Sunday, January 30, 2011

My week in bullet points: This is not your average update

It's about 6:00 on a Sunday night, which is when I usually start settling down to recap my week. I'm usually scrolling down Facebook and Twitter, making sure I don't miss anything, and I'm uploading the photos I took over the course of the week. But not tonight.

I'm going to be honest. I did nothing this week. Well, that's not entirely true. I went to class. I worked. I saw Justin (the high point of the week, without question). But none of it felt supremely special of recapping. Even my anniversary dinner was lackluster. (Although, that has since been attributed to the fact that our special restaurant changed chefs and was not indicative of the moods/feelings of the happy anniversary couple.)

I'm just going to stop beating around the bush and 'fess up to you guys. I'm bummed out. I am Seasonal-Affective-Disorder-stay-in-my-jammies-and-devour-all-the-ice-cream-in-the-free-world-depressed. It's like this every winter. The short days and the grey Chicago skies throw me into a serious rut. A rut that prevents me from completing tasks (like blog posts). A rut that makes enjoying the simple things almost impossible. A rut that makes the walk from my front door to my car at the end of the driveway seem like an overnight trek across Planet Hoth. I am literally forcing myself to go through the motions of every day, because I know that laying in bed all day is in no way going to help my situation. I think I've gotten to a point where ignoring it just won't work anymore. I'm 24 years old. I need to be more proactive about the my winter moods. This winter has sucked. I have cried too much and wasted too much time in my pajamas doing nothing but feeling like a crabby bitch.

This is not a cry for help. I am not "at risk." I'm not looking for sympathy or concern. I'm just a typical woman with the Wintertime Blues, trying to push her way through her rut (as well as trying to explain why it might seem like I'm not really doing anything on this site).

So bear with me, friends, as we all chug along through what seems to be a particularly lame winter. (Chicago has a Blizzard Watch to look forward to this week. Hear that silence? Yeah, that's the sound of people not celebrating.) I can't promise that this is the moment where I turn it all around, where sharing my personal blues  transforms me into a shiny happy blogging machine. That would be way too easy (and boring). What I can say is that I'm really trying to help myself.

And I want you guys to all try to help yourselves, as well. I know I'm not the only one who feels more than a little sluggish during the winter months. What do you do to abate the doom and the gloom?

P.S. There is no photo of the week. Weetzie Dog was gone all week while we watched my sister's dog, so I was too bummed out to take any photos of anything while my model was away.

P.P.S. I feel a little lame for lumping time spent with Justin into a week of crap. My time with Justin really was special and worthy of recapping and remembering. Dinner at our special place was great, even if the food was not satisfying. We had our fancy drinks, each other, a strangers to judge. We also now have Gilmore Girls, which promises to be a great journey.

P.P.P.S Hey, look at that! I finished a post. :-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

My week in bullet points: January 17-23, 2011

I'm late with this post. I know it, I accept it, I'm moving on. Here's what I did this week, just in case you missed it.

  • I got published! Words I wrote appeared somewhere other than here! If you haven't already, check out my first piece for Eden Cafe: Body Acceptance and the Tummy Monster
  • Starting to fall back in the grind of school. And when I say "fall back," I almost mean it literally as my college has cut salt from their budget. The parking spaces are all covered in ice and some are covered in snow, which means that parking is now a battle and walking to class takes some extra skill and flair. I have never looked forward to the spring thaw as much I am this year.
  • My weekend was busy busy busy! My school's Forensics team hosted our annual Frankly Speaking Tournament on Friday and Saturday. For the second year, I was in charge of the ballot table, which is pretty much the hub of information for the tournament. It's a job that can be a bit hectic and requires a lot of focus and organization, but I have so much fun doing it. My internal clock got all messed up, but it was definitely worth it.
  • Saturday marked 365 days since I went on my first date with Justin. Unfortunately, because of the tournament, we didn't get to see each other. We'll be making up for that by going out to a nice dinner this week.
  • I watched football yesterday. I never watch sports, but I hadn't seen Justin all weekend and I was very eager to get out of my house, so I jumped at the chance to watch the Bears-Packers game with Justin and his friends. And ya know what? I got it. I understood the thrill of watching sports in a group, of cheering for a local team. I even found myself talking to the TV, encouraging the Bears to keep it together and stay calm under pressure. It was a nice afternoon and I could probably be be easily convinced to watch future games.
  • I read something this morning and felt it was essential that I share it with you all as soon as possible. The Bloggess has written a brief post about coping with mental illness and is encouraging her readers to share kind words to someone struggling with a recent suicide. The comment section has turned into a confession wall of readers speaking out about their own struggles. Very moving and, for someone like me, very comforting. I highly recommend checking it out: "Coming out."
Winter in my backayard. Love it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My week in bullet points: January 10-16, 2011

Another week is over. Here's a recap of what I did this week, just in case you missed it.

  • I did not produce any new content for my blog. FAIL.
  • BUT I DID MANAGE TO GO SHOPPING. Between sale prices and having a whole lot of gift cards, I paid $32 cash (after sales tax) for this dress. My savings were so great that the salesgirl ACTUALLY said, "You go, girlfriend!"
  • I went to a fancy cocktail party for Justin's work. Justin works at Medieval Times, so the party was a strange mix of actors, overly-primped club girls, former High School Theatre techies, and guys with long ponytails. Awesome buffet and chocolate fountain. Unfortunately, I was feeling really tired and hella shy, so I really didn't get to chat with anyone.
  • I watched maaaaany reruns of Buffy. I never saw season 7 and Logo just happened to be airing the episodes. How could I resist?
  • I watched in horror as my Facebook news feed overflowed statuses about astrology. Seriously? Astrology is gahbage (that's "garbage"), in my opinion.
Photo of the week!
A snowy night in a suburban subdivsion.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My week in bullet points: January 3-9, 2011

The first full week of 2011! Here's a recap of what went down, just in case you missed it.
  • I blogged about the discovery of a group of men who want to boycott American women in their romantic lives. Said boycotters had negative responses. Welcome to the Internet.
  • Had my first date night of the year with Justin. It was sooo nice to go out to eat (with a gift card, el oh el), stare at each other in dim lighting, and speak in hushed tones. Some of those hushed tones may have contained words about the obnoxious lady across the dining room who was talking about personal issues at a surprising volume.
  • Attended a Speech workshop and got some work done. It was nice to see everyone again and get back into the swing of Forensics-type stuff.
  • Saw Black Swan with my best friend. Great film, great company, great conversation afterwards. Love love love.
  • I won a SexIs Twitter Trivia contest! Lesson learned: if you spend your entire week on the Internet, you can win a bottle of $40 massage oil. (The question: "SexIs' comedic columnist, the Bloggess, was the focus of a story by what mainstream news organization this week?" Answer, without doing a bit of research: The Huffington Post. I may be lame, but at least I won a prize for my lameness.)
And now for my 365 Photo of the Week:
Yes, two weeks in a row of Weetzie Dog. Can you blame me?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Boycott American Women? Huh.

Last week, I stumbled across a Jezebel article entitled, "Idiot Starts Boycott of American Women." I was obviously intrigued, so I eagerly clicked on the link. APPARENTLY, there is a blog where men come together to discuss, basically, why American women are undateable and would make really shitty wives (my words, for the record). Taking their disdain for American women a step further from verbal slander, these guys are boycotting American women. Now, I wasn't entirely clear if this is a boycott on dating American women or of their existence as a whole (no American female servers, medical professionals, customer service representatives, or sex workers for THESE guys!), but the concept seemed still...a little off. Still thinking about it and talking about it in the new year, I obviously had to check out the source material.

I want to start my reaction to this blog by saying that my tone here is not "angry feminist." That would just be too expected. My initial reaction would better be described as "baffled/amused/curious about these guys' lives." I'm not going to judge these guys for their opinions; every human is entitled to their opinions and it is not my place to tell these men that they are wrong. However, that won't stop me from judging their methods. As of today, this is the most recent post:

I say don't get married period. But if you must be a hardhead, I believe outsourcing is the best idea. Foreign women are comfortable in their femininity. As a male I am attracted to this. I believe that American women have priced themselves out of the marketplace. Too needy, too many headgames, too easy to divorce. Not many foreign men want American wives either. Plus nowadays you hear American women using terms like "starter husbands". Don't do it guys. What a crude women American girls are. American men are considered the best husbands in the world. They sure put up with more than most men in other countries do. That's why women from around the world try so hard to marry an American man. American women become very bitter divorcees.
Right off the bat, I can see that these won't be the strongest of arguments. Atrocious grammar aside, this person is pulling claims out of nowhere, lumping all American women together. Yes, there are some American women who have some "different" ideas about marriage, but that doesn't mean that we ALL want starter husbands.

i've never met any women other than american women, but i will say they (American women) are a huge pain in the ass and i couldn't imagine women from any other country being any worse than american women.

Anyway, you dumb American women can bitch and whine all you want. The facts are that over 50 percent of American women are single. The facts speak for themselves- NO ONE WANTS YOU!
First, this individual admits to only having met American women, so he really has nothing to compare them to...and yet still feels he has an argument. Secondly, if you're going to try and convince me of something with "facts," show me where you got that information. Citing sources establishes credibility. When you have credibility, your audience will listen. Don't believe me? Find any Communicate! textbook by Rudoph F. Verderber.

Scrolling through the blog, I found posts from different that shared some basic sentiments:
  • American women hate American men and should therefore admit to being lesbian whores.
  • Half of American women are single and polls show that American women are the least desirable women in the world. (The posts provide no source citations.)
  • American women are selfish creatures who want nothing more than to date/marry you so that they can hurt you.
To me, this blog is sending two messages. The intended message is that American women are unfit to be mates for American men. However, I sense a latent message from these men. I get the sense that every man who posts to this site has been hurt deeply by someone in their past. It is possible that these men have been hurt repeatedly by women. Not knowing how to deal with this hurt, rejection, and emasculation, the men of Boycott American Women generalized their feeling to all American women. It is this possibility of hurt that prevents me from being angry with these men. Yes, there are some items on the blog that make me want to scream, "Maybe it didn't work out because you can't communicate with American women, not because all American women are evil succubi!" but I still feel sad for these men. They're not "idiots," just men reeling from a personal trauma. Everyone deserves the chance to be accepted by a loving partner, but everyone has to work towards bettering themselves in preparation of that partner.

So, American Men Against American Women, here is my advice to you: Have an open mind. As an American woman, I was offended by your wild generalizations, but I allowed myself to think about what caused you to think this way. By keeping an open mind, I remember that you have experienced loss in love the same way that I have. By swearing off American women, you're closing yourself off from so many opportunities. Having a closed mind and maintaining your views as they are will only drive women away. You may think that an American woman isn't what you want, but go outside into the world and I guarantee that you will find at least one man who finds American women (with their freedoms and ideas) to be a treasure.

(And seriously, guys, bone up on your oral and written communication skills. Shitty grammar and unsupported views are turn-offs that can be remedied.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My week in bullet points: December 27, 2010-January 2, 2011

Happy 2011, friends! I had a pretty lazy week, I'm not gonna lie. The week between Christmas and New Year's is so rough, so I just gave into it and vegged out (but this coming week will be different I SWEAR). So here's a recap of my week, in case you missed it.
  • I finished my Reverb10 participation. Doing that stuff made New Year's Eve a little strange for me. I had already evaluated the past year and looked forward to the next about two weeks ago, so there were not last-minute revelations. Still, it was a thought-provoking experience: Ordinary Joy, Gift
  • Thanks to my DVR recording both Orphan and Up In The Air, I had a serious fantasy love affair with Vera Farmiga.
  • Started working at my mom's office. I am Data Entry Girl. I hope to be promoted to Data Entry Baroness and shooting straight up to the top: Data Entry Empress Of The Universe.
  • Had a very relaxed New Year's Eve with a small group of friends. Good conversation, good times.
Finally, I'm introducing a new feature of the weekly recap for the new year. I'm doing one of these 365 photo projects where I take a picture every day to chronicle a year in my life. This year, each weekly recap will include a photo of the week. Enjoy. :-)
January 1
Weetzie Dog won't let us take down the Christmas tree