It’s Friday, I’m in Love!

A few things I’m loving this particular Friday…

This went viral crazy last Friday,
so I’m sure by now you’ve already seen this video, but I love it.
So I need it to live here on my blog too.
I hate that I love this song as much as I do.

***

40 Days of Dating
Late to the viral party again,
but this 40 Day of Dating is absolutely fascinating.
When I read the about and the rules,
I was not remotely interested.
They seemed annoying and fake,
trying to do this just to be famous.
The videos bugged me.
But then! Then I started reading their daily posts.
And I was drawn in.
And now I’m dying to see what happens at the end.

***

H&M is now available for online shopping.
Enough said.

***

Orphan Black.
A new BBC show that I’m loving.
I thought it would be cheesy.
It’s not.
It’s good.
Have you seen it?

***

Lastly, this video which features
Jon Stewart before he was Jon Stewart
and Alicia Silverstone before she was Alicia Silverstone.
I can’t handle how cute young Jon Stewart is
and how awkward young Alicia is.
And I totally forgot that she used to be
the hot girl from the Aerosmith video!
What a blast from the past.


***
Happy Friday Friends!
What are you loving today?

LauraAugust 9, 2013 - 10:09 am

Never heard of 40 Days of dating – will have to check it out! Happy Friday girl!
Laura recently posted…Friday’s Fancies: Fruit Inspired

GretchenAugust 9, 2013 - 11:08 am

My guilty pleasure lately has been the show Pretty Wicked Moms. Yep, it is on Lifetime but it is so horrible I can’t stop watching. You have to check it out!

LindseyAugust 9, 2013 - 11:10 am

I love 40 days if dating too! Soo hooked :)

Scientology is Batsh*t Crazy

So. I just finished reading “Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape” by Jenna Miscavige Hill, and I was so completely entranced by the utter cultlike pyschoness  that is Scientology that I just have to share it with you all. Because let me tell you, holy macaroni, Scientology is craaaaaaaaaazy! 

Perhaps most of you reading this are thinking that I’m crazy for not already knowing this, but I really had no idea just how utterly insane it was until I read this book. As my friends Mo and Justin would say, that sh*t is bananas. It is the craziest of crazy town.

I’ve always thought that Scientology was a little bit… off… but outside of Tom Cruise being a total nut job, I didn’t know that much about it. For some reason, I thought that maybe it was similar to the Church of Religious Science, a non-denominational church that my parents had gone to a couple of times. This is a church that believes in God but also believes in science, and I suppose based on the name, I thought Scientology was similar.

Well, it’s not. Not even a little bit. Remember that crazy interview Tom Cruise gave a few years back, where he was saying all sorts of ridiculous things, like how if you go by a car accident, only scientologists are able to truly help the victims? Well, that is just 1/100th of the craziness that is Scientology.

Jenna Miscavige Hill is the niece of David Miscavige, the current leader of the Church of Scientology. She was born into the “church” (and I put church in quotes because calling it that is truly laughable), and she spent her whole life in it. She left (more like escaped) in 2005, and is now one of the most outspoken well-known critics of the church. Thus, she is also one of the most hated people by Scientologists.

The book was so full of crazy information that I don’t even know where to begin, but for those of you that are interested in learning more, here’s some information*:

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First of all, Scientology was created L. Ron Hubbard (LRH), a science fiction writer who somehow became enlightened and created a self-help program which he later turned into the church of Scientology. Apparently somewhere along the line he learned all about the secrets of human existence, which is:

75 million years ago, an evil being named Xenu decided to solve a population problem on his galactic colony by exiling a bunch of people to Earth. Xenu then did a ton of horrible things to these people, like drugging them, placing their bodies around a volcano, and blowing them up with H-bombs. But that really only took care of the physical problem – Xenu didn’t just want the bodies gone, he wanted to make sure the ‘thetans’ (spirits / souls) of those people didn’t come back and reincarnate on his colony. So when the souls started leaving the bodies, he captured the souls and forced them into a huge implant station that was kind of like a movie theatre. There, he made them watch movies that ‘implanted’ them with false pictures of Christ, and other historical events that Hubbard says didn’t actually happen. The souls were so screwed up from this implanting that they roamed aimlessly around Earth for millions of years. When human beings started evolving, the thetans started entering their bodies and inhabiting them, and thus these thetans are called ‘body thetans’. And body thetans, says Hubbard, are the source of all human misery.

Ultimately, the goal of Scientology is to rid you of your body thetan. Only then will you be a truly happy enlightened person.

Seriously. That is what it is based on. For a truly entertaining rundown, watch this South Park clip.

If you learn this information “too soon,” without going through the proper training, you are told that you will do serious harm to yourself, perhaps resulting in death!

L. Ron Hubbard has been quoted as saying “You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.”

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LRH died in 1986 but there is a mansion waiting for him, called Bonne View, that is maintained and waiting for him when he returns in another body.

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Scientologists don’t believe in a God. Have you seen the movie The Host? Well, it’s eerily similar. They believe that our souls (thetans), have been around for millions of years and just transfer from one body to the next. This means that there is no such thing as family, because your body is just a carrier for your soul, and your soul can’t really have parents, as a soul can’t be the parent of another soul. Because of this belief, children are treated like adults, given adult-like responsibilities, and separated from their parents for months (sometimes years) at a time. Family is not considered real nor important.

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The Church’s inner core is called the Sea Org. Members of the Sea Org run all the churches, live at the base, perform all auditing, teach all classes, etc. etc. Members of the Sea Org are not allowed to have children. They are not allowed to use the internet. They are not allowed to make personal calls (they must request permission, and approval can take days). Their mail is read before being given to them, and if there is anything inappropriate in it (such as anti-Scientology sentiments), they are not allowed to receive it. They work constantly, with their free time/day off being from Saturday evening (after 9) to Sunday afternoon. Members of the Sea Org sign a 1 billion year contract, promising to return and serve in all their future lives.

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The goal of Scientology is to stop being a Body Thetan and become an Operating Thetan. To become this, you have to complete 8 different levels/courses. Once you do all levels (which takes years and hundreds of thousands of dollars) you are someone who has achieved the state of Clear. You learn about Xenu in level 3.

The coursework to become Clear involves a lot of crazy things, like standing in front of a wall with LRH quotes on it and not being allowed to move for 2 hours (as in no coughing, sneezing, twitch, anything). If you move, you start over. Some training is called the Bullbait, where trainees are taunted, made fun of, and often sexually harassed. This is to help “toughen” them up. Another part is the Purif, where you are forced to ingest a ton of vitamins and minerals, run around for half hour, and then sit in a 160 degree sauna for five hours.

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When Jenna was 12 she tried to run away from the Sea Org, and she was caught. Because she had already signed her 1 billion year contract (which she signed at age 7) she was punished and read the following, direct from LRH himself “When somebody enrolls consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe – never permit an ‘open-minded’ approach…. We’d rather have you dead than incapable… The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depends on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.”

Can you say brainwashing?

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When a Sea Org member has done something considered particularly bad (such as have pre-marital sex, or an affair), they are sent to “RPF” where they are separated from all other Sea Org members (and thus, their family) and are forced to do manual labor. They are not allowed to walk – they must run at all times! They cannot see their family or talk to their friends. It’s basically prison. RPF can last years.

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If someone in your family leaves Scientology, you are not allowed to talk to or see them. They refer to this as disconnection. If you are in the Sea Org and refuse to disconnect, you are severely punished.

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If you leave the Sea Org, you are usually considered a Suppressive Person. Suppressive People are considered evil.

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Scientologists don’t believe in mental illness. If you work in the mental health field, you are considered evil, as evil as Adolf Hitler. Mental health professionals are suppressive people.

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Non-Scientologists are called WOGS. Wogs are considered to be unenlightened, stupid people who may even be a suppressive person. Scientology wants to clear the world of all WOGS.

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I could go on even further, but I’ve already rambled on for far too long. And I didn’t even mention their secret ship!

From one WOG to another, what do you think of Scientology?

*Please note that most of this only applies to those in the Sea Org, and not necessarily to Public Scientologists (such as celebrities).

P.S. Here’s a great interview with Ms. Hill:

WhitneyAugust 8, 2013 - 7:12 am

Whoa….just. Wow. I’ve always known it was a little off, but growing up SDA I try not to judge other religions because I know what that’s like. That being said…this is crazy town. Sorry.
Whitney recently posted…How to properly judge: A hater’s guide

StephAugust 8, 2013 - 9:51 am

So interesting, yet so horrifying. A local radio station just interviewed Leah Remini’s sister about Scientology and the interview was really interesting. Here’s the link if you’re interested. http://www.mytalk1071.com/gossip/?var=EXCLUSIVE071713
Steph recently posted…Get Happy (Insta-Gratitude Week 32)

LauraAugust 8, 2013 - 10:06 am

That is just straight NUTTY!!! Why would anyone want to be a part of that?
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TheresaAugust 8, 2013 - 10:09 am

holy crap! I knew it was crazy but I didn’t know it was on that level! That’s just nuts!

JulieAugust 8, 2013 - 1:05 pm

I read “Going Clear,” the book that just came out a few months ago, and the entire time, I kept having to put it down to be like, “Matt! Did you know that_______” and fill in the blank with some crazy nonsense. The whole thing is so crazy and awful, mostly because it really is so cult-like…these people are actually trapped (the ones who are born into it). So sad.
Julie recently posted…Photojournalism of Futbol and Brunch

RachelAugust 8, 2013 - 3:58 pm

Wow, very interesting post Serena! I didn’t know all of this about Scientology either. Mainly just that Tom Cruise is a nut-job. Thanks for the 101 course. I find religion fascinating – this is going on my reading list!

[…] Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape– So, the writing in this book is far from amazing, but if you’ve ever wondered just what Scientology is all about, this is an excellent source. It’s written by the niece of the current leader of the church (who is no longer a practicing Scientologist), and, well, it shows just how batshit crazy Scientology is. […]

Dresser Help

For the past few years Kevin and I had a loveseat in our bedroom. It fit perfectly into the nook of our bay window, and provided a nice little reading and lounge area. But because I’m not exactly the tidiest of people, the loveseat was more often used as a place to store all of my clothes and laundry. We’ve probably only really “lounged” on it a handle of times over the past few years, yet despite that sad fact, for the longest time I was adamant about keeping it. I would tell Kevin that once we moved into a bigger place we would be oh so happy to have it.

I’ve been saying that for over three years now.

With the skyrocketing cost of rent in this city, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that we’re not moving anytime soon. And so we decided to replace it with a big dresser, in the hope that it would help me get a bit more organized and make our room a little bit nicer. And so far, it has!

This is not my dresser, but posts without pictures make me sad, so there you have it.

Source

But here’s my dilemma… what do you put on top of a dresser that’s not up against a wall? The dresser is right up against our bay windows, so I can’t hang anything behind/above it, which is what I would usually do. I scoured pinterest for ideas, but everything I came across was with the dresser against a wall. What can I put on top of it that will brighten it up but not make it look cluttered, or distract from the bay windows? Outside of a cute vase I’m kind of stumped.

Help!

BeckyAugust 6, 2013 - 7:34 am

It’s a bit cliche, but I really think a vase with flowers would work well. (Some sort of BIG flower like sunflowers or gerbera daisies–LOVE THOSE!). OR maybe a candle? Honestly I think the possibilities are pretty endless. All that cutesy stuff you see on Pinterest that you never know what to do with? Do one of those!

PS-I really love your blog! And if it is possible to “look up” to and admire someone via blogging I’d say you’re that person for me! I’m in my 20s and you’re 30 so I learn a lot from you about life, love and living! Thanks for being you.
-Becky

Laura ParkerAugust 6, 2013 - 10:39 am

I feel you on using a cute chair to pile your clothes onto. I think you could do a variety of things. You could get a cute wire basket to place on top to put nicknacks in. YOu could make a jewelry tree out of manzanita branches. Or you can do a cute see through jewelry box that Pottery Barn sells!

Lisa @ Two MartinisAugust 6, 2013 - 3:24 pm

What about books supported by cute bookends? Or even small stacks of books? Hopefully you already have a few you can use so you won’t need to buy anything new!

LaurenAugust 6, 2013 - 4:02 pm

You could do a jewelry box, pretty picture frames, stacked coffee table books, a tray for your jewels, candles… so many options!!
Lauren recently posted…Splash of Red

nicole marieAugust 7, 2013 - 4:20 pm

i’m terrible at decorating but i’d say one little flower and vase and maybe some flatish things like a cut tray plate thingy to keep your watch and bracelets in

Michelle LimAugust 7, 2013 - 4:51 pm

You know, a super generous friend of mine gave me a really great HAND-PAINTED picture of a bowl of fruit (or something fruit-related), and I think it could really bring some life and color to your room. So, just let me know if you’d like it and I would be happy to let you borrow it. ;)

xo

LoraAugust 8, 2013 - 9:36 am

Suspend* an empty frame from the ceiling above it. Adds interest and also “frames” the view out your windows.
*with fishing line so it is invisible, or cool ribbon/cord/twine for dimension.

BTW, it cracked me up that you posted a photo which isn’t your dresser because a post w/o a picture makes you sad.

What A Difference A Decade Makes

Awhile ago I came across this little video on BuzzFeed, about life in your 20s vs. life in your 30s.

I’ve been 30 for less than a year, so when someone talks about being in their 30s, I assume they are talking about other people. People much older than me. I still think of myself of a youthful 20-something! Despite the fact that I’m, well…. not.

But as I watched this video I realized that *gasp* maybe I am actually old!?! I might only be at the beginning of this decade of life, but based on this video, I sure am living the 30s lifestyle! I LOVE naps. My once Olympic speed metabolism apparently now resembles that of a crotchety geezer who can barely walk. Wine parties? Let’s be honest – what party do I go to that’s not a wine party? And the subsequent hangovers? Ohhhhhh the hangovers. That zombie and I could actually be twins. As for facebook, not a day goes by that there’s not some new preggo announcement, and God help you if you tag something unflattering or inappropriate on facebook…. wrath be upon you!

The only part of the video I didn’t relate to completely was my emotional state. Apparently, I’m still working out some of those pesky little issues from my 20s, such as, oh, you know, just the occasional bouts of crippling anxiety, self doubt, and complete and utter confusion. No big deal.

But hey! I’m getting closer to acceptance every single day, so that’s something.

Watch below and see for yourself:

What a difference a decade makes. It’s true.

What decade do you identify the most with?

KariJuly 31, 2013 - 6:46 am

I totally relate to this! I turned 30 about 6 months ago and still cannot face the fact that I’m not in my 20s anymore. Where did the time go? When I used to go to bars in my 20s, I’d always be wanting to dance, even when it wasn’t a dancing atmosphere. I had so much energy. Now when we go out (which is few and far between), I’m content just lounging because my feet hurt:) Surprisingly, hitting the 30 mark did not magically make me know what I wanted from the next decade, though. I guess I accept myself more, but I still have no idea if I want kids, where my career is going, etc. Now I just feel more pressure to make these decisions since I’m getting so old. I wish time would just stand still:) Well, here’s to being 30! (ugh, just writing that made me feel horribly old.)
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Julie / BoundJuly 31, 2013 - 10:23 am

Most definitely the 30′s, but I’ve felt mostly this way my whole life. I told Matt I think everyone has a “true” age, where the trappings of life and other people catch up to where you already are inside. I think mine is 32 (semi-established, maybe having a little kid, still have the rest of my life wide open) and his is 52 (still active, but happiest with an espresso and the Economist).
Julie / Bound recently posted…If I Were Six Again

LauraJuly 31, 2013 - 10:54 am

I feel ya! I turned 30 in March and at first it stressed me out but now I realize the best years are up ahead. Google “I don’t know about you but I am feeling 32″ for a good laugh :)

JessicaJuly 31, 2013 - 5:16 pm

This is totally me vs. my hubby! But I do get terrible hangovers!

JeniAugust 4, 2013 - 5:45 am

30′s are the best! I think confidence and self acceptance trumps everything else (except maybe age spots and wrinkles..)

BrendaAugust 5, 2013 - 6:43 am

I’ve been following your blog for a solid 3 months or more now, and I absolutely love it! You never fail to disappoint. As a woman in my mid-twenties I can somewhat relate to this and it seems I have a lot to look forward to as I approach my 30′s. Thanks Serena for keeping me entertained!! Much love from DC!!