Guide to Christmas with my family

Hi everyone, the other day I was doing some fall cleaning, and stumbled upon a letter my friend had written me a few years back. I was going to visit her family with her where her mom grew up. Basically, she wrote a guide on how to survive a week with her family by telling me who everyone was, what they do, and just random things I should know. Since Christmas is a time when boyfriends and girlfriends meet families, I figured I would make a guide to my family, not that I have a significant other that is going to meet them this year, but maybe I’ll be able to use this in the future. So, here we have a guide to some of my family members I spend Christmas with.


Terry- My grandfather. We have Christmas at his house (and my grandma Barb’s) every year. He is allergic to chocolate but eats it anyways. Always compliment his brownies and ask him about his life as a teacher/principal and you’ll be fine. Also, if his water bottle is empty, ask if he wants a new one. He will.

Barb- My grandma. She cooks everything and doesn’t sit down to eat until literally forced to by my mother. Very nice but will call you a “little shit” if you beat her in cards. Volunteer to help with dishes and she may start crying.

Liz- My aunt. She is usually nice but can be very judgemental (especially of hair colors, tattoos, and piercings). She will eat any Rice Krispie treat that comes in her path and drinks a lot of wine.

Jason- My uncle (Liz’s husband). Can be a tool Usually is a tool who yells at the television nonstop, drinks a lot of alcohol, and is a very sore loser (he flipped the game of life and the wooden table on top of me when I got it for Christmas when I was 9). He is also known for not being a vegan supporter and giving vegans shit for being vegan. Jason has two kids- Megan and Jacob. Megan is married and Jacob changes where he lives every three months it seems.

Jim and Kelly- Jim is my mom and aunt’s brother but he’s sort of just there and they don’t spend a lot of time with the rest of the family. They are sort of irrelevant and Kelly just likes to complain about life so ignore them. They have three kids Ashley (love of my life), Luke (he said Hillary Clinton sucks so screw him), and Sean (my literally favorite cousin)

Alan and Lorene- my parentals. Pretty chill. My dad also yells at the TV (sports lol) and will probably fall asleep on the couch at some point during the day. My mom drinks a lot of wine and beer, eats too much, and the complains about how much she ate for the next 3 days.

Madi- my sister. Does not talk a lot. Usually on her phone. Doesn’t eat much. Talk to her about anime or Doctor Who and she will love you forever

Bill and Suzie- Suzie is my grandpa’s sister and Bill is her fiance. Suzie had a stroke a few months ago and is recovering. Her arm is still in a sling and she can’t speak very well, but she is doing good. Bill, just like my dad, will also most likely fall asleep on the couch at some point during the day.

Kristy- My Aunt Suzie’s daughter (not Bill’s). She has two kids (Will and Nathan) who typically don’t come because they spend Christmas with their dad. She sometimes brings a new boyfriend (she has a type- tattoos and piercings with lots and lots of hair gel, who are always super nice) and typically doesn’t bring them back. She is super nice though and is never judgey on anything. She also has really cool tattoos.

Robin and Ed- Robin is Kristy’s sister, who also has 2 kids (Kaylin(the love of my life) and Kira). Robin is super sweet and always wear high heels and dresses super nice, even when the rest of us are wearing jeans. Ed, on the other hand is very conservative, tags liberals in gun photos, and my mom and I have both unfriended him on Facebook. Do not talk to Ed… ever.

Kathy and Gary- Kathy is also my grandpa’s sister and Gary is her husband. The only thing Gary and I talk about is golf. He is always the one to cut the turkey and ham and I don’t know why. Kathy posts a lot of controversial things on Facebook followed by Buddha quotes which really pisses my mom off. No one really likes talking to her but we all have to anyways. She usuallt just talks to the adults but if a child walks in her line of sight, she can and will talk your ear off.

Patty and Mike- Patty is my grandpa’s final sister and Mike is her husband. My aunt Patty handmakes Christmas ornaments for everyone in the family. They take like 8 months for her to make them so we always remember to compliment the ornaments, not that we wouldn’t to begin with (she is very skilled and always makes amazing designs). Mike usually doesn’t come because he either has to work (no clue what he does) or is sick. So most people don’t have to worry about him.

But in the end, anyone under 20 hides in the basement until we are called up for linner (lunch/dinner) so there isn’t much to worry about. We basically spend the few hours watching Emperor’s New Groove and Princess Diaries until we are called up. When the elder people start filing out, we start playing cards and my grandparents start swearing.

Until tomorrow,

Alicia

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Quick College Update post

Hi everyone. So, a couple posts ago, I mentioned that I had absolutely zero clue where i wanted to transfer to next fall. Well this is still the case, but I have a little bit more figured out.

For starters, college. I have been looking into schools for about a month, picking ones with a variety of majors, extracurriculars and good financial aid packages. I had written a list of maybe 15 colleges down that had all of these. Upon further investigation, hearing from other students, etc, I have narrowed my list down to 7, and here’s why.

  1. DePaul University- Lincoln Park, Il: DePaul is a great school that is close to almost everything in Chicago. With a wide variety of extracurriculars. Sports, and majors, it’s basically perfect. The only con is that because of the proximity to my house, my parents are urging me to live at home while I attend. I get saving $15000 and potential loans in ideal, but at what cost?
  2. Ohio University- Athens, Ohio: This is newer on the list so I don’t have an insane amount of reasons why it’s there. The school is great, they have everything I need and more, plus  I Wouldn’t have to live at home…
  3. Xavier University- Cincinnati Ohio: Xavier is still high on my list because it was my second option for schooling the first time around. It’s a beautiful quaint campus with an impressive track record on all things academic. My only issue is it doesn’t have a huge variety of majors so if I want to switch (again) I may be out of luck.
  4. The University of Findlay- Findlay, Ohio: These last 4 are on the list because they have everything I need, some even more. I really want to attend one of the top 3, but if somehow that can’t happen, one of these four will be just as great.
  5. Otterbein University- Westerville, Ohio: These last 4 are on the list because they have everything I need, some even more. I really want to attend one of the top 3, but if somehow that can’t happen, one of these four will be just as great.
  6. Winona State University- Winona Minnesota: These last 4 are on the list because they have everything I need, some even more. I really want to attend one of the top 3, but if somehow that can’t happen, one of these four will be just as great.
  7. Clarke University- Dubuque Iowa: These last 4 are on the list because they have everything I need, some even more. I really want to attend one of the top 3, but if somehow that can’t happen, one of these four will be just as great.

I have asked my dad to let me visit Xavier and University of Ohio soon so that I Can gauge if I want/still want to attend either. I have visited DePaul, however I have not taken an official tour. I want to do and get a bit more information to make a truly educated decision.

Alicia

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Hi friends, this week was mental illness awareness week. Basically, having mental illnesses suck but we need to understand that 1 in 4 people struggle with them and that typically, these people can function in society just like people without.

I always struggled with my mental illnesses since I was in middle school. Now, I am finally coming to terms with them and myself. It’s very unfortunate that I had to struggle with mental illnesses alone for such a long time. I do not want any of you, or anyone ever to have to go through something like this alone.

Recently, I started following the instagram @wearyourlabel which is basically a clothing store that tells you it’s okay to not be okay. This instagram sells shirts with slogans such as “self care isn’t selfish,” “you are enough,” and “anxious but courageous.” I really like all of them and in order to prevent impulse buying each of them, I am holding off until I can narrow down until there is only one I am absolutely in love with.

After I started following wear your label, another instagram account @buddyproject. Intrigued as to what the ‘buddy project’ was all about, I followed them back and took a look at their website. Basically the buddy project is a project started by Gabby Frost. Gabby’s mission was to pair people as buddies while raising awareness for mental illnesses.

I really think that the buddy project is a great organization and kudos to Gabby for thinking about it. It’s very easy to sign up for a buddy. All you have to do is share you name, twitter handle, email, and share what a few interests are and bam! You’re signed up. I’m not sure how long it will take to get my buddy, but when I do find out, I’ll be sure to let you all know. I also recommend everyone suffering from mental illnesses or those wanting to be more aware of mental health in general, to take a look at either wear your label or buddy project.

Have a great weekend and Always Remember to be Aware of Mental Illnesses. I didn’t write 2 essays and three speeches about them in college for nothing

Alicia

Addicted… to Social Media

Hello all. Today, I was browsing the snapchat discovery page and saw a girl gave up social media for a month and discussed her overall experience, pros, cons, etc. I have seen many people (not really.. Only about 5) give up social media and then write about their overall experience. What struck me in the article I read today, was that she discussed reasons why she went back on social media… No one, other than this one obviously, has discussed why they returned to social media, only the pros of giving it up. All of these people, including myself, did discuss why social media is controlling, frustrating,etc, but I realize I never mentioned, in depth, the reasons I didn’t bid adieu to social media forever. So, I figured I would give a few pros to social media, and revisit a few of the cons as well.

Pro #1: Keeping up to date on what your friends/family are doing.

I follow over 500 people on instagram, about 300 on twitter, have over 1000 facebook friends, and probably 150 or so snapchat amigos as well. Social media gives me the opportunity to keep track of what they’re doing with their lives. Obviously, I hear big events from people I am close with via text, phone call, or face to face encounter. However, random things, like cool concerts, adventures, and other random things that I may think are cool are not always brought up. While not everything I see or read on social media about people is life changing, I do like seeing when people I am close with, or even simple acquaintances are having a blast in their lives.

Con #1: Political Posts

These are the reasons I still don’t have the facebook app downloaded on my phone. POLITICAL POSTS. Yes, I post my own, almost everyone I know posts something political every once in awhile. A girl has blocked me for my liberal posts and when I see people who are so intolerant and unaware of the state of our country it makes me want to vomit. I totally understand that people have their own opinions, no matter how much sometimes they make me cringe, but being as ass to someone for their views isn’t something I’m too keen on. And when people have the audacity to bring their Donald Trump bullshit onto MY POST I draw the line right there and will drag them into the dark depths of republican hell… Hillary Clinton-ville.

Pro #2: Memes/filters/fun

You are lying to me if you say that putting on funny alien faces and having fireworks pop out of your face on snapchat isn’t funny. Despite the terrible Harambe incident, the memes are chuckle worthy. Whenever I go on social media I am bombarded with memes, stupid filters, and videos of funny people doing funny things. I could spend hours on vine looking at people talking about their croc tattoos, random dancing videos, and cats doing actions that hysterically correlate to songs. If I had to thank social media for one thing, it’s making me laugh until I am crying and my stomach hurts on a daily basis.

Con #2: Take up time when could do something productive

My favorite thing to do is going on twitter and seeing people tweeting about how much homework they have, or how many tests they have to study for. WHY ARE YOU TWEETING IT WHEN YOU COULD BE STUDYING? Maybe I should practice what I preach. Whenever I am trying to get out of doing work, I immediately grab my phone and press the twitter app. All of a sudden it is an hour later, and I have scrolled past countless tweets, videos, and photos and have yet to write that 5-page essay. Hmmmmm. It is nice to check a few times a day, but when there are more pressing issues, such as homework that can’t complete itself, social media can be quite the menace.

Pro #3: Being independent of your phone

My phone was always sort of a safety blanket for me. Any ‘awkward’ moment I found myself immersed in, I would immediately pick my phone up, like today when my avocados dropped out of my cart and I didn’t notice and had to wait for a lady to go “Miss, you dropped these!” from 50 feet away. I immediately thanked her and pulled my phone out, mindlessly scrolling through in order to forget the situation that had just occurred.

Whether I would be walking to class, waiting for our professor, standing in line at the grocery store, any moment of silence I would pull my phone out. I still do that, less frequently, though. I don’t know if I’ll ever be 100% independent from my phone and comfortable enough to not pull out my phone in any awkward moment of my life, but I am starting to be more independent from it, and I don’t need it attached at my hip every second of the day anymore, which is a start.

Con #3: Rude people

I know this is a bit more popular when you have quite an instagram following, but cyber bullying is a real thing, even if there are quite a few people who seem to think it isn’t a pressing topic. I have personal experience on this and I know many other people do as well. Rude people are everywhere and it’s a shame that people hide behind computer screens to show hatred. I know you can go on private and block people blah blah blah, but if people really want to talk shit, as unfortunate as this is,  they will find a way.

 

Ther you all have it. A social media review from both sides. Hope you all enjoyed this post and the fact that I’m getting back in the swing of things and posting more frequently.

Until next time

Alicia

October 1st

Happy Halloween! well not really, but it is October 1st, so it basically is the same thing. If Christmas gets the entire month of December and half the month of November (Also i have already seen Christmas decorations and it was only September so Christmas sort of gets the last third of the year), So, Happy Halloween!

That literally isn’t even what this post is about. October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, it was also VeganMania in Chicago, but I had to babysit for the entire duration of the event so I unfortunately couldn’t attend. I also missed a goat walk, so that was probably the worst part.

Anyway, I have decided to go back on my journey through veganism over the past year and see what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed.

I remember vividly, my first night of college, my roommate and I went to Chipotle. I ordered chicken on my burrito bowl and my roommate looked disgusted at me and said “Chicken? You know they kill them right?” And I sat there, unfazed, as I continued to spew my order to the guy behind the counter. And here I am, a year later, yelling at the man in the chicken commercial who brags that their chickens are organic and cage free.

While I mentioned in one of my most recent posts that I had been a bad vegan, I have been. This journey has been long, grueling, however rewarding. I have no shame that for my first 18 years of my life, I lived on mac and cheese, grilled cheese, chocolate milk and bacon! Then my roommate has me watch forks over knives, cowspiracy, and other random videos about animal abuse.

Then, I went full vegan. Something not many people do all at once. Most people I know go vegetarian first for a few years, and then if they’re feeling outrageous, they go vegan. I however, cut animal products cold turkey. It has been a struggle, a rewarding one but a struggle nonetheless. I really feel that I should have transitioned slower, and maybe I wouldn’t have ‘cheated.’ I didn’t, and am learning how difficult this is.

I understand that this isn’t cheating, technically, because I am the one who is doing this. I am in this by myself for myself and for the animals.

I have been trying my best to remember why it is that I started the transition to veganism. I am doing it for the animals. I am doing so that 100 less animals are killed every year, and that despite all of the animals killed and tortured, it won’t be because of me.

Today, a year later, here I am, struggling but doing very well at it. I wouldn’t consider myself full vegan because I have slipped up a few times, but I am trying. Today, I am 30 pounds lighter, happier, crying whenever I see farm animals that were saved, and yelling at every chicken commercial I see. I really needed to write this post, for myself, to show how far I’ve come, and to shoe how far I need to go. I am doing well, but still have a long way to go.

So, happy world vegetarian day. Go vegetarian. Then vegan!

Alicia

Family Visits

Hi everyone, last weekend, my aunt and uncle made the venture out from Phoenix Arizona to come to visit me here in San Diego. I am so thankful that they are close enough where they can visit me for fun and get to me if something were ever to happen. Also, the fact that she’s super cool and I get to live with her in the fall is a plus. The two of them  Her came out last Friday night, picked me up Saturday morning and dropped my back off at my dorm mid morning on Sunday.

We spent the day traveling to different breweries in San Diego (a hobby of my uncle’s) among walking along the beach, checking out some stores on the coast, and finding come cool places to eat which also served vegan food. We also went on a little walk at Torrey Pines, the golf course. While my uncle and I were in awe of all of the people who get to play there and how amazing playing there would be (however if you aren’t local the $350 to play a round makes me question so much), my aunt just wanted to take a few pictures.

After visiting countless breweries (literally… I lost count after 5) and eating super yummy food, we returned to the hotel my aunt and uncle were staying in. My uncle passed out in bed in a mere 10 minutes and my aunt and I went to see Deadpool. 10/10 would recommend, however there is an R rating for a reason, so keep that in mind. But I absolutely loved it and would 100% go and see it again.

They were ‘kidnapping’ me, my aunt said and making me stay in their hotel with them.  However, the fact that I got a queen size bed, a private shower, and no need to wear shower shoes, I sure as hell will take that. Honestly, as much as I love going far away for college, the one thing I hate are the showers. I would go home for just a weekend to simply take a shower in a private bathroom, with no fear of someone going in and stinking up the entire room, and to see my dog of course.

Alas, they had to get back to Phoenix Sunday morning… you know work and school taking over out lives once again. So after my well rested night in a huge bed, and a nice shower with no shower shoes, we got breakfast and they dropped me off back at the dorm to attend to laundry and all of the homework I seemed to have forgotten existed after my day full of fun the day before..

So, I will be seeing them again soon, well not super soon but Mid May, after finals. My dad is flying to Phoenix, driving my aunt’s car out to San Diego to move me out and then drive back to put all of my stuff in my NEW ROOM IN MY AUNT’S HOUSE. That’s so crazy. Update on all of that, my cousin who lives with my aunt has a room sort of separate from the rest of the house. He is moving out of the house in a month and that will become my room. So, if I ever get home after they go to bed, I won’t have to worry about them being woken up and I can have my privacy and keep my business to myself while still living with them and being able to have puppies, free food, and family close by. So, it’s nice and I am excited for the fall.

Well, talk to you all soon. Hopefully Thursday.
Alicia.

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