Fall Doesn’t Totally Suck

Oh man.

I’m not sure that I’m prepared for this.

Someone get me a therapist.

Fall’s here.

I should’ve seen it coming, pumpkin spice lattes have been advertised for the past two months and Ugg boots are starting to make their presence as all the basics (as in basic white girls) have been coming out of hiding for their favorite season in their yoga pants.

White girls when pumpkin spice lattes are a out again be like

The past Indian summer month of September was a blessing as I was wearing sandals and cut-off shorts to class and making smoothies. But now, I’ve been sporting long pants and cardigans more frequently and soon enough, boot weather will be taking over. Ugh, shutters, boo, hiss.

But as Hannah reminded me, there are some perks to fall. Like the Richmond Folk Festival. I hope you came out again this year to Brown’s Island for the celebration of the decade-old festival. Good food (Even Red Eye was there!!), good music and entertainment (hello who know Balkan jazz was going to be so awesome? And why can’t the Mayans do a sunrise/sunset pole dance every day at Tredegar?) and good vibes and people- and I’m not just saying that because I was there. Did you know the Richmond Folk Festival is bigger than the National Folk Festival (the traveling festival that spends three years in a city, then moves on and leaves behind a festival for the city to cherish?)? With the NFF hitting up Greensboro, North Carolina next year, the motherland- my mother’s land-, I’m shivering in these connections.

Speaking of food, what about the fruit up in Charlottesville? Apple-picking at Carter Mountain, you know? Hannah, Sean and I went and picked more apples than one knows what to do with. Personally, I prefer fall apple recipes than pumpkin spice recipes (other than the pumpkin nutella muffins), and these apple granola bars and apple snicker doodles are perfection, these fried apples are better than Luck’s and take 5 minutes at most, and I’m dying to make these apple pie muffins.  If you’re one of those people who like savory food and things that aren’t dessert, apples and brie are probably one of the best things that will ever hit your burger so you should probably get on that.

And let’s not forget the fall sports to go along with your food. (If you’re expecting football than just skip over this paragraph). Hello, it’s October- Men of October- as in super attractive professional baseball players in the play-offs! I’m off in the corner praying for a Giants and Orioles World Series, and no not because both teams are orange and black. Richmond, much of the Giants spent time at the Diamond playing for the Squirrels, and Baltimore is just a day trip away- there’s minor league and regional loyalty.

Baseball pants and baseball pants and baseball pants

And as all good things come to an end, baseball season will be ending as COLLEGE BASKETBALL IS BEGINNING. YOU DON’T WANNA GO TO WAR WITH THE RAMS. FEAR THE HAVOC. SHAKA SMART. MO ALIE-COX. JORDAN BURGESS. BRIANTE WEBER. ROWDY RAMS. SEE YA IN THE STUDENT SECTION! 

And if sports aren’t your cup of tea, then I hope the Richmond music scene is! Dirty Heads will be playing November 8th at the National. You really shouldn’t be too worried at the new ownership, the people seem cool. Plus, $2 concert at the Canal Club on October 26- Priory with Coby and Kid is Qual. Check “Weekend” out here. Not bad for less than a Subway footlong sandwich, amirite?

We’re back on food, I see. It’s about time I announce on here than November 1st, Southbound will be opening its doors. Why should we be excited about this? 1. Southbound is bringing Richmond’s food renaissance to Bon Air (yay!). 2. Southbound will be run by Lee Gregory of Church Hill’s The Roosevelt (regarded by multiple sources as one of the East Coast’s best restaurants), a James Beard finalist, and Joe Sparatta of Heritage. 3. Following the Bon Air scene, Southbound will be family friendly (as combining cheaper prices with tip top quality food). 4. Holy crap now I’m going to have to decide between Southbound and Manny Mendez of Kuba Kuba’s Galley.

Flipping couch cushions and breaking piggy banks looking for ways to fuel my new restaurant hangout

Another good thing about November is not just birth month, but also arguably one of the best holidays- Thanksgiving. Yeah there’s being thankful and football or something on the tv, and a cute Charlie Brown special, but there’s also history (!) to this holiday, three days off of school and my favorite part: it’s a day dedicated to food. Peanut butter pumpkin balls? Cheesy apples? Home made mashed potatoes, fresh rolls, hot turkey? We celebrate on Wednesday is you want to come join our family for the day and partake in these foods.

Bee tee dubs Kirsten Wiig will totally be there. Just ask my mom. She’s totally like, our seventh cousin, only thrice removed

Also, Urban Farmhouse’s fall menu.

Also, the fact that Urban Farmhouse is opening soon near my college.

Perk, Bon Air’s new coffee shop, can open after December 1st. No yes this is perfect I only have to go through one stop lights to get quality coffee all of my problems will be solved  *plans to spend every free moment there, reading historical fiction and drinking chai and espresso until man of my dreams appears and we run away to open a coffeeshop/bookstore in Church Hill and be like Lee Gregory. We will prance around at the fall festivals, go to concerts and sporting events together, cook and eat like royalty in this Richmond Renaissance. And at the end of the day I’ll have to go apologize to Hannah because fall isn’t that bad, it can actually be pretty nice* 

Emperor and Empress, actually.

Confessions of a College Millennial

Since I was in elementary school, I knew that my future career would be somewhere in the arts and humanities. Falling in love with arts, literature, history, and other social sciences, my path was set to turn my passions into a job. As I grew older, I discovered that society was pushing me and my peers into STEM-H. As the millennial generation goes to college, most seem to follow this push, but there’s still a few of us who refuse to do so.

  1. I’m terrified of not getting a job after college. The way the job industry seems to be set up these days, I need a college degree to get a semi-decent job, and a master’s if I want my future family to live comfortably. People aren’t exactly knocking down doors to hire my major, and seeing that most history students want to teach, the dense competition scares me into thoughts of selling insurance or working at a grocery store. 
  2.  If I’m going to spend four years and a lot of money studying something, you better believe it’s going to be something I love. I spent years of my life drowning in geometry classes and meeting my doom in chemistry labs, but when it got to history and English, I pranced down the hall excited to talk about World War I and Modernism. VCU’s tuition bill is addressed to me, so I plan on getting every penny’s worth out of those checks I send. 
  3. It’s like your undergraduate degree hardly matters, people remind you than you can change your major or go into a completely different work field. Yet there still are those people who want to make fun of you for your arts or humanities major-oh you’ll never get a job studying sociology–sculpture major? more like starving artists. What ever happened to the Renaissance, when people sat around and thought the world of history, literature, foreign languages, and arts? Wasn’t the hipster movement supposed to make it socially acceptable to study international films and anthropology, or is that idea just to mainstream now and we’ve moved on to degrees in forensic science and petroleum engineering? 
  4. And speaking of foreign languages, the world we’re living in is getting increasingly more globalized. Shouldn’t we be putting a larger emphasis on international studies and foreign languages? Or is society getting so lazy that we’d rather use Google translate, which would help a few times, versus learning a new language, which would teach a new culture, light up a different part of the brain, and develop critical thinking and reasoning skills. The world is filled with hundreds of other countries and thousands of languages, there’s no getting around that.
  5. I want to major in something that I’m deeply passionate about. That thing, though, is a humanity, a success of humans, which society puts low on their totem pole. ECPI tells me to go into the medical fields, but with my fear of needles, that’s not going to happen. Engineers, scientists, and business men and women are praised, but I’m not looking into something I don’t feel passionate about. When was the phrase “follow your heart” replaced with “follow the big paychecks?”

    Thanks, society. My high knowledge of Tudor England and I are going to go cry in the corner. 

  6. There’s an inherent sense of competition and stress to being a college student. Always have to do well. Make Dean’s List, get into the good honor fratrority. Get the perfect internship, rock the seminar class. Stand out to future employers. Drink endless cups of coffee and don’t sleep for three days to get everything done. Oh, but don’t worry,  Bill Gates dropped out of college so don’t take college too seriously. By the way, you’re probably going to want to go to grad school if you wanna go anywhere in life, there is only one Bill Gates out there and that’s not you. No wonder college kids drink so much. 

The Beauties of Being Single

I was perusing (does anyone else have a slight obsession with this word?) through Facebook the other day when I saw a video of two girls with their guitars and original song, and the caption read, “These girls nailed it- the struggles of being single!”  and my face totally scrunched up- why does being single have to be looked down on?

It took me about a year to fully accept being single again after my high school boyfriend and I split, and that’s when I started noticing something strange. The more okay I was not having a boyfriend, the more it bothered people- “when are you getting a boyfriend?!” “we need to get you a boy!” “you need to date again!!”. Do you think I wake in the morning and cry because no boy texts me “good morning” or calls me pretty? Well honey I don’t need any of that (plus I already know how pretty I am) (I hope you know that was sarcasm). I’m single, and I’m perfectly happy about that- yeah maybe Sean and I have plotted ways to disturb the happy overly in love couples walking across the compass holding hands- but whatever. There’s a lot of good things about being single

  1. You can eat the whole pizza. And get all of your favorite toppings on it-no need to compromise your favorites or going halfzies. No “ew gross I don’t like pineapple on my pizza” because YAS PUT EXTRA PINEAPPLE ON ALL THE PIZZA and garlic and onions while you’re at it, I’m not kissing anyone tonight! (But maybe we shouldn’t yell that to the pizza guy over the phone) 
  2. You don’t have to worry about another person—-listen to me here. There’s the family and friends you still gotta think about, but I’m talking about relationships here- all that time you spend with them, talking, texting, being with them- it does take a lot out of you, whether you want to admit it or not. Being single means you can set that significant other part of your brain free, and get some rest. breakupreality
  3. And on that note, you really get to know yourself when you’re single. True story here: after my breakup, I had a lot of time on my hands, no clue what to do with it, so I went back to an old hobby of mine- sewing- and picked up a new one- jewelry making. Maybe I didn’t have good motives (trying to be a “cool artsy girl” so the ex would want to come back) but those soon disappeared when I fell deep into the stitching and threading in finding the creative outlets that I needed. Point here is that when we were together, I was focusing all of my time and energy into us that I forgot about the importance of doing something for me- and something that I had wanted to get back into for a long time.relationshipwithyou
  4. When you’re with someone, that’s it. If you’re anything like me, you have a one-track mind, so the switch for even looking at other guys turns off. But when you’re single, you can flirt with all the boys and no one’s gonna get cranky! So again, flirt with the bagger at the grocery store, in the line at Sugar Shack, and that really cute repeat customer. Who’s going to tell your significant other- oh that’s right, you don’t have one! So play it!
  5. Following that, being single is a time to experiment and go on dates with different people and see what kinda person you click with. Or go on really weird dates and have a good story to tell later (but that’s for another day). 
  6. There’s no relationship drama! Seriously, this might be the best part. Every relationship goes through that period of heresy, he said/she said, you get the picture, god awful drama and feelings get hurt, and we like feelings being okay. 
  7. We’re all young people here (even you, Sean). Are five year relationships necessary? If you’re in one, that’s great, that’s beautiful, props to you, but for the rest of us, don’t rush anything. Please, it’s okay to be single- we Millennials are still trying to figure everything out- one day we’re all about Sweet Frog and the next it’s Sugar Shack- so how are we expected to know who we are, or better yet, what we want in a relationship, if we can’t even figure out what kinda dessert we’re so into? We’re still growing up and constantly changing, so our wants and needs are changing as well- how are we to know what kinda partner we want?

    future

    This kid has his life together- I could be his girlfriend!

  8.  Being single helps you learn how to be “a strong, independent black woman who don’t need no man”. ‘Nuff said. concietedjackie
  9. More to be said: You learn how to take care of you, which is great for a thousand and seven reasons, but the most important one here is best said by the Dirty Heads,  “If you can’t love yourself how can you love the next?”. Take care of you, because you’re grown-up, and a significant other is there to be with and for you, not be your babysitter. 
  10. Maybe there’s a reason why you’re single- and not one of those creepy reasons like that you have twenty pet squirrels at home- something more along the normal lines that you’ve tried some dates and flirtations out but you haven’t found what you’re looking for. Props to you, don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve. 
  11. Being single means you can be overly obvious about your crush on the men’s soccer team without offending the other one who has your heart (food).
  12. The single life gives you time to scope out the market and look for someone rich. hopetomarryrich
  13. You learn how to be happy without having to hear someone tell you that you’re pretty everyday (among other cute things). This is a hard one to adjust from, but it really does do a lot for your confidence level when you have the epiphany that things like running and sewing can make you happy and smiling- not just holding hands.

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Day in the Life of a Commuter

Well hi, hey there, hello, long time no see! I know, I know, it’s been like three years since I posted something and you got your cranky pants on, but hey blogging isn’t as fun and happy as it seems- you actually have to think of things to write about! And lately my brain has turned into a bowl of melted ice cream and I can barely think enough to do my readings. So what has been going on that interferes with blogs? And wait- don’t you still commute? Here, why don’t I give you a play by play of a typical day:

5:30 AM: Alarm goes off. Repeatedly hit snooze and turn to the other side of the bed as if that will make waking up early go away. 

5:49: Jump up and runs out off bed to change, brush teeth & etc, put on backpack and grab gym bag. 

5:56: Make coffee and exchange a few words with James, packs breakfast

6:02: Run to car. James runs to bus stop. 

6:18: While driving through Carytown, check out VCU crew team running on the side. Pray to not get in a car crash. 

6:28: Check in at Cary Street Gym and make way to yoga class. Sit and try to find inner peace while the four sorority girls banter behind me.  

6:31: Smile as yoga instructor calls out the talking sorority girls in her morning greeting.

8:01: Finish lukewarm, low-pressure shower in the gym’s locker room. Change into the clothes packed last night, hoping that they end up being weather appropriate that day.

8:27: Go to the Einstein’s to use the STAT free coffee card. Sit outside and drinks coffee, eat packed breakfast and do readings for the day. 

8:43: So many cute skater boys out this early

10:52: Get to history class early to discuss the McDonnell trial with the professor. 

11:41: There are too many people in class who want to teach history. Tries to Darwin out who will end up selling insurance, who will switch majors, and who will ultimately keep the shared goal.

11:45: Has a mini panic attack about possible career as an insurance agent.  

12:16 PM: Head across campus to American history survey.

12:44: Can’t pay attention in lecture because the professor is a silver fox who sounds a bit like John Wayne. Also, is that a wedding ring he’s wearing or what? 

1:47: While leaving the building, sees a free food tent. Listens to someone talk about their obscure charity club for ten minutes in exchange for a piece of candy. 

1:55: Walking through Starbucks in the library after class lets out is always a bad idea. 

1:59: Finally find a computer in Cabell library. Eat the lunch packed last night due to lack of meal plan and do online homework. 

2:24: Online homework done. Don’t have sociology book and can’t read for tomorrow. Facebook stalks people from class and hopes they don’t walk behind and see the screen. 

3:07: Put in earbuds and walks across campus to the parking deck. See everywhere boyfriend on the way and wonder if should smile or not at him. 

3:10: Smiling at everywhere boyfriend only ends up with him giving a weird look. 

3:20: Finally gets out of parking deck and onto Belvidere. 

3:45: Get to work on time. (yeah!) Coworkers are full of smiles and high-fives, a reminder of how great it is to love your job

4:26: Texts from friends ask if you’re on campus and want to chill. Send pictures of work back to them with sad faces. 

5:13: Customers assume that you know their children who also attend VCU, and talk about how much they love living on campus. Grit teeth and smile and nod. 

6:49: Hungry. Eats granola bar and Jif-to-Go cup of peanut butter. Buys penny candy and pretends like food isn’t necessary.

7:22: Really hot customer comes in. Stare at him while coworkers try to converse, nod and pretend to listen to them while keeping eyes of Poor Pretty Sick Boy. 

8:30: Perfect, no one’s here, time to study flashcards.

8:31: Suddenly, three people show up and want to wait on new prescriptions. Reminds them that store closes in half in hour. None of them seem to care.

8:54: Gives up on studying. Who really uses the imperfect tense in Italy, anyway?

8:59: Get out of the store, sir. Hallmark cards will be there tomorrow.

9:16: Arrives home after work. Momma is at the door and has a lot on her mind.

10:28: Finally upstairs, throws gym bag in laundry basket and puts on pajamas. The moment butt hits the mattress is best relief in the world. 

11:24: The five minute Facebook trip has turned into forty minutes. Too late to work on readings at this point and gives up on sociology anyway.

11:41: Sets alarm to go off at 6:30 the next day. Yay for another hour to sleep in while still waking up too early! 

11:45: Brother opens door and walks into room and begins talking about his day, despite the fact the lights are off, he rambles on for a couple minutes. Trying to be a good sister and sleep are not going to happen in the same night.

12:13 AM: Lol jk can’t sleep when remembering about Red Eye and First Fridays the next day.  

The Old and the New

So I’ve finally attended all of my classes, from yoga to sociology, seen (almost) all of my old friends, and have gawked at the cute, tattooed, hipster boys. I think it’s safe to say that I’m back home at VCU. 

One of my first days back on campus with everyone around, I was on my way to the bookstore when I passed by a couple of cute boys wearing Grateful Dead t-shirts. I stopped them to talk for a couple minutes (really I was just trying to figure out where I could get a stealie top too, but it doesn’t hurt that they were cute), then they gave me a knuckle punch and left me with the words “keep truckin’ on” as we parted, and I yelled at myself for not getting their numbers. Ahh, back to normal life.  Continue reading