Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Hangover

The concept of Trick-or-Treating is so rude. At this moment, we’re sitting in our house, with no lights on, TV turned down, and debating whether or not we should run out to the store and buy candy for other people's kids. We are prisoners in our own home, held captive by the fear of sticky, loud kids arriving at our door demanding free candy. Also, what kind of parent lets their kids go to a strangers house and beg for candy? You’d think they’d be dissuaded by amount of beer cans on the porch, or the fact that we kept the whole block up last night with our music and wild partying.

Last night was a crazy fun night. Our house was packed with pre-partiers. Pretty much all my lovely friends showed up, and sang Happy Birthday, and chowed down on ice cream cake. It was super fun. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any pictures from last night yet, so I don’t have the photographic evidence of my wildly underappreciated costume. I wore the Amish bonnet, a bedazzled cross necklace, and a black dress I had initially purchased for a Snooki costume. I looked great. No one understood it though. Someone thought I was a Salem witch and suggested I hang a noose from my neck. At the bar, it became tiresome explaining what Rumspringa is.

Plus, I was competing with insanely extravagant costumes around me. My brother went as a giant box of Franzia. And it REALLY DISPENSED WINE. Geo got his hands on a giant bear head (seriously, it’s large. Almost doesn't fit through any doorways) and was a popular Bear character from the Conan O’Brien show. And Kim’s boyfriend Nick was Brett Favre. Well, HIS version of Favre. He colored his hair gray, wore the jersey, the cleats, everything. But then he attached a box to the front of himself and had a little, like, diorama with some inappropriate material that would pop out when you turned a crank. So, needless to say, no one was looking at me anyways.

I love dressing up for Halloween. I blame it on my mom. When we were little, she would make us these incredibly adorable and complicated costumes. I was a mermaid, a head on a platter, a scarecrow, and my brother and sisters went as the California Raisins one year. We always looked awesome. So I still heartily embrace Halloween, and totally appreciate a good, clever costume. As long as it doesn't involve kids coming to MY door.

Well, Happy Halloween, everyone. I’m calling it a night as I have still not recovered from the debauchery last night. I haven’t moved much from the couch, and I really don’t intend to. Thanks again to all my lovely friends for coming out last night and making it such a memorable birthday! Time to start planning NEXT year's birthday party...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Gotta Say It Was a Good Day

If Facebook only existed so that people could wish other people a happy birthday, I'd be satisfied. All day long, my phone was chirping with totally awesome birthday posts on my wall. Total ego boost! I have the best family and friends ever...seriously. They are the cookie layer in my ice cream cake.

Okay, so because I'm exhausted this is going to be a quickie. The birthday extravaganza really got kicked off when an almost obnoxiously large cookie bouquet arrived at my desk at work. My parents definitely know me well enough to send birthday cookies. Flowers are too hard to transport, and fruit is, well, FRUIT. But cookies? YUM! And they were snickerdoodles to boot. I challenge you to find someone who doesn't appreciate a good 'doodle.

When I got home from work, a bouquet of the most gorgeous roses from my friends Kelly and Nic were waiting for me. And while I was arranging them in a vase, Geo handed me a present. Yes, it looked like a 5 year-old wrapped it. But inside was the watch I've been drooling over for literally 3 years. Black strap, black face, military-style, with diamonds around the face. It's a great balance of masculinity and femininity. Just like a certain blogger I know...

So do you remember how I had been such a brat about dining at Olive Garden? Well bless my parents' souls! Geo started driving in an odd direction, and after I berated him a little for going the wrong way, we pulled up to the Edina Country Club (we used to be members there when we were little). I LOVE that place! The wine was great, the food was delicious, and the company was bombtacular. Not only was it both my brothers, my parents, and Geo, but my sister Padrin came in to town from Iowa to surprise me! I was shocked! It took me a second to realize what was happening. Surprise restaurant AND surprise sister? Yes please! The only downer was that my other sister Prinna is currently on bed rest, taking care of that fetus in her tummy. I wish she could have been there with us, but I SUPPOSE she had a good reason to miss it... :)

So, while we were waiting for our food, I opened some gifts. Padrin's surprise trip was WELL WORTH IT. I opened her gift, and it was an ACTUAL AMISH BONNET! And there was an Amish potholder and book as well. Needless to say, my Halloween costume has now changed. No longer will I be Snooki. I'm going as an Amish girl on her RUMSPRINGA! As if to restore the balance of the day, I was brought back to the twenty-first century when I opened a Kindle and Kate-Spade-green cover from my parents. I've wanted a Kindle for forever. As soon as I'm done here, I'll be purchasing an ugly amount of books on Amazon (for which I ALSO got gift certificates from my parents and Prinna).

I took the day off tomorrow, so in the morning, I'll hop on in to Caribou with my gift card from Peter, and bum around in my new Vikings tshirt and sweatpants (also from my parents). I'm gonna carve my pumpkin and make disgustingly salty pumpkin seeds, finalize my new and improved costume, and just generally enjoy the first day of my new, elderly life. So far, it ain't half bad! And if today's success is a sign of what's in store for the year, I'm definitely psyched.

Thanks to everyone for your well wishes, the (probably) empty promises of a free drink in the future, and overall awesomeness. I feel like the luckiest girl - woman? - ever. I'm ready and eager to take on the next year. And with friends and family like the ones I've got, I'm sure it's going to be an awesome ride. And trust me: I'll be telling you allllllll about it.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Winner

Wait, what? It’s only Wednesday? That can’t be right. It just can’t. It definitely feels like a Friday. Or at least a Thursday. But def not a Wednesday. The past few days have crawled along. The only things getting me through the eternal days are my conversations with Kim about my upcoming BIRTHDAY! Yay! Kim will IM me throughout days with messages like “Can’t wait for this weekend!!” and “Ohmygod, I’m so stressed. But I can’t wait until your birthday!” or even things like “Hey Barb [Kim calls me Barb], I hope you still like ice cream cake!” She’s been awesome. And, while I’d love to have her be the Wednesday Winner, I’m fighting that urge. Because I’m pretty sure I can only do this once a year. This Wednesday’s Winner is:

ME! Yes, I’m my own Wednesday Winner. And I’m going to give you an unbiased, totally objective reason why. BECAUSE I CAN. And, because tomorrow is my birthday, I’m inclined to remind everyone that if I had not been BORN, we wouldn’t HAVE Wednesday Winners. So, there you have it. Congratulations, Pharon. Well thank you, Pharon.

In all honesty, I am probably one of, if not THE, least deserving winner in the very long history of Wednesday Winners. Especially this week. I wallowed in several bouts of hormonal crying fits, offended my mom, wore the same pair of socks 2 days in a row, used a friend for her access to electricity, and only pretended to listen when Geo told me about his hunting trip. I was not a very good person.

But, I don’t care! I also did a ton of GOOD stuff too. I babysat on a Saturday night, I apologized when I was being a jerk, ummm, I….I…man, what else did I do? Whatevs. It’s my birthday , so I don’t have to explain it.

At this very moment, twentyadfjkalf;kdgj years ago, I didn’t even exist yet. I was but a sea monkey. Then, lo! At 8:15 a.m. on a bleak Oct. 28 morn, a child was born and the world sprang to life anew. She would grow to be an exceptionally bright, beautiful, hilarious, and modest woman. She would be called Pharon, and she would be a clumsy, foul-mouthed, crazy person. All shall be right in the world.

So, Pharon, Congratulations on your win this week. You don’t really deserve it, but it’s yours. Now leave me alone…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Apparently, the gales of November are tearing through Minneapolis. And despite the bright lights and flickering TV’s across the street, our power is out. According to the very empathetic woman at the electric company, “power will definitely be restored by 7. IN THE MORNING.” Say whaaaa? I leave for work before 7 a.m., when it’s still dark out. I look bad enough when I can dry my hair and put makeup on with the help of LIGHTS, so if there’s no power tomorrow morning, I feel sorry for any people who may have to look at me.

So, here’s just a quick list of things I've tried (unsuccessfully) to do since the power went out:

* Turn on the kitchen light
* Turn on the TV
* Connect to the internet (which uses a router that runs with the power of ELECTRICITY)
* Toast my bread
* Boil water on the gas stove
* Microwave a potato
* Bake a potato in the oven
* Turn on the kitchen light AGAIN
* Charge my phone
* Charge my computer
* Google the phone number for Xcel on my computer

Well, at least no one can call me a quitter. I can’t seem to get it into my head what DOESN'T use electricity and what DOES. I just keep flipping switches and turning knobs. Luckily, after being abandoned in the pitch black hell hole by all my roommates, Liz has taken me in and is letting me pilfer her internet and watch Glee. God bless the Haves who share with the Have Nots!

I’m hoping that when I DO eventually go home, I’ll walk into a nightclub of lights, TV’s and music. That would be wonderful. I certainly don’t want to walk into a pitch black house and feel my way up to my room for bed. Though, it will be a little like Christmas if that happens, and I wake up and see what pajamas I’ve managed to put on.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What, Me Worry?

Full disclosure, y’all. I’m not the happiest camper right now. In fact, I’m a whole messy bundle of emotions that I don’t know what to do with. Primarily, I’m a little worried. I don’t really want to go into all the details just now, but do me a solid, and send out your positive thoughts in this general direction. Thanks, yo.

When I was little, my mom used to call me a Worrywart all the time. I remember worrying that lightning would strike the tree in our back yard, which would then crash into my house and right on to my bed. While I was sleeping in it. I worried, after watching the critically ignored Made for TV Movie “I Know My First Name is Steven” that I would get kidnapped. I worried that Kevin, the boy in my swim class, wouldn’t like me because I didn’t know how to do the Butterfly stroke (BTW, the worrying made me QUIT SWIM TEAM). I worried about soccer games and piano recitals, and I worried that I’d run out of underwear before school (AGAIN! It happened once when I was like 10 years old, and my mom made me wear a pair of Prinna‘s). There were no limits to my worrying.

Somewhere along the way, I ended up not worrying ENOUGH anymore. I’d waltz into dangerous situations in downtown Minneapolis, I’d show up unprepared for tests just basically hoping to pass, I ended up just kind of pawning it all off on “Fate”. I’d be all, “Meh, if I’m supposed to pass this test, I will.” or “If Kevin doesn’t like me, he’s not worth my time anyway.” I got lazy. I got complacent. I got too Sure of everything. But after getting my first “F”, I discovered Fate had a cruel sense of justice anyway.

Then I started the Selective Worrying. There were things I couldn’t do anything about, so I’d obsess over something like sleeping through my alarm clock. I’d spend night after night, waking up every couple of hours to check the clock. Instead of worrying that I wouldn’t get a job I was interviewing for, I’d worry about just getting lost on my way to the interview, and arrive 2 hours early because I don‘t know how to manage driving time. I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours worrying about what to wear, instead of what I was really scared of. Typically it was things like getting in a car accident, spending my life alone, or seeing my house catch on fire and losing everything I’ve ever had. Those aren’t things I can worry about. They’re too big, too impossible to prevent. So, I cop out and worry instead about getting poisoned by the moldy food in our fridge. That’s the kind of thing I can worry about and then fix.

When I was little, and worrying about something like whether or not I’d grow a watermelon in my stomach from swallowing a watermelon seed, I remember taking refuge under my bed. I’d drag my Barbies and My Little Ponies under there with me, and make THEM act out the situations. “Oh no, Sparkle Pony! You have a watermelon in your tummy! Dr. Barbie, you have to fix it!” And with a couple quick pats on the pony’s tummy, the watermelon would be gone and Dr. Barbie would hop in her Ferrari and speed away to Ken’s house. The only thing left to worry about then was finding Barbie some matching shoes for her hot date. Though, if you’ve ever played with Barbies, you'd know that this was impossible.

I wish I still had that kind of coping skill: the imagination to both create and solve a problem all on my own. My imagination these days is limited only to whether or not Nelly Furtado will be able to sing at my non-existent wedding. I wish I worried more, though, because then it would just be something I do and would be used to it. I would learn to embrace that trait, as I have my incessant need to eat carbohydrates, instead of shoving the worry onto something less-deserving. I’d be able to bite my nails and just deal with it. But as it stands, I’ll just continue to worry about not worrying about the right things in the right way.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I’m going to do my best at blogging coherently tonight. I’m writing this during the Vikings game, and it’s a tight game so far. But I’ll try my best to stay focused, because I have a lot to get off my chest.

Okay, so first of all, I want to say “Sorrrrrry, Mom….” to, duh, my mom. She has planned a birthday dinner for me this coming Thursday night (have I mentioned it’s my birthday on Thursday? Probably not…I like to be really low-key about my birthdays. /sarcasm) and I crapped all over her plans. Which makes me sound like a total jerk. I’m lucky to have almost my whole ginormous family come out for my birthday, so restaurant options become limited. And when it was decided that we’d go to the private room at Olive Garden (When we’re there, we’re family!) I couldn’t get past the thought of the unlimited breadsticks that I could eat for days. The problem is, I’m about to squeeze myself into a tiny black dress for my Halloween costume next weekend, and my will power is lacking. But instead of just deciding not to eat 20 breadsticks, I complained and sounded like an ungrateful brat. So, Mom, in front of the fives and tens of people who read this, I’m sorry.

Now that we’ve gotten that ugliness out of the way, I’d now like to apologize to the fine people at Forever 21 who may have had the unhappy sight of my Minnesota-white body squeezed into a black sequined mini-dress. I don’t typically find myself in the glaringly bright store with floor-to-ceiling mirrors anymore. But, in the interest of finding an appropriate Snooki dress (yup, I’ll be dressing up as the lovable Guidette for Halloween), Kim and I made our way to Forever 21. I was reminded immediately, that I am NOT forever 21. We filled my arms with gold, black, bejeweled and ruched mini dresses and, well, it went questionably. At one point, Kim, who was waiting for me outside the dressing room as I tried on dress after dress, had to ask “Pharon, what are you laughing at!?” I mean, people, seriously. It was hilarious. There were cut-outs and elastic in places that should not have cutouts or elastic. Plus, I’m only 5’2” and these dresses were S.H.O.R.T.! Who wears that stuff?! But finally, I found one that didn't make me want to throw up. I peeked my head through the curtain and beckoned Kim in to the room with me. I stood uncomfortably in front of my dear friend, tugging at the dress, and hoped she wouldn’t start crying at the sight. Instead, she said, helpfully, “You’ll have stilettos on, and so much jewelry! Plus, the bars don’t have florescent lights in them. I think you look great!” God bless you, Kim.

Finally, I want to say “My Bad” to my liver. On Friday night, Liz, Ally and Kim came over and we did some work on some Prosecco and other various wines. Clean up on Saturday morning was really easy because all I did was collect like 8 empty bottles of wine and throw them in the garbage. But I really pushed my body to process all that, and it did a great job. So, I’m sorry and thank you, Body.

Whew! I feel better already! Now I can start the week fresh, and determined not to commit these same atrocities again. I mean, except the last one. That one just, well, my heart wasn’t really in that one.

But for realsies, I had a great weekend, and hopefully I have no more apologies like this next Sunday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Child "Care"

I babysat my nieces Annabelle and Eve tonight. They rule, and I love them insanely. Plus I totally love babysitting. When I was young, there was never anything more exciting than going over to someone else’s house to watch their kids. All the exotic foods you had access to (Pizza in a ROLL? Whaaa?), the shows on – gasp – CABLE that I couldn’t see at home, and the responsibility. Ooooh, that sweet, sweet responsibility! I am the 4th out of 5 kids so I NEVER had to take care of anyone at home. So babysitting ruled. I’d be all “Now, no TV allowed. You have to go ride your bikes. And you can only ride in the street if you don’t see any cars. And those crayons aren’t toys. Organize them by color! Them’s the rules, minions.” Sheesh, fun-hater. It was totally arbitrary what kind of rules I’d enforce because I was only about 14 at the time. But that sense of power and control was awesome. Babysitting now is, like, so much better though.

I used to “nanny” for my niece Annabelle when my sister Prinna was pregnant with my niece Eve. Prinna was the Murphy’s Law of pregnant women. She contracted cryptosporidium at Waterpark of America, she was severely dehydrated all the time, and also suffered with intense nausea that could only be suppressed with drugs and an occasional dose of acupuncture. I was unemployed at the time, so I just basically spent my days hanging out with Annabelle while Prinna lay debilitated in her bed. I. Loved. That. Job. I showed Annabelle how to eat snow and make a snowman. I’d sneak her candy under the table when she finished her broccoli (or “trees” as she called them). I would yell “Dance Break!” while I was cleaning up the kitchen, and Annabelle would run into the kitchen, I’d swoop her up in my arms and we’d dance around for like 20 minutes to a song on the radio. It was incredibly joyful. I didn’t have to do any of the Hard Stuff though. I had no part in potty training her, teaching her the alphabet, or disciplining her when she was naughty. Babysitting was straight up fun.

All this was pretty different from when I was young. At 14, I thought “Hey, if I have to follow rules, you do too.” And I’d set unnecessary boundaries and time limits on everything. I didn’t understand yet why rules were rules. I just thought to myself “Everything I want to do is against some rule, so the idea of babysitting was if it’s too fun, it’s probably against the rules.” Now that I’m older, though, I get it. My college writing professor used to say “You must learn the rules before you can know how to break them with purpose.” So now, sure I set boundaries. And I enforce the rules if necessary. But I’m flexible. Probably more so than my sister would like. I know kids shouldn't watch too much TV, but what ELSE are they supposed to do while I’m playing Angry Birds?

I also used to religiously read The Babysitters Club books. The girls in the books treated babysitting like a business, so I did too. I took it way too seriously. It felt so grown up sitting at a dining room table with a tall glass of chocolate milk, doing my homework, listening to a sleeping baby on the monitor. Then when the baby would wake up, I’d sigh, chug my milk down, close my books, and head into the baby’s room. God, I was so annoyingly grown-up about it. That is – luckily – no longer the case. I pack my nieces so full of candy that they can’t see straight. And instead of making them go to bed on time, I’ll set up sleeping bags in the living room and watch a movie with them until they crash right there. Then my sister comes home, silently curses my name upon seeing the havoc we've wreaked, and I hop out the door leaving the destruction in my dust. Prinna – remind me again why you ask me to babysit?!

But all in all it was a successful night full of discipline-free fun and plenty of sugar. Gotta love irresponsible child care! Have a great weekend, everyone! And don't forget to stop and dance around a room for a bit, or prepare a dinner consisting solely of candy bracelets. Kids seem to like it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Winner

My initial plan for the Wednesday Winner was to profess my love for all famous chicks who are (close to) my age, and talk about how awesome they all are, and how wonderfully similar I am to them. But: Beyonce and Lily Allen got themselves knocked up, or “in the family way” as some creepy old dude put it today. Kim Kardashian’s been divorced, and is now making more money than ever before. Britney’s been married twice, divorced twice, gone to rehab, and had two kids. So, I thought about all this. I thought about other chicks my age who are out there, being parents, or wives, or rich. Then I decided my Wednesday Winner is going to be:

This bottle of wine!! You know why? ‘Cause pregnant chicks can’t drink it, uber-ambitious workaholic chicks wouldn’t DARE touch it on a Wednesday night, and married chicks probably have to go do stuff for/with their husband. Take THAT age-appropriate-lifestyle-livers! I invite you to kick back and have a glass, if you can, of your favorite (or most readily-accessible) wine tonight. You deserve it, I'm sure!

Despite the push and pull of age-norms all around me this week, I keep coming back to the same thought, though. "Okay, so what's the big deal?" Because between the knowledge that my mom had like 3 kids by the time she was my age, and the ginormous lifestyle gaps between me and my 22 year-old roommates, I feel like I'm in No Man's Land. In the wise words of Miss Britney Spears, "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman."

Additionally, I'm starting to think that all these so-called mile markers in life are a total farce to begin with. You know, "go to college when you're 18, start a career at 23, get married by 28, have kids at 31, slit wrists at 35". It seems so archaic, right?! We aren't in the age when the average life expectancy depends on whether or not you get the flu. We have a lot more time than our ancestors had. What's the rush, people?!

So, I drink the wine. The wine represents an appreciation for age...for maturation. Okay, sure, the wine pictured was literally $5 at Trader Joe's and has been aged all of 2 weeks, but the principle stands. You can't rush the process. You just enjoy it when it's ready.

Also, I honor Wine tonight because I can. I was talking to my pregnant sister Prinna today, and I said how badly I wanted a drink after work. And she got jealous. My SISTER got jealous of ME! It's pretty much the only thing I can do that Prinna can't. So WHAT if she's growing a life inside her body? I get to DRINK! w00000t!

Finally, Wine wins this week because at the end of the day, this old(ish) bag o' bones is tired! My feet hurt from my ridiculously painful, but AWESOMELY HOT, shoes, my back hurts from carrying my too-big purse, and I think I'm getting arthritis or carpel tunnel in my hands from tweeting all day. So tonight, I came home and opened a bottle of wine. Geo and another roommate feasted on pizza and mac n' cheese, but I paired my wine with an awesome dinner of salad and vinaigrette, and some pasta lightly tossed with tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. How sophisticated!

See? This $5 bottle of wine embodies all that I have been this week. Sure it's cheap, but put it in a nice glass and most people can't tell the difference. No one cares what year it was made, or how long it's been maturing, the point is It's Wine. And It's Good. And I am now going to enjoy a couple glasses of my metaphor. Congratulations, WINE! Looooove you! Cheers, y'all!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crazy People Have the Worst Manners

City living is great. I love 99% of it. What I DON'T love is the crazies that seem to gravitate towards me when I'm minding my own business, walking around downtown. I intend to prove here that I am, for reasons unknown to me, frequently the target of loud, ranting, cracked out rages. And I do NOT handle it well. I typically live by the motto “Live and let live”. But these unpredictable, obviously either over- or under-medicated people find ME, and hone in on me. I never know what to do or say, or how to act. What would YOU do in these situations??

Case #1: I was downtown waiting for my bus to go home from work, listening to my iPod. Three very homeless, very drunk, very loud people came and stood about 3 feet away from me. The 2 men were openly discussing the prostitution habits of the 1 woman (whose name I caught to be Mary). Then they all decided to go find some drugs, and the woman suggested using her “talents” to score. After deciding her skills were sorely lacking, the men wondered aloud, “Couldn’t we just steal a purse?” I clutched my Kate Spade tighter than I ever have in my entire life. My blood pressure nearly killed me when Mary came over to me, got right in my face, and spewed “Hey! HEY!” I took an earbud out of my ear. “Yes?” “What time does that [expletive deleted] #10 bus get here?” Me: “I don't know, sorry.” She snarled her toothless grin at me and spit out: “Bitch”.

Rude! But here comes the Crazy. The woman then went back with the men. Man #1 says, “Mary. Mary. You got some poo poo on your jacket.” Mary’s all “It ain’t poo! It’s…chocolate!” Man #2: You ain’t got no chocolate! It’s poo!” Mary’s all “IT AIN’T POO!” So, Man #1 takes a step towards Mary and says “Let me taste it.” HE PROCEEDS TO LICK THE MYSTERIOUS BROWN SMUDGE ON MARY’S JACKET. After a second, Man #1 smacks his lips and says, “Well, it’s definitely poo, but it ain’t yours.”

Oh. My. Gah.

Case #2: About a week ago, I again was waiting for my bus. A quiet, average-looking, albeit very smelly, couple was sitting on the curb next to me, passing what I assumed to be a crack pipe (Thanks, Intervention!) back and forth. I got a little nervous, and started to ease my way to another bus stop when the woman started screaming at me. “DON’T WALK AWAY FROM ME! I WANT MY [expletive deleted] MONEY AND MY KID BACK! DON’T MAKE ME CUT YOU!” And then she yelled like this for about 45 seconds. I froze. I had no idea what to do. I casually slowed down and peeked back over my shoulder at her. Turns out, she was yelling at a guy on a bike about a block away who, I’m assuming, she did not know. But the blood didn’t stop rushing to my head. What if she had a gun? What if she started to think I was the one with her baby/money? At that point, I was too freaked out to walk to another bus stop for fear I’d draw attention to myself and get “cut”. I just stood there, feet made out of cement, staring straight ahead and listening to the couple threaten everyone from the biker, to the stop sign, to the cabbie that passed by. I’ve never been angrier at my bus for being 1 minute late.

Final Case: Which brings me to this morning. I got off the bus, (SERIOUSLY! I need to find a new bus stop!) and started to walk to work. I noticed a very unstable man who I’ve seen before, and he was yelling at the top of his lungs about the racist people who "took his spot on the last NASA flight". I tried to cross to the other side of the street to avoid him, but he kind of jogged up behind me. I had my iPod on, of course, and pretended not to hear him when he screamed at me, “HEY GREY JACKET! GIMME A DOLLAR! I’LL TRADE YOU FOR $0.50!” Now, I’m no financial analyst, but it sounded like a pretty bunk deal to me. So, I kept walking. I heard him stop running and he yelled, “NEXT TIME, THEY TAKIN' ME UP IN THAT FANCY SPACESHIP AND YOU’LL BE SORRY!” I don’t even know what that means, but I’m worried for Buzz Aldrin.

Does anyone else have these run-ins in their neighborhood? What are people supposed to do? I feel like a bad person for being so, I don’t know, suspicious. I have GOT to stop watching Intervention and Drug Wars because I’m starting to suspect everyone has a gun and nothin’ to lose. And maybe I need to start driving to work. To hell with public transportation! If I get stabbed by a woman with poo on her jacket, I highly doubt anyone will say “Well, thank God she didn’t leave a giant carbon footprint!”

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Name Game

I’m going to come right out and say it. I want a nickname. Like a really bomb nickname. This weekend at Geo’s Frisbee party, I hung out with a room of guys I ONLY know by their nickname. And tonight, I watched Jersey Shore and they all have nicknames too. I’m jealous. All I want is a sick nickname. A sickname, if you will. But no. I’ve been Pharon my whole life.

There was a brief period of time when the guys I lived with called me P.H.-Dawg. It was a sorry attempt, because they had been calling Perek “P-Dawg” forever. So, I just got like the Xhilaration version of that. (Please tell me you know the brand Xhilaration. It’s the like generic brand of clothes at Target.) Eventually, and for like a couple weeks, they took to calling me “P.H.” I kind of liked it, but it was so vanilla. But, alas, they stopped calling me that anyways. And back to Pharon I went.

In middle school, I was known as “Pharon the Boy” for a couple traumatizing weeks. A couple jerks in my homeroom plastered the walls of the classroom with pieces of paper with a Microsoft Paint picture they drew of a boy, and on all of them, they wrote “PHARON THE BOY”. I walked in the room, my usual happy-go-lucky self, and my jaw dropped down to my Doc Martens. I seriously have NO idea why it started, but kids are cruel. I took it like a champ, though. Mercifully, this one eventually faded as well. Thank God.

In college, I sent in that little form to get some checks in the mail. They were going to be sooooo cute! Green pin stripes, I believe. So, I got the box of checks and went over to Madeline and Kelly’s house to show them off. (Luckily they are easily impressed.) I open the box of checks for them, very dramatically, and said “VOILA!” We took one look at them and Kelly burst out laughing. The checks were for PHARM. Sometimes Kelly still calls me Pharm. I think I’m even in her phone as Pharm. But again, it just didn’t stick.

As I mentioned a long time ago, my friend Claire calls me Papou. I actually do love that nickname. When she texts or Gchats me, she always says “Hey, Papou! How are YOU? What‘s NEW??” I love that! It rhymes, it’s cute, it’s not offensive, it didn’t stem from anything nasty. It’s perfect. But, she’s the only one who calls me that. It’s kind of our thing. But I want to walk into a party or business meeting and say, “Hey, what’s up? I’m Papou.” I can’t. No one else gets it.

But none of them stick! Can someone tell me how to get a nickname that actually STICKS? There’s like NO nickname for Pharon. It’s basically a nickname all in itself because it’s barely a real name. Curse this clever name! Can I just start one myself? Like, from now on everyone call me “Snooze”. Because I love to sleep, it rhymes with Booze, and, uh, my blog is Pharon Square, which rhymes with nightmare. When do you have a nightmare? When you’re taking a little snooze! I can’t believe no one else has thought of that!

Welp, this is Snooze, signing off…

Sunday, October 17, 2010

P.A.R.T.WHY? Because I'm old.

I’d like to start off by telling you that yesterday, I washed my Randy Moss jersey for the first time in, well, awhile. I washed it and the Vikings won today. Coincidence? I think not. I washed off the bad juju! You’re welcome, Vikings.

Anyway, between naps, football games, and movies this weekend, I managed to make it out to an Ultimate Frisbee party (yeah, it’s a sport. It’s got the basic premise and contact level of soccer, but with a Frisbee. And no goalie. And also, you don’t kick anything. And it’s not written in stone that every player needs to be wearing matching jerseys. Also, there are no referees). Geo plays and their season is over, so they celebrated by throwing a party. It was really fun. And I was reminded how much I love going to parties. Especially when they are at other people’s houses. I opened a beer, and casually tossed the cap on the counter, and when it fell on the ground, I looked at it and then just walked in the other room. Yay! Rebellion! I was the party-goer that I typically hate. When we have parties at our house, I always think to myself “God! What kind of person just tosses their beer caps on the floor?” Answer: People who don’t have to pick up the next day.

So we haven’t had a party here in a few months. For the past several Sunday mornings, the house looks pretty much the same as it did on Thursday morning. No sticky floors, no beer cans shoved in the book cases, no strangers on the couch, no random sock under the coffee table (this has happened like a half dozen times. Who takes off one sock and leaves it somewhere? Crazy…). It’s been nice. So, that’s why I’ve decided to export my birthday party to the exotic bars in downtown Minneapolis.

While Kim and I were watching the Iowa football game on Saturday, we were talking about what to do for my birthday party in a couple weekends. We were considering the possibility of just hosting a little get-together at my house, because we just have “that house” that has the parties. But the blur of noise violations, broken glasses, and hours of clean up kept clouding my thoughts. We decided it best, for my sake and sanity, to NOT have a party here. And I’m now officially excited to celebrate getting older AND not have to clean up after. Everybody wins!

Okay, so now that we’ve got that settled, I can just focus on keeping the depression about getting old at bay. Birthdays are fun...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

AARGH! Kelly Clarkson!

Loooove me some Happy Hour. Valerie, Lana and I met up at Cause in Uptown tonight (I highly recommend this place if you love good deals and excellent service, without having to fight for your server) and had some good ol’ fashioned girl time. Out of the hundreds of topics that were brought up, the one that really got my attention was Eyebrow Waxing. We talked about the intricacies of waxing vs. no waxing vs. do-it-yourself vs. professional service. We came to the conclusion that humans have entirely too much hair on our bodies.

My first experience with shaving was when I was 12. I went away to soccer camp, where I was on a team with older girls. One in particular took one look at my pre-pubescent legs and said “EW! Why don’t you shave?!“ Then she went back to organizing her Multiples and snap bracelets. I got home from soccer camp and asked my sister Prinna “How do you shave your legs?“ She wasn’t all that interested in, like, teaching me a vital life lesson so she mumbled “You just take a razor and go zhoop zhoop zhoop up your legs.“ She made quick, upward motions with her hands. So, I went in the bathroom, found a Bic and went zhoop zhoop zhoop. I was not planning on the 4 inch long piece of skin that came off due to too much pressure and dry legs. My mom made me use an electric razor after that. Then, when I was in high school, I used to shave my arms. Like, the whole arm. I thought it made me look skinnier. At the time, I was all of 80 pounds soaking wet, so I don’t know what my problem was.

The point is, I’ve never really “gotten” shaving. I’m lazy, clumsy, busy, tired and a bunch of other things that makes it exhausting to care about it. The only times I really focus on tweezing my eyebrows is when I have insomnia and can’t sleep. Then it becomes an obsession. And the morning after, it becomes a Mistake. I look like I’m always questioning what you’re saying.

However, I LOVE beards and moustaches (on men, duh). If I had one, I’d groom it constantly. I’d make funny shapes and styles. Facial hair is like an accessory! I’m always fascinated by it. I would have a little comb, and twirl my moustache between my fingers, or tug my beard when I’m confused…stuff like that.

Now, I’m not necessarily saying guys have it easy (Okay, I KIND of am saying that) but they have a much smaller surface area to attend to. I will say this, though. Two gentleman, who shall remain nameless to preserve their dignity, decided that they wanted to wax their backs. They didn’t want to go in someplace to have it done, so they gave me money to go buy them some wax. Next thing I know, one is laying on a dining room table while the other rips off the strips with the brute force of a dinosaur. The next day, one of them had a ginormous bruise on their back from the unfortunate technique of the velociraptor he had hired for the job.

Turns out, being a human is a hairy situation. The one thing that separates us from, say, lizards, is the fine hair that covers our bodies. Also, we are warm-blooded. And we don’t eat bugs. And other stuff that makes us different. But really the relevant thing here is the hair. And yet we spend zillions of dollars and like a quadrillion hours of time removing it. Why?

Well, I don’t know what to do about it. I guess people are just fine with their razors and laser hair removers and bleach and whatever else people use. Me? I have found that if I just systematically shave off layers of skin, like when I was younger, the hair will stop growing eventually.

On that note, you hairy freaks, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Winner

Dude, I thought Wednesday Winners would be, like, the easiest blogs to write of the week because I would KNOW what to write about. Not so this week. I was stumped. I sat down and wrote a whole blog about the Chilean Miners, but it ended up so serious, which made my eye twitch. So I reached out for help. I sent out an email to a bunch of people, asking for them to suggest a great Wednesday Winner. Well, apparently, people are tooooooo busy today, and I only got a fraction of the responses back.

At any rate, below are the possible winners, as nominated by my peers. I have devised a highly elaborate and precise rating system to declare the winner. The system is based on Creativity, Passion, Accuracy, Deservedness of the nominee THIS WEEK, and finally Chutzpa of the Nominator. Scoring is totally and completely subjective. And awaaaay we go!

Perek: “Christopher Columbus – For Making it To India”
TOTAL=16 points

Ally: “ME! - Cause I’m an awesome zombie!
TOTAL=19 points

Kim: "I can't think of any winners. I can only think of losers."
TOTAL=7 points

Madeline: “Xtina Aguilera – For finally breaking up with her ugly husband”
TOTAL=19 points

Tina: "The dinner Pharon made tonight - It looked sooooo good! Much better than my mac n' cheese!"
TOTAL=17 points

Sanna: "Rob Dyrdek - Because he's the love of my life and he has more fun than anyone in the world."
TOTAL=18 points

Geo: “Texas Rangers - First playoff series win ever!  Plus one of the guys on the team is an alcoholic so he wasnt partaking in the celebration with all of the champagne and stuff but his nice teammates attacked him with tons of ginger ale.”
Chutzpa-4 (Because no one likes Texas)
TOTAL=18 points

Claire: “Chilean Miners - Especially the one that had the mistress and the wife and the wife only found out after the mine accident.”
TOTAL=20 points

Cindi: “Sarah Abt [my aunt].......because A. She wants it SO BAD, B. She will quit b bugging you, C. She rarely gets offended at anything you might say, and D. She wants it SO BAD”
TOTAL=20 points

Gah! We have a tie! It's down to My aunt Sarah and the Chilean Miners. God, there are JUST SO SIMILAR! This is a toughie. But for THIS week, I'm going to have to say congratulations to:

No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Chilean Miners totally ruled this week! Plus, I just got word that they've alllllll been rescued by that giant Tylenol capsule! Way to go, bros! You brought the world together, and we are a better place for it. Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Breaking News! I'm Awkward!

If you could sit down and interview anyone right now, who would it be? Seriously…straight up anyone. Lots of people would be like “Ghandi” or “Jesus” or “Snookie” or someone similarly prolific. I could never sit across from, say, Barack Obama with like a zillion well-thought out questions, and stay cool the whole time. I once met Arnold Schwarzenegger's stunt double in 1998, and fell totally mute. I’m so NOT cool.

So today, I watched an interview Anderson Cooper did with Eminen, and it was pretty good. If it had been me doing the interviewing, it would have been catastrophic. I’d probably throw up some gang sign or offer him some Vicodin or something. Eminem would get up, rip his mic off, and fire whoever set up the interview. And then get me fired. And get all my friends fired. Sorry, friends. I’ll stay away from the formal interviews for now.

But I just don’t have a really great answer to that very basic question of Who I Would Like to Interview If I Got The Chance. I mean, I guess I’d say someone like Sarah Silverman, because I idolize her, but I know that wouldn’t go very well either. I’d be gushing the whole time. “Sarah! Sarah! Remember in your movie Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic when you did that bit about Jewish people driving German cars? Oh man, that was so funny! And, and, and, when, on your TV show when you hallucinated because you drank too much cough syrup! I loved that episode! OH! And that song you sing where you‘re having carnal relations with Matt Damon! Genius!” No where in that total Fan Girl situation would I be able to ask a relevant question, AND stay calm long enough to hear the answer.

Maybe I could start with someone I’m not obsessed with. You know, sit down at a coffee shop with a tape recorder and pad and pen, and say something like:

Pharon Square: Thanks for letting me pay for your coffee, Mr. Nicolas Cage. It’s, uh, pretty okay to meet you, I guess. Your hair is, um, unfortunate. Tell me, what is your acting process? Like, how do you achieve such an incredibly high level of mediocrity?
Nic Cage: Uhhhhh…..whaaaa? Am I on Con-Air?
Pharon Square: No, you’re at Starbucks.

I just wouldn’t be able to find a happy medium between gushing my affection and fighting the urge to cut the other person’s face. In theory, sure, there are some people I’d like to sit down and have a beer with, but I guarantee they wouldn’t want to sit with me. Kate Spade has no interest in how I had the paint store match a paint to the color of a Kate Spade box so I could cover my walls in Kate Spade green. She’d be all, “Oooookay….whoops, I forgot about that jury duty thing I have to leave right now for.” And I guarantee Nelly Furtado would call in the cops when I start signing all her songs back to her…even the ones in Portuguese. I’m just not cool enough to interview the people I like, and I’m too cool for the likes of Heidi and Spencer Pratt.

I guess I’ll have to leave the juicy tell-alls to TMZ and Barbara Walters. All that caring and listening and talking seems like waaaay too much work for me anyhow. Plus, I figure, for every one interview with Ghandi, it’d take like a zillion interviews with the Nicolas Cage’s of the world, and I just don’t need to know the meaning of life that badly.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Boy howdy, it’s an exciting Monday indeed! Besides the obviousness of the awesome Monday Night Football game on tonight between the Jets and the Moss-infused Vikings (you’ll pay for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge of it!) I’ve also officially sent out my birthday invites on Facebook! I apologize if you didn’t receive it, but trust that all who are interested are invited. On top of all that, I got to write a scathing letter of disappointment to the fine (read: horrible) people at Comcast. I’m pretty good at scathing letters, though I reserve my abilities for those who truly warrant it. In this case, Comcast, you have fallen into the pits of Those Who Truly Warrant It. (It’s an ugly place populated by the likes of the eBay seller who failed me, census takers, Federated Insurance, and whoever is responsible for those horrible Quiznos commercials. Not everyone gets a scary letter, but they all deserve one.)

So here's the sitch. Up until a few months ago, my three roommates and I had been blissfully unaware of our sky-rocketing cable/internet bill. We have long since lost the privileges of the “introduction fees” that sucked us in in the first place. So for years, we just kind of paid it, because we were happy. Then comes the dreaded scrolling messages on all our TVs. We are being told that, in order to maintain the same service, for which we’ve been paying the obscene full price, for over 3 years, we have to buy some converter boxes. And lest we lose over half our channels, we’d better high-tail to the cable place and scoop up the 4 that we need a.s.a.p.

So, that makes us take a look at our bills. We sort of re-remember how much we’ve been paying, and are now hell-bent on remedying the situation, especially because each box costs about $3 extra a month. Not a ton of money, but it’s the PRINCIPLE of it, people. Alas, there is little to be done. Don't you just love a monopoly? So we get the dumb boxes. But then the internet doesn’t work all of a sudden. I get to spend a good 7-10 minutes on hold with their “superior customer service” peeps, then Geo spends another good 30 minutes trying to get the internet back online. Finally: Success.

Or so I thought. We hook up the ridiculous boxes to each of our TVs, call up Comcast (again!) and they push some, like, giant red GO button or something. Our main TV and 2 others appear as though nothing has changed. I guess it worked? (I can't be sure, because it's exactly what we had before.) But it’s a different story for the TVs upstairs. Most importantly, MY TV.

All of a sudden half my channels don’t work and the ones that DO “work” are interrupted every single 40 seconds – yes, I counted – with some screen from Comcast saying “Thanks for your patience while we do something really stupid which won’t affect you at all except for right now, and every 40 seconds after this. You’ll thank us later.” Uh. Whaaaa? I’ll thank you later? No, I’ll thank you very much when you give me back my sanity.

Enter: Scathing Letter. Let’s just say I may or may not have used the phrases “Highway Robbery” and “Egomaniacal Marketing Department with No Knowledge of the Technicalities of Your Product”. After I hit “Send” I felt better. Then I get a message back from them. In short, they say “Welp, sounds like a technical problem (duh). You’ll have to schedule a time for one of our cable guys to come into your home.” No apology, no “Wow, thank you for drawing our attention to this obvious lack of quality”, no nothing. Just another step I need to take to, that’s right, GET THE EXACT SAME THING WE HAD BEFORE.

Well, as of now, I’m stuck with the problem (and a second remote to use my own TV, which totally bites). The good thing about this is that our main TV works just fine, and that’s where the Vikings game will be on. Phew! And our internet is back on track, so I’ll be able to obsessively check how many people are coming to my party. And those really are the most important things, right?

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Another weekend, another set of lessons learned. First off, fake blood is, well, not removable. But before I get to that very useful tidbit of information, I just want to say one thing. Saturday was the 3rd Angel Birthday for my niece Sophia who passed away from SIDS. I spent the day with my family at Pine Haven pumpkin patch. It was really wonderful to spend time together, enjoying the weather, and thinking of Sophia. And in addition to all this tragedy and grief, my brother-in-law is being sued and harassed by his former employer, Federated Insurance. And while I spent Saturday night with 8,000 people dressed up as zombies (again, more on that later), this disgusting excuse for a company is the real soul-less, blood-thirsty monster. I urge you, when you have the time, to check out my sisters blog at Their actions are nothing short of merciless and evil. So, yeah, please check that out if you haven’t already.

Okay, so apparently every year for 6 years, people get dressed up as zombies and stagger around the West Bank moaning and yelling “Braaaaains!” I have never been on this Zombie Pub Crawl before, but this year, Ally and I went and bought the make up and got all zombified. Ally was a Zombie Geisha, and I was a Zombie Mental Patient. And we. Looked. Good.

Another lesson I learned was that when they advertise “drink specials for zombies” what they really mean is “No drink specials, and in fact, Pharon, beer is way more expensive than you thought.” So, my wallet is significantly lighter…and bloodier. Yeah, there was a lot of fake blood around. And it got all over me. I had some that I applied myself, but I came home with a lot more of it. It’s still on me. It like STAINED my skin. My hands, legs and stomach all looked like I was slapped repeatedly. So yeah, I don’t know how to get it off. Note to future zombies: Don’t put fake blood on anything you can’t cover up for work on Monday.

But it was a pretty fun night. Seeing 8,000 people dressed up as everything from Zombie Santas to Zombie Marilyn Monroes staggering around the city, moaning and begging for braaaains was quite a sight. And being part of it was great. One bonus of dressing as a zombie for a Saturday night was that I was really comfortable. I wore scrubs and a white t-shirt with flip flops. It was like wearing pajamas. And there was cheering going on, which I love at any event. “What do we want?” “BRAAAINNS!” “When do we want ‘em?” “BRAAAINNS!”

But, now all I want is bed. And when do I want it? Now.

Friday, October 8, 2010

500 Million People Can't Be Wrong

So. Yeah. Geo, Tina, Sanna, Beckah, and I just saw the Facebook movie, a.k.a. The Social Network. I am a girl divided. I think I may have taken it a little too seriously. I am probably addicted to Facebook. It’s genius, I love it, and the first thing I did after the movie was to check FB. But this movie shed light on the birth of it, and, even though it’s just a movie, it wasn’t exactly pretty. Then on the ride home, I was all “Isn’t it ironic that one of the most socially awkward dudes ever created the biggest social media phenomenon in the history of time?” And Geo was all “Take it easy, dude. Facebook basically defines our generation.” Then I was all “Yeah, apparently we’re a generation of minnows.”

You’ve seen a school of minnows. All hanging out together, swimming along just fine. All of a sudden, there is the most minute shift in the water, and the minnows just take off in search of something else. All at once, they’ve left behind their pursuit of, like, a dead fish or some other tasty treat, and move on. Quickly. We are minnows, people. We flock to Facebook, Twitter, blogs, apps. You name it, we adopt it.

Okay, I digress. Back to Facebook. Facebook is where I learned that Michael Jackson died, that my old boyfriend got married, and that Randy Moss was coming back to the Vikings. It’s pretty much my most trusted news source. (Well, Face book and Twitter.) It is also where I learned that I should not take profile-view pictures of myself. People keep posting them, and I keep having to untag myself in them. My nose could cut a diamond.

Anyhoozle (sorry, watching a movie about a dude who is spazzy, disconnected, and can’t complete a train of thought must have rubbed off on me), after the movie, I discovered that I was a pretty late adopter of Facebook. Geo and Sanna were using it in college. I didn’t catch on until well into my first job AFTER college. Oddly, I caught on to MySpace like a moth to a flame. But for some reason, Facebook eluded me. But then, for some reason (I actually think I set it up to Facebook-stalk someone), I created my FB account and never looked back. The next thing I knew, I was teaching my mom how to upload a profile picture to her FB account. Crazy. My old roommates dog has an account. I read this morning that something like 5% of FETUSES have Facebook accounts. It’s getting ridiculous. It’s just, it’s mind-bottling. Facebook is the Pony Express, telephone, camera, and morse code of our time. Combined. How could it ever go away? It is, dare I say, too big to fail. Facebook is now the OCEAN that all the minnows live in.

Ugh! I’m such a slave to the machine! I’m a sheep! And yet? I can’t stop myself. Throughout the course of writing this blog tonight, I’ve checked Facebook about 4 times. I’ve gotten texts alerting me that someone has written on my wall, and taken the time to go back in to Facebook to check it out. I don’t know why, either. Like to MAKE SURE someone actually wrote on my wall? No, it’s an impulse. I am Pavlov’s dog. I hear the stirrings of social updates, and I must eat them (whaaaat?).

So, Mark Zuckerberg (alleged creator of Facebook), you’ve really done it now. You’re in this for life. If you ever try and take Facebook away from me, you will be paying my therapy bills. Until then, keep it up, stop trying to make reconnect with people I’m purposely keeping my distance from, and we’ll all be A-OK. All 500 million of us are depending on you. Good lord, I’m scared.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Winner

I think my Amish studies have gotten to me. Turns out, there’s a lot more to being Amish than sneaking out to do drugs, shunning people, and wearing bonnets. There’s a looooooot that is, uh, boring. So, in honor of recent developments, I have done a total 180 for this weeks Wednesday Winner. Without further ado….I declare the Wednesday Winner to be:

Show boaters! Braggarts! Boasters! Show offs! This morning, I learned that my beloved Randy Moss is returning to his NFL roots and comin’ home to me! He’s signed with the Vikings for the rest of season, and I couldn’t be happier. A common misconception of Moss is that he pouts, does exaggerated celebration dances, and acts like a total A-hole most of the time. But guess what, people? I DON’T CARE! I love him! I love his jumping, running, one-handed snags for the touchdown, his faux-mooning of Packers fans! He’s incredibly talented and now he’s back on the VIKINGS, so come Super Bowl time, all you haters will be glad to have him. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any kids who are all “I wanna be juuuuuust like him when I grow up”. But man I just, I love him. I’m so glad to see him back.

Also, in the same show boating line (though not in, like, the "I'm better than everyone" way), I’d like to also honor my favorite Vikings defensive player, Jared Allen, who was in the news this week as well. Jared Allen, who for EIGHT YEARS has done the same awesome celebration dance after getting a sac (he kneels down on the ground, simulates roping a calf, then throws his arms up in the air with world‘s biggest, most genuine smile on his face) has now suddenly been told he cannot do that any longer. He suddenly can’t kneel down, unless he’s praying. Seriously. Jared Allen. The mullet-sporting, culinary-school-graduating (listen to his own hilarious “alma mater” when they introduce the D-line during any game), truck-driving, down-home cowboy has been told he can’t kneel down to pretend to rope a fake calf. Might I remind you all that Michael Vick abused ACTUAL animals and is currently enjoying the best season of his career? Welp, turns out, I have also loved Jared Allen for a long time, and feel like he’s being totally screwed. All because of a little celebration. A LEGENDARY celebration, from a legendary player. For shame, Fun Haters!

So, now my two favorite show boaters are on MY TEAM! God, I can TASTE the controversy! The tongue-clicks of Squares and Nerds. The people who think football should be calmer and quieter. LAME. I love football because the performances on the field can be super-human. These guys can do things NO ONE ELSE can do without suffering major arterial hemorrhaging. So who cares when they want to celebrate? I certainly don’t.

Okay, so, initially I was going to have a third non-Vikings show boater, but no one else deserves this honor like my boys in purple. I’ve been watching the humble, talented Twins who don’t do so much as an air-hump after a homerun. Yes, they are awesome. They are fun guys to look up to. But my beloved Vikings make the competition real. I feel like their celebrations and frustrations are my own. I’m down on that field with them. They’re working, and they’re working for me. I love my athletes to show their emotions. I mean, I know they don’t need to be total jerks and they don’t need to do all kinds of smarmy things, but I’m not greedy. I’m proud of them on the field. I like their creativity and their passion.

So, on that note: Thank you Show Boaters and Field Clowns. You make me passionate about, and inspired by, professional sports. You guys are entertaining and incredibly talented, and I whole-heartedly salute you. I love you guys. I will always love you guys, and I will cheer for you for as long as you want me to. Thanks, dudes. Thanks for everything.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Safe AND Sorry

Hypothetically, let’s say “someone” lost her mind tonight, and that “someone” started crying for no reason. Then maybe that “someone” took it on her hypothetical boyfriend. Let’s call him Leo. After angrily cleaning the house, throwing away perfectly good beer and cleaning supplies, this “someone” stubbornly declined a perfectly good movie date to see The Social Network, which I REALLY wanted to see. I mean, “someone”. Hypothetically, this non-existent “someone” probably really wanted to see The Social Network.

Alright, I give up. I’m the “someone”. I got overly frustrated about the messy state of the house, I had a really long day at work, and my brain is exhausted from thinking very deeply about becoming Amish. So, natch, I started an argument with Geo that caught him totally off-guard, and I knew my chances of a fun movie date were all but shot. But then Geo, being the good sport he is, told me I was insane and refused to indulge me in my maniacal outburst. So instead, we (I) ended up apologizing, then we (he) solved some problems, and then we laughed at Glee. Which, again, is an awesome show.

So, the reason I had such a cleaning outbust was because our landlady told me we were going to have a…dun dun DUUUUN! Safety Inspector come for a quick visit to put in some carbon monoxide detectors. However, I had a small inkling that said Safety Inspector would frown on our self-removal of those pesky smoke detectors. Also, the ginormous extension cord that stretches across the house plugging in an air conditioner and shoddy lamp on opposites sides of the house is typically, uh, not good. Now, I’m not sure, but I also think we’re not supposed to have a grill, okay TWO GRILLS, on the porch. But now? Now we are a well-oiled safety machine.

Awwww yeah! No fire will go undetected from now on. No one will have to fight through 400 paper bags and 20 half-full bottles of Windex to get to a fire extinguisher, that may or may not work. Oh, and best of all? During my frenzied freak out, I located the ridiculously long chain-link ladder in my closet that I can use to get out of my room on the third floor in case of fire, break-in, or hallucination that makes me think the ground is made out of snakes. Thank God!

So now that all is safe in the Pharon Square household, I can relax. Now, if Geo’s right, the dude will show up and be all “I just need to plug these carbon monoxide babies in and I’ll be on my way” and not even NOTICE that I have a habit of leaving my hair dryer plugged in, laying on the damp bathroom rug. (Did you know that on the WARNINGS of a hair dryer, it tells you not to use it in your sleep? Really?) And he probably won’t go digging through one of our many junk drawers and discover that that’s where we keep the gasoline, matches, and other Molotov Cocktail supplies. But, my motto’s always been: Better Safe Than Sorry. Plus, I totally have renter’s insurance anyway…

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'd Prefer Vodka-springa

Oh. My. Gah. I’ve been waiting for WEEKS for this book to come in to the library. Well, it finally came in. I picked it up during my lunch break today and, 100 pages later, I’m having a very difficult time putting it down to write this blog. It’s called Rumspringa: To Be or Not To Be Amish. And it is juicy!

Okay, so I’ve been completely obsessed with learning about Rumspringa for a while now. Basically, when an Amish child turns sixteen, they can start experimenting with the outside world. They do drugs, drink, fraternize with the opposite sex, wear regular clothes, and so much more. Then, at some point, they make a decision about whether they want to stay in the outside world, leaving their family behind, or return to their family and get baptized and stay Amish forever. Drama!

They get cell phones, drive cars, go shopping, snort cocktails of drugs, and act “English” like their mainstream new friends. The book starts with a few girls quietly whispering in a bedroom on a farm. They light a candle in the window, and that’s the sign that these chicks are ready for action. Up the long unpaved driveway comes an old truck, filled with ne’er-do-well boys. Then they stop at a gas station, buy beer, change into jeans and skanky shirts, and head off to an open field to party with “thousands” of other teens also on Rumspringa. Kids do all sorts of illegal things. And not just “illegal” in the Amish sense, but straight up ILLEGAL. Heroin, cocaine, drinking, smoking. These little 16 year-olds do it all. Meanwhile, their God-fearing parents snooze away, knowing that their kids are up to no good, but praying for their adolescent souls.

Then, come Monday, the kids are back at home honoring their parents, farming the cows (or whatever farmers do), and reading the bible in High German. At that point in the book, I was all “Lame! Who’d choose to be Amish?”

Then the author, Tom Shachtman, really throws a wrench in the system. He goes on to explain that a lot of Amish people find happiness in a life strictly lived to serve their family and faith. And when most of these kids go out in the real world, they are confronted with emotions like temptation, guilt, disappointment, fear, instability, and addiction. At this point in the book, I was all “Lame! Who’d want to live that kind of life?!” Well, color me conflicted. Okay, Mr. Shachtman, you’ve piqued my interest. Before I thought it was all hilarious and circus-like that these kids do all these crazy things (sorry, Amish people, but it’s funny. Not like you’re reading this anyway). Now I feel, like, horrible for these kids. What 17 year-old is capable of making such a huge decision?

Okay, so I’m at the point in this book where I’m just as torn as these kids. They seriously have to choose between finding and making their own life, and staying committed to their faith and family. I couldn’t make that decision, and I’m like a decade older than these kids. So, something like 80-90% of these kids return to their families, get married, and have like 20 kids, only to watch their kids go through the same thing in 16 years.

Amish Fun fact: Amos and Anne Bieler, of Aunt Anne’s Pretzels notoriety (not to be confused with Famous Amos), are both Amish. They left the church, got married, and were all “Oh crap. We don’t know anything about ourselves, or how to deal with emotions.” Then they were all “How do the non-Amish people deal with this stuff?” So, they went to therapy. And started a pretzel chain. The American Dream: fulfilled.

Learning more about this has proven to be more way more profound that I anticipated. Sure it's still a little hilarious (the kids can't take Science classes in school, but still find ways to make their own crank), but it's provoking and intriguing as well. My main question remains: HOW IS THIS NOT A REALITY SHOW?! Hello? TLC? Get on this! I'll sign on as Executive Producer. Now if only we could do it without technology...hmm. Okay, I'll get to work on that.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

In Heaven There is No Beer. In Iowa City There is Definitely Beer.

Well, the good news is that the previously mentioned blister that was eating my face went unnoticed this weekend. It didn’t end up to be nearly as bad as I had thought. Phew! The bad news is that I’m back home, and missing Iowa City and my friends already. Oh well, I’ve gotta move on.

But my God, I’m tired. It was a beautiful, fun weekend. But it was short. Geo did the math, and we were in Iowa City for all of 35 hours I guess. My body feels like it was 3 weeks though. Perek, Leah, Geo and I did some work in that short amount of time. The Hawkeyes won, we only had one minor trip n’ fall incident (not me for once), and we all made it out alive.

Now I’m just a hot mess. I ran out to Walgreens tonight and discovered very quickly upon entering the bright, mirrored store that I should NOT have been let out in public. Dirty clothes, dirty hair, no makeup. Seriously. Hot. Mess. Plus, I still had on my Hawkeye face tattoo all day, and to remove it, you take a piece of tape and rub it on the tattoo. Then, after about 10 tries, Voila! The tattoo is gone. So I did that tonight before braving the outside world, only to realize IN WALGREENS, that it leaves behind a giant red mark in the shape of a tiger hawk. So yeah, I looked horrible. Luckily, I didn’t run into any one I knew.

What is it about weekends in Iowa City that leaves me so wrecked? Is it the late nights? The long days? The horrible diet consisting of beer, late-night gyros and grilled cheese sandwiches? Yes, it’s probably all of these things. Yet, I willingly do it over and over. I look forward to it, even. Unfortunately, I don’t have any more trips to IC planned this year. It’s a pretty big bummer. A big part of me would love to live there again. I mean, I totally love Minneapolis, don’t get me wrong. But you know how some people “summer” in the Hamptons? Maybe I should “Autumn” in Iowa City. Best of both worlds…just like Hannah Montana.

But do I really have to wake up and go to work tomorrow? Really? It’s nights like these that I seriously consider playing the lottery. If I could just strike it rich, I’d stop working and sleep late every morning, in a bed made of money. Well, I’d have to get two Money Beds. One for my house in Minneapolis, and one for my 2nd home in exotic Iowa City. Dream big, people.

Well, I’ve gotta just finish chugging this gallon of water to rehydrate myself, and then it’s off to bed. In my plain ol’ bed made out of plain ol’ fabric. I’m definitely going to buy a lotto ticket tomorrow. Wish me luck!