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Monday, May 23, 2011

I Blame it on Arnold Schwarzenegger

I leave for Austria tomorrow for five weeks. In a word, I am petrified.
Yes, this is a fabulous opportunity and I handpicked my location so there’s no room for regret or complaint there. I’m the only person from my school going but the people that I’ve talked to from other schools seem super nice and I’m super excited to meet them and hanging out with them is going to be just plain super. Everything is paid for, so a big shout out and monumental thank you go to the parentals. I’ve packed and then unpacked, and then repacked, and even though I’ve still stressed over the fact that a month and a half’s worth of clothes should not be confined to one suitcase and a small duffel, I googled portable defibrillators and it looks like it’ll be cheaper if I just chill the fuck out about it. Hell, I’ve even gotten all of my textbooks except for one, and that’s fine because I never really wanted to read Frankenstein anyway. So why oh why am I so scared?

For starters, I don’t speak German. After a combined 4 1/2 years of Spanish and Italian you’d think I’d choose a country that converses in one of the Romance languages, but I lost my map of Easy Street when I was like 12, so to Austria it is. Luckily, I picked up a book of offensive phrases called Dirty German (purchase here if you’re feeling randy, baby) so if and when the opportunity arises, I can tell someone, “Fick dich ins Knie!” and be on my merry way. I’ve already memorized how to say “slut,” “bitch,” and “He is fugly,” yet I couldn’t tell you how to ask where the bathroom is. Basically, I’ll definitely be getting into a bar fight while simultaneously peeing my pants. Wish it was the first time.

Another topic of concern is food. I used to be a very picky eater. I’ve come around in recent years (yogurt and olives are the most recent additions to my diet), but when researching Austrian delicacies brought me to such gems as “Beuschel – a stew containing calf lungs and heart” I nearly had an aneurysm. I don’t even like cheeseburgers, how on Earth am I supposed to stomach baby-cow-part soup? As an avid consumer of peanut butter, tears actually came to my eyes when I was told that I would be unable to purchase a simple jar of Jif or Skippy whenever I pleased. Apparently, all they have is the nasty all-natural goo with the peanut oil floating around the top that leaves yellow-brown gritty gunk on the back of your tongue for days. I suppose it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I went a few weeks without my daily dose of fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. A girl cannot live on schnapps and strudel alone. Not morally, anyway.

Real talk: Adults love me. Parents, grandparents, teachers, the lady that works at the food kiosk inside one of the buildings on campus who calls me “Honeypie;” I don’t know what it is that I do, but they eat it right up. So one would think that I’d be able to effortlessly charm the lederhosen off of any host frau that I was paired with. You know what’s different about Austrian adults? First of all, I can walk up to any of my friends’ parents and nonchalantly say, “Whattup, Bill.” Such an unthreatening name. Now imagine trying to do the same thing to someone named Felix or Maximilian. The letter X is probably the most intimidating letter of the whole alphabet, and between that and this symbol à ß ß I have no idea how I’m going to say hello to these fine people, much less sleep under their roof. I’ve expressed this fear of menacing erwachsene to my own mom who assured me that I was ridiculous, which wasn’t helpful but is nothing new. Guess I’ll either come back from this trip with a new Mutti or she’ll have whipped me so far into shape I’ll only wear dirndls for the rest of my life.

If anyone has any advice in terms of how to cope with these worries, hit a sista up. Tips, tricks, inside scoop, I’ll take it all. Unless you’re like my dad and your idea of beneficial guidance is telling me to watch the movie Taken. I’m trying to quell my fears here, not obsessively calculate my street value.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

That's a Rap

I have beef with The Rapture.
I’m beyond the fact that it’s well after death time and we’re all still kickin, and I’m willing to overlook the leniency that it seems to have had as far as the whole “6 pm in each respective time zone” thing. I’m a little TO’d at the harassment I've endured for over 3 years about the fact that 2012 was the big shebang and all of a sudden, bible humpers (yes, I say “humpers” not “thumpers;” I get my kicks from sexual irony as it pertains to the über-religious) start warning me of the newest apocalypse A DAY AND A HALF before it’s supposed to ensue. I’m all for spontaneity, but if I’m going to achieve my life’s goal of eating my body weight in M&M’s, I need a bit of a heads-up.
If nothing else, they could have at least made the whole ordeal a little more exciting. My brother texted me this today: “You know what would be cooler than rapture? Raptor. And we all had to run around like Jurassic park.” This sparked an entire conversation about how our last day on this beautiful, slightly dysfunctional earth could turn out to be the most awesome evaaaa with just a few tweaks to the name. You’d feel pretty pleased with yourself and your life if this was going down as you were going out:

RAPture: We run around being chased by the ghosts of the best rappers of all time. How awesome would it be to essentially play tag with Eazy E, ODB, Biggie, and Tupac until kingdom come? Seriously, think of the badassery for a second. Would we be running or gangsta leaning? Pimp strut? I’d actually look forward to my impending demise if I got to swag surf my way toward it. Granted, the potential for terror is pretty much inevitable, considering the incidences of AIDS, overdoses, and gun control we’d be up against; however, possibility of a live (in an entertainment sense) performance of Shimmy Shimmy Ya would be well worth it.

RAPTure: Our attention spans miraculously improve. At the risk of sounding like my parents and their friends who are in awe of TiVo even though it’s been around since 1999, we live in a technological age, and things like the FB and Twitties consume most of our lives. On this final day of being, we would suddenly be able to pay attention to each other, and not just through photo albums or status updates. Now it’s true that online creeping could and would rear its realistic head and materialize as actual stalking. Weird kid that pokes you on a bi-daily basis would actually be nudging you in the ribcage, and a fat 40-year-old Albanian man would physically follow you around. Disturbing. But since you’d now be more on your game, you can Duckunder Nearside the prodder into a Half Nelson while unleashing the keychain mace on Old Man Shadow. Engross yourself in that, fool!

raptURe: We’ll go out texting. There’s nothing funny I can say about this, because for about 98% of the population, it’ll be true.

rAPTure: We feel more inclined to do things. Maybe a little counterproductive considering the world is coming to an end, but hey, better late than never. This is the perfect time to face your demons and come clean about all of your naughtiness and stop being such a procrastinator already. I, obviously, would take this period of time to do something astounding because my moments of extreme genius and powerful inspiration always come at the last possible minute. Imagine what would happen in the world when people got down to the biznazz! Right when it counted, cancer would be cured and gay marriage would be given the unanimous go-ahead. And then POOF, we’re done. Way to pull it together in the clutch peeps.

I’m just sayin. It’s already Sunday and I’m neither dead nor in fear of dying. What a jip! I guess I’m just that much more prepared for Doomsday. Or will it be doOMsday, the last day of vinyasa yoga classes? We shall see!

Monday, May 9, 2011

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells." -- Dr. Suess

I’m a generally easy-to-please person. I get enjoyment out of the silliest, most effortless things, and tiny instances of sweetness, humor, and/or random entertainment can make my entire week. Does anyone else get a kick out of life’s simple pleasures? Here are some of mine that make me go gaga-ooh-la-la:

Too easy

That’s What She Said-ing: Let the record show that I was making sexual innuendos to just about everything deserving way before Michael Scott made it trendy, but as soon as his catchphrase hit the airwaves, my material increased tenfold. I’ve That’s What She Said-ed my mom. I’ve That’s What She Said-ed my teachers. I’ve yet to That’s What She Said my grandma that I recall, but explaining something of that inappropriate magnitude to an 80-year-old is not on my to-do list. I find it incessantly hilarious even when everyone around me assures me that it’s not, and I’d like to think I’m a Gay Rights trailblazer simply because I call a TWSS in an unbiased fashion.
  • Example:
    • “I wanna eat out tonight.”
    • “Don’t you mean that’s what HE said?”
    • “Homo you didn’t. It’s the new millennium, stop being so narrow-minded.”
I will do this until the day I die, so you might as well humor me and just laugh along for the obligatory two minutes. Failing to do so will only make the process harder and longer…heeheehee.

Saving documents/contacts with clever names: You know what isn’t fun? Writing a 10 page paper on the lack of necessity of the study of critical theory as compared to the study of classic texts in modern academics (that sentence barely even made sense, imagine how the next 2,286 words turned out). You know what makes it a little more bearable? Saving the document as “eng491 I hate you.doc”. I also have “wtf are performative utterances.doc”, “ARTH five guys named Zhiang.doc”, and “music history is a joke.doc”. It’s also a joy to look through my phonebook after a particularly stellar weekend and discover new friends such as “Sigma Chi Dance,” “Outside Daniel,” and “Probably Justin?” that I’ll most likely never talk to again. Sure, I could name these things something bland like “Comm 305 Final.doc” and facebook stalk my way to some manswers, but it’s much more enjoyable this way. Super plus bonus: I take it as a passive aggressive success when I get to submit the cheekily-named papers online, knowing that my teacher will see the titles and either chuckle empathetically at my wittiness or rethink the absurdity of the assignment while he/she begrudgingly searches mine for nonexistent grammatical errors. Sweet victory.

Successfully giving myself an unsmudged manicure: Any female knows this is a monumental feat. The fact that I have undiagnosed ADHD makes this accomplishment even more of a celebration. For whatever reason, I choose to paint my nails at the absolute least opportune times, and then I’m somehow dumbfounded when I look down 30 minutes later to find a mess of nicks and smears despite the fact that I’ve just removed every key from a janitor’s keyring and replaced the carpet in my bedroom with hardwood. I’ll never be able to explain myself. I just know that Sally Hansen is my savior and Insta-Dri nail polish is the fucking bomb. 

Finding the perfect gift for someone: My best friend’s birthday is coming up, and I’ll be damned if I haven’t been scouring any and every online store to find the exact balance of “I can’t believe you remembered!” and “HAHA I love our inside jokes.” I live for this stuff. It goes without saying that Christmas shopping is my crack. You think your mom might enjoy a book about Europe? Pfft. Novice. Try a book on vintage French wines with tickets to an old country winery. Get on my level, bitch. Not that I’m bragging, but if elephants are known for their memory, call me Skinny Dumbo. If two months ago you mentioned – in passing – that you wish you had more options in terms of styling your hair, don’t be shocked when you get a salon gift certificate for a cut-color-and-style from yours truly. I would rather spend hundreds of dollars on someone knowing it’s exactly what they wanted and that it truly surprised them/made them ecstatic than just settle for another gift basket from Bath and Body Works and vow to try harder next time. I love doing it, so stop saying, “You shouldn’t have!” and please just sit back and enjoy the pampering.


Big ole Dolly Parton hair: The best investment I have ever made in myself was the purchase of my teasing comb. I plan to include it in my Oscar acceptance speech. It has secured a place in my will. The fact that it doesn’t have a name is pretty shocking considering my affinity for personifying inanimate objects. The motto “Big Hair, Little Hips” defines my life, and I’d sooner stay in for the night than have a coif that stands less than 3 inches from my scalp with enough hairspray to stop a stray bullet dead in its tracks. Huge, teased-up hair is happy hair, and I’m just as delighted to spend the extra 20 minutes perfecting this halo of massive proportions. Being unable to run my hands through my strands without losing a finger or four is a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means joining the ranks of my true idol, Donna Reed. Give it up for the bouffant, playas.

The stories on VitaminWater bottles: Dear Glacéau, HIRE ME. Love, Skylar. I used to have a very strange obsession with Revive (fruit punch) VitaminWater, and I’d die every time I read the silly little story on the label. Not only do these guys create a delish beverage, but it was clear to me that they were my kind of people in all aspects. Seriously, who does this remind you of: “If you woke up tired, you probably need more sleep. If you woke up drooling at your desk, you probably need a new job. If you woke up with a headache, on a ferris wheel, wearing a toga, you probably need answers…” I belong there. Half the time I’d be reading this in my 8am College Algebra class (your sympathy is appreciated) and while it did not help me think of any real-life scenario in which I’d use matrices, it was good for a brief pick-me-up. You can read some of the other amusing labels here, and just know that if you don’t at least smirk at their sassiness, you’re either a descendent of Scrooge or you have no appreciation for life’s little joys whatsoever and this entire post has probably pissed you off. I won’t apologize for being happy!!