Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Being A Grownup Is The Best, Also, PROTIPS

That, my friends, is a Nerf gun callus. Thanks to Alice M. for reminding us how great it is to be a grownup. When you are a grownup you can
(a) purchase Nerf guns for your boyfriend for his birthday
(b) buy beer in cans specifically for the purpose of 
(c) drinking the beer then setting the cans up in pyramids and 
(d) shooting at the pyramids with your Nerf guns during a party. 

PROTIP #1 (applies to NHL players only): Wear a visor. No, really, just put one on. Why are we still arguing about this? Here are the facts: over 70% of players in the league voluntarily wear a visor. Visors are required in the AHL and college hockey (actually college players wear full cages) and in most European leagues: virtually no one is showing up to the NHL and having to adapt to wearing a visor. (And the rule change would be grandfathered anyway, no one playing now would have to wear one, only players entering the league.) Once or twice a season someone suffers a terrifying injury involving a puck or stick near the eye; often these guys get lucky, but it's not unheard of for a season or career to be ended by this. Not to mention that the guy might be, at least partially blind. For, you know, the rest of his life. Manny Malhotra got taken off the ice this season probably because his peripheral blind spots are now big enough to hide an entire hockey player, which is considered pretty unsafe. Chris Pronger is probably retiring and says his kids scare the crap out of him because they can sneak up on his blind side. Hockey will never be an injury free sport, but these particular injuries can be particularly bad and are pretty much 100% preventable. Nonetheless, the NHLPA and many players advocate for a policy of personal choice. I would really be interested for someone to go back and see if this same debate was occurring back in the late 70s when helmets were made mandatory. Stop being a baby. Put on visor.

PROTIP #2 (if you have a stuck zipper): The zipper on my all-time favorite dragon jacket got stuck while I was in Target this weekend. I was smart enough to not pull it all the way up so I could take the jacket off over my head when I got home, but I couldn't get the zipper undone. As man has done since time immemorial*, I took my problems to the Internet. There were several things that were repeatedly suggested: pencil lead (apparently graphite is a lubricant), wax, and soap. Pencil lead seemed sissy, for zippers that were only a little stuck, so I focussed on wax, soap, and brute force. This did not work. Today, at a loss, I tried pencil lead and wouldn't you know, it did the trick. I guess there's a lesson there or something but I'm distracted by the fact that my favorite jacket is broken:( (I tried the zipper once it was unstuck, but I fear it no longer functions as a zipper should. By the by, I have no idea how zippers work. What happens inside that little metal tag? It might as well be magic.)

*c. 1998

PROTIP #3 (if you live in Chicago): Don't live in Chicago in March. Ugh. It is the worst.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Let's Try This Again

Ugh, I am so offended by gaps in blogs. It almost makes me feel like it's not worth it. Maybe I'll do some retroactive posts. I think blogger will let you do that? In the meantime, let's ease into this again. Since this is a blog about Chicago, hockey, pop culture, and the art of being a grad student, let's talk about that.

Into the part of winter now where it's frigid and dirty and boring. Last week I got tired of all my winter clothes all at once, as usually happens. Generally this portends six to eight weeks of dressing in inappropriately spring-y clothes, and being freezing all the time. So far I've avoided this by raiding the J. Crew sales, but we'll see how long that lasts.

Hawks have a 24-2-3 record. There's really nothing more to say.

Pop culture:
Why is St. Paddy's Day so horrible? On Saturday, I accidentally went to a bar to watch a basketball game, forgetting that it would be full of super-wasted twenty-somethings celebrating St. Paddy's. Don't get me wrong, I like drinking in the morning as much as the next person, but paying a cover to hang out in overcrowded bars with people too drunk to stand or talk or focus their eyes properly and with the ever present and very real threat of being vomited on is not my idea of fun.

The art of being a grad student:
So when you're anxious, your stomach hurts (this falls under the art of being a grad student because it would only be a slight exaggeration to say that most grad students I know are periodically if not perpetually exhibiting signs of anxiety severe enough to warrant therapy. and I'm not really being flip about that). But sometimes it happens the other way around: your stomach hurts, so you're anxious. For example, let's just say, for the sake of the argument, that your nutrition over the last two days has consisted of the following: a giant dim sum brunch, a bag of Mediterranean flavored Terra chips, half a pound of raw cookie dough, half a bottle of Chianti, a bagel with some questionable onion cream cheese, a triple shot of espresso, a Starbucks breakfast sandwich, three pieces of pizza, a cappucino, five cookies, some leftover pasta, and three gin and tonics. (Obviously this is hypothetical, that would be a disgusting way for a grown up to live their life.) Naturally, your stomach might be a bit upset. My reaction to this (hypothetically) is to try to find something that is causing me mental anxiety. This is far more complicated and distressing than drinking some fizzy water and resolving to eat like a sensible person. There's no real resolution to this entirely hypothetical anecdote, unless you count a timid suggestion that maybe cookie dough and wine isn't really an adequate meal.