Lessons in adulting: Trader Joe’s Edition

Though I’ve been sort of skirting the edges of adulting for a long time now, I have to admit that I’ve gotten used to taking a lot of shortcuts. Like, I know how to do my taxes and when to get my oil changed, but I haven’t been the savviest in a lot of the day-to-day tasks. I blame this on years of being a busy bee garbage person who ate 80% of meals while driving and kept a toothbrush in her purse in case she crashed on somebody’s couch. Now all of a sudden, I cook every meal and fold laundry right after I dry it instead of letting it sit in a basket until it’s so wrinkled that I just wash it again. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Which is why I decided to document the silly life lessons that I pick up along the way! Much of what I’m learning these days are things that I already knew but didn’t want to hear. I’m giving in to those, these days. Here’s what I learned grocery shopping alone on a Monday night.

  • I mean, obviously, make a list.
  • But not just any list. Make a list of what you know you need AND what you’re gonna make with those things. We’re mostly pretty simple. Protein, carb, vegetable. We also like to throw in a frozen easy meal or two.
  • Eventually, you can train yourself to remember your reusable bags (even if you live in a state that doesn’t charge for plastic and they look at you like a hippie weirdo)
  • If you’re hungry, even a little, stop somewhere for a snack. This is worth it. Thank you, Sweet Potato Smash Fries, for keeping me from going on a hangry rampage.
  • SHOP ON WEEKDAYS. I normally go on Sundays when everything is terrible. The combination of my list, not being hungry, and the fact that TJs was a ghost town got me in and out in thirteen minutes. Thirteen minutes.
  • TJs is my favorite for almost everything, but I buy my meat at Smith’s because it’s cheaper and we get gas points.
  • Put your heaviest items on the line first so they get bagged first! (This is a Sarah tip. I’m not advanced enough for this one.)
  • By taking the time to plan out full meals, I made a pretty full list. This meant I didn’t buy random fillers just in case. I actually spent around $30 less than we normally do!
  • Yes, you are a strong independent woman who just knocked out a week’s worth of shopping in no time. But no, carrying all of it in one trip was NOT a good idea.

Tune in next time for more things I shouldn’t have to learn (and yet…)

xx, Tab

September Wrap

(Can I tell you a little story before while we do this? I know I said I was gonna talk about books but I mean obviously I’m also tryna talk about myself…)

Sooo, I’m in Tacoma at RWW. I just found out I got April as my mentor and I am as stoked as humanly possible. I feel I got the perfect mentor for me. And she and I, we’re both a little bit awkward (lovably, maybe?) and we were supposed to have a quick meeting discussing our upcoming mentorship year. And I’m nervous, cause she’s brilliant and stunning and aloof and cool. And then we spend two hours in a wine bar talking about writing and she gives the most beautiful impression of dating a novelist that I have ever heard. I am happy. This is going to be a good year.

And I also had just bought a lot of books! Hers included. She decided I should start with a couple of those, since I already have them. Anyway, that’s the story of how I became a devoted fangirl of April Ayres Lawson and then had to submit a critical passage on April Ayres Lawson’s short story collection TO April Ayres Lawson. Grad school. Good shit. Anyway… Read More

Monthly Wrap

I can’t believe I’m coming on six months into my graduate program! On Monday, I’m going to be mailing in my third packet of work. I wanted to take a minute to explain how that works. I gave a list of books I’d like to read* to my mentor and she assigns me three books a month. Typically, two are from my list and one is her suggestion. For the mailing, I send back one short story as well as a critical response paper (CRP) for each book. It’s a good amount of work and keeps me rather busy. Because it’s so much of my life, I wanted to find a way to share it. I get asked a LOT what I even do for a creative writing degree. I had thoughts of sharing those critical responses on here, but I assume most people aren’t interested in that kind of analysis AND no one will want to read the book once I give everything good about it away!

Instead, I decided to go for a more general Monthly Wrap. I’ve also been sharing the individual mini… (reviews, maybe? I wouldn’t necessarily call it that because I don’t rate them or tell too much about what they’re about. I just share what I liked about them and call it a day. Response is maybe a better word?) responses to each book on my new Bookstagram, @Tabithatypes. I’m a few months behind, but that ain’t no thang. September Wrap is coming up soon. Stay tuned!

xx, Tab

*list posted on featured image!

Skepticism in romantic literature (Why I’m over it and you should be, too)

I took a Shakespeare and Film class in college. We were studying Much Ado About Nothing (a personal fave) when a student asked how to know if a play is a tragedy or comedy. My professor gave a definition that blew my mind in it’s simplicity: Typically, a tragedy will end in a death and a comedy ends in wedding.

As simplified as it was (it was a general ed class with maybe two english majors other than me), it’s not a bad way to differentiate. He also said that most people prefer tragedies because they mimic real life. It’s nice to stop at the wedding before anything else bad can happen. It’s nice to distract from the realization that all of our plays will eventually end as tragedies. As I get older, though, I appreciate those comedies more and more. Here’s why. Read More

Things to think about while putting your life into boxes.

“Sit. Feast on your life.” –Derek Walcott

I always come back to this poem in my mind. I found it in the beginning of my favorite book, The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffeneger. And, you know, since I am currently finding myself unable to do all the writing that needs to be done, instead I’m feasting on this bright and beautiful year in which so much bad and scary has happened to the world and so much good and happy has happened to me. It’s a lot of feels. Read More

Halloween when you’re grown AF

(an annotated Instagram Story)

Something horrible happened this year. I missed Halloween. I never miss Halloween. I begin to plan my costumes somewhere around July, and even if I didn’t, I have a whole list of yet-to-be-done costumes (Satine from Moulin Rouge and Winnifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus, I’ll come for you one day). Dressing up is my absolute favorite thing in the world, pretty much. I LIVE FOR THIS AND I’M REALLY NOT EVEN BEING THAT DRAMATIC. This year, though, there’s a lot of stuff in the works. Starting school and transitioning jobs and moving (!!!) and bridesmaid duties kept me from preparing. The other problem? The wedding was Halloweekend and Halloween was on a Tuesday… Gone are the days of Halloweekend beginning with a thursday night Phi Delt party and ending Sunday at formal meeting. These days, we sleep. We get up early. We completely miss the whole dang thing.

Which got me thinking about college Halloweens. Read More