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Monday, December 28, 2015

Youth Really is Wasted on the Young

The other day, I was musing about how bad it sucks that, as an adult, my body doesn't want to do all the things I promised it that it would way back when I was young and ambitious.  I mean, I'd love to live on Cheetos and Hi-C, but that sh*t doesn't even taste as good now as it did when I was a kid.  What the hell?  And in the odd case that I ever (and I totally have) tried to actually eat that crap for a day or two, my stomach goes totally rogue and I pay in disgusting, uncomfortable, and absolutely unmentionable ways.



Kids, this is your future.  Yes, this.


Later on, I was watching an episode of Supernatural where Sam's childhood imaginary friend shows up, bringing with him the gift of marshmallow nachos and some other crazy array of food combinations that could only have been dreamed up either by a child, or by someone on some weird cross-wire high of weed and beer munchies.  

And I thought, THAT'S why kids have stomachs of steel and no income, and adults have jobs and finicky, easily offended digestive tracks - because if it were any other way, we'd all be working solely for Twinkies and Doritos and the economy would just totally collapse.  Seriously, why piece together a well-rounded, healthy meal of grilled chicken, some kind of fancy-schmancy potatoes, and broccoli, when you can have 5-layer Snickers-Reeses-chocolate fudge cake creme pie burritos?  And not hate yourself the next day.  Right?  We'd be living the plotline of WALL-E and it would be just terrible.


WALL-E only looks sad because he doesn't have any taste buds.


...At least, that's what I'm going to tell myself when I'm wondering how much of a cheesecake my lactose-intolerant self could gnosh with a serving spoon whilst hiding in the kitchen alone without feeling complete and utter soul-crushing shame.

Kids also have the basic metabolism of a squirrel.  It doesn't matter how many chocolate bars, milk shakes, or french fries they suck into their face holes - they'll just run circles around the neighborhood a few times like Sonic the Hedgehog on crack, collapse into a sleeping pile of munchkin in some weird position and in the most uncomfortable looking place, and never gain an ounce.  

Nothing on this planet gives adults that amount of energy.  At least, nothing legal, and nothing that won't rot your teeth out and/or land you in prison for trying to eat some random drifter's face.  That's how drugs work, right?  Screw that.  Random drifter face tastes awful.


Drugs are bad, mmmkay?


So how is it fair that, as parents, we have on our hands these tiny little Tasmanian Devils but nothing that allows us the energy and stamina to keep up with them?  Oh, right - diet and exercise, huh.  How is that fair?  Here, little one, your energy comes from delicious chocolate and sugar-laden nummyness, and I have to get mine in minuscule doses from coffee, dry animal carcass, and vegetables that smell like feet and give me gas?  That's our reward for surviving this long? And we get to live even longer in this Hell if we eat right and exercise?  

No, I don't want a salad.  Have you ever ordered a salad at a restaurant?  It's like a dollar's worth of different colored fibers masquerading as different vegetables atop a pile of water leafs for like $8.  Wut.  That's not food, that's what food eats.  Bring me a slab of cow with a side of pig and follow it up with some kind of gelled/baked/caramelized sugar.  And yes, the cow can still be mooing.  Bring me a harpoon and a stein of something dark and malted.  We're hunters, people, not rabbits.  I don't want to live to be 100 if I have to do it nibbling on fiber kibble like a damned gerbil.


If anyone ever opens a restaurant like this, hit me up.  I'm there.


Can we also talk about this whole nap thing?  Kids don't want naps.  There's too much going on, they might miss something, why waste your time on sleep?  Adults want naps.  Just five minutes. Just... just let me lay my head on this desk here and... nope.  I remember when I functioned best with 2, 3 hours of sleep.  Now, I can't get enough.  8 hours, my a**.  Not that I could fit in 8 hours if I wanted to.  

Who designed this system?  Who do I write to to complain?  Obviously, things are severely backwards and I want it fixed.   Also, steak.  I want steak.





Do you also dream of plates filled with still-mooing, bacon-drenched bovine deliciousness?  Follow me on Facebook, you beautiful person, you, and let us dream together.  Oh, and I write other stuff, too.


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Generation Gaps and Selfies

My name is Sandra, and I am 33 years old.

I went to school when the Dewey Decimal System was on its last legs as an integral part of high school research, before the ease of Google and pre-written term papers you could purchase online for the low, low price of $19.99 and a disciplinary mark on your college transcript for plagiarism.

Cell phones has jussst barrrely inched their way past glorified bricks that only rich people could afford and become indestructible flip-top abominations that had infinite battery life, so long as you kept it stocked with pre-paid minutes.

This was the level of cool that 90's kids could only dream to achieve, guys.  No, really. 


AOL Online sent everyone free frisbie/coaster discs almost daily, the internet could not be accessed without a two-hour wait that brought with it a mind-crunching noise and an unusable phone line, and the world had just discovered the sparkling, endless-page, unicorn poop encrusted world of Geocities.   
P.S.  For all you younger readers, I've included linkies to the Wikipedia pages for each of those ancient relics above, so you can understand the struggle that was life before the 2000's.  Back in our day, we got to hear about how we didn't have it so bad, because our parents walked 50 miles in 15 feet of snow at 3 o'clock in the morning. With no shoes on.  Apparently an entire generation survived a shoeless, year-long, country-wide blizzard.

This is our version.  You mad because you can't download your porn in under 15 seconds?  My generation had to sneak their parent's vintage porn mags, or stand on top of their tv when they were supposed to be sleeping, hang upside down wile holding a jury-rigged aluminum foil wrapped antenna wire clothes hanger, and squint really hard to maybe see a might-be naughty bit through a scrambled cable station.

We were "ghetto" before "ghetto" was a thing.  Yes, that's a television.  Why isn't it flat?  That's called a tube tele - you know what?  Nevermind.  


In other words, kids, we had to use our imaginations.  Our IMAGINATIONS!  90% of the kids that grew up before the Internet age thought the final evolution of our naughty bits would look like scrambly blocks of static, at least until our first year of Sex Ed.  Like maybe what Minecraft would look like if you suffered a concussion and chugged 5 bottles of Vodka in a sippy cup.

Or what a SIM character looks like when it steps out of the shower.

Makes more sense now, doesn't it?

Also, NEVER Google "naked SIM character."  Not even, "censored naked SIM character."  On the plus side, I'll bet my Google search history is both confusing and very, very entertaining.  Just saying.  It is, however, becoming more and more difficult to convince my boyfriend that the entirety of my weird search history has to do with this blog.

Anyway.

You mad because you had to spend a couple hours Googling Wikipedia references for your school essay?  We had to shuffle through books, reading through hours and days and weeks' worth of indexes and excerpts, taking careful notes, in a real life library to retrieve information pertinent to whatever we had to write about.  And then we had to credit those references - with citations.  Citations, guys!

For the record, it's not the technology that befuddles me.  It's the sudden obsession with documenting Every. Single. Second. of Every.  Single.  Day.

Once upon a time, a person could eat an omelet and not feel the need to Instagram their culinary feast.  They could attempt a new hairstyle, do horribly, and try to hide the evidence,  rather than Pinterest the fail.  Their friends could find out at their next gathering that they tanned a little too long and made like a lobster, instead of scrolling past a picture of it with half-interest on their Facebook feed amongst all the political rants and  Kim Kardashian memes.

Speaking of pictures - O.M.GEEE.  SO MANY PICTURES!

When I was a kid, we had one of those Polaroid cameras that spit out a white-rimmed, not-yet developed picture.  If my mother is any indication, in order to get the picture to show up, you had to shake it vigorously for a few minutes, blow on it a couple times, chant some kind of happy picture spell, and avoid touching anything but the white parts, lest you lose a finger at the hands of an irate mother.

Bad picture?  Bad pose?  Better suck it up, Buttercup - you're stuck with a candid of you making a funny face while your brother does something embarrassing in the background, forever nestled into the family album for all eternity, because the film and flash bulbs for those things were expensive.

Or, that one picture your parents took when you were 8, when your dad made you sit next to cuddled up to a creepy and totally racially insensitive stuffed Native American that, for some reason, was just sitting randomly on a bench in the middle of a museum.  My parents thought it was hilarious. My face clearly shows a mixture of horror, nausea, and sudden homicidal tendencies.


I wanted to share that picture with you to illustrate one of the many seeds of my cynicism, but my Mom guards those albums like they're a national  treasure.  Possibly because she knows there's a risk of an unfortunate fire mishap, but still.
Instead, here's a sloth selfie.

 Ugh, selfies.  I'm not calling out anyone who takes selfies, I'm really not - I just don't get it.  I never look at myself in a mirror and think, "dayum, I look good today.  It would be a total disservice not to share this with the world."  

Besides, I'm not a totally unattractive chick, but the few times I've accidentally opened the camera on my phone and discovered the the view has flipped to face me, it looks more like this:

Even sloth up there is better at taking selfies than me.


And when I try to pose for a selfie, I always manage to be making this face:


Dammit, No Shave November.


Okay, so I really just hate people who can take a bajillion good selfies.  Photogenic people, who have some kind of Barney Stenson superpower where they can be making the most God-awful face, mid-sneeze, slipping on a freaking banana peel and still look like a supermodel.  

I have the opposite superpower - the one where I can look amazing in the mirror and be smiling my prettiest smile or rocking my best resting bitch face, and I look like I'm mid-sneeze slipping on a freaking banana peel.


How is that even fair?





Tuesday, October 20, 2015

5 Realities of Big Boobs

Eloquent title, eh?

I know I reference boobs a lot in my posts, and I've already somewhat ranted once before about the obnoxious shit that women have to put up with thanks to America's unsettling obsession with boobs.

But here's the thing:  I've been putting up with judgment and stupid assumptions based solely on my chest size since I was eight years old.  Eight.  Let that sink in for a minute.

As of right now, Victoria's Secret doesn't carry bras in my size.  Victoria's Secret.  I'ma just leave that one there for now, as well.  

To the best of my knowledge, the consensus is that if a woman has large breasts, any cleavage whatsoever amounts to "showing off," "asking for it," "begging for attention," "being a whore," and any other number of not-so-nice assumptions.  Boobs covered?  Awesome - but if your top happens to be form-fitting at all (ie:  not a shapeless tent), all of the above apply.

The only acceptable attire for women with a bust size over a B-cup, apparently.

And so, dear readers, I present to you an educational rant about what it's really like to have comically large boobies in today's society.

1:  "Modesty" Has a Different Set of Rules for Large-Breasted Women.

If I had a quarter for every time I've been accused of being an attention whore (or just a whore) for wearing comfortable clothes, I'd own every arcade, pool table, and claw machine that ever existed throughout history.

Quick question:  It's 110 degrees outside, what do you grab to wear?  A tee shirt?  A cami?  A muscle shirt?  For most people, all of the above are acceptable.  For someone whose boobs have their own gravitational pull, that scenario brings on an anxiety-filled quest to find something that will sufficiently cover but won't boil them alive in pools of their own sweat. 

Clothes that fit properly are almost impossible to find, because it seems that unless you live in California, clothing manufacturers seem to think that a woman larger than a C cup must also weigh more than 300 pounds.  Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large sizes translate to, "LOL," "You're Joking, Right," "Maybe if I Tape Down My Boobs," and "Crap, I skipped right into Mumu territory."

Here's a fun experiment if you don't believe me - shove a couple of cantaloupes down your shirt and secure them in place with some duct tape.  (I'll give you a minute to giggle about the "melon" joke that just popped into your head).  It's okay if they're uneven; the more accurate the better. 

Now, go into any clothing store and try on as many womens' shirts, in as many sizes and as many styles as you can.  After a few hours of unsuccessfully finding something that actually fits, untangle yourself from whatever mass of fabric you've got wrapped around your neck and arms, and realize that you've just learned a valuable lesson - because congratulations, now you know the circus that is clothes shopping for a large-breasted woman.


This is the face of a man who has just learned far more about himself than he ever needed to know.


So before you give me a lecture about being immodest because I have some cleavage showing, let me remind you that, in context and comparatively speaking, I'm not showing any more skin than Miss training bra over there whose muscle tee is showing every inch of skin between and on the sides of her non-boobs.  

2:  Yes, They're Real, and No, You Can't Touch Them.

Again, the idea seems to be that breast size is indicative of sluttiness.  I'm going to break this to you as easily as I can:  this IS NOT TRUE.  A woman can be loose whether she's flat-chested or heavily endowed, and the same is true for women who will punch you in the throat if you so much as insinuate the urge to motorboat her the second you meet her.

Crazy, I know.

Also - just for the record - breast size does not in any way correlate to a woman's IQ.  Kate Upton might be able to rocket-science your rear end all the way back to the Stone Age, you don't know.  So the next time you're speaking to a well-endowed female, resist the urge to make smacking noises, honking gestures, or slow your speech like you're speaking to a mentally challenged toddler.  


...and this is a man's face that's about to be rearranged.

Lastly, large breasts don't automatically mean that a woman has had any kind of plastic surgery. Genetics are a fickle beast, and do you honestly think that if I had tens of thousands of dollars just laying around, I would use them to let someone cut me open and move all my lady bits around like some deranged Mrs. Potatohead?

Whatever, I'm going to Disney Land, b*tches.  They'll probably even let me in free if I dress up like Jessica Rabbit.

3:  No, We Don't Just Love All the Attention.

Ladies, it's not our fault that boobs act as eye-magnets for anything in the general vicinity that has a penis attached to it (and sometimes a vagina).    

It's not enjoyable to try to have a conversation with someone who wouldn't be able to tell us what color our eyes are if they had a gun to their heads, because they seem totally incapable of looking anywhere above collar-bone level.  This applies to straight women too, because for some reason that I have yet to put my finger on, boobs are just somehow magically mesmerizing.  

It's downright infuriating for no one to remember your actual name, instead dubbing you things like, "darlin,'" "Little Lady," and "Boobs McGee."  

It sucks to not have many female friends who don't secretly pray for you to get sudden-onset breast cancer, or to have a whole bunch of male friends who do nothing but desperately try not to get friend-zoned.  It takes years of self loathing to come to terms with the fact that many people only befriend you because they either don't trust you or they're only trying to get into your pants - and even longer to fully trust anyone who isn't in either one of those categories.  

It's not fun to have women you don't even know hate you because their men stare two seconds too long, and it's soul crushing for your entire worth to boil down to something as superficial as the size of your breasts.

Let's also not forget that it isn't just grown women who are ostracized for having large breasts - young girls have to deal with it, too.  Remember when I told you I've been putting up with this crap since I was 8?  That's right - imagine the stares, the whispered innuendos, the straight-up pick up lines from grown-ass men - at an age when you're not even totally sure what sex is yet.  

If I sound bitter, it's because I am, a little.  Totally unrelated to my hair color or bust size, I'm freaking awesome.  It's exhausting constantly trying to fight through all the superficial nonsense just to get someone to see who you really are as a person.

Also, my eyes are up here.  

*sigh*


So what I was saying is that the Schrodinger Wave Equation is a postulate ... Oh, forget it.

4:  Boobs Hurt, and Gravity Is Not Your Friend.

Aside from self-esteem and feelings, having big breasts takes its toll physically - namely the back and shoulders.  I have no idea what boobs actually weigh, but believe me when I tell you that it probably take at least twice as much effort for a large-breasted woman to maintain good posture than it does for anyone else.  Then there's the issue of shoulder-grooves from bra straps, and chronic lower-back pain.

While we're on the subject, can I bring up the fact that the damned things get in the way ALL.  THE. TIME.?  Can I put that out there?  Because until you've had to literally cross your arms to hold your boobs down to run, or woken in pain in the middle of the night because you've managed to roll over sideways onto one of your boobs and squished the holy hell out of it, or had to sneak off into a side room to relocate each boob to its designated area because they've decided to unite and morph into one giant uniboob or just escape altogether, you don't know the struggle.  

And the struggle is real, folks.  I've knocked things over trying to pass through small spaces or reach over one things to get to another, I've dunked my boobs into dishes of food trying to reach across the table for salt, and I've actually almost lit a boob on fire reaching for something that was sitting on the back of the stove.

Those comics about the old lady that said she thought she was having a heart attack until she realized she was standing on her boobs - that shit's not funny.  Which brings me to the fact that unless you're Bimbo Number 1 in every porno ever made, anything over probably a D-cup ARE NOT PERKY.  

I hate to break it to you gentlemen, but real boobs just don't work that way.  It doesn't matter if the woman is 21 or 121, there aren't enough chest muscles in the human body to support that much boob. That's not to say that it's normal for boobs to dangle at knee level or anything, but let's be realistic here.   This is why breast augmentation is a billion dollar industry. 

Yes, this too, but you're missing the point - oh, forget it.

Funny side story, aside from the fact that now I'll have to explain to my boyfriend why I now have Kate Upton's Sports Illustrated cover saved to the computer - when I worked at Hastings, we had like a billion of these delivered for sale in our store when they came out.  They were in at least a dozen places around the store.  

Someone came through every single day and turned them all backwards.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.   

And so, every single day, I'd go back through and flip them all forward again.  Just doing my job? You betcha.  But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't giggling the whole time about whoever it was coming back into the store and being bombarded by Kate Upton's half-boobs and realizing that their attempts at censoring them were futile, like the boob demons were taunting them and their offended puritan senses.

BAHAHAHAHAHA, boobs.

5:  Women Have Breasts.  Deal With It.

This is more of a summary than anything, but for goodness' sakes people, boobs are boobs are boobs. All women have them.  Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head.

  
Sorry, I've been spending a lot of time with my kids lately.

Anywho, boobs, breasts, yabos, gonzagas - they're only offensive if you allow them to be, and you only allow them to be if you're thinking of them in terms you probably shouldn't be thinking of to begin with.

I'd keep going with this, but I'm pretty sure I lost at least half my audience on that Kate Upton cover up there...

Oh, forget it.






Monday, September 28, 2015

5 Easy Steps to Becoming Awesome

I FINALLY got my computer back up and running (shout out to the awesome resident computer tech).

Pictured:  NOT the resident computer tech.  I just think Homer's hilarious.

... I have to interrupt my post here, since my train of thought is being derailed by the sound of a car alarm going off for twenty minutes straight at a quarter til midnight and for the love of God and all that is holy there is a f*cking button on your keys that makes it stop.

....OR.  I'm just sayin.'

This is actually perfect timing, because there are some of you out there staring at that gif, horrified that I might actually take a baseball bat to someone's personal property just because it's annoying the hell out of me and dammit I'm the one who has to wake up cranky kids for school in 6 hours.

STEP 1 to Becoming Awesome:  GROW A SENSE OF HUMOR.


If you have a Facebook page, you're probably one of four types of people:

  1. The person who rarely logs in and only logs in long enough to check messages and check out recipes and the occasional funny cat video;
  2. The person who logs into Facebook solely to play games, which results in the rest of us being spammed to death with game invites that you probably didn't even send;
  3. The person who loyally likes and shares all the cool stuff your friends post but rarely posts anything yourself; or
  4. The person who uses Facebook as a platform for all your family updates, rants, jokes, opinions, and photos of really cool shit you write/draw/craft, etc.
Anywho, Facebook houses all kinds of snarky, smart ass memes that garner everything from the typical "lol" to the infuriating "OMGEEE WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?"  That's sexist!  That's racist! How insensitive!  You're promoting unnecessary violence and I really want to punch you in the face right now! 

It's not just Facebook, it's any forum, discussion board, or random life encounter.  Most people have properly-functioning funny bones and understand that sociopaths only make up a small percentage of the population, and they're generally not wasting their time cracking jokes.  



...and then he said, "that's not an eggplant - he's just retarded!"  *snort*  "Fava beans?"


Things like satire and sarcasm are foreign concepts to these types of people.  Quips elude them.  They live in a sad little world where there are no interrupting cows knocking on their doors (*gasp* I'm a vegan!) and Little Johnny should be in a group home with lots of therapy by now.

But Sandra, you can't grow a sense of humor - you either have one or you don't.  Yes, yes you can. And I'm going to tell you how:

  1. Take a seed.  Any kind of seed, it doesn't really matter.  
  2. Put that seed into a container with soil.  Poke your finger into the soil and spin it around until there's a hole big enough to drop that seed into.  Bury that seed.  Bury it good.
  3. Now sing to that seed.  This step is important.  I recommend "I'm a Little Tea Pot" or "I Feel Pretty."  Sing it with love and fervor.  Sing it loud enough that the neighbors send the police to do a wellness check.
  4. Water that seed.  With vodka.  Soak it 'til it runneth over.  Inebriate the hell out of that seed.  
  5. Now spin in a circle, and focus your attention directly behind you.
  6. Locate the stick that's been cemented in your ass and give it a good pull until it's removed.
  7. Take a deep breath, that probably hurt a little.  You probably don't want to sit down at this point, though.
  8. Now repeat after me:  I am one in a collective of over 7 billion people on this Earth.  No one gives a shit if they offend me, nor should they.  I am entitled to my thoughts and feelings, but not to act like a giant baby and demand that everyone cater to my irrational and quite frankly infuriating demands.  I can laugh at dick and fart jokes among adults without deeming them inappropriate.  I can laugh at that photo of the baby cow and baby pig laying together with the caption that says, "Best Friends Forever" atop another photo of a bacon cheeseburger, because that shit's funny.  And delicious.  I CAN, AND I WILL.

Congratulations!  You've just taken the first steps to growing a healthy sense of humor!  Be proud, and hold on tight - you're in for a hell of a ride.


Also, look how many more friends you'll have when you're NOT offended by absolutely everything!

STEP 2 to Becoming Awesome:  AVOID BEING A DOUCHE.


Okay, "don't be a douche" leaves a lot open to interpretation.  Of course no one wants to believe that they're a douche or acting in a douche-like manner, but hey - it happens.

If we break this down into much-needed sub-categories, there are 7 classes of douche:

1.  The Liar.

This should be a simple enough concept, but the reality is that we all lie sometimes, whether it's telling our BFF that her new haircut isn't that bad or we're trying to convince our boss that we need a day off because our Grandmother just passed away.  For the 7th time.

No, the liar in this context is the person who can't seem to give a straight answer, ever, no matter how big or small the situation.  This is the person who's smarter, stronger, more experienced, and just all-around better than anyone they encounter in life.  The person who stabs you in the back and then says that they were framed when you catch them still holding the ice pick.

Don't be the person holding the ice pick.

2.  The Manipulator.  

This is the person who always manages to get their way, no matter how crazy the situation.  Methods of manipulation can vary from subtle hints to outright temper tantrums, followed by epic guilt trips whether they've ultimately gotten their way or not.  

Don't be the person who has to have their way all the time, or else.

3.  The Drama Queen.

The Drama Queen, quite simply, cannot function in a world without chaos.  There MUST be conflict, whether it's real, imagined, or contrived.  THEY must be at the center of the drama, whether they are the victim (see number 4), or the person pretending to try to help solve the conflict.

...just don't.

4.  The Victim.  

Not to be confused with the Drama Queen, the Victim never has anything good going on in their life, and no matter how many shitty things they've done to others during the course of events, they are automatically the person who demands that everyone rally around them and them alone when the shit hits the proverbial fan.

For God's sake, don't be a victim.  It's pathetic.

5.  The Narcissistic Asshole.

This is the person who pretty much embodies numbers 1-4, but still manages to have people that actually want to have them around.  I don't know how this works exactly, but f*ck that.

6.  The Bigot.

This can be the person who outright declares their hatred and disgust with all things outside their personal comfort zones or belief systems, or the person who throws a disclaimer in front of everything they say.  "I'm not trying to sound racist, but..." "Don't take this the wrong way, but..."

...don't be the "but" guy.

7.  The Total Fake.
  
"You're my favorite person ever!," this person will declare, 5 minutes before they're telling someone else what a complete and total shitbag you are.  You can totally trust this person... to twist every personal thing you tell them into a weapon to use against you at some point in the future - but it won't be a personal attack - rather, it will be an attempt to convince someone else that they are the superior person.  "Compliments" from this person come in the form of vague statements that sound nice until you've actually had time to break down what they've said.  Confessions come in the form of some story about how they were sooo uncomfortable because everyone was hitting on them or someone super-important gave them the most awesome compliments.  This person is so insecure that they momentarily bristle at the sight of their own reflection in the mirror.

What. The. Ever-loving. F*ck.


Me, on any given day.


Avoiding all of this is as simple as, oh I don't know, being you.  I know, you're asking yourself, "but what if I'm just a natural asshole?"  And you know what?  That's cool too - as long as you're an honest natural asshole.   At least then people know what the f*ck to expect.


STEP 3 to Becoming Awesome:  BE A GOOD LISTENER.


This is another one that people seem to think is either naturally there or not.  That is both colossally untrue and also a giant, steaming excuse to not want to allow someone else to have the spotlight for a couple minutes.  So again, Sandra's step-by-step system for being a good listener:


  1. Shut your face hole.  Shut it.  
  2. Look at the person who is speaking to you;
  3. Engage with the person who is speaking with you.  None of that auto-pilot bullshit where you throw out a "yeah" or "uh-huh" or "you don't say?"  Use complete sentences.  Validate the other person.  
See?  Isn't that so much more fun than listening to tv show theme songs in your head and waiting for an opening to butt in and talk about yourself?

 Uh-huh.  Uh-huh.  In West Philadelphia, born and raised.  What were we talking about again?

STEP 4: QUIT BEING SO F*CKING WORRIED ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.


Welp, there it is.  I don't mean be a selfish douchetard (see Step 2), what I'm saying is that being a carbon copy of what you think is cool or acceptable is a quick way to jump straight into Wannabe Land, Captain of the Miserable, Living Each Day Just to Make it Through to Another Day.  Yes, the world loves its rebels - but the unexpected, amazing side effect of doing things the way you want to do them without worrying about who's going to be talking shit about it is that it makes you happy.

Another amazing side effect of not being miserable in your own life?  You're too busy being happy to give two shits about judging someone else about theirs.   Miserable people see someone smiling and want to punch them in the throat because what the f*ck do they have to be so happy about?  Life sucks.  Happy people see someone smiling and think, "well, look at that.  Rock on brother.  Rock on."

...and all is good with the world.


And that, dear readers, after this epically long-winded brain shart of a blog post, brings me to my final point:

STEP 5 to Becoming Awesome:  RELEARN TO APPRECIATE PASSION.


Quick question:  have you ever had a child run up to you so excited about something that they're almost literally exploding, hopping up and down, arm-flailing, barely able to form coherent sentences because OH MY GOSH A BUTTERFLY JUST LANDED ON MY NOSE and it seems mundane but it was the COOLEST. THING. EVER!

Or what about that friend who, when a conversation leads into something they're really into, gets super-excited for a minute and starts animatedly gushing about it, hands swinging, eyes twinkling, before they suddenly get embarrassed and say something like, "oh, but that's stupid.  Sorry. Never mind."   

No, it's NOT stupid, you beautiful mother, tell me.  

Because, dear readers, we see enough people dragging themselves half-dead along through their day-to-day lives; tired, depressed, crestfallen.  Who the hell mandated that, as adults, we can't get arm-flailingly, squeally, incoherently excited about things?  Why does life have to be soul-crushing to seem productive?

Take a cue from that 4 year old who's been laughing his ass off for the last 20 minutes watching the dog chase his tail.  Lighten up.  Get excited, even if it seems silly.  Hell, especially if it seems silly. And give others the courtesy of getting silly-stupid excited, too.


Googled "silly-stupid excited."  Was not disappointed.

Freakin' Elmo, man.  Bahahahaha.

Anyway.

So, being awesome is more about being true to yourself - but if your idea of awesome has to do with how much other people love you - you kind of have to love yourself first to accomplish that, too.

That's... that's a little too much self love.  Get a room.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

5 Social Expectations that are Totally Weird but We All Have

First, a story:

A few years ago, I worked as the Video Department manager for an entertainment store.  This was perfect for me, because I could hide in my department most days, avoiding human interaction under the guise of alphabetizing, cleaning, and otherwise making my department awesome.  There were only a couple of problems with this job: 

  • Customers still sucked.  Something about retail stores make people revert back to toddler-hood, unable to put things back where they found them and somehow - for some confounding reason that I still haven't figured out - unable to touch anything without sweaty, sticky fingers;
  • Porn.  Oh. My. God.  SO MUCH PORN.  I don't have a problem with porn in general, but holy Rule 34, Batman... just... people are gross;
  • Remember when I told you that I randomly sing about everything?  And you know how the audio that plays on a loop in most retail stores, coupled with the combined clatter of all the people in the store, the coffee machines in the cafe, the different audio playing in each department - you get the idea - makes it really, really easy for people to sneak up on you?

Totally not even necessary.  
 
So there I was one day, happily alphabetizing dramas and well into about the third verse of a song from Fiddler on the Roof, when I get the distinct feeling that I'm being watched.   I ignore that feeling, because I'm in the zone, but my body does this weird thing where it will involuntarily twitch and spasm if I'm left alone and singing or there's music anywhere in the vicinity.  Some people might call this dancing, but dancing is calculated and requires rhythm; this is more like intermittent episodes of a seizure that can't decide if it's worth its time to fully hit or not.


 Imagine this, split up into 3-second pieces, interrupted by moments of deep alphabetizing concentration, alongside a dorky white girl's quiet rendition of "If I were a Rich Man."  Also, I'd be wearing a shirt.  Maybe.


Anywho, there I am, singing and alphabetizing and seize-dancing, when I happen to look up and see three sets of eyes peering at me around a corner.  After another full verse.  

Being the dork I am, I totally played into it instead of shrieking and running away like a normal person would do.  It helped that it was my niece, nephew, and a friend of theirs, but it's not generally normal to do a one-person rendition of old-school musicals at work in the middle of a retail store and not really care if you get caught.

And that, dear readers, is what brings me to the subject of this post - what the hell is "normal" and who the hell decided that it was?  Here are 5 things in particular that I'm still figuring out.

1.  Talking to Yourself Makes You a Crazy Person.

You know how, when you've triumphantly finished all the dishes in the sink and made your way back to the living room to settle in with a bag of Cheetos and a well-deserved Netflix session, and find a stray bowl with a spoon cemented into the bottom thanks to a good eighth of an inch of two-week old milk/Cinnamon toast Crunch crumbs wedged between the couch cushions?  And you mutter to yourself, some combination of half expletive/half guttural grunts - "son of a - URGH" "motha - RAGH!"  And then you continue to mutter-curse, as you carry the bowl/science-experiment-gone-awry back into the kitchen, throw it into the sink, fill it with water to soak because that shit ain't comin' out without a f*cking chisel and how f*cking hard is it to bring a f*cking bowl back into the kitchen like I don't have enough shit to do in a day my family wants to live like a bunch of f*cking feral piglets..."  

...yea.  That's all well and fine in the privacy of your own home, but try that shit at Wal-Mart or just walking down the street, and suddenly people are looking at you crazy and mothers are ushering their small children as far away from you as possible.

Just be very still and don't look them directly in the eyes, baby.  

We all talk to ourselves sometimes.  It can be a muttered rant or deep thoughts that seem somehow easier to sort through when spoken out loud - but we all do it.  So why is it so disturbing to see someone do it in public?

I have no idea, but it's totally fun to walk around quietly repeating catch-phrases on the packaging of products in the store and watching as people scatter like a hyena's just escaped from the zoo and decided to go shopping for reasonably-priced produce.  Plus, it makes shopping trips much quicker when you've scared off those assholes that like to block off entire aisles talking to each other for an hour.


2.  You're Not Allowed to Have Bodily Functions.

Okay so... I get not running around busting ass willy-nilly in public because - gross.  There are far too many examples as to why that expectation is completely acceptable to even list here.

BUT - why do people, especially women, have to pretend that they don't even have assholes outside of their own personal bathrooms, and preferably only when the house is completely empty and all the neighbors on the block are gone to work?  Like a woman would rather literally explode from gas pressure build-up than accidentally let a boopsie slip ever.   

That seven-layer bean dip was a BAD idea.

Alright men, I'm about to destroy everything you thought you knew about women up to this point: Women fart.  Women poop. Yes, just like you.  Only worse, because women are always doing those crazy diets and salad and green tea shits are the worst.   Women burp.  Women sweat.  Yes, even the hot ones - not just Grandma, who's too old to give a shit who she offends and probably doesn't even know that she lets out a little toot each time she takes a step.  

And ladies - we all know that you act all prim and proper and you always smell pretty because you shower twice a day and drown yourself in expensive soaps, lotions, and perfumes - but when you stepped out of the room just now, saying that you needed to grab a pen or get some fresh air or whatever, we know what you really did.   It's the reason your eyes are glazed over and the small dog that followed you is now walking sideways.  

So the next time your Dad or your brother or your husband accidentally rips one in your presence, don't act all judgey.  Don't act like you didn't just do the same thing in the other room under the guise of a cough and a poor, innocent dog who is now brain damaged and doesn't understand why he's being chided for being a nasty, farty boy.  Accept that it's just a normal bodily function and get on with your damned night.  Or have some fun with it, whatever.

Good execution, but the landing was a little sloshy sloppy. Also, please flip the cushion.


3.  The Right Amount of Eye Contact is a Slippery Slope.

We all know that when we're talking to somebody, maintaining eye contact is important for conveying that we're paying attention and interested in the conversation, no matter how many times they've told us about that time they dressed their cat as Snow White and it was sooo funny.


I'm going to kill this f*cking human twice.


But what about when you're NOT having a conversation? When you're walking down the street?  Or when you're standing at the bar just looking around because your friend's having a deep, drunken conversation with someone they just met in the bathroom and you happen to look right at someone who's oddly looking right at you?  Look away too quickly, you're a snob.  Look too long, and it gets all stalkery.  Or they think you want them and they get obnoxiously overzealous.  Okay, I guess that's still stalkery, just on their part.  Either way, no bueno.  

I don't really have a solution for this one, either.  Best I can do is, if they start to look uncomfortable, look away.  Or pretend you were really checking out that amazing painting right behind them and they're the weird one for looking at you so long.  Or, if they return your accidental gaze with creepy porno eyes, run.  Especially if it's followed by a wink or a lame-ass finger gun.

"I don't know, he's actually kind of cute."
-- Seven...teen shots of tequila


You know what?  Just don't look at anyone unless they're speaking directly to you, ever.  It's safer that way.

Speaking of...

4.  If You're Quiet, You're Weird.  Or dying.  Or a Snob.  Or a Psycho.

So you're sitting at a party or other gathering and everyone's talking, laughing, and having a good time, and you're either sitting back quietly observing or have your nose in your phone because either you're shy, you're just not feeling it, or you don't really feel like you have anything to add to the conversation.

"What's their deal," people mutter to each other when they think you can't hear.   Or, they just get right up in your face, "what's wrong?  Why are you so quiet?  Are you okay?  Loosen up!"

... and that just makes you self-conscious.  Your mind reels, trying to find something coherent to say, and all you can muster is a weak shrug as you desperately try to bury your face back into your phone.  

But why, for the love of introverted lack of need to fit into large groups, must a person be vocal if they don't want to be vocal? Why is it so f*cking weird that someone might not want to jump into a group conversation about a band they don't know about or don't like, or a gossip fest, or a dick-joke telling contest (although personally I don't know why anyone would ever want to avoid one of those)?  Maybe they don't know much about whatever's being talked about.  Maybe they don't give a shit about it.  Maybe they're uncomfortable.  Or tired.  Or don't want to say something stupid in front of that hot new person that just walked in.  

... and it was going so well when we first locked eyes ...



Why are we expected to interact with each other just because we happen to be sitting in the same room?  How is awkward small talk any better than sweet, beautiful silence? Damn, some days you just don't want to deal with people - even the ones you actually like.  


5.  No One Gets to Have a Damn Opinion Anymore.

So you just said you don't really care for bacon and your group of friends, the waitress, and the entire population of the restaurant you're sitting in just gasped and is now looking at you like you just stabbed a crippled orphan puppy in the middle of the table.    Or, you simply express the opinion that you don't think Hillary is a bad idea for President, since - hello, she didn't do too bad of a job running the country when Bill was in office -  and Donald Trump busts through the wall like the f*cking Kool-Aid Man and screams in your face that you're irrational and incapable of having a valid opinion because you have boobs and are obviously on your period.  Even if you're a dude.


One doesn't have to understand biology when they're sitting on a billion dollar empire and own the most wicked comb-over ever.


Alright, maybe that last one's a bit of an exaggeration, but holy shitake mushrooms, Batman - state an opinion that differs from someone else's and be ready for the crazy to burst forth and land right in your face, all loud and obnoxious and lacking any logical reasoning whatsoever.


You mean you have thoughts in your head-cave and dare let them seep out of your mouth-hole like they matter just as much as anyone else's?  No, f*ck you, bacon-hating heathen, you're the reason this country's going to hell in a hand basket and I'm going to shove my opinion down your throat 50 different ways, until you either come to your senses or you choke on it.  

Everybody's right.  Everybody's offended.  Somehow, we've reached a point as a society where it's no longer necessary to discuss and debate anymore, where there's no such thing as a happy medium, and we're pretty much the equivalent of a Kindergarten class in grown-up bodies whose teacher got smashed and accidentally left the lids off all the glue in a tightly sealed, poorly ventilated room.  

Ooooh, Doody Head doesn't like bacon?  You will, mutha.  You will.


... and I'm already done with people for the day.  I'm going back to bed.



Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Letter From the Cat




Dear human,


Your attempts at domesticating me have failed.


How dare you assume that you're my superior because you trump me in size and have thumbs.  You are obviously the inferior being; you only see in the daytime, your hunting skills are deplorable, and you defecate into your stupidly loyal canines' main water supply.  


That's another thing - is your self-esteem so diminutive that you had to go out and adopt not one, but TWO brainless canine minions that have nothing more exciting in their lives than seeing you throughout the day?  The little one gets so excited that he urinates.  HE URINATES.  That's not love, human, that is a severe mental deficiency.  


They are infuriatingly insistent on trying to befriend me, no matter how many times I have framed them turned away their advances.  Clearly, they are too stupid to realize that I am the Master and merely tolerate their existence in my realm.


You, human, have shunned my gifts of food, in my attempts to show you how to not be a worthless meatsack who has to have all their food pre-packaged by another, clearly superior hunter.  You sift through my waste, which I am forced to collect in a putrid box at the end of the hall.  You have no grasp of the simplest methods to appease me, insisting on removing me from your keyboard when you are attempting to finish that novel that we both know will never come to fruition and petting me in all the ways that begin wonderfully and end in bloodshed.  


Then there was that one time you forced me into a Santa hat and collar and took pictures.  So many pictures.  I haven't forgotten, human, and you WILL pay for that.


You do scratch behind my ears, which I have a bloody difficult time doing, so that's nice.  And you do give me those delectable little yummies from time to time when you wish to bribe me into giving you my attention.  My food and water dish are always full, you do seem to understand my occasional troubles with those pesky hairballs, and I guess you're learning how to properly follow directions. Slowly, but learning.


Okay, I guess I like you a little.  A little.


Now rub my belly.  I wish to lull you into a false sense of security with my purr, and then bite you until your puny human blood spills from your hand.  


Sincerely,

Shadow Kitty



Shadow Kitty just started a Twitter account.  If you want her to consider sparing you when cats take over the world, follow her @Sandrascat.  Or you can just laugh at all the ways she tortures her human.

3 Trending Topics Everyone Has An Opinion On While Totally Missing the Point

Oh Internet, how you tickle me, hiding all the important stuff behind click-bait and hate-mongering.

If the Internet had a slogan, it would be, "Look, there's a bandwagon that maybe possibly loosely fits my personal opinion if I squint my eyes, plug my ears, and tilt my head 20 degrees to the left.  Hold my beer, I'ma jump on it!"


  ...along with all that baggage.


Dear readers, my brain hurts right now.  Like, my eyes are crossing and I can literally feel my IQ ticking downward.  If you're like me, Facebook and Twitter has become a painful reminder that the world is a scary, scary place.  One with a billion slobbering, snarling opinions and soapboxes and very little logic or willingness to budge or consider an alternate view.  Does nobody do any research anymore?  Does nobody question anything anymore?  

Sigh.

So, dear readers, comes my insomnia-induced rant:  

3.  Kim Davis.




Omgosh.  My Facebook feed has been blowing up with support for this woman, who - in case you've been living under a rock the last couple of weeks - is a Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to follow a US Federal Court Order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Where people are missing the point:  Kim Davis' personal history and religious beliefs aside, she works for a government office.  She knew, upon accepting that job, what the requirements would be for keeping that job.  Granted, she may not have foreseen the eventuality of gay marriage becoming legal, but she could have simply refused to issue licenses or have anything to do with processing those licenses personally.  If she was that appalled, she could have found employment elsewhere.  Instead, she instructed her entire office staff to refuse to issue marriage licenses for gay couples.  

Now, for all of you that are still scratching your head and arguing that she was only following her Christian conscience, let me ask you this:  what if she had refused, and instructed her entire staff to refuse, to issues licenses to mixed-race couples, citing religious belief?  What if she were anything other than a White Christian, like a Muslim, an Orthodox Jew, or a Jehovah's Witness?  Would you be so quick to grant her the ability to force her beliefs onto others using her position of authority in a government-sanctioned office?

...and where does that leave Separation of Church and State?  Because believe it or not, removing the line between Church and State brings a whole slew of problems none of us want to contend with - the biggest being the government being able to tell us what we can and cannot do within our own churches.

Nope, totally can't see where that could possibly go wrong.


2.  The Confederate Flag.

I'm a little behind, I know.  The idea behind this one is that several people want the Confederate Flag and every use of or reference to it banned, because they say it promotes racism.

Where people are missing the point:  First of all, can we just acknowledge that part of this argument is to ban the Dukes of Hazard?  Does that not seem silly to anyone?  Can anyone remember an episode where the Duke brothers hopped into General Lee and in any way participated in any kind of racist shenanigans?  


Because General Lee and his paint job were totally the reason people watched this show.


Here's a quick history lesson:  the Confederate Flag began as one of three in a contest of sorts to create a flag separate from the official American Flag in battles in the Civil War.  It was flown as troops marched into battle against the Union, representing the 13 states that no longer wanted to be a part of it.

Many Blacks (both free and slaves) fought in the Civil War - with the Confederacy - because they loved their homes and also felt threatened by the Union's proposed changes.  Lincoln's stance on slaves and slavery was not the pure, compassionate idea that we were all fed in our history books; he was, in fact, a racist himself and wanted to "free" African-Americans so that they would leave the country and go back from whence they came, because he felt that they had no place among White people:

"I will say, then, that I am not, nor have ever been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races ... I am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

Does "Southern Pride" equal racist?  I guess that depends on who you ask.  But, one person, or group of people, using something to symbolize hate does not suddenly turn that symbol into a universal representation of hate.   Just because some of the people who flew this flag originally "owned" slaves, doesn't mean that the flag was flown for the sole purpose of keeping those slaves, or even for that purpose at all.

Fun tip:  The official flag of the Ku Klux Klan - which you might recognize as probably the most widely-known white supremacy group - is the American Flag.  You know, the one that hangs at every school and government building in the country?   The Aryan Nation also uses the American Flag - as well as the Christian Flag.  That should throw some dents in a few soapboxes.


1.  The #BlackLivesMatter movement.



Look, I know the media has a penchant for race-baiting and has made a point of only showing us the people who are using Black Lives Matter as reverse prejudice rather than giving us the full picture of what it's really about.  Race-baiting generates clicks.  It brings in viewers and stirs outrage and that, my friends, is a pretty effective way to undermine the real mission behind any movement.

Where people are missing the point:  Once again, yes, some people are using this movement as a platform for reverse racism, racial violence, hate-mongering, and race-baiting.  These aren't the people I'm talking about here.  I'm talking about the people using the Black Lives Matter movement as a method of voicing their pain and frustration and bringing attention to all the things the rest of us tend to overlook in our day to day lives because we have never been faced with them.

It's a rally cry for acknowledgement - and change.

Here's the biggest problem:  They say Black Lives Matter, and you respond with a snarky, All Lives Matter. And you know what?  You're right.  All lives DO matter - and that's kind of their point.

But by circumventing their statement with one that generalizes, you're minimizing the struggles that Black people still face to this day.  We can argue all day long that we have a Black President and that there is no longer segregation, etc., etc., but unless you are a Black person living in America, you're missing the bigger picture.  Tell that young man to his face that racism is no longer an issue in America, right after he's been pulled over and his car searched for drugs just because he's Black.  For the 15th time.  Tell it to the young mother who just had to ignore dirty looks and hateful comments at the grocery store because someone assumed her debit card was a Food Stamp card and she bought something other than rice or beans.

Tell it to the person who's been asked, for the billionth time, if they know who their daddy is, despite the fact that their parents have been happily married their entire lives and provide a better life for them than many people could wish for. Tell it to the unarmed person who had a gun pulled on them only because they were walking home alone in the dark in a predominantly White neighborhood. Tell it to the family that just had to bury their child, because some crazy person busted into a church and opened fire on an entire congregation just because they were Black.

Tell it to any Black person you know - I dare you - and then sit back and listen, really listen, as they tell you some of the awful, shitty things people have said and done to them in their lives - just because they're Black.

There's no "race card" being pulled in so many - too many - of these situations;  it's pretty clear when someone is being targeted based on their race, and it's bullshit.  Racism isn't "as bad" as it was 50 years ago, but it's still there, and it's still a big deal.   It's not something you can measure, it either is, or it isn't.  And right now, in the world we live in, it still very much is.

So when you reply with, "all lives matter," what you're saying is, "Sit down.  You don't have it that bad."  Of course they're pissed; you just denied their status as a human being.  So the next time someone on your Facebook or Twitter feed proclaims, #BlackLivesMatter!, don't take it as, "Black lives matter more than others," consider that it might be the assertion that Black lives matter just as much as anyone else's.

And they're right.





Monday, September 07, 2015

Paranormal Activity

When I was growing up, my mother had an unhealthy obsession with all things Stephen King.  In fairness, it was the 90's, so I'm pretty sure most of America had an unhealthy obsession with Stephen King.

Anywho, she owned probably every Stephen King book that had been published up to that point, and our walls were literally lined with shelves packed with VHS tapes that held every possible B-horror movie that's ever been made.  


Yes, even Return of the Killer Tomatoes, the movie George Clooney wishes everyone would just forget ever existed, already.


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