Sunday, October 6, 2013

Why You Should Hang out with an English Major

1.) Our discussions in class usually revolve around sex and drugs.

2.) Your republican parents will hate what your English professors have to say about politics.

2.) Even we bs our way through papers.

3.) We love to analyze people, and we normally know what a person's problem is before he or she becomes aware that there is a problem.

4.)  If we find you interesting, we will make a mental note about you and will include you in one of our future stories.

5.) If we find what you say interesting, we will make a mental note about what you said and use it in one of our future stories.

6.) We can proofread your papers for you. (Although sometimes, we use this ability as leverage.)

7.) We like to talk about fictional characters until they seem real.

8.) We aren't clingy. We are perfectly fine with staying in and reading a book or writing a paper than going out on a Friday night.

9.) We enjoy trying new things and experiencing different cultures. We love to incorporate what we learn into future stories.

10.) We catch all of those puns and references you make that other people don't understand.

11.) We compare seemingly unrelated movies to books. (Like Lion King and Hamlet.)

12.) If we aren't careful, we can turn into hipsters faster than you can say "type writer and oxford shoes in the park."

13.) Blatant grammar mistakes make us twitch like schitzos.

14.) We recommend books that you will actually enjoy.

15.) We hate when condescending people ask us about our post-graduation plans. (I dunno, maybe I'll work at Starbucks like every other graduate from every other major who can't find a freaking job right now.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Write a Paper Rachel-Style

1) Think deeply about the topic.

2) Format paper in MLA-style except for line spacing. (I like to surprise myself with how much I have written by making it all 2.0 at the very end. It's a magical confidence booster.) 

3) Look up how to spell the professor's name for the fifth time.

4) Ponder whether or not the professor goes by his first or middle name. 

5)Develop a thesis statement.

6) Write 3-5 topic sentences. 

7) Completely rewrite thesis statement.

8) Word-vomit a rough argument onto the page. 

9) Hopelessly comb through mind for the perfect, relatable introduction. 

10) Tie in introduction into conclusion. 

11) Do a happy dance. 

12) Eat a celebratory Oreo.

13) Command S. 

14) Email to self. 

15) Command P. 

16) Grade self by writing notes in margins and marking through typos. 

17) Read out loud to wall. 

18) Email to someone for them to read over it for dumb grammar errors.

19) Fix edits.

20) Turn in. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Grandparent Lingo 101

As a child, I was lucky enough to be raised with two sets of grandparents that both lived under 10 minutes away. Due to this proximity, my grandparents became my "secondary parents," but they were cool because the never got me in trouble, and they made my brother and I snacks after school. 

The only downside to being raised partly by grandparents is that I picked up on lingo and jargon from a different era. And, like every other Texan, my accent did not help the matter. I don't know how many times my classmates have looked at me like I am a character off of Little House on the Prairie. 

As apart of my healing process, I have composed a list of the most common things I have heard my grandparents say. Enjoy. 

1) "Now just add a scant of salt." -- Memaw

My memaw has given me recipes using "scant" as a measuring unit many times. By process of trial and error, I have learned that a "scant" of something will barely fill the cusp of your palm. It is bigger than a "pinch", but smaller than a "just eye-ball it."

2) "Cube the cows." -- Granddady

Contrary to pop culture's infatuation with building worlds out of cubes, a "cube" in this instance refers to a cylinder-shaped type of food given to cows that looks something like this. 

Mind boggling, huh? They should just say, "Scatter out that cylinder-shaped cow feed." 

3) "You are as handy as a shirt on a pocket." -- Grandma

Every time I took out the trash, vacuumed, or completed any other minimum effort task, my grandma would give me this compliment. I used to tell my grandma that this did not make sense, but now I know that she did it on purpose. My grandma is such a kidder, you guys. 

4) "Do you need to sit on the pot?" -- Memaw & Grandma

According to both of my grandmothers, numerous ailments can all be solved by simply sitting on the toilet for long periods of time. It's like the toilet is magical or something. 

5) "That's just one of them deals."  -- Pawpaw and Granddady

Every time something bad happened, my grandfathers would tell me this phrase in the hopes  to make me understand why bad things happen to good people. Now that I am a young adult and have been exposed to the evils of the world for myself, I don't understand the phrase at all. Maybe one day I will. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Mostly-Happenstance Guide to Weight Loss

I used to struggle with my weight. As a kid, I was a firm believer in the "finish your plate because there are starving kids in China" rule. Over my childhood and up to the start of my senior year, my weight fluctuated around 150 to 160 pounds. During my senior year, though, I managed to lose 20 pounds and keep it off during my freshman year at college. No one really notices my weight loss until they creep on the pictures on my Facebook page. You be the judge. 


I would like to share with y'all my secret to success, but sadly, there is no secret. No Atkins diet. No Weight Watchers. No "Eat cabbage soup and bananas for 2 weeks." Just me, making small changes in my eating habits and learning how to exercise. In the list below, I have composed a list of things that may or may not have been why I shed the pounds. 

1.) Don't schedule time to eat. During my senior year, I became very involved, and my excess free time came to a stand-still. I started a routine of coming in at 9 p.m. and eating microwave meals or cup-a-soup. After a few months of having no time to eat, my clothes started to fit looser and I began to wonder if I really could lose the weight. 

2.) Remove an organ. In February of my senior year, I got sick and had to have an appendectomy. I lived off of instant mashed potatoes and saltines for about 2 weeks after the surgery. The surgery really kicked off my diet, like the Special K cereal diet. 

3.) Lift weights. I am ignorant when it comes to lifting weights, so I only use the machines that look like individual bow-flexes. Even though I look like a complete moron and have to stare at the equipment for 15 minutes before figuring out how to adjust the seat, I am happy with the results after just lifting weights for a semester. 

4.) Train for a 5k, like every other woman in America who has lost weight. I am currently in training for my first 5k this fall. It's been slow going, but the exercise keeps me busy and makes my workouts productive. 

Results may vary. Please see a physician before trying ANY diet, including one that promotes becoming too busy to eat, having surgery, running 5ks, and not eating cheese. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Michelle Obama Arms

Dear Mrs. Michelle Obama,

You have nice arms. Never mind all the gains you have made to end childhood obesity -- you will go down in history for pulling off sleeveless dresses with muscular grace.

I just have one question: do you even wear sleeves? Like ever?

One day I will be as toned as you. I swear on the greatest, bestest country in the whole world, the U.S. of A. 

I go to the gym every day. (Okay, I can't lie to you... I try to at least go 3 times a week.) But when I do go to the gym, I go hard. I do reps on the arm machine until my legs are shaking. (Sometimes, my legs start shaking after the first rep, though, so I just call that good enough.) Afterwards, I know I have done a good job when I can hardly lift my fork, but I manage to finish my plate anyway. 

I am a firm believer in rowing machines, especially rowing machines that have games on them. My favorite game is this one where I am a fish, and the faster I row depicts whether I am eaten by the big, ugly black fish or whether I can eat a small, cute white fish. 15 minute can pass by, and I don't even realize it because I am busy being a fish. 

I even go kayaking occasionally with my friend Cheyenne! Last time, we kayaked all the way out to that invisible bridge in my picture. You can't see it, but it's there. We must have gone 2 miles or more. 

If I weren't so afraid of drowning, I would paddle faster, but a main concern for me right now is to maintain balance and to keep from steering into the reeds on the side of the lake. (I am not the best swimmer.) I am considering hiring someone to kayak behind me while playing the banjo to scare me into paddling faster. I'll keep you updated if that method works out well or not. 

I guess it is too soon to see if my attempts have paid off or not. All I know is to keep repping, fake-rowing, and kayaking. 

Maybe one day I will buy a sleeveless dress and everyone will say, "Hey, your arms are so toned and so lean! What is your secret?" 

And I will tell them, "Oh, you know... Just doing the Michelle Obama Work Out." 

And they will say, "Now that you mention it, she does have great arms."

Told you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to make it through your freshman year of college in one piece

In 3 weeks, I will wrap up my first year at college. The weather is growing hotter, my motivation is growing smaller, and my final exams are growing closer. 

The whole ordeal has gotten me all worked up and emotional. College has definitely treated me well, and I am sad to see my time here fly by. In honor of my successful first year, I have compiled a list of advice from mistakes I have witnessed and mistakes I have made. Hopefully this list will help incoming freshmen have an even smoother transition into college than me. 

DON’T be a vegetarian. (Or, try really hard not to be.) You will eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the UC every day, twice a day for the whole semester.

DO visit the Media Center in the library. They have “Magic Mike” to rent for free! 

DON’T postpone writing assignments to the last minute. It’s a lie – you don’t do your best work at 3 a.m. in the morning.

DO buy an Ethernet cord if you live in a dorm.

DON’T tell your roommate you will stock toilet paper for the rest of the semester. It will seem like a nice gesture at the time, but after 3 weeks, you will judge them secretly every time you hear a flush.

DO get lost while driving around. This is the best way to get to know the city. 

DON’T use too much soap in the washing machines in the dorms. The washing machines will retaliate and refuse to drain your clothes, leaving you with a huge, soapy mess.

DO befriend the food service ladies and gentlemen. They will make sure you don’t get crunchy tortillas for the rest of your time at college. 

DON’T room with your best friend if you want to keep them as your friend at all.

DO report problems to the maintenance department in a polite and civilized way. If something is wrong with your dorm, it deserves to be fixed. 

DON’T rush into a job before you know how you can balance schoolwork and your social life. 

DO befriend your RA. They are for the most part normal people, and will give you helpful advice. 

DON’T text while riding your bike on the sidewalk. You will fall down, and handsome guys will see it.  

DO use Don’t ruin your semester by accidentally signing up for the toughest Spanish professor. 

DON’T pull through the parking spaces. It’s a classic freshman mistake, and you will get a ticket before you turn off the engine.

DO buy rain boots. It may not rain in your part of the world often, but when it does, you might as well swim to class. 
DON’T give extremely religious people your phone number.

DO download the MyFitnessPal app and go to the gym often.

DON’T buy an expensive $30 planner. Odds are, you will forget it in your dorm. Instead, use your phone to save due dates using your Calendar app and to write notes using the Reminder app. 
DO buy Twin XL sheets when possible. They are impossible to find during the school year.

DON’T gripe about members on group projects on Facebook or Twitter. You will get called a “cyber bully” and will feel like a terrible person.

DO take time to decorate your dorm room, but don't go overboard.

DON’T overpay for water. At HEB, you can get a gallon of water for 25 cents using their dispenser outside of the building.

DO follow your college's Facebook and Twitter accounts to get notifications for free t-shirts and other cool stuff. 
DON’T cook cinnamon rolls in the microwave. If you don’t know how microwaves work, don’t use them at all. You will make the smoke detector go off, and everyone will hate you.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I MADE A WORDLE! It's 2008 all over again!

My first Pintrosity: How I developed an irrational hatred of lace, fabric glue, and hoochie mamma shorts.

So, this is the story all about how my friend and I stayed up until 3 a.m. working on a Pinterest project that turned into a complete disaster and cost us $30.

The night began calmly, as most nights like this tend to do. We were hanging out at a free Stoney LaRue concert on campus when we saw a girl walk by who was wearing the cutest white lace shorts.

"We could do that!" we said to each other.

And so our spur-of-the-moment Pinterest adventure began.

First up: Academy. We picked up our white Sofie shorts for $6. Morale among the troops was high. 

Next up: Walmart. This is where we first ran into trouble. 

"How much lace do you think we need?" my friend asked me. 

"Heck if I know." I said. 

We stared at the rows of lace on spools for 30 minutes or so. They might as well have been ancient Egyptian artifacts or trigonometry homework. 

"This spool says 3 yards... Maybe you need 2?" I said, squinting to read the small print.

"Are you saying I have a big butt, Rachel??" my friend said. 

Similar banter carried on for another 30 minutes as we finally decided to get 2 spools, 6 yards a piece, for our project. 

"We should find the fabric glue now," my friend said. 

Now this is where I screwed up royally. I should have said "Okay, awesome." I should have kept my big mouth shut because I didn't know what I was talking about. But I didn't. 

"We should try to sew the lace on the shorts!" I said. I was genuinely excited about sewing. Sewing was fun. People sewed things on Pinterest all the time, and their projects turned out okay. 

"Think about how awesome it would be to tell people we sewed our awesome lace shorts!" I said. 

I would ask my friend later that night why she didn't tell me straight up that sewing was an awful idea, and that I was a huge moron. But she didn't, and an hour later, we checked out at Walmart with a tiny sewing kit, 12 yards of lace, and some on-sale Easter candy. 

Third up: My dorm room. We set up our mini sweat shop and got to work. My friend taught me to thread a needle, and we went to town. I turned out to be an awesome sewer and quickly got ahead of her, to her dismay. 

15 minutes into our labor, I realized that we were going to need more lace. I told my friend, and she didn't believe me. She was in denial. Who knew that circumference was about 3 times bigger than the diameter of one leg? 

30 minutes later, we realized that sewing by hand was the worst idea ever and that we would still be sewing lace onto these dang shorts on graduation day. 

An hour later, my friend finally believed me that we would need more lace. Tensions arose. We decided to go back to Walmart and buy more lace and some fabric glue. 

Fourth up: Walmart (again). Graveyard shift workers gave us creepy looks as we stared at the lace for another hour and tried to do math in our heads. The fabric glue and the lace cost us another $13. We could buy lace shorts for the amount of money that we were spending trying to make them.

Fifth up: My friend's cold, hard dorm room floor. Fabric glue worked well, and was exponentially faster than sewing.

"It's starting to look like the picture!" my friend said. 

(But they really didn't look like the picture. Our shorts looked like slutty, old-woman panties. We were in denial.)

"Maybe these shorts are salvageable after all." I said. Morale rose again. We finished our shorts quickly and used her hair dryer to set the glue. 

"Time for the final test: trying them on," my friend said. This was it. The ultimate test. I went into the bathroom and tried to wiggle them onto my butt. 

"Houston, we have a problem," I announced. The shorts were not going over my hips. The glue lost its adhesiveness and the lace began to unravel. I felt like a bloated mummy. I came out of the bathroom and saw my friend's shorts. She was having the same problems as I was, but at least hers actually fit. 

"Yeah. This was the worst idea ever," I said. 

"I totally agree. I look like a hoodrat hoochie mama," my friend said. 

"Time to throw in the towel?" I asked. 

"I believe so," she said. 

Not surprisingly, it took only 3 minutes to unwind the lace from the shorts. All that work and money was reduced to a pile of sticky lace on her bathroom floor. We laughed out of despair and to keep from crying. I begrudgingly walked to my room with sticky shorts in hand and the remainder of my cheap sewing kit. 

So that's the story about my first Pintrosity.  At the moment, I am looking for an easier Pinterest project to complete so I can rebuild my broken self esteem. Hopefully this blog post makes you feel better about your life. I mean, at least you didn't waste 6 hours and $30 by making a hoodrat hoochie mamma version of this: 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

How to Talk to Your Mascot Who May or May Not Have a Crush On You

This is my friend, Roscoe. He is a man ram. We hung out this afternoon on the sand volleyball court and soaked up some Vitamin D. In this picture, it looks like he is plotting to kill me, but that's just the way his face looks. He is a sweet guy ram. 

I got the feeling today that Roscoe was hitting on me. He kept patting my shoulder and flexing his muscles. While I find his jersey and red cape to be dapper, I just don't think things would work out between us. A) I already have a boyfriend, B) I don't want to go behind Bella's back (she is a sweet girl sheep), and, most importantly, C) Roscoe and I already struggle with communication.

For a man ram who is comfortable enough with his body to walk around campus with no pants on, Roscoe sure is shy. To be honest, I have never heard him speak. Today, I tried my best to engage him in conversation. 

"Hey, Roscoe! How are you?" I asked. 

*Roscoe flashed a thumbs-up.*

"That's cool. Aren't you hot in that jersey and fur?" I asked.

*Roscoe waved his hands around*

"I like your cape. Red is a nice color on you." I said.

*Roscoe nodded his top-heavy head*

"Sooooo... What did you do this weekend?" I asked.

*Roscoe waved his hands around.*

"That's cool. Same here, I guess." I said.

*Roscoe waved his hands around and nodded his top-heavy head.*

I hate to say this, but Roscoe is one of the most self-centered people rams I have ever talked to. Don't get me wrong -- I still love hanging out with him, and I totally get that he is shy. I just think he needs to work on his people ram skills. I mean, would it kill him to ask about my weekend every once in a while? 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Why good girls never win

My boyfriend is many things. He is a baseball junkie, he is an unhealthy vegetarian, and he is a super-super nice guy. He is also slightly messy. While he bathes daily and keeps his laundry done, he just doesn't understand why he needs to fold his clothes or store his papers in a binder. Typical guy, right? 

Like I said, my boyfriend is a super-super nice guy. I would be an awful person for breaking up with him over something as tedious as an unfolded tee shirt. So instead, I put on my nice-girlfriend face and help him indirectly clean up his life. I call it "Operation Sneaky Cleaning Lady." I was pretty successful, too, until last week. 

Here's how it went down: 

We were driving home from a lunch date when my iPhone slipped from my lap and fell through the crack between the seat and the console of his little Corolla. I call this area "the portal." Pens, napkins, and Sonic mints go in, and they are lost forever. 

I stuck my hand inside the portal and fished around for the rounded edges of my phone, to no avail. I found lots of other cool stuff, though. I pulled out a busted grading pen, a baggy filled with potato chip jibbles, decaying and sticky Mike & Ikes, gas station receipts, bottle caps, quarters, nickels, half a pencil, the other half of the pencil, candy wrappers, chip wrappers, the wrappers around bottles of water, crumbled paper, and three uneaten Starbursts. 
But no cellphone. 

"Hey, we should stop at your house and clean out your car," I said. He agreed out of fear that I was angry that I lost my cellphone. (Pssh, I never get angry.)

Five minutes later, I scooted up the passenger seat, found my cellphone, and examined the treasures hiding below. And boy, was there some treasure. The job was more work than we expected. 30 minutes later, I was still stuffing trash into Walmart plastic bags, and my boyfriend was still sucking up Mike & Ikes with the shop vac. 

Then, amongst the wrappers and debris, I found a rusty silver bracelet with a horseshoe charm on it. The bracelet was obviously not mine. I am not the type of girl to wear much jewelry, especially cowgirl jewelry with horseshoes. I knew after one glance that the bracelet had been under that seat for a long time. The fake silver polish was rubbed off in spots, and the chain was broken. It was definitely Pre-Rachel. 

That didn't stop me, however, from giving my boyfriend grief. I mean, if he was going to cheat on me, he should find a girl with better taste in jewelry. 

Here is the moral to this story: Never clean out your messy boyfriend's car, because you may find jewelry from his ex-girlfriend that will make you question his taste in women. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Beyonce is possessed by a gyrating demon, and Justin Bieber misbehaves occasionally. I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

"Do you believe everything you read on the Internet?"

"No! Of course not."

Everyone knows the correct answer to that question. Of course you can't believe everything you read on the Internet. Only older, technologically-crippled people fall for scams on the Internet. We young people are so Internet-savvy that we can spot a fake account or scammy website with our eyes closed. 

Just try asking a Justin Bieber fan how she feels about the recent allegations that he groped a fan's boob and she will scream, "It was photoshopped!" 

But try asking the same crazed thirteen-year-old girl if Justin Bieber was photographed smoking pot, and she will say, "He apologized. It's just weed. What's the big deal?" 

(For the record, I discourage talking to any Justin Bieber fan.)

These girls are unable to distinguish fact from fiction when swayed by popular opinion. In one instance, they believe that someone can photoshop an image to make it appear that Justin Bieber groped a fan. Three weeks later, however, they completely accept that their idol was photographed smoking an illegal substance, and, since he smoked weed, it's not a serious offense. 

Maybe we young people aren't so Internet-savvy as we think. 

Recently, I stumbled across a video during my YouTube surfing called, "Beyonce, The Super Bowl, Sasha & Satan," produced by Goodfight Ministries. I would post a link to the video, but I really don't want to contribute to the view-count and encourage the organization any further. The overall message of the video is that Beyonce is possessed by a demon called Sasha Fierce, who makes her gyrate and sing on stage. 

The video features scary music, 11 minutes of b-roll of Beyonce making a grimacing face, and some high-tech video editing that makes Beyonce look like she is, at times, surrounded by flames. The voice-over makes many references to the Illuminati and to opaque satanist symbols, like pentagons and up-side down stars. In one part, the video shows an image of Beyonce wearing a goat ring. 

Out of the 593,000 men and women who have watched this video on YouTube, I wonder how many of them questioned what they had just watched. 

Why would Beyonce be possessed by a demon?

Could that image be photoshopped? 

What would Beyonce gain by being possessed by a demon who makes her make weird faces and flash the Illuminati sign while on stage? 

Why would someone make up that Beyonce was possessed by a demon? 

Would I be as apt to believe this if there weren't scary music playing in the background? 

Saying that Beyonce is possessed by a demon is as bogus as saying that Mark Zuckerberg is possessed by a demon that makes him asocial and nerdy. It's as bogus as saying that Mel Gibson is possessed by a demon that makes him drink and say anti-Semitic things. It's as bogus as saying that Tom Cruise is possessed by a demon that makes him an awful actor. It's as bogus as saying that cows are possessed by demons because you are lactose intolerant.

Obviously what is happening here is that groups of people disagree with how Beyonce dances and sings in scantily-clad leather outfits. (She's a mother, for crying out loud!) However, Beyonce's off-kilter moral code does not prove that she is possessed. Beyonce is simply a good dancer and singer who doesn't like clothes. 

With a few clicks on photo and video-editing software, one sly person can trick even smart men and women into believing that J-Biebs molests fans and that Beyonce is from the pits of hell. Always be wary of what you see or read on the Internet -- especially if you prefer to read about Justin Bieber's transgressions, or about the state of Beyonce's soul.