Please Leave Me Stranded, It's So Romantic

By Violet Stevens**Violet is 23 and currently adventuring in Richmond, VA. If you are interested in guest blogging, please

So, I’m 23. I don’t have much dating experience to speak of. I had my first kiss at 17; my first boyfriend at 18 for about 3 months; and then I had another boyfriend whom I was with for almost 2 years. There have been very few people in between all that. I don’t do one night stands. I have hovered around a few friends with benefits situations, but always pull the plug because those never end well. And lately, I was trying to stay away from committed relationships as well due to the honest fact that, well, ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

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Sweet Starbucks Hack

By Cazey Williams I’m a Starbucks aficionado in the most non-basic sense, which means I don’t order mocha chais or – God forbid – PSLs. The only time I get more exciting than a “Trenta iced coffee, light soy, light ice, unsweetened” is when I have a reward drink, and then I might – might – order some sort of frappucino with double espresso shots.

I don’t do this more often because of the two C’s that dictate most of my dietary habits: Cost and calories. However, once upon a time, my friend introduced me to the Tazo (insert trademark symbol) Green Tea Frappucino Blended Crème (apparently that’s the proper name). I had a sore throat at that encounter, which added to my adoration.

That frappucino happens to cost $4.75 if you order a venti (and why wouldn’t you?). If your heart palpitated at that, wait until you hear about the nutrition. It’s so bad that Starbucks is very sorry, but “the nutritional data for this product is not available online.” Thankfully, nutrition sleuths exist online, and they estimate calories for that venti at 420, which primarily comes 88 grams of carbohydrates. Carbs in themselves are not bad – but 86 of those grams are sugar. Yes, sugar. I just got diabetes.

The iced green tea latte is loaded with similar sins.

Therefore, I present to you my sweet Starbucks hack that is both cheaper and healthier. Order a Trenta shaken green iced tea (Teavana with the trademark symbol if you care – and a trenta because I always do) and ask for no water. When you order a shaken iced tea usually, Starbucks already has the tea made, but they then add water. Yup, they water it down. Right? What the heck is that? So when you say “no water,” they give you all tea.

So then the barista asks, “Sweetened or unsweetened?” This is your choice. And I know aspartame comes out of the devil’s pores, but gosh, I love my Sweet’N Low and always ask for just one packet. Of course, this might kill me down the road, but not as fast as the 86g sugar overdose.

Finally, you ask for a splash of soy, which means like a fourth of a cup in generous barista language. If they’re stingy, you need two splashes. (We’re trying not to get charged here.) Starbucks carries vanilla soy milk, and this is what gives the creamy, sweet addition you need to emulate a latte. (Sorry, this isn’t exactly a frappucino, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.)

Altogether, $3.28 on my gold card. Ka-ching.


Here I am modeling with this heavenly creature we’ve created. Look at those chapped knuckles. Taylor Swift should cast me in a music video.

Note how the color goes with the yellow foliage. Yeah, I know it’s November; who wants an iced beverage? Well, I hope you burn your tongue on your steamed milk.

Anyway, get to Starbucks fast, and let me know what you think!

Taylor Swift is a Brat

There, I said it. And I'll say it again -- Taylor Swift is a brat.

As I am sure all fans are aware (and probably even those of you that aren't), Taylor Swift didn't want to her new album, 1989, to be allowed to be streamed on Spotify.

Fine. I get it. You're poor and need more than the fraction of a cent you make every time someone streams any song from the album.

Oh wait, you're actually a millionaire.

But don't get me wrong, I do actually get it. You're an artist and know your worth, but really? Measure your self-worth in ways that are more meaningful than money. Like the unified love of sharing good music with your fans. Or to be the voice behind a message that resonates with people that need someone to articulate their feelings. Make something that will last forever. But don't make make it about how much you make off of it. Isn't it more important to make something of value for people, and give them the opportunity to be forever effected by it?

I also get that she is going to hit platinum the old school way, but think of how she could blow it out of the water with people streaming it. For those real Swifty fans, they'd buy the album anyways without needing to be convinced. But for passive fans like me, I am absolutely not going to go buy an album based off of the sheer fact it's Taylor Swift (especially with a single as obnoxious as "Shake it Off"). However, after hearing a few songs off the album -- which let me mention that I was easily able to stream on a multitude of other websites outside of Spotify -- I am more interested in the album.

However, I never would have come to that conclusion had I not previewed the album. That's one reason for having it on Spotify. But nah, don't worry, you do you Taylor and don't put it on Spotify. (note: despite the sarcastic tone, I actually do respect her for making her own, mature, informed decisions)

Oh but wait, there she goes pulling the plug on literally all of her music on Spotify. And that's why she's a brat. Whether it was her decision or her label's, that's some real petty shit. Okay, save your new release for a few months so you can make all the money off your dedicated fans, and then give your laggard fans the option to hear it without having to buy. I'll accept that, but when you go so far as to pull some really old shit you have up on there just to send a caddy message, I draw the line. You know that having those up there, years later, is not effecting your sales in any way. You're doing this out of spite. That's not just going after Spotify, that's hurting your audience base just as much as it is a blow to Spotify, if not more so. Just childish.

Not only won't I buy the album, I won't support you. Go back to country you little priss and bring the drama with you.