Considering the weird and angry comments about our Star Trek post even though the post was very clearly a joke, I almost did not write this. But, oh yeah, who cares?

You will see it all over the internet. You will see it on real news sites, viral sites, Facebook rants, Twitter hashtags, angry memes, and unfortunately you will even hear it right into your own ears: people shouting about how spec work sucks, you shouldn’t do it, and nobody should ask about it.

People refer to it a lot of different ways, but what we’re talking about here is doing (usually) creative work for free. You guys are gonna hate me for this, but here is how I feel about it: I WILL DO CREATIVE WORK FOR FREE AND SO WILL AMANDOLL.

will work 4 attn

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They say that “no man is an island,” but I disagree. I think we are all capable of being islands, but because humans seem to mostly be social creatures, they seem to think that we should not be islands. According to them, it is healthiest to be part of a big land mass teeming with herd animals. But being remote and inaccessible definitely has its perks. Take it from me, a devotee to the School of Aloofness, located on Emotional Isolation Island.

Mysterious

The benefits of being a reticent character might not be obvious to the uninitiated, so allow me to explain a bit before I give you some hot tips on how to improve your life. We all love attention, don’t we? When you are a mysterious figure, you become extremely intriguing. Other people won’t stop talking about you, and you don’t even have to do a thing! Just evade a series of personal questions, and you’ll be a delicious source of speculation. Appear as though a normal social interaction is as invasive as unrelenting scrutiny, and the contrary folks around you can’t help but wonder why. Let them wonder. Let them TALK.

That satisfaction of feeling like a strangely compelling character is the #1 draw, but if I have to have MORE reasons, I guess another one is that it cuts down on having to keep any stories straight, or accidentally revealing something told to you in confidence. If you are the sort of person who feels a little stressed over such possibilities, then just become mysterious. It’s easy once you get the hang of it! Let me tell you how.

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This is about a beautiful show that we will never forget, over before its time. Happy Endings only lasted 3 seasons, but was definitely one of the best sitcoms to ever be on television.

The show got off to a rocky start with its boring premise. That premise, which also features the two worst characters, is that they, Dave and Alex, were about to get married. Instead, Alex runs off with a guy who rollerblades up to them and leaves Dave behind to bore all of his way cooler friends. When Alex comes back, they all hang out, and Happy Endings, the sextet of comedy that we will cherish forever, is born.

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When I was a younger person, in my single digits, I had some Big Ideas of how the world works. For no readily apparent reason, (because adults didn’t feed me these thoughts and I did not hold discussions on such topics with my peers), I believed all kinds of things that eventually faded – but they never went away completely.

Notions

I thought that if any water was murky, that meant there were sharks right out of view, ready to eat me. I thought that if Satan was the Father of Lies, then the greatest lie would be to pass himself off as God and to get humans to worship him and commit atrocities in his assumed name. I thought spiders in webs were our ancestors, for some reason, keeping an eye on us. I thought that if you slept in a room within view of the mirror, your reflection would wake up and jealously stare at you and try to get through and replace you in this world. I thought mushrooms growing in the yard were types of cheese. And yet, I didn’t fear that stepping on sidewalk cracks would break my mother’s back. That’s just silly!

But I want to talk about the idea I held most firmly: that the world and the future had limitless possibilities for me, and for anyone. Want to be an astronaut when you grow up? Well, I thought, all you have to do is just want it. The notion of having to study or train for space missions was laughable to me, if I even considered it at all. With this belief firmly in place, what kinds of plans did I make? With the universe existing only to fulfill our any desire, which desires did I select for myself?

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For more than 5 years I worked in a café serving coffees, sandwiches, sushi, and even Ovaltine. But mostly, I served bubble tea. After so long, nothing took longer than anything else (except sushi, which was later retired at my workplace) and I couldn’t have possibly cared what people did or didn’t order. I loved the job, worked whenever I could, made friends with coworkers and customers, and even spent most of my off-time there. But some things that customers did… some were just too much to handle.

Here I present to you, The Worst Things. Now I know that some of these things may even sound almost normal, if encountered rarely and reasonably. It didn’t happen that way! This is all the time, consistent, terrible.

 

Taking Forever to Order

Cafe Peeve #1 by Amanda Wood

Okay, it’s a café. Why don’t you already know what you wanted? Why did you come in? Did you want a coffee? Say coffee, I’ll get you one so fast it’ll make your head spin. Or did you want a bubble tea? I can make three at a time, just pick the damn flavor. We always have the same ones, most places do.

I would try to solve this one in a friendly way, by offering to recommend a drink, but that usually just resulted in a series of increasingly difficult decisions, such as iced or hot, or small or large. We would both get frustrated. At one point, for the bubble teas, we built a spinning wheel to choose flavors. Customers loved it! They would spin and then decide that they wanted the same thing they always get instead. Problem solved.

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In honor of the 141st Annual Kentucky Derby this Sunday, we are dedicating this post to one of our favorite heroes of all time: Secretariat. (You can find a Secretariat paper doll here.)

Secretariat is the greatest horse who ever lived. What an earnest and determined guy he was! Big Red, as he was sometimes known, was just about the fastest horse in the known universe (or wherever horses are!) and set records in 1973 that still stand today.

St. Secretariat by Amanda Wood

When Secretariat was born in 1970, just after midnight on March 30, nobody knew that little horse would be a household name.  He became so famous beyond the racetrack that he was on the covers of Time and Newsweek. Not bad for an equine athlete! He was given to Penny Chenery after birth as the result of a coin toss agreement between the stud owner and the owner of the gentle mother of Big Red. His name was chosen by the secretary of the stable.

Secretariat raced until he was 3 years old, per his contract. Most racehorses are itty bitty little children, runnin’ in their prime. He retired at age 3 with an acclaim that only 10 other horses can boast, winning the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in the United States.

After his death in 1989, during a necropsy (a normal procedure for a deceased horse), the veterinarian described his heart as a “huge engine.” It was estimated to be 2 ¾ times the size of an average thoroughbred racehorse’s heart. He was put down humanely after being afflicted with an often incurable disease. Unlike most racehorses, whose head, hooves, and heart are buried together, Secretariat was buried whole, an honor befitting the Saint that he is.

Should I really describe the races to you? Of course not. You should watch them, below, with very dramatic music included.

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