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Misery loves company (a post about diets)

A lot of people seem to be confused about the Facebook post I wrote about going on a diet; they keep asking me why I’m going on a diet, or what my diet is.  I wanted to write this post to clarify what I mean by “diet” and what the purpose is.

I also want to clarify that it is not my intent when I post food things to get attention.  I realize if you guys are thinking that in the first place, me simply stating that it’s not true isn’t going to change your mind from thinking that about me.  So, oh well.
(But actually that’s a really terrible viewpoint.  People with food allergies/intolerances and/or intestinal/digestive problems cannot help it and go through a LOT with each meal they eat.  I don’t know.  It’s kind of a big deal, and it’s a really frustrating/overwhelming issue to deal with.  Just, be considerate.  Thanks.)

Many of my friends already know that I can’t have a bunch of oils (as it stands: canola, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower and palm/palm kernel), and that I have to avoid random foods too.  It took me a long time to pinpoint which foods were causing me problems, and through a lot of trial and error I managed to get my symptoms (which range from constant nausea to debilitating, stabbing pain) to be less frequent and less intense, but all in all still around.

After researching for myself and also talking to a specialist, we concluded that my intestines were, for lack of a better term, messed up.  Without going into all the details, it’s harder for me to digest things because for most of my life I was eating these foods that messed them up.
(sidenote: fun fact, roughly 70% of your immune system is located in your gut. 
a sidenote on this sidenote: your mental health is related to your digestive health, so things like depression, anxiety, fatigue and irritability could actually be related to your food intake.)

SO HERE ARE THE ACTUAL ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS YOU HAVE BEEN ASKING ME:

I. Joy, why are you going on a diet?

Well, friend, it’s not the sort of diet you go on to lose weight.  This is how the internet defines the word “diet”:
“a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.”

I am not doing this to lose weight, as I felt I explained in my status, but apparently wasn’t clear enough about.  I am going on this “diet” for the purpose of getting healthier.

II.  Joy, what do you eat on this diet?

I am so glad you asked, friend! Most of you probably know that my preferred diet includes little to no meats.  However, this new annoying, sadness diet is mostly meat.  I will eventually be doing the GAPS diet, which is full of sadness (although, slightly less sadness than the intro diet; click here for a list of allowed/not allowed foods on the full GAPS diet), but will hopefully make me 100% Joy instead of 68-75% Joy.  For the first few weeks, I will be doing the Intro diet, which is primarily meat and homemade yogurt.  I can’t have any sugar or fruits or happy things.  I’m going to miss cheese.  Like, a lot.

Also, potatoes.  I will miss potatoes.

And Kit Kats.

III.  Joy, how long will you be on this diet?

I’ll only be on the Intro diet for about two weeks.  The GAPS diet is going to last a lot longer though.  I know I’m planning on being on it at least through the end of the year, possibly continuing through to next year.  I’m really going to miss iced coffees from Dunkin, and Outback quesadillas and SUGAR.

I mentioned in my status that it would be great if you guys could be sensitive and not ask me to come to food-oriented events, but if you want to try out a GAPS approved recipe with me, I have some of those stored away for when I’m getting off the Intro diet! Feel free to share in the sadness; misery loves company.


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Significant things about Anna from Frozen that are hidden in her songs

After Frozen came out, everyone and their mom learned the words to Let it Go either by hearing it overplayed on the radio or over-sung by a local small child.  I, on the other hand, learned the words to the majority of the songs on the Frozen soundtrack so I could belt them out in proper Broadway style on exciting afternoons spent home alone.  As I sang For the First Time in Forever for the thousandth time, some things about Anna hit me that hadn’t occurred to me before.  When I went on to sing Love is an Open Door and related that to the other songs, I realized that there are some things made obvious about Anna that you only really see in her songs.  So, here is a blog post about the things that I’ve discovered.

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1.  Do You Wanna Build a Snowman



This song serves the purpose of backstory, as well as a nice we-don’t-want-to-waste-time-watching-them-grow-up-so-let’s-speed-through-it montage.  I didn’t have any “OHHH!” revelations during this song, but I think it’s important, throughout the entire soundtrack, to note how often Anna mentions doors.  It’s a pretty significant factor, and people scoot right by the fact that Anna has been shut in as well as shut out her entire life and knows what the back of a door looks like better than she knows what her own sister looks like.

I’ve also seen some uproar about the idea that Anna wasn’t enraged with her sister for shutting her out and I have a couple responses to that.

A.  She grew up with it.  Her parents normalized Elsa being locked away, and since Anna was a young child she’s seen her sister’s bedroom door shut.  She has faint memories from before that, but honestly, that would’ve been blurred as she grew older.

B.  Anna doesn’t hold grudges.  Ever.  It’s not so much that she’s stupid or naive or forgiving, she’s just not that kind of person.  She’s aware that it takes up too much energy to be that angry all the time (note: Elsa and her fear/anger at her self).

Anna has no reason to be angry at Elsa.  Elsa was locked away by her parents and after they die, Elsa continues to be locked away.  Nothing changes.  There’s no reason for Anna to suddenly hold this against her after they die.  Elsa hasn’t been there for Anna ever, so Anna has no reason to hold it against her.  It’s just the way her life has been.

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2.  For the First Time in Forever



This song is the most important in understanding Anna’s character.  There are a lot of obvious lines that backup what Anna has gone through.  Somehow I missed a lot of the substance of this song the first few times I heard it.  This song is the main reason for this blog post, though, so let’s go through it piece by piece.

The first indicator that Anna has led a quiet, lonely life is the line “There’ll be actual real live people, it’ll be totally strange!”  Anna has hypothetically had maids and servants and other people to socialize with, but she’s had zero people her age and no family since her parents died.  We don’t know how involved her parents were before they died, but it’s safe to assume they were pretty preoccupied with running a kingdom and trying to figure out what to do with their ice-spitting daughter.  This is the first real event happening in Anna’s life; the first time she’ll be around people her age (for the first time in forever I won’t be alone), and although she could socialize with servants/workers, it wouldn’t have been looked upon positively considering her status.  And she obviously could never marry any of them, which brings me to the next point.

This is Anna’s first opportunity to socialize, yes, but it’s also her first chance EVER IN HER WHOLE LIFE of finding someone to possibly love (I know it’s totally crazy to dream I’d find romance, but for the first time in forever at least I’ve got a chance).  I know most everyone loved the realistic take Disney took on the barely-know-you-let’s-get-married engagement between Hans and Anna.  Elsa and Kristoff (who is, by the way, the most reasonable person in the entire film) were shocked and pretty appalled at her naivety and eagerness.  The thing I wish more people realized before laughing off Anna’s enthusiasm and determination in marrying Hans is that she – again – has had zero time to socialize with anyone her age, let alone anyone who would be eligible to marry her.  She’s never even had a friend besides Elsa when she was young (then we’ll laugh and talk all evening, which is totally bizarre, nothing like the life I’ve led so far) and the engagement to Hans actually makes perfect sense when you consider the idea that Anna knows their heritage needs to continue in order for them to maintain control of the kingdom and Elsa is clearly not ever coming out of that room, PLUS Anna is lonely.  She’s super duper lonely and has been her ENTIRE LIFE.  She wants friends.  She wants human contact.  She wants someone to smile at her.  This is legitimately the only time she can ever – EVER – foresee being around anyone at all, so her engagement makes PERFECT SENSE because when would she have the opportunity to find anyone to marry ever again? She clearly doesn’t get invited to balls, and they’ve never even had a ball ever in the eighteen or so years she’s been alive, or at least the thirteen since her memory was messed with.  The point is, this is her only hope at making any friends or life-long companions of any kind so it was actually kind of perfect the way it worked out (I know it all ends tomorrow, so it has to be today), if you ignore the fact that Hans is a complete narcissist with terrible intentions.

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3.  Love is an Open Door



If the reality of what this song title means from Anna’s perspective (as well as Elsa’s) doesn’t punch you in the metaphorical gut, then I don’t understand you.

Hans says, “But with you I’ve found my place,” (probably referencing the jerk move he would later make in the film), but Anna says “But with you I see your face,” which to me originally sounded like a really dumb line meant solely to rhyme.  When I thought about it, I realized the significance a simple acknowledgement from someone Anna cares about would mean.  Elsa has been hiding herself from Anna the entire film to protect her, which Anna obviously isn’t aware of.  But the idea that to her love is an open door is bizarre considering the only love she’s ever known has been a closed door.  To her, Elsa being hidden away is like a wall in their relationship (haha.  it’s literally a wall though.) but to Elsa love is a closed door.  Elsa is showing Anna she cares about her more than herself by locking herself behind a door, but nobody bothered to tell that to Anna.

Later on during the First Time in Forever reprise, we see Anna demonstrate her mindset of love being an open door by inviting Elsa to come back with her.  Love, to Anna, is working through things together – which is probably what her parents taught her.  Love, to Elsa, is keeping your problems and mess away from everyone else – which is exactly what her parents taught her.

Essentially, anything bad that happens in this movie can be chalked up to the King and Queen of Arendelle being really horrible parents.  They abused Elsa, they ignored and isolated both of their children, and they elaborately and deliberately lied to Anna.  The fact that Anna has a skewed idea of what love is is the mildest form of damage that could come out of parenting this bad.

I think it’s safe to say I’m not alone in this theory:

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Reading bingo: books 13-16

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Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (a book set in the future)

I completely forgot to write anything about this book.  My bad.  I did not really enjoy this book.  It was way too long and too dry and too ugh.  The main character went from being annoying to being tolerable to making bad choices and being annoying again.  I don’t like being significantly smarter than everyone in a book.  It just means I can predict every piece of the story and I just read a book about people making really bad choices.  I didn’t really learn anything or enjoy much of this book.  I had to push myself to finish it.  Unpleasant.  I won’t be finishing the series.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (a book set in another world)

This book was on my mental to-read list for a while, probably since college.  Most of my friends had read in and spoke highly of it, and I really liked the movie.  I’d been putting it off for a while and then I saw it at the library (along with the next book on this list) and thought I’d take the plunge.  It was pretty good, overall, which I expected.  It dragged on a bit toward the end – got a bit mathy.  I’m a fan of sci-fi, but I am not a fan of actual science.  So I understand that is a personal issue and don’t hold it against Douglas Adams or this book.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (a book with a break up)

Clearly I am running out of squares.  I’m going to have to be more selective about the books I read in order to try to fill this dang card up.  This was a stretch, considering the break up was tiny and irrelevant, but STILL A BREAK UP.  This book is written in such a fun way; Jesse Andrews has a really unique, self-deprecating style that I actually enjoyed.  He walks the fine line being so complain-y and self loathsome that he’s annoying, but manages to keep it readable and entertaining rather than obnoxious.  I can’t wait to see what else he ends up writing.
(sidenote: what a phenomenal book cover)

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell (a book that made you cry)

I’m lucky this book made me tear up, otherwise I would’ve had no where to put it on this card.  You all know how I’ve had mixed feelings about Rowell: first being completely smitten with her (Fangirl) and then being severely disappointed and bored (Eleanor & Park).  Landline brought me right back to where I was after Fangirl – sonce again I am quite a fan of Rowell and I would like her to write my life into a love story.  Her novels are clearly my outlet for my hopeless romanticism.  I hope she spits out another one soon so I can engulf myself in it (or I’ll probably just go read Attachments…).  Definitely A+ work, especially for the upper end of the YA age bracket (again, sort of a stretch, but I’m counting it as YA since it’s by Rowell who is clasically a YA writer); I don’t tend to enjoy books about older people (cough people my age cough) but I really liked this, despite some lack of relatability.

ALSO, I officially got BINGO upon finishing Hitchhiker’s Guide.  So congratulations to ME.


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Reading Bingo – books 9-12

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As time goes on, my lines are getting less and less straight.

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Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (a book with an epic love story)
I chose this book because of how good I thought A.S. King’s other novel was (Everybody Sees The Ants).  Please Ignore Vera Dietz was more well known and won awards, so I figured it was worth a shot.  It was kind of hard to fall into, but once I got going I was actually really invested.  King writes these stories that have all of these twists and turns, with characters who think outside the box.  I love the way this book was presented.  I love that it didn’t just take place in Vera’s head.  I love that King keeps the world almost completely real but adds in a splash of the supernatural.  I really enjoyed this book.

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Burn by Suzanne Phillips (a book that takes place in a high school)
This was a book I chose because I couldn’t find any books I wanted at the library.  I wanted something to read, so I picked this based on the back cover.  It didn’t say much, but I liked how it was worded/presented (I killed someone today. The thought curls around his brain, picks at it like a piece of flint. His head hurts. Hurts worse than it ever did.  I killed someone.).  It was a good book; I really liked how she dug into the mind of someone being bullied.  It didn’t just scratch the surface; it didn’t say, “talk to your counselor and everything will be okay after that.”  Burn is a realistic approach to bullying and the aftermath of being bullied.  It deals with PTSD, abuse, assault, self-harm, and the anger that goes with being a teenaged boy.

ImageThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (a book with an incredible fight scene)
Apparently I’m just going to end up reading everything Holly Black has ever written.  I’d seen this in the library a ton of times and thought, “What a stupid title.  I’m definitely not reading that.”  I picked it up when I picked up Burn – because I had nothing else to check out and I wanted my literary fix.  I was pleasantly surprised with this book.  At some points I got mad at the characters because they were stupid and melodramatic (this happens quite frequently in YA novels because…duh… but it doesn’t usually frustrate me as a reader).  It was an interesting read; the way Black wrote it was suspenseful and well detailed.  I don’t think I could write something this graphic (I kept finding myself audibly expressing my disgust by yelling “eewww”).  It was definitely very romance-y, so if you don’t like that this book is not for you.  I found myself being sucked into the whirlwind of it, and had a good time despite my distaste for the “vampire” genre.  Black is definitely nestling her way into my “favorites” category.

ImageEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (a book with music)
After reading Fangirl, I was enamored with Rowell and wanted to read everything she’d ever written.  Fangirl made me happier than a book had ever made me; I think because it didn’t make me sad – just happy, the entire way through.  Eleanor & Park was not the same sort of ride, which is fine, but it did come out as being less enjoyable overall for me.  Eleanor annoyed me the whole way through the book.  Park was a solid character and Rowell certainly knows how to write a cute love story, but I was not as enthused or invested as I’d been in her other novel.  Especially reading this right after reading Coldtown; I feel like it lacked some spice.  Still a very good read.  Rowell is a great writer.


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Faith in Humanity #1

As many of you know, I am not a fan of humans.  Because of this general looming loathing for humanity, when something inspires me to have faith in humanity, I log it away to reflect upon at a later time when I have no more faith left in me.  Today I came across one of those things that made me so happy that I wanted to share it.  I also realize it would be extremely helpful to know about this, so I wanted to share it for that reason, too.

Disneyland and Disney World now have free guidebooks geared for people traveling with people who have cognitive disabilities/sensitivities.  The guidebooks feature what to expect when in each section of the park, and have very specific descriptions or attributes listed for each section of the park.  That is to say, if someone is prone to seizures, it would be helpful for them to know if one ride or area would be triggering for them.

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Along with the descriptive section, they also have a FAQ section with helpful insight as to where to go for meltdowns or breaks, the location of family restrooms, how to prepare, and what to bring.  Not everything in this guidebook applies to me personally, but I think it’s super helpful and will use it to prepare myself for when I go to Disney.  Anxiety can be crippling in crowded situations; having this sort of insight into the park layout will be helpful even for that.

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Maybe everyone else knew this existed and I’m just the last to know, but I thought this was fantastic and wanted to share it.  Hopefully it gives you just a little bit more faith in humanity too.

(PDFs of the guidebooks:)

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Disney World guidebook


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Bad shows, good actors.

This round of “Why do bad shows happen to good actors?” is focused on 2 Broke Girls’ Kat Dennings.

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2 Broke Girls started out alright, and has seemed to bottom out somewhere in the category of “pretty lame with 1-2 laughable moments per episode.”  Clearly, people still watch and enjoy this show because their ratings are still high.  I find it irritating that shows with horrible writing and acting manage steady, high ratings, while brilliant shows with genius writing get cancelled or pushed to mid-season (note: Arrested Development; Community).

Personal issues aside, 2 Broke Girls lost its spark.  It gained a new spark with the addition of actor Eric Andre; his chemistry with Kat is fantastic and that pulled the show up a notch, in my opinion.  Kat Dennings is the real selling point here, though.  Her comedy is unique and her delivery conveys her confidence and comfort with who she is.  When gauging her acting and comedy abilities, it’s better to check out the Thor films (especially Thor 2; in my opinion, she was the best part, besides Tom Hiddleston).  To be fair, she has little to work with on this show (writing, acting, storylines, you name it), which makes her shine even more.  With the unexplainable success of this show, Kat Dennings seems to be hurling toward a very successful career while maintaining her uniqueness and individuality.

 


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Top ten reasons I would marry someone for their wealth

As a female, I’ve been taught that I am part of the weaker gender (this is not true by any means, but it’s obviously hard to re-teach an entire society something so widely accepted, but we’re getting there.  anyway…).  Since I was young, I’ve seen movies or television shows or read books about women finding their identity and life’s purpose in marriage.  Some women, I noticed, had their own motives and it seems like – especially in the older stories – women with their own self in mind, married rich in order to live their lives how they wanted to.  Love AND prosperity being impossible, the “wiser” of the women would marry an older rich man, await his eventual death, and then are winners in the end.

Obviously not all stories play out this way, lots of intelligent women marry lovely rich men for reasons other than their money, and lots of men, I’m sure, marry rich women solely for their money.  My point is, because of these things, I’ve actually thought about what I would do if some rich guy was all, “Hey Joy, let’s get married.  I have an indoor pool.”  Here I will share with you the selfish reasons why I would consider marrying someone for their wealth.

10.  Security (aka boring stuff)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have to include the obvious.  Security is important, especially because I’m unemployed.  I could buy houses for my parents, and a house for my cat, and still have enough money to live my life in Scrooge McDuck happiness.  I think this is a nice, noble selfish reason.

9.  Meet really cool fun awesome people
Rich people know famous people.  I don’t really know how; I guess they buy themselves tickets to the Oscars and the Golden Globes and force hilarious celebrities to be friends with them.  Either way, Rich-Future-Mr-Joy totally would be my gateway to Best Friendship with Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick and Jennifer Lawrence and I am so for that.

8.  Do fun things/sell fun things/make fun things
This is kind of a gigantic and vague category.  I would love to just create things as my full time job; collaborating with amazingly creative people to make things that brighten the world.  I wish I could afford to invest all of my time into projects and ideas.  Unfortunately all of my projects and ideas are currently funded by imaginary dollars.

7.  Fancy pools and fancy bathrooms
HAVE YOU SEEN RICH PEOPLE POOLS? THEY ARE THE POOLS OF THE GODS, I AM TELLING YOU.
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On top of that, they have these absurdly amazing bathrooms.  I had no idea bathrooms could be so extravagant – I mean, rich people know what we do in there, right?? WAIT – DO RICH PEOPLE NOT POOP???

ImageThese people bathe in a bowl and shower in what I can only assume is a converted teleportation device.

ImageLooking at these pictures, I can see why murderers always kill rich people in bathtubs.  They are ridiculously incredible, and very hard to get out of.

6.  Absurdly cool houses
If you know me at all, you know I love tiny spaces.  When I was a kid, I used to climb into the cupboards and just hang out there (another reason why I am real-life Harry Potter, obvs).  I never wanted a giant house because large rooms and large places freak me out; I just don’t feel comfortable.  HOWEVER! Did you know a giant mansion could very well be made up of a thousand small rooms? It can and it should be.  And mine would be.  Complete with secret rooms and gardens and that pool we just talked about.  Think of all the bathrooms you could have in this sucker:
ImageImageThe fact that this guy has his mansion in the middle of all that water really speaks to the introvert in me.

5.  Finally being able to afford the clothing I see online
I could finally shop at Free People! I could buy their eerily expensive socks! I could buy those sweaters Lauren Conrad wears! I could hire a personal trainer so that eventually I could fit in the sweaters that Lauren Conrad wears!

4.  Making a difference in the world
Clearly this list isn’t practical, nor is it realistic; if I had all that money, there’s no way I’d blow it on Free People socks.  There are a lot of organizations that I see working and moving and I feel really passionate about some of the causes, but I’m incapable of finding a way in my current state of being to help said organizations.  I would love to be able to help out friends when they need help, and to donate to organizations making a difference in my local area as well as around the world.  There’s something fulfilling in just sending money to people in need.  This would be really important to me.

3.  My own studio
One thing (I think the ONLY thing) I liked about The Vow was that Rachel McAdam’s character had her own gorgeous, giant studio.  Granted, all I currently need space for is small projects and t-shirt making, but I would love to do some balloon painting, or just make paint explosions and spray paint life away.  I love paint.  I love getting it everywhere.  I don’t think anyone I’ve lived with so far shares this feeling, so until I marry Rich-Future-Mr-Joy, this will have to wait.

2.  A big-a** library
We all know Belle wouldn’t have been nearly as excited about the beast’s interests if he hadn’t given her a GIANT library.  I love books.  I love being around books.  I don’t even need to read them, just make a massive pile of paperbacks and let me lay on them.  Can I make another Scrooge McDuck reference? I would love to jump into a giant room full of books and swim around like McDuck in his room of coins.  He endured the undoubtedly incredible head injuries; I can endure the paper-cuts.

1.  Traveling
As a youth transitioning into older youth, I’m realizing how much of the world there is and how I’ve seen about two smidgens of it.  I’ve never even been out of North America.  Rich-Future-Mr-Joy and I could go all over the place.  We could go to EVERY Disney establishment! We could go to Cappadocia! We could go see that Adventure Time train in Taiwan! We could go to that light festival I’m dying to go to! We could go anywhere, and we would and it would be great because that’s what rich people do.

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ImageWhen I first started this list, I was totally joking.  Now I’m not so sure.  It would be super handy to marry a rich guy.  If one stumbles across my path and I stumble across his, HERE’S HOPING IT WORKS OUT.  I’LL GIVE YOU ALL FIVE DOLLARS.