The Average Girl's "How To" Guide

Advice on how to live a well-balanced lifestyle

Category: Being Observant

How To: Blow Your Own Mind

by Shannon

Guys – this is a bit of a serious one here. So go have yourself a wild dance party, crank up the Wiz Khalifa, and come back all sweaty and euphoric.

Here’s my morning thought, that hit me as I was scrolling through my phone, deleting weird old pictures I took of my Kobo when I was reading that book 50 Cent wrote.

Do you ever just stop and think Holy Shiz, I have done so much cool stuff in my life, I can’t believe that I really got to do all this dope-ass stuff.

This is what I was thinking about. I mean, even on my phone, which I’ve only had for about six months, I was blown away by all the adventures it held memories of. Matt and Kim shows x 2 (otherwise known as just non-stop face-hurting goodness), traveling to New York with my bestie, painting my stomach, painting my face, Slumber Parties, denim vests, shot-gunning beers on my roof. And that was only like, two photos.

So here’s where I’m heading. Man, sometimes you just gotta really appreciate all the awesomeness you’ve been responsible for creating. Think of all the cool people that have come into your life and that you remember with such fondess, and then, when you feel sad, just stand on a chair and be like BUT WAIT A MINUTE. I AM PROBABLY RESPONSIBLE FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S FACE-HURTING SMILE GOODNESS. THAT IS AMAZING.

We are all just tiny little blobs of organs and stuff, but one of those organs is a heart, and baby, you’re in mine.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm, or probably also a great dance party.”

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How To: Solve The Mystery Of Why Women Live Longer Than Men

by Shannon

Dear Science,
I wanted to send a quick note to let you know that I have solved the mystery of why women live longer than men. I would like you to read this post, an excerpt from my very favourite book/bible (How To Be A Woman, by Caitlin Moran, available on Amazon), and then realize the incredible amount of stress that we women deal with each and every day, being attacked by our own brains as if they were Gremlins and fed after midnight. It is this incredible exposure to psycho-stress that we face daily that has built up an outstanding resistance to most causes of death. For those of you scientists suggesting that men begin self-analyzing to this extent in order to join us in our octogenarian days, I would immediately ask that you stop, because otherwise I will never get to live out my Golden Girls fantasy (I’m Dorothy, obviously), and I am really looking forward to it.
Yours in science,
Shannon

How To: Mention Fart Jokes In Mainstream Media

by Shannon

Just slyly add them in to your latest Huffington Post piece on happiness. They’ll never know.

(Also hey guys click on that link, that’s where the fart jokes are, okay?)

How To: Feel Okay About Being Selfish

by Shannon

I have a lot of thoughts on selfishness. Mostly, I feel that it’s important, and can help you feel good about yourself. It’s not the easiest topic to talk about without sounding like a bit of a dick, but hey, isn’t that what the internet is for?

Ready more about it on Huffington Post, who just published my latest blog on it here.

How To: Start A Revolution

by Shannon

Guys – here’s what you do. You just meet a dude at a bar who has an Idea Blog, and then you just come up with brilliant ideas.

Here’s my latest one, all about a brilliant little idea call a 2 honk horn.

How To: Get Keanu Reeves To Notice You

by Shannon

In Step Two of my conquest to get Keanu Reeves to talk to me (Step One was the song I wrote about him in high school), I recently published an article on Huffington Post. You can click this link to the read the article and contribute to my views here.

Now, the article itself is not exactly about Keanu Reeves, but it does mention him. I’m hoping he Googles himself to the point where he sees this, and asks for my hand in friendship, which I am willing to provide.

(Oh yeah. The actual article is about how exhausting it can be to be inspired to follow your dreams, and how sometimes you just want to sit on the couch, and yo, that is totally okay, and you should not have to feel bad about that, okay?)

I, Keanu, take thee Shannon…

How To: Make Friends On The Streetcar

by Shannon

It’s been a pretty rocking week, so this post is all about finding the silver linings. Specifically, silver linings about people who stink.

Now, I’m super sensitive to stinky people. Not even necessarily bad stinky, but just people who wear a lot of hairspray, or smoke, or whatever. My sense of smell makes up for my lack of fashion sense I guess. Hey-o!

Anyway, I was on the streetcar on my way home, and it was raining, which is problem number one. Everyone smells less good in the rain, on a streetcar.

But worse than that, there was this seriously stinky dude on the streetcar. Not BO, not old-smell, but more like haven’t showered in honestly six years and maybe they’re wearing the same clothes this entire time. Now, this post isn’t about that person’s circumstances, or mental state, or anything like that – I’m not going to get judgy. This is purely about smell.

We all could have been miserable on our way home, but one after another, people just started interacting with each other! And in a good way, which never happens on the TTC!

We were smiling about the situation, opening windows, laughing a bit. Not at the dude, but just about the situation in general.

And you know what? It was nice. It was nice to bond with people over something, and nice that it wasn’t a stalled out streetcar and we were bonding over being pissed off. We were just all in a shitty situation, and making the best of it.

So Toronto, I raise a beer to you. I’m impressed that we were able to pull off being friends, even just for one streetcar home. Way to go, people who stink – you helped make everyone friends!

How To: Be Just Super Weird

by Shannon

If you know me at all in RL (real-life, noobs), you’ll know that I’m just super weird. I’m pretty big on oversharing, and I don’t have a great filter. I figure, if you’re into me when I’m being my level of normal, then at least you won’t be terribly surprised if I’m covering it up, and then all of a sudden one day you hear me talking about ghosts while eating a Hot Rod and wearing short-shorts because they make me feel good.

Anyway, in high school, it certainly got me into trouble. One specific incident was when writing in my Live Journal, I would just rave and rave about this band that Rachel and I were really into, Dharma Love.

Man, those guys were awesome. They were so nice to Rachel and I, and would look excited, rather than creeped out, when we would drive from Fenelon Falls to Uxbridge just to see their shows. Anyway, as you’re probably not surprised, they found out, and it got preeeetty awkward.

Oh God, where am I going with this? Man, sometimes I even forget.

Right – so, the point was, whenever they would do something small, like offer me a wheat stock from the hall where we were watching them play, or look pleased when we rolled up to Tim Hortons with them after the show, it would just fill me with joy. Not even necessarily because I totally wanted to just snog Phil-with-the-nose-ring into oblivion, but just because it’s really nice when someone likes you. Not even necessarily like-like, but just in a friendy kind of way.

So this brings me to being 27, and married. I still get major friend crushes on people, when it’s not “romantic”, but it’s just really nice when someone laughs at your jokes, or wants to hang out with with you, or says yes to getting that one last pint. I get friend crushes on girls, I get friend crushes on guys, I get friend crushes on people getting onto elevators that just look cool and think it’s funny when I give people dirty looks who get off on the second floor when they got on at the first.

Friend-crushes make you feel good. They’re a nice highlight in some otherwise shitty days. They make you want to put on real pants instead of sweat pants, and to share your flax crackers instead of hogging them to yourself. They make you a better person, and a nicer person, and in turn, the type of people that maybe other people get friend crushes on.

So here’s to triple bunk-beds, to morning gossip sessions in hotel rooms, to making robot helmets, to mani-pedis and weird massages, and to just generally having a pretty awesome time at everything lately.

Friend crushes! Go and get one!

How To: Rock Out

by Shannon

Is there anything better than a solid brass section in music?

Life is like a trumpet. If you don’t put anything into it, you don’t get anything out of it.

How To: Have A Great St. Patrick’s Day

by Shannon

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Monday this, I did my main celebrating Saturday with Liam and some friends, and man, we had a blast.

I’m a strong believer that St. Patrick’s Day can be totally fun, without having to pay a $15 cover and cram yourself into a room that seems to have more elbows than bartenders and vacant bathrooms, with the former constantly being shoved in your face. Last year, Liam and I did a sweet College Street pub crawl with a friend that worked out awesome – non-Irish bars get ignored during this holiday, so we had great service, and the bartenders were fun to chat with. This year, we went for the same idea.

Once everyone found the place, we all huddled into Duke’s Refresher, which is a relatively new bar on Gerrard at Yonge. It has a great beer selection, the food was killer (as was my beer milkshake. What!?), and the band kept playing Beatles songs once they realized we loved them. We sat around, played Truth or Dare, ordered multiple Moosehead‘s, and the band even dedicated a song to me.

From there, we booted over to Jack Astor’s for some Woodchuck Ciders, then over to Beer Academy to wrap up the evening. By the time my facepaint was wearing off and Liam and I had demolished the Chinese food we brought home to devour during House of Cards, I was tapped, but I’d had one awesome St. Patrick’s Day.

In honour of my awesome day, I’ve put together a small list of rules that should help you have a wonderful holiday without being stupid.

1. Always make friends with the band and bartenders. They’re so often really cool

2. Ain’t nothing wrong with painting your face. Just ask my mom, who still faithfully does it every year

3. If you have to pay cover at a normally coverless bar, it probably isn’t worth it

4. Eat, eat! You’re skin and bones

5. Green dye will make you feel gross

6. Friends are better than no friends

7. Sing along, clap your hands, laugh loudly. If people can’t hear how much fun you’re having, you’re not having enough fun!

8. At the end of the day, make sure you curl up with a glass of water, a good book that you’re fanatically reading because it expires from the library in two days and you apparently can’t renew e-books, and someone who loves you (even if that someone is just a poster of Keanu Reeves)

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