If you rearrange the letters in my last name, it spells "alligator".
If you were like pretty much everyone in the world, you were probably let down by the fact that Croatia didn't have their storybook ending in taking home first place in the 2018 World Cup. Sure, France had an amazing team and all that, and the contest's youngest MVP player, Mbappé, even donated all of his winnings from the tournament to charity—so I guess it's hard to be too upset with the competition's end result.
And even though everyone played their hearts out (except Egypt, I mean, they went again Saudi Arabia and the results were just embarrassing), there was a clear winner this World Cup and it actually wasn't even any of the teams. S
ure there's a first, second, and third place result, but all of those accomplishments pale in comparison to the wonderful memes that sprung up as a result of this glorious tournament.
More than a few were thanks to Brazil's Neymar.
I grew up in a marginally superstitious family who brought some beliefs and hocus-pocus superstitions from the old country. I couldn't make too much noise late at night for fear of attracting a "jinn." I couldn't point at cemeteries or stare into a mirror for too long or my face would become deformed, and heaven help me if I was ever mean to or disobeyed my parents or grandparents, because then I'd be looking at a cursed life that would ruin me until the day that I died.
But the idea of "back luck" or stepping on cracks, walking under ladders, or stealing a black cat's macchiato isn't something that my family really bought into. Sure, we believed in supernatural stuff and the idea that karma gets back around to mess with you or your kids, but "bad luck"?
No honey, it isn't luck that's ruining your life, it's an unseen species of metaphysical monsters that exist in a different plane we know little about—but they are mentioned in the Quran, so be careful!
There are phenomena so unfortunate that simply looking at images of them will cause the same bad luck to befall you. So on this Friday the 13th, gaze upon these pictures with extreme caution.
Finding a handwritten note pressed between the pages of a book, or in the pocket of some secondhand clothing you purchased, or tucked away in some part of a house you recently moved into, is almost always an exciting find. The fact that someone took time to pen their thoughts and feelings down and then hide them away is super cool. It gives you a personal look into someone's thoughts, especially if it's a note that wasn't intended to be read by anyone else.
It's even better when the note is a blast from the past, because then you're getting some legit first-hand history from an actual person, not some lame lecture on the Louisiana Purchase or news articles on the first World War.
Maybe it's because so few people actually write anything by hand anymore, but even finding notes written just the other day feels special. Sure it's a bit voyeuristic to read a note meant for someone else, but, hey, if they didn't want someone reading it, maybe they shouldn't have written it down in the first place.
Whatever, I refuse to feel bad for looking at found notes.
I used to love spelling growing up, because it was a relatively easy class. All I had to do was memorize how the words were spelled and boom, my classmates thought I was smart — or at least they did, up until the fifth grade. Then everyone around me suddenly became unimpressed with my ability to spell meteorologist.
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills were not really my forte, however. So I suffered in math and classes that required more effort than simple spelling. Plus, I wasn't all that good of a speller aloud, I had to write down the word and look at it to see if it "made sense" to me. So whatever "talent" I cultivated for spelling words correctly on the spot waned by the time middle school rolled along, and most of my friends didn't even really view it as a talent, but rather, a nerdish ability that was ultimately pointless. As one classmate told me after I proudly stated aardvark begins with two a's, "Who the heck cares? We could just check a dictionary for the right spelling anyway. Besides, computers now will tell you when you're wrong."
And even though he's technically right, and I do agree that one's ability to spell correctly isn't a reliable way to measure their intelligence, I think even he would shake his head at some of the hilarious errors these people made.
There are some reality TV shows that, likely due to a combination of relatively low production costs and consistently decent ratings, will never, ever, ever be taken off the air.
After 20 seasons of Big Brother, it looks like the show that puts a bunch of strangers in a house, feeds them free booze, and then records the drama, has definitely solidified itself as one of those series.
The newest cast of housemates just made their network debut, and to call them a motley crew would be an understatement.
There are plenty of instances where the United States Justice system messes up royally and totally innocent people end up getting screwed in ways that would give any depressing Oscar-contending film a run for its money. And in moments like that, it's easy to shake your head at everyone involved in doling out justice in this country.
From the court system and its corrupt judges, to some cops who mistreat children and are generally unfit as agents of "peace keeping," getting down on the way we're policing our citizens isn't difficult.
But make no mistake - there are tons of idiots who break the law every single day, and after hearing these stories from probation officers about some of the strangest and straight-up clueless offenders they've ever dealt with, you might start sympathizing with Johnny Law a bit more.
All right, maybe you won't go that far, but you know what I mean.
When I think of vending machines I think of frustration. Of late hours at some government building waiting to get some bureaucratic nonsense taken care of. Or stressful times at a hospital. Unhealthy snacks and feeling gross immediately after I cave into my desire for junk food.
But it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of awesome vending machines out there that go above and beyond the stale chips and crusty, white-dust-coated candy bar stereotype.
These are the vending machines of the future, and the future's looking pretty darn good.
Meeting your favorite celebrity can be a letdown sometimes. Whether they're in a bad mood, don't feel like talking to you, or are just upset that you're on their private property, there are tons of times when meeting that special famous person just doesn't live up to your expectations.
But for some people, their celebrity encounters become immortalized.
Whether it's for the internet's delight, they're own, or both, these times celebrities trolled their fans are just priceless.
Chores are the worst. There's never not been a time that they didn't suck. Even if you lived in a household where your parents had some extra cash that they would give to you in the form of an allowance (I wasn't that lucky) and would pay you to get your chores done, it doesn't change the fact that chores absolutely suck.
And when you grow up and go out into the world and have your own place, the chores just keep mounting up. You're doing all the laundry for your place. All the vacuuming. All the bathroom sanitizing. All the sponge replacing. All the dish washing and drying. Everything.
And because chores suck and you're not exactly going out of your way to discover new ways to create more work for yourself in your home, you're inevitably going to miss a few spots. Some key cleaning practices that require a bit more thinking to address. Otherwise, certain smells might accumulate in your home and grime starts to build up in places you would've never expected.
Thankfully, these people who clean homes for a living spilled the beans on the most common "spots" people miss washing in their homes on Reddit. Learn from their mistakes so you can add even more chores to your never-ending list of responsibilities. But hey, at least when you do sit down on your couch to binge watch The Office for the zillionth time, you'll be doing it in a squeaky clean house.
Driving around the various routes and highways in New Jersey the past couple of months I noticed that iHop was trying to really show off their burgers to the car commuter crowd.
Now I remember being broke and in college, driving around late at night and looking for a sit down place where we could have a hot meal without breaking the bank. One year, for some reason, iHop was our spot. My friend would always get a cheeseburger. It was cheap and surprisingly not bad.
So, putting two together, when iHop announced that they'd be temporarily changing their name to "iHob" like it was this great mystery, I had a feeling it was a promotional tool for them to try and get customers excited about their burgers. I guess other people don't pay as much attention to billboards as I do (probably because they're too busy focusing on the road, psh, nerds) because people were a bit surprised that the "b" stands for burgers.
There are some mythical occurrences that only a few people have experienced in their lives. They're so elusive that you almost think the people that regale you with these stories are lying about them. Like the bro at your gym who totally did molly last weekend and talked a lesbian couple into a threesome at their place. Because, you know they couldn't go back to his on account that he still lives with his parents, but only because the lease on his 3-series is so high and that plus the insurance is killing him.
Another sexual "unicorn" is the elusive Mile High Club, which is just a fancy way of saying you had sex on a plane while it is up in the air - usually in the bathroom.
Although it's totally happened before, and some of the tales seem like they're straight out of a late-night Skinemax film with an $80,000 budget, not all people's attempts at getting a jet-set lay ended so well.
As human beings we've developed certain protocols for doing certain things in certain ways. When people deviate from those protocols, our gut reaction is to recoil in horror and be like, "WTF do they think you're doing?"
Now that might seem like an over-reaction, but just look back at what happened to Ignaz Semmelweis, who postulated back in the 1800's that doctors needed to wash their hands before delivering children due to this notion he had that microscopic "germs" were capable of carrying disease. People thought he was crazy and members of his own scientific community ousted him. He died a pariah and it wasn't until after his death that his practices were accepted and acted on.
Sometimes going against the grain is 100% necessary for the advancement of humanity. But then there are some people who aren't going against that grain for any noble cause: just sheer anarchy. These people should be stopped at all cost.
Growing up as a Muslim-Albanian family with very patriarchal ideas on the way a family is supposed to operate, my idea of what a father should be was a very "man's man" one.
He brings home the bacon, laughs maybe five times a year, and was really into Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorcese movies. Oh, and a Marlboro Red had to be perpetually hanging out the side of his mouth.
Fast forward years later and here I am, dadding it up, and I'm not that, like, at all. The manliest thing I probably do is hit the gym, bro, and not shave my chest hair. Other than that though, I'm nothing like the former generation of "guy's guys" that raised me. Which I'm totally cool with, because I'm already learning special hair braids to try out on my daughter once she gets older. Because her old man might be a North Jersey meathead, but he's going to be a meathead who doesn't mind having tea parties and getting his nails painted with his little girl.