This Day Was Weird

Yesterday morning I had the loveliest conversation with an old couple on the T. Benjamin and Grace were their names, and they were just the cutest. Late mornings on the T are pretty quiet, so we were the only ones in the car. I sat down, pulled a book out of my bag, and started to read when I see the dynamic duo make their way over to me. Ben plunks down on my left while Grace takes the right. It was like a Marielle sandwich with rye bread (if people were bread, I envision old people being rye). Ben squints his eyes a whole lot and says, “So you have adventure in your bones, huh.” Now all I can think is, “Great, i’ve always wanted to die an embarrassing death by old folks trying to be all Bonnie and Clyde and stuff.” Sensing my confusion, Grace butts in and explains that they saw me reading a Jack Kerouac book, and they were glad I wasn’t listening  to “one of those ipod things.” Well, good thing I forgot my “ipod thingy,” was wearing glasses, and was sporting my Emerson College sweatshirt because man did they think I was the best kid on the planet. I got extra bonus points for knowing where Kerouac was from, and once they found out I had already been to the Lowell Mills like 10 times, ohh man. Old people love geography, and mills apparently.

By the time we hit Central, I had told them about my road trip to Colorado this summer and my upcoming move to L.A. and they told me about their travels in Europe after they retired. Here’s where Grace begins her speech, “We started our adventures too late. We got so caught up in what we thought we should be doing that we forgot about what we wanted. Don’t forget that life isn’t always about what you should do, you need to live and love as much as you can.” And here’s where I get the feeling I’m secretly being filmed for one of those Kleenex commercials where everyone gets all sentimental.

As we hit Kendall, a businessman in a suit walks on the T, head down, with “ipod thingy” in ears. Ben and Grace grin at each other and snicker, “Why do all people in suits stare at the floor, what’s so interesting about a floor? Are they afraid of actually talking to someone?” I, for one, can justify a good floor staredown every once in awhile, but Ben and Grace apparently aren’t fans. Squinting far more than I’ve seen anyone else squint, Ben looks at me and says, “So what are you afraid of? It’s seems you’re alright with human interaction” (Ben’s got sass, did I mention?)

So, through Charles and into Park I explain my fear/fascination with sharks, which in theory is ridiculous. BUT, in dreams where I’m being eaten alive it’s NO FUN. Trust me. Pulling into Park, all bent outta shape from shark talk… I remove myself from the Marielle/ Rye bread sandwich as Ben scoots over to my seat and places his hand in Grace’s and declares, “Sharks are a great fear- I’m petrified of ants, now isn’t that silly.”

Anyway, the point is: old people are wise beyond their years, and sometimes afraid of ants.

Later in the day, a friend emails me this quote:

I believe implicitly that every young man in the world is fascinated with either sharks or dinosaurs. -Peter Benchleyimg038

I’m fascinated by both these things. So…As it turns out, I’m a young man? Wonderful. Ego boost from Ben and Grace ruined. Needless to say, this day was a very weird one. Thanks mom, for letting me watch Jurassic Park and Jaws as a child!

Sammy Stapler

I learned a life lesson the other day! Gold star for me! I’m reading a new book, Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel stumblingonhappiness1Gilbert, which basically breaks down everything you think you know about happiness and tells you you’re wrong. Well, not exactly that harsh, but it analyzes the science and psychology of it all… and explains a whole lot. Well, there is a magic trick in the book that I was obviously fooled by because I’m a sucker. Basically, you choose a card in a group of 5 on one page, and by magical powers Harry Potter style, Gilbert KNOWS your card and removes it from the set of cards pages later. The secret I learned is that while I was too busy focusing on finding the card I picked, I didn’t even notice ALL the cards were different. Tricky huh? Anyway, life lesson: don’t focus all your attention on one specific thing and fail to see everything around it change. I should definitely be a fortune cookie writer.

fortune cookie

Anyway, later that day I made friends with my stapler. Four years deep into our relationship and it wasn’t until NOW that I actually noticed the little guy had a face. Granted, he doesn’t look too happy, but who would if you were ignored for 4 years? That trick opened my eyes up to lots of things I was missing out on, stapler friendship being one. His name is now Sammy, Sammy Stapler because alliteration is the only way to go when naming office supplies. Here’s what Sammy looks like, pretty blurry but cute right?IMG_1680

Now you can only imagine the sheer joy I got out of personalizing an office supply. So, I just went ahead and started creating a bunch of new friends for myself, which leads me to many conclusions

  1. This is a great way to procrastinate
  2. I’m a weirdo
  3. I’m slightly insane
  4. Naming things makes me feel better

So, I’ll introduce you to some of my new friends. This is Maple Syrup Nose Man. IMG_1681

This is Jill because it says so in her mouth: IMG_1690

Say hello to Crazy Al: IMG_1689

And this is Cecilia, who is concerned a lot. Mostly about Swine Flu: IMG_1688

If you found no enjoyment out of this at all, then WATCH THIS. If you find no enjoyment out of that then we shouldn’t be friends.

Smile Once in a Great While!

Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry- Mark Twain

I really can’t help but laugh at this point in the semester when midterms, projects, presentations, and all that jazz start to creep upon us and hold us hostage. It seems my life revolves around group projects, so I get the pleasure of hearing numerous flip outs and breakdowns each day! Not that I don’t take these things seriously, but I have found a means of combating this stress head on (like the commercial: apply directly to the head!) I bestow unto you a solution to all you sulkers out there who are in desperate need of a pick me up. Take a half hour out of your life to create a Happy Book, trust me on this one. I can’t actually claim this as my own idea, it was actually my 10th grade English teacher that introduced this most pleasant activity into my world. Here’s the rules, I’ll make it real simple- the way life should be.

  • Take a piece of paper and cut it up and fold it to look like a tiny book
  • Decorate the front cover with whatever you fancy: Happy Book is what makes me happiest, but whatever floats your boat (I speak in clichés a lot, I hope that’s ok)
  • Proceed to fill in the pages with lists of things that make you happy, the giant smile kind of happy. Ohh and use colored pencil, markers, crayons, watercolors, sparkles, gel pens, hair dye, cranberry juice, colonial wax to decorate- whatever you want.
  • Try to fill the whole book in one sitting
  • You can do it, put your back into it (not really applicable here, but whatever)
  • Don’t worry, be happy
  • You get the point

Here’s what my beautiful gems of happiness look like, can’t you tell the strong artistic background I have?Lazy Sunday

Once you have filled out your new Happy Book, you will feel refreshed and your mouth may hurt from smiling too much. Now, you will have in your possession a reminder in tiny decorated book form of all things that make you happiest. Every couple of months I like to set aside some time to fill in more things and create new books. I’m on my fourth edition- yes, I have a love affair with happy books. Half of the fun is going back and reading what made our past selves so happy. I’m still baffled why paddle ball made my 16 yr old self so cheerful, of all things? So, get crackin on those happy books and break them out on those awful days when you really NEED to be reminded that your world isn’t going to end. After all, there’s always paddle ball, right? So, even if you want to punch me in the face for being overly optimistic, I think it’s still in your best interest to make a Happy Book. Don’t be a grump.

When I grow up, (If I Do)…

Boston fall is finally among us! The time has come when the wind forces tears to our eyes and you can’t tell if someone is crying over the beauty of the trees or from windburn. Mass confusion!  It seems that all I ever want to do is make piles of leaves and jump in them, but really… no one has a rake and making leave piles without one is exhausting. So instead, I naturally fill this void by watching clips from Love Actually on Youtube because that’s just what you do when it starts to get cold out. Plus, the accents make my heart melt. Gosh, I’m so predictable.

Now it may be the changing seasons, the fact that I just read The Alchemist, or the deep soul- searching that always ensues from taking psych classes, but I’ve been reflecting and have come up with my own theory of development called People Pretty Much Act the Same As They Did When They Were Kids (PPMATSATDWTWK- for short, I guess?). I recently had to analyze all these fancy schmancy theories on human development that talk in depth about transitional stages everyone goes through in a lifetime. Thus, making growing up far too confusing. Peter Pan had it right this whole time, surprise surprise. I say, pictures and stories speak louder than theories. In my psych class this semester, we had to share a snippet from our childhood before the age of 2, apply it to a theory, and show a picture. After seeing 45 adorable baby pictures and hearing the hilarious accompanying stories, it was overwhelmingly apparent that most stories were getting the “that’s so you!” reaction. Classic example of PPMATSATDWTWK if I do say so. I’m not hating on these developmental theories, they are actually extremely interesting and eye opening, but sometimes you just have to keep it simple. Obviously, I don’t throw food (most of the time) and learned how to walk and talk (for the most part), but I’m pretty much the same little pest I was 20 years ago.  Here’s me all young and innocent. babyI also created a new theory I like to call Our Parents Were Like Us Once (OPWLUO- try saying that like an actual word, you’ll sound like a native Hafather tymonwaiian.) Case in point, my father was bad-ass when he was young BUT he still believes he’s invincible! I can only hope this badass mentality stays with me through the years, old people daredevils are fabulous. Alas, I am now all out of mindbogglingly simple ideas onShore Pictures 00134 development/ my brain hurts. Good day!

Fold a Banana…

I knew the time would eventually come when I would be forced to create a blog for school that’s supposed to be all educational and sorts. So, to keep my sanity and remind myself that I haven’t turned into a robot (yet), I bring you this masterpiece/calamity because being serious is zero fun.fold a banana

BUT, guess what is lots of fun? A lovely little book I stumbled upon this summer called Fold a Banana and 146 other things to do when you’re bored. Seriously, I NEVER knew bouncing a potato could be SO fun. Not only did this supply an endless laughing workout on my abs, but it also fed my addiction for book inscriptions.

See, I found this gem at a fair in Dennis, Ma inside a church that smelled stronger of mothballs than mothballs themselves, and was crawling with senior citizens that could barely walk. I usually leave my yearly jaunt at this fair with a bundle of books in one arm and a copy of trivial pursuit from the 70’s in the other… feeling extremely thankful for my youth. Last yeastiff coverr’s fair opened my eyes to Mary Roach’s killer bestseller, Stiff, which completely rocked my world. Human decay can be quite hilarious, go figure.

But back to folding bananas…

Sifting through dusty cookbooks and endless amounts of Stephen King novels, I tried to shuffle between a pair of old women discussing Jesus, only to get stuck in the religious books section. Of all things, in a church. Religion, gasp! Trying to make the best of this and possibly discover the meaning of life, I took a gander at the godly offerings of the day. Sadly, I couldn’t find the answer to life’s big question, but I did uncover what was to become the basis of my enjoyment for the next week. Like a big “What Up” from a force much greater than myself, Fold a Banana mysteriously appeared right as the ancient looking women turned to add me into their chat. Shoving my face into the book, I pretended to be intensely engaged only to find… I actually was. Come to find out, this little nugget of joy:

  • a.) was from the 70’s (check)

  • b.) had quirky illustrations  (check check)
  • c.) made me belly laugh on the first page (check plus)
  • d.) was INSCRIBED! (check plus plus)

What better way to avoid a long and painful discussion about the J-man than to indulge in one of the simplest, yet greatest inscriptions I have ever come across!

“Bafoon,

Merry Christmas!

Love Always

Annie”

This Annie gal sounds like quite the winner. I have even taken a liking to calling people bafoons now, a bit old school, but classic. I do believe this is my favorite suggestion from the book, gets me every time.fold a banana

Needless to say, the next time you notice a misplaced book, you should probably pick it up. Anywho, if you are at all interested in book inscriptions I highly recommend checking out The Book Inscriptions Project http://bookinscriptions.com/ where I often find myself oozing over other people’s personal thoughts to friends and family. Must be the psych minor in my bones. Happy reading!