Thought Catalog


18 Struggles Of Being A Productive Night Owl Instead Of An Early Bird

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 11:32 AM PDT

stefiakti
stefiakti

1. Your friends love teasing you for sleeping in as late as possible, as they have already emptied out their inbox, gotten some work done, cleaned their room, and done some light reading before you even woke up. But the reason you slept so late is because you already did all that stuff… at 3 a.m. last night.

2. But even though you seem to be more productive at night, you’ve read/watched/researched a thousand different articles and videos that claim there’s a solution for your inability to fall asleep at a normal time. You’re tired of feeling embarrassed about your strange body clock. But the problem is that none of your research has worked.

3. You’ve tried following tips like Turn off screens an hour before bed. Instead, try reading a book. But that has never helped you. Because instead of having an easier time falling asleep, you just end up staying up an extra couple hours because you can’t put the book down and you feel a strange urge to read as much of it as possible.

4. You wake up every morning thinking ‘Tonight is the night I’m going to reset my body clock. I’m so exhausted right now, I can totally fall asleep by 9 p.m. and then I’ll feel great tomorrow and then I’ll be NORMAL.’

5. And then you make it to 9 p.m. and suddenly you remember all this stuff that you have to do and your mind is racing and you end up answering emails and watching Netflix and cleaning your room until 1 in the morning, just like last night.

6. You’re well aware that you look like a crazy person when people are receiving emails from you at 1:39 a.m. But you’re sure as hell not going to be functioning enough to answer them at 9:21 in the morning, so what other choice do you have?

7. People love the phrase “Don’t talk to me in the morning until I’ve had my coffee.” But not you. For you, it’s more like: “Don’t talk to me for the first that 5 hours I’m awake. Literally. Do not speak to me until it is the afternoon.”

8. And then as soon as you’ve made it through the dreaded early-morning hours, you’re the friendliest, most productive, most high-energy person in the world. It’s a never-ending cycle with no sign of stopping.

9. Pretty much the only time you’ve ever woken up early (by choice) is when jet lag was involved. And even then, your body clock was still off from everybody else’s.

10. Whenever you have to get up earlier than usual for something, people are literally concerned for your well being. You get questions like “Are you gonna be okay?” or “Do you need someone to make sure you get up?” And they’re not even being sarcastic.

11. You have to remind people that you’re physically capable of getting up early if you absolutely have to. You just try to avoid it at all costs if possible because it’s the worst.

12. The way you get work done now is no different from the way you wrote papers in college. Procrastinate, procrastinate, eat, procrastinate some more, wait until it’s 11 o’clock, begin working.

13. And even though it’s not a healthy way of living and you want to change it, those papers always get written, and that work always gets done.

14. You’re really looking forward to when you finally live alone, so that you don’t have to worry about bothering your roommates if you feel the urge to wash dishes or do laundry or clean the bathroom at midnight on a Tuesday.

15. One of your greatest questions in life is: if people think it’s okay to call you before 8 in the morning, why is it not okay for you to call them after 8 at night?

16. Your mental process for falling asleep happens like this: Don’t think. Just relax. Breathe. Don’t think about anything. Try to sleep. Whoops I forgot to pay a couple online bills and I was supposed to fill out my RSVP for that wedding tonight and I need to pack my lunch for tomorrow. I should get back up and take care of that stuff and I’ll just go to bed early tomorrow night to make up for it. 

17. People send you countless articles about the benefits of waking up early. And you’re not doubting them or fighting them. You just know there is no chance it will ever apply to you.

18. You’re probably reading this at 1 a.m. while you’re organizing your calendar and waiting for your clothes to get out of the dryer. You’ll be exhausted at work in the morning, but hey, at least you’ll be wearing a clean shirt and your planner will be up-to-date. TC mark

14 Women Describe How They Got Over Their Ex Once And For All

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 11:52 AM PDT

via twenty20/telephotogelo
via twenty20/telephotogelo

1. “Whatever you do, make sure that you unfriend them. I made the mistake once of not doing that and just as I was starting to feel better I saw his status update saying he was ‘in a relationship’. Of course it was with a girl I was friendly with too so I had to start getting over him all over again. Distance yourself from your ex!”

—Anne, 23

beetlejuice

2. “For me it took months before I was ready to face up to just how bad the relationship had been. I was brought up in a very caring home and my parents constantly do things for one another to help out. I did lots of things like that for my boyfriend and couldn’t ever understand why he didn’t reciprocate and so I’d do even more and he still wouldn’t. Once I was able to face up to the fact that he was just a very self involved person instead of the ‘project’ I’d allowed him to be then I was able to get over him quickly.”

—Carmen, 26

beetlejuice

3. “I’ve always found that facing your feelings as soon as possible is the only way to get over a bad breakup as soon as possible. For me, pretending that I don’t care or acting like it’s no big deal just prolongs the torture. I do this for a lot of things but putting together a list of pros and cons about my exes helps to see the relationship for what it was. There’s just something about seeing it right there in black and white that always helps me put things in perspective.”

—Erin, 24

beetlejuice

4. “Listen to ‘Shake It Off’ until you’ve shaken it off. Last year this stupid song completely saved my life.”

—Jasmine, 29

beetlejuice

5. “I immerse myself in nature when I’m experiencing a breakup. I’m very big into hiking and camping and I find that getting out and away from civilization quickly gives me a perspective you can’t get anywhere else. The exercise definitely helps too.”

—Dina, 24

beetlejuice

6. “I moved to a completely different state. I did it for work but still the timing was perfect and I was able to get a whole new life. I don’t recommend you move just because of a breakup but getting a new start on your daily life with new habits and new surroundings will definitely make the bad feelings fade quicker.”

—Kristen, 27

beetlejuice

7. “Honestly? I just hate them until I grow tired of it. Probably not healthy but it works every time for me. I don’t do psycho things but internally I’m a seething ball of rage.”

—Marie, 20

beetlejuice

8. “Catch up on all your favorite shows until your eyeballs fall out. This will require pizza and a $5 bottle of red wine. Repeat as necessary until feelings of empowerment and self worth return.”

—Jennifer, 25

beetlejuice

9. “Let go and understand that all things are temporary no matter how long they last. This is some knowledge I picked up from my mother after my first breakup in high school. Pretty heavy at the time but it’s aged well and makes more and more sense over the years. This doesn’t do away with the feelings of loss but it does remind you that the expectation that things are permanent is an illusion and always was. Then you have a choice about what to do next.”

—Nadia, 28

beetlejuice

10. “Surround yourself with your friends that actually get out and do things, not the ones that just like to sit around and talk because they will talk about your situation constantly and be constantly talking about getting out there and dating again, etc. That’s just another form of obsessing. Go be around people who are doing things unrelated to relationships and wallowing.”

—Patricia, 24

beetlejuice

11. “I think the notion that you ‘get over’ people you once loved intensely is bad one. I’ve had several breakups with people I care for deeply and I’ve never really gotten over them in the way most people seem to mean. I still think of each of them at different times and I still miss them sometimes and wonder how they’re doing. I think learning to live with these feelings is just a part of being a thinking and feeling human being on the planet Earth and isn’t anything you can avoid. Just be as graceful about it as you can. That’s all you can do, really.”

—Sally, 26

beetlejuice

12. “Make out with the cutest guy at the bar. It really does help you feel alive and desirable again.”

—Ashley, 23

beetlejuice

13. “Remember that it’s always time for a champagne-fueled brunch somewhere and act on that knowledge as often as possible.”

—Madison, 25

beetlejuice

14. “My ex didn’t like a lot of things I like so when we broke up I made sure to do all the things that he didn’t like doing. It made me feel better and better realizing how much he was causing me to miss in the first place. I was completely better off without him.”

—Mia, 23 TC mark

15 Women Reveal The True Number Of Times They Masturbate A Day And Why

Posted: 10 Oct 2015 02:02 PM PDT

Untitled
VIA TWENTY20/BRANDONPOWELL

1.

3 – 4 times a week when my boyfriend is home.
3 – 4 times a day when he’s away for work.

2.

Never. I tried it once, didn’t enjoy it at all and I find sex with my SO very satisfying. I’d rather have a real dick and a man than do it myself. If I’m horny, which is about 80% of the time, I’ll get some sexy time with the SO at the next chance I get.

3.

Female 22 I would do it 20 times a day if I had that kind of time. I never used to be like this. Started talking to this guy I find fucking irresistible and my sex drive went well beyond 9000. Usually I will do it at least once a day, coming up to 9-10 times. The days where I’m really dying for it I can just keep going and going until it’s just one continuous orgasm. It’s amazing.
And nowwww I’m horny.

4.

20F here. Right now it’s 1-2 times a day because it’s finals week and I need the dopamine to take the edge off. Otherwise it varies, if I’m single it will happen 3-4 times a week and if I’m in a relationship and am satisfied by the sex it will be more like 3-4 times a month. The big thing for me is the difference in types of masturbation. Right now it’s less about enjoying my sexuality and more a part of a stress relieving routine, so it doesn’t have much to do with arousal. When I’m doing it because I’m turned on, it’s much more enjoyable and leaves me much more satisfied.

5.

Female. 3 times a day

6.

28F. I find it really does vary. I haven’t in about 2 weeks but I feel the urge coming on and that means I will do it every night for at least a week for a 1-2 hour period and I will orgasm approximately 25 times per session.

7.

I am a female and I masturbate once a day, sometimes more. It all depends on how I’m feeling. I absolutely cannot go to bed without masturbating first, even if I’ve had sex or gotten head right before.

Unfortunately I just had cervical surgery and cannot masturbate or have sex for three weeks. At least the hard drugs make it okay.

8.

Since I became a mother, once or twice a day. Before I became a mother, 4 or 5 times a day. Just don’t have as much time or privacy anymore. How much sex I’m having has never really affected how much I masturbate, it isn’t only for sexual arousal (although that plays a part) but also stress relief and it helps me sleep.

9.

During the week, maybe every other day. On weekends where I haven’t planned anything, 2-3 times a day. ;)

10.

I masturbate whenever I’m horny and my boyfriend isn't around.

So it can be once a day everyday for a week, or not at all for a month.
Hell, sometimes I’ll DJ 3 times a day.

11.

Single – maybe a couple of times a week. More if I’m bored, less if I’m spending a bit of time with lady friends.

12.

Single, a couple times a week.

When I was not single, it was still a couple times a week; we had sex regularly.

13.

34F. Daily, sometimes twice a day.

14.

Before getting married, 1-3 times a day. Since marriage, once or sometimes twice a month.

15.

Once every three days. Relationship. Been together for three years and I still gotta masturbate ain’t that some shit. TC mark

6 Women Who Slept With Their Boss Share What They Were Thinking When They Did

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 01:01 PM PDT

Twenty20 / fivesixthreedays
Twenty20 / fivesixthreedays

1.. “I think the other co workers knew something was up. He didn’t want them to think I was getting preferential treatment, or at least that’s what he said, so it only happened a few times. We wouldn’t do it in the office or anything, but we’d meet up right after work. The first time it was at his place, the second time it was in his car. It was great, honestly best sex of my life, most likely because we both knew it was somewhat forbidden, and secondly because it was something we’d both never done before. The sex was adventurous because what we were doing was adventurous, and we both had no expectations. It was easy, uncommitted, and exciting.” —Lindsay, 26

beetlejuice

2. “One day he called me into his office (I worked outside in the cubicles) and I immediately thought I did something wrong, emailed the wrong person, forgot to order pickles in his sandwich, something, anything. He told me to close the door behind me, so I really thought I did something wrong. I honestly thought I was getting fired. He gave me this weird look like something was bothering him, and then asked me if I liked baseball. I was so confused. I told him I watched it on TV sometimes, and he said his friend gave him two tickets to the game that night. He made it sound like we could discuss work at the game, and I basically believed him because I was so clueless that he would ever even be interested in me. He told me we could go straight from work, together. I didn’t want to insult him (or get fired for saying no), so I agreed to go.

When we got there he bought me a beer, which I thought was a little strange, but again, everything he was doing was really nice so I couldn’t complain. The entire game we didn’t talk about work once. I finally started to realize this was his way of asking me out, and I found it strangely cute. He was really different outside of the office. When the game was over he insisted on driving me home, which again I thought was really nice. When we got to my building, we were sitting in the car and he told me he had a really nice time, all the sudden he started leaning in for a kiss and I was caught so off guard but also so intrigued. I let him kiss me, and because of how much I enjoyed the kiss I invited him upstairs. He gladly accepted the invitation, and slept over that night. We went to work together the next morning. It was so random, but I loved every minute of it. It was actually kind of funny how we had to make it look like we came to work separately. No one had any idea, and he wasn’t all weird about it afterwards. It was a one and done type situation, but I didn’t mind.” —Kristin, 28

beetlejuice

3. “Our job required us to travel together often, sometimes we’d have to be in a car with one another for 6 hours, and we’d talk a lot on those drives, not just about work, about life. I think we both knew that sometimes the conversations got a little inappropriate, in terms of what should and shouldn’t be said to coworkers…but at that point we had developed a really comfortable relationship. On one of those long drives he asked me about my wedding that never happened. My (ex) fiancĂ© proposed in May 2013, but we both mutually agreed to end the engagement (and the relationship) about a year later.

I was telling my boss that my ex and I were both young and didn’t know what we really wanted. He told me my ex was crazy for not marrying me. I’m pretty sure that was his way of finally admitting aloud that he was attracted to me. It was the first time he had ever said anything like that, and since he took the chance I wanted to take one too.

I told him to pull over, and he looked at me like I was crazy. I told him I wasn’t kidding, so he pulled the car over and I grabbed his face and kissed him, hard. I could tell he liked it, and I didn’t mind it either. He got back on the road, and when we finally arrived to our hotel we didn’t go to our separate rooms.” —Cara, 29

beetlejuice

4. “I was new to the company. He was an executive and I was an assistant. I was really nervous the first couple of weeks because I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know the basics of the job yet. One day I was in the kitchen looking for a fork for my salad, and I was basically opening and closing every single drawer, probably making way more noise than necessary. He came in, opened the silverware drawer and said, ‘Is this what you’re looking for?’ I smiled and thanked him, and we introduced ourselves. He asked what I was doing with the company and I told him which worker I was an assistant for, he said something along the lines of, ‘Wish I had an assistant who looked like you,’ and I immediately was super embarrassed, but also strangely flattered at the same time.

He was a lot older than me, but he was one of those really good looking older guys, that hot salt and pepper look. At that moment, I sort of just laughed off his comment, but throughout the next few weeks I noticed that any time I was in the kitchen, he’d suddenly find a reason to grab a snack or water bottle. One day we were both in the kitchen again and he suggested that we eat somewhere together where there was more of a selection than granola bars and water bottles. He was so smooth. I, of course, fell for him.

He took me out to an extremely overpriced restaurant, told me to order anything on the menu, and took me back to his place after. Of course he lived in a house with a pool AND a jacuzzi and of course he got me naked in both of them. I slept over that night and when he drove me home in the morning he told me to ‘keep this on the dl at work.’ The DL! Really?! I never slept with him again, and I avoided the office kitchen at all costs after that. I always packed a lunch and made sure nothing in it needed to be refrigerated or microwaved.” —Marissa, 24

beetlejuice

5. “We both worked at a day camp where counselors were strictly prohibited from dating one another, (weird, I know). I guess they didn’t want the little kids to think anything, but who knows. Anyway, one of the directors was SO CUTE. He was super tan from being out on the sports field all day, and built perfectly…from being out on the sports field all day. I would see him around the camp all the time, and every time my group had sports I basically prayed he would lead the activity. Unfortunately, that never happened.

BUT one day after camp when I was walking to my car, I heard someone call my name. It was him! I had the biggest crush on him so naturally I was really nervous when he approached me. He introduced himself and told me that he saw me around camp a lot and would love to get to know me more. My heart seriously dropped. I actually felt like I was floating and I think my smile ate my face it was so big. We exchanged numbers and started texting that weekend. He was a great texter. He asked me to see an outdoor movie with him which I thought was absolutely adorable. We had our own little blanket and sat in the grass and it was the cutest thing ever. When the movie ended we stayed after everyone else had got up and left. We were talking about camp and sharing stupid stories about the kids we took care of everyday. He joked about how counselors weren’t supposed to date and sarcastically asked if I thought they’d ever find out if he tried to kiss me. I couldn’t even talk because I was so nervous, and luckily I didn’t need to. He kissed me and we both couldn’t help ourselves. We did it right there on that blanket, and it was perfect, basically the best summer romance of my life, and the other camp directors never found out. What a stupid policy anyway, it’s camp!” —Courtney, 23

beetlejuice

6. “I don’t want to say I was looking to get a raise, but I mean it was in the back of my mind. He hit on me from the very beginning, and he wasn’t exactly discreet about it either. I definitely liked the attention, and it didn’t hurt that he was a total babe. Of course it made me feel good when he’d ask me to stop by his office just to tell me he liked my blouse, and as bad as this sounds, I think the only reason I wasn’t creeped out by it was because he was good looking. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into.

He said he was separated from his wife, and he wasn’t wearing his wedding ring. They didn’t have children together either. We had sex in his office a few times, and to be honest it wasn’t as hot as it sounds. It was really uncomfortable, and I was too busy thinking about whether or not everyone could hear us to truly enjoy it. Having sex in an office gets old pretty quick despite what others may think. He never even bothered asking me to have sex anywhere else, it wasn’t like I was asking him to take me out for dinner and a movie, just a simple bed would be nice. I will never have sex with a boss again even if it means a monthly bonus.” —Alexandra, 27 TC mark

22 Inevitable Consequences of Being a Third Culture Kid

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 02:30 PM PDT

sab_lee
sab_lee

1. The question where are you from results in a detailed life story and biography. For most people it's a relatively straightforward question. For TCK's it can be tricky. Most of us have something that goes like this "Well I was born in x country but my parents are from y country and I've lived in a, b and c countries.”

2. You have a constant identity crisis. Are you from your birth country? Your passport countries? The 5 ones you grew up in but aren't really from? You're used to feeling at home nowhere and everywhere at the same time. 

3. You have weirdly detailed knowledge about other nationalities and country spite no obvious connection with them. For instance I know that South African national anthem has five languages. Why? Because I overhead a Kiwi-Zimbabwean and a British-South African in my American school in the Philippines discuss it in great detail. 

4. You pick up local and mixed international slang and sound weird to everyone you know. To you lekker, cool and dog's bollcoks are completely interchangeable. 

5. You have a questionable accent. Most people think we're American, but sometimes the “hybrid international school american accent" mixed with native accents can produce interesting results. People have asked me if I'm Canadian, Australian, Kiwi, Irish, English, South African, or Dutch.

6. You don't know what sports team to root for. Especially during the World Cup. 

7. You'd never been to a house party in high school. Bars and expatriate clubs were your thing. These bars ranged from midget-boxing ringside bars, to private luxury clubs to nationality specific clubs (Nordic, British, American etc.)

8. Chances are you were either a military brat, diplomat's kid, or your parents worked for an international organization (UN, Interpol, MSF, etc.).

9. You've had school cancelled for reasons like bomb threats, political protests, or riots, major political instability and serious natural disasters.

10. Knowing people who could speak 5 to 6 languages was completely normal. In fact you're most likely multilingual yourself. Picking up languages was one of the best ways to interact to the people and was one of the best perks of being a TCK.

11. You still have strong opinions on certain airports and airlines. And you have a definite ranking of the best and worst airline food (KLM), best duty free shopping (Hong Kong) and friendliest border control (New Zealand).

12. You're still in contact with friends you haven't seen in years (thank you Whatsapp) because you never know whom you may see again, it's a small world after all.

13. You know not to get too attached to a particular place. Growing up knowing you were probably going to move sooner or later made you kind of desensitized to goodbyes.

14. Your constant moving may have caused deep-rooted commitment issues. Related to the previous point, you may have trouble holding a steady relationship or job because of unaccustomed you were to stability growing up.

15. You miss pop culture references that other people know because of not growing up in the same place. You may not know Nicki Minaj or Iggy Azalea but you're totally up-to-date with Eurovision or K-Pop.

16. You always feel foreign wherever you are. People in your passport country treat you as foreign; people in other countries treat you as foreign. It's a battle you can't win.

17. You are relatively adaptable compared to most people. Becoming used to constantly changing situations and new environments forces you to grow up very quickly. You know how to size up situations and make them work to your advantage.

18. People find it hard to relate to you and vice versa. It's not that you don't want to relate to people; it's just difficult. You recognize the uniqueness of your experiences and your good fortune for being able to experience them but you're also aware of the wall it builds when dealing with non TCK's. You're labeled as snobbish, elitist or a show-off when you might not be one at all.

19. You either hate traveling because you're sick of it or you love it because it's all you've ever known. Most TCK's either continue on their road of traveling around and exploring the world or they choose to settle down and try to "fit in" into their passport country and leave traveling in the past.

20. People who were born and raised in one place are more foreign to you than anything else. After years of moving it seems like an alien concept. Really? So you've known the same people all your life? What's it like having a place you can really call home? Does it ever get monotone or boring?

21. People find your upbringing fascinating wherever you go. Some people love the attention and the questions and the exclamations of "wow, you're so lucky!" But it can be difficult for introverts who often find them taxing and burdensome and prefer to listen rather than talk.

22. You wouldn't trade your experiences for anything in the world. In the end, they truly shape and form you as a person. For better or for worse, a life of constant traveling, cross-cultural exchange, and possible existential crisis have made you who you are today.TC mark

This Is The Story Of My Grandfather And How He Came To Tell Me His Deepest Secret

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 03:29 PM PDT

About a week after my grandfather's 52nd birthday, he decided (seemingly out of nowhere) to close the shrimping business he had spent almost two decades building and proceeded to take a job as a deputy for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. My grandfather (whose name was Jim, though he was known as "Pops" to his 25 grandchildren and their assorted peers) loved being out on the water and this deputy gig… which mostly involved navigating a patrol-boat up and down a designated stretch of Louisiana coastline… had seemed like the ideal way for Pops to kick-off his retirement.

There was one story from his time with the L.D.W.F. that Jim loved to tell more than any other. It was 1980-something by this point and a schedule-2 hurricane was expected to make landfall in less than 12 hours. The preceding rain had already begun to fall in sheets and the Gulf was churning with anticipation by the time Jim received word to finish his current sweep and then head back to HQ.

On his way in, my grandfather spotted a small civilian fishing boat anchored about 30 feet from shore. Jim reflexively began to steer towards the swaying vessel even before he could see what the men on board were doing. There were three of them standing in the boat and the roar of the pouring rain had managed to drown out their gunfire until Jim was practically within spitting distance of their boat.

He was close enough now that he could see the hunting rifle that each man was holding. The men were aiming at a narrow, rocky peninsula of land that jutted out from the shoreline. Though now Jim could see, that due to the rain and the rapidly rising waterline, the narrow peninsula had been reduced to a tiny island.

Confused, my grandfather squinted at the makeshift island and spotted several dozen deer trapped by the rising waterline and the terrified deer had been forced to stand there out in the open while these men picked them off one-by-one; which was technically "poaching" and all sorts of illegal.

My grandfather un-holstered his sidearm and waited until the men stopped to reload their rifles and then Jim fired three rounds into the air in rapid succession. The three men quickly whirled around to find Jim standing in his patrol boat, service pistol aimed at the sky and the billfold containing his deputy's badge hanging over the front of his other hand…

My grandfather shouted through the rain, "There's a hurricane fixing to hit us! I wouldn't recommend being out here when it does!"

Photo provided by the author.
Photo provided by the author.
Photo provided by the author.
Photo provided by the author.

Fast-forward 30-or-so years to last month when I learned that my grandfather was dying. It was his heart. He had a valve that needed replacing. Unfortunately, his age put Jim at too high a risk for surgery and his current doctor flat-out refused to do the operation.

And, just like that, the greatest man I'd ever known was relegated to hospice status. Of course, the Farrellys have never been the type to let something as trivial as the opinion of a medical professional stand in their way. So when we heard the initial prognosis, of course our response had been a collective, "Fuck that!"

My Uncle Jimmy poured his efforts into finding a Cardiac surgeon who would even consider performing the operation while my Aunt Jenneane and my cousin Jude (my family has kind of a thing about J-names) tracked down and hired a nurse who specialized in hospice care so my grandfather wouldn’t have to spend his final days in some cold clinical elderly home. Me and the other grandkids had agreed to take turns spending the night with Pops and I volunteered to take the first watch.

The day he came home from the hospital, my first task had been to mount a wireless webcam to the wall of Pops' bedroom. The webcam was rather high-end and came equipped with night vision, a two-way mic, and the ability to capture live-streaming video which fed directly to an app on my phone. Though, my grandfather didn't look too thrilled when I finally finished mounting the camera and announced that he was "officially live."

I held up my iPad so that Pops could see the live stream of himself lying in bed, currently propped up by what appeared to be no less than 18 pillows and looking like a man who knew he was nearing the end. My grandfather squinted at his own withered image on the screen in my hands as he said, "This isn't on that YouTube, is it?"

Exploiting my dying grandfather for channel views wasn't really my style, but Pops's presumption had more to do with his lack of tech savvy than anything. I explained that the only people who would have access to the camera feed were his immediate family. That meant his wife, four daughters, and one son as well as the 20-plus adult-aged grandchildren he had inadvertently helped sire (I swear Irish Catholics crap out babies like they're trying to land an endorsement deal).

I nodded down at the iPad and jabbed a thumb back toward Pops's bedroom door as I said, "It's basically so I can keep an eye on you from the living room. It was Aunt Jenneane's idea. Why? Is it creeping you out?"

My grandfather slowly dragged his eyes over to the webcam and tried to smile as he replied, "Kind of… But it's okay. I understand."

"You sure? It would take me two seconds to pull it down…"

"No, really. It's fine. If I have to listen to your aunt complain about her peace of mind one more time…"

"You could always play the whole 'I'm the one who's dying' card."

Pops grinned and let out a faint chuckle that devolved into a momentary bout of coughing. After clearing his throat, he finally said, "You've got a lot to learn about women if you think making them cry is ever going to be the solution to your problem."

I tried to ignore the weakening tone of his voice as I grinned at my grandfather and said, "Fair enough."

Pops fell asleep not long after and I adjourned to the living room where I spent the next hour or so trying to find a comfortable position in front of my grandparents' ancient rear-projection big-screen TV.

At about 9:00PM I was pulled from a half-conscious daze by the sound of my cellphone ringing. It was my Aunt Jenneane and she sounded pissed as she nearly screamed into the phone, "JOEL? Who's in the room with Pops?"

"No one at the moment," I said, hoping she could detect my placating tone as I continued, "But don't worry. I've got the webcam open on…"

"No. Joel! I'm telling you, there is someone in the bedroom with him. I'm looking right at him."

DEMO_a100

"WHERE?" I said, glancing down at the iPad in my lap. With the lights off, the webcam had defaulted to a black-and-white night vision mode and I could see my grandfather lying motionless in his bed. His mouth was hanging open and his chest was rising and falling at a slow, rhythmic pace.

A gangly, almost unnaturally thin silhouette stood in the corner behind him. I had just enough time to register that it was there before the figure suddenly transformed into a blur of motion as it darted towards the camera. The figure completely obstructed the webcam's view as it bent down and its eyes shimmered like a cat's as it glared at me through the camera. A moment later, my grandfather began to scream.

I charged into his bedroom to find Pops sitting upright in bed, his eyes wide and a hand clutching his chest. I had never seen my grandfather look terrified before and it was far from a comforting sight. I hurried to his side and placed a hand on his back, which was damp with sweat. I said, "Pops, you okay?"

I could hear my cell ringing in the den and figured it was probably my flabbergasted aunt hoping for some kind of explanation as to what she had just witnessed through the webcam. My grandfather let out a quiet sigh but didn't say anything.

"Pops?"

He put a hand on my arm and finally turned to look up at me, forcing a smile as he said, "Do you remember that story about when I was a Wildlife and Fisheries deputy? The one with the hurricane and the poachers?"

"Yeah. Of course," I replied with a nod and a vaguely confused tone.

Pops let out a weary scoff and said, "All the times I've told it, I'm not surprised. But the story you know…"

He winced as he started to lean back against the headboard and I quickly repositioned his pillows so that Pops would have something to lean against. Once he was in a comfortable position, he gestured at the webcam and continued.

"Switch off that camera and I'll tell you the rest."

16 Men Describe How They Got Over Their Ex Once And For All

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 03:48 PM PDT

via twenty20/franco.dartayet
via twenty20/franco.dartayet

1. “People say that getting over someone is all about time. I believe it’s all about drinking as much as you can get away with for the first week so that you’ll get most of your tears out, doing a weekend detox, and then jumping straight into a serious workout routine designed specifically to wear you out so much that you go straight to sleep at night. This is my prescription for heartbreak and it’s served me well for nearly a decade.”

—Ryan, 25

beetlejuice

2. “If the breakup was final and you’re never going to reconcile or don’t want to then it’s over even if your brain and heart don’t understand that yet. So, you need to kill the part inside you that still believes that love is alive. I’ve found that a lot of self talk will help you get through it. Specifically, I self talk in a conversational way like ‘be cool, man, it’s over, just keep moving forward.’ It sounds simple and maybe a little stupid but it works. I would do this when I got up, when I was brushing my teeth, going to work, whatever. At every transition I’d say this to myself. I know when to stop doing it when the self talk gets annoying and feels redundant. That’s when you know you’re starting to get it out of your system.”

—Bryan, 27

beetlejuice

3. “I haven’t yet and I’ve been single over a year. I don’t really know what to do to make it better.”

—Jack, 22

beetlejuice

4. “I use the scorched earth policy. Purge everything that reminds you of her. Delete all pictures, unfriend all people that are her friends and not yours. Delete all phone numbers or, if you’re really serious, block her number and then delete the contact. Don’t go to places you went with her and destroy all music you listened to together if you have ‘a song’. At the end your place must be completely devoid of any reminder that she ever existed or she’ll haunt you for months.”

—Marlon, 24

beetlejuice

5. “The only way to get over an ex is to get out and have new experiences and so, in the past when I’ve been single, I would make a schedule of things that I was going to do. I’d join Meetup groups even if I was only barely interested in them. I’d make sure to reacquaint myself with any friendships I may have neglected when I was in a relationship. The important thing is to get out there and start filling your time so you’ll find opportunities to smile and laugh and not think.”

—Chad, 22

beetlejuice

6. “I always throw myself into work because there’s always plenty of it to be done and it makes me money. I’ll just decide to work x hours of overtime over the next month then see if I can beat that the next month if the breakup sadness lasts that long.”

—Nathan, 27

beetlejuice

7. “I try to get laid again as soon as possible and as often as possible. This is real talk here and I don’t know if it’s healthy but it’s what I do.”

—James, 24

beetlejuice

8. “This may sound a little twisted but I have a habit of journalling and I do keep track of bad things in there. In the past this has really helped when I’ve been in a breakup and was still in love with the girl. I’m able to look back through my journal and remember all the mean shit she said or the shitty things she did and get mad about it instead of sad. Being mad sucks too but it’s better than being sad all the time and it’s a hell of a lot more realistic than pining after some made up perfect person too.”

—Tommy, 24

beetlejuice

9. “Usually things don’t work out for a specific reason. The best way to convince yourself it’s over is to understand why it’s over so it’s best if you can say to yourself the reason that you broke up even if it’s because of something you did. This way you can learn from the experience instead of just enduring it. I’m embarrassed to say this but in my first real relationship I was extremely jealous and a total jerk about it. After she broke up with me which was the right thing to do then I had to sit with that and understand it. It helped me not be that way in my next relationship which, while it ended too, was much better.”

—Matthew, 23

beetlejuice

10. “Go full blown ‘High Fidelity’ and call every ex you’ve ever had to remind yourself why they sucked and you’re awesome. I’m joking, drink and try to have sex with everyone like every other red-blooded American.”

—Rick, 25

beetlejuice

11. “There are breakups that are bad and that take a few months to get clear of and then there are the abominable breakups that linger like a stain in the middle of your carpet for years. You scrub the hell out of it, you cover it up, you make excuses for it to your guests but no matter what you do it’s still there and you can’t get rid of it. Those breakups take forever to get over because they stain you. They stain who you are because the person changed you in ways you can’t quite chase down. This the worst type of breakup because it carries all the hallmarks of what real love is with one exception, she’s not there.

I’ve only had one of these and almost everyone I know has had at least one. You get through it however you can. Believe me, I tried every coping mechanism I could think of and it was a solid year and a half before I actually felt it leaving me. I think you just have to wear it out.”

—William, 29

beetlejuice

12. “I’m not sure exactly what to do to get over a relationship besides just giving it time but I can say that if you want that length of time to be shorter then don’t be friends with them. There’s a ton of societal pressure to be a ‘mature adult’ and to be friendly, etc, after a breakup. I say no to that. If it’s a bad breakup then cut her out of your life especially if she’s the one that did the breaking up. The friends thing is just your sad little consolation prize in that case and it will keep you trying to have one foot back into the relationship for as long as you’re ‘friends’. Have some self respect. If she wants to break up then get out of there. If you want to break up then don’t string her along with ‘friends’.”

—David, 27

beetlejuice

13. “If it’s really bad then do therapy, I’m serious. There’s no shame in therapy. My younger brother hit a huuuuge depression hole after his girlfriend of three years broke up with him and couldn’t get out of it. Therapy really helped him to get back the perspective he needed and nobody had to know that the breakup made him see a shrink which was his main worry. Don’t let pride get between you and getting back in a good place.”

—Gabriel, 31

beetlejuice

14. “I don’t know but I will say that if she cheats then tell everyone you know that she cheated. People shouldn’t be able to get away with stuff like that and then walk away free and clear. Spiteful? Nah, fuck her.”

—Mike, 25

beetlejuice

15. “I learned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It had the double effect of releasing a lot of my anger while also making me a walking death machine who’s in great shape. Frankly her breaking up with me is the best thing that could have happened. I feel better than ever.”

—Steven, 24

beetlejuice

16. “Remember how crappy they were to you, how much your parents hated them, and how they were such a drag that when they walked in the room it felt like all the oxygen had been pumped out of it. Then ask yourself why you were in love with such a crappy person in the first place. Consider that you deserve better and then go out and live your life in a way that you deserve.”

—Adam, 26 TC mark

11 Amazing Fashion Movies You Could Watch Tonight

Posted: 10 Oct 2015 09:13 AM PDT

Party Girl
Party Girl

Partying is great and everything but sometimes there’s nothing like staying in on Saturday night with two to three bottles of wine, a large deluxe pepperoni pizza from Papa John’s and some nice comfy sweat pants. Yes, yes! For once you can just turn your brain off and look at beautiful images of clothes you can’t afford.

I love fashion movies because there’s a story in the clothes, and you can even learn something, too, as in the case with fashion documentaries like Bill Cunningham New York and Dior and I. But some fashion movies are just plan silly and FUN, like Party Girl, which in my mind should be required viewing for any sensible, fabulous girl or gay dude.

Here’s my pick for 11 fashion movies you could watch TONIGHT — some of these bad boys are on Netflix/YouTube, too!

1. Iris

Iris Apfel is a fashion legend, the picture of contemporary fabulous. My dream is to be as fabulous as she is when I’m 93.

2. Bill Cunningham New York

If you love New York you’ll be so turned on by this documentary on the relationship between the city and fashion.

3. Party Girl

I kind of want to put a thingy on my Grindr profile that all, “I’m only into guys obsessed with Party Girl.” Just keeping it real.

4. Mahogany

DIANA ROSS STARS AS AN INTERNATIONAL FASHION MODEL. I REPEAT: THIS MOVIE HAS DIANA ROSS IN IT.

5. Funny Face

A 1950s fashion classic, starring Audrey Hepburn.

6. Clueless

Needs no introduction, am I right? Like, if you’ve never seen Clueless who even are you lol.

7. La Dolce Vita

One of Fellini’s most iconic films — and widely cited as the origin of paparazzi photography.

8. Cleopatra

You should see this for no other reason than the fact that Elizabeth Taylor’s wardrobe alone cost $194,000. In 1963. That’s the equivalent of $1.5 million dollars today.

9. Dior and I

A fascinating portrait of designer Raf Simons as he puts together his first collection for the house of Dior.

10. B.A.P.S.

Okay, this movie is terrible in every way, especially how it lampoons black style in the 1990s. But! It’s one of those movies that’s so terrible it’s hilarious.

11. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

My cousin and I used to watch Romy and Michele after school everyday and said all the lines to each other by heart. An oldie but a goodie. “That hurt. But it looked really good.”

Happy Saturday! TC mark

Share This If You Don’t Drink And Are Sick Of People Asking Why

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 09:32 AM PDT

"Why don't you drink?" is a question I've probably been asked eight thousand times in my life. And here's the problem: There is no good answer—and by that I mean an answer that will get people to leave you alone. There is no answer that doesn't involve someone trying to push a drink on you anyway or worse, push a bunch of questions on you.

I know this because I've tried nearly all of the available excuses at one time or another, some truthfully and others out of desperation. The real reason is somewhat boring: I don't drink because I dislike the taste. But if it were otherwise, I still wouldn't drink. Less out of any religious or moral reason, but because I have trouble with compulsive behaviors and try to steer clear of such territory. That is to say: I'm not an alcoholic, but I easily could be. I'm addicted to about a half dozen other things already—and those things aren't even addictive.

But none of this should matter. I made a choice. A personal choice. Not an ironclad one by any means, but generally a healthy, responsible one that I try to stick to.

And yet…And yet…as anyone who doesn't drink can tell you, the result of their decision not to drink is not any sort of relief or respect, but endless obnoxious conversations about it.

-Do you want a drink?

-I'm good.

-No, really, what do you want to drink?

-It's ok, I don't like to drink. I'm good.

-Are you sure? It's on me.

-No, thank you. I appreciate it but I'm ok.

-Why? Do you not like the taste? Do you have to be somewhere later? Are you in recovery?

-I.JUST.DON'T.WANT.A.DRINK.

What if I was in recovery? Is that going to make for light bar chatter? Should one really need some harrowing, rock bottom story to opt out of this inane exchange? Does one really need a centuries old religious ban to justify passing on a beverage? Apparently. Because God forbid, you make the mistake and try to give any other reason, like: "Look, I don't like it." This is probably the worst mistake someone can do.

Because instead of faux-concern, any discussion about not liking the taste of alcohol is inevitably populated by idiots who assume it's because you just haven't tried the right drink. Have you tried [insert fruity drink]? But have you tried really good alcohol? Maybe you would like [insert other obvious drink]? Have you tried that?

Yes. Yes. Yes. All of them. Is it so inconceivable that there would be a difference of opinion when it comes to a drink that most people have to throw back quickly or dilute with other liquids in order to tolerate? Is it really that the person who doesn't like drinking fermented old fruit or potatoes that is the weird one?

Most people who don't like alcohol have tried to. Like, really tried. Life, they've found, would be much easier if they did. They tried it as kids, they tried it as adults, they've bought and sipped plenty of beers just so people would leave them alone. Maybe they've finally had enough.

For me, it was trying a cocktail made with cereal milk from David Chang's Milk Bar and realizing that it was practically a milkshake and I still hated it. It's hopeless. And the idea of acquiring a taste by doing something you don't like a lot? That's got to be the worst idea I've ever heard.

Because drinking is so central to adult culture, because so many people are insecure about their own relationship with alcohol, the idea that someone might choose to live their lives a little bit differently from there's is grounds for a double take. I would also guess that the same inability to relate socially to others that contributes to drinking in the first place might have something to do with particular insistence on discussing this topic with non-drinkers. I don't know.

What I do know is that for the contrarian in me, it has all had the singular effect of hardening my dislike and avoidance. There's that line from Mark Twain—the one about how, whenever one finds themselves on the side of the majority, the correct move is to pause and reflect.

I have to ask: What the fuck does it matter to you so much anyway?

But if you really are so curious about it, let me tell you what life has been like as a non-drinker: I still go out. I still get into trouble. I still say what I think. I still relax and decompress. I'm just actually present for all of it.

What I don't have to deal with is any of the baggage. No hangovers. Fewer embarrassing losses of self-control. No awkward apologies. No large bar tabs (unless I'm buying, which happens often enough). No DUIs, nor a worry about how I might get home somewhere. Alexander the Great once killed his best friend in a drunken brawl—none of that either.

All of these little bonuses added up. Looking back, I see they were instrumental in succeeding at an early age by the way—of getting an edge on the competition. While my peers had a nightly habit to support or a crutch they depended on, I didn't. Especially working with figures like Dov Charney or Tucker Max, I could be around temptations without being distracted. It was harder at first, but easier in the long run. Drinking now wouldn't have much of an impact on my life, but it certainly did early on.

There are some tradeoffs of course. As Cicero observed a rather long time ago, "No one dances sober—unless they are a lunatic." So dancing is pretty much out. Deciding not to drink is pretty much a de facto decision to never dance again, that is true. One must know that going in.

The other tradeoffs are not so much that as they are a sense of clarity. For instance, a sober person can more clearly see, as they get older, just how much their friends depend on drinking–it's their past time, their relief, their excuse for getting together, and sadly, a growing problem in their lives. It also provides a new perspective on certain things. It becomes absurd and funny rather than enviable to watch the apparently obligatory wine fascination that comes with any sort of wealth or status. (for fun try challenging them to a blind taste test). And no sober person has ever walked into a nightclub and said: "I like this. Let's spend more time in places like this."

So that's why I don't drink.

It's also why I don't give two shits if you do. Because with a few exceptions, it has no impact on my life. And therefore, it's not my business one way or the other.

Now please return the favor. TC mark

23 INFPs Explain The One Thing They Wish Others Understood About Their Personality

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 08:00 AM PDT

eastlynbright
eastlynbright

1. "We’re NOT weepy space cadets. We’re highly capable of dealing with details, executing strategy and making rational decisions. I run two businesses. And I’m a strong INFP."

beetlejuice

2. "Even though yes, I do take things personally, I want you to be honest so I can give/provide exactly what you need or find someone/some thing that can."

beetlejuice

3. "We can be super mean if you try hard enough to piss us off. There’s no grey area in terms of emotions, I think. It’s either LOVE or GET OUT."

beetlejuice

4. "Never underestimate us."

beetlejuice

5. "You may never see it, but we can have the wackiest personalities ever."

beetlejuice

6. "Leading with introverted feeling can be exhausting and frustrating. My inner values may not align with what you think. I’m not necessarily out to save the world. Being so much in my head actually feels hugely selfish. Sometime I really wish I weren’t an INFP. "

beetlejuice

7. "While we may be dreamers, we have deep passions and talents to use."

beetlejuice

8. “Just because I experience intense emotions, doesn’t mean I’m going to let you walk all over me. If you treat me wrong, you’re out of my life. End of story.”

beetlejuice

9. “I need a lot of alone time but I also get intensely lonely. I think that so many of us really do ache for someone who would care enough to break down our walls.”

beetlejuice

10. "Treat us as equals because nothing hurts as much as being patronized."

beetlejuice

11. "Having strong emotions makes us neither illogical nor unintelligent. And we can despise stupidity as much as the stereotypical INTJ."

beetlejuice

12. "It’s like in sitting in the bottom of a wishing well. We are surrounded by beautiful hopes and dreams, but after being alone for so long, I just want someone to look into the well and say, ‘Look, I’ve found something precious…’ and it’s me they’re seeing, just as I am, not their own beautiful wishes. I want someone to hold onto me and not let me go, especially when I’m feeling bad and lashing out as a result."

beetlejuice

13. "If we are pulling away it probably means you’re not living up to our high expectations we’ve built up for you in our heads and we’re exhausted from being disappointed."

beetlejuice

14. "We’re not flighty or pushovers. We WILL speak up when something is important to us."

beetlejuice

15. "INFPs are not unreliable. I do have a high extrovert function so I can interact. I am creative, love pushing the envelope, but I can also be meticulous, detail oriented, and have a better understanding of introversion and emotions than I might have in the past."

beetlejuice

16. “Sometimes when I apologize, it’s just because I value our relationship more than the issue at hand. But I don’t necessarily think I’m wrong.”

beetlejuice

17. “The reason we don’t open up very often is because we have humungous ideals that other people love to laugh at or poke holes through. And we don’t care to deal with those who don’t believe in us.”

beetlejuice

18. "I’m not JUST a sensitive introvert. I am thoughtful and enjoy people too."

beetlejuice

19. “I usually know exactly what I need to do in order to achieve what I want. I just haven’t gotten around to doing it, because the external world exhausts me. Please stop treating me like a baby who can’t figure out their next move.”

beetlejuice

20. "When I’m pensive and untalkative, that doesn’t mean I’m sad or I hate you. I just need time to think to myself."

beetlejuice

21. "We love people, there is nothing that I feel more grateful for than my friends and family, maybe we don't say much sometimes, but that doesn't mean we don't adore you!"

beetlejuice

22. "INFPs are not all the same. Dancing to the beat of a different drummer doesn’t mean we are all dancing to the same alternative drummer."

beetlejuice

23. "Just because we are extremely idealistic doesn’t mean we don’t understand the reality of situations. Yes, we have a tendency to live in our inner world but we are also very in touch with the outside world as well."TC mark

Heidi Priebe explains how to manage the ups, downs and inside-outs of everyday life as an idealist in her new book available here.

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