I (probably, eh, might have) increased the size of my brain – and you can too!

Back in 2010, I wrote a post called “I’m always right on the cusp of video game trends (of 15 years ago).” Yeah I know. Really nice, smooth title. Anyway, I wrote about how, after four months of playing Super Mario 64 with my little brother every time I visited home from college, we had finally beat the game. Well, I finally beat the game. Samuel supported me in his own way: by jumping up and down and telling me not to lose.

Despite how awful it might sound, it was actually an awesome way to spend time with my six year old brother. Now we mostly make vines together.

I’m content with how I spent my time at home during those months. What else was I supposed to do, study and pull my GPA up during my last semester of college?

Turns out, I may have done my brain some good anyway. A recently published study in Molecular Psychiatry found that playing Super Mario 64 for thirty minutes a day over a period of two months increased brain volume in the areas that control “spatial navigation, strategic planning, working memory and motor performance.” 

So, yes, mom. Playing Super Mario 64 was a valuable use of my time.*

*Just kidding, she never questioned our commitment to the game and might have even encouraged it because it at least kept Samuel in constant movement. He was very worried about me losing.

Why I don’t trust my Kindle’s recommendations


What I hoped it would be about

Um… something about a woman who goes on a three day mimosa bender, hopping around brunch places and stuffing her face with french toast and eggs Benedict.

What it is actually about

(Taken from the book’s description on Amazon.com)

One day can change your life forever…Three days change a painful past into a beautiful tomorrow… [Note: As far as I’m concerned, I could still be right.]

Once, Sam Perry had it all. A loving marriage, an amazing job she adored as a preschool teacher, and a beautiful home. [She sure sounds like a fan of mimosas!] She was safe, happy and secure. [Really, nothing placates a person like a couple glasses of fruity champagne.] Then the unthinkable happened… [She went to a brunch where she thought the mimosas were unlimited but really it was a pay per drink situation? …Okay, sorry.]  Watching his once carefree wife withdraw into herself was almost more than Brian Perry could handle. [What the – alright, before we introduce any new characters how about we get to the boozy brunch part?] The only thing that kept him going was knowing that he loved her more than life itself. [Have you ever had eggs Benedict with crab meat? Only asking because I might know how he feels.] Moving her out of New York to Chandlerville, a small, quiet suburb of Atlanta, felt right. [Um, wait, I’m not sure small towns really do mimosa brunches- ] Anything, to get her away from the memories of the buildings, and her world, crashing around her. [You know it seems like we’re really getting off track here. Tell us more about this Lane o’ Mimosas!]

Now, two sons and many years later, Sam cherishes the new life on Mimosa Lane that Brian built for them. [ WAIT. No! Mimosa Lane is literally the name of a street??]

Until lightning strikes twice… [Mention alcohol and/or breakfast next or I’m DONE.]

Called a hero by her small community, Sam feels more like a coward than ever. [Alright, that’s it. I’m not even going to- Oooh there’s an exciting noun in the next sentence!] Instinct draws her into an altercation at her children’s school—an instinct that also drives her away from the warm cocoon of her family. [I bet she fought a kid. Way to not appreciate your family’s warm cocoon, Sam!]

Brian refuses to lose his wife again. [Dear god! How many children has this woman fought??] He agrees to give her the space she asks for, but he soon realizes space isn’t something they and their children can afford. [You know what’s really affordable though? Try a four egg omelette, home fries, a mixed greens side salad, and UNLIMITED MIMOSAS for only $16.95. I’m just saying.] He knows their love can still conquer all. [Brian, I think she fought a kid though.] But this time he’ll need their entire community to help him win his wife back. [I’m guessing NOT with, like, a community-wide block party brunch?]

On my work as a “Background Artist” / “Intrusive stranger standing behind actual subject of photo”

I was waiting for the subway about a month ago when I heard a woman approach the girl standing next to me on the platform. She gently tapped the girl’s shoulder and said “Excuse me, I’m a blogger for Shy People Fashion and I just love what you’re wearing. Could I take a picture for the blog?” The girl laughed a little and said it would be fine.

After pouting for about two seconds that I hadn’t received such an enthusiastic compliment on my ensemble (Jeans, boots, scarf, striped shirt -> yeah, I quickly saw why I was ignored) I realized that this girl next to me was going to end up on a Subway Platform Style Street Style blog. I also realized that I would never be on one of those, unless I acted quickly.

As the blogger got ready to take the photo, I leaned forward a bit, as though suddenly immensely interested in the internet that was refusing to connect on my phone. I was determined to be in the photo.

And I was:

Me on a streetstyle blog

Check out the original post on Shy People Fashion.

Background of streetstyle photo

And you know what really gets me? I almost wore that exact same outfit!! Only then I realized that my “feather printed red zip up” needed to be washed and my “vintage leather boots that have a great ‘worn in’ look” had dog poop on them. That’s why I had to just throw on jeans and a t-shirt.

The rush I experienced from seeing my face out of focus on a small fashion blog reminded me of another insignificant media appearance I’ve made. Back in 2007, I spent a day as a background artist on The Wire, as a “debate team member.” I keep meaning to watch The Wire but I’ve never gotten around to it so I still don’t know the context, although I’m sure that this high school debate was about the least important thing on the episode, unless there was a drug bust in the auditorium and I somehow missed it. Anyway, all I know is that Mayor/Governor Carcetti tries to shake Howard Colvin’s hand and Colvin totally leaves him hanging (this all took place after the debate, in the school parking lot). I walk by them (celebrating my very successful debate win, I decided at the time) and, in a flash of blurry purple, give the audience a momentary break from the drama.

Me on The Wire 1


Me on The Wire 2

Now relax, and just stare at my Old Navy button down.

Me on The Wire 3


If you ever get a chance to work as a background artist, I highly recommend it, especially if you can do it with a group of friends. It can be a little boring, but it’s cool to see how a TV show is filmed, and if you’re with friends it makes the boring parts bearable. If you ever get asked to be on Street Style blog, cherish the experience! And also please call me because I’d like to position myself in the background of your photo.