I didn’t want to help you find a lonely goat on Farmville, I didn’t want to join your gang (or whatever) in Mafia Wars and I certainly don’t want to play Disney City Girl with you - whatever the eff that is.
Stop inviting me to play. Undo whatever setting invites all of your Facebook friends on the weekly. The internet distracts me enough. It will all be a downward spiral if I dare start at level one of Candy Crush Saga.
I don’t typically talk about nails, because - do I need a reason? - but this feels like practical advice that will save you money and nail erosion.
After much thought and experimentation, I’ve taken the stance of anti-gel manicure.* I expect this to be very polarizing among my MANY readers. Let’s all just live and let live, ok?
Here’s my reasoning: Ladies who would never consider acrylics (because they are tacky and do a number on your nails) are all about gel manis. While gels are not tacky (exception: if you are in your 30s and still modeling your multi-colored nails after Pretty Little Liars), they still do a number on your nails over time, and they are pricey.
That said, regular manicures last me for all of 4 days. So those get pricey too.
Don’t worry, as a self-proclaimed advice guru, I (of course) have found a solution. Step 1: Wear rubber gloves (a la Donna Reed) for any cleaning/dish washing/dish rinsing. Step 2.) Starting 3 days after a manicure, apply a quick coat of clear polish every other day. It takes all of 5 minutes because you can totally paint anywhere with clear and no one knows. Bam. That’s it. AND IT WORKS.
10 days later: proof below. This photo is obviously not doctored because A.) I don’t care that much and B.) half of the freckles and all of the wrinkles would have been filtered right on out if it was.
*Incidentally, if you’re planning on voting me into office, here’s how I stand on other incredibly important issues: Pro-bangs (an issue I flip flop on), anti-self tanner, anti-ombre, pro-juice diets that also include food for chewing, anti-other juice diets, pro-midday cocktails, pro-Girls, pro-Kristin Cavallari, anti-GOOP but pro-Gwyneth, Khloe is my favorite Kardashian, pro-rompers, pro-jumpsuits, anit-headbands, pro-Lohan comeback, pro-Bynes comeback, no stance on Anne Hathaway, no stance on 3D movies.
I mean, duh, but just don’t do it. Especially don’t combine it with Sudafed. I’ve yet to try crystal meth (although I am looking for a new hobby once I finish catching up with Breaking Bad), but I can only imagine the results are similar.
The real question here, though, is after a night with no sleep, do I just keep drinking coffee all day to stay awake? Or will that just perpetuate the cycle/eventually lead to a meth addiction?
I don’t even care that I have a multimillion dollar idea and I’m just handing it over. Consider it my community service for the…lifetime.
Can someone who is smarter with me (I think they’re called “engineers”) create a way for people who wear glasses to watch 3D movies without having to double glasses it?
I’ve been double glasses-ing it since 3D came back in vogue, and it’s the worst. The 3D glasses neither fit on top of nor underneath the actual glasses, and wherever you put them, you have to use at least one hand to hold it in place for the entire movie so the glare from one doesn’t mess with the other. I have better uses for my hands during a movie: double fisting popcorn and candy, or candy and a to go coffee cup filled with wine.
As a near sighted lady, I wear glasses when it’s time to drive (or…I should) and when it’s time to watch movies (always). That’s it. Contacts are unnecessary/unwanted. 3D options for be-speckled folks, on the other hand? Completely necessary and absolutely wanted.
So, engineer. Here’s my idea. How about some sort of film that sticks to the lenses? No, of course I don’t know what that actually means, but I’m picturing something like those Colorforms from the 80s, but, you know, they make the movie 3D. I bet you’d need one for each side of the lenses, right? I’m leaving the details to you. I’m seeing Star Trek: Into Darkness tonight, so that’s a loss, but please do get on it before Man of Steel comes out.
Royalties would be nice, too. Keep in touch about that.
For the love of all that is good and holy: don’t play health insurance chicken.
For those of you unfamiliar with “insurance chicken,” it’s a lot like “drinks chicken,” but with higher stakes…and in this case you don’t want the other person to cancel. Insurance chicken is waiting to sign up for new health insurance until your previous employer cancels your health insurance. “Why waste money on a second insurance policy when my previous company hasn’t yet cancelled mine?” you ask yourself, specifically if you are my own inner monologue. “They’re probably giving me an extra month to make up for delays on my final paycheck, or just being nice.”
Let me stop you right there: have you ever known your previous employer to spend money on you just to be “nice?” Wait…really? Then why are they your “previous” employer?
"That may be true, Advice Unsolicited, but I’m checking my health insurance website every single day to make sure I’m still insured," you counter. "The second my current insurance goes away, I’ll sign up for new insurance!"
Where that seemingly sound logic goes wrong is in a bit of knowledge I’m about to drop on you. If you’re anything like me, this is news: even the most disorganized HR department can RETRO-CANCEL your health insurance up to a month later.* Retro. Cancel. That’s right, kiddos: you might think you have insurance when you head to the doctor on May 14 - because all signs, documents and customer service representatives indicate that you do - but if your previous employer decides to cancel your insurance on May 31, they can retro-cancel from May 1st onward. It’s like a time machine that you didn’t know existed, or some Harry Potter shit. The retro-cancel part of this all won’t fully process until you get the bill from your May 14th appointment. It will be about a grand, unless you got X-rays or did anything beyond just showing up and getting your temperature taken. Then it will be much, much more. Enjoy that expensive lesson.
As fun as it is to get the most out of your previous employer, this is one area not to mess around with. If you really need to stick it to the man, just sign their company wide e-mail address up for every mailing list you can find. There’s a Daily Candy/Groupon/Gilt City in so very many cities, and they all have separate e-mails. You’re welcome.
*If this post was not a clear enough indication: I am not an insurance expert. Check your policy and state guidelines for exact timeline.
I am a pretty big fan of online shopping. Much like any shopping with a credit card, it doesn’t feel like spending real money (until later), and if you do enough of it, you forget what’s coming in the mail until it arrives. It’s like Christmas all year round!
I am not, however, a big fan of paying full price for anything. It’s like being the guy on the plane that paid the most for the middle seat: if you’re in this position, you’re doing something wrong with your life.
Fix your life, or one part of it anyway, by doing a 5 minute search for coupon codes before checking out of anywhere. Seriously: anywhere. I have yet to find a website that doesn’t have a current coupon code floating around the internet (some daily deals excluded, but who’s using Groupon anymore anyway?). Retail me not, couponcodes.com, coupons.com and If that fails (which it probably won’t), at the very least spend 2 minutes typing out any of the following in the coupon code box: MAY20OFF (or whatever month it is with any number that sounds like a good percentage off), GAPMay (or whatever store, whatever month/year combo), MAY2013, FRIENDSANDFAM, FAF2013, MOTHERSDAY…see how many you can guess in 90 seconds. At the very least, FREESHIP is a pretty good standby.
Then you can justify more online shopping, because not taking advantage of sales is like throwing money away, pretty much.*
As a runner,* may I say on behalf of my kind that running kind of sucks. Yeah, there are Nike ads and Runner’s World covers out there that will try to convince you that “runners high” is a reason to run ultra-marathons (whaaaaa?), but I’m pretty sure all this “runner’s high” nonsense is is the delirium that comes with dehydration and shortness of breath.
Running sucks.** Most of us are doing it because we like the idea of being in shape, but were never able to catch a ball or do any other real sport that requires hand-eye coordination to burn calories. Enjoyable it is not.
With that in mind, must those of you in cars try to kill runners so often? Getting from point A to point B is so much better in a car - can’t you just enjoy that without taking out sweating cardio enthusiasts en route?
And don’t even start with “runners should be more careful” - save that for the motorcyclists cutting in and out of lanes (separate advice topic). This is coming from the most cautious runner ever. I stop anytime a traffic signal indicates that is the right decision (primarily because - see above - I’m not about to turn down any excuse to stop running), and my arms are scratched up from how close to shrubbery I run staying on the inside of shoulders or sidewalks.
Even with my impeccable traffic safety, I’ve been hit by a car running twice since living in LA. Nothing serious either time, thankfully, but big car hits little person: it still hurts.
Since drivers appear to have more respect for other cars than for - say - humans - a good rule of thumb is to pretend that runners are really expensive (and really breakable) cars. You wouldn’t take a right on red into a really expensive car, now would you? You wouldn’t veer into a lane occupied by a really expensive car, because it would affect your insurance premiums negatively. You certainly wouldn’t take a left hand turn into an expensive car, just because all the other cars were out of the way.
I fall on my face enough as it is (2 face plants and one tumble down the stairs in the past 2 months anyway). I tripped over a dog once while running and - 13 years and 1 surgery later - I still can’t rotate my shoulder. On the rare occasions I am able to stay on two feet and not trip over animals, all I request is that you pretend my fellow runners and I are really expensive cars…and not hit us.
*Not like a professional runner. Or a fast one. Only a runner in the sense that I’ll run far because I’m too stubborn to stop.
**I’m only kind of kidding about running sucking. It’s love-hate. More emphasis on the hate, natch.
Mother’s Day is Sunday. For all of us living states away from Mom, that means the card needs to arrive by Saturday (thank Jeebuz that the Postal Service has suspended that whole “no mail for you” on Saturdays threat). To be safe, that means you need to get the card in the mail tomorrow. So…deductive reasoning: buy the card today. Inductive? I never was good at math.
Regardless: time to plan your mother’s day greeting so you’re not spending $30 overnight Saturday delivering a $4 Hallmark card.
If you’re feeling like a particularly good offspring this Mother’s Day, it’s just about time to get your order in for flowers. Sure, most flower delivery services essentially send the equivalent of a Trader Joe’s bouquet in a Target vase and charge you exponentially, but (for the most part) your mom gave up drinking for nine months to have you, so suck it up and pay the mark up. Look, I even found a coupon for you.
It’s been a little over a year since I began working from home, and in that time, I really missed out on one of the employed life’s true treasures: taking a sick day.
Let me be very clear: this is not to say that I have worked every single weekday, 9-5 with uniformly productive results. I have, however, spent every single weekday between the hours of 9 and 5 either working, or feeling really guilty that I am not working.
The true meaning of the legitimate sick day is that - no matter how much physical pain you are in, how sure you are that your sinus cavity is going to explode or how little you can breath out of your right nostril: you have right feel unadulterated joy on an unexpected day off. It’s actually bad to physically or mentally exert yourself in any way that would impede your recovery.
That in mind, I’ve come up with the perfect sick day itinerary (otherwise known as “My Monday going on Tuesday”):
Identify that you are, indeed, sick. We all have different ways of assessing how sick we really are. My litmus is “Would I prefer a mimosa, or a glass of orange juice and a Tylenol Cold and Flu?” If the answer is not mimosa, something is seriously, seriously wrong.
Muster up enough energy to search cable and DVR every episode of Law & Order (preferably SVU, obviously) that will air over the next 48 hours. There will be a lot of them. To make room, feel free to clear any “I should watch this” or “I think my boyfriend/roommate thinks he should watch this” TV show from your DVR that has over 9 episodes backdated (Peace out, Season 2 of Walking Dead).
Go back to sleep. Repeat this step in between episodes of Law & Order as needed throughout the day.
Stock house with all necessary drowsy and non-drowsy medications that you might want over the next week. Bonus if you can do this stocking via home delivery service or doting boyfriend.
Understand that Sudafed is “Meth, Jr.” and commit to not making this the start of your meth addiction.
Insist on absurd amounts of orange juice and chicken soup. There are no proven medical benefits to these things, but it will reinforce the fact that you are, indeed, sick and want sick person things.
When Law & Order gets too heavy, switch to Bravo. There is no risk that anything on Bravo will ever be too heavy.
(Sit) shower several times. Water shortages and saving the planet do not count when you’re sick.
Confirm that the soap opera characters are at the same engagement party they were attending the last time you were sick.
Use sickness as an excuse to have ice cream. It’s good for your throat, or something.
Keep up with the Kardashians. No one can judge you. It came on when you were in the middle of a nap. And you’re sick. More orange juice!
Use non-compound sentences. Compound sentences are too hard.
Go to sleep as early as you want tonight. Sleep as late as you want tomorrow. Secretly hope that when you wake up you are still just sick enough to watch seven more episodes of SVU, but well enough to desire a mimosa again. That’s progress toward recovery.
Do see Spring Breakers but don't drink Long Island Iced Teas
After giving myself the weekend to think it over, I’ve decided that Spring Breakers was, indeed, a fantastic film. It was like if Thirteen, American Psycho,The Town, Freeway, Thelma and Louise and Road Trip had a baby, and named it Britney Spears. Granted, it makes me think that if Harmony Korine and I ever sat down and chatted about our college experiences, it would turn out that his semester at NYU and my time in Boston was very, very different. Or, more realistically, this his imagination is much greater than mine, hence the drastic disparity between our success.
What perhaps makes the film even better is the thought of all of the teeny boppers…and their parents…who went into the film thinking “Oh - Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Selena Gomez have combined their Disney and ABC Family powers for an adorable film about friends on Spring Break. Cute! I wonder why it’s rated R?”
So - go see that - but…
Don’t let it get you so excited about the idea of Spring Break that you decide it would be fun to pay homage to your own freshman year Spring Break with Long Island Ice Teas after the movie. Even one will make you feel like death the next morning.
Do you know what is in a LIT? I forgot until I had my post-Spring Breakers cocktail, but it’s vodka AND tequila AND rum AND gin. All of those things…plus sour mix, triple sec and cola. All of those things are in one glass that is served…legally.
If you are over the age of 18…avoid it. It will make you feel your age in the worst way possible.
Thinking Thin Doesn't Actually Work for Weight Loss
I don’t know how much longer I can continue calling the extra six pounds I’ve been toting around with me since December “holiday weight.” Since I refuse to let this become Q2 poundage, it’s time to take more drastic steps than my current diet and exercise program. This “program” has essentially consisted of deciding that I want to weigh less and…yeah that’s it.
From my experience on this “program,” here is some advice one what doesn’t actually work for weight loss. Some of this may shock you!
If you start the morning with a 45 minute hike and follow that with a latte of the exact amount of calories burned from said hike, it doesn’t count. Especially because you are going to use this as an excuse every time you eat.
"Light beer" is as light as a "thin obese" person.
"Only drinking on the weekends" isn’t the miracle solution - especially if Friday, Saturday and Sunday all count as the weekend. Math time: that’s just about half of the week. All this is is *barely* not being an alcoholic.
Yes, going spinning burns calories, but you’re totally overestimating it because spinning studios are muggy rooms. They are kept that way so you sweat more, and think you burn more calories (brilliant strategy, incidentally). Therefore, no you haven’t earned half of a bottle of wine with dinner.
Not stepping on the scale doesn’t mean the number hasn’t gone up. The more you’re avoiding it, the more you should probably put yourself in check. That said…
Stepping on the scale every day doesn’t automatically make the number go down.
Just because a bottle of juice costs $10-$12, doesn’t give it miracle properties of cancelling out other food. Read: it’s not an excuse to eat whatever for every other meal that day.
Heads up: it’s someone’s birthday every day. You should really only eat and drink that much to celebrate your birthday.
That whole “your metabolism slows down when you get older” thing might actually be true.
Stop Treating Your Facebook Friends Like Actual Friends
There was a time, back when you needed to be roughly 18-22 with a college e-mail address to sign up, when people understood how to appropriately use Facebook. It wasn’t called “I have feelings-book,” “Therapy-book,” or even “Look at me-book.” It was Facebook. A place where you could semi-stalk anyone who you had a statistics class with.
Then came the pictures. Then came the status updates. Then came the parents. Then it all went to shit.
I write this out of a deep love and addiction to Facebook, one that causes me to endure the social-media-socially-challenged friends who flood my feed every day with way too much information about their life. But (Facebook) friends, it’s time for a etiquette book on what to post on Facebook and when. Don’t worry - I’m about to write (part of) it for you.
All of this is based on the assumption that the majority of your Facebook friends are not your actual, close friends. Fair, yes? There are many “friends” on there that when their birthday pops up, you think to yourself, “Is it weird if I wish this person a happy birthday out of the blue?” That is not an actual friend. This is not someone you reach out to with personal tragedy or to debate politics.
Even wishing someone a happy birthday once a year and sporadically liking something witty that they say is not an actual friend. You have actual friends phone numbers programmed in your cell. You e-mail with actual friends. You even see them in person every now and then. You know what’s going on in their lives beyond what “life event” updates you see, or photos with a ring on it. Those are actual friends. Those are the people who, if you have something deeply painful going on in your life, you reach out to for comfort. Not the Internet.
And that’s ok. That’s what social media is. But knowing this - it’s time to chill on how much you share of your life story - and the life stories of those around you - to the Internet. Things you share with the internet - whether funny, informative, heartwarming, whatever - should really fall under the “you might find this interesting” category.
For anything that doesn’t fall under the “you might find this interesting” category, a good rule of thumb is pretend you are posting “Pay attention to me because…” before your status update…because that’s what you’re saying. Then pretend you are sending an e-mail to the hundreds/thousands of people who read your status - or said it out loud in a room in front of them - and reassess what you are going to post. Would you really feel comfortable e-mailing the 500 people closest to you with, “Pay attention to me because I got dumped,” “Pay attention to me because I’ve had a death in my family,” or “Pay attention to me because of my un-researched political opinions?”
If you’re having trouble with that answer, let me help you. No: you should not feel comfortable with that.
To review: the internet amuses you, and you it. Friends, family and therapists comfort you.
Let’s apply this principle into practice, shall we?
Loss of a family member: This hits particularly close to home, as I recently learned of my grandfather’s death…on Facebook. The “Pay attention to me because…I lost a family member” post was up before it was reasonable to assume that all other efforts had been exercised to notify loved ones. I’m the oldest of 19 cousins on my dad’s side, and my dad is the oldest of 7 kids (Irish Catholic - obvs). So do that math - add in in laws, and that’s already 33 people that need to be notified before you even get around to more distant family, friends, colleagues, close acquaintances. To post a “Pay attention to me because…” so soon after a family member died is beyond selfish. Are the supportive comments and likes really worth it?
If they really are, to you, at least wait for the official obituary - which is when it’s appropriate for strangers and distant acquaintances to know your family tragedy.
Illness in your family: See above. While you might not be a private person, your posts about your family affect everyone else in the family. Perhaps a more private cousin does not want the world to know your aunt is terminally ill, and loathes the shallow Facebook comments it will evoke. Oh - and the sick relative: did they request a press release on their illness? No? Then stop.
Political debates: Post at your own risk. Just know that it better be really well researched, because the internet is about to call you out. Wherever will they find the fact checks? Oh right: THE INTERNET.
You got dumped: Change your relationship status, and that’s it. If at all possible, set it so that it doesn’t come up on a newsfeed. Unless you really want to look back on a lot of comments that look like :( :( OMG SO sorry :( :( and a few random (awkward) likes. Facebook is not the place to air your relationship woes. It’s the past to post pictures of you looking fabulous post break-up (natch) - that will say enough.
Your having an event: You get ONE post. And ONE reminder. And ONLY to people who live within reasonable driving distance to said event. If I live in LA, I’m not coming to your show in Boston. Yes, you.
That’s what you get. That’s it. Feel free to e-mail your friends as many times as you want about it.
You did something impressive and want everyone to know: If you must: one post. One. Not the same post over and over, or a variation of the post with the same link. One. Post. Then go do something else impressive, and you can post about it again.
Financial trouble: No one wants to hear it. They just don’t. Unless your financial trouble warrants a Kickstarter account to raise money, it’s unnecessary, and makes everyone uber uncomfortable.
Arguments and apologies: E-mail. Direct Message. Anything other than posting a comment.
Your emotions: This is what a diary is for. They are relatively inexpensive. If you look back weeks later, and something you wrote in said diary would be profoundly useful to your social network, you can post it then. Just…don’t post emotions when you’re feeling them. It’s a cry for attention…that goes out to strangers.
What am I missing? This Facebook etiquette book seems short for so many offenses…I’m sure there is more to come.
Always double check that you are wearing your clothing correctly
Although most people learned how to dress themselves early in childhood, it’s never a bad time for a quick refresher.
There are two main principles one should note when they get dressed.
Clothing should be facing the right direction.
Clothing should be right side in.
To help with these principles, one should note that zippers go in the front for pants, and (typically) in the back for skirts or dresses. Tags go in the back, and on the inside.
I know all of these things.
Yet, there I was this evening, front row in a Pop Physique class, gym class hero, showing off my perfect form in front of everyone…in an inside out and backwards tank top. From Target.
How did this happen?
To start with, tags don’t always stick out anymore. They are printed on the shirt. Clothing is tricky like that these days.
Secondly, tank tops are pretty much the same shape whether forward or backwards. Perhaps just a bit higher in the back…which was in the front this evening…which was how I noticed it.
A quick tip on prevention: look in the mirror before leaving the house.
Should you forget this tip and find yourself in an inside out and backwards anything, you just have to own it. That’s what I did, and I’m pretty sure that’s what Anne Hathaway was doing in that backwards necklace she paired with her Party of Five prom Academy Awards dress on Sunday.
Right around the thousandth time I heard Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” today, I thought to myself, “Why on earth am I still listening to terrestrial radio?” and “Why don’t I ever go thrift shopping?” I haven’t come up with an answer to the terrestrial radio of it all, yet, but I have decided that if those bozos can make a chart topper out of Goodwill, I can make a weekend outfit there. Right?
Mmmm…sort of. It’s a little harder and more time intensive than the 4-minute song would have you believe. But - with the new “Thrift Shop Thursdays” challenge I’ve given myself (which may or may not happen on a Thursday…I just like the alliteration), I’m going to master it. And you should too. Thrift shopping is cheap (duh), environmental and basically like living in a Project Runway episode, minus the sewing, plus a weird smell.
Official rules of Thrift Shop Thursday: buy a full outfit, including accessories (BUT NOT SHOES) to be worn over the weekend for under $25 at a thrift shop. You win this challenge by getting more compliments than “WTF” looks when in said outfit.
Here’s how to make your Thrift Shop Thursday challenge a success:
Give yourself exactly one hour. You’ll need the time to sift through the piles (Goodwill makes the clearance rack at Nordstrom Rack look organized), but if you stay in there any longer, you might go crazy.
Don’t expect a perfect fit - get ready to belt it.
That said - don’t buy anything that is going to need significant alterations to wear it.
Ditto dry clean only outfits - unless it’s the OMG-who-gave-this-Chanel-jacket-to-Goodwill item, it defeats the purpose of the cheap.
Definitely check out the costume jewelry. The weirder, the better.
Just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean you need it.
Avoid anything originally purchased at Target, H&M, Forever 21 and all other chains not known for their quality. If you want to get something from Target, just go and pay the $15 for it at Target. The discount stuff that made it to Goodwill is on it’s last wear.
If finding an entire outfit intimidates you, focus on one piece to complete an outfit. Maybe make it a mission to find that perfect vest to complement the outfit you’re wearing to whatever picnic Silverlake is throwing this week.
Use this as a chance to (try to) pull off a look you’re typically too conservative to wear. If the neon floral print romper ends up being a dud, at least it was $9.
Reallllllly think about other people’s foot sweat before you commit to that pair of cowboy boots. You wore flip flops in the shower for four years: this is very similar.
Unless you’re going to a speciality vintage dealer (that will charge you waaaay more than a Salvo), don’t expect to find a perfect condition Alexander McQueen dress that someone dropped off in a garbage bag because they outgrew it. (Most) people aren’t idiots, and are selling the designer duds on Ebay. Good for you if you find the designer diamond in the rough, but don’t limit yourself to “As Seen in Vogue” items.
Overalls are not coming back. Ever. Ditto jelly shoes and platform flip flops. Any runway show telling you otherwise is honestly fucking with you. It’s not nice, but either is Anna Wintour.
Wash before wearing. Seriously.
Think to yourself: WWBD? (What Would Blossom Do?). Don’t do that.
In following my own advice, tonight I will either totally rock my first Thrift Shop Thursday Challenge Outfit, or soak in the “WTF is she wearing” looks like a champ. That’s what champagne is for, anyway.
I can’t remember when this started, but I sit in the shower. Exclusively. Not like in one of those shower chairs for the old and infirm, or even on a bench in a spa shower: I sit on the floor of the shower. The whole time, other than final rinse - which is best done standing.
It might have started because I find it borderline dangerous to shave my legs standing up in the shower. Are people really doing that on one leg? It could have also been after a long run, where standing for another 10 minutes just seems foolish. Sit shower solves those problems.
This concept tends to startle people when they first hear about it, but so did space travel. I would argue that, while similarly revolutionary, sit shower has done more for my life than space travel ever will (RIP NASA Space Program).
Everyone loves a good shower. Everyone loves a good relaxing sit. So ipso facto: Everyone will LOVE sit shower. You’re going to wonder why you ever stood in the shower to begin with!
At this point, those that haven’t stopped reading because they think my sit shower movement is weird in a “Law & Order: SVU” scene sort of way might still be thinking, “If you’re too lazy to stand in the shower, why not just take a bath?”
Baths are ok in theory, especially those that include bubbles. The problem, however, is that you end up sitting in a pool of your own filth (which I could get past) and - unless you have a fancy bath with jets or whatever porn-ish technology keeps your bath at a consistent temperature - it get luke warm really quickly. That I simply cannot accept.
Sit shower is the obvious way to go.
Some tips for a successful sit shower:
Only…only…ONLY attempt sit shower in your own shower. This should go without saying, but I would hate to be sued for your fungal infections. Anywhere where you would even remotely consider wearing shower shoes is not an appropriate venue for a sit shower.
Make sure all of your shower needs are within reach. There is nothing WORSE when taking a shower than having to stand to get a razor, shampoo or a loofah. Nothing. Worse. Other than standing the whole time.
Increase the temperature about five degrees higher than in a stand shower. I don’t know the science behind this, but the water feels slightly colder in sit shower. Maybe it’s because it has further to go.
Before you sit, splash some warm water on the shower wall where you will be leaning. This will make for a far more pleasant sit shower, and will reduce the risk of a chilled back.
Consider investing in the sit shower chair typically reserved for the elderly or those with disabilities. I’ve considered it, and I do have a big birthday coming up. Some super affordable ones can be found at Walmart.
Other than that, just enjoy your sit shower. You can join the movement at sitshower.com*
*Did you really think you could join a sit shower movement?
Here’s the deal. If something is terrifying, but it’s somehow also compelling you to do it, it’s probably important. Why else would you want to do something scary? In real life, no one is the moron that goes down to the basement because they hear a noise…unless they expect that noise is something life changing, like an ice cream machine left by the previous owners.*
Even if it’s dark and scary, it’s always worth going to the basement if you think an ice cream machine might be down there. There’s no ice cream upstairs…unless you have a freezer. I’ll be the first to admit this metaphor doesn’t hold water. Or ice cream.
A year ago, I quit my job to pursue writing on a professional level. This was terrifying on a lot of levels. The first, and most obvious, was the financial. I didn’t exactly have a “plan” as to how I would “pay for things” like “rent” or “ice cream.”
The second was that for the whole of my 20’s, I largely defined myself by my career. The new identity as a self-slash-un-employed 29 year old did not have an impressive ring to it.
The final - and in retrospect scariest - was that following a dream and failing can be so much more soul crushing than lamenting “what could have been.” A lot of people talk about how awful it would be to wake up when you’re 40/50/60/insert new scary age here having never followed your dream. What no one really delves into, though, is what happens if you actually give that dream a shot…and fail.
That possibility still lingers over me, but it’s less scary now that I’m fighting it, and not just the idea of it.
So whatever your actual scary thing is, do it. Unless it’s actually going down into the basement to investigate a noise. Don’t be an idiot.
*Unrelated advice: eat lunch before you write. Or you’ll just end up writing about ice cream.
Whether out on a date, boozing with the gals, or at home with a bottle (or two) of wine, there is a good chance that your Valentine’s Day activities led to a brutal February 15th. Never fear: through many years of trial and error, I have come up with the cure for the common hangover. It’s more like a 12-step program. Not the 12-step program we should probably be in, but a 12-step program, nonetheless.
Step 1: Wake up feeling like death about 2 hours before you’d like to wake up. Lament the Excedrin recall.
Step 2: Drink a glass of water. Stop halfway through because it reminds you too much of alcohol
Step 3: Shuffle around the house aimlessly until the room stops spinning.
Step 4: Watch a TV show that requires little brain power (I recommend anything on Bravo).
Step 5: Decide you are really going to take back this day, and get yourself to a pressed juice place. Order something green mixed with some sort of banana and protein substance. Commend yourself on your healthy choices and get ready to attack your to do list.
Step 6: Immediately take a 1.5 - 2 hour nap.
Step 7: Wake up feeling a little less like death. The pain should be easier to categorize and treat now. Take a handful of TUMS (with calcium: healthy!) and 5 Ibuprofen. Lament the recall on Excedrin again.
Step 8: Research why Excedrin still isn’t available. Decide that the root causes don’t seem that bad, and vow to stock up on some black market Excederin for the next time. And there will be a next time.
Step 9: Drink a Diet Coke (preferably fountain).
Step 10: Track down some McDonalds. Wear your sunglasses inside so that no can identify who to judge. Pretend you’re reading off of a list of multiple orders and order 2 cheeseburgers, a medium fry, 10 McNuggets and another Diet Coke. Do not order the shake, even if it’s Shamrock. Show some restraint. Shame eat your entire order in the privacy of your own car.
Step 11: Go to a low-impact exercise class that accepts curling into a ball at any moment. So…yoga. Go to yoga. Curl into a ball as needed.
Step 12: Drink several more gallons of water, which has finally stopped reminding you of alcohol. Congratulations: 12 hours later, you are no longer severely hungover.
Some retroactive advice:
On Valentine’s Day - or any day, really - don’t start the night with a whiskey cocktail at home, move on to a Pisco cocktail at the bar, order the 7 course wine pairing (that inexplicably starts with Sherry and includes a whiskey sour shot in the middle), knock back a coffee “to keep the night going” and end the night with a vodka cocktail…unless you wish to feel like death the next morning.
Alright, alright. No need to cue Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” (unless you really want to) or Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” (oh hell, cue it!), but take a day to celebrate the ladies in your life: Knope-style. For those not familiar with “Parks and Recreation,” we’ll wait while you catch up on the last 5 seasons.
The best, right!? Beyond the general hilarity of the show, “Parks & Rec” brought Galentine’s Day to our life. Galentine’s Day, which is officially February 13, is the day ladies come together to celebrate their lady relationships. It’s a million times easier to get a restaurant ressie than it is on Valentine’s Day, there’s no pre fixe tasting menus of mass produced “sweetheart” food, and - best yet- EVERYONE gets to celebrate it together! Except dudes. Obviously.
But truly. Valentine’s Day brings with it this divisive element between the coupled ladies guiltily looking forward to a dinner with their guy (or gal - duh I voted for Obama), and the single ladies who spend the evening drinking wine and watching movies/Bravo/Girls together. On Galentine’s Day, on the other hand, we can all drink wine together!
If you missed planning for the holiday this year, I grant you permission to observe Galentine’s Day on the 15th. Just get your shit together for next year, because Galentine’s Day is here to stay.
There’s no need to go too deep into this one, but…just don’t buy natural toothpaste. Even if you’re at Trader Joe’s, and getting to CVS from there requires crossing that busy 6-way intersection that is La Cienega/San Vicente/Burton Way. It’s worth risking the certain death if you read the street signs wrong at said intersection. Natural toothpaste is the worst. It tastes like if baking soda fused with garbage and an Altoid.
On that note, some unsolicited advice to Trader Joe’s: carry Crest! Even those of us that get way annoyed when you’re out of organic kale have no desire to put that baking soda bullshit anywhere near our mouths. And don’t get me started on natural deodorant….
At some point, apparently, Safari became the internet browser for old people. I am hearing that this happened around 5 years ago. Totally missed it.
If you missed this as well, catch up. Using Safari is the equivalent of having an aol e-mail address, Yahoo as your homepage, or e-mails sent out with “—Sent from my AT&T Blackberry/T-Mobile Sidekick/Sprint Anything” post-signature line.
You may think, “Sure, but no one knows I use Safari. There’s no proof! I’m a closet Safari user because I can’t figure out how to change my default browser!”
This may be true…for awhile. Then you’ll find yourself having trouble checking out while online shopping one day. You’ll call the customer service hotline…and they’ll ask you “What browser are you using?”
Shamefully, you’ll have to tell them Safari. To which you’ll be told “Oh, yeah: Safari users” - which they say in a tone that you know they mean “the elderly,” - “often experience that issue. Our site is optimized for FireFox, Google Chrome and young people.”
(Alternatively: “Yeah - pay your credit card bill.”)
So there it is. As any online customer service rep will condescendingly tell you: Safari is a thing of the past. I’ll never know nor care about the reasons why, but prepare to experience the side effects of agism if your closeted Safari usage goes public.
—written on my Safari Browser because I’m almost 30.
Have a problem? Need some advice? Do you prefer your advice to be snarky and occasionally insulting?
That’s weird…but let’s celebrate it! I want to solve your problems…or at least entertain you with my take on them.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll work it out.
(Note: I am not a licensed doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, veterinarian, writer, moderator, psychic, marriage counselor, guidance counselor, substance abuse counselor, CPA, Notary Public or anything that requires a license…other than a driver. On that note, I grossly misspelled Notary Public for most of my life).
Ooof - it’s been far too long since my last post. It’s been a busy winter of traveling to exciting places like New York, Boston, Miami, St. Barts…and (most exciting of them all) Baldwinsville.
(I know…life is hard)
I’ve learned so much, yet have written so little about these travels. It’s time to fix that.
Well…almost time. I’ve got days worth of advice, and a yoga class starting in an hour. Might I reiterate: life is hard.
For now, some urgent Travel Tips by Caila:
Earn status on an airline, and stick with that airline: I had the (dis)pleasure of flying an airline on which I had no status last month. Woof: was that rough. With no glimmer of a hope for an upgrade, the pre-travel dread of the 5-hour coach flight was intense. But that was only the beginning.
The long security line? Stood in it. Checked baggage? Paid for it. Group that boards plane last? Joined it. Overhead compartments? Filled by Groups 1-3. Seat assignments? Not until the last minute. What does that mean? Last row, middle seat, non-reclined red eye.
Before I get a #champagneproblems response: travel is hard. Travel for work is even harder (no post-redeye naps before you hit the ground running!). Passenger conditions that can only be defined as intentionally annoying are not the way to start a trip.
So earn your airline status. Pay the extra $50 to fly your preferred airline to earn your status faster. Do it before the airlines start assigning passenger seating in the baggage compartment - which - based on how things are going - is only a matter of time.
Upgraded economy is only worth it on some airlines and plane models: Whether they call it Economy Comfort or Economy Plus or We’re Charging You $100 To Sit Close To First With An Inch Of Extra Leg Room, this new sub-class of seating can be a total sham. Why my American Airlines bathroom-adjacent seat directly under the overhead movie was considered “Comfort,” I’ll never know. Delta’s 4” of extra leg room makes a notable difference, and Virgin America’s free movies and drinks sweetens the deal - but your best bet before deciding on spending the cash is to check your flight on Seat Guru.
Never…ever…ever wait for the gate for seat assignment: There is no need to get fussy with airline personnel most of the time. It’s not their fault that the person who spent $2,000 more than you did is sitting in first, and they didn’t invent the checked baggage fee, or the 3 oz. of liquid regulation.
An exception is when it comes to seat assignment. If you didn’t follow my advice, and are flying on an airline where you have no status, you may be faced with a lack of a seat assignment until the last possible minute (even if you remember picking a seat at the time of booking). The friendly airline agent will tell you “there are plenty of seats, and you’ll be assigned one at the gate.”
Do. Not. Fall. For. This. Nonsense. If there were plenty of seats, you would have one. There are maybe three acceptable seats, and a whole lot of back row/middle seats/non-reclining/bathroom-adjacent seats left. If you wait until you get to the gate for your seat assignment, can you guess which seat you’ll get?
Pitch the fit before it’s too late. You deserve that emergency exit row.
Sometimes I feel like we’d all be better off taking a vow of silence…but then I realize my Facebook feed would blow up like crazy if people couldn’t verbally status update. That said - and in another installment of Travel Tips by Caila - don’t tell a fellow passenger your life story on a flight.
No one on a long flight - or any flight, really - wants to hear your life story. They don’t want to hear anything about you. They don’t care where you went to school, they don’t care what you currently do for work, and they don’t care that you have a daughter who lives in or near the same major metropolitan city (because no…no they do NOT know her).
Whatever you are about to tell your fellow passenger about your life, I absolutely promise you: they do not care. Even if they are as bored as you are, they would much rather pretend-read the in-flight magazine than have an inane conversation with you, the stranger who they will never see again.
When you are talking to the person next to you on a plane, understand that there are only a few possible scenarios that are playing out…and that none of them are good:
#1. The person sitting next to you is being overly polite, but secretly suffering through details of your life that are completely irrelevant to them.
#2. The person next to you isn’t even being polite, but you are completely oblivious to the fact that their eyes have glazed over/headphones are in. Yup: you’re talking to yourself.
#3. You are facilitating your own identity thief. Somewhere in your long, pointless story, your mother’s maiden name came up (maybe when you were talking about the hospital where you were delivered), and it’s all identity theft gravy from there. And ya know what? They deserve to run up a few grand at Best Buy after sitting next to you for an entire flight.
To add to how annoying this is: the entire plane can hear you. Because they are being silent. Because they are socially normal travelers.
Here are the only conversations you need to have with someone on a long flight:
"Do you mind moving so I can get out to go to the bathroom?"
"Can you make sure the flight attendant refills my wine when I am in the bathroom?"
"You’re not contagious, right?"
And that’s it. Any follow up to any of these conversations is just crazy person talk.
Observe the code of aviation silence: passengers should not talk to other passengers unless it is a dire emergency. Or, ya know, bathroom breaks or wine is involved.
I want to first acknowledge that I understand dogs and children are two very different levels of responsibility - children being exponentially higher.
That said: there is no way flying with a child is more challenging or expensive than flying with a dog. Children - being that they are just small humans - will always be accepted on planes and in airports. They can use bathrooms inside the airport. They even fly free if they are small enough (I think we call those ones babies).
Dogs, on the other hand, are not small humans. They aren’t allowed anywhere, they’re less likely to pee in an airplane bathroom than children, and they always cost money to fly (exception: service dogs).
So - in another installment of Travel Tips by Caila - here are some tips for flying with a dog on board:
Tip #19: Check with the airline ahead of time for height/weight restrictions on dog travel: it varies per airline, as do fees and when pets are allowed under the plane.
Tip #20: Have a current bill of health from your vet (within 2 weeks of travel): Really - you never know what the airline or TSA is going to ask for on any given day.
Tip #21: Check on any quarantine situation if you are traveling internationally: Your dog might be an international man of mystery in your mind, but not in the minds of most international government officials. Look it up ahead.
Tip #22: Do arm and back exercises the month leading up to the travel: Dog carriers do not come with wheels.
Tip #23: Allow for at least 30 minutes to get the dog into that damn travel case: Dogs do not like travel cases. Even if you put their favorite blanket in there. Even if it smells like you. Even if you bribe them with an entire turkey. You’ll need to get them in the case before you get into the airport, because - unless you have the Emotional Support Animal or Service Animal certification - they aren’t allowed in the airport outside of the case. About 10 minutes after you struggle to get them into the case, you take them right back out because you need to take the squirmy little sucker through the airport security metal detector with no leash. Then it’s right back in the case. Did I say 30 minutes? I meant an hour.
Tip #24: …but don’t get to the airport too early: You’ll have to master the fine balance of arriving to the gate just as you are boarding. This involves predicting every line length and dog antic. I have no advice on how to do this. Good luck!
Tip # 25: Avoid connections: When a direct flight is possible, just take it. Even if it’s more money. Airports are just about the least pet friendly space on the planet, other than - ya know - kill shelters (and even that’s a toss up). If you do connect, plan on it going like this: You are paranoid that the dog needs to pee - and, rightfully so (what, are they going to pee using the airplane bathroom on the next flight?). After exiting your first flight, you ask for the “pet relief area” (which, in most cases, is a 5 foot by 5 foot spread of grass about as far away from wherever you are as is possible in any given airport). After asking five airport officials, one will vaguely know what you are talking about, and point you in sort of the right direction. It will be about a 20 minute walk, carrying a 20 pound beast in an unstable cary bag on your shoulder. It’s on the other side of security. Your dog will be really hesitant to go, and will be terrified every time a plane flies overhead (roughly every 45 seconds). After he finally does pee, it’s time to go through security again, including getting the dog in, then out, then in again that effing carrier. Just avoid connections.
Tip #26: Save your money!: It’s about $125 each way for your living carry on, if you’re lucky enough to have a pooch the size that is allowed on board. And no: you can’t pay with miles (tried it). Don’t even get me started on the negative health risks of stashing the dog under the plane. Consider avoiding this if you are even a little bit emotionally disturbed and can get a shrink to vouch for that.
Speaking of emotionally disturbed…
Tip #27: Doggy Sedatives are our friends: Your only hope of getting through this is for your dog to sleep the entire flight. I’m no licensed vet (duh), but the sedatives worked wonders.
Tip #28: As are human sedatives: If flying didn’t give you anxiety before, flying with a canine friend will.
Tip #30: Prepare for dirty looks: The only people that get more disdainful looks boarding a plane than someone with a baby, is someone with a dog. It is assumed by your fellow travelers that your dog will bark the whole flight. They hate the dog - and you - and will not hesitate to sigh loudly, roll eyes and make comments like “Didn’t know Paris Hilton was on this flight” (um, dated much?). Resist the urge to yell “MY DOG’S TICKET WAS MORE THAN YOUR’S!” lest you be ejected from the plane, putting you right back to square one with doggy travel. The human sedatives will set in soon enough.
Avoid any relationship that includes the phase "as long as no one finds out."
I’m still trying to figure out why the David Petraeus/Paula Broadwell affair is an issue of national security, but then again - I’m no Harvard grad.
You know who is a Harvard grad? Paula Broadwell. Proof that even Harvard grads should read Why Men Love Bitches.
So here’s the deal - whether or not this affair turns out to be a matter of national security, it does bring up a solid rule of thumb: If you are in a relationship that is defined with the phrase “as long as no one finds out,” it will inevitably blow up in your face disastrously.
The reason for keeping a relationship secret is typically because of the relationship, and not because “no one will understand,” so smarten up.
Oh, and don’t send anonymous e-mails to people with connections to the CIA, include info on the Director of the CIA, and not expect a successful investigation as to where the e-mail came from to result.
Hey 2002! Who is ready to par-tay this weekend!? I know you are. Why, you’ve probably found yourself a very classy backless number at the H&M at Downtown Crossing to go with those jeans from high school that barely fit anymore, haven’t you? At least you have the self-awareness to employ some draping over your midsection.
Listen: I know you’re really busy having some Jenkins and Dole Bottle, eating some cheese sticks from late night, and exploring that new Friendster site that will definitely be the next big thing, but I wanted to give you some unsolicited advice for the weekend ahead.
First of all, lose that outfit - you look like a ho - and lose 15 pounds. The scale is most certainly not “off” - even though all of your roommates have noticed it seems like 10 pounds off from what they think is correct too - and pasta is not diet food. I’m not going to harp on you too much about this, but you would have to run 10 miles every day FOR THE ALCOHOL YOU’RE ABOUT TO DRINK ALONE. Might I recommend going out in appropriately-sized layers instead: it’s effing 30 degrees outside. Also - the $2 for coat check is worth it: teetering down Lansdowne Street in that backless shirt I know your not going to change out of without a coat is not a good look.
Secondly, have a roommate hide your cell phone when you go out tonight…and every night. You can have it back in the morning. No good is going to come of any call you make after midnight, and you will lose that little dot matrix brick many times. Many times. I know, I know: you want to call boys (full list of who not to call coming separately), play that Nokia snake game in the cab, or perhaps download some polyphonic ring tones, but just don’t. Wait until the morning, and wait until there are real tones.
Third: Mom and Dad never figure out that the “automatic convenient points renewal charge” isn’t a thing, so you’re good to keep adding free money to your student account for as long as you want. But really: lay off the late night food.
Wait! I have so much more to tell you! The double major is a completely pointless idea! Wait!
Fine, I see you are on a mission to…become a stripper? Seriously what are you wearing? But whatever - you’re in a rush to head over to Cambridge. Oh! That reminds me: there’s this freshman across the river at MIT that you should become friends with now. His name is Mark Zuckerberg. If you hear nothing else that I am telling you: please find him, make a friend, and feel free to help him with this extracurricular project he has going on. Way better time investment than student senate, or whatever the hell you’re thinking of joining this week. Trust.
Listen. I get it. With all the toys and games and ice capade performances, Sesame Street probably doesn’t need the same amount of funding as healthcare, education, the environment, cancer research and a whole slew of other programs.
But - from a purely PR perspective - if people already hate you for being The Bain guy that laid of thousands of factory workers, do you want to further vilify your image by giving a public pink slip to a beloved educational program star?
I know, I know. Can’t attack Oscar the Grouch because then your’e the guy who doesn’t like homeless people. Can’t attack Burt and Ernie because you’re already struggling with the gay vote. Can’t attack Cookie Monster because you don’t want to alienate the obese vote. Can’t attack The Count because of Twilight. Elmo is off limits because - well - he’s Elmo.
You probably should leave the whole street alone, but at least attack Snuffleupagus. He’s imaginary and can’t vote.
Oh aren’t you special? You found a parking spot at Trader Joe’s at 5PM on a Sunday. Good for you! Even better, there aren’t any other spots left (unless you count the sliver left between the Range Rover and the crooked Prius, or the spot filled with shopping carts). Congratulations! You should be rewarded with the right to just hang out in that spot, without a care in the world, for as long as you’d like, right?
Wrong - and an oh no girl no for good measure.
Parking spots are for cars, not people. We’re going to apply this beyond just lots, but also to any sort of crowded street where parking is sparse and traffic is heavy. The only time people should be in their cars in the parking spot is immediately before leaving the car, and immediately after re-entering the car.
Beyond that: I shall stare at you with abject hatred, and you shall deserve it.
Parking spots are not for phone calls. They are not an appropriate place to clean out your purse. They aren’t a place to check your e-mail. They aren’t a place to check your fantasy football score (even at 5PM on a Sunday). They aren’t the place to “just take a moment” for yourself. They aren’t a place to take a group photo for your MySpace page. The places for those things are phone booth, privacy of your own home, office, in front of your TV, and yoga studio, and 2003, respectively.
If I see you lounging in your car for more than the time it takes an average person to fish out your keys and turn it on (BTW it’s called keyless ignition: look into it), I’m going to camp out behind you with a blinker on. I might even open my window and ask if you’re staying (my passive aggressive way to say you should leave).
And then I’ll start a really aggressive argument with you, but only in my own head. In the real world, I’ll just smile and wish I could go all Kathy Bates/Fried Green Tomatoes on you.
(Parking lot rage is the new road rage: you heard it here first).
I am happy to do favors for friends. I am even happy to do favors for acquaintances, if asked correctly. But I’m about to go all Ms Manners on your asses:
Don’t let your only contact with someone be related to the favors you ask them.
I would say you know who you are, but, realistically, people who ask for too many favors really don’t know who they are. So I’m going to help you self-identify:
When you are about to ask a favor of someone, first go through your text messages and e-mail chains with this person. To start with, if the last communication was over a month ago, you are not eligible to ask a favor without sufficient build up (we’ll get to that). Secondly, if you notice a trend that every or every other communication has to do with asking a favor or details of that “just one quick favor” that you are asking, you are a favor-asking rule violator.
Only ask favors of people who also ask favors of you. Not WOULD ask favors of you, because it’s easy to convince yourself that this person would ask for your help and just hasn’t gotten around to it. If this person is not asking favors of you, it means that they are either taking care of business on their own, or have a closer group of circle that they are asking these favors.
Got that? If you are not in the favor asked circle, you should not be in the favor asking circle.
If you simply must ask a favor of someone who doesn’t ask favors of you, you do need to do some build up work.* For example, a simple e-mail to ask “how have you been?” with no favor attached is an excellent way to lay the ground work. No - we’re not done here - there are more steps here. After that, at least one in person friend date must be had, where - again, the favor is not brought up. Nope - not done yet. After the friend date, send a follow up e-mail from the friend date that in no way mentions the favor. Allow all replies to happen that are regarding the fun times you had and all the inside jokes you created with - again - no inkling of this favor. Got it? Ok - now, allow a week to pass from that e-mail chain, and THEN, then you may ask for this favor.
Oh, does that sound like a lot of time to spend with someone that you just want to ask a favor? THAT’S THE POINT! If this is not someone who you want to invest time with, or already invest time with in the first place, then you SHOULDN’T ASK THEM A FAVOR!
And yes. Airport rides are favors. Only the closest of friends are airport shuttles.
*Exception to build up work: If you are e-mailing someone for something work-related, and it’s more “part of their job” to tell you and less “a favor,” don’t bother with the build up. It’s transparent and annoying. For everyone.
I don’t mean this advice metaphorically, and I’d like to specifically direct it at my dog.
Don’t shit where you eat, Sam…or anywhere in our house. Don’t shit anywhere in anyone’s house, really. Don’t shit on the curtains, don’t shit on the carpet, and definitely don’t shit on the clean laundry. Or the dirty laundry.
We give you this great opportunity to do your business whenever you want, as long as it’s outside. I don’t make you conform to toilet usage like humans - don’t make me dog shame you.
So don’t shit where you eat, Sam.
And for the love of God, Tumblr - don’t have themes that get rid of punctuation in blog titles. This is the one case where it’s really not ok to change DONT to DO NOT.
It’s Labor Day weekend, and we all know what that means: long reply all chains about plans for the weekend! What better time to demonstrate how clever and funny you are than with a witty reply all to a group of 20 people, some of whom you barely know!
Hold up. It’s time to slow your role.
Here’s the deal: we all think we’re incredibly witty and have important things to say. If we didn’t, Tumblr wouldn’t exist. If you’ve ever been on an e-mail chain with excessive reply alls, however, you know that most people don’t have witty things to say when it comes to replying all. They just have inbox-filling things to say.
Which is why I made some rules. Learn em. Live em. Love em. You might even want to passive aggressively send a link to them if you are on an e-mail chain that’s become out of control:
1.) Always reply all if you have something to say that everyone else on the e-mail needs to know.
Hint - the fact that you are attending a party does not qualify as something everyone else needs to know. The fact that you are attending the party, and will be bringing the folding chairs that the host requested in the invite e-mail, on the other hand, is really important. There’s no need for everyone to show up with chairs (unless it’s a musical chairs party…in which case: why are you going?), so you should make it very clear you are bringing said chairs…or food items, or anything else with potential for overlap.
2.) Never reply all with competing plans.
You can’t attend the bar-b-que on Saturday because you want to go to the beach instead? And while you’re at it, you figure you should make sure everyone on the invite knows they are also invited to that plan in case they want to ditch the earlier plan? Girl, please. Introducing a new plan to the mix - even if it’s not on the same day - is uber rude, not to mention confusing in the Gchain (oh like you’re using Yahoo!). Pretty soon all plans go down hill, and it’s your fault. If you must make competing plans after the first plans were introduced, do it way more slyly. Phone call style. If you gotta be bitchy, don’t leave a paper trail.
3.) Never reply all with inside jokes.
Again - super confusing, and super annoying. Inside jokes are for smaller e-mail chains - AKA the inside.
4.) If you are absolutely positive that you have something funny to share - as in would bet your life that it is the most hilarious link you’ve ever seen and have confirmed it with an independent source - reply all:
If this is the case, do a quick check of the e-mail addresses on the chain. A lot of work e-mails? Worth throwing in a NSFW warning…cause if it’s funny, it’s probably NSFW.
5.) Never reply all saying negative things about someone else on the e-mail chain:
This should go without saying. As someone who has made this mistake before, you never actually stop feeling guilty about it. The longer the list of people on the e-mail, the higher of a risk that your bitchy words are accidentally going to make it back to their subject. See rule #2 - if you gotta be bitchy, don’t leave a paper trail.
6.) Don’t reply all with questions that only pertain to you:
Can I bring my cousin who is in town because she’s going through a rough divorce? Is it ok if I spend the night because as you know I’m on my 3rd DUI? Will there be gluten-free options available? Oh my god high maintenance! I would recommend you don’t even reply with those, but if you must, at least don’t reply all.
7.) Never reply all with the sole purpose of telling the group how that last e-mail made you react.
So…replying to 20 people with “LOL” is out of the question, folks. This is something appropriate to send directly to the person who made you “LOL,” if you must use that abbreviation, because it will reinforce to them that what they replied all with was, indeed, funny, and that they should feel free to reply all with such humor in the future.
8.) When the party is over, it’s time to stop replying all:
It’s time for a whole new e-mail chain for the next party!*
If you have a picture like this that you know everyone will benefit from seeing, that is worth one final reply all. But remove anyone who did not attend, because, no one wants to hear about all the fun they didn’t have.
Working from home, my day goes something like this: Write for 10 minutes, check e-mail, check Facebook, throw the dog a ball, take something out of the refrigerator, repeat. So, we’re talking opening the refrigerator about five times an hour, which over the course of a 10 hour day is 50 times into the fridge.
I’m not proud of this, but A.) Everyone has some sort of ADD and B.) Food has been a reward for as long as I can remember. Specifically ice cream. Ice cream was a reward for just about everything: school plays, report cards, track meets, soccer games. Ice cream makes sense to reward all of those things, especially those based in physical activity. It’s fairly impossible to grow out of this learned behavior.
Which led me to a conundrum: if I pulled out ice cream every time I took my 50 food breaks, I would be a planet! An unemployed, going broke on food, planet. A happy-in-the-short-term planet, cause - you know - ice cream is the best, but long term, I prefer to have a waist.
It is a damn good thing for aforementioned waist that I discovered frozen grapes.
The grapes were initially put in the freezer because they were nearing their raisin phase in the fridge, and had to be saved for smoothies. But then curiosity took over (i.e. I hit the bottom of my current pint of Ben & Jerry’s). What do these delightful orbs taste like when frozen?
They taste just like ice cream!* I feel a little Gwyneth Paltrow-y here in the pretending health food is delicious department, but it’s not like I’m saying lightly flavored water hits the spot…ever. Frozen grapes, on the other hand, are my new go-to summer snack. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it works for all grape-sized fruits with a high water content! Next shopping trip, just know I’m trying this with blueberries.
The thing with frozen grapes (which I think I’m going to rename something cool, like mega-dip ‘n dots), is that you have to chew them because they still have skin. This causes mild tooth pain. Tooth pain, in general, is not a reason I advise most things, but it makes the frozen grapes hard to eat fast, which is a huge, huge pro.
So whip yourself up a batch of Mega Dip ‘N Dots. It couldn’t be easier. Just remove the grapes from the (branch? Do we call it a branch?)**, wash them, put them in a bowl, put them in the freezer. Preferably in front of the ice cream. Out of site, off of waist.
*Listen, I want to keep my street cred when it comes to knowing good junk food: they’re not really “just like ice cream!” Ice cream is considerably more delicious, and comes in many flavors that are wayyyy better than grape. But they are a decent substitute for people living in the real world where calories are a thing.
**I looked it up later. It’s a vine. Grapes grow on a vine. It’s so weird that I’m still unemployed.
…because you will forget them. But only the good ideas. I remember every completely mediocre idea that passes through my brain (Such as…I should invent a pouch that attaches to the inside of a car door to store “Driving Flip Flops”), but the truly inspired ones never make it past my hippocampus.
Do you know how many Pulitzers I’ve probably missed out on because I don’t carry a notepad with me? I would say three at the very least. Probably an Oscar too. At least a Golden Globe.
Part of funemployment is having the worst health insurance available in this country. I’m responsible enough to know I need health insurance, but in denial enough about real health concerns that I think the only thing I really need to prepare for is if I get hit by a bus. Essentially, I have the type of insurance that if I get strep throat, it will make me just as broke as if I get hit by a bus, but neither will have me completely indebted to a hospital for life. I don’t think. The paperwork is very confusing.
My plan GENEROUSLY covers one doctor’s appointment in all essential areas each year, anything on top of that is basically a car payment. It’s probably best if I don’t get sick, and it’s definitely best if I keep all of my medical questions to myself, lest I get charged for a non-essential doctor’s appointment, or as I used to call it “preventative care.”
Enter WebMD, and the seven things I am dying from this week.
WebMD symptom checker lets us click our way to a totally reliable diagnosis in the comfort of our own homes. No medical degree needed. All you need to know is if you are a male or a female (check), your age (check) where it hurts on an avatar. I mean, why does anyone even go to med school when this resource is so readily available?
Let’s run through how I diagnosed myself with a terminal illness this morning, shall we? I woke up with a mild headache. When selecting my symptoms from the head area on WebMD, I learned about symptoms I didn’t even know existed (but will be sure to watch out for), such as “Pulling Out Eyebrows,” “Craving to eat ice, dirt or paper” and “see letters, numbers or musical notes as colors.” There were also some symptoms that indicated diseases I’m pretty sure I could diagnose even without MD (“Visible bugs or parasites” = you got lice, bro and “Morning alcohol drinking (eye opener)” = you are in college).
Anyway, I clicked “headache” and answered 9 questions about said headache. It turns out I could have about 30 illnesses, such as Type 2 Diabetes, Aseptic Meningitis, Fibromyalgia, Botox, or Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. To narrow that down, I identified symptoms that I only realized I had after seeing them on the symptom checker (food cravings, forgetfulness, lack of motivation, slow thinking, fear of gaining weight, easily distracted, difficult to wake from sleep - I HAVE ALL OF THESE). Apparently now I could also have Typhoid Fever or - wait for it - THE PLAGUE. Or it could be a tension headache. I’ve spent the better part of the afternoon Googling plague images, and I really…really…REALLY hope it’s a tension headache.
The only thing that could possible make this sight more pornographic for hypochondriacs is if you had the option for the avatar to be customized to your likeness.
So stay off WebMD, or you’ll end up adding “anxiety” to the symptom checker, which will probably lead to being diagnosed with zombie-itis.
Let me immediately clarify: this is not an euphemism for shacking up and banging. This is legit advice to grab ya snuggie and ya gal pals and have a slumber party.
I hated sleepovers as a kid. Seriously - they were just the worst for so many reasons. I’m not sure who defined sleeping on the floor, in a bag, in a room full of others as a fun activity for children, but to me, that sounds more like a low class orphanage than a party. And I was the only loser who ever wanted to sleep. Which I couldn’t. Because I was on the floor. In a bag. With others.
Flash forward 20 years: adult sleepovers are the best! There’s a bed for everyone involved, everyone enjoys going to bed at a reasonable hour, grownups have better gossip than stupid kids, and the food selection has improved to much better high calorie junk. And there’s alcohol. One of the best questions anyone can ask me at the end of the day is “dirty martini or wine?” The answer last night was “dirty martini, please,” because nothing goes with snuggle parties and Mean Girls like dirty martinis.
It really doesn’t get worse than lack of sleep. Alright, I’m sure it does, but I’m also sure I’m too lucky to have experienced anything much worse.
The past few days/nights have had the type of sporadic work schedule that has me up at 6:30AM, working until midnight, and not sleeping until way later. Note that there are many, many, maaaany hours in the middle there where I don’t have to work, but I certainly haven’t been getting my requisite beauty sleep.
I completely forgot how amazing a power nap could be until this week. Moments ago, I woke up on my couch feeling completely refreshed, but panicked because I assumed I had dozed off for hours. Nope! 30 minutes.
Here’s the key: lie down on the couch and turn on Olympic Water Polo (they should sell this track for the white noise machine at Sharper Image). While watching and becoming immediately bored, knock back a cup of hot coffee really quickly. The warmth of the coffee and the intense dullness of the water polo will knock you right out. About 30 minutes later, the caffeine will set in, wake you up, and have you on your way.
This can - and should - be done at the workplace as well. Like you waste any less than triple the amount of time you would be power napping on the internet daily.
Travel Tips by Caila is a recurring feature with helpful travel tips from a frequent flier/non-moron.
Tip # 12: Before you take a cab from the airport, explore the other possibilities first. There is a pretty good chance you’ll get to the hotel and realize that it’s 50 steps away from a subway stop that would have been cheaper, faster, and easier than the near-death cab ride you just took. Except in LA. Don’t get on public transport in LA or you’ll never actually get to your final destination (unless your final destination is Hollywood & Highland: gross). Or New York. Or Miami. Alright, this advice might just apply in Europe, some midwest cities and San Francisco.
Tip # 13: Don’t give in to jet lag, no matter how incredibly tempting it is. Even if the bed just looks so comfortable, and you only slept an hour on the red eye, and the bed looks so comfortable, and it’s only going to be for a minute, and the bed looks so comfort….fuck! Three hours just went by. See how that happens? Stay away from the bed and get some fresh air.
Tip # 14: Always work out when you travel. You’ll sleep better, feel less guilty about everything you’re about to consume, and even though you’re on vacation, fat isn’t. Running or biking is the way to go - you get to see more of the city you’re visiting in a shorter amount of time, get to know the landscape and look like a local, all while avoiding the worst souvenir you can bring home: love handles…
Tip #15: …But eat everything. Isn’t that the main reason we travel anyway? Forget consuming culture - I can keep eating new foods LONG after I’ve had my fill of museums.
Tip #16: Don’t be embarrassed about consulting the guide book. That’s why you bought it, anyway. Just put a book cover on it that makes it seem like you’re reading something deep…like 50 Shades of Grey. That’ll fool em.
Tip #17: Don’t act like an idiot in other countries. The public perception of the US doesn’t need your help in that department.
Tip #18: Don’t wear any articles of clothing bearing the name of the place you’re visiting…even if you brought it from home. That’s like wearing a t-shirt of a band backstage at their concert. Don’t be that guy, bro.
Really - don’t let it win. Just start writing. Write anything. Here, let me demonstrate:
As I am writing this, I am currently beating writer’s block. Something brilliant is going to come to me at any moment. Any. Moment. If I just keep writing, it will just enter into my thoughts and onto the page. Which it’s going to do. Any time now. Really…any time.
Oh - some more Travel Tips by Caila?* On it!
*Not exactly brilliance, but not a blank page, either.
Travel Tips by Caila is a recurring feature with helpful travel tips from a frequent flier/non-moron.
Tip #4: In rows with 3 seats (ugh, coach), the person in the middle seat has dibs on both armrests. That person needs to sit between two other grown humans…give them a break.
Tip #5: In rows with 2 seats, the person who gets his/her arm on the arm rest first has dibs. Hate if you must.
Tip #6: The in-flight entertainment screens are not as responsive to touch are your iPhone. Therefore, when the screen does not immediately respond to your every wish, do not get frustrated and poke at it until you feel better. The person in front of you is trying to sleep.
Tip #7: If you notice a junior high or high school field trip at your gate, you have several options. These options are Xanex, Klonopin, Ativan and Valium.* If this happens when you are on a red eye, you have one option: miss your flight and try again tomorrow.
Tip #8: Alcohol has a stronger effect as the altitude increases. What you do with this information counts as Tip #8.
Tip #9: We get it: no one likes when a baby screams on a plane. Amongst those people are the parents of the screaming baby, who need to deal with the baby well after the plane lands. So count yourself lucky it’s not yours, pop a birth control pill, and stop giving the parents dirty looks.
Tip #10: Airlines don’t pick in flight entertainment based on which films grossed the most money at the box office, nor do they pick them based on critical acclaim. My guess is they are either picked through studio partnerships, or a deal with the devil to make sure everyone who missed John Carter or One for the Money is held captive with those films in cross country flights. Bring back up entertainment.
Tip #11: Airline headphones - except those provided by Virgin America - are amongst the most uncomfortable things you can stick in your ears (falling closely behind rusty nails and pre-chewed gum). It’s not worth the minuscule space you’re saving by not packing your iPod ear buds: bring your own headphones.
When I was 18, I got a tattoo. When you are 18, things of permenance seem like a good idea, because you only really have 10 years of life that you remember. You have no concept of how very, very long life is when you are trying to pass as a respectable grown up…with a shamrock tramp stamp.
Yes. There it is. I said it, and I own it. I have a tramp stamp.
In fairness, at the time I got the tattoo, the tramp stamp moniker had yet to be coined (or, more realistically, I had yet to hear it). It was just called a “lower back tattoo” in those days. Even in my minor act of rebellion, I thought this was a perfectly sensible place to get a tattoo. It would be out at the beach (or in the trashy backless shirts we - sort of - pulled off freshman year of college), but would be covered by work clothes, wedding dresses, and in all other cases where a tattoo would be inappropriate.
But then it happened. Some genius made up term tramp stamp - or this genius heard it for the first time - and it hit me:
Oh holy Jesus, I have a slut marker permanently etched on my body.
I let this go for a solid 10 years. It’s amazing what you can push to the back of your mind when 4 of those years are spent in a drunken college haze, and the next 4 are spent in an anxiety-induced haze due to paying off the first 4 years on an entry level salary. When both hazes had past, I had time to reflect. I had that Carrie Bradshaw moment where I couldn’t help but wonder: why the fuck do I still have clip art on my back?
I am a well respected professional (in my own mind). I don’t sleep around (to your knowledge). I have body “art” indicating otherwise. Even if no one else is doing it (which they are), I’m judging myself.
And the shamrock. Really, 18 year old me? The freckles and general gingerness weren’t enough? Had to really broadcast your rich cultural heritage? Name 4 cities in Ireland that aren’t Dublin. Yeah, thought so. Why didn’t you just get a dolphin or whatever the Chinese character is for love? At least dolphins swim, and love conquers all.
So it was time. Time for the incredibly painful, expensive, and time consuming process of laser tattoo removal. Research the specifics if need be, but just know that it feels - and smells - like someone is burning said tattoo off of my body. Not with fire; more accurately it’s like if someone held a dull needle over an inferno for awhile and then dragged it around my back and then charged me $100/session and then made it last for going on 20 sessions with no end in sight. And didn’t validate parking.
Now, you may be reading this and thinking “Why bash against all tattoos? Why not just get something in a non-slut indicative?” Much like I had no way of knowing that a lower back tattoo was the new “Come and Get It” t-shirt, none of us can predict what the next tramp stamp will be? Could it be the Toe Hoe? Gut slut? Shoesie Floozy? Loose Caboose? Swarmy army? I don’t know! It might not even rhyme! But no body part is safe.
So don’t get a tattoo. If you are a teenager - don’t listen to me. Don’t listen to your parents. Definitely don’t listen to the tattoo artist. Listen to yourself in 10 years. Yourself in 10 years is calling you a petulant little moron, and you know best, right?
Always have an updated passport/ Introducing: Travel Tips by Caila
Both legitimate advice and my excuse du jour as to why the blog has been silent for 2 weeks.
I received many, many, many messages while I was gone inquiring about the whereabouts of my blog (One. It was actually asking if I was dead or Taken because I hadn’t updated my Facebook status in weeks, but I just KNOW I have loyal followers out there who were wondering).
I am not dead. I was not Taken. But I WAS on a two week vacay in Europe where - for better or worse - I turned all technology off. I really do marvel at how most people have trouble doing that. I suppose most people also have trouble leaving a job without another one lined up or at least a financial plan - but once again, I prove that I’m not “most people.*”
I will not bore the masses (I’m pretty sure I’m in double digit readership at this point!) with a slideshow and essay on what I did over my summer vacation, but I will jump right into a new blog section the trip inspired: Travel Tips by Caila.
I am a fairly seasoned traveler. More importantly, I am not an effing moron. Unfortunately, neither of these things can be said about most people I encounter while traveling. Whether you are one of these people (yes, I’m looking right at you “well this duffle bag that could fit three adult bodies fit in the overhead compartment last time! I don’t get it!” guy), or a know-it-all travel snob like myself, you will find these tips incredibly helpful in dealing with the planes, trains, automobiles and morons that stand between you and your final destination.
Tip #1: Take a look at where you are standing at the baggage carousel. Now, take 3 giant steps back. Memorize that location. Use that location each time you are at baggage claim in the future. My guess is that you will find it easier to take those three steps forward once you have located your luggage (good thing you put a red ribbon on your black suitcase, BTW. Now it will NEVER get confused with anyone else’s), than all the shoving and jostling from the people behind you trying to get their bags when you are flush against the baggage carousel.
Tip #2: If you are not strong enough to remove your bag from the baggage carousel in one heave, you need to pack less. As amusing as I find it to watch 90 pound high school girls trying to lug their 90 pound Louis Vuitton luggage off the carousel at LAX, it disrupts the natural order of baggage claim irreparably. If you have to take more than 2 steps with your luggage around the carousel, it’s time to reassess your packing.
Tip #3: Children don’t belong anywhere near baggage claim. Sure, it’s sort of cute to watch 5-year-olds pull their Dora the Explorer roller bags through the terminal, but that cuteness stops the moment they get in the way at baggage claim. Baggage claim is one of those survival of the fittest situations, and empowered by Darwin, I will knock your kids over if they get between me and my luggage.
So many more tips to come. We’re still just at the airport.
*If it wasn’t clear from the context, in this case “most people” translates to “responsible adults.”
A good friend of mine passed this advice along to me when I made the leap to funemployment: schedule all of your errands between 10AM and noon.
Although all of the hours in the day are theoretically free and clear, the only time to get anything done that requires a car are those two magic late morning hours. Beyond that: the day will fall victim to the traffic surrounding quick to-dos.
Every other usable hour in LA is part of a traffic situation, not including the post midnight ones when nothing constructive is open. 7-10 is morning rush hour. Then you have your magic hours: DVR SVU and use them wisely. After that, 12-2:30 is lunch traffic (specifically sushi traffic if you are venturing to Ventura Boulevard). 2:30 - 5 is “leave work early” traffic (which you would not think would be as heavy as normal rush hour, but you’d be dead wrong). 5-8 is evening rush hour. Overlapping that is the 7-9 dinner/gotta get to premiere seating traffic. Overlapping that is the 8-midnight movie/drinks/gotta get to the after party traffic. Then I guess you could drive around, but the dry cleaner and Bank of America closed 3 traffic cycles ago, so what’s the point?
Sure the morning and evening rushes are among the worst, but they’re all pretty bad. Forget trying to get to LAX in the morning, around 2:30PM (the last direct non-red eye flights to the east coast are at 4ish), or pre any of the 9pm - 1am red eyes. The traffic on all sides of the Grove at all hours (other than magic ones) is incomprehensible for a quasi-mall that doesn’t even have a shoe store. The left lane of Beverly Boulevard between the Beverly Center and the Beverly/Santa Monica intersection is generally backed up with all the cars taking a left into Cedars (how many emergencies are there, anyway)? The real reason people in Hollywood never see their friends in Brentwood has nothing to do with the fact that the Brentwood folks are considerably more successful: it’s the vortex of hate we call Westwood Center. And don’t even get me started on the section of the 101 that runs through Downtown. I don’t care what bar-I’ll-never-really-go-to-because-it’s-east-of-Western just opened; I am not braving the 101 for that nonsense.
It’s all a cluster. Except for magic hours. Then all of these red sig zones just clear up. Perhaps it’s because they are the only two hours where people with jobs consistently get work done; they were definitely my productivity times when I worked from an office. Had I known how quickly I could drive from Hollywood to Santa Monica at 11AM, I probably would have rescheduled my life long ago.
I might have even started a daytime drag racing club.
If You are Kidnapped by an Eastern European Gang while on Vacation in Paris, Don’t Tempt Fate by Taking another Vacay in Eastern Europe 4 Years Later With Your Dad Who Killed a Lot of Dangerous Guys with Dangerous Friends Living in Eastern Europe
Admittedly, this advice is for one very specific (fictional) person: Kim Mills (as played by Maggie Grace in One of The Cinematic Achievements of Our Generation, Taken).
The Trailer for Taken 2 was just released this week, and I have to take a moment from my utter excitement to take a quick reality check here (on un-real people).
Kimmy, Kimmy, Kimmy. What are we going to do with you? First you go off and get yourself kidnapped in Paris by an Eastern European gang, and then you take a relaxing vacation…where? EASTERN EUROPE? AND you bring your MOM into it this time? Oh, honey. Where do I start?
Let’s start with the group of people more unfortunate than you: people who have not seen Taken. Listen. Sometimes I’m sarcastic. This is not one of those times. Taken is awesome and your life is incomplete if you haven’t seen it. Public service announcement: see it right now then come back and read this. If you’re at “work” or wherever and don’t have time to check out Taken (or don’t watch it on the regular like I have since 2008), let me review the plot.
Brian Mills (played by Liam Neeson) is an ex-CIA agent who is trying to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter, Kim (played by Maggie Grace and styled by Gap Kids). They’re not like, super-estranged, but Brian and her mom Lenore (don’t call her Lenny) (played by Famke Janssen) got divorced because he was married to his dangerous job and Lenore preferred a husband who could buy Kim a horse for her birthday (not a lame 80’s karaoke machine like Brian did). Anyway, Kim heads to Paris with her slutty-ish pal Amanda (played by Katie Cassidy) to follow U2 on tour. Brian is un-thrilled about this, but no one listens to him because he used to be in the CIA and what does he know about dangerous areas internationally. Big mistake. Before even seeing one concert Kim and Amanda meet this cutie at the airport, who unfortunately is a spotter and sends this Eastern European sex trafficking gang straight to their fancy apartment in the 7th. Kim and Amanda are Taken. Brian is on the phone during the whole kidnapping and gives the best monologue of all time. He then heads to Europe, kills like 30 people super violently, shoots a government official’s wife in the arm after she makes him a nice dinner, and rescues Kim. Not Amanda, though. She wasn’t a virgin so she choked on her own vomit and died (Hear that, kids? Have sex and you’ll die covered in your own vomit). Then Kim and her mom and her horse-buying step-dad take car service home from the airport and let Brian-the-hero-with-a-shot-arm take a cab. Rude. It’s really a flawless film.
So with the above information, would you not agree that it’s a little, shall we say, over-adventurous for Kim and Lenny to surprise Brian in Istanbul a few years later? I mean, isn’t there a Club Med somewhere in the Florida Keys that sounds a little safer?
This is meant with no offense to Turkey. I’ve heard it’s lovely to visit. I’d like to make a trip there one day. That said, if my dad killed all these Eastern European gang members on my behalf, I probably wouldn’t.
You know what else? I probably wouldn’t leave the house, let alone the country, if I had recently been kidnapped with the intention to be sold to a sheik for sex slavery. I’ve never been kidnapped by a sex-trafficking gang from a fictional former-Soviet country, but I can assume it’s wicked traumatizing.
So where are we going with this, Kim? Am I to expect a naive monologue about how you’re not going to live your life in fear because you’ve been given a second chance during the film? That’s going to make me mad for two reasons. 1.) Selfish. You get kidnapped again, guess who’s going to have to truck around every seedy neighborhood killing thugs to find you? That’s right: your dad. He’s nearing his golden years, give the guy a break. 2.) Only your dad is allowed to give awesome monologues.
What is it with fictional Kims getting themselves in trouble and leaning on their government agent dads to fix it? Yeah, Kim Bauer from 24: I haven’t forgotten about you. You gave your dad season upon season of grief with all of your shenanigans. He rescued you from terrorists/Eric Balfour’s scuzzy beard: did you really need to become a nanny for a psychopath of a family and find a dead body in your trunk so soon after? I respect your decision to get in sitcom-witness protection on Happy Endings. Kim Mills: follow suit.
But what I really want to say is: thank you for your stupidity. I cannot wait for Taken: 2. who’s with me for the midnight screening?!
I don’t know where my aversion to getting my car washed came from. Maybe it was that I grew up in Upstate New York, and every time the car was washed (which only happened during the non-snowy months of May - September), it would rain. Perhaps it is the aggressive brushes. Maybe I just like the mystique of “there’s no way that girl can see out of her windshield: she must be one dangerous chick.”
Or maybe I’m just lazy.
Yes, yes I think that’s it.
I last got my car washed by the folks at the repair shop after they repaired the break-in damage. So that was…three months ago. Is that gross?
Three months is a very long time, especially in the spring when pollen, sap, and god knows what else is added to the smog in the air. Oh right: forgot about the road trip to Sedona - so add red rock dust to the mix as well. There are actually leaves stuck to the roof of my car - I think several neighbors assume I have decoupaged it.
I have been saying for at least the past month and a half (usually right before pulling into valet) that I should get it washed. Note that there are five car washes within a one mile radius of my home, and that I’l super funemployed and have all the time in the world to do this. It just never seemed pressing.
This was up until this morning. As per usual, the front windshield was so very dirty that I could not see out of it in the morning sun. As per usual, I planned to use the wiper fluid as a quick fix. As not per usual, the wipers did not move. Though wiper fluid was sprayed all over my windshield, my car was so covered by whatever-the-fuck that the wipers were stuck in place.
I could hear them try to move. They were practically screaming “oil can!” But they did not budge.
And there was the wake up call. My car was actually so dirty that it broke.
So off to the car wash, where some unlucky employee is going to be tasked with the unfortunate duty of de-sapping 3 months of uncovered parking from my car. No matter how handsome the tip, I can’t imagine he’ll be thrilled.
This weekend, the restaurant debate began in earnest at my home. The kind that starts when you’re hungry, and can only think of the 5 places you go all the time, and not the 400 places you’ve been meaning to try and drive by when you are not hungry. Wanting to try somewhere that we don’t go every weekend (read: anywhere on 3rd Street), Red Medicine came up.
I went to the opening, and I was not a fan of Red Medicine. The service was brutal (sure, a forgivable offense that can be improved). Beyond that, the food was just mediocre, and the atmosphere was just “meh.” It wasn’t super expensive, but not cheap enough for it to be just “meh.” I was trying to get Red “Meh” dicine to be a thing, but it was one of those mash up words that didn’t work when spoken (because it sounded exactly like Red Medicine). I was not having any of it.
Then the boyfriend said my second favorite words: “my treat.”* Alright, Red “Meh”dicine it was. I would go into it with an open mind, but I would also be completely satisfied if I was able to say “I told you so” at the end of the meal. It’s what makes me a bad person.
But then my mind was blown.
We got there around 9 on a Saturday with no reservation, and although the place was bustling, the entire staff was so nice and tried their best to get us seated quickly. We squeezed in at the bar for a (delicious) cocktail, and ended up staying there for (even more delicious) food. The service was fantastic, the staff recommendations were right on, and the food was just out of control good.
How could I have been so very wrong about an establishment? Had it really changed that much in a year?
Maybe it was the food selection that made the difference (incidentally: Brussels sprouts, crab crepes, pork belly, amber jack, chicken dumplings) (yes, just 2 of us), but I don’t think so. I remember eating most of the menu the first time I went, too. Maybe it was that we drank our way through a few too many cocktails. Maybe the improved service made the difference. Maybe I was just in a mood the first time I went.
I’ll never know exactly what it was, but I have been falsely accusing Red Medicine of being mediocre for over a year now. Or, accurately accusing, but not knowing about recent improvements. I’m sorry, Red Medicine. And I’m sorry, everyone who I told not to go. More importantly: I’m sorry, me. I have been missing out on delightful meals thanks to my “this place is overrated” stance, but having lifted it for the sake of a second chance, my life is all the better.
This has happened in the past in so many ways. One of my current good friends and I had a really intense feud during nursery school. It involved the dress up costumes. Gauntlets were thrown. Allies were chosen. War amongst 4-year olds. I don’t think you’re getting the severity of this. She had a twin. I had a BFF. I’m shocked we all made it through, but I don’t need to get into it. We’ve made our peace. Had we held that past junior high (And I don’t care if we deny it when we’re around sane people: I’m pretty sure we were both still holding on to that feud in 7th grade), we’d never be friends now.
And then there was Mad Men. Ducking and covering, but when I first watched an episode of that show, I hated it. This, I thought, was a case of group think gone terribly wrong. Who is this attractive man and why is he in Palm Springs with all of these strangers? This year, I decided to start watching the series from the beginning (funemployment), and guess what? The show is amazing. It was just that effing Palm Springs episode that was so, so bad.
And don’t even get me started on leggings! When I was ages 5-7, I was obsessed with leggings. Such flattering comfort, and just so durable on the playground. But then, I had a pair of stirrup pants and just got over it (Over the socks? Under the socks? Too much stress for a child). But then, circa 2006-2008, they came back. Such a comfortable 2 years that I never would have experienced had I held on to the stirrup grudge on leggings. I might even take this lesson and apply it to body suits if they ever made a comeback (American Apparel doesn’t count). Just because I gave up on them before, doesn’t mean I don’t miss the reassurance that my shirt won’t ever ride up because it is snapped at the crotch. Fashion genius.
I derailed here somewhere around “snapped at the crotch” being “genius,” but I think I’m going to start doling out a few more second chances. But that’s it. One second chance. If something sucks twice, it is committed to being horrible. Stirrup pants: I’m looking right at you.
*My first favorite words are “I have a present for you.”
I have two sources to blame for my card arriving late: capitalism and my dad.
Capitalism really got me this year, in the form of a serious Father’s Day advertising push. The Father’s Day ads just started way earlier this year than in past years. I remember seeing the first one and thinking “oh is that coming up?” and dismissing it from my mind when I realized Father’s Day was over a month away. Between the time the ad ran and now, I had time to see the socially conscious JC Penny ad, form a strong affinity toward it, purchase a JC Penny dress online to show my support for their social responsibility, receive it on regular ground shipping, and wear it three times. One would argue that I also had time to send a Father’s Day card somewhere in there, but it seemed less pressing.
The other source I’m going to blame is my actual Dad. My Dad, much like most dads, doesn’t need or ask for much. He would probably flip out if I sent one of those GQ Father’s Day gift suggestions, because those are only ever appropriate if your dad is a fashion editor or CEO of Gucci. My Dad’s a teacher, and he’s fine with just a card. That takes the pressure off, but apparently so much so that I forgot the holiday until the window for a west coast-sent card to arrive on the east coast on time had been closed.
If you’re like me and forgot about how close Father’s Day was until you read this, that’s why Omaha Steaks was invented. At time of post, it’s still not too late to send a steak. Sorry, cows, I’ll try to be more on top of it next year.