Dizzy Spells and Mayonnaise

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The dizzy spells started at the beginning of October in 2012. I was in my second year of graduate school at the University of Mississippi (more commonly known by all you NCAA-aficionados out there as “Ole Miss”) studying for my Masters in Higher Education Administration. “Oh so you’re a professor?” No, I am not a professor. “So what exactly do you do?” Most people ask this with such hesitation, it’s as if they somehow know I am destined for a career of job uncertainty and a salary that will never come close to those of my friends in the corporate world. One week (in the not-so-distant past), I had Ramen for dinner. Every single night. It’s like that State Farm commercial when the young girl has moved to a new city and is on a “Ramen-Noodle-Every-Night Budget” (you did the guy’s voice in your head, didn’t you?), but somehow she still makes room in said budget to pay what is probably WAY too much for State Farm car insurance for her shitty little car. Girlfriend. Sell your car, take public transportation (for the most part, it’s not that bad!), and save enough money to eat something better than pre-packaged noodles mixed with an undistinguishable condiment that comes in a flavor packet. At least she has options and an asset or two. I, on the other hand, am equipped only with $40K+ in student loan debt and sass that will knock your socks off. All for the love of college students and their troubles…

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I know you heard his voice in your head.

*Disclaimer:

Before I go any further, it’s important to prepare yourselves for my writing style. I wouldn’t say I “go off on tangents” because A) I believe there is a method to my madness and it will all come full circle and make total sense in the end and B) that phrase is overly-used and cliché and I just don’t like to say it.

Also, I like to use a lot different punctuation and writing techniques to get my points across. Cases in point:

  1. Ellipses…because who doesn’t love a good dot-dot-dot? They are fun, useful, and create that type of pause a comma just cannot. Speaking of…that poor, poor comma. Having to constantly deal with being omitted and spliced buy the uneducated writer? We should all respect our friend, and his struggle, a little bit more.
  2. Parentheses. I equate the things you find in parentheses (or at least the stuff I put in them) with the way my brain works. Read them. They will contain funny and worthwhile things to digest (I promise!).
  3. Caps lock. Again, the way my brain works is best expressed through not-so-random bursts of excitement or anger or sarcasm. Sometimes, I just want to put more emphasis on a word. Writing in all caps gets a bad rap. Used effectively and sparingly, it can definitely add value. Ex: “Could I BE wearing any more clothes?” (probably what was written in the script notes for the Chandler Bing/Joey Tribbiani fight on that one episode of Friends)
  4. Less technique, more style – I will probably definitely use pop culture references. A lot. Brittany is totally bad at this, so I have assumed responsibility and commit to carrying the torch in this aspect of our blog. I vow to only reference shows/movies/music that any semi-informed, living-above-a-rock, average adult (in their 20s or 30s) would/should get.

*Ok. End disclaimer. Good grief, please stick with me. I promise the title of this post will make sense at the end. We all deserve at least a little satisfaction in life.

The infamous Grove on the Ole Miss campus.  Tailgating is an art form here.

The Grove on the Ole Miss campus where tailgating is an art form.

So there I am, celebrating the fact that I am over halfway done with grad school, and (more or less) minding my own business in Oxford, Mississippi. Oxford: the home of Ole Miss, spectacular fried catfish…and not much else. Last Call on a Saturday for all bars? 11:30pm. ELEVEN THIRTY PEE EM. What the actual hell? Just one of the many quirks I would come to tolerate appreciate of my new home. Put simply, Oxford is a small town that revolves around and lives/dies by the university and its students. You’ll be hard-pressed to visit and find someone who isn’t affiliated with the university in some way. Those who love Oxford LOVE Oxford; the community and the Oxford “way of life” are just the right fit for most of my former colleagues and classmates at Ole Miss. Having lived in a city (or 25 miles north of one) my entire life, I moved to Oxford nervous yet attempting to keep an open mind. I believed the change in scenery and a new culture and environment to explore would be exciting while I trudged through grad school. I had lived in the south my entire life…how hard could it be to find my place, my own temporary fit in this quintessential southern town?

Really. Fucking. Hard. And I wouldn’t realize exactly how hard until two years AFTER I first stepped foot on Mississippi soil.

The dizzy spells started at the beginning of October of 2012.

I won’t bore you with (too many) details. I was dizzy constantly. Morning to night, every damn day from the beginning of October to the beginning of April, I was dizzy. Not dizzy like dehydrated-dizzy or light-headed-dizzy. Just…dizzy. In the beginning, I did what I always did…attempted to ignore it, because at some point, it had to stop. But it didn’t. I visited the doctors that I could (heads up: graduate student health insurance is less than spectacular) who were all perplexed by my case and could not give me answers. So I turned to the internet. You’ve all heard the joke about the risk of going online to look up symptoms when you are sick because you’ll end up convincing yourself you have cancer.

Y’all, I was convinced I had cancer. And/or a brain tumor.

After many sleepless nights and a full-fledged breakdown (or two), it turned out that I did NOT have cancer or a brain tumor. Yet those six months were the scariest of my life. Had it not been for some very special people in my corner (including the co-writer of this blog), I honestly don’t know what I would have done. My Friends Are My Family (And They Are Fantastic). New hit song right there…

Anxiety is a funny thing. When it’s there, it’s THERE. It consumes you, and you can think of nothing else. But when you learn to combat it and live with it, you almost “forget” to be anxious. Our brains are funny aren’t they? (the little shits) The terms “anxious” and “panic attack” have taken on an entirely different meaning, and I’m sensitive to when I hear them in conversation now. Because I have actually experienced them. I live in Chicago now (MUCH more on that later), I haven’t had a dizzy spell in almost a year, and things are overall going swimmingly. But I will never be “cured” of my anxiety. It’ll be there forever…and that’s okay. Everyone has anxiety about something: small spaces, flying, large crowds (all mine); the dentist, bad weather, small towns (again, mine); mayonnaise…Ok, THAT one is not mine. Mama June, the lovable matriarch of the Honey Boo Boo Clan from TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras owns that unique phobia. This poor 33-year old woman is legitimately afraid of a condiment. Easy to pass judgment on something so silly? Absolutely. But I have come to learn that we are all afraid of something, and more importantly, we are entitled to those fears. Hey…mayonnaise IS kind of gross. But if Mama June comes out and starts talking crap about ketchup, we’re going to have a problem.

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She’s probably thinking about mayonnaise here.

– Kel

Weekday Wind Down [Memphis Edition]

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What’s up, fools. Every week (more or less), each of us will share a post of our happenings from the previous seven days. Music, clothes, food, activities – any and everything we really enjoyed from Monday to Friday that we want to share with you. The first Memphis edition is below. Enjoy!

Clothes, food, & activities: American flag chucks, Memphis sunset + 5 mile run, and crockpot sweet potato soup. Yes, yes, and yes.

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Music: Jamestown Revival. You can thank me (and Kelly) later.

 

Shew, God. Those men. Have a good weekend, y’all!

-B

“Damn, y’all are sassy. I like it.”

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We are Kelly and Brittany.

We are twenty-somethings with Master’s degrees, adult jobs, and mini-obsessions with various unattainable men. They’re predominately hockey players and musicians, so y’all understand, right?

We like trivia, froyo, concerts, and people that use proper grammar. We also apparently like to treat first blog posts as if we are filling out a profile on an online dating site. What am I doing? Getting off topic. Ok, follow along to learn the story of wine&vinegar.

The Who + The Trip

Kel and B. A girl from Georgia and a lady from Tennessee. We instantly bonded over our love for common sense, sarcasm, good music, and happy hour. $1 Miller High Life, anyone? …Anyone? Ms. Kelly, the Atlanta native, took her adventurous butt up to the amazing city of Chicago where she now trudges through the snow to get to her ballin’ job at a fancy schmancy university. And I, Brittany, work for a nonprofit that has been contracted out in the sometimes fun, all the time scary, city of Memphis, home of the Delta Blues. We met in Oxford, Mississippi and, just over one year ago, we packed up my car and headed south to New Orleans. Our lives and our friendship were never the same.

Let me save you some time and provide a brief(ish) summary of those four days: IMG_6134We arrive in New Orleans and, within 15 minutes of walking around, I see a man pop up from behind a dumpster after very clearly snorting something up his nose. Off to a good start. We eat our first meal (crawfish, obviously) and drink our first beers in Something Else Cafe. We roam around Bourbon St. that night, eat a delicious dinner, and receive our first sets of beads from lesbians (they were given, not earned). We are on top of the world. End of day one. Day two starts and we walk to Urban Outfitters, the store that satisfies our little hipster souls. Walking to Urban Outfitters we pass the House of Blues, so Kelly looks up who is playing that night. It is an artist that I had actually brought to her attention about a month earlier, but she blew her off. It was ZZ Ward. $15 for a ticket? Sold. We buy tickets, eat lunch, drink some more, then head to our hotel to get ready. Fast-forward a few hours and we are at the House of Blues waiting for the opening acts to start. Emily Kopp is first and she is great. She plays, we are having fun, and then BOOM. That was the sound of our minds being blown by band numero dos.

The Wild Feathers.

Have you ever discovered something and, upon it entering your life, you wonder how you ever lived without it? Too dramatic? Maybe. But that is how we feel about this band. There will be a post about them at some point, so I will keep moving along. However, it’s important to know they sing a song called, “Wine and Vinegar”. Sound familiar? After WF,
we regroup enough to enjoy ZZ Ward and she is uh-mazing. LITRALLY the best $15 we have ever spent. If you don’t get that Parks and Recreation reference, please stop reading this and go watch that show. After leaving HOB, we venture across the street to a bar where we get delicious pizza that was sprinkled with parmesan cheese (read “crack”). I ate it in fifteen seconds flat. We then did something that resembled walking over to our favorite bar, Famous Door, where we met boys who we now refer to as “The Children”. They were on the lower end of the “acceptable dating age” spectrum. We did not care. End of day two.

Day three. We stayed in bed until 4pm watching classic American television, Maury, because we were freaking hungover tired! We ate dry bagels, regained some energy, ate Mexican pizza and drank $2 margaritas, and headed off to find our new friends, The Children. We found them at this hole in the wall, Last Call, took someIMG_6253 shots,and headed back to our place, Famous Door. A couple hours and a few beers later, Kelly is beating the shit out of my shoulder. Why? Joey Fatone has just been spotted and 14-year-old Kelly is about to piss her pants. Next thing you know, Mr. N*SYNC is somewhat reluctantly posing for a picture with us. The rest of the night was boring compared to that. End of day three.

Lastly, day four. Exhaustion and beignets. The end of the trip, but the beginning of the next 365 days that would be spent reliving and shaping our friendship around those memories.

The Why

You have just read a very brief description of who we are and the trip that helped slingshot our friendship into something special. So why? Why this blog? Well that one is easy. We have fun, we make each other laugh, we make other people laugh, and we have opinions and interests to share. We like to try new things, we like to have little adventures, and we like to read other blogs. So, why not write our own?

We will even make you a little promise. 

We, Brittany and Kelly, do solemnly swear that this blog will never contain anything resembling overdone lists like “25 Ways You Know You’re An Adult”. You know how we know we are adults? Jobs, bills, not being able to sleep past 8am, being too tired to go out Friday AND Saturday night, and weddings. Boom. 5 reasons and y’all know what we are talking about.

What more could you ask for?! Just two girls and their shenanigans, combined with a little dry humor and cuss words.

We are Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. We are Sears Tower and Graceland. We are deep dish pizza and barbecue. We are best friends, as confirmed by several BuzzFeed quizzes. We are two peas in a pod. We are sweet and sour.

We are wine&vinegar. 

-B