08 10 / 2014

I’m pretty sure being born on Halloween has given me the inherent talent of coming up with costume ideas year-round but then forgetting any and all clever ideas by the time Halloween rolls around. Luckily this year I’ve been jotting them down as I go and here are a few of the gems I’m offering up to the general public.  

1. Tinder. One of you can be the swipe right, and one of you can be the swipe left. I mean it’ll probably be funnier and common courtesy if the girl is the right swipe (for like) and the guy is the left (for thanks, but no thanks). You could even do a photobooth photo where you capture the emotions of all the different swipe combos. Maybe the girl swipes right but the guy swipes left so she’s smiling and he’s frowning. Or vice versa depending how you take this emotional roller coaster. Then you switch. Then you both swipe right and everyone’s happy! Or you both swipe left and neither cares. There you go – not only did you get a couples costume idea, but you have your photobooth snaps already planned out. 

2. Tris & Four. I was in Chicago for my friend Jackie’s bachelorette party last weekend and I wore a sweater dress to the airport thinking it was both comfy and cute. Little did I know (until I walked past a mirror) – I looked like a lost member of abnegation. I tried explaining what I thought was a clever comparison to everyone but no one understood…except Kate. From that moment on, all our conversations involved grouping people into their respective factions, and jumping into elevators yelling “Dauntless!”. We even recreated the movie poster after a late night of drunken celebrations which involved posing in the glass elevator at the Embassy Suites and on the window ledge of our hotel room while our comparably drunk friends attempted to capture our reenactment. So if you’re wanting to wear something sleek and black but have already been a cat the past 5 years, grab your leather pants/jacket/shirt/whatever, stencil on a tattoo, get a dreamy boyfriend also dressed in black, and you’ve got yourself a couples costume that allows you to yell “DAUNTLESS!”, and jump on/off things all night. If people don’t understand just start yelling “Parkour!” instead. Still works. 

*Warning – may cause sore calves/knees the next day. Double warning – I thought it would be funny to send Kate a snapchat of me jumping into the elevator at work this morning yelling “DAUNTLESS!”, but when the doors opened, I ended up crashing into (and most likely startling) a middle aged man. Dauntless? More like factionless. 

3. A basic couple. I’m still new to using the word basic, but judging from every Buzzfeed article/quiz about basic people, I’m possibly the most basic white girl in existence. My friend Dave actually came up with this idea when we were discussing couples costumes this year. I’ve known Dave for three years and every year he says he’s going to come to my birthday (an annual Halloween Karaoke Costume Party). After bailing the first two years, he was so sure he would make it this year that in January, he said not only would he come, but we should do a couples costume. Well October rolls around…and Dave can’t make it. As a consolation he offered up this genius idea: dressing up as basic. There was even talk of doing a couples costume…and just attending our respective events dressed as ½ a couples costume. Maybe I’ll be dressed as Carrots in Houston while he’s dressed as Peas in New York. Or I’ll be ketchup and he’ll be mustard…although in his case people may be wondering where ketchup is. My friend Jon did this one year and went to a party dressed as mustard. Then again it’s his own fault for choosing to dress as the lesser half of a couples costume. If anyone is going to stand alone in that pairing…it’s ketchup. So whether you’re together or apart, grab a pumpkin spice latte, a flannel shirt and/or Northface jacket, infinity scarf, and Ray Bans and only respond to people’s conversations by saying and of the following phrases “I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t even. I’m all out of can’ts to give.” If you’re feeling especially sassy – keep fall leaves in your pockets to throw at people. Then take a pic on your phone and tell them you’ll insta it for them. 

4. Classic characters with inanimate objects. Madeline and the Eiffel Tower. Marie Antoinette and Cake. The old man or the boy scout from Up, and the house with balloons. For some reason this year I was really set on being the house from Up. Use a cardboard box as the house, and tie balloons to the back. Not only is this adorable, but you make every photo you’re in a festive one!  The only thing stopping me is that just being the house from Up is a bit weird…I would need a counterpart to play either the old man, or the boy scout (depending which one would be more hilarious and/or adorable). Although I’m hesitant to offer up this idea to the general public since it’s so dear to my heart…it was too good not to mention. If you’re going to do this idea, please do it right as I wait for the year I’ll find an old man/boy scout soul mate. Oh wait – that doesn’t sound right. 

01 10 / 2014

I’m not sure if I’m one of those girls who is truly content being single or simply going around claiming she’s one of those girls who is truly content being single  when deep down I’m wondering which cat will be the “one cat too many” point. No worries guys – I’m well aware anything more than one cat is one cat too many and I have two. I don’t feel having or not having a boyfriend has really hindered me from much in life but if there was ever a time to want a boyfriend – it would be the following situations. 

1. Date to a wedding.  I’ve attended weddings with boyfriends, plus ones, friends, and alone and I’ve had a blast at all of them. I even had a blast that time I went to a wedding alone and the DJ played “I Want to Know What Love Is” while shining a spotlight on me sitting alone at a 10 person table. Yes, this happened. However, it wasn’t until this experience at my friend Dominika’s wedding when I was fully aware that I was a single girl at a wedding.  While watching Dominika and Joe’s first dance, my friend Grover asked me the most dreaded question any single girl could get at a wedding: “Hey Winnie, why aren’t you married?”  Cue uncomfortable laughter, and his wife Therese yelling “Grover!” making it well known to him from both of our reactions that he had said something wrong. Flustered, he attempted to salvage the situation with an earnest explanation that he was wondering just because I was so great (yeah, yeah, yeah). I politely teased him about the entire situation and then informed him that he was more than welcome to play matchmaker. I enjoy fancy dinners, international travel, and cats. Let the matches roll in.

2. Concerts to attend. I enjoy going to concerts as much if not more than I enjoy going to weddings. However, going to a concert alone can be somewhat daunting. I’ve only been to one concert along and it was last summer after my most recent breakup when I went through a very liberating “I don’t need anyone!” phase. During the concert, I was pulled onstage to be serenaded by my childhood idols and the whole time onstage I thought – who is going to capture this moment? Luckily I had befriended some girls sitting next to me, and a random Youtube user by the name of Jeremy Kirk uploaded the phenomenal footage of me onstage being awkward and taking selfies, but would I be this lucky again? I hadn’t attended a concert alone before, and I haven’t attended one since then, but in my mind having a boyfriend means having someone to drag to any and all the concerts that I want.

3. Couple’s costumes. Last year my friends and I dressed up as various internet cats – Nyan Cat, Grumpy Cat, Keyboard Cat, Business Cat, Cat with Bread on Face. Yes these are all real internet sensations – learn to use the Youtubes people. The year before that, my friends and I went as the Disney Princesses, and my boyfriend at the time went as Prince Charming to my Cinderella. I was not about to be railroaded into being Mulan just cause I’m Asian. And let’s face it – there was no way my tall skinny white boyfriend was going to pull off a Shang costume without it being beyond offensive and inappropriate. Couples costumes are fun – my friend’s fiancé Drew actually hates couples costumes and I’m always coming up with sitcom-style scenarios where she tricks him into wearing one. For example, last year when she was going to be a stewardess and he was going to be a werewolf, I planned to tell everyone to pretend there was a movie that just came on about werewolves on planes. The prequel to snakes on the plane. Or maybe the futuristic sequel. I’m always coming up with random couple’s costumes but I can’t be both parts! And neither part can stand alone. I’m currently debating whether I want to share these ideas via winnieisms and risk losing them to the public domain…stay tuned next week to find out.

4. Groupons. These fantastic deals are just not meant for the lonely hearts. I feel like maybe my last boyfriend and I stayed together as long as we did because we just had too many Groupons left to use. I can’t eat $20 worth of food at a Berryhill – the tacos are only 3 dollars! Dinner for two at ¼ the cost at a Brazilian steakhouse? That’s definitely not feasible alone! Things are just cheaper when you’re a pair. Just look at the TV show Extreme Couponing – even those people need their significant others to help push the carts. So if one day I managed to amass a giant portfolio of coupons, master the art of double discount days, and memorize store policies for maximum coupon utilization, I’d still need someone to push my carts around as I’m stockpiling 40 cases of Gatorade, 20 boxes of fruit snacks, and 100 rolls of paper towels.  

So basically at the end of the day (and this post), I’ve come to realize there are very few (and unlikely) situations where I actually need a boyfriend in my life and I am actually a girl who is truly content whether she’s single, dating, or in a relationship. Brb, channeling my inner Mindy/Taylor. 

18 8 / 2014

My mom only recently learned how to text and her inaugural message was a sweet and simple message that said “I love you”. I’m slightly terrified about how quickly her texting will escalate and she becomes one of those screenshots you see on Buzzfeed about parents and their nonsensical misunderstanding of texting, but for the time being I’m relishing in the fact she’s finally gotten a handle on simple texts. Seeing as everyone else in the modern world joined the texting community years ago – here are my mother’s four hacks she used before finally giving in.

1. Multimedia messages. Remember there used to be pre-loaded messages for birthdays that involved music and a picture of a cake? Probably not, but they existed and my mother would send me one of these every time she wanted to talk to me. The ironic thing about this form of messaging is she never once sent me one on my birthday…cue emoji side eye.

2. Nonsense. Complete nonsense. I’m not sure what made my mother switch from multimedia messages to actual letters but she switched to sending nonsense texts that were just a bunch of numbers and letters clearly put together by just pressing random keys. The main purpose was never to communicate a message but instead just to tell me to call her. Texts would vary from a single letter or number, to a jumbled mess: aht38b. Oh you didn’t know that meant call mom? You do now. The A is probably for Anna, the H for hung, the t for “this is a text” the 3 because it’s 3 o clock somewhere, the 8 because it rhymes with late and you should never be late, and then the b for bye. I can’t believe you couldn’t figure that out.

3. Pre-loaded messages. My mom had her friend send a set of random texts from her phone so that she could just resend them when she needed something. Unfortunately the messages her friend typed for her only included the following: Help Call Mom Now, HELP CALL MOM NOW, Emergency Call Mom Now, EMERGENCY CALL MOM NOW, and EMERGENCY!!! I was in class when they sent the first batch and was beyond alarmed when I saw these come through after class. I called my mom in a panic only to find out she had “learned how to text”. I’m not sure how many emergencies happen that she felt it needed multiple varying texts or what the scaling system was, but I had a phone filled with various states of alarm throughout my college years. 

4. Overusing the space button. There was a period where it seemed like my mother had almost grasped the concept of texting and she would send short messages with spaces between each letter she typed and the occasional number that was clearly a typo yet in her eyes not worth fixing. Sample text: H I W I N N I E C A 5 L M O M. Every time I told her she didn’t need to add a space she just stared at me with this blank expression like “so what goes between the letters then?” So close mom…so close.

08 7 / 2014

I haven’t been following the World Cup much other than the USMNT, but decided to pull up the game at work today…and it did not disappoint. Here are four of the many thoughts that ran through my mind as I watched the game today.
1. Whoa look at me! I’m watching the World Cup! This is the first year I’ve ever watched the World Cup (waking up early to watch when it was in South Africa? I don’t think so…) and the first whole (non-US) game I’ve watched. Despite not tuning in, I’ve been pretty up to date with what’s been happening thanks to Facebook newsfeed constantly exploding with excitement and anger during each game. Trying to figure out which team to root for after the US was eliminated, I asked my friend Mai-Anh and she gladly educated me on who the hottest teams and individual players were. She was pretty amazing at figuring out who I’d be fond especially since the only instructions I gave her were “You know me” and for that and all her on-point recommendations, – she has made this year’s World Cup all the more interesting.
2. Germany is a good looking team! An early favorite of mine was Muller despite his goal on the US back in Round 1 and the fact no one else finds him attractive. What do you need to muller over? He’s definitely cute! And Neuer? He’s neuer looked better! Neuer complaints here! And do I think Andre Schurrle is good looking? Schurrle thing! Erik Durm is Durm good looking! Mario Gotze? I’d like to gotze on a date with him! Okay I’ll stop. I’m not really sure what’s gotten into me…I’m not even sure I’m pronouncing their names right for my puns…but I don’t care. Cause what’s in a name?
3. Things Tim Howard Could Save: Brazil from Embarrassment. Watching Germany score goal after goal…after goal after goal after goal…after goal after goal…I thought “Hmmm Brazil could really use some Tim Howard right about now.” Cue a picture of one of Tim Howard’s diving saves…except he’s batting a tear away from a Brazilian fan’s face. I told my friend Adam about my clever idea who suggested I put it on Reddit…to which I responded I don’t know how to make a meme or use Reddit…so…that’s not happening. He must’ve forgotten how technologically inept I am and the fact I once asked him “How do I get the Youtube on the TV?”
4. Monica explaining the different erogenous zones to Chandler. When Germany made their 7th (and final) goal I immediately thought of Monica from Friends in the episode where she explains the 7 zones to Chandler and she keeps yelling seven…seven…seven. I would look for a clip/gif but as I’m typing this on my work computer – that’s probably not a good idea. Did anyone else make this connection? Or was it just me? Did anyone think of the movie Se7en? And Brad Pitt yelling WHAT’S IN THE BOOOOOOOX!? I’m not really sure what’s in the box in this scenario. A soccer ball? Brazil’s hopes and dreams? Tears? Seeing as Brazil’s number one export is now salt (as a side effect of the uncontrollable weeping), this could be their first shipment.

17 6 / 2014

My good friend Jackie turns 25 today and she asked me to write a post for her birthday so I was more than happy to oblige. As you’ve probably gathered from the title, she is a quadruplet – so her, her two sisters, and one brother, are all turning 25 today. Happy Birthday to the whole Dunten gang!
1. Group costumes. The possibilities are endless: Little Bo Peep & her sheep, Scrooge McDuck and his nephews, an assortment of Pokémon (or Ash and one Pokémon through all three evolutionary stages), Scar and the hyenas, Pac-Man and the Ghosts, etc. Honestly guys, it’s not too late to get the ball rolling on group costumes for all future Halloweens…I’m just saying. Hopefully, Jackie’s parents have a secret photo collection of all the themed Halloween costumes/outfits they may or may not have grown up with…and that these photos will make an appearance at her upcoming wedding in the form of a slideshow set to the tune of Sarah McLachlan’s I Will Remember You. I will remember you, costumes. I will always remember you.
2. Shenanigans. If you’ve seen Step Brothers, and all the fun that Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly had building bunk beds and making music videos, imagine if it was doubled. Instead of a duo, you’re a Barbershop Quartet (matching outfits a necessity). Four layer bunk beds? It could be like climbing Kilimanjaro nightly! You could propose turning your household into a democracy and always win the vote. 4 against 2? The Quadruplets win again! Switching places with your twin to get out of a hard test? You’ll always get caught in those classic sitcom scenarios…but imagine shuffling three identical girls! It would be like the street games where you try and find the ball under the cup – no one ever gets it. Unfortunately Jackie and her sisters aren’t identical…but it wouldn’t matter because they’re all ethical and morally upstanding people! So that scenario is more for a sketchier set of triplets or quadruplets….
3. Birthdays. 4 times the birthday…or possibly ¼ the birthday. Are you going to look at the glass ¼ empty or ¼ full? Your call. Having 4 birthdays to celebrate means having four times the celebrations crammed into one party. So imagine four very different parties…happening simultaneously. One quadruplet wants a heavy metal themed birthday. Another wants a princess theme. Another wants a safari theme. And another wants a 98 Degrees theme. Okay maybe the last one isn’t realistic since I’m the only one who would ever suggest that, and I’m clearly not a quadruplet…so let’s say the last one wants…a Candyland theme. You’ve just created a super party with princesses on a safari listening to heavy metal and eating candy – the unique experience of a lifetime. As an only child, I just had a normal birthday at some generic pizza place with a vanilla cake topped with fruit. I’m still fairly bitter about fruit cake being my celebratory birthday cake from ages 4-14. Why couldn’t I have the chocolate one? And why couldn’t my party have four completely separate themes?
4. Fun Facts. As a quadruplet, you have a guaranteed “fun fact” for all icebreakers. Icebreakers are inevitable anytime you start a new class, a new school, a new school year, a new internship, a new job, a new anything. Just last week we had to do icebreakers because we hired a new staff accountant. Fun facts are tricky – they can’t be too boastful, and they can’t be too boring – it’s a fine line. Sure my fun fact could be that I’ve been to three Luke Bryan concerts in one month – and it sounds perfectly fun to me, but probably borderline psychotic to strangers who don’t know me, or Luke Bryan. Or my fun fact could be that I was serenaded by 98 Degrees onstage one but that’s just boastful…I mean it’s true, but boastful. My coworker always has the worst fun facts. He just takes the fun fact from the person prior and either copies it, or says the opposite. Sample fun facts include: I have not been to Syria, I do not like cats, and I know how to ride a bike. Cool story, bro.

04 6 / 2014

Last week we had to complete a bunch of work safety courses with a wide variety of topics ranging from Office Ergonomics to Workplace Violence to Airborne Pathogens. Just as I finished the course on fire safety, one of my friend’s texted me about relationship advice and the best advice/metaphor I came up with was heavily fire-safety related. I’m not sure if my ramblings actually helped her or not, but she in turn helped me come up with this post - and it’s controller approved as I shared my plans to blog about it to him after he asked what I thought of the courses.

1. Class A – ordinary combustible materials. This is an ordinary fire that starts from basics like wood, paper, or cloth. In a relationship this would be a classic love story of boy meets girl, boy asks girl out, boy and girl slowly fall in love, boy and girl continue to make rational choices for the rest of their lives. Good for you two. I’m all about Class A fires! Also if you think about it, Class A fires can develop into the biggest fires. Think about how quickly trees catch on fire! They spread…LIKE WILDFIRE. There was even a fast spreading wildfire in this season’s finale of Modern Family. Maybe the fire in that episode was actually a metaphor for Cam & Mitch’s love? Too much of a stretch? Probably. But isn’t this whole post just a far stretch? Just bear with me…cause this post doesn’t really get funny til the Class D fires.

2. Class B – flammable liquids. This is a fire that is fueled by flammable liquids or gases. Flammable liquids are like modern technology for love. With all the new chemicals and products we have nowadays, what isn’t flammable? And with all the new websites and apps for dating, where can’t you find love? There are even weirdly specific dating sites like Singles with Food Allergies, Clown Dating, and Vampersonals. The symbol for Tinder is actually a fire – so that’s just strengthening my argument right there. So your Class B relationships are ones that can start from an online match to a quick right swipe.

3. Class C – electricity. These fires involve electrical equipment. This relationship starts with a spark and really takes off from there. This is someone you meet that you’re instantly attracted to, and it escalates very quickly. Next thing you know you’re writing on each other’s Facebook walls as you’re sitting next to each other discussing what you’re writing on each other’s Facebook walls. Then you discuss how you’re going to reply to the other’s Facebook wall post. Then a public argument for who loves who more ensues. Then you get blocked by people seeing this flooding their newsfeed…but who cares? You’re in love! You’re also probably making out all over the place in public with no idea what is and isn’t appropriate to do with your hands. Here’s a hint – it’s probably not appropriate. After a while the spark inevitably dies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the fire does! For all you know this spark has caused an entire house to burn down. Or maybe in the end a spark is just a spark and it’s onto the next.

4. Class D – metals. These fires start from combustible metals. Now I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger…but I actually am. I’m saying it. D stands for digger. The metals are the gold she’s diggin’ for. These relationships start with one person attracted to the other person’s metals…so you better keep those gold plated cars, and platinum Rolexes coming. Are those things people ask for? I’m not super familiar with gold digging territory – people tend to gift me with cats, not cars. I’ll take two solid gold cat statues please!

28 5 / 2014

As I sit in the Portland airport waiting for my flight back to Houston, I think of all the great movies that feature a dramatic chase through the airport ending with a declaration of love and a fade out that leaves the viewer assuming a happily ever after. I then began to think how impractical and undesirable these scenarios actually are in real life….

1. The hook, line, and sinker. I’m not really sure why, but when I was young (meaning old enough to drink but not quite old enough to make rational sane decisions) I always thought it would be a cute story if we met on the dance floor as he used the ol’ fish and hook dance move. Our eyes would meet, he would cast out his line, I’d swim up and we’d instantly know we’re soul mate cause conversations started in a club after a fish and hook dance move are always so deep. Whats your name? Brian? Ryan? Bryan with a Y? Oh Marcus? Got it. Then a couple years ago on New Years Eve it happened - and it was the weirdest and creepiest thing I’ve ever experienced. Our eyes met and I quickly looked away sensing his creepiness even from 30 feet away. He threw out the line. I avoided eye contact. He threw it out again…I shook my head no. Then he pointed at me and made a fake swimming motion indicating he wanted me to swim up. No. Then he swam up…and I danced away. The end. Hook, line, and sinker? Oh he sunk alright…which in a way is my happily ever after…without him.

2. The great chase. I love movies where the girl is about to move away to her dream job and the man she loves realizes 10 minutes after her cab leaves for the airport that he can’t live without her. It’s always so dramatic and so romantic as he runs in out of breath ready to declare his undying love and everything she and every other girl in the world has ever wanted to hear. I hate running and I won’t even run through an airport to catch a flight so for him to do so…that says a a lot. TSA is a major downer nowadays with their new regulations on romantic airport gestures with their “security checkpoints” and “ticket verification” procedures. to my opinion there would be a side line (similar to premier access) where you can be screened and prioritized to make sure you get to your romantic gesture on time. Oh you don’t have bags to check? But you have a girlfriend boarding a flight in 10 minutes? Right this way sir. There’s also a flower shop on this route. And a jewelry store. And complimentary heart shaped chocolates. However as romantic as this all is, I can’t help but think if you really loved this girl maybe you just catch a flight to where she’s going and surprise her there. Don’t keep her from boarding a flight to her dream job. Are you worried she’ll meet the love of her life on the plane before you confess your love? Cause that’s another scenario unlikely to play out in real life and when I saw it happen in Bridget Jones Diary the guy was a drug smuggler and landed Bridget in a Thai prison… so there’s that.

3. The small detail he never forgot. Another favorite cliche is when a guy remembered something a girl says and surprises her with it later. Noah building Allie her dream house, Ross buying Rachel a brooch she saw in a shop window months ago, these are all amazing gestures that say “Hey, I’m a good listener AND I can afford to make your dreams come true.”Sorry Biebs - As Long As You Love Me was a catchy song and all, but I also need a home, food, and maybe a fancy brooch from time to time. Last year after my breakup, a guy I went on one date with two years ago messaged me wanting to take me out. We went out on one date and it as a fiasco - a lot had changed in two years…primarily how interesting he was and how interested I was. Spoiler alert - he wasn’t interesting and I wasn’t interested. We politely small talked via text the next couple of months but nothing serious. One day, an hour before I was about to head to my 26th birthday dinner, three months after our date fiasco, this guy shows up on my doorstep with an adorable orange tabby wearing a bow on its head. I had mentioned very briefly on our date I was considering a second kitten and here he was - kitten in hand. Do you know how hard it is to date when you’re a single mother of two cats? Cause I now do…

4. The long distance relationship that works out. As tough as long distance is, there’s a very romantic aspect to it often highly exaggerated in film and television. Even music videos! My friend Jackie and I went to the rodeo this year to see Hunter Hayes and one of his more popular songs is I Want Crazy with the music video plot being a long distance relationship where he decides to do something crazy and fly to surprise his girlfriend. I’m pretty sure he was actually flying a jet to see her, not just purchasing a weekend getaway ticket on Southwest. After he performed this song Jackie told me she wanted this for me. She wanted me to fall in love with some random Michigander at her wedding and begin a long distance courtship filled with surprises probably significantly lesser than Hunter Hayes’ secret piloting skills. Now practically speaking, I love travel but would I want to use my vacation days and excess money on weekend trips to Michigan? Probably not. And vice versa for my long distance soul mate. I did the long distance thing once in 8th grade after I met my first boyfriend at space camp. He lived in Colorado and we dated about a year. Even at the ripe age of 13 I knew long distance was hard. Now at age 26 I wouldn’t even set a Tinder radius past 15 miles. Oh you’re not inner loop? We’re done here.

19 3 / 2014

Whether you’re single, dating, or married, everyone has a workplace crush. You’re around these people for 8+ hours a day, it’s bound to happen. Now no one is saying you should act on this, I’m just saying this is happening whether you like it or not. Whether you like them or not…you like them. You like someone. Who is it? Is it the guy who sits across form you? Paul? Is it Paul? There is no Paul – that just sounds like a classic workplace name. Classic workplace Paul. Stop checking out Paul. Focus.

1. The impaired crush. This guy….sometimes so – sometimes no. Everyone knows when you’ve been drinking that people tend to become better looking. This is obviously not an issue at work, and if it is – you probably have bigger issues at work….like showing up so drunk that people start looking gorgeous. Go home, you’re drunk. Literally. A couple months ago I met a guy at work I thought was really good looking in the elevator. I was starving because my meeting had run through lunch and the cafeteria was closed. I saw him later that day after I had eaten some chips from the vending machine, and I didn’t even recognize him! It was like night and day. I could’ve sworn the guy I met earlier was taller, wearing a button down, a soft-looking sweater, etc. The guy I saw at night was disheveled wearing an ill fitting shirt and zip up hoodie. Maybe he changed, you’re wondering…no he didn’t - I checked…by outright asking him. HOW IMPAIRED AM I WHEN I’M HUNGRY!? Should I be driving under these conditions!? He tried to ask me out and frequently brought me coffee and cakepops from Starbucks to win me over…but little did he know the more well-fed he kept me, the less interested in him I was.

2. The guy that sits RIGHT THERE. I mean if you look at something long enough eventually you come around and think hey – not so bad. This is that guy. I like to binge-watch TV shows on my rare plan-free weekends and I’ve noticed that for Hulu, they run the same ads over and over again. I’ve seen the Skittles Taste the Rainbow commercials so many times that by the end of the day – all I want is a bag of Skittles. This is the work equivalent of that. One minute you’re sitting at your desk staring at the same guy you’ve stared at everyday this past week/month/year with zero interest, and the next minute you’re daydreaming about your life together…and a bag of skittles.

3. The handsome stranger. Who is this guy? Does he even work here? He could be an intruder – I didn’t see him swipe his badge…WHO CARES! HANDSOME STRANGER – PLEASE WORK HERE. Every workplace has one standout handsome guy that everyone knows is handsome. Whether he’s smart, capable, or even literate is irrelevant. He’s bringing the handsome to a picnic table filled with casseroles and potato salads. He knows he’s handsome. I know he’s handsome. The girl down the hall DEFINITELY knows he’s handsome. He’s handsome. Do I even need to explain this one? At my old job there was a handsome guy who looked like he could be on Mad Men except even more attractive than the actual cast of Mad Men (sorry Jon Hamm – you just don’t do it for me). We had giant summer bucket list poster boards up on each floor and one of the items someone wrote was to “find out who the handsome mad men looking guy is”. Eventually this turned into a manhunt on the 31st floor searching for someone who may have just been passing through that day…with all staff levels chiming in. Partners were having hushed conversations in their offices about who this guy was! The summer bucket list because an open forum with people writing questions and getting anonymous answers in the morning. Eventually HR removed the board…but the search continues.

4. The blindside. You never saw it coming. This is the work equivalent of those movies where your best friend was truly your soulmate all along…except he’s just that nice guy at work you never thought twice about. Oh that guy? We’re just friends. Then, one day he’s out sick and you realize your day is going by twice as slowly, you have no one to share lunch (or jokes) with, and no one else messages you or visits your office. Womp womp. Cue sad music playing as you sit outside eating a sandwich alone on a somewhat windy day watching the leaves falling from the trees. You throw your sandwich down and rush to his house with soup! Shit. Just. Got. Real. But, then the handsome stranger walks by and you forget all about him. Best friend…or mysterious bad boy…make the right call.

12 2 / 2014

1. It is okay to kiss someone who is engaged. Movies and television have a way of glamorizing things that would never fly in real life. On The Office, Jim pines after Pam for years and eventually kisses her despite the fact she’s engaged to Roy…and it was about damn time. I don’t know anyone who watched that scene and thought –“Oh no, what about Roy?” or “Oh no, are Roy and Pam not happening anymore? What about that one time he bribed the Sting and the Police cover band at Phyllis’ wedding to play their song even though it was by Jewel? That’s 20 dollars he’ll never get back!” Ok that part was cute. But come on – Jim and Pam (affectionately referred to as Jam) needed to happen. What about Noah and Allie in The Notebook? Allie was engaged….to a really nice handsome guy! But sorry Lon, you aren’t Noah and you never will be. But if this happened in real life, my first thought would not be go for it….it would be whoa. They’re engaged. I should probably let this go.
2. Cheating is inevitable in high school. Two of my favorite shows growing up were Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Boy Meets World and the best seasons were definitely the ones during their high school years. I loved Sabrina and Harvey especially when she had to take the test of true love and it involved a cheesy game show, resisting a shirtless guy offering cake by the pool, walking a dangerous rickety bridge over hot lava, and then having to kiss frog-Harvey. What I did not love was when Harvey caught Sabrina kissing Josh after going to check on her thinking she was home sick! Then there was the heartbreak that ensued when Corey and Topanga went on that ski vacation in high school (is this a thing?) and Corey hurt his leg and had to stay behind at the lodge while his friends went skiing. He met an employee at the lodge named Lauren, they talked all night, ended up kissing, and Topanga had to find out through a letter she found from Lauren? Boy Meets World? More like Boy meets Hussy. Sabrina the Teenage Witch…more like Sabrina the Teenage Hussy.
3. Killers are surprisingly easy to love. My favorite killer? Finnick Odair from the Hunger Games. He started killing at the young age of 14 when he became the youngest tribute to ever win the Hunger Games. But who cares – he looked damn good in that fishnet waist wrap thing eating sugar cubes. Nowadays so many movies and TV shows feature brooding vampires and they are super easy to fall in love with despite being unbelievably dangerous with murderous pasts. Edward may be a reformed vampire but he’s done some bad stuff in his time - and he made it blatantly clear when he tells Bella he’s dangerous…and a killer. Oh and a monster. Can’t forget that part! And yet, Bella, myself, and millions of others fell in love. Same with Stefan and Damon on the Vampire Diaries. They’re so lovable, Elena loves them both. They’re so lovable, I love them both. I think my friend Justine might be immune to Stefan’s brooding do-gooder attitude because she’s been Team Damon since Day 1, but mathematically it evens out. She loves Damon twice as much as me….and Damon is twice the killer than Stefan is. The math is there people.
4. Guys go for crazy girls. You have to be a mess. Full on damaged goods. You, the busted can of biscuits that have fallen on the grocery store floor going for 90% off in the manager special clearance rack….are everything that that dreamboat has ever wanted. In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Andie Anderson is literally doing everything humanly possible to drive this guy away in as little time as possible…and yet – they live happily ever after. Sure he also had ulterior motives for sticking with her crazy, and there’s a positive correlation between the amount of crazy tolerated, and the easiness of your face on their eyes, but a 10 day turnaround for love? Come on. Katniss from The Hunger Games, who is so wrought with emotional turmoil and has proclaimed repeatedly she is in no mindset to love, has two amazing guys head over heels in love with her. Gale’s amazing cause of his looks, and Peeta is obviously amazing for everything else…with a dash of handsome thrown in there. The aforementioned murderer Finnick Odair, who could have anyone (except maybe Katniss – but she doesn’t need any more attention), is in love with Annie Cresta who is known as the girl who has gone mad from her Hunger Games. That’s it – starting tomorrow I’m going to be way less put together. Goodbye coherent sentences and common sense. Hello new murderous maybe-vampire boyfriend.

22 1 / 2014

1. Professionalskepticism.tumblr.com. My friend Charman and I were discussing professional skepticism (an important motto at the public accounting firm I worked at) during dim sum one weekend and came up with the idea for a blog dedicated to us being professionally skeptical of random things. Oh there’s four shumai in this serving? Why is that? Where is the support? Can I tie out this amount to something else? Please advise. In auditing, to tie out something (like a 10K) means to agree/match the numbers to corresponding support so you know where all the amounts come from, and that they’re consistent and make sense. Thanks to Sarah & Ann for kindly reminding me that I talk like an accountant…and sound like a major nerd. Essentially this professionally skeptical blog would consist of photos of me and Charman giving inquisitive looks at random things (like the aforementioned shumai). However, upon practicing our professional skepticism looks we realized they resembled the McKayla Maroney is not impressed look and we were not looking to get sued.
2. Howshortisjoshhutcherson.tumblr.com. This one is pretty straight forward. How short is Josh Hutcherson? Well he’s shorter than Taylor Swift. Insert photo. How short is Josh Hutcherson? Well he’s shorter than this floor lamp from Ikea. Insert photo. How short is Josh Hutcherson? Well he’s shorter than this Douglas Fir Christmas tree. Insert photo. How short is Josh Hutcherson? Well he’s shorter than me….and that’s all that matters, isn’t it? Insert photo…and sad face – because I absolutely love Josh Hutcherson. Well I love Josh Hutcherson mostly because he’s Peeta Mellark, but nonetheless I still love Josh Hutcherson, and the blog Howshortispeetamallark.tumblr.com would be identical…except I don’t think they have floor lamps, Christmas trees, or Taylor Swift in the Hunger Games. How short is Peeta Mellark? Well he’s shorter than that tree. And that tree. And that tree. He’s shorter than all the trees. Everyone in the Hunger Games is shorter than all the trees. Well that was a short-lived blog.
3. Whereintheworldismyirishhamburglar.tumblr.com. A couple years ago when I was in Belfast, Ireland drunkenly stumbling out of a club at close, all I wanted was a hamburger. Lucky for me, there just happened to be a random food truck parked outside selling hamburgers but 30-40 people were already crowded around, and there was no semblance of a line or orderly ordering process. People were just shouting loudly and throwing hamburgers and money all over the place. Unsure where my friends were, I just stood there on the curb looking fairly sad and pitiful when the nicest Irish guy came up to me and asked what was wrong. I explained that all I wanted was a hamburger and then gestured towards the chaos of the food truck. He told me to hold on and quickly disappeared into the crowd reappearing a couple minutes later with a water bottle, and a hamburger. I’m not sure if it was the circumstances (I’m drunk and I need food) or if hamburgers are a secret underrated Irish specialty, but this was the best hamburger I’ve ever had in my life. This guy, potentially my soulmate, he got me. He got me, and he got me a hamburger…and not a drunken night goes by that I don’t wish someone would hand me a hamburger and a water bottle as I stumble out of the bar. Where in the world are you, my handsome Irish Hamburglar? Last spotted outside an unknown Irish club by a food truck with the word hamburgers on it…that’s enough details to find him, right social media?
4. Winnieandgailhaveafoodbaby.tumblr.com. A food blog where my friend Gail and I try to eat every dish on the Houston Press’ Top 100 Dishes List…and then document the fun times we had doing so. 80% fun times, 20% actual food related comments. Oh wait, this is a real blog…and we really are eating our way through Houston Press’ Top 100 Dishes List. Enjoy! Here’s the link again: Winnieandgailhaveafoodbaby.tumblr.com