Tuesday, January 14, 2014

23 and Old

I had to wear wrist splints for two weeks when I thought I had carpal tunnel. Yay me. 



Yep, you heard that right. I'm old. I think I might have even skipped the "getting old" part and went on ahead to just being old. I have aches and pains everywhere. Yesterday it was too difficult to put my bra on so I cheated and clipped it first before putting on the straps. If I had to guess, I would say I learned that trick from some Golden Girls episode.

If I had to pinpoint the exact moment that I realized I was old, it would probably be when I excused myself at a house party to take a 45 minute nap. The scary part is that I wasn't even embarrassed by it— I just needed those blankets and pillow that bad. I think I might have a nap addiction. While the others (my boyfriend included) were taking shots and eating red velvet cake, I was snoring in the dark living room that no one was in.

Some other indicators that my youth is decaying: I have arthritis. Yeah, apparently 23-year-olds are still susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis and you reading about one who just got diagnosed with it. When I was at the store the other day, I actually considered buying a pill case to store all of my arthritis pills (steroids included) in. It would be so more practical, I reasoned, to have one case for them instead of lugging around all the clunky pill bottles in my purse. Now I understand why all the elderly own those pill cases labeled by days. Thankfully, I'm not that extreme yet.

What I don't understand though, is why doctors ask you to take half of a pill. Why even bother? When I'm at my desk cutting my steroids in half just like the doctor ordered, I feel like my coworkers' judgment. They probably think I'm some pill-popping downers addict. Almost like a younger (barely) version of Meryl Streep's character in "August: Osage County." And I don't really blame them for judging. If I were them, I would probably judge the girl that announces "It's steroid time!" every day too. I'm kind of asking for it.

But they need to know— the struggle is REAL! Arthritis explains the difficulty in strapping on my bras, opening water bottles, or for that matter, anything that I have to do a twisty motion in order to open. In fact, I've gotten into the very un-feminist habit of pathetically trying to open a water bottle top once and then giving up and handing it over to the closest person around me with a puppy dog whine. I also like to throw out the saying "#arthristisproblems" so they know that it's a serious condition.

And it IS! I haven't been able to wear rings for three months now because my fingers are so chubby. I don't even really remember what their normal size are anymore, I'm just used to them being Shrek-sized. To give you more perspective, a ring that fits my current pinky fits my boyfriend's thumb. Now that's just embarrassing. Before I found out it was arthritis, I actually thought I had carpal tunnel. I took a 30-minute long nerve test where they electrocuted my finger tips to find out that "No, you didn't have carpal tunnel, but there has to be an explanation for why both of your wrists are swollen."

That explanation happened to be arthritis.

And now, I was just informed that I should seriously consider cutting down products containing gluten because they could have a drastic effect on my arthritis. When does it stop?! I can't open bottles and now I can't eat pasta?! Being old sucks. It's a never-ending cycle of health issues and all I want to do is nap it off.

My friends and I look back at our college days and don't know how we did it. I have no earthly clue how I used to get by with three hours of sleep every day and still make it to my 8-o'clock class. My body physically cannot handle a hangover anymore. It's last all day and is a complete waste of time. It's just not worth it anymore.

And heels! How the hell did I used to wear those bitches! In fact, I didn't just wear them, I somehow managed to jump fences and run away from the cops in six-inch heels. That is bullshit. I refuse to wear anything that doesn't have a chunky heel and is no more than four-inches. Stilettos have no place in my closet.

It's really hard being old. Take it from me— I'm 23.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

14 Resolutions for 2014

Looking back on my New Year resolutions for 2013, I wonder if I was high. I had to know that there was no way that I was going to accomplish about 85% of those resolutions. I mean come on, "Drink more tea, less coffee"? Let's be serious.

That, along with "write a screenplay," "write a short story," "write an article for a national magazine" and "write every day." I GET IT. I wanted to write a lot! Well, to be fair, that did happen until June, when I got a real job and did not have the eight excess hours a day to fool around on the computer at the coffee shop. Oh, and "Buy a fancy camera"? How is that even a resolution?!

Obviously, my priorities back in January 2013 are very different from what they are now. Judging from the rest of my post, I was clearly very desperate for a job and scrambling for the meaning of living in LA. Let's do a year in review, shall we?

Well for starters, I managed to live in Hollywood for a year and not kill myself or be killed. So that's an all-star accomplishment unto itself. I made it my goal for six months to do something new every day and actually did it— resulting in me learning more about city of Angels than I ever would have dreamt of. Looking back, there were definitely some really confusing moments where I doubted pretty much my entire existence, including my decision in moving cross country, but they were also the most adventurous and fun that I've ever had as well. Well worth it in my opinion.

And in that time, I even managed to actually succeed in one resolution: "Create something that goes viral." Who knew that Robin Thicke was my answer to five minutes of fame? I also started a new sport: Zumba. And if you try to argue that Zumba is not a sport, then I ask you to shake your booty and hips for a hour and see how you feel.

Then came the reigning moment when I finally got a job. Given, it was not a salary one like I was hoping for, but that turned out to be more of a blessing than a curse in retrospect. And now my mind revolves around wax figures– around Britney's hair and Miley Cyrus' new tattoo. Things certainly have changed and never would my 21-year-old self have thought that I would be selling fake celebrities for a living. Neither, for that matter, that I would have a steady boyfriend right now. Or that I met his parents for Thanksgiving dinner. I can see my former self gulping in anxiety as I write this...

Yes, things have definitely taken a turn in my life this year. I'll look back on it and remember it as the year that I got my first real job in the big city. I'll look at it as a year of struggles, self-identity crises, and also self-development as well.

And now for the New Year resolutions. Hopefully I won't look back at these at the end of the year and shake my head like last year:




Sunday, November 3, 2013

Winging it


Ryan Reynolds' wax figure and I. Standard day at work, nbd. 


Looking back on the last two years since I've graduated, a few reigning themes come to mind. 20-something-problems is a big one. Dazed and confused and YOLO are close seconds as well.

But to be honest, even with a full-time job that I love, I will be the first to admit that I still don't have my shit together. I still don't know the first thing about being an adult. I don't understand taxes. I've tried and failed to keep a budget at least four separate times. I still haven't figured out how to successfully balance my personal and work life.

What I can tell you though, is that this is all normal. It's a part of being in your twenties that I've learned to begrudgingly accept. We aren't supposed to have our shit together. It's okay. It's okay that I drove cross-country to Los Angeles for an unpaid internship that I didn't end up getting a job at. It's okay that I worked at a restaurant to pay for rent during that time. At that moment, I kept thinking that I had somehow gotten the equation of being a post-grad wrong. But there isn't a formula on how to find the perfect job. We all sort of have to wing it.

It took me six months of working two jobs to save up for moving to Hollywood. I made sure that I had enough in the bank so that I could sustain myself for six months of unemployment. Turns out that that forward thinking was probably one of the main reasons I am still here. Sure, up and moving to a city where you have no idea what you'll be doing past three months is a little risky, but make sure you aren't entering the ring completely blind.

Tip #1: Always have a backup plan. I'm a strong believer in backup plans. They are your own personal life insurance. They recognize that things don't always go according to plan (and believe me, they rarely do), and they make you prepared for the inevitable. Backup plans allow you to keep on dreaming, but still be realistic as well. They keep you grounded.
After realizing that I would not be getting a job after my internship, I spent the next six long months unemployed. I like to refer to this time as my "freelancing" period. At first I was embarrassed that I had graduated and still didn't have a "real" job yet. I avoided calls from my mother and friends from back home because I didn't want to talk about the monotonous routine of applying to jobs every day.

And then my roommate's father told me something that ended up changing my perspective completely. He told me to enjoy my unemployment when I could, because once you get a job, you will never get a chance to again. This shifted my way of thinking, and I decided to take it heart.

Tip #2: Take advantage of unemployment when you can. Oddly enough, those six months without a job turned out to be some of the best times of my life. It was finally a chance to do all the things that I never had time to do before when I had commitments and responsibilities. I started a blog, finally. I read more. I made it a goal to do something new every day in Los Angeles and truly discovered the city that I now live in. Sure, I still applied to jobs everyday as well, and went on interviews, but I felt like the most happy, jobless person on earth.

All this free time in turn left me lots of room for creativity. I tried to see what worked and didn't work when I applied to jobs. I would try different things to see what garnered more of a response. I kept asking myself the question "why?" Why didn't that cover letter work as well as this other one? Why did my resume cause the interviewer to act that way?

Tip #3: Get creative. During those six months, I probably applied to well over 100 positions. I spent on average about an hour per application, and even more once I actually got an interview. I made a visual resume (kind of like an infographic for your resume) and a professional, traditional resume. I re-designed my portfolio so that it was more visually appealing and up to date. I analyzed my past jobs and responsibilities multiple times a day. I even submitted myself for temp jobs.

I owe this persistence in trying new things to finally landing a job. By then, I was way more well versed in my strengths and weaknesses than I was after my internship. When Madame Tussauds Hollywood called me into an interview for Marketing and Events Coordinator, I was prepared. I was confident in my answers to their questions, and I knew that my advantage over other people that were in line for the position might just be that I had more time than they did. I had time to create an in-depth presentation, I had time to design handouts for all my interviewers, and I had time to go above and beyond. I didn't have an excuse.

I've been the Marketing and Events Coordinator for almost five months now, and I couldn't be more content. I feel like everything happened for a reason (as cheesy as that might sound), and I was meant to go through that "freelancing" period so that I could learn more about myself and making it in the real world.

Now although I definitely don't expect everyone to have the same perspective as I do, I do want you to know that if you don't know what to do next, it's okay. You don't have to know. You still have so much time to figure that out. There isn't a perfect equation on how to live life after graduation...sometimes you just have to wing it.

This is a repost from one of my UNCW professor's COM Studies Capstone blog. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dear Man Hollering at Me Across the Street


Dear Man Hollering at Me Across the Street,

Yes, I hear you. And I just have to ask: why? Why are you yelling vulgar things at me? I don't know you. We aren't on that level. Heck— I'm not even on that level with some of the people I live with, let alone some stranger on the street.

And I know that this gym outfit and no makeup ensemble isn't giving a lift to your nether regions. So why? Why the need to whistle, hoot and holler? Why the offensive language and porno slang? I'm not even going to ask if that actually works for you, because I know there is no way that it does. So why keep carrying on? Clearly you don't understand the meaning of trial and error, or you would have tried a different technique by now.

Oh, and let's talk about the gestures. Stop— just stop. Stop beckoning at me like I'm a pet dog, and stop rubbing your body when I pass by because it makes everyone uncomfortable. Please keep your personal thoughts to yourself. In fact, use this rule of thumb if you're unsure that you're toeing the line: If you wouldn't say it in front of your mother, don't say it out loud. Oh, and I thought that this was pretty obvious, but evidently not: don't touch. 

A guy once grabbed my ass one time and you know what I did? I shoved him and threatened him with mace until he apologized to me in front of his friends. And that was just because that was the first time someone had ever done that— I wasn't ready. Next time, I'll be ready. I won't threaten you with mace, I will empty the entire damn bottle into your filthy-ridden pupils. I will stick around to watch while you scream in agony and clamor at your frothing eyelids. If you're lucky I might hand you a kleenex. Don't touch me. 

You know how alcoholics and addicts do the 12-step program? I think you should do something similar. I want you to look at the 12-step program and apply it to your street harassment. I'll break it down for you:

1. Admit that you CAN control what you say and do with your facial expressions, hands and the rest of your body in public.

2. Recognize a higher power that can give you strength.

3. Examine past errors with the help of someone who can control their public behavior (i.e. a gentleman).

4. Make amends for these errors by apologizing to past victims you've sexually harrassed and give only appropriate compliments to passersby.

5. Learn to live with a new life and a new code of behavior.

6. Help others who suffer from the same dangerous behavior.

There— that doesn't seem so hard, right? You're welcome.

Mace you later,
Offended 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Are Asian girlfriends the new Hipster trend?


Photo by Wikimedia Commons



Start rant: 

Seriously...is it? Now I think it's safe to say that hipsters are predominately of the Caucasian race, and I couldn't help but notice how many hipster men around L.A. lately have Asian girlfriends. I'm not just saying men...Asian exoticism has been one of the top fetishes for years now. No, I'm talking about a very specific breed of men: I'm talking pretentious coffee drinking, thick-rimmed glasses and tight pants wearing, men.

I see you— I see you Instagramming pictures of you and your first generation, Southern Pacific girlfriend hiking Runyon and replaying the bench scene from 500 days of Summer on Angels Knoll. I see you making playful jokes on Facebook about how petite she is, and how cute it is when she gets red from drinking. I gag a little when I see you eating Pho or Korean BBQ together to "get to know her culture."

Well I've got news for you boys...I don't like being a trend. No, I don't appreciate you making me the next Snapchat, and I personally guarantee that I will have a public fit of outrage if I ever see #myasiangf trending on Twitter. 

Don't get me wrong, give me a white boy and 90% of the time I will be on them like white on rice; I love white boys. What I don't love, however, is that the awesomeness of interracial couples has been reduced to this summer's new collection. Since when does the race of your significant other serve as a fashion statement? I don't get it.

I've seen the rise of other ethnic girlfriends as well— Hispanic, African-American, and Persian. A part of me loves the increase in interracial couples, but I want it to be for REAL. Not saying that these couples aren't really in love— I just want to make sure that they are actually serious about these women and not just taking them home to Mommy and Daddy so that they can talk later about "that exotic girlfriend you had that one time."

And...end rant. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I'm BAAAAACKK!!!

Sorry for the month-long hiatus folks— I've finally managed to get a full-time job in my field and therefore have absolutely no idea how balance all the different aspects of my life. Turns out that six or so odd months of freelance did not teach me the art of prioritizing very well. Here's a quick rundown of what's been on my mind lately:

My "Blurred Lines" blog
Holy moly! If I had known how much media attention I would get from dubbing Robin Thicke's new song as a "rape song," then I would have written him a thank you letter months ago. Sadly most of the blogs spelled my last name wrong (a pretty careless fact-checking error, I think), but did I enjoy my minute (more like 10 seconds) of fame? Sure did.

I know that I've gotten a whole cluster of YouTube-esque comments on the blog which I've stopped reading after "You should change your blog to 'Lesbian in L.A.,'" but I don't really have any followup response besides the one that I gave MSN News.

Sara Bareilles' "Brave": 
Speaking of music videos, here is one of my new favorites that is both catchy and has a positive, inspiring message. Plus, the video is shot in several different L.A. locations, including Chinatown and Pershing Square. 



To all my single ladies: 
Is it kosher to post an ad for single girlfriends? Because I'm in deep need of one...or five. The summer is sadly winding down and my ration of single girlfriends is now currently nonexistent. It seems like EVERYONE is in a relationship and I just don't know what to do with myself besides gag silently in the corner. It's actually gotten to the point where I want to throw rocks at the next couple I see so much as smile at each other.

On another note, if things do magically turn around and I find myself with a snuggle buddy this winter, I'm totally getting this burrito pillow.

Beat the heat: 
This is officially the first full summer that I've been in in L.A. and man, is it HOT! To relieve myself from the endless sweating in my non-air-conditioned apartment, here's a list of gloriously wonderful L.A. things to do this season:

1. Jazz at LACMA: Every Friday until August 30th, LACMA will have jazz concerts on their pavilion.  And once you're done listening to these artists, you can roam around the museum until 11pm for free! It's a perfect mixture of art, music, and gorgeous scenery— all of my favorite things.



2. Hollywood Bowl:
Have you been to a Hollywood Bowl concert yet? I just bought tickets to Chicago: The Musical, and couldn't be more excited. Next stop: Pantages.

3. Yamashiro Farmers Market on Thursdays: Every Thursday from April to September, this special farmers market is open to the public. They always have a great selection of food trucks and vendors that sell local produce, baked goods, clothing, accessories, and more food. What is more, the view is breathtaking at night and the hotel and restaurant even has a poolside lounge where you can order drinks and gaze at the moon.

4. Outdoor theaters: I have been trying for what seems like the last two months to get tickets to Cinespia and Oscar Outdoors and failing miserably. Tickets are a hot commodity and are sold out at least a week in advance for Cinespia and pretty much the rest of the summer for Oscar Outdoors. Can someone just please let me in to see Some Like it Hot with my picnic blanket and a glass of wine? A handsome hunk wouldn't hurt either...

5. Shakespeare in the Park: Also on my to-do list, these weekly plays are free and put on in Griffith Park's Old Zoo.

Things like this make me love L.A. so much...






Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dear Guy Who Thought I was Pregnant

Photo by Wikimedia Commons



Throwback Thursday to when I wrote this when I was working as a hostess at a restaurant about a year ago. Obviously, I was very angry. Good times. 

Dear Guy Who Thought I was Pregnant,

Guess what? I'm not. No, I am not having a boy or a girl, because I am in fact having nothing. Nothing is coming out of my vagina; if anything I am the exact opposite of pregnant. But, stranger who so graciously asked me this at a bar, let me clue you in on the number one rule that you should never say to girls and women in general: DO NOT ASK IF SHE IS PREGNANT!

They should forbid people from asking women if they are pregnant or not, seriously it should be a fucking law. It's really simple guys- if you aren't sure, then DON'T ASK. Unless she has a very profound, very distinguished baby bump, or unless she looks like she is so prego she is about to have an eggo right then and there any second, then don't ask! I really can't stress it enough.

In what world do strangers think that they can just ask someone that they have never had a conversation with before and ask if they are having a baby? Is that the new conversation starter that I wasn't aware of? Do I have "Please ask me something personal about my life" written on my forehead? I don't understand the logic, I really don't.

Now, if you already did make this egregious mistake (which you did) and already asked her and she responds with "no," please do not come up with the delightful follow-up question: "Really?" As if she is lying to you. Nope, I actually like to pretend that I am not pregnant when I really am all the time, so please second guess my already firm answer that no, I am indeed not pregnant.

After that, nothing could ever redeem you from ever being the most moronic asshole that has ever walked across the face of this earth. You have made your bed. Please lie in it and never wake up. I am livid. I am also 22, recently graduated and therefore in no position to raise or have a baby, thank you for asking. Oh yeah, and I am not overweight and am considered at the normal BMI for my height and age. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Not to mention that I haven't even grazed the surface of self-image issues and societal female objectification yet. Guys think it's funny when they mistake a girl as being pregnant when it is anything but. To that girl it is an automatic trigger to question her weight and appearance and all of her insecurities. You wonder why so many girls have weight issues, or are anorexic or bulimic, but society pins them to be that way because of the enormous pressure that they put on women to be nothing less than perfect.

You can say that it's the same for guys, but it really isn't. It isn't even close. Men can't be pregnant– that isn't the same insult for them. They don't have to go through being insecure about their body when they are pregnant, or go through the battle of losing weight after the baby, or getting rid of stretch marks. They will never understand what that's like for women; their bodies are simply not the same. So while this may seem like a joke to you, and that I am the one that is taking it all too seriously, I want you to understand that this is a big deal to me. That that one question has served to ruin my entire night and it wasn't even worth it. I know that.

All in all, just don't ever ask girls if they are pregnant again. Just don't .You will be saving a lot of women out there a lot of hissy fits, meltdowns and possibly even eating disorders if you not ask. Also, you are not welcome in this bar establishment ever again– you imbecile.

Sincerely,
Not Pregnant