Turning 24: A Year Older and a Year Wiser?




When did this happen? When did I turn 24? Well —  technically it happened on April 26, 2013 — but I’m still having trouble accepting that I am living in a Cyberspace age like 2013, let alone that I’m 24. I’m the baby — how could I actually be this old and remember my past as recent history? Sometimes I feel like I should be sitting in a rocker telling tales of the “golden days” to the “kids” of today. But that doesn’t seem right either because I feel like these birthdays are just creeping on me without so much as a notice, and I must be actually much younger!

That’s what it is.

I thought that I’d get some sort of prepped notice every year reminding me of all the events that took place in the last year, so that when the time came to turn another year older, I would actually feel like I had lived an entire year. Somehow time isn’t that forgiving, and there is no friendly reminder — just birthdays that make you wonder where the time is really going.

So, now I’m 24. Don’t ask me how it happened, but little ol’ me, the baby of the family, reached her “mid 20s.” And taking a few minutes to actually reflect, I’m relieved to say that time didn’t just speed me through 365 days without teaching me at least a little something in return. I had 10 life lessons to share last year, but this past year has taught me some things that I’m hoping I can say have made me a year wiser. Here are a few:

  1. You have to know when it’s time to stick up for yourself without letting your ego get in the way. When I find someone trying to take advantage of me or my time, my ego tends to want to speak for me (because how dare you treat me like this, right?), but that’s never a good idea. There’s a way to put your foot down without being flippant, and finding the balance is always the key.
  2. Some people will never change, and you just have to change your expectations that they will. I’d banked on the hope that certain people or certain relationships would change, so that I could be happier. But in the end, all that investment only made me more unhappy and disappointed when things didn’t work out how I hoped. Some people have surprised me in the last year for the better, and that was a great feeling. For the rest, I’ve realized that I need to let what will be just be.
  3. Irrational anger will just eat you up and feed that pesky ego again. Blowing up about being stuck in traffic? Complaining that someone bumped into you at a crowded place? Just idiotic and pointless. What’s even the point of being angry about something so small, when it means nothing at the end of the day? I’m no one special; it happens; get over it, and move on.
  4. Most of my problems are maintained by me. Ever notice how easy it is to blame others for “making” you feel one way or another? Other people definitely contribute to trust issues, insecurities and hurt feelings, but no one can actually make you feel any other way than you want to feel. I can make everything worse if I want to, but I can also make them at least a bit better by just letting it roll off and moving on.
  5. At some point, leaving the party early or turning down plans just to stay in and enjoy alone time is really, totally okay. I used to be afraid I’d be missing out on something if I said no, and sometimes I still feel like I need to do as much as possible because otherwise I’m denying myself some great memories — but sometimes it really is just best to stay in or be alone. Now, I try to do what feels right in the moment — without fear of regret — and then accept my decision, whatever it is.

Do you feel like you can say you learn a lot year by year? Share some of your learned wisdom with me!


Love You Like a Love Song: 8 of the Most Romantic Ballads Ever

Cover of "Wicked Game"

If there was something I definitely could not live without, it would be music (also, lotion — really neurotic about this, but I’ll save it for another post…) — it keeps me going for almost every minute of everyday: getting ready in the mornings, on my way to work, at work, shopping, on the way home from work — and even as I write this post. Music is the spark that keeps my embers burning. For me, it’s more than a distraction from the incessant buzz of the outside world; its words, a hypnotic beat — a mantra, even, (if it’s that type of day) pulsating through my body, creating an unbroken connection between the music and me. The song doesn’t have to be deep for the connection to happen, but this is what music is for me.

Given that deep down I’m just a hopeless romantic like any starry-eyed girl out there, there are a handful of love songs that I’ve come to really love over the years. You know, the type of songs that when you hear, you can’t help but just melt a little because they make your heart flutter a bit?

I should warn you, they’re not all happy love songs — but no less, they’re pretty romantic — I promise! Here are my picks for the most heart-clenching, romantic love songs:

1. “Push” — Sarah McLachlan

Okay, I know Sarah McLachlan gets a lot of bad rep for being the woman who makes people think of homeless and sick animals, but forget (the also beautiful song) “Angel” if you can for a moment, and listen to this song. It’s probably my favorite on the list, and the lyrics paired with Sarah McLachlan’s soulful vocals makes for a simply beautiful ballad that couldn’t be more romantic — and happy, for that matter, aka completely opposite of “Angel.”

2. “Back at One” — Brian McKnight

Oh, whatever happened to men like Brian McKnight? This guy was a staple in the 90’s and early 2000’s, and his smooth voice and sweet lyrics make me melt every time. (I’m a sap — told you.) Plus, who can resist a man playing the piano? I’d have to argue that R&B music of this era was the best, and Brian McKnight was in the throne, leading the realm with this sweet melody…

3. “Wicked Game” — Chris Isaak

I’d probably seen the episode of Friends when Ross and Rachel have their first date and get frisky in the planetarium about a million time before I finally got hold of this song. (Yes, that’s where you’ve heard it.) More than this song is romantic, it’s incredibly sensual — can you honestly resist that voice?! But once you listen to the song, you’ll be hooked to the music, lyrics — everything! It’s a one for the books, I promise. This is a song that rarely, if ever, gets skipped on my iPod/iTunes when it’s on shuffle.

4.  “Forever and For Always” — Shania Twain

There’s got to be something said about a country gal singin’ a love song — there’s nothing like it (unless you’re a country fella). Shania Twain is not only beautiful, but her music is timeless country-pop music, and just like this song — it always makes you feel good — and that impresses me much!

5. “Broken” — Lifehouse

Ah, here is one of those sad love songs I was talking about, but I couldn’t resist because it’s a great song, and the lead singer’s voice is irresistible. The song is relatable to a lot of people in one way or another, and you don’t have to be in a million pieces to think it’s a great tune!

6. “Halo” — Beyonce´

You didn’t honestly expect a list of the most romantic love songs and this song not be on there, right? Beyonce´ singing OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder’s lyrics would have made for one helluva amazing love song by itself, but the music production behind this composition was also ingenious. Who expected the piano, drums and synths combo? The song was a little over-played for a while, but you have to admit — it is one. great. love song.

7. “A Thousand Years” — Christina Perri

Yes, it was Edward and Bella’s wedding song, but I promise that had nothing to do with its place on the list. I don’t even remember the song in the movie (yes, I’ve read and watched all the books/movie — guilty, as charged!), and heard this beautiful ballad for the first time when Christina Perri performed it live on Ellen. Forget the Twilight mumbo-jumbo, and take a chance — her voice, the lyrics, the piano — it’s all very sweet!

8. “Ancient Love” — Anoushka Sharma

To round out the list, I picked a song most of you have probably have never heard of and by an artist that is a favorite of mine. This one also has no words — surprise! There is something very sensual and romantic about the snaky flutes, slow sitar picks and tabla beats that I absolutely love about this piece. If you’ve never heard of Anoushka Sharma’s music, today might be the day. Maybe you’ve heard of her famous family: dad and famous Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar, or her well-known half-sister and blues singer Norah Jones?

What did you think of my picks? Leave me a comment and let me know, and tell me what your favorite love songs are!

Growing Up Sucks: 7 Reasons Why I Miss College Like Crazy

Ladder stile in SnowdoniaIn my head I’ve always pictured school as this tentative ladder we were all climbing — it started from Pre-k and went up to college (for the general population). Some people’s ladders broke before the end, and some people’s got more rungs added as time went on, but for the most part — this was the time line that you grew up expecting to follow.

So, what came after we reached the top of the ladders? My mental picture showed an open, weightless space into which we all took a giant leap and gracefully floated off to our separate ways to take our places in the “Real World.”  (I guess I was a pretty visual kid)

Well, I reached the top of my ladder last year, and I took the big leap into the weightless space. I hate to say that I was right all these years about what the metaphor of school and life would be like: I floated off into my separate way just like my friends did, and honestly — it sucks. But truthfully, it wasn’t that literal;  it’s not that I lost touch with everyone that makes me miss college like crazy.

It’s more like these 7 reasons here:

  1. I actually miss learning. Don’t get me wrong — I  will never miss studying or taking another test again, but when you’ve been mentally stimulated for 17 years of your life, you miss learning something and running home to your parents/roommates/friends and telling them, “Did you know…?” or “Guess what I learned today…”
  2. Going out needs an expense account, and partying will never be the same again. There’s no more conglomeration of 300 people in one huge house party or bar district, and forget about “college town prices.” Everything requires a cab, DD, and/or  triple the amount of money as it did in college.
  3. Everyone is getting married and having kids left and right — or is it just my friends? People still think I’m 15, and yet 90% of my high school friends (and I’m sure soon to be followed by college friends)  are domesticated. I just want to be in college again, when people were too busy hooking up and recovering from hangovers to care about wedding dresses and diapers.
  4. There’s no sense of intense camaraderie or pride anymore. Being in NYC is an exception, I guess, because New Yorkers are hardcore about their city, but even so — I just miss the football games, pep rallies, parades and college events that brought the entire university together. This is when I really feel like I’m floating off in my own space.
  5. The “future” is the present, now. I used to talk about “what I wanted to do when I grow up” and “what kind of guy I hope to marry ” and blah, blah, blah, but all of that is staring me in the face now, and sometimes it’s just too much! The transition between college graduate and adulthood is a nanosecond, and I really think we should send around a petition to make it longer.
  6. The weekends got shorter — by an entire day… They don’t start at noon on Friday when classes are out; they start at 7 or 8pm when you’re finished with work, and even then  — you’re tired as hell and barely want to do anything. By the time you make plans and follow through with them, it’s Saturday — which is the only day working people get to call a “day off” because Sunday means laundry, groceries and chores galore. Apparently, Fridays get cut with the rest of your paycheck…
  7. My friends were my family. There’s just nothing like walking down the hall of your dorm or the street and seeing anyone you want, and once you’re out of college, you realize how much you miss the accessibility of seeing your friends — who literally become family for that very reason. No matter how close you are, the Real World means you have to try that much harder to see each other — and floating around in your own space doesn’t make it that easy to do so…

Honestly, I would never trade in my college years for anything. I had some of the best and worst times, and they were absolutely, ridiculously, phenomenally the BEST 4 years of my life.

If you’re about to start college, take my advice: enjoy every. single. moment. of. it. Even if you’re not the party girl/guy, find your niche and do something that makes your college years some of the most memorable times of  your life because after these times, you’ll be like me — just floating in open space and missing it like crazy.

Tell me, do you miss your college years?

It’s a Baby’s Life: 10 Reasons Why Being a Baby Is Better Than an Adult

As much as growing up has its benefits (driving, dating, money-making, etc),  it’s been a lifelong debate who wins for living a rockstar’s life: babies or adults? Sure, opportunities are abundant when you’ve mastered the art of dumping your own refuse (no pun intended) in the loo and when you have finally learned how to flirt in other ways than groping. But is the new wisdom worth losing the grand life of being a tiny tot? Hm, indeed a chin-scratcher question.

Yes, evolution is definitely a positive change, but after years of intense growing up and gruesome first-hand research – I’ve come to realize that being a baby definitely beats being an adult. And here are 10 reasons why…

  1. Achieving world domination was as easy as letting out one “Wah” — a sick but powerful feeling.
  2. Unlimited back rubs — all day, everyday.
  3. Having a portable toilet attached to your butt —  and someone else wiping.
  4. Getting fatter only made you cuter.
  5. Nobody blamed you if you were stinky, dirty or ill-mannered — just your parents.
  6. Life’s motto was “Play hard, sleep hard.”
  7. Curbside stroller pickup.
  8. There was still hope you’d grow out of the ugly phase.
  9. A new outfit every time you barfed.
  10. Riding on a plane was free.

I mean, I don’t know about you , but I think I’d rather live a baby’s life  all over again…

Freshman Life 101

Having reached the monumental milestone in my life of being a college graduate, I have become rather nostalgic of my days as a ‘coed’ recently. I realize that the amount of time I have in my days of unemployment that isn’t devoted to eating and sleeping is very little – but somehow I do find time to think. Amazing it is, I know. Please don’t blow up my head too much by your awe.

Next week, I’ll be speaking with future Longhorns at a panel seminar being held in my neck of the woods (literally – I live in East Texas – we actually live in the woods…).  I love to teach, and there’s no better way to do it than by sharing personal experiences (whether they were mine or ones I was lucky enough to witness) to enlighten naive minds. Unsurprisingly, there are few incoming freshmen to admit their naivete, but there are more than a handful of things that they should understand before embarking on their college lives

There’s nothing wrong with being a fish; and there’s no way around moving up the college-ladder without being one, but it would behoove you to avoid calling attention to being one. There are at least a few sure-fire ways that you’ll have upper-classmen heads shaking knowingly of your young, inexperienced ways when you…

  1. Look excited on your first day of classes. The Facebook statuses and events chock-full of enthusiastic countdowns for “Back2School” were about alcohol and the mistakes that would be made with it – not study groups and tests you will inevitably fail.
  2. Walk around with an actual paper map of the campus. Pull out that iPhone that’s permanently attached to your hand anyway, and wipe off the “I’m the new kid, and I’m lost.” announcement that’s blatantly etched on your forehead. GoogleMap it if you have to. Hell, text yourself instructions to “turn left at big, red building and right at huge black statue, until you see the rose bushes…” or whatever . PUT AWAY THE MAP!
  3. Get drunk at a club and throw up all over the bouncer – then apologize by telling him it was your first time drinking that much, and how you can’t believe your fake ID actually worked…
  4. Assume the Freshman 15 is an urban legend. Watch that ‘myth’ bite you in your magically enlarged ass in about 2 months.
  5. Tell people proudly it’s your first year. Did #1-4 mean nothing to you?  You’re going to have to improve your reading comprehension skills if you want to make it to your next year, really.

I’m curious to know from my college graduated readers, what other common mistakes do you guys think freshmen make to royally screw themselves over their first year?

…In My Pants: Bollywood Edition

After compiling a list of film titles I thought were definitely improved by adding “In My Pants”, I was a little unsure at the response. It would be solidified (if it hadn’t been already): Foram and her slightly raunchy sense of humor. I could feel the daggers of judgment piercing their way towards me….!

And then, the post’s stats started steadily climbing. Ah, my perverted little readers, I knew we shared something special. As a result, I thought I would post a special edition Bollywood version of the previous post. (It helps to add the accent while reading.) Tabla roll please….









Bollywood Movie Titles Improved by Adding ‘In My Pants’

  1. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai In My Pants
  2. Dil Chahta Hai In My Pants
  3. King Uncle In My Pants
  4. Dil To Pagal Hai In My Pants
  5. 1942: Love Story In My Pants
  6. Darr In My Pants
  7. Mujse Shaadi Karogi In My Pants
  8. Hum Tum In My Pants
  9. Dhoom In My Pants
  10. Main Hoon Naa In My Pants
  11. Chhote Sarkar In My Pants
  12. Mr. Bechara In My Pants
  13. Jeet In My Pants
  14. Welcome In My Pants
  15. Aaja Nachle In My Pants
  16. Jab We Met In My Pants
  17. Biwi No. 1 In My Pants
  18. Akele Hum Akele Tum In My Pants
  19. Jaanwar In My Pants
  20. Hello Brother In My Pants
  21. Koi…Mil Gaya In My Pants
  22. Kuch Naa Kaho In My Pants
  23. Sholay In My Pants
  24. Major Saab In My Pants
  25. Hum Saath Saath Hain In My Pants
Could it be that adding ‘In My Pants’ is even funnier when attaching them to Hindi movie titles? I think so.

…In My Pants

Sometimes it’s just fun to be silly and inappropriate. Anyone who has been around me in a casual setting knows that I love to live by this philosophy and it’s great when others can do it with you. There’s always a limit but sometimes being a little inappropriate and adding a dash of immature to your mix of silly can still good clean fun!

For the last 2 days, one of Twitter’s most popular trends has been: #improvefilmtitlesbyaddinginmypants (aka Improve film titles by adding ‘in my pants’). The fact that it is still trending more steadfastly than ever goes to show you that sometimes people just need to be a little boisterous to laugh off all the other crap that’s going on. Now before I dive into any more cliches and cheesy tales about stopping to smell the roses or riding with the car top down, I’d like to share with you my best compilation. Drum roll please…












Movie Titles Improved by Adding ‘In My Pants’

  1. Fools Rush In My Pants
  2. Gone With the Wind In My Pants
  3. Pride and Prejudice In My Pants
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets In My Pants
  5. Titanic In My Pants
  6. Batman Begins In My Pants
  7. Batman Returns In My Pants
  8. Batman Forever In My Pants
  9. Scream In My Pants
  10. Jawbreaker In My Pants
  11. Saving Private Ryan In My Pants
  12. Sin City In My Pants
  13. Up In My Pants
  14. Rocky In My Pants
  15. Kill Bill In My Pants
  16. Rosemary’s Baby In My Pants
  17. King Kong In My Pants
  18. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly In My Pants
  19. It’s a Wonderful Life In My Pants
  20. Some Like it Hot In My Pants
  21. Million Dollar Baby In My Pants
  22. Into the Wild In My Pants
  23. The 400 Blows In My Pants
  24. High Noon In My Pants
  25. American Beauty In My Pants
Now, you dirty minded ones out there – take these titles for what you want to! Hope you don’t think I’m too crude – some of them are too good to skip!
I would love to hear your funny movie titles improved with ‘in my pants’!