72 hours of madness

That title is way more exciting than this actual post, so I’ll totally forgive you if you stop reading now.

As you may recall, Friday was not so great for me. That night, I pulled up mediabistro.com and journalismjobs.com and proceeded to become very depressed by my options. Finding a job that I a) wanted and was qualified for and b) was in Cleveland proved to be next to impossible. I immediately began to panic and started thinking worst-case scenarios (i.e. living on the street eating a can of corn I’ve pried open with my fingernails that are now 6 inches long because I no longer have the will to cut them).  Instead of continuing my downward spiral into the realm of highly unlikely but highly terrifying possibilities, I decided to take my dad’s advice. Earlier that day when I called him and told him I lost my job, he must have heard the frantic edge to my voice because he said, “Just try to relax.” To which I replied, “Have we met?”

Relaxing is not something I excel at. I think it’s one of the reasons I was so attracted to journalism. Fast-paced, multitasking, deadlines—bring it on. I thrive on it. Even when I’m not working, I tend to stay busy. If I spend a day at home doing nothing, I start to feel a bit guilty. I was the kid who never liked missing a day of school. But seeing as all the shit hit the fan on a Friday and I had a three-day weekend ahead of me anyway, trying to figure out my next move before Tuesday wasn’t going to do me much good.

So I relaxed.

I slept late, watched entirely too many episodes of The Sopranos, binged on HGTV and took a nap Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I went to Old Navy and treated myself to some new clothes. I blew off the gym and ignored my piles of laundry. I drank too much coffee and made myself a double Jameson and ginger ale last night. I ate out. A lot. I had a milkshake and curly fries for lunch Saturday. I got brunch with a friend and devoured a glorious bowl of breakfast nachos. I decided ordering five enchiladas sounded like a perfect idea for dinner tonight. I ate two scoops of heavenly ice cream from Mitchell’s that dripped down my hands.

None of these things are particulary adventurous, but the fact that I didn’t spend all weeking searching for jobs, looking into health care and giving myself even more gray hairs is pretty damn great. All that stuff will come soon enough. But for 72 hours, I decided to stop worrying. It’s the best decision I’ve made all weekend. (Although those nachos were pretty epic.)

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Diary of the unemployed

“Americans don’t expect anything bad to happen and are surprised when it does, while the rest of the world expects the worst and are not disappointed.”
-Svetlana Kirilenko, The Sopranos

This wasn’t a blog post I expected to be writing. I’ve been staring at my computer screen for a good five minutes, trying to figure out how to start it. Seeing as I just finished the episode of The Sopranos that the above quote is from, I figured I’d start with that. (When in doubt, look to the wise, Russian woman.)

I lost my job yesterday.

The good part: I left on good terms. My fellow editors have been nothing but supportive and helpful. It was a crappy situation, but I knew the ups and downs of journalism when I signed up for it. It’s not an easy field, and it gets even tougher as the internet grows and print falters. 

The bad part: I lost my job yesterday.

I absolutely loved my job. I’ve wanted to work there since I was 15. I spent a lot of time crying yesterday evening. When I got home after packing up my office—which, by the way, takes an obscenely and uncomfortably long time—I took a nap. When I woke up, I remembered what happened, and the shock hit me all over again. I’m not someone who does well with change, especially change I can’t control. I don’t know what I’m going to do or where I’m going to work. I can’t imagine doing anything else besides writing, but I also can’t imagine living anywhere else but Cleveland. Cleveland’s a big city, but the journalism opportunities are still tight, so I plan on putting out the calls for some freelancing gigs. (If you know of any magazines/newspapers/websites looking for writers, leave me a comment.)

Regardless, I’m not going to end this post on a sad note. I had enough of that yesterday. So, I’ll just end with something from Mr. Keourac.

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When I’m dead I’ll rest

Say Anything-Is A Real BoyYesterday Say Anything’s album …Is A Real Boy turned 10 years old. Amid all  the day-to-day hubbub that seems to occupy more and more of my brain space—appointments, never-ending grocery lists, the growing stack of folders on my desk at work—a record that means quite a bit to me celebrated a decade of existence. Depending on who you ask, album anniversaries are either momentous occasions to be celebrated or wildly overhyped dates. I probably fall somewhere in the middle—except in the case of Say Anything.

I could talk for hours about how much this band and the brainchild behind it, Max Bemis, mean to me. They are, by far, my favorite modern band. So regardless of how I feel about most album anniversaries, by sheer default, I was pretty excited yesterday. But I was also hesitant to write anything about it. After all, I’d already written an official piece on the importance of the album in the September issue of AP. Did I really need to write something else? Did it matter?

If you’re reading this, you already know the answer, but in case you just joined us: yes. Sure, maybe 10-year anniversaries (or anniversaries of any kind) are kind of arbitrary, but it’s important to acknowledge the songs and albums and bands that changed our lives. At the end of the day I won’t remember the appointments, the never-ending grocery lists and the growing stack of folders on my desk at work. But I’ll always remember how I felt when I first heard …Is A Real Boy. That’s just what a great album can do for you.

Thanks for that, Max.

 

 

Charleston is nice this time of year

90 percent of the time I’m incredibly happy for my friends and their accomplishments. But when those accomplishments take them away from me, that other 10 percent of me gets a little unhappy. All the sudden I have an overwhelming urge to gather up all my people, move them into a giant house and tell them they’re never allowed to leave me. (Of course in this fantasy, the house is a mansion with two pools, a live-in chef, a sauna and a gym so how could they possibly want to leave?)

Whitney is leaving Ohio for Charleston, South Carolina. With her goes her wonderful husband Tim and their adorable pooch Sadie. I met Whitney in college when she pledged the sorority I was in. We both ended up quitting the sorority when we realized we preferred the company of a few to the company of two dozen, gossipy, petty girls.

I’ve never been good with change. I’m stubborn and stuck in my ways. It takes me time to process new things. But regardless of my desire to kidnap all my friends, I’m incredibly happy for and proud of Whitney and Tim. They’re moving to Charleston to open their own food truck–something I could never imagine. I love their spontaneity (even if it takes them away from me). I’ve always been a big proponent of following your dreams. I was luck enough to find my dream job, and I’m so happy that they get to follow theirs.

I’ve been with Whitney through college, post-college life and her first year of marriage. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
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A gentle reminder

katie heaney

“I just don’t know how anyone deals with their bodies. I catch myself worrying about what my arms are doing when I am walking alone, and that is just walking. Alone. So I am a basket case, generally, and picky, and have almost always had crushes on people who usually don’t have crushes on me, and it’s rare that I’m so attracted to a stranger that I could imagine having sex with him at the exact moment. And even when that has been true, I am only able to talk about thinking about it, from a safe distance. I have no idea what I’d actually do about it. But generally speaking, I’d like to date someone, at least a little, first. Add all this to my somewhat looming height, an unintentional bracing hostility toward people I don’t know well, and an end to the era in my life when I might have felt the need to do something the first time to get it over with, and it’s not hard to end up a twenty-five-year-old who hasn’t had sex.”

Thank you, Katie Heaney, for reminding me that no matter how alone and awkward I feel, I am indeed not alone, that there are in fact many awesome women just like me. Thanks for letting me know that timelines are bullshit, and everyone experiences things differently and at different times. Thanks for readily admitting that you often like boys who are wrong for you (even though they seem so perfect). Thanks for agreeing with me that men are the most confusing species ever. Thank you for your feminist leanings, your self-deprecating humor and your love for Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Thanks for reminding me that having two-thirds of my life figured out is pretty fucking great. The other third will come with time.

How not to suck at online dating

ryan gosling

Last December, I grudgingly decided to give online dating a try. (Does anyone ever happily give online dating a try?) I’ve been told I can come off a bit intimidating or disinterested to people who don’t know me, so I figured I’d have better luck meeting a potential suitor  through the internet rather than in person.

I haven’t met the man of my dreams yet, but I have come across plenty of men I want nowhere near my dreams. I thought I’d help the uninformed male masses and give them a few tips on what not to put in your online dating profile. What can I say? I’m a giver. (I’m also considering this my annual good deed, so I hope I don’t run into any old ladies who want me to help them across the street.) Keep in mind that these are all my opinions, but I have talked to several of my girlfriends about the woes of online dating, and we tend to agree on many of these–except Oxford commas; that’s 100 percent my OCD ass.

1. In your profile, don’t tell me to “swipe to the right” or “like” you. If anything it just makes me want to move past your page even quicker.

2. Stop lying about being outdoorsy. If I had a dollar for every guy I saw on OkCupid with “I love the outdoors” in his profile, well, I wouldn’t have to be on OkCupid because I would have had enough money to buy me a mail-order husband. As someone whose favorite outdoor hobby is drinking on patios, I find it hard to believe that a large percentage of men in Northeast Ohio love the outdoors that much. Have you been outside recently? It’s either 82 degrees or 35 degrees. No thank you.

3. Stop whining. I don’t care that you’ve had trouble finding love, your ex broke your heart or girls never like the nice guys. You’re wrong. We do like the nice guys. We don’t like whiners.

4. Enough with the shitty pictures. To quote my online-dating-partner-in-crime: “It’s 2014. There’s no reason you should have a low-res picture.”

5. Don’t post pictures of yourself with 12 of your closest friends. I’m not interested in comparing photos trying to figure out which one is you.

5. Don’t post pictures with a girl in them. How am I supposed to know she’s your sister? And who posts pictures with his sister in them on a dating website?

6. Don’t post pictures with children in them. Look, I get what you’re trying to do here. You’ve been told that women are suckers for men with babies. But please stop doing this. If the kid in question is yours, well that’s a whole other issue that I don’t have the emotional capabilities to deal with at this current time. If the kid in the picture isn’t yours, then you’re just some weirdo holding someone else’s baby because you think it makes you look like a more attractive mate.

7. But do post pictures with your dog in them. ‘Cause puppies, duh.

8. Learn to fucking spell. You’ve got maybe 150 words to tell me about yourself. Anything longer, and I’ve likely stopped reading. Every one of them should be spelled correctly. Misspelled words tell me you don’t give a shit, so why should I give a shit about you?

9. Oxford commas are not okay. I’m convinced there are some twisted fucks at OkCupid who get a thrill out of messing with my journalistic sensibilities by matching me with guys who specifically mention how much they love Oxford commas in their profile. Not cool, internet. Not cool.

10. Don’t start a message with “Hey sexy/beautiful/gorgeous,” and especially don’t start the first message you send to someone with any of those terms. It’s just weird and makes you sound like a total jabroni.

Six years ago

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Last Tuesday my blog turned six years old, and I decided to mark the occasion with a post about all the shit that gets my goat. Some people celebrate anniversaries with flowers, I celebrate with hate lists. (By the way I’d like to add to that list: group texts that go past six messages and every fucking pothole in Cleveland.)

As much as I love a good bitch festt, I figured I should mark my blog’s anniversary with something a bit less… hateful. When I started this blog I was 19 and a college sophomore. A lot has changed since then, and with all change comes lessons learned. Some lessons were easier than others. Some I’m still struggling with. Here’s a short list of things I’ve learned in the past six years.

1. No matter how old you get, your mother will always know when you’re upset, tired, hungry or on your period.

2. You won’t get to talk to or see some of your friends as much as you used to. It’s a tough adjustment, and it requires work to maintain friendships as you get older, but the good ones stick around.

3. Ohio isn’t so bad.

4. Boys will continue to break your heart.

5. Some trends (crop tops, high-waisted anything, gladiator sandals) will never look good on you.

6. Swimsuit shopping still sucks.

7. No matter what anyone says–even your friends who swear “they’re just trying to help”–never change who you are just to please a man.

8. A well-placed “that’s what she said” never gets old.

9. It’s important to do what you love, even if the path to it is less than smooth.

10. Get as many tattoos as you want, but be smart about it.

11. The bad news: You’ll always struggle with your weight. The good news: You’re not alone.

12. Exercising will never be something you love–although you might come close to enjoying it once in a while–but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

13. Keep writing.

14. Keep reading.

15. You’re just not meant to be a sorority girl, and that’s totally fine.

16. Your parents were right: Student debt is a nightmare. Silently thank them for forcing strongly encouraging you to pick the college that offered you the most financial aid, therefore graduating debt-free.

17. Your brothers will continue to drive you crazy, but you’ll learn to get along with them more the older you get.

18. Some bands you never outgrow.

19. It’s okay to mess up. (Keep telling yourself this.)

20. Take care of yourself first.