Friday, January 15, 2016

Das New Hobby

I, as an owner of a brand new camera, have currently been experiencing this weird phenomenon of seeing things that I want to take pictures of at the exact moments when I don't have my fancy new camera on me. That is a basic definition of a  first-world-problem, but one that is still incredibly frustrating. So this morning when I woke up, looked out the window, and saw our apricot tree was completely covered in frost I did what anyone with a new gadget would do. I got my ass out of bed and went to take some goddamned pictures! This was also good news for my dog, who loves it when her people can come outside with her for mini-walks.

I was honestly having so much fun taking shots of this beautiful tree that we're lucky enough to have in our backyard, I decided to just keep going and taking pictures (again to the excitement of my puppy). 

Taking all these pictures and editing some of them made me realize how much I like this new hobby of mine. I definitely like it enough to share some of my results with ya'll, so I'm starting a new series called Photo Fridays. I was gonna call it Photography Fridays, but I'm not so narcissistic as to think this thing that I'm doing is anything more than a cute little hobby. 

And here are the results of said hobby:

I'd like to point out that my puppy (who happens to be 11 years old) is the cutest and most awkward fucking thing ever and ya'll should be jealous!

What hobbies do you wish you could share?

The Mindset of Brave Traveling

Lately I’ve been lumping people into two groups: those who are genuinely excited that I’m travelling to such a historic and amazing place as Istanbul, and those who think I’m gonna die. And I have to say, I’m getting pretty damn tired of the second group.

I think a huge part of what we call bravery is actually pride and stubbornness. I know this because I consider myself a brave person. My best friend and I spent a majority of our free time as children running around the Nevada boonies unsupervised. We explored the area and made forts of abandoned cars, abandoned mills, and a random hole in the ground. I distinctly remember confronting a group of older boys about torturing a rabbit they’d managed to pin against a house (and if you don’t think it takes bravery to yell at a group of boys when you’re a 9 year old girl then you know nothing Jon Snow). My favorite part of carnivals is the crazy unsafe looking ride that launches you into the sky and then does a few flips before sending you back towards the ground. I once bungee-jumped off a platform 200 feet in the air at the weeklong Spring Fling that comes to the U of A campus every year.
All the things I did when I was little built me up into the person I am today. The girl who can go for walks at night by herself, who can feel comfortable at a party full of strangers, and who can play an 80 minute game of rugby without any padding is the result of years of pride and stubbornness. When I decide to do something I’m gonna fucking do it. I don’t quit, and I don’t back down.

That’s why I’m still going to Istanbul in spite of the recent terrorist attack it just suffered. It's absolutely horrifying that people are no longer alive because of someone's hatred of anyone different than them. I'm truly saddened by it. 

There are basically three reasons I’m still going to Turkey for the semester:

I could die anytime. Frankly, I’m much more likely to be killed on the drive to the airport than I am of being blown up by a madman with a vest of explosives. Part of life is the fact that it ends. Should I just seclude myself from the world and hide out in my room all day? Absolutely not. Just because there’s risk doesn’t mean it’s not worth the experience.

I’m stubborn as fuck. I have multiple tattoos despite my dad’s multiple objections. I spent three miserable years on the track team because I’d be damned if I was gonna quit and I hated every minute of those meets. I was so against the idea of cleaning my room that I’d sit and cry for hours until my dad broke down and helped me. I’m definitely too stubborn to let someone interfere with my decisions. It doesn’t matter if they’re worried relatives, judgmental acquaintances, or suicide bombers. I do what makes me happy.

I’m too proud to let my actions be determined by fear. If I skipped out on this opportunity of a lifetime because of a group of people purely motivated by hate and power then they win. They succeeded in making me so afraid that I decided to stop living my life on my own terms. And I think most of you will agree with me when I say Fuck.That.Shit.

So this time next month I’ll be going to school in Istanbul and whatever happens is gonna happen. I think what’ll actually go down is I’ll have an amazing time, get to an even greater level of self-confidence, and learn.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

This is Why We Didn't Match on Tinder

Of the many things I’m happy about in the new year, the decreasing stigma of online dating is high up on the list. Of the many apps and websites that promote meeting someone who you know have some common interests with you, Tinder is my drug of choice. Although there are a lot of hot, interesting guys I match with; there’s also a large selection of hot guys who don’t make the cut with me because of some very specific mistakes they make on their profiles.

Here are the inner working of my personal left wipe..

It was an accident and I hate myself. I’ve been swiping left so much that (even though I thought you were super cute) my fingers betrayed me and sent you off to a place I can’t follow. *sobs*

You’re smoking in one of your pictures. This is such a turnoff for me. I’ve kissed smokers before and it’s really not a pleasant experience for those of us who aren’t used to the taste of tobacco. I actually recommend anyone who smokes to somehow include that in their profile so I know to immediately swipe left. (this is definitely a personal preference, but it’s something that a lot of my friends agree on so I figured I’d include it.)

There’s nothing in your bio. I might be alone in this, but when I see that you couldn’t find a single thing to write about yourself I get really creeped out. I have swiped left on the hottest guys with the most amazing pictures because that blank section represents a person who is either too lazy to fill something out or just unable to write something about themselves. I don’t want to be involved with someone like that. Also, I get scared that you’re a serial killer, which is definitely a negative.

There’s no face pictures. Why aren’t you showing me your face mysterious cowboy with your hat turned down!? What secrets do you have mister motocross expert who’s wearing a helmet in everything?!

It’s only group shots. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of a guy who goes out and has fun with his friends. However, if there are only group shots in your Tinder (with no clue as to which person you might be) then I will automatically assume you’ve got something to hide and you’re covering it up with a group of friends. If those shots are the only ones on Facebook that you have, I’d recommend pointing yourself out in your bio in order to end the confusion.

You’ve obviously cropped out a girl. I understand the frustration of only being able to include Facebook photos on your profile, but if the choice is between including your ex girlfriend in the picture and cropping her (along with half your arm) out, choose neither. Take a new picture, post it on Facebook, and then insert it on your Tinder profile. Weird ass pictures like that aren’t good for an app that’s based entirely on fleeting, first impressions.

Every other reason I swipe left just comes down to personal preference. You can’t do anything about just not being someone’s type. For example, I’m also not likely to swipe right on someone with hunting pictures, or only shirtless selfies. That’s not necessarily something you’re really doing wrong on Tinder, it’s just not gonna appeal to me.

Looking back on these, it’s obvious that I’m an incredibly picky Tinder user. I’m sure not everyone is like me, but if you want to cater to the picky ones then you should avoid all of these things. It’s really not that hard to write about yourself and take some fun pictures.

 I hope you all find what you’re looking for, whether it’s a soulmate or a one night stand! You do you!


Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Best Questions You've Never Been Asked

I love people who ask interesting questions. I seriously love them. They keep conversations interesting and lively! That’s what conversations need! There are questions that I tend to get asked a lot, and it’s really no one’s fault for asking them and I appreciate that people are interested in how I’m doing, but I don’t have a lot of patience for monotony and that includes answering the same questions over and over.

Basically everything revolves around how I’m doing in college, what I’m doing in college, and what I want to do after college. Don’t get me wrong, college is one of the big parts of my life right now and it’s an easy way to start a conversation, but I get the feeling that’s the only reason people are asking. It’s easy, but a lot of people aren’t actually interested.

So imagine how awesome it was, as I was browsing through Tumblr, to find a list of 50 questions you never get asked. It was from seriously_idgaf’s page and they’re amazing and fascinating. I picked out a few that I thought were particularly fun to answer!

What religion will you raise your kids?
Honestly, I’m really hoping my kids take after me and are atheists, but I’m gonna go with the “let them decide” approach. If they’re curious about religion, I’m not gonna stop them from figuring out what they believe.

When did you find out Santa wasn’t real?
Interestingly enough, my parents still have yet to have the Santa talk with me. We still write out that some of our presents are from Santa. Honestly I think I had it figured out by the time I was in fifth grade or so.

Can you whistle?
No goddamnit, I can’t. My mom tried to teach me once and it was an incredibly frustrating experience.

What’s the 1st amusement park you went to?
Every year there’s a carnival that comes to Carson City that I would go to whenever I got the chance, but my first actual amusement park was Disneyland! Go big or go home!

Are your grandparents still married?
Over the course of my life I’ve had a grand total of three Grandmas and five Grandpas. Most of them were the result of untimely deaths, but two were because of divorce. I only have 2 Grandmas left now, and I miss the ones that are gone more and more every time I think about them.

What’s the worst grade you got on a test?
Math classes in college have been the bane of my existence. Not only are they harder than in high school, I’m also wayyyyyyy less interested in them when I was in high school. That led to me getting a 62% in one of the tests, by far the worst I’ve ever done.

What was your favorite TV show when you were a kid?
Avatar: The Last Airbender hands down!

How many oceans have you swam in?
4. The Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Aegean, and the Caribbean

Do you know who Kermit the frog is?
What the fuck kind of question is this!? Who doesn’t know who Kermit is?! I seriously want to know this! How does anyone not know who he is!? The idea of people not knowing is kind of freaking me out!

What would you name your daughter?
I honestly have fallen more and more in love with my Grandpa since he died and I’ve been finding out what kind of a person he was so I’ve been thinking about naming my first kid (no matter the gender) Ray. I doubt a daughter would be happy she’d been named after her great grandpa, but it’s a good name and I love him so I guess she’ll just have to deal with it.

How many countries have you been to?
5 outside the US: Canada, Mexico, Italy, France, and Australia. Soon (in about 20 days!) I’ll be adding Turkey to that list.

How old do you think you’ll be when you get married?
It might be the result of having parents who didn’t get married till later in life, but I can’t picture myself marrying someone before I’m 30, even if I met the love of my life tomorrow. I really don’t need to have my relationship acknowledged by the government in order for it to feel final and complete to me. I won’t let myself get pressured; when I feel like doing it, it’ll happen.

I hope ya'll have enjoyed these interesting questions and also you kind of got to know me in the process! Okay, it was definitely the opposite. You got to know me and maybe got some cool questions in the process. 

What's the best questions someone has asked you at a party?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

This Feminist's Irritation With Lady Gaga

Story time: I used to love Lady Gaga. I still enjoy listening to some of her music, and I’ve heard great things about her performance on American Horror Story, but I used to worship this woman. I had her songs memorized. My friend, Cori, and I waited anxiously for her new music videos to come out and then we’d watch them repeatedly during choir (instead of listening to our teacher, much to his irritation). And then she said something that immediately tainted all the respect I had for her as a person who defies bullying and fights for equality: “I’m not a feminist. I hail men, I love men, I celebrate American male culture – beer, bars, and muscle cars.”

“I’m not a feminist.” Are you fucking serious right now? You’re not a feminist? And your reasoning for all this is that you…love…men?
Let me just fucking rant on this.

Firstly, do you honestly believe that in order for me to call myself a feminist (which I do 100%) I must inherently hate men? You think I don’t love and respect my father? You don’t think I’ve thought the world of some men who are smart, and feisty, and unbelievably amazing people?

Secondly, I know there’s this strange demonization of women who call themselves feminists and Lady Gaga isn’t the only woman who’s scared of having that label applied to her. There’s another label that I see a lot on reddit and tumblr: feminazi. I fucking despise this term not because I don’t believe there are radical feminists, but because of its connotation. People had to connect feminism to one of the most infamous, evil, socially oppressive regimes in history. Really? That was necessary? Of course there’s a radical side to feminism. There’s a radical side to everything! And just like most social movements they’re not in the majority. Sometimes they make the most noise, but that doesn’t mean every feminist is like them. It’s important for you all to know that.

At its core, by definition, a feminist is someone who believes in the social and economic equality of men and women. It’s not someone who hates men. It’s not someone who thinks women deserve more than men. It’s someone who doesn’t want others to be dehumanized because they weren’t born with a penis.

Emma Watson delivered a brilliant speech to the UN about feminism and women’s rights. You can read a transcript of it ~here~ (or just youtube it. The whole thing is only 13 minutes). I definitely agree with everything she has to say. Anyone who believes in that core definition of feminism is a feminist. It doesn’t matter! Male, female, anyone in between!

I wanted to write this post because one, I think people need a reminder that feminism is fucking amazing and two, I think people need a reminder that they themselves are probably feminists! Respect and equality are sneaky like that. One second you’re thinking men and women should be paid equal amounts for working the same job and the next you’re a feminist. Bam!

What are your views on feminism?? Let me know in the comments or send me an email!!!