2011 Lessons

Things I've learned this year.

1. When it comes to FedEx packages, ignore the tracking number. "On Truck for Delivery" is apt to drive you insane. It will arrive when it arrives.

2. If you goose the volume on an iPhone you can still hear it through your 180s (hair friendly earmuffs). Mash the earpiece over the outside of the muff and call someone you love. Chicago winter - 0 / Nick - 1.

3. Keep your receipts. Otherwise you'll find yourself in a Genius Bar interrogation room. I felt like a captured spy.

4. I'm still allergic to cats. When I meet a girl who has cats I pretend like nothing's wrong so I don't seem like a sissy. My manliness might remain intact if not for my bloodshot eyes and arms covered in hives.

5. Coke Zero is exactly the same as Diet Coke except the ratio of artificial sweeteners is tweaked. It's a way to market diet soda to men. And I fell for it! The ad execs at Coke have my number.

6. It's possible to cut yourself with a towel. WTF Bounce? Get it together.

7. The key to Connect Four is to force your opponent's hand. Make them block and use it to your advantage. You know where your opponent's next move will occur. Cultivate an attack strategy that incorporates his or her subordination. Domination is inevitable.

8. The best cupcake in Chicago is at Molly's (2536 North Clark Street). Extensive research supports this conclusion. May I recommend either the peach cobbler or the peanut butter Nutella? The world can do no wrong when you're listening to Jay-Z while eating a cupcake.

9. A good show can erase a week of soul-crushing work.

10. You can cause weather to worsen by packing up your winter jacket. Sorry, Chicagoans.

11. If your apartment is small enough, steam from the shower will set off your smoke detector in your living/bed room. Open a window beforehand to avoid naked, dripping, towel-waving awkwardness.

12. When your landlord raises your rent, pay whatever they ask. Moving is exponentially worse than writing an extra zero or two on a check.

13. A closet looks much more spacious before being crammed full of band tees and skinny jeans. Plan your move accordingly.

14. I must get over this idiot fantasy of meeting someone on a bus, elevator, or plane. It's exhausting. It's never happened. It's never going to happen, yet it makes every trip a disappointment. This romantic comedy trope is empirically and rationally baseless, yet extraordinarily persistent. As Camus says, "There is so much stubborn hope in the human heart." What a dick. What a thoroughly observant dick.

15. When your best isn't enough, get better.

16. Meeting a girl helps you to slack off on your writing.

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