Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The People Behind the Tans

Maybe I judged the Jersey Shore kids too quickly...I'm sure they're not all bad. Let's take a closer look at some of the cast members, there must be souls under those tans.

When it comes to work, the Jersey Shore gang wants what everyone wants: a job where you don't really do anything while wearing your favorite Ed Hardy clothes and accessories. And the housemates have found that at the t-shirt shop. Angelina (aka Jolie) feels that working in the t-shirt shop is beneath her. You see, Angelina is a bartender. In her words, "she does great things." Yep. She said that. She can't slum it and sell t-shirts because she's a bartender. It's kind of like being a doctor, she makes her livelihood with her hands. What is she supposed to do if she gets carpal tunnel from folding t-shirts? She can't mix drinks then! So I don't blame her. Luckily, if she does leave the rigorous rat race that is bartending, she has the fall back career of professional cock block.

Oh Vinny...what are you doing on Jersey Shore? Vinny appears to be the only legitimate Italian American on the show. For this and other reasons, he is the most useless person on the show. What are the other reasons? Well, Vinny went to college and sometimes he makes sense when he talks. As of now, Vinny hasn't even tried to sleep with anyone else in the house! I'm pretty sure that one of the stipulations of being on an MTV show is you have to at least try to hook up with those around you (unless you're the virgin).

Here's the situation with Mike (aka The Situation)...first of all, he looks like he's 15 years older than everyone else on the show. I'm not 100% certain whether The Situation is what he calls himself or just his abs. I think nicknaming himself (or his abs) the situation is just an attempt to mask his Tourette's Syndrome. His tics are removing his shirt and saying the word "situation" over and over again. In the words of Amy, "we've only seen him for like 3 seconds. Which didn't prevent him from saying "the situation" twice." After the first 4 episodes I think Mike might need to change his nickname to Blue Balls because despite his best efforts, he has yet to get laid. It's a crime against humanity, I mean the guy tans religiously and gets his hair cut by a man wearing a Bluetooth. What's not to love?

Where to begin with Snooki? That girl is the definition of hot mess. First of all, she enjoys being called Snooki. Second, she owns a hat that says, "Porn Star in Training". If only I hadn't already bought all my Christmas presents! At one point, she was literally tumbling in the club and flashing her junk. Did this embarrass the other guidos and guidettes? No. In fact, JWoww said that she was really proud of Snooki. Remind me to never attempt to impress anyone at the Jersey Shore.

I think that ought to do it for my Jersey Shore thoughts of the day...because it's 3 pm and I've done nothing but think about the trainwreck that is that show since I got up. I will leave you with this humorous article, make sure to watch the following videos "Alyssa Milano's Evolution: Jersey Shore" and the SNL clip with Snooki on Weekend Update.

I will say this, at least they can poke fun at themselves.

The Jersey Shore Situation

Years ago, I bought my brother a funny shirt from Urban Outfitters that said, "New Jersey only the strong survive". We, as Americans, have lovingly poked fun at New Jersey for years. I say lovingly because we've always known that just like most stereotypes, the majority of New Jersey residents were actually nothing like that. Enter: Jersey Shore. If we can't count on MTV to perpetuate stereotypes and promote the downward spiral of humanity, who can we count on? I'd like to thank the fine people at MTV for creating the wildly ridiculous Jersey Shore reality show and thus, making this post possible.
Naturally, I'd heard of the show and seen a number of humorous texts from last night on the subject, but I never dreamed I would watch it. Leave it to the always hilarious Daniel O'Brien of cracked.com to change my mind. My friend sent me the link to his article, Jersey Shore: Worst Thing to Happen to East Coast Since 9/11. How could I not want to read that? He rips the show to shreds so well that my friend Amy (not to be confused with my oh-so-famous mother, Amy Jo) and I decided that we might have to watch the show since it was so easy to rip on. We hadn't actually followed through on our plan, but when I started housesitting the other night I was bored and there was nothing else on TV. That's when it all began.

What kind of characters are on Jersey Shore, you ask? First, imagine white trash middle schoolers. Next imagine that they have their own house, a jacuzzi, unlimited alcohol and they sleep in tanning beds to maintain an eerie yet pleasant orange glow. When they aren't calling themselves guidos and guidettes--because, let's face it, we've all wondered why there isn't a female version of a guido--they insist on going by their self-imposed nicknames. A nickname is not something you can give yourself...unless you're on Jersey Shore. Example nicknames include: Snooki, JWoww, Jolie and The Situation.

What does one wear on the Jersey Shore? Honestly, the real question is what don't you wear on the Jersey Shore? If you're a guy, you should be more opposed to the concept of a shirt than Matthew McConaughey. It's not their fault though--you can't show off your overly pumped muscles, leathery tan and classy tattoos with a shirt on. But don't worry, you can still must wear your gold chains. If you absolutely have to wear a shirt, it for damn sure needs to be a tank top or a muscle tee. Why do they even make other shirts? Next, disregard the recommended amount of hair gel written on the container; they don't know what they're talking about. Pop on some lip gloss, and you're good to go.

Girls have a few more clothing options...let's start at the top and work our way down.
  • Hair     First, obtain any of the following: blonde streaks (they look great with black hair), clip-in extensions, a bump-it (how else will you create that amazing poof?), and some sort of potato chip bag clip to hold it all back.
  • Make-up     This is crucial. We can skip foundation because, thanks to tanning, your skin is a lovely shade of orange. Perfect, more time to spend on your eyes! Apply more eyeliner than a high school girl (I didn't think it was possible either, but apparently it is). Where fingernails are concerned, it's either acrylic or just chop your hands off.
  • Jewelry     Anything with a cross on it. Your shining example of Christ's love might not be enough, so make sure people know what religion you're representing. If you don't feel like wearing a cross, may I suggest a rhinestone outline of New Jersey? And don't forget your gigantic hoop earrings!
  • Shirt     Damn society, and it's requirement for women to wear shirts. Luckily, the Jersey Shore "ladies" have found a way to wear a shirt but still show off their breasts. There's 2 options, either wear a shirt that's split down the middle (to show off your gigantic fake breasts) or get a t-shirt and shred it.
  • Pants     We're going for an understated element here. Whether you're rocking shorts or a skirt, make sure it barely covers your ass checks...and while you're at it, stock up on some Vagisil because I have a feeling there are some yeast infections in your future. Some people might tell you that underwear is a requirement, on the Jersey Shore we call those people prudes. Interestingly enough, not all pants have to be spray-painted on. You can wear sweat pants as long as you roll the top of them over a few times and pair them with a bikini top, shredded t-shirt, etc.
  • Shoes     All I can say is, not enough people buy their shoes at Hustler. You just can't get that height of heels at a regular shoe store.
Stay tuned for more Jersey Shore posts...it's too easy, they almost write themselves.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

She Could be a Farmer in Those Clothes

One word: Farmville. I have nothing against people who participate in Farmville on Facebook...but I do not, for 3 seconds, understand the point of it. I also have no desire to don some CGI overalls and start plowing the virtual back 40 on my fake farm. Here's my question to all the faux farmers: How many times do I have to ignore your Farmy requests before you stop asking me?

I hate when I sign into Facebook and I have "fake" notifications. Here I am, thinking that somebody wrote on my Wall or commenting on a picture...and it's a damn thing about "new flair," Farmville, Sorority Life and Mafia Wars. I dream of a day in which I don't receive these notifications.

Am I giving off some sort of virtual farming vibe? Is there something about my personality that says, "Hey, invite that lady to have a pointless, fake farm"? If that is the case, please tell me because I clearly need to stop doing whatever is causing it. I'm not hating on people who participate in Farmville--if you want to do that, so be it. I'm sure that if I investigated Farmville, it would become my newest obsession. I don't have the time to take on a new obsession...so stop with the requests!

I'm on Facebook for social networking and friendly stalking--and nothing more.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nature's Reputation Ruiner: The Cold Sore

I can't decide which aspect of having a cold sore/fever blister is worse: the actual blister itself, or the fact that it is technically a form of the herpes virus. I remember teasing one of my college roommates every time she got a cold sore...she finally gave in and just referred to it as her herpe. I assume the singular version of herpes is herpe.

I don't think it's fair that people can get the herpes virus without the traditional fun associated with the infection. I also don't think it's fair for people to have to go to the gynecologist (or hoo-ha doctor, as I prefer to call her) if they aren't having sex. If that area is not getting visitors for fun, why should it be subject to anything else? I guess it's the purist in me. If I was going to go to steal something, I'd steal something worth stealing. If I was going to get herpes, I feel that sex should be involved. But alas, this is not the case.

I feel like whenever I have a cold sore, people are looking at me wondering if it's a cold sore or "the real deal". This may seem crazy to you, but I'll be honest: it's what I wonder whenever I see anyone (other than Amy Jo) with a cold sore. I mean, even if someone says they have a cold sore, there's a little part of me that's like, "whatever, whore." That "cold sore" has ruined your reputation. So let's be clear: I have a cold sore. I rarely get them...I haven't had one since Halloween 2007. I was hoping I'd never have one again. Dammit. But, I suppose if I want people to leave me alone I can lie and tell them it isn't a cold sore.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Cautionary Tale about the Importance of Addresses

Last night I had 3 parties to attend. Three...I had no idea I was so popular. Well, I had some idea. First was my friend's Ugly Christmas Sweater Party! We had to leave that party to go to the Quarter Century Birthday (aka 25th birthday) of my college roommate (and fake sorority co-founder). They were planning on going out to the clubs like all the hip, kids do later that evening. I have no money, so I was just meeting up with them for cake and ice cream at her boyfriend's house.

I've been to this house many times. However, I do not know the house number. I'm more of a landmark person; I remember the strangest things. I know I'm on the right road to my dad's house in Indiana because of the specific pro-life billboards I see (I counted them once). While studying abroad, my friends and I spent a weekend in Barcelona and I managed to get us around town. This might not sound impressive, but I had only been in Barcelona once before...2 and a half years earlier.

This is one of my many unmarketable skills. As you can imagine, this can also be a burden. Sometimes, landmarks change. I could never explain to people where the post office was because they never know what I'm talking about when I say, "It's by the pink house." Once I saw an episode of That 70s Show where Jackie writes out directions and they all sound like, "Take a left at the place I spit my gum out that time, drive until you see the store where I bought that green sweater," that's how I roll. I think it's hilarious, so here's a clip...it's at about minute 5 or so, but it's all good.

I never needed to know his specific house number because the lot next to his house has been empty for 8 million years (give or take). I just drive up to the house next to the empty lot. Can you see where this story is going? We get to the house, and I even say to my friend, "It's so easy to remember which house is his because it's by an empty lot." Hello foreshadowing.

We walk up to the door, and I figured that it would be unlocked since people were coming over. I try the knob...no such luck. I peek in the window and see a kid sitting on the couch. Although I thought to myself, "Whose kid is that?" I also knew that I had no idea who would be at the party, maybe somebody had a kid. So I ring the bell. A woman comes to the door, I ask if my friend is there, she looks at me like I'm on meth and says I have the wrong house. "Well that's weird," I thought, "he didn't move did he?" As we were walking back to the car, I noticed the house next door...with a familiar statue on the front porch. And that's when it hit me: I am at the wrong house. We quickly went to the right house and everything was fine (other than me feeling like an idiot). Apparently one of my other old roommates had made the same mistake the previous weekend.


The really weird thing about the lady who lives at the wrong house was the expression she had on her face when she came to the door. It was the look of terror. I felt like in her eyes, I looked like one of the bad guys from The Strangers. I never saw that movie because the previews alone set off my paranoia and I'd have to change the channel. I saw the DVD in Target the other day and freaked out just a little. If you don't remember that one, it's the one where the lady looks outside and there's 3 people standing in her yard with bags over their heads and I guess torture ensues. Part of the reason it scares me so much is that I remember overhearing my dad talking with someone once about a similarly grotesque crime that happened in the central Kentucky region in the 70s or something. The people were tortured, murdered, dismembered, all kinds of super sick stuff. And I just noticed on the imdb page that the movie is based on a true story...this merits investigation. *Just investigated: it's NOT a true story, but there is some "inspiration" from true crimes.

But anyway, this lady's looking at me like I've come to kill her. I'm smiling, holding a birthday card and I'm with a friend. Both of us are in the 5 ft. height range. What did she think we would accomplish? But if I'd been in her shoes, I would've done the same thing (only worse because I'm super paranoid). The lesson to take away from this story is to learn people's addresses.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Very Special Senior Day

Until I can find a full-time teaching gig, I'm subbing and working at Kroger. My second day back was last Wednesday...Senior Day. Senior Day is the first Wednesday of every month, and it's when senior citizens get 10% off their whole order. Sometimes, Senior Day can really suck (especially when the nursing home vans start pulling up). Senior Day is also a delight when you're afraid of old people (like I am). Here's a tale from a very special Senior Day.

I'd subbed the whole day, then went straight to Kroger. I had all sorts of things to arrange, clean, etc. What was directly in front of my first table? The table with complimentary coffee and cookies for the seniors--awesome, not in my way at all. There I am working, not being bothered by seniors, just going about my business. I'm also trying to drown out the ever-present ringing of the Salvation Army bell (and we already know my feelings about those). You know those people who do good deeds in order to get the recognition and kudos? They suck...and one is about to bust up in this story.

This guy comes in, stands right in front of the coffee/cookie table and loudly asks, "Where are the cups for this coffee? Because I want to take her a cup of coffee." First of all, the cups were right in front of him. I swear, I thought I saw him reach for one before he asked me. I suppose he wanted me to be super impressed at his generosity. But I was not about to cock my head to one side, smile and saw, "Awwww," like I'd just seen a puppy. When I encounter people like this, I make it a point not to acknowledge what they're doing (and encourage you to do the same), because it drives them crazy.

I also do this to "compliment fishermen" (people who try to show off in order to get a compliment). Compliment fishermen do things like sing when no one else is singing because they want you to say, "Oh wow, you have a nice voice." Don't do it. If you compliment these bastards, the terrorists win. Anyway, I alerted ol' boy to the cups sitting in front of him and he went about his "good" deed.

Whatever, that guy is weird and that's fine. It wasn't until yesterday (a full week after the incident) that I started getting pissed off about the situation. I'm not trying to insinuate that the Salvation Army lady has it easy--by no means. However...let me compare our situations:
  • She is sitting in a chair. I am not allowed to sit down while working.
  • She is wearing a hat, coat and mittens. Am I allowed to bundle up? No, despite the fact that I work right next to the door.
  • She is ringing a bell. I am doing a variety of other tasks in addition to answering the questions of the elderly.
  • It's not like she's not allowed to come in the store; she comes in, buys a snack, takes a break, etc.
I guess my point is that, most people work hard. Does one person deserve more admiration and appreciation simply because they work for a charitable organization? No. Why not? Because I said so.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm a Dot Com Now!

I broke down and did it, I purchased a domain name. If you type in my original blogspot address you will be redirect to the new address, but you might as well make note of the change and change it in your bookmarks (since I know that everyone has this site bookmarked!). I'm pretty pumped. From this point on, Back in Black will be found on:
www.bloginblack.com

As you can see, it might take a few days for all the kinks to be worked out...but everything should be running smoothly soon!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Slowly but Surely

Well, more blogs didn't occur quite as quickly as I had hoped. I got a call from the person in charge of my Masters program, letting me know that my portfolio was missing some items. I would like to state that these missing items were not listed on the rubric, and I think that may have played a factor in my not including them in the portfolio. I had to drive to school, pick my portfolio up, get the missing items together and work them into the portfolio...but I think I'm finally ready to turn it back in!

I also started subbing, and oddly enough the first classes I subbed for were the ones I was a student teacher for. That made the whole process easier. It still remains to be seen how easily doing both the substitute teaching and working at Kroger will be...

And speaking of teaching--the quest to make my blog more anonymous and my Facebook more "grown up" rages on. As you well know, I'm a huge fan of freedom of speech so it's been killing me to clean up my Facebook for "The Man". But, I also understand that it doesn't look professional...what can you do? If only having your profile set to "private" was actually private enough!

I thought I had everything on the blog taken care of; I removed my picture and my name. And then it occurred to me: The Crazy Bitch Saga (which I'm sure you all remember as it is the craziest thing that has ever happened to anyone in the history of the world). For those posts, I included screen shots of the actual Facebook messages. I blocked out other people's names, but I left mine...needless to say, I went back and fixed ALL those.

This leads me to the final possible change. I've previously mentioned doing a password protection or changing the web address...the password option would be super lame and as a general rule, I don't like it when  things are lame. Then I toyed with changing the address. After 37 million (or maybe less) attempts at names, I found one that was available. I changed the address but quickly changed it back when I discovered you would not be redirected from the old address to the new. I suppose I could tell people about the name change and rely solely on word of mouth, but I can't keep track of who I've told about this blog. I thought I was a shameless self-promoter, but you should hear Amy Jo--she tells everyone about my blog! If I had money, I might pay her some sort of promoter's fee (but I have no money, so she gets nothing...other than my love, the cheapest best gift of all). I could lose a large amount of readers with an address change.

This morning, I discovered that I can buy a domain name for $10 a year and you would be redirected from the old address to the new one. This could be the route I take. Right now, the renewal fee is $10 but it is subject to change. I can't imagine it would go from $10 to $100 or something! I'm gonig to talk this over with some of my more internet-savvy friends and get their opinions before I make the switch. I do admit that I like the idea of being responsible for something with a ".com" in the name (not to be confused with the always hilarious Grizz and Dot Com from Thirty Rock). I would feel more legit and less like another weirdo with a blog. If any of you have an opinions or tips on purchasing a domain name, let me know!

Right now I've got to get ready and do a few things today (it's 12:36 P.M. and I have yet to shower and have only eaten 3 Christmas Oreos) but the plan is to write some posts tonight. As usual, I've been writing them in my head throughout the week. The other night I didn't sleep at all because I was mentally blogging. Trust me, it's not as awesome as it sounds.