Tag Archives: advice

Beware the Mall

Today I will use this blog to educate the dozens of you that flock here on a monthly basis to skim my posts.

Why? Because the mall can be a dangerous place.

The fact that I don’t particularly enjoy shopping for clothes is not a secret. While I enjoy walking around the mall on occasion, the general premise of immersing myself in an environment of consumerism and hormonal teenagers is not exactly my idea of enjoyment—minus the bookstore, of course.

And while I realize that shopping in Michigan pales in comparison to shopping in big cities like L.A. and New York, I thought I would pass along a few of my tips for surviving the mall—a mall PSA of sorts—for those of you who share my sentiments.

  • First of all, if you don’t have money to spend on anything “extra,” you will come across 1,001 things that you actually like and want to buy. If you have a gift card or money to spend, you will find nothing. With that in mind, proceed. 

Scent of a Woman—or Man

  • The perfume counter is a trap. I try and rush through this maze of pink packaging, celebrity endorsement posters and overpowering scents  without making eye contact with anyone wearing the minimum 3 lbs of facial makeup, a nametag and a fake smile. They will corner you and spray you with things that you will not be able to scrub off for days.
  • The cologne counter holds it’s own danger, at least for me. I’m not proud, but I pick up the bottle, a sample strip and spray—brought right back to the one that got away (insert semi-happy sigh.)

*However, other colognes remind me of the one that stayed too long. I don’t stop to smell those. In fact, I might just give the evil eye to anyone who walks by wearing that particular scent.


  • Beware the teenage girls! They travel in packs and although their behavior is predictable, it can still be a cause of concern. You can spot them by their clothing—either they try entirely too hard or not at all. For example, they will be overdressed in an outfit more appropriate for a dance club than the mall,  despite the fact they have never paid for a piece of clothing themselves (minus the thongs and lacy bras they bought without their parents knowing.)


  • On the other hand, some will feel it’s socially acceptable to wear pajama pants—occasionally rolling down the waist to reveal aforementioned thong—and flip-flops. While I’m not fashionista, I would think that if you took the time to put on makeup and the Bump-It in your hair in an effort to impress the dude working in GNC, you could find a pair of pants that you haven’t slept in. 

* Their male counterparts do not pose such a risk, despite their Bieber-esque façade. They are simply there for the food and the girls, in that order.

Germ Gym

  • Filled with things for them to climb on, slide down and fall off of, the children’s play area is a breeding ground for everything that will cause you to feel miserable. This can be the result of the loud screaming, both by parents and children, or the fact that every germ from every disease will be crawling around said play area and soon transferred to other shoppers walking by. Avoid this area at all costs.

* However, if you are a parent of the teenage girls above, make them sit there for an hour and observe—best birth control ever. 

Technical Difficulties

  • Just walking through the mall can be dangerous, not because you might be inclined to trip over your own feet or going up stairs like some people who blog, but because of technology. People will be walking in groups and texting other people in groups, meaning there are numerous groups of people walking around with their heads looking down or stuck up their ass.
  • They will not appreciate it when your stubbornness does not allow you to yield to their rudeness, they run directly  into you and you snarkily excuse them when they fail to do so themselves. They will scoff, glare and most likely text about what an asshole this person at the mall was.

*You can do the same.

Book It

  • The bookstore is pretty much a safe environment, although you do have to watch out for paper cuts and falling subscription cards from the magazines you stand there and read for free instead of actually buying. Plus, there is always the danger of spending too much money, but if you have to spend it on something at the mall, you can’t go wrong with books.


So I hope you at least learned something from this post so that your time has not been wasted.

If you haven’t yet, I will leave you with the fact that a Komodo dragon uses it’s long tongue to pick up smells in the air, zeroing in on rotting meat from more than a mile away.

If you knew that, I got nothing, which is how I came home from my last trip to the mall-except for that paper cut.

Do you have any mall dangers you care to share with the class? The more educated we are about these things, the safer we will be.  


People who actually use the word “snowpocalpyse” should be dragged out back and beaten with a wet noodle. It’s not clever, and in fact, it’s quite annoying.

These same people most likely shorten the name of things that are already shortened or combine the two names of a couple. I repeat—it’s not clever, and in fact, it’s quite annoying.

Pardon me if I sound a bit cold—emotionally, not physically—but I am in Michigan and they are once again predicting the biggest storm of the season to hit later this week, with around 10-16 inches predicted for the area.



This was last year’s storm of the season.

If you live in a state that actually has winter—and 50 degrees does not count as winter to all you California dreamers that complain about rain—you expect that snow will be part of the forecast. But whether it’s because we’re all stuck inside for these cold winter months or because CSI: NY is in reruns and we’re bored, people tend to go crazy and get obsessed with the weather (and use words like “snowpocalypse.”)

Here are several things that will happen:

  • Manic meteorologists will spend more time telling you that their station has been tracking the storm longer than anyone else than they will actually spend talking about the storm itself. This is their Super Bowl.
  • Even if no snow has fallen yet and it has been discovered that there is a recall on oxygen for the entire planet, the news will still lead off with a “breaking news” bulletin to tell you about the impending snowy doom of the area. And remember, you heard it there first.
  • Facebook will become the repository for complaints about it being snowy and having to shovel or about the meteorologists being wrong if the storm does in fact pass by without declaring war against our four-wheel drive.


  • There will be multiple jokes about the lack of global warming. None of them will be funny.
  • Kids everywhere will be making silent deals with the devil in order to have a snow day, while parents everywhere will be making silent deals with the devil in order to send them off to school.


  • People who have lived through multiple winters will still neglect to brush the snow off their car and turn on their lights before proceeding to forget how to drive.
  • A majority of people will decide that they have to stock up on toilet paper, bread and shovels and talk about nothing except the snow. In Michigan. In winter.

I’m not saying I like the snow— I don’t—but it’s expected and inevitable. I am exponentially less pleasant to be around when we lose power, so as long as that doesn’t happen, I can survive.

(And for all of you who tell me to move to a warmer climate, thank you for the suggestion. That will be feasible as soon as I am discovered as the next “Dear Abby” and given a column and condo in California or swept off my feet by a tropical Romeo. The likelihood of either being less than that of a “snowpacalypse” in hell.) 


Anyway, here’s my advice:

  • Make sure that your car has a full tank of gas and emergency provisions in case you get stuck—boots, gloves, blanket, flask of Vodka—the basics.
  • Don’t rent a new release from the video store, as you will be required to leave your snow shelter to return it the next day under the threat of a possible late fee.
  • Stock up on the essentials you will need to get your through not one, but possibly two (gasp) weekdays without going to the store.
  • Be prepared to shovel and listen to everyone else complain about having to shovel—usually the same people that complain it’s too hot in the summer.
  • Remember that despite the current snowy situation, Opening Day for baseball season is just two months away.

That, my friends, warms even my cold little heart.

Well, That’s Awkward

I find it appropriate that even the word “awkward” is awkward to spell and to say. The more you look at it, the weirder it gets.

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but for me there are some situations that are awkward. They’re not embarrassing or anything, just uncomfortable.


I have a few examples of my own that I’ve noticed lately.

Bathroom Break

Of course bodily functions are going to make an appearance on this list, but don’t worry—nothing gross. The thing is that at work, we have a bathroom for both sexes right next to each other. While there are two stalls each, it’s basically a one-person-lock-the-door-and-do-whatever deal.

Because of where they’re located though, you are constantly passing people as they’re going into the bathroom. This doesn’t sound awkward, but it kind of is. You smile and say “hi”—even though you’ve seen that person  a dozen times already that day—just as they’re walking in to do their thing. We all know what they’re doing, we all do it, but it’s still just kind of weird.

* It’s also awkward when you pass that person going into the bathroom, get up 20 mins later to go find them and discover they’re still in there. However, they will come out at the exact second you are walking by the bathroom to go back. Avoid eye contact and shoot them an e-mail instead. 

Run the Water

There is also the “run the water” moment. This happens when a woman is in the bathroom (not on the toilet) and another walks in to pee. Do you keep doing what you’re doing or run the water so you don’t both have to listen to the stream? Do you make conversation while she’s peeing?

Let’s move on.

Graceful Exit

This is going to sound ridiculous, but part of the reason I don’t always enjoy going to social things is that I never know how to leave. I’m usually one of the first people to leave a party—either because I’m old, bored or not drinking—and I never really know how to make a graceful exit.  No matter what I do, it’s weird to leave. I usually wait for someone else to head out and just join in the good-byes with them—group support.

Random Run-Ins

It seems that whenever I run into someone randomly—at the grocery store, book store, etc.—I will continue to run into that person multiple times in the following minutes. The first time around, chit chat is fine and expected, but what about subsequent run-ins? If I just talked to you in produce, do I have to talk to you again in dairy and then again in the cereal aisle?

Even though they probably don’t expect me to acknowledge them every time, it still feels weird  to see them and not say anything. However, it doesn’t really feel as weird as seeing them for the fifth time in five minutes and pretending to have something new to say.


It sounds rude, but don’t tell me you’ve never seen someone you know in public (see above situation) and purposely avoided them. Sometimes you don’t want to get stuck talking, sometimes you look like you fell off the white trash train—whatever the reason—you’ve done this. I’ve even done this with people that I like.

What stinks is when you let down your guard for one minute—maybe you sneeze, both blacking you out for a second and drawing attention to yourself—and they make their way over. They mention they saw you earlier but you must have missed their wave.

Nod. Yes, that’s exactly what happened.

Stick with that.

Miscellaneous Awkwardness

When you’re walking somewhere—a hallway, an aisle, etc.—and someone you know is really far away, but you don’t want to make eye contact too soon. However,  you don’t want to miss it, so you look at them then quickly look away, then look up again a second later.

Watching a movie rated anything above PG with people you’re not that familiar with and having a steamy scene last a little too long. 

Recognizing sexual innuendo (and perhaps giggling) when no one else does.

Giving an automatic reply, such as “You too,” “Love ya, “ etc. in situations where it absolutely makes no sense.


Saying goodbye to someone and then continuing to walk the same way as that person.           

Like I said, these are just a couple that I’ve come across lately. They’re not embarrassing, just uncomfortable—much like typing the work “awkward” entirely too much. But I’ll do it two more times…

To avoid that awkward blog silence, tell me I’m not alone in this. Do you have any reoccurring slightly awkward moments to share?                       

New Year, new round of FYIs

It’s been awhile since I’ve done FYIs, so I thought the new year would be a good excuse to scrounge up another round. They’re not really seasonal in nature, but whenever I write something serious I doubt posting, I always feel like I have to hurry up and write something else right away.

So without further ado, FYI:

While they say a watched pot never boils, the second you turn your back and start doing something else, it will completely spill over.

You have to let down your guard to let someone in.

It’s easier to just buy new mini-blinds than it is to try and clean them. (The same goes for shower curtain liners, but to a lesser extent.)

No one should own a pair of Pajama Jeans.


If you find yourself saying “but I was only trying to help” a lot, you’re not helping (especially if helping involves gifting a pair of Pajama Jeans.)

Be better, not bitter.

Sundays are for washing floors and clothes, not for washing hair.

When you don’t have money to buy something, you will find a bunch of things you want to buy. As soon as you are given gift cards, you will be unable to find anything at all.

“Anonymous” is blog speak for “Chicken Shit.”

You can’t be in a bad mood if you’re dancing.

When you get a flat tire, you fix it. You don’t slash the other three. My point? Even if you take a step back with resolutions, you can always take the next step forward.

We always hear about the “good old days.” If that’s the case, then 10 years from now we’ll look back at these times as the “good old days,” so enjoy each day right now.

Then again, I much preferred Gilad’s “Bodies In Motion,” Denise Austin and Jack La Lanne to Jillian and Jackie Warner, so maybe I’m full of crap.


Don’t fill silence with assumptions.

In life, it seems the group of people who are easily offended and the group of people who are easily confused tend to be the same group.

Since Joel McHale still hasn’t called, I’m moving on to Daniel Tosh (but Joel still had a standing invitation.)


Say what you mean, mean what you say. Never say sorry for feeling that way.

There are two kinds of people—those that eat the skin on baked potatoes and those that don’t. The cool people eat the skin. (This logic does not apply to bananas.)

You can—and will—always be humbled by something or someone. This is a good thing.

People with the least amount of responsibility will continually complain about being too busy.

Adding Brussel sprouts to a Whopper does not negate the fact that it’s still a freaking Whopper.


Contestants on cooking shows—Iron Chef or not—sweat entirely too much for any of the food to look appetizing.

Every minute of the day is not an emergency or something to urgently be filled with something, anything. Busyness does not equate with productivity, so breathe, prioritize and make time for yourself.

I constantly have a “writer’s voice” running dialogue through my head—observations, poems, ideas—and it’s exhausting.

Because of this, I would love to give my brain a break and read your FYIs. (OK, the two are completely unrelated, but I love your FYI comments.)

So, if one of your resolutions was to comment more on random rambling blogs, I am presenting you the chance to succeed. Why wait until tomorrow?

Another round of FYIs

I haven’t felt much like blogging lately, so I thought I would compile another rousing round of FYIs. Instead I came up with these…

The best way to make yourself feel better about having to wait in a long line is to look at the people behind you. You’re ahead. Gloat a little.

It’s perfectly acceptable to wait in a long line to see the winner of ArtPrize, especially considering the fact that it made “The Today Show” a couple times.

Teeth are jewels, not tools.

Maybe you only need to be good at one thing? Good to know, but I have to find that thing, as practicality often trumps passion. Let’s move on to pretty colors…

Fall really is beautiful in Michigan and the perfect time to go for a hayride through one of your favorite towns.

rockford1However, tripping and falling face first into the side of one of the horses is not a pleasant experience. (At least that’s what the woman who face-planted into the sweaty side of the Clydesdale said.)

A lot of times I think I really want something, but then when I get the opportunity to possibly attain it, I get freaked out and don’t want it anymore. I’m working on this (this is not related to the hayride mentioned above. Or teeth, although I value my teeth immensely.)

My blog world and real world are starting to collide, and this doesn’t make me happy. The end.

I know I’m not one to talk, but sometimes celebrities just look creepy when they get skinny (Drew Carey, Al Roker and Alton Brown come to mind.)


al (But he did do the ArtPrize story, so he gets some credit.)

Free popcorn is like crack to senior citizens. Get out of the way, or get your toes run over—nuns are not exempt from this maniacal phenomenon.

A little integrity is better than any career.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

I really want to like “The Office” this season, but it’s just not happening.

This week I have been summoned for jury duty. To prepare, I plan on watching the judges on “The Next Iron Chef” tonight and taking meticulous notes (yes, it will have skinny Alton Brown.)

And also this crazy, self-absorbed “Duskie” lady who scares me, even when she’s not holding sharp objects.  I’m all about local food, but wearing pigtails…really?

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” –Anais Nin

There are  times I don’t feel like going and doing something “social,”  but then half the time I end up enjoying myself and wondering why I don’t do it more often. However, that does leave the other half of the time. I suppose it evens out.

The “clean house” smell you spent a couple hours working on will be instantly negated by cooking salmon. However, it’s worth it (plus, if you drop any on the floor, you feel better about picking it up and popping it in your mouth.)

This just makes me laugh.


So now it’s your turn. Give me something to look forward to reading when I get home from a day of civic duty.

What are your FYIs?

FYIs, part 3

Sneezing when you’re driving is kind of scary.

I love a good book, but hate when it’s finished. For that reason I will always leave the last few pages and kind of ration them out over a couple days, unless I have another book waiting to be read. Then I just finish the first one and move on.

Larabar is retiring the Cocoa Mole flavor, so stock up if you like it.

lara (It was never my favorite flavor, but maybe I should still send a card joking about all the extra time it will have to go golfing now?)

Two people can experience the exact same thing in entirely different ways.

When you are running behind, the following things are bound to happen on your drive: you will realize your gas tank is on “E” and debate the merits of stopping or chancing it and waiting until later; you will hit every red light; you will get stuck behind a farm implement with no room to pass (still obsessively checking the gas gauge every five seconds) before passing a cop and silently thanking said farm implement for forcing you to go under the speed limit even though you’re late.

OK. Maybe that just happened to me.

I love The Onion and this one is so, so true. Person With Almost No Responsibility Always Stressed Out.

I can feel much more insecure than I thought, and this royally pisses me off.

Baking salmon, steaming broccoli and boiling eggs at the same time can make your kitchen smell…interesting.

Amy’s Four Cheese Pizza is in fact a bit more delicious than just the cheese version.


They claim the crust is thinner, but I didn’t think so (I love the crust on this one.) And as we know, thin food can cause controversy.

Post block syndrome—similar to writer’s block in that one feels unable to come up with any post-worthy content.

"People can’t conceive of a virtue in someone else that they can’t conceive in themselves. Instead of believing you’re stronger, it’s so much easier to imagine you’re weaker." — Chuck Palahniuk

If an old lady calls you “sweetie,” it’s sweet. If a woman your own age calls you “sweetie,” it’s completely condescending.

Speaking of sweet, here is your cute animal video for the week.

Finding a band-aid anywhere is just really gross.

There will be people that don’t like you. There will be people you don’t like. Shrug it off.

I’m learning it takes trust and vulnerability to really be a friend.  See, a true friend is one that has seen your vulnerabilities, couldn’t care less and reminds you that this too shall pass.

On that note, it’s “couldn’t care less” and not “could care less.” Sorry. Pet peeve.

All my magazine subscriptions arrive on about the same day and I feel overwhelmed and like I have to hurry up and read them all. However, two weeks later half of them will still be sitting on my “throw it there” table, unread. Sigh…

I always doubt myself the second I hit publish on certain posts, but it helps to remember that:

"We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path" ~ coehlo

Nuns riding bikes will not always yield to pedestrians. Trust me on this one.

Just like the last two times, share your FYIs!

FYIs, part 2

Kashi  Heart to Heart Whole Grain Crackers are not nearly as good as Triscuits “With a Hint of Salt.”


In fact, they taste fruity and rather unpleasant in comparison.

It’s entirely possible to feel closer to someone you’ve never met in person than people you see every day.

Things you don’t want to hear the neighbor kids say, “Either eat it or let’s bury it. Mom just can’t find out.”

Things you don’t want to hear your boss say, “Mandatory team building event.”

theofficeThis is code for “bull shit.” 

You can be beat without being defeated.

There is too much “blogligation” out there. It’s a blog, and in most cases, it’s not your life. Make no apologies.

I still fully intend on including “spatulate” into my vocabulary.

When going for a walk, do not get stuck behind a garbage truck on garbage day—a garbage day that’s 85 degrees, in particular.

Sometimes you have to do something even if you don’t want to. It doesn’t matter why you do it, only that you do.

You don’t always have to be deep, but avoid being shallow.

Trust me, there are ugly babies.

However, there are no ugly baby animals.

Jealousy and regret are useless emotions. This doesn’t mean I don’t still feel them, but just that I acknowledge that they’re useless.

Once in awhile, a change of blog scenery can be kind of fun (even if you scare people off.)

There are often more personalities than there is logic.

For 99 people that don’t understand, there is always that one left that does. Look for that one. If you can’t find them, be that one yourself.

Trust me.

This is worth your five minutes to watch.

Just like last time, do you have any FYIs to share?

My Weekend FYIs

It takes infinitely longer to fold and put away laundry than it takes to actually wash the stuff. (Cut out the middle man and don’t fold. You’ll add hours to your life.)

While I occasionally wear Clinique “Happy” or “Happy Heart,” lately my fragrance of choice has been garlic or a great new fragrance called “Deet.”

There are only small joys in life. The big ones are to complicated to be joys when you get all through with them. Once you realize this, it takes the pressure off.

If I don’t know the author, I do judge a book by its cover—and by its title. While I don’t generally do this with people, when looking for a new “used” book at the store, I have to admit that the cover and the title will grab me. (This doesn’t surprise me, considering I’m distracted by colors and  shiny things.)

Brown basmati rice is more expensive that “regular” brown rice, but worth every penny for the swap.

Of all the reasons to get married, love and pissing off your family are both pretty strong.

article-1294682-0A70C01F000005DC-38_468x628Don’t always believe everything you think. It can be nice to trust someone other than yourself.

It’s quite possible that this is the cutest video ever. If it doesn’t make you smile, you have no soul.

I think I love him.

Sometimes you have to remove self-judgment and look objectively at your own situation. You’re not that bad. It’s not that bad. Cut yourself some slack.

Most of the people that tell you to “relax” are almost always the source of your anxiety.

Inspiration Deficit Disorder isn’t a real thing, but it should be (hell, we give every other thing a “scientific” name.)

There is no baseline for normal. Once you realize this, it takes the pressure off.

The only thing I know about “The Hills is from what I’ve seen on “The Soup,” and that was entirely too much. That was really a show? (But I would be enthralled watching Joel read the phone book, so I can’t complain.) 

soup-logo I think I love him.

You can stop without quitting, take a break when you want to. Once you realize this, it takes the pressure off.

Any FYI’s to share?