Diving In

Sort of what this whole blog has been about—other than Britney Spears—has been young adulthood and growth and success and the lack of it and… I suppose just finding your own path, in general. In the inaugural post for the blog, I wrote that “this blog is for me,” but I don’t know that it has been, entirely. I’m a very performative person. I like to write things knowing that they will be read and appreciated. I thrive on feedback. I want to know people are listening.

And I think it’s been hurting me. Because it has been difficult for me to write. I haven’t been able to find the inspiration. Nothing has seemed good enough, or relatable enough. But I need to stop trying to translate my words for people who honestly aren’t reading anyway. Because I need to be writing. It’s so good for me when I write. I feel so much better. So I’m going to start doing that.

My feelings lately have been a poison I haven’t had a way of getting out. I’ve lost my way. Lost my direction. My life isn’t entirely what I expected it to be. I think I could be okay with that. I’m not. But I think I could be. I think I need to try to be. Because otherwise, it will never grow into something it could be, even if it isn’t what I think it should be.

I need to be writing. I need to be doing things for me. I think the past year I’ve been looking for someone to approve, looking for someone to tell me it’s okay that my life has turned out the way it has. I’ve been looking for someone to tell me it’s okay, to give me a direction, to help me figure out the next stop. It’s time to stop looking outward. I need to figure it out myself. I need to dive in.



Someone once told me that when they trained to become a lifeguard, they had to swim around a pool with a weight tied around them. I have no idea if this is true. I don’t even remember who told me, but I know it was in high school and I know that in high school people tend to exaggerate.

But imagine that. Swimming with a weight tied around your ankle. A five pound weight. A ten. A twenty. An anchor. Imagine swimming. Imagine that you are a strong swimmer. You are confident of your abilities. But it will be tiring. It will be exhausting, won’t it? After a while, your breath will become shallow. Your limbs will tire. The water will splash closer and closer to your face. Your gasping breaths will draw chlorine as well as air. You will cough and sputter.

Nearby, people will swim, wondering why you struggle so. Because the current is not strong. The waves are small and manageable.

And you are a strong swimmer.

They will know this. People. Your friends. Your family. Your coworkers. Your fellow swimmers. They will not know about the anchor around your ankle. Why, they will wonder, are you so defeated by waves so small? Why do you seem to be drowning, when the pool is so shallow?

This is depression.

When you are depressed, you will be tired always. Not because you have worked a twelve hour shift or because you have run a marathon or because you are old and sick. Because your bed is quicksand. Because sleep means you don’t have to think. Because thinking is a spiral of tunneled vision and walking through gelatin. The air will be thicker. Things will move slower.

“Fighting depression,” they call it. “I am fighting depression.” “My cousin, he fights with depression.” That is the phrase. It is an accurate one. Depression is a battle, fought every day and in every instance. Depression makes a smile painful. Depression makes ice cream taste less sweet, the sun shine with less warmth, the movie less funny. There is no enjoyment. Not all the way. There is always part of you pulled down. Anchored. Some days are better than others. But always you fight it.

You will not know how to explain to people that simply getting out of bed was a battle. You will be embarrassed to tell them that you took seven baths on your day off, but you have not truly washed yourself in a week. You will sleep, but you will not rest.

You will want to tell people. You will want to talk. You will want them to understand. But the words will sound shallow and silly in your head. How could you ever explain what you don’t understand?

Yes I know. I know I shouldn’t be this sad. I know it doesn’t make sense. I know this isn’t that big of a deal. I’m so sorry. I wish I were some other way. Some other person. Please. Please don’t leave me. I may drown. I don’t want to drown alone.

You will answer arguments in your head that you will never give people the chance to give you. You will shy away from the judgement and impatience that you believe people will give you, and so you will never give them the opportunity to prove you wrong.

You will know this, but it won’t matter. You will know that it gets better. You will know that one day this will be better. You will know that, but it won’t matter.

It doesn’t matter.

You will know things will be better. You will know that. You will know you can make them better. But Christ, you will be so tired. So goddamn tired. It won’t always matter. You won’t know if it’s worth it. To keep fighting. Does knowing that one day you will reach the shore give you the strength to keep swimming?

You will want to die, but suicide won’t necessarily be a part of it. Not for every depression case. Maybe you will want to die, but you won’t want to kill yourself. You wouldn’t want to poison your friends and family that way. To hurt them. To leave their lives a wreckage. And maybe you will know better than to glorify suicide. You will know that 13 Reasons Why is utter bullshit and suicide isn’t a grand romantic gesture, it’s decades of hurt for those left behind.

But maybe you will think about what would happen if a bus were to hit you. If you were to get a rest. If you got to stop. If you could just stop swimming. Let the water close around you. Let the weight drag you down. Let your arms stop struggling, let the deep burn in your calves subside as you grow still.

These will be idle thoughts. Never taken seriously. After all, you’re a strong swimmer. You aren’t the kind to give up or give in. But the fact that you will have these thoughts at all. It’s the price of being tired. It’s the price of fighting depression. Of being a fighter.

You will not be able to explain this. Friends will wonder why you don’t text them, don’t love them, don’t reach out to them. How can you explain that it is so difficult to yell hello when pool water is sloshing in your ears and the taste of chemicals and snot is in your mouth and you cannot remember the last time you got a good, clear breath? How can you explain that you are embarrassed? That the voice in your head judges so loudly that you cannot believe they won’t judge you as well?

How can you explain that you never wanted to be this person? The sad person? The sad friend? But that you have tried, and you cannot make it stop. It won’t. You will fight.

You will swim on. You will survive. You will fight. You will cut the anchor from around your kicking legs.

You will reach painted concrete and discarded flip-flops, pulling yourself out of the pool. You will drag your aching arms out of the water, and twist onto your back. The water will pool around you, drying on the sunbaked stone. You will breathe deeply. Greedily. Gratefully. You will live.


Singing Leprechaun

So, I watched the new episode of Game of Thrones at my friend’s house, and while a lot of the episode was sort of set-up and filler (Here’s what our characters have been up to on Game of Thrones while you’ve been away!), I still enjoyed it. And—as per usual—I had thoughts. Mostly, my thoughts ran along the lines of “Is it going to bother everyone’s watching experience if I get up to pee?” and “I should have brought a box of Franzia,” but I had other thoughts too. Game of Thrones-related thoughts. In the next few posts, I’m gonna give you some of the ones I found most worth mentioning. Previous posts can be found here.

Ed Sheeran

801Um, fuck this little cameo. Fuck it hard, fuck it good, fuck it dead. Because it’s completely unnecessary and dissonant with the tone of the show and it completely took me out of the mood of the show. It made me stop and think and focus on the fact that I was watching a television show.

I think the best forms of visual entertainment are usually transportive and immersive in a way that gets you lost within the story being told. It ceases to be a story, and you become so invested in the characters and the plot that you forget that it isn’t real for a bit. It takes you with it. That’s what any good story–in any form–should do. You never want to see the invisible wires that are making Peter Pan fly, you want to believe for a bit that he’s actually flying. Even if he is a child-abducting little freak. Putting Ed Sheeran in Game of Thrones is like having a boom mic hanging in the fucking shot. It takes you out of the moment.

Jeremy Podeswa, who directed this episode, defended the decision to cast Ed Sheeran in a phone interview with Newsweek‘s saying that he felt that he did a good job and, “I think people interrogated it too much, they’re bringing so much of his [superstar] presence into the thing which is far beyond what anybody was thinking going into it. He is known to the producers of the show and some of the cast, and he’s a gigantic fan of the show. As everybody knows, the show really eschews stunt casting—it’s never, ever done that.”

To be honest, that’s complete bullshit. The world does not fucking exist in a vacuum, viewers do not exist in a vacuum, and to insist that it is on the audience to suspend their disbelief and accept whatever is being fed to them by the showrunners is a cop out. It is the burden of the creator of a work to earn that suspension of disbelief, and Ed Sheeran popping out of the woods and singing a little ditty with Arya is asking too much. Podeswa later states that all the stars of the show are incredibly famous and recognizable and says that there is no difference.

He is wrong. There is a difference. We associate these stars with this show. They belong to this sort of world. Even Sean Bean, famous for multiple roles before starring in GoT as the doomed Ned Stark, is accepted and almost expected in a production such as this. You almost can’t have a sweeping, medieval fantasy without Sean Bean dying in the first arc of the story. You see Ed Sheeran, and you think a different kind of superstardom. You think of Taylor Swift and cats and dudes who cry after sex. Because Ed Sheeran most definitely seems like the kind of dude who cries after sex and I freaking hate that.

It is stunt-casting, and it robs the moment of the impact it was supposed to have on Arya’s characterization. I gather, from repeated rewatches and attempts to disregard the Keebler Elf plopped clumsily into the scene,

Look at him, just waiting for his chance to bake some cookies and hide his Lucky Charms

that that scene was supposed to be a moment where Arya begins to see that not all those who are associated with the Lannisters are evil. That there are some innocents, on both sides of the battle line.

But you don’t get any of that. Because you’re too busy looking at everyone around you going, “Wait is that… oh fuck, it fucking is.”

Samwell Tarly: A-Shittin’ and A-Soupin’

So, I watched the new episode of Game of Thrones at my friend’s house, and while a lot of the episode was sort of set-up and filler (Here’s what our characters have been up to on Game of Thrones while you’ve been away!), I still enjoyed it. And—as per usual—I had thoughts. Mostly, my thoughts ran along the lines of “Is it going to bother everyone’s watching experience if I get up to pee?” and “I should have brought a box of Franzia,” but I had other thoughts too. Game of Thrones-related thoughts. In the next few posts, I’m gonna give you some of the ones I found most worth mentioning. Previous posts can be found here.

Samwell Tarly: Hogwarts Student and Shit-Taker-Outer Extraordinaire

I started to write about Arya Stark’s opening scene as my favorite thing about this episode until I remembered. And that would have been wrong. So wrong. Because this montage is undoubtedly the greatest gift GoT has ever given the world.

Lainey was the first one who really pointed out to me how wonderful this scene is. It is so completely… just ridiculous and I adore it. It at once manages to be waaaaaay too fucking much and just enough. And, as Lainey mentioned, they managed to get a really good consistency for the shit, and then the blurring between which is shit and which is soup… beautiful. This is so over the top, but in exactly the way GoT has always been over the top. All the titties, all the violence and murder, and now finally, all the shit. The circle is complete. Well-played HBO, well-played.

Other than that masterful montage of cinematic greatness, the other thing of note in Sam’s scenes was the fact that he actually seems to have wandered outside of the GoT universe and into the set of Harry Potter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super into it, I fucking adore Harry Potter and Jim Broadbent, of Professor Slughorn fame, is a goddamned treature who manages to imbue every line with an arch sort-of gravitas (yes, I recognize the contradictory nature of that descriptor) that makes you want to really lean in and listen. Just the sort of guy you’d want to perform a little medieval autopsy action with.

I tried so hard to find a screen grab of them cutting up the body you guys, I really did

It was a little frustrating hearing Broadbent-as-Archmaester that, although he does believe Sam is probably telling the truth about the White Walkers, he isn’t going to do anything about it. Like really? And then Sam’s robbery of the books and the reading and… it just all kind of has me thinking, do we have time for this? Not Sam, I mean he’s doing what he can for the cause of mankind and Jon Snow and all that, but the show itself. Does it have time to devote to Sam’s reading? I’m just getting nervous. We have a limited number of episodes left in the season and in the show. Are they going to be able to cram it all in without it feeling rushed? Because I’m starting to get nervous. Cersei is my ride-or-die for sure, but I’m not certain how much time we have to fuck around in King’s Landing without cheating the Ice Zombie Apocalypse of the time it needs to be a truly realized storyline.

The shit and soup definitely was needed though. Good call there.

Cersei’s Hair

So, I watched the new episode of Game of Thrones at my friend’s house, and while a lot of the episode was sort of set-up and filler (Here’s what our characters have been up to on Game of Thrones while you’ve been away!), I still enjoyed it. And—as per usual—I had thoughts. Mostly, my thoughts ran along the lines of “Is it going to bother everyone’s watching experience if I get up to pee?” and “I should have brought a box of Franzia,” but I had other thoughts too. Game of Thrones-related thoughts. In the next few posts, I’m gonna give you some of the ones I found most worth mentioning:

Cersei’s Hair

Reports have been made that the show’s budget has increased this season, and nowhere is that more evident than in the scenery, the wardrobe and the CGI. Those long, extended shots of Dragonstone as Dany meandered her way through the castle of her birth were immersive and gorgeously-detailed and I appreciated it. The wardrobe is going to be getting its own section later on, and the dragons actually didn’t look like clumsily-rendered cartoon lizards. It was a beautiful opening episode, by and large.

It was dismaying to see, however, that evidently the showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss did not save any of that budgetary increase for hair and makeup. Specifically, Cersei’s hair. Because







Is this supposed to be a joke? I’m relatively sure Lena Headey wears a wig because she’s a natural brunette and recent photos of her on her Twitter depict her hair as much longer than this, but still. They couldn’t afford a better wig than this? Is that real hair? Because I have seen Barbies serving hotter looks than that. It’s not just the cut—yes, I understand her hair was forcefully shorn from her head by the Faith and that they probably did not go to the nicest salon to do it—but also the color. Did we have to make her look absolutely as shitty as possible? But, it isn’t like an intentional shitty. If I felt like that was the goal, to make her look shitty and tired and haggard, I would be down with it, but this doesn’t look shitty in that way. This looks shitty as in cheap.

I’ve seen that color before. Know where? The crackhead gals who used to prance around my hometown streets. Forty-something women in their twelve-year-old daughter’s clothes, bodies like beef jerky wrapped in purple tank tops that bared their abdomen and shorts with cartoon characters on them, these haunting heroin hotties sauntered around town with the confidence and ego that only meth can provide. Their cheeks always had these iron lines carved in them, false illusions of bone structure given to them by malnutrition and constant teeth-grinding, and their hair was always this burnout orange-yellow that looked like smoker’s teeth and old, fried egg yolks. Cersei blonde. That is the name of that color and I, for one, am not going to stand for it anymore.

Producers and hairstylists of Game of Thrones, please, I implore you, do something about this. I will go down to Ulta myself and purchase a bottle of toning shampoo for blondes. You don’t even have to reimburse me. Just please fix. Kthxluvubyeeeeeee



Positive Schtuff Pt. Deux

So, luckily this is only delayed by a few weeks, but I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DONE IT, DEAR READER (because I know that there is only one of you), I HAVE FOLLOWED UP WITH A SECOND POST ON WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SERIES OF POSTS.

Now, someone get me my own column in Harper’s Bazaar and a senior editorial position at Refinery29.com please. I’ve made it.

Oh, that’s right, I haven’t even told you what this post is. It’s positive stuff! The good shit in my life. Because sometimes I (and everyone else) forget to remember that positivity does actually exist in my life, it’s not all missed gym trips and late phone bills and my socks slipping down underneath my heel in my shoes. I’ve got a good life! So, I’m going to think about that, and highlight what I’m happy about this month(ish).

My Favorite Murder

So, if you haven’t heard of this podcast, you really should investigate it. It’s really gotten me through some tough times lately. It’s been a welcome escape. It’s two gals with an interest in true crime and famous murder cases, and every week they just get together and discuss a murder that each of them has done some (loose) research on.

It’s super casual and super chatty, so if you’re looking for well-thought out, investigative pieces on crimes, you’re listening to the wrong podcast. Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are just telling each other and their listeners about some crimes that interest them, the way you would discuss something with your friends. They do do research, but they’re more focused on the heart and humor of the stories than being perfectly factual.

And it is funny. It’s hilarious, and strangely-heartwarming and moving and I’ve cried during episodes and I’ve felt super empowered by episodes. Listen to the episode talking about Richard Ramirez (the Nightstalker) and how an entire neighborhood in California rose up to catch this fool and tell me your faith in people isn’t restored. Because what I get, a lot of times, from this podcast is that while we make so much out of the people who suck, for the most part, people don’t suck. People kind of rock a lot of times, and that’s pretty awesome.

Also, if you can’t understand why someone would want to listen to stories about true crime, I can’t explain it to you. It’s a sickness, probably born out of an anxiety and fear of being murdered and so you want to find out as much about it as you possibly can. Or maybe I’m just a budding sociopath. Either way.


Bartender Friends

The obvious pluses of being surrounded by drunken boozehounds aside, it is very nice that not only am I a bartender, but many of my friends are bartenders. We get together and we play with ingredients and throw shit together and sometimes it is fucking delicious (shout out to Tyler’s blue margarita and Marshall’s Ramos Gin Fizz, holla), and sometimes it tastes like the ball soup of a fat man not wearing underwear in the summer (my own Robitussin-inspired drink of the other night, whaa whaaaaa).

It makes me feel creative and constructive and it is so fun and I fucking love it and, the best part, DRINKING. Like, how awesome is it that this ended up being one of my major interests/hobbies/day jobs? I could have ended up collecting stamps and, no offense to anyone who collects stamps, but I cannot imagine anyone who does it has ever had sex ever in their life. Feel free to comment if I’m wrong, as I’m sure you stamp collectors are lovely people with humongous dongs. Or… pretty vaginas, I guess? I don’t really know what people look for in their vaginas, because personally I just look the other fucking way.


Kesha’s New Single

Listen, it’s called “Praying” it’s one iTunes, and it is beautiful and slow and I mean kind of fuck you to people who said she couldn’t sing. It is so nice to finally see some new music from this poor girl who has gone through so much. Except, not poor girl, that’s a bad choice of words on my part, because she is not just a victim, and reducing her to that is unfair to her.

It’s hard to talk about Kesha without talking about what has happened with her career the past few years, but if we did live in a vacuum, this song would be beautiful and phenomenal. Taken with everything else, I mean it’s pretty awe-inspiring. Super beautiful. I’m into it.


Buzzfeed Quizzes

I mean, what did I ever do in the bathroom before these? Just fucking go? Read a shampoo bottle? Was I a barbarian? What was wrong with me? How did I live without knowing “What Your Taste in Coffee Says About Your Future Financial Situation?”

Clearly, these quizzes are completely scientific and tested through a series of clinics and long-term research and development. I mean, they have to be. I won’t hear anyone saying that my future husband won’t be determined based on my answers to five random questions, because that is bullshit. Buzzfeed says so.

Even when the quizzes are ridiculous and just when I think I have had enough of Buzzfeed’s nonsense, here they come with a quiz about which Britney Spears song I am and I’m totally sucked in again.

To close out this post, by the way, I have posted links to a handful of my favorite Buzzfeed quizzes for you to take!

(In the famous words of Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark) Stay sexy, and don’t get murdered.

Answer 5 Questions And We’ll Tell You Which HBO Character You Are

(I got Madeline Mackenzie from Big Little Lies)

Are You More Blondeney Or Brunetteney?

(I got blonde cuz duh)

Which Posh Name Does Your Penis Deserve?

(I got Tarquin Wimbleknob, which unfortunately is what I already call my left kneecap so I cannot use)

Positive Sh*t That Happened to Me

So, most of my friends struggle with anxiety in one form or another. Several of my friends have actually been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. I myself don’t struggle with this sort of thing often, so I could very well be talking out of my ass here.

Currently, one of my closest friends, we’ll call her Brittany, is having some issues with this kind of stuff. She and I talk about all our shit: money shit, boy shit (or in this lucky broad’s case, relationship shit), school shit, future shit, etc. I really feel for her, and I know how hard it can be when you’re in that anxious sort of mood to see past your issues. You’re sort of always missing the forest for the trees, and the forest isn’t a forest, but the massive clusterfuck you believe your life is undoubtedly becoming.

With Brittany in mind, I’ve decided that I’m going to make an effort to avoid doing that, and hopefully the rest of you readers will try to avoid that as well—all six of you! In order to achieve that end, I’m going to try to start posting a weekly Positive Shit That Happened to Me post. Who knows how often this will actually be accomplished, because in negative shit that I create for myself, I am the worst about procrastinating and none of my attempts at a regular series of blog posts about a certain topic have so far stuck. But here’s to hoping!

So, rules. None of the big stuff. I’m not going to talk about the really great stuff that happens to me—the job offers, the marriage proposals, the trips to Milan—because I don’t think it’s hard for people to appreciate that sort of thing. No, I mean the little stuff, the stuff that you might not appreciate because your mind won’t let you take your attention off the thousands of negative little occurrences in life. This is for appreciating the good stuff, for encouraging you to appreciate the good stuff, for realizing that no matter what is going on, there is always some good stuff in life. This is to say, hold onto those little good things hard, no matter how tiny they may appear. Sometimes they’re the only anchor we have.

1. I washed my car

So, today for the first time in literal years I washed my car. You guys, I feel really good about that. Like, it shouldn’t have felt that good. I feel like how I imagine those people on Hoarders must feel once they can finally see their carpet again. I’m not exactly certain how they feel because I cannot handle that show and thus have never seen a full episode of it, but it’s what I imagine they feel. Just relief and accomplishment and fucking finally.

I even did like the little brushy thing and the pre-soak and the spot-free rinse (which judging by the massive goddamn blotches on my windshield is ineffective, so thanks for taking my extra dollar you schemin’ motherfuckers). It doesn’t look as great as it did when I got it (there’s some dents and dings and paint scrapes and my rear fender kinda looks like a picture that’s been bent and then straightened out again), but it looks so much better and I feel so much better.

2. A guy complimented my car

You guys, I shit you not, as I’m pulling out of the car wash and onto the road, windows down (because no A/C and that shit sucks SO bad, but positive thoughts!!!),  a guy pulls up next to me in his silver van-type thing. I know because I remember making eye contact and thinking he’s cute. His windows are up, but he literally rolls them down to compliment me on my car.

Fifteen seconds after leaving the car wash! You guys, God is real and He rewards those who wash their fucking Mitsubishis.

“That’s a great car! What year is it?” yells confident, attractive hottie with his sunglasses tilted down his nose like the hot love interest in an 80’s high school movie.

“Thank you! 2008!” I say, all golly jee like the nerdy girl in the same 80’s movie.

(Except I’m pretty sure the nerdy girl in that movie didn’t have sweat pouring down her face from a lack of A/C. Or a penis. But I digress)

“It’s a great looking car,” he says again, smiles, and rolls up his window.

Literally, where is fucking Tom Cruise when you need him? Except stay away Tom Cruise you weird me out.

I felt so validated by this exchange. It was like the universe was saying, “Yes, you dumb twat! Wash your car and cute men will immediately talk to you.” Of course, right after this, his car slows down and I have to pass him or look weirdly stalker-ish, and I’m pretty bummed because that means he’s going to see the back of my car, which looks like shit, not just the one angle that actually looks decent. But positive thoughts! Compliments! Feed me compliments hot men. Flattery works with me.

3. I helped Brittany wash her old car

The reason I even washed my car in the first place is because last week I helped Brittany wash hers, and it inspired me. She was giving hers away to a nice man who was down on his luck, and wanted it to look presentable for him. She brought me back into the car washing fold, which brought me compliments and inspiration for this blog post! Which will undoubtedly brighten tens of peoples’ days (just kidding, no one reads this). All because of Brittany. So that’s your positive thought Brit, if you’re reading this, you helped me in a small way, and may even help someone else. Remember that, and build up from there.

(She’s totally gonna read this because I’m going to text her in fifteen seconds and command that she read it)

In closing, I encourage everyone to try this, at least for a day, on the hardest days. Because, the thing is, it is so easy to forget that there’s a flip side. It’s so easy to see the flat tire and the shitty day at work and the stubbed toe, and so easy to forget to see the nice people who stopped to help you, the friends who cared and wanted to make your shitty day better, and the kickass shoes you were wearing while you stubbed your toe. Remember that stuff.