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An Alphabet of Awesomeness Tag

I know everyone’s seen this type of thing before, with awards and challenges, but I just thought I’d start one that’s all my own, challenge a few people, and see what happens…

Sometimes, in life, it’s incredibly hard to find things to be grateful for or things that make you happy when you feel just so so so sad, not like sad panda sad, but Picasso’s-Blue-Period sad, or Wilting-Flowers-of-Virginia-Woolf sad, or even Everything-But-The-Girl-desert-misses-the-rain-except-the-desert-is-glass-and-Morton-Salt-without-the-yellow-umbrella-since-there’s-no-rain-here sad.

But now that I’ve saddled you with metaphors and addled your brain, let me bring you back to the positive feelings that I hope you are having right now (If you are, good for you! If not, that’s okay, I’m here if you need a hug).

Some days, life is just sweet, normal, average, even – dare I say – happy. It could be a tapping-your-toes-to-Pharrell-Williams’s-“Happy” happy, or even raindrops-on-roses-and-whiskers-on-kittens-Julie-Andrews-frolicking-in-the-sunny-countryside happy, or even the happiest feeling that I can imagine, like, right-this-minute-I-can-see-myself-as-the-cool-person-I-dreamed-of-being-when-I-was-young-and-shy-and-awkward-and-to-top-it-off-I-have-sunglasses-and-a-car-and-good-hair happy.

It’s the days that you’re feeling like a Picasso that you wish you could magically channel a day when you were Pharrell Williams. When you wish you had an arsenal of things that make you feel awesome and confident and sophisticated and proud but you just can’t seem to picture any.

My friends, here is the solution for you.

Presenting:

That’s So Jacob’s All-New Alphabet of Awesomeness Tag

The point of this game is to come up with 26 things that just make you feel effervescent, one for each letter of the alphabet, and maybe write a brief sentence or two about each thing, and then tag 26 friends to do the same. Hopefully this will ignite a giant arsenal of awesome and happy things that will break the Internet because everyone’s sharing too many happy thoughts.

Here goes nothing, I guess.

is for Anne Taintor. Classic pinup girls with delightfully irreverent sayings. I buy her calendar every year and have a sticker pack and fun coffee-table coasters. Just plain fun.

is for ballroom dance. What started as a sign on a lamppost has turned into four semesters of fun, friendship, and fancy footwork. I always say that I like Latin better, but then I feel like that’s unfair to Standard, so I constantly switch back and forth because just being on the dance floor is a gift unto itself.

C is for Call the Midwife. One random Sunday, I turned on PBS, and stared at my television screen open-mouthed for two whole hours watching a marathon of this fantastic BBC masterpiece. It is incredibly well-acted, thought-provoking, inspirational, and hasn’t hit the Downton Abbey/Game of Thrones glass ceiling here in the USA yet, so I feel ahead of the curve. And even if it doesn’t make it in America, this show is so awesome and now I kinda want to see if I could deliver a baby using what I’ve learned from the show. 

is for driving, especially on the open road. I don’t get it how so many people despise driving. I love it. I would rather drive than be a passenger. Other than expensive gas (which, living in Wisconsin, is less of a drain on my wallet than in giant Texas) and maybe car trouble/repair, I love long road trips, beautiful scenery, racking up the miles, and when I am with friends, racking up the smiles.

is for Ellen DeGeneres. E-nough said. I really think she should reconsider running for political office. She could do a lot of good (well, even more than she already does).

is for friends who do stuff together… but no, really, it’s for my fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. It’s helped make me into a better person. My parents did not believe it when I said I wanted to pledge, but they have come to peace with it and acknowledged that it has introduced me to a lot of good people and helped me do a lot of good things.

is for

is for

is for iced coffeeWhen I had my first real downward spiral into depression and bad bad thoughts, my dad always told me “if you’re dead, there’s no iced coffee anymore.” So trivial, but for some reason it perked me up a little bit.

is for Jenna Marbles. I eagerly count the days until Wednesday/Thursday so I can fold laundry while watching her new video (now, on my Chromecast). There has rarely been one that I haven’t found something I liked in, except maybe the dog porn one and the “Dropping Beets” one.

is for Keurig. I bought mine in December and haven’t looked back. Sometimes I sit in class, just counting down the minutes until I can go home and use my Keurig to make something delicious.

is for licorice. Twizzlers (though NOT a low-fat snack like they say), gimme. Bites, pull and peel, the rainbow colored ones, all the Twizzlers. YUM.

is for Mental Floss on YouTube. Along with Jenna Marbles, John Green’s List Show makes up my mid-week hump days playlist. I’ve been a fan of MF since high school, and now instead of sitting at Barnes & Noble and reading the new one each month, I get a little mini video-magazine of quirky facts that I can watch while I fold my laundry. If Jenna Marbles did a Mental Floss List Show one Wednesday, I think my brain might actually explode with happiness.

is for New York Times Crossword Puzzles. Part of my daily routine. My favorites are the Sunday ones; when I solve it in under 15 minutes I just feel like the smartest person in the world. Plus, it’s a great way to learn new facts.

is for October, the month of my birth. I have a love/hate relationship, because I love birthdays but hate growing older. Still, it’s usually just brisk enough to enjoy hot and iced drinks, and an unexpected warm day, like this past weekend, can really make your day. Plus, it’s too early for Christmas music and decorations to appear, so there’s that. Also, Jewish holidays.

is for Pandora. This app and I had our issues, once I found out it was killing my cell phone bill, but now that I use it more sparingly, it’s going back to the top of my list of favorite apps. Where else can you rock out to an entire station devoted to A Tribe Called Red or the Barry Sisters?

is for theatre. I have devoted the last ten years of my life to studying it, so it deserves a spot on the list. A close second is travel. And an even closer third is Tim Hortons. I am seriously considering a road trip to the closest one (Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada) just to get a cafe glace and donut. Tims for days, baby.

is for Words with Friends. It doesn’t matter if I win or lose, but it’s just a helpful distraction that’s just temporary enough to calm my mind.

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5

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.

1. Aliens singing the birthday song.

Oh, and a bonus video, of course.

I just imagine Celine is singing right to me.

 

 

 

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Raising Hell In Arizona

It’s about 1 AM here in Phoenix, and I’ve only got a few more minutes before boarding, but I’m just checking in to say:

ATHE. was. AWESOME.

Though attendance was down (700 as opposed to 1400), it’s the quality of the people that I met, the sessions and workshops I attended, the performances I saw, and the time that we spent together at the bar, in the conference rooms, at the pool, or commiserating over the expensive hotel and its isolation from the rest of the world. There were several people who I missed that were there, several I missed who weren’t there, and several with whom I had extended conversations with for the first time. I met scholars, actors, dramaturgs, and playwrights. I saw and made friends all over the USA and the world: UK, Ireland, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and Trinidad & Tobago, off the top of my head. I roomed with three of the funniest and nicest people I know, and my stomach hurts from laughing so much. I feel full; inspiration percolating, heating me like a coffee urn and breathing life into me.

The oasis rejuvenates.

That’s the dream, and the message I left everyone with, along with hugs and “see you in Montreal, or sooner.”

Next up is leg 2: Phoenix to San Juan via Charlotte.