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.