Excuse Me While I Shoot Up: 20 Years As A Diabetic

This past January marks 20 years with type 1 diabetes. I still don’t think of it as something I’ve had so long and now I’m at a point where I’ve had it longer than I haven’t. It’s like a Kylie Jenner aged disease for me now. It’s old enough to have it’s own lip kits and fake butt.

I’ve written about my diabetes on this blog before but I guess now I’m feeling more reflective on this time rather than satirical (I know you can’t tell but I spelled that right on the first try) and I wanted to share.


My diagnosis

diabetis sick

It was January of 1999 and I was almost 10. I was in the 4th grade and my teacher was concerned about me. I was very thirsty and urinating a lot and tired af (sounds like yours truly). I wasn’t too sick like some kids get before they get diagnosed and I think my parents could see the symptoms in me pretty quickly. My dad took me the doctor and I don’t remember much else, I don’t remember crying or missing much school. Since I wasn’t that sick at diagnosis and my parents were educated I didn’t have to do a hospital stay. It just happened and that was that. There is still an infamous video in the Dine house called “It’s Time To Learn About Diabetes”. It was very cheesy and 80s but honestly a decent explanation.

I do remember getting a card in the mail from my friend Danny’s mom saying she was sorry this happened and she was here for me and was comfortable giving shots if I was at their house. This was very touching to me and I still think of it sometimes as a different parent had expressed not wanting me over until I was more stable leaving me to feel very punished.

I had to have a whole game plan with my 4th grade teacher Ms. Zimkowski who wasn’t a very approachable older woman. I didn’t love that she was my first line of defense when I needed help but she did her duty despite being a little cold. Also because I shared a room with my brother at the time and he was already diabetic I couldn’t understand how he didn’t just give me diabetes like the common cold and I was paranoid my parents wouldn’t tell me he was the cause to keep us from fighting.


My mom’s role

hug scene

I think about this a lot now that I work in healthcare and have worked overnights I’ve been in those shoes. This poor lady had to get up in the night and check my blood sugar while I probably whined about being poked. She also coordinated all of my care, my doctors appointments, my medical suppliers, any trips I took. Now that I do that all myself I’m very grateful for all she did. If I ever wanted to do something like go to a regular camp (not a diabetic camp, oh yeah it’s a thing) or play a sport she never acted like I couldn’t. I think that was a major contribution to me not feeling very sorry for myself about my diabetes.


Other diabetics 


Whenever I see another person with an insulin pump or meet someone else with diabetes it is a sort of a non verbal comradery. I remember a girl I went to high school with got diagnosed near the end of school (I can’t say who now because of my current life I have to care about HIPPA and shit) and although we had known each other pretty well I wouldn’t say we were very close. Upon her diagnosis she got pretty ill and I did feel compelled to visit her in the hospital. Diabetics supporting other diabetics. I remember bringing diet coke (it might have been Pepsi One because that was my drink of choice for many years, fun fact, right?) and some magazines and pretty much being like “it’s not that fun but enjoy this drink and you’ll have to pretend that syringes don’t hurt but they kinda hurt.” and I felt much closer to her after sharing this part of our lives.


Getting my pump 


Many of you know me as somebody who has an insulin pump because it’s such a physical representation of diabetes but the first few years I didn’t have one. They weren’t as mainstream for treatment. I would do syringes for all of my care and when I got a pump in 2001 it was a big fucking deal. I wouldn’t have to do shots anymore and I had a lot more freedom in my food choices. I had to wear one filled with just saline for just a month to “test drive” it and prove I was responsible. I had to go to classes with my mom with this horrible diabetes educator. Even my high road mother was annoyed with her. It was a big undertaking and a total game changer. I still remember one video which gave me advice on how to handle the pump for “intimate moments”


Bike and Builders

bike and build

Travel is hard enough with diabetes. When I did Bike&Build back in 2015 (and 2016 to some extent too) those guys saw my diabetes at it’s peak. I’ve never felt more diabetic in my adult life.  All of the physical exertion pushed my body to its limit and I was low and high (emotionally, from an altitude stand point, and blood sugar wise). I was never in a situation where I had to acknowledge and talk about my diabetes so much and I feel more comfortable with that push.



candy gif

You would think it would be a diabetic bummer, and you know what it? It kind of is. My mom tried real hard to not limit me with my candy but I think she didn’t want the consequences of a super high blood sugar. I think she usually would dole out mine and my sister’s in intervals to be fair. Sorry Mary but delayed gratification is probably good for all of us.



boys meet world

I think about my brother a lot. Beau was already diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was born and probably had his diagnosis for like 4 years at this point. By the time I was diagnosed the Dines had already been dealing with diabetes in the house for the past 13 years.  Despite our age difference diabetes has always been a way to anchor us together as we are the only ones in the family who have it. We’ve shared supplies and war stories.

The other thing when it comes to Beau is I think I wouldn’t have been so mellow at diagnosis if it hadn’t been for him. They told me I had a diabetes and I was just like “oh that thing the other guy in the bunk bed has?” I didn’t feel like I was worried my life would change because I observed Beau my whole life and he was just a regular kid who played little league and sometimes set an occasional fire. I was like oh I’ll be fine.


Working in a hospital 

nurse phoebe

I’ve been working in a hospital the last 3 years and I see a lot of complications from diabetics. Amputations, dialysis, stroke, neuropathy and I won’t lie; it stresses me out. It’s one thing to endlessly hear about complications it’s another to treat them. It makes me want to better myself.


Friends with school nurses

nurses office

Oh yeah, old lady school nurses were my jam. I would walk into their office everyday at lunch just to check my blood sugar and be doted on. Nurse P in middle school even posted a copy of poem I wrote right in her office so every sick kid knew what I laureate I was. That thing was there the entire time I was in junior high.

Also I feel like now that a significant time has passed since junior (just shy of a Kylie Jenner) I can admit that my older sister Sam wrote that poem and I’ve been stealing credit for this entire millennium. Confession is good for the soul.


Diabetic Camp 

Diabetic camp

It’s out there and it’s potentially great. My brother was a big fan and I  had been going to a regular summer camp before my diagnosis but my mom wanted me to try this one. Camp Midacha, was a YMCA camp that sponsored a diabetic week over on the east side of the state. For the most part it was normal except you had a colored bracelet that indicated your meal plan, a lot of nurses were around and all of the counselors had fanny packs filled with low blood sugar solutions. There was a “Diabetic Disco” at the end of the week and I went with my camp girlfriend Beth (that’s a whole other blog post)

I only went the one year, I liked having a counselor who knew how to deal with me and be approachable but my usual camp did have great nurses who watched me closely (and I was buddies with them too, I remember your sassy ass Nurse Becky). It wasn’t in my nature to draw so much attention to my disease and it’s all anybody wanted to talk about at Camp Midacha.

I do remember there was this kid Brandon who had an insulin pump and this was before they were so universal and when we were all talking about girls he made a crude joke using pump as a double entendre which for an 11 year old I was still impressed.


TV and Diabetes 

Nick Jonas

I’m not on some soap box saying we need more representation because while type 2 diabetes is growing (they are different and if you want to stay friends with me google the differences) type 1 isn’t that big of a population. I still always wanted like a strong protagonist or decent secondary character who was diabetic. Not a defining trait of the media like Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias where the main thing about the character is that she is diabetic. We do have Nick Jonas and he has been pretty open to being a good diabetic role model which I’m a fan. I see his face a lot on pamphlets in my doctors office.The other main person in my mind is Stacey from the Babysitters Club who lets be real was a pretty great example. A lot of her story lines did involve her diabetes but I wouldn’t say it was a defining trait and she a lot of other stuff going on. I’m sure there are all small characters that I don’t know about but it would be cool to be like “Jughead and Betty are so cute and he needs to count his carbs to stay alive”


The Skinny Rules

So I’m going to start off and say I’m not crazy about the title and I didn’t invent it. It comes from the book The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser. I have kind of condensed his book and philosophies into a diet that I’m going to try for 2019.

I feel like a lot of people liked when I tried the Whole 30 a couple of years ago so I thought this might be fun to share this experience and also it helps keep me accountable.


Here are the rules:


1. Drink a glass of water before every meal.

water gif

This one is pretty doable and like most of the rules it’s just something you should do anyways. I’ve been pretty faithful on this one.


2. No drinks with calories in them.

orange mocha

So I feel like in his chapter here, he is mostly attacking fancy coffee drinks and regular soda. As a type 1 diabetic I’m pretty hip to the sitch. Also he doesn’t say too much about alcohol here so I feel like it’s a yes? At least to gin.


3. Protein at every meal.


Eggs at breakfast, various meats throughout the day.


4. No refined flours or grains.


No one wants you to eat bread ever even though it’s made from angel skin, buttery dreams and a pinch of nirvana.


5. Eat 30-50 grams of fiber a day.


I don’t even really know how much that is but I’ve been taking a supplement.


6. Eat an apple or berry every day.

snow white

Keeps the doctor away dawg.


7. No carbs after lunch.


People hate when I tell them this rules but it’s not too bad. Mostly for dinner I have chicken breast and vegetables or like an egg scramble with no toast.


8. Read food labels.


So many tricksters out there.


9. Portion size.

portion size

One of my biggest downfalls.


10. No added sweeteners (even artificial).

coffee gif

Here is ol’ Bob coming after my Diet Coke. I’m not perfect, I’m down to one a day and I’ll slowly wean. And I’m not going to stop putting some coconut milk in my iced coffee.


11. No white potatoes.

potato gif

Good thing sweet potatoes are so good.


12. One meatless day a week.

lisa simpson

I’m excited to start this one. Not having a ton of ideas that aren’t just cheese yet.


13. No fast food.

super size me

I mean this one feels obvious but I’m still sad.


14. Eat breakfast every day.

waffle gif

This one is legit, and something people tell to do all the time. Luckily eggs and fruit is a chill way to start the day.


15. Eat 10 meals a week at home.

friday night dinner

Meal prep life baby, live it and learn it.


16. No high salt meals.


So no like frozen meals or overly processed stuff. Obvi no adding salt to things.


17. Vegetables with every meal.


This one is chill except for at breakfast, I sometimes add spinach to my eggs.


18. Go to bed hungry.

tired and hungry

People hate the title of this chapter in his book. He is just saying no late night snacking.


19. Sleep right. 


Always try to budget for at least 7.5 according to Bob Harper.


20. One splurge meal week. 

kimmy candy

Just a meal, not a whole day and still no fast food for the splurge.



So here they are! Gonna try my best to do this and not be too annoying on social media about it. I don’t know how long it will last or what it will be like, but all I can do is try it out.

Resolutions: 2019 Edition


Ah NYE, everyone’s personal time of introspection, slight annoyance and shimmery gold and silver decorations. Doing my good deeds and writing about New Years Resolutions for the year. Obviously assume there is like lose weight, save money, and travel more because those will never stop being goals for me. However these are the ones after some reflection I feel I need to work on this year.


1. Do The Stuff I Say I Like To Do

This one feels dumb and vague but hang with me. When you meet someone new or are making small talk one of the things you do is talk about how you pass your free time. For me I say things like “Biking, reading, video games, comics, going to the movies.”  However these are just fantasies because I don’t spend time doing any of things anymore. If I were to answer that question honestly it would be more like “Watching One Tree Hill and feeling bad for myself while I eat cheese.” I don’t love that. I need to spend time doing things I like, reading a little each day, playing a game, ice skating when it’s cold, swimming when it’s warm. Even if it’s just for like 30 minutes a day. (I deserve some kudos for doing this blog right now, but full disclosure OTH is on in the background).


2. Bike More

Following this one. I feel like I want to do more with biking. I’ve taken a few trips over the last few years and I still do some small ones in the year (Zoo-De-Mack, Gran Fondo) but I would like to do more. Whether it’s more social rides or a trip I plan myself. I don’t think it’s realistic for me to do as extreme of ones I did in the past but I would like to get out there more.


3. Be More Involved With My Community

Whether this means with cycling, or LGBT or just Grand Rapids in general. I want to meet more people who have similar interests as me and also do things that are new to me too. See if I develop any new interests.


4. Be A Better Diabetic

I mean this is also one of those ones I should have every year but this January marks 20 years of living with type 1 diabetes. Now working in a hospital with people who have a lot of complications from diabetes I just want to take better care of myself. Bring my A1C down and feel more confident in my care.


5. Dress More David Rose from Schitt’s Creek

I mean those patterns are everything.



For 2019…


No more of this..


And a little more of this…



Television Binge List 2018 Edition

Okay folks here it is, my updated list of shows to binge.  Full disclosure I didn’t finish all of these shows to completion but I watched enough to recommend and just before anyone comments; No I haven’t watched Haunting of Hill House yet. Enjoy the read!


 Game Of Thrones


“They are telling human stories in a fantasy world” –Ben Wyatt, Parks and Rec

That’s pretty much it. It’s soapy and sexy and there are dragons.

Things to look forward to: A lot of characters, encompassing world to get into, and Peter Dinklage.

Things to move past: People you love will be brutally killed. Dealing with the fans who have also read the books. Everyone’s name sounds relatively the same (high recommendation of using closed captioning).

Original Network: HBO

Number of seasons: 7 (1 more to go)

Where to watch now: HBO GO, and I honestly got the first few seasons at the library.


Schitt’s Creek


Kind of Canada’s answer to Arrested Development. Rich family who loses it all and now has to spend all of their time together in poverty.

Things to look forward to: Unlike Arrested Development it might not be as funny but has a lot more tender moments, plus an amazing all-star cast (Catherine O’Hara or death)

Things to move past: Takes a few episodes to hit its stride.

Original Network: Pop (who has even heard of that?)

Number of seasons: 4 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix

 True Blood


A sultry southern tale of vampires and various supernatural creatures. Based off of mystery novels, HBO just basically sprinkles in a lot more nudity and calls it a show.

Things to look forward to: Mysteries, sexy and humorous, good LGBT representation

Things to look past: Gory, and like many great shows it takes a big dip in quality in the middle.

Original Network: HBO

Number of seasons: 7

Where to watch: HBO GO




Three sisters living in San Francisco discover they are witches and have to battle demons on a weekly basis, but also find time to date??

Things to look forward to: Not as dark as other supernatural dramas and it’s really more about sisters who happen to be witches rather than witches who happen to be sisters.

Things to look past: Bad continuity issues, and very campy at times.

Original Network: The WB

Number of seasons: 8

Where to watch now: Netflix

Also The CW is making a revival with new characters this fall that looks good but is controversial at best.


Will and Grace


Two best friends, one gay lawyer and a Jewish fashion designer living in NYC in 90s sitcom fashion.

Things to look forward to: Progressive and ahead of its time, great celebrity guest appearances, and so funny.

Things to look past: A little corny at times, and not quite as good as Friends.

Original Network: NBC

Number of seasons: 8 and now a reboot that is still going.

Where to watch now: Hulu (original and reboot)


One Tree Hill


Distant half brothers deal with their differences on the basketball court in a very 2004 high school genre drama.

Things to look forward to: An amazing soundtrack! I still listen to music from that show. The teens are actually pretty charming and engaging. High stakes drama with good fodder too.

Things to look past: It does a time jump that does not serve it well and two main characters leave after season 6.

Original Network: The WB/CW

Number of seasons: 9

Where to watch now: Hulu




An ex-veteran hitman moves to LA to purse acting as a career.

Things to look forward to: Bill Hader plays Barry and is just adorable. The other actors in his class are very funny. The concept is original.

Things to look past: It’s a little dark and a little dry at times.

Original Network: HBO

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch now: HBO GO


Sabrina The Teenage Witch


Not to be confused with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This is the original. A young woman learns she is a supernatural witch and has to learn to manage her magic and high school.

Things to look forward to:  Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina is real cute and iconic. The show is also very funny even for adults.

Things to look past: I mean it’s a pretty 90s campy sitcom so if you’re not in the mood for that it’s not going to do you any favors.

Original Network: ABC (Then the WB

Number of seasons: 7

Where to watch now: Hulu


Desperate Housewives


Starting with the suicide of housewife Mary Alice Young, her friends set out to solve the circumstances of her death and navigate their suburban lives.

Things to look forward to: A lot going on, not a lot of lulls. New over arching mystery per season. Also it’s just iconic and funny.

Things to move past: Susan Mayer

Original network: ABC

Number of seasons: 8

Where to watch now: Hulu


Search Party


A Brooklyn based millennial decides to make it her job to find an old college acquaintance who has gone missing.

Things to look forward to:  Hilarious, but the mystery is captivating and the side characters are everything.

Things to move past: it’s not available on streaming anywhere that I know.

Original network: TBS

Number of seasons : 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Illegally but just do it, it’s worth the jail time.


The Magicians


Basically adult American Harry Potter, a show about a graduate college of magic and the students also explore a fantasy world.

Things to look forward to: Funny, smart and will help you cope with the loss of Harry Potter.

Things to move past: A shitty protagonist, and a shift in settings that I don’t totally love.

Original network: Syfy

Number of seasons: 3 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix




A blind lawyer vigilante with enhanced abilities.

Things to look forward to: Very dark and gritty but in a good way. Kind of Marvel’s answer to Batman.

Things to look past: Kind of dense, hard to binge.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch: Netflix original


The Carrie Diaries


A prequel story of a young Carrie Bradshaw set in the 1980s.

Things to look forward to: AnnaSophia Robb is darling, the music is great, it’s a very sweet teen show.

Things to look past: it’s not like the HBO show, so a lot of people were disappointed but I think it holds it own weight well.

Original Network: The CW

Number of seasons: 2

Where to watch: Netflix


Queer Eye


A reboot of the original where 5 gay guys come in and style your life.

Things to look forward to: Jonathon and a lot of the episodes will make you cry.

Things to look past: The season is too short

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch: Netflix Original


Big Mouth


A crass animated sitcom about puberty where puberty takes form as a hormone monster.

Things to look forward to: Maya Rudolph as the Hormone Monstress

Things to look past: The pillow episode

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch: Netflix Original


Happy Endings


ABC sitcom about six diverse friends living in Chicago.

Things to look forward to: Very quippy and funny, Casey Wilson is highly underrated as Penny Hartz. The chemistry of the whole cast is great.

Things to look past: It lacks a little bit of the tender side of these kind of comedies. Sometimes you just want to say “we get it” with some of the bits.

Number of seasons: 3

Original network: ABC

Where to watch now: Hulu


The Real O’Neal’s


Cousin of Modern Family/Speechless/Fresh Off The Boat/Blackish. Family of Chicago Irish Catholics who’s middle son comes out as gay.

Things to look forward to: The LGBT representation is on point. Kenny is a charming protagonist as well as the family being great supporting cast.

Things to look past: Aunt Jody attempting to be Aunt Hilda from Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

Number of seasons: 2

Original network: ABC

Where to watch now: Hulu


Once Upon A Time


A young woman discovers her birth parents are fairy tale characters and trapped in a cursed town.

Things to look forward to: Disney fans will love seeing their favorite characters in live action with some good twists. Regina is a complex anti-hero you love to root for.

Things to look past: Henry and a super slow first season.

Number of seasons: 7

Original network: ABC

Where to watch now: Hulu/Netflix


Bob’s Burgers


Animated sitcom about a family running a burger restaurant in a seaside town.

Things to look forward to: Maybe the most hilarious family currently on television.

Things to look past: There are for sure a few bombed episodes. (I’m looking at you toilet episode with Gene)

Number of seasons: 9 and counting (and rumors of a movie)

Original network: Fox

Where to watch now: Hulu


Future Man


A young janitor gets recruited by a video game to save the world in this time traveling sci-fi comedy.

Things to look forward to: Josh Hutcherson plays the protagonist and he is adorable. Haley Joel Osment also has a small role.  The time travel offers good soundtracks, James Cameron.

Things to look past: Comedy can be a little overly crass at times.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch now: Hulu original


Please Like Me


An Australian millennial comes out as gay.

things to look forward to: Good representation of living with mental health, and funny and it’s cool to see Australian culture.

Things to look past: protagonist Josh is kind of the worst. Also at times it’s just gay hipster nonsense.

Number of seasons: 4

Original network: ABC (but like in Australia or something)

Where to watch now: Netflix/Hulu


The Bold Type


Three best friends work for a women’s magazine.

Things to look forward to: I mean I’m not a woman but I feel empowered afterwards.

Things to look past: It’s cute but it lacking a little something to make it stand out.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Original network: Freeform

Where to watch now: Hulu


BoJack Horseman


Animated dramedy about a washed up actor. Also many people are animals instead of humans.

Things to look forward to: Painfully relatable at times. BoJack is a complex character that resonates.

Things to look past: Often very gloomy.

Number of seasons: 4 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix original


The Good Place


A young woman dies and goes on to the “good place” only to learn there has been a cosmic screw up.

Things to look forward to: Kristen Bell as the hilarious lead. Ted Danson as the architect is so good too.

Things to look past: It’s a little slow, and repetitive.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Original network: Fox

Where to watch now: Hulu/Netflix




Mickey and Gus are two emotionally broken LA residents who despite their differences and jaded attitudes seem to find love.

Things to look forward to: It’s a Judd Apatow show and he delivers. Also Gillian Jacobs as Mickey is everything. Birdie.

Things to look past: Every single character is frustrating

Number of seasons: 3

Where to watch now: Netflix Original




Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling. Taking place in the 1980s, follows the story of female wrestlers.

Things to look forward to: Jenji Kohan (of Weeds and OITNB) is the creator and it shows.

Things to look past: Not quite as funny as it could be. Like many of Jenji Kohan characters the protagonist is not that likeable (Nancy Botwin, Piper Chapman)

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix Original




Based on Archie Comics but like a weird dark teen soapy twist.

Things to look forward: The outfits? Honestly I don’t even know.

Things to look past: The humans who botched this concept.

Number of seasons: 3 and counting

Original network: The CW

Where to watch now: Netflix


Grace and Frankie


Two women in their golden years make an unlikely friendship when their husbands ending up falling in love with each other.

Things to look forward to: great LGBT representation especially for an older generation. Very funny and sweet.

Things to move past: Adorable but the plot lines are slow.

Number of seasons: 4 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix original


The OA


A young girl who went missing many years ago has returned home to Michigan.

Things to look forward: Combines great sci-fi with crime and mystery drama. It also has beautiful imagery and cinematography.

Things to look past: Not in love with the protagonist.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch: Netflix original


Master of None


Aziz Ansari playing a modern Indian actor trying to make it NYC.

Things to look forward to: Aziz is actually pretty likeable and not as annoying as Tom Haverford. Denise is a kween too.

Things to look past: it’s kind of Hipster Anthem.

Number of seasons: 2

Where to watch: Netflix original


New Girl


A young woman moves in with three bachelors following a bad break up.

Things to look forward to: It’s very quotable and you will definitely be able to make small talk with your coworkers if you watch New Girl.

Things to look past: The adorkable thing gets very played out.

Original Network: Fox

Number of seasons: 7

Where to watch now: Netflix/Hulu




A trio of three gay men living in San Francisco struggling with careers, friendship and love. Basically a gay man’s Girls.

Things to look forward to: Wonderful and realistic dialogue. Raw LGBT themes that are very relatable.

Things to look past: sometimes so realistic its’ cringey.

original Network: HBO

Number of seasons: 2 and a made for TV movie

Where to watch now: HBO Go


The Defenders


Combining the Netflix characters of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron fist. These 4 characters band together to save the city in a mini series.

Things to look forward to: All of these beloved characters coming together and Sigourney Weaver as the villain. Iron Fist wasn’t a good show but he works in an ensemble.

Things to look past: It felt a little biased towards Daredevil’s story.

Number of Seasons: 1 (doesn’t seem they will make more)

Where to watch now: Netflix original




A short lived Amy Sherman-Palladino (creator of Gilmore Girls) project about a Vegas dancer who gets stuck teaching ballet in a small California town.

Things to look forward to: Sutton Foster should have her own show, she is the new Lorelai (The Reigning Lorelai for you big GG fans), the kids are cute, and Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore) is a major character.

Things to look past: The show doesn’t balance itself whether its supposed to be about Michelle (Sutton Foster) or the kids. Also I don’t like the finale.

Original network: ABC Family

Number of seasons: 1

Where to watch now: Hulu


Wet Hot American Summer


Based on the early 00’s movie about camp counselors in the 1980s, two seasons one a prequel and one concluding 10 years after the original movie.

Things to look forward to: If you loved the movie they really honor the style and humor.

Things to look past: No Bradley Cooper

Number of seasons: 2

Where to watch now: Netflix Original


Stranger Things


Set in the 1980s, a young boy goes missing and his friends begin the search uncovering monsters and a corrupt government lab.

Things to look forward to: The kids are hella charming and the 1980s setting gives it a real Goonies feel without ripping it off. (I feel like Goonies isn’t even mad because Sean Astin is in the second season.)

Things to look past: As much as I love Winona Ryder, her melodramatic scenes are exhausting.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix Original


13 Reasons Why


Based on the novel, a young girl commits suicide and leaves cassette tapes for different people documenting what events lead up to her demise.

Things to look forward to: Story is intricate which keeps you involved and there a lot of characters so you don’t get bored.

Things to look past: These kids have no fun and also the last episode of season 1 is brutal.

Number of season: 2

Where to watch now: Netflix original.




A sci-fi remake of the movie about human like androids living in a Western theme park.

Things to look forward to: Major twists, beautiful scores and scenery, if you love reddit theories then this is the show for you.

Things to look past: If you don’t love reddit theories.

Numbers of seasons: 2 and counting

Orignal network: HBO

Where to watch now: HBO Go


The Handmaid’s Tale


Based on the novel, a dystopian society where birth rates have dropped, America is taken over by a religious government. A caste system is formed and fertile women are imprisoned by families of status.

Things to look forward to: Much more in-depth than the book, great music, visually stunning, constantly moving plot with a lot of questions.

Things to look past: Some of the episodes are so rough they hurt my stomach.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Hulu Original


The Runaways


Based on the graphic novel, a group of teens discover their parents are in a league of super villains and band together to become heroes.

Things to look forward to: A fresh teen show, not typical  high school drama. Original idea and captivating.

Things to look past: The beginning few episodes are way too slow. Pacing is a problem.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch now: Hulu orignal


Alone Together


Two young struggling comedians living in LA navigate their millennial issues.

Things to look forward to: The leads are great and have good chemistry. It’s very much a feeling of Freeform saying they aren’t ABC Family anymore with this show.

Things to look past: The bits between the two characters can last too long.

Number of seasons: 2

Original network: FreeForm

Where to watch now: Hulu




A group of nail technicians living in coastal Florida who reluctantly get involved with the local mafia.

Things to look forward to: Niecy Nash is like the more likable Nancy Botwin (Weeds), fast paced story, great diva women.

Things to look past: It’s one of those shows where you feel like the characters can never get ahead.

Number of seasons: 2

Original Network: TNT (weird, right?)

Where to watch now: Hulu


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


A young woman living in 1950s Manhattan discovers a talent for stand up comedy after her husband leaves her family.

Things to look forward to: Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Pallidino takes on this project and it has all the quip and love of Gilmore Girls without the restrictions of basic cable. It’s super funny, the outfits are cute and it’s very original. So many Emmy’s already for this show.

Things to look past: It’s still very new so nothing is terrible at this point, but sometimes the episodes feel a little long.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch now: Amazon Original


 American Horror Story


Ryan Murphy phenomenon where in each season he tells a different mini series based around popular horror themes (witches, freak show, murder, asylums, cults, etc)

Things to look forward to: It’s a Ryan Murphy show so there are great one liners, big celebrity names, intriguing story lines and limit pushing ideas. Every season is different so if you don’t like one, you are welcome to try again with a new one. He uses diversity well in his stories.

Things to look past: Like many Ryan Murphy shows, they don’t come together well in the end (even in mini series form).  Rely too much on camp and kitchiness instead of plot.

Number of seasons: 7 (8 is currently running)

Original network: FX

Where to watch now: Netflix and Hulu


Cloak and Dagger 


Two teenagers learn of a strange link that formed the night of a freak accident.

Things to look forward to: It’s filmed and takes place in the south and it’s often very pretty. Cool duality themes of good and evil.

Things to look past: The kids chemistry is a little shaky and the story is slow.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Original Network: Freeform

Where to watch now: Hulu


Witches of East End


A family of female witches navigate their lives, magic and love in this soapy drama.

Things to look forward to: Okay, it sounds really stupid but it’s actually cute and pretty funny. The mythology is solidly built, the characters have good dimensions and the plot is intriguing.

Things to look past: Julia Ormand needs to work on her American accent, and because it is kind of soapy you are dealing with a lot of dudes with waxed chests and feelings.

Number of seasons: 2

Original network: Lifetime (be cool everybody)

Where to watch now: Hulu


Luke Cage


An ex-convict who has super strength and impenetrable skin sets out to keep Harlem safe.

Things to look forward to: I’m just gonna be real, Luke is such a babe. Also his redemption theme is powerful. Good villains and side characters. Rosario Dawson is around a lot more. An amazing sex scene.

Things to look past: It’s very gritty, can be hard to watch, needs a little more levity.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix original


The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina


A modern remake of the orignal Sabrina. Not much in common. This version has Sabrina already be magical and deal with the duality of witches and mortals. Very dark and satanic take on the universe.

Things to look forward to: I really like the actress that plays Sabrina, the addition of her gay cousin, the feminist angle.

Things to look past: Very dark, everyone is kinda mean, it’s gloomy and not much fun.

Number of seasons: 1 and undoubtably more

Where to watch now: Netflix Orignal

On Being Chubby Chased

Chubby chasing has long been a topic that has always piqued my curiosity. Trying to understand it and it has felt tricky and talking to my peers about what feels like a touchy subject.  This admittedly is a very hard thing for me to write about. However I have had complex feelings for many years and feel as though writing about it might give me some clarity.

Let’s start with some the definition. A “chubby chaser” is a person (and my experience that person is usually not overweight) who is sexually attracted to someone who is overweight or obese. While this common in heterosexual encounters I can only write to my own experience with other men.

Moving on to my origins. I was not a fat child, I was pretty slim and even kind of short and runt like. Around puberty I didn’t really have a signficant growth spurt and because I didn’t stretch out that much I started to accumulate a little fat. Not a lot but I wasn’t used to it and I didn’t adjust my lifestyle to accommodate the change. Through the course of middle school and high school I was very self-conscious about my weight (even though looking back it wasn’t a problem but teenage hormones you know?). I have numerous journal entries about my body issues and I remember having long talks with my female friends about dieting and exercise.

By the time college started I was full on obsessed with losing weight and I managed to slim down a decent amount due to poverty and the fact that WMU is a constant incline for walking. However when I would dip down weight wise, I would always bring myself back up. By the time I was in my mid twenties I had kind of plateaued in a higher BMI range and currently live there now.

Obviously feeling self-conscious can be such a barrier to dating and it’s a universal experience. I remember the first time I encountered chubby chasing (that I knew of), I was 22 and was on Okcupid (I might not be as young as I think I am) and I was talking to this cute guy for a couple of weeks and we started exchanging more pictures and his response to mine was “Oh man…I just love bigger guys”. I was struck. I hadn’t ever heard anything like that before and if straight love stories on television taught me anything it was that you never comment on a lady’s weight.

This exact formula happened a few more times on this dating site. It was always the same, talk to a handsome (thinner) guy for a week or two and then out of nowhere he would say the phrase “into bigger guys”. Never the word “fat” just bigger. Regardless of the term, I was always greatly offended and hurt and would stop talking. I should go on to say the language is never “I love your body” or “I’m just so attracted to you” which is so much better but it’s always bigger.

As I got older you would think I would be less naive but I was a moth to the flame. The sites just grew into tindr, grindr and real life occurrences. Some of these guys I even dated for a while and the notorious line would slip from their lips. It’s always been an instant turn off for me and I felt like I never look at the guy the same way again.

Now as I get older it feels more complicated.  I think the thing is I meet these guys and I like them a lot and in the course of trying to impress them and conceal my flaws like my weight and hoping I can win them over with my personality. Instead the thing I think I’m hiding so well calls to them like a lighthouse beacon from under my shirt (and to think I bought all those slimming black clothes for nothing). It just makes me feel so exposed and vulnerable to know they’re fixating on something that honestly bears a lot of shame for me.

I think with the men I’ve encountered it’s not just a physical preference (like Gentleman Prefers Blondes or something) but almost like an objectification bordering fetish. Not that there is anything wrong with a healthy fetish but when you’re at the receiving end of it, it can feel a little overwhelming. Once some of these men would talk to me for a while and even date for a time eventually they felt comfortable enough to reveal themselves as chasers, and the iconic line “I just really love bigger guys” would come into play.

As I got older I wasn’t as quick to be dismissive because a part of me wondered if I was being hasty. Maybe it’s just being into bear/cub type guys (a gay man who is hairy and chubby for those not in the know) and honestly liking “bear” types is so much less offensive in my mind and there are guys who I think who genuinely like a bear type. It’s not the same as the “chasers”.

After I didn’t leave a guy after learning they are a chaser. They felt that I was into their “chasing”  and the men grew a lot more comfortable letting their freak flag fly so to speak. I would start to get a cascade of “compliments” which would often get perverse which I’ll spare you the details because I’m a gentlemen. I’ve been discouraged from working out, swayed to gain more weight, and even a friend of a “chaser” guy I was seeing brought me food saying his friend the chaser wants me bigger. It gets to a point where you say a line to yourself that I never thought I would say “Do you even like me? Or do you just like me for my body?”

This raises a new thing for me with the men who have encouraged me to gain weight. Also known as “feeders” which is a whole other thing and I haven’t met many but basically they don’t just like bigger guys but really obese men. I have always been curious about this specific archetype but while you may like the size, are the health complications as sexy? Full transparency, I’m a type 1 diabetic and I already have poor cholesterol and blood pressure. Are you going to love me when they amputate one of my feet or I keep you up all night with my sleep apnea?

One of my biggest qualms with being chased is that it’s like a reality check to my current weight situation. When you already feel shitty about your weight and everyone is assuring you you’re not fat and some ding-dong dude comes along and thinks you’re a candidate to make over into My 600lb Life. That’s a gut punch because strangers are less bias than your friends. It’s a struggle because I consider myself to be a pretty active adult. I rode my bike across America and down the East Coast. I have a run a couple of 5ks, I go to the gym a normal amount. I’m not on the cover of Men’s Health or anything but I think I’m pretty average. I take vitamins, take preworkout, attempt to diet and genuinely care about my health so it hurts to feel like any work I do still puts me in the bigger category.

If you’ve read this far, first of all thank you and second of all I’m sure you think “why even talk to these guys? Well I’m a human man and I can’t pretend there isn’t a temptation. Most of these men are very attractive and you’re hoping it’s a Laney Boggs situation from She’s All That and you’re cuter than you think, you just have dorky glasses. Even the most jaded part of me wants to hope it’s not the chasing thing. These attractive men desire you and even if it feels tainted it still feels good to be wanted especially when you’re self-esteem is low. So the older I got and more lonely I felt, I started to wait it out these relationships as opposed to bailing at first sight of “chasing”. I would try to see if I adjusted but in my bones it just never felt like a good thing.

I think one of the questions in the back of my brain was always “Would you like me if I lost the weight?” I feel like my goal since the age of about 15 has been to be more comfortable in my body and weight loss is always on my mind. During different times in my life I have taken diet and fitness more seriously and  have had some success. If I finally got to that magic number would my hypothetical chasing boyfriend still want me? I feel like a lot of my discomfort with being chased comes from not loving myself at this weight so it feels uncomfortable for someone else to love me for it.

I want to back pedal and say that I don’t think every man who has a bigger boyfriend is a chaser. I think there are some genuine couples who just love each other for who they are despite appearance. I also feel like I need to advocate for chasers because I have met men who love being chased, it makes them feel empowered and sexy and they should! I have met great men (who I haven’t dated) who love bigger guys and they have found happiness. I’m not saying this whole thing is inherently sinister, it can be a beautiful thing but I can only speak to my only experience and feelings. Everyone is different and I just have never felt it’s the path for me. Do I think it’s possible some man might approach me because of my weight but fall in love with me the person and the rest won’t matter? I sure as hell hope so.

This is just something I’m trying to get more comfortable talking about, and understand how I feel. I’m hoping writing this will create some clarity and dialogue. I also hope I’m not the only one who is sorting it out.




Rob Review: Night Shift

I have been working night shift in a hospital for the past 6 months and as it comes to a close I reflect on what I took away from this experience.


It’s way more chill.

v mars

First and foremost is that people of the night are so chill. The culture of night shift is definitely not for the high-strung. There is less family, no extra hospital staff (linens, CSR, nutrition, therapy) it’s pretty much just nursing for the majority of the shift.  The night staff is generally observes a culture that thrives when there is harmony and wants to do their best to keep that rolling. Not that day shift doesn’t love harmony but harder to achieve when there are so many other services all working at the same time.


Wake up to so many messages.

Lady gaga telephone

Since you sleep during the day, when you wake up the whole world has been active. So when you check your phone there are some many emails and texts, and weird voicemails like Walgreens telling your prescription is ready. Since so many of them are from hours ago you feel really compelled to answer quickly. It’s a little exhausting and overwhelming first thing.


It can feel isolating.


It’s hard because around 10 PM no one returns your texts anymore. You end up addicted to Buzzfeed figuring out which SATC character you are based on your pizza topping choices. Everyone wants to do things around dinner time and I’m like I don’t want happy hour, I just woke up. It will feel like day drinking. On your off nights you stay up late watching tv and playing video games (which isn’t the worst life).


You have beer and soda at weird times.

30 rock beer

I eat my breakfast at 4 PM and sometimes getting a beer at 8 AM is the coolest part of working at night. You just feel like a boss. I also drink a Diet Coke before I go to bed in the AM  with the justification it’s my night-time but I also have one when I wake up with the justification it’s 4 PM so that is pretty sweet.


It takes a little medical intervention in the beginning.


I basically take melatonin to regulate my sleep and it’s always in my backpack and I also have Tylenol because until my body adjusted to third shift, I would get migraines at night.


Schmuck waking up at 4 PM. 

Daria sleeping

No matter how many shifts in a row you work or how hard you work, you feel like a schmuck when you wake up past 4. Even it’s only been 7 hours of sleep. You just feel like a dipshit.


Planning your sleep is a thing.

math gif

Third shifters are amazing at sleep math! They are like if I go to bed for four hours and then wake up and take a nap later I can go to the concert and be okay!


Being single is an extra challenge.

Lone wolf

Especially challenging being single. People want to meet for a drink or dinner at like 5 or 6 and you’ve been awake for like 90 minutes and your brain is mush. Then when you are waking up and feeling good a few hours later, they are wiped from their day life and want to go to bed. Then if you are getting to a place of sleeping over, it’s especially awkward because you might not want to go to bed at their early hour.


Walking at night is not as scary. 

Hannah Horvath

I don’t live in the nicest neighborhood but I have no reluctance of walking at night because third shift has made me the shadow king and I have no fear.


After hours meals is a god send.

Night cheese

I’m very aware of what late night things around me. Who delivers late and where I can get ice cream at 3 AM.


I have a new list of enemies.

abbi nightmare

Lawnmowers! My newest enemy. Although the list ranges from children who aren’t in school and play outside my window to anyone who rings the doorbell and generally the sun.


Vacations are a little trickier.


They take a little bit more planning because you need a few days before and after to adjust to day life and then back to night life.


Caffeine game is strong.

Nancy coffee

There is no coffee shame, you can basically slam an entire red bull while eating espresso beans and talk about how you had a caffeine enema earlier and you are still just at rookie status.


Traffic is very much not a problem.

car alone gif

Being on an off schedule of the world you basically have the road to yourself and Meijer is significantly less annoying at night. A 24 hour gym is great in the middle of the night and seeing week day movies are chill.


Weight gain is an issue.

weight gain

You eat at weird times and your metabolism is so out of funk. Plus I think I’m just always tired so the gym fell to the wayside. I also love treats (plus there was that whole thing about soda and beer and Redbull earlier).


Comradery is the best part. 

glee friends

Third shift people just get it. It’s like weird army buddies. When you see them at night and see them coming into work. You give them a knowing head nod and a non verbal look that says “I know your pain, but we are Vikings! People of the night! We can handle anything!”

Dine-isms Explained

So like many families The Dines have formed their own colloquial phrases specific to our family. For many of our friends you have heard many of these phrases and I thought it was time for some definitions.


Maddy Brat: My dad’s term for when someone is being difficult.

Example: Don’t be a maddy brat.


Dine Family rules: The main family rule which dictates you cannot sit in the car while somebody pumps gas. It’s courtesy for at least one person to get out of the car and keep the person company while they pump gas.

Example: *Somebody is in the car still once you’ve parked at a gas station* Who is getting out? Dine Family rules.

For whatever reason you have to say the phrase “Dine Family rules” a lot.


Sous Chef: probably the most used of them all. This phrase means if you are being a sous chef, you are just keeping another person company while they work.

Example 1:

Rob: Hey Mary, will you sous chef me while I clean my room?

Example 2:

Beau: Hey I need some helping moving some furniture and you can’t just sous chef.


The Game: Probably the most important, my family likes to play this game where you pretend to not know what something basic is in order to watch somebody react.


Rob: Did you see Avengers this weekend?

Mary: What’s that?

Rob: Avengers? You know like the big giant super hero movie.

Mary: Don’t know it.

2 minutes later I’m still ranting…

Rob: Okay and then we have the Guardians of the Galaxy with Chris Pratt from Parks and Rec. Are you serious??

Mary: Nah, I’m just playing the game.

Rob: sigh.

Two things about the game: if someone asks if you’re playing the game, you have to answer honestly and I’m literally almost never playing the game just a victim.


“Arthur Doesn’t Listen”: A phrase coined by my dad from a book I had in preschool. The story is about a first day of school and you can guess it, Arthur is a problem child. He doesn’t listen. It’s literally one page, one sentence in the whole book. Now it is said in place of “I told you so”


Rob: Ugh, I forgot to get my license renewed and now it’s more money.

Dad: Arthur doesn’t listen.


“I think Reed is done now”: This is a favorite. I used to babysit a kid named Reed who was nonverbal. Sometimes his sister would be there too. If we were doing a group activity that was losing her interest instead of saying she was bored she would look at her brother and say “I think Reed is done now” in order to get us to move on. Now as Dines we use anytime we passively want to reference being over an activity.


Rob and Sam are at a Target and there are too many people and making too much noise.

Rob looks defeated

Sam: I think Reed is done now


Sailor’s on a ship: This is what my mom calls the thing where you cut out the middle of a piece of bread and fry an egg in the middle.  No idea where it comes from.


Kids: What are we having?

Mom: Sailors on a ship!


Aliens!: My mom invented this when I was in junior high. If somebody left pop cans out or ignored a chore she would say “I know my kids could never have done this, I know aliens must have beamed down and down this” followed by a Sandy Dine cackle.

It got to the point where she stopped using our names and just said Alien 1,2,3 and 4. She would leave notes like:

Alien 1: finish the gutters

Alien 2: Vacuum all common areas

Aliens 3&4: Straighten up storage room.


0 to 1: This is a sliding scale of how many kids Sam Dine and I could handle raising in our lives based on our current ability.

Example 1: Kids are having a tantrum at Meijer.

Sam looks at me: Zero.

Example 2: Our nephew is being cuddly and smiling.

Sam looks at me: One.


Mermaid swim: This is specific to Lake Michigan and us camping. My mom always had a rule that if you want hot breakfast you have to get up early and wash your hair in Lake Michigan and don’t even think about showering after.


Mom: Who is coming down for Mermaid Swim?

All kids resist but mostly do it because we want the fore mentioned sailors on a ship.


The Polycart: It’s just our family’s term for the trash bin outside. I’ve just never heard anyone else call it that.


“Goddamn Ham sandwiches”: A drunken complaint from my father one Christmas party in reference to the food.


My dad looks around at the food at a family party.

Dad: All they have are goddamn ham sandwiches.

Now it used to reference any unsatisfactory food situation whether there are sandwiches or not.


Sam: how was the work meeting?

Rob: Nothing good to eat, just goddamn ham sandwiches.


Animals at midnight: I don’t know why but on Christmas Eve at midnight my parents will tell us how this is the one hour a year that humans can communicate with animals. None of the animals ever filed a grievance when given this hour.


“Too much birthday”: Stolen from The Berenstain’s Bears about when one of the kids stretches out their birthday party and gets over saturated. Now it is said anytime you have too many days of social interactions.


Mary: I just need to chill today, I’ve just been out everyday spending too much money and drinking too much.

Rob: Too much birthday?

Mary: Too much birthday.


“Little nepotis”: The origin of this comes from Jack Black’s School of Rock, which upon reflection of writing this I’m reminded that my family freaking loves Jack Black. Anyways there is a line where he is referencing nepotism in the music business and shortens it to “little nepotis” and now we tend to say the phrase in place of “FYI” or just to grab someone’s attention even though that seems to make zero sense.


Sam: Little nepotis! I can’t meet you on Thursday because I have to watch the baby. 


Dine 1-1: This is a great play on 9-1-1 because we are so adorably witty, however mostly this is saved for situations in which you have a runaway child. We haven’t had to use it in a bit but baby BJDJ is so close to walking so it might come back into vogue.


(Circa 1991, baby Robin is running off in a store)

Bob: Oh damn, we got a Dine 1-1. 


Friday night crying: Formed in 2010 when Sam and I worked as camp counselors and after a long grueling week our coworkers would want to go out to blow off some steam. Often though we (Sam more often than me) would fall asleep after work and be so cranky from our naps and resist leaving the house due to exhaustion but we would put on an episode of television and pout and get ready. We always had a good time once we were out but now have dubbed any resistance to going out as “Friday night crying”


Rob: Are you going to Alexis’s birthday party on Saturday?

Sam: Yes, but its been a week so I will probably need to do a little Friday night crying first. 


Going to Buddy’s: This was a Beau Dine inspired phrase. Anytime Beau wanted you to sous chef him (see that reference in a reference?) on some errands. He would always say “We just gotta stop at Buddy’s real quick”. Buddy was Beau’s friend growing up and while you thought you were gonna be out with Beau for like 45 minutes it ended up being 4 hours and now used to talk about going on a long errand with somebody


Mary: Did you end up going to Target with Sam?

Rob: Yeah, but like we had to stop at Buddy’s real quick. 


“No judgement at Denny’s”:  At the height of my binge drinking, my favorite hangover spot was Denny’s (just be cool, I can feel some of you rolling your eyes but also I’m just glad you read this far). It’s just nice to get a crisp Diet Coke, french fries and also bacon. Anyways my friends and I would often order too much food and be self-conscious.


Victoria: Is it weird if I order pancakes and mashed potatoes?

Rob: There is no judgment at Denny’s.

Now it is used anytime we are in public and need reassurance we aren’t being judged.


Rob: Are you going to be mad if I pick Coldplay song for the jukebox?

Sam: No judgment at Denny’s. 


“Don’t miss a beat”: A phrased meant to shame someone when they didn’t learn gossip fast enough.


Rob: Sam told me that Mom said Sunday dinner isn’t happening.

Mary: I know. Mom and I don’t miss a beat.


Lightbulbs: My mom’s answer to anyone asking her what is for dinner. I don’t know the origin.


Mary: Mommmmmmmmmmm….what’s for dinner?

Sandy: Lightbulbs.