Fair Weather Fan

I love sports. I’ve played nearly everything some time or another. I even had a very short (and sad) stint in Ballet. My lack of plie perfection, however, put me in the back of every performance. You know you are struggling when you’re 8 and 3-year olds are placed in front of you.

Yet despite my addiction to athletics, I have something to admit: I am a fair weather fan.

I realized this when I watched the Bulls game yesterday. I love basketball and used to be obsessed with the Bulls. I’m pretty sure I paid attention in Math at the time solely to understand sports statistics. Yet it’s been years since I’ve made sure to drop whatever I’m doing to watch the Bulls. Why? Well, the Bulls are awesome again.

I hate the term “fair weather fan.” From a grammar perspective, it’s ridiculous…who is actually a fan of fair weather? I don’t know of many people that say “Wow! Aren’t 40-degree and cloudy days just the best? Yet, phrasing aside, it fits.

When a team is doing well, the atmosphere at a sporting event is electric. The crowd is cheering (or at least cheersing). Everyone is affectionate on the KISS Cam (besides the awkward brother and sister that sometimes get captured). Even 13-year olds take a break from texting to tune in.

Yet when a team is struggling, things just aren’t the same. People become more excited about Computerized Pizzas competing on the screen for a free coupon to Dunkin Donuts than the score. The parking lot is still packed with tailgators after the National Anthem.

One perk of poor performance? The ticket prices drop.

I give alot of credit to people who root for teams regardless of their record.  I love the fact that many people literally cannot miss a game. And, of course, I love being around these people.

When their team has won, obviously.

Are you a fair weather fan, or do you follow a team regardless of their record?

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Public Transportation People Watching

There are two things about me that play a role whenever I travel : 1.) I don’t like being alone. 2.) I love talking and listening.

Whether I’m flying or driving, I always spend some time talking to strangers. However, this small talk is usually sparse. As much as I love meeting new people, I want to make it to my destination at some point.

If you think my daylight directional density is bad, you haven’t seen anything yet. My day driving makes me seem like a professional pilot in comparison to my nighttime navigation. I once was 45 minutes late to meet someone in downtown Des Moines at night…a place in which I’ve been to at least 45 times.

However, last week, my small talk with strangers was stretched. I rode the Megabus back home to Chicago for my friend Angie’s Bachelorette party. A six-hour drive on public transportation is prime for people watching. Here are a few things that I both saw (and heard) during my six-hour stay:

1.) I talked with one couple who was going back to Chicago to prepare for their upcoming wedding. They had ridden the Megabus, Greyhound, and other trains many times, and gave me the ins and outs of transportation. My favorite stories? [1] The girl said she once sat by a woman who loved Pepsi so much that she spoke about it as if she was giving a sermon. Continuously and loudly. [2] She sat near a man that was not a proponent of Pepsi, but rather, of self-pleasure. He also did this continuously and loudly.

2.) There was a boy and a girl in college behind me who were randomly paired next to each other, and then talked the entire ride. At first, they kept continually inserting their boyfriend and girlfriend into conversation, even when it was completely irrelevant. [The boy may bring up food, for example, and the girl would say something like “My boyfriend loves Burger King!] As the ride progressed, the talk of their significant others signficantly lessened. They were a perfect match. It felt like I was watching a Lifetime movie “Matched on Megabus!”

3.) There was a pair of middle aged women sitting behind me who decided to take a girl’s weekend trip to Chicago. They ended up drinking more than they anticipated. One would think that this would mean instant sleep for the entire trip. Wrong. Instead, they relived every moment over and over…and over. They then called their respective family members to do the same thing again.

Do you travel on public transportation? Do you put in your headphones immediately, or are you a people watcher? 

Stay Away, Abreva

When it comes to colds, I’m pretty uncommon. I hardly ever am sick. I haven’t ever been stuck in bed with a sickness for more than a day. I was only “sick” for a total of two days in high school (thanks to food poisoning at Quiznos…believe me though, I’d prefer 10 colds over that). I haven’t ever had a real headache.

Colds are so uncommon for me that I draw a blank when asked my doctor’s name.

Although I can’t seem to “catch” a cold, there is one annoying area of colds that is far common in my life: Cold sores.

If you haven’t had that pesky little bubble on your lip, consider yourself (extremely) lucky. I’ve been cursed with cold sores ever since Elementary school. During Elementary school, I thought that the best method of “getting rid” of the sore was to use cover-up. Keep in mind that A.) I didn’t know how to wear make-up then and B.) Cover-up is typically tan. Lips are not.

If my classmates didn’t already notice my cold sore, then they were certain to once they saw my two-toned lips.

Even when I don’t get a cold sore on my own, I still catch one. Back in Elementary school, I had a favorite lip gloss. It was a triple-threat: It was sparkly. It was hot pink. It was from Limited Too.

I was obsessed with it, and reapplied many, many times throughout the day (I wouldn’t be surprised if I slipped it in my gym shorts pocket). My friend Allie asked to borrow it. I decided to spread the lip gloss love, and let her borrow. Allie finished carefully applying a coat and replied:

“HAHA! I have a cold sore!” My treasured lip gloss went in the trash and, later, a cold sore landed on my lips.

Fortunately, my cold sores usually go away within 3-4 days. This is only due to the best (and worst bargain) ever: Abreva. This tiny little tube costs $20, and is the only thing that actually clears cold sores (and my credit card).

Abreva sure knows how to make money. You typically only get to use about half the tube, because every time you give a single, small pump of the product enough liquid comes out to cover your entire lips. Whenever I use Abreva, I end up looking like Jack Frost.

The other thing awful thing about Abreva? I lose things large things extremely easily. A tiny tube doesn’t stand a chance.

Do you get colds or cold sores often? How can I avoid Abreva without looking like I got in a fight with a flatiron?

Quirks

We all have our own odditities. You may refuse to step on a crack, after being convinced when you were a kid that it’d break your mother’s back. You may not eat any food that touches another. You may be superstitious and wear the same shorts for every sporting event.

I love learning these things about other people. I have quite a few quirks. Here are a few of the little things I do that make me even more loon(e)y than I already am:

1.) I always set an alarm clock. However, I always wake up a few minutes before my alarm clock goes off, regardless of the time. My internal alarm clock is impressive, except for the fact that it also…

2.) Leads me to go the bathroom on the same schedule nearly every night. I always have to get up in the middle of the night (usually twice).

3.) I also am the worst road trip partner ever for this same reason. On my five hour drive home, I typically stop to go to the bathroom at least four times.

4.) I have a strange relationship with Starbucks. I like their coffee drinks, and get them often. However, I have to drink their drinks at home, because they are not hot enough for me. I actually heat up all coffee (even when it has just been brewed) for at least 1 minute in the microwave (usually 2).

5.) I always look at a restaurant’s menu online before I go out to eat. However, I am still so indesisive when it comes to order that I always change my order at the last minute.

6.) I have to have the TV or car volume on an even number (or a five). I have no idea why I think odd numbers are bad luck, which, is especially odd because my favorite number is 11.

7.) I open bananas from the wrong end. [Confession: I actually can’t open a banana correctly.]

What are your quirks? Do you do some strange things on a daily basis?

Spying on Strangers

I remember reading the book Harriet the Spy in 3rd grade and then deciding that I was destined to be a detective. My friend I put some spying skills to use and would spy on her (extremely, extremely, extremely) mean neighbor Helen. We created a potion made out of Kleenex, and plotted how to get her to take the potion. We believed that the potion would miraculously make her nice.

My spy dreams were squashed when Helen caught us spying through the window. I was gullible enough, however, to still be convinced about the powers of Kleenex.

I quickly realized that I was never going to be a proficient private eye. I have far too many things going against me: I can’t whisper. I am not able to hide noiselessly. I’ve never caught a single clue in Monk or Law and Order. I am gullible enough to believe about any alibi.

However, I still use sleuthing skills on a regular basis. One of my favorite things to do is create stories about strangers. I do this pretty much everywhere I go. I watch people, and then pick up “details” about their private lives.

The great thing about this? Unlike when doing detective work, no evidence is required. There’s no opportunity for alibis. It’s a game where there’s no right answer, and, therefore, you’re always right.

If only tests were set up like that.

My absolute favorite place to search for a story? Bars. A guy wearing a tattered leather jacket becomes a banker who dreams of owning a farm, and is convinced that his leather jacket is the key to finding him a wife to run his future farm. A woman with an outdated hairstyle becomes someone who refuses to change her hair, for her shining moment is when she won “Miss Great Hair 1982” in Las Vegas for having such luscious locks.

When I was out last Friday, there was a guy and a girl (approximately 30 years old each) who were flirting with each other outrageously. The girl had on a pleather pink skirt that looked like it came from Limited Too. The guy was shorter than her and trying way too hard to be trendy. I would guess they met 2 weeks ago, but they couldn’t keep their hands off each other in a style that would make even Snooki blush.

Although most would turn a blind eye to this tryst, I was transfixed. I spent much of the night creating a story about this “couple.” [The girl was totally into it, but the guy was into everyone else at the bar the minute the girl broke for the bathroom…and then flipped his switch immediately when she returned].

Do you ever people watch? Do you ever create stories about the strangers you see?

Baby Names

I am not wealthy, pregnant, and look like a three year old playing dress-up with her mom’s shoes when attempting to walk in heels. Yet this week I was riveted by a ridiculous reality TV show yesterday that included all of the criteria.

The show, called “Pregnant in Heels”, follows a woman named Rosie who is a “maternity concierge, fashion designer, and pregnancy guru.” This jack-of-all-baby-trades is willing to do whatever moms-to-be need, other than actually have their baby

Although I wouldn’t be shocked if she somehow tackled that in a future episode.

One of Rosie’s tasks this episode: To select a perfect baby name for a power couple. This couple has aspirations of their new son to become President of the United States in 2050. Choosing the perfect name, according to them, is a huge part of getting his name on the ticket.

With that kind of pressure, I wouldn’t be surprised if this child turned grey before graduating from Gerber’s.

The couple eventually decides that having Rosie select the name is not sufficient. They hire a panel of experts who give their feedback on their favorite names. They have an insane amount of specifications, including no names ending in “S”, names starting with the letters J, R, or E. They had some powerful marking/business executives and, my favorite, a matchmaker.

Because, obviously, having a bad name could make their baby a Bachelor. Which, according to them, is possibly worse than him not being President.

After the thousands of dollars spent on Rosie’s services, the panel of “experts” and an arranged dinner with their closest friends specifically to deliberate the names (some of the men looked like they’d rather have a root canal), the parents decided to go with a name that no one else liked: Bowen (nicknamed “Bo”) Asher.

“Bo” reminds me of Archery in gym class [Sidenote: My teacher said that I was the worst archery student she ever had. This is probably surprising to no one] and “Asher” reminds me of Asher Rother, the singer of “I Love College.” I don’t really forsee the presidential slogan of 2050 being “Pass my beer and smoke my weed!”

I can’t imagine ever spending picking a panel for a potentially future president, but I admit: I love baby names. Which is true in the following story, which shows my susceptibility to scams.

Sometime during college, I received an email with a subject titled “Find your perfect baby name!” My perfect baby name (approximately 10 years in advance)? Sign me up! I made up fake information about my due date and delivery.I received “Baby Weekly” emails in the weeks leading up to my “delivery” (around 50 weeks in advance). I anxiously awaited my perfect name and…nothing. The emails then continued through the nameless child’s early stages.

I still received these emails three years later. I finally figured out to unsubscribe.

Have you already named your future baby? Do you already have plans to have a future President?

 

Word Nerd

I love words (minus a select few). I love words ALMOST as much as I love one particular punctuation. There simply is nothing as excellent as the exclamation point (!!).

My love of words is usually to my advantage. I never have to be persuaded to read…with the exception of anything involving science, step-by-step directions, or anything that includes the mere mention of a tool. I love to write…with the exception of anything involving science, step-by-step directions, and anything that includes the mere mention of a tool (although I can’t imagine anyone asking a person who still can’t distinguish a Phillips from a flathead such a request).

However, my love of linguistics has recently become a little ridiculous. I have become obsessed with playing “Words with Friends” and “WordFeud” on my phone. This wouldn’t be quite a problem, except for the fact that my phone goes from fully charged to battery-less by the end of the day. My plan periods have gone from future preparation to (hopes of) future domination.

A battery-less phone does not bode well for someone who gets lost nearly every day. It also is not pleasant for a professional procrastinator like me. I’m going to be starting taking over 9th grade soon, and my newfound hobby will not help grading 150+ papers.

When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with becoming a tremendous typist. I swapped Sega for “Typing with Mavis Beacon” and would click at my keyboard until I beat a record. I don’t know of many other kids who heard “You need to stop typing and get to bed!”

Do you like word games? How can I prevent myself from procrastination?