Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Post wherein our Heroine Requests Feedback

Hey Readers!

I am driving from Staunton, Virginia to Newport Beach, California beginning on September 8th. While on this rather epic trip of nearly-cross-country proportions, I will hopefully find Wi-Fi and be able to keep up my online presence. With any luck, my mom (who is my travel buddy on this madness) will help me find a connection rather than think I've become a crazy Internet addict.

Here are the relevant details you should know: I will be in a car with my mother. We will be driving 2,600 miles. On the way, we'll be seeing friends in two locations. This whole trip should take six days.

Now, we get to the part where I ask for feedback.

How should I handle blogging while on this trip or about this trip?

Should I blog about each day separately? Should I give you guys just the highlights at the end? How much do you really want to know? Do you want me to be polite about the locals? If I get emo on the trip, do you want to hear about it or should I just stick to the funny? If my mom and I end up resorting to animal sounds, do you want to know which animals?

Really, any feedback is helpful. After all, I'm here to please... Yeah, that sounded awkward. Oh well. Take it how you will and let me know how you want this journey blogged.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Office Supplies: The Only Reason I Miss School

The other day, I went to Staples to get business card paper. Since I'm moving away from Virginia in just under 3 weeks, the need has arisen to be able to give people my new contact info. Jotting it down is fine for a few people, but I need to pass this on a lot. Hence, business card paper.

As I walked into Staples, the super-bright advertisements reminded me that it's Back to School season. The impulse buy section was covered in backpacks, water bottles, binders, pens, paper clips, and notebooks in funky colors and patterns. Usually boring Staples was decked out in all its try-to-appeal-to-the-younger-market glory. I got terribly distracted by a fuchsia water bottle with a pop top that revealed a sport top. This was amazingly, shockingly pink and handy. Plus, it matched this awesome book bag and this pretty decent notebook and sweet pens. I totally should---

And it hit me. I am done with grad school. I don't want a PhD. I no longer get to celebrate Back to School with an orgy of coordinating office supplies.

With a small sigh, I pushed along and found the business card paper. I scanned the different types and sizes, trying to find the cheapest and most basic, and discovered that the fewest business cards I could buy is 200. 200? Really? I need like 50. Once again, I scanned the shelf, convinced I had overlooked the pack of 50 or even 100.... Nope. 200 or nothing. With a mumbled obscenity, I grabbed the pack four times bigger than my need and headed to the checkout.

In order to reach the register, I had to pass Back to School Land again. I looked at it all and chose to this time not look at the bright colors and shiny pens but to look at the price tags. Man, they totally gouge you for a freaking notebook, and those water bottles are crazy overpriced. Suddenly, I didn't feel so bad about missing the opportunity to hand over buckets of money for multi-color paper clips. I was saving at least $20 even with having to buy 200 business cards.

You know what that $20 could get me? Shipping a whole box of books across the country. I'm pretty sure a whole box of books beats that fuchsia water bottle. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Post That Isn't Funny

So, I try to make at least 75% of my posts about something funny or at least talk about normal things like they're funny. This one is destined to fail because it's a life announcement about something that's not cool.

My husband and I are separating for 6 months. We are likely divorcing. Yeah, I figure most of you already know this, but just in case a stranger reads my blog, it's easier to write a post like this than explain why all future posts referencing him are tagged with "Jer" instead of "Husband."

At any rate, I'm moving back home to Catalina Island, California in about a month. From there, I will be job searching for a big girl job in a real city.

Consolation Prize for Reading Unfunny Post

For making it through my short but sad post, you get a link to Hyperbole and a Half post. This blog is far funnier than mine, and this post should just be required reading for the internet.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ways to Stare at Shirtless Runners

I recently had a conversation with my best grad school friend, Brett, about summer in Madison, Wisconsin. Apparently living in a town that is super stupid cold most of the year makes the residents of Madison desperate to be outside and half-naked whenever it rises above freezing. Since Brett moved there just a few months ago, he does not yet have this desperate need. Conveniently for him, lots of attractive, male runners do.

This, of course, presents a problem: How to stare at the eye candy without looking like a Creeper. Fortunately, I can totally help Brett with this, and by extension, help others who deal with similar problems.

Currently, the subject gawks at hot, shirtless runners from his car. This is bad for many reasons.
1) Cars move faster than people, providing little time to gawk and/or fully appreciate the view.
2) Cars are heavy and make good weapons when operated by distracted people.
3) No really, I'm serious. He could kill someone over a nice chest. Not okay.

I will now propose a few solutions to this problem, in order of escalating creepiness.

Non-Creeper Way: Coffee shop near trail
It's so simple it's brilliant. Find a coffee shop with outdoor seating (or a big window if you're scared of sunburn) near a running route, bring a book, order a latte, and gawk away. If a hot, shirtless runner glances over and looks annoyed, pretend to read or glaze your eyes over like you're zoning out and clearly not staring at him. You might be a creeper, but he'll never know. If a hot, shirtless runner looks over and winks, wave him over for a closer view and buy him a drink.

Kinda-Creeper Way: Take up running (Health Bonus with this one)
Buy some running shoes and run with the hot, shirtless guys. Pretty soon, you could be a hot, shirtless guy too. They never need to know you started running just to ogle without seeming like a Creeper.

Definitely-A-Creeper Way: Take up "running"
Buy some running shoes, find a bush that looks out onto a running trail, watch the men run by. When hot, shirtless runner passes you, splash some water on yourself, start panting, catch up and pretend you've been running for a mile or so. Strike up conversation about your "mutual" running hobby.
Pointers: Remember the details of your story (Where did you start running today?), claim you usually run later or earlier so he can't wonder why he never sees you on the trail, try to splash the water on your shirt where you would have been sweating, make sure no pieces of the bush are stuck to you.

Embrace-the-Creeper Way: Hold up score cards as they pass the coffee shop near the trail (CLEARLY THE BEST CHOICE)
Remember that coffee shop we found for the Non-Creeper way? Go there, but don't bring a book. Sit outside with score cards. As hot, shirtless runners pass, hold up their score.
Warning #1: Do not score the ones that would get below a 6.5, it's just cruel. There's a difference between Creeper and D-Bag.
Warning #2: Though this is a bluntly excellent way to meet hot, shirtless runners, most of them will be straight and some of them will be crazy, violent, and/or threatened by the compliment of a high score. For this reason, it is imperative that the subject wears running shoes to the coffee shop. If it looks like getting punched in the face (or any other location) is imminent, the subject should not hesitate to use evasive maneuvers and, if necessary, flee the scene.

I hope this guide has been helpful for more than just Brett. If any of you have questions on this subject or further advice on shirtless runner staring, please comment below. Your feedback is appreciated.