15 Useless Facts Friday

I read a few blogs that include features like “15 Things Friday” or “Random Fact Friday.” I very much enjoy those posts for a few reasons:

  1. They are in list form.
  2. They typically make me laugh.
  3. They don’t require me to do much heavy thinking. This is crucial for Friday reads.
  4. I can usually relate to at least 3/15 things and often nod along in agreement throughout the post. “Oh my gosh, you like baby harp seals? I like baby harp seals! Twinsies!”
That’s me on the left. The year was 2009. AND I WAS HOLDING A BABY HARP SEAL.

So today, I thought I’d try to get in on the fun action. My list here is neither cohesive nor informative. Be prepared to learn nothing of value by the end of this post.

1. I love forearm sweat. Not on other people. Not when someone else’s forearm sweat touches me in the locker room. But when I’m in a crazy spin class and I’m heavy breathing and panting and being very beautiful with my mid-spin glow, I get psyched when I glance down and realize I have sweat droplets coating my forearms. It’s easy to work up a sweat on your upper lip, elbow crease or under-boob area. But I feel like you have to really work to get glistening forearms.

2. Nothing is worse than when the comforter part of your bed blanket has fallen to the bottom of the duvet cover. It’s a gradual process, right? One day you realize the blanket isn’t really smooth, and then two days later you look at the made bed and you’re like, “What the bed sheets???” Suddenly the duvet is a flat sack and the fluffy down stuff is in a heap at the bottom, trapped inside the duvet cover. Having to fix that is the worst chore I can imagine. The last time this tragedy occurred, I actually safety pinned the corners of all the layers so everything would stay in place.

That obviously worked well.

Except it didn’t, because our duvet comforter mess situation has returned. At this point, I am more likely to vacate the apartment entirely than I am to fix the bed.

3. Another very frustrating thing in life is when envelopes are sealed really sticky-like and I just cannot open them in a human-like way. This has happened twice this week. I can’t take it anymore. Life is too hard.

This is an envelope I opened this week. The experience brought me close to tears. I am an envelope-ripping savage.

4. I love sneezing. I always feel amazing after I sneeze.

5. Sometimes I think thoughts that are so terribly cruel, I feel like I deserve to be brain-slapped for even having them in my head. I would estimate that 70% of these thoughts occur while riding — or awaiting — public transportation. The other 30% take place in elevators. More specifically, in elevators that stop on every floor…including the second floor.

6. I can never type the word daugther correctly on a keyboard on my first try. I kept it that way here to prove a point: The word I intended to type is “daughter.” My fingers get spastic and they instinctively write daugther. Why is that? Why is this word so unnatural for my sausage stumps?

7. Fill my soup to the brim, Panera! Fill it to the brim or I’m asking for a refund. You could fit at least another dollar’s worth of broccoli cheddar into this cup. So please do it.

Look at all that empty room in the cup. Do you know what you could do with that empty soup cup room? FILL IT WITH MORE SOUP. Damnit, Panera.

8. I think Segways are hilarious. Seeing someone riding a Segway always makes me laugh.

9. I miss “LOST.” But also, I really don’t miss “LOST.” That show was a real emotional investment.

10. The odds of me having a serious hearing problem by the time I’m 28 are pretty high. I listen to my music at such an exhaustingly high decibel that I practically deserve to wear a hearing aid. But come on — if you’re not going to pump Britney at full blast, why even bother?

11. Bejeweled Blitz has made me into a better person. OK, that’s a bit of a stretch. But I am less of a raging anger bomb waiting to go off on the subway because I’m really entertained by lining up those tiny jewels and deciding whether or not to harvest my Phoenix Prism (I never do, except every now and then by accident). Oh, the downtown 6 train is 12 minutes away? NBD, I’ll stand here on the platform playing Bejeweled. Uh oh, we’re making all local stops? We’re delayed because of train traffic ahead of us? We’re being held momentarily by the train’s conductor? Fine by me! More time for Bejeweled.

CHECK OUT MY NEW HIGH SCORE! I don’t know why I thought I’ve been a slacker lately. For every mile I DON’T run, my Bejeweled score gets that much higher! Dream big.

12. I recently rediscovered “Grey’s Anatomy” and I’m really into it. You see, I was obsessed with this show in college. Every Thursday night, my friend Persico would come over when I was done with Kickline practice and we’d sit on my bed, drinking Franzia Sunset Blush out of these massive plastic Phillies cups. And we would watch “Grey’s.”

Here I am with my friend Courtney. This picture perfectly illustrates a typical Thursday night in college. “Grey’s Anatomy” playing on the tube TV in the background and a Phillies cup full of classy vino.

Whether Denny was dying that week or not (RIP forever, sweet Denny), I inevitably cried during every single episode. Then, I would slap some makeup on, pound another cup of the boxed stuff and we’d go to the bar. Then, when I got home at 3 AM, I would research the music from that episode, download every song and add it to my very special “Grey’s Anatomy Music” playlist.

Here I am with Persico. Sittin’ on the dock of the bed, watching the Grey’s roll away… Also of note: I do not look sober. Probably had a few of those Phillies cups downed by this point.

But then the show got weird.

Izzie started having sex with the ghost of Denny’s past. So I gave up on “Grey’s,” because sleeping with ghosts just hits too close to home, you know? That’s as real as TV gets.

So I stopped watching the show and never missed it or thought about it.

But at some point over these past few weeks, I found “Grey’s” again. Izzie is gone, now. Meredith is still really annoying and Sloan and Lexie are with Denny. And the show is kind of amazing. It still has that uncanny ability to make me cry those big blubbery tears.

That’s all about that point.

13. My stomach has been an absolute mess this week. Everything I eat is tearing me apart and I haven’t been running because of it. Interestingly, I’m not too concerned or stressed about it.

Sunrise picture. Makes me temporarily forget about the pain in the digestive system.

14. Every time I read a correction in The New York Times — and there are plenty of them — I feel better about myself. I used to worry so much about making mistakes at work. Early on, I made a few big mistakes. Big to me, at least. I cried over them. I lost sleep over them. I apologized profusely for them.

There is a massive difference between 3 minutes and 90 minutes. But if The Times doesn’t care, none of us should care.

Now, years later, not only am I less terrified of screwing up, I’m also more excited about taking risks. Mistakes happen in every industry. We’re only human, after all.

15. Last night, as I was walking into my apartment building behind a dog and its owner, I thought to myself, “You know, Self, you always see all these dogs walking around the building. They’re in the elevators and they’re outside being cute. But you know what, Self? You never see any cats walking around these parts. This must be a popular building for dogs and not cats.”

Then…my next thought…

“Oh God, you are so stupid. Obviously you don’t see cats. Cats don’t walk around on leashes. They stay confined to their cushy apartments. Never think again, Self. Give your brain a rest.”

And now, 15 points later, I feel like we all know each other a little bit better.

EXCEPT NOT, BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW YOU: Tell me a random fact about yourself! A fleeting thought. A favorite food. A hilarious anecdote.



69 Responses

  1. Just read your blog for the first time today. Thanks for publishing the list. Great stuff. I also enjoy reading and making lists on my blog..however (#1 randon thing about me) one of the lists on my blog was instrumental in me having to make some unexpected career changes suddenly. Yup I was “dooced” back in 2005. Now I am retired and out there again running and having my say.

  2. Ha… my cat is leash trained… AND she rides in the car looking out the window at all the crazy people in other cars. I really think she thinks she is a dog!

  3. This is a friggin hilarious post. I feel like I was sitting beside you while you relayed each of these random points to me one by one, hehe. I love your style!! As for the duvet — this is EXACTLY WHY I HATE DUVETS!!! I refuse to buy them now bc the duvet slippage is FAR too much for this Type A-er to handle LOL

  4. I just want to comment about the Panera soup cup because that ALWAYS HAPPENS TO ME, too. I haven’t ordered soup to go from Panera for quite a while now because that stupid cup is NEVER filled up and I know it’s less than if I’d ordered a bowl of it to eat there. If I’m paying $6 for a cup of soup, I damn well want a full cup of flippin’ soup.


  5. Forearm sweat is awesome. Not to be confused with shin sweat which is also amazing.
    I agree on at least 10 of these things-elevators, jipped on the soup, sneezing, Greys, etc.
    I have a weird habit of eating (usually popcorn or something snacky and usually not that healthy) whole watching Biggest Loser. Every. Single. Time. All the whole thinking to myself how much those people need to watch what they eat. Hard work and dedication! As I stuff my face. LOL

  6. I also just became re-addicted to Grey’s! My watching past is pretty much identical to yours (including college sob fests only to collect myself and go drinking) except that my tipping point to START watching again was accidentally catching the plane crash episode last season…. so good, so bad, could not turn away!

  7. Forearm sweat: YES. Do you feel just as giddy about calf sweat? Even after 10 years of running, I’m not sure I knew my calves could sweat, until I did Bikram yoga.

    My secret? I LOVE to do laundry. I find it rather…meditative.

  8. oh my god I laughed out loud reading 14 and 15. So funny and YES to #2 – that is such a huge pet peeve of mine and I spend so much time fussing with the comforter and my boyfriend thinks I’m completely neurotic 🙂

    Random fact: I love both Rihanna and C Breezy for running but every time (every.single.time.) I think about their messed up relationship and wonder if its hideously inappropriate that they’re on the same playlist. Weird, right?

  9. I love these kind of posts, and I’m with you; lists and forearm sweat make me giddy. I always notice the forearm sweat when I’m spinning too.
    Another random: I just ate half a loaf of zucchini walnut bread, slathered in butter, for dinner.

  10. Have you seen the This is 40, the somewhat sequel to Knocked Up? Their hormonal 13 year old daughter is caught up in Lost, and it’s really a hilarious tangent within the movie! Did they all die? Was it a dream? Limbo? NOTHING!?

    1. Haha yes! That was honestly one of my favorite parts of the movie. LOST MAKES YOU EXPERIENCE ALL THOSE EMOTIONS! It’s so insane.

  11. I hardly ever comment on blogs but I am coming out of hiding to say OMG TWINSIES because i probably could relate to at least 9 of the 15. And the last one made me LOL at work. Also I had a borderline problem with bejeweled blitz on FB a few years ago, if you think you are good now, wait til you get after it with a mouse!!! And could the Phoenix Prism be a bigger waste of coins?!

    1. Twinsies!!! I F-ing HATE the Phoenix Prism. I did purchase the moonshine once by accident, and I enjoyed it. Another waste? Galloping Steed. WTF is that shit? Ugh, it’s such a good game. It’s such a valuable way to spend my time. I’m so glad you can relate.

  12. I had a dream last night, and not of the MLK jr kind…it was bizarre. I dreamt that I had to introduce George W. Bush at some commencement speech and I had no clue what to say so I ran off with one of his secret service people on a motorcycle and we had to stop to use the restroom but it was beyond filthy so I refused to go…then I woke up & really had to use the restroom….but I ALWAYS dream about using the restroom when I have to while sleeping….weird.

  13. Such a funny post! I can’t sleep if my legs are even the slightest bit hairy. I frequently wake up at 2am and shave my legs. Once done, I proceed to sleep like a baby for the rest of the night. Weird, I know….I also have an awesome tan line on myleft wrist from running outside with my Garmin on. I love it. It’s awesome, because the worse it looks, the more I know I have run, lol!

    1. Haha! I would not want to see the aftermath if I were to shave my legs at 2 AM. That being said, I can’t function in daily life with unshaven legs. Shave ’em daily. It’s the only way to live. I appreciate your exceptional hygiene.

  14. HAHAHA this is by far one of my favorite posts by you! I am SO doing one of these today, because I am in a silly mood 😉 LOVE the one about envelopes – so true!! Happy weekend!

  15. Not to get all TWINSIES! on you…but the way I rate every spin class I go to is the amount of forearm sweat it can produce. The more pills of sweat, the higher my rating. As for a random fact…my right arm always starts sweating before my left. Odd?

  16. I was reading a Times article on what it’s like to put Lindsay Lohan in your movie (you read that right-an article about Lohan in the Times) and there was a correction at the bottom that said they had misprinted the word “texted” multiple times throughout the article, using “tested” instead. It made me laugh because I was picturing an aged editor reading the article draft and changing them all because he doesn’t know what texting is.

  17. Awesomely fun facts, Ali! A tidbit about the duvet cover fiasco: I got some gadgets at Bed, Bath & Beyond awhile back that clip your duvet to the comforter to prevent the horrid heap of comforter. I highly recommend them!

  18. I so agree with the bed sheet situation.

    Can’t stand it when this happens.

    And it kinda makes me wonder what my sheets do at night while i am sleeping.
    I should forbid them to party when i am dreaming.

  19. I think this will be the highlight of my day! Meredith IS the most annoying ever.

    And I have a very similar thought to #15 last night. I was meeting up with a group to run, because it was going to be dark and I’m not a run solo in the dark kinda girl. I walked out to my car and thought, “damn, it’s so dark, I didn’t realize it would be dark.” I’m a dumbass.

    1. SHE IS THE WORST CRIER. After the plane crash (RIP Lexie), Meredith was doing her loud cry and it was so painful to watch. I’m sorry. Can we still be friends? Forever in Grey’s?

  20. I actually do take my cat outside on a leash, however you don’t take a cat “on a walk”. You can put a leash on a cat, and take her outside, and she’ll meander around, sniff things, lay down, growl at the smell of other animals, move two feet, lay down again, etc.

  21. My useless fact: when I was in fourth grade, I was part of a trapeze act. It was at a Club Med and I thought I was the coolest thing there (especially with my 83 beaded cornrows). Turns out, Club Med doesn’t actually equate to the circus. Bummer.

  22. haha I agree with a lot of these!!!I love rediscovering shows. I used to watch Alias but never finished it and we recently started the whole series again. I love coming home and watching the next episode on instant netflix with no commercials!! I’ll be sad when we reach the end though 🙁

  23. Two things: 1) I watched Greys for the first time in years last night (I gave up after the ghost sex too) and i think i might have to start DVRing it again. Its so good to watch with a glass of wine and a cat. Which leads me to #2) Cats can walk on leashes. I am training Matthew now. haahhahahah

  24. I love the corrections in the New York Times, too! Back when I worked as an assistant editor I read one that basically said they spelled a name wrong in an article published a year prior, but it didn’t get corrected earlier because the reporter lost the correction among the stacks of paper on his desk.

    Reading that made me feel a million times better about myself. Apparently I’m not the only disorganized writer out there!

  25. I love sneezing too!!! Had 2 great sneezes already this morning!

    I volunteer with a junior high/high school musical theatre and secretly kinda love it when a kid misses class, because then I get to jump in and fill their role for the day. A couple weeks ago I got to play Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Now I can die happy…lol.

  26. Ummm random fact, I tried to get my cat to walk on a leash. In my defense, I live in an apartment and I wanted him to experience a park since I live right by one. He got ok with it but I’m always afraid a random dog is going to go rouge and try to eat him. Love this and I related to like 80% of them. Please make it a weekly thing!

  27. Re: #13 – I totally can sympathize [although, fortunately don’t have something as serious as IBS]. I recently started reading about the “Low Fodmap diet,” which is supposed to be good for ppl with all degrees of tummy issues – might be worth checking out for you, too? My stomach’s been calmer in the 2 weeks I’ve been doing it than in ages [and I lost 8 lbs – gah!]

  28. This made my day. Unless something cooler happens today that will top this. But that is unlikely. I laughed out loud at these 🙂 Random fact: my neighbor walks her cat on a leash so you’re not totally crazy. Visit me and i’ll prove it!

  29. When I visit your blog and see that there is a new post I get really excited. I do get disappointed when there is not a new post, but am aware that if you posted everyday I would secretly hate you because I would have no idea how you work full time, have an awesome boyfriend, workout and have social life at the same time. I would probably feel like I am doing something wrong.

    Also, I sing to myself in the car, really loud, and stumble over all of the words and sometimes I laugh really hard.. at myself., alone… 😀

    1. Well, Meghan, you are the nicest person ever, and potentially the best for my growing ego. So thank you for that. So…you’re welcome for not posting every day? <3

  30. I HATE when my duvet cover rebels like that. It’s the worst feeling ever. Fun fact about me today: I went to CrossFit for the first time on Wednesday and I can now officially not straighten my arms without pain. Oh My God – that ‘ish is insane. My upper body is so sore, it hurts to get dressed. I don’t know how I feel about CrossFit right now. I think it doesn’t like me.

  31. Trash-TV is my favorite. If I am home alone I am amused by ridiculous shows like Toddlers and Tiaras, Intervention and Teen Mom. I cannot help myself…. Shhhh don’t tell! 😉

  32. Re: No. 14 – If it makes you feel any better, when I was an intern for a rather large CT newspaper (that may or may not be based out of Hartford…), I once wrote in a brief that someone was sentenced to life in prison. He was not. His family was not pleased with me…

  33. My duvet has little ribbons on the end of the actual duvet and then little loops on the duvet cover and you just tie them together and everything stay perfect!!! This is my 3rd duvet and the first one that has ever had this so… I feel your pain!!

  34. Haha I can totally relate to your comforter/duvet situation! It drives me nuts! One random fact about me.. I can’t watch TV at all for the very reason that I get way too emotionally involved. I accidentally started watching gossip girl on Netflix over thanksgiving last year and lost approximately two full weeks of my life because I could no longer do anything else until I finished the series… It was not one of my finest moments.. I think my fiancé almost left me

  35. I have had that Country song “Finally Friday” (or whatever it’s called) stuck in my head every day this week. All week, and each day i would sadly remind myself that regardless of the hopeful lyrics in my head, it was indeed not finally Friday. But now it is! WooHoo! I make a point not to be one to wish away my week, but that song just makes things complicated.

  36. Funny post ! I do like that kind of posts on other blogs too. It’s a nice way to end the week 🙂

    So, for the random fact about me… the first thing which comes to my mind : I HATE coworkers kissing me on the cheeks EVERY morning. Ppppffff it feels good to say it out loud (well… kind of).

    I have to say I am French and you do kiss women on the cheeks to say hello. BUT even if I am French I think it’s a quite personal thing to do. So, it’s fine by me if it’s my close friends… BUT NOT my coworkers and even worse EVERY SINGLE DAY !

  37. I’m in Hong Kong this weekend and will be volunteering in the Vibram HK100km…none of friends are aware and I’m hoping to surprise when they see me at the one of checkpoints! It’s been so hard keeping quiet these past few weeks.

  38. I love your blog. I’m out of college and a grown up, but my Friday nights still involve DVRd Greys + wine.

    Random fact: my husband bought me a dozen cupcakes for my bday on Tues. There are only two left. Why? Because I kept eating them, and felt bad about all the sugar I was eating….so I decided to eat them all quickly so they would be out of the house sooner. But in reality, I’ll just be out of cupcakes sooner and need a different dessert. I’m a mess. But those cupcakes are awesome.

    1. I just did the same thing with a box of Oreos! I was like, “If I eat them all now, they’ll be gone sooner.” And then what did I do when I finished the delicious Oreos? Just went out and bought more cookies to have on hand. Oh well. Deeeelicious.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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