Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kind Of My New Years Resolutions But Not Really Because No One Keeps Resolutions And I Plan To Keep These

1. Find and Purchase a D.A.R.E t-shirt (can be gifted me).

2. Go to England and convince just one English person that I am English. If any of you have heard my attempt at accent mimickery you would understand how difficult this one will be.

3. Run a half marathon by the summer.

4. Organize an outdoor pillow fight in my local city. Here's looking at you Busan, Spring 2012.

5. Participate in a stand-up comedy night.

6. Learn to rollerblade.

7. Learn how to do a kart wheel.

8. Touch my toes without bending my knees.

9. Invent a board game.

10. Read one book every month.

11. Start a masters degree.

12. Hug my Mimi.

13. Learn how to play chess and be good at it!

14. Learn how to ski.

15. Go the entire year without one cigarette.

16. Buy a bow and arrow and be good at shootin.

17. Get over 10,000 page views on In Need of Natt.

18. Really participate in Movember. Fake stache and all.

19. Stop talking poorly of other people. We are all just doing the best we can.

20. Beat Pokemon Blue on my Nintento DS.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What It Feels Like To Be Obese

I dedicate this post to anyone who has ever struggled with self esteem so basically I dedicate this to everyone.

Fat people will avoid medical visit's at all cost to avoid the probability that while your sat there on the medical bed of shame your physician will glare up at you from the chart and mutter the words: You Are Obese.

Obese. What a terrible word it may even be one of the top 10 most terrible words ever invented.* How can a word sound fat? I guess the same way that the name Angelina sounds thin. Why didn't my mom name me Angelina?

I was obese. No way around it. No baby fat, no few extra pounds, no fluffy sweater. I was huge and short which made me look more huge and the odd thing is I don't even know how I got there. I don't particularly remember being depressed, sad, angry or any of the other feelings that come along with being discontent with oneself. I remember numb. I remember seeing people smile and trying to remember how that felt. I would have loved to feel depressed because at least it would have been feeling something.

When you're fat the worst thing someone can say is 'you have such a pretty face.' Yeah, awesome, but no guy wants to kiss the pretty face attached to the sausage arms.

When I was fat I felt like I was in a huge cage of my own design. Trapped and content to stay there. With each hurtful comment the cage became more comfortable, more of a permanent home where I could reside forever and hey, at least my home would be fully stocked with pop tarts and pizza rolls.

There are no good camera angles when you're fat. You can take a mirror photo, still fat. You can try the above the head angle popular on MySpace circa 2002, still fat. Your profile picture stays the the same for 3 years because no one has a recent picture because you don't let people take your photo.

When you're fat clothes shopping feels like a terrorist attack.

When you're fat people don't let you forget that you're fat. They decide to point it out just in case you were able to avoid a mirror that entire day and trust me when you're fat you avoid mirrors.

When you're fat you learn to navigate the school halls like Christopher Columbus. That certain bully has math next so go through the technology hall instead. Sometimes there is no way to avoid them so you brace yourself and enter the storm and piece by piece you start to lose yourself beneath each crushing blow.

When you're fat you feel bad for yourself all the time. You begin to attribute every problem in your life to the fact that you are obese and if you just lose the weight then all the craptastic issues will magically sort themselves out.

When you're fat no guys will date you not even the fat ones! Where is the justice in that?

When you're fat your pants look like they are eating you.

When you're fat you will keep getting fatter. There is no maintenance package for obesity, there is no magic fat number that your body feels good at. You gain more weight and you put your health at risk or you decide to do something about it.

And so I did.

...and day by day by day by day by day by day things start to change. Walking up the stairs starts to become easier and playing soccer becomes fun again and you start to engage others as you relearn how to live. People will start to notice you not because of your weight loss but because of the shift in your confidence. You start to realize that not everyone is hurtful and bad intentioned and there are really good people in the world and there are one's you can trust.

When you're fat no matter how much weight you lose you still feel fat and you can't lose this with running, crunches, squats or dumb bells it just takes time and now that you're healthy you'll have much more of it.

*Other terrible sounding words: discharge, obtuse, fork, masticate, fornication, flange, angina

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A List Of Things Mariah Carey Actually Wants for Christmas

1. Candy bowls filled with red almond M&M's. Instead of the traditional M&M logo she would like them imprinted with M&C. She also wants them to have no calories.

2. Justin Bieber to father her next set of twins. She wants the twins to be female and when they come out of the womb she wants the song Baby to be playing on a constant loop.

3. Her abs circa 1997.

4. Whitney Houston's voice box on a silver platter.

5. An Ipad for each of her Jack Russel terriers.

6. Every extinct butterfly be brought back to life.

7. To be buried next to Michael Jackson.

8. That every copy of the film Drumline be destroyed.

9. That her husband Nick would change his name to Denzel.

10. For all cheesecake to be vegan.

11. That every room she enters to reside at 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 degrees Fahrenheit.)

12. An on hand physician to inject her with vitamin B12.

13. For an entire room in her house to be filled with soft, cuddly baby animals. She would prefer them to be white. No monkeys.

14. Rose petals in her toilet at all times.

15. A personal assistant that does nothing but brush her hair.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Ideal World: Christmas Cheer Edition

In my ideal world every person I came in contact with would smell like an 8ft Spruce. When I closed my eyes I could throw tinsel on the crowd of walking trees. I would hang ornaments from their hair branches. I would put a tree skirt on their leg stumps.

In my ideal world every nutrient and vitamin would come from candy canes and mulled wine.

In my ideal world Santa would be real. I would sit on his lap at the mall and know full well that while this isn't the real real Santa he will be reporting my Christmas wishes to the big guy at the North Pole.

In my ideal world I would have a friend who is an elf.

In my ideal world that warm glow that can only come from basking in the company of family and friends dressed in red and green, the twinkle of lights, the smell of warm baked cookies would carry on throughout the year.

In my ideal world the face of a child on Christmas morning would solve every world problem.

In my ideal world every one would take their pets to sit on Santa's lap and then proceed to send the photo out as their Christmas card.

In my ideal world I would marry Santa which would make me Mrs. Santa.

In my ideal world people would actually rock around the Christmas tree.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

On Making Irrational Decisions While Listening to Hans Zimmer

I would like to think I am a rational human being. I thoroughly enjoy a good pro/con list. I don't speak without thinking about the consequences. You will never find me outside in winter with wet hair. I enjoy wearing my seatbelt but something about the music of Hans Zimmer turns me into a crazy woman. Important decisions that I would normally spend hours, days, weeks or even months contemplating and calculating are thrown out the window on the whimsical note of chance.

Situation #1: Deciding to Move Across the World

Normal Natt: Can I afford to do this? I should make a financial plan to see if this plane ticket is in my budget. What kind of notice would I need to give my current employer? Who will take my dog? Can I bring my dog? Will the siblings starve? Who will make sure Olivia doesn't get pregnant or Phill doesn't drive drunk? Can I live without my family? What if something happens to my Grandma while I'm gone? Do I need to bring bed sheets? Peanut butter?

Natt Under the Influence of Hans: CARPE FUCKING DIEM! I can pull the money out of my 401K. I have a credit card! I can charge everything if my life savings run out.

Album at Fault: The Dark Knight

Situation #2: Ending A Four Year Relationship

Normal Natt: This is going to be super painful. You must be prepared for the feelings that come along with misery and all her friends. You should make a pros and cons list and weigh it all out. Speaking of weight you should probably lose ten or so pounds, you may soon be entering the dating pool again. Look into gym memberships. What if he deletes me from facebook? What if I can no longer stalk him? I WOULD DIE! What if he dates someone before I do? Will I die alone? Should probably delete him off facebook first.

Natt Under the Influence of Hans: That asshole never deserved me! Text him right now! RIGHT NOW! Perhaps I should tell him in person? Fine. Get in the car and drive the 45 minutes to his house. Will listen to epic scores the entire ride. I was the best thing that ever happened to him. I would rather be happy and alone! Yeah, hear me world? I'M FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Album at Fault: The Thin Red Line

Situation #3: Telling My Friend I Was In Love With Him

Normal Natt: This is absolutely crazy talk. How can I even consider doing this? He is one of my best friends, what if this ruins everything? It could. Are you prepared to deal with that? What if he feels the same? He doesn't. You already know the answer. Do yourself a favor and put this idea in a drawer, lock it, lose the key. But could I go my life without ever telling him? Guess you will see.

Natt Under the Influence of Hans: This is romantic, just like in movies! It always works out in movies and in books too! Besides if you don't tell him you will probably explode and die. Who said 'It's better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all?' They are sooooo right.

Album at Fault: Inception

Monday, November 14, 2011

Things That Happen When an American Dates a British Person

Girl at bar: "Can I have a metre of vodka with an inch of tonic.."
Mark: "Oh, naughty, you've combined metric and might get an interdenominational hangover that way."
-Peep Show

At one point or another your laptop will break, presumably while you are skint (broke) and your Brit will lend you their extra netbook. Auto correct will say you are misspelling obviously correct words such as, and definitely not limited to: analog, favorite, color, center, honor, humor, mold, program, practice and mustache. You must learn to embrace the 'u' or suffer the wrath of the red underline.

Picking a television show will become a power struggle. You will fight for your version of a show that has been aired two different ways in two different countries. You will never see eye to eye on this issue so in this case it is best to agree to disagree.

The Brit may take up art as a hobby. While they are mid drawing and pause to exclaim they need a rubber confusion may ensue. Fun fact a rubber is an eraser. The Brit does not need a condom to draw that bowl of fruit.

Sometimes you may not understand what they (the British) are saying. You have two options: go along and pretend you know what they mean when they say 'that bird has a grim Chevy Chase' or take a moment to learn. A simple 'I'm American, what did you just say?' seems to do the trick just fine.

One morning you will wake up to check the daily news and sites you used to frequent like CNN and The New York Times have been replaced by The Guardian and BBC. The BBC is publicly funded and therefore a less biased source or so I've heard.

Things like Marmite sneak their way into your diet. As an American this is simply unforgivable and should be fought tooth and nail. If a marmite free diet seems unavoidable feel free to lie to your American friends, but who are you kidding? Your American friends will have no idea what the hell Marmite is anyway.

You may notice words such as: bollocks, football, meself, arsed, bloody, bogey and bum sneak into your daily vocabulary. This happens subconsciously and may often be received by other Americans with shock and horror. Football is played with a pigskin God damn it!

For the most part the similarities between the Americans and the British far outweigh the differences. Consider your relationship a fun learning experience without which you may never have known the likes of: Louis Theroux (half American by the way), Darren Brown (wish he was popular in America) and Peep Show.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

When It Feels Good

When it feels good the new car smell never fades. You can drive it through swamps and sewage, through pristine crisp forest air. 10,000 miles later and then another 10,000 miles later and another and another and it still smells like the day you met even if on the day you met it smelled like cigarettes and cheap beer.

It doesn't feel like lies. It doesn't feel how lies cut. Deep and you know it's a lie because you can feel the knife in your thigh. You don't need to look down and see the blood and you want to pull it out but what you want more is to find someone who won't stab you.

When it feels good your hands meet half way. You're walking side by side and that little brain tick that says 'hold my hand' responds to their brain's 'hold my hand' and somewhere out there the Beatles are singing about wannaing to hold your hand and so you do and they do and they stay that way.

It doesn't look like brownies but taste like medicine.

When it feels good you can see it in their face and their friend's faces and your friend's faces which become our friend's faces. It's raw happiness like raw almonds, pure and healthy and good for your heart.

It doesn't feel like your first job. Tedious, mundane, routine, mind numbingly dull. Would you like that toasted? Would you like to try a free sample? Would you like to leave those 20 articles of clothing in a crumpled ball on the changing room floor?

When it feels good it’s like minute 29 of a 30 minute run. As each second passes by you are more and more grateful that you got out of bed and you laced up your shoes and you walked out your door and you placed one foot in front of the other and you ran and you ran and you ran. It feels better than your bed, better than an extra hour of sleep. It’s seeing the results of hard work and discipline along the curve of your hip.

It doesn't feel like minute 18 of a 30 minute run.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This Is An Apology Letter

It ended with a slam and a crash. At the time I felt worse about not folding my laundry. I remember the green Christmas dress and navy sweater. I remember the look on your face as I inhumanely slammed the door on you. That haunting face. I can't bare it. I remember everything.

I didn't get you. I never took the time to try. Time better spent in anger, hot coals, the devils lair. Hours spent carefully growing a virus that consumed me. I could have understood you. I could have talked to you. I could have helped. Maybe I could have.

I look back on make believe memories. I imagine sitting across from you as my aunt, yeah, Aunt Silv. I could be Aunt Silv and simply enjoy your company. Your Tennessee stories that you told over and over and over and over and the people laughed every time, not out of pity. though at the time I thought it was pity, but because you were genuinely funny. I remember feeling superior. I wasn't. I look back on make believe memories. I have to. Maybe we liked the same music, maybe we both had stitches in the same places, lip and right eyebrow.

You made my mother so happy, you really did. I never saw her love my dad how she loved you and I hated it. I was an evil shade of spruce. That woman, my mother, the person I was trying to protect, the individual who means more to me then any other person, memory, feeling or thought, the woman who would have died for you and almost did... she is fine now. She does this little head cock and her eye happy twitches and the corners turn up on her tiny mouth and I know she is thinking of you. Some days, she tells me, some days you still call her cell phone, she say's she knows it's you. She still listens to your voicemails. She still can't listen to Tim McGraw.

I was just trying to save her from you. You, you would agree with me if you could. I knew. Oh, I knew, I just didn't know how much.

I wish I would have went on vacation to Tennessee. I wish I would have driven in your vintage car on the dream cruise. The car, the car with the silly bumper stickers and furry dice. I wish I didn't have to wish. Maybe it would have changed things, maybe it wouldn't have.

A phone call, my mother, a piercing scream, a fall heavy like anchor into ebony. A place where a piece of my bad heart died.

It ended with a slam and a crash.

I'm sorry will never be enough.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Wonder What Celine Dion is Doing Right Now

Celine Dion's house is probably all white: the furnishings, the carpet, the chandelier. I bet she has a single wall covered with a plethora of different sized white picture frames filled with white blank canvases. I'm sure Celine Dion has a white dog named 'Jack.' I bet she doesn't eat any white food. I bet she married René Angélil because she loved how his skin would be in stark contrast with the rest of her world. She can never lose René in her house.

I am sure Celine Dion carries a microphone with her every where she goes. Celine never knows where she may find inspiration. She could find it looking at the cascading ivy on her back wall. Or perhaps while she is painting the babies room although who are we kidding? Celine doesn't need to paint, she has minions to do that. I bet her minions are 'little people'. Celine probably loves the circus feel it brings to the house. Maybe she even has them dress up like Oompa Loompas. They did wear white overalls after all.

Celine probably only travels to places where they speak French. The gnashing of teeth that is English is probably too brash for her sensitive ear drums. French rolls off the tounge so simple and beautiful. Celine would never damage her vocal cords speaking English.

Celine always smells of peonies, cinnamon and mint. Celine doesn't even know what the word flatulence means (technically she does know the definition of flatulence because Celine is very educated and has an extensive vocabulary). Celine never has to use the toilet.

Celine probably has her babies hair permed with organic and all natural hair care products. She probably puts tiny beret's on their perfectly coiffed heads while she sits in her white rocking chair serenading them with Celien Dion: The Hits Volume 3.

Celine Dion has 'My Heart Will Go On' on a constant loop in her bedroom. She wants it to be the first and last thing she hears every day. On her death bed she will serenade her loved ones one last time before her last breathe and that song will be 'My Heart Will Go On.' Celine, you are here in our hearts, and our hearts will go on and on.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Some Really Scary Potential Halloween Costume Ideas

A Giant Hand After Eating Cheetos


Polyester Suit


Glenn Beck

A Weak Handshake

Livin La Vida Loca

Texting While Driving


The Original Ipod Mini in Fuchsia


America's Obesity Epidemic

Wall Street

Welsh Rugby Fan

A Turban

Vincent Van Gogh's Ear

The French Presidential Election

Greece's Economy

The London Riots


Under Cooked Chicken

A Unibrow

The Great Slave Lake

Justin Bieber


Hurricane Katrina

A Tramp Stamp

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A List Of All The Lists I Have Ever Made With Excerpts

Hobbies I Quit
-Interpretive Jazz Dance
-Poetry Slams
-Making Wall Installations
-Tae Bo
-Candle Making
-Cross Country

Things to Donate to Salvation Army
-Ugly Blue Dress I Bought at Salvation Army
-Fat Clothes
-Skinny Clothes
-Extra Copy of Spice Girl's CD
-Lava Lamp

Baby Names I Like If I Have Children Before 30
-Smith (assuming I am married and change my last name)

Baby Names I Like If I Have Children After 30

Coffee Creamer Flavors I Need To Try
-Sweet Cream
-Brown Sugar Maple Latte
-Coconut Creme

Things Not To Order From Taco Bell
-Nacho Cheese Anything
-Grilled Stuft Burrito

Inspirational Quotes
-"Courage is a kind of inspiration." -Plato
-"Once you label me you negate me." - Kirkegaard
-"The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has." -Michelangelo
-"If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut." -Einstein

Bukowski Quotes
-"Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them."
-"If you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose."
-"To do a dull thing with style-now THAT'S what I call art."

90's Music I Need to Download
-N'Sync Bye Bye Bye Album
-The Thong Song
-Backstreet Boys I Want It That Way
-Korn Freak on a Leash

Fancy Food I Need To Eat

Favorite Disney Movies of All Time
-Beauty and the Beast
-Toy Story 2
-The Lion King

Words I Need to Learn to Spell

Words I Need to Learn to Say
-I'm Sorry

Honorable Mentions:
-Dresses I Have Worn to Weddings
-Favorite Female Adventurers
-Hipster Music to Download
-Cool Ways to Die
-Foods Not to Eat on a Date
-Ways To Cut My Hair if I Could Cut my Hair
-All The Mixed Drinks I Need to Try
-Museums I Need to Visit
-Philosophical One Liners
-Reasons God May Not be Real
-People to Pray For

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How To Be Uber Pretentious At A Foreign Film Festival

Prep weeks in advance. The moment the film selections are released download the PDF and spend about 30 hours memorizing the schedule. Bonus points if you can also list their country of origin, director and showing code. Bonus bonus points if you wear a beret.

Make a detailed spreadsheet of all the films you NEED to see and cross reference overlapping times. When your other friends mention they may be seeing one or two films flash a snide smile whilst you regale to them your quest to see 18 films in 6 days. Tell them your considering calling into work next Tuesday so you can have a 6 film bender. Who cares about a desk job where the arts are concerned?

Consider cutting out fluids and urination just to make sure you don't miss a single moment of a film.

Imagine meeting men named Francois and Hernando in line for the latest Spanish film noir. You will all be dressed in retro attire and will scuff and throw back your heads in laughter when you see people wearing screen tees and stuff you know was bought from Target. If it cost under $200 do not wear it.

DO NOT EAT THE POPCORN! You are way too pretentious for that. While other people are gorging themselves on jumbo sodas and salty snacks reach into your Ralph Lauren leather duffle and pull out a sleek, monogrammed silver flask filled with the finest single malt whiskey. Be sure to have a selection of watercress sandwiches with the crust cut off and an entire wheel of Brie.

Interject high-brow movie quotes into every conversation for the duration of the festival. Further your arrogance by using lines from The Tree of Life to describe an actual tree.

After an Indian documentary sit on the porch of a fancy bistro with all your other pretentious friends and use terms like "I'm getting notes of..." and "what a balanced bouquet" to describe your bottle of French Bordeaux.

Finally I am sure this goes without saying but if a film contains any English what so ever DO NOT SEE IT! You are intelligent, you can read AND watch at the same time. You are far above the English language. For the ultimate experience in pretentious film going attend a film where there is no English or English subtitles. You are there for the feelings, the emotions, the climax. Words are beneath you. Go forth with your head held high and your nose in the air!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In My Ideal World

In my ideal world I could listen to Relient K and the Goo Goo Dolls and not worry about people judging my taste in music. I could run around screaming "I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW WHO I AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and people would applaud me for my perfect pitch and dedication to the overall tone Johnny Rzeznik was trying to convey.

In my ideal world I could eat nothing but chips and salsa and chocolate and feel no guilt. I would end each evening with a night cap consisting of Kahlua and hot chocolate with not one, but TWO big marshmallows. I would smile as I sat wrapped in a down blanket as the alcohol seeped through my veins and eased me into a gentle slumber.

In my ideal world I could run for 20 miles and not feel sore or tired. I wouldn't need to train for endurance or power or strength, I could just lace up my trainers on a whim and see the entirety of the city on nothing but the soles of my feet.

In my ideal world a university degree would be free. I wouldn't know the discomfort of starting life off a bajillion dollars in debt for acquiring something that should be given to people who want it. I would have the freedom to volunteer for a good cause or for the experience without worrying about making minimum payments or astronomical interest rates. In my ideal world I wouldn't even know what interest is.

In my ideal world I could hug a stranger and not be looked at like I have the pox. I could smile at passer by's and people would smile back. I could say things like 'howya do?' and 'I hope ya have a nice day naw ya hear?' I wouldn't need the support of alcohol to spark conversations with strangers. I would embrace the quirks of others and hope they would embrace mine. I like to hold my hands like chicken wings when I walk.

In my ideal world I could put on a really authentic sounding accent. I could convince even the most Scottish person that I am a Warrior fan, went to uni in Edinburgh and love meself a deep fried Mars bar.

In my ideal world plane tickets would be affordable. At the drop of a hat I could jump on and be somewhere exotic or in the arms of a loved one. All seats would be first class and the on board meals would include Taco Bell, Three Musketeers bars and a 12% bottle of red.

In my ideal world I would live in a tree house.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Expectations for Fall

This Fall I expect to spend much more time outdoors. I want to smell nature. Roll around in the leaves and the mud, examine tree bark, lick it's sap. I won't pull another summer repeat and spend most my time indoors basking in air conditioning and eating popsicles. NOOO! I will sit on a stump and have my own Giving Tree moments.

This Fall I expect to start calling it Autumn.

This Fall I expect to dress more like the artsy/creative type. I expect to dress with flair and coordination. No more jeans and t-shirts for me. It will all be vintage. If it is not more then 20 years old I won't be wearing it. I want people to look at me and think "hmmm, she looks like she just got finished painting something."

This Fall I expect to not crave a single cigarette.

This Fall I expect to learn how to spell cigarette.

This Fall I expect to maintain clean floors.

This Fall I expect to be homesick. Nostaligaaaaaauhhh, be kind to me. I expect to stalk through my Michigan friends photos cursing under my breath at their camping trips and cider mill visits and fresh, hot out of the oven cinnamon doughnuts. Doughnuts cause cancer, didn't you know? Fools.

This Fall I expect to sit around a plethora of bonfires. I expect my wilderness friends to teach me how to start a fire with nothing but a flint. I expect to cook hot dogs and marshmallows and get my friends to snuggle in blankets with whiskey hot cocoa.

This Fall I expect to become more culturally aware. I expect to catch up on every television show and independent film I have neglected. I expect to not be up to date on pop culture. I expect not to care.

This Fall I expect to listen to lots of Hans Zimmer and Warren Zevon.

This Fall I expect to learn all the chords so I can play my banjo around the previously forementioned bonfires I will be having.

This Fall I expect to make a fort.

This Fall I expect to find lentils and cook them.

This Fall I expect Winter to follow.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Reflection On Nostalgia And Why It Hurts About The Same As Oral Surgery And Why You Shouldn't Read Old Text Messages

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." -Anais Nin

I bought a new phone. I spent a good portion of my adult years swearing up and down I would never be one of those smart phone people. Nights spent painfully uncomfortable as friends sat round a table together were simultaneously on their respective Crackberry, checking facebook to see what was going on in their social world all the while allowing the present moment to pass them by. I never wanted to be like that. After making it 24 years I compromised my beliefs for the perks that come with having 24/7 internet access. I settled on a mid-range, slightly older model. Not going for the new, fancy, expensive gadget was a way to make myself feel better for being a sell out. It pains me to say this but I adore this phone. It does make life easier and more convenient to reach all my family and friends around the world. I have but one complaint, one tiny, microscopic little flaw: the alarm sucks. It sounds like a rooster which isn't the problem, the problem is that it's a rooster that seems to be caught under 5 feet of cement. I sleep right through the damn thing, all 6 of my strategically timed out alarms:

6:00 a.m Go to the gym!
6:15 a.m Hurry up idiot! Get up and go to the gym!
6:50 a.m You missed the gym but get up and make eggs and drink coffee and make yourself look decent for school!
7:15 a.m You can still eat some cereal and do your hair!
7:30 a.m Get your clothes on, grab a bagel at the bus stop if you have time!
7:45 a.m You're not even brushing your teeth today!

Pack rat by nature I have kept all 3 of my old phones. Klutz-o-maniac by nature I tend to break things and fall often so it's good to have back ups. My most recently retired phone has the most obnoxious alarm perfect for hungover Thursday wake-ups. Insomniac by nature I was laying in bed, 2 am and work in the morning and I don't know what force pulled my hand toward my old phone but I grabbed it and started a trip down text message memory lane aka Nostalgiaville.

In this fast paced, technology driven society we live in the amount of texts I have sent and received is well into the thousands, a few times over and I can't say I remember most of them. It's easy to forget a joke that was shared, a moment that made you have an LOLathon, an innuendo, an apology, a photo, things that made you cry...

in my phone lay the skeletons of relationships past.

There I was reading through all the texts and one after the other I was brought back to the context of the conversation, the way my stomach jumped with excitement when I saw who it was from, the glee, the rapture, the fleeting moments like sand through my finger tips, so hard to hold on to yet so easy to pick right back up again and again and again. I cried. I lay there wishing with every ounce of my being that I could go back to how things were in the moment, just for a minute, just to remember what it felt like. Nostalgia can be so dangerous. Things become skewed, distorted. Reality seems better then it was which makes the current pain worst then it should be... or maybe it was that good? That's what nostalgia does to people, can you ever be quite sure you are remembering things the way they really were?

I got a tooth pulled once. Most people are born with 8 molars I was blessed to be born with 10. I was quite the little overachiever in the womb. Anyway, after months of continuous pain I bit the bullet and went to have them removed. The dentist took a very scary long needle and stuck it in my gums to numb me from the pain of removal. It hurt initially, took some time to recover but eventually the temporary pain of losing a part of myself did go away. In it's place was a healthy mouth, free from the aids of medicine and trying to temporarily mask my pain. It was a process, it was painful but it was worth going through. It's making the choice to willingly give up and let go of the things that cause us pain. The fact of the matter is the world keeps turning and life does move forward with or without your permission. People who once meant the world to you, people whom you deemed a best friend, a great love, someone you needed may leave you. People will come and people will go but the true ones will stand the testament of time whether as a current fixture in your life or a preserved memory of everything they once meant to you... rose colored glasses included.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You May Be An Adult If:

You may be an adult if you need to go shopping for a refriderator. Adults don't skip over that area of Best Buy and head straight to the video games. Every one must eat and therefore every home needs a fridge. It's not like stereo equiptment, computers or even a ceiling fan. If your ceiling fan brakes in the middle of July and you can't afford to buy a new one, sorry Charlie, looks like you're going to spend the night basking in a pool of your own sweat. You're an adult if you want your friends to know the capacity of your new fridge and how it just knows when you are low on ice. Look how my fridge makes ice cubes! Look! Look!

You may be an adult if popcorn is no longer a suitable choice for dinner.

You may be an adult if you own a spice rack. Let me pep up this dish with a hint of dill!

You may be an adult if Saturday nights once spent at various dive bars drunk on beer with all your mates turns into Saturday nights drunk with wine at your friends fancy home with all your mates. Let's get classy wine drunk y'all! We're adults!

You may be an adult if you have contemplated potential future spawn names. Men: If you have future spawn names picked out this does not only make you an adult, it also makes you a woman.

You may be an adult if you have considered being: vegetarian, vegan or strictly eating organic. World look at me with my bags of fresh, zero pesticide, locally grown produce! Pardon me but are these Pringle's organic?

You may be an adult if you have matching hangers.

You may be an adult if you are into trendy grownup sports like ultimate frisbee, disc golf, real golf, rock climbing, yoga, pilates, polo, sailing or skiing. Ummm, sorry I can't strap a snowboard to my feet, I'm an adult!

You may be an adult if you can't go more then 3 or 4 days without doing your dishes.

You may be an adult if you floss regularly and have a general passion for preventative oral hygiene. Did you know that oral care is linked to heart disease? Well I did, cause I'm an adult!

You may be an adult if you look back on your youthful delusions of grandeur and think "Well you were a wee bit silly." You are in a happy place now where you read the news every day and maybe own a cat. You don't get black out drunk any more or sleep with strangers or cheat on your significant other. Life is so much better here, you are an adult.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What To Say When You Have Nothing To Say

I hear fish tanks are cool. I would know, I just got one. Let me tell you about it. I have already killed 5 fish, but have successfully kept alive 6. My fish tank: It's like UFC but for fish.

Did you see Rise of the Planet of the Apes? It's aight. I don't really get how 50 monkeys could win against like 8 billion humans with big guns and tanks and stuff. Also the title is too long to say. I may have cried a couple times.

How do you think Charlie Sheen takes his coffee?

I had a dream that I made a small fortune selling bumper stickers that said 'Gorilla Suits are cool!' Not a huge fortune, just a small one. Just enough to avoid working for the rest of my life but not enough to afford a private island or 2 Maserati's or eating at The Cheesecake Factory everyday till my last breath.

I wonder what Norway smells like?

Back to fish: How do fish sleep?

When I see people with a tattoo I wanna touch it. I don't care where it is or if it's located in an appropriate location, my fingers will inevitably end up grazing it. Do you have a tattoo?

I can't remember the last time I mailed something. That is sad because I love receiving things in the mail. Hint hint.

If I died tonight I would regret never having eaten a fish taco. I mean like actual fried fish in a crispy shell. Get your mind out of the gutter. Pervert.

I bet having a dick is cool.

Sometimes I wish I was Jim and Pam's baby.

I don't get furniture that is trying to be something that it's not. Futons, what the hell man? Just be a bed or be a sofa. Stop trying to please everyone. Be who you are. Same goes to you waterbed.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saying Goodbye To People You Know You Will Never See Again

Cue Green Day- Time of Your Life

It's looming. It's sad. It's here. It's life. It's goodbye. Living in an environment that produces a quick turnover of foreigners living in an expat community means you get used to saying goodbye. If you don't you can look forward to living in a constant state of depression. It sucks.

Saying goodbye to people you know you will 100% without a doubt never see again can be difficult to grasp. Every second that ticks by is one less you will be able to share together. One moment you're together sharing a laugh, drinking a beer, taking that last facebook goodbye photo and then tomorrow they get on their respected means of transportation never to be seen again. It feels like death but slightly more morbid. Morbid in the 'No Longer in a Relationship' status type of way. You can still be apart of their life but only through a computer.

Sure technology makes it easy to stay in contact. There is always Skype, email, you can stalk their facebook for years to come (I know I do)...I mean thank God for that. It starts off innocent enough. Facebook wall posts that read:

"Miss your face!!!!!xx"

"I miss you so much baby girl! I want to be pre-gaming at your apartment and dancing to Lady Gaga! Get your po-po-po-po-pokerface on!!"

"Sat outside the mart last night drinking cheap beeeeeers. Wasn't the same without you."

You will also feel the urge to post every inside joke you ever shared, relevant gossip about what your departed friend is missing and how you can't wait to get out of this shit hole.

I miss the days when you said goodbye to someone and meant it. None of this false hope, none of the "Can't wait till you and blah blah blah get married, I am totes coming to the wedding!" or "Reunion time, September 2027, Las Vegas, be there!" You are lying. We all do it. It's the sense of comfort of thinking one day you will be reunited and the magic of the time you spent together will transcend time, oceans and general progression of life in different parts of the world. The fact of the matter is when people leave we all find ways in which to fill the void. New people do come into your life and new friendships will be made. Life moves forward. Soon the posts become fewer and far between. You start to miss Skype calls because of the massive time difference. That email thread you and your girlfriends were all included can go months without one person posting an update. It's really sad.

Going on year three of living in Asia I have seen many people come and go. Friends who at one time of my life transformed my frame of mind, opened me up to new discoveries, travel and art. Held my hand as I walked through the flames of my own transformation, now don't even find the time to respond to my emails...and I hold nothing against them. I get wrapped up in my own life too. While it can be disheartening I feel blessed. Blessed to have been touched by so many amazing people. Blessed to have seen little parts of my soul in the eyes of strangers. Blessed to have had hands to hold, waists to hug, cheeks to kiss and fingers to wipe away my tears. Chances are I may never make it to that small city in New Zealand or to that coastal town in England but I have the memory of our chats, your touch and if ever that seems to fail or I start to forget I will always be able to stalk your facebook.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Women I Will Never Be Friends With (Also Why Having Male Friends Rock)

When it comes to my close friendships I have a tendency to surround myself with the boy gender of the gene pool. Boys are cool in a way that women usually can't compete with. I am likez a thousand percent sure having a dick and being filled with throbbing testosterone would be the coolest thing on planet earth.

Boys keep it real, give it to you straight, stab you in the front. Boys will fart without apologizing or will apologize but not for doing it, just for doing it so close to you. Boys will always have that childlike quality, that part that will never grow up. The part that when given a stick will undoubtedly act like it is a sword, light saber or magic wand. Will climb a tree at the drop of a hat. Will construct a pirate ship out of legos. Will play video games for hours. Will eat pizza for a week straight and never once stop to think "is this healthy?" Will get drunk on a Monday night just because it's payday. Will openly discuss all things sexual including (but not limited to): masturbation, women they sleep with, women they want to sleep with, the last time they masturbated, the next time they will masturbate etc. Boys fucking rock.

Unlike men who don't dick around the bush but rather give it to you straight, women will smile to your face and then trash talk you the moment they are out of your presence. Academy Award winners don't know shit about acting until they witness a girl fight. First off, I am not saying there aren't some bad ass females out there. I have been around the friendship merry-go-round a time or two and while they are few and far between it makes finding one of these rare treasures all the more thrilling. Secondly, I am not saying I haven't at one point or another been a lame ass female friend. I can only learn from my mistakes and try to be a better version of myself. I, as many women do, have some trust issues with the female species i.e. stealing my boyfriend, lying to my face, dragging my name through the mud but I am not writing off having female friends. Take the best characteristics of men add one cup vagina, one cup witty banter, one cup vintage shopping and you have the Aston Martin of female companions. On that note I have had enough failed female friendships to know what it is I am looking for.

Women I Will Never Be Friends With:

- If you worship at the church of Sex & The City we can never be friends. While the show was entertaining and groundbreaking at the time you my dear are not a Carrie. No one is a Carrie except for Carrie.

- If you end any sentence, written or spoken with the word FAIL, we can never be friends.

- If the Twilight series changed your life, we can never be friends.

- If you do not know who Charles Bukowski is, we can never be friends.

- If you are constantly spewing remarks about other females physical appearance because it makes you feel better about your self, we can never be friends.

- If you can not formulate your own opinion on anything, we can never be friends.

- If your favorite singer is Beyonce or Rihanna, we can never be friends. There is an appropriate place and time for these pop divas, just not every second of every day.

- If you have to get drunk to have fun, we can never be friends. What happened to lattes peppered with good ole conversation? Or bowling? Or going for walks? Or playing checkers? I fucking love checkers.

- If you send emails that threaten 25 years of bad luck and acne if I do not forward it to 80 people, we can never be friends.

- If you still decorate your MySpace page, we can never be friends.

and finally...

- If your life ambitions begin and end with getting married and having babies, we can never be friends. I have had 22 years of those friends and I hold nothing against them, we are just at different places in our life. I want to see Africa, you want to live in Michigan and hang out with other married couples. It's not wrong, we just don't have much in common.

If you agree with me on these statements and think "yeah, I could totally be besties with Natt" I can promise you: nights in watching Sci-Fi movies while eating popcorn and ice cream, midnight runs (to burn off the calories), awesome wing woman skills if you so need them, dancing to Spice Girls, dubstep and anything else that makes ya wanna move. I promise I will never flirt with your boyfriend. If you ask, I will give you my honest opinion on if that shirt makes you look a bit like a Lady Gaga wannabee. I will encourage you to dye your hair red, have that one night stand, eat the second piece of cake, cause damn it, life is too short.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Making Love vs. Fucking

Making Love sways side to side holding each other and moving to music that isn't playing. Making Love gently kisses your neck. Making Love guides you to the bedroom by holding your hand or touching the small of your back. Making Love is thoughtful. Fucking doesn't mess around. Fucking has a goal and the goal is cumming, it's cool if you come too, but really fucking only cares if it comes.
Making Love 1: Fucking 0

Making Love plays James Blake. Fucking plays Tool.
Making Love 2: Fucking 0

Making Love is well into foreplay. There is no race to the finish line here. Making Love will go down on you for a really long time, and it's ok if it takes you forever to climax because Making Love really enjoys knowing that it is giving you pleasure. Making Love says "It's ok baby I just really like doing this for you." Fucking expects head. Fucking wants your mouth on it's dick pronto. Fucking expects to come from oral.
Making Love 3: Fucking 0

Making Love will tug on your hair, but not too hard, nibble on your neck, but not enough to leave a mark, smother you with a pillow, but still allow you to breathe slightly. Fucking will pull your hair out, leave bruises, bite marks, pull muscles you didn't know existed. Fucking will encourage, no, make you try positions you didn't know were legal.
Making Love 3: Fucking 1

Making Love is rhythmic, bodies forming together in a fluid movement. Making Love forms a connection. Fucking burns more calories from all the sweating, bouncing and switching positions.
Making Love 3: Fucking 2

Making Love still wants to hold you after you orgasm. After the blood stops flowing and you are in a sane place of mind, Making Love wants to spoon, lay entangled in your sweaty bodies, order pizza and lounge about for hours. Making Love doesn't regret any decisions from the past night. Making Love may be a bit hungover but so is its partner. Making Love doesn't walk of shame it home. Fucking is scrambling to find its clothes. Fucking says it will call when you both know it won't. Fucking will see you out at the bar and awkwardly nod hello. Fucking, if it was good, will try to get you in the sack again at its convenience. Fucking will temporarily fill you up with passion but as quickly as it comes, it goes.
Making Love 4: Fucking 2

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mastering The Art Of The Inside Joke

There will be that one time something particularly amusing happens amongst you and one (or several) of your friends. It will occur like a flash of bright lightning, the perfect storm. You have THE statement to capture this moment you all shared together. A way to wrap it up in a little package with a perfect little ribbon on top. A present that you will all be able to unwrap over and over and over again. You are sure it will cause uproarious laughter for the rest of eternity. The witty statement is rocking in the forefront of your brain, the words swirling on your tongue. You have an 8 second window of opportunity before the moment passes and you are too late. In order to ensure the peak amount of laughter you want the delivery to be perfect. You don't want it to come out forced. You don't want to stumble on your words. Be calm. Be collected. You will make your friends laugh.

(Insert Inside Joke Here)

Wait for it, wait for it. One chuckles, then another, then another, now all your friends are in uproarious laughter. They are all gazing at each other in love with this moment. Friends will high five you and react with the following statements:

"Holy shit, that is awesome!"
"How did you think of that?!?!"
"OMG, you are soooooooo funny!"
"I wish I had half your wit!"
"I feel cooler by association!"

They think you're funny! Really! They do! Think to yourself, "fuck damn I'm clever! Hellz to the yeah, people love me, they really, really love me!" While your friends are laughing at your one line oratory firework try to play it cool. Keep as straight of a face as possible and right when the laughter starts to die down a bit allow yourself a smirk and a: "man guys, I didn't think it was THAT funny." Secretly know that you ARE that funny.

Wait at least a week until you and another friend who shared in the holy moment are with company who were not there. The more irrelevant the setting and company the better. Wait for a loose connection to anything happening in the present moment in which to relive a previous, more funny moment.

(Insert Inside Joke Here)

You and your friend are in hysterics! You are soooooo cool, like the coolest. Bask in the looks of jealousy, annoyance and rage that are coming from the people who do not know what in the hell you are talking about. You are a part of an inside joke, and no one can take that away from you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An Open Letter To The Hot Guy With Dad Sandals

Dear Hot Guy,

I am writing to you on behalf of all the gorgeous, single women you could be meeting on the beach this summer. Heed my advice.

You are hot. That goes without saying but I'll say it anyway. Your body is perfectly defined, not overly muscular like a body builder but the delicate, lean muscles that come from extreme sports like rock climbing. You probably do yoga. Your body is a wonderland. You have beach hair that lies in perfect pieces over your tan, slightly perspirating forehead. You are the grown up, in the flesh version of Peter Pan. You are surrounded by other gorgeous people, other lost boys. Every girl and sexually confused boy is staring at you. Your swim trunks which fit most men awkwardly, fit you perfectly.

But please don't bother making eye contact. Don't come over and try to make small talk. Keep on walkin beautiful man.

I don't care if they give you magic powers.
I don't care if they make your penis grow an extra 3 inches.
I don't care if they allow you to walk on water like Jesus Christ himself.

You are a hot guy and you are wearing dad sandals. I know. I know. YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING IN THEM!!!!! I can't count the times I have been lectured by my dad sandal wearing friends:

"You can hike, climb rocks, swim, run, bike, crab walk, limbo, break dance, yodle. There is nothing you CAN NOT DO."

Did they ever help you get laid?

Women wear heels to feel pretty. We wear them going out, to weddings, parties, dance clubs, special occasions but you wouldn't catch me wearing them to run a 10K. Why then do you insist on wearing dad sandals for a night on the town? Or on the beach when everyone else is barefoot? I understand functionality, but for everything a time and place. I have had hideous trainers. Grand parents in medical need of orthopedic footwear probably owned shoes that looked more stylish then the Frankensteinesque trainers I was sporting, but I have flat feet and my ankles tilt inward. I get ugly shoes that serve a purpose, but please, save them for the mountains and the trekking and the cliff diving and the yoga.

Sidebar: Socks with any form of sandal is NOT ok unless you are over the age of 70.

You can never go wrong with Converse.

Just lookin out,

Natt x

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why I Am Still Facebook Friends With The Boy Who Commited Suicide

Every now and again I like to have a cathartic facebook cleanse and rid myself of all the "friends" I have collected. People whose requests I accepted simply because we had x amount of mutual friends or were apart of the same expat community or grew up in the same church. Other then a name, a brief exchange or a fading memory I don't know who you are, nor do I care. I don't want to see your new engagement ring, I don't care that you are getting drunk in Royal Oak on a Tuesday night. My life will not be impacted in the slightest by having you on my already too long roster of "friends" and honestly I know you don't care about my life either.

A boy a year ahead of me whom I grew up with and shared many mutual friends with committed suicide my senior year of high school. It was my first real taste of death and the pain that accompanies it. Suicide is unfair. One moment a person is there, seemingly healthy and happy and the next you are dealing with the shock and realization that he wasn't ok, he was in pain, and he is gone.

His family decided to leave his facebook up for whatever such personal reasons and I often catch myself frequenting it. It's exactly the way he left it the day he died. He was born on March 14, 1986, the same month as me. He went to Central Michigan University to study Marketing. His About Me is one line: "I live in tallgrass T5, I'm super sweet, and I'm really good at Getting This." He was interested in women, he was single, his sex was male and his screen name was sexymantb55. His favorite quotes are a collection of things his friends have said, things such as: "what grade was I in when I was in second grade?" and so forth.

The harsh truth is I know if he were still alive I would have deleted him years ago, so I don't know why in his death I keep him as a friend. He won't update his status. He will never be "in a relationship" again. He won't post drunken photos or get tagged in an album from a concert this past weekend. He will never do anything ever again. I wonder what his status would be today? Perhaps something about the upcoming 4th of July weekend or how they slaughtered the new Transformers flick. It would read: Way to fuck up again Michael Bay. It makes me happy to see his friends and family still write on his wall; sharing little memories or what's happening in their life. It makes me sad to see how many days have passed since someone has left a new post. Currently it has been 6 days.

I guess it's my form of therapy. On facebook he stays perfectly preserved as I remembered him. Smiling, happy, witty, full of promise and the entirety of his life ahead of him. Someone who was enjoying the college experience; underage drinking and one night stands. Someone who would one day get married, have babies, celebrate anniversaries, go hunting, shoot a 10 point buck, make funny Halloween costumes and get ridiculously tan in the summer. If I delete him I have to admit he is gone and it's true he is no longer here and this is just a social networking page but it's where I can find peace, reflect upon his life and remember him for all that he was. As long as he'll have me, I will never delete him.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Say Goodbye.

Goodbye is difficult. Goodbye can help you grow, forge a new path, have a new experience. Goodbye shows strength. Sometimes goodbye is for a day. Goodbye babe, I'll see you for dinner. Sometimes for a few months. Goodbye Mama, I'll see you next February. Sometimes it’s permanent. Goodbye cigarettes, I'll be seeing you NEVER. Maybe you don't know how long a goodbye will be. If there are things in your life you truly want to let go of there is no better way then to say goodbye and mean it. Say goodbye to the things you don't need or want, make room for better things. Go ahead. Try.

Goodbye nicotine stains.
Goodbye criticizing myself.
Goodbye bagels and white bread.
Goodbye being angry at my mom for covering our beautiful couches with ugly blankets.
Goodbye over-analyzing nature.
Goodbye photo documenting every drunken weekend.
Goodbye being drunk every weekend.
Goodbye not accepting a compliment.
Goodbye final Harry Potter film.
Goodbye white linens.
Goodbye Mike.
Goodbye puppet ministry, praise singing and super church.
Goodbye dwelling in the past and the future.
Goodbye to having life figured out.
Goodbye unsuited friends.
Goodbye Steve Carell. The office won't be the same.
Goodbye inner fat child.
Goodbye First Church.
Goodbye trying to cut down on cursing.
Goodbye America.
Goodbye going deep deep deep deep deep.
Goodbye second family who no longer speaks to me.
Goodbye binge eating nights and morning after regret.
Goodbye to the way I felt on the stoop.
Goodbye pragmatic society.
Goodbye buying new clothes I don’t need.
Goodbye Heidi.
Goodbye pretending that I don't like Aerosmith.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Hate The Beach

WARNING: The following piece is a whiney, negative rant. If you want no part in it quietly click the red x on the top right corner of your computer screen. It won't be awkward. No one is watching you.

Why is everyone always going on about why they love the beach so much? Whilst trying to think of some reasons I do like being at the beach it dawned upon me that it has nothing to do with the actual setting. Activities such as day drinking, being with my friends, having a laugh, these are the experiences that I find pleasurable and they can all be done elsewhere. While the scenery can be beautiful and I do enjoy the sun the cons far outweigh the pros.

Here are the reasons why I hate the beach:

Sand is a massive bitch. It gets everywhere: down my ass crack and all over my towel. It sticks to sun screen and clogs up pores. You inevitably will shake off your towel 9 or 10 times throughout the day subsequently getting sand into my eyes. Despite my best efforts to clean it off I will end up with a small beach worth of sand in my flat.

The water is grimy. Would you swim in an open sewer? Probably not. I have witnessed some vile things floating across the surface of the sea: condom wrappers, plastic cups, bags of picked up dog shit (I think that defeats the purpose of cleaning up after your dog) and beer cans galore. If the water is so murky that I can't see what is going on by my feet then I don't want any part of it.

It encourages anorexia.

It encourages skin cancer.

I don't want to see men in thongs.

Without fail if I make any plans to hang out at the beach before the upcoming weekend it will either: rain, be windy, cloudy or cold. It knows I am coming and wants to precipitate all over my god damn parade.

Despite the amount of sunscreen I slather my skin with I always miss a few patches. I end up looking like I have an odd rash.

Have you ever burned your armpits? Enough said.

My poor hand eye coordination mixed with a fear of being hit in the face pretty much eliminates me from all beach sports.

My friends love the beach, and I love my friends. Despite my negative feelings toward it, the conversation we have is always lively and good times are always had... but why can't we have them in a park? or on a rooftop? or a patio near the beach?

Monday, June 20, 2011

For My Daddy


Thank you for taking us to Disney World every year. Thank you for waiting with Olivia so Mom, Phill and I could go on Space Mountain 3 times in a row.

Thank you for always calling me beautiful.

Thank you for every spider you murdered in my bedroom. I could never do it, I still can't.

Thank you for being supportive when I wanted to come to Korea. You were one of the only people who did.

Thank you for instilling in me a sense of responsibility. I hated working at Wetzel’s Pretzel’s but I loved being (somewhat) independent .

Thank you for buying me the Breeze. I loved that car. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift.

Thank you for all the money you spent on me at Target. I can not possibly begin to add up how much it could be, but every t-shirt, bathing suit, slurpee and video game… I want you to know, I appreciated it all.

Thank you for yelling at me every time I was mean to Mom, Phill or Olivia. I will never yell at the people whom I love the most.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of saving. I am not very good at it, but I am getting better… I owe it all to you (pun intended).

Thank you for surprising me by coming to Malta. That was the best vacation of my life and I am so happy I got to spend it with you.

Thank you for pointing out why my ex- boyfriends sucked, usually in front of their face. You were right.

Thank you for pointing out that Holly, Kendra and Bridgette on ‘The Girl’s Next Door’ were probably not the best role models.

Thank you for your dumb jokes that I have heard over a million times:
Waitress: “Would you like another cup of coffee?”
You: “No thanks. I have to drive.”
Never gets old Dadio.

Thank you for making me listen to jazz growing up. You’re a big reason why I love music so much today.

Thank you for buying me a violin. I know I sucked. Thank you for not rubbing it in my face when I quit yet another thing.

Thank you for taking me to every rally Bill Clinton ever had in Michigan. Watching you love politics made me love politics too.

Thank you for always dancing, even if it was just the two step.

Thank you for driving me to Chicago when I left for Korea the first time. I saved $700 on that plane ticket. Thank you for taking me to get deep dish pizza as my final meal. Thank you for stopping at Target one last time before I boarded the plane. I really loved those sheets I bought.

Thank you for always letting me have the front seat because I was the oldest.

Thank you for crying when I came home the first time and surprised you. I know how much you love me.

Thank you for all the pets we had growing up. I know they made a mess but a childhood wouldn’t have been complete without: Stella, Mitzi, Urkel, Minnie, Freddie, Snowball and Muffin.

Thank you for taking me to Toys-R-Us just so we could make sure they hadn’t gotten a new shipment of Pokemon cards in.

Thank you for every breakfast at the Greek Pantheon. Omelets are not the same without you.

All My Love,
Natt x

Monday, June 13, 2011

Things That Are Not Sexy in Bed

1. Starfishing- Ladies, I think when it comes to sex we pretty much got the easy end of the bargain. Unless you are drunk off your rocker (in which case, men, why are you banging your drunk ass girlfriend?) there is no reason to lay silent and dormant during sex. By all means... claw, pull, moan, something! Do anything!

2. Pulling A Muscle- Not that I am speaking from personal experience or anything but there is no greater misfortune then to be on top during sex and then feel like a thousand knives are piercing into your calf muscle. Words of the wise: hydrate yourself. A lot of pulled muscles come from dehydration (usually from alcohol) so save yourself the sexual interruption and buy some Gatorade.

3. Dirty Feet- I don't think I need to elaborate on this one.

4. Eating Anything That Is Fried- I have had several of my male friends share with me their ideal fantasy and more often than not it includes: watching a winning game of their team of choice, getting a blow job, a drug of their choosing, beer in one hand and something fried in the other. Some food in bed can be hot. There is the obvious chocolate, fruit, whipped cream genre. There is also the appropriate post sex meal ritual which by all means go ahead and re energize for round 2 or 3 or 4, but there is something gross about fried food during sexy times. First off it makes your hands greasy and therefore your sheets greasy, you get an oily coating around your mouth that looks like spunk and you end up more lethargic then when you started from eating too many saturated fats.

5. Comparing Current Activities in Bed to Past Lovers- I love when men take charge and tell you what they want, BUT the moment a dialogue like this occurs:

Stupid Male- "This is how my ex used to do it. Here, let me show you."
Female- "Bitch, I will cut you!"

all bets are off. Listen, I think we all understand that everyone have past lovers, girlfriends, boyfriends, drunk one night stands but in this moment in time, the most intimate of acts, I want to think your mind is only here with me and not with some other bitch you fucked before you met me. Take charge, but leave the baggage out of it.

Now everyone go have sex and report back to me on Monday.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An Open Letter To My 13 Year Old Self: You Get To Sleep With British People

Dear Natalie,

First things first you end up ok, in fact you're great.

I have observed some interesting things as the years have gone by. Guess what? Being a nerd is cool. You spent your entire adolescence trying to fit in, to hide your geekdom under a rock, embarrassed for all the odd things you're in to. After high school it's ok to be who you are, in fact it's preferred. You can confess your love for: video games, Battlestar Galactica, Power Rangers, Pokemon, Magic, World of Warcraft, electro indie get to let your freak flag fly and people will embrace you for it. People will even think your middle name is cool. P.S. The men you are attracted to will find these qualities endearing.

Your appearance has changed a bit but you still look like you. You don't have that huge gap between your two front teeth anymore. Do not worry about being a giant, you will stop growing in another 2 years. Your fashion sense has grown leaps and bounds. You own jeans. I know, I still can't believe it. Your hair got a little darker and your waist a little thinner. Ironically the little floral dresses you were made fun of for wearing in 2nd grade are very similar to the vintage frocks you wear now and love. Someone told you have the coolest hair in Busan, utter lie but what a compliment. You stopped wearing glasses and started wearing contacts. You do touch your eyeballs everyday and it is as super gross as your imagining.

You will experience some terrible taste in music. Don't worry you grow out of it, well, most of it. You will own a Sugar Ray album, enough said.

You move out of Michigan, in fact you move out of the States. You end up in Korea and you're very happy there. You lose a lot of friends. People who are now like your second family will not make an effort to keep in touch with you. You will reach out and they will not reciprocate. It will hurt for a little while but it eventually subsides. It is there loss.

In their absence you meet a whole slew of people who do become your new second family. People who have an open view of the world, people who are so musically talented it emanates from their pores, people from other continents, people who have a sharp wit and a sharper tongue, people who will embrace you.

You are sexually free. You no longer live under the guilt and shame the Apostolic church made you feel just for doing what all healthy teens and adults do. You do however take it a step further. I know you are already aware that you are a bit of a freak but you can't explore how yet, but trust get there and it fucking rocks.

You get to have sex with British people. I know you are smiling. That group of people with the sexy accent who appear in television sitcoms and cheesy romantic comedies they are actually real. You meet them, a lot of them. You get to have sex with some of them too. Some are better then others. One will really suck but it won't bother you that much once they open their mouth to speak. One will excel and the fact that he has the sexy accent won't matter to you. Oh, guess what? Depending on which part of England they come from will change the accent a bit. I had no clue either. Oh and Liverpool is in the North, not the South like you are currently thinking. Make The Beatles proud and look at a map.

You love wine and beer. You party a bit too hard. You still hate celery, you still hate the color pink too. You will stop liking Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. You still have your legos in fact you still play with legos. They will make The Lord of the Rings into movies. You still trip at least once a day.

You will feel pain. So much pain that I can't begin to prepare you for it. People you love will treat you like shit. People you knew your entire life will die tragically and you won't get to say goodbye. You'll almost get engaged but luckily you don't. He isn't for you. You'll confess your love for someone who won't love you back. You'll experience euphoric highs and pain that will never seem to subside but it does, listen to me, it does...and you'll be stronger for it.

I am writing you this to let you know that life has a way of working itself out. Even though you'll spend a large part of it hiding behind a facade eventually the mask does come off and underneath you are smiling.

Keep it up kid.

All My Love,
Natt x

Oh yeah, you go by Natt now.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

An Analysis of my Life Through Cereal

Cereal is my favorite food.

4 years old
Count Chocula-
After 5 minutes of throwing a massive tantrum in the cereal aisle, my mother gave in and allowed me to get the heavenly goodness that is Count Chocula. Chocolate bat crisps, tiny marshmallows shaped like vampires and ghosts. It appealed to both the morbid and sweet tooth side of my essence. Probably the equivalent nutritional value of a chocolate bar for breakfast...the bliss that is childhood.

6 years old
Lucky Charms-
I remember learning about St. Paddy's day in school and realizing come grocery day that the leprechaun on the box of Lucky Charms had something to do with this holiday. I loved everything about Lucky Charms from the packaging to the slightly sweetened crispy letters to the marshmallows shaped like rainbows, clovers and pots of gold. Like every child I did eat every marshmallow out of the box and left nothing but plain crisps to the begrudged person who would be following after me. Not to mention there was always a shitty prize in every box. Didn't matter if it was a sticker of a whale, in that moment I was happy.

7 years old
I went on a brief health kick in 1st grade when we learned about the food pyramid. I could no longer ingest cereal knowing that the sugar would one day kill me. I was so mature.

7 years and 3 months old
Cinnamon Toast Crunch-
I am not sure I have ever loved a cereal as much as I loved Cinnamon Toast Crunch and that is saying a lot. As I was and still am a huge fan of anything coated in cinnamon this was like reaching Mecca and being able to bask in it's grace for years on end...that is how happy I was while eating it. It was delicious no doubt but the best part about it was how scrumptious it made the milk after you were finished eating. If a fairy sprinkled magic dust into my mouth I am sure it wouldn't taste as good as leftover Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk. I think one time a fist fight ensued between me and my younger brother for the last serving out of the box. The best of all because the tiny bits and extra loose cinnamon ended up in your bowl and subsequently in your mouth.

9 years old
Rice Krispy Treats Cereal-
Not to be confused with plain Rice Krispys, this was actual Rice Krispy treat squares crushed down into bite size pieces so there was marshmallow in every bite. It was an orgasm of the mouth. Some people like to refer to this as the 'urban myth' of cereals as it would often go missing for months or even years at a time. I was happy to be back in Michigan last February and saw it sitting there on the shelf where it so rightfully belonged and quickly snatched it up. It was like finding a long lost friend.

11 years old
Cap'n Crunch-
None of this peanut butter or berry bullshit, just the plain amazing goodness of Cap'n Crunch. This was a transitioning time in my life. I was discovering that cool kids don't still watch Sesame Street with their "younger sister" and image is in fact everything to the pre-pubescent child. I remember one morning in class my teacher had us all go around and say what we had for breakfast that day. The sophisticated 11 year old ate oatmeal and granola, one girl even said she had a protein shake? Well I didn't, but I sure as hell did lie about it. That morning I ate granola too.

13 years old
Middle School happened. A pseudo eating disorder in check meant spending a dark 8-9 months without my favorite food...well, without any food really.

15 years old
Grape Nuts-
Ironic name for a cereal that tastes like neither grapes nor nuts but rather like sap coated tree bark. I don't know what I was thinking here.

16 years old
Multi-Grain Cheerios-
Out of every cereal invented I always found myself going through mini phases of Cheerio addiction. To this day I will go to Costco and buy a mega box of the plain Cheerios and eat nothing else for a month. Multi-Grain Cheerios stood out as they had the perfect balance of sweetness between Honey Nut and plain Cheerios. Plus I was a nutrition nut and it had the word 'grain' baked right into the title.

18 years old
Cocoa Pebbles-
Got a boyfriend. He encouraged me to eat as bad as he did. One time I ate two boxes of the stuff in one day. Gained 30 lbs in a year. Cocoa Pebbles also did the delicious chocolate milk thing at the end of the bowl.

19-21 years old
I call this the dark period. No stand out cereals. No stand out anything really. Unhappy relationship with my at the time boyfriend, fat, religious cult, working 40 hours a week and going to school full time at night. I remember there being a lot of granola.

22 years old
Kashi Go Lean-
Broke up with my boyfriend for the final time. Was trying to be healthy before I made the move to Korea. Kashi Go Lean is the best cereal choice I have ever made. Low in calories, high in fiber, tasted good, not great but good. One of the only times during the day when I did feel like an adult was when I was eating Kashi before work.

23 years old till present
Sometimes a person just needs a change.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Some Inanimate Objects I am in Love With Right This Moment

1. USB Gamepad/Controller- The Brit somehow managed to come across every. single. Super. Nintendo. game. of. all. time! It's sheer brilliance. For some odd reason we couldn't seem to track down a gamepad and no one was about to play Mega Man with a space bar and arrow keys. I remembered a couple shops I saw when I lived downtown last year so yesterday we made the pilgrimage to Mecca aka the used gaming shop. There it was like a beacon of hope. The ecstasy equivalent of Christmas, triple orgasms and feta cheese after not eating it for a 8 months... a USB gamepad. Here is to many nights in with men pushing Marios buttons...I know they enjoy it.

2. Tupperware- I need a tiny break from school lunches. No complaints, just a brief change of scenery. Thank you Ernest Tupperware or whatever your name is that invented these beautiful lightweight plastic tombs that keep my lettuce crisp and my salad dressing from spilling in my backpack. I am giving myself bonus points for not using plastic bags. Sidebar: Plastic bags never decompose they just break down into smaller and smaller pieces as they are an inorganic material. Cheers for reusing!

3. Air Conditioning Units- It is human nature to wish it hotter when it is cold and wish it colder when it is hot, perhaps I am just a whiney bitch but I can't function happily without a bit of air conditioning. We are coming into the most humid of times here in Asia and I for one and prepared for my utility bills to sky rocket...tis the price I will pay for the things I love.

4. Sandals- My feet have been in hibernation for nearly 8 months and as much as I prefer the fashion that is the winter months tis time for a break from clunky boots and Converse that insulate as well as a paper bag. Here is to ridiculous shades of nail polish, dirty sand ridden feet and stepping in huge puddles.

5. Stickers- Kids love stickers. I teach kids. I buy stickers to give away as prizes yet for some reason sheet by sheet they are making their way into my life. I have a school folder covered in Beauty and the Beast, my journal has holographic race cars my desk has an array of the latest series of Power Rangers, dinosaurs and pirate ships. I am a nerd.

6. The Leftover Food on my Plate- It becomes a makeshift version of playdoh or clay. I mold it into walls, shape it into hearts, make it look like vomit.

...maybe I never grew up.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to Grow Up in a Religious Cult

Be born into it. There is no single better way to get involved in a cloud of Jesus glitter then to have absolutely no choice but to believe it from your exit from the womb.

Grow up thinking wearing skirts and not cutting your hair means you have a close relationship with our savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Pity the other girl's at school because they don't have a fucking clue that they are going to hell for their Full House haircut and acid wash jeans. Feel bad, feel really really bad.

Try to tell the other 2nd graders that Jesus picked me to "bear this cross." Expect roaring laughter from the expression "bear this cross." Recognize that you do not know what the term "bear this cross" means, but your Sunday school teacher always says it so just pretend.

Be at the church at least 5 days a week:
Monday- Choir Practice
Tuesday- Nursing Home Ministry
Wednesday- Bible Study, Children's Church, Youth Service
Friday- Youth Service Part Deux
Sunday- Regular Service

Try to figure out why you have never had cable television, or only watch Sesame Street and have no clue in hell who New Kids on the Block are. Why does every other girl have them on her lunch box?

Go to Jesus Camp. If you are a boy play basketball and baseball. If you are a girl, watch the boys play basketball and baseball or go take a course on how to do hair. These are your options. Spend the entire day trying to figure out what you will wear to church that night. Get a boyfriend/girlfriend for the week of camp. Secretly hold hands under a blanket on the hayride, if you are really daring go behind the tabernacle and sneak a kiss. Don't get caught. You will be sent home.

Be uber-judgmental. When new people come to visit the church do not show them understanding or love instead judge them for wearing pants, smoking, reeking of booze, exposing their cleavage and having children outside of the marital bed.

Vow to stay a virgin till you're married. Solidify this vow by wearing a 'promise' ring. Figure out and participate in every other sexual act outside of vaginal intercourse...this is your loophole. When you find out your friends in the cult have slipped and had sex release your judgmental glances and nods when they walk by. Couldn't you have just given him a hand job instead? Whore.

Only date people in the cult. This means by the time you are 18 you and four of your friends will have made out with/dry humped the same guy/girl.

Don't attend or visit: concerts, professional sporting events, movie theaters or bars because it is against the cult handbook... if you do, don't get caught.

Do attend or visit: bowling alleys, Christian rock concerts, restaurants with bars attached and amusement parks...these are allowed for some reason. Don't complain about it, it is all you have.

Go to Cedar Point (large Ohio amusement park) every Memorial day from the age of 12-22. Claim to be wearing skirts to be modest yet hike them up to your netheregions when you have to get in a roller coaster that buckles between your legs.

Only hang around with your cult friends. Friends outside the cult will corrupt your mind and make you think something is wrong with said cult. Go out to eat with cult friends, usually T.G.I. Friday's or Applebees as this is the place to be seen and flirt with the hot soon to be preacher. Gain a ton of weight from eating too many 1/2 off appetizers.

Watch every friend slowly get married and start having babies as early as the age of 16. Pine to meet your soul mate so you can have sex...I mean, form a long and lasting eternal bond with another Christian.

Go to University. No matter how much it may be discouraged just go. Have your significant other who works the night shift at a plastic shop make you feel extreme guilt for missing Wednesday night Bible studies for your Psych 101 course.

Start to get a clue. Ask as many questions as your heart desires. Do not follow blindly something you truly don't understand. Be told by your pastor that you: "have always been a bit rebellious" and "you need to fall back into line."

Research ways to leave the country. Visit Asia. Meet people who teach abroad. Apply to teach abroad. Get accepted to teach English in Korea.

Ask your pastor permission to leave the cult and go work in Asia. Be told "no, I don't feel comfortable with you leaving."

Leave anyway.

Finally be happy.

Finally be free.

Listen to the comeback album from New Kids on the Block.