Monthly Archives: September 2011

It’s an honor just to be nominated…

Well, well, well…looks like my incoherent ramblings and random alcohol-based musings have finally paid off. I, dear readers, have been nominated for a…drumroll, please…

VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD!

Never heard of it? Well, hell, neither have I. But I fully intend to act superior to all I encounter because of it.

Apparently there are rules, however, to this. To accept this award after you’ve been nominated, you have to:

Thank and link to the person that nominated you

Share seven random facts about yourself

Pass this award on to 15 new blogging friends

Contact and congratulate the awarded bloggers

And so, never one to be above accepting an award I’ve never heard of…

Thanks to the fellas at The Throwdown for nominating me and hating Emily Dickinson as much as I do.

Seven random facts:

1. While most people have a fruit and veggie drawer in their fridge, I have a cheese drawer. And if it gets too low, I have a panic attack.

2. I once tried to quit smoking but started back up again after punching that baby in the face.

3. I once pretended to be pregnant to get a seat on the subway (thank you, beer bloat).

4.  I turned 30 in June and intend on being 30 for a long time…perhaps even for years.

5. I have been puke-free since 2003.

6. I love sweatpants and really, really wish they could become a wardrobe staple outside of Wal-Mart.

7. I have a friend who once smoked a bong with Tracy Morgan and somehow simply because of proximity, I feel that makes me cooler.

My nominations:

Hyperbole and a Half: This chick has made me laugh so hard, I peed a little…OK, a lot.

Sweetandweak: Great musings on the awesome stuff life brings…and also the anti-awesome.

The Rotted Apple: Humorous and slightly bitter…which always makes for the best writing.

Young Notions: A funny couple doing funny stuff.

The Compost Heap: A mom who blogs…but not, you know, one of those mommy bloggers that make you feel bad for not buying your baby all organic, gluten free, free range carrots in a jar.

Will Date For Free Food: The title alone is enough for me to nominate this blog.

Wisecrack Zodiac: Finally! Someone at last has made horoscopes worth reading.

40 months pregnant and a glass of wine later: Read it. Just trust me. Read it.

Inside Out and Backwards: Kickass blog by a kickass chick.

All The Things That I’ve Found: And what a treasure trove it is.

Snide Reply: Making the blogosphere a more amusing place.

Dear Optimists: What can I say? I’m a sucker for funny people doing funny drawings.

The Laughing Housewife: Not just a clever title.

The Jackie Blog: Blogging every day? Now that deserves an award in and of itself.

Following Funny: Finding the humor…in everything.

Advertisements

Suck it, Dickinson

I am no poet.

In fact, despite a few faux teen angsty attempts (chock full of delightful phrases such as “my black soul mirrored in my black stained tears”), I came to the conclusion rather early that I really, really, really hate poetry. In fact, I have a pretty unhealthy hatred toward Emily Dickinson thanks to being forced to spend one entire semester with her.

That said, however, I am wicked awesome at parodying poems. In fact, in some circles (my dog and my husband…but he’s kind of on the fence) I’m considered the Weird Al of poem parodies.

For instance, I once had to cover Black Friday a few years back for a newspaper assignment. You know the only thing worse than trying to shop on Black Friday? Trying to get people who are trying to shop on Black Friday to talk to you for a newspaper article.

I was lucky I wasn’t murdered with a 40 percent off flat screen.

But I decided to make the best of it and turned it into “Twas the Morning of Black Friday.”

Granted, for all my parodying skills, I’m not necessarily super creative. So when I wanted to celebrate tomorrow being the first day of fall, I wrote “Twas the Night Before Autumn” for Boston’s Weekly Dig.

But I thought I’d share them with you anyway. And perhaps I’ll turn them into a trilogy. “Twas the Evening after Thanksgiving Dinner” sounds like it might have potential.

Happy first day of fall eve, everybody!

 

The Art of (Germ) War(fare)

 

I like to think I’m a pretty tolerant person. When I’m on an airplane and some annoying baby starts wailing because it’s too stupid to figure out how to yawn to alleviate the cabin pressure, I don’t turn around and punch it in the face.

When someone is standing on an intimate level of closeness behind me in line at the grocery store, I don’t turn around and yell “Hey, why don’t you just climb into my uterus? It’s much more comfortable in there.”

When my husband leaves his dirty socks all over the house because his chromosomes apparently make them invisible to his male corneas, I don’t secretly collect them and then wait until he’s asleep so I shove them all down his stupid, non-sock-picking-up throat.

So the fact that I want to jab sharp pencils into my eyes and stomp baby pandas to death every time I see commercials like the one below should tell you something about its annoy-ness factor.

Now, I’m no scientist, but wouldn’t the fact that you have a “germy” hand soap dispenser be kind of moot? Since (stay with me here now) you IMMEDIATELY wash those germs off with the soap (you still with me?) you just dispensed.

I know! I know! It’s a wild theory to thrust out there in this day and age when people eat anti-bacterial soap for breakfast and snort Emergen-C like cocaine-fiends from September to May. As we all know, everyday common germs are a threat to the very fabric of America and as such must be irrationally feared and scrubbed off the surface of the earth. In fact, you know that scene in “A Christmas Story” where the kid licks the light pole? Now rated NC-17. We must protect our little ones from such subversive behavior with the micro-terrorists.

But…could it be that we are possibly, just POSSIBLY, over-reacting here? Oh sure, I know that’s incredibly non-PC to say in this world where people will call CPS on you if you dare feed your children anything but organic, gluten-free baby food and where you can request the name and resume of the chicken breast you are eating at a restaurant.

But (again), and I never thought I’d have to say this at only 30-years-old, when I was growing up, I don’t remember germs being this big of a deal. Hell, according to my mom, I used to play in the toilet as a toddler and, while I’m sure she cleaned me, there was no dousing me in bleach and ammonia. I have a cousin who used to eat dirt and bugs like they were candy. We played on playgrounds that no soccer mom had ever felt the need to swab samples from and send to a lab to get the germ count. When a baby dropped its binkie on the disgusting kitchen floor or outside, it was simply popped back into its mouth without first being decontaminated in a clean room.

And for the most part, we all turned out fine (my bug-eating cousin notwithstanding…fingers crossed she passes her parole board hearing in November).

Granted, I don’t have kids yet (pause for collective sigh of relief). But I have a feeling all this over-protectiveness regarding germs is possibly starting to do more harm than good. I was always under the impression that in order to build up an immune system, you had to actually be…GASP!…exposed to germs.

And the same goes for adults. Sure, public bathrooms are icky and demand all kinds of anti-bacterial armor. No one can fault you there. But is it necessary to rub your hands with hand sanitizer every other time you touch a surface?

There comes a point where you can take that whole “cleanliness is next to godliness” thing too far.

And that point is when you have a hand soap dispenser you don’t have to touch for fear of the germs you might come into contact within the 0.003 seconds it takes for the soap to actually hit your hand.

The first three letters in care is car

I call her the Boop-mobile. She’s small, has a sassy red chassis and one heck of a pair of ample headlights (although she has also gone by Please Baby Girl Please in my more desperate moments and Susan for that one week in 2006 when I felt she needed a more dignified name).

She’s my 2004 Hyundai and for eight years, she has put up with me and my shenanigans. The countless coffee spills, the oopsie curbside hits, the grinding of gears that has made my clutch suicidal; all of it she bore with a grace that speaks volumes of her species.

So when I decided last Friday to take an impromptu 13-hour road trip from Boston to my Ohio hometown to surprise my best friend Misty for her bachelorette party, I was a bit surprised when she started acting up. As soon as we hit the open road, she began shaking once I hit 55 miles per hour. By the time I hit 65, she was downright convulsing. And there was this weird whee-duuum-eeeeee-grrrrrrrr-hi-wheeeeee sound emanating from somewhere.

So naturally, I did what any woman who thinks a dipstick is something you call someone who is acting stupid.

I ignored it and kept driving.

See, in general, the relationship a woman has with her car is very different from the one a man has with his. Most of the men I know look at their cars as almost extensions of themselves. As such, they tend to actually do things like replace the battery instead of jump starting it for a year and not ignore things like a whee-duuum-eeeeee-grrrrrrrr-hi-wheeeeee sound. Whereas I assume my car will just keep running forever without any intervention from me.

Luckily, I have a husband, who also happens to be a man, and it was he who suggested I get the car looked at before I began my trek home.

Now, I have always dreaded going to auto shops. It’s akin to walking into a foreign country where you don’t know the language or customs, let alone their currency exchange rate. A mechanic could tell me my dinglehopper needs a new kerfluffen ring and I have no choice but to believe him and fork over $400 because my car needs a kerfluffen ring that has to be special ordered.

But more importantly, I hate it because I’m also pretty sure the mechanics are silently judging me. They know the extent to which I’ve neglected my poor, defenseless car. They’ll ask me things like “when’s the last time you changed your oil?” and then give me an extremely judgmental look when I tell them I can’t remember because the little sticker in the corner of the windshield fell off about a month before I graduated high school.

Needless to say, if there was a Car Protective Services, I’d never be allowed within 500 feet of any car lot and then be forced to stick a sign in my yard that says “Car Offender.” And then bicycles would probably come out of the woodwork with charges of the abuse they also suffered at my hands.

And this particular visit was perhaps the most embarrassing of all. As it turns out, three of my four tires were so bald, they were technically illegal. The guy threw out a bunch of numbers at me, but to sum up, they were basically the Mr. Clean of tires. And let me tell you, the mechanic was not amused when I responded to this claim with “Wow, I didn’t even know tires could be illegally bald.” Nor did he seem happy when I said “So, I guess them there factory tires don’t last forever, eh?”

But the punishment fit the crime. I ended up with a $250 bill and a stern talking to about the urgent need to take my car to a chiropractor or some junk as soon as possible for an alignment.

On the plus side, those four new tires made the Boop-mobile like new again, getting rid of the shaking and weird banshee-esque sounds. And having a car that didn’t act like it was going to implode once it went over 50 mph gave me plenty of time to ponder other things on the way home, like why the state of Pennsylvania has a law that insists you turn on your headlights while driving through work zones, even if it’s broad daylight. Or why every single road in Ohio is currently under construction. Or how after 13 hours of driving, even I will start doing a “Boston left,” which is a quaint little tradition where you rapidly switch lanes or turn onto a road without any warning whatsoever, leaving those in your wake scrambling for their lives.

*UPDATE: You can read even MORE fun adventures of my road trip here.