Vagabond Blues
Soul-less Cycle

I decided that my one-time-only trip to SoulCycle warranted a blog post, so here it goes…

There’s a new craze and we’re all victims – but only if you meet the white and rich pre-requisites. SoulCycle is a “high impact” exercise class where everybody spins together on stationary bikes and matches their pace to the beat of loud music.  On a scale of “trendy,” this activity has surpassed frozen yogurt.  




My experience was an interesting one. I thought it was ridiculous from the beginning to charge people $40/class to get a decent exercise, but I’d heard about a $20 beginner class, so I took advantage of it. Everybody was talking about how much fun they were having.  Side note: the class is 45 minutes long, which means you pay virtually $1/minute to be there. I’m not counting pennies or anything, but I could get like, three excellent burgers for that price. Burgers > spinning. Every time.

  Anyway, I told my friend I’d meet her at the Upper East Side location. I approached the establishment and my worst nightmare starting closing in on me – other 20-something girls in head-to-toe lululemon spandex, neon gym shoes, and perfectly manicured hands…but no eye make-up.  

(For those of you who’ve never heard of lululemon, I implore you to visit their website. Mind-boggling.)





Feeling overwhelmed and out of place, I decided to grab some coffee across the street before I subjected myself to the depths of exercise hell.  Ahh The Coffee Bean. Much more my speed.  Unfortunately, it also happens to be a hangout for spinners after their classes.  All the 20-something girls get their lattes and talk about how sore they’re going to be the next day.  I identified two people I knew as soon as I walked in the door: SHIT – I know that girl. AND THAT GIRL. Get me the fuck out of here. (The constant state of my mind is always in panic mode, apparently.) Seriously, though…I’ve never once seen a celebrity walking the streets of Manhattan, which is why celebrities like Manhattan. Why am I spotting people I’ve known from the past on this random street corner? We don’t hang out or see each other for a reason, AMiRight? I digress.



I sat outside the Coffee Bean for 15 minutes prior to my class, contemplating the decision I made to follow through.  Here I was, sporting an old t-shirt, some $10 spandex that had traversed the Thai jungle (these pants have seen it all), and my liquid eyeliner perfectly intact.  Leaving the house without eyeliner is like forgetting to wipe your ass. I felt like many of these spin girls were trying SO hard not to try hard and were forgetting to wipe their asses in the most proverbial sense. I don’t know if it was the Upper East Side location or the general SoulCycle atmosphere, but I got a bad vibe almost immediately.  Isn’t that the antithesis of what SoulCycle is supposedly all about? Shrug.


Inside, girls were exiting a class and swarming me with their sweat-soaked designer clothing.  More panic.   When I went to put my belongings in an electronic locker downstairs, someone jeered at me for not knowing how to set a combination.  I sure hoped her cycling endorphins hadn’t kicked in yet, or else this was going to be a much longer day than I’d expected! 



Ten minutes prior to class, I stepped into the empty cycling room and I realized how gimmicky everything was.  The room was dimmed and a super-toned instructor with a Cheshire-cat grin greeted me.  She asked if I was “pumped.”  I didn’t want to appear grim, so I gave her a quick smile and told her I was a newbie.  

“You’re going to LOVE it,” she replied.  Was I? There was only one way to find out.





In the words of Kurt Vonnegut: And so it goes.  45 minutes of sloppy torture (I’ll get to why it was sloppy in a moment.) It wasn’t torturous because it was too “high impact,” but rather because my body is not made for dancing on a bike. Maybe the proportion of my seat to the handlebars was off – but it was uncomfortable and in my opinion, kind of fucking stupid.  We had to dip our torsos to the beat every second, and in different directions.  Have I mentioned that my torso is like 5 inches long? Not exactly ideal/comfortable for upper-body movement on a bicycle.  I’m sure all of y’all SoulCycle supporters are thinking one thing: I didn’t adjust my seat properly. Actually, I’ve ridden bikes since I was 7 years old. But thanks for your concern.  Something that was extraordinarily off-putting was the stream of nonsensical bullshit pouring from Cheshire-cat/instructor’s mouth.  “Feel the energy of those around you and FEED YOUR SOUL. You can do this because you were made for this. Hear the hums of the bikes around you – WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER.”



————————————————————————————————————

My friend and I agreed that we wouldn’t come back. I’m certainly not the messiah of exercise, but I definitely get a better full-body workout by running…and I can do so by listening to whatever music I desire. But that’s just me.  Also, I don’t ever want to feel like I need $90 spandex to fit in with my spin crowd.  I’ll take my $10 Target spandex any day of the week – holes and all.



I don’t mean to judge anyone who does SoulCycle, but I guess that, well, maybe I do.  Maybe what I’m trying to say is that bobbing up and down in matching spandex ensembles and being overindulged with musings about the contents of my soul… is not my idea of a good time. 
Maybe I’m just soul-less. Or maybe I won’t find my soul through synchronized exercise.  O
ne thing’s for sure: I won’t ever find it in a spinning class.  And that’s something I’m totally okay with.  My wallet will thank me later.

Over & Out,
The Beech Bitch 

Don’t let the days go by…

This week is good. I’m seeing some old friends and hanging out with some new ones. As someone put it today, I’m spending time with my entire social network in the span of a week.  But I feel lonelier than ever right now.  Especially right now.

I went to dinner with a friend tonight. We went to this pretty great Venezuelan place on the lower east side.  I had a beer, an appetizer, main dish, dessert and coffee for under $30, which is almost a myth in Manhattan. We talked about getting older and feeling older.  About traveling and making things happen. It was a nice time. On the train home, I sat thinking about where I’d be this time next year. In another graduate program, perhaps in another city, and not in my parents’ house.  That’s right. I’m 24 and I live with my parents.  That detail makes me cringe as much as anybody reading this.  I often feud with my parents about how terrible it is to enjoy my 20’s in their house. The conversation, or argument, abruptly ends with one or both of them asserting that they were married at my age and that I should “get the fuck out if I don’t like it here.”

So I got to thinking. I’m a product of their mistakes. They were married at my age, confined to their little lives, and lost.  They worked and worked to get somewhere different than the place they started. 35 years later, they’re still doing the same thing and have nothing to show for it. They are miserable.

I don’t ever want to be like that. I admit; I enjoy the finer things that this world has to offer — fine dining, expensive hobbies, excursions to far away lands.  I need a job so I can do the things that I like, right? I’ll go to school for six more years. And then I’ll get a job. And then I’ll have a family. And then I’ll be responsible for the turkey on Thanksgiving. Is this the answer to my equation? I’ll lose sight of all the things I once loved to do and all the places I’d hoped to explore. I think it’s my biggest fear. I don’t want to spend six years in a building without windows. I don’t want to take kids to the park. I don’t want to make the fucking turkey. Not yet, at least.

What, then, would make me feel whole? I have great friends & family (when they’re not driving me crazy), a wonderful and supportive boyfriend, and a pretty comfortable lifestyle. Yet, I find myself wanting more. I’m always looking at the neighbor’s grass (so to speak).  I think the answer is simple. I need to have some introspective “me” time.  I need to start living for me. I’m exhausted trying to appease everyone else. I was advised by my father to “become a professional” since I entered this world and I’ve been steadfast in that goal ever since.  I never stopped to think about what I want or what my motives are. The pressure is taking a toll on my personal and emotional well-being… and I’m cracking.

When I came home tonight, I felt lonely. The uncertainty of everything hit me pretty hard. But the palpable loneliness brought me back to life. It gave me something I’d been lacking: introspection. As Conor Oberst put it, “when everything is lonely, I can be my own best friend. “

It’s the first step in my right direction. Where I’ll go and what I’ll do is no longer everybody else’s option, as it has been for years.  I’m ready to start living for me. Whether that means taking a long trip or drinking excessive amounts wine on a week night or choosing a grad school 1,000 miles away from here, I’m going to do it if it makes me happier than I’ve been. The only person left to judge me…is, well, me. 

-D 

I’m an Asshole

Another day passes where I find myself pulling some of the most idiotic stunts to get my life back on track. I seem to find myself in the most ludicrous situations.  My friends and family are convinced that my life experiences could be made into a script for a Showtime or HBO comedy series.

I couldn’t even make some stories up if I tried. In fact, an isolated incident from today (aka huge mistake that screwed me up royally) had me reflecting on all the other stupid shit I’ve done within the last few years.

I remembered the time last year when, trying to maintain a fit physique, I decided to use an ab-roller for the first time.
ab roller
I was decked out in formal attire and just about to leave for a party, when I rolled my body out with the roller, tried to roll myself back in, and fell chest cavity-first into the hard plastic structure holding the machine together. I was short of breath. My chest hurt. I was sure I damaged or broke something. But mostly, I was fucking embarrassed.  I rushed to the hospital in a mini dress, 6-inch heels, and red lipstick. Surely, the doctors thought I was doing something more risque in an outfit like that. But alas, I was caught red-handed using a piece of exercise equipment from late-night infomercials. Prognosis: “bruised sternum, and…try staying away from anything that rolls.” 

Another time in 2010 I decided to hit the sauce pretty hard. There have only been a handful of times in my life when I’ve blacked out and those times are always the worst for me and everyone around me. I scream and say horrible things to people I care about, and then in the morning I try to re-connect the pieces of my hungover, miserable existence.  Anyway. In my senior year of college, I decided to drink so much that I fell through the front door of my house like the Koolaid man, ploughing right into the free-standing light in the living room.
oh yeah? oh no.
It toppled over me and the thud of my body hitting the floor woke one of my roommates. Shards of glass adorned the living room floor. Somehow, in my drunken stupor, I fell asleep in the pile of glass. I don’t know how long I was there, for obvious reasons, but I remember waking up to my roommate yelling. And the rest is history. History I can’t remember, obviously. From what I understand, however, I said some horribly explicit things to my roommate. My other roommate removed me from the situation and I woke up the next day with wine-colored vomit caked to my face and sheets. Shame doesn’t even begin to describe that night. Another excellent win for the books.

Go ahead…shake you heads in disapproval, because there’s a point I’m trying to make. Today was one of those days where I reflected on the repercussions of a mistake I made. I decided to check my class schedule for next semester so I can start making a new work schedule. At 6:00am, when most people my age are still rolling around in dream-land (in their tiny three-bedroom apartments in manhattan), I was a crying mess at the coffee shop when I learned that all my classes had been dropped upon late tuition payment. Upon further examination, I realized that one of the dropped classes is the last class I need to graduate for the MA degree and it is ONLY ever offered in the Spring semester. Panicked and angry at myself for not paying on time, I emailed everybody to get me back into these classes. While I was looking back on sent emails, I decided to double-check the time slot of the Psychology 101 course I am scheduled to teach next semester. I found another glitch. Not only had I been dropped from the one class I needed, but even if they were to push me into it, the class I’m supposed to teach OVERLAPS with the last 30 minutes of the class I’m supposed to take.

I was shocked, torn, absolutely devastated. But mostly, I was embarrassed. I made all the mistakes necessary to royally screw myself over. It was almost expected, though, based on my track record of shitty decisions and crazy stories of epic failure.

You can guess what happens next. I spent 4 hours and the better part of my afternoon sending hundreds of emails out to whomever could help. After all the hoops I had to jump through, I finally figured everything out and calmed down.

The moral of this larger story is that I screw up ALL the damn time. I’m an asshole. I often think about all the times I do silly, stupid shit. But if I’m being truthful, when I look back on these tales of humility… I laugh. They do make the journey of my life more complicated, but they also make it much more fun. How could I take that for granted?

humility 

Over and Out,
The Beech Bitch 

Grad School Sociability: The Good, The Bad, The Irreverent

It feels good being back. To maintain brevity I’ll just say that I’ve had writers block and absolutely no inspiration because my life lacked dimension for quite a bit of time. Who am I kidding…my life still lacks dimension. During the massive writing hiatus, however, I did have time to make some new friends and acquaintances in my graduate program. I know, I know…you are surprised because I’ve made friends. Who would want to be friends with someone so cynical and irreverent? 

Well that exact thought lead me to this blog entry. It had me thinking about myself. I’ve been known to share my opinions when they weren’t necessarily wanted or expected. When I first enter a social situation, I tend to tone things down and ease in slowly with my personality. This tactic helps people adjust to everything that is ME. This approach has worked graciously for 23 years of life: I’ve made some of the best friends a girl could have, despite being an absolute lunatic. I took this same approach into consideration for grad school and eventually came by a few people I could successfully call “friends.” On the other end of the spectrum, though, there have always been people who can’t grow to like me or choose not to. When I find out someone doesn’t like me, my initial reaction is typically, “FUCK ‘EM” (I take tips from Kanye).


Kanye

But then I do some introspection and weave a whole basket of reasons why I suck and it actually makes me feel badly about myself. That’s when the friends I do have come in handy — I fish for reasons why they’re friends with me again, and everything is better. It’s simple: they’re friends with me because I’M AWESOME (and totally humbled). No, but seriously…they all say just about the same thing. They explain that I’m loud and obnoxious, but that I’m a good person. Most of them would say that I’m reliable and funny, and painfully honest. And those traits simply can’t be appreciated by everyone. 

So where am I going with this thought? Oh…right. Anyway, there are people who don’t like me in pretty much every social situation. Work, School, Lab, Life. I decided to list and outline the types of people I am capable of being friends with based on their attributes, and those I am clearly not capable of being friends with. Allow me to demonstrate and support with analysis:

The Asshole: This guy just sucks. He’s an asshole for one of two reasons. One, he grew up with a sense of entitlement and he was always pretty good looking so his behavior is justified. Man, I wish I could use names on this blog….I’d have a field day naming some of these guys. Anyway, the second type of asshole grew up being bullied by just about everyone and finally decided to grow a pair when he got laid at 20 years old after a frat party. He is generally the self-loathing type, but the facade is just more fun to uphold.
Can I be friends with The Asshole? No. I’m too much of a sensitive bitch to deal with their shenanigans. At first, I totally understand asshole number two, but get bored with their dull jokes that are just hurtful and make themselves appear more grandiose than they ever were.
Assholes!

The Smart Chick: There are two kinds: The one who believes in a hierarchy (and she’s on top) and Modest Molly. I can’t possibly be friends with number one. Unlike the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz, I actually have a brain. But it seems that you like to embody the Tin Man because you are fucking heartless in thinking everyone is intellectually inferior. Does the smart chick like me? Modest Molly is more my speed. She’s the kind of girl I seek advice or help from, because I know they’re just modest and smart and will give me straight answers without any bullshit. She generally doesn’t mind me. But number one has a hard time understanding me because I have no tolerance for self-righteousness. And, perhaps they feel threatened. I would.
 

The Nice Guy/Girl:  These people are just. fucking. nice. It pains me, too, because I have a hard time expressing my true self around these people because I really seek their approval. I am straight up JEALOUS of these people!!! I’ll just use my friend Jackie, for example. She will most likely never even read this anyway, but she is hands down one of the nicest people I know. I’ve been friends with her for years and we are polar opposites, which is why it works out (I’d like to think). Luckily, she knows EXACTLY who I am (after many trials and tribulations) and I’m blessed to have people like her in my life to balance out the crazy. Do nice people like me though? Some do and some don’t. I’ve come to realize that the smart ones do because they understand my sense of humor and can accept that I grow to be kind….eventually. The dumb ones have no hope in liking me.

Which leads me to the last category. 
The Dumb One: I have a hard time not being mean to this one. It’s not because I’m the hierarchy bitch (discussed above), but it’s because I could make a joke about something so minute and they’d be offended so easily. These people are the ones who ultimately make me feel badly about myself because my quirky and pithy jokes don’t sit well with people who don’t understand them. They get offended, I get tagged as the bitch who made them feel bad, and it all comes full circle. Let’s just say these are the kinds of people who don’t make it too far into the “getting to know me” phase.
DUMBO

You know, that just about sums up my entire social experience…since I was old enough to care. I just want to emphasize that one person can fit into several categories, and other categories exist, but I didn’t care to include them (e.g. "The Fun One").

I frequently ponder the nature of man and where I stand on the spectrum of good and evil. We all have our idiosyncrasies…mine are just loud and clear. That doesn’t make me a bad person, though. 

Earlier tonight I was having a conversation with one of my newer friends from my grad program. I unintentionally offended someone in class today and instantly felt badly about my behavior. Sulking in my self-hatred, I told my friend Alice that if Buddhism were legit, I would be reincarnated as a huge pile of dog shit.

She explained, ”you’re not that bad. Maybe you’d come back as a roach. But one of those flying ones…because you have flair.” 

Suddenly, I didn’t feel so bad anymore. Somewhere in that half-assed compliment, my friend was able to justify why I wasn’t so bad. 

And that was all I needed.


Over and Out,
The Beech Bitch 

Dating Advice

How would you feel if I dated someone without legs?
-Liz Weinrib  

The Price We Pay for Simplicity: An American Girl in American Apparel

To you, me, and everyone we know,

Apologies are due to my readers and to my Tumblr.  I’ve been slacking on the blog posts, but only because I’ve been so busy with work and school.

Before I start my rant about overpriced t-shirts, I just want to express my deepest sorrow and concern for Japan. Part of me wants to completely ignore the news because of how depressing it has become (with Libya, Tsunami coverage, etc), but another part of me wants to spread the news and encourage everyone to donate to relief and recovery efforts. Here’s your chance:

Click Me

I’ve also looked into starting a basket of goods at work, and have suggested to my store manager that all the Starbucks locations in the region should participate. Helping in any way counts. Thousands of people have lost their homes and personal items, and would do anything for a blanket and some bottled water.  Do something great today and provide some hope.

——————————————————————————————————-

Now that that’s out of the way, I want to discuss an issue I have with a really trendy store.  American Apparel.

If any of you have ever stumbled into one of American Apparel’s sterile sites, you’d see several racks of solid-colored clothing, and one or two racks of patterned clothing. You’d also see signs everywhere that read, “Unisex.” Hmm. That one is always a head-scratcher for me. What size should I try? Is a guy really going to wear this? On my first visit, I picked up some goods, anyway.  A red t-shirt is a great staple to have in my closet.  So is an oversized hoodie.  I nonchalantly gazed at the price tags of each item.

$32 for a t-shirt? $45 for a hoodie?  I continued to look at the prices of other items on adjacent racks.  A black jersey tank top. $24.  A body-hugging pencil skirt, made from spandex: $40.  I couldn’t believe what I saw.  I was in a very neat and trendy retail hell.  How could all the people in this store, with handfuls of merchandise, really be buying this shit?  My next thought was to get the hell out of there and go to H&M.  I’d rather give my money to the Swedes.

Let me talk a little more about my frustration.  The mastermind behind American Apparel did something really marketable.  If you take a gander at their website, you’d see a bunch of girls with relatively average bodies looking hip in solids.  They make simple look fashionable and that’s something that everybody covets: Simplicity.  Simple looks are easy to layer and easy to dress up for a more fancy occasion.  Essentially, someone took the “little black dress” idea and turned it into a little black t-shirt, a little black sweatshirt, a little black tank, etc.  Then they did the same thing for red, green, and purple and inflated their prices.  Brilliant if you ask me.  Here’s the caveat…the clothing looks like it’s been sewn and stitched by a drunken amputee.  The fabrics are all really cheap materials.  Nothing is consistent, seams are all over the place, and things are already fraying before you wear them.  If you ask an employee why this is true, they will tell you it’s because “every piece is original.” I’ve asked and that was the response. Sounds like I just stepped into a huge pile of bullshit.  These same employees will also scoff at you if you are wearing anything that isn’t from their store, or GASP, something with a label.  I’ve actually been ignored by an American Apparel employee.  From what I gathered, it was probably because I wasn’t wearing a spandex ice-skater leotard and thick-rimmed glasses. Oh well.

I'm a trendy hipster!!! ”I’m a trendy hipster and that $40 t-shirt is an original!”

I’ve established that their clothing is made poorly.  How, might you ask, do I know this if I don’t buy it?  Well the funny thing is, I really like solids and I think they’re essential for a wardrobe.  This is why I do something called, “shopping in Karoline’s closet!”  Karoline, one of my best friends, happens to frequent expensive-for-no-reason stores like American Apparel (and Anthropologie).  She seldom ever wears anything she buys more than a couple of times, so I can always count on her for some American Apparel apparel.  All items handed down to me from Karoline, from American Apparel, have been some of the more comfortable items in my closet.  I turn to them when I’m having a fat day or a lazy day.  One of the pieces I have is a tribal African-print tube top dress that I tuck into high-waisted harem pants for an evening look.  The seams are absolutely horrendous on this dress and I honestly can’t believe someone would buy it, but since I got it for free, I don’t mind wearing it and looking a little off-kilter.

A couple of days ago I had an urge to do some online shopping.  My last-season spring and summer collection is looking a little worn and I was feeling down and in need of some retail therapy.  I decided to glimpse at the American Apparel site for shits and giggles, and to laugh at how ridiculous the prices are (I also like to laugh at some of the pictures. There are lots of random naked girls doing acrobatics). 

acrobatics!!!

I found myself ogling at sale items.  I was suddenly falling deeper and deeper into solid-colored clothing purgatory!  I spent maybe two hours trying to find the best deal on already reduced price items.  What a loser.  Yeah, that’s right…I just called myself a loser.  The girl who always hated on this shitty place was now about to purchase something from them.

I hate to admit it, but their stylish simplicity and comfort swayed me.  But I’d be lying if I said I paid full price.  Of course I didn’t!  The total cost for two items, a dress and t-shirt, came out to $46.00, tax and shipping included.

I still feel slightly pathetic and used.  And I’ve left my retail pride at the door.
But those bastards were smart.  What more can I say?

(Don’t forget to donate or look into local donation boxes for the Tsunami relief!)

Over and Out,
The Beech Bitch

Radiohead - Lotus Flower (Music Video) (via Traumweltleben)

Just a quick post today, a longer one to come later.

Everyone go here: http://www.thekingoflimbs.com/ and purchase your copy of Radiohead’s new album. I’ve had it on repeat for the last hour and a half, and I’m falling deeper and deeper into Thom Yorke’s infinite hole of melancholic, electronic goodness. You should be doing the same.

album cover

 

Over and Out,
The Beech Bitch 

Fashion Faux Pas Chronicles

I can’t help but pass judgment on what people choose to wear, especially if it isn’t in my repertoire of fashion. Ultimately, what you wear is how you wish to represent yourself and present yourself to others in the external world. It goes without saying that dressing in a specific way doesn’t necessarily establish a person’s true character, however, it’s within our human nature to scan the exterior of our peers to see what they’re all about.

Which is why you should never wear certain things.  Ever.  I liken a fashion faux pas to 80’s heavy metal hair bands. They had followers. But generally speaking, it was bad. And most people wish it never happened. (Note: musically, the 80’s really sucked – sans some punk groups and The Smiths. An entirely different post for an entirely different day.)
  NOOOOOO!

My thoughts of fashion snafus came to fruition on my eternally long train ride home last night.  I sat, typing away on my keyboard, listening to the cacophony of train cars hitting steel tracks, when a woman wearing WHITE leggings strolled leisurely down the train aisle.  She completely absconded my moment of Zen with her outrageously inappropriate camel toe.  I was horrified to say the least, but mostly embarrassed — embarrassed because my eyes were punished by the outline of her suffocated vagina, and embarrassed for her because I wasn’t the only spectator. I decided…there had to be an intervention, if not with that poor vagina-lady, then at least with all of you. Here I’ve created a list of things that ladies (and sometimes gentlemen) should always avoid wearing:

1)  Well, I guess you’ve figured out that white leggings made the list. Unattractive on a hanger and appalling on the body. I see your fat cells. I see your labia. I don’t think there’s ever a right time to wear white leggings. Period.
white leggings Labia pants.

2) Anything satin. Unless you’re a runway model, satin looks bad on you. It also looks cheap. And don’t even think about wearing under garments because you’ll be able to see every line, bulge, and pull.  It’s just a big ol’ NO for me. (Note: satin lingerie does not fit into this category.)
ugly satin 

3) Wearing jean jackets with blue jean bottoms. Unless you’re from New Jersey and your name is Bruce Springsteen, stop! We are VERY aware that you were born in the USA, and quite frankly, we’re embarrassed about it.
this is ridiculous. (how ridiculous is this photo?)

4) Lip liner without the lipstick. These women also fit in the generalized category of women who smoke and wear a lot of leopard print. What is the point in wearing the liner without the lipstick? You look like a scary clown. What are you trying to prove? We all have lips, but yours outlined like that scare away all potential mates. Think of it as a mating call gone awry. Stop.
 

5) Bad hair highlights. I don’t know who did your hair, but you look like Pepé Le Pew.  When your highlights are blonde on a head of black hair, you look silly and unkempt. It makes your hair look greasy, which makes you appear filthy. If Kurt Cobain wouldn’t approve, maybe you should reconsider this new-age grunge look.
 +

6) Chewbacca boots. I believe Shakespeare would say, “A shoe by another other name wouldn’t look as stupid.” I bet the creator of this atrocity was really stoned, and laughing maniacally at the thought of pretty girls looking like Chewbacca from the ankle down. If that’s the case, I applaud the creator of these atrocious things. Regardless, they should be wiped from existence.

 WHAT THE FUCK????

The labia-lady really threw me for a loop and I hope I never endure that visual pain again. But there will be others. There always are. I will continue the Fashion Faux Pas Chronicles at a later date, but for now, I want everyone to take a moment to consider their wardrobe options before they leave the house clad in humiliation.

Over and Out,
The Beech Bitch

Everything in its right place.

Lovers and friends,

Well that was a nice vacation from the blog world! I did most of my blogging during my six hour breaks in between classes last semester. I was indignantly swayed by bridge costs, so I stayed in the library.  I found that my blog was the perfect vehicle for complaints and daily musings, and before I knew it, a bunch of my friends and acquaintances started responding to what I had to say. But then the semester ended and napping was my first priority. 

So…I’m back now, ready to start a new semester and ready to start complaining again (as if I ever stopped???) But don’t worry too much — napping is still very much in the cards for me these days, especially before I sell my soul to academia once again…like clockwork.

I recently joined a lab, which is not only a requirement to finish my Masters, but also something I’ve been looking forward to since I became a Masters student. Subsequently, my lab work will be what I write my thesis about and I cannot wait for this milestone, especially because I am so fascinated with the lab work. To give a vague description of what I’ll be doing, my lab focuses on drug addiction and drug reward pathways in the meso-limbic region of the brain, which is associated with the release of dopamine in certain areas (for all you brain nerds, the VTA and nucleus accumbens). My lab’s primary focus is on behavioral sensitization and appetitive learning in relation to drug addiction behavior. Again, this is insanely vague and I could go on and on about my lab’s hypotheses — but I’ll just leave it at that.

mesolimbic region 

As I mentioned before, school is back in full swing this time next week and it really had me thinking about things in retrospect, up until this point in my life. I remembered my high school days, mostly. A bulk of my adolescence was spent learning grammar, history, math, and some form of science, which barely scratched the surface of anything I was remotely interested in. No one actually specializes in these subjects, yet, by 12th grade we’re supposed to choose some kind of path. (I, of course, was “undecided.”)

In 9th grade I took Biology, which interests me now. But when you’re a 13 year old pre-pubescent girl (that’s right! I hadn’t even had my first menstrual cycle yet), how can you possibly be interested in your pancreas? When it came to math, I didn’t know how to do long division, and though I always found history to be intriguing, my memory of who started WWI is blurry (although, I know it had something to do with Franz Ferdinand because I liked that band back in the day). I couldn’t excel in these areas because I was meant to do well in subjects that weren’t offered to me. (See: Philosophy and Psychology). We didn’t have social science or law classes. The closest thing to a business or marketing class was a half-semester of Economics, which was taught by the lacrosse coach. Let’s not forget that I was also psychologically immature. Ergo, I was thrown into the abyss of mediocrity….which is why, as unfortunate as it sounds, I SUCKED at high school. The kids who did the best on standardized tests were, not surprisingly, also the ones excelling in these ambiguous areas. For years I thought I was mentally inferior, and in many ways, I was. But what I realized as time went on is that we’re all inferior to each other in all aspects of life. If we weren’t, we’d all be robots. Being gifted in different areas is what makes everyone special. I just wish I had the confidence to believe that when I was in high school.

In the 12th grade I begged people to vote for me for the “most successful” superlative. I thought it was funny  to be up against the valedictorian of the school, but a large part of me also believed that one day I could be successful. I was shocked to find that others also believed it, because I actually made it to the final 3. Maybe others thought it was funny, but maybe they actually believed it. In the end, I settled for “most opinionated.” Shocking, I know. I still held on to the belief that one day I’d have the chance at success, whichever form of its definition, and my opinions would be as loud as ever. 

So far, everything is in its right place.

Until next time,
The Beech Bitch 

got any snow tires in there?

got any snow tires in there?