Thursday, December 7, 2017

Washington, D.C.

I just listened to Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. He talked a lot about his years at Howard University, or, as he called it, "the Mecca."

He talked about living in D.C. About hanging out in U Street, about the police brutality in neighboring PG County. 

His descriptions of D.C. hit me so hard that tears filled my eyes in my car as I was driving. I only lived there for four months, but I miss it. I ache for it. I have missed every place I've ever lived when I left it, but I've never cried about it before.

In the last few years I realized that I am a city girl. As a child, I was endlessly anxious about one way streets and somehow getting lost and turning down a side street that suddenly became a dangerous part of town. 

Now, though, cities fill me. I'm afraid to speak to people I don't know, but D.C. let me be near people. I didn't have to say anything, but I could watch them, overhear their conversations, sometimes feel my body pressed up against theirs on a crowded metro ride, interact with them through the courtesy of public life--of passing on the left on the escalator or holding the door open for someone behind you.

In D.C. there were people with skin of every hue. During the week, the metro was filled with white people surging in from the suburbs to go to work, but on the weekends, the cars were emptier and ridden by people with brown skin going to and from their weekend errands. 

I saw people wearing multiple types of religious clothing and headwear that I wanted to know more about.

I saw things that puzzled me. There were never any middle aged women on the metro in the morning. When I got to work, the building was filled with them. How did they get there?

I saw things that awed me. More fathers than I could count taking their children to day care in the morning. The fathers. Alone, no mother in sight, taking part in the quotidian intimacy of morning and evening commutes with their children.

These people were more often than not dressed more formally than I saw anyone dress for work in Utah. No casual Fridays, just day after day of morning coffee and walking several blocks in high heels, to huge old buildings to do government. To talk and argue and submit the same data to multiple subgroups in Congress, having to reformat their reports for each one. Landscape! Portrait! Only to get home so late that they barely have time to eat and work out and watch one episode of a tv show before they have to go to bed so they can do it all again tomorrow. 

When they lay down to bed, the constant sirens whizzing past them sang them a lullaby to sleep.

These people did government on a daily basis. Sometimes just steps away from museums filled with the best art and history that our country has had the pleasure of having. People came on vacation to see these things. They came on vacation to a city that was mine, and I always forgot that until I was walking in the surprisingly warm winter air on a Friday afternoon and I saw groups of them, not fully sure they were walking in the right direction, but taking in the awe of it all.

As a child, I went on field trips to D.C. and I was one of those people. I regret that on my eighth grade field trip, I was more interested in the cute boys from a different school in line in front of us than I was about seeing Ford's Theater.

Now, though, I relished any time I could steal away to the Lincoln Memorial. It's not really close to any metro stops, so it takes a while to get there. And once you're there, you have to give it the time it is due. To go in, find a way to ignore the crowds, and say hi to your best friend. To talk quietly to him in your mind. To enjoy that sacred feeling of being inside of a type of temple.

Then, you go out and sit on the steps, and stare out at the city. The reflecting pool, the Washington Monument, the Capitol. You feel the confidence of Lincoln behind you and the beauty and the fragility of the American dream in front of you.

I think Washington, D.C. and I are made of the same things.

The view of the city from the top of my apartment

Sunday, October 8, 2017

It is not good that the man should be alone.

When I was young, I said, "No apartments. Ever." The thought of sharing a wall with a stranger was odious. To be able to hear their every move, and not be able to run into some back room and get away from it all--unthinkable. 

Do you know what God said in the Garden of Eden, though? "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Genesis 2:18).

I think that means a million things. One of the things I think it means is that we should all live in apartments.

Lately, I've been driving around and it seems like every empty space is being filled up with with big, clean houses with big yards. It seems terribly excessive. Row on row of duplicate kitchens and sitting rooms. We could all sit together. We could all eat together. Instead, we need a lot of grass between us--grass that we hardly ever walk or sit on. Grass that we're a slave to cutting every week of the summer.

When you live in an apartment, you can hear people walking above you. You can hear them talking. You know when they turn the water on. And as you lay in bed at night, you know someone is near. You breathe in humanity and you breathe it out for them to breathe in.

It is not good that the man should be alone. We should all live in tiny places one on top of another. We should always have to parallel park our cars between two strangers. We should all live in great old houses that have been home to dozens before us, so we will have their ghosts to keep us company.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Guys I Should Have Fallen in Love with When I Had the Chance*

*Caveat: I probably never had a chance with most of these people

1. My fourth grade crush, who started liking me after I stopped liking him. I still can't find him on Facebook.

2. My twelfth grade crush, who wasn't too cool for me and was definitely funny, and has only increased in handsomeness over the years. I thought about trying to talk to him, but what would I say?

3. That super funny guy who was actually really interesting, but I could never get him to be serious with me.

4. That really solid guy who seemed too shy at the time.

5. That super nice guy who sometimes invited me to things that I never went to.

6. The guy from freshman year that I never even talked to but now seems like a total catch.

7. The guy I was so, so nervous to go on a blind date with.

8. The tinder date who was late because he overslept during a nap, which was actually true, and not an excuse.

9. The tinder date who was kinda like, "Should we kiss, though?" And I actually said, "I have to think about it."

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Surprisingly Similar Love Lives of Sabrina Spellman and Rory Gilmore.

I couldn't help but notice that Rory Gilmore's boyfriends follow a pattern eerily similar to Sabrina Spellman's.

First, Dean plays the role of "the Harvey."

The cute, wholesome, first love, making high school magical since 1996. They get together surprisingly easily and stay together virtually without a hitch. Until...

Second, Jess plays the role of "the Josh."

Better looking, perhaps, and more intellectual. Sparks curiosity in our young heroine, as she would have something with him that she doesn't have with "the Harvey." They flirt inappropriately, kiss, then have to wait a while to be together. 

And finally, Logan plays the role of "the Aaron."

The choice for our heroine once she has grown up. Tbh, why does it even come to this?

Here, our comparison ends, because *spoilers* Sabrina ends up with her One True Love Harvey, and Rory ends up the worst human being on the planet (unless we strike out the Revival, and she ends up a cool young journalist following around Barack Obama). And also Harvey is 1000x better than Dean, because he's friends with a talking cat. Also, for many, many other reasons. But I don't think you need me to spell those out.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Characters, Sorted into Hogwarts Houses

The other day, I took a BuzzFeed poll that allowed you to sort Brooklyn Nine-Nine characters into Hogwarts houses. I thought the masses got a lot of them wrong, so here's my two cents.

Jake Peralta

BuzzFeed said: Gryffindor
I say: Gryffindor

Jake is the epitome of bravery to the point of recklessness. You might as well call him Jake "Pointless Heroics" Peralta. The one thing he doesn't have is chivalry. Remember when he went out of his way to humiliate Amy on their fake date?

Rosa Diaz

BuzzFeed said: Slytherin
I say: Gryffindor

She's a hard one to pin down. Definitely not a Slytherin, though, because she doesn't show particular shrewdness or ambition. She's just trying to live the life that makes sense to her, whether it's watching Nancy Meyers movies and drinking bellinis or not telling anyone where she lives. I think that leaves her as a Gryffindor. She has a moral code, and she comes through bravely when the situation calls for it. Plus, I love to imagine her and Jake back at the Academy as fellow Gryffindors <3 p="">

Terry Jeffords

BuzzFeed said: Gryffindor
I say: Hufflepuff

Three words: Terry loves yogurt. But really though, he is the picture of a Hufflepuff hero. He works so hard, tirelessly, and he's extremely loyal to the Nine-Nine and his team. Not to mention his family. He's modest and so not interested in Halloween shenanigans. Hufflepuff Head Boy. Seriously.

Amy Santiago

BuzzFeed said: Ravenclaw
I say: Slytherin

No doubt that the Sorting Hat spent a while on her head before deciding. She could fit well into several houses. Her tireless drive is what puts her into Slytherin, though. Remember when she was unwilling to be the union rep because it might hurt her chances of becoming captain one day? It's all about #1. She's shrewd and a strong leader. She knows Slytherin will get her further than any other house. I like to imagine that her and Hermione have a nice rivalry going on and the rest of the Slytherins find her pretty annoying. Can you imagine her kissing up to Professor Slughorn?

Charles Boyle

BuzzFeed said: Hufflepuff
I say: Ravenclaw

Difficult choice. What is Charles? He's everything. He's a Hufflepuff in terms of quirkiness, but he doesn't seem defined by determination or hard work. He's not exactly tolerant or impartial (it's he and Jake against the world). I decided ultimately that he is Ravenclaw, because he is extremely creative and individual. Think of his Halloween costumes and his pizza email blast. To me, he's a Luna style of Ravenclaw, totally quirky and in his own world. Plus, the other Ravenclaws probably hate that he's as obsessed with Jake/Harry Potter as all the teachers seem to be. 

Gina Linetti

BuzzFeed said: Slytherin
I say: Slytherin

Do I even need to say anything? The human form of the 100 emoji. Resourceful, cunning, and shrewd. Self-preservation above all else. And yet, she uses all that to help others when need be. Another good Slytherin. But she does love organizing pranks on Amy the Prefect in the common room.

Raymond Holt

BuzzFeed said: Ravenclaw
I say: Ravenclaw

Witty, creative, and a total individual. He made it through the 80s as an openly gay black police officer armed with those qualities. He's totally competitive and puts stock in his wit and originality to help him triumph over his foes. I also love to imagine Holt and Boyle in the same house, because they'd never interact.

Norm Scully

BuzzFeed said: Hufflepuff
I say: Hufflepuff

This was so hard. I don't think he's a Hufflepuff because he's a sad weirdo. That's too obvious. It's more that he's not really a Gryffindor or a Ravenclaw or a Slytherin. He is patient and dedicated in that he plonks daily through a boring life. He's extremely loyal to food, not getting up from his chair, and Hitchcock.  

Michael Hitchcock

BuzzFeed said: Hufflepuff
I say: Slytherin

Hitchcock's penchant for taking off his shirt whenever occasion permits (and often when it doesn't) reveals that he's more than a Hufflepuff-by-default like his best friend. He's cunning and shows more ambition that Scully. He constantly hits on women out of his league and aspires to be Jake's best friend whenever Scully and Boyle happen to be out of the room. At least 80% of his and Scully's antics are because of him. He's the kind of sidekick Draco Malfoy wished he had.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ken Fashionista Dolls, Rated by How Much I Want to Date Them

In my day, there were like 5 Barbies and 2 Kens to choose from. Now there are fifteen Kens! What a great time to be alive.

Ken Fashionista Dolls, Rated by How Much I Want to Date Them:

16. Distressed Denim Ken

His choice to wear distressed denim is crazy, and I can't understand how he always seems to be traveling on his Instagram. He's probably the type of guy that I find secretly handsome when he lets his hair out of the man bun and it falls over his face, but that doesn't happen nearly enough.

15. Camo Comeback Ken

His hair is shaved too close on the sides. It makes me suspicious. His Tinder profile probably includes the same Michael Scott quote that ever other guy's does. 

14. Cali Cool Ken

I don't want to go waterskiing every weekend, so I don't know what we would have in common.

13. Cactus Cooler Ken

I'd be uncomfortable that he's so much skinnier than me, but luckily he only likes girls with extremely short bangs and lavender hair, so I don't have to worry about whether that's shallow of me.

12. Checked Style Ken

I always thought he was too handsome for his own good, but I talked to him one time and he's actually not that bad. Now he winks at me whenever he sees me but never talks to me. Eye roll. I do like a man who's not afraid to show his toes in public, though.

11. Chill in Check Ken
He's a brooding loner, which I'm kind of into, but all his clothes are a bit too baggy. I fear that he spends all his time commenting on weird subreddits, so I've steered clear so far.

10. Super Stripes Ken

Look at that smile. Sometimes you just fall for the guy who's nice to you, even though you know he's nice to everyone.

9. Tropical Vibes Ken

He's way too cool for me, but what a babe.

8. Plaid on Point Ken

I have stalked all his ukulele covers on YouTube a million times, so I actually get embarrassed whenever I see him in real life. I haven't talked to him yet, but we have some of the same TV shows, so I know it'll be really good when we do talk.

7. Classic Cool Ken

The way he wears ties with jeans is kinda weird, but it works for the part of me that is still a middle schooler. He's quiet, but he talks to me, which I feel smug about whenever he comes up in conversation with my friends.

6. Hip Hoodie Ken

His hair is the definition of the heart eye emoji, but aside from that, I never really noticed him until I saw pictures of him at the Women's March in January. Now I stalk him on GoodReads and read everything he does. 

5. Hyped on Stripes Ken

He's so tan that his skin is bronze, like his hair. But he still has freckles somehow? Swoon. Plz teach me to longboard?

4. Stylin' Stripes Ken

He's super smart, and condescending about it, but I can carry on a conversation with him about the topic of his masters thesis, so he's always a little bit impressed by me.

3. Preppy Check Ken

Hello, be my Fourth of July barbecue date, please?

2. Black & White Ken

He is also too cool for me, but he secretly has a collection of kites and loves obscure 70s music, so he actually thinks I'm too cool for him. I think we're in love.

1. Color Blocked Cool Ken

He's handsome, but not too handsome, nice, but not too nice, and he dresses well, but not too well. He's perfect.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sweet Creature.

But can we talk about Harry Styles, the self-titled debut album from Harry Styles?

And how good it is?

Every song hits me right in the stomach with that I'm-in-love feeling. Like it's the first warm day of spring and I'm riding around in the passenger's seat of a car with a boy I like.

Where would I be right now if I hadn't had those friends who liked One Direction and made me realize (several years in) that liking One Direction was the right way to live?

Where would I be if I had never followed my heart and moved to that perfect little house where I met those friends?

Where would we be if Harry Styles had never tried out for The X Factor?

Would he have gotten to Meet Me in the Hallway if he had never started with What Makes You Beautiful?