Posted in Deep deepness, Life Musings, This is real life.

When words aren’t enough.

I’m a person who believes in words.

I used to believe in words a lot more than I do now. Then I went to journalism school and realized that the dream I had of making a difference through writing was a long shot – not because I’m not a good writer and not because newspapers are dying, but because I wanted to make an everyday, sustainable kind of difference, not a once-in-a-lifetime-story difference.

I believe in words, but they aren’t enough.

CC attributed to Pierre Metivier

Words have power.

Words can build you up or bring you down.

Words can change a person’s mindset, they way they look at the world, the way they feel about an issue, or perhaps even the way they make decisions about the future.

Words can’t, however, change anything that the person listening to or reading them doesn’t want them to change.

Sometimes, and this breaks my writer’s heart, I have to admit that the words we say and write and read that are so desperately impactful aren’t accessed by those who need them the most. Or perhaps they’re heard, but they simply aren’t believed. Because to believe would be to completely rock the shaky foundation a person has built their life or their sense of self upon.

This year we’ve seen this more than any other year I can remember in the 30 I’ve been alive. From misquoted statements to completely wrong assertions, “fake news” to actually fake news, denials to lip service apologies, we’ve seen that words can’t always do what we want them to do.


In 2017, we learned that words are not enough. No matter how many people are saying the same ones, we need more than just a chorus of voices and pens and keyboards.

Words are too easy to write off with a different set of quotable we’ve all heard before:

“It’s just a joke.”
“It’s just locker room talk.”
“Boys will be boys.”
“Things will be different.”
“Trust me.”
“I promise.”
“Not everyone is like that.”
“We weren’t there, so how do we know what happened?”

Actions cannot be as easily ignored.

Actions are what will truly matter in 2018.

CC from

Some may expect this to shake my foundation and view of the world – but words aren’t the only thing I have faith in. As I wrote five or so years ago, I also believe in imagination, in the future, and in my fellow human beings. Even when faced with an atrociously bigoted and selfish leader with more followers than I would like, or with people who refuse to acknowledge and surrender their privilege because of fear, I still believe in humanity.

I believe that there is more good in the world than bad.

I believe that we have the ability and the willingness to step up and take control of our future, to make it our own vision of America rather than someone else’s.

I believe that having the bad made so very clearly obvious to us for the past year gives us an opportunity to fight back in ways we could not when the evil in our society was being discussed at private dinner tables, chatted about in subthreads on Reddit, and mumbled under peoples’ breaths.

There are far more of us on the good side than there are on the bad, so let’s believe in ourselves and our ability to impact change.

Mahatma Ghandi made my point more eloquently than I ever could when he said:

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Let’s clean house. Just get a shitload of Dawn and start scrubbing the country down.

CC from Mike Mozart on Flickr
Posted in Uncategorized

Hi, 2018! We’re so happy you’re here!

2017 was not one, but a series of dumpster fires.

There. I’ve said it. We were all trying not to think it, but there it is.

And it’s that God’s-honest truth.

Please refrain from telling me to look on the bright side or find the silver lining or whatever else you want to say to me. Yes, I’m “being negative,” but I’m also being real.

2017. Was. A. Piece. Of. Shit.

#sorrynotsorry about the language here, folks, I’ve determined that it’s a valid usage.

You know I’m fucking right.

That’s not to say that there weren’t some great points there. I enjoyed myself on many days – particularly days when I just thought about my teensy, tiny little section of the world I live in with white privilege, a steady job, a more fun second job, some solid friends, and 3 of the cutest living beings on the planet.

There will always be good times even in the worst years. What was it that Dumbledore said?



We needed all the good times to help us make it through the rest of 2017.

Honestly, a year ago, I thought I was ready for the whatever 2017 brought us, even with the way the election went. I thought it couldn’t possibly throw me for loops that I was prepared to handle.

I know. So dumb.

Some of the worst things for me in 2017 were completely unanticipated. Others I was ready and waiting for, but they went SO MUCH WORSE than I thought they would because I overestimated either my influence over people or the idiocy of my fellow humans…even ones I like…or both.

Usually both.

I’m not wallowing, I promise. But after years of therapy, I know that one of the first steps to healing is acknowledging just how deep the wounds are – and 2017 definitely left us with a scar or two. Or, you know, 8.

I made sure to take care of them because the last thing we need is a dumpster fire that somehow makes its way into this fresh new year.


No thanks.

So in the first few days of 2018, I challenge you all to do what I did at midnight for New Year’s Eve, in three easy steps.

  1. Find your wounds.
  2. Recognize and acknowledge those hurts, maybe even name them if it’s appropriate. I wrote each one of mine on a piece of paper so that none of them were left lurking in the back corners or my mind.
  3. Let them go.

You’re welcome to do this as a meditative, peaceful, and completely internal process, I’m sure it will be successful. And I tend to do that more often than not with a cleansing blue light or a pink fluffy cloud…but for 2017, I felt the need to be a little more…tangible and dramatic about showing those hurts the door.


And let me just tell you, ladies and gents: it felt fucking fantastic.



Posted in ...for real people, Humor, This is real life.

If my brain live-blogged Zumba after a 1.5 year hiatus

For a number of reasons (one of which was definitely laziness), I decided to take a half-year hiatus with my Zumba classes a year and a half ago. Yes, there’s a distinct difference. For those who may not know me incredibly well, I like to tell people that I “don’t sport,” which is a gross understatement. The good news for you, readers, is that I get extra-sassy/snarky when I’m trying to do anything that could be considered “athletic.”

Here’s an uncensored (fair warning) version of every thought I can remember between 4:21pm when I arrived at the elementary school gym to 5:38pm when I left. Times are rough and approximate, because like, I only remember precisely the beginning, dead center, and close to the end. You’ll see.

4:21 Ok, good, only like 6 people here, I’ll get a good spot. Lemme sign in.

4:22 Yeah, they definitely need this waiver from me because I’m the clumsiest damn person who ever thought about taking Zumba. It’s only a matter of time until I break a bone. Maybe today – who knows?

4:24 Okay, I can see the instructor and my purse from this angle. Second row, middle-ish. Everyone’s going to see me fuck up, but at least I’ll be able to see her well enough to know what I’m not doing right.

4:25 There’s technically-perfect girl who’s been coming for longer than I’ve been teaching, I hope she stands in front of me, because we’re equally white and I can just see what she’s doing when I don’t understand what to do with my butt.

4:26 Hey! There’s my friend that used to work with me! I hope she says hi.

4:27 God, she gives the best hugs. I miss her. Wait – is that pregnant girl? Aw, I bet her kid’s like walking and stuff now. Yikes. At least now I won’t be intimidated by the fact that an 8-and-a-half-month pregnant lady is better at Zumba than I am.

4:28 WAIT. Is pregnant girl pregnant again? Yes! Yes she is! That woman totally just touched the bump and she didn’t yell at her! Well, there goes that silver lining.

4:30 It’s nice that she remembers me, less nice that she pointed out it’s been a while for “some of us.” That’s me, folks, the girl with the tattoos all over her thighs. You were already judging me for that so….bring it, bitches

4:32 Warm up time! Yes! Hey muscles I don’t use on a regular basis! Nice to feel you again! I hope new girl has a good time and comes back. Like, I almost didn’t for the each time for the first month or so, but it got a lot better. I can’t believe I stopped, I’m so stupid.

4:34 Okay, okay, I remember these steppy things, I’m okay, I’m okay. I still hate Despacito, but it’s okay.

4:36 That was fun. I like the ones with grapevine steps. It took me so long to get good at them, but apparently they’re like riding a bike, except not for me because I can’t ride a bike anymore because of the tailbone issue, so like, maybe I’ll start referring to things that are easy as “it’s like doing a grapevine step.” People think I’m weird anyway, so it’ll be fine.

4:37 Yaaaas, lots of simple steps in this one. And the hip bump! I’m so good at the hip bump!

still 4:37 OMG, I can’t believe I can still do that whole clap-under-the-knee thing that quick, I totally thought I was going to fall on my ass when I tried that, but I am still on two feet. Yes. Success. I am amazing.

4:38 Why are these people not picking their feet up? You’re supposed to like, bounce then hop then kick, not drag then step and flail, come on, fam, get into it!

4:39 Okay, okay, this song is a little longer than I anticipated. My legs aren’t going as high anymore.

still 4:39 Maybe if I just like, stop being so bouncy, I’ll still be able to do the leg-clappy-thing.

still still 4:39 Oh GOD I’m going downhill so fast – why was I so energetic at the beginning of this song? Zumba is not a goddamned sprint, Erin, what were you thinking?

4:40 I made it. I made it. I made it.

4:41 Yep, actually drinking water now. While walking. Why is everyone else just standing while they drink their water and talk about how out of shape they are? Did no one listen to her? Like, I’m dying, but I’m still going to keep my feet moving to keep my heart rate up! Rookie move, folks.

4:42 Okay, let’s go. I hope this one is mostly upper body.

4:43 THIGHS? You can’t make us do the jumpy-clap thing and then just be like, “Oh, hey, now we’re going to go squat-jumpy-things.” That’s not okay! That’s NOT okay.

4:44 I swear to God, thighs, if you survive this, you don’t have to do anything for the rest of the week. I won’t wear boots with heels, I’ll take the elevator, just…do this for me.

4:45 My thigh muscles are to me what my students’ language skills are to them. 

4:46 Like, I could feel bad for thinking that, but I’m not going to. Hurtful? Truthful. Christ. It’s like my thigh muscles literally don’t even know how to move, which is what I hear they were designed for, because science.

4:48 Yes, yes, yes. Skinny-twisty-hippy thing. Has to be. It’s in Spanish.

4:50 I know they said the air was off, but it wasn’t really a big deal to me until now…

4:51 Ooooo, that does not feel great. This whole shimmy thing might be a bad idea for me at this particular juncture.

4:53 Okay, okay, okay, self. Let’s just…move from side to side for a minute. You’ll be okay. Just keep your feet moving and for the love of all things holy, do not pass out in this gym.

4:54 Oh God, definitely DO NOT THROW UP IN FRONT OF THESE ADULTS. Get it the fuck together, Erin.

4:55 Okay, feel better. New song, new start. And besides, maybe part of the unsettling thing is embarrassment that you had to stop and like, everyone can see you. NBD, look at the bright side – you probably made new girl feel better she was getting so upset when everyone was doing the spinny stuff and she was out of sync and then everyone saw, so she totally needed that schadenfraude.

4:56 I bet the cast of Avenue Q didn’t have to work out. I could be a puppeteer.

4:57 Oh fuck me, we’re not even halfway through yet. Dear sweet baby Jesus.

4:58 Why did I come to this? I’m so stupid. I love my fat and not being in shape. I don’t need muscles. What I need to do is lower my standards and settle for someone moderately annoying but who can reach things and lift things and do things for me and I can keep being soft and slow and he’ll love me anyway even if he’s a massive loser that I have to support and apologize for. Like, the emotional and mental strain I know how to deal with, so at this point, it might be worth it. We could just have separate bedrooms and maybe I could get a job where I travel a lot.

4:59 Oh goddamn it, if I travel a lot, then I still need to be in shape because my loser, settled-for husband won’t be there to pick things up for me. Shit shit shit.

5:01 Over the halfway mark, so I only have to….do this all over again. I might cry.

5:03 Okay, I am so lost on this one. It’s all footwork. Remember when I was good at footwork when I was like 5 and my dad was my soccer coach? That was a nice time.

5:04 At least I don’t feel like fainting again.

5:05 How unfair is it that I get 0% of either of my parents’ coordination? My dad was a gymnast and my mom likes to dance and here I am, like, “Hi, I’m Erin and I can sometimes stand still without injuring myself.” Sometimes. I’ll just…move my feet in the correct directions and not hop so people don’t realize just how off I am.

5:06 I know everyone knows how off I am. I don’t even care.

5:08 Oh, oh we’re going to use EVERY muscle in our bodies on this next one? Oh good. That will feel awesome. What do you MEAN our fingertip muscles? Those aren’t a thing. They’re like, tendons and squishy flesh. And even if there are muscles, they’re little, and they need to stay little. No one’s impressed by muscular fingers.

5:09 Open a window? There aren’t any windows to open in here. Nice imagery, but like, no one even has functional shutters like that in the United States. Maybe Greece. Are you taking us to Greece? Because then this exercise might be worth it. But to live in the US? Nah. We have to pull the windows up, so why do these muscles need to be in shape?

5:10 I better be able to manually open an elevator after this because my arms are going to punish me all day tomorrow. Are the kids using the Chromebooks? God, I hope so.

5:11 No, no, we’re not doing technology tomorrow, we’re reading the book and writing in our notebooks with me modeling under the Elmo, fuuuuuuuuuuuck. At least A Long Walk to Water is really small, but it’ll probably feel like it’s 25 pounds. Maybe I can put it on a table with like, paperweights. Do I have two paperweights? I have at least one, and like, a shit-ton of stationery implements.

5:12 I CANNOT OPEN A WINDOW SLOWER. No one opens windows slowly. In Disney movies, the princesses like, fling windows open so their fucking bird friends can fly in and help them with their chores. Where are my friends to help me? Nowhere. I have three dogs and a stray possum that refuses to be trapped, and all they do is make more problems for me. Like, I might let rats hang out if they did some chores.

5:14 All the windows are open now. Good. Let’s take it down a notch.

5:15 You did not just say more squats.

5:16 Okay, look, if you really think you want me to lunge-squat-lunge-squat and repeat, then it really has been a while since you had me in class, but okay. I signed that waiver.

5:17 I’m doing it! Hey! Just a little slippery. I’ve got this.

5:18 My thighs do NOT have this. Like, I could do straight squats but that’s the easy way out. I can do this. I can do this.

5:19 Yes, I’m fine. I’m fine. Yes, I’ll just do regular squats. Oh, NOW you remember that I’m the clumsy one? I mean, if you didn’t after watching me fall on my ass (sorry sad tailbone), then you have a shit memory, but whatever.

5:21 Thanks for that reassuring pat on the back, stranger. Like, I actually appreciate that you didn’t pretend you missed seeing the sprawl because you’re right behind me. Real. Honest. I can respect that. But we’re both really gross and sweaty, so could you actually not? Thanks.

5:22 Start out slow and speed up? Mainly upper body? Things I can do. Yes. Will survive. Can continue.

5:23 I hate this song. It’s so over played. And I can’t help singing along, at least in my head…

5:24 …now they always say congratulations…work so hard and now I die at Zumba….

5:26 My dragon is mad. My Wumps are mad. They didn’t sign up for this when they got tattooed on my thigh in January. It was winter and I’d been out of Zumba for like a year, so they thought they’d have this cush, lazy-ass life. Sucks to suck, friends.

5:28 Okay, okay, you survived, it’s time for cool down. Yes, fam, just one more. I am on board.


5:29 Look, lily-white girls like me don’t know how to move like that. And like, I see that you’re just sticking your ass out, but teacher, what do we do if we don’t have an ass to stick out? #firstworldwhitegirlproblems

5:30 I’m just going to revert to “woman who’s still moving in the correct direction but that’s about all we can say for her” and hold on.

5:32 This next song had better be the cool down or I am going to start crying in the middle of this gym and my friend left at 5:15.

5:33 Oh, praise Beelzebub it’s a cool down.

5:34 Okay, I’m all for female empowerment, but it’s not super-believable that we’re beautiful flowers that are also strong when I feel like I just got ripped from the ground, thrown in the street and run over several times. Perhaps also drawn and quartered if I had enough leaves and off-shoot stems.

5:35 I feel so tired but also accomplished. And she really is a good instructor, like, she’s so encouraging, even when you’re screwing everything up.

5:38 I need to make sure to take my workout clothes to work Thursday so I can just leave from there and there’s less concern.


Posted in 29 for 29, Life Musings, Uncategorized

29 books that will change how you see the world.

29. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


28. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton


27. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein


26. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West


25. Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Finding Flow

24. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn


23. The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield


22. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


21. The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl


20. Graceling by Kristin Cashore


19. …And I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children’s Drawings and Poems from the Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944


18. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine


17. Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger


16. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock  by Matthew Quick


15. North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley


14. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


13. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski


12. A Monster Calls by Siohan Dowd


11. M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker


10. Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco Stork


9. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett


8. Hero by Perry Moore


7. The Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde


6. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote


5. The Wump World by Bill Peet


4. The Tale of Two Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean


3. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs


2. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling


1. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller


Posted in 29 for 29, Humor, Life Musings

29 of my favorite films and the witticisms I shamelessly stole from them

Anyone who knows my family knows we communicate 10-30% in movie quotes on any given day. Below are the films I’ve stolen some of my most frequently-used quotes from, in absolutely no order because I tried and it was just too hard to self-analyze based on frequency. You’ll all live.

29. Pirates of the Caribbean films

“I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.”
“But why is the rum gone?”
“Wait for the opportune moment.”
“I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request.”
“I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly, it’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly stupid.”
“They’re more what you’d call guidelines…”
“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

28. Indiana Jones
“It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”
“No, the OTHER right, YOUR right.”
“Snakes. Why’d it have to be SNAKES?”

27. Thank You for Smoking
“I’m never wrong.”
“I proved that you’re wrong, and if you’re wrong, then I’m right.”
“Well, that’s one theory.”

26. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
“It’s useful being top banana in the shock department.”
“There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion.”
“People don’t belong to people.”
“How do I look?”
“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”
“What do you do, anyway?”

25. Wet Hot American Summer

deadpan: “You guys aren’t supposed to be <out of your bunks>…you’re in trouble…”
“You taste like a burger, I don’t like you anymore.”
“Your craft is a muscle, you have to exercise it.”
“Take a break, think about what you’ve done.”

24. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

“It’s okay, I make lamb.”
“Put some windex on it.”
“There’s a hole in this cake.”
“A boont?”

23. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
“It’s just a flesh wound.”
“What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
“Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.”
“A path, a path!”
“Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”
“HUGE…tracts of land.”
“There are some who call me…Tim?”
“I’m not dead yet!”
“You make me sad.”
“Run awaaaaaayyyy…”

22. Saved!

“It’s all a grey area.”
“If God wanted us all to be the same, why would he make us all so different?”

21. Hercules
“It’s been a real slice.”
“Memo to me, memo to me…”
“He’s a GUY.”
“I’m a big, tough girl. I tie my own sandals and everything.”
“I’m a damsel. I’m in distress. I can handle it. Have a nice day!”

20. Dogma
“The buddy Christ!”
“Genocide’s the most exhausting activity a person can participate in…next to soccer.”
“Well, I say we get drunk, ’cause I’m all out of ideas.”
“It was worth a try.”

19. Sandlot
“Some more of what?”

18. Star Wars trilogy (almost cheating, I know)
“May the force be with you.”
“I love you. /I know.”
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
“It’s a trap!”
“Never tell me the odds.”

17. Dazed and Confused

“Alright, alright, alright…”
“You know what I like about high school[ers]?”
“All I’m saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life – remind me to kill myself.”

16. Out Cold
“Carpe the diem. Seize the…carp.”
“Needed burnin'”
“Well, see ya out there!”
“He…died. In a freak dogsled accident. Yeah, an 8-dogsled pile-up. It’s was horrible. The dogs are okay…”
“Everybody knows, nobody cares.”

15. Orange County
“Money can’t buy happiness!” “Oh grow up, yes it can!”
“Where are your pants, Joe?” “I had to take them off…to run faster through the flames…”
“And she said, I hate my job, I’m gonna burn this mother down! And I said, you better not…you, you better not…”

14. The Princess Bride
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
“Life is pain, anyone who says different is selling something.”
“You’re only saying that because no one ever has.”
“As you wish.”
“Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.”

13. Love Actually
“Just in cases!”
“Life is full of interruptions and complications.”
“FUCK! It’s freezing!”
“Hiya kids, here’s an important message form your Uncle Bill…”
“I don’t want something I need. I want something I want.”
“Do you think everybody knows?”

12. When Harry Met Sally
“I’ll have what she’s having.”
“You’re right, you’re right, I know, you’re right.”
“On the side is a very big thing with you.”
“See, you look normal, but actually you’re the devil.”

11. Blazing Saddles
“‘Scuse me while I whip this out.”
“And isn’t it a love-e-ly mornin?”
“Are we awake?”
“Splendid, splendid.”
“Hello boys, have a good night’s rest? I missed you!”
“Harumph, harumph!”
“Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome, come on in!”
“Need any help?” “Oh, all I can get.”
“I must, I must!”
“These are people of the land…the common clay…you know, morons.”
“Lily lily lily legs lily lily” (to my dog, don’t worry)

10. Some Like It Hot
“They all just want one thing from a girl.”
“I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop!”
“Well, nobody’s perfect.”

9. What Happens in Vegas
“You know why.”
“Seriously? I like, threw up in my purse last night.”
“I’m just giving you what you want, baby.”

8. Mean Girls
“Boo, you whore.”
“Please stop talking.”
“You can’t just ask someone why she’s white.”
“I just have a lot of feelings.”
“You can’t sit with us!”
“Why are you so obsessed with me?”

7. America’s Sweethearts
“I’m a paranoid schizophrenic, I am my own entourage.”
“I dream about bread.”
“Ever heard of falling off the wagon? This is what it looks like.”
“Life is a cookie.”
“Kiki! Kikikins!”
“I don’t care.”
“You’re the only one she’ll pretend to listen to.”

6. Little Miss Sunshine
“Losers are people who are so afraid of winning, they don’t even try.”
“When you’re young, you’re crazy to do that shit. I’m old! When you’re old, you’re crazy not to do it.”
“You’re not nearly as stupid as you look.”
“Fuck a lotta women, kid, I have no reason to lie to you. Not just one, a lotta women.”
“High school’s your prime suffering years! You don’t get better suffering than that!”
“You do what you love and fuck the rest.”
“Everybody just pretend to be normal.”

5. The Sweetest Thing

“That is the sweetest thing!”
“You named the puppy.”
“50% of what people say when they’re joking is true.”
“NO. That is NOT okay.”
“Yeah, no, I’m good, never better – never better.”
“You can always just…get divorced!”
“I look beautiful.”

4. 10 Things I Hate About You
“…and hell is just a sauna.”
“Hates you with the first of a thousand suns.”
“So now that you’ve seen *the plan* I’m going to go show…the plan…to someone else.”
“I don’t want to hear that defeatist attitude from you.”
“Are you saying I’m not a pretty guy?”
“The shit hath hiteth the fan-eth.”
“I’m confiscating this. This too.”
“Someday, you’re gonna get bitch slapped and I’m not gonna do a thing to stop it.”
“Don’t let anyone, ever, make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want.”
“I know you can be overwhelmed and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”
“I want you, I need you, oh baby, oh baby.”
“Just because you’re beautiful doesn’t mean you can treat people like they don’t matter.”

3. Eurotrip
“Seemed easier.”
“I am never drinking again.”
“This is definitely where I parked my car.”
“The girls never came!”
“I’m freakin’ out, man, I’m freakin’ out!
“Here’s a fun fact…”

2. Zoolander
“…it doesn’t mean that we too can’t not die in a freak gasoline fight accident.”
“How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read… if they can’t even fit inside the building?”
“I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking.”
“Are you serious? I just told you that a moment ago.”
“I think I’m getting the black lung, pop.”

1. Garden State 
giphy.gif“Don’t tease me about my hobbies. I don’t tease you about being an asshole.”
“If you can’t laugh at yourself, life’s going to seem a whole lot longer than you’d like.”
“Good luck exploring the infinite abyss.”
“So what do we do now?”


Posted in 29 for 29, Humor, Uncategorized

29 videos that make me happy.

This is a day late…but yesterday would have been a day early…February is a little bit crazy, but it still deserves a #29for29 list.

Life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns…and we all have our ways of dealing with them. One of my favorite methods of dealing with the less-than-pleasant world is to watch videos that bring me joy.

Here are my top 29, ordered from amusing to life-bringing. Watch at your leisure.

29. Obama’s like a real person


28. Weekend Update Joke-off (where my fave people on SNL were all together)


27. Pretty much any Scrubs episode prior to season 7. Here are some options for you (and I do the first one, btw).


26. Canadian Tire thingy aka…sappy teacher video


25. Jack Sparrow


24.  Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog (the middle is my favorite part)


23. The adorable laughing penguin.


22. Movie Insults (for when you want to say things you shouldn’t)


21. The end of Crazy Stupid Love


20. Any of Jimmy’s Thank You notes


19. Dick in a Box (an oldie but a goodie)


18. The final Obama Anger Translator (because I can’t anymore)


17. If you’re not a Texas Tech fan, you won’t get this one – if you are, I don’t need to explain. Crappy video quality, sure, but my memory is sharp.


16. The Little Miss Sunshine dance scene


15. Bruce Willis as Rachel’s boyfriend


14. Glove and Boots Hero’s Journey (yes, it’s educational, but I still love it)


13. Drunk History vol. 5 Remember when drunk history was only online? I do. I’m so old.


12. Any Celebrity Jeopardy sketch with “Sean Connery” in it. That 40th anniversary edition is like a high school classroom.


11.Kyle’s Mom (no, I’m not better than this)


10. Beyonce’s dancers


9. Sassy Gay Friend – Giving Tree


8. The Mysterious Ticking Noise


7. Whine about it: Why mornings are the worst


6. America’s Sweethearts buffet monologue – I know this whole thing. Like, memorized.


5. Bonjour, Girl!


4. The convenience store scene. Sorry not sorry. At all.


3. 2015 Madden commercial (I still love it, shamelessly. I still don’t totally know why.)


2. Substitute teacher video pt. 1


1. Substitute teacher video pt. 3 (low quality, I know, sorry, but it’s worth it)

Posted in 29 for 29, Life Musings, This is real life.

29 unforgettable experiences

I’ve had 29 years and 8 months of experiences. And as Colbert would say, I love experiencing experiences. Many of these experiences have made me a better person. Others have made great stories. At the end of the day, these 29 experiences have helped make me the person I am today.

29. Watching my high school football team win the state playoffs. The rain, the chilly weather, and awful playing conditions definitely made the showdown seem Hollywood-worthy. It also solidified my love of the game and being a fan.

28. Riding out a tornado at Sea World. I know, sounds like a Sharknado spin-off, but it happened. While I don’t think it really shaped me, it’s unforgettable.

27. Harvesting wine grapes. Never underestimate the power of a working weekend vacation.


26. Road tripping late at night.  When you’re in college, it’s always a great idea to drive 5 hours one way from Columbia, MO to Ames, Iowa and back on a weeknight to see Frank Warren speak. It’s also always a good idea to go for extensively long weeknight drives to air out frustration, even if you do end up in Fulton, MO.


25. Seeing Hot Hot Heat perform at the Blue Note in Columbia, Missouri my freshman year. I didn’t know who they were, but I do now, and it continues to stand as the best concert experience I’ve ever had.

24. Getting my tattoos. There are people who appreciate body art and people who don’t. I OBVIOUSLY love it – even if those two-three weeks after going under the needle are less than comfortable.


23. Finishing a whole chapstick. No, for real, it happened. I couldn’t believe it, and I don’t think that I’ve ever felt a greater sense of achievement.

22. Finishing my first book. Despite the fact that I will never, ever, ever have that one published, it was truly a labor of love and one of the top 5 things I’m proud of in my life.

21. Seeing Barack Obama speak at Mizzou before the election. It wasn’t just that he was a phenomenal speaker or that he became President, it was the whole process and feeling of the night. When there’s that much energy focused in the same direction, you can feel it in the air.


20. Getting pulled over for the first time. I drive with purpose. Sometimes that purpose is also quite urgent (or I feel like it is, anyway) and I end up driving a little faster than I should. I doubt that I’ll ever NOT drive like this, but the first time I got pulled over will always stick in my mind when I hit that one speed…

19. Being snow-stranded in NYC. As much as I love my friends and love traveling, I’m really, really bad when my travels don’t go as planned. I learned a ton about my tolerance for incongruity that three days.


18. Taking a positive psychology class. This class was one of the least-important classes I’ve ever taken, but I also have to say that

17. Seeing my name in print for the first time. It was addictive, and I still miss it a little. But in the end, I’m not about that cutthroat life and I want to actually MAKE change happen, not just write about people who do.

16. My second first kiss. When your first kiss is at age 5 on the playground, the second one is the real first one.

15. Doing missionary work in Piedras Negras and Eagle Pass. The summer after my freshman year of high school, I went on a mission trip with my (soon-to-be-abandoned-by-me) church. A lot of what happened on that trip informed my opinions about missionary vs aid work and helped me realize what I consider to be my ultimate goal in life: helping others.

14. Finally attending an Aimee Mann concert. I’ve loved Aimee Mann’s music since I was but a wee middle school student, so actually seeing her in concert after years of pining was absolutely amazing. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

13. Earning a journalism degree at Mizzou. Believe me, Mizzou’s undergrad program truly deserves its notoriety. There are things you learn about life, people, and the world as a working reporter that you can’t learn any other way. And Mizzou is the best place to do it.


12. Breaking my tailbone. So much pain. Going to classes and standing up the whole time. Not being able to actually SIT for a while. Whole thing.

11. The first time I bought something in a single-digit size. Yes, body positivity! We’re all beautiful! But really, I still remember the day that I actually fit into a size 8 pants and I started crying in the dressing room.

10. Every time I’ve thrown a dance. I love hosting things, whether it’s at my house or elsewhere. Homecoming at MHS, the Honors dances at Mizzou, I loved all the stress and excitement combined.


9. Graduating high school. I know, my college degree doesn’t make the cut, but this one does? Yeah, because leaving high school is like discovering that a whole world is open to you. That feeling is the best in the world.

8. Watching the kids I taught for three years move on to high school. I had all the feels with this one, because in my mind and heart, those kids were my kids – still are. I was a hot fucking mess for like 48 hours, but I wouldn’t trade knowing those kiddos for anything.


7. Buying a house. I’m so bad at making decisions that I can still remember the anxiety I felt at pulling the trigger on buying my house. Yet, I absolutely love it and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.


6. Almost flipping my car in the snow. Aaaaaand continuing to drive from Columbia, MO to Olathe, KS because I was determined to make it the hell out of dodge for the holiday. I was a fool. But oh well.

5. Going through therapy. Best decision I’ve made for my own health, ever. If you truly want to know yourself and improve your life, consider it.

4. Adopting & rehabilitating a street dog (or three). Each of my fur babies have come to me with their own stories and their own struggles. Figuring out earn their trust, keep them healthy, and make them a part of the family made me a better person.


3. Studying abroad in South America. It make have been a short stay, but learning how to communicate across cultures, expanding my horizons, and building connections in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay really made an impact on how I imagined my future and what I believed I could do.


2. Being a PA. I swear, being a PA was the best preparation for anything life can throw at me. Except like, paying taxes and bills and whatnot. But everything else? Yeah. Definitely. And it gave me confidence I never had before – so I owe ResLife one (or 18,000).

1. Traveling alone. I recently went to the UAE and Ghana, but I’ve been other places on my own before – from Chicago to Boston to road trips galore. Truth is, you learn something new about yourself with each trip.