#tbt

It’s Thursday and you know what that means –all of your social media outlets are dripping with throwbacks. For me, #tbt isn’t necessarily about posting photos or memories from yesteryears, but a chance to open Spotify and browse the “Decades” menu for playlists.

Every Thursday I pick a certain decade that I think I’ll be feeling for the day. Today, it’s all about the 80s.

Here’s what’s blasting through my headphones today:

Walk This Way, RUN-DMC

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper

What I Like About You, The Romantics

I’m So Excited, The Pointer Sisters

These songs are great for your daily 30-second dance party, but if you don’t know how to do 80s music justice with your oh-so-2000s dance moves, Buzzfeed has the answer.

Enjoy your walk down memory lane and remember that every Throwback Thursday leads to a Flashback Friday, so feel free to keep on dancing tomorrow.

Keep ‘working for the weekend’ and until next time,

C. Brooks

Favorite Things – Box of Chocolates

Welp, it’s Monday. I’m barely functioning for some odd reason, but I’ll blame it on the remaining yuckiness from the sinus and eye infection from hell that I had all last week.

Feeling a bit better this week, I think I’ll make up for not posting a “favorite things” post last week. I mean, I very well could have done a “favorite things” post last week, but I doubt anyone would want to know how much I was obsessed with my chilled sterile saline eye wash and its awesomeness.

So now I’ve got a multitude of things to rave about! And, to quote one of my favorite movies, “…it’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”

First up: Laura Mercier Translucent Powder. PowderHoly buckets, do I love this stuff. For the longest time I would leave for work in the morning thinking that I looked like the hottest thing God put on the planet, but then I’d get to about lunch time, go in the bathroom, look at myself in the mirror and wonder what hole I crawled out of.

I just felt like my makeup never stayed put where it was supposed to be. I would be oily and my eyeliner would be all sorts of wrong. So I went into my neighborhood Sephora and had a lovely chat with an associate. She told me to try this translucent powder.

I tried it the next day and BAM! My makeup stayed the whole day so I didn’t look like a trainwreck by 3pm. It’s got a bit of a price tag on it ($37), but everyone deserves a splurge once in a while.

Second favorite thing: Lemon Sorbet

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Okay, so I know that this is probably one of the most basic things you can have for dessert, but I just rediscovered it while ordering it at a small Italian cafe this past weekend and I loved it for an after-dinner refresher. Plus, look at the cute presentation! I’m definitely going to try to make my own because it looks pretty simple. But obviously, since I’ve just said that, it totally won’t be. Stay tuned for my trial run…

Third favorite thing: The Imitation Game

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Oh. My. God. This was such a good movie!! I was a bit upset that it didn’t win Best Picture last night at the Oscars, but I’ll get over it somehow. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley were absolutely amazing in the film about how one man help shorten World War II by almost two years and saved millions of lives. How this movie and knowledge has not been pushed out through the media (after the information was de-classified) is beyond me, but discussing the media’s agenda is a whole different blog post.

The Imitation Game‘s numerous story arcs were all woven together masterfully and the messages from the film were very strong and relatable. I would give it five stars; it was a truly amazing film and y’all should definitely put it on your must watch lists.

forrest

Until next time,

C. Brooks

A Little Bit Dramatic

I’ve been sick for the last three days; three days of lying on the couch, three days of wishing there was such a thing as chicken noodle soup or grilled cheese & tomato soup delivery and three days of dying slowly inside because I can’t be outside.

It all started when I woke up on Sunday and had a sore throat and runny nose, so I napped and was lazy for the rest of the day because I had to be on my A-game for a big meeting the next morning.

However, on Monday morning I woke up and my right eye was goopy and red. Of course, my first instinct is to think that I have pink eye, because, obviously, God hates me.

I texted my boss saying that I will work from home that day and will teleconference in to the meeting at 9am. Thank goodness she agreed, so I began to think that things were looking up.

On my way to the doctor after the meeting, I kept looking at my eye in the mirror thinking that maybe it wasn’t actually pink eye because it wasn’t super red anymore and it wasn’t really all that goopy either. WIN!

But I spoke too soon. After waiting for my physician to come in, she takes a look at my eyes, ears, nose, and throat and determines that I do not, in fact, have bacterial pink eye with cold-like symptoms, but a much more contagious viral eye infection along with inflamed ears, sinuses, throat and lymph nodes.

The good news, she tells me, is that I might start seeing things improve in 3 – 5 days. If not, my eye might start to look like hamburger meat and I should come back in. My first thought was, “Well, OBVIOUSLY!!!” followed by, “No sh*t, Sherlock!!”

So, basically what this all amounts to is me dying slowly on my couch for the past couple of days. My conditions got worse and now it seems that both eyes are now infected and I’ve got a cough that would wake up Sleeping Beauty and a runny nose that could fill the Nile.

Being that it’s now Wednesday, you can understand my frustration that I still haven’t seen any symptoms subside. So it looks like I’ve got day 4 and day 5 to see improvement, or I’ll be the hamburger-meat-for-an-eye girl…

Sure I’m being a little over-dramatic, but, really, I’ve got nothing else to do for amusement.

Until next time,

Hamburger-meat-for-an-eye girl

aka C. Brooks

Boys and Public Transportation

Here I sit.

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day and all I can think about are boys.

Now, don’t roll your eyes; I promise I’m going somewhere with this that doesn’t make you want to hit me over the head with a newspaper.

I’ve been thinking about boys because, for the longest time, no one has been able to explain them in a way that’s easily understood. I’m a bit sick of the Cosmo and Glamour articles about the insights into men and their psyches, because ain’t nobody got time to sift through a man’s psyche; unless you’re getting paid for it. So here I go.

I’d like to argue that to explain the way a boy operates is to explain how public transportation operates.

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We’ve all been there, sister…

1. Public transportation is always going somewhere. When you get on for the ride, you may not always know where you’re going, but you know that you can always get off at the next stop if need be to reevaluate.

2. The next stop isn’t always easy to find. Sometimes you leave the bus or subway before your stop, leaving you to walk another six blocks in your heels. And then sometimes you fall asleep, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere wishing your mom could just come save you.

3. You can chase and chase that public transportation until you’re blue in the face, but there’s a 95% chance it’s not going to stop for you and you’re just wasting your time and energy trying.

4. But then there is that 5% chance that the public transportation operator wants to make your day and decides stops everything so that you get your chance to get to your destination on time.

5. If you get into a subway, bus or cab and it’s a mess from the previous tenants, do your best avoid any and all of it because it’s not your job to clean it up. Although, it may be nice of you to throw away any of the junk lying around you if you get the chance.

6. Sometimes the way you act or appear will get you a better seat. Always be nice…unless it’s crowded and you’re stuck standing while the guy who’s manspreading is taking up two seats.

7. There will be the creep-os who stare at you for, like, at least four blocks, but know that you can (a) avoid all possible contact with them and run away as fast as you can after you get off at your stop or (b) call them out on it and then maybe they’ll leave you alone.

8.  When you’re stuck in a traffic jam and can’t get to where you want to be on time, it may feel good to vent a little road rage, but it’s really just best to be patient and know that the blockage will pass and you’ll get to where you’re headed eventually.

9. If you do miss your specific mode of public transportation, you can always wait for the next one because another one ALWAYS comes along. It may be 5 minutes or it may be an hour, but another one always comes around again.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Fifty Shades of Rape Culture?

Years after the book came out, I finally decided to read 50 Shades of Grey. When it first came out, I remember that all of my mid to upper 30s coworkers were raving about it and asking each other which parts they had gotten to yet and then giggling about the sex scenes. The whole S&M world had never really sounded like something I’d enjoy reading about, so I just let them go on with their babble because this is ‘Merica and you can read and talk about anything you want.

Fast-forward to 2015 and a full-blown 50 Shades Mania has taken over the country with the release of the movie this Friday. I didn’t think I’d be involved in the madness, until I decided to go to see it in theatres this weekend with my cousin. However, her terms of agreement involved me reading the book first.

In accordance with her demands, I decided to download it last night and, as turns out, I’m about 100 pages from finishing it. I couldn’t put it down! I mean, is it the most wonderful piece of literary work you’ll find? Certainly not. But I still was so intrigued by the story (and the other parts of course).

50

50 Shades of grey [lines]

But there are some parts that I was very uncomfortable reading, specifically where Grey tells Ana that he wants to hurt her and is turned on by the thought/action of it.

This is where I can see the side of the argument that says the book and movie only add to the ever-prevalent rape culture all around us, especially on college campuses across the United States, and that the story sends the message to men that it’s okay to be rough with women because they’ll be just as turned on by it.

I do see the danger of where men and women will see or read the story play out and then think that they should do it in their own lives. People have been mimicking things they experience through media for centuries. But the most prevalent point between 50 Shades of Grey  and sexual assault and rape is that consent is being given in the story.

This book ( and I can only speak to 50 Shades of Grey because I haven’t read the second or the third in the trilogy) states multiple times that there’s an agreement, fully written out and negotiated by both parties so that each knows what to expect. Of course, almost all of the book’s storyline involves Ana’s back and forth decision of if she wants to participate in Grey’s “50 shades of f**ked up” or not, but they are both participating in consensual acts each time. For argument’s sake, there is that *spoiler-alert* cliff-hanger at the end where Christian goes too far, but that’s not the point.

The point is that you shouldn’t blame the book for why people commit rape and sexual assault. 50 Shades of Grey is not the problem; the problem is that people think that the book provides an excuse for them to do what they want.

I think it’s important to allow people to indulge in whatever outlet they want, as long as it doesn’t harm another being. There’s just a gap in the education of the need for consent and our society needs to learn it real quick, because rape culture shouldn’t be a part of our culture at all.

Let me know what you think about the argument and until next time,

C. Brooks

Put Your Big Girl Pants On

Uffda! (Translation: a Norwegian word that really doesn’t have a translation. It’s kind of like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.)

This weekend was jam-packed with things, people and places. On Saturday morning, I was making the 2.5 hour trek back to my hometown to visit family, when I got a phone call from my mother. Now, usually I would just expect her to ask where I was at that point so that she could know what time I’d be home around. But when I asked her where she was, because she didn’t pick up on her cell or home phone when I called, she replied that her and my stepdad were currently test driving a 2015 Chrysler 200S.

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But before I go further, I should probably give you some back-story as to why they were driving a 2015 Chrysler 200S. You may recall that I have recently recovered from a fight with a concrete pillar, in which my car, Pearl, lost and had to be sent to the auto body shop.

**Sidenote/shameless insurance plug: GET CAR INSURANCE!! Those concrete pillars are out to get ya! I don’t care if you save 15% in 15 minutes, talk to Flo or call Jake at 3am in the morning; get car insurance because car stuff ain’t cheap to fix.**

Anywho, while my little Pearl was in the shop, I got to drive around in a 2015 Chrysler 200 that was fully loaded and really fun to drive. Although, when I got home to talk to my mom about looking into it for my replacement car for Pearl, it seemed like it wouldn’t be an option because this was the first year after the Chrysler 200 remodeling and the car would just be too expensive for what I can afford on a twenty-something salary.

But sad, broke twenty-something story aside, let’s go back to Saturday.

Despite the daydream I had of coming home to see the new car on the driveway with a big red bow on like Oprah herself was gonna pop out yelling, “YOU GET A CAR!” my parents received the keys from the dealer so that I could give it a test drive later.

Of course the dealer just handed over the keys, no questions asked, because this is a small-town dealership and that’s just how you do things when the girl wants a test drive, but you’re closing the dealership for the day and can’t wait. So as soon as I got home, we all drove to the dealership for our own test drive.

I was so psyched when we pulled up and it was sitting there in all of it’s new car splendor. After the test drive and kicking the tires a bit, I fell in love with it.

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Best news of all was that this car is technically “used” because it was a demo car for the dealership. Score!!

Even with the used car price, I still had to put my big girl pants on and realize that amidst all of the excitement, it was still the biggest purchase I’d ever made. I was in talks all day Saturday and Sunday with various people about loans, interest rates, insurance quotes and monthly payments. Just in case the big girl pants weren’t on before, they were on now.

After the talks, we all decided that I’d get the car Thursday. Besides all of the responsibility and money I’ll be pouring into this car, it’s kind of like an early Valentine’s gift to me. It makes sense, really; girls with boyfriends get flowers, but single girls get cars. So not only do I have a new car, but I have an ironclad excuse to be single! It’s a win-win!

Now, excuse me while I go try to find a name for my new little bundle of joy! Feel free to shoot me ideas you’ve got.

Until next time…that is, if you can catch me as I drive by. 🙂

C. Brooks

Favorite Things – TriggerPoint GRID STK Foam Roller

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a runner who’s trying to make her way past an injury. My orthopedic surgeon has ruled it a fascial tear or bruise in my lower leg and says that I should take it easy and run very little, if at all.

Doc said that if I do run a little bit (less than a mile), ice and Ibuprofen would help with the pain afterwards. But I wanted to do more to ensure that I can come back fully from this injury and start training for a marathon again, so I did some research on how to help along the process a bit.

Reading through this article I foam rollerfound in Running Times and other subsequent articles, I’ve found that foam rollers can not only be used for muscle pain but can also help relieve fascial tension as well. Enter: TriggerPoint’s GRID STK Foam Roller ($34.99). I absolutely love this little thing because I can easily give my lower legs a great massage before and after workouts, leaving me with a lot less pain to deal with.

It’s so easy to use because it’s easy to grip and you can use it in more places on your body than you can with regular foam rollers. Not only do I mainly use it on my lower legs, but I also use it on my neck, back, thighs, calves and feet.

How to use the GRID STK:

You can use it in any multitude of ways and different ways can be found on the TriggerPoint educational videos page. I use mine by focusing on two areas of my lower leg. I work the outer part of my lower leg muscle, not the top where I can feel the bone.The first section that I workout starts right above the ankle and ends at the midpoint of my lower leg. The second starts at the midpoint of my lower leg and ends right below my knee.

IMG_0420To get the most out of my foam roller while I’m massaging the outer muscles of my lower leg, I follow these steps:

1. Sit on the floor with your legs resting flat on the ground. Bring your foot up so that you’re making an “L” shape with your leg + foot and your toes are pointing upwards.

2. Hold the foam roller firmly to your leg and roll upwards on the first section between your ankle and the midpoint of your lower leg.  At the same time, stretch your foot forward so that your toes are now pointed out in front of you.

3. If you find a knot or trigger point (a spot where it’s tender to press down on) you can hold your foam roller on it and leave it there while kneading out the spot for a good 20-30 seconds to try to work out the trigger point.

4. Repeat 4-5 times and then rest for a minute or so.

5. Repeat the same set of motions 1-3 for the second section of your leg and then again on your other leg.

The GRID STK is really the best foam roller I’ve used and is now a part of my running/workout routine. It’s definitely worth a try if you’re feeling tension and pain while you run or workout.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

I love it when…

As soon as I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to be one of those days. Not only is it a Monday, but there was a snow emergency declared in my city yesterday, meaning we got blasted with nine inches of snow. I know I shouldn’t be complaining because a lot of east coast states got it a lot worse than we did, but it’s still an annoyance all the same.

Being annoyed to the point of death –which may be a bit over-dramatic, but I can assure you I felt like I was dying a slow, painful death on my morning commute– I decided to cure myself with the help of sarcasm. Sarcasm fixes everything because your cunning wit is the antidote to everyone’s stupidity.

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I love:

  • Drivers who think that the space you leave between your car and the car in front of you is a space you created just for them to weasel themselves in between. There’s nothing more exciting than when your anti-lock braking system kicks in and stops your car just inches away from the weasel’s bumper in front of you. Just thrilling, I tell ya!
  • My coworker who keeps tabs on me when I come into work and when I leave, always making sure I put my time in. I don’t know if I’d be able to know how many hours I worked in a week without their helpful glares! They’re really just the best.
  • The guy too busy looking at his phone to realize you’re right in front of him, so that when he bumps into you, your soy hot chocolate spills everywhere. Thanks for saving me all of those calories, dude! I totally don’t know what I’d do without you.
  • When all of the machines are taken when you get to the gym, only to accidentally see that Workout Barbie’s been on her machine for a good hour. I could shout, “Why are you even on here?! You’re already a size 2; you’re done!” but I don’t because then I realize that good things always come to those who wait…or so I’m told.
  • When I’m feeling generous and let the a person in front of me for the soup line in the cafeteria. Only to find that after they leave, I see that they’ve taken the last of the broccoli cheddar. Guess it’s just more calories saved!
  • The boy who said he had a great time on our date and that he’d call me to figure out when we’d get together next. Waiting five days after the fact really makes it thrilling whenever I hear my phone vibrate! He’s kind of like my own Prince Charming, really.
  • When you realize that you forgot to put mascara on this morning so you look like a crazy person. But really, I mean boys always seem to like the crazy ones. Maybe I’ll send a quick snapchat to the Prince Charming? He’ll totally love the crazy look…
  • When you bring the wrong iPhone charger, so your iPhone 6 just sits there wishing for the good ol’ days when it was just a 4s. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.
  • When you can use sarcasm to give yourself a chuckle because you know it’s just one of those days you don’t have time for people to help bring you out of your funk. Go you, you self-sufficient sarcasm queen of the universe.

Until next time,

C. Brooks