What You Don’t Know Yet

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The death stare of a demon in cat form.

Week 34

This post comes about a month after it would have made sense, but I’ve decided to share a number of things – trivialities, life lessons and general observations – I’ve learned in the past year. And I’ve decided to share them in the form of notes to last year’s me. Bear with me; you might learn something (no promises).

Dear Me,

Here are some things you’re about to find out:

  • You think you’re moving to San Diego in April. Surprise! You’re not.
  • Cost of living is a lot more important in deciding where to move than you thought. (The goal is to have a roof and be able to eat.)
  • Just because you move into your first “grown up” apartment and pay your own bills does not mean you will magically feel like a real adult. You will enjoy Fruit Loops as much as ever and sorting laundry by color will remain unnecessary.
  • You will make friends. Eventually. You and Evan will not be stuck going to bars and restaurants by yourselves forever. At some point, people will even stop mistaking you for a couple. (Note to Evan: Some people will, however, continue to think you’re gay.)
  • It takes a couple weeks to find a job, but you do get hired, so try not to stress too much. Enjoy those first three weeks of wandering around the apartment in your underwear. We both know all those naps are in no way a waste of time.
  • You will miss your animals once you leave Delaware. Because of this, you will adopt a rescued kitten. You will be told it is a boy. It is not. Soren is most definitely a girl and she continues to show no signs of losing her bitchiness with age. (P.S. Don’t get attached to the blinds.)
  • Through your job, you will learn a lot about infants. Most importantly, speed is critical when switching diapers. On a related note, keep a change of clothes in the car; you will be too slow more than once.
  • You (Mom) will decide that you should apply to MUSC for Occupational Therapy. This means you have to take a couple prereqs at the community college. Your teacher will make grievous pronunciation errors and you will spend the majority of your time in class daydreaming about what you’ll eat for dinner. But you’ll make it through without dying of boredom or hunger (although there are a few close calls).
  • Somehow, MUSC accepts you into its program and you get very excited. This excitement is soon somewhat tempered when you realize this means two more years of school. Just remember, we don’t want to be a nanny forever, so suck it up; we need this.
  • You’re generally exceedingly boring, but there will be a few occasions where you drink considerably more than is wise. You will hate yourself in the morning and feel like you want to die. Try to remember that you will eventually feel human again (although your stomach will take longer to forgive you than your head).
  • Evan will convince you to join a co-ed soccer team. You will be nervous because you haven’t played in years. You’ll probably suck at first (no one will give you a straight answer on this), but you’re gonna love it. Exercise that’s actually enjoyable is a rare experience; stick with it.

There are tons of other things you’ll figure out this next year, but I either can’t remember them at the moment or am too lazy to write them all (a bit of both really). Regardless, enjoy yourself and try not to worry about the small stuff (we both know you will anyway).

See you next year when you’re me,

Me

P.S. You’re still as big of an oaf as ever. We really should consider investing in a bib or smock for eating purposes. I’m serious.

Christmas Lights, Baby Puke and Sub-par Bowling

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Who, I wonder, is in charge of enforcement…and how?

Week 33

I procrastinated again. Also, I’m feeling extremely – and totally unjustifiably – lazy this evening. And so I will, with all due shame at my utter sloth, run through the few notable moments of my last fortnight in bullet points. Apologies.

  • My family visited Charleston’s apparently famed light display. It boasts over two million Christmas lights, a replica of the Ravenel Bridge and a peculiar abundance of decorations with horribly deformed faces. (Not to potential drive-through light display visitors: If your brakes screech, you will instantly become the target of intense, almost psychotic rage from your fellow patrons. This rage will not be unwarranted, I assure you.)
  • We celebrated New Year’s as a family in true McGann fashion. We ate egregiously, drank copiously and went home well before midnight. (Even I admit, lying in bed, tipsily watching the clock on my computer move toward twelve with half-closed eyes, is not the most excitement-laden countdown I’ve ever experienced. It was arguably the most comfortable though.)
  • The baby has been sick for the past week or so. For the most part, this has just meant I was dealing with extra snot, fussy eating and even more grunting than usual. In addition though, I am now privy to the knowledge that sweet potato-apricot vomit can successfully be removed from Converses by way of a trip through the washing machine. (The wash didn’t manage to remove the blood stain (from an non-baby-related incident, don’t worry) however).
  • Jade came back from England. She promised to bring back sweets. I was unaware that she meant all of them. I am now at significant risk of developing diabetes while England is presumably puzzling over the massive shortage of sugar in its supermarkets. (With so much to get through, chocolate for breakfast is practically a civic duty, not the irresponsible act it seems.)
  • Friday night, Evan and I went bowling with friends. Two couples and the two of us. Sadly, this scenario occurs more often than either of us cares to admit. Regardless, I sucked. Not, however, as badly as George. I didn’t come dead last either game, so I consider the night a success. (Note to all twelve year old boys in bowling alleys: You’re not funny, your fucking around is incredibly irritating and your grandmother/chaperon completely mitigates any shred of coolness you evidently though you had.)

With that, I have essentially covered the highlights of the past two weeks. I even included witty parenthetical asides. Lazy but effective, no?

Christmas, Illegal Cookies and the Magic of Skype

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Evidently, I found this guy’s Santa costume unconvincing.

Week 32

I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned it at some point, but I am pathetically technologically impaired. If it wasn’t so often frustrating, it would be funny how inept I am at operating the very electronics my generation is supposed to thrive on. In my defense, I have a Facebook, I can text fairly quickly and – after much persuasion – I have even learned to used Snap Chat. (Did you know you can take videos, not just pictures??) But throw anything more complicated than Microsoft Word at me and chances are I’ll be stumped as a forest after a beaver family reunion. With that in mind, you should have no trouble imagining my skepticism regarding my potential ability to adequately work the puzzling operating system that is Skype. Admittedly, it is not all that puzzling; it is, in fact, designed to be exceedingly user-friendly. But I know me. And I know my strange penchant for screwing up seemingly foolproof electronic devices. (I have, on multiple occasions and despite repeated instructions and demonstrations, been unable to turn on my sister’s TV; her four year old stepson can do it.) Suffice it to say I was prepared to crash it. So, picture my delight – and ill-concealed surprise – when, on nearly my first try, I managed to place a successful call (admission – I may have been given aid in the form of instructions).

Jade is visiting home in England and has been for the last few weeks. Since my initial intrepid encounter with it, Skype and I have become fast friends. Or as fast of friends as a human and a computer application can be, which is to say Skype doesn’t give a single shit about me but I am very dependent on it for its ability to connect me to Jade. No matter the status of our friendship/lack thereof, I have actually been able to operate Skype without once causing it to self-destruct (a major victory in the saga of my interactions with technology). What’s more, I’ve come to learn some of its quirks and less obvious uses. For instance, I now know that a door closing in the apartment of one Skype user – while not loud at all at the location of closure – is practically ear-splitting to the other Skypee (this may also have a little to do with the use of headphones, but still). I have also learned that knocking on your computer screen is a highly effective way to wake the aforementioned Skypee, should she fall asleep while on camera (with the added benefit of watching her startled reaction to the apparently extremely amplified noise). Yes, I have now achieved mastery of an electronic thing through (largely) my own wit and I am unjustifiably proud of this fact. Today Skype; soon, who knows, maybe I’ll figure out what Twitter is actually good for.

Since Jade is in England, she has promised to bring back things she can get there that I can’t get in the states. From what I gather, these things consist mainly of European chocolate and a kind of fruity alcohol drink called WKD. I know I can’t compete with such foreign delicacies, but I was determined, during my recent trip home to Maryland for Christmas, to find Maryland-y things to bring back in return. This nearly immediately proved trickier than I had imagined. After spending a good deal of time (about half an hour, but this is ages to a three year old ad I didn’t say who’s concept of time I was going by) wracking my brain for products unique to my home state, I had compiled a sad little list – sad for both its brevity and the overall desirability (or lack thereof) of its contents. My grand list consisted of: crab chips, Old Bay, Goetze’s caramels, something Orioles-related, Natty Boh and Berger cookies. I had no trouble knocking out the first three items my first day home and I crossed off the next two over the course of the week. Berger cookies, however, posed a bit of an unexpected problem.

Berger cookies, in case you are unfortunate enough not to know, are a magical combination of buttery cookie and heart-murderingly dense chocolate fudge. In short, bits of heaven (assuming heaven is milk-dunkable). To be fair, I haven’t tasted these cookies in at least a decade, so I might be overstating things. I choose to think not. Either way, imagine my horror (truthfully, mild frustration) when a Wegman’s employee informed me that they no longer stocked them. Something, he said, about the ludicrous amounts of trans fat in the recipe. Trans-fat schmans-fat; if they were good before they’ll be good now and public health be damned. Alas, Wegman’s seems not to have accounted for my feelings on the matter when making this decision. I needed to look elsewhere. When I got home, I researched (googled and then skimmed the results) the issue with the recipe and where to find the now-elusive treats. Another grocery store in town was listed as carrying them and so, with slight trepidation and a great deal of hope, I entered this second store, fingers crossed like a true fat-kid-at-heart. They weren’t in the cookie aisle. Damn. But then I remembered that I am allowed – nay encouraged – to speak to store employees if I have questions. I tried this and one kindly, middle-aged font of wisdom directed me to aisle 16 and there they were. Clutching my hard-earned (I’m exaggerating again) prize, I made my jubilant exit, added the cookies to my other “treasures” of the Chesapeake and called it a day. These Berger cookies had better be fucking transcendent.

I mentioned – actually the whole last story revolved around – the fact that I went home to Maryland this past week. Going back to my hometown is always a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, despite spending nearly my entire childhood there, my hometown is not a place that particularly inspires great fondness in my heart. Other than the fact that it’s where I grew up, it’s not all that unique when compared to any other small town in America. I have lots of good memories based there, but it’s the people that I miss, not the place. Which brings me to the other hand: the people. Going home means getting to see family and friends that I otherwise see only once or twice a year. I get to visit almost all of my extended family in one fell swoop and catch up with my high school friends to boot.

Christmas and Christmas Eve are dedicated to family parties, but the other days I’m in town I try to spend doing things with my old comrades. These things usually involve food and/or alcohol. This year was no different. The night before Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve Eve?), Evan and I met six of our closest friends from high school at one of the only bars in town. Although most definitively not a high brow establishment, Looney’s is the place to see and be seen, whether you want to or not. Thus, during the course of our several hours of patronization, we ran into (or saw but pretended not to see) a number of other former classmates. Many of these were people we liked fine but never really spoke to. Unfortunately (at least I consider it so), social etiquette dictates that we speak briefly with these people. This is called small talk. I call it painfully awkward. Nevertheless, I found myself engaged in a benign enough variant of it on this occasion. Nicole, it soon became apparent, did not share my c’est la vie attitude. After about ten minutes of exchanging the requisite pleasantries with yet another group of former schoolmates (all the while trying nonchalantly to ascertain who was becoming successful and who still lived at home – no judgment), she turned to me and Hannah and, in a tone of utmost exasperation, declared: “I’m tired of pretending to care about people I was never even friends with! Can we go now?” Mildly amused and only marginally taken aback (she is Nicole, after all), I agreed that yes, I too had had enough small talk. We gathered Erika and the four of us made our excuses and fled.

I didn’t see any friends for the next two days, occupied as I was with family events. Thursday though, my last night in town, I was determined to get Indian for dinner. Not just any Indian food. No. For almost a month, since I had remembered its existence, I had been craving Sizzling Bombay’s salmon tikka masala with an almost shameful fervor. But I was not ashamed. I had my heart set on it and I was going to get it or be dragged back to South Carolina, bitching the whole way. Thus it was that I invited Hannah and Nicole along and we found ourselves, of a Thursday evening, seated in a three-quarters empty Indian restaurant, me nearly drooling in anticipation, Nicole eyeing her unfamiliar surroundings warily and Hannah sitting amiably, neither bemused nor particularly excited. No matter, I was excited enough for all three of us. By the time our food arrived, I was only barely stopped from gluttonously annihilating my salmon tikka by a firmly entrenched sense of social decency. But only just. While I set to work spooning mounds of rice, curry and fish onto my plate, my companions began to eat much less enthusiastically. At first, so deliriously preoccupied was I with shoveling down my own dinner, I didn’t notice their relative reticence. Once I had consumed enough to regain a moderate awareness of my environment however, the situation seemed almost farcical. Nicole who, for some inexplicable reason had decided an Indian restaurant was a good place to order tomato soup, was half-heartedly dipping small pieces of roti while Hannah, who had at least ordered chicken curry, slowly ate about ten bites before pushing her plate away. This while I sat next to them, scooping heaps of creamy curry with great pieces of garlic naan and propelling the whole mess into my mouth with decidedly unseemly gusto. I might’ve laughed if I hadn’t suddenly felt self-conscious (plus, I would’ve sprayed my friends with salmon bits). All the same, I got to spend one more night with two of my best friends (Nicole and Salmon Tikka, but Hannah was there too) before heading back to Charleston. Home may not hold much for me in the way of location, but it’s always a bit sad leaving a place occupied by so many of the people you love. But hey, at least I got my Indian food.

Couches, Hobbits and College Friends

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Christmas will have passed by the next time I post. Consider this delightful polaroid my homage to the holidays.

Week 31

I remembered Blog Day this time. Of course, remembering and actually doing something about it are two entirely separate matters. I woke with the best of intentions; I was gonna have this post written, typed and published by mid-afternoon at the latest. The first problem with this plan was that, intentions aside, I woke on the couch. It has been my experience that a couch is never an ideal place to begin a productive day. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I have not once arisen from a night spent on a piece of furniture that was not a bed and gone on to accomplish anything notable that day.

At least, this particular morning, waking on the couch was by choice (and it was my own couch to boot). Melanie and Ariel came to visit and, in quite possibly my only gracious move as host (I called first shower and I am not ashamed), I gave them my bed. Don’t misunderstand, I have no serious qualms about spending the occasional night with my feet hanging off the end of an armrest while the cat stealthily adds to the litany of scratches she has so lovingly imparted upon my hands and arms (I seriously don’t know how/when she did this). I really dont. It’s simply that couch-sleep and to-do lists are essentially mutually exclusive. So it happens that I’m a bit later writing this than intended. At least I’m managing to do so at all, right?

Anyway, as I’ve already mentioned, we had visitors this weekend. Mel invited herself and her roommate, Ariel, down for the weekend and we were only too happy to have them (visitors are rare for us). They were really only here for Saturday, but we filled the day with all the fun sorts of things dorky twenty-somethings-who-are-really-senior-citizens-at-heart love best. We began the day with festive pumpkin spice pancakes (from a box; we’re not gourmands), coffee and a board game. The rest of the morning was spent half-watching reruns of The Brady Bunch and Golden Girls while looking up Jimmy Kimmel videos on YouTube. The afternoon was passed at the movies, watching the second part of The Hobbit trilogy (it wasn’t exactly boring, but I did seriously debate the relative merits of watching versus catching up on sleep in the surprisingly comfy and spacious theater seat; only the fact that I never want to have to say I paid for a nap kept my eyes open for all – ok most – of the two and a half hours). Later that evening, after ordering Domino’s and playing more board games, we got ourselves ready for a rare nighttime venture into the city. In an unexpected moment of magnanimity, I offered to DD. So it was that I allowed myself a Smirnoff Ice while my friends took their shots of Fireball, made a pit stop for a 5 Hour Energy and drove the group downtown for several hours of great conversation and general merriment-making over excellent (read: criminally expensive) drinks. By the time we got back to the car and made our way home, it was after 1:30. The guys stayed for one final beer and then, finally, after literally beating Mel off my bed (couch) with my pillow, I laid down to sleep at a quarter past two.

I managed over six hours of rest but, despite three cups of coffee and a rousing, if incredibly drawn-out, game of Canasta (I already said we were secretly old people, didn’t I?), I’m still flagging and it’s not even eight. Weekends where I actually do exciting (I’ll admit, the word is subjective) things are relatively few and far between, making them all the more sweet when they happen. But, if I’m being honest, two nights on a couch, coupled with a busy Saturday, is enough to leave me exhausted. I won’t be surprised if I don’t see ten o’clock tonight. Ah, the action-packed life I lead; I really should have my own reality show by now.

Grad School, Forgetfulness and a McThanksgiving

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Out of curiosity: has no one else realized the possibility of using a sweatshirt as emergency pants?

Week 30

I’ll start with an apology – which I seem to do a good deal with these posts, don’t I? It’s after nine on Sunday and I absolutely forgot today was Blog Day. You’d think a bi-monthly post goal was setting the bar low, but you underestimate my ability to fail. But I will not fail utterly. Nay, I shall still write; it’s just going to have to be unusually brief (this may actually be a relief to those of you who are sick of slogging through my trailing, awkwardly-punctuated sentences). Warning: I’m gonna use bullet points.

  • These past two weeks have been notable for a variety of reasons (most of which, in my haste, I can’t mention), but perhaps the most predominant is that I got accepted into grad school! Yes, I now have a future. And it is not to be a second-rate Mary Poppins until I die old and alone and am eaten by my cats. Much as I enjoy changing exploded diapers, having pureed squash and apricots sneezed in my face and being screamed at for leaving the room to go pee (honestly though, I do love the kids), come May, I will begin an occupational therapy program at MUSC. Assuming I don’t fuck things up too royally, in two or so years I will be eligible for real employment (meaning I might actually acquire my own health care plan). My mother summed up the whole application/acceptance process fairly accurately when I called to tell her I was no longer a disappointment: “I wasn’t really worried you wouldn’t get in…but I was a little.” Questionable vote of confidence aside, I felt the same and so am understandably relieved to have an at least vague plan for my future.
  • I also celebrated Thanksgiving. This one pertains less specifically to me, as I imagine most of you took part in some sort of borderline-masochistic gorging on or around Thursday, November 28. I say “or around” because my family didn’t celebrate until Friday this year. My sister and her fiancee weren’t able to get down to Charleston until Thursday night, so we had our annual foray into the realm of abject gluttony a day after the rest of the country. So well had we prepared ourselves for our Friday feast that we very nearly forgot the actual date for the giving of thanks. This, unfortunately, led to a highly exhaustive search for an open restaurant on Thursday night. All we wanted was carry-out from somewhere but, alas, we were foiled left and right by businesses with the audacity to close in favor of allowing their employees to spend the day with relatives and friends; the outrage. The upshot of our self-centeredness was a Thanksgiving meal of McChicken sandwiches and fries. America. My mom and sister made up for our less-than-stellar McThanksgiving the next day, though. I can tell you, with a certain amount of pride (which should probably be shame), that I ate the food equivalent of a premature seal pup – assuming a premature seal pup weighs roughly two pounds. And then I had pie. And alcohol. My father, as is his duty as head of the family, gave an impromptu speech at the meal’s conclusion. To quote in full: “I feel like I could take a twenty pound shit.” Nothing like Thanksgiving for fostering sentimentality and heartfelt words of joy.

And now, due to my chronic inability to remember that I occasionally call myself a blog writer, I have run out of time to devote to regaling you with more tales from the ever-fascinating saga of my existence. I must go study (read: aimlessly browse Buzzfeed with my notes laid out in front of me). I have an exam this week and I need a good grade in this class, lest MUSC realize its grievous error in judgment and rescind my acceptance. Goodnight and Happy belated Thanksgiving! Enjoy the current social acceptability of listening to Johnny Matthis Christmas carols on repeat for the next month (you get funny looks if you try this in June).

West Virginia, Kitchen Debacles and Gender Confusion

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No smiling Cabin Picture. Not exactly a flattering tradition, but a tradition nonetheless.

Week 29

One of the reasons I instituted my new bi-monthly, as opposed to weekly, posts was because I knew Cabin Weekend was coming up. And there wasn’t a Kardashian’s chance in prison I was gonna be blogging after that.

Last weekend was the chosen date of our latest semi-annual trek to the middle of Bumfucknowhere, West Virginia, a years-old tradition in which my brother and I, our best college friends – and basically anyone else who wants to join – meet at Mel’s father’s cabin to drink ourselves silly and do generally cabin-y things (which, we’ve apparently determined, include not only dirt bikes and nature hikes, but such fascinating events as extreme croquet, the dark game and exceptionally intense rounds of charades). Over the years, our trips have begun to follow a distinct pattern:

Everyone arrives from their respective homes (much farther flung, now that we’re out of school and don’t all live in the same town) on Friday evening and, in our excitement at being reunited, we proceed to eat pizza and drink copiously until at least one person throws up or passes out. This time, we had two pukers (one of whom is currently in his first year of med school at UVA – just goes to show that we’ve grown older, but only marginally wiser) and another – *cough* Melanie –  who can’t remember going to bed (in her defense, she got summarily decimated during a single round of Slap Cup, in which she drank a full half of the cups in succession, so it’s only understandable). In fact, I can hardly throw stones, as I spent the night curled up on the carpet while there were no less than three open beds/couches. I wasn’t the only one to do this either; Evan and Jeremy also slept on the floor. (Jeremy actually slept about two feet from me – a fact I didn’t realize until I woke the next morning, facing a large black lump, snoring softly and looking equally uncomfortable.) It seems, in our addled states, we were all attempting chivalry – not taking beds for fear it would leave someone else without one. We were wrong, and a slight, yet persistent, ache in my rib cage reminded me that I’m not as floor-adaptable as I once was.

Saturday, as per our routine, we woke by ninish and spent the day playing games, catching up (now that we were sober enough to carry on actual conversations) and eating like absolute shit. For some reason, it never occurs to us to coordinate our shopping ahead of time. As a result, we invariably wind up with four loaves of bread, twenty packages of macaroni and more cookies and candy than an entire kindergarten class would know what to do with. Our alcohol consumption dropped considerably (another sign of aging; we used to drink just as heavily both days) and, by eleven o’clock, we had settled in the loft to watch that most quintessential of cabin movies: Caddyshack. (My brother has a strange affinity for the film and no one else cared enough to pick anything else.) In an attempt to keep from being unforgivably lame, we decided to play The Mustache Game..with a slight twist. (For reference: The Mustache Game is a drinking game for when you’re too lazy to actually get out the Solo cups or even try at all, really. All you do is cut out a mustache shape and tape it on the TV somewhere. Then, you pick a movie or TV show and, whenever the cutout lands in a mustache-position on anyone’s face, you drink.) This time, we used a penis. If you need a truly accurate test of a person’s maturity, I highly suggest this game. Unfortunately, all of us would’ve failed with flying colors. An observer would’ve been forgiven for being confused, and perhaps a bit appalled, by the sight of nine adults sitting around a TV, crying with laughter when the sprinklers came on or one of the golfers bent over. But damn was it funny.

 Sunday, we woke early, cleaned the house, took our requisite Cabin Picture (see above) and set off to our various states by 9:30. It took Evan and I a solid ten hours to get home but, as always, the trip was more than worth it.

Not too much happened this week to rival the excitement of the cabin. If not for the discovery that my cat has been hiding his true identity for the past six months, it would’ve been downright uneventful. Yes, Soren has been living a lie since birth. He is most definitely a she; a fact that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. We got him as a rescue at about four weeks and, although he had been sexed as male, I guess it must’ve been exceedingly hard to tell. When “he” went into heat this week though, “his” gender became unavoidably obvious. So now I have a girl cat with a definitively masculine name and, I’m sure, severe gender identity issues. C’est la vie. At least now I know to schedule her for a spay, rather than a neuter.

For my last topic, I’ll mention that this Saturday was “Friendsgiving”. My friend Kyle bought a turducken, got very excited and decided to celebrate with a non-familial day of gluttony two weeks early. It was a blast. Everyone brought a dish (and some kind of alcohol) and we ate more than is becoming. Best of all, I was able to pass my potatoes off as intentional, rather than the colossal mistake they truly were. I did not know it was possible to fuck up mashed potatoes. Then again, I’d never attempted them before. Things were going swimmingly at first. It was only after I had boiled the potatoes that I realized I didn’t own a decent masher, ricer or anything of the sort. So, for the next twenty-five minutes, I used a handheld cheese grater to grate four pounds of potatoes (my wrists are still a little sore). After generating a pot of spud shreds, I was forced to acknowledge that the consistency was nothing close to “mashed” (however, if I was looking for “stringy potatoes”, I had certainly succeeded). Undeterred, I added the butter and cream in hopes they would help produce the velvety texture I’d been expecting. Nope. Finally, after increasingly desperate encounters with two different food processors and a set of egg beaters, I gave up and named what I had created “Mashed Potatoes Gratin”. And people ate them. With apparent enjoyment. The world works in mysterious ways.

 

P.S. Allie Brosh has a relatively new post over at hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com. I highly recommend you check it out! 

It’s Nuclear, Not Nucular…And Other Pet Peeves

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I stumbled upon this majestic testament to the power of art while walking with the baby this week. It’s practically transcendental. 

Week 28

I skipped again last week and I don’t even feel bad about it. Mainly because I was too busy shucking all-you-can-eat-oysters to write anything Sunday (they gave me a knife and I didn’t even cut myself!), but also because I think fortnightly posts still allow me to keep you more than adequately updated on the goings-on in my fairly unexciting life. In fact, by condensing a whole month into two blog posts, instead of four, maybe I’ll seem twice as captivatingly exotic (or not). And, if I can’t get it together enough to write two measly times every thirty days, you are welcome to beat me senseless (or, you know, just berate me with angry words) for my incompetence.

This time, I’ve decided to tell you about some of my pet peeves. I don’t want to sound like a Bitchy Betty though so, for every dislike I give, I’ll mention two likes. I’m generally a very nice girl, I swear..

Things That Irritate Me:

1) egregious errors in pronunciation

-Let me clarify on this one: I understand (am even guilty of) the occasional slip up. I try not to judge when the word in question is foreign, and English-as-a-second-language speakers generally get a free pass. However, if you have a PhD in a biological science and continually call the pharynx a “fare-nix”, consider yourself harshly judged. (This scenario is from actual experience; I have spent many a physiology class cringing inwardly – I honestly feel a small pain in my stomach – as numerous body parts are mercilessly butchered (just the words, not the parts themselves). For the record: aorta ends in an “ah” sound, not an “er” and there is no “t” at the end of intestine.)

Likes: 1) food – love it, in fact

          2) alcohol – vodka in particular

2) misguided courtesy

-This one is something I’ve encountered much more here in South Carolina than up north and, if I’m honest, is really only mildly irritating as I recognize that the intent is well-placed. Still, when you clearly have the right of way at a four-way stop and wave me on instead, it ends up being more than a little confusing and really takes no less time than if you had just taken your turn in the first place. Also, for future reference, when I’m shopping with the baby, I will ask for help carrying my groceries to the car if I need it. Otherwise, I appreciate the offer but please, please don’t grab my bags and make me lead you to my car while we are forced to engage in some of the most awkward small talk in the history of time. I’m aware that I might be sounding ungrateful, so please know that I am truly elated that there are people willing to go out of their way for me – it just sets that warm, fuzzy, blah-blah part of my heart aflutter, promise. It’s just that some “favors” are not even remotely necessary, thank you anyway.

Likes: 3) reading – if you don’t like books, I don’t like you

          4) naps – anytime, anywhere (I sleep in my car between work and class at least

              once a week)

3) age confusion

-I look young. I know this. It’s not uncommon for people to think I’m still in my teens (once, a well-meaning woman spoke of me getting my license in the future tense; this was a week before I turned twenty). It’s understandable. What bothers me is when these people proceed to treat me as if I’m much younger than I am, which, for some reason, often means speaking to me as if I’m half stupid. I’m not stupid and I’m not seventeen so, when I ask you about opening an account with your bank, please give me advice. Please don’t smile down at me and tell me how my parents can set one up.

Likes: 5) crossword puzzles – except when I get stuck on a clue, then I hate them

          6) board games – combine with alcohol for best results

4) silence phobics

-No one likes an awkward silence. That’s why the “awkward” word is there. However, some silences aren’t awkward. Until someone who can’t stand quiet makes them awkward, that is. If I’m sitting on a bench reading and you (a stranger) come sit a few feet away, it’s totally okay for us not to talk. Not only do I not know you, but I’m clearly engrossed in my book. However, if you start trying to engage me in a conversation about the weather, we’re invariably going to run out of things to say. And now the silence is awkward. You ruined my nice silence.

Likes: 7) really old people – cute and, half the time, you have no idea why they’re doing

              what they’re doing

          8) really young people – cute and, half the time, you have no idea why they’re doing

              what they’re doing

5) pickles

-Not much to say about this one. I like cucumbers. I like vinegar. Combine the two though, and you’ve created something vile. In my opinion, “nasty-tasting, warty dildos” is a much apter, definitely more brutally descriptive, name for these little bastards.

Likes: 9) pretty much everyone, except teenagers – I didn’t even like them when I was one

        10) sarcasm – quickest way to win my love: make fun of me with your cleverness