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Somehow, I Still Suck at Scrabble

– For a while, now, I have had a mental list of words that I like and words that I do not like. It looks something like this

Words I Like:

  • circumstantial
  • disdain
  • perplex
  • listless
  • adhere/cohere

Words I do NOT Like:

  • mixture
  • crusty
  • soggy
  • festering
  • smiley
  • important

Just to make everything clear, there is no rhyme or reason to the words I evaluate or how I evaluate them.  Mostly everything I do lacks a sense of coherency anyway.  Nonetheless, I have been hearing a word frequently that I literally want to use in every sentence I speak, all day, every day, till I can’t utter it any longer.  Ironically, I don’t think I ever use this word at all in my daily speech, but luckily the intelligent people with which I surround myself do.  The word is — regardless. Doesn’t it just melt in your mouth? Regardless.  Say it out loud, go on! Listen to the exquisiteness of its structure.

If you happen to be saying this word to yourself and wondering with the hell I’m talking about.  Don’t worry.  I’m pretty sure I have a weird word fetish that only a bizarre, thesaurus-loving English major like myself would encourage.  About 2 months ago I was sitting in my friend’s room, pregaming in a large group for his 21st birthday.  We were listening to music, talking, and having the normal social interactions you would expect from a group of college students.  Unfortunately, I looked to my left and spotted the red Webster’s Dictionary that was propping up my shot glass and chaser cup.  I screamed, “You have a dictionary!?! Oh my god! You don’t understand how many words I’ve been meaning to look up!”, and proceeded to pick it up and skim through the egg-carton colored pages.  It’s sad, really.  How can a dictionary really excite me that much?

And why couldn’t I have just used the revolutionary invention of the World Wide Web to investigate the unknown meanings of the words I had been so perplexed (<– good word!) by.  What am I, a 70-year-old lady who needs those huge buttons on her home phone? Seeing as I don’t own a home phone, and probably never will… I seem to be in the clear, but judging from this experience and personal reflection, I am clearly not a normal college girl in her early 20s.  Words, just like parties, freshly baked cookies, and new episodes of LOST, excite the hell out of me.


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Thankful Thursday

After spending five hours in the library, writing a critical essay for my hardest english class, and still looking at a good six more hours, I somehow had the urge to write again! I walked home to take a break from the ice cold room on 5th floor Paterno, and I took my sweet time doing  it. It’s a beautiful sunny day and everyone is outside exercising, biking, playing volleyball — I love Penn State.

So on this leisurely walk home, I realized I was so thankful for 2 things.

1.  I saw this guy walking around with a “Free Hugs” sign taped to his shirt.  He actually looked like the most socially awkward person I had ever seen, but I thought, “Good for him! He’s really putting himself out there!” For about 1 second, I thought I might just take him up on that offer, considering I’ve been working like a crazy woman on this paper and I just need a hug. I took another glance at him, and decided it probably wasn’t the safest idea.  As I crossed the stop sign at Burrowes, I waited for a Jeep with two college guys in it to pass.  Looking haggard and sad, I was sure they were less than impressed with me.  But, to my surprise, the boy in the passenger seat simply smiled at me and waved his hand a little.  I smiled back, and thought about how nice that was of that random boy.  A smile goes a long way, especially when the recipient has been alone and mute for the last 5 hours in the library.  I was thankful for that friendly gesture. Oh yeah… and it was john krazinski, too. (i wish).

2. This is a little different, but still made me happy.  I kept walking past Burrowes and down the street toward Atherton.  On my way, I noticed the man passing me on the left.  He was so tightly strapped into his backpack that I though his abdomen was just going to explode.  Both straps at his chest and belly were tied as tightly as anyone could possibly imagine, and I wondered how heavy his backpack must be to need THAT much support. As he walked by, I glanced and noticed that there couldn’t have been more than one or two notebooks inside.  I am so thankful I saw this silly man. I hope he continues to look like a turtle forever.

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I guess bigger IS better

Let me introduce you to the most useless piece of technology ever created.  It’s is the new iPod Shuffle.  If someone were to ask me about a shuffle I would describe it as a small rectangular piece of plastic with no screen that plays about 100 of your favorite songs.  This device, from my past (age 14), had regular iPod buttons like Play, Rewind, Stop and a larger plug on the bottom to connect to my computer.

Today, however, my mind was blown… and then extremely confused. Learning that my mom went to get groceries with the car that contained all of our iPods, I had to be resourceful for my daily jog.  I called my mom and she directed me to the “small shuffle” she had in her other purse.  What I pulled out of that purse was no shuffle, it was some kind of blank fingernail-sized piece of plastic.  The only plug on it was for earphones and there was not ONE button to be found.  I have several questions for my mother when she comes back:

How did you transfer any songs on to this thing in the first place? How do you skip a song? How does one adjust the volume if at all?

This is what it looks like –>

I mean… seriously, that is too small to function.  It bares resemblance to Zoolander’s microscopic phone.  So after my initial shock, I put in my earphones and clicked the tiny on/off button with my fingernail.  I started to jog, and then realized I was stuck with “Dear Mr. President” by Pink. ughhh… mom and her iTunes.  There was no way around it. I was forced to listen to the entire slow and complain-y song before Sexy Bitch finalllyy came on after what felt like an hour. Eventually, as I rounded the bend back to my house, “Part Of Your World” from The Little Mermaid came on.  This song is great when you choose it for a fun sing-along with your friends, but when you’re already about to keel over from exhaustion, it’s a real downer. Sorry Ariel.

So if you’re thinking, hey! I need something to entertain me while I’m on my morning jog, I would steer clear of this worthless doohicky.

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The Many Faces of Cardio

So since it’s been 68-73 degrees around these parts, I’ve started running outside.  And by running, I mean speed walking like those old ladies in spandex with tube socks and visors. I used to be a big fan of the gym, but since adventuring into the Great Outdoors, I’ve come to notice and appreciate several of its qualities.  They have been very carefully categorized into 3 specific areas…

The Good: Exercising in the hills of southern california is actually really beautiful.  Although mostly brown during the summer, the winter brings out a picturesque mixture of greenery accompanying small creeks and dirt trails.  Trying to stay motivated, I offered to bring my sister’s most athletic puppy, Baxter, out for a 2nd walk of the day.  I thought, ‘this little fluff ball is not going to be in any rush’, so I prepared myself for a leisurely stroll.  Little did I know, Baxter was expecting WAY more.  As soon as we hit the steepest hill, he looked at me like, “Oh my gosh! I’m having so much fun! Let’s RUNN!!!”, and broke into a run.  I was so surprised by his spunk and just started cracking up. Basically for the rest of the walk, we ran like a couple of champs.  What a cutie! Another fun thing I like about running outside are the people you see.  As you pass others who are also working out, you can usually smile and they will politely smile back.  It’s always nice to exchange happiness with others.  But the REALLY great part is the several asian families I pass by.  Sometimes they are older, and sometimes they are young with a couple of kids on bicycles, but they are the best because they are always always there, they take their sweet time, and the women always wear the most gigantic visors.  I really find joy in them.

The Bad: I have the habit of doing cardio with my iPod in my ear, but today I thought I should take my headphones out and really take in the nature that surrounds me.  I really believed I would be spiritually enlightened by this little gesture, so at the prettiest part of my walk, I took them out.  Suddenly, I realized why I should always listen to music.  Here are a list of things I didn’t realize I couldn’t hear with my music on:

  1. My be-labored breathing (seriously, it sounds like I have asthma)
  2. The squeaky sound of my shorts rubbing together
  3. My burps (sometimes running makes me burp)
  4. The hoots and hollers from the mexican construction workers (I just thought they were staring)
  5. The awkwardness of the meager “hi” I blurt out at other runners

I didn’t exactly realize that when my music is blasting in my ears, I feel like I’m on top of the world.  I’m pretty sure my inner dialogue sounds something like this: “I’m so cool, I’m running so fast, and this song is like a soundtrack to my life, I’m SOO pumped up! I bet that cute runner guy thinks I’m so hot”.  Without Kelly Clarkson screaming that her life would suck without me, I am just a sweaty, beet-red, burping girl.  It’s not pretty.

The Ugly: I’ve also come to realize that the best part of not being in a gym is the significantly less amount of people seeing your “Work Out Face”.  Now, I’m not trying to speak on behalf of everyone, but most people’s work out faces are a mixture of constipation + pensive thinking + dying of heat exhaustion.  Ok, let’s be honest… it’s just me.  But being aware that only three or four people (not including fun asian visor wearers) saw my painful face, makes me wayyy more motivated to go the next day.

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What a LOSER!

One of my guiltiest pleasures (the totality of which consists of 95%  of my television) is The Biggest Loser.  I don’t get to watch it all the time, but whenever I am alone (or w/ my mom or Sara) I get to indulge in its overwhelming fatness.  These particular people are far and beyond clinically obese.  Not only do I cry multiple times per episode due to the crying/sad life stories and whatnot, but I also look forward to the complete and utter shock of the ‘finale’ episode.  The last season that I saw, this man actually lost 237 pounds! That’s like a pretty big full-grown adult man– or two backstreet boys! Usually I get to see the first 2 or 3 episodes and the best is when I’m too busy for the rest of the season until the very end, and then WHAM! They’re unrecognizable.  It’s like a balloon that someone popped so all the helium squeaks out of it.

I do feel badly for this people though, because the show insists on making them look and feel like complete crap.  They make them send in videos of themselves eating pounds of greasy food, zoom in, and then crank that sucker to slow-mo, making every drip of grease glisten off their chins for the thousands of watching audience members around the country to cringe and become slightly nauseous at their somewhat overkill meal.

But it doesn’t just stop there.  They also force the contestants to step on the scale shirtless for the first, let’s say, hundred pounds they lose! Ya, right! If I ever happened to be over 300 pounds, I’d rather be dead than be on national television with my shirt off. Scratch that, I wouldn’t do that at ANY weight. Like this woman, for example, they photograph her without a shirt, but 150 pounds later, they force her to now cover up her toned tummy with a Biggest Loser tank top. Well, stick a fork in her, she’s done! Finally ready to cover herself up! haha.And look at that tan…I’m gonna say they did a hell of a lot more to her than just her weight loss.  But I like this show, I really do.  While I watch the blood, sweat, and tears of the participants, I get to sprawl on my couch, watch my big silvery spoon dive into my pile of Rocky Road, and marvel at Jillian’s manliness.  She seriously gets manlier every

Isn't he so cute?!? wayyy better off than Jillian (or weird vein-head guy)

single season, and it is amazing…

I mean, I have seen many more men with smaller biceps than this lovely lady.  She can frighten motivate you by screaming an inch from your face and if you’re not careful, she can kick your ass in two second flat.  I’d definitely stay on her good side.  And if that’s what it means to be in

shape and look fit, well then… I’m not so sure it’s on my agenda anymore.  I’d rather look like the 300 lb. contestants who strangely remind me of babies. Seriously, they get so tan and wrinkly when they’re skinny, they look like 20 years older!

But this show had me thinking recently.  Three and a half years ago, I gave myself a pass for weight gain.  I knew college was gonna be full of parties, pre-games, beer bongs, and late-night pizza, but it came upon me that my “pass” had gone tooo far, and I needed to start getting healthy and hopefully fitting into all my clothes.  What a concept!! I mean, it just makes sense.  Plus, I’m gonna be in the real world soon, and I need to make some moves.  So I thought Christmas break would be a great time to start eating healthier and maybe getting in a little movement exercise.  Wellll, it turned out to be a huge eye opener.  NOTHING was as easy as I had expected. I thought, “Sure, I’ll just eat some salads and run around the block a few times.” Unfortunately, I had severely underestimated the copious amount of food that I unthinkingly devour at school.  I felt like this writer in Self magazine who started on Weight Watchers.  Her diary consisted of this paragraph that exactly explains how I currently feel:

“I am absolutely outraged! One cup? Um, sorry.  That is most definitely not a serving of cereal.  Here’s my recommended serving: Take large ceramic bowl.  Fill it to the brim with cereal so the addition of milk tumbles a few frosted shredded wheat squares onto the counter. (Eat those).  Spoon into mouth while staring out the window unseeingly until first bowl has been consumed and a puddle of milk remains.  Fill milk puddle with more cereal, eat and repeat until there is no remaining milk.  That, my friends, is a serving of cereal.”

As I read this, I thought to myself, ‘that’s definitely exactly how I eat my morning cereal’…. scary.  I smell a reevaluation coming my way. Whoa nelly!

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Cellular Hellular

A few nights ago, while my four friends and I were locked out of our apartment, I had them go through their cell phone address books and look for peculiar and unfamiliar numbers.  I started this tradition in my own life about 3 years ago.  Scrolling through my phone, looking for a friend’s number, I stumbled upon an entry that resembled the words “Tom creepy” and “Eric frat” more than twice.  Unfortunately, I have not only NOT learned from my mistakes, but have continued to compile a list of weird address book entries.  Looking over these is both eye-opening and hilarious experience.  I have created a list of especially wonderful entries from the address books of my outgoing and social friends:

  1. Kevin party
  2. Jeff Sexy
  3. Ginger
  4. Retard Joe
  5. Dayna Hawc
  6. terrell
  7. Terrell (two different guys, both from my phone… cool)
  8. Annoying girl <– haha
  9. Yo natalieeeeeee girl

and my absolute favorite…. “do not answer”.  That one is the cherry on top because not only is it a kind of nick-name, it is also a blatant warning.  Whatever you do, do not answer that call, or you-know-who will bug the living crap out of you.  Normally, you will find old friends and coworkers that may not be relevant to your life anymore, but these special treasures serve as little reminders about how much of a mess your life is.  Very few times will you remember actually entering this random, annoying, or “hot” person’s number into your phone because frankly, you were too effed up to care.  You probably were so anxious to get out of the situation that you would do anything to break free, including an exchange of digits.

The worst part is: did I ever think that I was going to recognize these names in my phone? Would I see the words “Kevin Party” eight months later and be like “Oh ya! That ONE party that one night was soooo much fun! And I’m so glad I met Kevin!”….. NO! I will never remember this person by this completely vague description.  I look at the name and think of all the possible parties/semesters/years at Penn State that could qualify.  But, not to worry.  You will never see this person again, right? It is really not a problem if you just ignore it….

unlesss 1 of 2 things happens. He calls/texts you, or you run into him somewhere.  Woops, I have no idea who you are, despite the fact that you’re in my phone.  Sorry Charlie! (or whatever your name is..) Another no-no, is attempting to keep these people in your phone in case you want the “option” one day.  A friend of mine (I will not name names) was slightly intoxicated and going through her phone.  Just looking for a friendly make out, she texts this one good looking fellow from her past whom she remembers fondly.  An hour later, she receives this…

“This is Eric’s wife.  We would both appreciate it if you would not invite him to make out with you.”

boom.  There it is. You can’t deny it. Just embrace your embarrassment, send it in to Texts From Last Night, and immediately delete that number.

So my advice to all you cell phone savants out there. I know it’s great to meet new people, but if nothing rings a bell while reading his/her name, or you have not conversed with this person for over 2 years… stay far far away. Don’t be afraid of the delete button. I promise you won’t regret it.


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10 Jobs I Could Never Have and Why

Today, I came home from class and running some errands and the last remaining roommate was packing up the car, ready to drive off into the sunset.  During the course of my day, they had all packed up, cleaned up, and shipped out.  The door closed after a tearful (on my part) goodbye, and it was officially Thanksgiving Break.  Thankfully, I had planned a fun-filled evening of cleaning the entire apartment, with sponges, Clorox spray and all.  Yes, I actually planned this in advance.  So I plugged in my Ipod and got started.  Not long after, I found out that I am a terrible housekeeper.  Mostly everything just grossed me out, and when I tried to clean the bathroom, water was everywhere! I think I spent 2 hours cleaning and the apartment is probably only 5% cleaner than it was before.  Clearly, if there were any job that I was not made for… this was it. And not only that, but there are several different occupations that I would be terrible at! Here are ten of them and the reasons why:

1. Maid – I end up gagging multiple times at the things under the couch, singing and dancing along to my music most of the time, and feeling accomplished after only one or two surfaces, leading to a break or even the need for a nap.

2. Rapper – Mostly because all the words I try to rhyme consist of a 2nd grader’s vocabulary. The bird said the word that he heard near the turd.

3. Stripper – For the reason that when I “dip it low”, I literally can’t get up.

4. Foot Model – Have you seen those puppies? My “boat feet”, as my loving sister calls them, are only balance, not for beauty.

5. Baker/Cake Boss – Because there would be no product to sell. It would all be in my tummy, and I would be extremely happy, yet clinically obese.

6. Actress – I think costars might become slightly annoyed by the fact that I would instantly fall in love with them.  Everyone I came into contact with would be love at first sight… I’m convinced.

7. Personal Trainer – For the pure fact that I would most definitely sit down in the middle of a session from the exhaustion of having to order someone around.  I would also possibly have taco bell or some other fast food in my hand the whole time.

8. Competitive Eater – I tried it last week and found out that pictures of me shoveling  multiple sprinkled Christmas cookies in my mouth are extremely unflattering, especially when I overestimate my abilities and have to wipe the cookie residue from my lips. woof.

9. Lady Gaga – Because my ass would creep its way out of that leotard in 2 seconds flat, and I would most definitely fall on my face in those new Alexander McQueen shoes… if you can really call them that

10. Nun – For obvious reasons (including that god awful habit)


Maybe in the future, I will be able to stop identifying jobs I would be bad at, and start finding ones that I am good at (hopefully, in the near future).  But until then, I am glad that I have this list reassuring me that my life is currently right on track!



I’m obsessed with those Hillshire Farm commercials, so here’s a little one to have fun with:

Hillshire Farms… GO MEAT!


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