Sunday, December 3, 2017

I Was Not Raped Last Night, and I Don't Understand Why.

Dear #BoysWillBeBoys,

I was not raped last night. And I’m not sure why. Here, let me fill you in on the details. 

At approximately 10:30 p.m. last night in Los Angeles, I ordered a Lyft. It’s the holidays, and I’m semi broke right now, so I opted to do a ride share instead of a private car, since the ride share option is a little cheaper. When the male driver pulled up, I got into the back seat where another guy was already seated. Both men were in their twenties, I would guess, and both were dressed pretty casually. Driver Dude was playing cool music and both guys said hi to me as I climbed in and confirmed my drop off location—the Airport Marriott Hotel. 

During the drive, Back Seat Dude scrolled his instagram and looked out his window. I think he also kinda passed out against the door. Driver Dude drove, and at one point, when he slowed down on an especially dark street, it was because an emergency vehicle needed to pass us. 

Neither male raped me, though. Neither one made lewd nor even suggestive comments to me. Neither one touched me, nor did Back Seat Dude stretch his hand, leg, or dick across the Neutral Zone of the middle seat. 

After everything I’ve been told lately about men and women in confined spaces and how men are just wired differently and can’t help it, I figured it was finally going to happen—my first raping (not to be confused with my first reaping, which includes less dick but equal amounts of fear, I’m assuming). 

But, neither of those men grabbed me by the pussy. Can you believe that? In fact, it was a pretty chill ride. I said good night to them when the driver dropped me off, and both guys mumbled some sort of “have a nice night” pleasentry in return. Neither man got out of the car to follow me into the hotel and up to my room. 

I’m so confused, because, according to the men in the government and in Hollywood who are being accused of sexual harassment, I should have had it coming. I mean, let’s even consider the most important element to the story—my outfit. That would be the court’s first concern anyway, so let’s address it! I admit I was wearing skinny jeans, which I remember specifically because I lamented bringing them for this trip when I woke up on the morning of my flight having started my period. I was bloated and cramping and skinny jeans were the last thing I wanted to squeeze myself into for a three-hour flight. And these were skinny, skinny jeans, too. Not the more relaxed fit ones I wish I had worn, so they were extra tight on me, accentuating my rear end, which, according to every boyfriend I’ve ever had, is one of my best features. 

Now, I realize that my scoop-neck, keyhole blouse was hidden under my form-fitting, light weight jacket, but my hair and makeup were on point, and hello? Skinny jeans! What more do you people want? 

So, I was definitely dressed provocatively enough. I mean, if tweens in baggy sweatpants get raped, my skinny jeans were a dead giveaway. And besides, it was late on a Saturday night, and I was obviously an out-of-towner, considering my drop off location was the AIRPORT MARRIOTT. How easy would it have been for Driver Dude to feign a car maintenance issue for ten minutes while he and Back Seat Dude overpowered me, ripped down my amazingly tight jeans and went to town? And then, BONUS! Because there’d be blood, (remember, I’m on my period, so, hello gushing river of doom), Driver Dude could probably peg me for “vehicle damage” and force me to pay for new leather seats or something. I mean, what jury would convict him? He was just doing his job when a petite, non-local chick, dressed like she was asking for it, willingly got into his car with another man who she didn’t know. I’m obviously the most irresponsible and ditsy girl there ever was. What smart woman in her right mind would accept that ride, instead of cancelling and paying the measly $2 cancellation fee? I mean, was I really willing to risk my vagina for $2? I was obviously asking for it. 

So, I’m not really sure what happened. The driver never pulled over, the man in back seat never groped me, and neither one of them raped me. It was like they were exhibiting some sort of super-human self-control that stopped them from reacting with pure instinct. It was like they weren’t focused on sex and sex alone. Or at least not expecting it from me just because I dared to get in a car with them. But they shouldn’t have been able to resist, if that’s truly just the way men are wired. 

Anyway, I’m obviously very upset, as everything I’ve ever been told about the way men are wired has now been completely disproven. And, since I’m a woman and unable to think for myself, an explanation would be great. Not that I needed to ask for one, as I’m sure you’ll be giving me one anyway. 

Because, that’s the whole point, right? Even when I’m not asking for it, you’ll give it to me. 

A concerned female, Liz

*Side note: If you’re too thick to recognize the sarcasm dripping from this post, I recommend this book, to help you better learn the art of it.

Monday, April 10, 2017

How to Write a Killer Resume (and other good information!)

Howdy y'all!

Spring has sprung in Texas, which means it's time to dust off your resume and hop on out there! For anyone interested in learning my secret sauce to writing a killer resume and prepping for those dreadfully awkward interviews, I'm giving a talk at the end of this month!

Register now, and you'll get to hear all my secrets! (er..about writing resumes, or not I'm still afraid of the Boogie man hiding under my bed*)

Here's the link to get signed up. There will also be a talk on how to develop job searching skills and a couple panels where you can hear from successful Dallas professionals on how to network and land a great job. It should be a fruitful afternoon and..drum roll includes dinner! Who doesn't love a great free meal?

Anyway, hope to see you all there!

*He is. And I am. *Shudders*

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Winter ['s Uniform] is Coming!

Happy fall, everyone! It's still 85 degrees here in Dallas, but I hear it's snowing up north, so I'll take that as my cue to reveal my winter uniform!

You'll remember that back in March, I decided to wear a uniform to work everyday in an effort to simplify my life. Well, it turned out to be a wild success, and I've decided to carry on through winter!

Dallas doesn't get too chilly, but it gets cold enough that the black Target dress would no longer be a viable choice. As the summer wound down, I set my budget and started scoping out the fall fashion to see what options I'd have.

In case you've forgotten the very specific details of my life that define the parameters of my need (#rude), let me refresh your memory. My work uniform must be:

  • Appropriate (no cleavage, booty, or upper thigh)
  • Comfortable 
  • Bike-able
  • Washable
One thing I liked about the black Target dress was that it was one piece of clothing. In keeping with this thought, I decided that a sweater dress would be the easiest option. I could throw leggings under it as needed, but wouldn't actually being wearing pants, which is a win. (I'm a firm believer that leggings are not pants.) It needed to be light-weight enough that I wouldn't overheat on my quick bike ride to work, but warm enough to keep me from turning into an popsicle by 3 p.m.  

Without meaning to, I wandered the aisles of Target, just to see what they had. I found a sweater dress that nearly checked all the boxes (it's okay to insert an eye roll here), but it was black with white stripes. Or was it white with black stripes? Nothing against stripes, but it wasn't going to work with my brown boots, and there was no way I was spending extra dollars on boots when I had perfectly good ones tucked in my closet. Storm the Jeep isn't going to pay for herself, people! I wish this dress came in another color, I thought to myself, like a nice dark green. That would be perfect. Lamenting, I left Target and forged my way across town to the mall. After searching all three levels, I settled on a navy blouse from Express. It was soft and long, with three-quarter length sleeves. I bought five.

If you thought that was the end of the story, ha! Remember, it took me three years just to buy a car, so there's no way this wasn't going to turn into a totally dramatic shopping experience. 

As luck would have it, I hit up my local Target* the next day for groceries. Feeling good about my previous day's purchase, I swung by the clothing department just to taunt that striped dress. I realize now that I was being weirdly competitive with an inanimate object. 

Moving on.

While moseying along, I saw something green out of the corner of my eye. When I looked harder, I saw that what I thought was a green cardigan, was in fact the very same dress as the striped--in a solid, dark green! 

You already know how this is going to end.

I returned the navy blouses from Express and saved nearly $50, thanks to an array of coupons and haggling with the customer service people (which is another reason this experience ended up being far too dramatic for my own good sense). I beta tested the outfit during the first week of October in Boston where fall really does mean sweater dresses and boots instead of just t-shirts and football, and it passed with flying colors (get it? flying colors? 'cause it's not black? Shut up. I'm hilarious.)

So what do you think? 

Now all I have to do is wait for winter to actually arrive. And when it does, I'll be ready!

*Thanks again to Target for unintentionally providing my entire wardrobe. Feel free to shower me with coupons and gift cards any time now.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Why Wearing a Uniform Has Saved My Life

Click-bait! Such a genius writing model to come out of this whole Internet obsession thing. Thanks, Obama. Speaking of whom, it's Thursday night, and I'm sitting in bed waiting for Jimmy Fallon to start because I have a feeling it'll be a great show with Obama on it tonight.

In the meantime, I know you guys are all DYING to hear an update on how this work uniform is going. Do I like it? Have I bought more dresses? Is my life magical and wonderful now? And what have I been doing with ALL my extra time now that I'm not spending multiple minutes standing in my closet trying to figure out what tops match which bottoms. Well, let me tell you. It's been two months now, and life is magical.

Has my life changed drastically? No, I can't say that "drastic" is the right word. But the subtle changes and thoughtlessness have been wonderfully freeing. In short, YES, I'm super glad I've made this choice, and I plan to keep it up for the rest of the summer. Here's a list of reasons why it's been so great:

  • Reallocating time in the morning from spending it in my closet to spending it either sleeping or making breakfast.
  • Not waking up and knowing I have a very hard decision to make every morning.
  • Purging my closet and dresser of items I'll never wear again, or, frankly, just don't need.
  • I enjoy my other clothes again now that I only see them on the weekends.
  • Less clutter in my room now that I don't have clothes scattered about waiting to be either hung up or deemed laundry
  • Less clutter means less time spent cleaning up my room at the end of the week, and therefore less time getting down on myself for letting my room get messy.

    • (I CANNOT stress this one enough!! This has been the most unexpected change so far. Being the only human in my house means I am in charge of all the chores all the time. There's no one else around to take on the dishes or the laundry for me, so, the fewer chores I create for myself the better. I never realized how much of a burden tidying up was when I had clothes piling up on the dresser. It's so refreshing to walk into a neat and orderly bedroom every night knowing there isn't one more chore to complete before bedtime.) 
  • Not spending money shopping because I feel pressure about having a stale repertoire of clothes is great for my budget. 
    • No one was actually pressuring me, but social convention requires a woman to have a revolving door of new, fresh clothing items and not to repeat outfits too often. Think I'm kidding? Here's an article pointing out every time Kate Middleton has re-worn dresses. Apparently people really pay attention to this. This is a ridiculous social notion on several levels (fiscally, environmentally, glutton-iously, I could go on...), but I feel it just as much as most women out there. The uniform has done a nice job of letting me off the hook. 

So there you go! I'm loving the uniform, I plan to keep it up, and I'm already starting to think about what my cold-weather version will look like.

Have you started a uniform? Do you have more questions about mine? Leave me a comment below!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Work Uniform. It's Happening.

HEY COWORKERS! This one's for you*:

So, awhile back, an MLinker forwarded an article to me about a woman who wears the same thing to work everyday. I can't find the article now to repost for you because Internet, so I'm just going to TL:DR for you and add my thoughts/disclaimers. (<< I am so good at Internet slang, guys!)

Basically, this chick explained that she wears the same thing every day to equalize her place in the office while she competes in the rat race (like Steve Jobs! or Mark Zuckerberg!). It also helps her reduce the time it takes to get dressed in the morning, since she doesn't have to craft a perfectly appropriate yet still feminine outfit. There were probably more inspiring points she made, but this one resonated so strongly with me, that I basically remember nothing else, except her outfit of choice (white blouse, black slacks, and some weird bow thing to make it "pretty.").

I'm not a fashionista. And I hate picking out something to wear. So this work uniform is my new favorite thing.

It's not that I hate fashion by any means. I love scrolling through BCBG's website as much as the next girl and wondering how much I could get for my kidney so I can afford those beautiful Jimmy Choos, but that fashion gene that most women are blessed with never got to me. I've been in jeans and T-shirts since high school, and even my jeans are often a good four years behind the current trend.

So, no, I don't like picking out something to wear everyday.

My other personal conundrum with work clothes is that I ride my bike to work.
     A lot.
     In the summer.
     In Texas.
It's generally between 85-105 degrees when I go home for my lunch break to walk the dog.
     In the summer.
     In Texas.
You see the issue?

So that pretty much rules out anything with sleeves, pants, and polyester. Honestly, why I can't just wear athletic clothes everyday is beyond me. Harrumph to dress codes, amirte?

So, that leaves me with needing something sleeveless, pantless, and cotton. Luckily, last year, the stars aligned and I found this: the Target dress**.

I own it in 4 colors. One in blue, one in green stripes, one in teal stripes, (OMG, those are all just various of blue, and I just realized it. I really need some variety in my wardrobe colors. See? not a fashionista. SMH), and one in black. Correction--I now own three in black.

My favorite thing about this dress is how perfectly work appropriate it is: no cleavage, no thigh, no clingy-ness. Throw a cardigan on top, and I'm out the door. On my bike, because it's short enough to stay out of the way of the chains and peddles but long enough not to fly up and flash the nice landscaper men who are inevitably blowing grass around the sidewalks. Everyone wins.

So, I'm starting the work uniform with this dress in black. Never again will I waste time worrying about what to wear instead of using that time more wisely (like making bacon).

It's genius.

So, dear coworkers, from now until I get bored of this experiment (or, really, until it turns cold again and I can go back to wearing my jeans from 2012), expect to see a whole lot of the same outta me. Don't worry, I'll do laundry and just buy more black versions of this dress if they start to get frumpy. I may switch out the cardigan, but let's be honest, I'll probably just wrap up in my Snuggie as soon as I get in anyway. Either way, it's black dresses from here on out. Thanks, Target. 

*In which I pretend like y'all will even notice that I'm wearing the same thing everyday.

**Target did not pay me for writing this post and praising the most prefect dress ever. But, hey, Target, if you wanted to, that'd be great. I'd probably just spend those dollars buying more of these dresses anyway. You can find me at your Lewisville store about six times a week. I'll be the one in the black dress.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Odyssey in Oz: Photos from the Great Barrier Reef

Hooray! The time has come! I am finally able to see the photos from the Great Barrier Reef! The USB is in the shape of an adorable Nemo, and now I get to share the highlight with you! So, here we go!

Dela and I were so excited!

Here's the other boat that went out. Ours looks similar, although ours was a bit smaller. Notice how flat the water is. This is about an hour off shore, and yes, it stayed just as smooth the whole time! No big waves, no big swells, just big fish!

We jumped in from the back of the boat. One of the biologists was always ready with a camera to grab great pics for us so we could enjoy the snorkel without trying to snap pics at the same time! This was a major plus, and totally made buying the USB worth it!

You'll see a lot of greens, yellows, and beiges in the photos, and for the most part, the reef stayed within these colors. However, everywhere you looked, there were pops of bright blue, bright purple, pink, and red as well! Here's some coral that was purple!

And then, the best thing happened! This turtle swam by! I got to follow along above him for about 5 minutes, and Dela got even closer. I'm so excited that our camera guy got these cool pics of him! And yes, these are not stock photos--this is the actual turtle we saw!

We also saw Nemo! We saw a few spots with Nemos, but here's a good shot of him!

Again, I remind you, these are NOT stock photos!

Here is the Sea Cucumber that they brought up and let us touch. He was all weird and spiky and bouncy. eek!

This guy was also floating around...whadup.

Just in case you thought I was kidding about the whole being there thing, here's some proof! Dela and I snorkeling and diving down a bit!

 I was always so surprised how many fish there were all around us!

Giant clam!

All right, those are some highlights. There are tons more pics if anyone wants to see them! What a perfect day!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fabulous Fiji: Day 21 and 22

The time has come. Past Liz proves her eternal wisdom once again and Present Liz sits on a beach in Fiji, basking in the glory of solitude. 

Don't get me wrong, traveling with Slou and Dela was absolutely fantastic, and my trip would not have been half as wonderful if it had not been for these wonderful friends of mine. But Past Liz had a sneaky suspicion that by the end of four weeks (yes, four weeks, not sure where my blog post title days went wrong), Traveling Liz would need some serious R&R. 

Dela and I arrived in Sydney from Uluru, dumped our bags at the hostel, and walked to Circular Quay to see the Bridge and Opera house lit up for the night. 

Along the way, we stopped for dinner at some place called Famous Harry's Live Seafood. Neither of us had seafood dishes, but we took a pic of these doomed crabs. #SorryGuys

We said our goodbyes that night since I would be catching a much earlier train than she for the airport. Dela is an amazing woman who is fully committed to her current purpose, and it's fantastic to catch up with her in person once or twice a year! Thanks for coming along, Dels!

I caught my early flight from Sydney to Nadi, Fiji, but it was not without trouble. Why families think Fiji is a great place to take their small children, I don't know, but literally all the kids in the world were on the flight. Literally. #NotLiterallyButThereWereAtLeastTwenty.

Everyone knows how much I loathe children, so this was my personal form of hell. It was bad enough that the kid behind me kicked my seat for four hours and couldn't turn down the damn volumn on his damn GameBoy (or whatever kids play on these days), but he and his brother kept SHOUTING to one another, despite sitting right next to one another. Their mother never intervened no matter how much shade I threw at her. The end of the flight brought a couple moments of turbulence, and you can imagine how all those tiny demons ripped out my soul with their screams. The worst. 

Luckily for all those lives, the plane did land, and I scrambled away from them faster than a wombat being chased by a crocodile. It was raining, but I didn't so much care because I was so relieved to had ditched most of the kids through customs. 

Here's the view from right before the clouds:

Holy lagoons. 

I found my shuttle, and finally, we were off! As we drove farther away from the airport, the rain lightened along with my spirits, and by the time we arrived, I was once again giddy. FIJI!!

I was greeted right away with a shell lei, a cold towelette, and a freshly sqeenzed glass of watermelon juice! 

My burra sat on the far end of the resort and was exactly as perfect as I'd hoped. There was nothing between me and the beach execpt a few feet of green lawn and warm air.

The shower was hot and clean and the bed was decorated with peach colored hibiscus flowers. 

As beautiful as the sunny beach was, I couldn't resist a hot shower--one that wasn't shared with a multitude of other people. Hosteling is not for the weak at heart, I tell ya. By the time I was done, the storm from the other end of the island was rolling in. I took myself on a quick beach walk and then sat down for dinner just as the rain began to fall. 

That night, I lounged on a porch chair and read while a local band played live music for me and the three other people at the resort. If the airplane was hell, then this is my reward in heaven. I fell asleep that night in a king size bed with the screen door open, listening to the waves crash gently, twenty feet from my head, the moon shining a faint glow from behind the clouds. 

In the mornig I woke up too early. The clouds hadn't burned off yet, so I took this as a sign to roll back over and catch some more sleep. By 9:30, the sun was shining! I'd missed breakfast, but I found an unopen package of biscuits (aka cookies, but since they call them biscuits then it's okay to eat them for breakfast--not that vernacular would have stopped me. Thus far, I've resisted opening one/all of the twelve packages of Tims Tams in my carry-on.) in my backpack, so I nom those on my way out the door. I grabbed a paddle and SUP board and paddle my way out to the bay. 

On the south end are some caves that I explore before stumbling upon a coral reef, swimming with fishies! It's no Great Barrier Reef, but I was SO excited to find it on my own! I let myself float gently and watched the fish swim around.

You gotta zoom in to see them. 

 I continued to float through the bay for the rest of the morning, living my own personal heaven on earth. 

Lunch at the hotel was delicious, and half way through my pizza, my head swam with pinacolada bliss. The staff dressed up these cute little boys (who weren't from the plane, so I deemed them OKAY for now) and taught them a war dance! 

Then the staff performed a song with Niko on the guitar. 

For the afternoon I took myself on a beach walk from one of of the bay to the other. It was exactly perfect, except for awkward hasseling from locals. I had the far end of the bay to myself, so I sat and read for a bit. 

I was lucky enough to grow up in Northern Michigan during the summers and so am spoiled enough to have "beautiful beaches" as a no-big-woop attitude. But what saltless, sharkless Big Blue lacks is life. Crabs, eels, brightly colored fishies. I keep forgetting that I'm at the ocean and thus continue to be surprised when the seashells move around on their own. I certainly love the beach and all it's wildlife, but I appreciate that the majority of my beaching is done void of creepy crawlers of the sea. 

And then, just like that, it was time to leave. I packed my bags, hopped in the shuttle, and my trip was officially over! I'll fly overnight to LA and land in the morning. My parents just happen to be in LA this weekend, so I'll see them and my siblings for a couple hours before my flight back to DFW. 

It's been an incredible four weeks, and I really appreciate all the comments and well wishes I got along the way from everyone following my blog and photos! I hope you each get to have your own adventure soon!