Thanks, Birth Control.

Let’s get it on!  I’m going to educate you.

Gotta let Kim and Kanye do Kim and Kanye.

Gotta let Kim and Kanye do Kim and Kanye.

That sounds condescending, but seriously. Here are just a few statistics that you should know.

Facts:

  • Only 38% of girls who have a child before they’re 18 graduate from high school.
  • Teen childbearing costs you and all your fellow taxpayers $9 billion per year. Annually. Perennially. $9 billion. Seem like a lot of money to anyone else?
  • 7 out of 10 pregnancies to women in their 20’s are unplanned.

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Better to GIVE Than to Receive

It’s the most wonderful(-ly selfish) time of the year.

You just finished stuffing your face with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, not to mention that you had pumpkin pies out the wazoo. Post-Thanksgiving meal, you then ran to Best Buy to finally use your jiu-jitsu skills on the poor fool who jumped in front of you in line for that flat-screen. You spent 7 hours of your life and 50% of your paycheck buying things that you don’t need, nor do the family members you so well-meaningly bought them for.

Hey- I’m not judging- I did it all too. Well, not the jiu-jitsu part, but I did go shopping for hours on Black Friday. Then came Cyber Monday, where we browse Walmart.com for “huge deals and savings.” Like all of the uber expensive items at Walmart, the most inexpensive store in all of America, got marked down 75%.

But now comes Giving Tuesday. I talked to both my mom and my boyfriend, and neither of them knew that Giving Tuesday was a thing. Hence why I’m writing this for everyone else who hasn’t heard of it. Giving Tuesday, better known as #GivingTuesday because we’re a Twitter-friendly society, is just a day to give back. If you’re reading this, it means that you have internet and a computer. Or an iPad. Or a smartphone. So you can afford to give to someone in need.
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Sex, Love, and Marriage

Some light topics to discuss at your next dinner party, eh?

Or never. Never at all. We tend to shy away from topics like these (in general small-talk conversations, at least) because they’re personal. Sex, love, and marriage are all major, life changing subjects: they reflect the most intimate parts of your life. So it makes perfect sense that we hesitate to share our thoughts on the matter, much less our own personal experiences. I did exactly that. Until I signed up for Honors Seminar 370: Becoming Sexually Healthy.

There were great reviews about the professor on ratemyprofessor.com, students said it was a good class, and I needed those three honors credits. So, indeed, I signed up for a sex class at Towson University. Right now, you’re probably doing what I did before class started– reducing it to that tiny box of “physical sex.” The class has been so much more than just that (thank goodness…it can be preeetty uncomfortable talking about some of the topics we discussed– I won’t even go there.)

We’ve talked about sex, love, and marriage, along with parenting, body image, gender roles, and more. It’s been enlightening, to put it in a broad term. Luckily, I’ve had a wonderful counterpart for more than 4 years now, so the lessons I’m learning about relationships and, most importantly, marriage, are not falling on deaf ears.

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I’m Enough.

I came across this video on Facebook, and it really moved me. Women stand in front of an interactive mirror, and the results are amazing.

If you’re a woman, watch this video and take it to heart. If you’re a man who loves a woman—as a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend—take the time to tell her, because I promise that she wouldn’t mind hearing why.

Ray Rice Hit His Wife. The Entire World Has Seen It. Let’s Talk About It.

Why is it that when TMZ releases a video of Beyoncé’s family in a “private moment,” it’s a travesty, but when they release a video of Ray Rice’s wife in the exact same scenario, it’s okay?

It’s not, and that is wrong. When the video of Solange and Jay-Z fighting in an elevator was leaked, it was a major breach of privacy. It was invasion. It was a big deal. But yet, when the video of Ray Rice and his wife, Janay, fighting in an elevator was leaked, no one has even brought up the incredible invasion of privacy.

Let’s just get one thing straight: Ray Rice was wrong. What he did was despicable, horrendous, and unacceptable. He should be, and is being, punished. Thousands of people- mostly young boys- look up to him. And his punishment and apology should set the example that domestic violence is simply not acceptable.

I’m a Ravens fan, I want them to win. But more than that, I’m a fan of respectable human beings that honor one another. I care more about raising a generation of men that know how to treat women than about a Superbowl ring or a winning record for a sports team.

(Also: isn’t it amazing what alcohol can bring about? Make wise decisions, people, and you won’t make mistakes that you’ll regret forever.) It breaks my heart that his wife has to deal with this humiliation publicly. I can only imagine how she feels that the incident happened, much less that it happened for the world to see. And now, even more of their private life is being aired on a national platform- and here’s why that bothers me.

Solange, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z are all three public figures. They have all chosen to live life in the spotlight. If they didn’t live life in the spotlight, they wouldn’t have jobs. If they wanted to sue for libel or defamation in a court of law, they would have a much harder time suing than a “normal citizen.” Why? Because they’re defined as public figures, so they’re subjected to more media slander than a private citizen. No, this obviously doesn’t make it okay to release a video of them that isn’t, in fact, in public. It’s still wrong, morally. No one needs to see what goes on behind closed doors.

But why do we, as a society, only care about privacy breach when it affects someone that we call a “Queen?” (Which she’s not. She’s human, and really no more impressive than anyone else.)

Janay is not a public figure. Is Ray Rice? Yepp. Is his wife? No. She isn’t doing anything to put herself in the spotlight. If it weren’t for this incident, no one would know her name. So then why was this video released, if no one cares about her? Right now, everyone cares about Ray Rice. Because they want to shame him. The public is angry with Ray Rice, understandably, but they want revenge. They want him to feel the hurt that he caused his wife. Again, understandably. But once he’s apologizes, been punished, and apologized again, how long can we hold onto anger?

Should we forget that this happened and sweep it under the rug? Obviously, no. But should we take a different approach: an approach that teaches boys, men, women, girls, how to treat others? Not only fighting against violence, both domestic and overall, but also teaching a way of life that isn’t vengeful or full of hate?

As a Christian, I believe that Christ forgives me regardless of my sins. Sins are not ranked on a scale: they’re all equal. But I am forgiven regardless of what I do. And the Bible is clear about how to handle others when they, also, sin.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

The release of this video is shaming Ray. How couldn’t it? He is more humiliated than he was before. A round of applause for you, TMZ. But Janay suffers from this more than Ray does. She is shamed and humiliated and embarrassed more than he is. While he’s re-living the guilt, she’s re-living the pain, the embarrassment, the public humiliation, and the criticism. Their daughter will more than likely see that video one day. Can you imagine how crushing that is for a mother?

As a person, but especially as a Mass Communications/Journalism major, I’m incredibly saddened by the release of this video. It doesn’t reveal anything that the public needed to know. It doesn’t give deeper understanding into an issue. It was released to hurt people. And it did. It hurt Ray, it hurt Janay, it hurt their daughter, and I’d venture to say it hurt everyone that cares about either of them.

Please don’t watch this video. Please don’t encourage vengeful behavior. Please don’t stoop so low. Think about your daughter, sister, friend, wife. Would you want her dirty laundry to be seen by million of people? If the answer is no, don’t watch someone else’s dirty laundry.

For Those With a Love of Sugar

Hello, world! Since you read my blog, you must be literate. And if you’re literate, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be reading my friend Taylor’s blog. She’s narrating for you- in her wonderful, funny, sometimes totally inappropriate way- … Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions: Fail #1

I don’t know what I’m worse at doing regularly: blogging or journaling. Both of the above are on my New Year’s Resolution’s list, which you wouldn’t know, because I haven’t posted in over a month. Whoops. Fail #1. So onto … Continue reading

The Road to My Joan Rivers Epiphany

My friend Andrew asked me to write another blog post, so here, Truong, this is for you!

Well, they took out all my wisdom teeth yesterday.

I hate that my body rejects medicine. I don’t know what my deal is, but my body does not like foreign chemicals going in there and trying to change it. (Weird, right? Imagine that Mother nature knows more than we do! :0) But of course, yesterday after my wisdom teeth extraction, they gave me Percocet. To be honest with you, I felt fine. (Knock on wood) But my mother told me to eat and take the dang medicine.

“You need food in you! You need energy!” Over and over and over. Why. Why, I ask. Why do I need energy to sit on my butt and watch TV. Plus, there are plenty of anorexic people in this world that haven’t eaten in weeks, and they’re still walking around just fine. A day without food isn’t going to do me any harm other than dropping a pant size. (And oh, what a darn darn shame THAT would be, what woman wants that!). But, what validity is there in my argument? I didn’t want to take it, I didn’t need to take it, I didn’t have any pain other than the fact that she was being a pain in my butt. So I took it.

Well, whaddaya know, it made me SICK. Could have told you that one. Please, don’t freak out. I will not be detailing my battle against the pain pills for you, because it was simply gross. But I will say that I did not enjoy getting sick multiple times after getting 4 teeth ripped out of my mouth. The combination of the entire thing was a disaster. I laid in bed last night for hours feeling miserable. Just the feeling of being nauseous can be a killer. And that, my friends, it was.

It only got better though, and I definitely feel very lucky. I only took the one Percocet, and I really didn’t even need it. I’ve taken Ibuprofen I want to say like…3 times, and I’m not swollen or bruised or totally ugly! Okay, well I haven’t showered, worn makeup or washed my face, so I’m probably looking a little rough.But I was expecting much worse from this surgery, and I’m feeling extremely blessed that it’s gone well.

Here is a detailed account of my post-op schedule, because I know you care:

11am: Surgery. Go in, get a needle stuck in your arm, wake up 45 minutes later not knowing what the heck happened.

12pm-1pm: Sit in the car for an hour with gauze shoved in my jaws waiting for my prescription to be filled. Screw you, Rite Aid, it should only take 30 seconds to put 20 pills in a bottle. I was literally drooling blood down the front of my shirt and they’re just taking their sweet time.

1-5pm: Watch TV and put ice packs on and off my face. Actually, it was packages of peas, so it made me nauseous just smelling them as they progressively got more and more thawed out.

5-6:45pm: Sleep. Since I was feeling sick, I decided to try to sleep it off. Which I did, until I got up and tried to eat something (yet again, not MY idea….are you sensing a pattern?)

7pm: E!News! Hello, a girl can’t miss her daily dose of entertainment news. It was the high point of my day. I love me some Giuliana Rancic.  Girl crush to the extreme.

8-9:30pm: Tried to sleep and combat nausea. Losing battle. Enough said.

10-11pm: Watched a documentary on Joan Rivers. Um, AMAZING! I don’t love a lot of language in movies so it was a little cringe-worthy at some parts, but WHAT-A-WOMAN! Joan seems like a tough lady on the outside, but do you even KNOW how kind she is?! She works her little (probably plastic) booty off. She pays for her employees kids to go to private school, how amazing is that. It completely changed my image of her. She also delivers Thanksgiving meals to sick and dying people every single Thanksgiving. How simply generous. Although she can be crude and racy- scratch that, although she IS crude and racy, I have a massive amount of respect for her. Watch the documentary, it’s called “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.” It’s on Netflix. (Thanks babe for letting me hack your Netflix. Love you!)

Yada yada yada, I woke up this morning and watched like 6 episodes of Giuliana and Bill, (I’m also in love with Bill Rancic, he’s the man). I actually ate some food and drank a milkshake. I know, you want to be me right now! I painted my nails, they actually look quite snazzy, I’m totally loving them. I’ve done nothing all day and I’d actually really love to work out.

DON’T WORRY, all you M.D’s out there, I am not going to actually work out. As appealing as some more blood drooling sounds, I will learn to be content sitting here in all my lazy glory watching TV for the next 2 days. And only the next two days! Why? Because I move into my new apartment on Monday. What a week! I’m sure I’ll be documenting my next month plenty, so see you soon, fellow Upper East Siders.

Why, why do I always sign off with a Gossip Girl reference!