It’s Merry Christmas, Not Happy Holidays

Merry Chrismas Ya Filthy Animal - Home Alone

I just need to go on a mini holiday rant right now. I know I’m such a Scrooge but I just need to get something off my chest.

Every December, I always have at least one or two people share a photo of Santa Claus and a Christmas tree with the words “It’s Merry Christmas, NOT Happy Holidays” plastered on it. (And of course the word “not” is in all caps so the creator of the image can really get his point across.) I cannot help but laugh every time it comes across my news feed. It makes me want to immediately go to the person’s page and wish them Happy Holidays! Or at least comment on the photo saying, “Really? Who cares?!”

I just do not get the whole Merry Christmas, not happy holidays thing. Have these people not heard of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s? These are all holidays happening this December (technically January for New Year’s but we all know people only care about the Eve). That’s why it’s called the HOLIDAY season. It’s not some personal attack on your precious HOLIDAY! See! Christmas is a holiday. So wishing you a Happy Holiday isn’t even incorrect.

Just because Christmas is the most prominent holiday, with it being shoved down our throats before we’ve even had a chance to take off our Halloween costumes off, doesn’t make it the ONLY holiday.

Happy_Holidays_cartoon

I am sure these are the same people who believe in the fictitious war on Christmas.

ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas, Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, Santa Claus closing the show at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Those are just a few events off the top of my head that showcase your precious Christmas. Acknowledging the existence of other holidays doesn’t take anything away from Christmas. It’s simply stating a face. This is the holiday season cause there are a ton of holidays happening this month.

Let me say that I have no tolerance for complaining on either sides. If you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, another December holiday, or skip the festivities entirely but get annoyed and complain when a cashier wishes you a Merry Christmas, you have entirely too much time on your hands. A cashier could wish me a Happy Festivus and do you know what I would do? Say, “Thanks, you too,” take my packages, and be on my merry way. Why? Because it does not matter! It genuinely does not matter what greeting a cashier chooses to use when they are just trying to be nice. It does not matter what type of wording a store manager chooses to use in signage or decorations in their store. It. Does. Not. Matter.

If you find yourself wanting to cause a storm cause a banner at the supermarket says “Happy Holidays” or if you want to speak to a manager because a cashier wished you a Merry Christmas, I need you to do something for me. I need you to go home, drink some tea, sit down, and reevaluate all of your life choices. Because clearly somewhere along the way things got messed up.

And I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

 

Things to Do When You Have a Paper Due

I don't procrastinate, I just do things later

I wasn’t lying when I said you should be expecting this article. I always keep my promises. Unless those promises are made to myself. Since 2009 I’ve been trying to give up diet soda and junk food. I am guzzling a diet Pepsi and eating chocolate chip cookies while I write this post in 2014. I also made a promise to myself that when I started school again I would be on top of my shit. I would do all the readings. I wouldn’t wait until the night before to do an assignment. That promise ended the second I read through the syllabus of each class and saw all the readings/work I had ahead of me. I laughed and laughed and then went to sleep instead of reading, immediately breaking my promise.

I have convinced myself that I work better under pressure. I can’t possibly do an assignment weeks before it’s due. It wouldn’t be right. I wouldn’t be giving the teacher my best work. I fully recognize that this is probably all bullshit and I would be preventing myself a lot of stress if I did work in a timely fashion, but I just can’t do it. It’s how I survived and graduated undergrad and it will be how I survive and graduate from grad school.

When I have a paper due, I tend to find a million and one other things to do instead of actually working on the paper. And it’s always the most ridiculous stuff. I legit have an excel sheet of every movie I’ve ever seen that I worked on when I had a paper due once. (Random Note: That excel sheet made me realize just how many ridiculous/cheesy movies I’ve watched in my life.) So if you have a paper due here a few things that just NEED to be done and then you can buckle down and start writing.

1. Stare at this gif until you fall asleep.
Tom Hiddleston
Actually, let this entire page lull you to sleep. When you wake up you’ll be refreshed and ready to write that paper. That’s it! You just need a little Tom Hiddleston and sleep.

2. Color coordinate your entire wardrobe.
Clueless Closet Gif
What the hell is a red dress doing with a green top? It’s absurd and needs to be fixed immediately.

3. Alphabetize every single book and DVD you own.
Belle Book Shelving
Who can concentrate on a paper when Mean Girls is shelved BEFORE Home Alone?

4. Watch an entire TV show on Netflix.

Oh, Paul Rudd. You know so little.

Oh, Paul Rudd. You know so little.

Actually watch several TV shows on Netflix. From Gilmore Girls to Breaking Bad, there are too many great shows on Netflix to spend time doing a paper.

5. Drink some a lot of wine.
drinking wine
That’s exactly what your paper needs. The clarity that comes with a little a lot of alcohol.

6. Eat some food.
Elf Eating Junk Food
Your body needs nourishment so it can work. Preferably nourishment in the greasy/unhealthy department.

7. Exercise. HAHA, just kidding. Go to sleep.
ariel sleeping gif
Sure, you just slept after staring at Tom Hiddleston, but one can never sleep enough. Besides, the food and wine has made you tired.

8. Clean your apartment.
mrs. doubtfire cleaning gif
This is the one time when cleaning will actually seem favorable to your other options.

9. Rearrange your furniture.

Friends Pivot gif

Let’s hope your rearranging experience doesn’t involve someone shouting PIVOT!

You probably noticed after cleaning your entire place that the couch would look a lot better up against the wall. Better fix that now or you’ll never be able to concentrate on that paper.

10. Get lost on the internet.
Big Bang Theory I need Help
You started off with the best of intentions. You went on the computer real fast just to check your Facebook. Maybe you were even planning to do some research for your paper. But one way or another you lost your way. Now you are stuck in that portal of hell known as “YouTube Related Videos.”

Now that you’ve successfully gone through all the internet has to offer and your apartment is organized from top to bottom, you’re ready to write that paper. It’s a good thing you got so much sleep cause you’ll have to pull an all-nighter  to get it done in time. It’s OK. Just keep telling yourself this is the only way you can do your best work.

Reasons Why I’m the Worst!

I'm the worst

Just know that the above title is said with an “ugh” in front of it and the “o” in worst is stretched out as long as my vocal cords will allow. Because, “Ugh, I really am the absolute woooooorst!”

I fully condone people liking themselves. Way too many people struggle with insecurities that it’s nice to hear someone proclaim “I’m awesome.” But none of us are perfect, no matter how amazing things may seem on the surface. And sometimes we need to admit that we’re the worst!

The number one reason I am the worst? I have been severely neglecting this blog. Really badly. I haven’t posted in well over a month. I haven’t had time to catch up on any of the awesome blogs I follow. I can start spewing a million and one excuses (and they are some pretty good excuses: four classes with tons of homework, working two jobs, etc.) but it still doesn’t change the fact that I am the worst!

I apologize for the lack of activity lately. I am hoping to change that. And I do have a ton of finals and papers coming up which means my procrastinating ways will give me a lot of free time. Expect a post titled “Things to Do When You Should Be Writing a Paper” within the next few weeks.

Aside from the obvious lack of posting the last month or so, here are a few other things that make me the absolute wooorst!

1. I will laugh hysterically if I see you fall. Unless you are clearly injured badly, I will be on the floor with you cracking up. It doesn’t matter who you are. In fact, if you’re a small child, I may laugh harder. My sister has a video of my 2-year-old nephew running towards something excitedly and then falling on his ass. I have watched this video more times than I care to admit and it is never not funny!

2. I find it annoying when people cough, and do not get me started on when they clear their throat. I know this makes me an asshole. People cough. They may have something stuck in their throat. They may have a cold. No matter the reason, they should be able to cough without judgment. That’s why when someone is having a coughing fit right next to me, I don’t say anything (I’m not THAT much of an asshole). But just know that I’m internally screaming.

3. I have 5 Justin Bieber songs, 3 Paris Hilton songs, 2 Lindsay Lohan songs, and 1 Jennifer Love Hewitt song on my iPod. I don’t really think this needs any other explanation.

4. I have never seen a single Star Wars or Godfather movie! I know, blasphemous!

5. I absolutely hate chocolate covered pretzels. Anytime I say this to someone they look at me like I’m insane. And maybe I am. Maybe I’m missing something. But to me, chocolate covered pretzels are in the same category as chocolate covered crickets: both are an abomination and need to be stopped.

6. I am the worst procrastinator in the world. As of right now I still have 5 short essays, a 6-10 page paper with a presentation, a 3 page paper, a cataloging project, and a website with 4 distinct pages due before the end of the semester. Want to know what I’ve done so far? I’ve created to-do lists/outlines with the things I need to do. That’s it. I create these lists and then decide I’ve done enough work for the day. Definitely be on the lookout for that “Things to Do When a Paper’s Due” article any day now.

 

The Eight Stages of Online Dating

online dating

Ah, online dating. If you are single in your twenties these days, either you have tried online dating, have thought about online dating, or been harassed by friends and family members because you aren’t trying online dating. Tinder, OK Cupid, Match, Plenty of Fish (Pof if you’re in the know). The possibilities are endless. If you find yourself single for a significant amount of time, odds are you’ll dabble into online dating a bit.

Be prepared! It’s a dark, scary road. Here are the eight stages you should expect to experience.

1. Avoidance – When you are single, it’s inevitable that people will start suggesting online dating to you. “If you’re single, what else are you doing with your time? How could you not be using every means possible to find a significant other?” But you know better! You’ve seen enough SVU episodes to know how this ends. You don’t want your 15 minutes of fame to come because you were murdered by the guy you met on Plenty of Fish. Besides you have this all figured out. You’ll continue going through your daily routine falling flat on your face every five minutes. Eventually you’ll fall into the arms of a hot stranger. Right?!! That’s what the movies keep telling you will happen!

2. Disbelief – After people suggest you should try online dating, they will no doubt tell you about a success story. It’s usually their sister’s brother’s aunt’s uncle’s dog’s friend who knows someone who knows someone who met her husband online. This online married couple is probably best friends with the married couple who started out as a one night stand. Do these happily married couples who met online really exist? You are highly skeptical.

3. Reluctance – Eventually you cave. Maybe you spend one too many nights in your bed watching Netflix and eating a whole pizza pie by yourself. You think, “It would be nice to order TWO pizza pies and have someone I can be fat with.” So you create an account on Ok Cupid, Plenty of Fish, or one of the other free online dating sites. Match and eHarmony can suck it with their fees!

4. Intrigue – So you finally join the online dating world but still have a lot of doubt. There is no way you’ll actually find someone. Then it happens. You get a message and it’s grammatically correct and actually has some substance. You check out his profile and not only is he cute but he seems relatively normal and intelligent. Could it be? Have you found someone normal and attractive online? After an hour-long deliberation on what to say, which usually involves friends and wine, you message him back.

5. Disgust – By now you’ve gone on a few dates. Mr. Seems Normal and Sends Interesting Messages turned out to be a total bust. Seems that people aren’t always what they appear to be on the Internet. Who knew? If you get one more message from a guy explicitly telling you the things he’d love to do to you, you are going to throw your laptop out the window!

6. Questioning – There will come a point where you start to question who you are as a person. You come to the conclusion that everyone on the online dating site is insane. So, wouldn’t that also make you insane? You think, “OMG, I must be just as crazy as these wackos. There are no normal people on this site, myself included!”

7. Deletion – After your hundredth creepy email, you give up! This whole online dating thing is doing more harm than good. The guys disgust you and then you start feeling disgusting about yourself. This isn’t giving up. This taking back your life. You come to the conclusion that online dating is the worst.

8. Withdrawal – So you delete your account and for a while you are doing fine! You’ll find someone on your own time. You don’t need the Internet to help. But eventually thoughts will start to creep into the back of your mind. “Meeting people in real life is damn near impossible.” “Maybe not EVERYONE on the Internet is crazy. I just need to be more selective in who I talk to.” So you cave once again and join the world of online dating vowing that this time it will be different.

*Spoiler: It’s not different. Be prepared to continuously repeat stages 3-8.

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!