Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dealing with Feels

I had a big, explanatory post planned about my lack of posts, but really, it can be summed up with a few words: I've been dealing with feels.

I've actually been dealing with feels, in varying forms, for the past 6 years or so, mostly just being in denial or trying to rush myself out of feeling whatever it is I was feeling. Clearly, that's not the best way to deal with things. I spent most of 2012 trying unsuccessfully to skip over my break up with Addie. And while I started to feel better by late fall, by mid-December, I started slipping into a miserable place again. After a few days in Sydney, it lifted, and I was able to enjoy myself for the first time in a very long time, but when I got home, my Feelings Monster was waiting for me. As soon as the plane landed, it felt like all my insides just deflated.

Before, I could always point to what was causing my depression--ex boyfriends, lack of career, family problems, not being where I wanted to be, etc. And I always thought it was situational. This time around however, I was slipping into a new, apathetic, nothing is wrong, and nothing is right kind of depression. The "let's do nothing but take xanax and sleep all day and go to work in sweat pants and stop taking showers and get overwhelmed with a to-do list that has more than 2 items on it and break out crying every day uncontrollably and you can't stop it" kind of depression. Basically, I didn't know what was wrong. And everything I knew to do to fix it stopped working. There was a civil war in my head between the side that knew everything is ok, that I'm fantastic, and the side that insisted that I'm a failure and that it'd be easier to hate myself. It was frustrating. And exhausting.

So, in March, I pried myself off my couch and put myself on a therapist's couch. I've seen some wonky therapists before (one would never remember my name, another insisted I wear my hair pulled back off my forehead because it distracted her), but the one I'm seeing now is just worth her weight in gold. I feel like I'm learning more about what causes my Feelings cycles and what I can do to work through them. And while I still have a lot of work to do, I feel like for the first time in a long time, things are getting better, and that I'm learning to look toward the future instead of stalling in my past. 

It's all about finding yourself, and learning how to lift yourself out of the feels shit.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cold Stone Shamery

Earlier today, at Cold Stone Creamery on Sudley Road:

Cold Stone Girl: Oh, the dark chocolate is so good, isn't it?
Kate: yeah, it's really good.
CSG: I don't even suggest toppings. Get it by itself, it's worth it.
Kate: oh, I can see that. I don't think I'd get anything but strawberries or something.
CSG: um, no, that's still a topping. Don't ruin it with toppings.

Audrey and Kate exchange concerned looks #1--is she trying to joke?

Audrey: Can I have a sample of the graham cracker flavor?
CSG: sure!
[Audrey eats; yogurt is terrible]
Audrey: Oh, it's yogurt.
CSG: you'd be surprised how many people come in here asking "do you have ice cream here?"
Audrey [sensing sarcasm, plays along]: oh, like, "I see this is a creamery but do you have ice cream?"
CSG: yeah, I just point at all this ice cream and say anything that's not a yogurt is an ice cream. And then the really stupid questions come in like, do you guys make milkshakes?
[sweeping gesture to the menu behind her]
like, no we just have these blenders for nothing, stupid. God, work here for a year and you just start to hate people. I don't even answer questions anymore, I just point to the board.

Audrey and Kate exchange concerned looks #2--That's really candid, un-precedented talk for a server to have with customers. Is she joking? Do we know her?

Audrey: ok, well... I'm going to get a small--sorry, like it strawberry banana smoo--
CSG: oh... [gravely serious] The smoothies here are terrible.
Kate: um, really?
CSG: yeah, they're just really awful. Not even sweet.
Audrey: oh.
Kate: well what about the strawberry one?
CSG: no, it's gross, trust me. Wouldn't you rather I be honest with you?

Audrey and Kate exchange concerned looks #3--is she serious?

Audrey and Kate: um, well, I guess.
CSG: Don't get a smoothie. It's a waste of money. The ice cream is so much better.
Kate: Ok, well, we still have to get Komal a smoothie, so can we get a--
CSG: who's Komal, like your boyfriend or something?
Kate: no, she's our co-worker.
Audrey: we said we'd get her a smoothie, so we'll still get hers.
CSG: oh, what are you guys like, lawyers or something?
Kate: no... we work down the street at a contractor.
CSG: oh. [rolls eyes]

Audrey and Kate exchange concerned looks #4--does she actually work here?

Kate: We decided we'd all start eating smoothies to be healthier.
CSG: So you came to Cold Stone?
[Audrey and Kate mumble, becoming increasingly uncomfortable]
Kate: But... I guess I'll just have a like it of sweet cream and cookie dough.
CSG: [rolls ice cream] oh my god, this is so many calories.
Kate: So they taste really bad?
CSG: Yea, I guess the pineapple isn't *so* bad, but that's because I like pineapple. But the strawberry is just... [shudders dramatically]
Kate: Ohhhh. Is it made with real fruit or is it just mix?
CSG: Oh no, everything is made with real fruit. It just tastes weird.
[Kate fights back tears of regret for not getting the real fruit smoothie] [blender starts]

Audrey and Kate exchange concerned looks #5--seriously, wtf.

CSG: so is it sticky outside?
Kate: Pardon?
CSG: Outside, is it sticky outside? It looks sticky.
Kate: No, it's really pleasant.
CSG: It looks sticky.

Audrey and Kate exchange concerned looks #5--I think she's going to poison our food.

Audrey: I'll have a like it cake batter ice cream milkshake with peanut butter.
CSG: [look stunned] what made you come up with that concoction?
Audrey: uh... I used to get it all the time. When you had peanut butter ice cream, I'd get PB ice cream with walnuts, oreos and whipped cream.
CSG: we had peanut butter ice cream?
Audrey: yeah... [rapidly aging] years ago.
CSG: I guess I just don't like sweets or peanut butter so I don't understand why people put it in their ice cream.

Audrey and Kate exchange concerned looks #6--I hate my life.

Audrey: well, I guess it helps working here if you don't like ice cream.
CSG: yeah, I don't eat it so I'm not going to get fat while I work here [CSG is visibly overweight]. Or get diabetes. [hands Audrey her milkshake, as well as the remains of the milkshake in a small cup]. I don't even like this job. I don't know why I work here. [she actually said this]

Audrey and Kate exchange concerned looks #7--what?! Why were we listening to you?

[Audrey and Kate wait at the register, dead inside.]
CSG: [looking at both of them and pointing at their shirts] oh my god, are those sweaters? Are you guys wearing sweaters?
Both: um, yes...
Audrey: This is a sweater.
CSG: Isn't it like, 80* outside?
Kate: No, it's pleasant...
Audrey [needlessly explanatory]: I'm always in a sweater.
CSG: Well, I guess if it's pleasant outside I can't call you crazy. But if it were 80* I'd call you crazy.
Audrey: um ok.
CSG: here's your receipt, have a nice day!

[Kate and Audrey Exit]

Simulatenously: what the fuck was that.

Audrey: did you even catch her name?
Kate: Yeah. Bitch Tits.

On the drive back to the office, we discussed why we let this Cold Stone Cunt talk to us the way she did. And we couldn't come up with anything. It was just one of those "wow, I couldn't have written a better scene. This was literally the exact opposite of the experience I was setting out for." Everything she said was in such a deadpan tone that I couldn't tell if she was trying to be sarcastic and failing, or if she really was just a bitch. And in a way, she was such a bitch that I'm still laughing about it... even as I pen a scathing letter to her manager.

Not even going to deny that my milkshake was thick and rich with delicious flavor and fat, fat shame, and that I came back to the office and immediately finished both cups. So I might be sitting here with a stomach ache that would cripple an elephant, and whatever, Cold Stone Girl. I'm not going to feel bad about it. In fact, I'm going to sit at my job as a "lawyer or something" and I'm going to blog about this even though that's totally not what I'm paid to do because I have an office job so I don't have to scoop ice cream for a living. So take that.


Also, check out what inspired us to get smoothies in the first place at Kate's awesome blog:!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fiction Thursday: Trouble

The section of the store with the shelves full of pregnancy tests is called “Family Planning,” but really, it should be called “Family Prediction.” Or better, “Family Prevention.” The aisles with the pastel or hot pink colored boxes that promise fast results and accurate detection are positioned right next to the dark and ominous packages of condoms in a stirring representation of cause and effect.
Prevention, now that I think about it. I remember when I was young, probably seven or eight, my parents found a used condom in the bathroom. Including my parents, there were only six of us in the house at that time. Of the four children, one was sexually mature. And yet my parents, to smoke out who needed a condom and then left it carelessly on the bathroom floor, questioned all of us. As I mentioned, I was seven or eight, so of course I knew what a condom was (not). I mean, I had a general idea of what they were--after all, I was allowed to watch TV shows that came on after 9 PM--but really, I knew the look on my mom’s face when she pointed at the withered tube of over-stretched latex meant one thing: we weren’t supposed to have those and whoever left it there was in trouble.
As you can guess, I was raised under the idea that pre-marital sex was against the rules; something I would get in large, painful amounts of trouble for if my parents ever found out. Being the baby girl in a family full of guys meant I was always in everybody’s business. I knew that my oldest brother had lots of girl friends, and I knew from how my mother gossiped with her friends that he was probably having lots of sex, lots of sex that he wasn’t supposed to be having. He was going to get in trouble for that, I’d think to myself.

“Don’t just give it away, Gina,” my mom would tell me. “You’ll get pregnant, and people will think you’re a slut. And no guy will ever respect you. And then you won’t get married. And then you’ll be in trouble.” I was 10 the first time I heard this lecture. Over the years, I was discouraged from having boyfriends, from dating, from doing anything other than study. Of course, all the discouragement made me want a boyfriend even more. And when I did manage to get some guy to like me, I kept it secret. Afterall, I didn’t want to get in trouble.

When I was 16, I got a boyfriend I really liked, and I decided it was time to start having sex. I knew it was wrong, so I was more than careful. I went to Planned Parenthood and got condoms--for me and for him--that I insisted we wear. I made sure we weren’t followed to his house. I made him pull out. I went home immediately after so I wouldn’t break curfew. I wasn’t going to get pregnant. I wasn’t going to get caught. And more therefore, I wouldn’t get in trouble.

I got older, though, and the fear began to wane. I had spent years only sleeping with the guys I fell in love with, and I was still getting dumped. I didn’t just give it away, and I still ended up alone. I wasn’t pregnant, and I wasn’t married, either. My mother was wrong. And maybe marriage wasn’t the most important thing. Maybe I didn’t want it as much as she wanted me to want it. So, I started giving it away. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? I was 30. I was already alone. I started to pick guys up at parties and bars and bring them back to my apartment. When they didn’t have condoms, I didn’t care. When we were done, they left. I felt ok about this. I was going to have sex and not get into trouble.

That was, until I met Mark. We had sex in a closet at friend’s party and ended up spending the entire weekend together. More like, we spent the whole weekend with him inside me. We had brief moments to  catch our breath, and we’d talk about books, pets, our vulnerabilities, our mothers--strange, bonding chit chat for two people who had only known each other for a day. I fell for him, hard. It was in direct contrast to my Just Give It Away plan. I saw a light around him that I hadn’t seen around anyone in years. And when he left on Monday, I thought I’d never see him again. But later that day, he called. And months later, he was still calling. If this was trouble, I was happy to be in it.

And now, I stand in front of these long cardboard boxes, searching for the one that will seal my fate. Searching for the one that will show me whether or not I’m in trouble. My hand reaches for a purple tipped box decorated with daisies. Prevention. I was so wrapped up in being alone that I forgot I could suddenly become a pair. My mom was right. I wasn’t careful. And now everything hangs in the balance of two little lines. I wasn’t married. And there was no other guarantee that he would stay in my life. Was I ready? Were we ready? I put the test back. I place a hand on my belly and curse myself.

I feel an arm rest around my shoulder. I feel a light kiss on top of my head. I look up into smiling eyes that say, “Don’t worry. We’ll never be in trouble.”

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Easter (BLOOD ON THE ICE)

This year, to celebrate the ressurection of our Lord and Savior, I went on a road trip with Mary, Lance, and our friend Zohar to Philadelphia to watch the Washington Capitals face off with the Philadelphia Flyers. Many beers were had. Many burgers were eaten. Many arcade games were played. Many off-color jokes were made. One awesome fight was witnessed.

It's what He would have done.

we start our intrepid journey

with our trip mascot, Butt-inz and some doughnuts

the bustling metropolis of Philadelphia

We ate at PYT, which has basically become my favorite restaurant in the history of ever. After reading an article on the Bacon Shell Taco on the Huffington Post, Mary and I decided we weren't going to let this Philly trip come and go without some clogged arteries. But seriously, it was worth the trip. Check out their menu and try desperately not to fall in fat love. The only thing they didn't  have that we wanted to try were the krispy kreme burgers. That was a big disappointment. Looks like I'll just have to go again... :D

unisex bathrooms!


the ever glorious bacon taco. Absolutely life changing. 

Let me tell you about this bacon taco. Actually, let me just copy directly from their website: We’ve actually created a taco shell out of 100% bacon. And filled this crispy beauty with a taco seasoned beef burger, shredded cheddar & pepper jack cheese, shredded lettuce, fresh pico de gallo and an avocado & cilantro ranch sauce. Served with house made tortilla chips and salsa.

Life. Changing. We ordered it as appetizers because this is America.  

fun times with Butt-inz

Burger #1: Pickle Back: Jameson Irish Whiskey-glazed beef patty topped with Nueske's applewood smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese and fried pickles on a LeBus seeded bun with dill fries. I wasn't as impressed with this one as I thought I'd be (seriously, Jameson? Bacon? Peper Jack cheese? Fried Pickes? What's not to love. But it seemed like there were too many dry toppings, and the patty wasn't as juicy as it could have been.

Burger #2: Pistachio Crusted Lamb Burger: Juicy lamb burger dusted with crushed pistachios, topped with grape tomato-onion salsa and a zesty lemon aioli on a LeBus seeded bun. This was like a big fat Greek party in a burger. My favorite of all of them. And nothing beats a good aioli. I need to learn how to make it on my own. Also, those were the softest tempura fried onions ever in my life. Holy god. 

I somehow don't have a picture of burger #3, The Korean BBQ Short Rib: Half-pound 100% short rib burger marinated in Korean BBQ sauce and topped with kimchi and asian spicy mayo on a LeBus seeded bun. This burger had the best meat (duh, short ribs), probably because the marinade the ribs for hours and it just had the most succulent texture and the richest flavor. And I didn't think I'd be a fan of the kimchi, but it definitely gave it an extra kick.

I wanted to order exclusively from the Adult Milk Shake menu. But we were so fat on burgers and bacon tacos and beer-mosas that we all settled on sharing "The Dude": vanilla ice cream, vanilla vodkda and Kahlua. 

Butt-inz and The Dude

Church let out, note the thronging crowds.

haha, I just like how awkward this is. 


we scored enough tickets to get absolutely nothing.

The 4-player air hockey game that left my arms sore as hell the next day. When you get winded and sore from playing Air Hockey, you know you're out of shape. Really, incredibly out of shape. 

creeper hockey viewings

smug hockey viewings

FIGHT FIGHT! This fight resulted in Blood on the Ice, something I've been dying to see. 

me letting the world know I saw blood on the ice. #veryimportantupdates

These douchey Philly fans became big loose buttholes when the Flyers player got a penalty for starting the BLOOD ON THE ICE fight. You could hear their douchey obscenities from 7 rows away. Then they tried to pick fights with the Caps fans sitting behind us whenever we scored a goal. Losers. Philly fans are terrible people. 


I love going to hockey games. I love over indulging on awesome food. I love day trips with good people. So all in all, much fun was had.

How was your Easter?
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