Life & Other Drugs

Skyping Your Pets and Getting Weird Doing It

December 4, 2014

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We’re in the homestretch people. Finals are coming up, the sweet, sweet taste of winter break is almost at the tip of our tongues. And like a normal person, I am looking forward to one thing and one thing only: a reunion with my furry friends. I’m sure most of you can relate to the fact that being away from your pets is one of the most difficult parts about living away from home (at first glance this statement seems to exaggerate how much college students care about their pets, but I’ve seen you fuckers push children out of the way to touch a baby goat so I think I’m well within the scope of reason.)

Skype is great for a couple reasons; you can see friends, families, boyfriends, girlfriends who are miles and miles away. I have never used it for anything other than seeing my dog and cat that live at home with my parents. If you are currently conjuring up an image of me as a crotchety 55-year old bag lady who cares for 98 cats in her spare time, you’re not far off. The point is, a few times a week I coax my parents into putting the dog and cat in front of the little camera hole the NSA probably uses to watch America jack off, and I oo and aww at every blink, breath, and twitch that they might perform for me.

The one hitch in this little routine of mine is that I have roommates and they have ears. According to them, what might in actuality be a nice, potentially employable young woman innocently reconnecting with her pets over technology seems to sound more like a weird and plotless porno that my dad is helping me make. When they first told me this I thought they were just being the perverted invalids that I’ve grown to know and love, but upon my last few Skype sessions I have to admit that it sounds pretty fucking dirty.

“Dad, move the camera closer. I need an angle shot. Right there. Touch his belly. He loves it! Do it more! Can I watch you touch the other one? He loves it even more than the last one!” I just wanted to live vicariously through my father (who himself has created an entire Twitter account from the perspective of the dog), but untrained ears hear something much weirder. I mean, I’m not going to stop, but at least there’s always an answer to the age-old question: Who’s a good boy?

No animals were touched inappropriately in the making of this article. Bellies and heads and nothing more.

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Life & Other Drugs, Listicles, Satire

The Definitive Holiday Gift List

December 3, 2014

As the holiday season rolls around, the people of this nation find themselves in a panic over what to buy for their loved ones. Teenagers especially have no clue and no money. But have no fear! Below I have compiled a list of cheap and easy holiday gifts for the important people in your life. Voila!

For your mom: The Rejuvenique Face Mask.

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Because nothing says “I love you, Mom, but you have wrinkles” like a mask that repeatedly shocks your face muscles into contracting. Somehow this thing is supposed to tighten the skin on your face and make you look younger. I don’t know how it works, but SIGN ME UP! Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs

The Best Unconventional Compliments (I’ve Actually Received)

December 2, 2014

If you’re like me, you’re often the most unremarkable person in a group of people who are very, very easy to compliment.

“Oh, Maggie, are you still volunteering with those underprivileged infants this semester? How compassionate of you!”

“Tessa, your mother tells me your last dance recital was beautiful. It’s amazing what you do.”

“…Ali, hey. What’s up? I hear nowadays you’re very, very good at… um… Latin?”

Why, I am indeed. Thank you sir.

However, if you’re like me, that also means that you have been the recipient of the best form of flattery God’s green earth has to offer: the unconventional compliment. I mean, seriously, who needs to be told they’re pretty or smart or hard-working or funny or friendly or kind or tolerant or loved or at all bearable to be around? Not me, that’s for sure. I’ll take “you’re a great recycler” any day.

So whether you use this list of unconventional compliments I’ve received in my lifetime as a springboard for flattering your less interesting cousins, or as a confidence-booster when you realize no one’s had to dig this deep to say good things about you, just remember me next time you’re about to tell someone their hair looks nice today. Maybe it’d be more ~creative~ to comment on their impeccable walking stride instead.

  • You have, like, the nicest earlobes I’ve ever seen. They’re miniscule, but they’re nice.
  • Those glasses make you look like Professor Trelawney in the best way.
  • You have really healthy fingernails.
  • Wow! I’ve never seen one person eat that many potstickers by themselves before!
  • I didn’t know people could actually turn green when they feel sick! Awesome!
  • You vomit with incredible grace. (The previous three are, in fact, related.)
  • You’re one of the few adults I know who will always be able to get roles in light musicals because your singing voice sounds prepubescent.
  • Have you, like, never lost a game of Foursquare? Oh, you have? Huh. You were so adamant about the rules that it seemed like it must be super important to you.
  • Your electronic devices have super creative names when I see them on Airdrop.
  • I feel like you could sit comfortably at either the kid’s table or the adult’s table at Thanksgiving.
  • You give off a vague sexy librarian vibe.
  • Your emoji use is on point.
  • You bleed a lot.
  • I feel like your hair would make a really comfy blanket.
  • I’m always impressed by your ability to consistently wear mismatched socks.
  • Your name is the whitest, Western-Europeanest name I’ve ever heard that people consistently mispronounce anyway.
  • Did you make that? Really? All of it? (referring to a pile of hair on the floor after a combing)
  • You seem like you’d be REALLY fun to get high with.

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Life & Other Drugs

Vineyard Vines: A Nautical Nightmare

December 2, 2014

Over break, I traveled to a strange land of pure New England prep. Coming from a culture of swim trunks and bro tanks on the West Coast, I was a foreigner to popped collars and pastel hues. I decided to submerge myself in the preppy culture of the East Coast by swimming upstream with the salmon-colored shorts to its epicenter: Vineyard Vines.

Immediately upon arrival, I was greeted by a squad of blonde teenagers dressed head to Topsiders in whale-embroidered attire. As I glanced around, my vision started to blur in a rainbow of prep. I empathized with Daisy Buchanan, completely overwhelmed by the vibrant color spectrum of the dazzling clothes. Unfortunately, instead of being in the company of Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, I was surrounded by hordes of whale-speckled shoppers who use “summer” as a verb.

The tie-rack was seemingly infinite. It spun round and round, leaving me flustered and “Nantucket Red” in the face. I do recall liking that one pink tie with the yacht club nautical flags. Perhaps I’m being a bit too ambiguous. You’ll have to forgive me; I’m still a novice when it comes to differentiating between “Rhubarb” and “Flamingo.”

I really admire Vineyard Vines’ attention to detail. Thank God they distinguish between “Club Shorts” and “Summer Club Shorts.” This will definitely save me from the terrible faux pas of wearing the wrong season shorts to da (country) club.

“Summer Club Shorts”

“Club Shorts”

I think it’s safe to say that my uniform of athletic shorts and flip-flops excludes me from Vineyard Vines’ target demographic. As someone who considers showering the only requirement for looking presentable, I don’t really identify with the pristine, perfectly manicured look that the whale-wearing enthusiasts are aiming for. However, with annual sales over $100 million, I can’t deny the brand’s popularity. Maybe I should take a second pilgrimage to the Mecca of preppy fashion and bring some embroidered corduroys home to the West Coast in time for the holidays.

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Life & Other Drugs, Listicles

What Your Fortune Cookie is Really Trying to Tell You

December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all the food my family consumes over the five-day break. So of course this family reunion called for a visit to our favorite Chinese restaurant. It wouldn’t be a Greenberg Thanksgiving break without our Peking duck fix.

Upon finishing our meal, we received complimentary fortune cookies with the check. At our table, it is tradition to read each of our fortunes aloud and see who got the best one. I came to the conclusion: none of us really lucked out. After hearing the cheesy and cliché fortunes, I realized they might all have deeper meanings: our fortunes were trying to break the truth to us. I guess they assume they can be passive-aggressive due to the fact that a perfectly sweet vanilla cookie surrounds them. Well played fortune cookie manufacturers, well played. Here’s my fortune cookie interpretations:

Fortune: A new romance is on its way.

What they’re actually saying: If you are in a current relationship, you’re getting dumped. We’re just warning you. And by “new romance”, we mean a new romance with another TV series on Netflix. But hey! If a new romance is on its way, you must have finally got your shit together and went to the gym. Your new body finally has provided you with options in the battlefield that is love.

Fortune: Where there is a will, there is a way.

What they’re actually saying: Stop complaining about anything/everything. Get off your ass. If you want something badly enough, just do it. Seriously. Shut up.

Fortune: A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why ships are built.

What they’re actually saying: We’re trying to make some witty metaphor about how you need to take more risks in your life. We doubt your abilities to absorb this piece of advice, so by putting it into this really obvious statement, maybe you’ll finally take a hint… you dumbass.

Fortune: A possibility of a career change is in the future.

What they’re actually saying: If you have a job, you’re getting fired. But in order to ease some of the pain, you have the possibility of finding a new job. But there is a high chance you’re going to be out of work for a while. We’re just trying to give you some hope.

Whatever fortune you end up getting, just know you’re luckier than the person who got “No fortune. Pick again.” I have to say, that fortune cookie is just being a dick. Just cross your fingers that your after-dinner treat isn’t telling you that you should make some changes in your life.

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Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill"

Flash Back Frenzy

November 30, 2014

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Ever wonder what Marty McFly and I have in common? You probably don’t. It doesn’t really cross my mind all that often either. But I have an answer and I’m gonna tell you anyway. The two of us crazy kids have each experienced the amazing, supernatural phenomenon called a time warp. He, to various points of interest in both the past and future, nearly destroying the fabric of the space-time continuum and preventing his own birth. And me, back home.

Sci-fi fanatics everywhere will call it heresy for me to compare my experiences to those of the deified main character of the Back to the Future trilogy. I don’t want to start a war or anything, but I will argue that the story of my life might blow Back to the Future out of the freaking water….But I digress, as usual.

My point in all this madness is one with which I’m sure each and every one of you is all too familiar; going back home for break once you’re in college is like entering a different world.

At first I was afraid I might have forgotten how to drive. Suddenly, though, I found myself sinking back quite comfortably into a seat of power, and hungrily accelerating off into the distance. The weird part was when I went to pick up a sandwich for dinner, and somehow ended up at my high school. I thought it would take an act of God to bring me back there unrestrained, but I suppose that when we are back in our old haunts, there’s no telling where our instincts will lead us.

Then there’s the issue of parents. The last time they saw you, the glimmer of innocent adolescence had yet to fade from your rosy cheeks. In their eyes, nothing has changed. Curfews are still v. real, and constant updates on whereabouts seem perfectly natural and acceptable. Little do they know just how much we’ve grown up in these short 90 days. After doing my first ever shot (in three gulps lol), riding the public bus to Cranston, and more than a few 2am treks up Thayer, I know what it’s like to really live. I am an adult and I know everything there is to know about anything!

In my time back home, I also had the opportunity to visit with many cohorts from days passed. My circle of friends has a GroupMe called #powertoyourmouth (I really couldn’t explain that if you put a gun to my head) and we have kept in touch via that. So it was still really cool/weird to see each other at a Friday night party after months of separation. I looked from face to face, thinking how much had changed in each of my friends: “Wow she pulled an inverse Freshman 15,” and “okay, his chin strap beard is not flying,” or “I think I like her a lot more now than I did before.” But then this terrifying thought crept across my mind: It’s me who has changed the most. This place, this city, the people in it — they’re all exactly the same. I’m the one who has come back with a new light on her eyes, and everything else here seems a bit dimmer as a result.

For a time in the beginning of the semester, I thought about what it would be like if I was still in high school with the people I miss. Every time it came into my mind, I eventually realized that wasn’t a time warp I wanted to go into. I’ve grown up far too much to fall so far back.

Maybe y’all feel the same, or maybe you hate college with all your guts. Either way, it’s a crazy realization that you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole into some other world, and that this ain’t Kansas anymore. Okay, I’m mixing my metaphors. But can you imagine a tea party with Alice, Johnny Depp, Dorothy, Idina Menzel, and a DeLorean for guests? That’s better than a Ron Swanson guest lecture any day of the week #noticketbitterness.

As I sit here in the airport, feeling sufficiently violated by the TSA and suffering from a headache induced by lack of sleep and over-eating, I reflect on the past three and a half days I have spent back home. I got to see everyone I still care about from the past four years, I spent quality alone time with each of my family members dogs, and I got more microwave kettlecorn to bring back to college. Now, we’ll just have to see what happens over Christmas.

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Life & Other Drugs

The Funny Gals Give Thanks

November 27, 2014

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This Thanksgiving, the ladies of the night Rib would like express our gratitude for our readers’ continued support, and our parents and university for letting us write inappropriate things on the Interwebz. We are also thankful for…

I’m thankful that my Netflix doesn’t judge me after 5 consecutive hours of Gilmore Girls. – Dana
I’m thankful for the existence of NPR’s Serial so I can tell people I’m getting into podcasts. – Gabbie
I’m thankful for the relatives who agreed to give me room, board and access to a shower with actual water pressure. – Annie
Pinot noir, burritos and birth control. – Lani
I’m thankful for my two dogs who make me feel important since they are the only living beings that get so excited when they see me that they pee themselves. – Allie G.
I’m thankful for Bagel Gourmet. So, so thankful. – Sarah
I’m thankful for the Ben and Jerry’s on Thayer being just far enough away that I’m too lazy to walk there and stuff my face with Phish Food every night. Thanks for saving me about 15 pounds of weight gain, B&J! You’re bae. – Ali
I’m thankful for carbohydrates, modern medicine, and knitwear. – Emma
Beer, weed, ketchup. – Cox
I’m thankful for ripped jeans, my cool mom, and hangover shits. – Hannah
I’m thankful for people who have the decency to wait until AFTER thanksgiving to play Christmas music. it reminds me that not all hope for humanity is lost after all. – Allie T.
I’m thankful for naps intended to be thirty minutes, but that turn into blissful 3 hour hibernations. And Christmas socks. – Cameron
I’m thankful for avocados & eggs (so versatile), the existence of the Laundry Club and its friendly employees, my ~*family*~, and my Rib writers!!! – Sydney 

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Life & Other Drugs

Thanksgiving at Home: A Tale of Woe and Triumph

November 26, 2014

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There is an indisputable joy to returning home for Thanksgiving Break. I’m sure we can all agree it has been a long and exhausting semester on the whole, and I, for one, am grateful for a long weekend away from schoolwork, a restful sleep in my own bed, showering without shoes, and water pressure that does not require that I wet one strand of hair at a time. Oh and my family. They’re cool too. But there is an unspoken yet omnipresent anxiety to returning to a town in which most of my social connections no longer exist. I’m going to get real with you for a second. I do not have many high school friends anymore. I hope this does not brand me as some small-town Unabomber sad sack, but in the three years since I graduated high school, much of what kept me and my secondary school pals in contact (physical proximity, physical proximity to weed, physical proximity to alcohol, and lack of physical proximity to anything else) has dissipated. It’s not tragic, it’s just life. (I am currently filled with the suspicious anxiety that the majority of you are reading this whilst surrounded by fifty-to-sixty close and upsettingly attractive high school friends. To you people I say, is there room for one more?) But I digress.

To those who, like me, have a hometown with family, a few pets, the best bagel shop in the country, but no high school reunion to return to: there are certain awkward interactions that this weekend is going to be spent trying to avoid. Upon entering any store or restaurant, you are probably going to run into 5-30 people who you were already trying to dodge when you were in high school. For example, this morning I went into my local bagel shop (I realize that bagels are a weirdly significant part of this story), and almost immediately made eye contact with what appeared to be about 10% of my graduating class. But I’m a big-shot college girl now so I did what any self-respecting Brown University student would do when we recognize someone we know: I averted my gaze, kept my head low, avoided social interaction by pretending to text, and ordered five times the amount of food one person could possibly consume.

Sure, you could smile politely, make nonsensical chit-chat, and maybe even try reconnecting with old friends. But that would mean showing up in public without the dog-hair covered sweatpants you’ve been sporting for the past week, and no one has enough laundry money for that. So, I guess my point is that you can go home again, but it’ll be soul-crushingly awkward, and will probably leave you catatonic from three too many bagels in your mom’s Toyota.

If you are someone I went to high school with and you have questions and/or concerns about what I chose to wear in public this morning, I can be reached at Emma_Starr@brown.edu. Good to see you! Hope you’re well!

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Life & Other Drugs, Satire

For the Love of Gravy, Stop Playing Christmas Music Before Thanksgiving

November 26, 2014

To the people who play Christmas music before Thanksgiving,

First of all, how dare you?

The rest of us have the maturity and discipline to wait until after Thanksgiving to start playing Christmas music. Frankly, I find your callous disrespect for one of the most enjoyable eating-focused holidays to be rude and, quite simply, disgusting. For the love of gravy, summon your inner strength and avoid temptation!

Now before you label me as a Scrooge, you should know that I love Christmas music. Well, maybe not “Santa Baby,” which I personally find a little creepy. Let’s stop the sexualization of imaginary figures associated with childhood innocence, people! But I digress. “Jingle Bells” is an old standby, and I’ll be damned if I don’t sing along to “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” But, please, save the carols for the season.

Christmas carols are a great way to spread joy and holiday cheer, but if you start too early it lessens the effect. Part of what makes Christmas so magical is that it only comes once a year. Vanishing faster than a melting snowflake, it remains special because it is a rare treat. We’ve already extended the Christmas season to fill the entire month of December. Pushing the start date further into November reduces the effect of its novelty.

Focus on your stuffing-induced food coma to distract yourself from the impending, sickeningly saccharine Christmas spirit that will sweep the nation come December 1st. Prepare your car radios for cheesy Christmas DJs, queue up your favorite Michael Bublé holiday playlist, and start your vocal warm-up exercises. If you’re really feeling tempted, maybe make a compromise and succumb to the red Starbucks holiday cups. We all know those came out weeks before Thanksgiving… But please do try to stay strong. Do it for all of the turkeys who valiantly gave up their lives for the sake of Thanksgiving. Honor their sacrifice by devoting all of your holiday spirit to the preeminent November holiday.

With intentions sweeter than cranberry sauce,

Allie

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It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs, Satire

Confessions of a Barista

November 25, 2014

As Thanksgiving (and more importantly, the holiday season) swiftly approaches and the days grow shorter and colder, every Starbucks in the nation is beginning to fill to the brim with promises of warm beverages clasped in mitten hands. The neighborhood Starbucks – normally a haven for the hip, beanie-d teenagers – becomes the place to be on bitter December evenings, beckoning young lovers, scholars, and friends to come inside. As the customer is embraced by familiar jazz tunes, comforting lighting, and the smell of dark roast, the barista behind the counter smiles at them and asks them if they would like the usual. The customer gets his drink, sits at a table, and wraps himself in his favorite book. Continue Reading…