That time when I ate the Christmas gift I got for my dad

 

Guys, it’s hard times being a full-time student. Hard-ass, broke times. As far as low life moments go, there’s this one, and this one… and then all the other ones I opted not to share on my blog.

So I had an eventful end of the year and first week of January, such that I had been dragging my feet sending my Dad and his family their Christmas gifts. It’s kind of like a joke at this point, though, as I do this every year and my dad’s birthday is in January so I always send their gifts in January at some point as part of a birthday/Christmas combo in a  ”ha ha I’m such a quirky, lovable, blundering daughter, aw shucks Dad” kinda way.

Anyways, this year my dad, stepmom and half-brother are getting sweet-ass Amazon gift cards, and then on my actual suburban mall shopping trip (because I only ever make one) I picked them up a smallish Hickory Farms meat and cheese holiday display tray. My dad loves these and usually has them around at holiday time, which was what prompted the purchase.

HOWEVER, I bought it the week before Christmas, and in the last month I have become really broke, which I will continue to be, at least until the beginning of February.

Like, frighteningly poor for myself.

As a result of this,  the only thing in my fridge right now is corn tortillas and sriracha.

This is a low moment for me: but…[oh god, forgive me dad] I think I might send their Amazon gift cards as usual,  and keep the Hickory Farms tray…for myself… in lieu of grocery shopping. Even more pathetically, If I’m going to eat it,  I have to remove the festive holiday gift wrapping that I painstakingly* applied.

I mean, I like summer sausage well-enough, and there are amazing things to be done with that block of cheese. I can’t remember exactly, but there may even be some crackers and mustard in there too. In short, this will be the best meal I will have eaten in the last several days because the pasta e fagioli at Temple Law blows, and Raisin Bran Crunch is just not that satisfying.

Plus… I’m out of it.

Ok ok, sorry Dad.  But, #1 you don’t need all that saturated fat, #2 you don’t want me to starve #3  You can still be proud of me because my credit score is  good,  but that is sometimes a result of making hard decisions… like keeping your Christmas present for myself…

You know, when I first started law school I was like “aw yeah law school, I love law school, school is awesome I am enriching my life by enriching my brain and to quote the Lego Movie, everything is awesome!” And then, like three semesters in, all I can think about is how I really miss having a reasonably respectable salary. And how I still have a whole damn year and a half left of this lifestyle and cue perpetual “::sigh::.”

But for the record, law school is important for becoming a lawyer, sure, but it is also important insofar as obtaining life skills– if you choose to make it that, which I do. For instance, I am taking tax this semester. Last semester I took corporations. Now I know more than I ever did about how to best make, save, and use money to further my life goals. By the end of this semester I will know even more. BUT  None of this is helpful to me right now  because I DONT HAVE ANY OF IT.

Still, all I can hope for is that my broke is fleeting, and my knowledge is for life.

In short…sorry for eating your Christmas present, Dad.

I’ll make it up to you Christmas, 2016.

 

* I suck at gift wrapping, it was only painstaking because of the pain at stake from prospective paper cuts.

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Happy in Twenty Fifteen

i told myself i had to write because i’ve been wanting to write but i’ve had nothing specific to write about. so I’m just going to write.

The other day the following thought occurred to me: If you have never experienced profound sadness are you capable of experiencing happiness? Which is to say, do you have to know one to recognize the other?

I’m pretty sure the Puppy Lady, for instance, has not experienced true sadness.

She’s never been hungry, abandoned, abused or not doted on. And to me,  she seems like a pretty happy lady. Well, to me, she is both pretty and pretty happy, actually.  However, if someone had kicked her once would she be even happier now?

I think I’m happier now, having been sad. But it’s a fragile happy, its a scared-that-the-rug-could-be-ripped-out-from-under-you-again-at-any-moment type of happy. My happiness is qualified by knowing first-hand that happiness can be fleeting. which, frankly kinda sucks, because I’d prefer to just be joyous with abandon…like how I imagine the puppy lady feels when I give her a baby carrot. But, on the other hand, since she’s never been kicked is her happiness as rewarding as mine, having myself been kicked? (Metaphorically speaking…and kinda not). I just don’t know.

so I had that thought.

But the whole notion and commercialization of happiness irks me anyway.  Too many sellers of too many products convincing people that they deserve to be euphorically happy at all times. This is absurd because unqualified euphoric happiness does not exist unless it is designer drug induced. But I feel like so many people throw things (and people and experiences) selfishly away in pursuit of some ideal of happiness that exists as much as a unicorn horn made of diamonds and unobtanium.  Resolved never to take things and people and experiences for granted again, I have devised my own formula for happiness.

Happiness = absence of sadness and abject boredom.

So if you are not actively sad, or very bored, you are probably happy.

I had that thought too.

Also, I can’t fucking believe it is 2015. This essentially means that I have been an adult for 15 years. I feel just as young as I did 15 years ago, but I think and feel more coherently and rationally. Lots of self-involved introspection and, ironically enough, selfish happy-chasing has gotten me to that point. So maybe selfish happy-chasing has a place in all of our lives after all, because I don’t for a second regret what I have or where I am. But maybe its best served to those under 30.

Let me amend my formula.

If you were born on or after January 1, 1985:

Happiness =  meditating at an ashram, smoking mushrooms in the mojave, slurping fireball out of a strippers bellybutton, quitting your lame job to focus full-time on your script, or whateverthefuck.

If you were born prior to January 1, 1985:

Happiness = all of the above aformentioned things as long as you are not hurting or neglecting anyone . But in the event doing those things would be selfishly hurting/neglecting someone, its keeping perspective that as long as you’re not sad or incredibly bored, you’re actually not doing too bad.

And not doing too bad is happy.

 

 

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Awe Skeet Skeet

Does anyone else find themselves getting embarrassed when listening to graphically sexual lyrics in pop songs?

Because I do.

I made this playlist on Spotify called Early Aughts Rap Music not too long ago and it’s really perfect for treadmill time. However, my face is often way redder than it should be and not because of physical exertion.

Dirty lyrics make me uncomfortable. Even when I’m listening by headphones, in treadmill solitude. They make me feel dirty. Like not offended, necessarily, but, like, voyeuristically dirty.  Am I alone in this?

My principal conundrum, though: The songs are so damn catchy! Also, I need a good beat, and I know I run harder when Kanye tells me to.

Meanwhile, I’ve been starting to feel detrimentally naive lately. So in an effort to stop being such a prude here is my list of  top 5 dirty-songs-that-totally-shocked-me-but-I-should-get-over-it.

1. “Work It” – Missy Elliot

Have you heard this lately, it brings me right back to 2003. I don’t remember in 2003 ever listening to the lyrics that intently, though (with the exception of “itsyurmfenimippetplanyadcomo”). At any rate,  she a freak.

2.  “Get Low”- Lil Jon, et. al.

No, you may not play with my panty line. What? What kind of sense does that even make anyway? Gross. This song is also very misogynistic so I struggle with that, especially because I’m using it as work-out motivation, which, I can say, I 100% do, so as to avoid being unattractive to the opposite sex. Health schmealth. That’s probably another blog post though: How Woman-Hating Pop Music Whipped My Weak-Ass-Woman Ass Into Shape. And other lows. By Carrie Stardust

Coming soon or never.

Moving on…

3. Boom Boom Boom – The Outhere Brothers

NO Way-O. I remember being at dance class doing kicks across the floor to this song. Well, to the RADIO EDIT of this song. Have you ever heard the real lyrics to this song, though? The one that decidedly does NOT say “put your arms around me, girl and your kisses on my face.” Oof.

4.  The Seed 2.0 – The Roots.

Is there a metaphor I’m missing from this song? Or, like, is it just about sex? I really hate the word  ”bush”, except when it comes to Kate.

Kill me, I just said “bush”.

5. That Khia song which shall not be named

Guys. This song is not even on my playlist, and I don’t think I’ve ever made it for a full-listen through before I get all squealy and have to turn it off. But you know which one it is.

You all know.

Honorable Mentions to anything by that dirty whore, Peaches.

Ultimately, I don’t know why the cultural and creative expression of other artists should make me feel embarrassed, but it does.  I don’t like looking at Georgia O’Keefe paintings, either. I hope to get over this at some point.

Until then, I’ll stick to BOB by Outkast. Hands down best treadmill song ever, no shame required!

 

 

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On Weirdness

 

Its hard to find an image that can truly encompass what it means to be weird, but at least that one is entertaining.

Yesterday I went to Bosu Ball class at my gym. Today, I’m sore. They put you on this stability ball and make you jump around and almost twist your ankle a gazillion times, and then you can’t move the next day. The instructor for the class was this cute little blonde girl,  like 19 or 20, and I heard her say to this other girl after class that she really “loved Iggy.” For the splitest of seconds I thought she meant Iggy Pop, and for the splitest of seconds I was really, really pleasantly surprised. I forgot there was a top-40 pop singer out now named Iggy too. I guess it was because I read this book over the summer about the punk scene in the 70s and 80s so the Stooges have more top-of-mind awareness for me.

How totally fucking cool would it have been if this cute, little blond girl who is probably in a sorority and does squats like its nobody’s business also loved Iggy Pop?  I don’t even like The Stooges that much, I just really love it when people transcend the boxes I have a tendency to put them in.

Unfortunately, she didn’t.

I have hipster boxes, manic pixie dream girl/guy boxes,  dumb dude/dudettebro boxes,  smart dude/dudettebro boxes, nerd boxes, punk boxes, transient loser boxes, etc, and rarely does anyone ever surprise me anymore. A lot of the people in these boxes will self-identify as weird. However, most of these people have all the same interest and hobbies you would expect from someone in their respective box, which is not weird. Like, if you’re in a manic pixie dream girl box and you love cat picture books, ceramic figurines and indie rock you’re not fucking weird, you’re predictable. If you wear doc martens when it’s 100 degrees out and collect vintage records, you’re also predictable.

The Point Is: People tend to adopt the style and hobbies/activities of the (counter) culture they want to be associated with. That is not weird. In my experience, the people that are truly, organically weird you might box in as a standard nerd or a dude/dudette bro. You’d never be able to pick them out in a crowd. And they definitely don’t fit in any counter culture box, mainly because those boxes are all about the need to “belong.”  True weird is not about belonging at all, or making a statement, or being perceived in a certain way. True weird has no agenda.

For instance, hands down the weirdest person I’ve ever met is my best friend MattyV. He; obsessively follows entertainment award shows, fantasy football, and Disney World, is startlingly devoid of shame, screeches the hell out of Janis Joplin at Karaoke, and he goes to protests even when he doesn’t know what people are protesting because he likes big groups of people and solidarity.  That description does no justice to the true extent of his weirdness, but the best thing about it is you would never guess by looking at him. His weirdness is organic, hence it doesn’t need to be broadcasted.

Meanwhile manufactured weirdness exists solely to be broadcasted, and is generally not weird at all. Like Bronies. Do you think that all of these dudes discovered a tremendous passion for My Little Pony independently, unaffected by outside influence?  That would be organically weird. However, I’m willing to bet they wanted to be passionate about something, wanted to feel like a part of something, and someone they looked up to was passionate about My Little Pony. Hence, they are now full-blown Bronie, too. To me, thats how counter-culture works. Is that narrow? Bronies aren’t weird, they’re just followers who needed to fill their time, and, I guess, don’t like sports.

No But The Real Point Is: I don’t think that what most people associate as “weird,” is really that weird. What really makes someone weird is that they don’t fit into any box, cliche, or stereotype. But because society is so concerned about fitting in and not standing out, most people are content to find the box they like best and live in it. This is why people are so dull.

Also, I am a misanthrope.

 

 

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Instagripe

Hey Instafriends, it’s one thing to take a selfie when you think you look great, or are doing something cool. It’s completely another to stop someone on the street and ask them to disregard whatever they are doing to take a picture of you so that you can post it; even if you’re sun salutation-ing on a mountain, even if you’re flouncing down a busy street in new shoes, even if you’re looking bored in front of Tiffany’s with pearls and a croissant.

I kind of think it’s rude. But it also peaks my curiosity…

Do you just ask randoms to photograph you? And fuck, isn’t that embarrassing?

Here’s the scenario I picture in my head…

Instafriend 1 at Starbucks calls out to the barista: “Hey! Yeah you! Can you take a picture of me staring off into the distance, sipping this espresso? Make sure you get the title of the book I’m reading in the shot!”

Like, I’m pretty proud of how lawyerly I look today — I’m dressed in a business suit, in the lobby of a nice hotel, with legal pads and manila folders in disarray around my workstation. Should I ask the other intern to walk about 10 feet away and take a picture of me from across the lobby so I can properly document this instamoment? Yeah, no, I don’t think so.

My one experience with this was on a police academy tour. This girl put on all this SWAT team gear and then asked me to take a picture of her, I obliged, and she offered to take one of me with my semi-automatic weapon so I let her. I mean, she offered right? That’s different than just asking someone. After all, it’s not every day I look this threatening:

 

But, hey, maybe I’m misinterpreting this. Perhaps my instafriends are just swarmed by people who like to chronicle their every move?

Like Lindsay Lohan… if you check out her instagram account, clearly, she has a whole team just taking pictures of her to post—Look it’s Lindsay on a boat, Lindsay’s in the air,  here’s Lindsay in the Prada dressing room,  there’s Lindsay not being a working actress, etc etc etc.

My new year’s resolution was to take more selfies, only so I could remember how unwrinkled my face once was, but I just do not have the gall to ask someone to take pictures of me doing things, no matter how image enhancing they might be on instagram.

 

Oh wait.

 

*Photo Credit: Intern Charles

 

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Spinning

 

 

I had a dream last night that I gave birth to two sets of newborn twins, and a toddler, all at once. Like, over the course of one evening I became a mother of five. The children’s father ( my husband?)  was 5’3″ and from some indeterminate Central or South American country.  He didn’t speak,  but he smiled a lot.

I distinctly remember thinking in the dream that I had thrown away my life, and was now permanently stuck with five babies and a grinny latin mini-husband.

But, because I was stuck–I was stable.

My takeaway from this dream is that I am sick of change, and need to find a stable situation.

Just not that one.

Looking back, I guess it’s been a pretty chaotic five years.

I wrote on my law school admissions personal statement that by the time I was 12 I had lived in 13 different residences. Well it just occurred to me that in the last five years, I’ve lived in six different residences.

The cycle continues… Fuck, I’m my mother… etc., etc. Damnit.

Seriously though, my life right now, is vastly different from what it was a year ago, which was vastly different from what it was the year before that, which was vastly different from what it was the year before that, and so on, since like 2008.

Which makes me terrified that I purposely eschew stability because it makes me feel “stuck.”

I crave it now, but I’ve thrown it away before. In 2008, oh, I had some stability… but by 2009 I was like “nah” and plunged headfirst back into chaos.

I don’t regret it, but I do worry that I made that decision— not because I was young, free and 25, as I tell myself,— but because that decision is just who I am.

For instance, in 2013 I had a solid, stable career. But similarly… I was like “nah” and plunged headfirst into legal memoranda, instead.

Im afraid that somewhere in my subconscious’ dictionary:

Stability –  [stuh-bil-i-tee] (noun)  dry rot.

Or… maybe, I was just in my 20s–( clearly, my favorite way to rationalize, like, anything)

I’m 31 now and I guess its a good sign for the latter that I have been perusing real estate listings lately. Nothing says permanence like home ownership.

Right now, I want one address. No, I want ONE COUCH at one address that I can sit on, forever and ever.  Right now.

If I had that, I wonder if I’d throw it away too. I really shudder to think that my whole life could just be this exhausting tumult that I’ve been living in because I am incapable of being content with anything else. Yikes.

However, here’s the thing about change though, its the only constant. And sometimes you don’t choose it, it chooses you.  I can’t help that, obviously. But at a time when I don’t even recognize my life from one day to the next, the decision to stagnate with a house, five babies and a tiny Mexican mute to call my own doesn’t sound so bad.

…Right now.

 

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Thoughts

People are either vitamins or drugs. Drugs can immediately fill a void, but it’s temporary and it’s bad for you. Vitamins sustain you, although most times their effect is imperceptible.

 

 

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My Plight of Facebook Oppression


I remember in December 2004 when I first joined this whole Facebook thing and it was all about, like, connecting with other people you may not have “met” technically but who were friends of friends, or were affiliated with the same University as you.

I remember in like February 2005 searching “Jesus Christ” and “Peter Griffin” on Facebook and sending friend requests to the one that popped up with the most friends. I wanted to be Facebook friends with Jesus Christ and Peter Griffin, dammit.

It was all so new and exciting back then.

Now…
1. I spend way more time thinking about insignificant people than I should.
2. I spend way more time looking at pictures of insignificant people than I should.
3. I assign far too much meaning to insignificant occurrences or nonoccurrences that transpire on Facebook.
4. People I actually liked at one point I flat-out abhor, if only for their incessant posting, or candy crush invitations (YES I STILL GET THESE, KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF!)

All that being said, I still appreciated the fact that Facebook gave me the freedom to cultivate a lifestyle, and an identity that was not nearly as mind-numbing as the existence I actually maintain. This was a great self-esteem boost. I could check my page and be reminded that no matter what I actually thought about my life, it sure looked like I knew what the hell I was doing.

Success!

But fuck if they didn’t just take that from me too.

I went to edit my profile today to change my name from my current Firstname-Middlename combo, to Carrie Stardust (my new bad-ass Weird Hot alter-ego) and the damn thing wouldn’t let me. I tried several more times but it kept popping up with a box that said Facebook was now mandating that people use their real, legal names and if I really wanted to change my name I had to scan in my government issued id so they could verify it. Or I could input it as my alternate name which would pop up under my REAL NAME like so:

Carrie Elizabeth

(Carrie Stardust)

Well that just looks fucking stupid, and totally de-bad-asses anything cool about Carrie Stardust.

Plus, Elizabeth is not even my real last name, Facebook, I deleted that from you years ago, you dumb whore!

That is my errant hostility coming out on account of realizing that where Facebook used to be about me and you and us, it now blatantly prefers the corporate membership and frankly, my feelings are a little hurt.

I know this because the corporations are the only ones who could possibly care that much about what my real legal name might be. They want to cross-reference my identity with various lists and databases of potential buyers so they can more effectively market their stupid, stupid products. They need my legal name so they can find out my address, my phone number, what brand of deodorant I bought last month, and where I shop for chew toys for the Puppy Lady. That is the only reason that I’m not allowed to be Carrie Stardust or Carrie UnicornGlitter or Old Mother Hubbard or whoever the hell I want to be.

And with that, I think I might be done with Facebook. I mean it only has lackluster appeal anymore anyway. It’s really just a series of redundant buzz feeds, and hoax celebrity deaths. Even the passive aggressive dramatic posts that were always good for a laugh have subsided in recent years. Plus, a smaller number of “real friends” are connected to me via other social media sites that are not so conglomerated or totalitarian.

I really think Facebook is like the new AOL, you know? Everyone was on it, and then, all of a sudden, no one was.

So, in short, I think the Facebook party used to be a blast, but now it’s a totally overbearing bore. And I definitely don’t want to overstay my welcome.

xoxo

Carrie Stardust

Side note 1: Maybe I’m using the party metaphor because I’m still hopeful that I might actually get a real, live high school reunion one of these days.

Side note 2: If you ask me, I think the only place it should be mandatory to use your real legal name is in the comments section of blog posts or news articles, because it will cut down on all the senseless clownfuckery and trolling.

 

 

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Fashion Problems- I started writing this in March but forgot to post until now

 

 

^ If you’re wondering, this dress wins the Oscar for Best Oscar Dress. I love her because when everyone else is wearing Navy, or Tiffany Blue, she comes at you with sky. I think I had legit forgotten this color existed in clothing until Oscar Night. 

Now I love fashion, in fact I have only recently discovered that it is my prime motivation for having an active social life.

Turns out, I don’t really like people that much– I just need an excuse to wear the things I own.

So…yes, I will go to dinner with you… but only so I can wear my new shoes.

That being said I take HUGE issue with a lot of the fashion industry. From an outsider perspective, it seems to be chiefly populated by lemmings, who scurry around assigning way, way too much importance to the things they do, and scoffing at those who have a realistic perspective on where Charlotte Olympia flats fit into the scheme of human existence.

I’m all about work place passion, but unless you’re curing cancer, you’re not curing cancer, y’know?

But that is just mildly ass-chapping. My main frustration with the lemmings is that somehow Terry Richardson is still gainfully employed, and respected by much of the industry, despite the ample evidence that he is a creepy, exploitative sexual predator. ALLEGEDLY…yes.  But I’m fairly certain he’s guilty because a.) his mustache b.) his pervy masquerading as “artistic” body of NOTSAFEFOR WORK

This article infuriated me. If only because back when I was acting more I’ve auditioned for things and been in things where I had to do things that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with.* And its really, really easy to convince yourself that you have to do them in order to be successful. I’ve become so sensitive to this lately, that I’ll watch art films that depict sex scenes between dinosaur Geoffrey Rush and some 20 year old chick and get really appalled. The first thought I have is that Geoffrey is enjoying himself a little too much, and the second thought I have is that the director is obviously living out some sick, twisted fantasy vicariously by including this scene in the movie. And then I get really uncomfortable and feel really bad for the poor actress who felt like she had to do this scene.

Which brings me to the third thought: Men are really fucking disgusting. And the fourth: Women are really easy to exploit.

Terry Richardson just perhaps more so than average, and I, hopefully, less.

*Ahem, Debbie Does Dallas: the Musical, ahem.

 

 

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How to win friends and influence people with cocktails

 

That is such a baiting headline I’m kind of ashamed of myself but moving on…

We live in the age of Facebook Image Crafting, and because of it people seem to think that the best way to earn respect and admiration is to be perfect. Hence, they plaster their social media feeds with filtered images of their perfect relationships, perfect kids, perfect dinners, perfect pinterest crafting projects, etc.

And dude–I’m all about boosting my self-esteem via social media, so I get it. I mean, who really wants to cop to how fucked up and flummoxing life is? Not I, said the millennial.

But when it comes to earning admiration and respect, you’re doing it wrong. Perfection does not garner admiration, it garners jealousy…which, technically, is admiration but with an added pinch of disdain.

Haters be jealous, but if you want admirers you need to have sparing chinks in your otherwise pristine armor. And you need to draw sparing attention to them, too.

Anyways, I’m writing on this subject because basically I’m just really pissed that people still seem to hate Anne Hathaway. She’s a perfectly acceptable actress, she’s aesthetically pleasing to look at, and she is poised and articulate. And, unfortunately,  just a little too put together to be perceived as “real”.

Anne Hathaway is that frenemy you follow on instagram who is thinner and richer (translation: better) than you, and you really fucking hate her because you want to be thinner and richer too.

You are jealous of Anne Hathaway. You can not relate to Anne Hathaway.

Jennifer Lawrence is that friend you follow on instagram who is thinner and richer but curses regularly, drinks beer and falls on her ass.

You admire Jennifer Lawrence. You are just so sure that you and Jennifer Lawrence would totally be besties if you met.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The irony is that I’m almost certain that Jennifer Lawrence’s persona is more “crafted” than Anne’s. Honestly, I think they’re both pretty chill people with half a brain. The only difference is maybe that Jennifer is more comfortable broadcasting vulnerability in the form of embarrassing herself and seeming a little crass. That’s really all…but  that is also precisely why proper Facebook image crafting requires a willingness to be perfect-ish, and then post a picture of a big coffee or spaghetti stain on your shirt because you spilled. This is the social media version of the “Celebrities! They’re just like us!” column in the tabloids.

I’ve simplified this further with a cocktail recipe below.

Thus:

An adoring public cocktail:

3.5  parts elegance

1 part total mess.

Serve slightly inaccessible and chilled but, by no means, frigid.

Feel free to substitute soda for elegance and whiskey for total mess. It’s actually quite metaphorical.

Also, this ratio skewers slightly the higher-brow your public function is. Actresses, for instance, are different than first ladies and diplomats, who should probably max out at .5 part total mess. Still, the money’s in the mess, as long as it’s proportionate.

If you have too much mess people will laugh at you (Tara Reid or that friend you have that posts something like this :”That’s it I’m so over it.”).

And…y’know be thankful either way for, like, the gift of life. Whether you’re more high-flying hated like Anne or adored like Jlaw at least you’re not fucking ridiculous like Kristin Stewart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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