Thursday, December 30, 2010

Who is Lange Zyne, and How Old IS She?

You knew it was coming, didn’t you? Like I said before, I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions, so I guess maybe these should be considered a To Do List for 2011. Or, maybe more like “Pseudo-Challenging Goals Most People Do Anyway”. I feel like resolutions are so, I don’t know, final and scary. I would list things like “Learn Chinese” or “Shower Everyday” but everyone who knows me knows that those are impossible, and therefore won’t make any list I ever compile, unless it’s a list of things I’ll never do.

Without further ado, here’s my List of Things I Will Really Try and Do This Year, But Don’t Quote Me On It:

* As I’ve previously mentioned, learn how to put on makeup. As I write this list, I am relishing in Day Two of no makeup, and I will be sad to see these days go.

* Stop doing my laundry at my parents house. (NOTE: I KNOW how to do my own laundry. I’ve been doing it since I was 16, and in fact DO my own laundry, just at my parents house.) Here’s the thing: I HAVE a washer and dryer in my house, but I’ll admit it. I’m very afraid of our basement. It’s dark and scary and full of storage stuff. I just KNOW there are mice hiding down there. And mice are scary. It’s time I stop avoiding the little buggers and just wear football spikes down to the basement.

* Learn how to change a car tire. I don’t know why, but I have always wanted to be able to do this. I think it has something to do with the fact that I know a lot of guys who can’t do it, and need to call AAA. But how awesome would it be to pop out of the car, take off my Louboutins (which I will also buy this year), and change a tire myself? Answer: Very awesome.

* Be more spontaneous. Typically, Monday-Friday, my hours are planned out down to the minute, until 6 p.m. when I just park it on my couch and write. I have GOT to stop doing that. “Pharon, do you want to go to a movie that doesn’t START until 9:30 p.m.?” Old answer: No way, too late. New answer: Fine. Well, unless there’s one at 7:30? No? Okay, count me in.

* More happy hours. I can’t believe I have to actually WORK on this. I love Happy Hours, but as of late, I’ve really been slacking in the post-work drink arena. Must remedy this soon.

* No more roommates. I think I’m finally at the age where it’s getting a little weird to live in a house with 3 people to whom I’m not related. I really hope this is the year I move out of my favoritest house in the world into a small, crappy place in the ‘burbs probably, because I can only afford my sweet pad right now with the THREE roommates. No, I think it’s time to downsize and grow up.

* Stop watching TV marathons. Or at least limit them. I can sit and watch America’s Next Top Model marathons for 4 hours without even thinking about it. And God help me if there’s a Bridezilla or True Life marathon on. I may as well grow roots in the couch. But no, I must stop doing this.

* No. More. Clothes. From. Forever. 21. No more. They are cheap and only good for one or two wears. Unless it’s for a costume or something. Nope. I’m going to focus on QUALITY clothes over QUANTITY of clothes.

* Stop eating like a guy. I need more veggies and fruit in my diet, plain and simple.

* Keep blogging. If you guys promise to keep reading, I promise to keep blogging.

Those are my goals for 2011. What are yours? What will you change? What do you want to KEEP doing? (And HEY! If one of your resolutions is to write kick butt Cheesy Movie Storyline, don’t forget to send it to for your chance to win an authentic Pharon Square t-shirt AND your story featured on an upcoming blog!!)

Be safe out there guys. Have fun ringing in the new year, and I hope you have the night of a lifetime!! I’m sad to see 2010 go, because it was a pretty darn good year. I hope next year is as good, if not better. For me AND for you! See you all in 2011!

Sars about the video below, but it’s the only thing I could find with my favorite version of the New Year’s Song! Close your eyes and dance…

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

(Hopefully Not) The Best Part of Waking Up

Welp, it's official. I'm THAT GIRL. I've allowed Geo to drag me to a coffee shop to sit next to each other, while we both stare at our own computers. I'm like a wannabe-writer from 5 years ago. Geo convinced me to come by saying "J.K. Rowling used to sit at a coffee shop and write all day every day. Then she wrote a little book called Harry Potter." I dismissed him and said I'd never heard of the woman, but secretly, I wondered if Spyhouse Coffee would give me free coffee all day if I promised to sit here and write something really good.

So, I'm sitting at Spyhouse Coffee. Writing. I'm that jerk. My first attempt at putting together some writing samples for a couple little side projects went, um, not well. I came up with nothing. I just kept thinking "Man, I just wanna write my blog". So, I'm doing just that. Whatever works, right?

Sanna works at Spyhouse and she has told me that THE Josh Hartnett is kind of a "regular" here. I warned Geo, as we left the house, that if Josh Hartnett is here, I'm leaving him for Josh. Geo took one look at me, in my giant full-length down coat, carrying my 1,700 pound computer bag and he laughed right in my face. He then commented that maybe I should brush my hair first.

Alas, there is no Josh Hartnett. Just me and a bunch of other jerks sitting, typing, and drinking coffee. So cliche. Honestly, I don't know how people come to write anything, even an email, at these places. The music is LOUD. And it's music I hate. So, I've also got my iPod on, blaring the new T.I. album. I couldn't be more distracted. And yet, the blogging continues.

When I was home during college, I used to sit at this hipster coffee shop in Uptown with my friends all night. We weren't old enough to go to bars, so we'd drink Italian sodas as if they were cocktails, and cram ourselves into the back corner of Pandora's Coffeehouse while we'd talk about, like, how we couldn't stand living with out parents. We literally spent HOURS there at least 4 nights a week. I'm so glad I turned 21. Bars are far superior to coffeehouses. But, I guess, it's not totally awesome to be sitting at a bar for hours upon hours during the day. It would get pretty expensive, and people start wondering if you have a problem with the booze.

Anyway, I'm halfway through with my coffee, I'm growing more and more distracted by the people around me. There is a table of four people, each sitting in front of their own computer, each not speaking to each other. There is a line of people who ordered coffee and then drowned it in sugar and flavored creamer - why order coffee in the first place? There's a lot of hipster facial hair on the guys, and lots of layered scarves on the girls. Also, I don't know who ever said the newspaper business is dying, because apparently every person who comes to a coffee shop during the day reads a paper. Not even on a computer. That's one trend I definitely support. What's old is kitsch again...thanks, Hipsters. You very well may be keeping The New York Times in business.

I gotta hand it to the people here, though. No one has bugged me. No one expects me to leave my seat anytime soon. And, let's keep it real, I'm sitting here during the day writing a BLOG. To the other patrons here, I'm just a girl who probably doesn't have a job, who writes a blog about her feelings or other random crap, and who is probably wearing an Old Navy sweater to be ironic. Little do they know, though, I'm a girl who DOES have a job, who writes a blog about her feelings or other random crap, and is wearing an Old Navy sweater because she thinks it's cute and it was only $5. Suckers.

Okay, time to pack up and head out. I've successfully finished a blog, edited an essay for Geo, wrote some random writing projects, and checked in on Twitter for the first time in like a week. I feel both productive and relaxed. However, I've gotten nowhere on my novel about child wizards. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Come On Down!

So, as you may know, I’m in the middle of a 2-week staycation from work. Last week was full of Christmas prep stuff, and now this week, I’m all laid back and enjoying the time off. It’s been loverly. I’ve made a major life decision too. I’ve decided that I’m going to go on a game show. And then win the million dollar jackpot. I made this decision this morning while I was getting ready to go over to Prinna’s to help her turn her office into a nursery. I was drying my hair and got absolutely sucked in to The Price is Right. And tonight, I caught an episode of Wheel of Fortune, which solidified my plan.

I don’t really watch a lot of game shows on an average day. I have nothing invested in them, you know, like I do with Glee or The Soup. No, game shows are basically good time killers. But tonight, watching Wheel, the guy won like $75,000. Just because he spun a wheel and played Hangman in front of an audience. I could TOTALLY do that. I’m not sure I’d want to be on Wheel of Fortune, though. So, I’ve done a little thinking and decided to become a millionaire on a show that doesn’t rely on arm strength and whether or not I can afford a vowel.

The Price is Right: Prinna LOVES this show. She went on the Vegas version of it when she, Padrin and my mom went to Sin City. I believe she won a washer/dryer or lifetime supply of glue or something. I personally couldn’t do this. Do YOU have any idea how much Gold Bond Medicated Powder costs? Cause I sure don’t. I wouldn’t have any idea how much a set of men’s luxury ties would cost, and wouldn’t make it past Contestant’s Row. Even if DID, I’d only have a chance at Plinko, because that game rules and is totally reliant on luck. Then comes that giant wheel, and I am certain I’d be the first person to spin it, fall on my head, cut my face open and end up with $0.35 anyway. Also, Bob Barker is gone. Nope, the price is wrong for me on this one.

Deal or No Deal: Definitely not. This has everything to do with odds, probability, percentages, and no, just…NO.

Cash Cab: I LOVE this show. It’s a game show, but it takes place IN A CAB. It’s all random trivia, most of which I would have an okay shot at guessing. Plus, even if you lose, you get a free cab ride at least partway to your destination. The one thing that concerns me is that I truly believe I’d be a very annoying contestant. I’d be too loud, too indecisive, and and screaming out “w00t!” more times than anyone ever should. I wish I could be on this show, but I don‘t even live in New York anyways (where the Cab is).

Family Feud: This won’t work for a number of reasons. One being that the total won isn’t all that much because you have to split it amongst the members of your family. Also, there’s NO way my family would agree to dress alike, high five each other every 2 seconds, and NOT berate someone for a bad answer. No, we take Feuds too seriously.

Jeopardy: The only way I’d win big money is if I were playing against kids or celebrities (who aren’t very bright as a whole), or if the categories are like “Britney’s Boyfriends”, “Kate Spade Bag Names”, or “Unscramble this Word” (because I’m really freaky good at that). Otherwise, I’d be leaving a loser.

Name That Tune: I think this is the one for me. I’ve never actually WATCHED this show, but if it ever came back on the air, I’d try out for it. And I’m really hoping that there’s a prize of a million dollars (if not, I would settle for Wheel of Fortune). I would consider that show Don’t Forget the Lyrics, but I just totally hate the hosts of those shows. Regardless, I’m fantastic at knowing the lyrics of songs, and being able to identify them very quickly. Yeah, if there’s a big bank to be won, I think this would definitely be my game show.

So, I guess I’ve got it narrowed down to two. Now I’ve got to work on adjusting my Five Year Plan to include a trip to LA, and an investment in outfits that look good on TV. Plus, I’ll have to make time for all the trips I’ll win to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Rome. What about you guys? Which show would you go on?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Kiss and Make Up

I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. I’ve half-heartedly made a few, but never really thought about them after January 2nd. This year, though, I started EARLY on the resolutions. I packed up all my gift cards and headed out in search of the tools I’m going to need. This year, I’m going to learn to put on makeup. I bought some nice makeup brushes - ones that do NOT just come free with eyeshadow. I picked up some staples that I’ve apparently been an idiot to live without, including something called “Primer”. I got home and felt like I was about to paint a room. Nevertheless, I think I’m ready to take on the new year with a whole new face.

I don’t know when the bus left for Womanhoodville, but I most certainly missed it. I watched my niece this weekend opening her favorite Christmas present - a makeup kit. She spent hours playing and experimenting with all the colors and putting on layers upon layers of blush. She was enthralled. I need some of that, I think. As it is, I dread having to get dressed up and put on colorful eyeshadow, because I will always, without fail, make it look like I have two black eyes. I’ve got my typical makeup routine down to a science. It takes 4 minutes from lotion to mascara. But, as they say, change can be good.

So, I went out and bought this “primer”, some foundation-y thing, brushes for proper application, and too much money later, I feel like a girl. I showed Geo and his brother my treasures and they were APPALLED that I spent nearly $40 on ONE PRODUCT. How do women buy all this stuff? My new makeup collection is worth more than the food in my house. But, I must admit: I’m finally excited to try some fun makeup things tomorrow. Or Wednesday. Or, well, probably not until New Year’s Eve if I’m being honest.

When I was 16, my parents allowed me to start wearing makeup. My mom took me to Estee Lauder for a private makeup consultation and application lesson. I had concealer, foundation, powder, blush, eye liner, 3 (THREE!) different eye shadow colors, and mascara on. It was a LOT of makeup…especially for a 16 year old. But every day I’d slap all that on my face and head out in public. That was back in the day before makeup felt “light”. So, I imagine that’s about the time I stopped wanting to cake my face with all that goop. One by one, I neglected a product and then another and another until I arrived at my current tool kit of about 3 products.

But that’s the past. My friend Freda is like a total makeup pro. She’s done my makeup for a number of events, like weddings and tailgates and nights out in Iowa City. I know that, after she’s made me up, I can look pretty and feminine. I know my eyes can “pop” and my skin can look flawless. But now I have to learn how to do that myself. I wouldn’t consider myself a “natural beauty”. You know those obnoxious girls who can wake up and look the same, or better, than they did during the day before? I’m not one of those. I wake up with bags under my eyes and little splotchy redness all over my face. I certainly don’t “glow” or look “dewy” or any of that nonsense. No, I am definitely one of the girls who looks better with some makeup.

So, I’m going to really give it a shot and learn how to put on makeup without looking like a hooker. I’m going to learn about “contouring” and “highlighting” and other crap. And I’m going to make it look natural, so everyone thinks that’s just how I look. Like, I came out of the womb with flushed cheeks, purply-pink eyelids, and cherry-stained lips. I’m going to really give it a shot. I’m going to learn how to do my own makeup and I’m going to learn how to do it well. I’m one step closer to being good at being a girl. It would seem that 2011 will look a lot better than 2010. Or, at least, I will look better.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Red and Green Blues

Well, I hope you guys had a magical, surprising, loving, joyful Christmas like I did. But does anyone else get the post-Christmas blues? I just got home from spending like 2 1/2 days with my ginormous family, and here I’m back at my house just, like, taskless. For over a month, I spent so much time thinking of gifts (for 15 people), researching gifts, buying gifts, returning gifts, finding an outfit suitable of being both festive and elastic-y to cushion all the holiday foods, and now it’s just…over. I hauled all my gifts home tonight, and I dug through them to enjoy some of them immediately. Just trying to stretch out the feeling, I guess. I’ve got my new boots on from Geo, I’m guzzling sipping the holiday wine my brother-in-law Ben made (zummy! It’s one of my favorite wines!) from a Kate Spade mug Prinna gave me, taking random pictures of nothing with my new camera from my parents, and I just kind of keep going through everything. I just got them yesterday, and it’s like they’re already keepsakes.

Sometimes it’s hard to take it all in when it’s happening, you know? I remember hearing somewhere that if you spend too much time trying to, like, take pictures or videos of an event, you won’t remember it as well as just living it, you know? So I really tried to focus during Christmas. I wanted to make sure I saw everyone open their gifts from me, but there’s always a LOT going on. It’s like trying to watch one snowflake fall in a snow globe.

It was a stupid great Christmas this year, though. Added Bonus: I think I burned approximately 16 bazillion calories yesterday from playing Just Dance for Wii NONSTOP. I have GOT to buy that game. My parents got it for Christmas, and it is quite possibly the greatest game ever. At one point, there were 7 of us all dancing to Toxic. Seriously, it was too fun. I was actually sore today. Besides that, my parents house was just full of people, kids, noise, Christmas tree-scented candles, and wrapping paper stuck to everything. It was pure bliss.

Then today, people packed up their stuff, put it all in their cars, and drove it all away. Ever since I was little, my parents have preferred that we simply stack our stuff up and NOT put it away for a few days so they can actually SEE everything. It’s the only time they want a messy house. I now totally understand that. I was so busy opening my awesome gifts that I didn’t see Prinna’s awesome gifts. And Peter and Perek both had to swoop theirs away before I saw most of their stuff too.

But now all my gifts are set out on my dining room table. I just keep going over there and looking at different things. I’m going through holiday-cheer withdrawal. I want to just curl up under a tree skirt, pop in some Manheim Steamroller, and huff a combination of peppermint, cinnamon and egg nog. I’ve gone crazy with Christmas nostalgia. If I were the creative type, I’d make a scrapbook of my Christmas 2010 memories. I would dry my tears with candy cane wrapping paper, and compulsively fondle the glittery tree ornaments and tinsel. I’ve seriously considered replacing all the light bulbs in our house with strands of colorful Christmas lights.

Does this happen to anyone else? Do you guys get bummed after the Christmas party has come and gone? Or am I alone here? What do you guys do when a big day has…ended? You know how you plan and plan and plan and look forward to, say, a vacation, and then you get home and go back to work and life is all normal again? It sucks, yo. I’m still craving online shopping and gift wrapping. I want to wrap everything back up and make everyone do it all over again. One thing’s for sure, though. I’m going out and getting Just Dance and will try and dance away my blues.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The REAL Christmas Story

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the home
This blogger sat quietly, writing this poem.
The TV was muted, my phone was on vibrate,
The silence was wonderful, peaceful, and great.
My roommates were gone, at work or with friends,
“I live alone in this castle“, this blogger pretends;

I nibbled on grapes and sipped on some wine,
Which I generously poured into a big beer stein,
When all of a sudden, I heard a loud "S@*#"!
I ran to the window, to yell at the culprit
I tripped on a shoe, the rug, and a purse ,
I reached the window before things got any worse.

The streets below were quiet, and still, and dark
Cars badly lined up, because people can‘t parallel park,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature man, falling over and drinking a beer,
He relieved himself in the snow bank out front,
I knew in a moment he was totally drunk.

He dug out his phone and drunk dialed his friends,
And he called and he texted, clearly to no ends
"Now, Jason! now, Tony! Just answer, you jerks!
Hey, Sarah! Yo Becky! I know not one of you works!”

The man fell face first in the 3-foot snow bank,
Just by looking at him, I could tell that he stank
As the winds blew hard, he swayed as he stood,
he tried to walk straight, as best as he could,
Eventually I saw as he climbed our front steps,
He slipped and he slid, but eventually crept.

And then, in a moment, I heard on the stairs
The man coming up, and muttering swears.
Before I got to the door to lock it up tight,
The man walked in and was a horrible sight.
He was dressed all in camo, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all covered in beer that was not root;

He reached in his pocket, took a swig from his flask,
And suddenly turned into a jolly man, no longer was crass.
His eyes -- they started twinkling like glitter!
I picked up my phone and signed on to Twitter.
I wanted to tweet about what I was seeing,
He was now fully jolly, no longer publicly peeing;

He lit up a pipe and held it firm in his teeth,
A fluffy moustache, his pearly whites were beneath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
His odor was now pleasant, and not at all smelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
“Could this lush be Santa?“ I thought to myself;

With a friendly high five and a wink of his eye,
The messy drunk was now Santa, and was quite a guy;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his task,
And held out his hand, presenting the flask,
I drank and was magically filled with holiday cheer,
And giving a nod, he announced “My cab is here“;
He sprang to the car, and gave the driver directions,
And away they drove, (he put his seatbelt on for protection)

But I heard him exclaim, ere he rode to Nicollet Mall,
"Have a wonderful weekend, and Merry Christmas to all!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sweet Tooth

If I ever see sugar again, it will be too soon. Like, way way way too soon. I spent over 7 hours baking cookies today with Prinna and my mom. We always start all gung-ho crazy, and about halfway through, we really start hurtin'. Quality suffered. We slowed down. But eventually we finished, and we're pretty proud of the results. Without further ado, here's a photo journal of what we accomplished today.





Then I got a little crazy. I spent an obscene amount of time making "couples" with the gingerbread men. Prinna was about to toss me and my "couples" out the window, because while I dawdled away placing each little piece of sprinkle hair on one-by-one, there were literally hundreds more to decorate. But, behold! The adorable results!
Geo and Me

Prinna and Chris

My mom and dad - look! He has a little stethoscope on, and my mom has reading glasses on her head!

So, I think we did a pretty kick-butt job. We divvied out all the cookies and we each took home a thief's ransom in sugar. I almost dumped mine off our balcony though. I couldn't look at them anymore. Plus, I don't need anymore sugar - I'm sweet enough as it is. ZING! But, I kept them and I'm sure my roommates will have no trouble eating them. Meanwhile, this is the carnage that remained after all the cookies were packaged up.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


What day is this? With my sleeping in, enjoying a leisurely breakfast with friends, and movie-watching today, I would have guessed it was a Saturday. So far, I’m definitely loving this whole staycation thing. I should do it more often. No stressful traveling, no packing, no dealing with crappy strangers. I’m home and I’m loving it.

I spent a lot of time today being sentimental, though. Emoting, if you will. Today would have been my niece Sophia’s fourth birthday, but she passed away from SIDS a few years ago. But every year on her birthday I think about her, and kind of count my blessings. I turn into a daylong Hallmark card. I definitely don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Typically, I’m a cold, unfeeling, robot with little interest in being mushy.

I watched Marley and Me yesterday and didn’t cry. Not one single tear. I prefer killing the mice in my house to catching them and releasing them. I find it hard to sympathize with people with food allergies. I don’t let cars in front of me in traffic. I don’t trust people who volunteer too much, I don’t like to eat or shop locally, I won’t Start Seeing Motorcycles, and I think bad thoughts about people who stand too close to me at the bus stop. Also, I will never be a “mommy” to a pet.

But today, I’m a bundle of actual emotions - emotions that aren’t used to describe patients in a mental ward. I put on my softest pajama pants and spent a lot of time writing about the people I love. It felt pretty good. Despite the fact that this day is definitely a tough one, I couldn’t help but look up in the sky at the stars tonight and think about how lucky I am. I didn’t even shake my fist at the wintry blast stinging my face, or laugh at the bicyclist who nearly fell over because he was trying to BIKE through the SNOW.

I probably shouldn’t ball up all the good, mushy feelings for so long. I could give myself an ulcer. And if I’m not careful, I’m doomed to become a bonafide Grinch. It really shouldn’t be a rarity that I take the time to really appreciate the people I have in my life, and tell them I love them every once in awhile. I mean, it’s not like it makes me a bad person to be nice to others more often.

So today I’m mushy. I’m a marshmallow filled with clouds blowing bubbles. My Facebook status encouraged everyone to hug the people they love today. In the midst of all my cynicism and smack talking, I’m just going to use this day to prove that not only am I human, but we are ALL capable of these very real emotions and should embrace them. Don’t be afraid to pop in Armageddon and have a good cry, or be nice to a bad waitress, or admit you're wrong and apologize to someone, or just give your mangy dog a big, slobbery kiss. In the meantime, I’m going to sincerely wish you guys a great night. Tomorrow, though, it’ll be back to our regularly scheduled insults and unabashed cynicism.

Blogger Note: I haven’t gotten a chance to make it through all your Lifetime Movie Story Submissions yet. Turns out, people are pretty busy around the holidays, including yours truly. So you still have time to craft the perfect story. I’ll be declaring the winner in the new year! Get pumped, people…

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wrap Artist

Uff da. Bring on the snow. I’ve got my butt planted on the couch, watching the Vikings game. Those weirdos are playing OUTSIDE in the U of M football field. What kind of freakshow goes to watch a football game in subzero, snowy weather? Geo, Perek, and two of their friends, that’s who. They have been outside since about 3:30 this afternoon, waiting to get INSIDE the OUTDOOR stadium. Seriously, freak shows.

Well, I’m officially done with work until 2011. I went to work for a grueling 4 hour workday, and now I’ve got the next two weeks off. Me likey PTO. I got home, watched a movie, did some Christmas shopping, and came home to do one of my favorite things ever. I wrapped like 15 gifts. I. Love. Gift wrapping. Love it. If I were a zillionaire and could open my own business, I’d open a gift wrapping place. And not like one of those generic backrooms at Crate and Barrel, where they slap a pre-cut ribbon on top of a solid white box and call it a day. No, no. I’ve got a serious vision.

You know that scene in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory where Willy opens that teeny door and they go into a candy wonderland? Replace the chocolate river with tissue paper, the trees with rolls upon rolls of different wrapping paper, and those little candy teacup flowers with bows and you’re halfway to what I want. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more enjoyable for me to do than go and buy gift wrap. All the options, colors, and textures are like an aphrodisiac. And the ribbons! Oh man, I love ribbon like I love bagels. The best is the curling ribbon that comes with like 5 colors on a roll. Intoxicating.

I like to coordinate wrapping papers. They’re like outfits. I’ll wrap one present in red, black, and white paisley print paper, and another in a yellow pinstripe paper, then tie them together with white and yellow ribbons. Oh, this also means I frequently buy people two gifts. The paper looks so much better that way. Unfortunately, this year I only got one kind of wrapping paper. I thought it went together with a different paper I already had, but it didn’t, so I was stuck with the plain old multi-colored snowflake paper.

After the paper is chosen, I need to find boxes. One of my biggest annoyances with wrapping presents is when they are oddly-shaped. What the H happened to companies giving out gift boxes with things? Rude. Now, I either have to salvage an old clothes box or roll up the shirt in the paper and tie the ends, like a piece of candy. It feels like such a cop out. But when I have BOXES, yee haw! When I was younger, Prinna used to let me French braid her hair because I did it “tight” - meaning no bumps. No saggy pieces. Perfect. Well, that’s how I like to wrap. Nice and snug. If boxes were girls, they’d all be wearing corsettes.

So, then the ribbon goes on. Lots and lots and lots and lots of ribbon. It quite literally ties it all together. And honestly, I don’t understand why people use NON curling ribbon. There is nothing more satisfying than a perfectly curled ribbon. Not too tight, not too loose. Just like hair curls. My ribbons are Jennifer Aniston’s hair.

This is why I want a gift wrapping shoppe (yup, I‘m going to be a jerk about it and add the extra “PE“ at the end). Now, don’t get me wrong, people, it’ll be pricey. Gold-flecked wrapping paper and Swarovski crystals don’t come cheap. It’s luxurious to have a well-wrapped gift. If you’re going to take the time to buy a gift, you should take the time to have it wrapped well. It’s like making pasta and leaving off the grated cheese. Why bother? In my shoppe, I’m going to do all the wrapping myself. Everything will be in an actual BOX, and it’ll look elegant and fun. I’ll add diamond ring charms to wedding gifts, glow-in-the-dark bracelets to kids gifts (or possible rave gifts, if such a thing exists), and incense sticks to a hippie gift.

Well, for now I’ll just have to keep working on a gift wrap ROOM in my house. I’ll be just like Candy Spelling. Or, I just need someone to wrap up the zillion dollars I’d need fulfill my life‘s dream. If you need help with the ribbon, I’m happy to help…

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Twelve Drinks of Christmas

Seriously, can someone please just give me a sick Christmas gift idea for Geo? He’s pretty much the last person I need to shop for. I have a couple ideas, but I’m not totally stoked about either one. I hate that feeling, because there really is nothing better than finding the perfect gift for someone. It’s totally cheesy, but my favorite part of Christmas is seeing someone open a gift that I know they are going to love.

That being said, I did some shopping for myself this weekend. I had to. I’m out of clothes, and I just needed an easy shopping trip with no stress. And I always know just what to get myself. I left the house explaining to Geo that I needed new pants. I came home with 4 sweaters.

On Friday night, Kim and her boyfriend Nick came over for beers and lime vodka tonics. We threw in a game of Trivial Pursuit, which Kim and I lost interest in almost immediately. But I was inspired to go shopping the next day because Kim always has cute sweaters on. When she showed up looking all put together, I was painfully reminded that the particular sweater I was wearing was about 6 years old.

So, Saturday night I put on a new sweater and headed out to a holiday party for the Ultimate Frisbee community in Minneapolis. It was at the Surly Brewery. Drinking beer in a place where the glorious stuff is birthed? Yes please! The brewery itself was awesome. It seemed like it would be an incredible place to work. All the guys I talked to who work there really have a passion for it, and it was a super refreshing atmosphere. I don’t know a lot of people who love their job as much as those guys do. It probably helps that they have easy access to booze.

This morning, though, my appreciation for those guys was replaced with a throbbing headache. I don’t drink heavy beer all that often. I’m sort of a Coors Light kind of gal. And though the beer was delicious, it must have increased the size of my brain while shrinking the size of my skull. I went to babysit my nieces tonight, and luckily they were not offended when I dozed off while listening to them tell me what they want for Christmas.

Well, between the beers on Saturday, the lime vodka tonics Kim and I drank on Friday night, and the liters upon liters of water re-hydrating me throughout the days this weekend, I’m finally balancing out. I’m ready to take on the work week ahead. OH WAIT! I only have to work tomorrow morning, and then I’m off until 2011. I’m both stoked and nervous about having all that free time on my hands! I better stock back up on the vodka and tonic water…

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Had dinner with Kim tonight. It took forever to meet up because of all the snow and cars and idiots. First and foremost, let me tell you that Minnesota drivers are, far and away, the dumbest people on the planet. When there is snow piled on snow, piled on cars, piled on top of more snow, the solution to finding a parking spot on the street is NOT just parking in the middle of the street. I mean, I don’t know if that’s for sure on the driving test, but you’d just assume that’s a bad solution.

So, finally I meet up with Kim. She was halfway done with a beer by the time I took my coat off. It had been a loooooong day for her. She just had one of those generally really crap-filled days. She texted me this afternoon, and was frustrated and stressed out. My response? I sent her a very detailed text about how much my feet smelled. Yeah, she laughed. I was glad to have helped her out a bit.

At dinner, we both kind of loudly dumped our respective bad stories onto each other. After we had purged our bad news, we went back to discussing my feet. I explained to Kim that it is a little disturbing when you’re sitting there, wearing socks and winter boots, and you can still smell your own feet. At the time, it seemed like a bigger problem than work drama. Kim disagreed.

I don’t know what’s better, though: Enjoying a good dinner with a friend, or discussing the validity of whether or not people’s feet and armpits are in any way connected with each other, thereby distributing a finite amount of the smell glands. I explained to Kim that I must have all my sweat glands in my feet because I don't have ANY in my arms. I don’t sweat there, and I don’t smell (Perek once helpfully suggested, during an extended period of me living the single life, that maybe THAT’S why I didn’t have a boyfriend. No pheromones or something. Jerk). There are people you can smell a mile away because of their armpits. I’ve moved away from these people on the bus. Ew. No thanks. But I wonder if they sit around at home wearing their boots all night because they don’t want to offend people’s olfactory glands by taking them off. I think it just might be a trade off, then. Armpits or feet…choose your stinky weapon.

Chances are, if you’ve got cartoon stink lines coming from your armpits, you probably walk around barefoot like it’s no biggie. Is that right? Does anyone know if there’s any science behind it?

Well, back to dinner. I wish I went out to girl dinners more often. Usually, I’ll go out with a few girls, and we all get tangled up in different conversations, talking over each other, and recapping stories when one of us goes to the bathroom. But the one-on-one girly dinners are easier to manage. You’re either talking or listening. You give and take. There’s not as much interrupting, and you can end up having a really good, solid conversation about whether or not people sweat the same from their feet as they do from their armpits. We departed company and made promises to hang out again this weekend. See? That’s what I love about friends like Kim. We sat together for a couple hours, complaining and whining, and talking candidly about how much we smell, and yet? We make plans to hang out AGAIN in under 48 hours. I’m hoping by then, she’ll have had a better day at work. She’s probably hoping that by then, I will have showered.

Well, you guys? That’s all she wrote this week! Hope you all have a fabulous and fresh weekend!

P.S. No plans this weekend? How about spending some time writing an award-winning script?! Check out the current Lifetime Write Off Challenge for your shot at winning pride, glory, and your very own Pharon Square t-shirt!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Winner (For Real! There are Prizes!)

Well, I promised a big ol’ announcement, right? I had this big plan to do something FUN for a change, you know? Shake things up. Light a fire under everyone’s, well, you know what I mean…I wrote a bunch of words that eventually added up to something like “Something cool is about to happen, and you have to be a part of it or you’ll regret it on your death bed”. So, I’m kind of stuck with going through with it.

Hopefully I’ve piqued your interest. Because I’m taking a leap of faith here. I’m putting my hopes and dreams of a Lifetime movie-making career in your hands, Readers. I’m hereby holding a Lifetime (a.k.a. Cheesy) Movie Story Writing Contest!!!! That’s right, guys. For the next week, I’m going to hand the reigns of bad TV storyline writing over to you. I know you guys have the creativity, talent, and 5-10 minutes it takes to write a masterpiece.

Here’s the dealio: Go ahead and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, rather) and put together your best bad movie script. It can be a quick synopsis, a lengthy outline, a paragraph, or an entire story. Whatever. Just give me your best cheesy movie premise. Include character backgrounds, plot twists and a happy or horribly depressing ending. When you think you’ve got the best submission, send an email to me at:

>Make sure you put “Story of a Lifetime“ in the subject line, so I don‘t dismiss it as more fan mail, which I’m still anxiously awaiting to receive. (You can also submit it as on the Pharon Square Facebook page.) Send it anonymously or attach your name - I can‘t guarantee I won‘t hold it against you, though. The winner will be notified by email and will be able to start planning their parade at that time.

NOW: FOR THE PRIZES!! Okay, so first and foremost, your story (or at least a version of it, should I choose to do some creative editing) will appear as a guest feature on Direct your friends to your genius! Put it on your resume! Scan it onto a t-shirt! Do whatever you want!

Secondly you’ll ALSO win some crazy awesome Pharon Square swag! Impress your friends when you show up to your next party with your very own, one-of-a-kind, Pharon Square t-shirt! (Disclaimer: the shirt is not one-of-a-kind. Others will be able to buy/win their own in the future.)

I’m expecting some crazy good stories here, people. Don’t let me down. This time next week, I’ll choose the winner, and they will enjoy the eternal fame and adulation that come with being featured on this prestigious blog. If you have any questions, post a comment or send an email.

Good luck, everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hey Good Lookin', Whatcha Got Burnin'?

Today, we’ll be baking some Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies. Now, first thing’s first: open the wine. There’s a wine for practically every cooking job. Tonight? I’m going with “Red Wine”. It also goes with cooking chili, salad, wontons, brownies, and cereal. Sip slowly, but generously. Cooking is all about the buzz.

So, go ahead an open that cookbook. Yes, you’d better have a cookbook, folks. Who do you think you are, Julia Child? Well guess what: you’re not. You can’t just throw a bunch of food together willy-nilly and hope for the best. No, no, no. That’s just, well, that’s just silly. You need the recipe. I, for example, tried to go off-recipe once and ended up with watery, flat, doughy balls of mush. What was I TRYING to make you ask? Cornbread. Don’t make the same mistake, folks. There’s simply nothing you can make that someone else hasn’t already made better, and then written down the instructions.

As you are measuring the ingredients into the proper bowls, make sure to google “Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder?” because surely you have forgotten to buy one or the other. Note: they are NOT interchangeable. Shrug your shoulders as needed, and consider the missing ingredient “optional”. Go ahead and mix that batter up. Take care to dump all the flour into the dough at once, sending a floury poof into the air and onto your face. Chances are, you’ve mis-measured the flour anyway, so the extra ounce or whatever flying in the air won’t cause any problems. Under no circumstance, however, are you to let the flour mix with your wine. Continue to add wine to your body liberally.

As the batter is mixing, feel free to stick your finger in the bowl as the little beater thing swirls around and around. If and when the beater thing snaps your finger away, loudly curse the inanimate object. Consume another slug of wine.

Next, search wildly for a clean cookie sheet. After discovering that a roommate has taken the cookie sheet to a friend’s house, make a sorry attempt at cleaning the dirty sheet. The heat of the oven will burn off whatever gunk you don’t quite get. Now that you’ve put your first batch of questionable cookies in the oven, pat yourself on the back and start maniacally cleaning the kitchen. Inevitably, the flour that sprayed the whole kitchen will be the toughest to clean. I suggest using 409. Warning: Do not attempt to spray the 409 onto the ceiling, though. It will fall in your eyes. Loudly curse gravity.

The smell of baking cookies is a wonderful aroma. You’ll want to prematurely remove the first batch from the oven, but fight the urge. Stand at the oven and obsessively open and close the oven door, making sure to not burn the cookies. When ready, remove pan from oven. Slide cookies off pan and onto a makeshift cooling rack. Now, this could be a paper towel, a pseudo-clean kitchen towel, or just a freshly 409’d counter. The fumes will affect the taste of the cookies, but not enough for people to really notice. After you’ve put the next batch of cookies in the oven, lick your fingers. It will be at this point that you will remember that you have forgotten to wash your hands. Wash hands.

Now, this is the most important step of the Pharon Square baking process. You must, and again, I cannot stress this enough, you must completely forget about the last batch in the oven. Yes, they will burn, but this is a necessary step which you must not fight. The smell of burnt cookies will quickly mask the previous yummy aroma. This is very important because 1) it will remind you to turn off the oven, and 2) it will take away your urge to inhale a dozen of the cookies.

The final step is to sit back, finish your wine if you haven’t already, and wait for the acclaim. More than likely, people will be perfectly happy eating fresh, homemade cookies. However, if for some reason some know-it-all asks if you forgot the butter, insult them back as needed, and blame it on the wine.

Bon apetit!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Next on Lifetime TV: Snowplows of Hope

I watched a LOT of Lifetime TV this past weekend when I was snowed in. Like, so much that I should be embarrassed, but I don’t have the dignity to warrant such emotion. And to all you boys? I know. You don’t watch Lifetime. But I highly suggest you get in touch with this channel, as everyone needs a little Valerie Bertinelli in their life. Based on my newfound expertise on this channel, I’m thinking about submitting the following piece for production.

Place/Time: A nondescript Midwest town, after a heavy snowfall, circa 2010
Characters: Hope Rudetude, a bright young woman who has recently been undergoing therapy to deal with her complete emotional bankruptcy, and her childhood kidnapping and subsequent raping. And Chad Sadman, a snowplow driver whose work has suffered lately due to his chronic emotional breakdowns in light of the passing of his dog, Chance, and the infidelity of his ex-wife with his own father.
Cue narrator, James Earl Jones.

“What happens when a young, unemotional girl finds herself at the mercy of a mysterious, snowplowing stranger? Hope Rudetude is about to learn that sometimes, it’s okay to cry, and the mysterious stranger will find out that not every tear shed needs to be from sadness.”

Synopsis: Hope Rudetude is stuck in a snow bank outside her posh downtown apartment. She throws her hands in the air and exclaims, “OF COURSE! It just HAD to snow on the day I’m late to my mixed martial arts class!” She kicks the air around her in a frenzy of “haiYAHs!” Seeing this strange woman attack empty air, Chad Sadman feels a tear slip down his rough cheek. “She must feel so alone". He sniffs a little, wipes his dewy eye, and maneuvers his heavy snowplow through the treacherous snow. He pulls up next to her, “Can I help you out there, miss?” Their eyes lock. He, afraid of being rejected, starts to cry and looks away. She, overcome by the windy air, bats her damp eyelashes.

Cut to a montage of scenes where Chad and Hope are getting to know each other. Out for coffee, laughing at the museum, getting close at the movies, Hope teaching Chad some mixed martial arts moves, Chad sharing pictures of his beloved and dead companion Chance, and crying on Hope’s shoulder. His eyes are perpetually glassy and wet, her hands forever clenched in fists. They are a mismatch. Music is happy, light, jovial. Slowly, the music quiets. The scene fades out.

All of a sudden, the music swells up, and we see Hope throw a vase at Chad’s head, just barely missing him. The glass shatters in slow motion. Chad crumbles and sobs, “I just, I can’t go on without Chance! And I can’t stop being so sad because everyone will leave me, just like my ex-wife!” She yells “I love you, Chad Sadman, but I can’t BE who you want me to BE!” Quieter now, she says, “Not only was I kidnapped and raped by our mailman as a child, but I had all my emotional nerve centers removed so I could donate them to my twin sister who was about to die from apathy! I can’t FEEL because I LOVED HER TOO MUCH.” Hope crumbles to the ground, face red and eyes dry. Chad kneels by her side. He tilts her head up with his finger. “Then I will have to cry for the both of us, and you will need to be strong for both of us.” They embrace. Chad blinks away the tears. Hope wonders what is for dinner.

The next scene: A lovely Winter wedding. The newly married Mr and Mrs. Chad Sadman exchange their vows, share a kiss, and when they pull away, Chad smiles and dabs his eyes. He, finally, is happy and leans down to pet his new dog, Lucky. But as we close-up on Hope’s face, we see a single tear slip down her cheek. She touches the unfamiliar wetness, and looks up at Chad. She smiles, and at that very moment Hope realizes that though she cannot feel enough and Chad may feel too much, together, they feel perfectly. They ride off together in Chad's snowplow into the rest of their lives. Roll Credits, Cue Taylor Swift song.

OMG, sobfest! I’m going to try and line up Jodie Sweetin for the role of Hope Rudetude, and I think that guy from the last Bachelor (Jake Pavelka) would be a perfect Chad Sadman. I'd also like to throw in an unplanned pregnancy, temporary amnesia, and some sort of hilarious miscommunication. Once I get all those kinks worked out, if someone could pass this on to the fine folks at Lifetime, I’ll give you 5%.

***IMPORTANT!*** Make sure you "Like" Pharon Square on Facebook to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Place Like Home

I don’t think I need to tell anyone that, well, it snowed a little bit in Minnesota on Saturday. And by “a little bit”, I of course mean that it is Armageddon. On Saturday morning, I made the very genius decision to go to the grocery store. By then it had only snowed about 12 out of the total 20 inches. I thought to myself, as I lay in bed with grumbling stomach, “Should I go to the grocery store NOW or LATER? The answer should have been “anorexia”. It was way too dangerous for me to be driving. All that crazy snow was blowing around like the inside of a Dyson vacuum. After the most treacherous 2 hours of my driving career, I pulled up at home to park in front of my house. I got stuck. I had to have Geo come outside and dig and push me into a spot.

As soon as I crawled my way up to my front door and dragged the groceries inside, I swore I wasn’t going back out there for the whole rest of the weekend. Unfortunately, I forgot that I had parked my car on the wrong side of the street, and hours later I was back outside, digging my car out AGAIN to move it to the other side so the plows could get through. It took a snowblower, 2 fully grown men, 2 shovels, and some creative driving, but I got out (also? All-Wheel Drive is a total lie. Total. Bold-faced. Lie). Then we dug out Sanna’s car, and our other neighbors truck, and some strangers car down the road. We hauled probably 100 tons of snow, but I believe I lost 5 pounds in sweat, so I guess that was okay.

Besides all the shoveling and shivering and tire-spinning, I just holed up in various different pairs of sweatpants all weekend. At one point, I asked Geo if it disturbed him that I had so many pairs of sweatpants, and that I just kept wearing different pairs. Luckily for everyone involved, he said it did not. But I mean, what else was I going to do? I couldn’t go out, nobody could come over, and I figured I may as well be warm.

I was, however, excited for the Vikings game today. Sanna came up with a couple extra tickets, and Geo and I were going to brave the snow to scream at people and cheer on our boys. Then this happened: Metrodome Roof Caves In. Needless to say, there was no game. But I luckily had a fresh pair of Vikings sweatpants to get me through all the naps.

Then, because I had gone through so much to get to the grocery store, I decided I’d just cook all weekend. Sweet potato fries, cornbread from scratch, cookies, and so much more. Instead, I found myself googling “Why won’t my oven turn on?” and “What is a pilot light”? And “How can I tell if I have renter’s insurance?” No oven + no clue how to turn on over + fear of blowing myself up so close to Christmas = sloppy joes and peanut butter sandwiches all weekend. Flurrrg.

But my God! I felt suffocated all weekend. I like to choose to be lazy. When the choice is taken away from me, I get a headache and start having thoughts like “I think I could look really good in bangs.” Luckily, our scissors were too dull from me using them to cut pizza and using them as a hammer.

Going to work tomorrow will be a mixed blessing, then. I’ll get out of this hellhole, yes. But I don’t think I’m allowed to wear sweatpants to work. Or CAN I? No, no I can't.

Ugh. Okay, well, if you have a heart, the least you guys could do is cheer on the Vikings tomorrow night when they play their rescheduled game in Detroit. Minnesota is hurtin’ pretty bad, and they have no home field anymore. And we really just need the pick-me-up before Round 2 of Doomsday hits us this week.

Well, stay safe and warm, everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Side Effects: Drowsiness, Insanity

I sneezed a total of 23 times at work today. Yeah, I counted. That seems a little excessive, don’t you think? And I couldn't even hold them in like I usually do. I just kept letting ‘em fly. I went through this little phase where I’d go “eeehhh…” and then hold in the sneeze, and end it with a high-pitched little “tchew!” It was annoying. Plus, my mom always said I’d blow my ear drums out by holding in sneezes.

When I was hanging out at my parents a couple weeks ago, my mom almost divorced my dad over his sneezes. He was Thor, and his sneezes shook the house. “AaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA…..CHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” My mom yelled back at him, “What is with your sneezes?! You don’t need a drum roll!” regarding his thunderous sneeze set-ups. Thirty seconds later, he’d do the exact same thing. It was like Spite Sneezing. Glorious.

The point is, though, if my 23 sneezes are any indication, I think I might be getting a cold, which would really, ah hem, blow. All that sniffling and words sounding all dumb - Wait, Pharon. Did you say DUMB or DUBB? I can’t understand you with your nose all stuffed up like that. One of the definite pluses of having a cold, though, is the NyQuil. Sweet, sweet NyQuil. That cherry flavored, oozy, thick, slippery wonderful treat. Yes, a treat. I can’t take it very often, as it gives me suuuuuper messed up dreams. They are the wonderful hallucinations of a mildly sick young lady. There was the one where I was sinking into a giant ice cream cone (bacon flavored, if I remember correctly), that was guarded by a wart-covered parrot who squawked "Eat it allllll up, Buttonface." Then I had to eat my way out of it but found it difficult to breathe in all that ice cream. I vaguely remember waking up briefly to discover my pillow in my mouth, further complicating my breathing.

When I finally DO manage to wake from my codeiney slumber, I feel like I’ve got a hazy new lease on life. My nose is unplugged, but I have developed a trippy case of vertigo. I’m like a baby fawn. And though my head is no longer tight with cold germs, it’s cloudy with delusions of grandeur. I’ll be standing in the shower, crank it all the way up to scalding and proclaim that my skin is made of metal (or, “betal” in Cold-Speak) and I am unburnable. Only after the NyQuil wears off will I realize that the itchy redness that is my skin is but the skin of a mortal.

I have the same reactions with DayQuil, too, but to a much lesser degree. So it’s like not even HALF as fun as the gooey goodness of a great NyQuil trip. And the best part of taking NyQuil vs. Dayquil is that for most of the nighttime remedy, you’re just layin’ there, sleeping in the safety of your own bed, not operating heavy machinery, and gettin’ healthy.

Despite the obvious perks of being able to snooze away in a mushy, cold-medicine fog, I really don’t want to get sick just yet. It's my dad's birthday on Friday, and I got him a pretty awesome gift, so I'd like to see him open it WITHOUT paranoia that it will come to life or crazy hallucinations. "Happy Birthday Dad! Holy crap, watch out for that murder of crows wearing bow ties that are dive-bombing the room!!!"

Have a great (and healthy) weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear Santa: Here's Your Naughty List

I’m in a perpetual state of outrage today. I want to run to my window, rip off the plastic, and scream “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” at the top of my lungs. What is going ON with people right now? Okay, so first, last night I read that an extremely talented Iowa Hawkeye football player, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, was arrested for a number of drug violations. One of them was that he was LIVING IN A DRUG HOUSE. What a total moron…what a disappointment. Do people not learn ANYthing from other athletes who get arrested for stuff like that? And Brett Favre - HELLO!? Are you kidding me with the picture texts? Get it together, dudes.

Secondly, today I learned that the total JOKE that is the Justice System has failed again. Without getting into too many details, I’ll say this. The case Federated Insurance brought against my brother-in-law over 2 years ago has had a trial set for January on the books for over 6 months. Now that we’re getting close to FINALLY tasting justice, there appears to be a “scheduling error” and it’s been postponed. I think they mean “We still don’t have a shred of evidence that anything illegal has taken place.” In my opinion, I think they’ll be spending the holidays panicking, hiding their mistakes, and coming up with $25 words for “We’re effed”.

But what has really gotten my goad, the proverbial straw breaking my camel’s back, the sharp pain in my fleshy backside is Kanye West. I copied his latest album/musical self-gropefest last night from Geo’s iTunes (thanks, Home Sharing!) So luckily, I didn’t have to pay a cent for it. I listened to it today, and discovered a secret. The best parts of his songs are the parts featuring other performers. The collaborations. The non-Kanye self-aggrandizing parts. And as I skipped through his pukey auto-tuned sections, it hit me. Kanye West is truly a celebrity I would like to fall off the face of the planet.

At one time, I followed him on Twitter because I thought it’d be a nice break in the day to read some total bonkers, nutjob rambles. I was wrong. Instead, my Twitter feed would be full of his nonsensical hate-fueled threats to Matt Lauer, Taylor Swift, and other completely innocuous people. Get a different hobby, man. So, I unfollowed him (he’s probably still reeling). I just can’t take it anymore. The sad thing is that musically, he’s crazy-talented. But I just realized I don’t care anymore.

Chances are, a lot of “geniuses” were insane in the membrane a la Mr. West. Van Gogh should have been medicated before his chop-off-the-ol’-ear trick, and I’ve seen Amadeus enough times to know that Mozart was one note away from the loony bin. But these guys let their work speak for them. They didn’t have platforms like Twitter from which to spew their particular brands of madness. So, I wish Kanye would take a cue from those dudes, and fall into obscurity. He’s lost touch with reality, which is just cliche. He’s not the first, he’s not going to be the last. But now is the time to go the way of Lauren Hill and live inside his own private la-la-land.

So, between the d-baggery of athletes, the morally-suspect (if not illegal) actions of big companies, and the celebrities who prophesize themselves as if they are the second coming of Crystal Clear Pepsi, I am over it. Something has got to give. There's got to be a tipping point where people stop acting like idiots and start behaving like proper humans. Is that really too much to ask? I really hope not. If it is, I'm totally moving to Sweden like Elin did to get away from Tiger. Sounds like the Promised Land to me...

P.S. There is actually a great song called Runaway by Kanye West that would be PERFECT for this post, but I'm definitely not posting it. Plus, I think he took down all the "unauthorized" videos of his songs. Seriously. D-Bag.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


My foot is killing me. It’s been hurting for like a week. I chalked it up to wearing too-high, pinchy shoes that I squeeze into, despite the inevitable wobbly pain I’ll be in later. I simply don’t care though. I love the high shoes. I love that they put me at a towering 5’5” or even 5’6” if I’m lucky.

Naturally, I thought my foot was staging an uprising against the masochism in which I force it to live. So, when I felt the pinchy stab under my right foot, I simply ignored it. Just like I would a screaming toddler. Ignore it, and it’ll stop whining and leave me alone. But, it’s still hurting. And okay, so YES I’m currently wearing 4-inch wedged heels that are ADORABLE, and it’s probably not exactly “helping” the situation. But what am I supposed to do? NOT wear heels? Pshaw. Not a chance.

Finally, on Saturday afternoon, I bent down and decided to take a peek at the mysterious pain. (Why did I not take a peek right after it started hurting? I don’t know. Why does anyone not do anything?) Right there, at the exact spot of the pulsing pain, was a sliver. Deeeeeeeep in my foot. It’s almost like WALKING on it made it worse somehow. I don’t know; I’m not a doctor.

So after I spent Saturday night in 5 1/2-inch patent leather stilettos for a party (yes, despite the horrible throbbing pain), I think my injured foot finally had had enough. I went to my parent’s house on Sunday and I hesitantly mentioned the problem to my dad. I started with, “So, my foot has really been hurting for about a week now.” And he interjected with “Well, your shoes…” and before he could finish I said, “It’s NOT the shoes. I have a sliver way deep I think, and I can’t get it out.”

Unlike me, my dad IS a doctor. And he’s a pretty cool one, too. At a high school football game, Claire got hit in the head with a huge wooden toy airplane, and he stitched her up right there – WITH HER OWN HAIR. Baller! Anyway, he’s much less creative when it comes to family care, though. There are exactly 3 remedies for anything that ails you, according to my dad: Tylenol, icing the pain, and, as in the case of my foot, soaking it. Anything that requires more than that is, well, nothing requires more than that.

The most frustrating thing about it all is that He’s right. I’ve NEVER been to a doctor for anything other than a check-up. When I get the flu, I take some Tylenol, put some ice on my forehead or a heating pad on my stomach, and get through it. That exact same treatment also works for: cramps, broken toe, back pain, sprained ankle, headaches, hangovers, sliver-in-foot, and probably gingivitis for all anyone knows. The point is: I’m going to go ahead and trust my dad on this one. So I spent the night “soaking” my foot in the hopes that the sliver shimmies its way out of my achin’ foot. There was no shimmying. None. Impatient, I performed my own version of surgery, despite my dad's warning that "the treatment should not be worse than the injury". People? It didn't go very well.

Well, what do I do now? Hopefully I didn't give myself tetanus or something. I'm pretty sure I'm not up to date on that shot, and I don't know that applying a cold compress will help with that kind of thing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Don't Count On It

Another day, another failure at applying mathematics to real-world situations. I wish I would have worked a TITCH harder in 3rd grade math. Without that basic comprehension, I also have no concept of estimating, budgeting, or distance. Prinna and I did some shopping last night, and we were reminded why neither she nor I have any business using numbers. We stood at the check-out counter, trying to figure out the pricing, additional costs, a discount, and really trying to add everything up in our head (what are we, Einstein!?!). Then our heads exploded and flew across the counter, splattering on the register.

The whole mathy mess just reminded me that my life has been one long Numbers-Induced panic attack, interrupted by life, writing, talking, organizing closets, multi-tasking, shopping, and other things I excel at. I remember doing times tables in 4th grade, and that’s literally the last memory I have of learning math. After that, it’s just panic.

In high school, I called home in a whispering panic. Perek, who must have been like 14 at the time, picked up. “Perek! I’m in line in Target. I have like $8 in my account, and I’m buying gum and a diet Coke. How much is the tax going to be? Do I have enough or do I have to put back the gum?!” He was silent. He took a deep breath and said, “Pharon, yes. Tax is only going to be like 13 cents. It’s 7 percent of the total.” I stopped listening after “yes” and got both the gum AND the pop. Later that same year, I was working at Gap Kids. I rung someone up, and it came to something like $13.60. The woman handed me a ten, a five, and a dime. I stared at the dime, not knowing how to make change. The woman said, “Honey, just give me back $1.50.” Idiot.

I also have no concept of time or distance. The clock in my car is, obnoxiously, exactly 25 minutes fast. I explained my very complex reasoning behind the clock setting to Geo this weekend, but I totally lost him. I said, “If I don’t know how long it takes to get somewhere, I know I automatically have 25 minutes longer, instead of looking at the real time and having to guess based on the exact time.” I mean, even me just WRITING THAT OUT reminds me that it’s nonsense.

My poor, poor dad. My dad is THE numbers guy. He can add two sets of two-digit numbers IN HIS HEAD! Imagine his horrifying disappointment when I made it explicitly clear that I was a total math moron. I was in college, home for a break. I wanted to visit my friend Madeline in Chicago. My mom suggested, “Do you have any frequent flyer miles? Just use those.” So, I called to make the reservations. When I hung up the phone, I said “Huh, I didn’t realize Chicago was so far away.” My dad was standing next to me reading the mail and said “What do you mean?” I said “Apparently, it’s 25,000 miles away. I though it was a little less than that.”

He asked me what in God’s name made me think Chicago was that far away. I said “That’s how many frequent flyer miles it takes.” So, not only do I not understand distances, but I clearly have no concept of how airline miles work either. My dad sighed, and stared out the window as if he could see my college tuition flying out of it. “Pharon, Chicago is not 25,000 miles away. The entire circumference of the world is about 25,000 miles.” Facepalm.

Well, despite my lack of basic arithmetic abilities, I’ve managed to survive this long without them. I have tons of other stuff I’m good at that, in my opinion, totally outweigh the “cool” ability to figure out a tip at a restaurant (which, for the record, my phone calculator does perfectly every single time). I can organize anything, I‘m a sick doodler, I can small talk with the best of ‘em, and I can pull up any celebrity fact in any situation. My mind is already chockfull of that kind of useful information. So yeah, there’s no room at the Inn for math. You know what that means? Apparently, Math is my Jesus. Merry Mathmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

HO HO HOusekeeping

Welp, we didn’t quite get any of the Christmas holiday decorations up this weekend. We bought the tree, though, and it looks awesome. But it’s pretty sad without any lights or glittery crap hanging from it. And the wreath I DID hang on our front door came crashing to the floor minutes after I hung it. It’s like Christmas doesn’t WANT to hang out with me. Or if it does, it’s certainly not making it easy for me.

Anyway, I just wanted to kind of run through some reminders and changes that have happened and will happen here at Pharon Square headquarters. And in the spirit of the holidays, I’m going to try and make them into songs. I need a more exciting life planned on Sunday nights…

* Hark! The Herald Facebook Page iiiiiss Up and You Should “Like” It. AND pass it on to any friends who you think would enjoy some good ol‘ fashioned self-deprecating humor. Plus, you can post hilarious pictures and blog ideas. Just search FB for Pharon Square and you’ll be able to LIKE to your heart’s desire.

* Joy to the World, I Bought my Own Website. is, for now, forwarding to my blogspot blog. But in the coming weeks, I’ll be switching over to my own site which will give me the freedom to poll your eyes out, and place pictures any place I damn well please. So, get excited for that. Seriously. Mark your calendars, if you haven’t already…

* Oh Comment, all Ye Faithful Don’t be afraid to comment or click on your reactions (under the videos). And if you’re terrified of being caught reading the World’s Best Blog for some reason, you can always stay Anonymous. Though, I like talking back to people with names, so feel free to make up a handle for yourself (a la LanaMadonna) so you’ll know for sure when I’m talking trash right to you.

* I Saw Santa Sharing Pharon Square Dudes, I will definitely NOT be mad if you tell your friends about this blog if you like it. In fact, I’d totes appreciate it. FB links, tweets, writing a letter to your great aunt Mildred and mailing it to her with a 41-cent stamp works too, but it seems like a lot of work, and no one likes to do a lot of work. You can always follow me on Twitter or FB by clicking those handy links up there on the left. And when you want to share a blog, you can do so with 1-click by using those neato little icons after each post. Technology…what WILL they think of next!?

*Finally, Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Pharon Laid an Egg Okay, that one doesn’t actually make any sense or mean anything, but If you have any questions, suggestions, death threats, stalker letters filled with my hair, or general comments you can always comment directly on the blog or on the FB page for now. I’ll be setting up a new email account for the blog too, but I’m too tired to right now and I’m having trouble deciding between and Decisions, decisions…

Now that all that garbage is out of the way, we can all move on. How was your weekend? Did you see any good movies? Discover a ginormous splinter in your foot that has been hurting for a week now (I’ll give you one guess as to who that was)? Anyone get arrested? Buy a car? Elope to Vegas? Tell me some good stories.

(Sorry, there’s no video today. Comcast is down AGAIN, so I couldn’t get to youtube to get a video. If I ever stop hating Comcast, maybe I’ll add one later…we thank you for your patience.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wicked! Grindahs and Cowfee? No suh!

All I wanted to eat for dinner tonight was comfort food. It’s cold, it’s dark out, it’s the perfect night for a childhood favorite: a Peanut Butter and Mayonnaise sandwich. Please try and control your gag reflexes. It’s delicious, people. I suggest you try it. Unfortunately, I opted for a healthier option without so much, uh how do I say this? Oh, FAT. But the dinner debacle left me wanting the comfort of a home-cooked peanut butter sandwich. Lamely enough, even if I WERE to go home to my parents and sit waiting for my sandwich and pint glass of milk, I’d be waiting for days. My mom is out of town. How could she LEAVE me like that?! Geez! Rude, I know. Well, she went back out East to visit some of her sisters. They grew up in Rhode Island, and so they are probably just sitting around, talking about pahking cahs and ahrange scissahs and pockabooks.

Hearing my mom tell stories about growing up in Rhode Island is both hilarious and a little sad sometimes. One of the gems my whole family loves is that my mom didn’t have a pillow until she married my dad. Zing! We think it’s funny, my mom thinks it’s totally normal. My mom has six sisters and one brother. Catholics…. They all talk the same, laugh the same, and are like 8 mini clones of each other. They’re all still pretty tight, which is impressive. Every year, they have a Christmas Ornament Exchange where they slap some seashells and glitter on stuff and hand them out to each other to hang on their respective trees. Usually, the East Coasters have to mail a box of ornaments to my mom, but this year my mom brought HER party to THE party. So that’s where my mom is. THAT’S why I shall have no PB&M tonight.

Like I was saying, though, my mom has some awesome childhood stories. She always prefaces stories with, “Now, you have to remember it was a different time.” And then we’ll be watching a random movie, and she’ll sigh and say something like “I had a dresser like that growing up. My sisters and I all shared it. We each had our very own drawer.” Then my siblings and I will laugh and laugh. And she has her very own version of “Walking to school in 3-foot snow, uphill both ways.” When I complain about only having 3 pairs of red strappy sandals, she’ll say “I only had one pair of shoes growing up. Then I’d hand them down to Caroline when they got too small.” I know it’s supposed to make me be less materialistic, but instead it reminds me that I need a good pair of walkin’ shoes.

So her East coast side of the family comes to visit us here every once in awhile. And growing up, my whole family used to drive cross-country to their beach house in Rhode Island. All day every day, one aunt or another would come buzzing into the beach house with huge ideas of fashion shows and carnivals to entertain us kids. They’d dress up like Big Bird and Cookie Monster. They’d sing songs and tell us stories while we dug through boxes of costume jewels having a mosaic-making contest. They created these alternate universes for us to get lost in. They’re all fabulous and fun and awesome. And my grandmaman had this wicked old-school convertible that she’d drive us around in it to get Awful Awfuls. (They’re delicious delicious.)

Lest you forget, though, my mom is totally awesome. And now that everyone is aware that my mom and her siblings are high-functioning, well-adjusted, and responsible members of society, I won’t feel so bad about telling you for a treat, my mom would eat bread with butter that was slapped into a sugar bowl, or that in the Catholic school my mom attended, they tried to force my mom to be right-handed - apparently the devil himself is left handed. Or the fact that all around the neighborhood, kids would graffiti “FOT” in huge letters. It meant Fart. Who tags a wall with “FART?!” And misspells it?! Rhode Islanders, that’s who.

And despite all that, or maybe BECAUSE of all that, my mom still went back to Rhode Island to see her family. I’m sure my kids are going to think I was living in destitution as a child because I didn’t have a cell phone until high school. Or that I prefer eating PB&Ms instead of sushi or macaroni in a pill or whatever. Crappy kids…

Well, enjoy the weekend everyone! Hope all yoh cayahs disappeah…

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Classic Phraud

Book Club tonight, kids. So far we've read some really great books in our fun little club. We scour Book Club and Bestseller lists for new titles, and with only a couple exceptions, they've all been great. Have you guys noticed the amount of Book Lists going around? Like the top 10 autobiographies, or the top 10 books about canker sores or whatever? It must be the time of year. They're everywhere. BUT: The one that really flips the script on me is the list of The Top 50 Books You Should Have Read By Now. (Or some variation of that...)

I've got a confession to make. Those lists? The ones that gauge how smart you are based on the books you've read? Yeah - I lie. And I lie big time. I'm all "Oh, Little Women? I've seen the animated MOVIE and I'm sure the book is the same. CHECK!" Or "Okay, Huck Finn. I'm SURE I must have read that in middle school. Do I remember any of it? Not really, but I'm pretty sure I would have at least skimmed it at some point. CHECK!" By the time I finish those mini life tests, I've read darn near the entire Presidential Library.

But I'm an ENGLISH major, people. Me not having read a certain amount of "classics" is like a Scientist never having read about the atom. Or a model never having made herself throw up. It just goes against nature.

Yes, I have read tons of great books. I really love reading, and there's RARELY a time when I'm not in the middle of a great book. I've actually never read a book in its entirety that I didn't like. And while I've read Ayn Rand and very much enjoyed it, I definitely fell asleep while reading Animal Farm and never picked it up again.

I am a fraud, you guys. I lie about the amount and quality of books I've read. I took an entire class in college on Shakespeare, and yet I still can't admit that I never read The Catcher in the Rye. I know who Holden Caulfield is because of the movie The Good Girl starring the illustrious Jennifer Aniston. But I've read The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. It's a nonfiction book about one dude who is living amongst a group of other dudes who live to pick up women. You know what you guys? I LIKED IT. I liked it more than 90% of the books I read in college.

What does this mean, you guys? I studied Literature and Shakespeare and Greek mythology at a Big Ten school. And yet I prefer the juicy, sexy, racy, vulgar, and irreverent voice of my own generation. What does that make me? I'll tell you what it makes me: a fraud. I reference classic literature as if I've read it cover to cover 10 times, when in reality it's because I either saw the movie, or there was a reference to said classic literature in Family Guy.

Well, there it is people. My Dirty Laundry. Aired out for all of you to enjoy. I'm a big fat liar who prefers Vogue to Jane Austen. Just do me a solid and don't tell anyone though, okay? Cool.