Friday, June 18, 2010

Musinex Frogs and Other Myths

It was recently called to my attention that (dun, dun, dun) there is no Musinex frog. That's right. Commercials for the cough suppressant actually feature a talking ball of phlegm clothed in a wife-beater and suspenders. Lame! I mean, what kind of mascot is that? Flem doesn't talk nor does it wear clothes because a) that is just so unrealistic and b) it would be very messy and sticky.
So this little misunderstanding got me thinking: What other concepts have I mistaken for entirely different concepts (like say, lung-dwelling reptiles) that apparently are strikingly obvious to anyone else.

My childhood dreams ruined sugar cereals. When I was little, I was never allowed to have an unhealthy breakfast. While I was taunted with commercials of smiling little shits stuffing their happy faces with colorful puffs and chocolaty flakes as their obesity-pushing mom's looked on with blissfully ignorant approval (News Flash: Adding a glass of orange juice and a banana to a bowl of sugar does not make it a complete breakfast.) I was forcing the senior citizen special of Grape Nuts and Raisin Bran softened with non-fat milk down my little six-year-old throat. By the way, Honey Smacks - a cereal that, contrary to it's name is not heroine - actually does feature a cartoon talking frog. Yay.

Anyway, I grew up with the impression that I was missing out on these little morning meals of heaven. In my early teens I was finally given the opportunity to try some of these illusive cereals. So. Disappointed. First of all, Lucky Charms does not consist entirely of wonderful, delicious marshmallows. No. I would say the ratio of wonderful, delicious marshmallows to crappy, little cardboard crap-morsels is probably only 1 to 20. And don't get me started on Cookie Crisp. Those aren't cookies! For the first 13 years of my life I envisioned Mini Chips Ahoy floating gloriously in a bowl of milk. But disk-shaped corn flakes with brown spots do not equal chocolate chip cookies.

Now I know I may be going up against a whole movement of sugar cereal lovers everywhere, but look where I'm coming from. Imagine being a kid and thinking Candyland was an actual place. You get a little older and finally venture out there, only to find that Candyland is actually just a bunch cafeteria desserts.

Huey Lewis is not ordering me to hit the B square. When I was younger (again, another childhood misconception - a statistic causing me to believe that perhaps I was a very stupid child), my parents would often play a tape of Huey Lewis and the News on road trips. Ah, dorky white families in the '80s. Being a very stupid child, I would gaze out the window from the backseat with absolutely no intelligent thoughts of my own and let whatever images the lyrics produced play numbly in my head. One might argue that this was not a sign of stupidity, but it is important to note that this is all I did. No matter how long the road trip, no matter how many times I had heard the song before, no new or independent thought ever stemmed from this exercise. What made it worse is that I often had the lyrics wrong.

Lewis's hit It's Hip to Be Square was Hit the B Square in my world. Forget the fact that this statement, or command rather, made absolutely no sense. There I would sit, swinging my dumb little legs, imaging someone hitting a cement square with an engraved B with a stick. And get this. Every time this "B Square" was hit, it would light up like the sidewalk Michael Jackson walks on in Billie Jean. I don't even remember when I realized my mistake, but I don't think I ever told anyone. That is until now, my beloved Internet universe of strangers.

I was going to provide an (embarrassingly long) list of misconceptions, but it's now 2pm and I'm still in my robe and this post is already turning out to be a lot longer than expected. Feel free to save me from drowning in stupidity by outing your own and share a misconception. Please?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Heart Mucus

So I've been sick with what my mother is now convinced to be the whooping cough for the last three weeks. It's not the whooping cough because it's not 1906 and my mother thinks everything is a disease you get when playing Oregon Trail. But that didn't stop her from handing me a grocery bag of half-full prescription bottles for anything that cured coughs, sore throats, sinus infections, ear infections, labored breathing, and/or hiccups when I visited her this last weekend. Most people need a Michael Jackson-type doctor (sorry, too soon?) or know somebody that knows somebody to get all the shit I got, but I just need good ol' Mom. Never mind that half of it is expired or in Ziplock baggies so who knows what the hell they are or what they do.
Anyway, my mom is not a drug dealer (in case you were wondering) or a pill-popper, just your average mom with a case of care-too-much and thinks calling you every hour to ask what color your flem is will eventually cure the sick right out of you.
Maybe she's right, but in the meantime I'm keeping my phone on silent and having fun with my mucus. Yeah, you heard me.
Mucus can be fun, and here's why:
  1. If you're not a good spitter, you entertain yourself in the learning process. For example, say you're sitting at a traffic light next to a cute guy. You eye each other, a red light romance. Then, just as he's snuck a third or fourth glance over at you, you feel a flem ball lodge itself in your throat. You try and swallow it, but the fucker grabs onto your tonsils and won't let go. So you make a choking noise that sounds like a cross between a dying chicken and a weed wacker. You are so disgusted with yourself that you stare in wide-eyed horror at your admirer with your mouth trapped at a four inch radius. You attempt to eject the offending mucus out the window (no sense in saving face now) but instead it loses momentum at your tongue and oozes down your chin and drips down onto your open window, leaving a shinning spit connector between your mouth and the car. Cute guy reevaluates his traffic crush and speeds off. Not that this happened.
  2. You get to take Musinex. If a cough suppressant is going to feature a cartoon frog in its commercials, one would think that same frog would be featured on the cough suppressant box. But it doesn't. Instead it looks like all the other cough suppressant boxes with just stupid stripes of blue or green and no reptiles of any kind. That's how I ended up standing in Walgreens for 20 minutes with a fever staring at rows of medications in white boxes. No frog. But when one finally locates the Musinex (with no frog on the box I might add) it's a trip. For real. Now I've never smoked crack, but I imagine it feels like a Musinex-induced stupor. First, my neck decided it had been tired of holding my head up for the last 28 years and just sort of checked out. My eyelids gained about 15 pounds, but because of the caffeine wouldn't close. So I just ended up walking around with my head leaned all the way back so I could see forward. When my roommate came home, I tried to tell her about something that happened earlier that day but somehow ended up telling her my favorite burrito recipe. I also had to pack because I was leaving for San Diego later that night. For some reason a pair of shorts I tossed into my bag struck me as hilarious and I began to laugh uncontrollably. This lead to more flem balls which I attempted to spit into the toilet, but missed and spit onto the toilet. Every time. When I finally came down, I decided that a) I needed to re-pack and b) I will not be taking Musinex again unless my only responsibility for the next eight hours is to lay on the couch and watch TV.
  3. You get to drink cognac. And whiskey. And rum. And brandy. It's good for the throat, the Internet said so. There's this drink called a Hot Toddy, which I refuse to order at a bar by name because it makes me feel like a hobbit (already being short, I don't think this will bode well for me), and it's hot water, lemon, honey, and ALCOHOL! I get ridiculously delighted at the thought of being able to use being sick as an excuse for drinking because nobody can say shit to you. It's medicine, mother fuckers! And my theory is that if you do away with the hot water, lemon, and honey (those all are just middle-man components) you get your medicine in a more concentrated form. A throat you can't feel is a throat that isn't sore.

So here's to your health, but here's to your sickness too. Because mucus can be fun, and I encourage you to count the blessings in your mucus.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ask Me About My Awesomeness

Let me explain a little something about awesomeness. When someone that's awesome thinks you are awesome, your own awesomeness is hence formally validated. Which leads me to Patrick Tillett. He is awesome all on his own for a number of reasons. I would list them all, but I am lazy so I'll tell you just a couple.

  1. His blog is like an ongoing reading of Running With Scissors.
  2. His blog is based on his life so that makes it even cooler, or more awesome if you will.
  3. Despite the first two reasons, he is still an awesome (and very kind-hearted and intelligent) person and writer...instead of the potential crack monster he could have been based on his childhood.
  4. He also blogs beautiful pictures from Japan that make me want to go there even more.
  5. He gave me this award:

Aaaand the award's only rule is that I include a link to his (awesome) blog and pass it along to another awesome blogger.

So here you go A Mainland Streel. If Martha Stewart had a personality and didn't trade illegal stock tips, it would be this little Canadian bad ass. She is awesome as well.

P.S. I was kindly informed by my friend M that my links "never fucking work" so I apologize in advance if they don't . I, myself, am still excited about the fact that I correctly copied and pasted Pat's award. Awesome.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bet You Never Had Pho Like This

First of all, I just want to apologize for completely sucking lately with posts. In my own defense, I have about a dozen half-finished entries in my que waiting to be finished - an argument that cannot be proven with evidence as that would break my process as an arteest. Yes, stop laughing, an inability to complete anything and procrastination contribute almost entirely to my status as an unemployed writer. That and dumb ass George Bush. But let's not get political. ANYWAY, hello. I've missed you. I would say I promise to write posts everyday and be a good little blogger, but a promise is only comfort to a fool (a wise man once told me that) and I'm kinda flaky (my own mother told me that).

Since writer's block is thwarting any attempt for me to finish any of the posts I so eagerly started and then so haphazardly abandoned, I give you this: A lunchtime observation....

And people say Oakland is scary. Yesterday, a couple friends and I were in San Francisco and decided to go get pho at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. As we were in Union Square, the closest authentic restaurant was in the Tenderloin. Now if you're not familiar with San Francisco, the Tenderloin is not where you would take your grandma site-seeing. Hell, it's not even where you would take your half-cousin Thor site-seeing. Not unless Grandma or Thor has a penchant for men who wear blankets on their heads and argue with an invisible leprechaun about who gets to pee on the wall outside of Slippery Hand Massage. I think it's called the Tenderloin because a long time ago, it used to be the where all the meat factories were located. Now it's just sort of an African safari with junkies and angry prostitutes instead of zebras and gazelles. But good pho is good pho and we're all martial artists so into the Tenderloin we went. Fah-la-la-la-la!

Everything was actually pretty uneventful until the end of our meal when some live performers came out to entertain. And by that I mean, the crackheads in the building across the street started leaning out their windows and screaming down to the people in the street below. First, a lovely young toothless woman in a button-down did a jazzy little spread-eagle number sans pants OR underwear while balancing precariously on her sill about four stories up. She would lean back and cackle, kicking her legs up in the air and then swing them separately in circles, intermittently pausing to screech obscenities down to anyone who was watching, looking like one of the drunken pirates on the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Then her boyfriend (or pimp or inbred brother) came and yanked her back into the room, slamming the window shut.

There was a slight intermission in which we had time to pick our jaws back up from the floor and exchange wide-eyed looks over our nearly empty bowls of soup before the next entertainer appeared. This performer was wearing underwear, but only underwear and they were the kind of pink that you only get from accidentally washing your whites with a red sock and looked like they might have been from Goodwill or picked out of a gutter. She did a little routine of thrashing with the blinds as if they were attacking her and then leaning, almost to the point of falling, out the window to yell and spit at the Asian man pushing the shopping cart on the corner.

And that was lunch. You would think that any sane human beings would rush to pay their bill and get back to an area of the city with a little less needles and vomit on the sidewalk. No. Instead we sat for awhile longer, waiting to see if there would be an Act III. When it seemed all the lunatics from the building across the street had settled in for a long, nap of God-knows-what induced unconsciousness, we wandered outside to continue our adventure. Think Crocodile Hunter goes urban. Anyway we got in another hour or so of thrills and near-brushes with scabies until we were approached and asked if we were holding. When we said no, our hopeful, unrelenting consumer offered his own services in exchange for, well, it wasn't cupcakes.

And that was curtains for me.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Importance of The and A Blog Award

If Obama came up to me and said, "Hey Lindsay, I'll give you a million dollars and let you ride with me to Hawaii on Air Force One and buy you a puppy if you stop reading Kate's I Am The Worst Blogger everyday, I'd be like, "No, thanks, Mr. President. Kate's the shit and now she's even more the shit because she gave me an award." Then I'd be like, "Blam!" and show him this

Thanks, Kate! By the way, I just realized the importance of the word "the". Take, for instance, me calling Kate "the shit". To refer to someone as "the shit" implies their coolness, their ability to rock in the figurative sense, and/or their general all-around superiority. However, omitting the "the" redefines the subject as simply "shit", or excrement. So, Kate is definitely THE shit (Obabma still is too) and now I present you with 10 Things That Make Me Happy....

  1. Money Pants. Money Pants are a pair of pants you put on that you haven't worn in a long time, only to find there is money in the pocket. You might also find a note reminding yourself to do your laundry which explains the smell coming from the pants.

  2. The Taco Truck. The Taco Truck is a magical, Cinderella-esque place. When the clock strikes 2am and alcohol has been absorbed into the bloodstream, cuisine from this mobile miracle becomes delectable. I don't care if the carne asada is actually corned cow ass, just wrap it up in a burrito and I will happily stumble on my way.

  3. Making People Fall Down. You know, when an old lady is trying to cross the street and you act like you're going to help her, but then you push her into traffic and yell, "Gotcha, Grams!" Kidding. KIDDING. But really. I train a martial art, Capoeira, and there is no better feeling than taking someone down. Which leads me to one of the 10 Things That Specifically Do Not Make Me Happy: being taken down.
  4. Q-Tips. You and I both know that there is no better feeling than shoving those pointy little cotton sticks into your ear right after a shower, swirling it around, and observing the yellow residue it collects. And if I'm a guest at your house and I use the bathroom, I am not above taking advantage of any Q-tips in plain sight...or in the medicine cabinet or in that little drawer by the toilet.

  5. Re-Heated Pizza. Pizza the first time around - right out of the oven, out of the box, whatever - is great. Pizza re-heated in a microwave to the point where all the cheese and toppings goup together in gooey, nuked matrimony is greater.

  6. Dramatic Reading of a Real Break-Up Letter. I have to credit Allie from Hyperbolie and A Half for this one. She used to have the link on her page. It goes to something different now, but you can still find it on youtube. Ah, young love - school dances and touching someone's hands for stupid reasons. Read it. You'll see what I mean.

  7. The Snooze Button. In your face inventor of the alarm clock! Ten minutes of sleep (and another and another) is never quite as appreciated under any other circumstance
  8. Sporks. Generally, I prefer spoons over forks. Spoons allow for maximum volume of food consumption per utensil lift and are not bothered with those nasty little slits found in forks that permit sauce/grains/crumbs/cheese slivers to escape. However the fork is much more adept at the initial food contact, ensuring a secure grasp by piercing said food and maintaining hold until the desired location (i.e. your mouth) is reached. And so - the spork. Ta-fucking-da.

  9. Head Massagers. These things look like a cross between a giant whisk and an electric chair helmet (pretty sure that's not the correct term.) But they feel AMAZING. Funny that it took humans so long to invent this when dogs have been getting their heads scratched for years.

  10. Friends and Family. Yeah, had to say it. I am truly blessed to have so many people in my life that are each wonderful and amazing in their own way...and are all crazy enough to love and care about me back. Aww.

So, ahem, had something in my eye. Anyway, now I shall pass this award on to 10 more worthy bloggers. (Weird. For some reason, I just heard James Earl Jones' voice saying that as I typed it. Try it, makes it sound really important.)

The above are all some more people who are THE shit, not to be mistaken with shit.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fuck You, Barney

I hate sharing. I'll do it - because I know I'm supposed to - I just hate it. And the worst part is that I think this character flaw actually only set in in my adult life.
When I was little, I never had a problem sharing my toys or taking turns.
"Want some of my graham crackers? Sure! No problem."
"Of course you can play with my dolls. Which one do you want?"
"What's that? You want to push marbles up my nose now? Go right ahead!"
But that was in the Golden Age of No Responsibility or Paying for Stuff. That's why I don't feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I give a homeless person my leftovers from a restaurant. Instead of taking comfort in the fact that one less person on the street will have to go to bed hungry that night, I selfishly mourn the loss of my little box of Tai Chicken Curry. When my neighbor asks to borrow a DVD, I find myself acutely aware of my sudden desire to watch that specific movie every night until it is returned. And when my friend wants to switch and put marbles up my nose for a change...just kidding.
But you get my point, right? I still share, but I hate doing it. And it's that stupid dinosaur Barney's fault. As a kid growing up, I had things like Mr. Rogers and kindergarten teachers and goldfish death threats from my older brother to instill this virtue in me. But kids are stupid, and they'll do anything you tell them to without thinking. I was told to share, so I shared.
But as I grew older, these mentors began to fade into the background. My teachers became more concerned with educating me on multiplication and Columbus (so not a sharer). My brother became entirely disinterested in me and the death of my goldfish (which by this time had long ago died anyway) because he was a super cool teenager and I was, well, related. (Love you, J! Yes, fully-grown and I still possess the power to embarrass you.) And television icons that sang songs about days of the week and talked about crap like the importance of being a good person had really lost their moment in the spotlight.
Then along came Barney's fat-ass. "Hey kids, it's good to share!" Shut up! Stupid, purple reptile. Your mouth doesn't even move when you talk, just gapes open waiting for one of those overly-paid little actor kids to sucker punch you in the teeth.
Barney re-introduced sharing. He brought it back. But by this time, it didn't seem as cool. I was paying for my own graham crackers and maybe I didn't want to share them with Susy and who cares that she's in a wheelchair and her mom's on Welfare. But because of Barney, I had to or I'd look like an asshole.
So yes, I will share my shit with you and take turns and all that stuff. But it's not because I want to. It's because a big, purple dinosaur told me to.

Hey! This blog is about dinosaurs!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Behind the Scenes in Greece: Ass Snipers

Last summer, my friend M and I went to Greece. It was beautiful and amazing, but a good deal of it was spent scouting out ass with our cameras. Yes, while most respectable tourists take pictures of the Acropolis and other historic ruins, the two of us ran around like perverts snapping shots of the derrieres of unsuspecting natives.

This wasn't entirely my fault. A gentleman friend of mine who is particularly fond of the female backside requested that, as a souvenir, I take photographic documentation of the Greek women and their gluteus maximi. And like the loyal friend that I am, I complied. Hence, the Ass Snipers.

For said gentleman friend, our crowning moment was on a volcano tour in Santorini. M and I were on the top deck of our tour boat admiring, aka staring unabashedly at with dropped jaws, the physique of two Greek demigods. Suddenly demigod #1's girlfriend's dress flew up in the wind as she leaned over the railing. M, with reflexes like a pubescent ninja, captured the Kodass moment in its full exposure. Never the subtle types, we immediately huddled together to review the digital shot, giggling like perverted morons.

But our moment of glory happened on the island of Paros. We were walking back to our hotel when we saw this:

I really think this photo captures the serenity of the island. Notice how you can almost hear the gentle rippling of the...water. Yeah, yeah. I also took pictures of the statues and the churches and blah, blah, blah. But this. This is a rare vision of Greece that few have beheld. Your welcome.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Earwax With a Side of Cat Lady

Oh my God I'm the Cat Lady, and I don't even have any cats.
It all started yesterday. My roomie stayed home sick. I was there too because I am unemployed, hence the title of my blog. (Hey, wouldn't it be cool if my roomie was a dinosaur? Then it would be, like, full circle or...whatever. K, I still love you even though you are clearly not a dinosaur. But if you WERE a dinosaur, it'd be like you were the star of my blog.)
I need to stop drinking coffee.
So. Rooomie, sick. She was complaining that her ears were plugged so I suggested this earwax removal stuff I happened to have. (Slightly gross, I know, but deal with it.) I pretty much forced her to agree and be my patient. I ran into my bathroom to grab my bag of Random and Expired Medicine. I took care of K and proudly sat back on the couch and obtrusively watched the crap drain out of her ears. And then I became the Cat Lady.
It went like this. My eyes drifted over to the coffee table where I had left my bag. It's actually a travel toiletry bag my mom had given me many, many Christmases ago. And it has cats all over it. Creepy, bubbly drawings of cats dressed as fishermen and ballerinas with the words "Cat Lover" stamped all over it.
I sat transfixed, horrified at what I had become. I couldn't stop staring at it, every detail, realizing I had never really looked at it before. I don't have a cat. Okay, that's not entirely true. When I was a teenager, a friend gave me a stray cat, who to this day still lives at my mom's house. (My mom gave me the cat bag that same year so it's not entirely crazy that I own that bag.)
But the whole thing just creeps me out. If you have a kid, you don't wear a shirt that says "Kid Lover" unless you're a freak, right? And this isn't my mom's fault. It was just a silly gift she gave her snot-headed 16 year-old daughter instead of a belly ring.
It's the fact that I still have it and use it that creeps me out and makes me question what image I have been unknowingly projecting all these years.
When I would go to slumber parties, were my friends all, "Who invited freaky Cat Lady?"
When I first arrived at college, did the co-eds in my dorm make a mental note to never speak to me? When I brought it out to "treat" K, was she secretly terrified that I might try to put a flea collar on her and build her a scratching post?
I know I'm not the Cat Lady, but does the world know?
P.S. K is cured!
P.P.S. I threw out the cheese.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fake Cheese: I Will Love Again

The 99c store and I aren't speaking. I went there the other day to buy an accordion folder (and then a liter of artificially-flavored peach lemonade carbonated beverage, a 5-pack of Bubble Yum Bubble Gum and beef jerky). Walking past the perishable foods section, I was immediately drawn to a bag of shredded cheese.

Now I've always told myself that I will never buy anything edible at The 99c Store with a life durability weaker than that of a cockroach. Well, that and condoms. Anyway, I saw this cheese and my vow against food cheaper than a dollar began to waiver. I mean, I'm a regular connoisseur of Jack in the Box's 99c tacos (TWO for a dollar!) and was literally (and pathetically) delighted when Wendy's added spicy chicken nuggets to their value menu (ALSO 99c). Actually, now that I think of it, I never order anything over a dollar from a fast food chain. So what was my problem? Besides, I needed cheese. How else was I going to make my famous quesadillas? (1 flour tortilla, 1 handful of cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds. Eat. You're welcome.) And this was Mexican-style cheese! So now my quesadillas would taste Mexican! Once again, I was sold.

I think it might have been late the next night (and after a few glasses of wine) that I set to work in the kitchen, exercising my Hispanic culinary skills. But Step 2 of my recipe (microwaving) did not deliver the expected result of melted cheese. Maybe the microwave wasn't working properly? I re-heated for another 30 seconds. No dice and no melted cheese. But my tortilla (1 flour tortilla) was so hot it had begun to take on a nasty, gooey quality. So I ate it.

Still curious about the cheese and determined to solve the mystery of its non-melting properties, I grabbed the bag out of the refrigerator. It read: MEXICAN SHREDS: Pasteurized Process Topping Pasterizado Procesado Coberturas. Awesome.

So I'm a bit upset with The 99c Store. I invest a lot of late-night snacking happiness in cheese, and when I find that I am in fact not eating cheese but pasteurized processed shreds made with powdered cellulose, I get a little upset. Now I know that The 99c Store never promised me cheese; it did, in fact, state that it was proving me with pasterizado procesado coberturas. But I guess I just got a little ahead of myself, what with all the delicious beef jerky and aisles of make-up tools that may or may not gouge your eye out.

Maybe we're just not at That Place yet. Maybe I said some things I shouldn't have and maybe I threw my "cheese" bag angrily on the ground (only to pick it back up, lovingly smooth out the plastic creases, and gingerly place it back in the fridge). I just need a few days to regain my trust and we'll be fine. Besides, I'm running low on I Be Profin.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Narrow Escapes from Dog-Killing

Remember that story in the news a few years ago where a man was so overtaken with road rage that he grabbed a dog from a woman's car and threw it into oncoming traffic, killing it? Well, I'm not saying I agree with his actions or that I would do the same, but I'm also not about to proclaim myself as part of Team Fluffy or whatever the hell that damn dog's name was. (May he/she rest in peace in doggy heaven. Ha! Can't touch me, PETA!)

Like shit, road rage happens. And it happens to the best of us. I have been flipped off by an old man (and for the record, liver spots on your middle finger can happen) and told to "FUCKING YIELD!!!" by a hippie driving a VW bus. Maybe you're thinking, "Gee, you're probably just a bad driver." Well I am. But that has (almost) nothing to do with it. The blind anger one acquires from the pressures of driving - commonly referred to as Road Rage - is non-discriminatory and blame is never self-appointed.

Just the other morning I set out to pick up a friend who lives about a half mile away from me. We had plans for a very important game of paintball. The sun was shinning; birds were singing; if a cartoon Smurf had skipped by me on my way to my car, I probably wouldn't have even thought twice about it. I started the car and began to turn around in the direction of my friend's house. But I couldn't turn around. That's when I noticed a steady stream of spandex-clad runners coming around the corner towards me. A marathon. (I was later informed -by my very unsympathetic friends, I might add - that (duh!) this was Oakland's first marathon in 25 years and had been widely publicized.)

The entire side of the street going in the opposite direction was sectioned off for at least my block so I went around the back, planning to turn onto the street at the next intersection. But my smugness was short-lived when I realized that this entrance was blocked as well. In fact, the entire way to my friend's house was closed.

Feeling slightly less Smurfy, but still in decent spirits, I turned around and began driving in the longer route to my friend's. This route required making a left into downtown. But I couldn't make a left. Anywhere. Desperately, I leaned out my window only to see a line of cars for miles and miles - going straight, not left.

To make things worse, the world outside my vehicle of torture was disgustingly perky. Toned men and women ran jauntily by as families waved and cheered.

"Iwanttomakeafuckingleft." I gritted through my teeth, glaring at a little girl eating an ice cream cone, little shit.

By sheer luck, I had a (somewhat aggressive) friend's DMX cd in my player. I turned it up to full blast, shaking my mom's little old Camry with lyrics like "BITCH!" and "MOTHA FUCKA!" Apparently, DMX doesn't believe in inside voices or the letter "r". I scowled at the good citizens lining the street, probably looking more like a Sour Patch Kid than an intimidating gangsta. One policeman directing traffic looked over his shoulder at me suspiciously. I of course panicked, quickly turning down the volume and suddenly becoming very concerned with an imaginary situation in front of me. Once safely by him, I (cautiously) turned back up the stereo and went back to my scowling. (That's right. Who's gangsta now, biatch?)

Somewhere in my fury, my friend called and we decided it would be much easier for me to pick him up at a BART station on the outskirts of town. (This was after he referred to me as Godzilla.) By that time I reached him, I had calmed down and made it with out killing any one's dog. Yes, the streets were safe from my wrath for one more day.

*Oh. I forgot to mention that, due to my small size, I can hardly see over the dashboard. So, as I cruised menacingly through the streets of Oakland I either a) looked like I was riding really low and dirty b) looked like an angry forehead on top of a steering wheel or c) looked like nothing at all because no one could see me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shakespeare Never Got THIS

I just did the dorkiest thing. So I'm sitting on the couch watching Friends re-runs, reading blogs, and browsing job listings (Can you be a rabbi's assistant if you're not Jewish?) when I stumbled upon a comment from Mainland Streel, a wonderfully quirky writer that not only writes a hilarious blog but also (and more importantly) feeds my blog-go (blog-go = your ego in relation to your blog. See what I did there? Thank you very much, Bachelor's in English, my parents can finally be proud. Wait. Never mind. I just re-read it.)

Anyway. Mainland Steel. She's awesome. And not just because she has awarded me with my first ever blog award: THE BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD! (I added the caps.)

What's the Beautiful Blogger Award? you ask. Well, I'll tell you.

Ta-da! Yes. I know. And it comes with these rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass the award along to 5 bloggers you recently discovered and you think are fantastic!

4. Contact the bloggers you picked and let them know about the award.

So, thank you, Mainland Steel. I wish you health, happiness, and lots of bloggers. Oh. The dorky thing I did...When I read that I got an award I actually threw my hands up to my face and went, "Oooooh!" like one of those little cartoon girls from the 50's, except instead of wearing a cute little dress and corkscrew curls I'm wearing a toothpaste-stained sweatshirt and my Don King-bed hair. But I digress. On to rule #2...

...7 things:

1. I'm really short, so when I tell people my height I round up and then round up again (and sometimes again). In reality, I'm almost 4'11", which (of course) rounds up to 4'11", which rounds up to 4'11 1/2" (obviously), which (depending on who I'm talking to) rounds out to an even 5'.

2. When I was about 8, I auditioned for a local production of Annie. When I was about 18, my mom told me that when I would practice The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, she didn't have the heart to tell me that I had a horrible voice.

3. In college I accidentally stabbed myself in the eye with my tweezers and had to go to the emergency room. And I had to wear a temporary eye patch.

4. I eat brown sugar by the spoonful.

5. Sesame Street irritated me when I was a little kid. I much preferred the mature company of Mr. Rogers. I know. I was a snotty, little shit.

6. I still have to use my fingers when doing addition in my head.

7. I used to have a Furby, and my favorite thing to do would be to put him in the backseat of my car. Whenever I'd drive around, I could hear him making noises and it would entertain me to no end. He sounded like a munchkin on a roller-coaster.

Now. Time to pass the torch...

Sassy at The Sassy Curmudgeon. Her blog is THE SHIT. I'm sure she already has a ton of these, but she's the first blog I started to follow, and her sass and creativity inspire me.

Kate at I Am the Worst Blogger. Kate is awesome because she posts hilarious Internet clips. She's like that friend that keeps sending those damn chain emails about friendship and if you don't email this to 489 people you'll never have any friends. Except she's totally awesome. She also has this really cool link that will take you to one of her older blogs at random. Also, she was my very first follower that was not already someone that I knew and jui-guilt-suied into joining.

My Inflammatory Writ. This girl is a beautiful writer. Sometimes her posts are funny, sometimes they're poetic, sometimes thought-provoking. Love her.

Lucky Punk at Lucky Punk. She's funny and edgy. When I read her blog I wear a leather jacket because she's so bad ass.

Allie at Hyperbole and A Half. Following this blog reminds me how to spell "hyperbole". She's hilarious and needs her own show.

Okay. Done. My right ass cheek is asleep so I have to get up from the couch.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ball-Scratching: A Contemplation

I don't have balls, and I have nothing against those who do, but what I do not understand is why those that do feel the need to scratch them in public. I mean REALLY all-up-in-there, poison-ivy kind of scratching.

Just the other day, I was walking home. I was waiting on the corner (yeah, very funny) at an intersection waiting for the light to change. Directly across from me stood a young man, decently dressed. It's important for me to mention that he was decently dressed so it is not confused that he a) was wearing an overcoat and ONLY an overcoat b) was wearing Tevas and a shirt that read: F.B.I.: Female Body Inspector or c) a garbage bag.

So we're standing there. The street was empty and there wasn't really anyone else around so I know he can see me, right? And - despite what is commonly learned in standard Peek-A-Boo drills and assuming his social awareness extends beyond that of a 2 year-old - he knows I can see him, right?

Decently Dressed Young Man then reaches into his pants, grabs a big wad of ballage, and scratches himself. And it wasn't for just a second. No. It was like he was re-arranging furniture in there or something. Then, when his right hand got tired, he switched! Inappropriate AND lazy! Man, if you're gonna have the balls to scratch your balls in public, at least build some stamina. You know people are gonna stare at you, so be impressive!

Oh yes, I stared. And I'm one of those people whose face reflects exactly what she's thinking. If someone had been watching me, I'm sure they would have thought I was trying to convert Mandarin to Russian in my head. (Or maybe they would have just thought I was a pervert watching some guy scratch himself.) My expression probably followed along something similar to this timeline: curiosity to inquisition to recognition to "What the fuck?!" to disgust to unimpressed (at the stamina, among other things) to "I'm soooo going to blog about this."
Finally, the little tweet, tweet of the pedestrian signal snapped me out of my little, ball-scratching world. We crossed paths, avoiding eye contact, and (me) making SURE to avoid any hand contact.

I walked the rest of the way home like a little snob. I had just had an interview that seemed to go pretty well, so I added a little swagger to my stride. Whenever I'm dressed in business attire and walking downtown, I like to pretend I'm very important. Nevermind the fact that it was the middle of the afternoon and I was walking home and not to Starbucks on my lunch break and I was surrounded by joggers and moms with strollers.

My mind wandered about human behavior and why particular humans seem to have no distintion between private behavior and public behavior. Drawing an analogy of the picking-your-nose-in-the-car syndrome, I was feeling quite proud of myself. I got home, threw my stuff down, and checked my business-savy self out in the mirror - to realize that the crotch of my pants had slouched down creating a faux weiner. Yes. Gross. I turned to the side. Hmmmm. Business-savy? No. Hot shit? No. Expert on managing private parts (real or fake) in public? No.

Moral of the story: Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone because you might have a fake penis.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I used to be a crack whore.

I was looking for jobs this morning, when all of a sudden my computer forced me to where I had to watch a mandatory episode of Modern Family. In the Delgado-Pritchett storyline, Manny's father comes for a visit. There's a semi-endearing scene (I say "semi" as a compliment. The show is hilarious and never ventures into Full House-let's-learn-a-lesson-about-love-and-ignore-the-fact-that-the-living-situation-with-"Uncle"-Joey-is-weird. Side note: Totally watched Full House as a kid, but maybe Danny Tanner should add Megan's Law as a favorite on his Mac. Just sayin'.)

So. This semi-endearing scene. Jay and Manny's father are playing pool, and Jay mentions how he used to ride motorcycles and used to play baseball.

"Used to," Manny's father says. "Saddest phrase in any language."

For a sappy moment, I thought to my little gullible self, Wow. He is so right. People should never give up. They should always continue to do what they love. Why, Oprah, why?!

But then I thought of more endings to the phrase "used to."

"I used to be a crack whore."

"I used to shit myself as a baby."

"I used to drink Listerine when there was no alcohol in the house and then dance naked to Debbie Gibson on my balcony."

See? All "used to"s aren't sad. (Que bittersweet piano music.) In conclusion, DJ, it's good to continue loving your sisters, but you should really stop hanging out with that skank Kimmy Gibbler. She's only gonna bring you down.

Aaaand scene.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Power of Sparkly, Part 1

I have never had, and never will have, sexy bedroom hair. This morning I woke up just in time to move my car before street cleaning. After throwing on some sweats and a hoodie, I glanced in the mirror only to find someone had placed an image of an electrocuted porcupine on the glass. Oh wait, it was my reflection.

You know those bitc-I mean, models in the Pantene commercials with the slow-motion shiny hair? If you're not Stevie Wonder playing the piano, why do you feel the need to toss your head around like that anyway? I mean, I'm not jealous; I'm just sayin'. Anyway, I don't have hair like that. And I used to think no one that didn't have a Matel logo on their ass had hair like that until I became friends with a girl who did (have hair like that, not the butt logo - well, at least I'm assuming). So this girl and I train martial arts together, and all through class she looks like some bad-ass Disney princess, while I look more like Buckwheat's older sister (still bad-ass though, of course). But I can't say anything negative about her because she's probably one of the sweetest girls ever. Love you B!

This wasn't even my point. My point is that this morning I discovered my hair's kryptonite. It's not a hat, it's not a gel, it's... a sparkly.

sparkly [spahr-klee] noun -item that sparkles, provoking the
viewer to breathe aloud,"Oooooooh!"
i.e., For Christmas my boyfriend gave me a sparkly and I
lived happily ever after.

In blogs to come I will explore the many powers of a sparkly, but this blog in particular is devoted to how sparklies battle that beast that is often my hair. Back to this morning...

With no time to tame the beast before the parking ticket fairy came around, I had to think fast. I had tied my hair into a messy bun. On some girls this offers a cute, tousled look. On me, it looked like my head had been squeezed out of a turkey baster. Suddenly, something shiny caught my eye. Enter sparkly in the form of gaudy rhinestone earrings. I put them on. Well, hel-lo. Instantly, the power of sparkly detracted all attention away from my Don King pouf. If I could keep all eyes on my sparklies, my hair was just a blurry backdrop.

I exited the building. I entered the public streets of Oakland. I moved my car. I evaded a ticket.

And I looked fucking fabulous. Thank you, Sparkly.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sociable Jesus!

A few years ago, some friends and I were all sitting around a booth in a restaurant. Everyone was laughing and having a good time, everyone except for...let's call him K. K and E were a couple. K and E were fighting. K was not laughing or having a good time, but was moping over his tuna melt.

Suddenly, fed up with K's sulky behavior, E snapped across the table, "Be sociable, Jesus!"

An awkward silence was attempted before someone snorted, "Who's Sociable Jesus?" (Did I mention we were drinking?) This comment, of course, caused the entire table - including K, a.k.a. Sociable Jesus, - to erupt into asshole-volume laughter. And that was the night that sweet baby Sociable Jesus was born.

From that moment on, it was our favorite inside joke.

"Having a party? Don't forget to invite Sociable Jesus!"

"Feeling blue? Sociable Jesus has your back!"

"Who's that at the bar? It's Sociable Jesus!"

You get the idea. I imagined dropping out of college and buying a screen printer. I could start with T-shirts featuring a grinning, cartoon-esque Jesus with shrugged shoulders and turned-up palms, as if saying, "Don't worry, be happy! Sociable Jesus is here!" He would be superimposed onto a bright yellow sunburst, and over the top would read the exclamation, "Sociable Jesus!" Sometimes he could be holding a frothy beer or he could be customized to wear your favorite football team's jersey. Once the idea caught on, I could branch out into hats, key chains, and beach towels.

Eventually Sociable Jesus would be sold to Saturday Night Live as an animated sketch, complete with a sit-com laugh track. Whenever he entered a scene, one of the other characters would announce, "Hey, everybody. It's Sociable Jesus!" There would be an applause and Jesus would "yuck, yuck, yuck" and offer some bonehead advice in a voice crossed between Goofy and Ryan Seacrest.

Well I did not quit college, which, as you can see, has obviously paid off as I'm an unemployed sales clerk writing this in my robe at 2pm on a Wednesday. But the Sociable Jesus dream lives on! One day you'll be at Wal-Mart and you'll see the What Would Sociable Jesus Do? board game. Until then, I call it! Mine!

Oh, and God bless.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right. But a Few...

I must admit that I feel slightly guilty about my last post. No, that's not right. I feel slightly worried people will just think I'm a giant ass who uses a child's physical pain to her own benefit. See? Honesty.

The truth is that I feel (slightly) justified at my capitalizing. You know when you say or do something stupid and your friends tease you and ask, "Were you dropped on your head as a baby?" Well, my answer is, "Yes, in fact I was." This response is usually followed by averted eyes and snorts of disbelief, which fade into an uncomfortable silence as they think to themselves, Well that explains the whole eating off the floor deal. No. It does not explain the whole eating off the floor deal. What explains the whole eating off the floor deal is that sometimes I'm just really hungry because I have a fast metabolism and the floor's usually clean anyway and if I happen to drop something, what's wrong with picking it right back up and eating it?


Yes, I was dropped on my head as a baby and I'm not going to say it's better than it sounds because it's actually worse than it sounds. I believe the word "flung" is more accurate. See, my dad liked to play this game with me where he would hold me by the ankles and spin me around and around like a propeller. Yeah, it's all fun and games until your two year-old goes flying head first into the piano. And that's exactly what happened. The velocity that had built up from my spinning (take that, junior year physics!) caused my darling father (hey Dad! OMG, shout out!) to loose his grip and I went shooting off into orbit. I have a very vague memory of coming to on the couch with my mother's face an inch from mine.

"Oh, oh! She's waking up," she was saying into the phone. "Yes, doctor, her eyes do look a little dilated."

Long story short, I went to the emergency room, got checked out, and everything was fine.
A few years later, I was at a park with my older brother playing on the merry-go-round. My hand must have slipped from the rail because the next thing I knew I was waking up on the sidewalk with my brother leaning over me."

"Oh, oh! She's waking up," he was saying to the gathering circle of kids. "You better not tell Mom or I'll kill you."

It's these childhood moments that make me feel justified to finding humor in, say, a kid running into a metal parking permit dispenser. And I'm sure there's probably more, I just - for some reason - can't remember.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Am I Evil?

So do you ever come home from a long day, prop your feet up, and ponder over a mug of hot cocoa: Am I evil? I mean, I don't do that or anything, but there's this small element of my character of which I often question.

Let me start over. Every time I'm feeling blue, I think of a particular memory to cheer myself up. The following is that memory:

Once upon a time a couple years ago, I was walking down a tourist-crowded street in Monterrey. The sun was out, couples were laughing, children were playing. Coming toward me about 20 feet ahead were a father and son holding hands. I mean it was really cute. They both had matching aquarium hats and the little boy only came up to his father's knee so he was doing that endearing toddler run/walk to keep up with the stride of his fore bearer, who was engaged in an animated conversation with two other adults. All of a sudden - BLAM! His little over-sized head smacked right into a parking permit dispenser. I swear I saw his eyes cross, and his dome rolled around his neck like a basketball swirling into the net. Worst of all, his father didn't even notice - just continued chumming it up with the rest of the party, never breaking stride. For a few steps, the poor kid sort of half-bounced, half-dragged his pathetic little body down the street before he could straighten out. By the time we passed one another, he seemed fine - no tears, no bump, no loss of consciousness - save a VERY dazed expression on his rosy-cheeked face.

Cracks me the fuck up. Sure, maybe it took the little guy a bit longer to learn his basic shapes than the rest of his pre-school class and maybe that right eye will always kind of have a lazy quality, but kids are durable and this kid's head - I mean, he looked like a walking lollipop. So there. Maybe I am evil. But at least it makes me laugh.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beef Jerky and Pregnancy Risks

Why did I ever forget about the 99¢ store? Or maybe it just used to be more forgettable. That and less applicable to my own life. As a college student, I didn’t really have a need for a two-pack of crappy dishtowels when I didn’t even have any dishes to be toweled anyway. Anything that required liquid-absorption could be obtained in the manner of fistfuls of napkins at fill-in-the-blank fast food chain or stolen from the toilet paper dispenser at work. (Okay. Well, I did pay for tampons.) And at that time you could get a pack of 10 ramen noodles for a dollar so I had no use for a specialized establishment.

I actually forgot all about the store until a few months ago when a friend offered me some 99¢ beef jerky. 99¢?!? How come the beef jerky I stare at and drool over and can’t afford to splurge on is $4.99 and this perfectly good (well…) beef jerky is 99¢?! I was deeply intrigued.
A few weeks later I got laid-off. This should have triggered an immediate call-to-action response of résumé revision and frantic Craigslist searching, which, in time, did – just after some well-deserved mystery meat for under a buck.

Of course, Plan A was a simple grab-my-grub-and-bounce operation. (What else could I possibly want for a dollar?) However, Plan A was aborted the moment I stepped through those once-upon-a-time-automated doors.

There’s a seductive power that overtakes you when you walk into a fluorescent-lit superstructure packed wall to wall with 99¢ inventory. “I can afford to buy anything in here,” I breathed incredulously. I had to stop myself from spinning around and around, arms outstretched, Sound-of-Music-style.

But you can. Buy. Anything. They had nylons and Cheetos and hair products and…condoms? Whoa. Now I can justify buying 99¢ dehydrated meat (and a huge bag of jelly beans and what I’m pretty sure is a shoe horn) but condoms? Protective material designed to prevent pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases? Sounds like saran wrap and a pair of crossed fingers will work just as good.

Thus was my snap back into reality. Don’t get me wrong. If the place had a membership, I’d be getting my tenth stamp on my little card right about now and my apartment is starting to look like Ariel’s treasure trove of crap. But frivolity has a line, and buying a 12-pack of condoms for 99¢ (trust me, you’re gonna need the extra dough for baby furniture in about nine months) is crossing it. So if you’ll just ring me up for my David Hasselhoff calendar and Jr. (not Junior) Mints, I’ll be on my way.