Archive | January 2012

Achieving Goals!

In the theme of New Years resolutions and goals, I will tell you all a little success story of mine.

Since quitting my real person job and moving back in with my parents, I thought I could use my sudden abundance of time to start taking better care of my body.  For those of you unaqquainted with my habits, you should know that this is quite a feat, as my diet has typically been made up of a large amount of the Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell dollar menu, and that I only went to the gym in college to play intermural basketball or to climb on the rock wall.  And that only happened, like, 4 times.

So despite years of bad habits working against me, I decided I was going to lose those lbs I’d packed on since I’d left for college.  In my attempt to reach this goal, I realized I needed to make some changes.  I got a dog, in hopes that I would walk it (I don’t). I spent hours deciding which gym to join (I haven’t).  But despite these setbacks, I have manage to actually lose some weight.  And I didn’t even notice! Until today…

Today, the 68 year old dishwasher at the restaurant where I am employed walked up to me, and began, as he always does, to speak to me, rapidly, in Spanish.  This would be fine, if I understood a word of Spanish. I do not.

Our conversation went something like this:

Grandpa (Also for some creepy reason, everyone calls this man “Grandpa”): Thrajdke ajsowe dsalkjfa  fasjdflkj asdjfasf  SPANISH SPANISH SPANISH kjfa asdfjslfkj dfas jsfd al” 

Me: “Grandpa, you know I don’t speak Spanish,  I can’t understand you.  I took French remember? Lo ciento!? No comprendo?! YO NO SAY?!”

Grandpa then starts gesturing with his arms while still rambling in Spanish.  He points at me (mostly my mid-region), then holds his hands apart real wide, then brings them in, then points to me.  This happens repeatedly, while I, in a bizarro game of charades, try to guess what exactly he’s trying to say about me to me.  

Eventually we reach this:

Me: “What Grandpa?  Are you saying that I was fat? But now I’m not?”

Grandpa: “Si, si!” (Nods and smiles and continues to gesture and point)

Me: “Ok. Thanks.”

Thanks to Grandpa, today I realized that I’d reached a goal without even trying!  I think that’s a good lesson to take away.  Sometimes, it’s just better to not even try.

PS. I’m pretty sure the secret to my disappearing figure is that I drink a lot of Five Hour Energies, then lose my appetite for days!  Or maybe it’s just the new pants I got.  In any case, Grandpa thinks I’m skinny.  And that’s all that really matters, right?

Con amor,

Taylor

And finally, a fifth introduction.

Hello, internet world.  I am Taylor and I will be the Winchester (look it up) correspondent.

Like my friends Gen and Ben, I am a recent college graduate, and while they will be chronicling their adventures in exciting, new cities, I will be recounting my experiences of returning to my hometown and back to the open arms of my parents.

After graduating a semester early from college, I spent a couple months honing my diaper changing skills as a preschool teacher in Williamsburg, while I waited for the rest of my friends to graduate.   That was pretty fun, but eventually everyone left to go on to new adventures, so I decided I had to move on to new adventures too!  So obviously I moved back in with my parents, back to the small town I grew up in.

In all seriousness, moving back has been great.  And that’s what I’ll be writing about: how to survive the familiar landscapes of your childhood as a (mild) adult.  While my experiences will probably definitely be less cultured than my urban counterparts, they will most likely be equally as drunk (I’m looking at you, Gen), with probably as many embarrassing stories (again, you Gen) and hopefully as endearing.

So get ready for some awesome stuff, guys.  Seriously. It’s gonna be cool.

I think.

-Taylor

Mission Cheese Ball

I would rather get hit in the face with a ceiling fan while dancing on a table than attend a small holiday party. A few months ago I got hit in the face with a ceiling fan while dancing on a table but it did not get me out of any holiday parties. I wouldn’t hate holiday parties so much if they didn’t get in the way of my favorite winter pastime: eating cheese and watching crime dramas with my parents. This holiday season, I decided if I couldn’t watch crime dramas and eat cheese at home I’d have to find the next best thing. The following is step by step guide to spice up the boring holiday party by pretending you are in a crime drama on a mission to eat an entire cheese ball off the hors d’oeuvres table.

1. Form an alliance: First, you’ll need an ally. My advice in this situation is TRUST NO ONE. As your own ally/accomplice/hype-man, dare yourself to eat as much of a port wine cheese ball as you can without anyone noticing that you’ve eaten more than normal. You’ll feel like a cross between James Bond and Kirstie Alley as you stealthily/gluttonously down an enormous ball of cheese.
2. Preliminary Work: Next you’ll want to do some preliminary work. Call the host and kindly offer to bring something to the party. Most likely, she’ll say no, insisting your presence is all she could ever ask for. Agree with her to be polite and assure her you won’t bring a thing.
3. Buy the Cheese Ball: Drive to your nearest grocery store and buy a port wine cheese ball. Few people have read the lost chapter of Miss Manners detailing the importance of a cheese ball to any holiday party. It was left out of the book for political reasons much like the book of Melvin was left out of the Biblical Canon. Your host will be blown away by your thoughtfulness and thorough knowledge of manners.
4. Go to the Party: Put the cheese ball in your purse. Arrive at the party 25 minutes before it begins. Hosts secretly love an early guest. (This fact is detailed in another lost chapter of Miss Manners). Offer to help set up the hors d’oeuvres. This is your opportunity to set the spread up to benefit you. You’ll also appear helpful which hosts love.
5. Acquire Wine: Ask your host for a glass of wine. Even though your host will most likely be scrambling to finish last minute party details, she’ll be happy to serve you a glass of wine. It will make her feel useful and it will give you the chance to get started on that cheese ball mission. While she gets the wine from the other room, remove the cheese ball from your purse and put it with the other hors d’oeuvres.
6. Make a Mess: As soon as your host hands you the wine, spill it all over the floor. She’ll leave for paper towels, giving you the opportunity to secretly eat the cheese ball. Pick up the cheese ball and eat off the bottom. When you hear footsteps indicating the return of your host, set it back down and surround that base with wheat thins. The cheese ball will appear untouched.
7. Leave the Cheese Ball: I know it sounds crazy but you need to give it some space. Act like you’re paying attention to guests as they arrive but keep most of your focus on the cheese ball across the room.
8. Choose a Target: Keep track of other party goer’s cheese ball habits and choose a target. When you notice a guest take a third or fourth bite of the cheese ball make a joke at her expense. For example, “Wow Dana, you’re really tearing up that cheese ball over there!” Dana will laugh but she’ll also become self conscious and leave the cheese ball.
9. Hype Up the Cheese Ball: This is your first public move toward the cheese ball. Make it count! Make sure your host is out of earshot, as she is the only attendee who knows you brought the cheese ball. Everyone else at the party needs to believe this is your first experience with a cheese ball. Take your first bite. Really milk it. “Oh my stars! What is this delicious ball of cheese? What do you call it?!?” This is your moment to shine. Ham it up a little. You’ll want a crowd for your next move.
10. Convince Dana to Eat More Cheese Ball: This might take the most effort/strategy but it is an integral part of the plan. Remember Dana? Convince her to eat another bite of the cheese ball. She’ll hesitate but you must persist. Find a way to get her back to that cheese ball! Gain her trust then wait for her to take a bite.
11. Publicly Ridicule Dana: Loudly yell, “Dana! Come up for air every once in a while! My god! You and that cheese ball! Why don’t you just pick it up and take it around the room with you!?!?” Humiliated, Dana will once again leave the cheese ball. The crowd will laugh but subconsciously avoid the cheese ball for fear of a public shaming like Dana’s.
12. Eat the Cheese Ball: Take what is rightfully yours!
13. Work the Room: Mention Dana and the cheese ball in as many conversations as possible. People at the party will view you as a great conversationalist and mingler.
14. Plant Some Evidence: If you can’t watch CSI this is the next best thing. Finish the cheese ball and get your coat. While you grab your coat, slip the empty plastic wrapper from the cheese ball into Dana’s pocket. No mercy, Dana.
15. Leave without Explanation: I offer no explanation for this step.

Optional: Drive straight from the party to your local grocery store. Purchase another cheese ball. Find out where Dana is going next. Repeat steps 4-15.

Godspeed!

New Year’s Resolutions

I’m sick and tired of hearing and reading about people’s New Year’s Resolutions.  They’re usually unrealistic, mostly unattainable, and always boring.  If it’s not “Lose weight”, it’s stupid things like “Be a better father”, “Be more cultured”, or “Stop wetting the bed”.  I mean, there’s no honesty or lowered expectations anymore.  No realism.  That’s why I’ve decided to share MY New Year’s Resolutions.  Hopefully they will inspire others to have more realistic goals.

1.       Fart in public more often

This really is one of society’s best kept secrets.  It’s like the perfect crime for bodily functions.  Imagine you’re in a store, or on the subway, or in a movie theater, and you feel the pressure building.  Normally, most people would be polite and hold out until in private or in the bathroom.  But if you think about it, there’s no better place to let one rip.  It is already noisy, people are busy doing other things, and no one’s going to be rude enough to single someone out.  Moreover, it would even give you an opportunity to work on your acting skills, dramatically making a stink face and showing to everyone that you smell something awful, and it was most DEFINTELY not you who dealt it.  Or you could remain silent.  Like I said, either way, it’s the perfect crime.  One I will be committing with abandon this year.

2.       Drink more

Like most people, I’m a lot more fun when I’ve had 2 or 12 drinks.  I’m more sociable, funnier, and all-around more pleasant to be around.  Such is the case, why not be like that every day this year?  I’m not advocating taking up recreational alcoholism, I’m just saying that I’m more inclined to drink when the opportunity presents itself.  2012 seems a great time to create those opportunities myself.

3.       Spend more quality time with my Netflix account

I have a confession: I’ve let work and family get in the way of my Netflix watching.  Grievously, my queue is now 118 titles deep, and I know it’s time to make a change.  I resolve to hole myself up in my room and rededicate myself to the consumption of TV shows and movies.  Besides, now that I live in Los Angeles, the social currency is knowledge of popular culture, so this is unquestionably justifiable.

4.       Think more about me

Too long have I tried helping other people by considering volunteering and feeling guilty about not donating to the Cute-Young-Children-with-Horrific-Forms-of-Cancer Foundation.  This year, it’s all about me.  I’ve been disconcerted about not getting the attention I deserve, so I’m going to give myself that attention myself.  And we’re going to be excessively happy about it, thank us very much.

5.       Go on more dates

The best thing about going on dates is making the other person pay.  This leads to a free meal.  More dates means more free meals.  The best part is when you get up to use the bathroom right before the bill comes, you come back, and they’ve politely taken care of it!  And if things start to get too real (i.e. a second date), it’s easy to say you’re too busy, or you moved out of town, or my personal favorite, you’ve decided to become a priest.

6.       Stop tipping baristas

I mean, really, what do they do that warrants a tip?  Really!?  They make my drink like they’re supposed to, and often times they don’t do it fast enough.  I have nothing against baristas, just the societal norms that mandate a tip.  Besides, they’re smug and pretentious with those punny “tip jars”.  Please, you’re not fooling anyone.

7.       Get liposuction

Year after year, I rededicate myself to fitness by working out, running, and generally not trying to be a fat ass.  I’ve recently discovered that this is a dumb way to go about doing things.  Thankfully, living in California has shed light on a better path:  Liposuction.  Once I save enough thousands of dollars, I can just get all the fat sucked right out, and not have to worry about it for another few years.  I’m certain that’s how it works…

8.       Become more of a hipster

Say what snide jokes you want about hipsters, they are pretty cool.  I like their sense of style and devil-may-care attitude.  They’re also unabashedly arrogant, and I’m unabashedly arrogant, so I feel like it’s a natural fit.  Also, I look phenomenal in flannel.

9.       Stop apologizing

I’m fed up with apologizing to people for perceived affronts.  “Oops, sorry I crossed your path 10 feet in front of you” or “My bad for talking on the phone in public”.  I’ve turned into too much of a softy, and it’s time to let people assume I’m sorry.  I mean, honestly, if you have a problem with what I do, then you don’t have to be around me.  If you’re a family member, just suck it up.

10.   Make more jokes

11.   Say nice things about people (see above)

12.   Prepare a bomb shelter

2012. Mayan Calendar. Ragnarok. No-brainer.

From Los Angeles,

Benjamin Gullickson

How to be a Bridesmaid, Sans Date

  1. Drink early and often.
  2. Dance with your friends’ parents.
  3. Deliver a hilarious toast so everybody knows how funny and cool you are and its not like there’s a reason that you couldn’t lock anybody down for four hours. No reason at all.
  4. Be super attentive to the bride (she’s why you’re there, after all).
  5. Eat as many hors d’oeuvres as possible in the bridal suite thing. They will all be gone by the time you get to cocktail hour what with pictures and stuff.
  6. Cute groomsmen? Go for.
  7. No cute groomsmen? Flirt with the event staff.
  8. Drop your drink and break the glass on the dance floor for good measure. This will show people that you’re down to party hard like Avril Lavigne or something, which is super sexy.
  9. If you can get in the middle of a dance circle, do.
  10.  At the end of the night, have your cab driver stop at a grocery store so you can get a couple boxes of mac and cheese to take home and make with the other dateless hags bridesmaids.  Eat the mac and cheese while watching a late night airing of the TLC special “The Virgin Diaries”. If you can, pass out with the bowl still in your hand. 

Dear Ben

Dear Ben,

You’ve asked me to anchor the “senior” section of your blog.  I’m flattered, but having a little trouble with the whole “senior” thing, as I’m not so sure that’s a category I really want to be in.  Nevertheless, I will attempt your request.  I want a catchy title, what do you think of these:

Huh?

Is 50 the New 35?  No, Not Really…

Older, Yet No Wiser…

Oops, I AARPed!

What Happened To My Face?

Wrinkles…Not Cool

Say What?

What I Think; Whether You Like It or Not…

Because I Said So…

Senior Moments

God, I’m Old…

I’ve Fallen and I’m Not Sure I Want To Get Up

Just a Minute While I Put My Glasses On…

Where’s My Senior Discount?

Shrinkage…and Other Thoughts

O.M.G. it’s hard to be O.L.D.

Thoughts from Beyond

I Don’t Need an Excuse to Drink on a Tuesday Anymore

Old News

Driving Slow in the Fast Lane

Opinions: I Will Give Them…Often

Let me know what you think…not that it really matters…

Love,

Mom

The Third Hello

Hello Internet,

Unlike my New York and Los Angeles colleagues, I do not write to you from an exciting new city. Instead, I write to you from the same small city I’ve called home for three and a half years. I’ve loved my time in Williamsburg but in less than six months I’ll move out of the colonial capital of Virginia (Drop! Haters gonna hate. I’m looking at you Richmond) and settle somewhere else.

This May, I’ll officially become a college graduate! Unfortunately, people expect college graduates to “find jobs” and “become financially independent” so I’ll have to start thinking about that very soon. Hopefully, my New York and Los Angeles  counterparts/nemeses will offer some guidance as I enter the working world (most likely they’ll try to sabotage me).  I’m excited to have an excuse to keep up with Benjamin and Genevieve because I miss them. I’m also very excited to befriend the Senior Correspondent, Catherine Gullickson.

I’ll try to take some time out of my busy schedule of attending class, enjoying my last few months with friends, and hating myself for not majoring in Objectives or Decimals at the business school to say hello!

Talk to you soon, Internet,

Williamsburg Correspondent

Amelia Bane

Hello pt. 2

What up, audience?

Not completely unlike my West Coast counterpart, when I graduated from college, I moved straight to North Carolina to live at the beach with my dad and bartend. I knew that, for what was next, it was really important to establish a strong base tan and some mild form of alcoholism. September rolled around and it was time for me to move along, so I bid adieu to my dad and my friends and about as blindly as one could, moved to NYC. After a while, I found myself in a little 5th floor walk up in Chinatown. I signed up with a temp agency. Turns out, I am a terrible receptionist. But sometimes, I figure, you have to know what you don’t want before you find out what you do want. And, hey, now we all know.

Moving to a new city is great in a lot of ways, but it can get a little lonely. It is really hard to meet people when you are not working. In my neighborhood, I often feel that I stand alone among a veritable sea of Asians. Or a veritable sea of the regularly employed. Asians with jobs can be so smug. Well I sure as shit will show them all one of these days when I’m a star (read: Administrative Assistant)! I’ll be letting you know how it goes.

‘Till we meet again,

New York Correspondent

Genevieve Blau

Welcome

Hello,

My name is Ben Gullickson.  I recently graduated from college, and like so many of my peers, I went on to move home with my parents.  Long ago I learned to live with the crippling shame of being a tall, nerdy white boy, so moving in with my parents was a natural next step.  In fact, I learned to surpress the societal shame I was experiencing, and actually enjoy my time at home.  However, sometime during the period of time where I was sharing a bedroom with my 13 year old brother, carpooling into work with my father, and spending Friday nights hanging out with my parents, I discovered my life was a living hell.  I of course do not mention that my laundry was taken care of, food was prepared, and alcohol and cable services were provided, as this is negligible.  Naturally, growing up in the internet generation, I decided to write a blog about my tribulations.

Ok, I’ll cut the crap.  In all honesty, this blog is merely a ploy to crack my friends up as I and some of my fellow peers (and one elder stateswoman who happens to be my mother) chronicle our lives and adventures after leaving the bubble of college.  Most of us have moved home, most of us are in a new city, and all of us have no idea what the hell we’re doing.  This is a venue to air our grievances, as well as provide fodder on our misadventures, and, at times, embarrassing mistakes.  It is my hope that over time, this site will provide something for everyone: humor, adventure, baked goods, music suggestions, murder plots, etc.  However, I have been known to have unrealistic expectations.  Overall, the tone will be sarcastic and biting, but you might be surprised to find (at times) some real human emotions permeating throughout the site.  We apologize in advance for this.

So, please enjoy what we have to say, and how we say it.  Whether you return to this site for sincere enjoyment, morbid curiosity, or mocking interest, we hope that we provide bountiful entertainment.

Your Los Angeles Correspondent,

Benjamin Gullickson