Wednesday, August 24, 2016

turn it off.

when i was in college, my family and i were driving back from my grandparents' lake house late at night after a fireworks display. we were in the car that my brother and i shared in high school and my father informed us, about halfway home, that we were five miles away from hitting the 100,000 mile mark.

for anybody else who pays attention to that kind of thing, this would've been an exciting moment. in 2006 my old minivan broke 100,000 miles and i was upset when my dad didn't inform me. (we were driving to new york and i was asleep.)

i remember my dad telling us about the 100,000 mile mark very vividly. we were on lincolnway, almost to columbia city, and it was going on midnight. i was sitting behind my dad, my mom was asleep in the front seat, and my brother was next to me listening to his ipod.

but i was not excited about the car's milestone. i was absolutely terrified.

you've probably seen something like this before.

i just swiped this off twitter, where i saw it about five minutes ago. hence the post. 

for all intents and purposes, worrying is a waste of time. worrying doesn't actually change anything. it does mess with your mind and steal your happiness. all of this is true.

but that doesn't mean that i don't cringe when i see posts like this on twitter, facebook, someone's perfect instagram, whatever. 

every time i see something like this, i cringe.

my anxiety is not a secret. i was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder when i was sixteen and it explained my entire childhood. in third grade my teacher told me to take an envelope to the secretary in the front office. i got halfway there before being absolutely frozen with fear. i paced up and down the hallway, holding the envelope in my increasingly sweaty hands before finally deciding that i couldn't go inside. i walked to the office, crouching so they couldn't see me through the windows, and left the envelope on the visitors' bench in the commons. 

that was in 2000. i have no idea what was in that envelope or if it ever made it to the secretary. 

i had always put that story out of mind, and i've never told anyone about it, not even my parents or my boyfriend. but when a psychiatrist in 2006 told me that i had GAD, that was the first thing that i thought of; a terrified ten year old too afraid to walk into the front office to deliver an envelope.

many other stories come to mind, most of them dealing with elementary school and middle school and situations that i could never explain and therefore never spoke of.

driving through the country at midnight with my father telling me that my car was about to reach 100,000 miles, my first thought was that as soon as the car reached that milestone, it was going to break down in the middle of nowhere. as soon as the odometer hit 100,000.00, the car was going to stop. there would be a clanking noise and it would cease to run.

i thought on this for ten seconds, and then my mind zoomed into overdrive. it wouldn't just stop working and we'd be stuck calling AAA. no, the car was going to crash. it was going to roll over and flip. the windows would break and we'd have to crawl out and there would be screaming and broken bones.

i thought on that for ten seconds and my mind kept going. it wasn't going to stop running or flip, it was going to fucking explode.

if you're thinking that this is irrational, you are absolutely right. but to me, these thoughts were completely rational.

i spent the next five miles in a state of sheer panic. i didn't want to alert anyone that i was so scared i almost shit myself, so i sat quietly, trying not to make too much noise as i hyperventilated, thinking about what the afterlife was going to be like when the car exploded and my family members and i died. hopefully instantly. 

we passed 100,000 miles. nothing happened. we made it home. i went to bed and woke up the next day. my life did not change.

the summer that my anxiety took a gigantic step backwards and dragged me with it (2013) i brought this up with my therapist. she instructed me to go get a small journal at the store and write down everything i was ever anxious about, including anxiety trains, like the car train. often one small worry will spark another until a gigantic spiral takes place, and she wanted me to document those.

i kept that up for literally half an hour. anything more than that was too overwhelming.

i don't have that journal anymore, but i remember writing the list of things i was anxious about for ten solid minutes. it was almost four pages long and i wasn't even doing anything. i was just sitting at home listening to regina spektor.

i've said this before, but i related to jenny lawson's memoir let's pretend this never happened when she talked about her experience with GAD and how irrational her worries were. she spoke of how she carried crackers in her pockets in case she was ever trapped in an elevator for an extended period of time or in case she was attacked by a flock of birds. the elevator scenario is a lot more likely, having been stuck in an elevator myself for a short period of time. (you don't need to know about THAT panic attack.) she dealt with her anxiety by preparing for irrational situations. 

last week i had an ingrown toenail removed. a normal person would call their podiatrist to have it removed. here's what i did.

1. i realised i had an ingrown toenail.
2. i thought about what would happen if my big toe died and had to be removed and what would replace it, since it's hard to balance without a big toe.
3. i thought about how quickly the rest of my foot would die if i didn't call my podiatrist (phone calls give me anxiety) and how long i could get away with it.
4. would i call in time to save my leg?
5. yes. i would. i would only need to have my foot amputated.
6. what kind of prosthetic would i get? do they have blades for just feet? 
7. what if something went wrong with the amputation? that happens on grey's anatomy ALL THE TIME. 
8. what kind of shoes could i wear with a prosthetic foot? i'd really prefer the blade. it would be better for when i weightlift with my mother.

THEN i called my podiatrist. he removed the ingrown nail. everything is fine.


i tried giving up worrying once. it involved me looking at a pair of window hangings and thinking about how easy it would be to hang myself with them. 

so i stuck with worrying.

the me that i am meant to be is an anxious woman who takes antidepressants and has irrational thoughts all the fucking time. i will always worry to the point where it sometimes becomes unbearable. i will always have irrational thoughts, but now that i'm on medication and have an anxiety toolbox, i can go through them, realise they're irrational, and then move on without completely losing my mind. i don't keep a worry journal anymore, but i am starting a mental health bullet journal to help me get through online graduate school this year. 

there's one thing that the worry post got wrong, and it's that worrying can change things. worrying changed my college major and kept me from getting my teaching license. worrying keeps me from going after opportunities and chasing my dreams. it changes my behaviour and sometimes makes me impossible to live with or be around. worrying makes me feel worthless sometimes, and seeing posts like the one pictured above makes me feel even more worthless, mostly because i can't just turn my worrying off. 

i've had my anxiety my entire life. i cannot stop worrying. that is not an option for me. and i get upset when people or posts tell me to stop worrying, to take away a piece of myself. "worrying is a waste of time" makes me feel like i personally am a waste of time. of course i'm not my anxiety, but my anxiety is a part of me that will never go away, and i'm still coming to terms with that. 

i'm coming to terms with a lot of things right now. mostly that the olympics are over.

it was a really good olympics. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

the list that wrapped up 2015.

2015 started out almost the same way that 2016 did. i was laying on my parents' couch in the basement with my boyfriend lying on top of me and lamenting that i had once again not completed my new year's resolution, which as always, was to blog more.


i can come up with a lot of excuses as to why i didn't blog more, the most obvious one being that i now have three jobs, but i'll spare you.

this year i'm not resolving to blog more, but i will try to anyway. instead, i will have three simple goals.

goal number one: drink more water.

goal number two: wear more lipstick.

goal number three: frighten more men.

i normally think about this post all of december. it kind of falls into the whole meme that's like "it's december and you just realised you wasted your whole entire year and now you feel like a gigantic piece of shit!"

i didn't necessarily think that i wasted my entire 2015, but it definitely wasn't like, the best year of my life or anything. that year is still 2013. (2013 also holds the title of worst year of my life, so 2013 was pretty bomb.) i didn't waste 2015, but it definitely wasn't great. i didn't have any grand adventures, meet a bunch of new interesting people, or have any momentous life changing events, at least not that i can think of. i mostly just went to work, paid my bills, and went to the bank.

as my father put it in our family christmas card, 2015 was the year that i became "suspiciously adult".

adulthood, as told by most people in their mid-twenties, kind of looks like this.

"i paid my rent and cried a little bit. i kept up to date on my electric bill. i remembered to wish someone happy birthday on facebook. i had wine with dinner (again). and another one of my friends got engaged and i pretended to be happy but really i'm just a bitter old lady about the whole thing and honestly i'm just real salty."

2015, my 24th year on this earth, has been my first real year as a true adult, and here is what happened.


1. probably the most momentous thing that happened to me was that i moved out of my parents' house and into my first apartment with my best friend, hannah.

it's been pretty sweet.

2. i knit an entire blanket and it only took me like, five months.

3. after my coaching stint at my old high school was finished, i got a job teaching swim lessons to the public, and let me tell you, it was the best form of birth control i have ever experienced.

4. i put a bunch of three year olds in bumblebee costumes for my work's spring cocert and it was the cutest thing i've ever done. and nobody peed on me.

5. i decided to grow out my hair. so here i am, with long hair.

6. i became pretty goddamn obsessed with daredevil and drove everyone i loved in my life away by talking about it too much.

7. i got to see the dayton contemporary dance company perform in fort wayne and it was AMAZING.

8. i also met one of their principle dancers and he was pretty swell.

9. one of my poems was published in a fort wayne art magazine, so that was pretty cool.

10. while i was being all millenial and eating outside downtown and taking pictures of my feet, i met a REALLY CUTE HUSKIE PUPPY.

11. i went garage saling and came away with a really nice antique table and a fabulous framed world map.

12. i rode my bike 55 miles through ohio (with a small mcdonalds break).

13. i took a linguistics class at IPFW over the summer and i learned a LOT about the english language and probably too much about how humans make noises.

14. i turned 24, which is my favourite number, so i was pretty excited about that.

24th birthday cake ft. my mom's cool apron.

15. my brother got engaged and although i didn't witness it, i cried like a bitch when my future-sister-in-law, gracie, came home with a rock on her finger asking me to be a bridesmaid.

16. when we went wedding dress shopping, i found my own wedding dress rather unexpectedly. and i cried like a bitch then too.

17. as a true adult, i painted a canvas white with the word FUCK in black over it and hung it above my toilet.

18. i bought a bunch of adult stuff. like a microwave and a vacuum and a new bookshelf and my own car insurance and renter's insurance.

19. i spent four thousand dollars and five months FINALLY fixing the bulging discs in my lower back.

20. i accidentally got swept up in a pro-life march downtown, which was like, awkward and weird because i'm pro-choice.

21. i got a three hundred dollar standing mixer for christmas and i was so excited i cried.

22. i met ben carson. it was as terrifying as you would expect.

23. my part-time job became (almost) full-time, equipped with a two dollar an hour more pay raise. that was pretty nice.

24. i became a USA swimming certified swim coach, hell yeah.

25. i went to my first hockey game!

hannah and i were pretty pumped about it.

26. my cousin had a baby and she's SO EFFIN' CUTE LIKE WOW.

27. before wendy came into my life, i went to my first baby shower and it wasn't as weird as i anticipated it to be.

28. i went to a truck pull. A TRUCK PULL.

29. i went to a SUPER cute wedding and took my mom as my date.

30. i had a dance party alone in my room. like, me throwing my arms around wildly wearing nothing but underwear and a bra type of dance party.

31. a week later, i was sitting in an orthopaedic surgeon's office with intense knee pain resulting from said dance party. this then resulted in physical therapy, a pretty hefty drug pack, and an MRI.

33. four months after that, i had knee surgery.

i think the moral of this story is: dance responsibly.

34. my mom and i flew out to california for my cousin's wedding!

35. while in LA, we hiked to a waterfall when it was 102 degrees outside.

look how cute we are.

36. we went to see the labreah tar pits, which was pretty bomb.

37. i met this guy. i named him horace.

38. after spending another grand time being stranded on the side of the highway, i said goodbye to my 17 year old minivan that had taken me to over 33 states and on countless adventures. rest easy, crimson avenger.

39. i then said hello to my (almost) brand new 2013 ford c-max hybrid.

she's a beauty. her name is alice.

40. i spent a wonderful labour day weekend helping adam move into alma for his last year of school. we went to a lake with a bunch of friends and hijacked a plane playing grand theft auto.

41. i sang in my first homecoming concert as a choir alum. (last year i got sick and couldn't sing, which was unfortunate.)

42. i spent a great homecoming seeing old alma friends at where else but bravehearts pub? and yes, i got drunk.

43. i celebrated two years with adam, my better half. he continues to make me a better person every single day.

44. i finally met all of adam's crazy family, and they are absolutely wonderful and amazing.

45. i discovered hamilton and became irrevocably obsessed with it. ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED. EVERYONE I LOVE HATES ME BECAUSE I WON'T FUCKING SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

46. i, in fact, became so obsessed that i bought a $300 ticket and i am seeing it in june 2016. YAAAAAS. i almost cried when i got my pre-ordered cast recording in the mail.

47. i rediscovered one of my very first novels that i wrote when i was fifteen and i decided to rewrite it. it's slow going, but i'm proud.

48. i decided not to go to graduate school. which was a big and important life decision.

49. as a bisexual woman, i watched the supreme court pass a federal law making gay marriage legal and i couldn't have been more humbled and proud.

50. i lived.

a lot of people have been saying that 2015 sucked. and personally, for me, it was boring. i worked three jobs and paid a lot of bills and didn't have a lot of time to travel and see my friends. and politically, except for the gay marriage ruling, 2015 has sucked. with the rise of donald trump, the syrian refugee crisis, the paris and beirut attacks, the never ending racial tensions in our country and so many other things, it's been a dark year. i was not a happy american this year. i was disgusted many times by the senseless violence against women and muslims, the lack of indictments in the murders of countless innocent black lives, the attacks on planned parenthood, and the fascist rhetoric of the GOP. it made 2015 seem like a bad year for america and a bad year for the world.

but despite that, how can a year that produced federal gay marriage, the first black woman winning an emmy as a lead role in a drama, and hamilton, be so bad? there were many firsts, and for that i am grateful.

last night, when i went to bed at one am thinking about this post, all i could think about is how grateful i am to live the rather mundane life i lead. i might not be traveling extensively, seeing live shows, and getting engaged like the rest of my friends, but i make enough money to support myself working jobs i love, i live with my best friend in a nice apartment, i have a boyfriend who loves me even when i talk about hamilton too much, i have a loving family only two miles away, a grumpy lizard who lights up my life, and a nice car that gets me where i need to go.

hashtag blessed.

2015 has been a roller coaster, and i have every reason to believe that 2016 will be too. but even if everything goes to hell and everything gets turned upside down, at least i get to see hamilton in new york city in june.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

mental health bingo.

as someone who is mentally ill TRADEMARK, i have come to notice a few routine things when you go through america's healthcare system.

i've thought about this before, the day to day shuffling of getting medications and x-rays and labs and routine stuff. but it wasn't until today that i decided that this was probably worth writing about.

so without further ado, here are a few things that i encounter when i go to the doctor as someone with anxiety, depression, trichotillomania, and conversion disorder.

1. every single appointment makes you fill out some paperwork (as usual), and you find yourself going directly to the part of the paperwork that asks you about your mental health.

i don't smoke, i don't have diabetes or digestive problems (unless you count my conversion disorder making me throw up), i don't have heart problems or cancer, just asthma and anemia. so it's really easy to skip over all that stuff and go straight to the brain. and then it's like playing the mental illness bingo.

will this paperwork have anxiety? oh, this one only has depression. how much can i fit into the "other" line? should i even mention conversion disorder? no, i shouldn't mention it, they'll ask weird questions and send me to another doctor.

once i went to redimed with a fractured elbow and for the first time in my life, when i filled out the paperwork, there was not anything asking me about my mental health.

i was very confused, slightly relieved, and very annoyed. i didn't know what to do or what to think. i was relieved because honestly it's not very fun going through and checking off everything that's chemically wrong with your brain, knowing that someone is going to look at it and preemptively judge you for it. but at the same time, it's an important part of my medical history and who i am as a person. it's very important information that my doctor needs to know and it's something that we need to talk about, even during a routine "hey i hurt my elbow, can you give me an x-ray?" appointment.

2. someone asks, "what the fuck is trichotillomania?"

okay, most healthcare professionals don't say fuck. but i can count on two hands the number of healthcare professionals have looked up at me, confused, and said, "but what's trichotillomania?"

find out about trichotillomania here.

read about my struggle with trichotillomania here.

normally the conversation goes like this:

me: it's a hair pulling disorder.
nurse: oh okay. time to take your blood pressure.

except one time it was like

me: it's a hair pulling disorder.
doctor: oh. what caused it?
me: ummm
doctor: well something caused it.
me: it's like my anxiety. i've just kind of always had it.
doctor: well what caused your anxiety? normal children don't have anxiety.

i didn't see that doctor again.

3. the usual mundane and slightly shameful conversation about your antidepressants.

doctor: i see here that you take zoloft?
me: that's right. 25 mg at night.
doctor: and what's that for?
me: anxiety and depression.

every. single. time.

this is an important conversation to have. every time that i go to a doctor, we have this conversation and i fully expect it. it's a necessary conversation so that i get the best care that i can get. what's NOT fun about this normal conversation is the shame that i used to (and sometimes still do) feel about taking zoloft. this comes from a stigma surrounding antidepressants, one that i used to have when i blatantly refused to take any when i was sixteen because i didn't understand what they did. i am not ashamed to take an antidepressant, but sometimes that feeling is overwhelming. then i feel shameful that i feel shame for taking an antidepressant. it's confusing sometimes and rather unpleasant. but most of the time, it's a prompt and necessary conversation that's vital to my health and wellbeing. 

4. and the old favourite questions that come with your antidepressants:

"how are you doing on your antidepressant?"
"any changes in mood?"
"any suicidal thoughts?"

a lot of people make fun of the fact that antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts. i used to be one of those people until i got on antidepressants.

antidepressants do not cause suicidal thoughts. some people that go on antidepressants already have suicidal thoughts and being on an antidepressant gives them the means to act out their suicide plan. people with major depression have difficulty getting out of bed, feeding themselves, cleaning, and just generally having energy. killing yourself takes energy. but when you go on antidepressants, you now have the energy to decide to go through with your plan.

antidepressants that don't mesh well with you can change your mood though, like my old lexapro did. the mood change slowly caused suicidal thoughts.  the two months i was on that drug were probably the worst two months of my life. i found myself fantasizing about driving into oncoming traffic and strangling myself with my dorm hangings.

5. getting refills is always awkward.

me: do i need to convince this doctor that i need an antidepressant?
me: what if they decide to change my dosage?!
me: if i can't get it, do i have enough to wean myself off of it properly?

i have to do this (although it normally doesn't take much convincing, if any at all) because i get my zoloft refilled at a health clinic through my parents' insurance that makes it free for teachers and their families. the initial prescription came from a psychiatrist, but rather than see her over and over each time i run out, i can see a general doctor to get it refilled quickly. i really only worry about needing to "convince" this general doctor that i need the new prescription because of my anxiety disorder, which is, of course, why i'm taking zoloft in the first place.

i once had a doctor (IN A NEUROLOGIST'S OFFICE NO LESS) tell me that i was taking such a small dosage of lexapro that i didn't need to wean myself off of it, that i could just quit it cold turkey.

HAHAHAHA NO. quitting an antidepressant cold turkey feels kind of like this:

like honestly, i spent five hours in my bed staring at my wall and someone had to force feed me because i didn't have enough energy to feed myself. 

6. wondering if doctors will take you seriously.

it wasn't until college that i realised that there was a lot of discrimination that happens to people with mental illnesses in hospitals and doctors' offices. one that particularly stuck with me was about a woman with bipolar disorder who went to the ER for unbearable pain. they gave her morphine but the pain didn't go away. she was in so much pain that she couldn't sleep and she spent the whole night screaming and crying. she realised later that her doctor gave her saline instead of morphine because she was bipolar and he didn't trust her when she told him how much pain she was in.

this has not happened to me, thank goodness. but i have seen the corners of mouths turn down, seen doctors glance at each other when looking at my medication chart, and once had a doctor ask me if i would be more comfortable staying on the psychiatric floor rather than the floor that i was on when i was hospitalised in college. 

98% of the time, doctors are doing their jobs. they take you seriously. we've come a long way when it comes to medication stigma and most of the time i don't have to worry about being taken seriously. but occasionally, like the bipolar woman i just mentioned, we are not taken seriously and it can become a problem.

7. doctors trying to keep it casual.

this is an actual conversation that i had about an hour ago refilling my zoloft.

doctor: that is SUCH a cute necklace.
me: thank you! i got it at target.
doctor: no kidding? is it still there?
me: yes, i was actually at target getting eyeliner before i came here and it's still there. they have it in gold, too.
doctor: any suicidal thoughts?
me: nope.
doctor: gold, you said? i think i like yours in silver better. target is my daughter's favourite store. 

bless doctors like that. bless doctors doing their job and not making it awkward when it doesn't have to be.

8. always having to ask "will this medication clash with my antidepressant?" 

when i was getting my back treatment last spring, i was on a bunch of hippie herbal supplements. i took them home in a big clunky bag and spent half an hour reading every single label, trying to make sure that they wouldn't offset my zoloft. sure enough, one of them did and i had to take it back and explain why i couldn't take it. 

nurse: but why can't you take it?
me: it says not to take it with antidepressants.
nurse: why?
me: i don't know, i didn't make this hippie concoction that you want me to take three times a day.
nurse: you should take it for your back treatment.
me: i would rather have back pain and be able to talk to store employees than not have back pain and be too exhausted to get out of bed regularly, thanks. 

when in doubt, most general doctors don't understand the finer workings of antidepressants, what they should and shouldn't mix with, and your routine medication schedule. so you explain why you need it, what it does for you, and leave it at that. the people are who are going to understand and know the finer workings of your medications are psychiatrists and psychologists, but going to them can be expensive and time consuming, and doesn't generally fall into a routine, at least not for me. 

being mentally ill TRADEMARK is like constantly being followed by a cloud that only you can see. you go about your day as normal. buy your groceries. pay your bills. brush your teeth. cook yourself dinner. these are things you can do if you have your mental illness under control, like i do. sometimes i cannot do these things. most of the time i can, but sometimes i can't. 

even when i can do these things and i am 100% normal and balanced and my zoloft is doing its job and i'm using my cognitive behavioural therapy toolbox to approach social situations, that cloud is still there. it's always hovering above me, reminding me constantly that my daily functions depend on something that i learned from a therapist and from a small blue pill that sometimes gives me heartburn. it's always there reminding me that i am mentally ill.

and i remind myself that this isn't my fault. that this is who i am. that all this is, really, is a chemical imbalance in my brain and that i am working to get better, just like i did when i did physical therapy to get rid of my back pain. i take my zoloft to keep my seratonin and dopamine where they're supposed to be in my brain.

i am mentally ill TRADEMARK, i take a little blue pill to help me function.

but i'm still funny, clumsy, forgetful, loud, and always always always a mental health advocate. 

(this post was edited on 9/30/15 at 8:44 am for clarity, as my good friend marie brought up some really awesome points about primary doctors and mental health care. you go, marie!)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

the great debate.

buckle up kids, it's time for...


this is gonna be great, because here are my two political qualifications:

1. i once sat in a pub in england and raged about the government with a bunch of peers while slightly drunk
2. i took a political science class in college once

what this post is is really an excuse for me to blog about last night's GOP debate. NOT like it hasn't been all over your twitter and facebook feeds all day or anything. (in fact, i read a lovely new york times article about it online this morning that i don't think i can top in terms of absolute disdain.)

i missed the first debate because it was on fox news. i was at my parents' house (THAT'S RIGHT, I MOVED OUT SINCE MY LAST POST) and my dad was like, "you know i'd probs pay to watch it" and i was like, "i would but i can't afford that shit" and he was like "ahhhh to be young and broke."

my TV solely exists to hook up my computer to netflix and to use my DVD player, so when i got home from work last night and i saw that people were tweeting about the debate, i went to and live streamed it.

and of course, i live tweeted it. i haven't lost any followers yet, which is quite surprising. (@emily_hollers. hit me up.)

in terms of political affiliations, i'm so far left that i'm exiting being pursued by a bear.

shakespeare understood my liberalism.

so this leads me to a question you probably have: why would an angry feminist liberal that supports bernie sanders watch the GOP debate?

free entertainment.

i've long since lost my amusement for donald trump. i missed the first part of the debate where he just stood around and yelled insults at the other candidates, and that was probably good, because i would've gotten angry a lot faster than i did. (i got angry when huckabee started talking about kim davis.)

you see, donald trump was funny. but then suddenly he has a lot of supporters. these supporters don't think he's funny. they think he has the right idea.

that is not funny.

sorry if you're a trump supporter. like, i'm sorry for probably insulting you, and i'm sorry that you're actually a trump supporter.

trump is bigoted, racist, misogynistic, disgusting, and has absolutely no experience. when talking about foreign policy, he had absolutely nothing to contribute. i don't know much about foreign policy, but i'm pretty sure that you should know the president of iran's name while we're in the middle of making nuclear negotiations with them. and that's just the part about him where he doesn't know shit about negotiating with other countries, not the other parts where he hates women and anyone who's not white.

an america with trump as its leader is an absolute laughingstock to other nations, and an absolute nightmare for us. as jeb bush helpfully pointed out, deporting 11 million people that, contrary to popular belief, are critical to our country's economy and culture (whether they are illegal or not) would cost billions of dollars that we don't have and completely rip this country apart. (rubio had a lot to say about immigration reform and it was actually great.)

i never thought i'd see the day when i would agree with jeb bush, but i agreed with him twice. first on that point, and second when he said that cancelling a dinner with china's president wouldn't actually change anything on a global scale, because after all, it's a dinner.

in my humble opinion, carly fiorina stole the show. every time it was her turn to speak she sounded like she knew exactly what she was talking about (most of the time she didn't but it sounded good) and she didn't let trump get under her skin. she completely shut down his misogynistic remark about her looks in a rare GOP feminist moment and i whooped.

i was also like, really confused about carly fiorina, because everything that came out of her mouth i did not agree with whatsoever and it was completely inaccurate according to, (except the trump remark) but the way that she said those things and looked into the camera was like, YAAAAS GURRRRRL.

her speech about foreign policy was amazing. was it accurate at all? nah. was it a good policy? absolutely not. did she deliver it well? ABSOLUTELY.

i summed up fiorina's foreign policy argument about putin in one succinct tweet: "don't talk to putin, just send a bunch of troops to the balkans, it'll be fine."

her speech was full of "they didn't do this. i will. they didn't do that. i will."

i don't know if these people understand how the presidency works. they're always complaining about how obama never gets anything done, but he doesn't get shit done because house and congress republicans won't let him. ted cruz (with his smug face that makes me want to drown kittens) stood there and was like "YO IF YOU ELECT ME, MY FIRST DAY AS PRESIDENT I WILL PERSONALLY SHRED THE IRAN NEGOTIATIONS WITH MY OWN BARE, WHITE, MALE HANDS"

like, dude? you have three branches of government to go through? and like, congress and the house and whatever? and lots of people and vetoes and stuff? like, i don't know much about politics but i'm pretty sure you can't just walk in your first day in the white house and rip up a bill.

thank goodness some of the GOP candidates agreed with me. like kasich, who i tried so hard to like.

when it comes to the GOP candidates, kasich is the most moderate and he's relatively close to home, governing a state just twenty miles from my apartment. we actually agree on a few key issues (THAT NEVER HAPPENS TO ME WITH REPUBLICANS) and he's very levelheaded. he said straight up that shutting down the government to defund planned parenthood would just rip the republican party to shreds. i was rooting for him so hard until he was like "i think we can agree that most of the american population doesn't like planned parenthood."


now i got to sit back and listen to a bunch of white men discuss my own healthcare. wow, i sure wish that white men could ALWAYS make decisions about my uterus.

first off, that video that fiorina was practically crying  about and calling clinton a murderer over... well... that's not actually a thing. it's doctored. we can agree on this. and it's certainly not from planned parenthood.

the GOP candidates, at least the ones that voiced their opinions, latched onto this video and decided right then and there that planned parenthood was all about abortions and harvesting foetal organs.

it's not. here's what planned parenthood actually is:

notice that three percent of that is abortions. and i know that these people aren't into contraception, but you know, contraception reduces abortions phenomenally. still waiting for hardcore republicans to figure that one out. planned parenthood is a VITAL organisation for millions of women nationwide.

ted cruz: i am a proud supporter of life.
me: not the lives of millions of women who need life saving services, tho

then the conversation switched to kim davis.


here's how that went down:

jeb bush: being gay is like, not natural, i think?
mike huckabee: blah blah something something ACCOMMODATIONS blah blah THEY CAN'T REDEFINE MARRIAGE ON A WHIM blah blah something whatever  I'VE BEEN TO GITMO blah blah blah ATTACK ON CHRISTIANITY
me: puhhhh-lease.
me: wait, what the fuck did you just say?
me: well if you don't want to redefine marriage, my current dowry is 14 cows, 8 chickens, and 4 sheep.
me: the marriage decision didn't come out of nowhere and nobody is attacking christianity, people just wanna get married.
me: i still have no idea what the fuck you said about guantanamo bay, tho

in case you think i'm kidding about my dowry. (i was also watching pirates of the caribbean during this conversation. obviously.)

after that, to calm myself down, i had a really good time looking at the gigantic airplane in the background. like, what on earth was that? why was it there? was it is real? if it was, how did they get it to fit in there? symbolically, what did it mean? was it waiting for them to climb aboard and fly off with the candidates to shoot them into the sun?

it was around this time that the camera panned to ben carson, WHO I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HAD BEEN THERE THE ENTIRE TIME.

poor ben. i don't know that much about him, mostly that i don't agree with his views on social issues and that he was at alma and i saw him in the dining hall. i'm sure he's an excellent doctor, but apparently not excellent enough to completely shut down trump rampaging about vaccines causing autism. that's an entirely different post in and of itself and i'll spare you my thoughts on that.

because i work early in the morning, i had to go bed before the putting women on money fiasco, in which all of the white men and the extremely privileged white woman who doesn't think she needs feminism failed to name historic women, but i recapped that whole segment this morning.

a few said rosa parks, which is an excellent choice. but ted cruz has no idea what he's talking about when he said that she remedied racial tensions. has he not been paying attention to the #blacklivesmatter movement?

probably not, because he's an #alllivesmatter person. ugh. (honestly, he can't even be an #alllivesmatter person if he defunds planned parenthood. he can be an #allfoetusesmatter person.)

(also, rosa parks was on the planned parenthood board. i can't wait until cruz finds out.)

people saying relatives to put on the bill is like, a cool gesture? but it's also really stupid. i'm sure that mike huckabee's wife is a hell of a woman to be married to him for forty-one years (i can't even IMAGINE) but like... think of historic women. you know, women who helped the country. i'm honestly frightened that these men cannot think of a historic woman. it's very reminiscent of romney's "binders full of women" line on the 2012 campaign trail.

fiorina's stance was the weirdest twist on feminism that i've ever heard, something along the lines of "it's just a gesture and women are a majority of the population". only one of these is true, and that's the latter. women are a majority of the population but we are treated as a minority and definitely lesser in society than white men (but not men and women of colour, as intersectionality will note) and it would be nice to have something for us. and it's not just a gesture. it seems like a gesture, but representation is a gigantic deal and has a huge impact.

the other day i was looking at a periodic table of american authors and it was very white and male. as a woman who has wanted to be an author since the age of five, the lack of women on that poster was highly discouraging, just as science and presidential posters depicting all men help girls decide that they don't want to go into science and politics.

there's a lot more that i can touch on, like jeb bush saying that w. kept the country safe while 9/11 happened on his watch, trump saying disgusting things about america being an english speaking country, chris christie blaming the economy on obama (which we know was bush's fault because it tanked before obama was even president, learn how to read a calendar) and calling fiorina and trump out on their little kid bickering, and jeb bush apologising to his mother for smoking weed. but this post is already getting really long, so i'll cut it off here.

i'll leave you with a picture of an angry old man, who's probably a republican.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

zombeavers: zombie beavers.

it's that last day of my june go! challenge and there are a lot of things that i could blog about.

serious things. like mental health and feminism and raising the minimum wage.

instead i'm going to blog about the worst movie that i've ever seen in my life.


yes, this is a real movie. and yes, you can watch it on netflix.

adam has had bad netflix movie marathons. i have not. we were talking about it with hannah and her boyfriend brandon, and brandon told us about the masterpiece that is zombeavers.

and it's exactly what it sounds like. zombie beavers.


so we start off with a comedian i've never seen and john mayer.

john. fuggin'. mayer.

and they're in this truck with some chemicals and making bad dick jokes and john mayer is like, "hey man you see that deer in the road?" and random comedian is like, "i sure do" and then they hit the deer and the chemicals go spilling into a lake.

cut to three girls and a dog in a prius. they go to college in INDIANA so they have SOUTHERN ACCENTS. (that's just southern indiana, and this was certainly not southern indiana.) they are on a trip to escape their frat boy boyfriends because one of them was being a cheating asshole. they aren't allowed to have their phones once they reach the secluded cabin on the lake. but until then, they can look at dick pics. which they do.

they reach the cabin and go swimming in the tiny disgusting lake. zoe, my favourite, is completely and utterly topless and they find a beaver dam covered in violently green gunk. and they're like, "omg, do beavers pee on shit to mark their territory?!"

then some redeneck guy with a gun comes up and is like, "you should cover up your boobs there girlies and by the way, i'm a creepy misogynistic middle aged man and you're bringing about the death of america and also, beavers are mean."

now they're wearing cute pyjamas and playing would you rather, and i won't even get into that. when suddenly, the three boyfriends show up! frat boy, cheating asshole, and fatter frat boy!

and then the loud sex begins.

the girl that got cheated on is sitting there with her cheating ex-boyfriend like, "wow this is awkward listening to my friends screaming in ecstasy" and he's like, "babe" and she's like, "don't fucking touch me bro" and she goes to the bathroom and there is a ZOMBIE BEAVER IN THE SHOWER WITH INTENSE GREEN EYES AND YOU CAN TOTALLY TELL IT'S A PUPPET!

the badass frat boys stab it with a kitchen knife, put it in the trashbag, leave it on the cabin stoop, and they all go back to having wild sex.

the next day the zombie beaver is gone! a dog must've eaten it, but not zoe's annoying little dog that's been on the trip the whole time. they go swimming in the lake and wow, swimming in a small, gross lake has never been more fun. we learn that cheating asshole has been cheating on blond haired girl with her FRIEND, sorority girl, who owns the cabin. talk about a plot twist!

then the zombie beavers come and literally bite off fatter frat boy's foot. like, he's swimming and holding his foot.

in order to reach shore without being eaten, they sacrifice zoe's dog to the zombie beavers and there's a lot of screaming and crying. against better judgment, they leave fatter frat boy laying on the couch and put his foot in a plastic bag. suddenly it's dark and they think, "wow, maybe we should take fatter frat boy to the hospital."

so regular frat boy and zoe take fatter frat boy in the prius away from the cabin to try to find a hospital, leaving blond girl, cheating asshole, and sorority girl alone at the cabin to face the zombie beavers, which are slowly crawling toward the house with their creepy green eyes that you can definitely tell are just flashlights. there's a good scene with blond girl on the counter in her swim suit and a zombie beaver is going straight for her vagina until she stabs it in the head.

the road is blocked and zoe, frat boy, and dying fatter frat boy can't get to a hospital. frat boy goes for help, but two zombie beavers chew through a a tree and it falls on him and kills him instantly. suddenly redneck guy shows up in his truck, shoots some beavers, and take zoe and fatter frat boy to the cabin next door, where an old couple lives. they are no where to be found bu that's fine, they'll just stay in their creepy farmhouse cabin with the lights off while zoe tries to put fatter frat boy's foot on ice. while she's literally holding his foot, redneck guy is offering her fried chicken.

after blocking the cabin from the encroaching beavers, blond haired girl decides to talk to her sorority sister, the one she doesn't know has been cheating with her boyfriend. sorority girl is laying in bed all sensually and blond haired girl climbs on top of her and and sorority girl is like, "i've told you i don't love you that way" and suddenly it's like, IMPENDING LESBIAN SEX SCENE?

i wanted it. i really did.

but before they could start having lesbian sex...


i can't even deal with this.

sorority girl runs and holes herself up in the bathroom with cheating asshole. they have to make sure that they haven't been scratched or bitten, so they get naked and start hitting each other. then they start having sex on the counter.

in the other cabin, zoe has discovered the dead old couple and their dead dog (the saddest part of the movie) and fatter frat boy has turned into a zombie beaver hybrid too! he attacks old redneck guy! now the old couple are zombie beaver hybrids! zoe is trapped on the second floor so she literally dives out of the window and you think she's dead!

while sorority girl and cheating asshole are having sex, blond haired zombie beaver hybrid breaks into the bathroom, bites his dick off and kills him, and sorority girl escapes out the window after the cabin is lit on fire. she and zoe get into the prius and drive like there is no tomorrow! while they are driving, they are running down all the inhabitants of the lake, who are now zombie beaver hybrids and are trying to gnaw on trees to block their path!

it's now almost dawn and they've gotten to where frat boy was killed by the tree. he is now a zombie beaver hybrid (but how?) and they shoot him with redneck dude's shotgun. they resign to walking the rest of the way, bloodied and valiant. zoe finds an ax and is using it to help her walk. once they climb over the tree, sorority girl pulls a gun on zoe and says, "ARE YOU GONNA TURN INTO A BEAVER, BITCH?" and zoe is like, "c'mon man we've been through too much this weekend for this bullshit" but then SORORITY GIRL TURNS INTO A BEAVER HYBRID SO ZOE CHOPS HER UP WITH THE AX.

now zoe is the only one left standing. she valiantly walks down the lonely road, using the ax as a crutch.

cut to john mayer and his comedian friend. they are driving down the road. john mayer says, "hey you see that girl in the middle of the road?" of course, says the comedian, i see her.

zoe turns into a pancake and we're at the credits!

the credits are the best part. it's literally a frank sinatra impresonator crooning a song called "zombeavers."

now for the critique part.

the acting was okay. zoe was by far the best actor, but sometimes her southern accent went away and it was like, where did it go? there was a lot of useless dialogue with old redneck guy, the scene where the loyal golden retriever that's being petted is suddenly replaced with a zombie beaver is a tired old trick, and the impending lesbian sex scene that didn't actually LEAD to a lesbian sex scene was just disappointing for everyone.

they could've used their budget better. the deer killed at the beginning of the movie was some really great graphics. so they decided to have a really good dead deer and a few beaver puppets with what limited resources they had. they could've used that money more wisely, like to make the beavers actually not look like puppets.

the frank sinatra in the credits was a nice touch and made up for the fact that they portrayed college students as being stupid enough to let fatter frat boy sleep on the couch while holding his own foot when they could've just taken the prius to the hospital right then and there.

but A++ for the line, "don't young people just lay around and scissor to lady gaga?"

movie rating: one and a half out of five. if you like bad movies and want a bad movie night, instant five stars.

and if you didn't think there wasn't a scene where a zombie beaver is going straight for blond girl's vagaina, here ya go.

Monday, June 29, 2015

stuff. so much stuff.

last night i had a nightmare.

people classify nightmares differently. my boyfriend, for example, has really intense nightmares about dark forests and demons and beasts with fangs and dead girls standing at the end of his bed.

i would call those night terrors because there's no way in hell i'd be able to deal with that.

my nightmares are pretty much all anxiety related. i'm at school and my locker won't open and i don't have any of my homework done. i'm at a swim meet and i don't have my swim suit and i have to swim the race naked.

those kind of nightmares.

i had one of those last night. i don't remember that much of it, but the basic premise of it was this: it was time for me to move and i hadn't packed a single thing yet.

when i got up this morning and looked at my perfectly stuffed bedroom, i realised that i move in two weeks.

two weeks.



i don't know, man, but that's like, REALLY HELLA SOON.

i'm really nervous about this because my parents aren't going to be here to help me move. they're going to be in florida celebrating jesus with a lot of other older people. i'm even more nervous because i don't actually know what day i'm moving in, i just know that it's sometime during that week that's two weeks from now.

i have a pretty happy image in my mind. like, hannah, her boyfriend, and adam and i are slowly, methodically, and happily moving stuff up the staircase and into our brand new shiny white apartment. once everything gets brought inside, we assemble the furniture and the TV, which we sync to our netflix accounts. once the kitchen stuff is unpacked, we'll pour ourselves some wine, order a pizza, and celebrate in our victory with a bad netflix movie like zombeavers.


in reality, this is how moving is probably going to go.

1. i will run out of gas from making van trips even though i only live a mile and a half away.
2. the couch will not come on time.
3. hamlet will shit on the carpet from moving anxiety. (that's my lizard, by the way.)
4. someone will break a bone moving stuff. probably me.
5. my boyfriend will be crushed by my desk.
6. many of our things will break.
7. i will revert to using language that would make my mother keel over.
8. we'll be too tired to go grocery shopping. or get toilet paper.
9. it'll take ten whole days and a swarm of locusts will appear.
10. did i say swarm of locusts? yeah, that'll probably happen.

all of this has been swirling around in my brain. on top of moving, i'm still working two jobs that week, hannah is working, adam will be sleeping on my floor, and it's just going to be a train wreck.

so i got up early this morning after my nightmare and decided to start parking.

where to begin? where to even start?

clothes. winter clothes.

i learned a good tip from moving my shit to and from michigan for college: put your clothes in trashbags. that way you can just stuff them into hard to fill areas between boxes.

i also read a moving tip in a very valuable article called "how to grow the fuck up" that you should leave your clothes on the hangers so that way, you just can hang them up right away and you're not moving a gigantic box of hangers around.

i discovered, after going through my winter clothes, that i have three trashbags full of sweaters. THREE. ENTIRE KITCHEN GARBAGE BAGS. OF JUST SWEATERS.

and i want more. i always want more.

i haven't packed my dresses yet. i know i have at least twenty dresses. and i almost bought an eighty dollar one today.

then i set to work on my dresser once my closet was mostly done, not counting all the weird shit that i have on the high shelf, like my clown costume and a box of letters that i wrote to dead people in high school.

in my bottom dresser drawer, i found about two thousand dollars' worth of swim suits.

most of them were from high school and they were super old and thin and i was like, why the hell do i even have these? so i threw them away. then i found a bunch of weirder stuff, like three pairs of bike shorts and a bike jersey (i am not a cyclist), a pair of wrap parachute pants from the dominican republic, a canvas bag from amsterdam, and four two hundred dollar competition swim suits.

competition suits get weird. like, the one that i wore in 2008 when i was seventeen went down to my ankles. then they banned those. so then i got a few that went down to my knees. the one that i used in college in 2011 is illegal now too because i guess it has some weird flotation thing in it that's supposed to make you drop time?

well, i wore it at the MIAA conference meet, and let me tell you, i didn't drop any time.

i was planning on doing more packing besides my closet full of sweaters and my dresser drawers, but then i went dress shopping and fell in love with an expensive dress, decided i was too poor to buy it, and pined over it for three hours. i was going to tackle my desk, which is HUGE, by the way. it's big enough for hamlet's 75 gallon tank and my TV and my laptop. it also has a lot of drawers and is generally thick and heavy and large.

i don't even think i want to know what's in those drawers. that'll be a blog post for another time: the official packing with emily post.

you know how in my moving tips blog (read that here) i said that i'll just have adam carry my entire desk up three flights of stairs for me and how i hope he doesn't die and become an adam pancake?

... it turns out that my desk doesn't actually come apart.


we'll say a collective prayer that he doesn't turn into an adam pancake. i like him to be 3D. it's better for cuddling.

even just going through my closet and my dresser, i realised exactly how much stuff i have. most of the adult stuff that i've been getting, like my bar stools and my table and my bathroom stuff, is in the basement. then i have my entire bedroom, which is a big bedroom, full of stuff. and then i have everything that i moved back from college in my attic that i need to go through.

i have so. much. junk.

do you ever get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things you own? like, i have three shelves on my wall full of knickknacks that i've acquired over the years. i have my shot glass collection, a bunch of cool stuff that my grandparents have gotten me from various countries, and a few trophies. most of the stuff is really cool because it's come from around the world, like my russian dolls and my wooden clogs from the netherlands.

but like, do i actually want to move these things? do i want to pack them up?

not really. i kind of just want to leave them in my room at home for a while. i'm not moving out of fort wayne for another year and a half to two years, so do i really need to take them with me? my mom is converting my bedroom into a guest room, so whatever guests we have can look vaguely at my shelves and say, "ah. things."

my two bookshelves are coming with me. one is small and holds my DVD and VHS tape collection. it also has my awesome owl lamp, my alarm clock, and my earring holder. it's effectively a bedside table. my BIG bookshelf, that's gonna be fun to move, and it probably won't fit in my new bedroom because i'm downsizing, so that might just go in the living room. we'll see how that works out.

i just have so much shit that i don't know what to do with it. so i need to buck up and throw things away that i'm pretty sure i don't need even if i think i want them.

i get attached to things. it's a problem. i gotta let go.

it'll be a process.

a process that'll probably come fruition come july, so if you're lucky, you'll get a july post about it. hooray!

i'm moving. it's real. it's happening. i can do it.

here's a picture of of a cute dog running to calm us both down.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

the big announcement.

we were eating dinner the other night and my mom says, "well, it looks like you've entered that stage of your life. the wedding stage."

ain't that the truth.

my facebook is nothing but wedding pictures. three of my friends just got married on the same DAY.

just about every single weekend so far this summer there have been pictures of weddings that my friends are either attending or are actually participating in.

wedding season is always exciting. i get worked up over what dress i want to wear to a wedding. my cousin is getting married in august and i've been obsessing about what dress i want to wear for like, the past few months.

i still haven't decided, by the way.

you get to dress up and celebrate the next big step with your friends! it's so amazing! it's so happy!

and then, if you're like me, you go home, wipe the makeup off your face, put your feet up, and binge watch grey's anatomy.

i love weddings and i love my friends and i am SO HAPPY that they are taking the next step but i'm also like, HELLA BITTER.

i've posted about this before. the bitter part about watching all of your friends get married. because you get really super bitter.

so then you sit around and you start thinking about the idea of marriage. and you get all excited and happy because MARRIAGE.

and then you think about being forty-five and having a bad sex life and four kids and you're like, ABORT ABORT ABORT.

my biggest question is this: how the HELL do you know when you've found the right person?

i asked my brother this the other day and he says, "you just know." and he winks at me.

and i'm like, "all right, fine, whatever, blah blah blah pretentious douche."

but apparently my brother knew because that MOTHERFUGGER JUST GOT ENGAGED!

when your friends get engaged and most of them live in michigan, you can look at cute pictures and go "omg i'm so happy for you!" and squeal a little bit inside and smile like a big idiot.

when your brother that you LIVE with proposes to his girlfriend and she says yes, it's a bit bigger than that.

i knew that he had been planning on it for a while. he went to detroit to get the ring and he showed me a picture of it. then, when it came in, he showed it to me.

me: ring?
me: ????
me: !!!!!!!!

then i was like, "there is an engagement ring in my house. in my house! across the hall! IN MY BROTHER'S ROOM! AN ENGAGEMENT RING !!!"

this isn't the ring, by the way.

up to this point, i always thought that i would be getting engaged/married first. i was in a two and a half year relationship (my brother was not in any relationship) and i thought it was going to end in marriage. i realise now that i was very naive about this and i'm very happy that that relationship ended, even though i wasn't at the time. i've been with adam for a year and a half and i felt more with him in four months than i felt with my ex in that entire two and a half years.

on friday, i heard aaron and gracie (his now fiancee!) leaving to the house and i came downstairs for dinner with my parents like, "where are the lovebirds going" and my mom was like "tonight is the night!"

and i was like, "what do you mean tonight is the night? is this some lady and the tramp shit?"

and she was like, "AARON IS PROPOSING TONIGHT!"


my brother and i are practically twins. we've lied and said that we were twins and have gotten discounts this way. we look alike, we're about the same height, we did the same sport, we were both in band, and we both had the same summer job at the same place doing the same thing.

look how cute we are circa 2012. twinning it up. this picture lies, though, BECAUSE I AM TALLER THAN HIM.

my brother and i are pretty close. so i was a little bummed that he hadn't told me that tonight was the night.

i ate pizza with my parents and tried not to think about it. then i realised that i really needed to write so i poured myself a gigantic glass of blackberry merlot and attempted to get tipsy enough to write uninhibited.

then he and gracie came back from their dinner. gracie ran up to my room, stuck out her hand to show me the ring that aaron had shown me a few weeks earlier, and i burst into tears.

then she asked me to be a bridesmaid and i was like, CRY CRY CRY SOB SNIFFLE OH MY GOD I'M SO HAPPY.

my mom has gone into planning mode. now that she's planned next year's vacation, she's in her wedding planning prime. my brother has been engaged for less than 48 hours and she's already found about ten venues and has managed to coax gracie into telling her exactly what shade of purple the dresses are going to be.

next up in MY exciting life: i bought a vacuum like an adult. not quite as exciting as getting engaged.

i've said it before, but i love the idea of weddings. the dress, the flowers, the bridesmaids, the music, the dancing, everything. i'm a horrible planner, so hannah is going to plan my wedding for me. i know i want it to be honeybee themed and that's about it.


i approached this topic with adam and he says, "well if we get married and you want a honeybee themed wedding, there's really nothing that i can do about it."

i found a pretty wedding dress online and i sent it to him and he says, "eh it's okay."


adam is not a crier. i am. i'll probably cry the whole way up the aisle. hell, i'll cry enough for the both of us.

wedding season gets me incredibly excited about weddings. i keep talking to adam about it and he said two very important things.

1. "you are so excited because it's wedding season."
2. "marriage is the next big milestone for you, so why wouldn't you be excited? but it's not my next big milestone."

things i must remember.

until i get my own engagement and wedding, whether with adam or otherwise, i have another wedding to plan for and to be in.