i dont have the time or energy here to talk about what my english class has done to my life but i will sum a lot of it up in saying that im tired of waking up every morning knowing that i stayed up late the night before working my butt off for yet another assignment im going to fail. and i dont know whats wrong with me and why i can never manage to do anything right because my classmates all seem to be doing perfectly fine in the class. my teacher marks all of their papers up and they get As and Bs and then she doesnt mark a single thing on any of my work and i get Cs Ds and Fs. im tired of trying. im tired of never being good enough. im just tired…..
- un-disgruntle yourself
- comfort someone
- be comforted
- go to a quiet place
- press a magic button and fix everything
- get a hug
- see something cute
- hear rain noises
- play cute games
- cut something/someone (blood)
- break something
- open a window
- have a guided relaxation
- listen to nature sounds (or here)
- do nothing for 2 minutes
- play the piano
- make cute ecards
- make cool music (ex.)
- get an idea for what to do
- avoid boredom
- watch a dream
- have a stickman adventure
I love this so much.
FIGURE SKATERS ARE MADE OF MAGIC
OH MY GOD I WAS SO NERVOUS THE WHOLE TIME THAT THEY WERE GONNA FALL HOLY SHIT I COULDN’T BREATHE
That was possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed in my life.
If your first exposure to black people is through rap music, chances are you might be in a little over your head. That’s certainly what happened to me and my friends at our Jewish private school when I was growing up in Los Angeles. We didn’t really know what to do with rap, so we tried to take its power away by changing the way it sounded. One of the ways we’d do this was to pretend rappers spoke “properly,” just like we did. “I enjoy big pimping and spending cheese”… you get the picture. Needless to say, even though I loved rap music a whole lot, this was insanely racist. I outgrew this phase, thankfully, and began to try to see rap on its own terms. So you can imagine my horror upon seeing this same concept being celebrated by the suddenly-huge Respectful Rappers Tumblr.
Respectful Rappers has blown up in all the ways Tumblrs generally blow up these days — a little BuzzFeed here, a little A.V. Club there, and suddenly you’re getting thousands of Tumblr notes for each piece of content you churn out. And what is Respecftul Rappers’ content? Imagine Feminist Ryan Gosling, with pictures of rappers laid out over re-imagined lyrics. There are a handful of white rappers featured, but the majority are black — and what matters here is that this Tumblr’s content does is ridicule black speech.
Not that Respectful Rappers will admit this. Instead, its stated goal is to imagine what would happen “[i]f rappers were a little less angry and misogynistic.” On the latter point, our society as a whole is still insanely misogynistic, and rap exists within that society, so sure. There have been many fascinating discussions throughout the years about misogyny within rap, like bell hooks’ interview with Ice Cube in Spin 20 years ago. But Respectful Rappers is not a part of these discussions, because unlike hooks’ interview, it starts with the premise that rappers are dumb.
Wouldn’t it be hysterical, Respectful Rappers intones, if rappers spoke like you and me? It’s not really shocking that the blog’s creators, Bob Vulfov and Eli Grober, are white and claim to “love rap,” just like I did when I was 13. They use “respectful” as a code word, a dog whistle for “white.” What purpose does it serve to imagine if N.W.A. had said, “Police brutality is very real, and we will not stand for it” instead of “Fuck the police”? None, unless you think that Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren and the rest were incapable of saying that in the first place. These people couldn’t think of the right words, so we did it for them. That’s the joke!
In 2007, then-Senator Joe Biden got in trouble for using the word “articulate” to describe then-Senator Barack Obama. “What faint praise, indeed,” wrote Lynette Clemetson for the New York Times. “Being articulate must surely be a baseline requirement for a former president of The Harvard Law Review. After all, Webster’s definitions of the word include “able to speak” and ‘expressing oneself easily and clearly.’ It would be more incredible, more of a phenomenon, to borrow two more of the senator’s puzzling words, if Mr. Obama were inarticulate.” Similarly, in an essay called “Why I Hate Being Articulate” for the Black Youth Project, a young author named Edward describes how in his experience he “come across far too many white people who use the word to compliment a black person for speaking ‘standard’ English.”
Respectful Rappers flips that script, depicting all rappers as sex-crazed idiots who are incapable of speaking in full sentences. In this respect, it’s the latest in a long line of examples of the privileged ridiculing the underprivileged for not being able to “speak properly,” a politicization of language that makes it another means of oppression. Sure, rap isn’t perfect, but what genre of music could possibly satisfy Vulfov and Gruber? They disdain the general concept of anger as much as they do misogyny, and it clearly never occurred to them that rappers could actually choose to speak the way they do, that they might have self-determination.
Anger is a healthy, vital part of music. Respectful Rappers somehow forgets to notice that in “Fuck tha Police,” the entire song is set within a courtroom run by N.W.A (“Judge Dre presiding”), where the group’s members speak in turn to the jury about the oppression they have seen and experienced, and how they hate the police. And yes, they’re angry. But Respectful Rappers pretends that the entire song is its chorus over and over again, and helpfully decides to give these clueless but spunky rappers a helpful lesson in what they’re really talking about. If this blog ever encountered a Trina video, it’d probably self-destroy like a computer in Star Trek forced to answer an impossible question.
I’ll take the Respectful Rappers founders at their word, and believe that they really love rap. But as a fellow white fan of a genre made mostly by people who don’t share our skin color, I’ll also give them a helpful piece of advice: don’t tell people how to say their words. The way rappers speak is part of what makes rap great, just like the way any singer sings influences the song’s quality. If you really love rap, you’ll shut down your dumb, racist Tumblr and listen.
Badass trips on a not-so-badass budget.
Many travel blogs are written by people who’ve sold all their possessions and have taken a huge plunge into the world of long-term travel. This can sound expensive at first, but when you consider that you don’t have rent or a car payment in this lifestyle (or much room to carry any possessions), it can actually be very cheap to live this way, provided you can work a little along the way, or do some kind of virtual freelancing or contract work.
I’m not one of those people.
I do have rent to pay, and a car payment, and bills, and the trappings of a fairly typical middle class young urban professional life. I have a cat. I work in a cubicle. I like some amount of routine, and sleeping in my own bed. I have a ladder to climb, that I want to climb.
I also don’t have a ton of free income to spend on travel.
Despite all this, in the past 2 years I’ve managed to visit 9 cities in 4 countries (Colombia, Jordan, Egypt, Spain) and very soon I’ll be off to visit 7 more cities in 3 countries (Italy, Croatia, and Spain again — I love Spain), a 17 day trip; a few weeks after I return, I’m off again on a small trip to Mexico for a wedding. When I’m done, that’s 16 cities, 7 countries, in just 2 years. Not much for the permanent nomad, but a lot for someone who’s expected to be at work by 9am every weekday.
When people find out how much I travel, some imagine I must have a lot of spare income or be a trust fund baby. I keep encountering this perception — especially among Americans — that travel is this huge undertaking that is incredibly expensive. Well, it sure can be, if you choose to make it that way. But if you step outside this perception, and do some research, you’ll find that it really doesn’t have to be that way. Travel can be affordable, if you plan for it and prioritize it in your life.
Here’s how I do it:
1. Flights. By far, this can be the single most expensive purchase of your trip. A coach round trip ticket from the US to Europe usually runs anywhere from $700-1200 on average, depending on the season. The trick is: don’t buy your ticket with actual money. Buy it with fake money called points or miles. A few years ago, I strategically opened 2 different credit cards (one an AmEx, one a British Airways Visa) with unusually crazy high enrollment bonuses. Within just a few months’ time I went from 0 miles to 50,000 AmEx points (redeemable for airline miles on at least a 1:1 basis) and 100,000 British Airways miles. Keep in mind, BA is part of the OneWorld alliance, so I can book with other airlines using these miles. In just a few months’ time, with 2 credit cards (that didn’t hurt my credit, by the way) I earned enough miles to take 3 international round trip flights — without ever stepping on an airplane. I got the AmEx points simply for opening the card, and I earned the BA miles after spending $2500 in 3 months, which wasn’t that hard for me because I strategically put ALL my expenses on the card for 3 months.
The trick is knowing which cards to open. These cards usually aren’t well advertised, so you’ll have to do your research. A few good resources to get you started:
Unconventional Guides: Frequent Flyer Master by Chris Guillebeau. This is actually the first resource I used to learn more about travel hacking. If you’re a total newb, as I was, this is the best introduction to the world of frequent flyer miles that exists. But it’s not overly simplistic; there are a ton of insider tricks and tools in here that I haven’t even taken advantage of yet. This guide is the reason I earned 150,000 miles without stepping foot on an airplane.
FrugalTravelGuy.com This is a great blog for those interested in staying up to date on the latest frequent flyer news and credit card offers.
FlyerTalk.com This is a forum for the serious hardcore travel hackers — the credit card “churners” who sometimes earn up to 1 million miles a year doing this. FlyerTalk can be intimidating at first if you’re new to all this, so I’d recommend starting from the top and working your way down.
2. Rooms. Very rarely do I stay in what most Americans think of as a “hotel” when I travel abroad. Many travel hackers and frequent business travelers are loyal to a certain brand of hotel, especially those with their own reward points systems, which earn them free stays (and yes, there are credit cards for this too). These can be a great value and I do participate in a few programs like Hilton HHonors for stateside bookings. For my international trips, however, I prefer everyday price flexibility, so I book a variety of inexpensive, off the beaten path accommodation types — and none of them involve splitting a room with strangers, camping (not counting the bedouin camp I stayed with in Petra, which I did for the experience and not the savings), or couchsurfing. A lot of people associate budget travel with roughing it, but it is possible to be comfortable. In fact, by avoiding the beaten path, I usually have a less expensive, equally as comfortable, and more interesting cultural experience.
Most of my international trips have involved staying at a combination of private rooms at hostels, small independently owned hotels, bed & breakfasts, and private apartments.
Hostelworld.com This room search and booking site will expand your idea of what a hostel can be. Often you’ll find that smaller, inexpensive and independent hotels will list rooms on Hostelworld even if they have a website and brand themselves as a hotel or bed & breakfast. You can search for rooms nearly anywhere in the world, filter by room type (most hostels have private bedrooms, some with private bathrooms and some with shared bathrooms), location (there’s a handy map view), price and more. It’s also low risk - you just pay a small 10% down payment when you book and the rest when you check in. I’ve stayed in some very nice hostels for a fraction of the cost of an equal quality hotel and it’s one of the first places I look when I start planning a trip.
Booking.com This is a rising star in the online travel booking world for hotels. Based in Amsterdam, they are one of my top sources for rooms in Europe (though they offer rooms in several other parts of the world too). Booking.com’s strength is their breadth of rooms available; you can find a variety of low-cost, tiny, independently owned hotels that will be difficult or impossible to find elsewhere. They even offer free cancellation on many rooms. Their pricing also cannot be beat — sometimes I even find rooms that are less expensive than hostels!
Airbnb.com I am a huge fan of this service. A major disruptor to the online travel booking industry, Airbnb offers you the ability to reserve a room in a private apartment directly through someone who lives and is local to the place you’re going. You can book entire apartments or just spare bedrooms, allowing you the choice between having a cozy place all to yourself or staying with — and getting to know— a local, something that may not have happened otherwise (and my most memorable trips have been those in which I connected with locals while I was there). A few other perks can involve more amenities than a budget hostel or hotel may offer, such as the ability to wash your own laundry or cook your own food if you need to (it is an apartment, after all). I travel for 2 weeks at a time when possible (more on that later), and I pack only a carry-on. After a week like that, a washing machine is an unexpectedly welcome blessing. You’ll also get to feel more like a local, even if you never meet your host. You’re staying in a neighborhood, not a commercial, touristy zone. There’s a lot to be said for that. Finally, I love their website. Not only very easy to use and socially integrated, the design is beautiful. I love flipping through the home slideshow of gorgeous apartments on offer. It’s interior design porn at its most authentic — these are real peoples’ homes!
3. Timing and trip length. I would be remiss to say that the above 2 factors are the only methods I use to travel to so many places affordably. The fact is, I can say I fit in 16 cities and 7 countries in 2 years because of how many of those cities and countries I manage to pack into a single trip. In 2011, I did only a 1-week trip to Colombia. In 2012, I did a 17-day trip to Jordan, Egypt, and Spain. This year, I’ll do another 17-day trip (that’s essentially 12 vacation days) to Italy, Croatia, and Spain. Considering all the places within those countries I travel to in each trip, I typically pack up and move on every 2-3 days. That’s not a lot of time in each place! Just enough to visit the major sites, take in the atmosphere, and decide if I’m intrigued enough to return someday to make a longer trip of it.
This pace is not for everyone, but it works for me. I’m restless, and like squeezing every drop out of my precious vacation days. Plus, nothing’s worse than booking 5 days in a place you’ve never been, only to arrive and find out you’re bored after 1 day and it’s too late to make any changes. I intend to see the world, and I have to do it in 2 weeks per year. So, I compromise. It can be a little tiring, but I don’t take these trips necessarily to relax — I take them to recharge in other ways. Travel is my passion and I crave new cultural experiences. My worldview has expanded a little more each time I set foot on US soil again; this is creative fuel to the fire of everything I do, from painting to marketing strategy. That’s why I’m determined to prioritize it, even with a limited budget. For those who’ve also been bitten by the travel bug, you get it. The rest of the world will go on thinking that we’re rich, and I suppose that’s fine.
At the Hotel Oriental Rivoli in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Somewhat fancy, resort-style digs. About $60/night.
Reminder that while the concept of virginity is technically a social construct, your sexual debut is still allowed to be special to you, and you are still allowed to wait and want to make it meaningful, and your self-perception is still allowed to change after you have sex. Just as long as you’re doing these things for yourself, and not because someone told you that you should.
You do you.