Basically Custom

I have a serious issue when it comes to stationary, and by issue I mean I am obsessed with it. I can’t make it by the notebook aisle to save my life. Whenever little packs of blank note cards are in the sale section, I am buying three packs. I just love this stuff! I blame having an English degree and loving to write. That is my scapegoat and I am sticking to it!

Another thing I have been obsessed with recently is customization. Anything I have been able to customize lately, I have been doing it. So far it has been a lot of graphics and stickers. But the best thing has happened. I found Basic Invite, a site that lets you CUSTOMIZE STATIONARY! You can only imagine my excitement. 

I was playing on their site and there is just so much you can do! So many colors (like 180)! So many options! I started with personalized notecards, OBVIOUSLY! I was surprised how easy it was. I literally designed my whole card in less than 10 minutes. Also I am gushing at the cute pattern on the back. I didn’t even think about adding something like that until it prompted me. Then the envelopes! Basic Invite has 40 COLOR OPTIONS of envelopes! You don’t have to go with plain old white if you don’t want… even though I did here. Don’t judge me, sometimes a girl likes to keep it simple and classy. I mean, look how cute this is!!

Basic Invite just has so many things you can make. I am a person who loves paper, if you couldn’t tell. This is true for me as well when it comes to invitations, holiday cards, and announcements. I love sending these, and I love receiving these. Sending and receiving as in the mail. I had just designed and sent out invitations right before I found Basic Invite, and I wish I could have used them. It would have saved me a lot of time. It is perfect timing however, for my little sister who recently graduated with her Masters degree, because Basic Invite also offers college graduation announcements, along with a ton of college graduation announcement templates! I wish I had these options when I was graduating college because these are so darn cute, and just as customizable as the stationary I designed above. I have already sent their link to my sister. Hey sis, when you are looking at those announcements, don’t forget the graduation party announcements too! We love a good party!

So BASICALLY, I highly recommend Basic Invite. It is definitely a company that will get repeated use for all life events. They have a promo code right now for 15% off, and you can bet I am using it because finding a good deal is my jam. Use code 15FF51 at checkout to apply your 15% off discount!

Check them out on Insta! I mean isn’t that the only way we really check people out these days? @basicinvite

Then & Now

I love sitting back and thinking about how current situations came to be. For instance, when you realize that if you wouldn’t have been at that party that particular night, you wouldn’t have met so&so who helped you get your current job, or something like that. You know, those types of situations. Everything always has a way of working out. God always has a plan, even if we don’t know what it is, or think he has forgotten about us.

I can’t help but think about my current situation. Tomorrow, January 23, 2021, marks exactly a year since Preston reached out to me for the first time. Granted I didn’t see his message for ten days, but that is beside the point. One year ago, this Montana man came home to visit his family in California, mind you in over FOUR YEARS he only came down twice, and he and his family happened to go camping when he was down. His sister also happens to be one of my sister’s best friends, and she watches my nephew every week. My sister and her family JUST SO HAPPENED to be invited to this camping trip, where they met this Montana brother. In my sister’s less than sober state, she told Mr. Montana all about me and showed him my Instagram. Come January 23, 2020, Preston was brave and took a shot at asking me out before he went back to Montana. Like I said, ten days passed and I didn’t see his message until he was back in Montana. But it didn’t end there.

As I was giving up, you were stepping up.

As I am sure I have mentioned previously, we slowly started responding to each other’s Instagram stories, which turned into longer conversations, which turned into messaging every day, to texting every day, to Instagram “FaceTiming” because Montana has no service for real FaceTime, to me BUYING A PLANE TICKET TO MONTANA and “meeting” Preston for the first time in the Bozeman, MT airport. Seven months from that day in the airport and we are here. Here as in California. We currently live 14 minutes from each other. In these last seven months we have fallen in love, fallen in love with each other’s families, have been on numerous adventures, and have made plans, and continue to make plans for our future together. Seven months and sometimes I still cannot believe this is real. Does this perfect, handsome, cowboy man ACTUALLY want me? Like STILL? For everyone who told me “when you know, you know,” and I rolled my eyes at you, you were right. I never imagined this could be this easy. I never imagined I would fall for someone in another state, let alone Montana. That is the only reason I messaged him back in the first place, because he was in Montana so nothing could happen. Well just look at this unraveled plan! It is beautiful and makes me excited every day.

Thank you to my sister for having one too many drinks and singing my praises to a guy she didn’t know. She will forever hold credit. As I was giving up, Preston was stepping up, and my life will never be the same. I cannot wait to see what else the future holds for us.

Can We Just Start Over?

Wow, I have not posted since October… shame on me. Not to use the same excuse that everyone has, but 2020 was rough. It started off great and we thought it was going to be like THE YEAR, and then the rug got pulled out from under us. AND THEN, to let the year come full circle, I am spending the first two weeks of the long awaited new year IN QUARANTINE because yes, my whole house got COVID (we are all fine). But maybe this is a good thing? Because 2020 started off great and then went downhill. Maybe since my 2021 is starting off at the bottom of that hill, it can only go up from here? I am hopeful.

Aside from 2020 being different, and hard, there were a couple great things for me. I turned 30 in February and didn’t die (but then the world actually ended… I don’t think those events are related), and I got to have an epic 30th trashy birthday party. The other amazing thing was finding a boyfriend and love! So 2020 may be the year of the pandemic, but it will always be the year I found my person and got to visit Montana three times to see him and move him home. A big enough event for me to say 2020 wasn’t all that bad.

Two of my sisters and I sat down this past Monday and set goals for the new year, but kind of broke them down into weekly and monthly goals with check-ins. I know it has only been a few days but it really has me motivated. My goals include getting my brand Tragic Girls H.Q. up and going, working on my writing (poem collection and book), and obviously this blog and my Instagram that goes with it. My relationship with this blog has really changed over the years and fell in place with where I was in life. I was pretty steady (I think) about three years ago, then post break up I realized I used my blog as a clutch. I was literally pumping out content about three times a week and planning and doing most of the work on Sundays. That wasn’t a bad thing and I really enjoyed it. It was what I needed at that time in my life. Then the next year I came out of hiding and started going out with my younger sister and had A TON of fun, but didn’t leave as much time for blogging. This last year as I said above, there was the pandemic, falling in love, and I still didn’t leave myself much time for the blog.

NOW THIS YEAR I want to get back to it. I want to continue documenting my adventures and all of the new adventures that are going to come. My goal for this year is to post every Friday. If I get a second in for the week then go me, but bare minimum I need a put a post out every Friday. I am ready for the challenge and ready to get back to creating. I need it!

Thanks for being along for the ride. Content will vary between life, adventures, styles, advice, all of it! Let’s do it!

That New New – Pt. 2

Hey! I’m going to stop you right there and say if you have not read the first half of this post, That New New – Pt. 1, then go read that first.

I have left you hanging on updates since May… sorry about that, slack attack. Recap, it was May and I bought a plane ticket to go meet Mr. Montana in June, IN MONTANA, and be his wedding date… to a wedding he was also now officiating. Talk about a first date.

“Four months of anticipation packed into a carryon. 30 years of life and I’d never flown alone.”

Can you imagine my nerves? I was about to fly, BY MYSELF for the first time, to go meet a guy I had only ever FaceTimed… on Instagram because he never had enough service to actually FaceTime 😅. MY FATHER WAS LIKE WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! But I had to go.

“I swear my heart was beating louder than the roar of the engines as we touched down.”

The week had come, AND MY FLIGHT CHANGED LIKE DAYS BEFORE, WHICH WOULD HAVE LEFT ME TO MISS MY CONNECTING FLIGHT. So after waiting literally 10 hours for a call back from Delta, I got a flight the day prior, had to call my manager while I had the Delta lady on hold to get approved to take one more day off, and get to Montana a day early. June 4th. I would be there from Thursday at lunch time to Sunday. Walking out of the terminal I was SO NERVOUS. I arrived at noon-ish which meant Mr. Montana had to get me on his lunch break. I texted him and he told me he wasn’t there yet. I got on the escalator and saw him walking towards it, he was already there waiting to surprise me. With sunflowers, my favorite. Wearing cowboy boots, also my favorite. He walked up to me, put his spare arm around me and pulled me in for our first kiss and it was magical. We were both literally shaking as we walked back to his Jeep. Also please note he handed me the flowers and took my bag from me. I was shookth. Who was this gentleman and where did he come from?

“My knees weak and nervous, my mouth dry from my mask. The world was falling apart, but I just wanted to fall into you.”

He drove me to his cabin and had to go back to work, so I got to cuddle with his amazing dog Raen and take a nap. Life was good.

“The descend of the escalator, Lord please don’t let me fall. I could see you, cowboy boots, the sunflowers bright in your hand, my favorite.”

That night he came home from work, COOKED FOR ME, like the best pasta ever, then asked me to officially be his girlfriend. It was a dream. The rest of the weekend was amazing. Date night Friday, wedding for his best friends Saturday, and crying when I went home on Sunday.

“You wrapped your free arm around me, strong but gentle, and we kissed for the first time. It took everything in me not to melt into a puddle on the floor.”

A month goes by and I find a cheap plane ticket to go back for the Fourth of July, but I had to drive to Vegas in order to get this cheap flight. Done. Got to work at the crack of dawn, worked eight hours, drove four hours to Vegas, waited at the airport for like another four (or more) hours because my plane got delayed twice, and arrived at just about midnight for another fun filled Montana weekend which included staying in this chic little sheep wagon, a rodeo, and a river float.

“A trade, flowers for my bag, my hand in yours, and the wonder of whether the moment was even real as we walked to your Jeep.”

Two months later, I flew back out for Labor Day weekend (this time from Ontario and not Vegas) to move Mr. Montana back to California, and we have basically been together almost every day since.

“You opened my door. The brief moment to myself, as you put my bag in the back, might have been the first breath I took since you stole it away.”

That was just a super quick update, I will give more details in another post. Just know he is here, we are BEYOND happy, and oh yeah, his name is Preston.

“Door closed behind you, my face is in your hands, your lips on mine. You pulled back and smiled and I could see my future in your eyes.”

(follow on insta, @the.b.law, if you don’t already to see more of his lovely face 😉)

You Look like the Fourth of July!

I think the Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays to plan outfits for. I am not quite sure why, I just love me some red, white, and blue. Maybe it is the challenge of how to creatively put those three together in a new way every year. Regardless, I just love it and this year is no different.

Old Navy is always a GREAT stop for Fourth of July looks. They just have so many great pieces and most of them you can mix and match with each other. I walked in the store, to pick up an order NOT to shop, and immediately found four items in like five minutes sooo that is where we are. Check it out:

I love creating red, white, and blue outfits but with more vintage colors, like how these pants are not fully bright red, more of a tomato. Plus they will also be great for a hot summer night because they are thin.

Another way to style these pants for the holiday…

This is another way to not have the bold patriotic colors, this tank is actually gray striped but together gives the look of being festive. I also love that either of these looks can be worn on a regular casual day and you won’t just look like the Fourth of July. But then again who cares right?! LOVE AMERICA!

It has been so long since I have done a style post, I miss them. I will be trying to do more again so stay tuned! Below are some of my previous year’s looks for the Fourth!

One of my favorite work looks for the occasion!

Hope everyone has a safe and fun Fourth of July! Below are a few more items if you need last minute ideas! (all items are linked below and all images are from Old Navy)

That New New – Pt. 1

I cannot believe it is May already. Last time I wrote seems like a million years ago, except it was only March and we weren’t in quarantine yet. So much has changed in these past six weeks, and although it is painfully annoying that life feels on hold and we can’t do what we love to do, it has also been an exciting time I have to admit.

Let’s take it back to my last post (linked here if you need a refresher), I ended it with:

At this current point in time, I am not feeling lost, I am feeling content, and dare I say… happy? Yes I said it, I am feeling genuinely happy, but not without reason. Something has happened since I originally started this post. Something you will hear about soon enough. So for now just know, we are doing okay 😊… 👇🏼 … 👀

my cheeks should be burnt from the amount of times youve made me blush.

So what is this reason? Through all of this fun, and complaining, and being over dramatic that I was going to die alone, through all my friends and family WHO HAVE SIGNIFICANT OTHERS telling me “it will happen when you least expect it,” and bah blah, yeah gag me with a spoon, through all that something happened…

Cue Lizzo, “Somebody come get this man, I think he got lost in my DMs, WHAT?”

But like that is what happened. He just slid on in, asking me on a date before he went back to… wait for it……… MONTANA. He was leaving in three days. I didn’t see his message for ten. PS- this was on January 19th.

I responded ten days later, and the only reason I responded was because he said he was just camping with my sister all weekend and she told him about me (obviously confirmed this with her first), but turns out his sister is one of my sister’s good friends. So at least I knew he wasn’t a psycho (plus he was allllllll the way in Montana so what was the harm?). I told him sorry I just saw this, blah blah blah, ended with if you’re in Cali again soon we can get a drink.

The end.

Maybe two weeks later, we have casual responses to Instagram stories. Then like CONVERSATIONS were starting? Still what was the harm? He lives in Montana, and he clearly said in a conversation when I asked when he moved there, “I’m not planning on leaving Montana.” I am much better and braver at talking to guys when I know nothing is going to happen.

February 23rd, and yes I know the date because I spent forever on our Insta conversation scrolling allll the way up to see when, I decided to be “bold” and throw my number out. Which he took and texted me immediately 😊. I was starting to like him… which really was not smart of me because again, MONTANA. Honestly what made him stand out at first was the fact that he messaged me back right away, he didn’t wait for a certain amount of time to not appear too eager or play whatever game it is guys try to play, and I liked that. I could tell he wanted to talk to me.

Well fast forward, we have now been texting every day for over two months AND FaceTiming almost every day. I actually REALLY like him 🙊, which is strange to me I know because we haven’t actually hung out in person yet.

I am going to leave you at that update for now, can’t ruin it all in one post 😉, plus it is all still developing. BUT if you do follow on Insta (@the.b.law), then you know I bought a plane ticket to Montana in June so uh, STAY TUNED.

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The Season has Changed

I found this post in my drafts. I don’t even remember when I started it, but if I had to guess it was before my birthday in February. Let me tell you, turning 30 really messes with your mind 😅. I have settled in though now that it has been over a month. Read on and we will circle up at the end:

In the midst of “finding myself” recently and being pretty happy with where I am currently at, I have also been feeling fairly lost. It is strange to have such conflicting feelings. I feel like I have come such a long way in being content, that this lost feeling character rearing its head is throwing me off. It makes me question really how much I have grown or learned.

This may sound weird or maybe even narcissistic, but I often think I am hyper-self aware. I don’t know if those are even the right terms, but let me explain. I am aware when I am feeling some sort of way, mostly when it is a way I should not be feeling. For instance, I will be the first to admit when I am throwing my own pity party. I will literally laugh at myself, acknowledge that I am ridiculous, yet still hang out at this sad party for one. Countless times I am telling my sister “I feel like (insert feeling), I know that’s not true, but I just feel (insert feeling).” It is such circle that one can go round and round in. I don’t even let her talk! It is just me talking to myself with her listening, playing both sides of the conversation.  I wonder if not having this self-awareness would make life easier. It would allow me to actually call my sister for good ole’ advice instead of just ranting and knowing deep down that I am just a nut. Now writing this, I don’t even know if that made sense but I hope it did.

ANYWAYS, I guess this is all to preface the fact that I have been feeling lost, but I know I am not, yet I am going to stay in this lost fog until I decide to pull myself out. So if you need me that is where I will be. This is a different feeling of lost though. It is more lost incognito. When I go somewhere I have never been, by myself, I hate looking lost and like I do not know what I am doing. Therefore I try really hard to act like I know what I am doing. That is what this feels like this time. A subtle war in myself of convincing everyone else I know what I am doing, but maybe I am just trying to convince myself. I don’t like appearing like I am not alright, so the front goes up.

I feel like I am in a sort of transition. Almost like the seasons changing, I am half bleh and half really happy.

That is where I ended that rant. The last line stuck out to me though today about feeling in transition and the seasons changing. Because I was absolutely right about that. At this current point in time, I am not feeling lost, I am feeling content, and dare I say… happy? Yes I said it, I am feeling genuinely happy, but not without reason. Something has happened since I originally started this post. Something you will hear about soon enough. So for now just know, we are doing okay 😊… 👇🏼 … 👀

my cheeks should be burnt from the amount of times youve made me blush.

 

Trendy Cases with CaseApp!

WE INTERRUPT THIS CURRENT STATE OF CORONAVIRUS PANIC FOR THIS IMPORTANT SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

If you are like me, you like to accessorize with all aspects of your life. I won’t pick a phone case because it is practical. Being honest, if it is not cute, I am not going to buy it. Phones are something that have become a huge part of our lives. If it is something that is going to be on me almost 24/7, then I want it to reflect me and my personal style and I think that is okay!

I got the chance to partner with CaseApp and oh my goodness they have such cute cases! Also their selection is HUGE! Do you know how long it took me to decide on which one I liked best? A long time, I had like 8 in my cart 😅. But that is a good thing! I feel like so often at the phone store we settle for the cutest one we can find in that moment because we NEED a phone case when we buy a new phone. Well with CaseApp, you have the chance to get the one you love (or even customize one!).

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I think the thing I like the most though, is that you can choose between a “slim” case or a “tough” case, as well as matte or glossy. I am a clumsy person and drop things alll the time, so obviously I chose tough.

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If you are in the market for a new case I highly recommend CaseApp! Use my code THEBLAW20 for 20% off your order. I think I may end up starting a collection now and have a case for every occasion! These really make me want summer… if this rain ever ends.

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Okay back to your regularly scheduled programming, BYE!

Take a Chance On Me, In Person

I submitted this to Popsugar over a year ago and they didn’t publish it, so I might as well not let it go to waste. Read below to see my then and still struggle with the dating apps 🙃

(I actually have two others that haven’t been published, I am on a good streak with them… 0 published and 3 declined but who is counting? WE WILL NOT GIVE UP! But I will post the other two on here as well)

PS – I hope the title of this gets “Take a Chance on Me” by ABBA stuck in your head for three days. That is my gift to you if you get nothing else from this story. Okay now read:

Perhaps I have run out of eligible men that I already know that I would consider dating.

Take a Chance On Me, In Person – 10/30/18

I have had to come to a kind of surprising and possibly scary realization that never really mattered much until recently, where I have found myself 28 and single. The realization: I have never been on a real date. Now let me explain what I mean when I use the term “real date”. I have never been on a date with a guy that I did not previously know or was not already talking to. For example, I was in three long term relationships back to back. The first was a four and half year relationship which started in high school and ended in the middle of college. Our first date was on Valentine’s Day. He surprised me when I got off work and told me what restaurant we were going to, but that I had to drive because he was fifteen and did not have a license yet. It was romantic and innocent in the typical high school date fashion. My second long term boyfriend lasted around two years. Although I was in college, we knew each other from high school and used to help each other sneak into Spanish II late and undetected. Our first date was at Disneyland. My third and most recent long term relationship lasted just shy of four years. We were both two years out of college but kind of knew each other in college. Our first date was at Lazy Dog after weeks of texting. See the trend here?

I now find myself single and with no prospects. Perhaps I have run out of eligible men that I already know that I would consider dating. That leaves me with the great unknown dating world and to be honest, it terrifies me. I have so many questions and nerves. Where do you start? Where is a good place to meet good guys? How do you even talk to guys once you pry them out of their hiding spots? How do you know if they are psychos or not? My fears are never ending. I have noticed a pattern though. I have been single for 9 months now, so friends are starting to get curious if I am dating or ready to date yet. Almost every single one of them have asked, “Are you on the dating apps?” You know, all the free ones like Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish, Coffee Meets Bagel, the list goes on and on. Even acquaintances and strangers, that is the first thing they ask when I say I am not seeing anyone. I immediately tell them, “No I am not online dating and I do not want to be part of that,” but now I am the curious one. Not curious to be on the apps, but whether or not the dating apps are the new norm for dating in today’s world?

I am starting to question if I have missed the entire era of good old fashion dating where you meet someone in person, feel a spark or some sort of interest, and the guy asks you out to dinner or drinks. Is this something that will only ever be remembered in movies and in tales of our parents telling us how it used to be in their day before evil technology took over the world? I have this burning urge to resist this new way, yet I am doing nothing to prove myself right. I keep telling myself that I want to give myself a chance on finding a date on my own before resulting to the dating apps. It is almost as if I have convinced myself that the apps are for giving up. They seem like the easy way out, letting them all come to you and weeding through the bad one liners.

What gets me the most confused is that in my head I have built up how against the dating apps I am, yet everyone who asks me if I am on them asks so with such normalcy. I cannot help but wonder if this is just what you do now. Not one friend or stranger that has asked me has done so with sarcastic tones or judgment in their voices. They have asked out of pure curiosity. I am the one pre-judging myself for even uttering or thinking the word “Tinder”. Yet again, I am not going out to try and find a date “the good old fashion way”. Instead I talk about it, make it sound like it could be fun, continue to dis the dating apps, and continue to not go out and meet people. At this rate I am going to die alone from sheer stubbornness all because I do not want to say I met my man online.

I am at a standstill, caught between hypocrisy and acceptance. Is there a right and wrong about the “correct” way to date, or is it more a battle of which is more effective rather than which is right? I know the pros to online dating, like not having enough time to “get out there” calls to me with all of my being, because who has the time to get ready and cast a line out there in anticipation that a good and (hopefully) attractive guy takes the bait? But as soon as I have a hint of wonder to download one of the apps, I think how much of a hypocrite I am being after badmouthing the act. I have come to the conclusion, to settle my mind on both sides, that I need to go out and give it a go at least once, evaluate the experience, and decide from there if I can handle it again, or if I want to take advantage of the apps as a tool and not a defeat. If this is the new norm, and everyone I talk to thinks it is normal to go on the apps, then maybe I am the one who is not normal and needs to get with the times.

30…

Hi guys! Been a minute. I think I start every post off that way lately but whatever. I haven’t written in a while and that is okay. So, uh, what has happened since my last post?  Well let’s see, happy new year, I still have braces, and oh yeah, I TURNED 30! Still unclear how I feel about it but due to the near mental breakdowns over the last two weeks, I’d say it is going swimmingly 🙃.

I don’t even know why it happened. It started the week of my birthday (my birthday was on a Friday) as I felt each hour passing over the death of my youth. Dramatic much? You don’t even know. But I was in a straight MOOD. I was not ready to let go of my twenties. In fact I have made the decision that I am not actually 30 until I get my braces off, but if we are talking technicalities here, I will humor you and we will say that I AM 30 right now. Anyways, 30 just seems so adult, and like me… I am not an adult. Adults have like spouses and/or kids and drama with their in-laws. Meanwhile I am over here single, yelling at Pilot Pete on The Bachelor to get rid of that crazy betch.

I don’t even know if this is classified as a meltdown, but I myself felt as if I was melting down. I was so grumpy and on the verge of tears. It was like the sky was falling and I couldn’t do anything to hold it up. But alas, Friday came and I turned 30 and I didn’t drop dead so I have that going for me. Two of my sisters and I tried to go to Emo Nite in LA on that night to celebrate the music of my youth and we didn’t get in so….. not sure what that means, but I got to smell what I can only assume was fresh urine on the steps leading us up to Sunset Blvd so we could walk into a bar to just sit and waste that last hour of parking we paid $25 for to go to a venue we couldn’t get into. BUT EVERYTHING IS FINE. *insert My Chemical Romance lyrics, “Trust me, I’M NOT OKAYYYY!”*

The day after the failed attempt at celebrating, we REALLY celebrated. We had a house party at my parents house for my birthday and it was SO FUN! We all got lit and played drinking games and I was completely hungover the next day.

Then came Monday (enter dark cloud stage left)… the start of the second meltdown. I had crippling anxiety ALL DAY. It was brought on by something so stupid and trivial and was a result of me overthinking like the psycho girl that I am, thinking that I ruined a situation THAT ISN’T EVEN A REAL SITUATION. I know I am being vague and cryptic, but all I can say is, know your place in a “non-relationship”. The anxiety lasted all day. I barely ate, all I wanted to do was crawl into a hole. This anxiety, although lessened, lasted all week. It was horrible. This week we are better. I still keep getting little waves of anxiety but small.

Is this 30? For the week that I have been 30 I can say that I am not impressed. Everyone says how great it is but I think they just tell you so you are less scared, or they are just excited you are about to join them in misery. Either or. Who me? Cynical? NEVER 😈.

This may have been a very confusing rant, but you know what? If this isn’t a representation of a melting down 30 year old then I do not know what is. Bring it on!