Posts tagged ‘Friends’

Creative Baby Shower Ideas

I’m going to my first baby shower on August 15, and the mother-to-be had the
bright idea of choosing me to come up with PG-rated games!  Here’s what I have so far:

  • The “dirty” diaper – Fill four diapers with the following: microwaved Snickers bar, pumpkin pie filling, chocolate mousse, and slightly melted peanut butter chocolate ice cream.  Have each guest take a spoon and sample each diaper treat.  Make sure to take lots of  (blackmail) pictures.  The person in the grossest looking picture wins.
  • Pin the tail on the baby – Blindfold guest and spin her around 3 times.  Watch as she tries to adhere one of the following types of tails to the baby’s diaper:  devil, lion, zebra, bunny, piglet, raccoon, skunk.  The person with the best placed tail wins.
  • Name game – Come up with mean nicknames for all the names the mom-to-be was thinking of naming her child (but didn’t).  Examples:  Martin = Farty;  Lauren = Lard-en.  The person who thinks of the meanest nickname wins.

August 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm 1 comment

Excerpt from “The Rental Property”

“He’s like in this band called Orange Penis, and he only showers once or twice a week—but that’s okay with me—and he has this sorta androgynous hairstyle, and he went to Duke or Carnegie Mellon or maybe Swarthmore…” Aubrey inanely boasts.

“Sounds like a real charmer,” I roll my eyes and light a joint.

“And, I mean, his girlfriend has like the perfect body… I mean, I wouldn’t want a body like that (I don’t want to be fat!), but it’s perfect, you know?” Aubrey plucks the joint from between my fingers.

“He has a girlfriend?” I shove a handful of Nacho Cheesier Doritos into my mouth. “Are you like some sort of wannabe-indie-hipster garage band groupie or something?” Underwhelmed, I fall back into the neon green overstuffed beanbag chair in Aubrey’s living room.

“No! It’s like a post-modern meta-garage band.”

July 14, 2010 at 4:44 am Leave a comment

Awkward Facebook Moments #1-3

It’s totally awkward…

#1 …when someone unacceptably rejects a friend request

Sometimes it’s not okay to not be someone’s friend. We all have different thresholds of who we will “accept” as friends on Facebook, but I think a vast majority of people would agree with me that “rejecting” or “quietly ignoring” the following people is unacceptable:  someone you’ve slept with (assuming, of course, there’s no drama involved); a close friend from high school, even if you haven’t spoken for many years; a family member you’re on at least mildly decent terms with; a fourth-grade “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”; a friend’s pet or child or sibling; someone with the same first and last name as you; someone who accompanies a friend request with a totally clever message explaining why you don’t know him but should “accept” anyway.

So remember: The next time you log onto your account, think twice before rejecting or ignoring. Karma is a bitch (See awkward moment #3).

#2…when you’re in a relationship but not “in a relationship”

Tsk, tsk, tsk. I just don’t get it. I understand not putting “in a relationship” or even “it’s complicated” when “it’s” legitimately complicated or not too serious, but when two people are in a bona fide relationship, there should be some indication thereof (and leaving relationship status completely blank doesn’t count). Unless your profile is completely bare-bones, hiding love behind privacy settings is unfair to you and to your partner.

#3…when you realize you were…D-E-F-R-I-E-N-D-E-D

I’ve been on Facebook since it was called “The Facebook,” so I have quite a few friends. The great thing about having a lot of friends is that you’re much less likely to realize someone’s done the d-word to you. Unless, of course, you happen to be stalking that person. (But only sociopaths with too much time on their hands use Facebook to stalk, right?)

In all seriousness, being “defriended” is awkward as hell, especially if you have no idea as to why. It’s happened to me at least once (that I know of…eek!), and I remember thinking, “Hmmm…glad I’ll never be stumbling into you again.” Then I realized that the awkwardness would really be on the “defriender” and not the “defriendee” if the two were to cross paths again.

Think about it: What’s more awkward than bumping right smack into someone you “defriended” unnecessarily? Karma’s a bitch, indeed.

July 8, 2010 at 5:11 am 2 comments

Happy Trails

May your snacks be delicious

and your orgasms


April 7, 2010 at 8:25 am 2 comments

Celebrating “Semi-Charmed Life”

In the summer of 1997, my girlfriends and I camped out in a backyard tent and listened to “Semi-Charmed Life” on repeat for several hours. I’m the kind of person who tires after hearing a threshold amount of even the best music (How many times can a person really stand to listen to The Joshua Tree or Thriller?), but this Third-Eye Blind hit has never ceased to astound me.

As thirteen-year-olds, we only somewhat understood the sexually and chemically charged lyrics. Also, the breezy, fast-faced tempo made it difficult to decipher what lead singer Stephan Jenkins was even singing. It didn’t help that we couldn’t just “Google” a line from the song and retrieve the lyrics. I recall mistaking “And I speak to you like the chorus to the verse” with “And it speaks to you like the birds in the forest.”

Now, of course, I realize that “Semi-Charmed Life” is the seminal anthem of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. It was also my brother’s theme song. We played it at his memorial service, and it was awesome to hear “Doin’ crystal meth will lift you up until you break” and “How do I get back there to the place where I fell asleep inside you?” blast in a room full of relatives, young people, old people, Christians, atheists, and floral arrangements.

I went to Newport Beach this past weekend and had a great time slowly running my bare feet through the sand. I thought, “I believe in the sand beneath my toes / The beach gives a feeling / An earthy feeling / I believe in the faith that grows.” I thought about how hard it really seems, sometimes, to get through this bittersweet, ironic, defeating, gratifying, semi-charmed life. I thought about how I can’t not believe that there’s life after death. I simply cannot accept a reality in which I will never see Alex again.

I’m not listening when you say goodbye…

April 1, 2010 at 6:14 am 1 comment

Happy Birthday, Little Brother

Alex's Tree 2     May 11, 2009May 11, 1986 was the most significant Mother’s Day our parents will ever celebrate. I don’t remember you coming home from the hospital, but I do recall sneaking up to see you in your crib. We fought like wild animals until I went off to college, but unconditional forgiveness followed each of our clashes.

In my absence, we started to grow closer, and I wish we had more time to continue on that meaningful trajectory. Our visit to New York was a blast as you bargained in Chinatown and navigated the subway. People started to ask if we were fraternal twins. I took this as a compliment because everyone I know thinks you’re incredibly handsome. We laugh and sometimes even talk the same. The high-pitched hoot distinguished us in theaters, hallways, and classrooms. I’ve hardly laughed like that, though, since you left. I wish I could, if only just to hear your voice.

Yesterday, I saw the live oak tree planted in your memory. Dad can see it from his office, and there’s plenty of space for its roots and branches to flourish. It will outlive me and my children and my grandchildren, and I like the thought of that. I wish you could have lived to see old age. Maybe I will be fortunate enough to do so.

Your birthday always coincided with my return from college for the summer. When I visited home this weekend, I almost expected you to drive up in your red Civic and talk smack with me. Pluto’s not fat anymore, and we have a brand new toilet upstairs. That’s about all that’s changed since January. Seems strange. It still baffles me that time has the audacity to progress as usual in your absence.

There’s a hole in my heart, but I can’t seem to bleed to death. I feel at once devastated and honored to live the rest of my life in your memory. The dichotomies that often govern our existence are overwhelming. Perhaps, over time, you can help me reconcile the contradictions, loose ends, shades of gray, and injustices within this life.

It’s so difficult to articulate my love for you, and I never had the chance to tell you just how proud I was. Am. I guess that’s because all of those feelings of compassion, fondness, and respect we shared went without saying. I know you knew how much I cared. And for that, above all things, I am endlessly grateful.

Happy Birthday, Alex. The intense sorrow following your death can never compare to the endless joy your life created. Today marks your twenty-third year. And in death, as in life, your gifts continue to arrive.

May 11, 2009 at 7:25 pm 9 comments

How Social Are You?: A Simple Test Determines Connectedness

In the age of burgeoning social network sites, people want to share the statistics of their virtual black books. Some people seem to know just about everyone, and Malcolm Gladwell calls them “Connectors” in his best-selling The Tipping Point. He uses the following test to estimate a person’s sociability. These 250 surnames names were randomly selected from a Manhattan telephone book. Give yourself a point each time you run across the last name of someone you know (Gladwell broadly defines “know” as anyone you have at least exchanged first and last names with). If you know 4 people with a particular surname on the list, give yourself 4 points. The points will add up to equal your connectedness score.

Algazi, Alvarez, Alpern, Ametrano, Andrews, Aran, Arnstein, Ashford, Bailey, Ballout, Bamberger, Baptista, Barr, Barrows, Baskerville, Bassiri, Bell, Bokgese, Brandao, Bravo, Brooke, Brightman, Billy, Blau, Bohen, Bohn, Borsuk, Brendle, Butler, Calle, Cantwell, Carrell, Chinlund, Cirker, Cohen, Collas, Couch, Callegher, Calcaterra, Cook, Carey, Cassell, Chen, Chung, Clarke, Cohn, Carton, Crowley, Curbelo, Dellamanna, Diaz, Dirar, Duncan, Dagostino, Delakas, Dillon, Donaghey, Daly, Dawson, Edery, Ellis, Elliott, Eastman, Easton, Famous, Fermin, Fialco, Finklestein, Farber, Falkin, Feinman, Friedman, Gardner, Gelpi, Glascock, Grandfield, Greenbaum Greenwood, Gruber, Garil, Goff, Gladwell, Greenup, Gannon, Ganshaw, Garcia, Gennis, Gerard, Gericke, Gilbert, Glassman, Glazer, Gomendio, Gonzalez, Greenstein, Guglielmo, Gurman, Haberkorn, Hoskins, Hussein, Hamm, Hardwick, Harrell, Hauptman, Hawkins, Henderson, Hayman, Hibara, Hehmann, Herbst, Hedges, Hogan, Hoffman, Horowitz, Hsu, Huber, Ikiz, Jaroschy, Johann, Jacobs, Jara, Johnson, Kassel, Keegan, Kuroda, Kavanau, Keller, Kevill, Kiew, Kimbrough, Kline, Kossoff, Kotzitzky, Kahn, Kiesler, Kosser, Korte, Leibowitz, Lin, Liu, Lowrance, Lundh, Laux, Leifer, Leung, Levine, Leiw, Lockwood, Logrono, Lohnes, Lowet, Laber, Leonardi, Marten, McLean, Michaels, Miranda, Moy, Marin, Muir, Murphy, Marodon, Matos, Mendoza, Muraki, Neck, Needham, Noboa, Null, O’Flynn, O’Neill, Orlowski, Perkins, Pieper, Pierre, Pons, Pruska, Paulino, Popper, Potter, Purpura, Palma, Perez, Portocarrero, Punwasi, Rader, Rankin, Ray, Reyes, Richardson, Ritter, Roos, Rose, Rosenfeld, Roth, Rutherford, Rustin, Ramos, Regan, Reisman, Renkert, Roberts, Rowan, Rene, Rosario, Rothbart, Saperstein, Schoenbrod, Schwed, Sears, Statosky, Sutphen, Sheehy, Silverton, Silverman, Silverstein, Sklar, Slotkin, Speros, Stollman, Sadowski, Schles, Shapiro, Sigdel, Snow, Spencer, Steinkol, Stewart, Stires, Stopnik, Stonehill, Tayss, Tilney, Temple, Torfield, Townsend, Trimpin, Turchin, Villa, Vasillov, Voda, Waring, Weber, Weinstein, Wang, Wegimont, Weed, Weishaus

May 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

How to Sing “Happy Birthday” in Spanish

The Spanish version of “Happy Birthday” is more poetic than what we usually sing in English. Have you ever stopped to think that the “Happy Birthday” song only contains six different words, including a proper noun? It’s about as simplistic as they come, so here’s a new jingle to learn and practice on your celebrating friends and loved ones:

De las velas las luces

Ellas quieren decir

Que tú  tengas, Carlito,

Cumpleaños feliz

The great thing is that, while the lyrics are in another language, the music stays the same. Loosely translated, the “Feliz Cumpleaños” song says:

The lights from the candles

Would like to wish you, Charlie,

A happy birthday!

I know: It’s much more poetic in Spanish, as it lends itself more readily to the traditional tune.

Now all I need is someone to teach me the song in Arabic!


April 23, 2009 at 9:10 pm 1 comment

Excerpt from “Those Bright College Years”

My gregarious Californian roommate, Evelyn*, decided to throw a Jilted Lovers’ Party the weekend after Valentine’s Day.  Not yet into the party scene, I took a backseat role in planning the festivities.  I did, however, suggest we write enticing messages (think alternative conversation hearts) on the heart-shaped helium balloons lining the walls and staircase.  “Fuck Me” and “69” seemed to go over pretty well.

Still high from dancing the night away with Johnny* at the Sadie Hawkins dance, I emailed him an invite to the party.  He responded that he would likely arrive a bit late since his improv comedy group had an after party that same night.  I kept my heavily-lined eyes peeled for him as I danced listlessly in my black faux-leather mini and tiger skin top.  The girls across the hall volunteered their suite for serving mixed drinks, and our common room doubled as the dance floor and hook-up room.

Apparently, word of the party spread like an STD at a brothel because hoards of people arrived to take advantage of the free alcohol.  People impatiently filled the 5-floor entryway, even half an hour after the drinks ran out.  Swarms of disappointed partygoers ended up on the dance floor by default in their failed escape attempt.  I frantically scanned the room for signs of Johnny, but I felt hopeless and overwhelmed by the crowds of students eagerly awaiting inebriation and/or orgasm.

The campus police must have arrived around 12:30 to bust up the party.  They couldn’t care less about the serving of alcohol by minors to other under-aged drinkers.  Someone had supposedly called and complained about the noise level, so the music and, therefore, fun, had to end.  And still no Johnny.  I felt like the girl who bought a new dress and make-up set in eager anticipation of the middle school dance, just to watch her recent purchases gather dust as she assumed the wallflower position throughout the 180 minute session of swaying, giggling, and back-of-the-gym exploration.

My whole body seemed to droop as I dejectedly helped clean up the spilled liquor and red plastic cups. A few of the guests from my residential college announced that they were heading over to a frat house. Having only been to one fraternity party, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to expand my social horizons. Later that night, out of desperation and a low sense of self-worth, I made the first in a series of life-altering mistakes.

*For privacy purposes, some names and minor details have been changed.

March 27, 2009 at 7:22 pm 3 comments

Hostel Environment

written Fall 2005

I hate small talk, but it was the only thing to really do in the Prague youth hostel lounges. Same questions. Different (yet all too similar) people. Same answers. But when someone asked me about my interests at one point, I mentioned running for the team. And defining (or even just describing) myself as a runner suddenly felt like a lie. The “I am ____” statements have always been so loaded and limiting, but I felt all too aware of such limitations that day. After identifying as an athlete and, specifically, as a distance runner for so long, I was rather stunned at how distant I felt from the sport and my team.

And then I looked down at my running shirt and realized it said Y-A-L-E, and I felt like describing myself as a Yale student was, in some respects, an outright falsehood. Sure, we all have that sense of “the assumptions people make about me only because I go to an Ivy League school are so annoying and inaccurate” or “do I even meet up to people’s preconceptions (read: misconceptions) concerning colleges like Yale?” But this was deeper. I felt as though I was lying to myself. Like certain aspects of the past three years have been an absolute prevarication. I have always thought climbing a steep uphill was the only way to reach the “top.” My legs hurt literally and figuratively. Indeed, I have begun to lose my endurance to climb up the ambiguous ladder of success.

For the past few months, I have really thought about whether or not I want to run for the team this year, and that weekend in the Sir Toby’s youth hostel prompted extensive contemplation. The team served as an amazing support network for quite some time, and the shift in dynamics and atmosphere prevents me from fully benefiting from that positive reinforcement. It would be unfair of me to propagate negative energy, and I am definitely taking fond memories and true friendships with me as I “leave” this close-knit community. I have always been known for my honesty, yet I have felt untrue to myself for too long. I am looking forward to eventually reacquainting myself with a sincere love for the sport. For lack of time and, more importantly, a sense of discretion, I will not further expound upon these issues in email format. However, feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions, exciting news, or even gentle gossip :-). Thank you for sharing a significant portion of my time and passion over the past three years. Good luck with the season and all your future endeavors.

Love Always,

January 1, 2009 at 11:12 pm 1 comment

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