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Life & Other Drugs

An Etymological Study of “A Hoot and a Half”

October 12, 2017

“You’re a hoot and a half!” I exclaim after one of my peers delights me with a witticism or an amusing tale of woe.

“Come on y’all, let’s go to get soft pretzels. It’ll be a hoot and a half!” I say coercively, hyping up the prospect for fun and whimsical salty bread on any given Saturday night.

“Hey kid. Keep your head up. You are a hoot and a half,” I say to the mirror as I give myself a pep talk on a particularly lousy day (lmao rip midterms).

Tracking my own copious usage of this phrase, it brings a couple of things into question. What is a hoot and what happened to the other half? Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, Listicles

My Top Three Strategic Power Cries

October 10, 2017

In one of the most dramatic and poignant moments in cinematic history, Helen Thermopolis tells her recently known-as-royalty daughter Mia “My mom always told me I couldn’t cry…and told me to be a big girl…but you’ve been hurt, so you just cry.”

Lil’ Dana Schneider looked on, internalizing this and all the other bountiful wisdom that The Princess Diaries has to offer. I was reminded of this wisdom recently in conversation with some good pals as we discussed their many talents. One of my deepest, darkest truths was revealed: I don’t play a musical instrument, I can’t throw things far or accurately in a particular direction, my dance abilities are limited to the confines of enthusiastic yet regrettable body rolling in the club. In a word, I’m talentless.

But hey! If I were to point to any speck of talent in my mediocre body, it would be the muscles of vulnerability and introspection that I flex like a Dude Bro posted up in the free weights section of the gym. That’s right people, being Sensitive™ is my super power, unleashed through the times in which I cry, both publicly and privately. Here are some vignettes of my top three Power Cries: Continue Reading…

It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs, Love & Romance, On "The Hill"

The Fleeting Nature of Love and Weather Protective Gear

September 25, 2017

It was early September. I was caught between a rock and a hard place—the rock being a mom loudly debating the redeeming qualities of two different brands of air freshener, the hard place being the check-out line of the Bed Bath & Beyond in Providence Place Mall, the relief being the impulse purchasing of a $25 umbrella.

I say impulse buy, but I had actually yearned for this umbrella for quite a while. It was made of clear, durable plastic domed over a mushroom shaped frame, and I had heard them referred to as “bubble” umbrellas. I found it to be whimsical yet practical (which is a descriptor I sort of mold my entire being around). It was impulsive in the sense that I hadn’t been planning to stumble upon something I had hoped for in such a random place. I didn’t expect to buy in so cavalierly to something that I had exalted in my mind. Continue Reading…

It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs

Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends but with More Late Stage Capitalism

September 18, 2017

Her name was Alexis. She was everything I wasn’t at the time: a teen, a sophisticate, a brunette with a Parisian fashion sense, a person who can get through an episode of Friends without falling asleep, and, most importantly, a horse aficionado.

And then she was none of those things, because I killed her. Well, a horse killed her, after she tripped over a rock, placing her face directly in line with her equine doom. To be graphic, it was death by hoof to the face. Like all great artists, the thing by which she was consumed ultimately snuffed the life out of her. But then again, as romantic as that sounds, it isn’t entirely true either. The horse only killed her because I wanted it to. Like an omnipotent and merciless god, I killed her. Continue Reading…

It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs, Listicles

Junglepussy: An Abbreviated Personal Listening Guide

March 8, 2017

Growing up, I was immersed in a culture that values romantic love in a highly exalted sense. I watched wedding themed shows on TLC such as Four Weddings and Say Yes to the Dress, meticulously maintained the aesthetic of my very own Pinterest wedding board, and religiously kept a mental catalogue of the characteristics I would hope to find in a future spouse.

After a stint of personal heartbreak, I’ve grown out of this commodified, confectionery, Capitalized, and capitalistic version of Love. The cast that held my soul in form while it set back into a healthy state: the music of the visionary wordsmith Shayna McHayle, AKA Junglepussy.

I am no music expert, and I know the long and troubled history of basic-ass white people such as myself appropriating the excellence of black music culture. I’m not here to claim the music of Junglepussy. I’m simply here to share my own personal listening guide, a playlist of tunes that feel like a cool washcloth to the forehead when you find yourself feeling the hot-headed pressure to settle into a life that you’re leery of.

Without further verbal assault on the institution of hetero marriage and in no particular order, here is a list of Junglepussy’s discography correlated to totally hypothetical situations that I’ve definitely never experienced:

 

  • Spicy 103FM

When to listen: You’re at Christmas and your extended family members are asking where your recently-made-former S.O. is, while you scroll through an Insta feed flooded by couples in front of a huge-ass tree while the girl is delicately placing her hand on the guy’s chest in a very specific way that you never quite learned (almost like she’s afraid of breaking him? Is he made out of paper mache? Is a paper mache boyfriend my next big craft?)

Memorable lines: “Brazilian steakhouse with the unlimited plates, great!/Café up on Ludlow where we kissed and just ate crepes/No boo up in Malibu, soul food up in Flatbush too/Relationships are more than food & lusty interactions dude”

Got-me-hype meter: I’m groovin’ in my swivel chair at the Rock while I peruse applications for law school

 

  • Bling Bling

When to listen: You casually mentioned that you might not want to get married and now your elders are aggressively reassuring you that you indeed will, you’ll grow out of this “women’s lib stuff,” you don’t want to die alone, you just haven’t met that special ~one~ yet

Memorable lines: “Bling bling bitch do my own thing bitch/Fuck a wedding ring that ding a ling was just a fling bitch”

Got-me-hype meter: I’m inexplicably throwing up the double-middles to Sandals Resorts commercials while wall twerking (so hype that I’m defying physics)

 

  • Picky Bitch Checklist

When to listen: You tried to make a Tinder late on a Tuesday night when you should have been writing that one essay you’re putting off, but then the app won’t properly connect to your Facebook so you swallow the pea-sized amount of pride you have left and make a Bumble instead. You’re swiping left until the cows come home

Memorable line: “I’m not bougie, I’m selective”

Got-me-hype meter: I have ascended into a removed spiritual state while swaddled in a bomb faux fur coat

Image via.

Life & Other Drugs, The Tabloids

All Aboard!

March 1, 2017

If listening to Kacey Musgraves in earnest has taught me anything, it’s to stay connected to my ~roots~. So in an attempt to stay connected to my home state of Kentucky while following my arrow in the bustling metropolis that is Providence, I’ve been reading local Kentucky news. Continue Reading…

It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs, The Tabloids

The Poetic Praise of Two Pauls

February 10, 2017

When people ask me why I write poetry I tell them it’s a means of expression, a way of magnifying and distorting minutiae most people pass by without a second glance. I am inspired to wax in verse about the most beautifully tragic things in life: unrequited love, loss of childhood innocence…and actors whose relevance has fallen by the wayside. Particularly, I’m intrigued by what I like to call “P-List Actors.” Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs

Meeting the Plants

November 30, 2016

Somehow I’m now someone who owns plants. Not just a plant, but plural plants. Two to be exact. I started out with such meager goals: buy a plant, take care of it, see if I’m capable of sustaining life outside of my own being. Then, it happened: my birthday, and suddenly my boyfriend had to be a jerk and give me a thoughtful and creative gift in the form of an aloe plant sent via mail.

So now I have two plants, a self-purchased orchid and a gifted aloe plant, and I’m feeling like I’ve gotten a little ahead of myself. To own two plants is to be a capital-a Adult. Where do I get off thinking I can muster the responsibility to remember to spray water on an unmoving object twice a week?

The thing is, these plants are no longer objects to me; no no, these plants have become my friends.

 

rib-pic-1

 

Meet Awomanda. Her name’s Awomanda rather than Amanda, because she embodies the resistance to the patriarchy that I strive toward in my own life. She has a little brown spot on her leaf, and when I first saw it I earnestly thought about scheduling her a dermatologist appointment. Then I remembered she was a plant. Awomanda is beautiful and self-assured and doesn’t fuck around. We should all strive to be like Awomanda.

 

rib-pic-2

 

Now, meet Nameless Aloe Plant. His name is Nameless Aloe Plant (get it? I’m ironic now, I’m in college, that’s my thing). For short, we’ll call him Nap. And nap he does: look at those stems!!! He’s a disgrace to the family. And the way he demands so much space on my desk in his ornate pot despite the fact that he is the size of a literal peanut. Nap plantspreads and we all hate him for it. Don’t be like Nap.

My plants may not be perfect (I’m looking at you Nap), but they’re good enough from me.

Images via Dana Schneider and Annie Warner.