Rain and I have a love-hate relationship, and by that I mean that I hate it and it clearly loves me so much it wants to follow me around all the time like a duckling that imprinted on the wrong mom. Everywhere I go, there it is – Providence to New York to Portland and back. And when I go indoors, escaping its reach, cutting off its access to me, does it get bored and leave me alone? No, no, my friends. It waits outside, banging on the window, reminding me it’s there to walk me home. Continue Reading…
As I’m writing this, it’s Rosh Hashanah (ראש השנה for the cool kidz), a.k.a the Jewish new year. Holiday texts have been pouring in all day from family and friends, and tonight, I plan on going to Hillel for the holiday dinner. I haven’t gone to many holiday dinners at Hillel during my time at Brown– mostly because mainstream American Judaism is jarringly different than mainstream Israeli Judaism–and I’ve never managed to feel completely at home there. However, with this new year, both academic and lunar, I’ve decided to make an effort towards becoming more in touch with my religion. My religion, of course, being the church of Free Food.
See, I recently moved off campus, and with that, left the comfort of my pre-paid (and parental-paid) meal plan in order to fend for myself. I’m going back to my ancestral roots to find my inner hunter-gatherer; scrounging and scavenging food from wherever I can. This includes Brown/RISD Hillel, an establishment that graciously provides dinner for the Jewish community every Friday night and on Jewish holidays. Attending Shabbat dinners for the past two weeks has been an interesting adjustment. It’s rather disorienting hearing American accents pray and sing in Hebrew, especially to a god I don’t believe in, but it’s worth it to be able to silently pray and pay gratitude to my own god, the god of Free Food.
A major part of Rosh Hashanah is the act of eating an apple dipped in honey, which symbolizes the sweetness we hope the new year will bring. Similarly, a major part of Shabbat is eating challah, which, to be honest, I don’t fully understand the meaning behind. I do, however, know that my personal tradition of eating apples with honey on the new year and challah on Saturdays stems from my religion’s practice of putting Free Food in one’s mouth as frequently and enthusiastically as possible. And of course, we can’t forget the wine (read: grape juice) that comes alongside each meal, as a significant aspect of the Free Food religion is the concept of inclusivity. Specifically, the inclusion of Free Beverages within our areas of worship.
This journey of spiritual exploration will definitely be both a challenge and an adventure, but hopefully I’ll start feeling more comfortable in a religious environment soon. Hopefully I’ll soon be able to go more than once a week, and maybe even find myself exploring other religious venues. Like the Ratty. Can someone please swipe me in?
I have a lot of fears. Most are rational – failure, nuclear war, going to the doctor – but there’s one fear I have that I’ve never been able to justify. I’m afraid of being invited to fake parties. Specifically, I’m afraid of being invited to a party and then showing up and nothing’s happening and it’s like, “Haha, you thought.”
It’s hard to pinpoint where exactly this fear started. In my youth, I was never really invited to many parties. It wasn’t like it is now where everybody obviously loves me and thinks I’m great and wants me to be at things. No, no. I was a genuine Loser.
I don’t have a specific memory of the first time I experienced it. Probably in middle school? It was, after all, middle school. But again, here’s the thing – I was actually invited to a few parties in seventh grade. I was brand new at a school in an area I’d just moved to, and immediately fell in with a group of girls who constantly had sleepovers. Every time I was invited to one, it was always real. Eventually they decided to outcast me, as they did with every girl in the group at one point or another, but they didn’t do any mean pranks or anything. Just stopped talking to me. This might explain my low self-esteem or my reluctance to trust people, but it doesn’t explain my very specific fear of fake parties. So. Moving on. Continue Reading…
Okay, so here’s what happened. Ryan and his brother Trey got busted for trying to steal a car. Because Ryan was still a minor, a kind DA by the name of Sandy Cohen was able to get him released from custody without a trial. Ryan went back home, where his mom’s boyfriend was being abusive AF, so he called Sandy to come help him.
Sandy took him back to his house in Newport Beach where he told him he could stay the weekend, despite his wife Kirsten’s protests. While he was there, Ryan met the Cohens’ next door neighbor, Marissa Cooper. He thought she was real cute, but she had a boyfriend named Luke who was a douchebag. Tough shit. Marissa invited him to a party at her friend Holly’s house, and Sandy’s son Seth was like “Yeah, let’s do it!” cause he never got invited anywhere and he had a thing for this girl Summer who was way out of his league but was gonna be at the party also.
Then at the party they got into a fight and when they came home Kirsten was all, “He has to leave! He’s a bad influence on my boy!” and literally everybody else was like, uh, no? But Sandy brought him back home anyway, only to find that his mother bailed and the house was empty. So back to Newport Beach it was.
Anyway, Kirsten was still unhappy with the fact that Ryan was there, so Sandy promised that first thing Monday he’d turn him in to child services. That was the last fuckin thing Ryan wanted, so he made plans to run away instead. But Seth found out and was really bummed because he finally had a friend for once, so he suggested Ryan hide in a temporarily-abandoned model home Kirsten’s development company was building, Arrested Development meets Maniac Magee style. Obviously, Marissa had to see them right as they were about to leave – these things never work as planned – so they let her come along.
But Luke found out that Marissa was hangin’ with a new man, so he showed up to the model home with his crew. They beat the shit out of Ryan, and set the house on fire. But Luke then apparently realized that he was about to commit literal murder, and, being more of an arson man, decided to save Ryan’s life instead. They went back to the Cohens’ home, where they found a bunch of police waiting for them cause a) a minor was missing, and 2) a house was burned down, both of which are known cop magnets.
Ryan got sent to juvie, but when Kirsten and Seth visited him they realized what an inhumane shithole it was, so they once again brought him home as if he were just a fuckin yoyo. Kirsten still didn’t want Ryan to stay permanently, though, so they tried to reunite him with his mother but it turned out bish was cray, so Kirsten and Sandy decided to become Ryan’s permanent guardians instead. The whole ordeal was so dramatic and stressful that I was just like, “Fuck it,” and watched Friends instead.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling 22 for almost 7 months now. That’s more than half of my 22-ness done. Finished. Never to be seen again. And let me tell you something. I am feeling way super hella lied to. There happens to be a certain song written and performed by a certain pop star (both of which shall remain unnamed) that has completely misled me as to what this experience would be like. She painted a picture of a magical existence, complete with cake and glitter and really good lighting. What else did she promise? Well, let’s see:
- “It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes.”
- “It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight, to fall in love with strangers.”
Sounds great, but I’m still on meal plan and none of the places on campus that are open at midnight serve breakfast foods, so. Next.
- “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.”
¾. Not bad, I guess?
- “It’s miserable and magical.”
Hahahahahaha, “magical.” Good one.
- “Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines.”
Ding ding ding! We finally hit one! This one is accurate because I, as a 22-year-old college student who simply cannot be bothered anymore, have handed in over half my assignments past the deadline this year. Deadline, schmeadline is what I say. Next.
- “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.”
Yes, I am! This one’s true, too! I feel every single moment of my 22-ness, and not just because this specific line of this specific song is the first thing I hear every morning when I wake up. I also feel it every time I legally purchase alcohol, every time I get asked “Wait, if you’re 22, why are you a sophomore?,” and every time I think about the course number for a class I’m currently taking, CS22.
- “Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you.”
Who is this mysterious ‘you’ and how do I get me one of them?
- “You don’t know about me, but I’ll bet you want to.”
Based on the number of places that have not contacted me after receiving my resume this year, I’ll bet the exact opposite.
- “Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we’re 22.”
Yes!! Guys. The #1 thing that has kept me feeling sane in this torturous turbulent year we call 22 has been my pole, and more specifically, dancing on it. Even more specifically, dancing on it like I’m 22.
So there you have it. Some things played out as expected, and others…. not so much. But I guess we’ll have to see what the next 5 months hold and reevaluate after. At least this version is a lot more authentic than what Lily Allen promised me- “When she was 22, the future looked bright.”
Hahahahahahahaha. Fuck you, Lily.
This past Tuesday, it was 57 degrees Fahrenheit outside. The next morning, it snowed as I was walking to class. While these erratic weather changes are annoying, they are par for the course based on what we’ve been experiencing this year so far. We get warmth and sunshine only to have it undercut by a snow day the following week. We dress up in layers only to have to strip them off by day’s end. During the warmer days, I hear people say, “I’m really happy about this weather, but it makes me really uncomfortable.” Why? “Because shouldn’t be this warm in February! We’re destroying the planet.”
Honestly? So fucking what. For a while now, I have been openly pro-global warming, and this is exactly why. The way I see it, if we’re gonna die anyway, we may as well be warm while we’re still here. Winter is so depressing, you guys. It’s always dark out, and you have to wear four thousand layers, and weather gets in the way of everything. That thing where you go outside with wet hair and it immediately freezes? What is that?! Cold weather is not anything anybody should be actively desiring, ever.
Why would you when you could be basking in the sunshine all day long? Warm weather is so lovely and welcoming. Those days it was warm outside earlier this winter, everybody was outside, socializing and smiling. It was like the population of the school doubled. People were in better moods, wearing cuter clothes, getting their vitamin D, and just generally livin’ their best lives. Best of all, there were free tables at the Ratty during the lunchtime rush because people were eating outside. Definitely an improvement over those days where no matter how hard you try, you always find yourself soaking wet, shaking off like a dog anytime you walk into a building.
As a native of Israel/California, I’ve never had this problem before. I’ve never lived anywhere with a “proper winter,” so I’m not afraid of warm weather in February. “But Leeron,” you say, “That’s normal there. Not here. Different climates should have different seasonal behaviors.” And to that I say, I’m happy to see the rest of the world catching up to where my beloved homes have been for years now.
“But Leeron,” you try again, “The icecaps are melting. The crops are dying. The sea level will rise and coastal towns will drown and we won’t have anything to eat and the polar bears will die.” Okay, but
- when was the last time you cared about an icecap,
- modern farming is becoming more technologically innovative and controlled-environment agriculture is a thing,
- we can drain the sea (right? probably?), and
- polar bears will adapt and evolve because that’s what animals do.
“But Leeron,” you say, desperate to make me see the light, “Climate change doesn’t just mean warmer weather. It means more extreme temperatures in both directions. It’ll get colder, too!”
Yes. But that’s climate change. I’m talking about global warming. Totally different things.
Image via Annie Warner.
There are two things that women in Hollywood are always being mercilessly judged for. The first is their dating life. Taylor Swift (who is generally a problematic person, I know, I get it, but not for this particular thing) gets this a lot whenever she’s seen with a new guy. Kristen Stewart was aggressively slut-shamed when it came out that she had cheated on Rob Pattinson, even though people don’t bat an eyelash when guys do the exact same thing. It’s gross and we’re not gonna do that here.
The other thing people judge women for is their appearance/taste in clothes. That’s also gross, but we’re gonna do that here. Welcome to “Who Wore It Best: Joe Jonas Edition,” where we evaluate which of Joe Jonas’s previous girlfriends wore him best. Let’s begin.
Speaking of Taylor, she did pretty well with this one. Back in ‘08, Taylor accessorized her Joe with a beautiful gold outfit that made her look like a gladiator goddess. And that smug smile, like she knows she’s on the brink of becoming hot shit? Good, good, and good. Bonus points for getting him to do those T. rex arms. Score: 7/10
Next up, we have Ashley Greene wearing this disaster. That coat? Too big on her. That other coat? Too big on him. Her headband is tacky, and his hair looks not great, and those smiles scream, “We don’t like this.” Not to mention he outed to the world that she took his virginity? Poor girl. Truly a tragic fit. 0/10.
Here, believe it or not, is a picture of Demi Lovato wearing the Joe Jonas. I know. It is really them. So right away, we’re off to a horrendous start with all that Photoshop. This picture is from Teen Vogue, where Joe and Demi did a joint interview and somehow managed to break up before it even came out, so they had to tack on a weird alternate ending with each of them commenting on the breakup. Yikes. And then Demi got depressed and had to go to rehab and put out a sad memoir and an album of poorly written empowerment songs? There’s nothing of any merit here. -10/10
Then there’s 4th of July Gigi showing off her 4th of July Joe. She boldly paired this special holiday edition Joe with a blue and white bikini, striped towels, and, what’s that? His ex-girlfriend’s house? Duuuude. Wow. Fearless. Especially since this ex-girlfriend is notoriously catty about her guys’ new girls. Well done, Gigi. I can even look past that awful “G. I. Joe” couple name. 10/10.
Not a girl, but look at those shirts. Those pants. Those facial expressions. That hair. Everything about this. Clearly these guys wore it best. Damn, boys. Lookin’ good. 10000/10.
I don’t think I’m ever going to get a tramp stamp. I might get a tattoo somewhere else, but even then, only if I ever find a design I want for at least a year without changing my mind. (Currently, we’re at American flag where the stars section is an Israeli flag and there’s a silhouette of a girl in jade split on the flagpole.)
But the thing is, I don’t really need a tramp stamp. The only thing they’re really good for is commemorating your formerly questionable judgement, and I already do that right here on the Rib. Yes, that’s right. The Rib is my de facto tramp stamp.
I’ve been writing for the Rib for almost a year now, and I’ve spilled a lot of regrettably personal information on here. My first post outed me as an aggressive Facebook stalker, and since then I’ve boasted about my unhealthy obsession with Miranda Lambert, paraded my worst habits for everyone to see, exposed my unmatched levels of narcissism, and, maybe worst of all, claimed to be the one and only Lorne Michaels. Then I wrote down the URL of that post and gave it to the actual Lorne Michaels. And then I refused to shut up about it for 600 years.
I, as a whole, try to live without regrets. But when I put something on the internet – something I usually procrastinate on and end up less than proud of – it’s there forever. No regrets is easy when even your biggest mistakes can be fixed with time, but the cool thing about the internet is that it doesn’t give a shit about time. Even when something’s removed from the actual web, everything is archived!! Ever heard of the Wayback Machine? The fact that everything on the internet stays on the internet means that even a few months from now, when Trump outlaws education and Brown has to shut down and this site gets removed because we’ve stopped paying for the domain, evidence of my shitty personality will still be around!! My shitty personality will outlast legal education, you guys. Isn’t that terrifying? It’s terrifying.
So who needs a tramp stamp that tells people, “I made a bad choice one time,” when you can have a website that tells people, “I made a bad choice all the times”? Anyway. Hopefully this will motivate me to be a better person. There are only so many designs you can doodle onto your lower backside before they turn into an incoherent blob.
Images via Annie Warner, via.
Shit. Shit. Who are you and why do you know my name? “Yeah….”
“How’s it going?”
“Um, good.” Wait, did we go to school together? “You?”
Our waiter walked away and I looked at my mom helplessly. We were out to lunch together my first day home for break. Already, I was off to a bad start. “I think that guy was in my grade,” I said, staring and trying to place him. “I don’t remember his name. He was with me in English and Math.”
Later, as I recount this story to my friends, they remind me that he and I were also in the same computer science class for three years.
Strike one. I can’t be that self-absorbed, can I?
I tried to justify it to myself by saying that obviously, four and a half years of no contact would override three years of spending hours in the same room on a daily basis, but we all know that’s fully bullshit.
Three days later, I was on a train home from visiting a friend. I was walking down the corridor, keeping my eyes peeled for an empty seat, when I spotted a familiar face. A shot at redemption! The girl, another former classmate, recognized me too, and after a polite “Hey, how’s it going?” I told her I was home for break. “I moved to the States for school,” I explained for context.
“Yeah, I know,” she said, and I immediately thought duh, Facebook. “I don’t know if you remember this, but we actually ran into each other about a year ago and you told me then that you’d started studying.”
I’d initially been dumbfounded and slightly mortified at each of these incidents, but looking back I realize they should have come as no surprise.
I wasn’t exactly popular in high school, so I always assumed nobody paid any attention to me. Nobody cared, nobody noticed, nobody would remember me once we dispersed. And not in a bad way or anything, just in an “everybody’s invested in their own lives and I am not a part of them” way.
As it turns out, this was far from reality. They did notice me and did remember me, because duh, guess what, I was a part of their life. High school was a part of their life. I was the one who had spent three years wandering around in my own head, waiting for it to end, waiting to get out, not giving a shit about anyone around me.
I was awful!
And surprise, surprise! I still am!!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard me talk about how I can’t wait to graduate.
Yes, it’s true. I am still a Perpetually Unhappy Narcissistic Asshole who doesn’t care about any of you. But after going back home and realizing that not all of my old classmates were awful (in fact, most were decidedly un-awful), I’m inspired to change my ways. My heart is open, my focus is outward, and I’m ready to make some friends.
Oh, and that guy from the restaurant? I remembered a few minutes later that he had a sister in my sister’s grade who had his exact face. I asked my mom about her, she knew who I was talking about, and suddenly it all came rushing back to me. Then when we were done I made her tip him extra. So. Not an entirely bad person. There’s hope.
Images via Annie Warner and via.
I don’t know about you, but I had a pretty good summer. So good, in fact, that the semester’s about to end, and I’m still incapable of shutting up about how good it was. Math people will notice that May 21, 2016, aka the day I left campus, aka the time I had the best night of my life (Did I mention I got into an SNL afterparty? No? Well, lemme tell ya bout the time I………) was over six months ago. So why am I still talking about this?
- Because I can. Guys, exciting things literally never happen to me. Up until this summer, the most thrilling moment of my life was the time I finally managed to quit my nightmare nannying job. I used to meet with my friends back home every Saturday and they’d talk about boys and jobs and vacations and plans with other friends, and I’d tell them about a really great joke Craig Ferguson told earlier that week. FINALLY, finally, finally, I have some cool things to share, so you’d better believe I’m gonna milk them for all they’re worth. And even once that milk goes bad, I’m still gonna keep shoving it under your noses.
- Because I’m scared. Guys, I think I peaked this summer. At a measly 21, with 56 years still left on the horizon, I think I hit the climax of my life, and everything from here on out is just going to be a disappointing downward trend til I finally flatline. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Man, I wish we had more details on Lorde’s upcoming long-anticipated second studio album.” And to that I say, “I completely agree!” But you’re probably also thinking that there’s no way I could have peaked already, and that it’s only natural that my school life is maybe a little more low-key than my living the dream in the Big Apple life, and that I should stop being such a drama queen. This is also true, but. So many unlikely things came together for me this summer. I lived in an apartment with random internet strangers who turned out to be the best roommates I could have asked for. I had a job that I liked in an office with people I loved and the greatest boss who’s ever bossed. I got to meet a bunch of comedy writes I admire and even have coffee/lunch with a couple of them. Things came together so well for me, and I don’t know that that’s ever going to happen again. I want to hold onto it for as long as I can.
But I’ve come to terms with the reality of my situation. I know people have been tired of hearing me blather on about this since our second week back at school. I know what once may have seemed impressive is now beginning to look more and more pathetic with each additional mention. In my first post after summer vacation, I famously (shut up) said, “Goodbye summer of 2016.” But that was a lie. I held on to that motherfucker til my knuckles turned white, and then I kept holding on til they fully fell off my hands. So now I’ll say it for real. Goodbye summer of 2016. You will be missed.
No, you know what? Never mind. This is a free country (for now), and if I want to talk about my really good summer that I had, I should be allowed to do so as much as I please. Y’all know that deep down, you also have something you’re dying to talk about but don’t, for fear of annoying people around you. I call bullshit. You wanna talk someone’s ear off about that obscure show you’re obsessed with? You want to gush about your globetrotting adventures? Have a pressing need to rant about how much you hate it when other people get in the elevator with you? Come find me. Come talk to me. I want to absorb it all.
But only if you’re willing to listen to me talk about my summer some more. Cause it was pretty good, in case you haven’t heard.