Thursday, December 17, 2009

No pants, no friends, no brush, no death

I am on vacation. My BFF is on vacation with me for a week. We made some rules.

1. No Pants.
First and foremost, this is the bible of vacation rules. Under no circumstances should you be restricted from eating anything and everything that you want. I happen to be in Hawaii, which makes pants even more unacceptable. Swim suit. Cover up. Skirt. MAYBE shorts. I own lots of pants and do love a comfy pair of jeans, but really, who prefers pants to no pants? One quote of mine from college that made it onto a post-it and onto a wall was talking about underwear choices. I hate thongs. I explained that I didn't wear them because I knew that when I got home I would just want to take off my pants and when you have roommates (who sometimes have boyfriends) that is not ok. No one expects you to be fully clothed in Hawaii and with the butt/back of the leg burns people inevitably get the LAST thing they expect you to do is wear pants.

2. No Friends.
People always think that going to Hawaii is romantic, exotic and full of Danielle Steele moments. I am here to tell you that this has NEVER happened to me. EVER. Granted, I usually come with my parents and chill on the beach with my dad which doesn't reel in the men, but the majority of people here are a) with their families, b) with their wives/girlfriends or c) under the age of 18 combined with a or b. When said BFF arrived and we were discussing laying on the beach and happy hour and she, exasperatedly, asked if we had to make friends. Immediately, I said GEEBUS NO. The whole point of vacation is freedom from having to make nice with people you have no interest in making nice with. That being said, happy hour can lead to some friendliness....but under no circumstances should you ever get yourself into a situation where you feel obligated to do anything but listen to your iPod and read. Alone.

3. No Brush.
One of the benefits of visiting said BFF is that I don't have to bring half of the things I normally bring when I travel. She has contact solution, she has face wash, she has sweatshirts, toothpaste and hair ties. I always forget to pack a brush but I know that she will have one. Well, true to form, I forgot a brush and unfortunately, so did she. Thus, No Brush was an addendum to the rules when we realized we had no brush and have not brushed our hair at all in the past 5 days. Probably has something to do with why people began mistaking us for locals. What if I came home with dreadlocks? My father would tape me down and shave my head, that's what. Shame, I like the whole no brush thing.

4. No Death.
Well, duh. No one goes on vacation to die. However, we have had some interesting experiences. First, today was all day drunk day and everyone knows things can happen on days like that. Second, we went snorkeling and saw this neat purple and gold things. Fun! Except then we realized they were much larger than we thought. And inked. And were squid. AND WERE LOOKING AT US. Somewhat terrifying. Also, I can no longer eat calamari.

So here's to winter break and making your own rules so you don't have to do anything you don't want to. Sadly, these rules go away when school/work starts again. I'm already dreading putting on a pair of pants.

Monday, December 14, 2009

...and he's down

One of the many perks of a tourist destination is the incredible people watching that goes on. There are characters galore. The trophy wives with their fake boobs, the old couples still in love, the old couples who bicker, the newlyweds, the kids loathing the family time, the families who seem so dysfunctional you wonder how they ever rallied together to make somewhere together...the list goes on and on. I was in Hawaii and saw evidence of all of the above and even befriended a few of them at happy hour. The people watching there is fantastic, mostly because you can also judge their bathing suit choices and how badly they will be burned when they wake up from their nap. One demographic that you may notice I have failed to mention is young children and babies. Sigh.
If you know me, you know children are not my preferred demographic. I don't make faces at them. I don't think when they're loud that it's a cute way to express themselves. I have no desire to be the one responsible for that kid who, in .5 seconds, went from being fine to needing a nap and throwing a tantrum instead of just nodding off. That being said, there is a small window during which I find toddlers adorable. Somewhere between a kid learning to walk and being fully mobile you find what I have termed 'stumbling children.'
They can walk on their own but don't have a firm grasp of gravity, momentum and depth perception. Which is to say, they are like drunk people, except they can't talk and you don't have to wait til 2am to see them wandering around. It's just so fun for me to watch them charging ahead typically ignoring obstacles in front of them (like people, or poles) looking like the momentum of their upper body could at any moment overtake how fast their little legs can move causing them to tumble. Fortunately, they are so short that taking a tumble is harmless and they just sit their confused as to why what they were doing didn't work. They are just fearless little explorers and I love them. Until they start crying or need a diaper change.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


So, my 24 birthday was last week. Sorry if you thought I was going all Jack Bauer this post. 24. Very round number. Divisible by 1,2,3,4,6,8,12 & 24. Pretty solid, don't you think? I have already decided that it is going to be a great year, which hopefully hasn't jinxed me already. As I reflect, things have certainly changed in the past year. It was brought to my attention that my birthday coincides nicely with the actual new year, except my birthday being a month before gives me time to formulate new goals for the calendar new year. So, a few reflections on the past year followed by tracking my goals from last year.

1. Roommate and I have shifted from being able to finish each other's sentences to actually just saying the same things at the same time aka reading each other's minds. Next year at this time we will probably be wearing the same thing without having to coordinate. Also, we have a full living room as opposed to my birthday party last year when we had...a card table and 2 chairs.

2. I cannot drink nearly as much as I once could. I am typically in bed by 10:30. I actually do school work in advance (except for the final I'm not writing right now). I need pep talks and/or a serious occasion to go out. If that doesn't scream post-college depression/adulthood to you I don't know what does.

3. I wear real shoes 3 days a week and bought my first pair of casual pants that aren't jeans. My feet smell.

Now, what about my resolutions from last year? How did I do? Well, my only one is one that I have previously discussed. "Share your head before you share your bed."

...about that. I mean, I give myself like...a B. We won't go into numbers, percentages or personal details but let's just say this is an ongoing development and while I have shown SIGNIFICANT progress it's still not something I'd brag to Patty Stanger about. Speaking of whom...she and Steve Ward (see VH1's Tough Love 2) should really team up for the Olympic event of dating shows. I'd find a way to get myself on there, fake Daddy issues and all.

So, for next year, I have established a few things I'd like to see happen.
1. Have a real job. WHOA DREAM BIG. If one more adult tells me how bad the economy is but that it should be fine by the time I graduate I will punch them. You think I don't know these things? I know these things. It's like when you're stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and someone in the car says "wow, traffic is so bad." WAIT, REALLY!?!? When I tell people I'm done in May they might as well just say "that sucks."

2. Have a better answer than "uhhhhm-uuuh, I dunno" when people ask me what I'd like to do with my masters. The whole "oh you're young and you have time" thing is slowly becoming "get your life together..."

3. Share your head before you share your bed. Like I said, vast improvements. Perhaps operationalizing "share your head" more clearly would help?

4. Wear something other than black dress pants to work. 1 pair. 3 days a week. Rotating tops. Unacceptable.

So...there are my 24 year old thoughts. Not so different from my 23 year old thoughts. Not so big of a surprise there. Get to thinking about your new years resolutions so you can then formulate more creative ways to break them than you did last year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Ok, so I have been "tagged" by Ali to write 10 things about myself...because I am a Sugar Doll? Unclear. But here are 10 tidbits about me!

1. I named my food baby a few weeks ago after a potent lunchtime margarita and shrimp tacos. Shrimp in Spanish is camaron and since I was full of delicious shrimp tacos I found it fitting to name my distended belly Cameron. Cameron has been around since Wednesday night thanks to Sally being home, Thanksgiving and Sol y Luna.

2. Saturday night, after some serious imbibement, some friends of mine were in line at In & Out. They asked me if I wanted something. I replied, via text, "yeah. ketchup, sauce and pickle only." They showed up and gave me a bag of pickles and ketchup. For future reference, I like my In & Out burgers with ketchup sauce and pickle only. Hamburger included. But don't worry, I ate the pickles.

3. I hate taking out the trash.

4. Vacation for me involves as little activity as possible. Put me in the sun, in a comfy chair with a drink, music and a ton of books and I'm set.

5. I'm initiated into the Columbia University marching band. I was visiting my BFF there freshman year the weekend they traveled to Penn and had initiation so....I went through it too.

6. My 24 birthday is on Wednesday. Today, at CPK, the waiter didn't even bother to offer me the free wine sample because he assumed I'm underage. I know people say "oh you'll love that when you're older.." but here's the 411: I'm NOT older. And I DON'T like it.

7. I've become addicted to Whole Foods sandwiches and Trader Joes salads.

8. I believe the most important parts of a complete apartment are a comfortable bed and a comfortable couch. Everything else is elementary.

9. My drink of choice used to be Long Island Iced Teas. Since college...those have not treated me well. I adjusted to bacardi and diet coke. However, I think I have finally settled to vodka tonics. Really, I wish they served cheap cheap champagne at bars because that's always my preference.

10. I wrote a post about watching too much TV and how I cannot add more. And I meant it. Until I was told to watch Modern Family and I got curious. I accidentally watched the 3rd episode first and thank God I did because after I saw the following sequence I knew I HAD to keep watching

Let me set this up: Mitchell and Cameron are gay and just adopted a little girl. They are going to Costco for diapers and Mitchell (the red head) has never been and doesn't see the appeal because, as Cameron says, he is 'snobby.' Then this happens.

My new favorite line in life is "I'm sort of like Costco...I'm big, I'm not fancy and I dare you not to like me." Modern Family is the most recent show added to my DVR with some Intervention mixed in as well. Also, the way they met is F-ing adorable.

So there are my 10 tidbits...I hope I didn't disappoint. Cameron is still alive and well, in case you were concerned.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


So this post stems from many things that are going on in life right now. First, the holiday season is rapidly approaching (and my birthday, ahem) and one of my favorite things are the holiday movies that are released between Thanksgiving and New Years. As wonderful as an inspiring rom com on the big screen can be, what is even better are the movies TBS, Disney, USA, ABC and countless others play. A classic, which I didn't expect to love, is Elf. I tried to find a YouTube of when Will Ferrell gets hit by a cab (whilst in an elf costume in NYC) and then later when he prevents Zooey Deschanel from walking into a crosswalk, exclaiming "THE YELLOW ONES DON'T STOP." If you have not seen Elf, move that to your #1 queue in Netflix NOW. (Sidenote: queue is an English term. I still have to think about what it means every time I see it) For me to say that about a Will Ferrel movie even after Taladega Nights, Stepbrothers and Semi-Pro, you have to know that I truly in my heart of hearts laughed out loud at that movie.

So, with the theme of being hit by cars and applying the theories of operant conditioning (heyo, grad student here) you see that Elf has learned NOT to walk in front of yellow cars (taxis) because of the negative stimulus he received (being hit by it). Now, if you live in a large city you know that there a lot of factors that go in to how terrible drivers are. Living in LA, I NEVER assume a car sees me or that they would even stop if they did. I park across the street from where my apartment is so crossing the street without a light is a daily occurrence for me. I don't cross against lights, I wait to make eye contact with a driver when I'm in a cross walk before actually walking in front of them and in general I wait for a lull before just waltzing into a street.

My dearest roommate, however, is highly optimistic. By optimistic, I mean has a death wish. I practically throw my arm in front of her (ala your mother stopping suddenly at a yellow light) every time we approach an intersection. She sees a car approaching, looks at the crosswalk and is like "welp, time to go now!" People in LA text, talk on phones, look at billboards, contemplate their next botox injection and whether or not Justin-Bobby will ever get that smug look on his face slapped off. They do not think about pedestrians, crosswalks or, many times, street lights. But god love my roommate, she puts her faith in those white hashed lines and steps boldly into a busy street. NBD. As I pass out from a heart attack.

Now, beloved roommate has never been struck by a car and bats her lashes seductively at cars as we walk by AND TOTALLY GETS AWAY WITH IT! I would get honked at! I would feel guilty! people would curse at me and shake their fists! But not the roomie. Sigh. She is Zooey Deschanel and I am Elf.

Friday, November 06, 2009

On a serious note

Seeing as I am (almost) in the mental health profession there are many times when people ask me questions that I wish there were answers to. Yesterday, I gave a 3 hour midterm presentation on school violence which included a role play in which we asked class members to take on select student roles (ie student who called 911, friend of the shooter, student who froze). It was amazing to me that every student with a role, whether it required them to be empowered, demeaned or severely traumatized, had those emotions within them and displayed them with no reservations (making my role as the clinician doing the debriefing more powerful than I had anticipated). We all know what it is like to feel weak, inferior, betrayed, angry or immobilized.

When we let them break, we found out about the shooting at Ft. Hood and that the shooter is a psychiatrist. In the presentation, I learned that the shooter at Northern Illionois University had been a graduate student in Social Work, a chilling thing to think as I'm presenting to a class he very well may have also taken. So often we spend so much time and energy caring for others that we forget to care for ourselves. Or, we project to others that everything is fine when really we are in grave need of help, even if we can't immediately accept it. So when people ask me why others go crazy, my only answer is that we are all varying degrees of crazy, but the lucky ones have received a (possibly unspoken) psychoeducation on how to manage our anger, stress and disappointments without lashing out at a world we've decided is out to get us.

In the aftermath of the school shooting in Santee, CA a San Diego news channel canceled its scheduled programming and displayed only a message telling people to turn off the TV and spend time with their children. This is what I'm doing now. Stop reading your blogs. Forget about your Farm on Farmville. Ignore Dr. Grey and her dark and twisty issues. Take some time and do something for yourself. Then, go see or call someone who is consistently there for you when you need someone and just check in with them. In this moment, the only thing we can do to prevent such horrific tragedies from occurring is to provide support and recognize that everybody needs somebody sometimes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One of life's me

There are a lot of things in the world that I do not understand. Specifically, scientific things and design issues. For instance, why did Apple put their video camera on the nano on the bottom of the device where we have grown accustomed to holding it because the cameras on all their other devices are on the top? Why have we not developed a washer/dryer that has a sensor to let you know if you’ve left someone in it to avoid that rogue wet sock or, even worse, dry sock left in the college dorm dryer never to be seen again?

Then, there are things that work and I have no idea why or how they work. I recently discovered how my toilet functions because the chain kept coming off through a series of events I will not detail I deemed it necessary to stare at my toilet do it’s work for roughly 15 minutes. I have googled “hybrid engine” on multiple occasions with multiple people and still could not tell you how the battery part recharges without being plugged in and why the engine doesn’t have to work twice as hard. On a far more simplistic level, I’d like to talk to you about pens.

I love pens. I love all different kinds of pens and can spend hours browsing the pen and pencil isle at staples, target, office depot or ralphs. Through all of my schooling, and before everyone brought laptops to class, I came to find that I prefer clicky pens. I lose caps, don’t know where to put the cap when I’m using the pen and generally just don’t enjoy them. Clicky pens allow me to write and stop writing with just a click instead of having to remove and/or replace a cap They also give me something to occupy myself (and annoy those around me) when I am fidgety. Now here come’s my question, why don’t clicky pens dry out more rapidly than capped ones?

Stick with me here, when you leave a pen (sharpie, marker, ball point, what have you) uncapped for long enough it dries out and cannot be resurrected. Look at a clickly pen. The top is not secure. The tip isn’t directly exposed to air, but it is centimeters away from it…so…what gives? They make clicky Sharpies too and while I have never experimented with how long they last I would venture a guess that they wouldn’t make them if their quality was significantly inferior to the capped ones.
Maybe capped pens do last longer but I’ve just never used a single pen long enough to notice a difference? I don’t think so. I’m staring at my clicky highlighters now too and am even more perplexed.