Sunday, August 25, 2013

I Broke a Promise to God and I Hope He is Not Still Mad

When I was young, my relationship to god/praying was very much the "standard catholic child":

I said the "Our Father". And sometimes the "Hail Mary"- which I messed up the order of all the time. And sometimes "Glory Be". But most importantly I made a list of things I wanted and then I prayed/begged for them. Then I would pray to bless certain family members and friends if I had time and remembered.

Amen.

I imagined god as a the standard bearded man who sat in the sky. Though sometimes he just had a huge face and no body.

(I have never prayed directly to Jesus. That has always felt weird to me.)

Also, when I was in catholic kindergarten, I always had flash images of a naked Jesus doing weird dances. And it stressed me out SO much because I knew that Jesus and God both were sitting in the sky, KNOWING what I was seeing in my brain. And I couldn't stop it. The more I tried to get my brain to not picture naked dancing Jesus, the more I pictured it. I couldn't even pray about it because then it would really bring it to their attention. Ohhhhh, the stress of a 6 year old.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time praying for really stupid things. I spend a lot of time in middle school praying to be prettier. I spent a lot of time in high school praying to be skinnier. And I spent a good amount of time praying for a new design and furniture for my room when my mom said no. Weirdly enough, that one worked.

I also spent a lot of time when I was 11 secretly praying for a dog with my brother in his room because my mom had said absoLUTELY no. So praying was our only option. And again- it worked- we got a dog. But then my mom gave it away and got another smaller dog. And then she gave that one away too.

In retrospect, we clearly should have prayed to keep the dog.

But, the most dramatic prayer was when I was a junior in High School. I was auditioning for the understudy of Maria in West Side Story at a big professional theater downtown. Besides the fact that my mom dyed my hair pitch black so I'd "look more hispanic" (the kind of black hair that looks blue in the light), covered me in bronzer which rubbed off all over the white sweater I was wearing over my outfit, which was carefully picked by my mom so I looked as young and innocent and non-curvy as possible. And besides the hour I spent before the audition trying to cover my bad skin with concealer that matched the bronzer, and the horrible panic I felt as I saw it systematically rub off all over my white sweater, and the intense stress I had over a headcold and how it was affecting my voice--- besides all off that- the audition went well. Surprisingly though, because I must have looked like an absurd, shaking, orange MESS.

So in the days following as I waited and hoped for a call from the theater, I made a hard and fast bargain with god. I said: God, I want this so much. If I get this part, I will give up diet coke until the end of the 3 month run of the show.

This was a huge sacrifice for me at the time, but something I felt I could also benefit from.

I gave up diet coke right away as a kickstart. Then I got the part. And good on my word, I kept away from the diet coke. Then about 2 months in, I got a little antsy. Does God reaaally care if I have some diet coke? Also, is god even real?

And then I caved. I had diet coke, like THREE TIMES. I got lazy, I got cocky, I felt like I was invincible. And I convinced myself that it was no big deal, and that even if God was real, he had bigger fish to fry than little old orange me going back on my word by slowly poisoning myself with chemically sweetened cola.

My point is not that praying works, or doesn't work, or that god is or isn't a bearded man in the sky. Or that what I did was stupid or brilliant or hilarious. No, I am just saying that I made a promise to a God I believed in, and broke the promise when I thought I was too cool. I guess I'm a great person or something.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Social Media #MadeMeAnAttentionWhore

Here are some ways that Facebook, twitter, tumblr, buzzfeed, spotify, message boards, and blogs have affected my life our lives.

If you don't agree with this article, go read an encyclopedia in the library and then write a postcard to your mom about it. See if I care or even know you did that.

Ok:

1. First of all. I cannot read anything long. I cannot do it. I skim everything. Paragraphs must be very, very short. Like, this one is already getting too long.

Sometimes I can't even read a whole tweet.

2. I need to have visuals with things. If I do not see a picture, the article isn't real. That is also what they teach you in "Successful Blogging 101", which is not a real course but rather any number of blog posts on any number of blogs that teach you how to blog* DUH.

It means nothing. But, it is cute, right?
I stole this picture from google images. 
That is bad form in blogging. But I do it all the timmmmeeeee.

*Many people have WHOLE internet businesses devoted to teaching YOU how to have an internet business. That is sort of parallel to a hairdresser having a hair salon where the clients come in and sit in the chair and watch the hair dresser do her own hair, in order for the client to to learn how to do it themselves. Like, thanks for the advice but do you actually have any skills besides doing your OWN hair? (this paragraph is too long)

3. Facebook, whenever I log on, my eyes widen in anticipation of seeing those red notifications of approval. Somebody contacted me. Somebody liked my picture. Somebody commented on my status. Oh GGODDDD, just an invite to like that dumb page again? Ugh.

4. Twitter: Ditto for twitter. Did ANYONE star my tweet about whether birds pee as well as poop? No?! ugh.

5. Facebook is so motherfreaking dangerous and obsessive for anyone with a crush. Everything you put on there you hope they see and think is super cool. It's the proof of your cool life, and also WHAT DO THEY THINK OF MY PROFILE?

And if they LIKE one of your posts? Forget it. Butter my butt and call me a biscuit.

Speaking of:

6. Searching word meanings. This is mostly a good thing:


How else would I have been able to confirm that it means "surprise" or "mock surprise". (I sort of used it correctly.)

And, Urban Dictionary came in VERY useful to research the word "shorty" the other day, and to help me figure out whether I was being hit on or not. It turns out: not.

7. tumblr. Ugh I don't even understand tumbr yet. I'd like to comment but the only way is to reblog, but I don't want to reblog because the post doesn't fit with my theme. How do I get more followers? My home feed is so overwhelming to read. I can't handle it.

8. Buzzfeed just proves how everything now needs to be short, and mostly pictures. And in numbered lists. That is why this post has a numbered list.

9. Spotify is the app that let's you stream music but shares all the info with your facebook friends whether you want to or not. This has left me with the haunting feeling that everything I do on my phone or youtube or wherever is being watched and broadcasted to everyone, and actually apparently it is. #BigBrotherisobsessedwithme

10. #Hashtags. Hashtags are so, so dumb. And only slightly useful since everyone uses them for the wrong thing. Wonderfully, hashtags and blog "tags" are a new and unexpected medium for jokes. Since the point of a tag is to categorize your post to allow others to easily find it, or to draw other readers to you, people use them to add ironic or unhelpful tags for the sake of comedy (this paragraph is too long)

The only issue I have is when people make up hashtags that mean nothing to anyone ever and aren't even funny. I guess why do I care? I don't even care. Whatever.

Also, now people use hashtags when speaking mostly for attempted humor, sort of like when I started using "slash" in sentences instead of saying "and". I really don't know how I feel about spoken hashtags yet. But I bet there will be a chunk of time when I'll be obsessed with hashtagging everything I say and it will drive everyone insane. #iAin'tbovvered

11. Blogs are so bizarre. There are BLOGGERS out there, who identify as BLOGGERS and make their life and money and friends off of their blog and their blog's identity. And it is super weird! But super cool! #shutupimnotjealous

12. Message boards. Have you ever gotten sucked into a message board? If you haven't GET OUT OF HERE, you are TOO superior to read this post. I have gotten sucked into Harry Potter message boards, Doctor Who message boards, and some diet culty message boards, and probably some questionable Livejournals.

Oh the hours I've wasted #RIPgryffindortower.net)

Message boards are the cults of the internet. THEY ARE THE CULTS OF THE INTERNET. Be very wary.

13. I will not call if I can email. I also may not call even if I have to call. But I will always email. Remember that: I don't hate you, I just hate human contact.

I will also facebook chat (my specialty), text, gchat, or facebook tag you on my wall or your wall. I will rarely tweet at you, because I think that looks really messy.

14. And for one last final point: being in high school/college during the first generation where "everything was on the internet".... um, the LIBRARY?! HELL NO. And even as someone who LIKES reading and literature, I still used Sparknotes.com for lots of my english books in high school- merely because I could. 

***

There you have it. Some very real ways that the internet is changing and ruining my life our lives.

And I didn't mention all the wonderful things the internet can do. Oh well, make your own list.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Eating a Whole Box of Fudge Has Repercussions

When I was in 8th grade, my friend Sarah gave me a box of homemade chocolate fudge around Christmastime. Which is, you know, so great and festive and nice. And even more exciting, because for whatever cosmic reason, I didn't have much fudge-eating experience. But I did know that eating it would be great, and I was excited to eat it all by myself and not share any of it with my family.



So I brought the box of fudge with me in my backpack to babysit my little cousins, to eat after they went to bed while I did my homework.

I had been a champion over-eater and seasoned food-hoarder for years. I was very talented. This was largely in reaction to my household's food being annoyingly healthy. Lots of Whole Foods shopping and all these different weird diets my mom went on: phases of macrobiotic and the Blood Type Diet, etc. Aduki Beans and Brown Rice, Ezekiel Bread, Almond Butter, no dairy, Kale before it was popular, and "quinoa pasta" before quinoa was a thing. It didn't matter to me that my dad made me normal french toast on Saturday mornings with processed ingredients while my mom was still asleep. That wasn't enough for my addled brain.

So I became a gifted rebellion eater. I was very skilled at eating as much junk food as I possibly could whenever the opportunity struck- and I was very good at keeping junk food top of the mind as my #1 priority. I was also a stick-figure all through childhood, so my eating obsession seemed more just like a weird quirk to anyone else. All I did at friend's houses was eat their gushers and cheez wiz and fruity pebbles, because I literally felt it was "now or never". It did not go completely unnoticed. Once when my mom was picking me up from a playdate, the other mother asked her if she starved me.

So food was my drug of choice from age 2 to about 23. But I still didn't know much about fudge or its density- and that it's basically just hardened butter and sugar. I guess I had spent all my olympic rebellion-eating on cookies and snickers and pecan sandies. Fudge was a specialty food which I didn't understand.

So that night in 2002, once my little cousins had fallen asleep and the dogs stopped barking at the ghost in the corner of the room, I tried a piece of fudge, and it was great. So naturally, I ate the whole box.

I felt sick, but that was normal. Just another day in the life. This was probably the first year I started realizing that my olympic eating might start to have some repercussions, but drug addictions are hard to kick.

I went home that night feeling sick and full. Sort of sicker than usual. But whatever, it would pass.

When I woke up early in the morning, the room was spinning and I threw up three times in the toilet. Woops.

When I casually told Sarah that her fudge was great and I ate the whole box and then woke up and threw it all up, she looked at me like I was out of my mind. I thought it was just a pretty amusing and dramatic bodily reaction to a normal activity of mine: eating a hell of a lot. But then she told me that I probably put my body into some kind of diabetic shock because I basically just ate a whole bag of sugar and whole box of butter.

You'd think this could have been a wake-up call to stop my careless ways, but it wasn't.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sheets Should Not Be This Expensive

Here are some things that should not be so stupidly expensive:

Sheets



Holy mother of bedsores, I can't believe how expensive pain old cotton sheets are. I have never considered it before, because this is the first time I have bought my own. Somehow I have gotten by the past few years on the sheets my mom bought me while with her in Bed Bath and Beyond as a kind but strange gift.

Who knew they were a million dollars per square inch? And who knows why they have to be Egyptian or which thread-count number is considered acceptable? And, being someone who has trouble getting to sleep anyway, does that mean I SHOULD spend my life's savings on sheets? Or does that mean that it will be even more pointless?

These were all questions that I stressed over for two hours looking at amazon, bed bath and beyond, macy's, then... anthropologie (because I was just curious what actual fancy designery sheets cost), then urban outfitters and considered getting their $79 "sateen" sheets. Then I realized that sateen means satin and I might feel like a cartoon version of a hooker. May as well buy a heart-shaped bed while I'm at it.

The only cheap sheets on Amazon are made of microfiber, and have some very angry reviews: "THESE ARE NOT COTTON, THESE ARE MICROOOFFIIIBBBERR", as well as some good reviews: "these sheets are SO SOFT! wow I am ordering MORE" and I didn't know what to do. Nobody was guiding me. I felt like it was too late in my life to ask my mom and didn't feel like getting out my phone and texting her anyway.

I ended up buying some sheets, sort of reasonably priced considering the other things I was seeing, from Target. Some of the reviews said they were great. Some said they were scratchy and fell apart. I took my chances. In fact, I bought two sets in a moment of complete sheet-mania. (I also bought some much-needed large baskets to go in the weird ikea shelf thing under the tv.)

Now I just need to remember to wash my sheets and we'll be good to go.

Salmon

Salmon is really expensive. Especially the wild kind, which is the kind we apparently are supposed to be getting.

Berries

They are expensive and only keep you full for about ten minutes.

Olive Oil

Unbelievable. And apparently 'the mafia' cuts it with cheaper oils too. (This is supposed to be a real thing. There is a documentary on it (that I haven't seen).)

Air Conditioners

Haven't they been around for a while?

Computers

Haven't they been around for a while?

Trains and Planes

Haven't they been around for a while?!

TVs

Ditto. And I really do need a new tv, mine is 4 years old and from Walmart and if I turn the sound above 25, the speakers make a shaky quaky sound. And tv is very important to me.

Cool Cheese from the fancy section of the store

"Cool cheese, all I want to do is buy you and eat you. Why do you have to be 13 dollars for such a small wedge?"

Diamonds

I'm sorry but diamonds are boring and, frankly, everywhere. They do not seem to be a precious commodity anymore. At all. What is the point? Sometimes I consider selling the expensive diamond necklace my grandparent's gave me for money to get laser hair removal, but then I remember I may have lost it. And I had better find it.

Flowers

As stupid as I think diamonds are, I WOULD like to buy myself flowers! Wouldn't that be a nice romantic thing to do for myself before I get home and eat cheese on thin crisps and watch Adventure Time? But no, they are so expensive, and they don't even LAST.

Ok.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Universe's Small Sandwich Gifts

I just spat a big bite of tuna sandwich into my hand- because the phone rang, I am the receptionist, and I had to pick it up. Then I tipped the half-chewed chunk gently onto a napkin and ran to interrupt the wrong person for the wrong call, ran back to my desk, transferred the call to the right person, and picked back up the mushy blob and put it back in my mouth. Sort of like I am simultaneously playing the 3 roles of baby bird, mama bird, and mediocre receptionist.

As soon as I took another bite, the phone rang again. Spit. Repeat.

I have tried to answer the phone with a full mouth before, and it hasn't go over well. Apparently, if you have a huge bite of food in your mouth, it actually does sound like you have a huge bite of food in your mouth.

In the moment, the only other option is to take a painful, unchewed swallow. But then I might choke, and also, in my defense, this was an especially delicious, artisan tuna sandwich from 'Wichcraft. And it was free and up for grabs in the refrigerator, leftover from a lunch meeting they had earlier in the office. As soon as I saw it in there, I knew that it was a small gift from the universe meant just for me, because today I am especially hungry and especially poor.

I also just recently read some spiritual advice saying something to the effect of: "accept the universe's freebies". So I did. Life lessons APPLIED.

So, not wanting to snub the universe, I did everything I could to still get to enjoy the universe's 4 pm small sandwich gift. (Even though, who knows if this was supposed to be a 2nd lunch? First dinner? Sandwich snack? Hard to say.)

This whole thing may be a sad metaphor for life: Try to enjoy something special, spit it out, run around in circles, and then don't even have enough self respect to let it go and instead shove it in your mouth again.

Or an inspiring metaphor: You are the source- the trinity: mother bird, baby bird, and telecommunicator.

Hard. To. Say. But my hands smell like tuna fish now.