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?"

Don't Croak Without Jesus!


Today I received the best advice ever from a t-shirt. It said, "Don't Croak Without Jesus," and there was a frog on it. Wise and clever. I already have Jesus, so I was way ahead of the t-shirt. However, it did get me thinking about religion. Not in a deep, philosophical way, but from an advertising and propaganda stand-point.
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Have you ever noticed that no religion other than Christianity has t-shirts, bumper stickers, keychains, etc.? A lot of religions aren't as big on conversion as Christianity, so I guess that could be a factor.
I did have a friend in high school who had a hoodie that said, "Jews in the Hood." I still wish I had one of those!
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I suppose another factor could be that Christianity is the predominate religion in America. Maybe cars in the Middle East have bumper stickers that say things like, "Know Allah, Know Peace; No Allah, No Peace." It's definitely something to think about.

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

No matter how many amazing things my younger brother does (captain of the soccer team, bio-medical engineering major at Purdue, etc.) I will always see him as Batman. Between the ages of 2-4 Will was Batman. Every day he dressed up as Batman. He had Batman costumes for both summer and winter, not to mention pajamas for bedtime. Although, no matter the weather, he always wore these black snow boots that really tied the outfit together.

It wasn't enough to just dress as Batman, he also had to watch Batman. He watched the movies. I refused to watch them because they scared me. In Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeiffer becomes Catwoman when she falls and all these alley cats start licking her open wounds--gross. So she becomes Catwoman and promptly stabs the hell out of a bunch of stuffed animals and puts them in the garbage disposal. As a lover of all things plush, this disturbed me greatly and I haven't watched it since. Will, on the other hand, was banned from doing his Danny DeVito Penguin impression at daycare because it scared the other children.

I would, however, watch the 1960s Batman TV show reruns with him. If you've never seen this gem of a program, you haven't really lived. The movie is also amazing. My favorite line in the movie was "Quick, hand me the shark-repelent Batspray," there was a mechanical shark clamped onto Batman's leg, but luckily Robin had the shark-repelent Batspray on hand so everything turned out alright.

You see boys and girls, before Adam West was mayor of Quahog, he was Batman. He wasn't as phsyically fit as you might expect (or demand) Batman to be. It really looked more like your dad was fighting crime. The show ran from 1966-1968, but they did 2 episodes a week so it's like they were on for 5 years. According to Wikipedia, the genre of the show is "pop art camp comedy," which I think translates as "hilariously shitty." I haven't crunched the numbers myself, but I believe the show operated on an annual budget of $17. Who needs fight sequences when you can just write KAPOW! WHAM! across the screen?


My favorite villan was Louie the Lilac (played by Milton Berle). Like a true badass, Louie dealt in illegal perfume. He also ate lilacs for some unknown reason. And I almost forgot, he had control over the hippie flower children of Gotham. That is not very threatening. Illegal perfume dealings? I don't even know what that means.

I've actually gotten away from the entire purpose of this blog (a pattern in my stream-of-consciousness style writing). My point was: Who in their right mind moves to Gotham City? What did they have that made tolerating the antics of villans worth it? An amazing public school system? Low taxes? I don't know. And it's not even like the police force is any good! They entrust their safety to a grown man dressed up as a bat. If ever I live somewhere and our public safety depends solely on a man in a costume, I will move. Property in Gotham had to be dirt cheap.

Please Don't Stop the Music

July 14, 2008

I am currently house/dogsitting in Richmond and feeling quite isolated. The computer/Internet here is being shady and forbidding me to Facebook Chat or look at [stalk] people's profiles, these are 2 of my main activities. I couldn't bring my laptop with me because it is dying. Actually, the computer itself is fully functional, but it won't connect to the Internet. And what's the point of a computer without Internet? Might as well be Amish. I can deal my own solitaire game, thank you...unless it's spider solitaire, I'm still not 100% sure on how that works.

The good news is I'm getting a new computer; the bad news is I'm paying for a new computer. And as though it weren't enough--I can't work the TV. It's satellite or something fancy and I can't find the basic cable channels I desire. The hilarious (and/or pathetic) thing is, I've housesat here before. Every year since 2004 actually. And yet I am helpless. [*Note: Shortly after I wrote this, I figured out the TV].

I am also incapable of working the toaster oven. I learned that this morning when I set a paper towel on fire while trying to retrieve my pop tarts. There's nothing quite like starting a fire before 7 am. Luckily the toaster oven is right next to the sink so I didn't burn anything to the ground.


Needless to say, I'm bored. Very bored. I've already read all of Cosmo (as I said I would) and the Rolling Stone I bought simply because Barack Obama was on the cover. I've also done some cleaning (something I do when I'm bored, angry or stressed).

And now I am kicking this blog old school--writing it out on paper to post later because the computer won't let me post on the actual blog for some reason.

I'm also rocking out thanks to my iPod and its new speaker! I'm listening to stuff I haven't heard in forever. Rediscovered musical gems include: "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" by Kenny Chesney and "Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground.

OMG! "Let's Get Married" by Jagged Edge--remember that one? I don't think that is incorporated into nearly enough weddings as it should be. I think it's a really sweet song and (to quote my friend Meg) should I ever decide marriage is a good idea, I fully intend on this song being involved. I'm not saying it's one to walk down the aisle to or anything (although that would be awesome) but it should definitely play at the reception...or perhaps while people are waiting for the ceremony to start. It kind of reminds me of the episode of Fresh Prince where Jazz gets married in the Banks' home. His bride, Jewel (the ex-con), does a sort of 90s pimp walk down the aisle. Amazing.

I will admit that my taste in music can be questionable. I'm very ecclectic and non-discriminate (aka I don't have any taste). My mood plays a significant role in music decisions. And my moods can be strange. And I love to sing...not necessarily well, but that doesn't stop me. My latest thing is songs I think would be sung in a night club. I don't mean the type of club that Usher wants to make love in, but rather some hole-in-the-wall spot where you go to hear jazz or something. The type of place where you could envision Ella Fitzgerald singing "How Long Has This Been Going On." I made the decision recently that if I had been alive in the 40s, I would've been a singer like that. I think it would've been fun. A really good CD for this mood is Little Voice by Sara Bareilles.

I freaking love it! She has got an amazing voice and the songs are all great. If you decide that you would like to practice your Night Club Singer voice (or just want a good CD and don't need my crazy endorsement) I would highly recommend it!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Don't Worry, I'm Alive

I have been house/dog-sitting in Richmond, KY this week and the Internet there is being quite shady. It won't let me do anything on Facebook nor will it let me blog. I have been coming up with some blog topics though. I even wrote 1 out by hand the other day.

I'm done house-sitting on Saturday so by Sunday or Monday you can expect several new posts! I also have to buy a new computer, so that could potentially hinder my blogging abilities. I have been receiving the demands for a new post. Don't worry, it's coming!

Remember, patience is a virtue. You know it's true because I'm pretty sure it's in the Bible. I'm not sure exactly where it is...somewhere in the back I think.

Some of the blogs-to-come include: Music, Batman and Gotham City, and some others that I wrote down but don't remember at the moment.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Public Enemy #1: Family Circus



Let's get one thing clear: I hate the comic strip Family Circus. It is never funny and it's almost always preachy. Reading Family Circus is like watching a show like Kids Say the Darndest Things. It's very cutesy and corny but it is never funny. I think it's hilarious when kids say things they've overheard their parents say; things like curse words. You will never see any of the Family Circus children curse. They just sit around and say things like, "Why is it called e-mail when they use more than the letter E?" I just made that up, but I would bet you $5 that there is a Family Circus strip with the same or very similar premise.


If someone shows you a Family Circus strip, all you do is force out a chuckle so that person will leave you the hell alone. I honestly think that someone enjoying Family Circus might actually bring about the end of our friendship. I mean, how can I trust their judgement on anything? I wouldn't let them redecorate my house or set me up on a blind date. Their taste cannot be taken seriously.


I've had these pent up emotions towards Family Circus for quite some time but am just now putting them into words because I realized that my local paper could be printing so many better things. They could print an ad or just a big black rectangle. I envision myself saying, "Yea this rectangle seems stupid, but at least it's not Family Circus."
Or they could print Marmaduke. Granted, Marmaduke was rarely funny either, but that dog never made you feel like you weren't reaching your potential or spending enough time with your grandparents. Plus he was so big! A big dog trying to do small dog things (or vice versa) will always amuse me.

Cosmopolitan

I am a loyal subscriber to Cosmopolitan magazine. When the end of the month rolls around I start to get a little antsy because I know that any day, a new magazine will appear in my mailbox. "What will they teach me this time?" I wonder. Just the other day I opened up the mailbox and there it was: Cosmo, August 2008. And according to a eye-catching blurb on the cover, this month's issue is apparently the "Hot Issue."


"Thank God for that," I thought, "I am so sick of getting all these Cosmos full of nothing but news, intellectual articles and political cartoons. It's about time they wrote about men and sex." If you live under a rock and are unfamiliar with the magazine, let me tell you that I am being sarcastic. Every issue of Cosmo is either hot, dirty, naughty or any other sexual sounding adjective. Allow me to break down the article topics in Cosmo for you:
  1. Men

  2. Sex

  3. Clothes that are sexy

  4. How to wear clothes that are sexy to get men to have sex with you

  5. And of course stories about other people who have had/are having/will have sex

It's the same thing over and over again; and I read it every month. Part of my fascination with the magazine is how the continually generate these lists of sex tips. You may have read the "10 Sexiest Moves in Bed" last month, but this month you can read "15 Naughty Things to do in the Car." God knows the tips for the bedroom are not applicable to the car, bathroom, beach or any other location in which they tell you to get it on. Do they have a research and development team who works on these tips each month?

I also subscribe to Glamour, because why be told the same thing every month by 1 magazine when you can be told the same thing every month by 2 magazines? Glamour has less dirty sex stuff than Cosmo, which can be good or bad--it just depends on what kind of mood you're in I guess. The upside to Glamour is that they also have legitimate articles about women doing stuff or something (I read those after I've read all the mindless stuff). I do think Cosmo should print a few more legit stories for the sake of shy people. That way, shy people can still read all the dirty stuff while keeping the page of a serious article handy in case someone approaches and they have to flip the page really quickly.


Perhaps Dave Chapelle put it best when he said, "Chivalry is dead, and women killed it. Chivalry died when women started readin the shit in all them magazines. They got too much advice about men from other women. And they don't know what the fuck they're talkin about. I see them in the grocery store, says on the cover '100 Ways to Please Your Man' by some lady. Come on man. Aint no 100 ways. That list is 4 things long. Just suck his dick, play with his balls, and then fix him a sandwhich and don't talk so much and he'll be happy!"

That's from his special Killin' Them Softly, which is a hilarious must-see.

And yet, despite everything I know about these magazines, I will continue to read them every month. After all, I'm only human.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

South of the Border

Let it never be said that I don't tackle the hard-hitting issues. That being said, I'd like to talk about Taco Bell. I love Taco Bell. It may be difficult to put my love into words, but dammit I'm going to try!
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In my Google image search of Taco Bell pictures, I discovered a still image from a video of a rat inside a Greenwich Village Taco Bell. Will this stop me from eating there? No. First of all, I don't live in Greenwich Village (and if I did I might realize that NYC has some bad-ass rats). Secondly, you think that's never happened at McDonald's? If the workers are as astonished as you are to see the rat and/or are not calling it some sort of nickname it has been given then odds are, rats are not commonplace at that eatery.
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At this time I'd like to give a shout out to the Taco Bell in Georgetown, KY. It seems like whenever I went through the drive-in there a voice would say, "Thank you for choosing South of the Border, can I take your order?" That is damn friendly. Also, it rhymes and I have recently noticed that I believe (or am immediatly impressed by) virtually anything that rhymes. While no one at a Lexington Taco Bell has ever said that to me, they are always friendly. You don't get that in 99% of drive-thru interactions.
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Taco Bell also understands the concept of the drive-thru; you are driving through because you are too busy to get out of your car and they get you your food fast! I cannot get food any faster via drive-thru than I can at Taco Bell. I also commend Taco Bell for not putting in those weird-ass 2 lane drive-thrus McDonalds has been trying out. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps (somewhere) they work, they don't work here. What's the point of having 2 places to place your order to only then have the 2 separate lines feed back into a single line? That accomplishes nothing not to mention they have an even harder time distinguishing my order when I get to the window.
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Now let's get into the deliciousness. Simply amazing. How do they do it? I have no idea. Of course, you will always hear the naysayers spouting vicious rumors about places like Taco Bell using Grade F meat or something but I refuse to believe it. And even if that was the case, I say bring on the Grade F because that shit is good. Coincidentally, this is also my response when people tell me that Chinese food contains household pets are attempt to tell me what is in a hotdog.
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How often have you taken something home from a restaurant only to be completely disappointed by it's reheated lack of taste? Too many times to count I'm sure. Well, Taco Bell reheats superbly. Here's a discovery I made just a few weeks ago: Taco Bell is just as delicious cold as it is hot! The tastiness transcends temperature! OK, my judgement may have been slightly impaired because I had been drinking--but not a lot. I had 2 drinks which is nowhere near enough drinks to be incapable of knowing the difference between a good and a bad taste. It was good.
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Speaking of drinking, Taco Bell is one of the best drunk foods. It has always helped that for quite some time, Taco Bell was open way later than any other fast food restaurant thereby cornering the drunk and/or stoned demographic. And should you fall into that clientèle, it doesn't matter if you've spent all your money on your vice of choice because Taco Bell is so cheap!
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The fact that in the year 2008, during a recession, with gas well about $4/gallon, I am still able to get a taco for under $1 makes me proud to be an American. God bless this country and its very loose interpretation of Mexican cuisine. At those prices, you'd think Taco Bell would look like a much shadier place; but it doesn't. Actually, a lot of Taco Bells have been getting a face lift and look pretty good these days. I remember when the one near our house was re-done I told him it looked so good he should consider going there before prom.
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Sadly, when I speak of the Taco Bell that is "near" my house I am forced to use the term near quite loosely. It is the closest to my house, but it is not close at all. I can't eat Taco Bell as often as I might like. If anyone reading this has any connection to the Yum! Food higher-ups, try and suggest they bring a Taco Bell to the South Side (insert gang symbol here) of Lexington, KY. Queremos Taco Bell.

TV


Remember when you were little and your parents would tell you that too much TV would rot your brain? I should've known that wasn't true once I found out about the whole Santa Claus charade they had been perpetrating. I am so sick of people talking shit about TV. I've even heard it referred to as "Idiot Box;" I don't think there's any need to resort to name-calling. I love TV. And what's with people saying that you can't learn anything from TV? I learn stuff from TV all the time. And I'm not just talking about DIY programs, quiz shows and educational programming. Even commercials have been known to teach me things...for example:

The other day I saw a commercial for Sam Adams beer and there was the inventor of Sam Adams beer talking about hops and barley and whatnot. Up until that point, I was under the impression that Sam Adams invented the beer. Besides being a Declaration of Independence guy, I don't know what else Sam Adams did. I assumed that most of his time was spent at the brewery. Was Ben Franklin the only founding father who invented things? If Sam Adams didn't invent the beer, then why the hell would they name it after him? If I ever invent anything (highly unlikely, although should my brother invent anything I'll definitely be involved in the packaging and more aesthetic elements of the product) you can be damn sure that I'm naming it after myself.

According to Wikipedia, Sam Adams was a brewer in addition to being a revolutionary. But I don't think that this is his beer recipe or anything so it still doesn't explain why he is the beer's namesake. Paul Revere was a silversmith who opened a hardware and home goods store post-Revolutionary War, and now there is a brand of pots and pans known as Revereware. That makes sense.

But I digress, Sam Adams is not the point. The point is that TV taught me something. If not for TV I would've gone my entire life thinking that Sam Adams beer was created by a guy back in the 1700s. It could've been really embarrassing if I ever went on some sort of alcohol-themed Jeopardy-esque quiz show (should they ever invent one, and they might).

This is just one of many things I have learned from TV over the years. You can't deny that TV has taught you things, too! Would you have ever considered letting someone pee on a jellyfish sting had it not been for that episode of Friends ("The One With the Jellyfish")? I don't think so. Although I have been stung by jellyfish and still didn't let anyone urinate on me, but I didn't think they were crazy for offering.

While I'm on the subject of TV, let me just say how grateful I am to see the return of the sitcom. Don't get me wrong, I love dramatic crime dramas as much as the next person but night after night of elaborate and violent crimes has to take a toll on your psyche. Not to mention that now that I have to stay by myself a lot I get way too freaked out to watch all those shows. I can sometimes handle watching reruns, but only if I know that they catch the bad guy in the end (because if they don't, he might be outside my house). I know it's crazy, but I can't help it. Now I can watch shows like The Office and 30 Rock and not worry about anything.

I hope TV keeps teaching me things because I have no desire to go to grad school, but I do enjoy learning stuff.

Monday, July 7, 2008

They Didn't Teach This in College


I've been out of college for over a year now and I still can't believe how hard it is. I knew that it wouldn't be easy, but I thought it would be easier than it is. My friends and I have been reading a book called It's a Wonderful Lie: 26 Truths About Life in Your Twenties and it hasn't helped me quite as much as I would have hoped. The book is broken down into five "lies" and within each lie there are several short essays from a variety of writers relating the hardships of their twenties to the reader. Most of the stories are well-written and funny; I enjoy reading them. But to say the book has truly helped me, would be another lie.

The lies dealt with in the book are as follows:
  1. I'll have an amazing apartment and love my job

  2. I'll have everything I need to live the life I've always wanted

  3. I'll know myself--and what I want

  4. I'll have satisfying relationships, great sex, and fabulous friends

  5. I'll be where I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm meant to be doing

I can't say as I ever believed in any of those. I'm not saying I haven't dreamt about a cute place to live (I watched Friends for God's sake, and how cute was that apartment?!) or an awesome job (preferably one that views jeans as acceptable workplace attire) but I never thought I would have it all handed to me along with my diploma. I will say that if I haven't moderately achieved even one of these things by the time I'm 30, I'm going to be pouring a lot more money into therapy.


When I was little, I remember my mom always insisting that I go to college. "It will be easier to get a job with a college degree," she would say. And she was right, almost any job requires a college degree. However, it appears that every other mother in the nation was reciting this speech to their children because in 2008, college degrees seem to be a dime a dozen. In 2008, a college degree is the bare minimum needed to secure a position as the assistant to the secretary's secretary. If you're wanting a title with a little more prestige, you need a college degree (preferably a master's) and experience.


Experience is very big these days. I read ads for entry level jobs requiring a minimum 5 years of experience. I don't really consider that to be an "entry level" position, do you? I entered the workforce, armed with my college degree, only to learn that I have no experience. "How do I get experience?" I asked myself. And then it came to me: a job! A job will give me experience. I've figured it out: you need experience to get a job, and you need a job to get experience. It's a vicious and cruel catch-22 and I have no idea how to escape it.

The part I find hilarious is that my standards are not that high. In fact, I'd say that I've set the bar fairly low for happiness at this stage in my life. It all comes down to semantics: I'm not looking for the job or the apartment--I'm looking for a job or an apartment. Is that asking too much, universe? I don't think so.

Bottom line: I'm tired of feeling like life is passing me by, and I wish I knew how to fix that.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Feminine Hygiene

I wrote this on December 27, 2007

As I spend a significant amount of time in a grocery store, I have a lot of time alone with my thoughts. This is quite the double-edged sword; on the one hand, I think of insanely clever observations regarding life. On the other hand, my mind has been known to drift to the fact that I have $100,000 education and am making an obscenely small amount of money at a part-time job and have no hopes of becoming what I like to call a “real grown-up” any time soon. Needless to say, I try my hardest to focus on the former of the two. My observations typically stem from my surroundings; what I’m trying to say is that I think about groceries a lot. One of the more perplexing areas of the grocery store is the feminine hygiene section.

I will admit that it is one of my preferred areas of the store to loiter in—people seem less eager to talk to you when you’re surrounded by tampons, a helpful tip I plan to carry over into other realms of my life. I have, on more than one occasion, considered keeping a few tampons on hand at all times and then slyly pull them out of my purse when I find myself trapped in a boring conversation. I did it accidentally once and it abruptly ended that little chat. But I digress.

I have always considered myself to be pro-hygiene and yet I can’t seem to figure out what the hell is going on with some of that stuff. There is a plethora of soaps and perfumes specifically for the vagina, which floors me on a multitude of levels. First of all we have the double-standard of women going to all this trouble for men who do very little in return. The level of maintenance required for this equipment ranks right up there with the upkeep of a car or home. As is the case with home-ownership, there is the innate need to tidy up before company comes over; but the company could pull themselves together a bit, too. And yet there is no cologne for balls. Shocking.

My second observation came from laughing at the scent names of these products; names such as “berry bliss.” Berry bliss? What seems remotely natural about smelling like berries or a tropical island escape? It’s not as though that’s a place where berries are often found, resulting in a lingering berry aroma. Let’s say you walk into a room that smells like popcorn; you immediately ask if anyone made popcorn, they say yes and that’s the end. Mystery solved. Imagine the questions raised by a berry-scented crotch. “Are you storing fruit down here?” is not a question I ever want to be asked. If you are a fan of exotic fragrances in erotic locations, that’s fine. But why stop at just berries? I say, get the whole Yankee Candle Company arsenal of scents involved—homemade cookies, freshly cut grass, hazelnut, you get the idea.

My next observation is rather brief. I could not help but notice this phrasing out of the corner of my eye, “disposable douche.” I assumed the “disposable” factor was a given. Are there reusable douches out there? God, I hope not.

Relationships

I wrote this on November 11, 2007

Although there are many different types of relationships, I have a tendency to focus on those of a romantic nature. More specifically, I focus on my lack of any such relationship. I suppose I could blame my relationship woes on having grown up in a broken home with no example of true love to follow. The problem is, I can never seem to get anyone initially interested enough to ask me out and then have me fuck it all up due to commitment issues stemming from my upbringing (but that will always remain the dream). Until that day comes, you can find me at my permanent residence: The Friend Zone.

Don’t be fooled by the name, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. As a lifelong resident of the Friend Zone, I will admit that it is a great place to be—but everybody deserves a vacation. I’ve always loved having friends, but there comes a time when you’re looking for more than a friend.

I’ve never been one of those girls who can just go out there and get a guy’s attention. I don’t have the body to prance around in skimpy clothes nor do I have the patience to act like a ditz all the time. Flirting has never been my strongest skill either; it always comes off as just plain awkward. Thus I am left with the oh-so-cliché technique of just being myself. For over 22 years, being myself has almost always resulted in friendship. From time to time, being myself has also resulted in heated debate, uncontrollable sobbing and knock-down, drag-out brawls…but never romance.

On the rare occasion I think being myself is actually working, and a guy could actually be interested in me, he inevitably ends up asking about one of my friends. So as all the people around me pair off, all I can hope for is that my bridesmaid dress isn’t too hideous and the possibility that their wedding will have an open bar.

My mother has always claimed that guys are intimidated by me, which I find hilarious. Mountains are intimidating, math is intimidating, but short blonde girls are generally not intimidating. Is it the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing with my life that scares them away? Maybe it’s the initially quiet nature I maintain until I’ve been introduced to someone that sends them running.

The fact that I’ve never been in a relationship does not stop my friends from turning to me with all their relationship problems. If I know so damn much and they know so damn little, how is it that they have the relationship and I don’t? What exactly is going through their minds when they ask me for my advice? Maybe they wanted the opinion of someone with absolutely no frame of reference; and there weren’t any nuns to be found so they settled for me. The truly ironic part is that despite listening to all their problems and witnessing the grief caused by relationships, I still want one.

I’m not on a mission to find “The One,” settle down and get married by any means. I’m also not looking for someone I could latch onto and center my entire universe around; I’ve got my own shit to deal with. Basically, I’m looking for a friend with a lot more benefits who will allow me to occasionally instigate ridiculous fights about things like why he squeezes toothpaste from the middle of the tube rather than the end. I really don’t think that’s asking too much.

In addition to just being myself and awkward flirtation, I have decided to take what I have dubbed “The Romantic Comedy Approach,” to dating. If romantic comedies have taught us anything, it’s that we’re probably already friends with our true love and we’ve never looked at them in that light before. This new approach makes the Friend Zone the ideal place to be. I figure if I just keep making guy friends, it will increase my odds of finding that special someone. So, if you’ve got a Y chromosome and you like what you’ve read here…maybe we can be friends.