Comedy Done Well

I almost included Hyperbole and a Half on my Liebster Award post, but I wanted to make a separate post about it. She has tons of hilarious posts, ranging from how to deal with grammatical errors by making up a new creature, an awkward social situation survival guide, and tons of stories from childhood all the way up through adulthood. I still can’t put my finger on why it’s all so funny – the hyperbole? the crazed MS paint drawings? the encapsulation of what the thought process of being a kid? – but it’s all amazing.

If you’re on the internet but haven’t read it before, you may recognize the style from this meme:

Why this blog deserves its own post is because it’s managed to take something that’s serious and touchy and somehow still made it into comedic brilliance.

The last three posts, over the course of a year and a half, have explained and also made funny…. depression.
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Uuuuuugh It’s April Fool’s Day on the Internet

I don’t know if April Fool’s Day was ever particularly funny, but the ubiquitous internet “pranks” have left me worn out on the day. The only joke that I can even remember wasn’t from the internet; in March of my junior year of high school a girl began talking worriedly about a missed period and having serious conversations about who the father might be and what she was going to do.

On April 1st she arrived at school with a concise sign around her neck. Scrawled hastily on the cardboard was simply, “I like pussy. Duh.”

Aside from that memorable moment, to me this day is just like any other day on the internet: everyone is biased and/or outright lying. Except it’s  not just links to known tabloids and Fox News that you’ve got to look out for, it’s everyone.

It generally boils down to one of three categories: fundamentally altering a site into something its constituents hate (often in the form of selling out), closing down a site, or offering a product that doesn’t actually exist (looking at you, ThinkGeek).

I’m at the point where April 1st is just an annoying day to be on the internet.


In all fairness.

There were a couple of good ones.

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Thoughts From a Wedding

(Inspired by Thoughts From Places)

Good afternoon, readers. Yesterday morning I woke up at three a.m. (uuuuuuuugh)

I’d asked for the day off from my signing shift at my retail job, and my boss promised to try to find someone to cover for me but shot down one eager coworker after another (hours are few and far between).

grumble grumble grumble and four hours later I’m free. Errands, family, and a nap all blend together until suddenly, holy crap, I really really need to get ready for my cousin’s wedding.

I suddenly remembered that the wedding present is sitting, still unwrapped, by the door.

I also apparently didn’t have any wrapping paper.

The Geek and I argued about whether it’s worse to bring an unwrapped present, give it to the bride later, or not give a gift at all, and I’m still not sure on the etiquette of that. (Though I did notice there weren’t many wedding presents, which tips me towards the return/pay back The Geek for his half side and keep the cookware for myself. I’m sure I could make up some sort of less awful excuse for why I couldn’t give it to her at the wedding, but lying exhausts me.)

My cousin is a supervisor at my work, and it felt a bit weird to say, “hi grandpa!” just before “hi (boss) and (another boss) and (yet another boss) and (boss I start with this week)!” and see them at the bar at the reception, but eventually the weirdness became white noise and I was able to enjoy the evening.

This was my first wedding I’ve attended as an adult, and it gets me thinking a bit.
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Confession: I Don’t Like New Girl

So my sisters have all been trying to get me into this show for awhile. I originally put my distaste down to the whole manic pixie dream girl thing.

Which is totally unfair, because I’m a massive fan of Doctor Who, and he’s an absolute manic pixie dream boy. Quirky fashion choices? Check. Says weird things? Absolutely. Drags everyone around him into crazy adventures while never really changing himself? Hell yea.

So I’m not going to deny that some of this dislike is subjective. Continue reading

The Facebook Friend Conundrum

As of late, I’ve found myself increasingly disliking Facebook. For a long time I kept to a strict rule that if I it wasn’t family, someone I regularly talk to, or someone I’d like to regularly talk to, they were not going to be my Facebook friend.

This worked, for awhile. Then I allowed in a couple of high school friends since, hey, it’s not like I actively disliked them or anything, and it would be rude to turn them down. But those couple of connections opened up a lot more, and I’ve been getting more and more requests from people that I haven’t talked to in over four years.

When I friend them we exchange a message or two talking about what we’re up to, and then the conversation dies out, and we’re left reading each other’s inane status updates (no pretension here, I’m guilty of stupid statuses too). So I regularly hid people from my news feed, giving me a socially acceptable way to not see their crap anymore without looking like a jerk.

And then, I got in iPad for Christmas. I didn’t realize that iPads automatically sync your Facebook contacts, and there was no way I could find to sift out the people that I didn’t actually want to call/email/etc to have just the people I actually wanted to talk to.

I know, First World Problems, but this gave me a kick in the pants to clean up my profile and friends.
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2013 Idea: Make Christmas Simpler and Less Stressful

It’s officially the new year, and all of our Christmas decorations have been put away for the year as everyone starts working (or, by this point, giving up on) their new year’s resolutions.

But before we finish packing away the holiday until next winter, I’d like to talk about it bit.

I don’t know about you, but the holidays are stressful for me. It was fun as a kid, but as an adult there’s a whole lot of questions to be asked each season:

  • who should I buy for?
  • how much should I spend on each person?
  • what should I ask for? As an adult I can generally purchase any small item that I want and the big things I’m saving up for are much more expensive than what I could ask for from someone else. But asking for cash toward those big goals seems crass.
  • what should I get for other adults, since they’re generally in the same boat?
  • how do I deal with the discomfort from one person spending obviously a lot more than another?

There’s so much focus on the presents, shopping for said presents, and cleaning up afterward that it’s hard to really enjoy the season of spending time with those I care about.

This year I felt both ends of the discomfort spectrum; on one hand, I got some small things from one person that I don’t need, or even necessarily want, but would feel guilty giving away. So they’ll sit around and gather dust. On the other hand, The Geek’s parents were ridiculously generous and gave their kids and me an iPad mini, but I hadn’t realized I was supposed to buy them anything. So the present is very functional and appreciated, but I feel tension since they spent so much money on me.

I’d thought before that maybe it was just me that is frustrated by how we do holidays since I’ve had some unfortunate experiences around gift giving, but I’m noticing that there’s a growing conversation about how we can change to have a simpler, less stressful Christmas that doesn’t suck the life out of you by the middle of December.

With a small amount of personal experience and what I’ve gathered from reading lots of blogs, here’s the some advice for an easier Christmas:
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Observations of a Retail Archeologist

I’ve learned quite a bit about myself while working retail – how I act when I’m thrown together to work with random people (hint: fairly awkward), what some of my pet peeves are, etc. But one of the most interesting things? Observing customers and their behavior.

Sometimes I feel like an anthropologist or archeologist, depending on whether I’m looking at a customer’s behavior or the results of their shopping, respectively.

At times, I can make sense of actions. Exhibit A, the simple unfold and crumple:
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Let’s Play a Game: Meetup, or OKCupid?

So I’ve been testing a theory recently. Making friends is a lot more similar to, and just as awkward, as finding a significant other.

You’re trying to find someone you can be yourself around, there’s the awkward dance of “are they interested in me too?” working up to either exchanging numbers or going out to do something together and trying to be friendly without being creepy.

Getting a phone number – for a friend, or a romantic interest – is just always awkward. Always. If it’s not awkward for you, don’t tell me and let me imagine it’s this hard for everyone.

I was curious what people with these two different intents – friendship and relationship – would introduce themselves. I turned to Meetup* and eHarmony to gather some data. (Even though it means I’ll probably get a million “you’ve got a match!” emails. For science! Or at least a blog post.) Continue reading

Tales of Living in a Commune: Abuse, An Unfortunate Equalizer

I lived in a commune (or “intentional community”) throughout college, and on entirely random occasions I blurt out stories about it in the hopes of remembering them a little longer and maybe sharing an interesting tale or two for the rest of the world. But mostly so I don’t forget.

Before I started staying with The Abbey, Josh, the guy who started it (and somehow convinced the pointy-hat higher ups of the Lutheran church to give him a fairly ludicrous amount of money), used the empty rooms to help people off the streets that needed a safe place to stay. So basically what we did later, only just by himself.

One day Josh sent me off on a benign job, to help a couple, Jim and Michelle, that had lived at the church pre-Abbey and drive the wife to get some prescription meds after a surgery.


As I got close to the door to ring the bell, I heard the yelling. I’m no stranger to couples fighting, and it generally doesn’t bother me, but that yelling made my stomach clench. It felt wrong. Continue reading

I’m A Social Media Hipster

Fun fact: between writing this original post, re-reading it, re-writing most of it, then re-re-writing it from scratch when WordPress deleted it but kept up my older, worse version, “social media” sounds really strange to me now and I had to Google it to make sure I was using the correct phrase.

I’ve now officially been working in retail for over three months. While I’ve noticed a few things about having this job, one of the most interesting is that I’m now around a much more diverse group of my peers than I’d usually pick to hang out with; I generally make a beeline for the educators, geeks, and intellectuals, and now I’ve been forced to hang out with people significantly different than myself.

My conclusion? I’m awkward. But I already knew that. Also, I’m a social media hipster. Continue reading