Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Heart Attcat Part Deux

I know you're all verrrrry concerned about my quality of sleep last night after suffering through the Kittypocalypse, so I'll tell you. I slept fine. To the best of my knowledge, no cats entered my room or bed. I set an elaborate series of traps on the stairs that would alert me to the pitter patter of little paws, and all of them seemed to be in tact this morning.

Here's the thing. After making a few calls for support last night before bed, I came up mostly short. Claire (maybe rightfully so) was primarily worried about the welfare of the cats.

I texted Kim to see if she wanted to come sleep over one night so the cats could sleep with her (she likes cats) and keep me safe from the glowing eyes of feline blood lust. Instead of taking me up on that awesome offer, she replied, "I will pray for you." Sarcastically. Then I said that the cat gates were useless and I was scared. She said, "Make them higher!" I was all, "Maybe tomorrow." Then she's all, "If you don't, then they will come up." HELPFUL! I begged "But HOW could they have opened the door, though?!" She said "Well, one of them has thumbs." Which is kind of true (This is seriously my favorite part about this cat, though).

Anyway, after that conversation, I rocked back and forth on my bed. I was scared and nervous and tired from building all the alarms on my stairs. So I called Geo, looking for some of that unconditional love a couple is supposed to have.

"You probably just locked that one cat IN your room when you locked the other one OUT, dummy." Curse you, logical reasoning! Then he said, "You've got to relax. They are CATS. What's the worst that can happen?"

The cats sleep on my face and suffocate me. The cats eat my blankie and puke it up and I have to clean it. The cats poop on the floor and I slip on it in the morning and smack my face on the banister knocking out my teeth. The cats lick my toothbrush and I develop an insatiable hunger for salmon. The cats learn how to use my toilet and I have to wait for them to be done and then am super late for work.

Gee, I don't know, Geo, I haven't really thought about it.

Anyways, my dear, wonderful Facebook pals weren't much better. First, my aunt Sarah posted a couple Photoshopped pictures of me with evil cats and even one with a cat opening a door.

Then all the cat lovers helpfully pointed out that, apparently, cats can do everything, including opening doors. Oh, and cats are allegedly "AWESOME!" And maybe they are, but for a NON-CAT person, cats are cats. They poop in sand and don't care much for my brand of humor. (I tried singing them a song tonight about how we can be friends using whisk as a microphone and a giant sock as a hat, and they were non-plussed.)

But people were basically like "Pharon, obviously cats can do anything. They can build a house. They can write a book. They can knit a sweater with cute kitty hieroglyphics on it. They can clean wine stains out of bed sheets. They can solve complex math equations. They can build a rocket and fly to the moon where they can also rebuild an entire civilization where anyone can get married and everyone has a job."

Dudes? Cats are cats. Sure, they are smart...FOR PETS. Listen, I'm a realist. I pretty much guarantee everyone that the teacup piglet I will be buying this summer will not be able to open doors. Or knit. But it will be cute enough to get me out of speeding tickets.

Meanwhile, I just sat and tried to get the cats to come sit with me so we could have a Cat Chat about proper bedtime etiquette. They wanted nothing to do with me. RUDE. (Was it the song?!)

After about an hour of trying to impress the cats so they won't claw me in my sleep, I realized that they really couldn't care less about me. They shake their heads after I pet them. When I ask them questions like "Hey boys, did the mail come?!" They hold up tiny little swear fingers at me and stroll out of the room while they fart in my general direction. Okay, guys, I get it. Geez.

Whatever. For the time being, we are all perfectly happy not hanging out together. I better get ready for bed, though. Despite their obvious indifference towards me, I have a whole bunch of bells and chimes and nail polish towers to build on my staircase. Just in case.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Heart Attcat

To say that last night's sleep was bad would be an enormous understatement. Allow me to paint you a picture:

[Scene: My (still very clean) Bedroom. Players: Me. Lighting: Subtle glow from a television tuned to Friends rerun.]
Yawn! Well, I've taken my contacts out, pretended to brush my teeth, and slipped in to my sexiest fleece pants and paint-splattered sorority shirt. Looks like it's time to crawl into my lovely Kate Spade sheets for a few winks.

Don't forget to turn the sleep timer on the TV on. Don't want to be awoken from my dreamy slumber to the sound of that infomercial that I can't help but watch every time I see it. Of COURSE I have anxiety! And YES I will call that 800 number to get my free brochure in the mail!


Holy balls I'm cold! Why is it so cold up here?! Doesn't heat rise? Check the thermostat on my alarm clock. Oh, really? It's 53.4 degrees in here? No wonder I'm so cold! Ugh! I've been sleeping with my door to the downstairs floor open so that the heat can come up, so what gives?

I'll check the door. Okay, it's open, and my high-tech cat gate is safely protecting my room from the two cats we are taking care of.


Hmm. Everything appears to be in order. But I'm soooo coooooold! Ooh! I'll just plug this space heater in next to my bed! Ahhh...there we go. I can feel my toes getting warmer.

[10 minutes later]
I gotta turn this space heater off. Don't these things start fires, like, ALL THE TIME?! Aw man! But I'm still so cold. Well, I'll just throw on another layer of fleece and get back to the business of sleep. Okay...back...to....Zzzzzzzzzzzz...

Hmmm. Something's weird. I haven't opened my eyes yet, but I feel like, I don't know. I feel like someone's watching me or something.


(Allow me to remind you good folks that my intense fear of cats stems from childhood. I had my first sleepover at CLAIRE'S HOUSE when I was about 6 years old. I woke up because I couldn't breathe only to discover her cat was sleeping ON MY FACE. When I freaked out, so did the cat. He hissed and screeched at me. I've been afraid of cats stealing my soul ever since.)

Okay, Pharon. Try to not wet the bed from your panicked crying. Calm down. Breathe. HEY CAT! GET OFF MY PILLOW!

The cat jumps off the bed and runs under my bed. I fumble around in the dark, blind from no contacts, and swing my cute new zebra-print mini broom lightly under the bed. The cat runs out. Hops back on my bed. I start sobbing. GET OFF MY BED! PLEASE, DEVIL CAT, JUST GET OFF MY BED.

Finally, I chase the cat downstairs and watch as he effortlessly leaps over my carefully-constructed gate. I run downstairs after the cat, and slam the door closed behind it. No more cats tonight. I'll put on my winter jacket if I have to.

Finally, back to sleep....Zzzz...

BLEEP! BLEEP! BLEEP! Oh great, time to wake up. Okay, let's just rub my eyes, stretch, and then slowly adjust to the light in my room. Ahhh, there we g...WTF?! THE OTHER CAT IS IN MY ROOM. Clearly, the cats have developed the ability to open door handles.

So I started the day with a good ol' fashioned cry in the shower while I tried to scrub off the feeling that I have grown cat hair overnight and attempt to come to terms with the fact that I have somehow become the Leader of the Cats. Meeeyowza.

Someone get me that infomercial 800 number...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Potty Mouth

Ever since I was little, I have been a giggler. My family LOVES to remind me that all it would take to make me blush and giggle when I was young was the mere mention of the two words: Toilet Paper. Someone would say that, and I'd just laugh and laugh and laugh. I thought it was so...naughty. It was something you used only behind closed doors. Something that you flushed into a TOILET. It was all so...tawdry.

Anyway, now there are terrible commercials on for Charmin that are trying to make the thing that you wipe your butt with then throw away seem cute. Those stupid, animated bears? The one where there are chunks of toilet paper stuck to that one bear's butt? GROSS! Geez, Charmin. I was pretty sure anything animated was fun, but not this.

Not this, Charmin.

Toilet paper is not something to be discussed over dinner. It's something to secretly giggle about while you hide under the kitchen table. Even now, as I read that back, I am blushing.

I remember the first time I had to buy toilet paper for the bathroom Geo and I shared before we started dating. I was STRESSED. That's, like, a very intimate purchase that could have really made me look silly.

If I got the Super Strength kind where the commercials show someone dropping marbles or something on wet t.p. (um, gross! Is that supposed to represent waste?!) he'd think I was, like, a man or a robot whose butt was made out of steel wool.

If I got generic, I'd be a cheapo who treats hygiene like a waste of time (no pun intended).

If I got super thick, soft 12-ply stuff, I'd be way high-maintenance and likely spend an hour a day unclogging the toilet, all while pretending to be brushing my teeth.

It was really stressful, guys. So, I chose what I thought was a happy medium. It was only years later that Geo told me "Man, you spend a lot of money on toilet paper." Turns out my Happy Medium kind was crazy expensive. Probably because it IS the only kind men and women can share without judgment. I was too busy over-thinking the purchase that money became, apparently, no object.

I had to go to the store tonight for lots of things, including toilet paper. I started giggling almost immediately when I saw the words "Bath Tissue" over the aisle, because - hello! - it's really just toilet paper! Hehehehehehehehe! So I'm standing there, trying to figure out what kind to buy. Not the stupid bear commercial kind, that's for sure. Did I want cheap? Quantity? Quality? So many decisions! Stupid (yet still hilarious) toilet paper! There was a good deal on this giant 24-pack, but I just couldn't bring myself to drop that huge thing in my cart (so...many...puns...). People would be like "Whoa! Someone's got big plans for the week." I just couldn't. I'm still a lady, you guys.

I think I'm going to start buying toilet paper online from a store that delivers it to me in a discreet brown package (once again, no pun intended) so I don't have to go through a red-faced giggling fit while others check out my grocery items and make their own deductions.

Throughout the course of this post, I have been giggling non-stop. All the puns and dirty words that have come to mind, which I have NOT written down, have me doubled over in fits of laughter while Claire has been trying to watch TV in the same room. She is quite annoyed and just gave me one of the meanest stink-eyes ever. Pun INTENDED! ZANGA!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

MY Party Anthem

So, today at work while I was type-typing away, I was listening to Pandora. I was bopping around from Eminem to Ellie Goulding stations until I landed on my Party Rock station. I never work harder than when I'm fighting the urge to get up and do the Double Dig 'Em on my desk. But, the songs - while very catchy - are terrible. The words are bad. The story is non-existent. So! I'm going write my own party rock anthem. There is no discernible tune, so just use your imagination.

Pharon's Party Rock Song: Take Your Pants Off (And Switch 'Em for Fleece)

It's cold! (Cold!) And I'm hot! (HOT!)
I'm everything your boring girlfriend's not! (NOT!)
I drink! (Drink!) And do shots! (SHOTS!)
And I'm wearing fleece pants that I bought! (BOUGHT!)

Let's go out, guys, or stay in!
Bars are too expensive, and I've got cheap gin,
Dance Central! Begin!
I got mad skills and you're too thin.

Let's rock! (ROCK!) Not too much! (MUCH!)
You can check my sweatshirt out, but you can't touch! (TOUCH!)

I drink wine! (WINE!) From a box! (BOX!)
No entrance to this party with your Crocs! (CROCS!)

Now listen up jerks, 'cause it's listenin' time,
I only drink vodka with a little squirt of lime.
And if you try to step up, if you try to flirt...I'm....
Gonna mess your rep in a victimless crime.

They say my party's whack and I got no clout,
I say I'll see you in the Title Bout!
I don't play nice, I don't work out,
I'm the coolest chick ever, no doubt!

Let's rock! (ROCK!) But not too much! (MUCH!)
You can check my sweatshirt out, but you can't touch! (TOUCH!)

I drink wine! (WINE!) From a box! (BOX!)
No entrance to this party with your Crocs! (CROCS!)

[Bridge, sung by probably Nicki Minaj]
Now my roommates are upstairs and they're tryin' to sleep,
So when you go up to there to pee make sure you creep.
Not a peep...
Not a peep...
Not an eeny weeny mutha&#($**# peep...

Now let's rock! (ROCK!) And be cool! (COOL!)
Let's dance! (DANCE!) And then drool! (DROOL!?)
I rock hard (HARD!) And I'm hot! (HOT!)
I got the best party anthem in the spot! (THE SPOT!)

[Fade out]
The spot...
The spot...
Pull up your fleece socks and let's rock...
Let's rock...
Then take a nap...
Take a nap...
Take a super long post-party nap...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dear Crabby

So, last week, I asked you all to send in some Dear Crabby questions about hygiene. Some were straight up TMI and I didn't even know how to BEGIN to answer the one about the toe hair. Blech! Anyway, let's dig into the ol' mailbag and see what we've got.

Dear Crabby,

So, I'm not sure that this technically qualifies as "hygiene"-related, but I really wanna know if anyone has any advice. Okay, it's not like I DON'T like to shower. It's just such a PROCESS in the winter because of my hair. I can cut like 20 minutes out of my routine in the summer because I let my hair air dry. But in the winter, it's all hair drying and product and curling. It's a serious PAIN. Any suggestions?

Dry Spell

Hey Dry Spell,
You are right. Taking the time to do your hair in the winter is terrible. It's tedious and time-consuming. Sometimes, I'll skip a shower altogether just to avoid the 20 minutes of hair work. But I think it's just inevitable, unfortch. I mean, you could risk the elements with a wet head, but it's probably not a good idea. There was a girl in middle school who went outside with wet hair, and it was freezing cold out so her hair froze. When she ran her fingers through her hair, all her hair snapped off. Aw snap! So, either take your shower at night before bed and sleep in, or just deal with it for another couple months. Sorry!

Dear Crabby,

Is it ever okay for a girl to trim her nose hair? Totally hypothetical question, I swear...

Thank you!
-Not a Hypothetical Question

Hey there, NAHQ,
Uh, I've truly never known a girl who has to trim her NOSE HAIR. I know chicks who have to bleach facial or arm hair, but never before have I met a girl with nose hair. Nasty! It's probably natural or something, but I just don't know what to tell you. I suppose you'd HAVE to trim it, unless you want other people to see it, right? Maybe you could just sniff some Nair up there or something. Maybe you should see about some laser removal. Can they get a laser up a nose though? I don't know. Best of luck to you, though. Sorry, but it sounds pretty unfortunate...

Dear Crabby,

Um, so is there a right way to hide smelly feet? I've been reading your blog long enough to know that you don't sweat out of your armpits, and neither do I! (I thought I was the only one!) But I think all that sweat drains to my feet. Does this happen to you? I just get super embarrassed when I have to go to a friend's house and take my shoes off. What can I do?!

Thanks so much!
Stink Foot

Hey Stink Foot,
First of all, I'm impressed that you know about my awesomely dry armpits! I had to search long and hard to figure out where I had written that, BTW. Anyway, I am familiar with your problem, dear reader. Stinky feet are one of my top five most hated stinks (preceded only by, eh hem, human gas, fish and vomit). And almost nothing is worse than publicly stinky feet. I've briefly googled your question and found some good tips. One: You could just always wear socks. Two: Buy your first thing of deodorant and slick it on your rotten soles. Three: Soak your feet in tea. I have no clue how that works, or if it works, but apparently Oprah does it. I also don't know where you're going to get gallons of Earl Grey, but that's up to you. Four: If you do have smelly feet in public, be the first to address it. Then blame it on a guy nearby. They won't put up too much of a fuss, because chances are good that his feet and/or body stink worse than rotten eggs cracked over a dirty diaper. Good luck, you smelly, smelly girl!

Well that was, uh, gross. Especially the feet one. Blech! Anyway, thanks for all your dirty, nasty, stinky questions! I'm sorry I didn't get to them all, but I'll keep some in the hopper for future weeks. In the meantime, let me know if you have anything better to offer in the way of advice. And as always, the answers to your prayers are only an email away: pharonsquare@gmail.com. Smell ya later! (Especially YOU, Stink Foot!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's all Political

Well I'm just the luckiest gal in the world. I have somehow managed to squirm my way into hanging out with some of the most awesome friends from old jobs ever. I had a happy hour with some chicks from my last job. I had waaaaaaaaaaaay too much fun. Planned weeks ago, the happy hour was good times.

Anyway, so I got to hang out with old friends who let me openly discuss my limited understanding of politics. Then we made fun of Newt Gingrich, because seriously? At one point, he looked like Dwight Schrute. But then I came home and got all patriotic watching the State of the Union address. It was very rousing. There were all kinds of extraneous applause and very long camera shots of Mrs. Clinton with her headband.

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Then Geo called. After asking a few basic math questions ("Why doesn't everyone just pay their fair share? Why do bajillionaires pay fewer taxes than me? What is addition?") we got into a discussion. Of the political kind.

Cutting to the chase, we disagreed on some points. I was all "La la la! Flowers and ponies and fun!" Meanwhile, Geo was all "Realism and logics and economics." We disagreed. I thought people should give money to those who need it and Geo cleverly pointed out that loads of people abuse that system and would prefer to give money to those who DESERVE it.

All I know is that there was a lot of talking. Words. Phrases. Nothing having to do with him giving me free money. Ruuuuude.

The conclusion I came to tonight is that the politics you believe in are only as good as the people around you. If you're smart, you listen to other viewpoints. If you're dumb, you stop talking to anyone with a different viewpoint than you and only hang out with people who agree with you. Yes, it's easy to stand and clap when everyone else stands and claps, but sometimes you take in loads of insight from others and you take a second to sit and think about what you really believe it.

I believe in good people who do good things. I believe that we should be forgiving, but not taken advantage of. I believe that every person has a right to be happy, as long as it's not at the direct expense of another person.

I also believe in wine and carbohydrates. I believe that people who spend too much time on their appearance need a hobby. I believe that Smurfs could be real, if we'd all just believe in them. I believe that people without cable are just seriously missing out.

Most of all, I believe that people, in general, are pretty okay. While I kind of hate most people, I at least give them credit. Those of us who don't go all effing crazy are really just awesome to me...

Monday, January 23, 2012

When It's Drafty, We Get Crafty

Hey Squares, do me a solid, woudja? Take a look at the picture below and tell me what you see:

It's a window, right? Yeah, that's what a n00b would say. Well if you look reeeeeeally close, you'll maybe notice that I have covered that window in plastic. You can't notice it because I'm apparently freaky-good at the process.

I've never personally applied the plastic to windows, but it's what Minnesotans DO in the winter to keep the cold from gushing in drafty window frames and eating our skin while we sleep. Geo did it to our humongous windows in our old house, but without a boy around, I stepped up. I went to a HARDWARE store, MEASURED (sort of) the windows, TAPED the windows, STUCK the plastic on, and then - for reasons I still don't really get - ran my hair dryer all over the thing to somehow make it nice and sleek. Yeah, I'm basically a dude now. Where do I check my emotional hangups?

I used to stick socks around my window frames to fill in any gaps. Well, socks or pairs of underwear. Festive!

In my old office, the heat would regularly turn off on the coldest days of the year. Coincidence or clever money-saving technique - who's to say? Anyway, during those days, I'd dig in my desk drawer for a spare pair of socks I kept in there for unknown reasons and put them on my hands to warm them up. Sock hands!

My point is that clothing can be used for lots of things in the winter. This morning, before I left for work, I had to switch my boots to kick off all the snow under the wheels before using my coat sleeve to wipe off my windows. Oh! Then while I was changing my boots in the car while stopped at a stop light, I saw a car. ON FIRE. Minnesota is sooooo awesome.

Anyway, earlier tonight, my room was a brisk 62 degrees. And as much as I am a fan of the Unmentionables Window treatment, the plastic seems to be working. It is now...let's see...it's now 67.8 degrees!! Looks like it's time to take my sock mittens off and put my shorts on!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Girl Crush

Last night I hung out with Kim and our friends Tony and Anna. Tony mentioned something about Nelly Furtado, and I immediately gushed. I've had a girl crush on Miss Furtado since she was "like a bird". I loved everything about her. I joined her fan club, read in-depth backgrounds on her songs and even have had a framed poster of her in my living room. I learned her songs word-for-word, even when they were in Portuguese.

I dragged Ally and Kim to a Nelly Furtado concert. I bought a t-shirt with her face on it and then we shoved our way to the foot of the stage when the concert started. She looked at me right in the eye during "Forca" and my jaw dropped and I forgot the rest of the words. Then, during "Say It Right", she reached into the audience and came thisclose to my fingertips and I literally cried. I was a hot mess.

That was a few years ago. Now? Well, I've grown up some and my tastes have changed. Now I have a serious girl crush on this vlogger I stumbled onto last weekend. Her name is Jenna Marbles. I either want to BE Jenna Marbles or be BEST FRIENDS with Jenna Marbles. Either way, she seems like a great time and I laugh hysterically during pretty much every video she's ever posted.

There's just something like, I dunno, shiny and fun about her. From what I can gather, she's a part-time go-go dancer, she has two adorable dogs, and she's super pretty.

So, basically, exactly like me, right? Whatever.

For realsies, she and I DO have a few things in common. She claims she's bad at putting on makeup, she was broke as a joke, used to have a roommate she hated, drinks Coors Light, and she did a whole vlog on things she'd rather do than clean her room.

Guh! It's like we're twins!

She also swears like a sailor and can be super raunchy, which I just really love in a person.

Now, I'll probably NOT sit and memorize the words to her vlogs or hang a poster of her in my living room, but I'm definitely crushing hard. It's really hard to find a truly funny girl who isn't afraid to make a fool out of herself and look silly, and STILL be a girlie girl, so when I find someone like that I get inspired.

Yeah, so, I totally love this girl. She apparently just moved to LA, so I'm sure she'll like have her own TV show or clothing line or action figure or something soon. And then she'll probably stop vlogging and I'll have to find a new girl to spazz over. Until then, though, I encourage anyone who enjoys hysterical things to check her out. Maybe not at work with your speakers up, because seriously...the girl can drop an F-bomb like it's nobody's business. And that, dear friends, is why I'm gaga for Marbles.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


There are few things that Minnesota companies get right. Yes, there are a few exceptions, like The Worst Company Ever: Federated Insurance company (but I'll digress...) But for the most part, me likey companies that at least start in Minnesota. I think it's the return policies. Target, for instance, has greatest return policy on the planet. And probably on other planets. I don't know, I've never been to Saturn. I assume it's tops there too, though.

Anyway, a close second - when it comes to returns, anyway - is Caribou Coffee. (Sure, it's not technically a Minnesota company anymore, but the first location opened in my hometown, so it has always been home to me.)

Why does a COFFEE SHOP need a good return policy, you ask? Because they SUCK at labeling their products. Allow me to elaborate.

Last night, I was cranky and cold and just wanted coffee. I was out of K Cups and my veins were itchin' for a fix. So, I braved the snow and drove the 8 blocks to the Caribou for my K Cups. Quick as a cat, I located my chosen flavor and felt better already. I breezed home and ripped open the box to prepare for the morning. What the...?


Gross! When someone NEEDS coffee, there is no worse substitute than DECAF coffee. It's like trying to get a buzz on non-alcoholic beer. Gross.

I was irate at my stupidity. But I took a second look at the box. It was, like alllllll their other K Cups, a simple brown with some general coffee bean info that's the same on pretty much every box. But then I looked at the label a little closer. Here's what the REGULAR coffee looks like:

Here is what the DECAF label looks like:

Are you KIDDING me, Caribou?! Am I supposed to play Photo Hunt with these labels to find the hidden differences?! No person, who is in desperate need for coffee, will see that super tiny line that says "This is not the coffee you want". And people either REALLY NEED REGULAR COFFEE, or DEFINITELY DON'T WANT REGULAR COFFEE. There is no in-between. The decaf label should say DECAF in giant letters that are on fire or something.

So, I dramatically put the opened box in one of those fancy grocery store bags (I don't want them to think I'm a freeloader!) and headed back out to the 'Bou. Here's the conversation at the counter:

ME: Hi. I'm sorry, I'm an idiot and was in here last night for K Cups. I opened the box and discovered I got decaf. Mama don't do decaf...
GUY: Oh God, I'm sorry. That tiny line is so useless! Go grab the right one and we'll just switcheroo.
ME: Are you sure? I opened the box.
GUY: You're certainly not the first person to do that...plus, I'm assuming you didn't drink any of them. Because, you know, it's DECAF.
ME: Yay! Let's get married!

Anyway, so the guy let me make the switch. No muss, no fuss. It was all I could do to not open the K Cups and eat the coffee raw on my way home.

So that's that. A very long, drawn-out story about how Caribou ruined one day and redeemed themselves the next. So, thanks for the great Customer Service, Caribou, but seriously. RE. THINK. YOUR. LABELING.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dear Crabby

Well what a wonderful coincidence! It's time for Dear Crabby and I'm so cranky from starting a diet. I'm so hungry I could eat brown rice. Okay, not really...but still. I'm hungry and cold and cranky. With that said, let's answer some dumb questions.

Dear Crabby,

How do I tell my girlfriend that she makes our dog look like an idiot when she puts a sweater on him? I mean, yes, it's cold. But he's a lab. And a DOG. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but he HATES it. He squirms when she puts it on, he's always itching at it, and I could swear that last time he even shed a tear. Every time she puts that fuzzy sweater on him, I feel so bad for him that I really think I should say something. Suggestions?

Person for Ethical and Tasteful Attire

I'm with you 100%. Listen, I love dogs as much as the next guy. And SURE I'll want to have photo sessions for my teacup piglet when I get one, but I will be entirely aware that my pet is not a person. Dogs are not people. Do people not understand that? A dog is not a baby. They eat their own puke and poop out plastic bags and crayons. Unless you also have to change a pet's diaper, you should not dress them. Oh, wait, unless it's one of those tiny dogs that shivers all the time. They very well may need an extra layer. I say that you hire a coworker or someone she doesn't know and have them come over and pretend they are a dog whisperer. They can be all "Oh, no. He's just not happy. He clearly is upset with patronizing way you seem to treat him less than the fierce killing machine he so wants to believe he is. The sweaters are hurting his spirit." Chicks love crap like that. Then voila! You're not the bad guy, and your poor pupper will gain back some self respect.

Dear Crabby,
So, the other day I was using my boyfriend's computer. I literally accidentally clicked into his email and saw these emails from some girl he works with. I read them and didn't see anything too incriminating, but I'm worried about him emailing her so much. Most of the emails were about work, but then there were some about Happy Hours and stuff. Oh, AND he never even mentioned me ONCE in the emails! I'm really worried. Should I be?


Hey Snoopy,
Um, okay, see this is why I password-protect my stuff. I don't need Geo seeing that I spent hours looking at jewelry porn at Tiffany.com or put a picture of myself on a makeover site to see what I'd look like 20 pounds lighter with Kate Beckinsale's hair style. My guess is you snooped and now you're paying the price. I noticed you said that not only were the emails totally innocent, but you seem more upset that he didn't talk about you. Women are vain. We enjoy knowing that the world revolves around us. Any evidence to the contrary disappoints us wholly. I'm NOT a snooper. I refuse to learn Geo's passwords (although I suspect I know some of them). It's not that I'm afraid I'll see something I'll misinterpret, it's more that I believe I WON'T FIND ONE THING ABOUT ME. I like to assume he Facebook-stalks me and chats about how awesome I am incessantly. I like to imagine there are entire email archives just bragging about me and his entire history is full of websites he's visited searching for presents for me. But guess what, lady. NONE OF THAT IS THERE. And I don't feel like being disappointed by confirming my suspicions. My point is: STOP SNOOPING! If you're worried about him cheating on you, do what any red-blooded woman would do and hire a private detective to spy on him in person. Sheesh.

Dear Crabby,
What's the difference between making small talk and flirting? Just curious.

Thank you,
Chatty Cathy

Sup Chatty,
The difference between small talk and flirting is almost nothing. Both should be non-offensive. Both usually happen in a bar or in a bus shelter or some similarly glamorous setting. Both take a special skill set that horribly awkward people do not possess. And neither of them should involve the story about your short stint in jail when you got caught peeing in the dumpster behind the library after you drank a whole bottle of peppermint schnapps. Other than that, I think it's essentially the same. Why??

Okay, that's it. Go ahead and tell me where I've missed the mark (if I have, which I totally haven't, jerks). For next week, let's switch it up. I think we should theme-it-up. Send me only your questions about...hmm...hygiene. Yeah. Let's try that. Send your dirty, ugly, stinky questions to pharonsquare@gmail.com and I'll be sure to help you out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Stupid Ode to Stupid Brown Rice

Hello brown rice,
You are not delicious. You taste like a shoe. Your "mouth feel" is that of twice-chewed sweat socks. While filling and "healthy", you offer no enjoyment to the event that is dining. Matching you with chicken does less than nothing for me, as your bland tastes do nothing but cancel each other out.

What happens when you add nothing with nothing? You get nothing.

That, Brown Rice, is how I feel about you.

I tried to eat you for dinner. I boiled you and watched you get all fluffy. I overcooked you, to be sure, but I may have improved your taste. And when I dressed you with a cooked chicken breast and chicken broth with mushrooms, your taste was only minimally improved.

Oh! How I tried to be psyched about you! How I would dream about supermodels who love you and live on your mushy goodness! "I shall feast like a model and my body will rejoice!" I thought.

And when I scooped you onto my plate, onto the place my delicious pasta used to live, I felt hopeful and confident! I shall eat nothing but brown rice and I shall be skinny!

But you tasted like a wet cardboard box. Luckily, you filled me up so thoroughly that I had no need to finish what was left on my plate. I scooped you into the drain with restrained glee.

But oh! You would not be so easily tossed away. With so much left in the pan, I unfortunately had no choice but to store the rest of you in a Tupperware, and you will sit in the refrigerator until tomorrow 'round lunch time when I shall meet you again.

And yet...and yet. Your nutritional value is second-to-none. Despite the high carbohydrate count, you offer me vitamins and nutrients that once I could only get in the form of eight pieces of pizza and a side of multi-vitamin.

Oh you strange, strange grain. You are so gross. So very, very gross. But as Tyra tells her stupid wanna-be models, "It's all brown rice and chicken and vegetables if you wanna lose lbs".

You know what I like more than eating you, Brown Rice? Everything. Well, not going to the gym, but pretty much everything else.

I wonder where our relationship will be in one week, Brown Rice. Will I have sworn off you and your empty promises to my taste buds forever, or will I have succumbed to your healthy charm and tasteless wit? You are easier to make than pasta, and that irony has not escaped me. Even when I make you wrong, you turn out so, so right.

You give, and you give, and you give. And it is all I can do to not throw you up. Especially when my roommate makes and eats buttery crescent rolls that melt on your tongue...how shall you live up to that? You cannot. And that's why I will likely be a happier person feasting on French fries than attempting to keep down the disgusting mushiness.

But lo! I will be skinny again. And because you are apparently a thing that skinny people "eat", I too shall eat. And I shall never be satisfied again!!!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Talent Show

Sorry about the no blog thing last night. I could try and come up with an elaborate lie about how a velociraptor tore through the power lines and ate my computer and phone so I had no way to post anything, but the truth is...I was out. What started as a fun afternoon with my friend Ally watching football games ended very late at night dancing at a crazy-fun gay bar with Ally and one of her friends. So, I just couldn't get to the blog. Also, it kind of felt like Saturday night anyways because I had the day off work today. Thanks, MLK Jr!

So okay, that's that. My weekend was very laid back. I got a sick deal on some new boots:

And gave my mom the birthday present I made her:

She loved it, obvs, because it's super cute. So yeah, it was my mom's birthday. I hung out with my parents and brother and sister all day on Saturday and just chillaxed (do people still say that word??) It was great. Then we watched the Miss America pageant. We sort of stumbled onto it by accident but then got sucked in.

Oh my gah, you guys. They apparently brought back the "talent" portion of the competition. And I'm sorry, but if I had like 15 years to work on one party trick I would hopefully get to perform in front of a national audience, I would try and make it GOOD. But these chicks were terrible. They "sang" and "danced" and melodramatically played the piano. It was just a hot mess. After years and years of American Idol and America's Got Talent, I am fully aware of what a GOOD performance should look like. And it wasn't on that Miss America stage.

Also, I'm really sick of Minnesota never having someone win Miss America. They don't even make it to the top 10. The Minnesota chick is always in the back of the dance routines and you just never even remember what she looks like because she is so unremarkable. What's so great about Texas and California? Why do they ALWAYS have a spot in the top? Is natural sunlight year-round really that big of a factor?

Some girl from Wisconsin won. She butchered an opera song for her talent. If it were me, I'd probably organize a closet or build something or dance to a Lady Gaga song like I did at the bar last night for my talent. Sure it's not exactly Les Mis or anything, but I'd at least be super good at it. And I'd definitely need to blow away the judges after they inevitably throw up during my abysmal performance in the swim suit competition.

Whatever, it's not like anyone from Minnesota ever wins anyways.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lose Weight! Get a Free Shirt!

I was reading the news a couple days ago (a.k.a. InStyle magazine) and I read about an interesting study (a.k.a. informal poll on the Internet). They interviewed a population of intelligent (idiotic) women about which they would rather have: $10,000 or to lose 10 pounds instantly and keep it off.

A large majority of the idiots women said they'd rather have...the MONEY.

What!? I think I read that wrong because what person (besides a homeless person or me 6 months ago) would choose the money? Were all the women in the poll already at their high school weight? Because I'm not. I choose the weight, Alex.

Crap. The options aren't real? Lame. Well, I made a very important decision today just in case. See, I flippantly agreed to take a trip with Geo and his parents in March to Palm Springs. (Pay no attention to the fact that I thought Palm Springs was in Florida, BTW.) I totally am psyched for the trip, but Geo keeps referring to it as "the desert" and I'm pretty sure my full-length down coat will not be appropriate. Neither will fleece pants. Flurgggg.

So it's recently sunk in that I'll have to show some skin if I don't want to overheat in "the desert". Therefore, the additional layers/weight I have recently put on in the past few weeks will be totally useless! Rude! Ugh. Well, I've got like 2 months before the trip, and 2 months to lose, oh, I don't know...a bajillion pounds.

My important decision today was to agree to attend boot camp workout classes with Claire for a month. You got me again, LivingSocial coupons... We start tomorrow, and I'm pretty scared. "Boot camp" sounds scary. My brother went to Boot Camp (the real kind), and had to learn how to sleep standing up, which sounds, like, totally more intense than I ready for. If I wasn't led to believe that we would be getting a free Boot Camp t-shirt out of the deal, I would probably pull out altogether.

Anyway, so I did that and then I did NOT eat a handful of shredded cheese for dinner and instead ate a pickle. Overall, I'd consider it a winning day. Also, I'm pretty sure that just deciding to work out tomorrow took off at least 3 or 4 pounds already, so I'm off to a great start already!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dear Crabby

After a lovely Skype date with my bff Madeline tonight, my spirits have been lifted considerably. Yay for great friends! Anyway, on our Skype date, she casually mentioned "I'm so glad we are having this Skype date! I just hope you don't ask me for help with your Hello Crabby thing." Well fine, lady. No help needed this week...I've got all the answers.

Dear Crabby,
I've been invited to go on a trip with a friend of mine. Well, "friend" is maybe too strong. We know each other through another friend. Anyway, I really need a vacay, but I'm not sure I want to spend one with a girl I barely know. What do you think I should do?

Thank you!
-To Get Away (or Get Away From Me)

Hey HEY Hey, Get Away!
I personally wouldn't spend my hard-earned vacation days basking in the sun with someone I don't know or love. Unless there are lots of margaritas involved, in which case I could probably handle anything. I suppose you could try and get another pal to join you to break up any tension that may arise, too. My advice, though, is if you aren't pumped about a vacation, it may not be worth taking. Unless, again, there is endless access to delicious margaritas.

Dear Crabby,
Who do you think would win in a fight between Angelina Jolie and Nicolas Cage?

-Lesser of Two Evils

Well, Lesser of Two Evils, there are a number of issues that one must address here. One: In the fight, can Angelina use her mystic vampire powers to drain the life's blood from her competition? Can Nicolas Cage use the glare from the sun off his bald spot to blind his? Also: What is the fight graded on? If it's based purely on my contempt for them, I fear it would be a tie. Same for if it's based on horrible accents in movies. I guess if it's based purely on on strength and physical prowess, I'd put my money on Cage winning that match. Jolie may get exhausted too quickly because she's malnourished and underfed, and would probably get distracted by trying to buy a local baby.

Dear Crabby,
Did you try the VO5?? Did it work? You've piqued my curiosity and now I'm considering trying it out too! Thanks heaps, friend!

Very Optimistic at 5 pm.

Hello VO5, (I caught on to your moniker quite quickly, but it doesn't make any sense, and I fear you spent too much time working on it. Sorry, it's not working...)
No, I never tried it. From the feedback on my Facebook page, I learned that it can make your hair all greasy and gross. Also, you have to travel back in time to the 80s to find it. Oh, and then you like heat it up on a stove. A STOVE! Sorry, I prefer my hair care to take place in the bathroom. So no, I haven't tried it. I am now on the hunt for a similar product that isn't quite so, uh, complicated. Anyone who has ideas should let me know.

If you want to help me fix my hair, or feel the need to fix my advice, slap your comments in the Comments. I'll be sure to read them and then berate them behind your back. Meanwhile, anyone with questions or concerns that can only be answered by a blogger should email pharonsquare@gmail.com and pour your heart out. Holla back, y'all...(Madeline, that one was for you.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let's Forget This Ever Happened

God bless Kim. She came over tonight to explain, at length, that I needed to get over myself and take off World's Biggest Coat and stop whining all the time. We had some girl talk and all was good.

Oh, then we watched Tabitha's Something Or Other Take Over where a salon (in this case, it was one in Minneapolis) has this crazy woman come in and she tells them how terrible they are at their business.

Note to self: Never get my hair cut at a place that needed an intervention.

As if that weren't lesson enough, I learned that one of Kim's friends told her that basically I'm no fun this week. Wait, you DON'T like reading about the crazy woman buying VO5?? Therefore, I need to go to sleep. I have officially freaked people out and now strangers are worried about me. So, I will take a wee 7 hour rest and come back strong with Dear Crabby tomorrow.

Deal??? Deal.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hot Oil for a Hot Mess

Add this to the list of Days Where I Reach New Lows. I woke up cranky and threw myself into work. It felt better. On my way home, however, I remembered that after 3 weeks of dining out with Geo, I had seriously neglected my grocery shopping. I almost drove into a pole to avoid having to run to Target. So I needed to focus on buying something dumb, random and fun while I was there.

Okay, VO5 Hot Oil, today is your day.

I absent-mindedly threw a bunch of healthy food that will surely go bad before I actually eat it into my cart. I was delaying the weird purchase to build suspense. I strolled through the cereal aisle twirling my dry, burned hair. Sorry, Mom, I know how much you HATE that habit of mine. "Pharon, it makes you look silly."

See, a couple weeks ago I tried to look pretty and straighten my hair. As usual, my attempt at beauty failed miserably. Guess what! My straightening iron is either broken or the devil. As I pulled it through my rats-nesty hair, I smelled something, um, not so pretty.

I had burned the front section of my hair. It instantly spiraled up in coarse little spindly strands that hung angrily in my face.

Thus the need for the VO5. To be clear, I actually have no idea what this alleged "hot oil" is or does. All I know is that on the commercials, hair looks really pretty and shiny and I want that. Plus, the product has been on The Price is Right for, like, evs so you know it's got some clout.

Finally, I pushed my cart to the hair aisle. I still had on my giant, full-length down jacket that is typically reserved for frigid nights only. But, the sad dowdiness of it seemed appropriate for my melodramatic mood today.

So I was already sweating in the stupid coat. One woman was blocking the exact part of the aisle I needed to get to to find the VO5. So I'm sweating, bobbing and weaving around World's Most Irritating Woman searching wildly for anything resembling hot oil. Never in my life have I been so angry to not see a stupid product I have never used before on the shelf at Target. I couldn't find it anywhere. I nearly screamed "I JUST WANT THE HOT OIL! I DON'T WANT 'LEAVE-IN' ANYTHING! WHERE'S THE STUPID MIRACLE OIL THAT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT ACTUALLY DOES?!"

I left. VO5-less. I came home, singed hair hanging limply in my face. I decided to just curl up with my new InStyle magazine and zone out in front of the TV.

I have seen 3 commercials for VO5. I still have no idea what it does but I'm certain it would have solved all my problems today.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Change of Pants

Well, I'm back in my Depression Fleece. Geo left tonight after being here for what ended up to be not long enough, so on comes the fleece. And it is just not helping anything that I have a raging hangover from a super fun last night. We went to a wedding for one of Geo's friends and then met up with my brothers to drink every last drop of alcohol in the bar.

After I slept until 1 p.m., I woke up and was so hungry I started crying. But then after I ate World's Biggest Lunch with Geo and a couple friends, I still seemed to be crying. Geo started packing up all his stuff. One by one, his clothes went into the bag that I got him for Christmas, and my room got sadder and sadder. (Maybe he wouldn't have been able to leave if I hadn't gotten him that stupid giant bag.) He thoughtfully left some garbage lying around so I'd have something of his to curl up with during a scary movie.

To add insult to injury, I then had to be the one to literally drive him away from my house and to the airport. We picked his brother up on the way which really hampered my plan to sob hysterically all the way to the airport.

So yeah, the Depression Pants are on, my hair has yet to be brushed today, and my contacts keep falling out because all this water keeps leaking from my eyes. I'm, well, a mess.

But it's back to work tomorrow, and back to my old Single Girl routine. I'm assuming I'll adjust back eventually but until then, it won't be pretty. I had forgotten how comfortable these pants are, though...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hello, My Name is Stinkbutt

Well, Geo is pretty useless right now. Here were his two suggestions for tonight's blog:

"You should title it 'No Title' and then in the body just write 'This is a blog'. When people are all 'What?!' You just reply with one word: Art."

Second, he also said "Call it 'Don't hate me 'cause I'm Haitian'."

That simply made no sense.

Here's the deal. We went out tonight for some fun. I wasn't drinking, so Geo and my brother Perek did enough drinking for all of us. Since Geo is not a big drinker, I think the alcohol has shocked his system. And out come the terrible ideas.

Anyhoozle, we went out a little tonight because it is PEREK'S BIRTHDAY! w000000000t! Happy birthday, little broseph! We did all the things boys love to do: Beer, bowling, beer, Buck Hunter, beer, rum and cokes, and mini golf. Oh, then we stopped for McDonald's on the way home.

This is what happens when I hang out with guys. I LOVE it. I love love love it. No drama, no gossip, no real conversation of any kind, really. Just smack talk.

Oh, and funny nicknames. For bowling, my name was STINKBUTT. For Buck Hunter, I was STD and for golf I believe I was TSS (only having three letters makes people have to get creative). Mind you, I did not make these names up. They could only come from the mind of a boy.

I shouldn't have had so much fun, considering the general smell of our group and my level of sobriety. But I gut-laughed and told jokes all while holding my own in every game. Except for the golf. And the bowling.

But now I'm tuckered out from all the fun. I commented during the night, after smelling someone's belch and getting my butt kicked in bowling, that I missed this kind of fun so much. I wanted to elaborate, but the boys interrupted me by paying for my fries. How awesome is that?!

So that's that. A last, super fun guys' night out. Geo leaves on Sunday and then it's back to normal around here. I'll miss these nights (and my smoothly-shaved legs). Okay, back to ESPN for some NBA score updates. Maybe I won't miss it ALL...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dear Crabby

Well dudes, count yourselves among the lucky. I am officially off work until Monday, and still I blog. I know what can happen when a week goes by without help from Crabby. So awaaaaaay we go!

Dear Crabby,

I'm trying to find a tasteful way of telling my boyfriend he needs to, um, tend to the hair on his shoulders. How can I do that tactfully?

Thank you!!!!
Hairless in Hopkins

Hey HIH,

My suggestion is to just tell him to shave it if that's what you want. Me? I like to hang out with people who can grow hair on body parts that I can't. It's like hanging out with an alien. Another approach would be to casually start braiding his shoulder hair and tell him you think it's "pretty" when he asks what you're doing. He'll make it disappear post-haste!

Dear Crabby,

I've set my New Year's Resolution and I'm sticking to it!!! I've got a goal of losing 40 pounds this year. Any tips????

Thanks Crabbers!
-Fatty Fat Fat

Well hello there, FFF,
My advice is to either 1) discover a miracle weight-loss drug that does not kill people or 2) eat "right" and "exercise". That's what I've been told to do. Allegedly, it's a pretty easy thing to do. Carrots instead of cheese sticks?! No Way! I know, I know...but it'll help, I swear.

Listen guys, there are loads more questions that I have chosen to dismiss this week because I'm incredibly tired. I love you all, and I'm so glad you submit them every week to pharonsquare@gmail.com but two questions is all I can muster this week. Fear not! I will help TWICE as many people next week, okay? I'll catch you all on the flipside, k?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Diary of a Crazy Preteen

Hey friends. Not much to report today. I remember writing that exact same sentence in old diaries. I'd write something like "It's 9:43:07," (I had this super bomb Casio digital watch that gave hour, minute and second) and then I'd babble on about how I spent the day spying on my sister Padrin.

"It's 10:43:13 and Padrin is still on a date. It's 13 minutes past her curfew. She will get in trouble. Oh well! She said I could watch TV in her room so now I'm laying on her bed watching Speed. It's awesome!"

If the mood struck me, I'd write about my Crush of the Day.

"Eric put a note in my locker. He asked me out but I think I like John more. Should I write him back, Diary? I probably just won't talk to him at recess so he doesn't like me anymore."

Smug little jerk I was, huh?

Apparently, in between crushes, I had classes.

"Today I'm in a fight with my parents. They say I spend too much time on the phone and then they say things about my grades-which are all A's and B's, except for math. The thing is I HATE MATH! I don't understand it. My dad st down with me and spent a whole night on one lesson! That's how bad I am at it! Why won't my parents just accept that I am dumb at math?!"

One of my favorites was this one:

"Right now, in my life, I am having a lot of problems with ACNE!!!!!"

And then there's the one where I explore the dynamics of a large family:

"Padrin doesn't ever want to hang out with me." (Ed. Note: Why she wouldn't want to hang out with a 12-year-old who spies on her every moment is beyond me.) "Prinna is fun to be with and is the only one who talks to me. Peter gets to do whatever he wants all the time. Perek is a crybaby and always gets his way. Ugh! I guess this is what adolescence feels like!"

Hahaha! And I just found my New Years Resolutions from when I was 12-years-old. Among the gems are:

"Be more mysterious. Take more walks Take time out for myself. Learn from all kinds of people. QUIT GOSSIPING!!"

I was 12! Weirdo...

And finally, there was this very very prolific line:

"I just watched Clueless for the 5th time and I've found a whole new meaning to it."

Seriously? What a freak show...

P.S. CLAIRE JUST READ ME HER DIARY AND SHE SAID "I JUST DON'T THINK STUDENT COUNCIL SHOULD BE BOUGHT!" She was apparently very mad that her friend was campaigning and had made buttons, candy bar labels and stickers.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Resolutions

We all made our resolutions for year, didn't we? I'm, uh, trrrrrible at making/keeping mine because they are always so unattainable (shower EVERY DAY?! Who am I, the Queen of America?!!?) I did manage to keep a few of my resolutions from last year (keep blogging-I even got a job doing it, stop doing laundry at my parents' house, learn how to put on makeup, and I haven't shopped at Forever 21 even ONCE) but failed miserably on some too (I still eat like a man some days, I still watch loads of TV marathons, and I still have roommates). So this year, I'm setting my sights a little lower.

By the way, I've already eaten pizza and fries and I'm currently drinking a glass of wine, so I've already ixnayed a bunch of my resolutions already.

* Start kickboxing again. I'm pretty good at it, and I'd like to be able to beat up Geo. You know, in case he ever back talks.
* Craft my brains out.
* Find/buy/raise a teacup piglet. Everyone keeps telling me it's a bad idea, but I'm the kind of girl who enjoys a challenge. Claire tells me I can't have "swine" in the house so part of the challenge will be keeping the piglet out of sight.
* Buy a car. This will be easy-peazy, considering I have to buy my car tomorrow. Stupes end-of-lease...
* Cheese is not a meal. Cheese is NOT A MEAL.
* Take more pictures. My brother Perek made me this awesome Christmas present, where he put a bunch of my Facebook pictures on a jump drive and then set it to music that HE SANG! (The song was a mash up of Lil Wayne and Adele...LOVESIT!!) He told me that all my pictures were like 2 years old, so it was kind of lame. This year, I'll take loads more pictures to document my crazy-exciting life.
* Learn about stocks and/or bonds. I'd really like to make some free money, and buying stocks and/or bonds seems to be a sure-fire way of accomplishing that.
* Seriously: THIS year I'll end up in my own pad. My own casa. An abode all to myself. Just me and my thoughts. And my teacup piglet, of course.
* And finally, just as I did last year, keep blogging. Much to your dismay, I intend to keep this blog goin!!

Well, those certainly sound doable, right? What about you guys?? What are you going to accomplish this year? Slap 'em in the Comments, friends!!