And So It Begins With Wonder… is one of the most ridiculous sites I have ever been on. However, my trip down buyer’s remorse lane began as my professor says philosophy did, with wonder. I spent entirely too long scrolling through tons of pages of things that I could see myself buying, things that I could see my family or friends buying or things that I could never see the need for, ever. As I kept scrolling down, the ever present top menu bar drew my attention one to many times. I realized that next to the “popular” items tag, which I had been previously been scrolling through, were two page options of “Gifts for Men” followed by ♂ and the page “Gifts for Woman” followed by you guessed it, ♀.

Now being who I am, (a strong, independent, feminist, female who “don’t need no” gendered product placement) I was instantly intrigued by the idea that even on a website so ridiculous as they had gendered sections that followed the typical male/female gender split when it comes to strange and expensive gifts. In the female side everything from the first five to ten pages was strictly beauty products and sexual “gifts” that would not only be incredibly inappropriate to receive but are made not for the woman but for her significant other or partner almost unequivocally. But that’s not the page from which I chose my object to spend all my rent money on. No, in between all the anatomical jokes, BBQ tools, gun shaped objects and for some reason chocolate flavored whiskey, I had a tough choice ahead of me.

Finally, after trolling through what felt like miles of brown and black packaging with bold white text, I had it narrowed down to three objects. The military diaper backpack, the men’s yoga mat, and hand scrub for men were my final contestants. And after extensive thought I settled on the cheapest option, because why break the bank while creating a social commentary on the ridiculousness of overly gendered products?

If you guessed that my product of choice is the Organic Man Hand Scrub, you’re right! The website describes this product as, “Keep your manly hooks clean without feeling emasculated by using this rough hand scrub for men. Handmade from natural ingredients, this organic scrub softens and exfoliates the skin without leaving behind a feminine scent.”

il_fullxfull-973889080_j7mhI for one have never worried about losing my femininity by perhaps scrubbing my hands with man hand scrub, but I guess this product will teach me to be more cautious in my sanitary purchases. Clearly, I have been wasting my potential for strength and a more respectable, manly scent by not purchasing “for men” soaps and shampoos. I wonder if the scrub comes with instructions for how to de-woman the tap water that is needed to use this product too, or if the men who use it are just counseled to only use boiling water to prevent from immediate “emasculation”?

But all jokes aside folks, over gendering, or even just gendering, products creates a binary that is just not needed in the world today. There should be no pressure put on the men in our world that says that they can’t enjoy smelling like calming lavender instead of bacon. There should be no worry based on the products someone uses, that they are going to lose everything that they hold dear to themselves in how they regard their own gender. I encourage you all, men and women to confront this idea of “this is only for this gender because…”, because superheroes are awesome and should be for everyone, as should organic hand scrubs.




Hide your credit card, folks…


Taking a trip through the archives of ThisIsWhyI’ may not seem like the best idea for a broke college student, but hidden amongst the obsolete, functionally redundant, and patently absurd are some true gems. Sunscreen drones, runaway alarm clocks, real-life laser lightsabers—there’s something for every kind of person. But what to choose? While the edible spray paint and remote control tarantula had real potential, when the sleek Cacoon hanging nest crossed my screen, I was done for. With my ragged, sap-stained double-wide hammock dangling limply in my peripheral vision, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hang in comfort—and style.

A red Cacoon swinging in the desert.

Are you thinking about joining the legions of intrepid students who hang up their hammocks and study on the Quad, but worried about the lack of suitable pairs of trees? Worry no longer! For a mere $300 (you don’t really need that one textbook, right?), you won’t have to concern yourself about things like distance between tree trunks—simply find a strong limb and string up the Cacoon! You’ll be swinging pretty in no time.

The Cacoon comes from a burgeoning niche of makers of suspended “nests” and “hangouts,” but sets itself apart in form and quality. Featured on such diverse sites as HomeDIT, Design-Milk, TrendHunter, and High Snobiety, the Cacoon has been making waves since it first came on the scene in 2013. Inspired by the hanging nests of the Weaver bird, the creators say “you too can hide away, sheltered and cocooned, but still in touch with your surroundings.” (Oh, have I mentioned you can sleep in it too?)


With a host of sizes, colors, and forms (try the indoor version if you’ve got high ceilings, or the double-doored Songo for a more open feel), the Cacoon also has numerous accessories available—doors, bug nets, and free-standing tripods so you can use it even if you can’t find a tree! [Please note that we do not suggest setting up large free-standing structures on the Quad, and cannot be held responsible if you are chased down by campus police.] The standard Cacoon is the perfect size for you and your bookbag, and has an important advantage over hammocks, because its upright construction means that you won’t be constantly shifting and sighing as you attempt to actually be as comfortable as you want to look!

Enjoy the attention—or don’t, if you’d rather close the door—as you kick back and study in comfort and class. If that’s not worth a bit of loan money, I don’t know what is!


Why spend money on food or gas when you can have…


As the TAD writing team returns for fall semester, so does our silliness. For this month’s blog we will attempt to persuade the other poor souls in college why our chosen items from ThisIsWhyI’ is necessary in their lives.  And so, down the rabbit hole of very cool, but very unnecessary items I went, emerging into a world where panda onesies, offensive fortune cookies and inflatable bumper soccer existed!

Amidst the camera lens coffee mugs, deluxe mermaid tails, bubble wrap calendars, and target practice alarm clocks, I finally found something my heart just couldn’t say no to: a USB typewriter.  For a mere $799, you’ll be able to write in style while satisfying your inner hipster!  The real question isn’t why you should buy this practical tool, it’s why you shouldn’t.  Who needs money for food or gas when you can own a USB typewriter?!


Ladies and gentleman, forget soulless Mac laptops that all look the same, you can add personality and diversity to your workflow.

Rated highly as a “groundbreaking advancement in the field of obsolescence” by those who sell it, this outstanding product represents the holy matrimony of manual and digital.  The USB typewriter lets writers type out their thoughts on paper even as it electronically records to an SD card.  Not to mention, this versatile device can also function as a keyboard for your desktop or tablet computer and iPad, while Bluetooth allows users to connect to smartphones as well.

Rave reviews have poured in all over; it’s been featured on NPR, Wired, CNN, was named one of the “Top iPad Accessories” by PC Magazine, and even Martha Stewart has joined the bandwagon.  A product of this caliber might even be something that Kanye would love more than Kanye!

The USB typewriter will earn you the envy of everyone on the block, or at least everyone in your office when you bring that bad boy in to work.  Indulge yourself or a loved one, but mainly yourself, in this functional and practical treat.  Join the cult that is the USB Typewriter.


Opening Statement Presidential Debate: Analogy

Good evening my fellow Americans, it is with great pride and humility that I stand on this stage for the first Republican Presidential Debate of 2016. I am honored to share my plan on how I will bring this country back to all its glory and to the true intentions of our founding fathers. We have come to a critical point in our country’s history. America has the opportunity to chose the path that will lead it to inevitable doom or everlasting prosperity. American right now stands like a perplexed young adolescent who is faced with the task of picking one last prepubescent warrior that will lead their kickball team to the spoils of the playground. I stand here tonight to tell you that I am that prepubescent warrior. I have studied my opponents like an agitated employee studies the clock the last hour of their shift. And just like a hurried and nonobservant person who rushes into the wrong bathroom, I have found that it pays to double check the signs that each of my opponents displays. For example, on first glance Marco Rubio may appear to be a well poised and intelligent politician but if you look deeper you’ll see he’s more like a reluctant ring bearer who was forced by his mother to be in his aunt’s wedding.


And then there’s Ted Cruz. He may claim to be a wholesome Christian conservative, but I am dubious about some of his convictions. Voting for Ted Cruz is like eating at a sketchy restaurant for the first time. You hope in good faith that they thoroughly wash their dishes but there’s a good to fair chance that your fork just got a good spit shine the night before.


And who can forget Ben Carson? Carson is heralded as a paradigm for the rare and ever decreasing group that is black republicans. But to them I say, “Carson is not your hero!” If anything, he is like a superhero who takes to much melatonin and shows up late and disoriented to the crime scene.


Last but certainly least, we have Donald Trump. There are so many things I can say about this man but I will only say one out of fear that I will raise his ego like a pimple raises the night before the big dance. Voting for Donald Trump is like picking the biggest and tallest kid for kickball only to find out that their oversized stature only stifles their mobility. Sometimes the bigger they are, the harder they fall.




Cockney:Opening Remarks

Wotcha ladies and gentlemen. lets be ‘onest none of us wanna be ‘ere today, but i’m ‘ere ter tell ya why ya should vote for me for president. Overlookin’ the bloody fact that i’m not even from this country, I fin’ I would expand your forgiven politics…if ya kna wot I mean. I’d fix your idea of ‘ealthcare and be able ter sound more ridiculous than sum of the bloomin’ ovver candidates ter procure the present and last bit of public attention for the part. And none of ya ‘ave ter worry abaht me takin’ a vacation ter scarper off to go golfin’. I ‘ate ter waste tax payer dough for people ter watch me put a ball through a ball thro’ a bloody window. And mates, I promise not ter be difficult ter understand in any of me policy decisions exceptin’ in me accent. ‘eaven and ‘ell that’s abaht aw that i’ve got floatin’ ’round up ‘ere ter talk abaht. so go out a’ vote for me, unless there’s a line, lookin’ at ya ‘rizona!


Thank ya and goodnight!

Official Letter: Opening Remarks

800 S Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22807


To Whom It May Concern,

We are gathered here today to celebrate what is most important here, me. In this presidential debate I have proven over and over again that I will look out for the people. If the people are me, and I am the people. We have rallied support from all over this great nation to back my bid for the scapegoat position of these United State’s government. Our campaign has raised millions of dollars, because we all know that whoever raises the most funds has the best chance at the seat of least power and most criticism…I’m looking at you Fox News.

This brings me to my next point on why you should vote for me, Official Letter, as your next president. The media loves me. I am to the point in my diction that the everyday American has no clue how to decipher what I am saying, which leaves the media the role of translator so they can continue warping my message in perpetuity. Not only does the media love me for my incomprehensible bureaucratic red tape language, but some of my largest supporters own the news outlets to give me the most publicity. Yes, yes thank you for your applause.

I promise, when I get elected that I, Official Letter will be as formal and short as possible when writing public policy that affects every single one of you. I will follow every rule, even if that means having to rewrite the constitution every few years, as it was created to be. Never will I let you be able to skim over my speeches, executive orders, laws, or bills to basically understand your rights as a human living in America. No, I promise to try and sneak past human rights violating laws and limitations in incomprehensible technical jargon and structure.

Thank you America. Thank each and everyone of you, but most importantly,

Thank me,

Official Letter

2016 Presidential Candidate

Running on the The Most Ridiculous Presidential Candidate Ever

Seriously How Am I Still Allowed On TV Ticket

College Graduate From The Local Online Scam University 1987





Where Did I Put That Remote…

Well folks, here we are at the end of February and we are merely days, inches, a single page turn in our planners from Spring Break. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been plowing ahead at full speed for coming up on eight weeks now, living a coffee-drenched existence in some corner of Carrier and wondering what it feels like not to have to prop your eyelids open with your actual fingers. You’ve written papers, peer reviewed essays, maybe even gagged your way through the dreaded group project. You’re losing steam. You need a break. But you have five whole days of class left. You can’t breathe. You’re spiraling. Oh my God WHAT IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT?


That’s right, hear me out – Pause.

Given the opportunity to dream up my own holiday, I’m throwing up a white flag and calling for Pause Day. You can use it whenever you want. Maybe you’ve gone three straight weeks without a day off work and you can’t fathom the idea of putting on real pants. Take a Pause Day. Maybe the Great Unknown waving at you from the other side of graduation has you in serious need of good old hug from Mom. Gas up the car and take a Pause Day. Got a paper, two tests, and a project due all on the same day? Sorry Teach, it’s Pause Day. You get one a year, and you can use it whenever you want. A government-protected “Get Out of Jail Free” card, so to speak. National Pause Day.

Maybe you aren’t even stressing. Maybe you’ve got your life under control, you’ve got a good rhythm down, and you’re the sort of person who gets up and makes yourself a pancake breakfast every morning. Then you might just want to use your Pause Day to shake things up. Put your routine on hold and go for a hike. Ride a rollercoaster. Drive all the way to the beach and get yourself a drink with a little umbrella in it. You deserve it. You go.

But if you’re feeling like I am, you probably want to take your Pause Day in the form of an adult-sized onesie, a Pizza Hut Big Dinner Box, and a good excuse to start How I Met Your Mother over for the…fourth time? I want a Pause Day full of time to play an instrument that isn’t for class, or read a book no one is going to quiz me on. Heck, I would just use it to catch up on my homework.

That’s the best part – you can make of it whatever you want. Celebrate it together. Celebrate it alone. Celebrate it awake, alive, asleep – it’s up to you. Use it to take care of your body. Use it to take care of your soul. Take a deep breath and push pause.

Need a real pause in your chaos? In lieu of this holiday actually existing, try out some of these things to bring down your stress level between now and your next day off:

  • Take five minutes to yourself. Put your phone down and sip your coffee really slow.
  • Buy yourself an adult coloring book and some colored pencils! Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore, and it’s a great way to refocus your energy. * Check out the Meditation Room, Tea Time, or one of the many mindfulness workshops offered in Madison Union! There are plenty of ways to relax right here on campus!

The Heart and Soul of James Madison University