#PsychoParents The Voodoo Doctor
Health |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

#PsychoParents The Voodoo Doctor

And not the good kind.

My mom has always been a strange bird. A really strange bird. When I was in the second grade, she began to notice signs that pointed to me having ADD. She was afraid of medicating me because she reasoned that my brain was still developing, and it could negatively impact the growth.

So instead, she decided to bring me to a nutjob voodoo doctor.

In theory, the doctor was supposed to help me change the way that I use my brain. It would help me train my brain to focus appropriately without needing medicine.

In actuality, none of that happened.

The doctor (herself a looney toon, to say the least) would put stickers with wires attached to them on my brain. Then I'd be seated in a musty orange lounge chair that had countless questionable stains on it (100 percent doubled as a brothel at night, I'm convinced), forced to stare at a screen and focus on whatever she put on.

At first, I would pick from ten options and watch the action repeated over and over.

For example, I'd pick dolphin and then I'd have to focus on a cartoon dolphin jumping in and out of water (like what an enlightened way to keep a child with ADD's attention, make them watch animated sea creatures jump in and out of fake water *eye roll*).

Once I had outgrown the repetitive actions (no clue how I did that, I trained myself to fall asleep with my eyes open) I got to watch movies and various times throughout the movie she would pause it, and I would have to focus really hard to play it.

This bitch definitely just paused and played it when she thought I was going to burst a vein in my head from excessive focus.

The movie she had me watch was Spirited Away, and it gave me nightmares for weeks. If you haven't seen the movie, you really should. It's an anime movie about this young girl whose parents get turned into pigs and she goes into an alternate universe to try and save them.

Objectively the movie is really good, but from an eight-year-old perspective it was absolutely terrifying. 10/10 do not recommend for anyone under the age of 13, or if you're just a huge pussy like me.

Once I finished Spirited Away and I was thoroughly scarred, I begged my mom to let me not go anymore and she agreed.

Except when I started taking the SATs she had someone hypnotize me to help me be a better test taker, but that's a story for another time.

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Health |  Source: popsugar.com

All About My IUD

It's never been so 'in.'

Birth control is a common topic for students. Yes, you should always use condoms, but it's nice to have a safety net in case circumstances prevent condoms from being used successfully (i.e. it breaks, you're too drunk, etc...).

Pregnancy is something that is not extremely appealing to college students (both girls and boys), so why not protect yourself against it temporarily? The most talked-about types of birth control are the pill, the shot, the bar, and the IUD. Every girl has her own preference, and most find one that works the best for her. This is the story of how I found mine.

During the summer leading into my senior year, I decided to get an IUD inserted. A lot of my friends discouraged me from getting an IUD, recommending the pill instead.

But I really didn't like the idea of carrying pills around with me everywhere, having to take them at the same time every day, and remembering to take them in general. I also didn't like that the pill would mess with my period and create side effects like it does for some of my friends.

For some reason, the idea of having a small piece of plastic filled with hormones in my uterus for three years did not phase me. I liked the idea that my gyno could put an IUD in and leave it for a long time before it had to be switched out. There'd be no reason to stress about getting a shot every month or having a scar on my arm. I wouldn't have to worry about becoming pregnant, and I'd feel safe and protected in the bedroom.

I had my appointment that December. It was slightly nerve-wracking, but I trusted that my doctor knew what she was doing. I had never been to the gyno before, so the speculum was a bit terrifying at first. Other than that, the five-minute process was not very painful- just some discomfort and pinching during the actual insertion, but I tried to relax my muscles and mind as much as I could to ease the uncomfortableness. The side effects afterwards were far more annoying.

I've never had such painful cramping and long periods, but both are starting to fade now. I'm supposed to not even get my period at all in the next few months! That's a bonus, but I'm still gonna take pregnancy tests every once in a while, just to be sure.

Over all, I can't complain about my IUD. It works, it's convenient, and I don't even notice that it's there. Sex without a condom is not the smartest thing ever, but if your partner doesn't have an STD, the IUD is reliable for preventing pregnancy. What guy would turn down raw sex? Getting my IUD was a lot easier with my mom by my side. She was very supportive about me going on birth control.

Although I decided I wanted to be on birth control before I was sexually active, she was relieved when I came to her and said that it would be in my best interest to get one ASAP. I recognize that some moms are not as laid-back about their daughters going on birth control, but teenagers and college students have sex, and it's best if it's protected sex. If you're debating getting on birth control, definitely consider getting an IUD. I strongly recommend it!

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Health |  Source: L. Smith, IMP Awards

9 Cult Classic Movies To Watch (At Least Once)

Lest you be branded and shamed by them all...

Cult classic; noun.

Also known as a cult film which has acquired a dedicated and passionate fanbase, an elaborate subculture that engage in repeated viewings, quoting dialogue and audience participation that are usually shunned by the mainstream.

When the word "cult" enters into anything, it usually has a less-than-pleasant connotation to it, but fear not. I promise you there is no ritual, sacrifice or anything of the sort involved, and one person can most certainly be a part of several cult fan bases. More often than not, the box office for these kinds of movies leave something to be desired, but once it is released in VHS or DVDs, the cult forms surprisingly quickly.

Warning: I will be omitting The Karate Kid, Back To The Future, Ghost Busters, anything starring Bruce Lee, some Spielberg films, Star Wars and Tarantino films, because in my honest opinion, who hasn't seen at least one of these? (If not, shame on you and get binge watching this summer!)

1. The Shawshank Redemption
"Rehabilitated is just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit."

source: rogerebert.com

Kicking off the list is a movie adaptation of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, written by the prolific author Stephen King, starring Tim Robbins (not Matt Damon) and Morgan Freeman as the convicted banker Andy Dufresne and Ellis "Red" Redding, respectively.

Taking place in 1947 at Portland, Maine, this movie can only be described as a story of strife and hope. It portrays the friendship of the two men, as well as their struggle to survive in an environment ruled by a morally corrupt warden where true friendship is the rarest of commodities and even the smallest inkling of freedom has a price.

2. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
"Me and him, we're from different ancient tribes, and now we're both almost extinct. But sometimes, you gotta stick with the ancient ways; the old-school ways. I know you understand me."

source: wikipedia.org

A homage to the French film Le Samourai with Forest Whitaker portraying Ghost Dog, a hitman who considers himself a retainer for a mobster as he adheres to Bushido, the code of the samurai from feudal Japan. He often quotes a book called Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, which is basically his equivalent of the Bible.

Integrating the life of the gangster and the samurai is quite an interesting approach, and both have striking similarities. The soundtrack is quite a collection of music to behold as well, as it is produced by the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA himself.

3. Spirited Away

This one is a personal favorite dear and close to my heart as a kid that grew up watching this movie. Coming straight from the island country of Japan, it was created by Studio Ghibli and the one and only director Hayao Miyazaki. For those of you that are unfamiliar, think of Ghibli animations as Japan's equivalent of a Disney movie.

Spirited Away follows the protagonist Chihiro as she encounters the world of otherworldly creatures, facing challenges, overcoming them and growing as a character through each new obstacle, demonstrating how the role of women change. Just like Merida in Brave or Mulan, Ghibli movies have "strong female leads - brave, self-sufficient girls that don't think twice about fighting for what they believe with all their heart. They'll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a savior. Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man."

4. John Wick
"John is a man of focus, commitment, sheer will... something you know very little about. I once saw him kill three men in a bar. With a pencil. A fucking... pencil."

source: wikipedia.org

Baba Yaga. The man, the myth, the legend. While this is the most recently released movie of the list, the fanbase is exploding with numbers, especially after the sequel released this year. The action is sharp, crisp, and devoid of shaky-cam, demonstrating Keanu Reeves doing pretty much all of the fights without flashy kicks or wire-fu.

And unlike most action films, he reloads onscreen and runs out of ammo.

What draws the attention aside from the action is the aesthetic which directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch pay close attention to, having worked with big names like the Wachowskis. Rather than having John talk about himself (in fact he remains silent for the first five minutes), everything is shown rather than told like a well-written paper for an English course.

5. Matilda
"No kid likes being yelled at, but it was precisely Harry's ranting and raving that gave Matilda the key to her power. All she had to do was practice."

source: amazon.com

Originally a book by Roald Dahl, a feature film of the same name was made in 1996 in America. Following the six-year-old prodigy Matilda Wormwood, she is one of the youngest heroes in this list. Being in a neglected environment at home and a hostile one at school, thanks to Headmistress Trunchbull, Matilda awakens to the power of telekinesis.

Along with her genius-level intellect, she uses this power to get back at her neglectful parents and abusive headmistress in order to save her teacher, who acts more like a mother than her real parents ever did.

This movie is directed by Danny Devito of all people, and is definitely a great watch for kids. Like Spirited Away, the lead female role is a strong independent girl who don't need no boy to save her. The villains of this movie are essential the modern adaptation of the evil stepmother archetype, with the comedic factor cranked up to eleven.

The over-the-top ridiculousness is bound to fetch many laughs from parents and kids alike.

6. Drunken Master
"What does it mean when there's a picture of a skull?"

"Good stuff!!"

source: chinesemartialstudies.com

I know I said that I would exclude Bruce Lee films, but I did have to put in a Kung-Fu flick somewhere. Enter Jackie Chan! This man and his stunt team is every insurance company's nightmare personified, and for good reason.

To make a great movie, there are proportionate sacrifices to be made, and Mr. Chan does it quite literally on a daily basis, breaking most of the bones in his body, dislocating joints, suffering lacerations, head trauma, torn ligaments and even rendering himself a step just shy of paralysis.

As the title implies, it involves the art of the drunken fist, a form of Chinese martial arts imitating the movements of a drunkard, with erratic, eccentric moves to go with it which adds to the comedic factor of the movie. Wong Fei-hung, whom Mr. Chan portrays, is trained in this art.

Jackie was only 24 years old when this movie came out in 1978, so he is young and full of energy. The sequel in 1994 proves that he is a special breed of the human race that gets better with age.

7. Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade
"Archeology is the search for facts, not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall. So forget any ideas you got about lost cities, exotic travel and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure and X never, ever marks the spot."

source: subscene.com

The finale (in my opinion) of the adventures of Dr. Henry Jones Jr., although he is insistent on being called Indiana (which is the name of George Lucas' dog, surprisingly). Many would likely lash me to the stake to be burned for bringing this one up instead of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but this will always be my favorite Indiana Jones movie.

We get to see Henry Jones Jr. in his younger days before he became the badass archaeologist and how he got the trademark fedora, which is just as important as the Holy Grail.

And what could be better than one Dr. Jones? TWO Dr. Joneses! Indiana's father, Dr. Henry Jones Sr., is portrayed by none other than Sir Thomas Sean Connery, complete with a three piece suit and a bucket hat in contrast with his progeny's leather jacket and fedora.

The dynamic demonstrated between him and Harrison Ford, who are usually dramatic actors, are superbly comical at just the right moments, with positively glorious interactions as father and son of the same profession. Oh, if only they really were father and son...

8. The Sandlot
"You're killin' me, Smalls!"

source: movieposter.com

A coming-of-age film focusing on nine kids playing baseball in the sandlot during the summer in 1962. Being the new kid in town, Scotty Smalls had no friends and was desperate to change that. In order to fit in, he learns to play baseball, a sport he had never played before, with the help of his stepfather and Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez, and eventually earns a place as the ninth player on their team.

As the nine boys of the Sandlot grow closer, they move on to enjoy life together: camping out, going to the pool, defeating a rival team, going to the fair and even chewing tobacco.

While baseball may not be every viewer's favorite sport, it serves as a device in order to illustrate the importance and joy of having friends, a team that sticks together in doing everything: fun things, stupid things and anything else that is worth doing together.

9. Devil's Advocate
"Let me give you a little inside information about God: God likes to watch. He's a prankster, think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does he do? I swear, for his own amusement; his own, private, cosmic gag reel. He sets the rules in opposition! It's the goof of all times!"

source: amazon.com

Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) is a defense attorney who remains undefeated even in the most uphill court cases with all the odds stacked against him. Soon he was headhunted for a powerful and prestigious law firm in Manhattan by John Milton, portrayed by Al Pacino.

His salary is big, his house is big and he has a wife with whom he wants a family. Everything only seems perfect, but the cogs in Kevin's life actually starts going haywire from there.

As the title implies, this movie involves the devil, which is pretty obvious since Al Pacino's character has the name of the author of Paradise Lost. Is it better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven? At least Scarface thinks so, since in his eyes, God is a sadist.

And if we're truly made in His image, doesn't that make us inherently evil? Watch and find out!

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Health |  Source: @thekoco

I Changed My Life Through Positivity

Sounds lame, but it works.

If you haven't read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne or seen the movie version on Netflix, then you're a step behind pretty much everyone. It sounds so corny when you first read it, but the concepts are valid.

Basically, after you read the book or watch the movie you get a sense of optimism, like anything you want is actually obtainable. I watched the movie then read the book back in January. Ever since then, I've noticed a change in my life.

One idea the book suggests is the power of positivity, which can also be explained by The Law of Attraction. The law states that "like attracts like," meaning the more you like the idea of something and the more you focus on it the more likely this thing will happen. It sounds insanely hackneyed but in my own experience it's worked so why not share it?

A year ago I was very conflicted, unhappy, and worried about my future. I constantly had negative thoughts, like any other college student. I worried about my grades, my social life, my family and, of course, money. I tried doing yoga, going to a therapist, and even changing my diet. I was changing, but I still wasn't fully satisfied. There were still problems in my life that diet and exercise couldn't fix.

Then I saw The Secret on Netflix and remembered that mom had read the book awhile back and recommended it to me. After watching it, I was completely obsessed. I read the book in the following days and I was immediately more confident about the future.

For the next six months I tried to be as positive as I could. Of course, I had days where I was stressed and sad but I kept going because I wanted to see if I could actually get to where I wanted by using this mantra of positivity.

I can't even explain how but eventually things started falling into place. I needed a job and suddenly found one. I'd been looking for the perfect apartment to move into and there it was on Trulia.com. A slew of other great things happened but my point is that it works. When you think positive you radiate positivity, and that leads to positive actions.

I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. I'm not pushing this book or movie. I'm just saying, if you've tried everything and nothing seems to work, then what have you got to lose? Positivity is a crazy thing. It can make you happier, healthier and more successful if you're willing to give it a shot.

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Health |  Source: L. Smith, EW

Why I'm A Bit Annoyed With "Doctor Who" As Of Late

It's been pushing its own conventions, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

If you haven't heard already, the thirteenth Doctor of the long-running BBC show Doctor Who is going to be a woman, played by Jodie Whittaker.

Unlike some of the internet, I don't have a problem with that specifically. It's 2017, there had been past talk of having a female Doctor, and hey, the Master regenerated into Missy a few seasons ago. The fact that the Doctor is going to regenerate into a woman shouldn't be too surprising.

My problem lies in the fact that the show has been pushing and breaking its own conventions as of late.

Let me give you some background first. I've been a fan of the show since about 2012, when I got Netflix specifically to watch Doctor Who. I binge watched the entire thing, and I've kept up with the show ever since, from the ninth Doctor to the twelfth.

I've even gone back and watched some of the old serial episodes, just so that I could further immerse myself into the Doctor Who universe of sci-fi and aliens. It's my favorite show, hands down, and I know it pretty well.

That being said, my favorite show is not without its problems. Since the onset of the show back in 1963 with William Hartnell, there have been certain conventions that the show has followed, such as the rules of regeneration. For years, it was widely believed that the Doctor would remain a man due to 13 prior regenerations that showed the character remaining male.

Additionally, It was established long ago that the Doctor would have 12 regenerations, with the twelfth being the final one before the character's death. The tenth doctor technically regenerated into himself twice, meaning that the eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, should have been the last one.

If show runner Steven Moffat hadn't come up with a way to get the Doctor a new regeneration cycle in the episode "The Time of the Doctor", the show would have ended then.

In some ways, I wish it did end there.

Of course, I was super happy to see that the Doctor wouldn't die on the planet Trenzalore, and that there would be new episodes for years to come. However, I was simultaneously conflicted, because giving the Doctor a new set of regenerations was honestly a total deus ex machina that realistically shouldn't have happened.

12 regenerations was all the Doctor was supposed to have, but there it came, a brand new regeneration cycle.

Understandably, the BBC really can't let this show end. Not yet, anyway. It's 54 years old, has a huge following and undoubtedly brings in a lot of money for the station. After regenerating into the new thirteenth Doctor, the character will still have ten regenerations left, which means that the show will be around for a lot longer.

In addition to the Regeneration Limit issue, pushing the conventions of certain creatures causes issues as well. Steven Moffat first introduced the terrifying weeping angels in season three, where the basic rules of the aliens disguised as statues were established.

Since then, they appeared in three more episodes, becoming increasingly complex with each reiteration. Unfortunately, with this complexity came some plot holes, which are the subject of many talks on many internet forums.

To finally move onto the most recent "issue," the idea of a timelord's gender changing during regeneration was technically brought up during the regeneration from the tenth to eleventh Doctor, where he touched his longer hair and gasped, "I'm a girl," which shows that he knew it was possible.

However, it didn't actually happen until the Master, the Doctor's enemy who was also always depicted as a man, regenerated into Missy, a move that shocked many viewers. While it was technically pre-established, I'd still say that both Missy and the new female Doctor are pushing the long-held conventions of the show.

Despite the conflicted feelings I've expressed here, I'm still excited to see how Jodie Whittaker will play the iconic alien with two hearts. I'll definitely watch the new season when it comes out, and every season after that.

My excitement and love of this show outweighs my minor annoyance with the breaking of conventions. If you too are feeling conflicted about this new change, just remember what the Doctor once said, "Regeneration. It's a lottery." We're finally seeing just how this "lottery" can play out.

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Health | 

B.F.F.: Mom Edition

How is she always so right?

One of the only things I really regret doing when I was a teenager was screaming "I hate you" to my mother. I'm sure it slipped out more than once or twice-and that sometimes, I assumed her sole mission was to ruin my life. I know, so dramatic. But after leaving for college and moving into early adulthood, I've realized something: My mom is the best friend I'll ever have.

All the times she caught me--and punished me--for being out past my curfew, riding in cars with the bad boys, and drinking more whiskey than my body could handle, she was only looking out for me. When she told me that nothing good happened after 2 a.m., I told her she didn't understand what it was like to be young. In reality, she lived a crazier life than I ever did. And I soon realized most of my worst experiences happened after 2 a.m.

The boys she attempted to convince me to move on from were the boys that I most definitely needed to move on from. Today, when I come home to visit, we sit on the back porch with a glass of wine and laugh about that ex-boyfriend who has been working the same boatyard job since we were 15 years old. How is she always so right?

If I were to ever get sick in high school, she would be right there to pick me up. When we'd get home, she'd get me popsicles, ginger ale, and Ibuprofen, while I took out my misery on her. Now when I get sick in college, I lay in my bed unable to move wishing I had my mom to doctor me up. Even her presence would make me feel so much better. She would risk the nastiest of germs to lay next to me, risk leaving work early to rescue me, and spend every penny she made on my doctor bills. How is she always so strong?

My mom has seen my every mood swing, breakup, and failed exam. She's seen me at my absolute worst. She's kept my darkest secrets and has never looked at me differently. I get so irritated when she calls and texts at inconvenient times, but when I reach out to her, she's always there. No time is ever a bad time. She takes my worries and makes them her own, helping me create my own wonderful life. How is she always so selfless?

She has experienced more than I've given her credit for. Whether it's how to pay my bills, how to find love, or even how to send a thank you card, she is there for me. Whenever I am tackling a new responsibility of adulthood, I easily find myself getting worked up and feeling like I don't know a thing, but then here comes mom to the rescue. The more I let her in, the more at peace I become. How is she always so calming?

There was a time I rebelled against her, verbally abused her, and assumed she knew nothing. But those days are long gone. Each day, I find another reason to need her, even if that reason is to just hear her voice. This woman has been there for me through every high and low. She has weathered not only her own storms, but mine as well. She's forgiven me when I didn't deserve it. From boo-boos to heartbreak, doubt to debt, ignorance to failure, I've found my best friend in her.

At 22 years old, I can guarantee that I still--and always will--need my mommy. She's my B.F.F.