How to end a 60-hour work week

I spent today being a professional, so I thought I would contrast that by sitting on the couch and watching  television. So far it’s been fantastic. On the way home from work, I made a mental list of ways to unwind from your 60-hour work week.

  1. Listen to ridiculous music. I recommend something borderline annoying and abrasive. Gangnam Style fits, but I think it helps when you’re singing words and not just sounds. My personal favorites are T Swift (We are Never Ever Getting Back Together is a good one), anything by Kanye West, and recently, the Ting Tings. I think I’m about five years behind the trend, but I’ve listened to this song about eight times tonight.
  2. Buy yourself some beer. But only if you’re of legal age. If you have a favorite beer, go for that – but you can treat yourself to a Pick Six, because seriously – you’ve worked 60 hours this week. Treat yo’self. 
  1. Eat terrible food.Obviously, I don’t mean eat food that tastes terrible. Eat food that is in no way nutritious for you. Pizza is okay, but it’s got the cheese and meat which has protein – and that’s nutritious. Stay away from that crap and make yourself some of this crap:

     Mix 1 package funfetti cake mix, 2 cups yogurt (plain or vanilla), 1 cup whipped cream. Eat with crap: (vanilla wafers, graham crackers, teddy grahams, oreos, thin mints, etc)

  2. Get Hulu Plus. Or get Netflix and have your roommate pay for Hulu Plus. Just make sure you’re able to watch the last week’s episodes of The Daily Show and the Colbert Report so you can stay informed just enough. 
  3. Put on sweats. I’m not explaining this.

My Pick Six included a blueberry lager, a coriander ale, and four other bottles that could never be compared to Corona. I think this photo is indicative of my versatility as a worker. (ie: the ability to rock a silky mint blouse, have voluminous hair, and take low-quality selfies with my tablet)

Five Ways to Win My Heart

I stumbled across a 30-day challenge on a blog (here). Day one was yesterday. I’m not sure if you realize it, but I didn’t post yesterday. So I guess I’ve already failed the challenge. But whatever. I’m doing it today. I probably won’t do all of the topics because a lot of them remind me of my days on Xanga (oof) when I was a melancholy fool who was certain her views on boys and emo bands were vital to everyone on the internet. I’ve matured since then – I’m certain my views on men and books are vital to everyone on the internet. Priorities, people. I’ve got them.

Anyway, I’ll start out with a strong and mature topic: FIVE WAYS TO WIN MY HEART.

Are you reading, men? Because you should be.

  1. Don’t suck at basic grammar and punctuation. SERIOUSLY. This is a deal breaker for me. If you don’t have a firm grasp on your/you’re, there/they’re/their, and its/it’s, don’t even bother approaching me. If you don’t understand how and when to use an apostrophe, don’t try to date me (or make produce signs – I don’t want to buy your “apple’s” or “onion’s”). I’d like to see proof that you understand these rules, preferably in a handwritten letter, but a well-organized Facebook message will do in a pinch/the current decade.
  2. Dedicate a song to me. Something really sort of cheesy and romantic, but not in a top 40 way. This means no Jason Mraz, no J Biebs, or even Gotye. I’m talking something good and sexy. Like “No Sunshine” (I love me Bill Withers) or “Inside and Out” (either Bee Gees or Feist’s version will be fine – with the latter, don’t worry, I’m smart, I can change pronouns). Also, since it just came up on my itunes shuffle – do not play Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me”. We’re not living in a Dawson’s Creek episode.
  3. Buy me a book. Not just any book, but a book that shows you get me. If we’re at the point where you’re buying me a book, you know that my two favorite writers are David Sedaris and Vladimir Nabokov…and Kurt Vonnegut and Anton Chekhov if you catch me on a cloudy day. You also know that I don’t own all of these writer’s books.This does not mean that I want to read Gonzo – Hunter S. Thompson’s biography. I’m sure he’s written some great things, but Fear and Loathing freaked me out so much that I have no interest in reading a word of his. By the way, an ex (Scott? Scott.) bought me that book for Christmas. I threw it away a few months later. OH! Bonus points if you buy me the newest Kindle. I love my 3g keyboard Kindle, but I wouldn’t object to a higher contrast and pixel count.
  4. Be a musician, apparently. I have a history of dating musicians.  I’ve dated two drummers, a singer/cellist/drummer (?), more than one guitarist, a bass player (short lived, but it was very romantic in a freshman year, let’s-kiss-in-the-practice-rooms sort of way). When I say musician, I don’t mean that you have a band that plays in your garage and records their ep using GarageBand. I mean that you have serious talent and dedication to your craft. I prefer classically trained, but I’ll settle for self-taught prodigy. Of course, none of these relationships were very successful, so maybe I should rethink this whole musician thing. I thought about dating writers, but I’m afraid I’d either be super competitive or intimidated by the guy, depending on his talent. But let’s face it, if he’s a crappy writer, I’m probably not interested in him.
  5. Never underestimate the importance of an Arrested Development reference. I’ve devised a pretty simple elimination test for potential boyfriends. I ask if they’ve seen Arrested Development. If the answer is yes, then I proceed to ask which of the ridiculous cast is their favorite. Most guys say Gob, which I say is the wrong answer, but it’s really an acceptable answer because Gob. I say the correct answer is either Buster or Lucille Bluthe. (Buster is adorable and amazing, Lucille is underrated.) If he haven’t seen the show, I subtract 200pts from his initial score of zero, then invite him over to watch an episode or two. If the guy doesn’t laugh at least eight times in the first episode, I’m pretty sure we won’t be seeing each other for much longer. Anyway, a simple “I’m afraid I just blue myself” or “I’ve made a huge mistake” will make me laugh and probably put my hand on your arm.

I think I’m making myself sound really easy. I’m not. I’m very particular about the men I date. My main criteria are the following: Be intelligent, don’t be a douchebag, have goals, be passionate, be empathetic, and be okay with the fact that I’ll blog about you. As far as I’ve seen, the above mentioned points eliminate about 97% of the men I encounter.

Oh, you also have to be approved by my dog. If he doesn’t like you, shit isn’t going to fly. Also, if you hurt me, he’ll tear your balls off.

Things I Inherited from My Father

  1. My left thumb. I think it’s technically called a clubbed thumb, but it’s much more charming to say that one thumb is my mom’s and one is my dad’s, right? 
  2. My hangovers. I envy people who can go into work hungover with their cute little headaches and grogginess. My hangovers are all-day puke fests. Saturday night, I went out for the first time in months. My apartment is just a few blocks from downtown, and I hadn’t taken advantage of my proximity since I moved in three months ago. I had two beers (one was an AMAZING creme brulee milk stout), a mixed drink (bartender thought I wanted a little lemonade with my vodka), and a jaggerbomb (bought for me by a boy I remember as a Jersey Shore character). Sunday morning, I woke up wanting to die. I spent all day in sweats, curled up in a blanket, taking frequent trips to the bathroom to get rid of my stomach contents. When I say all day, I’m worried you’re thinking that I mean till 2 or 3. I didn’t start feeling like a human until 7:30. I peed for the first time at 8pm. I ate my first and only meal at 8:30, and I was still a little worried I wouldn’t keep it down. After I recovered, I visited my parents and my dad told me that’s what his hangovers are like, which is why he never gets drunk. Smart man.
  3. My Sense of Humor. It’s crass. A bit abrasive and often sarcastic. I’ve tweaked it by adding a bit of self-deprecation. My dad might say, “Well, you just have to be smarter than what you’re working on.” I might say, “Well hell, I thought I was smarter than the thing.” We love tv shows like 30 Rock and Community – the twisted sort of sense of humor that’s a little obnoxious and meta.
  4. An Unwarranted Affection for Law & Order SVU. I know. it’s a terrible show. Each episode is essentially the same, the only variations are Munch’s one-liners and Elliot Stabler’s latest personal crisis. Once I start watching an episode, I must finish it. I have to see it to the gruesome end where the rapist gets away because of a technicality or the pedophile somehow tricked his way into getting immunity. If there’s a Law & Order marathon, it’s probably on my father’s television and he’s probably playing solitaire on his computer while half watching Ice-T get melodramatic with a uncooperative teenager.
  5. My Need to Plan Things. I like to know the game plan for things, even if it’s just a guess. What time should I expect my friends for dinner? Where will I meet you after work? What is happening for dinner? This is also closely tied to my impatience. If I say I’m going to pick you up at 7:30, be ready and waiting at 7:25. If I’m going to meet you at 5, I’ll probably show up at 4:45. I like to have a little breathing room in case I run into a problem.

Best father/mechanic/confidant a girl could ask for

I have to say, of all the things I got from my father, I could definitely do without the hangovers.

Rules for When You See Your Ex-Boyfriend

  1. If possible, wear an in-ear speaker that plays a continuous loop of yourself reciting all the reasons you’ve broken up/why he’s now an asshole. 
  2. Avoid alcohol, you moron. 
  3. Don’t revisit rituals from your relationship. Did the two of you play Scrabble together? Not allowed. Did you drink Guinness and watch Burn Notice? Don’t even think about it. Feel free to drink caffeine-free tea and watch Shark Week reruns though. 
  4. Keep your damn pants on, you moron. If you’re wearing a dress, put on some spanx since they’re essentially vagina armor.
  5. Wear your least sexy underwear so that in the event the pants or spanx are removed, there is one more barrier before you do something you regret. Yes, ladies, this means you could and should pull out the granny panties you only wear when you have your period. 
  6. Don’t create new and novel memories. Never shot a pistol? Don’t do it with him. Anything fun and exciting that will be remembered as a personal milestone should not be acted on unless you wish to forever remember the first time you shot a handgun was on a sweltering hot July day with your ex-boyfriend’s new Walther 9mm while sweat stung your eyes and dripped down your back. Or something. 
  7. Notice how he changed and how he stayed the same and react appropriately. Exhibit A: Does he wear a new cologne? Does it smell like pine and an intimate toy cleaner? Take note. Exhibit B: He shows up with 3-day stubble and wearing that grey t-shirt he knows you love? Pompous ass.
  8. Stay out of the bedroom. I don’t care if you just got a new bed and you’re living in a new apartment. He’s not allowed to see it. If he’s spending the night, he can sleep on the damn kitchen floor with a towel and an uncased pillow if you’re feeling generous.
  9. Remember that there is no such thing as unconditional love. Then remember your damn conditions, you moron.
  10. Don’t. Just don’t see him. It’s not a good idea. Nothing good can come from it. You’ve broken up for a reason. Remember that reason. Maybe he said he was “missing something” (he probably still is) or maybe he kissed some indian bitch who plays the flute (he probably gave her a hickey), or maybe he’s unsure of how he feels (he probably still needs to shit or get off the pot), whatever the reason, it probably still exists and you have no more time to waste.

Wisconsin in the damn summer

I was driving home with my father from work today and we were talking about how hot it is. It’s roughly hot as balls. Which is an expression I don’t really use, but it’s really the only way to describe this weather. My previously clean-feeling skin took on a sticky residue not unlike the back of a post-it. (Poetic, huh? Can you tell I work in an office?)

“It’s frickin’ hot,” I said, wiping my forehead with the back of my hand.

“Well the other option is freezin’ your ass off in a blizzard.”

“Well…” I paused, thinking of how to back my claim that a sticky heatwave is worse than a blizzard. Then I realized his logic was off. “No, I have many other options,” I said. “I could sit in air conditioning. I could go to the pool. I could go to a beach. I could drink some cold beer. I could go workout in an air conditioned gym. I have plenty of other options.”

I don’t think he had a retort. Probably because I was right.

Anyway, we have a heat advisory for the rest of the week, so I’m going to have to find some ways to cool off. After I dropped my father off at home, I continued on to my apartment, thinking of ways to stay cool.

[why not just say “hot as balls until Friday?”]

[for any of my southern friends, I’m sure 90s sound refreshing and cool. Probably because you’re not taking the hellish Wisconsin humidity into consideration.]

Go to the pool/beach

A public pool is about a two minute walk from my apartment. I’ve found this is a great way to cool off. I have mixed feelings about public pools – more negative than positive. But when the weather is hot enough I don’t really care. On the one hand, it’s a pool available to me to use whenever I want. On the other hand, a lot of kids see it as a a big toilet. There’s a ton of chemicals in the water to dillute the children’s urine. There is almost always too many people there, and there is always a person or two who really shouldn’t be wearing a bikini. I  feel on display at pools or beaches.  I’m convinced that when I take off my cover up, everyone is looking at me, thinking that my thighs are huge and that I should probably just go ahead and leave that thing on. Then when I wade into the water, I’m paranoid that somebody is going to go into my bag, take my wallet or worse – my journal or Kindle. When I finally dip underwater, I feel refreshed for a few seconds, only to resurface, fully convinced that my waterproof mascara is not actually waterproof. In order to avoid looking like a black-eyed sea creature emerging from what must be pure chlorine, I wipe under my eyes about a dozen times before I feel okay. I quickly return to my seat, check my bag for the essentials, crack open my Nalgene bottle of lemonade and settle in with my book until I overheat again and have to go through the whole submerging process all over again.

This is what I opted to do today. It was bright and sunny when I got home. I immediately changed into my suit and walked over to the pool, only to be there for about 20 minutes before this happened the sky started getting darker and people started talking about the pool closing. Another twenty minutes passed before lightning was spotted and everyone had to get out of the pool. I sat reading until I was sufficiently creeped out by the guy with the North Carolina logo tattoed on his chest who kept staring at me.

Sit in air conditioning 

This is by far the easiest of the options, since all I need to do is flip a switch and sit. This does require a television, Netflix, and possibly some snacks. If I’m looking to make it a more productive evening, I’ll grab a book or a notebook and actually accomplish something. This also has the potential to be the most soul-crushing. Usually when air conditioning is called for, it looks absolutely gorgeous outside, so I feel guilty for being inside. Typically, sitting in air conditioing doesn’t last more than an hour or two before I get sick of my living room and decide to do something else.

Drink cold beer

This is nice if you have some good microbrews. Few things are as satisfying as opening an ice cold beer and drinking it before the condensation soaks through the label. I don’t drink more than two or three, because then I get the genius idea of making inappropriate phone calls or texting people I have no business talking to. That usually results in a lot of blushing, which makes me feel warm, thus defeating the purpose of cooling off. Though I’ve only drank wine on my patio, I suspect it’s an excellent place to drink cold microbrews as well.

Work out at an air conditioned gym

This is funny, I know. Ten minutes into a workout, it no longer matters that the gym is air conditioned. This is just silly. It’s really just a half-hearted attempt to encourage myself to workout since I haven’t done anything since Saturday. I’m going to the spinning class again tomorrow night, and I’m sure I’ll return to my apartment fresh-faced and not at all sweaty. On a related note, I’m signed up for a heated yoga class on Thursday. The room is heated to 90 degrees with a 50% humidity so I should probably bring a parka in case I get a chill.

Demanding someone (most likely my dad) take me out on boat

Think about it. You’re on water, skipping over waves  with your hair flying back from the wind. This feels amazing. Then if the boat is anchored, there’s swimming without the public submerging dilemma.

Standing in front of the freezer while eating popsicles

Do I really need to say more?

Window shopping at the mall

With this,  I can kill a few birds with a single stone: I can finally find bedding for my adult-sized mattress, cool off, and conveniently have my paycheck pre-spent upon direct deposit. It’s all winning, all the time. Probably the smartest of my ideas so far.

I’m sure I’ll survive as long as there is shade, moving air, water, or ice cubes nearby. If none of those things are around, I’ll probably just pass out from heat exhaustion.

Five Shockingly Boring Confessions

My writer’s group has a fascination with lists. Since most of the group is composed of men, they usually don’t pertain to me. (Last month, somebody shared “Five Signs You’re Ready for Fatherhood”.) Usually they’re written with the perfect balance of intelligence and self-deprecation. I’ve been trying to find that balance in my own lists, but I’m all about self-deprecation and no intelligence, apparently. My mind has been operating in lists for the last week or so. I learned it’s not exclusive to my sober mind either. After an ER visit the other night, I walked away with a diagnosis of “Abdominal Pain, Right upper quadrant” and a prescription for vicoden. This is what I came up with while on vicoden. (Just a head’s up, my sober-minded lists aren’t much better. )

1. When my nail polish chips, I peel the rest off.

I’ll take great pride in completing a beautiful manicure only to deliberately ruin it as soon as it chips. I like how my nail feels when it takes in air after by suffocated by three layers of polish and I get an unnatural sense of satisfaction from peeling a chunk bigger than an pencil eraser. It reminds me of being in grade school, getting Elmer’s Glue on my hands, and peeling it off after it dried. A normal, self-respecting young woman would simply use remover to take off the thing when it starts looking like crap. Not me. I’d rather peel the stuff off and look like a thirteen year old who doesn’t take notes in algebra class.

2. I have no idea how to wear lipstick.

I genuinely envy women who can wear lipstick. I have no idea how to apply it. As a former Mary Kay lady, I’m probably supposed to know how to do this. I know that the “proper” way involves liner, lipstick, and tissue, but I’ve never been able to figure it out. Whenever I use liner, I’m never able to figure out where exactly my lip ends and where my skin begins. You’d think the color difference would be enough, but no matter where I trace the line, it never seems to be right. Also, if I’m trying to wear a shade other than red, I’m convinced that my liner is too dark and my lipstick is too light. There’s some comedian who has a joke about the dark liner/light lipstick; he says that it’s the most hideous look ever and it looks like a butthole. I’ve never been able to get that visual out of my head.

3. I have watched Say Yes to the Dress for more than two consecutive hours.

When I had my own television, I genuinely enjoyed Friday nights alone. TLC plays wedding shows from about 4pm until 11pm. I often used this as an opportunity to shut my door, hang out in my underwear and drink too much moscato by myself. The show isn’t exactly compelling. It’s just women trying on wedding dresses. Where’s the appeal? I don’t like half the dresses they show, and about 95% cost far more than I would ever consider spending.

4. I don’t know the words to Rich Girl but I insist on singing along anyway.

After creating a Bee Gees Pandora station (Bill used to play in a disco band and I was a supportive girlfriend), I came upon the realization that I genuinely enjoy music made before I was born. This includes, but is not limited to, the Bee Gees, Simon & Garfunkel, Earth Wind & Fire, and Hall & Oates. The last time I heard Rich Girl, I told my friend, “This is my jam!” before rocking out and attempting to sing along. As long as I catch the “it’s a bitch, girl” parts, I consider it a success.

5. I own a piggy bank. 

And it’s currently empty. There is literally no reason for me to own a piggy bank. I used it for a few months before I took a trip to California and collected about $70 worth of latte-making tips. Since then, it has not held more than $13. I know that because I used the last $13 as my bar money for Halloween. But it’s cute, isn’t it? I bought it because it looks exactly like a piggy bank you see in a cartoon. Did I mention I’ve been known to spend my money irresponsibly?