Friday, March 28, 2014

secondhand high

first I'd like to say, ma...i now know what pot smells like. 

i went and saw a concert on thursday. for no reason other than i feel like it and #yolo and lazy sunday's leads to spontaneous purchases. i mean, it was grouplove. which, i love a lot of their stuff. if by a lot i can mean the four songs i do know. and it was at some hip new york venue. which, as it turns out, isn't that hip for new york. but it impressed the small town utah girl in me (ugh. i can't believe i just identified as a utahn. never again).

but no regrets. because it was awesome.

a new yorkers reality of an indie rock concert on a thursday night?
show up late--maybe halfway through the second opener. throw back a couple beers. then a couple more. just so your speech is perfectly slurred as you wobble around singing (sort of?) along to the music stopping to say things like "god, i f'ing love this SOOOOONG!" be escorted out by your girlfriend when you nearly barf. light up. throw empty beer cups into the crowd. realize they're not entirely empty. curse your luck but go back to screaming, pulsing, dancing, yelling. rave.

my reality of an indie rock concert on a thursday night?
arrive on time. even maybe a little early. as in before the first act even sets up. because, hello, i paid for the whole show. enjoy each act as they get progressively awesomer. geek out when the disco ball is lit up just as the beat drops. laugh at the people recording every song even though the alcohol is already making it hard for them to hold the phone steady. wonder when they turned the fog machine on. realize everyone's just completely high. watch everyone light up, no shame, puffs of smoke filling the air from below. sidestep drunk girls trying to get up on me. enjoy the music. like, epically so.

it was a good night.

Smallpools opened. they were pretty much awesome. listen to dreaming. wish it was summer.

wait half an hour for a set change. then MSMR came out. they killed it. i mean, look at how epic.   
check them out. dance yrself clean cover--love it. also, hurricane. 

and then GROUPLOVE. you know it's legit when the band files out to dubstepit would be legit when they came out to dubstep wearing LED hoodies carrying glow in the dark drum sticks. and then they dropped the beat and i would be forever changed.  
so i loved the songs i did know. tongue tied, colours, ways to go (talk about a summer song), itchin' on a photograph. and then i loved pretty much everything else. they are...crazy. slow was stunning. bitin' the bullet was probably my favorite of the night. totally slaughtered it.and then literally dropped the mic and walked away. because, hello, that stage got OWNED.
i tried to capture all their glory. but an iphone just doesn't cut it. i guess you just had to be there. ...but i shall gloat nonetheless!
it was seriously so fun. and crazy. and dizzyingly cloudy with all that weed--err, smoke/fog. and, yeah, everyone was wasted and high--on life, duuuuuh. and the floors were sticky with alcohol. and i was covered with beer. and i definitely smelt like...something after. but it was so fun!

even if i did do it the whitebread, mormon girl, clean cut kind of way. 

and i went to a cheese and wine shop after. so...just keepin it classy. all night long.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

who run the world?

i posted this article by Lindy West on facebook the other day. i could have just left it at that, except that i'm me and i just couldn't stop thinking about it. because i've been thinking about it for a while now, this question of what beauty means. 

people roll their eyes at me when i identify myself as a feminist. there's a certain stigma attached to the term--for whatever reason. but there are a lot of reasons and ways to be a feminist. for me, it boils down to something simple: women should feel good about being women.

i know a lot of guys--a lot of good guys--who don't seem to understand why i'm so up in arms when they call one girl out of a dozen the pretty/gorgeous/beautiful/attractive one. they cannot see how damaging it is to use beauty as a distinguishing feature. they could be describing one girl in a room full of girls, and say "oh, she's the pretty one." as if that's enough to differentiate--as if that's an acceptable differentiation. and it's not. and i don't bring this up to say woe is me, i should have been one of the pretty ones: it's that there shouldn't be a distinction.

and maybe that's outrageous. you might clamor and wail and say, "shelby, beauty is a real thing. some people are just more physically attractive than others! it can't be helped!" to that i offer a kind but firm hell to the no.

when you call one girl pretty and the other just nice, you admit there is a scale. and when anyone is put against a scale, it's no longer about what they can offer, it's about how they measure up. we are constantly evaluating each other, ranking one another against some undisclosed measurement of value and worth. and that's just sad. growing up, i always felt like i had to compensate for not being pretty enough. because i was never one of the pretty girls. it's a fact; that just wasn't one of my defining characteristics. and i have a lifetime of anecdotal proof attesting to that. a lifetime of being told i look beautiful, never that i just am.

how sad to grow up in a world obsessed with beauty and feel like you never fit in.

but the honest truth is no one is "ugly"--how can they be? when beauty is a construct built around mankind's ever-changing whims, how could we ever believe that beauty is tangible? beauty is arbitrary. more than that, it's complicated. i echo that article when Lindy West complains, "and, anyway, when did sexual attraction become the sole metric for physical beauty? is a sunset 'ugly' just because you don't want to f* it? what about a waterfall? a horse? ireland? a song?"

we give beauty too much power.

it's more than a ranking, a rating, a scale, a measurement. and, don't worry; i'm not naive enough to think attraction isn't a real thing. but we should all be evolved enough to recognize that attractiveness cannot and should not be based on or justified by some standardization of beauty. we should learn to recognize the attractiveness about everyone. the personalities. the colored lives. the human tendencies. that's what should be talked about. like lindy west says,
i hope that when [we meet] someone new, [we will] seek out what's beautiful about them, what they're good at, where they shine; not shun them for the things that make them different, not see nonconformity as a character flaw.
we are trained to view each other and ourselves in negative ways. and when women turn on women; when our conversations revolve around guys and thigh gaps and oh my gosh did you see her dress?, we build a complicated train of thought that perpetuates the world's limited construct of beauty. likewise, when we buy into this idea of there being an ideal attractiveness; when we weigh in to set each other against this scale of beauty; when we focus on the superficial, the physical, and discount the richness of diversity and the complexity of personality--then we begin to doubt ourselves and dilute the very things that make us interesting, that add color and diversity to an otherwise dull world.

there was an article in glamour last month that i really loved (trust me, i was surprised too). it's called "The 'Not Good Enough' Trap" which, as you all know, i feel strongly about.
we have to make a change now, to let go of the 'ideals' we've been taught to achieve, and to stop being ruled by fear. fear of enjoying our food...or of skipping the gym. and these fears aren't limited to weight; we also fear not being interesting enough or witty or funny or intelligent or strong enough. ...we have learned, or at least i have learned, to be afraid of being imperfect--and of being human.
but we are enough. and that's what feminism is about for me--making women realize, and men recognize, that we are enough. that we are different, we are individuals, but we are powerful. and we are more than some skewed dictate on beauty, some warped sense of value.

we are more than our dress size, our crooked teeth, our double chins, our acne, our cankles. infinitely more. we don't have to hate those impressively perfect people on the cover of vogue just like we don't have to hate ourselves in the horrific dressing room lights during swimsuit season. different sizes, shapes, colors, quirks, qualities--that's normal. and we need to embrace the normal rather than shut it out, believe in it over something as shallow as beauty. to bring it full circle, i think lindy west sums it up perfectly:
this isn't about culling conventionally attractive people from your tv screens. it's not about telling you who you 'can' and 'can't' find attractive. it's about decoupling women's value from their desirability, and embracing the idea that people are more complicated than that. you are more complicated than that.
isn't that beautiful?

...i mean, in a totally non-sexual way.

so be better than merely beautiful. aim for far more than physically attractive. every day, look in the mirror and tell yourself how awesome you are. replace the negative with positive. fill the void of insecurity with positive affirmations and reaffirmations. tell yourself you're beautiful. until you're no longer looking at muffin tops, uneven breasts, crooked noses, or bony knees; until, instead, you're just looking at you. be yourself--embrace that--because that is enough. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

life moves pretty fast

FOUR weeks since i started my job. how did that happen? wasn't it, like, yesterday that i was contemplating living in a box? but, yes, a whole month of stability now. stability being an operative word as i still dance on that sweet line between absolute poverty and fulfilled city dreams. i am equal parts shocked that it's been that long ("wait, how do i turn on the computer again?") and shocked that it's only been that long ("of course i emailed them. whaddaya think i am, dumb or something?")*
*please note, these conversations never actually happened. except the computer part. just kidding. i'm a big girl, i am.
THREE days since a few friends and i booked a tiny b&b for a weekend in the hamptons. because this is how we do it. also, it will be my birthday weekend. so this makes it even more #awesomesauce

TWO days since my coworker was laughing about reaching an automated message that told her to press "the hashtag" and she was all "that's for all those dumb 20-year-olds who don't know it's called a number sign! no offense, shelby." and i smiled sweetly, laughed lightly, tossed my hair, and said "oh, funny. but isn't it called a pound sign?"* hashtag THAT! #youjustgotserved  #call911cuzyouregonnaneedanambulancetotreatthatburn
*please note, this conversation actually did happen. and it was definitely hilarious.

ONE day since i saw my first play in the city. and when i say city, i mean brooklyn. and when i say play, i mean "no, it wasn't les mis." it was "a doll's house" at BAM. and it was pretty impressive/completely disturbing how men used to treat women. (and people think feminism doesn't matter. #please #asif #imnotyourdollnomo).

and now it's been one minute since i found out it was national puppy day and all productivity went out the window in favor of watching puppy videos on youtube. which reminds me, i've got dog memes to look at.

Monday, March 10, 2014

i've got life on the mind

so a couple weeks ago, i hit my six month mark. it passed without much fanfare. this was mostly due to the fact that it should have happened February 30. only that's not a thing. so i lost my six-month mark on a fluke of a month.

thanks for nothing, february. 

but this is okay. because it's been in the back of my mind since then and i've just been thinking. thinking about how six months is half a year--how the way you say it makes it seem equal parts big and small, impressive or kinda whatever. but either way i'm so pumped up. my mind is always running and i think i've contracted ADHD from all the excitement because i cannot settle down. 

so what have i been thinking about? 

i want to go to croatia and the dalmatia coast. it's complicated to get there, and i'm still working things out. but i think i will. mostly because...why not? 

i love shailene woodley. and i know i've already said that and i'm starting to sound obsessed (because i am), but i just love her irrepressible idea on human connection. in this awesome article she said "we've got a set amount of time in our lives. you might as well make every conversation count. that's what's with the hugs. it's kind of like 'hey you're real, i'm real. let's connect.'" All this means...we should be friends. 

why is lipstick $25? seriously? what's in it that could possibly make that justifiable? these are the questions that keep me up at night. 

turns out, "i believe in a thing called love" is the best song to karaoke to. if karaoke is a verb.

this book. it is seriously me/my life/awesome sauce.

i think i want to rent a house in the hamptons for my birthday weekend. just because.

there is a bowling alley that also functions as a dance club. i want to go to there.

the other night, i went on a dessert haunt with friends where we stopped at not one, not two, but three dessert places to stuff our faces with deliciousness. There were cupcakes filled with cookie dough, cookies the size of my face, and ice cream playing off a Jurassic Park pun. because i live in the greatest city in the world that just understands what i need in life. 

can i got see a yankees game? and maybe the knicks? or nets? or just all that ra-ra sort of stuff? 

this summer i want to go to boston. dc. chicago. philly. canada. maybe maine. or florida. i just want to "go" a lot. 

also, pacific rim is still the greatest. i could talk about it for days, but most people just don't get it. which is fine (#respect) except....i could talk about it for days. 

sometimes i have the sense of humor of a four-year-old boy. like when someone asks "would you rather...fart popcorn or have taste buds in your butt" and i nearly die laughing. literally. because i couldn't breathe and i was crying and i gave myself a headache from laughing so hard. because, hello. i'm only human.