Learning and Stuff

Things you learn when you live on your own in a different state, are cheap, and can’t have your parents come over to help:

1. Fire extinguishers have to be checked by fire people every so often to make sure they still, ya know, put out fires.

2. Floating shelves are the devil and walls can be too soft to handle stupid screws. Screw screws.

3. WD-40 can apparently fix everything.

4. Staple guns are amazing.

5. You can overfill your car tires with air when you are trying to fill them back up. Apparently you only have to hold the air thing to the tire thing for a second.

6. Popcorn is a totally acceptable dinner at least twice a week.

7. Using a measuring tape and level thing are pretty necessary when hanging stuff.

8. Things can be toasted in the oven if you’re too cheap to buy a toaster. Toasters are pretty irrelevant.

9. Mattresses are expensive, but if you go to mattress firm in Temple you can get free delivery and a date…I think getting my cell phone number off the order form, texting me to see how my mattress feels, and asking if we can chat about it over coffee goes a little above the call of duty…but then again, I am a first time mattress buyer.

10. Toothpaste can do a lot of really handy things.

11. Empty wine bottles make beautiful vases…home decor…another great reason to drink more wine.

12. There are different kinds of oil that can go into your car and putting the wrong one in your car is bad.

13. There are blenders that can make soup. I am now the proud owner of said blender. Soup maker and smoothie maker. Two for one all day.

14. You should put a towel down before you iron on surfaces other than an ironing board.

So these are all the wonderful things I have been learning while living on my own. I am such a functional adult, it truly is amazing. The good news is, my mother will be here next week and she can fix all of the things for me and cook all of the delicious meals.

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BE BOLD

I was reading a post today by one of my favorite PR Blogs that got me thinking about the “bold” things I’ve done so far that I’m really proud of. Sometimes realizing the things you’ve already accomplished makes it a little easier to take on the next hurdle. Here’s my list of my top five best moments:

1. Going to college in California. If you asked me as a freshman in high school if I would ever move across the country by myself for school I would have told you that you were crazy. I was still pretty shy at the time and would never have dreamed of making that kind of move. By senior year I was a little more confident and felt like I had to try. My time in San Diego was so unbelievably rewarding. I will always be incredibly grateful to the people I met and how much more open they taught me to be.

2. Joining a sorority. That may seem strange that I view this as a proud moment because (1) my sorority life didn’t really end well and (2) it’s a sorority, which a lot of people don’t really view as an accomplishment. Regardless, this was still a moment when I was forced to ignore my inherent shyness and be comfortable being myself in front of hundreds of women whom I had never met before. The recruitment process is a week of back to back “events” where you meet each sorority and it’s members. At each event they talk about a different aspect of their sorority and then you meet a few of the members who try not to awkwardly grill you, but also get to know you in five minutes. Then they vote, you get your bid cards and you’re in! It’s stressful and hard not to feel judged, but in the end you get to be a part of an extraordinary group of women who are there for you no matter what. One of my biggest regrets is how things ended with the sorority and that I haven’t kept in touch with some of the girls. I really did have a blast for three years!

3. Finishing Grad School at the age of 22. A ton of people are going to grad school right after college now so I know I am not alone in this pool. Regardless of how many people are doing it, I still think it’s pretty awesome to think “Hey, we are 22 years old and have masters degrees.” I think we should all give ourselves a nice big pat on the back.

4. Traveling abroad on Semester at Sea. One semester. 12 countries. 700-ish beautiful people living on a ship. Amazing crew members. Hands down best memories I have from college. Everyone should study abroad with Semester at Sea, with any program really. It is the most incredible adventure you will ever have. There is no better way to learn about the world and people and all of the goodness in different cultures. I miss Semester at Sea more and more each day and can’t wait until I can retire as a life long learner.

5. Moving to Texas. Talk about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Me… New England native…. Liberal Democrat….End up in Texas? I thought this move would be the hardest for me yet and that I would be home sick all the time. Turns out, all those other times I pushed myself to get out there and do something different have made it easy for me to accept new surrounding and new people and appreciate everyone and everything in my new life.

I can only hope another adventure will be around the corner 🙂

Caroline

Bar Tab Tragedy

The pros and cons of starting a tab at a bar:

PROS

  1. You don’t have to give your card every time you get a drink, wait for the bartender to run it and give you a receipt to sign.
  2. You can just tip at the end instead of trying to find a couple dollars every time.
  3. You seem way cooler.
  4. You seem even cooler if you buy a round for a bunch of people and say “yea just put this round on my tab.”
  5. You are the coolest person ever if that bunch of people includes me and I’m getting a free drink.

CONS

  1. You might drink way more than you would if you had to pay every time.
  2. You might forget to close your tab (mostly likely due to Con #1) and have to shamefully go back the next day at lunch to claim it.
    1. Or worse…you don’t even realize you forgot to close your tab until your bank calls saying the bar called and they have your card.
    2. b.      Side note: In college my friend forgot to close his tab. The bar called his bank. Except his parents pay for everything so the card was under their account. The bank called his parents to tell them where the card was. He got a nice call the next morning from his mother telling him to stop spending their money on booze and to get his hung-over ass down to Sandbar to claim the card. So many good memories at that bar.
    3. You might buy a million people drinks (because you want to seem even cooler…see pro #4 and #5).
    4. People might try and charge drinks to your tab. I’m not sure if this ever really happens, but it seems like it could and my broke ass would not be happy.
    5. Your bartender could give your card away to a stranger…

Over the weekend I was at a bar called O’Brien’s in downtown Temple. It’s an Irish pub that has live music pretty often I guess. They did not have any live music that night and instead played a very random mix of pop, hip hop, and alternative music. It looked like they also had trivia going. Two people were playing…Joey and Dude. I was rooting for Dude. They had Strongbow cider on tap so I was pretty content.

The person I was with gave the bartender his card to start a tab. We finished out first round and then ordered our second. The waitress (we sat at a table since the barstools were full) seemed really confused and came back over and asked my friend to write his name down on a post it. After a good five minutes the bartender came back over to our table looking mortified. He explained that he charged the card for our two drinks, gave the card to another couple, that couple signed and left with the card. The bartender said he ran up and down the street, but couldn’t find the couple anywhere.

My friend is now without his debit card and will have to call today to cancel the card and order a new one.

One the plus side, the bar credited the drinks they had charged to the card and gave us our next round free. The lesson here: everyone should pro/con it up at the bar before starting a tab. I mean really, pro/cons should be used at all times; decisions big and small. One general rule should always be included though…If the person you are with is extremely attractive then Pros win every time. Whatever you’re about to do is automatically a good decision. Start yourself a tab and look all cool…totally worth it.