Saturday, July 30, 2011

Domestic Angel (Part II)

For Matt and I's six month anniversary celebration I decided to make a whole chicken roast.   I picked this recipe, because the thought of serving a whole chicken seemed very Norman Rockwell-y and I felt smug and self-satisfied.  Betty Draper would serve a whole chicken, I reasoned.  

As soon as I got home, I  went to the refrigerator, released "Gertrude" (as I named the chicken--growing up we always named the Turkeys at Thanksgiving, so I decide this chicken needed a name before she was sacraficed to a made-up anniversary celebration) from her plastic packaging, ripped out her insides, and began anally raping her dead carcass with whole lemons and herbs.  The whole thing was feeling a bit more "Silence of the Lambs" than Norman Rockwell, and I hadn't bargained for this level of intimacy with my meal just to create an intimate meal.   Also, shoving things inside a chicken carcass isn't as neat and simple as it's portrayed on the cooking show.   Gertrude's ribs couldn't accomedate the two full lemons the recipe called for, so it took some real maneuvering up inside her business (literally) to get it to stay.   "How the hell did women do this in pearls,"  I wondered aloud.   I felt more like I needed an execution hood.
Gertie, after her guilt-inducing anal probe.

After I sucessfully got Gertie in the oven, I proceeded to the less barbaric aspects of the meal.   Asparagus chopping, potato peelings, chocolate strawberry making--the rest of the endeavor was very pleasant and not nearly as emotionally scarring.   When Gertie, came out, however, she no longer looked like a dead mound of flesh, she looked like something that would be at home in Stepford, Connecticut.   I was so smug and proud of myself I was on the verge of even annoying me.   No one was around to marvel with me--so I looked down at my cat and said, "Gracie, look what mommy made."  Gracie turned abruptly and, like she does, showed me her anus.   Seriously, between cat and chicken anus, I feel like I see more than a proctologist.  

Come on, just look at that!  Wouldn't you be smug, too?!

So, that's the gist of the evening.   Matt was impressed, but not as impressed as I was--with myself.   I even said, "Oh my God, mmmmmm" loudly, as I took my first bite, causing Matt to say, "It's annoying when you compliment your own cooking.  Let me do that."  To which I snapped back, "Well, I'm eating too, aren't I?"   Needless to say, Gertie left this world for a good cause.   

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A letter of appology for my sub-par blogging as of late...

Let's face it; my blog hasn't been very good lately.   Usually I am the last person to say anything negative about myself, due to a combination of vanity and delusion, but I can admit it.  My last funny entry was "Domestic Angel".  It was charming, and warm, and relatable--all the same things that made the Sonny and Cher Show popular.  Now my blogs are more like those depressing attempts Sonny and Cher made to have a variety show after they got divorced, the ones where instead of singing "I got you babe" they shook hands formaly and glared at eachother. 

This downturn in quality, believe it or not, weighs heavily on my mind.  I'm not good at very much, but by God, I want to be good at making people laugh.   But I don't have any heart-warming tales of domestic bliss, lately.    I haven't gone on any trips.   I haven't tried any new recipes.   Last night, I went with some people from work to Trivia, drank 3 German beers in about two and half hours and then went home and trimmed my cat's toenails while she flailed desperately to get away from me.   It was actually kind of a production and I thought about blogging about my feline grooming attempts last night--but it's just too depressing for me to blog about my cat. She already is my greatest source of pride and unconditional love; isn't that enough of an idignity?  Other sources of indignity: staring at my compuer screen and fantasizing about the sushi I am going to eat for lunch in order to get through the morning, looking forward to waking up weekend mornings, alone, and with a cat's anus in my face because it's better than the alternative, when I wake up alone, and with a cat's anus in my face and have to get up and go to work. 

Such is my life.   And I'm decently happy about this.  I like my job, I'm making new friends.   I'm settling in to my life's routine.   Still, most of the things I do nowadays are work related, unfunny, or lame.  Like this morning, I seriously had a boiling hot rage because I was out of the kind of yogurt I wanted to eat with my omega-3 laden flax granola.   Lack of my morning dose of active cultures can illcit rage in me. 

Hopefully, I'll have another charming blog about my attempts at domesticity, because it's my six month anniversary with Matt tomorrw, so I'm cooking.   But really, even I think celebrating for a sixth month anniversay is kind of lame.  We're not doing presents or flowers or anything really romantic, so it's not really an anniversary celebration--I just am desperate for something, anything, to give me a reason to celebrate.   I picture a beautiful dinner, laid out on a nicely set table, in a clean, fresh apartment smelling of lemons.  In reality, I'll probably burn the fucking dinner, my house will smell like cat pee, and Matt and I will fight, just like during the last 2 out of 3 dinners I've cooked for Matt.   Bah Hum-bug!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wedding Season

Love is in the air and it's summer wedding season.  The love I'm referring to of course, my love for bad reality television.   Because the love ain't coming from these couple--they make Spears and Federline look like soul mates.   Introducing my new two new guilty pleasures: "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" and "Bridezillas"

"My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding":
I've always felt a special affinity for gypsies.  My Grandma claims her ancestors were Hungarian nobility, but logic suggests we were instead Romanian gypsies.  Logic such as the fact my Great Aunt and Uncle look like the woman who danced the dance of the seven veils and the camel driver who brought her there.  But these aren't my family's gypsies.   These are Irish travelers.  They are Europe's answer to the Jersey Shore bunch.   There are fake tans, big hair, absurd tacky dresses--and puritanical values.  Can you see why this is so addictive?  

  I was flipping through the TV and on TLC I saw a child in an ABSOLUTELY enormous pink, pouffy gown.   Of course, I thought this must have been a child pageant show, and since nothing pleases me like watching psychologically-scarring parenting tactics in action, I stopped flipping and started watching.   The resulting show was better than I could have possibly imagined.  It was like watching a seven car pile up on the interstate.   Apparently, the way Irish travelers celebrate important religious sacraments--such as weddings and first holy communions--is to wear 70-350 lb tulle and glitter monstrosities, which they call dresses and to exchange in otherwise ridiculous debauchery.  The announcer said if the sheer weight of the dress doesn't cause scaring, cuts, or blisters, the girls will consider their dress sub-par.  I watched, cackling in sheer delight while the girls desperately tried to maneuver through doorways, which was impossible due to the four feet of dress sticking out from her waist in every direction.   Also, traveler girls get married at age sixteen, drop out of school at eleven, and live in trailers.  Even though the girls dress like prostitutes, they cannot be seen alone in public, go on dates, or spend the night outside of the home before the night of their wedding.  It's like amish values and showgirl taste.  

Gypsy first communion...

Modest, Tasteful...

The top photo plus, fifteen, well, in this case, like 8 years.


Bridezillas isn't new.  But I don't know how I lived without it.   It isn't just bitchy brides, oh no, these woman are Ghet-To.   It's all kinds of trash, which is heartwarming in the sense that there really must be  someone for everyone.  And I mean, EVERYONE.  One of the brides is a self-professed "bro ho" and is throwing a charming theme wedding--aptly, "Bros and Bo-Hos".   I watched with sick glee as this delightful girl, literally held her fiance's balls in her fist  until he gave her his credit card.  You cannot write this stuff.

My friend Sam also told me of an EVEN better "Bridezilla"  episode, in which a KFC bucket was passed around at the Rehearsal Dinner for donations.   "This shit was expensive, ya'll better give us some money." That is only slightly upstaged by a Bridezilla's mother hitting on her own first cousin and then saying to the camera, "I totally wanna fuck my cousin."  Well, alrighty then.  Other highlights:  refusing to pay for the church, tears of frustration, demanding the bridemaids  lose weight, blowing smoke into the face of a child, and telling the groom he was "just an accessory".   Ah, young love.   

A proportionate response to wedding day stresses...

Meet Tricia, our bro ho fo sho.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lapses in Communication

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus I might be from planet Zardock like my sister told me when I was little. I don't do it on purpose, but I just hear and see and think about things in a completely different way than most other people.   To me this is logical, but to other people (including my confused boyfriend) its logic along the vein of 1+2=7,000.  

This week, apparently God decided to punish me for secretly wishing Kate and Will would divorce in 6 weeks, because I had to sit through a tortuous two days of meetings which were so terrible and psychologically damaging they might be in violation of the Geneva Convention.  During the meeting, our fearless CEO gave a presentation, and she is (a self-admitted) appallingly terrible public speaker.    Even Stephen Hawking would have sounded less robotic.   But during a particularly terrible bit of meeting, I heard our CEO basically say she wanted us to be nothing more than means to generate numbers.  Now, this was hidden behind layers of "if you all don't do your job I can't do mine" but the message I got was very clearly, "do your bitch work, and do it happily, so I can change lives".   My Scooby Doo ears perked up. Hurr?!  I looked for outraged parties.   Nope.   Everyone was just smiling and nodding.  I had no allies.   I felt like I was at David Koresh's and I said I didn't care for kool-aid.

Sometimes my "reading between the lines" might be good old-fashioned paranoia.  I tend to jump to the worst possible conclusions.  For example, "I like you hair," might in my head mean, "Holy, shit. Is Helen Keller your barber?"  To my credit, I grew up around mean girls.  Remember the scene in the movie where Regina George tells another girl her skirt is "vintage" and "totally adorable" and then says, "Ohmigod that's the ugliest f-ing skirt I've ever seen," behind the girls back?   Ok, now multiply that by 18 years of awkward, pimply, and chubby and you get my childhood/adolescence.   My cynicism was a survival mechanism.    This cynicism still is with me--like a phantom limb. My dad calls my tendency to interpret everything in the most nefarious possible way, "jumping off bridges," which incidentally is what this particular tendency of mine makes me want to do when it manifests itself.    Like the other day when I spent a weekend crying and miserable because I was convinced my boyfriend had told me the night before that he didn't love me, and he was actually trying to be nice. Mind you, my boyfriend is an engineer, which is code for "somewhat lacking in any kind of human connection or emotion" but I'm my mother's daughter which means, "a bottomless pit of estrogen and emotion"--so there is a shared blame here.

Basically my off-kilter world view is an epic pain in my ass.   It causes me lots of needless frustration and other people to look at me like I'm a fucking sociopath.   But unfortunately, it's a double-edged sword (which I always thought was a stupid expression because Ninja swords are double-edged and the most badass ones possible) because my ability to see things in a unique way is what my makes my blogs so deliciously wicked and humorous.   Seriously though, one day I wish I could sit in a corporate meeting and think, "wow, the management really cares about employees" instead of finding the whole thing pandering and insulting to my intelligence.  You know what happened the other day?  I saw a bumper sticker that said, "I'm proud of my cub Scout" and the first thing that popped into my head was "yeah, wait five years until he knocks up some girl.  See how proud you are then."  Surely this isn't normal.  

My boyfriend thinks I'm unhappy with life when I make these comments.  I'm not.  I just see the world this way as clearly and indisputably as other people see "the sky is blue."  So to me, looking at a couple across the room and thinking, "Wow, how can she not know her husband wants to be plowing dudes?" is a factual observation.   It is therefore neutral.  I am neither happy or sad noticing this.  It just is to me.  My boyfriend, however, is an organizational man.   He's a team player.   To him: the government is benevolent, the military is noble,  and corporations are the cornerstone of the economy.   This makes about as much sense to me as my predicting a couple's divorce based on one partner's homosexual proclivities makes to him.    

Am I just crazy?  Crazy like a fox, says I.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011


The other day my coworker Amy was describing a Stephanie Meyer book (yes the Twilight broad) in which aliens take over the earth but they look and sound and act exactly like humans.    Not exactly groundbreaking stuff--no points for creativity--but I also couldn't help myself from thinking, "who hasn't felt like an alien that looks and sounds like a human?"   I mean, I certainly have.  Sometimes I feel like I'm studying human interaction from a distance.   Sort of like I'm a peeping Tom on the whole of humanity.  Because there are certain things  about the human condition I want to grasp and understand and hold and touch--and I just don't get it.   It's like that exercise I did in sociology class where an article described habits of a primitive tribe of people and you slowly realize it's Americans--when you look from a distance you can see how absurd things actually are.  Sometimes, I feel like I'm looking through my whole life from a distance.  The fact that people get out of bed in the morning, brush their teeth, jump into cars, cling desperately to coffee and then sit at a desk for 8 hours seems utterly absurd to me.    I know I should do it too, without question, but I can't stop seeing it from all angles.

I am an intense voyeur.   I love Facebook stalking.  I love seeing how normal people are.  I thumb through picture after picture of pastel weddings, and baby births,  and fourth of July cookouts and Red's games--and I can't understand why I want that life and simultaneously know I don't have it in me.  I can't get out from behind the camera lens and actually live that normal life.    And I'm way too normal to actually live like an artist or a musician or a poet.   I can't be existential and also love Keeping up with Kardashians.

So this feeling of being a voyeur instead of a participant in my life lends itself to weird idiosyncrasies.   For one thing, I like to "pretend" to be different versions of myself.   The other day I felt physically bored of being Annie.  I was so tired of being inside my own skin I could almost feel it itching.  Have you ever felt that way?    Like a little girl playing dress up I tried on weird articles of clothing in the back crevices of my closet that I never wear, did my hair messy and wild, smeared too much eyeliner on, and didn't wear a bra.   I decided I was a "hipster" for the night.   It was like being on stage, I wasn't uncomfortable wearing what I was wearing, because it wasn't me, it was a character of my own creation who would wear those clothes, and who would know better than to say things like "doing pot".   I felt reckless and free.   Again, I'm a pod person who has to don disguises in order to move around earth undetected.

I also like to eavesdrop on people's conversations or people watch.   I make up the lives of people on the street in my head, and they're always better than mine.  That lady doesn't come home from work to a messy apartment, fall into bed with her clothes still on, and eat Triscuits for dinner because she's too lazy to cook.  No, this woman, I imagine, shops at Whole Foods and buys things like quinoa and Lamb burgers with gruyere cheese and goes to Bora Bora with her husband, who is a painter and they throw ironic theme parties, like " Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing Nite" on the weekends.    Or that guy with the suspenders must be a real man's man: corner office, tons of old frat buddies, frequent golfer at the country club, and he always has an off-color joke ready at the appropriate moment.  He never would make a joke about Rice cakes being on the "Auschwitz diet" in front of a Jewish coworker (to his credit, he forgot she was Jewish because she's black and a woman and usually people aren't allotted so many minorities).

I feel like so many things prevent me from coming out of my pod.   I wish I could turn off my mind.  I wish I could be happy with a corporate job and 2 kids and a collie.  I wish I didn't think Football was homo-erotic and gay.   I wish I would write blogs about making lattice crusts for apple pie and being mad at my boyfriend for not putting down the toilet seat, instead of writing about dick jokes things I make at work and being mad at my boyfriend because he doesn't think the meth PSA's are as funny as I do.   I wish I didn't think emo music was homo-erotic and gay.  I wish I wanted to go on a spiritual journey to India, instead of imagining how much that whole country must just smell like shit.  I wish I didn't think I'd look like a lesbian with a pixie cut.  I wish I didn't think at their core, hippies might just be fucking weird.   So, I see these certain varieties of human, but I can't really fit in with them.  I'm on the outside looking in.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

As Seen on TV

I have always had an odd relationship with commercials.   Maybe I watched too many Nick at Nite episodes of Bewitched.   Darren Stevens's advertising career  did always make  quite the impression upon me.  I used to sit in my bathtub at three-years-old and make up commercials for soap.  "Use dial,"  I said, flashing my toothiest grin to my rubber ducky.  "Get out of the tub, freak," said my older sister from outside the door.   I think this commercial obsession stems from the inherited,, dangerous, dysfunctional genes which lurk in my family.  The  same genes that create a compulsion to make things appear better than they truly are. 

  I am a salesperson's wet dream.    As a child, I would only eat name brand cereal.  Obviously Toucan Sam knew his shit, whereas Fruity Joe, the "Loops of Fruit" mascot, probably was a peeper or a child molester.  I tried to explain to my mother why the generic brands couldn't be trusted, and usually she was swayed--or more likely she wanted to do whatever was necessary to get me out of the grocery store quickly before I said or did something which would be mortifyingly embarrassing to her.   As an adult, I still am highly suspicious of generic brands even though I know they are in most cases, exactly the same.   But, whereas Dove has commercials with blue gunk sinking into pearls thus symbolizing the moisture being absorbed into my skin, generic brands only have sad golden lettering on the bottle.  No contest. 

"Good Gracious, Johnny!  Generic cereal?  I don't want my children to grow up to be hippies!"
If such is my relationship with commercials, you can just IMAGINE how I fare with infomercials.  They're commercials on steroids; complete with cheesy black and white "reenactments", pseudo science, and semi-famous B-level celebrity endorsements.   I love them like Katie Couric loves her own voice.  I actively seek out infomercials to watch.   I'd switch from a celebreality show on VH1 to a "Magic Bullet" infomercial in a hot second--to switch from a Law and Order: SVU rerun, it would have to be a good infomercial like say, the "Jack Lalane Power Juicer".

Without infomercials, how would you know what is missing in your life?   For example, I've never had any trouble cracking an egg, in fact every bowl comes with a "free" egg cracker--it's called the rim.  But when I watch the black and white reenactment of someone struggling to crack an egg or biting into a muffin with some eggshell lodged in it, I instantly, and with ever fiber of my being covet the advertised gizmo that easily and perfectly cracks eggs with just the touch of a button.  Or, for example, my hair is very naturally thick, but when commercials for the "Bump-it" show happy cheerleaders with big, voluminous hair, I want to purchase a "Bump-it" so that I may be a happy cheerleader too!  And I don't think I've ever made homemade guacamole, but with the "Magic Bullet" doing so would be sooo easy, I'm sure I would do it all the time!  AND it takes up no more room on my than a coffee cup!  

The Bigger the Hair...The Smaller the Hips!

Recently, at a swanky dinner party which I held (pip pip), my delightful Irish coworker, Claire, was talking about a product she saw in Walmart.  This product made her hate all that is America.   This product is basically a sandal with brush bristles in it, which you then suction cup to your shower floor.  You then stick your foot into the bristly suction cupped sandal, and run your feet back and forth over the bristles in order to wash them.   On the box it cheerily proclaims, "Never struggle with bending over to wash your feet again!"  Claire snorted, disgusted, as she recounted seeing this tag line.   "Sweet Jaysus, you Americans!   How difficult is it to bend over and clean your own feet?!"  And while everyone at the table heartily agreed, that night, as I showered, I noticed my leg slightly cramped up as I attempted to lift it and wash my feet. 

But while I'm a sucker for almost everything, there is nothing I am quite as big of a sucker for as for hair products.   I physically ache with longing for "Wen Cleansing Conditioner" whenever the models flip their bouncy locks during the infomercial.   When Chaz Dean explains that shampoo contains sulfates which weigh down your hair, thus making it necessary to apply conditioner to combat the damage sulfates cause, but in so doing, causes your hair to lose volume... the logic seems so airtight I feel like someone just told me it's easier to iron your clothes before you put them on.  Suddenly  my routine of using Pantene Shampoo AND Conditioner seems medieval.   And while I haven't broken down and bought "Wen",  yesterday I did buy an As Seen on TV hair product.

This little gizmo, called "The Hollywood Styler"  helped me to achieve Bohemian Curls simply by aligning the three silver nobbed heat settings.   I was so happy with it, that as I used it this morning I hummed hot, girl-power songs to myself  like "Pretty Girl Rock" and "Bad Romance".  And while it was probably more expensive than any curling iron device should be, can you really put a price on self-esteem?   Well, you can at least put an "As Seen on TV" sticker on it. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Working Gal

Workplace etiquette is extremely important.  Sometimes the one who knows how to "play the office game" is the one who gets promoted, get special assignments, or just gets the most face time with the boss.  Unfortunately for me, when I "play the office game" I'm just as likely to knock the board off the table in a two-year-old display of frustration as I am to actually try.  I just fail at politics.    If I think something I'll say it, which makes for an extremely entertaining environment for those I work with and a great blog for you guys--but a certain future in entry-level minutia without advancement for me.  

The only difference between Mel and I?  The hair and the cigs.
On Tuesday, I noticed the office was out of coffee.    I looked into our little Maxwell House coffee can "coffee fund" and all that was in  it was the $1.75 I guiltily put in as a desperately chugged my fifth coffee of the workday sometime last week.   I realized that if I didn't act, when I got into the office Wednesday, there would be a problem.  I am unfit for human interaction (always) but especially so without the sufficient amount of coffee.   So I composed an email, listed the recipients as "ALL STAFF-DAY" which means it would go to All Staff in the Dayton office.  I congratulated myself for not accidentally hitting, "ALL STAFF" which would have gone all the way up to the CEO, and to all 4 regional offices and then I typed the body of the email: "Hey everyone.   I've noticed we're out of coffee for tomorrow and since I would inject it directly into my veins if I could--I will be feeling the loss.  Currently, the coffee fund has $1.75 in it, which I put in, so I would appreciate some more donations.  I'm happy to go out to the store and buy more coffee; but since I decided to empower youth at a non-profit instead of pursuing my lucrative career as a hand model, I can't afford to supply the coffee for the office alone.  If I get no more donations I will be forced to take the $1.75 to Speedway, buy one large coffee and dole out shots of it.  Love and Hugs, Annie."    I felt smug/self-satisfied (my default emotion most of the time) and thought the whole thing was very clever of me.

My plea worked, for the next 15-20 minutes, a steady parade of co-workers came up to my desk with money for coffee.   But they also in very soft, soothing voices, the same voice one uses to explain to a three-year-old why it's inappropriate to run around the mall nude, told me gently, "You're new, so it's okay you don't know this, but you should never send All-Staff messages."   Apparently, my little hand model/heroin addict message went to some key players in the Cincinnati office as well, which are included in ALL STAFF-DAY.  Which, you know, isn't good.   I wasn't that disturbed about it, in my mind the email didn't use "fuck" or "tits" once, thus making it totally office appropriate.  That is until even the grizzled male facilities manager (who's never said two words to me before) came up to my desk and growled bitterly into my ear, "I've been burned by the sending to 'All Staff-Day' before.  You really need to be careful." Uhhh, ok?  I made a mental note to pay more attention to him and search for signs he's contemplating shooting up the office. Buuuut his warning ended up making me so paranoid that I tried to recall the message, but apparently the computer (completely ruining the point) sends out a little alert that I was trying to recall the message.  Thus, making me more conspicuous instead of less, as was my intention.   People now came up to my desk asking why I'd tried to recall it.   I just wanted some coffee!

"Yeaaaahhhhh, Annie I'm going to need you to not send All-Staff E-mails"

Yesterday, there was a staff-meeting in the office about community cultivation.  Staff meetings, first of all, are awful.  They're boring and redundant and since I work at a very touchy-feely non-profit they also usually involve some "fun" get-to-know-ya game.   I hate icebreakers of all kinds, and usually decide to say something ridiculous in an act of defiance.   For example, "tell me something about yourself" usually leads me to share something like, "My cat just got her ovaries ripped out," or "I enjoy soup."   Ha, now aren't you sorry you asked?!  

This meeting's show and tell involved, "what are you doing this weekend."  Thrilling.  When it came to my turn, I said, "You know honestly, this weekend will probably involve me drinking gin in my bathtub while talking to my cat, you know, the usual."   Yes, I said this out loud.   Sometimes I forget I'm in public, let alone at work.  Luckily my boss (and everyone else) laughed heartily, and I shrugged like, "Yeah I live a pitiful existence, what of it?"   But inside I chided myself for concentrating on making people laugh (which I love to do more than anything else) instead of sharing a more acceptable answer, like "My boyfriend and I have date night tonight."  I'm really striving to be the class-clown, but unfortunately, the class-clown in elementary school wasn't armed with nearly 23 years of inappropriate amo like I am--it's apples vs. deadly, career ending oranges.

As the meeting progressed, my blouse button popped while I was answering a question and I pantomimed injecting coffee into my veins while I helped myself to more.  All good things.   I, however, STILL can't believe the next thing I said.

Just to give you some background, where I work is very much like a cult, in that we have our own special jargon.  We talk about "delivering the mission" and "using the program" (sort of like people in AA work the program).   We also have 3 keys to leadership, and 3 outcomes, 5 foundations, and God knows what else--probably 15 ways to wrap a towel or something.   During hour 3 of the meeting I was becoming restless and slap-happy.  Then, one of my favorite co-workers connected community cultivation PERFECTLY to our three keys to leadership.  After she made her points, a sanctified, awestruck hush fell over the room.   Which I, then unceremoniously broke, by saying, "Oh my God, I just had a (name of were I work)-gasm."  My manager started laughing so hard she was crying.  There were snorts and shrieks and gales of laughter, followed by pandaemonium.   Then, just to put an exclamation point on how ridiculous I am, when the moderator said, "Wow, I feel like I can't follow that.  Maybe we should just finish here."   I said, "Yeah, that's usually how I like to finish."   Nice orgasm joke at work, Annie.

So while, luckily, I work somewhere so loosey-goosey it doesn't really matter that I made these gaping faux-pas, it probably isn't good that this is the habit of workplace conduct I am developing.  And even while I feel really lucky and blessed that I found such a cool workplace environment, these instances only further convince me that I can literally have no other career but becoming another Chelsea Handler, because while I am qualified for other things, but fit for nothing else.  Imagine me working in a law-firm!    Yeah.   I really need to be Howard Stern's sidekick instead of someone who works with small children on a daily basis.

I don't need this. Yet.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wild Nights! Grrrrrowwwwl, Baby!

My parents sent me an e-mail yesterday describing their Fourth of July.  My mom and dad watched masterpiece theatre together and then watched fireworks out the back window, from inside the house.   My mom explained, "No mosquitoes, no humidity, no crowds.  My favorite way to watch fireworks!" Her explanation made me laugh a little at my parents and reflect on what it must be like to become boring.  Let's be clear.  I'm comforted my mom isn't out galavanting with "the girls" in dimly lit bars, squeezed into skinny jeans with rhinestones on the pockets and I'm especially glad my father isn't wearing leather blazers and leering at young women.  Still, there life could be a bit more peppy, right? Then I reflected on my Fourth of July, sipping Bad Juanita Margaritas and playing a raucous round of pool volleyball.  I also sent several creative texts that night, "Slerp overt?" to my boyfriend and "watoncg interverneego" which of course means, "Will you please come sleep over and watch intervention with me at my apartment?" In case you couldn't tell. While these instances can be embarassing, compared to my parent's evening when I reflected, I felt smugly superior that I am still in my wild twenties while my parents have settled into the "couch era" of their relationship.  Last night I was reminded of the inevitable truth that I am destined to become my mother.  

Guess what I did last night!  I had the most fun I've had in a really long time.  I had the best date with my boyfriend I've had in a really long time.  I felt appreciated and sexy and desirable.  There was romance coupled with the kind of comfortable familiarity that comes from knowing someone for a while.   Did we go out dancing?   Romantic candlelight?   Sushi?  No.   We had Digornio oven pizza, air popcorn, and watched DVR'd "Hoarders" and "White Collar".  Seriously.   This is my idea of a good time.   Oh, and I complained loudly about my back cramp.   Sexy! And I'm not being sarcastic that I had a good time.  I am sincere in my enthusiasm (but I told you that because it's never a good idea to assume I'm NOT being sarcastic.)  Honestly, I have like afterglow happiness from last night, and the most romantic thing that happened was that Matt, trying to replicate a line from "White Collar", said, "My dream girl is about 5'2'' and has...beautiful...eyes." Notice the pregnant pause around the part where Peter in "White Collar" said of his wife, "she has beautiful, blue eyes."  I called him out.  "Oh my God, you don't know my eye color!"    "Well I know important that you're birthday is September 3rd."  I protested, "but you look at me everyday!"   "Well," he said, "I guess your eyes are kind of swampy brown..."   My boyfriend thinks my eye color looks like a moldy swamp full of shit.  And I'm weirdly ok with that.

I'm not actually making fun of our evening couch date; I'm making fun of the degree of happiness it brought me.   A few blogs ago when we went to a picturesque Italian restaurant and to an amazing movie at an independent theatre I was lamenting about how quickly the weekend goes by.  Yet when we park on his couch, in sweats and no makeup, watching people who hoard cats clean feces off their house floors, I am literally glowing from happiness the next day at work.  I'm becoming my parents.   The crowd-hating, seldom alcohol-consuming, homebodies I know and love.

One of my best friends, Katie, sent me a text this morning, "Is it bad that I am literally living for the weekend?"  To which I replied, "Welcome to the working world there, champ."   I now wish I would have sent back, "Is it bad that A&E programming plus frozen food is the key to my immortal soul?"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Domestic Angel

First and foremost, I'd like to say FUCK BETTY DRAPER.   Not January Jones, the actress who plays her, who is possibly having Jason Sudeikis's love child--but her "Mad Men" alter ego who is perfect.  For those of you who don't know, Betty Draper is the archetype of male fantasy, beautiful, accommodating and understanding in regard to her husband's extra-marital affairs, stylish, and the keeper of a flawless household.  She can make a dry martini and a wet souffle with equal ease. Her pie crust is impeccable and flaky.   And I can only assume, her nipples taste like a 12 year old Scotch.   Thus, despite the fact that she doesn't exist, I feel I am in constant competition with her.   As if it's a competition.  I lose.   

While it might seem insane to be threatened by an imaginary woman from a nostalgic TV show, let me tell you why I am.   It's because men actually think such a woman exists--and even worse, other women actually think they should be such a woman.  So the fact she doesn't exist and no one can be like her is irrelevant.  For instance, my guy friend the other day was talking about how frustrated he was with his girlfriend and how all he wanted was to "find his Betty Draper."   I said, "So basically a fem-bot?"  And he smiled as if it was a big joke, and said, "yeah, actually."  Another example of idiotic male fantasy, the country song, "The Perfect Girl," which list qualifications for the perfect girl:

She gotta be five foot eleven
She smells like heaven
She measures thirty six twenty four thirty seven
She got full intention of financially supporting me
She got some big ol' boobies
A countrified booty
And she don't get mad if I watch dirty movies
If anybody knows where the perfect girl might be 
Won't you tell her bout me

Gross.  So with this standard in place, no wonder I feel self-concious about being clumsy, loud, and chubby.  I don't care if I sound feminazi, every woman in the world understands how much pressure there is to be that "perfect girl" instead of the real versions of ourselves, which according to public opinion are naggy, flabby, ball-busting bitches.   Ever notice how many "My bitchy wife," commercials there are? It is every woman's ultimate fear to be that.   I realized just how acutely I feel the pressure to be perfect and how absolutely inferior I felt to Betty Draper and all those like her this weekend when I was attempting to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday.   

Firstly, I love birthdays.   As a kid mine were always so special; the family room would be decorated with balloons and streamers, my mom would make a special breakfast with a candle in it, and I would have a pile of beautiful presents to open.  I wanted to give Matt that feeling of birthday magic (especially since he's such a grumpy Gus about birthdays) so I tried really hard to buy nice gifts and took it upon myself to make sure everything went perfect.   I also wanted to prove to him, that I could be domestic, because in the past I've been really nervous about cooking for him and things go wrong.   Like the first time I ever made him dinner I sliced my hand with the knife while chopping onions.  Or, another time I didn't drain the taco meat because the recipe SAID NOT TO and I had to defend myself to Matt, saying I knew that typically one drained the meat first.  It's just my life.  Mind you, I'm nervous in the first place because I know there's a rubric up to which I'm being held, the one that dictates all women worth anything can cook--preferably naked and in heels.

So anyway, back to Matt's birthday.   He and I are trying to kind of eat healthier, so when I asked what kind of cake he wanted he said, "Angel Food."   I had been planning on making something else, my mom's banana cake, so I sent my mom an e-mail saying I was just going to buy an angel food cake and I didn't need her banana cake recipe anymore.   From my mom's respsonse, one would have thought I told her, "Surprise, I'm really a man!"  My mom sent me back a disgusted e-mail saying, "Don't buy a cake! Just borrow a pan from someone, use the Betty Crocker Mix, cut the cake into layers (dental floss works best!) and fill it with whipped cream and berries!"   As if this was the most natural thing in the world.   Like really, I can't just buy a cake and put strawberries and cool-whip on top?

So my mom basically shamed me into making an actual semi-homemade masterpiece for my boyfriend.  The next few pictures will illustrate how this went:

Every domestic goddess knows Angel Food Cake cools upside-down on a bottle--in my case however, I had to chug the last of the wine's contents.

With the cake intact and cooled, I attempted to start cutting with my dental floss....

I then added my blueberry, banana, and whipped cream filling. Layer by Layer.

Tada!   The end result is this lopsided monstrosity.  Shit.  
So much for my culinary prowess.   It tasted AMAZING but I was actually really humiliated to serve it to any living human because it looks like Michael J. Fox did the frosting.   

So... I was already feeling like a complete female fuck-up, but I reasoned, "I also made potato salad and it turned out picture perfect.  I can redeem myself."   Nooooooope.   As I was leaving to go to Matt's, I banged the glass dish against the door as I was juggling my purse and keys and the cake and the potatoes, and the glass dish shattered.   Since typically people don't like shredded glass with their roasted potatoes, I had to throw it out for fear of it cutting up Matt and I's intestines if we ate it.  So let's take birthday inventory, shall we?   One lopsided cake and some inedible glass-laden potato salad.  Watch out, Martha!   

I was really upset and I felt like I really let Matt down.  I worked so hard to make his birthday special and it was a disaster.  He couldn't understand why I was so upset about things, because in his mind, the only thing that mattered about the cake was how it tasted and we didn't need the potatoes.  For those of you guys reading this...imagine something essentially and fundamentally male about you failing to operate as it should.  I don't know, something very symbolic of your own masculinity, not getting off the ground the way you intended (Ok, for those not catching on I'm talking about some E.D. issues).  That's how I felt, my fundamental femaleness (cooking skills) had failed.   Translation:  I had failed as a women.   

Over dramatic?  Maybe.  But my take on this whole situation?   If the stupid, sadistic Giadas and Betty Drapers in the world didn't make every other woman feel so domestically inferior, and if there wasn't all this pressure to the perfect domestic woman, I wouldn't have felt less-than for just buying a stupid cake at Kroger and getting ore-ida french fries.    

Saturday, July 2, 2011

KC and the Desperate Attempt at a Comeback

As someone with generally low self-esteem, one of my favorite activities of all time is people-watching, largely because it makes me feel better about myself.  And last night I pretty much hit the people-watching mother load. Picture it: twenty-somethings all the way up to sixty-somethings gathered in an outside venue to listen to the faded glory of the once funkadelic KC and The Sunshine Band as they try (somewhat desperately and pathetically) to maintain their relevance.  I enjoyed the concert in itself and also because I knew I would get to blog about and make fun of it later.  The two factors working together simultaneously is a rarity, and believe me when I saw I appreciated it this magical opportunity.

Backing up, my boyfriend might be the best one in the world.   Yesterday was his birthday and having little to no interest himself in KC and The Sunshine Band, took me just as a goodwill gesture.   A few days earlier Matt was talking about how "some band he'd never heard of" with "like one really famous song" was coming to Dayton and his work was giving away free tickets.    Obviously, my first question was what band and/or what song.   He couldn't remember.   So I toddled off and thought nothing of it, until as I was driving home from his place that night and saw a huge "KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND" billboard.   I frantically texted Matt, "Was it KC and the Sunshine Band?!"   It was.   I berated Matt for thinking their "one famous song" was "Shake Your Booty" while neglecting "Get Down Tonight,"  "Boogie Shoes," "That's the Way I Like it," and "Rock Me Baby".  I told him he better snatch up some of those free tickets.   I, however, being the worst girlfriend in the world, didn't realize the concert was this Friday, aka Matt's 25th Birthday. In order to make sure Matt didn't feel guilted and cheated out of his birthday, I sent numerous emails stating to him that I would never say a word if we didn't go to the concert.  I also said that it was his birthday and I would do anything he wanted--even if that meant skipping the concert entirely an eating at China Buffet (which I am against in principle, I don't like to eat from feeding troughs) and then beating up hoboes.  When I was satisfied that Matt didn't feel obligated to take me, I was emotionally unburdened, thus free to look forward to the concert.

And what a treat.    There were a lot of what I like to call "Dublin Moms" at the concert, Dublin as in my hometown, Dublin, OH which is basically the OC without water.  Lots of wealth and lots of bored, rich, women.   Dublin Moms wear bedazzled tight dark-wash designer jeans which would almost be fashionable, expect no one actually fashionable wears jeans with white embroidery and sparkles on the pockets.   They also wear lots of stretchy leopard print tops with sparkles as if to say, "Hey I'm over forty, but I'm still hip."  Sadly, the whole outfit says instead, "High school was the best time of my life and now my husband and I sleep in different beds. I sometimes want to kill myself.  Please rescue me."  Often accompanying these Dublin Moms were Dublin Dads, who also wear rocker jeans, hair gel, and linen shirts as if to say, "I'm successful, but not a fat-cat sell out. I'm still in touch with my rocker days."  I however, get the impression, just like their female counterparts, the truth is sometimes they look into the mirror in their designer bathroom in their McMansion and they think, "My God, I hate myself."   I suspect, the way these Dublin Moms and Dads cope with their meaningless existence, is to drink heavily and to "party".   You often see them at bars trying to fit in with the twenty-somethings.   Last night, it was amazing and disgusting to watch them, because they were trying so desperately to relive their "party days," and they were gyrating and screaming with glee up at the stage where stood a complete has-been.

Let me tell you about "KC" of "KC and the Sunshine Band".    First of all, this guy is probably 240 lbs.   He looks like Meatloaf.  I told Matt that and he asked, "The food or the singer?"   Actually in this case, both apply.  KC also fancied himself a comedian and he said jokes like, "To all the young people who don't know me, I was your parent's 'NSYNC!"   Cue gales of laughter from the crowd.   My thought, "whoa buddy, don't flatter yourself, you were more like our parents Ying Yang Twins."  Also, he apologized for his weight gain, saying he recently quit smoking.   Unless he just quit smoking crack, that doesn't justify how his doughy, flabby body looks.  But then, with stunning agility, he spun and said, "Not bad for a Grandpa, eh."  And I was in heaven.  It was amazing and I was embarrassed for him.  Win Win.  Also, he had really hot, female, black backup-singers and dancers, and at one point, during a duet, he was groping one.  The contrast between the hot, young, backup-singer and the gross, aging, disco singer made me want to call Eliot Stabler from Law and Order: SVU because the whole thing looked downright PERVY.  

That being said, I loved every second.  I was jamming out to "Boogie Shoes," and loving the great music and loving watching older women put their hands in the air and say, "hey, ho" on cue.  There were bald men with their hair slicked back into ponytails and even a couple in full-on purple polyester disco attire, complete with afro wigs.   Delightful.  I know it was Matt's birthday, but I couldn't have asked for a better present.