Thursday, May 30, 2013

Upton is Ruining Our Lives (But My God She's Pretty)

OMG. I'm literally IRATE right now. I've never been this mad at a magazine or a stranger in my entire life. And I got cut off like 12 times today by other drivers. Anyway, I have a subscription to Vogue and I'm straight up cancelling it after this month's cover article on how "fat" Kate Upton is.

This just in: Skinny isn't even good enough for girls anymore. We need to be skinny AND have big boobs AND have "hips" AND have to love eating everything AND then need to still think we're fat. Being a girl effing sucks.

So, Kate Upton is this month's cover girl. She's a STUNNER. I have actually been a fan of hers for awhile. She seems like a good time. But if she talks about how people call her fat ONE MORE TIME I'm going never read anything ever again. Ladies? This is the new unreachable standard.

is apparently "Curvy". Don't you just love that hint of ribs she's got? And the clever way her thigh skin clings to her bones? What a fatty.

Listen, I really try and keep the swearing to a minimum in this blog. But dear God, women are fucked. If THIS chick, who also happens to be considered the IDEAL WOMAN among many of my guy friends, is what women should consider "curvy," we are screwed. We are totally and completely pwned. I mean, hey, congrats to the fashion industry for learning how to make clothes for girls with boobs, but holy crap (wait, women have BOOBS?! WHO KNEW!?).

I've literally never been this upset at Vogue before. For all the times they photoshop bones onto emaciated models, I've always been like "EVERYONE knows that's not purdy. I have curves and am a woman, not a mannequin." But suddenly, there's this totally gorgeous chick who they are saying is FAT because it appears as though she has eaten in the past week.

The stupid fashion industry has even taken away the term "curvy" from regular women. They stole it, slapped a Victoria's Secret model behind it and made even healthy women wonder if they are fat because they claim to constantly be fighting the "curvy" stigma. (God forbid...) Case in point: My BFF Madeline is a stunnah. She's tall, has long legs, loves to run and is the best girl in the world. Tonight I was all "Kate Upton is ruining my life." and she was all "Kate Upton is fat." I wanted to reach through the phone and strangle Madeline. That picture up there is NOT a picture of a "fat" girl. This is how insane girls are getting.

Anyway, I don't know what's wrong with women, but I'm pretty sure we all need to collectively decide that men are not worthy of being hot unless they look like Channing Tatum. C'mon, ladies...if guys get to have completely unfair views of what a person of the opposite sex should look like, why can't we? I hereby state that unless a man looks like Channing Tatum and has the face of Ryan Gosling, they are now officially ugly. Deal?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Amanda Bynes is Nuts

You guys? Amanda Bynes is nuts. Not since Spearsgate 2007 has a young starlet gone so far off the deep end so quickly. Let me quick give you a rundown of everything I know* about Amanda Bynes and her descent into infamy and nutsdom.

Amanda Bynes was in a show I liked called "What I Like About You" a long time ago. It was nice because Jenny Garth was also in it and Bynes didn't seem to rest on the fact that she was pretty because she was very entertaining as a physical comedian. Score.

Then she was in some crappy movies that I've probably seen 100 times each because I'm a glutton for punishment and terrible, unbelievable movie plots. (Hint: She played a girl playing her twin brother so she could play soccer in one movie. Channing Tatum was in it. By all accounts, it was an actual movie.)

Then no one heard anything from Bynes.

Then she got on Twitter. Then she announced on Twitter that she was retiring from acting after several years of not acting. Then she un-retired and was in  that Hairspray movie. Again, she was very enjoyable. Then I think she re-retired.

Then she went insane.

Sidebar: It was around this time that I think Bynes was given access to all the moolah she made as a young, entertaining woman. I think she took that money and invested it in a crack den because $hit started getting real.

The trouble is that much of her public meltdown took place on Twitter so I missed it because I was too busy losing interest in Twitter. So, from what I can gather, she got into a buttload of car accidents and fled the scenes. Was she drunk? I can't remember. But, like any other normal person, she tweeted at Barack Obama asking him to fire the officer who arrested her. Not sure if that ever worked out for her.

So after all the accidents, the true crazy came out and she moved seamlessly from Twitter to Instagram so she could share pictures of herself going insane. In some pictures, she had a cheek piercing, I think and her face started looking like Christina Aguilera's face had melted off and was smeared back on to Pamela Anderson's head. She looked whack as hell. Then she took pics of her nearly-naked body and announced that her anorexic-ish frame was too big and she needed to lose weight. (Ugh, cry-for-attention much?!)

Then came the head shaving. I guess girl shaved her head and then got the world's worst weave since that kid Nick burned my Barbie doll's hair and I tried to replace it with Skipper's hair using Elmer's glue. At some point, she moved to New York so she wouldn't get in so many car accidents and kept getting photographed walking down the street in various states of delusion.

I thought she had hit bottom when she was recently arrested AGAIN for allegedly tossing a bong out of her apartment window or something. Her mugshots and jail photos are hilarious. In one, she has a shaved head and in the next, she has on a Miss Piggy wig that she probably found in the jail toilet. Dude, she's a comic genius.

Anyway, then she got back on Twitter and announced that she was going to launch her singing/rapping career. So she's officially lost it.

People keep being like "Where are her parents?" but MY question is "How has she not gotten pregnant or married or hired to be on Celebrity Rehab-All Star Edition yet?" What gives, Bynes? Man, she's NEVER going to catch up to Linsane Lohan at this rate. (Oh, and for the record, we KNOW where Lohan's parents are and they are no help whatsoever, so let's stop expecting miracles from the parents of a child actor.)

Hey Mom and Dad - Betcha I don't look so bad anymore. ;)

* Note: I refused to actually look any of this info up because it was more fun that way. Much of this info may be inaccurate, but...nah, it might all be accurate. Girl gone cray.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trapped in the Closet

For those of you who get the reference of tonight's blog subject line, R. Kelly would have been pwnd if he was at my house when my husband came home. (For those who do not get the reference, R. Kelly put out a weird saga of songs and in one of them, well, whatever. Watch the video here. Or, if you don't, just trust that bro gets trapped in the closet during an illicit tryst.) This is because my closet was an absolute NIGHTMARE that no man could have fit into. It looked like Old Navy and Banana Republic and Herberger's all had a baby made out of 100% cotton t-shirts and dirty, mismatched socks who then threw up all over my room.

Yeah, it was a mess. It's been like weeks since I got back from Alabummer and I still had not been able to unpack my luggage because there was simply no room. I had cleared out room for Geo's stuff by casually tossing my own clothes on the floor. And rude! He wasn't even proud of me for making room.

So this weekend, I wanted to clean up so I could see all my clothes again. My lovely, beautiful, bountiful clothes. I missed them. I missed color coordinating them by sleeve length and formality. I missed dragging my fingers over the clothes, and hanging up the shirts I wear 20 times in a row next to clothes I haven't worn for five years so that I'd remember to wear the not-so-popular clothes. I missed cramming new clothes into the closet and throwing old versions into the bag underneath my bed. Basically, I missed how materialistic I am. (Whatever. You are too.)

I recently helped my sister Prinna pack up her house because she's moving to a big ol' new house. While boxing up clothes, I saw she had these miraculous hangers that seemed to save a lot of room. You've seen them on TV (well, you better have or the AS SEEN ON TV burst is nothing but LIES!) and they are called Magic Hangers. This is a good name for them because they are indeed magic.

See, you hang these doohickies up, put five articles of clothing on hangers through the little holes, and then drop the left side of the Magic Hanger down and voila! Five hangers of clothes drops down to one little hanger. This is, like, a totally critical tool for hoarders/people who fluctuate in size more than Kirstie Alley. It was GREAT.

I went from this:

to this:

MAGIC! Can someone please be impressed!? Instead of doing laundry and dumping the clean clothes into the general closet area underneath my extra pillows, I actually have a PLACE for everything now. Not only can I see my CLOTHES now, but I can see MY SHOES. Materialism!!!

Geo was less impressed by my cleaning and more impressed that he could love someone who relies on magic to manage her clothing. He was also not impressed when I was like "Ooof, now I gotta get my summer clothes out!"

Whatever. I have a lot of clothes. Many of them are out of style or do not fit my body on any given day. I don't care. I LOVE knowing that I have 5 different black and white striped shirts. I think it's perfect that I have a pink and yellow shirt that I've never worn which fits PERFECTLY between my pink and yellow sections of shirts. And who DOESN'T have 20 pairs of jeans? Some are comfy, some are tight, some make me feel skinny because they are enormous, some haven't fit for seven years but I keep them as inspiration. I LOVE MATERIALS.

So yeah. I finagled a way to get all my clothes into one space. I feel both amazing and a tiny bit terrible about how much money I've spent on clothes I never wear that do not even fit in my closet. But given the fact that I also assembled a drawer system by myself, I will go ahead with feeling "amazing." Hooray!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The great outdoors: Not so great

How much do I love long weekends? A LOT. It was great, great fun to spend time doing nothing but drinking cocktails, eating burgers, reorganizing my closet (yup, I did that) and just hanging out. I got like billions of hours of sleep and spent an entire evening watching Arrested Development on Netflix. HOORAY! Dude, I LOVE relaxing and TV.

What I do NOT love is nature. Dumb. It nearly ruined an otherwise perfect weekend today when Geo gleefully announced that we would be spending Memorial Day outside. In a park. Like, not in front of a TV. What kind of nonsense is that?

I was told that Geo had planned a little outing with some pals to BBQ and hang out at a park. There were to be lawn games, mini charcoal grills, Frisbees and (mercifully) some beer. I had no part in the planning, which was both awesome and confusing. Like, I didn't WANT to do any planning but as a girl, I felt like my intervention was IMPERATIVE. How can there be a party if there is no girl to plan it down to the minutest details!?

Anyway, so I show up to the BBQ about 30 minutes after Geo had gotten there. He had everything all set up and great. He had even gotten this adorable green grill for the occasion. Our friends started showing up and it was all going  surprisingly well. But then Nature weaseled her way into the fun and I faded fast.

All day, the clouds were dark and heavy with rain. It kept not raining though. It was just cold and windy and ALMOST rainy. That's annoying. And when we were playing Bocce ball, all these disgusting gnats kept flying into our faces and being just the worst. Plus, because the ground outside is made out of dirt and not carpet or wood, you probably shouldn't can't eat food that's fallen from your plate. That's also annoying. Oh, and did I mention how dirty everything is outside? And how hard it is to find a bathroom in a park? Ugh. Nature!

Once the first raindrop fell, I knew it was finally over. I could finally pack up and get back to technology and indoor plumbing. Oh, and to all the dummies who biked and walked to the park instead of driving the 10 blocks like I did? Bet that whole "Let's not drive," decision wasn't looking too smart anymore. We started packing up and the rain started falling faster. It was getting on my phone and on my new purse and in my eye.

I ran with the cute green grill and a bag of leftover food back to the safety of my car. But the second I opened the door, 5 bajillion of those disgusting effing gnats flew into my car! I freaked out and just threw the grill in the backseat, spilling charcoal everywhere, and tried to get in the car without letting more gnats in. But when I opened the driver's side door, 6 zillion more flew in.

I have no idea what happened to them once they got in the car. They all disappeared and are probably mating and incubating baby gnats in my car vents. Oh wait, correction: I have no idea what happened all but TWO of the gnats. That's because as I was merging on the highway, one of the damn things flew UP MY NOSE and while I was panicking and trying to stop the thing from getting into my brain (I'm pretty sure that's how science and anatomy works) ANOTHER gnat flew into MY EYE. I was sure I was going to be eaten alive by stupid park gnats.

My car was swerving a bit on the highway as I feverishly rubbed my eye to get one gnat out while also trying to blow the other gnat out of my nose. Had there been a police nearby, he or she would have been all "Great. Another drunk driver on Memorial Day." But no, I just was driving in a car that smelled like burning charcoal and was infested with gnats that were trying to eat my face off.

And that's why I hate the outdoors.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May Showers

Last week I went through a major wedding rite of passage. I had my very first bridal shower! Woo hoo!! Now, I'm almost the last person in the world to get married. (Fine, that's not true. But I'm the last person in my whole FAMILY to get married, so whatevs.) This means that I've been to my fair share bridal showers. I've played the games and wrapped the gifts. I've thrown approx 100 showers as well, so I've also hung the decorations and played the Happy Hostess.

But I've never been the Star of the Show.

I was sure it would be the best thing ever. Me? Center of attention? Getting gifts? SIGN. ME. UP.

So I was a little more than surprised to be sweating nervously the minute I woke up on the day of the shower. I worked the whole day, but was a little distracted because I was drumming up witty banter comments in my head to use at the shower all day. I brushed my teeth like 10 times, changed dresses 8 times and just kept getting more and more nervous.

I've never been the girl who has the bridal shower. I've always been the girl who eats too much and probably drinks too much while watching another girl haul off a billion kitchen gadgets and linens. I'm used to being that girl. I am COMFORTABLE being that girl. I am NOT comfortable being the girl who people come to see.

The shower was absolutely lovely. It was fun and the food was pasta-y and perfect, the wine was delicious and in my mouth. I introduced my mom and sister and Kim to Geo's family and everyone just loved each other. [Ties it all up in a pretty bow.] Everything was going spectacularly. Until the gift part. I don't think I've ever been so sweaty in my life. And I've done mental math in a car without air conditioning while getting pulled over by a cop. But I was sitting in front of all these amazing ladies who had generously gone out and gotten me a shower gift and there I was. Sweating under the calming mood lighting in a living room with all eyes on me and nervously doing everything I could do not to lunge for the biggest, sparkliest box and rip it open, because that is not what ladies do, y'all.

It's a strange feeling to open gifts that you wandered through a store picking out just months ago. "OMG! I am OBSESSED with these mixing bowls!" Uh, we know, picked them out. "Awwwww! This cookie jar is PERFECT!" Yup. That's probably why you scanned the item and put it on a list of things you want people to buy you. "BOGGLE!? How did you know that this is literally the ONLY game I can ever beat Geo at!?" I didn' told me to get it for you. Probably because YOU know that it's the only game you can ever beat Geo at. Which is kind of sad.

But I was opening the gifts and was truly moved, not exactly by the gifts I was getting, but at the fact that each thing seemed to fit the gift giver as well as it fit me. I didn't even need the little cheat sheet of who gave what because I could totally picture each person scrolling through the list of things and finding something that they wanted to give. It's like I knew I had picked out good stuff because each thing came from such good people.

Oh, and there is this running joke/very-real-truth that I can't cook. I mean seriously, I can't and everyone knows it. So I had made one joke under my breath when I opened a measuring cup to the effect of "What's THIS thing?!" But it didn't sound funny anymore because I was opening all these crazy-nice kitchen items that I had promised Geo I would use when we were registering for them. Joking that I didn't know what something was seemed like I was saying "I don't even know what I registered for because I just want it all!" which is just so not accurate. So I kept my nervous jokes to myself and tried to imagine what a normal, mature woman would do.

After the gifts were opened, I had lost 16 pounds from sweating and nervous fidgeting. There is a very delicate balance between appreciating each gift and spending way too much time fawning over every pizza cutter and covered casserole dish. It was seriously a balancing act that no one really prepares you for. And I think it's a skill that does not come naturally to most people. Or, at least it doesn't come naturally to me. I dunno, I think I did okay, though. I'm pretty sure that had more to do with how cool everyone ELSE at the shower was being, but maybe I could actually get used to being "showered" with attention. It was SO fun and SO awesome to be with such good friends and family that I kept forgetting that the shower was for me. It actually felt like I was just hanging out with good peeps and everyone just decided to get me stuff. And THAT is something I could def get used to.

Monday, May 20, 2013


So, I've been all nervous about adjusting to life with a boy. Since Geo moved home, though, I've been really sick with a cold, so I haven't been able to really put the energy into being the greatest girlfriend (whoops, fiance) and Little Miss Suzy Homemaker. Tonight, in fact, I banished him to the other room to play Halo while I painted my nails and watched a Girl Code marathon. #firstweekhomefail

Whatever. Yeah, I have a gnarly cold. Like, on Friday and Saturday, I had no voice and I lost about 8 pounds from blowing my nose. It's been quite a roller coaster and I've gone from being depressed and voiceless to being high on cold medicine while dancing in the rain. Ugh. I'm exhausted. And now I am at that almost-better-but-not-quite-good point so no one has any more sympathy for because they think I'm fine, but I'm NOT, you guys. I sneezed like a jillion times tonight.

Now, I hesitate to actually even SAY that I'm sick. Because to me a cold is not "sick", just like a hangover isn't "sick". A person who is hungover or has a cold can still do everything that a human should be able to do, you just, like, don't WANT to. I guess that's how I characterize being "sick". So, whatever, I guess I'm not "SICK" but whatever. I hate having a cold.

Every day with a cold is a fresh hell waiting to punch me in the face the second I wake up. On the first morning I'll wake up with a pounding headache and my back feels like I'm a 100-year-old woman who works as a mover. The next day, the aches will be gone but on day two, it feels like I've swallowed 657 knives and steel wool balls in my sleep. My throat is killing me and I can't talk. Luckily (not), it's also about the same day that the hacking coughs start. Every cough feels like how I imagine it feels to give birth or to get kicked in the you-know-what for guys.

Day three comes with a better throat but everything is just, like, leaking. My eyes are watering, my nose is running, coughs are, uh, disgusting, and I'm sweating in my sleep. It's like everything inside me is trying to escape at once. It's gross, sure, but it's better than day four. Everything is better than day four.

On day four of a nasty cold, your body has just gone insane. You're exhausted but you can't sleep because your ability to breathe like a normal homo sapien is non-existent so you can't sleep for longer than 3 minutes at a time. Either your nose is so stuffed up that you may as well just cut it off or your nostrils take turns just shutting down and ruining your life. Oh, and if you're lucky, there will be a slight but constant whistling that comes peeping through the one working nostril that you have. There is something absolutely torturous about only being able to breathe through one nostril at a time that it drives people absolutely insane, which is why everyone complains nonstop about having a cold. Breathing through one nostril or mouth-breathing turns people into demons, probably because only a fraction of the oxygen we need is getting into our body. I hate day four.

Then the rest of the time, it's just general feelings of crappiness. You can't explain why, but you just feel like your whole head is still full of hot garbage and you're angry because the lingering cold is making it impossible to taste the sea salt caramel/dark chocolate bar you bought to make yourself feel better.

Long story short, I'm still getting over a cold (and yeah, probably a hangover too) and my apartment is a mess. But both of my nostrils are in working order, so I'll call it a win.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring "cleaning"

OMG! Geo comes home tomorrow!!! FOR GOOD! I'm super stoked, but I'd be lying if I said I was ready for it. I'm not ready for it, guys. No, I'm not worried about living with him again or getting used to having a guy around again. I'm PUMPED for those things. But this girl has lived alone in a tiny apartment eating noodles off the floor for a year now. I'm not proud of the way I've been living, but I'm the only one who had to live with it and I got pretty used to that.

Like, I take my pants off the second I walk in the door and step out of them, leaving piles of abandoned legwear as my doormat. And I only do dishes when I find myself eating a baked potato with a rubber spatula, a garlic press and a pizza cutter. Empty toilet paper rolls? I'm pretty sure they belong in the garbage, but more often than not, they end up in my shoe closet. My shower is full of bottles of not-quite-empty shampoo bottles. Wounded soldiers.

But so now Geo's coming home and he very gently requested that I clean up my act. And my apartment. I didn't know what to do. I stared at my apartment tonight, looking at my already-packed closets and felt defeated. How could I make room for Geo's stuff when there isn't enough room for MY stuff? Maybe he can keep his stuff in the food cabinets and refrigerator? Those places are almost totally bare.

I got started by packing away a bunch of my winter clothes and stacking boxes of them at the foot of my bed because I couldn't lift them and move them anywhere else. Yeah, a real space saver! I tried moving stuff out of the dresser and into some hanging shelves in the closet, but that only saw a tiny margin of success. Then I realized that I hadn't even unpacked my summer stuff yet. I'm in trouble.

I gave up on my closet because it was actively fighting against me. I moved to the bathroom to try and clear out some space for Geo's minimal amount of products. As I moved some stuff from the bathroom to the linen closet, I kept taking things FROM the linen closet and putting them IN the bathroom. Oooh! I forgot about these multicolored hair extensions! But SOMEHOW I managed to clear out a nice little 4-square-inch spot for him. And you think I'm incapable of compromise.

So I have NO IDEA how I managed to accumulate so many THINGS. How I managed to fit them all in my apartment can only be due to magic. And remember the bag of bags? Well I now also have a box of boxes and several other boxes labeled "MISC". That's helpful.

UGH. I feel like I didn't get nearly enough accomplished to make any real difference. I feel horrible because I really want Geo to move in and be able to feel like this is home now. But how can I do that when I have the smallest apartment in the world and am totally incapable of throwing things out?

Well, I guess I have my work cut out for me. Does anyone know the number for Hoarders?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Minnesota NICE!

So, I know that my trip to Alabummer has likely left you all in a state of curiosity. Was it fun? Was it a bummer? Did I make use of the stupes running shoes and sports bra that I packed? I know, you're all on the edges of your seats. But it was great. Geo graduated, I cried just the tiniest bit when the dean called his name and he swooped across the stage, so proud and accomplished. And still so good-looking. :) It was a magnificent weekend. And yes, I worked out twice.

But the news today is that the Minnesota Senate approved same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

I'm so proud. I really am. I actually cried a little bit. I don't use this blog to post political messages, well, EVER, but this doesn't feel like a political message. It feels like an "ABOUT TIME!" message. Tomorrow, the governor will sign the bill and people all over Minnesota will be able to marry the person that they love come August and it just feels RIGHT. I so am in favor of people marrying the person that they love, and as a girl who is planning a wedding right meow, I feel like I'm in a good place to give some advice to any couple - ANY COUPLE! HOORAY! - who is planning on getting married.

* Everything always costs more than you think it does. Like, 10 times more.
* Planning a wedding is super fun, but it's incredibly hard and stressful and you may or may not call it off 3 or 4 times, but DON'T.
* Suddenly, you WILL care about napkins and chair covers. Even though you promised yourself you never would. Somehow it will suddenly become the most important thing in your life.
* No matter how chill of a person you think you are, you will either say or yell "But it's MY wedding" way more than a normal person ever should.
* Yes. You SHOULD have hired a wedding coordinator.
* There definitely IS such a thing as "too many sequins."
* You will have nightmares and dreams about the wedding. Every single night.
* You will need so much more help than you think you'll need. Don't be rude to friends and family.
* When you get in a fight with family or your fiance or your friends about this detail or that one, remember that you will likely never even notice the thing that you are about to lose friends over.
* It's hard.
* But it's worth it.

So on this auspicious occasion, I want to cry out of pride but also out of stress for all the people who can finally start planning a wedding.

On a serious note, Minnesota (yes, I'm addressing a whole state here) you are my hero and giving people the right to marry is so totally Minnesota Nice. I love you, Minnesota.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Time to Panic Pack!

I'm heading out this weekend to Alabummer to see Geo graduate!! Hooray!!! As excited as I am, I have approx a billion things that I had to do tonight and I have a full work day tomorrow, so I had to pack a little hastier than usual. Here is what my packing process looked like tonight.

PANIC. Pack 4 pairs of jeans. One nice, one casual, one comfy and one long enough to wear with heels. Remember to pack heels.

What's the temp in Alabummer? Maybe rainy, and in the 70s? EASY. Oh wait, no. IMPOSSIBLE.

Is that warm enough for shorts? Do I need those yet? If I pack one nice pair, I have to pack a crummy pair. Better pack a few pairs, just to be safe.

What are we doing while I'm there? Graduation ceremony, evenings with his family, day times relaxing and perhaps meeting important staff members and faculty.

Pack 8 dresses. Various kinds, some nice, some crummy, a few "nights out at the bar" worthy.

Jackets. So many jackets.

Cardigans. So many cardigans.

Flip flops? Yes. Where are they? Still packed away. Oh, hey! I forgot about these cute sandals! Better pack them next to the flip flops.

T-shirts. 100 of them.

Will I work out there? Ugh. I'd like to pretend that I will. Must pack running shoes. Oh, and these adorable wedges will probably have to come too.

I'm so confused! Do I pack a sweatshirt or a tank top?! What does 70 degrees feel like in the South? Fine, bring all the sweatshirts I own and remember to go out and buy 20 tank tops tomorrow to pack as well.

Is there room for my hairdryer? No? Welp, guess I'll have to take out the running shoes...

OMG! I haven't even CONSIDERED boots! Are people wearing boots in Alabummer?! AAAAAAH!

Should I pack my prom dress? What if the graduation is super formal, you know, all "Southern Belle Style"?!  Yes. Pack it. Crap, it doesn't fit. Take out all my socks and underwear. I'll buy some when I get there. Take out jeans and shorts. Replace with more heels. Tuck 45 pairs of sunglasses into the outside pocket, a couple couch cushions in my purse and a soccer ball under my shirt and I think I'm all set!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Do Not Enter...SERIOUSLY!

I have no idea what my deal is. I always manage to live in places where someone somewhere is trying to get all up in my space. I figured that moving to the 6th floor of a building across from a school and down the block from the fancy shopping hub would mean that I'd never have to worry about intruders trying to bum me out. I was in the clear until this last weekend.

Let's be kind and rewind here, shall we? It all really just started after college. I moved into my first apartment alone in Minneapolis. It was a ground-level apartment that was in a relatively safe neighborhood. It was okay until the Great Mouse Invasion. There were mice getting in and it turns out there were drawn to the apartment of my (certifiably) crazy neighbor who hoarded garbage.

Then I moved in with my first male roommates, Perek and Mitch, as a way to escape the mice and crazy. It was a great apartment in the 'burbs and I had my very own balcony off my room that overlooked a small little forest of trees. One morning I woke up to a helicopter trying to land in or near the forest of trees. It was so low and so close that I made eye contact with the pilot. And let's just say that I was not dressed for visitors. So that was a rude intrusion.

When the guys and I moved to the big ol' fancy house in the city and Geo moved in, I was SURE I was in the clear. There were some mice, a bird that came up our back stairwell and neighbors who stole our beer and screamed at each other on the street, but at least I felt safe.

Then I lived with Claire. That was the easiest place to live. Until the cats moved in. Remember the Cat Gate I built to keep the cats out of my room??

Anyway, that brings us to this weekend. Everything was going swimmingly until my neighbors down the hall started getting sketchy. It's a mom and her 2 sons, who are like high-school age but are NEVER AT SCHOOL and their friends always try to get ME to buzz them up, which is just weird. Anyway, then comes Friday night.

Kim had just left when I heard a commotion in the hall. I tiptoed to the peephole and looked out into the hall. What I saw was one of the neighbor dudes with his phone pointed directly at my door and he snapped a picture. I have NO IDEA why he would take a picture of my door, but I immediately got spooked. I felt like my privacy and space was being violated, but I couldn't figure out why. I felt incredibly unsafe, but for no understandable reason.

So I did what I did when I wanted to keep the cats out. I built a high-tech alarm and lock system. Despite the very capable (and multiple) locks that are on the doors in these apartments, I took matters into my own hands and built this contraption.
That's my new Neighbor Gate!

That is a balance ball that is slightly weighted at the bottom, making it crazy-hard to open the door. Then there's an open coin purse full of pennies, a heavy wall hook, a Rubik's cube, my heaviest boots and my purse which is full of heavy, noisy things. If someone was going to break into my apartment, I was definitely going to hear it.

Nothing has happened since that night, and I feel a LITTLE silly setting up various gates every night, but whatever. I guess I wouldn't feel like it was Home if I wasn't irrationally (or not) freaked out by something, right? And let's keep it real...I'm getting incredibly good at building home security systems, right?!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wrong Way

You guys? Did I ever tell you about the time I inadvertently drove to Illinois? I know many of you may have heard this exciting tale, but I felt the urge to retell it today, with the benefit of years of hindsight.

So, I was visiting my sister Padrin in Decorah, IOWA and was driving back to school in Iowa City, IOWA. This was before GPS. Before smartphones. And before I could read, apparently. I was driving alone, singing to N'Sync or something, thinking about my own stuff. Sources have told me that there was a sign directing me to take a right to stay on the correct road, but no such sign exists in my memory.

Yeah, so I did NOT take a right to stay on the correct road. I was in college and wasn't too good with the whole "paying attention" thing yet. I just drove on, without a care in the world, happy to be driving around with the windows down and good music on.

The trip back from Decorah was taking much longer than I had remembered it taking on the way up there. (I must have made GREAT time on the way here!) There were also a lot more cliffs and rock formations than the farms I thought I had seen on the to Decorah. (Hmm, never noticed that.) I just kept going. Driving further and further away from home base. I crossed a huge bridge that I definitely didn't remember (that's weird) and got a little peek of the Mississippi River, which I also didn't remember. (Maybe it's somehow a one-way bridge?!) On the other side of the bridge, there was a sign that said "Welcome to Illinois". Okay, now I was CERTAIN I wasn't going the right way.

Still, I kept going about 5 minutes out of sheer panic, hoping to somehow cross back into Iowa. I did not. I stopped at a gas station and was BAWLING. I tore in the run-down station and pleaded "OMG, I have no idea where I am! Am I in Iowa anymore?! Is this Illinois?!"

Luckily, no one called the police on the lost girl who was maybe a crackhead. Instead, they showed me a map on the wall (which they refused to let me take with me - rude) and told me how to get back to the right road, which I had left 2 hours earlier. Whoops. The attendant loaned me a couple quarters for me to call my work on the payphone. I should have played it cool, but I said "I'M GOING TO BE LATE TO WORK TONIGHT BECAUSE I WAS DRIVING HOME FROM DECORAH BUT AM NOW IN ILLINOIS! I HAVE NO IDEA WHEN I'LL GET BACK. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED OR WHERE I AM."

I eventually made it back to school in one piece. I had learned a great lesson...never drive anywhere ever again. But in terms of the bigger picture, I learned that I frequently take a different/wrong road than I should and what others take. It's just who I am. I will go 2 hours out of my way without realizing it because at the end of the day, I get where I need to be and I have a great story to tell.

But people made a LOT of fun of me after that whole Iowa/Illinois mess. There were funny jokes, mean comments and a lot of road atlases given to me as gifts. But it just kind of sucked because now people figure that I am ALWAYS wrong about directions (and fine, I am a lot of the time) but they have branded me as the girl who drove to the wrong state and never let me forget it.

Anyway, so a bunch of years ago, I was wrong about something. And it still haunts me. I may not be able to find my way out of a paper bag, but it doesn't matter. I've got GPS now. Take THAT, important life skills.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rehab Addict Addict

In my ongoing efforts to enrich the lives of my readers by telling you what to watch on TV, I bring you this edition of This Is What I'm Watching Because There's a Marathon of Episodes On and It's Still Freezing Outside And You Should Be Watching Too. (I feel like I need a catchier title, but oh well.)

Tonight, I've fallen in love with Rehab Addict. My friend Rachel initially told me about the show and I just so happened to see that there were several episodes on tonight so I curled up on my couch next to my space heater and tuned in.

The show is a home construction-type show, which I usually don't like. I don't HAVE a home to paint or add new fixtures to or rearrange the layout. I have a room with a couch and a TV in it. Plus, my old roommate Mitch and his fiance actually APPEARED on one of these home project shows and I got slightly disillusioned after hearing that all is not exactly what it seems. And they ALWAYS make everything look so much easier than it ever is. False advertising, I say.

So I wasn't all that convinced that I would like this show. It's about a super pretty girl who rehabilitates old, broken down homes. I was like "Ugh...I don't know about this."

But whoops! I TOOOOTALLY love this show! Off the top of my head, here are the things I love about Rehab Addict.

1) The main girl is Nicole - who really is just like TOO pretty - has the most perfect Minnesota accent of all time. She sounds like everyone I know. (The way she says "Ooold brooooken raydiaters" is seriously music to my ears.) She pronounces words very clearly and says "Crayap" just like I do.

2) She rehabs homes in Minneapolis. Like, I KNOW WHERE THE HOUSES ARE. And all that filler footage that these shows have consists of the glorious Minneapolis skyline and other things that I actually recognize.

3) She isn't like butch or overly girly about the restoration projects she does. Sure she has tiny arms, but they could probably snap a marble counter top in half. And you can tell she's serious about the work she's doing because she always has her hair in a ponytail. You don't see her with full makeup and fancy hair until the end of the show when she shows the finished project.

4) So far, all the episodes I've seen consist of single-room renovations in one house (which they call The Dollar House because she actually bought for $1!!). What she does is basically restore a home to it's original beauty. That means a lot of amazing wood floors and stunning details. I LOVE those kinds of homes, and if I ever DO buy a house, I want it to be a Nicole Curtis house. (Not the Dollar House, though, because I'm pretty sure someone was murdered and/or burned alive in there.)

It just now occurred to me that this show might only air in Minneapolis. I hope not, because it is just great. The homes are beautiful, the projects don't look impossible, the helpful tips are ACTUALLY helpful (I imagine) and Nicole is charming without being obnoxious. A truly rare combination.

Um...and? She just built a freakin' fence out of scrap wood and an outdoor bar out of old radiators and I love it. So yes, I'm officially now addicted to Rehab Addict.