Monday, January 23, 2012


I have a pretty firm policy of minding my own damn business when it comes to people doing drugs in front of me.  Don't misunderstand, I am not "cool".   The D.A.R.E. anthem plays in my head, and I all but stop drop and roll out of the situation.   When I was in Sweden I saw a couple snorting cocaine off the sink and I stared at them, made a strange gurgling noise, and might have mumbled something like "no big deal," while dashing out of the room.  SO I pretty much party like a rock star.

Today, however, I was dismayed when I walked off the elevator on to my floor and was overcome by the scent of head shop.   There was also an aroma of incense, which was doing nothing to cover up the blatant smell of marijuana.  I was annoyed.   If I wanted my home to smell like marijuana I would have invited LMAFO over to stay the weekend.  I walked down the hall, and identified the cannabis culprit as my terrible neighbor, who is loud, rude, and has stunk up my hallway before.    I was going to mind my business, and just build up a healthy level of passive aggressive resentment, maybe kick her door on my way to work tomorrow, but then I walked into my apartment and the whole thing REEKED of the mary jane.  Fuck this.   I pay too much for my apartment for it to smell like a commune.  

We have a courtesy officer in our building, which means if someone is watching TV too loud at 3 am, you call him and bitch, and then he in turn goes to knock on the door and tell the offending occupant to get their shit together.  Your next door neighbor smoking pot is a perfect example of a time to call the courtesy officer.  I, however,  had a minor moral dilemma about whether or not I should tattle.  It seemed sort of against my generation. Should I just go knock on the door myself?  Or better yet, leave a note that says, "Just smoke in your car, because if I smell pot again I'm going to call the officer," so I can be anonymous and she would have the chance to correct their behavior without getting in trouble.   But then I smelled my kitchen, which could easily have been mistaken for the bathroom at a Grateful Dead concert, and I was filled with righteous anger.  Again, fuck this. 

I dialed the officer and when I reported the situation, I found out that this girl is already getting evicted. In fact, she got her eviction notice today so her bong session is probably some kind of "statement" about that.  Apparently the several other times when she was blasting Bob Marley at 3am, when I let it slide, someone else was willing to nut up and bring down the hammer.  

Still, I guess I'm officially a NARC.   

Friday, January 20, 2012

Work/Life Balance

If there is anything I learned from watching "The Millioniare Matchmaker" this morning while I brushed my teeth it is this--you have to balance your work life and personal life or you end up a forty-five year old millionaire who can't get anyone to ride his ride.  Or, more likely in my case, a woman who works 70 hours a week and then comes home to find no one but her cat waiting for her, and even then, just for food and to stick her anus in my face. 

Today at work, one of my co-workers had planned to leave at 4:30pm for a special date with her husband in honor of his birthday.   She walked out of the door around 5:00pm while everyone in the office periodically shouted across the cubicle that she needed to go be about her business.   Now, this is one of the sweetest ladies I've ever met in my life, and she definitely loves her job and the volunteers she serves.  However, it's not unheard of to receive emails from her at 11:30 pm or even midnight--sometimes on weekends.

Now, I don't like to think I have the problem of being "married" to my job, and to combat that I am trying to actively pursue a life outside of work.  But it's kind of hard, because I care about doing a good job, and I work a lot.   And sometimes when I get home, the thought of doing anything but drinking wine naked in my bathtub while my cat watches is completely overwhelming.   It's difficult to feel satisfied when you feel as though the only time you have a personal life is during the weekends.   And being that I was sick last weekend, I have felt as though I haven't had a personal life at least since 2 weekends ago.  

I was someone who used to get excited about going to my college classes, because there were endless possibilities.  I would always run into new people at class or in the dining halls or getting coffee; being in the University made me feel like I was part of a very, quaint English town--small enough to be manageable but big enough to not feel alone.  And I lived with 5 girls.   There was always something going on, even if we were just bitching because someone left their hair in the shower drain.   Now I live alone.   And my office is small (with no men to even have weird stalkery imaginary trysts with).   I feel like I live a solitary existence.  Work to home. Home to work.   I don't want my job to dominate my life.  I honestly don't like it enough for that.

So, how can I, make room in my life for an actual life instead of for whatever I'm doing right now?   I feel like Sandra Bullock in "While You Were Sleeping,".  Or Liz Lemon, who has admited she's had dinner in front of a mirror to feel less alone.  Sadness a Scavenger Hunt:  Sometimes I go the entire days without talking to anyone not work related except my mom.  This job and I need a divorce.    

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stir Crazy

I used to think I would very much enjoy having the means to stay inside and sit on my ass all day,  slowly allowing myself to morph into Jabba the Hut.  I have to admit, however, after two days of being quarantined to my apartment with the flu, with nothing but the internet to occupy me, I am going bat shit crazy.  I am ill and delirious, but also, so very bored.

Do you ever feel like no one in the world can hear you?!  I do.  Because I've gone through my phone book (the one on my phone, obviously, who has a literal phonebook?)  and called everyone I know and thrown tons of energy out into the universe and received nothing back.   No one is around.   People are all out enjoying the holiday weekend while I am inside, trying to muster the energy to put my arms over my head and wash my hair.   Also, I think it goes without saying that I'm feeling very sorry for myself.

So unfortunately for all of you, while I am delirious with fever and bored out of my mind, I am going to recap the ways in which I have tried to keep myself entertained.  Really, less for your enjoyment than for mine.

-I took 3 baths today; I have succeeded 0 times in washing my hair
-I watched every episode of Archer: Season 2.   Three or four times.  And if watching it again with commentary was an option, I would have done that too.
-I made pasta with butter for every meal for the last 2 days, because I have not had the wherewithal to go grocery shopping.  My mom thankfully brought some alternatives over this afternoon, but I have to confess, I still made pasta and butter for dinner tonight.
-I started to read "Glamour" magazine.  Instantly vowed I would stop reading such stupid things.  Then, an hour later, I attempted to read it again.
-I watched "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous," yes I was that bored.
-I texted my coworker that I was watching "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous," yes I was that bored.
-I slept.   My dreams were even boring.
-I tried to trim my cat's claws, I realized I did not have the energy.  One nail in.
-I've pitted out two t-shirts, I think my body is attempting to sweat out my fever, but even the baths can't keep up.
-I have been constantly checking facebook (20 or 30 times) to see if anyone wrote me. No one has.
-I have played various pitiful 3 letter words on Words with Friends
-I read my friend's blog, four or five times.
-I have blogged, twice.

Sweet Jesus, throw me a bone, people.   Let me reemphasize, I watched "Miss Congeniality 2".


Advice can come in the unlikeliest of places; proof of this came today.   In this instance, "Don't Let Comparison Steal Your Joy," from my ex-boyfriend (through a third party).  This particular bit of advice seems ridiculously ironic to me, considering the source, because the whole relationship I felt that I was constantly compared to other people.  And unfavorably, may I add.   I was never smart enough, never serious enough, never pretty enough, never pious enough, never tidy enough...just never enough.  It kind of got to the point of being verbally abusive, or if we don't want to throw that term around, let's just say downright cruel.  So I have to be honest, when I found out this was a piece of advice he has been bestowing, it chapped my ass something fierce.   I was pissed and my first thought was to cry "hypocrite".  But I then took a step back and realized, this is the most appropriate piece of advice I could have ever heard.

This is a piece of advice I needed to hear, especially coming from him, because it made me realize that even though the relationship has ended, I still let some of the tapes play in my head on repeat, the ones that told me I would never be enough.  I was letting the comparisons continue, and I was letting them siphon away joy, without so much as a word of protest.   And maybe I needed a jolt to realize it, but I've realized it now, and it's time to turn the tapes off, close that chapter in my life, and just be done.

Sure, there will always be someone out there who is -er than you (e.g. prettier, smarter, thinner, funnier, etc) but if that cripples you to the point that you can't even be yourself--you lose, and only you.   So from now on, instead of trying to be thinner or prettier or smarter, I'm going to try to be happy.  I'm going to be how I am, pursue the interests I enjoy, continue to think the things I think are schmaltzy and stupid are in fact, schmaltzy and stupid, and stand up for what I think is right because God didn't make me a meek little church mouse.   If it's good enough for Him, who am I to say it's not good enough for me?  I'm bawdy and funny, and always too much.  But that's not a bad a thing.  I also am genuine and honest.  How many other people do you know that always mean what they say and say what they mean?  I'm not embarrassed that I haven't learned to lie convincingly for the sake of civility,  I'm fucking proud.  And no, I don't think cursing is a sign of unintelligence, but if you do, that's cool.   Just don't talk to me if you think I'm so stupid and beneath you.

So instead of trying to be the first or the best, which I think is impossible anyway, because everything is relative, I'm going to just worry about squeezing the best juice from my mind-grapes (30 Rock reference, anyone?).  And if that means I'm not good enough for some people, that's cool, because if they're such judgmental pricks, they're not good enough for me.  Compare that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


One of my New Year's resolutions was not "to figure out what I want and get it,"  but it should have been.   Because that's a thing I want to do.  So as a complement to my last post, which listed many things I do not want, I am going to present a list of what I do want.  Specifically in a man.   (Get it, MANifesto?)  So without further ado;

I want a man who knows he's supposed to match his shoes to his belt, and also not to wear white socks with a suit.   I want a man who loves and respects his mother, but also, at his core, knows she's a pain in the ass to deal with and that we shouldn't accept her calls during dinner (or most of the time).   I want a man who knows that masculinity is not dutch oven-ing me, eating up my entire sunday with football, or talking about other women's asses with his friends.  I want a man who has morals like Atticus Finch, confidence like Clark Gable, and an ass like Daniel Craig.   I want a man who is not pear-shaped.   I want a man who thinks most organizations are stupid, including fantasy football, fraternities, cults, and the PTA.  I want a man who is intellectual enough to discuss art, literature, film, and cuisine, but also silly enough to laugh when I  make that face I make when something really grosses me out.   I want a man who does not have a male butt-buddy, whom he thinks it's ok to invite along on dates.  I want a man who will tell me when he's pissed off, happy, scared, sad, etc.--because I do not need a brooder.   I want a man who knows I can call my sister a hippie all I want, but if he ever says shit about her I'll unleash hell.   I want a man who will make out with me in the middle of IKEA.  I want a man that thinks it's funny to shock people, but also knows when to turn it off and not embarrass me at my aunt's house.  I want a man who will still want to have sex with me when I skip a day shaving my legs or wear granny panties.   I want a man who does nice things to make me happy, not because its Valentines Day or my birthday (but he obviously should do shit then too).  I want a man who is humble and kind to others.  I want a man who has college degree and a job.  I want a man who isn't married to his job, but instead who realizes work will never hold his hand while he dies--first.  I want a man who thinks it's charming, not embarrassing, that I sometimes have food on my face, spill coffee, miss buttons, and forget to wear a bra that doesn't show.  I want a man who hates all the same things I hate, which in my case, is way more important than liking the same stuff I like.  I want a man who will eat a bucket of KFC in bed sometimes but who can also cook something other than mac n cheese.  AND most of all, I want a man who will love me like my father loves my mother, who I can love like my mother loves my father.

There it is.   If you know of anyone like this...he's probably already married.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Deal breakers

I think everyone (except maybe serial killers, and Diana Ross.   Oh wait, that's redundant) is seeking a human connection.   People like to meet new people and it's sometimes difficult to tell whether you and this new person will be best friends, acquaintances, pity dates, or mortal enemies.  Many people deal with this problem by slowing getting to know someone and making a decision based upon the relationship as it develops.  These people are lame.  In today's fast paced world, who had that kind of time?  The best way to know if someone is worth getting to know is to come up with a list of "red flags".  If a red flag pops up, game over.   Transaction terminated.   

Here is a sampling from that list.  

1. Using the phrase "mentally tough"
2. Using a percentage above 100% to add emphasis (e.g. "I gave 110%")
3. Saying, "I made a 360 degree turn," when you mean that you changed.  360 degrees would put you in the same place, duh.
4.  Asking me about my "goals," not in a job interview, rehab center, or during a fitness consultation.
5. Recommending any self-help book
6. Describing yourself as a "foodie"
7. Wearing a pinkie ring
8. Wearing a T-shirt you could buy in Daytona beach ("FBI: Female Body Inspector" or just the outline of boobs)
9. Ordering off the kid's menu at a NICE restaurant, like, as in you had to request to see a kid's menu 
10. Telling me why you think as a true Christian, one must interpret the bible literally
11. Denying evolution
12. Denying the Holocaust
13. Using the phrase "liberal elite," in earnest
14. Tucking a T-shirt into your khaki shorts if you're under 50 (the last caveat was added for my dad, but in his case it's a polo, so it's ok)
15. Telling me you wish Sarah Palin would have run for President for any reason other then a campaign full of phenomenal SNL sketches 
16. Using the phrase "guesstimate"
17. Liking Nickelback
18. Thinking Nicolas Cage is a good actor
19. Admitting a secret desire to have a mail-order bride
20. Once have been featured on "To Catch a Predator"
21. Using any of the following pet names without irony, "Boo," "Baby Doll," "Cupcake," or "Snookums"
22. Being offended by a well told, funny off-color joke.
23. A thin, scraggly mustache, more commonly referred to as "the trash stache"
24. Referring to your wife as "the missus" or "my old lady".   Referring to your husband as "my hubby"
25. A fondness for Glenn Beck
26. Liking Nascar
27. Watching Pro-Wrestling
28. Boys with eyeliner
29. Practicing Scientology
30. Babbling nonsense about "chi," "auras," or "energies."

There you have it, my 30 insta-clues that I should not continue whatever relationship I have with this person, because obviously we will never like each other.  And I'm kind of rigid, I ended a date in the middle of dinner because the guy mentioned how he was, "Mentally tough."  Now, before you go sending me hate mail, these are my dealbreakers, but I certainly understand they are not everyone's.  I'm not arrogant enough to assume that just because I like don't like something its inherently bad.  That being said, I would have a rough time overlooking most of these.  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Accident

For my job, some times I have to be in areas that are a little rough around the edges.   I get really annoyed when people dismiss my areas as "dangerous" or "ghetto,"  because they have a lot of really great people in them, and being from a poor area of town shouldn't mean you are alienated from great opportunities.   That little speech aside, the reality of the situation is that I wouldn't want to be alone in these areas after dark--and I definitely don't leave my ipod in plain site on the car seat.    

This friday, I was dropping some papers off in what is widely regarded as one of the worst areas in town, due to objective measures such as the number of murders per capita.   I was tired and in kind of a shitty mood, and all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there and go back to my office to hide with headphones on at my desk, maybe take in a game of "Angry Birds" while pretending to be in the toilet.  You know, a typical friday. I was leaving the building after having dropped off the papers.  I jumped in my car, and I was annoyed the find that people were loitering and milling around the parking lot, making it difficult for me to just back out and be done with it.  How were there so many people not at work at 2pm on a weekday?!   I started inching out at about 2mph, looking carefully, and then I heard a tiny clunk like my car had hit something.   Now, because I said there were people standing around with their dicks in their hands in the parking lot, you may think that I hit someone.  That was actually not my first thought.   The sound my car made was so tiny, I honestly just thought I had hit a curb.  When I looked though, there was a gold car behind me.  Fuuuuuuck.

When I got out of the car, I apologized, which I am told was my first mistake.   I wasn't admitting guilt, because we were both moving and its a parking lot, but years of education on etiquette and pleasantries completely crumpled my concept of insurance savviness.  This is why I could never sit in interrogation and be like, "get me a lawyer," as the punks on Law and Order do.  I'd instead give them my blood type, a list of my fears, and every time I've ever lied about being the one who farted.  I'm not good with guilt.  

I then looked at the damage to her and my car.   The side of my car is already dented to shit because somebody hit me in a parking lot (in the same lovely area of town) and drove off without even leaving a note.  Thus, I was not concerned about my car.  When I looked at her car, there was a maybe two inch faint paint scratch, not even a ding or a dent, on her driver's side fender.   I was ready to just say, "Eh parking lot, there's no real damage, we'll just take care of our own and be done," when she looks at me and says, "Oh this is gonna be EXPENSIVE."  I was caught off guard by this.  Was she looking at the same tiny paint scratch?

 I went to go get my insurance information, feeling like I did as a kid when I ate a cookie before dinner, realizing it was not serious but also very full of shame.   Adding to my unease, I had stupidly left my insurance information in my other wallet.   That's when shit got real.   I come out offering my number and promising I'll get my insurance information as soon I can look it up back in the office, and this lady gets in my face like, "Do you even have insurance?"   Um yeah, it's sort of required by law.  She proceeded to write down my license plate number, ask for a photo idea, and DEMAND that she call the cell phone number I gave her while I held my phone up so she could see it wasn't fake.  She basically all but screamed in my face that I was a scam artist.   I almost asked if she needed a urine sample.  I was so distracted with my crippling catholic guilt that I forgot to do any of the things that could have protected me,  like taking a picture with my cell phone of the microscopic scratch to prevent her from taking a sledgehammer to her car later or even getting her insurance information instead of just her name and phone number.   Epic fail.  I just have a bad feeling this is going to be a shit storm.

And I'm sure it's not great that I acted like someone whose guilty would act.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

5 Signs You're Pre-maturely Middle-Aged

You know that time when you were 23 and partied every weekend and happy hour'd every weeknight?  Me neither.   I think I've skipped the stage were I do really fun reckless things and have bolted ahead to the existence of a 50 year-old nun.  Who also is a lesbian.  If you're wondering whether or not you were a little too diligent getting over that hill and showed up 30 years early--you're in luck.  Here are 5 surefire ways to identify whether or not you've peaked too soon.

5. You have a cat.  Actually that doesn't mean anything.  You really need to be concerned if you have a cat that you sometimes refer to as "the light of my life," and fret about her abandonment issues when you leave for work in the morning.   Also if you drive 20 minutes out of your way once a month to get the special cat food that supposedly makes her poops less smelly.  It's also stupid expensive.

4.  You get excited when there is a Law and Order: SVU marathon on USA, because it means you have your entire day planned out.  Added bonus:  You feel you're on a hot date because Elliot Stabler gets your proverbial penis off the couch every time he gets in a perp's face and says, "You prey on innocent women, you think that makes you a man?!"

3.  You take bubble baths with vodka, gin, a bottle of wine, or (if you can swing it) a Mich Ultra.  Bonus points if you sometimes listen to the soundtrack from "Annie," Liza Minelli showtunes, or any Josh Groban CD.  Triple bonus points if your think to yourself how much you "really deserve this."

2. You forget that parties are fun.  You will look at your friends and say things like, "All that loud music, people all over the place, cheap beer--No Thank You."  They nod politely and pretend what you said wasn't completely alien and disturbing--like the time you mentioned that you think its annoying when sex lasts longer than ten minutes.  When you are invited to parties (which is rare) you make excuses because Law and Order: SVU is on.

1. You are able to spend a half hour of your life making a list about why you're a lame person.   Womp Womp.

Monday, January 2, 2012


I do this thing where I m skeptical and don't believe in things, but I am afraid to admit I'm skeptical.  For example, I "don't believe in ghosts" but I won't say that out loud because what if the ghosts heard and were angry and then haunted me?   So basically I believe in ghosts.  Because I believe enough to be scared of them.   But I don't really.  Because that's weird.

I apply this same logic to most things supernatural, so I was a little afraid to get my palm read at the little place in Philadelphia while I was visiting my sister there last week.   Part of me thought, "this is a silly waste of $10,"  while the other part thought, "What if she says something bad--and it's true!"   But in a weird coincidence (or is it?!) I had just spent the day looking at a book about palm reading I found in a hippie bookstore, and had said, "I've never had my palm read, I'd like to have that done."  So later, when I found myself sitting at dinner with my sister, her husband James, his sister Alice, his mom Alice, and my mom and dad, and Alice (his sister) said to me, "There's a palm reading place next door, do you want to go?" the only response was yes.

Yes.  And also no.   But mostly yes.

I imagined the palm-reading place to be more like the place Robyn Lively goes to in "Teen Witch" with aged leather bound books, and mystic-y stuff.  Someplace Poe would have frequented. Instead, when Alice and I walked through the door, there was a chubby little kid eating birthday cake and watching Looney Toons on TV.  His father offered both Alice and I birthday cake as well.   Not exactly chill-inducing.    And when the Palm Reader herself emerged from a back room, she was not a gypsy crone in many scarves, she was wearing a JLo-esque velour tracksuit.   Less intimidating than I had anticipated.

I still, however, made Alice go into the little back room first, and I waited nervously, afraid of what my future might hold, and also, politely refused birthday cake once again.

Alice emerged, smiling and happy, and it was my turn to hold hands with a virtual stranger.  In the deep recesses of my mind I remembered how my father had once had his palm read and lived in fear for the next few years, because it was predicted he would die in water at 27.  My father is 59.  I think he made it out of the woods--but I still didn't want to have to avoid swimming pools, puddles, and hot tubs.  What if she said I'd die from alcohol?!  I couldn't avoid that for the rest of my life.  Or rest of the month.  Or over one weekend.

I went in.   The lady was actually very soothing and calm, and I felt confident that if her kid was eating birthday cake in the next room, nothing sinister could unfold.  She asked me to hold out my palm and for my name.  She did not ask any leading questions, like, "I see you have a strained relationship...?" waiting for me to interject, "You mean with my father/mother/boyfriend/sorority sister/pimp?"

Actually it was kind of insane.  She said things with the exact wording I have thought in my head.  She predicted some things, but mostly she just nailed everything that was going on in my life at the moment.  And she told me it would all be fine.  And to not be so afraid of everything.

This is perfect advice for me.   And while my Dad scoffed and said, "I've been telling you all that for years," it meant something more significant coming for a total stranger in a velour track suit.  I am a believer.