Advice

Let’s Talk

Hey folks, it’s November.  Trash’s favorite month of the year!  But it seems like the past few weeks have been full of things that piss me off.  Let’s discuss.

Social Media Trash
Now one thing you all know is that Tumblr and Instagram are sites where people have absolutely no couth.  There are blogs out there specifically for posting Catfish’ed nudes.  We constantly see “Post Bad Bitches” accounts.  It’s a part of life that is treated with stunning regularity.  What’s worse is that people are now using these platforms to “communicate” with other participants.  Let’s talk about one specific instance I saw this week.

While scrolling through the Tumblr, I saw an ask.  And I quote

“I think that Jordan Calloway is DL.  I dm’ed him a picture of me playing with myself and he didn’t respond.  And I’M A 10!!!! So he has to be gay!”

Now for those of you who don’t know who Jordan Calloway is, he was in that Drumline 2 movie and looks like this:

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So you know, I can understand being a little thirsty.  However, what I do not understand is your snap judgment of his sexuality based on your irrational decision to send someone you don’t know footage of your vagina monologues.

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WHO IS RAISING YOU?

Seriously, I get that there is a feeling of “intimacy” because we can now “interact” with celebrities and even fine ass regular people via these platforms. But what I don’t get is this sense of entitlement that suggests they have to respond to you no matter what you send.  If you think they are attractive, that means they are OBVIOUSLY attracted to you and are willing to spend their time interacting with a nameless, faceless other. This is regardless of sexuality.  They don’t owe you a laundry list of their sexual preferences or histories.   They don’t owe you nude photos.  They don’t owe you anything.

THEY DON’T KNOW YOU!

Someone told that youngest Jenner girl they wanted to eat chocolate pudding out of her behind.  At the age of 16.  You know that you all don’t have to actually say these things to these people.

I’ll fully admit that I stay creeping.  I’m all about that screenshot/right click + save as lifestyle.

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But what I’m not doing is badgering people with my thirst because I was never taught self-control.  Get it together adults.  Make sure these kids know how to act both in real life and on the internet.

Lena Dunham’s “Comedic” Sexual Awakening
I’m going into this having never watched an episode of Girls and only knowing two things about the show.  People either think the show is quirky funny or horribly racist.  And that they used Lady’s “Yankin” on an episode.

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I laugh at that .gif constantly.

But anyway, Lena Dunham, the show’s creator and noted hunchback released her book this year with a problematic passage about her sexual “awakening” in the presence of her younger sister.

I’m not here to defend nor condemn this woman (who has proven that she wants to be treated with kid gloves while praised for her edgy and different she is).  I want to talk about over-sharing.  Most of the praise that I’ve read about Lena’s work is that it truly comes from her life and experiences.  The show may be an obnoxious show about privileged white hipsters but that’s her life and experience.  I recall there being a lot of praise for showing her body which isn’t “Hollywood-sized” as well.

The impression that I’ve always gotten is that she thinks that acting like a little girl is cute and has gotten by with this approach.

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Why else wouldn’t she stand up straight?

When I read that passage and the resulting media explosion, my only thought was why put this in the book?  Why do you we need to know this about you? Again, I gather that she thought this would make her look more quirky and different. Oh, look at this weirdly curious 6 year old girl who just wanted to know what her vagina was doing!  Isn’t that adorable?!

See it’s not.  At least, a 28-year old woman tells the story isn’t.  This is the kind of attention seeking story that she thinks will “totally piss off the stuffy old people of today. I’m so edgy.” When in reality, stories of the sexual awakening of a child aren’t something we as a general public need to know. Curiosity about the body isn’t gross, in and of itself, but putting out it as a light-hearted comedic joke was never going to work.

Now her sister has to live the rest of her life with the world knowing her sibling touched her genitalia, whether it was sexual or not.

She had to know that sharing a story about touching her younger sister’s body was going to get her labeled as a child molester, truth or not.  Her “rage” at the controversy is totally unearned.

You want to tell a story about being a weird 7-year old? Talk about actual events.  (I jumped out of the car after we got in an accident and told a police officer to arrest a man for spilling my soda.)  Talk about interaction with your family. (I was given a puppy by my father and proceeded to walk away saying that I asked for a Nintendo.) There are some things that just don’t need to be said because no matter the context, it doesn’t read well.  It speaks to her lack of maturity and refusal to take responsibility for her own actions.

Her editors didn’t think this would be a scandal.  But I guess it got people talking about her book, so there’s that.

(Seriously, she’s 28? Someone get her a multi-vitamin or a spa day. Girl looks rough.)

What are your thoughts?  Are you the one sending nasty pics to Tyga’s DM’s?  How dumb is Lena Dunham? Let me know in the comments.

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Guest Post: Instagram’s Explore Page

Editorial Note: Welcome Sass back into the fray for another hilarious post about how you’re fucking up on a daily basis. -Team Trash

The Instagram Explore Page…where the shitty taste of my friends gathers and kills my soul.

Earlier this year…or maybe late last year…or maybe earlier last year? Fuck it, I don’t know, sometime before today, Instagram updated their Popular page to become the Explore page. Before, the Popular page was a place where the most liked pictures on Instagram were showcased. There you could see Kim Kardashian’s newest selfie (even though you don’t follow her, but 10 million other people do) or the latest vegetable that Oprah picked from her garden (because, Queen). Even if you don’t follow them, you were able to see what was popular at the time.

And then that changed.

Now, the Explore page displays a mix of pictures popular in your country, pictures your friends have liked and people similar to the people that you follow. It’s more a platform to discover, or explore (see what they did there?) the world outside of themselves and their immediate circle. Sometimes, there are some good finds there; for example, Mankofit with her killer workout tips, DanaChanel and her inspirational messages, and Oprah with her vegetable garden (because, Queen). But other times…Lord Jesus, bless it. The ratchetry of some of my friends is out, about, and pushed to the forefront of my feed.

Here are the top 5 terrible things I can ALWAYS count on seeing on the Explore page:

1.)  Instagram Models and Boutiques – I probably brought this on myself, honestly, because I follow Draya, but there are A LOT of Instagram models and boutiques featured here. There’s a lot of mesh, a ton of weave, breast, butt and lip augmentation and flesh that I don’t need. Usually, these “fashions” can be purchased on the low – bandage, cut out dresses made of mesh can be purchased for $15.99, which includes shipping, handling, tax, service fees, production costs and materials. These “models” have booking information for club appearances and fully styled “I woke up like this” pictures. Yeah, okay.

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2.)  The Half-Naked Boys – Some of these half naked boys are models of either the Instagram or legitimate variety. Others of them are regular people, stunting for their thirsty Instagram followers, whit their pants halfway removed, giving us pubic hair and six-packs, while they brush their teeth with the caption, “Morning.” Boy, stop.I don’t know how these end up on my page, but my eyes are dead set on people I follow (lowers glasses and glares at Trash). Sometimes you get shirtless, sometimes you get pantsless, and sometimes you get an ass clap/twerk video with the caption, “Bored.” I’m never ready for those videos.

(Editor’s Note: I don’t know what Sass is talking about.  I keep it sophisticated and elegant at all times.  Maybe she should check Class)

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3.)  Philosophical Posts from the Ignorant and Highly Uninformed – Everyone is not bright. We know this. The second I find out which of my friends likes posts like the one below, they’re unfollowed. Dead ass. Ebola can be treated and cured, just like you can HIV? Okay, boss. Catch both, and tell me which one clears up first. Honest to God, one of the comments said that they won’t tell you that drinking Lysol cures HIV and they’re keeping that information from us, too. You’re right, medical professionals just won’t tell us that. How rude of them.

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4.)  Memes – The first go ‘round of memes are usually funny. And then they’re not. Let Olivia from The Cosby Show, Kermit and the tea, the “this could be us, but…,” and all the other dead memes go to their much deserved eternal slumber. They don’t need their own accounts and they most certainly don’t need new life every single day. Are some funny? Certainly? Are most? NOPE! Be mindful of your meme usage, ladies and gents. Send Terrio to school, draw on LeBron’s hairline, cure that awkward looking Black girl of her perpetual confusion, and give that struggle ponytail a weave. However, Kim’s cry face and the Martin Baker on the phone memes will never get old to me. Also, any Rihanna face usually makes for a good time. Just be accurate in the captions.

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5.)  Food posts – Honestly, I don’t have an issue with these, I just needed a fifth and Trash didn’t answer his phone when I needed another suggestion (I set myself up with five, I should have gone for three). I even think that CookinForBae is amazing. This bitch be hungry. Keep sharing those, I need them.

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(Editorial Note: Trash can in fact confirm that this did not happen.  However, I did just see a large man in a taupe sleeveless top with a cowl neck on my Explore page, so carry on.)

Another Feelings Dump

What’s up y’all?  While I wouldn’t expect a return to regular posting just yet, I do have some stuff on my mind that I need to get out of my system.  So what better place?

This list is not at all in order of importance.

1) Coping (How to Fail at It) featuring Trash

You all have to know what’s going on in Ferguson, MO at this point.  I’m not here to recap it.  I’m not even here to argue the facts.

I don’t have the strength to point out how all of this is because Black people and their lives are denied value in America.

You should already know that no matter what you wear, no matter how many degrees you have, no matter how much you avoid being “stereotypical,” you’re still just another black person.  When the chips are down, you can be shot.  They will get away with it.

We all know that this teenager is going be criminalized and smeared in the media, because any minor discretion is just another reason his life didn’t matter.  You’re constantly going to be reminded that any fault in his character justified his murder.

We all know that clueless assholes are going to idiotic statements.  Newscasters will say to use “water cannons.” The killer will talk about how his life has ended too, even though he’s at home on paid leave.  New Blacks are going to talk about how Black on Black crime and rap music is the cause of all of this.

You’ve already seen someone on your social media try to make it about them with clueless statements, incorrect information, and a general ain’t-shit demeanor.

Truth is, I’m tired.  I’m trying to deal with all of my outrage, my inability to create meaningful change, my inability to protect people I love from the same fate.  There’s not a day where I don’t think, “I’m blessed to be alive.”  I haven’t done anything to deserve it.  But I am.  Instead of productively letting it out, I’m just stewing in my anger and hopelessness.  It’s making me feel ugly inside and preventing me from enjoying the day-to-day.  I don’t want to be around people because all I want to do is talk about it and be angry.  I don’t have the luxury of taking off and being alone until I’m able to face regular society again.  I’m trying to just plow through life in order to sit home in the dark and think about this situation.

There’s no comfort in knowing that no matter what I do, no matter what advice I give my nephew and niece, no matter how many books I read, and no matter how polite I am, my life means nothing if a White person so deems it.

2) Taylor Swift

I haven’t really raged against the Swift in recent moments because she doesn’t really have a song out and she hasn’t been publicly dating anyone.  Not so lucky for me and the rest of the world, she released “Shake It Off.”

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I’m not going to link because she’s not getting a single view on my behalf.

But this is tangent to the first point.  The root of my hatred of Taylor Swift (and Jennifer Aniston) is that for my money they represent peak whiteness. This isn’t a critique of every white person (again, I should not have to say this) but of the dominant American culture.  I’ll let Omarosa take over…

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Where a “wholesome” and “sweet” girl who are just “hassled” are given passes for complete mediocrity because of her perceived girl next door image.  It’s like “Ooh, she’s bland and I can sing better than her.  Give her all my money!” 

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Throw in some questionable appropriation moments and her absolute refusal to sing on key and it’s already terrible.

But this song has a message of “SUCK IT HATAZ” for critiquing her image.  So she’s shaking off any criticism of her bland, mediocre, white bread music and image that appeals to middle-of-the-road, “put-upon”, middle class America. The very same America that is notably quiet whenever an unarmed Black man is killed in cold blood.

For me, this song is the essence of “First World Problems.”  And this is not the day, the week, the month, nor the year for this shit.

Sure, that may seem like a reach for some readers, but think about it this way.  Think back to a time where you felt depressed or upset over something in your life.  Now somebody you don’t particularly like (a coworker or classmate) comes up gloating about their promotion when you know they do nothing or a great exam score on a test where they have cheated.  You wouldn’t have the time for it.

And that’s what this song is to me.  It’s Taylor Swift singing a song that say “nah nah ni boo boo” to all you minorities for not being White.

Fuck.  Her.

3) Reality TV Thoughts

On a lighter note, Project Runway and Top Chef Duels have come to television.  Since So You Think You Can Dance continues to be pretty terrible, I had high hopes for each of these shows.

Project Runway is about as average as any of the other later seasons with some confounding judging thrown in.  Three of first four episodes have handed out wins to questionable garments. Props to Tom & Lorenzo as the source of these photos.  Also, if you love celebrity fashion, Mad Men, Project Runway, or RuPaul’s Drag Race, it behooves you to frequent their site.  Also, read their book!

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The first two are from comeback contestant Amanda.  Fringe really shouldn’t be a thing.  The second two are from Sandhya.  I like the pink look with the metallic detail, but that poorly dyed, ripped shoulder, frayed edge abomination should have at least put her in the bottom.  No thanks.  That said, I do think that there’s some talent in the cast and the judges seem to be making good cuts.  I have hope that someday Michael Kors will come back.

Top Chef Duels is pretty good!  It’s a lot more low-key than your traditional Top Chef, but it brings back familiar faces and gives them space to be creative.  As a huge Gail Simmons fan, I’m glad she’s a part of the show.  I could live without Curtis Stone, but that’s not my decision.  I hope that the show does well and continues to bring back some great chefs.  (Although, go away Mike Isabella.)

Love & Hip Hop Atlanta is finally winding down after a particularly raggedy season.  When Karlie Redd is the source of your most entertaining moments, it’s time to take stock.  Seeing Rasheeda take Kirk back after complete and blatant disrespect for her, their child, his mother, their family, and her image (which is the family business) is not good television.  Seeing Erica and Scrappy be friends is nice for the sake of their daughter, they’ve been complete non-entities since we stopped seeing O’Shea Da Model and The Bambi.  Benzino continues to be neckless and ThiThi is the most obvious case of fame-hungry gold digger we’ve seen since Flavor of Love 3.  Stevie and Joseline’s soap opera relationship is not funny.  Joseline is best when talking shit about other girls, not crying about beefcake and her awful music.  Tammy & Waka are sweet but boring.  Karlie is trash on trash, but at least she gave us more terrible music and Yung Joc’s decision to air our her sexual habits.  Momma Dee & Deb are reliably fun though.

But let’s about Mimi again.  All of Mimi’s struggles, barring the death of her father, are her own doing based on her own choices.  Her absolute refusal to be told that she is wrong only serves to make her look like the weak-willed dingbat that she is. It’s painful to watch her get mad at people when she is forced to reveal her lies.  Like if you don’t want to hear what they have to say, stop going to them.  If you’re going to defend being wrong so vehemently, you’re going to continue to have to eat crow.

To be frank, I’d have cut her off when she accepted Stevie’s car.  Girl, you can’t be over him and accept things that aren’t child support.  Your dependency is showing.

But truth be told, she needs to leave the show.  Nothing has been good for her since it started and now the world knows her for being an idiot who is easily fooled and bought.  Sucks to be you.

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4) The Future Looks Bleak

If you haven’t gathered, I’m not in the happiest of places now.  As cliché and standard as it sounds, I’m used to telling myself that it will all work out. It will all be okay. But these two weeks have reminded me of the feeling of despair that I either ignored or suppressed as a part of the move.  It’s that I don’t know the future and not seeing much in the way of encouragement.  It’s not that I don’t believe God has a plan or that I believe I should have all the answers.  It just seems like I keep waking up to bad news. It’s like a nightmare. I want more than what this is for America and for my friends.  I don’t know how to tell them that, being someone who hates only tolerates melodrama/emotions.

That said, I’ll end this with simply.  I care.  I’m not great at letting people know that.  I may not ever say to your face.  But you’re cared about and I want what’s best for your mind, body, and soul.

Stay safe everyone and do your best to maintain positivity in your days.

Quickie Post: Grief & Social Media

Hey folks. I don’t want to hold you up but I had this on my spirit.

With the tragic news of Mike Brown’s murder in Missouri as well as the suicide of Robin Williams, this week has been a grim reminder of many things. Police brutality, the state of being Black in America, and mental illness just to name a few.

In my experience, grief is a messy and difficult emotion. A mix of anger, despair, and sadness that is unmatched in how it affects a person. You don’t just get over grief. You don’t just talk it out once and it goes away.

We also live in a world where everyone feels like they need to share their every thought via the Internet, regardless of the topic, mundane or emotional. I’m here to tell you that you don’t.

If the people in your lives feel as thought you not making a grand statement is “offensive,” these are people who don’t live their real lives.

Part of the human experience is dealing with these types of intense moments in the way that is most fitting for your life and your emotional state.

You should also feel free to share your feelings on your page. My only ask is that you look before you respond. Posting incorrect names and information only serves to make you look inauthentic and erode whatever sentiment you were sharing.

That’s all and I hope that this week only finds a way to be better.

Depression Is A Beast

Hey People,

Here’s hoping you had a great weekend and that this week is progressing the way you want.

As for me…not so much. I’m feeling completely burned out emotionally. I can’t pinpoint any one issue, but it’s like all I can do is sleep and spend time trying to fall asleep. I’ve been in this place before but not since the move back down South.

I have to find a way to change this because I’m not happy in this place. And the knowledge that there is another way to live life only makes this particular hardship worse.

So just send up a quick prayer this week and I’ll do the same.

The Legend of Ratchetbelle

Shakespeare  once said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Aretha Franklin once said, “A rose is still a rose…Baby Girl, you’re still a flower.”

I bring you these wise words, not only to demonstrate how overused roses and floral imagery are in literary and artistic works, but to set  myself up for the story of how I love my friends, Class and Trash.

Sass here, reporting  for duty.

A little over a week ago, I returned from a much needed trip to see my boys. My favorite duo, Class and Trash. Well, really I went to see Trash, but Class can’t turn down a good time, and just happened to be in the area at the same time, accompanied by my newest boo thang Dash. We spent an entire weekend laughing, laughing until we cried, eating, cackling, guffawing and just fellowshipping in a way that most people will never experience in a lifetime. At a stressful and transitional time in all of our lives, I have to admit that this was well needed and much deserved.

The weekend began when I was picked up by a car of black men, one wearing a du-rag, as if I were some kind of Instagram honey, getting flown out to be tip drilled by the squad. You don’t know me well, but I don’t do those things anymore. This was hours after my plane was originally scheduled to arrive, so I arrived under the guise of night, with plans to turn alllllllllll the way up firmly implanted in my brain. Just as an FYI, we went to Trash’s beautiful apartment where an unfortunate bottle of Fireball dared to challenge us. Don’t worry – we handled that within a number of minutes.

We went to a bar, which didn’t give two shits or a damn about my vagina, if you catch my drift. The bartender there, though, God bless him. I’m positive that he hasn’t yet met a liver that he hasn’t destroyed, with his $3 drinks that were composed of 95% alcohol with a splash of mixer. This is not an exaggeration.  I have a healthy appetite for alcohol, and even I had to ask the bartender for an extra cup of the mixer so that my liver wouldn’t commit suicide on the first night. If there’s one thing that I know, it’s that a weekend with Class and Trash will have your liver praying to King Jesus to bring it home. I needed to pace myself so as to not lose on night one. No one likes that person.

I took my first praise break of the weekend during a 1:30 trip to Zaxby’s. If you’ve never been to Zaxby’s, you have 99 problems, and that is most definitely one.

On Saturday, we prospered and flourished, while sitting on the couch watching Orange is the New Black until about 5 PM. I mean, Class went for a run, because he’s the only one who is apparently serious about his position during the upcoming cuffing season. The rest of us got Chik-Fil-A. Agree or disagree with their policies, but that chicken is scrumptious. “When Jesus says ‘YES,’ nobody can say ‘NO'”

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That night, two groups went out. Me and my new lifelong best friend Asian Sensation went to a club where Trey Songz was “performing,” while Class, Trash and Dash went to another bar. I’m not one to gossip, so you didn’t hear this from me, but only four people went back to Trash’s house that evening *sips tea and lowers spectacles.*

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Since there were only a few of us going back to the apartment, we got CookOut and I had my second praise break of the weekend. Again, if you’ve never had CookOut, please call a friend because you’re not living right.

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So remember how I said only four people returned to Trash’s casa on Saturday night? Let me tell you how said person sauntered into the house on Sunday morning just as chipper as can be. The rest of us didn’t let said person CUM into the house without us all coming for their NECK. We made sure to GET IN THAT ASS with all the jokes that a good HAND JOB could muster (okay, that one was a stretch, but I heard said person needed to stretch after their night out, too). There’s nothing to do after an amazingly fun night out besides go to brunch. And continue to drink. Excessively. For hours. It would have been rude not to. We spent the rest of the day clowning at the pool, because drunk swimming is awesome. Another friend, ATRIPP, took us out around her hood, and we had a blast at a private party, like Trash didn’t need to be at work bright and early at 8 AM.

Now let’s come back full circle, friends. Remember how I gave you those inspiring and riveting quotes about roses at the beginning? And the title is, “The Legend of Ratchetbelle?” Let’s go back there, shall we?

I live across the country from ALL of my friends. Where I live, I have friends, but it is the East Coast that knows me, loves me and allows me to be unapologetically me. When I come back to this side of the world, my friends show up, show out and get down. Which has somehow earned me a nickname…they call me Ratchetbelle. Similar to Tinkerbelle, I fly in, sprinkle you with Ratchet Dust and everyone seems to fly high and leave their manners, good sense and panties at home.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am the victim of a slander campaign. Don’t let Class, Trash, Dash, Asian Sensation or ATRIPP fool you into thinking that any of the good times mentioned this weekend are because of me. Whether you call me a rose, Sass or Ratchetbelle, I can’t take credit for the gut busting that laughter caused this weekend. These good times are because of US. A group of friends who wholeheartedly love each other, and enjoy the good things that each person bring to our lives. I could have visited these people in South Africa during Apartheid, and we probably would have made each other laugh, love and live as freely as we did.

The value of a genuine friend is something that everyone should know. I am honored to have spent my time with these people, and I truly cannot wait until all of our paths cross again. With or without my Ratchet Dust.

So to Class, Trash, Dash, Asian Sensation, ATRIPP and everyone else I saw that didn’t get a shout out because this entry is too long already: Thank you for being a friend. Traveled round the world and back again. Your heart is true; you’re a pal and a confidant. *DUN DUN DUNNNNN* And if you threw a party…invited everyone you knew….you would see the biggest gift would be from me, and the card attached would say (all together now) THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND.

xxoo, Sass.

Aloha Class & Trash Readers!

I know it’s been a little while.  We miss you!  How was your week?

This is going to be quick but I thought that I would give you a rundown of the past week and some thoughts.

1) On The Run Tour

Flawless.  No pun intended.  The show was immaculately put together.  It reminded me of how big a Jay-Z fan I am.  And it is always a delight to see Beyonce do what she does best.

Also, Beyonce covered Ex-Factor.  Which…

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2) So You Think You Can Dance

This season is the pits.  I’m not going to mince words here.  I was nervous when I saw the cast announced and it felt even more bland that usual.  And the performance show happened.

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These kids are talented dancers, don’t get me wrong.  But there isn’t enough diversity of styles.  There’s an immaturity to their movement.  They all even look alike.  It feels like they can all only handle contemporary and the choreography is catering to this at the expense of the show.   I’m trying my best to stick it out as this has been my summer show for years.  But really, I’m not sure how much more I can handle it.

How are you feeling about the season?

3) Lonely

Still boo-hunting?  Yep.  But as per usual, the time after hanging out with some of my best friends is one of complete devastation for me.  I don’t know if anyone feels this way.  But my life is so much better when they are around.  I feel more confident.  I feel more fulfilled.  I feel like there’s hope for me.

That’s a lot to put on a group of people.  But in a way, they are where I get a lot of my energy.

4) Hope For The Future

I’m not one to give out great inspirational advice.  My life isn’t one to model yours after.  However, I do want to tell everyone not to give up.  (including me)

Things get hard.  Life can be unforgiving.  Disappointment is real.  But we can’t stop. Giving up isn’t an option.  Letting today’s problem take us out isn’t going to fix anything.

We’ll get there.

Alright, that’s all I have.  Leave your thoughts below good friends!