Current Ben & Jerry’s Flavors: RANKED! by Brendan Zbanek

Ben & Jerry's | Friendly Center

Four years at Ben & Jerry’s. A lot of ice cream flavors. A lot of ice cream was consumed. Looking back, we have rotated through flavors with a revolving door. Some of them were good, and some of them were simply not good. So may I present to you: Ranking the Current Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors Available Currently!

  1. Milk & Cookies – A classic, you can’t go wrong. Always my first suggestion and first choice.
  2. The Tonight Dough Starring Jimmy Fallon – SO GOOD. There is a lot going on, but it’s for the best.
  3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Again, another classic. B&J was actually the first company to make this ice cream, so it has a very special place in our store.
  4. Half Baked – Probably our most popular. Can’t go wrong if you’re a vanilla or chocolate person; you will love it no matter what.
  5. Marshmallow Sky – Super sweet, so you can’t have it all the time. But when it hits, IT HITS.
  6. Mint Chocolate Chip – Classic. The chunks of chocolate are so satisfying to crunch.
  7. Strawberry – Best strawberry ice cream I’ve ever had. The little chunks of strawberries really steal the show, and it just tastes fresh.
  8. Sweet Cream & Cookies – Your normal cookies & cream, just a little richer and better.
  9. Berry Berry Extraordinary Sorbet – A lot of people don’t like this one, but I personally really do. Only in the summer though–it has the perfect level of sweetness.
  10. Dirt Cake – I didn’t like this one at first, but it grew on me.
  11. Lemonade Sorbet – Another one that’s only good in the summer.
  12. Netflix & Chill’d – Not usually the biggest fan of peanut butter ice cream, but the brownies and pretzels make this one incredible.
  13. Lights! Caramel! Action! – Brand new! I’m sure my liking for it will go away soon. But for now, I love it.
  14. Vanilla – Classic. Just good, solid, plain ice cream that tastes really good.
  15. Strawberry Cheesecake – Don’t love this one, don’t hate this one. Wouldn’t choose to have it, but wouldn’t mind having it.
  16. Phish Food – If you like chocolate, this will be your favorite. The marshmallow swirls are so good.
  17. Mint Chocolate Chance – Just mink chocolate chunk, but not as good. Eh.
  18. Gimme S’more! – Somewhat bland, but I don’t dislike it.
  19. Peanut Butter Cup Sundae – This is by far the hardest one to scoop, which is why it is so low, but the peanut butter cups are to die for.
  20. Salted Caramel Blondie – Not the biggest caramel fun, but this one is incredible (only occasionally, though).

I’m not going to describe the next twelve because, honestly, I don’t really like any of them that much… They are all good, but I think these are just flavors that I have grown extremely tired of, or the ones that are hardest to scoop, which I just hold a personal grudge against. (Fair warning: I don’t like chocolate ice cream, I don’t like coconut, I don’t like any nuts in ice cream, and I don’t like coffee ice cream, so take my rankings with a grain of salt!)

21. Americone Dream

22. Churray For Churros!

23. Coffee, Coffee, Buzz Buzz Buzz

24. Chocolate

25. Cherry Garcia

26. Chocolate Fudge Brownie

27. Butter Pecan

28. Chocolate Therapy

29. Chewy Gooey Cookie

30. Chunky Monkey

31. Coconut Seven Layer Bar

32. New York Super Fudge Chunk

Although we may not have as many flavors as Mitchell’s Ice Cream (go read Meg’s blog which was the inspiration for this!), Ben & Jerry’s has some pretty darn good flavors! Some of my least favorites are some of the most popular ones, so come in and try them all! Well, don’t actually try them all, I will be really annoyed if I have to get you 32 samples…

Oops by Evan Barragate

Dime | U.S. Mint

In the first blog I wrote last year, I talked about my inability to facilitate cash payments when I was working at a restaurant. Essentially, my point was that I can’t count or do math. I would freeze when I had to handle cash, count it incorrectly, or run away and let someone else deal with the customer. Looking back, I think this had less to do with me being bad at math (not that I’m good at math — because I’m still horrible at it) and more the result of new-job nerves. After getting past my first job, I thought that this would never be an experience I would face again. I thought that by my second job, I would know enough to avoid such an awkward crisis. But alas, I thought wrong — like I usually do. Now I have a new job where I cut cheese, a task in which you wouldn’t expect anything to go wrong. Unless you cut your finger off, but nothing like that has happened yet.

I was new to the register and lacked expertise in the field of cheese. Though as long as my supervisor lingered near me, I could handle customer interactions, knowing that she could jump in and take the wheel. No one came to the store all day. Until my supervisor started going to the bathroom or the storage area in the back, which kept happening periodically for some reason. When she was gone, I was alone. And every time she left, a crowd of customers came. It was like a Whack-A-Mole game: my supervisor left, the customers came; she came back, the customers left. In these intervals in which I worked by myself, I had to help customers without having someone else to rescue me. This led to many catastrophes of awkwardness. The first that ensued that day was at the register.

A woman came up to the store asking for a hunk of cheese, which was simple enough. All I had to do was pass it to her and ring her out. I had gotten used to the register, so there was no reason to stress over that. “Your total is ten dollars and fifty cents,” I told her with a smile. She’s going to reach into her bag, pull out her credit card, put it into the machine, and then it’ll be done. I will have gotten through this interaction without messing anything up. Then she reached into her bag to pull out her credit card. But when she pulled her hand out, she wasn’t holding a credit card: it was a wad of cash. My heart sank and I stopped smiling. As I said, I really don’t know how to count. She passed me a ten and a one, which I stared at like I was reading directions in Mandarin. But I promise you, I’m not as much of an idiot as I’m making myself out to be (which I’m sure is difficult to believe). I knew in the back of my head that she paid me fifty cents more than the price of what she bought, so I should have given her fifty cents in return. But no. I reached into the register, took out a one-dollar bill, put it together with the eleven dollars she had given me, and passed it right back to her. Right back. Twelve dollars in change for a purchase worth $10.50. I couldn’t even begin to explain why I did this. After I plopped this money in front of her, I gave a dumb grin. She gave me a look that was as if I had just peed myself in front of her. Then she slowly slid the cash back toward me and said (in the nicest way she could) “Noooo. That’s not right.”

After that, I laughed as if I realized how stupid my action had been. Though in reality, I knew it was stupid as I was doing it. But for some reason went through the motions anyway. I put the cash in the register, took out a quarter, and passed it to her … as if one quarter were worth fifty cents. I passed it confidently, even though the coin is literally called a QUARTER, as in a quarter of a dollar, not half a dollar — as half-dollar coins were discontinued before I was born and I had never seen one in real life. “Still no,” she said. And then I realized what coin was in my hand. I went in to reach for a second quarter, and before I had the chance to pull anything out (which could have been a hundred-dollar bill based on what this customer had seen of me), she said “You know, you can keep the change if you want. I’ll leave it as a tip.” So in the end, I got some extra change for the store. Maybe I’ll just say that was my intention throughout the exchange.

Things like this happened throughout the shift whenever my supervisor would step out. Any customer who came up when I was working the register was either going to be lucky or unlucky; they were either getting way too much back in change or not enough. Either way, no one was getting the correct change from me. Perhaps the incorrect change I give is the result of a divine force that acts through me to reward people with extra change for their good deeds — and to punish those who have sinned by not giving enough back. Perhaps I’m just a little stupid, which is probably more likely. Either way, I hope no one who might consider hiring me ever Googles me and reads this.

Barbie-Oppenheimer: A Double Feature for the Ages by Reece Turner

When I was younger I remember going to drive-in movies with my cousins, getting there early and watching as the sun went down while we threw around a frisbee or played two-hand-touch to pass the time. When it finally got dark enough that someone got beamed in the head cause they couldn’t see the disc or the ball, we’d saunter over to my parents’ older-than-me minivan that banged and hissed the whole drive up and set down a blanket in the trunk, gazing at the huge screen like a castaway to a lighthouse and hearing the scramble of voices as my parents tuned the radio to the right station. The concept of two movies in succession, the aptly named ‘double feature,’ left a young me awestruck; I remember going for the first time when I was maybe 6 or 7 and getting up to go when movie #1 (one of the Madagascars I think) ended, only to be met with muffled laughter and a voice telling me to sit back down, the night wasn’t over. 


The best thing about these drive-in double features by far was the combinations. Sometimes they made sense (two animated kids movies back to back? sure, why not) but other times it seemed like they were smacking together whatever reels they could get their hands on (ever wanted to see The Exorcist immediately following a screening of The Goonies? No? Well too bad!). It warms my heart, therefore, to see a double feature practically destined to happen. On July 21st, 2023, two passion-project biopics (sort of) are set to release. The one: Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, which has been in the works since 2009. The other: Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, detailing the life of the man sometimes called “the father of the atomic bomb.” Although Barbie’s runtime hasn’t been announced, with Oppenheimer sitting at 2 hours and 30 minutes, the showing—official or not—looks to be at least 4 hours long combined. In order to prepare, therefore, I’ve marked the day off on my calendar that I definitely have and set about putting together a team with which to brave this marathon. It certainly won’t be for the faint of heart, but anyone willing and able to brave this double feature is in for the moviegoing experience of a lifetime. Arguably, this is why cinema was invented.

Litmus Tests by Jaimee Martin

Litmus Paper and the Litmus Test

I am an obsessive person. Every assignment takes me four hours, every idea or object has value, and every person is significant for something. My obsession is helpful when I need to be a critical thinker because the deeper meanings of the world seem to unfold so easily in front of me, which is a skill I am proud of. However, it holds me back when mixed with perfectionism and white society, creating a perfect storm that most often ends in procrastination of my ‘responsibilities’ and emotions; Like I said, every assignment takes me four hours. In my (reality) life, my obsessive personality fuels my love for history and sociology because I crave humanity in this way. I have an undying–as obsession tends to be–need to know people on an individual and macro scale. This gives me purpose and I think it is my way of finding success.

In my relationships, obsession becomes a sort of litmus test. I just need to know everything about a person–their life, personality, vulnerabilities, vices–everything, because, again, to connect with someone is to really know them, and to really know them is to have purpose. However, despite everyone being significant for something, not everyone has layers, and thus, obsession is my way of deciding which people I can really know and connect with. Here, from my Notes, is my list of ‘litmus tests’, or all the questions that I ask people to decide whether they have layers and if they’re able to meet my obsession.


what are foods you used to love when you were a child that you don’t like now? why?

what are foods that you used to hate as a child that you love now? why?

what does love mean to you? what is the criteria?

have you ever stuck gum to a desk or chair? what was the situation?

what’s your favorite temperature and climate? (no ranges, exact degrees only)

how many languages do you speak? why those languages?

being on your phone or watching tv?

what’s your go-to ice cream flavor? how did that happen?

are there people you want to love but can’t? why?

can you say ‘how much wood can a wood chuck chuck, if a wood chuck could chuck wood’?

what is your most treasured memory? most awful?

what is your favorite cleaning product? why do you like it?

what is your favorite holiday? why?

when’s the last time you peed your pants? what was the situation?

what is your favorite corner of the internet? how did you find it?

tell me something you’ve never told another soul?

what’s your favorite social media? why?

what’s your love language?

what is something about the way your parents raised you that you don’t want to pass on to your own children (if you want to have children)? how would you do it differently?

what’s the weirdest thing you own?

do you like reality tv? what’s your favorite show?

i wish i had someone with whom i could share….

what’s the best brand of hand sanitizer? why?

what are your biggest fears? (non-serious and serious)

do you like to reminisce? about what?

what is the worst lie you have ever told your parents?

texting or calling? why?

what is your flirting style?

what would you regret telling someone if you died?

what is your favorite exercise? why?

who is/are your celebrity crush(es)?

are you obsessive? why/why not? what do you obsess over?

what’s your biggest romantic failure?

what is your movie taste? favorite movies?

what’s your go-to throwback that comes into your head? why?

have you ever lied to your best friend? why? what was it about?

when’s the last time you cried? alone? with someone?

what kind of music do you listen to? favorite artists?

what is your litmus test for a person? like would you want to know about someone that would be a dealbreaker to determine whether or not you can have a relationship with them?

Nat 20! (Dungeons and Disaster, Yet Another Revisit) by El Szalay

Going into this year, I told myself I was done posting about Dungeons and Dragons on the SWC blog. I posted two D&D blogs last year: one about my first ever character, and one about the first session I ever DM’d, so now I’m going to spice it up and write about something entirely new. Until now, I’ve been pretty good about avoiding topics I’ve written about before. What I failed to consider, however, is that I would play quite a lot of D&D since the last blog I wrote about the game and collect more stories that I think are too good not to share. It’s been almost a year, and I have plenty to say about my Dungeons and Dragons shenanigans since the IKEA incident. Buckle up, folks. This is a long one.

In D&D, there is a phenomenon that occurs once a session or so called a Nat 20. Short for natural 20, it refers to when a player rolls a 20 on a 20-sided die, more commonly called a D20. Players are often asked to roll for certain checks, such as perception, animal handling, persuasion, or history. After they roll the player adds on their modifier, which is based on whether or not they have proficiency in the skill being checked and what their base stats (strength, dexterity, constitution, wisdom, intelligence, or charisma, depending on the check) are. The player is trying to roll as high as possible so that their character can successfully carry out the action they’re trying to do. A Nat 20 guarantees that the player succeeds, and, depending on who is DMing, may go a little too well.

I played Haruko in session last month. You may remember her from the very first installment of Dungeons and Disaster. Over a year later, she is still just as much of a menace. This time, the Chocolate Milk Club is on their way to a Winter Solstice party in the government building where we are “forcibly employed.” We walk into the cafeteria for dinner, and the party is greeted with hot chocolate stations, groups of people, and a table with an obnoxiously large pyramid of sandwiches. As the Chocolate Milk Club decides what to do at the party, Haruko has a great idea. She looks to two of her friends and asks “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Both of them are greatly confused, so Haruko explains her idea to play a game she played with her family back at home. The game was called “Jenga.” But since she didn’t have the pieces to construct a proper wooden Jenga tower, Haruko wanted to pull sandwiches out of this gigantic pyramid until someone knocked it over. Somehow, she convinced a few party members to join her. Haruko runs up to the sandwich pyramid to play the first turn, reaching for a sandwich right in the middle of the bottom layer.

My DM asks me to roll sleight of hand. I reach for my D20. I had a pretty good feeling that Haruko would pull this sandwich without toppling the stack since her dexterity (the stat tied to sleight of hand) modifier is pretty high. I roll my D20 and watch as it slows to a stop on the table.

“NAT 20!” I proudly exclaim as the other players out laughing and my DM looks at me like they’re so tired of my shenanigans (they probably are, honestly). Haruko not only successfully removes a sandwich from the very bottom of the stack, but succeeds so hard that the remaining stack begins to levitate. Haruko cheers and tries to show the rest of the party her accomplishment, but by the time they turn to the sandwiches, they stopped levitating.

Based on all of my previous posts about D&D, you may assume that I am always a harbinger of chaos when I play this game. That’s not entirely wrong. I often choose to play characters who cause problems on purpose because I find it ridiculously funny, but I also play rather serious characters. For example, Annaliese. Despite both sharing a love of reading and never-ending curiosity, Annaliese and Haruko are polar opposites. Annaliese is the brain cells of her party. She tries to keep the party moving forward and, unlike Haruko, is not the type to intentionally cause chaos. While Haruko’s alignment is chaotic good, Annaliese’s is lawful good. However, that’s not to say she doesn’t wind up in strange situations where I can roll Nat 20s on checks that don’t really matter. Currently, this party is traveling abroad after being summoned to court for a crime we didn’t commit. The night before our trial, we were exploring the city and the party stumbled upon a herd of well-dressed black cats in a tailor shop.

Our DM asked everyone in the party to roll animal handling to see how the cats would react to our party. I was ready to fail this check. Annaliese is a strange character in the sense that I can’t seem to roll very well every time I play her. I regularly roll below a 10 on a D20 when I play her, and I’m not sure why. She might be cursed. Who knows? As I grab my D20, I expect absolutely nothing good to come of this.

“…Nat 20!” I proclaim. The other players and my DM seem just as shocked that I actually passed the check as I did. The cats cling to Annaliese like a magnet, literally floating towards her as they attach themselves to her dress. In particular, one of the cats ended up inside of Annaliese’s magic hat, and she didn’t notice until much later that night when she flew into her hat to sleep and found a cat inside. She ended up adopting the cat and naming him Nimbus.

Though this incident didn’t directly happen to me, I think it’s too funny not to talk about. A session after the Nimbus incident, it was time for our party’s trial. The party is discussing all evidence they have to prove their innocence and any potential witnesses they could call to defend them. After a lot of back and forth about potential witnesses, one of my friends decides to ask the DM if they could try to summon a god to defend us in court. The DM takes a second to think about it before telling the player “if you roll 95 or above on a D100, maybe something will happen.”

We all go dead silent as the player takes the DM’s offer and grabs their dice. We hear clattering on the table. As the noise stops, we hear a quiet “oh my god.”




The players are freaking out. We watch the light slowly leave our DM’s eyes as the entire plan they had for our party’s trial went down the drain. Sure enough, the giant two-headed wolf god our friend was attempting to summon appeared in the room. We got her to defend us in court, though it actually ended up doing more harm than good. Long story short, the god presiding over our trial was not thrilled that we brought another long-lost god into her space and banished her and the person who summoned her from the courtroom. We still haven’t been reunited with either of them, but we end up getting some very convincing written testimonies in place of our witness.

In both of my other D&D blogs, I ended the blog talking about the moral of the story or the skills I picked up from those specific sessions. However, I wouldn’t say there’s much to learn from floating government sandwiches, herds of black cats, or sort-of accidentally summoning a god. But if there’s one thing that links all these tales, it’s luck. If I didn’t roll that Nat 20 to pull a sandwich out of a pyramid, it would’ve probably fallen over. If I didn’t roll that Nat 20 to make a first impression on a bunch of cats, Annaliese wouldn’t have her much-needed emotional support cat. And if my friend didn’t roll that Nat 100 to summon a god, our party would’ve felt a lot worse going into their trial. So if I had to determine one moral here, it’s to not take random moments of good luck for granted. After all, they make great stories.

(Psst… if you want more of Haruko’s tomfoolery or want to know what, exactly, the IKEA incident is, you might want to check out Dungeons and Disaster and Dungeons and Disaster (a Revisit). Happy reading :D)

Things I Am Looking Forward To By Claire Borden

Free Excited Cliparts, Download Free Excited Cliparts png images, Free  ClipArts on Clipart Library

As a second semester senior who is committed to college, a lot of things feel pointless right now. It is incredibly difficult to find motivation for schoolwork or even to go to school because I no longer feel like I am working towards anything. Because of this, I have been finding it helpful to think of little things to be excited about. So here is a list of things that I am looking forward to that are coming up within the next month or so; I hope it inspires you to come up with your own list!

1.Ted Lasso season 3- Jakeia just informed me that the new season of Ted Lasso is coming out in 10 days, and although I have only known about this for five minutes, I can’t wait! Last year my family would watch an episode every Sunday after dinner, and I can’t wait to restart this ritual. My family has been incredibly busy and preoccupied this past couple of months, so hopefully our favorite soccer coach will help us make more of an effort to spend quality time together.

2. Getting my hair cut and highlighted on Thursday- I have been holding off an doing this for months because of how expensive it is, and because I usually like to wait until closer to summer. But last week I decided you can’t put a price tag on confidence! When I like my hair I feel so much better about myself and right now that feels worth the money.

3. The release of the Eras Tour setlist – I am soooo excited to make a playlist of all the songs and put them on repeat. I refuse to go to the concert without knowing every lyric to every single song.

4. Five day weekend!!!- I have been so overwhelmed and underslept and behind on work, so I am really looking forward to sleeping in, setting my own routine, and hanging out with my friends.

5. Deep cleaning my room, closet, and car- cleaning and decluttering is soo satisfying to me, and I know it will be much easier to be productive when I feel good in my space.

6. Getting to run again- the sun setting early and bitterly cold weather has kept me from running consistently this past couple of months (even though I probably could have) so I can’t wait to get back into the routine of running outside multiple times a week, and going to North Chagrin Reservation on the weekends. I am also excited to bust out the Garmin watch I got for Christmas!

7. Starting a rewatch of a new TV show- I just finished Gilmore Girls, which I have been watching since late summer, and I am shopping around for a new comfort show to rewatch. I am thinking New Girl, 30 Rock or Glee.

Writing Introductions Is Hard by Rafael Bonilha Van’t Hof

I have been fencing for a while now. It has been years, even.

Oh boy, I can’t wait to get this done in a reasonable amount of time!

Stabbing is a pastime of many, myself included. I have been fencing for a while now and today I would like to talk about some of the different types of fencing.

I can probably work with this … No

I love stabbing, as a fencer it is one of my favorite things.

This is not a good look!

Fencing, the modern duel, fighting to the DEATH!! It is not so dramatic these days but it is still practiced by many, myself included. There are 3 many types of fencing foil, epee, and saber.

Final, an okay opening.

Fencing, the modern duel, fighting to the DEATH!! It is not so dramatic these days but it is still practiced by many, myself included. There are 3 many types of fencing foil, epee, and saber. All of these have different rules and work very differently. So today I decided to tell you about the different weapons.

This isn’t working. I am writing about Sonic.

Long ago, while I was still in elementary school. I was introduced to a funny blue hedgehog.

Ew, I need this changed.

Back in the day I was stupid dumb little idiot the played VIDEO GAMES.


I like sonic, he’s a cool guy and he fast and epic and super swag.

This is so cool but definitely the most horrendous thing I have every seen

I have a congestion,



Screw this I’ll do it later.

— 3 Days later–

I still have noting, I should just write something.

I have something embarrassing to say, I put my headphones in and I listen to Sonic music. Yes, blue blur sonic, fastest thing alive Sonic, chili dog eating Sonic.


I have something embarrassing to say, I put my headphones in and I listen to Sonic music. Yes, fastest thing alive Sonic. And I’m not just listening to songs that Michael Jackson (supposedly) worked on, I also listen to the ones with lyrics. This might not seem so bad, but that is because you have never listened to the lyrics, never understood the true wisdom of guys singing over song.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, no

I like Sonic he is very cool and has great taste in music, I wish he was real so we could be epic awesome friends!


I have been playing Sonic games for a long time, and one thing has always stuck with me, the music. Something about Sonic music has always just stuck in my mind. Even now as I race around the halls of school where EVERYBODY IS SO DAMN SLOW COME ON PEOPLE GET A MOVE ON!

Can I say that?

I have been playing Sonic games for a long time, and one thing has always stuck with me: the music. Something about Sonic music has always just stuck in my mind. Even now as I race around the halls of school I have Sonic music playing.

Screw this, I’m done.


Fate. Fate. Fate. by Jakeia C. Banks

These past few months have been a pain in the #%&^.
The college process has been severely hurtful to my physical, mental and emotional health. I’ve been so stressed I haven’t been able to eat, I have lost follicles of hair, and I have cried in the wee hours of the night wondering, “Oh, god, how much longer?”
How much longer am I going to have to walk down this abysmal corridor of misery.
How much longer until I run out of tears to shed.
How much longer until I inevitably start tasting colors and speaking the ancient language of cats?
For those of you who aren’t acquainted with me outside of the SWC, you should know that I want to pursue acting in college. When I tell people that, their eyes light up and they say, “Oh wow, good luck!” Those four words are so, so easy to say but never easy to internalize. After the initial college application, most performing arts applicants have to send in a prescreen—the audition before the audition.
Recently, I was in an audition for the University of Southern California (USC) and they said that out of 1500 applicants, they only called back 150 students for their BFA in Acting program. Now, that is a lot of pressure! But as I sat through orientation, I realized that this audition is one foot in the right direction. One foot down the corridor.
When I got the email that I got called back for an audition, I screamed and ran to my mom. Because this is a huge deal. It’s a VERY big deal. USC is one of my big schools. I love their program, I love their vibe and I am just UGH. I love them! So, when I went into that audition with two amazing women, I nervously blurted out, “Y’all are so cool,” and acted until my heart bled with so much love for what I do.
As I go through this process, I have to remind myself that this stress isn’t forever. I have to remind myself that this too shall pass. Fate is something that I have been really leaning on these past few weeks. After each meeting with my coach, I am reminded that what is meant for me is going to happen. You cannot force fate, you cannot force something that isn’t meant for you. Even if it feels like this process won’t end, I know that it will. And hopefully, I get into many more schools.

*Note: I have already gotten into 2 of my top schools! Rock ‘n Roll!!! ALMOST DONE! Also, come see Sankofa ’23 on Feb 24th & Feb 25th!

The Best Week of My Life by Beckett Smith

It’s no secret that I’m transgender. I’m not exactly what anyone would call ‘passing’ but being trans, being a man, is such a huge part of my identity that it comes up a lot.

I decided a long time ago that I was going to medically transition. If you don’t know a lot about what that involves, there are many treatments and surgeries that trans people can get. My plan is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and top surgery. These things seemed super far in the future until I realized that I’m 18, have a decent source of income, and am 100% capable of paying for HRT by myself.

I did my research, figured out the cheapest and easiest ways to get started and, at the beginning of January, I called Planned Parenthood and made the appointment to get the process started. The appointment was on Saturday, and it was the singular best day of my life.

I woke up at 8:30, 3 hours before the appointment was scheduled. I went to the Planned Parenthood in Kent, OH since it was one of the closest locations to offer the service as well as conveniently located for when I go to school next year. I was so nervous that I could barely eat (in hindsight, that was a huge mistake), and my dad drove down with me for emotional support.

We got there about an hour early, so we wandered around downtown Kent until 11:30. I discovered this little cafe/bookstore/music store which was amazing. I’ll definitely be spending way too much money there next year. Around 11:20 we headed up to the Planned Parenthood. I had to sign a bunch of paperwork which was boring. Thankfully, my insurance covered the appointment (not the actual testosterone though) so I only had to $25. Then I went back to the appointment room.

I was so so nervous. All week, I was terrified that something was going to happen to keep me from starting injections. Maybe I’d have to get a note from my therapist, or I’m too young, or I have to be socially transitioned for longer. It went smoothly. They asked a bunch of questions and made me sign some more stuff, figured out an injection plan, then it was time for the part I was dreading the most. The blood draw.

I hate needles, which is ironic since I have to give myself shots once a week for the rest of my life. I’ve had a bunch of blood tests done in the last year (undiagnosed chronic illness, yayyyy) so I’m used to it by now. However, you’ll remember that I said I hadn’t really eaten that day. An empty stomach combined with all of the tumultuous emotions I was feeling resulted in me almost passing out. The nurse was really nice though and brought me some juice and snacks. I sat in the room until I felt like I could stand without falling over, then went out to my dad.

Overall, it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Knowing that I won’t have to feel like I’m trapped in my own skin for very much longer is so freeing. The Planned Parenthood people were so kind and understanding, and they made me so glad that I chose that path rather than an endocrinologist. I definitely recommend Planned Parenthood for any other trans people who are thinking about HRT.

On Monday, I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. What followed was the most frustrating, exhausting three days of my life. Getting my hands on all of the materials I needed took four different visits to two different pharmacies over the course of those days. But finally by Wednesday night, I was ready for my first injection.

Now, I hate needles with a passion. I wouldn’t say that it qualifies as a phobia, but it’s a close thing. That first injection took twenty minutes between prep and the time I needed to psych myself up to it. I don’t know how I felt that night. There were so many feelings battling out that I ended up just tuning it all out, and watching Rick and Morty until I passed out.

Yesterday, though, was incredible.

I know it’s just the hormones doing their thing, making me feel  good while they’re still at a high level, but I can’t help but feel like my body knows. I have spent the last five to six years trapped in a body that betrays me simply by existing and doing what it’s supposed to. It’s like a tension has evaporated, like I know down to my bones that something is changing, that something good and right is happening inside me. The world seems brighter, sharper. I feel happier and more alert then I have. It’s like there was a fog in my brain that wasn’t depression or illness, but something meant to shield me from the brunt of my dysphoria. Not even going on anti-depressants felt like this. I’ve never felt anything like this in my life.

The manic euphoria from yesterday has faded, but the feeling of rightness remains. I feel centered and happy. Joy is a foreign concept to me, but one I’m re-learning step by step. Going through a second puberty during one of the most important times of change in my life wasn’t ever the plan, but I’m excited to see how I deal with this.

Music Music Music! by Matilda Spadoni



I thought I’d do some sort of list blog this week. They are always my favorite to write and I have also been listening to some new music so I thought I would share some of my top songs

1: Photo ID by Remi Wolf

My sister introduced me to “Hello Hello Hello” by Remi Wolf, and since then I’ve been hooked. When I want an upbeat tune her music hits the spot. Every time. Photo ID is one of those songs I recognized and could sing along to but didn’t know the name, until this Sunday. Now that I know what to search for, I listen to it all the time.

2: Kill Her Freak Out by Samia

There are going to be a couple Samia songs in this list because she is coming to Cleveland. The tickets are 20 dollars. I want to go, and I know some of her music, but I’m desperately trying to know more so I can sing along at the concert.

This song has weird lyrics that maybe shouldn’t be calming, but they really are. It calms my brain and it feels like a heavy blanket.

3: Mad at Me by Samia

This next Samia song is also calming but more in the light, airy, free, and flowy way. That’s all I have to say about that one.

4: True Blue by Boy Genius

Boy Genius is back! And I’m going to be honest, I didn’t listen to them a whole bunch the last time they released music, but now that I am an avid Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers listener, I’m obsessed. True Blue gives off very much Phoebe vibes, which would make sense because she created it. Nonetheless, this song is fun and sing-along-able.

5: Homesick by Noah Kahn

This song is chef’s kiss. This whole album is. All I want is to go see him in concert, but it is four days after I leave to work at camp, and I don’t have a car. Soo.

6: Ghost in the Machine by SZA (ft. Phoebe Bridgers)

SZA and Phoebe Bridgers??! On one track??? What else could I ask for? Also unrelated but I saw that SZA’s album cover is a replica of the photo of Princess Diana on the yacht right before she died, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.


I could list so many other songs. I am always listening to Taylor Swift, Maude Latour, UMI, Maggie Rogers, maybe a little sprinkle of Arlo Parks and Orla Gartland. Lately I have been into Lana Del Rey and INJI. So yes. These were just some of the songs I have been listening to nonstop.