Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good Thing Hipsters Don't Read Blogs Anymore

I looked up the meaning of “hipster” today. That’s right, I went to good ol’ urbandictionary.com just so I knew for sure what I was saying when I snarl “UGH, HIPSTERS". Turns out, too many hipsters are web-savvy and know how to enter their own meanings on urbandictionary.com. Here are some gems:

“The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream. A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat.”

“…a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.”

Okay, so riddle me this, Hipsters. Where, in all the definitions of “hipster” does it say you have to be a total D-Bag whilst shunning conventions? I had the unfortunate opportunity to wait in line at the grocery behind two hipsters last night, and I gotta say: Idiots. Total idiots. The guy and the girl were trying to scan a loose apple. For like 5 minutes. And they dawdled around like they were the only people in store. The guy was wearing glasses with no lenses in them (I could tell, because he stuck his finger through the frames to rub his eye) and French-rolled jeans with an ironic Polo tshirt on, as if he's trying to say, “Take THAT, societal norms! I am dressing like an 80’s homeless person and it’s cool because I am NOT FITTING IN!!” Yes, bravo, young lad. You’re really proving to everyone that you are different. By wearing exactly what all the other hipsters wear. COOL.

I know not all hipsters are like this. I know that there's a breed of wannabe-Hipsters, or Whipsters, who probably give the good ol’ fashioned hipsters - the creative, eccentric, tight-pants-wearing, advertising-firm-working, A Clockwork Orange-reading pioneers - a bad name.

But, much like crazy people, these Whipsters flock to me like I’m a half-off sale at American Apparel. There was the couple at the grocery store, the guy with fake glasses (what IS it with the fake glasses!?) who spilled his beer all over me at the bar who shrugged and said “Guess I need a refill”, or the moron walking through the DON’T WALK sign while I’m making a legal right turn. When I yelled “Don’t Walk, Hipster! Can‘t you read?!” He yelled back “Reading is for the bourgeois!” Okay, fine, he didn’t yell that, but if he had even remotely acknowledged the world around him, I imagine that’s what he would have said.

The point is this: I don’t care what you wear, what music you listen to, what your political views are, or how many pairs of leggings you have. I really don’t. But for the love of God, have a little basic awareness of those around you. You’re no more special than I am. You’re not. I don’t care how many times you’ve been to the Salvation Army to buy your clothes, or how you‘ve refused to eat anything but soy since 2003…you can’t just la-di-da around the world and ruin my day. I’m not asking you to go to med school, or eat a burger, or even [gasp] buy an American car. I’m just saying that you’re kind of just acting like jerks. Let’s pull it together, shall we?

(As an added bonus, and if there’s any question left as to what a “hipster” looks like, allow me to direct you to Look at this F&*#@!% Hipster for some ridiculous examples. It’s an awesome time suck, though not for people who are easily offended. For the record, this website was introduced to me by a rad dude who is, arguably, a hipster, Geo’s friend Guam.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Under my Umbrella. Ella. Ella.

Yesterday, my mom inquired as to what was on our Christmas wish lists. I’m kind of the Queen of Christmas Wish Lists. I’ll send my mom a huge long list of everything from a Dyson vacuum to refrigerator magnets. And I include links to the exact items. I cover every size, price range, and availability. I think my success of Christmas lists is due to a combination of my love for making lists and my need for everything under the sun. Anyway, my mom asks what we want. I say “I really want a nice, sturdy, adorable umbrella.” She scoffed at the suggestion, and said “An umbrella? In winter? That seems highly unnecessary.” I countered by explaining that standing at the bus stop in winter is a wet job, and sometimes it’s easier to hold an umbrella over my head than worry about ruining the 5-minute hairstyling job I’ve done by putting on a hat. Again, she dismissed the suggestion.

Then, today it rained. Behold! I needed an umbrella. I had to resort to using my super adorable green umbrella. Unfortunately, one of the little sprongy things that holds the umbrella up broke, and now one side limps down over me like sad, soggy bread. And suprisingly, the Scotch tape method I used to repair it has proven to be highly ineffective. I returned from my lunchtime trip to the library with a soaking wet right shoulder. Good thing I didn’t do my hair this morning…

Umbrellas are wonderful and horrible contraptions. They are a great accessory. And I like spinning them around in my hands, spraying water all over unsuspecting passersby. Huh. I typed that and just now realized how rude that must be. But just try carrying books, a purse, a shoulder bag, a cup of coffee and an umbrella through gale force winds and torrential downpours. It doesn’t work. I have considered, a number of times, buying a hands-free umbrella. You know…the kind that you wear on your head? They are a little small, though. Someone should work on improving on that concept. Plus, I don’t know if you know this or not, but umbrellas get wet. Trying to fold it back up without dripping all over yourself is a science I have not yet mastered.

Back when I was living with the boys, Perek, Geo and I were standing at the front door, getting ready to go somewhere. Perek decided to play with one of those spring-loaded umbrellas and he held the bottom of it at his shoulder like a shotgun. He positioned the top of the fully-extended umbrella millimeters away from Geo’s nose. Then, he pushed the top backwards to reclick it closed. He pressed the button to shoot the umbrella forward. Success! It stopped at the same dangerously close distance to Geo’s nose.

Then Geo grabbed the umbrella from Perek, and wanted to do the same thing. He held it up to his shoulder in the same shotgun-style way Perek had, and positioned the tip of it right at Perek’s nose. But when Geo started to push the umbrella closed to "cock it", he secretly inched it forward so he could really "scare Perek". He ended up shooting the umbrella full-force into Perek’s face. Perek screamed “YOU DIDN'T CALIBRATE! YOU DIDN’T CALIBRATE!” One: What a stupid game for guys to play. Two: Who uses the phrase “calibrate” in this kind of situation? Three: I almost wet my pants from laughing so hard.

Oh, BOYS. What would we do without them? I would have never gotten over the laughing fit if Geo had actually broken Perek's nose. But the resulting trip to the hospital would definitely have made us late for whatever we were on our way to do, and I have every reason to suspect we were on our way to the bar or something similarly pressing.

Anyhoozle, the moral of this story is that I need a new umbrella. That, or I need to wear a plastic bag over my right shoulder. Mom – I’ll revise my wishlist. I’d like EITHER an umbrella OR a plastic bag.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

FaFa La La La

I don’t know about you guys, but I might never eat again. I was literally in pain for 3 nights this weekend as a result of shoving food down my throat until I couldn’t breathe. Then, tonight, I capped it all off with eating dessert for dinner. Prinna had a little Christmas party at her house, the first time she’s been able to decorate a house for Christmas in like 3 years, and served chocolate fondue, pumpkin pie cheesecake, pretzels topped with melty Rolos, brownies, and cupcakes. My thighs jiggled just by looking at the table of food. But that’s all over now. Now it’s back to veggies instead of chocolate and water instead of apple cider with rum.

Okay, so my family is VERY tradition-heavy. We do the same things every year for holidays. It’s quite regimented, but I dig it. I love the comfort of knowing what to expect at the holidays, and being sufficiently prepared. One of the Thanksgiving traditions we have in my family is to have all the women participate in a Celebrity Draft. Each of us picks 10 celebrities from a predetermined list in a draft. There’s number-crunching, strategies, and some of us get super in to it. Then, this website www.fafarazzi.com tracks the celebrity blogs and online mags. For every mention a celebrity gets on them, you get a point for him/her. At the end, the winner gets the highly coveted Fafa trophy. So from Thanksgiving night through Christmas, the 12 of us root for people like Paris Hilton to marry Kanye West in a weekend drunken stupor, and then have a baby.

Needless to say, I won last year. By a mile. I mean, I had TIGER WOODS on my team. So, I’ve got a majorly big target on my back. But this year, my team blows. My best “player” is Lindsay Lohan, and unfortunately for me, I really think she’s legitimately trying to not do drugs anymore. Big time bummer for me. I’m going to go ahead and need Jon Hamm and Blake Lively to come out with a sex tape…both are on my team and STRUGGLING. Zero points a piece. It’s like they don’t even care that I drafted them…geez. I've GOT to win that trophy, you guys. I really just have to. My pride is on the line.

Another tradition is for my insane mother and sisters to wake up at 3 a.m. on Friday morning and hit up the Black Friday sales. I’ve never gone with them. It’s like MY tradition to NOT participate. They wake up, shop for 12 hours wearing matching shirts, and then come home with bags and bags of crap stuff they found for 80% off with Doorbuster Sales. Instead of shopping with them, I babysit their kids. I LOVE babysitting the four kids. It’s so much more fun than plowing through a group of 40 year-old women who are over caffeinated and under-rested to get to the half-priced snow globes. Well, to each her own, I guess.

Well, now it’s on to Christmas traditions. I’ve pulled out my tiny shoe box of Christmas decorations and will now start the traditional Nagging of the Geo to put up the Christmas lights. And then he and I will go and pick out an obnoxiously enormous Christmas tree, bring it home, and decorate it while listening to some Mariah Carey Christmas music. And drinking apple cider with rum. And probably eating chocolate. (Yeah, turns out I can’t NOT eat/drink that stuff you guys…you just don’t mess with tradition.)

Bring it on, Christmas. I’m totally ready for the next round of traditions (I've already done the annual Changing of the Ringtone to Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You). Now if only Robert Pattinson has a Christmas tradition of, say, getting major plastic surgery or a sex change, I’ll be set to win the Fafa trophy again. T’is the season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Stanksgiving!

Oh Thanksgiving…a day to give thanks by shoving your face with turkey and gravy and potatoes and pie then taking a nice long nap on the floor. Just like the pilgrims did. I’m sure we’ve all got lots of things to be thankful for. Family, friends, and the love we share. But I feel kind of bad, you guys. I mean, lots of things get overlooked on this fine, festive holiday. Pilgrims and Native Americans didn’t know what they were missing when they sat around in a cornfield and gave thanks for buffalo or polio blankets or whatever. So, here’s just a quick list of things I’m thankful for that got overlooked at the First Thanksgiving.

* TMZ for all the news I need to know
* Automatic car starters in Minnesota winters
* Texting
* My new subscription to Vogue that JUST came in the mail (Eeeee!!!)
* Shoes. Lovely, lovely shoes.
* The ability to Pay at the Pump
* People with British accents
* Spanx
* Kate Spade
* Google desktop, so I can see Facebook, Twitter, Email, People magazine, the weather, and my horoscope all on one page
* Trader Joe’s and their wonderfully drinkable 3-buck Chuck wine
* My Crest Spinbrush toothbrush, ‘cause sometimes I don’t have the energy to do that whole “up-and-down” thing
* Blogs

Yeah, those are all great things that stupid Pilgrims never knew anything about. Okay, so they had turkey and new friends who they would eventually trick and steal from, but I’ll never know how they did it without checking in with Foursquare or eviting people to the shindig.

Alright, if we could bring down the house lights and get a little serious up in this piece for a second, I just wanted to say that there’s some real stuff I’m thankful for.

* My sister Prinna. She literally INSISTED that I start blogging all those many moons ago. She showed me how to design my page, helped me come up with the name, and designed the header. All for little ol’ me. She’s like the bombest person ever, and I’m very thankful for her.
* My mom who reads every blog SECONDS after I post one, and then writes me little emails when she really likes a particular entry. She is the ideal fan, and I love her.
* My dedicated, and sometimes wonderfully vocal, group of readers. Especially: My grandmaman, Padrin, Aunt Sarah, Cindi, Geo, all the boys who admit to reading a girlie blog (and liking it!), Liz, Ally, Madeline, and Kim for actually SHARING the blog on Facebook which spreads the blog like it’s the flu. You all rule.

Yes. I love writing this blog. I’m very THANKFUL to have it and that you guys read it. I’m thankful that my parents put me through college to write, only to end up reading about how much I love my couch and my thoughts on Lindsay Lohan. Classic.

Enough with the wishy-washy. I’m going back to my vodka tonic and deciding which sweatpants go best with cranberry stains. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stacy Square!!

Hey y’all!! Stacy here! I’m an alter-ego Pharon concocted once during college to help her cope with late night studying, and then I reemerged during one of her old jobs when she discovered REAL stress. I LOOOVE studying and working hard!! I have infinite energy, and Pharon has asked me to guest blog tonight because that wussy girl was too tired. Poor thing. But double YAY for me! I’m totally stoked to be here, you guys. And I know we’ll be fast friends for life! So, while Pharon snoozes the deep sleep of people who don’t want to enjoy every single second of life, I’m going to take over for her.

You guys? I am so loving life right now. Unlike Pharon, I woke up ready to get the day started! I love mornings! There is so much promise and hope to each new day. I enjoyed a beautiful run around the neighborhood, smiling at all my neighbors and handing out high-fives to all the wonderful kiddies on their way to school. I love other people's kids! Then I came home and paid all my bills - early. I spent hours doing my hair and putting on makeup and ironing my clothes.

Pharon never irons clothes. She doesn’t even know where the iron is. Does she know we even HAVE an iron? Poor thing, probably not. She’s such an adorable little mess...

Then I went on another run because I love exercise. Then off to the food shelter to feed the homeless! I just LOVE volunteering whenever I have a spare moment. I mean, what ELSE would I do? Watch T.V.? Grody. I have way too much energy to sit and stare at OTHER people living life.

So, these days I’m kind of busy. I’m getting a Ph.D. in English, Rocket Science, and Medicine. I mentor kids on the weekends and am a foster parent for abandoned pit bulls and rats. I’ve started my own business where I design and print my own wrapping paper, and it’s really catching on. Susan Sarandon is my biggest client. I love saving money and studying the stock market to fully understand how to best invest my money. I’ve just become fluent in Mandarin Chinese and sign language, and last night I was informed that I won both a Betty Crocker cook-off and an MTV VMA.

Even though I’m a little busier than usual these days, I totally jumped at the chance to guest blog for Pharon. She kept begging me, saying “Come on, man! I need you to do this for me. I worked all day and my head hurts from snarling at people all day.” Poor Pharon. Doesn’t she know that she’d have more energy if she just ate vegetables, smiled all day long, went on a couple runs everyday, and didn’t drink wine while she cleaned the house? (I don’t drink. Blech! Never touch the stuff. It slows down my brain and makes it difficult to do the complex math problems that I love so much.)

I’m the Angelina to Pharon’s Jennifer Aniston. I would totally adopt a billion kids, but right now, what with my house doubling as a halfway house for teen runaways battling depression, I just don’t have the space.

So, you can probably see why Pharon keeps me around right now. I like to step in and take over her life when she’s too tired or angry or uninspired. Though, she doesn’t have me come around a lot, because she also thinks I’m horribly annoying. Oh well! I have this awesome little feeling that Pharon will want me around a lot more now. I’m always ready to go, I’m up for anything, and nothing ever makes me mad. I think I might bring Pharon a glass of warm milk and maybe I’ll run out and buy her a Nature Sounds machine. I like knowing she’s getting a good rest. Meanwhile, I’ll off for a late-night workout session followed by a quick trip to Mars to search for elements that will cure cancer.

Okay, nice to meet y’all (BTW, I’m also selectively Southern)! I can’t wait to totally hang out again! I’ll bring some homemade scones! Hugs and Kisses!

<3 Stacy

Monday, November 22, 2010

Potty Humor

I spent an hour cleaning our bathroom tonight. Like CLEANING clean. Scrubbing, disinfecting, sweeping, drinking wine, wiping, vacuuming, drinking wine…but now our bathroom smells like bleach and an apple-scented candle. Kind of gross, but clean. Wonderfully clean. I talked to my mom after achieving this feat, and I told her about going through an entire roll of paper towels and not knowing how to change the vacuum bag. She said “Pharon, all I did when you guys were kids was clean. All day everyday”. Touche, Mother. I totally inherited my mom's talent in the quick pick-up, but failed to really digest the CLEANING part.

When I was young, the seven worst words a kid in my family could hear were “KIDS!! Meet me in the front hallway!” To this day it send shivers down my spine. That phrase, yelled by my mom, was the death of a good time. The killer of buzzes, the hater of fun. When my mom yelled that, the five of us kids knew: It was time to clean. Corralling the five kids in the front hallway meant a little tour of our house, cleaning room by room. We’d go from hallway, to the off-limits fancy living room where Perek spilled pen ink all over one of the couches, to the dining room, to the family room where our dog Pele had chewed through an entire chair, and ending in the horrifying nightmare that was the kitchen. If my mom was feeling particularly masochistic, we’d top off the tour with the front hall closet. That’s where we’d throw everything we had just cleaned up in the Family Room.

Five kids are messy. We’d leave our crap everywhere. You could follow the progress of someone’s day by following the trail of toys and socks all around the house. My poor mom, though. Our dining room table, with a gorgeous dark-wood dining room table, was constantly covered with stacks and stacks of kids clothes, sorted by kid. Every other day. One by one, we’d gather our stacks of clothes and go throw them on the floors of our rooms as my mom yelled “And don’t throw those clean clothes on your floor!” Miserable, rotten kids…

When we’d get to the kitchen, Perek would always get what we called “work bladder”. We’d be standing before the stacks of dishes and failed science projects, about to tackle the towers of dishes abandoned by us mid-meal, and Perek would declare, “I have to go to the bathroom”. Forty-five minutes later, as the Soft Scrub was finally being washed from the sinks, Perek would emerge from his room and say, “Oh, it’s already done?” Lazy, good-for-nothing kids…

But by FAR the worst cleaning was before a big family gathering. My mom wouldn’t stand for the hidden socks in the silverware drawer, or the tricky way we’d hide garbage under the couch cushions anymore. No. We actually had to CLEAN. I have this distinct memory of dusting the TV with a t-shirt I found under the kitchen table. That counts, right?

Which is why I found myself scrubbing the bejesus out of the bathroom tonight. It wasn’t even dirty. But that whole “Pre-Holiday” clean panic has set in. Geo’s family is coming to our house for Thanksgiving, and while I highly doubt they will be eating anywhere around my make-up case, I still find it totally necessary to wipe every bottle and organize every hair binder.

Now I’m intoxicated by the nostalgic scent of Soft Scrub, and a little buzzed from the wine I drank. And maybe it’s the combination of those two things, but I have the sudden urge to tuck some garbage under the couch cushion. Just don’t tell my mom…

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Have An Ice Day!

So, how was your weekend? Lovely? Fun? Boring? Horrible? Well, I hope it was fabulous. It’s getting to that time of year when weekends are uber-crazy. Everything is just wacky, everyone is busy, and there’s always something going on. I’m okay with that, I think. Yes, I love sleeping in (and did so on Saturday until about 10:30 a.m.) and killing time in the kitchen by trying out new recipes (I did THAT on Sunday. Sweet potato fries with fancy dip, breakfast tartlets, and brownies). But there’s nothing wrong with hanging out and seeing friends (did that on Friday night after going to the Timberwolves game with Geo) or spending time with family (yup, did that tonight. Had dinner at my parents house and helped my mom construct a collage-y type thing of family photos).

The one major kink in the chain this weekend, though, was the rando ice storm that jacked up Minnesota on Saturday night. I spent the day running errands and cooking above-average tasting stuff. Then at about 11 p.m., Geo had this genius idea to go to Perkins in our pajamas. For pretty much no reason. Again: Rando. I brushed my hair for the first time that day and we bundled up to go out for unlimited diet Cokes and probably a Chocolate Chipper Sundae or something. Zummy! We walked outside and I came thisclose to wiping out on our front steps. In the past few hours, the rain had turned into a deadly ice trap and there was like 1/2 inch of ice covering everything. Still determined, we started driving away, but my car slid right through the first stop sign. Strike one. Then we slipped right through a second one. Strike two. Then, after deciding that driving to a ghetto Perkins in our pajamas during an ice storm was just not a sane plan, we turned around to go home. I barely had to turn the wheel to pull an impromptu U-turn because my car just skidded to wherever it wanted. Strike three. We’re out. Totally crazy-fun Saturday night ruined.

Then this morning, Geo asked me if I wanted to go run around the street sliding around on the ice. Normal people ask that, right? No. No, DOGS want to do those kinds of things. Anyway, I politely declined, noting my inherent ability for tripping and falling at the mere SIGHT of slippery surfaces. To tempt those icy fates would be dental suicide. I keep having these visions of me slipping face-first onto some ice and knocking out my front teeth, and I’m particularly fond of those particular teeth. In response to that fear, Geo said, “Well, Pharon, that’s why you don’t fall ON YOUR FACE. You fall BACKWARDS.” Really? Gee, thanks Isaac Newton for explaining that to me. All these years, I missed that basic concept.

Historically, I don’t do well “walking” in the “winter”. There was that time I slipped on the ice outside a hotel in Iowa City in front of a massive post-bar close crowd. I slipped while trying to get over a huge mound of snow to get to my car and fell face-first into a snow bank, dumping all the contents of my purse into the snowy gutter. And in general, I just look like a dog on a skating rink whenever I go anywhere. I’m uncomfortable. I’m uneasy. I’m an accident waiting to happen.

So besides the ice in a vodka tonic, I prefer to keep far away from the frozen death trap. I hate that feeling I get right BEFORE I slam onto my tailbone and/or face. You know the one: the momentary airiness of your legs, the reflex to try and stabilize yourself with the other foot, only to do a little awkward shuffle before becoming all too aware of the weight of your own body and that evil, evil beyotch that is Gravity. Well, call me crazy, but I’ll do whatever I can to, eh hem, sidestep that landmine.

Okay, folks. Let’s keep our feet firmly planted on the ground this week, shall we? We’ve only got a few more days before the holiday season really kicks off, and I’d like to make it through 2010 with all my original teeth.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Go Ahead...Make My Day

I got my hair cut tonight. Exciting, huh? I know, my life is sooooo glamorous. But sitting in that salon chair got me thinking. About what? I don’t know. Lots of stuff, I guess. One of those things was how much I babble when I’m sitting there. I used to go to the same girl over and over. But the conversations got stale, and she was one of those people who blasted my face with the hair dryer until I couldn’t breathe. Yeah, she got the boot.

So, now I visit the Aveda Instruction Salon from time to time, where the stylists are like not quite certified and they need live models. You know, like animal testing. Because let’s face it, people. I’ve got the hair of a hippie. It’s long, straight, and just kind of like there. It’s too thin to be luxurious, too fine to be voluminous. The point is, it’s not hard to cut my hair. Snip, snip, clip, clip, pay at the front desk. I used to spend $75 at the fancy salon with the cucumber water and complimentary micro-dermabrasion treatments in the lobby. And then I’d walk out looking much like I look tonight. But now, going to the teaching salon, I saved like $50. Sure, my hair wasn’t completely dry when I left, and it took like an hour-and-a-half to trim ¾ of inch off, but I participated in the teaching experience. And I’m proud of that.

Okay, so I’m sitting there, telling myself to just chill and play it cool. Before I knew it, though, I found myself telling this girl, who was all of 17, about all my personal issues. Family issues, living-arrangement issues, I just basically threw up on her. Poor Alexis. She handled it like a champ, though. And yes, I have a clump of my own hair in my mouth, but she was really very sweet.

Another thing I noticed, when my hair was all wet and matted down to my head, and my tiny pinhead was sticking out the top of a giant cape, was that I don’t wear enough make up. Or have a tan. And at the end of the work day, the make up that I DID have on had gradually made its way down my face and into thin air. I was a straight-up mess. I looked awful. I looked around at all the shiny haired, perfectly coiffed stylist girls, each with their fancy matching outfits and coordinated jewelry, and I just felt like an ogre. Salons are supposed to make you feel good. Aveda, in particular, is supposedly full of “Day Makers”. Not the case. I’d prefer my stylists homely and unfortunate with a jelly stain on their sweater. I’d feel GREAT there. Anyone know of a place like that?

So, then the big reveal came. She whips the cape off, spins me around and says, “So???? Whaddya think??” I always feel like I feel when the waiter opens a bottle of wine for me and stands there while I pretend to know what I’m supposed to say. I WANT to say, “Yeah. So…it’s shorter! And, it appears as though it’s shiny and clean. Thanks!” I don’t know what I’m looking for. I don’t know how carefully to inspect it, or how much I need to gush. I always ALWAYS overdo it. “OHMYGOD! I love it! It’s like I have different hair! This looks amazing!”

I left feeling like instead of having MY day made, I made HER day. And then I over-tipped because I can’t do math and panicked at the check out desk. I think I might consider going back to my old system of trimming my own hair after a glass of wine with dull scissors from the knife block in the kitchen.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The results of last week’s Wednesday Winner poll are in!! And the response has been...underwhelming. I’m no clearer about the fate of my weekly awards than I was last week. Some people said “Keep it.” Some said “Keep it, but only focus on famous people.” Some said “Eh, whatever.” Still others said “Seriously, Pharon! I don’t care! Now get out of my house.”

So...Whatever. I’m going to still do them. I like giving away fictitious awards and keeping people on their toes. And I like alliteration. A lot. So, it'll just be Wednesday Whatever-I-Want type of thing. Because at the end of the day, does anyone really care? Probs not. And it keeps me on a schedule, and I dig a good schedule, people.

With all that said, here it is Wednesday and I have no Winner with which to dazzle you. It’s been a pretty regular week, and reflecting back on the whole week, I’ve decided that I’m sort of like “Eh, whatever” about most of it.

I think I need a Wednesday Eh, Whatever. You know, okay, so Prince William and Kate Middleton are engaged. Sorry, but Eh, Whatever. I guess he’s some sort of royalty? Is that right? Well, I like my Kings and Queens a little more, um, LOCAL. I DO think it’s creepy that he proposed with his mother’s engagement ring, which she wore everyday until THEY DIVORCED. Call me crazy, but I’d be a little skeezed out. Maybe he should have given her one of Di’s PERSONAL rings or something. Not a physical symbol of failed marriage.

Still, I’m just like “Meh” about the whole thing. Same goes for Eva Longoria and the fact that she filed for divorce today. Her husband cheated on her. Big shocker…what male celebrity DOESN’T cheat these days? I have to give him props for at least being quite gutsy about it. He is some sort of professional basketball player, I’m told. And he cheated with a TEAMMATES WIFE, but then I found out that the teammate and his wife were in the midst of a divorce of their own anyway. So I went back to Eh, whatever…

To top it off, it’s the time of year where it’s not QUITE the holiday season, but not quite NOT the holiday season. You following me? In downtown Minneapolis, the hanging baskets of flowers were removed from the street lights this week. As if illustrating my point, the city has set the flower replacements - big, light up snowflakes - right NEXT to the street lights. They haven’t quite gotten around to HANGING THEM yet. They’re like “Eh. Whatever. We’ve got about 7 months of winter to do it…” It’s like they’re reading my mind.

So in lieu of a Winner this week, I guess I’m going with a Whatever. Who knows what next week will bring? Wednesday Wimp? Wino? Wednesday Whil Wheaton (that’s for all you Family Guy fans out there) Wednesday Whodunnit? Now that’d be awesome…maybe next week, I’ll have like a mystery I need you guys to solve. I don’t know. Whatever.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Biological Snooze Button

Newsflash! Kids can be horrible! I don’t know what’s happening these days, but I’ve really gotten fed up with how rude children can be. Lately, whatever biological clock that may exist in me has had the Snooze button pressed. Seriously. Kids are brutal these days, and I can’t handle it yet.

I was at my parent’s house last night, hanging with two of my perfect nieces, Annabelle and Eve. I love them desperately and feel very protective of them. So, Annabelle is 5 and in pre-school. She is, quite possibly, the girliest girls ever to wear a tutu to the grocery store. Her favorite color may as well be Glitter. And that Girly Girlness is a great trait on her. It suits her. Anyway, she came home from school and told my mom this story. Apparently, some snot-nosed punk of a kid told Annabelle that she “was a boy, because she had a boys backpack”. Eksqueeze me? That definitely touched a nerve with me. I too was called a boy by a bunch of bullies. The kicker? I WAS a tomboy, and it SHOULDN’T have even BEEN an insult, but it was. Anyway, so this girl sneers that Annabelle is a boy. Who does this girl think she is? Annabelle knows the difference between a Kate Spade bag and “regular” bag. Suck on THAT, random-person’s-daughter-who-I-don’t-know.

So, I heard this story and was heartbroken over it. I asked Annabelle what her backpack looked like. Instead of her usual pink-and-purple-feather backpack, she had used a different backpack for a day that was “red with black writing on it”. She explained this to me while standing on a chair to be eye-to-eye with me. I told her, “Annabelle, when I was little I LOVED the colors red and black and white. I wanted to splatter-paint my room those colors. My favorite sweater was red, black, and white, and I wore it for 3 years.” Then that adorable little girl cupped my cheek and half-whispered, “Do you think that your sweater will fit me??” I have been googling “Black, red, white scottie dog sweater” all day to no avail. I would SEW that sweater for that girl if it meant that she didn’t have to take some other kid’s crap about a backpack.

I asked Annabelle what she said back to the girl, and she said, “I just tried to tell her it WAS NOT a boy backpack!” I couldn’t believe how furious I was about that girl. It also doesn’t help that I live down the block from an elementary school where kids frequently scream at each other “SHUT UP! YOH A BASTUUHD!” They can’t even say their “R”s but they can call each other bastards? Where are they LEARNING this?! Are kids not disciplined anymore? If I had EVER said something like that when I was young, you can bet I’d be holed up in the bathroom digging Dial Soap out of my teeth. That’s how it should work, people.

Okay, back to my point. Annabelle seems, as of now, pretty unfazed by this after hearing about my awesome sweater. But geez, it’s not long until she’ll be in middle or high school and dealing with those kinds of bullies that constantly harass and terrorize other kids. Is this bratty little pre-schooler, like, Bully Zero? Is that where it starts?

See? That’s my point. I’m waaaaay too, um, volatile to raise another human being right now. I’d freak out and be like “Oh yeah? She doesn’t like your backpack? Tell her that her disgusting split ends are giving you a headache and then smack her.” Yeah. I just don’t understand how to correctly deal with child politics. I don’t get how one human can totally insult another to her face and not have to deal with any consequences. I don’t walk up to a stranger and tell them they need a nose job or something and then bounce on out to recess worry-free. If I did say something like that, I’d run away screaming, afraid she’d come after me with a rusty knife or something.

Well, call me crazy, but I think kids should be nice to each other. I think they should be kind and lovely and innocent. And if they are rude and condescending to each other? Bar of soap. In the mouth. Case closed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside (DUH!)

Brrrrr! Minnesota is cold today. In other news, people are breathing air. Every single winter it gets cold here. Frigid, some would say. Yet every year, people seem to be shocked at the chilly temps. And then they’ll inevitably say something like “It’s soooo cold! Why do I live here?!” Sheesh. It’s not like it’s snowing in July, people. It’s winter, it’s Minnesota. It’s going to be cold.

I say that, however, after talking nonstop about how cold I was at work today. Some fluke accident thing happened and we had no heat all day. It was in the low 60s inside our office. But since it was INSIDE that was so cold, I can complain all I want. I wore a sweater, fleece, jacket, blanket, hood, and mittens for most of the day. Note: It is difficult to type emails in mittens.

Typically, Winter and I tend to get along just fine. I’m not a hater. Yes, every single task takes longer. Driving can be a nightmare, and downright scary sometimes, but I don’t have to shovel any sidewalks or driveways and I’m typically chauffeured around the town by means of public transportation. So, most days I am unaffected. Plus, I love chili and that’s only socially acceptable to make in the winter.

There was this one winter when I cursed the weather, the gods, the snowplows and everything else “Minnesota Winter”. It was when I lived alone in Uptown Minneapolis. There was a ginormous bizzard, that pounded the city with roughly 100 feet of snow in like 5 minutes or something like that. I had a parking spot in the lot behind the building. I also had an automatic car starter. So, I peeked out my window 15 minutes before I had to leave for work, pressed the little button on my keychain, and my car started right up. Yay! So, I threw everything in my purse, pulled on my snow boots and trudged out to my toasty car.

Okay, so I must explain something here. When you have an auto-starter, the car turns on and runs without the keys in the ignition. When you are ready to go, you put the key in the ignition, turn it half way and you’re off. However, my car also had this Auto Lock “FEATURE” that would engage after being started with the key.

So, I put the key in, turned it, and popped out of my car to brush off the top and back windows real quick. I shut my door so I didn’t let any snow in, and heard the car lock. While it was still running. I peeked in the passenger side window and saw my purse sitting there, with my phone and apartment keys inside it. I had locked myself out of a running car while it was still blizzarding. I, dear readers, am an idiot.

Long story short, I used a strangers phone to call Maintenance, who came and unlocked my apartment so I could get my spare car keys and could finally get in my car. It had been running for about an hour, and I had used like 1/4 tank of gas. Whoops! Sorry, Earth! But! It was definitely WARM inside. I used my phone to call work and explain what had happened, and that I was on my way through the treacherous roads. At that time, I learned that the weather had knocked the power out at work so I didn’t need to go in. I COULDN’T go in, as a matter of fact. Cue the cursing of winter weather.

Outside of that one stupes mistake, I feel like I’ve had a pretty drama-free relationship with the cold weather. I say that NOW, of course, right at the beginning. I give myself 3 weeks until a blog ranting against the ridiculous cold comes up. Feel free to set me straight at that time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sioux Falls: The Hollywood of South Dakota

Finally! The first snowfall in Minnesota, and I MISSED IT! I missed the whole thing because I was lounging around in South Dakota at Geo’s family cabin. Perek, Geo, Mitch, Chad, Chad’s girlfriend Angie, and I trekked into the untamed wilderness for fun times and drinking. It was definitely a great break from the stress and monotony of the Cities. We played Trivial Pursuit and Sega and ate nothing but junk food. I got a healthy dose of ribbing from the guys, and Angie and I helped them execute a wine tasting challenge for their pod cast, Good Guys to Know. I haven’t laughed that hard in too long. My stomach still hurts.

So, Saturday morning, Geo gets a call from his dad. We were all sitting around this cheesy little malt shop diner place for breakfast, and Geo informed us that his dad has a guy who works for him that has a limo. And said man would be willing to drive us around that night if we felt like going into Sioux Falls for a night on the town. After some half-hearted debating, we decided that this was too good of a chance to pass up. At 8:30, our driver Darryl rolled up to the cabin in the “limo”. We walked out with a cooler of adult beverages and saw this black, like long station wagon. I was getting stoked to stick my head through a sunroof in the sub-zero chill, but there was no sun roof. It had six doors and three rows of seats. The back two rows all faced forward, so it wasn’t quite the Limo I am accustomed to (if you call riding in a limo for high school prom and for my sister’s wedding being “accustomed” to limos).

While we were making our way the 45 minutes to Sioux Falls in the limo, we decided to take advantage of the whole limo thing. I had sunglasses in my purse, and a hooded sweatshirt on. So, we decided that I was going to be famous, and the guys and Angie would be my entourage. The limo pulled up to a bar, and we all got out. I had my hood up and sunglasses on, Angie shielded me from the people standing outside the bar. I held my face down and let Angie pull me in to the bar.

People fell for it. It was perfect. When I was walking back from the bathroom, some guy shoved his camera phone in my face and snapped a picture. The girl behind him squealed “Ohmygod, she’s still trying to hide!” I don’t know who they THOUGHT I was, but it was awesome. We pulled the stunt a couple more times as we progressed to more bars. At one bar, I went to close out a tab, and the bartender asked me to sign my “receipt”. After I did it, he was like “Oh, wait. Here’s the actual receipt” and then pocketed the fake receipt. My autograph! Hahaha.

So throughout the night, I kind of got a little TOO into my concocted alter ego. I was suddenly very aware of my facial expressions, in case someone snapped a picture that would show up somewhere with the headline, “Stars: They’re Just Like Us! They pick their nose and have mascara smeared on their cheek!” I felt like everyone was looking at me, I didn’t want to go the bathrooms alone, and I just sort of felt weird. Poor Britney Spears. I now understand her pain and aversion to normal social venues. Finally, we gave up the gag, and I put my sunglasses back in my purse and shook my booty on the dance floor without a care in the world.

It was definitely fun being a “famous” person for a couple minutes. On the car ride home, I reflected on how gullible people are. Geo made a good point, though. He said “I think people just like the idea that someone famous would come into their world and share the same experiences for even one night.” It was a pretty smart statement. The limo, the entourage, the feeling of being thisclose to someone who may or may not enjoy the perks of Hollywood life seemed to intoxicate people. I just hope that a few people had at least one good story to go home and tell. I should have advertised my blog…you know, bump up the traffic.

Alas, all that fame and fast food has wore me down. I’m definitely going to sleep hard tonight. Tomorrow, it’s back to reality and a job that doesn’t include lunching at Ivy or photo shoots with Annie Leibovitz. Oh well, I think famous people crave the kind of anonymity with which I can lead my life. I better enjoy it while it lasts!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Phoney Baloney

Oh, hey Blackberry! What’s that little “SOS” symbol on your non-touch pad screen? Hmm…it’s so strange because all you’ve been doing is laying around in my purse, so I don’t know WHY you would randomly stop accepting and making phone calls. Okay, so maybe you’re moody for no reason. Where on EARTH would you get that characteristic?! Oh, you learned it from watching me? Fine, I get it. The point is, my phone is on the fritz, and I’d very much appreciate it if it would get over itself. It’s randomly not working, and me yelling at it is seemingly having little to no effect on it. Well, I’m out of solutions.

I’ll admit it. I made some compromises when I got this recent excuse for a mobile device. I gave up the 3G network, the flash on a camera, the one-touch ability to change my ringtone…because all I wanted was a full keyboard and a functioning camera (despite the no flash thing, which I didn‘t realize until much much later). Those were luxuries my old phone didn’t have. Though, my old phone DID double as a mirror, which totally ruled. It was the LG Shine, and I got it because LC from The Hills was in an ad for it, and that’s all I needed. Plus, it was essentially indestructible. I treated that phone like a brick yo-yo. Never once did it SOS on me.

Full disclosure: I once had a pager in middle school. I have no idea why. I remember the songs it played - later called “Ringtones” - and all the hilarious one-word L33T speak words that would pop up every once in awhile. HELL. HELLO. BOOBS. BOOB. Endless fun!! My first phone was that Nokia phone every person on the planet had. No texting, no camera, no colored screen. No frills. Just a regular ol’ phone. And when I got it my parents enforced the “FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY!” rule by loading it with like 20 minutes a month. I was in college before I got a phone I could actually talk on long enough to explain what I was going to wear out that night. (Side note: my roommate Tina, who is all of 21 years old, thinks it’s positively HYSTERICAL that I didn’t have a cell phone in middle school. Sorry girl, but I got Jem and the Holograms, strong interpersonal skills, Reebok high tops, day-glo, and the ability to research information NOT on wikipedia. I think we can all agree that I come out ahead.)

My mom was IT when it came to adopting the “wireless phone” phenomenon. She was the first person I ever knew that had a phone she could carry around with her. She had this phone that was attached to a 25-pound charger that she easily toted around in a giant shoulder bag. And she looooves to tell us the story of when she got her first “wireless phone” call. She explained to us 5 kids that the phone was for EMERGENCIES ONLY. The first call she got from us? One of us in hysterics because someone had eaten the last of the cereal. The term “emergency” is so subjective.

Still, I have no desire to get one of those crazy fancy phones, shoulder bag or not. Kim (sorry to call you out, Kim, but this is just too good) is on her 3rd iPhone, I believe. People don’t realize how easily, and often, a phone can fall into a toilet. I myself am far too clumsy to own a phone that costs more than I would spend on a Kate Spade bag. But, hindsight being 20/20, I should have at least sprung for the 3G on this phone. Or at least the “Non SOS’ing” function. Let’s be honest though. My current phone bill shows that I’ve used 250 minutes of talk time all month. On the other hand, I’ve sent 1,000 text messages. I just don’t talk on my phone that much. Talking is for people who still have 3 letters on each number on their phone. Sheesh, n00bs.

So, I guess I’m stuck in a perpetual state of SOS. I made a snap decision that only took into account the price, and the so-called “smart”ness of a smartphone. Sure, I can take a low-quality picture of a fox eating a Big Mac and send it right to Facebook and Twitter, but at what cost? Someone could be calling me right now. Right this very moment. And I’d look at it and ignore it, and then text them back saying “What’s up?” Instead, I guess I’ll just wait for my phone to get over itself and come back to life. The good news is that I’ve got plenty of cereal to tide me over for awhile.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Winner?

I know, you guys. I know you’re expecting to see a bright and shiny Wednesday Winner introduction [HERE] and then you’d want to see a funny picture of the chosen winner [HERE].

And then I would ramble on about why such-and-such is a winner [HERE]. (Immediately followed by a hilarious side note [HERE].) Then I’d close with a nonsensical “Congratulations”, and an earnest plea to the winner to enjoy the meaningless adulations [HERE].

It was such a perfect plan! People were actually HAPPY to be chosen week to week. (I’m assuming, of course. I have not received any word of acknowledgment from Miss Aniston). And I love my Wednesday Winners, I truly do.

However: I do not love the guilt trips that have increased ten-fold in the past couple weeks when I have overlooked someone.

I don’t have the stomach for this, people. (Once, I thought I had really strong stomach so I watched a surgery on TV. However, I then realized it was NOT strong when the surgeon sliced off a face and let it dangle on the patient’s neck while they repaired some bones. Oh, hello there, Toilet Bowl!) At any rate, I’ve started losing sleep over this. I thought it would be all sunshiney bribes, celebrity endorsement, and free shoes. Instead, it has turned into cloudy anger, hurt feelings and cold shoulders. Talk about your all time backfires…

I know what you’re thinking: Pharon, I couldn’t possibly care less about this. What are you getting at? Well, Antsy Nancy, I’m trying to tell you that...

I may be retiring the Wednesday Winners.

It's a tough choice for me, though. On the one hand, most people LOOOVE the Wednesday Winner. Especially when/if they know the winner or agree. However, too many people are missing the point of this feature, and maybe I have missed the mark a little bit. "Say whaaaaa? Pharon, you don't MAKE mistakes." People, I am but a human. And to err is human.

But, before I go gettin’ all Cancel Crazy, I wanted your input. Yes, dear reader, YOUR input. See the options below and let me know in the comments, on Twitter, or via email what you think (Remember that time I tried to do a poll and it nearly ruined everyone’s lives? Yeah, that’s why we must do it this way now. Thanks for nothing, Blogger). So, see the various options below. Then tell me what the eff you think I should do...

* I've got a WAAAY BETTER idea...I'll tell you in the comments!
* Continue Wednesday Winner
* Maybe Wednesday Weirdos?
* Consider Friday Failures
* What's with the Days of the Week crap? Forget the whole concept!
* Wait, did you really say something up there about a person having their face peeled down onto their neck? Eeesh. I don't care what you do, I'm never reading this blog again.

What do you guys think, huh? I need your feedback. Help me help you. You can comment below the awesome video, send me a tweet (@pharonlundquist), graffiti up my Facebook wall, or just email me. Don't disappoint me...OR your country.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Immaculate Concept

I did it, you guys. I finally did it. People doubted me. They thought, “Pharon never follows through on her dreams and goals.” And I know, I know. I’ve done this kind of thing before. You know, promise myself and my friends and family that I will ACHIEVE something! And then sit down with a glass of wine and debate whether or not to paint my nails instead of getting off my tuckus and taking a step towards success and maturation. But not today, people. NOT TODAY! I have tiptoed into the unknown, and beat the crap out of adversity. Today, I am a winner. Today, I am an adult.

Today I cleaned my room.

It was ugly, friends. It was scary and I didn’t know what I’d find under Shoe Mountain, or behind Old Magazine Canyon. But I did it. I put all my clothes back into the closets that threw them up in the first place. I dug through old clothes and old makeup and amassed a giant bag of “easier to throw away than clean up”. I found the gross little fake scars I wore to the Zombie Pub Crawl inside my running shoe (maybe I should start actually USING those shoes). I matched up shoes that were under the desk, on the desk, under the bed, and in my t-shirt drawer. Finally, I looked around at my room. I put my hands on my hips, and took in the splendor that was a spotless room. The bed was made. The dirty laundry was sorted out from the clean laundry - and then WASHED! I couldn’t believe what I had accomplished. I can’t wait to mess it up again…just to relive this cleansing high.

The truth is this. I hate cleaning my room, and there is no way that I am capable of KEEPING a room clean. I have too many clothes that I throw around like confetti, and end up in a tornado of Banana Republic and The Gap. I’m like the people on Hoarders. I can tiptoe through the piles of clothes, shoes, and empty boxes and then pluck a white tank top from the depths of a pile of crumpled up clothes I washed 2 weeks ago. It’s like a gift to find that needle in the haystack. I’m proud of it, sometimes.

I’ve been like this for my entire life. So, it’s not like I’m going to change any time soon. I just can’t keep my bedroom under control. When I was really young, and playing outside with my neighbor Claire, my mom would be all “Pharon! Stop eating those ants and come in and clean your room!” Lucky for me, I was a very manipulative little brat, and Claire had that lovely, easily-manipulated mind that so many kids have. Five minutes later, I’d be laying on my bed and directing Claire where to hang my Scotty dog sweater and denim overalls. I’d be like “Claire, the faster my room gets clean, the faster I can come over and play fashion show.” Unlike me, Claire was a phenomenal cleaner. She was efficient, and organized. She’s exactly that way today. In between commercials on a TV show, she’ll mop her kitchen floors. So, we all have our strengths. And cleaning? ‘Tis not my forte.

So tonight, I can bask in the cleany goodness that is my bedroom. I won’t trip on empty gift bags or twist my ankle on a round brush hiding under sweatpants. It’ll be nice, I guess. But how will I know what clothes I have to choose from unless they are all carefully thrown onto the floor?

Whatevs. I’m glad it’s over with. I don’t have to worry about cleaning it for another month week or so, and I finally have matching socks again. Everybody wins. For today, at least. Next time? Next time, maybe I’ll see if Claire is bored…

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yes, I WOULD Like Some Cheese With This

I keep having this urge to whine incessantly lately. I don’t mean, like, complain and then elaborate on my emotions. No. I mean WHINE. Like a baby. My reaction to people, situations, and actions all evoke this “Waaahhhhhhhh” from my nose and throat that I haven’t realized, until now, even existed as a tone in my body. You haven’t posted pictures from Halloween yet? Wahhhhh. Geo starting a job where he’ll be working until 9 p.m. every night, thereby leaving me to the testosteroneless house alone? Wahhhhh. All my birthday ice cream cake is finally gone? Double Waaaaaahhhh.

I can’t stop it. It feels really good. It’s like when you’re sick with the flu or something, laying in bed and cradling a garbage can like a newborn child. And it feels really good to just roll around and moan. UGHHHHHHHH! UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! You know, like a zombie? That’s my whining these days. It’s cathartic. It’s constant. It’s, as of yet, highly ineffective though.

So I’ve been whining a whole lot lately. Some might say I'm whining "too much". Wrong, jerks! Regardless, I started doing it, and now I can't stop. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m stuck in this baby-onesie-sized world right now, and it's the most basal response available. Like, my house is feeling smaller and more crowded every day and I feel more and more claustrophobic. And I can’t open our fridge any more without like 6 random Tupperwares of leftovers spilling out and on to the floor. I just want the damn butter! WAHHHHHH! Plus my room is basically uninhabitable. The only surfaces not covered in clothes (Clean? Dirty? Who knows?) are my bed and the 1 square-foot of carpet in front of my mirror where I attempt to put on makeup in the morning. But it's too messy now, and I don't have time to clean it. Wahhhh!

As I mentioned though, this whining is not doing too much for me. It's just not a good color on me, and I'm sure it's really very obnoxious. And it hasn’t really urged anyone to alter their offending behavior, or change an undesirable answer. I don’t really care, though. It's working for me. I like how it calms down my face. Instead of sneering at the maddening person, I can just go all slack-jawed and whine. Less wrinkles that way, too. And when I’m all agitated and twitchy with frustration, the waaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh is like FOCUSING all those clumsy words into one sound. I’m actually ascending from the common language into a more complex yet simultaneously basic communication device. People do that crap in meditation all the time, right? Don’t hate me because I’m enlightened…

But maybe it’s because I’m regressing. I’m around entirely too many people who are way younger than me these days. Or maybe I’m like a bear, which hibernates into cozy catharsis in the winter, slowing down everything in his body. It’s like, “I’m not going to explain to you, at length, why you are irritating me, or why I think you and/or you’re idea is dumb. All I can muster is WAAAAHHHHHH and a half-assed attempt at swiping your picnic basket before trudging off to my cave for a 6 month nap.”

Whatever the reason is, I fear the WAHHHHHmbulance is here to stay. I like it. I like the guttural reverb, and the brief purification of emotions. It's lovely. I just wish people didn't hate it so much. God, why do people haaaate it??? Wahhhhhh...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

But It FEELS Much Later

So did you all turn your clocks back? I hope so. How awkward to be the only person in the office for an hour only to realize you could have still been sleeping in your nice, cushy bed still. I almost can’t wait to go to sleep tonight, and it’s only like 9:00.

I’m definitely okay with going back to routine tomorrow. I had another awesome weekend. I spent Friday night with the fam, playing poker, and drinking wine. I watched the Hawkeye game with Kim on Saturday and then Ally and Liz meandered over to my house and we drank more wine on Saturday night. We watched a couple ridiculously awesome 80’s flicks throughout the day. One of the movies was Dirty Dancing. We all realized that, um, Dirty Dancing is totally inappropriate for children to watch. All of us had seen it a ton of times before, and love it. But in our most recent viewing, we discovered that as children, we had all unknowingly witnessed a botched abortion take place in front of our eyes. Sheesh…and people were worried about the suggestive dance moves? Really? Oh, the 80’s…how innocent we all once were.

Anyway, so today I got to go to the………VIKINGS GAME! Yay! Geo and I hit up downtown Minneapolis to watch one of the most exciting Vikings game of the whole season. A win in overtime? Deal me in! So, after drinking beer all day, eating hot dogs and chicken wings, and screaming at the defense for a few hours, my testosterone levels have sufficiently and wonderfully been depleted. But, during my jumping up and down in the confined space of the stadium seating, I smashed my knee into the seat in front of me. Owie. That’ll teach me to stay put next time.

The movies, the house guests, the football, the poker, the injuries, the beer…ugh. Yeah, I need the 9-to-5 to bring me back to home base. I need the proper lunches, the organized chaos, and the regular showering. There were so many people coming and going this weekend that it’ll be nice to be back at work, in the relative comfort and quiet office buildings can offer.

Now I’m really hoping for a slow week. It’s getting to be that time of year, where a nice, quiet house is wonderfully necessary, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a crock pot stewing in the kitchen. Will that be possible in a house of 4 people? Probably doubtful, but here’s hoping! Well, Skol Vikings, thanks to my girl friends for being awesome and hilarious, and don’t, under any circumstance, let your kids watch Dirty Dancing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things…While Holding a Knife

Don’t you guys miss the good ol’ days, when we were kids? Things were so much simpler then. “Problem solving” consisted of using your words, taking a time out, or wielding a butcher knife and chasing your brother around the house. Yeah. Good times, people. Wait, what’s that? You DIDN’T chase family members around the house with a knife? Huh. I can’t believe I’m the only one…in that case, I should probably elaborate.

I’ve been seeing a lot of my siblings lately (all four of them). And last night, I got into a disagreement with my brother. There was some name-calling via text messages, and just some general animosity that yanked me back to my bowl-cut-having, windsuit-wearing days when I was a witness to, and cause of, many many fights that left bruises on your arm, not ego. I’m going to say this, by the way: If you have siblings and NEVER fought with them, I don’t know how to talk to you. Or believe that you’re even a real person. And before I go dredging up old, YET HILARIOUS, childhood memories, I’d like it on record that I actually love my brothers and sisters. And not even because I have to. I genuinely love them. They are all bright, productive members of society now.

Okay, so I chased my brother Peter with a knife when I was like 9 years old. He was getting in my face while I was, I don’t know, cooking? Butchering some meat? Whatever. I was 9 and using a knife. He did something to set me off, I got enraged and chased him, holding the knife like I would hold my Barbie’s hair brush on a very bad hair day. He escaped. My mom found out what I’d done and, well, I did NOT escape. Whatever the problem was with Peter and me at the time, my mom solved it immediately.

Then there was the incident with the aluminum bat. I don’t remember this accurately, so I’ll just say: Someone hit someone else with a bat for some reason.

Remember when I told you how hot our house used to get? Well, needless to say, fans were a hot commodity (no pun intended). We each had one, but some of us (read: ME) wanted a lion’s share of wind blowing on our face. So, I stole Perek’s fan one day when I was about 15. He came in my room, unplugged it while I was laying on my bed basking in the windy goodness, and brought it back to his room. He jerry rigged a system of locking the fan to itself in his room, but I was determined to crack the code. I shoved Perek around, ransacked his room, hungry for high-speed air circulation. During that rampage, Peter came to Perek’s rescue. He stood across the room as I was JUST about to free the fan, and threw a combination lock at me. It hurt. Perhaps he had a few years of pent up anger regarding that whole knife-chase thingy. Whatever. Perek kept his fan.

There was also some psychological warfare going on. Because I was young, I don’t remember Padrin and Prinna fighting a lot. Sure they argued, but I don’t remember Padrin chasing Prinna around with any sort of weapon ever. I do remember, because the evidence existed for a long time after it happened, one day when Padrin put on her thinking cap. In their shared closet, Padrin had written, in permanent marker, “I HATE PADRIN” and then blamed it on Prinna. I wonder if it’s still written in that closet…

See? The commonality between all these situations is none of us like sat down and chatted about our feelings and had a great big family hug over a bowl of marshmallows or whatever, while a soft tune played in the background, teaching us all an important lesson. We were kids. Real, live kids. In the 80’s. That’s just how problems were solved. I’d never condone physical fighting these days. I just wouldn’t. But there’s something so wonderfully innocent about it when it comes to me and my own brothers and sisters. And I’m pretty nostalgic about it now, as it relates to the current situation in which I find myself and my brother. I’m sure he’d like to pin me to the ground and dangle spit in my face while doing a typewriter on my collar bone (for old time’s sake), but that just doesn’t work as adults. Or does it??

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Winner

Big election week. Congrats to the winners, bummer to the losers. Politics, man. It’s a dirty game.

With that in mind, let’s move on to the Wednesday Winners!! Such a tough week, people. Too many of you have been incredibly good to me, unyielding in your compassion, and overall generous with your kind words and gifts of Kate Spade bags (Lana and Valerie!). But, decisions must be made, and a winner must be crowned. This Wednesday, I have two winners who must share the prize. The two have spoiled me rotten this week with bribes, incentives, and praise. That shall not go unnoticed (as mentioned in the first installment of Wednesday Winner). So, Congratulations to People Who Bribed Me!!

First, my sister Padrin.

Padrin went above and beyond her sisterly duties this past week. I feel like I should give you a brief background on Padrin and me. When I was little, I called her Queen Padrin. Every night, I’d go downstairs in the dark and fetch her a glass of water with “a lot of ice, and a little water”. I did this DESPITE the fact that she also told me that little gremlins live in the cupboards at night. Still, I did it. I was obsessed with her. My childhood diary is basically Padrin‘s itinerary. “Padrin came home at 12:51 tonight and Mom got mad.” “Padrin is going on a date tonight, but said I could watch a movie in her room”. Or even “I was bored tonight, so Padrin said I could paint her toenails.” Eeesh.

But now, all is well and I’ve finally developed that backbone I sorely lacked in childhood. So, now she lives in Decorah, IA with her hubby and 2 awesome kids. On Thursday night when I met up with my fam for a nice birthday dinner, I was shocked to see Padrin standing at the top of the steps. She drove over 3 hours to surprise me at dinner, only to turn around and drive back the next morning. That, my friends, is dedication. It was an incredible surprise, and to top it off, she got me what every young, modern woman dreams of: a bag of Amish items. Amish bonnet, Amish potholder, book about being Amish. It was Amishtacular. And lest I mistake her gifts for simple adoration, she then said “If THIS doesn’t make me Wednesday Winner, I don’t know WHAT will.” Well Queen Padrin, Congratulations! You’ve finally achieved the highest honor in the land.

Secondly, I also recognize my friend Kim.

Brief background on Kim and me: We met in Minnesota and moved to Iowa City for college, where we lived and laughed together for 2 years. Now we’re both back in the Cities and more annoying together than ever! (Just ask Geo.) This past week, especially, she pulled out all the stops for me. She suffered through shopping at Forever 21 with me, she and I watched the triumphant Hawkeyes game together, she treated me to an awesomely delicious “chocolate explosion” ice cream cake, and on Saturday night when we all went out, she did her darndest to make sure I was having as much fun as possible. Plus, she made a house full of drunk people come together and sing Happy Birthday to me. The icing on the cake was the adorable sweatshirt and Kate Spade perfume she got me. I look and smell better than ever!

So, my sincerest thanks and adoration go out to Padrin and Kim this week. You guys made me laugh, made me smile, and totally made my week! All it took was an interstate road trip, endless hours of attention, and a few spot-on gifts. I told you guys I’m not above being bribed. In fact, I am allllllllll for it. Congratulations, ladies! May this fake, yet well-deserved, award serve you well in future weeks. May it carry you through the darkest of days and toughest of times. And to all others who are reading this: I am still accepting gifts in the form of cash, Kate Spade bags, and surprise road trips. Well done, ladies!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rock the Vote

Did you vote? I really hope so. I really do, because whatever your views are, they do no good sitting alone in your head. Even if you think you HAVE no opinion on anything and think you don’t care about who wins because all politicians are basically evil, there IS an issue out there that affects you. And the least you can do is get educated and fill out a ballot to do your part. I know that a lot of my friends vote. Many of them are well-informed, intelligent people, and many don’t even share my opinions. But I’m so glad they take an active role in who is elected. It’s downright irresponsible to choose not to vote.

Personally, I know how important voting is. During my senior year of high school, I was elected as The Biggest Flirt in my grade. It was truly an honor to be granted such a prestigious award. I knew, looking out among my constituents, that I had a duty to perform from that moment on. I would work tirelessly to reassure my compatriots they had indeed voted for the right girl for the job. I would not let them down. Later in the year, I would also be elected as The Biggest Flirt in band, as well. And yes, I was the incumbent, though no race is ever a guaranteed win. It was a privilege to win not once, but twice. I was humbled by the overwhelming acknowledgment by my peers.

But I know the heartbreak, people. I know the pains of losing, or more accurately, never being elected. I was not captain of the soccer team, I wasn’t on a chair of my sorority, and as far as I know, I currently hold no public office. But the most devastating loss was in high school, that same year I bounded to the heights with my twin Flirt of the Year awards.

I thought I was a shoe-in for being on Homecoming Court. In my high school, the days before Homecoming Week consisted of the student body voting for the members of Court. Then, after the voting, and as a kick-off to the week, members of the elected court were woken up in the middle of the night, and shuffled off to their first exclusive Members-Only breakfast in pajamas. The rest of the week consists of these 18 or so girls and boys running the school from atop their golden high-horses, creating their own exclusive club of inside jokes and private parties. I wanted that so desperately. My boyfriend at the time ended up on Court, my best friends were on Court, and yet, I sat up that night, in adorable pajamas, hoping that they would come and pick me up and whisk me away to Perkins for chocolate chip pancakes. They did not. It was a crushing defeat. Or, rather, willful negligence.

I have known the highs and lows. I know the power of a name on a ballot, and of its absence as well. Sometimes all it comes down to is whether or not you like someone’s last name. It’s a clumsy popularity contest, full of empty promises (“I promise! I’ll be the best Homecoming Queen ever! And no more taxes on the middles class!”), and little side deals made with nerds and jocks and giant corporations with “special interests”.

So I get out there and cast my ballot, in the hopes that the person for whom I vote will not sit up in bed alone waiting for the party to come and sweep them into the glorious warmth of popularity and acceptance. And my expectation is that, if elected, they will do their job as I performed mine during my Reign of Flirting: With the respect, honor, and gratitude of those who put them there.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dream On

I don’t even want to TALK about Mossgate 2010. No longer do I have the hopes of bumping into Randy Moss at the gas station and striking up a conversation and then being asked to hang out with him at the mall. He’s gone. And much like the first time he left us, it just makes me sick. Stupid coach and his stupid terrible coaching…

But, I digress. Okay, so you know how nothing is more boring than listening to someone recap a dream? Well, last night, I had a crazy dream and I want to tell you about it. In my dream, I ran a marathon. Like, it was a weekend-long type thing. And I didn’t even break a sweat. Right before I finished the race, though, I got bored and went to wait on the corner for a girl (who I don’t even like) to come pick me up and take me swimming. So, when I woke up this morning, I was like "Whew! What a workout!" But I had been doing nothing but laying down. I think I was almost sore.

Has anyone ever done a study of whether or not dreaming about working out has any effect on someone in real life? I mean, sometimes when you dream, you work out problems in your head and you think clearer the next day. So, does working out in your dreams have the same effect? ‘Cause that would really rule. That seems like such a typical "American" thing to ask…"Is there a way to sleep while working out?" Basically, I want to know what I’d need to do to workout without actually DOING anything. Ideas? And don’t suggest yoga. Yoga scares me. I listened to a dude fart allllllll the way through a yoga class, and I just don’t have the kind of stamina to last a whole class without laughing at that.

I used to belong to the YMCA by my old apartment. It was pretty ghetto, and I loved that place. It was stinky, and nobody washed down machines, but it just felt right to me. There were frequently people working out in jeans, and for the most part people just kind of minded their own business. I rarely ever saw the kind of person who "gets ready" to go work out. I hated that more than anything at the gym I belonged to before the Y. It was a snooty, snobby person’s club. I did NOT fit in there. I will never, for the life of me, understand how a woman can work out with her hair down wearing big hoop earrings and expect to get anything accomplished on the treadmill. Or why a ginormous muscle-head would toddle around a weight room flexing and drinking creatine. Don’t these people have jobs? I like to put on sweats and a tank, pop in my headphones, and stare blankly at an issue of People from September 2004 and then get home.

What I really need is to find someone who is less or equally as coordinated as me to take a kickboxing class together. Something about all that punching and kicking just really appeals to me. I have no doubt I could be good at that. Though, I also assume I’d be very good at break dancing, so who knows?

I just know that the winter doldrums are already kicking in, and my whole house is as cold as it is outside. So, I’m going to need to get out of here and get into a place where I can sweat my butt off. The question remains though: Is that place in my bed while I sleep, or in front of a punching bag? Please say bed, please say bed, please say bed….