Friday, January 24, 2014

Um, can you not?

Man, there have been some real dumb-dumbs in the news lately, right? I feel like all I've done lately is roll my eyes at all the dumb stuff people have been doing

Dear Justin Bieber: Um, can you not?
It's not a secret that I'm not your biggest fan. I don't think you're talented, and I think you've needed to take a big step backwards for a long time.
But this is beyond unacceptable. If you want to be an idiot with your friends, fine. But you made the conscious choice to get behind the wheel of a car (that you didn't own), while you were drunk (and underage) and drive. I don't care what kind of stuff you have going on, that is unacceptable.
Also, your fans are dumb. Tell them to stop.
Also, I'm not outright saying that you and Miley Cyrus are the same person, I'm just saying we've never seen you both in the same place at the same time.

Dear Tom Brady: Um, can you really not?
I know no one is suprised that you're being a total baby about not going to the Superbowl. I know you think you're so cool and so edgy for saying you're not going to watch.
Listen, Tommy. If you were such a rockstar, you and your team would be going to the Superbowl. But you're not, because even though you're a good quarterback, you're not the BEST quarterback. Also, maybe this is karma for you whining all season long. Didja think about that? Quit your complaining.
Also, when you say you "could care less" it means you DO care. You were looking for the phrase "couldn't care less." If this is confusing you, please see this helpful post. Talking is hard, I know.

Dear kids who are apparently snorting Smarties? FOR REAL? CAN YOU NOT?
Um, ew. What are you doing? No really, what are you doing? What do you get from this? Could you explain it to me? Why are you selling Smarties in baggies like they're elicit drugs and not something you can buy 1000 for a dollar at Target?

Dear Mike Huckabee: Um, can you not?
What even are you talking about? When will the republican party just shut up about birth control? It literally never works in your favor.
Mike, (I can call you Mike, right?) I don't take birth control because I'm helpless, I take it because I'm responsible enough to know I'm not financially stable enough for a child right now. I'm the worst, I know. The AUDACITY I must have.

Who's on your list this week that you think should just shut up already? Tell me all about them! Let's rejoice in their stupidity together!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Don't Call Me Beyoncé

Well actually, you could call me Beyoncé. I'd be okay with that. But that's not the point here.

I was bopping around the internet the other day, as I often do, when I saw this picture:
Normally, I'm not one to criticize where people get their motivation from, but this just made me mad.

Sure, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. And Beyoncé IS a good role model. She's smart, she's talented, she has a great husband and a beautiful daughter, she hangs out with the President. Really, she's got it all. I'm a fan, you're a fan, everyone's a fan.

But I just can't get down with this kind of motivation. First of all, because I don't think semi-shaming people into doing more is the right path to take. Yeah, we all have the same hours, but you don't know what's going on in my life. Sorry I didn't have time to record an album + seventeen videos this week? My bad.

This picture leaves out all the resources she has that you and I could never dream of having. First and foremost, she has essentially unlimited funding. If she wants to pursue a new venture or interest she can, without worry. If her album doesn't do well (LOLZ not likely), she'll be fine. She'll be bummed, but ultimately, it wouldn't change her day-to-day. If you spent a year working on a huge project at work only to have it flop, you'd be incredibly disappointed, and you'd probably get in trouble with your boss. You might even get fired. She has room to experiment with things she's unsure about because she knows she has a soft place to land if those things aren't successful. You and I don't have that luxury.

After Blue Ivy was born, she took a year-ish off to spend time with her. With the maternity leave laws (or lack thereof) that we have here, a woman is lucky to get six weeks off. Our girl Bey can take as long as she wants. And while she's traveling all over the world this year for her Mrs Carter World Tour? You know Blue is going to be right there with her. She doesn't have to leave her at home when she travels for her job. Blue Ivy is going to have more stamps on her passport by her 10th birthday than most people get their entire lives. (That's mostly irrelevant, but man, it's cool.)

She also has a team of approx. 903809128 around her at any given time.

She doesn't have to waste time doing housework. You can say that you bet she's so real and does her own laundry, but you are kidding yourself and we both know it. No disrespect here, because if my net worth was 30 million bucks, I would have someone on staff whose only job was to iron my underoos, sort them by color, and hang them up in my underwear closet. (Yeah, I have an underwear closet in my mega-rich fantasy.) And if you think her hands have touched a Lysol-soaked sponge anytime in the last five years, you are wrong. My life would be a lot more interesting too if I didn't have to spend a quarter of it vacuuming and washing and sanitizing various things in my home.

Of course, I don't say any of this because I dislike Beyoncé. I really do like her. But I wonder if this kind of motivation is more harmful than helpful. You can channel Beyoncé all you want. But don't compare your life to someone's that you only know through Instagram, whose net worth is in the millions, who has the time and the resources to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants.

This continued conversation of "am I doing enough?" is stupid and unfair and not real. Enough according to who? You and Beyonce don't have the same life. You and I don't even have the same life. Comparing yourself to anyone else, whether it's your favorite singer or your favorite coworker, isn't going to accomplish anything.

So don't channel your best Beyoncé.  Channel your best you.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

High Five for Friday!

I'm still not sure how I want to do Friday posts going forward, so today I decided to link up with Lauren for High Five for Friday. A lot of people participate in this one, and I wanted to get in on the fun!

1 // Garrett got his Starbucks Gold Card this week, so now we both have one! I think you've all heard the rule that the best couples both have gold cards, right? And speaking of Starbucks, I get to hang out with Jenna on Sunday! At Starbucks, of course.

2 // My sister-in-law Nikki works at Colonial Williamsburg, and she got us this coffee for Christmas. I just opened it this morning, and it is amaaaaaazing.

3 // The weather is supposed to be nice-ish this weekend, so that means field jackets and cute shirts instead of puffy coats and bulky sweaters, and I am STOKED.

4 // Garrett ordered some GIRL SCOUT COOKIES for us today! Talk about being stoked, right? I love supporting the Girl Scouts. Also, cookies. COOKIIIEEEESSSSS.

5 // We got brunch with my parents and my brother and his girlfriend on Sunday, and we got our server to snap this picture. I think I've looked at it every day this week. I just love it.

Happy Friday, you guys!!!

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Golden Globes Recap

So, the Golden Globes were last night. You guys know how much I love awards season, right?

So let's get right into it.

Five Favorite Dresses
Sofia Vergara in Zac Posen (that necklace!) 
Lupita Nyong'o Ralph Lauren (that cape!) 
Oliva Wilde in Gucci (that sparkly baby bump!)
Amy Poehler in Stella McCartney (that... everything! God, I love her.)
Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad (that waist! this dress is flawless.)

Five Favorite WTF Moments

Jaquelline Bissett's Awkward Acceptance Speech. Hands down, one of the weirdest speeches I've ever seen. 
Everyone's five mile walk to the stage. They were really crammed in there last night, and it looked like everyone was having trouble getting to the stage. Plan better next year, HFP. 
"Fun" Facts. This actually happened before the show, on the red carpet. E! was including fun facts about the stars all night, and one of the fun facts they decided to show was this: 
Ummmmmm, I think you need a refresher on what the word "fun" means. (They apologized.)
Woody Allen winning an award that... he didn't want. The HFP chose to award the Cecil to Woody Allen. Except Woody Allen wasn't there. In fact, he didn't even want the award. I've never been a huge fan of his, but aside from that, there are plenty of people who would have been willing recipients. The whole thing was just weird. (Bonus: Ronan Farrow had a funny zinger on Twitter.) 
Diane Keaton singing. Or basically everything Diane Keaton. Sorry, I kinda hate her. I've always found her just completely irritating. Accepting an award for someone and singing the girl scout song was just weird. 

Five Favorite Gifs
I think we can all agree we want to be Emma Thompson when we grow up.
Well, you handled that well. Kind of.
What every non-blogger looks like when their blogger friends want to take selfies.

Five Favorite Winners
AMY FREAKIN' POEHLER. It is about time. Normally, I don't like winners who get onstage and gush about how "shocked" they are. There is literally a one in five chance you're going to win, you don't get to be THAT surprised. But she deserved her surprise. Parks and Rec has long been an under appreciated show, and I'm so glad she's finally getting recognized for it.
Matthew McConaughey. I haven't seen Dallas Buyer's Club yet, but I just love him, so I'm so glad he won. I love that he's growing into a serious actor (whatever that means).
Andy Samberg. Such a nerd. So adorable. I love him.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A win for a show like this one is a win for all the quirky shows that are on TV right now. All of the shows like New Girl, Mindy Project, even Happy Endings all have large, loyal fan bases, but have never gotten the critical reception as well. The fact that Brooklyn Nine-Nine won 
Leonardo DiCaprio. I die a little inside every time I remember that my man Leo doesn't have an Oscar. Is winning a GG a hint that he could possibly win one this year?! Keep your fingers crossed!

What was your favorite moment last night?

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Are YOU Breaking These Coffee Shop Rules? I hope not!

I've spent a lot of time in coffee shops. In fact, I fancy myself a bit of a coffee shop expert, which is kind of a big deal, because you know I don't consider myself an expert at that many things. And being a coffee shop expert (I refuse to use the word snob, thankyouverymuch), I have pretty high standards on what I think is acceptable behavior while in a coffee shop.

On Sunday, Garrett and I wanted to get out of the house, so we decided to head over to my long-time favorite local coffee place for a bit. It's your typical local coffee joint - lots of local artwork on the wall, local music, and lots of people. You know, it was a rainy Sunday afternoon, so it was busy. Too busy for two dudes to be taking up six chairs, or some other dude to have his laptop cord strung across three tables. But all those things happened.

And that got me thinking: are there coffee shop rules? People who use subways often complain about people who don't have "subway etiquette:" people who take up multiple seats, people who don't move for old people or pregnant ladies, etc. No one tells you those rules, but they're all things you should know if you're an adult that lives in, you know, reality.

But some people don't know those rules. Until now. Because I'm about to lay down the law, coffee shop style.
Rule Number One: If you are ONE person, you do NOT need a table with four chairs, especially when the coffee shop is busy. "But Alyssa, I have to spread out all my crap to be productive!" You're full of it. This is not your living room.

And while we're on the subject...
Rule Number Two: If you are two people, sit at one table. Do NOT sit at two tables close to each other. In case this rule is confusing, allow me to present this helpful diagram. This is what happened on Sunday.
Two humans taking up two tables and SIX chairs. Are you for REAL? You see how busy this place is, right? Those two girls that just walked in don't have anywhere to sit because you two yoyos are taking up two entire tables for no reason at all. I know you straight dudes think that if you sit too close together, you'll catch The Gay, but I promise that won't happen. So go ahead and get cozy. And stop being such a jerk.

Oh, and do you see that long yellow line in that diagram? That's someone's LAPTOP CORD. Which brings me to my next rule:
Rule Number Three: If you want to work on your computer, and your computer needs to be plugged in, sit close to an outlet. Don't weave your cord through three different tables and then require other patrons to step over/under it. Also, if your computer must be plugged in at all times, maybe a coffee shop environment isn't the best option? Maybe.

Rule Number Four: If the line is long, know what you want before you get to the cash register. There are menus everywhere for a reason. Don't act like you're soooo surprised the barista wants to know what you want. If the shop isn't busy, sure, take all the time you need. But if it's busy, especially in the mornings during the work week, you better have it together when you get to the front of the line.

Rule Number Five: If you have a complicated order, say it slowly and clearly. In my experience, baristas don't mind a long order, but they DO mind if you're rude and awful. Don't be rude and awful.

Rule Number Six: If you're a sneezing, coughing mess, please stay at home. It's flu season, and these tables are way too close together for you to be snotting all over other people. Also, caffeine isn't going to do anything for you anyway. Go drink some tea. At home. We all thank you.

Rule Number Seven: If you order a no-foam cappuccino, your barista IS going to make fun of you behind your back. I am too. I might even blog about how dumb you are. A cappuccino without foam is not a cappuccino, it is a latte. You don't need to know every type of coffee and espresso drink that has ever existed, but you DO need to know what you're ordering.

Rule Number Eight: Tipping your baristas isn't mandatory, but it sure is nice. They deal with dumb people all day who order no-foam cappuccinos, and even a small tip will mean a lot to them.

Rule Number Nine: For the love of all things holy, please don't skype in the coffee shop. Everywhere has free wifi these days, and I promise you that none of the other coffee shop patrons want to listen to you scream at your best friend about how drunk you got last night, and how hilarious it was. Take it to McDonalds.
Rule Number Ten: Seasonal drinks are, you know, seasonal. Don't pitch a fit in the middle of the summer because you can't get a peppermint mocha. You know that no one loves a PSL more than this girl, but for everything there is a season, and all that. Cool your stinkin' jets.

So there you have it. Print this off and carry it with you if you need to. These are the rules. You have to follow them, or you have to be prepared to face the wrath of the coffee gods, and you do NOT want to get tangled up with them. They're under-caffeinated, and they are angry.

Don't say I didn't warn you, that's all I'm saying.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Grief and the Holidays and Trying to Move On

I may have mentioned once or twice (snort) how much I love the holidays. And I really do. I love how happy everyone is. I love how everything is sparkly and decorated. I love coming home every day to a huge Christmas tree.

I was sitting at my parents house last week right before Christmas when I started looking around. In an unexpected twist, my parents had put up their decorations already, and the house was cozy and Christmas-y and awesome. I was taking it all in: the tree, the lights, the stockings over the fireplace. Christmas cheer was everywhere.

And you know what else was everywhere? Leftover flowers that were sent to us after my grandfather passed away.

Okay, they weren't everywhere. But you know how, after someone dies, people typically send those big flower arrangements to you to express their condolences? My parents still have a few of those sitting around the house. Several are sitting in front of the fireplace, right underneath our stockings.

They've been dead for a few months now. I'm not sure why my mom has let them sit there for so long, but I imagine it's the same reason that I've had a used coffee cup riding around in my car for a month or so. It's from when Kelsey visited, and I just can't throw it away. When we were in college (and she lived ten minutes away instead of ten hours), my car always always had used coffee cups in it. Cups from Tate Street Coffee and Starbucks and Port City Java that I only threw out when there was a new one to take its place a few days later. Now, our coffee trips are much less frequent. My car stays cleaner, but I'm much more lonely (and uncaffeinated) without my best friend around.

Even if they're dead, throwing them away is hard. To me, there's some comfort in keeping them around. It makes it seem like it wasn't THAT long ago that my grandpa was alive.

Grief is weird because it just hangs out. Indefinitely. It's not constant, it's not all-encompassing, it's just there. You don't think about it all the time, but you know it's there. How do you balance grief with, you know, trying to live your life? I feel guilty trying to push it out of my mind, because I don't want to forget. I don't want to ignore his memory.

And then we get to the point we're at now. It's the new year. All traces of the holidays are gone... the stockings have been put away and the confetti has been swept up. You're back to your regular life.

It's the same with death. Someone dies, and you spend a certain amount of time grieving that person. But eventually, you stop. Eventually, you put it all away and go about your life. You remember the time where you were grieving, but it becomes a memory. Something you did last week, last month, last year. Just like everything else, you package it away. As weird as it is, eventually, it's something that you think about and (hopefully) smile. It's still hanging out, but you've figured out how to organize it. It's there when you need it, because sometimes, you need to grieve. But you've figured out how to manage it. Somehow.
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Monday, January 6, 2014

A Very Long, Very Late Holiday Recap

So Christmas was what.. almost two weeks ago? And New Year's Eve was one week ago? That means it's a good time to just recap it all, right? Yes. Yes, I thought so.

The weekend before Christmas, we went to a Christmas party with some of Garrett's coworkers. And we looked awesome.

On Christmas Eve, we had my mom's family over to our apartment. I was nervous to squeeze ten people into our apartment, and there were several people sitting on the floor, but it went well. This might be the only posed picture we took all night, and it's officially one of my faves.

On Christmas Day, we headed to my grandparents house. My dad has two brothers and a sister, so there are always a ton of people there. This year, there were 26. It's always such a warm, loving environment, and I love being there at Christmastime. We were all off our picture game, but my brother got this candid picture of Garrett and me that I love. We have an actual ton of selfies, but not a lot of candids, so it's kinda special.
And this is my favorite niece, and my dad. You know, two more awesome people.

On the 27th, we were off to visit Garrett's parents. Since we don't see them that often, we stayed a few days. It's not often that Garrett, his two brothers, and their significant others are all in the same place at the same time, so naturally, we took some pictures. And naturally, we took approximately one million before we got a good one.

We also spent some time in Colonial Williamsburg, which I hadn't done since I was pretty young. My sister-in-law works there, so we were so legit. Too legit to quit.

We rounded out the holiday season doing... absolutely nothing for New Years Eve. We didn't get home from Virginia until about 5pm, and at that point, neither one of us felt like getting dressed up. So we poured some champagne, put on our pajamas, and spent the evening on our couch. I love both of our families dearly, but after a week of being away, it was nice to have a quiet night in our own home.

Tomorrow will be back to regularly scheduled posting. No, really. I promise. I PROMISE. The post is already typed! I'm going to be on the ball in 2014. Not a resolution, just a fact. Boom.

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Two Years. 730 Days. 17,520 Hours. 1,051, 200 Minutes. 63,072,000 Seconds.

Two years ago, I got in my car, didn't tell anyone where I was going, and drove four hours to visit this dude that I didn't really know. I mean, I knew his family, so I knew he wasn't a serial killer, but spending three days with someone you really don't know that well? Risky, to say the least.

Thankfully, it was pretty much the best decision I ever made.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Don't call it a Resolution.

I've never been a New Year's Resolutions girl. I knew I could never keep up with them, and if I'm honest with myself, they're the same every year. Eat healthy, get in shape, read more, spend more time with family, etc. All run of the mill stuff. Of course, I have my goals that I still try to stick to, but I try not to make a big deal out of them because... you know... the more you blab about them, the less you typically do them. I also feel like personal goals are just that... personal. Despite having general life goals posted on my blog (and occasionally blogging about my progress), I feel like my life improvement goals are ones that I should keep to myself.

But for 2014, I wanted to do something in the life-improvement category, so I decided to focus (lolz) on a word/idea/concept instead of specific goals. I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this year, and how I was going to do it. I started to realize that my productivity was often hindered by a lack of direction or focus.
I consider myself a good multitasker (like any good millennial, of course!), but honestly, I had started to confuse "multitasking" with "not concentrating." I would get through short periods of work and then I would want to check Twitter or Instagram, or check my email again to see if I had gotten any new blog comments, or make a move on Words with Friends. Sporadically focusing on things usually doesn't mean a lot, and everything around me was suffering, especially my blog.

So I'd like to streamline my thinking, if that makes sense. Whether it's working on job applications and cover letters, or blog posts, or meal planning, I want to focus 100% on that thing. Even on little things like text messages and emails. I've mentioned before that I'm awful at responding to them. This year, I want to be better at communicating with everyone around me, via phone/email/text/whatever.

I have big plans this year, personally, professionally, and blog-ally (sorry, I couldn't help it), and to achieve those goals, I'm going to have to focus on them. Real, uninterrupted focus.
I'm not sure yet how much I'll blog about my progress. I love sharing with you guys, of course, but I do consider this a really personal journey of mine. We'll see how the year plays out.

Happy 2014, everyone!! I love you all, and I'm so glad I get to be a part of this awesome blog family.

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