On "The Hill"

Brown Bingo

November 25, 2014

Sick of roaming Wriston in the hopes of finding a decent frat party? Tired of the same old Thayer street restaurants, shops, and panhandles? Searching for a fresh and exciting bit of fun for the average Brown student? Well, look no further! Prove to your friends that you’re the Brunoniest of them all by beating them at our latest game, BROWN BINGO! Carry this card around campus with you for the next couple of days and see if you can be the first to check off five-in-a-row of these familiar Brown experiences!

image via Ali MacLeod

Listicles

Why Dogs Are the True BAE (Sorry Cat Lovers)

November 24, 2014

I can’t help but be biased when it comes to dogs. I love them, from their button noses to their floppy ears. What’s not to love? I mean, I could understand if you don’t like them. You must either be allergic to them or you simply don’t have a soul.

If neither of these apply to you, stop everything you’re doing and buy/adopt a dog now. Then you’ll further understand when I say that a dog is ALL you need in life. Dogs put your needs in front of their own purely out of their undying love for you. Because of this, they truly encompass the acronym BAE: before anyone else. And here is why.

1. They are happy every time they see you. Even if you are just going to Rite Aid to buy tampons and five packs of Orbit Bubblemint gum, coming home feels like you just got back from a three-month expedition in the Arctic.

2. They’ll also cry every time you leave them, as if you’re never going to come back from your expedition to the Arctic. You tell them not to worry. You’ll definitely bring them back a snow globe.

3. They’ll be glad to pick your dirty socks up off the floor and give them to you. You don’t need to ask them twice. It’s fun for them. Bonus: your floor is clean.

4. They love being your workout partner. They encourage you to move faster when they want to chase that squirrel up the tree. They just want to make sure you get your heart rate up. They’re chasing that squirrel for your health. You better be thankful.

5. They want to cuddle all the time! Who doesn’t love that? (Satan. And cats.)

6. They’re teeny tongues giving you teeny kisses. That is all you will EVER need.

And they only ask for a few minor things in return. Food, water, shelter, and most importantly, belly rubs. With a dog, you’ll never be alone. Who wouldn’t want to hang with this fella?

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Point made.

Images via and via

Life & Other Drugs, Listicles

Thanksgiving, As Told Through “How I Met Your Mother” Gifs

November 23, 2014

Ah, going home for Thanksgiving – the holy week of laundry machines that don’t need quarters, a fridge full of food you haven’t bought with your own money, and being forced to make small talk with people who may or may not be racist. Here is a full and accurate description of the experience, told through gifs from sit-com classic “How I Met Your Mother.”

Letting your college friends know where you’ll be spending the week:

Coming home, you cool college kid you:

When your weird uncle calls Obama a communist at the table:

When your grandma asks why you haven’t accepted her friend request:

Talking to your cousin, the Rhodes Scholar, who already has a job lined up and a super-hot significant other:

Fighting your sister for the last slice of pumpkin pie:

When your mom makes sure you put on enough layers to go up the block to CVS: 

 Seeing your high school friends:

But when high school friends are off traveling, or off at their jobs somewhere and aren’t home to hang out with you:

When you see your old high school crush and he asks if you want to “catch up” and “grab some coffee”:

Hanging out at the kids’ table:

After being home a little too long: 

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Life & Other Drugs, Satire

AIWU (Acronyms I Would Use)

November 23, 2014

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Did you know “acronym” is actually an acronym for “Abbreviated Coded Rendition Of Name Yielding Meaning?” Yeah. Meta.

With this post, I originally set out to create revised versions of known acronyms, but after looking at a few lists, I realized my efforts would be better spent coming up with completely new ones. Some truly absurd sequences qualify as “commonly used acronyms,” such as: BTDTGTTAWIO (been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and wore it out). I hear that one every day!

Anyway, here are some acronyms I’d actually use:

  1. IRSNM: I’d rather stick needles in my eyes. I use this phrase almost every day when people ask me to do things I don’t want to do.
  2. MEAB: Me ears are bleeding. The only response to any over-sharing.
  3. OTPHJ: Over the pants hand job. You know who you are.
  4. LRBD: Lengthy rendition of a boring dream. We’ve all had that roommate.
  5. IRTSO: I read that somewhere once. For all those questionable facts you drop on your friends.
  6. FWMSO: Fucking with my socks on. Experts are now saying it’s better with your socks on. IRTSO.
  7. RPM: Repurposed prescription medications. 
  8. LMHP: Low-maintenance house plants. I’m in the market for one of these.
  9. SOD?: Shirt or dress?
  10. SIS?: Should I shower? 
  11. ITBTIL: It tastes better than it looks. Applicable to nearly everything I’ve ever cooked.
  12. IWIHA: I wish I hadn’t asked. “IWIHA what was in that dinner”; “ITBTIL and I should’ve quit while I was ahead.”
  13. POWMSO: Passed out with shoes on, or TDTU: Too drunk to undress.
  14. NWBAA: Not wearing a bra AT ALL, or: FB: Free boobin’.
  15. PBOE: Peanut butter on everything.
  16. QFC: Questionable food combination.
  17. MDTNB: More difficult than it needs to be.
  18. SRPM: Struggling to reach page minimum. As a senior in college, I find writing a paper has become MDTNB.
  19. PSE: Pumpkin spice exhaustion. [Ed. Note: No such thing.]
  20. POHC: Potentially offensive halloween costume. If you have to ask, it probably is.
  21. BHOC: Big hunk of cheese.
  22. WARV: Weird-ass root vegetables. Another day, another turnip.
  23. SLO: Suspiciously loud orgasm, and its counterpart, the SSO: Sneaky silent orgasm. 
  24. ASF: Alternately sweating and freezing, or, why I hate spring.
  25. DBSW: Does a bear shit in the woods?
  26. EBIB: Eating because I’m bored.
  27. CTLP: Candy that tastes like plastic. Twizzlers, candy corn, I’m looking at you. But somehow I can’t stop EBIB.
  28. FSD: Four-shot drink. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
  29. PCL: Pros and cons list.
  30. DPM: Discrete poop mission.
  31. KUST?: Kitchen utensil or sex toy?
  32. DTF: Down to feast. This version of DTF is the only version.

 

Unlike fetch, I think I could actually make these happen.

Image via

Life & Other Drugs, Listicles

Things I Want This Thanksgiving

November 22, 2014

 

Each year at Thanksgiving, my family goes around the table and everyone offers a short list of things they are thankful for. It sounds cute, but I’m telling you — it’s the same shit every year. The little kids are thankful for their stuffed animals and their parents, the teenagers are thankful for the meal and for being together, the egotistical college kids are thankful for the “opportunity to receive such a liberal education in a world tied down by inequality” (that’s me), and the adults are thankful for their spouses, their jobs, and their happiness.

I love our tradition, and it’s one I plan on bringing into my own family one day, too. But wouldn’t it be nice if Thanksgiving was a bit more balanced? Don’t you get tired of talking about giving, and just wanna ‘get’ a little? Well, I certainly do. And I think it’s time to make that change. Hopefully, Santa, you see this and come early. Here’s my Thanksgiving List (you can leave my gifts in the guest bathroom — no one ever really uses it, anyway):

1. To meet an attractive, very distant cousin at dinner who I can legally hook up with.

2. A fish course. Because I’m a pescatarian, you know?

3. To be able to, for the first time, practice whatever my therapist calls “mindful eating.” I’m thinking if I can do it once, this Thanksgiving, then I never have to do it again.

4. Maybe a new outfit to wear for the occasion. I think a wool skirt and an oversized sweater with tights and booties would be a good look.

5. An infinite supply of wine. You can decide on the red vs. white. I’m not mature enough to understand which would complement the meal better.

6. A silk eye-mask. My old ones are stained from going to sleep with makeup on too many times, and I have a feeling there’s going to be a point in the night where I’m ready to ‘check out,’ if ya know what I mean.

7. Precautionary Gas-X.

8. To match on Tinder with every high school boy I fantasized about in the seventh grade. Ain’t nothing like being home for the holidays, eh?

9. To get over 100 likes on my Instagram of the Thanksgiving spread.

10. A Mophie. There’s nothing worse than giving up your only charger to an old uncle who you’ve only met at your Bat Mitzvah. And even then he was just there for the free food.

11. A book deal would be nice. Then I could finally exploit and monetize the secret hilarity of my extended family.

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Love & Romance

Two Birds Of A Feather

November 22, 2014

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Have you ever wondered if there is someone out there utterly perfect for you? Like your other half, wandering around somewhere on the other side of the earth, just waiting to meet you and fall in love at first sight? His name is Russell, and he lives in the rural mountains of Japan, or something. He has just the right amount of scruff on his perfectly-carved jaw bone, and has memorized every line of every Pablo Neruda poem. He paints landscape murals for a living, and in his spare time he teaches children how to play the piano.

Like any one of us could get so far into God’s good graces without giving birth to Jesus herself….

Of course, for some of us, this is the truth we live by. Soulmates are a real thing, and the prospect of finally meeting him or her will drive us to do crazy things, like walking uphill both ways to that RISD toga-themed warehouse party on the other side of town on a Tuesday night in 27˚ weather. Because what if that is my destiny?

Some time ago in my casual internet wanderings, I came across this comic about the mythology behind soulmates. And it’s absurd.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I consider myself the most hopeless of romantics. My credentials are astounding: 70% of my iTunes library has the word “love” in the title. I’ve seen The Back-Up Plan at least seventeen times. I can quote the entirety of The Great Gatsby for anyone willing to listen. Too many a poem about hearts once beating and now broken clutter my “Feelings Journal.” Need I say more? In summation, Juliet ain’t got nothing on me. However, in my experiences thus far in my life (brief as they may be), I have learned a little something about love. And I’m about to make an example of this comic and the ludicrous idea that it tries to justify.

These cute little pictures tell a compelling story of a pair, made of the same stuff: separated, lost, and then found. It’s a charming representation of congenital kinship, where each person is born along with his/her perfect other half and where, if separated, they will always find one another. Sounds nice, right? I could go for that. I want to know who wears the other side of my chartreuse dodecagon (yeah, I’m unique like that), and I wouldn’t mind a happily-ever-after of my own. But even a Disney-esque fantasy like the one in the comic is not without flaws.

For one, the idea of one person being perfect for each human on earth is beyond unfathomable. Why can’t every hottie have an equal chance at winning my heart? I’m not some mindless robot cursed to play this inane game of hide-and-seek for someone I may never find, dammit! I’m a grown woman who can make her own choice as to whom to love, and no myth is gonna tell me where I can shoot my Cupid’s arrow.

And just to ground this heated discussion with some legitimate math (and to make my high school calc teacher semi-proud), if one person could only match with one other in the world, the probability of the two uniting would be so astronomically small that we’d die out as a species faster than you can say “One day my prince will come.”

Secondly, as strong independent women who don’t need no men to satisfy us, it is beyond time to recognize that you are enoughYou don’t need someone else to complete you. Despite a very unfortunate haircut and an unseemly obsession with fedoras, Bruno Mars was right about something: you are beautiful just the way you are.

Lastly, the greatest and most difficult realization I have come to is that love is not enough. No matter how perfect Ross and Rachel may have been for each other, they will never agree about whether or not they were on a break. And Jack and Rose may have been the perfect match, but their love just wasn’t strong enough to help them understand the sheer size of that raft. There are so many other factors that come into play to determine if love will win out, and the superficial title of “soulmates” will not make them all come together in perfect harmony. Except for Kim and Kanye. That’s fate right there.

“So Cameron,” you wonder condescendingly, “how can you so audaciously refer to yourself as the ultimate hopeless romantic, and then proceed to crush every little girl’s dream of finding true love and riding blissfully off into the sunset?” Touché. I can see how, based on my above analysis of soulmate-ship, you might thus draw the conclusion that my vast understanding of chick flics and affinity for journaling is merely a front for my underlying Debbie Downer-ness. But, in truth, I recognize in conjunction with my extreme cynicism that it’s incredibly important — crucial even — to remember that true love can be found. I really do believe that soul mates exist, and I am confident that I have already met mine. This comic may contain more than a few critical flaws in its conception, but I love it nonetheless. Because it makes the hopeless part of my title a little more hopeful.

Image via.

On "The Hill"

The .5er Haiku Series

November 21, 2014

In honor of the .5er graduation in two weeks, I present…The .5er Haiku Series!

Haiku I: The self-loathing .5er

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Where did it all go?

Bye time (and my dignity)

I MUST graduate…

Haiku II: The Never-wanting-to-leave .5er

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Oh Brown,  joyous place!

Don’t fret, I will return soon.

I mean tomorrow!

Haiku III: The Overzealous .5er

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You have prepared me.

With gusto I will succeed.

The world will be mine!

Haiku IV: The Stoner .5er

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I’m graduating?
Woah. I totally forgot.
Can you pass the bong?

Haiku V: The its-not-actually-cool-to-be-a-.5er .5er

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You all think its great.
You’re SO right! My friends are gone.
I don’t have a job.

***Each persona is made in jest!

 

Life & Other Drugs

The Haunting Dread of Food Truck Smell

November 20, 2014

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It’s just after sunset, and you’re en route to an evening class. Everyone around you scuttles to their warm homes in dusk’s amber glow in anticipation of a hearty supper. Your own stomach is sated — not too full, but warmly satisfied from your meal.

Yet after setting foot on one particular block, something happens. Your senses leap to high alert! What could be the cause? The sights haven’t changed, and surrounding murmurs are familiar to your ears…no, it’s your nose.

There’s a food truck. It smells good. Now all you can think about is food truck food.

The cunning scheme that is Food Truck Smell is sensory manipulation at its absolute worst. This isn’t like those supermarket psychology tricks to make you buy more spinach or how Subway’s air is 50 percent oxygen and 50 percent bread. Food Truck Smell is sinister mental anguish. And those trucks know exactly what they’re doing to us.

Food Truck Smell does not discriminate. Korean BBQ trucks smell good. Those oddly specific pie trucks smell good. Even those vegan salad trucks that look like they’re made of wood reek like a spring garden. It doesn’t matter if you’re a casual passerby or a devoted foodie — if you’ve got a niche food truck, you’ve got Food Truck Smell.

And the worst part? You’re not even going to buy anything. You just made dinner, and the only change in your wallet is for that granola bar you’ll buy later from inevitable hunger. Don’t even bother trying to explain to your professor why you were late for class.

“I smelled it,” you announce, food in hand, as your classmates slowly shift away from you.

The envy-inducing scent isn’t limited to the vehicle’s immediate radius, either. On especially windy days, the air in a truck’s general vicinity may be fresh and crisp, but take fifty steps forward, and WHAM! That autumn breeze is slapping you in the face with rotten leaves and the scent of fried chicken. Sometimes you catch a whiff before approaching a truck, leaving you lost and longing for waffles.

Don’t even get me started on those food truck festivals: perfumey cornucopias that will, without a doubt, leave me blubbering amidst a painful bout of olfactory overload.

Is Food Truck Smell even legal? Some of them have to be pumping that scent out of air vents. There’s no way the little kitchen inside that truck can emanate that much smell with all of these car exhaust fumes around. Mark my words, trucks, since soon you’ll get your own personal sphere-invading smell — the smell of justice! Today this rant, tomorrow the FTC.

For a while, I mused on the prospect of working in a food truck. What’s better than bringing delicious treats on the road to hungry customers? While there are few things better than mobile dining, there is little worse than the travesty of Food Truck Smell. From a young age, we’ve been taught the Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated. In that case, dearest food trucks, don’t be surprised when you see me wafting the aroma of my loaded burrito right in your smelly face.

Image via.

Life & Other Drugs

I Went To Paris And All I Got Was A Bunch of Second-Hand Crack

November 19, 2014

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It seems safe to assume that most people on this campus (both men and women) have at one point fantasized about going to Paris. Literature, film, music, and art have all created the romantic and indulgent image of Paris as a city of delicate pastries, mustached savants, and endless cultural possibilities. So, like any young American girl who has frequently fantasized about sharing a cigarette with Simone de Beauvoir, I was pretty pumped to spend last Thanksgiving in the City of Lights.

The trip offered a lot of the clichéd Parisian fare: smelly people, gorgeous architecture, rude waiters, and an effective public transit system. However, sometimes when you hype a place up so much in your mind, your expectations violently collide with reality in a burst of crack smoke. Let me explain.

I had been practicing how to pronounce “the Louvre” for weeks in preparation for seeing Mona Lisa’s sly little smirk of a face. So my parents and I spent a rather uneventful two hours waiting in line to enter that giant triangle of culture. My father whispered deprecations of the French under his breathe, my mother hummed an off-key rendition of “La Vie en Rose” and I eavesdropped on the conversation of an elderly British couple in front of me. The woman was smoking out of something I would later discover to be an e-cigarette. At the time, I was convinced that this nice old English woman was standing in line for the Louvre smoking some crack out of her crack pipe. When she took a puff and inadvertently blew some cigarette crack smoke in my face, I freaked out a bit. But here’s the thing about inhaling second-hand crack smoke — you can’t really turn to your parents and say, “Mom and Dad, I can’t go in to this artistic institution because I think I am on crack”. So I went into the Louvre, and proceeded to experience the whole thing under the perfectly reasonable assumption that I was under the influence of crack cocaine. It was an hour into the tour when my dad noticed that I was sweating profusely and touching my nose like I had never noticed that I had a nose before. He asked what was wrong and I couldn’t keep it from him any longer. “I don’t know how to tell you this, but a woman blew her crack smoke in my face and I think I’m overdosing”. He laughed. I didn’t.

We left the Louvre, went to a café near the hotel and had some coffee. I didn’t think it was a good idea for me to have more uppers, but my parents insisted, and we shared a crepe as well. I guess the moral of the story is sometimes you go to Paris expecting love, art, and culture, and all you really end up getting is a whole bunch of crack.

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It's a Girl Thing, Listicles, Satire

What the Internet Thinks Women Want

November 18, 2014

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Back in 1991 when they invented the Internet (whoever “they” is), they claimed it was going to change the world, provide us with knowledge at a snap of our fingers, and grant the user infinite tools, connections, and gateways to the world at large. It was going to expand to the point where it could answer any question, fulfill any desire. Perhaps it was going to read minds, or be a mind of itself. The possibilities were endless.

Today, in 2014, the Internet has grown to an astonishing size, now housing over one billion websites. Any question you have, the Internet has an answer. But what about the question, the question central to modern life as we know it?

What do women want?

Being a woman, and therefore completely clueless as to the nature of my own desires, I turned to the Internet, curious to see if it could reveal the mysteries of my murky and complicated mind. Turns out, it could.

Here are a few things that the Internet claims that I, and women as a whole, really want:

  1. Commitment

Aw, come on, you guys already knew this one! As a woman – and a young, fertile one, at that – I am in desperate need of a mate! After all, “Having but one uterus to fill with one fetus at a time, a woman gains no obvious evolutionary advantage from promiscuity.” Well said, Psychology Today! And on that note,

  1. A Baby

We are simply desperate to get to baby-makin’! Just the other day, Facebook advertised a site on which I could make a “virtual baby,” just in case my aforementioned lack of a mate was seriously getting in the way of any biological productivity I was hoping to accomplish. We get bombarded with advertisements for diapers, cleaning products (to wipe up all that baby poop), and all things “parenting.” That is, after all, what we were built to do! Oh, I’m sorry, is that my career calling? Can’t talk now! I’m too busy washing the bedsheets that my kid peed on!

  1. Tampons

YO! Where in the fuck can a girl get those tampons that make you want to dance and play tennis and rock climb and shit? Sign me up for THAT kind of menstrual cycle!

  1. “Spring Break 2015!”

Spring break forever!!!!! I am so young and so wild and all I want to do is party ‘til my pants fall off!!! We’re talking pictures in my bikini, drinks on the beach, live music, staying up until 3am, and spending some good ol’ time with my ladies. Also, I totally have the money to pay for a vacation, and my body doesn’t make me weep when I see it in the mirror! Sign me up, Internet!

  1. Money

Specifically, we want it from you. And when I say “you”, I mean our boyfriends/husbands/fathers. We want you to pay for our dinner, as etiquette (somehow) dictates, and take the lead on financial matters. I don’t have a job, as previously stated, so you’re going to need to take care of me. And I reeeeeeally want to go on spring break this year. Please?

  1. A Sexy Man

Or, as AskMen.com, the expert on all matters female, dictates, “It wouldn’t hurt to at least try to minimize the degree to which you remind them of a monkey.” Huh, well, the Internet is actually right here. Moving on.

  1. To Lose Weight “FAST!!”

Like I said, spring break is coming up, and I’ve already started my diet of strictly celery. I am completely susceptible to those advertisements that claim a “miracle pill” can make me lose “10 pounds in two weeks!” Thanks for showing me a picture of an impossibly thin and muscular woman, who I will never look like. I need a healthy dose of self-loathing to continue on only eating plants and occasionally inhaling air.

Side note: Women do NOT want you to keep reminding them just how many calories are in a bagel. I get it, okay? I like bagels. Leave me alone.

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