Plans for the Snowpocalypse

This will be the second weekend in a row of snow storms for St. Louis. Most have come to call these snow storms the snowpocalypse and I’d have to agree. People were stuck in their cars on their way home from work last Friday for TEN HOURS. Ten hours trapped in your car. I was stuck in my parents’ car for two hours in what was normally a ten-minute drive because we decided to go to a movie during a blizzard and I thought I was going to die. 

Me and my parents last Friday night..

Needless to say, I am not planning on going outside this weekend as more snow comes in. And for me at least, it’s a three day weekend. So, if you find yourself in my position, and you don’t want to make my mistakes, here are some suggestions as to what you should do during the snowpocalypse.

Six Things You Should Do During a Snowpocalypse

1. Don’t leave your fucking house. This is why I never usually leave my house anyway. There’s nothing good out there. Sure. You might think it’s worth going outside to see Mary Poppins. And while it’s good, it’s not that good.

2. Calories don’t count during the snowpocalypse. That’s just science. So before the snow starts, go to the grocery store hungry, wander the aisles, and pick the foods you would never ever choose on your usual grocery run. Most people are stocking up on bread and water. I, on the other hand, am making sure we have multiple frozen pizzas with a variety of toppings just in case

3. Wear your pjs all day. Bonus points if you have a onesie or a matching pj set. That way, if you are inspired to take a nap you’ll be ready.

4. Make a fort. That’s right. When was the last time you made a fort? Think about how far your fort-making skills have come since you were, like, eight. I made an epic fort over Christmas break just because I felt like it (and because I also watched that one Community episode where they make a massive fort and was envious). It was the perfect little cozy spot for reading and napping and watching more Community.

5. Do something that relaxes you. Color. Read. Do a crossword. Knit. Assemble a puzzle. Whatever you feel like you don’t have time to do usually but would like to, do it. 

6. Play in the snow! If you’re in St. Louis, this is probably your only chance (unless we get another snow storm next weekend.) Find a hill, go sledding. Make a snowman. Have a snowball fight. Then, have a hot chocolate when you come inside.

Basically what I’m saying is let yourself act like Kevin in Home Alone except for all that stuff with the elaborate plans to trick burglars. If people try to burgle your house, just call the goddamn police.

Happy snowpocalypse, everyone.

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A Year of Blogging

I’ve been blogging for a whole year now. While most people might see that as a serious cry for help, to me it’s kind of a miracle that I’ve been able to create content for a whole year.

Now that I’ve been at this for a year and basically an expert, I figured I’d share what I’ve learned from my year of blogging.

  1. The world will not burn around me if I miss a week or two.

The first week I missed a blog post was at the end of February. I had only been blogging for two months and I couldn’t even make it two full months without missing one. It bothered me for a while. Everyone tells you that you need to consistently post in order to grow your audience. But, like, I have a real job that pays me and a life and sometimes I have nothing to say so I miss one or two blog posts. A good way to get over something is to just do it again and again and again. And now if I miss a week my reaction is, “Oh well. There’s still next week.”

2. The shine will wear off.

I think when I first started this blog people were curious. I’d get a lot of people clicking on my posts because they were promised a hot mess and who would pass up on watching that one girl you barely remember from high school spiral out of control right in front of your eyes? But after a while (roughly the six month mark) I think people stopped reading because it wasn’t cute anymore. It was probably mostly just sad that I was still trying. But guess what, fuckers? Still here.

3. Not every blog post will be Pulitzer material.

Not every blog post I write and post can be the best thing ever. Sometimes I have to scrap together whatever I can. Sometimes I have a vision and try to make it work but it doesn’t. When I started, I wanted every blog post to be that next blog that goes viral, but that’s not realistic or attainable in any way. So some days I just have to scrap together a listicle and find some funny gifs and call it a day.

4. I have to be ready for any and all reactions.

Once my friend’s mom read a blog post and told me she loved it. Once my grandma told me she read a couple posts and said she doesn’t get it. I’ve heard from coworkers and friends who give me words of encouragement and compliments and it always makes me feel weird because I have a problem accepting compliments but I’m trying to work on that. Typically writing is done alone without a bunch of people reading it until it’s revised and edited again and again. Letting people see my inner-most thoughts is scary and weird and hearing people’s reactions to those inner-most thoughts is even scarier and weirder.

5. It’s really difficult being vulnerable to a bunch of people I would never normally be vulnerable with.

I try to be vulnerable. It sucks. But being vulnerable and then knowing people are actually reading about that vulnerability? I can’t think about it too much or I will burn this site down. Usually my reaction when people tell me they read one of my blog posts is “oh no!” But I guess I’m trying to stop that and just thank them? Just know internally I’m screaming nooooooooo forever and ever because despite my best efforts, this girl still has issues with vulnerability.

6. I still have no idea what people want to read.


I have no idea why people click on my blog posts. The ones that I think people would like, they don’t. The ones that I try to make really enticing on social media doesn’t work. I have no idea what you people want and honestly, I kind of don’t care. If I start to pander to my audience, I think the authenticity of my hot mess of a life will be tarnished. So I’m going to keep doing whatever the hell I want and hope that some of you enjoy at least some of it.

Christmas According to a Grinch

I don’t like Christmas.

Every year someone else learns this about me. And every year they look at me as if I’ve just taken a dump on baby Jesus’s face. Either that, or they call me a Grinch. 

It’s nothing against baby Jesus. Really. It’s not like I’m walking around screaming that I hate Christmas. I don’t hate it. I’m just not a big fan. 

I’m more of a Festivus kind of girl.

Admittedly, the Grinch and I do have some similarities. We share similar beliefs about Christmas and we both would rather be alone on top of a mountain with our dog than be around a bunch of fake people who hate others who are different from them.

So for you to understand this Grinch’s perspective, here are the five reasons why I don’t like Christmas.

  1. The Stress

Christmas is supposed to be about relaxing and spending time with the people you love, but usually it just means stress. For a whole month people are shopping and baking and getting ready for family to visit. They’re swarming every store in sight. They’re invading Target and sullying my safe space. When it comes down to the numbers, I think most people spend more time being stressed about Christmas than they do feeling relaxed. And if you’re in retail or customer service, Christmas isn’t relaxing at all and you’re lucky if you even get Christmas day off.

2. The Presents

Look. I know for many people it’s not about the presents. It’s about family time, time to tell your friends you love them, all that bullshit. But it’s also very much about the presents. Christmas is the holiday that’s most about presents. You have to get gifts for everyone you love (and some you don’t). And then you’re forced to get coworkers you barely know a present and in return, probably get a candle that you will never use. Then inevitably, you’ll get a present from someone you didn’t expect a present from and you’ll either have to rummage in your bag for a “gift” or you’ll lie and say that their present is still in the mail. And you know what this all adds to? Stress.

3. People are the Worst

People like to only look at how charitable people are during the holidays. And sure. People are guilted into donating or volunteering more during this time of the year. But I’m convinced that people are actually worse to each other over the holiday season. If you don’t believe me, just get a job in retail or customer service. During the holidays, there are far more assholes than any other time of year. Everyone is always more angry when their latte isn’t ready in two minutes and also, they’ve brought their entire extended family who also got drinks and food and they don’t understand why it’s taking so long. I might have PTSD from working at Starbucks during the holiday season. If you’re still skeptical, just look at how people act during Black Friday and how they literally stampede people in order to get a flat screen TV. 

4. The Engagements

For some reason, everyone gets engaged over the holidays. I’m pretty sure they do it just to make the holidays worse for everyone else. We already have to deal with Aunt Kathy asking a million times about our relationship status, we don’t need this too. And I’m not one to wallow in self pity when it comes to being single, but during the holidays it’s kind of hard to push those feelings away when you see that one weird girl from high school get engaged. Like, she has rats as pets. And even rat girl found someone.

5. Unhappiness Is Forbidden

People are always trying to shove happiness down your throat during the holidays. Like, if you’re unhappy AT ALL during the holidays, there must be something desperately wrong with you. But maybe there’s something wrong with you if you ignore your feelings and insist on being happy every second of every day. Look. The holidays are weird. Being far away from family and friends might make you lonely. Being around your family might make you want to develop a drinking problem. You might have to deal with distant family members you never see or talk to. You might have to deal with a new boyfriend or girlfriend or old boyfriends or girlfriends you really don’t like and have to pretend you do. The holidays are weird, your emotions are valid, and you’re not alone.

* * * *

So yeah. I’m not the biggest fan. You guys know I’d rather celebrate Halloween. But despite my Grinch tendencies, I still try to enjoy Christmas in my own way. I listen to sad Christmas music because it makes me happy. I drink coffee, read books, hide under blankets, wear matching pj sets, buy a new game to play with family. I bake things I usually wouldn’t. I use this time of year as an excuse to do something different. This year, we’re going snow tubing.

So now matter how you prefer to spend the holidays, no matter who calls you a Grinch, or how many times Aunt Kathy shames you for being alone, do something that makes you happy and don’t worry about anyone else.

An Adjusting Adjunct

The adjunct has adapted to university life. In the beginning of the semester, she was startled by just how small the campus is. It made her undergrad with a student population of 5,000 feel big. For the first two weeks when the adjunct started, she’d sit in a common area because she didn’t have a key to her office yet and she’d glance at the students passing by who definitely thought she was a student who just had a thing for blazers.

She felt like an outsider to a weird little high school community posing as a university. She’d watch as everyone greeted each other, said hello, talked about their summers. Everyone knew each other or they were just really fucking friendly.

She’d listen as her students talked about their schedules for the upcoming semester. They all planned their schedules so they could be in as many of the same classes as possible. It’s, just, like, so high school, you know?

That stuff used to bother her. But now she accepts it. She realizes her students will probably know more about this school than she ever will. But they still don’t know where the homework is online. She knows that it’s impossible to dodge your students on a campus of 1,000 students. She knows now that she can’t just pretend she doesn’t see them.

Over the course of the semester, she has developed the closest thing resembling friendship that this environment will allow. Every day in her office, the adjunct sits next to another adjunct in their tiny shared office. For the first couple months the adjunct and her coworker said nothing more than the obligatory “Hey, how are you?” line of questions until falling into a mutual silence.

But then her coworker asked her advice about how a conversation went with one of his particularly troubled students. And she in turn, asked annoying first-year adjunct questions because literally no one else would answer them for her. And now they resemble somewhat of a friendship. She has learned that her coworker has a partner and a cat and he moved here recently.

She still doesn’t know his name.

She’s accepted she probably never will.

Clearly, she still doesn’t fully understand everything at this university. When her supervisor observed the adjunct in class, she was told she’d get the evaluation sheet. It’s been three weeks. She has heard nothing. She would reach out and ask about it, but she’d rather not know what he thought of her teaching. And also she’d probably never receive a response anyway.

When the adjunct discovered a secret teacher’s lounge (again, so high school, right?) on her floor, instead of asking about it, she just longs for it. If the unlocked door is open, she’ll peer in to get a glimpse of something she can’t have. She yearns for the mini fridge, for the coffee pot. Sometimes, she’ll stay awake at night wondering if they have a microwave. She thinks about all the lunches she could heat in that microwave.

She thought about asking the office assistant but knows she’ll get no response. And if she asked her coworker and the adjuncts weren’t good enough for the teacher’s lounge, she’d embarrass herself. And that’s basically like dying. The adjunct’s father says she should just ask, he doesn’t see the big deal. The adjunct tries to explain anxiety and fails.

The teacher’s lounge mystery will never be solved.

So the adjunct just unpacks her lunchbox and eats her hardboiled eggs in her dingy office (after her coworker has left… she’s not an asshole) and gazes out the window, grateful she’s not locked in a windowless cupboard somewhere.

My Emotional Journey on Election Day

I don’t know about you, but I knew I’d be going through a lot of different emotions on election day. So, come with me on this rollercoaster ride of emotions because we’ve only got, like, seven hours left until this is all over and I need another list of gifs to describe my emotional state.

My Emotional Journey on Election Day

At first you’re really excited because maybe, just maybe, things will turn around. You’ve seen the voter turnout, so all hope is not lost yet.

But you’re also very nervous because literally everything is at stake. You can’t let yourself get too comfortable or confident because remember 2016? Remember how cocky you were, you asshole?

But also. You can’t wait until it’s over just because then you don’t have to watch another campaign ad. Even if it goes to shit, at least you don’t have to watch more ads.

When you go to your polling place, you feel like a fucking badass because you’re going to do your civic duty that your foremothers fought so hard for.

After you vote, you take an obligatory selfie with your ‘I Voted’ sticker to show how amazing you are.

You bask in the likes and digital love you get for being so fucking amazing with your ‘I Voted’ sticker even though literally every other person is doing the same thing.

But then you see yet another campaign ad on repeat, and you smash your computer/break your tv/punch a wall because you already voted and can’t take another second of these ads.

As the day comes to an end, immediate dread sets in. Because, remember 2016? Remember how awful that was?

You debate whether to watch the news coverage or not.

You decide, either way, you watching doesn’t change the results. So fuck it. You’ve done your part. You’ll find out when it’s all over.

Besides, remember 2016 when you stayed up until 3am crying and drinking wine by yourself? Yeah. We don’t need to do that again.

So you watch Brooklyn 99 to distract yourself and make you feel good. Because this might be the last thing that makes you feel good for a very long time.

 

8 Reasons Why Halloween is the Best Holiday

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Yes, I’m one of those people. Look. I’ve always gone my own way. I’m not just going to jump on the Christmas bandwagon because everyone else looks at me like I’ve admitted I’m a prison wife to some serial killer when in actuality I just said Christmas isn’t really my thing.

So. For all of you Christmas lovers and Valentine’s hopeless romantics and you Turkey Day freaks, I’m here to tell you why my favorite holiday is actually better than all of yours.

8 Reasons Why Halloween is the Best Holiday

  1. There are no presents.

With Christmas, there’s the pressure of getting those closest to you presents and spending a lot of money to show you love them. And then you do that thing where you wonder if that one person is going to get you something, so you wonder if you should get them something, but you don’t want to get them something if they weren’t planning on getting you something because you don’t want to pressure them. It’s annoying. And Halloween, you don’t have to think about it at all. I can spend zero moneys on presents and all moneys on costumes, candy, and alcohol.

2. You can tell a lot about someone based on their Halloween costume.

Are they wearing a joke costume? A costume that’s really just lingerie? A simple costume where they wear an animal pj onesie with their friends? A very specific and nerdy costume? When I look at someone’s costume I know who they are. I know if they like Halloween or not, I know what they like, who they idolize. And I like to know people. To give you an idea of who I am, I have gone as Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Hermione Granger, Rosie the Riveter, and Louise (in Thelma and Louise). I mean, that tells you everything you need to know about me.

3. Halloween is escapism.

One day every year, I get to put on a costume and be someone else. I get to be someone stronger, more badass, more talented. For a day I can be Beyoncé if I want to. And that’s all I really want in my life.

4. Halloween is low pressure.

You don’t find many people who are lonely or sad on Halloween. There’s not a spike in suicides on Halloween like there is during the Christmas season. There’s no one who is anxious about what they’re going to do for Halloween. It doesn’t have the pressure of New Years Eve. And Halloween requires no date, just you. So it’s not like Valentine’s Day where it tries to make you feel bad about being single. And, if you’re not into Halloween, no one’s going to force you into it. Or, if they do because they really want you to go to this party, it’s only one day. Not like Christmas which is really a two-month ordeal.

5. There’s no themed music.

It’s not like for a whole month you have to listen to the Monster Mash on repeat and all the radio stations and stores muzak refuse to play anything else. I know many people would be completely happy if radio stations started playing Christmas music in August,  but I’m the kind of person who prefers to listen to Christmas music for two solid days and it better be only sad Christmas songs (Not that stupid one about shoes though. Fuck that song.) But with Halloween, I can blast Rihanna all day every day and not have anyone asking me to put on the Halloween station. Because that’s not a thing.

6. The weather is perfect.

I’ve already announced my love of Fall. So it only makes sense that my favorite holiday would happen during my favorite season.

7. Halloween is the creepiest holiday.

Recipe for the perfect Halloween party? Bloody goblins. Mutilated bodies. Blood orphans.  If I tried to incorporate blood into my Christmas baking decorations, people wouldn’t be chill about it. But, Halloween encourages it. This is the one holiday where I can talk about serial killers and it’s kinda sorta appropriate.

8. There’s discount chocolate.

The day after Halloween, you can buy giant bags of candy for basically no money and you don’t have to do that thing you do after Valentine’s Day where you feel kind of bad and weird and alone more than ever because you’re the girl going to Walgreens first thing for the discount heart chocolates and you totally know the cashier knows no one actually gave you heart chocolates because, you’re alone.

A Day in the Life of an Adjunct

The adjunct is a fickle creature. It’s somewhat perplexing these creatures even exist in the real world. Not many know what an “adjunct” is because it sounds more like a sneeze than a real word. But really, it just means an MFA graduate with little direction falling back on the one thing they kind of know how to do: teaching.

The adjunct wakes up at 5am most days to “write.” But she hasn’t written anything creative since August. Instead, she’s just trying to come up with lesson plans before class starts, sometimes editing PowerPoints and worksheets and rubrics right up until class begins.

This is not like the adjunct. She loves order and control. Before, when she taught just one class per semester as a TA, she’d spend a month before school started preparing all her lessons and assignments. But now, she’s had to create three new classes all from scratch and keep up with grading and giving feedback and arguing with students about their grades and wondering if male adjuncts have to do this as often as she does.

After she drinks a cup of coffee (or two or three) she gets ready and heads to the university. She drives in rush-hour traffic listening to a podcast. Other people get upset about rush-hour, but the adjunct doesn’t think it’s that bad. Besides, if she gets upset about something so insignificant and unchangeable as rush-hour, it would surely start a domino effect.

It would start with rush-hour, then turn into a question of how she’ll pay for gas and that will turn into a question of how these long drives will break her car down faster and that will turn into a question of how she’ll afford a new car and that makes her furious at the state of universities weeding out the full-time tenure-track jobs so they can save money by only hiring adjuncts for very little money and no benefits and then that money goes in the administrators pockets and suddenly the adjunct is sitting in rush-hour traffic unmoving as cars honk at her, give her the finger, and wonder what the fuck is wrong with her and she’ll just scream, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU?!”

But that doesn’t happen. Because the adjunct listens to a podcast, usually about murder, and that calms her down.

She parks in her faculty parking spot with the parking pass she had to pay $89 for. She thinks about her friends who say they have actual benefits and incentives at their jobs. One woman has access to unlimited batteries and tampons. She wonders what it would be like to not only have health care and a free parking pass, but also unlimited batteries and tampons. It sounds like a dream to her.

The adjunct teaches her classes, trying to get the attention of uninterested freshmen. She includes topical references. She’s kind of a dork but in an endearing way. She includes Youtube clips and music. She’s trying. And yet they still zone out, look at their phones for the full 50 minutes and then complain when they don’t get the grade they want.

She retreats to her office that she shares with ten other people. The “office” probably used to be a closet. It’s bare. It offers little solace. Just two desks, three chairs, a rejected book shelf. There are two computers. But no fridge, no microwave, no coffee maker. The adjunct doesn’t run on food. No. The adjunct runs completely on doubt and hopeless dreams.

Other than talking almost nonstop for three hours on days she teaches, she rarely speaks. She may run into one or two other adjuncts. They exchange pleasantries and fall back into silence. There is no camaraderie here. Every man is an island. And, besides, if a full-time position came up, they all would be fighting each other for it so why get attached if they’re your competition?

After teaching her last class of the day, the adjunct drives back home. She creates more lesson plans. More PowerPoints. Even when she checks off something on her list, she knows there will always be more.

She wonders if this is what she wants to do. If this is the career she wants to pursue. She knows that it won’t be easy. The job positions are limited and the applicants overwhelming. And most of those applicants have a much more impressive résumé. She may never get a full-time position. She might spend years being overworked and underpaid. And she can’t help but wonder, Will this all be worth it?

She doesn’t know. But for now, she continues to create those lessons, those PowerPoints, try to make the students learn something even if these lessons will eventually just be thrown out, a weird tangent in the adjunct’s career.

She tries to think of those students before who told her in course evaluations to keep teaching. She thinks of those students who learned at least one thing. She thinks of them and makes another PowerPoint.

What do you do when the world is a shit-storm?

I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the news, but these past two weeks have been a total shit-storm. The news cycle has been exhausting to watch.

Last week there was Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimony. This week there was Trump mocking Dr. Ford. And then the FBI found no evidence. Now, we’re just waiting for the Republicans to vote in an alleged sexual assailant into the Supreme Court and also this one kid I went to high school with is, like, a super successful athlete now and he’s trending on Twitter today. Just a fucking cherry on top of this shit sundae.

Keeping up with the 24 hour news cycle often makes me feel rage against mankind or completely helpless. But, I’ve heard that’s not super healthy for your heart or something?

So as much as I can, when the news cycle makes me want to abandon my job and go live on an uninhabited island with 50 dogs, I try to take some time for self care. Because I can’t take down the patriarchy if I don’t take care of myself.

So here are some ways I practice self care even as the world burns down around me. Besides. You can totally make a face mask with the ashes you find from the world burning! It’s super good for your skin.

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1. Get off Twitter. If it’s for twenty minutes, an hour, or three hours, take a break from the Twitter rage.

2. Read a book. Put that phone on ‘do not disturb’ and set a timer so you can just read uninterrupted for twenty minutes or an hour.

3. Drink some tea or coffee or hot chocolate. Anything that will warm your cold dead heart.

4. Interact with other humans you like. It can be in person, or it could be on the phone/on FaceTime/on the internet. Whatever you prefer.

5. Listen to a podcast. My preference is murder podcasts. There’s something about murder I find very calming in today’s political climate.

6. Take a walk. Listen to that murder podcast. Feel at ease.

7. Look at a dog. Or, better yet, pet a dog. Personally, I prefer to cradle our ten-pound dog like a baby.

8. Take a nap.

9. Eat awesome food. If there’s somewhere you’ve been wanting to go, go there. If there’s a new recipe you’ve been wanting to make, make it.

10. Put on a face mask.

11. Color or craft or knit. Keep your hands busy.

12. Watch a show that makes you feel good. I’d recommend Bob’s Burgers or The Good Place or Superstore or Santa Clarita Diet.

13. Start a count down clock for the Midterm Elections.

14. Plot the downfall of the patriarchy.