Magic and laughter served fresh for your enjoyment.

Dancing with the (Sweaty) Stars

I’m taking this level two (code for more advanced than level one) ballroom dancing class, and let me tell you, it is absolutely thrilling. Engaging in latin dancing is arguably when I feel most latina: all 50% of it. And I’m a glass half full kind of person, so….

Dance class might make me feel good about my Hispanic roots, but what it does not do is make me feel good about my appearance.

Is it great exercise? Yes! Which is great, but holy crap am I a sweaty human being. I have a difficult enough time getting through life doing normal things without sweating. I’m just a very warm person, both emotionally and physically. No one ever looks as hot as I feel (units of measurement are sweat and redness in the face). So in my case, “embracing my heritage” isn’t so much a friendly squeeze as it is a big, sweaty mexican-caucasian bear hug. And there’s no hiding it.

Speaking of sweats, this brings me to my next point. No matter what I do, no matter how much I try to pay attention to the trends, I can’t seem to get the memo about what all the other girls will be wearing to class. And normally I wouldn’t care, but dance class is like a little taste of ye olde school rules where it’s up to the dude to ask you to dance. What about feminism and independence you say? Just wait until it’s partner finding time, your own skin is trying to give itself a shower, AND you’re the only one that wore shorts and an optimus prime t-shirt instead of a casual but cute summer dress. Now see how good you feel about the independent clothing choices you made that day. 

Maybe you have the confidence of a rhinoceros and totally don’t care, but here’s the thing: rhinos literally don’t sweat. I, on the other hand, can’t control that the slightest hint of heat sets off the fire sprinklers in my body, and real emergency or not they will flood the place just to be sure. So the least I thought I could do to appear dance-partner-worthy was wear the right thing. 

Which is a brilliant plan until you realize you’re always wrong.

I came prepared. I paid attention to what the other ladies were wearing. No matter what though, I’ve found that last week’s trend does not apply to the next. After wearing shorts for awhile and noticing that the IT thing was sleek but comfortable sweat pants, I thought I had finally won when I caught on. But no. Now it’s short skirts.

I just can’t win. All I can do is dance, and fortunately, it seems like that’s all the guys leading really care about anyway.

So going forward, I guess I’ll just be the world’s first sweaty rhino. Who wouldn’t want to dance with that, eh!?

Here’s a Suggestion…

It’s the beginning of my senior year of college, which I’m quickly learning is the time when you realize that if you aren’t in a relationship by now, your collegiate romantic career is probably over. I’m a very optimistic person, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that my seemingly pessimistic comments are actually optimistic because they suggest hope in the long run. There just isn’t enough time left to magically fully recover from my most recent venture, meet someone new and fall in love to a degree that will merit continuing a relationship after college. At least I don’t THINK so (yes universe, that’s a dare!) It sounds a lot more depressing than it actually is. 

It just means that the story I tell about how I met Him will be, hopefully, a little more interesting than “in college.” It also means that I’ll get to focus more on my friends and my future, and my laundry, and-

Okay it is a little bit disappointing, but at this point I’m honestly convinced that the “we met in college and now we’re married” is not a thing at my school. I’m pretty sure “we met in college and now we’re in a nice long term thing” isn’t even a thing at my school. Serious dating is just not what happens here. Oh, there are the exceptions, but those are either rooted in high school/some place outside of college/some traumatic life-bonding event OR, more commonly, they are temporary and fleeting.  

I still haven’t figured out why this is the case, but it’s definitely the reality. College, or at least my college, is not the dating paradise I thought it would be. I consider myself lucky for having had one short but sweet jam on the dance floor of love during my time here, because many people can’t even get the DJ to play the song they requested much less keep up with this metaphor.

One theory I have is that people are living longer, so things like falling in love happen later because “spending the rest of your life” with someone is a lot more time than it used to be, so why rush?

My other theory is that we’re all idiots.

Think about it. In a time where social technology is at an all time high, I still only really know people from the 5 parts of campus where I spend all my time. This is super common. And here we are, feeling like we’ve exhausted our dating pools at a school with dozens of thousands of people.

Is it the end of the world if I don’t meet my soul mate at college? No. Is it a possibility that he has secretly been hanging out in the Gerontology department and thus never crossed my path? I would be surprised, but it would undoubtedly be a pleasant surprise.

Which is why I have a radical suggestion: schools should set up a survey that all seniors take so it can inform them of who is still hiding in plain sight. Then we could at least be sure! I’m surprised the school doesn’t already do this: think of the value couples with the same alma mater offer to a school! Probably a deeper rooted loyalty and willingness to donate funding than the average student that didn’t also receive a lifelong snuggle buddy with their diploma.

Man, if I met Mr. Lifelong Snuggle Buddy somewhere on campus and also became successful in life? You would definitely find a building named after Mr. and Mrs. Lifelong Snuggle Buddy sometime in the future. I’m thinking a counseling center. Or wherever they teach crime forensics. You know, romantic places.

The ironic thing is that even if this service DID exist, college has done too good of a job of telling me that I’m going to graduate single, to the extent that even if my future husband walked up to me right now and announced himself by declaring who he was and tossing a bit of confetti in the air, I don’t think I would believe him. Probably because of the confetti.

Which means he’d just have to try something different. Say, running into me sometime after college. Tossing at me a better sense of what love means, instead of confetti.

And I guess I’m pretty okay with that.

 

Amigos! There’s a new article in town.

Medical Mystery

Some time ago I made a point of saying out loud, probably at a party for comedic effect (which of course was WILDLY successful…), that one of my goals in life is to avoid ever having a disease named after me. That is, of course, unless the disease is one that makes you irresistibly and inescapably attractive to Ryan Gosling, and also your finger nail clippings turn into solid gold. I’d be willing to be the brave face of that disease.

However, it looks like the universe may have heard my hilarious declaration and chosen to have the last laugh.

I won’t get into too many details, or rather, pretty much no details with a hearty side of vagueness, but I’ve had a mysterious condition with a matching set of mysterious symptoms for the last 9 years. If you’re friends with me you might even know about it. I’ve learned how to work around it and live with it, but every so often there’s a lot of pain involved and I just have to wait it out. It’s not THAT serious (as far as I know!) or else it would have progressed or killed me or something by now, plus I’ve learned the do’s and don’ts of it after nearly a decade’s worth of trial and error, but it DOES interfere with my life at times. 9 years’ worth of times! That’s plenty, right?

Right. It is GOOD and PLENTY. Plenty of time to realize that I’m tired of it and should enlist modern medicine to help me get to the bottom of this medical mystery. This isn’t me admitting that I haven’t seen a doctor about this. Oh hohoho no. I have, believe me, but it always got written off as mild version of a more common ailment and was left at that. But I’ve had some time to think, and I realized that the only symptom I have in common with this “common ailment” is that I have pain.

Yeah! That’s it! All the other symptoms associated with the common ailment don’t even apply to me! So what did I do??

I went straight to my pediatrician. 

Um, what?

You heard me. It’s all true. I still go to my pediatrician, and this horrifying(?) realization punched me in the brain as soon as I called to make my appointment with the receptionist. 

Receptionist: This is DOCTOR’S Office, how may I help you?

Me: Yes, I’d like to make an appointment.

Receptionist: Patient’s name?

Me: Lia Liaslastname. That’s… me. This appointment is for myself.

Oh My God.

I don’t know why, but for some reason being 20 years old and going to a pediatrician didn’t register as at all odd for me. At that moment though, the image of this woman pulling out my file, my GIGANTIC, thick, 21-year-old file popped into my head and I felt such shame. Hysterical laughter-inducing shame.

Before you people have a cow and a half, I DO see a doctor that specializes in lady parts, so don’t worry about me. I’ve got it covered. But for colds and generic maladies? I’ve been going to the same, colorfully painted place my entire life because it always fixes me and it never occurred to me I should move on. That probably says a lot about me….

Anyway, I went to that pediatric appointment. The one that I made. For myself. I signed myself in, which, I realized, most of their patients don’t/can’t do because they haven’t acquired fine motor skills or haven’t come up with a nifty consistent signature yet.

I sat in the waiting room, feeling completely out of place for the first time in my life. The painted shapes on the walls, the toys in the corner, the tiny plastic chairs for children and germs to sit on together as equals, the distant sound of screaming babies who are just learning that shots exist (not alcoholic shots, either, in case you were confused despite the clear unmistakable medical setting. And now we’re all picturing babies doing shots. Hope you’re happy). Even the reading material was trying to tell me I didn’t belong. My choices were parenting magazines and large books with cardboard pages. I lingered on Magic at Bedtime: A Rhyming Adventure but decided against it.

Then I noticed that there was a teenage guy in the waiting room as well, probably in high school. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t the only one! Sure, he wasn’t in his twenties, but we were clearly too grown up for this Neverland, and we both knew it.

Suddenly I wanted to go on a quest to find all of the older patients like us that still came to this office so that we could form a medical misfit support group of sorts. The only requirement for membership other than being a pediatric patient would be that you’ve also fully completed puberty (still hate that word!). I’m sure we’d all find a lot of relief in knowing about each other. Then he got called in and my chance to find out his name or what kind of snack he might enjoy at a support group meeting was gone.

Eventually it was my turn, and I learned that my doctor has never even heard of my symptoms, and was just as baffled as I when I described what I’ve been living with all this time.

Baffled, yes. Skeptical? Not at all! In fact he was probably the most excited I’ve ever seen him. It was actually a little unsettling. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Picture YOUR doctor actually keyed up about something, namely something that’s wrong with you, and tell me how that makes you feel. 

Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t excited about the wrongness. No, he was excited about possibly charting new territory! Who doesn’t get excited about that? I can tell you who. The New Territory doesn’t get excited about being charted, at least not when doctors or European Explorers are involved. (haha am I right ladies? Fellas?….Anyone? Too soon I guess.)

So until I undergo more tests to shed light on this exciting new territory, my doctor is calling it “Lia’s Disease.”

Yup. Just what I’ve always wanted. Hear that? That’s the sound of the universe giggling.

Harry Potter and the Annual Near Death Experience

I’ve always felt like Harry Potter has been such an underdog in the literary world. It’s really too bad no one read those books except for me. They were pretty good. Nice light reads with lots of pictures to fill pages. 

And then some film people just felt really bad about the whole thing and decided the least they could do was make a few movies, which nobody went to see either. I’m honestly really surprised there wasn’t any merchandise. No rock band movements or musicals. No one’s entire childhoods were affected. Not one bit. Just one huge disappointment of magical proportions.

So with the last movie coming out, which I’m sure no one will see, I feel like it’s up to SOMEBODY, namely me, to say a few words about the whole thing, since clearly no one else on the internet will.

1) A word to the people who were afraid of kids reading harry potter on the grounds that they would learn magic: Surprise! In spite of JK Rowling’s devious efforts, virtually everything in the series became real EXCEPT FOR the magic thing you were worried about, which weirdly enough makes sense because magic isn’t real. I’m not any better at putting curses on the evil girls I knew in school than I was before I read the books. The best I could do was sneeze on them when I went in sick. It’s the best any of us CAN do. So all we ended up with was a bunch of stuff that everyone loves and hasn’t hurt anyone. Oh and there’s an awesome theme park that you’re probably at right now, unless you’re in line to see the movie at 3:00am like I will be because the midnight showing sold out. I swear, if I find you sitting next to me…

 

2) I don’t care what anyone says, I am still adamantly in the Harry-Hermione camp. The amount of chemistry between Harry and Ginny in the movies is exactly what I would want if I was casting for C3PO and R2D2 in a middle school theatrical production of Star Wars. And even then, I think what those droids have is still sexier than what Harry and Ginny have given us. And it’s not their faults! Those kids didn’t sign up for this knowing they would have to embody one of the most important significant-other pairs in the entire HP franchise. So roll with what you have! Or JK Rowling, let go of your red-headed agenda and adjust the books in time so that we can watch some real sparks fly! Hermione turned out to be a total babe who is smart and brave and has a giant awesome purse and Harry doesn’t notice any of this. THAT is magic. But there’s still one movie left, so it’s never too late!

 

3) I want to throw this interesting thought out into the world: a Christopher Nolan interpretation of Harry Potter starring Joseph Gordon Levitt as Harry, Leonardo Dicaprio as Ron, Marion Cotillard as Hermione, Michael Cane as Dumbledore and Christian Bale as Hagrid. Just imagine the things Mr. Bale will do to his body to fit the role. Oscar gold. It would be the darkest movie anyone has ever seen!

4) Everyone from here on out is presented with a real problem in our futures. We love these books to death because Harry grew up with us. The books got darker as we got darker (everyone knows 17 is the darkest age of life). This is great for us, except what’s going to happen when WE have kids? You give ‘em the Sorcerer’s Stone for their 8th birthday and they’re gonna want to know what happens next just like we did. Except they won’t have the convenience of getting older between each installment so that they’re able to read the story and still sleep at night. Good luck explaining why Dumbledore won’t be coming back next year to your devastated child, who you named Albus Severus. So what do we do? Just wait until they’re teenagers and give them the whole set, or withhold each installment one year at a time so that they’re old enough to handle what comes next? And then there will be a divide between those kids on the playground whose parents let them read the whole thing and the kids that still think Dobby is alive. It’s just a huge mess that we’ll have to confront 10 years from now, assuming the rapture gets postponed again.

5) Everybody needs to calm down about the magic being over. I have to point out that Harry Potter pulled off the biggest magic trick of them all: he managed to become real without even really trying. Harry Potter started off as this idea that this woman had, and now there really isn’t anyone in OUR world, the real world, that doesn’t know his name. You can eat the same candy he eats while wearing his clothes and watching his every adventure on the big screen. He is so fixed in society that people are just going to keep picking him up over and over, and the Harry Potter inspired stuff out there, probably even including updates of the movies, will just keep going on and on.

Judging by the world’s crushing lack of enthusiasm for all that is Harry Potter, I guess it’s up to me to make it my purpose in life to keep this thing going. You’re welcome, world.