lately (08.16.18)

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past couple weeks:

  • crying, a lot, in a variety of settings including but not limited to
    • the shower (while listlessly soaping my body)
    • the kitchen (while reheating soup, while emptying the dishwasher)
    • the couch (before dinner, during dinner, after dinner)
    • my bed (before sleeping, upon waking)
    • my boyfriend’s bed (see: my bed)
    • the car (on the way to get groceries, on the way to breakfast)
    • my Bedroom Floor (Liam Payne™ No Copyright Infringement Intended)
  • not bathing or grooming or sleeping enough
  • reading

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - Circe by Madeline Miller

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Amazon | Goodreads) – Lovely! A surprise! A little life with a big heart!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Amazon | Goodreads) – Delicious, excruciating, and just nihilistic enough for my taste. Every scene with Boris made me want to crawl out of my skin in a good way.

Circe by Madeline Miller (Amazon | Goodreads) – In progress. Achingly gorgeous prose, as expected from the author of The Song of Achilles.

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One by Jenny Blake - So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One by Jenny Blake (Amazon | Goodreads) – Generally helpful career advice, but could’ve been shortened to a blog post or a series of blog posts, IMO. Includes the phrases “monthly nut” and “yearly nut.”

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport (Amazon | Goodreads) – In progress. So far it seems a lot less bullshitty than many other career books I’ve read.

  • reading “The Changeling” by Annerb, the first non-slash fic I’ve read in a long, long time. This one is Harry/Ginny, with the premise being that Ginny was actually sorted into Slytherin. I’m on Chapter 4 and am loving it so far.
  • watching

Winter's Bone - Mamma Mia! - Loving Vincent

Winter’s Bone (Amazon | IMDb) – Jennifer Lawrence is very, very good in this, and it’s obvious why she was cast as Katniss in Hunger Games, though they really should’ve picked someone less white for that role. At least she was appropriately white af in this movie.

Mamma Mia! (Amazon | IMDb) – PURE. JOY. Amanda Seyfried is beautiful, Meryl Streep is BEAUTIFUL, Pierce Brosnan is a dreamboat, and Colin Firth is A GODDAMN DREAM.)

Loving Vincent (Amazon | IMDb) – Worth watching for the artwork alone – it is absolutely gorgeous. This film was obviously made with a lot of love, and it shows.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark - Dirty Dancing

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Amazon | IMDb) – I had no idea how attractive I would find Harrison Ford in professorly tweeds and glasses, but I definitely knew how attractive I would find Harrison Ford glistening with sweat, shirt unbuttoned down to his bellybutton, destroying priceless archaeological artifacts. I hate that they put a white dude in monolid prosthetics though! I know it was for a stunt scene, but the yellowface was so jarring!!!

Dirty Dancing (Amazon | IMDb) – SO FUCKING GOOD?! I can’t believe I put off watching this for so long. It is a masterpiece. Patrick Swayze in high-waisted trousers is a masterpiece! “I carried a watermelon” is ICONIC!!!

(Here’s Harrison Ford in tweed and glasses, because:

indiana jones and the raiders of the lost ark - screencap - harrison ford - professor glasses tweed vest 3 piece suit

This is very sexy.

And here’s the yellowface, featuring really crappy single eyelid prosthetics:

indiana jones and the raiders of the lost ark - asian monolid eyelid prosthetics yellowface

This, on the other hand, is not very sexy at all.

(screencaps from movie-screencaps.com)

I can’t wait to see Crazy Rich Asians this weekend so I don’t have to look at a single fake Asian for a whole two hours. I know it’s going to be an imperfect movie because it’s based on an imperfect book, but frankly I’m not going to wait for a perfect movie before I start supporting American movies with many Asian actors.)

  • going to Niall’s concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View and being SO PROUD and SO FULL OF HORNS, because Niall is SO SO SO good live, especially at outdoor venues!

niall horan flicker world tour - shoreline amphitheatre mountain view - marquee

(This is not my video, but something about THOSE JEANS and THAT SHIRT and THIS SONG is what makes Niall Horan the sexiest Direction.)

niall horan flicker world tour - shoreline amphitheatre mountain view - samglorious - anothertoast - featuring a cardboard cutout of nialls head for wild 949

One day I hope to be famous enough that local radio stations have giant cardboard cutouts of my face to pose with. Not pictured: My cousin and I screaming the lyrics to “Better Than Words,” which was playing right before this photo was taken.

(Scrunchie: Forever21. Extra cropped crop top: Forever21. Black mom jeans: Monki via ASOS. Belt: childhood. Shoes: Converse. Backpack you can’t even see: Etsy shop you can’t even view because it’s no longer operating; gift.)

niall horan flicker world tour - shoreline amphitheatre mountain view - christian tierney - photo of crowd

I’m somewhere in this picture! I still don’t know where, but I’m definitely somewhere!!!

(Photo by Christian Tierney, via NJHNews)

  • wearing a lot of scarves in my hair

samglorious - anothertoast - scarf topknot hair

(Blue scarf: Innisfree gift with purchase (lol). Brown scarf: Esprit sample sale. Wild & Free Viking pin: bottleofclouds on Etsy, gift. Love Is A Many Gendered Thing pin: Abprallen on Etsy.)

  • watching Les Misérables at the Orpheum and crying as if on cue at “to love another person is to see the face of god” because it’s fuckin TRUE and it always makes me emosh

  • running lots of budget calculations
  • opening a new credit card
  • making all the appointments!!!
  • working on a long blog post 👀
  • looking up “how to write a glassdoor review without inciting a defamation lawsuit”

glassdoor how to avoid defamation lawsuit negative review - chicken butt

A list of things that have not been legal grounds for a defamation lawsuit, from Glassdoor’s very own article.

And on that note!!! Have a great weekend, pals.

lately (06.07.18)

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

Since mid-February, I’ve been crying probably 3 or 4 times a week, which is a frequency creeping dangerously close to depressed-college-Sam levels of Crying Too Much. I’ve also been doing too little of the following: sleeping, washing my hair, washing my face, moisturizing my face, flossing my teeth, brushing my teeth, and bathing.

This is fine, I thought, like the comic strip dog wearing a hat while his kitchen is engulfed in flames. It was fine, because I was interviewing, so my anxiety was justified, and because I could deal with situational stress that had a foreseeable end. It was fine!

It was fine to have anxiety attacks at work while sitting at my desk doing nothing and having to leave work because I couldn’t focus while counting my heartbeats or feeling hysterical with nausea or trying to stop my eyeballs from producing inappropriately timed tears (a Sam classic).

And while I’m not yet at the point where I literally want to die and find myself zoning out mid-conversation or partway through a crosswalk to fantasize about tall buildings (college was uhhh how do you say this? rough), I am, in fact, not really all that fine.

My interviews are over. But I still had to leave my desk the other day to will a sudden onslaught of tears into submission in the privacy of a bathroom stall. I still haven’t been practicing normal hygiene routines (this week’s score: Hygiene-1, Anxiety-5), or sleeping at healthy hours.

I’m probably teetering on the edge of depression at this point, if I’m being objective about it, but this time I’m not so socially isolated that I’m being sucked into its gaping maw. I’ve got a few more hands to hold on to this time. It could be worse.

It also brings me some peace to know that my friend Victoria was right, back in college when I felt like I was going to break from the weight of deciding whether to quit my sensible second major (Computer Science) or not, and that she’s still right – either I’ll keep going, or something will break, and I’ll do something else.

It would be best if I could take one more tech job. I know this. I know how much it would help to take one more tech job, to hoard a couple more years’ worth of savings on a six-figure salary before I check the fuck out. But I’m not sure I can.

It might break me. And that’s the tea.

But I don’t want to end on that note. So here are some things that have been keeping my happiness levels afloat lately (and not so lately):

Read more…

lately (05.07.18)

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

Henlo, friends. I am very tired.

I’ve spent the past 2 months or so in a maelstrom of abject misery, what with trying to interview at like 15 different companies at the same time.

(In Silicon Valley, this generally implies that for each company, you’re spending 1 hour on a recruiter phone call, 1 hour on a live coding exercise, and if you get past those, sometimes 4-8 hours on a take-home project, sometimes 1 hour with each manager whose team you might be joining, and, almost invariably, 6 hours on an onsite interview (though I know of some companies that take up to 16 hours onsite, split over a couple of days).)

After everything, I ended up with exactly one (1) verbal job offer, which I turned down earlier this week, on the grounds that I’d prefer not to work at a company whose self-described engineering culture reeks of Nice Guys™ (a suspicion that was only magnified by their post-interview communications, during which I felt like they were trying to bribe and/or woo me with actual gifts).

So.

It’s May. I’m still at the same job, but I’m making slightly more than I was a couple months ago, thanks to a cost-of-living raise that was 4 months overdue and that took my salary from embarrassingly low to acceptably low.

I’m licking my wounds and wallowing for a bit in my sadness bath and trying not to feel guilty as I concentrate on actually moving out of my childhood home and in with my boyfriend at the apartment I’ve been paying rent on for the past 2 months, instead of trying to interview more.

(I should be studying. I should always be studying(!!!), because I’ve been doing so poorly on my interviews, because I’m mediocre at my profession and I can only get better through practice. But my study strategy so far has consisted of doing practice problems until I have an anxiety attack (lol), and then mentally checking out until the actual interview via a diet of fanfiction, YA fiction, and online window shopping.

And I know you could easily argue that it’s a numbers game and everyone faces rejection sometimes and I haven’t been through that many interviews, but that doesn’t change the fact that I feel guilty for not being stoic enough to study harder. I just… My brain broke, so maybe I did do my best, and it just wasn’t very good.)

Anyway. This work stuff is all a bit boring, so here are some other things I’ve been up to over the past 2 months or so:

Read more…

lately (07.30.17)

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

Happy Sunday, pals.

I’m currently sprawled out across the couch at my partner’s apartment (well, the upper third of my body is on the couch, the middle third is on an ottoman, and the bottom third is just floating in space), still listening to Louis Tomlinson’s “Back to You” (which is a SMASH FUCKIN HIT AND MY #1 FAVORITE SOLO 1D THING THAT’S COME OUT SO FAR, LONG LIVE KING LOUIS) on repeat.

(Aside: I’m using Augustus’ Audio-Technica ATH-M50 over-ear headphones (here’s the newer model) and IT’S GLORIOUS having the Tommo piped right into my ears.)

Here’s what I’ve been up to in the past couple weeks since my last life update.

I…

  • had this delicious burger which had grilled onions cooked in angostura bitters(!) at Maven

maven san francisco hayes valley - maven's burger with onions cooked in angostura bitters - little gem salad with toasted quinoa - happy hour kolsch

The little gem salad was topped with toasted quinoa, which was deliciously crunchy. We came for happy hour, so I had a free Kölsch with my burger.

  • acquired two single tickets to Niall Horan’s Flicker Sessions! I snagged a balcony seat and Augustus somehow managed to get a floor ticket for me, which means I could be close enough to see Niall’s spit flying out of his mouth!!! But I’m debating selling the floor ticket because the last time I attended a 1D concert was their Up All Night Tour in 2012, where I managed to get 5th row tickets at the door. The concert was a lot of fun, but it was terrifying being surrounded and crushed by so many screaming fans while waiting in line. I’m not sure I can go through that again, especially since I’ll be alone this time.
  • remembered that Zach is my favorite speller of all time:

he paints him self as fruigle

  • have been wearing BB Cream again (a mix of Missha M Signature Real Complete BB Cream in 21 and 23 (Light Pink Beige and Natural Yellow Beige)) because my skin’s been on the fritz. I think my bout of good skin a couple months ago was a direct result of resetting my sleep schedule to what I call “bed by 11, up by 7” for a few weeks, but soon after making that post I went back to Anxiety-Induced Insomnia™, so… here I am, wearing makeup again.

anothertoast - samglorious - uneven hyperpigmentation acne bad skin - skincare - bb cream

These pictures were taken after sunscreen and makeup. 🙁 Acne and hyperpigmentation galore.

(more…)

lately (07.09.17)

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

I realized after making my last substantial post (let’s talk about money, part iii: long-term financial goals and plans) that the only topic that’s taking up so much space in my brain that I need to capture it in words and let it loose on the internet is … money.

Which is all well and good ’cause, like, sometimes my head runs out of room and I need to put my extra thoughts somewhere, like a Pensieve, but also! It is important to remind myself that there is more to life than being afraid of not acquiring enough money to support my family.

For example, this SICK mashup of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” with The Phantom of the Opera:

This is up there with “Call Me A Hole” (“Call Me Maybe” x “Head Like A Hole” by Nine Inch Nails) as one of my favorite mashups of all time.

Hang on to your butts, ’cause this is a long one. Here are some other things I’ve been up to lately other than jamming to unlikely musical combinations:

(more…)

what to wear to a harry styles concert

Original image of Harry wearing a baby blue velvet women’s suit(!!!) via The Daily Styles.

I need to shower and sleep so I can actually function at work tomorrow, but Harry Styles is hosting The Late Late Show this week and I am simultaneously ALIVE and DYING!!! (Aren’t we all.) I mean just LOOK AT THAT GREEN VELVET AND HIS DREAM BOY HAIR AND DAD JOKES DELIVERED AT THE SPEED OF MOLASSES!!!

I mean, really, Louis said it best. Always in my heart, @Harry_Styles . Yours sincerely, Sam

I refuse to watch the rest of the clips because I know I’ll never go to bed, like that time I watched One Direction’s very first SNL performance and ended up on YouTube at 3AM watching them all trying to fit on one couch while talking over each other and generally being the worst interviewees ever, and I am not gonna let that happen to me this time!!!! (At least until the weekend, anyway.)

Back to the point of this post.

I was window shopping at Forever21 and came across these two glorious floral(-ish) patterned button-up shirts that reminded me of Harry’s $1500 dad shirts that he leaves unbuttoned down to his fourth nipple:

Leaf Print Shirt (white), $15.90 at Forever21. Floral Print Shirt (red), $15.90 at Forever21.

I don’t have four nipples, but I’m considering purchasing one of them to wear, maybe with some black skinny jeans and Chelsea boots, when I attend Harry’s solo(!!!) concert later this year, because I mean… these are $15.90, not $1500, and Harry Styles’ looks are iconic.

I am 100% sure that I’ll find more Harry-esque things while online window shopping, so watch this space.

things i liked in 2016

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

I don’t know about you, but I

  1. am no longer feeling 22*, and
  2. spent New Year’s Day warming up canned soup and periodically sticking a thermometer in my partner’s mouth and checking and re-checking the maximum daily dosage of Tylenol.

(I also got to watch BBC Sherlock‘s “The Six Thatchers”** and an episode and a half of Jessica Jones (thanks, Netflix free trials!) in bed while my partner slept, which was nice.)

(I also also helped clean up after the cat spilled a glass of water onto the bed, floor, and nightstand, and then I cleaned out her litter box (#samfirst), because Stockholm Syndrome***.)

*I have not felt 22 since I was 22 and spent my lunch breaks sitting on park benches crying about how much I hated my job and my weekends drinking about some guy who wouldn’t text me back and repeating to myself, “This is the way my cookie crumbled, and I’m trying to make it something I’m proud of again,” and, coincidentally, when “22” (Taylor Swift™ No copyright infringement intended. Property of TAS LLC management 2013©) was released.

**LORD HELP US ALL TJLC WILL BECOME REALITY AND THEY WILL MAKE TELEVISION HISTORY AND MY SOUL WILL FINALLY BE FREE FROM JOHNLOCK HELL

***Buy One Direction’s “Stockholm Syndrome” on iTunes!!!

The rest of my first week of January consisted of reading Sherlock theories, getting ghosted by Muni trains for an entire hour on my first day back at work, having my heart broken by both Noah and Jude in I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (I’m not done yet, but already I am crushed with the weight of my emotions), buying an early Valentine’s Day card for my bae, catching up on Talk Direction, watching s’more Jessica Jones, listening to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” on repeat, and watching Sherlock‘s “The Lying Detective” and then screaming about it.

But before I attempt to look ahead to the rest of this year, I’d like to pause and mention things I liked in 2016, as inspired by Cara:

The iPhone 6s. I’m not even sure this is a great phone, but it’s such a dramatic upgrade from my iPhone 4 that I can’t hear you over the sound of actually being on the latest versions of apps.

Growing succulents. For the first time in my life, I’ve successfully kept a non-cactus plant alive for more than a few weeks. I’m even propagating my succulents at my partner’s apartment (he gets better sunlight), and they are so dang cute and tiny.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. I picked up my copy at SFPL’s Big Book Sale because this guy in one of my freshman seminars said it was his favorite book, and his sheer enthusiasm left an impression on me that lasted, like, six years. This book broke my heart in a million small ways and about six enormous ones. It is funny, poignant, swashbuckling, and epic. It is gorgeous. It is now my #1 favorite book of ever, so there’s that. If you haven’t read this, please do yourself a favor and DO.

Waiting by Ha Jin. I picked up this book at SFPL’s Big Book Sale because one of my high school Chinese teachers recommended it, and honestly??? I straight-up hated this book and both main characters for almost the ENTIRE book, but the emotional payoff of the ending was 1) SO FUCKING CHINESE and 2) so worth it. Absolutely recommend.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I loved this book, but 1) it was my first Neal Stephenson book, so I had nothing to compare it to (I’ve heard many people say they couldn’t finish this book, but they really liked Snow Crash), and 2) I actually enjoyed Stephenson’s “this writer really likes to hear himself talk” style of writing (unlike when I tried to start reading Infinite Jest and stopped after a few pages out of total boredom). I picked this up at the SFPL Big Book Sale at the recommendation of Augustine, a friend I made at my coding bootcamp a couple years ago. Maybe not for everyone considering it’s 918 pages long, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, not because it was very good (it read like mediocre fanfiction), but for sending me into a Harry Potter death spiral, what with Ron and Hermione together in every version of the universe, and Draco Malfoy being LONELY, and Harry having to literally witness his parents’ deaths… what the fuck. Anyway, Albus & Scorpius 4ever, amirite lads?

Yuri!!! on Ice, an anime about competitive male figure skating, centered around the relationship between Katsuki Yuri, a Japanese figure skater, and Viktor Nikiforov, his Russian coach. I found out about this show through Tumblr (of course), and lemme tell you, it is SO PURE. It handles Yuri’s performance anxiety and general lack of self confidence with respect and realism! (I too have felt so overwhelmed that I’ve given up and tried to sleep the feelings away!) And the progression of Viktor and Yuri’s relationship truly cleansed my soul – it was like coming out of the water and drying off in the warm sun (or coming off the ice rink and soaking in a hot spring!!!). The choreography and animation of the skating routines are beautiful, and the show’s depiction of competitive ice skating is accessible to the casual viewer while being completely realistic. Honestly, Yuri!!! On Ice might be the best thing to have come out of 2016.

The Girl on the Train, the movie. (I haven’t read the book.) It gave me serious Gone Girl vibes, but it was like 4000 times more satisfying, because everyone got what they deserved, and also men are the worst.

Spotify, which I’d only used occasionally until this past year. I used to listen to KPop on repeat on iTunes during work, but now I jump around on Spotify’s web player when people are taking their phone calls too loudly in the office. It’s rad.

These songs, all of which are pop and almost certainly things you’ve already listened to:

Bob’s Burgers, which I’m watching with my boyfriend. It’s funny, weird, and a little dark while being ultimately optimistic – all things I love in a television show.

Deadpool, which made me laugh out loud in the theater within the first 30 seconds. Definitely one of my favorite Marvel movies ever, and Ryan Reynolds was actually… really hot, so… yes.

Goodreads Deals, which is a fucking blessing in the form of a daily email that alerts you about special pricing for Kindle books that you might be interested in based on your Goodreads profile. I read a lot more on my phone than on paper these days (which is both surprising and unsurprising to me, because I love books but it’s also way easier to hold your phone when you’re standing on Muni than to hold a paperback), and Goodreads Deals has already introduced me to a handful of wonderful books for usually less than $3 each. I have zero intention of unsubscribing in the foreseeable future.

Plant Nanny, an app that helps you drink more water and the #1 reason why my skin has been so much clearer this past year. In the app, you grow a cute little virtual plant that you can only water when you yourself drink water, and if you go too many days without drinking an adequate amount of water, your plant shrivels up and dies an adorable, guilt-inducing death. (I actually heard about Plant Nanny through Coffee with Chrachel, which I heard about through Talk Direction.)

CLIO Kill Black waterproof liquid eyeliner. I’ve marveled at my friend Jess’s mastery of liquid eyeliner and perfectly flicked cat-eyes since I first watched her do her eyeliner in a compact mirror while we sat at a food court table at the mall back in like 2012, and I’ve always struggled with the angle of cat-eye wings, but CLIO’s Kill Black liner made it so, SO much easier to achieve her look. The brush is both stiff and supple, with a fine tip that makes it easy to draw a good line, the pigmentation is superbly dark, and the finish has a slight sheen that I really love the look of. (And if you want to buy it through SokoGlam, shoot me an email so I can get $10 and you can get 20% off.)

Sleeping masks/packs, which have proven way, way more beneficial for my skin than sheet masks. Sheet masks are fun and relaxing, but they don’t actually do that much for me. Sleeping masks, on the other hand, help so much with hydration. I thought sleeping masks were really thick and goopy and didn’t understand how people didn’t just smear it all over their pillowcases until I tried a sample of the A’Pieu Good Night Water Sleeping Mask. It was lightweight and actually dried down on my skin after a few minutes like any other lotion or cream, and when I woke up, I was glowing. Since then, I’ve also purchased the SKIN CERAMIC Donkey Milk Yogurt Sleeping Pack, which has a really weird consistency (like melty mozzarella ice cream) but solid results, and the Innisfree Jeju Sparkling Mineral Night Spa Mask, which smells super refreshing, is lightweight, and leaves my skin calm when I wake up.

CosRx Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol, which I’ve been using as a spot treatment. It’s helped a lot with my hormonal acne, bringing things to a head/to the surface more quickly, and sometimes actually preventing breakouts in the first place. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I recommend giving this a try if you’ve never tried any actives or chemical exfoliants – this one’s pretty gentle. (My only gripes are that it smells like stinky tofu, and the pump dispenser just kind of shoots it forward instead of into your hand, but you get used to it.)

SUM:37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick, as my solid cleanser when I travel. This contains coconut oil and it foams, so it’s technically both an oil cleanser and a foaming cleanser, but I use it as just a foaming cleanser. It works well and doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped, but it made my boyfriend break out (probably from the coconut oil), so, as with everything, patch test.

ColourPop liquid lipsticks, especially their metallics. I own and love Man Eater (metallic rose gold that reads almost bronze on me; perfect for that bionic woman look (no, seriously, this is shockingly wearable)) and Mugshot (metallic cranberry red that leans pink; fantastic for slightly unconventional holiday looks), but the Ultra Satin Lip in TooLips is also gorgeous. It’s a “deepened plum brown” that reads nearly black on me, but in a slightly pigmented way that’s more flattering than pure black. These wear well when eating/drinking, reapply well, and are $6. SIX FREAKING DOLLARS. Eat that, Kylie.

Black cotton period underwear. I don’t know how I spent this much of my menstruating life without dedicated period underwear, but I finally bought 5 pairs of black cotton hipsters from Gap (on sale, so they were $5.40 each) and they have VASTLY increased my quality of life by giving me one less thing to worry about staining when I’m on my period, AND they offer enough booty coverage that I can wear them when I’m using my Lunette menstrual cup with a pantyliner or wearing an ultralong super absorbent overnight pad with wings.

Maxing out my retirement accounts. I maxed out my Roth IRA with Betterment early in the year, and in Q2 of 2016, my company started offering a 401k plan with both traditional and Roth options. I don’t get a match, but I’m still excited for my first 401k ever! I opted to split my 401k contributions between traditional and Roth, and I finished maxing out in Q4. (Please note: I have the privilege of working at a relatively high-paying job while still living at home. I did not manage to do this through extreme frugality.)

Opening a savings account with Ally. That sweet 1% interest on my emergency fund tho. Way better than whatever hundredths of a percent I was getting.

The Chase Freedom card. That sweet 1% cash back (and rotating 5% cash back categories) tho. A fantastic perk for someone like me who uses credit cards like cash.

Ebates, because I do a shit-ton of my shopping online, and it’s so easy to earn cash back if you use the Google Chrome extension to remind you if you’re on an Ebates-eligible website. I’ve earned $292.04 in cash back since 2013, so it’s been super useful for me, especially around the holidays. (If you’re not already signed up, you can use my referral link so I can get $25, and you can get $10. (I swear to you ALL of that $292.04 was from my own consumerism, not referral bonuses.))

Having shower sex during my period. In 2015, I had two very painful UTIs from having sex while on my period, which I was told was “normal” and “won’t be considered a problem unless you have more than three in a year.” It didn’t matter if I showered before and after, avoided using my Lunette menstrual cup, chugged water so I could pee waterfalls afterward, or took a billion cranberry pills. (I did all of those things religiously, and I still got the 2nd UTI.) After cautious experimentation, I realized that it was fine to have sex near the end of my period, when my flow was much lighter (which leads me to think that something about the presence of lots of blood makes me more likely to get a UTI). In any case, I ended up having shower sex (#samfirst) while I was on my period, and it was glorious. First of all, my fertility cycle is pretty predictable and also on the long side, which means that I don’t have to worry about pregnancy for the first few days of my period, at the very least, which makes for a very happy partner with a very happy penis. Second, when you’re on your period, penetration is way, waaay easier, which means I don’t have to worry about lube or more than, like, 10 minutes of foreplay. Third, there’s no mess!!! My partner and I used to lay down an old comforter for period sex, and it ended up covered in all sorts of stains and frankly disturbing handprints. He enjoys period sex, so he didn’t and doesn’t care about the mess, but it’s certainly more convenient when you’re not leaving bloody evidence everywhere. And finally (and most importantly), I don’t get UTIs from period sex anymore. Win, win, win, and WIN.

Excedrin, even though it makes me feel anxious and panicky after I take it. (It’s probably the caffeine.) Sometimes you just have to kick that migraine’s ass, even if it means being very nervous for no reason for a while.

Running on a treadmill. I used to hate running. I still kind of do, but now I love-hate it. Running outdoors isn’t really an option for me (I don’t feel safe running outdoors in the early morning or in the evening, which are the only times I can run), but running indoors while listening to Talk Direction at a fixed pace is actually pleasant, and the post-run euphoria is Real, guys. It feels so good. (The pacing was actually my biggest problem – I have to run a lot more slowly than I thought, but now I can actually run an entire mile without feeling like Death Is Come, so I consider that a huge win.)

And, last but in fact GREATEST, being blessed by this Corgi sploot:

I’m under that blanket. I fell asleep on the living room floor, and Butters came by and splooted behind my butt.

Hella blessed, hella thankful.