A thankful girl

During the Thanksgiving season, we all recognize the things we’re thankful for. Maybe you sit around your table and mention to your family over the feast about how much you appreciate them in your lives, or be thankful that your football team is having a great season.  Personally, I’m thankful for a lot- flannel, the color blue and JK Rowling, but there are two things that really rock my world- my city and my school.

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Photos from the 2012 Folk Festival

Every morning, I leave my warm house with a mug of coffee and wait for my car to warm up on the way to school while I weigh the pros and cons of skipping my nine am to sit in Starbucks and look pretty. And as I leave my neighborhood, all I can think is that I’ve loved living here for sixteen years. Once I reach the stoplight, I pass the bank where the tellers know me by name. Buford Road Pharmacy is right up the street from that, where I personally know my customers, and the librarians at Bon Air library have watched me since my mom was picking out children’s books for me. Wow, I am the luckiest person to live in Bon Air, where everyone knows everyone. It’s not that everyone knows your business way either, like high school. People are checking in with each other, and we’re all on friendly terms. I love this place.

By the time I go across the Huguenot Bridge, I’m into the rich part of town and pass the old street I would use to go to my job at Sweet Frog. Yeah, Sweet Frog had it’s moments where I wanted to pull my hair out but Libbie and Grove was a neighborhood and I loved my customers there. Around this time, I like to reflect on how it’s barely been ten minutes and I’ve gone from the suburbs to the city all by crossing a river. Wow, I am so lucky to be a Richmond native, and I could never imagine leaving this city.

Only minutes later I’ve reached Carytown, and passing through all the eclectic, local shops and restaurants I am overwhelmed that Richmond has so many fine places for me to spend my paycheck that I can’t find in other cities. Your favorite restaurant is a chain? I’m sorry, you non-Richmonder, please let me change your mind in seconds with Joe’s Inn spaghetti, Village Cafe milkshake, Carytown Burgers and Fries, or if you’re feeling fancy, French delicacies at Can Can. You want to find something cool? Let’s go to World of Mirth, the only Need Supply Store on the East Coast, or Bygones Vintage. Oh, you only have $2 to spend? Why don’t we catch Despicable Me 2 at the Byrd Theatre? As I speed past the many, many more shops in Carytown, I remind myself that the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and my Saint Gertrude High School are just three or four blocks over- how lucky am I to have gone to high school in such a premier part of town?

I push the gas a little faster to get the green light and pass the Boulevard- and I’m immediately greeted by the Sunny Market where my angel Sultan saved the day for me when my car overheated a couple weeks ago and I’m reminded of the good in the world. As I finish jamming to “Blurred Lines”, I reach VCU, silently thanking the scheduling gods that my nine am means that I will always get a first floor parking space. I may hate running to Hibbs Hall in the cold, but by the time I get there la mia professoressa Vera’s lighting up the classroom with her Italian flair and I’m even more content. I’ll be meeting up with Sean and Vivian after this class, just like we do every MWF in the Commons, and they keep me entertained. I’ve got History 101 with Gavin after that, an intellect who interests me- we both advocate the importance of the humanities and he’s well versed in his field- canceling class once because he was “called in to Europe”. (Wait what do you have something secret going on on the side?) I’ll be meeting Alison, Ramya and Aayushi for lunch afterwords, thanking God for amazing new friends and just great people in general. I feel like after all this time, I’ve found people who really get me and you don’t understand how happy I am to be with amazing souls. I know VCU has 33,000 students and Richmond has a population of 210,000, but as I lock my car door and start making my trek across Cherry St, I feel like this school and city were made for me. Where else can I leave the city for elbow room in suburbs in fifteen minutes? Where else do I get to be around young, creative, and intellectual minds (and liberal okay I had to say it)? The best part is that I can be at a VCU building and cross the street and it’s a locally owned coffee shop. I just can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

 

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It’d be easy for me to complain about living with my mom, or not leaving my hometown for college, but why would I? I get to see my family every night, eat better food than Schafer and sleep in my own room for free. So, this Thanksgiving, be thankful for what you have- it’s easy to look at things in a negative light, but it’s a lot better for your mental health to look at what you have and say, hey isn’t this just beautiful? Because we’re all beautiful people, and there’s beauty in every situation.

Once in a while you get shown the light

In the strangest of places, if you look at it right

– The Grateful Dead, “Scarelet Begonias”

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Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy your pie and this gif, you awesome reader. I love you and I’m grateful for you!

xoxo

Modern Families

I don’t normally watch a lot of television- (honestly how do you people have time for it?) but a couple times a week I’ll watch Modern Family with Momma Bear and baby James (Sorry you might wanna click on the photos to enlarge and gifs to animate)

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And the last time I was watching it with James, an epiphany occurred- James is totally Manny (the intellectual little Hispanic boy). Smart, funny, and pretty classy.

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And I am Claire. Not only are we name twins, but she is living a couple of my dreams: rich (and cool!) husband and three kids, ultimate soccer mom, plus she lives in California.

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Claire’s quirky, she’s cute, and an ultimate soccer mom, but there’s one thing that’s stopping me from completely turning into her-she doesn’t work. I don’t care how rich my husband is-he can be freaking Bill Gates-I want to work. Teacher, art museum docent,  librarian-doesn’t matter, point is, I love working and being busy and if I stay at home I’ll probably still be reading Buzzfeed articles and painting my toe nails in bed. I’ve been working for two years now to pay for my college degree, and I have every intention of using it. (Plus how to do you expect me to prance around in happy history-ness if I’m watching the View?)

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Now I’m all for feminism, but that doesn’t mean I’m against marriage. I remember during my junior year, there was an intense rant that ran around Silver and Blue for about a month on why women should go to college. Everyone concurred-women should go to college- but the reasoning behind some of the people irritated me. When your husband leaves you-I’m sorry we don’t have to finish that statement. When? When?! WHEN?!?! I know the world is changing and divorce rates are on the rise but really are you planning the demise of your marriage? We people plan things like Thanksgiving dinner and trips the hair salon, not when we get divorce papers signed. I don’t know about you and your life, but I want to get married once and only once. There’s nothing wrong with wanting love and a husband (maybe I want more in my life that just cats, is that okay?!) and the idea of forever. I see a lot of elderly couples at my job who are still in love after getting married many, many moons ago and it warms my heart more than a chai tea. Could I maybe just please have that?

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This this this all I’ve always wanted to dance around in the sky with Prince Phillip or someone of adequate royal rank (Can we pause for a moment and recognize that Claire’s husband is named Phil?)

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We can take a tip from Modern Family- yeah they are all ridiculous, but have you noticed that they’re happy? From Manny with his black coffee to those polar opposite Duphrey girls, at the end of each episode there is love and hugs. None of us have perfect families, and the show is definitely trying to tell us that, and in the 21st century that’s okay. If your future self has a major flaw, it’s going to be okay because she’s a cute girl on tv and you can do whatever you want. That’s exactly what Modern Family is about-being content in your own skin and not being worried who cares. You know what? That’s the life I want to live.

School Boys

In the beginning, they were just on the VCU 2017 Facebook page. Oh look, how cute there are boys. Wait, they like good music and seem cool. Do I talk to them? Meh, that’s too much effort. I’ll stick to the girls. They all like chocolate and sleeping. Heh? Did you say boys do too? Well maybe I could say something or another. It’s just online, it’s not like I actually have to talk to them in person.

Then Welcome Week happened and I was so boy deprived I kinda wanted to just to hang out with boys. After four years of all girls, I was kinda fascinated by boys. What do they do? How do they act? Why are they so cute? Things sorta worked out when boys were fascinated by my cookies. (Am I a literal sugar momma?)

Next, I had my first classes (and the boys were there)! I’m not going to lie, I was a bit condescending in the beginning Oh look boys how cute are they trying to be smart and answer questions. But then when they did answer questions, they gave really intelligent answers and I was left in the back like what happened to you guys in high school?!?

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Now, coming to semester’s close, I’m left over here, burnt out in the corner, eating my food and wishing all the boys would just get up and leave. Yeah, you guys are all cute and smart and potential husbands, but I want to lie on the floor and talk to the teacher about our personal lives. Plus I know she or he has candy hidden somewhere and if you’re gone then there’s more for me. With you guys gone I don’t have to worry about sitting “lady-like” or whatever that is. And all of this shaving my legs stuff is stupid, I don’t have time or energy for that. Vivian and I pretty much gave up on that when you all decided to grow those creepy mustaches in November. I’m not into this societal constraint that girls should have nice, shaved legs. Okay I do shave just not all the time in the cooler weather it’s a lot of effort when you wear long pants every day (Hey Caroline I do wear pants!!!!!)

I mean, I really do like having boys around, I’m still just not used to them. They don’t have enough emotions. They also don’t do arts and crafts, so they loose points for that. Why can’t there be an all-girls class or two at VCU? Life would be so much nicer, stretching on floor sitting criss cross applesauce eating lots and lots of cake. Further proof I belong back at Saint Gertrude. Okay so, boys are pretty to look at, nice to hang out with, fun to bake for, just strange to have in class and dumb enough to not love me. Yeap that is it I have cracked the code so where is my million dollars and rich husband prize?

BdayGratitude

Hey guess what today is?

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ALL MY FELLOW NOVEMBER BIRTHDAY BABIES BE PROUD WE SHARE A BIRTHDAY MONTH WITH THE ONE AND ONLY MICHELLE TANNER

How was my day, you might ask? Quite splendid, my Italian pop star boyfriend made me breakfast in bed as well as a real seven plate pranzo, or lunch. Sitting on the banks of our beach house overlooking Capri afterwards, he played love songs on his guitar for me while I stuffed my face with lots and lots of cake and coffee. Torta e caffè.

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When I woke up from that dream, I made some waffles and drank coffee. But my birthday was still fun, Saturday night I hung out with my friends. I thought it might be fun to dress up a little bit.

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(After Saint Gertrude, where my make-up bag collected dust, putting on makeup kinda looks like this^^)

Birthdays are a funny thing. There used to be a magic that woke you up in the morning and flowed around you all day like Hey guess the stars dedicated today to me and just me so everyone buy me a cake. But after about nine or ten, the magic kinda fades off, little by little.  Now I’m kinda like, wait today is birthday? I thought it was Sunday. Does that mean I have an excuse to not do homework and eat more candy?

But anyway, I had fun. I’m so happy to have been with some of my close friends hanging out in Carytown/watching the VCU game in Sean’s dorm. I bought my friends dinner at Burger Bach and then we later had raspberry chocolate cupcakes (calories don’t exist on your birthday, no matter how many days you celebrate). And VCU won (duh), thanks Shaka for the nice present!

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(Don’t ask me who these people are I just found them on google)

However, none of you got me the seven foot tall giraffe or hired an all male a cappella group to sing for me, so now I must defriend you all. (Except for you, Mother. She got me goat’s milk lotion and cookie cutters that spell out VCU.)

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Expect this to happen next time at the Commons. (Except for Shaka. He can always sit with me. We’re still tight after the one time we passed each other on the compass and I freaked out while he ignored my presence)

But seriously, LOOK I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS EVER Image

For realz doe, how lucky am I that my best friend and I are living the same life of going to the same high school and commuting to the same college with our humanities majors looking for rich husbands? Plus, we both understand the beauty of good coffee and Urban sales

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My favorite couple/best friends. Proof there is love but constant reminder there’s none for me. Janey and I are quite excited to make Thai iced tea and other delicious dishes. Sean is the reason why I have friends.

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THIS GIRL BOUGHT ME A CONCERT TICKET TO THE 1975 AND TWENTY-ONE PILOTS AND WE HAVE BEST FRIEND KEYCHAINS WHY WOULD I EVER WANT BOYS WHEN I HAVE HER?! And we are job twins, enjoy praising biscuits, and are amazing at Baking Bad so pretty much we were separated at birth

I know you’re jealous now, these people (plus my other friends) are all pretty much

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I’m so fortunate to be loved by so many beautiful souls. I don’t know where I would be without any of you. You all mean a lot to me and I’m so happy to call you my friends. From the kids I met at Saint Edward’s when we were all fat and awkward, to the girls who made Saint Gertrude the good memories that it is, even now to my VCU love bugs, the people who I can really connect to. I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU.  (Don’t worry, I won’t defriend you. I will be accepting the all male a cappella group as a Christmas present)

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Thanks for everything Momma! Did you know the day I was born as she fought the hospital people about epiderals, my father watched Sports Center then went out to eat that night? At least she had me by her side then, now and always. You go Momma Mindy, I love you! (Plus she’s making me lasagna and bought me a sweater so my other one wouldn’t be lonely, so I should probably be nice to her)

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Me: Hey James guess what it’s my birthday!

James: Hey guess what–me too. Can I go on reddit on your laptop?

Alright y’all, I’m going to go eat lasagna then write my papers read Buzzfeed articles and be 19. Woohoo one last year of being a teenager! Is that supposed to mean something? Should I go pierce something or get a tramp stamp and be rebellious?

Nah, I’ll just keep baking. Here are the waffle and cupcakes recipes, my birthday gift to you (I know, I really shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t resist):

http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/2010/09/12/chocolate-raspberry-cupcakes-with-raspberry-truffles/

http://www.thebrasshalo.com/blueberry-lemon-ricotta-waffles/

Another Rant on Food

Most people don’t know this about me (and probably my mother included), but I’ve always flirted (not with boys) but with vegetarianism. I’m all about peace, love, happiness, and free food, so of course the next step is equal protection and treatment to all living creatures. Often in high school when bugs were spotted and everyone ran across the room a brave teacher or student killed it or whatever may be, I was the girl sitting in her desk, yelling like a crazy person to let the spider live because he didn’t harm anyone. (I can hear you all muttering “hippie” under your breath)

Sorry I’m not sorry. That spider has a right to live. Just like the chicken Tyson bought before they stuffed it in a cage and nipped its beak and claws (What kinda quality of life is that?) then gave it “feed” or whatever kinda antibiotics, chemicals and processed crap that will get it fat, not real food that chickens are supposed to eat. Which doesn’t really work out in the end because we then eat the chicken and get that gross feed mixture into our system (I don’t think that was part of God’s big plan). 

As you may or may not know from my “Identity Crisis” post, I already am thought of as a vegetarian, and the only thing stopping me going all out is a those small meat cravings and nutritional value. I recently read an article about how people should go for a veggie first than meat kinda mindset during meals (that ain’t happening but I’m going for it). So if I’ll stay an omnivore, I think I’ll at least try to go to local/organic meats and veggies. I love farmer’s markets, not only do they boost local economy and have great fresh fruits and veggies, and eating local is better for your body. When I told my mother this, she just rolled her eyes, Okay great my son will only eat McNuggets and pancakes and my daughter wants her honey local and refuses to touch Tyson. I give up now. I love you Mommy!

It’s hard for anyone to do so, especially in college. The Oregon Hill Farmer’s Market does a deal where you flash your student ID and get a $10 box of fresh, local fruits, jams, and etc (a big box, from what I’ve heard!) You can’t live off the local apples from Schafer either, it must be rough with a Cane’s there as well, but you do what you gotta do (Darn! Chick-fil-a again!) The local/organic is going to cost you more, but think about this: It’s worth more. You pay nothing for Cheeto’s which are nothing for you. My uncle has a little garden at his house, and is always making his own salads and soups and other amazing dishes with them. You go Tim! And for when you eat out, some places like Burger Bach are do that whole grass fed/local/organic shin dig and well everyone loves it. (Also, eat at local restaurants/coffee shops. They will be 1000% then any other chain you go to.)

Did you make it to the end? Are you still with me? No seriously are people actually reading this blog or do you just scroll through until you get to the gifs now? Should we start doing scavenger hunts and contests here? With cookie prizes? (They’ll be made local (by me) and with love)