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?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Update on the Mona Lisa.

On the sidebar of It's Such a Good Feeling, I have the list of the Top 10 most viewed posts. I like to watch it change and see what's most popular.

The thing about it is that it's a positive feedback loop. Whatever is listed at the top, people click on. And then it gets even more views, solidifying its #1 seat.

Somehow, for a while, my most viewed post has been this random one I wrote about the Mona Lisa. Specifically, about a Brad Paisley song about the Mona Lisa. And how he loves his girl so much, he just feels like the frame that gets to hold the Mona Lisa, because all eyes are on her.

Eye roll.

I wrote about how I like to look at the frames at art museums. And that I thought the frame was prettier than Lisa. Because I'm contrary and think I'm too cool to like the Mona Lisa. 

Anyway, I just went to France. Which was an amazing dream come true. And we went to the Louvre. And so I took this lil video, to bring this crazy ride full circle.


I quoted the lyrics way wrong. But, I have to admit, the Mona Lisa was cooler than I thought. I didn't really stop to look at the frame, if that means anything.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Reading List

Barack, Malia, & Sasha shopping for books at Politics & Prose

Browsing nonfiction titles has made me realize that, although I pride myself on having a wide variety of interests, there are a lot of books I have no interest in reading.



Books I don't want to read:

-Memoirs by Steve Harvey and/or Andre Agassi

-Books written by current politicians with someone else whose name is smaller on the cover

-Any nutrition book whose premise is that some normal food group actually inflames your intestines/turns you into a zombie/makes you die

-Any self-help book with a loopy cursive script on the cover

-Any business book that has the words "unlock," "secrets," or "productivity" on the cover

-Books about the Civil War with beige covers

-Any memoir where a person did _________ for one year and then wrote a memoir about it

-Any book about World War II



Books I do want to read:

-A book that uses country music as a lens to examine the values of the American South

-A book that catalogs all known types of human humor

-A book that traces the influence of groundbreaking sitcoms on other sitcoms that followed

-A book about all the ways that internet has changed language

-A book about the cultural influence of pellagra

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

For him this would have been terrible.

Written several months ago:


I just ran into a boy I used to care for. It seemed like we were about to commit to one another, but we weren't, and our relationship faded away seamlessly.

Seamless, except for the occasionally stark pain that hits the pit of my stomach when I think about, that makes the routes that I regularly walk feel like they're haunted by his ghost, the lingering feeling of rejection.

We'd seen each other the day before and hadn't said anything. I'd seen him from afar, I mean, but looked away embarrassed, not sure whether it was him or not. He must have seen me too, but I don't know how he reacted, since I was pointedly not looking at him.

The next day, we couldn't avoid each other. We walked right past each other. We stopped and greeted each other amiably. He made a comment, I rambled about it. I asked him a question, he answered it painfully. We quickly said goodbye.


This painting is called "Conversation of Clowns" 
so it seemed to embody the spirit of that conversation. Hahaha

It felt awful. I spent the next several minutes thinking about it, contrasting it with the last time we had run into each other--how he seemed so much less interested in asking about me this time, how we didn't feel like people who had ever been special to each other. He must hate me now, I thought. That's why he never talks to me anymore, even when he could. It was horrible, imagining how poorly he must think of me now.

I went back to what I was doing, but kept thinking about it. It was a day when bearing the burdens of others was on my mind, and I remembered without trying this story from Man's Search for Meaning that had saved me in a similar situation years before:

Once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. Now, how can I help him? What should I tell him? Well, I refrained from telling him anything but instead confronted him with the question, “What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?” 

“Oh,” he said, “for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!” Whereupon I replied, “You see, Doctor, such a suffering has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering — to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her.” He said no word but shook my hand and calmly left my office.

Breaking up is not the same as dying, by any means. But in this case, it could be considered even more complex, because death leaves only one of the two on earth to mourn; breaking up leaves two.

Yet this little story has helped me more than anything to be compassionate.

What would have happened, Rachel, if you had decided to end it, instead of him?

Oh, I reply in my mind. For him this would have been terrible; how he would have suffered!

And then I realize that the price of sparing him that suffering is that I must bear it. Which I will gladly do, because the love in my heart is still there, and this allows it to be put to good use.

And then, when I begin to consider his suffering and not just my own, it is like discovering the world in 3 dimensions instead of just 2. And I realize that here is an entire human being with stimuli and reasons and pressures for doing things, with expectations for himself, and with hopes dashed, and with dreams and responsibilities. Who has had a life experience with me that has affected him, just as it has affected me.

Then when I think of our tiny, strained interaction, I think about how we all just do what we can. How most of his thoughts have nothing to do with me, just as most of mine have nothing to do with him. And how it was nice to be close to him for a little while.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Trends I Hate

1. Really big ruffles built into structured shirts.


Who does this look good on? Plus, you know after washing this once, the ruffles are never going to lay right again. That would make you look like an idiot, if you didn't already look like one.

2. Off-the-shoulder shirts.




How do you lift your arms up? Also, not sure how cutting yourself horizontally across the widest part of your body is a good look.

3. Ruffle bell sleeves.


Just think of yourself trying to get something on a high shelf, only to have your bell sleeves fall back over your elbows. Then, when you put your arms down, you have to shake your arms to make your ruffle bell sleeves lie flat. I shudder at the thought.

4. Shoulder cut outs.

Why?




Aaaaaaand a bonus.

"Yeah, here's the thing, I want to feel breezy around my shoulder/chest area, but I really want, like, a lot of billowing fabric around my arms, like, right in the area where it would get in the way of me trying to complete daily tasks."

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Ben Wyatt and the Tragedy of the Commons

There was probably a moment early on, right as the internet was getting big, when individuals all over the world logged out of a chat room and spontaneously started crying, or said a prayer of thanks to God, or petted their cat extra contemplatively. Finally, there was a way to connect with people with the same interests as them--people who understood them. 

That moment was meaningful. We all want to connect. BrenĂ© Brown says it's a human need. This is the kind of connection that makes you feel good. Like when you're reading Harry Potter and you want someone who also absolutely loves it to sit down and talk with you about where Blaise Zabini was all the years before their sixth year. 

But there's a kind of connection that doesn't make you feel good. I call it "the tragedy of the commons." That's actually already a term for something else--when ownership of something is shared between a lot of people, everyone is incentivized to not really take care of it. They act according to their personal interest, which is at odds with the common interest. They end up depleting the resource.

What I'm talking about though, is Ben Wyatt. Ben Wyatt is one of the greatest things to happen to America in this century. Ben Wyatt, human disaster. His plaid shirts and claymation and calzones and fear of cops. I love him deeply.


But this is the tragedy of the commons: Ben Wyatt is common. I'm not the only one to think he's one of the greatest things to happen to America in this century. There are thousands of girls on the internet who feel that way. And so it feels like the corner of my heart in which I love Ben Wyatt is being crowded out by other girls who are all versions of me. There are so many of us, and I just want to tell them that this is my heart, so get out.

This type of connection doesn't make me feel good. It sometimes just feels like a tragedy to be common.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Boatloads of shame.

I have a secret. Actually, I have two secrets.

The first secret is that I've never been in a relationship that lasted more than a month. The second secret is that I'm ashamed of that.


Actually, I have another two secrets.


The first secret is that I had extreme anxiety at work last week and couldn't do anything. The second secret is that I'm ashamed of that.


Actually, I have another two secrets.


The first secret is that I don't know how to put makeup on. The second secret is that I'm ashamed of that.


That's the thing. Shame turns every secret into two. The second one is more painful than the first. Nobody's perfect, after all, but if you're going to be imperfect, at least wear it as a badge of honor--something that makes you sexy and cool and chill for not caring.


If instead, you're ashamed that you're not perfect, then congratulations. You now have have three secrets. Your secret and your shame-secret and your shame-for-being-ashamed-secret.



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Six Years In.

Its been six years of having It's Such a Good Feeling, and this is where I'm at:

I live in DC. I always walk up the escalators from the metro because ain't nobody got time to ride them. I love the city life--walking everywhere, good restaurants, all types of people.

I've been listening to all the Harry Potter audiobooks. Today I was walking down the street grinning like a fool because it was the Yule Ball and it was the first little glimpse of Ron and Hermione.

I'm about to graduate with my masters. This is not a drill. You will see pictures of me in the funny robes in less than 3 months.

Before then, I have 9.5 more weeks of internship, and two 20-page papers.

Current favorite thing to eat is bacon, egg, and blueberry bagel sandwiches.

I just got to the point where I felt like I could wear high heels in everyday life, but then I decided that it's ridiculous to do that to your ankles for no reason.

I finally enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles.

My niece Zaley is my love, light, and joy.


Instead of watching a new show, I'm just rewatching 30 Rock.

My favorite color is orange.

When I grow up, I want to be a cabinet secretary or an economist. I want to have a husband that I share child care responsibilities with and I want to be rich enough to own a beautiful row house.

I don't really write anymore, and I don't know why that is. I promised myself so many times that I wouldn't be one of those people who let my blog die. It'll never die, maybe just fade away someday. Not yet, though.

Here's to being six.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Surely he hath born our griefs.

What was it like when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane?

Maybe it was like when you squeeze your eyes shut hard and you can see colors. In some kind of time dilation where ages and ages pass in a single minute, the colors must have burst and fought each other in rapid succession across the black backdrop.

Rage that makes your whole body tense, scorching red diagonal lines. Electric purple fear that ripples out from the epicenter, paralyzing you. 
Deep blue sadness that cascades from head to foot. 
A moment of shimmering gossamer white peace. 
A growing black cancer of shame that eats its way out of the corner. Blinding yellow confusion in great dots that blur the whole view.
Blistering orange ecstasy that flares up in a sheet from bottom to top.
Cold grey scratches of betrayal across the whole field of view.
Cool strokes of periwinkle love from left to right and right to left.
Raw pink exhaustion as wide as eternity.

His body must have been racked with hideous spasms as he languished in a heap, just letting this unending blast of emotions take him over.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

East v. West, Tinder Edition

75% of guys in Utah on tinder have a combination of these pictures:

-1 headshot (selfie or semi-professional picture taken by a friend with a camera)
-1 picture of himself holding a fish
-1 picture of himself standing on the top of a mountain (either looking at the camera with back to the precipice, or looking out wistfully over nature)
-1 picture of himself rock climbing/skiing/wakeboarding/motorcycling, etc. where his face is not visible
-1 group shot of a wedding or ultimate frisbee team
-1 picture with a dog or wild animal
-1 picture of himself with one or more babies or small children, usually accompanied by a caption such as "not my kid" or "favorite uncle"

75% of guys in D.C. on tinder have a combination of these pictures:

-1 headshot (selfie or semi-professional picture taken by a friend with a camera)
-1 picture of himself flanked by 2 intimidatingly pretty girls (in one variation, the girls are his mom and sister)
-1 group shot at the beach
-1 group shot of groomsmen at a wedding
-1 group shot of dudes at a bar/party
-1 group shot of dudes wearing tuxedos for an unidentified occasion
-1 picture with a dog or wild animal
-1 picture of himself with one baby or small child, usually accompanied by a caption such as "not my kid"