What I Learned Working At The Center For Autism

So as many of you know I have worked for Hope Network’s Center for Autism for the past year. I have since transitioned back to working at the hospital full-time to achieve my goal of being an RN.

I worked at CFA (Center For Autism) as a Behavior Technician. The center is an outpatient therapy service for young children with autism. The center uses ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy to help children manage their behaviors. My job was to work one on one with a kid and run their therapy that was created by their BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst). I loved my job at CFA and learned a lot and here is what I took away.


Kids with Autism will “stim” on some very obscure things.

High celings

Stimming is never something that was actually defined to me but from what I can tell it’s just the object/phrase/noise/self stimulation the child enjoys.


ABA Therapy is built for perfectionists.

swish and flick

ABA is very particular.  The programs are very thorough and detailed. It requires an analytic mind, attention to detail and patience.


I’ve seen Trolls more time than I want to.


Like when Trolls 2 comes out, I already resent it so much that I want to see it in theaters and then destroy myself at the bar after. Like bad, like I want to make a YouTube video I’m so drunk where I basically threaten Justin Timberlake.


These kids will do literally anything for candy.

cookie gif

It’s a big motivator and reinforcement for their programs.

“Oh you took a poop on the potty? Well here is an Oreo!”


They also get very excited for random things.

Pll excited

A tech’s hair being in a pony tail, bubbles, finding pinecones outside.


These kids see something they want, they will probably take it.

joanna eggs.gif

Most of these kids would make amazing pick pockets. They love their candy and you aren’t going to get in their way.


Autism really is a spectrum. 

sisters sentence

What works for one kid, may not work for another. There is nothing universal about these kids, they are individuals who are not defined by their disorder. Except they all go bananas for Trolls.


Kids are always sick.

Liz Lemon gif

I’ve never been more sick in my life since working with kids. I went 28 years without ever getting strep throat but my streak of that died in CFA.


Compared to my other jobs in the health field, the violence was less.

Helga Pataki hitting

I mean these kids get mad, have tantrums, scratch, bite and hit but they are young so it’s an improvement over my experience with adults. Not to take away from any former coworker’s pain but I don’t miss the violence of adults.


You take pride in your regular kids.

Look at my kids

I mostly worked with the same few kids during my time at CFA. Some times progress was slow as ABA has a lot of repetition in its success which is great for long-term but the day-to-day could get boring. However on that day when they mastered a trial you have been working on for months, my heart would grow with joy and pride.


I never adjusted to working business hours


I have worked in health care since I graduated college and I’m used to working nights, weekends, and holidays. Since this was an outpatient facility it operated Monday through Friday 8-5. I feel like I never got used to waking up 5 days in a row for work or dealing with 5 o’clock traffic. Obviously there are perks to this schedule but I never stopped missing being able to go to Target on a Monday afternoon with no people, or stay up late on a Wednesday because I have Thursday off. Also in an 8-5 you have to get used to office etiquette like people brining in bagels on random mornings but also getting passive aggressive notes about not washing dishes.


I will miss that place, those kids, and my coworkers. I valued my entire year there and look forward to what’s next for me.

The Drunkest 10 Years Of My Life: An Ode To 10 Years With Victoria Frederick

It’s my long time friend/roommate’s birthday and we also met now officially ten years ago. So I thought paying proper tribute was necessary.

Victoria and I met in the fall of 2007 (you remember that time? Britney had a shaved head and we thought George Bush was going to be the biggest problem in politics). We both attended Western Michigan University and lived in freshman housing affectionately called “The Valleys”. I lived in Valley 1 and Victoria lived on top on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Valley 2. Despite our elevation differences we still met through a mutual friend.

Halloween was one of first outings together. Victoria dressed as a cat which I would come to learn would not be the first time she will do that costume. Some guy starting hooting at her and I totally left her hanging because she was basically a stranger and I was 18 years old making me the worst.

She quickly looked past my cowardice and we began to bond over our mutual love of The Office and talking shit about people in the dorm.  Thus begins the time line of our friendship.

I was just like to add that for a good portion of these photos we did not have iPhones to take them (we might not be young). We had to rely on people bringing their digital cameras and uploading them and tagging the photos online. I never had a camera so I had to rely on the people around me until about photo number 13 so everyone just be cool.


  1. Winter 2008 (our first photo) 

Vic first photo Jan 13 2008

Look at our baby faces. So young and fresh, I remember this was a party at Sigma Chi in January and we did not wear coats which looking back was ridiculous. This was back when Vic would carefully measure her shots into her pop so she could keep tally.


 2. Fall 2008 (Halloween) 

Halloween Sophomore year

Now we are 19 and just abysmal people. I don’t smoke and never did but was wasted and in case you weren’t reading carefully was an abysmal person. I remember this semester because it was the only time we took a class together. It was Art History and I spent most mornings convincing Vic it would be better to skip and watch The Price Is Right and eat hamburgers in the caf.

If you pay attention to context clues you can guess that class wasn’t actually very early but like I said before: abysmal person.


 3. Fall 2008 (Alexis’s Birthday) 

Lex birthday sophomore year

This was just a week later at our friend Alexis’s birthday party at MSU. We did pudding shots for the first time and acted accordingly.


 4. Christmas 2009 

Junior Year Xmas

This was Christmas of junior year. The theme was “Classy Christmas” If you look carefully you can see I’m drinking out of a Hannah Montana cup so you can pretty much draw your own conclusion to how the night went.


 5. Winter 2010 

Junior Year SpringJunior Spring pr 2

This was right after I moved back to WMU after taking a semester off and we were just glad to be reunited.


 6. Spring 2010 (My 21st) 

21st birthday

This is the only picture where I included other people but it’s such an auspicious moment because while this is my 21st birthday it’s also Victoria’s half birthday. So we are definitely making sure to celebrate that as well.


 7. Fall 2010 (Victoria’s First Legal Drink) 

First legal drink for vic

Awwww Shakespeare’s Pub, were we both had our first legal drink at midnight. Such a special place.


8. Fall 2010 (Victoria’s Birthday Party) 

21st birthday party

It was 2010 so I’m trying to get Victoria to “Kiss Me Thru The Phone”


kissing through the phone

This is me getting her to do it


 9. Christmas 2010 

Fall 2010

We are older now so we are trying to get more dignified which means not getting super wasted in the pregame phase.

Fall 2010 pr 3

Okay so it didn’t go great.

Fall 2010 pr 2

Yeah…well maybe next year.


10. Winter 2011 (Mega’s 21st Party Bus) 

Mega Party bus 21

Fun fact: The next day we will play Tony Hawk on an air mattress and fight to the death over a red Gatorade in the worst hangover ever. We also tried to commit credit card fraud this night.


11. Winter 2011 (Girl Talk Concert) 

Girl Talk 2011

I remember this winter distinctly because it’s when Victoria went through one of her brunette phases.


12. Spring 2011 (My 22nd) 

My 22nd

A sophomore called me old at this party. I was literally 22.  Also her hair is already starting to lighten up.


13. Fall 2011 (Victoria’s 22nd/First Real GR Visit) 

First GR Visit

This was our first year apart. I moved back to Grand Rapids and Victoria went home to Farmington Hills. This was one of her first visits and we went out for her 22nd birthday.


14. Halloween 2011 

VIc halloween fail

Just a few weeks later we had this amazing Halloween Party and my group of friends did a Pokemon theme. I tried to get Victoria to be Meowth because spoiler alert she is always a cat for Halloween.


me mad pr 2

She came as Dorothy and she is still living that missed opportunity down but at least her hair is it’s classic blonde.


15. Christmas 2011 

Christmas 2011

We are starting to look more adult, and I think this is when I learned how to grow a beard.


16. Winter 2012 (Sam’s Birthday) 

Sam's birthday 2012

This was the visit I feel like we all worked on trying to get Victoria to move to Grand Rapids.


17. St. Patty’s Day 2012

St Pattys 2012

Unseasonably warm and the best St. Patty’s to date.


18. Fall 2012 (Victoria’s 23rd Birthday) 

Vic first GR Bday 2012

Victoria had just moved into an apartment with me and our friend Alexis and we are celebrating her first Grand Rapids birthday.


19. New Year’s Eve (Reigning in 2013) 

Reigning in 2013

Billy’s Lounge and the later pictures of that night are painful.


20. Spring 2013 (My 24th Birthday) 

My 24th

Meanwhile Bar and my first birthday as roommates


21. Bonnaroo (Day 1) 2013

Bonnaroo day 1 2013

This was our first full day at Bonnaroo we were so full of energy even though I can already see my sun burn forming in this picture.


Bonnarroo immersed

Day 2: A little more sweaty but still having fun


Bonarroo go home

Day 3: Zero sleep, very hot, had sunblock in my eye


22. New Year’s Eve (Reigning in 2014)

Reigning in 2014

I aspire to lose 15 lbs just so I can wear that sweater again.


23. Winter 2014 (Our Fist Instagram Photo)

First instagram maybe

Billy’s Lounge and I can’t be 100% accurate but I think this is our first official Instagram photograph. Now if that isn’t a painful millennial statement, I don’t know what is


24. Fall 2015 (Alexis’s Wedding) 

Lex Wedding

I gave a speech inspired by One Tree Hill and Victoria played the piano. If you have been paying attention you will take note that it’s the same Alexis where we did our first pudding shots. #growingup


25. St. Patty’s 2016 

St patt 2016

I know later on this day I’ll do the worm on cement.


26. Fall 2016 (My brother’s wedding)

Brothers wedding

I mean not saying we were the cutest couple there but we might have been the cutest couple there.


27. Spring 2017 (Katie’s Wedding) 

katie's wedding

This was a month before we were going to move in together again and reunite the band.


28. Summer 2017 (Wilderness Trip) 

Wilderness 2017

Just this past August at my family and friend’s annual camping trip.


So there you have it folks. 28 photos for 28 years of Victoria being alive.For me its been 10 years with a great girl, and I’m hoping for many more decades to go. Happy Birthday Victoria! I love you!



Excerpt From My 2003 Journal With Footnotes From 2017

Journal except from my 2003 journal with footnotes from 2017


September 29, 2003 (Age 14)


Yeesh busy week…[1]Tomorrow I have to record Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill both are quality shows.[2] Wednesdays and Thursdays I have half days and on Wednesday I’m working at Carol’s with Beau.[3] I could use the money. Thursday I’m going to Sheely’s to watch Now&Then and Degrassi season premiere is on Friday. [4] Saturday is the JDRF walk and on Sunday I’m setting up a phone jack so the computer will be in my room. [5] I really need to get the PS2 back in my room.[6] I love playing Final Fantasy X and I can’t wait to beat it! [7] This diet thing is going so bad by the way it’s so hard to stick with it.[8]   




[1] I’m already annoyed.

[2] Ahhh Tuesdays on The WB will always hold a special place in my heart.

[3] Carol is still my parent’s neighbor and Beau is my brother who is a carpenter for those who aren’t in the know.

[4] So far most of my plans are based around television for this “busy week”

[5] A few years later after that I will get a mini fridge and will live out of my introverted dreams.

[6] Man….check your privilege Robin Dine.

[7] Have since beat it and am currently working on the HD remaster.

[8] Oh you sweet naive fool. It will only get worse.



Down below is a picture from my 14th birthday just so everyone knows where we are at in life. Thanks Lindsey Duvall for doing my hair, I still haven’t totally figured out what I’m doing.

Lindsay Duvall


An Excerpt From My 2002 Journal (with footnotes from 2017)

So when I was reading Amy Schumer’s The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo this was a tool she would frequently use throughout her book and I thought it would be fun to try on my own. My parents are retired and working on purging their house so I’ve had to claim a lot of my childhood crap including my journals. Yes I was a young closeted gay boy who wrote in a journal because it was the early 00s and I had a lot of feels.


January 17th, 2002

Okay this the worst week. Omg first I have 2 projects due and one done and I’m starting one next week plus exams this week.[1] Plus exams this week during my math exam I got low and it sux. [2] It’s Lindsey’s birthday and I didn’t get her anything because she has been treating me like dirt lately. [3] I start gym and computer next week and the only good thing is no more Mr. Raymer and no more wood tech and asshole 8th graders. [4]

There is a new episode of Charmed and new Friends tonight.[5] They find of out the sex of Rachel’s baby is tonight and I hope it’s a girl. [6]


The Next Day….

It’s a girl on Friends [7] Right now I’ve decided to this summer I want a Homer Simpson attitude I want to be lazy but not dull and be exciting but also effortless. [8] I had my gym orientation and it doesn’t seem that bad but computer does suck and I don’t want to go[9]

-Rob Dine

[1] I mean it’s not exactly an episode of Degrassi level panic.

[2] I’m assuming I mean a low blood sugar and that is how I spelled “sucks” in the journal. #AOL

[3] Oh man now we are spilling the tea Also I still remember Lindsey’s Birthday is January 18th. Sorry girl no ill will in 2017.

[4] I remember having a lot of anxiety about gym, and with wood tech the semester before it wasn’t the easiest place to be closeted. I also remember I was in Mr. Raymor’s class when 9/11 happened.

[5] Must be Thursday

[6] I won’t spoil anything for people living under a rock.

[7] Spoiler alert

[8] Real talk: this is still my aspiration and I completely forgot its origin. Also even in 2002 the main thing I seem to care about is television.

[9] It turns out Mr. McNally was a huge prick but I wouldn’t be typing this blog if he hadn’t scared me into learning home row.

For you die-hard fans out there, here is a picture of me on NYE going into 2002 and where I made the resolution to start jounaling. I hope that blows your mind. Also don’t worry it’s just kids champagne and those are just terrible frosted tips.

2002 kid

Zoo-De-Mack Ride!

So this past weekend my sister Sam and I went up north to participate in the Zoo De Mack bike event. It was a first time for both of us and I figured I hadn’t posted in a while and this was the perfect opportunity.

For those of you who don’t know, Zoo De Mack is annual event (this being the 28th if I’m not mistaken). It involves biking from the Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs to Mackinaw City which is roughly 50 miles.

We arrived Friday night at the resort.


The clouds make it seem creepy and ominous but it was cute. Check in was real cute and we got vitamin b 12 injections and beer so who could ask for more?


Registering for the ride and waiting to get our B12 shots.

Image result for I'm officially off the rails gif

This is us post shots.

Then after the shots there is gear store where they sell all this used gear for very cheap which was amazing. Then upstairs they have a party.


Cyclists love to fricken drink. I always forget that until I see them.


Then Sam and I were thinking we were so financially responsible and decided to stay at family friend’s cottage in Indian River which is about 25 minutes away. obviously every time you go up north google maps will fail you and it results in Sam and I fighting in the car on a dark road where surely a serial killer is waiting for us. Eventually we run out of steam and end up at the cottage. We got all ready for the ride and Sam got sucked in to Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief on TBS. We both debated skipping the entire weekend adventure and staying in the cottage that had hot water and premium cable.


Picture of the view from the cottage.


The next morning we had a nutritious McDonald’s breakfast (one of the many fast food choices in Indian River) and made our way to the start. It was sunny but a crisp 45 degrees. The ride doesn’t have a formal start. You can begin anytime between 7:30-10:30 and we got there at about 8 so we could give ourselves enough time to finish.


All geared up and ready to go! Not many people that early so parking and getting started was real easy. About 4,000 people sign up for this so the road is crowded but there was barely any cars and police help at the intersections. They had a lot of water and bathroom stations in the beginning.

Diverse group of cyclists for sure, a lot of senior couples, people stopping to have beers on the side of the road, saw a few people in flip-flops but I’m happy to say I barely saw anyone without a helmet.


The first treat of the ride were the trilliums! They are these white flowers that grow like lilacs (I’m getting whiter every sentence I write I’m aware) and I never knew my dream was to ride next to Lake Michigan surrounded by flowers but my dream is to ride my bike next to Lake Michigan surrounded by flowers.


Here they are, and I all I saw was…

Image result for wizard of oz poppies gif

and A little

Image result for white oleander gif



Lots of pretty views, a lot of vineyards.



Can’t forget my first blood sugar break of the ride.



Then up one of the biggest hills we could start to see the Lake!



Once we got to the top Sam basically looked like this is in her head.

Image result for I want more than this provincial life gif

She wasn’t far off either


The next descent we found the lake!


Now Sam got real Tyra on me about “finding the light” in this photo and I can’t help but notice there is still a giant shadow over my face.



Just a random pic of the ride.


By mile 15 we needed to reboost.


This cafe was cute but had the most haunted bathroom I’ve been in


Just seems normal, right? Until you examine the wall.


Tell me that’s not the lady from The Ring?

Image result for the ring gif


Then we got to Cross Village at about mile 27 where they provided lunch for us at Legs Inn. Also right before this I called out a lot by strangers for peeing behind a tree which in all honesty I couldn’t believe more people weren’t doing.


Lunch was just basic brown bag food but the views were amazing


Just a lot of people having lunch beers honestly.


Post lunch it got very windy and it seemed like less riders.



We finally made it to Wilderness State Park which is a place Sam and I grew up and still continue to visit to this day.


Morale starting to get high again post headwinds since we knew this area and knew what it would look like to get into Mackinaw City.


Last 10 miles! There was still winds and some more hills and then a lovely bike path and then we were getting into Mackinaw City and then…



Done!!!! We did it!





Then obviously we needed to drink but we didn’t stay too long because we had to catch our ferry to Mackinaw Island


Sam wore her helmet the entire time on the boat.


Then we got to our hotel Island House


Our room was sad like an apartment you would rent in LA while going on endless auditions.


The view was good though.


Then after falling asleep for about 2 hours and complaining about not wanting to go out, we checked out the party on the island for a while but honestly had the most fun just strolling around.



Got very rainy but got slices of pizza and watched some tv before falling asleep. Had strong ambitions the next day of getting things done but it was 41 degrees and raining hard. So we just decided to head home.


The ferry was very busy and I just sat here and froze while Sam went to buy a sweatshirt for herself.


Then because we biked to Mackinaw City we had to take a shuttle back to our car. There was a girl legit crying in the parking lot because she was so cold and didn’t want to wait for another mode of transportation.


Got in an uncomfortable van full of strangers.


Sam’s immediate go to move.

Then it literally became spring again as we started driving down south. Michigan is like the North in Game of Thrones and in Grand Rapids we are like Winterfell but Northern Michigan might as well be The Wall.


We made it home and parted ways and I immediately fell into this position until I started writing this the next day.


Overall I would say Zoo-De-Mack is totally worth it and I would do it again.

My Top Harry Potter Complaints

I know I know it’s blasphemy to speak ill of HP but true art is meant to be critiqued. Also if Harry Potter was perfect we wouldn’t have that glorious fan fiction that exists in the world and it wouldn’t leave us wanting so much more.

Here are the following things that have been irking me since the last book came out.

Aunt Petunia

Image result for aunt petunia gif

Aunt Petunia is a truly wasted character in my opinion. She’s too villanous in the beginning of the novel where she more than borders on child abuse. Her motivation for taking in Harry never seems very clear especially if she only plans to neglect him. The howler from Dumbledore still doesn’t really give us a clear background on her reasoning other than we establish those two characters have met.

Not to mention her relationship with Lily is convoluted. It’s true we get a glimpse into their childhood and surprise surprise the root issue between the two sisters is jealousy but it is clear they did once care for each other. Despite this fact Petunia never let’s go of her anger even after her sister’s murder, not just death her murder. I feel like for somebody you hate to get murdered one could say the score is settled and you could let go. Normally an actual human might be filled with regrets over not making up rather than still fueled by bitterness. I mean come on, Lily got what ever comeuppance Petunia thought she deserved.

Near the end we see Dudley Dursley start to come around and make peace with Harry but I feel less invested in him as a character. To me he only represents the culture of the Dursleys but not really a significant foil to Harry. There is a set up in the book where the last time Harry and Petunia see each other and they act the like they have something to say to each other but it’s left unspoken. In the movie version they do share a small exchange where she says something about Voldermort murdering her sister not just Harry’s mother but that doesn’t really satisfy me fully.

This woman had to change Harry’s diapers, probably had him play with Dudley as infants, take him to the doctor and it seems odd she wouldn’t see it as a chance to make up for a lost relationship with her departed sister. It would make sense if she would resent him choosing to embrace magic as that was an issue with her Lily but she remains uncomplicated and mean.

No Love in Hufflepufftown

Image result for hufflepuff gif

Can we all take a minute to talk about Hufflepuff? The Jan Brady of the houses. I feel like America embraces Hufflepuff in an ironic hipster kind of way. They also are kind of the every man’s house. I do think they have grown attraction because they are so neglected in the books. They truly lack significance in seven different books and even The Cursed Child. I mean this a quarter of the student body. Sure we have Cedric as our token Hufflepuff and he is chosen as trizwizard champion over his other 7th year Gryffindor comrades. I do feel like there isn’t a lot of emphasis of him being a Hufflepuff.

Oh yes and there is Tonks who is a Hufflepuff but literally almost no one knows that unless they are a super geek. Slytherin has some very heavy hitters in the book with Snape, Draco, Slughorn, and basically every Death Eater. Ravenclaw has Luna Lovegood and Cho Chang both playing pretty significant roles throughout the series.

The history of Hogwarts is rich with facts about the other houses. Obviously with Harry being a Gryffindor we are saturated with those facts such as learning about the sword of Gryffindor, Godric Gryffindor, Godric’s Hollow, and an entire setting in their common room all the time. Slytherin basically has an origin story all of the second novel with the heir of Slytherin and the Basilisk.  Ravenclaw holds out for a few books but by the end of the seventh book we get a whole thrilling tale about Rowena Ravenclaw and her daughter the Gray Lady. Harry even gets to spend some quality time in the Ravenclaw and Slytherin common rooms.

The most we get about Hufflepuff History is a story where Tom Riddle plumps up and murders a descendent of Helga Hufflepuff. Let’s also be real Hepzibah or whatever her name was did not exactly paint a great picture of Hufflepuff. We know the dorms are near the kitchen which is what every good home owner wants, their bedroom right off the kitchen area. That’s like a couple on House Hunters being able to buy a home without his and her sinks.  Their ghost the Fat Friar is a cartoon at best.  I’m just saying they deserved more than Hannah Abbott and that Ernie kid.

The Lack of Americans

Image result for american dad hogwarts gif

I mean I know how bratty, and entitled and well let’s just say it American this complaint sounds. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to whine. I mean I know so many of you are reading this and saying “Rob, what about Fantastic Beasts?” Well you know what? That’s barely canon in the opinion of this reporter. I mean so much of the Harry Potter fan base is from North America. We publish and sell so many copies, the movies are produced by Warner Bros which is an American studio. I’m not saying make Harry American but just like one minor character would be a nice bone to throw us. Like just make Professor Sprout from like Wisconsin or something.

Ron’s Arc

Image result for ron weasley gif

This one might be the hardest for me. I love Ron Weasley. I feel like I need to express that here at the beginning. He is a good, relatable and flawed character whom I feel did not live up to his potential or at the very least lacked any pay off. Ron’s whole narrative has to do with being in the shadow, not having a place and overall feeling inferior. As you get to the last book it doesn’t really wrap up in his favor with him finding himself. He’s not exceptional at magic, or quidditch, or notably funny or smarter than anyone else in the novels.  He comes off as being in Harry’s shadow the whole time or his brothers’. I mean I’m one of those people who even though they don’t ship Harry and Hermione I do recognize their chemistry but have been better than Ron and Hermione’s. I felt like by the end of the book they tried to very lazily make us feel better about him. The horcrux making the Harry and Hermione apparition that he stabs, or with him coming up with the Basilisk fang.

I love Ron to reiterate again but I feel like he would’ve died earlier in the books and almost served as a martyr rather than carry on a sub par arc through out the story. Ron just needed one thing whether it was a more intense love storyline, or a skill or a development of a magical power (like Tonk’s metamorphosis), or even a truly heroic moment all to himself (Hermione had plenty). Sorry Ron.

No real LGBT storylines

Image result for harry potter gay gif

This might seem like an agenda but whatever. I know so many of you are like but what about Dumbledore? Well you know what? That is implied at best and you have to look pretty hard between the lines to know about Grindewald. Also if JK Rowling had never said it I feel we as society wouldn’t ever know.

Here is what I propose should have happened. I believe it would have been better if the revelation had been that Snape was in love with James Potter instead of Lily. It would make sense why he was so angry because he was repressed, also why he had such fury against James because of unrequited love and misplaced feelings. Also his severe dislike of Harry might be easier to swallow because Harry would constantly remind Snape of James’s love for a woman. On a side note it’s not even worth complaining about but I always hated how Snape was such a dick to Harry and then was like “I love your mother” and sure he did some low-key things along the way for Harry but overall was rude af and I don’t feel like that is paying tribute to Lily.

Also I think you could’ve had Seamus and Dean fall in love because otherwise what is the point of them?

Slytherin is bad news bears

Image result for can i slytherin gif

The Hogwarts houses can feel a little too black and white at times. I feel like it’s like Gryffindor is full of saviors (but let’s be real it’s the place that housed Lavender Brown so it’s not that impressive) and Slytherin is just the Legion of Doom. We get a lot more of the inside track of Gryffindor so I think we know it can be flawed (see Percy Weasley). However Slytherin is just code for evil? I feel like that’s not fair to that house and also if that was true why not make more an effort stop the future Death Eaters from basically forming in detention?

The world just needed 1-2 normal Slytherin witches and wizards for redemption. Just like 2 people who were like “Oh yeah I was in Slytherin and now I work for Magical Law Enforcement and enjoy collecting magical art and not trying to commit genocide in a weird Hitler esq fashion”. They attempt to give us Slughorn but come on, he is pompous and self-serving the only thing about him is that he likes Harry and is pretty harmless.

I’m just saying a place that is school of villains could have benefited from being a little more in the grey space. I’m also not counting The Cursed Child as canon in this reference.

Ginny Weasley

Image result for ginny weasley gif

Is she that great or is she just a myth? She is character who I feel like is forced upon us. I feel like in one of the books we just establish that she is hot, funny, smart and independent. When we really didn’t get that from her in the first couple of books. There is a lot of description about her greatness but not a lot of scenes or evidence to back it up. Her love story with Harry feels very forced and once again I feel like it’s referenced that it’s so impactful without really having them be together very much, more just thinking about each other a lot. At best they like the idea of each other. Also is it me or do Lily and Ginny feel eerily similar? Dudebro has got some bad mommy issues.

Also I don’t think anyone of us wants to talk about the movie version of Ginny.

Aberforth Dumbledore

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He is barely mentioned in the book. I mean I have reread these books plenty of times but I can’t even tell you which book has one featuring sentence about him. His presence and reluctant help in the 7th book also feels highly convenient. He just happens to live in Hogsmead and has his own access to the castle? I don’t know about that, but I do like that we have a credible Anti-Dumbledore person. The 7th book is all about casting some light on Albus and I feel like Aberforth at least has a reason to dislike him and he does add some truth and insight only a sibling can do. Also though I feel like no one wants to talk about how it’s possible this man might have fucked a goat?

Draco and Hermione

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SAY WHAT YOU WILL IT COULD’VE BEEN GREAT. Honestly Draco is such a wasted character, he is literally a little piss ant bully turned almost murderer turned reluctant death eater. I feel like that could’ve been so much more compelling if there was some expansion on his struggle. I feel like I don’t often give the movies more credit than the books but in the 6th movie (easily my least favorite) we do get to see some non verbal scenes with him where you can sense more of his resistance. He’s such a dick for so long and you wanted him to come around and help in the battle but he doesn’t really ever apologize or help out more just doesn’t make an effort to stop them. Narcissa Malfoy is more helpful in the battle of Hogwarts than Draco if we are being real.

Enter my Hermione ship. I just think it could’ve broken down some barriers. You could start subtlety making them like each other or talking maybe via tutoring or something (I mean we’ve all seen One Tree Hill, right? #nathanandhaley) because here is the other part of this: They are teenagers who are hormonal and they spend way too much time researching versus trying to get some. Maybe it’s a british thing. However it could’ve added a little teen element. Taught Draco to overcome his prejudices and maybe teach Hermione to get off her high horse a little. I still love Hermione, I hated typing that but I needed to hone in my point. Also its way more conflict and intrigue. I mean if Emma Watson can love a Beast, she can suck face with some blonde fool. It also could’ve created some resolution with Harry and Draco which never really seems to come to pass. We only get a curt nod in a train station. (Once again excluding The Cursed Child).


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Um cheesey as hell. I don’t like it. I just feel like a peak into the future wasn’t a bad idea but it got so fairy tale/after school special. I just feel like keeping it a little vague or having some interpretation would’ve been better than tying it up with a bow. The movie just layers on the velveeta. All three of our stars have established careers, children and playful marriages. It’s sweet but I feel like it doesn’t follow the tone of the rest of the books. I just don’t like it.

Not accepting me

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I mean I literally was 11 when those books came to the US and I feel like my entire 5th grade class learned about real disappointment when no owls came to save us from doing our lame ass ecosystem projects.

The Whole 30 Challenge Week 4: The Wrap Up

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Every thing is weird. Man oh man.

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For there were no more worlds to conquer.


Well, I would say I’ve learned a lot about the Whole 30 and here are my keys to success.


Rob’s Keys To Success


Have a partner.

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I mean Mary and I transitioned from sad hung over kittens, to cooking partners, to competitors to sharing war stories in the matter of a month. The accountability factor is nice too because it makes harder to quit. It’s just important to have someone to vent to, someone who saves leftovers for you, and someone who also will understand your texts about which cereal you miss the most.


Don’t start day 1 hung over.

hey arnold

When you think about giving up drinking for a month, you think you need to have a Mardi Gras  experience but believe you me it’s a trap. The worst thing is ever to be hung over during day 1 and not be able to have pop or a cheeseburger. Spend the last day before the whole 30 hung over eating garbage before you start.


Be adventurous with your meals.

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Boredom was a real thing for me. You can only make so many different kind of eggs.Mary was much better in this category than me, but there are so many recipes out there for Whole 30 and one should take advantage.


Do your research.

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The Whole 30 is a commitment and before you do it you should know what you are getting into, there are plenty of books and I hate to say it a plethora of rules.


Don’t just jump in.

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Take your time. Figure out when the whole 30 is going to work for you. I specifically chose February because it didn’t have any high drinking events in this month so be conscious about the time. You don’t want to set your self up to fail.


Accountability plays a role.

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It often felt like a risky move sharing all of this with you all but it in the end I think it was the right thing to do. There is something about the people in your world watching  you that makes you feel like you don’t want to fail because it’s so public. I knew I couldn’t get away sneaking treats at work because people knew what I was doing, and same with my friends and that really kept me in check. Real talk this was a hard month because for some reason every patient at the hospital decided to just have a heart of gold and make all these cookies for the staff. It.was.killer.



The future of Whole 30 and me.

In the end of all this I would go as far as to say that I was a fan. It wasn’t easy but I think the benefits were worth it. I don’t think the Whole 30 in itself isn’t manageable long-term which is why it’s only designed to be for 30 days. I think you have to make it work for yourself. I feel like I will maintain an 80/20 ratio of this diet. I plan to just have a pre chosen meal once a week that’s off the diet. I am not a super heavy drinker so I will probably allow myself the amount of alcohol I had previously. And yes I will drink Diet Coke on the weekends, the world can make its piece with that truth.


And to my loyal readers…


I just want to say that I’ve been so grateful for the support over this past month. Everyone has been keeping up, telling me encouraging things and I feel like I really had a invested community behind me. I know it’s silly because at the end of the day, it’s just a diet but it’s nice to know people care. To everyone who is wanting to give it a try, please reach out to me. I’m by no means an expert but I will definitely split an avocado with you and listen to your woes (but know it will get better too).

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For bonus: My top 5 cooldown songs.

  1. Fresh Feeling-Eels
  2. Runaway-Grace Mitchell
  3. Doin’ it Right-Daft Punk
  4. One Day They’ll Know-Pretty Lights
  5. Seaside-The Kooks