Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stuff I Learned in Canada

1. Niagara Falls is the shitty Disney World: Who knew that the simple combination of gravity and water would be justified grounds for constructing the very motherload of skeevy tourist traps? It's expected that there would be restaurants and hotels and bars and stuff, but frankly, I don't see how wax museums and bird kingdoms and IMAX theaters are the least bit necessary. Least of all the last one, because, what? You want to see a high-def 180-degree view of something really cool? Walk down the fucking street and appreciate one of the most amazing natural wonders in the northern hemisphere, you closed-minded ass spelunker.

2. Toronto is the coolest city ever: Because it's the exact opposite of what I just described, and it's also quite possibly the most stuck-in-the-90's-place I've ever been to in my entire life. Guys there still appreciated hair dye and sleeve tattoos and chucks with tube socks, which means there's still hope for me and my theoretical 90's-punk husband, which means I'm moving there. Also, it's got trolleys and trolleys are the shit.

3. White people own Sevs: Long Island basically translates to three things. 1) A for-the-most-part wealthy [stuck up] community comprised of Italians, Jews, and middle aged women who talk like this. 2). The part of New York that matters less than the Five Buroughs but remains borderline notable, unlike upstate. 3). An absolute minefield of Dunkin Donuts and Seven Elevens, as in 'cannot go three blocks without seeing one.' However, despite the immeasurable number of these establishments, I had never before seen one that was owned by a white person. Sorry if that sounds unbelievably racist, but get off your righteous high horse because you know it's true. Regardless, while we were in Ontario, we walked into three Seven Elevens, and all three times, there was a super-ivory-super-Canadian bro behind the counter. Weirdest thing ever.

4. They're just as proud as being Canadian as we are of being American: Which I guess makes sense, because Canada's only a little bit younger than us and they've managed to limit their foreign enemies to a mere fraction of the amount we've obtained. Meaning they have none. No one hates Canada (and if they do it's for stupid reasons, like being jealous of the health care or having allergies to the hidden wheat gluten in syrup) so why the fuck shouldn't they be proud of their country? Legitimately, flags everywhere. Flags on t-shirts and telephone poles and cars and houses and anything else that a flag can be adhered to with rope or a thumb tack, and you know what? Good for them. Red's a cool color, and if I cared enough to rank a bunch of leaves from least preferred to most preferred, maple would probably be pretty far up there.

5. Their seagulls suck: I kind of like the fact that when I go to the beach here, there's a decently large possibility that I might get my face ripped off by Satan in bird form. It sort of adds to the excitement. This is a typical seagull that you'd find on Long Island.

And this is a picture of some I saw in Canada.

Boring as shit. Sitting there in a parking lot. Not doing anything at all. I came pretty close to them, too, trying to provoke them into doing something borderline demonic. Nothing. I guess the fact that Canada's managed to hotbox the entire country is starting to have an effect on the wildlife.

6. They like their Timmies: Mmm, I need my Timmies. What are you gonna need tomorrow? Dammit, Timmies. Give me my Timmies and nobody gets hurt. Tim Horton's is basically the most ghetto excuse for a doughnut shop that I've ever stepped foot in, and you know what? It's incredible. I really don't even care that their coffee tastes like watery gasoline and that Timbits have the consistency of the sponge that is currently lying in my kitchen sink. I commend Canada on their effort, and truthfully, my Canadian experience would not have been half as fulfilling if I hadn't gone to this shitfest of an establishment.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Awkward Situations That Happen to Everyone

And if it hasn't happened to you, wait for it. It will.

1. Socially awkward people who don't know you and still tell you upsetting things: I'm not a bad friend. Seriously, I'm not. Or I try not to be, anyway. If one of my friends needs to talk, or needs advice, or needs someone to listen, I'm absolutely all for it. Here's my typical plan of action when these things occur:
A) Ask for abridged version of issue at hand. Ask if I am providing advice or simply there as a means of venting. 
B) Listen to issue in its entirety. Nod. Offer occasional verbal indication that I am still paying attention.
C) Return to second half of A. If it is the former, provide advice. If it is the latter, skip to D.
D) Make sensitive yet probably still kind-of-uncouth joke pertaining to the problem. 
Now if it's one of my friends, they're cool with D. They're aware that I view humor as a means of dealing with just about everything, and, if nothing else, at least lightening the mood a bit. They're aware that this is just the way I am, and that I don't mean any offense by it. However, if it's a stranger (especially a socially-awkward one) they're now dead set on the fact that I'm blatantly making fun of their lack of friends or their failed attempt at publishing a crappy book about werewolves or their inability to say anything positive ever, and you know what? Good. I'm not your friend. You shouldn't be telling me these things, especially not during our first conversation and especially not right off the bat. An acquaintance who listens to your problems is called a psychiatrist, so either A) get one, or B) pay me.

2. Sec Vs. Sex: So you're running a little late, and you grab your phone to tell your friend that you're almost there. You go to type something like, "Hey, sorry, I'll be there in a sec," but since you're rushing, your finger slips and hits the X instead of the C. Now you're going to be there in a sex, and sex is not typically a reliable interval of time, because I'm pretty sure different people have sex at different paces. So now your response is not only awkward, perverted, and frankly TMI, it's also really vague. Good going. 

3. Facebook Failure: You're on Facebook and you've just posted a comment on someone's picture. Rather than replying to your comment underneath the actual photograph, however, said person decides to respond via Facebook IM/text message/AIM message. You look back at the picture four months later and realize it looks like no one bothered to respond to you, and other people who see it will immediately jump to the conclusion that you've got no friends and everyone hates you. Or--similarly--when there's a big giant comment party going on on someone's status, and the second you comment, someone starts up another big giant comment party elsewhere. Now this no-longer-big-giant-comment party ends and you're the last one to have said something, so now it seems like you've single-handedly impeded the conversation at dead stop and fucked up everyone's fun. 

4. When you know a lot more about someone than you should: We're all creepers. Granted, we've all got different methods, I guess--obtaining information from gossip, lurking on social-networking sites, blatantly eavesdropping, predatory stalking--but even though we've all got these tendencies, they're still not considered "socially acceptable." So whenever we find out information about someone else, we're forced to hide it. I mean, that's cool, I guess. I don't mind doing that. But it absolutely blows when you slip up. Like when someone tells you a story you already know because you creep on their life, and you have to pretend that you're surprised to hear it, and you're pretty sure your fake-surprised face isn't the least bit convincing. Or, even worse, when someone tells you a story you've heard before and you end up mentioning a detail they never even told you. Or, quite possibly the worst, when you start talking to someone at a party or a club or because a friend brought her to hang out, and when she finally mentions her name, it takes all your self control not to yell out the phrase, "Your name is exceptionally familiar to me because you're commonly recognized for being a ho and my best friend constantly talks about hating you for sleeping with her boyfriend." 

5. When you don't know enough about someone: Like their name, for instance. Or how you know them. Or that they existed in the first place. And he or she walks up to you at a social gathering and says something like, "Hey, do you remember me?" and of course you're going to nod and mumble a bit and hope they either A) stop talking to you and walk away, or B) start up a conversation that will not require you to remember any details about this person. Now, if they do A, that's awesome, but if they do B, that still kind of sucks. Specifically because odds are, twenty-five minutes into the conversation, you're going to remember who they are and how you know them. But that's a good thing, right? Wrong. You can't even act excited or proud about the twenty-five minutes of exhausting brain-scanning you've just done, because you were supposed to have known who they were the entire time. I seriously wish it was socially acceptable for someone to be like, "Hey, do you remember me?" and for me to respond with, "No, but if you keep talking for a while, I'll probably remember, and then we can high-five over it." 

6. When Auto-correct undermines your ability to be intimidating: I mean, this one's pretty self explanatory. But that shot seriously ducking possess me off. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Things I missed about New York

1. People understand the value of time: I'm not going to claim that this is entirely consistent throughout the rest of the country; in all honesty (since one of the requirements of being a college kid is that you've got to be poor as shit) I've only been to about four restaurants outside of New York in the past year. All I'm saying is that it's probably consistent throughout the rest of the country and I actually am claiming exactly that, because all four times, we walked in. We stood there. We stood there more. We got seated. We sat. We got menus. We stared at the menus. For thirty minutes. We ordered. We sat. For an hour. We ate. We sat. We waited for the check. We sat with the check in front of us. For thirty minutes. We left. That's a good two and a half hours you've just taken out of your schedule--to eat food. If band geekdom has taught me anything throughout highschool, it's that you can eat an entire meal in less than nine minutes, because when you've got lessons during your lunch period, you've got no goddamn choice. I'm not saying that it's particularly pleasant, but it's possible. And there's no reason why something that can be done in nine minutes should be stretched out to the point where it occupies 10.41% of your day.

2. Disputes are easily avoided: If you piss someone off in a state that is not New York, more often than not, they pretend to be cool with it, but that's not actually the case. They finish the conversation, but a deep, impenetrable hatred is bubbling inside of them. They walk away. They tell all their friends how much you suck, and thus instill a deep impenetrable hatred inside all of them. Rumors start, spread, and take over. Then, one day, four months down the road, it all comes out in a blast of fury and your face gets ripped off.
If you piss off someone in a state that is New York, something like this happens:
Maria: "La la la, offensive things, blah blah racist remarks, crude humor, referencing and approval of the YouTube video where toddler gets kicked in the face, La la la."
Angsty Person: "Woah, Maria. Wait a second. You just really pissed me off."
Maria: "Wait, seriously? I'm sorry. I didn't mean to, even if you're being a pansy."
Not-Angsty-Anymore Person: "LOL It's okay. Man, I really am being a pansy. Let me make you a sammich."

3. Shower Pressure: I have reason to believe that the water in the freshman dorms was pumped through the pipes via the power of a single guinea pig on its exercise wheel. Maybe this is because I've been in the prostitution business for a while (joke) but I seriously enjoy it when my shower beats the shit out of me. I feel clean when I am bruised like a peach. I do not feel clean when gravity just barely allows me to acknowledge this activity as "hygienic." Actually, I'm decently sure that gravity doesn't even exist in the freshman showers. I'm pretty sure the stalls themselves are anti-gravity chambers. You take a shower by standing in suspended, immobile water vapor. Awesome.

4. There are actually places to go: Observe.
Here's the main road, five minutes walking distance from my college.

Now here's the main road, five minutes walking distance from my house in New York.
Yeah. Exactly. I mean, some of it's unnecessary, I guess. Miele Auto Sales and Repair?  I don't have a car. Who gives a fuck? It's there. Michael L Tumen Dpm? I don't know what that is. Whatever. The point is that New York understands the prospect of making your state important by building lots of stuff.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Things I've learned from Facebook

1. If it's posted on the internet, people care: If it's not, people don't. So you're that guy who constantly buys disposable cameras and develops a dozen rolls of film per week. That's great for you. But before you even show me a single photograph you've taken--it may be of your house, or your pets, or your children, or my children, or the Grand Canyon, or the pope, or the original Leo strut--I can tell you right off the bat that it's already been tossed into the category of I-don't-give-a-crap. However, if you upload it to an album on Facebook, I'll look at it. Multiple times. With genuine fascination, even. Yes, regardless of the subject matter. I've spent hours flipping through peoples' landscape pictures from their pointless vacations to who-the-shit-knows. No, I don't know what possessed this person to upload a picture of a some snow on a mountain. Yes, I want to look at it anyway. And you've done this too, so don't lie. The same goes for conversations. If it's small-talk coming from the table behind me in a diner, I want you to shut up. If it's the same exact small-talk, entirely verbatim, on someone's wall, I'll probably end up reading every word of it.

2. Someone is always free: Since the day you created a Facebook account, you were no longer allowed  to use the excuse, "I couldn't find plans." If you're home alone on a Saturday night, it's either because A) you made the conscious decision to spend the night watching reruns on Hulu, or B) you were too lazy to type the word "Plans" followed by a question mark into your status bar. The greatest thing about this one is that it's like sending out a who's-free poll to everyone you know. Except it's better, because then you get to choose the person who sucks the least. 

3. Alarm clocks are outdated: Meaning you don't need one if you've got Facebook. In the same way that someone's always free, someone's always awake. If you need to be up at six AM, you put it on your status and bam, you've got one personal wake-up call. If you need to be up at one PM, you put it on your status and bam, you've got eight personal wake-up calls. Which is probably for the best, because I typically sleep through half of them anyway. 

4. You don't have pictures until you have chick friends: I've spent countless hours with the metalheads-- playing Super Smash Bros, watching them play Super Smash Bros, watching mindless television, watching them watch mindless television, at crappy metal shows, playing ultimate frisbee, quoting the GI Joe PSAs--and not one minute of this time was ever documented. Why? Because I was the only female present, and, in society's eyes, I was not a proper female until I received a digital camera for Christmas this past year. Perhaps I'm still not a proper female, because I positively never have it with me. As a result, before my first year of college, the only pictures that would pop up on Facebook were A) pictures from large parties, where there were girls present, and B) pictures from high school, where there were girls present.  This is not an accurate portrayal of my life and the things I do in my free time, as an acquaintance might jump straight to the simple conclusion that I am always A) at large parties, or B) at high school. Which is A) really badass, and B) not so badass. 

5. Old people are funnier than we thought: Specifically because this is the one place where they do not know more than us. Technology as a whole is the one thing that our generation is impeccable at, and old people can't even attempt to hold a candle to us. Of course they're going to lecture about it, saying things like, "You kids spend all your time staring at a screen," and "Do you have to text people twenty-four hours a day?" First off, yes. Secondly, what they really mean is, "I am unbearably jealous that, in the time it would've taken me to pick up my ghetto house phone, flip through the address book, locate a number, call it, and ask a friend to come over and knit with me, you could have already notified every last person in your contacts list, and half of them would have already gotten in their cars by now. Which are notably faster than our horse-drawn carriages." Basically, after having to endure these and similar conversations countless times over, it's fun to watch old people attempt to use the internet. Specifically those who unintentionally post on their own walls and don't know how to delete Farmville notifications, and type in all caps and sign their names at the bottom of picture comments even though Facebook's major selling point is the fact that everything you do or say is preceded by your full name in bold, blue, cannot-physically-overlook-this text. 

6. Your self-esteem does not have to be low: Absolutely everyone has those days where shit goes horribly wrong, and people say heartless things to you, and you need to be reminded that people actually like you. Even if they don't, Facebook's got the ability to trick you into thinking that they do. Here's how you can use this to your advantage:
1. Launch the internet browser of your choice. 
2. Open two tabs. In one of them, navigate to Facebook. In the other, navigate to IMDb. 
3. Think of the most mainstream, overly-quoted, unbearably-popular film you've seen in the past several years. Suggestions: Anchorman, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Wedding Crashers, School of Rock,  Anything by Tim Burton, Spider-man, OR (overrides the last-several-years-rule) any 80's-90's old school animated Disney movie (preferably pinpoint a specific lyric from a specific song). 
4. Search said movie, copy quote, paste it into your status. 
5. Note inflation of ego while you receive shittons of notifications.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

13 Things College Has Taught Me

I got back to Massapequa last night. I unloaded my entire dorm room into the garage, and I'm here for three months. Freshman year was one huge kick to the ass, and I've learned way more in ten months somewhere else than I had in eighteen years here. Here's a list of the thirteen most important: 

1). Fun-tak is not fucking fun. College is badass because you're given an entirely empty room--nothing but blank walls, gender-neutral furniture, and a mattress that just might be stuffed with sand and crumpled magazine pages--and you can do whatever the hell you want with it. Now this isn't like when you redecorated your bedroom in third grade, because back in third grade, you liked things that were only cool for two months, like airplanes and dolphins. When everyone realized that cars were far more accessible  and dolphins weren't smart enough to keep themselves out of fishing nets, you were screwed. Now, however, you're an adult. Your interests are pretty much set in stone, and you're given the liberty of expressing yourself in a room that your parents will rarely see. For boys, this means half-naked posters of chicks with beer. For girls, this means motivational posters like "Dream" and "Be Yourself" and "Use Condoms." Either way, you're going to need some type of wall-adhesive. Fun-Tak is to Sheetrock what hydrofluoric acid is to your flesh. This shit eats through the paint, leaves blue stains, and just plain does not come off. Use tape. Tape everything. Hang things with dental floss. I don't care. Just do not use Fun-Tak. Ever. For anything. 

2). Procrastination ruins your life: This statement is not original, nor is it news to anyone. We've been learning this since elementary school, but no one ever thinks twice about pulling a project out of their ass the night before its due. Procrastination worked fine for me all throughout high school, so I figured college would be the same thing. It's seriously not. When there's a thousand-some-odd barely-legal kids living within such close proximities, there's always going to be those friends throwing snowballs at your window tempting you with promises of forts and inappropriate R-rated ice-sculptures, and there's always going to be that reckless jackass offering to deliver shots of vodka to your room in a sketchy backpack. If you're stuck doing a paper because it's due the next morning, you simply cannot partake. If you get it done as soon as it's assigned, however, you never have to feel guilty about molding genitalia out of snow. I'm not simply telling you to be responsible. I'm telling you to be responsible so you can be irresponsible later. 

3). Stop comparing school to home: If there's any one thing that has made itself painfully apparent during my freshman year, it is that Pennsylvania is not New York. New York is not Pennsylvania. The two are not even remotely similar. The people are not even remotely similar. It is a different planet. My first semester there, I was miserable. People were actually polite and I was forced to question their motives. People did everything like there was all the time in the world. People were seemingly okay with the fact that much of Collegeville's population was comprised of cows and other assorted farm animals. People were even seemingly okay with the fact that someone named said town 'Collegeville.' My high school is huge; my college is barely existent. My friends at home are metal-heads; my friends at school are Asians. I went to ska shows in New York; I went to WaWa in Pennsylvania. I was constantly trying to mesh the two together, to find some sort of balance or middle-ground, and it took me almost six months to realize that they are just not comparable. I could never be happy if I was constantly thinking about what I missed back home, so it's best to just take them both for what they are, to act as though you've got two separate lives, and to be content with the one that's in front of you. 

4). Do not forget your roots:  Even though I've placed PA and NY into two entirely different categories, that does not mean that I forgot where I came from. I'm always going to be vulgar and impatient. I'm always going to get shit for the way I say 'coffee,' 'water,' and 'radiator.' The Yankees are still superior to every team ever. I still like when tap water tastes like chemicals and people refer to sandwiches as 'sandwiches,' not goddamn hoagies. And when everyone from all over the place is tossed into the same middle-of-nowhere town, those are the kinds of things that stick out. You're better off just embracing the traits that cause the most friction, because those are the things that make people interesting in the first place.

5). Your enemies do not have to be your enemies: Do not get the wrong idea here. I love fighting with people. It's one of the most enjoyable things I can think of. Verbally ripping someone to shreds is probably the most satisfying thing ever. But there comes a point where you're just sick of hating someone, and you can't escape them, and all it does is just weigh you down. The state of your mood depends on whether or not you're stuck in their presence, and it's just a shitty time all around. In all honesty, I'm stubborn as shit, and this was the toughest thing for me to do: Just let it go. Every single person on the face of this earth--I don't care who they are unless it's Bob Saget--has some kind of redeeming qualities. Focus on those, and just make peace until you can fully and entirely separate yourself. It's just a lot of weight off your shoulders. 

6). Life is not reliable: In the span of a month, I lost one of my closest friends, I lost someone who's been by me my entire life, and I came exceptionally close to losing the one person whom I need more than anyone. And at the same time, I'm better for having experienced all three. I'm learning that the things you have right now may be pulled out from under you the very next second, because nothing is ever permanent. Appreciate the people you have around you, and let them know that you appreciate them. Most importantly, never, ever let stupid shit get in the way, because more often than not, we don't get second chances. 

7). Crying is liberating: On a similar note, when the shit hits the fan and there's nothing you can do about it, go cry somewhere. Go to a baseball field and bawl your eyes out and rip up grass or something. Throw a temper-tantrum like a little kid in a supermarket who really fucking wants that colorful name-brand cereal. I know it sounds like a pansy thing to do, but in all honesty, you just feel better. Your heads clearer. You can actually think. You can actually sleep. 

8). Befriend your RA: I'm serious about this one. It just may be the smartest thing you ever do. Think about it: Your RA is the person who has the ability to get you in trouble. It's the person who knows all the rules, but also how to successfully break them. It's the person whose room is most-likely huge, and probably pretty close to yours. Not only did I receive endless vacuum privileges, I also 

  • was permitted to stay in her room when she was not present
  • learned of loopholes and how to accurately manipulate them
  • adopted her old shoes/clothes/bags
  • missed hall meetings without [much] consequence 
  • accompanied her to parties/got to meet some really awesome kids
  • had someone credible on my side while fighting with people
  • got to feel badass when I gave someone of authority the middle finger
9). People have no shame: so don't exhaust yourself trying to judge them. Girls will wear dresses that wouldn't effectively cover a toddler. Couples will dry hump against walls in perfectly-lit rooms. People will throw up on you. College typically translates to "I do not care about the consequences of this action," so quit being surprised. No one really cares if you disapprove, anyway. 

10). Routine is key: The best way to feel at home somewhere that's not home is to find a routine and stick to it. Find friends who are always reliable, find a spot to hang out/study, and find a cyclical and balanced schedule of homework and hackysack/stumbleupon/guitar. The faster you establish some kind of drill, the faster you can feel like you belong there. 

11). Television makes you socially retarded: Self explanatory.

12). Move-in day is the worst day ever. Move-out day is not: Move-in day is hot and sweaty and gross and there's stairs and countless things to carry, and then your parents leave you there and you have no friends and you do your best to unpack everything you own and then you just sit on your bed and reflect on how much your life sucks right now. You spend a year getting acquainted with classes, professors, friends, and yourself, and somewhere down the line, things cease sucking so hard. By move-out day, you've learned how to efficiently pack up your things in neat, rectangular cases, so everything fits like Tetris in your car. You've learned everyone's name in your hall, and it's way less lonely while everyone's stuff is waiting in the hallway. Most importantly, you've got people to say goodbye to, and things to look forward to, and a Neil and a Michelle and a Jong and a Kelsey and a Steve to help you move your whole dorm out to the parking lot. 

13). Going away is the best thing you'll ever do: Not only does it give you a fresh perspective on things and a new panorama to look at, it makes you appreciate the people and places you left behind. It tosses you into an experience and that's it--you're stuck there, so you've got no choice but to make progress. You've got no choice but to change your habits and yourself. It makes you realize that the world is nowhere near as small as you thought it was, and the problems you always thought were big are infinitesimal in comparison. You realize that no one's got it figured out any more than you do, and the best thing you can do is try to experience everything that gets thrown in your general direction. Also, curfews are non-existent and stuff. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Words I love

So my first post was about words I hated, and there was a significant amount of ranting and vulgarity and angst.  On the flip-side, though, there's tons of words I sincerely appreciate--words that are just so perfect and explanatory that if these words didn't exist, there would be positively no alternate way of saying what you wanted to. Here's the list so far:

Shit-ton: This term should be annexed into math/science textbooks as a legitimate and functional unit of measurement. Why? It's an end-all to every quantity question ever. Observe:
Your mom: How many people were at your jazz band concert?
You: I dunno. A lot.
Your mom: Well, how much is a lot?
You: I don't know. I didn't count them.
Your mom: Well, if you had to guess. 
You: A shit-ton.
Your mom: Based on the information you have just provided me with, I was able to conclude that if there are sixteen members in the jazz band (3 trombonists + 5 saxophonists + 1 pianist + 2 percussionists +1 flutist + 3 trumpeters + 1 bassist) and every member brings approximately two parents and one friend, there are four dozen individuals in the audience. One must also account for that one specific person who always invites his four sisters, two brothers, extended family (two grandparents, aunt, uncle, twice-removed adopted cousin who is visiting from Indonesia) and neighbor. Then, on average, there are eight and a half senior citizens who attend free college-band events (the 1/2 because he or she is too senile to stay awake) and this brings our total to 68.5 attendees. Your answer was detailed and abundant; I thank you for this riveting conversation, and here's an extra $40 to add to your allowance this week. 
Now I know what you're thinking. That scenario is a tad bit unrealistic. Why? Because I didn't specify whether the unit of "shit-ton" was standard or metric. To that I say, "Both. Simultaneously." That's how awesome this word is. 

Spew: I love this word because it's just so visual. I don't particularly think that there's any word in the English language that can match its genius, but the thesaurus futilely suggests: belch, bring up, cascade, disgorge, eject, eruct, erupt, expel, flood, gush, heave, irrupt, puke, regurgitate, scatter, spit, spit up, spread, spritz, throw up, urp, vomit. Now picture this scenario: You're sitting at your computer around eleven o'clock at night. You're on the chan. You're shoving your face with Cheetos and Gatorade because it's the only thing you have in your house and your existence is pitiful. The following image comes up on your screen: 
Gatorade had previously been making its way down your throat, but now you've gone and spewed it out of every orifice from the neck up. Analyze that list of supposed synonyms, momentarily switch them in where the word 'spewed' was, and see if you get anywhere as vivid of an image. Or you could take my word for it, because you won't get anywhere as vivid of an image. 

Shenanigans: This word is vague, but I'm pretty sure that's the point. It's ambiguous enough that you don't know what's coming, but you can almost always assume that it will involve A) flammable materials, B) tranquilizer darts, C) cop cars, D) alcoholic beverages, E) explosives, F) concussed people, G) the removal and trade of human organs, H) All of the aforementioned as well as any other object that would expectedly be confiscated by airport security. If you ask someone what they're up to, and they respond with "Shenanigans," either get in on that shit (to avoid becoming the target) or remove yourself from the premises.

Asshat: There's tons of threats and insults that include "ass" and/or the act of shoving something there. Asshole, assface, shove it up your ass, my foot in your ass (© Red Forman). Perhaps the most effective, however, is when the threat/insult includes (rather than an external object) a part of the target being shoved up the target's ass. This is perhaps more degrading, as it assumes a complete lack of control of one's own appendages/parts, and therefore absolute helplessness. You could take the time to stand there and explain to the person, "I am going to shove your head so far up your ass, you will (place witty effect of ass-shoving here)." Or, you could simply save your breath and call someone an Asshat, which UrbanDictionary describes as, "One who has his head up his ass. Thus wearing his ass as a hat. Asshat." Effective, graphic, and to-the-point. 

Angst: The thesaurus says: Weltschmerz, agony, apprehension, blues, depression, dread, mid-life crisis, misgiving, nervousness, uneasiness. I don't know that the hell Weltschmerz is (if I had to guess, I'd put my money on a Crayola color in the Crayola 800ct box--a sort of mix between mustard yellow and pea-soup green) but the rest of these words do not even do it justice. Angst is a perfect visual of an emo kid in a dark corner, Mussolini when he knew he was fucked after he was captured near Lago Di Como, this cat:

Words like "agony" and "misgiving" and "depression" do not even come close. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011



I was positive I was ready for that. But I actually wasn't. Well, I expected it. But I wasn't prepared. I knew it was coming. I was just hoping it was going to be after I saw him. Two more weeks, and I would've been by the kid's side.

I was alright when I found out. Then I was wreck. Then I was alright again, and then I broke down again. Eleven I'm-here-for-you's, three conversations about life, fourteen amazing hugs, two skipped classes, one on-the-house-coffee from Ryan, and a shitton of thinking later, I think I'm alright again. I think I'll stay alright for a while. He had one hell of a tough life, and he was in a lot of pain before he went. If anyone deserves to know what it feels like to be without suffering, it's him. I have complete faith in the fact that he's being taken care of now.

I think I'll still drive up to the Peg this summer. Just to see his friends and where he lived. I'm praying for them, too. I can't imagine how rough it must be for them. Those guys are like one huge [ridiculously insane] family. I've never seen guys take care of each other like that.

I already miss him a whole lot. He did way more for me than he realized. We're both different people because of each other, and I'm so glad he was clean when he went. He was going to be twenty in May, and I guess he didn't get too fair of a shot at life, but at least he never held back from anything. That kid had bigger balls than anyone I've ever met in my entire life.

2/23/2011 12:06:32 AM But I wanted to say to you That I love you so so so much And thanks for making me do the things I didn't want to do And all that mushy crap

4/19/2011 <3 Neil Driedger, I love you, I miss you, rest in peace.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


PostSecret's insane sometimes; this is the epitome of what I'm feeling about this whole thing. I know for a fact that he'll be alright--or rather, that he won't be alright, but I'll be alright with it. I just need to see him first, and the last thing I want is to run out of time. May really just can't come soon enough. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So this morning I was in an exceptionally shitty mood. I was talking to this guy, and he said if I gave him a topic for discussion, he'd do his best to make me feel better. Turns out Google's good for fixing everything. Yeah, even failed attempts at a conversation. It's got a "conversation generator," and the first question (statement) to pop up was, "Describe your element." 

The other day I was sitting in someone's dorm room in my pajamas with my glasses, a book, my guitar, and a cup of coffee. I was entirely comfortable, entirely relaxed, and entirely in my element.  

I've been trying to pay close attention to what kinds of situations and people put me at ease, and what kinds of situations and people give me the overwhelming urge to tranquilize someone in the jugular. The more I think about it, the more the concept of "element" intrigues me. Some people are so shit-scared of doing the things that I do every single day, and other people are so comfortable doing the things that I'd never, ever try--mostly for fear of getting so nervous I throw up everywhere. What a classy paragraph. 

I asked roughly three hundred people the following question: 
When are you entirely in your element? As in, what kind of situation puts you in a mindset of absolute comfortability? When are you most productive, or most inspired?

Below are the funniest, most honest, most generic, most well-thought-out answers I got. 
  • "When I and everyone else are about 4 days into extreme exhaustion, like when I work a festival or a whole 2 week install. And I get my most deliriously hilarious, and no one else can stop me from making jokes about Rape Hitler."
  • "Pwning noobs."
  • "When I'm with [my boyfriend] in his room and I'm doing work while he plays games. And I eat his truffles and read."
  • "When I'm naked... Or do you want a serious answer? Joking aside, when I'm with other people, in good company."
  • "When I'm alone after someone said something really stupid. Then my mind works in a rational way and I can think of come-backs I should've said."
  • "When I'm well-rested and well-fed."
  • "I would say on my walks, especially by the lake or on a beach. Very at peace and things just seem clearer."
  • "When I'm with people who I can say anything to without being judged."
  • "I am not really sure. It just kind of happens every once in a while. Sometimes it's when I am high or on drugs, but more times it is just at some point this feeling comes over me and I just feel like I am in a thrill of ecstasy and I just produce something I feel really good about. Most times it is stimulated by music. Not anything in particular, just what I seem to be feeling the most at that moment."
  • "When I'm going 150 miles per hour."
  • "While I'm getting some."
  • "When I've got hard dance music on and I'm smoking a joint, honestly."
  • "While I'm at band practice."
  • "When I'm writing, especially if it's outside in the garden with some classic punk music playing. And it's sunny. Sunny, but not hot."
  • "Honestly, I'm kind of weird. Adrenalin makes me like, really calm. And focused. So situations that other people find stressful. Things that should get my heart going, but they just don't."
  • "Err... Guitar?"
  • "When I'm in my mother's basement, living off fish sticks and cream soda. My path is kind of gritty, you see."
  • "When I'm alone. And I mean alone alone. No one within a 2-mile radius." 
  • "At church. Not even lying."
  • "Why are you even asking? Fucking while stoned."
  • "While cycling. Or while having a bath. After cycling."
  • "In my element while watching Baywatch. The Hoff inspires me. And most productive while naked."
  • "Fire. Earth. Wind. Water. Captain Planet. The power is yours."
  • "On a stage, with good musicians, and a decent bass-rig, keyboard setup, or drum kit for me to jam with."
  • "When you're at the movie theater, because movies inspire everyone. And it's just you, focusing on the movie. It reflects something going on in your life, and it just causes an epiphany." 
  • "Marching band. Nuff said."
  • "When I'm not hearing anything. My brain works faster."
  • "When I feel liked, or appreciated, or admired."
  • "I'm entirely in my element when I'm in the shower. Because I'm just completely relaxed and I come up with my best ideas. Because I'm just clean and I can focus on nothing else but whatever I choose to. If that makes any sense."
  • "At the cottage by the lake, no worries, no work. Beers, good cooked food, a fire pit or BBQ... That's when I'm in my element and most comfortable. However, highly unproductive."
  • "When I drink shittons of energy drinks."
  • "What kind of gay-ass question is that?"
  • "When I'm in an airplane."
  • "In the water. Probably the sea."
  • "Acting. Pretending to be someone who's not me at all."
  • "At night. Maybe two AM. Doing music-producer stuff."
  • "When I'm in a small group of friends. Or when I'm drawing or just a little bit high."
  • "When I'm not doing anything."
  • "With my family."
  • "When I'm not Donnie. Definitely not productive. Inspired."
  • "When I'm taking an exam for a subject that I'm fucking boss at."
  • "When I'm shooting motherfuckers like it's cool."
  • "When I'm talking about a book with someone who's read it too."
  • "When I fap. Fapfapfapfap."
  • "I guess a situation of absolute comfortability would be when I'm laying down at night, right before I go to sleep. That's generally when I try to summarize the days events, interesting or not. As for when I'm most inspired, that really only comes with me being interested in a girl."
  • "When I have limited time to do something, and everyone's telling me I'm screwed. Then I get it done just to prove those bastards wrong."

Sunday, April 10, 2011


  • Laughing fits that make your stomach hurt like a bitch.
  • Exceptionally generic college activities (i.e. getting a grill, putting it in the middle of the quad, and sitting around it with lawn chairs, a guitar, and disproportionate levels of cheap fruit punch and vodka). 
  • Digressing to really pointless conversational topics that ignore the weight of reality, make me feel like a fucking moron when I laugh alone in public, and ultimately remind me of the way we were before you got sick. 
  •  The realization that you've been somewhere for nine months and you've already met six people that mean everything to you. 
  • Falling into a routine again.
  • Coffee and shitty wifi radio and daily verbal abuse. 
  • Having parents and a brother who continually save your ass. And text you to say they miss you. 
  • When people's habits start to rub off on you, and yours on them, so much so that they know when you're going to say something vulgar before you even think of it. 
  • The realization that, even though you've felt like you've been static for the past year, you've actually made a lot of progress.
  • Having things and changes to look forward to.
  • Coming to terms with the fact that you practically have two separate lives and you'll never be able to combine them, but it's probably better off that way. 
  • Stumbleupon. Crafttime. The Beatles. 
  • Improvement with empathy and controlling your mood at any given moment. 
  • People who like doing nothing just as much as you do. 
  • Writing on your arm in sharpie and waking up with it smooshed (backwards) onto your face. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011


So I've got a bunch of these things I do. They're not sensible and they're not efficient, and yet I do the exact same thing every time I'm presented with the given situation. I guess I want to know if other people have the same tendencies.

1. Whenever something breaks, I get some tacky glue. I apply some tacky glue. I connect the two parts with the tacky glue. I spend about thirty seconds applying pressure, and then I put it down. I stare at it for thirty more seconds. I pick up the object, and, even though I'm damn well positive the glue is not dry, I decide to make sure. I twist the broken part to see if the glue has taken hold. It hasn't. It breaks again. I glue it again. I repeat the process until I decide that the object is not worth fixing anyway.

2. I turn on the TV. The default channel is something stupid, and I don't want to be watching it. I desperately start looking for something else to watch, and when I find something, I change the channel. I immediately feel an empty spot inside of me, as though I'm missing something that's happening on the channel I just switched from.

3. It's August, about ninety seven degrees in my house, and it's too hot to breathe. I'd kill to be able to shed my skin, because that's how goddamn hot it is. Blanket is necessary for sleeping.

4. Earliest class at ten. I never have any intention of getting up any earlier than nine fifteen. I feel the need to set an alarm to go off an hour and a half prior.

5. When I'm waiting for a program to load, I feel the need to click and drag on my desktop so my mouse makes box shapes, even though I know it's making the computer load slower.

6. Whenever I can't sleep, I look at the clock and try to calculate exactly how much sleep I'll get if I fall asleep exactly at that second. The math takes me about two minutes, and then I find that I'm dissatisfied with the answer, and then I get worked up, and then I'm not tired anymore.

7. It's 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon, and I have a shitton of homework to do. Except I'm on Stumbleupon, so I decide I'll start my homework at 3:00. Next time I look at the clock, it's 3:02. Since I missed 3:00, the most efficient thing to do is to change the deadline to 3:30, because I can't start unless it's at the time I said it was going to be.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Words I Cannot Stand

I figure my first post on here should be something that says a whole lot about the kind of person I am. After reflecting upon the two most important aspects of my life,
1. I aspire to write
2. I am a New Yorker
I figured I should write about something that corresponds with the aforementioned attributes. See below.
1. Something pertaining to vocabulary
2. Something that allows room for excessive complaining
I've compiled a list of words that bother the crap out of me; I'm going to try my hardest to explain why they bother the crap out of me.  

1. Junk: Not only is this word particularly vague and does positively nothing as far evoking any imagery whatsoever (except maybe your creepy neighbor's crawl-space filled with useless shit) it just sounds gross. It sounds like when you buy a carton of Ben and Jerry's that's way too big for one person, so you take it in and out of the freezer until it thaws and freezes sixteen times over; then it gets all rubbery and sticks to your throat and tastes like used erasers. 

2. Moist: This might be one of the worst words in the English language. Nothing "moist" is ever good. Ever. When people and companies try to market things using the word "moist" (bakeries, cake mixes, Paula Dean) it is the biggest turn-off ever. Flooded basements are moist. Sponges underneath the sink are moist. A lax bro's gym clothes are moist. Happy things like cupcakes and cookies should not be moist. 

3. Loaf: First off, no serious word should ever end in F. Barf. Dwarf. Goof. No. People try to disguise this word in phrases so it doesn't sound awkward. "Loaf of bread," or "Loaf pan," but go ahead and say it on its own. Yeah, that's what I thought. The Free Dictionary defines this word as: A shaped, usually rounded or oblong, mass of food. Oblong Mass of food. That's disgusting. Foods should be round (crabcakes) or square (Ellios pizza) or blob-shaped (mashed potatoes). Never, ever, should a food be described as "oblong." The definition then goes on to say that the phrase "Loaf of bread" originally started as "loaf-mass" and there was a dude (otherwise referred to as "keeper of bread") who was called a "loaf-ward." I feel like if someone walked up to me, pointed in my face, and said, "you're a loaf-ward," I'd be more offended than if he used the most vulgar, unspeakable, tasteless insult he could think of. 

4. Stinky: This is a "mom word." Moms use it when they're trying to sensor themselves around their kids. Rather than saying, "That blows really hard," or "that smells like crap," or "that is the worst quality hamburger I've ever unfortunately ordered off a drive-through menu," they say, "that's stinky." Personally, I just think it sounds stupid. People shouldn't say this word unless they're six years old or they've recently popped out a bunch of toddlers. 

5. Meow: Technically, I guess this is more of an onomatopoeia than anything else. Still, it really shouldn't be used unless you are speaking specifically about a noise that a cat has made. Example: "This morning I woke up to my cat making meow-noises." Never should this word be used as filler in a conversation. If you don't have anything to say, I'd rather you just type, "lol." Or, you know, don't say anything at all. Maybe the conversation is supposed to end there. Never try to get my attention by saying "meow" to me. You are a human being. If you want my attention, try, "Hey, Maria," or "You there," or "Look over here." Don't rawr at me, either. 

6. Obnoxious: This word has its place. There are times when it should be used. When there is a couple in a restaurant whose baby has been crying for ten minutes and no one has done a thing about it, or when a group of girls feels the need to be louder than the rest of the cafeteria because every word that exits their mouths is the funniest thing ever, then obnoxious is the appropriate terminology. However, this word cannot be interchangeable with every adjective ever. Not everything can be obnoxious. Try a thesaurus. How about abhorrent, grating, loathsome, displeasing, cursive, offensive; the possibilities are endless. 

7. Hummus: A dip made of mashed chickpeas. I've heard it's good. I've never tried it. Probably because it's called Hummus. It sounds like the name of a plague. Or, better yet, an STD. "I went to this insane party last night, bro. I don't really remember what happened, but I think a chick gave me Hummus. Yep. That's right. I got the Hums."

8. Really: I'm not talking about when people use this as an adverb. Or as an intensifier, or in place of the phrase, "In fact." I'm talking about when this is someone's solitary reaction. When someone responds with nothing more than, "Really? Really!?" I'm not going to lie. I've been guilty of this myself; sometimes people are just so stupid that you can't wrap your head around it. But when you're in a situation where A) one's intentions are more than clear, and B) the reality of the situation is not questionable at all, please do not use the response, "Really?" I was once standing idly in the mall's food court, and a fight broke out between two boys. Boy 1 decked Boy 2 directly in the face, and Boy 2's response was, "Really? Really!?" Yes, fucking really. To me, that says, "The certainty of what you've just done hasn't yet sunk in. In order to further your point, by all means, please, punch my face again." 

9. Personally: I had this chick in one of my classes who began every comment with, "Well, like... Personally, for me..." Unnecessary. We know it's your personal opinion. It's coming from your goddamn mouth. I don't know of anyone whose opinion is not personal. On a separate note, if you're starting a sentence with, "Don't take this personally, but," odds are you already know that what's coming out of your mouth will be categorized as offensive. You also know that the receiver of your comment will in fact take it personally, and will A) break down over their self-esteem and you'll be forced to console them, or B) purposely fire back with something that you'll take personally, and they'll introduce it with, "Don't take this personally, but." Then it'll be a never-ending cycle of politely-introduced insults, and you'll both want to kill yourselves. 

10. Rack, Cleavage, Shaft, Screw: I've grouped these words together because they're all words that should not be used as everyday G-rated terms. I don't care if you're talking about a rack of CDs, the splitting of crystalline materials, the narrow part of a spear, or a metal fastener. I have the maturity level of a thirteen year old boy. I will laugh, no matter the context. If these words had only one single connotation, I wouldn't feel like an immature perv every time they came up in conversation during family dinners. 

I've reached a generic I'm-listing-stuff number, and I think I'll stop here. Instead I'll apologize for the opposition between this layout and this blog post (Your initial reaction: dull colors and outlines of birds, she'll probably say something brooding and insightful and annoyingly vague, like "Do not stand at my grave! I breathe my last breath for you! This blog in reality: Woops. Nope, that's bullshit) and then I'll be on my way. Thanks for reading.