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A collection of ramblings, venting, and creative output.

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I haven't talked about this much before, but after everything that's been going on in the news I feel compelled to share my own story. I want to preface this by saying that it isn't my intention to derail the #MeToo movement, which is primarily about abuse and harassment perpetrated by men and women's solidarity and I hope that this doesn't come off as whataboutism since I'm a guy and one of my stories involves a girl.

 

I was sitting in chorus class in eighth grade. At this point in my education all of my friends had dropped out of chorus, so I was the last one left and I was pretty much a loner in there. In between songs, our teacher took a break and let the class talk to their friends for a few minutes. This girl who had previously always winked at me and brushed up against me creepily approached me, and started by touching my leg and then began working her way up until she was in my lap and touching my dick through my pants and humping me. She was saying all kinds of perverted things and gave me this evil look in her eye which told me that she knew exactly what she was doing and she was going to get away with it, and I tried to fight her off (slapping her and trying to throw her off of myself) but she wouldn't let go and kept laughing. She even tried to take off my pants. She was really strong despite her size, but looking back I think I was afraid to do any serious damage even in self-defense because she was a girl and it would look bad if I hurt her. Almost everyone else was busy doing their own thing and talking to their friends so they didn't even notice, except for a few people who were watching. They thought it was funny and didn't even try to help me. The part that hurt the most was that it was in broad daylight in a room full of people, and hardly anyone noticed and none of those who did cared or asked if I was okay.

 Our chorus class was a split block with a lunch break in between, so I had lunch at the same time as this girl and she followed me around for the next few days and tried to make me feel uncomfortable. It seemed like she was everywhere I looked, with those creepy eyes and that smile. She even said a few times that she had a surprise for me (thank god I never found out what it was). I ended up staying a few minutes after class one day and telling our teacher that this girl kept following me, and even though I was trying to keep it together I ended up crying but didn't reveal what really happened. My teacher could tell that there were more details I wasn't sharing with her but she didn't ask any questions. I ended up quitting chorus later that week because I "wasn't interested anymore," even though I loved to sing. I told my friends, my family, my teacher, and my guidance counselor the same thing and no one questioned it.

There were a few reasons why I never said anything. First of all, this girl was a special needs student so I thought people would excuse it by saying she didn't know any better and she didn't know what she was doing...which is complete bullshit, because I saw it in her eyes. She was one hundred percent aware of what was going on and lived for the fact that she made me feel embarrassed and powerless and would get away with it because she wouldn't be held accountable even if I were to say something. Also, male victims of sexual harassment tend to face ridicule and are made fun of for not wanting it. They're told that they must be gay for not wanting to get laid, and not that being gay is a bad thing but it's not a good label to have in middle school where kids will bully you for it. People already teased me for being fruity, and coming forward with this just would have made it worse. I also felt like what happened "wasn't bad enough," because I never got drugged and raped or anything like that. I've never called it assault and I've always considered it harassment, but truthfully I don't know where one draws the line. Even the online friends I've confided in about this thought the mental image of a special needs girl humping me in the middle of chorus class was funny and didn't seem too concerned about how I felt or thought it was that serious. And lastly, there were rumors that she herself was being raped by her grandfather and I didn't want her to get in trouble if she might have been an abuse victim herself.

 

The next time, I was 16 and working at my first job. It was at an amusement park and I operated kiddie rides. There were two new employees one day, and they set off my gaydar. They were in their early/mid 20s, and after their very first shift the taller, younger one came up behind me while I was clocking out for the day and whispered "Hey Hermione" right in my ear in this flop trying-to-be-seductive-but-coming-off-as-extremely-creepy deep voice. I probably jumped up several inches because it completely took me by surprise. When I did, I saw that he was winking. I replied "Hi" in a shaky voice because saying hi back is my natural reflex and then I bolted out of there. Once again, this was in a room full of people and nobody noticed.

I later started hearing rumors that they lived together and were secretly engaged, and even though they didn't talk about their relationship at work it was obvious that they were a couple. Since they ran the adult rides I barely saw them except for pre and post-shift (when they always stared at me, with looks I couldn't tell were dirty or aroused), until one day when my assigned ride was on the border between the kiddie and adult rides. The shorter, older one was operating the one right next to me, and after an hour of no interactions he walked over to the fence between our rides when our side of the park was empty and we had no customers. This was about two months after they started working there, and I was now newly 17. Between customers he would come over and ask me questions like how old I was, what school I went to, what some of my hobbies were, and finally officially introduced himself. We gossiped a little bit about the place too, and he told me that he trained our manager on his very first ride years ago and decided to come back this year since he moved back to the area.

The questions eventually turned to my sexuality, which were obviously making me uncomfortable especially since he had asked my age and knew I was a minor. The age of consent is 17 here, but I still felt like it was inappropriate for this 23 year old man I barely knew to be asking me this stuff especially since I was still in high school and looked like a little boy. He also said that all the other guys who worked there were ugly, including my friends, and that I was the only cute one. He kept leaving and going to the fence on the other side of his ride where his boyfriend was working (the one who whispered in my ear), and I got the feeling he was reporting my answers back to him and they were planning something. They kept looking over at me with lust in their eyes. Eventually he asked if I would want to come home with them after work and hang out (presumably for a threesome), and my heart started racing. I said no and he looked really offended and then asked why, and I said, with my voice shaking, "Don't you think I'm too young to be hanging out with you guys?" and he didn't really say anything else. Another one of my coworkers eventually came over to my ride while the guy was busy, and I told her everything while holding back tears. She wasn't that busy that day so she agreed to stay with me for the rest of my shift, because I knew he wouldn't try to talk to me again if someone else was there to hear it.

I wrote an email to our boss saying what happened, but I never had the courage to send it. It sat in my drafts for a few weeks, and I finally decided against it and deleted it. 17 is the age of consent so flirting with me was technically legal even if I was still a minor, and they backed off once I wasn't interested. Not to mention that I doubted my managers would even believe my story, since he had history with them and I was just a kid at my first job. I told my coworkers and it turned into the hot gossip at work (and again, treated like a joke rather than something that actually messed with me) but it never made its way to the managers, and a year later I found out that they tried the same thing with my friend and even told him that he was the only cute one and the rest of us were ugly. I told him what happened at the time, but he never confessed that they tried hooking up with him too until a text much later on. Apparently they messaged him on Facebook too, and he was still 16 at the time. We walked everywhere together at work after that, because we were both afraid of being alone around these guys. The worst part of this story is that I have the older guy's Twitter, and around the Kesha trial he was tweeting all of this stuff about how horrible Dr. Luke is despite being creepy and preying on underage boys himself. I never told my family about this because they're pretty homophobic, and I didn't want it to add to their negative image of gay people.

 

I still know all three of their names, both the girl from middle school and the gay couple from my old job, and I could expose them if I wanted but I have this weird desire to protect them from the consequences for some reason even though they deserve it. I'm fine now and don't have any long-term issues from either instance, but it sucks so much that I'm made to feel like I'm overreacting for this stuff because it's "not as bad" as other cases people have spoken up about. Whenever I think about them I tend to second-guess myself and wonder if my feelings are justified and that I'm not just being oversensitive or a drama queen. Anyway, I know this doesn't really have an inspiring message but I just needed to get it out because I'm sick of bottling it up. I don't need your pity nor your assessment of whether this was "real" sexual harassment.

  • I started off by heading to Madison Square Garden for a fan Q&A with Peter Capaldi. Some of the questions were really difficult to answer on the spot ("With everything going on in the world today, what advice would the Doctor give?"), but he did the best he could. I never got to know him as well as his predecessors because my interest in Doctor Who dipped around the time that he was cast, but I'm still going to miss him nevertheless. He was so charming and obviously thankful for all of the support from his fans. They played a video at the end of his fans all around the world thanking him for what he brought to the character and the show and you could tell how much it touched him.
  • I stuck around MSG for the Pacific Rim: Uprising panel and changed into my costume and got a closer seat while I waited for it to start. I forgot pretty much everything that happened in the first movie, but this was still one of the highlights of the day. They premiered the first trailer, which was mind-blowing, but not before warning us that they would drag us out of the arena United Airlines style if they caught us trying to leak anything on our phones. Then they played a hilarious homemade video from Charlie Day where he attempted to come up with jingles for the soundtrack. John Boyega was perfect and everything I hoped he would be in person. I feel like I have to change my set on here to something John-related, which might make him the first male AVI I've ever had.
  • After the Pacific Rim panel I went to the Javits Center and wandered aimlessly around the show floor for ages. There was so much stuff to see and even though I was up there for hours I still probably only saw a tenth of it. There are so many booths, exhibits, and vendors and it's impossible to fully appreciate everything unless you stay for the full four days. The coolest attractions were probably a dragon from Middle-Earth: Shadow of War that you could climb and take a picture riding it, a full Alex Ross gallery (one of my all-time favorite comic book artists), a very secretive Star Wars: The Last Jedi booth inside of a spaceship with previews of the new movie with a line that wrapped around the whole place, and Spider-Man and Justice League virtual reality games. There were so many posters, toys, collectibles, comics, books, clothes, and it was easily the most merchandise I've ever seen in one place at a time and that's saying a lot since I went to the Mall of America earlier in the year.
  • I ended up not doing any celeb photo ops, even though I really wanted to do at least one. My dad was kind of a party pooper at times which limited what I could do, so next year I'm definitely saving up money to go all four days with my own friends. He treated it like going to the mall and didn't want to go to Madison Square Garden with me for either of those panels and whenever I expressed interest in something he thought was too nerdy or weird he got judgey and kind of made me feel bad for being interested in it. He probably spent 75% of his time just sitting on a bench or on the floor. There's this company called YogaQuest that gives interactive yoga sessions where they tell a story and there are ones for Star Wars, Doctor Who, etc. and I was curious to see what it was like but he had no interest. In the future if I just go with my friends I won't have to worry about my family judging me for coming out of my shell which they tend to do, and it will be a lot more fun to be with my friends who are my own age and understand the con spirit. Also, this is totally a liberal event (some might even describe it as "SJW" even though I hate that term so much) and it was kind of awkward having my Trump supporter dad there. There were lectures for things like Black Lives Matter, feminism, LGBTQ representation, and mental health in comics which actually seemed super interesting but I missed out on all of it. I felt like I could have been much more uninhibited if I had just gone with school friends or gone alone and met up with online friends. I just want to be young and free and have fun without worrying about getting judged or having my dad try to call me out for having attitude or keep texting me asking where I am.
  • I spent about $150-200 on my costume and it was still one of the cheapest ones there by far. It didn't look nearly as cool as I had hoped. I was with a Black Panther and a Jean Grey who both looked excellent, though. I'm already going to start saving up for next year so I can raise my budget and get the full experience of having passes for all four days, staying in a hotel, doing photo ops, going to afterparties, meeting new friends, buying merch, and having a killer costume. I'm talking coordinating a couple/group theme and getting a professional photographer to shoot us, because I saw a lot of those today and I was just awestruck wishing that was me. Some people think this is extra and my family doesn't understand the thrill of it at all but I'm seriously considering getting into cosplay and designing and creating my own legit costumes and makeup. So many people went all out and looked like they just walked off a movie set, and that's my goal for next time. Also, the vast majority of the cosplayers had amazing bodies so don't let anyone tell you that it's just a bunch of out-of-shape nerds doing it; it was honestly the perfect fitspo so maybe I will start lifting in preparation for whatever I go as next year. rip4 The best part of the whole experience by far was people-watching and seeing all of the amazing costumes. They were so creative and it just made me happy to see so many people getting along and bonding over something that has always resonated with me, and openly celebrating something that might get them bullied elsewhere.

Author's Note: I can't even believe that this needs to be said because the answer is so obvious to me, but people are still asking and seeing Lady Gaga's recent tweets regarding Charlottesville pushed me over the edge to finally post something about it.

 

Dear fellow well-meaning white people,

 

I keep seeing you ask around about how you can help people of color. Many of you have tried, but you ended up getting dragged for making it about yourself or averting responsibility for being a part of their plight by invoking hashtags such as #ThisIsNotUs (which has quickly become the #NotAllMen of white people laughcry1 ).

I have a feeling that a lot of you secretly know exactly what the answer to that question is, but you're afraid to step up to the plate so you're looking for a safe, socially acceptable alternative. I get it, because I've been there myself, but the time has come and you now have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy.

 

Anyway, in case you truly have no idea, let me summarize the most important thing we can do to be allies to people of color in only three simple words (spoiler alert: it's sure as hell not repaying Nazis with love and kindness):

Spoiler

Image result for call it out gif

 

Start holding your white family and friends accountable for their bullshit. Talk to them about white supremacy, Neo-Nazis, and the alt-right. If they say or do something racist, tell them that it's unacceptable. I'm so over my fellow white liberals crying about racism, suddenly getting timid when their racist relatives or friends say something fucked up, and then only complaining about it once they're gone. I highly doubt that the majority of the safety pin brigade that formed after the election actually spoke up when they witnessed injustice, and that's a problem. Silence is complicity. Stop making excuses for it. Sure, some people are set in their ugly ways and are too far gone for your call-outs to change their minds, but the more of us there are to shut them down, the less validation their views will have. A major reason that racists are becoming so audacious lately is because they face so few consequences when they openly display that kind of behavior, so let's create some. It will be awkward at first, and you might get called a snowflake or lose popularity, but that's nothing compared to the violence black people have received for daring to stand up for themselves throughout history.

 

Unfortunately people of color don't have the systemic power and privilege to change the way things are going...but we do. This shit is on our shoulders. It feels awful, but the truth hurts. To quote Samantha Bee, how many times to do we expect black people to build our country for us? It's not their duty to educate you (but if they want to, listen), and asking what you can do to help on Twitter for the sake of looking like a good person is obnoxiously self-serving. "Starting a conversation" is the bare minimum and it doesn't deserve brownie points. If you seriously want to get educated about racial issues and learn how you can help, Google is free and so is your local library.

 

Anyway, if that was TL;DR for you, I will leave you with this: please for the love of God stop venting on social media about how it's scary to call out your racist dad. It's cowardly, and black lives are more important than white comfort. Nothing will change unless we, as white people, take the initiative and do our part. That's all.

 

Sincerely,

Hermione

A lot of people don't know the difference between these two major subsets of feminism, so I've decided to summarize each one and evaluate where my own beliefs stand. Feel free to respond and discuss below.

 

Liberal Feminism

  • the most mainstream brand of feminism.
  • commonly associated with the third wave.
  • popularized in the media by corporations (H+M), celebrities (ex. Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Emma Watson) and social media (ex. Buzzfeed, Tumblr).
  • largely focused on individuality and choice.
  • strives to create equal opportunities between men and women (ex. equal pay, maternity leave laws) by reforming and reclaiming current social systems and structures (ex. government, religion, gender).
  • believes that gender inequality is damaging to both women and men (ex. toxic masculinity).
  • places an emphasis on sex positivity (ex. pro-sex work, pro-porn, pro-BDSM, anti-slut shaming, anti-kink shaming).
  • considers men who believe in the equality of the sexes to be feminists.
  • defines women by their self-proclaimed identity.
  • sees gender as a fluid identity and is supportive of transgender activism.
  • believes that trans women are entitled to female-only spaces.
  • criticized for failing to recognize and combat misogyny on a systemic level, 'reducing womanhood to a feeling and/or stereotypes' and 'dumbing down' feminist ideas to appeal to men (ex. rebranding female objectification in porn and prostitution as an empowering choice of a woman embracing her sexuality).

 

Radical Feminism

  • more underground; less socially accepted. Often mischaracterized as "extremist" feminism due to containing the word radical.
  • commonly associated with the second wave.
  • generally not embraced by corporations, celebrities, and social media.
  • argues that men maintain power and privilege over women through a class hierarchy called patriarchy.
  • strives to eliminate the patriarchy, and even bring about political separatism from men (ex. women-only communes) by overthrowing current social systems and structures.
  • believes that patriarchy is solely harmful to women, and that men only benefit from such an institution.
  • places an emphasis on fighting violence against women (ex. anti-porn, anti-prostitution, anti-BDSM).
  • considers men who believe in the equality of the sexes to be merely feminist allies.
  • defines women by their biology.
  • sees gender as an oppressive social structure, is critical of transgender activism and supports gender abolitionism and gender-nonconformity.
  • believes that women are entitled to female-only spaces free of all males including trans women.
  • criticized for excluding men and trans women from the movement, 'reducing womanhood to a vagina' and promoting separatism of the sexes which has widely been deemed unrealistic.

 

I used to be one of the biggest libfems on this site, but now I'm realizing how hollow some of the talking points I used to parrot were and I'm slowly moving to the radical side. They have sufficient answers to all of the things I used to be confused about, and was told to just brush over and not question. I don't agree with all aspects of either the liberal or radical school of feminism, but right now I'm on the fence between both. Shame on me for not realizing earlier how harmful some of my former ideas (mostly relating to the sex-positive movement) actually are to women. I feel like I got so wrapped up in being accepting of everything that I ended up letting some things slide that were actually detrimental to the cause I'm passionate about in the first place. Liberal feminism was great for me to discover as a beginner to social issues but it's not really doing anything to improve the well-being of women on a larger scale like radical feminism is, and one could even argue that it's harming women in the long run. I'm guessing that this opinion won't be very popular on this forum because people see the word radical and immediately grab their pitchforks, but here goes anyway. rip4

I have no idea where to start, but I know I have to do this. I can’t bottle up these thoughts and feelings any longer; I need to release them so I can move on with my life and be one step closer to finding inner peace. If you aren’t interested in what I have to say that’s perfectly understandable and I respect that, but if you’re willing to hear me out your time and attention are much appreciated.

 

Now that the school year is over, I’ve had so much more free time to reflect on myself, specifically on my past. College has been the best time of my life so far, and one of the many opportunities it bestowed upon me was a distraction: a distraction from the pain of losing some of my best friends. They no longer wanted anything to do with me, and while in hindsight it had been bubbling up for a while, it was sudden and unexpected to me at the time. I felt betrayed and humiliated that my group of friends had seemingly conspired against me, but schoolwork and student life forced me to put it on the back-burner and confront it another day. It helped at the time by making me too busy to give it any thought, but it also never allowed me to properly deal with what I felt. As a writer I’m naturally very structured and organized, and I think all great stories should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Mine had the first two, but the last few pages were just ripped out of the book entirely. I never got closure with my friends, whether it was “Have a great life, I wish nothing but the best for you” or “Fuck you, never contact me again.” If I had to guess, I’m sure their response would have been much closer to the latter, but even that would have hurt less than the deafening silence I received.

 

Two things that I really wish we could have done before parting separate ways were apologizing and forgiving. Looking back, our fights were so petty and stupid that I don’t even remember the details of what they were about, but I’m sure I was at fault most of the time. I’m not going to shift the responsibility from myself by saying I’m pretty much a different person now, because even though I may have changed a lot since then, it was still me. Instead, I’m going to own up to everything that I did wrong during the time period that we knew each other:

  • I’m sorry for calling you ugly and insulting your appearance.
  • I’m sorry for treating you like you were dumb and making of you for not knowing certain things.
  • I’m sorry for acting like the queen bee of our group and dictating everyone else’s choices and actions.
  • I’m sorry for being so obsessed with whether you or your faves did something “problematic.”
  • I'm sorry for using not having eaten as an excuse to be nasty and mean.
  • I'm sorry for being able to dish out criticism but not take it.
  • I’m sorry for talking about you behind your back to our other friends.
  • I’m sorry for trying to get you to fight my battles for me.
  • I’m sorry for not being able to admit when I was wrong.
  • I’m sorry for being jealous and controlling, and assuming that we were an official romantic item just because we both had crushes on each other.
  • I’m sorry for continuing to mention a toxic and unhealthy environment that we left and would all be much better off not thinking about.
  • I’m sure there’s more, so to cover all the bases I’m sorry for every way I’ve ever hurt you.

I also forgive you for every way you’ve ever hurt me, because there are almost as many. Life is far too short to hold onto grudges, and they’re not worth my energy. It’s not my place to tell you that you can’t continue to think of me in a negative light though, so if you don’t accept this apology then that’s fine too.

 

We have little to nothing in common these days, but if you were to reach out to me today I would be completely open to having a conversation and catching up. I don’t see us ever being close friends again, but I think it’s always important to be civil with someone in the long run no matter how much you dislike them in the present. Harboring resentment and ill will only leads to bitterness and bad karma, and my life is going way too well for me to allow either of those things to poison it.

 

As much as the dissolution of our friendship hurt me, I strongly believe that it needed to happen in order for me to grow up and change my ways. I definitely regret how I handled things with you, but I learned so much about myself and how rewarding and fulfilling the world can be once you stop being a drama queen and just enjoy life. I’m in a much better place now, and the only thing that’s missing is being able to share it with you. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for hearing me out despite what your opinion of me may be at this point in time. After I publish this I have no future plans of ever acknowledging you again without your initiation, so if this is it for us, I hope you’re doing okay, I'll never forget the good times we had together, good luck with your future endeavors, and goodbye.

Here are some love songs that remind me of Ron and Hermione's relationship. oprah4

"A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri

"Enchanted" by Taylor Swift

"I Choose You" by Sara Bareilles

"Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat

"Photograph" by Ed Sheeran

"Supernatural" by Danny L. Harle and Carly Rae Jepsen

"Moonlight" by Ariana Grande

"Hey Angel" by One Direction

"Easy Silence" by Dixie Chicks

"I See the Light" by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi

"All of Me" by John Legend

By now, most of my online friends know that I've recently become a Real Housewives aficionado. A lot of people don't really get it, and they think it's strange that someone like myself with other more highbrow interests and pursuits would be so captivated by it. Some might even scoff at me, a self-proclaimed feminist, finding entertainment in a franchise dominated by catfights that often include hair-pulling and wine-throwing. I would tell those people that Real Housewives is much deeper than it appears to be on the surface. If you think about it, it has far more in common with Shakespeare's bibliography than it does with its fellow reality TV programming: it features some Montague-Capulet level family drama, an Ophelia-style mental breakdowna tragic heroine eventually consumed by her own ego, and even a witch straight out of Macbeth.

With this post I hope to match some of my favorite FOTPers with the Real Housewives they remind me of! I will also include a video of them in action at the end of each entry. This is just for fun, so if you get offended easily either suck it up or leave creep1

 

@Anna-wa - Lydia McLaughlin, Real Housewives of Orange County (seasons 8, 12)

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Much like the most recent recipient of FOTP's Nicest Member award, Lydia is a sweet, humble, down-to-earth and witty church girl and isn't here for the ongoing drama between her castmates. Her shade is so smart and subtle that the other Housewives don't even realize it, and as the only sane cast member of her respective season the viewers could easily relate to and root for her. x

 

@Sylk - LuAnn de Lesseps, Real Housewives of New York (seasons 1-5, 7-9)

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In the first season of RHONY, the Countess introduced herself to the audience as a condescending and pretentious manners-obsessed prude. The other Housewives instantly called bullshit on this on-camera persona, and over time the cracks began to show and LuAnn was exposed as a nymphomaniac drunkard who loves younger men and stirring the pot with the other wives behind the scenes. Once she finally owned up to it, LuAnn became a fan favorite and the star of her show. yas1 x

 

@Hannah - Lisa Vanderpump, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (seasons 1-7)

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Not only is Lisa the breakout star of RHOBH, but she is also an executive producer of her own show, Vanderpump Rules, where she runs a tight ship at her restaurant and keeps her sexed-up waiters and waitresses in line. Lisa's sense of humor is cold and cutting, but hides it under a charming British accent. She is easily one of the richest Housewives, and her sense of style can be summed up in three words: pink, diamonds, and extra. Lisa is a fierce mama bear to her children, and every Housewife who has gone up against her has mysteriously been booted from the show. x

 

@#Music - Ramona Singer, Real Housewives of New York City (seasons 1-9)

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There are not even any words that can accurately begin to describe how batshit insane Ramona Singer actually is...but that's exactly why we love her! From her disastrous attempt at walking the runway during New York Fashion Week to her various Pinot Grigio-induced freakouts, there is never a dull moment with Ramona and no matter how messy she can be at times, we always forgive her because she's so much fun to watch and is the crazy best friend we would all love to have. x

 

@Royalty - Erika Girardi, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (seasons 6, 7)

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Erika is the fiercest drag queen on the planet stuck inside a straight woman's body. Her pop music career is funded by her lawyer husband who is 32 years her senior, she is an underground gay icon, and her glam squad follows her wherever she goes. She always keeps it real, proclaiming that she "wants to eat salad like those Beverly Hills bitches, but [she] just can't" and her favorite dance move is patting the puss. x

 

@Royale - Kandi BurrussReal Housewives of Atlanta (seasons 2-9)

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In one of the craziest cities of the franchise, Kandi is level-headed and plays the role of the only sane one. It's a miracle that she hasn't lost her mind after all these years when dealing with real-life cartoon characters like NeNe, Kenya, Porsha, and Phaedra. As one of the Real Housewives with the most going on outside of the show, she has also penned enormous R&B hits like TLC's "No Scrubs" and Destiny's Child's "Bills Bills Bills" and has achieved a successful solo career. x

 

@Kuba - Carole Radziwill, Real Housewives of New York (seasons 5-9)

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Carole holds the distinction of being the only Real Housewife to have won three Emmys and a Peabody Award. When Trump supporters whine about the wealthy coastal liberal elite, they're talking about Carole. She also happens to be a Kennedy, a former Princess of Poland, a marijuana enthusiast, and a cat lady. She is the real-life Carrie Bradshaw when it comes to fashion, dating, and her career, and is always in the know on what is hip and cool. She also isn't afraid to drag the Countess for utter filth. x

 

@Taylor - Tamra Judge, Real Housewives of Orange County (seasons 3-12)

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Tamra is the self-professed "Hottest Housewife in Orange County." She is an evil, twisted, heartless, sadistic, demonic witch who thrives on drama and ruining lives. The Jaws theme music plays inside everyone's heads whenever she enters the room, and for good reason. She has been both best friends and arch-nemeses with every single cast member in the show's history, and switches her alliances like night and day. She invented the Real Housewives wine toss, told her husband she wanted a divorce on camera in the back of a limo, and pimped out her son to a drunk Gretchen Rossi while her fiance was dying of cancer. She is the Maleficent of the Real Housewives. x

 

@Maraj - Shereé Whitfield, Real Housewives of Atlanta (seasons 1-4, 8, 9)

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Until Claudia Jordan arrived in Atlanta, Shereé was the only Housewife who could successfully rise to the occasion and knock NeNe's monstrous ego down a couple of pegs. Shereé has gifted us with so many iconic moments: "Who gon check me, boo?," "Fix that face," and literally snatching Kim Zolciak's wig off her head to name a few, and her voice and facial expressions are always hilarious. The other Housewives are always making remarks about how hot she is, and they're not wrong. x

 

@Daenerys - Camille GrammerReal Housewives of Beverly Hills (seasons 1, 2)

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Camille got a nasty villain edit her first season when she was going through her divorce from Frasier, and received lots of backlash for comparing herself to Jesus and having four nannies for her children while not seeming to have a job. But by season two, she had undergone extensive media training and turned her entire image and reputation around into one of the most beloved Housewives. Just for hosting the Dinner Party From Hell that resulted in a verbal beatdown between Faye Resnick and Allison DuBois, St. Camille of Grammer will always be a legend. x

 

@TattooedHeart - Dorinda Medley, Real Housewives of New York (seasons 7-9)

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Dorinda is the Leslie Knope of the Real Housewives, if she were a New York gangster who loves hard drinking. She is love and light and everything pure in this world, but she could also go berserk on your ass if you cross her and her family. She is an ocean of contradiction, being fiercely loyal to all of the other Housewives while simultaneously stirring up drama with them. She hasn't gotten physical during her time on the show (yet), but I can imagine that she would destroy any given one of them in an altercation. x

 

@Malfoy - Teresa Giudice, Real Housewives of New Jersey (seasons 1-7)

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Never had any reality show ever covered so much of a single person's life so extensively until Teresa came along. They should just rename RHONJ to the Teresa Giudice Show, because she is the star and the other Housewives are blink-and-you'll-miss-it extras in the background of her fabulous Jersey life funded by mail, wire, and bank fraud. But despite all of Teresa's legal troubles and messiness, there's something so captivating about her as a person and you can't help but root for her from her stage mom antics to her endless battles with actual sociopath Danielle Staub. x

 

@Aidan. - Bethenny Frankel, Real Housewives of New York (seasons 1-3, 7-9)

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Bethenny comes off very intense, but she has good intentions deep down. She was the relatable audience surrogate in the first few seasons of RHONY, the struggling thirty-something trying to figure out her career and love life and wondering if she could really ~have it all~. Eventually she got exactly that: her Skinnygirl cocktails company skyrocketed and she made millions upon selling it, she left RHONY to pursue her own reality show and talk show, she finally met the man of her dreams and started a family, and returned to the show that started it all. x

 

I might do more if I feel like it, so don't worry if you're not here. cry6

I saw @Breathless Mahoney's blog post and decided to make my own. This is more like a list of minor annoyances. I'll post a positive version too...

 

1. Taylor Armstrong's uncanny valley lip implants.

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2. Dumbledore's hilariously out-of-character outburst in the Goblet of Fire film.

 

3. The horrifying Elisa Lam story.

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4. Cyberbully and fanfiction plagiarist Cassandra Clare's undeserved success.

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5. When people leave "Who?" comments even though this is the Internet and they can just Google that shit.

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6. Sheet music that is way more difficult than necessary to play because it's composed in a key with more sharps and flats than normal keys.

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7. When tabloids and blogs prey on mentally ill people, sensationalizing their struggles and generally being super gross about it.

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8. That feeling you get in your chest when you finally run after not having exercised in ages.

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9. The fact that the most gruesome, over-the-top death scene in the entire Jurassic Park franchise also happens to be the only female death scene.

Spoiler

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10. When I take out the pool filter and find dead rodents and lizards in there who fell in and drowned. Not even going to post a pic for this one! carla1

 

11. People who still mix up Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton. Show some damn respect.

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12. Robocall scams saying that I'm under arrest for tax fraud. They scare me so bad and bring me to tears every time even though I know they're not real and I didn't do anything wrong.

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13. When people think it's cute to drop slurs like it's no big deal. A common theme on FOTP with a certain R-word, might I add! interesting1

 

14. When STEM majors act like they're better than liberal arts majors. Just because your field is more ~practical than mine doesn't make it superior.

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15. People who think that we should go easy on Melania and Ivanka. They are complicit in this whole mess so I won't be doing that, thank you very much. The only one in that bunch I don't feel comfortable dragging is Barron, the rest of his demon spawn are fair game. sorry1

 

Honors program life is all work and no play. I don't remember the last time I had a full eight hours of sleep (or even six, for that matter), ate a sit-down meal, read a whole book in one sitting, or had a real conversation with my family beyond them asking "Can we talk?" and myself replying with "Not right now, I'm busy." I've become so swamped with academic responsibilities lately that I don't have time to keep visiting here daily without seriously jeopardizing my future, so I need to cut back on my forum time. I'm not even exaggerating about the amount of work I'm getting either; there have already been a few meltdowns from my classmates about research papers, portfolios, presentations, and final exams and I feel like I'm next. rip4

I'm not "leaving" FOTP and I won't completely disappear, but I'm definitely going to be less active, provided that my self-control follows through. Being away from you all for so long will be sad for me, but I have to do what's best for myself. If you have an emergency (or if you want to give me your Snapchat username to keep in touch) you can still PM me and I'll see it, because I have email alerts for those. Term ends on the 12th of May, so I'll be back full-time by then. hug1

Hopefully this isn't too extra and over-the-top, but here is some lovely exit music in true Hermione fashion. Good luck with life and see you this summer! wub1

 

Meet Hermione

Hello! If you're reading this, you're probably wondering who the hell I am. If you still haven't figured it out, this is TLB. I wanted to make a post explaining why I decided to change my display name. cry7

 

It goes without saying at this point that I'm a Harry Potter fanatic (and I apologize for not shutting up about it sometimes). I've lived and breathed this magical world every day for well over a decade, and it's such an enormous part of my identity. It has shaped and influenced me in so many ways: it was there for me when I had no one, it has helped me through some of the most difficult periods of my life, it taught me important lessons of bravery and friendship, and it is where I picked up my passions for learning and social progress. But most of all, it introduced me to my greatest hero...

 

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When I was little, I never really fit in with the other kids. Most of the girls were into things like dolls and fashion, and most of the guys liked sports, cars, and video games. I forced myself to like all of these subjects, but ultimately none interested me in the slightest. I vividly remember my best friend's birthday party when we were about seven years old. While everyone else was playing baseball in the backyard, I sat on the deck alone reading a book. This seemed to happen everywhere we went, and my parents were worried that I was "unfriendly," "reclusive," "avoidant," and, worst of all, "antisocial." They made me leave my books in the car whenever we went out in public so I wouldn't "ignore" people, but I wasn't doing it on purpose: I was just so engrossed in my book that I would simply forget they were there at all.

 

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At school my hand was always the first in the air, and oftentimes the only. Part of it was definitely me showing off how much I knew, but mostly I was genuinely excited to interact with the teacher and learn. Spelling tests were my favorite part of the week, and my classmates thought I was crazy for it. They branded me a know-it-all, a goody two-shoes, a teacher's pet, and a nerd, and even though I told myself that they were just jealous, it really hurt deep down.

 

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That all changed the day I saw this book at Borders:

 

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I devoured it in a couple of days. I fell in love with the plot, the setting, and the dialogue, but most of all, Hermione Granger.

She loved to read, she stayed out of trouble, she put immense pressure on herself to be the best, she had a strong sense of justice, she didn't give a rat's ass about beauty or popularity, was annoyingly matter-of-fact at times, and she was also picked on for having all of these qualities. She was literally me.

The one difference between us, though, was that Hermione was a boss. She saved the day even more than Harry, and she didn't have to be a celebrity or attractive or good at sports. All she needed to do was hit up the library and study.

 

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With each Harry Potter book I read, my own confidence grew stronger. Hermione made me realize that I was just as cool as she was. I didn't have to dumb myself down in order for people to like me, the people who made fun of me would be taking my order at Subway someday anyway, and I didn't need to choose between beauty or brains, because brains are beauty.

I grew up with her, and along the way we both learned some of the same lessons together: not to worry so much, sometimes breaking the rules is necessary in order to do the right thing, and standing up for the little guy is always worth it even when people tell you you're being a bleeding heart or a social justice warrior. I fangirled for her whenever she had an awesome moment, and I rooted for her to do well on her OWLs and win Ron's heart. I hated Draco Malfoy with a passion for bullying her, I cried when she got tortured in the last book, and I sighed a huge breath of relief when she got a happy ending.

Eventually, kids at school starting calling me "Hermione" when I raised my hand and got an answer right. They were probably doing it to hurt my feelings, but it made me proud. 

 

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Even though Hermione is fictional, she still feels like my guardian angel. I have posters of her in my room, and I often think about what she would do in tough situations. If she were real, we would probably be best friends. I have to be honest, I totally daydream about hanging out with her sometimes and talking about books and politics. People still regularly tell me that I remind them of her, and I think it's the biggest compliment in the whole world.

 

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I've already accepted that I'm going to die alone surrounded by cats, but I wanted to make a Valentine's Day post for my friends on here! I put together some corny cards on MS Paint featuring some of my favorite leading ladies, and I thought I would alternate between revealing a card and sharing a love song that I think describes my friendship with y'all. wub1

 

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"Thank You" by Dido

 

There are some days where pretty much everything that has the potential to go wrong somehow does, and I log on here to escape it all for a little while. Reading your funny posts and helpful advice can manage to turn my whole day around sometimes, so thank you for that! hug1

 

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"A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton

 

I hate that we're all so far away from each other! I'm super awkward in person, but sometimes I think it would be super fun to hang out with you guys. This is like the quintessential long-distance relationship song, so it fits perfectly.

 

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"My Favorite Mistake" by Sheryl Crow

 

 

This song has suggestive lyrics, but I don't mean it like that. rip4 FOTP distracts me from real-life responsibilities way too much, and it makes me procrastinate but in the back of my mind I know I should be doing more important things. You guys are kind of tempting sometimes!

 

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"Who Says" by Selena Gomez & The Scene

 

 

I'm actually not a Selena fan, but this is a huge guilty pleasure for me! giveup1 I feel like some of you need this reminder, so that's why I'm putting it here. You are way more appreciated than you think. Pretend I'm singing it to you. hug1

 

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"Wannabe" by the Spice Girls

 

 

Of course...we also need a song to symbolize all of our messy antics, mischief, and fun we've had! creep1 The fake drama, the shade, the gossiping, the time I recorded myself doing a curse and sent it to @#Music on Snapchat wendy1 


I tried tagging everyone but halfway through it stopped, so for now I'll leave it like this unless it flops and then I'll come back and try again. dead1

I love y'all! hug1wub1

My father loves to ask me hypothetical questions that make me think, where he'll put me into a situation and I have to imagine what I would do. I don't know how it started, but it's something we've always bonded over, especially in the car. Also, I don't know if you guys know this, but I'm a musician! I'm a skilled pianist, budding songwriter, and a passable singer and I practice all three every day. A while ago, my dad told me to pretend that I secured a gig at a coffeehouse, lounge, or small theatre, where I had to perform a five-song set to a chill, intimate crowd. Back then I literally didn't have a single answer, but I thought about it again today and I now have my five songs!

 

"Soak Up The Sun" - Sheryl Crow

 

 

I thought about making this whole set list Sheryl Crow songs, but decided against it. I have so many great memories associated with this song, it's crazy. Going to the beach and the boardwalk, picnics in the park, shopping sprees, summer cookouts, pool parties, reading under a tree in the backyard of my first house, hanging out with my friends...it's pretty much my entire childhood, and if it didn't have such a happy tune it would probably make me cry from all the nostalgia. I still listen to it in the car when I need a pick-me-up. I love the carefree lyrics, we all need the reminder to lighten up and let go every once in a while.

 

"Blackbird" - The Beatles

 

 

 

This will always be one of my favorite Beatles songs, I used to fall asleep to it at night. It's so tranquil and serene, but at the same time there's still something haunting about it. It took on a while new meaning for me when I learned that the lyrics were about the civil rights struggle. I love the minimalist approach too, it's only an acoustic guitar and Paul's vocals. Less is definitely more in this case.

 

"What's Going On" - Marvin Gaye

 

 

Every line of this song is still so relevant, probably more than ever. It covers so many important issues like police brutality, war, and bigotry, and it breaks my heart that we still haven't learned from our mistakes. The ending is just heavenly. oprah4

 

"Landslide" - Fleetwood Mac

 

 

This is my go-to crying song. I really liked it when I was little, but I didn't understand how sad it was until I grew up. "But time makes you bolder, children get older, and I'm getting older too" makes me sob EVERY single time. It perfectly encapsulates that feeling of childhood innocence draining from you and turning more jaded with age. I seriously want this played at my funeral someday, because it means so much to me.

 

"Not Ready To Make Nice" - The Dixie Chicks

 

 

I've already raved about this song on here so many times, and I doubt this will be the last. My whole life I've always been the only liberal in the room, and I've gotten so much shit for it and paid the price so many times. This song manages to cover every single one of my core values in four minutes: resilience, perseverance, willpower, and most of all just standing up for the right thing no matter how scary it is. I listened to this on full volume on my way to the polls on Election Day, and that was back when I thought Hillary would win...now that Trump won, I still listen to it at least once every single day so I'll never lose sight of what really matters. The Chicks have such a fighting spirit and even though I've never gotten death threats from thousands of rednecks, I can still relate to the situation that they were in and I admire them so much for sticking to their guns despite literally being told that they would be shot and killed on stage if they didn't comply. They've seriously helped me through so much. cry6

Spoiler

 

 

I did have a ton of honorable mentions for the encore, but I decided to omit them because I didn't want to overshadow the main list. I will say that it included a lot of singer-songwriters though, I probably love that genre even more than pop/rock/R&B!

 

 

My father loves to ask me hypothetical questions that make me think, where he'll put me into a situation and I have to imagine what I would do. I don't know how it started, but it's something we've always bonded over, especially in the car. Also, I don't know if you guys know this, but I'm a musician! I'm a skilled pianist, budding songwriter, and a passable singer and I practice all three every day. A while ago, my dad told me to pretend that I secured a gig at a coffeehouse, lounge, or small theatre, where I had to perform a five-song set to a chill, intimate crowd. Back then I literally didn't have a single answer, but I thought about it again today and I now have my five songs!

 

"Soak Up The Sun" - Sheryl Crow

 

 

I thought about making this whole set list Sheryl Crow songs, but decided against it. I have so many great memories associated with this song, it's crazy. Going to the beach and the boardwalk, picnics in the park, shopping sprees, summer cookouts, pool parties, reading under a tree in the backyard of my first house, hanging out with my friends...it's pretty much my entire childhood, and if it didn't have such a happy tune it would probably make me cry from all the nostalgia. I still listen to it in the car when I need a pick-me-up. I love the carefree lyrics, we all need the reminder to lighten up and let go every once in a while.

 

"Blackbird" - The Beatles

 

 

 

This will always be one of my favorite Beatles songs, I used to fall asleep to it at night. It's so tranquil and serene, but at the same time there's still something haunting about it. It took on a while new meaning for me when I learned that the lyrics were about the civil rights struggle. I love the minimalist approach too, it's only an acoustic guitar and Paul's vocals. Less is definitely more in this case.

 

"What's Going On" - Marvin Gaye

 

 

Every line of this song is still so relevant, probably more than ever. It covers so many important issues like police brutality, war, and bigotry, and it breaks my heart that we still haven't learned from our mistakes. The ending is just heavenly. oprah4

 

"Landslide" - Fleetwood Mac

 

 

This is my go-to crying song. I really liked it when I was little, but I didn't understand how sad it was until I grew up. "But time makes you bolder, children get older, and I'm getting older too" makes me sob EVERY single time. It perfectly encapsulates that feeling of childhood innocence draining from you and turning more jaded with age. I seriously want this played at my funeral someday, because it means so much to me.

 

"Not Ready To Make Nice" - The Dixie Chicks

 

 

I've already raved about this song on here so many times, and I doubt this will be the last. My whole life I've always been the only liberal in the room, and I've gotten so much shit for it and paid the price so many times. This song manages to cover every single one of my core values in four minutes: resilience, perseverance, willpower, and most of all just standing up for the right thing no matter how scary it is. I listened to this on full volume on my way to the polls on Election Day, and that was back when I thought Hillary would win...now that Trump won, I still listen to it at least once every single day so I'll never lose sight of what really matters. The Chicks have such a fighting spirit and even though I've never gotten death threats from thousands of rednecks, I can still relate to the situation that they were in and I admire them so much for sticking to their guns despite literally being told that they would be shot and killed on stage if they didn't comply. They've seriously helped me through so much. cry6

Spoiler

 

 

I did have a ton of honorable mentions for the encore, but I decided to omit them because I didn't want to overshadow the main list. I will say that it included a lot of singer-songwriters though, I probably love that genre even more than pop/rock/R&B!

 

 

My father loves to ask me hypothetical questions that make me think, where he'll put me into a situation and I have to imagine what I would do. I don't know how it started, but it's something we've always bonded over, especially in the car. Also, I don't know if you guys know this, but I'm a musician! I'm a skilled pianist, budding songwriter, and a passable singer and I practice all three every day. A while ago, my dad told me to pretend that I secured a gig at a coffeehouse, lounge, or small theatre, where I had to perform a five-song set to a chill, intimate crowd. Back then I literally didn't have a single answer, but I thought about it again today and I now have my five songs!

 

"Soak Up The Sun" - Sheryl Crow

 

 

I thought about making this whole set list Sheryl Crow songs, but decided against it. I have so many great memories associated with this song, it's crazy. Going to the beach and the boardwalk, picnics in the park, shopping sprees, summer cookouts, pool parties, reading under a tree in the backyard of my first house, hanging out with my friends...it's pretty much my entire childhood, and if it didn't have such a happy tune it would probably make me cry from all the nostalgia. I still listen to it in the car when I need a pick-me-up. I love the carefree lyrics, we all need the reminder to lighten up and let go every once in a while.

 

"Blackbird" - The Beatles

 

 

This will always be one of my favorite Beatles songs, I used to fall asleep to it at night. It's so tranquil and serene, but at the same time there's still something haunting about it. It took on a while new meaning for me when I learned that the lyrics were about the civil rights struggle. I love the minimalist approach too, it's only an acoustic guitar and Paul's vocals. Less is definitely more in this case.

 

"What's Going On" - Marvin Gaye

 

 

Every line of this song is still so relevant, probably more than ever. It covers so many important issues like police brutality, war, and bigotry, and it breaks my heart that we still haven't learned from our mistakes. The ending is just heavenly. oprah4

 

"Landslide" - Fleetwood Mac

 

 

This is my go-to crying song. I really liked it when I was little, but I didn't understand how sad it was until I grew up. "But time makes you bolder, children get older, and I'm getting older too" makes me sob EVERY single time. It perfectly encapsulates that feeling of childhood innocence draining from you and turning more jaded with age. I seriously want this played at my funeral someday, because it means so much to me.

 

"Not Ready To Make Nice" - The Dixie Chicks

 

 

I've already raved about this song on here so many times, and I doubt this will be the last. My whole life I've always been the only liberal in the room, and I've gotten so much shit for it and paid the price so many times. This song manages to cover every single one of my core values in four minutes: resilience, perseverance, willpower, and most of all just standing up for the right thing no matter how scary it is. I listened to this on full volume on my way to the polls on Election Day, and that was back when I thought Hillary would win...now that Trump won, I still listen to it at least once every single day so I'll never lose sight of what really matters. The Chicks have such a fighting spirit and even though I've never gotten death threats from thousands of rednecks, I can still relate to the situation that they were in and I admire them so much for sticking to their guns despite literally being told that they would be shot and killed on stage if they didn't comply. They've seriously helped me through so much. cry6

 

 

Spoiler

I did have a ton of honorable mentions for the encore, but I decided to omit them because I didn't want to overshadow the main list. I will say that it included a lot of singer-songwriters though, I probably love that genre even more than pop/rock/R&B!

 

 

/csb

I'm starting to get really sick and tired of always having to take the high road and be the bigger person.

 

That is all. wub1

Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

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Quote

Winning is every girl's dream. But it's my destiny. And my dream.

Where do I even begin? Leslie is the perfect role model: she's supportive of her friends, cares deeply about her community, remains optimistic in the face of adversity, takes her work very seriously but still makes time for fun, and always stands up for the right thing no matter what the consequence. She knows her worth, lifts up her fellow women, believes in herself, loves waffles, and even wrote this poignant letter about the 2016 U.S. presidential election. If only our real-life politicians were more like her.

 

Fa Mulan, Mulan

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How about a girl who's got a brain, who always speaks her mind?

Against all odds, Mulan saved the entire country of China, all while defying gender roles in the process. Courageously masquerading as a man in order to take her father's place in the army and fight in the war, Mulan simultaneously breaks tradition and brings honor to her family. Even though she wears a disguise for much of the film, she still stays true to herself. While previous Disney heroines might have waited around for a better future, Mulan goes out and fights for hers.

 

Leia Organa, Star Wars

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Quote

Somebody has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, fly boy.

Back when Disney princesses were still helpless damsels in distress, Leia was already taking names and kicking ass. She held her own in a boys' club, paving the way for future film heroines like Black Widow. Her feisty nature and quick wit captured the hearts of millions of fans, and despite her hardships she was never once tempted by the dark side. She even ascended the ranks to become General of the Resistance, staying fiercely loyal to her loved ones and never giving up hope. Rest in peace, Carrie.

 

Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

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Quote

I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!

This girl is on fire. Katniss committed the most selfless act of all for her sister: volunteering to take her place as a tribute in the Hunger Games, with a one in twenty-four chance of survival. Not only does she survive that competition, but the next one as well which is made up of previous winners. Never one to sit on the sidelines, she fights for her freedom and calls out the corruption of the Capitol for what it is. She can think on her feet, she loves her family unconditionally, and she's a killer archer.

 

Martha Jones, Doctor Who

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Quote

I spent a lot of time with you thinking I was second best, but you know what? I am good.

Easily the most overlooked companion of the revival series, Martha is also the most self-sufficient. Studying to become a physician, she would have been successful and accomplished even without the Doctor's interference. After boldly confronting racism during their expeditions to the past and saving the world through the power of storytelling, she exits the TARDIS on her own accord after realizing that the Doctor takes her for granted. Unlike other companions, her life goes on after their adventures conclude.

 

Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

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Quote

We're almost there and nowhere near it. All that matters is that we're going.

On the surface, Lorelai might not seem like the best role model: she got pregnant at 16 and ran away from home, after all. But the way she bounced back from rock bottom is nothing short of admirable. Originally a maid at the Independence Inn, she worked her way up to management and eventually opened her own inn, all while raising daughter Rory as a single mom and getting her business degree in the process. She's also more preoccupied with coffee and kitsch than with getting a man.

 

Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Quote

I'm standing on the mouth of hell and it is gonna swallow me whole. And it'll choke on me.

She didn't just fight for her family, friends, community, or country like others on this list: she fought for the universe. Buffy turned the horror genre on its head by fighting the monsters back instead of becoming their lunch like so many pretty blonde girls before. Instead of running from them, they ran from her. In touch with fashion as well as her emotions, she proves that femininity doesn't equate to weakness. Buffy takes on the thankless job of protecting the world from evil without receiving any recognition for it.

 

Moana, Moana

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I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat and sail across the sea to restore the heart to Te Fiti.

The heroine with the most recent debut on this list, Moana listens to the voice inside and follows it even when others warn against it. She is a natural leader, successful in commanding a demigod to help save the island she's training to inherit. She softens the arrogant Maui's heart and teaches him the importance of love, selflessness, and seeing the good in people. She accepts her destiny and fiercely explores the unknown in honor of her grandmother, ready for whatever it has in store for her.

 

Black Widow, Marvel Cinematic Universe

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I'm always picking up after you boys.

Like Leia before her, Natasha Romanoff was the lone woman in a team that was otherwise a sausage party, at least until the Scarlet Witch showed up. A spy-turned-Avenger, she can easily keep up with a giant, a super-soldier, a god, and a man with robotic armor without possessing any superhuman abilities herself. She represents feminine strength, and is consistently the most level-headed member, intervening when the male Avengers get carried away. Hurry up with that solo movie already.

 

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter

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Now, if you two don't mind, I'm going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed...or worse, expelled.

My all-time greatest hero. Hermione has stellar grades, loves to read, tries to stay out of trouble, doesn't have time for trivial matters like relationships and fashion, and is oftentimes teased. These traits are usually reserved for the uncool, but Hermione is no wimp. She's tougher than nails, independent, opinionated, stubborn, values her brain, stands up for the underdog whether it's mistreated house elves or Neville Longbottom, saved Harry and Ron's asses literally hundreds of times, and sits pretty at the top of her class despite facing discrimination for being Muggle-born. Hermione made me proud to be all of the things I listed in the beginning myself when everyone else made me feel like a loser for it. Truly the brightest witch of her age!

 

That's all for now. Add your own favorites in the comments!
 

Spoiler

 

Also if you're going to downvote this because feminism, go right ahead. I won't argue with you, but just know that I feel bad for your sad existence.

 

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Goals

Setting goals is so important. That feeling of accomplishment when you get something done is always worth it, and it keeps me from feeling like I'm wasting my life. I'm going to share my current short-term and long-term goals in this post so I can have a place to look back at them when I need inspiration, motivation, or guidance. I also encourage anyone who is reading this to post their own goals below. And yes, I am going to talk to myself in this and you will all deal. tina1

 

Short-term (over my winter break)

  • Practice self-care! Get the sleep I desperately need, eat a lot and healthily, drink tons of water, practice good hygiene, do back exercises for my condition, stop biting my nails, and take my vitamins.
  • Finish my damn Christmas shopping. I can't hold this off any longer.
  • Complete the Care.com profile I started filling out for my pet care business but never published. My checking account is dry af at the moment and I need to make some money before the next semester starts, because I know I won't want to juggle being a full-time student with a part-time job.
  • Read as much as possible. Commit to my Harry Potter reread. Finish those King, Tolkien, Lewis, and Martin series I have laying around. Fall deeper in love with Shakespeare and Austen, and even read the Bible. Maybe revisit an old favorite like Gone Girl.
  • Practice the piano daily. Those pop hits are fun to play but I'm not improving from them, I should get out my classical sheet music and study the greats.
  • Go to the Apple Store and fix my phone screen. Thanks a lot, Curse-ji.
  • Finally see Rogue One like I've been planning on, with my dad, uncle, and cousin. I'm the worst Star Wars stan ever, I still haven't seen it.
  • Finish watching Gilmore Girls. I have all the time in the world to binge-watch shows right now, and I still have a whole list of others waiting in the wings for when I'm done with this one.
  • Practice my Spanish! I'm super rusty and I've always wanted to study abroad in Spain or Latin America. I need to get cracking, and begin my French studies like I've been saying I would for months. I still want to add German and Italian into the mix, and I've barely mastered one of these languages.
  • Hang out with my friends from high school and my old job who are home for a limited time only that I barely see anymore. Maybe get brave and make plans with my crush too.
  • Come up with a list of clubs and activities I want to join next semester at campus, and submit my academic essay for publication.
  • Buy my books for next semester.

 

Long-term (for life)

  • Get my masters' as a double major in English and education and become a teacher. I've always wanted this more than anything so I don't even need to go into detail on this one. If teaching doesn't work out I'll fall back on being a librarian, or perhaps pursue journalism.
  • Travel...anywhere and everywhere. I have both the global and national versions of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, and I want to go to as many places as I can in my lifetime. I don't even care where, I just want to see the world.
  • Move out and get my own place, and live fully financially independent from my parents.
  • Improve as a writer and musician and put myself out there. People keep telling me I have a gift, and I've been kind of reluctant to share it with others but I know I need to do it.
  • Live in Orlando for one summer and work as a character at Disney World. If they're not hiring, I'll see what positions are available in Universal's Wizarding World.
  • Get over myself and stop being so socially challenged. Get out of my comfort zone and try new things, and not be such a neurotic disaster when it comes to making and keeping friends.
  • Figure out my faith and grow in whichever direction I choose.
  • Continue to combat Trump and fight like hell for justice and equality.
  • Run a marathon, just so I can say "Yea bitch, I did it."
  • Adopt a child or two and raise them as a single parent. I want to give some rescue animals a home too, and give them all as much love as I can.
  • Stay sober. I plan on dying without ever having consumed a drop of alcohol or one puff of smoke.
  • Meet up with some of my online friends in real life. It would be so much fun!
  • Die with no regrets over things I wish I could have done but never did. Leave my mark and make a difference.

In the past six years, I've probably had upwards of one hundred online friends. This sounds like an astronomical amount, but it has been split pretty evenly over the course of four separate 'eras' of my Internet footprint. I have some great stories from each, some of which I may perhaps share in the distant future, but for now I'll start at the beginning.

 

First, there was a forum where Harry Potter and Twilight fans just went at it. Every thread was like the Battlegrounds section on here, it was super intense. I lurked for months before joining, fearing that the 'in-crowd' of the forum would be too cool for me. One day I mustered up the courage to create an account to talk to my favorite members, and we instantly clicked and the rest was history. The Harry Potter side of the war eventually became close friends, and we got our own section of the forum. We became a family, bound together by our love for Harry and ability to flawlessly skull-drag Twilight stans by their internalized misogynist roots. The section was named after our figurative family, and someone kept track of a tree where we were all siblings and married to our celebrity crushes. We made threads for each room of the imaginary mansion where our online family all lived together, and we even contacted the site admin and he agreed to let us all share a joint account where we could make anonymous confessions about things that were going on in our lives and then give each other advice. Almost everyone in our group struggled with either depression, self-harm, an eating disorder, suicidal thoughts, being bullied, or being closeted. As a shrinking violet eighth-grader who was kind of a loner at that point in my life, I had found a home in this community and felt accepted for the very first time.

 

Unfortunately, the whole place suddenly died in the days after the last Harry Potter film came out. The one thing that bounded us together had finally ended, and it was all we really had in common. Other than that, we were completely different. Some of us were from Hawaii while others were from Finland, some were still in middle school while others were finishing up their masters' degrees, and some had Bieber Fever while others were obsessed with Green Day. We silently parted ways and went our separate paths, never really keeping in touch. From there I made a Tumblr and began phase two of my online journey, and people started branching out into other fandoms in the meantime, but we had all drifted away, grown up, and moved on.

 

In part due to the Harry Potter book club I organized on here, I've been feeling pretty nostalgic lately. It made me think back to all of the fun times I shared with my first batch of online friends more than five years ago, so I went back and checked on that site tonight...

It's a complete and utter wasteland. The wall is four whole years of people leaving posts like "I miss you guys, we used to be so close. I love you all, have a great life <3" or "This brings back so many memories. Everything is so different now, it was a much simpler time back then. These were the best years of my life." Some people were worried because this one girl who frequently talked about being suicidal had deleted her account without any warning. I didn't get along with her back then, but it made me wonder if she had been dead for years and I was just now finding out about it. No one has posted anything in the past year, and I have no way of contacting anyone to see how they're doing.

 

Anyway, now I'm a little worried that something like that could happen here. I've met so many lovely, amazing people, and I haven't even been here for three months yet. I know it's just a forum, but you guys really do brighten my day and I don't want to lose you. One of my biggest fears is having something happen to one of you and me not knowing about it, or something happening to me and you guys having no idea. People change and grow apart, but back then I thought I was going to be friends with these people forever. Life never really turns out how you expect it to.

 

Spoiler

@Honey @GLORY @Anna-wa @QUINN @TattooedHeart @#Music @WinnieThePooh @Hyperballad @Kali @LanaxGaga and pretty much everyone else I tagged in that post milestone thread. Also I'm sorry if this post makes no sense, it's almost 2 A.M. and I'm overtired fall4

 

 

I'm livid. I once posted a status about this girl I know, but I called her my "friend." Well, not anymore.

 

She's more so friends with my little sister, and as a result she spends a lot of time at my house and she's pretty much considered part of our family. I previously talked about how her boyfriend was brainwashing her, and how she's starting to believe in all of these wacky conspiracy theories like chemtrails and denying the existence of dinosaurs.

 

Today I found out that she took it to the next level. Not only does she now believe that canola oil is "liquid cancer," but my sister alerted me that this girl's boyfriend is a fucking Holocaust denier and it sounds like she's falling for it too. I'm so pissed off right now. Denial of science is stupid, but denial of history is straight-up evil. Imagine how offended the survivors of the concentration camps would be if you looked them in the eye and told them that their pain and suffering wasn't real and never happened.

 

In addition to that, I found out that she had been having secret conversations with my ultra-conservative mother, who convinced her to vote for Trump on the grounds of "Hillary murdering babies." I was even in the room two months ago when her gay uncle called her to tell her to vote for Clinton so he wouldn't have to worry about getting electrocuted. I thought she was way smarter than this, she seemed like such a sweet girl and I'm so disappointed and upset to find out that she turned out to be such an ignorant dumbass. I feel betrayed.

If there's one thing that I can't stand about my fellow liberals, it's how they surrender so easily. As soon as they lose, they lay down and die rather than keep fighting the fight. I refuse to go down without a fight though, and that's why I decided to write to the electors. I know it's a long shot, but it might be all we have. Feel free to join me and let your voice be heard at asktheelectors.org. Don't worry about how long and articulate it is, I kept my own letter short and sweet. Without further ado, here it is!

 

 

Dear Electors,


My name is (redacted) from (redacted).

One of the gravest problems our nation faces today is division: between races, religions, economic classes, and the list goes on. My main concern in the months leading up to Election Day was which candidate would work the hardest to heal these divides and restore unity. I came to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton is the only viable option. Throughout her campaign, Clinton has made an effort to act as a voice on behalf of all Americans, while President-elect Trump's hateful rhetoric has only done more to separate us from each other. In the weeks after the election, bigots across the country felt as though their prejudices had been validated due to Trump's win and as a result thousands of hate crimes were committed against minorities.

Alexander Hamilton once argued in the Federalist Papers that the electoral college has a responsibility to intervene should a supremely unqualified president-elect come to fruition. Now is as good a time as ever. Clinton has amassed a lead of over two million in the popular vote. More than half of our nation is confused, afraid, and quite frankly disgusted at this unfortunate result. I strongly urge you to do the right thing. Only you have the power in your hands to save not only America, but the world. Go with your conscience. Be on the right side of history.

Thank you for your time and consideration, I appreciate and respect the role you serve in our electoral process.

 

Sincerely,
(redacted)

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