Category Archives: Random Essays and Lists

Essays and listform posts on random topics.

10 Reasons You Know You’re an Adult

Oddly, one of the sweetest questions that I get from teenage students is “How do you know when you’re an adult?” I’m definitely an adult now, and here are some things that make me sure that I’m an adult. I had this sitting around the draft file for about a year and thought I’d post “publish.”

1. A Teenager Will Think You’re Old – This isn’t going to happen until you’re late 20s, but at some point you’re going to meet a teenager and they will be glib and standoffish with you … because you’re old. Old to a teenager is mid-to-late 20s, but when they sort you from the ‘us’ pile of youth to the ‘them’ of oldness pile, you are an adult.

2. You Stop Caring – in a good way! I remember one time when I was in front of a classroom, sitting in a chair, and trying to get the power cord into my laptop to charge it. I dropped the cord, and when I went to reach for the laptop it started to slip out of my hands, and, in my haste to rescue it, I fell completely out of my chair and onto the ground. In front of a room full of teenagers. And I just laughed. You know that you’re an adult when you’re secure enough in yourself that you can ’embarrass’ yourself and be totally fine with it. This is probably why everyone’s parents seem ’embarrassing’ when what has really happened it that they have no f**** to give.

3. Curtains – I really felt like an adult when I hung up curtains. I was like, “An adult lives here!” then looking around and realizing my parents don’t live here and thought, “Wait, it’s me! I’m the adult who lives here!” and I still am. Also, I love my curtains.

4. Friend’s Advice Changes from Dating to Insurance – Your gabfests with your friends will change from “OMG this guy and stuff!” to “Do you like your insurance company? Because I’m shopping around for a better rate.” Also, if a friend gets a major home repair and you’re like, “I need the number of your electrician,” you know you’re an adult. Especially if that’s the last phone number you’ve gotten in years.

5. You Get Revertigo – This term is from How I Met Your Mother, but it is so apt. Revertigo is where you revert to how to used to be (ie: dumb) around a person from your past that you haven’t seen in a while. Young people don’t get revertigo because they haven’t been around long enough to revert to the past, because they don’t have a past … because they’re young. Welcome to adulthood!

6. Your Body Will Turn on You – Get ready for it, because your home, aka your body, will totally turn on you. I’m not just talking about somehow hurting your neck while sleeping – which will happen – or the horrid cracking sound your hip will make when you’ve sat on the ground too long – again, this will happen, but your metabolism will be the first to go. If you’re super young and whining, “I’m so fat” while clutching a pair of size 4 jeans, revenge is nigh. Also, cooked red meat will turn on you. Burger? Alka Seltzer. Steak? Oh, yeah, that’s an Alka Seltzer night. Stop considering Slim Jims, your body suddenly figures out that they’re poison. Your body just stops being able to handle red meat around 30-ish. My last meal before going veg was a filet mignon with an Alka Seltzer chaser. It might sneak up on you, but when you pass on certain foods because you know they’ll wake you up at night, you’re an adult.

7. Kids Will Appear – You may not have kids, which is a great and valid decision by the way, but kids will show up anyway. I suddenly became a step-mom a few years ago, and it was jarring because I realized that I was a step-mom. Wait, what? What surprised me, what shook me, was that there were kids, and if something went wrong (if, lol, I meant “when”) it was going to be my responsibility. That’s it. Not that I wanted to or not, but it was going to happen. Those who are childfree will notice that kids will pop up, your friends will have them, and then they do the darndest thing: age. If your friend’s kid is graduating High School (a dark day) you’re officially an adult.

8. You Look Forward to Paying Bills – I love paying my bills, filing my taxes, updating my insurance, and it’s not because it’s fun, but because it has to get done. Being capable of paying your own bills is one of the most underrated feelings in the world, by the way.

9. The Person Intervening is You – When you’re young you just have this feeling that other people, adults namely, will take care of it, whatever ‘it’ is. If you find a lost dog, help it (so inconvenient), and reunite it with its owner (or, if you’re me, unsuccessfully chase it through your neighborhood while yelling “Let me help you!”) you’re an adult. There’s something that flips inside that just says, “When someone/something needs help, and I can help, I will help,” and you just do.

10. Birthday Appliances – If it’s your birthday and you want a new fridge, you’re an adult, end of story. When I was 21 I got a vacuum for my birthday and I was so mad; this year if someone offered me a birthday washer/dryer I’d be over the moon.

10 Tips on How to Not Become a Successful Blogger

As you know, I’ve been blogging here since 2007, and I’m still not a full time, stay-at-home blogger. Because of that I feel highly qualified to inform you of some tips and tricks on how to turn your passion for blogging not into a career.

1. Change Websites Often: If you want to not be successful at blogging, it’s important to change your website as often as possible. By that I mean full on switch hosting, let old domains expire and get bought up by ‘webcams’ (ew), and never pay for a redirect.

2. Delete Popular Content: When you have some popular blog posts, decide that they’re just not ‘you’ anymore, than immediately delete them. This will damage your SEO horribly, and it may never recover. With this simple tip alone I was able to go from 16,200 views one month to 4 views just a few months later. Just try to monetize that!

3. Write About Anything: Just anything that pops into your head. The way to not having a successful blog is to not having a consistent topic. For example, one day I’ll write about linguistics, and the next day I’ll write about dolls. Unsubscribe!

4. Username? More Like Whosyername: I find that one fun way to having a not successful blog is to use different usernames all over the internet. It’s like e-multiple personality disorder and is aggressively alienating. That way no one will know who you are and if the things you’re posting are actually by you or someone else.

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The Side Effects of Being Vegetarian

Side Effects of Going Vegetarian

I’ve been vegetarian full time for three years this December, and if you decide to transition to being a vegetarian, there are some things to look out for that no one really tells you. I have not seen this list on the internet, but this is all from my own experience. For the record, I’m not judging anyone who isn’t vegetarian, or saying you have to be vegetarian, etc. I’m also not a dietician, so don’t confuse this with medical advice, which it ain’t. Also, I’m going to talk about poop now, so you’ve been warned.

Immediately

Everybody poops, we know this, but when you first become vegetarian your body might mildly freak out. A lot of people take this as a sign that being vegetarian is not for them, but it’s really your body re-calibrating. You will have to tough it out on the toilet for a bit, I’m sorry to say. Things should stabilize within 6 months to a year as all the rotten meat gumming up your guts finally leaves your system. As a vegetarian you will poop more often, once to twice a day, and the poops with be bigger. When you eat meat you can have those horrid rabbit poops, you know that I’m talking about, but being veg will pretty much eliminate that. Gentlemen: I don’t know why the hell it takes you 20 minutes to poop, but as a vegetarian you will poop as fast as women do. Maybe you’re all just playing on your phones in there, I have never been able to crack that particular code.

3-6 Months

Within three months your craving for meat will stop completely. Around this time your will also have the worst breakout of your life. The meat nasties that have been stored in your flesh are finally seeping out, and it ain’t pretty. I had a second horrible breakout around six months as well, and after that they ended. Happily, your poops should start to stabilize around this time too.

6-12 Months

Something really strange happens when you stop eating meat, and it takes a while. Meat starts to stink. We’ve all walked into restaurants and smelled all the yummy smells, our bellies grumbling. As you get into vegetarianism as a lifestyle (not just something you’re trying out) meat will start to smell bad. What does it smell like? To me it smells sweaty, specifically like body odor. It smells putrid and rotten, truly vile, and it makes going to restaurants pretty unpleasant. Once you get to this stage your body really had acclimated and processed all the old meat out of your intestines. I can’t tell if my cat’s food is spoiled or not because of this; I just check the date on the can and hope the cat won’t eat spoiled meat like an idiot.

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Thoughts on Social Media in 2010 vs 2017

Recently, personally, I’ve been struggling with the idea that everything I do in life must be aimed at functioning in our global community in a way that will allow me to continue living the way I’m living. AKA it’s all got to be for the cash monay. Harsh, yes? Totally harsh.

I was on World Famous Design Junkies (link to specific post now defunct, unfortunately) today and read the quote above. I’ve actually been struggling with this a lot lately too. I’ve just lapped a year of working at home, for myself, so I guess this is unofficial my New Year, a time to think about life, both the way I’m living it, and the way I want to be living it. Lately, I’ve found myself looking at my blog stats and thinking, “Oh my god, my stats are lower than they were yesterday,” and actually really caring about that, as if it’s actually important. It’s a day to day, limited reinforcement cycle, brilliant, really, but it’s like being underwater, when you come up, you realize that nothing you’re doing is really productive. At least not in a way that I count.

In a way, I think it has something to do with my age. I remember moving away to college in 1998 and having no internet access outside of the orange-text-on-black-screen email-only computers stations at my college library. The dozen terminals were more than enough for everyone who wanted to email anyone and there were no chairs, standing room only. I’d come home from class every day and work on my collages and zines, then perhaps once every six weeks I’d print my zine, give it out to some friends, mail it off to the few review zines that existed, and never give another thought to getting feedback. I definitely wrote more letters than emails and I think in a way it was liberating, I had no way to whore for instant attention, so I didn’t really want it.

The process of listing something online for sale goes something like: make item, take photos, edit photos, upload photos (private), list online, blog, Tweet, Facebook, Flickr, and LJ just to get it a decent amount of attention. It’s not really the amount of time it takes to do something, or the fact that you have to post it everywhere under the sun, but the reality that you might be putting more time into whoring yourself than you’re putting into actually creating.

– August 26, 2010

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