Portsmouth, NH | Durham, NH
College, Sweaty

Yoga Misadventures

Hannah and I do a lot of yoga. There’s a vinyasa studio down the street from our dorm, and we try to practice three or four times a week. It’s a small, symmetrical room with blue and green walls, lanterns that throw a soft yellow light, and calming music that permeates the air. The instructors are friendly and encouraging, always telling us to move with our breath and work to our edge. One time we were entering our grueling third minute of high lunge. Our quads were on fire and our arms had been extended over our heads for far too long. Then the instructor, a petite and cheerful redhead, paused and said this with the most serene smile on her face.

This moment, right here, is good.

I wanted to punch her and burst out laughing at the same time. It should be noted that she was not lunging endlessly with us.

But in the end, yoga is consistently one of the best parts of my day. I’m thankful every time I walk out of class that I get to devote an hour of my time to meditation and awkward stretching. And after months of practice, we’ve gotten fairly decent at it. We have our own mats and I have this one top with fancy shoulder straps that totally makes me look the part. I wouldn’t call us yoga novices, but today a few things happened that reminded me how un-Namaste I can be.

I was waiting in line to fill up my water bottle when an instructor, an endearing older man, called me Megan. We’ve been taking his classes for months, but he still gets my name wrong pretty much every time. We started chatting idly about the other ways he’s messed up my name which include calling me Julia and referring to me as Mrs. instead of Miss.

I sat back down on my mat, and a kind-faced woman set up next to me. She must have overheard the previous conversation because she stared at my hands and asked, “So, Julie, you’re married?” At least she got my name right. I clarified that no, I’m very much not married while Hann laughed hysterically.

Now for this next one, let me set the scene in the rest of the studio. People lie splayed out on their backs, stretching vigorously with their knees up by their ears. Some meditate, eyes closed and breathing deeply. Others chat with neighbors in soft, tranquil voices. Hannah and I were fantasizing about when this day would end when she reminded me that I still had to write this blog post.

And for a second, drowning in my own despair, I forgot where I was and half-whispered, half-yelled “FUCK” in a quiet yoga studio. I also curled up in a ball and rolled around on the floor a little bit. This move was less outlandish given my surroundings. Hann laughed at me the whole time.

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Artsy

The Cop-Out Post

My friends, I am tired. I also just ate an entire Hershey’s bar in under three minutes. That’s a personal record.
So Jules and I made this promise to each other when we started this whole blogging business that we could each have one cop-out post. That cop-out post could include a fun video, joke, song, etc. to distract our audience from the fact that we are avoiding writing at all costs. Julie once left her fans with a link to the music video for Hopeless Wanderer by Mumford & Sons. I’m not sure what I’m leaving you with yet, but it will probably include puns.
In my defense, I really did just try to write you guys a witty blog post. It was going to be about life as a broke student on a college campus, because I am currently a broke student on a college campus. I envisioned a list of how-to’s for having fun without a disposable income. A few funny anecdotes to illustrate how our friends get creative with spending. I was even going to work in one of my favorite Julie-isms from when her account balance dips below $32. (“Welp, we’re below freezing.”)
But the words just were not flowing tonight, ladies and gents. Hopefully the sugar buzz from the Hershey’s bar kicks in soon so I can read a few more acts of this Shakespeare play before tomorrow. And I’ve decided what I’m leaving with you with. A playlist to rule all playlists.
Songs That Remind Me of Cops:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ6KqzLwvF4]

Self-explanatory.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7JtIGBVNCE]

Also self-explanatory.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T1c7GkzRQQ]

…you don’t have to PUT ON THE RED LIGHT

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkXrEUeULmc]

Pretty sure I did a hip-hop dance to this when I was nine. Even then I thought the siren was badass.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmSbXsFE3l8]

Yup.

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Artsy, Pop Culture

When Shows End: The Five Stages of Grief

You know the feeling when you finish a really good book? Or a really good series of books? It’s happy and sad and emotional to the point where it’s physically uncomfortable. Those characters that you know so well have grown up, moved on, or if it’s Shakespeare then they’ve all died. (But only lunatics read Shakespeare for fun so screw that.)
I get a similar sense of nostalgia when I finish a T.V series. What I’m trying to say is that How I Met Your Mother ended a few weeks ago and it was radical in the sense that my life hasn’t been quite the same ever since. We watched it on our futon and Andie cried. It was one of the most emotionally-packed hours of my life, but by far the moment that got me the worst was when pictures of the main characters from the first season flashed across the screen with the theme song playing in the background. I’m a pretty nostalgic person, and this kind of stuff gets me every time.
One of the only other shows I’ve felt a connection to that rivals How I Met Your Mother is Malcolm in the Middle. When my family finally invested in Netflix, the first thing I did was watch the pilot episode and series finale back to back. It’s turned into a ritual, and I’ve done it probably two or three times since. I get pretty emotional every time. I’m not sure what this says about me.
Then, you enter the Five Stages of Grief: Netflix edition. It’s okay. We know what you’re going through.

Stage One: Shock- Yup, it’s over. Those characters are done saying those witty things, whatever happened at the end of Breaking Bad happened, and you have no idea what to do with yourself. I’d suggest talking it out, but make sure you don’t ruin the end for someone because then you are the worst.

Stage Two: Grief- Now it’s been twenty minutes since the credits rolled and all you want to do is curl up in the fetal position and be nostalgic for seasons past. It’s okay. Let it all out.
*(Avoid dwelling in this stage for too long. Remember, it’s just a show. There are plenty of series on Netflix, and you’ve got an affinity for procrastination.)

Stage Three: Anger- That finale was total crap. What were the writers thinking? Those two people were not meant to be together. All the wrong people died. Were the really dead the whole time? I demand a re-write.

Stage Four: Re-Infatuation- Suddenly it dawns on you that you can watch the entire thing from the beginning again! Or at least your favorite episodes here and there. You start listening to songs from the soundtrack again and when you hear Bizarro by Citizen King, (a gem from the Malcolm in the Middle soundtrack,) you get really emotional. This too shall pass.

Stage Five: Acceptance- It’s over, and that’s okay. Maybe you go outside and get some fresh air. Maybe you actually start doing homework again. Maybe you start another show and continue to ignore all responsibility. Either way, you made it and we’re proud of you.

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College, Family

Playing Dress-Up

After getting back from dinner about an hour and a half ago, Julie and I realized that we both have obscene amounts of work to get done before we go to bed. Being the ambitious, organized, and dedicated students that we are, we decided to drop everything and try on all the dresses in both of our closets. 
[youtube ]
We listened to this song. The whole thing probably should’ve been a movie montage.
So now we’re both sitting at our desks in semi-miserable silence, trying to work on important things and restrain ourselves from going back for a third serving from the 5-pound bag of M&Ms on our dresser. Well, I’m working on important things at least. It looks like Julie’s doing actual homework.

(Candid #1. My flash went off, so she knows something’s up.)
In other news, I went to a ball this weekend.
If you’re one of the twelve people who have been following my blogging career from the beginning, you might remember my cousin Kristina, who runs a lot faster than she says she does and isn’t actually my biological cousin. She’s studying badass international things at Georgetown University, and she was kind enough to invite me to be her plus-one to the 89th Annual Diplomatic Ball. (She also dressed me head-to-toe and made me promise not to burp in front of anyone. What are fake cousins for, right?)

The ball was in an art gallery with marble floors and a grand staircase that made me feel like the princess in every movie ever aimed at twelve year old girls. (The Princess Diaries. Anastasia. A Cinderella Story. What A Girl Wants. Take your pick.) We ate little foods on sticks and mingled until we thought our feet were going to fall off. Towards the end of the night, after most of the diplomats had gone home, the jazz band was replaced by a DJ who played throwback club hits. Singing the lyrics to the third verse of “Yeah” by Usher (won’t stop til I get em in their birthday suuuuuits) in a ball gown at a swanky art gallery only a few blocks from the White House had to be one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. In an awesome kind of way.

So, in conclusion, I have the best fake cousin in the world, and I am capable of going six hours without burping. (There were some nonbelievers before the swanky excursion.) For now I should probably go join Julie in doing actual homework. She migrated from her desk to her bed. I’m actually pretty impressed she hasn’t fallen asleep yet.

(Candid #2. Waited ten minutes to see if a candid nap shot was a possibility, but no such luck. No flash this time though. I’m the best.)
Goodnight all. And Jules, I think you’re my new muse.

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Family

Sisterhood: The Norg Diaries

Now a few weeks ago, Hannah told you guys some stories about her little sister Sarah. The post was heartwarming and genuine, and it inspired me to dedicate a little something to my own pain in the butt. She’s tiny with big blue eyes and a radical overbite. When we go out to dinner and let her order whatever she wants, she asks for “the cookie.” You can always tell where she’s been in the house because she leaves behind a pile of half-dressed Barbie’s.

Her name is Norg, and she’s the best birthday present I’ve ever had.

A human as a birthday present sounds a little bizarre, but let me give you some back story. For the first ten years of my life I was the oldest of four children, and the only girl. Growing up with three brothers gave me the ability to pitch a baseball and an appreciation for Nerf guns, but I was left underdeveloped in other areas. I never got to watch Lizzie McGuire or other such Disney channel classics. All of my Barbie’s were mutilated. There was camaraderie and fighting and numerous wiffle ball games, but I never had a sister who’s hair I could play with. (Tom once offered to grow out his hair so I could have a sister, but eventually we figured out how genders work. Still, I appreciated the offer.)

Our lives screeched to a halt two days after my tenth birthday when Nora showed up, five weeks early. My mom’s water broke at a hair salon in the middle of the afternoon; Norg was waiting for no one. Aunts and uncles warned me I’d never have a birthday all to myself anymore, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the incredibly small person that fit into the crook of my elbow. She was perfect, she was tiny and beet red, and she was mine. I remember looking down at her and thinking, I didn’t know I could love something this much.

By the time we took her home, we came to the conclusion that she was a pretty lame baby. She slept like 90% of the time, (I guess premature babies sleep even more than normal babies,) and we couldn’t feed her or hold her too much because she was fragile. Being born into a family with four older siblings, she was probably the single most loved thing on the planet. One day in July we were swimming outside when my dad leaned his head out the window and called to us that Nora had opened her eyes; she was awake! We all scrambled over the sides of the pool and into the house to look. But four dripping wet children cooing in her face just made her cry, so we were sent away.

Though I loved Norg through her lame phase, I really wanted to know when she would start to be my sister. When could I feed her baby food and push her on the swing? When could I start dressing her? The only things that fit her were weird pajamas. When could I start doing her hair?? She really needed to grow some more hair.

And eventually Norg did grow up into a person who doesn’t sleep all day. Now she’s nine and killing it in the third grade. She takes gymnastics and figure skating lessons and plans to go to the Olympics in either one or both events. She wants to be a school guidance counselor when she grows up so she can help kids when they’re sad. She’s pretty uncoordinated, but she still seems to dance rather than walk. She’s really into Frozen.

             

And I still can’t believe that I could love someone this much. (These pictures really capture her essence.)

And even though we created games over the years like “Poke Nora Until She Screams” and given her nicknames like “Norg,” and bounced her so high on the trampoline that she flew over the net, she’s still one of the most loved humans on planet Earth. And Norg, if you’re reading this, then I just have one thing to say.

You farted.

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