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‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ and hello to what I’ve been waiting for my entire life

One of my earliest memories is from when I was two or three years old, sitting in front of my TV watching The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh surrounded by my kittens appropriately named Pooh Bear and Tigger. I have an E. H. Shepard illustration of Pooh tattooed on my right shoulder. Last week, I made my boyfriend watch Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin with me. I cried when I met Pooh at Disneyland. As I type this, I am sitting on my Winnie the Pooh pillow pet. You get the picture. I’m a Pooh person.

So you can imagine my excitement now that the first trailer for Goodbye Christopher Robin was finally released today (and my agony of knowing I won’t be able to see this film for four more months).

I am fully ready to see this movie every week it is in theaters and sob. My friends jokingly say that my catchphrase of sorts is *gentle gasps about Winnie the Pooh*, and today it’s *heaving sobs about Winnie the Pooh*. To quote the bear himself: “Today, I should say, is a good day for being Pooh [or, in this case, a Pooh fan].”

Though the books and Disney cartoons were made with children as the target audience, I have always advocated that the stories of Pooh and his pals can’t be fully appreciated and understood until you’ve grown up. The stories teach empathy, kindness, embracing your individuality, self-confidence and the importance of forming lasting friendships. As we grow older and leave parts of childhood behind us, we should never forget Pooh.

And now, after movies and TV shows and picture book adaptations of A. A. Milne’s novels, there is finally a Pooh story coming that’s made for adults.

Starring my love Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie and Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag glory, Goodbye Christopher Robin is looking to follow in the footsteps of Finding Neverland and be a strong Oscar contender.

(Now the question is: do you think Disney’s upcoming live-action Winnie the Pooh will be any good? I’m concerned).

Summer reading standards

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Like most kids, I always looked forward to summer – going to the pool, sleeping in late and, above all, being able to read without the hindrance of homework.

I would spend the days of summer vacation sitting inside and devouring book after book. My mother would sometimes ground me from reading and urge me to “get off that couch and go play outside; you need the exercise and fresh air.” In the summer between third and fourth grade, I read 13,053 pages and placed first in my elementary school’s summer reading challenge.

As I’ve grown older and schoolwork has become more and more demanding during the year, my time spent reading for pleasure has dwindled to a sad trickle. But I’m working to, hopefully, change that this summer.

Granted, since I just graduated from college not even a month ago, I have time to catch up on my always-growing bookshelf for the foreseeable future (especially since I’m unemployed. Please, somebody, hire me). But to get back into the swing of things, I’m pushing myself to read as many books as I can before August. The list to conquer (so far):

  • The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
  • Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
  • Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
  • Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

The good of 2016

2016 was a rollercoaster of emotions. It was a year of overwhelming negativity for the world, but I managed to find solace in a few different outlets and support systems. For every moment I spent loathing school, there was someone to bitch about it with me. For every celebrity death, there was Disneyland. For every night spent feeling alone and worthless, there was a boy willing to make me a milkshake and watch The Bachelor with me. For every lost friendship, there were new relationships being formed over pizza, wine and Shrek.

It’s easy to remember the bad. The creeps in bars and the election and the social injustices and the not-so-good grades. But honestly, no matter how many bad things dominated 2016’s headlines, it was one of the greatest years of my personal life. Here are some of the memories that stand out, the material objects that kept me sane, and the people who held me upright.

Europe

The three months I spent abroad were the best months of my life. I had never been out of the country before, and flying an ocean away from all of my friends and family to live in London for a summer was terrifying. But I fell in love with England and Ireland and Scotland and France, and I now spend way too many nights looking through my hundreds of travel pictures, wine glass in hand, crying hysterically.

My London family

Europe wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing without these five girls I met and befriended. Together we explored the city’s streets and ventured out to Oxford, Bath, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Barcelona, Dublin, and the Scottish Highlands. It took traveling six timezones away to make friends for life who were around me all along. Here’s to the Southbank Squad.

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So Sad Today and other memoirs 

This year I began devouring memoirs and personal essays. My favorite book released this year was Melissa Broder‘s So Sad Todaywhich I now refer to as “the Sad Person Bible.” It’s unflinching and ballsy and makes me want to follow Broder’s example of not shying away from anything while writing. Along with So Sad Today, I also enjoyed Amy Schumer’s The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo, Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Womanand Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. All of these women inspired me greatly this year.

The YBAs

While in London, I took a class on British culture and learned about everything from the role the English class system plays in society to the mods and rockers of the 1960s. But my favorite thing we learned about was the Young British Artists movement of the ’90s. With the exception of Damien Hirst (I’m sorry I know he’s a big deal but I just can’t get on board), I was fascinated with their shock tactics and how they reinvigorated art for the 21st century. In particular, I loved the work of Tracey Emin. I bought her book of personal essays at the Tate Modern and it’s currently resting on my bookshelf, waiting for me to open. My favorite piece of hers that I was fortunate enough to see in person this summer (and literally cry over) is “My bed“, an installation of her personal bed where she spent days in a depressive state. I thought it was so powerful of her to take her mental illness, which has to be one of the most difficult aspects of her life, and display it to the public.

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Lady Gaga’s Joanne

Lady Gaga has been a huge role model of mine since middle school. Her latest album Joanne just reinforced my love and admiration. It’s so different from anything else she’s done and highlights just how much she has grown since her meat dress days. The songs have such range and her vocals are stellar. Also, every time I hear “Million Reasons” I weep uncontrollably. Whenever I was frustrated with the world (basically every day post-election), this album was a hug around my heart.

Disneyland Paris

After waiting my whole life, I finally went to a Disney park for the first time. I waited 45 minutes to meet Winnie the Pooh and I cried.

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Girls

Girls. Girls Girls Girls Girls Girls – I know I’m super late since season 6 is about to come out and I’m just now starting the series (though, I have watched four season within the last week), but I can’t stop bingeing. It’s been the biggest inspiration I’ve had to write since reading So Sad Today in Heathrow airport. The more the School of Journalism sucks the life out of me, the more I just want to work in a coffee shop/bookstore and write essays and novels.

My best friend

This year I found my best friend, who treats me with so much love, compassion and respect. He keeps me together when I’m feeling low, and half of the adventures I had this year wouldn’t have been possible without him. Here’s to many more.

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I’m a designer?

This semester I took a design class. I had a bit of Photoshop and InDesign knowledge, but I had never touched Illustrator before in my life and was the least qualified person to know what how a “good” design differed from a “bad” one, so I came in very hesitant of my capabilities. But as the semester went on, I discovered that I wasn’t as bad at design as I originally thought I would be, and that designing was ~fun~.

One of my favorite assignments of the semester was to create a feature spread of the San Antonio Express-News piece, “A Life Apart: The Toll of Obesity.” The photographer, Lisa Krantz, spent years following Hector Garcia around and documenting his daily battle with his fluctuating weight. The photos were beautiful and I was so stoked to try to bring this beautiful piece to life.

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It’s definitely not perfect, but I’m really proud of how my amateur design skills pulled through.

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Check out a PDF here: hector-photo-design

Day one of Donald Trump’s impending presidency

Yesterday wasn’t what I thought it would be.

I, like everyone else, was so ready for this particularly grating election to be over and done with. I was tired. My friends were tired. My peers in the journalism school were tired. We wanted to rest. But, against all logic, Donald Trump won the presidency and our rest is far from over. For women, Latinx, blacks, Muslims, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities…it’s not over.

I couldn’t watch the results come in. By the time I was finished with work and finally got to turn on CNN, it wasn’t looking good. I felt sick. My knee was bouncing, my head was in my hands.

“What if he wins?” I kept asking my boyfriend.

“He’s not going to win,” he kept answering. “Calm down. Calm down.”

I retreated into my boyfriend’s room and turned on Netflix. I kept turning off my phone only to turn it back on and check the results on The New York Times website every couple of minutes until I eventually made myself fall asleep around midnight. When I woke up at 3 a.m., I checked my phone. Trump had won. After that, I couldn’t go back to sleep.

I was in a daze. I drove home, held my cat and watched a documentary about baby animals. Every time I checked social media my heart sank further and further as the reality set in – we have elected a man who thinks it’s acceptable to grab women by the pussy. That bragging about sexual assault is common “locker-room talk” that all men are expected to do. That people with disabilities, like my sister, are something to be openly mocked. That anyone who isn’t white is a rapist and a terrorist. That wants to ban an entire religious group from the country that was founded on religious freedom. That thinks that journalists should be hanged for holding him accountable and wants to shut down some of the most powerful publications in the world.

I don’t think it hit me until I was on campus. As I was walking through the journalism school on my way to class, Hillary Clinton was giving her concession speech. Dozens of students had stopped to watch it playing on one of RJI’s many TV screens. Everyone was silent. Some were crying. I couldn’t watch it. I still can’t watch it. Later in the day, I saw someone quote it on Facebook and that alone made me start crying.

I didn’t cry the first time until my Magazines Across Platforms class. One girl was already sitting in tears when I walked in. As more of us arrived, we all just looked at each other, at a loss for words and in complete disbelief, and collectively started crying. All eight students, the TA and the professor – all women – sat in a circle and cried together. We talked about how personal it is for journalists, but especially for women.

It feels like we have been personally attacked. Half of the country decided to elect a man who has been accused by 12 women of sexual assault. Twelve. Like this article from Bustle says, “I learned that more people want to believe that a group of women would coordinate to lie about a man assaulting or harassing them before they would believe that a man habitually touched women in ways that were inappropriate.” What does that say about the word of women? Yesterday was the day I learned just how much my country values women, and it’s despicable.

One of the women in my class said that she didn’t realize how much having a woman president meant to her until Clinton lost. I feel the same. I was excited about having a woman in office, of course, and I was especially stoked because this year was the first time I was able to vote for President of the United States (I had been two months shy of turning 18 during Obama’s reelection). But when I filled out my ballot on Tuesday, I couldn’t stop smiling when I bubbled in Hillary Rodham Clinton. I started laughing in my booth. Immediately afterward, I first saw the lifestream of Susan B. Anthony’s grave and I burst into tears. That’s when it sunk in for me just how proud I was. I was so proud of women and my country at that point. I was smiling and laughing and crying tears of empowerment. It baffles me how wrong I was about to be proven just a few hours later.

I’ve experienced sexism. My friends have experienced sexism. I’ve had friends and friends of friends who have been assaulted and raped. And yesterday it was made very apparent that our country is telling survivors, “you do not matter. Your words mean nothing.” I had never felt as low about my gender and my sex than I did yesterday. For the first time in my life, I was truly afraid of what it meant to be a woman. It felt like a handicap. And I feel guilty for feeling this way, because so many more people are going to be affected far greater by this. I am a woman, but I am white. I am middle class. I am heterosexual. I am an American citizen and my parents were born here. So many others are not.

I wish I could say that I feel positive about what’s to come. Yes, millennials overwhelmingly voted blue. Yes, I’ve received both mass and personal messages of unity and people saying that they’re there. But this country is so divided. During class yesterday, my professor asked us, “What can we do to reach rural America? How can we have a dialogue?” And I honestly believe we can’t. I don’t see how, when every time I’ve tried to point people in the direction of accurate information and not fake Facebook media they respond by lashing out in anger with personal attacks.

We have a long way to go, my friends.

Where is that Senioritis I was promised?

Senioritis. A time of laziness, taking easy electives and wearing pajama bottoms to school. Or at least that’s what I was promised.

I’m halfway through the first semester of senior year, and it is the antithesis of being a lazy nearly-done college student (granted, more often than not I’m in class braless and wearing clothes that I may or may not have slept in the night before).

I’ve been surviving senior year as a journalism student by following a very loose schedule:

  • Set seven alarms, but probably still sleep through my 8 a.m. followed by my 9:30 a.m.
  • Shower every couple of days. Not because I have the time or the energy, but because I am no longer in Europe and therefore must meet the American standards of personal hygiene to not be shunned from society.
  • Have a panic attack, convincing myself all my friends hate me and my boyfriend is going to break up with me and my cat doesn’t love me.
  • Spend money I don’t have on food that will only make me fat.
  • Have another panic attack, for reasons I can’t quite identify.
  • Put on the facade of being a functional human being.
  • Feed the cat so he doesn’t starve.
  • Have nightly panic attack around 11 p.m. about my future. Stay up until 1 a.m. frantically working on internship applications until my fingers hurt.

We’re all at that point in the semester where everything is piling on and we all want to die. I’ve been doing this for four years now. I’m used to that mid-semester feeling. But now it’s different. Between the projects, the group meetings, the papers, the pitches and the stories is this huge, grotesque, impending shadow of the unknowable future.

In two months, I begin my final semester of college. And for the first time in my life, I don’t know where I am going to be six months. Just six months. The thought is terrifying for anyone, but particularly those who struggle with crippling anxiety and an uncontrollable need to have every single thing planned out, such as myself. I get panicked if I don’t have a plan for the weekend. Not having a plan for post-graduation is sending me over the edge.

My boyfriend keeps telling me that I’m going to be fine. And I know, deep deep deeeeeep down, that I am in fact going to be fine. And you, fellow college student/senior reading this, are going to be fine, too.

If there’s one thing I learned this past summer while studying abroad, it’s how big and beautiful the world is. There is so much out there. I promise you and I promise myself, we are not going to wind up back in our hometown suburbias working at Pier 1 the rest of our lives (even though I love P1). Everything that is meant to work out will work out. It’s moments like now, when I’m sitting here typing and eating Poptarts at 1 in the morning instead of sleeping, that I need to remind myself this.

That blackboard discussion board that you forgot to post to this week (and, okay, last week too)? It’s only a couple of points. That exam you weren’t prepared for? It doesn’t mean you’re going to fail out of the class. Those internship applications you haven’t gotten around to? There are other places to apply.

Slow down. Take care of yourself first. You’ll be okay.

And no, everyone and your cat doesn’t hate you, so stop staying up all night worrying about it.

I’m baaack

Wanna hear a funny joke? “I’m going to start blogging more regularly.”

Ha. It’s not that I chose not to blog during my European summer, but after working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. three days a week, taking two classes, exploring London and traveling to other countries, I didn’t have much free time and the free time I did have was mostly spent napping.

It’s been almost two months since I returned to Missouri. I’m into the first round of exams of senior year and I’m working as a Digital Editor for Vox Magazine, which I am loving. I’m learning a lot about digital storytelling through social media and other digital tools. I’m only a month into the semester, but I’m already sad when I think about not being a Vox “webbie” next semester.

It’s strange being a senior. Strange, but also wonderful. It’s not that I don’t love school, I love learning, but balancing three or four journalism classes along with other coursework and a part-time job at Pier 1 is a lot. I haven’t been able to dedicate as much effort as I want toward Vox, and I’m just excited that in a few months (hopefully) I’ll be focused completely on journalism without having to do readings on queer theory or the technicalities of troop movements during World War I.

It’s absolutely terrifying being on the cusp of entering the big real adult world, but I still have eight months to figure out my life. Right now, I’m not looking that far into the future. You just have to take it one day at a time.

My Last Night in America

My living room is in disarray. On the floor sits an open suitcase packed with clothes, bags of toiletries and piles of shoes I still need to stuff somewhere. Stacks of books rest on the coffee table. A large cardboard box of discarded clothing rests to the side. My mom will arrive home in about half an hour and is definitely going to have a conniption that I a) am not finished packing and b) trashed the spotless living space.

It is my last night in America. Tomorrow I’m flying out of Kansas City and, after connecting through North Carolina, I’ll be arriving in London Wednesday morning. I’ll spend the summer working an internship and taking classes abroad, and won’t be back home in Missouri until August.

I’m terrified. What if I mess up my internship? What if I can’t do it? What if I don’t like it? What if I hate my classes? What if the other 14 girls (and one boy) who are going on this trip with me don’t like me? I’ve never left the country before, and being so far away from my family, my friends, my boyfriend and my cat for so long is scary.

But it’s also so, so exciting. I’ve dreamed about living in London since I was a little kid, and now it’s actually happening. The London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are all going to be within walking distance of the flat I will call home for the next three months. I have the opportunity to not only explore London, but visit other countries as well – Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain…

I’m going to be keeping a journal of my experiences abroad, and I’m going to try to blog more regularly now that I don’t have a million things going on like I do during the school year. This semester burned me out, and I want nothing more than to enjoy my time in Europe and take the time to write for me again. Feel free to follow along as I (attempt to) blog at least once every couple of weeks about my travels, internship and other adventures or thoughts.

But for now, on my last night in America, I’m keeping this post brief so I can get back to packing and watching Bob’s Burgers.

Dave the Brave

This semester I’m taking a screenwriting class for funzies and to finish my minor in film studies. For our midterm, we had to write a short story about a character and then turn it into a screenplay. After struggling through writer’s block for weeks, the weekend before the short story was due I pumped this out. To my surprise, a lot of my friends and classmates expressed interest when I vaguely told them “yeah, I’m writing a story about an octopus with social anxiety.” So I thought I’d post it here for anyone else who might want to read it. Here’s Dave:

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In the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, a couple dozen miles off the sunny coast of Virginia Beach, Dave was going to a party.

Wringing his front two tentacles together nervously, Dave’s stomach churned so forcefully that he wondered if the molluscs he ate for lunch were going to come back up. He clasped Jenny’s birthday present, a small sand dollar, tightly to his side as he scurried along the ocean floor.

There was no real reason for Dave to be so uneasy. As an octopus, he was much bigger than all of the others who would be at Jenny’s birthday party. But being bigger, to Dave, just meant that it was easier to make a mess of things. He was quite the clumsy octopus, always breaking things and tripping over his own arms. He hated social events. He always seemed to ruin them.

It wasn’t long before Dave arrived at the celebration. He was, as usual, perfectly punctual. He could hear Jenny’s cackling dolphin laugh and see her clap her fins together. Only two creatures had arrived before Dave – Carl and Xavier.

Typically, Dave would eat crabs like Carl. But Carl was Dave’s friend, and therefore Dave had promised to not eat Carl or any of his relations. Xavier was an electric eel, and everybody just called him “Slim.”

Dave tentatively approached the group, waved a tentacle in greeting and handed Jenny her present. Jenny thanked Dave and nuzzled him with her nose, making Dave blush and look down at the ocean floor below him. He thought Jenny was the kindest dolphin he had ever met, and he often wondered if she returned his crush.

As guests continued to arrive, Dave retreated to the background. He watched everyone grow more and more excited as they swam in circled around each other. Jenny started doing twists and turns and backflips. Carl clacked his claws together enthusiastically. Slim, a self-proclaimed DJ, spun some sick beats. It was all more than Dave could bear. With a suppressed sob and the squirt of some ink, Dave jetted backwards through the water, away from the party, and hid, camouflaged, among a pile of rocks.

Dave flushed through his camouflage. Hanging his head, he began the slow trudge home. He didn’t always used to be so skittish around other creatures. When he was a hatchling, he loved being in crowds. It was only in recent years that he had begun to grow uneasy and anxious, when he and his family had moved to another part of the ocean.

It began when he started to notice that nobody would really listen to him when he would talk. He would often stop mid-story and nobody would notice. Then he started falling out of the conversations, listening for hours without ever really participating. Now it had progressed to an all-out panic – whenever he got the slightest but uncomfortable or felt out of place, he ran away and camouflaged.

When Dave arrived at his cave home, his parents, Octavia and Oscar, were cleaning old coconut shells. Dave’s father worked building shelters out of discarded coconut shells and large seashells and his mother sold them to sea creatures in need of homes.

“Hi honey,” his mother said. “How did the party go?”

Dave felt tears fill his eyes and he brushed them away with his dorsal arms as he told his parents what had happened yet again.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I just get so nervous around other creatures and feel so worthless,” Dave said. “I’m so embarrassed.”

His parents sighed and patted their son sympathetically on the head.

“Well, son,” his father said. “You just need to learn to have more confidence in yourself.”

“Be brave!” his mother said.

“But how can I be brave?” Dave asked. “I literally don’t have a backbone!”

Dave sighed sullenly and sulked to his corner of the family cave to be alone with his sorrows. His inability to interact like a normal creature always left him feeling a deep sense of shame. He always felt distant from the other creatures he hung out with, and that nobody ever really liked him that much. He was just always kind of…there, in the background of everyone’s life.

Dave acknowledged that he was a rather sensitive mollusc and felt a lot of feelings. But above all, he was tired of feeling this way. He didn’t like being sad and disappointed in himself. He especially didn’t like feeling embarrassed about freaking out, for seemingly no reason, in front of his friends. It had been an ongoing instance for months. He was sure that, by now, his friends expected him to jet out in a panic of ink and camouflage every time they hung out. He felt especially embarrassed when he thought about what Jenny must think of him. He didn’t want her to think he as a joke.

“I can’t keep doing this to me and my friends,” Dave said to himself. “I can change. I can be better. Or, at least, I can try.”

Dave started making a list in his head of things he could do to try to keep his anxiety under control and vowed to better himself, both for himself as well as his friends. Especially Jenny.

Over the next few weeks, Dave was hard at work on his new project. To clear his mind, he started practicing mindfulness, meditation and yoga (which he was quite good at, considering he had no skeleton which allowed him to be very flexible). He took up painting, mostly pictures of objects he found on the ocean floor and a couple creative portraits of Jenny. He helped his parents with their work building shelters. He started volunteering at a shelter for battered sea lions who had narrowly escaped the jaws of Great Whites. He felt within himself an awakening. He took pride in each task of creation. He fell into a daily routine and began feeling more and more confident about himself and his capabilities.

One day, Carl scuttled over to Dave’s family cave.

“Have you heard?” Carl asked. “Slim is throwing a party at the reef.”

Dave hesitated. He didn’t know if he was ready. Sure, he had made progress over the last few weeks with his self-esteem, and meditation had allowed him to start gaining control over his nerves. This was his chance to show his friends, as well as prove to himself, that he was brave and could handle social situations without panicking and running away.

The night of the party arrived. Dave scurried across the ocean floor to the coral reef. He had felt confident about the party until a few hours before it was time to leave. Then he had started to grow uneasy. What if he starts feeling like an outsider again? What if he runs away again? What if people make fun of him?

He heard the party before he saw it. Slim always played loud music at his soirees. Taking a deep breath, Dave entered the party. Carl and Jenny were both already there. Dave swam up to them, where the dolphin and crab attacked Dave with hugs in greeting.

As crowds started flooding in, Dave found that he was not growing uncomfortable like usual. He wiggled and jiggled his arms around to the beat of the music late into the night. Slim even let him request some songs to add to the playlist.

“We’re so glad that you’ve stayed here so long,” Jenny said as she twirled around Dave. “You always seem to disappear so early, we miss you!”

Dave couldn’t believe it. He was missed? After all these times of feeling out of place and unwanted, it warmed his three hearts to hear that Jenny wanted him around. Maybe there was no reason for Dave to be so self-conscious in the first place.

Dave wrapped his tentacles around Jenny in an embrace.

“I’m happy I’ve stayed so long, too,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll be disappearing as much anymore.”

People Whose Stuff I Like

So far, my winter break has been an endless vortex of working retail 20+ hours a week, babysitting my sister, bingeing “Friday Night Lights,” and writing scholarship essays so I can (hopefully) study abroad this summer. As a much-needed break I, as a lover of lists, have decided to steal Mara Wilson’s page and make a post about the things I’ve been reading/listening to/interested in lately, so others (that means you) can check them out, too.

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran — Before college I never gave feminism a thought, and I most certainly didn’t think of myself as a feminist. Things have most certainly changed, and can best be encapsulated with one of Moran’s many, many quotable lines in this book: “So here is the quick way of working out if you’re a feminist. Put your hand in your underpants. a) Do you have a vagina? and b) Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, the congratulations! You’re a feminist!”

Christopher Poindexter — I’m a hopeless romantic and Poindexter speaks to me like no other poet has. I’m forever in debt to my friend who first sent me one of his poems when I was feeling sad.

This tweet I found while Twitter-stalking Brian Hiatt, my favorite “Rolling Stone” writer.

Muskrat Love — I got a record player for Christmas and I’m absolutely in love with it. As a joke, my mom got me a Captain and Tennille record. But the joke’s on her because I’ve been playing it more than any other album I got, even “Imagine.” Looks like Muskrat Love, y’all.

Speaking of music, some things I’ve been listening to recently — The 1975, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, Meg Myers, Milky Chance, the one orgy song from AHS: Hotel.

Positive Strawberry — Having a bad day? Instantly feel better with this Twitter account.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow — I also got a ukulele for Christmas and I am determined to learn how to play this song.

Lady Gaga. — I have always had a deep love for Gaga since I first heard “Poker Face” play on the radio in eighth grade. I think we should all look up to Lady Gaga. She exemplifies what someone’s capable of if they a) be who they want to be and b) do it with bravery. This year she belted at the Academy Awards, slayed as The Countess on “American Horror Story: Hotel,” and made me weep with her song “Til It Happens to You,” a tribute to survivors of sexual assault. She’s a huge role model of mine.

Liz Climo — Her cartoons make my heart happy.

Litographs — Art made out of words! (my birthday is in three weeks, people!)

Artparasites — Art and quotes and essays and musings on life and love and sex and mental health. Read more in this Q&A I found.

Cat shaming — Nothing makes me laugh harder. I will shame Albus one day.

Broadly — Where has this been all my life?