Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Girl Has To Have Standards

It was the moment when he reached down into the console of his truck, picked out a used golf tee and started using it as a toothpick that I learned a) to always keep floss in my purse and b) that even though it means that waking up with hummus in my hair is the closest to breakfast in bed that I get, I was meant to be single.

barbie

I would like to think I’ve given the alternative a pretty fair shake — I did the dating scene for a while with the traditional hits and misses — but this particular incident was simply the dirt-covered toothpick that broke this camel’s back.

Plus, I have high standards.

Growing up my crushes always fell into one of two categories—completely unattainable or attainable but not interesting after I attained them.

This wasn’t an issue early on because it’s not like I had that many options. It took me a long time to grow into my nose and grow out my spiral perms, and while I had friends, I wasn’t the “cute” girl in the group.

I was instead the one that was left over and relegated to holding the sweaty hands of the left over boy at the school roller skating parties while Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” played in the background.

However, I wasn’t all that concerned with that scene, as I had much bigger plans.

I was a tomboy and decided early on that I was going to marry a professional athlete. The crush varied depending on the season, but it usually included me covering my walls with their posters and creating elaborate situations in my head in which I held down the fort at home while they traveled on the road for their games.

At no time did anything sexual enter these situations, as aside from putting my Barbies and G.I. Joe in compromising “mature” situations, those thoughts never crossed my mind. It was simply an infatuation that ran from one player to the next before progressing into Sylvester Stallone through the “Rocky” years—all five films—and then any other action star or famous male with either an accent or a jersey.

I had more realistic crushes in school, of course.

This usually amounted to me reading into a Valentine (that they were required to give everyone in class) as a declaration of love, scribbling their name in my notebook and keeping a stash of assorted flavored Lip Smackers at the ready just in case.

In case of what? I didn’t know, but at least my lips would be strawberry fresh.
Naturally things changed once I got older and declared myself free of the sweaty-palmed rejects and delusions of nabbing a major league lover. As mentioned above, I did the dating thing and decided it wasn’t for me.

Now I’m sure Toothpick Boy was/is a fine companion for some germ-loving gal who doesn’t mind using dirty sports props to pick lettuce out of a molar, but I like my space. I like my freedom. I like knowing that dental procedures won’t be performed with dirt-covered plastic.

Of course, there might be exceptions. I mean, Hot Gym Guy did say, “No thanks” when I offered to spot him as he was walking into the locker room, so there’s a chance that once the restraining order is lifted he might just give it a go!

But otherwise I’m happy just dating myself.

This post came about because of these awesome—as in so much awe that I use the word “awesome”—comments on my Facebook page about a post I wrote for 22 Words awhile ago dealing with ridiculous reasons for breaking up with someone.

Go read the comments. They’re better than this post, but first let me know:

What’s the most ridiculous reason you’ve ever broken up with someone?

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How to Change Your Sheets in Under an Hour

We all have certain chores that we don’t mind doing. Some people prefer washing dishes over vacuuming or taking out the trash over dusting the shelves. If you have more than one person at home, these tasks can be split up accordingly.

But when you live alone, all of these tasks fall to you. And aside from picking up that one string the vacuum refused to pick up, I have to say one thing I find extremely tedious is changing the sheets on my bed.

changingsheets

Let’s examine the process.

It starts with simply ripping off the covers and throwing the pillows and blankets in a heap on the floor with dramatic flair—and about 1/100th of the time it will take me to remake the bed.

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It’s at this point I realize there’s no turning back and  swallow a small lump of panic. With the old sheets in the basket and the new sheets still folded in a pile, I am now committed to following through with the process if I want to sleep on sheets ever again.

Ever again!

Exhausted by the thought, I take the sheets from the shelf and let them rest on the bed for a bit while I rest for a bit on my own.

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I will usually get (intentionally) distracted by something more interesting like watching the squirrels and cursing Disney movies for leaving me so disillusioned about small woodland creatures and their willingness to help me with chores.

But I steel myself up and return to my task, plowing through the bottom sheet and two pillows and fighting with the corners of death.

corners

 You know what I’m talking about.

The only thing harder than fitting the elastic-ish corners of the bottom sheet across each of the four ends of the mattress without one popping off every time is actually folding the bottom sheet when it comes out of the dryer.

Tedious.

Enter a quick break to test out the sheets and pillows, at which point I stare at the ceiling and decide I should probably wipe off the ceiling fan at that exact minute.

About 20 minutes later I continue on with my journey of placing the top sheet on with equal amounts of sheet on either side of the bed.

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But no matter how hard I try, I end up walking back multiple times to pull the sheet a little bit more on one side before tucking it under the mattress.

If it’s too short on one side, I end up pulling the whole thing out when I get into bed. If I pull it too far up the front, my feet will poke out of the bottom and there’s a good chance I’ll wake up with the excess sheet wrapped around my head and panic that the cat’s trying to smother me.

Yup, still single, people.

Anyway, once sheet side distribution is complete, I triumphantly throw on the blanket with the flair of a matador waving his flag. After ensuring equal blanket distribution—see sheet step above—the task is finally complete a mere 45 minutes or so later.

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Holy sheet.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it, but at least now the bed will have sheets.

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P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Things You Should Spend Your Time on the Internet Reading

In my defense, it IS my job to look at the Internet.

Internet

At any rate, if you’re going to go look at the Internet for the 103rd time today, I have some suggestions from the gazillion things I’ve written for work. This is not an exhaustive list of things I’ve written, but rather a few things I thought you might like. 

(Disclaimer: I do encourage following of 22 Words, but I was not paid to say that and also don’t want people to think that’s annoying which is why this is a disclaimer in parenthesis.)

So new post next time, but lots of good stuff below. 

Hilarious Dogs Who Instantly Regretted Their Questionable Decisions

40 Hilarious Flyers People Actually Took the Time to Create and Post

Cat With a Broken Neck But Got a Second Chance at a New Life

36 People Who Should Just Stay Out of the Kitchen Forever

Mom’s Remarkable Photo Series Turns Special Needs Kids Into Superheroes

41 Cats Who Made Questionable Choices They Instantly Regretted

Graduation Cakes That Have Failed in the Most Hilarious Ways

36 Restaurant Typo Fails That  Change EVERYTHING About Eating Out 

Photographer Captures the Beauty of Food in Stunning Rainbow-Colored Pictures

Epic Fails From People Who Had Just ONE Job

42 Strange Things People Found on Their Receipts

Warning Signs That Prove Common Sense Isn’t So Common

50 Insanely Delicious Things You Can Do With Oreo Cookies

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P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Just Enjoy the Walk

My mom’s dog Chauncey is allergic to bees.

We didn’t know this until he got stung for the first time a few years ago, which unfortunately, was when I was taking him out for a walk. His little 13-lb body swelled up within minutes to the point that he looked like a hideous, wrinkly, bloated caricature of himself and he started having trouble breathing.

I swooped him up and ran the half mile back to my mom’s house. She wasn’t home–which is why I was walking him–and so I threw him in my car and literally sped the 10 minutes to the vet with him cowering and shaking on my lap the hole time. Long story short, he was eventually okay after the vet gave him an emergency shot and sent me home with drugs and an epi-pen for future accidents.

But for the first few months after that, he wanted nothing to do with me taking him for a walk, and any fly that even came within feet of his head made him crazy. Understandably, he was scared it would happen again.

Eventually he got over it and I could walk him again, and while he still is extra alert with bugs, he’s pretty much back to normal. He loves going for walks.

For me, even though I know we have his emergency kit and I take my phone just in case, I’m still scared every time that I walk him.

I still remember that day.

In fact, I still remember “that” day in the sense that I remember all of those days. I remember traumatic things that happened 15 years ago, being stuck in the blackout for three days while living in the heart of Detroit, getting sick and being in the hospital, the day that I lost my job, the stress of this last big “basement filled with water and expensive repairs and cleaning,” experience, etc.

Of course you never forget those things, but with me it’s always been different.

Every time we get a storm, I get neurotic about losing power (and now about my basement flooding again.) Every time I start to slip down, I worry that I’ll end up in the hospital again. Now that I have a job that I love and adore, I’m paranoid it might get taken away.

Nobody puts this stress on me but me, but in a sense I’m always afraid to get stung, afraid to have it all happen again.

This is good in the sense that it makes me prepared. This is bad in the sense that it can also makes my OCD ramp up and I physically wear myself down to try and gain some control, but also suspicious of all the good things, wondering when the other shoe is going to drop.

OK. Now I’m rambling.

But my point–I think–is that sometimes bad things happen because you made a bad decision or sometimes for no reason at all. Sometimes good things happen because you work hard or maybe you just caught a break. When either of those things happen, you have to learn to just accept it.

joan

Shit happens. Sunshine happens.

I don’t know what that means but I’m just trying to say that you’ll never forget “those days.” Whether you were seriously ill, lost a job or a loved one, or suffered any type of trauma–you know you’ll never forget. It changes you, but it’s up to you to decide that direction of change.

As for me, through all the stuff that’s happened, I didn’t believe people who told me that things would get better. I wanted to, but when you’re in the middle of whatever that thing is, everything seems so far away.

Now that I’m kind of working on getting to that other side, I realize that they were right (have to insert “knock on wood” because, well, see above.)

Things might now work out exactly as you want them to–or when, but then again, maybe they’ll work out even better than you planned at a time they needed to happen. Whatever it is, you’ll get through it. And when you do and come to unfamilar place of “happy” or maybe “content”, don’t waste time wondering why.

In other words, don’t shit on your sunshine or shine the light on the shit or something kind of like that. Maybe a bit more eloquently, don’t be scared that you’ll get stung again.

Instead, enjoy the walk.

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P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Adventures at the ATM

There’s a good chance the Pope and his posse could pull up behind me in the Popemobile at the ATM and I would still think they were plotting to mug me or judge me for taking too long to complete my transaction.

In my defense, I had never even used an ATM before a couple of years ago. I have no idea why that was, but I have since remedied the situation and can say I’ve probably used one in an excess of two dozens times since that first jaunt. However, like most mundane activities, I can find something to complicate the situation.

atm

A normal person would simply drive up to the machine, insert their card, enter in their PIN, complete their transaction, grab a receipt and move on with their life. In case you are new here, I’m not entirely normal.

While there are moments of ATM glory, there are also moments of shame and most of those moments look something like this:

  • Drive up to cash machine
  • Reverse back the required amount to align car window to machine
  • Set parking brake, put the window down, glance around to make sure no one is lurking nearby
  • Grab purse and try to pry the debit card out of my wallet
  • Find mint and get distracted by my good fortune
  • Focus on card and then swear as it refuses to budge out of my wallet
  • Turn the radio down—too distracting
  • Precariously hang out of the window to insert card
  • Attempt to insert card into machine
  • Re-insert card the right way up
  • Glance around again for would-be muggers
  • Enter PIN
  • Enter amount of cash required
  • Press cancel and re-enter correct amount of cash required
  • Back up the car again to retrieve an envelope for soon-to-be-delivered cash
  • Retrieve cash and receipt
  • Glance around again for would-be muggers
  • Grab purse and place cash and receipt inside
  • Look for another mint but find only disappointment
  • Drive forward two feet
  • Reverse back to cash machine
  • Precariously hang out of the window to retrieve card
  • Grab wallet again and shove card into the slot provided
  • Silently memorize the facial features of the irate male driver/would-be mugger in line behind me
  • Drive forward two feet
  • Bath my hands in sanitizer
  • Move on with my life

You see how exhausting this is?

No wonder I held off so long.

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 P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Grilled Cheese, Pie and Some Kids With Really Bad Hair

So…we meet again.

I’ll be honest in saying that I’m still trying to get my thoughts together on a more introspective post, but lately my thoughts by the end of the day involve introspection along the lines of, “I would like a second opinion on the fact this jar of hummus is labeled as eight servings” and “Why does the letter ‘W’ have so many damn syllables?”

alphabet

In other words, my brain is fried.

To be honest, these past couple of weeks have been a real emotional roller coaster. I’ve had some awesome unexpected things happen with work–I’m still one of those annoying people who loves my job–and my writing, but then I’ve also had some really unexpected crappy things happen.

We’re not talking life or death–I’m trying to keep perspective–but rather things beyond my control like a flooded basement with six inches of water and thousands of dollars of clean-up and sewer line replacement that wasn’t in the financial or emotional budget.

Let’s just say I’ve had more men going through my house this past week than I’ve had the past eight years combined. Unfortunately, none of them look like Bradley Cooper, unless Bradley Cooper suddenly morphed into a middle-aged, dirt-covered foreman with the stereotypical plumber’s crack.

Anyway, it kind of threw me because for the first time in a long, long time, I was feeling…happy? Content? I still have a long ways to go–and I need to save this ramble for that introspective post I’m pretending I will write–but I’m actually kind of okay. Not too high, not too low, but just settling into a new and slightly uncomfortable/unfamiliar normal. Then all this crap happened.

But, through the help of some friends and carbs, I’m trying to accept that something bad luck is just that–bad luck–and that good things happening are just good things happening. Sometimes it’s the result of hard work and sometimes it’s just a good thing. You have to accept both and not let either of them go to your head too much. It’s a constant work in progress.

But I digress–as usual.

Speaking of work, I thought I would drop a few links on you from 22 Words in case you want some good weekend reading. I’ll be back at some point with a more coherent post, but for now–what the hell is up with “W,” you know?

Detention Slips That Prove These Kids are Too Hilarious To Care (and hilarious comments on my Facebook page.)

30 Haircuts So Bad That These Kids Might Actually Hate Their Parents Now (We’ve all had a mullet…admit it.)

Hilarious Grocery Store Fails You Won’t Believe Actually Happened

30 Innocent Spelling Mistakes that Make These Kids Seem Completely Inappropriate 

20 Restaurants Where You Can Torture Yourself with Tasty but Insane Food Challenges (I’ll pass on 7 pounds of Italian food, thanks.)

Company Logos with Hidden Images You’ll Wonder Why You Didn’t See Sooner

40 of the Most Amazing, Mouthwatering Pies You’ll Ever See 

The Most Breathtaking and Dangerous Flowers in the World (Mother Nature is pretty kick-ass.)

Ridiculous Pet Products that Prove Some People Are Crazy (Three words: Dog sex toys.)

True Animal Heroes Who Saved People From Certain Death

35 Epic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches that  Celebrate April as National Grilled Cheese Month (Seriously. So much delicious. The end.)

And finally, I’m honored to say that I’m included among a fabulously talented group of women as a 2015 BlogHer Voice of the Year Honoree for my “10 Commandments of Grocery Shopping” post. I’m not tooting my own horn–I think it’s broken–but rather humbled and grateful and extending my congrats to everyone there on that list.

With that said, rambling over. See you back here next time.

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 P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Home Depot: You Can Do It. He Can Help.

Hi! I’m Jake—not from State Farm, ha ha—and would like to welcome you to Home Depot. I couldn’t help but notice you looked a little bit lost, so please allow me to show you around!

depot

First, I commend you for taking on this mission on a Saturday afternoon. That takes great courage in my book, as weekends can make for a rough climate around these here parts when all the home project “entre-manures” come out.

But remember, the “D” in “DIY” doesn’t have to stand for “Destruction!”

Just stick with me, kiddo. I’m trained and know the path that runs along the electrical aisles and merges into the lumber supplies. We can flow freely through baths and faucets and I can help with any of your organizational needs. The windows and doors? Merely entryways into the land of purchasing power and ease.

Heck, are you single and ready to shingle? I can be your personal stud finder—ha!

Anyway, I know the merits of preparation, so let’s grab a cart, devise a plan and get started. We’ll move swiftly, like a Swiffer on a linoleum floor—Aisle 5!—and we won’t wander off the path to sniff the Glade scented votives—Aisle 12!—or check out the area rugs—endcap on Aisle 7!—unless those are things on your list.

By the way, what is the first item there on your list? Weather stripping? If only that was as sexy as it sounds, am I right? Sorry. I’m very lonely. Let’s move on.

(Ahem.)

Though our impulse may say otherwise, we will not look directly at the 1,353 different paint sample cards or stop to ponder why there are also candy and beauty supplies mixed in with the screws and power tools. We will simply accept that this establishment is basically stocked with enough supplies to survive the zombie apocalypse.

You would never have to leave!

Now I realize this can be overwhelming and that the smell of lumber can be intoxicating, so it’s normal to panic at times. But instead of cowering down in the pre-assembled clubhouses or getting tangled in the hammocks on display in the outdoor furniture area, I suggest you accept failure to remember everything you need.

Don’t think of this as your only trip to the store. No, think of this as the first of many on a journey to not just home improvement, but PERSONAL improvement. We learn from our mistakes, and buying the wrong size furnace filter doesn’t just build up your bill—it builds knowledge and builds character.

And don’t forget that no matter what happens: You can do it. I can help.

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