funny posts (and I got to stop expecting that from myself since that's what prevents me from writing), but hopefully most of them will be keepers.

So there it is people! Keep asking me about it so I will have to do it to not feel like a complete and total ass who has to respond, "Uh, I haven't done shit"!

Also, Philly people, expect to be hit up for the first part of the list.

June 26, 2012

Spontaneous Post!

I was reading an old post from one of my friends (I had many inspirations from her blog- it was epic) and she was discussing (OMG, I write "discussing" in just about every other sentence in my progress notes and now every time I type it outside of a progress note, my skin crawls) how she is trying to incorporate more spontaneity in her life.

Let's have a moment where we consider the irony of planning less planning in future plans... boom.

So, I'm reading this thinking, "How does one NOT plan?" It seems to go against every part of my being. I mean, I have flashbacks to all the moments I have encouraged my clients in some way to PLAN something for their future. And here I am trying to not plan.

Kid you not, my first thought in wrapping my mind around the concept of not planning was "I would have to plan..." And I caught myself. Honestly, how do you plan to not plan while coordinating with other people's plans? (Anybody else thinking of that scene in the Dark Knight when the Joker is saying how bad things happen in society and it's OK as long as it's part of the plan?) Like, for the last few months I have been pouring myself into my "plans" (wow, let's DISCUSS how old that word is getting...) for living in and sprucing up my parents' basement. I mean, if we truly took the opportunity to explore why I'm developing all these artsy fartsy ideas for a living area I will only be in temporarily, we would find that this is helping me reduce the anxiety I have about this endeavor while feeding my feelings of competency and allowing me to be distracted from other work I could be engaging in... but let's not get into that.

Actually, let's... kind of... not directly because I don't know if I'm ready to put that on a blog and make it a whole new level of "official". Planning does so much for us. It's not just "I have items A through X to do and I'm going to have to physically pencil it all into a calendar or else it ain't happening." Yes, I said A through X instead of Z, it was spontaneous, get with it. In your planning, you can totally forget why the fuck you're doing A through X.

So let's explore (not discuss!) this deal with the basement, since I already brought it up. That's right, people, we're going to directly address it- if you didn't see that coming, you did not read the title of the post. I want to move back to my parent's house. I have advertised that my motivation is to save money and the more I dream about the hypothetical money I will be saving, I drool a little bit. Of course, if we factor in the tuition loan payments coming up, it will probably only be a fraction of that but I'm still in grad school so we're going to continue to float the delusion of I will work out that hefty bill at a later date. I've been offered by a few people to come live with them (again, we will ignore the fact that I find these people wonderful and delusional for wanting to live with ME) and while I have given all of these prospects great thought, the dream dissipates and I'm still looking at trying to live with my parents. And then I start to consider why the hell I'm trying to swing this. A year ago, as I was making this plan most official, I literally had a panic attack. Living in a cardboard box was looking preferable. And yet, I find myself burrowing deeper into my plans. It honestly makes no sense.

And it's dawned on me that I'm probably just trying to prove something to myself. Instead of accepting the fact that I may be a competent family therapist, I am pushing myself to the ultimate test- negotiating life with my own family. I don't know if this is the actual reason- I really need to get on that personal therapy train. But as I have spontaneously forced myself to recklessly delve into my psyche, without planning it, I've recognized that my DIY To Do list consists of mental gymnastics to avoid all the cognitive garbage behind my endeavors (and my brain is going for the fucking gold on this one).

But my instincts pull me back into my plans to "be where you are". I have to cut my spending and save considerable money before I totally charge out into the world and all these plans may ultimately help make the basement my own and something that helps me own the situation- to be where I am and embrace the situation for what it is.

I'm aiming for nature and sophisticated ridiculousness.
Seriously though, that basement is going to be fly.

June 5, 2012

I Love You Like a Fat Kid Loves Cake

Thanks for hanging in there, guys. I love you... like a fat kid loves cake. And not like the Rhianna/Chris Brown Birthday Cake, I mean regular cake. Although, fat kids may sing the Birthday Cake chorus like I do when I eat cake... that sounded mad awkward, let's move on.

This is something that has sent me around the bend at least a few dozen times and probably will a few dozen more but for reasons I'll explain later, I haven't mentioned it.

I'm 5'7" and weigh 160 pounds... on a good day. When I'm slouching, it's 5'6" and usually I'm 165-170.

Before everyone says this in some divine unison, I am aware that some people do not see that. I see it every. freaking. day.

And if I haven't learned anything else from psychology it's this- if everyone else says the universe operates one way and you say another, you are probably crazy.

But I'm pretty sure I'm right, not crazy. I'm like 90% sure I'm right and the more people try to insist I'm wrong, the more I'm so sure I'm right.

And it's because of what people say BEFORE they know my true weight. Actually, detour- Who the fuck actually thinks that I'm the one woman who lies UP about their weight? Honestly?! If anything, I'm the only woman on this planet who will tell you their true weight if you ask. Granted, you'll get the one eyebrow-raise of "Excuse me?!" but I will be honest. Do you think I lie up about my weight because I enjoy being heavier than every single one of my boyfriends and love interests? Yes, because I value someone pitying my weight over how that makes men around me feel. I just don't get it. Why would I lie up about my weight? Especially if I can get away with telling people I weigh 145, why would I lie up?! Last I checked, being overweight was not socially or sexually desirable in this country- PARTICULARLY for women. Not like we can rationalize it by playing football or something... Geesh... Ok, anyway-

I've heard so many negative comments over the years against overweight women. And they are just said right in front of me and I sit there thinking about women whom have it worse off than I do. My. God. That must suck for them. And then I wonder if they don't hear the things I hear because their looks more closely resemble their weight.
Chicks with stretch marks are gross. (Side note- no one has control over that. It's dependent on how fast your bones grow in puberty, ass)
I would HATE to have my girlfriend weigh more than me. That's gross.
Fat chicks, like, you know, those weighing over 150.
Lane Bryant sells clothing for fat women. (They sell sizes 10 and up- I'm a 12)
OMG, I feel so fat- I weigh like *insert a number between 120 and 135*.
 OMG, I feel so fat- I cannot fit into a size *insert a size between 4 and 8*.
And the one I heard today which prompted this post was a man referring to his daughter whom felt fat, "She's like, 5'6' or 5'7" and weighs 145, and I think she looks great." I replied (knowing that 145 is where I'm supposed to be), "And that's where she SHOULD be." That was a hinthintnudgenudge I don't weigh that- I wish I did! But the man didn't pick up on it and I just became very uncomfortable as I restrained myself from screaming and tried for the umpteenth time to assure myself that this person means nothing wrong.

Just like no one ever intends to insult me when they say these things around me but recognize that when you say something like the above, I inform you of my weight/size/stretch marks, and you tell me "Oh, you don't look like that." YOU'RE PAYING ME LIP SERVICE. You made an unbiased remark about how you feel and then started singing a different tune when I reveal you were just a total dick? Oh, well then I'm totally going to believe you. It's even cuter when people try to follow up with "It depends on how you feel" or "It really depends on how healthy you are." Oh, really? Well, now that I've sat here and heard you talk shit about something that describes me, I feel fucking awesome- and then I remember how much my doctors like to tell me I'm overweight. Oh, "it's all about proportions"? A sphere is proportional, too, ass. I'm not stupid.

Proportionally to Princess Leia, Jabba the Hut looks fat but that's probably because he's fat.

Again, I recognize that no one intends to do harm when they make these statements. But if you could just respect that that's how I feel, I'd really appreciate it. Telling me I'm full of shit will not help me boost my confidence. Also, just as I try not to discuss my negativity about my weight to other overweight people (women in particular), maybe you shouldn't be making bold, insulting statements about "fat" people. If you feel that way, that's nice. You can keep that to yourself. It's one thing to say you're unhappy about your weight. Ok, so is everyone else. But quantifying yourself as "fat" based on weight/size/other measureable characteristics is some dangerous grounds. It's like calling yourself old around someone who's 90. Just shut up. How do you think that makes them feel?

Finally, I have to state that I'm aware my weight is due to unhealthy choices I've made. I get that. I can change it and I'm working on it in my own way in my own time (I swear, staring at this picture of Jabba the Hut is really helping curb my appetite). But if I don't look as bad as I feel- who the fuck cares?

April 23, 2012

Forgive me, blog, for I have sinned. It's been several days since my last confession.

This is another long time brewing post with multiple drafts and edits.

Honestly, it's a message I want to type up, print out, fold neatly into an envelope, and then jam down one person's throat. Or as a fellow intern said (in reference to something else), I want to salt and pepper it and make the person EAT IT.

Ok, that sounds intensely violent (should probably stop the Criminal Minds marathon...) but this person's behavior REALLY bothers me. And it's not just this person, tons of people do what this person does in multiple different ways but for some reason I've been unable to cut this particular person totally out.

This person is what I would call "extremely religious". To clarify- there are those with strong religious beliefs. These people follow their religion closely and gain great strength from their practices. Further, they enjoy sharing their experience with others but respect other perspectives enough not push their their practices on other people.

A fabulous example would be an undergraduate friend (I will not mention her name since I didn't get her permission to do so but I'll let her know this is a secret shout-out to her awesomeness). Before I met this person, I'll be honest, I did not have a positive opinion of people with strong religious beliefs nor those who thought external forces controlled their lives. This epic example of a woman (and a woman of God) changed my opinion- frequently she discusses (and continues to on her Facebook statuses) her daily events as being caused or allowed by God/Jesus. But instead of blaming God for misfortune, she sees God's challenges as just that- challenges that will help her become more beautiful, strong, and awesome for things to come. Now, I'm not saying I'm jealous of my friend's connection with the Lord- I'm comfortable with my relationship with him and know that her lifestyle would not really work for me- but I greatly admire and respect her for being epitome of a good person and a good Christian.

Now, granted, there are some not-so-good Christians out there. And I don't mean people like me, whom have a general apathy for their religion, but I mean people like the Westboro Baptist Church. These are the "extremely religious" people I referred to earlier- they take their religious to an uncomfortable extreme. And street goes both ways- the first person whom I mentioned in not-so-nice terms is an extreme Atheist.

Now, he's not going out there and protesting at churches (although I honestly wouldn't put that past him) but in all the time I've known him, he has been constantly speaking out towards those with strong religious beliefs, particularly Christians.

I've even asked him before: if someone's beliefs gives them hope and comfort, why does it matter to you? I don't remember his exact response (since this was probably 2 years ago) but I know that this person operates on science as a religion- something he defiantly believes in as "truth" and the only truth. Those whom do not believe in this one and only truth, are illogical and and, therefore, unworthy of respect. Further, I know this person sees his role in life as someone who must confront those with religion and repent for their illogical behavior.

Because, you know, that's not at ALL what extreme Christians or Muslims or *fill in the blank* do. They NEVER use strong, hurtful language and actions to attack others' personal and spiritual beliefs. Nor do ever they act condescendingly towards people whom have differing beliefs. They always totally love and respect others as being from another walk of life and appreciate them for holding differences opposing them. AND as someone who is a true scientist, this person openly welcomes those to challenge his theories for the more challenges you face, the stronger your theory becomes.

...oh wait, that's not what happens? Oh,... Sciencedamn... (as opposed to God- I know, I'm hilarious).

Let's not even address (heads up- I'm totally about to address it) the fact that science is not ironically not fact at all. Science is a breathing, evolving community with adapting practices like a... a... um,... huh... er... maybe a fucking religion. Seriously. Science used to say the sun revolves around the Earth. And if we go by the idea that science is the truth that means... oh... Sciencedamn! I could continue to illustrate how science has drastically changed throughout the years but that's unnecessary (and let's be real- if my C average in history ass can name more than 2 examples, you know there's a shit-ton more we're missing). Now, I have heard Atheists criticize the religion for the catastrophic things done in the name of religion. Anybody remember the eugenics movement (can we again take a detour to admire this C students recount!)? Thousands of people were made infertile in efforts to weed out genetic imperfections. Scientifically, this makes total sense. Does it make it right? No. But don't PREACH to me about how religion has done historically terrible things in the hands of man.

Religion's not the problem. Man is the problem. For if you remove religion, I promise you man will find a way to hurt and manipulate others. Maybe I'm too Hobbesian (Thomas Hobbes, of course, being a high member in Christianity... oh wait, he was a philosopher) but man is selfish brute and he/she will find a way to do ugly things.

So pot, this is kettle telling you to look in a fucking mirror.

Seriously though, how full of pride do you have to be to not acknowledge that you have the same flaws you cannot stand and sneer upon on a daily basis?! And maybe that's why this person particularly bothers me- people with pride just get under my fucking skin. I'm still doing some self-exploration as to why that bothers me so but it does. I cannot stand those with pride- and I don't mean confidence or a sense of self worth but genuine PRIDE like John Doe from the movie Se7en contemplated using you as part of his master plan. I mean pride as when all those dead white dudes like Dante were sitting around talking shit about prideful people, they were thinking about you but wanted to spare your feelings. I mean pride as in you limp around with no nose because you shot yourself in the foot and cut off your nose to spite your face. Peacocks have nothing on your pride.

Ok, I went a little overboard there...

So why do I continue the vague connections I have with this person? I feel sorry for him. I'm sorry that he does not have the Lord to be his shepherd or Allah as a guide. I'm sorry that he has not found enlightenment from the teachings of the Buddha and will be reincarnated as a lesser being. I'm sorry that he cannot just find comfort in his personal "truth" and let the others explore in their own good time. And I'm sorry that he has chosen to look for all the negatives in the people around him who do have some sense of morality and love, even if it came from a religion. I have no intentions of being my beautiful friend whom walks with the Lord with every step, but I hope to continue to be a more positive example of someone with religion, even if it's only the vaguest amount.

Thank you, I'll get off of my pulpit...
Here's a lambie of God. While browsing through pictures I realized how literally all of our holidays (except maybe New Years) derives from a religion. Thanksgiving and July 4th? Colonists fleeing for religious freedom. Thank you, religion, because I know there are some days when we'd rather not work.

April 22, 2012

I have no witty title

Love that title, right?

So I'm the worst blogger ever. We have established that. BUT I have another idea for a post marinating in my brain so hopefully y'all will not have to wait another 100 years to hear from me.

This post has actually been a long time coming. I've mentioned in some previous post about a rant on gender and here it is. Although it's not in rant-form. Sorry to disappoint.

For those of you who don't know, I consider myself to be androgynous. But let's back up- there IS a difference between "sex" and "gender". "Sex" refers to the biological stuff that if I listed the terms here, some people may giggle reading; in our culture we use the words "man" and "woman". "Gender", however, is social and considered learned. It's the behavioral and personality characteristics our culture attributes to masculinity and femininity (ex: men are seen as aggressive and logical while women are seen as nurturing and passive). "Androgynous" is seen as a gender alternative (instead of "male" or "female") which contains both masculine and feminine personality and behavioral characteristics. For example, a lot of people would describe me as logical and neurotic as well as aggressive (particularly when driving- yikes!) and talkative. Making sense?

Well, last year, a teacher asked for me to explain what my experience was as an androgynous person. Being put on the spot, I went on a micro-rant about people insisting I have children (which may be a future post, who knows) which is not at all the big picture. I felt bad I did not portray my androgynous peoples better. For shame! But a year later, I finally came up with a good answer (ever had wanted to do a Mulligan on a moment in your life? True story.):

Being androgynous is like enjoying country music. I know, follow me on this. It's a quality people cannot tell by looking at you and not always something you mention to people or maybe wouldn't boast about in a given setting but it's a part of you that you appreciate and it defines you. Since it is not an apparent quality, frequently you'll be around people who will talk all sorts of shit on country music and on how much they hate it. Most of the time, you just sit there and hope no one asks why you're not agreeing.

     Similarly, when I'm in a social setting, people assume I agree with them or that I dislike behaviors men do
     because I'm a woman. Further, in mixed company (men and women), men will assume I do not agree with
     or side with a woman's perspective. It's usually when surrounded by women, I become more quiet as I
     debate whether I should speak against them or just get over it. Most of the time I don't speak up and most
     of the time I wish I had.

But maybe there's a time you do speak up and say, "Hey, I like country music." You'll get two responses. One response is someone telling you your wrong... on your opinion... which you just stated as a truth. "You're not wearing cowboy boots or have a cowboy hat so you don't listen to country." Ok, that was a silly example but country fans know what I'm talking about- people ask how you could possibly like country and act like you're unstable and that's the only possible explanation as to why your ears do not bleed (I know this happens because I sometimes do it- sorry!). Another response is the complete opposite where the person recklessly backs up, trying to say they too, enjoy country music, "Oh, yea- I really love the song Red Solo Cup!" Let's be honest, Red Solo Cup is not country- it's just amusing cultural trash and you will never hear me say I enjoy it but I know plenty of people who hold that song as their country music torch. Now, depending on your mood, you may want to slap this person, "Please, you do NOT listen to country music" or you just smile and nod, appreciating that they are trying to understand you when they clearly don't get it.

     With me, I usually (about 60% of the time) get the shut-down. I'm a woman and that makes me female or
     I'm seen as crazy or cold-hearted for agreeing with a male perspective. The other 40% is people who agree
     that they too have the same experience. Really? You just became androgynous in the 2 minutes you've
     known about the concept? Wow. You must be going through some serious crises.

That's the big picture stuff. In the day-to-day, you just see things differently as an androgynous person. Gender (and particularly gender preferences) is everywhere for me. Which brings me to the cute story which fueled this post (several pages later, I know, my bad).

This past weekend my family did our annual tradition of going to Oatlands, Virginia (outside of the sleezburg as we would call it) for cross country timber races, where we gamble, drink, and eat Popeye's. It's a classy event that Paris Hilton tries to get into every year.

THIS year, my aunt decided she needed more entertainment than dad and I drinking and amusing each other with Spongebob Squarepants references (which, of course, we still did) so she invited her friends. Four of which were two middle-aged couples who brought a little 3-year-old each with them. One boy, one girl. Naturally, these two are destined to be together like this is a Disney movie and the little boy tried to pursue the little girl all day- holding her hand, posing with her in pictures- in between stuffing his face with brownies and carrots (a balanced diet). Side note: The boy's father definitely told the boy, "You may want to stop stuffing your face, buddy, it's actually NOT a good way to get the ladies... trust me" as if speaking from experience.

The little girl was NOT into holding hands... unless no one was looking. She would not pose for pictures, and, in fact, hid behind her sunhat (ouch!). She pretended to be interested in another, older, boy, while looking over at the 3-year-old. When the 3-year-old would lose interest and be by his parents, the girl would grab a bunch of carrots and offer them to the boy. The moment his eyes became aglow, grabbing the carrots, that girl would dart off.

Being an awesome wingman, the boy's dad grabbed his son's arm, pulling an iphone out of his pocket. He yelled so the little girl could hear, "HEY! WANT TO WATCH A VIDEO?!" As he grabbed his son (whom was still looking around for the love of his life) and pulled up the video, the girl immediately tottered over, bearing more carrots. The father gave the iphone to his son commenting that it was "like fishing". The son, a novice at this game, immediately handed the phone over to the girl, whom dashed off with it, leaving him baffled.

Now, all us adults watching were laughing our asses off at this transaction. As an androgynous person, I walked off still thinking about this and ultimately became saddened with what had just happened. Here were a solid 7 adults (including myself- if we can call me an adult) reinforcing these two kids what they should be doing (girls resist but maintain connection with food while the boy lures with material goods, ultimately bewildered as to his losses). And as early as the age of 3! That's how early we openly and outwardly tell our kids this is the gender game and this is how you should play as a man/woman. But these kids kind of already knew even before the adults became involved.

And that's my experience as an androgynous person. I see what I should be doing as a woman and I don't get it and go another route which is typically seen as "masculine". To be perfectly honest, I don't know if it is or not nor do I care. I just don't want to be considered feminine or masculine.