Stuck in the Middle

Nobody’s favorite part of the movie is ever the middle, because the middle is something you sit through begrudgingly for the big payoff – the final battle, true love’s kiss. The middle is when you slip out to pee, answer your mother’s nagging call and grab another popcorn because ‘Merica. The middle is dull. The middle is blah. The middle is perfectly passable.

If the film of my life, I’m entering the middle: almost through with college, no wedding on the calendar, no buns in the oven, no dream job to run to and no future in some trendy metropolitan. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing. But where is the life ABC Family amd romcoms promised me? You know, hip young twenty-something in a refurbished loft with a glamorous job, decked in high-end fashion (at a discount, of course). I have no refurbished loft, I work at a museum and I shop at Target.

What gives?

If my life were recorded on VHS, I could simply fastfoward through the days of penny-pinching, indecision and slurping Ramen noodles in the car. I could trade all the confusion for premium cable, real leather and a solid sense of self. I could even leave behind past failures, as unsalvagable as my Craigslist furniture. Best of all, I could shed adolescence without a single growing pain and cut straight to the happily-ever-after dance sequence.

But I wouldn’t.

What good is a glass slipper if Cinderella never even danced with the prince? Who would have cared if Frodo finally returned the ring were it not for 10 grueling hours of butt cramps? So what if Clark Griswold makes it to Wally World or if Harry Potter defeats the one who must not be named? Would it even matter that Romeo and Juliette died if they had never (way too quickly) fallen in love to begin with? Without the middle, does the story even matter?

The middle is either everything or nothing to you – and that makes all the difference.

Every mundane moment of every regular day will someday be your greatest treasure. You’ll look back and tell your grandchildren (or seven sweater-wearing cats) about life as a broke college kid, shopping at Target and working at some museum while living in a second-rate apartment with no overhead lights. Now, I don’t know what you’ve got planned for 2014, but I know what I’ll be doing. I will be cherishing today, tomorrow and every single ordinary day in this short but wonderful life.

Because someday, I know I’ll give anything to be stuck in the middle again.

15 Fashion Tips from Mean Girls

1. Always wear pink on Wednesdays.

2. Never wear your hair in a ponytail twice in one week. So I guess you pick today.

3. If Cady Heron buys Army pants and flip flops, you buy Army pants and flip flops.

4. As long as you wear mouse ears, you’re obviously a mouse. Duh.

5. If your name is Aaron Samuels, push your hair back.

6. Nipple-less tanks are so fetch.

7. Never wear tank tops two days in a row. Gross.

8. You can only wear jeans and track pants on Fridays. No exceptions.

9. Vintage is super cute!

10. The bigger the hair, the more secrets.

11. Be Regina George.

12. Body hair makes great wigs.

13. Three pounds is a totally real weight-loss goal.

14. You can still rock Spring Fling in a body cast.

15. Confidence is the best accessory of all—mathletes jacket included.

Mathletes

So, how many of these tips should you actually use? Trick question!

101 Reasons to Love Dalmatians

Image

If you know me at all, you know that the Dalmatian is my favorite dog. You’ve likely also connected the dots (pun intended!) to note the correlation with 101 Dalmatians. It’s not hard to spot (I’m killing myself here!). It’s no secret that I plan on buying a Dalmatian when I grow up, much to the dismay of my fun-sucking friends. They all seem to think Dalmatians make terrible pets. We’ll see about that. Without further ado, here are 101 reasons to love Dalmatians.

  1. 101 Dalmatians.
  2. 102 Dalmatians.
  3. 101 Dalmatians the live action movie starring Glenn Close.
  4. That movie happened to be based on a book about them.
  5. The beautiful love story between Pongo and Perdy.
  6. They’re black…
  7. AND they’re white!
  8. Nicknamed the “Velcro Dog” because they’re so loyal.
  9. George Washington was believed to have owned a Dalmatian.
  10. Ben Franklin had one too.
  11. And Pablo Picasso.
  12. Some people believe encountering a Dalmatian is good luck.
  13. Didn’t Budweiser used to have a Dalmatian or something?
  14. They’re black and white and black and white and black and white all over.
  15. Dalmatians chase away mice.
  16. In England, they’re used as plum pudding dogs (whatever that means, it has to be good. It has pudding in the title.)
  17. They hear four times better than humans.
  18. They were used in WWII to transmit messages.
  19. In case you don’t remember Oddball, the puppies are born without spots.
  20. Some owners call them Dallies, because Dallies is hipster for Dalmatian.
  21. Apparently they’re also called Dals.
  22. Once upon a time they were nicknamed Spotted Dicks. Can’t imagine why that went out of style…
  23. The American National Fire Protection Association used the Dalmatian for their mascot, Spark the Fire Dog.
  24. There’s a minimum number of spots for show dogs.
  25. They’re often used as therapy dogs…
  26. And war dogs…
  27. and rescue dogs! How chivalrous, right?
  28. Dalmatians shed only twice a year, during spring and fall.
  29. They have gobs and gobs of energy.
  30. Have I mentioned how cute they are?
  31. No two Dalmatians are identical.
  32. They are independent thinkers (insert mental picture: Dalmatian in hipster glasses).
  33. They sit on fire trucks.
  34. Dalmatians are from Dalmatia. That just sounds exotic.
  35. Dalmatians can have brown spots (Liver Dalmatians);
  36. Or yellow spots (Lemon Dalmatians);
  37. Or even blue spots! (…Blue Dalmatians?)
  38. They make excellent guard dogs.
  39. Dalmatians and horses get along exceptionally well.
  40. Oh, I forgot about Orange Dalmatians!
  41. Hunting? Why yes, Dalmatians are hunting dogs, too.
  42. 101 Dalmatians was the last film Walt Disney worked on before his death. Dalmatians are his legacy.
  43. Also, if someone wanted 101 of them, they have to be desirable.
  44. Speaking of the movie, Nicholas I of Bolivia actually owns a Dalmatian named Pongo.
  45. Dalmatians have the swimming dexterity of Michael Phelps.
  46. Their name is always capitalized. They’re kind of a big deal.
  47. They range from 40-60 pounds. The perfect median between purse dog and canine ogre.
  48. I love them. That’s a perfectly valid reason for you to love them.
  49. They live a solid 12-14 years.
  50. They’re faithful;
  51. And loyal;
  52. And protective;
  53. And loving;
  54. And intelligent;
  55. And athletic;
  56. And lean, mean, spotted machines.
  57. “They have a simply marvelous coat, darling.” –Cruella De Ville
  58. Owners love them so much, there’s a Dalmatian Club of America.
  59. Great Britain has one, too.
  60. These people even have their own E Magazine. That’s dedication!
  61. If you hadn’t noticed, Dalmatian print is kind of a big thing right now.
  62. The Dalmatian is the mascot of the Dominican Order.
  63. They’re exceptionally easy to name (Domino, Spot, you get it)
  64. Because they’re short-haired, they don’t get gross and matted fur.
  65. Supposedly the old country Dalmatia had links to Italy, and Italy = awesome.
  66. They’re semi-frequently born with blue eyes.
  67. According to Disney, all posh Londoners have Dalmatians.
  68. Did I mention Dalmatians are Disney characters? I think each Disney Dalmatian deserves their own reason:
  69. Pongo
  70. Perdy
  71. Dipstick
  72. Lucky
  73. Jewel
  74. Oddball
  75. Roley
  76. Also, House and Mr. Weasley totally played Horace and Jasper in the real-life version. I’m not sure that counts as a reason, but I just thought I would blow your mind today.
  77. Jane Lynch (Coach Sylvester on Glee) recently adopted a rescue Dalmatian.
  78. Let’s talk about hybrids for a bit. The beaglmatian. It’s a thing, Google it.
  79. And the Dalmador? So adorable!
  80. And my personal favorite, the Dalmatian Spaniel. (If you happen to know Precious, you see my bias here)
  81. There’s also the Goldmation,
  82. The Rottmation,
  83. The Sharmatian,
  84. The Bodacion (which just sounds like a Beyonce song)
  85. And apparently the chimation: Chihuahua x Dalmatian. (Who knew that was possible?)
  86. According to several Intern sources, they’re great with kids.
  87. They’re also easy to train.
  88. Not to mention extremely popular.
  89. Have you ever Googled pictures of Dalmatian puppies? There’s a reason.
  90. When they’re happy, they reportedly smile.
  91. They hate being alone, and everyone loves a social butterfly.
  92. They can run for hours without getting tired.
  93. The Dalmatian hit America during the roaring 20’s. What an entrance.
  94. However, it made a splash in Britain during the 1860’s.
  95. Their fur does not trigger pet allergies like other breeds.
  96. Egyptian tombs show engravings of Dalmatians alongside chariots.
  97. They have magnificent eyesight.
  98. Their noses always match their spot color: orange-nosed dogs? Yes.
  99. Some Dalmatians have more than just one colored spots.
  100. The Romany people, modern gypsies, favor Dalmatians. Esmerelda meets Pongo.
  101. You should love Dalmatians because there are, in fact, 101 things to love about them.

If you actually read all 101 reasons, then I’d like to this moment to commend you and award you this virtual gold star. But seriously, don’t you have homework or a job or something?