Top Ten: Signs Your Extra-Curricular Drinking May Be Out of Control

College is awesome… it’s friggin awesome.  You get to eat what you want, stay up until whenever you want, and get away with just about anything you can imagine.  So it’s natural that we all get carried away every once in a while.  Here are ten warning signs you should look for when wondering if it’s time to stage an intervention.

10.) Listen carefully the next time your cellie is blowing up.  If your ring tone library includes polyphonic versions of Buy You A Drank, Party Like a Rock Star, and even the time-honored Margaritaville, there is a 47 percent chance you have a drinking problem.  Hey, don’t look at me, Buster, that’s a well-known fact.

9.) Having the bouncers know you by name is not a bad thing.  In fact, I think it’s pretty bad-ass, and I have to say I admire people who are cool enough to evoke memories upon entry to their favorite watering hole.  But when the street cleaners can I.D. you the next morning by the brown-and blonde-highlighted messy pony tail and silver purse, you’ve officially gone a bit too far.

8.) I love borrowing friend’s clothes as much as the next girl.  It’s great.  I mean, your wardrobe expands exponentially, and it’s an easy way to experiment with your personal style without depleting your bank account.  But when you get so trashed you borrow a pair of jeans and don’t even notice your “friend left a bag of coke in the pocket” before you hop in your SUV for a good, old fashioned high-speed chase, it’s probably time to throw in the partying towel.

7.) Senior year can be rough.  There’s the GREs if you’re thinking Grad School, and the job hunt if you’re not — not to mention those pesky senior theses.  And while comparing Russian literature, or creating a working bio-dome may not be for everyone, you can officially say you have a drinking problem when your Linguistics Thesis Topic is “Beirut vs. Beer Pong: The Debate Over Drinking Terminology in the Modern American Lexicon.”

6.) You and your roomies are utterly adorable.  You bake cupcakes for each other’s birthdays, and heat up soup for each other when someone is stuck inside with a nasty cold.  You even post all major achievements on the refrigerator door.  There’s dean’s list announcements, A papers, academic awards, newspaper clippings… then there’s your sole achievement: An Honorable Mention at the 2007 All-Campus Beer Olympics.

5.) We all remember the famous Freshman Fifteen.  It’s still haunting us, and we have just now come terms to the fact that our favorite dress from high school is never going to zip again.  But when you’ve added on enough six packs of Corona that you have to start buying pants with elastic waist bands it’s time to call it quits and pick up a Diet Coke instead.

4.) If you walk around campus saying “that’s hot,” while carrying a tea-cup Chihuahua and singing about blind stars, you are not only a raging alcoholic, but a threat to feminism everywhere.

3.) We all thought it was cute when Will Ferrell streaked the Quad in “Old School.”  Well, disturbing and cute, I guess.  But the truth is, if you ever, EVER find yourself kicking off your shoes and stripping down to your skippies at the center of your campus, stop.  Drink a bottle of water, and rethink this plan.  You’ll thank me later.

2.) Holiday shopping can be pretty stressful.  What do you get your lab partner?  What about that kid in your calc class that you have a slightly inappropriate crush on?  And your roommates?  Man, why is it so stressful?  Fortunately for you, your friends had no problem figuring out what you wanted.  They all pooled their money and bought you stock in your fave beer company.

1.) Your grades have been suffering a bit this semester, but there’s one class you know you can count on to give your GPA a little boost.  You show up for your Beer and Wine Appreciation class early every week, stay late, and even offer to do extra credit assignments as often as possible… all because you want to expand your mind [cough, liver].

Don’t Run With Scissors

My Mom always told me that. “Margaret! Are you running with scissors? How many times do I have to tell you NOT to run with scissors?!?” I never actually counted the amount of times, but I’m pretty sure it’s more than a few dozen. I was a reckless child. I never wore shoes, I tried teaching myself gymnastic moves, I climbed trees, and I ran with scissors.

I always thought Mom told me to stop because I’m a klutz and would inevitably trip over a doorstop or pet and plummet to my scissory death. Now I know better. Perhaps Mom was trying to tell me that when scissors are involved, it’s best not to do anything rash.

She would, of course, advise against my latest impulse decision.

While driving home yesterday, I sat at a stoplight, playing with my hair as always, examining the tips, and making sure I didn’t have any split ends. I grabbed a chunk at the top of my forehead, pulled it over my face and thought for a moment, “I think I would look good with bangs.”

Twenty minutes later I was standing in front of my mirror, asking myself, “What have I done?”

Cutting your hair on an impulse, I have since decided, is not as good an idea as one might think. But that’s the problem with me. I seem to do things impulsively.

When it comes to things like studying and planning for the future, I’m as freakishly meticulous as possible. While applying for internships last year, I kept two spreadsheets, multiple manila folders, and a clipboard dedicated to the task. My textbooks are usually lined with Post it notes, and checking off an item on a to-do list is about the best natural high I have ever experienced.

But if I decide on a whim that it would be fun to, say, jump off a roof in Georgetown, I’m gonna jump. And if I’m on the highway, I’m gonna speed. Maybe it’s because I have no patience. Maybe it’s because I’m just a pain in the ass. Either way, I tend to upset my mother (who I refuse to tell about the Great Shearing Incident of 2007 until she sees for herself in about a month) with my impulses.

But who can blame me for this one? I mean, bangs are in, right? Just think Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. She’s got that whole unnaturally-pale-skin-with-chunky-bangs thing going on. And as someone cursed with permanently eggshell skin, I figured if she can make it work, so can I. Bad call, Maggie. Bad call. I’m no Anne Hathaway, except for maybe in The Princess Diaries, when she falls off the side of her chair while trying to learn how to cross her legs… that’s got me written all over it.

So, in short. If I can offer just a couple pieces of advice that I have recently learned the hard way, I would say:
1.) Patience is a virtue. Try a bit harder than me to be virtuous.
2.) Leave your hair to people trained in that field.
3.) Just because something looks uber-cute on a celebrity does not mean we should adopt it as our own. [see skinny jeans, big sunglasses]

Destiny: Unemployment

Heather yelled at me during lunch the other day. Apparently her mother googled her and my blog came up in the search. I tried explaining that the only thing I wrote about her is the fact that she emails me approximately 370 times a day, and that if you click on the her link, it just brings you to an article she wrote for USA TODAY a couple weeks ago, but she was still upset.

And then I thought about it for a bit. We just can’t help it. We’re google-able. We leave a footprint everywhere we go. I mean, think about it. We have Facebook and MySpace and blogs, and we write for newspapers and magazines, and it’s just impossible for us to stay untraceable.

And that’s something that freaks moms out. My mom is fiftysomething (we’ll leave it at that, in case she ever stumbles upon this blog), and even though we have had the internet for about 15 years in my house, she still freaks out about social networking sites, and the way I portray myself online. I guess moms have to worry now, considering the fact that 29,000 sexual predators were reported to have been found on MySpace a couple days ago.

But that’s not even what she’s freaking out about. She insists upon telling me over and over again that employers will look at my Facebook to see if I’m a suitable employee. It’s repetitive, and redundant, and repetitive, and redundant.

So I thought I would examine my Facebook profile with a critical eye, looking at it the way my mother or a potential employer would look at it.

Name. Networks. No problem there. Then. What? Wait a minute…. My profile says I’m in a relationship with another girl!

No need to freak out here, Mom, Dad and possible employers. Just because I’m in a relationship with a chick on my profile does not mean I’m a lesbian. The girl I’m listed as in a relationship with happens to be my best friend, and if you look at a lot of girls’ profiles, you’ll see there are tons of females in fake relationships with other females. Of course, I pointed this out to my mother one day, and all she said was “Well, you never know what a possible employer would think.” But I do know this: I refuse to work for homophobes. So if that’s going to be the thing that stops me from getting a job, then I’m better off that way.

Scrolling down I see my address, screen name (which means that at any given time someone can check my away message and see my new favorite “that’s what she said” joke), activities (which will all be listed on my resume anyway), and interests. Can my interests get me in trouble?

Well, two of them look questionable. I have Anderson Cooper listed as an interest. This means that perhaps if CNN is looking to hire me they will probably end up doing a background check. Bad news bears. They’re going to find out about that incident when I followed him home, hid behind his oak tree, camped out across the street, and stared at his wonderfulness through binoculars for 63 days straight. There go my cable news dreams. And sweet lord! It even says I enjoy wearing white shoes after Labor Day. Good bye kick-ass job at Conde Nast. Well, the dream was great while it lasted, but honestly, you can’t expect a girl without a fashion conscience to ever survive in the world of magazine journalism can you? Looks like getting a job is going to be harder than I thought. Thanks, Facebook.

Then there’s my music. This poses only one problem: Potential employers will think I am twelve-years-old and wonder why I am applying for this job. Seriously, who listens to Skye Sweetnam, Aslyn, and The Bangles? Movies, more of the same. Although I still defend The Prince and Me as one of the greatest films of all time.

The next thing employers will see is that my favorite book is 1984… ironic. And that I like pretty typical, main-stream literature for a twentysomething, like The Bell Jar. Plus, all the novels I’ve written have crappy names. Score negative two points for originality, Miss Gordon. Your utter blandness and lack of creativity goes to show that you will never make it far in this world. Unless you’re ambidextrous. Are you ambidextrous? No? That’s a shame.

Quotes: Gandhi’s “Be the change.” Gloria Steinem. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Translation: I’m a pompous D-Bag who obviously thinks she’s better than the rest of the world… I have no come back for this. All I can say is that I hope the Jiminy Cricket quote makes up for it, without bringing us back to the point about me being a twelve-year-old again.

What’s next? Well, there’s my wall, which is laced with sarcastically dirty comments more than 60 percent of the time. People are going to think I’m a walking brothel. Which would be great if I were trying to get written about in a magazine, not trying to do the actual writing.

But that’s it. That’s all the horror my page holds. Unless — oh no! They’re not going to look at my pictures, too, are they? Let’s see. Inappropriate joke about the Washington Monument, standing in line for the Harry Potter book at midnight, drinking, drinking, standing, drinking, sunburn, drinking…

Well, I think we all know what this means. I hope you’re starting to like my blog guys, because it might be the only writing I ever get to do…

Miss me?

Sorry I am not really posting today. Between work and Harry Potter, there’s not really much time. All I can say is, let’s pray that one of two things happens:
1.) Harry and Ginny finally realize this whole breakup was a HORRIBLE idea.
2.) Ron and Hermione actually kiss.

What? Sex sells.

Top Ten Reasons I Should Be A Barbie Doll

10.) I don’t know about you, but I think it would be one small step for Barbie, and one giant leap for girl kind to have such a popular doll walk around with a copy of bell hooks’ “Feminism Is For Everybody” at all times.

9.) One of two things will happen: either Barbie will start rolling around town in a grayish-purple 1996 Mercury Sable, or I will get the convertible I always wanted. Either way, score one for branching out of your vehicular comfort zone.

8.) I always did hate her completely unrealistic body measurements. If I were a Barbie Doll, there would be no controversy over whether it is physically possible to be that tall and skinny at the same time. And we can use all her extra chest plastic to:

a) create extra Barbies for underprivileged children in Africa

—or —

b) sculpt my large booty.

7.) Brunette is the new blonde. Nuff said.

6.) I would definitely bicker with the Mattel CEOs non-stop, eventually wearing them down (that’s a talent of mine), and gaining their support in the creation of a “Green” Barbie. What does this mean? Well, just like the real Maggie, my doll would be 100% biodegradable.

5.) The obvious spin-off into talking Barbies holds infinite possibilities for someone like me. Just pull a string and hear me say, “Ken Doll is for losers, buy a damn cat.” “Down with the patriarchy.” “Has anyone seen my Starbucks?” “Will you shut the hell up? I’m trying to study for my friggin final!” and “My roommate ate my homework… he’s on the lacrosse team.”

4.) I think we can safely say my doll would be BFF with the Mandy Moore Barbie they put out earlier this decade. Awesome.

barbie.jpg3.) I’m pretty sure I would actually be able to get out of having to do a senior thesis for my women’s studies major if I suddenly became a Barbie. I’ve got your feminist analysis right here, Professor!

2.) Maybe this way I could travel back into time and finally fulfill my lifelong goal of being an actor in ‘NSYNC’s It’s Gonna Be Me video. [Note to Justin Timberlake… I had a wonderful time last week, but why haven’t you called?]

1.) Barbie is apparently running for president, but I don’t actually know what her platform is. Maybe, just maybe, if she had a new friend who just so happened to be a journalist (ok, ok, aspiring journalist) with good communication skills, she would be able to get her word out to the public, and her White House dreams could become a reality… as long as she promises not to paint the Oval Office pink. Vom.

I’m Everything I Am, Because You Loved Me

Caffeine:

If being perky is a crime, book me baby! I have a tendency to talk a mile a minute, and sometimes two miles, depending on what-slash-who I’m talking about. Sure, I drop in the words, “like,” “you know,” and “I mean,” at least once every ten seconds, but for the most part, I just yammer on, trying to say as much as possible in as short a time as possible. I guess it’s no wonder I finally turned to blogging – you can tell people stuff even when they’re hundreds, or thousands, of miles away.

But while I pack a cheerleading-squad-full of pep into one 5’8” girl (5’11” today… I love these shoes), don’t for one second think I do it all by myself. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to my life partner: Caffeine. I’m about two years into my addiction, which means in another sixty months, the Venti Starbucks and large Diet Coke I’m slurping (I know, I know, double fisting at the office is so not attractive, yet so necessary) can finally sign off on that civil union the three of us have been planning. Not sure if I would do that in San Francisco or Salt Lake City

Yea. I know, I read the research. Coffee is bad for you. It stunts your growth (please refer back to the last graf, where I admit to being 5’8”… I don’t care if I stop growing now, thank you), gives you the jitters, and turns into this wonderful little thing the experts call an addiction. Addiction?!? I prefer to refer to it as an undying love fest. While my mother would probably (scratch the probably… the comments are getting to the point where I can substitute that word with “most assuredly”) prefer that I find myself a nice man, I am more than content with my coffees, teas, and sodas.

I think my caffeine addiction officially got “bad” — you call it bad, I call it wondrous — fall semester of my junior year at Syracuse. Between my part-time job, RAing, work, and the various clubs and organizations I participate in, I just couldn’t get myself going in the morning. Enter vending machine.

Being an RA has its perks. A sweet meal plan with more than $600 allocated to SUpercard, making vending machine and Dunkin’ Donuts purchases free of real money was glorious. My best friend, Kayleigh, also acknowledges that it was the beginning of the end for me. I began drinking Mountain Dew before I even got to my first class, knowing that if I didn’t have my sacred jolt in the morning, I wouldn’t make it through Advanced Newspaper Reporting. Don’t get me wrong, Professor Niebuhr is nothing short of amazing, but he’s got this soothing voice, like the sound of smooth jazz in the morning.

Kayleigh would freak out as I chugged green 20-ounce bottles of liquid energy, taking multiple gulps without coming up for air. My residents began hiding my soda, telling me I was better off quitting.

“I can quit any time,” I would tell them, half-joking, but partly serious. “Just not today.”

And then I did. Between semesters, I kicked caffeine out of my life, cold turkey. For days I was lying in my bed, eyes open, waiting to fall asleep until five in the morning, sleeping past noon. Dark circles showed up under my eyes, and I admit I was a bit moody, er, well, moodier than usual.

I know what you’re thinking. “It’s all right, Maggie. You quit caffeine because it was good for you. We know it wasn’t easy, but ultimately you stayed away and you’re a better person for it.”

Yea, well, you’re wrong. I picked the habit up, right where I left off when I got back to campus in January. And you know what? I haven’t regretted it for a second. I mean, sure. Caramel macchiatos are about four bucks a pop, and I’m an unpaid intern. But a regular Venti coffee is only two dollars, and if you splash three packets of Splenda and some skim milk in there, it’s just as delish. And come on, have you ever tried taking a bite of chocolate, directly followed by a swig of diet soda? Try it. Come on, try it right now. Eat a Reeses cup, take a sip of soda, and swish the soda around in your mouth. Do you feel that? It’s like a worldwide bubble war in your mouth. You can feel the fizz everywhere, and it’s really one of the coolest sensations ever. And what about…

All right. All right. I have a problem.

This afternoon, I happened to call Daphne Oz, a rising senior at Princeton University, and author of The Dorm Room Diet: The 8-Step Program for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really Works, for an article I’m writing about The Freshman Fifteen (or Junior 20 in my case…) for the magazine I’m interning at this summer, and asked her about her take on college kid’s caffeine consumption.

First, she crushed my dreams by telling me the facts about my beloved Diet Coke. Yea, I knew it didn’t have calories, that’s why I buy it by the bathtub. But no, I hadn’t noticed that with a lack of sugar, it uses sodium to flavor itself. Forty grams of sodium. This, of course, means nothing to me, but she proceeded o explain that this sodium makes my body retain water, as I try to flush the salt from my system… In other words, “I found you, miss new booty.”

She told me it’s better to avoid it if I can, and not to trust Splenda too much. Apparently that’s bad for me, too? Something about linkage to Alzheimers… Her suggestion: working out, eating healthfully, and staying away from simple carbs. Wait? So the Butterfinger bar I had for breakfast the other day was a bad idea?

As much as I wanted to offer her counter-statistics for her argument, explaining that Einstein loved Milky Way Bars, Jesus drank Red Bull, and Joan of Arc lived off Mountain Dew and gummy bears, something about her perky voice made me wonder. Am I going about this all wrong?

Cue panicked attempt to rid caffeine from my system, withdrawal, and misery, followed by a re-entry to the wonderful world of juice boosts one day later, and a Happily Ever After with a Caramel Latte.

Stock ClipArt

Top Ten Ways To Sabotage An Inappropriate Crush’s Current Relationship.

It happens to the best of us. One day you’re sitting there, minding your own business, and the next day you have a completely inappropriate crush. And what’s worse — no matter how much you adore him, there’s just something about him that makes it painfully obvious that you can’t date him. Maybe it’s the age difference. Maybe it’s his horrible taste in shoes. Maybe it’s the fact that he has a girlfriend.
It could be anything. But despite everything, you just can’t stop yourself. And you’ve got to find a way to get that damn girlfriend out of the picture, and maybe buy him some new shoes…

10.) A not-so-brief obsession with two versions of The Parent Trap — Hayley Mills and Lindsay Lohan — can leave a girl with ideas of “submarining” a wench-face your trying to remove from your life. Number ten: Get chummy and invite her camping. Replace her bug repellent with sugar-water; put an amphibian on her Nalgene; convince her clapping sticks together will keep the mountain lions away; and freak her out in a large body of water.

9.) I still remember settling in on a Saturday night with Mom and Dad, getting ready for my favorite show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, waiting patiently for Dr. Mike to kick ass and take names with her stethoscope. My mother, on the other hand, was waiting less patiently for Sully to make his way onto the screen. Number nine: Pull the damsel in distress act. During the first season (episode 13 to be exact), Colleen developed a crush on Sully, and purposely ran away so he could save her. Sure, she almost kicked the bucket due to frostbite, but she got to ride a horse with the hottest mountain man since… well, Sully is actually the hottest mountain man ever.

8.) We’re interns. In Washington. So in case you have never head of a little something called Monicagate, you should know that Washington interns kind of dig authority figures. We dig the Kennedys. So for number eight: Pose a Chappaquiddick.

7.) I grew up on Saturday morning cartoons. And milk and cheerios, of course. But my main bliss in life was Merrie Melodies Marathons in my peejays, watching Sylvester, Bugs, and Road Runner attempt to cunningly outwit their foes. Often times this involved the use of anvils. Other times, there were hypnotists. Number seven: She is getting sleepy. Very, very sleepy. We see her eyes turn to giant swirls, losing consciousness as your voice overwhelms her inner thoughts. You’re hypnotizing her. Now, whenever she hears the sound of a bell, she will turn to her boyfriend and begin explaining all her thoughts, and how she never understood why he wasn’t with you in the first place.

6.) Let me just start this one by throwing out a disclaimer. No. I am not a horrible person. I do not set out to ruin people’s lives. Sure. I’m a bit competitive. But I would never take action against someone without it being warranted. This is a warranted attack. After all, Princess Stole My Man fired first… she stole your man. Number six: I heard this one on the radio on my way to work a couple weeks ago. Call him up, claiming to be a health clinic, warning him that he was listed as “one of” [insert Skank Bag here]’s current sexual partners, and she asked you to inform him about the STI she might be passing along.

5.) Okay. Okay. So number six was a bit on the mean side. We’ll go a little nicer this time. Why not offer her advice, giving her a few pointers on how to make a man love her forever and ever and ever. Number five: Pray to God, Wonderful Mistress of the Universe, that she has never seen How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Help her pick out a love fern, pink towels for the bathroom, and a puppy who just cant resist urinating on your crush’s pool table.

4.) Sometimes you just have to let her know that despite what she thinks, you are the fairest of them all. Lucky for you, your crush’s girlfriend, Twiggy, only eats fruit, celery and hummus. So poisoning her lunch is not that hard. Number four: Nothing says “I wish bad things upon you” like poisoning her apple.

3.) All right. So if you really have a crush on this guy, I mean you really like him, it’s probably time you introduce yourself to his mother. After all, you’re his likeable, hell loveable, girl friend, still sporting the title in two words, instead of the contracted form you desire. Number three: Call Mommy Dearest, and ask to schedule lunch. After all, you know her darling son is the light of her life, and you think the two of you should talk… immediately. You’re “concerned.” You “care.” You want to “make sure he doesn’t make poor life decision with the [expletives not actually used in conversation with your future mother-in-law] he’s currently seeing.” You “need her help to make sure he moves on to someone better suited for him.”

2.) This is America, people! Home of greed, abundant pride, and among all the other deadly sins, jealousy. Right now, I am “say[ing] a little prayer for you!” that you will use this last vice to your advantage. Number two: Julia Roberts taught us everything we ever needed to know. Prostitutes don’t kiss. Pollutants can kill. And most importantly, a fake-engagement to your gay best friend can potentially make the man of your dreams jealous enough to fall in love with you…. That is, unless the other girl he’s in love with is a young, perky Cameron Diaz, in which case, refer back to number four.

1.) This may be a little awkward. And sure, it’s not as much fun as letting the air out of Trampy McTramperson’s tires, giving her trick bubble gum, or running a personal ad in the paper under her name and leaving it on your crush’s desk. But maybe, just maybe, you can find it in your heart to be honest, and just tell him, “Look. Your girlfriend is a real D-Bag, and well, I’m kind of cute, and I’m a lot of fun, and I really think you should choose me instead.”