Oct 5, 2012

In Which I Reward Myself for Surviving a Second Year

Ya da da dAAA! *musical interlude* *curtain rises*

Welcome, welcome, welcome to the second annual post in which I reward myself for surviving a year as a grown up. Each year, I try to set aside some time to pat myself on the back for not completely failing at being an adult.

Two years ago today Wednesday, I moved into my own little apartment. This was shortly after getting my firsts real grown up job and shortly before calling my mother in a panic because there was a bug in my apartment and would some one please come and remove it?


I do very well with award-based systems. I like concrete rewards for a job well done. (You should see my box of Awana trophies.) One thing I noticed when I hit adulthood was that you stop getting things like stickers as rewards. Instead you get intangible things like “self-respect” and “confidence” and “not being evicted from your apartment.” That’s dumb. I want stickers.

Since I have now spent a total of 732 days living on my own, I thought I should give you an update.


Last year, we covered a wide variety of grown up activities, including such diverse topics as Customer Service Purgatory and Baby, It’s Character Building Outside. This year, we have a full round of awards, but for the most part, they’re in different categories. (It’s like I’m growing as a human being or something.)

This year, I performed honorably in the following categories and earned the following rewards:

The My Love for Minnie Mouse Does Not Extend to Other Mice award

Make Love, Not Mouse Poops

By far, my greatest trial this year was my mouse infestation. I became a prisoner in my own home. The war waged was dramatic. I used traps, chemicals, and prayer. The wee mouses? Their weapons were more psychological. And also they ate a whole bag of chocolate chips. Who won this war? Currently, we’re at a stalemate. They recently threatened me with a can of tomato paste.

Next year I hope to go for the No One Lives in My Apartment Unless They Contribute to the Rent award.


The Looks Like I’ll Have to Import Someone from the Internet award

Our Balanced Diet. You know, as grown ups.

I lived all by myself for just over a year. Throughout that year, I developed the habit of calling Twitter my roommate. I made Twitter pay attention to me when I was bored. I watched television with Twitter. Sometimes I sang to Twitter. It was only appropriate, then, when I actually got a roommate, that I got her from Twitter.

Roommate, as I call my roommate, is great. We live in this harmonious world where we share a room and trade meal-making duties and she shakes her head at me whenever I refuse to watch a movie that wasn’t written by Nora Ephron.

Next year I’m going for the Whoops! Austin Disappeared! Guess You’ll Have to Stay in Chicago! award. Don’t tell Roommate that it’s a hoax.


The It’s a Bed with a Ladder–You Can’t Beat That! award

Hullo down there! My bed sways in the wind! Like a skyscraper!

You may remember that I live in a tiny apartment. You may wonder how I fit myself and my new roommate into this apartment. Here is how: loft beds. A loft bed is like a bunk bed, but instead of a bottom bunk, there’s a space to store your stuff. Instant room-for-roommate. The only drawback is that if you live in an older apartment, you might only have eight-foot ceilings. Loft beds, at least the ones from Ikea, really need ceilings that are at least nine feet high. This means that you might never be able to sit up in your bed again, and getting in and out of it every day is sort of like that one scene from Entrapment only even more ridiculous.

Upon setting up your too-tall loft bed in your too-short apartment, you might sit down and cry a little bit because you’re 26 and you thought sitting up in your bed was a given and you’ve just spent four hours setting up that stupid loft bed and you haven’t eaten dinner yet, so your roommate suggests Chipotle and you arrive just before closing and Chipotle gives you free chips and salsa and suddenly the whole world is brighter and Catherine Zeta Jones is kinda ok, too.

Let’s not bring up the two dozen cans of spray paint it took to make the loft beds look less like prison furniture. At least not without a Chipotle run first.



Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor. (I'm so totally worthy.)

I’ve said this before: when I was little, I went to Harry Potter book release parties, but I didn’t dress up. When I said this, what I meant to convey was something like “Yeah, I’m a fan, but not a crazy weirdo who owns Hogwarts robes and and a custom wand.” This is because I didn’t want people to be able to guess how enthusiastic I was.

Here is what I am learning as a grown up: not only is enthusiasm not something to be ashamed of, it’s something to be celebrated. It’s also pretty contagious.

So when my roommate said she wanted to dress up for the premiere of The Avengers, I said “is that that one British show?” Then I said “Can we make our costumes out of cardboard and construction paper?” Then I gave an enthusiastic “yes.” It was a pretty fantastic night with two of my favorite people, and I got a few compliments on my GIANT HAMMER from some little girls who might just remember us when they’re older and trying to decide just how enthusiastic they want to be.

Oh, and I recently acquired a wand: 8 inches, holly. I keep it next to my sonic screwdriver.

Next year’s award? It’s the usual toss up between the award for “The Age of Not Believing is a Scam” and “Is that a TARDIS in My Backyard?”


The Reading Rainbow award

Take a look. In a book. Reading rainboooowwwwwwww...

Last year, I had something quite strange happen to me: I no longer enjoyed reading. It’s not that I didn’t have time to read, or that I didn’t read. In fact, according to GoodReads, I read 32 books in 2011. That’s not bad for someone who’s not enjoying herself. But in that whole year, I never found a book I connected with. I tried reading different genres and different formats, but I couldn’t shake my horrible book ennui.

I did get to say things like “book ennui,” though, so it wasn’t all bad.

There is more that I want to say on this subject, so I’m going to stop here and save my material, but I just wanted to say, glory hallelujah, I can read again.

Next year? I might set myself some sort of reading goal. Probably “I Can Read 50 Books!” Not because that’s a difficult number of books to read, but so that I can make Cool Hand Luke references all year long.


That’s all. Show’s over, folks. These things used to be longer but it’s hard to find sponsors and all the kids on the Internet don’t have attention spans like they used to. I’d like to thank everyone who made this year possible, including my parents, my sisters, the Roommate, my employer, the fine coffee roasters at Intelligentsia, Instagram, Twitter, people who shared baked goods, and you.


Once again, all award badges were drawn by me and run through an Instgram filter on my iPhone. We only use the highest forms of technology here on Staircase Wit the Blog.



  • Oh my goodness. Remember our little sticker reward basket? And how it went missing? I just realized where it most likely went. You’re in your little apartment rewarding yourself for all of your good deeds, aren’t you?

    • Yup. Especially the little ducky stickers. I use those all the time.

  • What does going to Harry Potter release parties when you “were little” mean exactly? I was in high school when I started reading those books, and I think I started around the time of the third book release. Translation: I AM OLD. When did that happen?

    • Well, I guess I was using “little” as a relative term. I started reading them right before Azkaban came out, so I was 13.
      I don’t think I’ve done that math before. Now I feel old.

  • I am looking forward to your upcoming post and hearing all of your progress towards mice control, book reports and twitter updates.

    • Thanks! My goal is to hit a few of those in the next couple months.

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