shows I love + the things I hate about them

WARNING: there are some That 70s Show spoilers in this post. If you have never watched it, be warned. Also, watch it. Where have you been?!

I am a re-watcher. I have five or six TV shows (and countless films) that I can watch over, and over, and over again, and still love. Those shows include That 70s Show (my all-time favorite), Friends, Scrubs, New Girl, Parks and Recreation, Community (only the first four seasons, because honestly), The Inbetweeners, and probably a few others. That said, the older I get, the more I start to notice the problems with some of these shows, particularly Friends and That 70s Show.

The biggest, most obvious issue with Friends is that it’s set in Greenwich Village in the late 90s, but the cast is 99.9% white people. I’m sorry, but this show makes “underrepresentation” an understatement. It’s NEW YORK. New York is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and the monochrome casting of this show is the most unrealistic thing about it. Not to mention, on the subject of unrealistic stuff, based on the protagonists’ career choices, there is no possible way that they would be able to live as comfortably as they do. A huge two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan? Money for last-minute trips to London and Vegas? Come on now.

I try really hard to not take issue with That 70s Show, because, well, it’s set in the 70s. If anything, I commend the writers for their realistic and timely use of sexism, homophobia, and racism, because that’s how it was during that time. That said, it’s still sexism and racism, and in 2017, it’s hard to remember that when Eric says awful things like, “I’m the man and the man’s the man and that’s just the way it is” when he says he HAS to do better than Donna on the SATs.

Donna is the only glimmer of hope on That 70s Show, taking a strong stance on feminism and equality in the first season. Even her admittedly airheaded mom, Midge, joins the cause in spite of her husband’s horrendously misogynistic mindset, including frequently calling feminism stupid. When Midge says she wants to start her own business, Bob even goes so far as to say, and I quote, “Midge, because I love you, I want you to have another baby and stop bugging me.” Gross, right?!

Donna, while claiming to be a dedicated feminist throughout the series, still did some hypocritical not-so-feminist things; the worst being STAYING HOME FROM COLLEGE TO BE WITH HER BOYFRIEND. In my opinion, as “romantic” as it was, it totally cancels out all of the brilliantly feminist things she’d said in the past. Not to mention, Eric ends up ditching her to go to Africa for a year anyway! And then he dumped her! While he was in Africa! She stayed home for nothing! I don’t care how much you love your boyfriend, I firmly believe that you cannot let other people have that big of an influence on your personal decisions that will greatly impact your life forever.

The next glaring issue with That 70s Show is Eric’s dad, Red. It is very clear from his first scene that he oozes hyper-masculinity. He’s a baby boomer, he fought in two wars, he is a tough dude. Nothing wrong with being a tough dude at all, but Red goes so far as to refuse to even tell his own son he loves him. He softens up throughout the series, probably because Eric and his friends wore him out because they were terrible, but Red is the epitome of a stereotypical hyper-masculine American man. He drinks a lot, bottles everything up, shows no emotion other than anger, and threatens to put his foot up the ass of every person he meets.

There are a ton of other things wrong with both of these shows, and probably all of the shows I mentioned, but this is a blog post and not a novel. Perhaps I will do a part two about That 70s Show in the future, mostly because I haven’t even touched on how insanely racist everyone gets when they find out Hyde’s dad is black. I also have yet to address how homophobic Red was when he found out his new neighbors were gay. You know, now that I’m writing this all down, I’m starting to wonder why I like this show so much. It’s a pretty terrible show.

I’m kidding. It’s an amazing show that I love very much. It’s just… let’s call it a period piece. That makes it a little better, right?

xx Gabi

Advertisements

Cocktail-In-Chief: Five Easy Drinks To Make On Election Night

Less than two years ago (but also somehow already almost two years ago), we started out with like, 109 candidates. Over time, that number whittled down to the 5 candidates still standing. Now, it’s finally gettin’ to be that time. Today is Election Day, and I think this entire country is in need of a good drink.

Today, I am giving you something you didn’t know you needed, but now realize that you’ve always wanted. This handy menu gives you a drink option for every possible outcome tonight. Drink the respective cocktail of the candidate who wins! Or all of them. Drink all of them.*

*Please do not drink all of them.

The Lone Ranger

Darrell Castle is the Constitution Party’s presidential candidate. I first heard his name… last week? A huge part of his platform is pulling the United States out of the United Nations. To me, this just screams, “emo kid yelling at his parents.”

He’s also an avid pro-lifer. What an original stance for a 68-year-old white man with no uterus! Groundbreaking.

When I think about my buddy Darrell, I think of the South, and isolation, hence the name, “The Lone Ranger.”

You will need:

-the nastiest f*cking moonshine you could possibly imagine (2 parts),

-and the weepy boogers of a small child with no siblings or friends (8 parts)

The Berry Gary*

Gary Johnson is an enigma. He kind of never seems to know what he’s talking about. You may remember him as the dude who didn’t know what Aleppo was, or the dude who said we could cut 43% of the federal budget without instantly falling to pieces. That said, a small part of me does respect him and some of his values. His website literally says, “Solving immigration problems is not as easy as building a wall or simply offering amnesty.” You throw that motherf*ckin’ shade, GJ!

You will need:

-absinthe (more parts than what is considered safe),

-Ambien (4 pills, crushed to a powder; can be used as a rim for the glass),

-and a blunt

*can also be a “Benadryl Carson,” replace Ambien with Benadryl 

The VaccinStein

Jill Stein…. Oh, Jill Stein. This woman believes that vaccinations cause autism and wifi causes brain cancer. I liked her for two seconds before I realized she was the Bad Kind of Hippie™ and now she just makes me sad.

You will need:

-smallpox,

-and a homeopathic, organic, all-natural cure for smallpox

The Long Island HillarTea

Hillary is my GIRL, okay? I can’t even lie; I was a diehard Bernie bro prior to the DNC. I loved him so much, but I know when to prioritize. Bernie endorsed Hillary, and I trust his judgment. I jumped back on the Hillary wagon I was on before I knew who Bernie was, and I have remained #WithHer ever since. She has her flaws, but she has been kicking ass in politics longer than I’ve been alive. A LOT longer. She is more qualified for this spot than anyone else running.

You will need:

-ingredients for a standard classic Long Island Iced Tea (a.k.a ½ an oz of every alcohol in existence, lemon juice, and a splash of soda),

-blue food coloring (2 drops),

-and your homemade tears of relief and exhaustion (1 gallon)

The Sunburnt Sociopath

No comment. (Wouldn’t it be so cool if that was how he responded to questions he didn’t know the answers to?)

You will need:

-a fifth of vodka,

-and a straw

Death is imminent.

PLEASE VOTE!

http://yourfuckingpollingplace.com

xx Gabi

This article was a satirical piece originally written for my humor writing course. Don’t take me seriously (ever). 

concrete jungle.

the following is a letter I wrote earlier this year when I was looking for internships in New York. I stumbled across it in my Google Docs and thought it would be cool to share with you guys. enjoy!


JANUARY 2016

I can’t lie to you. New York has intimidated me for a long time. It’s uncharted territory, like Mars, or Australia, and I have only in the past couple of weeks made any attempt to actually rectify that, thanks to my neo-New Yorker mom. She made the move from Philadelphia to Hell’s Kitchen over the summer, and while I spent my fall semester in London, she sprouted wings and flourished there. Seeing my mother so in love with New York, and knowing that mother knows best, I figured I would give la Grande Pomme a fair chance. As expected, as she is right about everything else, my mother was right about New York.

I am constantly surprised by how quickly we as humans can adjust to new environments. The few trips I’ve taken to Manhattan recently have not been enough to truly decide whether or not I can blossom there, but I am feeling more and more confident about it with every passing day. I took the New York subway once, and by the second trip, I knew where I was going. With each passing moment, I can see myself living and working in New York more and more. Almost every time I speak to someone in my field, I am told that I should consider looking for internships and future jobs in New York if I really want to make an impact in the media, and I am starting to agree with that.

Until I left Philadelphia, I never wanted to leave Philadelphia. After spending four months studying in London, I am realizing that while I love Philadelphia, and while it will always be my home, I am pigeon-holing myself by expecting to stay there while pursuing my career (whatever that may be). How can I possibly grow in a city I already know like the back of my hand? London is just as crowded, big and intimidating as New York, and I still fell pathetically in love with it in a matter of days, giving tiny Philly a run for its money. If I can handle a massive metropolitan city like that in Europe, I know I can handle New York too.

I am a third-year journalism and public relations student at Temple University. I am 20 years old. If you ask me where I see myself in five years, I don’t actually know what I would say. I could end up doing investigative reporting for HuffPo in New York or doing PR for Taylor Herring in London. I could end up staying in Philly and writing for the Inquirer or find myself somewhere totally different. The possibilities are endless. I have no idea where I am going, and I’m okay with that. All I know is that I have to consider any and all of my options.

Philly has had me for 20 years, and London got me for a few months, but now I’m thinking it’s time to give New York a shot. There are aspects of both my hometown and Londontown in Up and Downtown, and with every comparison and connection I make, ten new things make their way onto my Pro-New York list. Every time I think about my potential career path(s), I am more and more drawn to the idea of thriving in Manhattan, and I intend to make it happen. New York is big and intimidating, but so is my future, and I am ready for it.


xx Gabi

BLM, police brutality, gun control, and why I haven’t talked about them before.

As a journalism student, it’s kind of my job to talk about everything that happens in the world, and I haven’t been doing that as much as I used to for a while now. There have been huge, insane, scary things going on as of late, but I’ve remained pretty quiet.
That’s not to say I don’t have thoughts about what’s happening in the world, because I have thousands of opinions, but I find myself struggling to be so narcissistic as to voice them when the sh*t that’s going on has nothing to do with me. In this case, I’m talking specifically about Black Lives Matter and the murders of innocent black people in the US.
Yes, I am a full and strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. I wholeheartedly believe that this country needs a serious reform on gun control and that the police need to be held to infinitely higher standards. That said, this isn’t about me. I am a dedicated advocate for equality and the fight to end racism, but I also acknowledge that I’m still white, and I’m very privileged to be white, and I will not let this be about me, because it’s not.
With that said, for those of you actually curious about my feelings on the subject, specifically to those of you who asked for them, here they are:
My heart shatters a little more every time I see yet another innocent person’s been murdered. It’s not a recent development, and that’s part of what makes it so much worse. Suddenly everything is Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter vs. Blue Lives Matter, but innocent black people have been getting systematically killed for centuries, and only the names of the movements are anything new.
Every time news breaks of an innocent black person being killed, I can’t help but think of Emmett Till. We learned about him in high school. A 14-year-old black boy lynched, brutally murdered to the point of being unrecognizable by a group of white men, for allegedly whistling at a white woman. That was 1955. It’s 2016. Why does this story of a black teenager being murdered by grown white men not sound completely far-fetched to us? Oh, I know, because it’s still f**king happening. Racism did not end with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It’s still here, and it’s thriving. It’s going to take a lot more than getting rid of the Jim Crow Laws to make it go away. Lookin’ at you, Congress.
On the subject of the Black/All/Blue Lives Matter movement(s), I’m finding myself getting really fed up with the incessant arguing that all lives matter. We KNOW all lives matter. Of course they do. But until people stop responding to “black lives matter” with “all lives matter,” we have to keep saying black lives matter. Again, if you’re white, this isn’t about you, just like it’s not about me. Your life matters, my life matters, but our lives aren’t in f**king danger. You don’t go to a breast cancer walk and say “screw you, people with lung cancer matter too.” Yeah, of course they do, but this isn’t your walk. All Lives Matter shouldn’t even be a movement, it’s literally just common sense. But guess what, ALM supporters, black lives fall under that “all” category you’re so fond of too. It’s a pretty big umbrella.
The Blue Lives Matter movement, on that note, makes me even angrier. How dare you try to compare your occupation, which you chose, to the color of someone’s skin? You weren’t born in a police uniform, and you get to take it off after your shift every day. No one forced you to become a cop. I’m not happy about the fact that cops are being murdered now too, because it’s still just more people dead, but until cops can bring themselves to admit that their other brothers in blue are wrong for killing innocent black citizens, all I have to say to them is good luck trying to find a single black person to sympathize with you. Just not killing black people is no longer good enough. I have faith that not every cop in this country is a racist cold-blooded murderer, but I don’t know if I have faith that any of them have the guts to take their uniform off after work and go stand on the other side of a Black Lives Matter protest.
A woman at a Black Lives Matter rally last week held a sign that read, “You’re blue 40 hours a week, I’m black 24/7 365.” That’s about all that needs to be said about that.
xx Gabi
My heart goes out to the families of all of the innocent people who’ve been murdered. Gone too soon but never, ever forgotten. 
#BLACKLIVESMATTER 

brock turner + privilege. (TW: rape)

I don’t usually talk about incredibly serious issues on this blog, but something has happened that I find myself so insanely angry about that I cannot ignore it.

WARNING: I curse a bit in this post. It’s the kind of topic that I can’t really discuss without cursing. You’ll have to forgive me.

If you don’t live in the states (or read the news, which you should), you may have not heard about the human scum that is Mr. Brock Turner, a 20-year-old student at Stanford University that raped a heavily intoxicated woman passed out behind a dumpster early last year. A few days ago, it was announced that Turner is only being sentenced to SIX MONTHS in jail for what he did. Yeah, I said months. Not years, not decades, not centuries, but months.

In a fit of rage, I was tweeting about this walking garbage can, admittedly in a pretty aggressive manner, and my good friend, George, in his “I ❤ the US government” shirt, was all “hey, criminals have rights too!” Yes, George, I know. Criminals have rights. That said, rapists don’t even fall into what qualifies as “criminal” to me, they jump straight down to “monster” in my head.

Yes, George, Turner has rights. He had a right to an attorney, a trial, the whole shebang. But it is so hard to think about how this evil person still has basic human rights when he took away someone else’s. He single-handedly ruined a girl’s life, and now, on top of living with the trauma he caused her, she also has to live with the fact that he was barely disciplined for it. He undressed and raped an unconscious woman, and all he’s getting is six months? Really? How do you think that makes her feel? I’m guessing pretty f**king angry, and scared.

Today, Turner’s super charming dad released a statement that basically screamed (though I’m paraphrasing), “Hey! I’m a rape apologist. You shouldn’t have punished my son for doing something illegal. He’s a rich white boy, I think you confused him for somebody else.”

Additionally, Mr. Dan Turner wrote, and I’m quoting directly now, “His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”

Are you… like, are you serious? You’re joking, right? Because he only violated another human being for 20 minutes, he doesn’t deserve to be punished? Six months is NOTHING. It’s a slap on the wrist. Brock Turner deserves years and years of jail time and he isn’t even getting a full year. That’s a goddamn blessing.

How long it takes to break a law or hurt another person has nothing to do with how long the punishment should be. It takes less than 10 seconds to shoot someone and kill them. What excuse would you pull out of your ass then, dad? Would you still write about how great of a cook your precious son is and again not bother to say a single word about the victim in your entire statement? Hmm?

Of course, all of this begs the question of whether or not Papa Turner even considers rape a real crime. Based on his unapologetic response, all signs are pointing to “unlikely” and “please try again later.”

Bringing up something as trivial as the amount of time his perfect angel son spent defiling this woman is nothing but a weak attempt to invalidate the horrendous nature of what he did. It’s irrelevant. Breaking it down to “oh well it wasn’t for that long” just kind of shows that this man clearly sees women as sexual objects. It means that Mr. Turner doesn’t really see anything wrong with what his son did. It means that Brock Turner just decided to take advantage of a person physically unable to consent purely under the logic that she was unconscious, it would be quick, and that she wouldn’t feel it anyway. It means that Judge Aaron Persky took more pity on the boy who lost his spot on the swim team than the girl who had her boundaries shattered and her mental health destroyed for the sake of that boy getting his tiny, wrinkled dick wet.

I have no sympathy for rapists. Criminals, in some cases, yes. But rapists are more than criminals. They are monsters, and so are the people that let them get away with it.

Brock Turner, I hope that what you did eats at you every goddamn day for the rest of your life. I hope you feel the trauma that you caused an innocent woman consume your sanity every second until there’s none left. I hope it destroys you.

home away from homesickness.

the following is a short stream-of-consciousness post originally written for my personal tumblr blog, slightly edited to exclude the many profanities originally included in it. 

I’ve been missing London so much lately.

I miss my boyfriend like hell, but now that I’ve spent time with him outside of London and in Philly, I’m realizing just how much I actually miss London itself. They’ve become two separate things because they’re no longer connected the way they used to be. I miss Simon beyond words, but now it’s becoming very clear to me just how much London as a city has come to mean to me. It’s no longer just because Simon is there and I want to be where Simon is. Simon was here, in my city, in my apartment, nowhere near London, and I still missed London.

I miss the tube, the underground, my commute to and from school. I miss the streets and the cars and the people. I miss the dirty-ass Thames. I miss Boots. I miss Oxford Street, and Primark. I miss the countryside full of greenery and cows. I miss the train ride to Simon’s house. I miss Simon’s family, Simon’s friends, Simon’s car. I miss having such easy access to the rest of Europe. I somehow miss living in a tiny closet, because I was living in such an awesome place with someone who ended up becoming a really great friend of mine. I miss walking through Kings Cross, and up the road to Angel to yell at Vodafone for their awful customer service. I miss Brian, the professor who had us meet him in bars every other week and then just walked around talking to us for three hours and called it class. I miss the pubs, the atmosphere. I miss surprisingly delicious real-chicken McDonald’s. I miss Pret. I miss Nando’s. God, I miss Nando’s.

It has always blown my mind how much any given song can take you back to a particular time in your life. It’s crazy to me that I hear My Way by Fetty Wap and want to burst into tears because it reminds me of London. I listened to it on repeat for an hour today. Just put my headphones in, sat up straight, closed my eyes, and hoped that when I’d open them, I’d be on the Piccadilly Line.

I miss seeing Brand New with a girl I had just met at Alexandra Palace, I miss seeing Fall Out Boy for the fourth time and meeting the love of my life at Wembley. I miss Camden, real Camden, and Shoreditch. I miss the jitters of waiting in line to meet Pete Wentz. I miss Hyde Park and high tea. I miss Kensington, real Kensington, and casually walking past Buckingham Palace. I miss seeing the London Eye from my bedroom window.

I just miss London. Damn, I miss London.

xx Gabi

I confess, I messed up.

~droppin’ I’m sorry like you’re still around~

Welp, it happened again. I blinked, and almost two months had passed since my last blog post. I confess, I messed up, but I come bearing a really good excuse (and Fall Out Boy lyrics). Indulge me, if you will.

I’ll be straight with you: this has been one of the hardest semesters I’ve ever been through. I’m nearing the end of my junior year, so I’m officially getting down to the nittiest of the grittiest of what the journalism and public relations departments at Temple have to offer. I’ve been dealing with papers, what feels like at least one exam every single week, presentations, and unfortunately, less-than-cooperative professors.

Coming back from our unseasonable and strangely early spring break in the beginning of March, it all seemed to hit me at once, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take a bit of a toll. All of this stressful schoolwork, piled on with the fact that I currently have $6 in my bank account and a boyfriend 3600 miles away, overwhelmed the hell out of me, and made for an admittedly unproductive and unhappy Gabi. For weeks, all I’ve wanted to do is watch Netflix and sleep. Well, for YEARS, all I’ve wanted to do is watch Netflix and sleep, but I digress. I’m f**king tired. That said, my motivation to write suffered some serious damage. I have like, four half-written posts sitting in my drafts, none of which I’ve had any inspiration to complete.

On that note, I’m sick of feeling so drained every day. With less than three weeks of the semester left, I decided to force myself to get back into the swing of things just by simply catching up with you. I know writing always makes me feel like I’ve been productive (even if I should be directing my productivity elsewhere). At the end of this semester, however, I have less than a week off before I am thrown right back in… to my CAPSTONE.

To all my Temple journalism kids, you understand why this is a big deal. Philadelphia Neighborhoods, the journalism capstone run by the ever-awesome George Miller, has been known to ruin lives. Fieldwork-heavy and writing intensive, this course is not for the faint of heart. Needless to say, I am super excited. No really, I am. George was the first professor I met as an anxiety-ridden freshman, and he made college just a tiny bit more less terrifying. Now, as an anxiety-ridden junior, I’m genuinely looking forward to working with him again, now that I have some idea of what I’m doing (ha).

As I am taking the capstone on its own, rather than with a full semester of classes, I definitely plan to post more regularly. Like I mentioned before, I am currently working on a few different posts that I hope to finish at least by the end of this semester, so stay tuned!

xx Gabi

*lyrics in title/intro from “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me'” by Fall Out Boy

a broken down bus, an opera singer, and a $240 Uber ride.

On Friday, I hopped onto a Bolt bus from Philly to New York to visit my mom.

12792390_10208489642668777_8145215542083631214_o
(This is my mom! She’s great!)

I should have known that time and the universe were not on my side when the usually 20-minute ride to Cherry Hill, NJ, to pick up the remaining passengers, took 45 minutes thanks to the Friday night rush hour. I was a little annoyed, but whatever, I was going to see my mom. I was excited and remained optimistic. Come 6 PM, when we were supposed to arrive at our destination, we were stuck on the NJ Turnpike still about an hour outside of Manhattan… and we BROKE. DOWN.

The bus just… stopped running. Our, bless her heart, very sweet driver, said “my bus cut out on me. I’m going to try to regenerate it.” I understood what she meant, but who did she think she was, the Doctor?

After multiple admittedly scary attempts to… “regenerate” (jump) the bus, she said that she just could not get it to start up again and actually stay running, and that there would be another bus coming to save us in half an hour. Some passengers were NOT having it. Almost immediately, people started making plans to split Ubers into the city. The girl next to me casually mentioned that she had an audition to get to (I later learned that she was an opera singer), and asked if I wanted to get an Uber with her. I told her I had no money, and she said it was fine (even though 45 minutes later IN the Uber she asked if I could give her money, so I felt slightly duped, but I digress), and we joined forces with a young couple on vacation from New Delhi, India, to track down an Uber while broken down on the side of the highway. After ages of Opera Girl on the phone with our Uber driver trying to explain to him where exactly we were, he arrived, in a massive six-person car. We piled in, and were able to squeeze in one more person: an old, gay as hell, freelance production coordinator. A minute into this ride, I knew it would be an interesting one. With the Lincoln Tunnel being completely constipated by everyone trying to get into the city for the weekend, we took the long way around, which ended up getting us there faster than the Tunnel would’ve.

20 minutes into this ride, we’re all talking about ourselves and finding things we have in common, and one of my best friends calls me. Now, this friend is not someone who will just call out of the blue. She’s a texter, so I saw her name pop up on my phone and my heart sank, because I just KNEW something was wrong. I pick up, and wouldn’t you know it, she’s sobbing. Personal stuff, that I can’t really discuss in a car full of literal strangers. Anxiety, meet the roof. Go through it.

I promised my friend I would call her as soon as I was in private, and hung up, immediately texting her so she could continue explaining her situation to me. It was at that moment that my knight in shining armor, Opera Girl, asked me if I could take cash out at an ATM or something when we ended the ride to contribute to what turned out to be a $240 trip. What the hell? She said it was fine! I thought that meant it was fine! I mean, I guess in retrospect, I didn’t make it very clear to her that I had literally NO money. Not that I didn’t have cash, but that I didn’t have ANY money. And I had NO MONEY. ZERO DOLLARS. So, anxiety, meet the OZONE LAYER. GO THROUGH IT. Fortunately, my mother is a saint and technology is amazing, so she quickly transferred me enough money to pay for my share of the fare. Okay, anxiety, you can come back down to earth now.

We finally drive into the city. We all agreed to get off at the location designated by OG, since she’s the one who ordered the Uber and she was now over an hour late for her audition, and since her destination was only about 15 blocks from my mom’s place, I wasn’t complaining. My mom, however, found my location through the iPhone “Find My Friends” BIG BROTHER app, saw that I was already only about four blocks away from her, and demanded that I have the driver drop me on her street, which would require him to get off of 12th Avenue and make OG even later for her audition. In one ear, my mom is yelling, in another, OG is slightly-condescendingly trying to explain to me that she’s already an hour late for her audition (I know, OG. I know), and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Anxiety, meet THE DEPTHS OF OUTER SPACE. Meet THE DEATH STAR. Go through it. Go through it all. Say hi to Harrison Ford for me.

I tell my mom not to worry about it. I tell her that I’m just going to get out where OG said and take my own Uber from there. Finally, some peace. My ears stop ringing. Our Uber driver, who turned out to be one of the coolest Uber drivers I have ever had, ended our trip ten blocks early so that we could all give OG our share(s) of the trip. I say it a lot, and I’ll say it again, technology is amazing. In 30 seconds, I sent OG my share of the cost via PayPal, and she received it instantaneously. After I paid, I realized I no longer had any reason to remain in the car until the end of the trip, so at a red light, I said my goodbyes and quickly hopped out. I ordered my own Uber and it pulled up in less than two minutes, and I finally got to my mom’s house. I dropped my 70 pounds worth of stuff on the ground, hugged my mom, hugged my dog, and ate a lot of sushi.

The moral(s) of the story are that A) New York is a weird, WEIRD place, B) people are nice, but not THAT nice, and C) if you ever have the opportunity to share an Uber ride with a bunch of strangers, there’s a good chance that you’ll not only survive, but actually have a pretty interesting experience.

xx Gabi

P.S. D) when it comes to Bolt buses, you get what you pay for. That said, they will refund you if they ruin your day!

sad sacks + panic attacks.

I’ve talked about this before, but sometimes, things happen, and it bears repeating: I have anxiety. Not like, “oh no, I’m worried about failing this test I didn’t study for” or “I’m nervous about participating in this social event” anxiety, but more like, “I physically cannot retain any of this information to save my life” *bursts into tears* or “I’m legitimately terrified to speak to other humans” *bursts into tears* anxiety.

I’m bringing this up today because I just took an exam, and I had a panic attack in the middle of it. I studied for it, and even though I struggled to memorize a few dates and definitions, I felt decently prepared, but for some reason, my brain just did not want to make this easy for me. I didn’t expect it to be easy-easy. I knew it would be a difficult exam, but “difficult” quickly becomes an understatement when you add a heaping spoonful of involuntary mental illness to the mix. All anxiety sucks, but when I’m in the middle of a panic attack, I tend to draw a lot of blanks, which is basically the worst thing that can happen mid-midterm. My biggest concern was forgetting all the material I’d studied, and because life is totally hilarious and not at all annoyingly ironic, I had a panic attack that made me completely forget all the material I’d studied.

I don’t know if the same goes for everyone with anxiety, but for me, once I’m having a panic attack, it takes an insane amount of effort to stop having a panic attack. I had 45 minutes for this exam. 5 minutes and 2 questions in, it hit me, and I spent the remaining 40 minutes and 8 questions trying to fight through it. I was able to answer all but one question, but whether or not any of my responses were comprehensible or even legible, I couldn’t really tell you. At that point, what I wanted more than anything else was to burst into tears and run out of that classroom like I was being chased by a serial killer.

It sucks, having this uncontrollable internalized stress monster eat at your life every day. I can go a whole week without a panic attack, but it takes only one to ruin the following week. It’s like a stomach virus. It might only last a day or so, but you can still tell that your body needs a solid three days to recover afterwards. It takes a toll. On your mood, your energy, your motivation… the only thing it doesn’t really take a toll on for me is the desire to eat crappy food and take a four-hour nap in the middle of the day.

So, here I am, fresh out of a panic attack and completely drained. This was not a plea for pity, but a plea for understanding. To those of you who do not suffer from anxiety, please consider yourself one of the lucky ones, because you truly are the lucky ones. To those of you who know where I’m coming from, know that you are definitely not alone, and that I sympathize with you endlessly.

On that note, I think I’m going to go take a nap.

xx Gabi