Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Facebook Groups and Weddings

Like most normal, red-blooded Americans, I belong to a small variety of Facebook groups. 99.7% of all Facebook groups do absolutely nothing, serve no purpose and simply appear on your profile page providing just one more manner in which people can stalk you. Nine times out of ten, I join the group based on its name. For example, when I saw the group "I Like Cupcakes and Making Out," I knew I had to be a part of that. I'm sure some people prefer not to make such bold statements on Facebook, but I think that both cupcakes and making out are fantastic, and I don't care who knows it. Plus, just check out their picture--a translucent cupcake (or cupcake ghost, if you will) floating precariously close to a make-out session. Fantastic...not to mention the fact that it reminds me of the intro to a story my friend once told me. "This is a story about cupcakes," she said, "and sex." There's no way you're not immediately interested in that story! The gist of it was that one day she got a real hankering for cupcakes, so she made some and they were great. Later that day, she had sex (whether or not she had sex due to a real hankering, I'm not sure) and after it was over she couldn't help but think about how much better the cupcake was than the sex. I'm still unclear as to whether or not those were the best cupcakes in the world or just bad sex...maybe both. She does make a mean cupcake, though.

Another one of my favorite Facebook group titles is "My Friends are Getting Married. I'm Just Getting Drunk." If the name isn't enticing enough for you, allow me to provide the group description:
So you heard about another friend tying the knot? Starting to think it'll never be you? Really excited about that?

Fret not, it's not a future of 10,000 cats and Golden Girls cheesecake binges solo. They might be walking down the aisle, but you're walking to the bar. I think we can all agree the latter is more our style anyways.
I was at a wedding last weekend and will be at (and in) another wedding this coming weekend. I typically don't go to many weddings, so two in a row is big for me. Everyone around me seems to be making some sort of progress in their life. My friends are getting engaged, married and having babies...while my accomplishments include: reigning iPhone skee-ball champion (a title I invented).

Although I have no intention of owning a small army of cats and don't like cheesecake, I still enjoy walking to the bar. Am I the only one who begins to second-guess their RSVP when they discover the reception has no bar? Don't get me wrong, I still go to the wedding; but I'd be lying if I said there isn't a brief moment at which I debate the tackiness of bringing my own flask to a reception. I'm not demanding an open bar (although that would be awesome); I'm quite alright with a cash bar.

Alcohol plays an integral part in the array of emotions I experience at weddings. Much like a traditional roller coaster, my wedding emotions always start and end at the same place: happy and excited. But in between the happiness and excitement is sadness, jealousy, ambivalence, apathy, bitterness, anxiety and some form of inebriation (usually slightly buzzed or tipsy, full blown drunkenness has yet to make an appearance but never say never).

So I'm at this wedding, enjoying a $6 rum and Coke when I came up with what I think is a fantastic wedding tradition just waiting to be started. The bride and groom were having their first dance together, and for whatever reason I started thinking about 7th Grade Dancing.
If you're unfamiliar with 7th Grade Dancing, allow me to elaborate. Remember how you used to slow dance in 7th grade? Fully-extended arms, leaving approximately 2 feet between partners (more than enough room for Jesus, if you went to a Christian school), slightly swaying back and forth. Please examine this picture courtesy of a WikiHow article entitled "How to Dance at a Middle School Dance." Now, for those of you who want to kick it up a notch: dancing should occur within a close proximity to your friends. This way, you and your dance partner don't even have to look at each other, you can just talk to your friend for the entire slow jam. I think that after the bride and groom have their first dance, they should have their first 7th Grade Dance together. It would be particularly awesome if the song they danced to was some sort of killer monster ballad from their junior high years. I think it would be a nice, awkward memory for the couple to make together.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Spy with My Little Eye...

One of the great things about having an iPhone is that it enables me to take pictures of all the ridiculous things I see every day. And, one of the great things about having a blog is that it enables me to write about the ridiculous things I see every day.
This past Sunday was Easter, and a group of us went out to lunch after church. We decided to go to Ramsey's. I always have a really hard time deciding what I want to get there; it's all good. My reliable stand-by is the chicken and dumplings--or as I call it, the chicken and dumplings salad. For whatever reason, chicken dumplings is under the "Salad" portion of the menu. I maintain that it must healthy, because it's a salad. However, this particular day, I wasn't in a chicken and dumplings salad mood. And just when I thought I knew what I wanted, I saw this on the menu. "Sorry, we cannot offer ribeyes in a child's portion." Damn.
How many people have to request a child's ribeye steak before you put a notice on your menu? I'm betting a lot.
This next thing is my favorite...I was driving out to Bryan Station high school to do my observations for class and I passed by the Platinum Plus strip club. I had to stop at the red light in front of the club so I decided to read their marquis board. There was a lot to take in on this particular board. First of all, $0.25 for wings and $0.50 for draft beer seems like a pretty good deal. Secondly, I am beyond creeped out by anyone who partakes in the complimentary buffet at strip clubs. And finally, how are you going to work for a strip club and not know how to spell amateur? Amateur Night is a pretty regular occurrence at strip clubs. There have to be signs up...how does the proper spelling not just seep in, subliminally?
Here's the really odd part: the other side of the marquis contains exactly the same message, only amateur is spelled properly. Did the same person not do both sides of the board? It's not as though they ran out of letters and were forced to improvise; all the letters are there, just in the wrong order.
The final thing could be ridiculous, or it could be super awesome...I won't know until I try. I was helping my friend find some Easter candy at Kroger (by helping I mean I drover her there and stood there while she looked at stuff) when I saw an interesting creation on display. Could it be possible that two of my favorite things have come together in a clash of awesomeness like I've never seen? Poptarts and Creamsicles, together at last! I'm a little bit afraid to try it because I don't want to be disappointed. It's not like Poptarts are cheap. I'd hate to waste money on a box of Poptarts that suck. I'm probably putting more thought into this decision than I put into most things. For example, the decision to go to graduate school was easy. Graduate school? Meh, OK sure. But Poptarts? Do I have to decide now?

Monday, April 13, 2009

And in this Corner, Creepy McCreeperson

While I enjoy a variety of haunts in Lexington, one of my favorites is Coffee Times. My friend Kristin and I go there frequently. We've both been so busy lately that we planned a special Coffee Times session in order to catch up. Little did we know that our April 4th trip to Coffee Times would include almost no catch up time and would scar us for life.

We placed our orders, sat down, and began chatting. Her phone rang; it was her fiancée. She answered and told him that she would call him back. They'd just gotten engaged the night before, so she told him that several people had said congratulations. She hung up and just as we were about to resume our conversation, we heard a voice.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to eavesdrop on your conversation," he said, "but I heard you say that you got engaged, congratulations." This seemed nice (albeit creepy) so she thanked him and again we turned to resume our conversation.

The next thing we know, he's dragging a chair over and says, "I'm just going to join you." Now, I had been at Keeneland and I was a little drunk; however, I was far from the level of drunk at which you are friends with everyone so I know I didn't invite him over. But there was not stopping him. It wasn't, "Mind if I join you?" It was, "I'm going to join you," and the subtext was "whether you like it or not."

He then launches into this diatribe about how he is the last person to be giving out relationship advice (as though Kristin had asked him for advice regarding her upcoming nuptials). He told us about the hoards of failed relationships he'd been a part of. He told us how long it had been since he'd last had sex (2 years, 3 months, 18 days). You know, typical things you share with complete strangers.

I get it, he's hard up. But if he keeps sharing the running count with strangers (or anyone for that matter) he'd better be prepared to keep counting. Have you ever heard the saying, "if you want a sure-fire way to get laid, just nonchalantly mention how long since you last got any"? That's right, you haven't, because that's not a real saying. It's not a real saying because there is absolutely no truth to it.

Normal people would reach a point at which they would stop counting. Not this guy. Even if you do make another tally mark on your Days of Horniness calendar each night, at least pretend like you don't know the number. If you insist on telling people how long since you last had sex, here are a few options:
  • "I haven't had a serious relationship in awhile." The phrase "serious relationship" implies all the accompanying factors, including sex.
  • "It's been about this long." The word about is key. This makes you seem less desperate. As though it doesn't affect your day-to-day life. We know that it does, but we all pretend it doesn't. If every member of society is willing to go along with the charade, who are you to go against it?
  • "Awhile." Leave some air of mystery to yourself for God's sake.
He also mentioned that he is an amateur cage fighter. I want you to take a few minutes to let that sink in. I had no idea that amateur cage fighting was so popular in this area. Looking back on the situation, I wish we could've gotten more information about the amateur cage fighting circuit out of this guy, but he seemed hell-bent on talking about his absence of manliness and/or balls.

I should mention that I have a friend who works at Coffee Times, and the entire time we were cornered by Creepy McCreeperson she and her co-worker were just staring at us with these "what the hell is going on?" expressions on their faces. And all I could do was stare back and try to send telepathic SOS messages. That's when Kristin said that she had to go to the bathroom.

I looked at her with a pained expression, as if to say, "you are not leaving me alone with this weirdo." I would've rather she had peed in an empty coffee mug right there at the table than leave me alone with him. But somehow, I don't think that would've scared him off. I assumed that she had reached a point at which she could no longer hold it (and she had). We were both sensing a vibe that he wanted to ask me for my number. What can I say? I attract winners.

Thankfully, he didn't ask me for my number and when Kristin came out of the bathroom she said, "Well, I should get going." I quickly added, "I have to go, too!" And we literally ran out of Coffee Times, afraid that we may never be able to return. Afraid to stand and discuss the situation in the parking lot, we got in our respective cars and quickly called one another for an in depth conversation.

The next day, I was still sad that I hadn't gotten a chance to peruse the shop at Coffee Times or Street Scene (the cool vintage store next door). I decided to chance it; I returned to the scene of the crime. I went into Street Scene first, looked around and then peered through the door which adjoins the two businesses. No sign of him; I ventured in. One of the girls who works there asked if she could help me with anything. I said that I was just looking around, that's when she saw my face. "You were in here yesterday," she gasped, "and that guy was talking to you!" I preceded to then fill her in on the whole situation (his cage fighting, his dry spell) and she mentioned that after Kristin and I left, he stayed there for a long time and just stared at them while they worked. I suggested that Coffee Times may need to get some bouncers, and she agreed.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Random Things Becomes a Trilogy

Today I realized something: it's been quite awhile since I posted a Random Things blog. Without further adieu, I present the third installment.
  1. I am a Skee-Ball fanatic. It's one of my favorite games! The last time I went to Gatti Town, I'm pretty sure I spent the entire time at the Skee-Ball game...and maybe one round of bumper cars. If you want my opinion (and you obviously do; you're reading my blog) Skee-Ball is a severely underrated arcade game. People's readiness to pass by the Skee-Ball machines actually works to my advantage. It never costs a lot of points/tokens to play, and a line never forms behind you. You can imagine my excitement upon discovering the Skee-Ball application for the iPhone. About two weeks ago, I was at work and had absolutely nothing to do; so I started to play Skee-Ball. By the end of my shift, I occupied all 10 high score slots. It took an entire week for anyone to knock me out of those positions. And no, I don't find this fact remotely pathetic.
  2. I love musicals. Half the time I'm driving around town, I'm listening to musicals. It's fairly bad ass. As I write this, I'm listening to the Avenue Q soundtrack. I've already listened to Hello Dolly. Every time I drive up to Indiana to visit my Dad or brother, I listen to Rent and Wicked (and perhaps some others, if the mood strikes me).
  3. Speaking of driving through Indiana, every time I drive through there I have to listen to Jim Gaffigan. That's where he's from, and he even has a song about people driving through Indiana. So I always feel it's appropriate to give him a shout out.
  4. I cry at strange movies. Children's movies (especially Pixar) make me cry on a regular basis. I think that I cried within the first 15 minutes of Wall-E, and continued to cry throughout the film. I also cry during Monsters' Inc. when they send Boo back to her room and she opens the door and says, "Kitty?" but he isn't there! I might cry while I'm typing this. I also cry during The Waterboy just because they are so mean to Adam Sandler.
  5. I have been known to alter my behavior on the off-chance that my life is like The Truman Show. It's typically when I'm in the middle of acting a fool, and I say to myself, "Oh no. What if my life is The Truman Show? Everyone is making fun of me right now," and I try to tone down my behavior. Once, I changed my pajamas because I just so happened to grab navy blue scrub pants and a navy blue shirt. I didn't want the "viewers like you" to make snap judgments on my fashion sense based on this isolated instance.
  6. I'm really anal about knowing the lyrics to songs. I always want to know exactly what they're saying. I think this may also play into the previos fact; when I'm singing along in my car I want to get the words right. I have been known to Google lyrics to find put my mind at ease.
  7. Speaking of singing in the car...I have no shame when it comes to this. I sing at the top of my lungs and sometimes I play the drums on the steering wheel and/or dashboard. I have a hard time not singing. When other people are in the car, I focus on not singing as much as I focus on the road.
  8. I am addicted to karaoke. If karaoke is going on, I have a really hard time not doing it.
  9. I'm ridiculously paranoid (mostly in regard to staying alone--burglars, rapists, etc.). If you could get hired for your ability to freak yourself out, I'd be making at least six figures.
  10. And now an example of my paranoia: I cannot sleep in a bed without some form of comforter (a quilt will do in worst case scenarios, but I prefer comforters). It doesn't matter how hot it is, either. When I was really young, I decided that if someone did break into the house I could lay really still and they wouldn't be able to see me if the comforter was thick enough. I actually have a friend who shares this philosophy with me. And yes, we both know that we're insane.
  11. If you've ever worked in food service, you know that sometimes you're instructed to greet people with some sort of offer. "Hello, would you like to try our whatever today?" Sometimes I feel bad when I say no. Sometimes I give in and get whatever they're hocking just so I don't disappoint them. I bought a piece of cinnamon swirl coffee cake at Starbucks just two days ago for this very reason. When I worked at Graeter's they always wanted me to offer things to people and I refused to do it. I just don't like putting that pressure on someone.
  12. Coincidentally, I have no idea why I worry about disappointing strangers (Starbucks employees, people in other cars on the road, etc.). I have no problem disappointing people I know. I got that coffee cake because I don't want to be that "bitch who didn't get the cinnamon swirl coffee cake," when all I am is someone who actually wanted a muffin. But, the coffee cake was really good so I guess it all worked out.
  13. I am an impulse buyer. I try to use U-Scan machines because there are less impulse items there than regular check lanes. I've gotten a lot better at this; I'm sort of proud of my progress in my impulse buying.
  14. Sometimes I play a game in my head called, "If Life Was a Musical." Here's how you play: Just think of songs that would fit perfectly with the conversation you're having. Sometimes, people just say things that immediately make me think of a song and I say to myself, "if life was a musical, we'd start singing that right now." I only play this game in my head, because if I did this in real life I would have no friends.
  15. My ability to memorize TV shows and movies comes in handy when I'm bored. Sometimes I just play episodes of Simpsons or Friends in my head to help pass the time. The trick is not laughing out loud, because then you look crazy.
  16. I love singing, I think this is pretty obvious from several other facts on this list. And I'm not half bad--I'm not going to be dropping an album anytime soon, but I can carry a tune. However, I'm not one of those people who randomly sings when no one else is singing as a means of compliment fishing. I hate when people do that. I purposefully ignore their singing because I know it pisses them off.
  17. I really enjoy listening to people's wedding plans (unless they have no taste). The interesting thing about this is that I don't fantasize about weddings.My friend got engaged the other day, so I began imagining creative ways to propose. However, none of these daydreams involved me. I have friends who are not engaged but can tell you exactly what they want their weddings to be like, and I have no idea.
  18. Actually, I take that back. Should I ever get married, I want to do so in the fall. Why? Because I don't like it when holidays (by which I mean gift-giving occasions) to run together. I always feel so sorry for people with birthdays near Christmas. I bet they get a lot of "combo" gifts; and that blows. So let's say I'm getting married, here are my holidays: Valentine's Day in February, my birthday in March, Mother's Day in May (should we decide to procreate), and Christmas in December. So you can see how a fall wedding would fit in perfectly.
  19. One of the greatest feelings is purchasing a CD that you can listen straight through. Usually there's at least one song you don't like. My respect for an artist increases exponentially if I can listen to their entire CD without hitting the skip button. My current obsession is Some Mad Hope by Matt Nathanson. Not only do I listen to it all the way through, but I could also listen to it on repeat. I try not to listen to it on repeat because I don't want to make myself sick of it.
  20. Sometimes I feel bad for McDonald's because people tend to give them a bad rep. I like McDonald's, I think it's good. Is it the best food ever? No. But it costs like $5, so why the hell is everyone complaining? You don't have to eat there. I should also mention that whenever I feel bad for McDonald's I remember that no matter what people say, they do a lot of business so there's no need to be upset.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I Scream, You Scream

My first semester of grad school is coming to an end, and I couldn't be more thrilled! It's been so crazy and hectic. Apparently, the maximum amount of grad school classes you're supposed to take is 2; this could be why taking 5 classes has been such a bitch. I haven't even had time to write a proper blog in months! I've been a terrible excuse for a blogger lately, and for this, I apologize. However, I have been keeping track of topics I want to blog about, so you're in for a treat.

Has anyone else heard the ice cream truck lately? I've heard it at least once a day for at least 3-4 days now. I get really excited whenever I hear it; I don't know why, because it's not like I go running out to buy a bomb pop or something. So this evening, I'm pulling out of the driveway and here comes the ice cream man driving down my street. He was driving about 2 miles per hour, so this gave me some time to think.

How confusing must the concept of the ice cream man be for children? We spend so much time telling children not to take candy from strangers, but for some reason the ice cream man is OK. This makes no sense whatsoever! "Don't take candy from strangers, kids. But ice cream and popsicles from a strange man driving slowly through your neighborhood in a big van is absolutely alright."

I'm actually really surprised that the mobile ice cream business is still going. In an age where we're too paranoid to let girl scouts go door-to-door selling cookies, you'd think that we would've put the ax on ice cream trucks long ago.

And do you know where girl scouts go, now that we don't let them go door-to-door? They go to grocery stores. They set up little tables in the foyers of grocery stores and harass the patrons (and employees) of the store. It used to be all I had to deal with was the salvation army bell ringers when I went to work around the holidays. But now, the girl scouts too?! I can't escape!