A new apparatus has made an appearance in our ballet studio, unannounced. What is it, you ask? Does it come with an instruction manual?

Nonsense! Who needs that? After studying it over hours of ballet torture, its presence has become self-explanatory to me. But I’ll enlighten, if it hasn’t spoken to you as of yet.

I present: THE FRUSTRATION MACHINE!

Falling out of that pirouette? Can’t seem to hold your balance? Missing every combination? Don’t be so perturbed! Simply use the frustration machine to reset your emotions to the proper level of focus. Grab the handles, line your forehead up with the rolled towel, and bash your head against it repeatedly until all anger over failed ballet has been exorcized.

Is that not cutting it? Still driven insane by your inability to perform even the simplest of steps? Teacher getting you down, and it seems like there’s just no escape? Allow us to put you out of your misery! Upgrade to: THE BEHEADREST!

Just grab the handles, scooch your head up a bit so that your neck rests comfortably on the padding, then have your closest friend or class-mate do the honors of beheading you! (Axe sold separately.)

Clearly my mind wanders during class…

Some boys are rather stupid about the whole vegetarian deal.

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Who the hell doesn’t eat sweet potatoes or plums? I mean regardless of whether I, with my wild vegetarian ways, am trying to force-feed you everything I eat, I hardly think those two items are so outrageous. Once I come at you with seaweed and tempeh- sure, run for the hills. But if you shy at the thought of a sweet potato and a plum, I think there are larger issues afoot, and they aren’t to do with my eating habits.

I get myself into the worst situations.

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You know what happened after that? S texted L back that he hadn’t even seen me. Yes- I would have gotten away with this accidental stalking, if I hadn’t made L tell S about it. This seemed like a good point to just go ahead and exile myself from life. But instead I carried on and for some reason we are all still friends. Actually upon reflection, I must have some very strong redeeming qualities if my friends put up with all this insanity and still like having me around. Anyway, the lesson learned from this episode of ali ridiculous embarrassment- wear shoes and bring the dog.

I’m looking into becoming a professional M&M eater. I’ve heard it can be very lucrative.

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We are all hilarious and crazy. Put together we only get more so. For clarification, there is my mom and dad; brother, Joe; and sister, Julie.

This is what happens when we are all stuck in a car together:

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This is what happens when we all go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant together:

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This is a card my Dad gave to my sister to indicate they’d be helping her buy a car for Christmas. Note that in the illustration they are both bare-ass naked. With the exception of what appears to be some thigh-high stockings and high heels on my mom, and a belt on my dad. Hilarious and disturbing and thoroughly unprovoked.

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My little cousins also show some promise.

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I’m gonna blame this on serial-killer Ken’s troubled adolescence.  He was born without junk, after all. That’s gotta be very emotionally scarring.

But seriously, I love my family so much!

The Top 10 Things You Need To Know

(as told through some of our most prime text convos)

10.  This is our favorite game:

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9.  He has some promising ideas…

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8.  We have an agreement that if we’re both 40 and still single, we’re marrying each other. We’ve already discussed our sexual preferences.

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(On an aside, the article in question is this work of genius: http://www.nerve.com/advice/ridiculous-tips/the-best-of-ridiculous-tips-for-a-miserable-sex-life-emcosmopolitan-em-edition)

7.  Sometimes we are terrible people.

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6.  I’m not allowed to blue-ball him. But more importantly, he needs to learn to group his thoughts appropriately.

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5.  Sometimes he can be very insensitive.

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4.  Douchebags, be warned. He’ll know you when he sees you.

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3.  He’s kinda handsome in a panda-type way.

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2.  We know how to party.

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1.  His favorite drink is The Desire.

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Junior year of high school my friends and I would spend some of our nights running around pretending to be zombies. I don’t particularly feel the need to justify this because it was so insanely fun, but if you must know, it was for a chemistry-film project. We’d dress for the part (green/brown body paint, tattered skimpy clothes, crazy hair), and roam the hills, lumbering about and breathing heavily and doing whatever else we imagined zombies did.

During one of these filming sessions there was a long break where we weren’t being used. My friends, Erin and Mikkie and I decided we wanted to run down the hill topless. This I won’t justify, because it was just one of those inexplicable things we liked to do as teenagers.

We started down. Mikkie, being a gentleman volunteered to run ahead of us so he wouldn’t see Erin and I with our girly bits. It was exhilarating. Our feet padded the ground in the quiet, cool night air slipped past us, we whopped and frolicked, and were delightfully youthful. Then we rounded the corner and out of nowhere popped out Creepy Arnold with his video camera! Erin and Mikkie dashed to the left, and I leaped off the path to the right. Except unbeknownst to me, the path was bordered on that side by a chain strung through posts every 20ft or so. As I launched myself out of Creepy Arnold’s view, the chain caught me squarely across the shins, sweeping my feet out from under me, and sending me hurtling through the air, topless, into a bush.

And that is how I learned the true meaning of look before you leap.

 

Btw, if you were wondering what zombies looked like…

zombie clan

(Hobo bait.)

Let me tell you straight: there is a thin line between being a romantic and being certifiably insane. Really there may not even be a line. I have high suspicion the two are one in the same.

Now if you are a normal person, and to you being a romantic means you like receiving flowers and having dinner by candlelight, you’re probably safe from the asylum. But if you are me (and we know what that entails), let me introduce the patent-pending  “what the fuck am I doing?” test, a small protection against the straitjacket. This test is unfortunately usually administered in the throes of romantic insanity. A preemptive strike would be ideal, but if you ever find yourself mid-romantic-pursuit asking, “what the fuck am I doing?” it’s a sure sign you’ve failed the test and should cease and desist immediately. I shall give you some examples:

Example #1) Life in the Trees

That spring of the clumsy gargoyle conundrum {http://alilake.com/the-time-i-tried-to-impress-a-boy-and-fell-off-my-roof/}, I apparently developed a prediliction for doing normal things at abnormal elevations in the name of being romantic and original and some sort of self-perceived extraordinary girl. I spent a few occasions in the various trees of my front yard and nearby park reading books and writing in my diary. If the “what the fuck am I doing?” test had been created at this point, it would have been duly administered, and such irrational behavior would have stopped. Unfortunately if hadn’t, so I stayed ignorant of the absurdity of my actions and somehow imagined that the love of my life would walk by one day, see me up in my tree, and realize that a squirrel-girl mutant was what he’d been searching for all along. This event did not occur. But I did eventually realize that life in a tree was uncomfortable and a real hassle if I dropped my pen. So fortunately this particular shenanigan petered out of its own accord.

Example #2) Walking at Night, Barefoot in a White Dress

This really was insane. And 1000% failed the test. I think the inspiration for this lunacy came from that iconic scene in Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth Bennet goes walking in the heath and runs into Mr. Darcy. He proposes and they live happily ever. (As a rule, we romantics love Pride and Prejudice). Well this all turned out well and good for Lizzy, but she’s a fictional character after all, and I’m pretty sure that in this scene she did in fact have the sense to be wearing shoes. The problem with applying this scenario to real life is that suburbia does not contain much heath. So after wandering around the sidewalk a bit, I wound my way to the park. I really don’t know why the lack of shoes seemed necessary- I think I just dislike hearing every step I take (this has gotten me into trouble before. See http://alilake.com/the-time-i-was-a-stalker/). But park gravel is painful on the bare tootsies. Also, you know who’s in the park at night? It ain’t Mr. Darcy. Nope, I’d say hobos and rapists mostly. This realization is when the “what the fuck am I doing?” test kicked in, and I abandoned my nighttime outing. Lesson learned: unless hobo/rapist is your type, or you are one of those creepy little-girl ghosts out of a scary movie, you really have no business walking through the park barefoot and in a white dress at night.

In conclusion, being a romantic is largely incurable, as it probably should be. I can’t help having hope that one of my romantic follies will pay off and I’ll live that happily ever after. But in the meanwhile, I highly suggest from time to time asking yourself, “what the fuck are you doing?”. I imagine the chances of meeting the love of your life are severely diminished when you’re confined to a white padded cell.

(no fiddling was actually involved)

(No fiddling was involved.)

I’ll confess I am a bit of a romantic. …Of the delusional type. Certain ideas come to me under the rose-tinted guise of romanticism only later upon execution to be starkly revealed as pure insanity. Usually with some sort of physically painful/highly embarrassing retribution involved. This was such a case.

I liked a boy, and had obviously had some success in beguiling him with my various charms as he was coming that night to visit me. Yet for some reason, residing in my house to wait for him like one of the normal human species seemed inadequate. I had the idea that I would seem so unusual and exciting if I waited for him on the roof as if I’d been stargazing. How suburbanly-pastoral of me, yes?

So I climbed up onto my roof and set up, perched to await him. Eventually he came walking along (he lived near enough), and texted that he’d arrived. Of course I already knew this, as I had not at all creepily observed his approach from my vantage point.

“Look up,” I responded.

His gaze lifted to observe my placement atop the roof. An image in which I can only imagine I at best appeared roosted as some sort of absurd big bird, but more likely worse- a looming insane real-life gargoyle. However, at the time I thought it to come off with a sort of quirky charm. I couldn’t comprehend how he could be so obtuse as to not want to join me up there. (Current reflection has provided a few valid possibilities.)

Anyhow, as he had refused my invitation, I began descent to his plebeian level. A descent that in my mind would display my cat-like agility and grace. Alas, although I am a dancer, normal-world coordination has never been my strong point. But I must admit, in this case a lack of common sense may (definitely) have been the greater culprit.

My path up had involved climbing a tree and walking along the tops of fences. One of the fences bordered our recycling and garbage bins. The fence was sturdy, if narrow, but in deciding my path down, it occurred to me that I could take a short cut between the two fence edges by simply walking straight across the tops of the recycling and garbage. I, however, did not factor into the equation that A) the bins were made out of malleable plastic, and B) THAT THEY WERE ON WHEELS.

With thoughtless aplomb I lowered my weight onto the recycling bin, making it about a step and a half onto the garbage before the lids inverted and my ingenious short-cut rolled out from under me. The bins flipped, and I found myself hanging off my roof’s gutter by one hand.  Amidst the cacophony of cans, glass, and trash capsizing, my grasp slipped and I clattered to the ground with the rest of it.

The only thing cat-like about my descent was that I fell off the roof and lived to tell the tale. Really I was much more raccoon as I emerged from the (thankfully?) concealing darkness of that side path, slinking culpably away from my crime scene where I had thoroughly, and noisily, wreaked havoc upon our garbage.

“Uh are you all right?”

I pulled myself together, and put on the airs of someone who, if not having fully intended to do that, at the very least had not deviated too far from her original game-plan. Laughing breezily, I combed my fingers through my mussed hair.

“Oh yeah, I’m fine- just slipped. Sounded worse than it actually was.”

And with that I ushered him inside.

Trying to remember back, what happened afterwards was mostly eclipsed by that spectacular greeting. But I’m pretty sure that night we ended up making out in my bed. So my advice is this: even if you start the night as a disastrously clumsy gargoyle, never say die. Some boys might be into that.

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