Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stop the Baby TMI!

I've blogged about babies before, but this post is different. It has become apparent that I am entering the phase of my life in which everyone I know is having babies. That's totally cool, I am 100% pro-baby. However, I'm not pro-baby overshare.

I'm sorry if this offends some of my friends, but I feel as though I must speak out. We, your friends and family, are super excited about the bun in your oven. That doesn't mean that you need to share every single little detail of the pregnancy with us. A lot of people seem to be starting pregnancy blogs, which seems like a good way to keep family members in the loop...but an email accomplishes the same thing. The reason I want to read your blog is so that I can find out your thoughts, not hear about how your ankles are swollen and you have to pee all the time. The good thing about a blog is that I don't have to read it. I guess if you insist on sharing all the details about your pregnancy with the world, that's the way to go.

This brings me to what I cannot tolerate. The Facebook overshare. The last thing I want to see in my News Feed is stuff about breast-feeding, labor & delivery, and questions about motherhood. I don't need to know what's going on with your lady parts nor can I recommend a good jogging stroller.

If you don't think that the baby overshare is one of the most serious issues our country has seen since annual return of the McRib, just head on over to STFU, Parents and see for yourself. This might be my new favorite site...although I can't unsee or unread some of what I've seen on that site.

And as long as we're talking about things that I can't unsee, I should mention public breast-feeding. I'll be honest with you, it really creeps me out. I know you've [hopefully] got a blanket or cloth or whatever covering the girls, but we all know what's going on. Before I get yelled at about how I don't understand how beautiful breastfeeding is because I'm not a mother, I should let you know that several of my friends with children agree with me. I love how the excuse is almost always, "But it's natural!" You know what? A lot of things are "natural". Pooping is natural, too (in fact, there's even a book on the subject). That doesn't make it OK for me to just forego the whole bathroom scene and just poop wherever I happen to be at the time. There's a time and place for pooping. And there's also a time and place for breastfeeding.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where do you think we are? Myspace?

So, this morning I got out of bed when I heard Amy Jo saying, "What in the holy hell?" from our family room. Somehow, the dogs had been shredding toilet paper all morning. She'd already found them in the hall and thought that was the extent of the damage, but oh no. Our family room was covered with toilet paper. After we cleaned up, I entertained the notion of going back to sleep but quickly realized I was hungry. "Mmmm, scrambled eggs," I thought to myself, then I remembered that thanks to my new allergies that dish is off the menu. Then I remembered that I can't have egg sandwiches either. That's when I decided to see what the weekend specials were at Doodle's (I mean, as long as I was getting all depressed, I might as well go the distance).

So I grab my trusty iPhone and pull up Facebook. I went to the messages section and started looking under "other" because that's where the Doodle's messages used to be. Naturally, they're not there any more because Facebook changes layouts more than some people probably change their sheets. I'm still clueless as to their specials, because the first message in my list of "other" messages was from a gentleman caller. I had to click on the message and see what the what was going on.
I've marked through his full name and email address, but
I had to leave his picture for you to get the full effect.

 First of all, I don't know how on earth he saw my profile because I have it set on super-private. I'm sure all he could see was my picture. While we're on that subject, here is what my Facebook profile picture is:
Do I look remotely like an age-appropriate woman
(friend or girlfriend) for this guy? No. No I do not.

I've never had any serious relationship to speak of, and I do feel strongly that that is an aspect of my life due for some change [ASAP, as long as we're on the subject], but this isn't really what I had in mind.

First of all, I love grammar. If I'm going to seriously consider any man who "loves privacy with my woman" (my favorite part of the message), he better damn well know how to construct a moderately correct sentence. He should also know that the letter u has never made an appearance in the word "divorce". Speaking of the letter u, the only time it is acceptable to use it in place of the actual word is in a text message. I'm actually against it then as well, but not everyone has unlimited texting and/or long text messages don't appear as one message in their phones and it's frustrating to get a message that's split up (out of order).

At first, I kind of thought he was foreign based on his English. His Facebook profile makes no indication. His Wall does inform me that he has listed his language as English. Amy Jo and I both strongly questioned the "Dave knows English" post. I should also mention that Amy Jo wants me to message him back. She wants me to tell him that I'm only interested in people my own age, but I think it's better that I just do nothing (well, nothing besides blog about it).

Second of all, we're also fairly certain that Dave is either Amy Jo's age or older. I mean, look at his hair. First of all, much of it is gone. Second of all, the remaining hair is grey and white. And I don't think it's like how Steve Martin's hair went grey when he was very young. And it's certainly nothing like the hotness pulled off by Anderson Cooper's silvery 'do.

Another fun fact about my would-be suitor, is that all of his Facebook friends are women (shocking!) and several them are pictured in bikinis or have their Facebook name listed as something like "HotKatie". I know that Facebook has really gone downhill, but isn't that nonsense better left to MySpace?

I think the message for all of us to take away from this is that any interested parties better speak up. I clearly have romantic (or Romantic, as Dave might say) options. Tell your friends that they'd better hurry up and ask me out, before I run away with the next guy whose name appears in my "other" Facebook messages.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sleep? What's That?

I've had the hardest time falling asleep lately. It's almost always because I can't turn my brain off. One day, Amy Jo came home and told me about some study she heard on NPR. They say that if you are the type who can't turn their brain off then you should write out a list before you go to bed. Write a list of everything you have to do the next day and then say to yourself, "OK, it's done."  I explained that this is all well and good but my problem is that my brain isn't always focusing on things I have to do. At least half the time, the most random things are running through my mind. I thought I'd come up with a few examples to share.
  • There was one week where I couldn't sleep for several nights because all my brain could do was sing songs from The Lion King. Just Can't Wait to be King, Be Prepared, all the classics.
  • Just 2 nights ago, I couldn't sleep because I started thinking about being a fruit. I thought that if I were a fruit, and someone decided to mix me up in a salad or cocktail I'd be super pissed if they put me in there with sucky fruits like cantelope and honeydew. I hate both of those. And when they're in a fruit salad they make all the fruit taste gross.
  • I've also just finished reading The Hunger Games series (which is amazing!) so a lot of my dreams have been filled with post-apocalyptic fights to the death. What made one of them particularly weird and terrifying was that Miley Cyrus was also in the Games with me and she kept singing The Climb over and over.
I actually had a whole list going the other night and I debated grabbing my phone to jot them down. But I thought that might make it even harder to go to sleep and was certain I'd remember everything. Nope. Not so much.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tattoo Saga

I got a new tattoo yesterday and my friend Maggie wanted me to blog about it. It's actually not an interesting story, but the story of my first tattoo is a bit comical so I'll write about that.

It was August 2003 and my friends and I would soon be departing for college. My friend LeighAnn discovered that her mom and stepdad would be out of town for about a week and she'd have the house to herself. She began thinking of things we could do (elegant dinner parties, book clubs, you know--kid stuff). Obviously we were going to have some small parties in their absence, but LeighAnn decided that this would be a perfect time to get our tattoos.

My parents knew that I wanted a tattoo. I was 18 and it was my decision. LeighAnn's parents did not know and she did not want them to know. We'd both been 18 for a few months--we're not those kids who ran out on their 18th birthday and just got any old thing because they could. She decided on a small daisy and I decided on a small star.

My favorite part of the story is what my dad said before I went, "Make sure that whatever you get doesn't have some other meaning or something. If I find out that whatever your tattoo is actually means something else, I'll turn the stove on and remove it myself." I told him I was fairly confident that a star was just a star but I'd double check at the tatoo parlor.

I asked Billy the Tattoo Artist if stars meant anything other than stars and he assured me that they did not. Sweet action. I had also discovered that the base price for tattoos was $40. That's not a lot of money, but it did seem like I should get a slightly bigger tattoo to get my money's worth. My original plan was a tattoo the size of maybe a 50 cent piece...what I got is probably about the size of a sand dollar. I say probably because it's on the back of my hip (*not a tramp stamp) so I don't see it all the time. I have been known to forget it's there, catch my reflection in the mirror before getting into the shower (an already unpleasant experience in my book) and find myself saying, "Ah! What's that?" It's a nautical star, despite my general fear of water. Amy Jo said it made her think that I was in the Navy. But let's face it, when you look at me the first thing you think of is the Navy--with or without seeing the tattoo.

Back to the actual process. I was sitting on a chair that was raised up so my hip was more eye level for Billy the Tattoo Artist (that is what I always call him when telling this story). The tattooing begins. Tattoos hurt. Anyone who says different is a dirty rotten liar whose pants are probably also on fire. It's a needling, jabbing you repeatedly at a very high speed. That's a recipe for discomfort. Mind you, I was not under the impression that this would be pain free. You sort of go a little numb to it after awhile; maybe it's the adrenaline or something I don't know (what am I, a doctor?).

Another guy who works at the tattoo parlor walks in front of me and says, "Uh-oh, Billy you might want to lower the chair because she's completely white." That's when I realized I hadn't really eaten anything that day, what with all the excitement about the tattoo. Soooo, I almost passed out a little bit. They went and got me a drink, root beer if memory serves and Billy the Tattoo Artist decided that he would not add the shading because he didn't want me to pass out.

Tattoos are fairly addictive, but I made sure to pace myself. I have no plans of becoming a highly inked individual. I knew I wanted something else, but I didn't know what. When I was visiting LeighAnn in Los Angeles for my 21st birthday, she suggested we get more tattoos. She got one and I was all ready to go, but their base price was $100 and I figured I could get a better deal back home.

When they put the bandage over it, I looked
a little suicidal. Laurel came back with the food
and I held up my arm and said, "I just missed
you so much!"
After I studied in Sevilla my senior year of college, I knew what I wanted. The motto of Sevilla looks kind of like this: NO8DO. There's a pretty cool story about it, but I don't feel like typing the whole thing (besides I need to eat dinner and get to the movies to watch Harry Potter). You can read the history of the symbol here. In English, the motto means "It [Sevilla] has not left me". I thought it was appropriate as my experience abroad was amazing and it's something that will never leave me.

I went to Sevilla in 2006 and yet I just got this tattoo now. I've been able to psych myself in and out of doing it for years. I was afraid that I'd forgotten how much it hurt and that I couldn't handle it. Then, my friend Amy made an appointment to get another tattoo. She wanted me to make an appointment too, but I knew I'd convince myself not to do it if I had an appointment (weird, I know). Instead, I just showed up to the place (fairly confident I would be getting the tattoo). Amy's tattoo was being sketched and Laurel had gone to get Chick-Fil-A so I just went ahead and got my tattoo. The end.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What to Eat

My search for foods that comply with my newfound allergies has begun. It's been magical. To give you an idea...here's the Facebook status I posted about it:

Pop Quiz! Which would be easier: finding restaurants with a wide variety of gluten/wheat/rye/egg-free foods or finding an eskimo mermaid who rides her pet water-breathing unicorn sidesaddle through the lost city of Atlantis?


Now, I'm not going to give away the answer...but I think you can figure it out.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Scratch That

This is just a silly little post...I've made amazing strides since my last post, those whole two days ago. I did some quasi-successful grocery shopping.

Not too long after I did the questionable shopping on Saturday, I got my food allergy results back. It turns out I'm highly allergic to a couple teeny tiny things...like gluten, wheat, rye and eggs. The bad news is that those items are in just about everything. The good news is that really limits my range of selection in the grocery store.

Look out, grocery store!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Not a Real Grown-Up

I'm 26 and still not a real grown-up--and not just because I still say "grown up". I cannot grocery shop to save my life. I still live at home while I'm paying off student loans and saving money so Amy Jo is the main shopper in the house. Not to mention I just finished being on Nutrisystem for a full year so I didn't have to think about food that wasn't mailed to me.
Every summer, I dogsit for a friend. And every summer they leave me the credit card to get some groceries for the week. And every summer I purchase the most random assortment of items ever. I buy food like I buy clothing. I buy individual items as opposed to entire outfits or meals. Here's what I got this time:
  • Special K cereal
  • blueberries
  • bananas
  • applesauce
  • Pringles (sour cream and onion)
  • Diet Cherry 7up
  • Can of refried beans (no other Mexican food. Just a can of beans--I do this EVERY year)
  • Smart Ones macaroni and cheese
  • 2 boxes of Skinny Cow ice cream desserts
  • York Peppermint Patty (because I got hungry while shopping)
What kind of list is that? I've set a new goal: successfully be able to purchase proper grown up groceries by the time I'm 30.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jolly Old Town

The other day I found myself thinking about The Wizard of Oz. Everything was fine until I started thinking about the lyrics to The Merry Old Land of Oz...then it became a bit disturbing. Check out this video--I couldn't embed it for some reason.

They sing the song once it's been decided that Dorothy & Co. will in fact get an audience with the Wizard. Then everyone is like, "Hey you guys are a hot mess and we can't let you see the Wizard like that. Let's go to the Wash & Brush Co. where they'll clean you up." When they get to the Wash & Brush Co. the facility seems tailor made for a girl, lion, tin man and scarecrow--like those are the only demographics served at the establishment. The disturbing part is when they're working on Dorothy.

Wash & Brush Co. Girls: We can make a dimpled smile out of a frown
Dorothy: Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown?
Wash & Brush Co. Girls: Uh-huh
Dorothy: Jolly old town!

I'm not even going to ask how they make dimpled smiles out of frowns. Had they sung that to me, I would've been concerned. But not Dorothy. Dorothy says, "Hey, while you're at it, how about dying my eyeballs?" What's up with that? Had the movie been made in 2011, Dorothy could've just asked for some colored contact lenses. But the movie was made in 1939 and I'm pretty sure that contacts (or at the very least the colored ones) weren't a thing.

Why was that the lyric they went with? It wasn't like this was based on a true story and they wanted to maintain some sort of integrity. It's just a line in a musical. We could've dyed her socks to match her gown or something normal. But no, we dyed her eyeballs. I would think that, had that happened, Dorothy would've had bigger problems than just getting back to Kansas. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em would have been supporting her all their lives because she would've been blind.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Harry Potter Preparations

I've officially begun my preparations for the last Harry Potter film's release on July 15, 2011. How does one prepare for such an event? Let me tell you.
Lola decided that she didn't like me reading
Harry Potter. I did debate reading them
to her because I think she'd like them.
  • Entered the release date in the calendar on my iPhone so I won't forget.
  • Changed my ringtone to "Hedwig's Theme"
  • Purchased the first 7 movies on Blu Ray in order to hold a marathon.
  • Started re-reading all 7 books so the information is fresh in my mind. I started yesterday, read for about an hour and a half and I'm already half-way through book one (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone). Of course, that was back in the days when Harry Potter books were a manageable size (309 pages) that could be held easily with one hand.
  • Host a separate film festival for Amy Jo. Amy Jo didn't read all the books, what with being a busy grown up at the time (lame), and she hasn't seen all the movies either so she needs to be caught up one way or another. Last night we watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It's crazy how all the characters look like such little babies in the first movie.
  • Ideally, this would also include a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter amusement park at Universal Studios...some day! If I were getting married any time soon, that would seriously be on my list of Honeymoon destinations and I'm not even ashamed to say it.
I love Harry Potter. Ar first I thought, it's going to be so weird when there's no more new Harry Potter stuff and then I heard about J.K. Rowling's upcoming announcement. She's creating something called Pottermore and will announce what it is in less than two days. Watch the countdown here.

Man, I wish I'd been a wizard.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

You say "Liberal Pussy" like it's a Bad Thing

My love of bumper stickers is no secret. I've blogged about it many times; six times by my count.
Get ready for number 7...

If you don't have something like this on your car all I have to
say to you is, "Why do you hate America so much?"
I was driving around yesterday and I got behind this pickup truck with a decal across the back window. I'm not talking about the majestic ones that take up the entire back window like this American flag and patriotic bald eagle, although doesn't it make you proud to be an American? You know, you don't really see much of this behavior in other countries and I can't help but wonder why? Why don't people in England emblazon the rear windows of their cars and obstruct their view while driving just to show some country pride? I guess that's a question for a different post.

Back to the truck I saw. The decal was just a sentence but I believe it spoke volumes. I'm going to try and recreate it as best I can:

I went to IRAQ to fight for your freedom YOU LIBERAL PUSSY!

There are so many things about this statement that irritate me. Believe it or not, my main issue does not relate to being called a pussy. The most frustrating thing about this is that this person obviously believes that just because somone is against the war that they are against the troops. That couldn't be further from the truth. They're just doing their job and I respect that. I think comedian Mike Birbiglia puts it best when he says:

I love the troops! Because if they weren't the troops, I would be the troops. And I would be the worst troops. I'd be like, "You want me to carry a gun this heavy and run away screaming? That is too many things."

That sums me up in a nutshell. I couldn't possibly do one-tenth of what the troops do and I have never for one second thought that I could. I hate that there has been all this propoganda that makes it seem as though anti-war and pro-troops cannot coexist. I know plenty of conservative people who are/were against the war too. And I know liberals who are/were for the war. Believe it or not, some people are able to separate each individual issue before rendering their opinion.

Now, let's get back to this whole "liberal pussy" issue. I like to think that my being a pussy has nothing to do with my being liberal. My cowardice and weakness attribute to being a pussy, not my political views. If you're going to insult me, I'd at least like it to be accurate. Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's Not that Hard

There are a variety of aspects of summer vacation that are awesome. One of them is the abundance of time. Unlike during the school year, when something irritates me I have the time to ramble on about it to you, my 7 blog readers.

Today I was running a few errands around town. The final errand was at the Boston Road Kroger. Amy Jo can tell you that I have named and categorized almost all the Krogers around our home (because I use my time wisely). The Marketplace Kroger in Beaumont if obviously nice. The Bellerive Kroger is where I worked for quite some time so everything there makes sense to me. The Brannon Crossing Kroger is the Twilight Zone Kroger because what is up with that store?! Nothing is where it should be and it doesn't make sense and every time Amy Jo and I go in there we get angry. Finally, Boston Road Kroger is the Kroghetto. It's not the most ghetto Kroger in Lexington, but for my side of town it's kinda skanky. I was there because it was the one on my way home.

I was walking in to buy some various Skinny Cow desserts as a part of the lifelong struggle that is my weight. Any way, the girl working the floral department was watering the plants outside. This was my least favorite part of working in floral--your hands always got gross from the hose and your shoes got wet and you had to walk unnecessarily (hmmm, a piece to the weight struggle puzzle presents itself). As I approached the door she set down the watering wand (see photo and hilarious quote below). This is not a particularly fancy watering wand; it cannot be turned off without shutting off the water. So, yea, why wouldn't you just set that down on the ground?

"I saw a product on late night TV. It said, 'You can water your hard to reach plants with this product.' Who the fuck would make their plants hard to reach?  I know you need water, but I'm gonna make you hard to reach. I will throw water at you. Hopefully they will invent a product before you shrivel and die. Think like a cactus." ~Mitch Hedberg
She set it face down because we all know water isn't strong enough to move things. Water never destroys entire towns or anything. As I walked by, the water decided it was tired of having The Man keep it down so it found all its strength and turned the oppressive watering wand over. Oh, and did I mention that it sprayed me with water? Who wouldn't want to walk into a freezing cold grocery store now that they're all wet? Normal people, that's what they're called.

I like to think of myself as an easygoing person. You may disagree based on my blogging, but you must understand that I blog because I try not to say all these things to people right when they happen (also I'm self-centered). I talk about them behind their backs, because I was raised right. I'm a chronic over-tipper, even if the service is terrible I find myself thinking, "well I don't know what's going on in their life and their job might be really hard" or whatever. In this instance, I actually know what the job entails. I did that exact job for several years--and I never sprayed customers with a hose. It's not hard, you just continue holding the watering wand rather than setting it on the ground like a weirdo. It's actually less work to continue holding it than it is to set it down.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

America the Beautiful

I wrote this post while I was still in Argentina, so I suppose it would have made sense to post it sooner but I forgot about it being on my phone.

Traveling always reminds me of just how much I love America. Now I don't want to be a traitor to my generation; I know it's hip to talk about how ignorant Americans are, etc. etc.--and I do! I'm not saying that we're less ignorant but I'm saying we should get a little more credit than we're given.

As my friend Leah pointed out, America acts like it has contributed all sorts of stuff to the world and guess what? IT HAS! America is responsible for a lot of great crap like the Snuggie, the KFC Double Down and the iPad.

Americans are always seen as being loud and confused in foreign countries. This is partially because in many foreign countries they don't observe the basic rules of society like we do in America.
  • Take, for example, the line. I've traveled to my share of countries and not once have I seen the line properly executed. Some of us wait in line while others just waltz in like they're the most important person on God's green earth. If this happened in America, the line would rally together to correct that person and the cashier or whomever would help. In other countries everyone just looks at each other helplessly. The system breaks down, and then my friend you've got anarchy on your hands.
  • Let's talk about proper signage for a minute. I was in the Buenos Aires post office, utterly lost due to a lack of signage. I'm not demanding that the signs be in English--I just need something to go on (instructions in some recognizable language, IKEA style picture instructions, PA announcements, SOMETHING). I wasn't the only one who was confused--people from Argentina were looking around like "WTF is this place?" In America, we operate from the mindest that everyone is a moron and that is working out great. We put instructions on anything that will hold still long enough. We take the time to remind you not to use your hairdryer in the bathtub or hold a chainsaw too close to your genitals. It's called caring.
My point is that, there are a number of things we do right and there's no reason for the rest of the world not to get on the bandwagon.

What is it with Me and Coffee Times?

If you remember my post "And in this Corner, Creepy McCreeperson" from 2009, you know that sometimes I meet strange people [albeit against my will] at Coffee Times. Well, I did it again...although we didn't actually meet.

As usual, Kristin and I were meeting at Coffee Times to catch up on life. I was there to give her a birthday present and tell her all about my recent trip to Argentina. All of our favorite, more secluded seats were taken so we had to sit up front, right by the aisle to go up to the counter and order. There was a guy sitting at the table next to us, working on a laptop. To fully appreciate the story, you need to know what he was wearing. He kind of looked like Milton from Office Space, but thinner. He wasn't skinny, but he wasn't fat. He was probably in his 40s. Sadly, I forget what kind of shoes he was wearing...probably flip flops. He had on shorts (despite the fact that it was about 50 degrees and raining outside) and a black tank top with something about a Lexington Pride Parade written in rainbow letters. He also had relatively thick glasses and a moustache.

We sat down at our small table; he and Kristin were seated back to back, which meant I could look over his shoulder and see what he was doing on his laptop. He also had headphones in, so I probably could've talked about him if I wanted to--but I didn't. For the first part of our conversation, he was watching random YouTube videos. Most of these videos featured drag queens dressed as Lady Gaga, covering Lady Gaga songs. Fine, whatever. I'm not here to judge. Regardless, it was hard to focus on my conversation with Kristin. Little did I know, it was about to get harder.

The next thing I knew, he was on some website called "The Bear Den" or something like that. The tagline of the website boasted that this was the social network for bears. I had already surmised that this guy was gay based on his tank top. I don't remotely care if you're gay, straight, bi or whatever else there is. So now I knew that this gentleman preferred "bears" or large, hairy gay men. While that is a little TMI, it wasn't anything to get me upset. I did find it odd because he wasn't particulary hairy himself. I think I did type a message to Kristin on my phone that I was going to have to tell her about this guy because I was surprised that he seemed to be looking up some rather personal things in a public place.

We start talking again, and naturally my eyes wandered over Kristin's shoulder to see what he was up to now. He was still on the bear site. But now, there were all these little image files that he was clicking on. "Probably profiles of other bears," I thought. He clicked on one and I strained my eyes, because now I was intrigued. Well, it wasn't a face in that image. My eyes strained more. "Wait a minute," I thought, "is that? Noooo. It couldn't be. In the middle of Coffee Times? He wouldn't--oh, apparently he would." That's right. This man was looking at pictures of penises in the middle of the coffee shop.

The Bear Den (or whatever it was called) must also be used for dating. I suppose people want to see what they're getting into before setting up a date, so it appears to be common practice for the men on this site to take pictures of "themselves". Click after click was another random dude holding his dick. I rarely write poetry, but I think that one is pretty good.

I know my eyes got huge because Kristin starts mouthing, "what is he looking at now?" and I just start shaking my head. It just didn't seem right to me--I mean, that's not what free WiFi is for. It's not that I'm a prude, but Coffee Times is a nice place. People bring kids in there all the time. Not to mention, every person who would walk up to the counter could see the screen of his laptop. I decided to say something, luckily, my friend (also named Kristin) was working at the time. Ironically, she was there when we met the cage fighter as well. "Ummm, I don't know what your policy on this is..." I began. The first thing she said was, "What is it with you guys meeting weirdos in this place?!" She told her boss who eventually went and told the man to shut it down.

Kristin and I didn't return to our table. I was a little afraid that he would get mad and try to say it was just because he was gay. It wasn't. I would've said something whether it was a man or a woman looking at gay/straight/whatever images.

What's strange is that Coffee Times is not a shady place. It's in the middle of suburbia and it's not even like they do open mic nights or something that attract all the weirdos and hipster posers. It's just a nice, neighborhood coffee shop. I've never heard of anyone else having these issues there. I guess I'm just special.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What's Your Deal: Aerolineas Argentina (Part Two)

Now it's morning. I've slept and eaten my complimentary breakfast (which was tasty but upset my stomach). I still haven't brushed my teeth because my hotel didn't offer complimentary toothpaste. I rubbed conditioner on my aforementioned raw thighs because they also didn't provide lotion and I'm wearing yesterday's smelly life jacket clothes. I also found some $10 flip flops at the hotel gift shop and have since freed the blisters masquerading as my feet from Nike's painful grip. I'm sitting outside, waiting on the bus that's supposed to take us to the airport. It's supposed to come at 9. The crazy lady I sat with on the bus last night said something about there being 3 flights to BsAs--I'd better be on the first flight, especially considering they tried to bump me yesterday. If need be, I'll make a big old-fashioned American scene.

I debated getting a taxi and beating the buses to the airport but there aren't any taxis around. If one pulls up, I'll know it's meant to be. I do hate the idea of paying more money in a situation that's out of my control, but let's face it, I've been paying all night. You know, this hotel is pretty nice...I wish I could enjoy it.


I gave in and got a taxi. So there went another $25 of my money. I arrived at the airport and got in line. Someone came up and told the people behind me that their flight was delayed. I laughed and said, "well, at least it's not cancelled. The flight last night was cancelled and I've been stuck here." I waited through the line and was told that the flight would be boarding at 12:30--so I would get to spend another 3 hours in the airport (which is fun because they've got all kinds of stuff like...chairs). I dropped a significant amount of change at the airport (but did get some great gifts for people...including myself).

Before I knew it, we were going through the same old song and dance of a delay. The flight kept getting pushed back later and later. I went to the counter (waited through the line) and asked them what was up. The claimed that the flight was "coming". "So is Christmas, the Apocalypse, and death," I said, "what's coming now?" Basically these people didn't have to tell me anything. That's when I texted Amy Jo and asked her if she thought I could go demand money. She said it was worth a shot, so I went back downstairs and waited through the line all over again.

"Hi." I said, "Can I have some money?" The agent was rightfully perplexed. "Do you want to cancel your flight?" she asked me. "Oh no way. I want the hell out of here but you've stolen 16 hours of my life and I think you should give me money," I responded. That's when she told me that I could only get my money back if I cancelled my flight but our flight was coming. The next part of the story involves me marching over to the competing airline's ticket counter and asking if they had any flights because I needed to get out of here before I punched someone.

We finally got on a plane. I left that airport at 1:30 p.m. Only 16 hours after I was supposed to leave. Come to find out that Aerolineas Argentina is owned by the government and that's why they can do whatever they want without having to explain themselves. I've determined to open my own airline in Argentina because the people need reliable air transport!

What's Your Deal: Aerolineas Argentina (Part One)

This story of my trip to Iguazú is written progressively, over time...but here it is.

So the part where I'm actually at Iguazú Falls is amazing. Everything else about the trip sucked--thanks to Aerolineas Argentina. I planned a day trip to the falls because I had heard that they were freaking amazing (I was not misinformed). The plan was to leave Buenos Aires at 7:55 a.m. I got up at 6 and was in line at the airport shortly before 7. The line took forever, but at 7:35 or so I checked in and was told to go to counter 4. No one was at counter 4 except me and 2 other travellers who'd been given the same cryptic instructions. We finally found out that the flight is "full". Despite my Orbitz document saying that my seat was confirmed when I bought the ticket weeks before, I had been bumped. They went ahead and arranged a seat for me on the flight leaving at 1:35. My flight back to BsAs was leaving at 9:30 p.m. that night--so I was getting screwed.

We were all pissed in our respective languages and went to talk to Guadalupe (the woman in charge). Unlike her saintly namesake, Guadalupe was not being the most helpful person. Well, she was offering me transportation back to my hotel for the duration of the wait...but I wasn't staying in a hotel. All we could do is sit there and wait for cancellations. If 1 seat opened up, I got it. If 2 seats opened up, the couple got it. Finally, I decided to talk to Guadalupe. "I don't understand," I growled, "this document says that my seat is confirmed and I want to know who the fuck is in my seat?!" Thankfully, the f-bomb was not lost in translation on Guadalupe. She explained that yesterday there had been an accident involving a number of birds flying into the jet engine and all the people from those flights had priority today. I felt a little bit bad about the f-bomb, but I was more nervous about the whole bird fiasco. Do I really want to share the skies with suicidal and/or kamikaze birds?

I sat and waited, freaked out internally about being brought to my demise by birds, and had a nice "angry cry". Good news was that a seat opened up and I got it (sorry lovebirds). Obviously, the birds had wised up and not pulled any fast ones. But, there was another person sitting in my damn window seat...once again, I was nice and let her sit there (why do I keep doing that?). But I felt that this evened out the inappropriate language towards Guadalupe, but all this lady did was sleep. Waste of a window seat, lady!

So them I'm at the falls and it's great. I took over 400 pictures. Seriously. Anyway, I return to the bustling airport of Iguazú. It makes the Bluegrass Airport look like Heathrow or JFK. I was 3.5 hours early but I had lost all feeling in my feet (other the massive blisters) and I just wanted to not move. I was also experiencing a delightful feeling of raw skin on my left thigh--you see, I'd gotten SOAKED at the park and although I have lost a decent amount of weight, my thighs still have been known to touch while walking...fun times. Oh, and I also smelled like a dirty life jacket.

My flight was the only one left that night. Imagine my shock when the only flight leaving (or arriving for that matter) is delayed. What is going on with the world? [Here's where the story turns into a stream of consciousness thing]. So that's where I am right now. It's 9:50 p.m. and I'm sitting in the airport, exhausted and confused. I've been awake for 15.5 hours--which doesn't sound like a lot but I toured the bejesus out of those falls. Plus I didn't get the best night's sleep because I was excited. Oh, did I mention I can't get into Leah's apartment without her letting me in? And now who knows when I'll get back?! Awesome. Plus people near me have been speaking some super annoying language. And now this dude is drinking mate which is weird and I'm still unsure of it.

I also don't even have my kindle because I didn't want to get it wet. So I can't continue reading Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea and I think that would really cheer me up. I should've taken off 20 minutes ago. Instead, the power just went off. It came back on pretty quickly...but still. This is decidedly worse than sitting in Bluegrass Airport that one time. I have no ability to play on my phone--tweet, Facebook, what have you. I have nothing to read and no one to talk to.

An hour after our departure time, the flight was cancelled. The airline put us all up in hotels--something tells me they are quite familiar with this procedure. We get to the hotel (22 km away) and I rush in so I can just get my room and go to bed. Well, the rooms aren't ready. Of course. The hotel suggests that we eat dinner (on the airline's dime, of course). But it's 11:30 going on midnight (ironically right around the time I should've gotten back to BsAs) and I'm an American. I ate dinner hours ago. Also, why aren't the rooms ready this late? I loiter around the counter until they finally just give me a room. I was too tired to shower. I had no toothpaste, pajamas...nothing.

What's Your Deal: American Airlines Passenger

My trip to Argentina had just begun. I boarded my flight in Louisville, prepared to make the first leg of my trip (Louisville to Dallas). I get to my row and there's some Asian dude in my window seat (his race is actually essential to the story). I decided to be nice and let him sit there. I figured that the flight was reasonably short and it would be some good karma or whatever. However, I wasn't going to stand for any of these shenanigans on my long flight. I'll totally take what's mine on that flight.

Anyway, I squish in between him and some other dude who seems nice (but married and thus worth less of my and my monumentally loud biological clock's time). Seat stealer is also hogging the arm rest, btw.

Most of us are waiting to to learn all about how to buckle a seat belt and get this show on the road, but seat stealer is watching movies on his iPad. I'm not sure that he got the memo about iPads being earbud compatible. He's watching these movies as though we all requested to listen to some B-list Matthew McConaughey film. Surely this won't go on the entire flight--oh but it will. I must say, that iPad has an impressive battery life. I debated saying something to him, (such as, "hey, you can either steal my seat OR be an annoying iPad douche, but you can't do both"), but I was fairly certain he didn't speak English.

"My what a racist assumption," you might be thinking, "just because someone is foreign doesn't mean they don't know English." You couldn't be more right. HOWEVER. He had the Chinese subtitles turned on. Let's think about that one. The sound of the iPad is what's annoying everyone and this douchebag doesn't even need the flipping sound on because he's reading all the dialouge anyway! WHAT'S YOUR DEAL?

Luckily, my teeth grinding managed to drown out most of the audio and I was able to read my book.

Monday, April 11, 2011

FYI

I am back from Argentina and while I was gone, I did manage to write several posts (thanks to being trapped in a very small airport). I should be able to get those up ASAP! Just wanted to let all 3 people who read this know! LOL.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Mall

I went to the mall yesterday in hopes of finding some spring clothes for my upcoming vacation. Typically, when I go to the mall, I don't venture beyond Macy's. But I had some various birthday coupons and stuff, so I decided to explore the rest of the mall. I was immediately reminded of why I never do that.
  • Kiosks     I hate kiosks. I feel bad for the people that work at them...but not so bad that I'm willing to put up with them hollering at me and trying to stop me and ask me about skincare or something. Just the thought of it stresses me out. I usually dart around them, pretend I'm on the phone or go into a store I'm not remotely interested in. Amazingly enough, I was not harassed by any kiosk employees yesterday, but the stress was still there.
  • Sunday Walkers     I have the same problem when I'm walking the halls at school. How is it physically possible for some people to walk sooooo slooooowwwwww? I understand if you're old, but these people were not old. I'm not saying that everyone should walk as fast as I do (although they might be surprised at what they got accomplished, because I walk very fast), but for the love of everything: walk with a purpose. Have you ever noticed how when you're trying to get around these people they seem to zig-zag back and forth to completely block you from passing? I don't know why they want to make my head explode, but they're doing a fabulous job.
  • Disgusting Sights     Yesterday I saw two different men in jean cut-off shorts. I also saw a couple making out in the middle of Macy's--did I mention they were about 60? These are all things that I can never unsee.
  • Children     After I'd been to every conceivable store, I headed back towards my car. While making my way through the crowds of slow walkers, aging make-out artists and the extremely fashion challenged, I kept seeing young girls dressed as baby hookers (to borrow a phrase from the most recent episode of 30 Rock). What parents are letting their children go out like this? I'm sure some are OK with it, but I suspect that most of them have no idea. This made me terrified to ever have children. You might think your kid is one of the good ones, but how do you know she's not at the mall dressed like a small-town slut at the age of 12?
It was a very stressful trip, and I do not anticipate leaving Macy's anytime in the future.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Other Side of Twenty

It's official. I am now closer to thirty than twenty. I turned 26 yesterday...I don't want to say I'm freaking out, but it definitely feels different. I guess I'm always thinking about the things I thought I would have accomplished by certain times in my life. I never had any specific goals, more like assumptions based on TV and movies. I know it's a ridiculous thing to evaluate your life on, but whatever.

Did I ever in 1,000 years think that at the age of 26 I'd still be living at home? Nooooo. I always assumed I'd have a kick ass apartment. Granted, I'm paying off my student loans way faster by doing this so I know it's a good decision but it doesn't change the fact that it makes me feel slightly lame. Did I think I'd still be alone when I was 26? No. I'm not saying I thought I'd be married with a baby or anything, but I thought there'd be someone. Instead, it's just me, Amy Jo and Lola living la vida loca. I did figure I'd have a dog by now, so check that one off the list.

On the other hand there are positive things I've achieved that I never thought I would. I never really thought I'd be a teacher. Well, that is I never considered it outside of playing school as a child and when I started the masters program in 2009. There's another thing--the masters degree. I never planned on getting one of those, much less getting it in 11 months all before I turned 25.

Just like with everything, there are positives and negatives. Naturally, it's much easier to focus on the negatives while the positives fade into the background.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to say much else. I'm working on finishing up KTIP and planning my spring break trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina! I'm so excited--I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I feel like my students have been saying a lot of funny things lately...so I thought I'd share them! Maybe I'll throw in some classics, too. Students are masters of the non sequiter. Most of these comments came in the middle of class, often times as an interruption to my lesson.
  • "Miss Black, can you hold on to this pencil until I have your class again? I won't need it until then." This kid's pencil is in my desk as I type this. Mind you, our school has block scheduling so I won't see this student for 48 hours. In the next 48 hours, he does not anticipate needing a pencil for anything.
  • "Look, Miss Black--my dog literally did eat my homework." This statement was accompanied by a student's workbook that had clearly been chewed up by a dog. There was also a note from a parent verifying that the dog did in fact eat the workbook. I totally believe this kid, Lola would chew up a workbook in a heartbeat. However, the homework in question was not from the workbook.
  • "Miss Black, how do you spell gonorrhea?" An oldy but a goody. A student asked me this last year. I had to reply with, "I have no idea. Gonorrhea isn't really my area of expertise."
  • "Miss Black, why can't football players have intercourse before a game?" This girl raised her hand and called me over to her desk. Silly me, I thought the question would be related to the assignment. When I asked her what prompted her to ask me that question she said, "I don't know, I thought maybe you dated a football player."
  • "My special plant is inside my dresser." This was included in a composition about each student's "perfect room". Apparently, my mind was in the gutter when I assumed this special plant was something of an illegal nature. "Naw, that's not what it is. It's...um...what's it called? Oh yea, marigold."
  • "I take my guinea pig for walks."
  • "This is a stick up. Give me an A or else." This probably doesn't seem amusing, until I tell you that the kid had his ski-hat pulled over his head while saying it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Puppies v. Babies (aka World's Cutest "Fight")

Here's some fair warning: this post may be slightly controversial and thought-provoking. I suspect it will be the topic of discussion at water coolers across the nation soon.

I can't remember if I've blogged about babies before. Lots of people I know are getting engaged or married and having babies (not necessarily in that order). It's weird. I mostly like babies. Sometimes they suck, but everything sucks a little at times. I'm in favor of having my own baby or babies at some point in my life. That being said...why is it that when people have babies they become condescending and believe they have reached this level of intelligence that you can only attain through childbirth? *I should probably take this point to mention that I am not talking about anyone I know; I'm merely speaking in generalities.

I hate to break it to those people, but making and having a baby is not hard. Please note, I did not say that raising a child isn't hard--because I'm betting it totally is. But people develop this condescention shortly after having a baby, as though the hardest part is behind them. At that point, all they've done is have sex, be given an excuse to pack on some pounds and get the baby out. Now, I am not remotely interested in that last part. I have a very strong feeling that childbirth is not something I can handle, but that's another post for another day. The actual point of this post is to compare infants and puppies.

I'm currently in the process of getting sick (what's new) and I am sleep deprived which always guarantees illness for me. Why am I sleep deprived? Lola (I've highlighted her horns and forked tail because her cuteness usually renders them invisible). I love this dog, but at times I think she might be trying to kill me. Although I do not have a baby, I am a new parent. A puppy parent. And I'm here to tell you that being a puppy parent is just as hard as being an actual parent. I'm sure you're thinking, you can't compare the two because you don't have a baby. Amy Jo agrees with my opinion--this could be because she's smart and knows that when I'm tired I get cranky (not unlike an infant) and it's in everyone's best interest to agree with me, but I'm pretty sure it's because she knows it's true. But wait, I've got reasons!

Puppy Parenthood v. Baby Parenthood
  1. Sex: Parents of babies got to have sex before they had a baby. Possibly, lots of sex. I did not have sex in order to get a puppy. Unless you're operating under the barter system and you really want a puppy. I'm pretty sure sex is never payment in exchange for a puppy. I did get to staple mesh netting around the bottom edge of the fence in my backyard so that my tiny puppy couldn't escape the yard. That's not the same as sex. Not even a little.
  2. Wake Up Calls: Babies get their parents up a lot. So do puppies. However, you don't have to take your baby outside in the freezing snow to go to the bathroom. You just change their diaper. And, when your baby starts crying, it's probably because they have already gone to the bathroom and just require a clean up crew. Going to the bathroom for a puppy can often include sniffing the entire backyard. Or sometimes puppies are liars. They don't need to go to the bathroom, they just want to find that thing they buried or eat snow. Also, you don't have to worry about babies eating their own poop.
  3. Maternity Leave: Did anyone give me time off from work because I got a puppy? No. Even though I'm doing the same amount of work.
  4. Growth & Development: Puppies grow a lot faster than babies. They are also way more wriggly and a lot faster. Babies can't even walk or crawl for months after they're born. So, when you set your baby down somewhere, you are pretty confident that the baby will not move on its own.
  5. Post-Partum Depression: OK, babies probably win on this one. But it's very hard to leave your puppy, too. And you can take your baby with you places that you cannot take a puppy.
I could sit here and compare puppies and babies all day, but like I said before, I'm exhausted.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Human Race: Now Filter Free!

Last week was an interesting one as far as work was concerned. School was cancelled on Monday even though there was barely any snow or ice on the ground. Nobody knew what was going on, but whatever. And then Wednesday rolled around. Wednesday featured snow, ice, slippery roadways...and school. Buses were late, kids spent the entire day asking and complaining about the weather and in some cases they refused to work because they didn't want to be there.

I had the school district's Facebook page open on my computer in case there was an announcement about school getting out early or something. Lots of people are fans of the school district page--parents, students, teachers, etc. The comments from parents and students (mainly parents) were insane. These people were beyond mad! I certainly don't blame them for being upset, I had a tricky time getting to school that morning, too. Some of the comments seemed as though the people were out for blood. They wanted the superintendent's head on a platter or something. Finally, the person who runs the page had to point out that school district employees are human beings who can make mistakes. It was a mess. I determined that I want to avoid pissing off the parents of the students I teach.

It didn't matter. People wanted him to get fired. There was a televised announcement about the incident at lunchtime and from what I've heard, every story on the news that night was about our county not cancelling school. The non-snow day is not the real reason I'm writing this post. As I read through the hundreds of comments on the Facebook page, it became apparent that people have no qualms about voicing whatever is on their minds.

There used to be a mental filter in our brains that said, "Hey, I might feel this way but I need to be more diplomatic about voicing those feelings." Not any more. At the risk of sounding like some researcher observing the effects of technology on people, I think a huge issue is the internet. Anybody can read a story, blog, joke, etc. online and leave a comment about it. I have previously mentioned that reading comments on news stories and YouTube videos is always amusing for me because people have strong feelings about everything. The story could be about peas being some sort of super food and the comments would probably include things like: "F*** peas and everyone who eats them," "peas are a government conspiracy," "everyone is a moron except me!" I don't like peas, but at the same time I don't feel like wasting a significant portion of my life announcing that to the world. I've also noticed that there is almost always at least one comment in which the person accuses someone else on the comment board of being a Nazi. I don't know why--maybe these people have no idea of what the Nazis actually did. Sidenote, the other great thing about online comments is when the same people log in to see if anyone has commented on their particular comment and then they get in an argument on the comment board.

The internet allows us to unleash some hard core rage against people without having to look them in the eye. In plenty of cases, we don't even have to know the person to go all mental on them. It's a little disturbing if you ask me. Just something to think about...if you disagree, feel free to leave an intense comment.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Can You Handle It, Seaside Heights?

I'm proud to say that a decent portion of my snow day yesterday was spent catching up on this season of Jersey Shore. My students will be happy because they've been wanting to talk about the show for a few weeks but I hadn't had a chance to watch a single episode.

 For season 3, the gang has returned to Seaside Heights, New Jersey--my personal theory is that no city can handle the cast of the Jersey Shore for two consecutive seasons. They're in the same house and working at the same t-shirt shop. What's weird is that with the popularity of the show, a whole bunch of the t-shirts in the shop are Jersey Shore themed. So you could be buying your "I Heart Snooki" shirt from Snooki herself. I did watch Ronnie sell someone a shirt that said, "Don't Fall in Love at the Jersey Shore," which was supposed to be his motto in season one until the Succubus that is Sammi Sweetheart took him hostage.

I am disappointed to say that Amy Jo is being a big quitter and has elected not to watch season 3 with me. I'll admit, I was nervous that the return to Seaside Heights would not be as entertaining...but so far I have been proven wrong. Amy Jo was confused as to how they could already be on season 3 when the show just started last summer. I explained that with the way these people treat their livers, MTV doesn't have time to follow the traditional television series timeline of one season per year. Instead, they move the guidos and guidettes around to a different warm climate in every season of the year and just keep filming.

Allow me to catch you up on what's happened thus far:
  • The very first episode included a fist fight between Sammi and JWoww. I'm not joking, they'd been at the house for all of 6 hours and a fight broke out. That has to be some sort of record.
  • Sammi and Ronnie are still together, fighting all the time and isolating themselves from the group. Did I mention that they were the first to arrive to the house and decided to comandeer the upstairs bedroom with 3 beds? WTF? So now Situation has to share a room with the happy couple.
  • Sadly, Angelina couldn't return this time...wait, is sadly the word I want here? Oh no, I meant THANK GOD. Anyway, she's probably too busy with her rap career. That's right, I said rap career. She has a rap song called I'm Hot (I'm not OK with the title being a lie). If you haven't listened to it and/or read the lyrics, get on it. It will make you laugh and weep for humanity all at the same time.
  • So, to keep the guy:girl ratio even, we needed a new guidette. Enter Snooki's friend Deena. So far she doesn't bother me. A self-named "Holiday in a Glass" she's a lot like Snooki, but she lacks that certain je ne sais Snook or as Amy Jo puts it, "The Snook Factor". I like Snooki better. Possibly because her name is Snooki.
  • Snooki gets arrested for Public Intoxication on the beach.
  • JWoww and Tom break up. Then JWoww and Snooki have to drive to JWoww's house and save her dogs and discover that Tom has stolen some of her stuff.
  • Deena hooks up with a guy that looks EXACTLY like Ronnie. And Ronnie knows him. Maybe he's Ronnie's stunt double.
I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. Based on the preview clips I've seen the most exciting thing is yet to come: Sammi Sweetheart leaves (3 seasons overdue if you ask me).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Skullduggery

While my brother was studying for the GRE, he was learning all sorts of new vocabulary words. He mentioned that the first time he took the test the word "skullduggery" was on it. I'd never heard that word before, and neither had he. He looked it up when he got home.

I have a hard time understanding why the GRE people think that this word is important enough for potential grad school students to know. However, it's pretty obvious that the word is awesome. So I'm going to try and make it mainstream. I've already used it several times, which PS is really hard.

I don't really have anything else to say about skullduggery, I just think it's a weird word.