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… And A Happy New Year

31 Dec

I’ve seen a lot of people posting on Facebook and Twitter saying things like “Thank God the year is over”, “2013 can suck it”, “Can’t wait to forget the past 12 months”. And I remember seeing the exact same statements last December.

There have been many moments where I felt like saying the same thing… 2013 has definitely given me some low moments. I lost two of the most important people in my life. My grandfather who passed away over Thanksgiving weekend, and a (sometimes it seems like it is still ongoing) breakup with my boyfriend of 5 years which still leaves me crying in the shower. I’ve dealt with pushy co-workers, painful and regrettable hookups, (un?)explainable weight gain, and a serious knee injury that will carry repercussions well into 2014. Oh – Let’s not forget the obscene amount of money that I now have to spend on rent, student loans, and insurance…

But I’m also not blind to the fact that 2013 gave me plenty of reasons to smile. I was offered an incredible job that will provide nothing but amazing opportunities for my future. I moved out of my mother’s house to a brand new city with my own apartment. I met incredible friends – some of which I started a kinda cool blog with. And I’d like to think that even though I have plenty of immature stories to recall, I’ve grown up quite a bit… Not to mention the fact that I have discovered the world’s best burrito place.

So how do I describe 2013? Should I be cynical and angry about all the negativity that has encompassed the year, or do I blindly look at only the positive milestones? I think the answer, dear readers, is to look at it for what it is. A year.

2013 isn’t black and white. We can’t just look at an entire 12 months from one perspective. We’re young adults now. There will no longer be any years where only good things or only bad things seem to happen. We have a real-world life to deal with – bright careers that will undoubtedly have their failures, funerals and weddings, heartbreaks and hopeless love. Things just aren’t simple anymore. And eventually we must learn to accept that for every lovely memory that we hold in our past, there will be an equally sad one on the other end.

We have just a few more hours until 2014 begins. What does that really mean? Not much. When we get down to it, January 1st is going to be no different than today. It’s a New Year, but in all honesty, it’s just a new day.

So raise a glass, dear readers. To an entire year that you’ve made it through, and a brand new one that is waiting around the corner. Yes, I’m happy 2013 is over, because it was rough. But it was also strangely beautiful – as every year moving forward should be.


Happy New Year from all of us at Stop Requested!

Belle

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7 Things I Want From My Office Gift Exchange

19 Dec

by Brownout Betty

Folks, this post comes from you right off the heels of Betty’s office holiday party, which for the first time in recent history included a “White Elephant” gift exchange (god knows where that name comes from (ok, I just looked it up on Wikipedia and it has to do with the King of Siam. Whatever. I digress)).

This ended up being mostly a scramble for the best gift card (Starbucks for $15 beats Starbucks for $10. But does it beat Chipotle for $12? Serious #dilemmas (oh, and I am not kidding, these were seriously all gift items that were brought, and seriously debates that were had during the party)).

(source: BuzzFeed)

So I actually made out okay in this rat race (wish I could say the same for my career/romantic prospects AMIRITE GUYS), but the whole exercise made me think about the things I wish I could get from my coworkers in an ideal gift exchange.

In honor of the giving taking spirit of the holidays, here are 7 things I want from my coworkers in next year’s office White Siamese Cat Whatever the Animal Is Exchange.

7. A TV. Ok folks, this is how I know the workplace is a joke. Betty works in politics, and without revealing where it is she works, let’s just say it’s not Goldman Sachs and there isn’t a ton of money lying around for fun things like, you know, Patron at the holiday party or an office chair that isn’t disgusting or whatever. Yet somehow, Betty’s manager can get a brand spankin’ new TV just to watch CSPAN? I mean, have you ever heard of the INTERNET? It’s one of those baller TVs where you can stream Netflix and all that stuff too, so let’s just go ahead and say that item 7(a) on my wishlist would be the ability to watch Scandal on Friday when I’m hungover (see item 4, below) instead of doing actual work.

6. An intern. I mean, honestly. I graduated from a respectable school and I have Ideas To Contribute To The Conversation. Why am I wasting my time uploading dumb files on a slow Internet connection and proofreading other people’s silly mistakes and inputting nonsense into a spreadsheet that no one will ever look at? Isn’t that what the youth of America is here for?

(Sidebar: ok no but for real, the intern problem is a huge one and Betty feels very strongly about it. To get educated, do yourself a favor and read this).

5. A door. Seriously, how many years do I have to work at this place, and how many people with offices have to get fired, before I CAN GET AN OFFICE WITH A DOOR? I do real work unlike all the rest of you, and it would be nice to be able to shut the door so I can troll Twitter send Snapchat selfies do all of that aforementioned work in peace. (On this, see also item #1, below).

4. A Friday morning survival kit: sunglasses, Advil, and 2 espresso shots for the rough morning-after-El-Centro-ladies-night. You know we all need it.

3. A Chipotle gift card. Umm, sorry, did y’all catch me earlier in this post making fun of the Chipotle gift card that appeared in the gift exchange? I didn’t mean it. I was just making fun of the idea that ANYONE would give up a Chipotle gift card for anything. That is the best goddamn gift in the world for anyone who works. Period.

2. Cash. Seriously. I don’t care if it’s 10 bucks. Just give it to me and I’ll pretend that it was part of my paycheck because I finally got the raise I deserve to do this bullshit.

1. Some noise-cancelling headphones so I NEVER HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU ASSHOLES CHATTERING DOWN THE HALL EVER. AGAIN.

Love you guys!

Brownout, OUT.

Those Christmas Favs…

11 Dec

There are so many Favorites for Christmas. From your favorite song to your favorite family member. Let’s see what comes to mind during this particularly Festive season…

Favorite Christmas Carol:
Silent Night. At our Christmas Eve service back home, this is the last song my congregation sings. All the lights are turned out and everyone is left holding a lit candle. It’s very beautiful, and definitely my favorite version of the song (but there’s always the Josh Groban version too!). And don’t forget to check out Capital Jill’s list of top Christmas songs!

Favorite Classic Christmas Movie:
A Charlie Brown Christmas. This is always the go-to Christmas movie if I need a little bit of Holiday Cheer!

 

Favorite Christmas/Date-Night Movie:
Love Actually. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you. Find it on Netflix Right Now. It is no ordinary chick flick – because guys love it too. Colin Firth, Kiera Knightly, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant…. I mean hello look at this All-star cast! It’s one of my all-time favorite movies.

Favorite Christmas Food:
The Gorgeous Christmas Ham (Or cheese). #duh

Favorite Christmas Drink:
Champagne. But if you’re looking for some other scrumptious Christmas Cocktails, check this out!

Favorite Christmas Board Game:
Scattergories. If your family is weird – like mine – I promise this will be a treat. Especially after the champagne is gone…

Favorite Christmas Gift (for this year):
All 9 seasons of The Office. The series is over. I would love to see a deluxe Blu-ray/DVD box set staring at me underneath the Christmas Tree this year… Just saying, Santa.

Favorite Christmas Clothing Item:
Fabulously colorful winter coat. Mine is a red Michael Kors one that I found on sale at T.J. Maxx – TREAT  YOURSELF!

Favorite Christmas Dessert:
Gobs. My aunt makes these for Christmas Every year. They are incredible! Pretty sure I eat at least 6 a day until they’re all gone… If you’d like a recipe, here’s a good one!

Favorite Christmas Character:
Buddy the Elf. No explanation necessary?

Favorite Christmas Youtube Video:
There are literally too many… so let me just give you a few. You’re never too old to sit on Santa’s Lap. Hallelujah Chorus Flash Mob. Westjet Christmas Miracle.

Favorite Christmas Story:
The Nativity. The whole reason I’m celebrating in the first place.

Hope you’re having a Holly Jolly Christmas month so far, readers!

Belle

 

Christmas Top 10

2 Dec

By Capitol Jill

Its safe to say I am officially obsessed with Christmas. I have been secretly listening to Christmas tunes since right after Halloween, which for some reason people get REALLY uptight about!

What are they thinking? Oh no, shes enjoying the season of peace love and joy too soon. HOW DARE SHE?

Calm down, people. I listen to these glorious melodies in the summer too.

Why should an entire genre of music be restricted to only one month before the Christmas holiday? For me, its more about the SEASON of Christmas than the day itself, anyways.

But NOW I can come out and say, Christmas time!

source

Now that I am officially allowed to let my Christmas freak-flag fly, I proudly present a list of my top 10 favorite Christmas songs. Considering I have over 700 in my iTunes library, it was hard to narrow down. But these are the essentials that I can’t live without.

10. All I want For Christmas Is You, Mariah Carey

Is any explanation necessary? So fun.

Even better: the version from Love, Actually.

9. Step Into Christmas, Elton John

Best Line:So merry christmas one and all, theres no place I’d rather be

8. (Everybody’s Waiting for) The Man with the Bag, Kay Starr

Best Line: Ol’ Mister Kringle, soon gonna jingle the bells that will tingle all your troubles away!

Who doesn’t love some jingle in their holidays? I first heard this song in a Macy’s commercial, but that doesn’t make it any less special. Its got a classic sound and its upbeat.

7.Up on the Housetop, Jackson 5

Best line: Did you give Santa Clause my list? ‘Bout the girls you’re waiting to kiss? Man, that list was only a joke! Too late, Germaine, hes bringing you mistletoe!

No explanation needed. Vintage Michael, all the feelings.

6. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Bruce Springsteen (live version, always)

 Because everyone needs a Santa/cowboy hat Hybrid

Best line: the exchange with Clarence about the new saxophone. Perfection.

5.Believe, Josh Groban (Polar Express Soundtrack)

Amazing song! While it comes from The Polar Express, a movie which, while it does have creepy Nazi-like elf formations, also is a touching story of never forgetting the magic of childhood and the magic of the holidays.

4. It Feels Like Christmas, Muppet Christmas Carol

Best line: A part of childhood we always remember, it is the summer of the soul in December

Favorite moments: the babies in the beginning, Michael Caine dancing like a senile old man, the little mice, dance sequence at the end. Also, everything.

3. Baby, Its Cold Outside, Zooey Deschenel and Leon Redbone (ELF version!)

While I’ve never heard a version of this song I don’t like, this is my favorite, because Zooey is my spirit animal. Other acceptable versions  include this Glee version.

2. Petit Papa Noel, Josh Groban

Amazing in every way. Josh Groban’s amazing voice, classic french tune, and so powerful to listen to.

1. One More Sleep Till’ Christmas, Muppet Christmas Carol

Hands down, my favorite song from my favorite Christmas movie of all time. Sometimes I cry when this comes on, it fills me with so many emotions. Remembering how I felt as a child, the night before Christmas, unable to sleep because I was so excited. I still feel the magic, and this song captures that perfectly.

What I’m Thankful For: Postgrad Edition

28 Nov

by Brownout Betty

In general, there are, of course, many things to be thankful for today, from the poop emoji to the (hopeful) mercy that the SR editorial gods will have on me for being late posting this (Mama Betty put me to work in the kitchen, I’m sorry!). But there is a particular category of things I’m thankful for this year, since it’s the first time in my postgrad era that my parents are hosting BrownoutGiving. So it’s this particular sensation of truly coming #homefortheholidays that’s spurring a lot of thankful thoughts. Here are the top 10 things this postgrad is thankful for:

10. That I wasn’t the deadbeat jobless weirdo at the high school reunion on Thanksgiving eve. Always good to be able to tell people you’re at least employed.

9. That my relatives broke out the wine before I headed to said high school reunion. Nothing like a little liquid courage, amirite?

8. That my parents didn’t raise their eyebrows too high at my extreme enthusiasm for said wine. Stealth alcoholism, achieved.

7. That I didn’t repeat college mistakes and make out with that rando from high school whose charms drunken Betty just can’t seem to resist.

6. That my mom had a heating pad readily available for me when I woke up this morning with a roaring backache thanks to the janky ass mattress that now occupies my bed (Baby Betty, Brownout Betty’s scheming sister, stole my Tempurpedic the second I left the house but we’re not talking about it).

5. That there’s still like half a drawer of space for my stuff in my room after everyone and their mother started treating it like a storage closet. #thanksguys

4. That even though Mama Betty’s fancy digital scale is delivering bad news on the weight gain front, it’s fancy and digital so AT LEAST I KNOW THE HARD TRUTH (this one was painful to even type out, folks).

Belle, babe, you were so right.

3. That Daddy Brownout was kind enough to bring me Dunkin Donuts coffee AND orange juice for my post-Thanksgiving-eve hangover this morning, all without asking questions.

2. That I’ve managed to get the family so focused on my future grad school plans that no one is remembering to ask me about whether I have a boyfriend.

1. That I was able to come home for Thanksgiving rather than already being here – in other words, that I don’t still live in this place, and that after a few days I’m out of here again. 

 

Whether you’re home with the family or home in your freezing postgrad apartment with Netflix as your replacement family or somewhere else, we want to hear what you’re thankful for! Leave us a comment and let us know. Happy Thanksgiving from the SR ladies!

Gracias DC… Stay Classy

26 Nov

by Stacie Smack

Thanksgiving makes me uncomfortable. All the warmth makes me sweat uncontrollably. I like to keep things at a cool 45 F where there’s no threat of melting. Anyways, here are 10 things I am thankful about while living in DC:

1. Brunch –  the most effective way to forget the man who’s bed you just left and last name don’t know.

2. Crowded commuter metro – so many people and so many smells, nobody notices when you accidentally fart or forget to put deodorant.

3. Sign of the Whale – the perfect mix of dancing, alcohol, and desperation.

4. Plan B – now sold over the counter!

5. Jumbo Slice/Sol – the weight I’ve added and the number of clothes I’ve had to buy because of it may be single-handedly keeping the US economy afloat.

6. This guy – for reminding me that I probably will never be able to turn down a $3 billion offer.

7. Netflix – I don’t think I’ve finished a single book this year, but I have rewatched Gossip Girl three times now. Grad school get ready!

8. My overpriced rent – at least it helps me make sure I don’t spend too much on new clothes! Or food…

9. WebMD’s discretion and lack of pictures – it makes googling “pre ejaculation fluid” at work much less risky.

10. “Black Friday” now starting at 8pm on Thursday – and America continues to charm me day by day.