Houston, Let's Not Forget Harvey

Houston, Let's Not Forget Harvey

Harvey had an impact that went beyond floodwaters.

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Almost exactly a year ago, Houston was victim to Hurricane Harvey's torrential storming and flooding. A year later, recovery has been swift but not complete. Some areas still bear the brunt of Harvey's damage—and some losses, of course, can never be made up.

Harvey taught us, as Houstonians, more about ourselves and each other than we've bothered to know in a long, long time. I live in a neighborhood where I'm lucky if I ever manage to catch a glimpse of my next-door neighbor, let alone have some attempt at a conversation with them.

I remember though, when Harvey hit, how everyone would be out, surveying the water levels, asking each other for the latest updates and evacuation possibilities, and checking in to make sure everyone was all right. It made me understand what being a member of a community can truly be like.

It was also a wonder seeing how much compassion and mercy were still present in people; recovery could have been delayed for much longer without the help of every single person who pitched in. I'm not just talking about immediate relief like providing boating services to shelters and providing food and supplies to evacuees stuck at said shelters.

Even the rebuilding that began weeks later and is still ongoing was supported by people's lives, times, wallets and hearts. Spending weekends helping clean out residential areas and hosting food drives for the homeless became the norm, and volunteer lists overflowed with the number of people who were willing to come out and lend a hand.

Today, I remember Harvey and I realize that it marked a trying period for the city. Lives were lost and many people lost many invaluable things; some people are still trying to recover from the impacts of the hurricane.

Recently, the Carolinas were hit by Florence, a tropical storm that seemed like nature's attempt of irony after Harvey.

Thankfully, meteorologists were able to provide timely enough weather updates that the inhabitants of the worst affected areas were able to evacuate to a safer location before the storm hit. Even with about a million people being told to clear evacuation zones though, almost fifteen people still died and many hundreds were rescued by air and water.

Right now, many people in those areas are in the same position our community was in a year ago; many watched the hurricane take away everything they had ever known and loved, and are in the critical process of rebuilding in the aftermath of the hurricane.

We are proud Houstonians, but what Harvey showed was that we were also proud citizens and very, very human. So Houston, let's take this opportunity to remember Harvey not only for what it took from us but also what we gained from it.

Let's show that we remember and have felt the pain of being left with nothing and feeling broken and helpless.

With our support, whether monetary or material, let us show the victims of Florence that as long as there is humanity, there is hope.

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15 "Christmas Vacation" Quotes To Use This Holiday Season

Hip, hip hooray for Christmas vacation!
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It's that time of year: Christmas is here. Everybody knows there isn't a better time of year. "Hear that sleigh, Santa's on his way: hip, hip hooray for Christmas vacation!" If you were singing that in your head by the third line, then you understand the glory of "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation." Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo blessed us with this film nearly 30 years ago, and with a screenplay by John Hughes, the film is just as funny today. Here are 15 quotes from "Christmas Vacation" that you should be using this holiday season.

1. “Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where's the Tylenol?”

When to use it: the holiday season can be stressful, but the key to staying cheery is to fake it until you make it. Use this quote when you need some extra help faking it.



2. “We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f***ing Kaye.”

When to use it: when your family is killing your Christmas vibes.



3. Todd: "Hey Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?"

Clark: "Bend over and I'll show you.

When to use it: when family asks you about what you’re going to do with your future, how college is going, or if you have a significant other yet.
Or when your neighbor, Todd, is #theworst.




4. “She falls down a well, her eyes go cross. She gets kicked by a mule. They go back. I don't know.”

When to use it: any time your family comments on your appearance.



5. “Worse? How could things get any worse? Take a look around here, Ellen. We're at the threshold of hell.”

When to use it: when it’s finals week, and you're watching Christmas movies instead of studying.



6. “Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.”

When to use it: when professors give you 20 million assignments right before break.



7. “Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”

When to use it: when your uncle starts talking about how Donald Trump should be president at your family’s Christmas dinner.



8. “I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.”

When to use it: when your parents won’t let you open presents at 6 a.m. because you’re an adult now.



9. Ellen: "He's an old man. This may be his last Christmas."

Clark: "If he keeps it up, it will be his last Christmas.

When to use it: when your racist grandpa is being extra racist.



10. “Lotta sap in here! Mmmm... Looks great! Little full, lotta sap.”

When to use it: when you regret buying a real Christmas tree, but you’ll never tell your significant other they were right and you should have gone with a fake one from Lowe's.



11. “Every time Catherine revved up the microwave, I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour or so.”

When to use it: when you need to deflect because a co-worker asked you to cover their Christmas Eve shift.



12. Audrey: "He worked really hard, Grandma."

Art: "So do washing machines.”

When to use it: when someone gives you a homemade present and says it’s “the thought that counts."



13. Clark: "Our holidays were always such a mess."

Clark Sr.: "Oh, yeah."

Clark: "How'd you get through it?"

Clark Sr.: "I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels.”

When to use it: every day of finals week. And every day of break spent with your family. And every day in general…



14. Ruby Sue: "Rocky bit my thumb. Him's nervous."

Clark: "Nervous or excited?"

Ruby Sue: "Sh*ttin' bricks."

Clark: "You shouldn't use that word."

Ruby Sue: "Sorry. Sh*ttin' rocks.


When to use it: when your family doesn’t appreciate your potty-mouth.



15. “Merry Christmas. Sh*tter was full.”

When to use it: All. Year. Long.

Merry Christmas!



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Loving Someone With Mental Illness Is Different

Don't push them to talk before they are ready.

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Loving someone with mental health illnesses is not easy. In fact it is the hardest thing that you will ever do. The person in the relationship that has mental health illnesses may not always be able to express what's wrong when they are having a bad mental health day.

The best thing for you to do when your partner is having a bad mental health day isn't to continually ask them what's wrong or what you can do to help. The absolute best thing that you can do for your partner is to just wait until they can talk to you.

Continually asking them what's wrong or what you can do when they can't yet tell you what's wrong is just going to make your partner more frustrated in the fact that they can't tell you what's wrong. Sit with them and be there for them and let them talk when they're ready and able to talk to you.

Some people with mental illnesses already think that they are hard to love or that they are never going to find real love. If they feel like this it's most likely because any past partners they have had haven't understood the mental illness or illnesses that they have. It takes time to really understand a mental illness and understand how it affects your partner. Don't give up on your partner before you understand the mental illness that they have and how it affects them.

Even if you have had a partner that has had a mental illness doesn't mean that the same mental illness is going to affect a future partner the same way that it affected your past partner.

Let them know that you will be around for them. If you don't understand their mental illness be up front and honest with them and tell your partner that you don't understand so that maybe they can help you to understand. Don't push them to talk before they are ready and once they are ready they will talk to you.

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