college, Essay, Halloween

NO PICTURES

As I was on a (what would turn out to be over four hours in the rain and two iterations of Taylor Swift’s 1989) drive back from my Boston Halloweekend, I realized – mid-eating a Chicken McNugget – that I hadn’t gotten a picture for Instagram the entire weekend. “Fuck!” I said, mouth muffled by “meat.”

And over the next few hours, as I caught up on all the social media I had missed – all the Halloween Instagrams of people in their various costumes, all the posed Snap stories and (let’s be realistic) Instagram stories – I felt more and more annoyed. I had let a prime social media weekend slip through my fingers like sand, or silk, or (most realistically) me dribbling a basketball.

It was the second time I was in Boston in October, and I had – on both occasions – made a plan to take a cute Instagram with my friends and completely forgotten. It’s a sober truth, I’ve realized, that when you’re a freelance writer-journalist (slash full-time inspiration and model), your chances for taking cutely candid Instagrams are severely limited. Either I’m working, writing, sleeping, eating, watching Netflix or doing some combination of the aforementioned. And unless my followers want endless versions of my dog with the exact same photo filtering (I do an opaque shadow, get used to it), there’s a limit to the content I’m naturally coming into contact with.

Getting an Instagram is more than an exercise in vanity. This might be dumb – do you know me? – but social media is as much a cultivation of personal branding as it is to remember moments. I want to work in media, and understanding various social media platforms, and being active on those platforms, is important to me. And in a post-grad world where I’m a very small fish in…the ocean? A galaxy? It helps me feel connected to the larger world. And yes, I use those photos for Tinder. Sue me.

Before I came up to Boston in the beginning of October, I texted my best friend. “We have to take a photo together.” She agreed (she loves photos of me). But with the time constraints of balancing family and friends, we forgot. I spent my hours with her, and my other friends, drinking at our favorite bar, hanging out at home, getting brunch. I drank up their presence like a sunflower; it had been so long since I had seen them in person. And I just missed them. And I didn’t want to miss any of them by separating myself through a screen.

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Books, celebrity, Halloween, Politics, pop culture, social media, television

THE CATCH-UP: 9/18-9/25

This is a new little column I’m starting. I read a lot (a lot, a lot) and there are often some great articles and videos that I stumble upon during my week. I thought I would create a space to round them all together.

The Catch-Up

1. Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Donald Trump Is The First White President”

I love Ta-Nehisi Coates. His writing at The Atlantic is always really beautiful and thought-out and timely. The one thing I will say about this piece in particular is it’s a little dense, so I’m linking an interview Coates did with Chris Hayes here.

2. Vox, “Treating hurricanes like war zones hurts survivors”

“The Strike-Through with Carlos Maza” is one of the great explainer series that Vox does. In this one, Maza dissects the way that the media portrays natural diasters as an “us-versus-them warzone.” He also examines the negative effects of doing so, like painting looting as a much more powerful threat than it actually is, which stops people from evacuating dangerous situations.

3. Dahlia Grossman-Heinze, “Who Did the Real Housewives Vote For?” 

This should be dumb, but I read through this entire piece. Nothing is actually confirmed by the writer except for what the Housewives have already confirmed, but it’s still fascinating. We watch these extremely wealthy women live out their lives every week, and it’s a grim fact to realize their politics might not align with yours.

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Halloween

HALLOWEEKEND 2016, A MODERN POEM

All through the streets of Allston
Liquid-legged collegiates stumble to and fro,
Sexy kittens in frothy black lace
Pursued closely by Greek gods in togas
Modern Daphnes in laurel orchards.

 

And lying in pools of sticky jungle juice
Frozen Eggo waffles quietly thaw
While above their Elevenses make out with Luke Cages
But stranger things have happened than a Netflix Noah’s Ark.

 

If you listen closely, you can hear
The plaintive howling of Basics:
“Tessa, put on your devil horns!
NO ONE WILL GET THAT I’M AN ANGEL
Without those devil horns!”

 

Tessa Tessa Tessa echoes through the cracked asphalt.
And you wonder how Becca will deal
With being a lone angel amidst monsters;
A pre-Fall Lucifer in thigh-highs.

 

Costumes are reconfigured to accommodate the dredging mists
Skimpy fairies become swathed slutty trolls
California surfer boys become J.Crew-flanneled Dartmouth legacies
Leaving behind only Spartans who won’t sacrifice sex for comfort.

 

Candies scatter across coffee tables like teeth
Holdovers from childhood
Sugary hangovers before Tequila called our names
They’re snatched up, eaten ravenously to bring company
To the alcohol already taking up residence in stomachs

 

Mouths hover like moths over mouths
Brushing ears to be heard above the Monster Mash
Tap-dancing along shoulder blades
Stained white from ghostly makeup and red from fake blood

 

The morning light will reveal the cracks on
An unexfoliated face fully mimed-out
But in the warm orange glow, gilding the faces
Of sexy gym teachers and slutty RBGs
Everything is airbrushed and whole

 

As the night stretches thinner than H&M denim
The sidewalks become cluttered with lolling legs
Attached to a coterie of Suicide Squad villains
Harley Quinns and Jokers

 

The anonymity is appealing
The ability to be slutty, or scanty, or arrogant
I’m in a fuckboi tank top but blanketed in the clustered confidence
Of play-acting at something else
Something other

 

But protruding like the starkly contoured collarbones
Is the internal core
Tessa still won’t wear the devil horns
Becca will always ask
The arrogance, bolstered by alcohol and Party City, will submerge back
And pretend to be humble confidence
Ready to reemerge in the next Halloweekend
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Halloween, Humor, Life

LIKE YOU HALLOMEAN IT: COSTUMES, NOSTALGIA & I HATE A LEAF

Written while getting increasingly erratic and jealous of a photo I posted on Instagram of a leaf. It’s somehow gotten more likes than my other most recent photo—me, looking thin—and I actually couldn’t make up how crazy it’s making me. IT’S A FUCKING LEAF, PPL. IS SHE HOTTER THAN ME? IS THAT WHAT IT IS?! WHAT DOES THIS LEAF HAVE THAT I DON’T? IT’LL BE DEAD AND CRISPY IN TWO DAYS. If I were smarter, I would stop giving this leaf promo, but my rage-envy is giving me tunnel vision.

Halloween always stresses me out. As a kid, it was the blinding anxiety of the whole night being without rules. As a gaydult, it’s shifted to the crippling anxiety of trying to find the perfect Halloween costume. Halloween is Gay Christmas (Christmas is Gay Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is just Gay, and the Super Bowl is Gay Arbor Day—no one cares about it and only Beyoncé makes it better). Also, Labor Day is the same in both Gay and Straight.

I can’t remember if I did anything for Halloween in high school. Granted, as evidenced by the photos I’ve been looking at lately, in high school I was cosplaying as a cadaver 24/7 (I was thin, you guys, and not “chic” thin or even “are you okay” thin (my favorite kind of thin) but like “gangly as fuck” thin, which is never a good look). I’m pretty lean now, and it’s only now that I realize there’s a solid difference between “thin” and “lean.”

I thought I was such hot shit in high school—omg the fucking ego I had—and now looking bad, I was literally all bad skin and mile-long limbs and HORRIFIC taste in clothing (I wore decorative scarves all the time). I’m on such a tangent but thinking about how no one gave me an intervention makes me so mad.

Anywayanyway, what should I be for Halloween for my senior year—the capstone four years in the making?

Freshman year of college

I was a “dead pirate” but everyone just thought I was “beat up Where’s Waldo.” Nothing against Where’s Waldo but definitely not what I was going for.

Sophomore year of college

I decided to go as a pun. BIG MISTAKE BECAUSE NO ONE GETS PUNS ON HALLOWEEN. I was “Dick In A Box.” The idea for the costume centered around the fact that I had this outfit that I looked so cute in, and I also had a cardboard box. I hung the box around me from spooky skull suspenders and then put a name-tag that said “Hi! I’m Richard” on the box. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that NO ONE GOT IT. Was I too nuanced? Should I have said “Hi I’m Dick”? What did I do wrong?!

Junior year of college #LondonEdition

The elusive, sexy Halloweekend. On Friday night, I went on a bar crawl through Shoreditch and dressed as Sexy Dead Lumberjack (L.L.Bean boots, short-shorts, red flannel unbuttoned to my navel, gray beanie, and a “slash” across my throat in red lipstick). Saturday I was supposed to be Bob Belcher from Bob’s Burgers, but after my RA thought I was simply in my pajamas, I changed. I did my face in skull makeup (free hand) and drew a tombstone on a white t-shirt, scrawling above it “My Dreams.” I was “My Dreams Are Dead.” Pretty funny and people moderately got it. The highlight of this night was eating duck confit and waffles forty floors above misty London at four a.m.

But so far, I haven’t thought of anything that’s really grabbing me. Here are some potential (actual potential, not like “joke for the blog”) options that I’ve been mulling over:

Fuckboi/No Homo

There’s a subtle difference between a “fuckboy” and a “fuckboi” because a “fuckboi” is secretly gay. Me and my “friend” Nina* have this long-running joke where we morph into what I like to think of as the gay fratty version of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and just riff off each other. Just two dudes who think it’s not gay to fall into the loving embrace of another man. The kind of guys who say “A hole is a hole” and “I’m not gay, but I would totally bottom for Tom Brady.” Just str8boi things.

*I fucking hate that nine-fingered bitch.

Sexy Dentist

I think there has been no greater gift to humanity than the “Let’s Turn Regular Things Sexy” trend. I mean, fire is a pretty close second, but seriously this tops that. As a “joke” (where I float an actual idea but clothe it in humor to avoid being embarrassed) the possibility of being a “Sexy Baby” but the reaction from my focus groups was (probably rightfully) almost unanimous disgust. So that goes in the “Maybe” pile.

But I think being a Sexy Dentist could be hilarious because I love doing the whole “Unsexy Things Becoming Sexy but Doing Unsexy Things.” Like I do this dance at the club called “Sad Stripper” where it’s just me pussy-popping while crying. So as Sexy Dentist, I could wear a too-tight scrubs shirt, short shorts, maybe a mouth thingy, and then just stick my fingers in people’s unsuspecting mouths and ask them questions about school.

Like, a long time goes by.

Okay, so apparently I didn’t have a third potential option, and instead of brainstorming funny ideas just for the sake of having a trio (threesomes are so hard to coordinate, I’ve learned) I went back through my blog and read funny posts. You guys, I was actually funny. What’s happened? Anyway, I can’t even think of a third choice, so let’s just say that those are my two major options. It’s hard thinking of things to make funny. I mean, I’m not funny, so I wouldn’t actually know. I imagine it’s hard though.

Btw, here’s my playlist for Fall 2k16!!!! Last year I put up my Christmas playlist, but I made one for the season of the Dying of the Leaves!! Check it out if you want.

#spookyspooky

#ISTHATLEAFHOTTERTHANME

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