Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I have a crush on you already, 2011.

Holy Sparkly Balls, you guys, Christmas is nearly here. Are you ready? I'm not. Are you ready for me and everyone else to shut up about it and get on with some normalcy that is not "holiday season" related? Wow, too bad for you, Scrooge, I am not done talking about it and you need to go out and get drunk and find yourself some goddamn festive spirit.

Just kidding. I love you guys.

No, I'm not drunk yet. Why do you keep asking me that?

So. With the new year approaching (holla at me, 2011!) and my birthday being in January and all, this time of year is when I typically have to do "end of the year" write ups and articles about like "the best of" and "do you know what should not have happened this last year that didn't?" It's a great time for me to reflect on the year behind me and get my size 9 in gear for the next year.

What do I have to say to you, 2010?

Good riddance to bad rubbish. That's right. You buh-leeeew. Maybe you were some kind of "transition to awesome" year or like, a year to fill in some plot holes (like they do with television shows and comics and stuff) but there was honestly not a whole lot about you that I liked. You were supposed to be too legit to quit and you ended up being a small, annoying town ravaged by Suckzilla.

I mean, really, I'm glad to have survived you. You're like a boyfriend who cheats and makes snide comments about how I should lose weight and how I drink too much and don't talk about my feelings enough but when I dump you and set fire to your things and stand there reflecting, I am imbued with this feeling of relief like, "OMG I am so glad you done bit the dust, you asshat."

Basically what I'm saying is that I am stronger because of you, and do you know what that means? 2011 is going to fucking rock.

2011 will essentially be new hot guy who swoops in and kisses my cheek to say hello and laughs at my jokes and reads my writings and will surprise me with Guinness when I've been really good and will play Xbox with me and not get all bent out of shape if I just want to sit and read and don't feel like talking. Also? He will fucking know how to BBQ because that is an important man skill that I need in a man and he won't be irritated when I ask him to parallel park my car for me because I already told you I suck at that. That is what 2011 is going to be for me. The perfect guy. Whereas you, 2010, got fat and mad at me every time I wanted to watch the SyFy channel and drank all my Stella. So, you can totally go sleaze it up with 2009, who wasn't as bad as you but was kind of a whore and is pretty high-maintenance. I'm movin' forward, dollface.

Hi, 2011, you handsome thing. I baked you some cookies. <3

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eggnog totally weirds me out.

I've had a couple random ideas about what I wanted to post since it's December and the holidays and all, but I haven't had time to sit down and write anything.

Sorry, Santa, yes, that was a lie. I have the time but I just haven't felt like any of my ideas have been good enough. Someone once told me I needed to work on my self-esteem. I've also been told that I'm a narcissistic, intellectual snob who's smart but definitely not smart enough to be an intellectual snob about it. Thanks a lot, college, that's all I was using you for anyway. The point is that maybe I need to work on my self-esteem and maybe I'm a narcissist and a snob. I just don't know how to please you people.

Anyway, I don't really have any point to this, so I'll give you a ten minute sample of things on my mind this time of year.

Me: I feel like I should decorate my office a little for Xmas but I don't want to have to take it down if they move me.

MEH: Hmm, I believe you should decorate your cup with alcoholic eggnog while all that gets sorted out.

Me: I will take the cup of alcoholic eggnog without the eggnog.

MEH: Right, whiskey it is.

Me: I feel like eggnog is what chickens would lactate if they had nipples and alcoholism. It sort of creeps me out.

MEH: Wow.

Me: Sorry. Hope I didn't just ruin the 'nog for you.

MEH: Nah, I hate eggnog. I never thought about alcoholic nipples, although now I am, and I'm revising my perfect woman.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Obviously I just do not want to shut up about food.

I know that I've posted a few things about food on this blog and you guys are probably sick of me talking about it and want to hear something entertaining or juicy about the fellas, but this is sort of the wrong time of year for me because I'm usually running around like a hummingbird on Aderol trying to get all the holiday stuff done for family and friends and I just don't have the time or inclination to toss out some holiday-themed pick up lines and it's hard to wink at boys in bars all saucy-like if your eye is twitching from stress and too much coffee. I've been told it looks like I'm having a seizure when I try to do that, so point taken, gentlemen. Moving on.

Christmas is a time when my family gets even more excited about being in the kitchen than we normally are, especially my mom and EM and I. EM isn't much of a kitchen-lover, but you should see her tackle a batch of candy cane cookies. She will effing bake your face off. We stick to our family traditions, but a few years ago I thought it would be a great idea to get all fancypants and try to make some peppermint bark, because everyone in the entire world loves peppermint bark and if you don't I probably wouldn't ever really trust you completely, sort of like those people who don't like chocolate and bacon. It makes me think there's something wrong with you a little bit, and considering I just compared myself to a hummingbird on Aderol, that is saying something.

Anyway, I went and got dark chocolate and white chocolate and peppermint extract and candy canes and was determined to make peppermint bark so good that world peace really *would* have been a legit possibility because everyone would have been united by the deliciousness of my holiday candy. What happened when this candy was finished was something like a disaster of epic proportions meeting up with some kind of culinary angel magic. I don't really know how it happened. Maybe Jesus looked down from his Laz-E Boy in the clouds and took pity on my horrific cooking errors and was all, "That looks like crap. Maybe I'll help out and make it taste good at least, so that she doesn't have a Christmas meltdown."

Because oh baby, did it taste good. So in the spirit of the holidays and giving and Jesus and puppies and rainbows and all, I'm going to give you guys my recipe for one of my favorite edible holiday mistakes - Christmas Fark.

(Sounds kind of dirty, huh?!)

Christmas Fark was the frankensteined peppermint bark that sort of ended up with a softer side - not quite bark, but not quite fudge, but a wonderful blending of the two. Sort of like the texture of a Hershey's bar on an August day in SoCal, but less melty. It's not fudge, it's not bark, it's fark. Get it? Good. Here's how you handle it:

Crap You Need:

1 c. crushed candy canes (more or less depending on how pepperminty you like it)
1 lb GOOD dark chocolate (don't skimp out, the better the chocolate, the better the fark)
1 lb GOOD white chocolate (seriously it's gonna be so good omg)
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream
A cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap or wax paper

Crap You Do:

So, the most fun part of this is crushing up the candy canes. Unwrap 'em and really go to town on them. You can take out all of your stress and holiday blues and "don't YOU tell me to ease up on the Christmas cookies, you dingbat!" on a Ziploc bag full of candy cane pieces until they're good and pulverized. It's cool to have a few big bits because it looks more festive or something.

Chop up the dark chocolate and try not to eat a lot of it. I mean, a few nibbles are okay to "test the quality" but make sure most of it goes into the top part of a double boiler. You have to melt this chocolate gently and keep stirring it. Watch it closely, as if it is a beautiful shirtless man or a Christian Louboutin shoe parade. When it's mostly melted, add in one tbsp of the heavy cream and keep stirring until it's all incorporated. By this time, it should be pretty liquidy. Pour it out onto the cookie sheet and give it a wiggle to make sure it spreads out all even-like. Let it set up a bit, maybe an hour or so. It doesn't have to be super hard, just solid enough that it'll stay on the bottom when you pour the white chocolate on top.

Next, chop up the white chocolate and melt it slow like you did with the dark chocolate. Add in the peppermint extract and the other tbsp of cream and stir it up, little darling, stir it up. When it's looking liquidy, pour it on top of the layer of dark chocolate. Give it another wiggle so that it spreads out well, and then sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top. Let it set for another couple hours or so, until it's firm. Cut it up into pieces and keep them all to yourself. (Or wrap them up and give them away, if you're into that kind of thing. You know, whatever.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Everyone is too fat for LA so you should just get the large fries and stop worrying about it.

This week one of my friends was talking to me about her diet and weight and such and how she wanted to lose 10 pounds or so. You guys should know that all of my friends are super foxy, so it was really ridiculous to me that my beautiful friend wanted to lose unnecessary weight. I told her she was full of crap and that we should go get drunk and eat fried things, she didn't need to lose a damn thing (except her current state of sobriety). She grumbled something at me about how I didn't have to worry about things like weight because I was thin and obviously ate whatever I wanted. Half of that is true - I do eat whatever I want 99% of the time because it's food and I love food so much sometimes I wish I could transform the idea of food into a man and then marry him and bear his food-children. And then I would eat them, because they would probably be delicious. Hang on, someone brought in doughnuts to work and I gotta go get my glaze on.

Okay, so. I told her that was not true, it's genetically programmed in all women to give a shit about their weight. I do worry about it. Obviously I want to be attractive to the opposite sex because I really like the opposite sex, and magazines tell me I have to look a certain way to do it. (Don't yell at me about that, that's an issue for another day. Wait, I'll just take my tongue out of my cheek here before I continue...)

Anyway, I came clean with my foxy friend about why I gave up on stressing about diets and being thin and squeezing into smaller sizes several years ago and just decided to go with the flow ('the flow' in this case being the steady flow of delicious calories into my face) and let the gaining or losing of pounds happen on its own.

According to The Industry, I am already too fat for L.A., so there is not much else I have to be concerned about. Here's the skinny. (Pun very much intended!)

When I first moved to Los Angeles a few years ago, I secured an editorial internship at an ass-kicking alternative music/girlie magazine. Punk rock and tattooed pinups all over the glossy pages and the editorial freedom do bring my own ideas to the table - color me "tickled pink"! Through this internship, I met a lot of cool people and did a lot of awesome stuff. Through a rather random series of events, I even got to do a bit of modeling (it was all PG, don't get excited) and had a blast because they paid me in beers and I think that is darn near everyone's dream. Fast forward a few months and one of my friends that had worked on this particular shoot ended up showing my pictures to a casting person at Spike TV when they were casting babe-types for the show "1000 Ways To Die" and they needed a redhead, I guess. Since I was temporarily a redhead and apparently passed the "cute" test, I got a call from the show's producer.

I said it would be fun to be on a TV show, and he just thought that was swell so the stylist would be calling me later that day to get my sizes for my wardrobe. Super. I went in to work and waited. When the stylist called, I had the suspicious feeling that things were not going well.

Stylist: I need your shirt size, your bra size, your shoe size and your pant size.

Me: Uh. Medium?

Stylist: No, like numbers. What size jeans are you wearing right now?

Me: Oh! I don't know, hang on, I'll check my ass. These jeans say they're a size 9.

Stylist: (silence for a couple minutes) ...size 9? Really?

Me: Yep, that's what they say. Size 9.

Stylist: Are... are you sure?

Me: Yeah, size 9. The number between 8 and 10.

Stylist: Oh. Uh. Okay...

Me: Is something wrong?

Stylist: No... not really. So... size 9.

Me: Yep. My ass fits comfortably into my size 9 jeans.

Stylist: Oh, you know, I just remembered I have to ask Producer something. I'll call you back this afternoon.

Me: Word.

I definitely thought it was odd when she hung up. Was that weird? Huh. I didn't quite get it... they *had* my picture, they knew I wasn't a rail. I went home that day and told EM what had happened.

"I think she things my ass is too fat," I said, kind of giggling. EM agreed that it was weird. "I will seriously not be surprised if she calls me back and fires me." That's how showbiz is, you guys. Don't take it personally, but you are a heifer and we cannot even fit your blubbery butt in the frame. Thanks for playing. Later that evening, I did indeed get a call from Producer. He was very kind and said that he was disappointed, but they wouldn't be able to use me. Something about other babe-types on another Spike TV show being under contract and they had to be used instead of hiring new babe-types. That's how you get rejected in L.A. - they're super sweet about it because they don't want to be the ones to send you into a bulimic downward spiral into rehab. Fortunately, I am rather well-adjusted that way and laughed to Producer and told him that was fine, good luck with your show. He said he would keep me "on file" and I laughed again as I'm sure we both rolled our eyes.

That was my last foray into modeling and TV. Truthfully, I wasn't that invested in the project and at the time, I was perfectly happy with my shape, so the event passed rather humorously for me. These days it's a story I tell to people who come to me all worried about thick thighs and a beer belly, because it doesn't matter in the end. You're always going to be too fat or too short or too this or too that for someone, so don't you think it's a hell of a lot more productive to just accept the way you look and enjoy it?

Maybe I'm crazy. I probably don't belong in L.A. because saying such things is blasphemy in a town where everyone makes a living carving images. I suppose I'm guilty of carving my own image, as well... it's just that it has a size 9 ass.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Game On, Parking Ninja.

I think the Los Angeles Parking Enforcement officer who patrols my street is a ninja.
I'll cruise my street, scanning for empty spots, pull into the No Parking zone for a minute to wait for a spot to open up, blink and BAM! PARKING TICKET.

Where did the ticket come from? Where is the officer who wrote me this ticket? I don't see any Parking Enforcement vehicles, so how did this happen? Where are you, Parking Enforcement Officer? I'll tell you where. In the goddamn bushes in ninja camouflage.

My craptacular avenue is perpendicular to a day care/school thing and when I get off work, I'm often forced to contend for spots in front of my apartment in manic who-can-parallel-park-the-fastest death battles for open spaces with parents coming to collect their offspring. And I always lose those battles because I am a WOMAN and cannot parallel park to save my life. I'm sorry if you ladies are offended by my automotive sexism, but let me just stop and say that there are a lot of things that I'm good at and quite a few things that I can do better than most boys, (like getting a period [ha, sorry, kidding...]) but when it comes to getting in my car and driving my happy ass to point B, I'm already as good as lost before I even pull out of the driveway. I talk to other cars as though they can hear me, (i.e. "LET ME MERGE, YOU ASS-PIRATE!") I get lost almost every time I get in the car, I have no concept of directionality ('north' is up, right?) and you can just forget about parking. Sometimes I literally put my car in park and make EM's boyfriend do it for me.

What?! Don't judge me - at least I'm aware of my failings. Also, I have excellent boobs and I can't be good at everything, you know?

So Parking Ninja hides in wait for me. On days when I'm sick from work and can't move my car to the other side of the street for street cleaning between 12 and 2 pm, I'll groggily shuffle downstairs and regardless of whatever time I *thought* it was when I remembered to move my car, it will always be 12:02 and I will always have a ticket written at 12:01. Parking Ninja is nowhere to be seen, because he is a ninja and he is laughing his evil laugh from behind the bushes or in the storm drain or probably even from *inside* my car that he broke into with his Ninja Magic.

I think I'm being hunted and unfairly targeted by Parking Ninja. Fine. Two can play at this game. I will wear my own camouflage and lie in wait... patiently... patiently... patiently waiting for you to enter the 6-inch force field-activated Shitstorm of Velociraptors car alarm that I bought with all the money I saved by not paying the city of Los Angeles your alleged "parking citations."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And speaking of underwear...

Dear Victoria's Secret,

We've had a little chat before about these emails that you keep sending me about sales on underwear and things, and despite my best efforts to unsubscribe and relegate you to my SPAMbox, you have proven yourself a worthy adversary. Like some kind of email zombie, you keep coming back, clutching your saggy-ass bikini briefs (seriously, does anyone else have a problem with that?) and shaking them menacingly in my face, moaning "25% offff... 25% OFFFF! GRRAAAWRRR!"

I've given up on unsubscribing, because you'll just find a way to rise from the deleted-dead. It's fine. I just delete you now with barely a glance, until today, when you sent me an email with the subject line "What is Sexy?" and I felt compelled to respond to you. You did, after all, ask me a question.

Victoria, (can I call you Victoria?) we both know about my lingerie collecting. You've provided me with some excellent items over the years, and those leopard boyshorts are still in my top 5 favorite underwears. They look totally bitchin' with my hot pink hair. I thank you for those. However, we seem to differ on our definitions of "sexy" these days and I thought I'd take the time to explain why I have not shopped with you in some time, opting instead for things a bit pricier. (Agent Provocateur and I have become good friends.)

Here's a list of things that I think are sexy. Maybe if you could take these as suggestions when designing your next line, I would be more compelled to spend my money, as opposed to your incessant peddling of "I Love My Boyfriend" gear. (Not all of us lingerie aficionados are paired up, Vicky, [can I call you Vicky?] some of us just like to feel pretty underneath our jeans and tees.)

TAB's Sexy List:
*Chivalry and respect are sexy.
*Intelligence is sexy.
*Humor and laughter are sexy.
*Big, brown eyes are sexy.
*Creativity is sexy.
*A sense of adventure is sexy.
* These Guinness underwears are sexy. I need them.
That's it for me. I don't need anyone to buy me "I'm A Princess, Dammit" underwear. I don't need you to sell me skanky Santa outfits at 15% off, because WHAT THE HELL WOULD I DO WITH THAT?! I don't need you to sell me cleavage-boosting, squish-suppressing, can't-tell-it's-there garbage. Look, I've come to terms with my body type, and you probably should, too. It's kind of liberating. I don't need you to disguise my squishy parts, but maybe you could offer me something better to adorn them with. You know, less "I Love My Boyfriend" and more like, "I Like Camping" or "These Underpants Are Made With 100% Recycled Awesome" or maybe you could just sell me underwear with a matching cape, because that would save me the trouble of having to find a matching bath towel for when I want to run around in my skivvies like a half-naked superhero. And, when in doubt, go with black lace. A lady can never have enough black lace in her drawers. (ZING! SEE WHAT I DID THERE? Drawers?! Like storage places AND underwear?! You see that?!)

Feel free to use any of those suggestions, by the way. I'm trying to be helpful to you, Vicky. In the meantime, you can stop sending me emails. Or not. Whatever. This is my way of telling you I've moved on, but drop me a line if you feel that our ideas of "sexy" have meshed again.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I have excellent priorities.

Me (in a discussion about the 'Black and Bleu Burger' at Henry's Hat): I could write poetry about how much I love this burger.

Billie: I'm excited to try it!

Me: Like, if I had to choose between making out with a gorgeous man and eating this burger, I would have a really hard time deciding.

Billie: Dang.

Me: I know. I mean, if the burger came with a Guinness, obviously I would have to choose the burger.

Billie: That should be on the menu as part of the description.

Me: Unless the gorgeous man was offering me a Guinness, then I'd have to go with the makeout. But, that's not really fair because that's using Guinness to sway my opinion, and I love Guinness more than a lot of things on this earth. Okay, so if the guy was maybe talking to me about horror movies or comic books and was holding a Guinness and then was all, "Let's make out!", he'd win over the burger/Guinness combination.

Bille: Hahaha, is the Guinness necessary to wash down the burger?

Me: Noooo, on its own, the burger is definitely enough. Conversely, if there was a hot guy holding this burger and offering me a makeout sesh and then on the other hand there was a pint of Guinness, I'd probably pick the burger/cute boy combo and then after the makeout I'd be all, "Hey do you wanna go get a Guinness now?" and then I would have outwitted myself and won.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Alcohol Disguises Social Ineptitude. (But not really.)

This weekend was Halloween, which is proven to be one of the best holidays because you get to dress up like a maniac, get jacked on too-much-candy sugar and try to come down from said sugar high by countering with too-much-booze. My plan was to chase cupcakes with beer and then pee out all the sugar so that I'd be at some kind of idly inebriated equilibrium, because life is all about balance, kids.

I wound up at a party Saturday night with Billie, her younger brother and her roommate and began the drinking part of my plan. Half a bottle of wine and two cheap beers later, the three of us ladies surveyed the cute boy situation. Partly swaying with my wine bottle in one hand and my beer in the other, I made the command decision to indulge my inner nerd and scope out the Cute Boys in Superhero Costumes, of which there were a few. I figured we could at least bond over comic books, and then maybe bond some more by making out. Bow chica bow bow.

Sorry. I won't do that again.

Anyway, I dragged Billie around the sort-of-huge house on the hunt for Spiderman, who I thought was very cute but Billie said was too short. I said it didn't matter - he had lovely brown eyes and was wearing a Spiderman costume. We already had so much in common!

Milling about and keeping my eyes open for the adorable Spiderman, we ran into a Superman/Clark Kent who I also deemed attractive. We had a really romantic exchange that went something like:

Me: "Oh! You're from New York! What is it that you do?"

Superman: "I'm a comedian."

Me: "That's cool! More in the sitcom arena or stand-up type stuff?"

Superman: "I actually hate both sitcoms and stand-up."

Me: "Oh. :: awkward silence :: So, I really like your costume! Are you a big comic book fan?"

Superman: "Not really."

:: Crickets chirp. A tumbleweed blows by. Someone in the audience coughs. ::

Me: "So, how do you like L.A.?"

Superman: "I don't." :: Superman looks over his shoulder with a random, irritated look ::

Me: "Okay. I'm going to go stand over here now."

Obviously, I am smooth and charming, so if you'd like to know how to spend your next party like The Average Broad, commence as follows:

Chug some wine. Drink a beer. Coerce the girl dressed like Snooki to fist-pump for a photo even if she looks mad and you look drunk. Slow dance with Billie, her brother and her roommate all at the same time, a la "Romy and Michelle." Finish bottle of wine. Refill bottle with keg beer. Deem it to be undrinkable. Drink it anyway. Have slurring discussion with man in toga about the finer points of Arthur Miller's collected works. Hunt for Spiderman again. Realize Spiderman has left the building. Refill empty wine bottle with keg beer again. Apologize for bumping into the booty of a guy wearing white pants. Ask guy if he's John Travolta from "Saturday Night Fever." Call him John Travolta even when he says that's not what his costume is. Intentionally bump into his booty again. Decide that next year, you will dress up as Bill Lumbergh from "Office Space." Have another romantic exchange with someone dressed up as Antoine Dodson about who has the better costume. His comes with a catch phrase, so he wins. Finish second wine bottle full of beer. Decide you are ready to go home. Pass out on your couch watching infomercials.

It's hard out here for a pimp.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One time, EM and I fought a bear.

I started writing this one post about Halloween costumes yesterday and then 1/3 of the way through it I realized it was remarkably whiny and obnoxious because I basically just listed all of the things that bug me about slutty lady costumes. Also, I realized I didn't want to offend anyone and I don't know if anyone who reads this crappy blog likes slutty lady costumes or likes slutty ladies or maybe is a slutty lady, because hey, I'm not here to judge.

Instead, I'm going to tell you guys the story about the time that EM and I went up against a bear and lived to tell the tale.

Most of my family vacations involved camping. My father, an outdoorsman of Bear Grylls caliber, believed that it was important for EM and I to learn important life skills in the event of some kind of natural disaster, so that we could retreat to the woods where the zombies would be less numerous (all of my natural disaster scenarios involve zombies) and carve out a living by purifying our own water, making adequate shelter, hacking at various shrubberies with a machete, and being prepared for absolutely every single thing that could happen. Rain? Snow? Hunger? Headache? Blister? Loss of appetite? Dirty fingernails? Dehydration? Getting lost? We've got it covered. Survivalism flows through my veins, along with Guinness and whiskey and cholesterol.

One of our favorite places to camp was (and still is, I suppose) Sequoia National Park. It's a wonderful and beautiful place with lots of geriatric trees and streams and meadows with frolicking deers and not that many bugs and is a lot less crowded than Yosemite - crowded, also, with bears.

When you first arrive at the park, you'll see plenty of signs posted about bears breaking into cars and that you should properly store your food in the provided "bear boxes" - huge steel things with chains and locks that black bears cannot break into, unless they took some kind of lock-picking course (which would probably be pretty helpful for any kind of person, not just bears, now that I think about it). Some people don't obey, though, and every year there are numerous break-ins and shattered window glass from the cars of people who think sticking their Snickers under the seat will be good enough. This results in the bears associating cars and people with food, and makes them naturally curious about vehicles.On this particular trip, my parents had set up their tent next to the smaller one that EM and I used, probably 4 or 5 yards away from our car. We had followed the campground (and my father's) rules to the letter - all food and dish washing/scented items stowed safely in the bear box, nothing food-like or scented or potentially delicious-looking anywhere around the car, or in our tents - not even cherry chapstick or toothpaste. We were vigilant, because you do not ef with bears.

EM and I zipped up our tent but for a small opening at the top of the tent flap for ventilation, wriggled into our sleeping bags and listened to the sounds of the forest. Crickets, owls, other gross bug-things, the stream by our campsite, weird sniffing noises...

Wait. Sniffing noises?

"EM," I whispered. "What's that noise? Do you hear that?!"

EM's eyes grew wide. "Look outside and see what it is!"

"You look outside!"

We crept to the zippered door of our tent and peeked out of the ventilation hole. Sure enough, standing on his hind legs and peering in the rear window of our car, was a large black bear. He sniffed around the window, then dropped to all fours to amble around our campsite, all less than 6 yards from the non-safety of our flimsy tent.

"DAD!" EM hissed. "DAD! Mom!"

My father grunted in reply.

"Dad!" I whispered frantically, thinking that death was just lurking around and we would all perish from some bizarre bear rampage any second now. "Dad! There is a bear outside!"

EM and I huddled together.

"What?" we finally heard my father say. He chuckled.

"He doesn't believe us!" EM said to me.

"Dad, seriously, there is a huge bear outside and we are all going to die unless you go scare it away!" I hissed.

My father grunted again, half-asleep. "A bear? Hm. Give it my regards," and he rolled over and went back to sleep. My mother said something about making noise to scare it away, and then the only noises we heard from their tent were the steady snore of my exhausted dad.

EM looked at me, panicked. "'Give it my regards!?' I don't want to make loud noises! What if it comes over here to investigate?!"

She had a point. I imagined that if I were a bear, I would be disconcerted and curious about a mysterious blue triangle tent emitting shouts and shrieks. I would haul my bear-ass over and maul it, just because I was a bear. Just because I could.We peeked out of the tent. It was still lumbering around, this time closer to us. Sniffing around our fire pit.

Quietly, cautiously, hesitantly and tentatively, EM stuck her face up against the ventilation hole and whispered:

"Boogie boogie, bear!"

Nothing happened. EM looked at me, pleadingly. I moved closer to our tent flap.

"Hey Yogi!" I said, slightly louder. "I think you should go find Boo Boo and leave us alone!"

EM leaned in close and repeated, "Boogie boogie, bear!"

We both looked out towards where the bear had been. He was gone. EM and I crawled back in our sleeping bags, satisfied that our ferocious caterwauling had frightened away one of nature's apex predators. All until, as we were drifting off to sleep, EM yawned and said, "But what if it comes back when we're sleeping?"

Neither one of us slept a wink that night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

French Godzilla Vous Tuera!

I have a hard time telling stories sometimes because I get anxiety about "cutting to the chase." You might think that's weird, but I lay a lot of the blame at the feet of minor ADD. My conversations, text messages, email exchanges and the like often take rather bizarre twists and turns and it's hard for me to deliver the punchline without the context of what built up to it. Sort of like...

"I was talking to my Friend With Great Hair the other day and we decided that she should have an Angry Vagina Party. I suggested stapling bread to a shirt and going as a yeast infection," I would say.

"Uh. Angry Vagina Party? TAB, are you on medication?"

So now I have to go back and EXPLAIN that the reason for wanting to throw an Angry Vagina Party is because Friend With Great Hair wrote a short play about a woman whose vagina has a separate personality and divulges all of the protagonist's sexual secrets. It's quite hilarious and will probably win a Tony when they make it into a musical. You see the genesis of wearing a bread-blouse to a party, right? Good. Also, I'm not on medication, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, I had to tell you that story to explain the birth of French Godzilla. Yesterday, I was in the midst of a text conversation with someone, and the conversation turned to the French. I get the feeling he's a bit anti-French, but I tend to love them for their snottiness and artistic flair and for giving me crepes and lingerie and cafe au lait and la tour Eiffel avec toutes les belles lumières! Although, I said to him, I can do without the surrendering and the existentialism. J.P. Sartre, you really chap my ass. He added, "...and the nuclear testing."


Regardless of the fact that France only has like 200-something atmospheric and underground nuclear tests and the US has racked up well over 1,000, I agreed with him. Helloooo, French people, have you BEEN to French Polynesia? What is *wrong* with you that you want to perform underwater tests RIGHT THERE in paradise? Ohh la la, mon dieu. Quel dommage!

But in a jovial sort of manner, I told him it would only be a few years before French Polynesian Godzilla emerged, so it couldn't be all that bad anyway... mainly because I'm going to tame that mofo, saddle him up and ride off into the sunset. Probably to set up on some French Polynesian island where I will then rule as Queen TAB, sci-fi cowgirl and ruler of sea mutants. French Godzilla will enforce the laws of my land and bring me crepes and wine.

I told MEH about my plan and he was on board, too. You guys are totally invited.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Friendly Letter to UPS.

Dear UPS,

Hi. Let me start off by saying that I am a frequent patron (the customer type, not the tequila, which is delicious but not applicable here unless you count drinking out of frustration. Actually, I do that, so maybe this is all related for a reason...) of your services and seldom have customer service problems. Well, that was true until this week when you allegedly "lost" one of my "parcels" and were rather unhelpful on the phone when I called to track it down, leading me to believe that UPS drivers plan their truck routes skirting the precipices of black holes, and occasionally the odd package will leap from the truck and be sucked in and lost forever in a region of deformed spacetime.

It is fortunate for you, then, that my parcel did not contain anything like a kidney, which, though sort of replaceable, is quite hard to come by and rather expensive on the black market. (Or so I hear, ha ha!) And rest assured, I was not shipping any sort of drugs that I would now owe the outrageous sum total of to some unscrupulous mob or mafia or drug dealer who would surely want to break several of my bones probably starting with my thumbs, because opposable thumbs are just so damn useful, aren't they? I'm actually using them this very moment to type all of the spaces between these words!

So, while my package might not have been time sensitive and important enough that the fate of the free world rested upon the sole responsibility of you to deliver said package to the provided address per your end of the transaction, I must now explain the disappearance of this package to some particularly cranky clients, to whom "I don't have any additional information," is not an acceptable response. I have taken it upon myself to offer you a little nudge in this direction and have provided you with some acceptable explanations that I might offer to these clients, if you should so agree. Feel free to pick as many as you like!

- "We lost your package because the driver who picked it up does not actually work for us. In fact, he's not even alive. He is a ghost who absconded your items and has carried them to Purgatory - the same place that your unmatched socks disappear to from within your dryer. You should have paid more attention to his uniform patch because it reads GhostPS, not UPS, and we're not affiliated with them."

- "We lost your package because we lost the whole truck and driver. Authorities have been called out to examine if there is some sort of Bermuda Triangle phenomenon going on in the Los Angeles area. We suspect the truck is now in a parallel universe, along with Courteous Driving and Culture, which have also been missing from Los Angeles for some time."

- "We lost your package because our driver encountered a shitstorm of raptors on his way to your destination. We believe the raptors took your parcel, as well."

- "UPS actually stands for Unemployed Pregnant Strippers - a temp agency aimed at finding ex-stripping, soon-to-be mothers gainful employment. We have nothing to do with the United Parcel Service."

- "We lost your package because we were playing hide and seek with it but had to go inside when Mom called us for dinner and then forgot where it was hiding."

You see that any of these explanations would be acceptable, so long as your customer service representative does not keep repeating to me that she does not know what happened and that she cannot help me. If you can't assist me further in this matter, I'm afraid I'll have to take my business to DHL, because someone told me that their acronym stands for Damn Helpful Lads and is a far cry from your Unhelpful Package Stealing nonsense. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Shitstorm of Velociraptors.

Me: (referring to one of EM's more difficult clients) My raptor herd will take her out. Is it a 'herd' of raptors?

EM: Yeah, don't make me get my shitstorm!

Me: Is that the proper name?

EM: What?

Me: You know, a pod of whales, a herd of chupacabras, a pack of wolves, a murder of crows... a shitstorm of velociraptors? Man... can you imagine that script rewrite on Jurassic Park? Dr. Grant is talking to that little kid in the beginning and is like, "...and that's when the attack happens. Not from the front, but from the sides - whoosh! From the shitstorm of raptors you didn't even know were there!" ::KID'S EXPRESSION IS LIKE OMG NO EFFING WAY:: The point is you are alive when they start to eat you. The shitstorm, that is."

EM: Ha ha, I like that.

Me: Me too. I should probably be a screenwriter.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Let's think about Halloween costumes.

First of all, Halloween at my beloved college was absolutely insane. It was a week long celebration of hedonism unlike anything I had ever experienced before. My friends and roommates would go all out - dressing to the nines in at least three different costumes every year. That's a LOT of Halloween costumes to accumulate.

Yes, that is Halloween in Santa Barbara. I found that picture here. Can you imagine a week of that? Jeez.

So now you understand partly why I feel this need to have over-the-top costumes every year. It's totally habitual, mostly. Ha ha, what do you mean 'that's ridiculous'?! IT'S EFFING HALLOWEEN, YOU ASSHOLE. (Sorry. I'm switching to decaf soon to prevent those kinds of outbursts. [I'm not really switching to decaf, do you think I'm freaking crazy or something?!])

Anyway, I tend to have a problem with female costumes, because almost everything is "sexy" something. My group of guy friends would joke whenever us ladies would talk about costumes, like:

Me: I'm going to be a decapitated Marie Antoinette for Halloween this year!

Da Boys: But like, a "sexy" decapitated Marie Antoinette?

Billie: I'm going to be Betty Rubble for Halloween this year!

Da Boys: But like, a "sexy" Betty Rubble?

You get the idea. This year, Billie and I were talking about costumes again. We both were adamant in our refusal to go out and buy all kinds of new pieces and decided to reuse things from our costume drawers, putting together some kind of Frankensteined new costume from old costume bits. Brilliant, I know.

"I have another costume idea," Billie said to me. "But it's kind of scandalous."

"What is it?" I asked.

"I have this turquoise corset and ruffled panties, and then a bunch of accessories!" she said.

"So... what would you be, besides almost naked?"

"That'd be it! But with no pretense of being a "sexy" anything else!" Billie exclaimed.

"Oh, so you'd be GOING as a stripper. That would actually be pretty hilarious. Then, when people asked you what you were supposed to be, you could say 'every girl on Halloween!' Or you could carry a garden hoe and just go as a Skank Hoe," I said, marveling at Billie's genius.

"Exactly," she agreed.

While her idea definitely has merit, I think I'll stick to my gory, horrifying corpse costumes. Any excuse to run amok covered in blood, really.

Oh, but don't worry, it'll probably be like, a "sexy" corpse costume.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Some things I found out.

This weekend I was talking to my mom and found out that she birthed both EM and myself without an epidural. I did not know this until now, but it doesn't surprise me. I learn things about my mother all the time that shock and impress me. She's probably climbed Everest and just hasn't brought it up in conversation. Reason #943 why she is the toughest woman alive.

This week I was talking to a coworker who told me when he was roughly my age, he had a sugar daddy who bought him a Ferrari. I told him the most expensive gift a man has ever given me was a sweatshirt. I don't know if he still has the Ferrari, but I still have my sweatshirt. It's still my favorite.

Irish Breakfast tea is better with milk in it. Just go with me on this one.

My short story that was supposed to be done forever ago has officially reached novella length. This means I have to write another short story for my writing group, because this one is too long to discuss. Being a writer is hard when you have too many stories to tell.

I actually like sending mail more than receiving it.

I really, really like Willie Nelson.

I also really like hidden pockets, chapstick, and cloudy days.

I have no patience for reality television and tabloids. I probably shouldn't care, but they frustrate me really easily... definitely more than they should.

I don't travel enough.

I talk too much, and don't write enough.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Autumn in California

I hate summer. It's hot, I don't get a vacation like I used to in school, everyone wants to do things outside which means my deathly pale skin will inevitably suffer from one or multiple sunburns and so I have to keep a stock of calamine lotion and aloe vera goo in my fridge which limits the shelf space of things that are more important to me, such as mayonnaise and ranch dressing. Also, you all may be thinking something like, "Shut up, you spoiled brat, you live in California - the land of perpetual sunshine and fish tacos and you've never had to shovel snow in your life or buy any kind of 'winter coat' beyond that huge puffy down thing that your dad keeps in storage for when you go camping Yosemite and Sequoia."

This is true, but let me just say that for a California girl, it is not at all like the Katy Perry song.

I don't wear bikini tops with cut off shorts, and why would you want to hang around someone who would melt your popsicle? That would just bother me. Get away from me, leave me and my popsicle in peace. Rather, when it gets up to 113 degrees here (I live in the hot part of L.A., just above the Gateway to Hell) you will find me lying supine on my floor in front of my mediocre wall-unit air conditioner in my Batman underwear, trying to imbibe my Slurpee as fast as humanly possible before it melts into that weird, flat soda-like liquid.

So, I complain a lot. But then something happens - it becomes less hot. It's technically called "fall" or "autumn" here, but it pretty much just means that mixed in with the 80 and 90 degree days, there will be some lovely 70 (60 if you're lucky) degree days with maybe some clouds and the occasional heavy mist (we'll call it "rain" here, but the rest of you will probably call it "fog") and I can go to Starbucks and get abnormal amounts of pumpkin spice lattes and I'll spend my afternoons texting my fellow Halloween-obsessed friends about costume ideas and trips to pumpkin patches. It's Fall-O-Ween on steroids out here, because with no beautiful leaves turning and no crisp, cool, autumn breezes that would allow us to wear those cute pea coats we bought specifically for that trip to New York and have started collecting dust in our closets, we Californians have to grasp at the wisps of fall and force it to descend upon us. Many of us will draw our curtains against the still-too-warm 85 and sunny weather, put "Nightmare Before Christmas" on loop and continuously stare at our desktop backgrounds of beautiful red and orange leaves - a photo that was taken somewhere else in the world that has more than "hot" and "less hot" seasons.

When I lived in Northern California, we had fall. We also had trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. I usually wanted to be some variation of a ballerinafairyprincess, because as long as there was a lot of pink tulle and sparkly fairy wings and a tiara, I could be really, truly happy. This year, EM and I have to keep our Halloween Candy Bowl in the fridge because it's still hot enough to melt our Kit Kats and Twix. It doesn't matter, though. I have declared it Fall-O-Ween in The Average Broad Household, and I will celebrate it in some way absolutely every day, until Christmastime.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Zombie Haiku Thursday.

It's Thursday, Friday's less-hot brother. Celebrate with mediocre creativity!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pre-New Year's Resolutions

You know how every January people make up all these useless, shitty lists about how they're going to improve their lives in the coming year? These people call them "New Year's Resolutions" and I have always hated that tradition. Well, come to think of it, I hate a lot of other New Year's traditions, like that "kiss at midnight!" bullshit. Honestly, I've kissed more girls at midnight than guys and let me tell you, the subsequent year is usually no better or worse because of it. Also, it's a scientific fact that girls are better kissers than guys. Einstein said that. Probably.

Anyway, EM is really good about making these neat little lists of things that she wants to accomplish throughout the year, and even though I'm biased, her lists are really the best because it's never like, "I'm going to lose fifteen pounds!" or "I'm going to stop eating so many cheesy, fried things" and "I'm not going to get drunk by myself on weekdays!" which is probably what all of mine would be, but you don't have to worry about that last one because I'm a writer and as a breed, we're only successful when we're alcoholics. I'm drinking my way to success!

So as I was saying, EM's lists are really good because they're all things that are realistic goals, but are also things that would probably improve anyone's outlook on life. One time she put skydiving on her list, and she totally did it. She braved it. She also has things on there like reconnecting with old friends, traveling to places she's never been and setting new career goals for herself. Come to think of it, TOL did the same thing. He, too, was an accomplisher.

As someone with a painfully short attention span, I have a hard time making resolutions because I often change my mind throughout the year. If I were to say something like, "I'm going to stop swearing so god damn often," but then ended up writing a short story with a white trash narrator or transcribing an interview with some metalhead punctuating his sentences with "fuck," it's fair to say those words would creep back into my vocabulary. Ultimately, I would feel like a failure, and I don't like feeling that way. I can barely handle it when I lose at Scrabble. As a result, I've come up with a modified list of resolutions that I am going to accomplish by next October, because they are awesome and/or easy and I will probably not lose interest in them.

1. Get amazing at FPS (first person shooter, for you non-nerds out there) games.

2. Learn to cook/bake ONE thing better than everyone you know. (I was interested in sugar cookies last month, but now I'm interested in cinnamon rolls. Let's not get too specific with the resolution, though, shall we?)

3. Stop making excuses about financial responsibility and buy the goddamn Loubs that you've wanted for two years.

4. Probably learn to not be so afraid of ants. Spiders are still fucking terrifying, though, so it's cool to be afraid of them.

5. Stop making excuses about watching documentaries and bad SyFy movies. You're a nerd, and everyone already knows.

6. Now that you've mastered the art of haiku, learn the art of limericks. Especially dirty and/or zombie ones.

7. Finally decide which is better: Coke or Pepsi.

8. Travel somewhere outside your comfort zone.

9. Make more mixes on your iPod.

10. Also take a lot more pictures. We have fun doing that and we want to get better at it.

11. Find and watch all Bruce Campbell movies that you haven't seen yet.

Done and done. Ef you, January, not only do I make lists with uneven numbers, but I make my resolutions WHENEVER I FEEL LIKE IT.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Let's Talk About Something Good, Like Addiction!

It's my belief that everyone has at least one addiction. Some are better than others, I think. Like, I'm pretty sure it's okay if you're addicted to something like laughter, but if you're addicted to something like kicking nuns in the shin, you might need some help. Sometimes it's really a fine line between what is okay, and what should be managed more closely.

Thanks, Cyanide and Happiness! You guys TOTALLY GET IT.

I made you guys a list of acceptable and unacceptable addictions, just so you can have a tangible reference source.


- caffeine.


- when you start walking to Starbucks every fifteen minutes because you're afraid if your heart rate drops below that of a hummingbird, your circulatory system will explode from shock.


- helping others because charity makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.


- when you start adopting children en masse from third world countries in the hopes that TLC will give you your own reality television series. (Dibs on the working title "The Average Broad and Her Unaverage Brood!")


- acquiring a few tech gadgets to keep up with the changing times.


- kidnapping numerous tech nerds and forcing them to update your social networks constantly so you can feel like you've kept up with the changing times.


- the occasional splurge on something fun, like shoes or lingerie (or whatever guys buy when they splurge. Maybe porn or like... a signed football or something?)


- splurging regularly on drugs and strippers. And hookers.


- alcohol. In moderation. Also, only if it's good alcohol. Whiskey and Guinness are acceptable, because they are delicious.


- excessive use of bad alcohol, like Popov, Milwaukee's Best, moonshine and anti-freeze.


- collecting things as a hobby, such as postcards, shot glasses or Guinness memorabilia.


- collecting dead bodies and/or other people's wallets. Oh, and other people's cars, and other people's children. I hear that last one is a big no-no.


- buying albums on CD and vinyl.


- buying albums on vinyl when you don't have a record player. (I fail this one because I started collecting vinyl years ago and have yet to buy a good record player. Also, I'm a hipster about it because I have records hanging on my wall, so... I suck.)


- any kind of addiction that has you bent over snorting coke off of a stripper's ass, any kind of addiction that involves Ed Hardy, Jaguh Bahmbs and fake tanner, anything that involves punching babies or nuns, or probably shark fining. I don't know if that's an addiction, but maybe to some person. Whatever. It's *wrong*.

I hope that helped clear things up a bit for you guys. You're welcome. I'm here to help, after all.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Attention: Paid.

Oh Blog, I have been neglecting you. I won't bother with excuses, we're both too grown up for that.

New York is tantalizingly and terrifyingly close. J.R. is in New York, doing something fabulous at her company's NY office and chasing the Jets around. Maybe she'll meet and fall in love with a football player, or at least worthy fan. She's so incredible, though, I have a hard time imagining anyone worthy.

Last year at this time, I felt a huge pull in that direction. This year, I feel like Los Angeles knows my resolve and is reaching to keep me here. Tentative career opportunities in the works, writing potential, and (sigh of reluctance) possibly a new crush. The Bestie nicknamed him SHG for me. You don't need to know what that means yet. I'm actually kind of afraid to jinx it and end up with the body pillow, which you also don't need to understand yet. I will tell you that I'm overwhelmingly intimidated by how great SHG is, and Lord help me, he has a heart-stopping pair of beautiful brown eyes. It's agonizing - really.

In between lusting after SHG and trying to keep my writing in order and my head on straight, fall is creeping in. I wish the leaves changed here. Los Angeles summers tend to hold on too long for me.

I suppose that's it for now. I haven't had any coffee yet, and I'm fairly certain I need to be all-the-way awake to be remotely entertaining.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm not dead yet! I want to go for a walk!

Serious brownie points if you know what movie that's from. Sorry I've been MIA lately, but things got busy and you all know how that goes. What do you mean I 'should make more time' for you?! I'M NOT READY FOR THAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP, OKAY?


Anyway, I'm cheat-posting today and linking to another article that I posted on my music blog: I know you want to click here and go create your own music genres.

Happy Hump Day, kids.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Last week, a new chiropractic office opened down the street from my office building. In an effort to bring in new business, they set up chairs and offered free 15-minute massages to everyone in the building. Having never experienced the relaxing and healing hands of a professional massage therapist (stop being dirty, you scandalous kids!), I signed right up.

I have never had to sit through anything so uncomfortably painful in my life, except maybe The Time Traveler's Wife. That crap was horrible.
Not only did the massage therapist frown at my knotted shoulders and admission of the occasional stressful day (just the ones that end in 'y'), but she spent the entire time using mostly her elbows.

"Ow! That's kind of hurty!"

"Well, I'm trying to work all the knots out of your back, you have a lot of tension," she said, all frowny-like.

"Yeah, but you're worsening the tension by stressing out my knots. Can you just leave them in? I'm sort of used to them. We were kind of on good terms."

She dug harder into my back-flesh and, as one is wont to do in painful circumstances, I tensed up.

"You have to relax," she admonished.

"I can't relax! Aren't you guys supposed to be gentle? And use massage oils and Enya? This is clinical and I don't need clinical torture madames aggravating my knotty muscles. They're gonna get maaad..."

Anyway, it was rough. After 20 or 30 minutes (I probably passed out from discomfort and lost all sense of time), I was ushered to a table where I was instructed (some say, forced) to sign up for a follow-up appointment with their chiropractor. That is how it works - they torture you until your knotty muscles revolt and cause you all kinds of pain, and then you must go see their chiropractor to have him assuage the knotty muscles with holistic herbs and back cracking "adjustments." I'm onto your little scam!

I went yesterday after work, though. I have never had any serious back problems per se, but EM suffers from Migraines of Insanity and EM's boyfriend broke his back doing some kind of stunt and - like a true man - did not go to the hospital. Instead, he suffered and underwent 6 solid months of chiropraction (which is my new word so shut up). I figured if this place turned out to be legit, I could at least recommend it to the two people in my life who *actually* need it.

The experience was... interesting. Here's how it works: they sit you in this massage chair and make you watch a 10 minute video on chiropractic propaganda. It's mostly like, "Chiropractors are so *real doctors*!" This is followed by a lovely chiropractic "nurse" lady taking you into a back room to test your flexibility and give you a fancy nerve scan. Then, the chiropractor comes in and pokes at your back and butt bones, shouts out random bone names and frowns at you when you tell him you don't want X-rays today. Bear in mind, I did not venture to this office for any particular back injury or pain, but I have since learned the following:


Not really, but that's what they make you think. My "low flexibility" in my upper back (what is that part? Cervical?) is "severe," even though I am not really that limber and avoid exercise in a general sense.

"Could my flexibility be improved by stretching and exercise?"

"Well, we really need the X-rays to know what's wrong with you."

"But you just told me. I have tension in my upper back and poor flexibility for someone my age, despite being lazy, drinking somewhat heavily and breaking numerous bones due to innate gracelessness."

"We really need the X-rays. Also, one of your legs is half an inch shorter than the other, your ribs are out of line and your hips are a bit curved," Chiropractor and Nurse frowned in a disappointed kind of way.

"Yeah they're curved! Watch out for these curves ahead, baby! Bow chica bow bow, sex-ayyyy!"

"Not in a good way," Frown frown frown.

"Oh. They're probably compensating for my short-leg pimp walk. See? Like, part pimp, part ho," I shrugged.

More frowning. "I'd like to get you in for another follow-up as soon as possible. If untreated, your spine could look like THIS: (picture of a scoliosis curved back)."

"I don't have scoliosis. I just don't like to get off my couch. Don't worry about the broken bones, either, I got that calcium shit handled. I eat a LOT of ice cream."

They tried to schedule several follow up appointments to my follow up appointment, but I told them I was busy. Frankly, I have a lot of sitting and ice cream eating to do to make up for my bad back.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Zombie Haiku Day

My coworker went on a trip to New York and brought me back a present: magnetic poetry kit, ZOMBIE THEMED! As a result, instead of taking my 'smoke breaks' by hiding under my desk and scaring people that walk past my office, I've decided to make some zombie magnet haiku for you guys. Happy Friday.

Monday, August 23, 2010

This is why I deserve more sick days.

I have considered (on several occasions) using some of my sick days to bracket a weekend and go on a lovely, long vacation. Most people get the chance to go during a summer break, but personally, I enjoy travelling in the off-seasons. Specifically, fall. One of the reasons that I am unable to take said lovely, long vacation this year is that I had to actually *use* most of my sick days for sickness. (Manly type readers, stop here. I am fairly certain you will be too squeamish to carry on.) SICKNESS OF THE OVARIES. (See? What did I tell you? YOU DIDN'T LISTEN!)

It's true, mostly-lady-audience now. I suffer from inexplicably horrible cramps on occasion and wind up curled into a fetal position in the corner of my room, cursing everything that is good and holy because SWEET TINY JESUS please just take my uterus out with a coat hanger the Aleve doesn't always work, the Vicodin doesn't always work and one time I blacked out and EM had to take me to the hospital.

Probably the worst was when I was at a rockabilly festival in Las Vegas with a girlfriend of mine, and after dragging our wastey-asses into bed at 4am one night (day? Does that count as day?), I woke up with gut-wrenching cramps and no painkillers on me. I managed to make my way down to the hotel lobby, which was a testament to how ill I felt. I literally crawled out of bed in my boxers and wifebeater white-trash-pajamas, smeared mascara and ratty hair, walked halfway across the casino of our hotel with no shoes and bought 6 packages of single-dose Aleve at the gift shop, then proceeded to walk back to the elevators, hunched over and clutching at my agonizing abdomen like I was about to go into labor. People stared. I didn't care. I was going to die and I think I saw Jesus. He was dealing blackjack.

When I got back to the elevators, I bent over to avoid hurling and of course another older woman decided to share my elevator. The cramps were getting worse and things were getting blurry, and all of a sudden, I was waking up on the elevator floor, face on the tile and staring horizontally at the woman who had exited 3 floors before my stop. She looked panicked.

"Are you okay?! Should I call a hospital?"

Apparently, I had fainted.

"No," I said, also panicking. "No, I'm fine! I just uh... fell asleep." I really said this. Why, you ask? I have no idea. Obviously, there was already some kind of problem with oxygen getting to my brain and all I knew was that I didn't want to go to the hospital. I had drinking to do later. I pushed the DOOR CLOSE NOW button, choked down my 6 Aleve and passed out on the bathroom floor of my hotel room. Three hours later, my lovely lady friend woke me up and asked why I was on the bathroom floor. I explained everything, we laughed about it a lot, poured some very strong Jack and Cokes and got ready to head back to the hotel bar.

Basically, I need more sick days because cramps are clearly a more serious ailment than my HR department is giving them credit for.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Letter to the Governor

Normally, I keep my political and religious beliefs to myself because hey, nosey, that's my business. Today, however, after an article in the L.A. Times about proposed education money being redirected towards the massive state deficit, I was quite compelled to speak out. Below is the letter I signed, sealed and sent to my governor.

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

I hope you’re well today, sir. I am sorry to do this now, what with November rapidly approaching, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to break up with you. I know. I’m not happy about it, either.

I had so much hope for us, you see – I was sure when I voted for you that you would bring our beloved state back to her former glory. You’ve done a lot of wonderful things during your tenure as governor, and every time you did, I cheered for you. Perhaps not loudly enough, which is my failing, and I take responsibility for that. Furthermore, I can appreciate that the scope of difficult decisions presented to you on a daily basis is far beyond my own understanding, and nothing is ever so simple as black and white, is it? I don’t pretend to be a politician and I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but for a long time I truly felt that we could be good together; our hearts were in the right place. We both love this state and want to see her thrive again.

Lately though, I’ve been much more concerned about you. About us. I haven’t been able to understand your priorities, and while I am a woman who likes surprises, your behavior this past year has been all too surprising – and not in that good, “I brought you flowers!” kind of way. I normally don’t say much about it, especially about the budget, because everyone makes mistakes! Balancing one of the largest economic budgets in the world cannot be an easy task, and despite agreeing with you on certain issues, I feel that our priorities have changed again. As a young woman, I am patently more concerned with our children than you seem to be. That’s okay; some men just don’t feel a very strong paternal instinct, and I don’t fault you for that. I do, however, feel that I need to let you know that cutting proposed education dollars cannot be the answer. I agree that spending needs to be cut, but by investing more money in criminal justice and corrections, you are treating a symptom of the problem and not the cause, which is an education that lacks funding, creativity and so importantly, passion. Just as unemployed adults crave the motivation to get out of bed in the morning because they want to have a job, a purpose, to feel worthwhile, children need to find the motivation to get out of bed and go to school. Can you imagine being a somewhat misguided 14-year old boy whose only sense of pride stems from a caring teacher who was laid off, or from a woodshop program that was cut in an effort to spend more money on standardized testing? Bright students are getting lost in the shuffle of larger class sizes, making the rewards for excellence feel insubstantial. Troubled students are reinforced with negative attention or worse, ignored altogether. Administrators, teachers and the students themselves have started to abandon hope. I was one of the last of my generation to enjoy those waning artistic outlets and I assure you, they made a world of difference in my education. As a tax-paying resident of California, I can honestly tell you that I would not mind an increase in taxes, provided that I could be more satisfied with where they are going. Education, I believe, needs to be more of a priority than the sizable chunks of money invested in immigration issues and prison systems, but I think that’s where we have reached our impasse.

The bottom line is, I think we’re both ready to move on. This relationship has felt stale and defective for some time, and I’m convinced now that we want different things for our future. I’m not leaving you on bitter terms, sir, and I hope you’ll feel the same about your final months in office. I just want more hope for our state, because that is what has kept me here so long. I believe that we have the tools here to pull ourselves out of this sad state of affairs; we just have to figure out the best ways to use them. To that end, I think we can still agree.

In kindness, respect, and hope,

The Average Broad

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Art of the Redirect

EM and I have discussed at length the difficulty of the transition years after college. People talk a lot about adjusting post-high school, but let me tell you - that was cake. Delicious cake. With really good frosting. Mmm...

What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Life after college. The real world. My circumstances are quite a bit farther from what I had hoped they would be when I was an all-promises-ahead! senior. I have, however, come up with an excellent system that I am going to share with you all: answering questions that I don't want to answer with answers that I don't mind giving. Here are some examples:

Annoying Questioner: "Oh hey, TAB, how's the love life?"
Me: "Actually, my favorite food is lasagna."

Annoying Questioner: "So, you're blogging? Are you doing any *real* writing?"
Me: "It's funny you should ask! I *have* been to Seattle!"

Annoying Questioner: "Weren't you going to work in magazines or something?"
Me: "Well, it's only supposed to be 88 today, but it feels much warmer."

Annoying Questioner: "What happened to that guy you were dating?"
Me: "Thanks! I got this shirt at H&M. They have great deals."

Annoying Questioner: "Good to see you! Have you put on some weight since college?"
Me: "It's a lot of fun, I actually have a membership to a shooting range called Iron Sights. My father always told me that knowing how to handle a gun was an important life skill."

There. Now you all can be prepared for every kind of conversation that any dbag can throw at you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hit-and-Run Conversations

Actual Work Conversation (with one of my bosses). See how it's enhanced by the hurricane of hormones caused by PMS!

Boss Man: Are you okay today, TAB? How are you?

Me: I'm okay, just a little tired today. How's life, Boss Man? (How am I? This job is awful, I have been battling a headache for 3 days and I just ate 3/4 of a chocolate bar for breakfast because if I don't do something to sate my raging PMS, I will probably end up in prison after an anger-fueled blackout. Also? I was 15 minutes late today because I woke up 4 minutes before I was supposed to be at work, my eyeliner is uneven, my hair is... let's just not even talk about my hair right now, and my headache is getting worse because one of your other employees just emailed me with "yes" to a question that I asked him that began with "how do you want me to do this?" Did you bring me alcohol?

Boss Man: Life's good! So, when are you getting married?

Me: ::I just got hit by a car face:: I... what? (You for sure picked the wrong week to ask this. OMG, TAB, how are we handling this question? Oh, nevermind, I see we're handling it with nausea)

Boss Man: Yeah! You know, settling down.

Me: Oh, uh, I'm not really... that's not in my... I don't think... Jesus, is it hot in here? Are you having a hard time breathing, too? Is that just me? (Are people allowed to ask that kind of question of single girls? What are you trying to do to me? WHY DO YOU HATE ME?!)

Boss Man: I just don't understand how people these days aren't open to all of life's possibilities, you know? You should consider everything an option at this age. How old are you?

Me: Twenty five. I'm uh... marriage is... (Is this what a panic attack feels like? Man, I will be so sad if I hurl that chocolate I had for breakfast... that was an expensive candy bar. Am I supposed to say something wise here about my life plans? Do I really have to talk about my future with my boss?)

Boss Man: Wow, twenty five? I thought you were much younger!

Me: Heh. (Well, how the hell am I supposed to react to that? I don't look twenty five?! SHOULD I BE BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT ALREADY ACCORDING TO YOU, BOSS MAN?! Wait, was that wrong? Is that what he means? Jesus, WHY is it so hot in here? Am I not a normal 25 year old because I panicked at him asking me about when I'm going to get married?!)

Boss Man: Okay, well it was good talking to you. Think about what I said!

Me: Oh, yep, I surely will. (Meaning what?! That I look immature and should be thinking about marriage right now? Did that just happen?! Where the hell is the rest of that chocolate bar?! If I eat it... will I vomit? I feel like I'm gonna vomit.)

Boss Man: ::pops his head back in my office:: Oh, and TAB?

Me: ::hovering on the brink of a nervous breakdown:: Yes, sir? (Oh, please just go, dude, there is nothing else I need to add to this bizarre and horrific conversation and why is it so damn hot in here? Please, just don't add anything else humiliating to this whole interaction, Boss Man.)

Boss Man: You've got some chocolate on your face.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Big Brother Google and The Spam Scam

I have 5 email addresses. I know. The thing is, they're all for different purposes. Yeah, I'm very aware it's a little excessive, but guess what? I'm from the Me Generation, and I like to feel that important. Just kidding. I hate having 5 email addresses. Mostly because I'm convinced that Google has it in for me.

(It is not unfounded paranoia!)

"Do you know what?" I said to MEH this morning, "I think my email is plotting against me. Let me just tell you, it is bent upon destroying me with fear-mongering spam. If I wake up in the morning and think, Man, I am getting a little squishier around the middle parts, I will inevitably have 50 diet and weight loss spam emails - it's like my email just wants to reinforce my insecurities. And then, if I think, Oh, I would really like to go out on a date and make out with a cute boy, my email will be like, LOOK HOW AWESOME DATING WEBSITES ARE!!! JOIN FIVE OF THEM NOW OR PREPARE TO DIE A LONELY OLD MAID. FEEL VALIDATED WITH YOUR ONLINE DATING PROFILE!"

MEH said that Google was like big brother.

"That explains why if I have just paid my bills, my email is like, "You know how you have no money right now? That's okay. Look at all these cute shoes and Victoria's Secret sales! Debt is for pussies! Look! Sales! Do you have a $600 copper mixing bowl? WHY NOT?! Don't worry, we've got one here for you! It's right here! Just pull out that Visa... You need this to have a fulfilled life, TAB."

"Maybe Google is self-aware now," MEH agreed.

"Wonderful. As if it wasn't troubling enough to have robot spider dreams, let's throw in the Gmail conspiracy. GOOGLE KNOWS YOUR DEEPEST, DARKEST FEARS... and will email you advertisements about them."

"Things you didn't know you didn't, Google does," MEH contributed.

"Like, 'Hey, I know you're afraid of ants, but did you know they can also lift like 50 times their body weight? Can you imagine what that would be like if there were GIANT ANTS? Better stock up on Raid in bulk this weekend just in case! Here's a coupon for 5 cents off!"

You may think I'm paranoid, but I'm onto you, Google. Sure, I'm gonna go buy the Raid because the possibility of giant mutant ants actually does terrify me and you may be laughing now, but you just wait until the techologicapocalypse (I am totally copyrighting that term, bitches) befalls us and you'll come crawling back to me and my bunker and my bulk cans of Raid and Bruce Campbell will probably be there waiting for the zombies to show up, and you'll be like, "Hey... hey, TAB, remember all the good times we had searching for lolcat pictures while you were at work? Those were good times, man... so, listen, is there any room in that bunker for me?" And I will reflect for a moment, smile, and hand you an advertisement for discount bomb shelters from Home Depot.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Accordions and That Time I Stalked Matt Hensley

Earlier today, I was joking with a friend of mine about how more bands should use accordions. They're such a versatile instrument, but really? Always awesome.

"Seriously. If I had one, I would learn to play it and I would serenade you. It would be so romantic," I told him.

He apparently did not find this romantic at all, and remarked that this was yet another reason why I am single.

"Obviously," I said, rolling my eyes. "Obviously, I am still single because I don't have an accordion for romantic serenades."

This discussion reminded me of the time I stalked and was socially awkward with Matt Hensley, the accordion player from Flogging Molly. Well, maybe "stalked" is a bit strong. ...maybe.

This started back when I had just graduated college, and was spending my summer at home looking for a job and going through severe boozing withdrawals. In my small town, there are only three bars, the newest of which was an old restaurant that had been converted into the most blessed of all establishments: the pub. Additionally, the new owner of this pub supposedly hailed from Carlsbad and was besties with Matt Hensley, who had *just* left Flogging Molly to move back to Carlsbad (his hometown, I gather) and spend time with his family, and also open his very own bar down there. On occasion, Hensley would visit his friend's pub in my neck of the woods and play with the live band that had a residency there. I found all of this out in the local newspaper one Friday, and promptly strapped on my boots and braces to go meet this incredible musician.

I'm told it's wrong to drink alone, so I spent a good 20 minutes trying to get friends, relatives and neighbors to go with me, but everyone was still preoccupied with stupid things like "work" and I wasn't about to miss out, so I went by myself anyway.

The pub was somewhat crowded, but I found a stool and sat down to wait while sure enough, Hensley showed up and started warming up with the band. Can I just tell you how thrilled I was to see him sitting up on the teeny tiny stage, absent-mindedly playing along to the Flogging Molly coming in over the loudspeaker? Oh. I was thrilled... and also nervous, because I had no idea what I was going to say to this man, other than something brilliantly blond like, "I LOVE FLOGGING MOLLY!" but even then I was an experienced journalist, so I figured instinct would kick in and something amazing would come to me. I decided to calm my nerves with another pint and a shot of whiskey, and sat back to listen.

Hours passed. Seriously, I sat in a pub on my own and was rapidly nearing 3 sheets to the wind while I worked up the courage to go say something - anything - to one of my musical inspirations. Never mind the fact that I had already started drunken conversations with just about everyone else at the bar, most of whom had given me the proverbial pat on the back and thumbs up, convincing me that I couldn't go wrong.

Finally, I saw Hensley sitting alone and I got up - rather unsteadily - and swayed over to his table, pint sloshing (but not spilling because I don't waste good booze), cardboard coaster clutched in my hand and stood in front of him.

He looked up, expecting me to say something and stop staring at him like an idiot while the words that were *supposed* to miraculously appear in my brain did not, in fact, appear.

I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and said, "You, sir, were the glue that held Flogging Molly's sound together. They may get another accordion, but they are missing a Matt Hensley. I feel completely ridiculous asking you this, but will you sign my coaster?"

He raised his eyebrows at me and said, "Why do you feel ridiculous?"

"Oh, because... isn't that weird? An accordion player signing a coaster?"

"I don't think so," he said, and reached up to sign my awkwardly outstretched arm.

Well, crap. Had I just said something offensive? Did that happen all the time? Did he think I was making fun of him for playing the accordion?! I started to panic, and stood there staring at him, which in retrospect was probably pretty creepy, nearly fell over and then blurted out, "You're really awesome!"


He smiled in that go-now-before-I-press-charges kind of way, and I stumbled back to close my bar tab. One of the barflies sitting next to me had paid particular attention to my story about wanting to talk to the accordion player, and he laughed at me as I got myself together enough to head home.

"Did you get his number?" the barfly asked at seeing my coaster and obviously misunderstanding my interest in the musician.

"No!" I said, somewhat triumphantly. "I got his autograph!"

The barfly looked at me like I was crazy, which I guess was fitting because I stomped out of the bar singing "Rebels of the Sacred Heart" at the top of my lungs. I passed out in the front seat of my car in the parking lot, still clutching my coaster prize, because drinking and driving when one has such a precious commodity is just *not* smart.

And that was the time I hunted down and had socially awkward times with Matt Hensley.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pick Up Lines Explained Are Less Effective

Me: Maybe what I should do is post on his wall, "Hello sir. Do you know how much a polar bear weighs?"

Friend with Great Hair: Is that a riddle or just the strangest question you could come up with?

Me: The answer is: enough to break the ice.

Friend with Great Hair: oh. wow.

Me: No? Not funny? Damnit. I am totally laughing at that.

Friend with Great Hair: I'm laughing at the fact that you're laughing at it.

Me: It's such an amazing line! Get it? Polar bears weigh enough to break the ice! And they do! Because of global warming. Also, breaking the ice in a conversational way.

Friend with Great Hair: No, no, I get it. That's not the issue.

Me: So, you just aren't getting the mental image of a polar bear in a bar, are you?

Friend with Great Hair: Well now I'm just seeing a bunch of big hairy men drinking beer in Canada. And making out. So thanks for that.

Me: Big hairy men? In Canada? Seriously? Because I was thinking along the lines of like, an *actual* polar bear. In a bar. Breaking the ice with his weight.

Friend with Great Hair: How many times are you going to explain this to me? Do I need to just tell you it's an awesome line?

Me: Also because GLOBAL WARMING weakens the ice!

Friend with Great Hair: It's an awesome line. And G-Rated for your grandchildren.


Friend with Great Hair: *through teeth* yeah you will.

Me: ...

Me: I shouldn't really have children, should I?

Friend with Great Hair: Not at this point, no.

Monday, July 19, 2010

To My Stalker:

I do not get hit on that often. Granted, some part of that is (I hope) because I don't go out as often as I used to, but there it is. Actually, even when I *had* a social life, I still didn't get hit on that much.


Anyway, it's not that I'm hideous or have questionable hygiene or that I twitch a lot or spit when I talk, but I think it's more closely related to my loud, obnoxious laugh (and I laugh all the time), my... :ahem: "colorful" sense of humor, acerbic sarcasm problem and tomboyish tendencies. Additionally, I have no shame and can be socially awkward. Once, a guy approached me in a grocery store and called me "foxy" and I somehow ended up singing Hendrix and wailing on my air guitar, which I thought was perfectly appropriate. He gave me kind of a weird look, though, and walked away. I was later informed that this was not the correct response to a guy calling you foxy, but dude. Foxy lay-daay. Dun dun dunn, dun dun dunnnnnn. If that's not the first thing you think of when someone says, "Well aren't *you* a foxy thang?" then obviously your brain is not working right. Maybe you should see someone about that.

I'm giving you this back story, friends, because I would like to express my shock at the fact that I have a stalker.

*I know.*

Remember a few months ago when I was at that horrible paparazzi event and I ended up hitting on the Hot Old Spice Guy? As I was leaving the event to go home and write my article, I was approached by a young man. When I say approached, I of course mean "chased down the street". I heard him running up behind me and thought he was going to try and mug me, because who *else* literally chases after women? Naturally, I clutched my purse and my notes close to me and mentally catalogued any available weapons on my person just in case.

*SLASH* You've been foiled by my ability to give you a paper cut with my notes!

As it turns out, he did not, in fact, want my purse. He wanted my number. The exchange went something like this:

"Hey! Did you just come out of that restaurant over there?" says my potential mugger.

"No." I bent into a kind of crouch - ready to leap at him and paper cut him near the jugular.

"Oh. Well, what are you up to?"

"Going home. I'm on deadline. Bye." I was squinting at him suspiciously, still crouched with my dangerous paper weapon.

"Wait, can I have your number?"

"Uh, what? ::extreme confusion on my part:: Why? No. I'm in a hurry." I started walking away, but he followed me a bit, peppering me with questions that I was getting more and more frustrated answering ("Are you from here?" "No." "What deadline?" "Work." "Can I have your number?" "No." "Why?" "I don't know you." "Can I get to know you?" "No. I'm anti-social and weird." "Really?" "Yes."). When he asked again for my number, I realized that I had to give him some kind of information to get him to leave, because I definitely didn't want him following me all the way to my car because, while a car would be a much more formidable weapon for my defense, it's somewhat illegal to try to run over a guy who just wants your number. I tried to remember the fake number that I used to give out all the time gave out that one time, and recited it to the best of my ability, which turned out to not be a great kind of ability at all because the only thing I thought of was my actual number, which is what I ended up reciting.


Is it true that alcohol abuse can have adverse effects on your memory? Yes. Yes, it is absolutely true.

The next day, Stalker Man texted me. I didn't respond. A few days after that, he called me and left a voicemail. I didn't answer, or return his call. The week after that, he texted again. I didn't respond again. He called. I didn't answer.

You get the idea, right? Good.

He did not get the idea.

After a solid month and a half of attempting to get a hold of me, failing, and attempting again on a weekly basis, I finally grew some huevos. I responded to him one evening when I was just getting into bed and he had called, left a voicemail, and texted all in the span of 5 minutes.

"Listen," I texted back. "I'm really flattered by your attention, but I'm dating someone else. Sorry. Best of luck with everything."

"Cool," he responded. "If your life ever clears up a bit, give me a call and I'll take you on a tropical adventure."

Yep. I couldn't make that shit up. A tropical adventure? Uh, wherein you would kidnap me, ship me to Singapore and sell me as a white sex slave? Excellent. Tropical adventure, indeed.

I figured, however, that was the end of my stalker. I didn't hear from him for a couple weeks, but then, one afternoon he called again and left a voicemail saying that he wanted to "hang out" and "catch up" and "tie me up in his basement". Okay, he didn't really say that last part, but it was there between the lines, you know? Great idea, let's catch up! Here's what we can catch up on: I don't like you and have tried to ignore you, be polite, be honest and wish you the best. You however, only hear what you want to hear, which apparently sounds like, "OHMYGOD! I'M SO GLAD YOU CALLED! PLEASE KEEP BOTHERING ME BECAUSE SURELY, YOUR PERSISTENCE WILL PAY OFF! P.S. I WANT YOU TO TAKE ME ON A TROPICAL ADVENTURE!"

So here we are, very clearly not on the same page. That will probably change soon, though, because I have every intention of hunting down your email address and sending you this blog entry to further clarify any misgivings you may have about me.

"Surely," you are probably thinking, "surely, TAB, you will miss me?"

No. I will not miss you; I am an excellent shot.