Don’t Come into My House and Expect to Live

spider-house-fire

“It’s bad luck to kill spiders.”

“If I see a bug in my house, I’ll catch it so I can let it free outside.”

Just shut up! Take that hippie, we’re all God’s creatures, peace-loving nonsense somewhere else. Bugs are proof that the devil is real! “But Liz, many bugs are a vital part of our ecosystem.” Again, shut it!

The other night I was under attack. So normally I’m an old lady and I am in bed by 10 and asleep by 11. This particular night I stayed up late finishing up my book. It was one of those “I only have four chapters left, why stop now?” kind of nights. So it was 12:30 a.m. when I was finally ready to get some sleep. I left my bedroom and walked into my living room heading for the bathroom. I made it about two steps into the living room before I was stopped dead in my tracks. There was a bug about the size of my thumb chilling on my floor next to my couch. (I don’t have large hands. They are average-sized for someone who is 5’5. So while my thumb isn’t big for my hand, it’s fucking ginormous for a tiny creature chilling in my apartment.)

I immediately went into panic mode because a) bugs are my archnemesis, b) I never know how to properly deal with them, and c) I had no idea what kind of bug it was, which was the scariest thing of all. It was half cockroach, half praying mantis, and 100% devil spawn!

I geared up for battle. I grabbed some windex to slow the bastard down and put on socks and sneakers to squash him to death. I sprayed him with windex which didn’t do much. He just slid under the couch leaving me to go into full-on panic mode. Now, I can’t find the fucker. I pushed my couch this way and that but he didn’t come out. I started to fear that he slipped into the couch and I’d need to burn it. FINALLY, after pushing my couch all the way to the wall (at least my arms got a work out!), I saw him. I tossed away the windex since that didn’t do anything anyway and stomped on the little thing. I did the stomp and twist to make sure he’s really dead. If any of you are thinking, “Aw, poor guy,” again I have to tell you to shut it! This bitch came into my house uninvited!

So now he’s dead and in the garbage. My heart rate was starting to return back to normal. I was still freaking out a bit and planned do to a little Googling before I went to sleep to figure out what kind of bug it was.

So I lay down in my comfy bed, ready to finally get some rest. Then I saw it in the corner of my eye. There was another bug in my bed. IN MY BED! Is nothing sacred? This little shit was laying right next to my pillow. (To every person who said “Maybe he just wanted to keep you company” when you were told this story, I want to punch you in the face!) I shot out of bed and flailed around like I was on fire. I had no idea how to even kill this one. I didn’t want to do the whole sneaker and squash. He was on my bed. My sneakers walk on dirty floors all the time. Not a good combination.

I grabbed the hardest object on my bed: a textbook. (Since I started school, I sleep with my textbooks every night with all the intentions to finally do some work but then I wind up playing Candy Crush and falling asleep.) So I squish this new little bastard in between my pillow and my textbook. It works. He dies. The $100 textbook is finally put to good use!

That right there is the biggest con to living alone! That is the number one reason I would consider marrying someone. So he can kill any critter that dares to come into my house. Any potential male suitors, if you’re afraid of bugs, please walk away now. It won’t work. It’s not me, it’s you.

Clearly, I didn’t sleep in my house that night. I headed over to my sister’s place and started doing some research on what kind of bug had the audacity to come into my house not once, but twice! Turns out it was a cricket. A fucking cricket! That made me just feel like an asshole. Did I really go 28-years without knowing what a cricket looks like? “But Liz, haven’t you ever seen Pinocchio?” Yes I have. But I did not realize that in real life Jiminy Cricket is something out of a nightmare.

So on top of working, going to school, and now taking on a second job (apparently I have become a sadist who never wants to sleep again), I have been dealing with an army of crickets in my apartment.

The opening where we believe they have been entering has been closed up. The apartment has also been fogged out twice. If I still see another cricket in my house after all this, I may catch it and bring it in for research. Clearly, I have discovered some new species of bionic crickets.

What They Don’t Tell You When You Lose Someone

harry potter - the ones who love us never really leave usI am going to apologize in advance for the tone of today’s blog. I know you guys are used to my humorous posts that are never serious, but I just cannot provide you with that today. Today is the one year anniversary of my grandmother’s death. Losing her was the hardest thing I ever had to deal with. My grandmother wasn’t just the “little old lady handing out butterscotch candies from her purse” type. She was my favorite person in the entire world. My best friend. Whether something good or bad happened, she was the first person I would want to talk to. She was extraordinary. I credit so much of who I am today to her.

When she passed away last year after an almost year long battle with lung cancer, I was devastated. I didn’t know how to deal with it and I am still trying to figure it out. So many people were there to give me words of condolences. And while their words didn’t succeed in making me feel better, it was nice to know I had people there for me.

But no one could really prepare me for what I’d go through dealing with the death of my grandmother.

No one told me that my anxiety would get worse than it’s ever been before. That I would constantly think of things to agonize over as though my brain were trying to distract me from the real issues I had to deal with.

No one told me just how much I would struggle with my own faith. I am not a religious person and have never been sure of what happens when someone passes. But after my grandmother’s death, it was all I could think about. I envy people who truly believe that she is in a better place.

No one told me how true Anya’s fruit punch speech from Buffy is. Any new recipe I ever try, my grandmother won’t be able to be a taste tester. She’ll never be able to watch another episode of Downton Abbey.

No one told me that I will get these urges where I want to talk about my grandmother constantly but never actually have the nerve to bring her up.

No one told me that the first time I go almost a whole day without thinking about my grandmother, I would feel incredibly guilty.

No one told me that I’d soon realize going a whole day without thinking about my grandmother is impossible. She was so much a part of my life that it’s difficult for her not to pop up in my head eventually.

No one told me how much I would miss hearing her laugh. That the pain from missing her would be almost unbearable at times.

No one told me that even now I will be doing fine and then all of a sudden find myself crying.

No one told me that the first year after her death would be the longest year of my life.

And lastly, no one told me that I’d miss her just as much, if not more, a year later. The death of my grandmother is something I will never get over. Sure I’ve learned to live with it. I’ve laughed. I’ve had fun. I’ve enjoyed life. But there will always be something missing that can never be replaced.

 

Parents, Please Keep Banning Books

Doctor who - books best weapons in the world

If you ask me, books are the greatest invention in the world! I can’t think of a better way to unwind from a long day than curling up with a good book. When people tell me they don’t like reading, I’m genuinely confused. That’s like saying you don’t like food. Sure, you may not like certain foods, but you taste things here and there to see what you like and don’t like. I mean if you can dream it, it’s probably been written about. Every topic, every theme, every character, every subject. The varieties of books are endless! If you don’t like reading, you just haven’t found something you like yet.

Now taking into account how much I love books and reading, I bet you can imagine how I feel about banning books. Spoiler: I think it’s ridiculous. I just do not understand it. So you don’t like the content in a book. It makes you uncomfortable. You know what you do? Don’t read it! Don’t buy the book!

And it’s always parents trying to ban books because the topic is “taboo”. I don’t want to be judgmental but I know exactly what type of people these parents are. They are the same family who give out floss and toothbrushes on Halloween. Translation: They are fun suckers. They suck all the fun out of life.

“If my children read about S-E-X (said in a hissy whisper) and drug use, they’ll drop out of school, become prostitutes, and never make anything of their lives!” Cause naturally that’s how these things work. Those bookworms; degenerates of society. But here’s a question: Are you just too lazy to discuss things like sex and drugs and mental illness to your children? These are serious real world issues and almost everyone will deal with at least one, if not all, in their lifetime. Do you think by banning a book that has the gall to talk about masturbation you will somehow guard your child? “If they don’t read it, they’ll never know what it is!”

And I realize these are all rhetorical questions. I doubt anyone reading this is the type to ban books. If you are a book banner, we can’t be friends. Sorry, but I already don’t like you.

However, after all that rambling and bitching about people who ban books, I have to say I somewhat support it. Parents, keep banning books. Do you know what you’re doing when you challenge a book and proclaim that young kids shouldn’t be reading it? You’re making it enticing. Explicitly tell a young person they can’t do something and they’ll want to do that exact thing you said they shouldn’t do. So ban more books so people will have more books they have to read, even if it’s just to piss off their parents.The best way to ensure a teenager will do something is by forbidding them to do it.

In honor of Banned Books Week and because I’m a rebel without a cause, here are some of my favorite books that are challenged often in America.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner – You have a very serious subject (the death of a mother) and you try to throw in some humor? For shame!

Forever by Judy Blume – The main characters do “it”. And they are only teenagers! Again, for shame!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Woah, woah, woah. A society that oppresses women and strips them of all their rights? Where did Margaret Atwood come up with such a far-fetched idea?

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Witchcraft! Have you ever seen the documentary Jesus Camp? When it’s declared that Harry Potter should be burned at the stake, I didn’t know whether I should be laughing hysterically or be completely terrified?

1984 by George Orwell – A book about a future where people are watched and controlled every second. Can’t have that! Let’s control the masses and make sure they don’t ever read this book. Makes sense.

So, you little rebel readers*, what’s your favorite frequently banned book?

*From here on out Rebel Readers will be the unofficial name for all those who read my blog!

10 Lessons for People in their Late Twenties

keep your chin up, there will be happiness again

I’ve been thinking a lot about myself and a bunch of other people I’ve come across in their late twenties. I feel as though we are always looking for someone to reassure us and let us know that everything is going to be OK. Even if you may have everything all together on the surface, your twenties are a really confusing time. There is so much going on and you never feel as though you have it all figured out.

Here’s some advice I’d to give to everyone in their late twenties who sees thirty slowly creeping up and still hasn’t really gotten it all figured out.

Make time for your friends. Once you’re done with school, making friends is really hard. You hear this all the time but don’t realize just how true it is until you’re done. So cherish the friends that you do have. Sure life is crazy and hectic but make time for them. Even if it’s just meeting up once a month for coffee.

Celebrate your birthday. Birthdays can be rough as you get older. They are no longer the week-long extravaganza they once were. As you start getting closer and closer to thirty, you may think about skipping birthdays altogether. Don’t! Birthdays are still a cause for celebration. You made it through another year alive! That’s reason to celebrate. Everyone deserves to be sung “Happy Birthday” to and a huge piece of cake on their birthday.

Don’t let your age prevent you from making a decision. I feel as though I’ve started to do a lot more math now that I’m in my late twenties. “So if I start grad school now at this age and it takes me two years to graduate, I’ll be this age when I’m done.” You have to remember that you’re never too old to do something or start something new. Never went to college and feel as though you’re too old now? Please! When I was getting my bachelor’s, there were people in their fifties in my class. Scared to break up with your significant other because then you’ll have to start the whole dating process over again and (GASP!) may not get married until you’re in your thirties? That’s a horrible reason to stay in a relationship. Take a chance. No matter what it is you want to do. Trust me, 50-year-old you will be happy that 28-year-old you took a chance when you did.

Get a hobby or interest. And no, this isn’t so you have something to say when a date asks what you like to do for fun. Do this for yourself. When you spend a lot of time at work, life can get pretty monotonous. Find something that you love to do and go with it! Even if you only get to do it during the weekends, it will still be rewarding to do something because you want to and not because you have to.

Exercise. I don’t enjoy exercising. No body does. If you enjoy exercising, I already don’t like you and want to throw a cake at your face. But I do realize that exercising is a necessary evil. Kind of like going to the dentist. We don’t enjoy it but we know we must endure it so things will stay put. You’re only in your late twenties but you have already noticed a few things slowing down. “I could have sworn it only used to take me five minutes to walk to this store.” Age be damned! You’re only as young as you feel. But if you spend every waking moment sitting and staring at a screen, you’re going to start to feel like a geriatric before long. I’m not telling you to turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger, but take the stairs instead of the elevator. Your body will thank you.

You’re not a loser for staying home on a Friday or Saturday night. Who made this rule that the weekends are made for turning it up? (I hate myself a little for using that term.) Sorry, I’m not buying it. Sure I enjoy going out with my friends but staying home with Netflix and a book is just as enjoyable. Sometimes it’s even more fun. Secretly, when you were younger, I bet you enjoyed staying home just as much but you also had this irrational fear of missing out on something so you went out anyway. Screw that! I worked all week. If I have no plans set for Friday or Saturday, I am curling up in my bed and catching up on some much needed rest.

Eat the cupcake. So I know I just encouraged you to exercise and I still stand by that. I also think that eating vegetables and fruit is important. They actually can be really delicious and they’re super healthy. However, a diet consisting solely of green items is no way to live your life. You can’t be happy. Those people who claim they haven’t eaten a french fry in five years make me want to cry. Like who chooses to live like that? Eating a cupcake or two or three everyone once in awhile is not going to kill you.

Stop comparing yourself to other people. Ah Facebook, you little bastard. If you’re a mom sitting at home with a screaming infant and see pictures of friends enjoying a night out, you may start longing for a time when the highlight of your day wasn’t when a tiny human burped. If you’re a single gal sitting at home on a Friday night and see yet another friend change their relationship status to engaged, you may be temped to grab a pint of ice cream and cry how you’ll be forever alone. We have to stop comparing our lives to where other people our age are right now. Or even worse, where the people who are younger than us are! Everyone takes a different path in life. And you are really doing it all wrong if you’re comparing yourself to another person’s life based solely on their social media. Don’t you know that’s just the highlight reel? No matter how perfect or put together a person may seem, we are all struggling with something. Worry about your own life and what you want to do with it. Don’t use someone else as a benchmark.

Forget about where you thought you’d be at this age. When I was eight-years-old, I thought I’d get engaged at 24, married at 26, and have my first child at 28. When I was eight, I also wrote a report on New York State and wrote that it consisted of the five boroughs only (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island) and the state capital, Albany. That’s it. That’s the whole of New York. What do both of these stories show? That eight-year-old me was a fucking idiot. And ya know what? Eight-year-old you was a fucking idiot as well. Don’t base your life now on how you imagined it would be before you even hit puberty. That little asshole knew nothing about the real world and how hard it can be.

Don’t worry that you don’t have it all figured out. I have this theory on why your twenties are probably the most ridiculously nerve-wracking ten years of your life and why we probably shouldn’t be stressing so much. There is always this constant fear that things aren’t working out. That we don’t have it figured out. You have this great job and then you get fired. You’re in a great relationship and then it starts to fizzle. It seems like once your life is settling into place, you’re thrown a curve ball. But the thing is, that’s life in general. Life is always going to be messy and full of surprises. It’s not meant to be all figured out into a nice package. That’s something we still believe now. We think if we just get that ring, get that job, have that baby, move to that place, everything will be fine. Once you’re in your thirties, you stop believing that nonsense and start living life as it is. At least that’s what I’m hoping for anyway when I turn the big 3-0.

Well that was a mouthful. If you made it all the way to the end, you’re awesome!

Returning to School After a Long Break

So despite all my bitching about school and student loans, I’ve returned to school this fall. I’m getting my master’s in Library and Information Science. It’s still not something that’s going to make me a ton of money but it’s something I’m going to enjoy doing. And in the end, I’ve decided that’s a lot more important.

I have not been in school since the fall of 2009. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to sit in a classroom and deal with homework. It’s been quite an adjustment. Here are just a few of the things I’ve had to deal with.

Seeing all the undergrads walking around campus.
new girl - there are youth everywhere
OK, I get these kids are young. But I’m only 28, they can’t be THAT much younger than me. Why do so many of them look like they could be in middle school? And don’t get me started on some of the underclassmen that gave me a cougar-like reaction.

Realizing that the price of textbooks hasn’t gone down a penny.
uncle jesse - full house - why am i not surprised
I’m taking four classes and each class requires two textbooks. There goes an entire month’s paycheck on books. No it’s cool, I didn’t need to eat or anything this month.

Giving up on eating solid meals. 
parks and recs - avoid salad
I don’t have a healthy diet on a regular schedule. Add 30-35 hours of work and four grad school classes and it’s chocolate and ice cream and whatever else I can easily stuff down my throat for the rest of the semester. I have lost 4 four pounds since class started so take that all you diet gurus!

Finding out that teachers still make you do oral presentations. 
friends - phoebe - stop tormenting me
My anxiety can’t handle this! Forcing a student to do a presentation in front of the whole class should be illegal. I am already having a panic attack over a presentation I need to do in December. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on some Klonopin? I’m gonna need it.

Getting your total bill for the semester.
It's always sunny - cash from my money tree
So my school makes you fill out the FAFSA form for financial aid. I fill it out and then call a week later to find out when it would be processed and when I could find out if I’ll get anything. I’m swiftly told that as a grad student I’m not eligible for any financial aid. It gets better. I am approved for student loans! Yay! But as a grad student the gov’t will not take care of any of the interest like they did while I was an undergrad. All that’s my responsibility. Lovely!

 Looking at the assignments on the class syllabus. 
pretty little liars - i want to enjoy my life again
Oh no, that’s cool. I actually wanted to live in the library from now until December. Thanks for making that dream a reality!

Realizing that you’ve voluntarily signed yourself up for two more years of schooling. 
britney spears - what the hell was i thinking
Oh God, what have I done?

Remembering that in the end it will all be worth it. 
Harry potter - you're gonna suffer but be happy

Fifteen Things I Hope I’m Never Too Old For

Barney Stinson - I'm too old for this

So it seems that every other day I read some new article addressing all the things I need to give up now that I’m in my late twenties and “soooo old!” According to this lady, last year when I turned 27, I should have given up all forms of fun ever.

That linked article is a bit ridiculous but there are some valid things I could never imagine doing again at my age. True story: When I was about 19, my friend and I stayed up all night in the city. Then we went to Six Flags all day without any sleep. You couldn’t pay me to do that again. That’s torture. If you want to know all my darkest secrets, just threaten me with a full day of Six Flags without any sleep. I’d give up my entire family to avoid that.

But there are a lot of things I never want to give up. Ever! I wanna be that 80-year-old going to the midnight screening of the latest superhero movie. I’ll be damned if some article is going to tell me I’m too old for that. Here are some things that I hope I’m never too old for.

1. Watching cartoons. And not just because some child I’m with is forcing me to.

2. Dancing and singing like a maniac whenever Nsync comes on the radio.

3. Playing in the snow. The snow can get annoying as you get older. (Why must I have crappy tires that cause my car to get stuck every single snowstorm?) But snow can also be a lot of fun and I hope I never forget that.

4. Running out of my house with cash in hand when I hear the ice cream truck outside.

5. Disney movies.

6. Playing with legos or Barbies. Those are the two toys we never grow out of.

7. Midnight screenings of my favorite movies.

8. Reading children’s and young adult books.

9. Always eating a giant slice of cake or huge cupcake for my birthday. Complete with icing and sprinkles.

10. Sleepovers. Yep, I still have sleepovers with my best friends!

11. Wearing whatever the hell I want. Between work and the 500 different weddings/showers I’m always going to, it seems like I am constantly adhering to some sort of dress code. When I don’t have to, I will be wearing whatever I want and I’ll be damned if someone is going to tell me I’m “too old” to be wearing that.

12. Dressing up for Halloween and enjoying an unnatural amount of candy.

13. Starting a new adventure. Whether it be learning a new language, moving to a new place, or starting a new job, I hope I never use my age as the main factor for not doing something.

14. Sleeping as late as I want when I have nothing planned for the day.

15. And lastly, I hope I am never so old that I’ll listen to some article telling me what I can and cannot do at my age!

So, what are some things you never want to be too old for?

If You Don’t Want Nude Photos Leaked, Don’t Take Nude Photos

Gillian Anderson - Media turns women into virgins or whores

If you don’t want your nude photos shown all over the internet, don’t take nude photos. If you don’t want to get raped, don’t wear revealing clothing. If you don’t want your identity stolen, don’t use credit cards. If you don’t want to get robbed, don’t buy things. If you don’t want to get electrocuted, don’t have any electronics. If you don’t want to get punched in the face, don’t have a face.

Enough! Enough with victim blaming, no matter the crime. If your first response to the photo leak was to shout that people shouldn’t take naked photos, just stop! If your first response was to proclaim how you never have and never will take nude photos, congratulations! Would you and your high horse like a cookie?

Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe this is a concept that some people can’t understand but where I come from, when a crime is committed the person to blame is the criminal who committed said crime.

But sadly we leave in a society where that’s not always the case, especially when the crime is of a sexual nature. People will bend over backwards to find reasons the victims brought it upon themselves.

In this case, these reasons are as follows: Those celebrities shouldn’t have taken the photos in the first place. They should have covered their faces. They were stupid for saving the photos on iCloud.

Now don’t get me wrong, that is some solid advice. This is a reminder for everyone that it is harder and harder to keep things private these days. This became big news because of the people it happened to but even us common folk get our private photos/videos leaked on the Internet. However, if your first and only response is one of those reasons and not that this is a gross violation of privacy and the person who hacked the photos is to blame, then you are part of the problem.

That should be the biggest and only problem about this photo leak: Privacy! The content of the photos should be a non-issue here. It’s just boobs, but to some people that seems to be the biggest problem. Because don’t forget ladies, the second you decide to take control of your own sexuality, you’re not doing what society expects of you. Your sexuality is a prop and commodity for others to do what they please with. You break away from that mold and expect to be condemned.

I am sick and tired of people being blamed when a crime is committed against them. Let’s stop with the victim shaming once and for all. The only person who should be blamed when a crime is committed is the criminal.

(Sorry that this post is kind of all over the place. I started school on Thursday so I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep. And I have to go to the dentist today so I have been extra cranky. I promise something upbeat for my next post!)