For Ella and Cole: The Introduction

In January and in March, two of my aunts brought me cousins into this world (for the first time in 20 years, might I add), and ever since, I have just been so happy. Why? Well, because finally having more than just one cousin who you barely know due to you never seeing him is pretty darn amazing, that’s why.

I don’t think I need to say this, but I’ll say it anyway, just because:  I absolutely love my new cousins, Ella and Cole, with all of my heart. In my mind, I’m not just a cousin; I’m an honorary mom/aunt, and I’m going to treat them that way.

Yes, there’s lots of things I will be doing for you two, Ella and Cole, because of the way I see you in my mind (as if you’re my own kids rather than just my cousins). To name a few of those things,

  1. I will be babysitting whenever I possibly can, so the two of you better like me.
  2. I’m going to spoil you both silly. Not rotten, for I don’t want to ruin your beautiful natures, but silly; as long as I’m around, no matter what happens, you two will never want for anything, and it will make you into wondrously happy people.
  3. From the time you are old enough to talk and walk until the day this world ends, I’m basically going to be your best friend. We’ll be Gilmore Girls 2.0. (You guys won’t even know what that is, but that’s okay; we’ll still be it.)
  4. I’ll be writing you lots of stories, both for you two and about you two. We’ll start small and fairytale-like, that way you can always read them, but by the time you’re in middle and high school, you’ll have whole novels to yourselves. Mark my words, for it will happen.
  5. Speaking of “will’s” with emphasis, there will be dress-up time and tea parties. Yes, Cole, even when you’re there. Of course, though, we’ll have superhero time and what-not, too. The thing is, though, that we will all participate in everyone’s shenanigans. Yes, all of us, myself included, no matter what said shenanigans are (just as long as they’re safe). So start liking it now.
  6. Also branching off of number four on this list, I will be teaching you how to properly write. You’re welcome in advance.
  7. Going off of teaching now, Ella, I’ll be teaching you everything you could ever possibly want to know about beauty and fashion and makeup. You don’t necessarily have to apply what you learn in your life, but you will be learning about it. (Hey, I’ll finally have a willing and open audience, so why not?)
  8. And, Cole, I will also be teaching you about beauty, etc., just in a different sort of way. (But, hey, if you also want to wear makeup, I’m not one to stop you!) And, yes, you’ll be learning how to dress from me, too. (I would add in there “whether you like it or not,” but of course you’ll like it; you’re learning from me, you’re lifelong best friend, so how could you not?)
  9. And, of course, both of the aforementioned obviously mean I’ll be taking you two shopping all the time. Duh.
  10. Moving away from appearances, though, when you’re old enough, I’ll also be passing on to you two all of my most favorite books and toys and movies and games and everything else that has inspired me throughout my life (just don’t be mad when I ask you to eventually pass them on to my kids one day, okay?). Why would I give you all of those things? Well, because I want you both to always be inspired, just like I always was.
  11. Which brings me to this: I want to help you follow your dreams and achieve everything you want in life, no matter what that may be. Why? Because you deserve to follow your dreams. I know that you’re going to be wonderful people, which means that you deserve to be happy and live out all of your fantasies. So I will see that that happens.
  12. But, as much as I want you two to follow your dreams, understand now that I will be interrogating your very first boyfriend/girlfriend (as well as every other boyfriend/girlfriend after that) before you go out on a first date. Hey, as much as I want you to follow your dreams, I refuse to let you waste your precious time on an idiot! So potentially bad dreams (a.k.a. nightmares) will be thoroughly examined first. Don’t worry, though, for whether or not I actually stop you from pursuing them post interrogation will depend on a lot of things.
  13. With that being said, never be afraid to ask me for boy/girl/crush/dating advice, for I’m going to be more than willing to offer it. Same thing goes with friend advice. And any advice. Like I said, I just want to always be there for you, want to always be your best friend. Please, think of me as a steady rock that you can constantly feel comfortable leaning on, mostly due to the fact that you know it will never abandon you (because she’s family and thus refuses to). Yes, no matter what happens, I will be there for you, which means that I expect you to fully take me up on my every offer, especially the offering of advice.
  14. I’m taking you to Disney World whether your parents like it or not.

Obviously, though, there’s lots of other things I plan on doing for you guys. Listing them all, however, would simply take up too much time — so much time, in fact, that no human on earth would ever possibly be able to write it all down — and so I’ll stop where I’m at, keeping the rest inside as surprises.

The most important one on my mental list of things to accomplish with you both, though, no matter what happens between us, is to have you guys one day read this series that I am, at this moment, dedicating to you. I want to use it as an opportunity to talk to you both about life (ahem, before you deny me that chance in the future due to angsty, teen hormones). What makes it even cooler, too, is that I’ll be writing about it just as I experience it.

My hopes are that my trials and tribulations and triumphs might be able to help you out one day when you really need it, and me writing it all down now rather than waiting for you to ask is simply my way of guaranteeing that, truly no matter what happens, I will always be there for you, a rock to always lean on whenever you need me, even if I’m not physically there.

The real advice is going to start in the next part. I just wanted to take this first one to create an explanation as to why I’m doing this so that you guys don’t misunderstand. I can’t wait to see what my advice will end up being, and I can’t wait for you two to one day read it. Until then, though, know that I love you both with all of my heart, and I’ll see you soon.

Bye for now, my sweet babies!

(PS – I’m going to be writing a story in the very near future based off of this. See what I mean when I say you’re going to be the light of my literature?)

Music Monday: Fresh(-ish) Songs to Get You Through the Rest of Summer

That title makes it sound like summer is a chore!

What I mean by “get you through the rest of summer” is that, for most people, the last month of summer is, rather than physically grueling, emotionally challenging; for the majority of folks under the age of 24, it means that school is about to start up again, and for those right around 24 and over, it means that the frigid air of winter’s 6 AM is about to roll in (at least where I’m from, anyway), which means that morning commutes are soon to become total bone-chilling nightmares. So the last month of summer, even though still summer and thus still fun, is also a bit depressing and anger-inducing due to what it leaves in its wake, which makes it difficult to get through at times.

But, I have this really cool list of songs for you (as well as a Spotify playlist version) in order to help you decompress and thus get through it all. Enjoy, friends!

Disclaimer: I cannot promise that these songs have lyrics (or accompanying videos) that are kid friendly, so use discretion if listening around children. (Even though I did try to avoid explicit material as well as mark any that may have made it in nonetheless, it’s still always best to view everything first by yourself and then show your kids, just in case.)


Bea Miller – “Dracula”

“Dracula” is from Bea Miller’s new album that was released July 24 (this past Friday). It’s a very upbeat, fun song about loving the “tragically beautiful,” and when her voice is as beautiful and sultry as it is, how could this song not be your new favorite jam?

Jill Scott – “Run Run Run”

This is from another brand new album that dropped July 24, and it’s fantastic. Think “homage to Aretha Franklin,” but better.

Mika – “Talk About You”

So, you’ve probably heard this song, but that’s okay. Listen to it some more.

Lindsey Sterling – “Shatter Me” (feat. Lzzy Hale)

From the YouTube violin/electronica sensation, this song may be over a year old, but it’s not dying out any time soon. It’s probably because it’s so dark and awesome.

Selena Gomez – “Good For You”

Caution: Both the music video and the song’s lyrics are slightly suggestive, but it’s a killer jam, nonetheless, which can always be expected from Miss Gomez.

The Heydaze – “Don Juan”

Incredibly fun and funny. Sure, they’re a boy band (er, uh, man band?), but they make some pretty good music. So why not?


Ta-ku – “Sunrise / Beautiful” (feat. Jordan Rakei)

Slow, soft, smooth, vibey, beautiful. Not gonna lie, it kind of makes me want to body roll at times. It also reminds me of something they’d play at work, so that’s, uh, nice, I guess.

(PS – The track is two songs, not just one, so don’t be surprised when the tune switches.)

Mas Ysa – “Look Up”

How you pronounce this dude’s name, I have no idea, but his album “Seraph” is killer, and you should listen to it. That’s right, not just this song, but the whole album. My personal favorite is “Margarita,” but I couldn’t find a non-sketchy video for it, so I settled for this song, my second favorite, instead.

BAILE – “Leaves” (feat. Felicia Douglass)

Another one that’s kind of slow but wholly beautiful, just this time with a female singer. This is also another one that comes from an album that’s equally as incredible as the song, so go check it out, too.

Wilco – “More…”

Um, the album that this comes from, Star Wars, is free on iTunes right now. Yes, the entire album. I did a quick listen through, and it’s definitely one worth getting, SO GO GET THAT FREE ALBUM!

As for this song, it gives off a very Arctic Monkeys vibe, which is probably why I like it so much.

Junior Prom – “Let’s Make a Lot of Money”

How can you see the title of this song and not give it a listen? It speaks the truth, and it’s freaking catchy. I’m actually surprised that it doesn’t have more views, listens, and general popularity.

Pearl and the Beard – “You”

I had never heard of this band before I hit up iTunes the other day, and I’m really regretting that. They’re very unique, and incredibly talented. I’m officially a fan, I think. This song especially struck me. The video I provided is a live, more acoustic version than the original, but it’s still awesome.

“Oldies” (of all genres and ages)

The Academy Is… – “His Girl Friday”

Ah, some good, old, early-2000s alternative pop. There’s nothing in the world like it!

Girls Aloud – “Sound of the Underground”

British bands just know how to do music. To this day, this song is still catchy, fun, and thoroughly enjoyable. Every single time I hear it, I simply can’t help but instantly be happy — as well as instantly get up and dance. Good thing no one ever plays it in public!

Aerosmith – “Jaded”

It’s a classic from one of my most favorite bands of all time, and it just, for some reason, reminds me of warm, waning summer days (probably because of Disney World). So I simply had to put it on here.

Maroon 5 – “Lucky Strike”

More than a few years old now, this song never really made it too big. But it’s fun, fast, and all around upbeat, which is perfect for this time of year.

The Killers – “Somebody Told Me”

The Killers are musical geniuses, and this song is musical gold. Re-enjoy it.

Warren G – “Regulate” (feat. Nate Dogg)

As the most famous rap song of all time and one of the greatest things to come out of the 90s, it simply has to be put on here. I don’t know if I’d let your kids listen to it, though, no matter how much awesome nostalgia it sparks up.

Okay, so maybe the oldies list wasn’t very “oldie” after all. Oh well.

Foreign (AKA non-English)

Juanes – “La Camisa Negra” (MTV Unplugged version)

I’ve studied Spanish since the third grade (and am still studying it even in college), and I can say that, hands down, this is one of the best Spanish songs I have ever come across. It’s modern yet still has a Spanish flair to it, which makes it perfect for the summer months. I must admit, though, that I only like this version of it; the original sounds a little too…I don’t know. I just don’t like it. But this, I love, and I think you will, too.

Shakira – “Te Aviso, Te Anuncio”

Another Spanish song, but this time an extremely modern tango by Shakira. It has a sort of 60s/70s beach-sounding guitar (whatever that instrument is really called) mixed in with the traditional Spanish instruments and modern pop beats, which makes it ridiculously catchy. It’s another one that’s hard to not love, even if you can’t understand the language.

Just a warning, though: The MV is kind of suggestive, as well as a bit odd.

Regina Spektor – “Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)”

Okay, so this one only kind of counts as foreign; Regina Spektor is only technically Russian (since she wasn’t raised there), and this song’s chorus is the only thing that is in French. But we’re gonna call it foreign, anyway.

Despite that, though, it’s light, cute, and catchy, which is very different from everything else on here, and even though a tad bit weird, it’s still a great song.

BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan/방탄소년단) – “War of Hormone” (holeumon jeonjaeng/호르몬 전쟁)

(Excuse the lack of underlining above, but with so many Korean letters, it just wasn’t working out.)

Korean is yet another language I speak (nowhere near as fluently as English or Spanish, but I do speak it!), so of course I listen to some Korean music, too.

Which brings me to my sigh (no pun intended) as I write this next bit: Yes, this is a Kpop song, but it’s not what you’re expecting. Instead, it’s seven boys in their late teens/early twenties rapping about how women cause them to fight a “war of hormone” on a daily basis. Yes, it’s marvelous. So turn on the English CC for this one; what they say is hilarious. (Excuse one line of poor English in the song, though.)

(And excuse me for not picking a track off of their most recent album. Maybe I’ll include it as a bonus.)

Jane Jang – “Eat” (babeul meokeoyo/ 밥을 먹어요)

Another Korean song, but one that is the complete opposite of the last one. Also unlike the last one, with this one, I really have no clue what she’s talking about, whether it’s actually eating or something else. The MV does have English closed captions, though, so turn them on and see if you can figure it out.

And, other than the playlist I have for you (which you can view here so long as you have Spotify), that’s it! Hopefully you enjoyed these picks! Thanks for taking a look, and see you soon!

(PS – The playlist is missing thwo of the songs I have listed due to them not being available on Spotify. Sorry 😦

PPS – Shouts to my media professor last semester for teaching me some html coding. Without that, Shep, these videos wouldn’t have ended up embedded. So thanks, dude — and darn you, WordPress, for not automatically encoding like usual!

And PPPS – Sorry for no rap/hip hop in English. Honestly, though, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. There’s simply too much cursing and general vulgarity for my fragile heart to handle in that realm of the music world, and so I had to skip it. Maybe next time?

Haha…ha… Yeah…)

Bonus: In case you liked the Korean music, here’s BTS’ most recent album, as promised.

And here it is on Spotify. Enjoy!

Sunday Thoughts: The Story of Moses

I’m currently doing something daunting: trying to read the Bible all the way through, in order, as occurs. Now, I’m not very far, only in Exodus, but I still can say that I’m honestly thoroughly enjoying it.

The reason why I’m reading the entire Bible from front to back in order is because of the Old Testament. For my whole life, the focus was always on the New Testament, which was great and all, but I always felt like I was missing out on a huge portion of my religion, nonetheless. You know, the whole beginning of it.

And so I’m finally getting around to correcting that major lapse in info.

I see why a lot of Christians don’t pay much attention to the Old Testament, though; a lot of it is hard to wrap your mind around and thus pull relevant morals and lessons from, so it tends to get skipped for the more directly relatable New Testament. But I don’t know; even though it doesn’t really talk about Christ, I still have always thought it was relevant and thus should be studied just as much as the Bible’s other half. I mean, it’s still a part of the religion, and so it obviously still has a purpose, right? Right, it does.

Okay, so I’m currently in Exodus, which means that I am on the story of Moses, one of the bits of the OT that I am actually most familiar with. I mean, it’ a legend (not as in fake but as in really, really famous), so of course I’ve been told about it before.

Well, even though a legend, it’s still one that’s always kind of confused me. Sure, I understand the physical plot, including all that happens as well as when and why, but I never really got…it’s importance? I know that sounds awful, for Moses is hands down one of the most important people in the Bible due to the miracles he worked, but for some reason, his story just always seemed to lack some deeper meaning than that for me, and so I always just saw it as less important.

But, while continuing my reading of it last night, I finally found something to raise the story’s level in my eyes. It is Exodus 10:3, and it reads:

“Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?'”

Yes, the story of Moses does have a relevant lesson.

This comes during struggle Moses and Aaron and the rest of the Hebrews are having with Pharaoh: Even though God is clearly messing with the Egyptians, Pharaoh still won’t let the Hebrews go.

Well, for my whole life, I’ve seen this part of the story in an odd way. I mean, sure, God was simply trying to teach the Egyptians that He is supreme, but it always just seemed a little bit much. I don’t know, that was just me. But after finding 10:3 last night, it all makes sense now; God’s message here is finally clear to me.

Everything in life, whether it be good or bad, is simply a part of God’s plan; he knows that it can happen and thus is always prepared for it to happen. However, as 10:3 shows, we humans don’t necessarily have to allow what’s in our way (again, whether good or bad) to happen; sure, God has a plan, but He also gave us free will, so if there is bad ahead, He’s probably not going to mind if we use said will to overcome it. He only gets mad when we overcome good with our power to choose, not evil.

So cue Pharaoh, the man who is trying to overcome good with bad by allowing God to harden his heart (and thus still refuse to let the Hebrews go) even after all of the disasters — even when he has the choice to not. And thinking about it last night, that’s a really powerful message.

Yes, we all suffer, and we can’t always understand why, but if we just keep God in mind during it despite that, just give Him a little bit of our time and attention no matter what is going on (a.k.a. just suck it up, humble our hearts, and let Him in), then maybe said suffering would ease up.

I don’t know. Take from this what you please, but I think the story of Moses and Pharaoh is all about teaching us how to stay calm and keep God in our hearts even in the face of adversity by showing us how much worse things can get if we do not. And that, my friends, to me, at least, is something incredible that I’m very sad to have overlooked for this long.

So to sum things up a bit, the story of Moses is now incredibly important to me, and I’m very glad to have found something that makes it so.

God bless, and have a wonderful day.

A Brief Rant for Google

And by brief, I mean brief.

I literally get more views on this blog from people Google searching one K-Pop star that I mentioned one time on this blog (in the history of ever), and it’s on my last nerve. It was once. Once. Yet every single day, there’s just more and more and more and more views added on here from freaking fangirls all over the freaking world looking up freaking Sir Bangtan Sonyeondan Maknae Fetus King Freaking Jeon Jungkook, and I just can’t take it anymore!!

Sure, it’s views, but those people probably aren’t actually reading anything. They’re looking for pictures, that’s it (which they definitely won’t be finding); they want to stare at his face, not read my musings — not that I blame them, cause I do, too (want to look at his face, that is). But still. It’s just so freaking frustrating!

So, not that this is going to help at all, but, dearest Google, please, instead of suggesting my blog seemingly only when someone searches for Jeon Jungkook of BTS, why don’t you also suggest it for every other thing I’ve ever talked about? You know, get me some relevant readership from the outside world and such. That would be cool and thoughtful. And it’s really not too much to ask.

Rant over. Time to go cook the family dinner.


No, I’m not mad at all.

The Second Hour of Creative Writing

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Well, here’s part two. Check out part one here if you like.

And for those of you who do not know: This is a series where I write (what is currently a continuous story) for one hour straight and then take about ten minutes to edit it. After that ten minutes, though, whether the story is good to go or not, I post it.

Now please enjoy the so-called fruits of my labor.

“Uh, well, yes, actually. I do.”

He casts his eyes slightly down to the ground, just a bit away from both the book and I, as if he is suddenly extremely shy and unsure of himself.

It’s a bit odd, but it only lasts for a fraction of a second, so I let it go, easing the confused look that has come across my face and thus furrowed my brows. The man quickly recovers from his character lapse once I do so, putting the confident, smiling eyes back in place and grabbing the book gently out of my hand, adding a slight, polite bow in as he takes it, obviously trying to show me a bit of respect.

“Thank you so very much for being so kind about this,” he says as he takes it. “I wish you the very best.” He widens his smile slightly at that, then spins around on his heels and returns to his bench. A bit too quickly, might I add, but just a bit.

“Um, thank you?”

I tried showing gratitude for his odd kindness right there, but I do not think he heard it. I am grateful for that, though, for it came out in an incredibly questioning manner, which could have easily been thought of as rude. And considering how this guy has treated me, rude is something I certainly do not want to be seen as by him.

As the man takes his seat on the bench across the way again, I no longer know what to think of him. Were my fantasies of a few moments ago all wrong? No, they couldn’t be! Normally I’m not that bad of a judge on character. But now he is acting so strange — with much emphasis on the acting part! It’s as if he is putting on a show for those around him. He looks a bit flustered and a bit embarrassed, yet its so well hidden that anyone who was not watching him before would never even notice. Honestly, what is up with this man?

Betts, leave him alone. He’s probably just scared of what you think of him now that you know he can speak German. I’d be scared, too, this day and age.

And so I let it go. His behavior really could be from anything. Maybe it’s fear, or maybe he’s just a bit more socially awkward than my imagination pictured his handsome face as being. But still, I just can’t get the way he interacted with that apologetic woman out of my head. It makes how he talked to me seem so…

Oh, well, Betts. Why does any of it even concern you? Just let it go. Gentlemen can act however they please. They don’t need you constantly judging.

Ah, my voice of reason, always so logical. But still, he’s suddenly too odd for my liking…

Oh, well. I’ll simply count him as another strike. Nothing new.

Train 452A departing from the city of New York, New York, and embarking for the town of York, Pennsylvania, has just arrived at Terminal 11C and will begin boarding immediately.”

The very short, very well-dressed man standing at the gate to the platform announces this to all waiting in the terminal through the very large microphone he has attached to his ticket collection podium.

What? Already?

Well, that hour certainly went by fast!

Let’s get going, Betts!

I stand up, briefly pat down any wrinkles in the skirt of my powder blue dress that may have formed during my sitting, grab my suitcase and purse, and begin walking toward the man at the gate. I turn to look back over my shoulder in order to check on my handsome German-speaker, but, alas, he is gone.

“What?” I accidentally ask out loud in shock. Luckily, though, no one is around to hear me.

But where did he go? He was right there planted firmly on that bench just a few moments ago! I turn all about the terminal but find him nowhere. Maybe he briefly ran to the bathroom?

“Odd,” someone next to me says. I glance at him and see that he is middle-aged, wearing a wedding ring and balding. He’s dressed in a slightly old business suit and gives off the aura of a father. He’s rummaging frantically through his bag, as if he’s lost something.

“Yes, very odd indeed…” I say under my breath, agreeing with him while also not speaking at him. Then I turn to face him fully on. “Can you not find your ticket, sir?”

He looks at me desperately, and replies with a no, that it seems to be lost. At that, my mind begins to kick into full gear, which, in a moment, causes me to reach into my purse, pull out my own ticket, and hand it over to him.

He looks completely stunned, but before he can protest, I am gone, already halfway across the terminal, heading for the hallway that leads to the restrooms. I hear a “thank you, miss” called from the distance behind me, and to it I simply raise my hand and give a thumbs up. Let him get on with his life. While, yes, I am once again giving up a chance to reunite with my own family, I know deep down that I must remain in this city for now. I can always go back home to the farm, but I can’t always follow a good lead, one that’s so solid I can feel it in my bones. And so I am off, heading into the bathroom in order to figure out just what happened a few moments ago in Terminal 11C.

Follow Me On Bloglovin’

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

So, I’ve had a Bloglovin’ account for a long time now, but I’ve only finally put the time and energy into connecting it with my two blogs today. And this is the result.

(By the way, in that last paragraph, instead of typing “today,” I originally typed “tofu.” Cause that makes sense.)

Enjoy, and feel free to follow me via that site.

Stories From Life: XD, 3D, Imax Movies

Yesterday just really wasn’t my day.

So, whenever a movie that looks really good comes out, my sister and I always try to go see it in the theater on a Tuesday. Why? Because that’s our local theater’s cheap day. And we’re broke college kids. So the better question is, Why not?

Well, Antman just came out, and as Marvel fans (but Antman skeptics), we decided to go check it out yesterday, on Cheap Day Tuesday (which is the day’s unofficially official name for us), for the previews made it look like it could very possibly be a bust. And if it was, then at least it would only be a $5 one.

So the night before, after work, I pulled up the theater’s website and checked the many, many showtimes they had listed in order to find the one that would work best for us. I thought all of the options were a little bit odd, but then again, I also thought nothing of it since the film had just released; maybe they were simply expecting swarms of the public to come on Tuesday to see Antman.

Hahaha, that should have been my tip-off there. Oh, well. It was late.

Well, we picked the 3:15 showtime, and yesterday, that’s when we went.

Except that, when we got there, we realized (after the dude had already printed out our tickets and thus made us stuck with them) that the 3:15 showtime was actually for an X.D, 3D showing in an Imax theater. And was the only showing until later on that night. And had cost us $13.50 each on Cheap Day Tuesday. And the theater wasn’t even done being cleaned yet.

I had no words.

Along with pretending to throw my phone across the lobby in frustration, I also almost took the scarf that was tied to my purse and hung myself with it.

Seriously?! The ticket dude couldn’t have even warned us?!?! Couldn’t have even said the price before printing off the darn tickets?!?!?!?!


But whatever. We waited for the theater to be open (only after prematurely barging in, of course, not knowing any staff were in there cleaning), and we just sucked it up, letting the fact that we would have spent $20 each on our tickets if it wasn’t Cheap Day Tuesday try to ease the pain in our wallets.

Well, one thing is for sure: We ended up getting the most epic theater ever made in order to view our movie. There was an immaculate hallway leading up to the seating area, which had at least 50 rows of seats and held at least 400 people. And speaking of seats, they were some of the biggest, most comfortable ones I’ve ever sat in in my whole life. My whole life! And the butt part didn’t even have to be folded down in order to sit! It already permanently was, like a real chair! What?! And the screen went from wall to wall and floor to ceiling, so there was no such thing as a bad seat in the house.

But that didn’t really matter because the movie was so expensive that there were only six or seven other people in there with us. So we got top row, center seats (a.k.a. the best available), nonetheless.

As for the actual movie, it was the best sound and most crystal-clear image I’ve ever experienced in a theater. And the 3D wasn’t even that off-putting, as it normally is for me.

So I guess you could also say that, for $13.50, we ended up getting the most epic movie viewing experience of our lives…for Antman

Life is so hilarious sometimes.

(But the movie was actually way better than I expected, which eased the sick hilarity of everything else…until I reached into my purse and realized that I somehow forgot some of my sister’s snacks at home. Yeah, everything balanced out once again when she started whisper-yelling at me to get my act together.)

To the New York Times (A.K.A. Actual Things to do in Pittsburgh)

Because my comment was too long to submit onto the actual article, I’m posting it on here. Maybe people will see it, maybe they won’t, but at least I’ll feel better about it.

The article that I’m commenting on is from the New York Times (released yesterday) and is called “36 hours in Pittsburgh,” and the only reason why I’m responding is because Pittsburgh is where I was born and raised. And currently live. And go to school at. And will always return to. Because I love it. But there wasn’t much love being shown in this article.

No, in both the actual article and the comments section, I feel a great injustice to the wonderful city I call home has been done, and so I’m here to comment in order to try to correct said injustice.

(Basically, I’m just going to be giving legitimate things to do in my city rather than the few silly ones mentioned in the article. Maybe I’ll throw some pictures in, too, since it’s on a blog now where pictures are allowed.)

So I’ve lived in Pittsburgh for my entire life, and I have to agree with all of the critics of this article who are sarcastically asking if eating and drinking are the only two things to do in the city. No, they aren’t. Duh. This article isn’t “Every single thing possible to do in Pittsburgh,” it’s “36 hours in Pittsburgh,” which you have to remember. There simply wasn’t enough time to do anything other than eat and drink in between what seems to be endless hours of walking around. So there’s no need to bash the article and say that Pittsburgh sucks. It’s just like any other city in the world; when you neither have the time nor want to sight-see/actually do stuff, then you settle for eating and drinking instead.

To answer some of the people who are legitimately asking what else there is to do in my city, though, honestly, the list would be too long if I sat here and named it all. So I’ll recommend a few of my favorites:

Visit the Heinz History Center, a very cool museum in the Strip District (that is also a Smithsonian, so you should know what kind of quality to expect). It has six levels, which means that you can definitely make at least a half-of-a-day out of it.

Also, make sure you actually take a walk through the Strip District.

In case you don’t know, it’s about two streets of the city that are dedicated to shopping mostly consisting of local foods (I know, the article really only mentioned food, which was one of the big complaints, but the Strip District is a cool experience that they left out in that department, so I feel the need to recommend it, nonetheless).

Personally, I say that when you go there, you have to stop into Wholey’s.

^ You’ll never find it this un-crowded, though.

Basically, Wholey’s is just a fish market (so mind the smell), but right in the front when you first walk in, they have some of the best, freshest sushi you will ever find — made right there to order by Andy, one of the best, freshest sushi chefs you’ll ever meet.


^ That last picture is what the last order I had from there looked like. And it was amazing.

Everything he offers is very inexpensive, too, so you can get lots of different rolls if you like. If sushi isn’t your thing, though, they also sell some pretty great fried fish sandwiches right next to the sushi stand…that are around the size of your head. And the macaroni and cheese is spectacular, too. Yes, you have to get an order of that.

(P.S. – If you walk straight back from where the food line lets out, there is a staircase on your left that leads to seating, so you don’t have to get your food to go.)

(^Hello to the dude in the window who photographed this.)

You also need to stop into Mancini’s Bakery for the best bread you’ll ever have in your life. It’s all homemade right there on property in the good, old-fashioned Italian style.

Seriously, though, it’s a local legend and will most definitely be some of the lightest, butteriest, best bread you’ll ever eat; I’ve been around a lot bread-wise, and I can still say that it’s the best I’ve ever had.

Get a pepperoni roll, too, while you’re there. You won’t regret it.

Do remember to ask to get your bread sliced, though, before you leave, especially if you don’t travel with a spare bread knife in your bag.

Now to address the general hate on so many food suggestions for Pittsburgh:

If you have an issue with that, the availability of delicious eats, then you’ll just need to get over it. This city is a place where you come to be fed well; we love food here and all know how to cook, so there’s tons of restaurants, all very good, too. So if you’re afraid to get fat or are on a diet, then I guess just don’t come.

As a side note, though, there are more real food places here than yuppity, hipster ones (like those mentioned in the article), so don’t let the sound of the food offered scare you away. The types of restaurants the Times went to are actually very new to this city, so if that’s not your taste, you won’t have an issue avoiding them. Actually, now that I mention it, I highly suggest avoiding them. I mean, sure those restaurants are trendy and green, but who really wants lamb heart bolognese? For $100? I know I don’t. So eat some real food from the real citizens of the city who were, most often, really born and raised here. I guarantee you’ll like it a heck of a lot more than whatever the world’s best chefs who have migrated over are serving — although, I can’t argue with a good French pastry, so I would still hit that place up (I’m referring to the article in case you’re confused) if you can. I mean, did you see their prices??

(Oakmont Bakery, however, is the best bakery in the city. By far.)

Let’s get away from food, though.

Also in the downtown area, there are lots of old theaters, so make some time to check out a show.

Try getting a ticket to something at The Benedum. It mostly offers broadway, but it’s an architectural masterpiece, so I say you should go there whether you’re into that type of stuff or not.

Also in the entertainment/music genre of fun, there’s a lot of old churches that have been turned into concert venues, so those might be neat to check out, too.

Staying on the theme of churches, there’s probably two or three on every block outside the downtown area, so you can always go church-seeing if you’re into old architecture.

Here is the First Presbyterian Church downtown:

And, yes, all of the rest are just as grandiose.

If you prefer to shop, go to the SouthSide Works,

Shady Side,

or Ross Park Mall (which is a bit outside of downtown, but bus fare isn’t very expensive if you don’t have a car).

Those three places are where the best shopping in all of the city is at. You’ll find everything from local boutiques to major chain retailers to high-end designer stores.

As is always mentioned with this city, if there’s a sport in season, go to one of the games. The atmosphere is always awesome (and friendly), and all of the stadiums offer beautiful views, as well as great action. The food is kind of over-priced at games, though, so maybe eat before or after elsewhere (since we do have a lot of restaurants).

See? Beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful…

I also recommend our parks and trails (which were briefly mentioned in the article). There’s tons of them, and they’re all pretty amazing, from both a landscape and recreation standpoint. Point State Park, specifically, is something you won’t find anywhere else, so if no others, definitely make sure you check that one out.

There you’ll find tons of open green space and trails,

a ridiculously gorgeous fountain,

and the old site of Fort Pitt, as well as a museum honoring both it and the French and Indian War.

Next, I recommend visiting Station Square for one reason only: Eating Sunday brunch at The Grand Concourse.

It was the P&LERR Railroad Station, but now it is an upscale restaurant that offers one of the best Sunday brunches I have ever been to. So if you’re okay with spending a little bit of money at one meal, definitely treat yourself by coming here. It’s an awesome experience.

And when you’re done, you can explore the rest of Station Square, even though there isn’t much left there anymore to explore.

The Amphitheater was turned into the Riverhounds’ stadium, the little mall now only has a few restaurants and odd boutiques left open, and everything else in the area is just more restaurants and a hotel. But if you like boats, you catch the Gateway Clipper Fleet from here, so maybe try hopping on one of those and seeing the city by river, instead.

Or do what every single tourist does and take the incline up to Mt. Washington, snap a picture at the overlook, and then ride back down.

Finally, you can always take a look at the writing, art, and film scene. There’s the Andy Warhol Museum (as well as all of the Carnegie museums in Oakland).

^ Warhol Museum

^ Carnegie Museum of Art

^ Carnegie Museum of Natural History

There’s also tons of indie theaters and coffee shops that typically offer pretty good literature readings (or local music).

^ The Sphinx Cafe

There’s also various film studios that you could try to get a tour at. Or simply sporadically visit. Or you can skip the studio altogether and just walk around the city trying to spot all of the locations that have been in movies lately.

^ Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl was filmed in Schenley Park. If you’re a fan of this film, see if you can find everywhere they were.

The Dark Knight Rises was filmed downtown. Watch the movie and see which settings you can find. (Hints: This battle scene was at the courthouse, and the final scene where he flies the bomb out over the water was…CGI. Mixed with Point State Park, of course.)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Duh.


Adventureland, which reminds me to tell you to check out Kennywood if you can.

^ Look familiar?

There’s also all of these others that were filmed here, too, that you can try to spot scenes from.

And if none of the above seems cool to you, then you can come here with only the goal of walking over every single one of the city’s bridges in mind. Yes, all 446 of them. Which is the most in the world. And would easily take up the Times’ 36 hours.

All bitterness toward the people criticizing this city aside, though, I feel I need to point out that Pittsburgh isn’t like Chicago or NYC or LA or DC. You can’t come here and expect to instantly be overwhelmed by the amount of tourist activities available. Why? Because there’s just not really a tourist market in this city yet, that’s why, which shows through the fact that it’s still very weird for locals to see outsiders actually considering coming here for a visit, of all the places in the world. I work by the airport and am still always shocked when I get customers from all over the globe saying that they’re vacationing here. Here? Really? A vacation? Don’t you do that in like, Bali?

Which is why I think outsiders don’t know what to do once they get here.

I mean, sure, at the end of the day, there’s a lot to do here, but honestly, if you’re not a local, you’re not going to know where that stuff is. The city is set up in an odd way due to the water and mountains that surround us, which means that everything is kind of spread out and sporadic, so some of the coolest places are not in the direct metropolitan area where a visitor would stay — which means that those not from here (and thus who aren’t in the know) wouldn’t find them. So they would end up thinking the city is boring and only offers restaurants. But there actually is a lot more to do than that (as well as a lot more than what I brought up in this little post that consists solely of my favorites), which is why we have the T and buses and advertisements and car rentals and Google, so you can actually find and get to the cool stuff that there really is.

So just keep an open mind if you come here and remember that this isn’t a typical, touristy city. It’s made for the people who grew up here, whose families grew up here, who work and thus have their whole lives here, and knowing that will definitely help you be less underwhelmed when you arrive, thus making you probably actually like it.

But that’s just my opinion.

P.S. – I own only one of these pictures, the sushi one.

P.P.S. – Happy 50th post to me!

A Letter To: Mom and Dad on Their Birthdays

From the day I was born, you’ve always told me how much you love and appreciate me. But as I’m sitting here today, as both of your latest birthdays have come and gone, I’m starting to realize that I may not have told you just how much I love and appreciate you enough in my life. And so, since I was too broke to buy you anything real this weekend present-wise, my gift to you for now is gratitude. Sure, it’s cheap regarding actual money, but if you ever see this, hopefully it will be priceless regarding sentimental value.

First of all, thank you both for being you.

Everyday, you two face the world while hiding nothing. Mom, you don’t care if it’s 90 degrees outside and everyone else is wearing shorts and spaghetti straps. If you’re cold, you always wear pants and a jacket no matter what the rest of society, including your family, does, and you don’t give a crap what anyone thinks about it. And, dad, you never care if people think you’re too quiet or too harsh or not graceful enough or whatever. You know who you really are, and to you, that’s all that matters. With everything both of you do at all times, you’re perfectly confident in yourselves about it, and I thank you for that.

Why? Well, because, as you both know, I struggle with that whole confidence thing from time to time. It’s the reason why I find it so hard to share my work with others, the reason why I still can’t legally drive, the reason why I rarely tell others no if it’s easy just to tell them yes; I simply don’t always have the confidence to not care what other people think about the things I do. But what confidence I do have, you both have shown me how to have it through your everyday actions. And without that, without what you do day to day, I would honestly be nothing, for I would’ve been too scared to have ever even left the house. And by ever, I mean ever. Like, no kindergarten or nothing.

But even in the confidence you show on a daily basis, even in the confidence that has made me into a generally stronger person, you still have moments where you lose it and become unsure of yourselves, just like every other human being out there, and I thank you for those times, too. Even though you both try to hide them, afraid of what my sister and I will think about a “weakness,” we still see them, and it’s a good thing that we do; they show us that it’s okay to be unsure of yourself at times, that we’re just people and therefore can never be fully confident in anything that ever happens around us. They reassure us that we aren’t just weak, helpless freaks, that we can overcome anything in order to be who we really want to be.

So, all in all, by you both being you and always embracing how you feel every single day of your lives, you have indirectly taught me to also be me and to also try to always embrace myself every single day of my own life. And I thank you for that, for it’s helped me to not care about a lot of things that just really don’t matter, which has helped a lot — more than you can ever know, actually.

Second of all, thank you for putting up with me.

I’m a freak. I know it. I have medical issues, everything from life-threatening allergies to a heart murmur to pigeon-toed feet. I have confidence problems, as we just addressed. I’m borderline obsessive compulsive with my organization — as well as everyone else’s. Sometimes, I can be a bit of a control maniac, which is why I don’t always do well in non-leadership positions. I’m also too nice, and due to a ridiculous imagination, I’m kind of a little eccentric at times. Oh, and both of your dramatic dispositions have rubbed off onto my gene pool, too; it’s great for writing but definitely not stressful situations.

But you’ve always loved me despite all of this. Now, you may say that that’s just your job as a parent, but, technically speaking, it’s really not. Lots of people could have easily just yelled at me when I was too loud or told me to suck it up when I was ailing, but you guys never did. You loved me for me despite me, and that’s really helped me out a lot; instead of seeing all of the above as weird abnormalities (even though I know deep down that they are), I see them as character. (Maybe that’s due some to the whole confidence thing above, too.) And that’s helped me with a lot in life, especially with getting through middle and high school. Good Lord, those years could have been a lot worse without said embracing!

So I thank you for accepting my freakishness, for it’s taught me to accept it, as well.

Third of all, thank you for fighting.

Okay, so this one’s a bit awkward…

Well, it’s no secret between the four of us (as in the both of you, your eldest daughter/my big sister Bekah, and myself) that you two have always fought quite a lot. I believe it’s due to you both having very stubborn personalities rather than a lack of love for each other, which is a good thing to know; it helps make witnessing them a little easier.

Growing up, I hated it when you guys fought (and still do, by the way). Every time one of you would get mad and start yelling at the other, it just felt wrong. And due to our small home, even when you went behind closed doors to hash it out (or sent us behind them instead), we always heard what was going on.

Sorry, but you’re both pretty freaking loud.

So, growing up, your problems were never secrets.

Well, you could have easily done like almost every other married couple out there and not said anything at all about what was wrong, just sitting there and wallowing in your misery, letting the “problems” get so bad that they eventually become real problems that lead to nothing but divorce — all in the name of not letting the kids hear. But instead, you communicated. And while it may have been really awkward or embarrassing or scary that we heard this communication — and that it was mainly through yelling and door-slamming (yes, even when we were in public, harrumph) — it has taught me a lot, like that talking it out is important. And that you should never let petty stuff get to you. And that you should see both sides of a story, always. And that you should stay calm and listen even when you’re really ticked.

The list could honestly go on and on.

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from witnessing your many fights, though, is how to both love and be loved; in it, this weird thing that is love, gentility, kindness, and understanding keeps the peace best, but you also cannot let peacekeeping and maintenance allow for yourself to be walked on. Love is about existing as one with another, not about turning the other into you. And so you have to keep an open mind, have to be understanding. But you also have to, at times, stand your ground. And so, eventually, a fight will happen (because every personality will, at one point, clash), and that is okay; just as long as it gets hashed out, it is all okay.

One thing I will definitely do differently, though, when I am married is hash it out a little more quietly… Just saying.

Fourth of all, thank you for never quitting.

Even when times were tough, you both were strong. You stuck with it, kept working hard, and things eventually paid off. Life is good, and it’s all thanks to your hard work. I’ve seen that first hand. I mean, just take our home as one example of the many things you’ve never quit on. It used to be hideous, thanks be to the 1980s. But after lots of time and dedication and work, you’ve turned that weird atrocity into our adorable bungalow — a bungalow that all of my friends envy, by the way.

So your constant hard work and dedication to everything in your lives has shown me to also work hard and stay dedicated, for that’s the only way one becomes successful. I think I need to thank you most for this, actually, for without you doing so, I’d most likely be nothing more than a bum on the side of the road right now; there were many times I could have easily given up, but you not giving up motivated me to not do so, either. So thanks. I really owe you there. 🙂

Fifth of all, thank you for all the little things.

This one could also double as, “Thank you for loving me,” for doing small things for me all my life really just shows me that. And when we have our problems, it’s definitely something nice to fall back on.

By little things, though, I mean all of the stupid toys and clothes and souvenirs and stuffed animals and candies, etc. that you’ve wasted your money on from when we were mere infants until now as well as letting us do all the silly things we thought were fun. You could’ve said no all the time to them (for, really, what’s their purpose?), but you didn’t. You let us have our fun, whether it was through the pack of gum we wanted or the urge to go outside and play hopscotch we were really feeling, and it’s showed us how to stop and smell the roses and enjoy life. So thank you.

Sixth of all, thank you for paying for college.

Sure, you’re not paying for all of it, but what you are paying for is a huge help to the soon-to-be-poor me. So major shouts for this. Major shouts — although, I’m sure things would be a little different if scholarships and such weren’t in play. But still, I owe you big time, and one day, when I’m rich and famous, I’ll pay you back. With a beautiful, old home. That has a wrap-around front porch. Right outside of Orlando. And season passes to Disney. And that Lotus. Green, right?

I promise.

Hey, I can dream, right?

Speaking of which, seventh of all, thank you for showing me how to dream.

You both have wild fantasies that you speak about almost every single day. And while, dad, yours are mostly about custom cars and racing and one day opening a restaurant, and, mom, yours are mostly about finally getting to stay at home and just do whatever the heck you want with your life, they both are pretty wild dreams, nonetheless. (Haha, sorry if that sounds rude!) And it’s shown me that I should aim for my dreams — as well as never stop dreaming — too. You’ve shown me that dreaming is totally okay, whether or not everyone else around agrees, and so, I’m going to keep at it. Always. It’s a goal to work for, a motivation to keep dedicated, and it will pay off.

Like I said, that house and that car will be in your future.

Eighth of all, thank you for all of my flaws and imperfections, both inside and out.

Yes, the entirety of me, both inside and out, is due entirely to you both having wonderful yet also horrendous gene pools. But even so, I thank you for it, for you’ve made a pretty awesome kid with them, if I do say so myself.

But let’s just hope that I don’t end up with your hair genes, mom. And your digestive genes, dad. Or your thyroid, mom. I do hope I get your metabolism, though, dad, for I’d love to end up really skinny. And thanks a million for all the freckles, mom. People seem to like them. And thanks to both of you for my artsy-ness. Yeah, people also seem to like that.

Ninth of all, thank you for all the lame catchphrases.

I find myself wowing someone every single day with one of your old sayings, and it’s awesome. Really, as annoying as they are at times from you (sorry…), they come in handy in everyday life a lot. So thank you much, for I seem a lot more wise than I really am because of them!

They’re also wonderful things to base stories off of. Just thought I’d throw that in there.

Tenth of all, thank you for the many vacations.

This is something we talk about often. You guys could have easily saved all your money so we could be “rich” and move into a bigger home and so you guys could retire a little bit younger, but you never did. Instead, you chose to take Bekah and I on trips and vacations, and it was because you both believe that seeing the world and getting cultured and making memories is worth more than any amount of physical, monetary wealth could ever be. And I have to agree. Without all those trips, sure, I’d be a heck of a lot richer (thanks to you both being a heck of a lot richer), but I’d also be really empty and unhappy thanks to an un-fillable void. And I’d also be a lot dumber. So thank you for spending your money and taking the family on trips. It’s meant more to me than you’ll ever know.

Which reminds me of my eleventh of all: Thank you for all the money lessons.

Yes, dad, I know you like saving money, especially when the funds are down. And, yes, mom, I know you like spending money, even when the funds are down. And, yes, these two clashing likes have definitely led to some conflicts over time.

But in the end, both of you have showed me one very important thing regarding money: It’s worthless. Sure, it gets you stuff, but at the end of the day, it’s just a concept made up by society in order to make bartering a little bit easier. Yes, at the end of the day, money doesn’t even really exist — is actually really nothing at all — and so it is okay to spend it. Or save it. Or light it on fire. It really doesn’t matter.

And that helps a lot with the thought of the very low salary I will be making in a few years. As a side note, thanks for supporting me and my want to write even despite that.


Twelfth of all, thank you for hating your jobs.

On a daily basis, you guys try to act like you’re content with where you’re at work-wise even though you don’t like what you’re doing, but you’re not fooling me. You guys hate your jobs, have always really hated your jobs, and it’s because you’re doing things you don’t love. Now, I can’t tell you what you should be doing instead, for every time I ask you both about your dreams and what work would make you happy, I never get a straight up answer. But I can tell you that your hatred of the corporate life has taught me to never settle. Ever. Which is partly why I quit my first real job (real as in ‘I’m finally not a sales associate’) a few months ago. It was awful and I hated it. And while I could have stuck with it for the experience, you two coming home every day miserable has shown me that no experience is worth it. Happiness is what matters in life if you truly plan on living (rather than simply existing), and one of the biggest keys to happiness for the average bear is finding a job that provides said happiness (since we work for basically our entire lives). So, thanks entirely to you two hating your jobs, I have made it a goal to not hate mine. And if I do, I will quit. Who cares if it leaves me poor? Money doesn’t even exist anyway! So thanks, for you’re helping me avoid the mistake that too many people make.

And, finally, thank you for caring so much that you don’t care at all.

Sorry for the oxymoron, but it’s the only way I can accurately describe this. For my entire life, you’ve loved Bekah and I so much that you wanted nothing more than for us to thrive and bloom and blossom into our own beings. And so, you let us go. You didn’t care.

If we wanted to try a sport, you let us try it. If it didn’t work out, you let us quit (just as long as we stuck it out for long enough, of course, a great way to teach a kid a lesson or two). If we wanted pancakes at dinnertime and dinner had not yet been made, then you made pancakes at dinnertime. If we didn’t want whatever you already cooked, however, then that was that. We didn’t want it? Our loss. You made it seem like you didn’t care, but you did; you really wanted to step in and force-feed us, but deep down you knew that we would eat eventually when we got too hungry. So you let us suffer for a little because you loved us and wanted us to learn to not be complete idiots. Likewise, if we had a big test that we studied our butts off for yet didn’t get A’s on, then it was always met by you guys with a loving, “So what?” It was just a grade and thus meant nothing regarding what we were actually worth. We tried our hardest, and that was all that mattered, giving it our all. Who cared if our all wasn’t technically good enough?

It’s a wonderful way to live, loving and caring so much that you let go and simply keep an eye on things from a distance. It has taught me a great deal about life, and I am 99.99999% sure that I will use the same tactic to raise my kids — as well as do everything else I’ll need to from here on out.

And the .00001% of uncertainty that remains has entirely to do with the fact that I’m not sure if I’ll even live past this next second in order to be able to keep executing this style of life you’ve shown me.

So, basically, unless I die, I’m living exactly the way you raised me, because it’s awesome. And I thank you a million times over for it.

Now, there’s a whole lot more that I could thank you for, but I honestly just don’t have the time to continue; I would very literally go on forever and ever and ever if I did, so consider these to be the most important things that you’ve done for me. I think they can all be grouped under one general phrase, though: raising me right.

So, to sum this up, thank you for simply raising me right.

And, of course, thank you, also, for every single other thing you’ve ever done for me and Bekah. We both love you from the very bottoms of our hearts, and we’ll see you tonight when you get home from work.

Love you much, stay safe, and Happy Birthday. ❤ ❤

When It Rains, Make Sure You’re Not With Me

Because if you don’t, you’ll just end up stuck shelter-less in a downpour. Without an umbrella. While wearing something white.

For some reason, I always get stuck in the rain. Tonight was the second time in the last month alone where I have, and I’m starting to think that it’s just my bad luck.

But that bad luck isn’t necessarily such a bad thing, for these past two times in the rain have reminded me of something very important that I think I have forgotten lately: laughing.

In life, when stuff happens, whether it be good or bad, you simply can’t control it. Yup, when events kick into motion, as humans, there is simply nothing you and I can do to stop them, and that fact alone should make everything that happens to us infinitely better by making it infinitely more comical. Why? Well, because when you realize that what’s happening to you would’ve happened no matter what, it takes all the bias out of things and puts you in a sort of third-person perspective, as if you’re not experiencing the horror but  are rather watching someone else’s misery. And so you laugh, as if it’s some fantastic comedy you’re seeing on the big screen, and it only serves to make things better.

Like I just said, these last two times getting caught in the rain have reminded me of that, of laughing because I can’t control anything.

Yes, when umbrella-less Me was walking through the parking lot a few weeks ago, about a football field away from my car, and the torrential downpour began, there was nothing I could do. Nope, nothing at all but stand there for a second in shock and then proceed to take a shower in my clothes as I sprinted as fast as I could to my only shelter. And while I was a bit peeved at first, it faded after a moment when I realized just how helpless I was. And so I laughed, the whole way; I just howled and howled and howled, for there was nothing else I could’ve done.

Likewise, today, as I sat in my mother’s car with all the windows down waiting for her — and thus her car keys — to get out of the store that she ran into quickly in order to pick up a few groceries, the torrential downpour began, and there was nothing I could do but sit there and get soaked. And so I sat there and got soaked. And laughed. Because, once again, I was completely helpless. Yes, once again, of all the things to happen to all the people at all the times, it was rain to me right then. Ha!

And so, as the downpour continues even now, I just want to remind you to laugh. When bad things happen so often and when life just tends to generally suck, being able to laugh it off is something magical, something that’ll make things better and keep you hanging on. So, the next time something goes horribly wrong, just laugh. Swallow all of your feelings and just laugh away. I mean, it’s not like there’s really anything you could’ve done differently anyway (thanks, Fate). So laugh; it does wonders for the soul– and lifespan, so I’m told.