Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dawson's Creek Drinking Game

One of my less reputable hobbies, which tends to fit in nicely with my love of movies and television (and wine!), is inventing drinking games to make my favorite, or painfully terrible, viewing experiences much more interactive and enjoyable. So far, the most successful games have included: the Newsies, High School Musical (1 & 2!), Twilight, Gilmore Girls, Lost, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The rules have ranged from the obvious, the obscure, and the ridiculous.

Obligatory cast photo

Since I am currently still obsessed with my favorite teen drama that dates back to when I was barely even a pre-teen, it was only natural that I come up with rules to accompany "Dawson's Creek." If you find yourself bored on a Sunday night, drinking two dollar cabernet out of a Dollar Store wine glass, feel free to drink along!

1. Drink during the theme song in its entirety. Especially if you are still resentful that Netflix had to change it from Paula Cole's "I Don't Wanna Wait" to Jann Arden's "Run Like Mad" but find yourself singing along to the surprisingly catchy yet heartfelt upbeat tune.

2. Drink every time someone walks in on someone kissing someone that they probably shouldn't even though they just can't help themselves because the growing passion between them is so great that it will eventually overcome the trumped-up obstacles it faces.

So coy and mysterious. And slappable.

3. Drink every time Joey shrugs and/or talks out of the side of her mouth like a stroke victim. (WARNING! This may lead to alcohol poisoning)

4. Drink every time someone turns off a movie abruptly because it's just so damn frustrating that for a show obsessed with movies, they rarely actually finish one.

5. Double the drinks during a "Very Special Episode," such as when Jack comes out to his dad, or when Andie takes exctacy and nearly dies because it interacts with her antidepressants.

6. Drink every time they use a word that you don't understand or a reference you've never heard of. Because the actors probably didn't know what it meant either.

Wait for it...

7. Drink whenever a couple comes thisclose to having sex, but decides not to for whatever dumb reason, just so the writers can string out the anticipation and keep the audience's limited attention. Or to keep the moral majority happy. Whatever.

8. Drink when it's an episode that blatantly rips off the plot of a famous movie, disguised as a clever homage.

The bad girls club. Yes, I'm including Dawson in this.

9. Drink when a new Pot-Stirrer character is introduced (i.e. Abby, Drew, Busy Phillips)

10. Drink during any disaster such as: hurricane, storm at sea, fire, etc. that causes everyone to realize how important they are to each other and to get over their petty disputes.

Bodie, the only one with a good
head on his shoulders.
Seeing him is like seeing a magical ethnic unicorn : )

BONUS: Chug the entire time that Joey's sporadic, lone ethnic brother-in-law figure with the stupid name, Bodie, appears on screen.

There are many more, I'm sure. But I'm still in season 4 and they haven't left high school yet. Feel free to add to this list, or create your own drinking game! It's fun even if you aren't drinking alcohol!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Welcome to NoHo, Bitch!

After over three years of living in what could arguably be considered "The Ghetto," tonight was the first time I ever felt like I was in any real danger. I was coming home from a night on the town with my girls, and had decided to take the Metro in order to skip the hassle of driving downtown. It was about 11:45pm and the train was just pulling into the NoHo station, the end of the line. Unfortunately, the escalator was out, so I had to hike up four flights of stairs in heels and a relatively short dress. I tried to hold the skirt against me to avoid flashing any unfortunate travelers below me, but apparently all this did was draw even more attention to my ass (which needs no introduction in the first place).

No easy feat.
I was still listening to my iPod, a necessity for warding off overly chatty neighbors on the train. But as I got closer to the top, I realized that someone was following a little too close. I needed all of my senses clear and my hands free. That someone turned out to be a man in his forties, about 5'6'', and drunk off his ass. He mumbled to me something along the lines of the following:

"You got a real cute ass. I want to munch on it."

Um. Ew.

My standard girl response was to walk quicker and just ignore my would-be suitor. I had my phone out just in case, and grabbed my keys out of my purse. Cursing the fact that I hadn't been able to park closer, I motored to the safety of Stan. I realized that the guy was following me still, quiet like a really drunk ninja. No one was around at this point, and the hoards of security guards hovering around earlier that night were nowhere to be found. 

The guy got down on the ground as I unlocked the door of my car. He was clearly trying to look up my skirt again, slurring some more about my nice ass and how he wanted to lick it. Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ewwwwwww!

The most badass scene of all time.
Without thinking, I brandished my car key like Crocodile Dundee's machete and said, "I will fucking stab you in the eyeballs if you don't get the fuck away from me right now." Then I threatened to call the police. He looked scared, as well he should, and stumbled away. 

I am one terrifying son of a bitch.

I got in my car, locked the door, and sped away. I almost hit him on the way out of the parking lot. That would have been Stan's revenge.

So the moral of the story is, always have your keys ready, and when ignoring someone doesn't work, threaten them with severe maiming and foul language.

I was having a bad day before this, and being raped was really the last thing I needed. In a way, I guess I should thank him. Because now I feel like an Amazon badass, straight outta South Central. Rather than feeling shaken and fragile, I feel empowered and self-sufficient. I don't need some stupid security guard. I'm my own goddamn security guard.

Suck it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy

My life sucks right now for a multitude of reasons that I do not care to divulge. But I am taking a cue from my brilliant friend Jessica right now, and focusing on the things that make me happy.

1. Lists.

I think most of the posts on this blog are at least partially in list format. Lists help me make sense of things. There's some kind of weird satisfaction to be derived in taking inventory of things in an easily digestible format, and checking them off one by one. When I was a little girl I would make lists of my chores (which I would do completely willingly and with joy if I got a little index card to write them all down on). I even won an award for this slightly OCD behavior in my Sunday School class. Even when I'm miserable, writing a list of all the things that piss me off somehow makes me feel better.

Jesus bonding with my dad.
(This sentence is hilarious if you know
my vehemently atheistic father)
2. Jesus.

I don't mean your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But Jesus, my family's dog back in Foresthill. My parents call him something else, but that's not his real name. I don't call my dog Jesus because I'm being sacrilegious or deliberately insulting (though I do admit to feeling a bit of mischevious glee due to this moniker). He is Jesus because he is kind, loyal, protective, and loves unconditionally. He can tell when I'm feeling sad and just his quiet presence is comforting.

3. Stan.

I know that Stan is an inanimate object. He can't really think, complain, or sympathize. But there have been many times that I have just sat in my car and felt like I wasn't alone. In a not-creepy kind of way. It's like being with an old friend who has been with me through so many ups and downs (some of which he actually caused), and is still trucking along.

It only comes around once in a blue moon.
Unless you go through a LOT of peanut butter I suppose.
4. Peanut Butter.

Specifically the first spoonful from a brand new jar of Skippy creamy peanut butter. Simple pleasures.

5. Being Employed.

I have had some rocky times with my career, though so far, the move to a new property in Pasadena has been amazing. I'm still adjusting, but at least I have a reason to get up and put on pants in the morning. A few years ago, pants were optional, and that was a very depressing state of mind. So I'm grateful to have a job.

I love it. Not ashamed one bit.
Even without the iconic theme song.
6. Netflix.

Netflix is my escape. I love being able to come home and lose myself in a ridiculously long marathon of whatever show I happen to be obsessed with at the time. Right now I'm knee-deep in Dawson's Creek, a show that I absolutely loved as a middle schooler, before I really understood half of what they were talking about. When you watch something is just as important as what you watch. And right now, it's so much easier to focus on the contrived problems of 30-year-old, narcissistic teenagers from a bygone era, than my own.

7. Cleaning.

While I am far from being a neat freak, there is something very cathartic about putting things back in order. When my apartment is cluttered, I feel like my brain is cluttered. Putting myself in project-mode, makes me feel productive and proactive, not useless and helpless. The best feeling of all is scrubbing my shower. While I keep things usually pretty tidy, this is one task that does not get done as often as it should. And it seems to happen mostly when there's been a big change in my life. Some girls get haircuts, I break out the Scrubbing Bubbles. There's some sort of symbolism there, but I don't feel like analyzing it right now.

The other side is pink, thus the name,
'Pretty Pink Blanket.'
8. My Pretty Pink Blanket.

Yes, I have a security blanket. I never really dragged it around with me like Linus in Peanuts, while sucking my thumb. But I still have the pink, floral bedspread with white lace around the edges that my mommy made me when I was probably around 6 or 7. It will always be the most warm, comfortable blanket ever. Even when it's too damn hot for a blanket, like right now, just seeing it draped over my crappy black futon makes me happy.

9. Taking a Walk.

I've been wallowing the past two days of my belated three-day weekend. I haven't really left the house other than to go to Sally Tomatoes practice, and 7-11 to buy some ill-advised Cookies & Cream. As important as that is for me to recharge, sometimes you just have to get out of the house. My favorite place to walk is down Magnolia in Burbank. There are a ton of cute little antique and vintage shops that I never actually go in, but love to pass by. I love just listening to my iPod, which always knows the right song to play, and figuring things out while shuffling along aimlessly.

10. Writing.

I don't really mean blogging, though that makes me happy too. Whenever I'm trying to deal with something, I open up a blank Word document and just start typing. It's amazing feeling to channel the crazed thoughts swirling around my chaotic brain into actual words. Writing the things I can't really tell anyone, and don't even like admitting to myself. It's the best therapy, and I highly recommend it. I also recommend securing the document with a password, because no one should ever have to read those manic, self-absorbed rants. (Though these blogs are only slightly less manic and self-absorbed...)

There are very few pictures of my entire family,
and even fewer that are easily pulled from other online sources.
I'm the little one inexplicably sitting in a car seat while not actually in a car.
11. My family.

Having a list of 11 items may seem like an odd number (get it? Odd? ba dum chhh!), and I guess this one kind of goes without saying. I also keep trying to think of a clever Spinal Tap reference that hasn't already been done, but just insert one here. Anyway, my family is amazing. They're all truly incredible people (except Nick. He's pretty dumb. Just kidding. He probably won't even read this) and even though they sometimes drive me nuts, I'm glad they're in my life. I include my friends in this category as well.

I'm including this one because my mom isn't in the one above.

Anyway, that's enough sap to fill an entire bottle of syrup. I need to get going on my cathartic cleaning rampage. That shower isn't going to scrub itself!

Monday, July 9, 2012

An Empty Box

I am having a problem of a personal nature. It is both uncomfortable and mortifying. So humiliating in fact that I had been putting off resolving it until the discomfort outweighed the mortification. Tonight, I finally grew a pair and went to the store to acquire the antidote to my problem. I was standing in the most embarrassing aisle with my back to the item I really needed, because it was a lot easier to pretend I was perusing the many different kinds of shaving cream with unusually intense focus. Every now and then I would sneak a peek behind me at the products actually relevant to my condition. And every time I did, there seemed to be someone walking by and judging me. It took me a full ten minutes to just pick up the damn box and shove it discretely behind the tomatoes and skim milk.

And now, the many faces of awkward...

When I was ready to purchase, I steered the cart to the front of the store. It was rush hour at Ralph's, and my cart was pretty full. I couldn't really get away with the self-check out, at least not without pissing people off who only had one or two items. (I am susceptible to major grocery store peer pressure). That meant choosing which of the clerks seemed to be the most understanding. Of course they were all young, reasonably attractive menfolk. Because God hates me. I finally chose a line and started unloading. Again, I tried to hide this item which seemed to call attention to itself like a Vegas slot machine complete with bells and whistles.

I happened to be purchasing a few bottles of wine at the time, and the checker asked me for my ID. It was at this point that I realized I'm a grown-ass woman. I can buy wine and everything (though I can only afford the cheap stuff). I shouldn't be embarrassed by something that is just a fact of life! If it makes some people uncomfortable, than screw them. And as a former grocery store checker myself, I can attest that I honestly didn't give a shit what people bought as long as they paid for them and weren't rude to me. It was quite the epiphany. Though I still turned bright red as the box slid smoothly over the scanning platform.

I got home less than ten minutes later, anxious to finally take advantage of the ______. I opened the box only to discover that it was empty. I thought it felt kind of light in the store, but never having purchased this item before, I figured it was just a really lightweight substance. Plus, I had grabbed it so fast that I didn't think to check it like I would check a carton of eggs. Apparently I'm not the only one embarrassed to purchase this stuff. Whomever got there before me must have been so cowardly that they couldn't even bear to bring it to the check-out. They took it out of the box and shoved it into a purse or pocket.

Part of me doesn't blame them. Another part of me is indignant that not only did they commit one crime, but they screwed me out of six bucks (or two and a half more bottles of cheap wine as I like to think of it). Not a ton of money, I grant you, but also not insignificant to someone of my limited means.  However, a third part is gloating that I had the lady-balls to do what this anonymous woman could not. I faced my fears and the imaginary judgment of my fellow shoppers to take care of business like the strong, self-sufficient broad that I am!

Of course this means that I'm still without the item that I reeeeeeally needed. I was barely able to buy it in the first place. There's no way in hell I can handle going back and approaching customer service, which will also undoubtedly be helmed by a man, and saying, "Uhh this box I just bought was empty." That's way too much progress for one night. So I can either make a second trip to Target (because clearly I can never show my face at Ralph's again) and be out another six bucks. Or I can suffer in awkward silence. We'll see how this goes...

UPDATE: 9:55pm, 7/9/12. I ended up caving and went to the somewhat ghetto CVS in North Hollywood. There's no judgment at Ghetto CVS. It was a lot less dramatic but Mission Accomplished. :D

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sacrificial Lamb

What's new on the online dating front, you ask? Because you just can't get enough of my pathetic love life, or lack thereof? Well I'll tell you! I've basically been bombarded with men who are unapologetically looking for fuck buddies. While I've always been appreciative of a straightforward approach, that doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is, it's getting old and slightly offensive. On the one hand, I like that they don't try to play games and trick you with grand romantic gestures. I can see through those sneaky ploys from a mile away like [insert superhero with x-ray vision here]. But on the other, can't they at least suggest dinner and a movie and make you feel like you're worth more than just fifteen minutes of their time?

Is this too much to ask for? Yes. Yes it is.
I know it shouldn't surprise me that these guys are only interested in sex. Hasn't that been the stereotype since the first adolescent boy first discovered hair on his you-know-what? But has the whole species given up on the pretense of dating altogether? Was your grandmother's theory about free popsicles and expensive ice cream trucks right all along? How many rhetorical questions can I fit into a single blog post? Are you taking a shot every time I employ this overused and somewhat lazy device?

Tee hee! How can an inanimate object like an
ice cream truck have any kind of sexuality?
"Billy" is one prime example of this new-ish breed of man, who is without guile, but also without game. He popped up on my OkCupid instant messenger last night, "Yo." I quickly perused his profile. Lives within 30 minutes, 6'1'', adorable in a Big Bang Theory sort of way. Check, check, and check. Then I looked at the questions he had answered. The first thing that caught my eye was that not only was Billy a twenty-four year old virgin, but that he openly admitted it. (I had to quickly check again to make sure he wasn't a Jesus Freak, which definitely would have been a deal breaker). Phew. I decided that we had enough in common and I was intrigued. Since I'm adorable, I replied, "Whut up?" Only, my computer autocorrected it to say "Shut up." Not a good start, but there was some decent witty banter surrounding this snafu.

Every guy's fantasy. At least the first part of this movie anyway.
After the opening statements, Billy asks the question that I've learned to recognize as a precursor to the whole No Stings Attached proposal: "So what are you looking for on this site?" The answer to this being essentially semi-casual dating. Not a serious relationship, but not a waste of time either. That's when he straight up told me he was just looking to get laid. No lies, no flattery, just an honest mission statement and declaration of lust. Naturally I had to ask him about his being a virgin, because that was a pretty ballsy move on his part. According to him, he had had lots of opportunities to have sex, but it had just never worked out. (This seemed a little less honest, but whatever). Billy even described his virginal state as a 'handicap' that he just wanted to get over.

Speaking of which...
Even though I'm sure being a twenty-four year old male not-by-choice virgin is definitely embarrassing, this seemed kind of sad to me. Sure, the goal to lose one's virginity constitutes the plot of almost every teen movie ever. But still, it's an important milestone in one's life and he was just offering up his precious flower to some random girl he met online that he'd only been chatting with less than ten minutes. (Or maybe I'm just so irresistible that boys are falling all over themselves to sacrifice their virtue to me). Strangely, I was honored to be chosen to be Billy's first. It was flattering in a sort of not-at-all way.

One would think that he was auctioning
off his virginity to the highest bidder.
Like in that one movie.
When I made it clear that I was not really interested in acting as his de-virginator, but wished him good luck on his quest, he wrote back, "I probably won't talk to you again." Ouch. Not that I wanted to talk to him again. But again with the brutal honesty! It's slightly painful, but appreciated nonetheless.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Lately, I seem to be baffled by the behavior of the men in my life. I originally wrote out a whole rant about how irritating that several guys I've encountered lately like to drop off the face of the earth for several days at a time, only to reappear as if no time has passed at all. But it really did make me sound like the crazy, needy girl that I most certainly am not. This particular post is not to rant about how flaky men are. This blog is to pose the following question:

What the fuck???

That picture is an actual text that I received from one of said guys that I went on exactly two dates with earlier this month. I had texted him once on Sunday and didn't hear from again for five days. I get that guys have a tendency to just stop calling if they're no longer interested. I too am a coward when it comes to awkward confrontation. So if a guy is just not that into me and decides not to pursue any further interactions, there's truly no hard feelings. I had just figured that I was never going to hear from him, and continued with my daily life (and flirtations with other men). My heart will go on (completely intact I might add).

Say, wasn't it Berger himself who came up with the phrase,
"He's just not that into you?" (Even with the whole post-it thing,
he was still the only guy Carrie ever dated that I dug)

So again I ask, what exactly does it mean when a 31-year-old guy who was pretty but had the wit and sensibility of a 12-year-old, sends you a picture of a large, partially eaten hamburger? We had never eaten burgers together. We had never discussed burgers together, neither philosophically nor as some kind of obscure inside joke. And there was no text accompanying the burger to give it some kind of context. I could only assume that he had sent it to me by mistake. (Which would have been even more awkward if he really had decided never to text me again.) Not knowing how to act in this scenario, I responded with a sophisticated and concise, '?"

Ronald McDonald is not amused.

He responded right away (refreshing, for a change), "It's a McGangBang!" ... Still not getting it. He answered my subsequent query: "It's a McChicken and a Double Cheeseburger altogether!" All I could think to say to that was, "Sounds gnarly. Did you enjoy it?" Of course he enjoyed it. It has the word 'gang bang' in the name and as I mentioned, this man is 12 years old. And that was the extent of our conversation. Clearly this is not the love of my life. But seriously, WTF?

Oh, and some of you were wondering what happened with the guy from my previous blog post, Underwear Limbo. Not a damn thing. I must have ended up inadvertently standing him up after all because he never contacted me to reschedule. Unless he's like all these other guys who seem to believe in not contacting a girl unless enough time has passed that she's already given up on you. Sigh.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Underwear Limbo

I am just sitting here at my desk in nothing but underwear and a green reindeer bathrobe. Why am I sharing this excess of useless information that has probably put a random and unpleasant picture in your mind? Because I may or may not have a date tonight. And because I'm not exactly sure, I don't know whether to put on my comfy pajamas, or get all cuted up for some boy. We started IMing and things were going well. We bantered about the poorly chosen location for West Hollywood, as well as how much commuting sucks. Then he asked me to meet for a drink and I said, sure, why not? (He's 6'' and lives less than a half hour away, so those are the first requirements right there. He's also a writer so he was able to spell correctly and express himself using real words. Score!)

This is not me, but that is my bathrobe.
 And my happy face slippers, aww I miss those!
My friend was wearing them as a costume
for when she played a crazy person in one of my movies
in college. It was a good wardrobe choice for crazy.
I had to cut the conversation short because I was headed out to yoga. I totally would have ditched it, but I already signed up and would have lost a credit. Not to mention I skipped last week to go to my parents' house and already felt guilty enough about it. So I gave him my number and told him to text me if he wanted to hang out later. I also gave him the name of an awesome Irish pub conveniently located near my house. Then I skedaddled because there's nothing worse than running late to yoga class (you get hate stares when you interrupt the flow of the chi.)

I found this when googling "yoga bitch face."

No text while I was in yoga, and no message when I got back to my apartment. Since the original plan was to meet at about 8:30pm, I knew I had to book it to get showered and ready. But there was no real confirmation that he got my message about my number and the bar. So I proceeded with my routine up until the point where I have to decide, makeup or no makeup? Cute butt jeans and ever-so-slighty padded bra (which always feel like false advertising, but man do they do the trick!) or yoga pants and an oversized t-shirt? Thus the reindeer bathrobe. Because there's no commitment with a reindeer bathrobe.
Haha, and this had the caption, "Unbuttlievable!"

I re-read the IM conversation we had and realized that unfortunately our conversation could be interpreted in a couple ways. The first, that we were going to meet tonight at around 8:30pm. The second, that on some unspecified day this week (other than Wednesday because I have a date with another guy, BALLA!!!) we would be meeting at around 8:30pm. Oops. That's what you get for trying to be casual and noncommittal. You end up not making commitments like when and/or where you're going to meet up!

Lady pimp.

Why am I stressing about this so much? I don't owe this guy anything. It's not like it's a meeting with my parole officer (that's tomorrow night. HAH!). But I feel guilty because it would be a bit of a drive for him and he has to wake up at 4:30am every day for work. He was already going to be staying out late just to meet me (awwwww! Sounds like good people to me!). So because of this modified sleep schedule, it's possible that he's either asleep right now and that's why I can't get a hold of him. Or he's sitting at the Irish pub waiting for me to show up in my cute butt jeans and padded bra (side note, the padded bra has become a necessity since I started losing weight in the one area I could not afford to shrink).

This could be him, all sad and lonely
with only his girly cocktail to comfort him
from the devastation of being stood up by me!
So what do you think? Is he fast asleep, secure in the knowledge that we'll set up a date at a later time? Or is he all sad and lonely at a bar in an unfamiliar town waiting for this delightful creature who may very well be the love of his life? I DON'T KNOW! I already sent him a message essentially asking him if he wanted to reschedule, and no response. He may not have a smart phone (I don't either), so he doesn't get the OkCupid app. He also may be slightly dumb and forgot to take down my phone number and left the house without a way to contact me. I know I'm way over-thinking this. But I would hate to take the trouble to get cute (ugh), and then go sit at a bar by myself for an hour. However, I think I would hate to do that to someone else that's going out of his way for me (eventually affecting his work tomorrow).

I haven't even met this guy and already I'm going psycho on him (though that would explain the reindeer on the bathrobe I'm wearing in June). And I'm not really a psycho girl, I swear. I just would like some confirmation so I can at least put some goddamn clothes on!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Maiden Bikini Voyage

I have not bought a new swimsuit in about four years. Since I really only wear one a few times a year, (both because of lack of opportunity to swim and because I never really fancied prancing about half-naked in front of strangers) it didn't really seem necessary to upgrade. But I'm going home next week (yay!) and I fully intend on making use of my parents' current pool. Out of curiosity, I tried on my old suit last night. I was both overjoyed and dismayed that it hung limply on my new body like a tropical-print muumuu. So huzzah for me for losing weight, but boo for having to pay for a new suit when I'm super broke and probably won't use it very often. So this afternoon, I was off to Target, armed with my ill-advised credit card that still carries the balance from my last yoga-inspired shopping spree.

I wish Target carried this suit!

Clothes shopping has become pretty fun since I've lost weight. It's exciting to see the numbers go down and actually have to ask for a smaller size instead of the humiliation of a zipper not going up on a pair of jeans you thought were your size. But even 81 pounds later, bathing suit shopping still sucks ass. For one thing, I'm still sort of between regular and plus sizes when it comes to swimwear. Meaning I'm either drowning in frilly mini-skirt bottoms designed to cover middle-aged, cellulite-ridden thighs, or my muffin top is spilling out of a tankini meant for a sixteen year old girl who has never known the taste of Splenda. (Hope you enjoy that visual, that's my gift to you!) There are very few options for someone who doesn't have children in college and isn't about to send in their college applications.

What most plus-sized bathing suits look like.  Yeah. Not cute.
I feel bad for this model who had to pretend like she likes it.

I decided to go for basic black, simple and chic. The big, bold prints that the plus sized "fashion" industry seems to fixate on, are no one's friend. You'd think it would be an easy process to pick out a black swimsuit, but it literally took me an hour and a half just to decide on the very first one I tried on. I'm such a girl sometimes... I stuck with the old reliable tankini and regular bottoms, since one-pieces bum me out. They're also impractical when you have to pee. But in a moment of boldness (and by moment I mean 45 minutes of painful deliberating), I also bought a matching bikini top. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but you should know that I have never worn a bikini in my life. Even when I still could probably pull one off, my religion prevented me from baring my stomach. When I was finally free of those restrictions, my weight had already skyrocketed. As a favor to society, I abstained from that particular look.

What I wish I looked like in my new suit...

But now that I'm working out like a maniac (doing the Flashdance routine as I type), I actually don't look too shabby. While I still have a looooong way to go, I can almost pull this off. I seriously doubt that I'll ever have the guts to actually wear the bikini out in public (there's a major fading stretch mark issue to deal with still). But it was a huge step to even purchase it and believe that someday I actually might go out in a bikini and not become Captain Ahab's new object of obsession.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bastille Day 2010

Not long after Americans celebrate their Independence Day every July 4th, the French honor a similar holiday ten days later. This is known as Bastille Day. I could go into the history of why the Bastille is important, (even though the monument in Paris dedicated to this event is tiny and underwhelming just like a lot of things I've experienced lately), but that's not what this post is about at all. Two years ago on July 14th, while the French were setting off lots of fireworks, wearing scarves, and eating patriotic colored cheeses (I'm really not sure how they celebrate to be honest), I was having quite possibly one of the worst days of my life.

That's it?

Let's rewind the clock back to Summer 2010. (*Diddly do diddly do diddly do*) I had basically been unemployed since mid-November, even though I had recently attained an expensive but ultimately worthless college degree. I had briefly worked for the Census, (oh god, the horror!), and was reading scripts for a screenwriting competition at $10 a pop under the table (shhhh!), but still drowning financially. My unemployment checks didn't even cover half of my rent, and I was tearing through my savings just to afford little luxuries like the occasional ramen noodle packet and electricity.

Oh life sustaining yet nutrition less white carbs.
So delicious when you don't depend on them for survival.
 I may have this for lunch just because I can now afford real food.
Thankfully, my parents were able to take over my exorbitant student loan payments temporarily, which was a major financial hardship for them. I was also hugely overweight at the time. Not that this was unusual for me, but it certainly didn't help matters. I didn't really know that many people in Los Angeles, even though I'd lived there for a whole year. So basically I just sat alone in my apartment all day desperately combing Craigslist and other job listing sites for anything to keep the tiny South Central studio roof over my head.

It was a shitty, shitty period in my life. Weeks would go by when the only time I would step outside my door would be to move Stan from one side of the street to the other for street sweeping days. If it wasn't for this simple, yet very important task, I would have had no concept of what day of the week it was. Street sweeping was the only thing that gave me structure in my life. That's why I awoke with a jolt when I heard the obnoxious beeping of the street sweeper at 8am on Wednesday, July 14th, two hours before it was due. I had been planning on moving my car right before 10am, so I bolted out of my iron screen door wearing only a t-shirt and bright yellow happy face boxers. Sure enough, the entire side of the street was empty, and Stan was nowhere to be found. A helpful neighbor sitting on his stoop informed me that my car had been towed.
It's sad when this is the only thing giving your life structure.
This was a first for me. I had never had a car towed or even legitimately ticketed in my life! (Ok, there was that time six months earlier when I got a fix-it ticket for a busted headlight because Stan's cover fell off and lightbulbs always seem to burst). I was flabbergasted, flummoxed, and in all other ways bewildered. Luckily, said helpful neighbor knew where it had been taken and the impound was within walking distance. So I got dressed and walked the streets of South Central to rescue Stan. Remember how I said I was unemployed and broke at the time? I think I had maybe $40 in my checking account and that was it. My credit card practically screamed out loud when I had to fork over $300 to retrieve my beloved vehicle. It turns out that they were paving the street that day, without notifying the residents of Mont Clair St. They did post signs saying 'temporary tow away', but they did not have a date on them and I swear they had been up since the previous week. You know how they tend to leave those signs up for weeks after completion...


When I got to Stan, I noticed that not only was I towed, but there was a ticket on his windshield. SERIOUSLY? I didn't know you could be both towed and ticketed for the same offense. Yup. You can. The ticket was only for $60, which doesn't seem like that much. However, this paltry amount would have literally bankrupted me. I was so depressed that I didn't feel like going home after the impound. So I drove. I ended up all the way in Santa Monica, just wandering the beautiful, clean, smoke-free streets. Until I found the King's Head pub. And proceeded to drown my sorrows with cider and over-priced fish and chips. (Hey, I'd already spent $300 on my only credit card, what's another $30 at this point?). After the pub, I walked around the beach and pier, being all classy and day drunk, wallowing in misery. I had to stay there for several hours until my ill-advised mini-bender wore off and I could go home.

Ye Olde King's Head Pub. 

But I ended up fighting the ticket. I sent in a letter to the Parking Violations stating my case, and waited. And waited. To this day, I never received anything from them. Then my dad gets a letter from the DMV saying that I can't re-register my car until it's paid. Only now it's $154 with the late fee.

"We could certainly party with the Haiti-ans!"

WHAT THE HELL????!!! I had to call in three separate times and wait on hold for them to determine that they sent the letter with the decision that the ticket was valid (B.S.) to the wrong address. Luckily, I was able to sweet-talk them into waiving that late fee, "totally based on my powers of persuasion." Cher Horowitz would have been proud. And since I now have a job (though I still manage to be broke all the time), it's not quite as painful to shell out $60. But since the registration deadline is ticking, I had to make sure that the check got mailed today. Because naturally this is the one case where you can't pay over the phone or online. Argh. So I literally chased down the mail man, who happened to be driving by. He was very friendly and took my letter for me. He was also a champ and didn't laugh when the back full of donated clothes I happened to be carrying split all over the road. (I was going to make a pit-stop at the Salvation Army barrel thingy). It was quite the slapsticky sight to see.

Clearly Sadie has a "Stan" of her own!
Super long, depressing, and boring story short, this was one of the worst days of my life. The only thing that got me out of my funk was that my adorable, spunky niece Miss Sadie was born the next day. So even though my life was still super crappy, I realized that being an aunt makes it all worthwhile. (Cue the Awwwws here!)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Even More Fishy Deal Breakers

This is a follow up to my list of deal breakers when it comes to just looking at profiles. Here are a few more that pertain to actual interaction with potential fish:

  • Messages that just say, "Hi," or something similarly brief and generic. Say something that shows you actually read my profile. Because it's a good one. 
This is NOT me. I just wanted to prove that there is a conspiracy out there about how shaving your legs is not really a huge pain in the ass. I do it because I'm socially obligated, but I don't have to like it! Harrumph!
  • Flakiness. I seem to run into this a lot. These guys like to hold off on confirming plans, frequently cancel them at the last minute, and come up with lame excuses as to why. (Sorry guys I've actually dated, you were just as guilty!) Then they try to set up something else and act like they didn't just leave you hanging an hour before you were supposed to meet when you took the trouble of shaving your legs and putting on makeup. For someone as low-maintenance as me, this is NOT OK.
  • Late night and/or over-texting. If I make the decision to give out my phone number, which I do not do lightly, some guys text you a million times a day, sometimes multiple texts in a row without letting you respond, (especially bad since I don't have unlimited texting) and the worst offense of all, texting after 10pm on a weeknight. I'm sorry boys, I have to get my beauty sleep. Because I'm a monster if I get less than 8 hours of sleep. And a boy who texts you at 2am, most likely does not have honorable intentions on his mind.

What I feel like most of the time...
  • Hot and cold. One minute, he's giving you the full court press and you have all the power, the next, you feel like "Josie Grossie at the Prom" (Shout-Out to my buddy Allison for that little gem). Dating shouldn't be this much of a game. If you're interested, be interested. If you're not, then just let it go. Be straightforward from the start.
  • Inappropriateness. Nothing makes you feel less like a lady than a guy talking dirty to you when you haven't even met yet and just barely started getting to know each other. I'm sorry, but you have to earn that right with me, Sir. I have some dignity, after all! Whatever happened to romance and being woo'd (tee hee, that's another word I love, woo)? Just sayin'.
  • Relationship status. This is related to the previous item. If you're really just looking for a hook-up, or an "intimate encounter" as the creepier pervs refer to it as (shudder), just be honest. Surely there's someone out there for you who is into that. Don't lie and say you want a relationship when you don't. No hard feelings.
  • Breaking up via text message. Yep. That happened. Granted, I appreciated that it was a lot less awkward than doing it in person. But come on, at least give a girl a phone call!
 It's been an exhilarating and obnoxious experience, so I just had to share my observations on the subject. Anyone else have any weird deal breakers?

PS! I just thought of another one! I had a guy message me me first that I was actually really interested in (6'3'', lives relatively close to me, Jewish), but then he never got back to me! Hey, you made the first move buddy. How did I manage to alienate a guy before we've even met? 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Unexpected Dealbreakers

I may have mentioned recently that I am back on Plentyoffish, the online dating site for the poor, lazy, and uninspired. If you haven't heard the details already, basically the gist is that the Gentleman Caller got a job in the wild North and we had to go our separate ways : ( But, onward and upward I always say, like the baller that I am. That means going shopping for new man candies. It's been a while since I've been on POF, but it seems even more pathetic than the first couple times around. I guess it couldn't have been that bad, since I landed three very decent men from that giant and mostly questionable ocean over the course of about eight months.

But man-shopping online is not unlike clothes-shopping online. You have to sift through a lot of crap to find something that you like, it's impossible to know what it's really like until you try it on, and it may not end up being that great of a deal after shipping and processing...wait I think I lost track of the analogy. Anyway, my brain has created some shortcuts to eliminate the unsuitable while clicking through the "Do You Want to Meet This Person?" Gallery. I've already written about how my standards for men are not that high. But this process has made me realize that while some of the guys I find myself attracted to are not prize stallions by any means, I do have some rather strange and specific deal breakers. I will list them now:
This rarely happens. And when it does, it's just creepy.
  • Proximity. I refuse to commute longer than 30 minutes for a date. Even then, 30 is pushing it.
  • Age. I originally had my search parameters set for men ages 21-35. Realistically, it's more like 24-30. It seems so arbitrary, and yet I find myself instantly clicking next if a guy just happens to fall outside of that range. 
  • 420-Friendly. I'm in favor of legalization, don't get me wrong. In fact, it's one of the few political issues I actually care about. But marijuana smells gross and the few times I tried it back in the day, I hated the way it made my head feel like a helium balloon escaping my body. It's just not my jam, fellas. 
  • Gym rats. I know I've become a gym rat lately (in fact, I just got back from the gym myself). And I find myself loving the way it makes me feel and how it gives me something to do when I'm bored. But if someone lists "going to the gym" or "working out" or god forbid, "working on my fitness" (true story) as one of their hobbies, that's a NOPE! To me, it seems so vain and pointless to spend hours upon hours at the gym, either scamming on chicks or overcompensating for a small penis with large biceps. It also seems like the guy version of saying, "I'm desperate!" And yet it seems to be one of the most prevailing trends on POF.
Bums. Me. Out.
  • Pictures with iPhones taken in the bathroom. This often goes hand in hand with the previous offense. It just bums me out. Especially if they're posing with their shirt off or lifted or showing off the aforementioned biceps.
  • UFC Fans. They usually go hand in hand in hand with Gym rats and bathroom photo-takers. To me, that just screams DOUCHE ALERT!!!
  • Pictures with other people, especially girls and/or children. Sure, every guy says the girl in the photo is just a sister or a friend. BS. At least have the decency to crop her out. And if it's a picture of you and your buddies, crop them out too so I know which one you are! And even if the kid is your niece or nephew, they have no business being on POF.
  • Bad spelling or grammar. This is the biggest one behind proximity. I'm sorry, but it's an instant turn-off if you use 'u' instead of 'you' or write poorly spelled words in all caps and/or refuse to use the correct punctuation marks or any at all. I know this makes me sound like a grammar nazi school teacher, but this is important to me. It just shows that you're either lazy and/or an idiot. And I'm interested in neither.

  • Religion. I guess this isn't an instant deal breaker, but one of the first stats POF lists is a person's religion. And I just could never be with a Jesus Freak or the equivalent in another faith. It's a sensitive subject for me.  I'd hate to be with someone who couldn't share that passion with me at best, or at worst would always try to convert me. And that's not fair to either of us. 
  • Height. To be honest, a guy has to be over 5'10'' to date me. And every inch over 6' gets major points. Super stupid and unfair, I know, just like the age thing. But I never claimed this list was especially rational.
  • Country music. It is a well-documented fact that I HATE country music and could never understand someone who liked it. (Though to be honest, I did break this cardinal rule for the Gentleman Caller. He also had a white truck, which I swore to myself I would never the owner of a white truck. Fail, Hutch. Fail.)
There's actually a lot more, but I think I'll stop here. Eleven is a nice non-round number. I actually made a whole other list of pet peeves that occur whilst you're interacting with another fish. But that deserved its own blog.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Words You Should Use More

As a writer (sort of), I'm obviously a big fan of words. Which is why I firmly believe that we should all be expanding our vocabulary and using every conversation, status update, even tweet, as an excuse to employ a variety of awesome words. In that spirit, I've compiled a list of words that never fail to make me smile. Try and use them in a sentence today, just to humor me.

This picture is very literal. 

  • Hooch
    • Noun. Meaning booze. It invokes the idea of an old-timey speakeasy like the kind I recently discovered in Varnish in Downtown LA. And for some reason, when I'm having a bad day and really need a drink, calling it hooch makes it that much more satisfying.
  • Shenanigans and/or Tomfoolery
    • Noun. Meaning silly antics. It makes me think of good times with good friends doing stupid stuff.
  • Fisticuffs
    • Noun. Meaning a fight. I picture a couple of dandies slapping each other with designer gloves and that image is just priceless.
  • Dandy
    • Adjective. Meaning great. Also, as a noun, "a man who affects extreme elegance in clothes and manners; a fop." I also like fop. Basically I think of Oscar Wilde and he totally would have been my gay best friend had we been contemporaries. We also have the same birthday which can't be a coincidence.
  • Bitchin'
    • Adjective. Meaning awesome. I know it's outdated, but slang words are cyclical. I think this one is ripe for a comeback. I also like that it's such a delightful, positive notion and yet it contains a swear word.
  • Jaunty
    • Adjective. Meaning...well I'm not sure what the exact definition is. I just know it when I see it. Basically I think of Clark Gable and other men who wear fedoras at a rakish angle. Ok, just googled it and it means "Having a buoyant or self-confident air, or crisp and dapper in appearance." Nice.
  • Impervious
    • Adjective. Meaning bulletproof. Well, not literally. But even saying the word makes me feel powerful. I'm a just a loon like that.
Such glorious disdain.
  • Aces
    • Exclamation. Meaning "that's good," but mostly sarcastically. I love this because John Hughes wrote it, and Molly Ringwald said it in Sixteen Candles. And when you're really pissed off, and someone is trying in vain to cheer you up, this is such a great comeback.
  • Dig
    • Verb, as in "I dig that." Meaning "I enjoy that."Also a slang term that has since faded into relative oblivion. But it's making a comeback, if I have anything to say about it.
  • Loathe
    • Verb. Meaning hate. If hate is such an ugly word, loathe is a lot more dignified and elegant. It also feels so much more sincere. You have to really hate something to use the word loathe.
  • Grand
    • Adjective. Also meaning great. Whenever someone asks me how I am, I refuse to say fine or great. I try to use a different response every time. I also like magnificent, tremendous, and phenomenal. It tends to catch people off guard and make you appear very winsome and adorable. Which I am.
  • Indomitable
    • Adjective. Meaning "impossible to subdue or defeat." This is another empowering word. Especially when combined in the phrase "indomitable will." It makes you feel like you are stronger than anything that comes your way.
His face is priceless here.
  • Inconceivable
    • Adjective. Meaning unbelievable. I love this almost exclusively because of the Princess Bride. "You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
  • Hootenanny and/or Shindig
    • Noun. Meaning a gathering of sorts. You know you're going to have a good time if you're going not to a soiree, which sounds really boring, but a good ol' fashioned hootenanny!
At first I was having a hard time coming up with more than like eight, but then they just started pouring out of my brain. I'm cutting myself off in order to avoid sounding like a rip-off of Urban Dictionary. But I will open this up to anyone who wishes to submit their own spectacular verbiage. (Oooh, two more great words!)