Shout Out Sunday

Greetings, people of earth!  In personal news, I’m still adjusting to having a real job. It’s weird…people with “real jobs” work soooo much lesssss than people with service industry jobs. I actually feel guilty! Well, I’d feel guilty if I were making more money. I’m making starter wages for a 21-year-old, hardly (read: not) enough to be financially solvent.

I actually started this post two whole weeks ago, but somehow, time got away from me. I’ve just been working, cooking, spending as much time with my husband as possible, and getting ready for my week-long trip to Florida! We’re doing an overnight in St. Pete and seeing Neko Case in concert! Oh, and the night before I leave, I’m seeing Dawes at the Wang Center! Feeling very blessed these days.

Alright, without further ado, I present my favorites from the past couple of weeks).

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please enjoy this incredible picture of my cat
  1. New season of Schitt’s Creek started!!
  2. I started using DuoLingo and I can’t stop! I’m brushing up on my French, primarily, but I also started courses in Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Welsh, Portuguese, and Russian. I tested into a decent level of Spanish, which is surprising since I’ve never taken a class in it. I can’t believe how much Italian I’ve forgotten—I studied it for over a year in high school. Swedish, however, is by far my favorite. It’s such a cool and logical language. I highly recommend this service to anyone who has an interest in flexing their foreign language skills.
  3. Kevin T. Porter comin’ thru with the updated Marvelous Mrs. Maisel soundtrack playlist!
  4. I know I was sleeping on this, but Lizzo’s new single “Juice” is everything. Also, check out “Scuse Me” which is just a perfect song.
  5. I started meal prepping for the week and it’s honestly changed my life. My digestion has been better, and I have wholesome, healthy breakfasts and lunches prepared every day for work. I was really inspired by McKel at Nutrition Stripped. She recently launched a free e-course on meal planning and it was such a great jumping off point. Gimme all the jar salads and nourish bowls! I have to tell you, jar salads have been a game-changer for office lunch! It’s so much easier to say no to take out when you have a big serving of all your favorite legumes, grains, and veggies waiting for you in the office fridge.
  6. Rob Sheffield wrote an article about Britney Spears’s first album and it is personally so vindicating for me. Fun fact: he’s my 10th grade chemistry teacher’s brother!
  7. I just found out about Unroll.me and I am obsessed! Subscription e-mails are the bane of my existence and this service is my new favorite thing on earth.
  8. Madewell sale is 40% off right now. I got glitter statement earrings because of course I did.
  9. I just bought a tiny humidifier for my cubicle because I am 100 years old.
  10. Can’t get enough of La Neige‘s Water Sleeping Mask and Lip Mask.
  11. I really want to try Purple Carrot but it’s not really in my budget at the moment. I think it would be such a help in getting us to eat exclusively vegan meals.
  12. I’m catching up on back episodes of podcasts and this conversation between Roxane Gay and Cameron Esposito is powerful AF.
  13. I’ve been eating almost exclusively plant-based lately and I’m loving it! I still have the occasional egg and some of my meals include a little bit of cheese, but that’s been it. It’s made my cooking so much more creative. I think I’m going to start posting recipes again, since that was the whole point of this blog in the first place.
  14. Jaboukie Young-White is guesting on Pete Holmes’s Crashing and he’s amazing. I’ve been following him on Twitter forever!
  15. Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, which I’m listening to on audiobook, is so deeply moving that I cry almost every time I listen. It’s somehow even better than I thought it would be. 10/10 recommend.
  16. The Shutdown is (temporarily) over! My heart goes out to the government workers who have been furloughed (without pay) or forced to work without pay. This shutdown was about 15 days longer than any other in history, and the administration should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting workers and neglecting basic services and essential government functions, but they won’t be because they are all chaotic evil. Each and every one of the 800,000 people immediately affected are such heroes.

Sunday Kind of Love xx

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Back in the saddle again (metaphorically, of course, I’m afraid of horses). Today’s post really runs the gamut of topics, but I hope you find some new faves! As I get older, I’m investing in a quality, ethically-made wardrobe and trying to support small businesses (although my love of Target and my problematic AF love for Amazon may never die). The world is on fire, so if I can even do a tiny part to help, I’m in.

 

  1. I’m ditching bras in 2019! That’s right—I’m freeing myself from the Victoria’s Secret prison. I’ve been getting almost all my bras from VS for 15 years! The brand is…not great to begin with, and the quality has been declining for years. Also, tiny skinny straps! I feel like I’ve been untwisting a bra strap since I was in middle school! Now, I’m no Dolly Parton, but my girls do need support, which is why I’m switching over to bralettes. Madewell has some amazing ones on sale right now, and Everlane is the new go-to. The Tank Bra is $22 (at least $10 less than the cheapest VS bra, I ordered one in every color) and it so comfortable I could die. Plus, “lift and separate” is a thing of the past—my boobs have never looked better than in this bra, doing their own thing. Plus, Everlane fucking owns. I know that my small-ish breasts (34C) give me the privilege of metaphorically burning my bras, so if anyone has any ethical full-bust recommendations, hit me up! P.S. I’m donating my gently used bras to I Support the Girls.
  2. Spectrum Boutique is an amazing, sex-positive, gender-inclusive sex toy store that my husband came across on Instagram. They’re based out of Detroit, and their selection is curated by Zoë Ligon, a sex educator and journalist! We’re huge fans in our house of supporting small businesses, especially those that give the finger to gender norms!
  3. The new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is out! My husband and I are bingeing it this weekend. I’m so excited. MMM is one of my favorite pieces of recent media. It might even be my favorite show of all time!
  4. I did it, guys! I finally bought an espresso machine for my house! This is a decade in the making. Since I’m leaving my coffee job at the end of this month (and hopefully forever—sayonara service industry!), I’ll no longer have unlimited access to all manner of caffeinated beverages. I already have a Chemex, two French presses, a pour-over cone, a cold brew Toddy, an Aeropress, and a Verismo frother (whoever took my stovetop espresso maker is dead to me), but there’s really nothing like a proper espresso machine. I went with this model after doing some research online. I really want a $3,000 Breville machine, or something equally extravagant, but this little guy will have to do for now! Other dream espresso machines: LaPavoni, SMEG, illy.
  5. The Glossier perfume is amazing, and I hate perfume. I got a sample of it in my last order and I have been wearing it all the time. It’s the perfect combination of floral and musky without being overbearing or migraine-inducing (I basically go into anaphylactic shock every time I’m around someone with perfume or cologne on). I just bought the bottle and the solid to keep in my purse.
  6. Speaking of purses, I just got this baby in dusty peony and I am obsessed. It was on sale at the time for $129, which is an insane deal. It’s the perfect size for an everyday bag, although fitting a book and a planner is a little tight. It’s also just so cute I could die.
  7. P.S. The surprise sale is happening now!
  8. Have you heard of HARA? It’s an Australian brand that sells organic bamboo intimates and loungewear. Their stuff is definitely on the pricey side, but it’s worth it for the occasional splurge. Their mission is to bring ethically-made, sustainable clothing to the forefront, and we should all celebrate that!
  9. Oh, forgot to mention. Just bought this steaming pitcher and this tamper to go with my espresso machine, because of course I did.
  10. Boston finally nixed single-use plastic bags! California did this ages ago, and the last time I went I was so taken with the idea. Reusable bags cost a dollar and can last for years—why wouldn’t you be using them?? I literally bought reusable grocery bags at Tesco while I was staying in England because there was no way I was cheating just because I was “on vacation.” Hopefully, now that this ordinance is in effect, I’ll stop being the only crazy bag lady in the Boston area! Come on, rest of Massachusetts…do your thing.
  11. This one’s more serious, but it’s something I’m insanely passionate about. I found out about RIP Medical Debt via a New York Times article about two women who fundraised $12,500 and were able to erase $1.5 million worth of medical debt for hundreds of people. Long story short, medical debt causes bankruptcies, ruins people’s lives, and is basically all fake because our healthcare system is complete garbage. Lots of employers will match your donation (mine did!), so you can do double the good by contributing even a small amount. When donating, you can even specify that your contribution helps struggling veterans, which tbh made me tear up. If nothing else this holiday season, please donate to this incredible organization.

That’s all for now, folks! Someday, I’ll start actually writing posts again, but until then, see you on Sunday!

New Year’s Revolutions

My husband is a music teacher, and he recently asked one of his favorite students to write down a list of “New Year’s Music Resolutions.” When she came back, she presented him with her “New Year’s Revolutions,” which he corrected, but found oddly moving. When he told me about this, I was moved too—the idea of a ten-year-old girl starting a revolution felt extremely timely and appropriate. So this year, in addition to my resolutions (no drinking, more sleep, better study habits, etc), I’m making a list of revolutions.

  1. Attend a goddamn protest. My excuse last year was that I worked weekends, so I didn’t have the free time to go show my support for the Women’s March, Science March, etc. I was in California at the time of the badass August protest in Boston, so I was extra unavailable. But now? I have weekends off. There was no defensible reason that I wasn’t at the anniversary of the Women’s March over last weekend. The actual reason? I didn’t even know it was happening until I saw people’s IG posts. I know I’m in a grad school bubble, but I passionately care about these issues, and need to hit the streets to show my support. Throwing occasional money at causes isn’t the same as showing up and fighting. No more slacktivism in 2018.
  2. Buy all organic. Time to put my money where my mouth is. The only way to increase demand for natural, local, and organic foods is to literally increase demand for them. Even though, to quote my ex-boyfriend’s tweet, there’s “no ethical consumption under capitalism,” we can at least fucking try. It’s great that a carton of eggs is 89 cents, but it won’t kill me to buy the cage-free. And it’s not more expensive to buy organic! I mean, per unit, maybe, but you’d be amazed at how much you save when you stop buying processed foods and start buying whole.
  3. Believe in myself. I know this sounds wicked stupid, but for me, a depressive, possible-ADHD-sufferer and probable codependent, believing in myself is a radical, political act. The idea that I deserve a happiness and a good life is an entirely foreign concept to me. When you’re 26 and in grad school, you get asked what you’re going to do with your life constantly, and my answer thus far has been a giant question mark. Not because I don’t want a bright future, but because I’ve never had hopes, dreams, or goals. I didn’t believe that I could. This year, I’m going to write a script, look for internships, keep this blog going, and work on myself in therapy. Being a mess is not “cute” or “creative.” It’s weak.
  4. Curb my spending and shop local. Refer back to the “no ethical consumption under capitalism” notion. In my heart of hearts, I am a lil’ socialist, but in my habits I am basically a corporate monster. I believe in universal basic income, health care, and education, but do literally nothing to work towards those outcomes. “Shopping local” isn’t exactly socialist, but when my money supports local businesses in my community, or women-owned businesses, I feel less shame about parting with it. Why do I have a Starbucks gold card when my local coffee shop has way better coffee (and a way better points system)? Now, to kick the Amazon habit…
  5. Go minimal. This goes along with #4—I DO NOT NEED SO MUCH STUFF. I know I’m in the “accumulation” phase of life—newly married, young, building my identity, yadda yadda yadda—but who ever said that being an adult meant being inundated with THINGS? I’ve been donating and consigning clothes with thredUP, selling my old textbooks on Amazon, and bringing my housewares and miscellaneous items to charity shops. My aspirational self is one that has a capsule wardrobe and lives a Marie Kondo/Swedish Death Cleaning-approved life, but one step at a time.
  6. Speak up. In the current political climate, I’m afraid to use my voice. Not here, or screaming into the Twitter void, but in person. I hate bringing up the subject of politics in conversation, unless I know the affiliation of the persons present. I hate conflict, and it seems that people on the, well, wrong side of history, have very loud, aggressive voices. Since they support him, and the general shadiness of the current incarnation of the GOP, they aren’t amenable to reason. I can’t argue, because they’ve abandoned all logic. My goal for 2018 is to be an ally, and speak up when I hear ignorant people use racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic (Jesus Christ this list is long) language and not back down in the face of dissent. POC, LGBTQ folx, and every other person who is marginalized by the current system deserve better than my meek support and retweets.

Fight the power!

xoxo,

c

Aging Out

Well, it had to happen eventually. Me turning 26 next month, I mean. Twenty-six. Finally, I’ve crossed to the other side of what my imagination was capable of imagining. As a kid or a teen, 25 seemed so adult. That was the age I’d always planned to get married (I did) and start thinking about having kids (I haven’t). But that was it. Everything after 25 was blank and dark. I didn’t, don’t, have a plan.

President Obama was elected President during my senior year of high school, which means the ACA-related mandate that kids can stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 was just a fact of my teens and twenties. I got to make my way through college without worrying about healthcare. Sure, I haven’t had dental for a while, but I take excellent care of my teeth and hope to go for a cleaning/checkup soon. I got to experience inexpensive preventative and emergency care, thanks to a decision that allowed me to benefit from the health insurance my father’s company provides us. I have gotten antibiotics to stave off sinus infections and UTIs. I’ve gotten my regular paps. I’ve even been tested for STIs/HIV—something monogamous people rarely feel they need to do. I have a wrist and back brace for when hard work turns into aches and pains.

I rarely visit doctors, because I’m rarely sick. The above list is a compilation of nearly a decade of experiences. I’m the queen of holistic remedies. It’s not unheard of for me to drink raw apple cider, or eat a whole garlic clove. I diffuse essential oils and apply them topically. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that local honey can help with seasonal allergies. I have been very lucky in my life. Not everyone I know has been so lucky.

Several people in my life whom I love dearly have suffered from seizures, Type I diabetes, cancer—things that herbal tea and meditation won’t cure. So, as I’m panicking, approaching my 26th birthday worried about my own access to care, I can’t stop thinking about them. That list of pre-existing conditions? I have exactly one: history of depression. Pretty much every person I know has more—just one of my family members has four on this partial list alone. This list is ableist, transphobic, misogynist, and cruel.

So, I’m turning 26. I finally have to cut the last remaining cord to my parents and get my own insurance. As stressful as it all is, I know, again, that I’m lucky. I’m a privileged, married, white woman, a born citizen of the U.S. I’m employed and educated, living in a blue state where care options are plentiful. I won’t be bankrupted trying to care for myself. But I am such a minuscule sliver of the population. The health insurance I pay for, I’ll rarely need or use.

Speaker Ryan said something, when talking a few months ago about the AHCA: “Why should healthy people pay for sick people to have healthcare?”

I paraphrase, but that sentence is the distillation of the expressed sentiments.

I don’t know, Speaker Ryan. Why should safe drivers pay for reckless ones? Why should financially responsible people pay for over-spenders’ overdraft fees?

We are one people. Every citizen, born, naturalized, and aspiring, is valuable. Their lives are valuable.

The same hypocrites who are pro-life and #AllLivesMatter are plotting to take healthcare away from millions of Americans, which will kill thousands. This is murder—it is a premeditated assault on the poor and disadvantaged, the disabled, the sick.

I am so lucky. I will probably escape from this nightmare unscathed. But because I’m unaffected, at least for now, I’m strong and healthy enough to fight for those that can’t fight for themselves. #Slacktivism is easy—real activism is really hard. I’m not even there yet. I just contacted my rep for the first time on July 4th. I’m a monthly donor to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, but I can’t afford to send them as much as I’d like.

Luckily, my best friend is a woke bae who has marched and prioritized civic engagement like a boss. She has alerted me to a few dope resources that are the perfect intro to doing your part.

***

WTF Just Happened Today – This is a daily briefing on what the government is up to. If North Korea is testing missiles, you can read about it here. If the GOP is still whining about Hillary’s e-mails, it’ll be on here. It’s so hard to keep every crazy thing that’s happened straight!

5calls – 5calls is a site that provides call scripts and contact information for State Reps, Senators, AGs, etc. Reps work for us—make sure they’re legislating your values by calling them.

Countable – Countable provides summaries of past and present bills, plus the information on how your reps have voted. It helps you make those calls armed with the facts. For instance, my rep, whom I voted for and who I feel represents most of my values, recently voted for an extremely shitty, xenophobic bill. Hell no.

Democratic Socialists of America – I still haven’t taken the plunge and joined the DSA, but it’s only a matter of time. Yes, we need to buck the 2-party system (France and Britain’s recent elections are compelling evidence as to why), but I’m hoping my beloved Dems can get it together and swerve left. The DSA is doing super important work at the local level though, so check them out. Just don’t put a rose emoji in your Twitter display name, or I’ll disown you.

***

Well, that post took an unexpected turn. What started as a personal reflection about getting older somehow turned into a call for political action. Lately, it’s been hard not to think in the plural. As the rights of other Americans are stripped away, WE supersedes ME. Grammatically-questionable platitude aside, we’ve got to get to work. 2018 is coming up fast. I’ll be 27 by the midterms—maybe I’ll have some of this figured out by then.

A few words on Orlando

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image via the Huffington Post

The language surrounding the Orlando massacre had already pivoted from “hate crime” to “terrorist action” before I even woke up to hear the news yesterday. Before the death toll began to rise. Poor, unfortunate advocates of gun control, silenced before we were even allowed to speak.

Much has been made of the shooter’s ethnic background. His parents were Muslim immigrants from Afghanistan. Therefore, apparently, by some twisted logic, the shooting at an LGBTQ safe space was an act of “Islamic terror” and not a hate crime against a beautiful community whose diversity makes us better as a nation every day.

I won’t try to argue that followers of Islam aren’t prejudiced against the gay community, because they very well may be. But aren’t the leaders that advocate for traditional marriage and undermine the human rights and dignity of that same community not the loudest and proudest Christians? I am an atheist, but I have the pleasure of knowing people of several faiths, mostly Christian ones, who are among the most loving, tolerant, and open people I’ve met. They truly believe that the message of their God or gods is one of acceptance, forgiveness, and equality.

If the shooter were a white, Christian man, he would merely be “deranged.” His actions wouldn’t be held as a reflection of the values of his faith. Christian leaders and politicians would try their damnedest to condemn his actions. And he most certainly would not have been instantly linked to terrorist organizations.

The Orlando shooter, whose name does not deserve to be printed, very well may have been a terrorist. For all I know, he was set to board a plane to join ISIS next week. But that’s not the point. The shooting was an act of terror, but not the “Islamic terror” that the orange blowhard currently running for President loves to speak about. It was an act of terror and hatred against a minority group against whom society and the world is still prejudiced.

This shooting brings up two very important issues on which U.S. needs to progress, neither of which involves Islam, ISIS, or Carrie Mathison’s intervention. The first is universal acceptance of the LGBTQ community. This won’t happen overnight, but as equal marriage is now the law of the land, it behooves those still on the fence or still steeped in hatred to look within themselves to locate the source of their discomfort. The second is this nation’s desperate need for common sense gun control.

Even though I personally would never own a gun, I have no serious objection to law-abiding citizens, regardless of race or creed, owning a firearm for hunting or sport. I don’t agree that any civilian needs a gun, but I would never infringe upon another person’s constitutional right to bear arms. Just as I would never censor a person for speaking his or her mind or practicing his or her religion openly. Neither, I should mention, would the Democratic party or its nominee for President. No one will be coming to your house to confiscate your guns. Gun control is not a ban on guns.

What gun control laws would seek to do is institute universal background checks before the purchase of guns and ammunition. They would prevent people that are currently under suspicion of terrorism from accessing guns. The same people on the no-fly list would be on the no-gun list. The majority of NRA members support these measures, by the way.

What gun control means for you: if you are a law-abiding citizen over the age of 18 who has been properly vetted, go ahead and buy a gun. Nobody is stopping you.

In most cases, the gun that your uncle keeps locked in his safe at home is not the gun responsible for mass shootings. Combat-grade assault weapons are often at fault. Civilians do not need access to the instruments of war, which are designed to maximize slaughter. A ban on assault weapons is completely reasonable.

Fifty members of our society were mercilessly gunned down in a safe space that they created for themselves. As every new outlet has claimed, it was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. This is a U.S. problem. It’s on us to be vocal about calling for change. It’s on us to vote for leaders that support gun control. It’s on us to stand up for the rights of our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community every day.

Isn’t it ironic that so much love is the target of so much hatred? Someday, I want to raise my kids in a world where, when I tell them about Orlando, they respond with the same horror with which I once responded to hearing about the Jim Crow laws, glad that their world is safer and more tolerant than the one that preceded them. To me, growing up, racial segregation was unfathomable. I’m from Massachusetts, where equal marriage has been law since 2004, so, much in the same way, intolerance toward the LGBTQ community was unfathomable. Future generations deserve to feel the same way about assault weapons and hate crimes.

I won’t be praying for Orlando, because I’m not religious and that would be an empty gesture. I will, however, be voting Democrat in November. My hope is that those fifty deaths won’t be entirely in vain, and that we can rally the support needed to change the conversation surrounding guns, terrorism, and intolerance.

Thank you.

Friday, I’m In #LOVEWINS

Today 5/9 of the Supreme Court of the United States made marriage equality the law of the land. I’m so proud to be an American on this historic day, as our country joins the civilized world in granting same-sex couples the rights and dignity they so deserve. Our kids are going to learn about this decision in school one day.

Photo from the NY Times. Click through for link to the article.
Photo from the NY Times. Click through for link to the article.

Today was also great for me because I booked our flights to San Francisco (which felt even more amazing in light of this news)! San Francisco was the spark that ignited this momentous change. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to visit there for the first time since 1999. I was just a kid then!

It’s only July, but I can confidently say that 2015 has been one of the best years of my life. I’ve experienced so much personal growth, so much amazing music, and such incredible progress. Then again, it’s difficult not to be optimistic when something of this magnitude occurs. I’m sure this decision has caused all of its fervent supporters to reflect gratefully upon their privilege.

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This floral top was, unfortunately, the closest thing I own to rainbow colors, so I wore it proudly (and loudly, because I mixed patterns and wore bright pink shoes & lipstick). I always dress deliberately, but today I may have gone a little symbolically overboard. My boyfriend was sweet in indulging me in a brief sunset photo session. I wonder how long it will take him to get sick of this.

Go give someone you love a big kiss today. I certainly will.

top/secondhand--Christie Dupree, shorts/Kate Spade Saturday, glasses/Warby-Parker
top/secondhand–Christie Dupree, shorts/Kate Spade Saturday, glasses/Warby-Parker