Thursday, December 29, 2011

Airlines: They Will Always Try to F You; One Way or Another

I hate flying. Not because I'm scared, or have horrible anxiety about it, or fear we're going to crash; it's everything else. From the parking to the getting tickets/checking bags/changing flights/delays/other ticketing counter related BS to security to waiting to being wedged into a seat. It's all totally miserable to me. Unfortunately, on a recent trip back home for Christmas basically everything irritating about flying that can happen, did.

Our awesome flight experience began when we were about to walk out the door of our home to go to the airport and I get a text from Orbitz (God bless them for sending these wonderful updates!) notifying me that our flight is delayed. An hour. Our layover in Atlanta is one hour 35 minutes. When we get to the airport to check in, the lady at the counter informs us that they don't start re-booking flights until your layover time is LESS than 30 minutes. I don't know if you've ever been through the Atlanta airport, but it's massive and crowded and filled with stupid people. 35 minutes means a marathon sprint from one end to another to barely make the boarding time. Fortunately, the lady at the ticketing counter is extremely nice and helpful (must've been filled with the Christmas spirit...or thought my dog was cute), otherwise I probably would have lost my mind when she tells us we have the last flight out of Atlanta and if we miss it, we can't leave until the following morning. We decide to chance it, and move on to the security line.

Fortunately, our flights were late enough that there were, literally, 12 people in line. It was incredible. Possibly one of the only times in my life (except in the KC airport) that security was a breeze. I was shocked, however, at the woman who had to step aside to scour her purse for her ID. Are there still people out there who don't understand the process? Like, she didn't know she would need that and prepare during her 5-10 minutes wait in line? It's baffling to me. I really think they should put signs along the line saying "PREPARE TO PRESENT YOUR ID AND TICKET" just so people remember.

We got to the gate plenty early, had a super healthy dinner or Cheez-it mix, trail mix, water and Naked juice, and got to listen to an older man SCREAM into his phone for about 30 minutes. Phones should be prohibited in the gate area. No one ever has a normal conversation and usually are just wasting time for the sake of wasting time (like the girl on our way back who was just calling everyone she could think of, speaking loudly about how she was at the airport and got to only see some of her friends during her trip because it was so short, but got everything she wanted for Christmas so she was happy. I shouldn't know these details, but I do because she was speaking to loudly in a confined area).

We finally board our flight, over an hour after its scheduled departure, and proceed to sit on the tarmac for over 30 minutes. For no reason. Well, I'm sure there was a reason, but it felt like an awfully long time when our next flight was scheduled to take off at our new expected landing time. The rest of our trip out was relatively boring and uneventful. Our flight out of Atlanta ended up being delayed as well, so our sprint from D to A in the wonderful Atlanta airport turned out to mostly just be for sport...although we were the last people to board the plane. Literally.

We spent a wonderful time with family and friends, received way too many gifts, ate way too much food and drank way too many adult beverages. It seemed as soon as it started, it was time for the joy of the airport to start all over again.

We booked our tickets months in advance and just expected them to be ready to go. Silly us. When we get to the ticketing counter, my fiancé was informed that they did not have him on the flight from Kansas City to Atlanta. WTF? It took a supervisor and about 15 minutes to finally get that straightened out, but was one of those things that just gets me about airlines. How does that happen? How is it possible? I just don't get it...

The Kansas City airport, if you've never been there, is an absolute dream to get through in terms of security. Sure, if you get stranded or miss your flight it's pretty terrible due to the lack of entertainment, food options, or proximity to anything worthwhile, but it's definitely the fastest airport I've ever been through. Breeze right through, everyone tells me how cute my dog is (yes, I travel with my dog sometimes... I don't trust strangers to take care of him for long periods of time due to his back condition). Aside from the loud/pointless talker, KC was mostly smooth sailing from there.

We arrive in Atlanta plenty early, and even had time for an ice cream cone (dinner of champions). My fiancé and I like to wait until the very last boarding call to get on planes so we're not those weirdos just standing and waiting forever. As some of the last people to board, we always get a great preview of our seatmates, which is not always the best thing...

This particular flight was quite undersold, so we assumed we'd be able to change seats and sit by one another and have enough room for the dog to be comfortable in front of us instead of being shoved under the seat. We were wrong. The seats on this particular flight were the 3-2 arrangement, with three on one side and two on the other. I was unfortunate enough to get a window seat on the 2 side; the smallest on the plane. I was also unfortunate enough to get the seat next to a 6'6" 400+ man who, quite literally, took up a seat and a half. Half of my seat. Although he apologized when I first sat down ("Sorry for the crowd, ma'am" because we were touching the entire time. And I hate people touching me anyway, even people I know.) it was still an incredibly uncomfortable situation. The flight attendants assured us that once everyone was boarded people would be able to change seats, which was super exciting given the fact that there were a number of empty seats all over the plane. Take-off came and went without anyone being allowed to change seats. I was stuck for the next 34 minutes of the flight and however long it took to taxi in and let us off. Of course, I'm not the classiest broad, so I snuck a picture of my seatmate (literally, MY seat mate).

This situation really bothered me. Not just because I was EXTREMELY uncomfortable, but also because it's just not fair. Why do I have to pay $25 each way for a 50 lbs. bag, $125 each way for my 15 lbs. dog, AND a regularly priced ticket when all of those things combined still weigh about half of what my seatmate weighed? It costs me almost $1000 to fly round-trip with a checked bag and a dog, but still costs the airline less than the man I had to share a seat with. I know paying by the pound is totally illogical logistically and would really piss some people off, but wouldn't it just make more sense? A heavier plane costs more to fly due to higher fuel costs. A heavier bag makes the plane heavier and I have to pay for that (and have), so why isn't a heavier person taken into consideration in the same way and made to pay higher prices? It's not my fault that people in America, in general, weigh more than they did 10 years ago, so why should I have to pay to make up the difference in fuel costs?

Flying will always be a pain the ass. There's nothing around that, but can't they at least try to make it a little less of a pain in the ass? Can I please bring full sized shampoo onto the plane with me? I mean, I can check it, what's the difference? And can I please stop having to take off my shoes and coat and/or sweater? I prefer to be fully clothed in public. Of course there's nothing I can do about any of these things except complain on my blog, but why can't airlines just make logical decisions? If any other type of company provided service like this, they'd go bankrupt! ...oh wait.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stupidity is Running Rampant in Bathrooms Across America

I'm never really shocked by the stupidity in America, but I have to admit sometimes I have to shake my head at things I see.

About a week ago, one of the toilet paper holders in a stall in my office bathroom broke and fell on the floor. A few days after that, it was placed on the counter by the sinks. A few days after that, a brand new, stainless steel automatic paper towel dispenser was installed in said bathroom. The toilet paper holder remained in the exact same place on the counter by the sinks. Someone who maintains the property came into the bathroom, installed the new-fandangled wave-your-hand-in-front-of-the-thing-for-paper-towels-dispenser, but conveniently left the toilet paper holder sitting on the counter.

Exhibit #1 - Holder on the counter beside double-fold paper towels from the former dispenser.

After my confusion in my office bathroom, I really thought the worst of the bathroom stupidity was over. But I was wrong.

A recent trip into a McAllister's deli proved that America IS getting dumber and there was nothing we could do about it. Amazingly, there was the EXACT model of automatic paper towel dispenser in the restroom at McAllister's as there is in my office. Except at McAllister's, it has this sign...

Yes, that says "Wave your hand in front of dispenser; Not below" - Directly above what is clearly the sensor to engage the dispenser for towels.
I didn't realize we needed such explicit instructions on how to use an automatic paper towel dispenser, but apparently, we do. My real question is, who was the person to cause such a ruckus about it that necessitated a sign!?

All I'm asking Santa for this year is a little sanity and a 20 point IQ increase for all Americans.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ooooh Craigslist...

Ever see posts on Craigslist and wonder WTF the poster was thinking? I do. Pretty much every time I have to find something on Craigslist. My finacé and I are moving to Atlanta next year and have begun the obligatory apartment/condo/house search so I've been on Craigslist quite a bit lately. Today I decided to venture out of the housing section and move on to the always fun "Everything Else That Craigslist Has to Offer".

The first gem I came across was:
"pick up a free pumpkin ...hate to throw in trash...not rotten...maybe-25-30 lbs" with this photo:

Seriously, folks? A free....pumpkin? AND you want someone to come pick it up? Is it really bothering you THAT much that you have to have someone come take it? And 25-30 pounds? Really? That DOG doesn't weigh 25-30 pounds. I have three rotten pumpkins on my back porch if anyone is interested. They're free, but you'll have to come pick them up.

The next post I came across was this one:
"Husband passed - has no need of these now (These are left over from an injury several years ago.)

Mostly full box of 100 McKesson Medi-Pak Performance Non-Adherent Sterile Pads - 3"x4"

19 McKesson Combine ABD Pads - 5"x9"
unopened package (200) McKesson Non-Woven Sponges - 4"x4", 4 ply
unopened package (10) Kendall Curity Gauze Sponges - 4"x4". 12 ply
unopened 4"x4 yd Dermacea Low Ply Bandage Roll - 3 ply"
 Granted, that is extremely sad that her husband passed away. But "has no need of these now"? Are you sure? Because he might still want them. He might become a zombie and THEN what will you do!? People need to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse and this lady is just giving up on preparedness.

The third awesome free Craigslist posting I came across was for:
"12 Misc VHS tapes"
"Mostly exercise related like Windsor Pilates, Callanetics, The Firm, Tae Boxing. They are in good condition, worked fine the last time we used them."
Wow. FOR FREE?! I smell a bargain. Do people even still have tape players? Can you still purchase a tape player? What are the chances there's a "special" VHS amongst Windsor Pilates? Because that could probably make this lot a lot more attractive to the people who are trolling the free section on Craigslist.

Like farting?:
"11 cans of beans"
"kidney beans
chick peas
garbanzo beans
black beans
all purchased within the last 2 months, we just don't eat them that often."

Why would you purchase them if you don't eat them? And why wouldn't you just take them to a food bank? This post really confuses me. Why wouldn't you just keep them in the event you might want to eat them in the next, I don't know, 5 years? Possibly keep them for the zombie apocalypse?? I'm really starting to believe the people on Craigslist don't even care about the zombie apocalypse.

Somebody must've gotten in trouble:
"Stuffed Animals"
"Kobuk the Husky Dog and Lambie the Puppet.
Used in excellent condition.

Pick up, please."

I don't know who Kobuk OR Lambie are, but I feel like there is a child in Atlanta who is SUPER pissed right now.

I see the Gideons have taken to Craigslist....:

Take my crappy old furniture, please!:
"Well worn recliner"
"Tan colored and large size 10 years old and well worn. It reclines fine, the main problem is the padding and all in the seat have gone flat. Also, there are two bolts that fell out of the cross brace underneath it, so it has a slight side motion sometimes, although that part should be easy to fix. Has a rip in the fabric, see picture #2."

A true salesperson created that write up of this dream boat of a recliner. "I have a really shitty recliner that my wife is tired of looking at. Please come pick it up so she doesn't divorce me". That would've been a lot better sales pitch.

Now THIS is a post!:
"HUGE jetted marble tub"

1) You must remove it, without damaging the house. House is being renovated, but you must pay for damage beyond the current state. All at your risk. This thing is about 400 pounds of thick cultured marble, so bring 6 + people and a huge truck. It is on the second floor, up some stairs, with a sharp turn. All egos aside, if you don't have some serious equipment and burly help, please stay away.

2) you must sign a release. This thing nearly broke my fingers yesterday & bent a flat bar.

Thanks to spammers, emails will not be answered. First come, first served.

 Call today, or this opulent masterpiece gets the jackhammer. "

Honesty is the best policy. And this post is brutally honest. I love it.

Somebody's been busy:
"Wine Bottles"
"I have about 30 empty wine bottles. They could be used for crafts or wine making. If anyone is interested in using them let me know. I am going to put them in the recycling bin at the end of the week if no one want's them."

THIRTY?! The real question is, if you didn't drink all of them in just a few days, why are you hoarding wine bottle?

Oh. God.:
"box of syringes with 20g needles for your livestock/animals"

Who wouldn't trust syringes you got for free on Craigslist?!

"A Pair of Glasses"
"I Have A Pair Of Glasses I Am Giving Away."

Good thing everyone needs the exact same pair of glasses

I have a feeling this post could go on forever, so I'll spare you. These were just a few of my favorites from the last couple of days. I do have to admit I gave away a couch on Craigslist once and it was awesome. I referred to the couch as a "Sexy Couch" (because it was absolutely heinous and I had no idea who would possibly want it) and the lady who ended up coming to get it referred to it as the "Sexy Couch" in every email. It was awesome. She also emailed me every time at like 3am and had an email address about Jesus and then added me to her Christian newsletter email blast. But she took the couch and it was awesome!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Dog is a Hippie

Recently, my dog was diagnosed with a pretty common back disorder called Intervertebral Disc Disease. The standard treatment for this is strict caged rest (must be penned/kenneled 24 hours a day, except to go outside) and, eventually, a costly surgery.

As with most dog owners, my dog is more than just my pet, he's my buddy. My furry child. He was a rescue dog and shows his gratitude to us everyday with tail wags and the happiest disposition of any dog ever. Not to mention, he's cute as shit. No, seriously, look.

See how freaking cute he is?! Jeez. I can hardly stand it.

Anyway, obviously he is awesome enough to warrant doing whatever we can to make sure he's a happy and healthy little thing. After a couple different "episodes" where he really had some trouble with his back, I decided it was time to find out our realistic options. They were as follows: Keep your dog caged forever and on strong pain meds or surgery that can cost up to $10,000 and might or might not cure the issue and could potentially leave your dog paralyzed. I didn't like either of those options, really, so the research weirdo in me came out. I research everything, literally everything, before I make a decision. Restaurants, neighborhoods, phones, food, shoes, doctors, cars, even flowers. Anything that I can research before I take action, I do. Fortunately, this is one of those things that makes sense to research and there was a lot of material on the subject. It seemed that every website had two different options: medical and surgical. The medical options included pretty much everything we were already doing and they didn't seem to be doing a whole lot to cure the cause. Then I started coming across websites that strongly recommended veterinary acupuncture. Yes, seriously. The more I researched it, the stronger the evidence that acupuncture is one of the most successful treatments for IVDD. I was sold. I asked our vet for her opinion and she offered an emphatic, "Go for it! And let me know how it goes!" Apparently she had been looking for a good homeopathic vet for her own animals and was hoping we would be a guinea pig for her! About an hour after that appointment, our vet called with a referral from another doctor in our usual clinic for a vet that offered acupuncture and a more holistic, eastern approach to veterinary medicine. I made an appointment immediately.

We arrived at the clinic and were quickly taken to the scale to weigh the little guy (which he promptly peed on, awesome) and then to the exam room. After some questions with the vet tech, our "hippie vet" (as I'll call her for ease of reference) came in and asked some more questions, looked at the forms I had filled out and started checking out the little guy. I'm pretty sure he thought it was just a massage and went along with it pretty well. We talked about what Chinese sign we thought he was (she thinks he's a fire because he's feisty and wants attention, I think he's an earth because he's loyal and will do anything to please me and his dad, yes, this was an actual conversation about my dog) and where he might have chi stagnation based on his pain and diagnosis and what Chinese herbs might be helpful to be able to get him off the heavy standard prescriptions he was on. And I asked about surgery. She noted that if a dog can still walk and act like a freak like mine, surgery should be a last resort. Man, was I relieved. After about 20 minutes of preliminary checking, "hippie vet" went and got her acupuncture needles and started working.

They start with a point on the head in between the ears called the "Sedation Point", which is exactly what is sounds like, just sedates the little guy a bit for the rest of the procedure. Then she went to town. Apparently I'm terrible at holding my dog down so someone can put needles in him that he totally doesn't want, so after about 5 attempts to put in the third or fourth one, they took him into the back so a nurse could help her. According to "hippie vet" I was distracting and he did great once he was out of the room with me. She brought him back to me with about 15 needles in all in different parts of his body. Quite a few in his back where the pain and issues are and a few in his legs for balancing points and other notable places in Chinese medicine that I don't remember what they're called. He literally laid down at my feet and it was like he was taking a nap!

You can see a couple of the needles in his black fur if you look REEEAAALLLYYY closely. I'll also point out that my little guy has NEVER, ever since we've had him, laid down with his back legs under him like that (aka like a normal dog). He always laid with them splayed out on the sides of him, which people would always remark on. I never thought anything of it, but now it makes a lot of sense. At that point, I was a believer in acupuncture. One treatment and he's already showing progress just in that one small thing.

The vet and vet tech both noted that he would probably just crash once we got home. Of course, once we got there, I realized the vet was right. He is a fire. Instead of passing out, he started trying to do laps around the house and stalk and tackle his toys. My little guy was back. Of course, one of the things medical journals will note is that when a dog starts feeling better from acupuncture they'll start acting like a maniac because they feel so much better, which is precisely when you have to get them back on lock down so they can actually heal. Remorsefully, I put him back in his play pen (yes, we keep him in a play pen for his caged rest) and he eventually settled down.

One treatment in and the little guy is already showing progress. I'm sure he'll still have his bad days down the road, but hearing the good news about probably not needing surgery for a while, if at all, was definitely a positive. He'll start on his Chinese herbs next week as we phase out the strong prescriptions and hope to have the old Doodle back in no time!

I highly recommend acupuncture as a relatively inexpensive treatment for almost any "major" malady in a pet (our treatments are about $60 each and we will need 8-10. This is compared to major surgery which would include two $2,000 MRIs and a surgery that can range anywhere from $1500 - $4000) . Granted, we're only one treatment in of 8-10 and possibly more in the future, but the holistic approach to the pet's well-being is something you won't find anywhere else. Will a holistic vet immediately force you to take your dog off drugs? Never. Will they force you to never do surgery? Absolutely not. They just consider the animal as a whole and consider internal problems that can be solved to fix the underlying issue. I hope that as we go along with his weekly/semi-weekly treatments we will be able to have a normal dog again soon.

*If you live in Charlotte, Animal Medical Hospital is a wonderful place where everyone seems to have a genuine interest in the well-being of your pet.
** I apologize that this was not a normal post in line with the rest of the blog, I just really wanted to share the benefits of holistic veterinary medicine from a personal perspective. I know a lot of people won't agree with this post, but it's something I really believe in.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The World is Ending and I Have Proof

In case you didn't know yet, the world is ending. It has nothing to do with 2012 or cults or aliens, though. It has to do with Snooki. And The Situation. And even the beloved Pauly D. The entire Jersey Shore cast has forsaken us to doom by becoming Christmas ornaments.

I came across these Christmas monstrosities at my local CVS one evening and almost vomited in my mouth. Seriously? This is what the world is coming to? I don't really mind the non-Christmas Christmas ornaments that depict pop culture icons like "I Love Lucy" or Elvis or even the ones with football players on them because even some football players have notable talents or skills, but Jersey Shore? Seriously? This is who people want hanging on their trees? No names who became "famous" by acting like drunken idiots and putting a bad name with an entire group of people? Awesome.

I have to admit that if I were still in college (and drinking heavily) I would probably purchase the whole lot just to make a White Trash Christmas Tree; complete with the entire cast of Jersey Shore, some Natty Light beer cans strung up, strands of lights that flash and only partially work, possibly even some used cigarette butt garland. I think that's a tree that I could really be "proud" of, but it seems like one of those things where you really have to go full steam, or not at all. One Snooki ornament could be enough to ruin an entire tree.

It seems that every year Christmas gets further and further from the point and closer and closer to the end of the world. The Jersey Shore ornaments are just the first sign that we're doomed. What's next, big box electronics retailers making fun of Santa in their commercials?! Uh oh....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cool Jobs are Cool: Part 2

My other recruiter just came into my office to as some ridiculous question about something boring and work related.

And then showed me his Steelers socks (because we had to have a serious conversation about not wearing short, athletic socks in the office when someone important is here for a visit about a month ago, so we have impromptu sock checks, I guess). Apparently, they're thermal. Because it's "cold". It's, like, 55. And it's almost December. It's not "cold".

And then he explained to me how Charlotte winters are awesome because if it's warm in the evening you can have a bon fire.
Me: Is it like a hobo fire? Because your socks look like hobo socks.
Guy: No, it's in an upscale neighborhood at my friend's house.
Me: Is your friend's house made of cardboard and dirt?
Guy: No, it's in Upscale Neighborhood X. (All uppity-like)
Me: So? That doesn't mean it's not a cardboard "house". I mean, they have a hobo fire, after all.
Guy: It's not a hobo fire. It's in a fire pit. I have a fire pit for my deck at my apartment too. They're very nice. (getting very angry and cocky about his alleged fancy fire pit)
Me: Well, that's just illegal.
Guy: Touché.
Me: Have fun at your hobo fire tonight.
Guy: *eye roll*

I'm such an awesome boss...

Cool Jobs are Cool

I have a cool job. I'm in staffing. It's way more awesome than it sounds, trust me.

For example, one of my recruiters just came in my office and said, "Can I ask you about felonies?"

Legitimate question, funny out of context.

The question continued with, "Well, this candidate has a felony from 24 years ago. Is that ok?"

To which I replied, "Sure. I was pooping my pants 24 years ago, and I don't want anyone holding that over my head, either."


As some of you (hopefully not many though because I get anxiety when I think about people I actually know reading any of this) already know, I recently got engaged to my longtime beau after years of trickery. He really has no idea what he's getting himself into. Although he has read my maybe he does. As we all know, your wedding day is pretty much the best you're going to look in all of your adult life and requires much pain and torture to get back to your 20-year-old-fighting-weight. This realization hit me the night of our engagement when I decided my arm looked obese in every photo we tried to take. Because of this realization, I have started a year and a half quest to get back down to my fighting weight and relinquish fat arm pictures to 10 years from now where they belong.

So far, this quest has not been easy. I have decided to take the traditional route of "eating healthy and working out". Thanksgiving really got me off to a great start on that, too, when I gained 5 pounds in 5 days. A true success...if I were getting married in Uganda. Any woman in America knows about Lean Cuisine and I have really tried to stick to these for my lunches. It is, indeed, "lean"; however, I'm not yet sold on the idea of it being "cuisine". I've probably eaten 200 Lean Cuisines in my life and have never enjoyed one. But I keep eating them in hopes they will make me look like the aforementioned Barbies below for at least one day. Recently, I decided to really indulge myself and go with the cheese ravioli Lean Cuisine. The photo looks so luscious and wonderful on the box, what with the herbed ricotta filling and all. And then you make it in real life (although I use the term "make" pretty loosely, since you just put it in the microwave for, like, 4 minutes) and it looks like this:
Mmmm...cheesy, saucy, "cuisine"

SIX raviolis. SIX. And all six of them taste like cardboard. No wonder you can lose weight eating the damn things. Not only is there hardly a bite of food in the tray, but it tastes like the box it came in, possibly worse.

Although I know the end results will be worth it and I'll be so glad my upper arms don't look fat in all of my wedding photos so I won't have to obsess about it for the next 50+ years, the road to fitness is a real bitch.

Goodbye forever, Taco Bell... Well, at least for the next year and a half.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Real Products... That are REALLY Funny

I love things that are funny. And I really get a kick out of things I see in real life that are funny, whether intentionally, or not. Below are a few things that are funny. And real.

I saw these crackers in my local grocery store and definitely did a double take. Did someone not proofread the name of these crackers? Or were they made by Amish people who don't understand the connotation? Either way, I definitely had a good laugh in the cracker aisle.

I heard about this miraculous product this morning. It's a bear deodorant protector. I bought two. I was one of the first 100 customers, so I got free shipping, so it's kind of like they paid for themselves. Man, my friend Bear is really going to be excited when she gets one of these for her wedding shower gift! No, really. I'm giving one away as a shower gift. I recommend you do the same. It will bring joy to anyone's life.

I guess calling your cleaning product "Totally Awesome" is one way to get people excited about scrubbing toilets!

If you've been in a hardware store in the last 3 years, you've probably already seen this product, but that doesn't make it any less hilarious.

If you've had a baby in the last, however many years, you've probably also seen this product. In case you were wondering where this paste goes, it's not on your hands.

"Oh, that? No I just have a cut on my hand." Awesome.

When Did Barbie Become Such a Skank?

I grew up playing with Barbies. I loved them. You can pretend that you actually have a white Ferrari and a pink horse and a trunk full of sparkly clothes and huge boobs. You can be whatever you want to be when you're playing with Barbies; a doctor, a nurse, a vet, a professor, and a variety of other professions that require advanced degrees. Barbie was the bomb.

Or so I thought. But seriously, when did Barbie become such a skank?
I came across this gem at TJ Maxx the other day (because I'm a sensational Maxxinista and love getting deals on Calvin Klein). It really made me think, no wonder the kids these days are dressing the way they do and acting the way they do. Have you SEEN Barbie?! When I was growing up Barbie encouraged me to go to school and be smart. You didn't need Ken, you just needed to be smart and awesome. Not to mention, Ken always wore those flesh colored underwear and that always really creeped me out.

Like I've already mentioned, MY Barbie was a doctor, or a bride, or a woman shopping on Rodeo drive in a fantastic pant suit. Who the hell is this?

I'm really starting to think that once Midge got pregnant (it was literally a Barbie with a silly putty egg in her belly with a baby in it!), the entire Barbie family had to move to the projects and start turning tricks to make ends meet and buy pampers for Midge's kid. You know, based on this photo.

Aside from Barbie looking skanky from the dress and hair and make-up, when did they change the Barbie proportions? I remember everyone used to be all up in arms about how busty and hip-y and whatever-y Barbie was, but now she just looks like an anorexic hooker (also read: crack whore). I'd much rather have my hypothetical children playing with a Barbie whose at least got some booty, because lord knows they'll inherit enough of it that they'll need to be comfortable with it and know how fab they can be without not eating.

I'm sure there are still fantastic Barbie clothes out there and if I were to go to a Toys R Us I'd see that doctor Barbie still exists, but I was really put off by the new version of Barbie. I want old Barbie back. Fortunately, I grew up loving Barbie and that will never change. I blame the real skanks, Bratz Dolls.


Holy shit ya'll!!! I WON! I seriously won!!!

I'm terrible about buying Powerball tickets and never checking them...ever. I keep them in my coin compartment in my car and then just forgot about them. But holy shit, today, I finally got them checked. And I won.

I got my winning ticket and cash and waved it in the air and cheered in the Kangaroo Express! "WOO HOO! I WON!!!!". The only other patron was a guy getting coffee. He looked at me like I was mostly crazy and asked, "Do you really need it?" And I said, "Yes! Of course! I won!" The clerk also looked at me like I was crazy until I informed him that it was the most I've ever won on Powerball.

After the excitement died down, I took my coffee and my Coke Zero and my $4 winnings and carried on with my life like I hadn't just won on the Powerball.

Don't worry guys. I won't let it change me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Case of the Mystery Shoes

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered a pair of shoes in the community space behind my condo while walking my dog. I have no idea where the shoes came from, but was instantly curious. Who just leaves their shoes?? At the time, I assumed they belonged to one of the guys who was working on a condo who were out on the deck, not wearing shoes. Or that it was a prank and someone would give it up and bring them back. It turns out that those guys do not actually live there, despite them saying "Hello!" to me while I was out there. Twice. A couple days after that, I realized the shoes were STILL there and had to take a picture. When I first saw them, no leaves anywhere. Notice the leaves in the shoes, that's how long they'd been out there.

FOUND: Shoes. May or may not have been lost while full of leaves. If not, leaves a bonus.

How do you just leave your shoes here? It's crazy.

Today, while taking out my dog, I decided I needed to check on the shoes. They'd been there over the past couple of weeks, but you never know. Maybe somebody liked them and adopted them. My dog looked like an alien when I adopted him, but I still love him just the same.

Today, they were still there! But had been moved closer to the woods. The weirdest thing is that they're in, generally, the same position, just a different location. I'm assuming the mowers did this, but maybe the person who left the shoes there was just trying to throw us all off, or hide them. I mean, they look awfully comfortable.

More leaves. Closer to the creepy woods where my dog poops.

I really am interested to see what happens to these shoes. If you like them, I'd be more than happy to mail them to you. Once they dry. If you know what kind of shoes these are, that would be helpful too in narrowing down which of my neighbors they might belong to.

Don't worry, I'll keep you posted on the shoes. I know it will keep many of you up at night... Or maybe it's just me.

Blogging About Blogging

Blogging about blogging could be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard, but today, I know no bounds! but this post should really be called, "Holy Shit Ya'll, The Bloggess E-mailed Me Back!". If you read many crazy blogs, you probably already read The Bloggess. Her blog is hilarious and a little crazy, in a good way, and was probably the number one thing that made me think I should actually keep up with a blog and not just make one about movie reviews, post like 4 reviews that were terrible, and give up.

A week or so ago, my friend Karen (go to her website and buy her book, I'm in it, if that persuades you further and proceeds go to support testicular cancer awareness) posted a story on my Facebook wall about the day The Bloggess acquired a giant, metal chicken, who was named Beyoncé. Since then, I have virtually ravaged her blog reading every entry. It's hilarious. Seriously. Today, I finally made it back to December 2010 and came across this story where a smiling wild boar head, named James Garfield, helped strangers donate over $42,000 to other strangers. I joke around a lot and am kind of an asshole (ask my sister), but one thing that I have always done, and will always do, is give away as much money as I can without feeling like I'm going to starve or be naked*. It makes me feel better about being an asshole the rest of the time and helps people at the same time. It's a win-win. After reading this story, I wished I'd been reading this blog back then so I could've been involved, but thought I could do the next best thing, e-mail The Bloggess (aka Jenny) and see if she was going to do it all over again this year (Even though it, literally, almost killed her last year pairing everyone who needed up with everyone who was giving).

To my shock and amazement, she e-mailed me back. Like an hour after I sent the email! I couldn't believe it. I'm not sure how many unique visitors visit her site on a daily basis, but it's enough that she generated over $42,000 in donations in a couple of days from her everyday guests and notes in one post that she typically has over 3,000 unread emails in her inbox. The fact that she took the time to respond (especially after reading her blog and seeing how she usually responds to PR solicitations, etc.) blew my mind and makes her even cooler in my book.

Here is my email to her (Karen, I apologize in advance for my semi-profane reference... It's easier to just not explain):
Last week, my ex-boyfriend who passed away's mother (kind of a weird story, but you know how those are...) posted a link to your post about the day you found Beyoncé on my Facebook wall. Since then, I have read every post on your blog back to December 15, 2010. I know this doesn't sound like much of a feat, but I'm hoping to eventually get back to the very beginning. I think you're hilarious, and a little crazy in a good way, and it keeps me motivated throughout the day while I'm at work (Don't tell my boss, but I've literally kept the tab to your blog open since the first time I read the Beyoncé story and read a few pages every day). Today, I reached the posts about James Garfield's miracles. I realize that what happened last year almost killed you through sleep deprivation, but do you think you'll do it again/it will spontaneously happen again this year? If so, I'd like to go ahead and volunteer to donate $50 in giftcards, or cash or whatever, to anybody who needs it. I'm not loaded by any means, but I certainly have more than enough for just me and won't have any problem buying gifts for my family. I'd like to do what I can to help people who aren't as fortunate as I am.

Please let me know if anyone has stepped forward yet asking for help. I'd be more than happy to Paypal the money now for Thanksgiving or whatever, or wait until closer to Christmas...or James Garfield Day, which I think might be December 15th (like Festivus).

You really are more awesome than you know. Your blog brings so much joy and happiness to people who need it.


And here is her reponse:
You are so awesome.  For real.  This year I think I'll do some sort of drive, but probably it'll be for Toys for Tots or something else that's easier to handle, you know?  Last year almost killed me and I'm just not
set up to do all that work even with volunteers.  I'll post something on my blog after Thanksgiving.  :)

The moral of the story is, everyone is awesome, some people even more than you would think. I also recommend that you start reading her blog habitually. It really will bring a small slice of joy to your everyday life. Also, be sure to read around Thanksgiving time to see what she has up her sleeves and help out if you can!

* A few of my favorite charities in case you're looking for someone to send your money to:
Humane Society of Charlotte - WONDERFUL place. The people at this facility are the most loving, fantastic people. They love all of the animals there like they were their own. It's also no-kill if at all possible. They take in and rehab a lot of animals that would otherwise be put down and bring in a number of animals from Animal Control down the road, that happens to be a kill shelter. They also host low-cost vaccine clinics and offer low-cost spay/neuter services. I can't say enough good things about HSC. You should give them some of your money.
The USO - I give a few times a year to the USO. People can say what they want, but I think they do such an amazing service for our troops. I was in the Baltimore airport recently and saw the USO spot there that's open to all servicemen and it blew my mind. What a wonderful way to show our troops we support them by just offering them simple comforts. I hate war, but I love our troops. You should give them some of your money, too.
Cancer Action - I think everyone I know has been impacted by cancer in some way. I spent almost all of my life in Kansas City, until moving to Charlotte in 2010, and was really blown away by what Cancer Action does for the community. From offering rides for patients, wellness information, financial aid to those affected who are having trouble paying their bills, they do everything that someone with cancer might find comforting or helpful. The American Cancer Society does a great service by spreading the word, but I feel that their use of donations is not as beneficial to actual cancer patients as Cancer Action, or other agencies that might be in your community. You should give some of your money to Cancer Action, too, or another local agency in your town.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gchat: Bringing Families Together Since 2007

Let me start off by saying, I don't actually know when Gchat started. I would imagine it was when Gmail started, but I'm not really into research, so let's just pretend it was in 2007.

Often, I Gchat with my sister. We rarely talk on the phone and live 1000 miles apart, so Gchat "keeps the magic alive" a totally-non-sexual-weirdo kind of way. Some of my best material happens during these Gchat sessions and it also keeps me mostly sane. An added bonus is keeping up-to-date on things happening back home that no one tells me about. Mostly because they know I don't really care.

We usually talk about things that are totally unimportant and not even vaguely interesting, which is usually about the time it gets interesting. Here, I present an example.

This conversation comes after I explained to my sister that I randomly started crying at work and she asked if I was pregnant and I told her no, just stressed. I tell you this just so you can understand the context (that does not exist). I also would like to point out, like I did to her, that it wasn't ugly crying, just tears in my eyes and that I also don't ever cry which is why it was such a disturbing episode. People are so ugly when they cry.

Sister omg. i was wearing an older shirt yesterday & the f-ing elbow ripped right before i went to court* so, it's, like, 12 degrees in the courtroom & my sleeves are pushed up jauntily to try & cover the rip. SO awesome but, I did order a new shirt to replace it.
Me wow. did you love the shirt ? do I need to write a eulogy? what did the shirt look like?
Sister I did love it. it was a white button down with 2 color blue pinstripes. I had it on under this fab new charcoal sheath dress I got. I looked so damn good. Stupid shirt.
Me Today we are gathered here to celebrate the life of a wonderful shirt. This shirt was known for it's punctuality, sensuality and, most importantly, it's ability to cover arms and boobs. Not only did this shirt have one color of blue stripes, it has a second color, just in case the first wasn't your favorite shade of blue. Dear shirt, how we will miss you, what with the hole in the elbow and all, rendering you totally useless in life...except to maybe homeless people. I'm sure homeless people would love that shirt and totally not even care about the blown out elbow. We will miss you shirt...unless you are converted into a short sleeved shirt, in which case, see you in the spring.
Me you're welcome.
Sister That's amazing. Thank you. It isn't being converted into anything except trash.
Me Homeless people need shirts too.

*I should probably point out that she's an attorney, so she wasn't in court as a defendant (this time...jk...kind of). I feel like if you're in court as a defendant in her cases, you're probably not going to care much about a hole in the elbow of a delicious pin-striped shirt. Or maybe you would. And that's why you stole something.

Apples are Going to Kill Us All...Or Not.

Why do we wash apples? In water? Kind of seems pointless...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Three Christmas Related Questions

Christmas is confusing to me in a lot of ways. But, today I was wondering these three specific things.

1.) How early is TOO early to start listening to Christmas music? Greg told me XM doesn't start playing Christmas music until this week, but I feel like there's a chance he was either a.) lying so he didn't have to listen to Christmas music or b.) actually has no idea and was just making shit up. I feel like there's probably a year round Christmas music station. And if there's not, they're really missing an untapped resource and I feel like I should get credit (and royalties) for any money they make off of that station.

2.) How early is too early to send out Christmas cards? I ordered some pretty epic Christmas/Holiday cards this year. Without my Groupon and awesome discounts, they were like $106! $106 for freaking Christmas cards, NOT including postage. No wonder people complain about how much they spend on Christmas. It's the middle of November and I've probably already dropped $700 on cards, pre-purchased gifts, and plane tickets. I mean, the older I get, the less angry I get at Scrooge. I get it. I totally get it. That's probably also why it took me 30 minutes to come up with a "nice" phrase to put on the cards that was not totally laced with profanity. "Happy Holidays. Fuck Off." Was quickly shot down as was "We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and get all the stupid shit you want. You know what the fuck I'm talking about".

3.) How early is too early to put up a Christmas tree? I've seen some Facebook updates that seem like now is an ok time to do it. I have a tree being delivered (!!!) the Saturday after Thanksgiving (including a stand, awesome, right?!) and I feel like that's an appropriate time, but I'd totally have those bitches up now if I had my hoard of fake trees within 1000 miles of my present location.

I think Christmas is kind of a pain in the ass, but I still love the simple, stupid traditions.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homeless People Enjoy Bowling, Too

Sometimes Greg gets crazy ideas in his head like, sitting on the couch all day eating an entire Crock Pot of delicious Ro-Tel dip is not a productive enough Sunday and suggests activities to "Get us out of the house". Personally, I love being in the house and doing nothing but watching terrible movies and eating horrible food, but to each his own. And, I figure because he puts up with my incessant social networking, I owe it to him to occasionally entertain his exciting plans. Well, that and there was this one time I forced him to go to the zoo when it was literally 97* outside and he had one of the worst hang overs of his life that might have been mostly my fault. Don't ever force anyone with a hangover to go to the zoo. You will pay for it for years.

Greg's brilliant idea last night was to go bowling. There's a TCBY across the street, so I agreed.

As soon as we walked in, I knew this was, in fact, a brilliant idea. There were 32 total lanes and only 2 of those lanes were being occupied by other fanatical bowlers. Awesome. Of the 32 lanes, one lane had a homeless guy just hanging out at the table provided for that bowling lane watching the bowlers and sucking on his gums. That was lucky lane 25. We went to the counter, got our bowling shoes and got our lane assignment. Lucky lane 25. Fortunately, they threw in the homeless guy for free because apparently it costs $30.50 for two people to bowl two games and wear used shoes for an hour.

When we first started bowling, the only sounds in the place were the pins crashing into each other, children crying, and the homeless guy talking to himself in between sucking on his gums. After about 5 minutes, one of our fellow bowlers hooked us up with one of the most incredible 90's rap/R&B mixes of all time. I probably would've paid $16 for a copy of it if it was on an info-mercial and I was having a rabid bought of insomnia, it was THAT good. This glorious mix started with "Motown Philly".

Now, if you love Boyz II Men like I love Boyz II Men, you will understand when I say that when "MoTown Philly" comes on, you have to dance. It's like an unspoken rule for people who lived in the 90's. Imagine my absolute delight when the homeless guy started dancing to "MoTown Philly" too. He had clearly lived through the 90's and clearly knew what the fuck was up. And I loved him.

Eventually, all good things have to come to an end and the homeless guy peaced. But not before waving to all of us and yelling "TAKE CARE!" I should've bought him a beer...

The Eye Doctor: Owned

This past Saturday I got to go to the eye doctor. I've been lucky enough to see an eye doctor every year since I was about 5. I've been even luckier to have my prescription get worse every time I go. To most people, I would be considered "practically blind"; to almost everyone else in my family, I'm practically a seeing eye dog. I'm still about a -5.5 with astigmatism, and if you wear glasses or contacts, you know that means I basically can't see anything past my nose without correction... just to put this story into perspective.

After filling out the requisite paperwork and getting air blown into my eyes (my favorite part!), the nurse lady walks me into a darkened room (for natural dilation...I'll bet) and starts telling me about the different things the doctor will do and what to expect, yada, yada, yada. She also tells me that I will be getting dilated. I explain to her that I have a salon appointment after my eye appointment, so, for vanity reasons, I cannot have my eyes dilated. She explains that my only other option is a $35 photo of my retina. I ask if I can take it home with me and use it for my Christmas cards since it would be about as much as a photo shoot at Sears and she says no, but I can take the issue up with the doctor when he comes in and she will write "Dilation?" on my chart. I have a feeling she also wrote a note about my sass, because I've heard they do that for future reference. Best they be warned in advance, I suppose.

The doctor finally comes in and asks about "Dilation?" written on my chart. I explain the situation and that I cannot have my eyes dilated for vanity reasons and also do not want to pay $35 for a photo of my retinas that I don't get to at least keep for a souvenir. Amazingly, this man understands and I dodge a serious dilation bullet. 

After the general exam is over, it's time for the peripheral vision flashy thingy test. Apparently, this test requires no corrective lenses. So the nurse leads me back to a random contact lens room to remove my contacts, again, and instructs me to "meet her back up front for the flashy test thingy". She didn't actually call it the flashy test thingy, but I don't really care what the actual name of the damn thing is. I take my contacts out and realize this woman is no where to be found at all and am all, "FUCK! I'm lost!" Finally I find her and decide to gently remind her that you can't just let blind people try to find their own way around your stupid office.
Me: "Jeez, you need a seeing eye dog to get up here!
Eye Doctor Nurse: "Oh, yes, maybe I should've worn a brighter color." 
She was wearing a fucking cream sweater, like the easiest thing to see ever. Maybe you shouldn't force people to remove their corrective lenses and then put them in a goddamn corn maze to get their "final eye exams" taken.

An hour later, I'm finally done with the exams and get to give them my $10 co-pay for the corn maze, solid alone time in a dimly lit room and blast of air to my eyeballs. The eye doctor nurse points out that I was actually able to talk my way out of dilation AND the $35 eyeball photo and seems impressed. "You should be in sales!" Duh.

Someone Pay Me Already!

I network, socially, often. I have Twitter apps and Facebook apps and Yelp apps and all kinds of apps and some of them don't even work. I post "hilarious" updates and statuses and photos and links and revel in the comments and the conversations I have with my friends and family about them. My boyfriend, however, does not think it's as hilarious because I'm typically posting these hilarious updates via my phone while he is present. We both work long hours, he works Saturdays, too, so I guess I can see why he might be a bit irritated, but when your girlfriend is as hilarious and entertaining as I am, I really think he should just let it slide.

A few days ago it occurred to me that if I was getting paid to write hilarious things and post awesome status updates about homeless guys in the bowling alley dancing to Boyz II Men, he could never be mad at me again! So I asked him, "Greg, if I was getting paid to do all of this, would I still be in trouble?" and he said, "No." And thus, my quest begins.

I have always wanted to be a writer...of some sort. I "published" my first book when I was in 1st grade and had my first poem actually published when I was about 6. In retrospect, I'm sure everything I wrote back then was total garbage and everyone was just being nice because I was trying to be a writer at such a young age, but the groundwork was laid. Since then, I've had a number of random, totally-unrelated-to-writing jobs and have really enjoyed a few of them, but have never really found anything I want to be married to. Writing is the one thing I keep coming back to. Unfortunately, as most people know, finding a job where you actually get paid to write is very, very, very, very difficult; hence, my quest. I figure, if it doesn't work out, what the heck. I gave it a shot and am no worse off than I was before AND a few people got to read some of my completely insane life stories that could only happen to me.

If you want to pay me to write, please contact me. I'll take your money. If you don't, no problem. Enjoy the free laughs.