Browsing Category

Hipstercrite Life

Austin, Hipstercrite Life

Love The Moth? Check out The Tellers at LIVESTRONG HQ

Austinites!

Are you a fan of storytelling? Do you love The Moth?

Tomorrow night I’m hosting a storytelling event at LIVESTRONG HQ, and I’m super stoked about it.

I had been wanting to put together a night where cancer survivors and non-cancer survivors alike felt empowered to share their stories in front of a receptive audience. With the help of two of my teammates, that wish is now a reality.

The theme is “new kid on the block,” and our guest speakers have ten minutes to share their stories. I can guarantee the night will be filled with a lot of laughs and some tears.

If you’re free tomorrow, stop by 2201 E. 6th St., enjoy food and drinks on us and listen to some kick-butt storytellers.

The event is free and starts at 6:30PM.

Details below and here.

The Tellers LIVESTRONG

Should I have kids survey question #1
Hipstercrite Life

The Results From My Survey “Should I Have Kids?”

Last week, I posted a survey for my mom and dad friends wherein I asked them about the nitty-gritty of childbirth and childbearing. As a woman in early 30s, marriage and kid stuff has been on my mind lately. Not because I’m itching for either, but because I’m at the age where I have to think about it. No more goofing around in my twenties; the future is here, and I gotta figure out what it holds. As an only child of divorce, marriage and kids aren’t really my bag. Since I was a little girl, I related more towards the slightly depressed, child-less artist type, but as I’ve gotten older, this affection has softened. I do not have baby fever, but the prospect of not extending a branch of my family tree makes me sad. Plus, my partner and I are weird enough that I think our kid would be an awesome little weirdo.

I was thrilled with the responses I received from the survey. Fifty-six moms and dads answered, and many more left thoughtful, insightful and interesting comments on my blog post Continue Reading

Hipstercrite Life

Survey: Should I have kids? Help me decide.

546_37415832631_4750_n

I’m getting to that age where I’m thinking about kids.

And it’s not baby fever. F that. (Though babies are kind of squishy and cute.)

It’s more like, “Shit, if I put this thing off for much longer, that kid is going to have senior citizen parents.”

My dude and I have talked about kids, slightly, and we both kind of feel the same way. We’re not against them, but they’re not high up on our lists of things to do.

They’re scary, man.

I like sleeping in on the weekends. I like my alone time. Every once in awhile, I like having a nightcap and a Purple Rain one-person dance party at the house. I think about death and dying every hour of the day- how could I produce spawn and not explode from anxiety? What happens is my kid gets sick? Will I fall apart? What will happen to my relationship with my kid’s dad? TELL ME!!!!

These are thoughts that swim through my head on a daily basis, and it makes the thought of having kids kind of TERRIFYING.

This is where you come Continue Reading

Cafe Du Monde
Austin, Hipstercrite Life

“Excuse me, are you Jewish?”

Sometimes I’m that person who loves going to Whole Foods on Sunday morning, New York Times in tow. I feel as though I should apologize for it, or at least make fun of myself for it, but in truth, I look forward to this time to people watch, eat well, read or strike up a conversation.

Today I sat next to man who was also reading the paper. We got chatting about newspapers- “Did you see that they revamped the New York Times Magazine?”- and about three exchanges in he asked, “Are you Jewish?”

I laughed and nodded my head yes.

“So am I. I can tell,” he said.

I quickly added that I’m non-practicing, but that I’ve been interested in exploring the culture. My culture.

“Don’t worry- most Jews are that way,” he pointed out.

“My family is from Eastern Europe. My Grandmother was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, and I think it scared her,” I explained. “My grandma raised my mom without religion and so on. My mom and I would like to reconnect with our roots.” This is something I’ve been Continue Reading

Blogging, Hipstercrite Life

Guys, I have a new site.

…And I bought a Jeff Goldblum mug this weekend, so I’m pretty happy right now.

So, what do you think of the new design?

Laurel over at Recspec is the magic woman behind it.

Just check out her other work and see the magic.

She was an absolute pleasure to work with, and she created exactly what I was looking for.

She does web design and graphic design for individuals and businesses; if you’re thinking of a sweet rebrand, definitely check her out.

Oh, and look at this picture of a bear falling (and being caught) out of a tree.

tranquilized-bear

 

 

Hipstercrite Life

What to Say and Not Say to Someone with Cancer

20f680656a394eedcfb432adde0f433f

source

As many of you know, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer over the holidays. Maneuvering through the early part of Grandma’s cancer journey was a whirlwind- countless doctors’ appointments and medical procedures- but one constant that got us through it was the incredible support from others. The care and concern of our friends and family helped give us the feelings of hope and love during a difficult time.

A handful of well-intentioned people also said some pretty lame-o things to us. Knowing what to say to a person just diagnosed with cancer, and their family, can be difficult. I know they didn’t mean what they said or maybe they just have mouth diarrhea, but their words stung. I’m writing this article not under the pretense that I’m now an expert in the field of cancer, but as a person who experienced a wide array of responses to her grandmother’s cancer. This also isn’t an attempt to shame anyone; I’m hoping it will give a little bit of insight to those wanting to say the right thing. I myself often didn’t know what to say to someone affected by cancer, but my recent crash course helped.

1.) Don’t blame them for their cancer.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but yes, we actually heard this. My grandma has lung cancer and she was a smoker over twenty years ago. When we told people about her lung cancer, a few people said, “Well, she smoked, didn’t she?” Even when we asked her oncologist if her lung cancer was smoking-related and he said no, one friend told us the oncologist was wrong.

When something bad happens to a person, we want to find a reason why. If a person smoked, or didn’t treat their bodies well, we have to assume that is the reason why they developed cancer (or any other ailment). Even if that person makes a healthy change in their lives, we still want to assume it was their prior behavior that caused their issue. Whether or not it did, it’s not up to us to judge or point fingers. People diagnosed with cancer aren’t stupid. In the back of their minds, they may already be thinking, “Shit! Did that ten years of smoking cigarettes in my twenties cause this?!”

2.) Don’t tell them that they have “bad cancer.”

Some types of cancers and their stages have better prognoses than others, but it’s not up to us to tell cancer patients whether or not their cancer is bad or good. Leave it up to their doctor to tell them. Telling them that they have “bad cancer” can lead to unnecessary stress and fear; telling them that they have “good cancer,” as my friend pointed out, is just silly. No cancer is good! Try to stay away from saying comments like this, and just focus more on offering words of hope and support.

3.) Don’t tell them their treatment is going to be crappy.

“Oh, I heard treatment for lung cancer is awful!” We heard this from a couple of friends and acquaintances. Cancer patients are already scared; they don’t need unsolicited negative opinions from people who aren’t medical professionals. Just know that when you say something like that, it can have a huge impact.

4.) Don’t tell them what they should do.

I know for my family, hearing the stories of other survivors and their unique treatment plans was helpful and encouraging. Every person and cancer is made differently and selecting a treatment plan that is best for you is a very daunting task. Unless you’re a doctor, don’t try to talk your friend or family member in or out of one type of treatment. Cancer is confusing enough as it is. I would argue that it’s ok to share your opinions, but don’t beat the person over the head with them.

5.) Stay positive and hopeful.

This comes down more to personal preference, but I know for us, we wanted to hear words of hope, encouragement, love and support. I’m all for speaking your mind, but cancer is not the time to do that. You know what cancer survivors and their families want to hear? They want to hear things like, “You’re doing awesome!” or “You’re going to be ok!” or “I know you’ll beat this!” Even if you’re full of shit, positive words are what you need to share. Keep that Negative Nelly locked away in the basement.

6.) Offer your support.

Even if you don’t know how to react, just say that you’re there for them, whether it’s in person, through the phone or online. This can go a long way. And you know what? They may take you up on that offer, because cancer is hard, but it has a way of bringing people together. For us, knowing that so many people were ready and willing to help wrapped us in a blanket of fuzzy feelings.

7.) Don’t look at them like they’re dying.

Cancer survivors are people just like you. If you run into them in the store or on the street, don’t stare at them like Death is doing the jitterbug over their shoulder. Many people keep a very positive and upbeat attitude during treatment. Tell your friend that they’re awesome, give them a big hug and slap ’em a high five. They may have a fight ahead of them, but they’re strong- especially when you have their back.

Hipstercrite Life

Hearing the words “you have cancer”

Grandma

Grandma getting her hair did three days after her diagnosis

We heard those terrible, dreadful words- “you have cancer”- on Tuesday.

My grandmother, my stoic, indestructible grandmother, was diagnosed with lung cancer.

They found it by accident. She had fallen and wanted to see if she fractured her rib. A small shadow on her lung made itself known on an X-ray, and then a CAT scan. The doctor in the ER wasn’t sure what the small shadow was, so he recommended that she see an oncologist.

An oncologist?!

Half of me thought it was impossible- ridiculous– that Grandma could have cancer. The other half knew for certain that she had cancer, but it was still small. She was asymptomatic, minus the general fatigue she felt as an 88-year-old woman with arthritis.

I arrived home for the holidays just in time for Grandma to see the oncologist, who ordered a biopsy. At the hospital, my grandma, mom and I made each other laugh. We were nervous, and the laughter felt good. Grandma was Continue Reading

starving artist
Blogging, Hipstercrite Life

How Not to be a Starving Artist

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist. Whether it was filmmaking, writing, acting or dressing up as deceased Borscht Belt entertainers, I had the bug and I knew I needed to pursue a career in the arts.

When you’re a wee one, you have no idea that a career in the arts means years, or sometimes a lifetime, of struggle, heartbreak, comparing yourself to your friends who took more conventional paths, stealing and drinking tiny bottles of alcohol from airplanes or being curled up in a ball on the couch immobile from the demoralizing fact that Bret Easton Ellis wrote Less Than Zero at 21, Orson Welles directed Citizen Kane at 25 and Tina Fey began writing for Saturday Night Live at 27. You have no freaking clue that these times of uncertainty will be punctuated with last ditch efforts to become a “real human being” by working as a paralegal at a law firm or an accountant at a law firm or an office manager at a law firm, and you’re not even sure how you got a job at a law firm because Continue Reading

Snap Kitchen 21 Days for Good Challenge
Austin, Hipstercrite Life

I’m a Challenger for Snap Kitchen’s 21 Days for Good Challenge

Friends, I was asked to partake in a really exciting challenge.

Snap Kitchen, an Austin-based health food eatery, selected me as one of the 21 Texas challengers for their 21 Days for Good Challenge.

From November 1st-21st, Snap Kitchen will be providing us healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner as we work towards our personal goals for the month. In addition, the challenger who does the best job chronicling their 21-day journey will receive $3,000 for the charity of their choice. My charity is LIVESTRONG.

Instead of picking one goal, like losing weight or getting more fit, I decided to aim for 21 goals. On each of the 21 days, I will strive to do something good, either for myself or for someone else. I’ve been filling up my calendar with volunteer opportunities such as dinner service at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, dog walking at the Austin Animal Center, meal delivery through Meals on Wheels and trash pickup through Keep Austin Beautiful. As for personal goals, I’ll Continue Reading

grandma love
Hipstercrite Life

Will you be my grandmother’s pen pal?

grandma love

This is my grandmother.

She is one of my favorite people.

I come from a very small family.

There are only four of us.

My mother, my father, my grandmother and I.

Dad left when I was seven, and my grandmother, who still lives across the street from my mother, helped raise me.

I grew up in the clothing store she owned for 35 years and spent my childhood thinking she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

She still is, but she’ll tell you she’s not.

“Beauty is for young people,” she says.

I try to tell her that her logic is faulted; I tell her that beauty can be any age, any woman, any soul.

But she won’t hear of it.

I never thought that the day would come when this determined, stubborn, busy-bee-of-woman would get old.

But she did.

And she hates it.

Aches and pains make it difficult for her to walk for long stretches of time.

She gets exhausted easily.

She spends many of her days inside her house, losing track of what day it is and Continue Reading