From the category archives:

How To

How To Sit Next to a Stranger on a Plane

by Marinka on May 9, 2012

This post is sponsored by Schwinn and contains a sponsored video.

1. Do not introduce yourself at the risk of depriving yourself of the Stranger on The Plane ™ phenomenon that’s all the rage.

2. Let him know that you have a fear of flying, well, not so much flying as crashing, so you may be extra chatty.

3. Ask if he minds if you put on the life vest before the flight takes off to “save time” later.

4. When the flight attendant begins to explain what to do “in case of an emergency” take notes. Underline words such as WATER LANDING and put a frowny face next to it. If you note him watching you, explain that you’re a visual person. And also that you like warm colors, what with being an “Autumn” and all.

5. When the flight attendant says “if you are traveling with someone who requires assistance, put an oxygen mask on yourself first before helping them with theirs” nudge your seatmate and say, “just get it on me the first chance you get.”

6. As the plane is taking off, ask what his favorite jingle is. Sing a few to jog his memory as to the options.

7. If his eyes are closed, ask if he’s asleep. Apologize for waking him up, but how were you supposed to know that he was sleeping.

8. Ask if the plane is moving. It doesn’t feel like it’s moving.

9. Ask if he likes games. Ask him to guess what number you’re thinking of. Say “lower” and “higher” randomly.

10. Order wine.

11. Apologize for mistaking him for a sommelier.

12. Ask if he’s ever been to the city you’re traveling to before and if he can recommend a nice family there that you can “get to know better.”

13. Add “if you know what I mean” to that last sentence. Eh, what the heck. Add “if you know what I mean” to any sentence you want.

14. Ask if you’re going to be friends after the plane lands or if this relationship is just one of those “flying high” things.

15. Ask how come when he asked the flight attendant if he could sit in another row, he didn’t ask for two seats together.

16. As the plane lands, confess that you are disappointed in how the relationship turned out.

17. When deplaning, let him know that “we’ll always have Row 17!” Feel free to add “If you know what I mean.”

Or, maybe, just ride a bike to your destination instead.


How To Remember Which Months Have 30 Days

by Marinka on March 6, 2012

The list of things that I am bad at includes but is not limited to remembering which months have 30 days and which ones have 31. I know March has 31 because that happens to be my birthday (I’ll wait while you mark your calendar) and I know that February has 28.25, but other than that, I’m not sure.

It’s not my fault that I only have one birthday.

So every once in a while I’ll ask someone “hey, June has 30 days, right?”

And instead of saying “yes!” or “no!” I get a whole load of bullshit.

“Didn’t you ever learn the poem?” a former co-worker asked me once.

“Poem?” I’d cocked my head to the side which is very adorable on me.

“Yes, poem,” she said and then proceeded to recite: “Thirty day hath January, April, June and September all the rest have thirty one except the month of Washington.”

(I’m not sure that that’s the exact poem since as I mentioned earlier who the fuck can remember which months have thirty days. And it also doesn’t rhyme, so I think it’s less of a poem and more of a combination of some words that don’t make sense.)

“Is the month of Washington a new month that hasn’t been rolled out yet?” I asked.

“It’s February,” she said. Something about President’s Day or Denzel’s birthday, got me.

So that didn’t help.

And then more recently someone showed me the knuckle game.

You start with your pinkie knuckle, and that’s the first one, January, 31, and then you go into the flesh part between the pinkie knuckle and the ring finger knuckle and that’s February, so not 31, and so on.

Except the whole thing hinges on remembering that January has 31 days, which is where things start to fall apart for me. And also who wants to sit at their desk tapping her knuckles like a junkie looking for a knuckle vein. And what if you happened to have lost a finger knuckle in a knife fight, how are you going to play this?

So here’s my secret tip for remembering: Get a calendar. And then flip to the month you’re wondering about and look. If the month shows 31 days, that means that there are 31 days during that month. And if the month shows 30 days, there are 30 during that month.

And leave the poetry nonsense to the pros.


How To Live With A Teenager

February 1, 2012

1. Receive an email from your teenager with a subject line “I’m too lazy to walk over to your room so I’m emailing you instead!!!!” 2. Rejoice that you’ve raised such an energy-efficient child. 3. Read the email and learn that your teen and her BFF want to learn a foreign language so that they […]

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How To Unsubscribe From E-Mail Updates

January 19, 2012

1. Subscribe to an email alert. Perhaps it’s from a local restaurant. That offers a .3% discount if you subscribe to their email alerts. 2. Receive an email update. Think, ooh! an email update! How fun! 3. After two years of daily email updates of such ilk as panini sale! And get ready for summer […]

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How To Apologize

January 12, 2012

Welcome back to the How-To series. In past posts, we’ve explored How To Ride an Escalator and How To Change The Toiler Paper Roll. Today we are going to tackle How To Apologize. Ready? 1. If you were wrong, admit that you were wrong. 2. Say something along the lines of “I’m sorry. I regret […]

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How To Change The Toilet Paper Roll

December 5, 2011

Welcome back to the absolutely-no-award-winning series where I teach you how to do things. Through my loving leadership, we already learned how to take the escalator and how to decide when to use Reply vs. Reply All , so we are now feeling advanced. That’s why I think we are ready to tackle The Art […]

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Tips For Attending A Writing Conference

October 17, 2011

Later this week I will be attending the first ever writing conference sponsored by BlogHer and Penguin in NYC. Obviously I am excited! This is a stepping stone to a literary career and I expect to come out of it with a few agents, a bidding war and a Pulitzer Prize in Yet Unwritten Works. […]

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Reply Vs. Reply All

September 26, 2011

Today, I turn into an educator that I always knew I could be and share some wisdom with you. This summer we already mastered riding an escalator, so there’s obviously no stopping us now! (Until we get to the end of the escalator ride, that is!) Let’s begin! Situation One: Oh, look! You got an […]

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