Life & Other Drugs

I Hate How Much I Love Starbucks’ Holiday Cups

November 6, 2014


Ten months out of twelve, you’ll find me getting my caffeine fix at independent coffee joints — you know, the ones named after animals or negative emotions with approximately three wooden chairs and a poorly lit wall cubby for seating. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those, dare I say, corporate chain coffee shops. After all, I have a pretentious coffee drinker reputation to uphold!

Come November, though, that all changes faster than you can say cold brew. Maybe it’s the desire for some semblance of consistency among the ever-changing weather. Maybe it’s the holiday season looming over us. Maybe it’s the cold metal benches at that other coffee place.

But boy, do I love those stupid red holiday cups from Starbucks more than anything else. When the world’s monopolistic coffee overlords announced the tantalizing maroon cups were back to seduce us, I threw on my parka and audibly screamed to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” And I hate it.

Starbucks’ coffee tastes like the devil himself roasted beans in the fires below, and I’m never quite sure if the cookie I ordered is edible food or a plastic model. Those holiday drinks? Molten sucrose. Liquid root canals. Simply thinking about them makes my blood sugar rise. And here’s the real kicker — it’s not even Christmas yet! I should be spending November plunging my face into piles of mashed potatoes, not uncomfortably room temperature whipped cream atop my latte.

Alas, I’m going to buy the dumb seasonal drinks anyway —  because once those red cups are here, I’m a goner. A hopeless slave to winter consumerism. I don’t even care if they write my name wrong on the cup. Draw a snowman on it, for all I care. Just help me fill my holiday cheer quota and give me the damn red cup. And while you’re at it, put that cookie in a red cup, too.

Those relatives who post Facebook statuses ranting about materialism during the Christmas season? I don’t think they considered how adorable these cups are. Parents complaining about kids these days dropping four bucks on coffee? You’re right, it is pretty ridiculous! But then again, I have a Peppermint Mocha and you don’t.

Just you wait — soon enough, I’ll be towering high above my enemies on my red cup throne wielding Venti Gingerbread Lattes in both mitten-wearing hands. Under my all powerful and all sugary rule, the store’s radio will play nothing besides Otis Redding’s cover of “White Christmas.” That’s right, the one from Love Actually. I may not be able to flirt with the bearded, flanneled barista at the shop around the corner, but at least I can guzzle down high fructose corn syrup in the presence of employees that seem slightly concerned about my well-being. But as long as my sugar high-induced delusions of grandeur continue, they will do nothing but laugh amidst their espresso arsenal and make me another drink.

Believe me: I wish I was above this. With all of my caffeinated heart, I seek to stop infusing my bloodstream with peppermint syrup. Every time I close my eyes, my eyelids are lined with tacky snowflake decals. Resistance appears more futile each and every day. Do I want this season to end, or do I want to live among holiday-neutral products forever? What if the world is just one giant red holiday cup and we’re all trapped inside of it?

This holiday season, I pray that you act stronger than I. Do not be a pawn in the corporate marketing game. Celebrate the season with your loved ones, not soggy pieces of cookie mixed with espresso. Buy a drink from your local coffee shop, then tell the workers how much you love the Christmas display they made from Chemex brewers.

Of course, all of this is after you get a red cup. Seriously, they’re the cutest.

Image via.

On "The Hill"

The Seven Wonders of the College World

November 6, 2014

1.) The Eternal Load of Laundry: A striking mix of dingy whites and colors that occupies an annoyingly large space in the corner of every dorm laundry room. No one knows when this ancient pile of clothes was left in the laundry room, or by whom. It is remarkable both in its completeness and its longevity – scientists wonder how its creator has enough clothes to wear.

2.) The Overachiever: Anthropologists have traced the origin of modern college overachieving to an ancient culture known for being annoyingly popular, really smart, and well-rested. This walking paradox can be seen looking remarkably relaxed in any number locations.

3.) The Library: While it appears to be yet another riot-proof concrete building (or, if your college talks about their endowment a lot, a Hogwarts-style castle), college libraries are gathering points for the primitive inhabitants of university campuses. In most societies, these imposing edifices serve as a place dedicated to the mourning of ancestral GPAs. When winter rolls around, libraries are also notable for being the coldest existing indoor spaces on the globe.

4.) The Campus’s Comfiest Chair: Every campus has a comfiest chair. It’s typically located in an odd section of the student center or some obscure department building. The perfect place to study nap. Plush, squishy, quiet…just…just leave me here to die.

5.) A Good Meal In A Dining Hall: The sheer beauty of a not-just-edible-but-actually-tasty meal at a college dining hall has been known to bring diners to tears. This beautiful anomaly is often attributed to divine forces. Modern researchers hypothesize that tasty dining hall food may be the only truly random event in the known world.

6.) The Drunken Lazarus: This student routinely gets incredibly drunk incredibly quickly, to the point of actual illness. Expressing regrets the next morning, they vow never again to imbibe alcohol. Miraculously, they consistently break this promise the next weekend and suffer the exact same result. This cycle is considered to be a scientific oddity in that it displays the complete failure of operant conditioning on a sentient creature.

7.) Student With Dog: Hey, I know that kid. He’s in my English section. Where’d he get that dog? Is that his dog? How did…where…wh-…nngh. All I want is a dog, man. Just one little dog. Or a big dog. A golden retriever maybe. Or like one of those big furry ones with the little barrel around its neck. Yeah. Shit. Do you think he’ll let me pet it all the time if I share my notes?

Images via, via, via, via, via, via, via.


Tales of a Geriatric Co-ed

November 5, 2014


Fall is in full-swing. The leaves have turned and are slowly but surely making their transition from beautiful Providence scenery into rain-slicked death traps. Quelle dommage! As nature dies all around me, I like to take note of my youth and vitality, and resent it to the fullest extent of my ability. I am an old soul. I realize that there are a whole host of articles and television representations of the grouchy old man that paint his archetype as a cute and quirky romantic ideal. Or perhaps that is just ideal for me. However, there is an untold dark side to having the body of a twenty-one year old and the mind, soul, and dietary preferences of Betty White.

I shall recount an anecdote. Summer 2014. I am being hip and cool and with it by staying in Providence during break. My spritely rising-sophomore sublet-mate has a social life. There were perhaps no fewer than three occasions where she trotted past me on her way out to see living people and caught me huddled in a snuggie, glasses dripped down to the tip of my nose, shoveling soup in my mouth as I watched my “stories” and prepared for an early tuck-in. I remember looking in the mirror and wondering who the crone was and where were the thirty-seven cats that went with my outfit?

The reality is, this makes for a fun story. The irony. The soup. But I am trying to resist my geriatric tendencies to shutter in a drafty lecture and mumble obscenities at street youths that pass me on my way to get Echinacea from CVS. Hopefully, I will have many years to enjoy my natural born crotchetiness. For now, I’m going to try and embrace my actual age, youth the fuck up, and stay up until at least 11pm on a school night.

Image via


The Communication Gap

November 5, 2014

Parents. Can’t live with ‘em, certainly cannot live without ‘em. Where would I be without my mom reminding me to put pants on? Without my dad sharing scholarly articles and cool books with me? Exactly where I am now, in my dorm, without pants on, playing Tetris instead of doing my work. I suppose that’s beside the point.

While my parents cannot constantly be involved in my life (long distance usually makes that happen in your relationship), they maintain contact with me through other mediums, mainly texting. Texting, and other forms of virtual communication, really lend themselves to confusion or miscommunication. And when I say miscommunication, I mean blatant misreadings of simple messages. I am fully aware that this is not a phenomenon unique to my parents and me. All you college kids (and high school kids who have ever left the house before) will know exactly what I mean in a minute. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, Listicles, On "The Hill"

A Guide to Backpacks in College

November 4, 2014

As a child, shopping for school supplies was always one of my guilty nerd pleasures. An array of folders begging to be decorated with stickers, stretchy textbook covers that also functioned as do-rags, and, if you were part of the kindergarten elite, skin-color markers! As I’ve gotten older, my school supplies have dwindled to just a laptop and a pencil. Unfortunately, this means that people no longer define themselves by boasting about their 24-pack of crayons and glitter glue. Instead, college students express their unique identities through their backpacks. Which backpack clique do you fall into?



The Old Classic. Slightly worn straps, frayed edges, and a half-broken zipper fit your casual disposition. You’re the vanilla of ice cream, the golden retriever of dogs, nothing special, but a safe bet.

North Face:


Are you going to class or Mount Everest? I get it, you like functionality. And, yes, those padded shoulder straps actually do make a difference. But the bungee cords do seem a little extreme even if you are trekking to the 14th floor of the Sci Li.


If you’re trying to go for the new up-and-coming brand, you need to look elsewhere. Hipster culture is the mainstream culture at Brown University. If you want to be out of the box here, vote Republican or listen exclusively to Katy Perry.


L.L. Bean:

Some of us accept change faster than others, but if you’ve had the same indestructible backpack since first grade, it’s probably time to move on. The monogram is cute, but it’s really only fun if your initials are cool like “CAT,” “FUK,” or “ASS.”

Brief Case:

Pre-professional douchebag alert! Calm down, bro. I get it, you want to intimidate the competition in your finance class, but you’ll have time for that at your first Goldman Sachs interview.


Hipster briefcase. Think, mustache douche.  For the record, I found this picture on under “cool messenger bags.”  Enough said.


Spending upwards of $300 on a backpack seems a little over the top, but if you really want to put your pencils and textbooks in a bag that costs as much as your laptop, be my guest. I commend you for looking like you just stepped off the runway despite being in 9 am Econ.


While these are dope in theory, remember that your backpack probably won’t look like a chic tumblr fashion blog on a daily basis. Rather than toting around lollipops and $100 bills, everyone is probably going to see your tampons and TI-84 calculator.


I have yet to spot the elusive roller backpack kid, but I know you’re out there! Wherever you are, keep doing what you’re doing. I was forced to sport one of those for a lot longer than I’d like to admit (thanks, scoliosis), so I know the pain you’re going through. You do you and roll away from the haters

Image via, viavia, via, via, via, viavia, via.

Life & Other Drugs, Listicles

Halloween Costumes: The Morning After

November 4, 2014

You’ve polished off the bag of candy corn your mom sent you. You’ve slept off your hangover. You’ve flipped your puppy-of-the-month calendar from the chihuahua sitting in a pumpkin to the golden retriever wearing a pilgrim’s hat. Every piece of evidence from your Halloweekend of debauchery is gone… except for the neon yellow pile of fabric on the floor that was last night’s sexy bumblebee costume. But never fear! Here are five ways to repurpose your $50 strip of polyester from Party City so you can feel the spooky spirit all semester long!

1. Declare yourself the arbitrary mascot of your unit/workplace/9am Econ section. 

“Welcome to Johnson and Smith’s Accounting Firm… home of the TIGERS! RAWR!”

2. If you can get a friend to give you THEIR old Halloween costume, Frankenstein yourself a new costume for NEXT year. 

“Trust me, this was super relevant in 2014.”

3. With a little creative accessorizing, make your costume into a fashion statement. 

“I like to call this my Lorde aesthetic.”

4. Turn it into some convenient and cost-effective camouflage!


“Nice to know you’ve been talking some serious shit, Debbie.

5. Hope your significant other has a really weird, really specific fetish.

“No, honey, don’t worry. Tons of my friends do this for their boyfriends too. Now, what is it you wanted me to say? Oh yeah. Bee-doo, bee-doo…”

images via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via

Life & Other Drugs, Listicles, On "The Hill"

The Funny Gals’ Costume Roundup

November 3, 2014

Cady Heron says that in Girl World, Halloween is the one time of year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it. Well here at The Rib, we believe Halloween is the one night a year when the funny girls can come out to play and no one can tell us our jokes — read: our costumes — are terrible puns, unoriginal, and/or just plain bad.

So here’s us showing off our ~clever~ Halloweekend attire. As MIA once said, “Live fast, die young, funny girls do Halloween well.” That is what she said, right?

1900134_10152908246021929_6703723992090782183_nI was Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction because I admire her expensive taste in milkshakes and her brave ability to snort whatever white powder she happens to come across. The costume consisted of fake eyelashes, a black wig, a button-up shirt, and a syringe coming out of my chest at a 90 degree angle. –Dana Schwartz


IDK what you’re talking about… This is not a Halloween costume. I am the red dancing lady emoji all the time, every day. –Hannah Pasternak


This Halloween, three friends and I decided to be Oompa-Loompas from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. After brainstorming for several weeks, we collectively decided that traveling in a pack with green hair, criss-crossed suspenders, and baggy pants would definitely award us the sexiest costume award. We really wanted to win this award as the most eligible bachelors are on their best behavior during Halloween and, as a group of seniors, we are obviously husband hunting. –Lani Wenger


This Halloween was probably my most creative to date. One night, my friend and I dressed up as Renée Zellweger before and after her plastic surgery. It was surprisingly easy to make, culturally relevant, and was unintentionally pretty scary. Luv ya, Bridget Jones.  –Sydney Mondry


My friend and I were Zenon and Nebula from Zenon Girl of the 21st Century… Because who doesn’t like a good old Disney Channel original movie?? And also because I’m a halloweenie. –Sarah Master

Allie destroys it to the far right.

Allie destroys it to the far right.

I didn’t want to be the typical school girl everyone sees on Halloween. I wanted to be something witty. My friend Maddie suggested we throw on some bucket hats with our schoolgirl outfits, thus transforming us from ordinary schoolgirl to bucket hat loving Schoolboy Q. –Allie Greenberg


I was Rosie the Riveter – which is not super original, but I think it’s a classic. Honestly, in order to survive the varsity weight room at 7:45am on Halloween morning, I need an outfit that is a.) comfortable and b.) empowering. I may not have been bench pressing triple my body weight but at least I was feeling very patriotic. My weird expression can be chalked up to the fact that I took the picture post-lift and I was unsure if I could actually do anything besides nap for the rest of the day. –Annie Warner

What’d you dress as for Halloween? If you were a cat, then you probably have the body to pull it off, so brava. If you were not a cat, then tell us what you were in the comments. We’re already thinking about next year.

Life & Other Drugs, Listicles

Texts from Mothers, As Told by My Mother

November 3, 2014

Now that I’m at college, my mother and I use texting (sometimes Facebook chat…. yes I know, she’s so hip) as our main source of communication. Just like any concerned mother, she wants to ensure I stay safe and make good choices as an independent girl who’s still dependent on her parents for her own well-being. She wants me to “live it up at college,” but not to the point that I that I “live up to regret it.” Her texts come as follows:



My mother is just making sure I reach out to the nice, Jewish community. She wants me to be happy with a boy, whose last name preferably ends with –berg, -stein, or –man. Also, my mother is all about the food. She just wants to make sure I shmeared enough cream cheese on my sesame seed bagel.



She wants to give me the full play-by-play of what’s happening in the Greenberg household. And she really wants me to not miss home. Why do I need to see this? A simple “watching Chopped with Sam and Marshall,” and a follow up of the weird ingredients chosen for the appetizer round would have been just fine.



She’s testing me to see if college has changed me. I was prepared to put up a fight. I wrote down my argument in a Word Document. It wasn’t a test though. She really trusts me as a real grown-up. WOOHOO! But a cartilage piercing?! I mean, I thought it was kind of gutsy of me, right?



Thank god she would be “so” bummed. If she were just bummed, I would be SO pissed.



It’s nice to know that the newest rave drug is on the top of my mom’s mind on a Wednesday at 11:33pm. It makes me question what kind of person she thinks I am if I’m supposedly going to raves…. on a Wednesday. In case any of you were wondering, that night I was snuggled up in bed with my favorite teddy bear.

We’d be lost without our mothers. They are our number one fans. They give us compliments without incentives! And they give us their undying love, even if they haven’t told us lately). So, instead of rolling your eyes when your mother texts you making sure you don’t pick up a drink once you’ve put it down at a party, call her and say “I fucking love you mom! Thanks for being the best mom around!” Then, she’ll have to take you on a shopping spree once you come home for break.


What I Learned From Taylor Swift’s New Album

November 2, 2014

Unless you’ve been under a rock, or unless your taste in music is just so, so much cooler than mine, then you know that on Monday, Taylor Swift released her latest album. Here’s what I learned from listening to 1989 for seven days straight (you know…. for research.)

1. Taylor Swift associates herself with red lips. If you asked Taylor Swift to draw a self-portrait, she’d draw a pair of red lips with bangs. It’s the piece of imagery that comes up again and again in her songs, whether she’s describing her “cherry lips” in Blank Space, her “red lips and rosy cheeks” in Wildest Dreams, or letting us all know that she’s got that “red lip classic thing” that Harry Styles likes.

2. She was in a car crash with a dude (probably Harry Styles) and she’s pretty fixated on it. Here’s the story I put together through the lyrics of various songs from the album: “It’s 2am in your car” (Wildest Dreams) and “he can’t keep his wild eyes on the road” (Style.) “Remember when you hit the brakes too soon, twenty stitches in a hospital room” (Out of the Woods) and then Taylor brings it all home: “All I know is that you drove us off the road” (All You Had To Do Was Stay.)

3. New York City is a magical place where boys can be with boys and girls can be with girls. It’s especially nice if you have a $20 million penthouse apartment. Basically like a 90’s Meg Ryan movie.

4. Taylor likes bad boys. She knows they’re bad, but she just can’t help trying to change them. No, Taylor! Learn from your mistakes! They’ll only hurt you in the end!

5. She’s pretty into the whole repetition thing. For your consideration, the lyrics from a few of the choruses of the album’s songs (try to guess which!)

 Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York

Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
In the clear yet, good.
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
In the clear yet, god.
Are we out of the woods?

This love is good
This love is bad
This love is a life back from the dead
These hands had to let it go free
And this love came back to me

Cause the players gonna play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off, Shake it off

Keep shaking Taylor. I give 1989 a B+. It’s not quite as good as “Red” but I’ll be damned if I’m not still singing “Style” in the shower.

Image via.


Multitasking is In, Especially on the Toilet

November 2, 2014
Everybody poops. Sometimes it’s a speedy ordeal. But other times, the process can be lengthy and we find ourselves bored and daydreaming. I’ll let you in on a secret though: the loo can be a great place to get sh*t done. (See what I did there?)
Here’s a list of ~wildly creative~ things to do while taking a dump:

1. Be worldly and informed! Read the New York Times. Or HuffPo. (Or your Facebook newsfeed.)
2. FaceTime your significant other. If they really love you they’re willing to see you anytime and anywhere.
3. Learn some new guitar chords and bust out a new song! Bathrooms have great acoustics.
4. Paint your nails. Added bonus? The scent of the polish will cover the smell!
5. Edit that essay for your 11AM. It’s now or never for those final revisions…
7. Read that novel that’s been sitting by your bed all semester. If you read a few pages each time you poo, you might just finish it by the end of the year. Just imagine how many books you’ll read if you’re a perpetual pooper!
8. Bust out your knitting. Winter is fast approaching, and come December, you’ll be the flyest phe on campus with a handmade circle scarf. No one has to know what you were up to while creating the masterpiece.
9. Do your makeup. It’ll save you an extra 10 minutes and you may even have time to get a bagel on the way to class!
10. Write the above list. (I swear it’s true.)
So relish that bathroom time and take advantage of the chance to really master the art of multitasking.