What friends have done to me

3 Jun

I know I’m lucky to say this, but I haven’t been badly burned by people who call themselves my friends. I haven’t really been belittled or backstabbed, forgotten or forsaken. For any of you who carry around hurts from friends – especially people you once deeply cared about – I’m sorry. There are people out there who won’t do that to you, and I hope they find you soon.

Good friends make me better off. They have changed me in good ways. They haven’t just been people to complain to and go to movies with. They do this really amazing thing of knowing who I am, accepting who I am, and loving who I am. I mean… I can’t even do that for myself all the time! But these people who have heard me make a fool of myself, seen what a mess I can make of my bedroom, and experienced me obsess over things that won’t fulfill me… they choose to love me, and they express that to me.

Here’s how I’m better off because of these people:

  • when I thought I had screwed up bad enough to lose my job, one friend picked me up at almost midnight to encourage me and cheer me up
  • when I finally ended a saga and let go of an apathetic guy, one friend (my best) sent me an email full of praise, making me sound like the most wonderful girl that he rejected
  • when I realized that I needed to end said saga, another friend sat until I had talked out and freaked out
  • when I’m ever frowning (even if just on the inside), one of my roommates notices and checks on me
  • when I’m broke, my friends buy my meal
  • when I need to talk, I know that I’m welcome to waltz into my friend’s bedroom, day or night, without introduction or reason
  • when I scream in my sleep, my friend is ready to beat up somebody with a field hockey stick, just in case that’s ever the reason that I’m screaming
  • when I’m afraid that I’m abnormal, my (best) friend always proves that I’m not by sharing her own relatable experiences with me and assuring me that I’m fine
  • when I need a place to stay, my friends offer their parents’ house
  • when I want to quote the hilariousness of favorite movies and shows, there are the perfect friends who appreciate them as much as I do
  • when I lament my inability to be funny, my friends remind me that my laughing makes up for it
  • and much more.

So what have my friends done to me? They’ve spoiled me for fair-weather friends, mediocre friends, and uncaring friends. I’m accustomed to the best now.

For the linguistically challenged *updated*

11 May

If you’re like me, half a semester of beginning college Spanish is about all you can handle. Yes, half a semester. After that it was all Greek to me.
So we may not ever be bilingual, and that kind of sucks. It’s also embarrassing when you’ve studied so little language, and have such a loose handle on non-English pronunciation, that you just give up trying with the easiest of words: “Tasty lookin’ whores-devours at this party, huh?” That might offend.

I often feel dumb when I don’t know how to pronounce the names of fashion designers. Obviously this embarrassment isn’t made public often, since I nor anyone I really know is in the designer-wearing crowd. Still, if you too struggle with this, here’s some help: the BBC and the Wall Street Journal have kindly provided articles on the subject.

If you don’t feel comfortable ordering a few dozen types of scotch, a Scot has done the talking bit for you, aye.

Click for pronunciation

For many other of your pronunciation needs is a YouTube channel, Pronunciation Book. These spoken words are either ridiculously mundane, or rather helpful.

Lastly, but most shameful, I am terrible at Bible words. Here’s the thing: Even if you don’t read or talk about the Bible much, you  will be all the smarter, more cultured, and sophisticated-er with the ability decipher some Hebrew, Greek, and/or Latin vocabulary. Do so here and here.

Now go forth, knowing more both obscure pronunciation like examples above, and more common ones:

  • aegis: ee-jis, not ay-jis
  • asterisk: as-ter-isk, not as-ter-ik
  • alumnae: a-lum-nee, not a-lum-nay
  • archipelago: ar-ki-PEL-a-go, not arch-i-pel-a-go
  • athlete: ath-leet, not ath-a-leet
  • candidate: kan-di-dayt, not kan-i-dayt
  • chimera: kiy-MEER-a, not CHIM-er-a
  • disastrous: di-zas-tres, not di-zas-ter-es
  • electoral: e-LEK-tor-al, not e-lek-TOR-al
  • etcetera: et-set-er-a, not ek-set-er-a
  • lambaste: lam-bayst, not lam-bast
  • larvae: lar-vee, not lar-vay
  • library: li-brar-y, not li-bar-y
  • mischievous: MIS-che-vus, not mis-CHEE-vee-us
  • mispronunciation: mis-pro-nun-see-ay-shun, not mis-pro-nown-see-ay-shun
  • nuclear: noo-klee-ur, not noo-kyu-lur
  • nuptial: nup-shul, not nup-shoo-al
  • primer: (schoolbook) prim-mer, not pry-mer
  • picture: pik-cher, not pit-cher
  • prescription: prih-skrip-shun, not per-skrip-shun
  • prerogative: pre-rog-a-tive, not per-rog-a-tive
  • peremptory: per-emp-tuh-ree, not pre-emp-tuh-ree
  • probably: prob-a-blee, not pra-lee or prob-lee
  • Realtor: reel-ter, not ree-la-ter
  • supposedly: su-pos-ed-lee, not su-pos-ab-lee
  • spurious: spyoor-ee-us, not spur-ee-us
  • tenet: ten-it, not ten-unt
  • ticklish: tik-lish, not tik-i-lish
  • triathlon: try-ath-lon, not try-ath-a-lon

Read more: Commonly Mispronounced Words — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0907075.html#ixzz1M49d6rKj

The more tired you are the comfier it becomes, etc.

10 May

Have you noticed how much more comfortable that hard couch, thin futon, or feet-smelling carpet becomes when you’re very tired? The increase in comfiness is directionally proportional to how glorious it feels to close your eyes. Your body ceases to feel the springs poking into your sides; your senses fail to detect the lights and noises that might otherwise hinder sleep.

It makes me think of Lampy on Brave Little Toaster, plunking down on that rock for the night. Anybody!? As children’s movies often are, Brave Little Toaster (1987) was strange and somewhat disturbing, but I do have fond memories of watching it. And Lampy was my favorite.

Just one of those things.

Here’s a random peeve about traveling: I like pilots… especially when they tell jokes on the PA. But why do they insist on telling passengers what direction and speed the wind is blowing on the ground at the arrival destination? “Alright folks, sorry about the turbulence there. Better the plane be shaken than stirred – ha ha! We should be touching down in Sacramento in the next 30 minutes, where it’s a breezy 65 degrees. And get this: that breeze is coming from the northwest at 17 miles per hour!” Thank you, Captain Weathervane.

Fanatical teenyboppers through the ages

12 Apr

 

Old Blue Eyes

 

 

 

 

In the 40s it was Frank Sinatra.

 

 

 

Beatle Mania

 

 

 

 

 

In the 60s it was The Beatles.

 

 

 

I woke up in love this morning

 

 

 

 

 

In the 70s it was David Cassidy.

 

 

 

Check the hair

 

 

 

 

 

In the 80s it was Jon Bon Jovi.

 

 

 

I kissed his poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 90s it was Hanson… specifically Taylor.

 

 

The Biebs

 

 

 

 

 

And now… well, you know.

 

 

 

 

What do these riot-causers have in common? Besides causing young girls to have completely irrational daydreams of marrying them, causing young girls to hyperventilate, and even causing them to faint.

The thing they have in common is the plastering of their faces on the pages of Tiger Beat, the magazine founded in 1965 by Charles Laufer, who just passed away. Okay… Frank Sinatra was too early for it, but I just love the term for his teenybopper followers: bobby sox.

I was no exception to the phenomenon of fanatical tween devotion to oh-so-cute famous boys: I really did kiss my Taylor Hanson poster(s).

Pocket squares and bow ties

12 Apr

Cary Grant, of course.

There is a whimsical, entrancing world that I am often drawn into. It is full of clothes and accessories and materials and fashions – peep-toes, strands of pearls, floral patterns and shirt dresses. NO! I’m talking about suit jackets, ties, flannel, and white button-downs cuffed at the elbow. Yes, I’m talking about men’s fashion.

I am a girl. I like dressing like a girl. But I think men’s style is indcredibly interesting and exciting. It is a strange addiction.

Exhibit A: I peruse Esquire and GQ online. I always feel quite odd when I go to these sites because I have to bypass the photos of Minka Kelly and Christina Hendricks,with headlines suggesting who-knows-what about unmentionable things. But these sites have how-to’s like The Well-Dressed Rebel (a guide to breaking the rules), and How to Wear Jeans. Not stuff I need to know, but still.

Exhibit B: GQ has a section called “Style Icons,” and created a fashion tribute to Paul Newman. Who do classically stylish women have to imitate, seriously? There are few ladies who were really bold and original in their time, I feel like.

Exhibit C: Bow ties and suspenders, yes please. The ties are great tied or untied… see photo of the lovely John Krasinski.

Exhibit D: Men’s runway fashion, much like women’s is weird. There is plenty of weird clothes out there.  And male models (again, much like female ones) freak me out. And STILL it’s fascinating! To keep things humorous, though, here’s a how-to-turn-your-boyfriend-into-someone-else-with-clothes blog.

Nautical

April: For abused children and survivors of sexual assault

31 Mar

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is also Child Abuse Prevention Month. These are two huge, serious problems to recognize in 30 days! Let’s look at some stats.

Child abuse:

Almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse. Most are under the age of 4.

90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator; 68% are abused by family members

Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy

Neglect comprises 60% of child abuse; 11% is physical.

Here’s more info.

Sexual assault:

Roughly 75% of sexual assault victims know their perpetrator

1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime

Sexual assault takes many forms—it is any unwanted sexual contact, including rape or attempted rape

1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in his lifetime

Sexual assault is hugely under-reported; it is also seldom falsely reported – 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police

Only about 6% of rapists ever spend a day in jail

Here’s more info

 

Cures for the hopeless romantic

21 Mar

This is a serious condition. It is not gender specific. Most movies and music exacerbate it. It is long-term. And let’s be honest… it can’t actually BE cured, despite the title. So let’s talk about managing it.

Strategy #1: Never watch romantic comedies or romantic dramas. A lot of men do this anyway, and I know some women who don’t let a romance movie come near them. Also, cut all sappy, sentimental, lovey-dovey, heartbreaking, and otherwise emotional music out of your playlist. Discover instrumental jazz or offensive rap… anything but the hopeless romantic stuff. In fact, you might want to just fill your MP3 player with audio books in genres like thriller, war history, and political commentary.

To your nonsensical heartfelt sensibilities, that’s the equivalent of a cold shower.

Strategy #2: Develop a healthy dislike for the gender of your affections. Read about psycho, needy women or lazy mama’s boys. Ask your friends about their worst significant others, with all the depressing details. Watch bad reality TV and get disgusted by how awful people are treating each other.

Strategy #3: Do like nuns and monks – devote yourself entirely to a goal or pursuit, discarding all romance and intimacy – temporarily. Take six months, a year, or however long to learn how to do something well. Be single-minded. Be devout. Will the hopelessness away. Maybe you’ll get cured.

Strategy #4: Put yourself out there a ton. Chances are, you’ll either get rejected/dumped a lot, or you’ll find The One. If the former happens, you’ll develop a useful cynicism, beneficial to the goal of eradicating your hopelessly romantic tendencies. If the latter happens, congrats.

Whether or not you’re more traditional about love, good luck to you.