Sunday Kind of Love xii

Welcome back to another installment of my link roundup! I had to get new tires for my car this week, so I’m broke, but I’ll be fantasizing about all of these wonderful things:

I’m re-reading The Hobbit for my Oxford Fantasists class this July, and it’s so, so cute to read as an adult. It’s so clear how much Tolkien loved medieval lit.

Anyone else super excited to see SOLO?

I can’t stop listening to Margo Price‘s All American Made. She is the second coming of Dolly Parton, and this album is so, so good.

Give me all of the Caboodles. ’90s kid 5ever.

Cannot wait to watch Ibiza! Phoebe Robinson and Vanessa Bayer are my faves!

I want this light fixture like you wouldn’t freaking believe. This is on my purchase list for when I finally get a “grown-up job.”

I haven’t started The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 yet, but I’ve heard it’s amazing (and super dark). Dare I take the plunge?

I’m thinking of doing this to all the drawers in my house. Too much? #neverenoughorganization

I can’t seem to get enough of this song right now. Belle & Sebastian forever!

Not to get all downer-y on ya, but I started using this app a couple of days ago and I’m really liking it so far. Great for keeping yourself accountable!

 

catch u nxt wk!

-c

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Can I Graduate?

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please enjoy this extremely embarrassing photo of myself and my friend, brady at our 2009 high school graduation #poodlehair

I just submitted my portfolio, the exit requirement of my M.A. program.

There’s still a long road to graduation, including a trip to England, but today I took the first step.

Now I’ll be singing this song until December 2018.

Can I get my punk-ass off the street?

xoxo,

c

Snowpocalypse 2018: A Reflection

Climate change is real, y’all.

Just gaze at this charming description of my region:

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It’s another Nor’Easter! My in-laws lost power but thankfully our old house (built in 1900) is somehow a bulwark never failing against storms (we nevah evah lose powah, kid). This week’s avalanche of death is being referred to as “Winter Storm Quinn,” which, honestly, for the 90s babies among us, is just kind of a bitchy move.

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Because I am quite literally snowed in, here’s how I’ll be entertaining myself today:

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fucking illegal this man should be. i’m going to have a stroke. i keep editing this caption because i have a palpitation every time i look down at this pic. see that chain? it’s dogtags. didn’t even know i had an army thing! but i guess, now that you mention it, milo as a vietnam vet in this is us
  • Catching up on The Resident. You have got to get into this show. Matt Czuchry is so hot in it that it should be a federal crime. He’s one of those Paul Rudd bastards that only gets hotter with age. It’s a travesty. He’s bringing Logan Huntzberger charm & daddy issues to the role, except, instead of a yuppie, he’s a fucking doctor who fought in Afghanistan and has tattoos. I rest my case. Also, apart from this insane digression about how much of a borderline unacceptable crush I have on the lead actor, the show is actually very good. Shaunette Renée Wilson from Black Panther is in the main cast, and she is a revelation.
  • Bingeing The Good Wife on Hulu because Czuchry is also in that, and I have no dignity or shame. Doctor Logan, Lawyer Logan.
  • HOW WAS YOUR WEEK IS BACK. This is not a drill. Jubees, Jimmy Jazz, and Ryan “Hot Lips” Houlihan are serving up the goods on a weekly basis. RIP Difficult People but Hallelujah to the return of the pod (sung like Mark Morrison).
  • Dis bitch be shoppin’. I can’t help but mindlessly window-shop to get the endorphins pumping. Madewell, Topshop, the usual suspects. The trick is just not hitting the checkout button, ya know?
  • A recent eppy of Throwing Shade, featuring Ronna Glickman (aka Jessica Chaffin) was absolutely incredible. Boston accents forever. I’m totally gonna buy Girl Scout Cookies from that woke-ass child.
  • It’s International Women’s Day, honey! I’m celebrating by building a shrine to this tweet from the incomparable Roxane Gay. If you don’t own/haven’t read everything she’s ever published, get the hell out of here and take care of that, will you?

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P.S. I just bought myself this jumpsuit as a consolation (Insiders, Muses, & Icons have a discount right now, nbd), so is it really all that bad? Also, think I snagged the last medium #sorrynotsorry.

xoxo,

c

Risk

I submitted the following to the Man Repeller Writer’s Club for January 2018. The prompt was to write about one or all of the following in 500 words or fewer:

What’s a risk you took that you regret taking?
What’s a risk that you’re glad you didn’t take?
What a risk you wish you took?
What’s a risk you hope you take this year?

***

I have been on this spinning blue orb for more than twenty-six years and I have never taken a single risk. Or, at least, it feels that way. I’ve never bungee-jumped, taken a transatlantic flight, publicly declared my love to someone, or gotten a tattoo larger than a postage stamp.

That’s not entirely fair. I’ve done some stuff. I dropped out of college (more than once) but ended up in graduate school, and, I mean, I got married. But, in the moment, these seemed like the safest options, hardly the risks they purport to be. I had played it safe for decades because the threat of the unknown was too daunting.

So, when I started therapy, I didn’t think much of it. It didn’t seem like a risk, because when I’d tried it before, I hadn’t learned anything. I didn’t do the work, I didn’t stick it out. I’d go once, maybe twice, declare it useless, and forge ahead with my life. But by the time my twenty-sixth birthday appeared on the horizon, the nihilism and hopelessness that had characterized my adult life became too overwhelming to bear. My panic attacks increased. I was drinking every day. I was unmoored from reality in a way that was jeopardizing my health and my marriage. And worst of all, I had no fucking clue what to do with my life.

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        And then I met Tanya. Her office was at the end of a long hallway in one of the campus’s newest buildings, which had the sterile vibe of a hospital ward. Her lime green loveseat reminded me of my childhood bedroom. After some sessions, I’ve fallen apart and failed to put myself back together for days at a time. I’ve arranged toys in a sand table and choked on my own tears. I’ve made resolutions, reported successes, and admitted failures. I’ve shown up drunk—she’s seen the worst parts of me up close. And most importantly, I’ve learned to trust another person with my real thoughts, my inner monologue, not just the bullshit performance everyone else sees. The chasm between how I see myself and how others see me is so much wider than I could have ever imagined. Vulnerability is a trip.

Tanya ends every session with the same line: “Remember what we talked about.” Sometimes, that’s the hardest part—remembering that I deserve to be happy, that I’m a good person. That I don’t need to constantly self-flagellate, or be polished and perfect every moment of the day. That I’m allowed to say no.

It’s been the greatest, shittiest, hardest, most wonderful six months of my life. Well worth the risk of actually getting to know myself.

 

Lemme see you do that yoga.

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I started going to yoga every Thursday night and Saturday morning and it is the single greatest thing I’ve ever done. Well, except this past Saturday, because I have a sinus thing, and when I went on Thursday I thought my head was going to explode from the pressure. But I mean, I’ve been getting into my practice.

Technically, I’ve been doing yoga on-and-off for over ten years. My #extremelywoke high school (lol) allowed us to choose gym class activities, so my cohort immediately chose yoga because of the promise of laying around for 5-10 minutes at the end. (I now know that this is savasana, and it’s a real posture, you guys!) At 15, I was shocked at how challenging it was—at 26, the challenge is like a drug! A super beneficial, calming drug. Walking out of a yoga class is like the first sips of wine after a long, hard day—without the calories and sugar. The more I go, the better I feel. Maybe that’s why I’m writing about it right now—I need my fix because I missed class on Saturday.

Honestly, yoga is the closest thing to religion I can experience without getting grossed out. I’m basically a she-devil/antichrist, so anything spiritual completely turns me off. That’s why yoga is so grounding—it’s about being at home in your physical body and showing gratitude for what you’re tangibly able to achieve. It’s about honoring your earthly self and your daily experience. It’s the opposite of contemptus mundi (RT if you took way too many Medieval Lit classes).

What’s amazing to me is how something so ancient and ubiquitous can still be so misunderstood. From mis-lede-ing articles to the undeniable class & race issues of many contemporary forms of practice, to an actual claim that practicing yoga contributes to white supremacy, it can be a touchy subject. But studies claim yoga helps your brain, your anxiety and depression, and your genes, all without the icky charges of cultural appropriation. Just, try not to smoke weed while you’re doing it.

So, what, if anything, needs to change?

  • Di. Ver. Si. Ty. Say it with me! DIVERSITY. There was literally one person of color in my last yoga class. That might have to do with a number of factors, like geography and race & class demographics (apparently I live in the 28th highest-income county in the United States?! Out of over 3,000?! No one told my broke ass.), but it’s still tragic. When all the media representation of yoga is impossibly thin, hot white women in $100 leggings, I get why a more diverse group (diverse in terms of race, gender, class, age, etc) would be turned off by it.
  • We need to stop fetishizing brands and gear. It’s completely counterintuitive for yogis to be so materialistic (I am the worst offender, trust me)! You don’t need to look cute in class—you’re just going to sweat through your clothes anyway! Like, these and this will do just fine.
  • The cult of yoga shouldn’t be a distraction from our real lives. It’s so easy to leave a yoga class feeling spiritually cleansed, but it’s not a stand-in for reality. Just ask this former lulu employee.
  • And finally, more free or inexpensive classes. My classes are included with my regular gym membership, thank goodness, but at studios, drop-in classes are upwards of $15! My gym membership, therefore, pays for itself in a week. A monthly unlimited pass to a studio costs as much as my car payment. Check out your local community centers and colleges to see if they’re offering classes!

Oh yeah, and this Onion article made me laugh out loud, and this list gave me a chuckle.

Some cool yoga resources I found on the vast internet:

Black Yogis

Black Girl in Om

Five Myths about Yoga

P.S. This song is so important to me.

***

Do you practice? HMU with all your best knowledge.

xoxo,

c

Sunday Kind of Love

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i truly cannot believe this is a thing. it is the exact intersection of all of my interests.

February’s in full swing! And on this Sunday morning, I’m in full pajamas with a full glass of cold brew. At least for the moment, I’m pretending that I don’t have chores to do and hundreds of pages of reading #gradschoolproblems. Here’s some of the stuff that made me smile this week.

P.S. This entire week is dedicated to The Purple One, in honor of Sheila E. shutting down Timberlake over the stupid hologram. This is my sole comment on the Super Bowl.

  1. Valentine’s Day is so not my jam, but novelty pajamas absolutely are. I saw these at Target the other day and almost caved and bought them (there’s still time…) Also, tacos are life, and I need this shirt to add to my obnoxious collection of Francophile clothing items.
  2. I am so excited about SOLO that I could scream. Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian is, I think, my exact number on the Kinsey Scale?! Summer can’t come fast enough!
  3. Okay, okay. I’m like, the last person on earth to see this, but I finally watched Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy video and just about died from the sweetness. I’ve never actually seen KUWTK, and to me, Kylie Jenner is just “the lipstick girl,” but I have to give the whole fam (Kris) mad props for their marketing finesse. Also, we got to see Chicago West for the first time!
  4. I have got to make this DIY. I’m obsessed with macarons (I know, basic), and this would look so cute on my bar cart! My bar cart apparently isn’t available from Target anymore, but maybe I should get a second one for coffee because this beautiful cart exists? I needed to lie down when I saw this one…gorgeous.
  5. Speaking of my Oh Joy! bar cart, please give me EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF THIS FURNITURE. Plz and thank you.
  6. Guess I’m on a furniture kick, because look at this thing I must have for my kitchen! Venmo me $1,000 that I can spend on furnishings I don’t need?
  7. Can I get married again so I can wear this, or this, or frankly any of these?
  8. Should I listen to the new Timberlake? The internet (and my moral compass) has totally turned on him, but 20/20 was wicked good, so…?
  9. These glasses are amazing and I need them yesterday. Also these sunnies. Alternately, I need to re-lens the glasses I already have (these, these, these, these, these—some in different colors), or, y’know, get contacts.
  10. Should I do Whole30? As I proved last month, I can give up alcohol, but all bread? I feel like that’s disrespectful to Oprah.

What was on your mind this week?

xoxo,

c

I Spit into a Tube to Find out WTF Ethnicity I Am

Sometimes you’re not in the mood to come up with a catchy title, y’know?

Backstory: I know virtually nothing about either side of my family. My parents are incredibly vague—my mother is Italian and a tad Irish, and my father insists that we’re English, as though a person could be purely one thing (what is he, a Slytherin?). But I’ve heard smatterings on both sides of, “Oh, so-and-so relative was French-Canadian,” or “So-and-so spoke fluent German,” and I have wild, thick, curly, frizzy hair that doesn’t seem characteristic of any of the above. I’ve met 6/8 of my great grandparents (they have all since passed away), but none of them ever mentioned a thing about their ancestors.

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me @ 17. this is my hair TAME.

My paternal grandmother showed me her Ancestry.com DNA results last year, and ordered me my own kit for Christmas. I just got back the results, and putting together a family tree has been a total blast!

Unfortunately, I didn’t discover anything earth-shattering—I knew my Dad’s side had all come to America in the 1600s/1700s, but I figured my mom’s side would at least have a slightly cool history—no dice, Americans dating back well over a hundred years. But my makeup was not exactly what I was expecting. I am actually Italian (suck it, Dad), but everything else is a bit muddled.

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This list is what some might refer to as WHITE AS FUCK. But there’s definitely ambiguity! For instance, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are part of Great Britain, so I’m vaguely confused as to why they are separate categories. Am I just super, like, Welsh? (#catherinezetajones, #tomjones) Europe South refers specifically to Italy & Greece, and Iberian, obviously, Spain & Portugal. I never would have guessed I had any Spanish or Portuguese (according to the Ancestry summaries, apparently the Romans dickishly colonized the Iberian peninsula, so maybe that has something to do with it?) but 11% is a decently significant percentage! Higher than the German or French I’d heard about. These results explain the amount of blondes in my family (of course, I got mud-brown wire growing out of my head instead of my brother’s golden waves) and the crazy-high percentage of folks with blue or green eyes.

The “low-confidence” regions are also fascinating. I knew about the Asia South, Middle East, and Scandinavia (they showed up in my paternal grandmother’s results as well), but I was pleasantly surprised to see European Jewish! That’s got to be from my mom’s side, and I’m sure there’s a fascinating story there. I’ve always actually suspected that I might have some Jewish ancestry—I hope this isn’t inappropriate or fetishistic to say, but I’ve always felt very drawn to Jewish culture and traditions. Christianity (or Catholicism, my brand) never clicked for me. Watch it be a processing error.

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i knew we were basically the pilgrims

The freakiest part of all of this is that, based on your DNA, you can track migrations over the past few hundred years and, insanely enough, it matches up exactly with my paternal family tree! From New England, my ancestors did actually end up in the Midwest and the West!

I went into an Ancestry.com free trial k-hole for hours and managed to figure out quite a bit about my family from public records (my dad’s side is way easier to pin down, since they’ve been Americans for 300 years—I’m basically, like, Cotton Mather). Since I only have one side that has any ostensible “ethnicity,” it bums me out that the language hasn’t carried over generationally. I know probably the most Italian out of everyone in my family and I only took Italian I in high school!

Now all I need is to get famous enough for Henry Louis Gates Jr. to research my ancestry and tell me about all the crazy shit my family did 150 years ago. From the research I’ve been able to accomplish, I’m likely not descended of slaveowners which is honestly a bit of a relief—that’s always a tough pill to swallow on Finding Your Roots. I mean, I’m sure my family were a bunch of white devils but at least I don’t have to live with crimes against humanity on my conscience.

This whole experience has me yearning to know more. I’ve always been a history nerd (with the amount of time I spent reading historical fiction in my youth, it’s amazing I ever got a high school boyfriend), and I’m a Leo, so it’s fun to finally insert MYSELF into the narrative. I’m still as American as prohibitively expensive healthcare and morbid obesity (dark?) but at least I have a clearer sense of where I big-picture “come from.”

xoxo,

c