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Don’t you hate getting into an elevator sometimes? People can make elevators can be one of the most frightening places. I don’t mean that I’m terrified it’s going to break and plummet to the ground; I trust the engineering behind it. I’m talking about the CRAZY people who inadvertently make sharing a small space for less than a minute incredibly unbearable. But the times you get out breathing a sign of relief are contrasted by the times you get out with a smile on your face. Now if everyone had a little manners in the elevator, we’d all be happier.park-047

  1. Don’t make out with anyone in the elevator. Really. You can save it for later. I don’t think there is a faster way to make everyone in the elevator thoroughly uncomfortable.
  2. Leave the loud music at home. If my eardrums hurt when you enter the elevator, I’m guessing you probably have ear damage already and will be deaf by 30. It’s for your own good.
  3. Try not to overcrowd. If the elevator is full, have the courtesy to wait for the next one. Especially if you are with a group of people, don’t try to fit in with everyone else. Worst case scenario and you are trapped in an elevator with barely enough space to stand.
  4. Have a little humor. If you hit the wrong button or step on a toe, crack a joke. Everyone appreciates being able to laugh a little at the situation.
  5. Unless your leg is broken or something, use the stairs if you are going up/down only one floor. Don’t be that lazy.
  6. Try to avoid strong scents: carrying something odorous, strong cologne or perfume. Even when you are not in an elevator if you are emitting an overpowering a scent. That’s bad under normal circumstances. Not in a small space.
  7. Uh, don’t block the door. Be courteous to the people behind you who need to get out.
  8. Wait until people exit before you rush into the elevator. Nobody wants to get run over.
  9. Make sure the people behind you have space, especially if you have a large backpack, you can unwittingly squeeze someone into the wall. I hate it when people seriously invade my personal space or block me into a corner. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
  10. Smile and say something. It’s the perfect time to give a complement or ask a question about whatever thing someone’s carrying. You’ll spend less than a minute with these people in your life, make it worth something. Everyone wins.
How to not make enemies in an elevator
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bearhurst2-097

This is my pretty little butterfly kite.

Everyone has a few things that always make them feel like a kid, that you never grow out of. And even if you might not enjoy it for yourself anymore, you always enjoy seeing someone else who gets excited about the things you used to love. This list is just some of my favorites. Let’s keep it going, leave a comment: what makes you feel like a little kid?

  1. Tickling. I’m sorry for you if you aren’t ticklish, although not too sorry because you can always tickle someone else.
  2. Eating popsicles on a hot summer day.
  3. Flying kites on a day with blue skies.
  4. Making paper snowflakes in the winter.
  5. Jumping in leaf piles in autumn.
  6. Rolling up your pants and wading in a lake.
  7. Blowing bubbles.
  8. Getting something that you’ve wanted for a long time.
  9. Christmas.
  10. Drinking hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows.
  11. Just being in a toy store.
  12. Watching favorite old cartoons. (I will always love Tom and Jerry)
  13. Counting down the days until a holiday or big event.
  14. Sitting on the swings in the park or your backyard.
  15. Running barefoot in the grass.
  16. Dressing up in a silly costume.
  17. Finger painting.
  18. Spinning around in circles until you are too dizzy to walk in a straight line.
  19. Lying on the ground and trying to find shapes in fluffy clouds (after you spin around of course).
  20. Bedtime stories.
  21. Going to the zoo.
  22. Wishing on a shooting star.
  23. Making flower crowns.
  24. Running through sprinklers.
  25. Blowing out candles on your birthday.
  26. Playing with play dough.
  27. Jumping in puddles on a rainy day.
  28. Pressing flowers in between the pages of a book.
  29. Tag.
  30. Reading Dr. Seuss books.
  31. Old lullabies.
  32. Wearing pigtails.
  33. Riding on a carousel.
  34. Easter egg hunts.
  35. Hide-and-seek.
  36. Drawing on the sidewalk with chalk.
  37. Licking the spoon after mixing brownies.
  38. Making snowmen.
  39. Throwing snowballs at people.
  40. Sandcastles on the beach.
  41. Petting a dog.
  42. Squirt guns and water balloons.
  43. Singing just because.
  44. Catching toads and then letting them go.
  45. Climbing trees.
  46. Talking to inanimate objects.
  47. Naming inanimate objects.
  48. Yo-yos.
  49. Cotton candy.
  50. Coloring with crayons.
  51. Doing something embarrassingly clumsy.
  52. Old Disney movies.
  53. Giving someone you love a present.
  54. Fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.
  55. Hugs.

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Boys and boogers

BoogerI love the feeling of uncooked rice in my hand… without boogers.

It was innocent enough. A few years ago, when I was living with my family, I was cooking some rice. I reached in to grab a handful to put in the pot, and STOPPED.

It felt soooo good. I swished my hand around in the rice container a little, loving the smooth feeling of the grains slipping between my fingers. Someone else had to experience it; to know how wonderful the simple sensation was!

I yelled to my younger brother, and told him that he had to come try this. He came over and I explained to him that he had to put his hand in the rice container -it just felt really cool. Dutifully, he stuck his hand in the container, leaving it there motionless for a moment. Then, looking at me with a completely straight face, he told me the unthinkable.

“I was just picking my nose.”

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I am iPod impaired

StellaI was devilishly delighted the other day when I saw someone who was trying to untangle their twisted earbuds. At last, someone who understands the pain I endure! This poor person with the tangled wires has enlightened my life, for now I know that I am not alone!

I’ve never seen anyone else pull out a massive tangle of wires, and I suspect there is a secret to it… or people just hide while they straighten out the mess. If there is a memo to untangle earbud wires in private, I never got it and have been left as the one awkward person embarrassing everyone by doing my untangling in public. Everyone just seems to have their wires perfectly in place. I’ve tried to wrap the earbud wires several different ways so that I can discreetly unravel them and be on my way. There is some sort of iPod grace that I clearly lack as a newbie, and can only hope that it is learned, because if it is instinctive then I missed the boat and am doomed to be the awkward iPod user.

I just got an iPod Nano about three months ago, which means my first generation is everyone else’s fourth generation. It’s particularly frustrating because I’m generally a very competent person, and have no problems figuring out a new device or fixing problems. Yet, whenever I have my little orange iPod out, I’m incredible conscious that I get the long white wires caught on everything, they always get tangled, the earbuds never stay in my ears, and I’m likely to get run over by a car because I can’t hear well. This thin little device with twin chords seems to thwart all my best efforts.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten the wires caught on an earring, or the earbud ripped from my ear by a mischievous doorknob. It always startles me, and usually dislodges the earbud plug from the iPod. It always stops me in my tracks and causes me quite a bit of time to collect myself from the trauma
I’ve become quite convinced that I’m iPod impaired. I always see people with their little earbuds in, and they look so carefree and happy. I enjoy the music when I’m not distracted by all the mechanics, but most of the time I feel far more clumsy and inept. I would love to be able to dance with my own iPod like the Apple advertisements, jog down the street like the people dedicated to being healthy… or even sit on a train like everyone else with skinny white cords dangling from their ears.

I can’t even sit on a train without constantly fighting to keep the earbuds in my ears. I’m sure they were made as a one-size-fits-all (which often fits none), and I am clearly left out of “all” the people who have a standard-shaped ear. The worst is when I’m sharing earbuds with a friend, and they give me sideways looks as the earbud drops from my ear every thirty seconds. They mistakenly conclude they have been pulling it out and try to sit incredibly still, or even apologize. Their confusion recedes when I assure them it is not their fault; my ears were simply not designed for holding small, round pieces of plastic. They then bestow upon me amused, pitying, or haughty glances as their own earbud stays snugly in place. They understand now.

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fishyI don’t know where it came from, or why it happened, but I’ve developed a strange affinity for my fish. I rescued my little red Beta from Waly-Mart last June (June 21, 2008 to be specific). He’s a fighting fish, and very vicious actually. That is him in the picture, and the size is about accurate.

He didn’t eat for the first week I had him. I would drop the little brown pellets into the water and he would completely ignore them. He had no interest in eating at all. I was terrified that I would look into his bowl and he would be floating, dead. I just wanted to take care of him, I didn’t want him to die! He was the first fish that I can ever remember owning and he HATED ME! Or was simply in the most complete state of indifference that a fish can experience.

I imagine that being underwater, he can’t hear very well (or at least takes it as an excuse to ignore me). So to let him know that I had dropped in his food, I would blow gently on the surface of the water. He would notice the ripples and speed to the surface to see what was going on. At that point he would see the food and chase after it. He used to spit it out a couple times before he would actually eat it. He has better manners now.

He’s the smartest fish I’ve every known. Not that I’ve known many fish or can ever remember owning any. Although I’m sure there was a goldfish that died when I was five or something like that. But this little fishy can recognize and remember patterns, and I’ve found that I can teach him stuff. I have taught him to eat off my finger and bite people so far. I think that I’ll teach him to jump next.

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Over the years, my collection has grown and I now have jars of buttons, categorized by different colors or types (the picture above is a selection of buttons from my blue/green jar). This eccentric little hobby is no longer contained and hidden safely in the closet, away from the sideways glances and comments of “how interesting.” I now receive packages of buttons as gifts for my birthday and Christmas. The amount of jewelry, purses, and other items that I’ve tastefully adorned with buttons proclaim to friends and strangers that I have an unusual affinity for these little objects.

I think I’ve always liked buttons. I couldn’t tell you why, except that I’ve always been attracted to cute little trinkets and things. Buttons were little, usually cute (although I’ve seen some ponderous and unsightly ones in my lifetime), and sort of trinket-y. I started with a few spare buttons, extras that came with a new shirt or that I ripped off old clothes. I’ve sewn or glued buttons onto various purses and clothes, replaced lost ones, made jewelry from these versatile little things, leaving the rest in jars as decorative items. Well, at least my favorite button necklace always gets positive complements.

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