Santa Drives the Bus

Today, I was running late for class (as usual), but I managed to arrive at the bus stop just as the bus was pulling up.

I get on the bus, and as I’m fumbling in my wallet for my bus pass, I hear a voice saying “ya should’ve been prepared.”

I look up, and there’s a rotund man with glasses, long white hair, and a thick beard sitting in the driver’s seat. Wearing a Christmas sweater.

After a double-take, I finally find my card and swipe it, and we take off even though there are several people still waiting at the bus stop. There are several stops in between the stop where I got on the bus and the stop where I get off the bus. Even though the bus isn’t packed by any means, this guy stops for about 10 seconds at each stop before closing the doors, even if it means people have to wait for the next bus.

But otherwise, between stops, he flies. I am in shock. Normally, buses wait for everyone to get on/off, people to get situated, and occasionally stop for the wayward pedestrian. But on Santa’s bus this morning, no prisoners were taken.

Despite leaving my apartment at 9:41, I still manage to make it to class at 9:52, with three whole minutes to spare.

And the creepy thing? I got off the bus in the back, but before I had time to turn around and say thank you, the bus had pulled away. I didn’t even get a picture of the driver, but he looked an awful lot like this bus driver:

I am almost convinced that Santa Claus drove me to school today.

And that’s why I got there early.

Sugar Crazy

Hello, my name is That’s So Jacob.

And the reason you haven’t been seeing me around is because of SUGAR.

Yes, sugar.

It started on Sunday with the fudge cake, and continued with the care package my parents sent of Twizzlers (lasted all of three hours), Berger cookies (gone within a day, but thankfully shared with others) and not one but TWO huge packets of chocolate and vanilla wafers. Then there were the surprise donuts, and of course, some lattes thrown in for good measure.

Things I need to do:

1. Peel myself off the ceiling.

2. Eat something nutritious.

3. Settle down enough to do some homework.

4. Email probably a bajillion or so people I’ve been meaning to contact.

5. Make myself go to the gym…every day…for the rest of my life. (in my defense, though, I did go Monday and Tuesday, but yesterday I got too busy and today I ended up dancing until I was a sweaty hot mess).

GAH.

How To Spend Your Birthday Laughing Instead of Crying

So, I turned 27 years old today. Happy birthday to me.

It started off with a fire alarm at 8 AM, but other than that it was mostly a good day. My parents sent me cookies, Twizzlers, and coupons, and even my sister gave me a call. I even got a surprise bag of donuts.

As most people who know me know, my birthday always brings me anxiety. It only comes once a year and then it’s gone. 364 days until I am special again. It’s also a symbol that yes, that number’s only going up, but I have to just remind myself that it’s a good day, a happy day, just for me. It also helps that tomorrow is my lunar birthday, so that kind of softens the blow going from balloons and singing to…nothing. Here’s another thing about me: I love it when people sing me the birthday song on my birthday.

It also helps to know that although I’ve probably had more memorable birthdays than this one, I’ve undoubtedly had much, much worse ones.

What I do know:

Today, I am having a happy birthday. I am so glad that I am alive, healthy, and independent. I am safe, and I am free. Those are the best gifts I could ever receive.

But enough sappy stuff.

I spent much of my morning watching videos that make me laugh and smile, so in addition to ones I’ve already shared, here are the top five videos that will fill your birthday with laughter and happiness.

Top Five Videos that Make Me Happy

5. Clueless as performed by the Golden Girls.

4. Wanda Sykes goes skiing.

3. Rosie O’Donnell and Bea Arthur singing the Maude theme song.

2. Ellen DeGeneres and her cubicle.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzrch7X8Hoo]

1. Aliens singing the birthday song.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yolLqx6k1OM]

Oh, and a bonus video, of course.

I just imagine Celine is singing right to me.

 

 

 

27 Things I’ve Learned In My 27th Year Of Life

So, I just spent time I should have been studying going through my blog and reliving the past year, good and bad, on this, the eve of my 27th birthday. And I realized that I’ve learned a lot of things about myself and the world. Take notes, if you like.

November 2013

1. I can, in fact, memorize 55 pages of lines and recite them three times a week for two weeks. Maybe my acting career isn’t dead after all.

December 2013

2. Coffee cup lids are evil.

3. Cheese and crackers are Wisconsin’s answer to chips and salsa.

4. Einstein Brothers Bagels is always a bad idea.

5. I can drive down a country road through an ice storm.

6. But I need to scrape the ice off the windshield first.

7. Underground parking is a must in the Midwest.

January 2014

8. Car shopping sucks. Get a new one before yours dies in Mount Airy with all your stuff in it.

9. I can blog by talking into my phone. Technology!

10. Lacrosse has been the official team sport of Maryland since 2003.

11. The battle of Bunker Hill did not actually occur on Bunker Hill.

12. I will probably never develop orthorexia (thank goodness)!

13. Wisconsin is cold.

February 2014

14. Naps are underrated.

15. A true friend is one who listens to you cry and make unintelligble sounds for a solid half hour on the phone.

March 2014

16. Identity theft sucks.

17. Southwest Airlines offers free alcoholic beverages on Saint Patrick’s Day.

April 2014

18. Seeing your school lose in a sports game is still depressing, even as a grad student.

May 2014

19. Making good on resolutions is so not my thing.

June 2014

20. Arguing about race in high school musicals is one way to end a friendship.

21. Getting fined for horseplay in a state park is a horrible way to end a day trip.

July 2014

22. I own so much crap.

23. When bunking with three friends in a hotel, make sure your phone’s ringer is turned off at night.

August 2014

24. My favorite wine still exists, but it’s only available in Puerto Rico now.

25. Turkey burgers are fun and easy to make.

September 2014

26. Frustration is futile; forgiveness is fantastic.

27. I am a good person and I can make it on my own.

and as a bonus

28. I’m actually a pretty good cook.

So there we go.

27 years old…bring it on.

This post was inspired by my new online crush Taryn Southern‘s “Awkward Lessons from Instagram” video. Thank you, don’t sue.

Let’s Get Together and Feel All Right

So, today I had a small birthday get-together. I invited almost everyone I knew in Madison, and three people showed up, but a party with four people is better than a party of one. I made a salad, an orzo dish, a rigatoni dish, and bread pudding which was a major hit, and one of my guests brought cake, which was nice. I served the food buffet style. The wine and the conversation were flowing nicely, and everyone seemed to enjoy the food.

With how busy everyone’s schedule is these days, it’s getting harder and harder to get two people together, let alone four. I miss the days in the Land Before Facebook; where people just got together and did stuff like this. Scented candles, folding chairs, and plastic tablecloths.

I like to play host.

It’s actually the one time I enjoy cleaning up and doing dishes, knowing that my friends are full and happy.

Party for Everybody Dance

Once upon a time, in 2011, a group of grandmothers from Buranovo, Russia, decided to form a singing group.

They called themselves Buranovskiye Babushki.

Their goal: Eurovision glory.

On their first try, they didn’t go very far.

On their second try, however, they sang a song called “Party for Everybody” and there was literally a party for everybody when they beat out past Eurovision winner Dima Bilan, among others, for a shot at Eurovision that year in Baku, Azerbaijan. The song was mostly in Udmurt with one phrase in English. At Eurovision, they scored a healthy second place to the incomparable Loreen. Good going for a group of grannies.

Here’s how singer Elena Ekimova reacted, as well as Dima Bilan and his team. Note the stark contrast.

ElenaDima

Is There An Explanation For This?

For these past few days, I’ve been running on adrenaline and the occasional bite from the Chabad House; doing a presentation and having three days of holiday will do that to you. I think I did okay on my presentation. I’ve been so tired though, and was just going to skip posting today until a weird sound woke me up from half-sleep, and now I’m wide awake.

So, last week I went to the optician to have an eye exam and get a new prescription for contacts. The eye doctor was wonderful and friendly, and thanks to my health insurance, fees were minimal; I only paid for the contact lenses themselves, and knew I’d be paying something.

A few days later, I get a letter from my insurance company. I dig out my checkbook and prepare to write a check as I open the envelope, only to see…

An Explanation of Benefits.

Basically, a bill marked “THIS IS NOT A BILL” with no return envelope (the actual bill, which looked exactly the same, arrived yesterday. I paid it today).

What is the importance of this Explanation of Benefits document, then?

Health Insurance Company, why did you have to kill another tree to mail this useless piece of future recycled paper to me? Especially when it is the exact some document as the bill I’ll be receiving in the mail IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS? Am I supposed to have a backup copy in case the original goes missing? Will your office cease functioning without my payment of $18.96 – money which, because I read the bill which tells me where it will go, I know why I’m being charged what I’m being charged and where the money will go? It’s like getting a receipt at a grocery store, telling you what you bought, and THEN getting another receipt, which actually requires payment. Or something like that.

There is something about this that makes no sense, other than you sending me another false reason to get excited when I open my mailbox.

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Now that I’m turning my mind in little circles, I’m getting tired again. Please excuse me while I get ready for bed, unless I have to get ready to get ready for bed for first. Actually, that’s kind of what I’m doing right now.

Before I do, welcome to my first visitors from Luxembourg and Madagascar. Such fun and diverse visitors lately!

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