a rebel without a clue

I’m Going Off the Rails on a Crazy Train

I write about my mom a lot a lot a lot on these blog posts, but I guess this is just an outlet for me, a coping mechanism even.. at least I think so. Sorry if I ever come off as a real Debbie Downer.. no one likes having that kid around, but sometimes it just feels better to write things down. Anyway, lately I’ve been feeling all kinds of mixed up. Like someone took all of my thoughts, feelings and the kitchen sink, threw them in bucket and stirred it up until I didn’t know what was what anymore. I’m not sure if anyone else ever feels like this, but it’s just the strangest thing.

I’ll try to make better sense of this. After my mom passed away, finding meaning in things was really difficult for me. Nothing I did was ever going to bring her back and it brought this sense of emptiness about me. I was constantly searching for something, but I couldn’t even tell myself what it was. A constant struggle between my mind telling me, “hello dummy.. you know she isn’t coming back” but my stupid heart saying “find something else to make you feel better, there has to be SOMETHING” — but there’s not. At least not to me. I guess I’ve realized it isn’t about filling a void, but about just being the best me I can be. That’s all I can be.. Me. The other pieces will eventually find the right place.

There are so many things to just sort out, the journey I’m supposed to be on is very muddled to me. There are all of these expectations that float around in society about what I “should be” doing with my life.. but I often find myself not following the path of ordinary people. As much as I want to fit in and just be like another person, I’m beginning to see that’s pretty unrealistic. So what do I do? Where do I go? What should I be looking for? Sometimes it’s just so frustrating to ask these questions and not be able to see any sort of clear answer. No guidance, no recommendations or advice that exists.

I’m not exactly sure how long it’ll take me to get all of those different facets of my life out of that mixed bucket and put them back where they belong.. and maybe I never will, but that’s fine with me. I don’t know if anyone ever really “figures it out” .. so why do we try so hard to do so? All of this thinking, over thinking, messed up mix of a mess cluster is enough to make a person feel crazy.. but you know what? I know that each and every day that I reflect on myself and the way my actions affect others I will become a better person. I’m building myself bigger and stronger each and every day.. To quote Walter White: “I’m in the empire business.”

p.s. – I swear I’ll post something more funny and upbeat next time.. this just happens to be my thought of the week.

Who Do You Think You Are?

So I live in a pretty cool little neighborhood in Milwaukee (as most of you probably know since I talk about it ALL OF THE TIME) but anyway, I try to stay involved within the community now that I have a little more free time on my hands. In the wonderful world of the internet, a few Facebook groups were formed for the neighborhood. A few a pretty cool places to post items you have for sale / trade.. I can get down with that, but then there are these other 2 groups which started out as basic information of things going on around our neck of the woods, but it seems like it’s slowly turning into people complaining about EVERYTHING. Yes, I know.. I’m complaining about complaining right now. Deal with it. Basically, I usually skim through the posts and keep commentary to myself about rowdy teenagers and other really stupid arguments that occur on there.. but today there was one thread in particular that really bothered me. It was about homeless people in our neighborhood.

It all started with this video:

if you didn’t notice, the description that goes with the video states this:

“This is a short video of some homeless men living under a bridge in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee. Notice the construction going on around them as they grill out. There appear to be about a half-dozen or so men living under and around the bridge.

This is a new bike path being built for all of the liberals and yuppies in the area. Hope the homeless don’t ruin their view of the river!”

Obviously, this made some local people pretty upset. Hipsters never like to be called hipsters, and especially not liberals or yuppies. The thread immediately blew up with some of the most socially ignorant things I’ve read in a really really long time. It was super disappointing to think that such a progressive neighborhood can have such basic and elementary thoughts. There were a few examples that stood out to me:

“Please DO NOT FEEL SORRY for homeless people they are more then likely HOMELESS because the way of life the choose. Drugs and alcohol play a big part in that. They are also rapist and pedofiles. I know this for fact my mother used to try to help them.” 

I wanted to throw up when I read this. First of all, think of how ridiculous it is that people are complaining about a homeless person on the internet, from the comfort of THEIR HOME. You are making judgments about a group of HUMAN BEINGS that are never going to even be able to read this post because they aren’t as privileged as you are! Think outside of your tiny little box for one minute, and try to consider.. hey, maybe I shouldn’t just assume that ALL homeless people are pedophiles — excuse me pedoFILES or rapists but rather some people that may be down on their luck or have had a rough go at life since the beginning.

Chances are, if you’re sitting at your computer, replying to a community forum in the middle of the day, your socio-economic status is above poverty.. and even that word “poverty” is subjective. Either way, let’s try to go back to the beginning. If you’re sitting at a computer on the internet right now, you’re more privileged than 70% of the entire world. Seriously. Only 30% of the entire world has internet access. So besides the fact that you’re already at an advantage to the majority of the population, now you’re casting judgements on people, on the internet, that you know nothing about. Cool.

Moving on, I’d like to get to my second favorite quote from this discussion thread:
“Homeless people are kind of scary, whether they are innocuous or no. Sorry, but that’s the same with mental illness.” 

Mind fuck. I thought my brains were going to spill out onto my desk upon reading this. I know that ignorance is alive an well in this world, but jeeze.. generalizing about the homeless AND mentally ill in one post.. are you fucking kidding? What happened to people being understanding or stopping for one second to think about what they are saying. I know better than most what it’s like to have your foot in your mouth, and yes, from time to time we all make fools of ourselves. I just ask that if you’re reading this you take one second of your time to think about someone you know who has a disability, would you ever want to make them feel bad or would you categorize them as “scary”… how about someone you know that might be going through a rough patch? lost their home, can’t afford rent, barely making ends meet.. should we cast them out too? Well of course not right? Because we know them and we love them.

Look, I guess the whole point of this rambling anger post is that we have no idea where people came from, why they are the way they are, what ended them up in that place. So how about instead of casting a judgment on a public forum, where you’re helping no one and fueling the fires of hate, you try volunteering. Help someone else for a change, or get out and make a change because groupthink is definitely not helping fuckall.

Prop Me Up On The Table Like a Mannequin

Some of my recent posts have been about how I’ve started volunteering now that I have more freetime being done with school.. supposedly. Either way, when I first met my hospice patient that I volunteer with, she asked me a question that I still haven’t been able to fully answer: what kind of hobbies do you have? For whatever reason, I was so dumbfounded by this question and stood there with my mouth open, looking like a fool with absolutely no answer.

I guess the definition of “hobby” is subjective. I guess in my eyes, I have lots of interests but not necessarily any hobbies per say. So I started going down the list of things I like to do and literally drew a blank. WHAT DO I DO!? Suddenly, I had a panic moment.. like jeeze! I don’t DO anything! Sure, I cook once in a while, bake some cookies here and there, read a book when I find time, re-decorate the house when I get bored with my surroundings.. but really? are any of those things hobbies? I don’t know.

I guess I’ve never really thought about what I’m good at. Is it possible to be hobby-less? Because I really think I am. There isn’t one thing that interests me for long enough that it becomes something that I want to do over and over again. The saddest part, is that I thought about what I spend the most time doing, which is probably read / research things online for my own personal pleasure. THE INTERNET? That’s my hobby?! I wanted to die when I realized that, and what an embarrassing thing to admit out loud to someone.

I suddenly thought to myself.. whoa, now I understand what my parents were talking about when they said things about kids these days being drones who don’t ever experience “real” things.. and I thought to myself, well, I guess that’s me. This question of “the hobby” haunted me for weeks.. and I just figured, I don’t have one since THE INTERNET definitely doesn’t count. But wait a minute.. The internet has taught me so many things and is a wealth of useful information and knowledge. Why is that worse than me saying “reading” is a hobby of mine. I’m reading, maybe not a book or novel — but I read news, articles, trending fluff that doesn’t matter.. but you know what? At the end of the day, I feel like I’m an informed individual that possesses a wide array of information from sources throughout the world. I’m learning about things that are important to all people, not just individualized to my own little bubble. So I guess here I am.. admitting that my #1 hobby is: THE INTERNET.

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Just Say I Do

Never in my life have I ever had someone request that I write a blog about them.. until this past weekend. First of all, I write this blog mostly to get my own crazy ramblings and complaints out of my head and into the cloud as proof one day that I really am as fucking crazy as people think I am. Secondly, umm how fucking cool is this! I guess I should probably start at the beginning so this all comes together and makes much more sense.

This past weekend some lovely college friends of mine invited me to celebrate their wedding with them.. whether or not they’re regretting that decision today, I can’t be sure.. but we’ll get to that. As most people know (because I literally have it tattooed on my body) I’m from the state of Wisconsin, and my friends happen to be from our neighboring state of Trill-inois. Instead of rushing in at the last minute, I decided to make a weekend of it and stay with a group of friends outside of Chicago, which inevitably would turn into some unforgettable memories. (okay, maybe forgettable with all of the alcohol consumed)

Night one. Our most darling hostess let us stay keep at her beautiful flat in Lakeview which just happens to be right next to Boy’s Town in Chicago. If you know anything about Boy’s Town, it’s that you’re going to have a fucking great time there. The first bar we walked into didn’t disappoint. As sparks flew from what appeared to be a jigsaw on a woman’s vagina-area, we knew this place was going to be great. $12.00 pitchers of long-islands and a techno dance room.. Hello hangover.

Day two. Death. Although we stopped on our way home at the most amazing late night restaurant ever called Cheesie’s.. a place that specializes in grilled cheese (YUM), we were all a little slow moving. And by that, I mean the only thing we did all day was walk down the block to eat hangover food at a baller burger bar called DMK. It wouldn’t be a vacation without more drinking, so we all mustered up the courage to throw a few back.. and ended back up at our favorite grilled cheese joint.

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THE BIG DAY. Here is was, wedding day. And I’m not going to lie, my ancient 23-year-old body was really fucking hating me for abusing it. Sometimes I honestly wonder how I survived college. Props to all of the alcoholics out there, that takes dedication to feel like shit every day of your life. (I’m really sorry, I don’t mean that at all… jeezus it just sucks being hungover constantly, so please get help.) Either way, hair did, nails did, dress on.. let’s go.

Now, I just want to add in here how I happen to know the magnificent couple getting married. Kyle, the handsome groom, was a fellow greek-lifer but more importantly, my super smart lab partner in genetics class. Being a communication major, human genetics was a bunch of gibberish to me and I definitely wouldn’t have passed without him. As we became better friends, the two of us started a tradition together: Thursday nights. (sorry we don’t have a catchy name) A bar nearby our campus had a ladie’s night deal on Thursdays which became our day to shoot the shit, cry our eyes out, get stuff off our chests and when appropriate dance or sing like fools. It never failed, Kyle was a great partner in crime. Through the years, I got to know Kristin (his most adoring wife.. [WIFE! that’s so crazy to write!]) Which ends us back up at their wedding day.

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Being the stupid, emotional girl that I am, I shed a tears as I watched them exchange vows.. ugh I’m such a cheeseball I know. Now here’s the part I’ll explain why I’m unsure if they’re still okay with inviting me.. THE RECEPTION. Open bar + champagne toasts + cocktails in the hotel room = inappropriate laughter, behavior and all around shenanigans demeanor. Within the first 5 minutes, my date had spilled a whole glass of champagne down the front of my dress.. before we had even toasted. Oops. But alas, the night went on.. There were laughs to be had, photbooth pictures to be taken and most importantly: DANCING. Honest to goodness, (and I’m not just saying this because I know you’re reading this) this wedding had some of the best music ever. I felt like the dancefloor was full the whole time, either that or I’m delusional and was too caught up in my own white girl dance moves to care what anyone else was doing. More drinks were had, I even took a spill but all in all I had a blast and just hope I didn’t embarrass myself too much.. except that part where I smashed cake in my date’s face. I meant that part. Oh and the part when I dirty danced to Cher with the best man (shout out to Andy Eckhorn!) No regrets there either..

Beautiful wedding you guys, it was amazing. I’m honored that you read this complaint-ridden, poorly written pile of crazy that is me and asked me to add you guys to it! I wish you all the best and can’t wait to come visit you!

p.s. – Kyle, you still owe me a husband 🙂  AND Kristin! You couldn’t have looked more beautiful!

We’re One But We’re Not The Same

Today I had to run to the grocery store today on my lunch break to get some soy milk for a friend. Now, if you’ve read my previous posts, you know I work in what is classified as “the hood”.. I’ve tried buying soy milk there before, but apparently no one on the North Side of Milwaukee drinks it, I don’t know. So that left me with one other choice.. to drive to a boutique grocery store in one of the most wealthy neighborhoods in Southeast Wisconsin.

I don’t want to be rude so I won’t name names, but I walked into this grocery store and immediately knew I just didn’t fit in there (then Radiohead started playing in my mind.. I don’t beloooonggg here) . I don’t know if it was the 10.00 chocolate bars staring me in the face or the overwhelming amount of North Face fleeces buzzing around me, but I just wanted to get the fuck out of there ASAP. Don’t any of these people work during the day?! What’s the deal!

I put more thought into it as I passed by the duck roasts and 89.00 cheese slices, no matter how much money I ever make in my life, this place and people were the antithesis of me. Living a cookie cutter lifestyle as if I’m a Stepford Wife  is my idea of personal hell. I mean, I love cooking so that would work.. except for the fact that my favorite grocery store is a hispanic Piggly Wiggly that has the weirdest people known to man working / shopping there, but the ethnic food choices are fucking awesome. A Stepford Wife wouldn’t be caught dead there.

There is just something about being a people-person that I’ve always been drawn to, and I guess I exude that attitude because strangers are constantly approaching me. In my opinion, and please read the preface I just said (IN MY OPINION, so don’t get mad this is how I feel) suburban living equates to being in a cult for me. Now, if you grew up in one / live in the suburbs now, I’m sorry, but this is just how I feel. I love the fact that there are all different kinds of people where I live and sure, there’s crime, it doesn’t always look picture perfect, my house wasn’t built by a contractor that made every other house on my block – but that is exactly what I love about it. I see something new EVERY SINGLE DAY. I love being able to walk into a store and strike up a conversation with a stranger and meet someone completely different one minute later. Sure the houses may be nice, and you rarely hear about anything unruly happening in the wealthier areas around here, but they’re also missing out on a culture of people who strive to be different.

If we all look the same, shop at the same stores, have the need to wear certain brands or drive certain cars to show our “class” or superiority over others, please explain to me why I shouldn’t just be a fucking robot instead. There are so many great things that exist around me, so I guess I would love to challenge people who are stuck in the bubble that is “them” to step out of it sometime and realize, hey.. I’m not better than anyone else, maybe I shouldn’t be segregating myself. What are you afraid of anyway? Terrible things happen no matter where you live or what kind of car you drive, so living your life in fear of uncontrollable circumstances is going to SUPER suck forever. Try something new.. it’s the least you can do.

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Another Day, Another Dollar Down the Drain

Despite the bitter title of this blog, this is a shout out to all of the people working in the service industry. My first job was at a custard / burger joint with a bunch of my friends and the craziest stories that don’t even sound real. What does this have to do with anything? Let me explain. As you all know, I’m a Milwaukee (Bay View more specifically) resident born and raised. I ended up in Rocke$ha (waukesha) for college, and couldn’t resist moving back. Now I’m really offtrack right? HOLD YOUR HORSES I’M GETTING TO THE POINT. Not only is Milwaukee one of the coolest cities ever, but it has the.best.restaurants. srsly. THEBEST. Like om nom nom nom.

So although it sounds like a total chubby bunny move, and I mean.. it probably is, I go out to eat pretty regularly. Call me a fat kid, put me in a bib.. just don’t call me late for dinner (haha – that’s a joke ala my dad) Back to this long-winded story. Since there are so many local eats, I try to spread the love and try all of them. A non-biased overeater.. I mean I have my favorites, but I want to try EVERYTHING. So, I don’t want to name names, but I went to this awesome restaurant known for delicious corned beef sandwiches – NOM. (here’s where I bring the story full-circle.. read closely) Everything was going swimmingly, except that our waiter was a total asshole.

I hold a special place in my heart for anyone working in the service industry.. I’ve been there. People are dicks. Straight up. That’s why I’m always sweet as pie, cause the least amount of problems possible, smile and always always tip AT LEAST 20%. Even if they don’t “deserve it”. You know what people don’t deserve.. the right to determine how much someone else’s service is worth to them while they sit on their ass and someone else serves them food.. Seriously. Anyway, our waiter definitely had a stick up his ass because he was very salty that I had asked him a simple question.. which is fine. I get it, you had a bad day. It happens.

The moral of my story is this: just because someone is a dickrod to you, don’t automatically assume they actually are an asshole ALL of the time. Think about all of the other chochers who were probably there before you, tipping like shit, being difficult and having to wipe up food that dropped out of someone else’s dirty old mouth.. You might be having a bad day too. Be a good person and give them a chance, it’s the LEAST you can do for someone who is making $2.33 / hour and putting up with your bullshit. OR as an alternative, spend 1 day in the shoes of a server, then you’ll understand this post wholeheartedly.

Oh and hey guy that was an asshole to me, I hope you have a better day tomorrow.

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And fuck this guy.

No One Ever Said It Would Be This Hard

You know what I’m really bad at? Waiting for other people. I hate it. If I could be Atlas and put the weight of the world on my shoulders, I would do it. Alas, there are so many things that I can’t do or don’t know how and I need to rely on others to help carry some of that weight sometimes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no martyr and I definitely don’t know it all, but sometimes I wish I did. It seems like there are never enough hours in the day to do all of the things that run through my crazy little brain constantly.

Travel. Volunteer. Work. Start a business. Get in shape. Bake more. Cook more. An endless list of things on my “to-do” radar. Seriously, an endless list. I have calendar upon calendar, post it notes in every sweater, jean, legging, purse.. pretty much anywhere a small piece of paper can be stuck — you’ll find one. Doing laundry is a real hassle when you constantly have reminder notes in your pockets and allergies which results in 1000 tissues up your sleeve like an old woman. Anyway, as usual, here I am getting side tracked.

I’ve decided to enact a few new initiatives in my life to try to somehow on Earth get all of these things finished.

1. Wake up earlier. This. will. be. the. death. of. me. Hardest task on my list for sure. No joke. I value my sleep like none other. However, I could get so many more things accomplished before work, which would result in a much easier and less hectic life for me.

Sunrise

2. Waking up earlier means spending more quality time with the love of my life… Weiner dog. Seriously, love this little guy. If it ever gets nice out again, although it seems to be eternal winter (snow.. in April!?) we are going to start going for walks. I can be a morning person.. I hope.

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3. Volunteer at least once a week. I’ve become a caring companion volunteer for a hospice center, and this is really close to my heart and I’m working really hard to pay forward all of the support people gave me when I was going through rough times, but honestly, I’ll never be able to repay all of the things people have done for me.

4. Make coffee drinks at home every morning. I know, I know.. You’re probably like whaaa? this girl be crazy and what does this have to do with anything. Well, lemme tell ya. If I have to get up earlier, I might as well start my day off right and instead of spending $4.00 a day on mochas, I’ll learn how to make them at home. Chocolate and espresso.. yes, please!

coffee

5. Don’t skip any opportunities to spend time with the people I love. I do this one as best as I can already, but I just want to make sure it’s on my list to keep it up.. forever. Friends and family are the bread and butter that keep me going, so I want to make sure that I cherish them as much as I can and have no regrets about wishing I spent more time with them.

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Ugh, so sappy.. I know. I vommed a little in my mouth reading my own post. Where the shit is the sentimental-ness coming from.. Anywho, here I go again on my own.. going down the only road I’ve ever known.. oh wait, that’s Whitesnake lyrics. How did those sneak into this post? I definitely should’ve been around in the 80s.