Grown Up Parties: High Heels and Hors d’oeuvres

masquerade ball

I went to a masquerade ball this weekend, tabling and sharing information about my non-profit. They had a DJ, gambling, and plenty of alcohol (and more importantly candy at the bar). I danced, wandered around, and ate six mini cupcakes. Here’s what I noticed:

1.) Events like this are the only time you will ever get to wear your prom dress again.

2.) By the time the night ends, your feet will be so sore you will say “owie, owie, pain, owie” every step you take to your car. You’d think I’d have learned this one by now, but no.

3.) If the building is 90% marble, it’s not a good idea to smoke there. Someone did this, and we all spent 20 minutes outside waiting for the fire department. I got a strong “you morons” vibe when they finally let us back in.

4.) When you hear the alarm go off (see above), grab your coat and purse. October nights are cold. Unless there’s actually fire, in which case don’t.

5.) If you invite non-profits to table (thank you!), they will steal your pens.

6.) Some of the gambling chips may be worth more than you are (looking at you $250,000 black). Unless that’s in casino money, in which case they’re still more than you can afford.

And lastly, if you tell your family you danced, and they immediately start laughing, you either need better dancing skills or new relatives.


Grad School Applications: Whoops I Fried My Brain

Grad School Applications: Whoops I Fried My Brain

I have been applying to graduate school since this past July. I started early so I could stop stressing about turning everything in and start stressing about the response.

I’m still in the first half of the process where you write essays. During the second half, I’ll be gathering every piece of paper (official transcripts, unofficial transcripts, GRE scores, birth certificate, credit reports, utility bills, ect.) that could possibly occur to them.

This is what I’ve learned from that first half.

1. Wait a year or two after undergrad. You can gain the maturity that comes with a dubiously paid internship and trying desperately to move out of your parents’ house.

2. Some fields don’t have safety schools. Accept this, cry, and move on.

3. Copy and paste giant chunks of your essays for different universities. And for god’s sake remember to change the names.

4. Force your family, friends, and loved ones to read your work. It’s what they’re there for.

My Fire Alarm and I: A Requiem for Silence

My Fire Alarm and I: A Requiem for Silence

My fire alarm’s “change batteries immediately” chirp has been going off for the past week. At first, I couldn’t figure out how to detach it from the ceiling to swap those batteries out. The only instruction on it is, “Do not paint.”

Eventually (at two o’clock at night), I decided it would be better to burn to a crisp. But that would have violated the rental agreement. Here are hints for if you’re stuck with a similar problem.

1. A stuffed animal over your head will muffle the noise.

2. You need nine-volt batteries. They’re the big heavy-duty ones.

3. If the alarm doesn’t twist off from the ceiling, look for a catch on the side. It will be white and identical to everything else you see.

4. Some alarms will keep beeping after you take out the batteries. They need a stake through the circuits.

5. Some alarms will keep beeping after you put new batteries in. That’s when you call your landlord.


Food Poisoning: The Oh Shit of Illnesses

Food Poisoning: The Oh Shit of Illnesses

I’ve had food poisoning three times in the past six months. Twice were my mistake. FYI trial and error are not the best ways to find out if leftovers are safe. My family will affirm that I’m in the gifted class not the common-sense class. The third time was at a chili cook off. The chili was good. The night after was not.

These tips are for you if, like me, you’ve been having way too many sudden trips to the toilet lately.

1.) If you eat too much buttered toast afterwards, you will barf. Stick with pretzels or saltines. My mother read this, and she said I told you so.

2.) When in doubt, throw it out. It’s cliché for a reason.

3.) Don’t eat raw cookie dough. This tip is worth ignoring.

4.) Anti-diarrhea meds won’t work for this (sorry).

5.) Emergency midnight laundry is a bitch. There’s nothing like changing your sheets at 1 am to make you regret every food choice you ever made.

Lastly, if you’re feeling truly awful you can ask for help—ahem Mom. Your children will wake up and take care of you. We may need therapy afterwards, but we won’t leave you to expire sprawled next to the toilet.

Superstition for Dummies: Don’t Break the Mirror (You’ll Get Glass Everywhere)

Superstition for Dummies: Don’t Break the Mirror (You’ll Get Glass Everywhere)

All my life I’ve been superstitious. I knock on wood and throw salt over my shoulder. I don’t know if it works or if I’m only getting salt on the floor. But I do it anyway just in case. Here are my thoughts on a few common superstitions.

1.) Walking under ladders. This isn’t superstition; it’s common sense. If the ladder falls and you’re under it, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out what happens next.

2.) Lucky rabbit’s foot. Nope—that’s animal cruelty.

3.) Friday the 13th. This one is true. Once on that date, I was hit with a terrible porno virus at my office. I had to throw my jacket over my computer, so my co-workers wouldn’t see “blonde enjoys a monster cock.”

4.) Whatever you do, don’t comment on how good traffic is. This could cause a jam for miles.

5.) Black cats are bad luck—definitely false. If it’s soft and it purrs, then keep it around. Winter is coming (copyright Game of Thrones), and kitties make good bed warmers whatever their color.

Spay and Neuter: Pets Don’t Need the “Miracle of Birth”

I work as a fundraiser for an animal welfare organization. I write phrases like, “anything you could give would be truly appreciated” and “because of you more animals will find and keep loving homes.”

But we can’t help every pet. Part of the reason for this is that there are still many more animals than people to care for them.

Eighty percent of cats and dogs put to sleep in shelters are healthy but can’t find an adopter. There still aren’t enough loving homes to go around. Other reasons to spay/neuter:

1.) Your pet will be healthier (no testicles, no testicular cancer) and less likely to get into fights.

2.) Cats and dogs in the wild have a lot of sex. Cats can get pregnant every few months. Do you really want to find homes for a new litter every quarter?

3.) In the long term, it’s much less expensive. Kittens and puppies cost money.

4.) Less chance of spraying. Animal urine really smells. Don’t find this out the hard way.

5.) Your pet still needs to be fixed even if it’s male. Cats and dogs don’t give birth asexually. Basic biology people.

6.) On that topic, neutering your male won’t destroy their masculinity, and they won’t be pining for their lost balls–so relax. It’s not like we’re neutering you.

Vote: It’s Like Standardized Testing Only Relevant

Vote: It’s Like Standardized Testing Only Relevant

I voted in my state, Washington’s, primary election yesterday afternoon. Then I lay around my deck, sunning myself and sipping green tea. Both these things are important. Here are reasons why you should vote.

1.) It’s not hard to google someone or read their statement in the voters’ pamphlet. If they don’t have a statement that tells you something right there…that they’re the only one on the ballot.

2.) Protesting  is wonderful. Especially if you have fun signs like “Grab them by the midterms,” but to do that you have to vote.

3.) You have tried to affect the outcome, so you now have the right to complain. Roll your eyes as much as you like.

4.) In federal elections, these are the people that decide if we go to war or not (possibly with nuclear weapons). The proper place for a nuclear winter is in dystopian fiction, not where you live.

5.) Your choices (or lack thereof) can have serious consequences for people other than you.

– Those consequences can be good i.e. in 2012 Washington voted to legalize gay marriage a few years before the Supreme Court did.

– Or they can be bad i.e. closing your state’s lone abortion clinic. Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota and Mississippi have only one as of January 2018.

Democracy means a government by the people, so vote. Because absentee governing never ends well.