Monday, October 31, 2011

This Just In: NEW JOB

Okay, so lots of things happened today. It was Halloween and I finally had the chance to pass out candy to kids. Claire and I took full advantage:

Awww yeah! Penguin and ladybug? No one doesn't like that. Anyways, so we spent the night "scaring" little kids and giving out candy. Ah, to be a kid again....

However, the big, bad story is...................

I got a new job.

That's right. Your beloved blog writer has achieved the highly coveted new job of Blog Writer at a giant, super sick company (I promise I am not cheating on you guys. I will be writing this blog for, like, evs, so no worries there). I start in two weeks and I couldn't be more terrified excited!

I had to break the news to my job this morning. It was horrible. For all intents and purposes, I loved my current job. Sure, there were issues - which is why I went a-hunting for new one - but it doesn't make anything easier.

I mean, I'm over-the-moon excited for my new job. Seriously, blog writing? For a JOB? Yes please! But I had to tell people - who I have conned into liking me - that I was leaving, and I got a new awesome job, and everything was coming up Pharon. But I unexpectedly got all sentimental over the coffee maker and Kitchen Cleaning schedule. Honestly? Weepy-eyed.

That's the trouble with changing jobs. All the good parts of an old job become crystal clear. Everyone loves you, and will miss you, and won't know what to do without you. And so for a little bit, I got scared to do the whole "Listen, it's not you, it's me. I need to grow and blah blah blah." I was all "No way! This place is comfortable, and I know the rules of the bathrooms and whether or not I can wear my ear buds at work! I can't leave all this behind!"

But then I got over it and remembered how awesome the job would be. Did I mention that I will be writing? For a living?! You couldn't color me a happier color.

Despite the fact that I was ecstatic to land my new job, I still couldn't shake the feeling that I have to say goodbye to an old job. And if we could bring the house lights down and get serious for a moment, I just want to say one thing. I'll dearly miss some of the best people in the world at my old job. There were people who made me laugh, who let me vent to them, and who commiserated with me when I couldn't handle it anymore. They make life fun and interesting. Sure, I'll probably replace you in a few weeks with new people (ha!), but for now, you are my guiding lights. I'm nervous that I won't meet anyone as cool as them at my new job, though.

Actually, I'm nervous for a bazillion things. Will anyone care about Kim and Kris getting divorced? Does anyone worry about whether or not my nieces are going to redecorate their room? Where is the closest candy dish? And, most importantly, how do these pants really look on me? These are all helpful relationships that I need to re-cultivate.

So, yes. I'm leaving my current job for a different job. I'm scared, nervous, excited, stoked, petrified, and a zillion other emotions. I want to do a good job. I want to be the best damn blog writer they've ever seen. I want to be friendly and fun and smart, but I'm kind of worried I'll be b!tchy and boring and dumb. I think all that comes with starting a new job (at least I hope I'm not alone here).

Okay, if you guys could do me a solid and just flood my email and comments with words about how awesome I am and how lucky the New Job is to have me, I think it would help loads. Even though I'm pumped beyond belief, I could use the superficial shows of encouragement. So yeah, go ahead and give me your BEST New Job advice. I mean, I probably won't need it because I'm super awesome and totally fun, know, just in case...

Love you guys!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I may not be the only person who has a birthday pretty much every year - I'm not, right? - but it certainly felt like it this weekend. All eyes were on yours truly and it felt awesome. I had a small little party on Friday night and everyone ate grilled cheese, drank beer, and danced our tushies off to Dance Central (which, by the way was a HUGE HIT!) I had a rough day of recovery on Saturday, but that was fine. Totally worth it.

Today, the Vikings gave me an awesome WIN for a present, and then I had dinner with my family. I love family birthday parties. Delicious food, lots of laughs, and a group of people I love loads, all paying attention to me. Perfection!

In all seriousness, I really want to say a ginormous heap of thanks to all my family and friends who were able to share my birthday with me. And all the people who wished me well on Facebook and in the mail (thanks, Madeline and Geo!) were so thoughtful and I am so proud to have such amazing people in my life. Thank you to everyone!

So, while I was in recovery mode on Saturday, there were so many Halloween and horror movies on TV. I watched several of them (in between the Jersey Shore season 1 marathon), but I found myself constantly dozing off and losing interest in the Fright Nights. A girl can only watch so many zombie apocalypse scenarios, and even the homicidal maniacs on killing sprees of teenage girl lost their luster. I just can NOT get into the spirit this year.

It also probably didn't help that I don't even particularly like scary movies. I have terrible nightmares after watching horror movies that have a bad guy in a mask. I don't know what it is about masks, but they scare the bejeezus out of me. All the Saw films, Friday the 13th, Scream - you know what I mean? I HATE masks. So I've tried to watch some of those "paranormal" scary movies, but those just made me jump at every creaking door.

Then I tried to settle for the zombie apocalypse movies. Blah, blah, blah, slow-moving undead bodies, shotguns, and the pretty girl with the half-torn shirt screaming bloody murder. Sure, that genre has a healthy sense of humor about itself, but it just got old after the forty or fiftieth close-up shot of yellow, glowing eyes of the reanimated.

So I gave the whole "spooky Halloween" thing a chance, but I just didn't have my heart in it. Tonight, though, when my nieces were describing their costumes for tomorrow night and trick-or-treating, I realized that I like CUTE Halloween, not SCARY. I like candy and funny costumes and the Monster Mash song. Not screaming witches, ghosts and blood. Man, I wish It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown would have been on yesterday.

But I hope you all have a fabulous, safe Halloween this year. And if you dress(ed) up and had a bomb costume, send in a pic to and I'll post it on the blog tomorrow! Who knows, maybe you'll win a treat! (Or maybe it's just a trick...)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Theatahhh Yeah

It may surprise you to know that I enjoy me some culture from time to time. Yes, every once in awhile I pry myself away from TMZ and Pinterest to do something smart-like. Tonight, I met up with Lana and Valerie to have a quick drink and a trip to the theatahhhh! (That's how the word "theater" sounds in my head.) The problem is, though, I'm not always the ideal date for the theatahhh, which was very obvious tonight.

Lana is an actress, and works at this awesome theater in downtown Minneapolis called The Guthrie. Valerie went to an Ivy league school, speaks French fluently, and has friends from allllll over the world. I speak broken Spanish and have debilitating stage fright. The last play I was involved in was in 5th grade when I was in the "munchkin chorus" in Wizard of Oz. And I ended up quitting.

So, I'm a n00b. The girls are really good about getting me to plays that I would otherwise never see. The kind where actors interact with the audience, or where they break out into a song about a naked chicken. Tonight, it was a play with ONE character in it. Just this one chick. And halfway through her 90-minute show, a "janitor" came in a cleared off the stage. I gazed around the audience like, "Am I the only one seeing this? Doesn't he know that there's a SHOW going on?!" Needless to say, it was PART OF THE PLAY.

First thing that went way over my head.

The play continued, and I was in awe of this actress. She didn't mess up ONE LINE. She was emotional, articulate, and she didn't even flinch when she looked right at me and I picked my nose. Just to see if it would throw her. It didn't.

Also, during the play, the world's tallest/antsiest man was sitting in front me. I kept having to shift from side to side to see past his head. Note to the man: You should really invest in some Rogaine as there is a not-so-hairy situation on the top of your head.

Then came the stress. Towards the end of the play, the girl starts to wrap her hair into a bun with one of those chopstick dealies. My palms started sweating immediately. What if that bun falls out? What if the chopstick doesn't stay in?! Phew! The chopstick stays in. Then she starts unbuttoning her skirt and shirt. I shoot a sideways glance at Lana as if to ask "What kind of play is this? I was not warned about nudity." So she's taking off her outfit, and I'm too nervous to breathe, and very worried that I'll start giggling. Oh man, this is getting real. Did she shave today? Has she worked out her abs lately? Am I old enough to be seeing this?!?! I suddenly feel like screaming out "You don't have to get naked to prove yourself, Bernadette! Don't do it!!! She doesn't. She simply takes off her costume to reveal some silk gown dealie. Crisis averted.

The play ends, everyone claps, Bernadette takes a well-deserved bow, and we head out. Here's where everything became clear. I walk out and confess to Lana and Valerie, "You guys? I did NOT get that play. Was she in the future? She talks about email and cell phones, but why was there one of those super old radios on the stage? What was with all the journal readings? And seriously, what was with the janitor?" I was flummoxed.

Lana and Valerie are trying to explain it to me, though they were in the dark a bit about the janitor too, and then they start throwing around phrases like "It's so relevant because of the Occupy Wall Street movement going on. Who is REALLY the boss, you know?" I muttered "People thought it was Angela, but I always believed it was Tony*." And then they chitchat about being sustaining members of NPR, and how they don't really watch that much TV anymore. I, on the other hand, love Top 40 radio, and am currently petitioning DirecTV to come to an agreement with FX so I won't have to miss even one episode of Sons of Anarchy.

You can see we have our differences. But what matters is that we had a great time together. And despite the fact that I still have no idea how the girl in the play (who is supposed to be 16) managed to get herself to New York City AND Planned Parenthood and what the significance of the pocket knife was, I very much enjoyed the chutzpah of the actress. She really was amazing and I found myself kind of lost in the world she created.

I suppose that's the point of theatahhh.

So, there you have it. I'm all cultured now! Huzzah! I'm going to get my cultured self to bed. Tomorrow is a big day. I've managed to not say anything about it until today, so I think I'm growing. Tomorrow is my birfday! Yay! I'm having a few friends over to just drink beer and play Dance Central (normal things that normal adults do), and I'm really excited. So, I better get some shut eye. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! And if you feel so inclined, go ahead and send any and all gifts to my home. I also accept cash. Have a great weekend, everyone!!

* Duh! Ever heard of Who's the Boss?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dear Crabby

Sorry if I get some sweat on tonight's post. I've been dancin' like a fiend to my new Dance Central 2 game!! That's right people, I'm back in the (video) game! Perks of the new version of the best dancing game ever include voice recognition, dance battle capabilities, and not one but TWO Gaga songs. I'm pretty much the best dancer ever on the Born This Way song already. So while I grab a water and hydrate before gettin' back in da' club (ugh, I need to stop talking like that) I'm going to take a minute and answer your cries for help! Let's hit it!

Dear Crabby,

Well, it was bound to happen. I just moved into my new house last Spring, and in the past week I've met roughly 100 mice who apparently live in my house (but don't even pay rent! Rude!) I read a bunch of tips on how to prevent mice (too late) and how to tell if you have a dead mouse behind your refrigerator (too soon). But what are YOUR best tips for making these rodents move out?

Thank you!
House of Mouse

What's crackin, HoM?
Listen, I've got a looooong, well-documented history of being terrified of mice. I hate them. So if you're here to hear suggestions of "humane traps" or "coexisting peacefully" you have come to the wrong place. The way I think about it, if I stuck my hand into a snake pit, I SHOULD get decimated by venom. I simply DON'T BELONG in there. And mice do not belong in my house, unless they are singing me a song while bedazzling me a ball gown. Therefore, I show no mercy. I start with snap traps. Quick and dirty. The problem is, though, the clean up. That's where my friends and/or boyfriend come in. I'll have nothing to do with the messy aftermath, so I only use these when someone else is around to clean the carnage. Therefore, my ideal solution is Extermination. That's right. Straight up hire someone to come and trim your house in poison and enjoy the peace and quiet. Sure, you may find one or two little guys who got left behind (or stuck in the wall), but whatever. There is no perfect solution. If you find one, though, I'll pay you a million dollars for it.

Dear Crabby,

I bought the CUTEST pair of jeans, but they are apparently made for the world's tallest woman. They're just jeans, and I just will NOT go in to have them professionally tailored or hemmed. Any hot tips?

Thanks a load,
Hemming and Hawing

Hey hey hey, Hemming and Hawing!
Yes, I actually DO have some tips for you! I'm roughly the height of a hobbit, so ALL my pants are too long. Spending the time and money to get all my pants hemmed would rob me of my very valuable Dance Central funds/rehearsal time. Therefore, I get creative. The easiest way is to fold the jeans into themselves until they are the right length. Then just take your everyday stapler and staple those suckers. Color in any flashy silver parts with a black Sharpie. Voila! Another (but a little more time-consuming) option is one I use all the time. I fold the jeans into themselves (just like with the staples), but then I quickly and roughly stitch 'em up using a good ol' needle and thread. Bonus points for using a thread color that matches your jeans. I have at least 3 pairs of jeans that have hints of pink or orange (or one on each leg) running 4 inches about the bottom of the pants. WHATEVER though. No one will EVER notice. Plus, if you do decide to take them to a tailor, it's easy peazy to remove the stitch! Or, you know, shop in the Petite section or something. When it comes to jeans, though, just wing it. It also helps if your standards (much like your height) are seriously lowered.

Dear Crabby,

Got any good Halloween costume ideas? I've got nothing to wear, and a pretty elaborate party to go to this weekend. Everything I think of is either too complicated or too cliche. I'd love an easy, cheap-to-assemble costume that won't look like I just threw it together. Help! :)

Thanks, Crabster!
-Costume Conundrum

Boo, Costume Conundrum!
I'm kind of out of ideas, to be honest with you. I'm not even dressing up this year (for, like, the FIRST TIME EVER)! I mean, maybe DON'T dress up as Steve Jobs, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Osama, or any other real-world character. Those are played out. Also, don't dress up as something uncomfortable. One year I went as a "bubble bath" and wrapped myself in a nude-colored towel and then yards and yards of bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is NOT breathable. It makes you hot and sweaty and people will pop all the bubbles anyways. /Fail. Hmm...oooh! Okay, I just got an idea! You can have it because I'm not dressing up anyways. (If I DO end up dressing up, though, I reserve the right to take this idea back.) All you do is wear all white, and, using safety pins or something, pin a bunch of pictures to yourself. You'll be this year's greatest invention, Pinterest!! Simple, cheap, timely, and just totally awesome. Pin some weird pics on yourself to start some excellent conversations. So, there you go. Only the greatest costume ever. You're welcome!

Okay, I'm pretty sure I've changed tons of lives with tonight's advice. Did I get anything wrong, though? Do you have better costume ideas/mouse removal procedures/seamstressing (not a word) advice? If so, go ahead and let me know in the comments. And, as per the usual, go ahead and email me your own questions at and I'll bust your balls. But for now, I'm back to busting my moves.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LFL (Or Legit Feminism Loss)

There are VERY few topics on which I claim to be an expert. Song lyrics, Kate Spade, and celebrity couples would be a few exceptions. However, Kim brought up a topic tonight that I am not only proud to NOT be an expert on, but one that I am ashamed to have googled. It's stupid. It's quite possibly the best example of idiocrity that can only be born in the good ol' USA.

The Lingerie Football League.

According to the website, it's named itself "true fantasy football". Let me paint you a very sad picture of what this thing is. Women. "Hot" women. Tiny "uniforms". No pesky pads. Full contact. Football. Thaaaaaaaaaaaat's right, people. It's all the worst parts of football smashed together with the most disappointing "perks" of being a woman.

Listen, I'm going to quote Wikipedia a lot here, because I just can't bring myself to do actual research on this because it truly makes me wish I were not a part of this gender. Apparently, though, the league was birthed in 2009. Probably by some skeevy team of men who need something to do with their excess of wealth when paying for strippers got a little too...not gamble-worthy. Women, who are probably very healthy and athletic and fine don their uniforms (consisting of "shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, garters, bras, panties, and ice hockey-style helmets with clear plastic visors in lieu of face masks" - basically, the basic kind of protection any normal adult uses to go rollerblading) and simulate the act of football.

Here's fundamental flaw #1. Football is about bone-crushing hits, 50-yard passes, super-fast running backs, and larger-than-life athletes that are 300 pounds and also nimble as Jack. (Jack be nimble? Anyone?) It's about seeing big hits and not having to worry that a player might DIE because they don't have the proper protection. It's not about injuries or butt cheeks, it's about underdogs, the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.

The LFL is about boobs. And, I'm assuming, the ever-constant hope that it will turn into one big pillow fight, or that women tackling each other will turn into women tickling each other, which will end with - fingers crossed - lots of kissing and torn "uniforms". What else would you expect from a group of adult women attempting to play a FULL CONTACT SPORT wearing nothing more than shoulder pads and garters?

Fundamental flaw #2: Being a hot girl and playing a sport that could, potentially, cause permanent bodily harm is not brave it's, uh, dumb. Heidi Klum wouldn't do that. Gisele may love her fugly football star husband, but you couldn't pay her to get out on the field I'm sure. And I can pretty much guarantee that Anna Kournikova, a legit athlete in her day, would never join a sport that could mangle her face and/or hot body. Good looking people should't do that. (See: Mickey Rouke.) I'm not saying this out of jealously, either. As a woman, I can completely respect and support the best physical examples of my gender. I appreciate that. But I can 100% guarantee you that if I looked like the women in the LFL, I would make it my BUSINESS not to put my awesome face and body in harm's way. I'd take up modeling, or knitting, or graphic design or something not so tackle-y. Do these women not get that?

Kim told me tonight that her guy friend's girlfriend (you following me?) is apparently a quarterback in the LFL and recently broke her arm. Her season is over. Was it worth it? Your season is 6 games long and you're out for all of them. If only someone would have invented some sort of padding to protect you from getting hit so hard...Oh. Wait. THEY DID. (Yes, I know that there are technically no pads to protect the arm bones from breaking in men's football, but it doesn't fit my argument and/or joke, so I'm dismissing it).

Fundamental flaw #3: The team names for this league look like they were taken out of the Cliched Cutesy Names Handbooks. "Fantasy"? "Passion"? "Charm"? "Sin"? "Temptation"? Come on, ladies! At least TRY and flex some of your CREATIVITY muscles for once! The names are dumb and not at all threatening, like regular team names. What about "Black Widows"? Or "Ball and Chains"? Or "The Ultimatums"? THOSE are real team names. A while back, I even suggested - for the Minnesota LFL - "The Purple Nurples". Now THAT'S a good team name. But "Crush"? "Breeze"? THOSE ARE DUMB AND HORRIBLE.

Fundamental flaw #4: I don't know WHO these women are, because ain't nothing comfortable about lingerie. Lingerie is supposed to be worn in slow motion, creeping around door frames and while slinking onto couches like in the Victoria's Secret ads. I can barely get out of a chair without having to adjust my underwear. Lingerie is, almost by definition, designed to be removed very quickly. You aren't supposed to run around for hours at a time while wearing it. It's logistically flawed, people.

The point I'm trying to make is that having a bunch of hot girls pummel the crizzap out of each is only enjoyable for pervy men. ("League founder Mortaza has admitted that the league is marketed toward 'mostly beer-drinking college students aged 21 and up'.") And all it does it showcase the fact that there are actual hot women who can't seem to appreciate their own physical superiority. Someone said "Hey! You're hot, and understand football! Throw on these sequined boy shorts and get the ^&*# beat of out of you!" and they were all "YAY! SPORTS!"

Here's the real beef I have with all this. In high school, I had a few girl friends who had to fight tooth-and-nail to start a women's hockey league. They dealt with the ridicule, the laughter, the lack of financial backing of trying to play a "man's" sport. They worked their BUTTS off to be taken seriously at something they loved. What they DIDN'T do was strut out on the ice in bikinis and full faces of makeup. They played the same sport, with the same equipment as the men. Now they compete in the Olympics. One LFL player is quoted as saying "Maybe one day, girls won't have to wear lingerie to get people interested [in women's football]." Well, lady, we might not ever know because you've COMPLETELY tarnished my view of female football players. Well done.

I've gotten myself all worked up now. I am so annoyed by this stupid excuse for an organization - that gets money! - and I truly can't decide whether to feel bad for these women or full-on tackle one of them if I ever see them. Since I don't make my living on my body and/or face, I'm afraid I'll probably go with the latter. Look out, ladies!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Putting the NICE in NIECE

I have silly string in my hair. Glitter all over my jeans. A slight ringing in my ears from a couple hours of screaming. And my blood is roughly 60% sugar. What have I been up to, you ask? Well, I've either been at a rave in the 90's or a birthday party for one of the cutest kids ever. Here's a hint:

If you guessed "rave in the 90's" you'd be wrong. (Although, that is pretty close to the outfit I'd wear to a rave.) It was my niece Eve's 3rd birthday today and if there is ANYone who knows how to celebrate, it's a three year-old. She squealed with delight at every spoonful of frosting, every glittery card, and every trinket, toy, and treat. After opening each thing, unprompted, she'd search the room and make eye contact with the giver, and exude the most earnest "THANK YOU!" I've ever heard. Like, she meant it.

I always get a tad uncomfortable opening gifts. Don't get me wrong, I luuuuuurve getting presents. But I can't quite figure out the fine line between grateful and gushing. I could open a clump of hair and I'd spent 45 minutes raving about the possibilities of the new hair. "Ohmygod, this clump of hair will look A-MAH-ZING with my winter hat!" I'm probably the easiest person to give a gift to, because I will LOVE anything anyone gives me. I'm not picky. But sometimes that results in going a little overboard in the "thank you" department. Sometimes I worry that it almost comes of as patronizing. But I'd so much rather err on the side of overdoing it than to risk not thoroughly thanking someone enough.

But watching Eve just find the gift giver, hug them and squeal an adorably "Thank you, Gwampa!" was refreshing. There was one exception, though. Her awesome aunt (me) gave her the world's cutest little faux-fur leopard print vest and pink leggings. She literally THREW THE VEST across the room. But, luckily that awesome aunt (again, ME) knows that kids don't especially love getting clothes instead of toys yet, so I also plopped some candy in the bag with the clothes. After chucking the vest across the room, she tore into the chocolate and beamed "Thank you, Phawin!!!" and that was all I needed. Then later, after the excitement had kind of simmered down, she did try on her vest and LOVED it.

I guess I could learn a lot from my niece. At the tender age of three, she knows more about receiving gifts and giving thanks properly than I do at the age of ajdhgauphtiuathjklwtk. I'll tell you this, though, I'd never chuck a present across the room. Kids...

Anyhoozle, a very happy birthday to my beautiful niece! I already look up to you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Early Bird...Is a Sucker

Well, I went to sleep at 10 p.m. on Saturday night. That's where my weekend both peaked and weaked. (That's a word, right?) I spent too much time with my sisters at the mall on Saturday, and I was beat. Seriously, who spends 5 hours at the Mall of America? TOURISTS, that's who. Oh, and also my sisters and me. We strolled around all day, and all day I had to actively fight my instincts to roundhouse-kick idiot mall-walkers in the head.

Then we went back to my parents house, and just hung out for 5 more hours, eating deep dish pizza and trying to keep my nieces and nephew from screaming bloody murder for more than 5 minutes at a time. So much for patience. Although, it was probably one of the funnest days ever. I loved it.

Now, there is a major problem with going to bed early on a Saturday night. Sunday mornings are SO BORING. I woke up at basically dawn, made breakfast, had coffee, and watched VH1 for an hour and still had 2 1/2 hours to kill before I could even start running errands because none of the stores were open yet.

The point is: There is no reason to wake up early on the weekends.

It was very boring this morning. I watched a movie that starred Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale and fire-breathing dragons. Really? This is the reward I get for waking up before noon? And sure coffee is delicious and all, until it gets me all hopped up to...what? Sit around? That's no fun.

Here's the lesson, I guess. Don't wake up early on Sunday mornings. Nothing happens. Do yourself a favor and stay up until 3 a.m. on Saturday night if you can. Waking up early is for jerks over achievers and shmucks. Well, lesson learned. Next weekend, don't call me until noon when I'm just waking up.

The cruelty of it all is that now I feel like I've been up for a bazillion hours and I'm pooped. It's a vicious cycle. Maybe it'll be easier to wake up for work, though! Yay! That's always nice. OH! And world's biggest HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my lovely friend Lana!! We have a super fun happy hour planned later this week, so let's just hope I can stay awake for it!

Let's go out there and pwn this week, shall we? We shall!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Most Pinteresting Woman in the World

Well, I officially wasted probably 10 hours this week gazing at fashion/hair/food/decorating/art porn. Unless you live under a rock - or in a poorly decorated, very uncreative house - you know I am, of course, referring to Pinterest. It's my new obsession, inspiration, compulsion and I'm going to tell you allllll about it.

Essentially, Pinterest is a site where you have a bunch of "boards". And when you see pictures of pretty things on the internet, you "pin" them to one of your boards. It's just a big ol' collection of pictures of things. You know, like those awesome wall collages we all made in middle school. And just like middle school, one of my boards is dedicated strictly to people I think are hot/have pretty hair.

So I signed up for it a while back, but I'm never just like hanging out on my computer. I'm either working, blogging, or checking Facebook to see if the girls who were mean to me in high school got fat. BUT! Remember how I got an iPhone? Yeah, I think I mentioned it once or a bajillion times. And then the Pinterest APP entered my world. Now bus rides are not long enough. Bedtime is pushed back by hours. And waiting in line at Target is fiiiiiiiiiiine with me. I can spend all that time pinning pictures of shoes to my Lookin' Good, Good Lookin' board.

Okay, so that's how you "pin". You can pin anything that anyone else on Pinterest pins, and you can "follow" other boards that you like. I follow all my friends, and the occasional stranger who has the same devotion to Kate Spade, twinkle lights, funny graffiti, braids, and nail art that I have. It's where I got the idea to do this:

Yeah, no biggie. That's just NEWSPRINT on my FINGERNAILS. Thanks for the idea, Pinterest! It's also super awesome for crafty things to do around the house and making cool wrapping paper and invitations.

Also? It's awesome for planning weddings. Now, don't freak out. I am (allegedly) no where near "I Do's" (unless the question is: Do you want to go to Happy Hour?) but I have a secret board on Pinterest chock-full of beautiful bridal brainstorms. I titled the board don't tell my bf I have this board. Yeah, it's like a very public secret. But come ON! I'm not going to sit down and scrapbook my dream wedding or cool ideas for bathroom storage, so I need to pin it all to my boards. I'm a woman. And though I may be a CYNIC, I'm not a ROBOT.

Oh, and one more thing. Looking to buy me a present? (It's okay, I'll act surprised.) I've created a board called (not so subtly) me wanty. And it's a bunch of stuff I want! Just in time for the holidays! I'm so helpful...

Basically, this is all just to tell you guys to get yourself on Pinterest and start finding more exciting things to do with old lightbulbs and new ways to wear scarves. My sisters also came up with the idea to make each other Christmas presents this year. Before, I would have scoffed at this idea. I don't want a piece of string hanging from book that I'm supposed to hang in my bathroom. But now?! With Pinterest at my side?! I think I'm going to make a killer braided scarf for the girls out of old t-shirts and a handy tool storage system out of wood scraps, fabric scraps, and old beer bottles for the guys. Shh! Don't tell them!

Anyway, I've wasted too much time NOT pinning on my boards, and I better hop to it. (The other night, instead of making myself a nomnom dinner, I sat and ate Alabummer peanuts and pinned pictures of delicious-looking food to my Good Eats board. Some would argue that was a waste of time and defeats the purpose of Pinterest. I would argue that those people suck and need to get pinning.)

Seriously, sign up for this time suck and just TRY and tell me you aren't a better, more inspired person! I'll go ahead and trust that your weekend will be spent on Pinterest. I know mine will!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dear Crabby

Alright Squares, lets get down to the business of solving the world's problems! What will we see this week? Poverty? Economic woes? Politics? Yuck, I hope not. Let's see what we've got in the ol' mail bag.

Dear Crabby,
I've been thinking about starting a small stationary business. I love hand-making invitations, scrapbooking, and seeking out what's new in the world of rubber stamps. What do you think? Am I an idiot for trying to start a business centered solely around stationary? I really think I'd love it, and I'm really excited at the prospect of being a business owner! Do you have any experience with this? Or any unique insights??

Thank you, Crabby!
-Paper Maid

Dear Paper Maid,
I'm flattered you would come to me with your business inquiries. Unfortunately for you, though, I have zippo experience in this area, so I'm going to really wing this. I'll go with my gut and say there's probably NO downside to starting this type of business. People LOVE clever and unique invitations and cards and other doohickeys to send in the mail. Or wait, is that super old-school now? Okay, well then it's probably due for a resurgence. Hipsters will likely flock to this concept. Anyhoozle, I personally love that kind of crap. I do. The problem is, it's really stupid-expensive. If you DO start up a stationary shop, I beg you to keep your prices low. That's probably the only way you'll survive. My other instinct says "Don't buy an ACTUAL SHOP". That's crazy. You don't need to lease out some back-alley shop with a rat problem. No, get yourself a store online. for instance. Or even (I have one there, BTW. Go buy your loved ones some kicka$$ Pharon Square swag at!!) I guess that's my advice. Go ahead and start your business, but without buying an actual store, and keeping everything supah cheap. Send me some of your stuff and if it's awesome, I'll get all my Squares to support you!! Good luck, lady!

Dear Crabby,
I hate to admit it, but I know I'm not alone. When I wake up, I resemble Quasimodo. My hair is everywhere, my face is all sheet-marked and dull, and I have a definite hunch to my posture until coffee is consumed. But I just moved in with my boyfriend, and I'd like to clean up my act. How can I look a little better in the morning without having to sneak out of bed 15 minutes early to fix myself up before crawling back into bed?

Can't wait to hear from you!!
I love you!!
-Morning Gory

Hey Morning Gory,
You are right to recognize that you are not alone. NO ONE LOOKS GOOD WHEN THEY WAKE UP. Seriously, no one. There's that whole crazy idea men have of seeing a woman with lightly tousled hair, a dewy glow to their face, and breath as fresh as her minty armpits (wait, what?) but these kinds of women are rich celebrities, probably. But they ARE out there, ruining morning for everyone else. But they also probably spend tons of time to prepare the night before. I've read about women who do their hair in an elaborate braid/bun/inside-out-ponytail-twist thing, slather some exotic, rare oil or something on their face, and sleep with a mint leaf under their tongue. DUMB. I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of time. You want a couple quick suggestions? Here you go. Keep some minty lip balm in your nightstand. It'll make your lips look nice, and at least give the impression of fresh breath. Plus, if you're really desperate, smear it on your face for that effortless "dewy" look. I'd also swipe your eye makeup off before hitting the hay. I ALWAYS forget to take my makeup off, but I do remove my eye makeup so I don't wake up looking like Snooki. And about your posture? I don't know, get some high heeled slippers or something. Or just straighten up. That's it. I bet if you can fit these things into your routine, you'll be a vision at dawn (or at least less offensive to his senses).

Hey hey HEY, Crabby!
My friends tell me I'm too judgmental. I don't like trying new restaurants, I don't particularly enjoy meeting new people I have nothing in common with, and I'm married, so it's not like I need to get out there and meet a guy and flirt. Do I sound "judgmental"? And if I do, do you think it's like a major character flaw? And do my friends need to keep pointing it out?! I think it's rude! What do you think?

Thank you, Crabby!
Judge Judy

Dear Judge (or should I address you as "your honor"?)
First of all, your friends sound harsh. Tell them to get over themselves, first and foremost. Just because you're kind of "vanilla" sounding, it doesn't mean you have to justify yourself to them. Do what you want, and more importantly, don't do things you DON'T want to do just because they say you should. Being a pretty judgmental person myself, I personally find I save a lot time by doing that. Have I heard about that new Thai restaurant? Yes, but it has a dumb name, so I have no desire to go. I'll "totally love" your new coworker who will be staying with us for a week? Unless they bring me presents, I probably will be very indifferent towards them and will be eager for him/her to leave. And most importantly, would I like to go out to meat markets and get pawed and sized-up by desperate, single men? Thanks, but no thanks. The point is, we ALL have to be judgmental to some degree, so you sound fine to me. If you DO have a judgment problem, though, it's your apparent lack of it when it comes to choosing friends because it sounds like they are mean and rude and you should definitely find some new ones. But, you know, that's just my judgment call.

Whew! Pretty sure I nailed each one this week. What did I miss? Did I steer any of these poor, sad people in the wrong direction? Dish out your own advice on my advice in the comments. And if you have your own embarrassing problems, which you do, email me at And always remember: the more humiliating it is, the more entertaining it is!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm Back, Y'all You Guys!

Howdy, pardners! Wait, no, that's not right. I'm getting all my Southern accents mixed up. Well hunt ma aligaytah and get me a mint julip, dahlin! Whoa. What's happened to me? I gotta get back to my yankee-speak. Pop. Liquor store. Hey guys. I need mittens because it's cold. Okay. There we go. Okay, before I get to the dirty deets from my adventure in the dirty South, I want to gush about my new iPhone. I fought the good fight, you guys. I had an LG phone, a Nokia, and a Blackberry. I gave them all a chance to be great. But, well, they all sucked. Now, with my nifty iPhone, I feel like a whole new woman. Here's just a really quick list of reasons I love my new phone (which, it should be noted, is just the iPhone 4, not 4s. Baby steps...): Awesome camera. Pinterest (follow me!) FaceTime (although it's just another video medium that makes me look like Jay Leno with horrible skin). The ability to stalk Geo via the Friends Finder GPS dealie. App store. Pandora. Awesome real-time maps. Kicky ringtones. In short, I love it. Although, I'm terrified of anyone getting too close to me for fear of them smooshing it or breaking it. And, I just feel like a better person for having one. Is that shallow? Whatevs. I never claimed to be an ocean.

Moving on. I had an amazingly fun time with Geo this weekend. I didn't realize how much I really had missed him until could actually touch his, as I lovingly call it, dumb face. When he picked me up at the airport, it was like a first date, though. I got teary-eyed because I finally got to see him, but suddenly I felt inclined to put more makeup on, fix my hair, and stop cursing so much. I was nervous. I didn't know what to say or where to look. He gave me a tour of his apartment and the building, and I did nothing but wonder if my breath was bad or if I was slouching. And it was weird to see all his stuff, that used to clutter up our house, properly stored in a whole new place. How does he know where to put all his stuff if I'm not around to tell him where to put it??

Eventually, I calmed down. We relaxed and hung out together like we haven't been apart for a bazillion years (read: 1 1/2 months). He showed me his school, we went to see a giant, weird statue and walked through a surprisingly interesting museum, and just generally got used to being in the same room together. Before I knew it, I was belching in front of him and he was snarling his lip and shaking his head in disgust. Happiness.

Once I got my snazzy new phone (I did mention that, didn't I?) I started taking pics. Luckily for you, a number of pictures were taken with my old crap phone, or with Geo's, so these are the only ones I have. SO FAR. But join me, won't you, on a photo-journey of my adventures:

Yay! Geo and I are in the same room! And it was juuuuuust chilly enough to need a UAB Blazers sweatshirt that I borrowed from Geo. We are snarling because we are fire-breathing dragons. The mascot of UAB. I know, I know. But yes, it's a real school.

Geo made me his famous Chicken Squares one night. Nomnomnomnomnom.

Geo had me bring him his Settlers of Catan game and he, his brother Jami, and I played a bazillion times. I lost every stupid game.

One of the days that Geo and his brother were watching very boring football games I didn't care about, I went out to their awesome courtyard to read. It was 80 degrees and lovely.

Then I got to see Geo play on his new Ultimate team. Not quite the dominating behemoths his Minnesota team is, but again it was sunny, I wanted a tan, and I really do enjoy watching him play.

Despite the fact that you can drink, smoke, and litter nearly EVERYWHERE in Alabummer, there were no "intoxicating" beverages allowed at the Ultimate fields. Boo!

For Sunday night's Vikings game, Geo made the MOST delicious wings and I ate a hundred of them. Again...nomnomnomnomnom.

One morning we went to get a delicious breakfast. I ordered a frittata. The girl was all "Y'all want just the frittata, or the plate that has fruit and grits?" I was all "GRIT IT TO ME, LADY" because I have never had grits and they sounded delicious. Here's my meal.

Oh, wait. Grits are NOT delicious. They are paste. And I kicked my paste habit in the first grade.

A depot focused solely on peanuts? Yes please! I got a giant bag of peanuts, and they were hot, and they were DELICIOUS. I may never eat packaged, cold peanuts again.

I had world's biggest brain fart on one of our walks downtown. I saw the railroad above us, the 1931 sign underneath it leading us into a tunnel, and asked Geo "Oooh, is this the Underground Railroad?!" He said "Pharon, please tell me that was a brain fart and you don't ACTUALLY think it was a railroad." Whatever. It was pretty.

This, I think, was my favorite spot in Birmingham. It's this giant park in the middle of the city. It's brand new, and it had so many different little areas that were all part of one huge landscape. It was beautiful. Although, I think I loved it so much because it reminded me of the lakes and parks in Minneapolis. Whatever. It was gorgeous, and warranted tons of pics...

More Railroad Park...

Yet more Railroad Park...

And still MORE Railroad Park...

So there's just a taste of my trip. As cheesy as it sounds, the best parts of visiting Geo weren't the kinds of things you can take pictures of. I liked seeing his dumb face, and the way he opens doors for me but always forgot to unlock my car door, laughing at each other's jokes, watching TV together, and just being able to do things as a couple, you know? But now it's back to the good ol' yankee lifestyle. And I missed it. How is someone supposed to know what kind of pop you want when you call EVERYTHING "Coke"? Dumb.

I had an incredible time in Birmingham. And even though there was perfect weather and awesome sightseeing, I probably would have had a great time in, like, Wyoming as long as Geo was there. Now, back to our regularly scheduled northernism.

Monday, October 17, 2011

An Update from Down South

Oh my lovely Squares!! How I've missed you all! I gave myself a couple days respite from blogging since I've been away, y'all. In Alabummer, to be exact. And I want to tell you allllll about it when I'm officially off my vacay time.

But here's a quick update to keep you interested in my fabulous, glamorous life. I, Pharon Square, finally caved and got myself an iPhone. Huzzah! So, I'm writing to you from this far superior telephonic communications device. I can't wait to see "sent from my iPhone" for the first time! (What was that I was just saying about my "fabulous, glamorous" life?)

So, I'm traveling still and am really looking forward to getting home. However, I had a great time with Geo, and Alabummer turned out to be a very pleasant (read: not murderous) city! And, wait. What's that? A TAN LINE? In Minnesota? In OCTOBER?! That's a-okay in my book.

Okay, I'll give you all the dirty deets from the dirty south tomorrow night. Until then, stay cool y'all!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear Crabby

I've got approx a zillion things to do tonight. I'm heading out to Alabummer tomorrow night to visit the Man (a.k.a. Geo) and when I asked what we were going to do while I'm there, I was both pleased and discouraged to hear "Meh, whatever we want!" I was pleased because I hate packing a vacation full of activities, leaving no time to relax. Discouraged because now I have to find a way to fit 6 pairs of shoes, 4 dresses, 2 pairs of jeans, 700 shirts, and Geo's Settlers of Catan game into a CARRY ON because on I don't know what to be prepared for. Oh, and where am I going to put my hair dryer and curling iron? I think you might not want to know.

So, without further delay: Here are this week's questions from my you: my lovely, lovely Squares!

Dear Crabby,

No time to explain, but I double booked dates for Friday night. I like both guys! HELP ME!

-Double Time

Okay, Double Time,
(Why does everyone ask me for 'excuses on how to get out of something'? Am I flaky?! No, no. That's impossible. Moving on...) Here's what you do. RESCHEDULE ONE. Don't try and Sit Com your way out of this. Meaning: Don't try and make both dates work, because obvs that never works, and you'll end up single. Twice. In one night. So just buck up and cancel one. You don't have to go into loads of deets, but just be like "I'm SO sorry, but is there any way we can reschedule for [insert alternative AWESOME plan here]?" If he asks for more details, whoops! You're in a tunnel or basement or bomb shelter or something and can't hear him anymore. Finish the rest over text, and proceed to enjoy both dates on separate nights.

Dear Crabby,

I'm trying to really get into volunteering. Any suggestions for where to start? I'm not a huge fan of kids, or babies, or sick people, or pets, or gross things though. Ideas?

Helping Hand

Dear Helping Hand,

Okay, so I don't know how to help you. Sure your heart's in the right place with wanting to volunteer, but you seem to not like most things. Therefore, I think your only volunteering options are in the Meals on Wheels or maybe gift wrapping industries, or maybe you could hand out flyers at busy downtown intersections. You could also maybe, um, go around doing random people's yard work or something. I don't know. Maybe volunteering isn't for you, though. Here's an idea. Instead of donating your TIME to a cause, donate MONEY. Then no one has to deal with your bad attitude you can contribute in your own special way. Like I said, though, I give you props for your dedication to service, without actually doing any serving though. Whatever. Give money. People love money.

Dear Crabby,

So, I'm going to get a tattoo! I'm so completely excited! Problem is, everyone is making fun of what I want to get. I want to get a tiny Smurfette on my hip. I love Smurfette! Is there anything wrong with it? Honestly?!

-Tattooed and Confused

Hey T&C,

Here's some real quick advice (sorry, this suitcase ain't gonna pack itself with tons and tons of crap). Do not get a cartoon character tattoo. DO NOT. I don't know ANYone who hasn't regretted the decision to get a silly (albeit beloved) animated character permanently stained into their bodies. Listen, I love Smurfette as much as the next guy. But trust that it's going to look stupid in 10 years. Heck, it'll probably look stupid in 10 months no matter HOW old you are. I say hold off on the tattoo until you have something important enough or just cool enough to inject into your skin. Because my dear, dear Square, cartoon tattoos are just...well, don't take this the wrong way...but they are dumb. See here. Yeah, so my advice is DO NOT DO IT.

How'd I do this week? I'm kind of rushing, so fill in whatever I missed in the comments. Aight? Aight. Okay, so next week when you need some help, which I'm sure you'll need, shoot your inquiry to and I'll make everything all good in the 'hood. Cool? COOL!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kids Email the Darndest Things

I was chillin' at my parents pad tonight (does that make it sound cool when I say it like that? I thought so.) My sister is working on a book, and so her kids were at my parents, and they are high-strung. There's a lot of screaming and refusals to share, so I went over there to distract them long enough for my parents to get the ringing in their ears to stop.

After Picnic Pedicures for my nieces ("You girls have to stay on this blanket or the pedicure will be ruined. Don't move. Also, screaming makes the nail polish peel off, so keep it down, wouldja?") and spending some time bribing my 6 month-old nephew to crawl to sparkly beads, we were out of ideas to keep the peace. My mom suggested starting a Facebook account for my one niece, Annabelle. Um...she's 6. It's a good idea in theory, we decided. It gives her a social outlet. And she really likes looking at pictures of herself. But, you know, it's Facebook, and she's 6. Instead, my mom came up with a brillz idea. We started an email account for Annabelle and her 3 year-old sister Eve.

They. Were. Ecstatic. I uploaded an adorable picture of them, taught them their password (Annabelle can speak Spanish, and now knows l33t speak too!), and pulled up their very first Compose Email. I said "Let's send an email to your mom!"

Here's why kids don't email. One: They can't type yet. Everything they wanted to write had to be recited to me, and then I'd spell it out - letter by letter - so they could do the physical typing. Forty-five minutes later, the first sentence was done. "Hi Mommy, we got a new email account!" Reason Two: They have terrible email etiquette. There's no sign off, no engaging conversation. They're all short sentences and terrible transitions. At one point, they went from "What restaurant are you at?" (ugh...don't end a sentence in a preposition, kid) to "I learned a new song at school" without even offering "I hope you are having fun. By the way, I also had fun today because I learned a new song at school."


Approximately 800 hours later, we were just about to finish their second email, when an email response from their mom came in. I said "Oooh! You already have an email back!" They didn't even want to finish their second email. They were all "CHECK IT NOW, PHARON." Rude, dudes. Kids have no attention span. I had to explain that, when writing an email, there is usually a beginning, a middle, and an end. They were seriously struggling with the whole "end" part.

But the excitement they got when I read their mom's email back to them was priceless. Granted, most of the email was directed back at me specifically, but still. They were enthralled with the fact that a picture of their mom popped up, and even though she was only 5 minutes away, the idea that she had written them a letter was positively exhilarating for them. They are already obsessed with checking their email in the morning.

Note to self: Send those adorable children an email a.s.a.p. explaining the dangers of opening spam. And also maybe put a picture of Dora or Hello Kitty in there.

So I've started a 6 year-old and a 3 year-old on the road to complete electronic communication dependency. I figure they've been in the technological dark for too long. I'm just psyched for them to be able to read so we can start tweeting.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Happy Columbus Day, everyone! I'm sure you, like me, love this day more than Christmas. All the wonderment and tradition? Huzzah! How did you celebrate this most funnest of fun days? I built 3 replica water-ready ships out of Popsicle sticks and an impressive amount of toothpicks. Then I sat in a polio-infested blanket outside and floated the ships in the puddles. When I got done playing in the water, I docked the ships on the curb - formerly known as Curboslavia, but I renamed it America - and started burning down everything and replacing tepees with tasteful Old English-style cottages. Then I sewed a flag, made a list of rules everyone will forget about in 500 years, turned futbol into soccer, and invented Coca Cola. America!

I don't know about you guys, but I feel bad for America these days. We're getting a super bad rep these days as greedy, fame-hungry, self-indulgent kids from Jersey Shore. (I may be getting my references mixed up, but whatevs.) We've got people marching on Wall Street, while Kim Kardashian tweets constantly about her stupid multi billion dollar wedding. A "Super Congress" bickering constantly while a Super Population of people remain Super Unemployed. A Super Shame.

And it all started with a man and his three ships. I'm sure Christopher Columbus is pretty stoked that there wasn't a "media" or Twitter 519 years ago. Imagine the Twitter twends like #theblanketshavesmallpoxinthem or #Columbuswasntborn here, #birther, or #dontdrinkthefirewater. Facebook groups would be dedicated to either hailing or hating the explorer, and South Park would probably air an episode dedicated to satirizing the sexual deviance of Mr. Columbus. I don't even WANT to know what Fox News would have to say about it. But luckily for him, and for us I guess, none of those things happened.

But I give props to the man who missed his mark so greatly. I can appreciate a person with as poor sense of direction as I have. He led a whole mess of people to a completely different country, and everyone was all "Yay! You did it, bro!" Usually when I get lost, people are all "How do you NOT have a GPS? You are an idiot. Now we're going to be late for Happy Hour. Way to go, dummy!" Sexists.

So Happy Columbus Day, everyone! I'm going to get back to my scale models of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Next up, we're going to "discover" Jamaica and I'm going to make myself a fruity cocktail.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

From Apples to Zombies

Here's what I did this weekend.


Zombie Boy Scouts! It was, overall, a great time. Kim and I got a weeeeeeeeeeee bit overwhelmed at one point and ended up ditching the rest of our group in St. Paul to head back to Sanityville (a.k.a. Minneapolis). And we got back home before midnight. As far as zombies go, we were pretty tame.

Because I had taken it kind of easy last night, and got home early, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning when my whole family went to an apple orchard. We spent the day together, as we do every year on this date because it was just 4 years ago that we lost my beautiful niece Sophia to SIDS. So, we spend the day together, having fun and enjoying time with family.

We were wandering through the apple orchard, picking apples, and I hear this big, juicy crunnnnch behind me. Prinna had taken a big ol' bite of her first apple. I was all "You can't EAT those! You haven't washed it! And I don't think they're free!" She looked at me like I was still dressed as a zombie or something. She slowly replies "Pharon, um, it's an APPLE ORCHARD. That's what you do here. And you don't NEED to wash them. Just rub them on your pants or something." I guess my outdoor skills were a little rusty.

I ended up eating, like, 4 delicious, fresh-picked apples this afternoon as we strolled through the sunshine, dodging bugs and side-stepping crushed apples. When we got back to the main building, though, I decided my apples were too small so I tucked the bag between a couple shelves, and proceeded to get a $15 bag of apples instead. Hey, you can take the girl out of the city...

So, I got a taste of both the nightlife and the outdoors this weekend, and both were long overdue. Thanks to everyone for such a great weekend!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Zzzzzz...ombie Bar Crawl

Well hello, dudes and dudettes. Looks like we are thisclose to the weekend again. You can't hate that. I won't beat around the bush with you guys. This week has taken it out of me, and I'm, well, pooped. Tomorrow is Friday, which is almost Saturday (thank you Rebecca Black), so tomorrow is basically the pre-party for Saturday. And you know what's on Saturday? Zombie Pub Crawl.

I think it's important to tell you guys that very soon, I will be famous. I will, in fact, be in the Guinness Book of World Records. I will tell my grandchildren that I was a part of the World's Largest Collection of Zombies. That is, of course, unless a zombie apocalypse takes over the world in the meantime. We are anticipating over 4,000 "zombies" to start roaming the streets of Minneapolis/St. Paul, so you better watch out citizens.

What this all means is that you better be ready for some awesome pics on Sunday night. Unless, hey! Are YOU coming to the ZPC too? Oh, my faithful Squares, TELL me you are going out for that! I would lurve to meet up with you! Brains!

I hate to do this, but all the zombie-prep has this girl cashed for the night and I'm a sleepy gal. Let's meet up on Sunday night to share all the deets of our awesome weekends, shall we? WE SHALL! I'll see you all on the other side of the Zombie Apocalypse! Brains!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dear Crabby

It hardly seems appropriate to do anything before properly addressing the passing of Steve Jobs today. The man knew how to create, invent, design, and sell a lifestyle that people across the world craved and relied on. His impact on the current social and technological environment is second-to-none, and I'm legit sad about this. Like, teary-eyed sad. He was the best thing to happen to apples, apps, and tech-nerds. He will surely be missed, but not forgotten.

I have no transition for this, but it's time for Dear Crabby! Let's get down to brass tacks.

Dear Crabby,

I have a 10 year-old daughter. She's smart and friendly, she loves animals, and she is crazy-good at painting. I love everything about her. Almost everything. She dresses, um, like a cracked out runaway who has daddy issues. (Note: Her father is WONDERFUL. No issues there. Seriously.) We'll go shopping and, even though I don't buy her the cropped t-shirts and short mini skirts bedazzled on the butt with words like SASSY, I find them in her room. I don't know where she gets them, and I don't understand where she thinks she's going to wear them. She has like 4 friends, and they all live on our block. I'm very concerned with her fashion sense. Will she grow out of this? Am I missing something? Help!

Thanks Crabby!
-Kids Wear the Sluttiest Things

Oh dear, KWTST,

Kids are the worst. Especially daughters. I was a terror. I wanted boyfriends and dates and attention and all that stuff. Some things never change. One thing that did change, though, was my fashion sense. My mom would NEVER let me try on/own/borrow anything she deemed inappropriate, much like it sounds like you refuse to do. Props to that, BTW. But she did allow me to explore my own style. She would let me peruse a store on my own, pull the things I liked, and praised the things she approved of and looked good. She didn't understand why I had to have the weird suspenders and catholic girl-style skirt, but she'd let me get it because I loved it. That, AND I totally worked it. But mostly it was because it was my style. Here's what you need to do. Get rid of whatever trashy mags you have. Don't turn on MTV. Don't foster her skewed view of what's "appropriate". I'm not saying you should try to ignore or skew reality - because in reality, girls are getting skankier and skankier at younger ages - but I'd say keep more Vogue and InStyle magazines around. They showcase FASHION, not promiscuity. Teach her about quality and classic shapes. Above all, never stop reminding her how smart and caring and wonderful she is. Just keep your eye out. She may be exploring her own style with those skank clothes, but as long as she keeps in her room, I wouldn't worry too much. Until she's like 13. Then put her on lockdown forever. You know, just in case.

Dear Crabby,

WHAT IS UP! I just wanna know one thing. What's a good pickup line to use on a guy at the bar? We've got a girls night out planned this weekend, and I'm one of the only single chicks left! I wanna get out there and meet some MEN! What works for you???

Needs a Picker Upper

Picker Upper, I have a secret to tell you. Pick-up lines don't work. The best one I have ever heard was when a guy came up to me at asked "Hey, are you as surprised as I am that I haven't thrown up yet?" 1) It was HILARIOUS. 2) It begged me to ask "Whaaaa? Why?" and 3) It wasn't smarmy. Besides that, PICK UP LINES DON'T WORK. Having said that, the best pickup line I can think of to use on a dude is either "Hey, what's up?" or "What's the score of [insert whatever game is on]?" Or I guess there's always "Hey, can you see my bra through this shirt?" It all depends on the kind of guy you're looking for. Oh, and there are two more that Claire used to use when we'd go out. She'd go up to a guy and we'd just try and guess his name. Or she'd bring a highlighter in her bag, and randomly walk past a guy and draw a line on his arm or hand or face and say "Looks like you're the highlight of the night!" Both are adorable. Good luck and let us know if any of these work out for you!

Dear Crabby,

I want to get a pet. I'm responsible, I have a flexible job and I'm like really nice to animals. I am poor and have a small apartment though. What can I do?!

Pet Getter

Hey Pet Getter,
Animals are a lot of work. My roommate fosters puppies, and no matter how adorable they are, they all poop and smell bad in the same way. But yes, they are A LOT OF WORK. I barely do any of it, and it's starting to wear me out regardless. Plus they're expensive and needy. So here are the pets I think you (and, subsequently, I) would be fit for: Hamster, Guinea Pig, Snake, Frog, Teacup Piglet (my dream pet!), rock, fish, or a bird. Any of those sound fun? Good luck!

Okay, that's a wrap! Did I miss anything? You know the routine: slap YOUR advice in the comments and then bop on over to your email and ask for my super-awesome advice at I shall solve all your woes and fix all your boo-boos.

Feet Deets

Where do I begin? Where do I even begin? It. Has. Been. A. Day. Humiliation, torture, terrifying abuse of my comfort zone, pain, and needles. What happened, you ask? I hardly know where to start, so I'll start at the lowest point.

It was a dark and non-stormy night. A beautiful girl was snoozing away soundly in her bed. That girl, dear readers, was me. Suddenly, I awaken to a blinding pain. In my pinky toe. I try various self-remedies, including but not limited to, wrapping my foot in my kickboxing wrist wrap, ice, elevating, heat, loud cursing, quiet sobbing, and pleading to name a few. When the clock struck 2:30 a.m., I decided I wanted my mommy and daddy. I figured there was NO WAY I could qualify "pinky toe pain" as a reason to wake them up in the middle of the night with a phone call (no matter how excruciating the pain truly was). So I sent an email to my mom, who sometimes gets up in the middle of night, telling her that if she's up, call me. It all looked very calm, very non-childish. Little did she know, I was writhing in pain on my bed, slamming pillows against the wall and willing the cosmos to wake my parents up to check their email.

I'd nod off for 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, but I kept waking up the same. In sheer, blinding pain. I check WebMD at around 4:30 a.m. (never a good idea), decide on my malady, and wonder what I'll look like with only four toes.

Mercifully, morning came and I could finally shower and pull myself together to get my butt to Urgent Care. I thought I was in the clear.

I get to Urgent Care, describe my pain level as a 9, explain my 4 a.m. WebMD'ing theories, and wait for the medical marvel that will surely cure me.

What was the cure, you ask? THERE WAS NONE. First, the doctor poked and pulled at my toe. (Side note: You DO know how much I hate people touching my feet, don't you?!) Then she removed my awesome, glittery toenail polish while I sat there, crawling out of my skin. She didn't know what exactly was wrong. So - I should warn you to stop reading if you are squeamish or are a small baby - they BURN A LITTLE HOLE THROUGH MY NAIL. Turns out, there is a reason we have nails. The skin underneath them are very, uh, DELICATE. So natch, it hurt and I screamed. Then we discover that the hole burning apparently didn't help (SHOCKER). She asks if I've hurt my toe lately (no), or if I've gotten a pedicure lately. I say - and I quote - "No, I hate pedicures. But isn't that what happened to Paula Abdul!? If so, I have a new found understanding of her admiration for pain killers!" She didn't react. Whatever, I know I'm right, Doc.

The doctor prescribes some antibiotics, recommends a podiatrist, and is just about to send me on my hobbling way before checking my chart one more time. "Hmm. Looks like you're also due for a Tetanus shot. I'll send in a nurse to give you one."

GEE. THANKS. As if I'm not in enough pain.

The poor guy comes in, sees me all teary-eyed, and explains that it won't hurt - you big baby I could almost hear him add. I tell him I haven't slept all night, and spent the past 10 hours in bone-quaking pain. "It's okay. You'll hardly notice this!"

He was right. Sort of. The shot itself was nothin'. No biggie. Barely even felt it. Until like 2 hours later. My shoulder is throbbing, as is my little piggy (literally crying wee wee wee all the way home), and I just go ahead and give up. Everything hurts. My eyes are burning from crying and from trying to NOT cry, and I have a pounding headache from stressing out about everything.

I have no idea what to expect tonight. During the day, I felt fine, but I don't know what I'll do if I have another night like last night. I'm scared. I'm tired. Mostly I'm just very self-conscious about the hole in my baby toe.

Send out healthy-toe thoughts tonight, guys! PLEASE?! If you don't, I'll be up spamming the crap out of everyone out of spite and exhaustion. I'll keep you toe-sted posted!! (Seriously...I'm writing this on NO SLEEP. Gimme a break.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Take That to the Bank

Stupid banks and their stupid security measures. Okay, so thanks for protecting me from all those identity thieves and everything, but protecting me from MYSELF is infuriating. I just had a string of bad luck that rivals that whiny little Alexander kid. It all started with a very routine trip to the ATM. La la la, I get my cash and stroll out of the gas station. La la la, happy as a clam. I paid no attention to the allegedly loud beeping sound that was allegedly alerting me to something. Whatevs. I was too busy going about my business happy and care-free.

Cut to the check out line at Ragstock. Perek, Kim and I went to pick up some AWESOME zombie costumes for the upcoming Zombie Pub Crawl this weekend. Everything was going swimmingly. I got my outfit, my jug of fake blood, and I start going through my wallet looking for my check card.

Spoiler Alert: It wasn't in my wallet, my purse, or my pockets.

So I trace my steps and mentally end up at that stupid gas station, strolling away from the beeping ATM. D'OH! So, I call the bank and I'm all "I think I left my card in an ATM. What do I do?" She's all "Oh, just go into the branch..." "Hold up, lady." I protest, "I wasn't at a branch. I was at an ATM at the gas station." She breaks the news that alas, there is nothing she can do for me except cancel the card. I decide to give myself the benefit of the doubt and hope that it's in my car.

Spoiler Alert: It wasn't in my car.

So I'm freaking out. Kim generously pays for my zombie gear, and Perek covers my dinner tab. I suddenly remember - as I'm chowing down on my spicy garlic wings - I have an EXTRA check card! Long story short, I had mistakenly requested another one last year. I decide to calm down and that I'll just bop home and find the spare and it will be all good.

Spoiler Alert: I couldn't find the stupid card.

I tore my room apart. I saved bank statements and old phone bills from a bajillion years ago, but apparently, I had destroyed the card in the shredder before my move. UGH. So, I call the bank. Yes, I need to cancel my card. Yes, I'd like to order another one. I would also very much love it if you could get it to me tomorrow.

Spoiler Alert: It will not arrive tomorrow.

I can't get a new card over the phone because I have moved recently so I have to go into a bank branch to get one. I found a very old ATM card (which I had kept, but not the check card) and I thought "Hey, I'll just use this for a couple days! But can I get a reminder on my PIN?" No, I cannot get a reminder, because I need to go in to a branch in person to do that.

Okay, bank lady, so what exactly CAN you do for me? Nothing? Great. Thanks for that.

Claire and Kim both tried to help me by reciting a number of calming reassurances and helpful suggestions. But what's worse than losing your check card, remembering too late that you shredded the old one, being on hold with the bank, then getting NO resolution? Someone telling you to calm down.

Now I have no lunch for tomorrow (unless people still take checks. Do they? With my luck, probably not). No emergency cash, or access to cash, and I have to go INSIDE a bank tomorrow? UGGGHHHH. It's all just very, very annoying and frustrating.

Meanwhile, on our way home from the mall, I was dropping Perek off at his house. We're listening to the radio, and all of a sudden Perek is on his phone asking "Am I the fifth caller?" I was all "Whaaaa? Who are you talking to?" Turns out, Perek randomly called the radio station we were tuned to and won a CD or something. He's all "Ha! That was lucky!"

Yeah. Reeeeeeal lucky.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Clean It Up (or Don't)

Yay! Internet is back! I've missed you, internet. I shall never take you for granted again!

Anyhoozle, so there are two types of people in the world. There are people like my roommate Claire and my sister Prinna, and then there are people like me. I mean, of course, people who do tons of laundry, and people who do laundry only when we have to start digging into our bag of clothes we WERE going to donate to Goodwill. Claire was out of town this weekend, so the washer/dryer were free as birds and I finally hauled my bags and bags of dirty clothes I have been wearing for the past couple weeks downstairs and washed ‘em real good. Fresh start.

I’ll tell you this. I like my method better, guys. I do. Doesn’t washing clothes too much, like, wear them out? Make ‘em all dull and full of those annoying little hair balls? I’m pretty sure that’s a fact I heard or read or made up somewhere. Plus, not only am I saving water by limiting my laundry-doing, but I’m saving my clothes, people. And any way you slice it, I’m also totally saving so much money, too. Booya.

(To be fair, my sister has three kids who enjoy dirt, spaghetti, and magic markers. All their clothes are dirty the second any of the kids even looks at them.)

Another similarity between Claire and Prinna is that they both also TEACH. Prinna teaches Technical Writing, Claire teaches a GED course. Therefore, in that same spirit of educating the masses, I’ll teach YOU how to laundry like ME instead of them, because…you know, my way is better probably. So here’s a short quiz.

It all boils down to two very important moments. These two moments set apart the compulsives from the easy-goings. The first moment is when you are looking for a pair of jeans, and you see a worn pair on the floor. Do you A) pick them up and throw them in the wash and wait for them to dry before you wear them or B) give ‘em a quick sniff, and if they’ve been worn fewer than 2 times, slip right into those bad boys? The answer, obvs, is B.

The second moment/test comes when you’ve run OUT of something. It might be socks, or towels, or what have you, but EVERYONE runs out of something. This is where it gets tricky. If you run out of towels or socks, do you A) panic and frantically collect your quarters or dryer sheets or whatever and throw together a tiny load of laundry, or do you B) get creative with old (but clean) promotional t-shirts and socks from the $1 aisle at Target? Again, the answer is B. Dur.

The point is this. When it comes to laundry, I don’t get mad, I get creative. That’s the good part of me hoarding clothes. I’ll go ahead and throw together an outfit from eight years ago that still looks fly (btw, I’m bringing back the word “fly”) and as the illustrious Tim Gunn says, I “make it work”. All in the name of saving a couple hours and gallons of water. And I don’t get all uppity when my socks don’t match because I’ll put on two similar but different socks under tall boots and no one’s the wiser. That’s the ticket when it comes to conservation of laundry. If there’s a way to get around putting 4 white socks and a tank top in the washer, I’ll find it. I may not habitually recycle cans and wine bottles, but I am a hero of water conservation. Where do I collect my medal??

The trick is to lower your standards, people. I’ve championed myself on never ironing clothes and loosely interpreting the “dry clean only” instructions. (Because that is, at best, a suggestion.) Also, I’m really getting into understand the power of bleach. Oh, and it also helps to have a compulsive shopping habit, because if I can’t find a clean white tee to wear, rather than wasting a bunch of soap and water and hours of time, I just go and buy a new white tee. That gives me at least a couple days of respite. Geo once ridiculed me for owning no fewer than 12 pairs of jeans, but I can go at least 2 weeks without having to tend to my denim. I’m nothing if not efficient.

I’m just never going to be the person who wears an adorable sweater for 2 hours and then spends two hours cleaning it. I’m not a child who rolled around in the dirt hunting ants. And I don’t sweat out of my armpits (that’s a fact, people). So I just have no reason to spend as much time washing something as I did wearing it.

DING! The dryer just finished and now I’ve got loads of clean clothes to start my week. I counted and it’s 8 pairs of pants, 9 shirts, 4 sweaters, and like 8 pairs of socks (it is, after all, still flip flop weather in MN), among other things. I’m set for awhile. I could, if I’m being honest, make this current batch of laundry, last for a month probably. I’m a creative, resourceful gal, people. And I urge you to follow my lead. Together, we can save time, clothes, and water. Also, laundry detergent is kind of expensive. No more will we be under the thumb of Big Laundry. We can change this world, one load at a time. Say it with me: If it ain’t dirty, it’s still purdy!