California is Too Big and I Can’t Drive

In the last few months, I have gotten this urge to travel. It all started when I stayed with some friends in San Francisco to celebrate the New Year. I had never been that far north and was excited to see some fun landmarks, to visit places full of history. To my delight, we went to Haight-Ashbury. No big deal. Just, you know, the birthplace of counter-culture and psychedelic rock in the 1960s.

Since then, I have craved new scenery.

Luckily, I live in California: a state so large that you can find a variety of regions, in every direction, to satisfy any traveler.

This means that I can go north and see snow and volcanoes. Or I can go east or south and find some deserts. To the west, is a million different options for beaches. Right in the middle of it, the Central Valley, is full of farmlands, all of it surrounded by mountains California has it all.

Someone, me, could call it the perfect state to travel through. This also means that it is really big.  Someone, me, could call it almost too big. And, unfortunately, I cannot drive.

Now, technically, I do have a state issued driver’s license. With this, I can legally drive a motor vehicle. But, the problem is that I am not a confident driver. I am from a small town, where the roads are long and straight. Not to mention, flat. How could I go from that to the rocky, curvy roads along California’s coastline?

Even if I miraculously became a self-assured driver, I live in San Diego. If I wanted to visit Mount Shasta, way up north, the drive from here to there would take (according to Google maps) approximately 11 and a half hours! Honestly, that kind of sounds like the ultimate road trip. A drive starting at the bottom of California, going all the way to the top.

If only I could drive. Also, I would probably need a car.

Featured image found here.

Haight-Ashbury image: mine

‘Tisn’t the Season

So, here’s the thing, Christmas music is overplayed, repetitive and honestly, annoying. And I know that some people wait all year just to hear “Jingle Bell Rock.” It blasts from every speaker, car, shopping center and every single commercial on T.V. I despise it.

With a title like “Self-Proclaimed Grinch,” I only have one question. How do you, Christmas music lovers, listen to the same rotation of maybe ten songs on repeat, year after year? Listen to the radio for an hour during the holiday season. You will literally hear the same songs repeat themselves. And just because different bands sing it, does not make it new or anything different. Especially when it all starts around the beginning of November.

Every year it seems like the season begins earlier. I remember when Christmas didn’t start until after Thanksgiving. Now the winter wonderland initiates immediately after Halloween ends. With Halloween being my favorite holiday, I find it difficult to let go of the spookiness and trade it in for the merry festivities.

Now, I have never been one of the jolliest of people. I remember hating singing “Silent Night” every year in elementary school performances. Maybe, that’s where all of this stems from. Or, I just believe the fact that Christmas music should not play until the week of the holiday.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love and enjoy spending time with loved ones during the festive season. However, I just can’t force myself to feel excited about all those sleigh bells ringing when they’ve been ring-ting-tingling since Nov. 1.

On the other hand, I do find myself making small exceptions to these rules of where and when holiday music should be played. Anything by Michael Bublé is timeless and can be played wherever, whenever.  Also, you can find me blasting “Last Christmas,” by Wham! anytime of the year.

Retrieved from here.

Featured Image: Retrieved from here.

Living with Demons 101

As someone who has never had the pleasure of enjoying their own room, I feel it is safe to say that I am somewhat of an expert on living with roommates. Just in the past three years alone, I have had a grand total of eleven different roommates. At one point, there were three of us in a room smaller than your average Taco Bell public restroom. While some of these roomies became in friends, a lot more of them fueled anger and passive aggressive sticky notes.

Here are my top three tips to survive those roommate nightmares.

Tip #1: Good Headphones

Sometimes, you get real unlucky and end up rooming with someone who snores like your dad after a really good Thanksgiving meal. Like a broken lawnmower, like twenty airplanes starting up at once, like a gentle avalanche amplified a million times. Now, there’s nothing you can really do, unless you feel like a daredevil and actually want to break the news to your roommate that you hate them because their snoring kept you up all night. So, my big tip here is headphones and a good white noise playlist. My favorite so far can be found here.  .

Tip #2: Voice Your Complaints

If you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else will, duh! If you are like me, and avoid confrontation at all costs, try voicing your complaint through a nice little sticky note. Last semester, I had this problem where someone kept taking my sponges from the kitchen. One day, I could wash my dishes, and the next, I couldn’t. After I had lost four sponges to this monster, I left a bright pink note that said “please stop stealing my sponges” with a cute little sad face. Just like magic, my sponges never disappeared again.

Tip #3: Don’t Be Small

When the going gets rough, the tough doesn’t roll up into a ball and let demons step all over them. Or however that saying is supposed to go. Either way, you get the sentiment. Do not make yourself small just to accommodate others, and do not let them walk all over you. Because, they will if you let them. This is the most important tip to living with demons. Also life in general, which is full of other types of monsters.

Here’s to hoping you never get stuck with any demons. If you do, just remember that a lot of us have been there. And if you decide you don’t like my tips, just hang out with a friend, where you can both complain about your own monsters.

Featured Image: Retrieved from here.

Why the 1980s Were the Best Decade

If you say that you do not like the ’80s, you need to stop lying to yourself. In all my 20 years of life, only one thing has remained constant, and that is the absolute, pure joy that music from the ’80s brings me. Sure, it might have seemed like the world was about to end with the rise of conservatism in politics, President Reagan and the AIDS epidemic, but that is not largely any different than what is going on now, if you think about it.

In the same way that we use memes and jokes to hide our pain and fear today, the good people of the ’80s decade blessed us with great hits to avoid that end-of-it-all feeling. These hits include songs like “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper, “Take on Me” by A-ha and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. I almost got carried away there, and just made a list of every song I could think of, but that would be overkill.

The point is, how can you possibly resist singing along to every upbeat melody that came from this great time? You can’t! Every tune is absolutely infectious. Any time a song by Queen, Madonna, Tears for Fears, Prince, Bowie or Wham! comes on in the car, it is basically a rule that you must sing along. Also, just as a fun little life-tip, “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran and “Don’t You Want Me” by Human League are great go-to karaoke songs.

And the culture, style and language that came from these artists was like totally rad. Righteous? Tubular? Yeah, yeah, gag me with a spoon, am I right? Not going to lie, I have been to a handful of ’80s themed parties and thrown a couple myself, just so I could indulge in neon colors, permed and teased hair, and bright lipstick.

Now, I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, but I do have to suggest that you find yourself a good 80s playlist. The “Stranger Things” inspired one on Spotify is pretty good place to start, if you’re a fan. And, I would suggest you invest in some ripped tights, a fishnet t-shirt or maybe some leather pants. Or, if you want to live your best life, all three.

Featured Image: Retrieved from here.