Let's Get Away..

Monday, January 31, 2011

After a painstakingly long day in the gym, my teammates were discussing planning vacations in the locker room, and who could blame them? Although I usually say I would only want to live somewhere that has changes in weather, January and February always seem to get me down. So, I couldn't help but do some fantasy vacating, I picked three spots...let's start with the most realistic:
1. Skiing in Vermont
It has been my goal to visit every single state, and I'm pretty sure I have 29 down, and 21 to go! Since I've been doing basketball for so long, I've never been able to attempt skiing! Though I'm not the most talented person, I have my heart set to try skiing next winter! (Though I am notoriously uncoordinated!)

2. Disney World
Despite my occasional consistent bitterness, I have always been a child at heart! I've been to Disney World twice (in 3rd grade and 9th grade), and would love to go back with my family, sisters, boyfriend, or a group of friends! And, of course, someday with kids of my own :) 

photo by Stephen
This is my most extravagant fantasy-trip! Ever since one of my best friends from high school went to Italy, and I went over to her house and she showed me hours worth of pictures, I've had a longing to go to Europe! I've been to Mexico, Canada, and Hawaii, but so ends my out-of-country excursions. (Obviously Hawaii isn't technically out-of-country, but it is my farthest away travel spot, so I thought it was noteworthy).
Also, my boyfriend went to Italy the summer before we started dating - and I have since looked through his beautiful pictures too! Although I have 5 nationalities (I'm quite the mutt), I don't have any Italian blood, but this doesn't hinder my desire to eat delicious food, taste wine, and tour the beautiful countryside! And Rome! And Lake Como! I'm not even going to mention that the boys' basketball team at my school WENT TO ITALY last summer for hoops or I might explode in a rage of anger! (Title 9 my ass). 

Anyway, when February gets ya down - just dream of distant shores, seems to work for me :) 

My Style...

Friday, January 28, 2011

First off, my boyfriend just made me a delicious dinner! Just had to mention that because it was delicious, and tasted absolutely nothing like anything I ever attempt to make in the kitchen.

Second off, it's Friday, so clearly this is going to be short - but I have a bball game tomorrow so I can't stay out late or anything, but it would be a good time to use the term "cramping my style." A term I often use in relation to basketball, particularly when we have 5:45am weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the pre-and-post season. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights my style is officially cramped.

Anyway, my word-origin-of-the-day calendar told me that this term actually dates back 1781! It was first used by an English essayist named Horace Walpole who wrote "The shackles of translation have neither cramped your style, nor rendered it obscure."

If you're a word nerd like me, that's cool stuff! If not, have a nice weekend!!

A Case of the Januaries

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is it just me, or is January one of the most depressing months of the year? I think it's so front-loaded with the holiday season that there's always that disappointing snapback to reality that Santa's back to the North Pole, and, quite frankly, not thinking about you for a longggg timeee.

Let's face it, the best holiday in January is, essentially, in December. I mean technically midnight on January first is a blast and maybe until about 2 am but after that no other days in January really live up to par. It's like when an artist comes out with a #1 hit song and can never follow their own act.

Example: I once heard on the radio that Lee Ann Womack's song, "I Hope You Dance" simultaneously made her super, super famous, and almost destroyed her career. It's hard to follow a song that's "Single of the Year," "Song of the Year" wins Grammys, etc.

She even sang it at the annual Nobel Peace Prize concert. Now that's interesting, I didn't know they had a concert for Nobel Peace Prize winners. It's like, thanks for saving the world, Mr. Noone-really-knows-who-you-are (polite clapping). And here's, THE BLACK EYED PEAS. (Crowds roar and hold up homemade "Fergalicious"signs). Not capping on peaceful people, just on the general interests of the American public (myself included).

Example: Do you know who Liu Xiaobo is? No. (NPP Winner, 2010). Do you know the song "I Got a Feeling"? Of course!

Anyway, January - yes, although it is the first of the year probably my 12th favorite month - it's just so GRAY. I do like peaceful snowfalls, but when the snow remains, gets dirty, and falls off the trees, the landscape around here can be kinda desolate. Example:
I know, it's kind of like Ethan Frome with sidewalks. Oh well, I am trying to stay positive regardless of the current month because tomorrow is Friday! And February starts on Tuesday...my 11th favorite month of the year :)

Time Keeps on Slippin...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today was one of those days where I didn't have time to breathe. Rush, rush, rush. Meeting, meeting, class, lunch, class (3hrs), bball game.

It's days like these I wish there was more time in a day. If only I could've napped for an hour before the game, maybe I'd have some more energy. If I had 20 extra minutes here or there, I would have cleaned my room. Or read my Bible.

Either way, in regards to time (it is getting late), something to think about: In my "Elvish Writing" class today, our professor said that Terry Jones (a star in "Monty Python" and also a historian) found out that Medieval peasants actually had about 80 days of the year OFF! Like, 11 vacation weeks!

So, not only are the Europeans beating the heck out of Americans on vacation days, but so are Medieval peasants! Now, I admit, being owned by someone, and essentially not getting paid wouldn't be ideal...but it would be nice to have some time to breathe every once in a while! Apparently there's a Youtube video about it that Terry Jones made .. I wish I had time to look for it :)

I Heart Tuesdays

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One key sign that a relationship is headed in the wrong direction is when it is one-sided. And, sadly, this is usually more obvious to outside observers than the people actually in the relationship and "blinded by love."

Everyone has known those unbalanced relationships where the girl is like planning the names of their children and the boy doesn't even know the girl's last name. I've even seen it happen vice-versa where the guy is claiming she's "the one" and the girl is hooking up with everyone and their brother (or sister) on the side.

Needless to say, I went to a career fair today. Not that my experience was bad (most of the people I talked to were nice). It's just, never has there been a better example of a whole roomful of unbalanced conversations. A menagerie of awkward situations, if you will.
One person dressed to the nines, worrying about every little word she says, and the other person (almost) listening. The eager student passes the (potential) future employer her resume (which she most likely spent HOURS revising) only for the employer to lackadaiscally add it to the growing pile, most likely destined to be filed away in HR till judgment day.

After giving my little pitch about my majors and class year, (all the while displaying my exquisite charismatic abilities, might I add), I actually had 2 people say to me, "Yeah, we aren't hiring right now." Which begs the question, "WHY ARE YOU HERE?" But at least I didn't feel bad when I took their free pens and chapstick.

Anyway, the job fair was in the gym - somewhere I walk essentially everyday for basketball practice. But, for whatever reason, I chose to take a different route when walking to the job fair. Perhaps I was afraid if I took my typical "practice route" I would begin boxing people out or talking about my "offensive and defensive abilities." Not sure. Either way - on my way there I saw this:
Does it not look like someone purposely "drew" two hearts with their tires? I took it as a sign to totally abandon the whole job idea and get married. (KIDDING!) But I did think it was cool. I'm going to start taking different paths to places from now on, because I feel that when I take the same route to the same places I'm like an unobservant walking zombie half the time. Just a thought! That is all. Happy Tuesday <3

Excuse Me

Monday, January 24, 2011

I did not post on Friday. When thinking of how to tell you guys how I could not possibly have posted NO MATTER WHAT on Friday because the campus squirrels crawled through my window, invaded my room and every time I got near my computer threatened to shoot me with their bazookas, I was reminded of a story my mom once told me about excuse-making.

Basically, she and a group of other people had received invitations from this guy to some event. (yeah, I’m a really good listener).

For simplicity’s sake, let’s call the guy Mr. Pitt and say he invited her plus friends to, perhaps, the Oscars.
Sounds about right. Anyway, my mom found herself running late to the Oscars. So, when she got there, she immediately approached Mr. Pitt and said, “Hi Mr. Pitt, I’m so sorry that I’m late.”

The Oscars ensued as planned. After the Oscars, Mr. Pitt came up to my mom and said, “Hey, I just wanted to let you know, every single person who I invited today was late, too. It wasn’t just you. The difference was, with every other person who came in late, they came up to me and immediately gave me some sob story about why they were late. How their car wouldn’t start, or they hit all the red lights, or they had so much to do. You were the only person who didn’t give some pathetic excuse, and I appreciate that.”

And that is why I’m not telling you that the 4 hour bus trip and hotel WITHOUT wireless internet (apparently run by Mennonites) had nothing to do with me not posting on Friday.

Snap Judgments

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The first day of classes always makes me realize how we, as humans, are so prone to making snap judgments about other people. Okay, maybe it's just me ... and I do realize that I need to work on being less judgmental. If there was a way to quantify this, I might add it to my list of New Years Resolutions. 

(Though I imagine it meeting a similar demise to my vaguely-unquantifiable-on-purpose "Eat less candy" pact I occasionally make with myself. Entire bag of "chewy sweet-tart" ballish things? Didn't stand a chance this afternoon. Yes, I even eat the obscure hard-to-name candies - no discrimination.)

I mean, I'm a big believer in the Golden Rule, and no one likes to be judged - But sometimes it's like, I'm sorry, honey, but if you're wearing high heels and a dress in a snow storm, I'm not going to bet on you being the brightest bulb in the tanning bed.

But, how many of us have walked out of a first class, where all we did was introduce ourselves - thinking Man, that was awful, I cannot wait to be done with this class! Or, even more critically (and usually a little later in the semester), How does that professor have his/her PhD?

Still, our whole lives we've been drilled to "Not judge a book by its cover." But, now we are reminded constantly of the utmost importance of First Impressions.
There's even quotes like "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
Now, I thought we were all agreeing to ignore book covers? So why are interview outfits the end-all be-all?!

Reminds me of two other contradictory quotes "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" and "Out of sight, out of mind." I think that everyone wants to believe that their long-distance relationship falls in the former category, but then, why does the second exist? In the case high school crushes, I think the first quote applies to girls (read: Facebook stalking) and the second quote applies to boys (read: watching ESPN).

Yes, I realize this post has absolutely no focus and I'm now rambling on a tangent. To add to that, here's a picture of the sweet tart candies I was referring to:
Only my bag was, maybe, 3 times bigger?

Yep, there is officially no focus to this blog post.
Please, Don't Judge Me. :)

Homework Can Wait...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

With classes starting, Facebook and Youtube aren’t going to cut it. You’re going to need many more procrastination destinations. Personally, I’m not good at making original online discoveries, but one of my roommates is like the Christopher Columbus of the internet, and the other recommended some awesome blogs to me which I now loyally follow.

"Cras" is actually my favorite Latin word, meaning, "tomorrow." So when you PRO-CRAS-tinate, you are saving things "for tomorrow"! (Yes, I know this isn't exciting to normal people. Remember, I got a "Word Origin-of-the-day Calendar for Christmas)

So without further ado, check out the sites listed below when you have more important things to do: (hopefully some of them are new!)

For Your Listening Pleasure:

www.Pandora.com– this one is basic, but essential. 
www.fratmusic.com – underrated. I even heard a gangster Taylor Swift remix the other day!

For Your (blog) Reading Pleasure (more catered towards girls):

www.dooce.com - not your average mommy-blogger. 2 kids, 2 dogs, a bad mouth, and hilarious stories.
www.3peanuts.blogspot.com - this is a sweeter, wholesome mommy-blogger with adorable kids! I'm officially hooked on her 4-year old adopted daughter.
www.jennsylvania.com - not updated as frequently, but written by Jen Lancaster, one of my favorite authors who writes funny, sarcastic memoirs
www.stylemepretty.com - for the hopeless romantics, this is an extreme wedding blog with beautiful pics from a variety of weddings! 
www.nymbler.com - this is another site for the hopeless romantic/daydreamer girl. It's a baby-name generator. Also useful when writing fiction! (seriously).
www.lightfortheday.com - a Bible verse a day, accompanied by a breath-taking photo.

I'm not much of a gamer, but these are more time-wasting sites that work wonders.

www.freerice.com - increase your vocab and feed the hungry!
www.jacksonpollock.org - unleash your artistic side! just drag your mouse and click to change colors!
www.todaysbigthing.com - the best online videos/pics without having to search for yourself!
www.sporcle.com - just try it. so fun.

Okay, I know that none of these are too original, and are probably all "been-there-done-that" but hopefully it's enough to keep you distracted for the first few weeks of the semester :)

Ice, Ice Baby

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Woke up, as usual, and didn't check the weather. I have rain boots, an umbrella, and 2 pairs of snow boots. However, I never use any of these at the appropriate times because I check the weather less often than I clean my room. Aka NEVER.

So, I walk outside this morning to drive to bball practice and was pleasantly surprised to find my snow-covered car coated in a sheet of ice. Nothing a little defrost and my ice-scraping expertise couldn't handle. Fun Fact: In high school, my sister and I used to use a broken CD to scrape the ice off our car.

Since college though, I made the $2 investment and bought an ice-scraper with a brush for snow and everything. Anyway, all I needed was that said glorified ice scraper and my defrost. Unfortunately, I couldn't access either of these because the ice sealed my doors shut! Alas, I had nothing but my tiny car key to try to conquer the sheets of ice that were making my car inaccessible.

Of course, at this point, I have somewhere to be in 15 minutes. So, needless to say, I'm walking to the gym. In my Snow boots? Not so much. In my white Nike kicks that are now brown? Maybe. I think our school is anti-salt, too, because there was black ice everywhere. A couple of students got a nice "welcome back" to campus from the black ice, for lack of better words, by eating shit.

Here are some pictures my boyfriend took of ice yesterday, to show it in a less dangerous light:
To me, this picture is the epitome of "January"

This one's my favorite - I love the beauty of simple, close-up shots. 

Although ice may be photogenic, I am secretly eager to see some of my fellow students slip on it tomorrow when they undoubtedly try to mix ice with high heels on the first day of classes. (Sorry, I'm only human!)

p.s. Happy Tuesday! :)

7 Down, 1 To Go

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wednesday is the first day of my last semester of undergraduate classes. The Final Round. The End of a chapter. The last Hoorah. (Yeah, I know you get it. This is a blog, redundancy is essential to compensate for my finite ideas.)

I know they say, “The only constant is change.” But, in reflection, it’s crazy to see how many things are so different now than they were 4 years ago. For instance, I distinctly remember saying during freshmen orientation: “Yeah, I have a Facebook, but I don’t get on much at all.”

HA. Now the only person on the planet who signs on to Facebook more than me is Mark. What do you mean Mark who? Of course Mr. Zuckerberg and I are on a first-name basis.

I’m currently trying to convince him to change the spelling of his last name to Zucker-burgh, for that black and yellow flair. (LET’S GO STEELERS.)

Look, here he is contemplating my surname alteration suggestion.

Anyway, more has changed in my 4 years here than my enhanced social networking capabilities.

For instance, I am much better at identifying letters in the Greek alphabet. (No, I didn’t take Greek – I took much more worthwhile electives like Latin and Acting.) But how am I supposed to properly make fun of people in sororities/fraternities if I can’t read the letters daily embossed across their chests? 
--No offense to the 8 or so people who I’m friends with who are “Greek.” And yes, to my 2 teammates who are Greek – you 2 are definitely 2 of the 8:)

But, more seriously, I feel that college has taught me a lot of lessons, and although they’re not all happy lessons– they’re useful. Plans can fail, and people can let you down, friendships can fade away, people can change, and you can change, too.  At the end of the day, though, your family is there for you, and so is God.

I like laughing at my freshmen self – and how I thought I had my whole life planned out then, when I was just 18 years old! Now I’m 22, and admit that I don’t have any idea where I’ll be a year from now, but I’ve found a sense of inner peace despite all the fear of the unknown (at least, I’m working on it.) And perhaps that peace, more than balancing balance sheets or writing research papers, is what I learned in 4 years. And I still have yet to “kick it in” on the Home Stretch! The Last Dance. The Grand Finale. You get the idea.

Every Mile's a Memory!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Today, I rode on a charter bus for 6 hours, since we have an away game tomorrow. That long trip reminded me of the cross-country road ventures my family used to frequently take in the summers. Unfortunately, “cross-country” is not an exaggeration: driving from Pittsburgh to Wyoming (and back) in a minivan full of 6 people qualifies.

High Point of the trip: Listening to Harry Potter books on tape. Jim Dale’s character voices are on point.

Low Point of the trip: When our air conditioning broke in Nebraska. Watching endless hours of corn fields through the window? Even more painful when you’re sweating bullets.

Today on the bus, we watched 2 movies and I accompanied them with 3 episodes of Friends (almost done with Season 1!) on my laptop. But I couldn’t help think of all the games my three sisters and I used to play before the portable-dvd-player/lap-top era.

Finding the whole alphabet on road signs, new states on license plates, and my parents favorite “the quiet game.” Not to mention that there was ample time for my sister to learn to how to French braid - on my head. I honestly didn’t mind, and take full credit for her current hair-fixing-skills.

However, since AAU basketball overtook my summers after my sophomore year of high school, and two of my sisters play college volleyball and have been booked in the summers – it’s been years since we’ve all piled in the car for a journey through states.

Even though at the time of those lengthy trips, my sisters and I joined in the choruses of “Are we there yet?” and “Why can’t we fly like normal people?” I actually miss those days! Since college started, getting all 6 of us together at once is a rarity, and we now almost always opt for taking two cars - even on the 5 minute ride to Church. 

Looking back, it seems that I can remember the good times in the car trips sitting surrounded by my family, just as much as the vacations themselves. In the same way, I'll probably remember the bus rides and traveling with teammates just as much as the scores of away games, if not more. They say "Time flies when you're having fun" but I think "Time Flies." Always. So might as well have fun and enjoy the journey! :)

Happy Weekend to All! 

DIY Desserts!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Coming from someone who is about as good at cooking as Lord Voldemort is at giving out compliments, I have finally found a dessert that I can master - and want to share it with my followers who struggle in the kitchen! Wait, none of you ever set a towel on fire while boiling noodles? Just humor me, and keep reading.

It all started when we hosted a Secret Santa gift exchange at our apartment. I decided I wanted to try to make some treats. Did I remember to buy 2-liter bottles of pop? No. I'm not exactly the queen of setting my priorities. (Remember, I write a blog. Do I fill out job applications? Not so much.)

For those of you who just thought "pop"?? isn't it "soda"? I'm guessing you live in one of the regions shaded in green:
Take note: just as many states have dark blue as that have the puke-green color that symbolizes saying "soda." Here at school, where many students come from the puke-green counties, anytime I say "pop" there's always one amongst the crowd who immediately interrupts to poke fun at my "mis-labeling" of my carbonated beverage.

However, might I add, when someone says the word "soda" I don't feel the need to say, "OMG what the hell is soda?! No one says that where I live, and clearly where I'm from everyone says everything correctly and never makes any mistakes. EVER." Plus, chances are, you pronounce "water" like WHAT-er, and you don't hear me throwing a temper-tantrum about it.

P.S. We can all agree calling a Sprite "Coke" is absurd. P.P.S. What on earth do the people in the "Other" counties say?! P.P.P.S Who has time to make a map like that? I salute you.

ANYWAY - DESSERT. Yes. Chocolate Covered Pretzels! In my opinion, much better than the store bought kind! And as easy as Heidi Montag.

First, gather the necessary ingredients: (all can be found at Wal-Mart): 1.) Pretzels 2.) "Make Your Own Almond Bark" Chocolate/Vanilla Flavored Coating 3.) Sprinkles (optional) 4.) Wax Paper 5.)Bowls/Spoons/Forks/Tongs 6.) Microwave

Perhaps it's unnecessary to list "ingredients" such as "wax paper" and "spoon" but nothing's worse than wanting to make brownies and not having a brownie pan. Kitchen improvisation? Not so successful.

Here are the steps:
1. Break apart the "Almond Bark" and put it into a bowl.
2. Spread out wax paper on table.
3. Melt the chocolate coating into the microwave for 60 seconds. Stir.
4. Keep melting/stirring for 30 second intervals, until chocolate is smooth.
5. Put a handful of pretzels into the bowl, then stir until coated.
6. Use fork or tongs to remove pretzels, one-by-one, and tap the fork/tongs on edge of bowl to remove excess chocolate.
7. Place pretzels on wax paper. Every 5 or so pretzels, before they dry, sprinkle with sprinkles:)
8. When necessary, re-heat and re-stir chocolate coating!
9. Enjoy :)

Facebook Etiquette

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Now a day, everyone spends countless hours on Facebook – and I’m definitely no exception.  I mean, what’s more fun than looking through 700 pictures of someone you never talked to in person? Not to mention productive.

Anyway, I’m no Facebook police but I have a couple of pet peeves when it comes to status posting.  First off, I have this one “friend” who never fails to like his own status. I mean, isn’t that implied?

Every single update looks something like this:  
Bob Imtooawesome Smith is going to the grocery store.
         *Bob Imtooawesome Smith likes this.

Yes, he also happens to have one of those highly-coveted made up middle names of complimentary adjectives.

Mark Zuckerberg needs to disable the feature that lets you like your own stuff. And perhaps the whole make-your-own-dumbass-middle-name thing too. If you don’t like your status, don’t post it. Deal?

Secondly, and personally, most annoyingly is the drastic overuse of the expression “FML” in Facebook statuses.  I mean there is a time and a place for everything, and www.fmylife.com is definitely a funny website. But, it seems like all my “Friends” seem to use these three letters EXCESSIVELY.

Reading statuses like this make me want to give my "friends" something real to complain about..
         "studying for finals ...fml."
         "have to go to work/school...fml."
          "tired and bored...fml."

I'm sorry, but none of those things seem particularly out of the ordinary. Actually, your horrible, intolerable life seems just. like. everyone. else's. I'm just waiting for the day I open my newsfeed and read "Didn't win the lottery today...fml." 
So the next time you think about typing those 3 letters at the end of your update, ask yourself: would my status update make the cut for this book:
Chances are "I have to wake up and go to class" probably wouldn't get published.

The Underrated Weekday

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I feel like if the calendar week was the Brady bunch, Tuesday would probably be Jan.

I'm just going to go out on a limb and say most of you didn't wake up this morning and think, "Yes, it's Tuesday! My favorite!" and then hop out of bed (turn your swag on) and proceed to start whistling show tunes.

Now, I'm not the middle child, but having 3 sisters, including one super-amazing twin sister, I have spent some time living in the occasional shadow. [16th Birthday Cake read: "Happy Birthday Princess Rebecca and Joyce"]. Don't worry Becky, in about 40 years I'll stop mentioning that epic cake.

Anyway, since Tuesday is the forgotten weekday, and arguably even lives in the shadow of Wednesday [aka “Hump Day”], I am advocating that it is time to recognize the true value of this neglected day via celebration...

Top 7 Reasons to Party on Tuesday:

1.     It’s only Tuesday once a week.

2.     There is a restaurant named Tuesday (Ruby Tuesday’s, for those of you who live underneath a boulder). If there was a restaurant named after me, I would want to celebrate on the regular.

3.     “Tuesday” in Spanish is “Martes” If you pronounce that incorrectly, it practically rhymes with “Parties”

4.     Tuesday, by its very definition, means that Monday is over. Tuesday morning is literally the farthest away from Monday one can be. [time travelers excluded]

5.     Thanksgiving is never on Tuesday. Easter, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday are never on Tuesday. Same goes for Memorial Day and Labor Day. Clearly, this is a weekday in desperate need of some holiday/celebratory love.

6.     For those of you who thought, “Mardi Gras is always on Tuesday”: EXACTLY.

7.    Consult your group of friends. Find one of them who was born on Tuesday. Let the celebrations ensue.
the fact that this picture exists online means that there is
hope for Tuesday to improve! hope yours was good :)

Wasting Time 101

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter break for most students = break
Winter break for basketball players = the opposite of "break"

Today, I had basketball-related activities from 9:30am to 7:30pm, with a 2-hour break to shower and eat lunch. Counting down the days till classes start? Quite possibly.

However, some days we'll get lucky and have our practice session early, and then the rest of the day to ourselves. I often manage to waste every free minute granted to me. Here's how the process usually goes:

First, I get back to my room and say to myself “Well, before I do anything productive, I’m going to relax on the couch for a bit.” I find that the most exciting thing on the television is a documentary about the the history of irrigation systems, and opt for putting in a DVD.

By this time, I’ve probably found something to eat, maybe wheat thins (if I’m feeling extra healthy), or (more likely) chocolates. I can't just sit there eating, un-entertained. That's preposterous.

Now, committing to watch an entire movie is out of the question. I’m not going to waste 2 full hours of my life sitting motionless on the couch...I have productive things to do! I might even check 1-2 things off of my To Do list that has been growing steadily for the past month. (Q: What's more fun than applying for jobs online? A: EVERYTHING.)

So I pop in a DVD of a T.V. series. I'll watch one quick episode and move on to more worthwhile activities

Recently, I decided to watch the first season of Friends. I actually have have never been remotely interested in Friends, to be honest. But it was only $15 at Wal Mart and I couldn’t afford not to buy it!

Now, here comes the problematic part: Episode 1 is done, and...with just a click of the remote I'm onto episode 2....and then 3....

 I keep thinking to myself, "Just one more episode," and, concurrently, "Just one more chocolate." Funny the direct correlation between the number of watched episodes and the number of consumed chocolates.

And that, my friends, is how I watched 9 episodes of Friends in one day. While eating almost the entire box of the chocolate pictured below:
yeah, not your average box of chocolate.
..I'm too embarrassed to put up the after picture!

Weekly Picks

Friday, January 7, 2011

I am using a very loose definition of the term "weekly", as I don't realistically see myself recommending new things every week, but, I figured, hey, it's Friday - might as well do something crazy!

And by "crazy" I mean tell you my Book, Website, and Quote of the week. I know, totally insane. Kinda like all of the stuff those guys did on the Hangover. Next level shit.

Book of the Week: "Sh*t My Dad Says" by Justin Halpern
My boyfriend got me this book for my birthday, and I finally found time to read it (after classes ended)  It's pretty much a series of hilarious episodes. Definitely a quick, light read. Only read it, though, if excessive profanity doesn't phase you - Halpern's dad hardly utters a sentence without multiple  4-letter words and every conjugation of the "f-bomb" imaginable. However, the word "shit" is in the title, so you shouldn't be expecting prince charming riding a white horse flanked by singing animals.

In addition to lots of laughs, this book contains some deeper meanings (a heavy focus on the importance of family), which is a nice touch. Perhaps my favorite part though, is how this book came to be. Halpern gives details in the first chapter, but basically he started a funny twitter account and, a few hundred thousand followers later, had a book deal. How awesome is that? Who says twitter is pointless..

Website of the Week: 
What's that? You wished you wasted more time accomplishing nothing on the computer?

Time to Play The Helicopter Game

I played this B in the D...when I was AOL instant messaging my buddies from Grade 5 (my screen name may or may not have "hoopychic03"). But seriously - it never gets old. Check out the link, and participate in one of life's simple pleasures :) - p.s. let me know if you can beat my score of 1064!

Quote of the Week:
(props to my boyfriend for finding this quote!)
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up...I wrote down 'happy.' They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." - John Lennon
 I feel like there is too much focus on WHAT will you be when you grow up, instead of HOW will you be. Right now, I have no idea where I will be one year from today. I'm graduating in May, don't have a job, haven't applied to grad school, and, in short, it would be easy for me to say "I'm screwed."

However, I know how I will be a year from today. I will be happy. And, as a Christian, I firmly believe this quote "Although I may not know what the future holds, I know who holds the future." 
[*bonus* quote of the week. told you it was getting crazy. next stop: Mike Tyson's tiger.]

So, I just made it through 5 week day blog posts :) Thank you to everyone who has been reading. Talk to you guys on Monday! Happy weekend, and happy future :) !

I think I need a personal chef...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

So everyone thought Darwin was all important when he brought up natural selection, genetics, evolution, etc. I am hoping to get some credit for my next, newly discovered theory:

In my own words: When a parent has a positive skillset, because of this, the child then inherits a negative skillset. And vice versa. 

AKA if your mom’s bad at cooking, you become a good cook (out of desire for decent meals, necessity, etc). But if you’re mom’s good at cooking, you’re screwed.  (due to laziness, the opposite of necessity, etc.) In my personal case, my mom can make desserts that make Betty Crocker jealous. Additionally, my friend once said, “Joyce, every meal at your house is like a festival.”

Therefore, when I enter the kitchen it’s a lot like Harry Potter entering Snape’s potions class: bad things immediately commence. 
On the outside chance that my end result is edible, it is definitely not enjoyable.

Perhaps the first time I realized this defect was when I was about 13 and making Ramen Noodle Soup for my sisters for lunch. I did EVERYTHING PERFECTLY on the directions – just missed the small tiny line that said “let boil for 3 minutes” and kind of just boiled them for, you know...until I remembered I was making soup. The television may or may not have been involved. I didn’t think boiling away all the broth was that big of a deal, but my sisters never let me live that one down.

Another moment when my cooking inadequacies were illuminated was when I was babysitting and asked the kids, “What do you guys want for dinner?” The 11-year-old quickly proclaimed “I got it,” and began effortlessly making pancakes. I quickly checked my reflection to see if I had “Bad Cook” tattooed on my forehead.

While watching little chef boy whipping up his miracle batter, I realized that I had never once made pancakes in my entire life. Which included over 20 years and 4 completed semesters of college. Yeah, this epiphany was not exactly the high point of my culinary career.

But things went from bad to worse when I decided to boil some pasta this fall, because I was too lazy to leave the room for dinner and too cheap to order anything. Note to self: Lazy + Cheap = Bad combo.

There was some left over pasta and sauce that my Italian boyfriend had bought and made for me the last time he visited.  He is an excellent cook (that’s an understatement) and I was pretty sure I remembered exactly how he did it….

Boiling the pasta wasn’t so bad, but then I had to drain it. We have a fancy pot with holes on the lid, so all I had to do was tip the pot over (while holding the lid in place) and drain out the boiling water. I used a couple of dish towels to protect my hands from the heat radiating off of the lid. While draining, I smelled something burning and was thinking, "I just burned the pasta. I didn't even know that was possible" when I looked to my right and noticed a giant flame inches away from my right-hand.

Usually when something bad happens (and massive flame looming dangerously close to my dominate hand = bad), I kinda freak out and throw things and stuff. Some how, this time, I kept it together - and this was the end result:

Perhaps the flame wasn't as big as I made it up to be, but still NOW not only does my cooking suck, but it’s also DANGEROUS.
Maybe the 11-year pancake prodigy is available for cooking lessons.

Healthy New Year?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Everyone knows January is the peak month for an increase in gym memberships, diets, etc. Year in and year out, "weight loss" consistently remains as one of the most popular new year's resolutions. One of my friends even posted a status on New Year's Eve that said "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we diet."

Restaurants know this too - and many have been offering healthy options for a while now, with obesity levels skyrocketing and what not. Yet, the other day at Red Robin with a group of friends I couldn't believe the "healthy alternative" that was offered on the menu - but I was even more shocked when one of my friends ordered it.

Behold, an easy way to cut down on carbs (?):

That's right, discretely filling in for a HAMBURGER BUN (as if no one would notice) is nothing more (or less) than tasteless, bland, watery, LETTUCE.

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most people don't go to a burger restaurant that serves bottomless steak fries with the intent of shedding a few pounds.

Yet, I think that this might be the secret solution to weight loss that people have been relentlessly searching for decades. Get this: replace everything with lettuce.

Why stop with the Lettuce posing as a hamburger bun? It's a versatile vegetable:

1. Lettuce pizza - who really likes the crust anyway?

2. Fettucini and *lettuce* - Alfredo sauce, who needs it? Lettuce sauce? Now that's more like it. Noodles coated with crunchy watery goodness that only iceberg can manage.

3. Ice cream Lettuce Sunday! - don't feel bad adding an extra scoop of sprinkles to that delicious, organic vegetable doused in chocolate syrup.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen - the secret to weight loss - replace anything that has calories (and taste) with lettuce! It's so easy a rabbit could do it! I honestly don't see any flaws in this fool-proof plan...

What's that? Oh yeah, lettuce sucks. Never mind. Go join a gym.

Video Games Hate Me

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Perhaps you think I’m paranoid to think inanimate objects are conspiring against me. Continue reading for years of accumulated evidence.

As a kid, my sisters and I never had Nintendo, Sega, Playstation, etc. I used to want one. Not because I ever found the idea of video games remotely attractive, just because everyone else had AT LEAST a game boy.   I mean, we didn’t even have cable until I was 14. I don’t want my classmates thinking I’m AMISH.

Anyway, I gained much needed gaming experience from my neighbor, the typical boy who played video games at least 4 hours per day. And by “much needed experience” I mean he let either my twin sister or me take a turn every half hour or so. It was usually her. Watching him play Donkey Kong for hours on end? Good use of my time.

When I did manage to obtain a controller, it didn’t take anyone long to realize that I was as a blind person playing darts. Who also happens to be handless.

Over the years, my favorite game was Mario Kart on N64. Suddenly, everybody wanted to race me! Turns galore! (In hindsight, I was most likely an ego-boost.)

I can say with 85 percent certainty that I never won a Mario Kart race. I always ended up a.) in the water or b.) driving the WRONG WAY. Which is also like saying “Yoshi would be making more progress if your controller sat untouched on the carpet.”

This Christmas though, I decided to turn over a new leaf when my family got the Wii Fit. I'm a Division 1 athlete, it can't be that bad. I thought as I stepped on the platform to take a few balance tests.

Little did I know that the platform is not only a hidden scale, but also has the ability to obliterate any girls' self-esteem with a single number: your "Wii Fit Age." And alas, I am not 1 or 2 years over my real age (a mere 22), but, according to the artificial intelligence of our Christmas gift, I am an entire decade older. Yes, this inanimate, over-priced gaming console thinks that my estimated age is 32 years old. What does that even mean?!

Although it was hard to recover from that blow, I promptly descended the almighty platform, and headed straight to the kitchen where - destiny would have it - there were 2 homemade pies:

Conclusion: Sometimes pie is the only answer. 
I think I was 40 by the time I was done.

Some Things Never Change, like, My New Year's Resolutions...

Monday, January 3, 2011

I think the same person who invented New Year’s Resolutions invented digital bathroom scales. Thought process: how can I make a large portion of the population feel absolutely terrible about themselves on a regular basis? 

Thus, the birth of the To Do List on steroids.

Sadly, my Resolutions for the past decade have been as unchanging as the Pittsburgh Pirates record. And about as promising, too. 

One: Eat Less Candy. Two: Organize My Room (and life). Three: Stop biting my nails.

Only to find myself on January 24th sitting in my dorm room anxiously chewing on my nails, deciding if I should try to find my laptop under the heaps of Skittles and Reese’s Cup wrappers, or opt to search for my floor buried beneath my wardrobe.

So, this year, I decided to change up my impossibly boring list.  As I’m about to graduate college in May – I decided to make a daily blog to see if I’m really learning anything while getting my degree.   

Since I actually like writing, and I’m trying to now start doing something I like more, rather than stop doing something I like (aka eating candy like a fourth grader on Halloween) I’m hoping to have a little more success with this goal…maybe make it out of February. 

My thought process is, write something new every (week)day. Because, you learn something new every day, right? (I don't learn much on weekends - plus, a resolution starting January 3rd = much more realistic).

So, even though my room currently looks like the Clearance section of Wal Mart threw up on it, and I just devoured two chocolate covered Oreos at record speed, I leave you with this quote:  

"I think we can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do - by what we deny ourselves, what we resist, and who we exclude. We've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include." 
- Pere Henri, Chocolat (the movie)

{www.perform.org.uk.blog} :)