Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm Not a Player I Just Crush A Lot...or not

2008 has been the year of the crush for me. I have had like, 2. That might not sound like a big deal to some, but it is rare for me to have even one so 2 is practically unprecedented! Don't get me wrong, I think plenty of guys are cute but the tendency to fixate on any one particular guy isn't generally my style (which is odd, given my ease of addiction).

On those rare (or this year, not so rare) occasions that I find myself with a crush I am reminded of how nice it is to not have one. Frankly it's irritating and it throws off my whole thought process. There I am, just thinking about something super important and who decides to bust all up in my brain? Old whatshisname.

Take today for example: I was walking around the mall wondering whether or not the women in maternity clothing ads are actually pregnant or if it's one of those fake stomachs like in the movies. *And yes, in my book this does qualify as "something super important."* Clearly, this is an issue that one could devote a significant amount of time to. Actually, cancel that. You can't devote any time to it at all, because now you're thinking about some guy.

And what's worse is that it's not like he's doing anything entertaining. It would be a whole different story if he showed up and did a funny dance or told some jokes or something. But he doesn't; he just hangs out. So on top of being distracted, you're bored. He's like that Microsoft Word Paper Clip, loitering inside your brain. But even the Paper Clip does little tricks.

Perhaps I'm the only one with the kind of time to sit around and wait for the Paper Clip to make a move, so take my word for it, he does! I just opened up a document to watch the Paper Clip and list off some of his amusing tricks, but he wasn't there! Naturally, I opened up the help section and did a search for "paper clip." As it turns out, as a part of the Microsoft re-design, the assistant was eliminated! Damn you, Vista! Why must you ruin everything good in life? I think that I feel about Vista, the way Michael Scott feels about Toby. In my search for a photo of Clippy, I have discovered that he was hated by many people. Probably busy people. People with real, live human office assistants. People with more important things to do than be amused by a cartoon office supply. I can't decide whether I'm sad for them or sad for me. Hmmm, I'll go with them. My ability to be amused by the smallest things will always amuse me (shocking). See, these are the super awesome thoughts I'm talking about! I could think about this for hours...if crushes would stop interrupting me.

This had better be happening to guys, too. I mean, if I start surveying guys about this issue and find out otherwise I am going to be super pissed. Well, I'll be super pissed for a short window of time until I am then distracted against my will.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Supposably

In the Friends episode, "The One Where Heckles Dies," it is discovered that Chandler breaks up with women for the strangest reasons.

Monica: So how was Joan?
Chandler:
I broke up with her.
Ross:
Oh why?... don't tell me, because of the huge nostril thing?
Chandler:
They were huge. When she sneezed, bats flew out of them.
Rachel:
Come on, they were not that huge.
Chandler:
I'm tellin' you, she leaned back, I could see her brain.
Phoebe: You name one woman that you broke up with for a real reason.
Chandler:
Maureen Rosilla.
Ross:
Because she doesn't hate Yanni is not a real reason.
Chandler also realizes that he may be missing out on happiness because he's so picky.

"Look at this. Pictures of all the women that Heckles went out with. Look what he wrote on them. "Vivian, too tall. Madge, big gums. Too loud, too smart, makes noise when she eats." This is, this is me. This is what I do. I'm gonna end up alone, just like he did...What if I never find someone? Or worse, what if I've found her, but I dumped her because she pronounced it supposably?" ~Chandler
Every time I watch that episode I start to think about all the little things that bother me. There are a lot of minor character flaws which can be deal-breakers in my book.

Now, I've been compiling this list for a few weeks now, and I think it's starting to shape up nicely. I do have some friends who possess some of these qualities; odds are I didn't learn about these traits until I hadalready invested time in the relationship and was unwilling to give it up. Or they have another super awesome characteristic which outweighs the annoying one. Let's say I just meet someone and I discover that they consider Nickelback to be one of the greatest bands of all time; they will need to prove to me (sooner rather than later) that they have redeeming qualities to be taken into consideration. You should take it as a compliment if you read a quality of yourself in this list and we are still friends.

The entire concept behind this post reminds me of a childhood memory: I was probably 6 or 7 (if that) I think I was having a hard time getting to sleep so, naturally, I wanted to be productive. That's when I decided I should make a list of all the people hated/disliked. I don't know why I did this...did I detest so many people that I couldn't keep them straight and needed a point of reference in case I encountered them on the street? It's possible. When I'd made significanct progress, I decided to show my mom what I'd been doing. I expected her to be proud of me and my ingenius plan; she was not. Apparently, it's not nice to make a list of people you can't stand. It's not like I was going to show it to them...or maybe I was, I don't remember. Either way, I don't see how my list is all that different than Santa's.

  1. Really liking Nickelback. This forces me to question your taste in general. They have a few OK songs, but when you get right down to it they all sound exactly the same. I don't mind if you like them a little, but if you think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread...we probably can't be friends.
  2. Not liking The Simpsons. Seriously, what's wrong with you? I understand that many of us were not allowed to watch the program growing up so you may never have been exposed to this animated treat, but to not like it is simply crazy. I don't care who you are, that show is funny!
  3. Preferring Family Guy over The Simpsons. I'll be honest, I question anyone who likes Family Guy in general. Maybe not the first couple of seasons where it was actually funny, but now it sucks and if you can't see that then I can't help you. When Family Guy isn't making pop culture references that are not remotely connected to the "plot" of the show, they are either copying The Simpsons or just trying to go too far for shock value.
  4. Being adamently opposed to Facebook. Get on the trolley, people. Facebook saves lives. Well, not really, but it is pretty great. It's keeps you so well connected with people. If I'm trying to plan a party, I can just make an event on Facebook with all the information and send out invitations. But if there's one person who's not on Facebook I have to do all these extra things just because they have to be difficult. I might just give up on inviting them all together.
  5. People who don't watch TV. I made a note to write about these people and a few days later I went to see Jim Gaffigan and he made a joke about them, too which solidified my need to call them out. Perhaps you haven't noticed, TV is awesome. If I'm around someone who doesn't watch TV, I feel like they are judging me and they think I'm stupid--and I don't need that.
  6. People who call Wal-Mart "Wally World." First of all, I don't like Wal-Mart. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've been there in the last 6 months; I hate everything about it. Even before I hated Wal-Mart, I hated people calling it Wally World. I can't pinpoint a particular reason either. All I know is that hearing someone say those 2 words is like listening to someone chew gum with their mouth open (or any other mouth noise, another pet peeve of mine).
  7. Liking cats. Have these people not met cats? I have yet to find a trait in cats that makes up for everything else they do. I don't like an animal that thinks it's better than me. Also, people who like cats often seem to go overboard and become crazy cat ladies. *I will admit, I am friends with cat owners...but I am not friends with their cats.*
  8. Grown women who have the handwriting of a 13-year-old girl. For quite some time, I was unaware that this was an epidemic sweeping our nation. 99% of us [girls] went through that phase in middle school where you tried to write super cute and bubbly, perhaps using hearts for punctuation. To this day I couldn't tell you why we did this. I can, however, tell you that most of us reached a point (post-junior high) in which we decided to stop. But there are a select few women out there whose handwriting looks like it belongs on a cleverly folded note to their BFF.
  9. Refusal to travel outside of the country. To me, this falls under the category of ignorance. People who think America is so great that they don't need to go anywhere else. An unwillingness to experience things outside your comfort zone is one of the saddest possible character traits.
  10. Mouth noises. As briefly stated in my Wally World comment, all mouth noises bother me. You know how Superman could hear people calling for help from a million miles away? I can do that too, only I hear mouth noises. It bothers me to hear myself chewing (mainly because I assume it's bothering other people). Interestingly enough, I'm not bothered by the sound of people making out. Although I should mention that one of the people has to be me. And even then it's not that I can't hear it, it's just I've got more important business to attend to.

There are actually more items on this list but I've decided to hold off because some of them could easily fall into other lists or because they are not minor character traits but actually big faults (like being a Republican...just kidding, sort of). But please enjoy this teaser of future blog topics:

  • People who write poetry, and then want me to read it. (My worst nightmare).
  • Highly over-rated things (Including but not limited to: Coldplay, U2, DMB, Panera, Chick-Fil-A)
  • Family picture Christmas cards (Unless they are of dogs in antlers or Santa hats or something)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Coupling

One of my favorite movies of all time is When Harry Met Sally, in addition to being a fabulous story it's full of great quotes! For example:

"You guys were a couple. You had someone to go places with. You had a date on national holidays!" ~Marie (Carrie Fisher)
Another great thing about that movie is that it is so applicable to everyday life. Holidays are a tricky time to be single (as opposed to the rest of the year when being alone is lovely and pleasant). First there are the parties; have you ever shown up at a party only discover that you're one of the only single people there? Well if you haven't, trust me when I say that it's exactly as awesome as it sounds. Then there are things like mistletoe and New Year's Eve (midnight can be a bit awkward when everyone but you is kissing). And the passing of Christmas and the New Year can only mean one thing: Valentine's Day.

Today I worked in the floral department and had to sit in on a conference call. Although I was trying not to pay attention I did happen to catch the reminder that we will soon begin receiving Valentine's Day products. Ugh.

I don't have anything against Valentine's Day; I can't stand those people who talk about it being nothing more than a creation of the greeting card industry or call it something like "Singles Awareness Day." I think it's a perfectly fine holiday, if you have someone. And that's a big if. Normally I don't let anything about Valentine's Day bother me, but last year I helped out in the floral department since it was such a busy time. If you think being alone on Valentine's Day is rough, try being alone on Valentine's Day while making dozens of floral arrangements for people who are in love. Granted, there are a lot of things I haven't experienced yet but it's going to be hard to top that.

The realization that I will most likely be spending another Valentine's Day exactly the same way was less than thrilling. Granted, I could get a new [good] job or start dating someone before then. Hell, I could do both. But the odds of me doing neither are pretty good.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

You know the song Winter Wonderland? There's a line in the song which used to confuse me when I was younger. I always thought that "later on we'll conspire, as we dream by the fire," was "later on we'll perspire, as we dream by the fire." I mean, they were sitting by a fire, it makes sense that people might sweat. Also, I don't think I knew what conspire meant. That story had no real purpose, other than to serve as an opening for my holiday posting.

I've had a hard time coming up with Christmas presents this year. I don't know what to get anyone, and I don't even feel like trying. The one gift I did come up with was perfect--it was for my brother, but it fell through. Both Lexington stores were out of the monkey butler statue. I called every store in Kentucky, and finally found 1 remaining statue--however, by that time the sale was over and it was too expensive. And if you're wondering why I was getting my brother a monkey butler statue, I suggest you watch an episode from season 9 of The Simpsons, known as "Das Bus."

In my refusal to give up, the search for a monkey butler took me to the Dish Barn. I figured a monkey butler is pretty tacky and so is the Dish Barn. Well, they didn't have any monkey butlers but they did have Confederate flags and a piggy bank in the shape of an outhouse that said "Hillbilly Outhouse." First of all, isn't it nice that in this day and age we can still buy Confederate flags? No, no it isn't nice. And secondly, isn't the phrase "hillbilly outhouse" a bit redundant? Are there chic, metropolitan outhouses used by the rich and famous out there that I don't know about?

On my way home from the glorious Dish Barn, I saw a sign advertising guns and live bait. That's right, guns and live bait--together at last! That's when I realized I live in a glorious state with fabulous items for purchase. If only my friends and family needed or wanted weapons and live bait.

On top of those troubles, I've been invited to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party and I don't have an ugly Christmas sweater. I forced myself to go into Wal-Mart and search for one, but it was in vain. I did, however, see several women wearing ugly sweaters. I debated following them around until they led me to their secret ugly sweater store or maybe just explaining my situation and asking if I could borrow their sweater.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Layout

I just devoted a significant amount of time (aka procrastinated) to prettying up my blog, so I hope everyone likes it! I made the same changes to my Spain blog as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Hate My Job

I took this week off work in order to do some hard core studying for the Spanish Contet Knowledge Praxis test I'm taking on Saturday. I'm dreading going back to work. I knew that I didn't like my job, but I didn't know that I truly hated it as much as I do. I mean, I loathe going there. It probably has something to do with feeling completely ignored and unappreciated.

Not going to work has been one of the greatest times of recent memory. I'd very much like to quit. However, I've finally qualified for health insurance there so quitting without another job to go to probably isn't the smartest idea. I'd like to quit if I do end up going back to school, but again the whole health insurance thing is a factor. Not to mention, as it turns out, I enjoy money.

Speaking of money, not too long ago I realized that I buy a lot of stuff. During a discussion in which people revealed what one thing they bought the most of I discovered that I buy a lot of all of those things. And the really sad thing is: I've cut back a lot. That's the problem with an addictive personality; you can't bring yourself to just half-ass anything.

OK, I really should get back to studying.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Recent Musings

I don't think I've got enough for a complete entry, so I'm going to combine a few recent thoughts and observations into one random post. These items are in no way connected, so please enjoy.

The other day I was leaving work; this typically happy time was cut short when I heard a familiar ringing bell. That's right, The Salvation Army has already set up their bell and bucket outside of Kroger. It's bad enough that all the stores start putting out all their Christmas merchandise before Halloween is even over. Is it too much to ask that we celebrate one holiday at a time?

Don't get me wrong, I've got no beef with the Salvation Army. I think what they do it great. And with the way the economy is going, I'm not surprised to see them out so soon...I wouldn't be surprised if those bells and buckets actually stuck around through the new year! But as anyone who works in a retail environment can tell you, passing the bell-ringers day in and day out can get tiresome. Passing the bucket without donating leaves anyone with a certain amount of guilt--now imagine doing that twice a day, every day. What's even worse is that the person almost always tells you to have a nice day, God bless you, or something to that effect. And it's not even like it's the same person ringing the bell every day. If it was, they would be able to recognize employees or people who had already donated. One of many problems with working at a grocery store is that they'll let almost anyone set up shop outside of the store. If I had a nickel for every time I'd passed scouts and other non-profit organizations on my way to work...well, I'd have enough money to buy stuff from all of them. I'm sure I'm over-reacting, but I can't help it. And there's nothing I can do about it.

My next point is more a source of amusement than a complaint. It's been really frustrating to read/listen to people who are certain that the free world as we know it will come to an end now that Obama is President. It's not only frustrating because I am and always have been an Obama supporter, but because the suspicions are unfounded. The other day, while perusing Facebook flair, I stumbled across a few buttons with declarations about moving to Canada since the USA is clearly going to Hell now that we have a Democratic president.

As long as there have been elections, there have been people claiming to move to Canada should the "other guy" win. This has always puzzled me. I determined that if John McCain had won, I was going to form the "Keep John McCain Alive Foundation." Our one purpose would be to keep John McCain alive, thereby keeping Sarah Palin away from the Presidency. I believe I've mentioned this plan before. However, if the efforts of the Foundation and myself failed, I would go to Mexico. It's warmer, I know the language, and the dollar is still strong there.

I'm getting sidetracked. What's so hilarious about all these ultra-conservatives vowing to leave the States for our designated driver to the North (Canada) is that Canada is more liberal than America. They have abolished the death penalty, legalized gay marriage and have national health care. This is why it's important to do your research, people. Now that I think about it, there are a lot of countries more liberal than the US--the more developed countries at least. I mean, just look at Europe. The point is I think people would be hard-pressed to find what Ned Flanders refers to as the, "magical land of yesteryear that only exists in the minds of Republicans."
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And finally, my most recent discovery is that ponies are not baby horses, as I have believed my entire life. I really thought that's what the deal was. Apparently, ponies are an entirely different thing. I'll probably still call baby horses ponies, though. But I also call all dogs "puppies," no matter how old they are. Force of habit, I suppose.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can!

"While we will breathe, we will hope." These words stood out to me as I listened to Barack Obama's victory speech tonight. I remember when I first started hearing about the young senator from Illinois in 2005 or 2006. Somehow I always knew that we would be hearing more from this man and that he could very well be President one day. And I couldn't be more happy with the results of the 2008 election. America has hope again.

It's a bit surreal to have participated in this election. I've been a part of Obama's grassroots campaign since day one...possibly before day one, since I wanted him to run even before he threw his hat in the ring. Recent years have been tough for Americans and it's great to see a renewed sense of optimism in a people who had grown so apathetic over time. We long to restore America's good name throughout the world, and Obama is the man to do just that.

I'm very excited to see the percentage of voter turnout in this election. All day people have been comparing times spent waiting to vote. I arrived at the polls around 7:20 this morning and waited about 30 minutes, which wasn't too bad--some people waited hours. While I waited in line I anticipated hearing complaints as soon as I got to work. However, I had nothing to complain about. If it meant that more Americans actually gave a damn about their government, I'd gladly wait in a line every day.

Every person has days that they will remember forever; days they will tell their children and grandchildren about. Where were you when Kennedy was shot? Where were you on September 11, 2001? It's nice to add a positive memory to those days. I'll never forget anything about the day I saw an African-American man elected to the highest office in the nation. And the fact that I've seen this historic day at such a young age excites me even more. Now we've shown that change is possible. Some day soon we will see a female president, perhaps a non-Christian president or gay president. I look forward to a day when candidates will be chosen based purely upon their credentials rather than their race, gender, orientation, flag lapel pin or middle name.

Obama's acceptance speech was stirring and inspiring. And John McCain's speech was equally as impressive. I believe McCain spoke from the heart when he said that he would serve the new President and hoped they could all work together to make our country better. That's exactly what we need in this country. There's too much partisan bullshit in politics--if we really want things to change, we have to cooperate with each other rather than spend all our time tearing the other person down. McCain's speech reminded me of why I have always respected him.

I'm grateful to live in a country where there is a separation of church and state. I believe that it is when religion and government get together that things start to take a turn for the worse. I find it unfortunate that it seems to be an unspoken rule that the President of the USA must be a Christian. One of the more irrational pieces of propaganda is that Obama is some sort of secret Muslim. First of all, he's not. Secondly, I will remind you, that Muslim does not equal bad. Muslim extremist is often a bad thing. Just as Christian extremist is a bad thing. Any sort of extremism is never a good idea. Imagine if the situation were reversed: we lived in a predominately Muslim country, maintained our separation of church and state, but our president had always been a Muslim. I have a sinking suspicion that we, as Christians, would be saying, "it shouldn't matter what religion the president it." Being a part of the majority often makes it difficult to put yourself in another's shoes.

I'm fully prepared to hear the immediate complaints of the ultra-conservatives; and ignore them. By Obama's second week they'll be shouting that nothing has changed; the economy will most likely still be poor, etc. As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day...and Rome was just a city, we're trying to rebuild our entire country! I think change will take a long time and it won't be easy. But I also believe that we can do it. Yes we can.

And on a side note, I hope Sarah Palin goes back to whatever igloo she crawled out from under and I never have to hear from her (or Joe the Plumber) again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

That Guy Looks...um, Jesusy

They say that everyone has an exact double out there somewhere; a doppelgänger. Do you think Jesus had one? I'll bet he did. I see guys now who look like Jesus...or what we assume Jesus looked like.

That's another thing, what if Jesus looks nothing like the bearded guy we've become so familiar with over the years? What if we get to Heaven and it's like, "Who the crap is this guy?!" That would be embarrassing. Why do we think he looked like that anyway? There's no verse in the Bible about Jesus' appearance. They didn't have cameras or anything. Just word of mouth, so everything we think we know about Jesus' appearance could be heresay. Even if we did get the long hair, beard and sandals right, I'd bet a lot of money that he wasn't as white as people tend to depict him. It always amuses me to see people give Jesus really Aryan features; like he's related to the Swiss Miss girl or something. That will never stop being funny.

But back to the Jesus stunt double. Do you think he ever got questioned by soldiers, or if people ever followed him looking for miracles? I bet that got annoying. If I had been him, I would've totally shaved off my beard and figured out a way to dye my hair. I'd get tired of everybody saying, "You probably get this all the time--but has anyone ever told you that you look like that one guy..."

Occasionally, I see guys who look like Jesus. Don't ask me why, but I get nervous around them. It's kind of like how I have a hard time trusting really, really tall people...why are they so tall and what are they doing up there? When I see a Jesus-look-alike I find myself saying, "Why does he look so much like Jesus? Does he do that on purpose?"

I have a Jesus Action Figure. He has posable arms and gliding action. The gliding action is just some wheels on the bottom. I've always wished they were like the wheels on some matchbox cars--you know the ones where you'd pull it back and then let go and (through the magic of science, etc.) the car would zoom off? Those probably have a name, but I don't know what it is. Anyway, I wanted Jesus to have those so that I could just launch him at people.

I'll end with a Simpsons quote: "Ralph, Jesus did not have wheels." ~Sunday School Teacher

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How to be on Maury

During college, I developed a fondness for a fantastic piece of television called Maury. My roommates and I rarely missed one of his "Paternity Test Tuesdays." A few weeks ago, I got my car detailed and was lucky enough to kill some time in the Jeff's Car Wash lounge. Before the cashier's favorite soap opera came on, we caught an episode of Maury. It was the elusive "Caught on Video!" episode. Once in a blue moon, Maury will show nothing but a series of grainy clips in which unbelievable things happen. I found myself thinking, "how pissed would I be if I had gotten tickets to the Maury show only to show up and find that I was just going to sit there and watch videos?!" Answer: Muy pissed.

To the untrained eye, all Maury episodes appear to be the same--I assure you, this is not the case. There are a few standard show premises to choose from. Allow me to elaborate.
  1. Sexy Makeover Show: In this one, guys are complaining that now ever since their wife/girlfriend had a baby she has completely let herself go. These women will emerge from backstage more unkempt than you can imagine. It takes work to look this bad. Clothes that are 27 times to big (as my 2nd Biology teacher explained, she wore her husband's pre-Weight Watcher clothes because "they were still perfectly fine"), some sort of rats' nest excuse for hair, not to mention stains on the clothes. So then the women get sexy makeovers and burst through a "before" picture and their husbands are happy.

  2. Used to be a Nerd Show: It's the sexy makeover show, with a twist! People who used to be nerds have come on the show because now they're sexy and they want to rub it in the faces of all the haters. They hide backstage while Maury describes them to said hater and then they burst through the same "before" photo all hot and whatnot.

  3. Troubled Teen Show: Parents of bad ass teens come to plead their case to Maury because they're at their wits' end! The mom is going to cry and explain to Maury that their teen drinks, does drugs, has sex, gets in fights, etc. Then the kid comes out and curses out the booing audience. Then Maury asks them to confirm the rumors: Do they have a goal to be pregnant before graduating middle school? Have they had more than 8,000 sexual partners? Have they traded sex for drugs? Yes, to all. Once all the teens are out there, they find out they're either going to boot camp or prison. An intimidating individual such as Mad Dog proceeds to break them down until they're crying and swearing to change their ways.
And, my personal favorite: Paternity Test!! This is the most popular Maury show, they used to just be on Tuesdays but have since expanded. Women with Baby Daddy issues come to tell Maury that some deadbeat claims he isn't the father of her baby and is therefore not helping out financially. I have developed a formula for this particular show:

  1. Tell Maury that the man in question is most definitely the father.

  2. Split screen photos of the baby and the guy, then point out all the physical similarities.

  3. Next, the guy will come out and everyone will boo him while he shakes his head, etc. However, everyone will clap for him when he says that he will step up and be a dad if he is, in fact, the father.

  4. Now comes the moment in which Maury opens the envelope and reveals the results of the paternity test. This can obviously go one of two ways. Option One: You Are the Father. In this option, the women jump up and dance around and the guy acts excited to find out the news. The more awesome option is Option Two: You Are NOT the Father. Both guy and girl will jump up simultaneously, the guy will begin dancing his "I Told You So" dance while the girl runs backstage and flings herself on a couch, screaming and crying. Maury (and a camera) will follow her backstage and ask if she thinks she knows who the father is. She nods and says yes. Then Maury assures her that they will do this test as many times as she wants.

I can't believe I've forgotten the Lie Detector Test Show! It's pretty self-explanitory, people have suspicions (mainly surrounding adultery) and their signifigant others [stupidly] agree to take a lie detector test. Once, this super white trash woman (the bread and butter of daytime talk shows) explained to Maury what she would do if her suspicions of a cheating man were confirmed. Now, to get the full effect of this, imagine it being said in a super-Redneck voice (if you know me, ask me to imitate it). "Well you know what they say, Maury. 'To the left, to the left'." Of course, referencing Beyonce's then popular song "Irreplaceable."

While Maury lacks the complete shock value and hilarity (not to mention fist fights and chair throwing) of Jerry Springer, it does seem slightly more believable. But if you're interested in seeing Uncle Stosh (a man who allegedly shot the Easter Bunny during one drunken Easter celebration) explain that he once bet on a horse race and he "would've won, if the horses had been racing backwards," then you're going to want to tune in to Jerry Springer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Here's the Dealio

I have been thinking about going back to school to get my Master's/Secondary Education Certification (although, according to John McCain, if I was in the military I wouldn't need that certification to teach).
It took a few more career disappointments to push me all the way, but I signed up to take the Praxis test on November 15th. It's the Spanish Content Knowledge test, and I've been told that it's hard, so I'm studying a lot.
That being said, my blogs may be a bit less frequent, which disappoints me...but I'm also really excited about these new possibilities! What really sucks is that I have lots of great ideas for entries and I don't seem to have the time to write them!! So, when I do return, expect a landslide of entries.
Wish me luck, and hopefully I'll be able to write soon!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Black In Spain Blog

For those of you who don't know, I spent the fall of 2006 studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain. I sent email updates to my friends and family back home and have been wanting to post them online. I just created a second blog called "Black in Spain" for those updates. I've posted all the text, but I still need to add pictures and make sure everything is formatted in a visually pleasing manner.

The link is listed under my "Other Blogs I Enjoy" section, go look now if you want...or wait until it's all complete and pretty (recommended)! The Morocco update is also missing...because I never got around to writing it. But I plan on writing that ASAP!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rippity Rap, Raptastic

Like most suburban white girls, I am a connoisseur of rap music. That almost always surprises people. I guess they assume that I hear the songs at clubs and dance to them, but they never expect me to know all the words. You can chalk that up to my uncanny ability of rapid memorization, but I am a bit of a P-I-M-P. 9 times out of 10, if I'm spelling something that ends in the letter o, I say "to the izzo" merely out of habit (not to mention a shout out to H.O.V.A).

Much like my overall music preferences, my rap tastes are varied and eclectic. I like some of the really old school stuff where you can actually understand the lyrics and there are typically fewer words to censor. But I also like the new stuff that requires a Google lyric search if you are really anal (and I am) and want to know what they're saying (and I do). And I like most everything in between, too.

Yesterday I was in my car, surfing the XM Nation for music. Thanks to the "Nineties on 9" channel, I was able to catch Salt-N-Pepa's Whatta Man. So yea, it was a pretty good day.

There I was, rocking out [as always] when some of the lyrics struck me as odd. At the end of the first verse there's a laugh and then they say, "You so crazy, I think I wanna have your baby."
Wow, topping the charts of "Things You Never Say to a Guy," we have Salt-N-Pepa with Whatta Man.

While we're on the subject of Salt-N-Pepa, let's talk about the unsung hero of that group: The DJ, Spinderella. Sure, she gets that shout out at the beginning of Let's Talk About Sex ("Spinderella cut it up one time"), but why isn't her name a part of the group? It doesn't really go with Salt-N-Pepa, but maybe they should've come up with a different name so that everyone could be recognized.

It's the same as Daughtry, Van Halen, Dave Matthews Band, etc. Those are bands, not solo acts. If someone came up to me and said, "Hey, do you want to be in my band that's named after me and only me?" I'd be inclined to pull a Sarah Palin and say, "Thanks, but no thanks." But I'd eventually reconsider because I'd be in a band and that would be awesome. I guess it is handy for those groups if someone quits because they've lost creative control or have to go to jail or rehab; provided it wasn't the front man, then there's no need to rename the group. What if Destiny's Child had been some combination of all of their names? They'd have more name changes than Prince. I bring that up only because I'm listening to Say My Name right now, recorded back when Destiny's Child had 4 members (and was still together).

Mid-way through writing this post I thought about including a list of my must-have rap songs but I'm afraid it would be really long as it would be too hard to whittle the list down. I'd imagine it would be like choosing a favorite child. There are some artists I enjoy so much that I couldn't reduce them to just one or 2 songs! I doubt I could list all the artists because even that list would be too long! Virtually any and every Ludacris song would be on there; after all, we both represent for the Dirty South. There'd be a significant amount of Kanye West as his songs are usually really smart and clever--definitely The New Workout Plan (off his first CD, The College Dropout)! I'd also throw in some Reggaeton, which is basically Spanish/Latino rap.

Obviously I could ramble on about rap for quite some time. So I'm going to leave you with the reminder that "stuntin' is a habit."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Erin v. Evil

I knew I couldn't express all my distaste for Sarah Palin in one blog entry. I grew more and more disgusted throughout the day as I remembered points that didn't make it into yesterday's post.

Sarah Palin was a member of a group that wanted Alaska to secede from the United States. Now that's a quality you don't find in a lot of Presidential candidates--a desire to join (or form) a different country.

I was also made aware that many of my friends were surprised at my level of animosity towards Palin. Allow me to simplify things using a few of my not-so-favorite things:

As previously stated, I cannot stand "Family Circus." And, like many of my friends, I do not care for "New Facebook." New Facebook bothers me so much, that I would gladly read "Family Circus" every day, cut them out and put them on my fridge if it meant that Classic Facebook would return. Sarah Palin bothers me so much that after I read a whole bunch of "Family Circus" comics I would spend the next 8 hours on New Facebook creating obnoxious applications centered around "Family Circus" if it meant that Sarah Palin would just go back to Alaska and stop doing anything and everything.

There are far too many evils in this world for me to try and fight on my own; and yet, I cannot stop. I think I know how Superman feels.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin Makes Me Cringe

For some [unknown] reason, my initial thought with this blog was to avoid discussing politics. Ask anyone who knows me, that's odd and unlike me. I don't talk about politics all the time, but they are important to me. I am a firm believer that if you don't vote, then you have no right to bitch. And I really enjoy bitching, thus I must vote. I also detest ignorance, thus I needed to research the candidates so my vote will be an informed decision rather than the blind following of whatever my parents, co-workers, religious leader, etc. tell me. My leanings are liberal to say the least. But I do respect the opinions of others, provided they can back them up (if their beliefs are of the aforementioned blind following variety, then I don't want to hear it).

As stated in my most political blog to date(entitled "Hope," August 4), I am an Obama supporter. I do respect John McCain's military service and think he seems like a nice person, I just don't think he'd be the best president. I also understand that, whether I like it or not, he could be the next president. While I was less than thrilled with that concept, it didn't frighten me...until he added Sarah Palin to his ticket. Now I'm scared.

I just finished watching the Saturday Night Live sketch with Tina Fey portraying the Alaska governor. It is absolutely hilarious! And it touched on many of the reasons I have a problem with Sarah Palin. It's going to be hard to state these reasons without having to write a novel, but I'm going to try.

I'm sick and tired of hearing people call anyone who likes Hillary Clinton and doesn't like Sarah Palin a hypocrite. I don't like Hillary Clinton because she is a woman, just like I don't dislike (hate, abhor, loathe, detest) Sarah Palin because she is a woman. My feelings are based on my review of their personalities and character (a novel concept). I don't even understand why people keep comparing them; it's apples and oranges, people! They're both married women with children who are in politics--and the commonalities end there.

I saw a clever piece of flair on Facebook that said, "Just because Sarah Palin has a vagina doesn't mean she cares about your's!" I couldn't agree more. Most conservatives are pro-life (a term which irritates me in itself; I'm not anti-life, I'm anti-lack-of-options and anti-people-telling-me-what-I-can-and-cannot-do-with-my-body) but she takes it a step further. She doesn't agree with abortion in cases of rape and/or incest. That is intense. Rape is arguably the worst thing that can happen to a woman; to force her to carry a resulting child is a further violation of her rights.

I was attacked once, and lucky enough to get away. But not a day goes by that I don't think about what could have happened. Had I gotten pregnant, I don't think I could've gone through with it. While there are a few [unstable] women who use abortion as a form of birth control, I don't think it's a decision that most women make lightly. If someone makes that decision, I trust that they have thought through all their options, and I don't feel it's my place to question their judgement.

Sarah Palin also advocates abstinence-only sex education, a concept I find laughable. To explain only a portion of something is not a full education. In my high school health class, abstinence was barely touched on due to the assumption that "no one was going to do that anyway." I disagree with that, too. People should know all the facts, consequences of their decisions and options thereafter. It should be stressed to kids that abstinence is the only 100% guaranteed way to avoid diseases, pregnancies, etc. but that if they do decide to have sex it should be done safely. It's ignorant to think that teenagers aren't going to have sex just because you tell them not to (and we know how I feel about ignorance). The proof of abstinence-only education success rates can be found in Palin's daughter.

That's another thing, Palin is being commended for acknowledging her 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy. "How brave of their family to deal with this situation...and it's OK because they're going to get married." Forcing children to get married is far from brave. It is, at best, archaic. Palin has stated that teenagers are going to do things you tell them not to. That is exactly the reason they should be fully educated.

One of the main criticisms of Barack Obama has been his lack of experience. What better way to drive home your point than pick someone with even less experience! But noooo, Sarah Palin is different because she's "governor of the biggest state in the country." Yes, Alaska is the biggest state geographically, however it ranks somewhere around 47th in population. I doubt it's hard to be governor of trees. Her total foreign policy experience is her states proximity to Russia. Well, Earth is right next to the moon and Mars, but that doesn't make me an expert astronomer.
I almost forgot to mention that Palin is under investigation for abusing her power as governor! She allegedly ordered the firing of the man who was about to be her ex-brother-in-law. Is it just me, or is the campaign commercial just writing itself?!

Palin also promised that the days of ear-marking funds for politicians are over! If you need examples of politicians who've requested said funds, look no further than Sarah Palin! She hired a lobbying firm to secure $27 million for Wasilla, Alaska (population 6700) when she was mayor. And who could forget the $223 million dollars she secured in 2005 for the infamous "bridge to nowhere"? She now claims to have said "thanks but no thanks on the bridge to nowhere." But only after supporting it long enough for the entire country to become so enraged that Congress revoked the funds. That's like me saying, "I 'just said no' to drugs after my 5th joint."

If you haven't guessed it by now, she also opposes things like gay rights. She also hates on Barack Obama for having been a community organizer. Why should we make fun of people who want to make a difference? I was unaware that was a bad thing. What a great message to send! But she was a beauty queen back in the day, so apparently that makes up for it.

Another great Sarah Palin tidbit is her hobby: aerial wolf hunting. I actually had to look up what this was. Aerial wolf hunting is where you get in a small plane and fly really low to the ground, chasing wolves. You can shoot them from the plane or you chase them until they're completely exhausted, land the plane, get out and shoot the wolf at point blank range. Despite the fact that Congress outlawed aerial hunting over 30 years ago, Alaska uses a loophole in federal law to hunt both wolves and bears. I believe the arguement is that wolves are overpopulated in Alaska, but there's no excuse for the inhumane nature of this act.

One of her biggest campaign platforms seems to be that she is a mother. Don't get me wrong, motherhood is a big deal. Being a mom is a full-time job, and being the mother of a special needs child is an even bigger job. But neither are qualifiers for running the country. She is the mother of 5 children, the youngest is only a few months old. That's a lot on her plate already. Before anyone says I'm sexist, allow me to elaborate. I can't help but think that her being a mother is different than Barack Obama being a father. Like it or not, children are instinctively drawn to their mothers; the bond is naturally stronger. I imagine it would be very hard for her children (especially the younger ones) to deal with her being gone a lot.

Sarah Palin is full of shit and has provided us with nothing more than smoke and mirrors. I shudder at the thought of her being a heartbeat away from leading this country...especially if it would come complete with lame jokes about hockey moms.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It Just Keeps Coming

I've had [what has felt like] a lot of shit going down in my life lately. I know that I've said it before but while I was prepared for the "real world" to be hard, I wasn't prepared for it to completely blow!

As you may well know, my one and only "real world" job was cut short quite abruptly when, after 8 weeks, I was fired. I am currently working on a post with all my great How-to-Get-Fired tips! As you also may well know, ever since the firing I have been busting my ass at your friendly neighborhood Kroger. Filling the role of pricing coordinator is not easy...it's actually quite tedious, my social life has suffered tremendously. But I did it. And I did it with minimal complaining (within earshot of store management, that is).

Explaining the entire backstory to this saga would most likely bore you (if you disagree, alert me and I'll post on that too) so I'll skip to the big finale: I am not being hired full-time to do a job that I have been doing for over 1 year. Who was hired, you ask? A night cashier from another store. I don't have all the details, hows and whys of this situation (I'll expand upon my outrage as those come in, I'm sure) but I've got enough for a decent rant. Even my mother said that she would use the F-word to describe the situation if she was a fan of that word. Lucky for us, I'm a big fan of that word (one of my favorites) so I'll use it as I see fit.

I always thought I'd be doing more with my life than this. On the other hand, I've always known that it takes all sorts of people to make the world go 'round. Not everyone gets to be big and important; some people have to fill the less-than-glamourous jobs in our society. And this morning, it occurred to me: I've also always assumed that I would be one of the important people. What if I'm not? This may or may not have enduced a panic attack (proof that I shouldn't be thinking while I'm driving), I'm not quite sure. But think about it, everybody thinks they're going to be special and important and make a difference--but that's not possible. It's like that scene in Office Space:

Peter: Our high school guidance counselor used to ask us what you’d do if you had a million dollars and you didn’t have to work. And invariably what you’d say was supposed to be your career. So, if you wanted to fix old cars then you’re supposed to be an auto mechanic.
Samir: So what did you say?
Peter: I never had an answer. I guess that’s why I’m working at Initech.
Michael: No, you’re working at Initech because that question is bullshit to begin with. If everyone listened to her, there’d be no janitors, because no one would clean shit up if they had a million dollars.

I'm not really sure what my point is here, other than the fact that I won't settle for being something boring. I'm making some sort of change for the better. I'm taking control of things because waiting patiently and resting on my work ethic isn't doing shit! Not getting this job is the biggest sign that I do need to go back to school. I've never had any intention of staying at Kroger for any huge amount of time (much less forever) but it's been a great place to be while I'm trying to figure everything else out. And although the pricing gig was a pain, I'd always thought that if I was going to be at Kroger I should be doing the thing that pays me the most and makes me feel least like a failure.

All the thanks and compliments I've received for my work there were nothing more than empty rhetoric--that is now painfully clear. Don't get me wrong, I love hearing how great I am as much as the next person, but there comes a time when a person needs more than a pat on the back.

I have no plans to quit on principle or anything (a recession is a bad time to have principles). I still make a decent amount of money and I just qualified for benefits and vacation time so it would be stupid to leave. But if they're under the impression that I'm going to stick around and help out my replacement, they're fucking crazy. Once the new girl starts, I'm done. They gave her the job and I'll be damned if I'm going to lift another finger. They've already learned that I'm very nice (despite my claims) and helpful. They're about to learn that my bad side is not a place they want to be. [Insert evil laugh]

I know that any job comes with the red tape and the politics that I am encountering; I am many things, but naive is not one of them. I just didn't expect I would deal with so much red tape and politics so early in life. I've learned a lot about life since I graduated and it's made me a better, stronger person. And on the plus side, I have nowhere to go but up!

Sorry I've Left You Blogless!

I want to apologize that it's been so long since I wrote anything. Our store had a re-grand opening (which I think sounds weird...grand re-opening sounds better) and I was really busy with that. On top of that, I had to finish reading the Twilight books...and I literally could not put them down!! And then I got sort of sick (most likely due to the lack of sleep).
But never fear, I'm working on several posts as we speak (or as you read what I have typed).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yes, I AM the Highly Suggestible Type


According to my friends who are more familiar with Astrology than I am, Pisces have highly addictive and suggestible personalities. I am inclined to agree with that...although, I am the highly suggestible type, so is that really any big surprise?

You know those impulse items they put right by the check-out registers at stores? Those items that normal people look at and say, "Who the hell needs one of those?" Allow me to answer that for you: Me. I need those. I need that rubber chicken lollipop holder. And no, I did not just make that item up. I own such an item...actually, I own more than one (they were available in both yellow and white). Luckily for me, this suggestive spending has yet to transfer over to expensive items. I just did a brief search for my rubber chicken lollipop holder(s) and was not successful...I anticipate tearing my room up later, in hopes of finding them.

During my research of my zodiac sign, I learned that I am ill-advised to try drinking, drugs and gambling. Oops.

Speaking of gambling...I just watched the movie 21 and now I really want to go to Vegas and play black jack. I'd also like to successfully count cards. Other than my bad math skills and non-existent poker face, I could totally do it.

Lately I've been trying to figure out what to do with my life and, as usual, I am being influenced by everything around me. Unfortunately for me, I'm not observing anything realistic...for example, I'm almost certain it is too late for me to start my Olympic career. And even if it wasn't, I wouldn't succeed because it really creeps me out when women get super muscley. Don't get me wrong, I'd give anything to be thinner, (I'd shave my head if someone told me I'd lose weight--and keep it off) but I would never want to look like those body builder women. I'd much rather be pleasantly plump. There is nothing pleasant about creepy muscle ladies. (I was going to put a picture of 1 of them in here...but it's too gross). The other obstacle in my Olympic career is the new scoring system--I just don't get it!

Another recent interest of mine is the Twilight book series. It's a 4 part love story about a girl and a vampire. I'm not going to lie to you, the entire reason I decided to read the book was its popularity in Facebook flair. If reading a book based on faux buttons on a networking website isn't suggestible, I don't know what is. I would totally date this fictional vampire. The main flaw with this plan is the fact that vampires aren't real. Even if they were real, I don't think they'd live in the south...too sunny.

Perhaps if I watch enough TV and movies and read enough books, I'll eventually stumble across something that not only sparks my interest but something that I'm actually able to do.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Free Willy


The other day I found myself thinking about the 1993 film Free Willy. Because that's the kind of time I have on my hands; time to think about movies I haven't seen since my age reached the double digits. Allow me to enchant you with the film's tagline, "A 12 year old street kid. A 3 ton orca whale. A friendship you could never imagine. An adventure you'll never forget."

The thought that occurred to me during this trip down Memory Lane was [spoiler alert] that although Willy was freed at the end, there is no way he could've survived in the wild. He'd been domesticated far too long; recall how his fin was all weird and curvy due to his confinement? And I'm pretty sure that his zoo tricks would get him a lot of street cred in the wild.

Granted, in 1995 Free Willy 2 came out, confirming our hopes that Willy had survived. But I don't really remember that one...maybe I didn't see it. I just investigated the plot summary on (one of my favorite sites) and I definitely did not see Free Willy 2. Apparently there is also a Free Willy 3, I did not know that. I can highly recommend the original Free Willy, but cannot vouch for the rest of the trilogy. But if I run out of items on my Netflix Queue, I'll be sure to add the rest of Willy's adventures.

IMDB has also just taught me that at the end of Free Willy, there was an 800number for Saves the Whales and over $20 million was donated by viewers. Also, the role of Willy was played by Keiko...Keiko receives higher billing than any other cast member of this film. When I was younger, I wanted to be an actress; but not an actress billed after a whale.

As usual, it has taken me several "set-up" paragraphs before reaching my initial point. I realized that many of the movies we watched as children did little more than confuse us. We all thought Willy would go on to thrive in the wild, perhaps settle down with a little whale family and maybe naming his whale son Jesse, after the boy who helped free him. But that wouldn't happen in the real world. Not to mention the fact that the entire movie is a sort of protest against our imprisoning wild animals for our own amusement and yet, the star (with top billing) of the film is nothing more than an animal trained to perform for our entertainment. That is way more ironic than anything Alanis Morisette ever sang about (I love that song, by the way).

I do realize that movies aren't necessarily meant to be realistic. The beauty of television and movies is that they provide an escape from reality. Most of the concepts instilled in me by movies of my childhood have long since been disproved; others (such as this one) have taken a little longer (say 15 years).

This is far from my last post on movies. Not only do I love movies, but I just stumbled upon a list of guilty pleasure movies which I may have to review and insert my own delightful opinions.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hope


I saw this commercial for the first time a few days ago and it really cracked me up! Rider Strong wrote it for a contest http://www.moveon.org/ was having. He directed it with his brother and his girlfriend. The contest was to create a 30 second ad for Obama's campaign. I love how grassroots Obama's campaign is!
The link for the video is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIUBqVMaOT4

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ignorance Abounds



While at work yesterday, I determined that I should write a book. This collection of true stories I've experienced on the job would be called Yes, People are that Stupid: The True Story of Kroger 708. That is a working title, so I'm open to suggestions.

Day in and day out, I fall victim to some of the most ignorant and idiotic conversations to ever take place on this (or any other) planet. I base my break and lunch schedule on who's in the break room at that time. I try to nonchalantly walk past the break room to see who's in there before I clock out. If the crowd is particularly irritating, I wait. Sometimes I don't have time to do my walk-by or certain company cannot be avoided. And as I discovered yesterday, you can be surprised by the stupidity of those you typically deem "normal."

When I walked into the break room yesterday the first thing I heard was one woman quoting the Bible. If you ever walk in on a conversation in which the Bible is being quoted, I recommend walking away. As a general rule, when someone's only response is to repeatedly quote the same Bible verse to you, you are not in for a good time. I'm not saying it's impossible to enjoy a religious or philosophical debate but if it's with a close-minded, ignorant individual you'll end up just wanting to pull your hair out.

The Bible verse she was quoting was 1 Timothy 3:12 (although she didn't know that's what verse it was) which states, "Let deacons be the husbands of but one wife..." She was quoting this to prove her point that women aren't supposed to be religious leaders. There was an article in yesterday's paper about a woman who is becoming an ordained priest by the Roman Catholic Women Priests (http://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org/). The woman in the article fully expects to be excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church because they do not allow women to be priests. Here's a link to the article: http://www.kentucky.com/158/story/475310.html

I listened to her solitary argument against female religious leaders and told her I felt that anyone could be a minister. I believe that although the Bible is God-breathed, it was written by men who are fallible. I think that some men didn't like the concept of women leaders and so they changed "she" to "he" and that was that. I explained that in some of my mandatory religion classes at Georgetown we learned about women who had very prominent roles in the church. She replied with her standard verse recitation and then her break was over so she left.

Oh well, she didn't respect or listen to my viewpoints but at least she was gone and I could enjoy my surprisingly tasty Slim Fast meal replacement bar in peace. *Note: The flavor pictured (Caramel Crispy Peanut) is the tasty flavor of which I speak, in case you're interested.* Or so I thought. Before I knew it, another woman came into the break room and began complaining about this soon-to-be-priest and how she needed to know her place in the church.

At first I thought she was joking, I mean, it sure as hell sounded like a joke. This argument was even better than the first. No Bible quotes, but she did express such valid points as, "that's just silly," and "there are rules." Plus, she actually was a Catholic and she had no desire to go to confession to a woman. I put that in italics because she said it with some sort of disgusted inflection. She said a woman wanting to be a priest is like a man wanting to be a nun. Not exactly, men could be monks. I brought up that all this woman probably wants to do is teach people, preach sermons and whatnot. I eventually just stopped talking because no one was listening to me.

It's so frustrating to be surrounded by people who are so close-minded. I have very strong opinions and I love to voice them but I also love to hear how other people feel. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and as long as you can back it up and explain why you feel the way you do, that's cool. But if you're just blindly following whatever your parents or church or anyone else tells you, that's when I have a problem. You should always know why you believe what you believe.

Exclusion is just one of the many things I think Jesus would have a problem with his "people" preaching. Also topping the list are hate and judgement. I have no problem with Jesus, I'm very pro-Jesus. It's his people that I often clash with. Those people who I assume I'm not a Christian because I don't go to church or talk about Jesus all the time. But don't get me started on all of that.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Food

When you're little, your favorite foods are not very sophisticated. There was a 6 month period of my life in which all I ate was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Will went through a phase in which he rarely ate anything other than chicken nuggets (preferably McDonald's). We would offer him chicken tenders, explaining that it was the exact same thing except for the fact that the tenders did not contain the same mystery chicken parts as the nuggets. I have a vivid memory of our family going to Fazoli's for some real Italian real fast, but first we had to go to the McDonald's next door and get Will his Chicken McNugget Happy Meal. And we sat there in Fazoli's, Will eating his combination of McNuggets and free breadsticks.
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I guess I assumed that when I got older, my tastes would mature as well. Not so much. Don't get me wrong, I love fancy foods too, but I'll never outgrow my love for PB&J, mac n' cheese and pizza. And to be perfectly honest, I love that about myself.

There's something wonderfully nostalgic about those foods. Maybe it's the childhood memories that come flooding back or the reminder of a simpler time that I love so much. It doesn't hurt that they are all incredibly delicious.
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Pizza has to be the best of them all. I cannot think of an instance in which I did not want to eat pizza. I may have turned it down because I wasn't hungry or because I didn't like the toppings, but it was never because I wasn't in the mood for pizza. There are some foods you have to be in the mood for, you know? I can't eat Chinese food if I'm not in the mood. If I'm breathing (and I almost always am), I could go for a slice.
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I think what puts pizza a step above PB&J and mac n' cheese is its versatility. Sure you can get a little crazy with PB&J...crunchy or creamy and of course a vast array of jams and jellies; but it can't compare to the variety to be found in pizza. As far as I'm concerned, there is no variety in mac n' cheese--if it ain't broke, don't fix it. My friend Meg puts ketchup on mac n' cheese...I don't even want to go there. Defiling the perfection that is mac n' cheese with something as vile as ketchup?! If there had been more than 7 deadly sins, you'd better believe that would've been #8.
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My favorite pizza is ham and pineapple (aka pine & swine). It's delicious and I highly recommend it. I thought it sounded gross at first, but it's so tasty. Speaking of gross, let's talk about ketchup. I hate the taste, I hate the smell, I hate any other aspect of ketchup you can name. Will also hates ketchup, although he hates it because our former stepbrothers used to tell him it was made from the blood of dead people. I don't have a deep-seated psychological issue for hating ketchup, I'm just picky.
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Sally: I'd like the chef salad please with the oil and vinegar on the side and the apple pie a la mode.
Waitress: Chef and apple a la mode.
Sally: But I'd like the pie heated and I don't want the ice cream on top I want it on the side and I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it's real if it's out of a can then nothing.
Waitress: Not even the pie?
Sally: No, just the pie, but then not heated.
~When Harry Met Sally

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Unmarketable Talents

I was in the break room yesterday and noticed that someone had not eaten the cherry from their Sonic mini banana split. When I asked if I could have it, they obliged. Mid-bite they asked if I could tie the stem in a knot with my tongue. Oh you'd better believe I can. I tied a knot in under 30 seconds and then found myself trying to explain how exactly I did it. That's when I realized I have many unmarketable talents.
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Unmarketable talents are things that you're good at but serve no real purpose in life. They're entertaining at parties and might be the answer to a Jeopardy question, but that's it. To my knowledge (and experience thus far) these talents will not take you far. Mine include (but are not limited to) the following:
  1. Tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue
  2. Quote movies/TV (as mentioned in a previous post)
  3. Doodling
  4. Ability to raise both eyebrows (individually)
  5. Construct extremely long chains out of Starburst wrappers (last measured, 6 ft.)
  6. Extensive knowledge of song lyrics
  7. Pop culture references
  8. If I've been somewhere once I can usually find my way back (even after long periods of time)
  9. Very pretty handwriting
  10. Excellent list maker

Trust me, there are more! If only I could parlay one or more of these abilities into a lucrative career, I'd be set.

I've always thought that I could provide very colorful commentary on some sort of VH1 program like I Love the 80s or Best Week Ever, based on my pop culture knowledge. But I don't really think those positions are in high demand. Not to mention all of those people do other things that are listed in italiacs under their name. What would they write under my name? Erin Black, Useless Information Source. Actually, that doesn't sound half bad. Plus they'd pay me and I'd get to be on TV.

And maybe I'd say something really funny and I would become a quote on someone's Facebook and/or MySpace page, which is another goal of mine.

"If you are flammable and have legs, then you are never blocking a fire exit. You can write that down and put a dash in front of it, and put my name at the bottom." ~Mitch Hedberg

Finger Tips

I have a hard time believing that my friend Jess and I are the only ones bothered by this poster. It is a new addition to the manager's office at our place of employment (Kroger).
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I don't really have anything in particular to say about it, other than the fact that it's weird.
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We saw it hanging on the wall and I said, "Jess, that needs to be on my blog. I gotta take a picture of it."
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I don't really get why the hand is made out of hotdogs. I mean, I understand that the poster is about safety practices concerning knives, slicers and blades and that hotdogs are "meat." But there's not a lot of hotdog slicing going on as far as I know. I also envision some sort of children's cartoon character with hotdog hands and that makes me think the poster is making light of the loss of extremities. And I never joke about that.
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Jess is hell-bent on calling them weiners rather than hotdogs. I just can't do that because it makes me giggle. We did determine that if your weiner is anywhere near a knife, box cutter or slicer you've got bigger problems than proper slicer safety. Problems that cannot be solved by a simple poster. And even if the problem could be solved by a poster, the poster is in the manager's office. There are no slicers up there. I suppose there could be additional posters by the slicers, one would assume so. But being that it's Kroger, I doubt it.

Commercials

I know I've already made an entry about TV. If you want to get technical about it, I've made several posts regarding television. If you don't like it, that's just too damn bad because TV plays a significant role in my life (or lack of a life).
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Commercials, by nature, are annoying. There have always been rare ocassions in which a commercial really makes me laugh. Lately I seem to be amused by more and more commercials. I don't know whether this means that commercials are getting better or my standards for entertainment are dropping...but I won't think about that.
I love the commercial for Planter's Cashews where the really unfortunate looking woman is walking down the street and all the guys are following her, completely mesmerized. What's her secret? Well, she simply dabs a cashew on herself before leaving the house. I've done a bit of Google image research and discovered that the actress playing the hideous woman is pretty. It's amazing what they can do with makeup!
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I know a lot of people are annoyed by the Free Credit Report.com commercials, but I love them! I won't lie to you, those songs get stuck in my head. It's one of those things where you're walking around humming something, totally rocking out, and you can't remember the name of the song. If you're like me, it will bug you and bug you until it hits you like a ton of bricks and you finally realize what the song was. This happens to me several times a week and the realization is typically, "Oh that's the one FreeCreditReport.com commercial." About a month ago I was at a restaurant, sitting on the patio where there was a live music group playing. I kid you not--they played one of those songs! That's when I discovered I'm not the only freak who gets a kick out of them. I don't know if the group covered any other commercial jingles in their set or not, but they totally should.

I'm torn over most Old Spice commercials; half of them make sense and are legitimately funny, and the other half are painfully unfunny. There is one out now in which Neil Patrick Harris is recommending Old Spice to control body odor as a former TV doctor. He's acting so serious the entire time, I love it!
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There is one awkward commercial that disturbs me every time I see it. It's for some pregnancy test and they're talking about how advanced the test is, it can tell your eggo's preggo before any other test or something. The final line of the commercial is, "It's the most sophisticated piece of technology you'll ever pee on." And then there's a stream of liquid that seems to fly through the air in slow motion and hit the pregnancy test. That's a special kind of classy right there. Also, your personal life is your own business, but I should hope that a pregnancy test is the only piece of "technology" you pee on. I've been pricing new laptops lately and they're expensive. No matter which one I get, I know damn well that nobody's going to be peeing on it.
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No conversation about commercials could be complete without mentioning the Bud Light "Real Men of Genius" radio commercials. These are simply the funniest commercials I have ever heard. Why is it these commercials are only on the radio? If these came on TV, I would not hit mute during every commercial break or leave the room. Since the key demographic for these commercials is men, I'd probably have to watch more ESPN too. I could do that. I just discovered that not only can you listen to these commercials at http://www.budlight.com/ you can also download them. Sweet. You can bet your ass that when I get the aforementioned new laptop, I will be downloading the Real Men of Genius and using them to spice up mixed CDs I make for people or myself. Who wants one?

Significantly Enhancing Your Quality of Life


I was informed by my friend Halee that I needed to credit her for coming up with the tag line to my blog. Shortly after I began writing this, we had a little back and forth on our Facebook walls.
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I hope this recreation of a Facebook Wall-to-Wall page is legible. I couldn't get the actual page to copy to serve as the picture, so I had to whip this bad boy up in Paint! I'm sure Halee will agree that being forever immortalized in my blog is better than any royalty checks she might receive for the creation of the tagline.
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Halee, by reading this blog you just agreed to the above statement.

Wal-Mart (ugh)


My friend Alex Smiley brought this hilarious newspaper clipping to my attention via the bumper sticker application on Facebook. She said this was exactly the type of picture that belonged on my blog. She was right. I tried to enlarge the picture, but it was too blurry to read. Allow me to relay the message just in case you have a hard time reading it.
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Debra Jackson said she likes shopping at the Dollar Palace because it is convenient and casual. "I don't have to get all dressed up like I'm going to Wal-Mart or something," she said.
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Now, I try my hardest not to shop at Wal-Mart. I don't agree with a lot of their business tactics and labor practices; not to mention I think they're evil and trying to take over the world. If you've ever seen the South Park episode about Wal-Mart, you know exactly what I'm talking about. However, while I was in college we frequently hit up the Wal-Mart because it was Georgetown, Kentucky and that's all there was to do. I know I often found myself growing tired of the whole song and dance that was getting ready to go to Wal-Mart. Since sarcasm is hard to get across in the printed word, I will go ahead and let you know that was sarcasm. I shudder to visit a place where the people aren't "all dressed up like they're going to Wal-Mart." I think all you have to do to get into a Wal-Mart is put on pants.
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The clipping did remind me of one time sophomore year when my roommate and I were going to Wal-Mart. So, I threw on some pants and was good to go. Meg, on the other hand began applying makeup. Our conversation went something like this:
.....Me: I like how you take the time to actually get ready to go to Wal-Mart and I won't even dry my hair...
.....Meg: Yeah well that's because I'm shallow.
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This is not remotely related to any Wal-Mart dress code but I just need to get this off my chest. I really hate when people refer to Wal-Mart as "Wally World." I would rather read Family Circus than listen to someone say "Wally World."

The Simpsons


I love The Simpsons. I never watched it growing up, it was a member of the lengthy list of shows my mother did not want us watching. Other members of that list include: Ren & Stimpy, anything on MTV and she had to watch Rugrats with us to make sure it was OK. Now that I think about it, the ban on me watching MTV was never actually lifted. So, in theory, I am 23 years old and not allowed to watch MTV. Fortunately I've never felt too compelled to watch the majority of shit produced by MTV...although I do love me some Next.

Back to The Simpsons: The show is in its 20th season. Twenty. The Simpsons is older than my brother. Speaking of my brother, he's the one who got me interested in the show to begin with. Will and I share a penchant for TV and movies. We also share an ability to quote said TV and movies after one viewing. We have been known to pass the time by quoting movie lines to see if the other can guess the movie. It is quite a talent. I think it might be one of my best skills; unfortunately "uncanny ability to recite entertaining movie lines" is not a highly sought after job requirement. Before we knew it, we were watching (and quoting) the show all the time. We can also relate almost any occurrence (great or small) in life back to The Simpsons. Not everyone appreciates this skill so sometimes we have to hold back, which is hard.
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I would also like to take this time to address the highly controversial issue of the Simpson family's home state. In Season 11, Episode 248 entitled Behind the Laughter the narrator states that the Simpsons are from Kentucky. Chalk up another one for awesome things to come out of Kentucky. Johnny Depp, George Clooney, The Simpsons, you're welcome world. And suck it all you other states who claim ownership to America's favorite family.
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Just today I received an email from Amazon stating that Season 11 would be released on October 7, 2008. Finally! If I have one complaint about The Simpsons it is their DVD release process. Season 10 came out last August. How has it taken over a year to release season 11? They completely missed the opportunity for Christmas sales--now that's just stupid. There are still plenty of seasons yet to be released so why draw out the process? And if you insist on making us wait for DVDs, at least bring some regularity (may I suggest Fiber One yogurt?) to their release. It wouldn't be hard to create a time-table for each season's release, spacing them by 6 months or so. I would prefer 6 days, but I'm willing to compromise. If you ask me, Fox could be a little more "fair and balanced" with its DVD release.
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Come October 7, you'd better believe I'll have Season 11! Feel free to join me for the viewing.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Got That Ambition, Baby

I'm watching the E! True Hollywood Story of Jenna Jameson (porn queen) and it is surprisingly inspiring. Once you look past the stripping, drug addiction and eventual porn career, it's your basic tale of determination. She is living the American Dream; she's doing what she loves.

If Jenna Jameson can do it, why can't I? Aside from her willingness to go things that I am not to achieve her dream--nothing! Obviously I mean if she can follow her dream, I can too; I am not aspiring to become a porn queen (I'm sure my family members reading this are glad).

My dream is writing. I can't decide if that's more or less difficult than Jenna's dream of porn. It's probably easier to get started in porn (you can never have too many people willing to do it on camera) but long-term you'd probably be happier as a writer. So while I'll have a tough time getting started, I'll be more well-adjusted in the end.

I also have no picture to go with this entry because I didn't even want to think about what would pop up if I typed "Jenna Jameson" into the Google image search! Although, I am adding her name as a label to this post so that when people type her in as a search, this will be one of the results. I'm sure they'll be thrilled!

Tire Trouble

Fun fact about me: I know nothing (or very little) concerning cars. I am also a bad driver. That being said, I have a story.
I got my oil changed the other day (I do know that cars need oil) and they informed me that there were some bumps in my tire. I acted really surprised, but I had actually noticed these baseball-sized lumps bulging on the sides of my front right tire...I just decided it was nothing. I believe at one point I told myself that it might be caused by the heat--like it was hot and the rubber expanded. I'm not a scientist, people!

Anyway, so the guy is telling me that when you hit potholes sometimes it can make a perforation in your tire. Apparently there are 2 parts to your tire, an inner and outer tire I guess, and if there's a hole in between them then air can get in there. When the air gets in there, it makes a bubble and apparently that makes your car very susceptible to blow outs. So I learned something new.

Then they brought my tire in to show me the bubbles and I had to act all surprised like I had never noticed those before. The guy said, "Apparently you hit the same pothole 3 or 4 times...you should really watch out for those."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

As Seen On TV

Confession: I love infomercials. Not all infomercials, it's mainly the cleaning ones. Steam Buggy, Oxi-Clean, Kaboom--they're all great. I don't know what it is I like the most about them. Maybe it's the pre-recorded demonstration video they play throughout the infomercial. I love watching the actors over-dramatize the struggle between consumer and vacuum. Or when they are wearing gas masks to clean the bathroom because the fumes of traditional cleaners are soooo terrible!

I also love how utterly filthy the demonstration homes are. Everything is so dirty that you don't even realize what color it actually is until they clean it. For the longest time I always wondered, "Who lets their home get that dirty? That's bullshit!" And then I went into the homes of others. I knew that not everyone was as insanely clean or organized as I am, but I didn't know that there were people who have literal aversions to cleanliness. By the way, if your home is like that and you invite me over to visit, please know that my mind is racing with how I would clean up your house.

I really enjoy seeing how clean something can be. I get such a sense of accomplishment when I can actually see a difference or result in something I've done. (If you had not gathered that I was a nerd in any of the previous blogs, I think it's pretty clear now). If I had an unlimited income one (of many) thing I would do is impulsively purchase products that I have "seen on TV." It's probably a good thing I don't have an unlimited income.


One of the most interesting sales tactics used in infomercials is yelling. Billy Mays is the King of Infomercial Yelling. For some reason, I believe people (on TV at least) if they are yelling. I guess my thought process is, "Why would he be yelling if the carpet cleaner doesn't work as well as they say?" I am also more inclined to believe something that rhymes. I mean, they've gone to the trouble to create a little poem, so it must be good.

I don't remember a lot of my childhood--various parts have been blocked out, and I don't remember the first time I discovered that you could buy products seen on infomercials in stores, but I do remember the emotion. It was like Christmas. Amazing. Simply amazing. That's why I love stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond.

I typically don't give into my urges and purchase the items I see on the screen...but the other day I did give in. I bought Kinoki Detox Foot Pads. They claim to "cleanse and energize your body" and "capture toxins eliminated by your body, cleanse and detoxify your skin's outer layers." I have seen the infomercial with several friends and we all agree that these pads you stick on your feet before you go to sleep are amazing and we need to try them. Apparently I'm the brave one with enough balls to give it a try. I suppose you could also call me the "dumb impulse buyer" of the group, but I prefer brave. The kit came with a 2 week supply, and I'm going to start tonight (I'm so anal I couldn't start in the middle of the week) and I plan on keeping you updated on the progress of the project. And if in 2 weeks, my life is super amazing (more so than now, is that possible?) we will all know that it's thanks to the Kinoki Foot Pads.

My friend Jess once made me watch an infomercial she had recorded on her DVR (let that sink in for a minute) called "The Ultimate Cleanse," not my typical infomercial pick...it was about some colon cleansing product. The interesting part about it was the religious aspect to it. I can't fully remember the premise (we were also drinking) but I think the gist of it is "sin fills up your colon with poop and Jesus wants you to get it out." That might not be quite right. The hilarious/gross thing was that people who had used this would send pictures in to show this guy what had, uh, exited them after the cleanse.

My love of infomercials also feeds over into my love of Sharper Image, Brookstone and all other stores where you can purchase everything-you-ever-needed-but-just-didn't-know-it. I can't tell you the number of times I've been reading Sky Mall on a plane and realized, "Wow, I never realized this but I don't have my own personalized juke box. Why is that?"