Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2004!!!!

You know what I love and miss? 2004.

I've always believed 2004 to be the best year to date, and a co-worker confirmed it while I was mildly eavesdropping on her today when she said, "2004 was a great year." Damn right it was. She was talking about it in relation to ramen (lol I work in #food), probably after she Googled this article, and honestly I wasn't really in tune with the dining scene in 2004 outside of begging my sisters to drive me to our local sub shop (Hershey's what up) for one of many sandwiches named after Caribbean islands (all about that Trinidad), but yeah, I'm sure 2004 was a great time for dining if your allowance amounted to more than $14 a week.

Here's why 2004 was so great:
- The OC seasons one and two happened in 2004. Everybody knows seasons three and four blew.
- The WB was alive and rocking: Gilmore Girls, ONE TREE HILL!!, even 7th Heaven was on, which I watched every Monday night out of habit.
- The Friends series finale. THE LEFT PHALANGE!! DID SHE GET OFF THE PLANE!! (I GOT OFF THE PLANE!!)
- Also Will & Grace. I loved Will & Grace.
- I became a woman in 2004.
- I peaked fashion-wise when my Language Arts teacher told me I was the most fashionable girl in 8th grade because I layered a swim team t-shirt over a collared shirt (popped collar, obvi).
- This was also the year I wore three popped collars at once.
- There was a lot of Usher in 2004.
- I read Of Mice and Men in 2004.
- I also read the Outsiders in 2004.
- I fell in love in 2004. HE DIDN'T LOVE ME BACK!!
- Mean Girls and The Notebook came out in 2004.
- So did Napoleon Dynamite but that was a movie that I never found funny, like Borat. Did Borat come out in 2004? (No, 2006).
- I seem to recall this was the year Hillary Swank wore a navy dress to the Oscars and then wore it to In-N-Out to eat a cheeseburger with her Oscar. Maybe that was 2005.
- I remember having a snow day the day after the Oscars.
- 13 Going on 30 introduced me to the music of Pat Benatar

MORE TO COME. MAYBE.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

25 Moments of Getting Fired

Something about me is that I got fired from my job this summer. I say "fired" to be dramatic but I actually got "laid off," which I've since learned is entirely different from being fired because when you're fired it's because of something you did, but when you're laid off, it's because the company can't afford to pay you anymore. I think. Well that's what happened to me. I think getting laid off builds character, like breaking a bone or failing a math test even though you studied really hard (the latter is the story of my college career. I have a lot of character!).

I remember every single minute of the day I got fired. This is what happened. Everything is accurate and fact-checked.

1. I wake up in the morning and go on an extra long run (7 miles!) because I hate my boss and I think that running will release endorphins and make me hate my boss less. It doesn't!
2. I make a smoothie. The strawberries are too frozen and they get stuck in the blender's blade and so I put a wooden spoon in the blender to get the strawberries out, but then I accidentally press the "liquify" option and the wooden spoon explodes in my smoothie. My smoothie is a giant splinter. Bad day, and I haven't even been fired yet!
3. I sit in Liquiteria and eat an expensive acai bowl and think about how much my boss sucks.
4. I go to work and don't talk to anybody. I go on Gchat and tell anyone who is green about my blender mishap.
5. I get called into the shitty conference room.
6. I get fired.
7. I walk out of the shitty conference room and I cry and I make a mental note to remember the date (August 5, a great day to be fired!) and then I call my dad and then I call my mom and then I call my sister and then I text my friends.
8. I walk into a bodega and buy a Diet Coke and I chug it.
9. I stand on the corner and I burp.
10. I go back into the bodega and buy a Diet Sunkist.
11. I stand on the corner and I burp.
12. I walk around the block listening to "Dancing on My Own."
13. I think about how I get to be "on the dole" like in the British chick lit books I read. (Mr. Maybe).
14. I go back to work and Google "how to move to France." No promising results.
15. I leave work because I've been fired and what was I even doing Googling random shit at my desk.
16. I sit on the steps of Union Square and watch the Hare Krishna but I can't hear their chanting because I'm blocking out the world with "Dancing on My Own."
17. I go eat free samples at Whole Foods.
18. I go eat free samples at Agata & Valentina.
19. I go buy gum at Duane Reade and run into my mom's friend who asks me "what I'm doing with my life." Idk, my bff Jill? but instead I say "I live in the East Village!!!!" with a lot of enthusiasm.
20. I go to my sister's apartment and write this blog post.
21. My sister takes me out to dinner and pays for me because my income is TBD.
22. I go back to my apartment and binge eat the only thing I have on my shelf (granola) and then I Google "how to move to France" again. Nothing good comes up except farming and teaching. Nah.
23. I go to bed.
24. I wake up to pee and remember I got fired. Yikes!
25. I wake up for real and go on an extra long run (7 miles!) because I have nowhere to be and I hate my boss ten times more than I did yesterday and I think that endorphins will make him bother me less but they don't because he sucks!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Year of Clear Skin

I was in the shower today, my third shower of the day (aside from the usual hygienic reasons, I take showers when I'm stressed out or when I'm hungover, and today I happened to be both so I took three) and I saw a pimple on my chest. A couple of weeks ago I saw a pimple on my chin. This made me angry because I am not supposed to have pimples. It's been less than a year since I took my final three pills of Accutane, and I'm supposed to have, if not a lifetime at least a few more years of supermodel clear skin until pimples clog my pores again.

My two pimples reminded me of one of my favorite things about 2015: I got rid of my acne. It's hard to know the plight of being a pizza face unless you really have acne. The cystic acne that's painful to touch and bleeds if you wash your face too hard, that's bacteria-infested so even washing your face makes it worse. You go on birth control because it "clears up your skin" but it does shit except give you more pimples. You max out tetracycline refills and apply various topical creams morning and night, some of which need to be refrigerated and others of which make your face peel. You stop eating dairy because it's bad for your skin, then reintroduce yogurt because it has probiotics and apparently putting good bacteria in your stomach kills the bad bacteria on your face. To treat acne is to find out that all of the beauty myths out there mean jack shit because the only thing that truly works are drugs that require you to get a blood test every month and that dry your body out in places you didn't even know could get dry.

Your acne has to make you feel really ugly before you decide you need Accutane. I've never felt as ugly as I did in August of 2014. My skin was a war zone of pimples. I had breakouts on my forehead, around my chin and along my hairline. My face was shiny and if the pimples weren't black or blue, they were bleeding and scabbing. I stopped wearing makeup because it seemed to only make the situation worse and the first thing I did when I came home every day from work was wash my face. I discovered that toilet seat covers are really great oil blotters, and whenever I went to the bathroom at work, I'd leave with a folded-up toilet seat cover to dab my face with while sitting at my desk. I was embarrassed to go out with my friends because I didn't want people to see my face, and I spent inordinate amounts of money on mascara and eye makeup. My face was producing so much oil I was basically an Arab emirate.

It took about two weeks on Accutane for my acne to start clearing up. Two months later, it was 75% gone, and six months later it had completely gone away. I couldn't stop looking at myself in the mirror and petting my cheeks. Was this for real? I had never felt so pretty! People told me my skin was glowing. I didn't wear make up because I didn't need it. I had a clear complexion and I didn't want to cover it up.

I still have a clear complexion, even if my skin doesn't glow like it did my first full month off Accutane. My pimples now are mostly reminders that I'm stressed out and hormonal. They're the fair weather ones that go away and never come back.

That's all. Bye.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Best Movies I've Seen Alone

I really like seeing movies by myself because I like movies and I like being by myself. It's second to shopping by myself which is a near euphoric experience for me, especially when I'm wearing headphones that are playing Taylor Swift. Here are the best movies I've seen by myself.

1. The Descendants: I saw this movie about two hours after I broke my elbow while running in a park in Paris during my junior year abroad there. It was during my exchange program's spring break and I had stayed in Paris to run a half-marathon, but the day before, I tripped. I wasn't sure what to do about it so I tied my elbow in a scarf and went to see the Descendants to pass the time. Then I went home and cried and watched Sex and the City, and the next day I couldn't move my arm so I got a bag of pain au chocolates and went to a medical clinic and cried there until a hot doctor told me I broke my "coude." I'll always love George Clooney in a Hawaiian shirt for making me feel less depressed for two hours.

2. Inside Llewyn Davis: I saw this movie the year that I lived at home after college. I woke up on a Sunday morning hungover and I needed to get away from my parents/my existence, and I couldn't think of anywhere to go but a movie theater. Justin Timberlake is a little ray of sunshine but Carey Mulligan kind of bothers me because she's like the actor equivalent of that girl who never talks badly about anyone. Like, show us a little judgment/weakness, we're tired of that halfsies pixie cut.

3. The Big Short: I saw this the other day when it was raining and I went to stand inside the Regal Union Square movie theater to wait it out, but it didn't stop and I had nowhere to be so I got a $7 Diet Coke and a $15 movie ticket and took over three seats with my stuff. I kept on zoning out because I hadn't mentally prepared myself to see a movie about derivatives or whatever but it was really well-cast, and every time I see Christian Bale in a big shot role I imagine him confessing his love to Winona Ryder in Little Women and/or singing about Santa Fe in Newsies and I feel so proud.

That's all for now.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

YOOHOO!

Welp, remembered that I have a blog called The Channeling Board, which makes little to zero sense anymore but I'm keeping the name for the same reason that I made all of my current social media #handles the same as my AOL screenname. I was under the impression that you're supposed to have one internet name for life, and I'm stuck with the one I chose in 6th grade on a Dell Inspiron laptop using a random number generator on aol.com (ellie2635, get @ me). The numbers 2635 used to have no significance to me whatsoever but now they do because they've been with me since like, the turn of the millennium.

I was thinking the other day that I should take my recreational writing over to Medium because apparently that's what #internetwriters do at the turn of 2016, but then I would be abandoning this lil' blogger. I don't think my success as a writer has anything to do with my having a Medium or not, and if Nora Ephron had to put up with the shit that is writing for the internet then she wouldn't have one either. She'd have Blogger, I'm sure of it and I feel like I know her relatively well since I make her Heartburn salad dressing every night.

(I just got a desktop notification from Facebook and I do not like it. Fuck you Facebook. Get out of my desktop, that's a safe zone for creepy screenshots of my crushes. JK. NOT JK.) (BRB figuring out how to turn off this notification business. Done.)

I'm only blogging right now because I'm procrastinating like a mofo. I've already done all of my usual procrastination activities which entail braiding my hair, unbraiding my hair and putting it into a high ponytail, tying a bandana around my neck, chewing gum, and examining my facial hair. It's 11:03 AM which means 57 minutes until I get to drink a Diet Coke because only Karl Lagerfeld and white trash people drink soda in the morning, and I don't fit into any of those groups.

Not much else to say except I'm mostly posting this so my blog archive has (1) next to December 2015.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Writing Projects 1.0

Way back when Netflix was solely a mail-delivery Blockbuster service, I binge-watched the WB show Felicity, as much as one can binge-watch a show that arrives in four episode installments. The show was cool as shit for a lot of reasons, but there was one that really hit home. I was madly in love with a guy in high school who had no idea I existed (actually he knew about my existence he just didn't acknowledge it), and I couldn't believe there was a TV show whose plot was based on the fact that the main character chose NYU over Stamford after her high school crush signed her yearbook saying "keep in touch." She followed him to New York and they fell in love (on and off, thus the four seasons). That show made me believe that high school crushes weren't delusional as eff (reality check: they were!) and also it made we want to go to college in New York City and work at Dean & Deluca, neither of which I did. It might be one of my favorite TV shows ever, even though the lighting was really dark and bothered me (speaking of dark lighting and TV shows: that's why I hated Party of Five)

Every episode would start with a shot of Felicity, played by Keri Russell, talking into a tape recorder about her life. I was thinking about that just now because I kind of realized that's what this blog, and maybe most personal blogs are: life updates and musings that the blogger writes with the simultaneous intention of taking thoughts out of one's head and sharing with whoever wants to read it. So, with that in mind, HERE GOES!!!

Jk. Kind of. The real purpose of this post is to share some things I've written recently. I went to this freelancer talk a couple of weeks ago and someone said that becoming a freelancer means turning yourself into a business, so you have to do publicity. I hate self-promotion and it makes me uncomfortable to do it. That's not to say I don't do it: I do it occasionally and pretty haphazardly. I wish I could be one of those people who shamelessly self-promotes but I think most of the self-promoters out there are extroverts and I am so NOT! Wah, cry me a river. Since I feel weird going all out on social media, what better place to promote myself/my work than on my good ol' friend, BLOGGER! Am I right?! Yah, I am.

I've written a fair amount of things in the last week, which is pretty cool because I still have a day job unrelated to my writing projects. Here's what's going on:

- I wrote a story for Teen Vogue about boy band superfans. I interviewed a bunch of girls who are head-over-heels obsessed with boy bands and I found out a lot of cool and unsuspecting things like that being a superfan helps some girls cope with anxiety and depression. Read it here.

- I write for this local site called Brooklyn Based. I mostly do restaurant reviews, which are so fun because I get to explore corners of Brooklyn that I would never go to otherwise, eat some food, then write about it. My latest review is for a dumpling place in Downtown Brooklyn called Yaso Tangbao.

- I also wrote a story for Brooklyn Based about this new co-living space in Crown Heights called Common. All I could think about while writing the story was how eerily similar the concept was to the Real World (minus the TV cameras), and I spent most of my youth summers on the couch watching the Real World when I was definitely too young to be watching sexually ambiguous people make out in hot tubs.

- Back to the food and restaurant beat, I write weekly stories for Zagat.com, mostly about dining trends in New York. Two of my most recent are dining guides for Downtown Brooklyn and Bushwick.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Deadlines, Man

I wish I blogged more. I feel like I always talk about this, and by talk I mean write, but the truth is that whenever I blog now, it's because I miss it. The salad days of this blog are gone, which is probably a good thing because this blog nonchalantly flourished when my life, as measured by happiness/satisfaction in my job, did not. That was during a distinct period when I was working in public relations and all I wanted to do was get paid to write. And even though I currently don't get paid to write as much as I would like to get paid or to write, if that makes sense, I still continue on with the hope that both the payment and the writing assignments will increase.

Right now, I am basking in the late afternoon Sunday sun and I'm supposed to be writing an article that was due on Friday but that I was too burnt out to do last week and I fear that I'm too burnt out to do right now. I'm testing the limits. I thrive in an organized environment—I like rules, deadlines, structure, assigned seats, all that jazz. All my life I've seen deadlines as unchanging due dates that had to be met. I never handed an assignment late in school because I was too scared of the consequences, nor did I ever even stop to consider what those consequences could be. They were probably lower grades and I was okay with getting bad grades as long as I knew that I had tried as hard as I could (shout out to the time I failed my linear algebra exam(s)), but low grades that were in my control/a result of my own laziness weren't going to fly in my book of self-satisfaction. But right now, at the ripe age of 24.9 I'm tired! And I'm burnt out! I just want to watch Aziz Ansari's new show on Netflix and Indian Summers on PBS and random episodes of Sex and the City.  But I can't because I've worked so hard to send out random pitches on topics that I want to be the one to explore and write and tell an audience as small as twenty people about. So I will send in my assignment two days late tomorrow and see if the editor says anything, but a part of me thinks that he forgot about me because it's for a print magazine and man oh man does print move slowly. I don't really have much to say except that it's 3:10 PM and I'm going to give myself an hour to write then I will take a break and get back to it. ARGH!!!!