Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dreams for the Future

During our time of privation (since Soul Sister’s arrival we’ve been calling it the ‘pilgrim diet’), we’ve been having dreams of a prosperous future. Much like the first white people that landed on these shores, we are often hungry and have no fucking idea what we’re doing. We do have a better sense of fashion and more respect for diversity which is unrelated to our ability to survive, but hey, the name evokes pretty accurate visions of both the amount of food that we’re eating, and the monotony therein.

The thing is, we’re not just cutting way back on eating out. We’re shopping at Costco like the frugalistas we are, buying twenty five pound bags of rice and only shelling out $0.75 each for what is probably half a pound of gelato because “we have to be able to tell Soul Sister whether it’s good or not if she wants ice cream”. We’re doing laundry by hand in the sink (or bathtub, depending on how long we’ve let it go) because our utilities are included in our rent. We’re washing our hair every other day to save shampoo and conditioner (an unprecedented change for Anya, who is a clean hair nazi). But yes, it’s really the snacks that we’re missing.

And while we love food (boy, do we love food), and basic hygiene, they’re not the only luxuries that we’ve been pining for as we work hard to save our pennies and not run through our savings quite as rapidly, searching in vain for the real job with benefits and livable wages thing. We’ve each steadily built up a list of items in our heads that we will get “one day”, when we’re established adults with disposable income.

Oh, how we long for this day.

Below are just a few of the things we’ve wished for, best read aloud in the most wistful tone you possess.


Belts (see: Work pants)


Blazers of all colors and materials!

Boots (for fashion, for winter, flats, heels, all kinds of fun)

Brazilian wax

Bubble bath

Burritos on the regular (we just found a great new restaurant that only costs like $7 and has a salsa bar and we STILL CAN’T AFFORD IT)

Coffee table

Dry cleaning (not clothes that need to be dry cleaned, a trip to the dry cleaner for the clothes we already have but can’t afford to clean).

"If the clothes from that dry cleaning bag are on the floor of my closet, you’re going to be a very sorry young lady."

Food of all kinds:
    -Ice cream/Gelato/Fro-yo
    -Mall pretzels
    -Sunday brunch
    -Chips and Garden Fresh salsa
    -Smoked salmon
    -Any salmon/fish/seafood
    -A wide variety of seasoning
    -Fresh produce

Herb garden (or just herbs!)

Makeup (This one is getting dire, and Anya will likely have to rely on the annual Christmas stocking replenishment of the basics to get by with some semblance of mascara and blush. Good bye, concealer, old friend. Hello, dark circles, how I’ve missed you!) and Name-brand toiletries

Nights out on the town (dinner, movies, drinks, ANYTHING)

Plane tickets home for the holidays

Purse that an adult would conceivably carry her belongings in


Salon haircuts

Starbucks (A luxury Anya has been enjoying in spades thanks to her loving ex-coworkers and the gift cards they bestowed upon her, soon to run out and be missed all the more)

Wallet (filled with cash)

Work pants (in our new smaller waist sizes)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

More Weird Shit You Googled To Get Here

Again, thanks for stopping by. We really are glad you’re here, even if it is just to enjoy our merry collection of GIFs. We frequently look at our list of Google search terms to see just what you crazy kids are looking up to get to Minds Melding. Our favorite searches are the really specific soulmate-esque ones (e.g., “siblings or dating” or “royal dorgis”), but we also heartily enjoy the ones that are a little wonky, where we can see the connection, and remain puzzled but amused the ones that come from way out of left field. Please enjoy the following list of some recent favorites:

“game of thrones craigslist ad rental”

So… that happened.

“dreadful terror blogspot” (ouch, Google search engine, ouch.)

“paul rudd’s nose jewish”

“‘jake gyllenhaal’ 2013 jewish” (shockingly, his 2012 Judaism carried over into the new year)

“taco bowman”

No tacos here.

“is melding with a demon considered evil” (Um, fucking yes. You’re welcome.)

“possum/possums/baby possum” (prompting Anya’s “See?! We need MORE POSSUMS!”)

“ya novels special snowflake”

“quotes about relationshios irnage”

What is your life?

“prophets vitamin e8”

“melding with the twenyty somethings”

“'he said. she said: at it again'”

“jenna marbles witchcraft”

“passive aggressive mom”

“flirt hookups mat weeks” (???)

“did the queen of dragons exist”

“daenerys „dany“ targaryen shackled”

“sassy daenerys”

“sluttish wife rough”

“camilla gorgi nude” (Someone please tell us where this was headed)

“terrorist in your own backyard”

“betty draper butter”

No GIFs of Betty Francis chowing down dairy products to be found here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Texts from This Year: Paul Is Exposed

Don’t get too excited when you see “exposed”. It’s less like nudey Judies and more like “Hey Paul, isn’t it about time your dirty texting laundry was aired for the world to see instead of mine?” And he was like “Oh? Mmkay…” and here we are. Please enjoy Paul’s foray into the public eye, and respond enthusiastically so Anya can start sharing the hot seat!

First, the real live screenshots that Anya fully intended on continuing and then...didn’t.

Wednesday, March 20   5:57pm
I guess grandma had to go to the dentist to get new bottom teeth and a. She hasn’t had teeth for the past 2 days while they were fixing them and then b. This just happened:
GRANDMA: The dentist don’t look so good.
MOM: Ma, you haven’t seen him for 15 years!

Wednesday, March 20   6:20pm
Donna’s talking about “jezelle(?)” who looks like Lady, but taller, and longer, and bigger.
DAD: Jezelle doesn’t get along with Lady.
MOM: Jezelle doesn’t get along with anybody.

Wednesday, March 27   12:03pm
Watching [sweet old co-worker] “get into it” with [obnoxious old co-worker]. Frazzled Feminist is “mediating”

Wednesday, March 27   6:19pm
DAD: I’m telling you, wilted bacon dressing is the best. Hoffman House had a wilted bacon dressing to die for.
MOM: Hoffman House? What’s Hoffman House??
DAD: ...the place where we had our wedding reception.

Saturday, April 6   2:15
Lol that’s what I get for deleting his texts. They always know.

Tuesday, April 9   10:07am
On the last unit of my driver improvement course. Shit's getting weird.
"Bicycle lanes are for bicycles. Pretty obvious."
"School buses carry our most precious cargo (our children)."

Saturday, April 20   12:43pm
Frantic Friend canceled her (half) marathon... for the sake of sensitivity?

Sunday, May 26   5:14pm
That drug den skillet is not sitting well in my stomach

Tuesday June 18   2:04pm
sometimes i wish that you weren't dating someone, just so that we could use you as a tool to destroy other people's lives more often

Tuesday July 23   4:30 pm
I can’t hear ‘This Girl is on Fire’ without inserting ‘Bride’ in. I always kind of laugh and kind of hate myself at the same time. I wish I knew whether or not she was a huge cunt.

Thursday July 25   12:15 pm
I applied for a job at a Holocaust Museum. It’s in the gift shop though, and I’m honestly having kind of an ethical dilemma about it.

Sunday July 28   6:37 pm
The neighbors brought your parents wine?? Are they swingers?

Saturday August 3   8:25 pm
Da ya evah think to yaself “If eye fucking were an olympic sport...”?

Ending on a spectacular note with a series of texts that a sleepy Anya got from an increasingly drunk Paul who was out with this parents on this weekend away.

Sunday August 4   6:00-10:30 pm
Lol shit’s gotten really weird. My godfather’s wife asked if I ever “felt my grandfather’s spirit” in the house.
The Libertarian is good. It super weirds me out, but he’s different in a good way, like persimmons.
I picked the wrong beer. I’m drunk as a rude skunk.
No yay. i’m a rabid mammal
Izzit? I’m trying not to puke in front of my parents.
No biting, just hugging?
Ya, Im fime, just drunk
When are we going to watch the canyons?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Top 5 Episodes of Buffy Season 4

The return of the Internet also brings about the return of Anya to not-so-sunny Sunnydale and her hopefully unwavering commitment to watch the entirety of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She finally finished the latter half of the topsy-turvy Season Four, and can now present our favorite episodes of from this bizarre BtVS season. Per usual, spoilers for this and any previous season throughout.

Season Four is a strange one. It carries a few truly spectacular individual episodes. “Hush” is generally considered one of the greatest episodes of the entire series and you’d be hard pressed to find a “Top X” list of Buffy episodes that did not include it in the top 3 slots. However, Season Four also features one of the weakest seasonal arcs. As such, none of our favorite episodes really touch on it, so we’ll try to flesh out our overall impressions here.

The show echoed its struggling characters, attempting to find a place in the world post-high school and post-Angel. The secret government agency schtick is chock full of issues and the audience isn’t introduced to the Big Bad until halfway through the season (who’s just a vanilla version of Frankenstein’s monster). The loss of previous regular cast members brings us full-time Spike and Anya, and introduces Riley (who Paul hates and Anya loves, mostly to spite Paul) and Tara (who Paul loves and Anya doesn’t, mostly to spite Paul), creating a very different group dynamic. To various degrees of success, the season looks at the ways that our relationships change as our roles change. Friendships that might have come naturally before due to shared location and activities require efforts that we’re not always prepared to put in.

Without further ado, our list:

5. “Pangs”

"Well, maybe we started a new tradition this year... Maybe not. But at least we all worked together. It was like old times."
"Yeah, especially with Angel being here and everything."

This episode made our list for many reasons, most of which are just personal hangups, so bear with us. First of all, the Buffy in the kitchen trying to recreate “real” Thanksgiving bit is both hilarious and painful to watch. Girl, you are not a homemaker. While she has a lot of moments where she strives to be more “normal” or wishes for an unexceptional lifestyle, it’s more in theory than in practice. We see her struggle with her identity frequently in the series, but this is that struggle at its most lighthearted.

Willow’s campaign against revisionist history cracks us up, especially when it sort of falls apart as the house comes under attack. Like many people who mean well, she is forced to confront the fact that her own ideas pretty fucking revisionist too, just not in the same direction as her high school textbook.

And of course, the perfect perfect perfect ending pictured above.

4. “Something Blue”

“Oh, Spike! Of course it’s a yes!”

Having seen a spoiler on the Buffy reddit a couple of months ago, Anya had been badgering Paul about a Buffy/Spike coupling for quite some time. Little did she know that this episode would surpass her wildest expectations of the relationship, and all because Willow was being a grumpus. Buffy and Spike’s impending nuptials are the light and fluffy frosting on a pretty ugly and fucked up cake made of all of the other issues.

We always like it when Joss can poke fun at his own plot points (see the Buffy/Angel conversation interrupted by Xander in "The Zeppo"), and the over the top nature of Buffy and Spike’s affection taking place right in Giles’ living room is great because it doesn’t look so terribly different from the turn her relationship with Riley takes shortly thereafter. Besides, we just can’t get enough of saying “Spoooike” in Dru’s voice, and any excuse for that is golden with us.

This episode also features a three-second cameo from Amy, who is turned into a woman and then poofed back into a rat again, something that Paul always points to as evidence for Buffy being a truly great television show.

3. “Who Are You”

“'Cause I could do anything I want and instead I just pout and whine and feel the burden of slayerness? I mean, I could be rich, I could be famous, I could have anything. Anyone. Even you, Spike. I could ride you at a gallop till your legs buckled and your eyes rolled up, I've got muscles you've never even dreamed of, I could squeeze you till you popped like warm champagne and you'd beg me to hurt you just a little bit more and you know why I don't?”

As someone who was completely sick of Faith’s poor little unloved slut waif arc, Anya was not that excited to see this episode. Yes, we get it, Faith is what Buffy COULD HAVE BEEN. A Slayer gone awry is so very tragic, etc. She left off on "This Year’s Girl" before the big move, and kept saying “oh yeah…” when Paul excitedly reminded her of what was to come. All of that aside, when she did finally watch the episode, she came around a little bit. Watching Faith in Buffy’s body (or rather, SMG impersonating Eliza’s “Harlot”-type) was, admittedly, mostly funny. Faith-as-Buffy gets some great lines, like every moment of the above speech to Spike or “Well, we certainly don't want to cut into THAT seven minutes,” but it’s the combination of her clothing, body language, and line delivery that really make the episode.

Watching Faith try on Buffy’s life for size, at first acting above it all, and as she tried to mimic Buffs more convincingly, falling into that role to the point that she goes back to the church and then beats the ever-loving shit out of her own body while shouting, “You’re nothing! You’re disgusting!”? Mostly sad.

2. “Hush”

“Well, I guess we have to talk.”
“I guess we do.”

Here’s the thing, Internet (and also Paul): you really built this episode up to the point that Anya couldn’t even sort out how she would have felt about it in a vacuum because everyone was all over its dick! So she’ll let Paul take over to explain what you all already know, this is a great episode (maybe the greatest!?) and it has such a message to it.

This episode gives us a lot of great material to discuss. This is the first episode to feature Tara. We meet her at her meekest, but we can still see the hints of what she’ll become, a grounding member of the Scooby Gang, who serves as a catalyst for a number of important changes in Willow. This is the only episode to ever showcase The Gentlemen (who unfortunately go out with a bang), some of the creepiest villains to ever be on the show. The gaunt and sallow skin? The sunken-in bloodshot eyes? The permanent hungry wolf smiles? The monkey-like cronies in straight jackets? The polite golf clapping and “Oh stop!” miming while commemorating their heartnapping? Come on!

The best part of the episode is, of course, what happens when The Gentlemen come to town. They steal all the Sunnydale residents’ voices, meaning that the majority of the episode has no spoken dialogue. We then get a poignant look at the necessity and limitations of language, the words that we attempt to use to convey our wants, needs, feelings, and intentions. As much as we rely upon them, sometimes words get in the way, either because of our inability to select the correct ones or because some things can only be said with our bodies. The end of the episode where Buffy and Riley, with returned voices, sit in silence? Genius.

1. “Restless”

“I was on time, so I got to be cowboy guy.”

If we hadn’t already told you that Paul hates Riley, you would have guessed based on the fact that of ALL the pictures he could have chosen from this insane episode, he chose the one of Riley in a fucking cowboy hat (To be fair, this episode makes the ONLY occasion Paul ever finds Riley likeable, where Willow dreams up this hilariously simplistic Riley, poking fun at both the character and the actor’s oafish “acting”). Feelings on Riley aside, this is an incredible episode, and Paul’s second favorite of the entire series.

The original core members of the show get together for a restful night of movie watching after a long day of stopping supreme evil. They all fall asleep and, as an effect from the spell they cast to defeat Adam, are visited by the spirit of the First Slayer as they are each forced to confront their individual fears. The dreams that Willow, Xander, Giles, and Buffy have are simultaneously frightening, surreal, depressing, humorous, prophetic, and nonsensical. The episode is so multifaceted and loaded with symbolism that it’s impossible to completely analyze here. So, as we are wont to do when encountered with things of this nature, we’re just going to make a list of some of our favorite “Restless” moments:

-BUFFY: Oh my god, the place is packed. Everybody's here. Your whole family is in the front row, and they look really angry!
-Sexy Joyce coming on to Xander and Forgotten Joyce living in the walls with mice.
-ANYA: I think I've figured out how to steer by gesturing emphatically.
-Black and White Spike posing for tourists
-GILES: Come on, put your back into it! A watcher scoffs at gravity.
-ANYA (to Xander): Do you know where you're going?
-SNYDER (to Xander): Where are you heading?
-The Cheese Man.
-TARA: We just think you’re really interesting.
-ANYA: Quiet! You’ll miss the humorous conclusion.
-Surgeon General Riley and Human Adam making a pillow fort to hide from demons.
-Giles figuring out what’s going on in song.
-BUFFY: What are you still doing in costume… Willow, everybody already knows. Take it off.
-GILES: Buffy, you have a sacred birthright to protect mankind. Don't stick out your elbow.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Our Guide to Accepting Compliments Without Sounding Like an Asshole

As you have probably noticed, we’ve been undergoing all kinds of turmoil here in at Minds Melding Central. We’re working on figuring out a schedule that we can handle with the new city and new job situation. If you hadn’t guessed, we had PLENTY of time at our jobs in the Small Town to brainstorm, collaborate, quote, and otherwise spray our creative juices everywhere while still doing a stellar job at...well, our actual jobs. Here in the Big City, we thought that might not be the case. So far we’re trying to stay on top of moving, living, functioning, working, and blogging at the same rapid pace we did before, but forgive us if the schedule starts to slow down a bit.

You know how it goes.

Anyway, as we’re doing all of those things, we’re also trying to catch up on all of the comic gold surrounding our last week in Small Town, and at work. Our families, friends and co-workers were very busy making sure that we had everything we needed (or that they had everything they needed out of our brains) before we ventured off into the wider world. Amidst all of the “Where are all of the newsletters saved?!” “In the “Newsletter” folder…” type nonsense, we got a lot of nice, if strange compliments.

As you may have sensed from the tone of our blog, we’re not historically stellar at giving or receiving compliments. We get that there are lots of reasons why people don’t want to accept compliments: you don’t want to appear conceited, you don’t trust the motives of the giver, you generally have low self-esteem, etc. Unfortunately, this is one of those areas where you just have to suck it up and put on a brave face (unless it’s a thinly-veiled critique masquerading as a compliment from your mother/frienemy) and shove all your neuroses into a corner. For all of you awkwards out there like us, please see below for our Guide to Accepting Compliments Without Sounding Like an Asshole: All We Can Hope For, Really.


1) Smile.
No matter how much it hurts your face/pride, you need to arrange your face into something that looks less like a scowl. We know how Bitchy Resting Face goes, but you do need to acknowledge a compliment with some sort of change in expression that does not head into the grimace territory. Try.

2) Say something.
Preferably “Thank you!”, but almost anything will do. Anya’s mother has had to remind her more than once that “I know” is not an acceptable response to a compliment, but even that is better than silence.
“Oh thanks, I got them for like $6!” is an awkward response to “I love those shoes!” but acknowledging is the key here. Don’t make them repeat themselves and don’t pretend like it never happened. However...see below for responses that are even worse than not speaking at all.

Do not:

1) Argue with the giver of compliment.
These people are the worst. We hate, hate, HATE talking to strangers, making small talk, admitting that other people are winning at something and the like, so we recognize that giving a compliment can be an ordeal in and of itself for people like us. If we make the Herculean effort to squeeze out an “I love those pants” to a stranger, we had best not be rewarded with an “Oh, really? I think this pattern is really weird, I just have everything else in the wash.” I SAID SOMETHING NICE AND YOU IMPUGNED MY TASTE? Keep it.

2) Respond with another compliment.
This one is tricky because it could be coming from a potentially good place. Maybe you genuinely did admire your co-worker’s perfectly coiffed hair, but were too shy to say anything until he initiated the conversation and complimented you on your fashionable boots. However, a compliment does not open the floor to a narcissistic circle jerk of homages. Any attempts at boomeranging it back to the giver makes you appear not only ungrateful, but also rather insincere. Not to mention you run the very real risk of looking like you’re making a veiled criticism. As people who have semi-accidentally done such a thing, we’re warning you now. Don’t!

3) Completely ignore the compliment.
This is probably the rudest (non) response you could possibly give, an absolute refusal to acknowledge the fact that a compliment was given. Almost any poorly delivered deflection would be better, as long as it recognizes that a compliment was given. Observe:
CLASSMATE: You kicked ass on your project presentation today! You blew everyone else out of the water.
YOU: There were a lot of presentations in class today… Uh, I’m getting hungry, do you want to grab something to eat?
You don’t want to sound like a mega-prick, right? No matter how strange and complicated they can be, compliments are nice gestures that you just need to learn how to deal with. Sorry, not sorry, just whip out a smile and a “thanks,” and move on.

What are the best/worst compliments you have ever received? Your best/worst reactions? Hit us with some comments!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Overheard in the Office: Last Small Town Edition

Well, we made the big move, and in doing so closed a chapter in both our real lives and the blog. Lots more to come about the parties, the good byes, the overall silliness of departing from our much beloved and much maligned former workplace. The rose colored glasses of nostalgia may start creeping on, but thank goodness we have a record, here on the everlasting internet, every time we need to remind ourselves just...you know...it was its own set of trials working there.

So without further ado, the finale:

About Paul and ferrets: ”You tell him ‘you just have to get used to it!’ While he’s watching tv sometime you should pick one up and sneak up on him and plop it in his lap! It’s fun to tease him sometimes, he’s always off guard!”
   -Spacey Secretary

“Is Paul going to share the apartment with you for awhile until he figures out what he’s going to do?”
   -Spacey Secretary

“She just couldn’t keep her hands off things!”
   -Faded Hippie

“Oh wow, how did it get to be the end of the day already?”
   -Faded Hippie

Um, I don’t know, because you’ve been chatting with people since 1:30?

“No Paul!?”
   -Faded Hippie to a lonely Anya sitting at the desk

“She is pretty cute; I’d want to spend my break with her too!”
   -Troubled Temp

“Do you ever take your kids to the pediatric urgent care? Both of my doctors are on vacation”
   -Spent Supervisor
“No, my kids don’t really get sick”
   -Big Boss


“I always say I would have been a great wife and mother because I would pass all of these skills down, but I’m just waiting for Atticus Finch.”
   -No Boundaries

“So I went out with him to do all of these hives and the bees just crawl all the way up your arms but don’t sting you, and I was like, ‘This is heaven!’”
   -No Boundaries

One? Adorable. A swarm?

“Well, usually I would never make note of it, but he was African-American...”
   -No Boundaries

“Sometimes we get Arabs in here.”
   -No Boundaries

“I don’t look Asian anymore, but the doctors called me a mongoloid when I was born. Of course that was also what they called Down syndrome babies back then.”
   -No Boundaries

This picture might be offensive if she hadn’t insisted repeatedly that she’s a direct descendant

“Good Morning, thank-”
   -Paul/Anya/Soul Sister
“-Just No Boundaries!”
   -No Boundaries

“And I talked to a group of German students about World War II, and it really just brought them to tears. They feel so guilty! And you know, it wasn’t even them or even their parents that did it.”
   -No Boundaries

“Can you get out so I can finish?” (This honestly took place in the BATHROOM AT WORK)
   -No Boundaries

“At the time, I was dating this bartender/other bartender/Scot/midget/sex fiend/coworker...”
   -Overzealous Hire

“Don’t you think it’s discrimination that teachers don’t have to pay but homeschool parents do?”
   -Homeschool bitch on the phone
“Um, no.”

“I would kill for that tractor!”
   -High Schooler

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things We Did to Occupy Ourselves Offline

That was a close one, guys! A big apology to our legions of loyal followers. If you follow us on the Twitter, you know that we’ve spent the last week, which is also the first week in our new apartment in the exciting New City, sans Internet. Trust us when we say there were dark days, especially for Paul, who was both in charge of acquiring Internet access and relying upon it for his ongoing job hunt. After quickly unpacking and settling in, we experienced the “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” phenomenon (we’re sure we’ll also experience this with home at some point, probably when our $20/week food budget has taken us past “goal weight” and left us stranded at “meth head”) as we fired up our computers and realized we didn’t have a whole to do on them.

Anya was abruptly cut off from her pretty dedicated Buffy watching regimen, Paul had to stop playing his silly internet games and had nothing to keep him going through those long and lonely night hours that he usually spends staying awake for NO REASON, and we don’t even have a budget that allows drowning our sorrow in Oreos or sightseeing! The horror. So, we did as we always do, and we whined a lot. And then lived like Victorians who time traveled to the 21st century and were trying their best to preserve their way of life. we shit you not, we spent a lot of time cross stitching and reading silently in the living room together, along with the following:

Watch Homeland

The first question, of course, was ‘For the love of God does anyone have anything downloaded on their computer that can occupy our empty hours?!’. Luckily, Paul came to the rescue with the first two seasons of Homeland. We got hooked on the political and personal intrigue, Claire Danes’ cryface, and Anya’s repeated attempts to prove her screenwriting “skills” by guessing upcoming character lines. We’re almost done with the first season, but have so far failed to come up with any fully-fleshed blog articles for it (Top 5 Moments We Identified with Carrie Mathison? Top 6 Weird Homeland Hookups Between Unstable Fucks?). We’ll see.

Costco samples

Ah, the delights of a warehouse/bulk grocer. Coming from an area that did not have a Costco, we were familiar with the theory, but not the execution. Since this is the only grocery store within actual walking distance of our new apartment, we quickly bought a membership and hoped we’d end up doing more than breaking even. Honestly, we’re getting there on free samples alone. Paul and Anya went to Costco two days in a row for “lunch” and to “get groceries”. Who knew they didn’t supply bags at the checkout? Not us! So our afternoon of sightseeing in the confines of a cheesecake and mahi burger smorgesbord was stretched even further into a walk from hell, involving a cast off cardboard box that we found near the entrance and some serious muscle development hauling two gallons of milk homeward.

Creep on neighborhood dogs

One major upside to our apartment is the abundance of windows, and therefore natural light. Added bonus? We’re on the fourth floor, so no one can see us walking around without pants at all hours. Yay! Unfortunately for them, our neighbors in the cute little houses across the street don’t have that advantage, so we spent our time without internet developing an active fantasy life surrounding Henry, the English Sheepdog, and his owner who is an avid runner even on the swampiest of days.
Likes: Car rides, playing ball, people who come to visit, the porch.
Dislikes: The weird third floor tenant, the stand-offish greyhounds from around the corner, flip-flops.

Invent sad meals

We would have been doing this regardless (see above food budget), but when you remove the handy Internet function of being able to search for recipes based on the ingredients you have… it gets pretty fucking dismal.
“What if we cut up the bagel and kind of made it like garlic bread?”
“That could work… if we had garlic or butter.”
“Hmm… Well, what if we cooked it in the leftover olive oil from the vegetable (read: mushrooms) stir fry at the bottom of the wok? Maybe some of the vegetable (still just mushrooms) flavors will soak into it while it toasts?”
“You think this will go with our can of baked chickpeas?”
“Which one’s the main dish?”
Repressing, but edible. So far we’ve avoided the horrifying concoctions created by Swiss Miss that featured jaunty names like Hot Dog Surprise.

Clean the apartment

This is something that Anya does only when pushed to her limits by one of the following: boredom, disgust, impending visit by outsiders. Luckily for Paul and the Libertarian, she was insanely bored and now her parents are coming for a visit, so the place is getting the kind of vacuuming attention it will likely only be able to dream of in the coming months.

Sleep at reasonable hours

And it was over as quickly as it started.