The Almond Milk

I am one of those unfortunate people with a nut allergy. That means every time someone offers me a cookie I have to ask, "does this have nuts in it?" The number of times the cookie has had nuts in it will break even the strongest of hearts.

Once I was at a restaurant celebrating my birthday and the waiter, to my surprise, brought me a free birthday dessert. Again with the false happiness. I was practically drooling it looked so good. But, I had to ask if it had nuts in it and long story short, my mom ended up eating that desert.

I have come to accept the reality that I simply cannot be a "dessert person" because all the fancy-schmancy desserts have nuts in them. I also cannot take part in blind taste tests or eating games, I cannot be spontaneous and decide to close my eyes and point at anything on a menu, and I will never ever be able to enjoy Nutella. Which basically means, according to almost everyone I have ever talked to, I will never have "lived."

This is a part of my identity and something I simply have to quit whining about and accept.

Or, at least, that is what I thought.

I was sitting at home one day eating cereal, chomping away, contemplating life, looking dramatically out my window, you know, the usual, when I realized something was off.  I was looking at the cereal box and observed a word I had, for a number of years, seemed to casually ignore. The box said, "Honey Nut Cheerios." Nuts were in the name of the cereal I was eating.


Why I had been eating "Honey Nut Cheerios" all my life and had never once asked myself how that made any sense at all, I'll never know, but it finally hit me. I was eating a nut and was not dying. I was no longer allergic to something.

So, I looked at the back of the cereal box to find out which nut it was. Almonds. This was very exciting for me because one of my friends used to say, "Lily, it's truly too bad you can't eat almonds. Because, if you could, you would love them." With that in mind, and with my Epipen not too far away, I walked into my kitchen and tried to find some almonds to eat to test my new eating ability.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any almonds. However, I did find some almond milk.

I automatically poured myself a glass of the lumpy, thick, gooey almond drink, and drank some. What happened next I am not too proud of, I spit it out on to the floor. I cannot explain to you how repulsed I was. It just, it tasted like garbage. But, being stubborn, I tried again, and forced myself to adjust to the taste.

I walked away from the kitchen both cringing and smiling, and resumed whatever it was I was doing before.

But, to my surprise, a few minutes later, I heard a scream.

I ran to the kitchen to find my sister jumping up and down similar to how I would image a monkey might if it accidentally sat on its banana or stubbed its toe. She was  rinsing her mouth with water and calling for my mom to bring her mouth wash. I asked her what was wrong. She told me the almond milk was expired.

Because I had never had almond milk before, I did not know what it tasted like when it was not expired, and forced a full cup of expired almond milk down my esophagus. Feel free to feel sorry for me as I puke.


Nick Offerman. Sorry- I mean, Bacon.

If you watch Parks and Recreation you know there is a character named Ron Swanson who likes to eat bacon and has a mustache. Enough said. His ridiculous ability to consume pig meat inspires my friends and I to no longer refer to him by a human name but simply by Bacon. (By the way, the fact that I am still able to worship someone that I call Bacon, despite my vegetarianism, says something.)

Once in school a girl introduced herself and I picked up on the fact that her last name was Swanson. Forgetting that I was living in real life, I started hyperventilating. Then I realized Ron Swanson was not his real name (happens all the time) and this Swanson was not related to Nick Offerman.

Many mornings ago I was sitting in my dads room on his magnificent computer writing an essay. It was 6:00 AM and I had just started the first page. Distracted by the sunrise, I turned my head to look out the window.

On a balcony directly across from my window stood a man with a mustache and I swear he was eating bacon.

This was over a year ago. Since then I have come to several revelations about Nick Offerman.

One, he is buds with my grandparents.

My grandpa is a successful playwright, and basically knows everyone. No big deal. Once I was casually talking about my obsession with Nick Offerman while at a Steakhouse (where he is very relevant) when my grandparents told me they knew him. They casually would have dinner with him and his wife, Megan Mullally, years ago when they lived in New York.

I, obviously, practically fainted when I heard that. I remember reaching into my pocket for my phone to show them that his face was my screen saver.

And second, I almost met him.

A few days ago my grandma texted me, "Nick Offerman at Barnes & Noble Weds 7pm Union Square." Apparently he wrote a book about canoeing and was having a book signing.


It was all I talked about that day. But though I told practically everyone I knew and begged them to come with me, everyone had "too much work." Honestly, I didn't even care. I went by myself.

Stupidly, I decided to arrive on-time instead of hours early. Obviously, I have been deprived of sleep recently, because in order to see someone like Nick Offerman you need to wait on line for a long time. So, when I entered the bookstore, crazy-eyed with a huge grin, trying to find the space where he was, I was stopped by a security guard.

“Fourth floor is closed ma'am.” She said.

“Can you repeat that please?”

“Fourth floor is full.”

“Is that where Nick Offerman is?”


“So, I can not see Nick Offerman.”


“So, I will not be seeing him.”

“That is correct.”

“So, he will not be seen by me today.”

“If you would like to wait in line you can get a book signed by him, the line starts on the first floor.”

I was so disappointed. So disappointed that I began negotiating with the officer. I was wearing at the time a necklace my friend Nina gave me. The necklace had a miniature harmonica on it that usually has people in awe. (Though that might be due to the fact that I will periodically make music with it and then pretend as though I did not, causing people to look around suspiciously trying to understand where the music is coming from.)

I jokingly told her that if she let me up to the fourth floor, I would give her this famous harmonica necklace.

She looked me dead in the eye and repeated, “If you would like to wait in line you can get a book signed by him, the line starts on the first floor.”

“How long do you think I will have to wait?”

“Two or so hours.”

But as much as I wanted to, I had to be at least somewhat responsible. High school seniors have a lot of work to do. So, I left. And did not meet him.

I swear to god Barnes and Noble, you will regret not letting me see Nick Offerman.
I may use bacon as a bookmark or something.



Who would have thought? One moment a confident young girl with hair below her shoulders, the next a hillbilly with a mullet.
Yes, sadly, the mullet girl is me. Though due (thank god) to the invention of bobby pins no one really knows. And I guess technically I do not have a mullet, but I might as well. I have a sorry case of terrible-bangs.
I should have known the moment the hairdresser started snipping, the magazines on her wall with her face on it were all handmade and her hair looked like a goat thought it was a couch. But something happens when you sit in the chair of a hairdresser. All of a sudden you forget how to have opinions and doubts or rather, a voice to voice them. She washed my hair, she grabbed (yes, grabbed) her scissors and destroyed any chances for me to have bangs like Zooey Deschannel. The first thing my mom said was, "Oh! Lily, you look like a toddler!" To that I just had to close my eyes for a moment and think, "not again." And sure enough when I willed myself to open my eyes, I was looking into a photo album from back in the day.
Bangs. I'm here to convince you they are the ultimate poison of my generation. The pictures of celebrities with successful bangs, laying softly on the top of their eyebrows, seemingly benign. Society is trying to tell us to get bangs. And sometimes people fall in that trap.
Months ago, when I went up to my friends and asked them if I should get bangs, I had already made up my mind. After the symphonies of "No,""Please, no," or "Lily you are going to regret this," I smiled at them and said, "I know right! I should definitely get bangs. Thanks for the advice," as though I was a tape recorder without a brain, a zombie student treating research as busy work. So I guess this is a warning for everyone out there like me. Change is good but bangs- Bangs are simply destructive.


The Barbie Phone

I'm not actually too fond of the color pink. My sister was always the pinky piglet, and I, the blue bugger. But when I lost my last phone and saw the pink phone on the screen I was immediately attached to it. I imagined how funny it would be to pull out a phone, a completely covered in pink fake blackberry, and act like it was perfectly normal. To me the phone was a barbie phone, that worked. It would be like owning a barbie computer that worked. Or a barbie home telephone that worked.

Whether I wanted to amaze babies when they put the "barbie phone" to their ears and hear a real person's voice on the other side, or I just wanted to have something to laugh at multiple times during the day, I can't say... But I bought it.


Mouse On Slope

Vermont and mice, is there a distinction? Well, yes. But for some reason, unknown to me, my experiences with Vermont tend to be summed up through one word: mice. Last year I found a dead mouse in my ski boot, which scared the crap out of me and arguably inspired my fear of going on black diamond runs, (though, thinking back there really is no connection what so ever).

And then there was this year.

I was skiing this time, with a boot on both my feet, when I suddenly stopped. I could have sworn I saw something descending down the mountain alongside my friend. It was a small oval-shaped object, but didn't seem to be rolling down the mountain as an inanimate object might...

As I slowed down, I discovered what it was.

A mouse running to safety (really slowly but surely....)

I'm just happy this one was cute and alive.

Click Here for Other Mouse Story


Cats Compensate Change

No, I'm not dripping with diamonds and pearls. And no, I'm not begging on the streets. Though, I might as well have been that day in early August. I was dripping in change.

I was planning to go to the Strand Bookstore, to buy Middlesex and a comic book for Cassidy. I was also going to go meet my friend, who likes cats. I lost track of time and realized I was running a litter late. (Pun intended). I threw on my shoes, grabbed my phone, a jacket, and looked inside my wallet.


I had been gone for a month and a half and forgot that I brought all my money with me, only to be spent on a cheap ring, and a lot of chocolate milk. Oh, and an Arizona Iced tea in Arizona. I know, I know, actually the coolest thing. Anyway, there I was, running late, home alone, poor as a chicken.

So of course I called my mom. But neither my mom nor dad had any money around the house for me to use on books. I, at that point most likely on the floor crying to myself, all of a sudden was hit with an idea.

The bucket.
Or buckets,
of random change throughout the house.

I went scavenging throughout the apartment and eventually found seven dollar bills, an assortment of quarters, dimes, and nickels.

So there I was, running through the streets, sounding and looking quite homeless, with a mesmerized smirk on my face.

I took the subway
I found the Strand
I entered the Strand
I found the books
I got in line
I got to the cashier
I realized how painfully hilarious my next move had to be

"I'm really sorry but I'm going to have to pay for these books with change..."

She gave me a blank stare that reminded me of my cousin who is somewhat notorious for that.

"I counted it though. It amounts to $32.76."

Another blank stare. She counted the seven dollars and picked up a quarter.

That's when I started making comments like

"I'm so sorry about this, really I am"

"Oh wow sorry"


The long line seemed to be growling at me

She kept counting and I kept fidgeting with my wallet. Then I started to fidget with my notebook. Aha, yes a solution, I could give her a cute little postcard!

In my notebook I kept a stack of memorabilia from my trip. So, I started shuffling through it. There was one with an old man on it adorned with bright colors and a toothy grin. Above him read the words WE WANT YOU! FOR SHROOMFEST!

Aha, no.

The next was a picture of a cat. It was a delicate illustration on yellowing paper with pencil. I observed the scene. Here I was, watching as the cashier counted my change, holding a picture of a cat and contemplating whether or not I should give it to her.

I waited.
I was five cents short. I added a few more awkward "ehh, ah, oh, yea, that's all the money I have..."

She let it slide. Didn't say anything though. Gave me another blank stare.

I don't know what it was, or why I didn't do it, but I left the store with the picture of the cat in my hands.

I ended up giving it to my friend.


Mouse In Boot

I wish I could tell you the story I am about to tell you is not as bad as the title suggests. But I really can't. I really, really, just sadly absolutely cannot. It is horrible. It is true. It will give you nightmares, it will make you forget what it is to want to eat food. It will very easily convince you that staying in a little clean bathroom, without windows is a good idea, because it is horrible.

Now that was, of course, a bit of an exaggeration, simply because I live in a city and I am not used to mice. So yes, to me it is horrible, this story I am about to tell you, but of course you may think, "Ha! The wimp!" And well, it's okay I'm expecting it.

It was a windy day. Actually, no I have no recollection of the weather because this was what? Three months ago? Okay, so I have no idea what the weather was... But you know, sometimes it is just nice to add in those little details so as to create a setting and then oh I don't know, intensify the suspense.

OOOO the wind howled in my ears. The sky was dark, the sun had set, the stars were no where to be seen.

Okay, I'll stop.

I was in a garage. I know that isn't as scary as being in the middle of a dark forest, the moon lost amist the sky, but it's the truth so I gotta stick to it.

A garage. And on a trailer-like thingamagigy. I was trying on skiing boots because I was going to go - take a guess. Good. Now, I didn't have my own skiis with me because I was in Vermont and I usually go skiing in Massachussets, so I was trying on someone else's skis that I was going to borrow. I placed my foot inside the boot. I tried to force my foot in but there seemed to be something at the bottom.

No biggy.
Probably just a piece of paper, or a rock, or something...

I reached down into the boot.
I pulled something up.

It was really grey, and rough, and looked like one of those things you clean dishes with that are metalic and hairy looking? (Does anyone have any idea what I'm talking about?) Steel Wool.

The moment was quick. I looked at my friends uncle with a look of pure disgust. What the heck is this?   By the look of his face I should not have asked. But I did anyway. Of course I did.

I threw it to the ground.

"What was that?" I asked.

He said, "You don't want to know..."

"Was that a mouse?"

I didn't need to see him nod to know that it was a mouse.
Are you screaming yet?

Well, that's all I have to share for today. I'd appreciate you trying to top my mouse experience...


Invisible Neighbor Takes New Action

Please pardon if my writing seems to be proper I am in the middle of reading Pride and Prejudice and must confess I am being transformed into an aristocrat.

Oh what a pity it is to find alas my life of war to be over! The time has come for me to cease the endless undeclared war between me and my neighbor! For my neighbor has, quite unfortunately, made a peace offering. To what of which that is I shall explain, if only you will listen. And do not forget the past acts of war that were taken against me in the past, observe here and here.

I was walking, jolly, with prudent intentions, to dispose of my garbage as fast as possible when a sudden realization disturbed my countenance. The toilet was in my house and I earnestly required it. I dropped the garbage can and sprinted to my residence, passing dear sister on the way in.

        "Cassidy, dearest I must occupy the washroom!"

        "Right away, dear!" She responded with intent concern.

When I was ready I headed back out the door, walking with the intention of finishing the job I started. But as I looked ahead of me to the spot of which I let rest my can of garbage, I found only an empty space. I stopped.

Alas! I was frightened! Did someone steal my dear garbage can? 

I hurried to open the garbage room door with fear of it being too late. The door handle was quite dirty I must say, this is courage I display.

Inside the garbage room sat a perfectly luxurious garbage can completely intact. It was mine and I was saved!

But here comes the part of which there is fear. Fear only because it is so strange. So very strange, however benevolent, I was frightened.

As I looked inside the garbage can I observed ever single peace of garbage to be missing. And as I looked inside of the recycling bins it was there my garbage lay. I stood there with my eyes wide for minutes.

What ever could this mean? 

My neighbor disposed of my garbage during my swift absence. That was all it could mean. And after what feels like years of war between this invisible neighbor, I realized it was all over. However fun the experience was, it is and will always be over.  And for that I will be ever grateful. This was a noble deed of my neighbor, of whose identity I still do not know, but I thank him or her dearly in my heart.

The war is over, my friends.
The struggle has passed.
There may be peace.
Glory be to the name of I
and to Neighbor.

Till we meet again.


Scuba Diving Dilemma

No... That's not me.

I wish. 

But pace our beliefs you cannot just grab a snorkeling kit jump in the water and make buddies with a whale. Chances are you will run out of air and want a scuba tank, chances are you will also have no clue how in the world you are going to use the scuba tank.

I've had the urge to learn how to scuba dive for a while now (meaning pretty much my entire life), and I finally signed up for a scuba diving open water certification.  I thought about it for weeks, although the actual decision to do the class was spontaneous. I was walking down the street and finally forced myself to go inside and sign up even though I was by myself. See the reality of the situation was... I mentioned the class to many of my friends but none of them were genuinely interested. They would just kind of nod their head and say.. oooh... cool. yea.. well I'm scared of um... water. Or, I don't like the ocean. Or scuba diving is one of those things I just don't ever want to do ever. Or, YES ! I really want to! But then never follow through when I keep bugging them about it. So after a while I just kind of gave up and decided to just do it by myself. It's okay you don't have to cry.

But when I got to the class after paying the friggin fee and buying the equiptment I found out the reality of the class... The class consists of four meetings (I knew that), but what I didn't know was that at the end of the four classes you are not handed a certificate and sent off into the world. Oh no. You get a little permission thingy that allows you to take four open water dives in the real world. And only AFTER the four dives do you get the open water certificate. Now this seems fine until you hear the next part. This little  "permission thingy" expires after one year. The certificate doesn't expire but in order to get the certificate for the rest of my life I  have to do four open water dives in the next year or this class doesn't even matter. 

That's the problem. (Why is this a problem you ask?) I don't have any scuba diving plans for the next year to get in these certified four dives!

Now, at this point I was basically peeing in my pants. I was like- WAIIT A SECC... I THOUGHT I WAS JUST LEARNING TO SCUBA DIVE!!! While these thoughts were racing through my mind everyone at the class was going around in a circle saying "Hi, My name is Martin. I am going to Hawaii in two weeks that is why I am here." "Hello, My name is Nicole, I am going to Burmuda in three weeks.... that is why I am here." When it came up to me I was like, "Um oh hello yes I am lily I am uh... uh... GOING TO A SCUBADIVING CAMP THAT REQUIRES THIS CERITIFCATION?" except I most definitely am not going to a 6000 dollar scuba diving camp.

So then the instructor started talking and talking and I went back to my darn rapid water fall of thoughts in my wee brain thinking, "HOLEY POOP WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO DO?" I was thinking... Well... Maybe I can just jump in the hudson river by myself four times and call it a day. But then I snapped myself out of it and carried on with my ideas.

1) I actually find a reasonably priced scuba diving camp.
2) I convince a close friend of mine who might have a scuba diving relative to do the class with me and take me with her and her family on four dives. hahaha good luck lily...

3) convince my family to get certified and we all go somewhere and go diving.
4) do this class... and spend the next year looking for scuba diving opportunities like a mad man until I finally complete four somehow... Maybe I can even go in Pennsylvania or something... 
5) Try to convince my instructor to let me postpone my class until I actually have a place to scuba dive.

And well, that's the current dilemma. Any advice? 
Thanks fellers!
Sorry I haven't written in forever! CHOWWWWDER! 


Stuck in Nantucket Rain

          Once upon a beautiful afternoon in Nantucket I decided to take a walk along the bluff with my sketch book. I was walking and quite slowly at that, when I felt a little pitter patter on my head, nose, and forehead. Raindrops fell slowly with the wind and didn't frighten me too extremely. Then it starting to pour. And I was stuck- quite literally under a bush. 
          The only thing holding me back from enjoying the weather was the fact that I had a very important sketch book with me, yet after what felt like hours,  I decided it could take it. I ran home soaked and documented the adventure on a moist sketchbook page here: 
As you can see the pen was dying. Poor fella.
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