Countdown to the New Year…

FINALLY. After much too long, I finally got my computer back, screen all fixed. I’m so happy that I can finally do all the things that I wanted to while I didn’t have it…mainly, watch Netflix.

This is going to be a short post, and if you listened to the latest episode of “Mixed Feelings,” you learned that NYE is my least favorite holiday. And that I don’t do the whole “resolution” thing. But I decided, for the sake of a new year, I’ll ATTEMPT to come up with a list of resolutions. So, here’s what I got:

  1. Write more.
  2. Exercise more. Like, legitimately.
  3. Try to actually eliminate eggs/dairy because it hurts your stomach whenever you eat them.
  4. Be nicer.
  5. Be funnier.
  6. BE BETTER.

Okay, the last three are sort of a joke, but not really. I’m all about self-improvement, and I think it’s so important to be able to take each day in stride and look at the silver lining(s). True, 2016 was rough on all counts. Politically, personally, etc. But 2017…this really is a new start, and I think it’ll be a year worth getting excited about.

Stay #NotFazed, fam, and I hope you all had a safe and happy New Year’s Eve.

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What to wish people during the holiday season…

Hi, fam. I’m writing this from my old high school computer, as my screen still hasn’t been fixed yet. I should be getting it next week, and then hopefully I can return to my former productive self. Although “productive” is definitely relative, especially since it’s my winter break.

Being home from college is surprisingly more enjoyable than I expected. I’ve had a lot of time to think and reflect and recover from the semester. I also have had some time to look at my grades. I haven’t heard back about my re-grade request in my Libertarian class, but I did (surprisingly) well in my other classes. My 45-page paper on interracial adoption received an A, and I didn’t fail my econometrics class, although there’s an extremely high probability that I failed the final. So, all in all, despite this semester being my hardest academically, it was my best numerically. Or, letter-ally.

Anyways, tonight is Christmas Eve, so I’m singing at my high school’s Christmas Eve Mass. And just an hour or two ago, while I was studying for the GRE (which I’m taking the first week of February), I heard my mom wishing the woman who helped her book a hotel room for a family trip a “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” When she got off the phone, I teased her lightly, saying that she couldn’t wish people Merry Christmas without knowing their religion, and she rolled her eyes, knowing that I was giving her a hard time because, as she puts it, I’ve become “a lot more liberal since starting college.”

Of course, there is some truth to the statement. And yes, it’s very politically correct, but it’s generally accepted that unless you know the holiday preferences of someone, where you can then specify, you should wish everyone “Happy Holidays.”

Now, my family and I disagree about this, because they don’t think there’s anything wrong with wishing people a Merry Christmas. And there’s nothing wrong, technically! Everyone SHOULD have a Merry Christmas, since Christmas is typically celebrated on December 25th, and why should anyone be deprived of a fantastic December 25th? I think the problem comes from ASSUMING people are Christian or even religious, and then being insulted if they don’t return the favor after wishing them a specific holiday’s greeting.

So…should we say Merry Christmas & Happy New Year? Or simply resign to Happy Holidays?

I personally like wishing people a Merry Christmas, because I like how it rolls off my tongue, and how it reminds me of spending Christmases in the city with  my family. But in college, I’m always hesitant, and often resort to “Happy Holidays” because I don’t want to offend anyone. Better to be politically correct than sorry, right?

But if somebody wishes me a Happy Hanukkah, and I’m not Jewish, I’m not necessarily offended. I think it’s cool that there are so many other religions and cultures in America, and that we do have the freedom to express our identities by wishing others various greetings. The only problem is when people wish people a Merry Christmas and expect to hear nothing else back but a “Merry Christmas,” even though it might be uncomfortable for some people to wish people a Merry Christmas if they themselves don’t celebrate it. For example, I would feel uncomfortable wishing someone a Happy Hanukkah, because I don’t know what personally goes into Hanukkah, and so how can I wish someone to have a good one if I don’t even know what an average one entails? (That was a poor attempt at humor.)

Here’s what I think we should do. I think we should wish people what we celebrate first, as sort of an informational tidbit, and then wish them a general Happy Holidays. And then, they can return the favor by wishing us what THEY celebrate, and then a general Happy Holidays. Of course, this system only works if everyone agrees to it, otherwise it might seem a bit egotistical since you’re speaking as if YOUR preference takes priority. Linguistically, in this way, it does. But obviously, conceptually, it does not.

So, conclusively, I think it would be LIT if everyone would wish another the holiday THEY themselves personally celebrate, followed by a “Happy Holidays,” and wait to hear the response. If the response is also a “Merry Christmas,” cool. If the response is something else, even COOLER, because now you’ve met someone who celebrates something different! Diversity is the spice of life!

We just shouldn’t be personally offended if someone wishes us the wrong holiday. We should be personally offended if someone wishes us an “Unhappy Holidays!” Because that’s just not in the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/holiday spirit.

And until next time, stay #NotFazed.

Finals are final…

Hi, fam. Wow. I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since I’ve last written. And I apologize, but finals have really gotten the best of me. If you’re wondering how I did, well, so am I. I won’t know what I got, officially, until grades come out. And even with that, I’m not sure if they’re final. I submitted a request for a re-grade of my final exam for my Libertarian Economics class, and I won’t know about that until January 9th.

Which gives me some time to mentally prepare for a lower grade (which is definitely a possibility, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for, if not a higher grade, then at least the same).

Aside from procrastinating by wasting time complaining to friends about studying, I submitted a 45-page paper about interracial adoption for one econ class, and I had my last final of the semester in econometrics on Monday. Here’s a conversation of what happened afterward:

 

Friend 1: Hey, what did you guys think?

Me: I didn’t think it was that bad!

Friend 2: Agreed. What did you get for #5?

Friend 1: I got 0.54.

Friend 2: Okay, I got 0.55, so that’s good. Gillian, what did you get?

Me: Well, I was not aware we needed to provide a numerical answer, so I wrote a paragraph about what I thought the answer was, without doing a single calculation.

Friend 1 and Friend 2: …

Me: Yeah, I know. Yikes.

 

Aside from that minor fiasco, I survived finals. This was definitely the most brutal finals period I’ve ever experienced, and I once had to write 3 papers in a 24-hour window. I also had to take 3 finals in a 36-hour window my sophomore fall.

But anyways, I’m halfway done with junior year! And to celebrate it, I broke my computer! Yes!!!

So, I dropped my MacBook three inches from the floor onto a rug, and the screen cracked. I had to pay a small fortune to get it fixed, and I paid extra to get it back before Christmas. I am aware finals are over, but I have a long list of things to do that require me to have my computer. And so yeah. I’m not proud of it. Neither is my credit card statement.

ANYWAYS, the holidays are approaching. My family and I celebrate Christmas, which I’m always excited about because we have a few traditions that made me feel like a kid again. We also go to Christmas Eve Mass at my high school, so I’m singing at that this year, which will be a nice throwback.

Thanks for putting up with my absence, and over break, I will definitely write more. I HAVE SO MUCH TIME. Not really, but RELATIVELY, yes.

Stay #NotFazed, fam.

What I’m grateful for…

Hi, y’all. I really want to apologize for my absence. There’s apparently not enough time for me to live my life AND post frequently, so consider this my formal petition to some divine entity to add more hours to the day.

Anyways, in honor of Thanksgiving, here is a list of things that I am especially grateful for:
  1. My family. My dog. Mostly my dog. (Just kidding, Mom, I swear!)
  2. My friends. Honestly perplexed with how they can put up with me and my peculiarities.
  3. Quinn Rose. Don’t know how I would be able to get through this year without you…or without “Mixed Feelings” as the most important, if not only, creative outlet in my life.
  4. Health. Well, aside from the fact that I am currently trying to recover from a nasty sinus infection, I am the PICTURE of health.
  5. The regressions in my econ term paper being statistically significant.
  6. College basketball starting.
  7. 2016 almost being over.
It’s been a rough ride, folks. I know that it’s been super hard to stay #NotFazed lately, but I couldn’t do it without you. Thus, I’m grateful for each and every one of you. Have a safe and amazing holiday, fam.

Just like our new podcast, here’s a post that’s filled with a “mix” of random things that I felt like sharing

Hey, it’s me. I haven’t written since before Halloween, so let me describe some of my other fantastic costumes from that weekend. One night, my best friends and I were the continents of Pangea (although Australia was sick and couldn’t make it). On the backs of our matching t-shirts, we wrote why we chose to represent our respective continents. I was Africa, because I’m always in De-Nile. Other variations included:

  • Americas: Because Cosmo told me not to put up walls.
  • Europe: Because I’m falling apart.
  • Asia: Because rice is gluten-free.
  • Antartica: Because nothing can melt this cold heart.

Another night I dressed up as a frat boy. I wore a badge that said “Disregard females, acquire currency.” And I said things like, “My dad will sue you!” and “Wait, can you repeat that? I couldn’t hear over my male privilege.” It was an extremely comfortable costume, and the sad thing is I owned every single item that I wore (Vineyard Vines boxers, boys’ Vineyard Vines button-down, Nike mid-calves, Sperry’s, baseball cap from the U.S. Open). I don’t know what that says about me as a person, but I’m not going to dwell on it.

Ever since Halloween, my life has been unreasonably hectic. And I’m not even sure why. Just all of these random things started piling up, and before you know it, I have all of these responsibilities and little to no motivation to do them.

But pain builds character.

So does manual labor. My job at the Grille is going swell. I burnt myself on the fryer last night, but I’ve perfected the consistency of my Oreo milkshakes, so I think I’m going to be fine. Although, however, there was this one person who ordered mozz sticks and a chicken quesadilla, but he requested that I time it so that it would be finished (and still warm) when he came back 25 minutes later. I was extremely annoyed, but if there’s one thing I learned from service jobs, it’s that the customer is always right. Or something.

In more positive news, Quinn and I (and two of our best friends) are going to Copenhagen for spring break. Yes, we planned this far in advance, but round-trip tickets costed less than $400, which was a bargain. And Azraa, our roommate/best friend who’s coming with us, is a low-key travel agent and found a flight with a layover in Reykjavik, so we can explore Iceland while we’re in the area.

Speaking of Azraa, she’s a boss and just signed on the dotted line of her contract, committing to a really competitive job offer that she got for the summer. YAY FOR EMPLOYMENT. And if all goes according to plan, we should be living together come June, and maybe even after graduation, which I’m super excited about.

But, most importantly, Quinn and I finally launched our podcast “Mixed Feelings,” so definitely check that out on your preferred podcast platform of choice. We also have a great new episode of “Solidly Mediocre,” where we talk about relationships, so have a listen if you want to hear me talk about my love life (or lack thereof).

Before I end this, let me remind you that TODAY IS ELECTION DAY. SO FULFILL YOUR CIVIC DUTY AND VOTE. Or don’t, because we’re lucky enough to choose not to vote if we don’t want to. But I voted in my first presidential election, and I gotta say that it was pretty exciting.

That’s it for now, fam. Remember to always stay #NotFazed.

A post with lots of exciting news, including but not limited to learning my heritage and partaking in my first successful Halloween costume

Okay, fam, this is gonna be a long post. Well, I say that now, but the truth is, I don’t plan these posts in advance. So honestly, who knows how long this will be?

First things first, I’m the realest. Okay, no, I’m not. But remember when I spit into a cup a few months ago and sent it to a lab that would tell me about my heritage? Well, the results came back.

It turns out that I’m 93% East Asian (which probably means I’m Chinese, since I was born there), 6% Polynesian (this one was the real surprise), and, last but not least, 1% Central Asian (which refers to anywhere from Iran to Mongolia).

Although I am a huge proponent of the #NotFazed movement, I was a bit fazed to learn this news. I also found this out while I was working (for reference, I work at a student restaurant on campus that specializes in fried foods), so I didn’t have much time to ponder about it since the next “rush” happened a few minutes after.

People tend to get very impatient when it comes to their mozzarella sticks.

Anyways, I told my family, and they were pretty surprised. Obviously supportive, but still surprised. My mom is going to order a DNA test for my sister, who is also adopted (we aren’t biologically related). I think I’m more interested in learning about my sister’s heritage than she herself is. But no matter.

Hm…what else? Well, I started trying to be “healthy.” I cut out all processed sugar (although I did recently find out that the sun butter in my school cafeteria does contain some sugar, but hey, it’s better than the mass amounts of cereal I used to consume on a regular basis) and started running. Ideally, I would love to run 21 miles by my 21st birthday, but we’ll see how that goes. I did end up running more times this past week than I have in the past 6 months, so that’s got to be some sort of progress, even if I don’t actually reach my goal.

Also, Halloweekend is officially upon us. Basically this refers to the two days that college students use to dress up in as many outrageous outfits and attend as many parties as possible in a 48-hour window. I did, however, get to celebrate early. My best friend Liz and I were Kim Possible and Shego respectively. I think it’s safe to say that we nailed it. Check out my Twitter @_GillianParker to see a picture of us in our prime.

Additionally, my lovely co-host Quinn Rose (@aspiringrobotfm) and I recorded an episode of her podcast “Solidly Mediocre” with our friend Caroline. So that was fun. We talked about relationships, so you should keep an eye out (or an ear out?) for the release of that next week.

Wow. I’m approaching 500 words. This has got to be a record.

(Actually, I just checked. It’s not. Apparently people write books that are much longer than 500 pages, let alone 500 locutions. Who would’ve thunk?)

All right, that’s it for today, folks. Hope you enjoyed this update on my life. Stay #NotFazed.

“And if you feel you’re sinking, I will jump right over into cold, cold SHOWERS for you”

Actually, I take that back.

The hot water ran out in my dorm, but by the time I had figured this out, it was too late, and I was already standing in the shower with shampoo in my hair. So, I decided to just go with it.

It’s funny because your body gets used to the cold really quickly. It’s more the subconscious that is responsible for the overall unpleasantness of the experience. But anyways, once I got over the fact that I was going to be uncomfortable, the icy water suddenly become a bit more bearable, and I was able to carry on with my usual routine.

But yikes. Definitely one of the fastest showers I’ve ever taken in my life.

It was refreshing, though, I’ll admit that. It marked the end of a long week, and although today was fun because I got to celebrate my friend’s 21st birthday, I’m also extremely exhausted.

Midterms were awful, as expected. I still have a test on Monday, and a paper due as well, but the worst of it is over. My three back-to-back exams this week are done. And I already know how I did on one of them.

Oh, yeah, I failed.

Not like “OMG I got one question wrong” failed. But actually. Like by my old high school’s technical definition of failing.

Granted, it wasn’t by a lot. But still.

I’m trying to focus on the positives here. I didn’t mean for the beginning of this post to sound so disheartening. I know the quote that’s like, “Pain is temporary, GPA is forever.” I don’t know who said that. Probably William Shakespeare. But still. IT DOESN’T MATTER. At least, not in the long-term.

So, yeah. This week has been a little hectic and a lot stressful, but there’s always, ALWAYS a silver lining. For example, you can now follow me on Twitter at @_GillianParker, where I share some special news with the lovely Quinn Rose, who can be found at @aspiringrobotfm.

So excuse the shameless plug for our social media links, but seriously, check out our surprise.

And now, let’s wrap this all up with a funny but embarrassing thing that happened to me earlier this week. If it doesn’t describe who I am as a person, then nothing will.

So, not only did I celebrate my friend’s 21st today, as I said, but I am in charge of planning the birthday of my other friend. (Wait, you have more than one? Yeah, I know. Shocked me too. I don’t even have to pay them overtime.) Anyways, when I was planning it, I texted all the details in a new group chat, before I realized that when I had created the new group chat, I had accidentally included her in it.

Gosh darnit, Gillian.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

It’s whatever though, right? Remember the motto. Stay #NotFazed. Whether it’s about icy water or icy people, the truth remains the same.