And that’s the reason not to sleep away your Sunday

There’s a lot to be said about the pleasure of sleeping in on the weekends. However, as walking has proved more effort than I am willing to expend this weekend due to the injury I incurred in the beginning hours of Thursday, I’ve been going to bed early and waking up equally as early. Waking up at 8:30 AM on a Sunday morning gives you a whole lot of time that I am frankly just not accustom to having.

While I was going to the bathroom at 8:30AM on Sunday, I noticed how dirty the sink was. So I cleaned it (clearly I’m usually too busy to see that, but early on Sunday, it’s totally obvious). Then I went downstairs — had a mild flashback to trying to get down them on my butt in the late hours of Wednesday — and noticed how much animal hair was on the steps (not to name names or anything, Sam and Bessie). So I vacuumed them. And since the vacuum was already in-hand, I vacuumed the hallways and rest of the rooms as well.

When I went to go clean out the vacuum, I noticed the trash was full. Now’s a good time to take that out. And oh what,  let me grab that box of trash from the bottom of the stairs that has been sitting there for three months.

When I was putting the vacuum away in the pantry, I noticed we had a pile of toilet paper, which I knew would serve a better purpose being stored in the bathroom. So I brought it upstairs. Then I was going to lay down on my bed (you know, cleaning for fifteen minutes really takes a lot out of you), but then I remembered that I couldn’t remember the last time I cleaned my sheets, so I stripped my bed and brought them downstairs to do laundry.

Now I have 40 minutes to waste until they’ll need to be dried. Mine was well wash up the dishes, right? Yup, and now that all the dishes are gone, it’s really obvious how dirty the countertops are. Just going to scrub those off a bit.

And then I was going to be perfectly content to lay on the couch and wait out the rest of the 40 minutes unproductively, but Sam was outside and I remembered how gross our backyard is. Can’t say I weedwacked (or weed-walked as we call it in this household), because my dad once weekwacked and weedwacked his leg on accident and I just didn’t want to risk that, already having one leg currently being held together with stitches. But I did at least throw out beer cans and cups from our housewarming party (which was in August).

So then the sheets were washed, and another 40 minutes on the clock until they’d be dry. I was going to sit still and watch some more tv, but I recalled how I’ll be in and out of the doctors this week for my stitches, and I didn’t want them to accidentally vomit into my wound on account of how gross my toenails are. So I nicely trimmed them and repainted them. You are quite welcome doctors.

Once the sheets came out, I made my bed, and was going to take a nap because I had been so busy all day, only to realize that it was but a mere 11:30AM. Hello, all day, I’ve still got you. And that’s the reason not to sleep away your Sunday.

Perks of Having a Work Mom

So I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m one of the youngest employees at work (I can no longer say youngest because we just hired someone younger than me). Sometimes being young means that you lack authority, or it means that no one listens to you, but on the bright side, it puts you in perfect position to have a work mom!

And, let me tell you, work moms are great. I started on the same day as one work mom, who would give me advice (not limited to work advice), bring me snacks, remind me about mom-ish things and even bought me lunch or breakfast from time to time.

But what’s even better is having multiple work moms. Everyone chips in to make sure I feel taken care of. And they complement me on my outfits because I’m so in-style, which is actually hilarious because nothing I wear is in style, but I have them fooled because they figure that must be what the kids are wearing these days.

My work moms also understand when I bring in cheetohs or brownies to our monthly breakfast, because “at their age they weren’t cooking either“. Off the hook! And yes – I really did bring in brownies and cheetohs before to our breakfast.

Balanced with the fact that my work moms do actually trust me to do my job, and respect me when I am doing my work, being mom-ed is actually endearing. When I was talking about it with another younger co-worker, she said she didn’t like it. I get that they don’t treat anyone else this way, but let’s be honest; my work moms took care of me on my birthday when we barely recognize anyone else’s birthday at all. I’ll take the special treatment.

When Wednesday Bleeds Into Thursday (literally)

Editor's note: This is going to chronicle probably the goriest event that has ever happened to me. Get ready!

A perfectly normal Wednesday was wrapping up. I had done some Zumba (poorly, I may add), cooked a chicken-based dinner (extremely typical), watched some television with the roommates, took a shower and lounged in my bed for a bit.

I was ready to go to bed at this point. It had been a long day and my hair had basically finished drying. So, like I do every night of my life, I went over to my closet door, pulled it open and reached up to hang up my towel. Then there was a bang, I look down.

The mirror from the front of the closet door is laying on the ground next to a bloody piece of meat. No wait — that bloody piece of meat is my leg. I shit you not I saw bone. Huge drops of blood are hitting the floor every second. And huge drops are hitting the rug my mom explicitly told me not to ruin. Got to move off of it, but my leg is limpy. I focus in. I absolutely need to go to the emergency room. My roommate next door is asleep already, so I’ll crawl to the stairs and call for the one downstairs.

Nope, my leg won’t make it. I yell downstairs, “I need to go to the emergency room.” Both roommates materialize like they are wizards straight from Hogwarts. Everyone is calm, like we have a prepared emergency response plan. One roommate collects my and her belongings so that we can leave. The other wraps a towel around my leg and goes for gauze and pre-wrap. I sit applying pressure. Not crying. Just planning. I need shoes, id and my insurance card. And a bra. Can’t leave the house without a bra.

She comes back with the supplies, and I squeeze the two halves of my leg together, while she applies gauze and then tightly wraps the pre-wrap around my wound. (The next day, I find out that she has experience splinting horse legs, so she was ready to put that skill to use). The other roommate comes back with our to-go supplies. We work out that one goes and one stays to clean the blood. What more can you ask for in a friend than someone who will mop up your pools of blood for you? #BloodSisters

I slide on my butt down the stairs, slip my boat shoes (they ended up being a casualty of the night. The entire left shoe is caked in blood beyond cleaning) on, and we are off. It was a quick drive (thank god) down just a few blocks to the ER. I get dropped off and hop on one leg inside. The greeting nurse takes down all sorts of information, as I internally contemplate whether I should call or text my parents. I decide text, because it’s late, and they’ll think I’m near death if I call now. Plus, what can they do when they’re eight hours away, anyways right?

So then I’m led back to my bed. And then I sit alone, with just the sounds of the EMT’s gossiping, the click of the heart rate monitor for the patient to my right and every now and then a squeak of a shoe. And I totally lose my shit. What if it actually broke my bone? Or ripped a muscle? Or it gets infected and they need to amputate? What if they just leave me sitting here to bleed out?

I sob. And sob a bit more. Nurses come and go, but I sit alone sobbing.

Eventually, one comes over and compliments the nice dressing on my wound (thanks, years of horse splinting). I still can’t compose myself. They go to get my roommate. No one comes back.

I freak out a bit more. They just wheeled someone away for higher-grade attention.

Then, a lovely, nonchalant nurse comes over. She tells me I’m doing well, ask me how it happened. Then she asked me if I think I could have Ebola, if I was trying to hurt myself or if I was assaulted. All no.

She cracks a few jokes, and my tears subside. Shortly thereafter, I text my other friend and he comes running (more like brisk walking) from his house to the hospital. Once there, I feel much more calm. He’s not nervous about all the blood. He handles it. He talks to me and takes my mind off of it.

“You really went big on this one,” the nurse muses. “Go big or go home, right?” I quip back. When you’re in pain, freaking out, there’s nothing like a good wound joke to break the ice. We get some x-rays and praise hallelujah no broken bones, chard’s of glass or ripped muscles. While getting hit by a falling mirror is a total unlucky fluke, at least hearing good news like that is calming.

So then begins the time to stitch. My friend snaps a picture (which I swear if he shows that to me before a years time, I will vomit. Not that I actually need the picture to remember how my leg looked. I’ll probably carry that image with me to the grave. It looked straight out of a horror film.), and the doctor begins. Oh pain. So much of it.

But damn, do I have a good friend. He talks about nothing for the entire time. He explains his graduate school classes, which meant nothing to me. Except for the real fact that it meant everything to me. He had a midterm the next day, but he chose to help me out when I needed him most, and was able to talk to me enough to distract me from the mangled mess that was my leg.

After a long evening of waiting and stitching, my roommate and I head home. She’s GOT to be drained, as she drove our other roommate to the airport at 5:30 that morning. She hates blood, yet still sucked it up and brought me to the hospital. What more can I say other than she’s a leg-saver.

I’m spent too, except for the fact that I can’t sleep. Maybe it was the drugs they gave me, maybe it was the pain or maybe it was replaying the way my leg looked when it was about to become stuffed chicken. But I was very much awake.

I then decide that I should blog about it (the nurse did say this would make an awesome story), and I should do it immediately before I forget. Right — because I can forget this trauma so quickly.

So instead of trying to blog about the night at 4am, I roll over, thank god for the three most helpful, amazing people a girl could ask for, and do my best to go to sleep (and waited til daylight to share the gore with you all. Happy Halloween!)

Six Costumes You Maybe Should or Shouldn’t Wear [Cazey]

By Cazey Williams

Halloween is close enough that we should all be considering what we’re going to don come October 31st – even if it’s a Dementor cloak to hide our food baby after all that candy corn. So what follows is a history of costumes I’ve memorably fashioned (or envisioned):

Vampire:

This is my signature getup. Stalk Facebook – and even MySpace – and you’ll see I’ve been a vampire since before Edward Cullen was a thing. I also don’t do it like the simpletons aka wear Dollar Tree fangs. No, kids, I use dental adhesive. I also have a cape, gloves, and some Renaissance-esque medallion – we’re talking Anne Rice vampires. On the topic of that dental adhesive, I even made out with someone with those incisors, and they didn’t fall out (!!), though I can’t imagine I tasted very good.

cazey as a vampire

Love’s Prisoner:

This is when things got weird. I was going through a quasi-relationship with a girl who had a boyfriend (not that I endorse that sort of thing, unless you enjoy uncomfortable stories like this one), so why not be metaphorical and angsty? I bought some plastic shackles (the prisoner part), and then I tore up a white t-shirt with a kitchen knife and sprinkled blood on it. Some of that blood ended up on my bathroom carpet, which I still own and step onto after every shower. I focused on exposing my left nipple with said shirt and put a prosthetic wound across my heart. Get it? No? I don’t know…

cazey as love's prisoner

French painter:

This was by far my favorite costume, but the one that received the most criticism because apparently I dress like a French painter in everyday life. (Is it bad I take that as a compliment?) Admittedly, the only thing I bought for this outfit was a watercolor set. And I stole a cardboard box from a dumpster to make a palette and used some computer paper for my cig. But I never would have paired those yellow pants with that striped shirt any other day. Okay, maybe. It’s hard work being a hipster.

cazey as a french painter

Narcissus:

This one was last year, and I never made it out of the house because #selfdoubts. Basically, I wrapped myself in a toga (read: bed sheet – though it was a green sheet, because that’s different) and a bought a Dollar Tree wreath for my laurel and even some plastic grapes. The final touch was a handheld mirror. And then everyone was like, “It’s Halloween, not a toga party.” And I was like, “Does no one remember reading Edith Hamilton’s Mythology in seventh grade? I’m Narcissus!” I also didn’t know if my pecs were in prime condition for the wintry night, so I changed into zombie attire.

The Vain Man:

I’m trying to bring Narcissus into the modern age. I’m also afraid I’m just too highbrow for people. Or I overthink costumes. Who is the Vain man, you ask? Well, he’s the one who walks like he’s on a yacht. He has a hat dipped strategically below one eye, and he has an apricot scarf! You probably think it’s you, don’t you (don’t you)?  Oh, so you don’t think anyone will get it? “How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days” came out in 2003, though. Okay, I guess I won’t be the Vain Man this year.

Gym bro:

I haven’t pulled off this costume either, but I think it’s brilliant – and if that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what is. The idea is you wear those toe shoes that they’ve proven are worthless , a tank top that has sleeve openings down to your hips, an iPhone strap around your biceps, and you put a bandana around your forehead. You also have to haul around a gallon of water. Bonus points if you refuse  alcohol on Halloween because #gains. I would do this, but I eat bread, so I’m not sure I want to show my abs.

So now I have two weeks to figure out how I’ll stun the masses on All Hallow’s Eve. Any ideas?

Over or Under

So Cazey discussed his commitment issues in his recent post, In defense of singledom, and it made me reflect on my own commitment style. Generalizing across life in general and not specific to relationships, my commitment issue isn’t so much that I don’t do it, but that I either way over-do it, or totally under-do it.

On the side of over-commitment, I tend to get wicked excited about something and go waaaaay overboard. For example, for little work campaigns, someone may ask if we can support with a tweet or two. Next thing they know, I am committing to weeks of content just because I think it’s awesome.

Or, I totally under-commit. I help out with a canned food drive that’s a competition pinning all Virginia school alumni chapters against each other. We had a meeting and were discussing the date we’d like to do have it again next year. When we settled on a date, I had this slightly constricting feeling in my throat. What happens if a work commitment comes up that date? What happens if someone comes into town to visit and I’m already busy? What happens if I move out of Richmond? Now I’ve got this commitment that is just hanging over my head. Now I’m tied down to something that is a really good cause, only four-hours long and minimally difficult, but it feels like a bowling ball of commitment.

And this commitment style also carries over to my general reactions to things, often either way too casual or way too dramatic.

For example, there was a fire in a pot and I casually asked my roommate to grab the pot holders because there was a huge fire inside. She then grabbed the enflamed pot and carried it outside. As it’s burning, I’m googling if baking soda or powder can put it out. Then I realize we have a fire extinguisher and we just put out the fire like it’s typical. Total under-reaction.

But then there’s a bug on the ground and I’m hiding in a different room in the hopes that he’ll make an exit on his own time. Over-reaction.

spaghetti

Life is like

Life is like the spaghetti test. You just throw a handful at a wall and see what sticks.

Take applying to a job. You write a resume and then send it to anyone who may hopefully read it. Well — maybe not anyone, but when I was applying pre-graduation, it actually felt like I applied everywhere. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to live or what I wanted to do, so that essentially left me applying to anything to which I was somewhat qualified.

Then, one of the noodles stuck to the wall, and I ended up with a social media contracting job in Richmond. And just like a done piece of spaghetti, it eventually fell off the wall. Sadly, that job fell off way too early, but at least I had found a place to live.

It may be the least scientific method to solving problems, but it the spaghetti method works. While you’re spraying options everywhere, you’ll eventually figure out what it is that you’re hoping actually sticks.

Tinder for conversation [guest]

By Cazey Williams

Dating apps need no introduction. Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge: Your friends are on them if you aren’t. I have a friend who broke up with a dude because he was on Tinder while they were in Italy! Monsieur, what the hell.

I originally downloaded Tinder because – true story alert! – I was looking for a way to (ethically) meet a girl who was a student in a class I was TA’ing. Amy, I’m still looking for you.

For the uninitiated (though I’m calling your bluff if you’re single and aged between 18 and 26), you generally swipe right or heart a person on these apps if you think you might enjoy their company (read: looks). And then if the other person feels the same way about you, it’s a match, and you’re encouraged to chat, meet up, make babies, etc.

If you’re a female, matching with someone is considerably easier. “Instant gratification” is how my friend put it. You basically will match with anyone you say yes to.

That’s not to say I don’t have matches as a male; I just won’t share my number, not that I’m insecure or anything. In my defense, I am a selective swiper righter. If you have more than one selfie, no. If you like sports, I’m intimidated, so no. And if you are “a hot mess on a regular basis,” you are basic like the guacamole you love and eff no. (Though someone once wrote they love pho, and I almost said yes until I noticed their face.)

I actually sought out apps with better filters than what Tinder provides because of my requisites like grammar skills and a photo of more than your cleavage in bad lighting. On these classier apps like Bagel Meets Coffee, I can find my potential match’s height and occupation along with whether they have a trust fund or student debt.

So when I do find a match, they must be special, and I must be proposing right away. Wrong. Enter the classic commitmentphobe.

Many a-matches sit neglected in my inbox waiting for Prince Charming (me). I’ve messaged, like, five of them. I usually find them either blah or nonresponsive. One I did ask on a date (at my roommate’s urging) only to have it canceled before it was even scheduled. I believe her exact words were, “I can’t do this, I’m sorry.” Me either.

I suffer one crucial hang-up when it comes to initiating anything past “What’s up?” – and it has nothing to do with judging people who online date because I don’t. Essentially, I don’t know if I want to date. So I don’t know where I want this to go, so what am I initiating here? I’m not about that hookup culture, especially through an app (maybe I would be if this was Care.com and there were background checks).

Of course, I could just invite my hypothetical match (who never seems as appealing once we match as they did when I initially swiped right) to hang out and see where things go. But here, let us discuss the mainstream societal expectation that the man should pay on first date: Yes, not everyone believes this (phew), and also I agree there’s a gender pay gap so maybe it works out, but there is no bias in stipends for grad students, which is what I live on. Yeah, I could afford to cover coffee or no-strings-attached drinks (that means no appetizers), but the moment we say dinner, I’m thinking, “There goes the cost of my annual membership to the American Statistical Association.” And as you rise “to go to the bathroom,” I add, “That membership will pay the bills when we’re married.” Never married is what I really mean.

And if the date sucks altogether? I guess when the waiter comes, I could say, “Split please.” (<<<< Douche)

So for now I am content to collect my matches and stay busy with all the things I do other than chat with nearby strangers and pay for dates – and still keep looking for Amy.

The Antithesis of the Megaphone of Media: Social Media

I suspect that social media is popular because it gives everyone a form of expression, regardless of what platform(s) you decide to use. If you’re a shutterbug, you’ve got Instie to play on, if you have half baked quips, you can tweet your heart out, and if you like collecting people, there’s Facebook. But what’s even better is that every now and then, people take a few moments from self-promotion to respond to other’s people inane thoughts.

The inspiration of this statement was my dining experience this week. As some of you may remember, I’ve been fine-dining in jeans and a t-shirt before, so it shouldn’t be that shocking that I’d decide to go out to dinner immediately after working out. But then there’s a wait, and my two roommates leave me by myself to go pick up one of their credit cards. So now I’m looking slumpy AND alone.

So I take out my phone to look busy, and decide to tweet, “Alone and sweaty @CapitalAleHouse. #LifeIsGood #rva.”

Then I put my phone away and people watch a bit. My roommates make it back, and we eventually get a table. We dine on $2 burgers and ginger ale (okay, so the ginger ale was only me). And then we go home.

I hop back on Twitter, like I do most nights before bed. AND THEN I NOTICED THAT CAP ALE RETWEETED AND FAVORITED MY TWEET! Lawd, I was cracking up. I tag people constantly in tweets, and everyone ignores me. Except for the one time I tweet something minimally embarrassing and rather silly. Being listened to is fun.

And I would go as far to say I’m not the only one that thinks so. Part of my job is monitoring our social media accounts, so I run searches multiple times a day with various spellings of our names. And I respond to people that are talking to us or about us. And it usually catches people off guard, and I love it. Most of the time, people appreciate it, but every now and then people are just complaining and not actually looking to engage in conversation with me.

But let’s focus on the good: people genuinely seem excited when I reply, favorite or retweet them. They thank me for listening, they throw us a follow, or shout us out. And I like it because it’s content I don’t have to produce. So let’s do that more often: listen. There’s a lot of good stuff happening on social media, if only we all actually listened to each other.

What happens in my head when I forget headphones

I typically have three sets of headphones in my work bag. Why? Great question, I don’t know either. But somehow none of them were in my bag today, and I was left headphone-less for an entire day at work.

Here’s exactly what happened in my head throughout the day:

It won’t be THAT bad, right? I’ve forgotten my glasses before and found ways around that (scrolled in so close an old man with glaucoma could read), so I can handle it…yes.

Yes, I can do this. Here we go on our unintentional day of silence.

Phew, it sure is quiet.

Is that me typing so loud? Crap, I sound angry. People probably think I’m mad. Lighter on the keys, girl. Get yourself together.

Oh my gosh, people can actually probably hear me sighing all the time! They’re going to think I’m fatigued. Well, I am so that’s not that bad…

Wow, it’s really quiet. I can’t get over how quiet it is. I wonder what people think about all day that don’t have music on usually.

Jeez, someone’s breathing really loud. No wait — that’s just me again. I clearly have no cubicle decorum.

OH MY GOSH! I MAY HAVE MY HEADPHONES IN MY CAR.

Let me go check. No wait, I’ll wait to lunch. Get yourself together, you can do this.

Everyone else sits in silence all day, you can do this.

Phew silence is pretty silent. It’s making me tired. I need more coffee. Is three cups of black coffee bad? No, I’ve read about it and it’s not.

Okay, I will definitely get my headphones. This is making me stir crazy. Maybe I can play it really softly and no one will hear it.

Yup, definitely playing it out loud. And it’s really loud. I need those headphones.

I don’t know how people do this all the time. Screw it…going to get my headphones. I don’t need to prove that I can do this to myself. Someone invented headphones for a reason.

Bye silence. Until next time. Oh wait, no– I hope there isn’t a next time.

Because it’s National Coffee Day [guest]

By Cazey Williams

I’m here to set the record straight: I’m not addicted to coffee.

I’ll admit, I’m like the middle school girl who pines for the most recent teen heartthrob idol and adorns her binder (which is already emblazoned with his face and brand, thanks to Wal-Mart capitalism) with his name and hearts, and she won’t shut up about him – but when it comes down to it, she isn’t even dating Justin Bieber/Zac Efron/Brock from Pokemon.

So I talk about coffee all the time; it doesn’t mean we’re together.

You could call me the emotionally abusive/absent boyfriend. Ask me if I drink coffee, and I’ll say I only drink it twice a week – three times if I’m especially sleep deprived – which is true, but it implies a sort of objectivity and detachment from my mistress. Which is definitely not the case.

In fact, I have nicknamed my fondness “#bae.” And like a misogynistic boyfriend, I have preferences for my #bae: Iced and with soy. (Pause here: Misogyny actually isn’t a joke; I can rant about this at another time. Besides coffee, feminism is a passion of mine.)

My friend recently told me that she found a coffee shop on Yelp “that supposedly has the best iced coffee in Richmond. I knew you’d appreciate this. You’re my only friend who loves iced coffee and not just coffee. It is a separate creature, really.” No kidding; iced coffee is a unicorn compared to just to regular, blah, hot coffee.

I didn’t wait for my friend before I tried the coffee.

So based on this adoration, you must be wondering how am I not addicted? Well, like I said, I limit myself to #bae twice a week. So physically I’m not addicted. But emotionally, it’s a different story. I schedule things around the days I allow myself to overdose on Americano on the rocks (that’s what my friend told me the Europeans call iced coffee, and I like to be pretentious). Here where the problem lies: I want #bae every day.

Like, I wish you could bring iced coffee to cycling class instead of water.

I hail from a family of caffeine junkies. Heck, I hail from a nation full of them; we might have poured tea into the bay, but we run on Dunkin and, Gabriel knows, Starbucks is a millennial mecca. People don’t judge if you waken to the coffee pot and need the black stuff to get through listless afternoons. #bae whispers, “What would be so bad about addiction?”

I remember the first time I unlocked the omnipotence of coffee. Two years ago to this month – the third Wednesday of my senior year at college – I had slept ten hours the night before, but I felt as dead as a patient undergoing open heart surgery, and so being as cheap as a broker who banks in the Caribbean, I sought self-service Starbucks (it’s a college campus thing) where instead of paying full price, I filled a 32 oz. soda cup with straight iced coffee (double brewed if it’s Starbucks!), maybe three ice cubes, and a splash of soy milk. Then I went to work where I casually sipped my bae down in about fifteen minutes.

Your eyes probably just bulged. If they didn’t, they should have. I came that close to cardiac arrest that day.

BUT MY GOD, HOW GOOD IT FELT.

Some people get the spins when they’re drunk. I get the pulses when I’m (over)caffeinated. You are infinite. You can run for hours – physically and metaphorically. You are fearless.

The reason I am afraid of addiction is as messed up as that high I had on September 12, 2012: I don’t want a tolerance. I want to be able to get back to that high whenever I please. And if I’m caffeinated every day, eventually it will be an everyday thing, and it won’t be special.

Am I overthinking this? Obviously. But that’s my trademark.

So I sip my #bae and forget these qualms. And senses awaken. Energy proliferates. Social media abounds (because did you really order #Sbx if you didn’t insta it?). And what’s another coffee tomorrow, the next day, even later today? As long as I’m not addicted.