City

Screw This, I’m Going to Florida

Those familiar with the television program The Office (U.S.), which is to say every single person who has so much as glanced at a Twitter feed or made passing eye contact with someone with a Netflix subscription, may be aware of a certain subplot in which a few members of our beloved gang of beleaguered paper company employees travel to one of the closest things America has to a tropical paradise: Florida. (Sigh.)

While there, one of their numbers — Stanley, given a blessed portrayal by Leslie David Baker — really goes all in on the Florida aesthetic. He wears sunglasses; he drives a convertible with the top down; he truly rocks myriad Hawaiian shirts. Generally, he seems unwilling and unable to give two sh*ts.

And, in just six weeks, I plan to become him.

My roommate and I are moving to Florida.

Continue reading “Screw This, I’m Going to Florida”

City

The Only Thing I Care About Is Harvard Square’s Milk Bar

There is a genre of online content known as “oddly satisfying videos.” These are the weird clips of disembodied hands doing strange activities that clog your discover page on any given social media platform.

Image result for site:milkbarstore.com birthday cake
birthday cake (credit: Milk Bar)

For most of these, I believe the word “oddly” applies to the word “satisfying” in that I am utterly mystified as to how any of them could be categorized as in any way soothing or pleasurable to watch. Soap cutting? Don’t care. Slime videos? Off-putting at best. Those weird, inexplicable piles that I can only describe as knockoffs of cult classic as-seen-on-TV item Moon Sand? Mostly just make me recollect the Moon Sand my mother made me throw away when I was 11.

But there is one oddly satisfying subgenre I will fully admit to enjoying, and that is the cake decorating video. I would watch armless hands frost and adorn sweet treats while cheerful instrumentals play until the end of time. Although that might just be because I like cake.

Continue reading “The Only Thing I Care About Is Harvard Square’s Milk Bar”

Opinion

Celebrity Couples That Haunt Me

I am an unapologetic consumer of celebrity gossip. There is nothing that delights me more than the tangled webs our stars weave before our very eyes. The joy I get from a new installment in The Cut’s gossip column, or from an Instagram stalk that makes me aware that the creative directors of Bumble are sisters, and also the daughters of musician David Foster, who is currently dating the actress/singer Katharine McPhee, who is younger than said creative directors, and that 69-year-old Foster is newly divorced from Yolanda Hadid, of Housewives/being Bella and Gigi’s mom fame.

Tangled webs, I tell you.

Continue reading “Celebrity Couples That Haunt Me”

Art

Vampire Weekend is evergreen and so is Ezra Koenig’s Twitter

I do not love many things. This can largely be blamed on the fact that I am a cynical monster, subsisting on a diet of negativity and sadness, pessimistically roaming through life, crushing earnest appreciation in my wake.

Or something.

However, when I love, I love HARD. One of the subjects of my pure adoration (or obsession — whatever you want to call it) is the darling of the wannabe-indie middle schooler known as Vampire Weekend. I have loved them from afar for six years, BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T RELEASED ANY MUSIC IN SIX YEARS.

Continue reading “Vampire Weekend is evergreen and so is Ezra Koenig’s Twitter”

Opinion

Grocery Store Cookies: The Definitive Ranking

I love cookies. This fact probably forms one of the cornerstones of my personality, alongside my semi-nocturnal sleep schedule and my hatred of the B line. Another sad fact of my life is that I am debilitatingly lazy when it comes to cooking. Meals I have eaten this week include: half a bagel; three mandarin oranges, paired with a handful of tortilla chips; one of those Chewy granola bars that are basically candy.

Basically, we’re thriving.

All of this means I never have cooking and/or baking ingredients on hand, because they would absolutely expire before I used them up. Which means I am forced to seek out a homemade-esque cookie alternative elsewhere.

That is where the grocery store comes in. Most grocery store chains have some sort of eerily identical allegedly homemade cookie, in the following varieties: chocolate chip, M&M (or whatever generic word meaning M&M suits your fancy), oatmeal chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar, peanut butter, brownie.

In an astonishingly short amount of time, I have managed to try each and every one of these cookies. Except oatmeal raisin. Oatmeal raisin cookies are simply granola bars.

Now, it’s time to rank them. This will be done through a rubric based on chewiness (a must), overall flavor (obviously), whether they are somewhat gross (an occupational hazard of factory-line desserts), and if I could make quick work of a whole bag.

Continue reading “Grocery Store Cookies: The Definitive Ranking”

City

Christmas Items at Target: A Review

There are very few purely, truly, unambiguously one hundred percent Good things in this world. It is the nature of living. But there are fully good things to be found. That picture of Orlando Bloom delightedly bicycling with a small dog in a makeshift Babybjörn, for instance. Or the cinematic masterpiece Zendaya is Meechee.

Three such gifts to humanity are Target, Christmastime, and ridiculous and unnecessary items that cost less than $10. As Justin Bieber once said, “It’s the most beautiful time of the year”: the time when the Target dollar spot is transformed into a shrine to yuletide.

The only thing that could make these items better is a full, thoughtful, very serious review.

Continue reading “Christmas Items at Target: A Review”

Globe

Keeping Up with Faraway People

I hate beginning friendships, but I love maintaining them. There are few things as great in this world as talking to someone you may not have spoken to in a while, but whom you know you could pick up with like no time had passed at all. In fact, probably only two things are better: warm cookies, and that occurrence when you get inside and just as you get in the sky opens up and boom torrential rain, but it couldn’t get you, because you are more powerful than nature itself.

Anyway. It’s not always easy to keep up with people who aren’t physically near you, but it is worth it, both because it’s nice and it makes going home for the holidays a hell of a lot less awkward. You try meeting up with your old group of friends if you’ve ghosted them for a semester.

Not cute. Here are five tips to avoid that direness.

Continue reading “Keeping Up with Faraway People”

Campus

When Your Roommate is Your Best Friend

I hate making new friends. It is awkward, and stressful, and involves “putting yourself out there” and “taking risks,” two of my all-time least favorite activities. Also, like most things I hate, I am bad at it.

Which is why after my freshman year of college, I decided to leave a place where I was comfortable and had friends and knew people and was so close to home I could go home any weekend. It makes complete sense that I would abandon that for a city six to eight hours away where I knew no one and would be living with total strangers.

Especially considering the fact that I handled my first new-college experience very well. (Narrator: She did not handle it well.)

Continue reading “When Your Roommate is Your Best Friend”

Campus

How to Stay on Top of School (Without a Mental Breakdown)

When it comes to school, I have precisely two modes. Either I am living my life as if I have never before attended school, as though for all intents and purposes I am the human equivalent of a tumbleweed, drifting through life with no burdens or responsibilities; or I am a sleepless zombie editing the same sentence of a paper that isn’t due for three days until the sun rises. There is absolutely no in between.

Since high school, I have dedicated all of my energy to making sure that I do not revert into Anthropomorphic Tumbleweed Mode, which means it’s been all school obsession all the time. In the hopes of preventing a mental breakdown or two, I’ve been trying to chill out a bit. Here are some of the ways to maintain that balance.

Continue reading “How to Stay on Top of School (Without a Mental Breakdown)”

Art

Favorite Fall Reads

The best reading season is inarguably fall. Summer is sometimes nice for reading outside, except that actually it’s super hot and sweaty and buggy and awful. People glorify “beach reads,” but books get all sandy and suncreen-y and warped just from being near the ocean, I guess. (Insert Danny from The Mindy Project shouting “I fear the ocean out of respect” here.) Reading in the winter is terrible because it’s constantly freezing, and if you’re wrapped in a blanket, your hands are exposed in order to hold the book. Unless you’re in possession of a Snuggie, months of suffering ensue. And spring is mostly just Winter: The Sequel.

But fall…fall is the best. It’s a mix of nice days—you can read outside and the trees are pretty!—and brisk days—you can read inside and be super comfy! Also, hot beverages make their triumphant return, and everyone knows that there is no better way to read than with a cup of coffee/tea/cocoa/cider.

Luckily, there are also a ton of books that fit perfectly with fall. Whether they take place during the season, are ideal to curl up with, or just feel cozy and atmospheric, some books just scream “autumn.” (And not just because they’re thrillers or horrors and therefore feel Halloween-y. That’s the coward’s way out of a fall recommendation list. No, we’re going genre by genre.)

Continue reading “Favorite Fall Reads”