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About this blog

A collection of ramblings, venting, and creative output.

Entries in this blog

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.

Image result for elisa lam gif

 

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

Image result for cassandra clare ontd

 

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

Image result for famous chris's

 

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.

Image result for sheet music with sharps and flats

 

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

Image result for britney spears amanda bynes tabloids

 

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

Image result for chris pratt running gif

 

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.

Image result for teresa fraud gif

 

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...

 

Image result for hermione gif

 

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.

 

Image result for hermione reading gif

 

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.

 

Image result for hermione hand gif

 

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

 

Image result for harry potter and the philosopher's stone book tattered

 

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.

 

Image result for hermione library gif

 

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. 

 

Image result for hermione patronus gif

 

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.

 

Image result for hermione cute gif

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

 

tumblr_olc3leaxn01ugeva7o4_540.png

 

"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

Image result for leslie knope

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

Image result for mulan

Quote

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

Image result for leia organa

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

Image result for katniss

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

Image result for martha jones

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

Image result for lorelai gilmore

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

Image result for buffy the vampire slayer badass

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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Quote

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

Image result for black widow

Quote

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

Image result for hermione granger

Quote

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.

 

Image result for buffy deal with it

 

 

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)

An epiphany

This exact time last night, my friend and I were planning our escape. We were figuring out a budget between us, writing letters to our families, and trying to find a place to go. We were both completely overcome with confusion, rage, dread, heartbreak, and terror.

 

The 24 hours since then have not been any less horrifying. I can easily say that today was the worst day of my life. Other than one class where a violent shouting match erupted and I almost left the room for my safety, my campus was completely silent. People walked alone with their heads down sobbing, wearing all black and barely saying a word. When I was hopelessly weeping in the bathroom, I looked up and saw "This country's fucked" and "Heil Trump and the Fourth Reich" scrawled onto the stall and my tears just flooded out. I cried on and off from dawn to dusk, and only just stopped in the last hour.

 

Then it hit me...I can't bring myself to leave, I can't just turn my back on everything we've worked so hard for, and I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did. They say that you must be the change that you wish to see in the world, and I have to do my part. I'm going to stay and I'm going to make a difference.

 

I've always wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was little. I've thought about other related professions over the years like librarian, principal, children's book author, etc. but teaching has been my main dream since birth. If I had to narrow down a subject I would choose English, but I'm not very picky. I've never wanted anything more than to share knowledge and wisdom with the next generation so we can have a bright, hopeful future. But why can't I be that bright, hopeful future myself?

 

I'm still in the very early stages of this idea, but after today I'm thinking about changing my major to political science. I've always been very socially, economically, and politically conscious, but I never considered it for myself until now. I previously felt as though I wasn't thick-skinned enough to do the job, but this situation has given me a fire that I didn't even know I had in me. I wrote down a list of some of my most important beliefs and values, and I'll put them here for you.

 

I believe...

  • That our planet is beautiful and should be preserved. Renewable energy is the future, climate change is an undeniable reality, and we need to take immediate action.
  • That women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, the disabled, and our veterans are worthy of respect and should be treated with basic human decency.
  • That affordable healthcare is a human right.
  • That knowledge is power. College education should be available to all.
  • That women are entitled to reproductive rights and equal pay for doing the same job as a man.
  • That people should pay taxes proportionate to their income.
  • That freedom of religion extends to Muslims.
  • That the death penalty should be abolished. Prisons need to shift from being punishment-oriented to rehabilitation-oriented.
  • That the Confederate flag has no place in our country today.
  • That terminally ill patients deserve the right to die with dignity.
  • That the gun violence epidemic is a domestic threat to our national security, and we need gun control.
  • That the minimum wage should be raised to help struggling families make ends meet.
  • That #BlackLivesMatter. Police sometimes abuse their power, and should be required to wear body cameras.
  • That diversity is a beautiful thing and our differences should be celebrated.
  • That awareness trumps ignorance, peace trumps war, and love trumps hate.
  • That we can work together to make all of these things a reality.

 

My parents are the biggest conservatives I know, both fiscally and socially. Even though we disagree on pretty much everything political except for the phrase "Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are morons," they are still proud of their child and respect me for caring about our country and the people who live in it. They would undoubtedly be more happy with me passionately voting for the candidate that they hate than they would be with me apathetically voting for the candidate they like. They fully support my decision to pursue office, and said that they would vote for me regardless of my policies because we are sorely lacking in genuinely good people who are doing it for the right reasons.

 

I have no idea where this journey is going to go, or if I'll run at the local, state, or federal level, or if I'll even end up changing my major and giving up my teaching dream at all, but wish me luck. I've found a purpose in this utter chaos.

 

"This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it." - Hillary Clinton.

 

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I'm in a very Gwyneth Paltrow mood, so I'm going to give you guys a list of things you should try when you can't sleep. If this is a success, maybe I'll make more of these about arts and crafts, fitness, recipes, furniture, decor, design, meditation, etc. nicki4

Here are some useful techniques that I swear by:

  • Squaring the number 2 over and over in your head. Like 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and so on. It distracts your mind from the fact that you can't sleep, and you'll be out like a light somewhere in the thousands.
  • Listening to interactive ASMR videos on YouTube. Some videos feature pleasant sounds engineered to trigger your brain to fall asleep. They're very relaxing and sometimes they even feature a narrator tucking you into bed or giving you a simulated massage. One of my personal favorite channels is ASMR Darling.
  • Playing classical music on minimum volume. Don't listen to anything with lyrics or a rhythm you can dance to, it'll keep you awake.
  • Drinking Sleepytime Tea by Celestial Seasonings. This is one of my all-time favorite teas, and it comes in plenty of different varieties. The original has the perfect blend of peppermint and chamomile. I don't recommend sweetening it, but if you must, use honey instead of table sugar. Sometimes I have it in the middle of the day just because it tastes so good, and then I end up feeling insanely tired out of nowhere.
  • Reading tedious literary classics. I love Shakespeare, but you have to do a lot of mental work to understand it which makes it perfect. The Bible is great for this as well, and so is just cracking open the dictionary.
  • This should be a no-brainer, but simply turning off your phone. Staring at a screen is the absolute worst thing you can do if you can't sleep. oprah13

 

Share your own sleep tips below! <3

 

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Hi, y'all! After the widely-acclaimed performance with Beyonce at the CMA Awards last night, I thought I would make a post about the Dixie Chicks. Plenty of pop and R&B fans who wouldn't normally listen to them tuned in, and I figured that some might want to familiarize themselves with the top-selling female band of all time. If this turns out to be a success, I might make this into a series where I talk about how to get into other musicians, TV shows, hobbies, and things like that.

 

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THE DISCLAIMER

I know what you're thinking... "ew, country awk1" But hear me out for a minute.

 

Phase One - Have An Open Mind

Before I started listening to the Chicks I never thought I would find myself obsessed with a country artist in a million years, but here we are. The first thing you have to do is clear your brain of all preconceived notions that you might have about the genre of country. Forget about the nationalism, white supremacy, objectification of women, and references to shotguns, tractors, and moonshine. The Dixie Chicks are way above that corny mess, they are actually one of the most liberal and progressive groups out there. Honestly they are probably more woke than your pop faves. They constantly took risks and pushed the boundaries in a way almost similar to avant-garde artists like Bjork. If your only exposure to country is redneck bro music, please do not be scared away by the label.

 

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THE HISTORY

Before we get into the music, it helps to know about the history of the band and what they went through. It will make you appreciate their discography so much more.

 

Phase Two - The Basics

The Dixie Chicks, formed in Dallas, Texas, are comprised of three members: lead singer Natalie Maines, fiddler Martie Maguire, and banjoist Emily Robison. Martie and Emily are sisters, and they sing backing vocals as well. They are primarily a country group, but have also experimented with genres like folk, bluegrass, rock, and pop. They achieved breakthrough commercial success in the late 1990s, with the back-to-back Diamond certified albums Wide Open Spaces and Fly. Their 2002 album Home became a Grammy magnet, and it is widely considered to be the greatest country album of the decade. They had plenty of huge singles as well, both covers and original songs, that were able to cross over onto the pop charts. It seemed like their reign as the queens of country would never end, until...

 

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Phase Three - The Scandal

If you were alive in 2003 and didn't live under a rock, you'll remember this disaster. It was EVERYWHERE. At a concert after President Bush declared war on Iraq, Natalie said "Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." This quote immediately sparked one of the biggest media shitstorms of all time, and a nationwide debate on freedom of speech. They became country music pariahs, getting dragged by everyone from Toby Keith to Reba McEntire to Bush himself. Their at-the-time predominantly Republican stanbase completely abandoned them, but they didn't go down without a fight. The Chicks received mass death threats from their former fans, their music was completely blacklisted from radio causing their singles to fall from the Top 10 to completely off the charts in one week, and their CDs were even pulled from shelves and bulldozed in mass quantities. Their houses were vandalized and they needed police escorts. Outraged listeners were calling into radio stations saying that Natalie should get strapped to a bomb and sent to Iraq, and protesters brought their young children to their concerts, teaching them to chant threats and obscenities. They even received a letter from someone threatening to shoot Natalie onstage with a specific time and date, Martie and Emily wanted to pull out of the concert but Natalie insisted that they went through with it with heightened security and thankfully nothing happened. It made Ariana's Donutgate look like child's play and even Janet's Nipplegate seem tame. However, after a three-year break, they were ready to make a comeback.

 

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Phase Four - The Revival

In 2006, the girls had nothing to lose and decided to release a little song called "Not Ready to Make Nice." It tanked hard on country radio, but it became the biggest crossover hit of their career, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is now considered to be a classic, with powerful lyrics about standing your ground in the face of adversity and refusal to back down from what you believe in. The accompanying album Taking the Long Way debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and they swept the 2007 Grammys. They won five awards in one night, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year, and gave one of the greatest performances of their careers. Their acceptance speech was a huge "I told you so" moment, and Republicans were PISSED at their miraculous comeback. During this era they also filmed a documentary called Shut Up and Sing, a highly acclaimed look into Natalie, Martie, and Emily's lives as they dealt with the controversy. They haven't released another album since, but they're still touring and they just performed "Daddy Lessons" with Beyonce at the CMA Awards. Their fanbase now mostly consists of liberals who normally dislike country music. Now that Bush is out of office, they've been dragging Trump at their concerts instead.

 

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THE MUSIC

 

Phase Five - Not Ready To Make Nice

Even though this song comes from their last album, you should definitely listen to it first. It's easily in my top three favorite songs of all time, and it's great for non-country listeners who want to get into them since it has more rock influences. It perfectly sums up their message and everything they stand for as artists and people. Think about a time when you felt as if your beliefs were being challenged, and try not to get chills from the entire second half of the song.

 

 

 

Phase Six - Getting Into Their Bops

Most Dixie Chicks songs fall into two main categories: A) the fun, upbeat songs that make you smile, laugh, and want to dance, and B) the depressing, nostalgic, sentimental songs that make you cry like a bitch. They excel at both of these, but you should definitely try out the former first, especially if you don't usually listen to country.

 

My personal favorite of these is "Goodbye Earl," a song about an abusive husband who gets murdered by his wife and her best friend. It's primarily known for having disturbingly violent lyrics sung to a sugary sweet melody. This is probably their weirdest song, but it's absolutely brilliant. The music video stars Jane Krakowski and Lauren Holly.

 

 

"Cowboy Take Me Away" is their most romantic song, it's about escaping with your boo to a calmer place. I want this to be played at my wedding someday tbh.

 

 

"Long Time Gone" is probably one of their most redneck sounding songs but it's still fun, it's very traditional country and they sampled it during the Bey performance last night.

 

 

"Ready to Run," about running away from the altar, was featured in the Julia Roberts movie The Runaway Bride.

 

 

"There's Your Trouble" was the song that propelled the Chicks into superstardom.

 

 

"Wide Open Spaces" helped me get through the crazy life changes that came with starting college. It's a dreamy song about a young girl leaving the country and going out into the world.

 

 

 

Phase Seven - Getting Into Their Ballads

Don't listen to these songs without a box of Kleenex nearby.

 

"You Were Mine" is THAT song about divorce and pining over your ex-man. ny3

 

"Landslide," first performed by Fleetwood Mac, is their most famous cover and it's arguably as good as the original. This was their biggest hit until "Not Ready To Make Nice" came out.

 

 

"Travelin' Soldier" along with the next song on this list is easily one of their most powerful works. They released this song in response to 9/11 and gained a ton of new fans, only to lose them after Natalie's comment before performing it in concert. About the tragic love story of a soldier deployed in Vietnam and a young waitress back home, you'd be heartless not to shed a tear. If you know someone in the military, think about it before pressing play because it might turn you into a wreck dead2

 

From the point of view of a dead man looking back on his regrets during his time on Earth, "Top of the World" is undoubtedly the Dixie Chicks' most emotional song. In the video, Emily plays the man's abusive mother who hardens his heart and causes him to neglect his future wife, played by Martie, and daughter, played by Natalie. This is their magnum opus, and the video makes it a work of art.

 

 

 

Phase Eight - The Honorable Mentions

 

  • "I Can Love You Better"
  • "Cold Day in July"
  • "Without You"
  • "Sin Wagon"
  • "White Trash Wedding"
  • "Easy Silence"

 

 

If anyone is still reading at this point, thank you so much for sticking with me through this! I'm honored to have introduced you to these extremely talented ladies, and I hope you decide to give them a chance.

Life Update 1

I'm halfway through my first semester. I guess time really does start to fly once you get older, because I feel like my first day of college was just yesterday.

 

So far it is a massive improvement over high school. I was honest-to-God suicidal back then, and while those thoughts still creep up on me sometimes, my life is so much better now. I never thought I would be this happy someday, the truth is that I'm surprised I didn't kill myself a long time ago. I'm enjoying the independence and even the responsibility, and it's done wonders for my mental health. I generally feel relaxed, and my stress and anxiety levels have decreased significantly. I'm getting the hang of time management too. Some of my personal goals for the second half of this semester are making more friends, getting involved in a club or another extracurricular activity, and generally just going above and beyond to keep my nerves from controlling my life again. It doesn't consume me like it used to. I do have to say that the election has been stressing me out, but I have complete faith that Hillary will smoke that clown come November 8th.

 

As for physical health, I'm still starving and binging. Today was not a good day in that regard. I completely skipped breakfast and lunch, had a small sandwich and salad around 2:30 P.M., then went home and had like 6 cookies, felt like shit about myself for it and then made my family suspicious by eating a few bites for dinner and leaving the table. It's been making me act like a bitch too, last night I got into this petty argument about social justice stuff in a group chat and I felt ganged up on so I exited and haven't talked to my friends in there since. Looking back I was the one trying it with them and getting defensive, and I'm kind of embarrassed about it especially since no one has checked up on me to make sure I'm doing okay. I did lash out at them before leaving, but I also happen to have a lot of stuff going on. Earlier that day, I received word that my stalker was going around saying that I should kill myself already, and even though I'm used to it by now I'm still shaken by it.

 

I want to end on a positive note by sharing some good news with you...

  • As some of you already know from my status update, my Honors Composition professor loved my essay about my personal definition of feminism. I got a 9.5/10, and he suggested that I revise and submit it for publication somewhere. I adore my professor, so I was completely flattered by this remark. I'm going to write my next essay about the role of discrimination, segregation, and prejudice in the Harry Potter series, and hopefully I can live up to my own hype.
  • My piano teacher from elementary, middle, and high school also left me a voicemail asking me to play some Christmas songs in her recital. I still have yet to call her back and say yes, but I'm thinking about performing my all-time favorite, "O Holy Night."
  • I'm also in the process of securing an internship at a K-8 private school library. Hopefully this is the beginning of my career as an educator!
  • I started out this semester taking seven courses. I know that's a lot, it's the maximum number of credits you can take in one semester. But two of them are half-semester and they're now over, so my workload will decrease significantly. RIP to Library Research Skills and College Forum!

 

That's all for now. Remember that you're brave and someone loves you. I'm always here if you need someone to talk to. cheer1