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Monday, September 10, 2018

How to be Unemployed

Going from having a steady paycheck to not having a steady paycheck is, generally, a pretty big blow to one’s self worth. Living comfortably in New York City is no easy feat as it is--this coming from the girl who left a small bedroom with two feet of space around her bed for a smaller bedroom with one foot of space and a window facing a brick wall--and living at all when you don’t have an income is just plain shitty.
I have been in this position exactly twice in my life: first, when I moved to the city and thought I could live off of the $4,000 I saved for as long as it would take me to find my dream job. Moving costs and apartment furnishing and realizing that the price of toothpaste is three times higher here than literally anywhere else led to that $4k lasting me about a month and half.



The second time was this past summer, basically right up until a couple weeks ago.


While I volunteered for being unemployed four years ago when I quit my job and moved to NYC to “live my dream” like some character out of a fucking broadway musical, I hadn’t planned for it this time around. Getting laid off wasn’t a shocker, necessarily, but I wasn’t, shall we say, “psyched.”


I’m happy to report that I’m a hot commodity and recently accepted an offer with a company that I could not be more excited about, but getting to this point was an interesting journey. I definitely don’t wish for anyone to lose their job, but should you find yourself in that position, I have 5 tips on how to be unemployed.


1. Add an F
You’ll be adding a lot of “F”’s to your lexicon (e.g. “Fuck paying rent,” “Fuck that girl and her trip to Portofino,” “Fuck health insurance”). The most important one, however, is Funemployment.

The stressful factors associated with not having a job notwithstanding, I’ve gotta give my old boss a high five for laying me off during the summer. Everything awesome happens in the summertime: Beach trips, weddings, bachelorette parties, tanning in Tompkins Square Park with homeless people, rooftop bar happy hours--it’s ideal. The gym is empty at noon because everyone else is at work and I can book cheaper flights for off-peak days because I have nowhere to be on Monday morning. Make Funemployment your bitch.


2. Appease the people
When people find out you don’t have a job, they expect two things:
  1. You should be working feverishly to find one at all times of day or else you’re just a lazy asshole without professional drive
  2. You should be getting tan constantly



So I have. I’ve gotten so fucking tan. You know when it’s hard to get tan? When you’re inside an office all day. It’s much easier when you’re a waste of space with no schedule who can “take a break” and go lay outside for two hours.


People really want you to get a new job, but they want you to take advantage of being worthless even more. Give the people what they want. Get tan.


3. Wear haus couture
I will not advise you to “invest” in a house dress/outfit, because you really shouldn’t be spending money right now. However, when you’re not out at coffee shops fixing your resume and applying to 69+ jobs a day between LinkedIn and AngelList, you should be home, not wearing real clothes.

My house outfits rotated between 16-year-old Soffe shorts and a ratty t-shirt, a black bathing suit cover up sans bathing suit underneath, and a plaid sleeveless dress for the days I was feeling fancy. Bras were entirely out of the question, as was makeup (I did shower every day, because I’m not a heathen). Ultimately, the name of the game should be comfort, wearing something non-binding that feels nothing like dress pants...or pants, in general.


4. Eat it all
Lunch in an office is just another way to measure your excellence against your peers’. I’ve had several co-workers over the years who enjoyed commenting on my homemade lunches, I guess thinking that my grilled chicken and roasted sweet potatoes somehow paled in comparison to their Baconator. Who knew that being healthy and actively avoiding a fupa was a sign of inferiority?


Meal prep completely goes out the window when you’re eating at home alone. You can also eat whatever the fuck you want without criticism.
Scrambled eggs and meatballs? Sounds delicious.  
An entire brick of cheddar with an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers? Legendary.
Raw cookie dough? Why not?


There are several negative aspects of being unemployed. Eating as healthy (or unhealthy) as your heart desires without Max in Accounting remarking, “That’s an interesting choice,” is not one of them.


5. Ruin yourself
I thrive off of routine. I am Skylar of the House Korby, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Anxious, Khaleesi of the Great Skin Regimen, Protector of the Highlights, Lady Stringent of the Seven Mini Meals a Day, Breaker of Fasts and Mother of Absolutely No One Thank God.


Since I was no longer waking up at 6:45-7, getting ready to be out the door by 8:00, answering emails and writing blog posts until lunch at 12:30, taking a 30-minute after-lunch walk, eating a snack at 3:30, eating another snack at 4:30, drinking pre-workout green tea at 5:30, leaving at 6:30, working out until 8:00, coming home to watch America’s Next Top Model until 10:30, popping a Zzzquil, and falling asleep by 11:30, I had to figure out how to live my life without a built-in regimen.


It takes 21 days to form a habit. It takes two straight days of sleeping in past 7 am to realize that a 9-5 schedule is horseshit.


Let your schedule go to to hell. Eat breakfast at 9 or 11 or not at all. Go to the gym at 2. Sit around feeling sorry for yourself for 45 minutes. Watch 23 videos in a row of French bulldog puppies. Feel guilty about not enjoying the nice weather, but don’t actually act on the guilt. Do literally whatever the fuck you want, because for the last five years you’ve begun every Monday morning saying, “I really just needed a couple of extra days after the weekend” and now you have them in abundance.

The routine will inevitably return, but the opportunity to attend a sample sale in the middle of the afternoon without conflict (but just to browse--again, you really shouldn’t be spending money right now) shouldn’t be passed up.

Monday, July 16, 2018

One of Those Days

Maybe everyone does have days like that.

Maybe everyone does have to make a conscious effort and force themselves out of bed on their day off, the guilt of lying around only slightly outweighing the relief of not having to face anyone or anything.

Maybe everyone does start crying for literally no reason while stretching out their hamstrings at the gym.

Maybe everyone does have to give themselves pep talks before social gatherings, repeating the reassuring mantra that it will be fun, that they like those people, that it won’t be overwhelming, and promising that they’ll keep up the appearance of a good mood for at least two hours.

Maybe everyone does fake it 90% of the time because it would surprise and confuse anyone who’s known them to think that they weren’t always genuinely happy, peppy, goofy.

Maybe everyone does have days like that. But I’m willing to bet that their days are just days.
Their days aren’t a life.

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I’m more or less not allowed to be depressed.
It doesn’t make sense, you know?

How can you be depressed when it’s summer? It’s warm! There’s no crying in baseball, so there’s definitely no hiding irrational tears behind big sunglasses. I’m probably just tired.

How can you be depressed when you get upset at someone gently but incessantly prodding at your anxieties until you snap and yell at them? That’s not depression, that’s a bad attitude. You really need to fix that, young lady, we are not going to have it.

How can you be quick with a joke and claim your favorite thing in the world is making people laugh if you’re depressed? I’m probably just having one of those days.

It's always there, close to the surface, a melancholic time bomb ready to suck the enjoyment out of just about any situation. Even when the circumstances should inspire otherwise, I've been left to fake my way through.

I’ve been depressed at girl’s nights, when I’m sitting in a room of my favorite friends, laughing until I can’t breathe while eating more in one sitting than I have in three days.

I’ve been depressed on dates, when everything is beautiful and romantic and perfect.

Holidays, birthday parties, vacations abroad, lake trips, cuddled on the couch watching a movie. All things considered, I’m actually as close to happy as I could possibly be. But I’m still just...not. And I couldn’t tell ya why.

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If I took a glass and shattered it, telling me to un-shatter the glass will not magically put the pieces back together. The glass will not be good as new just because you threw in your two cents. You’re holding an un-shattered glass, telling me to un-break mine, and you think I’m faking it when I tell you it’s not as easy as gluing the shards together again.

Instead, just listen. Put your glass away, and listen.

Let me hold broken glass in my hands and talk about each sharp piece until its edge has softened or I just can’t hold sharp things anymore. Don’t suggest my pieces might actually be plastic, or that the glass will be whole again tomorrow, or that I should ignore the glass and drink from a mug insead.  

If you think you’ve lent an ear once and that was “helping” and I should be “fixed” now, please don’t lend an ear ever again. You’re not trying to help. You’re trying to make it go away. I’m sorry the thing I’ve been working to overcome for over a decade is difficult for you.

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Please don’t misunderstand: I do have good days.

I have days when I wake up expecting to feel the usual dread and I realize it’s not there, and I glide through my afternoon feeling hopeful that the spell has snapped for real this time.

I’m not overcompensating for anything.
I’m not forcing it.
I’m genuinely laughing.

I’m happy.

I’m also trying my hardest to repress the question of how long the good will last before the bad creeps back in. It used to be the opposite, but it’s funny what you can get used to after a few years.

And it’s not like I don’t get it. Depression is an awkward thing to talk about. Inexplicable sadness, emptiness, and despondency are confusing, and trying to get someone to explain why they’re depressed when they don’t quite know themselves is frustrating for everyone.

That’s why it’s not your responsibility to make it go away.
It’s not your responsibility to do anything.

Just don’t tell me I’m having one of those days. It’s so much more than 24 hours.   

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

8 Ways to Have an Original NYC Holiday Experience

You decided to visit New York City for the holiday season!


Wow!


We’re really glad you’re here...as long as you don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk to check Google maps for the nearest Sbarro or constantly clutch your purse for fear of getting mugged like it’s still 1986.  





New York is a fucking blast --- that’s why you came here for vacation instead of hitting up a tropical locale, which would’ve been considerably warmer but cost about the same. New York around the holidays is even more of a fucking blast, because everything is decorated and pretty and incredibly over-the-top.


If you’re visiting NYC around the holidays, you’re gonna have a good time. You’ll have an even better time if you follow these eight suggestions, which will ensure you don’t have the same New York holiday adventure as the 25, 047 other people who took a kissing pic in front of the #rockefellertree.


1. Don’t eat at Rolf’s


You’re here for one weekend and you want to waste 2 ½ hours of your day waiting to eat decent-at-best German Beef Stew with SpƤtzle?


Cool, never mind, carry on.


Rolf’s is famous for its Christmas decorations of epileptic proportions. And, to be fair, it’s pretty phenomenal to witness. But in the interest of doing cool things that actually matter, my advice is this: Walk in, look up, take a photo, add it to your Insta story, and bounce.


Or literally just look at pics online, your life will not be impacted significantly either way.


2. Keep your mouth shut


Surprise! New York is cold in December.
Surprise! You’re here at the literal busiest time of the year.
Surprise! We walk. A lot.


Let those three revelations wash over you like a $15 Vodka Cranberry and accept them as readily as you do a homeless man’s fake sob story on the 2 train.


If you’re complaining about how freezing you are while you shuffle through the line to look at Macy’s window display, go back to South Carolina. Seriously. You currently have free internet, so the ability to check the weather and read tourist guides on Thrillist was afforded to you long before you jumped off the plane at JFK and spoke too loudly and too slowly to the cabbie who was born and raised in Queens.


3. Skip ice skating at Rockefeller Center


If this is on your girlfriend’s bucket list then I literally cannot save you. However, should the opportunity to negotiate plans arise, mention that between peak-season admission and skate rentals, you’re looking at a $45-per-person special memory that you’ll be sharing with 150 other people.


The real kicker is that you can do the same activity cheaper at Wollman Rink in Central Park or at the Winter Village at Bryant Park. Or you can just watch people [try to] ice skate for free, because let’s be honest: neither of you actually know what the fuck you’re doing out there anyway.


4. Realize that Macy’s Santa is a glorified mall Santa  


I have lovingly forced my boyfriend to see the Macy’s Santa with me for four straight years, because I’m obnoxious as fuck but incredibly cute. So I realize the hypocrisy that comes with this statement.


Admission aside, making your kids come all the way to New York to see Santa Claus at Macy’s is child abuse, straight up. That line is a three-hour-long human centipede of lost patience and abandoned family values. Santa is a stud, but no more so than the one at your local shopping center in Missouri.


5. Avoid Times Square


I recommend this at any and every time of year, but it’s especially true at Christmas.


No one that lives in New York likes Times Square.


Your friend that you’re visiting does not want to take you there.
The waitress at Olive Garden wishes you would have gone to a real Italian restaurant in Little Italy.
The other tourists who don’t know how to walk at a proper pace are annoyed that you’re bumping into them.
Dora the Explorer is going to take off her mascot head right in front of your 4-year-old niece, and she’s not going to give one quarter of a shit what you have to say about it.


In short, it sucks. Go anywhere else. Consider this tip my holiday gift to you.  


5. Keep your holiday market visits to one


Unlike American citizens, all holiday markets are, in fact, equal.


You will find the same knit scarves and Amish playthings at every market from Columbus Circle to Union Square to Bryant Park. If your boyfriend says he needs to taste the “unique fare” at each of the markets to really get in the holiday spirit, you need to return that J. Crew sweater and gift him a Planet Fitness membership instead.


If you want to visit cool shops with original artisans, take the L to Bedford Ave in Brooklyn and follow the nearest bearded modern pilgrim and/or hipster into any dimly-lit store.


6. Forget the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3

 

Because it can’t be said enough: it’s cold. Why in God’s name do you want frozen hot chocolate?
Why are you waiting four hours for it?
Did you know you can buy a kit on Amazon to make it at home?
Did you know there are three Starbucks in a three block radius of Serendipity 3 where you can get a hot Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate?
Did you know Starbucks exists in every state?
Did you wait in line anyway and feel a judgement-filled eyebrow raise in your midst?
That was me.


7. Freeze your ass off for free, not at minus5 Ice Bar


Any bar that can also be visited in Las Vegas and Orlando has no place on your must-visit list.


You want me to don a rented parka and gloves while I drink out of ice glasses and sit on ice chairs and observe an LED light show set to Martin Garrix? And I’m not allowed to take photos on my own camera because you want me to look psyched for professional pics that I also have to buy because this experience wasn’t enough of a soul sucker? No thank you, please.


8. Be unique


Try to have an experience that is unique to you and your travel buddies.


The reason you can google “NYC holiday must-dos” and get 21,500,000 results that are all some version of, “IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS IF YA DON’T SEE THE ROCKETTES!” is because everyone who visits is too scared of figuring out the subway and getting yelled at by a local to actually branch out and do something cool.


This place is not your comfort zone.
It’s not anyone’s comfort zone.
It’s a clusterfuck of lights and cheap pizza and jaywalking. But if you choose the tiny Moroccan restaurant for Christmas dinner or ride the 6 up to East Harlem for no other reason than it’s not Midtown, you’ll have cooler stories than your neighbor who insisted you stop in at a little shop called Urban Outfitters because they’ve got “such rare vintage clothing.”

Sunday, October 8, 2017

It's UterUS, Not UterYOU, Except When It's UterME

If you’re a woman who is actively trying to prevent a pregnancy, you probably heard about the “President”'s rollback of the Obama-era policy requiring your boss to include birth control coverage in company health insurance plans.

Businesses and corporations would control your family planning decisions rather than, like, you. We’ve already got states that promote the Coach Carr approach to sex ed, aka the Just Don’t Do It, Promise? way, which, given that places like Texas annually see about 35,000 teens and young women get pregnant before their 20th birthday, straight up doesn’t work.

Women need unchallenged access to birth control.

The current administration just doesn’t think so.

This is hilarious to me, because clearly these sewer lizards don’t completely understand these five benefits that birth control brings about that men should actually be all for.

1. It Prevents Babies
“No Babies!” is the actual name of my actual birth control alarm that actually plays every single day at 8:40 in the morning. It also used to play “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns & Roses, because I’m quirky and perhaps a bit dark.


These are the best parts of birth control, assuming you’re not trying to conceive, which 43 percent of women in the United States aged 15-44 are not:
  • You take it correctly, you don’t have a baby. This has a domino effect, as then you don’t have to ask your side piece to get an abortion all while hypocritically preaching your Pro-Life bullshit. Right, Tim Murphy?
  • You take it correctly, you don’t have to bring a kid into this world who, in all honesty, you don’t want right now. Right, Tim Murphy?
  • You take it correctly, you can work on your career or spend all of your free time writing that novel or eat brownie batter for dinner because it is your life and they are your decisions and you want to keep it that way and not share or have another living thing be dependent on you.   

2. It Keeps Things From Exploding
During a woman’s period, an egg grows in a sac called a follicle which is located inside the ovary. Usually, this follicle breaks open and an egg emerges, sort of like Lady Gaga at the 2011 Grammy’s. But sometimes, the follicle doesn’t break open, the fluid inside the sac can form a cyst on the ovary.


While ovarian cysts are relatively common, in some cases, they can result in complications that are painful at best (pelvic inflammation, puking) and deadly at worst (internal bleeding, infection, CYSTS. RUPTURING.). #justgirlythings

Wanna guess what can keep cysts from forming?

Yeah. Birth control stops ovulation and prevents the development of new cysts.

The douchebags that want to regulate BC are probably definitely not abreast to these kind of complications. They will never know the excruciating pain associated with ovarian cysts exploding. It’s kinda like the emotional pain you feel when your wife won’t fuck you anymore because you’re disgusting, decrepit, and have the moral conscience of pond scum. But worse. Definitely worse.

3. It Keeps Skin Clear
Acne treatment is an important birth control benefit to mention, as members of the administration believe that a top notch method of birth control is to “just keep your legs closed,” so a method like the pill is unnecessary.


Acne has nothing to do with penises and vaginas.   

However, a group of hormones called androgens, which lead to excess oil production, can lead to more severe cases of acne. BC pills that contain estrogen and progesterone lower the levels of androgens in your body, thus, lowering the amount of oil being produced, thus, clearing up a woman’s skin.

That’s it. That’s the sole reason 14 percent of women take birth control.  

4. It Helps Iron Deficiencies
If you have a heavy flow and a wide set vagina, it’s okay. We all know that you’re not lying about being a virgin, and we don’t care that you use super-jumbo tampons.


What we do (or should) care about is the fact that you might have iron deficiency anemia. Without enough iron, your body makes fewer and smaller red blood cells. This deters your body from getting enough oxygen. When you're anemic, the heart works overtime to pump more blood, which can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.

Women with heavy periods and anemia have trouble keeping their iron levels under control -- sort of like a congressman and his addiction to child porn -- so their doctor might prescribe birth control to lighten the amount of blood flow each month.

This is crucial to living a healthy life. The ability to do so should be non-negotiable.    

5. It Keeps Us Feeling Sane
Birth control, in any form, regulates hormones. Hormonal imbalances can truly mess with your body, giving you insomnia, migraines, stomach issues, and making you feel constantly fatigued, among other fun symptoms.

The problem is, different types of birth control affect different women different ways.




Prime example: My friend and I both switched birth control medications around the same time. Her new one, she said, made her absolutely crazy. Crying at random times, becoming an anxious nut case, experiencing extreme insomnia, while also hating absolutely everyone. She immediately requested that her doctor switch her back, because -- say it with me -- fuck that.

I, on the other hand, was fortunate enough to be experiencing all of those things already. My prescription switched, and so did my outlook on life. One week I’m crying in the fetal position on my bed on a sunny Sunday afternoon for literally (literally!) no reason, the next week I’m level-headed, rational, and downright chill, breh.

For a group of people who refused to elect a woman for president because they feared she would be too emotional to make sensible decisions for the country, I find it ironic that they want to take away one of the most effective methods for keeping the majority of their country’s citizens acting sane.

You know what’s scarier than one emotional woman? MILLIONS OF EMOTIONAL WOMEN. Wearing pink pussyhats, no less.



So maybe we can give these idiots the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe they didn’t realize that birth control allows women to conduct their everyday lives with efficiency.

Maybe they didn’t understand that without insurance, birth control can cost $50-1,000, and we just don’t have it in the budget to spend that and pay for our dumbfuck leader’s golf excursions.

Maybe they didn’t hear that they’d save themselves a boatload of hassle by encouraging and maintaining women’s rights and accepting that we’re strong enough to bear the children (when we decide to), then get back to business, so instead could they please worry about the chaos in Puerto Rico, discussing gun control, recognizing police brutality, addressing global warming, supporting Dreamers, preventing chemical warfare, and maybe not making the United States the laughing stock of the entire planet thankyousomuch.