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    The School Supply List, Translated by Dad’s Midlife Crisis

    Backpack (no wheels)

    I was 13 when the best day of my life happened—I remember it like it was yesterday. The patched pocket of my green JanSport bag was filled to the brim with rocks I found along the stream behind Rigdy’s Auto Shop. Most Wednesdays after school a group of us guys would ride our bikes up the road to old Pelican Pond to skip rocks. It was overcast the day I challenged Timmy “Tricky Thumbs” Watson to a skipping contest. I beat his record of 7 skips that day. For the rest of the year, everyone called me Skipper. I was a legend. Maybe I’ll give ol’ Timmy a call and demand a rematch. Show him who the real Skipper is.

    What’s that sweetheart? Yes, of course we can get the backpack with the sparkly ponies.

    Four two-pocket folders

    The year was 1989. I was shadowing Walter Washington at the licorice factory the summer before I went off to college. Dad had gotten me the gig, and it made him feel important to have finally created some footsteps I was willing to follow. My first big assignment was preparing three folders with handouts for an important client presentation. Eager to make a good impression, I created an extra, fourth folder just in case. During lunch, Mr. Washington spilled horseradish sauce on one of the folders. With just fifteen minutes until the meeting, my fourth folder saved the day. After the meeting Mr. Washington put his heavy hands on my shoulders and said, “Son, you have a bright future ahead of you.” I wish I could have bottled that moment and sipped it each day for the rest of my life.

    Remind daddy he has to stop at the liquor store on the way home from Target, okay honey?

    One composition notebook

    To most people, Meredith Barber was just a girl in my British Lit class, but to me she was the queen in the chess match of my college days, and I her lowly pawn. She never went anywhere without that black and white composition notebook of hers. O! How I ached to know what was inside. Did she doodle in the margins? Did it contain the secrets of how her eyes were an unspoiled blue like a sea untouched by the waste of mankind? She once told me her favorite constellation was Cassiopeia and I thought to myself, “What a thing to say!” I wonder what she’s doing now.

    Yeah, sure, mommy had a notebook, too.

    One box (24 ct.) crayons

    Chad Schmidt, the new hotshot VP at the office, parked his obnoxious new Porsche 718 Boxster next to me last week. He made a big production about admiring his front driver’s side tire like there might be a prize from a cereal box hidden in the hubcap. I could tell he wouldn’t stop ogling his vehicle until I made a comment, so I rolled down the window and said, “Got the yellow one, huh? Nice,” at which he bristled and said, “This is dandelion.” But he pronounced the “lion” with a French accent like lee-ohn. Then he made some remark about getting good gas milage on my Honda Civic, the ultimate snub in masculine car conversations. I thought back to that discussion ten years ago when I told Jessica I was finally going to buy the Ferrari I’ve been dreaming about since the day I was born, but she just found out she was pregnant, and suddenly every penny I had was repossessed, consumed by diapers and future college funds. Sometimes I just want to take all that money and buy the car I deserve. Wouldn’t the kids rather have student loans than a husk of their father?

    Anyway, you’re going to draw so many pretty pictures with these!!! By the way, is it too soon for you to tell if you’ll be going to an Ivy League school? Daddy’s making some projections.

    One box of #2 pencils

    Sometimes I feel like a pencil. Each time I grow show sharper, part of me is worn away. The shavings of myself are everywhere, worthless once hewn from the whole. It’s within my power to erase the things I’ve done, but I’m completely powerless to control my own destiny. At any moment, I feel I could break, splinter, or snap.

    But to answer your question, yes, those mechanical pencils do match your pencil case.

    500px Photo ID: 28795857 - The seats of the Olympic Stadion in Munich.

    Olympic Events Reimagined for the Modern Mortal

    The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are in full swing, and even though I haven’t been tuning into every event, when I find myself near a TV that has the Olympics on, I’m completely engrossed. I was able to catch the qualification for men’s pommel horse playing on one of the televisions by the bar when I was at LongHorn Steakhouse recently. It seemed an unlikely choice, but I suppose if seeing a bunch of fit people perform while you’re glutting yourself on a filet and lobster tail combo doesn’t make you want to drink top shelf, what will?

    Men with with distinguished deltoids were spinning their legs around an apparatus I could only hope to use as a quirky bench when the waiter delivered the Chocolate Stampede I ordered. It was two enormous pieces of cake, not an appointment to run from a bunch of hippos through a Hershey’s syrup pond. As I dug into this colossal dessert that looked more like a mansion for a chocolate chip with a trust fund than an item for human consumption, I didn’t think to myself, “What a wonderful world,” but instead, “I could never do any of these Olympic events.”

    Honestly, I think part of the reason people get so excited about the Olympics is because as much as we enjoy seeing all these world-class athletes compete and live their dreams, a tiny part of us is hoping to see some average person like us who infiltrated the games. A Waldo among Hercules. When we realize our Olympic optimism is misplaced, it can be disillusioning to know that while these people are breaking records all you’ve accomplished is breaking wind.

    But we’re being too hard on ourselves. The truth is, us average people are talented, too, and even if our efforts may be gold medal-worthy, they shouldn’t go unnoticed. Here are but a few Olympic events reimagined for the modern mortal.

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    Pokemon Go

    Where to Find Rare Pokémon in ‘Pokémon Go’ — Without Discovering a Dead Body

    Pokémon Go has been out for a little more than two weeks now, so by this point if you’ve been playing you’ve probably acquired more Rattatas than you’ll ever need, surprised yourself by muttering, “You’ve fucked with me for the last time, Caterpie,” in front of other people, and went for a walk around your neighborhood–something you wouldn’t have done pre-Pokémon Go unless you were being chased by a serial killer (or a wasp) or you were elected Sustenance Stockpiler in a newfound dystopian, post-apocalyptic society. Aside from the frequent technical glitches that only seem to happen after you’ve wasted 17 Pokéballs wooing a CP 767 Tauros that won’t be saved to your Pokédex when you relaunch the game, the biggest struggle of Pokémon Go is finding a good variety of Pokémon to catch. Where are the rare Pokémon?

    I split my time between working in the city and living in the suburbs, so I foolishly assumed my potential for becoming a Pokéballer of the highest order was all but guaranteed. I would indeed be the very best, like no one ever was, because I had the best of both worlds at my fingertips. At least, that’s what I thought before Pokémon Go so uncharitably informed me through its pitiful Pokémon offerings that I actually reside in Weedlesville, IL and my downtown office building is a breeding ground for Drowzees–the irony of which is not lost on me.

    IMG_5446 2

    At first I thought the often unimpressive Pokémon selection was a flaw in the game, but perhaps all of us Pokémon Go players just need to get more creative. We need to channel our inner Pokémon. We need to ask ourselves, “If I were Magnemite, where would I hang out?” To help guide your thinking, here are a few places where you might be able to find uncommon Pokémon while playing Pokémon Go.

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    What An Honest Millennial Resume Would Look Like

    Finding a job as a millennial can be challenging, and it’s only grown tougher because someone hasn’t been following the first rule of Millennial Club, and now every media outlet and Internet troll of a certain age who uses the word “bunk” knows this generation is stockpiling participation trophies like nuclear warheads. Being part of an elusive, notoriously hard to reach, digitally-savvy demographic would usually be an asset, but there’s a lot of bad press out there about Generation Y, especially millennials in the work force. Between you, me, and the NSA, most of the stereotypes are true, but job-seekers of every generation should be entitled to their employer discovering that they’re emo and Snapchat filter-obsessed after they’ve already been hired.

    Most job-seeking millennials are so focused on overcompensating for their millennialness on their resume that they’re missing opportunities to sell their sought-after skill set. What millennials lack in legitimate career experience they make up for in ambition, GIFs, and slang that will make you feel old. The iCloud is truly the limit for millennials, but embracing that competitive edge starts with careful consideration of the talents they may have overlooked. To jumpstart your millennial resume revamp, take inspiration from this attempt at what an honest millennial resume would look like.

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    7 Ways to Make Everyone on Facebook Hate Your Baby Before It’s Born

    You just found out that you’re pregnant – congratulations are in order! There are probably a lot of things on your mind right now like baby expenses, cheese fries, every sad moment from the movie Up, diapers, tacos, “When We Were Young” by Adele, breastfeeding, hot fudge sundaes, that moment last month when an elderly woman tried to make small talk with you in line at Macy’s but you were in a rush and you just weren’t in the mood to be social but when you laid in bed that night you just imagined her going home to a big house that’s empty save for dusty photos of children and grandchildren who live too far away and don’t call as often as they should, maternity clothes, pooping during delivery, and pickles. You’re also probably in the early stages of figuring how to be a good – or at least competent – parent. Well, before you start baby proofing your entire existence, we – your friends and followers – have one simple request: please don’t make us hate your spawn before its born.

    We don’t want to hate your baby. At least, not yet. There’s plenty of time for your kid to transition from little bundle of joy to little jerk, but until he or she does something truly worthy of our disdain like crying incessantly at the Olive Garden, we want to enjoy him or her. We want to share in your joy during this special time in your life, but please learn from the mistakes of your pregnant predecessors. In the past, some of your peers have ruined their children for us. It’s unfortunate, but they left us no choice. From the pregnancy announcement with the little pair of shoes, to 62 photos of the the gender reveal cake, to the never-ending bump updates, we were already sick of their babies before they were even brought into the world. We think you’re different though; you’re not going to be one of those moms. Even though you already have a lot on your mind, please be mindful that these seven things may result in our untimely abhorrence of your new addition.

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