Blog Archives

Becoming Strangers.

Hey girl, I never want to talk to you... EVER.

Hey girl, I never want to talk to you… EVER.

I’ve had a crush on this guy, Brian, for more than10 years. He went to my high school, and last year we reconnected.

He lives in Indiana, and we had a date night when I was in town last summer. It was fantastic. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder about the potential of a serious relationship with him.

After our date, we continued to keep in touch. I sent him cards in the mail, we read a book together (and called it “Book Club”), and made plans to meet up again in May.

Around Valentine’s Day, he confessed he wished we were able to celebrate together. Uncharacteristically, he apologized and told me he knew he hadn’t been the nicest person to me, and he appreciated my company.

He even told me that he checked his phone every day to see if I’d texted him. It was very sweet and I was touched.

I asked him if he’d be interested in having a “FaceTime date,” so we could see each other. He said yes.

The day of our date, he said a work friend had come in town and wanted to do dinner. I said we could reschedule. He asked if I was mad, and I said, “Of course not.”

His friend was a guy, but I told him if he’d have ditched me for a girl I might have been a little jealous.

Brian didn’t reply, but I didn’t think much about it.

The next day, about an hour before our FaceTime date, Brian sent me a text saying he didn’t want to talk to me, ever.

“Your text freaked me out,” he said. “We aren’t even dating and yet I will date other women.”

Huh?

I tried to explain that I was just playing; I never thought or said we were dating; and we were both certainly allowed to date anyone.

But my text went ignored. I had done something so terrible, it didn’t even deserve a response.

Honestly, I get rejected all the time. The time I spend fretting over it is relative to how much I cared.

This time, I crawled into bed when the sun was still out, and I cried.

In the midst of my blubbering, I started to wonder, why are we so quick to cut people out of our lives?

Sure, I pissed Brian off. But was it something bad enough to warrant The Ice Age treatment?

I don’t know why he told me all that sweet stuff and then closed the door on me, only weeks later.

It seems like he was trying to tell me he was dating someone else, but why not just say that?

Because of the way he left things, I’ve got no closure, and only speculation.

A few weeks ago, I went to the midnight premier of the latest Nicholas Sparks’ movie, “The Longest Ride,” and one of the main characters said something to the effect of, how sometimes the people we are closest to can become absolute strangers.

I’ve dated a lot of people that have just fallen off the face of the Earth. And I understand that’s the risk when we get close to people. But it makes me sad.

As I get older, I realize just how little time we have. The days and weeks are flying by and we can’t find it in our hearts to give someone a second chance?

Note: this idea does not apply to any situation that includes abuse, addiction, or infidelity.

I doubt I’ll hear from Brian again, and my closure will just have to be the confirmation that he’s not the one. I need someone who’s willing to forgive.

Introducing the friends.

Couples' night!

Couples’ night!

Alright, I’m going to admit that I’m really bad about this whole “Introducing the significant other to your friends” thing.

In the past, I get really excited when I meet a new guy and we start hanging out (who doesn’t?), and I want him to meet my friends, whom I love so much. I don’t mean for it to be a serious thing, although it is a good idea to see if he fits in with the crowd.

What ends up happening is that it doesn’t work out with the guy, we stop talking, and my friends (or I) never see him again. And I’m left feeling like a big jackass because I just introduced a guy to my friends who ultimately was a blip on my life’s radar.

My friends have assured me that I shouldn’t feel like a jackass — they’ve been single, too, and they know how it goes. I still feel stupid.

In my recent dating adventures, I told myself that I wasn’t going to introduce a guy I’m seeing/talking to anyone, until things are serious — as in, we’re exclusive, and in order for THAT to happen, we have to have been talking for at least three months.

I know, rules. But if I don’t crack the whip, I’m just going to stay single forever, right? I still might ;)

Anyway, I did a little Google searching to see what the interwebs had to say about the matter, and I found a few things.

For starters, YourTango.com suggests that meeting the friends too early can actually put pressure on your FRIENDS, because they feel like they’re pressured to make relationship decisions for you. I’m not sure if this is true, but… they do suggest waiting to introduce a guy until you’ve been on at least three dates (duh) and to keep it casual for the first meeting.

I found some decent advice on April Beyer’s website, which suggested asking yourself WHY you’re introducing your girl/guy to your friends — approval? Locking in the idea that you’re a couple? April suggests waiting until it feels natural, which sounds like a solid idea.

It’s safe to say it’ll be awhile before I introduce a guy to my friends, if I’m ever that lucky. But when I do, I’ll make sure I’m doing it for the right reasons.

Fresh Friday: Lovely.

I need a dress like this... for everyday wear.

I need a dress like this… for everyday wear.

Hello my LOVELY readers! This has certainly been another crazy busy week for the books, but I always feel so good after I’ve conquered a packed week, what about you?

While I’ve still got to work this weekend, I’m looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow (getting up at 6am everyday is truly for the birds)!

This week’s scent for Fresh Friday is Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker. Now I know a lot of people are against the whole celebrity-scent thing, and while I can see why, I don’t really mind it. If I had access to the people to make my own scent, I definitely would! Market what you’ve got, folks!

I’ve had my bottle of Lovely for a few years, and while it’s a light scent, it’s not something I would recommend for everyday wear.

According to Fragrantica, “The fragrance was a crowd-pleaser, with an advertising campaign that made extensive use of Parker’s voice and personal image. It won a Fifi award in 2006 for Best National Ad Campaign. The success of this first fragrance has led to a continuing partnership, which has produced Covet (2007), a trio of companion scents—Twlight, Dawn and Endless (2009), limited editions of Lovely and Covet, and the newest launches, SJP NYC (2009) and SJP NYC Pure Crush (2011).

Designer Sarah Jessica Parker has 9 perfumes in our fragrance base. The earliest edition was created in 2005 and the newest is from 2011. Sarah Jessica Parker fragrances were made in collaboration with perfumers Ann Gottlieb, Frank Voelkl, Stephen Nilsen, Yann Vasnier, Clement Gavarry, Laurent Le Guernec and Honorine Blanc.”

Sounds like I need to hop to it and smell some of her other scents! Lovely is known for its notes of mandarin, rosewood, lavender, apple martini and bergamot. The heart is of orchid, patchouli and finishes off to cedar, white amber, woods and musk. Yum! 

Have you tried any of Parker’s other scents?

Single Girl Recipe: Eggs.

Cute colored eggs!

Cute colored eggs!

I know everyone’s got different opinions about eggs; and the health benefits of them are always in question. Is it the good cholesterol or not? What about the fat content?

Well, I’m of the school of thought that eggs are a great source of protein (did you know one egg has 12g of protein and just 1 carb?!) and they are inexpensive. Sounds like a perfect combo to me!

YUM.

YUM.

I go on kicks where I love eggs in various forms, and sometimes I’m just not feeling them. But lately, I’ve been seeing these beautiful pictures of soft boiled eggs on Instagram (I’m talking to you, Crunchy Radish, and BarbellsNBeauties) and they look delicious!

So, I had to figure out how to make the perfect soft boiled egg. Enter: Google. I found several different sets of instructions, and really, it all depends on how “soft” you actually want your egg. I wanted a hard egg white, and a soft yolk.

Usually, when I hard boil an egg, I put it in the pot, cover with cold water, and turn the burner on high. I let the water reach a boil, then turn off the heat and let the egg sit in the water until it reaches room temperature.

For my soft boiled eggs, I put a pot of water on the stove and let it reach a simmer (small bubbles). Then, I put my eggs in, and left them in for 6-ish minutes. I got them out of the water, and let them cool so I could peel them.

It was my first try, but they were nearly perfect! It was a little softer than I wanted, but I peeled them, and put them in my dish (red quinoa and mushrooms) and popped it all in the microwave for 30 seconds and that did the trick!

While a soft boiled egg is a great addition to a salad, you can devour it with just about anything. Below are some recipes that include this new favorite of mine:

What are some of your favorite ways to eat eggs?

Exes: Married With Children.

When your ex straight up moves on... with a wife and a kid.

When your ex straight up moves on… with a wife and a kid.

Sometime last week, I wandered over to my ex-boyfriend’s Facebook page. It’s something I do when I’m feeling rather low about myself, even though looking at his page usually makes me feel worse. Call me a masochist.

Right away, I saw what I figured would be there: his profile picture was a tiny baby. His baby.

Because that is what people do; they get married, and within two years of being married, they have a kid.

When I found out my ex was getting married two years ago, I also found out via Facebook. I was stunned, to say the least, because we’d just broken up a year before.

It was a shitty way to confirm he was cheating on me for the greater part of our four-year relationship.

When I confronted him about it, he lied of course, saying their relationship just moved very quickly.

Finding out an ex is getting married is different for everyone; the reaction is probably relevant to how things ended.

Almost all of my exes are married, and as pathetic as it sounds, my heart broke a little when I found out about each one getting engaged.

I don’t believe any of my exes were “meant” for me, I think it’s more of admitting to myself that they found some sort of happiness with another person that I’ve yet to discover.

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified that maybe I’ll never find that level of love, commitment, and happiness with someone.

This particular ex isn’t the only one of my exes to have a child. I think the nature of our relationship is what makes it sting a little, even years later.

We met in college; we were both bartenders at a place under the overpass. Our relationship was fun-loving from the start. It didn’t take long for me to sleep with him, and because of that, I fell for him very quickly.

Although he told me he loved me, his actions showed me that we weren’t on the same level. I loved him more than I’d ever felt for anyone else. And that’s still true today. Enter: the bitterness.

He always told me marriage wasn’t “for him,” and he never talked about wanting children. Those are things I wanted, and to see him married, with a child… it feels like everyone around me has moved on and up, while I’m still here. And still single.

As a singleton, I constantly have to remind myself that just because someone is married, doesn’t mean they’re in a perfect relationship. And just because I’m single, doesn’t mean I’ll never find someone.

Perhaps seeing an ex move on is just a refreshing sign that people can change. Or maybe it just proves that he/she is great at living one giant lie after the next. Now, who wants to hit up happy hour?

Pic of the Week.

All the proper fixins' for a movie premier!

All the proper fixins’ for a movie premier!

Thursday night, I could not wait to finish with work, jump into my sweats and walk right on over to the movie theatre for the midnight premier of “The Longest Ride,” a film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks bestseller.

I was really excited for several reasons: 1. the book was fantastic. I have very, very fond memories of laying out on my terrace, getting a tan, sipping on a wine spritzer (no, seriously), and falling in love with this unique story, 2. SCOTT EASTWOOD IS FINE, and 3. I allowed myself a cheat and got a junior popcorn, with butter.

Um, hi.

Um, hi.

But seriously, that second point needs to be mentioned one more time… because how have I not noticed him nor his hotness before now?

Anyway, “The Longest Ride” is the story of two couples — very similar couples — in different time periods, whose lives intersect in a very unique way.

The movie and the book tells both of their stories, while in turn, offering a tale of love… as only Nicholas Sparks could. Read more about the book from a previous blog post, here

I think this movie struck me in an interesting way, because some of the issues in the story are easily things that could happen to anyone. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of questions and uncertainty when I think about love and my future. The movie touched on those issues, and although it was a little overwhelming at midnight on a Thursday, it was cathartic.

While I’ve seen all of the movies and read nearly all of Sparks’ books, this one is definitely one of my favorites (I just love “The Last Song”). I don’t, and won’t, spoil the movie for you, but per usual, don’t forget to pack the Kleenex!

Fresh Friday: Bright Crystal.

I'm kind of in love with this ad.

I’m kind of in love with this ad.

Whew, made it to Friday! I feel like every week is a complete roller coaster — it starts one way, and ends up completely different.

On Mondays, I always feel so overwhelmed when I look at my to-do list for the week. I often wake up SUPER early on Mondays and stay up late to get a jump start on the week. By Tuesday, I’m thinking the week will be a complete breeze after everything I accomplished Monday.

And the remainder of the week is spent tying up loose ends… and basically answering a TON of emails. By Friday, I’m just happy to see the weekend; which is something I don’t understand because I’m usually working more on the weekends than I am during the week!

Nonetheless, it is Friday, and I cannot believe I’ve made it through this many Fresh Fridays without mentioning Versace’s Bright Crystal. This is a scent I’ve worn over the years — one that I was surprised I liked so much! But it’s definitely a go-to.

As described by Sephora, “Inspired by a mixture of Donatella Versace’s favorite floral fragrances, Bright Crystal is a fresh, sensual blend of refreshing chilled yuzu and pomegranate mingled with soothing blossoms of peony, magnolia, and lotus flower, warmed with notes of musk and amber.”

No wonder I love it — it’s got musk AND floral notes! Perfection.

What’s everyone doing for the weekend? As usual, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat @OrangeJulius7 to see what me (and Blanche) can stir up until we see you right back here, on Monday!

7/50 Shades: Girl Next Door.

Second product on the right, folks.

Second product on the right, folks.

Although shade no. 7 is a gloss — I just cannot pull myself away. I blame this completely on Bonne Bell, for getting me addicted to shiny, glitter glosses delivered to my lips via sponge applicator.

Girl Next Door by Hard Candy is sheer, with a touch of silvery shimmer. It doesn’t have a scent or a flavor, really, but it is a tiny bit sweet. Mega plus? It’s thick, stays on for awhile, and it’s a lip plumper.

I can never REALLY tell if these things work, but I love the idea of it, regardless. But it did get me wondering how they work? I went to Google for the answer, and there was WebMD to my rescue.

According to WebMD, some over-the-counter lip plumping products contain ingredients that cause blood to flow to the lips, such as cinnamon, ginger mint, or wintergreen. When blood flows to the lips, they appear slightly larger than normal, or “bee stung” for a few hours.

Hey, that sounds pretty good to me!

I like to use Girl Next Door as a “top coat” to some of the other pink lipsticks I’ve mentioned before. It shines up a lipstick, plus adds the plump. Best of both worlds!

Dating on Instagram.

Glimpse-1

Glimpse, the dating app for Instagram.

I recently got an iPhone, after being a Blackberry user for years (it’s about time, right?). Since making the switch, I’m really trying to embrace the world of apps, especially dating apps.

I’ve already tried Tinder, and within three minutes I managed to play with fire and get burned. I saw my crush’s picture, and made a complete fool out of myself when he told me he was seeing someone.

Although, I still haven’t figured out why he was on Tinder to begin with. Anyway, I deleted the app and have banished Tinder from my life.

I did, however, download a new app called Glimpse that works with users who want to date through Instagram. Glimpse claims to be the opposite of Tinder, because “Swiping is basic, anyway.” It pairs users based on pictures and common interests, not on looks alone.

What I love so far about Glimpse is its vast array of users from around the world. It’s so easy to chat with men in other countries; places I’ve never even thought of. Plus, there are some really gorgeous pictures.

A few days after downloading Glimpse, I clicked that I liked a profile of a user named James. He appeared to be creative, and had a picture of himself playing guitar (love).

We got to chatting and clicked right away. He lives in North Carolina, and we messaged about life in the South, our work, and common interests.

After about a day, James was getting really flirty, which was cute, but I was cautious. He was quick to mention us meeting, so far as to discuss travel details.

“Let’s meet in Kansas City for a weekend and drink beer,” he said. “And eat BBQ. I’ll gladly pay for the room. And the rental car.”

Holy shit.

I’ve met up with people I’ve met online before, but it was a simple trip to the local coffee shop, during the day, with people around.

I’m open to meeting people, but I’m also not an idiot trying to get murdered.

I was short on answers, hoping James would get the hint. But the next day, he brought it up again, mentioning his high-end video equipment to “help me” with my vlogs.

Oh, hell no. It was time to set this creeper straight.

“I’m not really trying to get axed,” I told him, mentioning how creepy he sounded.

He apologized, and said he didn’t mean for it to come across that way. But then said he’d fly to Baton Rouge and meet me at a coffee shop if it made me feel more comfortable.

Hmmm, not really. Once a creeper, always a creeper — it seems to be the truth.

After that, there wasn’t much else to say. I’ll never really know what his intentions were, but there’s no way I was going to find out the hard way.

I’m still on Glimpse, but I haven’t gotten involved in many conversations since then.

I’m still not against online dating, or dating apps, as I think it’s good to put yourself out there in several ways. In any case, dating is difficult work.

Perhaps finding the perfect dating app is just as difficult as finding the perfect date. #ItsComplicated

 

Me & my bullshit, part two.

Drop the mic, bitch.

Drop the mic, bitch.

Read part one of “Me & my bullshit.” 

I find a tiny bit (okay, a medium bit) of comfort in recognizing the fact that the road many writers, amateur and professional, travel is one that’s alone.

The craft of writing is introspective — even fiction writers often say their stories come from some place real — and looking within isn’t something that happens at a conference table or in a room full of cubicles.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what success means to me — not in terms of money, but in terms of what every day is like for me. I’m still working to get where I want to be.

While Ryan’s words really, really hurt me, I know that I cannot change who I am to please him, or anyone. I have always promised myself and my readers that I will remain honest, even if that means I’m not the most popular person.

I also know that there’s a big, big difference between someone like me who works every single day, chasing my dreams, and someone who sits at a job, letting the days pass them by. Complacency is not for me.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about successful people, and I’ve noticed that many of those people, who are SO successful in business, are also misunderstood in many other aspects of their life. Perhaps that’s just how it goes.

Take Steve Jobs for example. Chances are you’re reading this from a device that he invented. I’m writing it on one. And I’ll Tweet about it on another one later today. In his biography by Walter Isaacson (a genius writer that I’ve been lucky enough to interview), there are many mentions of how Jobs went against the grain in nearly all areas of his life — even in unflattering ways.

At the root of the reality distortion was Jobs’s belief that the rules didn’t apply to him. He had some evidence for this; in his childhood, he had often been able to bend reality to his desires. Rebelliousness and willfulness were ingrained in his character. He had the sense that he was special, a chosen one, an enlightened one.

— Walter Isaacson, “Steve Jobs” [119]

There are other successful creatives I can relate to — Amy Winehouse and her broken heart (and the ability to turn that into beautiful music), John Green in his writing processes, and of course, my love, John Mayer, in his ways of being so, so introspective and insecure, that it gets him in trouble socially.

And while I know (haters, this is for you) I’m not nearly as genius as those people, I do know that I’m not a dumb ass. I’m not the girl who lost her job. I’m not someone wishing to be a writer. I’m someone just trying (and often succeeding) to make it. And by it, I mean my dreams a reality.

My past is littered with guys like Ryan. Guys who tell me how great I am, and then disappear for no valid reason. One of the biggest questions I had when Ryan sent me his douchey text was this: Why are we so quick to cut people off?

It’s that easy, especially hiding behind a fucking phone screen, to write someone a message and cut them out of your life forever, because you don’t feel like dealing with a human. Another question I had? If my behavior was so scary, why didn’t he ask me if I was okay?

And that’s the difference between being selfless and selfish, my friends.

I know I won’t stop writing — let’s be honest here, there’s nothing else I’m really cut out for. And I know it’s not going to be easy. But when the road gets tough, and the guys continue to be assholes, I’ll probably just write more of these posts about my “bullshit.”

You know the greatest thing about that guy at the gym who thinks my column is bullshit?

He read it.

If you’re nice to me I’ll never write anything bad about you. 

—Amy Winehouse

Fresh Friday: Warm Cotton.

The perfume for non-perfume wearers.

The perfume for non-perfume wearers.

“Inspired by soap,” is what the package says, and that’s certainly what it smells like! Warm Cotton by CLEAN reminds of the way it smells outside, in the summer, when someone is doing their laundry. Very fresh, clean, and cozy, in a sense.

As described by Sephora, “Cozy up to CLEAN Warm Cotton Eau de Parfum, a fragrance that captures the comforting scent of just-out-of-the-dryer freshness. Blending the crispness of freshly laundered linens into an understated fragrance that is soft and subtly sexy, CLEAN Warm Cotton is perfect for the modern woman who is confident enough to let herself—not her fragrance—command attention.”

Warm Cotton has notes of Citrus, Watery Green Pear, Verbena, Floral Essences, Fruit Essences, Marine Essences, Jasmine, Orange Flower, Musk, Fougere, and Amber. A perfectly subtle scent for spring and summer!

In other news, I hope you all have a fantastic Easter weekend. To me, Easter isn’t a big deal, since I’m not a kid, I don’t have an Easter basket, and I am not celebrating anything religious. However, I am excited that business has slowed for the weekend and I’ll be able to enjoy it, and perhaps spend some time outdoors. I even bought myself a bouquet of coral tulips to celebrate.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @OrangeJulius7 to see what I’m up to this weekend! Cheers, y’all!

Me & my bullshit, part one.

This is about how many fucks I give.

This is about how many fucks I give.

“You’re the girl from the magazine, right?” he asked.

It was a guy I recognized from my gym. I shrugged.

“I guess…” I said, not really sure what he meant.

“Yeah, you write that bullshit column,” he said.

That bullshit column. Three little words that pretty much sum up my insecurities — especially lately. Let me start from the beginning.

A few weeks ago, I got the bright idea to Tweet my first book, “How I Fell: Love, Lies & Cocktails,” 140 characters at a time. I have seen other writers do it, and I have quite a few Twitter followers, so I thought it would be a great way to shake things up, get some marketing out there for my book, possibly sell a few copies, and get some more followers.

What I didn’t realize, is that it took a REALLY long time to Tweet the book — like, three whole days. During those three days, I barely got any sleep, I was living off takeout and alcohol, and the worst part of it? I was having to read (and type) a relationship that was terrible. I did not take into account just how emotional reading that stuff from two years ago would be. It was bad.

That same week, I’d set aside some time to have a “Facetime date” with my high school crush (you can read our full story here)… his name rhymes with Ryan Wence. The day of our “date,” he sent me a text saying a work friend was in town and he (the friend) wanted to go to dinner. Ryan apologized, saying he didn’t realize how long his friend was planning on being in town when he scheduled our date, and he hoped I wasn’t mad.

I told him of course I wasn’t mad at all, and I hoped he had fun at dinner. Ryan asked if we could reschedule for the following day. In my emotional book-Tweeting state, I wrote him back saying yes, we could reschedule, and said I admittedly misread his first text, and thought for a split second the friend was a girl and I almost got jealous (smiley-wink). I didn’t think anything of it when he didn’t respond.

Let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with Ryan. We hooked up almost a year ago when I went on a visit to Indiana. Since then, I admitted to him that I liked him, a lot, and he told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship, having just got out of something serious. I understood and appreciated his honesty. We kept in touch via text mostly, sometimes we talked on the phone.

I really appreciated his friendship — we have a lot of things in common, and he was kind to me, and supportive when I needed it. For Valentine’s Day, I sent him a homemade card in the mail. He told me he had it on display in his living room, and he wished he could be with me for the holiday.

He later told me he knew he hadn’t been the nicest person to me, and he appreciated our friendship more than he could even admit. “I check my phone every day to see if you’ve texted me,” he said.

I’ve got plans to be in Indiana this May, so we made plans to meet up. This is when I suggested the Facetime date. The following day, I texted Ryan to see what time he wanted to talk. He replied:

“I don’t think we should talk. Your text last night scared me. We aren’t even dating yet I will date other women. Your Tweets last night were scary. Your behavior is scaring me.”

HUH?

My book Tweets were scaring him? This was a guy that’s read my blog, column, and one of my books! What the hell was he talking about? And I was totally trying to be playful about the jealousy thing… I never said we were dating, or said he couldn’t date other women — but thanks for finding the shittiest way possible to tell me you’re not interested in me whatsoever.

But my attempts at explaining myself went into that black hole where apparently ALL of my bullshit goes; that place where guys put all of my messages and ghost me forever. I haven’t heard from him since.

I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling like I don’t fit in — it’s really just been a matter of how much I care or not. As an adult, I’m starting to realize and accept more and more that no, I don’t fit in, and it’s probably not going to change any time soon (or ever).

I am a creative. I think differently than a lot of people. I also work for myself (as a result of my creativity), which means I don’t work “normal” hours, I don’t make money in the conventional way, and my work processes are very different. Me Tweeting a book was simply something I was trying to do to shake things up, keep me on the edge of creativity, essentially make a few sales, and now I was being shamed for it. Awesome.

I started to wonder just how much more of this I can take. In the last few months, I’ve been rejected quite a few times — am I really that terrible a person? When a recent crush I had rejected me by telling me he was seeing someone (which I think he wasn’t), I posted on Facebook that I’d be hiding under my couch for a few days and that I felt ugly. Someone commented saying I needed to stop calling myself ugly.

Sure, I get that. And thank you. But just because I’m not a troll, doesn’t mean I wake up every morning feeling beautiful. Trust me, when people tell you that everything you write is bullshit, and that you don’t even deserve a chance at a date, or that your behavior is scary, it’s really easy to feel ugly every once in awhile.

Read “Me & my bullshit, part two” right here, Monday, April 6. 

On Baggage: Give Me Back my DVDs.

It's more fun watching TV on a free flat screen!

It’s more fun watching TV on a free flat screen!

I watch a lot of TV. Not in the sense of me, sitting on my couch eating popcorn while binging on hours of TV, but if I’m home, my TV is usually on.

I’ve got one TV in my living room and one in my bedroom.

The one in my living room is a near-60-inch, flat-screen, that is leftover from a relationship I had two years ago.

My then-boyfriend said he had an “extra” TV that wasn’t being used, and I could put it in my apartment. I really didn’t need another TV, but he insisted, and it arrived a few days later.

About two months later, I dumped him, on account of him being a complete drunk, not to mention he had a side-chick.

I was nice enough to pack up all of his clothes and random crap he had around my apartment, and leave it on his front porch.

But I wasn’t sure how to get the TV to him. It’s big enough that I can’t safely carry it by myself, and I didn’t want to just leave it outside his house.

I told him I could arrange a time for him to come pick it up, a time when a guy friend could be there with me. My ex was violent and I was scared to be alone with him.

But my ex conveniently couldn’t arrive during the allotted time. I soon got the hint. The TV was his thing. It was his excuse to talk to me; his way of finding out when I was home and what I was doing.

He even got the bright idea that I could just leave my apartment unlocked while I went to work and he’d just pick up the TV. Um, how about you’re crazy?

It was creepy. I wanted him out of my life.

Instead of leaving my apartment unlocked, I dragged the TV into the hallway of my complex, covered it with a beach towel, and went to work.

As predicted, I got a text from my ex saying, “Can’t make it today.” He wanted to reschedule.

Nope.

I told myself that if I got home and the TV was still there, I was keeping it, and I was never speaking to my ex about it again.

The TV was the final link between us and I wanted it broken (not literally, though I would’ve gotten great pleasure out of tossing it from my window).

When I got home, the TV was there, untouched. I dragged in back inside, and have been enjoying trashy shows on it ever since.

Recently, I got a message on Facebook from my ex’s brother, asking if I had the TV, because it was actually his.

Well, sucks for you. Two years out from the relationship, and I’m still hearing about the damn TV. Bye, Felicia.

This is why it’s best to get rid of everything related to the relationship right away, even if it means making a donation to Goodwill.

You live and learn. For now, I’ll continue obsessing over “Secrets and Lies” on my giant-screen TV.

Looking for Alaska.

Quote from Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Quote from Looking for Alaska by John Green.

I’m sad and happy (all at once) to announce that I’ve got NO more John Green books to read! I saved Looking for Alaska for last, because while I was excited to read it, I was also sad knowing that I’d have no more books of Green’s to read!

Looking for Alaska was Green’s first book, and has won many awards including the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award. It was listed in the Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults in 2006, and the 2006 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, among several others.

CANNOT wait.

CANNOT wait.

Looking for Alaska is the story of Miles Halter. Miles is a man of few words, though he is obsessed with last words — having memorized the last words of many well-known people. He’s going to boarding school for the first time and meets the COOLEST girl… ever. Alaska Young.

I really don’t want to spoil this book if you haven’t read it. And if you haven’t read it, you MUST read this book!

Now that I’ve read all of Green’s books, I can say there are many similarities (I often get Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska mixed up) in all of them — which might be why I love them all so much. While Looking for Alaska wasn’t my favorite, it connected with me in ways that others didn’t.

Like I said, I don’t want to give anything away, BUT this book has a layer of seriousness to it, but at the same time, a great layer of imagination that I appreciate. As always, I went crazy with my digital highlighter while reading the book, so here are some of my favorite quotes:

‘I go to seek a Great Perhaps.’ That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.

That didn’t happen, of course. Things never happened like I imagined them.

And now is as good a time as any to say that she was beautiful.

You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.

You’ve got your oats. You’ve got your meal. You’ve got your cream. It’s a fuckin’ food pyramid.

I just did some calculations, and I’ve been able to determine that you’re full of shit.

I finally decided that people believed in an afterlife because they couldn’t bear not to.

There comes a time when we realize that our parents cannot save themselves or save us, that everyone who wades through time eventually gets dragged out to sea by the undertow—that, in short, we are all going.

I gritted my teeth, and then before us, broken glass glittered in the blare of the sun like the road was wearing jewelry, and that spot must be the spot.

And so… even though we’re ALL (ok, me) looking forward to Paper Towns hitting theatres this summer, Looking for Alaska will be in theatres NEXT summer!

While not much has been released about the film adaptation, I am so excited to see how they turn his first book into his third movie!

Anyone out there read Looking for Alaska? I’d be thrilled to nerd out about it with you!

The truth on birth control.

This picture is so cheesy, I just had to use it.

This picture is so cheesy, I just had to use it.

I know birth control can be a little bit of a touchy subject for some, but as a relationship blogger & columnist, I feel it’s almost irresponsible if I don’t at least mention it.

Let’s just get this out of the way: yes, I’m on birth control. I have been for about 8 years. I never thought anything of it, until I missed my period and found out I was pregnant. I had an abortion, and it was quite terrifying and emotionally draining—not something I would recommend on anyone. With that procedure came a prescription for birth control, and I’ve been on it ever since.

There’s several different TYPES of birth control and every person probably prefers something different. I use the NuvaRing, which I like because you insert it once a month, it stays there for three weeks, you take it out for a week, and then put a new one in. Voila, no babies.

The scary thing, though, is that of course it could come out without you realizing it. This hasn’t ever happened to me — it’s come out, but I knew it. If it does come out, you’ve got three hours to put it back in without any consequences (hormonally).

But have you ever wondered about what birth control is putting into your body? While I don’t lose sleep over it, I do think about it. Here’s some popular types:

  1. Combination Pill—Estrostep Fe, LoEstrin 1/20, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Yasmin, Yaz. The Good: This birth control mainstay is still 99% effective against pregnancy when taken around the same time every day. It’s also known for easing hot flashes and restoring regular periods. Avoid it if you smoke or have migraines.
  2. Progestin-only Pill—Micronor, Nora-BE, Nor-QD, Ovrette. The Good: Known as the mini pill, progestin-only meds don’t contain estrogen. They’re safer for smokers, diabetics, and heart disease patients, as well as those at risk for blood clots. They also won’t reduce the milk supply for women who are breast-feeding.
  3. Extended Cycle Pill—Lybrel, Seasonale, Seasonique. The Good: These pills prevent pregnancy and allow you to have a period only every three months. (Note: Lybrel stops your period for a year, but you must take a pill every day, year-round.) Fact: There’s no evidence proving it’s dangerous not to have periods, but there is still no long-term research to show that it is safe.
  4. Diaphragm—Milex Wide Seal, Ortho All-Flex, Semina, SILCS. The Good: Made of rubber and shaped like a dome, a diaphragm prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. It covers the cervix and must always be used with a spermicide. Women must be fitted for a diaphragm in their doctor’s office. Fact: If your weight tends to fluctuate by more than 10 pounds at a time, the diaphragm may not work. If you gain or lose weight, you’ll need to be refitted. Prone to bladder infections? You might want to consider another option.
  5. IUD—Mirena, ParaGard. The Good: ParaGard is a surgically implanted copper device that prevents sperm from reaching the egg. Mirena, also surgically implanted, works by releasing hormones. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are more than 99% effective and good for 10 years. Fact: Some doctors recommend the device only for women who have given birth. When the device is implanted, your uterus is expanded, and this might cause pain in women who have not had children. If you’re planning on having children in a year or two, look at other options. The IUD can be removed, but the high cost—up to $500—might not be worth it for short-term use.
  6. Patch—Ortho Evra. The Good: You can place the hormone-releasing patch on your arm, buttock, or abdomen, and rest easy for one week. Fact: If you’re particularly at risk for blood clots, you might want to find a different method. The patch delivers 60% more estrogen than a low-dose pill, so you’re at an increased risk for dangerous blood clots.
  7. Implant—Implanon, Norplant. The Good: About the size of a matchstick, the implant is placed under the skin on your upper arm. Implants last for three years and can cost up to $800. They are nearly 100% effective. Fact: Implanon may not work as well for women taking St. John’s wort, or women who are overweight.

Of course, there are condoms (male and female). I didn’t put these in the list, because depending on the situation, it’s a smart idea to use a condom AND another form of birth control. Call me paranoid, but here’s the fact: using a hormonal type of birth control does not do anything to protect you against an STD.

You may thing, oh that would never happen to me, but if you’ve ever had an STD scare (I have, read about it here) you’d know that it’s really, really scary. Using condoms will NOT protect you from every STD, but it will decrease your chances of getting most STDs. I wouldn’t suggest relying solely on condoms, because they can break and then… you’re screwed in more ways than one.

As for the hormones? Women may experience side effects from the hormones during the first three months of use. The side effects include moodiness (ha), nausea, lighter periods. As for that fear of weight gain? There’s no such proof, especially if you use low-dose.

Finally, I wanted to mention the Plan B pill, because yes, I’ve had to take this as well, and it’s something that has changed over its years on the market. The Plan B pill serves as emergency contraception is a backup for regular birth control. Plan B contains a higher dose of the same synthetic hormones found in the combination pill. It works best if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but may work up to five days later. Plan B, known as the morning-after pill, is available over-the-counter at most pharmacies, but only to women 18 years and older. Minors need a prescription.

What type(s) do you use? What works and what doesn’t? What experiences have you had?

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