Apocalypse Chow

Somewhere deep in a pile of rubble a jolt of energy turns on a television set long forgotten. The salt and pepper lines across the screen crinkle and crackle into a low electronic growl, fading into a blurred horn. The sound resounds.

A beetle pauses. Scatters across the puzzle of plastic and flesh. There is only the music left now.

 

“Annnnnnd welcome back to another episode of Apocalypse Chow! The cooking show where we show you how to create delicious dishes from your bunker, for the gourmet disaster.”

 

 Something rolls of the smoking pile and crashes at the bottom, leaving a cloud of dust – a laugh, an applause. The man on the screen wears a lime green sports jacket and a giant toothy smile.

 

“Let’s go ahead and get our candle fired up for the appetizer. A match works great for this, but any old piece of flint or foil and a battery will do. If you don’t have a candle, that’s just too bad, because this appetizer is to die for.”

 

He has a dark laugh, as dark as the sky when the smoke pushes up to it. Someone sits up in their bed suddenly underground. Their stomach growls, but they don’t hear it. The void is louder, and the TV is louder still.

 

“For this recipe, you’ll need a can of spam, a shard of glass, and some honey. A little tip I like to share is that you can find a lot of spam in basements of the elderly if they haven’t been ransacked. Glass shards are all the rage today, you can forage for them just like they did with mushrooms in the olden days; they’re great for creating a mosaic, slicing spam, and threatening anyone who tries to access your pile of twinkies. So plop the spam out of the can, and use your shard to julienne the spam. Think small, long strips, easy to chew and swallow. Now this recipe is great because it’s quick to make and quick to eat, so do it like the year is 2020 and the power just went out.”

 

It was 11:00am when the power went out on the east coast. It went out in sections across the grid, but by the time he told she and her and him and them the cell phone towers were flooded and “are you ok” “is there power there” “mom do you know what’s going on in New York” turned into total darkness.

 

“Hold the meat in the palm of your cleanest hand over the candle. If you still have two hands, hold the candle over the spam, allowing some of the wax to fall off onto the dish. The taste of melted wax combining with the rest of the dish will leave a nostalgic flavor of birthdays. My birthday was on April 21, do you remember yours? Isn’t it nice to remember? Once you have your meat sliced and cooked, use your boniest finger to drizzle some honey over the top. Hickory Honey Spam!”

On the screen in the rubbish, the camera zooms into a paper plate, ornately decorated with limp spam and dark honey. The man’s toothy grin fades as the screen flashes to a commercial. Something for sale. The man is back, he speaks into the void.

 

“Now I’ve got a special treat for you. A dish you may recall from the state fair or even a night at home back when wifi existed. Fried twinkies! I hope you’ve saved a box of these snack cakes so you can cook along with me. The oldest twinkie in the world was 40 years old when it was stolen by a looter during the blackout. These twinkies here are 20 years old, and the gray color you see is just like aged wine. Quietly unwrap your twinkie and let’s get to work digging a hole. If you already have a hole dug in your bunker designated for unmentionables, make a new hole a few feet away to fry your twinkies! Throw in a few rocks, some charcoal, some pieces of garbage, and finally something round on top to hold the oil. You can get oil at any uninhabited McDonald’s. Place your twinkie in the hot oil and wait for it to turn a nice dark green color. That’s how you know it’s done. This dish is the perfect high calorie, high fat entrée to keep you on the migration to Canada.”

 

The surge of energy jumps from the cables in the back of the TV, and somewhere deep in the rubble a fitness tracker buzzes. The glow from the wristband illuminates a tattered before and after picture of Jared from Subway, or Jared unassociated with Subway to be exact. A diary screams of a merciless scale. Someone sits up from the bedrock, gasping, coughing up salt and dust that glitters like a sugar crystal stalagmite in a deep cave. The center of them groans. They crave conversation and collapse with the hopeless thought of another over coffee.

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Cat-burgling & Other New Years Resolutions

It’s June 1st people! And you know what that means. If you read my blog, you should have gobbled a free donut by now, but did you also realize that we are half way through the two thousandth and eighteenth year of our Lord?? How are your resolutions going? Do you remember what they were?

I prefer to make my resolutions as I go along. I’m more likely to accomplish something if I give myself a little pressure. If I have an entire year to be able to jog around the block without a puff from my husband’s inhaler, that gives me way too much time to procrastinate.

However, if I happen to move out of my parents’ house and into an apartment that does not allow pets, I would’ve really dropped the ball when the ball dropped because how the heck would I know to make a resolution to burgal the neighbor’s cat?

Allow me to explain.

I have a sweet angel baby back at my parents’ house who wasn’t allowed to come with me. I know he must howl in remembrance of our bond, but he’s taken a real shining to my sister (and all the treats she’s feeding him as he’s getting rather chubby). Although we do Facetime – me and the cat, that is, it’s not the same. I need the sweet smell of animal pheromones on my pillow to be truly happy.

I’m not allowed to own pets in this apartment. Buuuut there’s technically nothing in the bylaws against foster cats… or farm animals…outside of the residence 😉

And that’s why I spend my afternoons feeding cheez it crumbs to my feather babies – Chickie, Chickie Nuggs, Chickie Tendiez, and Colonel Sandy…and the neighbor’s cat who loves to come on my property (who I’m plotting to steal/borrow and never return)

So far things are going well, but it’s only a matter of time until they start wondering why she answers to “Moonpie.” Don’t ask me what her real name is BECAUSE I’LL TELL YOU IT’S MOONPIE ~thank you very much~. And she is very soft and answers to that name so she must be mine. I just have to find a way to borrow her under cover of night and then never let her escape my clutches nurturing care. I just need some of those Halloween cat ears, and she’ll think we’re related. She likes to come over occasionally, but what’s the fun in a pet who leaves you to go back to her “owners.” The only logistic to figure out now is how do I bring the cat inside without bringing the cat inside. 

Back to the chickens. They stanky. But they like it when I pick them up and yell BWWAAACKKK. They even do it back. One of my resolutions is to speak chicken, and I think I’m really getting through to them.

The other day, I asked if they had any eggs, and then when I peaked in, Chickie Nuggs screamed BWWACCCKK and got a funny look on her face and threw up her feathers and PLOOOOOP. An egg! A brown one how organic.

Then me and Chickie Nuggs had a moment – a gaze – that said are you really gonna pick up that warm egg I just ovulated into the dusty hay and then eat me in September?

and I stared back with a look that said Chickie Nuggs I’m not sure I want to touch your lukewarm, brown chicken butt egg, but I need it for quiche tonight and yes I am going to use you in the crockpot in three months. 

Then I snatched the egg and ran away before she could peck me. She wasn’t happy that her high quality meat will be slow cooked in an electric pot for eight hours out of convenience sake. I don’t think she should think of herself as meat though, she should have more self respect.

I think it brought us closer together.

My resolution was to have pets I could have a strong bond with as good as my kitty Alexander Hamilton, and I’m getting there, but it’s not the same because the neighbor’s cat has six nipples that stab me in the observatory eyeballs when I pet her, and Colonel Sandy has been acting so sassy lately with the food scraps I toss to her. The only other hope I have is for the succulent plant pets in the kitchen, but they’re from the cactus family, so they don’t cuddle much and there’s an eerie quiet about them.

Moving out has meant a lot of changes.  Mostly the fact that I keep putting clothes into the washer and dryer but the machine is never empty, it never ends and my food isn’t as good as mom’s…mom if you’re reading this what time is dinner tomorrow? 🙂

My resolution today is to figure out a way to never have to do laundry again, but I’m afraid of what that means. I’ll have to get rid of the birds if we’re joining a nudist colony cause that’s just not a good mix.

Maybe I’ll just pick a day once a week to do the laundry to make it more manageable.

Nahh that’s too reasonable. I just need a can of febreeze or something. I could use that on the chickens too! There we go. Resolutions as I go along, just like I said:

Step 1. Go to a store and buy febreeze

Step 2. Celebrate with ice cream

Ooooh that’s a good resolution. Eat more ice cream because it’s almost summer!

Yay, June!

Do you have any pets? Owned or burglarized?

How are your resolutions coming?

 

Donuts Make Ya Go Nuts!

Well hello again, friends. I’m going to pretend that I’ve written consistently for the past four years, and you just pretend that you’ve been reading all the brilliant ideas I’ve meant to post since life got crazy.

I know, I know. “Crazy.” That’s the adjective we like to use to describe our lives to avoid having mediocre coffee with aquaintances or to describe that person you ended a relationship with because of lack of communication, a misunderstanding of each others’ love languages or something else reasonable but instead we just say “crazy.” Anyway, listen to my excuse. What I really mean is that I got two bachelor’s degrees annnnnddd I also got myself a husband, may I direct your eyes towards EXHIBIT A! (I watch a lot of lawyer shows now too.)

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I don’t have a picture of the degrees. You know, that education thing that sucked the life out of me for the past three years and taught me that the more I learned the less I actually knew. Good placemats though. I am using my education at my new FULL TIME JOB. I have reached adult. I might start organizing the spice cupboard or filing my taxes correctly, you never know. [dear IRS, that was a sincere joke oh my goodness please don’t hurt me or my succulent babies]

Married life is good, but it’s challenging. I’ll tell you why. As soon as you start living with this person that you thought you knew pretty well, you start to learn all sorts of weird things they do that sometimes make you giggle and sometimes makes you use one of those plug in air freshners. More on that later.

YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING WHY THIS POST IS TITLED ABOUT DONUTS. Sorry I had a lot to catch you up on old friends…

Tomorrow [*to my surprise* as you’ll learn soon enough] is National Donut Day!!! (doughnut? Duffnut?)

…at least according to the swarm of Dunkin’ Donuts’ social media blasts and polls about their free donut promotion.

Did anyone else happen to know that May has 31 days or did some spooky mozzarella stick with thumbs plop it on the calender this morning when I strolled into the local dunkin with THE DUMBEST SMIRK ON MY FACE AND SONG IN MY HEART! Thank you orange and pink blinky gif posts all over my twitter for FLOODING MY BRAINNN with dopamine and giving me a reason to get out of bed this morning. NOT.

As I drove up to the big double d donut hut, I felt like I was cheating the system. Like I had dug a hole under a wall that was built to keep me out of the country. I knew I was getting a free donut, and it was only a matter of seconds until I saw the selection of what would be left in those shiny, metal baskets under the hot spotlights of glory behind the cynical teenager who would get their dirty little sausage fingers all over the pastries. Sorry that was a bit much. But I’m an adult now so I talk like that. (she says just days before her 22nd birthday).

As I approached the counter, I felt such delight in my frugality that I wanted to raise my eyebrows up and down like I was driving a hot red sedan in a car commercial, but then I remembered I am married now and probably shouldn’t. ALTHOUGH SIDE NOTE someone left a lewd comment about my husband’s “junk in the trunk” on a picture posted to FACEBOOK. I know because he came home bragging about the fact that he had to delete it before anyone saw. Because of his butt. On a picture of him standing like a normal person fully clothed. But let’s not keep score of who can get the most lewd comments.

Anyways, donuts. The pink one with sprinkeedinks caught my eye, and all I could think was where is the madness and chaos in this pastry stuffed jelly filled glazey sprinkle free for all??

And then as I stood in line in behind a frowning man, I glanced down at my phone and my eyes were STRUCK WITH THE ABSOLUTE DISPLEASURE of the most FAKE date I have ever come to know! May 31?? #fakedate #notmycalender Who came up with that one?

Hmm what was that rhyme my mom taught tried to teach me…many days hath september, april, may, june, just remember February has 28…? No no no. Past the days I remember, half of June plus september and March has 31..?

I don’t know.. she just kept repeating it and wiggling her fingers around as if the poem would make any sense, but I didn’t get it, just like my fractions. Unless you include food. Like donuts. I get good with fractions when I have to share a donut. I was home schooled.

WELL NUTS ON THIS “MAY 31” I’LL JUST COME TOMORROW

I stomped out of the sugar coated storefront and went on my orphaned donut way. I’ll come back for you tomorrow, oh sweet one. Wait, no I won’t. Just cause it’s free doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fresh, so sorry to the specifically delicious looking donut I could never again identify in a line up.

So tomorrow people. TOMORROW. It’s June 1 and you know what that means even if I don’t! Free donuts 🙂 ~with purchase of a beverage~ oops apparently I didn’t read that part either what a rip off. Oh well buy something nasty like a small decaf hazelnut coffee and give it to some sucker like me.

Stay tuned for more adventures in marriage with the strange man I love and other tales like that time I got mugged by the manager of taco bell or my childhood with a shapeshifting sister.

Hannah out.

Why I Stopped Taking the Bus

I haven’t written in so long that I don’t even know how to begin this post, so I’ll just get into it. [You pretend I never left, and I will pretend to be a whirlwind of creative ideas who doesn’t have a twenty five page philosophy paper due next week.]

So I stopped taking the bus to class. I told myself all winter that the only reason I take the bus up the treacherous hills to class is to avoid frostbite and to conserve my energy like a bear in hibernation. I was lying.

I take the bus because who the heck wants to get up early and use their actual legs to go 5,280 feet uphill multiple times a day? Not me that’s who.

But last week the birds were chirping and the sun was shining, and yet again I was jogging to get to the bus stop on time. Sweat dripping down my red face, heart beating faster than a kid at Chuck E. Cheese, I watched the glorious chariot of the lazy whiz by. EIGHT MINUTES EARLY.

It wasn’t fair. I was there on time. How could they leave without me?

And then I realized that it was spring, and if I was a bear I would have woken up by now, so I winked up at heaven where I could hear a giggle.

Then came the hill.

The hill to my class is no joke. I’m talking Kilamajaro here. But I looked up the hill with only fifteen minutes until my class began, shoved my headphones in and pressed “play.” One foot in front of the other, I trudged up the hill like the hunchback of Notre Dame. (I’ve only seen the VHS cover because I don’t watch horror films, but I know I looked like him that’s for sure.)

I prayed for gravity to remain for just a few more minutes to keep me from falling off the earth, and Sia’s words really hit my heart strings:

♫”Party girls don’t get hurt
Can’t feel anything, when will I learn
I push it down, push it down”♫

I pushed my thighs down pushed my thighs dooowwnnn.

With my headphones in, I was in another world climbing this hill as fast as possible, as if my life depended on it. I was breathing so heavily as I passed the Catholic church, that I mistook the cardboard cut-out inside the window as the real Pope Francis, and I gave him a sweaty wink.

Suddenly, I noticed a shadow on the sidewalk beside me. Somebody, God bless ’em, was stuck behind me and my fitness journey. I moved over to the side of the path to let them pass, and let me tell you he must have been a super human athlete because I did not see a drop of sweat on that guy and he didn’t sound like he needed an inhaler either. I could tell that he had a resting heart rate of 35, and you could hear my heart beating like some fortelling drum in the distance. I pretended to be humming along to my music, but really it was like one of those illuminati SOS messages hidden in a song (like in SpyKids): ♫”Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes”♫

As soon as he passed [with judgement] I keeled over and wheezed, with a mirage of the bus in the sky. I heard that little ditty about a Crazy Bus from Arthur ringing in my ears, as I stared up at the big red bus with the driver throwing me a peace sign like Nixon post-watergate.

Ah, the glorious bus. Driver with creepy ponytail…Seats that all face the middle so that you have to make eye contact with strangers right across from you…packed in like sardines because no one else likes to walk…crowds that hoard around you as you try to get off so that they can get on…pushing and shoving…weird smells…

And that’s when I realized that the bus isn’t that great after all, and I was at the top of the hill. Vision blurring, armpits dripping to form a puddle under my chair, with a smile I was in class — ten minutes early. 😉

Like when a mother has a baby and forgets all the pain from childbirth, I decided that maybe the hill wouldn’t be so painful next time.

And that’s why I stopped taking the bus. That, and I’m gonna get killer calves.

If you have any hills you need climb, I urge you to do so! Unless your bus takes you more than a mile, in that case, take the bus.

In Walked the Lady With the Alligator Purse

Sitting on my bed, I was typing away at the keyboard on some paper that was probably due in two hours when suddenly, I heard a blood curdling scream just outside my door. I slapped my laptop closed, as if I was trying to make a ham sandwich real fast and had to smack the ham down before I starved.

“MARISAAAA YOU’RE GOING TO GET BLOOD ALL OVER THE CARPETTTT”

Without thinking, I ran to my wardrobe and grabbed my first aid kit. It was fully stocked. I had waited a lifetime for this.

“LET ME SEE,”

I screamed as I walked out of my bedroom into the living room. A one and a half inch cut stretched up her ankle like a viscous squirrel crawling up the tree, blood-thirsty for its nuts. Three of my roommates were crowded around Marisa who was holding a crumbled up piece of toilet paper over a bloody wound on her leg.

Ugh can we just talk about the toilet paper they provide in college? It’s like half a ply. And then they play this funny little joke on you and feed you food in the dining hall that makes you wish you had some heavy duty stuff. Woo I’m sorry. This post is a little graphic. Let’s just say the toilet paper was just not holding her gushing blood back from anywhere.

This was my moment. I am not saying that the pain and suffering of others is something I prey upon for my own glory, but we all like to be the hero sometimes. Right?

“SIT DOWN AND PUT YOUR LEG IN THE AIR I’VE GOTTA GIVE IT SOME PRESSURE HONEY,”

I could feel my nurturing side come out as I kneeled down and started rifling through my Hello Kitty Emergency Kit; i had a few cute band aids, a wipe, and a piece of gauze for a hangnail wound. It just wasn’t enough. I had to pull out the big guns. I grabbed my actual first aid kit for actual emergencies, as I am first aid certified after all (shameless self-promotion).

Marisa’s whimpering and whining went in one ear and out the other as I pushed on her wound with my gauzed up thumb like you keep pushing the elevator buttons so that smelly guy coming from the gym can’t ride with you to the nineteenth floor. Oh boy. Elevators. I’m claustrophobic, and I’m going to have my own emergency if I don’t stop thinking about it.

Anyway..

At this point the bleeding just kept getting worse, but Marisa, a hypochondriac did not need to know that.

“How is it, Hannah? Is it stopping????”

“It’s…well…I’m taking care of it. You just sit there real still.”

“Oh NOO IT’S WORSE ISN’T IT I AM GOING TO DIE I NEED TO CALL MY DAD HELPPPP DAD I CANT PRESS THE BUTTONS ITS GOING TO MY HAND”

Somehow she managed to push past the pain her leg wound had put into her hand and dialed her dad.

“DAD HAVE YOU EVER CUT YOURSELF SHAVING??”

At this point, I did not hear the rest of the conversation because I was so focused on making ol faithful come to a halt. It had slowed down, and it was time to clean the wound. It wouldn’t be easy, but it had to be done.

“Marisa,” I told her, “I’m going to need to clean out your cute little cut…with…HYDROGEN PEROXIDE” before I even finished my sentence she was screaming.

“NOOOO no no no. MY LEG I can feel it in my bone, do you think I broke my bone?? I AM DYING I AM going to bleed out. Here I go cruel world. I guess it’s been kind of nice. I did get to eat breakfast this morn—”,

I didn’t let her finish her own eulogy. It couldn’t end like this. There was more to her story. I snatched up the bottle of hydrogen peroxide and poured a few drops on some gauze. It was very cold, and when some fell on my finger, I screamed due to adrenaline. That did not help Marisa. You know, the one who accidentally shaved her legs too hard and was now worried her bone might have broken from impact.

“YOU ARE NOT PUTTING THAT ON MY LEG NOOO. If there’s one thing that hurts it’s stinging!!”

I could not listen to her. I had to do my duty so that it did not get infected. She continued to ramble and scream, and I had to wrestle her like a white water alligator almost to the ground. She squirmed and squealed, but I held down her ankle, and in one strong swipe cleaned the wound right up.

A single tear fell down her delicate cheek as she looked down at me, Nurse Han. I had just broken the sacred trust. But I had also saved her life. She finally sat down on her chair silently and let me put a band aid over her cut. She settled down, as I put my supplies all back in the red bag and took a deep breath.

That must have been the most stressful three minutes of my life. I know I am supposed to be in the Humanities. I have patience, but not for patients.

I picked up my first aid kit and danced into the sunset.

By that I mean went back to my room and took a well-deserved nap.

That Time I Went to the Gym

I stared straight at it. I had to face it head on. That’s the thing with fears: you’re supposed to face them head on with no turning back, right? I’m not good with fear. I crossed the road and went to the buffet instead. I needed some lunch before I attempted entering that sweaty pithole wreaking of cramps, tears, and lactic acid build-up.

I hadn’t been to the gym in two years. There’s just something odd about the idea of going to a building full of metal machines with buttons and lights, and moving your body in ways it normally wouldn’t. There was something I didn’t like about the thought of hundreds of people staring as I tried to do a squat and my face turned bright red as a vein in my forehead popped.

I am not afraid of health. I am, however, slightly afraid of exercise.

Hey, I was on the track team for four years. I couldn’t run very far…or for very long…but they didn’t have cuts, and I was only competing against myself anyway, right? (That’s what they tell the slow people). Anyways, back to my story.

I ate my college cafeteria food as if it was the most delicious, elegant meal I had ever had. I put a napkin in my lap and cut my creamed corn with a knife. Wouldn’t want to choke. I was sitting with a bunch of friends, trying not to let the sweat stains pouring like ol’ faithful under my armpit due to anxiety about the gym harm me from laughing along with their jokes. I could see the treadmills from where I was sitting. I could feel a cramp in my side forming, just as it did every semester in grade school when we were forced to run the *gasp* dare I say it??? Mile run. DUN DUN DUNNNN.

After a whole bunch of negative self-talk and flashing thoughts of the jiggling that would happen when I tried to run, I was at the gym with my friend Emily.

Men. Men everywhere. And all of them had boobs bigger than me. They grunted as they lifted heavy things. Heavy things. The heaviest thing I had picked up in the past year was my cat who has a BMI in the slightly overweight range.

Most of my first gym trip is actually fading from my memory. I remember heavy breathing. And pain.

But I also remember laughs. So many laughs between me and Emily at how silly we looked not really knowing what we were doing. I make it sound as if we’re experts now. I have been to the gym a grand total of 18 times now. Wow, that actually sounds like a lot. I also remember how good I felt when we were done. You have all this stress and energy you can push into your legs, as you watch your body surge through the intense pain of a slow jog.

It’s so hard to convince yourself that the gym is a fun, safe place. But it really is. It’s full of people who are all there to reach some type of fitness goal, and definitely not to judge you. Even if you end up not enjoying the gym, you can enjoy more pizza since you burned the calories. That’s probably 50% of my motivation right there.

If you can get past the smell of the sweaty guy next to you with muscles protruding from every inch of his body, try it some time. I’ve already got my workout planned for tomorrow!

Why I Blog

Disclaimer: This is an assignment for a class I’m taking called “Writing in the Digital Age.” Two assignments actually. I will attempt to squish them together as the resourceful, time-lacking college student I am. It’s actually quite an interesting course, but it may not be as riveting as that post about spoon-butt boy at the froyo shop.

Hey, Dr. Rutherford! This one’s for you.

Alex Reid writes “Why Blog?” to explain not only how frequent blogging improves writing skills, but also how to figure out audience, genre, and purpose for blogging in the first place. In his article, he points out that blogging comes from an intrinsic motivation. This is unlike school assignments which are completed due to extrinsic motivation, such as the pressure for a good grade.

So I’m asking myself this week why I’ve decided to start a blog.

It’s definitely not due to a high level of intrinsic motivation. I haven’t posted in awhile. I’m searching everywhere for ideas. Sometimes I just wish I had a prompt.

When I first started this blog, I wanted a place to experiment and create. I wanted to showcase my writing abilities in a fun way. But most of all, I wanted to make people laugh, and then make them think.

I bet you’re wondering where I’m going to tie in the second reading, “The Multiple Media of Texts” by Anne Wysocki. Well, buckle up because this could be a bumpy ride! (By that, I mean I don’t know if this is the type of risk you’re looking for, but I’m praying it is.)

Wysocki claims that visual elements such as font, colors, bold type, shapes, etc. are placed into texts for a purpose, and can be analyzed.

Why would you want to analyze the visual elements of a text, Hannah??? I’ll tell you one reason, dear reader. So that the text fits into the genre it is supposed to.

Here’s an example:

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Take a random manual for a toaster oven, and look at its format. Kinda bleh, huh? It’s an instruction manual though. You would expect it to look like this: readable and informative.

BUT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE GLAMMED IT UP?!

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Now as you can see, this one is much more exciting. Using the same exact information, I have created a more derpy, yet fun instruction manual using Comic Sans and clip art. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to read, and looks like an eighth grader made it. I wouldn’t trust this toaster oven company.

See what I mean?

It would be the same as if you took a teeny bop magazine and shook all the glitter off of it until it looked like a packet of Constitutional Law. No teeny bopper would read it then. So visual elements do matter.

I’m not sure how to end this post. But it’s chicken parm night in the dining hall, so I’ll go with that.

Hannah out. ✌

Yard Sales Aren’t for Sissies

Whenever I go to my grandma’s, we always have a great time. One adventure that’s sure to please is looking for yard sales on an afternoon drive. Sometimes we even have our own yard sale. You can find such cool junk stuff for your whole family! Here are some things you should know if you’re going to haggle your way to a $1 portrait of Vladmir Putin made entirely of swedish fish.

  1. Look out for bottles and cans littering the road. Grandma always keeps this reachy mcgrabber extendo thing in her car, so she can just pull over and I grab the cans up! At five cents per can, you can fill up your yard sale coin purse before you even hit the sales. I think I’m the only one who still lets my grandma pick up trash from the side of the road. When my uncle rides with her, he smacks a quarter on her dashboard for the next five cans they see before she can even get excited.
  2. Don’t get too excited. Whenever we first pull up to somebody’s house, my palms get a little sweaty and I get really giddy. But grandma is not joking around. You see, you can’t look like you actually want to buy anything. It’s just like getting a boyfriend, or walking past one of those kiosks in the mall with the creepy man with the lotion trying to feel up your hands. So approach the merch slowly, and don’t open your eyes too wide. 
  3. Haggle until you dazzle. My grandma has perfected this trick. Step 1: Ask what they would like for the item. Step 2: Say “I don’t think so”, as you slowly lower the item back down to the table. Step 3: Stare at them until they offer you a lower price. Try reminding them that you can take it off their hands, or they can put it back in their house so you’re actually the one doing them the favour.
  4. Rifle through boxes, plug in electronics, and look over anything you’re going to buy to assure some measure of quality. At a yard sale last weekend, I saw a nice copy of Wuthering Heights, and began flipping through the pages to make sure they weren’t written on or ripped up. It was in great condition, and an envelope popped out of the middle of the book into my hands. It was a Christmas envelope with an old $20 bill inside. This brings me to my final tip…
  5. Be kind. I walked over to the lady running the yard sale, and told her that I thought she should know that there was money in her book before she sold it. As I handed her the $20, tears started streaming down her face, and she hugged me tightly. I was so surprised that it mattered so much to her. She let me take the book home for free, too! My grandma has taught me a lot on our shopping trips, but the most important thing is to be kind. You never know why someone is having a yard sale in the first place. So maybe don’t haggle until you dazzle unless you really think things are overpriced.

Tell me about your great yard sale finds! 

Poetry Corner: August

The ocean is above me, a curtain I could pull

I am not drowning, but I sway to and fro

I have a picture of your face that I pull out sometimes

Your teeth are all showing as you grin and squint your eyes

A foggy dream surrounds me

I hear the rushing of the waves

I cannot move or speak or breathe without worry of the waves

I am not drowning, I am breathing

Breathing with a picture in a frame

You are here, but I am dizzy and the foggy blue begins to fade

We are here, but we are slow

As we move we cannot show the pain and love

And wonder lingers

I see your work inside my fingers

Attached by veins in the bottom of this sea

Flowing, thriving distantly

I could pull it all down

The ocean itself could learn to drown

But here we are

The ocean is above me

A curtain I could pull

I’ll Pretend I Didn’t See That

Have you ever looked over just as someone was doing something really awkward? Or been caught doing something embarrassing? There’s a frantic exchange of looks for a millisecond before both parties remember that eyes can look away for politeness’ sake. You can even keep your eyes from burning to a crisp when your neighbour runs onto their porch in a speedo for the third time this week and it’s only Tuesday.

Here are some things I’ve pretended not to see. But I did see them. And now I will talk about them to make myself feel better about it.


1. Somebody eating a meatball sub. It’s as big as their face, sauce is spewing out, and worst of all — WORST OF ALL — their mouth is open wider than the grand canyon. To get their mouth open this wide, the rest of their face contorts, and their eyes are buggy and squinty at the same time. Some people even close their eyes to bite the large sandwich, which turns lunch into an emotional experience. If you make eye contact, you’ll get this awful feeling in the pit of your stomach that they’re hungry enough to eat you. It’s just uncomfortable.

2. Your mom washing the dishes you just dirtied. Go ahead, just set your dirty ice cream bowl over on the counter, and back out of the room slowly.

3. Someone singing along to the radio in their car. Cruisin’ along with the radio blasting makes anyone feel like a superstar, but when you don’t have the radio on and the car next to you is jamming out, they kind of look silly. If you make eye contact, they’ll probably stop what they’re doing and pretend they forgot the words. It just ruins the mood.

4. Animals getting it on at the zoo. There must have been something in the air the last time I went to the zoo because everything from the lions to the red pandas were procreating. oh wow this fence is really tall that’s a nice fence looks like metal

5. Seeing someone you kind of know in public. Do they recognize me? Should I say “hi?” Oh my heavens they’re getting closer. Ok ok I can do this. Do they even know who I am? *awkwardly smiles and makes an odd grunt-like noise*

6. Someone watching their dog take a crap. You know, this is a tough situation. Watch Tickles take a tinkle? You seem too curious. Look down at your phone? Too self absorbed. Pick a nice bush off to the left. A quick look at your watch isn’t bad either, as long as you don’t seem like you’re in a hurry. That’s just rude.

7. Somebody taking a selfie. Have you ever watched someone take a selfie? It’s weird. You suddenly feel superior to them just because you’re not taking a selfie. (Even if you took one this morning.) You find a need to watch them take it even though it feels like you shouldn’t. It’s just so weird to see someone sitting by themselves with a blank expression, and then when they pull up snapchat, a moment is frozen in time where they’re all smiles about who knows what. Life is good! In this selfie.

8. Somebody paying with boob money. This is just something I wish I didn’t have to see. I make my disapproval obvious as I reach out two fingers for the bill and scrunch up my face. Today I even got a sweaty bill from a teenager’s waistband. My parents and I had a conversation about this at dinner once. We couldn’t decide which would be worse: boob money or armpit money. I vote for none of the above.


Do any of these things make you cringe?

What are some things you wish you didn’t have to see?