Australia or Bust

This is a story about the day we mailed my best friend’s little sister to Australia.  The following account is mostly true except for the parts that are a little fuzzy in my memory so I fabricated them slightly to keep the story from falling apart.

You remember iMacs?  I mean, I know we still have them, but I’m talking about the old ones.  You know, the colored ones with the convenient handles on top.


Believe it or not, these were once the height of technological achievement.  Ours was green, and more importantly it came in a fantastic cardboard box.

Being the a) weird and b) imaginative children that we were, my brothers and I immediately discovered that you could fit any one of us in that box and close the lid easily.  Our new favorite game involved shoving someone into the box, closing them in, and rolling it around on the basement floor until he (or she) could no longer see straight.  It was sort of a contest to see who could endure it the longest without brain damage.  (My parents had no idea we did this until about a year ago).

Anyway, one afternoon my best friend and her little sister came over to play with my brothers and I.  My little brother and I and the two of them were inseparable. This day was special though, because my older brother condescended to associate with the unenlightened and played with us as well.

We rolled each other around in the box until everyone was dizzy, and since my friend’s sister was the youngest, she had to go last.  (Duh.  Everything is about age hierarchy when you’re a kid.)

We were terrible children, and rolled the box onto the lid so that she was trapped.  And then we hatched a plan.  Looking back on this story, the rest of us usually blame my big brother for what happened next.  He was the oldest, he should have known better.  But really it was all of our faults.

After rolling her enough to disorient her, we let her out of the box but blindfolded her immediately.  We then proceeded to make her walk around our basement and up a fake flight of stairs that we had created out of pillows.  While this was happening we helpfully said things like “yeah, let’s go upstairs” and “hey why don’t we take her outside” and “why don’t you pick her up and carry her for a sec”.

We also said things like “ooo put her in the box” and “hey, let’s mail her to Australia!” and “yeah write ‘Australia’ on the box with some stamps” and “Hey, look! Here comes the mailman!”

At this point, either she started crying, or she freaked out enough to take off the blindfold.  Either way, “here comes the mailman” was the breaking point.  There are few things that strike fear into the heart like the possibility of the immediate presence of a U.S. Postal worker.

We were still in the basement, but she was convinced she was seconds away from a trip to Australia.


And that’s how we scarred my best friend’s little sister for life.  It still comes up, pretty much anytime we’re all together.  “Remember that day you pretended to mail me to Australia?”


“You guys suck.”

Which just goes to show, you should never trust your siblings, or your friends.  They might try to mail to you to another continent, just for kicks.


Oh Hai, 2017

It’s a been a rough year.  The internet is pretty united on that front.  Like a zillion famous people died, and then there’s this whole election thing, and yeah.  Things are maybe not the best.

But hey, now we have a whole brand new year in front of us.  And I was thinking, maybe it’s time to change some things about how we do this whole “resolution” deal that everyone seems so fond of.

Not that I’m against resolutions.  It’s a new year, obviously let’s decide to do some things differently.  But I feel like so many people resolve the same things every year.  We all want to exercise more, eat better, work harder, be nicer, whatever.  Blah blah blah.  And while these are all good things, they’re so, um, boring.  In fact, they are so uninteresting that most people forget they’ve made them within a matter of hours.

So if you want to lose weight or start eating kale or whatever in 2017, that’s great go ahead and do that.  If not, I’ve compiled a short list of some slightly more interesting resolutions you may want to consider.


  1. Resolve to disregard a meaningless social norm.  Just pick one.  For example, you could resolve to say hello to every person you walk past, or you could resolve to turn off your phone every time you’re eating a meal with another person.  Or you could resolve to start answering the question “how are you?” honestly instead of just saying “good” in response.  Dance to the music in the mall.  You get the idea.
  2. Resolve to DO things with your friends instead of “hang out”.  People want to get together?  Say “yeah” and then suggest bowling or laser tag or hiking or a picnic.  Make NEW memories instead of rehashing old ones.
  3. Make a list of people you love who live at least an hour away to randomly  send snail mail too.  Resolve that by the end of 2017 you will have written each of those people one letter, just because.
  4. Find one societal issue that really bothers you, and resolve to do something about it.  Whether it’s by donating money, materials, time or all of the above.  If you’re having trouble thinking of or finding something, here’s a link to this cool charity social media app that’s getting released soon.
  5. Find one or two other people and resolve to explore new music together.  Take turns finding new albums and spend one to two weeks listening to each one.  By the end of the year, you could potentially have found up to 52 new artists.  The best part is you can do this even if your music group is crunched for time – discussion can easily happen over group text.
  6. Resolve to discover the ways the people around you give and receive love.  Think of concrete ways you can change the way you love others based on their primary means of giving and receiving love.  If you’ve never heard of the 5 love languages, you can read more about them here:
  7. Google the tourist attractions in either the city where you live now, or the city where you grew up, (funny how we never really get to know our own homes).  Visit at least one in the upcoming year.
  8. Resolve to eliminate the words “maybe” and “we’ll see” from your vocabulary.  Either say yes, or say no.  Be the one person who isn’t afraid to make decisions.
  9. Take something that you love, and find a way to enjoy it differently.  For example: I love Mario Kart.  I think it’s great.  You know what’s also fun?  Blind Mario Kart.  One person (blindfolded) drives, another person gives verbal directions.  It becomes an entirely new interaction.
  10. Think of something in politics that you actually care about.  (I know we’re all pretty fed up with politics but…if we don’t participate nothing will change).  Actually write a letter to your congressman about it.  Or heck, you could write the president I guess.  But really.  Write a letter.


There you have it.  A list of 10 interesting things that you might choose to do with your new year.  Happy resolving!

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” – G.K. Chesterton