My Ultimate Fall To Do List

What’s on your list? Have suggestions to make any of mine better? Leave ’em in the comments!

 

  • Get a new pair of rubber boots [1]
  • Go pumpkin picking[1]
  • Get hot apple cider
  • Make mulled wine [1]
  • Make pumpkin bread
  • Create a fall door wreath[1]

  • Finish re-watching Stranger Things S1
  • See a horror movie in theaters 
  • Take a long walk in the rain
  • Watch the Swifts fly in [1]
  • Re-watch the original IT mini series
  • Gather pinecones from the park for free decorations
  • Make roasted vegetables
  • Watch all the fall television    
  • Do a corn maze
  • Throw a football
  • Make fondue 
  • Make pumpkin pie 

  • Make pecan pie
  • Throw a classic thanksgiving dinner
  • Write ‘thankful’ letters to friends
  • Plan a 29th birthday party 
  • Create a cozy blanket bed to cuddle in with the windows wide open
  • Go to the coast
  • Make butternut squash soup
  • Go to a winery 
  • Re-learn how to knit
  • Break out the wool socks
  • Journal (regularly) at night with hot tea
  • Go to a haunted house 
  • Hand out halloween candy to kids
Continue Reading

Ways to Prevent Your Coworkers From Finding Out You’re a Scared Little Girl Hiding in Adult Costume

Buy Adult Pants

Drive to the furthest Banana Republic, Gap or J.Crew from your home. Turn off your phone so you can’t be tracked. Find a salesperson and with hushed voice, ask what the most adult pair of pants they sell is. When they direct you to the pants, make up a lie like “these aren’t quite as adult as my last ones I bought on my business trip to Guatemala but they’ll do.” Guess your size. You gotta get the fuck out of dodge.

Drink black coffee

Proclaim loudly throughout the day the following series of coffee related phrases:

  • I totally can’t work until I’ve had my coffee
  • This is only my fifth cup
  • I don’t even know what creamer is
  • I have a tattoo of an aeropress on my left asscheck
  • I need to make my late afternoon coffee run
  • I prefer a light roast because it has more caffeine

Have a desk plant and a photo of yourself and your significant other (your ex-boyfriend or platonic male exchange student friend works) in a custom frame from an actual frame shop where you know the name and beard style of the man who opened the store

If someone asks you what kind of plant it is, just laugh hysterically like they’re the biggest idiot you’ve ever seen. Swivel your chair in the opposite direction. Practice swivel first so you don’t accidentally swivel all the way around to face them again.

Utilize words like Utilize, and the following

  • life plan
  • retirement
  • ira
  • accomplishments
  • scope
  • direction
  • contract
  • client
  • management style
  • due process
  • google calendar
  • document
  • warmly
  • connect
  • partner
Continue Reading

Representation Matters

My Heroes Were Women

When I was a kid, my heroes were women. I loved Nala from the Lion King because she had spirit. I loved Jasmine from Aladdin because she knew she wanted to be free from her father and the palace. But their stories were shadowed by the male narrative. Young feminist me may have been able to surmise deeper meaning, but that’s not how those movies were marketed. They’re about the male story. They’re named after the male protagonists.

Even movies like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty indicate that the male holds the power. The prince presents the shoe and saves princess. The prince uses his sword to rescue the princess. I never saw these women as weak. Sometimes it felt like the male role had been written in later. A young girl scrubbing floors could just as easily learn how to battle, study code in her free time, start a bakery, or find any other way to be self-sufficient in her freedom. Simba could have enjoyed the freedom in the forest, choosing not to fulfill his duty as King. I’m pretty sure Nala could have figured it out. But that doesn’t really fit with the masculinity narrative.

In 2017, there isn’t much tiptoeing around. Moana is about a woman. It’s named after a woman. And a man doesn’t save her. She saves a man. The same could be said for Wonder Woman.

Sometimes to achieve equality you have to start with finding some semblance of equity. That means giving women more opportunity to make up for the historical and systemic lack of equality. More movies. Bridge the gap. Break the ceiling. Let it in.

Let’s Take Stock

I read in the newspaper today that the representation of women has changed in stock photos. Ten years ago the photos look light and innocent. Women laying in beds, eating salads, looking mute and disinterested. Today they’re hiking, climbing, mixing chemicals, coding, standing in front of their women-owned businesses with tags like CEO. PRESIDENT. BOSS.

I didn’t see these images when I was a kid.

I imagined my heroes as the leaders of their own show. I had no misconceptions about their independence. But in some way, it was a kids fantasy. Taking what was given to me and making it what I wanted it to be.

I didn’t grow up having anyone tell me that I could be the boss of anything. I just got told that I could do anything. That’s abstract, that’s good parenting. But it comes from a generation that doesn’t see what we see now. The details of what you can do anything means. The struggle that you have to take on to do anything. The privilege some people have that makes it easier. The tools to make anything really happen. The books that line the shelves at Powells. CODING FOR KIDS with a little girl on the cover. The feeling of pride when, briefly, we really believed that we had a chance at the first female PRESIDENT. Hearing podcasts like GIRLBOSS and being members of movements like BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN.

I feel like I’m climbing the edge of a cliff wet and slick with the tears of everyone who came before me. Bare hands, red knuckles, blisters and sweat. But my kids are getting climbing gear!

Continue Reading

How to Cope With The Existential Dread of Monday

Monday is crap, but let’s be real, so is Tuesday.

I’m always zonked after Monday but then Tuesday rolls around like Monday-Again, reminding us that we haven’t even made it to the middle of the week. I can be one of those people that jumps out of bed Monday morning ready to take on the week. But that’s a learned response to the complete existential dread I feel when I don’t actively try to be excited that the weekend is over.

Always have a routine that get’s you excited

I usually get myself a latte on Monday morning but really just remembering that I can drink coffee again is enough to get me out of bed. If it’s a really bad week I’ll get a butter croissant too.

By Monday my clothes are usually all washed and clean so I get to wear my favorite outfit, too. You know, the one that’s usually the first thing you go for after you do your laundry. Then it’s dirty again and ffs why don’t you buy more than one if you like it so much.

Finish your shower with uncomfortably cold water

I read this in a book once and it was probably written as a joke but now I can’t stop doing it. When you shower, keep the water on as cool as you can. Apparently it prevents your skin and hair from drying out, but it also helps wake you up a bit. Then when you’re about to step out, turn the hot water all the way off, and dunk your head for as long as you can stand. On days when I actually follow through with this last part my hair is shiny and manageable.

It also gives you a nice boost of adrenaline.

Find sexy underwear that is also comfortable

Especially on days where you have to wear a suit or some other business professional clothes. No one’s going to know that you’re wearing a hot red silk thong, but you will. You will. 

In addition, I like wearing one other thing that reconnects me to the reality that one day the work day will be over. A ring I can spin on my finger. A necklace I can grasp onto and fiddle with. Or a watch, to look at periodically, wondering how time works differently here.

Don’t wear any makeup

Instead of putting on makeup this Monday, wash your face, apply a nice skin purifying mask, douse yourself with toner and slab on a thick layer of moisturizer. A bit of eye cream will go a long way for the dark circles (although you should permit yourself just a little concealer if it’s really bad.)

The more days I go makeup-free during the week, the better my skin looks. The better my skin looks, the better makeup does apply on days I decide to wear it. Go makeup free and spend the day drinking lots of extra water. You’ll even get that nice “god, I can rub my eyes and nothing happens” moment.

Clean your home before the weekend ends

There’s nothing better than waking up Monday morning to a clean house. It makes you feel like you finally did something right with your life. Everything is where it should be, you can walk around without stepping on anything, it just feels good. This, in contrast, to the feeling when you wake up on Monday to beer bottles everywhere, the smell of slightly stale pizza, and strangers clothes heaped over your couch that they forgot in a drunken stumble. You’re dehydrated, your mouth tastes bad because you forgot to brush your teeth, oh god.

If you don’t have time for a full weekend clean, at least give yourself an hour before bed to get your life in order. Future-you says thanks.

Make a list of what you have to do

Yep, any time I make a list, “make a list” is on the list. So make a list of what you have to do every Monday morning, and go over it. Now that I need to know what’s going on for several different projects (personal and professional) I’ve been using Wunderlist to keep track of what I have to do and when. It’s really helpful to set up recurring tasks. Now every Monday I can see what horror awaits me that week. And, well, it’s slightly reassuring.

Have a question about sex, life, love? Submit now!

Continue Reading

Blogger Desk: My New Anatomy Prints

A couple of months ago I saw these prints on the Duvet Days Instagram and I had to have them. I’m a complete sucker for anything that combines floral and anatomy. (As noted in the floral brain anatomy up top c/o s/c 💞)

 

Duvet Days was created to support those “affected by rape and domestic abuse, using design to create awareness, self discovery, and a space for self-love.” You can read the whole story here. I chose the clitoris, menstrual cycle, vulva and uterus designs and made prints.

 

They’re an instant conversation piece for anyone who comes over and notices we finally hung something new on the wall (okay, and the fact that you can see that vulva from across the room.) And the best part is they’re Button approved, she hasn’t tried to knock them off the wall once. That’s a strong endorsement.

 

Continue Reading

Learning You Are Capable Through Experience

When you’re a kid, you are capable in part because you don’t know better. Then you enter this nebulous where lesser adults walk around on stilts and Wah Wah at you, afraid of your inevitable pain and hurt. Eventually you relearn that you are, actually, capable. Then, if you have kids, the cycle repeats itself to some degree.

I am at my first ever job that provides health and dental insurance. Tomorrow I get to call the marketplace and tell them that the $100 bill they sent me is no longer applicable. I get to make appointments for massages and acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments and pap smears and birth control and dental cleanings and xrays.

Bye bye, baby

Because I’m changing insurance providers I’m also entering closing sessions with the therapist I’ve been seeing for the last year and a half. It’s eased in part by the fact that I had been ramping down our sessions with my new work schedule. Call it mental health weening lite. If you can work it this way, I’d highly recommend it rather than going cold turkey. Once I go off I’ll start the process of finding someone new.

First six months – weekly appointments

Next six months – bi weekly appointments

Last six months – monthly appointments

Further Introspection

Jason and I have both been focusing a lot on introspection the last year and looking at our own lives and where our own weaknesses and strengths are. It wasn’t something we could completely do for each other, even though we were, technically, doing it together. Now my therapist asks me how I think I have grown in the last year and I have real tangible answers for her. I am better able to articulate my concerns. I am less anxious overall. I put up with less bullshit. I let things go. I embrace negative emotions.

For the first time I can differentiate between “I want to do something” and “I understand how to do it and feel capable.”


Need advice? New submission form up now! Submit your question now!  💡

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! Newsletters are cool:mrgreen:

Miss my first one? You can check it out here!  😎

Continue Reading

Going to Bed at The Same Time as Your Partner

J and I always go to bed at the same time. It has become a habitual synchrony. I pop my routine like vitamins and the next day, for having done so, I can tell the difference.

There’s something I’ve come to especially enjoy about being a morning bird, though. The quiet of the morning is different than the quiet of the night. The quiet of the night has a buzz like phone lines along the highway, an undercurrent of electricity. It’s too loud and too heavy with expectation. The morning presents itself as an empty slate.

It’s 9:00pm and I’m in bed. I’m in the middle of a mystery novel I’ve been trying to finish for months. (Tana French, In The Woods) J is reading the same series, four books down the line. I lean over and make guesses about the killer. He plays a poker face. I’m pretty sure I’m on to something.

I flop the same leg over every time. He sleeps on his right side. I sleep on my stomach with one leg up, stretching my hips as I sleep. Sometimes we spend an hour talking. Sometimes it’s hot and I’m grumpy. Sometimes we play the-bed-is-lava. Almost every night we make up a song, replacing the actual words with the name of our cat.

One of our alarms goes off, usually around 6:00am. If it’s his that goes off first my body

click click click

and shoves him like an automaton.

If it’s my alarm that goes off first, I usually jump halfway up in the air, the volume still turned all the way up from the night before.

With our life in sync like this I think about all of the little moments we share that we would otherwise miss. Our time alone together is already so limited that those extra few moments together can make all the difference.


Do you go to bed at the same time as your partner? Why or why not? What are some synchronicities that you love in your relationship?
Have a question or need advice? Submit now and I’ll answer it on the blog!
The newsletter is coming! The newsletter is coming! Sign up now!
Continue Reading

How To Make Friends When You’re 28

We were at a house party with mutual friends and I was hovering around the chip table. The moment you went to the bathroom I leaned over to Shelly and said “I have to befriend her.”

This is what friendship looks like when you are 28. It’s tactical. Play one is always the same. You lean over to a mutual friend, your partner, your cat, and you whisper with awe: I have to befriend her.

You’re going on and on about all of my favorite hobbies and all of my favorite sports teams and all of my favorite foods and in my head I’m hopping back and forth clapping, in my head screaming “me too me too me too” with a basket full of vocal fry.

Instead I nod, curtly.

Yes, sports, mmhmm, you enjoy discussing sexuality with your peers, yes, that is the good time these days. 

I make a move to the bathroom and vomit all of the stress chips I just ate. Everyone brought Kettle sea salt & vinegar chips so when it comes up its like a salty, tangy wave of regret.

I come back and you’re standing in a new group of people and there’s no easy way for me to make my move into the circle. The kettle chips are wide open so I go back and start eating them again so I have something to do with my hands.

HOW TO BEFRIEND A NEW GIRL-FRIEND WHEN YOU’RE 28 AND MOSTLY COMFORTABLE WITH YOU WHO ARE BUT ALSO STILL SLIGHTLY FEEL LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IS MORE AMAZING AND MORE WONDERFUL AND SLIGHTLY MORE ADULT THAN YOU

  1. Say “I have to befriend her” out loud.
  2. Develop a comprehensive list of everything you have in common.
  3. Don’t act like a total spaz when they say “I absolutely love this [one cult movie that you thought you were the only person in the world that saw it and now, here she is, your dream girl, and now that gay marriage is legal you’d totally propose because this might be it, this is probably it] – “
  4. Oh yeah, I like [that thing] too. We should totally [that thing] sometime.
  5. NOW WAIT UNTIL SHE OPENS HER MOUTH TO AGREE AND WALK AWAY.
  6. She’ll be like oh shit this girl is so cool we have one thing in common and she wants to hang out with me maybe I need to rebalance my friend stock portfolio but she just walked away like how could she do that she must not be very desperate for friends. Oh god should I be desperate for friends?
  7. ONCE SHE BEGINS QUESTIONING EVERYTHING SHE KNOWS TO BE TRUE, WALK BACK UP, HAND HER A COLD BEVERAGE, STAND LIKE FONZIE BUT IRONICALLY.
  8. At this point she will now awkwardly ask you to hang out and it will sound like shes asking you first even though you already asked her.
  9. Tell her it’s a great idea, you’d love to hang out, it’s so nice of her to ask, let’s exchange numbers.
  10. HOLY SHIT YOU HAVE A NEW FRIEND.
  11. Don’t text them immediately. Wait like three days and then send them a gif of a bear riding a motorcycle. Type out “just like last night, so crazy” and right when you see that read receipt, PRESS SEND. Then throw your phone in a lake.
  12. You’ll see her by chance at the market, wave and say “Hey… You’re so and so, right? We should totally hang out!” DONT MAKE PLANS FOR LATER. You’re only available RIGHT NOW.
  13. Get her drunk. Tell her all of your deepest darkest secrets.
  14. Wait for her to tell you hers.
  15. OH MY GOD THAT IS SO INSANE YOU ARE SO BRAVE WOW. AMAZING. I CANT BELIEVE WE CLICK SO WELL.

Invite her to your wedding. When you have your first born, call her Auntie so and so. Send her a card in the mail once a year for no reason that just says “you’re a real sweetheart.”

ERrea erraa erra (rewinding sound)

REAL GUIDE FOR MAKING FRIENDS WHEN YOU’RE 28

  1. Find friend. Proclaim with confidence “you’re my friend now.” Don’t overthink it – you’re awesome!
Continue Reading

I’VE BEEN IN THERAPY FOR ONE YEAR AND I’M HAVING AN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS

Going to therapy every week can be alarming. I’m still talking about this? It’s been a week! Going once every other week can be even worse. But… but it’s been two weeks! I haven’t solved this yet?

Imagine my surprise when I told my therapist how sick I was of complaining about the same shit every month when she told me i’ve been seeing her for a year.

year.

I’ve had relationships with people I was sexually and/or romantically attracted to that ended quicker than that.

Well, anyways, apparently I’ve made some progress. She said that when I started seeing her I said “I don’t really see myself as a career person” and now I have a well articulated five point plan for being incredibly successful. That’s what I like about my therapist. She’s like the best friend / computer algorithm you always wish you had. “You’re not ugly! Look at this photo I’ve saved from my database from last week! It has seventy likes!” 

She has good recall is what I’m saying. And in this particular moment I saw that I had made progress.

I realized that I judge progress in giant milestone chunks like “graduate college” “get job” “move in together” “get married” “have kids” “buy house”

Life, however, has tiny little flags along the way that ought to be celebrated. They also signify change and growth.

  1. Stopped feeling obligated to reply to business emails after hours
  2. Started giving fewer shits about peoples opinions of me when I don’t even like those people
  3. Realized it’s okay to not like people
  4. Decided that one day I wanted to get married
  5. Came to peace with the fact that I don’t always fold my clothes before putting them in my dresser.

You know, things like that. The baby steps. And I think the problem is that I think I’m a little holier than thou. Oh yes, I graduated from college. Puff puff. It was quite the endeavor. Pinky raise. Harrowing really.

Flash to me, EIGHT YEARS OF FEAR, CRYING, ANGUISH.

Everything that happened along the way, those were little milestones, little successes. They were progress. I just didn’t mark it as such until I literally had my diploma in my hand.

So, looking forward, this is how I judge my progress. Not based on how much money I have or what kind of job I have or what my relationships look like, but if I’m moving forward. At all. Even a little bit. If I’m growing better and stronger. If I’m making less of the same mistakes. If I’m making better, newer mistakes.

Do you have a question about sex, love, life? Submit now and I’ll answer it on my blog!

 

 

Continue Reading

How Do Adults Learn New Things?

When I graduated from college I immediately felt a deep sense of learning-related dispair. The university had provided me with constant, patience access to new, fresh, and important knowledge.

It was a privileged experience. To have someone walk me through difficult to understand concepts. To have the ability to get loans to attend this school in a liberal city where classes like “social justice and activism” and “introduction to transgender studies” were on the menu.

And then, suddenly, it was over. And as I logged on to twitter each week I became progressively less-and-less in the loop. I realized that when you’re not in a focused, structured learning environment, you have to try twice as hard.

How do adults learn new things?

Task: Keeping up on women’s studies & sexualities

A few months after I graduated I realized that with a library card I could access scholarly articles online. I immediately began printing JSTOR articles to highlight and process – one per day if I could swing it (now more like 3 per month.) It’s been an incredible resource to keep my mind sharp when it comes to new, interesting, or complex ideas relating to subjects that interest me.

I’m also a big fan of reading personal narratives (peoples blogs, for instance). Tying that together with the scholarly articles makes me feel like I’m getting a good mix of stories and ideas. It also prevents me from feeling like I’m only reading the same recycled concepts over, and over, and over again.

Task: become fluent in french

If you’ve ever traveled to Europe you may have also experienced this deep sense of shame. Three languages, fluent, tons of confidence? Bien sûr. But me? I may as well carry around an English dictionary to better understand my own language. While I’ve taken French in middle school, high school, and college, and been to France three times, I can still hardly hold a conversation.

I’ve recently picked up Duolingo again and have been increasing my practice daily (they say I’m 50% fluent, which is a sham). I’ve also picked up a copy of Harry Potter in French which I’m hoping to team up with my French dictionary to gain a more practical understanding of how the language actually sounds.

Task: Learn more career related tasks

A few weeks ago I signed up for the free trial of Lynda.com. I wanted to strengthen my understanding of SEO and Adwords, and I’d heard great things about these online courses. Lynda is typically about $20 a month, but a friend of mine led me on to the fact that library cards often let you in for free. (Again, how rad are libraries?) Now I have a free membership and am working my way through different courses that will help me perform better at work and strengthen my resume.

Task: Watercolors & lettering

I have a small collection of Dr Ph Martin water color paints on my desk. They work great for lettering and watercolor painting. But my skills are rudementary and I often feel like I’m not really utilizing the tools like I ought to be. Youtube has been awesome for running me through basic skills that I never had the opportunity to learn before. Really, you can learn anything on Youtube (I’m also learning how to style my hair and apply makeup.)

If you find a channel you like – follow it. It can be a lot of fun if you find someone who has a style similar to you. Their advice, guidance, and recommendations can become an essential part of your week!

How do you continue to learn as you shift into adulthood? What tasks have you wanted to learn, what hobbies have you wanted to take up? Drop your thoughts in the comments!


Have a question about sex, love, life? Submit now and I’ll answer it anonymously on my blog! 

Continue Reading