Agree to Disagree

Agree to Disagree

The flu shot

Chrystina: It might be because I hate doctors and shots in general, or it might be because my dad told me he always gets sick for two days after he gets the flu shot, but when it comes to the flu shot I try to just take my chances – which I admit is a very strange approach to take for a hypochondriac.

Tory: Look, I’ve taken too many biology classes in my life, and I have been strongly convinced of the value of vaccines. Are flu shots 100% effective? No, but I would much rather get them and protect myself against some strains of the flu than not get them and be responsible for the spread of viruses. It’s a small inconvenience – a little pain, but the flu/spreading the flu is way worse than that.

Political intensity levels

Chrystina: It is very rare that I have a political opinions about things. I have more opinions about social laws than economical laws. I never grew up discussing politics and I always like to think the best of people – although I admit that sometimes it’s just me living in my own little reality. I think I’m okay with that.

Tory: I keep it off this blog, but I am very, very politically opinionated. I’m generally pretty well informed about what’s going on in political news, and during election seasons, I tend to be sort of an election-news junkie. I think it’s important to be aware of what’s going on so I can make informed decisions at election season and so I can participate in the political process, as is my right and responsibility as a citizen and as a member of society. Staying informed and voting are the least I can do to try to improve the society in which I live. (Do I sound like an overzealous government teacher yet?)

The importance of going to church weekly

Chrystina: I try really really hard to go to church every week. I was in the church choir for a long time, so I would always love to see my friends. And I like to keep going because if I don’t, I know I’m going to completely fall out of the habit. And it’s nice to go say hi every week – and provides a good time to think about life in general.

Tory: Without going too specifically into my religious beliefs, which to be frank, are somewhat undefined (see: my opinion on labels later in the list), I’ve never felt that going to church weekly was critical. Sure, I did for a while, and it’s not bad, but I definitely don’t think God concerns himself with such minor things like where you were on a Sunday morning. I think he’d be much more interested in how you live your life generally: are you a good person, do you do nice things, do you treat people with respect? If yes, I think you’d be good with God, regardless of where you are every Sunday.

The amount of social activity that is fun

Chrystina: I am an extrovert. Not only am I an extrovert, I am an extreme extrovert – I prefer to almost always be around people – that’s where I get most of my energy from in life. This is not to say that there aren’t times that I want to be quiet or in a different room, but 99.9% of the time I prefer someone else being around – at least in the same house.

Tory: I am such a total introvert, it’s not even funny. I could (and do) amuse myself for hours. I wrote an entire love story on my personal blog about how much I enjoy solitude (of course, in my very indirect and ridiculous style). Sure, every once in a while, it’s nice to get out and see people and do things, but I generally need (and prefer) time alone to decompress and just be with myself. I also am not the hugest fan of big groups or new people, being that I’m pretty shy and ridiculously awkward, so overall, I don’t like to go out much.

The value of labels/personality quizzes

Chrystina: I LOVE categorizing personalities. The Myers Briggs personality test is something that I take for fun sometimes. Also, the five love languages quiz. While the left side of my brain understands that you can’t categorize everybody into tiny little boxes, I think that it’s a really good way to learn more about yourself and start thinking about what makes you, you.

Tory: I find labels to be limiting, not liberating. I think personality quizzes are fun to take, just for amusement, but I don’t really put much stock into them. Trying to categorize or label people imposes far too much black and white onto the very gray world of human personality, preferences, and behavior. I know who I am, and I don’t need or want a series of letters or numbers or colors or whatever to try to define or describe me or anyone else.


Chrystina: Word on the street is that there’s a gene that some people have that make cilantro taste like soap. While I realize that there’s not realllly enough evidence of this yet, if this gene does exist I definitely have it. When people ask what kind of restaurant I want to go to I always look at them and say – “just not Mexican or Greek” – which sounds obnoxious. Because ruling out an entire type of food is just ridiculous. I mean, come on – it’s rice, it’s beans, it’s lettuce, it’s basic things. But cilantro slips in ALL over the place in Mexican food and I find it to be pretty icky. I’ll eat it, but I can almost guarantee I won’t enjoy it. I had Mexican food this weekend that was awesome – for the first time pretty much ever – and there wasn’t any cilantro in it. So maybe I’m not giving Mexican a fair chance. (Oh, and if you’re curious, I think Greek food has too much garlic in it for the most part…)

Tory: Cilantro is delicious. I think it is one of my favorite herbs. It has such a distinct (and delicious) flavor, and it smells good too. Any time I have a recipe that calls for cilantro, I always end up using more than it suggests, because I just love it. (Also because I usually end up with a whole bunch of fresh cilantro and only need a fraction of it, so it always seems to make sense to just use more of it instead of throwing out a lot.)


Chrystina: This might sound like a strange thing, but what it means is that Tory doesn’t eat sushi. And I love sushi. So if we go out for Japanese food we have to make sure that there are some good hibachi/teriyaki options on the menu as well.

Tory: People always assume the reason I don’t like sushi is because I’m grossed out by raw fish, but that is not the case. Ever since I tried my friend’s seaweed salad for lunch in middle school one day, I isolated that as the flavor I don’t like in sushi. It’s just so unpleasant.

Zooey Deschanel

Chrystina: Alright, it’s not like I’m in love with Zooey. I actually don’t even think it’s to the point where I could use the phrase “girl crush”. But Tory’s complete dislike is so far away from where I stand that it has to make the list. I realized recently that my version of Tory’s Zooey Deschanel is Renee Zellweger. Also, I absolutely adore New Girl – but a lot of that probably has to do with Nick and Schmidt.

Tory: I cannot even explain to you the degree of dislike I have for Zooey Deschanel. I won’t call it hate, because hate is a strong word and far too mean. I just can’t stand her. Her and her little “I’m so quirky, charming, awkward, and geeky” shtick drive me insane. (That may not be a shtick, that may be actually how she is, but I’m a little skeptical.) That iPhone commercial she used to have drove me insane, to the point where I would pretty much change the channel or leave the room to avoid it.

Sex and the City

Chrystina: Four friends sitting around discussing escapades in New York City with all the scandals and men in between, what’s not to love? It’s mindless, it makes you think about relationships in your own life, it makes you consider personalities (see the above mentioned personality tests), and it’s great for wine drinking. I own every season and the movies.

Tory: I have never understood the appeal of this show. All the characters annoy me. They all just seem so vapid and shallow and ridiculous (not the good kind of ridiculous, but the obnoxiously boring/borderline inane kind). Perhaps after this and the Zooey Deschanel entry, you’re thinking, “Is there anyone who doesn’t annoy you?” Um…. well, yes, there are a few people, but… Look, I promise, I’m a nice person, for the most part.

Putting milk in cereal

Chrystina: I think you need something to break up the dryness of the cereal, and milk is perfect for that. However, I do try to pour only enough milk so that when I finish my cereal there isn’t any left to drink.

Tory: Cereal is delicious and crunchy and solid. Why would you would sully its texture by dumping liquid all over it? If I wanted something soft and mushy, I’d eat oatmeal or yogurt or something. Leave my cereal pure and dry, as nature intended.


To Tea or Not To Tea?

To Tea or Not To Tea: Our Favorite Beverages


Tory: I will admit, I never used to be much of a water drinker – it’s so flavorless and boring, or so I thought. Then I matured (barely, but a little), and I began drinking more and more water, and now I’m practically addicted (I drink about a small lake a day). It also helps that water is free, and I think I’ve previously mentioned how cheap I am.

Chrystina: It’s hard to dispute how awesome water is. Connecticut well water is probably my favorite (wow, how snobby does that sound?), but I’ve gotten used to the Philadelphia water. Also, I learned that there are actually brands of bottled water that I don’t like. Weird, right? Oh, and it works wonders if you have some before you go to bed after drinking. That’s just not always easy to remember in the moment…

Birch Beer

Tory: I don’t drink much soda, but this, root beer, and cream soda will always tempt me. Why is it called birch beer? How do you describe its taste? Why is it different colors in different places? These are all questions I cannot answer; all I can tell you is it’s delicious.

Chrystina: This is my dad’s doing. I have very vivid memories of pizza and birch beer growing up. Also, I want to point out that in New England birch beer is clear, but elsewhere it is an auburn color – which I still find weird.


Chrystina: First of all, please notice that all four of my other options have the word “tea” in it. Tory doesn’t like tea, it’s one of the things we disagree about in life. It’s such a comfort beverage to me.

Bubble Tea

Chrystina: I fell in love with bubble tea in college. There was a bubble house right near my college, but it closed my junior year. This place had latte teas, non latte teas, and regular hot tea made with leaves (and other things) – and it was all WONDERFUL. It’s the perfect “wow, I’m having a really crappy day” beverage.

Sweet Tea

Chrystina: I fell in love with sweet tea in Louisiana. I absolutely love sugar. I could eat an entire bag of cotton candy no problem and not have a stomach ache – henceforth, I think sweet tea is awesome. The best sweet tea I’ve ever had was made with brown sugar. I still need to try to replicate it.

Thai Iced Tea

Chrystina: Thai places that are BYOB confuse me a lot because I really want to bring a bottle of wine, but I also reallly want thai iced tea, and both is just too much liquid. It’s so sweet and creamy and delicious. And it totally balances the spicy food. There are a lot of days I go out for thai food purely because I’m craving the tea. I should probably just get the tea for takeout and eat at home.


Tory: True life: I am a juice-aholic. I’ve gotten better about drinking water instead, but I used to consume insanely large quantities of juice. Like, unhealthily large quantities of juice. Like, there are probably groves of trees bare of fruit solely because of my juice-drinking habit. Other than grapefruit juice, which is a little too sour for me, I have yet to meet a fruit juice I didn’t like.

Seasonal Beverages (Eggnog/Cider)

Tory: I am cheating and calling these “seasonal beverages” so I could pick two. (Would you really expect anything else from me, at this point? I think I cheat more than I actually stick to the limits on these lists) However, I actually don’t drink either outside of their “season”, so it has a tenuous logic to it. Anyway, nothing says fall to me like a good cider, especially when it’s all hot and spiced and delicious…. mmm. I still remember the first time I had hot apple cider, at a hayride when I was a kid. It was love at first sip. Egg nog, on the other hand, is just so creamy and rich and delicious, how can you not love it? I think I probably drink it 2-3 times a year, but it’s so good, it still makes it on my favorites list.

Hot Chocolate

Tory: Okay, so I have a confession that may shock you: I don’t drink coffee or tea. Of any kind. With any flavor. I don’t like them. (That’s why there’s so little agreement on this list, since 2/3 of Chrystina’s choices were tea.) I’ll let you stop making that face at your computer that everyone always makes at me when I tell them that. Anyway, luckily, I do love a good hot chocolate, so whenever I get brought to a coffee shop, there’s at least something I can order. I’m particularly a fan of hot chocolates with a) mini-marshmallows (a classic), b) tons of whipped cream (also a classic), and/or c) a mint flavor (which can be achieved by melting in candy canes at the holidays – I highly recommend it).


Tory: In addition to all the other things I’m addicted to, ice cream is another of my huge weaknesses. (Someone should start a list of all the addictions I’ve confessed to on this blog. Spoiler alert: It would probably be 98% desserts.) Milkshakes are essentially liquid ice cream, so of course I love them. It has to be done right, though: a nice, thick, can-barely-get-it-through-the-straw consistency is critical. Otherwise, you might as well drink some flavored milk, and that’s not nearly as exciting.

Everyday Things That Are Mind-Blowing If You Think About Them

Everyday things that are mind blowing if you think about them

Email/The Internet

Tory: We definitely take this one for granted, but it’s so mind-blowing. If I have something to say to someone, no matter what time of day it is, no matter where they are, I can send them a message that they can see literally that second. These silly words I typed on my laptop will be able to be read anywhere on the planet by any random stranger who happens to stumble across this blog for whatever reason (hello, random strangers!). When I don’t know something, I can get an answer in less than 10 seconds (well, if my internet connection is behaving). How is that not mind-blowing?

Chrystina: You can communicate instantaneously with anybody and look up any answer to anything ever. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

Overnight Shipping

Tory: Sure, it costs money, but the fact that I can put something in a box, bring it to a random office (or even better, have a random person come get it), and it magically is somewhere else the next morning is amazing. The logistics alone are amazing.

Chrystina: The fact that I can order something from a completely different place in the world and it can show up the next day (for a hefty fare) is incredible. It makes the world seem a lot smaller.

Phone Calls and Cell Phones

Tory: One day I got a phone call at work from someone from Alaska, and that’s when I started realizing how much I take for granted. Here I was, sitting in an air-conditioned office on a muggy, hot, humid summer day on the East Coast, and this guy was sitting in a cabin, surrounded by snow and mountains and Coke-drinking polar bears (I have a very, very skewed view of Alaska). Yet we were conversing. And this isn’t just limited to Alaska! With a cell phone, I can be literally anywhere and talk to anyone else literally anywhere else, provided I dial a valid number and know country codes and feel like paying the large fees for international calls.

Chrystina: Talking to people who aren’t in the same place as you is mind blowing. You can call anybody around the world. The entire WORLD. Not only that, but you have access to the entire internet over your phone. And it can talk to you and interact with you. Crazy.

Google Maps and GPS

Tory: It’s not just the fact that I can get access to maps/have some magical device spoon-feed me directions so I don’t get lost. Google Maps is mind-blowing in that you can literally look at a map of anywhere in the world, and in a lot of places, you can street view. If I’m feeling a desperate urge to travel but can’t actually afford to go somewhere, I can pretend to go on a trip somewhere by street-viewing my way down a random road somewhere in the world, without ever leaving my computer screen.

Chrystina: Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE maps. I actually prefer maps. I use the Google Maps program just to actually look at the maps because it’s way easier than carrying one around. I actually prefer to map out routes on my own and hate the lady that lives in the GPS – but the fact that I can see a map and zoom in on it wherever I want is awesome.


Tory: You go to bed. Your mind throws all sorts of ridiculous images at you. Half the time, they make absolutely no sense. You wake up with fuzzy memories of running from your former middle school classmate who has now become an axe-wielding villain or of casually teleporting around and hanging out with a celebrity crush in a variety of random locations that are a combination of all the places you’ve ever seen, and that is somehow completely normal. The next night, your brain does all sorts of new things that make no sense, and you just continue to shrug this off as just something that your mind does. It’s weird. This xkcd cartoon pretty much sums it up.

Chrystina: Honestly, I wish I remembered more of my dreams. I think they would be interesting. But it’s definitely a weird thing that your brain stays on when the rest of you goes to sleep.

The Fact That You Pretty Much Know Nobody in the Whole World

Tory: I never even thought of this, but it’s true. There are approximately 7 billion people on the planet. Even if you had some way to meet every single one for just one second, it would take you (by my very quick calculations) 221.8 years to meet all of them – and by then you’d have to start over, because the ones you had already met would all be dead, and that would assume that you were able to live forever. There are so many people who you will literally never encounter who are living their lives at the same time as you, and you will never know anything about them.

Chrystina: Every time I go to New York City or am in an airport I think to myself wow, there are so many people here, and I will probably never seem any of them ever again. And that’s just right here. That doesn’t include the next building over. The next city. The next state. The next country. Or the next continent. I love people though, so this is pretty exciting for me that there are so many more to meet.

Time Zones

Tory: One of my friends was in China for the past year and a half or so, and despite constantly chatting with her, I would still have moments where I would think to myself, “I’m just getting to work, and her day is over,” and my mind would explode a little. (By the end of this blog post, the amount of times I use the words “blow my mind” or “explode” in reference to my brain may suggest that there’s not any brain left. I swear, there’s a little.)

Chrystina: For about a year and a half of my life I’m convinced that I was living in the time zone between eastern and central time. It’s crazy that it’s different times depending on where you are. Also, I always have had this vision of a couple getting into a fight in the eastern time zone, one of the people realizing they were wrong and dragging the other person over the time zone line and asking to repeat that hour again because it didn’t happen right the first time. I think about this a lot actually. Please note, I live nowhere near a time zone line.


Tory: Honestly, when I stopped and thought about this one, it occurred to me that I have very little understanding of how cameras work. Perhaps I should Google that; I feel like this is something I should understand. In the meantime, the idea that you can just press a button and whatever you’re looking at at that exact moment will be frozen in time forever is ridiculously awesome.

Chrystina: I love photography, I love capturing that moment in time that you will never get back. That is actually why one of my biggest pet peeves in life – actually, probably the biggest – is people waving their hands in front of cameras when you’re taking a picture. It’s not funny at all. Not even a little bit. You only get that moment once, and if you want to capture it, that’s the only chance you get. I think my favorite part about photographs is that you can see what people older than you looked like at your age. It makes you realize that they had a life before you showed up.

How Much Money is Spent Making Movies and TV Shows

Tory: I think about this, a lot. Just think about the amount of money that gets used to build half-rooms and sets and buy props and design costumes, all for the sake of entertainment, boggles my mind (and not necessarily in a good way, unlike most of the other things on this list).

The Fact that More People Don’t Get into Car Accidents

Chrystina: I’ve been thinking about this fact since I was little. Don’t get me wrong, there are a decent number of car accidents, but for the most part in life people operate a large piece of heavy machinery over sometimes not so great roads to get from one place to the other and don’t run into any problems (no pun intended?). Granted, if a car accident does occur, it’s probably at the most inconvenient time in the world. (Yes, the whole world.)