Essential Items for (My) Life

In case you’re curious, and because I just watched a video on “life hacks,” and because this will be a nice break from the monotony of melancholy this blog habitually perpetuates.

  1. SPF/Sunscreen. I literally don’t care what brand it is (for the most part)–as long as it’s effective sun protection. I try to remember to slather myself (well, my exposed skin) in sunscreen every day in the summer, and every day, no matter what season, I wear a face base that has SPF. Even if my actual foundation doesn’t have SPF in it, my moisturizer does. This is crucial because 1) I’d like to prevent skin cancer and 2) I’d like to age well.
  2. A decently sized water bottle. Literally every day I carry around a 28 ounce Blender Bottle. This alternates between being used as purely a water bottle to a pre-workout bottle to a post-workout protein shake bottle, and it’s fine. I like the size of it because it’s not intimidating. On a good day, I’ll drink around 4 of these. We all know how important it is to drink enough water, but many of us forget to. If you carry a nice water bottle on you all the time, it’s a constant reminder (also, I’m just always thirsty. Thanks, Lithium!).
  3. Car Book. This is literally just a book that I keep in the car (currently it’s a book about Radiohead). This is for times when I’ve either run out of data for my phone or I’m just in my car for a prolonged period of time and my phone has gotten boring. It’s just nice to have options.
  4. Echinacea tea. I’m trying to make a point to drink more tea this fall and winter–I always buy an abundance of tea and then go through it at a snail’s pace. However, echinacea tea is one tea I drink fairly often because I’m so paranoid about getting sick. If I feel even the slight possibility of a cold coming on, or I’ve been around a sick person, or I just saw a little kid sneeze on something at work, I’ll drink a double-bagged cup of this tea to calm my mind. Actually, better yet, if I genuinely feel sick, this is my trick: drink 2-3 cups of echinacea tea per day, combined with 1 fresh-pressed juice (something with citrus and/or cayenne pepper is my preference for times like these), and Vitamin C tablets. Also, take your goddamn vitamins.
  5. Speaking of that: VITAMINS. I have my own array of supplements and vitamins I take, and you can find what might work for you with just a little bit of research. My daily cocktail is a probiotic (or a modest glass of kefir, which I usually have in the fridge), vitamin D (especially crucial for fall and winter), B12, magnesium (it can help with anxiety), folic acid, and omega-3.
  6. Milk, preferably whole milk. Those who know me well know that I am, admittedly, a milk fanatic. This is not without reason, however. Despite what some LA hipsters might tell you–milk is GOOD FOR YOU. You can research it yourself. If you can consume dairy, I recommend you consume cow’s milk on a fairly regular basis. Calcium is so important and, like water, I think a lot of us forget about it, but trust me, your bones will thank you.
  7. Earbuds/headphones/whatever. I listen to music constantly. I’m listening to music now. I listen to it when I’m driving or just sitting in my car. When I’m on the toilet. When I’m out smoking. When I’m cooking. When I’m sleeping. And it’s usually with headphones because I live with other people. Someone could literally walk into my backyard while I’m smoking, shoot me, and I would have never seen (or rather, heard) them coming.
  8. Protein powder. This is the gym bro in me talking, but protein powder is pretty crucial to me at this point, now that I’m a lot more serious about my workouts. I even make sure I drink the shake at the appropriate time. I like the Body Fortress vanilla protein powder–you can get a 5 pound container of it for like 30-something dollars which is actually a steal. I’ve noticed that since my protein intake has increased, my nails have gotten stronger–a bonus! Also, this protein powder works really well for pancakes if you don’t want to feel like a total piece of shit for eating something so bad for you.
  9. Ibuprofen, or some other kind of pain reliever. I almost always have a headache and I absolutely always have some sort of bodily pain (lower back, abdominal cramps, sciatica, sore neck, you name it!), so having something on hand is pretty important to me. I’ve become less keen on taking these things as often as I used to because I’d like to keep my liver and kidneys healthy, but sometimes it’s just inevitable.
  10. A GOOD pair of sneakers. I’ve worked in retail for most of my young adult life, so I’ve spent a lot of time on my feet, and it wasn’t until this past summer that I found a pair of sneakers (or shoes in general) that didn’t kill my feet/legs/back. The Nike Flex 2016 Run sneakers–I’m sure you can still find them online. I have extremely low arches and it’s, uh, awful. These were a godsend. I actually did a fair amount of research before buying them, and it was worth it. Now I own 3 pair of Nikes and a pair of New Balances. #bro.

And there you have it–10 things crucial for my day-to-day life. What are some of yours?


I Hate Change/A List

WordPress, why must you go and change things again? Anyway, here’s a list of things I’d rather be doing than moping around in bed (which I’ve been doing since it got dark at 5pm):

  • Swimming in a lake or the ocean.
  • Being at the beach in general, but here I am in upstate NY so that’s not possible.
  • Eating the best real pizza ever at Fiamma. With a vodka cranberry.
  • Hanging out with Ariel Pink, preferably chain smoking and complaining.
  • Getting hammered with just about anyone.
  • Online shopping, if I had money, that is.
  • Sleeping in a really big, comfortable bed.
  • Kissing someone with really soft skin.
  • Writing something I actually like.
  • Feeling relaxed.
  • Sitting in a hot tub with a beer.
  • Discovering I have a super wealthy relative who’s died and left all their money to me.
  • Traveling in another state/country.
  • Driving really, really fast with no risk of hitting a deer or getting pulled over.
  • Sitting on the rooftop of a building with a bunch of blankets, looking at the stars.

I don’t have a lot to say. I won seven bucks off scratch off tickets the other day. I guess that’s my big lucky break for like…my life.


General Update #3 / Sporadic Thoughts

  • If you haven’t listened to Brandon Flowers’ new album, The Desired Effect, yet, you need to right now. Go. Do it. Now.
  • I chose which university I’m going to and paid my $250 tuition/room+board deposit.
  • I just started taking 415mg of Lithium tonight and I’m pretty nervous about the inevitable terrible side effects that will come along with that.
  • My allergies are so horrific right now. Drowsy, always sneezing, my throat hurts constantly. I’ve been taking like, 2 generic antihistamines a day.
  • I’ve only been out of class for 9 days and I already feel like I’m wasting the summer.
  • I’m really tired of getting drunk by myself.
  • I’m really tired of mixed drinks but I’m too much of a pussy to drink any hard liquor straight, except shots.
  • Speaking of, as I took a shot last night of berry-flavored Three Olives, while in pain from the excruciating taste, I thought to myself, God bless America.
  • I smoke way too much
  • Why can’t I sell my blood? Why is it only donate?
  • Speaking of that, there are like, no jobs out there. Maybe that’s mostly due to the fact that I hate everything and am qualified for nothing.
  • My caffeine addiction has peaked and it no longer affects me, so, damn it.
  • I really need to cancel my gym membership but I know it will be a massive hassle. All I’ve found out is that I have to write them a letter. What?
  • My anxiety is at an all-time high and I’m not okay with it.

– Z

A List

of goals/things to do/aspirations/notes to self:

Drink more water. Get a liter bottle and drink two of those a day. Then drink three a day.
Get outside as much as you can. The feelings nature evoke for you overpower laziness.
Climb hills. It doesn’t matter if you have to stop to catch your breath.
Allow yourself to get lost.
Wake up and watch the sunrise once in a while. You’ll thank yourself later.
Go to bed earlier.
Watch more documentaries.
Wash your face no matter what.
Stop eating sugar – it makes you feel bad and it’s bad for you.
Paint. Even if you hate it as soon as the brush touches the canvas.
Read before bed every single night.
Eat more fruit.
Spend more time alone.
Start checking your email daily.
Use eye cream.
Use. Your. Body.
Continue to judge people as little as you can. Also, give people chances.
Clean your room.
Don’t compare yourself to the people you graduated high school with. Everyone is different. They may seem more successful and more stable, but your day will come.
Watch more foreign films.
Use sunscreen even when you don’t think you need it.
Remember that it’s okay to need alone time and it’s also okay to need time with other people.
Moisturize your body too, not just your face.
Learn to forgive yourself.
If it’s hot outside, just wear short sleeves. No one cares.
People may value you only for your physical appearance, but you don’t have to.
Tip well, but tip fairly.
Try new things. You rarely do, but when you do, you have a great time. Just get out there.
Try not to be paranoid when you’re in public alone. I promise that no one is looking at you strangely.
Save money, even if it’s a dollar a day.
Go on a trip, even if it’s somewhere that’s only an hour or two away.
It’s okay to be silent with another person. You’re not obligated to constantly come up with conversation.
Ask for help if you need it. It’s. Okay.

– Z

An Informal List Of Complaints

I was feeling particularly negative today so I started writing a list of complaints before my art history lecture began.

My hair gets greasy after one day.
I can’t find clothing suitable for how tall I am and how long my limbs are.
Concerts are too expensive and usually too far away.
Right now, I can’t even afford a cup of coffee.
My elbows are eternally dry but I can’t accept it.
I’m a terrible, terrible liar.
Living in NYS is way too expensive for anyone.
Unrequited affection. Always.
I can’t afford to get my best friend a birthday present this year.
I have very short eyelashes.
I’m a failing bisexual in that I don’t attract women and I don’t attract men.
My room is such a mess that I can’t even find the motivation to begin cleaning it.
Waiting for prescriptions takes too long.
Also, the pharmacy I went to for years no longer exists and instead of being able to make small talk with Frank the Pharmacist, I have to interact with cookie-cutter girls who came straight out of college.
I. Gained. All. The. Weight. Back.
So, none of my pants fit anymore.
People keep reproducing.
My pillows are flat.
Headphones always break after a month. Always.
There aren’t any bananas in my house.
I don’t retain scientific or historical information, as much as I want to.
I will eventually need glasses.
I lost my most treasured piece of jewelry in a Target dressing room nearly three years ago and I’m still not over it.
I can’t just go out and buy shoes even when I need them because my feet surpass normal female shoe sizes.
I don’t look good in flannel, despite how much I try.
There is still snow on the ground.
Nothing helps a sore throat.
Checking my email makes me anxious.
My last name isn’t the original last name.
It costs money to renew your license.
Sunscreen doesn’t even work.
I don’t know a second language. Thanks, America.
When you get older, no one offers to make you soup when you’re sick or tuck you into bed or play with your hair or anything comforting.

– Z