How to Talk to Anyone

Has anyone ever said to you: “Oh my god, we’re like the same person!”? That level of connection that happens on rare occasions and leave you SO happy? Well, currently, I’m the “same person” as about 10 people, all of whom are … Continue reading

Last Minute Spring Break Planning: GO!

I’m actually supposed to be working at my internship right now, but an idea’s in my head and I can’t get it out.

I have a really bad habit of suddenly wanting to flee (escapist, remember?). And right now, with spring break so close on my heels, I want to flee to NATURE.

Originally, I was planning on such a chill spring break. One where I didn’t need to spend money and where I could recharge before getting back to that school grind again. But, I don’t know, is that me? I would feel so sucky if I just bummed around at home for spring break.

Also, lately, I’ve been feeling really grossly lethargic and what’s-the-point-of-all this lately, which I’m hoping is more because of the weather than a recurrence of depression smacking me in the face.

So, I talked to my best friend about it; she also goes through periods like this. She asked me what I would do if I could do just one thing at this moment. And I said I wanted to go hiking.

Thus, my spree of Appalachian/Smoky Mountains research begun. Why those national parks? Well, I kind of also promised my grandparents I’d be visiting them in North Carolina, which happens to be in those vicinities. (Here I cheated and enlisted their help in finding me a roundtrip plane ticket while I secretly searched for things to do other than being a great granddaughter)

Oh, spontaneity.

I don’t recommend this by the way. Spontaneity is hugely fun and rewarding, but soul-sucking in a financial sort of way.

While doing my research, I felt like I was trying to learn about the entire trail. As a pretty visual person, it’s hard just to go off of city names and then trying to locate accommodations and whether or not there’s even a trail nearby. And there are no comprehensive guides for me to start with!

It just had me all frantic.

From experiences, spontaneity in this regard is bad. You need to know the surroundings, the types of accommodation available and the general mood of the town. If you go in with no accommodation planned, you’re either going to sleep in your car or shell out $200 more than you wanted to for a 8-room cabin all to yourself.

But I think I finally figured it out. You can follow my process if you’re having similar difficulties.

First, I narrowed it down to a section of the Appalachian/Smoky Mountains that I’d want to hike. For me, it’s anywhere in North Carolina and the closest from where my grandparents are. The closest one is about 5 hours and 45 minutes away.

Ok, no big…

Second, I googled that area. I chose Hot Springs, NC. The trails, accommodation, quality of the overall place. Read a ton of reviews and then google some pictures so you know what you’re getting. Either way, anywhere near a national park is beautiful, so I would just worry about the availability and popularity of the place. Find the perfect balance between isolated and so crowded you’re basically breathing in someone else’s mouth.


You have to check out what kind of trails you’ll be getting and if it’s worth it. I’m not going to drive almost 6 hours away just so I can walk 15 minutes of trail. That’s a waste of time. Make sure it’s not too difficult for you to tackle either.

Once you’ve picked a few trails you think would be fun to try, check out the accommodations, if you want any. Now 6 hours each way… that’s 12 hours out of my day. If I leave around 6 a.m., I’d get there by 12. 6 hours isn’t bad enough to absolutely need accommodation, but if things get really fun, it might be a good idea. If you google your area and add the word hostel, there’s bound to be some cropping….

For the full article, [CLICK HERE BECAUSE I HAVE MOVED]

Have you ever backpacked through national parks? I’d LOVE to hear about your experiences, tips, whatever you have to share! 

Remember: I have moved: [CLICK HERE] 

Indie Introductions

Believe it or not, I used to be completely mainstream. #SohipsterLOL


Sorry. (#Sorrynotsorry?)

Ok, no. I’m really done. I hate people who say that.

Onto more serious topics—as serious as this girl can get—before college, I had completely no taste in music. But if you knew my music/pop culture background, this probably would surprise you. See, I was a music late bloomer. It’s exactly what it sounds like. In fact, I didn’t clue in to the fact that people (out there in the normal ‘verse) listened to music for enjoyment. All I knew about music was what classical piece I liked producing more!

Seventh grade was a real game changer for me. Glad that part of my life’s over. Onto bigger and better things!

Since none of you really know my music tastes, I’ll give you a quick rundown: Florence + the Machines (gonna get flack for listing this first), Local Natives, Grouplove, Noah and the Whale, Imagine Dragons, you get the gist.

Boy, it was a journey. I went from Top 40s to total indie.

And I know how intimidating tackling the huge pile of obscure artists can be. What do you like? What bands fit what you like? I didn’t even know where to start. Thankfully, my best friends from high school all were into the scene before I was and they were able to give me some help.

So, if you’re currently on a similar journey that I was, whether it’s to impress a hipster boy/girl with your music knowledge, here are some places to start. Also, indie usually means that their live performances are amazing. Indie artists usually look down on autotune, unless they’re obscure dub step/electro bands.

Side note: man, this really takes me back.

The Xx: what people usually imagine indie music to sound like; the echo-y, chill pace and tremulous boy/girl vocals that are almost slurred. This usually makes really good study music. It doesn’t bother you enough to make you want to rage along, but enjoyable. I loved them at first, mostly because I didn’t really know what I was into. While I still like them, I only listen to them when I’m reminiscent of my early indie days.

Florence + the Machine: while this she’s getting more mainstream (featured in Calvin Harris, Dog Days, etc), becoming mainstream only means that the new fans ONLY KNOW HER MOST POPULAR SONGS. Dude, every Florence song is worth a few listens. She’s amazing at what she does and her strong use of drums mixed with etherealness really gets me pumped. I saw her at Lollapalooza 2012 and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Like her music, Florence is so goddamn regal. Respect, girl.

Grouplove: I’ve been so obsessed with them lately because they’re so happy and make me want to dance! This is indie gold, my friends. Again, they’ve had some mainstream hits (Tongue Tied) but their other songs are always so much better. (remember this phrase and use it a lot. Hipster territory) Their clapping, both male and female vocalists, and tunes just.. so good!

The Givers: These are more grassroots and border on country if not for the echo-y feel that we all get. They’re really good live and usually use more acoustics :) They’re definitely indie because of the dissonance in their harmonies sometimes; also male and female vocalists.

Imagine Dragons: Again, this is happy music for me (can you tell I’m a happy person?!) but this kind of happy music also makes you feel… extremely badass. Like conquer-the-world badass. The heavy use of the distortion on the guitars, bass, and oh man. They’re also getting more mainstream, which I’m sad about. But I’m seeing them in concert sometime in March! :D super excited. 

Manchester Orchestra: If you like more heartfelt, amazing vocals, and less reliance on the instrumentals, this is definitely for you. Their lyrics are kind of sad sometimes because I know the lead singer has been through a lot in his lifetime. The fact that he can move on and produce such heartfelt music is amazing to me.

All the ones I’ve chosen always build to an awesome chorus. It just makes you feel amazing. I don’t know if it’s just my personal relationship with music, but it’s what it is. If you have any questions on your journey or any different requests, don’t hesitate to ask! And welcome to good music :)

The Fine Line Between Friendly and Creepy

We (hopefully) are all aware that there is a fine line between friendly and creepy when you’re first getting to know someone, be it as friends or as something more.

what we see when you're doing something wrong

A lot of it has to do with whether you dig the person or not. Has anyone seen the recent episodes of How I Met Your Mother? Well, in one of them, Ted hooks up with this chick who actually did stalkerish things to get him. The group decided that if you’re into whoever’s doing these stalker deeds (stalkereeds?), it doesn’t seem creepy at all, but sweet. However, if you’re not into them, then it comes off REALLY creepy.

Dr. Nerdlove agrees:

If a woman (or a man, for that matter) is attracted to someone, she is more likely to feel comfortable with them and more willing to accept certain behaviors… that is, her boundaries may be different for this person. This doesn’t mean that attraction is an all-encompasing passport to do whatever you want; just because somebody’s boundaries may be relaxed in certain areas doesn’t mean that they no longer exist. It’s very easy to shut down another person’s attraction to you in an instant, whether it’s by being an asshole, saying something rude or inconsiderate, or pushing at her boundaries.

Hear that, boys? This explains why we suddenly pull back someone even when we were feeling the vibe just a few moments ago. Don’t keep pushing at those boundaries. And don’t think that just because we agreed to hang out with you more than once that we’re committed for a real try. Especially when we’ve just met.

Now, I’m usually pretty open to people. I’m a friendly person. But if you’re pushing for more than friendship, my standards will go up for you. I have standards for friends, yes, but they’re even higher for people I would date. Most people, if they’re not douchebags, have an either/or clause.

Either you’re extremely attractive or your personality is the bomb. 

Now, these are the bare minimums for me. Like, friends-with-benefits bare minimums. Usually, I’d rather you less attractive but with an awesome personality. I’ve found that really attractive people usually haven’t needed an amazing personality because of their looks, so they haven’t been able to cultivate it yet.

I’m sorry for throwing all those generalizations out there. But in my experience, it’s true. I’m not saying it’s an end-all.

For me, I label someone as creepy and/or undateable if:

  • they don’t know how to converse
  • they seem really desperate
  • they don’t have a sense of humor

Conversation is a big one. Unless I just met you randomly at a party and we’re ready to get it on, people usually like other people they can talk with. For an extensive amount of time. In conversation, be interested but not so interested that everything you say is a GODDAMN QUESTION. That’s just strange. I want to hear your opinions too. I know dating conversation is different than normal conversation because it’s more about getting to know the other person rather than commenting on something together (the majority of the type of conversations I have with friends), so just try your best to have a balanced two-way information share session.

Don’t talk about yourself too much, because that just shows me you’re not that interested in me, you’re just interested in stroking your ego. Look into the person’s eyes.

Catch conversational nuances, like tone…