Monthly Archives: October 2012

Monday Inspiration

Some days require more reminding than others.

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How to Be a Real Person

“I’m going to graduate soon, and then I have to get a job and be a real person.”

When I was in college, that’s what I used to say to anyone who would listen. My brother made me laugh when he took offense to it. “So are you saying that since I’m still in college, I’m not a real person? Am I a fake person?” Sorry little bro, but you’re definitely still a fake person. (Although if you end up studying abroad and going off to Africa to hang out with the lions for 6 months, you’ll be a hell of a lot closer to being a real person than I was when I was 20. Way to be!)

Being a real person is actually really awesome. Way better than I thought it was going to be. I’ve totally got the hang of this thing. So I made ya’ll a list! How to be a real person in 6 easy steps. Plus a couple extra tips thrown in at the end, because I got tired of numbering them.

1. Buy a mouse trap (to catch the mouse that lives in your apartment, obviously) but then never set it up. No seriously, what happens if you actually catch the mouse? Then you have this alive thing inside the trap that you’re going to have to get rid of somehow. Think about it. You haven’t seen the mouse in a couple weeks, not since you moved your backback and he came scurrying out from under it. He’s totally moved on to another apartment. (You hope.)

2. Eat just popcorn for dinner sometimes, aka once a week. A couple of Trader Joe’s flat breads, fistfuls of granola, or half a head of cauliflower + ranch dressing can all be substituted for the popcorn.

3. Get super ambitious and decide to grow herbs in cute little pots on your patio. Then move them inside when you go on vacation and never take them back outside. Let them start to take over a shelf in your bedroom. Remember that you don’t really cook with herbs all that much. Feel unsure about what to do with the stupid plants now, especially since after you killed one of them, the rest literally won’t stop growing.

4. Contemplate how much trouble you’d be in with your landlords if you decided to take on home improvement projects without their consent. On a scale of 1-10, how mad could they really be if you caulked over the spot in the corner of the bathroom ceiling where your upstairs neighbor’s tub is leaking into your space?

5. Wear high heels with your sweatpants as your clean your apartment. Tell yourself that you’re “breaking them in” or “just wearing them from the front door to the bedroom closet” so you’ll only have to carry 17 pairs instead of 18, but then just leave them on as you empty the dishwasher and hang up the laundry.

6. Sit outside on your patio in hopes that the suuuper cute dog who lives next door will come running over to hang out. Disregard the fact that her owner apparently doesn’t want her to have friends because she always gets in trouble when she comes over. Talk to her when you see her in the window as you get home from work, even though if other people heard they would think you were a little crazy.

Miscellaneous real person activities include going to the farmer’s market, having business cards and no one to give them to (except your mom), planning your own vacations, figuring out how to hang decorations without making a huge hole in the drywall, accepting gifts of random furniture that friends of friends no longer want, feeling super proud of yourself for using your barbecue grill, learning how to get dressed in the semi-darkness because your apartment is weird and doesn’t have overhead lights, and getting really excited to buy stamps.

So go! Go be a real person…you’ll be awesome at it now. And you can totally thank me after, nbd. (But you’re welcome.)

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Grammar Isn’t That Hard, I Promise

Inspired by some terrible writing that I’ve been editing at work over the last few weeks, I made you a list of some of the things that drive me insane but a normal person probably doesn’t even notice.

1. Confusing that and which.

2. Not understanding the difference between EST and EDT.

3. Using over instead of more than.

4. Putting commas and periods outside of quotation marks.

5. Confusing the meanings of eg and ie.

6. Putting two spaces between sentences. (And after colons. Who does that??)

7. Using ampersands instead of the word and.

8. Capitalizing words you think are important.

9. Mixing up hyphens, em dashes, and en dashes.

10. Putting quotation marks around random words.

11. Writing nonparallel lists.

Stop the madness people. It’s really not that hard.

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Life’s Better in Color

“I went to Target during lunch today and bought a planner.” “Oh, that’s nice…” “Yeah, I was feeling overwhelmed and needed to color code something.”

Things in my little corner of the universe are starting to get…busy. Like, I’ve-got-stuff-scheduled-almost-every-night-for-the-next-three-weeks busy. I knew it was going to happen eventually, but I have to admit that it kind of caught me off guard. So yeah. That little conversation up there? That actually happened last night.

Before you start thinking I’m crazy (Although, let’s be real. You’re probably right.), hear me out. I don’t know what it is about highlighting the shit out of a calendar that makes my life feel less ridiculous, but God does it work. I was getting a little bit terrified that I’ve overscheduled myself. Signing up for two volleyball leagues, planning several out-of-town trips, inviting people to come hang out in Indiana for the weekend, and the start of a new volleyball coaching season will do that to a person.

Thank God for those highlighters. Green for coaching stuff, pink for my own games, great big blue boxes for those precious weekends when I get to leave the state–I’ve caught myself staring at (read: admiring) the perfectly colored squares a little more often than is probably sane to admit. But my stress level has decreased by like, a thousand.

I’m a little more in control, a little less likely to forget where I said I would be when, and a little more on top of all the things I’ve committed to in the coming months. That’s a lot to gain for $5 and a couple of highlighters from the supply room at work. While I’m still thinking I may be overscheduled, at least I know I won’t forget to show up for something important.

And it’s a weekly/monthly calendar, so that means I get to write down and color code everything TWICE. Score.

Now if I could just get it to force me to write here more, we’d be in business.

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A Love Letter to the St. Louis Cardinals

Anyone who has had a conversation with me for maybe 5 minutes knows how totally crazy I am about that little team from St. Louis. It’s easily one of the first things I mention when people want to know about me, and I tend to not be able to shut up about it for way too long afterwards.

And this time of year? Forget about it.

I can barely make it through the day without checking schedules, lineups, and scores. Of the three playoff games the Redbirds have played, I’ve been out to dinner during two of them–with my face glued to my ESPN app. While receiving text messages and phone calls about the game from no fewer than three different people. I’m a lovely dinner date, I know.

It’s a weird kind of feeling, living in a place where no one really cares about your team. Or any team, for that matter. In college, Peoria was split between St. Louis fans and both kinds of Chicago fans, so at least there was a little love. Here in Indiana, though, between the football and the basketball, I’m not sure everyone even knows what a baseball glove looks like.

But how much I love this team is hard to hide. My neighbors have to know it, based solely on how much I yell at the television. I’ve stopped trying to talk about it with coworkers. They just laugh at me and suggest maybe I should start liking a sport where something actually happens. Hilarious. (Not.) My boss was just amused when I told her I needed a day off last October to go to a last-minute playoff game.

None of these people understand what it’s like to worship a team they way I love the Cardinals. Sure, they’ve got the Colts (and I guess the Pacers, but since I hate the NBA I’m going to pretend they don’t exist…), and they’re definitely a huge deal around here. But let’s look at this logically. There are 162 games in an MLB season compared to just 16 for the NFL. And taking into consideration the fact that NFL teams always get a bye week, a Colts fan would have to watch almost 11 seasons of football to see the same number of games a Cardinals fan will see in just one. Sorry, Hoosiers, baseball wins.

It wins because those 162 games mean a lot of heartache. Ups and downs and injuries and road trips that seem to last forever when all your team needs to break its slump is just one game in front of a sold-out home crowd (they don’t call us “the best fans in baseball” for nothing, you know). Those 162 games mean you always have a reason to pay attention; you always want to sit down and watch.

Busch Stadium is, hands down, one of the best places to catch a baseball game. The atmosphere is incredible, and the seats are almost always sold out. They even mow the city’s iconic Gateway Arch into the outfield grass. I’ve seen games at U.S. Cellular Field on Chicago’s south side and AT&T Park overlooking San Francisco Bay (with plenty more on my bucket list), but none can compare to the feeling I get walking into that sea of red in the gateway to the West.

The Cardinals have the chance to win their third World Series in 7 years. They may be a long shot; everyone–that doesn’t live within a couple hours of the city, at least–may be counting them out, but they’ve pulled off miracles before. I don’t think many people will be forgetting last year’s Game 6 any time soon. And even though I’m still the farthest I’ve ever been from the STL, I’ll still be celebrating by screaming at the TV and looking at ticket prices on StubHub. A girl can dream, right?

Make me proud tomorrow, boys. Let’s win these first two in Washington and show little Bryce Harper how it’s really done in the postseason. (Seriously, that kid is younger than my baby brother. Not OK.) I’d say that I believe in you when no one else does, but we both that’s not true. The entire city is behind you, so let’s get this done.

Heaven on Earth.

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