4

Thanks for the Vote of Confidence, Amazon Textbook Rentals

Normally, I buy all my textbooks for class. However, I had a class this semester which required a very expensive textbook – I couldn’t even find a decently-priced used copy – so I decided to try out Amazon Textbook Rentals for the first time. It seemed kind of like an early version of Netflix, but for books: you pay to rent a book for a relatively cheap price ($24 for this one, when it retails around $60), they send it to you, and after a certain amount of time you print out a shipping label and send it back. The sending back part is free thanks to UPS.

So, I bought the textbook, used it the prerequisite number of times for the class, and then returned it a few days ago via UPS. Yesterday, I get an email saying (the bold was highlighted by me):

Dear JACOB,

Thanks for sending back your rentals. The carrier received your package on Thursday, May 12, 2016. All future late charges on these items are stopped. We will send you an email once we have processed your return (please allow up to 30 business days).

Well, gee, Amazon, thanks for the vote of confidence. Why would you talk about hypothetical future late charges when they’re nonexistent, and will never exist, because I returned the book on time? I know it’s probably just processed boilerplate, but it makes me sound a little on the “naughty child” side, as if you were expecting me to return it late, or something. I’m imagine you pacing, all ready and raring to go with late fine emails addressed to me just sitting in your draft box, waiting to be sent. Really, now. It’s like…was there an office pool, betting on whether I’d return it on time or not?

“He’s not going to return it on time, Carol, I just know this guy’s gonna lose it in his apartment or leave it at a Starbucks.”

“Oh golly gee Jim, have a little faith. Speaking of Starbucks, you wanna go out and get some?”

“No thanks, I’m in a relationship.”

“I know, lighten up Jim, that wasn’t a come-on, I just want some hot coffee.”

“So get some in the break room, and…::phone rings:: hold up, it’s Lynette, I gotta take this call.”

“Yeah whatever. See ya Jim.”

“Bye Carol.”

“::murmur:: note to self…find out where this Lynette lives and how to get rid of her…”

And that’s how Carol got fired from Amazon.

25

Life’s Little Moments

Everyone likes a bit of silliness. Today I’m feeling silly, so here’s a list of some little things that I go out of my way to do that just make my day a little bit more fun. Most of these I did today, but a few are more reserved for special occasions. And remember, the 100% rule is definitely in play here.

At The Store

  • Yell “STOP!” Then pause. Then, in your best Diana Ross, continue “…in the name of love…”

  • Announce a random dance, and see if anyone impulsively reacts.
    • Good choices: Disco! Gangnam Style! Macarena! Hula!
    • Bad choices: Tango! Twerk! Stripper Pole!

Extra life points if you can whip your hair like this fierce bitch.

 

  • If there are more than two aisles open next to one another, stand with one foot in both. If someone asks you which line you’re in, just say “I’m playing the odds.”
    • I have actually gotten some people to say, “That’s smart. I never thought of that.”
  • Pretend to struggle to say someone’s name at the checkout counter. For example, today at the Middleton Walgreens,
    • “Hello, nice to meet you…Mawr–yee?” “It’s pronounced Mary.” “Aww, so close. I bet you get that a lot.” (Her response? “All the time,” with a smile. Thanks for being a good sport Mary!)

Good demo, Travolta.

 

  • When they scan your Walgreens card, clutch your stomach and moan, pretending you’ve been shot. That normally gets a laugh or two.

  • When you sign your signature on one of those pads, go “yeah, this is why they didn’t trust me with the declaration of independence.”
  • Give them a heartfelt-but-harmless misplaced greeting upon leaving.
    • “Happy Hanukkah!”
    • “Say hi to your mom for me!”
    • “Hope your court date goes well!”
    • “See ya in Vegas!”

In an Elevator

  • When you’re pressing the button for someone, sing “Smooth Operator.”
  • The second the doors close, then declare an Elevator Dance Party! Goal of the game: dance until the doors open, then act natural, last person to stop dancing loses.
    • Make sure your phone is cued up to play music. Good choices for this game are “TiK ToK” and “Shake it Off.”

Elevators gonna ‘vate, ‘vate, ‘vate, ‘vate, ‘vate

 

  • This next one actually works anywhere, and the first time I did it, it was in a parking lot in Amherst. Pick up your phone and brusquely ask to speak to someone, “Hello, may I please speak with Hilda?” After a few moments, sweetly sing “Happy Birthday.” I actually discovered this in Amherst; I was leaving a friend a singing voicemail at her office phone, and a girl who was walking past me at the exact moment I started the birthday song broke out laughing as she passed me. Either she was amused at my immediate change in demeanor, or she just loves overhearing people singing it.

At the Gym

  • Locker room showers = perfect acoustics for that Adele impression. In case you’re wondering who’s doing that in the SERF, it’s me, and it’s because my ears are so soapy that I can’t hear how loud I am.

I can’t decide if Emma Stone is a super fun person or a showoff.

  • Sing while under the hair dryer, and try to time it so that you stop when the dryer stops.

If All Else Fails…

  • “Yes, sir, is there anything else I can do for you?” “Scotch on the rocks?”
  • “Let’s fold scarves!”

That’s the spirit, Lisa Kudrow.

 

8

Random Thought of the Day: Soap

Poking around in Marshalls, looking at (and smelling) soaps. One of the vegetable soaps smelled like my grandmother.

Pros to buying said soap: reminiscing and basking in the glow of my youth.

Cons to buying said soap: smelling like old lady.

Anyway.

I left it on the shelf and opted for the English rose.

Oh well, last time I went I scored some sweet India Hicks body wash that I’ll probably treasure for the rest of my life.

4

Foolproof Food For Every Mood

These past few weeks, I’ve been trying to lose weight for the Phoenix/San Juan/Baltimore trip. I should be working more on packing my apartment and doing research, but this post will not be about that. I’ve been spending most of my days (when I’m not in bed) exercising and focusing on eating healthier. This week hasn’t been the greatest for my exercise, but as far as my dieting goes, I don’t think I’m doing that badly. I’m not focusing on being strict as far as time; I’ve been eating when I’m hungry, and stopping when I’m full. I’ve been avoiding any type of “zombie food,” like chips or pretzels, things that you eat subconsciously when watching TV or on the computer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My problem, though, is picking foods that are tasty, satisfying, and healthy. It seems like everything has something in it that’s bad for you, but here are some things that I’ve been consuming over the past few weeks that have kept me sane and helped me lose weight. Also, disclaimer, I know nothing about nutrition so this might all be wrong, but just go with it.

1. Protein shakes.

As everyone knows, it’s all about the protein. And the protein shake is the way to get it in the morning, after a workout, or at night. I’ve been having one with breakfast, and after a workout. Beware: some of them are very sugary and some contain animal products. My brand of choice is the Whole Foods 365 brand: organic and not too sugary.

2. Eggs.

The other main protein source, the ever-popular egg. My breakfast usually consists of four boiled egg whites, although I have been known to make a mean omelette. There is good stuff in the yolk as well, but also some fat and cholesterol, which is bad considering my personal family history.

3. Coffee.

The jury’s always out on coffee, but sixteen ounces of black iced coffee, sometimes with a half-packet of sugar, ups the caffeine without a lot of the fat of milk and/or syrups.

4. Tuna fish.

Tuna fish was a whole food group in my house growing up, so I have no problem eating it in any form, raw, cooked, or from a can. I don’t add anything but black pepper. I stopped putting mayonnaise in awhile back, and I recently had some mayo on a tuna sandwich at a restaurant and found that it had a bit of a sour taste that I didn’t notice before, so I don’t think I’ll be adding it back in. Also, it quantifies eating bread, because who can say no to tuna on rye? Especially if that rye has RAISINS in it. Thank you, Angelic Bakehouse.

5. Tilapia.

Cooking fish is really not as hard as everyone thinks. I just shove it in the oven for about fifteen and it comes out flaky and delicious. Woodman’s sells huge bags of frozen tilapia, so that’s basically what’s in my freezer, aside from…

6. Chicken.

I usually tell the world that I’m a vegetarian or pescetarian, mostly because I don’t want to have to explain kashrut every day of my life. And when I do talk about chicken to a friend who thinks I’m a vegetarian but doesn’t know about kosher, I just say that “I don’t trust restaurants,” or “I only like chicken the way I make it.” Both are somewhat true; restaurants are overpriced, and I’ve never disliked any chicken I’ve made. Metcalfe’s has bags of frozen Empire chicken, $16 a bag but worth it for the kosher symbol.

7. Iced tea.

Diet Lipton citrus green and mixed berry are my new roommates. They’re too awesome to pay rent, so I just let them loaf.

8. Sparkling water.

First, there was water. BUT THEN THEY MADE IT SPARKLY AND FRUITY WITHOUT ADDING SUGAR.

9. Nuts and baby carrots.

I’ll admit, the only snacky food that I do partake in are almonds and baby carrots. Seriously, just turn on the TV and stuff your face with a half a bag of carrots and some almonds. Your body will thank you.

10. Peanut butter/almond butter and jam sandwiches.

Oh PB&J, how I do love thee. Sugar free jam is the way to go, and chocolate almond butter is like eating Nutella, only not.

11. Salads.

Yay for eating salads! Boo for making them at home though, I usually go out and have huge salads at restaurants because I am lazy and veggies go bad too quickly.

12. Indulgences.

I do indulge, like everyone else, from time to time. But when I do, it’s on foods/drinks that have some nutritional value, albeit very little, but not horrible in moderation. My food indulgences: biscotti (one piece and I’m done), cheese (as a topping for salads/eggs only), and Chipotle (sofritas salads for the win). My drink indulgences: diet soda (usually just one can/cup at a restaurant), Caffe D’Vita (a little sugar, but not a whole lot), and lattes with skim milk and sugar-free syrup (usually a weekend treat).

My diet could probably use a few more vegetables, but overall, I’m not depriving myself of nutrients and eating healthy portions. And yes, I do crave Twizzlers, cookies, cake, pizza, pasta, Starbucks, but not enough to cave and get them.

Here’s to getting in shape for the summer.

Oh, and welcome to my newest visitors from Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. Apparently I’m big on the Arabian Peninsula; now if only the Yemenites would come and say hello.

1

I Had One More

Today, I came across this list of 7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook.

It reminded me that about a year ago, I wrote this post and then this one a month later, on the exact same topic.

However, in that time span, people and their Facebook status updates have become no less annoying, in fact, quite the opposite. But just for kicks, I wanted to see how much this person’s list of 7 and my list of 8 align.

Mine were:

  1. The Facebook Guru
  2. The Prayer Warrior
  3. “My Life is Awesome”
  4. The Serial Liker
  5. The Social Commentator
  6. The Jehovah’s Gamer
  7. The Activist
  8. The False Sense of Intimacy Person.

Theirs:

  1. The Brag (and various forms thereof)
  2. The Cryptic Cliffhanger
  3. The Literal Status Update
  4. The Inexplicably Public-Private Message
  5. The Out-Of-Nowhere Oscar Acceptance Speech
  6. The Incredibly Obvious Opinion
  7. The Step Towards Enlightenment.

Okay, so we have a lot in common. My #1 is his #7, and my #2 is his #6. My #3 is his #1 and #5; just for the record, mine are in no particular order but I’d put that as the top annoyance any day. My #4-7 don’t really match up with any of his, but my #8 has elements in his #2, #3, and #4.

So, now that we agree on four out of his seven, there are three left. And honestly, I don’t really care about #2 and #3.

For The Cryptic Cliffhanger, if it’s someone I don’t care about, I just ignore it. If it’s someone whom I’ve seen recently or about whom I deeply care, I’ll comment, but usually I’ll text or call that person. I’ve actually done it a few times in the recent past, and it’s yielded good results; sometimes those people just want someone to care. The Literal Status Update? Not even on my radar screen. It’s like…good for you? And for The Inexplicably Public-Private Message, two thoughts. One: people do make mistakes like that, whatever. Two: if you have to check yourself and your Facebook friends in somewhere and brag about it, how much time are you really spending with them?

So there you have it, a complete comparison.

But mine came first and you have one less, one less, problem than me.