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Monday, January 28, 2013

On A Mountain In The Middle Of Nowhere

I spent the last 4 days in a cabin on a mountain in North Carolina with my dad and my big brother. I feel like I should preface this by explaining to you that none of the 3 of us are what you might call athletic outdoorsy types. I should also say, it was super fun!

On my first morning there, I slipped on some ice, wiped out totally with my legs out from under me and my arms flailing, thudded down 3 steps, and bruised my butt. More disappointing than the buttbruise I now sport, I dropped my Kindle during the fall to the ground and it is now broken, which is incredibly sad. Let us have a brief yet poignant moment of silence for my fallen soldier.

We hiked, we had a fire in the woodstove all weekend, and we played games. It was very wholesome fun. I will also tell everyone that out of 13 games of Dominoes, my brother won only 2 of them. He was not pleased. It was hilarious how he kept losing, and saying “But I play this all the time at home!” Dad blames his wins on beginner’s luck, and I lay my wins squarely on knowing how to count. :)
Dad and Bro with their walking sticks. Dad has had his for 30 years!
So, there we were, up on a mountain, with no cell service, no TV, and camp-style plastic covered mattresses. Honestly, it was so much fun, and so relaxing. I also got some of the best sleep of my life. Man, what people say about mountain air, it is TRUE. And I have to say, everyone should travel with a personal chef! My brother is a chef....we ate well, up there on our mountain. We (lol, HE) did from-scratch chili, we had pork chop stir fry, grilled salmon, and eggs and bacon, and more! We ate like kings. Kings of the Mountain, in fact.
Here is the view from the top of Morrow Mountain.
We did meet some locals, with some of the most redneck accents you have ever heard.

Despite being from the South, I am one of those people who doesn’t have any accent. I moved around some as a kid, and ended up with no particular Southern accent at all. It works well for me, as I like playing with accents, and it is easier if you don’t have a distinctive one to begin with. I used to play a game when I was a waitress. Whenever I had a table with a distinct accent from anywhere, I would speak in the same one to them. I wasn’t making fun of them or mocking anyone, I just like trying on different accents and seeing how they feel in my mouth. And the tables would always be like “Oh mah gawd, whe-ah ahre you from, Girlie?” and I would answer them in their own Boston accent, all like, “I pahk mah cahhh in Bahhhston and am here for college!” They always got a kick out of it, I think.

The park ranger on this mountain was more like, “Weeell ya’ll, just so’s ya know, thah roads are ahhhll ai-ced over, and ya’ll ain’t gon’ be able to drive eeeny-wheres todahhhy.” It was entertaining. The park ranger explained they were having a “weather event” in which the sleet was making the roads too icy to safely drive down the mountain. We certainly agreed, when my brother ice skated down the street.

Apparently snow and ice on a MOUNTAIN is now termed an “event."

During this event, I saw leaves with icicles. How cool does that look?!
So, we hiked around and saw a bunch of deer, put together a really hard puzzle, and played cards. One night, my brother and I are sitting at the coffee table, minding our own business playing super-competitive rummy (and he did kick my butt at that). Dad was sitting cross-legged on the floor, staring into the fire. He’d been quiet for awhile, which wasn’t odd, as Dad is a quiet kinda dude. So, he’s staring, and thinking what some might assume are deep thoughts, and enjoying the noise of his kids playing cards in the background (this is an assumption) and having a drink. Dad is a bourbon guy.

Suddenly, he turns to us, opens his mouth, and says “You know what’s annoying? When you’re talking normally, and women hear one word, and start randomly singing a song with that word in it.” And goes back to staring at the fire, sitting Indian-style on the floor, bald, in flannel pants, socks, and a denim button-down shirt. He was already bald when this happened, I just wanted to paint you a clear picture. He didn’t burn pre-existing hair off in the fireplace or anything weird like that.

My brother and I are a bit bewildered by the sudden announcement and subsequent quiet. No explanation, no examples. Brother and I shared in some mutual confusion.

Deep thoughts were not being had by the fire in our cabin.

I’m just saying...I am not the only one in this family who says things like this out of the blue. And for those who thought I was this weird all by my lonesome? BAM. PROOF.

Here, enjoy this picture of deer that I took. Interesting fact from this weekend: Dad taught me there was a “zoom” on my phone camera. Did not know that, really appreciate it. Learn something new every day, huh?
Soooo cute! I want to pet you, Deer!

I also want to share this mega-cute-overload pic of my nephew and I, right before Brother and I left for North Carolina. We were horsing around before it was time to get on the road. I wish I had had a bit more time with my niece and nephew! Niece had to leave for school almost as soon as I got up! But the baby nephew isn't in school yet. :)
Love this little dude! Look at that face!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ellen Degeneres Dances With Obama.

OK, so we all clearly know that I am the master of puns and anything to do with other hilarity. Well, here’s a prime example! I made up a funny response. Okay, say you’re a dude. You walk up and are trying your flyest pickup line on a lady at the bar. Maybe something suave and Mario related, like “Are you a magic feather? Because my heart just grew a tail, and flew away.” or “If you were a warp tube, I'd be in you all day.” But then, like the lame-o she is, she doesn’t even give you points for creativity and referencing one of the most famous game franchises on the planet. Nope, she just aims a simple “get lost” in your direction.

Now, instead of getting all annoyed, turn this into a positive. With this, you will not only get the last word in, BUT you may be able to turn her frown upside down with this gem: "I can’t get lost! I have turn-by-turn navigation, baby!"

Oh man, I crack me up!
The directions into her pants...err...heart.
Now, while we bask in the glow up my brilliance, I have to tell you about this show I saw on TV. It’s called Guy Code. It’s a bunch of dudes, a few girls, and they talk about the manly/guyish way of doing things. Mostly, it’s funny and practical advice for guys. Here is an example: On the subject of flirting, they explain you shouldn’t just stare a girl down, and tell you not to be creepy. On the subject of drinking, they say you never use a chaser, you never drink anything with an “-ini” in the name, and you HAVE to hold your liquor.

This is one of the dudes on Guy Code on MTV2. Nice quote, man.
Women on the world, we are now entering the moment of creation of: THE GIRL CODE.

We women, we know what’s up. We know guys share everything with their bros, especially hook ups. We know about STUFF.

Girl Code: On Gifts.
Women, we know there are some guys out there who know exactly what they are getting you for your birthday, 3 months in advance. Most guys don’t. I know most girls don’t think about that either so early. I am, unfortunately for everyone else, one of those think-ahead-ers. I actually had all my Hanukkah/Christmas gifts done the week after Thanksgiving. Sorry. Moving on...

So, guys probably know your birthday is coming up. At some point. They at least know the month it’s in, and that that particular month is sometime soon. Make it easy for them! I get super excited about my birthday, so I am planning what I want to do or where to go at least a couple weeks in advance. And I discuss these plans and ideas with Boyfriend. And sneaky BAM. Now he knows when it is and how soon it’s coming. :)

On to the gifts. It seems like most guys have an issue coming up with gift ideas. I can see some of the questions. How much do I spend? What if it’s not meaningful enough? What if it’s TOO meaningful? What if she takes it the wrong way? Where do you even buy girl stuff?! And then it gets to be too much and you end up with a bottle of motor oil and one of those fake roses in a glass tube from the 7-11.

Clearly, these dudes want to do something nice for you. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t bother to worry or get you anything at all. Make it easier on them by either telling them what you want, going to pick something out together, or of course, the always fallback, doing a giftcard. Seriously, tell them straight out exactly what you’d like. I know, I know, all you girls are like “But it’s not romantic that way! I won’t be surprised!” True, but you’d get exactly what you wanted, and not 'surprised' with a new vacuum that just happens to come with a French maid outfit.

GUYS: No matter what, no matter when, no matter who, you can never go wrong with something shiny. Whether it is a pair of simple earrings for your girlfriend of a few months (you can get inexpensive, but very pretty ones), or a totally awesome bracelet for your girlfriend of a couple years (Boyfriend is awesome, fyi.). Shiny works. You don’t have to go to Tiffany’s or Cartier for a sweet, shiny, and thoughtful gift. Yes, you are super welcome.

Aww, look at that, Jyssica is making life easier on couples everywhere! I should have my own show. Like Ellen. I LOVE Ellen. She is so cool. And she DANCES. If I had a show, I could dance and talk to people for a living, and maybe have Ellen on my show and then WE COULD DANCE TOGETHER.

Bask in this. Ellen and Obama just cuttin' a rug. Just dancin' to the jams.
DREAMS REALIZED. I know what I want to be when I grow up.

A person who can say she has danced with Ellen Degeneres.

...And also an astronaut.

Speaking of future dreams, I thought I would share this adorable moment with all of you. Well, it’s either adorable, or my nephew does not fully grasp what a human is, and the fact that he is one. Well, here we go. My mohawked nephew was just a short 2 and a half years old when this incident occurred (He is now a short mohawked almost 3 year old).

Me: Hey, little dude. *kiss* What do you want to be when you grow up?
Nephew: A train.

Well. That certainly told me. I mean, how do you come back from that? He’s 2! I can’t sit there and explain biology. I just ended up with “Well, you’ll make an awesome train, kiddo.” And then he yelled “CHOO CHOO!” and climbed off my lap to go run around into walls and tripping over things. Clearly, this kid is going places.

In conclusion, I shall share something with you that I recently realized.

I, and all of my friends, are the same age as the kid in Scrubs and Friends when those shows first started.

WHOA. And I am neither a doctor nor a ...what does Chandler do again?
Yeah. Just TRY to not hear that in his voice. You can't. I may not know what the guy does, but I love him nonetheless. Because THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS DO. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Am A Planticidal Maniac.

I am the worst plant person in the whole world. I don’t have a green thumb, I have the opposite of that. I have a black thumb. I am a terrible person who is a known plant killer. I AM A PLANTICIDAL MANIAC. Except I’m also just me. I just have planticide issues. It's not my fault. I don't WANT to kill plants, it just HAPPENS. You think any other serial killer has ever tried that excuse? I wonder if it would work?

On the one hand, I feel the need to warn people of my plant-killing tendencies, for multiple reasons. 1. So they don’t give me plants as a gift, as even though I love them, they will die and I will feel sad. And then I’ll probably hide my murderous ways from you until I’m forced to come forward with the atrocities my hands have wrought. 2. So they don’t ask me to water their plants while they are out of town. For one thing, I’d feel weird in your house if you weren’t there. I am also intensely curious and may not be able to stop myself from looking at all your pictures and stuff, which will also make me feel vaguely creepy. Also, for all I know, when you aren’t there, your cat turns into some sort of attack-batman-type of kitty, and will attempt to eat my face. And lastly, because I will silently judge you for asking someone to tend your plants, but not your batman-like kitty cat. That’s just mean. 3. There should be some sort of registry for plant killers. There are other registries for people who kill things, and other offenses. I’m just saying. What I do could maybe possibly be considered a crime. Just ask a vegetarian.

On the other hand, I think vegetarians are the criminals. All those poor fruits and vegetables being plucked from the ground and bushes and their homes, just to satisfy your evil hunger for their blood! Besides, chicken and beef and fishies are so tasty. If evolution (or G-d, or the Spaghetti Monster, whatever) wanted us to be herbivores, then 3 things would be different: 1. We would not have these awesome meat-tearing-and-chewing teeth, 2. The animals wouldn’t taste so darn delicious, and 3. We wouldn’t be on top of the food chain (at least of land animals. Have you SEEN these crazy sea creatures?!), other animals would have eaten us into at LEAST endangered status. Because we are delicious. And we’re overpopulated! Clearly, we win.  

While I may be able understand why you choose to not eat meat, I have to say that for me, it is not a viable lifestyle choice.

And neither is polyester. Polyester is also not a viable choice for me or my life. Though tutus could be a fun life choice! Those fun, float-y tulle ones, not the stick-out ballerina ones. My sister has a tutu. She SAYS it was for a costume, but you know that chick is doing pirouettes in her room, using a hairbrush as a microphone and rocking out 80’s style. I know you, big sister, and being in your 30’s hasn’t changed you. :)

I should take a picture of my sister in her tutu and put it on my fridge! Aww, I miss having physical pictures. With the advent of digital photography, and especially having actually decent cameras in our cell phones, I have noticed that I never seem to have physical pictures to put on a corkboard, or in frames, or on the fridge anymore. I snap a picture on my phone and send it to my best friend forever and ever, or my mom, or Boyfriend, but it gets deleted once it has served it’s purpose.

I miss shaking it like a Polaroid picture. I actually adore Polaroids. And photobooths! I love those little strips of pictures in sequential order! I have one in my wallet, that Boyfriend and I did at the mall once. Even though he rolled his eyes so hard they almost got stuck in the back of his head, he indulged me. I love that dude!

In one of these!!
I actually bought an old Polaroid camera on eBay a couple of years ago, but the film is so darn expensive! But still, it made an awesome gift for my best friend. I hope she got some joy out of it for awhile! I know I would! Hmm...that reminds me, I haven’t sent her anything really random in a while. I think I’ll go do that. A few months back, I sent her silly fun flipflops from a store in Grand Central that I found.


OK, I’m back, having sent something awesome and thoughtful in the mail to my very bestest and pregnant friend and her freakishly tall husband. And I adore them! :)  Everyone loves getting surprises in the mail!

And that's all for today, folks. Love and good wishes for the new year! My new year may just be the new beginning I've been looking for. Who knows? Fingers crossed and all!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Most Hated Day of the Week.

Well. Monday is once again upon us. In it’s own lumbering, sleepy, deceptively casual way, it is welcoming us into the week.

People are always like “Screw Mondays!” and “I hate Mondays!” and “Why can’t Monday just go fling itself enthusiastically from the tops of a buttressed castle, into the churning waves and rocks below and leave us alone?!”
Oh, Garfield. So cute and fluffy, yet so angry.
WELL. First of all, you people have a wonderfully lyrical way about your insults, and I have to say, I am once again delighted by you not being terribly stupid.

Secondly, that is just not nice. In fact, it is rude, and do you kiss your mother with that rude mouth? I bet if she heard you say something like that to ANYTHING other than Mondays, she would wash your mouth out with soap, give you at least a mildly stern talking-to, and probably ground you, not letting you go to that wicked awesome party on Friday night that just everyone will be at, therefore pushing you to the very depths of your social caste.

It is not Monday’s FAULT that it is at the beginning of the week. Back in the Olden Days, when people were deciding stuff like that, they could have just as easily decided that work weeks ran Thursday through Monday, and then we would all adore Mondays, mildly tolerate Fridays, and live for Tuesday nights. Though of course, Tuesday nights would no longer be happy hour all night.

The point is, Monday is, in fact, providing a service. It allows you all to hate it, while revering Friday and Saturday, and taking all of your harsh words and cruel thoughts, in order to allow the week to begin.

Chew on this: Without a Monday to start the week, there would be no week-end. Oh yeah, baby. Food for thought.

Another thing everyone hates: That song “Friday” by Rebecca Black. Honestly, I hate it more than I hate corn. Which is a lot. Actually, part of me dreads Fridays because I know at least a couple of my jerky friends still think it’s funny to post that video on Facebook every single Friday, hoping, clearly, to torment the rest of us, start controversy, and make our ears bleed.

Don't worry, it's a screencap, not the video. Even I'm not that cruel.
Here’s the thing: The song is terrible, the lyrics are dumb, the girl doesn’t have that great of a voice, and the video is bad. Having said that, I feel slightly bad for the girl. She was only 13, and half the world was spewing hatred on Youtube and random internet sites. She maybe didn’t deserve all of that hatred, seeing as how she’s so young. On the other hand, she put it out there, online, for the world to see, and has, amazingly, benefitted and profited from it, so I guess it worked out for her in the end?

When I was little, I wanted to be a famous singer. I was so sure that I wanted everyone to know my name, everyone to know my face, kinda like Roxie Hart in Chicago! As I got older, I quickly realized that I did NOT want to be famous. I like being myself, knowing who my friends are, and pretty much being anonymous.

...unless everyone adores my blog and writes enough letters to Random House and Penguin, and I get a book deal and I get to spend the rest of my life doing one of the things I love best: writing and making people laugh, or think, or hate. I don’t care what emotion my writing stirs in you (though, gun-to-my-head, I prefer laughter), I want it to make you feel anything. Isn’t that what art is? Emotion on a page.

So, I definitely don’t want to be famous and live in the fishbowl we force our celebrities into. I do still want to make music and sing, I’ve simply switched to wanting to be the words behind the face. My hope is that someday, someone else who is out there in the limelight, will open their mouths and sing the words I’ve painstakingly written.
Wow.. This isn’t funny at ALL. How do you people stand me? Well, for the readers out there, here’s a couple funny pickup lines, courtesy of Comedy Central’s website. :) Not that they work, I’m not endorsing anything, here! But...if they DO work, I definitely want to know about it! You’re welcome. Love, The Best Wingman You’ll Ever Have.
Pickup Line Panda in his finest hour.
Because of my Anthropology background, I have no choice but to include this one:
“If I said you had a pronounced sloping brow, would you hold it against me?"

A lame pickup line. Has this EVER worked? However...a decent rebuttal.
“If I could rearrange the alphabet, I'd put "U" and "I" together.”
Answer: “I don’t have to rearrange it, because “N” and “O” are already together.”

Alright, this one made me snort-chuckle, so I feel honor-bound to include it. Is this outside the box thinking?
“I'd like to think inside your box.”

And last, but certainly not least, an Astronaut pickup line:
“My unit would like to explore your crater.”

If any of these work, it would be Barney Stinson playbook epic!

Back to Mondays. Haterz be hatin’. I am officially going to pledge here and now, to stop hating Mondays, and simply accept that every 7th day in my life, my alarm clock will wake me at a time that is wholly unacceptable, with a hauntingly familiar sound that vaguely reminds me of the stuff of which nightmares are made, and that I will then begrudgingly climb out of bed with a pout for myself and a sneer at the fact that Boyfriend gets to continue sleeping precious more time. I will rise above the ridiculous disease “the Mondays,” and I will take a shower, and wash away what’s left of the night, the weekend, the sleeping in, and I WILL STEP FORTH INTO THE WORLD. If not with a smile on my face, then at least without a grimace.

If not now, when? IF NOT ME, WHO?

Also, if you’ve ever said “Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays! Yuk yuk yuk!” Then you are dead to me. And I will make sure I kill you first when the Zombie Apocalypse comes.
I flippin' LOVE THIS MOVIE. Doesn't mean I won't hate you if you say it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Mom Can Burp The Alphabet And Other Fun Stuff

Hello, 2013!

So, I know it will sound weird, but my favorite numbers are 3 and 7. Not that it’s weird that I have favorite numbers, many people have “lucky” or “unlucky” numbers. Perhaps the reason is weird. I love them because for one thing, they are ODD numbers, so I can totally identify with that moniker, and also, they’re prime, which for some unknown reason, I adore.

My liking of 3 and 7 is not limited to only those. I will happily accept anything with 3 and 7 in it, like 13, 17, 23, and so on.

Except if they are repeating. I don’t like 33 or 77. That’s just weird.

Also, I don’t like the number 6. Not sure why, but I have always thought of it as a “bastardized 9.” Again, there is no explanation or reasoning for this. It just IS.

So, this year is going to be awesome. It is 2013, which I adore because it has 13 built right in, ANDDDD this is the year I turn 27! I just know 27 is going to be an awesome year! Why wouldn’t it be? I’ve got my favorite numbers with me, my guy who doesn’t question my weirdness about numbers, who is ALSO 27, and lots of adventures left before me in life.
And I do so adore getting older. I mean, I get to have new adventures and learn new things and travel to new places and read new books. Dude. BOOKS.

I mean, if I had to think about it, I would say we go about this whole ‘life’ thing backwards. There was some joke about this awhile back, but I don’t remember the punchline, I only remember the stuff I liked, which was the theory that we should start out as an old person, wise and with many experiences, move slowly backward, work for 40 years, party rock it out in college, then move back in with our parents, go nuts in high school, and eventually play with childhood again, ending with a few years of playing and people taking care of you. :) Sounds fun, right? Exactly
Not looking forward to the end in this version, either.
I wouldn’t trade where I am for anything. Though I don’t really do New Years Resolutions (I feel like it's a recipe for failure that only serves to make you feel guilty for a few days, around the 2nd week of January. I feel like you should be improving yourself and being happy ALL the time! However, perhaps this year, my NY Resolution will be to be able to properly spell "Hors d'oeuvres" whenever the need occurs. That’s a super hard word to spell, yo.), I do like to take stock around the beginning of the year. Look over the past year and what’s happened or didn’t happen, and what I have learned from the experiences of living another year.

This year, I get to be thankful for my family, whom I love dearly even when they irritate me beyond all human capacity for irritation, my friends, whom I will always love, and who took the time to come visit me in NYC this year!, my guy, who thinks I am great just the way I am and who being around reminds me every day how lucky we are, my travels, the place I’ve made my home, and more.

Now don’t think this is some sappy rah-rah ‘I love my life’ post. OH NO. We are talking NUMBERS and stuff here. Mostly stuff. The numbers topic has been somewhat exhausted.
Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 is a rock-awesome zombie! BRAAAAINS!
Also, bite me. If I wanted to do some maudlin and serious post about how much I appreciate what I have in life and the work it took and continues to take, ya’ll would read it just the same. And it’s MY BLOG. I do what I want!

Crap. I noticed that I just wrote “ya’ll” above. I am from the South (yes, capital S), and have been living in NY for over 2.5 years. I have attempted to eradicate it from my vocabulary, and though I occasionally slip and SAY it, I think this is the first time I’ve written it since my teenage years. My mother should be so proud. I can see her now, just sitting there, claiming she is a Southern Belle (she’s not, she is from Miami), saying “I told you so!”

But she is also an English and reading teacher, so she might object to me using the written word “ya’ll,” since it isn’t exactly fancy proper English, now is it?

So, things I like, other than numbers, that I spend time thinking about on a fairly regular basis: penguins, drawing comic strips (not actually drawing them, I’m not very good), getting a puppy, how koala bears are false advertising (this is never far from my mind), airplanes, jogging (thinking about it more than actually doing it), Italy, whether or not I should take another stab at learning a foreign language, wondering what I’m going to be when I grow up, why I can’t hula hoop, and

Wait. How ridiculous is that? I can’t hula hoop, I can’t properly whistle, ANDDD I can’t even make myself burp. What kind of kid was I, anyway??

My almost-63-year-old mother can burp the alphabet. It is both super impressive and mildly gross. Though never embarrassing (for me, my brothers, or my stepdad). First of all, my mom is awesome and don’t you forget it. And secondly, if YOUR mother could burp the alphabet on command, wouldn’t YOU want to impress your friends with that kind of trick pony? Damn right. She finds it kind of embarrassing, but does it anyway, as long as we aren’t in public. It’s so frickin’ awesome. I can’t make myself burp at all, a constant source of disappointment in my otherwise high esteem from my family. Maybe “high esteem” is pushing it... 

I can't stress enough that I WISH I had a picture of my mom burping. Even though she would probably kill me for putting it up, you know, if she ever read this blog. :)

I also cannot hula hoop. It stays up for maybe one swing around my hips before despondently crashing to the ground as if to say “WHY do you keep doing this to me??” I can do it around my neck and arms, though! Unfortunately, even my 5 year old niece knows that is not impressive. I wonder if Mom can hula hoop. I have already determined that my sister can’t. Not really, though she’ll tell you differently. And, I can only whistle by sucking air IN to my mouth, not blowing air out of puckered lips. And so, I can’t hit the different fun notes, or whistle a song or anything. My failings continue to haunt me in this, the dawn of a new year
McKayla Maroney and 5 year olds everywhere are not impressed. 
In this vein, I find it incredibly annoying when other people just tunelessly whistle, like on a crowded train or walking RIGHT NEXT TO ME on the sidewalk. Or in the office. It seems like I can’t ever pinpoint exactly where it’s coming from, so I just want to poke random people in the bellybutton with a large stick until I find out which one is doing it, and then step on that person’s pinky toe, and then stick a straw through the hole they have in their lips for the whistling, because it will stop the whistle-y sound and they’ll also look funny, which is always nice.
This picture is nice and epic. And I've always adored the word "scoundrel." Also, "shenanigans."