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.



On The Importance of Social Time

I’ll admit it, this hasn’t been one of my best weekends. Or my most productive. Well, that’s kind of every weekend, but this weekend I focused a little bit more on the snoozing and socializing aspect of it. I caught up on sleep, and I enjoyed a good amount of social time as well, including last night.

Last night was one of those “I wish I were an undergrad again” nights, with the game and everything. I went to the Union with Kelly and some other folks to cheer on the Badgers and was, of course, disappointed at the outcome – we all know what happened – but I’m glad I can say that I was there, rather than squirreled away doing work or perusing BuzzFeed. When I walked home, I was suddenly glad to be a grad student again, passing some firemen hosing down a small fire on the sidewalk on Langdon. It was only 10:30, but I was more than happy to spend the remainder of the night sitting at home and maybe trying to get some work done, or at least get in bed early.

And then Carly texted me that she was with Alex, Jonathan, and Gideon over at the piano bar, and that was the end of that plan.

So, after Weekend Update (which was not that impressive this week, Kate McKinnon’s Angela Merkel impression notwithstanding), I headed out to meet up with the gang. Carly is one of those truly wonderful, welcoming people who is always inviting me to join her on social activities. It feels good to be part of “the group,” and I’m rarely one to pass up an invite, which is why I’m sad that she isn’t in Madison full-time anymore. But she returned this weekend for the game, and when Carly’s in town, that can only mean good things and fun times. After a quick Cabin Cooler at the bar next door to get my ticket, I joined the group, which had expanded to include Meir, inside the bar. Initially, I was only going to stay for a little bit, but if you know me at all, that usually means I end up closing the bar. I hadn’t been to the piano bar before, and it was a little cheesy but just the right amount of fun, and with a good group of people, gave me a little squeeze of love that I’d needed; it felt so natural, like I could just be myself, let my guard down a little, and not have to impress anyone. I was, by no means, drunk, but as the crowd thinned and we got a table up at the front near the pianos, I really got into the music and was singing and shimmying along, because it’s a Saturday night in Madison. I actually exchanged looks with a blonde girl whose group was at the table next to ours, and when they started “Lean on Me,” we maintained eye contact and sang to each other. A Celine Dion song came up soon after, and we two were out of our seats, gesticulating to each other, and laughing hysterically, even getting some cheers from the crowd. At 1:45 AM I decided to call it a night, and said goodbye to Carly and the group and my new impromptu overly-dramatic singing partner, telling her I’d see her next weekend. Which maybe I will.

When the social activity becomes so impromptu and apropos, that’s when the fluttery, butterfly feeling sets in.

And sometimes accompanying “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” with a stranger on a Saturday night, complete with animated gestures and exaggerating quasi-flirting is all I need to get me through things.

Thank you for being silly with me. I hope we can be silly together again sometime.

Oh, and welcome to my first visitor from Solomon Islands; not a country I expected to see show up so soon, but all the same, glad you came.

Also…wow, I just now realized what “social butterfly” refers to. SO META.