When the Weather Inside is Frightful

When the Weather Inside is Frightful

I live in Washington, and it’s February, so I spend a lot of time shivering in my apartment. I’m in my twenties and too cheap to pay for heating. I have a $23.98 electricity bill and numb, purple toes. Here are a few creative ways to get warm when, like mine, the inside of your house is somehow colder than the outside.

1.) There’s no limit to how many blankets you can have. I’ve piled seven on my futon so far. Raid your parents’ place if need be.

2.) Get a neck pillow, microwave it for two minutes, and feel your skin turn red. You can also use an electric heating pad.

3.) Your hot shower is now the highlight of your day. Especially if your landlord pays the water bill. For me, the warmth runs out after ten minutes, so it’s a short highlight—but still.

4.) On that note, don’t go to bed with a wet head. Dry it when you have the heater on unless you want to get sick.

5.) If you do get sick, either leave your house or make yourself into a human puff ball of sweaters, blankets, and pajamas.

6.) Lastly, don’t be a cheapskate like me. Turn up the damn thermostat before your fingers drop off.


Advanced Advocacy: Food for Legislators

Advanced Advocacy: Food for Legislators

Humane Lobby Day happened last week, and I spoke with my legislators’ staffers to advocate for animal welfare. I learned that politicians really like pictures of themselves with middle school classrooms and what my representatives’ names are. I also learned how to get those politicians to listen to you.

1.) Don’t freak out if you can only speak with their assistant. Legislators are busy (as their staff will say more than once). It’s their people’s job to tell them what they need to know from their constituents.

2.) To get on that need to know list…bring food. If you attach a piece of candy or a cookie to a document, it adds an extra minute to the time they look at it. Think of it as a micro-bribe.

3.) Only contact your own representatives. If you call someone else’s, they’ll listen to you, nod politely, and do nothing.

4.) Know where your bill is in the process. Bills need to make it through their subject committee and the rules committee before they come to vote. Then they go over to wherever they didn’t start (senate or house) and travel through those committees.

5.) If a bill fails once, it can still be reintroduced.

Turning a bill into a law can take several years. Bring snacks, and not only for your legislator.

Jabba the Hut Meets the Protest Pup

Jabba the Hut Meets the Protest Pup

It’s been a year since the last women’s march on the day of Trump’s inauguration. Since then, Trump has decreased protections for women’s healthcare, defended sexual predators, and been his usual offensive self. The time had come to march again.

In a county being run by Jabba the Hut, you have to stand up for your rights or spend four to eight years getting slimed on (please let it be four).

This year, my experience at the march was mixed. It was a great cause and a great movement, but the event itself was poorly run. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts I’ve learned about protesting.


Show up. In Democracy, as in high school, you get participation points. Also, vote (with your ballot, your presence, and your pocketbook).

Bring your cool signs. “Grab them by the midterms” is a winner as is “Hell hath no fury like the 51% minority.”

Take your dog (if they’re calm enough). Your pup will look adorable in a pink baby blanket and pussy hat. Complete strangers will want to take pictures (I know because we did).


Make your audience listen to over an hour and half’s worth of speeches before the actual march. Common sense, people.

Insult said audience. Trust me no one likes being shouted at to take off their pussy hats (because they’re trans exclusive) and join a real protest. This is a real protest. Respect our dedication and that we took the time to be here.

And finally, if it is cold and rainy (like it was for me), you can huddle with fellow protesters and use them as blankets. Provided your related to them that is.

Climbing: Have Fun and Don’t Lose Your Grip (or Else)

Climbing: Have Fun and Don’t Lose Your Grip (or Else)

The first time I went climbing was up a sharp rock crag—at night. We were college students and thought this was a good idea. I wore special pinchy shoes and tried not to freeze halfway. Turns out you can still be afraid of heights even if you can’t see the ground.

The second time was in a climbing gym last weekend—much easier. Here’s what I’ve learned from that little excursion.

1.) Rocks—natural or manmade—hurt your fingers. If you’re outside, wear climbing gloves or say goodbye to your palm

2.) Everyone there is fit enough to be in an AREI commercial. Try not to think about it.

3.) You’ll get to the top, smile at the view, and think “Ow, my forearms.”

4.) The belaying rope will hold you. You will not plummet to your death if you let go. Assuming they maintain their equipment, which I urge you not to wonder about.

5.) Go somewhere where they take care of their equipment (see above).

Lastly, if the eight-year-old on the next course can do it, so can you.


Lord of the Fur Balls

Lord of the Fur Balls

I work for an animal welfare based non-profit that happens to have a lot of these animals (mostly cats) around the office.

We have Squawk (yowls when you don’t pet her), Roy (reaches out of his cage and puts his paws on your chest), and Ninja (hides behind her litter box) to play with. Here’s what it’s like when your office is an animal foster.

1.) Your work shirts have hair and cat slobber on them.

2.) You start talking to the animals way too often (“Quit hissing and behave, or I’ll put you in timeout.”)

3.) When you come in in the morning, everyone starts yowling for your immediate attention.

4.) On occasion, you get scratched (when someone really doesn’t want to go back to her cage).

5.) If you let the animals out, they will walk in front of your computer (duh). When you turf a cat off your desk, it will leap back up the second you put it down.

Lastly, one lap can indeed fit two kittens. Provided they quit squirming, which is doubtful.

Happy Hypothermia

Happy Hypothermia

This New Year I decided it would be a good idea to take a “polar bear swim” in the icy waters of Puget Sound. I regretted this idea three seconds after I started. Nevertheless, it’s a fun tradition (when you get out that is). Here are some tips if you’d like to try it.

1.) Afterwards, take the shower closest to the hot water heater. It’s what my Mom did to me.

2.) You can get an ice cream headache.

3.) Make sure you’re the last person out, especially if there’s photographic evidence. Otherwise your family will tease you and post said evidence on Facebook.

4.) The polar bear swim is actually the polar bear dunk. If you try swimming, your toes will turn purple and drop into the sea.

5.) Be careful of barnacles. Or else you could start the New Year with more blood than you’d like.

And finally, when you sprint up the beach and into the bathroom, you will realize you have found nirvana. And that it’s a bone warming hot shower (see tip one).

On the Third Decade of Christmas

On the Third Decade of Christmas

When you celebrate holidays as an adult, you don’t start them off with a chocolate orgy. Instead you choose a couple of Lindor and a candy cane and feel self-righteous. Here’s some of what happens when you get older and start wanting clothes instead of stuffed animals.

1.) You can pay for gifts. Twenty dollars is no longer out of your price range. Then you get ripped off by FedEx who charges you eight dollars for bubble wrap.

2.) Your parents get up before you do. If you wait to get yourself a cup of tea, you should take them their stocking, so they have something to play with. Otherwise they will make fun of you.

3.) Putting up lights is still a hassle. Make your family do it.

4.) You no longer play “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

5.)Peppermint bark is as delicious as ever.

Lastly, when your parents call you their baby, you roll your eyes and remind them your 23. Then you hug them, because some things don’t change.