Salty Stories

Hydration Is For Suckers

There’s a whole lot of annoying people in this world. Believe me, I live in a constant state of annoyance and if you give me about thirty seconds I could fire off a list of things currently grinding my gears and point out everyone’s obnoxious qualities. See? That’s MY obnoxious quality. Near the top of that list are people who tell you to drink more water. These people are usually females, and they will always promise that drinking more water will CHANGE 👏🏼 YOUR 👏🏼 LIFE 👏🏼 GURL! In addition to being as irritable as a small baby with colic, I’ve also lived my entire life in a constant state of dehydration. I’m very aware of the fact that I don’t drink enough water. I drink water with my three meals a day, toss in a coffee every morning (which basically deducts that first water) and that pretty much sums up my day. Way, WAY back when I had a desk job, I’d keep a tumbler of water at my desk to sip during snacktime, but often didn’t finish more than one cup a day. Water washed my food down my gullet and that’s pretty much the sole purpose it has served in my life. Here’s a few other fun facts about me though: I have heavy digestive issues with an emphasis on the D for Diarrhea, I get horrifically crippling hangovers and sometimes my foot will seize off of my body at stupid times of the day in Charlie-horse style cramps—usually when I’m exercising or in the middle of the night when I’m just trying to catch some Z’s. You don’t need to be a doctor to assume that all of these ailments could probably be cured by having a few more glasses of water a day. But I’ve just never been able to bring myself to do it. Obviously counterpoint number one to drinking more water is the inconvenience of needing to pee every few minutes. As someone who has performance anxiety when it comes to peeing in a public bathroom–why are bathrooms a thousand times quieter when there are other people in the stalls?–I never felt the need to create even more stressful situations just by drinking more water. Plus, water just doesn’t taste that great. I mean, be honest with yourself, water is a pretty trash drink. Oh, just continuously sip something that tastes like NOTHING all day long? Get outta here.

So I carried on living my life like the H2O-lacking heathen that I am. Whenever someone brought it up and was like GIRL, just drink eight glasses a day and you’ll NOTICE a difference. I just nodded my head and smiled like you do when someone yaps about a show on Netflix you MUST watch that you 100% know you will never watch. These water worshippers would RAVE that drinking more water will make you lose weight, and clear up your skin, and help your digestion and overall just make you feel like a QUEEN. Ya, ya whatevs. I’m just going to keep destroying my body at an alarming rate. But then, something changed. On my 9th month of unemployment, I was listening to the Token CEO Podcast where someone else was being interviewed about being laid off as well. She pointed out that since it was her second time around on unemployment, it didn’t feel as bad…plus with a national pandemic, there are a lot of people in the same spot. And I thought to myself PREACH. I’m on my third bout of unemployment since graduating college and subsequently my LONGEST one and yet I think I’m the least phased. It’s just a way of life now to never have a G-D job–not for lack of trying of course. I felt connected to this podcast soul sister. At the end of her interview she gave out a tip of advice and it was “drink more water” immediately followed by, “I know everyone says that and shit and I always ignored it but I’ve been doing it lately and honestly I do feel better.” And once again, I felt a kindred spirit in this asshole who was equally as unemployed and also scoffed at people bragging about the health benefits of the plainest drink in the world. And I thought, well what the fuck else am I doing? Now seems like a great time to finally succeed at something rather than fail for once. Clearly I had reached the point where I’d do anything for a win. So the next day, I downloaded a water tracking app for accountability and because my Type A ass NEEDS to check off boxes. Did I really DRINK water if I didn’t log it? Nope. Obviously not.

After testing one app for about 30 seconds and immediately getting annoyed by the ads crowding up my eyesight—no I will not pay for a water tracking app, I don’t even know if I’m going to keep up with this for more than one week. The next free app I downloaded had a lovely percentage bar graphic that was pleasing to the eye and made me feel like I had something to work toward each day. I entered my weight and height and this almighty app told me that 76 oz was my recommended dose per day. It seemed low to the naked eye but seemed even lower when I realized that I own a water bottle that’s 28 oz and I was slurping several of those a day. My first day of tracking I logged 138 oz without even trying. I was ALREADY crushing it. And true to my fantasy life, I was already envisioning eradicating all my tummy probs, having glowing skin, a model bod, and never getting hungover again. The next morning, a reminder to drink water alerted me at 6AM and I quickly turned off the annoying notifications. I was lapping this app, I didn’t need to be told before my eyes even opened that I should be drinking water. LET ME HAVE MY REST TIME. Plus I was reaching my goal by 12pm every day and this app needed to learn to respect my water-drinking hustle during waking hours only. I continued my waterboarding for weeks. I wanted to kill myself with the constant dribble of pee that was threatening to burst out of my urethra every time I breathed, but I assumed much like breaking the seal, this was something my body would get used to and would lessen over time. To distract myself, I took to bragging to everyone around me that my water intake was off the charts and therefore I was superior to them. This made me feel a whole lot better about the fact that I was spending roughly all of my day in the bathroom and dedicating all of my efforts to tracking my bevs like it was my full-time job–to be fair, it kinda was.

And yet, all these days of basically drowning myself and I was still constipated. So much so, that I had to take a laxative to create some movement. I paused to feel confused about the fact that I was basically on a liquid diet and yet my intestines were still like nah, we’re at capacity and we don’t really care. I also was expecting to basically never see a zit again and I was getting chest acne like nobody’s biz from working out and generally being sweaty 24/7 (cause summer, duh.) Another red flag that caused me to wonder if this water thing is really all it’s cracked up to be. Finally, I reached my breaking point. On a particularly sunny Wednesday, I ate a full lunch and then saw a beer sitting in the fridge leftover from a beach day. The beer was a Pina Colada Wheat and I had chosen it specifically for the sun and sand because I wanted to also be drinking alcoholic sunscreen, obviously. I never got around to it and it got pushed to the back of the fridge. I was feeling rather frisky from the nice weather and I decided to give it a try. It was a craft beer of 7.4% alcohol—something I would certainly not find on my trusty water tracking app, and knowing the lightweight that I am, I took it nice and slow. I drank that bad boy over the course of almost two hours. And when I finished it, I kid you not, I was trashed. Kinda a low point for me if we’re being honest. Rather than pass out for a midday buzzed siesta at 4pm on a weekday, I decided to power through the buzz and chug another 28 oz water. I was obviously well above my “goal” at this point in the day and thought surely this magically-powered drink that is supposed to change your life would bring me down from this buzz and also eliminate any bad feelings that would come my way by dinner time. NOPE. By dinner I had a full blown hangover. FROM ONE BEER, FOLKS. And that’s precisely when I called bullshit on this whole drink more water to become your best self philosophy. I ranted to my mom as loud as my headache would allow. How is it that I am THE MOST hydrated, and yet got hungover from one lousy sunscreen tastin’ beer? HOW?! Riddle me that, WATER DICK SUCKERS. After months of drinking over 100 oz of water per day, not a thing about me had changed. My skin was still pre-teen zitty garbage. My flabby muffin top was ever-present. My intestines constantly reminded me that I’m no better than a nursing home resident. I either needed a healthy dose of Prune Juice or an adult diaper and there was no in between. And ya know what? Why don’t you just go ahead and saw my brain in half every time I indulge in an alcoholic beverage. I’m over it. Water worshippers go back to being the most annoying people alive that I’ll ignore for the rest of my life. Nope, that’s a lie. I won’t ignore them. I’ll tell them point blank that they sit on a fountain of lies. AND I HAVE THE APP AND CONSTANT STATE OF DETERIORATION TO PROVE IT.

Editors Note: Due to the fact that this was originally written in August 2020 and it is now February 2021, I wanted to give you all an update on the watering process. Despite my untethered rage toward hydration, I have maintained tracking my agua intake so that I may continue to poke holes in the theory that being hydrated does anything for your body other than giving you bragging rights for drinking the recommended dose of water daily. I appreciate your concern for how much I have to pee in a regular day and I can confirm that I have adjusted, but as I sit here with a sizable zit on my neck, I can also confirm that nothing good has come from my great H2O hustle. Therefore I will continue to shout from the rooftops that WATER IS STUPID. I look forward to the day when I have health insurance again and can boom roast my PCP with my well-researched findings that hydration is for wieners. No further questions at this time.

Standard
Salty Stories

The DMV Did Me Dirty

Here’s the deal, I’ve got a real hot streak of GLAMOUR shots on my driver’s license and I’m not ready or willing to give that self-imposed title up just yet. (My passport photos are another story, anyone except Taylor Swift who knows how to closed mouth smile and NOT look like a serial killer, get @ me with some tips.) These are supposed to be my peak years and I’m RAPIDLY approaching the swift drop on that rollercoaster, so I really need to capture it when I can. On my driver’s license is really the best way to do so. It’s a government issued document and one that I’ll have to show to a stranger every single time I enter a bar or order an adult bevvy. That’s a lot of eyes on one pic, and I say that knowing that I’ve never gotten more than 15 likes on anything I’ve ever posted on social media. ID PHOTOS ARE ALL I HAVE ANYMORE. I never thought this day would come. 

On my 16th birthday, I took my driver’s test—told no one I was taking it so I didn’t have to tell them if I failed (old hockey trick)—and looked like a youthful babe soda in my very first license photo. I had a pre-summer tan, styled hair and an adorable teal dress. All of which could be seen as it was proportionately distanced and sized. In fact, anytime a friend, foe or stranger brought up their dreadful license photo, I paraded that shit around for all to see. Oh you look like you just drowned your kids in a bathtub in your photo? I look like a beauty queen, READ IT AND WEEP BITCHES!

It might be suggested that I annoyed everyone with how much I worked my ID into a conversation. I almost didn’t want to get a fake ID in college for fear of having a fake hideous photo. Fortunately, my sister provided my “fake” and she also takes a great pic. When I turned 21, I did everything in my power to keep my original photo. Unfortunately I was met with much frustration and eye rolls at the dear ole DMV. I took a shitty temp pic until I could get myself home to where my mom had recently become employed at the DMV and promised a full photoshoot to get the right headshot. I cannot stress this enough, I recommend everyone has a relative working at the DMV. Not only did I not have to wait in line and suffer years of my life in that soul-sucking place but I literally got to treat my license photo like a JCPenney portrait shoot minus the kickass 90’s backdrops. Plus my mom knows all of my best angles and I got as many reshoots as I demanded. Another stellar ID was created. Note the carefully curated white lace tank to once again, pop that bronze glow. (PRO tip.)

And now here we are in my 29th year, license expired. Thanks to COVID, I was able to push that renewal back for a solid 5 months before I could go into the DMV again safely. And you better BELIEVE I planned on preparing for this appointment with a full blowout and face of makeup after months of being a loungewear shut-in. Unfortunately for all involved, when the day arrived, I had a friend in town and poorly planned our morning. Eager to fit a scenic 14 mile bike ride in and soak up the sun before my appointment, I let the morning get away from me and all of a sudden I had 15 minutes to shower, dry my hair, put on makeup, curl my hair and pick out the perfect outfit to enhance my summer tan. On the 30 minute drive back to my house (in the opposite direction of the DMV) I began to panic that I would become * insert tone of absolute disgust here*: an UGLY ID holder. And not just like casual caught off guard for a pic ugly…unshowered, hair pulled up under a hat, just sweat my ass off in a high speed bike ride to try and make up for my poor time management, no makeup, in a tee with visible pit stains kind of UGLY. I wondered how horrible it would be to cancel my appointment. Or just commit to it and then immediately change my photo at a later date. All of these options were either incredibly inconvenient or more expensive. This is when I really had to look inward and have a stern talk with myself about what was important here. How I look in a photograph that’s the size of a stamp or keeping an appointment it took me a month to get for the renewal of my driver’s license that had been expired for almost half a year now. The answer was my looks and that is the most obvious thing on this earth. Having been born with naturally curly hair that I let air-dry, I cannot allow myself to be photographed within a few hours of my daily shower or I’ll look like ole ramen-head ass Justin Timberlake that immediately turned into a meme because of HOW BAD IT LOOKED. So it’s not even like I could trim time off of my prep by leaving my locks au naturel. 

I arrived home and I’ve never gotten ready faster in my entire life. And you know what? I looked like a 10. From the front. I never dried my hair in the back. Too time consuming and the back of my head will never be featured on an ID. I selected a teal dress to accentuate the new race I had become from 4 straight months of baking in the sun and even tossed on my custom-made Salty Ju jean jacket on top of that for clout. All of my fans and supporters (my sister and my friend) applauded my Herculean effort to transform myself into a top model in 15 minutes flat. I expected paparazzi to be hiding in the bushes when I exited my house, shoveling peanut butter crackers in my cracker hole because I skipped lunch in favor of my looks. I got to the DMV with two minutes to spare and ready to do the cover of Vogue, should Rosie at counter 8 impromptu ask me to. We got the long-awaited photo out of the way first and when I tell you it was horrific, that is an understatement. It turns out, no matter how GREAT I look (or dress…my outfit didn’t even graze the photo), if you close crop my head in the square, there is REALLY no positive way to spin that. Rosie snapped away and showed me the pic for review where my jaw resided on the ground. I didn’t think it was possible to look like the poster child for my 600 lb life and yet a super zoom WILL DO THAT. My chins were abundant and falling out of frame as the square went from my forehead to my first chin, also giving me a buzz cut in the process–so much for drying and curling my precious locks. That was a proportion that Rosie felt comfortable with and to be honest I would’ve asked for a reshoot, but I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to and it looked like the camera setup would be permanently unforgiving. I had just carefully curated a look and an outfit for a MEGAHEAD PHOTO THAT I’LL BE STUCK WITH FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS. But don’t worry, the guy at counter 10 who processed my renewal told me it’s a great photo and he doesn’t just tell everyone that. He also complimented my nail polish so obviously he was just trying to bang me. My perfect ID photo streak has come to an abrupt and aggressive end and I will forever curse this stupid day. Ten years from now, I’m bringing my own photographer.

And as if NY State wasn’t cruel enough, they double up on your mug, hologram style. So that Salty Ju Megahead can also float in space on the right side of my ID reminding me to invest in a neckline slimmer.

Standard
Pop Culture, Salty Stories

Celine Dion Made Me Do It

Welp, I’ve officially done the most ridiculous and embarrassing thing a grown adult can do. I understand that I say that a lot and perhaps have dramatized a scenario or two, but this one truly takes the cake. Let’s set the scene. It’s my third week in my new apartment. A few nights ago I’m doing my nightly TikTok scroll when I stumble upon an official Tok from Celine Dion’s account. She (her team) posted a clip of her greatest hit of all time (don’t fight me on this, I will win) “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” This song is uncontested for best car scream singalong and when I saw the dramatic snippet of the music video and her call for people to recreate it, I immediately knew what I needed to do. I’ve never felt more of a sense of duty to Celine. It was like she had cast the bat symbol into the dark Gotham City sky and I was Batman (Christian Bale’s version obviously.) I didn’t grow up imitating her French Canadian accent for laughs amongst my family members for nothing. It was my time to shine. Please feel free to immerse yourself in the original creation to really set the tone for this candid peek behind the scenes of my life imitating what it would be like if a 30 year old moved into the Hype House. (For fellow olds like me, the Hype House is a home where a bunch of teenagers live and create TikToks 24/7.)

The next day it struck me that I live alone now. I can really commit to the bit here and not fear someone hearing me or interrupting my stupidity to ask what the hell I’m doing. This is an insecure content creator like myself’s true wet dream. I began to prepare the creative of how I was going to tackle this video. The original music video (in case you didn’t have a spare 7 and a half mins to review it above) takes place in a castle during a stormy night as Celine mourns her ex. Those theatrics were really going to need some dedication and I was up for the job. First I had to unearth the only silk robe I own that also happened to be my gift for being in my sister’s wedding. It very boldly says Maid of Honor across the back. I’d have to make sure my hair covered that as I’m confident Celine has never been anyone’s maid of honor. She’s the star of the show or she doesn’t show up at all. I mean come on, did James Cameron win a buttload of Oscars for Titanic because he’s a great director? No he won them because he got Celine to create and sing her face off to the smash hit My Heart Will Go On. I’ll never let go, Jack? More like I’ll never get over how much of an iconic diva Celine Dion is.

Celine

Anyway, next I started to brainstorm how I could make it look like a stormy night in my opposite of a mansion new apartment. I only have one curtain in this shack to separate my “office” from my bedroom and I knew that’s where this tomfoolery was about to go down. It’s about time I used my office for some real work. I lit a candle for ambience and because she had a shit-ton of burning candles in the video (my production budget only allowed for one), got dressed in my silk robe, did my hair and makeup and began my grind of setting the scene. I don’t mean to brag but I’ve worked on a movie set, and sometimes you just need to do a little behind the scenes magic to make something believable. As it is now winter and I no longer have fans hanging around, that behind the scenes magic was the one, two punch of my space heater and my hair dryer to create a wind machine. Rigging both of these together to blow at the curtains was not only difficult but also was blowing the bottom, which was out of frame. I won’t reveal how many times I propped that hair dryer higher only to have it flop back down. I finally conceded and figured it was good enough. I also noticed that in this very 90’s music video, the lights flickered to really amp up the drama of the storm and also her ex haunting her, probably. So after several HQ takes of some of my FINEST acting running towards the curtains in disarray…

It was time to up the ante. With both my hair dryer and space heater on full blast for several minutes now, I decided to do a shot of just the “blowing” curtains and flicker the lights on my own. I hammered that light switch a few times then went to what we in the biz call “check the gate” (took a film class once) and suddenly I was in pitch black darkness. My little moviemaking antics for a TIKTOK had blown a fuse. Spielberg over here had gotten so carried away in the process that I forgot that I was in a 220 year old brick house and not a Hollywood soundstage. Panic ensued.

I immediately made quick work of unplugging the hair dryer and stashing it back in the bathroom. I tried to listen for outbursts from my upstairs neighbors, not knowing if I had affected their power as well. They seemed normal amounts of loud and not angry at the new girl for cutting electricity loud. I glanced at myself in the mirror wearing a silk robe with my name embroidered on it and a red lip standing next to a tripod. My worst fear was that someone would abruptly knock on my door and find me like this. Do you know how hard it would be to explain that I’m not sharing solo footage for my OnlyFans account but in fact just getting in touch with my inner Celine circa 1996? I’m guessing they wouldn’t buy it. I immediately erased all evidence and texted my landlord after searching high and low for a fuse box. Of course it wouldn’t be in my apartment. I acted casj cool in my text. “Hey it’s me, your new tenant! I made an oopsie and blew the fuse because I was drying my hair with the space heater on. Can I get access to the fuse box to reset it?” He was kind enough to zip right over and power things up again, with a gentle reminder that this house is old as dirt and that there’s only 15 amps per 6 outlets, as if I would ever know what that means. What a guy. He has no clue he’s renting to a complete moron who thinks dressing her bedroom as a set for a 20 second video is absolutely necessary. Hopefully he never knows. He doesn’t strike me as the type to google somebody, but should he stumble across this blog one day—I wasn’t blow drying my hair at 8pm when I haven’t left the apartment all day. I was trying to Beyonce the SHIT out of a music video shoot. Sorry not sorry. (I’m just kidding I actually am sorry pls don’t evict me, I just got everything unpacked.)

(I mean seriously are the curtains even moving?!)

It should come as no surprise to you that the shot that blew the fuse STUNK. In fact, I forced it into the final video (a measly 2 seconds) as homage to my landlord and the fact that he rectified the situation at lightning speed so that the shoot could continue without additional production days. Once the power was back on we were off to the races and by that I obviously mean I spent another 1-2 hours shooting 6 zillion takes of me lip syncing because I’d rewatch it and immediately coach myself that I could do it better the next time. Thank GAWD there were no witnesses to this. Then on top of that, I started the editing process and realized that when you’re not a 14 year old who lives and breathes TikTok, it’s actually super hard to use and since there was no way on EARTH I was going to shoot that thing in one take live (was any accredited feature film shot live?!) I was forced to spend hours using two different apps to match me and Celine up as best as I could.

The final product is below. It’s probably the shittiest 20 seconds that’s ever caused a power outage. But if you watch it enough times on repeat like I did trying to sync our powerful singing up, you’ll start to see that I basically am Celine Dion. Is there a difference between the two of us? No, no there is not. Unfortunately for my ego, which reached its pinnacle right around the time I did a full face of makeup and decided adding a dramatic rosé sip at the end would really incorporate my own personal brand into this reboot…my TikTok got a measly 49 views and 2 likes. On the bright side someone did comment “10/10.” So thank you for your kindness, stranger. It is words of encouragement like that I’ll remember fondly the next time I’m spending an entire evening by myself with my tripod, convincing myself I’m Celine Dion in the flesh, creating a city-wide blackout.

Standard