Sunday, November 13, 2011

Everyone tried to warn me, but the weather is winning.

Since I've been up here in Seattle, I've been handling the weather like a seasoned pro.  (Pun obviously intended.  What do you mean, 'What pun?'  Get it?  SEASONED!  As in seasons!  And how the weather changes in the seasons!  Gah, nevermind.)

I showed the Seattle summer who was boss.  "Psh, you call this 'hot'?  I just moved from the Valley, mofo, you don't *know* hot.  Living there is like living on the surface of the sun--you can take your silly 92 degrees and stuff it."

Even autumn was beautiful.  Brilliant.  The slow cool down and change of leaves (those are the things that grow on trees, my fellow Angelenos, that are *actually* not supposed to be brown all the time) and gentle progression of cloudy, softly raining days has been altogether pleasant, especially after not having an autumn for the past several years.
Ha ha!  You better strap yourself in for winter,  you wuss!
I was lulled into a false sense of security about my weather preparedness.

A couple days ago, one of my sweet fellow interns told me that this weekend, there would be a storm and asked if I was ready for it.  I scoffed.

"Of course I am!  I even went out and bought one of those weather-stick things."

"Weather-stick?  You mean an 'umbrella'?"

"Yes, of course.  Ha ha, whatever you people call them.  There's no need for these where I'm from, but I get it.  I'll play along."

"Right," Intern Friend said.  "Well, be careful.  It's supposed to get bad tonight."

I nodded.  I scoffed again.  Bad?  What, like, more rain?  Hellooo... I'm already a boss when it comes to this 'weather' thing.  I can handle it.  Me and my weather-stick.

So the drive from one job to another was okay.  Sure, it was raining.  Sure, it was darker outside than the inside of Simon Cowell's heart.  (Ew, I'm already judging myself for that, sorry.)  But it was fine, until out of the blue, weird frozen pebble things started pelting my car.

"WHAT THE SHIT IS THIS?!"  I screamed, more to my car than anyone.  It was cold.  It was like rocks.  It was not rain.  It continued to pummel my car.  Lightning hit somewhere close by.  Thunder rumbled along shortly afterwards.  You guys, this weather was happening.  I screamed and ran into the mall for my second job, convinced that there was a fifth horseman of the apocalypse and his name was Effing Weather, Fool and that I was going to die.  I was almost in tears when I got to my store.

"I almost died getting here," I told my coworker.  "There is some messed up weather going on outside right now.  It's like frozen rain, but not all pretty and fluffy like snow.  It's like frozen balls of death kinda rain and it tried to kill me."

"Oh, it's hailing?"  My coworker asked, obviously not as alarmed as she should have been.

"You mean 'hailing the combined fury of an angry Jesus and all the weather that ever existed'?  Oh, yes. That is what is happening outside right now.  Don't go outside.  Someone wise tried to warn me, but I didn't listen," I nearly sobbed and grabbed a customer by the shoulders.  "I didn't listen! Oh, for the love of God, don't take the weather for granted!  Don't go outside!  There is a storm out there and it is no freaking joke!"  The customer walked away shaking her head.  Whatever.  I warned her.

So that was my first intense experience with hail and quite the introduction to winter weather here in Seattle.  I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to be a very long winter.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why you can get over this "Christmas comes early" business:

Many of you know that I’m working retail these days to help pay my bills.  If you didn’t before, you do now!  And another thing that you may not have known… it’s freaking Christmas season already.  It was *actually* Christmas the day before Halloween for me, when I was at work doing a floor-set of products for holiday stockings, entrenched in gaudy gold packing material and fake plastic snow.  THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN.  I was somewhat shocked, having never remembered how the last third of the year was apparently one long string of holiday bleeding into holiday, confusing everyone with which greeting card to send and which cookies to bake at which time.

Last week my store started playing Christmas music.  One of the customers actually said that it’s been proven that people buy more if there is Christmas music playing.  Whether or not it’s because they feel more generous, or if it’s because they’re annoyed enough to rush out of a store quicker, I don’t know.  But there’s psychology to it, I guess.

I think more surprising to me than this oddly early holiday fervor is the marked backlash that it has had.  True, I have often found myself uttering how unprepared I was for Christmas *already*, but upon reflection, I wondered what it was that had people so bent out of shape.  Is it the fact that we should all be out shopping for our loved ones?  Is it the anticipation of stressful family situations and that chest-tightening panic at the last minute when you realize you’ve forgotten something really important, like pie?!  (But seriously, that’s an exaggeration.  No one could forget pie.)  Is it our impatience and frustration at having to wait in longer lines wherever we are going, be fake-nicer to people “for Jesus” and face down the looming financial repercussions of our months of seasonal gluttony?  Is it that we have to (ugh) stop whining about our own problems and think about other people?

I confess, I found myself having those anxious breaths of late.  As one of the wretched poor unpaid interns and underpaid seasonal workers, things will be a bit sparse this year.  Honestly, it’s depressing for me.  My family and friends are the most important things in the entire world to me (even more that Guinness and bacon) and I always struggle with finding the right gifts for them.  This year, I just plain can’t afford everything that I’d love to lavish on my people.  I lamented this fact to my mom the other day, with no small amount of self-pitying grumpusness.  She was kind as she always is, and assured me that homemade gifts were *the* best and often the most memorable and I sighed and nodded and got off the phone, not really believing her—at first.  But then, the more I thought about it, the calmer I became.  While I love useful, wonderful gifts that I’ve received over the years—the KitchenAid stand mixer and iPad come to mind—some of my most cherished items are the quilts that my mom has made for me.  And the scarf that my sister knitted my mom one year (which I have since pilfered and have worn nearly threadbare) and the emergency kit supplies that my Dad has thoughtfully put together (this would probably make more sense if you knew my Dad).  The same goes for gifts that friends have made for me over the years.

So, you know what?  It’s okay.  Sure, given the funds, I would buy everyone I love private islands populated by magical wishing unicorns and velociraptor pets that you could ride around and unlimited supplies of bacon doughnuts and Guinness and technology that even the military was afraid of and sparkly tiaras made of platinum and rainbows… because they all deserve those things.  But they’ll all get handmade gifts from me this year, and they’ll be just as excited as if they were getting unlimited bacon doughnuts, because they love me.  That’s what “the holiday season” is actually about, you guys, and why it’s so silly to rally against it.  If corporations are advertising early to make more money, that’s their prerogative, but it’s really up to you to choose how you’re going to respond.  You can either spend the time hyperventilating about getting your coupons in order, or you can chill out and actually remember that the holidays are really about finding ways to show your people that you care about them.  If I’m reminded of that in October instead of December, so much the better.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things I want to say to customers, but can't.

I'm working in retail again whilst I intern.  Hilarity ensues.  Also ensuing:  a sad, head-shake at the state of humanity.

Customer:  “I’m looking for something that will make my wrinkles go away.”
What I want to say:  “We sell skincare, not time-traveling DeLoreans.”

Customer:  “Do you guys sell those flavored massage candles?”
Me:  “No.  We have massage oil and candles, but I wouldn’t recommend pouring this particular candle wax on anyone.”
Customer:  “It says these are ‘all natural’—does that mean it’s okay to eat?”
What I want to say:  “’All natural’ just means it comes from nature.  Slime mold, rat feces and poison oak are technically all natural.  Is it okay to eat those?”

Customer:  “This lotion made me break out all over my face!”
Me:  “That’s because this lotion isn’t meant to go on your face.  It’s body lotion.”
Customer:  “Well, your face is a part of your body.  They should state that this doesn’t go on your face.”
What I want to say:  “Toilet paper is marketed as ‘bath tissue.’  Am I to understand you take all product directions literally and use it in the bath?”

Customer:  “I want to buy a gift for my wife, but I don’t really know what she likes.”
What I want to say:  “If you don’t know what your wife likes, you should probably be buying something a lot nicer than bath products.  Like a giant diamond apology for not knowing the person that you married.”

Customer:  “I bought some blush here last time, but I really didn’t like it.”
Me:  “Okay.  Was it the color or the product itself that you didn’t like?”
Customer:  “It was the color.  I’d like to try this one.”  (She picks up a different type of blush, in the same color that she said she did not like.”
Me:  “Well, that’s the same color that you said you didn’t care for—would you perhaps like to try another color?”
Customer:  “No, since it’s a different type of blush, I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
What I want to say:  “You know, trying the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.”

Curious gentleman:  “I’d like to apply for a job here.”
Co-worker:  “Do you have any experience with makeup or skincare?”
Curious gentleman:  “Yes—I won a modeling contest.”
What I want to say:  “Oh, I see how this works.  Excellent.  Well, I’m off to go pilot an airplane because I flew to New York one time.”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Consolation Prizes: Wherein I Compare Ladies to Dogs (in a good way)

So the other day, I was standing in line to get a cup of overpriced coffee (is there any other kind these days?) and I overheard a guy complaining to his friend about how these days, girls just don’t know how to take compliments. He cited his experience on a date, during which he had remarked to his lady friend that he liked her dress, and she had responded by snapping at him.  “I don’t get it,” I heard him say to his friend.  “It’s not like she was a bitch, she just got mad when I complimented her.”  His friend seemed to shrug it off.  “Girls just do that,” he said.  “No one knows why.  Because they all expect to be complimented, it’s just a lot of them are snarky about it.”

At this point, I could no longer resist feigning deafness and I turned around.  I sighed.  I nodded sagely.

“Consolation prize,” I said.

There was understandable confusion between the two gentlemen.

“That’s why no one takes compliments anymore.  More often than not, they’re offered up as consolation prizes to bad news.  For example:  ‘You’re very talented at what you do, but it’s not right for our company,’ or ‘You’re amazing, but I don’t want to date you.’  Things along those lines.  Much as they say that you shouldn’t trust flattery, compliments can be suspicious.  It’s like the silver medal, the second place ribbon, the certificate for participation—the consolation prize.”

“I didn’t follow it up with bad news, though.  I just wanted to tell her that she looked nice,” the man said, somewhat endearingly.

“Well done to you, sir!  And I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically.  May I offer some words of wisdom to you?  Getting a new girlfriend is sort of like adopting a dog from a shelter.  You don’t always know where they’ve been or if they’ve been mistreated, but proceed slowly and be consistent and they’ll eventually stop growling at you when you try to pet them.  I don’t really mean that literally, but you could totally take it that way.  Not that I mean women should be compared to abused dogs.  I’ve just been watching a lot of ‘Animal Cops: Houston’ lately and it seems appropriate.”

The man scrunched his eyebrows in a way that probably meant, “Why are you still talking to me, weird girl?” but that I chose to take as a look of, “Thank you for your wise advice, mysterious stranger.”

Because if there’s one that this animal has learned, it’s that you should take compliments where you can get them, whether they’re intended as consolation prizes or not.

(Did I just compare myself to a shelter dog?!  What-the-ef-ever.)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Paranoia is also what I do.

Me:  "I need you to mail me that book I let you borrow a few months ago."

Friendish:  "What the hell, TAB?  I'm like 3/4 of the way through it!  I'll send it when I'm done."

Me:  "No, I need it now.  I'm quitting TV again.  I need all the books I can get.  Lots of reading to do."

Friendish:  "Quitting TV?  Care to explain that one?"

Me:  "It's plotting against me."

Friendish:  "The TV is plotting against you."

Me:  "Yes."

Friendish:  "I'm gonna need more information."

Me:  "It's Saturday night.  I'm in my apartment alone.  You know what's on TV?  "He's Just Not That Into You" and "The Notebook" and a horror movie I saw on a date with an ex.  Do you see the plotting?"

Friendish:  "Right, yes.  You could, you know, leave the apartment and go be social with other human beings."

Me:  "We're discussing my television formulating plots to unhinge me emotionally and you think I'm in some condition to interact with others?  Without supervision?!"

Friendish:  "Good point.  So, drinking alone in your apartment again?"

Me:  "You know what?  Do what you know.  And damn, man, stop judging me."

Friendish:  "It's what I know."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I missed you, but not enough to write about it. But I am now!

I have definitely started this post like, three times already.  It's been close to eternity since I posted anything because I've been getting settled in Seattle (stop it, I'll make all the excuses I want) and frankly, nothing that earth-shattering has happened.  Except that I'm in Seattle now.  Oh, and that I started a new job and just quit it last week.  And that I'm dating again.

Damn.  I suck at that whole, "What's new, TAB?" thing.  Usually I just say, "Nothing," but clearly the correct answer is, "Oh--everything."

Let's just go over this work thing so that you guys don't think I'm some kind of serial quitter because technically, it was more like... half-fired, half-quit.

I took a job with an internet marketing company pretty quickly after I moved because they were looking for journalist-types and as luck would have it, I am sort of a journalist-type.  Fast forward a few weeks when they decided to restructure the department and "go in another direction" with their editorial content.  My boss pulled me aside and said my writing style was too creative for the job.  "But I can be boring," I thought about saying in protest.  "Haven't you seen my blog?!"  (Hahaha.  Burn.  Wait...)

But my boss said he wanted to keep me in the company due to my inherent awesomeness and tried to find a place for me in marketing, which he understood to be a more creative outlet.  I tried sitting through the training in marketing for a couple hours and decided that it was not for me...exacerbated (in part) by the fellow tasked with my training who gave me the creeps and reeked of halitosis and cheap leather.  A fellow, I gathered, who was overly excited about his position of power and probably got his jollies from anime pornography.  (Not that I'm judging, if that's your thing.  It's just not mine.)

Anyway, I realized I would be happier reshelving books at a Barnes and Noble or being a coffee bitch at some nearby Starbucks whilst I take on this editorial internship in October, so here I am.

And you know what?  I missed you guys.  And I missed my blog.  And it's been a minute since I've written anything and honestly, my pride is a little wounded from being told that I'm "too creative" for a job, so be patient with me while I figure this shit out again.

Also, final though:  fall is approaching in Seattle and it feels so different from fall in L.A.  I love it.  It's time for pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween decorations.  And some decorative fall gourds.

I love you guys.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I know it's inevitable, but shut up, anyway.

Happy Friday, homies.  So, I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I've decided Los Angeles is too much for me (omg dude stop judging me, I've been here for like 4 years) and I've finally accepted that Jason Segel is not going to show up and declare his love for me, even though he should because I'm pretty sure we're soul mates.  I'm hauling my pasty California ass up to Seattle, mainly to find other pasty, failed hipsters who love food and like, dogs and books and stuff.  Also?  I freaking love rain.  I love Jason Segel, too, but I just don't think it's going to work out without one of us getting a restraining order.  (Probably not me.)

Anycrap, yesterday I put my two weeks' notice in at my job and braced myself for the question I knew was coming from one of my coworkers, and sure enough, it happened:

"So, is your boyfriend moving with you?"

That's right.  My imaginary boyfriend.

"Oh.  Well, no.  He's staying here for work, you know.  But I told him I wanted to focus on my career when I was in Seattle, anyway, so we're gonna see what happens..."

Vague enough, right?  I merely hoped my coworker wouldn't notice me sweating profusely and breathing like a cornered animal.  Sorry, but lying gives me heart palpitations.  I suck at it.

"Well, if things don't work out, I'm willing to make a long distance relationship work," he said to me, quite candidly, at that.

I stared at him.  I didn't even know how to respond.  My eye started to twitch.  Crickets chirped.  A tumbleweed blew by.  My coworker just stood in my doorway, waiting for me to respond.  I did what every calm, cool, collected, and emotionally stable woman would do in my situation - I pretended I heard my office phone ring and answered it.

My coworker raised an eyebrow at me, as if he was only suddenly beginning to understand the depth of my neurotic psychosis and social anxiety.  I nodded into my phone and started writing down "phone notes" of whatever important conversation I was having:  "I like sandwiches."  "I need to go to the bank."  "Maybe I should get sushi for lunch."

If Los Angeles has taught me anything, it's that I find myself increasingly ill-equipped to deal with the awkward situations in which I continue to find myself.  For these reasons alone, I hope that Seattle is really, truly full of nerds with whom I can identify.  We're also both SO pale!

But if Jason Segel is reading this, I'm still willing to try and make it work.  Just throwing that out there.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm like Buffalo Bill! But without the dress made of skin.

You know, when he's walking around (in "Silence of the Lambs" for those of you who are like WTF?!) dressed up like a woman and he's all checkin' himself out and he goes, "Would you do me?  I'd do me." Or something to that effect - don't quote me because it's been a minute since I've watched that. 

Except that was me walking around in my work clothes, checkin' myself out in the bathroom mirror at my office like, "Would you hire me?  I'd hire me."  Don't you guys do that?  No?  Oh.  Well then.

Me (to MEH):  Last night, I emailed the managing editor of Seattle Magazine about an internship there, so I'm hoping she writes me back today and sends me an application.

MEH:  "Thank the High Holy Jesus you emailed, TAB. We'd love to offer you a job!"

Me:  I would jizz my pants if she did, but I'm actually just hoping she'll let me apply for the internship.  "I will kill your enemies if you let me have this internship.  Or just fetch coffee if you want to be all 'by the books' about it."

MEH:  Ha ha.

Me:  "My point is, I'm flexible....because I took yoga and ballet and gymnastics when I was younger.  If that offends you, please forward this letter to any male editor on staff."

MEH:  lol

Me:  "Or lesbian.  Like I said, I'm flexible."
You guys, my cover letter is *practically* written.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Even my imaginary relationship is dysfunctional.

There is a man in my office that has, on numerous occasions, asked me out.  We've been friends for a while, but last year he "declared his intentions" to date me.  I laughed it off because, as an awkward person, I laugh when I am uncomfortable.  Sometimes even when I'm mid-make out with a cute boy.

It's a problem.

This is the only way I want to eat your heart out - in cookie form.

Anyway, to spare my coworker/friend's feelings, I told him I was dating someone.  At the time, it wasn't COMPLETELY a lie because I had my sights set on a gorgeous dish and felt that it was only a matter of time before things panned out in my favor.  So maybe I was a little over-zealous out of the starting gate, which promptly exploded Michael Bay-style right in my face and said gorgeous dish went the way of the buffalo, but I didn't feel like I needed to share that with my coworker.  Things died down.

Until he started asking me about The Boyfriend.

I did what any panicked single woman would do in that situation - I lied my dirty little face off.

"Oh, he's... you know... in the industry..." I tried to be vague at first.

"What does he do in the industry?  Is he an actor?"  Coworker asked, folding his arms across his chest.

"N-no.  He uh, he's a stunt man," I was trying to veer closer to the truth, and technically the gorgeous dish that I failed to seduce was a stunt man.

"Oh yeah?  What's his name?  How old is he?  How often does he take you out?  What does your family think?  How did you guys meet?"  Coworker was obviously not giving up easily.

Based on the level of interest expressed in my faux relationship, I frankensteined bits of my own actual relationships together and concocted an elaborate story about how The Boyfriend and I met and grew to be smitten.  I was on a roll!  My Fake Boyfriend was a gorgeous, chivalrous, intelligent and witty man and was well-liked by my family, especially EM and EM's boyfriend (my toughest critics). 

Then, I watched my coworker's face fall.  Shit.  Too far, TAB.  Coworker unfolded his arms and shoved his hands in his pockets.

"Well, if you things don't work out, you know..." He looked so crestfallen.

Feeling like the biggest asshole ever, I patted his shoulder comfortingly. 

"Oh, Coworker, you know how I am with relationships, I'm sure I'll sabotage it somehow.  I doubt it'll last."

Coworker's eyes lit up.


So here I am, having dug myself into the grave of a pseudo-relationship with a figment of my imagination who, for the sake of Coworker, apparently fights with me all the time, but won't leave me.

This has to be a litmus of my *actual* relationship failures.

Monday, May 9, 2011

This post already makes me judge myself, so you don't need to.

Apparently William and Kate adopted a penguin at the Chelsea Zoo.  Reason #2,000,000 why I want to be a princess:  everyone lets you have ridiculous pets and no one bats an eye.  "Oh, Princess TAB has a bathtub full of sharks?  No worries, she's trying to impact depleted populations from shark finning.  It's so environmental!"

It's mornings like this that I'm reminded of something my Friend With Great Hair said about MEH and I.  "It's not that you're bad seeds, but you'll never grow into a fruitful tree."  I want that on my business cards.

Day two of my detox is going okay, though I realize now that I'm addicted to dairy.  I've been fantasizing about big, drippy ice cream cones for two solid days (yep, both days of this detox) and alternately recognizing and respecting that I could never be vegan because I would probably kill someone for even the lowliest slice of Kraft American cheese.
Freaking judgmental ice cream mofo. 

Also, hey, why did everyone hate "Sucker Punch"?  I liked it a lot.  I ask because I'm currently listening to the soundtrack and I have a hard time splitting my focus today.  Maybe it's the lack of ice cream in my diet.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I drunk text about dinosaurs, apparently.

Hey guys, I've missed you.  Sorry I've been so distant, but we both know I just do that from time to time.  It's not you, it's me.  I still love you though, and I've been (mostly) faithful to you.

So as if you didn't know, the last month or two have been pretty awful.  My family has been dealing with some difficult shiznit that I'm not really gonna go into, suffice it to say that things are on the mend (we hope).  As a result of this depressive state, EM and I have been struggling to keep our spirits afloat and may have indulged in some less than healthy habits, like eating an entire batch of cupcakes in just under two days. 

...and getting hammered while watching the replay of the royal wedding this weekend.  (Because how fucking amazing did Kate look?  I love a classy broad.)  And then discussing "wedding fever" and the upcoming nuptials of a lovely, well-to-do friend and needing to get obliterated again last night.  Monday night.  (When I say 'night' I actually mean 'afternoon')  What?!  Don't judge me like you've never gotten drunk on a weekday afternoon.  Anyway, so maybe I was the only one drinking, but EM was in the room so it's not like I was drinking alone which is for college kids and alcoholics, of which I am neither (anymore) so whatever. 

Now that you're here, uterus-deep in crazy with me, be advised that after much research (re:  googling a couple things) EM and I have decided to do this 28-day "wellness" detox thing to get the leftover cupcake cholesterol and lingering alcohol and weighty depression out of our veins and give ourselves a much-needed fresh start.  Before you start judging me again (jeez you guys need to be more accepting) know that I am not a fan of things like the so-called "master cleanse" and other stupid shit that involves eating only grapefruits and drinking horse piss or whateverthefuck.  I've opted into this shiznit because it appears to be a healthy balance of exercise and fresh fruits and veggies and limiting your intake of processed foods on a gradual basis.  As you all know, I am a fat kid trapped in a skinny kid and I love my red meat, bacon, whiskey and Guinness and holy crap, coffee, what am I going to do without you?!  Die, probably. 

Last night while I was on my way to Drunksville, I had briefly considered slowly eliminating caffeine and red meat and processed deliciousness from my diet to make the overall 'detox' thing less of a shock to my body, but then by the time I was sending vowel-less text messages about "banking on dinosaur eggs???;alsk" (yeah I don't remember wtf that was about) I decided that since I'm going to go for an entire freaking month without my delicious things, I'm going on an all-out debauchery bender this week, obviously kicked off by getting sauced yesterday and carried on by getting big fuck-off burgers for dinner.  Probably finishing that margarita mix in the fridge, too.  You know, to remove temptation.  (Detox starts this weekend, kids.)

I'll try to keep my progress update bitching minimal. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Stop having revelations that everyone has already had.

My coworker just came into my office grinning like someone heavily medicated and asked me if I knew why he was so cheerful all the time.  I raised an eyebrow at him.

"I think it's just because I'm so happy to be alive.  That's why I don't want to get married - in case it would depress me."

I laughed because for my coworker, this was some kind of revelation - as if no man in the history of the planet has ever had this same thought. 

I didn't bring up the fact that my father is currently at my mother's bedside in the hospital and has been for the past five days and would not choose to be anywhere else in the world right now.

Sometimes I feel like I am rebelling against my own generation for wanting previously conventional things - marriage, children, family meal times, things (I will openly admit) I used to look down upon.  People say that you inevitably turn into your parents when you get older.

For the most part, I really hope so.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why I'm excited for the apocalypse and how you can be, too!

At the risk of sounding complacent, I am mutha-fuckin' ready for some natural disaster-apocalypse shit to happen.  Preparedness runs in my veins, you guys, a gift (in part) from my ass-kicking, pirate chasing (seriously, that happened fo real) military officer father.  The other half of that is from my ass-kicking, sharpshooting (she has a medal), military officer mother.  Holy balls, TAB, you must have had an insane upbringing!  Not so much, voice-in-my-head, EM and I had a relatively normal childhood.  But when you go through survival training and organization and ass-kicking lessons in the military (like my parents did) they drill that stuff so far into your head that it hits you square in your genetics, which is why EM and I are genetically programmed to outlast even cockroaches and Keith Richards and Twinkies.  Are you following this logic with me?  Good.

So when things like Katrina and Haiti and Japan and Chernobyl and the end of the dot-com era and the breakup of Pangaea and the end of the dinosaurs at the hand of alien robot overlords who will probably return happen, EM and I will be waiting, ready to rule the land like kings because we are so much more prepared than everyone else, except my parents. And probably the president, because I imagine they have him pretty prepared for this kind of thing.  Oh, and unless you have some kind of bunker or lead-lined basement, in which case I'm jealous and we should be friends so that we can talk about our emergency plans and survival kits together.  (Does yours involve bacon?  Because mine does!)

Now, because you lovely people are actually reading this ridiculous blog, I'm going to impart some of my wisdom to you about what you really need to be prepared for some kind of disaster.  What KIND of disaster you ask?  ALL KINDS, including, but not limited to:  earthquake, tornado, hurricane, tsunami, cyclone, wildfire, volcano, nuclear meltdown, zombie/bear/shark attack, monsoon, flood, flash flood, solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, getting lost in the forest or at sea, something involving a desert or extreme drought and finally, getting in a death match with Bear Grylls because you have a cache of fresh water and he is left drinking snake blood and the water squeezed from elephant poop.

Let's discuss the two types of emergency kits you need:  an Oh Shit! kit and an Armageddon Box.  Your Oh Shit! kit should be small and compact enough that you can grab it in less than five minutes and run, especially if there is something like a tsunami or a dinosaur chasing you.  It should have enough supplies to sustain you for two days.  Your Armageddon Box should be something slightly more long term, and this would be something that you could rely on if parts of the infrastructure collapsed and you needed to camp out somewhere for 10 to 14 days, or until you heard over the radio waves that the military had cleared your city of the zombie plague and you're safe to return to your abode.  Both of these kits should be easily accessible - for example, since EM and I live in Los Angeles and spend most of our time in traffic, our Oh Shit! kits are in the trunks of our cars.  Our Armageddon Box is in our carport.  It's smart to keep supplies in a couple different locations, in case you can't get to one.

There are three rules that you should keep in mind when getting your kits together:
1.  Depending on your location, you need to make sure you are dry, warm, watered and fed. 
2.  The rule of 3:  a human can last 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food and 3 times 3 is 9.  Wait, forget that last part, that's not part of the same rule...
3.  Be aware, use common sense, and remember:  shoot 'em in the head, and they'll stay dead.  (Especially useful when fighting zombies and Bear Grylls.)

Here are some things that you should consider having in your Oh Shit! kit:
  • Drinking water and water purification tablets (at least a gallon, but FYI, you should have a gallon per person per day)
  • Food for two days (you can get compact and semi-tasty MREs at any army/navy surplus store)
  • A first aid kit
  • A flashlight and extra batteries, or even better, a hand-crank flashlight
  • A clean, dry change of clothes
  • A space blanket
  • A small emergency radio
  • A multi-tool (like a Leatherman) or a Swiss Army Knife, something with a can opener for canned food
  • Waterproof, windproof matches or a fire-starting flint
  • Maps of your area
  • A dust mask (to help against dust and also airborne biologicals that will zombiefy you)
  • Baby wipes, toilet paper, pads/tampons and garbage bags for "personal sanitation"
  • A small tool kit:  wrench, pliers, screwdriver  (important for turning off utilities)
  • Road flares and a whistle (should you need to signal for help)
  • Bear spray (not just for bears/Bear Grylls!  That's a 30 ft. radius of spicy protection, my friends)
That should help you last for a couple days.  Granted, that is if you're in a climate like I am (in southern California) and we don't have to worry too much about cold, wet weather and our main concern would be having clean water.  If you're in some place like Seattle where water is more accessible and you would be more concerned about staying warm and dry, I'd seriously consider having rain gear and the little chemical hand warmers in my Oh Shit! kit.  Remember, keep this one the most easily accessible to you and in a backpack or bag that you could carry.  If you can't lift it because it's too heavy, it's not going to do you any good.

Here's what you should consider having in your Armageddon Box:
  • A small tent
  • Plastic tarps to go under said tent (wet ground = wet tent = wet sleeping bag = unhappy)
  • A sleeping bag
  • More water!  Hooray!
  • More food!  Hooray!
  • Another first aid kit!  Hooray!  With any prescription meds that you may need, sunscreen and a first aid book so you can know how to treat things like broken arms and shark bites.
  • Don't forget your pets!  Food and water for them, too.
  • A secret stash of cash
  • A portable water filtration kit
  • A mess kit with pots and pans, paper utensils
  • A small camp stove
  • A lantern
  • Bigger tools:  a shovel, an ax, a machete
  • IF you're familiar with firearms and firearm safety (and yes, I am), a pistol
Above all, have a plan.  How are you going to get in touch with your family, especially if cell phones and land lines are down?  Pick an evacuation route and a meeting place, and then have a backup plan.  Also, here is a great resource for helping you to get your shit together:

Now that you're on your way to being prepared for the apocalypse and for Bear Grylls to creep in and try to bogart your stuff, be sure to maintain your kit.  Food, water, and medicine all expires, so be smart about it and update it once a year. 

If you've come this far with me, you're probably so gaddamn prepared for everything that you're just itching for the opportunity to use your Oh Shit! kit and your Armageddon Box, and you should be.  Just remember to be smart and sane about everything, don't panic, and keep an eye open for Bear Grylls.  Being friends with Bruce Campbell couldn't hurt, either.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I obviously need to intern with Sheen to learn how to succeed. Also, OMG I used a lot of commas in this one.

I feel like I've been posting a lot about Facebook lately and even though I've only posted like twice about it, two can definitely be "a lot" if you're like me and you think things like, "When I say I want a lot of whiskey, I mean I want two bottles."  Two bottles is a lot of whiskey, you guys, unless you're an alcoholic and I'm not because I don't drink alone, except when I have good reasons, like not having an odd number of bottles in the house.  Symmetry is better for feng shui.  Probably.

Anyway, so my graduating class from high school has this Facebook group so that we can all keep in touch and have a splendid turnout for our 2013 reunion.  The problem is that much of what I remember about high school, I have tried to drink away in subsequent irresponsible college years and the following useless years of my twenties.  It's not that I hated high school or was bullied or picked on (that I can remember, anyway), but let's say for the sake of simplicity that I was a late blooming tomboy geek who hasn't really learned much since high school except that alcohol is delicious and having boobs is awesome.

So apparently, I'm supposed to show up to this shindig with a bunch of people who already knew me as a late blooming tomboy geek and stand there awkwardly when they ask me what it is that I do and I tell them that I'm a writer in my soul just because I don't think I'm really qualified to do anything other than that and then brace myself for the inevitable "Oh?  What have you written?  Have you published anything?" where I will stare at them blankly and drain my whiskey neat while they talk about their husbands/wives/careers/babies.  At this point, I'm already starting to envision an evening like in Zack and Miri Make A Porno and I'll probably end up hitting on one of the men I crushed on in high school and striking out again because he's secretly a gay porn star.  One can only hope.

I'd be much more apt to let all of this go and journey down that road of not giving a fuck what others may think of my "brand" of success if I wasn't already mid-crisis about everything right now.  We'll see where I end up in a year and a half, and if all else fails, I'll just show up topless and drunk because that is at least capitalizing on what I've learned in the years since high school, and life, my friends, is all about personal growth.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Whatever, idiot, this makes sense to me.

Fellow Nerd Friend:  Hey, TAB! Long time no see!  How're the fellas treating you?

Me:  Oh, just one fella these days, and pretty good.

FNF:  Wow, really?  So you have a new boyfriend?

Me:  No, I mean, not really.

FNF:  So just dating?

Me:  Well, sort of... I mean, we like each other and we hang out.  You know.

FNF:  I'm confused.  Let's say you have to quantify it in Facebook terms.  Are you guys an "it's complicated" thing?

Me:  Oh, goodness no!  It's not complicated!  That status is for scandalous college kids who don't want to admit that they're boning several people at once.  I mean, we both like each other, and his plans are kind of up in the air right now, and he knows I'm moving, so I think we're trying to keep it simple.  Not that we've talked about it, because it's like, still new and I don't think we *need* to talk about it yet.  I think we're both just trying to do this one day at a time and see how it goes.  We both agree that we don't want to over think it, though.

FNF:  So... are you guys dating other people?

Me:  Um, I don't think so.  I don't really know.

FNF:  Weren't you just telling me that you were ready for a long-term, serious commitment?

Me:  Right, yes.  Totally.

FNF:  ::eyebrows of skepticism::

Me:  Committing to non-commitment counts as something.

FNF:  So, it's complicated?!

Me:  I really hate both you and Facebook today.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's depressing when you realize your life is like a Dilbert comic.

Coworker:  Hey, TAB, I need you to do Task A for me and email Unrelated Person and let him know as soon as Task A is finished.

Me:  I already completed Task A.  I sent out an email confirmation on Monday.  I don't even know who Unrelated Person is.

Coworker:  Yeah, he's new.  Can you just do Task A again and tell Unrelated Person?  I just sent you an email about it.

Me:  Wouldn't it be easier to just send Unrelated Person my original email from Monday, stating that Task A was already taken care of?

Coworker:  No.

5 minutes passes.  An email appears in my inbox.  It is from Unrelated Person.  It says, "Coworker, I just found the email stating that Task A was finished this past Monday.  Thanks for following up."

Coworker:  TAB, did you do Task A and email Unrelated Person like I asked?

Me:  Oh, didn't you see Unrelated Person's last email?

Coworker:  Yes.

Me:  ...

Coworker:  Well?

Me:  (Sigh.)  Yes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Things that PMS will give you:

1. The ability to eat half a box of Girl Scout cookies, cheesy pasta loaded with butter, cinnamon sugar oatmeal, biscotti with coffee and a handful of hard candies and still not feel full, when you normally survive on a handful of almonds and a piece of fruit in the AM hours.

2.  The understanding and rationalization that by drinking a 5.5 oz. V-8 with all of those foods, you're undoing all of the calories you just consumed, and are healthier for it.

3.  A surprisingly vitriolic intolerance to Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber (when you were previously apathetic about the youngsters) because 10-year olds should not be making more money than you.

4.  Anxiety and paranoia that everyone is mad at you, because you are already convinced you're being a bitch based solely on the negative thoughts you have about everything around you, even though you've been alone in your office all day and haven't actually interacted with anyone.

5.  The inability to distinguish between good idea texts and bad idea texts.  Example:  Cute Boy:  "How are you today?"  Good idea:  "I'm not feeling well today and am a bit stressed out."  Bad idea:  "Trying to figure out what my coworker wants me to do makes me want to strap her down and take a rusty cheese grater to her face."  It's sort of like drunk texting, except you have no excuse for atrocious spelling and grammar errors.

6.  The unmistakable urge to cry at the Golden Girls theme song.  Thank you for being a friend...::sob::

7.  The idea that french fries are a good dinner.

8.  The belief that people want to hear you bitch about your PMS.

9.  The inability to deal with bad traffic long lines a freezing office cold air people anything.

10.  But also?  A legal defense in case you go batshit and take a rusty cheese grater to someone's face.  Not that I would consider doing that.

I really do like yoga, though.

I'm really sucking at blogging, you guys.  I was so jazzed for my blogiversary and have been wanting to post something entertaining, but the fact of the matter is that I've just been the opposite of entertaining.  Also, I've been slacking.  Which is not an excuse, just a statement of fact.  A statement of fact that I am *using* as an excuse.

Also, J.R. just moved across the country away from me for this amazing job opportunity, so I'm excited about her but also kind of cranky because I miss her because she helps make me feel normal when I say things like "the commitment center in my brain is broken," and she'll smile in a way that is not at all condescending, but more like, "dude, me too.  Wanna get sushi and drink?"  Because that's how we do it here in California.  Then we talk about yoga and granola and the best places to surf.  Gnarly, bro.

Kidding.  Don't worry, rest-of-the-country.  I'd punch myself in the face if that's how it really was.

Though I did have a discussion about yoga this morning.  Damn it.

Love yourself some Natalie Dee.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Anniversary! Wherein I celebrate immaturity with whiskey.

Well, well, well.  Thursday will be my 1 year blogiversary.  Honestly, I had no idea that I would keep up with this for more than a few months.  I went back and read some of my older entries, where I was just learning how to use this tool (ha ha, 'tool') and trying to figure out what I wanted out of it.  Maybe there's been some personal growth on my part.  (Probably not.)  I can only hope that since I've been committed to this blog for a year, perhaps it means I'm maturing past the anxiety I have every time I have to commit to something for longer than five minutes and bribing my short attention span with the promise of greater rewards.  (Like money, and cake!  And booze.)

Then again, maybe I've kept up with this because I needed a platform for whiny, self-indulgent and narcissistic bitching whilst going through the typical 1/3 life crisis that us MeGen kids are finding ourselves in the midst of these days. 

I have a sneaking suspicion that I haven't matured, and that my miserable, "failed writer" ego just needed to be stroked. (Ha ha... 'stroked'.)

Yeah, definitely haven't matured.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I could win an Olympic gold medal for Conclusion Jumping!

I don't know if it's something connected to estrogen or if my probable adult ADD just randomizes illogical cause-and-effect scenarios, but I've decided that if you could compete in the Olympic Conclusion Jump, I would probably excel far beyond the gold medal.  I'd win the platinum medal, or the unanimously coveted bacon medal, which would obviously be one step above platinum.

I'll take a real life example just to prove to you other contestants how you don't stand a chance.

Me:  MEH, I just got an email from Boss Lady that my employee evaluation is today.

MEH:  Oh, good luck.

Me:  It's Friday.  My employee evaluation is on a Friday.

(I pause.  Let that sink in.)

Me:  I am going to be fired.

MEH assures me that if I were on the chopping block, my bosses would not wait until my annual review to give me the ol' heave ho.  (Ha ha... "ho.")  Some of you may even be scratching your heads, wondering how I got from "my review is on a Friday" to "I should probably start looking for another job right now."  If you're wondering, you obviously don't stand a chance in the Olympic Conclusion Jump.

Here's how it works, you guys.  Somewhere, at some point in time, I may or may not have read something that said that there was a higher percentage of firings on Fridays.  People don't get fired on Mondays because they're more likely to jump off the roof out of depression.  Is this true?  I have no idea.  Will I base a number of (in my mind) logical derivatives from this piece of potentially fictional news?  You bet your bacon medal, I will.

If there is a higher percentage of firings on Fridays and I am going in for some serious criticism about my performance, it makes sense to me that my bosses would usher me into the Office of Intimidation, smile at me and tell me that while I have excellent email communication skills, upon further review, I just wasn't meeting the standards of excellence that I've previously mentioned

I'm clearly concerned with my looming unemployment - clearly.  It's just that I plan on having french fries for lunch again today, so I'll probably have a heart attack within the next year, anyway.

Bacon medal, here I come!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Things I think would make great Valentine's Day Gifts

1. Promise to parallel park my car for me whenever you're in the car and I have to parallel park so that I don't get all anxious and hyperventilatey about it.

2. Cookies.  Make them, buy them, give them to me instead of candy because I like cookies so much more and I'll probably share them with you, but just don't eat them all, okay?  Otherwise, present NULLIFIED.

3.  This.  OH MY GOD, WHY DON'T I OWN THIS YET?!  (link me)
 Jaws T-shirt Nommage
4. Some kind of BBQd red meat.

5. Maybe you just tell me on the regular that you appreciate me all the way down to the guts and black stuff inside me and not wait until one day a year when it's all obligatory, and then we can just think of this day as February 14 - the day that we don't need to celebrate anything out of the ordinary because we've done a fair job of making all the other 364 days of the year pretty extraordinary.  Just a suggestion.