#311 – Artificial Politeness, Part Deux

“He’s reeeeeally nice” … Dude is butt-ass ugly.

“She has a really strong personality” … Girl is a raging bitch.

“I think he has good intentions” … I truly hope there is some good in that guy because he sure seems like an insufferable a-hole.

Sometimes I wish we could just tell it how it is without worrying about the social repercussions of being too blunt. Mental filters really should be turned off every now and then. Go ahead and call a spade a spade. Call a douchebag a douchebag. Tell me my blog isn’t as good as it used to be. Just kidding. Don’t do that. I’d rather do without your honest opinion, even if you do have “good intentions”. Because we all know what that means anyway.




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#310 – List Format for Internet Articles

Nowadays, if you want someone to view your website, it better be full of gifs, pictures, and minimal reading to truly get a legitimate following. But if you insist on actually getting your readers to, you know, read, it all comes down to breaking your article down into a numbered list. No one is going to read a piece entitled “Assad air force back in action in Damascus, hitting rebels.” But re-name the piece “13 Quick and Easy Ways Assad Is Fighting Back That You Won’t Believe Exist (With Pictures)”, and you have yourself an instant hit! Lists have bastardized the writing process and have turned readers into absent-minded skimmers and scrollers. The list format has truly earned its spot in the top 21 ways the internet has epically dumbed us all down. And surprisingly, it also made the cut as one of 12 Reasons Why Sam The Cat With Eyebrows Should Be Your New Favorite Cat.


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#309 – Passwords

I have the mental capacity of remembering no more than two versions of the same password I’ve had since I was 12. So if any devious hackers wanted to access my information, they could easily get a hold of any of the various accounts I have made in the past 10 years. Midnight AIM chats from 2003 with awkward teenage boys? Revealed. Overpriced textbook purchases from Amazon? Exposed. Obscene credit card debt on my bank account? Well, you’re free to go ahead and check that one out, hackers. I personally don’t view that account all that often because something tells me that if I don’t look at it, it’ll go away. Because that’s how that works.  That aside, I’m at a clear security risk, which is why I’m so glad new password settings require passwords to be 8 letters long, at least three of which must be uppercase, and also contain 4 non-numeric symbols, 2 Chinese characters, a hieroglyph, and can’t contain the most ingenious password word ever, “password”. It’s a solid guarantee that it will keep hackers, identity thieves, and myself from accessing any of my accounts ever again. What a load off my mind.

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#308 – Stereotypical Sayings

Every now and then, you’re asked to name your hobbies, your likes, just something unique that describes YOU. Most people often take that as an opportunity to plug in the most over-used cliche sayings known to man. Here’s a short list of what I’m sure you’ve all heard countless times before:

“I enjoy taking long walks on the beach.”

When was it exactly that you took a long walk on the beach last? Unless you have your own private beach, walking along a public one really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Try being at peace and clearing your mind while hairy men put their beer guts on display for all the world to see and little kids give you dirty looks for stepping on their sad excuse for a sandcastle (sorry I’m not sorry). 

“I’m not a math person.”

What kind of person are you exactly? You don’t need to be a “math person” to add a few numbers in your head. Hiding behind a fear of basic math is just a cop out. You’re not fooling anyone, especially not the math people.

“I just put up a wall.”

It took you more than a week to spill all your deepest and darkest secrets to someone new you’re dating? Wall. You’re not comfortable enough to say how you really feel yet? Wall. You’re not okay with chewing your food into little bites and letting your significant other feed from your mouth baby-bird style? Wall. But it’s okay. I’m sure those things will come once you “let your guard down” and “let them in.”

I say you should avoid sayings altogether. Be original! Say you enjoy spending hours just sitting on your computer while eating obscene amounts of sunflower seeds. Say that you’re not a math person because you’re more of an English person (because you’re from England). And say you’re open in your relationships because who even has those nowadays anyway.

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#307 – Girls

The girl you see out and about is far from the same girl when she’s home alone binge-eating Nutella and re-watching crappy episodes of the Kardashians. Although made out to be prim and proper, in reality, girls are just as disgusting as guys if not more so. If a girl is wearing some trendy new pair of pants, it’s pretty much a guarantee that she is covering up her unshaven Chewbacca legs. If her hair is styled up in a dainty bun, chances are she hasn’t washed her hair in the past three days. And if a girl’s top is fairly long, you can be fairly certain that her pants are being fastened together with a giant safety pin because she refuses to retire her favorite jeans just because the pesky button busted off two years ago. Girls are all basically the same when it comes down to it; from the daintiest of the dainty to the tomboyest of the tomboy, we are all disgusting. But at least we never poop. Can’t even begin to imagine what that must be like.


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#306 – College Apartment Living

dishesCollege life is not complete without frat parties, all-nighters, and a shitty apartment to spend the aftermath of those experiences in.  Apartments around universities are a cesspool of smelly ethnic cuisine and crammed quarters full of students looking to save money by sharing a 1 bedroom apartment with 4 other people. Bunk beds stop being a way to make space “for more activities” and instead turn into something more like an accidental and unethical psychology experiment. As close in proximity as you’ll feel to your roommates, it pales in comparison to your blossoming relationship with your neighbors. There’s nothing quite like being able to hear someone clipping their nails at the apartment next door so loud it feels like a stray nail clipping might fly through your window at any given moment. You’ll become an involuntary audience to your upper-level neighbors’ 3am heart-to-hearts, and the victim of harassment by broomstick by your downstairs neighbors for shuffling your feet in your slippers too loudly. This unstable yet symbiotic relationship is at the core of college life. Good thing there’s always some reason to protest on campus so you can channel, vent, and release all of your warranted frustrations. So get out there with your megaphone and fight the good fight. And take out the trash while you’re at it, you filthy animal.

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#305 – Self Diagnosis

Everyone’s looking for a diagnosis these days. But no need to go to a licensed psychiatrist for one. Just go ahead and diagnose yourself. Go on, give it a try. So you say you’re a little bit awkward? Sounds like a bad case of Asperger’s to me. So you feel the need to wash your hands after touching something sticky? Textbook OCD. What? You fell asleep in lecture after getting only 3 hours of sleep the night before? You don’t say. That’s classic ADD right there.

Sorry to break it to you, but you don’t have any of these disorders. That initial awkwardness you felt talking to a stranger is more because it’s close to impossible to keep a conversation going off of the other person saying “Sure is cold out.” And OCD isn’t the same as fixing a crooked picture because, you know, it’s crooked, or putting things in alphabetical order because, you know, you’re a front desk assistant and that’s your job. And ADD isn’t…you already stopped reading, didn’t you? Knew I should’ve thrown some clipart in here. It’s alright. After all, you have ADD! Now run and catch that excuse train before it leaves. But don’t run too fast. You might run out of breath because you haven’t been remotely close to physically active in two years. Because of your asthma, of course.


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#304 – Writing a Paper

How to write a paper:

Step 1. Do not start paper until the day before it’s due. This will ruin the creative process.

Step 2. Copy-paste mounds of information into one Word document, not citing where anything is from. Just lump it all in there, you’ll surely remember where it’s all from later so you can give appropriate credit where credit is due. Right.

Step 3. Aimlessly scroll up and down said Word document. Marvel at all the work you’ve done. You. Are. Amazing.

Step 4. This warrants a break. Reddit, food, Facebook, Twitter, snack, Reddit, coffee, Facebook, refresh, refresh, refresh.

Step 5. Check the clock. Panic.

Step 6. Find a way to put a paper together in less than an hour. Make sure you save the proofreading for the professor. That way he can see the raw product in its most natural form. Don’t want to deprive him of that.

Step 7. Paper? What paper? Your winter break officially started the second you turned it in. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and promise you’ll never leave anything for the last minute again.

Step 8. Rinse and repeat next semester.


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#303 – The Morning Coffee Run

It’s not bad enough that morning people have to exist; they also have an incessant need to impose their love of the morning onto everyone around them. Walk into any Starbucks at 6am on your way to whatever job is sucking your life dry and just try to order a cup of coffee without being forced to smile and politely respond to inane questions. How’s my day going, you ask? Well, I did just wake up all of 10 minutes ago and somehow drove to this god forsaken coffee shop with half-shut eyes and half-brushed hair just to get some caffeine in my system to get some semblance of brain activity going before I trudge off to that lovely place where I’m both underpaid and underappreciated. But since you so sincerely asked, my day is going swell. Just swell. I think the coffee shop experience can be best summed up by the quote by Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” No disrespect, Al, but I think I’ve stumbled upon a more accurate definition. Insanity is frequenting the same coffee shop at the same exact time every morning and somehow getting called every possible variation of four-letter names beginning with the letter L–well, every variation except for Lara. Getting my actual name right would go against some unbreakable law of physics, I’m sure.Image

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#302 – Traffic

When you live in Los Angeles, there are some things you come to accept. Parking tickets, hipsters in fedoras, and self-entitled “mixologists” all become commonplace. But LA traffic is in a league of its own. Anyone who has sat on the 405 with their parking brake on knows what it means to cycle through a flurry of emotions, most of which can get you a standing prescription for Zoloft. Just put the gun down and try not to kill yourself long enough to read through this post. Here are the stages that all traffic victims go through:

Denial: “This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening.” FYI, it is. It’s really happening. Prepare to spend the next two hours of your life trapped in a car listening to hyped up overly-processed music to pump you up for your 3 mph drive home.

Anger: “Who the hell drops a Christmas tree on the freeway in the middle of March?” This feeling is also known as “road rage,” only swerving and honking is replaced by alternating between frustrated crying and banging your head on the steering wheel.

Bargaining: “Are you there, God? It’s me, Lara. God, if you get me out of this, I promise I’ll be a better person. Ok, I’ll start to be a better person. Or I’ll start to try to be a better person. Fuck it. I’m a terrible person and I’m never going to change, am I? Yup, sounds about right. Sorry to bother you, God. You can go back to chilling on clouds and playing the harp or whatever it is you do up there.”

Depression: “No – fucking – way.” What was supposed to be rush hour has now become rush HOURS. Just sink back into your seat and do some finger stretching and wrist turning, because that’s about as mobile as you can be at this point, both as a car and as a person.

Acceptance: Eerily similar to a zombie-like state, this is when you come to terms with the fact that the next few hours of your life are going to be spent sitting in a virtual parking lot with a Doritos truck to your left and a chain smoker to your right. But it’s going to be okay. It’s almost over. You only have to deal with this tomorrow morning. And tomorrow night. And for the other four days of the week. And for the rest of your life.

These stages may sound similar to you. That’s because they’re the same as the five stages of dying. Coincidence? I think not. Unless you have some affiliation to a copyright, in which case… Coincidence? I think so. Happy driving!

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