Flashback Friday: Seven Minutes in Heaven-Help-Me

Image courtesy of Popsugar Fitness

I am, quite possibly, the laziest, weakest bish on this planet. You think you might be the crowning winner of this coveted title? Just wait, you will be voting for this fatty real soon. 

I was sitting at a work training a few weeks ago. As usual, I was eavesdropping. Two super fit women were discussing this free app that follows you through a seven minute workout. Seven minutes. 

Gurrrrrl, that’s so my kind of workout. Forget those hour long, sweat and puke sessions at the yoga studio. Forget the bike rides around the block that take me the rest of the night to recover from. Forget spending my hard-earned Netflix and chill with Ben & Jerry time on being uncomfortable and sweaty. Eff.that.noise. 

So, obviously I downloaded the app and gave it a whirl. 

I imagined myself looking exactly like the fit chick in the video, because in seven minutes I can do anything. 

Anything. 

Actually, seven minutes is a long time. I can’t do anything in seven minutes. 

Well, I did something, but it looked nothing like the stupidly svelte girl in the video. I didn’t look a thing like the girl who didn’t even break a sweat. The girl who doesn’t even need to do seven fucking minutes of fitness. 

This was the breakdown of my seven minutes of shame:

Oh, this is easy!! I can do a million of these over-the-head-body-ball-things.

I can feel my abs growing stronger and stronger. Also, my arms are stupid strong. 

Actually, my arms are limp noodles and I don’t like this. 

My arms are going to fall off and I’m going to die. 

*looks at app timer on phone*

No effing way it’s only been 45 seconds. 

Hold up. 

My timer has to be glitching. *spends 30 seconds checking*

Oh, phew! The next exercise. Thank God. I almost puked. 

Um, I can’t balance on a ball on my side and lift my leg. Like, that’s humanly impossible. 

*awkwardly spends entire time devoted to ball balance exercise trying to get on ball*

What a friggin joke. I’d like to see anyone but Extreme Exercise Girl balance on a ball like that. 

Oooh, a lay down one! I totally rock the socks off lay-down-fitness. 

Ow. These hurt my virgin tailbone. 3 is good. 

Yussss! Another lay down one and all I have to do is lift my legs into the air as I hold myself up, balancing my gut on the ball. 

Simple. 

Not simple. 

OK. That was a barf burp. 

Gross. 

I’m feeling insanely sweaty. I’m gonna skip the push ups to take off my bra. I don’t want to sweat in my bra. I just washed it two months ago. 

*exerts more energy in taking off sweaty bra than in the entire workout*

I’m feeling much better. That break gave me the oomph I needed to get me through. 

I bet I only have a minute or two left. I can do this and finish strong! 

*glances at phone*

It’s been three fucking minutes???? 

I think I’ve given this all I’ve got. Besides, I’ve worked so hard, I’m literally seeing stars. 

I bet it’s not medically safe for me to workout.

Well, I think I’m done. Seven minutes is the maximum amount, and it takes time to get to that level of endurance. 

Exactly. 

I’ll get there eventually. 

Guys, I half-assed my way through three minutes of a seven minute workout. 

I couldn’t even make it through seven minutes of physical activity.

I’m a lost cause. 

Seven minutes of exercise can suck it when there can be s’mores instead (Don’t even start with your, “But, you can have both” BS. Shhh. Let people enjoy things).


The biggest bold-face lie I’ve ever told. My favorite is when I wear this shirt to Cold Stone.




WTF Wednesdays: Travel Tag Edition

The lovely An Historian About Town nominated me for the travel tag. I was so excited to be nominated, because I love to travel and I love An Historian. Not only are her posts well-written, interesting, and positively filled with gorgeous photos of beautiful places and things, the girl behind it all is just fabulous. Go check out her blog-you’ll love it!

Now, without further ado, my responses to some fun travel-themed questions:

What is your favorite place that you have visited?

Hands down, the U.K. and Ireland. My trip was seven freaking years ago, but I still think about it everyday, and I have tried to get back to the U.K. on several different occasions.

Is it possible to look any more touristy?

My ancestor-Lady Godiva’s statue was dwarfed by a Primark. I felt equal parts let down and excited. I really wanted to buy a pair of £8 jean shorts.

 

I also loved NYC and have always dreamed of living it up a la every.single.chick.flick in all creation, as a Big Apple girl.

(All of my NYC pics are stored away on my external hard drive. Sad face.)

Large cities, with tons of energy and culture, are definitely my favorite places to visit, but I loved being in the middle of nowhere, amidst rolling green hills in England. I also adored driving through the otherworldly terrain of the Scottish Highlands, and even though the road to Dingle, Ireland is crap-your-pants scary, the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula is unmatched.

I feel like there should be an “I Survived the Road to Dingle” badge.

Somewhere between Inverness and Edinburgh

If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

100% the U.K.! But, I mean, if someone wanted to take me to Japan or Italy or Brazil, I’d not argue one bit. *spastic winking*

Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

I’m such a city girl-the energy, the eclectic culture, the myriad languages, the food, the history… Also, I’m not a huge fan of sunburnt fat that turns into one big, ugly rash, because too much of my skin was exposed and rubbing together. Give me chilly weather, layered clothing, a coffee, and a walking trip around an historic city ANY DAY.

Buuuut, I won’t say ‘no’ to a beach holiday!

Just embrace the sand in your crotch and the sunburned everything!

Alcohol helps!

My top three travel essentials are: 

  • Obviously, my phone/camera is my number one travel must have. The best souvenirs I’ve ever gotten on a trip are the insane amount of pictures of every noteworthy (and, not so noteworthy-I have been known to photograph a random bench or ugly pigeon, because it’s a foreign bench and a foreign pigeon) sight and experience.
  • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and a travel-size hand soap are essential. I’ve never traveled somewhere exotic enough to encounter squatty potties or lack of running water, but you just never know what kind of facilities or amenities a restroom will have. Also, the very first hostel I ever stayed at did not provide hand soap or even paper towels. You just never know what horrors you’ll encouner. You.never.know.
  • A versatile scarf and a pair of Wayfarers. I know these sound like lame “essentials”, but when I’m feeling ugly as hell on the 6th day of crap hair, because my flat iron refuses to work with the expensive adapter I bought, a scarf makes me feel a little more put together.


Can you even tell my hair is greasy and I’m wearing zero makeup? See what I mean? 

Are you an over packer or an under packer?
Literally, I used to bring three full suitcases for a weekend trip back home when I lived in Elko. The pressure that exists when you have to decide what you want to wear before the day(s) in question is just too much. I can’t even. Also, sometimes my favorite piece of clothing looks hideous on me for various reasons. You just never know.

Before the trip I took to the U.K., I obsessively researched light packing tips and practiced packing the one bag I took. It was a real trial, and it took a huge leap of faith to know I’d survive if I wore the same jeans two days in a row.


So, I lied. I took three bags…

What is your favorite thing about going on vacations?

When I’m on vacation, I feel whole. It’s an indescribable feeling of just being. When you’re on vacation, you get to live a life that would exist if daily stressors, like bills and adult responsibilities didn’t exist.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh, my love!

I also love completely immersing myself in the culture and the history of wherever I am. There’s nothing more humbling than standing in a church built before your own country even existed.

Said church-St. Margaret’s Chapel

Would you rather go on vacation with family or friends?

Yeesh.

Either choice has its share of positives and negatives. Traveling with family means that there’s a pretty good chance your mom might pay for some of the travel expenses. There’s also a fairly good chance she might forget you’re a grown adult and remind you to thank “the nice travel guide”. Or, she might feel the need to chastise you about your frivolous waste of money on name brand deodorant.

Traveling with friends has its benefits in that your friends are usually more in tune with your level of fun. That might mean an adventurous competition to see how many museums at the Smithsonian you can visit in one day.


This was the day after our Smithsonian challenge. Someone had a museum hangover #8thgradeugly. 

Or, maybe, that means buying every kind of foreign candy in the convenience store and then going back to your hotel room to see who can get diabetes first.

Diabetes!

When you travel with your friends, there’s also the potential for a complete WWIII, nuclear fallout, because after being together 24/7 you can’t stand the way they chew their food or breathe.

Whether traveling with a friend or family member, just drink. Their mouth breathing won’t matter near as much. 

Either way, memories are made and that’s all that matters. Right?

What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?
Abso-freaking-lutely that would be haggis with ‘neeps and ‘tatties that my friend and her Scottish husband made for us while we stayed with them in Edinburgh.

It was actually amazingly delicious. No shit, I crave that dish on the regular.

My amazing Scottish friends! 

I’d like to nominate the following bloggers (please don’t feel obligated to participate):

The Wandering Flamingo
This girl is an amazing photographer, writer and blogger friend. She also lives in my favorite country, so I always feel I get to live vicariously through her photos and posts. Also, she is an avid traveler, so I’d love to know more about her envy-worthy travels. Please go check out her blog and beautiful photography-you won’t be disappointed!

A Walk and a Lark
Here’s another blogger bud who lives in one of my favorite cities-London! She’s become an amazing blogging supporter and friend, and I simply adore reading her blog! She is well-traveled, so I’d love the inside scoop on some of her favorite places! Check out Josy’s blog! I promise you’ll love it and her!

All Thoughts Work
This chick cracks me up. Every time I get a comment from her, I know I’ll end up practically peeing myself from laughter. I’ve gleaned that she’s an avid outdoors-woman and talented writer, but that’s all I know. I need to know more! Head on over to the funny lady’s blog-you won’t regret it!

Time Is Ticking – Votes Need Casting!

Happy Monday, beautiful people! I wanted to share Ritu’s post about the Annual Bloggers Bash in case you weren’t already aware of this amazing event. The voting has already begun and closes June 2nd. I was completely floored to find out I was nominated for Funniest Blogger. What an incredible honor! There are some incredible blogs and people nominated! So, please, take some time to check them out and vote!

But I Smile Anyway...

Some of you will be aware that last week Sacha Black announced the nominees for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, or the ABBA’s as they are fondly known!

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Amazingly, I have been nominated under the Best Overall Blog category!

The criteria:
This award is for the blogger who has the best overall blog. Who is the blogger that for you, excels in a variety of categories? Perhaps they’re sociable and engage with readers, maybe they share others posts, or have a writing style that keeps you coming back time and time again.
Whoever you choose needs to be an all rounder, a blogger that for you is head and shoulders above the rest.

Flattered? Why yes of course I am!

Nervous? Hell yeah! Have you seen my competition? There are some amazing HUGE blogs in the running, and I count some of the bloggers as friends, not the competition!

Still…

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Flashback Friday: Catharsis

Elko 2

I wanted to share a piece I wrote about Elko for this week’s #fbf. I wanted to include this in my BuzzFeed application, but it wasn’t enough words. Also, it’s the first piece my mom asked about when I told her I had to send in some of my writing. 

Any time the seasons change, I think of Elko. So, I’ve been thinking of it a lot lately. 

It can’t be explained by one key event or moment. It was a series of moments, feelings, awakenings. It was carried by the electrically charged breeze during a thunderstorm. It was kicked up and then settled, into the cracks and crannies of my brain, like the dirt from the road. It came to me, pungent, in through the window, smelling of wet sagebrush and desert. It was changing oak leaves in the fall. The smell of coffee and wet pavement. It was the green hills in the spring. The thick, silent snowflakes in the winter. It was stillness. Jack rabbits. The moon and the stars. It was fresh, plump grapes. Fried chicken and biscuits. It was peace. Sleep. Renewal. It was faraway, twinkling lights, signaling home. It was something, somewhere, everything, always. It was Elko.

WTF Wednesdays #13: BuzzFeed Edition

Holy shit, ya’ll! I did something crazy! Last Friday, I sent my application to BuzzFeed London for a summer Writer Fellow position!

I think I hinted at engaging in something that could be a life-changer in my Wednesday post last week. I figured I had better explain further.

After an especially stressful day teaching, I started searching for writing gigs. I was suddenly struck with the thought, “What about BuzzFeed?” So, I searched their job opportunities, saw the fellow program in London, and was just like, “HOLY SHIT. YES!”

Not only is this gig in my favorite city that just happens to reside in my favorite country, it is a writing opportunity for the summer (I have been on the search for a summer job abroad). It really couldn’t have been more perfect.

I first saw this job posting last Monday and the application was due that Friday.

This wouldn’t have been that big of a deal for Last-Minute-Lorna (one of my many alter-egos), but the application requirements were intensive.

Not that that is a bad thing. I mean, I’d rather apply to an organization that only wants the best of the best than an institution that has no standards, but I had a week to get it all done. A week. 

This sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. It.really.isn’t.

This is what was required to apply:

  • 3 non-fiction pieces that are at minimum 1,000 words each (I sent Aerial AnticsLinda, and Felony Stop)
  • A cover letter including:
    • 3-5 pitches that the applicant feels are relevant and that BuzzFeed London would be interested in
    • 2-3 literary influences that have helped shape the applicant’s writing, perspective, and style
    • Career goals and what the applicant would want to accomplish if given the opportunity to work at BuzzFeed London

The pitches were the hardest part, and what I spent most of my week on. Not only did I want to come up with original (or, if not entirely original, a new, Fatty McCupcakes-esque spin on an existing theme) ideas, I needed to make sure they would fit within the culture of BuzzFeed London. I revised and edited precisely a million times. I also enlisted the help of my editor and two English friends who are also fellow writers.

(Somehow, even after re-reading precisely 8,457 times and handing my draft over to my editor, I messed up my numbering and there were a couple pretty glaring typos. Woes is me, I cunt count. So, likely, my application was immediately sent to the trash bin.) 

My literary influences and the write up I sent is as follows:

As white-girl-basic as it may make me sound, Sophie Kinsella is my writing idol. At a time when I was still young and dumb enough to think that getting myself out of debt snafus was as easy as having an upscale yard sale, Kinsella was my spiritual guide on all shopping, love, and oh-shit-I’m-really-screwed matters. Her character, Becky, was a cooler, more British (like, a lot more, since I’m zero British), savvier version of myself. What I learned from Kinsella’s writing was how to reach my readers on a personal, relatable level. In reading Kinsella, I learned the fine art of self-deprecation-poking fun at one’s self and pointing out personal downfalls without seeming whiny or oppressed. Not to mention, Kinsella’s humor and hijinks have been the basis for how I’ve found my own writer’s voice.

The Twelve Little Cakes by Dominika Dery was the first memoir I ever read. In hopes of weaning me off Kinsella, my mom purchased this book for me at the Dollar Store, no less. She thought it looked meatier than your average chick-lit book, and it had “cakes” in the title. She figured it would be a win. For once, my mother’s literary suggestions paid off, and I was utterly engrossed by Dery’s life growing up in Communist Prague. It was in this book that I found the beauty in telling a story about one’s life, however mundane. Dery’s life was by no means unremarkable, but the real essence of her story was found in the simple goings-on of her family. Because Dery told her story in such a way that you could have sworn she lived right down the street, every word was like coming home. Dery’s The Twelve Little Cakes has been hugely influential for how I write my own beautifully mundane stories.

I was first introduced to Khaled Hosseini via the movie, The Kite Runner. Strangely, The Kite Runner was not my first reading of Hosseini, but A Thousand Splendid Suns. This books sits on my nightstand, dusty, but not forgotten. Hosseini was my first introduction into the beautifully chaotic Middle East and the misunderstood Islam faith. Before having read a book on the topic of Islam, written by a Muslim author, I was blind. After delving heart first into A Thousand Splendid Suns and then devouring book after book on the Middle East, I am now intoxicated by the rhythmic prose and haunting stories of suffering, love, and loss found in Hosseini’s books. As a writer, I have learned from his books how to tell a deeply complex and emotionally charged story with only a few words.

I am hoping that my three literary influences show that I am complex, a deep thinker, and am open to new perspectives, and not just a basic, white bitch. Because, as much as I am basic, I am multifarious.

So, now I wait.

Honestly, it was most likely a crap shoot, a shot in the dark, a first step of many yet to come. But, a part of me is holding out hope that I somehow stood out among the thousands of others applicants. And, those applicants had worse typos than me. 

But, also…

I feel insecure sometimes about my ability. Do I even have an ability to write? Am I relevant, but original? Can I bring up serious topics without alienating my readers? Will I run out of ways to be an asshole in my writing? Will I fail to come up with ways to poke fun at myself and be self-deprecating?

Am I even a writer?

This is my deranged-self-conscious-waiting-to-hear-about-an-opportunity-I-really-want-behavior.

I don’t even know if the rejects will hear if they were rejected. I guess if it’s July 1st and I’m not on a plane to London, I didn’t get it. 

WHAT DO I DO IN THE MEANTIME? 

Just be glad you don’t live with me and have to deal with this on an hourly basis. My poor, poor boyfriend. 

 

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Flashback Friday: Whip My Ass Ass

Just today, I thought I’d finally join in on my student’s Just Dance brain break video. They always ask if I’ll dance with them, but I just say, “Oh, I don’t want to scare you.” That seems to make them stop asking, so I can continue to sit like a fat lump, wondering where my childhood energy and zest for sudden movements went to. I don’t know what came over me today, but I wanted to Kung Foo Fight like funky Billy Chin for some reason. 

Well…

It was a terrible idea. When I started “swinging with the hand”, I knocked over a stand, my coffee, and stumbled into the map on the wall, which made it roll up with a deafening, thunderous roar. 

All of my students stopped dead in their ninja tracks. 

Their eyes said it all: My teacher is so not cool.

This is why trying to find my non-existent moves is best when behind closed doors. 

I’m just so glad I didn’t let anyone talk me into joining the teacher talent show group. 

*shudders*

Behold, my last attempt at Just Dance:

So, my boyfriend has been going to personal training kickboxing three times a week (he’ll probably look like a white, mustachioed Oscar de la Hoya in a month-f*%#ing men), and while he’s gone, I hork out on junk and watch Netflix. 

It occurred to me that it’s not really in my best interest to get even fatter while my boyfriend beefs up. It’s one thing if you’re polishing off a package of Oreos, together, in stained, oversized t-shirts, in front of American Horror Story, and a whole other nasty animal to glutton alone, while the other is being punched in the stomach by an MMA fighter. It’s kinda not fair. 

So, I thought- what better time to drag out my dusty yoga mat and bust out a couple sloth-like moves. 

Side note- anyone remember the reason I started this blog-the yoga journey I kicked off like a bat out of hell? Or, more like a fat girl with no real idea that it would require an immense amount of effort I wasn’t ready to give? Yeah…that’s not embarrassing or anything. 

So, my yoga mat wasn’t just dusty from little use, it literally was crusty-hard from old sweat from my last yoga session, 45 years ago. It actually almost cracked in two. 

Well, I promptly threw it back into the closet and about gave up, until I remembered that I’ve always meant to be a breakout dance star, a la Flashdance (or more realistically, MTV’s Made). So, what better idea than to Whip/Nae Nae my way to fitness?

I don’t really have anything to say about my solo dance party, other than if you’re going to sweat it out to Just Dance, and you have as much rhythm as a flag pole, close your blinds, your curtains, and turn your lights off. Ain’t no one ready to see what you think is “dancing”. 

My Whip Nae/Nae looked more like “Quick/Call 911/I Have Whip Lash. 

FYI: flexibility is a prerequisite to whipping your whatever. 

I fear I’ll never be able to turn my head, freely, to the right again. 

This is why eating the rest of my Mom’s cream cheese pumpkin bars was a better idea. 

It’s like I never learn. 


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WTF Wednesday #12

It’s 9:15 PM and I just realized that I haven’t put together my post for tomorrow. I think I just outed myself as the kind of blogger who does not have their shit together. I almost never have blog posts planned days in advance. I usually get a wild idea the night before I post, and then I spend a few frantic hours piecing it together. Not always, but almost always. 

Anyway, this week has moved as slow as an eight-year-old when you’re late for anything, but at the same time, it’s speeding by far too fast. 

How I feel about everything this week!


Amidst a full week of state testing at school and trying to walk enough so I can eat dessert, I’m working on something that could be the most epic thing I’ve ever done. That, or it could be all for naught. No pressure. 

I promise I’ll be back to my usual crazy rants and ravings next week, so forgive me this one really lazy attempt at a post. 

Also, as soon as I can, I’ll share what I’m earning more gray hairs and an extra eye twitch for when possible. 

Since I might as well wrap this up as lamely and lazily as possible, I’ll now hand it off to you. Since reading comments are my absolute favorite pastime, let me have it. 

How is your week going? Any juicy gossip? Got any rants you need to get off your chest? Did you learn an awesomely random new piece of trivia? Anything. Let me know in the comments. 

Sorry I’m lame. 

Why Wine is Not My Friend

For this #fbf, I thought I’d share a post I wrote last school year about a time when I embarrassed myself in front of an ungodly amount of my fellow colleagues. Spoiler alert: I’m as graceful as a bull moose. 

The local art museum in my town is rad. Not only do they offer many lavish costume events (last year they had a Steampunk event called Honest Abe’s Imagination Celebration where you got to view the Emancipation Proclamation. Badass), but they put on educator nights that are free, and if you attend all of the classes in a series, you get an inservice credit that goes toward your license renewal. 

Even better…

They serve free wine and delectable hors d’oeuvres. Tonight, they had stuffed mushrooms, artichoke cups, spring rolls, and moist brownies, with chocolate chips, and they were a little under-baked, so they were gooey, and melty, and…

Right. I’m getting a little too excited. Moving on. 

Did I mention before that they serve wine? Free wine. 

I’m not sure if I’ve discussed my inability to be an adult after more than one glass of any kind of alcoholic beverage, or not. In case I haven’t touched on that wonderful aspect of myself, let me quickly explain. I’m a lightweight. I’m the cheapest date there ever was. Buy me a beer and I’m done. 

So, there I was, with my peers and colleagues, drinking one sensible glass of wine, and trying not to get caught going to the food table for the fourteenth time. It was grand. We got to drink wine and eat for free. Could there be anything better to a broke, stressed-out teacher? Nope. 

Before I knew it, it was time to enter the auditorium. The learning bit. I’d almost forgotten there was an actual purpose for my being there–other than eating 18 mushrooms. 

I wasn’t even halfway through my glass of wine, and the food and drink wasn’t allowed in the auditorium. 

One of my colleagues suggested I chug it. 

I knew it was a bad idea. Anyone else after one glass of wine would be fine. Untouched. Not under the influence at all. Me? The direct opposite. 

In fact, I refuse to drive after even one drink, because I’m convinced I’m sloshed. It’s just safer for all involved if I drink on my couch, in my sweats.

As the presentation was starting, I had no other option. I glugged it down, and we made our way to the auditorium. 

Upon entering, we realized it was the wrong side, as our school peeps were saving seats on the opposite side of the room. 

We turned  around to exit, and that’s when it happened…

You know those moments that are so momentous, in a good or bad way, that time seems to stand still, and when you do move, it’s in super slow motion? 

Well, I had a lot of time to think on the way down. 

There was one more step. I didn’t step up. 

Shit. 

Is this really happening? Is this real life? 

Can I play it off? 

Can I save myself? 

Nope.

Maybe this isn’t really happening?

No. It is. 

Thar she blows! 

That’s all folks! 

No! This isn’t funny! Why the fuck me? 

I’m not the kind to fall, I’m more coordinated than that. 

I’m fat, but I’m light on my feet, like a dancer, but in a spastic way.  

Really?! Is this really happening?

Fuck. 

SMACK. 

Not only did I fall in front of an auditorium full of people-fellow educators, when I made contact, the clipboard I was holding smacked the ground, making a God-awful “WHACK”. The sound it made, as I smacked the hard concrete, reverberated off of every available surface. 

Just in case someone was not paying attention to the prelude to my long and epic fall, that damn deceptive clipboard made sure as hell they saw the grand finale. 

It’s possible that there was still, maybe, one person who didn’t witness my moves, but my teacher friend made sure it was a right spectacle with her, “OMG! YOU FELL!” (no fuck), and… her snorting. 

I am never taking advantage of free wine again. Ever. 

During the entire presentation, I was sweating profusely and praying that everyone thought it was my friend, who was wearing almost the identical sweater, who made the grand entrance, and not me. 


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WTF Wednesdays #11: First World Problems

Let’s face it, when you live somewhere with all of the conveniences, you are bound to encounter a crap ton of inconveniences when those conveniences aren’t up to your own standards. That is just how it is when you live in a first world country. It may sound trivial and entitled to someone living in a less privileged country, because it is. (We’re assholes.) However, that doesn’t make these inconveniences any less annoying.

Behold, first world problems that really piss me off:

  • When my leggings always end up inside out when I pull them out of the dryer. I swear I don’t put them in that way, but they seem to have a personal vendetta against me. It is really inconvenient that I have to spend an extra two minutes turning them right side out again before folding them.
  • When the barista at Starbucks overfills my Frappuccino. Then, when I ask for a napkin for my avalanche of a drink, they look at me like I’m the asshole because I don’t want to decorate my car with extra whip Cinnamon Dolce.
  • When the plastic container my Boston cream pie comes in is like the jaws of life, so when I finally open it, the plastic popping open sounds like gunfire. Sneaking a treat at 3 AM is next to impossible without waking the whole house up in a panic. I was inconvenienced and embarrassed.
  • When my fat makes my underwear roll down inside my leggings. Like, COME ON, underwear. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. 
  • When I realize, after being at home for hours, that my WIFI has been off, and the dozens of puppy and Chris Crocker videos I was watching are going to cost me extra in overage charges. That’s not how it’s supposed to work, universe!
  • When the Starbucks drive thru makes me swipe my own card. You do realize that due to the way you have the card reader positioned, and the fact that it’s a good two feet above my window, I have to take my seatbelt off and strain my arm? Inexcusable. I’m a lazy, fat bastard and that’s why I’m in the drive thru. 
  • When my last bite of something delicious is ruined because I didn’t adequately prepare myself for it to be my last bite. Just take me out back and put me out of my misery. Fuck me.
  • When I buy a tiny piece of coffee cake at Starbucks, thinking it’s probably 8 or 9 Weight Watchers points, but it ends up being 18 effing points. I didn’t end up eating it and that legit ruined my day.

(I think I’m just salty at Starbucks.)

I asked my boyfriend what my latest first world bitchfest has been and he said, after thinking for precisely two seconds, “Hmm. Oh, I know. I love how you’ve been eating an entire tub of Tru Whip at a time for months, saying, “It’s only like 35 calories for 1 Tbsp, so it practically has no calories”, and when you actually calculated the Weight Watchers points and found out an entire tub is like 8,000 points, you were pissy for days!”

Yeah, that was a really sad day. I’m still in mourning.

So, let’s hear it. What are some of your first world problems, pet peeves, and annoyances? Let me know in the comment section!

Monday Musings

I’ve been feeling like I should be in England lately. I didn’t realize until just the other day that it’s been almost a year since I was offered a teaching position in England, and, after a really difficult decision-making process, declined the offer. 

I know, who decides against living abroad after being offered gainful employment? I know, right? 

I really struggled for some time after having made my final decision (I’m still struggling). I wondered how much of my choice was driven by my inate second-guessing, worry-wart, scared-to-jump mentality or legit financial concerns. 

I’m a huge fan of those girl-has-devastating-break-up-and-career-let-down-at-the-same-time-so-she-hops-on-a-plane-to-her-dream-get-away-locale-and-despite-having-eight-dollars-and-thirty-cents-and-no-change-of-underwear-she-somehow-lands-a-job-apartment-and-dreamy-new-man-chick-lit-books, because, duh. 

Isn’t that every girl’s dream-to move abroad on a whim and it’s just like in the Lindsey Kelk books? 

I’d like to hear of a real life situation where this scenario works out, because I had $800 in my pocket and I knew that would only get me as far as Toronto. 

When I first started seriously considering working on obtaining a teaching position in England, I didn’t think it would be so easy. Or quick. I figured it’d take a few dozen tries, I’d have time to really mull over legit moving to another country, and that I’d have plenty of time to save and get my finances in order. 

I was so mistaken. One minute I was dreamily planning how I’d decorate my make-believe tiny flat with decor from TK Maxx and the next I was using Skype for the first time, going over classroom management with a head teacher in Oxford (this was the first of two interviews I had. I didn’t end up getting the teaching position in Oxford). 

Let me just break it all down for you in an easy-to-read timeline:

4/17/16: Applied for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

5/3/16: Application for QTS was approved, received login to view/print certificate 


5/6/16: Emailed application to Stanwell Fields CE Primary School, among others 

5/9/16: Received email response from Stanwell Fields Business Support requesting I fill out application

5/13/16: Received email from headteacher inquiring about availability for phone interview

5/19/16: Phone interview with assistant headteacher 

5/23/16: Received voicemail from headteacher offering the job (I was too scared to pick up. What a noob)

I still have the voicemail…

So, in a little over a month, I had gained the necessary qualification to teach in England, interviewed at two schools, and was offered a position. 

Just typing this now, I’m feeling the excited, heady warmth in my stomach one gets when exciting things are on the horizon. 

It was all fun and games until shit got really real. 

Just in case the headteacher at Stanwell Fields ever reads this (though it’s highly unlikely), I’d like to make it clear that I was genuinely serious about teaching abroad. That is, until I realized I was crazy to think I’d ever be able to afford it. 

I had naively assumed that since England was in need of teachers, they would possibly offer a sign on bonus, much like many districts do in the U.S. when they have a teacher shortage. Or, they would assist with getting a visa. 

Nope.

Schools aren’t profit-driven, and the sad reality is that many are in desperate need of teachers, but have no extra funds to entice educators to move countries. 

Not that I needed enticing. No, I just had no money and thought I could move my life abroad with $800 and my already-reaching-the-limit credit cards. 

So, after researching the cost of a work visa (roughly $800, currently) and the cost to rent a one bedroom flat in the south of England (around $1000 a month), I realized I was in over my head. 

Despite the fact that the school offered me an extremely nice pay raise, the cost of living in south England, coupled with my current bills, that would be traveling with me, made it so I simply could not afford to live. 

Not only would I need enough money to live once settled, I’d need at least $800 for a one way ticket to London, money for a hotel or hostel once in England, a deposit for a flat, and funds for many other travel and moving expenses. 

My mom and I estimated that I’d need at least $3000 to move and get settled (and it always ends up being more costly than you calculate beforehand). 

Did I mention I had $800 in my savings? I’m amazing at adulting. 

It was really depressing. Really, really dismaying, and not at all like my favorite chick lit books. 

These were some of my biggest concerns:

  • The cost of living in the area was too high (I’d be paying triple what I was currently paying in rent)
  • Many available flats were unfurnished-I’d need to buy furniture (at minimum, a bed)
  • Despite the pay raise, due to certain taxes in the U.K., the pay would be roughly the same or less than my current pay, yet cost of living tripled 
  • I’d be too strapped for cash to travel (travelling to other parts of Europe was a big reason I desired to live abroad)
  • It would have been necessary to drain my savings and rack up further debt for moving expenses (I was already in a significant amount of debt to begin with)
  • I would have needed to sell my car after having it less than a year (if I couldn’t sell it, it would have been another expense I couldn’t afford)
  • I’d barely make enough to save for a plane ticket back home, had that been necessary or desired 
  • I’d have zero teaching supplies and shipping them over would have been too pricey

Regardless of the fact that I had very real financial concerns, I still feel like I let an amazing opportunity go. It didn’t help that I had so many people telling me that debt didn’t matter. YOLO and all that crap. 

Big decisions and I have never been friends. Usually, when faced with a big, life-altering decision, I just bury my head in red sand and fail to make a decision, if at all possible. 

I’m a master of the what-if discourse. I can go all day and go circles around anyone. 

Yet, deep down, I know I made the right decision for me and my present financial situation. 

I also know that I’ll never stop dreaming of England and doing what must be done to make it back. 

For real though, how do most people move abroad? Are you in a better paying field than me or did your company pay for your move? Did you get a huge inheritance?  Are you just in massive debt due to the move? Do you know some magic trick to making fast travel cash? If anyone who’s done it cares to spill the beans, I’m all ears!