moda vivendi

I'm just talking to myself. We do that sometimes, me and myself.

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Can’t we all just get along?

I’ve noticed a trend recently.  It isn’t the leggings-as-pants, using-colored-pastels-in-your-hair, each-finger-nail-painted-a-different-color trend.  But trust me, you can’t pull this one off, either.  It’s incredible rudeness.

In the past week, I have noticed cars rolling through intersections with pedestrians still in the crosswalk, people pulling U-turns in the middle of the street because they were too lazy to go around the block, and people making a left-hand turn from the right-hand lane.  Then there’s the speed up to get around someone and then slow to a snail’s pace phenomenon that’s been happening.  There is nothing so important that you need to put others in danger because you’re too lazy, stupid, or inconsiderate to wait at a stop sign.

It’s astounding how bubble-like we’ve become.  I’m not saying that I’m the next Mother Teresa and I have no faults, I’m just saying, can’t we all have a little more consideration for our actions?  Think about how you’re really just inconveniencing everyone behind you and looking like a schmuck making that left turn from the right lane.  Granted, if I want to change directions and no one is behind me, I’ll wait until everyone passes and then get in the other lane to turn.  But if someone is behind me, I’ll suck it up, find the next strip mall, and turn around in the parking lot.

It isn’t hard to think about other people but it’s way too easy to think about only ourselves.  Sure, we’re allowed to be selfish once in a while, but just make sure it isn’t “once in a while out of every day.”


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How to justify anything

I’ve recently found myself in the need for a budget. Now, I’ve done this before, but not on a grand scale. During that first budget experience, I learned a valuable lesson: I can justify anything. Are you ready for this ground-breaking piece of information?

It’s called… Cost. Per. Use.

I have a friend I met Sophomore year in school who operated with this as well and we found great success with this model. Here’s what you do: buy something.

Now note the cost. Divide by how many times you think you’ll use it. If you purchased shoes, divide by two (because you have two of them). Done!

Here’s a real-world example. I was shopping with my friend in college (this was our first shopping trips together; after that, I knew we’d always be friends) when20130605-201315.jpg I spotted these cute gray ballet flats at the Gap. I thought they were marked down, but as fate would have it, they were full-priced shoes set on a sale shelf and the salesperson wouldn’t give me the sale price–isn’t that illegal?–but I liked them so I bought them anyway. They were $40. I figured I’d wear them until the weather changed; in State College, I either had 6 days or 26 days until that happened. To begin the CPU model, I assumed I’d wear them at least 10 times before said change occurred. So we’re down to $4 per wear. If you want to go even further, divide that by 2 (because there’s two of them) and we have $2 per wear. I can tell you that I’ve worn these shoes way more than 10 times; I purchased them in 2009 and still wear them, as you can tell by the state of the soles. I’d say I recouped my investment.

It’s a very useful tool if you don’t need something but really, really like something. This is especially useful for good quality products (“I’ll have have this for years”) or a fun splurge (“I’ll just wear this 50 times and then it’ll be $1 per wear”).

One exception: nail polish. Let’s say a bottle of polish costs $5. You have 10 fingers, so you’re already at $.50 per use. If you paint your toes too, and repeat this twice, you’re justified. At this point, you’re at a negative cost per use, so why bother figuring it out in the first place. Just buy the polish and look pretty.

Your guilt has been expunged. You’re welcome.


5 Reasons You Hate Your Job (Redux)

I’d like to preface this by saying I like my job about as much as the next person.  Usually I’m doing something that I think is helping the company.  I have worth!  I have talent!  I have stress-relief balls all over my desk! (My favorites are a light bulb and a penguin.)  But this “article” that I read is just begging to be satirized.  It’s called “5 Reasons You Hate Your Job.”  I’d tell you to go and read the full thing here, but let me break it down for you.

You’re Unorganized

I’m proud of my organizational skills.  Okay, my desk at home looks like a hoarder and a pack rat got together and threw up all over it, but in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse.  And at work, I’m the best, most color-coded, Type A, Post-It-Noted person in the office.

So really, maybe I’m too organized.  There’s no clutter to make me crazy so I am crazy in other ways.

You’re Stressed

Reason number two is because “I’m stressed.”  Well, yeah, of course.  When you are told to re-do something 10 times and it turns out that Version 1.0 is the winning choice, or they ask you to do something 10 times and your contributions still aren’t implemented, you tend to get a little frustrated.

You’re Not Taking Care of Your Body

Actually, I’m training for a half marathon.  If I want to eat a cookie, I’m eating that cookie.  Next!

You Don’t Like Your Colleagues

The author suggests that I understand that they have personal lives and stresses in those personal lives, just like me.  Okay, I understand that for them, but why don’t they understand that for me!?  I don’t want to be at work while you stand around and eat your cookie.  Do that at home, not on my time.  I eat my cookies at home after I train for a marathon.  See, I’m understanding.

Your Finances Aren’t In Order

That’s why I have a make money.  So I’d say my finances are getting in order.  They aren’t as tidy as my organizational skills, but I balance my check book.

I’d like to offer my own 5 Reasons You Hate Your Job:

  1. You’re Given Too Much Work and Not Enough Money (Look, that kills Reason 1, 2, and 5)
  2. You Don’t Like Your Colleagues (That one was pretty spot-on the first time around)
  3. Your Business Casual Clothes are too Binding (Casual Friday should be Casual Every Day That You Have to Put On Real Pants Day)
  4. You Have to Wake up Ridiculously Early (I’m a morning person, but not a crack-of-dawn, before-the-birds-are-chirping person)
  5. There Isn’t Enough Coffee or Whoever Made the Coffee Today Must Have Put Ashes in It (It isn’t that hard people. I know I was a barista, but come on, this is a home-brew machine, it doesn’t say “Go gather a unicorn’s tears and fill the water reservoir with them” on the instruction booklet)

And sometimes there are days when you only have 1 Reason You Love Your Job:

  1. Your Chair Swivels

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Lately it seems that there is an epidemic sweeping the nation.  It’s a terrible disease.  It affects the brain, specifically, the part of the brain that registers common decency.  Symptoms include: lack of tact, lack of caring about fellow human beings, and saying uncouth things in public.  I don’t want to see this disease claim another victim, so I’m taking a stand.  From this day forward, I will champion the cause.  Bring back respect!

It just seems like people are fending for themselves* more often than not, blatantly throwing consideration for others to the wind.  It appears to prevail greatest amongst my generation.  The biggest pet peeve about this disease that I have is lack of respect for others’ time.  While I occasionally will have a relapse, I typically like to tell people that I will be at X place at Y hour.  Others don’t feel the need to return the favor.  I end up waiting for people and when I finally hear from them as per what they plan on doing, they throw in an “Oh, by the way, will you also do this other favor for me, even though I didn’t tell you about it beforehand and you may have other things to do today that don’t include me and you’re already doing me a big favor to begin with.”

*Being self-centered

Another way this disease rears its ugly head is by not caring about other people’s feelings.  You can tell you’re affected if you say things like, “I don’t have to pitch in, I’m better than this.”  Wrong!  For example, at work we are all expected to pitch in and ensure that certain things are kept up with during the day.  I’m sure your company expects this as well.  Is it fair for a few people to always make sure that these things are taken care of?  It is not.

There are ways we can reverse the disease though!  If you feel yourself slipping back and saying, “I don’t care about anyone else,” or, “It’s not my problem,” or, “This isn’t my responsibility,” take a second and think if you can help to make someone’s day easier in any way.  I say, have some respect and pitch in!  Pick something up off the floor instead of walking by it (even if you didn’t drop it in the first place), offer to carry a box instead of watching someone else struggle (even if you didn’t order 50 cases of toner), hold open the door for a mother loaded down with kids (even if you don’t like children and believe it was her fault for having so many).

If we work together, maybe we can put an end to this epidemic.  With just 5 minutes a day, you can help a starving child in Africa–oops, wrong PSA.  But really, the lack of respect that some people have for their fellow human beings makes me sad.  No one deserves to be treated like dirt.  No one deserves to play second-fiddle.  A little compassion goes a long way.  That’s all I’m asking for; 5 minutes of your time to think about someone other than yourself.


I need a dollar

Actually, I need a lot of dollars.  And to get them, I need a full-time job.  Note: I don’t want to leave where I currently work.  It really isn’t as bad as this blog makes it seem and the people are wonderful.  The problem lies in the fact that I have two degrees and neither says I’m qualified only to be a receptionist.

So here’s what I have to offer:

  • I can answer phones and file and fax and color code.  Usually with a smile, might I add.
  • I can set up and update social media stuff.  I do it a lot for my own purposes, why not get paid for it!  Bonus: I know how to use hashtags (ie: on Twitter only, not to use them on Facebook)
  • I’m a good writer.  I can write clever things.  I can write clever copy for your ads.
  • I drink coffee.  Essential for those long nights of writing clever copy.
  • I can work independently.  I can work in a group.  I’m a chameleon.
  • I have a professional wardrobe so I’m good to go at a moment’s notice of being hired.  And I don’t mind wearing heels all day.
  • I can recall ads from years ago.  Typically ones that were really good or really bad, so I know what to do or what to avoid.
  • I bake.  Cookies with our late night coffee and brainstorming, anyone?

I know what you’re thinking..  No one lists those qualities on job boards under the “qualifications” heading.  But they should!  Anyone can have “proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign” (which I do, in case you’re wondering), but it’s also important to be an exciting employee and co-worker.  No one wants to work with Marty McDull-Pants even if he is a photo-editing genius.  So I can do all of the professional, typical requirements and have a little fun on the side.  And provide cookies (and pie)!  Who wouldn’t want to work with someone like that?


#yolo? gtfo.

Let me state, for the record, that I’m not usually a fan of internet “memes” or sayings.  They come as fast as they go (“Sorry I’m not sorry” anyone?) and are usually some half-ass excuse for lazy/potentially illegal behavior.  As far as half-baked acronyms go, this one is pretty bad.  “You Only Live Once?”  More like “You’re Only Looking Obnoxious.”  I seem to be on the same page as most of the Onward State team.

People are always going to find a way to validate the poor decisions they make be it “whatever,” “I do what I want,” […] or anything else. There’s always going to be some catchy phrase to blow off their responsibility. Generally the phrases are at least accepted (if not embraced) by the generation that coins them– why is YOLO an exception?

Will people continue to do stupid stuff and try to justify it with a generationally-recognized “motto”?  Yes.  Will something replace it in a week?  Yes.  Will that make it less annoying?  No.  But that’s a good question.  Why is this “YOLO” business any different than #sorrynotsorry or the like?  It isn’t. The same responsibility-shirking individuals will continue to proliferate this behavior during day-longs and Greek Week events and/or justify their actions at said events.

So why are you trying to validate your behavior?  Can’t you just do it?  It seems as if you’re only trying to justify your activities to yourself.

Sorry I’m not sorry, just sayin’.

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Where do we go from here?

Jenna Marbles said it best: I hate being a grown-up.  I’m learning to like it, especially with the prospect of having my own apartment (not dorm, not parent’s house).  But there’s one thing that still is rather un-fantastic.  People decide to leave.

Think about it.  When you’re a kid and your friends move away, it isn’t because they wanted to (most of the time), it’s because an adult said it had to happen.  So you try to stay friends and go on summer vacations with each other’s family and eventually you lose touch and maybe write a “happy birthday” on Facebook and that’s about it.  Eventually, you get new friends because people are always moving in and out of your school district.

But then, when your friends become adults and decide to move on, it’s their own decision and there’s nothing stopping them.  So you hope that they want to stay close and hear about what’s going on in your life and you want to hear about theirs.  And you hope that they’ll visit you and vice versa, but there’s always that uncertainty.

The real problem with being an adult is that there isn’t always a constant stream of new friends.  You’re out of school and at work instead.  New people come and go, but they may not be as open to letting new people in as they were in grade school.  And you may not, either.

So..what happens now?  Where do we go from here?