I moved home for the summer. I’m in Asheville. Home is supposed to be safe space, full of love and warmth.
Last week, the Asheville police department destroyed a medic station in downtown during a protest. Masks and medical supplies were burned. Water bottles punctured. EMTs, doctors, and nurses pushed aside, some even to the ground, by police in riot gear. The city has since released a statement about what happened and why. Feel free to read it here: Asheville Police Chief Apologizes After Officers Destroy Medical Tent.
I do not condone violence; I do not condone riots; I do not condone looting in the very same way I do not condone racism or slavery. But to not condone is not enough.
We have grown up in a United States that has not known slavery in the classical sense, but as a future lawyers I understand that systematic oppression and disenfranchisement still place invisible shackles on our peers. While the world has changed much since the Civil Rights Act and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., racism and hatred still flourish. Some of our parents stood in solidarity with desegregation; the current generations must do much more than that. It is not enough to not condone police brutality, racism, and the growing list of hashtags that tell the story of oppression. We must fight against it. The time for standing is over. The time for action is now.
This quarantine feels like a never ending road trip, only we’re not going anywhere cool, I’ve seen the same stretch of highway with the same trees a million times, and we ran out of snacks forever ago. It’s got me asking are we there yet?!
No. No we are not there yet. While states are slowly starting to reopen, we know there will be another wave of this come fall. And what do we do to prepare for long road trips? Snacks. Art. Stories. Music.
Before turning 21, drinking was this weird thing I considered very grown up, but also youthful. Alcohol was surrounded by a gauze of mysticism. How would it make me feel? Do I want to risk getting into trouble? How much is too much? How does one make a mixed drink? Honestly, before college, I thought a mixed drink was 50% vodka and 50% juice. Thankfully I have learned my lesson, and that lesson only took one “mixed drink” to figure out.
Now, almost all the social situations I find myself in outside of school and work have alcohol involved. Coming to talk at a law school reception? Grab a glass of wine. Going to a birthday dinner? Have a beer. Want to watch a movie with friends at home? Someone bring on the White Claws!
Having a drink in my hand when I’m standing around chatting has become the norm. I spent January making a more conscious choice of when I drank, what I was drinking, and with whom I was sharing a drink. Why was I reaching for a drink in a particular moment? Was it just to feel like a normal person and fit in, or was it because I really wanted a glass of wine? I found that most of the time I drank, I drank because I wanted people to think I was “normal.” Having a drink with friends while chatting about life made me less of a prude, or so I thought think.
While going through the notes on my phone, I stumbled upon a piece from Medium called The Unifying Theory of Alcohol. I remembered reading it about a year ago, and only clicked on the link to read it again because I’d just been to a Super Bowl party where a handful of people peppered me with questions about why I wasn’t drinking, if I wanted a drink, if I was the designated driver, etc. The truth was, I didn’t want to get drunk with them, but I didn’t want to say that because I didn’t want to sound lame. I also didn’t want people to continue to try and get me to drink. So I told them I was driving.
I ended up getting a drink an hour later, after relocating to another party with close friends. But I wasn’t drinking to get drunk or because I felt I had to. I wanted something sweet, so I made myself half a drink and nursed it all night long. The weird thing was that as soon as my group migrated back to the old party, no one there asked me about drinking. As soon as I showed up with a cup in my hand, the questions stopped. It was an eerie moment because it seemed like I had to drink, or get pestered all night.
Reading the article from Medium over again, I wished there was an easier way to say “I’m not drinking” that would get it through other people’s heads. “I’m not drinking” doesn’t mean “ask me again to make sure I’m sure” or “check again in a few minutes.” Alcohol is no longer mystical or weird. Sometimes it’s a burden. No one wants to explain their reasoning for not drinking a thousand times in one night (and by a thousand, I mean more than maybe once).
I guess what I really want is for society to normalize not consuming alcohol as much as it showcases drinking in any and all social situations.
I don’t care if you drink. I don’t care if you want to get drunk every night of the week. But I do care if I get asked about alcohol so many times that I eventually feel pressured to lie about being the designated driver or fill a Solo cup with water so people stop asking.
Perhaps I need more of a backbone. Perhaps I should just drink water and pretend to be doing what everyone else is doing. Perhaps I should just get over myself and have that glass of wine. Who knows. But I do know that The Unifying Theory of Alcohol really hit the nail on the head for me after that party, and it’s definitely something to think about.
As my roommates and I all move out to start our new adult lives our stuff has slowly began to disappear from our house. I’m currently sitting in a living room with a tv stand, but no tv, end tables, but no couch, curtain rods, but no curtains…you get the picture. Not throwing shade at my roommates – this is just how adulthood is sometimes. Or, as the kids say nowadays, that’s just “how it be.”
I don’t know about you, but my microwave is an adulthood essential. All of my home cooked meals usually end up in there, most of those meals being a 9pm dinner of popcorn and wine. Living life without a microwave has thus left me without my popcorn, and I have been (somewhat) devastated. It’s crazy to think that I go about my days using technology that could be easily replaced but when I’m left trying to “easily replace” it I’m somewhat dumbfounded by how much my adult self needed it.
People say that a wine glass is basically just an adult sippy cup. If that’s the case, then my microwave is the adult version of a pack’n’play. Instead of reheating my coffee or tea, I have to brew a new batch. Trying to make a frozen meal? Forget it being ready in five minutes because now you have to wait on the oven to heat up. And don’t get me started about popcorn on the stove – I nearly took my own eye out. I’m having to re-learn simple tasks that are crucial to adulthood (like, for example, cooking…). No longer are things quick and easy. I actually have to plan things out. Yeesh.
I hope you all realize that that was sarcasm. If not, it was sarcasm. Cool. Glad we’re on the same page. Anyways! This is a long winded way of saying that I take a lot of things for granted and don’t realize it until it’s 2am and I’m making stove top popcorn and being burned by flying bits of butter. Adulthood is a long and winding road. Simple things like microwaves and iPhones make it a lot easier, but in terms of actually knowing how to do life “right” my generation has a long way to go. We’re so dependent on the technologies of our childhood that when it comes to facing some part of life without them we tend to fall apart and not really know how to carry on as normal. This goes for little things, like single use plastics, too.
Plastics became big during my parents’ childhoods. Tupperware became an especially fast growing phenomenon. My mom remembers having tupperware parties where housewives would gather around to sell each other Rubbermade bowls and lids. Now we’ve become so reliant on it that living life without it seems…awkward, and more effort than it’s worth. For example, why would you go through the trouble of getting out pots and pans if you could just pop that dinner plate into the microwave to heat it up? Why go bring your own cups to Starbucks when they have their own? Get my drift?
It’s so much easier to walk into a store and buy what you need and walk out without having to think about it. Not to mention, it’s much cheaper to buy single use plastics than to purchase things in containers made of glass or metal. Another thing to not mention is the way an entire industry has changed based on the fact that we’re no longer using glass refillable bottles for milk, and it’s no longer a “neighborhood” thing where you leave the bottles at your doorstep and your friendly neighborhood milk bottle boy would pick them up, have them refilled, and bring them back. Instead of a neighborhood enterprise, it’s now national. If I’m being honest, this is pretty remarkable in an oddly awe-inspiring way (keep a lookout for my next memoir Girl Inspired by How Single Use Plastics Changed the National Dairy Industry in Under One Generation. Haha. Just kidding.).
Change is hard. Reverse change is even harder. No one likes to think about going backwards as progress, but hey, sometimes you need to take a step back in order to get a running start, right? And now, as I go back to living life with the crippling anxiety of not having my microwave to assist me in my comfort of superfluous everyday living, I have decided that appliance I cannot live without is my tea kettle, which actually isn’t mine but my roommate’s. Wish me luck.
If you’d like to read more about single use plastics, click on the following links:
I always think of Memorial Day the official start of summer. The pool opens, temperatures are nice and toasty, and the lightening bugs come out to play. I never really thought about Memorial Day as an actual holiday with actual meaning until this year. Sounds silly, right? But it truly wasn’t until my brother joined the Coast Guard that I actually thought about Memorial Day as a day of thanks. I see so many ads for sales and pools and theme parks and other summer stuff that I tend to forget the real reason for today.
Here are a few quick tidbits about the holiday for those that are interested:
Originally called Decoration Day
Wasn’t a federal holiday until the 1970’s but started after the Civil War
Each year at 3 PM on Memorial Day a moment of remembrance occurs
Many people decorate the graves of fallen soldiers or pray over their loved ones in the military
The first “official” Memorial Day was held in Waterloo, New York when, in 1968, the city closed its shops and decorated graves with flags
We now use the date to remember all fallen soldiers, not just those that died during a specific battle or of natural causes after their service
And for those you of that are interested in hitting up some iconic Memorial Day sales, here’s a list:
Target sale on clothing and furniture
Kawaii Pen Shop site wide sale
Walmart (general sale off most things in store)
Old Navy 50% off clothing for the family
Wayfair 30-75% off site wide
Basically all the big businesses are having sales right now, so rather than spam you with the world’s longest list I’ll direct you -> here
See what I mean when I say I get distracted by all the shopping nonsense and forget the reason for the season? If I find the historical timeline for these sale shenanigans, or the economical reason for it, I’ll add an update in the comments:)
As a member of Influenster, I got my very first VoxBox to write reviews on! I was gifted some really cool things like chalk colored hair spray in pink and purple, a meal kit, a face mask creme, and some Nature’s Bounty hair, skin, and nails gummy vitamins. I’m going to be writing some reviews on them and posting them on the blog, but other reviews will be posted on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook page so if there’s a review you really want to see check those accounts out for the most recent updates!
I’ve always wanted to have “fun” hair before I have to really be a serious adult, so I was over the moon when Influenster sent me Eva NYCChameleon Temporary Color Stays hair products in the colors “Pink Crush” and “Purple Dream”!
Chameleon temporary color stays are buildable, brushable sprays that create instant vibrant temporary color – on any hair shade. Infused with Keravis™ protein complex and argan oil, this salon-quality formula instantly delivers optimal anti-breakage benefits and commitment-free color!
I’ve always wanted to have “fun” hair before I have to really be a serious adult, so I was over the moon when Influenster sent me Eva NYCChameleon Temporary Color Stays hair products in the colors “Pink Crush” and “Purple Dream”! Chameleon temporary color stays are buildable, brushable sprays that create instant vibrant temporary color – on any hair shade. Infused with Keravis™ protein complex and argan oil, this salon-quality formula instantly delivers optimal anti-breakage benefits and commitment-free color!
I’d never ever done anything to my hair before and wasn’t sure where to start so I felt much better about treating my hair after reading the ingredients list for these products. I already do a hair mask once a week with argan oil and have noticed how much healthier my hair looks now, so I was confident that this color treatment would at least be safe for my virgin strands. And lo! The Chameleon Temporary Color Spray lived up to the challenge. Even though my hair felt dry after the application (which I totally expected because I read that most spray on dyes change the texture of your hair a bit), there was no breakage! Even after leaving the product in all day and giving it a rough wash in the shower my hair looked healthy.
I wanted to try going for a dip dye look, but that’s really hard when you’re using spray dye so I ended up with subtle highlights. I sort of just wrapped a towel around my shoulders and went to town creating highlights in the bottom sections of my hair and then brushing the spray through with a paddle brush to transfer a minimal amount of color into the top layer of hair. The towel didn’t make it out as glamorously, sad to say. The hairbrush, countertop, and my hands were also casualties. But the hair? Gorgeous. I ended up with some stunning subtle pink highlights.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to try this everyday look again, even though I loved the look. Why? Well…everything in my life that came into contact with my hair turned hot pink. My towels, my hair brush, my straightener, my curler, my jean jacket, my stripped tank top, the top of my backpack…everything. My shower and bathmat were also christened with hot pink water after I washed my hair. And even though I washed my hair twice before styling it again, my straightener came away pink after use. My hairbrush will most likely be permanently dyed pink as I’ve washed it three times and can’t get any of the residue off of it.
I colored my hair Monday morning. I wrote this review Sunday. I washed my hair three times between Monday and today. I wore a grey sweater this afternoon and the top of it, where my hair must have gotten caught between my back and my backpack when I was putting the backpack on, is now pink. The product is advertised as coming out after a shower; however, my hair is still tinging things pink a week later. It’s like the Midas touch, only a vibrant shade of pink. The costume designer of Mean Girls would be proud.
While I loved the look, I don’t think I would use this in every day life. It’s too messy. I would, however, totally do a hair color makeover for Halloween or any other fun holiday! I could even dye my hair bright green for the next Saint Patrick’s Day 5k I sign up for! The options are limitless.
To learn more about Eva NYC you can follow their Instagram @evahairnyc
You can also follow this hair product, and many others, through the hashtag #evaempowerment so you never miss a real life review!
I hope everyone is enjoying this day off of school and (maybe) work. While a lot of people view this as just another day off, I’m grateful for friends and family that encourage me to take the time to educate myself on race, politics, and history. I know this is something I should be doing every single day, but because today is MLK Day I’ve made sure to set aside a moment of introspection and research for myself.
I am white. As an academic, consultant and writer on white racial identity and race relations, I speak daily with other white people about the meaning of race in our lives. These conversations are critical because, by virtually every measure, racial inequality persists, and institutions continue to be overwhelmingly controlled by white people. While most of us see ourselves as “not racist”, we continue to reproduce racist outcomes and live segregated lives….If I cannot tell you what it means to be white, I cannot understand what it means not to be white. I will be unable to bear witness to, much less affirm, an alternate racial experience. I will lack the critical thinking and skills to navigate racial tensions in constructive ways…We can begin [to support racial equality] by acknowledging ourselves as racial beings with a particular and limited perspective on race. We can attempt to understand the racial realities of people of color through authentic interaction rather than through the media or through unequal relationships.
This weekend, I browsed the internet for articles on race in America. I hope you’re not surprised that I found many, many articles, news reports, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, and various other web-based writings on the subject.
And to wrap up this week’s post, I have an article for you about Black Burnout. I wasn’t aware that someone else’s definition of burnout could be different than mine. I’d always assumed it was the same feeling, happening for the same reasons, and ending in the same way. I’d read an earlier article from Buzzfeed writer Anne Peterson about millennials being the burnout generation and intensely related to the scenarios and feelings she described. I’m so glad that someone else decided to write a follow up article from their perspective because otherwise I wouldn’t have known there was a difference.
I hope you enjoyed the articles and the discussions they may prompt. Some may find them enlightening, some inflammatory, and others dismissive. Feel free to talk about your thoughts and reactions in the comments section below.
Sienna was absolutely beautiful! I loved going through the government buildings (hello, future law student!) and seeing firsthand how art can be a political influence.
The views were absolutely gorgeous!
Reading in the plaza is a nice break from walking around all day! I brought a sarong with me to use as a blanket when sitting on the ground. I am always getting things on my white jeans! Bringing something to sit on (and to help my classmates cover up their shoulders or knees when going into churches) really saved me on this trip!
Below is the Allegory of Good and Bad Government, a fresco mural in the rooms of the Council of Nine, the government of Sienna in the 1300’s. I love it because of its purpose: it kept the government in line through the depiction of what occurs when a government governs poorly. Below is only the “good government” side, but you should definitely check out the “bad government” side. What a great political implication! If you want to read more about it, click here.
Also, to all the dads out there, happy Father’s Day!
Higher temps tend to lead to fewer clothes, which can snowball (or sandball?) into a whole host of body confidence issues for both males and females. Check out this podcast by Call Your Girlfriend about exploring body positivity!
Fun fact: August is the time of year when the most murders in the US occur! So don’t be surprised if people are a little…touchy…during the hottest months of the year. But that still doesn’t give anyone any excuses. Read here about the Australian comedian that was murdered close to her home after a late night gig. “Performer Alex Lee tweeted, ‘My first stand up set when I was the same age as Eurydice Dixon, was about being afraid walking home at night. Making jokes about it was a way to feel slightly empowered instead of small and frightened. Mourning for this young comedian who was entitled to feel safe.'”