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, scream...do 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 pop...you 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 me...you 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.