Sunday, February 2, 2014

In which I offer yet more life advice for the barely functional

I've said it before and I'll say it again: February is the absolute worst.

I can't think of any clever and titillating introductions to that fact because for the past week it's been like the electricity inside my body has been cut off and my tongue is weighing heavy in my mouth and everything I do or say is dull and monotonous and uninspired. It's been winter for entirely too long and the smog that hangs over the city is beginning to penetrate my soul; I am a swirling vortex in a thousand shades of grey: I will swallow you whole.

I also feel obligated to state that this has nothing to do with the presence of Valentine's day- I mean, I hate V-day in a creeping, passive kind of way- but that's more of an effect of the Februaries, not a cause of it. Sort of a, I DON'T WANT TO CELEBRATE OUR LOVE RIGHT NOW, I CAN'T FEEL ANYTHING type situation.  I am totally down to eat chocolates from a heart-shaped box, should you feel inclined to give me one.

I also also feel obligated to state that I am perfectly okay right now. I'm sitting in bed making last-minute casting notes and eating my weight in babybel cheese (WHICH YOU CAN BUY IN BULK FROM COSTCO, DID YOU KNOW) and debating whether or not Scott Kardashian is, in fact, a sociopath (my vote is yes.) When I no longer want to consume dairy and limit my theater expertise to quoting 'Night, Mother, then we worry. Right now, it's just February.

Because I am overly fascinated with my own opinions and absolutely in the "People Who Suck At Life" category again, I have decided that now is a great time to offer my fellow barely functioning humans some life advice.

But first, here is a classic piece of visual inspiration:

I find the fact that she is wearing pearls to be particularly impressive. Way to keep it classy, Brit.

Let us all learn from dear Britney's example. 
Now, depending on how closely you follow my online presence, you may have noticed I haven't mentioned bathing in my own salty tears for a while. Actually, even if you do follow my online presence closely, you still may not have noticed this- I post a crap ton of stuff online. Especially facebook statuses. I have no doubt this will contribute to my divorce/firing of the future. 
But I digress. 
About a year ago I talked about crying all the time, all the time, because it was a novel and confusing experience. Because I no longer talk about it, we can deduce that this is something I no longer do. 

(also the first time I typed that it came out as JAJAJAJAJA, because sometimes I like to agree with myself in German, enthusiastically.)

No, I totally still cry. All. The damn. Time. 
Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with crying. Apparently it's one of the body's way of ridding itself of toxins- though that may not be true, given my therapist said it when she was trying to persuade me into tears. However, when you are pretending to be a normal grown-up and you continuously burst out sobbing, people find that fairly off-putting and usually want to talk about your feelings for a long period of time. Nothing wrong with that either- but this is frequently a thrice daily occurrence for me, and ain't nobody got time for that.

So without further ado, I give you this Lissa approved guide to spontaneous weeping like a grown up:

Step 1: Never let them see you cry.

Actually, this is probably the only step. And I may want to rename it to Cry on the Sly, because alliteration. 

Only Step: Cry on the Sly.

If you know you have a chunk of free alone time coming up, try and get all your crying done then. Like in the shower. Or the car, if you can still navigate the road safely while being blinded by your own bodily fluids. So maybe not the car. The idea here is that if you get it out of your system while you're in control of the setting, you may be less inclined to an outburst later on. 

Alternatively, you could just reduce yourself to a constant state of dehydration, so that if you do start crying there are no tears and you're just gasping like a sad fish. That should confuse people to the point where they leave you alone. 

My latest and most effective tactic if you think you are going to cry is to abruptly walk away. This is a very adaptable technique- if you are at work, just casually pretend like you need a bathroom break. Immediately. That may last twenty minutes. Okay, your coworkers will probably suspect you may be suffering from some sort of intestinal issue, but better that than know you have feelings, amiright?

This is also perfectly employable within the confines of your own home- the only issue is that you are usually expected to return to the situation you are walking away from, so you should come up with a good excuse. I once walked away mid-conversation to return ten minutes later claiming I remembered I had to turn off a light upstairs. This was obviously not a good cover, because it does not take that long to walk up and down stairs, and because everyone who knows me knows I prefer all the lights in the house be on all the time always.  I am probably single-handedly responsible for global warming. Sorry.
So...don't be like me in that aspect, maybe. Pretend you had some dishes to wash, or something. Maybe some jelly you have to take off the stove. 

It's surprisingly easy to do this when you are out of doors- oh, you just brought a me a thoughtful gift and I am responding emotionally? Excuse me while I walk down the street a bit to look at...something. I will be back. Probably. 

The most difficult situation in which to pull this move off successfully is if you are mid-way through a date, and you've just realized you're sick of pretending to laugh at their jokes and you're really tired and OH CRAP THE TEARS, THEY ARE A-COMIN'. The key to a smooth execution is to pretend like you're just too damn cool to stick around any longer, then you casually put your jacket on and insist that you will be walking home, in the freezing rain, like the exotic and mysterious being you are. Boom. Cryin' on the sly. 

And there you have it, internet. A useful, one-step guide to hiding your feelings from everyone you interact with. You are welcome.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What my OkCupid profile would look like were it not INUNDATED WITH LIES.

It would basically be this picture:

And let's be honest, #2 is being generous.

Disclaimer: If we share DNA, if we work together,  or you have ever dated me, you might want to stop reading

But first, a brief introduction as to why I have an OkCupid profile, and why it is now disabled:

Online dating makes a huge amount of sense if you want to actively date. I'm totally serious. I think in recent past there has been some stigmatization implying that online dating is for people who are not capable of finding people to date otherwise- I don't think this is the case. The world is full of lovely people you can hit on and subsequently court, marry, and reproduce with. However, that takes a certain amount of time and effort, and I am lazy and would rather be taking naps or eating sandwiches.
Furthermore, in order to meet people, the media has taught me that one must be in the right place at the right time, such as at work, in your local coffee shop, on the train, etc. etc.

For work I teach small children theater and sell diamond rings. Everyone I see is either an underage aspiring actor or looking to get engaged, and neither demographic really appeals to me romantically. 

As for the coffee shop idea, if I have not already received my beverage I am probably midway into a caffeine withdrawal rage spiral. If I have already received my beverage, I am fully focused on taking long drags from my cup between deep, shuddering breaths. Not really a situation conducive to flirting.

I do take public transit. I also read on the train. Sometimes people try and start conversations over this. It usually goes something like this:

Well-Meaning Boy: What are you reading?
Me: The Lonely Polygamist.
WMB: What's it about?
Me: A polygamist. Who is lonely. 
Me: *pointed glare*
WMB: Oh. 
Me: *silence*

So that has yet to result in any marriages. Shocking, I know. 

Let's see, where else... I do occasionally attend church-type things when I'm not working, but any time nice Mormon boys get friendly, I want to pet them gently on the face and say something mysterious along the lines of "Oh, honey...I'm no good for you." And then smile sadly. 
Also? Flirting at church is very tacky and probably annoys Jesus at least a little bit.  Just don't do it.

Basically what I'm saying is my personality is detrimental to reeling in the menfolk when that is not my primary focus, so okcupid seemed like the logical solution to meet lovely people with whom I could cultivate a variety of life-changing relationships. 

Okay, so that's partially a lie. 

What actually happened was I moved to SLC this summer with a heart full of hope and love and dreams and stuff, ready to date new people and have a myriad of adventures.
I also had a job that gave me maybe ten hours of work a week, so even with selling my body fluids for money I was barely making rent. I still had (and have)  the body of a tiger mauling victim, so stripping was out of the question (to the eternal relief of my father, I have no doubt.) Desperate times called for desperate measures.

So...I signed up for OkCupid. In the hopes that I would go on dates with wealthy people who would buy me food. 

TO BE CLEAR: This was a TERRIBLE idea and I am not proud of it. It also proved to be wildly ineffective because, as it would turn out, other people spending money on me in an attempt to curry my favour makes me incredibly uncomfortable. This also rules out my back-up plan in the sugar baby industry (again to the relief of my father, I am sure.)

Interesting sociological observation: Every boy I have told about this plan has reacted (understandably) in horror. Every girl I have told about this plan was either amused or impressed. Read into this as you will. 

But I digress!

So I did that for about a week until I could save up enough money to buy a case of ramen, which was nice. Shortly thereafter I got my teaching job, which was even nicer, because at that point my hair was starting to fall out again. 

However, I kept the dating profile because I really did want to date a lot of people. 

Fun fact about dating profiles: They are essentially a sales pitch accompanied by a few choice photographs.

Fun fact about me: I'm not exactly terrible at sales. 

And, okay, you don't exactly have to make an effort if you have the good luck of being a girl online. But my profile was a gem of succinct wit and charm bundled into an attractive package! Enough to pique the attention of an endless string of 26-year-old software engineers! It was glorious!

And today I disabled it. 

My reasons for doing so are twofold: 

1) It's the end of January. Historically speaking, I am a particularly insufferable bitch this time of year. And this is coming from the girl who glares at well meaning strangers on trains, and signs up for online dating with the intent of using people for food. And that was during the good part of the year. So, I think it's really in the best interest of civilization for me to politely bow out until spring. 
Plus I should really think about my life and my feelings and other things for a bit, probably. That's usually a good idea in my case. 

2) While everything on my profile is absolutely true, attempting to live up to the best, most witty parts of yourself is...tiring. Though "inundated with lies" is a major exaggeration, it's still not an accurate portrayal, really. 

This would be much closer to the truth:

My Self-Summary:
I am your average 22 year old white girl. Nay, I am the quintessential white girl. Every stereotype about white girls? Absolutely applies to me. I like my iphone and starbucks and brunch. Really, you could google "things that white girls like" and you'd pretty much have me covered. 

And yes, the self-loathing that comes with this knows no bounds.

 What I'm doing with my life:
Oh dear lord how I wish I knew. 

I'm really good at:
Baking Pies. Taking naps. Entertaining people with self-depreciating humor. Cuticle care. Hanging out with small children. I sing really, really loudly in the car- it does not sound good. The impressive part of the car singing is the volume. And maybe the enthusiasm. Honestly, it detracts from my driving abilities, which are lacking to begin with. If you date me, I will be overly vigilant in ensuring you are properly hydrated at all times- doubly so if you drink alcohol. I can swear in seven languages but I try and stick to English- it offends a larger audience. Given the opportunity I will try and rescue ALL OF THE STRAY CATS.  If it were legal I'd totally do the same thing for babies. Cats and babies, man. Cats and babies. My blind hems are pretty impressive. I know a lot of stuff about theater. I can walk for six hours without getting bored, assuming it's nice out. I can make a cheesecake in a country with no cream cheese- it involves doing unspeakable things to yoghurt and I don't want to talk about it. If you are sad or upset I will try my best to listen to you but I'm horrible at advice, so I will probably share some inappropriate jokes, procure you some food, and offer you the number of a good counselor. And then I will make you drink water. I give pretty good head scratches. I'm an okay kisser. I read really fast. Multiple people have commended me on my playlist making abilities. 

The first things people notice about me:
I'm a terrible first impression. And second impression. Third usually isn't great either. I'm really mean when you meet me- I do not have a warm and welcoming personality. I would be a terrible diplomat. 
The other day my home teacher- who I had never met- came to my house. I answered the door holding two bottles of alcohol and then sat in silence on the couch eating a burrito. This is pretty close to the standard procedure for when you show up at my house unannounced. I'm also really loud. I am, however, weirdly good at job interviews as of late.

Favourite books, movies, shows, food:
I read the memoirs of people I find hilarious, novels with interesting covers, instructional manuals on skills I wish to develop, and the occasional number written in a foreign language. 
I also read a lot of reddit but that's not a book. 
I watch an absurd amount of beautifully sad movies to make myself feel less alone. It works wonderfully. I highly recommend it. 
I watch entirely too much TV because I can't stand the quiet and dialogue is less emotionally involving than music. Sitcoms are awesome. I've seen the entire series of friends a million times- a couple of those viewings have been in french.  Weirdly this did nothing to improve my french. The only British TV show I could ever get into is the IT crowd. Orange is the new black was awesome. When I find myself asking what those wily Kardashians have been up to, I know it's time to seek medical help. 
The existence of delicious food I have yet to eat is always in my top five reasons not to kill myself. (I also think everyone should have a fallback list of reasons not to kill themselves, and I think food should be on every list.) I don't eat a lot- my quadrant of the fridge is comprised of primarily beverages and salad. Buying groceries and cooking for just one person usually results in a lot of it going to waste, so I've gotten really lazy, which is sad, because I do actually like to cook. Except for meat- I do not like to cook meat. I don't know how and it tends to make me really sad, because I start thinking about all the lovely cows I have known...unless I'm particularly anemic, in which case I'm just like STEAKKKK. I also really really like to eat, and will do so with reckless abandon when given the opportunity- particularly if cheesecake, sandwiches, burritos or pizza are involved. Basically I'm JLaw but people don't find me nearly as endearing.
Six things I could never do without:
1. The internet. Duh. 
2. A decent sized public library. Libraries are hallowed ground and I refuse to live anywhere that does not have one. It is also unlikely that I will ever let you accompany me to the library because it is my sacred happy place and should not be disturbed by people I don't love. Ugh. I love the library, guys. 
3. Grocery stores. I need to have access to grocery stores. Even if I can't afford food, I like to be able to visit food in it's place of origin because it is reassuring to me to see that it is still there. 
4. Chapstick. Never get caught without chapstick. 
5. Drinkable water. Also vitally important. 
6. Memory foam pillows. I can sleep essentially anywhere assuming I can bring my own pillow. I had to go like three months without it last year and I swear that's why I got sick- okay, not really, but still. It was miserable. 

I spend a lot of time thinking about:
Traveling. What I'm going to eat next. How I look. If Amanda Bynes is really okay. If my family members are really okay. If we date I will spend a substantial amount of time thinking about whether or not you are okay. Food in general. Global affairs. How to explain difficult subjects to hypothetical future children.  If my hair is ever going to grow all the way back. Water.

On a typical Friday night I am:
With my friend John eating food that starts with a B and having deep important discussions about things that annoy us. This is a standing, high-priority date. I mean, we do reschedule occasionally, but mostly this is what my Friday nights are spent doing and it's lovely.

The most private thing I'm willing to admit:
I'm bipolar and scared of invisible monsters and I rap in the shower and freak out every six months thinking I have cancer. OH WAIT THAT'S ALREADY ALL OVER THE INTERNET. 

So on that note, if you're climbing all over yourself to date me I will be back on the market in March.

In the mean time, I'm going to make myself some ramen.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

in which there are few words, but many trailers

Out of all the side effects this post-terrifically sick business has brought me, I'm thinking the loss of the ability to take liver-destroying mood stabilizers is the worst. And that's saying quite a bit, since I've also pretty much given up eating food during daylight hours. You live every day like it's shark week, I'll live every day like it's Ramadan. And, okay, also shark week. 
What I'm saying is, we're back to square one of my having an absurd amount of feelings and no idea what to do with them. Seriously, how do people deal with emotions in a healthy way? This is a legitimate question. I've taken up running, which is effective, but I can't spend every waking moment pretending to be chased by zombies. I mean, I could, but I feel like at some point the asthma would kick in and most of my inhalers got stolen out of my suitcase on the way over here, so that ultimately would not end well. So again I wonder, am I falsely assuming the general population functions without harmful vices, or is everyone else just that much better at life than me?

Anyways, when I'm not berating myself for not knowing how to be filled with emotions without attempting to drown them in nyquil, I'm usually crying.

I cry all the freakin' time now. It's ridiculous.

I cry at homeless kids and ruined clothes and any time Jeff Buckley comes on my work playlist.

I am Bedazzled's Ellitot vs. that darn sunset.

Coincidentally I also sing the dolphin song on a fairly regular basis.

The other day I was explaining the end of Brigadoon at the dinner table when the very thought of Gene Kelley losing his soul mate to the Scottish mist made me tear up. And I don't even believe in soul mates, guys. So that made me cry, then someone noticed I was crying and said "Oh crap, did someone bring up the titanic again?" (The Titanic has a history of bumming me out. Don't ask.) Which made me think of the Titanic, so then I started crying harder, which led to the following bit of dialogue:
Dad: Wait, are you crying because you're sad about the Titanic sinking, or about the movie Titanic?
Me: *sob* Well, both, now...THEY WERE SOUL MATES *sob sob sob*
Dad: Lis, if Leo had gotten on the door with her, their combined weight would have caused it to sink.
Me: *sob* no *sob* it *sob* wouldn't have *sob sob* they proved *sob* it *sob* on  *sob* MYTHBUSTERS!!!

So that happened.

To be clear, I'm not knocking on crying, wear your tears like salty badges of emotion or whatever, I'm just saying it's really weird for me. Usually I only cry when I'm thinking about dumping someone or watching a particularly good movie trailer. Not a movie, mind you, but a movie trailer- the pinnacle of all that is good in the editing world. So for your viewing pleasure, I'm linking some trailers that have made me well up even when self-medicated to my preferred state of almost dead inside.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Confession: I was not actually terribly impressed with this movie. Damn good trailer, though.

I cried when: "I TOO CAN COMMAND THE WIND, SIR! I HAVE A HURRICANE IN ME!!!" I know you do, Cate Blanchett, I know you do.

The Great Gatsby
I love Baz Luhrman, I love the Fitzgeralds, and as was implied earlier, I love me some Leo. Throw in that soundtrack and I am sold. (I mean, Jack White covering Love is Blindness? j'adore, j'adore, j'adore.)

I cried when: It varies. Some days it's as soon as Gatsby steps in from the rain, but I'm always crying by the time Daisy wishes she'd done everything on earth with you. Too beautiful! Too doomed! Too much!

Whip it
It's like six different cliches, but I just can't help myself.  I love Ellen Page, I love Drew Barrymore, I love Roller Derby, I love Weezer, I love COMING OF AGE in awkward places, I could go on and on and on.  Basically, great book, great movie. I now own and watch this one frequently, despite its setting unrealistic expectations for making out underwater.  Additionally I would still like a
 T-shirt that reads "Final Slut Pro," but will probably never get one because I broke up with the dude who promised to have one made before it ever materialized. AND LET THAT BE A LESSON TO US ALL.

I cried when: The victorious throwing of arms in the air at the same moment the dad wants his daughter to be happy and weezer doesn't give a hoot about what you think. Followed, of course, by the pretty swimming pool sexytimes shots.

Les Miserables
I know I'm hardly alone in saying this, but Les Mis is primarily responsible for getting me through the super awkward years. I would say Les Mis taught me how to feel, but obviously I still don't know how to do that, so that's clearly a lie. Suffice it to say that in the eighth grade, newly chemically imbalanced Lissa used to walk alone at night in suburban DC listening to "On My Own" on her walkman, because 13 year old Lissa was a) brimming with musical angst,  b) very, very stupid. For years I've loved the book, loved the musical, and the day it was announced I knew I'd love the movie- and I did.
(But I wouldn't be too sad if Cosette was the one who died, because ugh, Cosette, guys.)

I cried when: Honestly, it was straight up ugly cry time from the opening notes onward.

Too many feels, guys, just too many feels.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In which I jepardize all of my future relationships by revealing my true morning-time colours

So for the past hour and a half, I have been deeply concerned that I am, in fact, a whiny-butt.

This stems from a comment made to me that I complain about living in Africa a lot, which I totally do, have you guys been here? IT'S LIKE THE WHOLE CONTINENT IS A LISSA-SPECIFIC DEATH TRAP.
Granted, I'm sure the comment was not intended as the criticism I interpreted it to be, but since I'm about mid-way into a pretty obvious down cycle I'm taking everything personally then dwelling on it for unreasonably extended periods of time.  I'm just a sucker with low self-esteem, oh yeeeeeeahhhh, yeah, yeah yeah, yeaaaah yeah yeahhhhhhh.

What I'm saying is, may God have mercy on your soul if you as much as suggest that these jeans make me look fat. 

Anyways, that's why I've been obsessively combing through everything I've recently written on the internet in an attempt to determine if I am actually a big fat complainer.  I know I'm no ray of sunshine (I thought about it just now, and in the world of weather-based personality metaphors, I think I'd be a desert thunderstorm) but I'm pretty sure I'm not that bad, comparatively speaking.


After excessive perusing and analysis, the conclusion I've come to is this: while I may not be a complainer, per say, I am absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, not a morning person.
In fact, I'd venture to say I'm basically the quintessential anti-morning person.

There are but few people I know who actually look forward to getting out of bed in the morning. I once had a roommate who continues to communicate solely through a series of grunts upon waking. Identifying one's self as not being a morning person is not exactly uncommon.

But in all of my 21 years of living, never have I encountered a fellow suffer-er of morning rage.

I say this honestly: there are few things in this world that piss me off quite as much as waking up. No joke, by the time I've managed to grope my way to my alarm clock, I'm frequently seeing red. I've tried several things to combat this- getting more sleep, increasing the natural light in my room, getting less sleep, changing alarm clocks, using different pillows, decreasing the light in my room, drinking tea, meditation, prayer- all to no avail. Sadly, this isn't something I can blame on meds, either- I've been this way for as long as I can remember.

Really, the only thing worse than being woken up by my alarm clock is being woken up by a fellow human being who is physically capable of receiving punishment for their wrong doing. Basically, if you wake me up, you are releasing the Kraken. And not the fun Juno Kraken, either. I'm talking old school sea monster Kraken, here.  Don't bring that on yourself, friend.

(How this relates to my being a whiner is coming, have patience.)

I once read an article online that had surveyed several women as to their morning routine- and I was surprised how similar most of the answers were. Wake up, meander into the shower, put on a pot of coffee, cuddle with a significant other, check phone for messages, etc, etc.

This is how I start my morning:

Wake up. Curse Florence + The Machine (my current wake-up band) until I can find my iphone and beat it into submission.
Then I get on facebook and wait for the innate fury to dissipate.

So, that's where most of my complaining comes from. I choose the absolute worst time of the day to arm myself with a keyboard, and then I attack with reckless abandon. Over the years I've developed the slightest of filters, which is good because I'm sure people would get tired of me virtually screaming "RAWRRR I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL," every day. But yeah.

Sadly, on top of that, lately I've been rising still tired and in a fair bit of pain, because evidently you don't just wake up better from serious illnesses. This just means that the situation escalates from some light morning grumbling to a full-fledged producers worthy freak fest. Basically every day.

I'm in pain and I'm still hysterical!

And now, a brief interlude where I speak directly to the ghost of boyfriends future:

Dear boy I have yet to love: if you have read this blog in it's entirety, you now know that in I'm a wee bit cray cray and also sometimes I eat worms. However, both of these (in my mind) pale in comparison turn-off wise to the all encompassing morning rage. Have no fear, though, for I have some words of advice for you-

If you are reading this in the future and we're already dating: this totally falls into the category of things that can be fixed with some light hair petting and a brief monologue about how pretty I am. On that failing, it can also usually be bribed away with frozen chocolate beverages. Ain't no thing.

If you're reading this in the present and you used to think that you might want to date me but now you're not so sure, because ain't nobody got time for that, etc: I get it, I do. So to even things out, you should probably know that I have it on good terms that I am an exceptionally talented kisser. I also like to think of myself as being in possession of a mind like a diamond and eyes that burn like cigarettes, which I'm told are also things boys like. So. Let that marinate on your mind a bit.

Anyways, most days by the time I've put my lipstick on and then consumed something of the food variety, I've about overcome the angryness. Just in time for the next morning feels to kick in: paranoia.

Guys, pre-noon Lissa is fairly convinced the terrorists are coming to get her.

In her (and my) defense, we do have some terrorists here. Like, more than one might prefer and stuff.
And yet I seem to be the only one in my family who is concerned by this.

More than once I have tried to convince my dad to translate and memorize the Taken monologue in French, but every time I bring it up he pretends like he doesn't know what I'm talking about.
I can only hope that when the time comes, my non-slutty attire will inspire my kidnappers to put me up for sale in an auction instead of letting me die of a drug overdose in a makeshift  brothel.
Either way, bet he'll be wishing he knew how to tell people he has "a very specific set of skills" in French then.

For the most part, however, my anti-terror regime predominately takes place on the walk to work.  Don't get me wrong, we follow most of the OPSEC stuff you're supposed to, varying time and route and what have you, but guys, I'm convinced the terrorists are sneakier than all that.

Plus the fact remains that we dress like total Americans. This can't be helped, to an extent. But then there are my shoes:

 "HELLO," they say, "HELLO I AM A TARGET."

Guys, the only culture that chooses to wear running shoes when not engaging in sport is ours. This is a fact. You can totally tell Americans by their shoes.

And, you know, if that weren't true, the fact that I pair them with a cocktail dress and a giant military backpack probably isn't helping anything.

But the fact of the matter is I have yet to master both walking through sand in five inch heels AND keeping up with my long-legged walking companion, so this is my only solution. So while he bounces along listening to NPR on his ipod, I am on self-appointed terrorist watch.
Basically I give the shifty eye to anybody who I think is following me. I have no idea what to do when somebody actually follows me, as I learned last week courtesy of some random creeper guy.

"DAD. Did you notice that guy who followed us practically the whole way here?" I asked.
"Huh. No. Well, if you see him again, then we'll be concerned," he replied.


Probably for the best, though. I mean, I have no idea what I would do with a terrorist once I caught them. Is there a hotline I can call for this? Do I bring them into the embassy? Because I can pretty much imagine how that would go down...

Marine: Is that the colonels' daughter? What's her face? Dragging a homeless guy in here?
Marine: Wha- How did you even do that?

I gave him a HA! And a HI-YA! And then a OUU-WA! And then I kicked him, sir.

Me: Well, here you go!
Marine: That is not a terrorist. That is a homeless man. Speaking very angry French.
Me: ...I don't speak French.

These are the things I think about, guys.

Anyway, my point here is that I'm like 57% sure I'm not a super complainer.

And now I'm going to go google how to catch a terrorist. That should yield some pretty concrete results, I think.

Monday, April 1, 2013

in which I offer more life advice for the barely-functional

I think technically today I don't quality as barely-functional, since I'm on my fifth episode of Grey's Anatomy and I have no plans of stopping soon. It's also four PM and I'm still in my jamjams because they are comfy and smell like laundry soap and I've given up on shame. Additionally I've found myself unable to form a coherent thought over the past three days that wasn't wildly offensive, so, there's that.

Here's a picture of a puppy being scratched on the head by my phantom hand. Alas I did not find this activity particularly rewarding, not sure if it's because a) I have no soul, or b) it's not a kitten.

But you know what they say, those who can't do, teach.

So here's another tip for the barely functional:

"Shathing," or as I prefer to call it, "Vesper Lynn-ing."

Baths have long been a happy pastime of the barely functional.

Let's stop this; baths are gross. Baths are essentially transforming yourself into a big tub of people stew, which is disgusting. Say no to baths.
However, I totally get the need to spend a lot of time immersed in hot water, and that standing up for a long time is really better suited to the fully functional.

Instead, let me present the following alternative:

See? Vesper Lynn-ing  
It's like everything you've ever wanted rolled into one! YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF!
(You should, though. It's really better if you take your clothes off, because then you don't have to figure out what do with all the wet clothes. Bet you didn't even think of that, huh?)

Plus, if you stay in there long enough, someone might come along and give you a cuddle!

James Bond delivering on the awkward head cuddles. That's nice and all, but clearly what the girl needs is a full body cuddle that could more accurately described as "wearing a skin suit" than "a hug." But that's just my interpretation.
Equally effective after a bad case of murder-shock, ala our good friend Vesper, as it is after a bad day.
Plus, hygiene is absolutely a great step on the path to being a functional human being.  Bring some shampoo and a toothbrush in there with you and you've won half the battle already.

Mkay, well, I'm going back to the Grey's Anatomy now. Interns are secretly removing each other's organs. Those crazy kids!

Friday, March 22, 2013

in which I do three things

Guys, I think I should write a self-help book. It will be called "How to not suck at life (even when your life sucks): a guide for the barely functional." It will be marketed to those of us beyond the point of saving by the seven habits of highly effective people, or whatever. The main demographic of purchasers will be well-meaning relatives who give mildly insulting gifts. Like, the same people who buy you gym memberships you don't ask for. Those guys.
And then after the raging success of my book, I'll follow  it up with a workplace speaking tour entitled "Teamwork, B*tches." It will be equally successful, of course.

Nah, I'm just kidding. I'm pretty sure if you move back in with your parents and switch from a four year university to community college you kind of take yourself out of the running for writing self-help books.

But if I were to write one, this would be among the primary advice given: do three things you're proud of every day.
They don't have to be big things, or resume worthy accomplishments. Just...three things that you yourself are proud of. If you can do that, the day is not wasted.

On the super dark days, when playing the role of self-loathing wrapped in misery, brushing my hair, brushing my teeth, and changing into daytime pajamas totally counts as those three things. If you've been there, you know what I'm saying.

So, with today being on the lower end of mediocre, here are my three things:

1. I finished making a baby blanket. I'm planning on donating it, so double bonus points for me there.

2. I went swimming.

Obviously instagrammed photo of my feet and the pool. And yes, my toenails really do sparkle. That's why God made diamond shine topcoat, friends.
Everyone should swim. SCIENCE DEMANDS IT.
So that's technically a minor exaggeration, but I read a study once that stated the meditative benefits of both running and swimming, and it's totally true. The quiet and repetition of movement clear your head like nothing else, plus it's a killer workout. Okay, I've been told running does the same thing, but running just makes me wheezy and sweaty and gross and it's pretty impossible to prentend to be a mermaid while running, guys.
 (Also I swam 80 laps which is 2 kilometers. DID YOU SWIM TWO KILOMETERS TODAY? NO? GUESS I'M JUST AWESOME.)

3. I wrote this blog post which was both uneventful and unfunny and I un-care, because BAM three things.

So. Today is officially a success.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

In which there is an excess of projectile vomiting.

So, quick medical background info: my insides are still kind of a pill. I mean, I'm pretty much living my life normally now, complete with an excess of JUST DANCE 4 and running up stairs like freakin' Rocky. Occasionally throughout the day it feels like a small animal is trying to tear its way out of my stomach ala the movie Alien, but since it's only occasionally I can totally deal.
The only thing that is not back to normal is eating- I'm still having a crazy hard time with food. Anytime I eat anything, or even drink anything that is not water, I know sucky times are on their way. So right now I'm pretty much living off of two fist fulls of food a day, and that seems to be (sort of) cutting it.

I've also decided to go vegetarian- not that big of a deal for me, I was veg all through high school and vegan in most of middle school. I have several reasons for going back to this lifestyle- first and foremost, if I'm only eating a lil' baby bit, I dang well want to get the most nutrition out of those calories. I personally can accomplish this easier when vegetarian. I'm also pretty paranoid eating anything out of Africa, but as man cannot live by imported doritos alone I figure I can cut down on my parasite risks by cutting out the meat. Additionally, I've been reading a lot on how a plant-based diet can help bring down cancer, and while I'm not entirely sure I buy into it I'm dead serious about getting my 20+ years of living time, so I figure I'll give it a try.
(It should also be noted that when your boyfriend says he's got beef, I'd like to tell him that I'm a vegetarian and I'm not freakin' scared of him without it being a lie. So there's that.)
So I'm once again a fully fledged, menu-planning, sprout-growing, meat-abstaining vegetarian. Yay.

Like everything else in a third world country, maintaining a vegetarian (or any!) diet is hard. I've been back in country for five days now, and the thing I miss most so far, other than my new Germany friends, of course, you guys are awesome and I love you, is the grocery store. O! Commissary, with thine aisles of delectable treasures! May your bounty never run dry!

Getting food here remains to be expensive and a general pain. No news there.
But yesterday.....yesterday, we found broccoli.
You guys, I freaking love broccoli. I'd write a short poem about how much I love it, but  I feel like after that bit about the commissary it would be overkill. So suffice it to say...I really really love it.
As I've mentioned before, broccoli here runs super expensive. The last time I think we had it was on my birthday, because it tends to sell for between eight and ten dollars a stalk. Multiply that by a family of seven and it adds up fast. But this broccoli was a mere six dollars, so we decided to splurge.

I'm not going to lie to you guys, it was delicious. I had a massive helping. B decided she was not feeling the greenery, so I greedily scooted her serving onto my plate.

That's about the point when I noticed the worm.

I love you, so there will be no worm pictures. Instead, here is my face of abject horror/hiding in my shirt picture. Unrelated note, I can't stop wearing my ugly comfy clothes and it's making me feel like a huge hypocrite but they're just so comfy?

Still being on the parasites will kill you/worms are nastay freak out train, I had a little baby melt down with some swearing and out loud wondering if this continent is trying to kill me, etc. Admittedly cursing at the dinner table in front of the impressionable little babies is not a cool move, but I did apologize and in my defense I still think it was dramatically less cussing than the situation actually merited.
So: to sum up, ate some broccoli, it was delicious, found a lil' baby worm, had a lil' baby freak out, calmed down.

And that's when we noticed the rest of the worms.

The broccoli, for lack of a better word, was infested. At this point my darling father nobly launched into a speech about how in parts of this very continent, worms like these were a delicacy! Many a time had he eaten such worms before!
He also went on to purposefully eat some worms, theoretically in an attempt to normalize the situation and convince the rest of the family (we were all freaking out at this point) to please not abandon him in Africa like we're always threatening to do. In reality I think he just did it because he's a boy and boys like to do things to make girls squirm, regardless of age.

However, I missed most of this because by then I'd realized just how much of the broccoli I had eaten and was projectile vomiting up the entirety of the food I'd consumed today. I've said it before and I'll say it again, generally I'm a pretty graceful lady-puker. I could probably give lessons at this point. Tonight, however, was a holy-crap-I-hate-myself-and-also-Africa-and-also-worms-which-I-ate-so-gross-ew-ew-ew fast and furious, out through the nose upchuck. Never before have I thrown up so violently, and hopefully I never again will.

The moral of the story here, guys, is that sometimes when you think you've given up animal protein, the universe surprises you with juuuust a little bit more.

Also I replaced the lost calories with some old-fashioned FDA approved Ritter Sport, because feelings, guys.

I'm a sucker for kittens and fancy dresses.