Staying Cincy Strong

On Thursday at 9am, the city I love so dear had a tragedy that we all knew was inevitable. According to many sources the Fifth Third shooting is not the most tragic shooting that Cincinnati has witnessed in the last five years. Before Thursday it was a shooting that happened in 2016. Officers that responded to the shooting had told the public that the shooter had enough ammunition on him to kill over 100 people, however he only took the lives of three, injuring two.

That morning Brandon had gotten off of work, to pick me up at home and take me to school. Being a night shift worker on Walnut Street, he dropped me off and went to bed. Having no idea what happened, moments after he left his job… which is right next to the Fifth Third building. All of a sudden, I had family and friends blowing up my phone asking if Brandon was alright. For a moment as we sat in class watching as the updates came pouring in, I had forgotten that he was at home, safe, and as mentioned, had no idea that the shooting even occurred. It wasn’t until the sixth or seventh message that I came back to reality and told myself, “he’s fine, he’s fine, we are fine.” However, his coworkers crossed my mind, and what would happen when he would go into work on Sunday also crossed my mind. That Downtown Cincinnati would need time to heal and recover.

Over the weekend, Brandon and I watched the updates that happened. The shooter was able to walk around Fountain Square for an hour, drink coffee, holding a black bag around his shoulders, and nobody questioned it. Nobody stopped to question a man, drinking coffee, holding a gun in a black bag. As a society, are we that oblivious?

It is events like this that we, as a society, bring up gun control. Everyone has an opinion, anyone who says that they don’t is a liar. Many times, when gun control is brought up people hear the same things over and over again, “I’m an American and I want to keep my guns” or “Guns kill people and this is an epidemic”. Both of these are so broad that it then becomes conservative versus liberals. And while this is happening we begin to point fingers, instead of listening to one another and realizing that the overall issue, is that we as a society aren’t educated enough about mental health and actual gun control.

My first argument is that when the constitution was written, the guns or weapons we have now, weren’t what they were. Also, the whole point of owning guns was to protect you from the government. That being said, the guns that were accessible to those when the constitution was written, was not an automatic gun that could harm a mass amount of people.

My second argument is that accessing a gun is way too easy. Anybody with a good fake ID or over the age of 18 can access a gun, by going to a shop that sells them. The background check, is a 24 hour background check (if that) that just makes sure that you aren’t a felon. That’s not enough. I am definitely for better gun control, and no that does not mean I want to take away everyone’s guns and have everyone sit around a friendship circle talking about love. What that means to me, is that I believe that it should be a week’s process in order to get a gun. Step one would be having a doctor verify that you are mentally stable enough to own weapons, next would be a background check that would verify that you do not have any domestic violence charges, no psychiatric ward history, and/or felony charges. On top of that, upon purchasing a gun, you must show that you have gone through the proper training, including a max amount of time in a shooting range. When you finally are able to pass all of that and you purchase your gun, they should give a recommendation list, that includes recommended safes or vaults for you to keep your gun in. That being said, I also believe that if you keep your gun in an unsafe place, and another person uses your gun to harm someone, then you are also responsible for what that person does. A bit over extreme? That’s what we do for getting our license… think about all of the steps you have to go through to get your driver’s license. Getting a gun should be that hard, if not harder.

My third and last argument, is that people do not view mental health as an issue. Did you know that 1 in 5 adults have a mental health condition. That’s about forty-three million Americans. On top of that, half of that population has some sort of substance abuse disorder. In almost every mass shooting case in the past three years, it has been linked to some sort of mental illness. Shouldn’t we do more than judge? In this day in age, it’s hard to go the doctors when you have flu symptoms, because it could cost you an arm and a leg… let alone get a referral from a doctor to see a physiatrist. Also, take it from someone who has been in counseling since the age of six, it’s very hard to find a counselor, or physiatrist, who treats you like human being. In the past two years I have been through three different counselors, because each one treated me like I was crazier than I actually was. Finding a counselor that you can trust can be very overwhelming. Luckily for me, I have relatively decent health insurance, but for someone who isn’t like me their insurance company might clear their bank account.

Just something to think about with all of the chaos within this world. As always I want my reader to be able to enlighten me with their opinion. I believe that instead of judging everyone’s opinion, we can find knowledge through it. Please let me know what your mental health or gun control opinions are.









Crema & Company

I admit, I should have made this review sooner, but with the Stop Smoking Campaign, school right around the corner and work, I do find it hard to write at least once a week. Crema & Company is a little French inspired coffee and more shop. What do I mean by more? Well, not only do they have an espresso bar, they also have ice creams, pastries, chocolates, and breads… and did I mention that everything is house made? Also, Drinks are $6.00 and under!

Is this too good to be true? Actually, no. When I went in for the first time, I had the pleasure to meet the interior designer, and owner. As well as a few of the baristas. One of the main things that each of them pointed out is that, most times, classy isn’t affordable these days and in a town that thrives on local business, that should be something that is affordable. In the first month of business, I have seen Crema & Company thrive with lines near the door. Unlike your Starbucks Barista, the employees at Crema & Company take the time with each customer to make sure their drink is perfect.

One of my favorite things in the morning, is coming in and letting the Barista decide what I should drink. Typically, I say something like, “I’m in the mood for something cold” and they make my drink. Note: I’ve never been disappointed with their creative creations. Just yesterday, I woke up and I knew that I needed an Autumn inspired drink. Now, I know most places don’t carry anything Autumn inspired until mid-August, but I had a craving. I called around to some coffee shops near me (I live at least 30 minutes away from Covington), and none of the coffee shops had what I needed, so I called Crema & Company. They had exactly what I needed, so my friends and I drove, out of our way, just to get that Autumn fix. Once again, I walked in, looked at the baristas and said, “I need something that tastes like Fall, I know it needs to have caramel in it, but other than that, it needs to be as Fall as possible.” Within five minutes, the baristas had made the best drink that I have ever tasted… IN MY LIFE.

Overall, I love Crema & Company so much because I believe they genuinely care about each customer, and their taste-buds. To all of you Starbucks lovers, close your ears for this – If I go into most coffee shops and say, “I know I need caffeine, but I need like a relaxing flavor, in iced form.” No barista, is going to make me a lavender iced coffee, with a bit of mocha chocolate in it. Had I walked into a place like Starbucks and said, “I NEED FALL FLAVOR EXPLOSION IN MY MOUTH” (yes imagine me frantically screaming, waving my hands in the air), they aren’t going to make the beautiful bliss of flavor that I had yesterday. Instead I would have been told that they don’t get fall flavors (Pumpkin Spice Latte) until October.

To anybody who loves to support local business, I highly recommend stopping by Crema & Company. I have been going, since they have opened at least once a week and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. In this day in age it’s hard to get a $6.00 Frappe and great customer service. If you aren’t a Frappe person, don’t worry, visit their website (link HERE), because they have everything from Espresso to Americano. Aren’t a coffee person? Did I mention they have ice creams, chocolates, macaroons, smoothies, breads, cakes, and even cupcakes… yes, again,  all made in house. If you still aren’t interested, go in for the amazing interior design and friendly smiles.


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Body Shaming at a Spectrum

So, as many of you know, I have very strong opinions. I don’t always share my point-of-view online, unless its twitter, but when it comes to snapchat or Facebook, I try to keep everything light hearted. Well, over the weekend, some opinions about Debby Ryan’s Insatiable started surfacing. To which I shared mine on Facebook saying, “I don’t believe it’s fat shaming.”

Now, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, basically Debby Ryan is starting in a new Netflix original called Insatiable, from the trailer viewers gather that Debby Ryan’s character Patty was insanely big throughout all of high school until she had an accident that caused some sort of surgery and made her incredibly skinny. To which everyone starts treating her different, when before they had bullied and shamed her. Well, Patty doesn’t see this fair and ends up wanting to get revenge on everyone who treated her poorly when she was bigger.

As you can see this brings up the subject, “Is this movie fat shaming?” To which many of the actors and actresses in the movie said that they didn’t find that it was fat shaming, just a a dark comedy. Of course many people, as with any subject matter, had a different view point. That it indeed was fat shaming and how dare people use it as satire, instead a movie should be made about bullying and the negative effects that it has on people who are considered fat.

What is my issue with this? I’m tired of people thinking that actors and actresses, directors and producers can’t use satire for hard subject matters. Yes, many people are bullied for not being America’s “perfect size” but at the same time there are lots of people out there that have suffered from this type of bullying, lost weight and literally were treated better because of it. That because they lost 30 pounds or 150 pounds, that’s what matter and not their personality or the fact that they were a great person when they were big and skinny. The overall issue is that people are too dang sensitive about being overweight.

So over the weekend, I was watching Philip DeFranco’s video (link here).  This video basically is him talking about the different emotions that someone goes through when they do lose weight. He talks about how when he was losing weight how he hated that people started treating him nicer, as if his weight was the problem all along. But at the end of the day, he was the same person he was just a few pounds lighter. For his full point of view I highly recommend watching his video, it’s super insightful.

As soon as I had finished watching his video I ended up coming across an article on Facebook, from Buzzfeed (Link Here), which I shared and captioned, “Actually, this isn’t body shaming, many people when they lose weight are treated nicer, even though the only different thing about them is the weight. Watch Philip DeFranco’s YouTube video on the subject to explain it.” And as you can imagine, there was someone on my Facebook feed who had an opinion, and that I was wrong.

Now the main issue with the argument that happened online, is that the person clearly didn’t watch the DeFranco video which, I did specifically say they needed to watch to understand my point of view. The second main issue is the argument got so heated that it no longer was about the Netflix Original, but about how fat people deserve more respect than those who are thinner. Now when I say “thinner” I don’t mean that “picture perfect body” I mean people who struggle with body issues all together. What ended up happening was she told me that because I was skinny I wasn’t allowed to have an opinion about a movie that discusses weight issue, to which I replied that I have struggled with weight and therefore my opinion matters. To which I received this response, “The discrimination people face for being overweight is completely different…” She then had her mother get involved telling me that I was being insensitive and that she expected more from me, to be more understanding and kind. At that point I dropped the argument entirely, as I didn’t find my comments insensitive however I found the daughters comments rude and unsettling.

Why? Because there are people in this world that truly believe that those of high weight deserve to be treated differently. That they should be treated as if they were a special class. There are people in this world that are compliant with being obese or highly overweight. And while that infuriates me, nothing can infuriate me more than someone looking at me and saying that what I went through as a fifteen year old girl didn’t matter. At fifteen years old I was anorexic and I wasn’t over 100 pounds until I was a junior in high school. Now as a 21 year old at 160 pounds, I struggle with balancing my weight. Am I 160 pounds because I am 5 foot 9 inches, and a young adult, or am I 160 pounds and those tight outfits should fit me, but the little chub in my stomach shows and therefore it doesn’t? Sure, I was never obese, or of huge weight, but the topic of body issues is a huge spectrum and it doesn’t just mean that obese people should be treated like specialty. In fact there are health rules that protect both those under and overweight, you can’t have a certain surgery, you are on certain medicine, you can’t give blood, your risk of a heart attack or cardiovascular disease. It’s all a spectrum, and in high school I constantly had friends telling me I needed to eat more, or when I started finally eating again, that I was eating too much for who I was.

I stand by my belief, that I believe that this generation is too fragile. That everyone has to have an opinion about something, and if your opinion isn’t theirs then you’re wrong. The thing with actors and actresses, directors and producers is, it’s their job to tell a story and whether it was Debby Ryan or some other actress (or actor) someone was going to be Fat Patty, and someone was going to take on the role of a person who wanted revenge to those who did make fun of her. We focus so much on the negative side of bully – being depression – that we forget that as humans we have more than just the feeling of sadness, and that we all deal with pain in a different way.

So yes, I will be giving this movie a click when it comes out and I hope that you do too.

  • S.B