Vaarwel and Chì Mi Fhathast Thu

Look at how fancy pants I am with my super cool post title in, not one language, but two.

Fancy like this

Bonus points if you can tell me what two languages and what it says. I’m really counting on Google Translate for not messing this up and making me look like an idiot.

So, yeah, I’m leaving on a jet plane. It’s possible that while you’re reading this, I’m on a plane, squeezing the armrests as if that will somehow help steer the plane in any direction that will get us to our destination in one piece. I’m not a good flyer (sorry for the nervous farts).

So, yeah, I’ll be out of the country for a little more than five weeks.

This means I will, likely, not have time to read, comment on, or like your blog posts. I’ll try, but I can’t make any promises.

I might also not have much time to post, other than updates here and there.

So hang in there, don’t give up on me, and wish me luck in returning safely, ready to blog about my adventures.

Bye, babies!

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

Eight years ago, I took my first trip to the British Isles. It was a graduation gift from my parents (More like a graduation incentive–my mom begged me to finally graduate and going on an-all-expenses-paid trip was my motivation. You can bet your ass I made school my bitch after hearing I’d be sent across the pond after receiving my Bachelor’s).

The fact that my parents literally wrote me a $5000 check (that I had to pry out of my dad’s hands) to have the trip of a lifetime is something I can never adequately thank them enough for. It was a life-altering experience that I relive in my heart time and time again.

Now, forty five years after my mother went to England, herself, for the first time, she gets to go again. We get to go together.

I’m fully expecting a lot of laughs, maybe some tears, and for sure, some annoyances, but I only wish for this trip to be an experience we recall fondly for years to come.

In honor of my last trip, and in excitement and anticipation for the one coming up, I’m sharing some of my favorite pictures from The British Isles 2010.

Be aware that I’m not a photographer in the least, and my photos were taken with a $100 pink Samsung digital camera.

Some will be terrible. A few will be blurry. More than a couple will have random people or strange angles. None have filters. I also took these from my Facebook, so they’ll be terrible quality. But, aren’t semi-terrible photos all part of the fun?

Buckle your seatbelts, baby! Here we go!

Hands down, the coolest plane picture I’ve ever taken. I think this is the southern-most tip of Greenland.

A view of London from the window (that didn’t have a screen) of our hotel room. We stayed in Earl’s Court, which is a gorgeous district in Kensington.

Our hotel in London. It was definitely not a Marriott, but it was perfection.

Our London neighborhood. Those row houses, though.

I still crave Nando’s, and who knew you needed sunscreen in England??

This Maida Vale pub just screamed England to me. It was here we found out what Russel Brand meant when he sang, “Will you come for my bangers, my beans and mash”. Or, maybe he means something else.

I distinctly remember this was the moment I almost pooped my pants. I also recall thinking, “This is how we die.”

We took the train from Birmingham to Coventry, because driving was a big “NOPE” (I eventually got brave and became one of the most proficient American drivers the British Isles has ever had the good fortune to host). This is Coventry Cathedral. It was hauntingly beautiful.

Did ya’ll know Lady Godiva is one of my ancestors? It’s true. I was so excited to visit her statue, but, sadly…

…it’s not quite as grand as Primark.

Wait, y’all have dollar stores too, but everything is a pound (which is like a dollar, but not)? Mind blown.

British motorway rest stops are like freaking palaces!

The Conwy Castle ruins in Wales was my favorite castle. We were there, exploring, for hours.

The flowers growing out of the castle walls were almost too quaint.

I mean, just look at this!

Who knew one could find palm trees in Britain? Llandudno was exquisite.

I.did.not.want.to.leave.

WTF? I ate one. That’ll show them.

This was our one splurge stay. This is the Radisson Blu in Dublin. The grounds were my favorite part. This is where we discovered that Ireland’s air conditioning is not like “our” air conditioning. Hot.as.balls.

Kilkenny was quaint af. We wanted to stay at this hotel. It was way out of our budget, so the Pembroke Hotel was the lucky winner of hosting us for our barf-tastic wild Irish night.

TOO MUCH PRETTY

Y’all think this person likes Elvis?

It’s almost just as romantic as Italy. Except they were laying on the concrete in a pretty sketchy part of town outside an apartment building. Young love.

But, someone left kegs there. I found this way funnier than it really was.

Blarney Castle was awesome. I didn’t kiss the Blarney Stone, because Rick Steves said I’d get the herp if I did.

Eeeeeeeeeeeee

Seriously, I felt like I was on another planet while walking the grounds at Blarney Castle. It was otherworldly GORGEOUS.

The drive to Dingle Town, while poop-your-pants-scary was stunningly beautiful at the same time. It was a conflicting feeling.

Dingle Town! I couldn’t even with the adorableness!

I’ve never seen so much green.

Galway was a lively city full of sounds, smells and so many people. The energy was palpable.

Galway also has weird af people who put their gum on a public railing, that is literally right next people playing Scrabble, to eat their chips. She then just left it there.

Kinlay Hostel in Galway was our first dorm-style hostel and the entire night I was literally sweating profusely from the fear that people would come into our room and I’d have to share a room with…STRANGERS. No one came. THANK GOD.

Some ruins and a rainbow effect. No big

Some more ruins and some dark, foreboding clouds. This is like travel picture porn to me.

Ever been to Newgrange? They are prehistoric mounds that are older than the pyramids. Anyone else use the Egyptian pyramids as a gauge for how old something is?

A super narrow alley in Edinburgh we named “Stab Alley”. Not exactly sure why.

Edinburgh was my favorite. I have this one in black and white on my wall. Love.

Edinburgh Castle was too much. Too.much.

The views from the castle are AMAZING AF. Scotland is just the absolute best.

You never know who you’ll find on the streets of Edinburgh.

Loch Ness, my love. TOO BEAUTIFUL. Too.freaking.beautiful.

This path cutting through these delicate wildflowers led to the banks of Loch Ness. It was MAGICAL.

No words needed. Those are words, but, you know what I mean.

I could have stayed on the banks of this river in Inverness FOREVER.

This was taken somewhere between Inverness and Edinburgh. I didn’t realize Scotland was so green.

This was taken from Oxford Castle. Oh, England. You hurt my heart. You’re just too beautiful

Here I am in the haunted Oxford Castle. What haunts me to this day is how I thought I was fat. I wish I were as fat as I was when I thought I was fat, cuz, honey, now I’m fat.

The winding streets of Oxford. I felt studious and smart af in Oxford.

Oh my (said in a George Takei voice).

The River Thames. Le sigh.

The River Hotel was, bar none, the most *interesting* hotels we stayed at. There was the case of the stubborn pube (it was sitting there, on the bathroom floor waiting for us when we checked in and still there after the bathroom was “cleaned”). Then there was the fact every surface in the room had, at least, an inch of dust. Of course, I can’t forget the old lady receptionist who was meaner than a dog shitting tacks. And, of course that we were put in the Annexe, where all of the Americans and other unfavorables get a room. What a trip.

I was speechless the entire time we toured Westminster Abbey. If walls could talk.

When I first saw Big Ben, I knew I was finally in London (This is confusing as my pictures go in order, and I, obviously, was already in London. We started and ended in London. My second set of Big Ben pictures was much better than the ones I took three weeks prior, when I was still a London newbie).

Rick Steves told us not to waste our money on the London Eye, so we didn’t. I’m still not sure if I’m mad at Rick or not.

The only picture I got of the London Bridge.

I think this is Covent Garden. What I do know is we ate at a tiny Italian restaurant in this neighborhood. I had Chicken Carbonara. I never forget food.

One of my London “must dos” was to see a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. That was before a full day of walking. Also, before we realized that why our tickets were so cheap was because our “seats” were in the pit and we had to stand for all three hours of the play. Spoiler alert: we didn’t stay for the whole play.

Now I’m so excited for my trip and ya’ll are probably bored after looking through some random’s pictures.

So, tell me, what’s your favorite “take away” from a trip? Is it a souvenir, new knowledge, pictures, or something else? Tell me in the comments!

The Fatty in Denial Diet Shtick

In case you haven’t caught the 872 times I’ve mentioned my trip coming up, I’m heading across the pond in just a little more than a week!

Way back in January, after making our first of many house stay reservations and the like, I remember thinking, “Well, shit, I can’t go on this trip with these fat rolls and bingo wings!”

Thus began what I call The Fatty in Denial Diet Shtick.

It’s a cyclical shit show of epic proportions. It’s something I do every time I have a reason to “finally” lose the weight. It’s a really fun game, amusement, joke.

Step 1: Realization

OMG! Amsterdam can’t know I’m fat!

It’s not like my thighs conducting heat when they are rubbed together as I walk or the fact that my jeans (when I wear the fuckers) have cut a permanent line into my fat don’t remind me of my overly bodacious bod, but the realization that I’ll be fat in another time zone and completely out of my comfort zone usually snaps me right back to cold, hard reality.

Step 2: The Game Plan

It’s time to finally get serious and open the Weight Watchers app I’m paying $20 a month for.

No more soda. No more white bread. No more sugar. No more happiness. Quit crying.

Join a damn gym or at least go to a yoga class once a week, shit.

Walk every day. Literally, rain or fucking shine.

Do leg lifts and squats while my students are testing. They won’t think I’m weird. I mean, they pick their noses literally while staring me down, so we’ll be even.

Buy diet pills on Amazon. All of the legit diet pills come from Mexico.

Take B-12 drops. They give me horrific gas, but too.freaking.bad.

All of the diet and fitness ideas and quick fixes found on Pinterest are explored. No obese stone can be left unturned.

Step 3: Actually Acting on the Plan

After making really big plans and promises that totally aren’t unrealistic at all, I settle on just counting Weight Watchers points and walking. It’s what worked ten years ago, when I was young. It’ll totally work now.

I usually set off with gusto, buying pounds of $60 coconut flour, enough carrot sticks for a horse show, a pallet of eggs, and 18 spaghetti squash (squashes?).

I was taking-a-fitness-picture-for-Instagram-serious about getting my fitness on.

Step 4: Going Hard and Heavy

…for a week.

Right as it starts getting really shitty and downright depressing that my days start with farty eggs and boring coffee, I start to relax the rules a little bit give up completely.

That totally looks like a cup. Well, maybe just a little more and it’ll be a cup (it’s usually three cups)

Granola is better than a glazed cake donut, so…

One bite is like no points at all. Yes, even when I take 15 bites. 15 zero point bites is still zero. I know math.

Step 5: Counting the Amount of Days Remaining Before the Event

If I have several months before I need to lose the weight, I can relax on the diet, because losing 20 pounds in a month is totally doable.

Why the hell am I already making myself miserable? I don’t need to start really getting serious for at least another month or two.

Step 6: An Upper Cut to the Double Chin AKA Sabotage

After months of telling myself I have “x amount of months” until I need to really get serious, it’s now D-Day. Inevitably, the following will occur to derail any semblance of the perfect diet plan I made so many moons ago, when I was still young and full of hope:

Birthdays

Holidays

Teacher Appreciation Week

Movies

Donuts in the staff lounge

National Pizza Day

The kick off to Food Truck Friday

92 I-had-a-bad-day-Costco-sized-popcorn-and-Reese’s-Pieces pig outs

Sunday Brunch

Friday

Monday

A new donut shop within walking distance

I can’t go to the movies and not get popcorn. Like, it’s against the natural order of things. The popcorn is not in the picture, because I ate it before the movie even started.

Step 7: Defeat and Denial

Once the day that I-can-still-maybe-lose-a-few-pounds-if-I-really-try-hard comes and goes with a cloud of Cheetos dust, the defeat and denial sets in.

I mean, it’s pointless now, so I might as well eat those cupcakes I saw in the staff lounge.

Half of a watermelon in one sitting is healthy.

I gave it the old college try.

Step 8: Fuck Yo Couch

So what if I didn’t lose any weight? I didn’t gain any either. So, I basically met my goal. Europe is gonna get whatever body I give it, dammit.

Step 9: There’s Always Next Time

This one doesn’t even need a description.


In order to not disrupt the fragile space-time continuum, these steps are on an infinite loop until the end of time.

Do you follow the same steps? Did I miss one? Share your tips for not losing weight or getting in shape for an important event or milestone in your life. I can’t wait to hear how else I can fail miserably!

Third Funniest Blogger, Baby!

I’m still positively shocked that anyone other than my mom thinks I’m funny. I mean, I occasionally make myself laugh, but sometimes I think I’ll eventually wake up. But, I don’t think this is just a dream, guys. I was voted 3rd Funniest in the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. That must mean it’s really true. I’m kinda officially funny.

I’m so incredibly honored and excited to have made 3rd, ya’ll.

I was so excited and apprehensive the night before the awards (that happened in London, btw), I had horrible nightmares all.night.long.

They ranged from your usual holy-shit-I-forgot-pants-and-I’m suddenly-on-stage-in-front-of-a-room-full-of-people to the nightmare that I didn’t place.

See, these awards mean so much to me. Like, so.much. The excitement and anticipation leading up to the event was even better than a cupcake high.

Not only does winning an award help validate the fact that I call myself a humor blogger, the ABBA originated from the U.K. My Anglophile self is geeking out big time.

Not only do I feel pretty dang proud, I feel so lucky to have the readers I do. This was all thanks to YOU.

To those who took the time to vote for me, to those who take time out of their lives to read my words, to those who have liked, commented, shared, spread the word, THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I’m immensely lucky for you all.

I also want to say a huge thank you to the ABBA committee. You have spent an immeasurable amount of time, heart, and thought into putting these awards together. Not only that, you’ve created an event that so many people have to look forward to and be excited about. So, thank you.

This is how I celebrated. Maybe I should be Fatty McDonuts.

How to Worry About Your Upcoming Trip in Four Easy Ways

Want to hear something certifiably insane? It’s less than one month until my big trip this summer and I’m obsessing over every conceivable eventuality. I’m not 100% crazy, so in between night sweats and uncontrollable fingernail biting, I’m daydreaming of the lush English countryside and some Patat Frites with a massive dollop of mayonnaise in Amsterdam.

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But, yeah, the majority of my headspace right now is straight up looney tunes. Here, have a little look-see:

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What if I made a mistake and I can’t really afford this like at all?

Is five weeks an insane time to be away?

What if the plane crashes?

What if my baggage is lost forever and I forget emergency underwear in my carry on?

What if I forget my leg (mustache) shaver?

What if I can’t bring my leg (mustache) shaver on the plane?

Are we all, including our luggage, going to fit in the Vauxhall we’re renting?

What if the plane crashes?

What if all the clothes I’m planning on bringing look hideous on me?

What if I get diarrhea in the middle of the English countryside?

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What if our houseboat in Amsterdam sinks in the night?

What if every one of the 3,492 times I looked at my passport expiration date, I looked at it wrong and it really is expired?

What if I get really bad gas on the plane?

What if I get a migraine or cramps right before going into Anne Frank’s house and I can’t fully appreciate the life-altering experience?

What if I can’t sleep on the plane?

What if one or more of our house-stays have bed bugs?

What if we all just want to kill each other?

What if I contract Ebola on the plane?

What if someone steals my phone and I can’t take pictures of the rest of the trip?

What if…

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If you really want to enjoy your trip planning just like me, worry about every single inconsequential detail to the point of madness. Here’s how:

Step 1: Second Guess Every Choice

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From plane ticket buyer’s remorse to vacation locale, second guessing every single choice you’ve made while planning your trip is a sure fire way to drive yourself to spend all of your saved trip money on drink. It’s not a successful vacation unless every single detail of it has been picked apart and turned inside out. It doesn’t say I’m-having-the-time-of-my-life-planning-my-dream-vacation like obsessively wondering how much you could have saved on your plane tickets had you booked a week later or earlier (or if you had booked on a Tuesday at 2 PM like every travel blog says to do) or compulsively checking for a better hotel after you’ve made non-refundable reservations.

Step 2: Procrastinate All Planning Tasks

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When you have a lot to plan, your time would be much better spent binging on The Office (which you’ve watched in entirety 18 different times) or cleaning your oven. It’s not like planning for a trip isn’t fun, but it’s overwhelming af to compare train tickets with Easy Jet tickets or trying to figure out air travel time and time zones. Even worse is figuring out which historic pass covers which historical site you want to see, because, naturally, they don’t cover all of the places you want to see, so to make buying the pass cost effective, you need to figure out entrance fees for all of the 874 sites you want to see (because that’s some tedious shit, you just buy all of the passes and hope for the best). This is why travel agents are still a thing.

Step 3: Worry About Every Single Hypothetical Situation

Travel anxiety almost always stems from one of three major fears (in no particular order)-

  • Plane, train or some other transportation freak accident/death
  • Becoming ill due to sickness or food poisoning during a really inconvenient time (like in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge in standstill traffic, for example)
  • Losing or having your luggage, your camera/phone, money and/or an important document, like your passport stolen

These sound like pretty logical things to be concerned about and prepared for. Any savvy traveler would have procedures and plans in place to help minimize any of these things occurring (Well, except planning to avoid a fiery plane death. I don’t think there’s anything you, as a layperson, can do to influence fate like that. It there is, please message me with every single detail).

If you’re losing sleep over worrying if you’ll be suddenly struck with diarrhea on a crowded underground train or in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, so you start hoarding Imodium, you’re worrying about your trip the right way.

If you come across a story about a freak accident on a plane, so you google for more plane accidents that include the same keywords and suddenly it’s 2 AM and you’re in deep in some really serious conspiracy theories you found after digging through the deepest, most clandestine corners of the dark web, you’re basically winning at being the right kind of savvy traveler.

If you’ve Googled “can houseboats easily sink while you’re sleeping and you won’t know it”, you’re a downright pro.

If the majority of the items in your carry on bag are mini bottles of Lysol spray, travel Clorox wipes, a year’s worth of Airborne, and more than one surgical face mask, you’re basically the travel worrier god.

Traveling is exciting and so, so worrisome. Don’t forget the Xanax!

4. Obsess About Every Single Travel Purchase Decision

Do you like how I moved the text up so you could see Karl’s magnificent boots?

Its a big deal picking out something you need/want to use on your travels. One of these crucial purchases you will need to make is travel sandals (well, if you’re traveling somewhere warm, anyway). If you want comfort without Velcro and style without flat soles, prepare yourself to really go unhinged.

In order to properly stress yourself out during sandal shopping:

1. Ask for recommendations from people that you won’t listen to at all, but still waste everyone’s time, because it’s all part of the process.

2. Find one “comfort” pair of sandals that look stylish enough that are insanely expensive, but rationalize that your feet deserve better than $2 Old Navy flip flops.

3. When you receive your order of $800 sandals, go into a deep depression because they are just made of cheap plastic and are not, in fact, gold-plated.

4. Return the sandals by mail, which will include finding/buying a box that will fit the shoebox (because, naturally, you threw the box it was delivered in away), forgetting the return slip that needs to be placed in the box, and taking no less than two trips to UPS.

5. Buy the cheap pair of sandals you were going to get anyway.

6. Repeat above steps with LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE YOU BUY FOR THE TRIP.

The above steps can and will stress out even the most calm, savvy traveler. If the preparations are getting you down and you need an escape from the stress and you’re getting nowhere with your mantra of “WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?”, try one of these handy ways to de-stress below:

1. Drink heavily.

2. Take a whole Xanax (halvesies are for wimps)

3. Inhale any available carb (cake is particularly medicinal)

4. Binge trashy reality TV (because basically any show on TLC will make things seem a lot brighter in your own world)

I hope you’re able to be all-consumed by every one of the minuscule details of your trip just like I am. It’s really the only way to “do” travel.

Bon voyage!

Trip anxiety is a real bitch, ain’t it? Obviously, this is a highly exaggerated account of my own trip worries and concerns, but I’d be lying if I said one or more of these thoughts haven’t raced through my head multiple times over the course of the last few months. If you really are anxious about your upcoming travels, talk it out with someone. Hell, message Fatty. We’ll talk it out. I’ve also found going on walks through my neighborhood, blasting music that gives me feels while I take a drive right after the sun sets, and funny dog videos helps me ease my anxiety. Travel is one of the greatest experiences in life, but only when you’re sane enough to appreciate it. Love and cupcakes.

Travel Tuesday Train Wreck

OK, so it’s not quite a train wreck, per se, it’s just total and utter crappola.

I’ve been working on my latest travel post that’s supposed to be posted today for a couple days now, but it’s just shite. It doesn’t have that oomph, that pizzaz (or pizza, as my phone really wanted me to say).

Between my regular full time gig, my side hustle, trip planning, trying to keep up with the bare minimum in household duties, and a few scheduled naps here and there, tapping into the writing passion that usually makes the magic (or poop, depending on who you ask) happen has been tough.

So, I’m sorry to disappoint you, folks (I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath), but my Travel Tuesday post is going to be a Travel Wednesday post this week. I know that doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it is what it is, que sera, sera and all that.

Until then, here’s an image that will give you a possible idea of what my travel post will be about (can you guess?):

In the comments, tell me where you’ve always wanted to travel to, because I totally need another reason to be distracted!

The Incidents

The First One

It was totally a gag gift. I swear. The second I got it home, after digging it out from the deepest depths of my purse, I threw it under my bed to never be seen again. I swear.

I’ll just come right out and be frank.

It was a massive pink dildo. It was huge. It was highly detailed, complete with a ginormous pink, wrinkly ball sack.

It was fucking terrifying.

My friend thought it’d be funny to put batteries in it so it’d be raring to go. When turned on, the pink bastard shook my brain three feet away.

So, that terrifying hot pink freak of nature lived under my bed, with the dust bunnies, a random sock, and strangely, a frying pan (so, that’s where it went).

If you ever care to know more about the events that led to what happens next in my story, head over to We Were Stupid AF.

I was at work the day I got that fateful call. I was working at a used online book company. It was, hands down, the easiest job I’ve ever had. The eight or so of us data entry temps all sat in the same room, at our respective computers. It was mindless work, so all we had to do was sit, enter ISBNs and listen to each other’s gossip.

It was nearing the lunch hour when I got a call from my friend on my work phone.

“We are getting kicked out, dude. You better leave work, because we have until 5 PM to be out.”

“Come again?” I asked, shocked.

“It’s serious, my mom’s here and everything. If we don’t leave by 5, they will call the cops!”

My goody-goody ass didn’t like the sound of that.

“Shit. I’ll have to ask to leave! OMG.OMG.OMG,” I said, trying to whisper my hysteria.

“You better! My mom and I are going to start on our room.”

Seven sets of ears were trained on my conversation. Their eyes were glued to their screens, their fingers flew across the keys, but they were keenly aware of every word I spoke.

Suddenly, my blood went cold.

Her mom. Moving out. Our room. The Pink Dildo.

Her mom is going to see my pink dildo and then I’ll promptly die.

“So, yeah, if you could leave work NOW, that’d be great.”

“Wait. Wait! So, umm. Remember my “Liberated From the Cheating Bastard Party” we had?” I whispered.

“Yes, why does that matter, right NOW?”

“Well, the thing is, I got a thing. You didn’t know about it, because Mary* thought you’d be a prude about it,” I mumbled.

“I hate Mary.”

“I know, I know. Well, there’s something under my bed.” I tried to sign over the phone.

The ears listening in on my private dildo conversation were now complete with judging, edge-of-your-seat eyes.

“OH, MY FUCKING GOD! What is it?!”

“Just please get it and hide it somewhere before your mom sees it,” I breathed.

“WHAT is it?”

“It’s a…dildo,” I murmured.

*click*

My friend was endlessly saving me, preventing me from dire fates, and always felt the need to be my second mother, because I was constantly being a dumbass.

The Dildo Incident almost did her in. She did, however, get to it before her mother (she wore gardening gloves to fling it into a box with my high school yearbooks and a long-dead philodendron.)


The Second One

For some inane reason, I kept the terrifying pink monstrosity for years. I reasoned that all independent, adventurous women needed to own a dildo of their own, even if all it did was live in the back of a closet under a pair of mangy late 90s era Steve Madden sandals.

Circa 2005, my boyfriend at the time and I moved into our first place together. His mom planned to visit as soon as we were all settled.

Now, let me just tell you a little thing:

Before she got to know me, I’m fairly certain she thought I was the (she)devil incarnate.

They were a ranching family from a small cow town. However, after the first year of college, her primed-to-be-a-Wrangler-wearing-Honky-Tonk son came home with black eyeliner, black hair, black band tees, and obviously, a black soul.

Not long after this, he brought home a girl with a lip ring and tattoos. She also happened to be an older woman. That girl was me.

She was pretty convinced I was corrupting her son, but she learned pretty quickly that he had plans to corrupt himself and I was just along for the ride.

So, back to her visit. We had a lovely day out lunching and shopping. When time came to get settled in for bed, she expressed her worry that she’d be a bit chilly with just the one blanket we had provided for her.

We both offered to get her another, but because she’s the kind of independent woman who never needs assistance from someone else (even when she seriously does), she insisted she could get one if we told her where.

We pointed her in the right direction and just when it was dawning on me that something didn’t feel right about the whole thing and flashing, red lights were going off inside my head, we heard it.

A sound like nothing I’ve ever heard before rang out. It sounded like the combination between a screech one might make when attempting to dodge a ball to the head that you know is coming no matter what you do and the long, low, pitiful moan of a dying soul.

Immediately after the most terrifying sound I’ve yet to ever hear in all my life, a thud. Then, a steady, whirring, vibrating that you could feel in your brain.

Finally, silence, as we all three contemplated the meaning of life.

The rest of her time visiting, she didn’t look at us once. Not once.

I guess that’s a pretty tame reaction, because usually the response from one who has been hit over the head** by a flying dildo from the heavens, belonging to a corrupt girlfriend of your only child, is usually so much worse (so, that’s where it went).

*Not her real name

**Years later, she was able to speak of the incident. That’s how I know it hit her square in the forehead.

All images courtesy of imgflip.

Fatty McCupcakes has been nominated in the Funniest Blogger category for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. If this gave you a chuckle, I’d really appreciate the love! You can vote HERE! Thank you, and as Leslie Knope would say, “I love you and I like you.”

Travel Fashion Tips For Idiots

I’m using the word ‘fashion’ quite loosely here, because I don’t think know for certain I’ve never been mistaken for that-girl-in-the-black-Lanvin-felt-hat-and-Burberry-scarf you once saw strolling the Rue de Rosiers in Paris (yes, I had to do a lengthy Google search for any recognizable designer brand names).

Don’t I look positively European here? Just kidding, that’s not me. I have ten more fat rolls on my back.

More likely, I’m the sweaty girl you saw once who tripped getting off the tube at Paddington Station in London with a Golden Nugget Casino baseball cap and a grease stain on her stretched out $10 Old Navy tank top.

It’s not like I don’t try. I don’t set out to pack for a trip with the end goal being “How to Look Like The Biggest American Slob, Hands Down”. It just happens, because:

1. How am I supposed to know what’s going to look good on my (likely bloated from too many foreign beers) untrustworthy body before the fact?

2. After months of deliberation, comfort sometimes wins against the but-that-fitted-dress-might-fit-when-I’m-on-another-continent-kinda-like-how-you-weigh-less-on-the-moon. And, because I’ve let comfort win, I’ve felt really underdressed at high tea in my zip up hoodie and stretched out boyfriend jeans.

3. Just as many times as comfort wins, so does completely idiotic clothing choices. I’ve spent far too many trips feeling like the biggest noob, because I chose the black and white polka dot platform wedges instead of a sensible flat with arch support and then I wonder why I have weak ankles and permanent gouge marks in my knees (heels and cobblestone are for professionals only).

Not a good choice

Is it possible to be comfortable and not look and feel like a slob monster?

Here are some of the tips I’ve learned the hard way. Let Fatty tell you what feels good and looks half alright on a trip.

Leggings Are LIFE

I know there are people who will disagree with my leggings stance. To those people, I say, “Have fun wearing unforgiving jeans on a 9 hour flight, suckas!” I actually love you, leggings haters and all, but for real, there ain’t nothing better than pants that feel like no pants. I mean, come on.

The best part about leggings is they can TOTALLY be dressed up or down (obviously). With the right shirt (long enough to cover your bits, people!), maybe some interesting layering (a nice chambray, perhaps?), a fun scarf, and, dependent on weather – a nice flat, slip on, boot, or sandal, you have a stylish and comfy-even after eating two meals worth of tapas- ensemble.

I mean, HELLO! I’d never be able to do this without leggings.

Here are some other times you’re gonna feel glad you chose leggings:

  • After too many ciders or beers. A bloated belly is much happier in stretchy pants
  • During the after-travel-diarrhea-ballooning of your belly
  • When your damn pants won’t button because you’ve sampled too much of the local flavor
  • ANY TIME

If by ‘sometimes’, he means ‘every time’, by ‘man’, he means ERRYBODY and by ‘room’, he means ‘everywhere’, then, YUP.

(THAT WAS WAY TOO MANY COMMAS. HELP.)

As if there needed to be another reason for leggings: JUST IMAGINE HOW MANY WILL FIT IN YOUR SUITCASE.

When you choose leggings, you choose the best of what life has to offer- not having to realize you’ve gained 20 pounds on your trip.

Shoes: Comfort Should Reign Supreme (But That Doesn’t Mean You Gotta Go Full Granny*)

I once walked from Earls Court to the City of Westminster and then walked all over the best parts of touristy London for two hours in Converse. My feet were so pissed at me, they didn’t fully recover for days. Repeat after me: Converse are not good for walking long distances if you have anything but perfect feet. Sure, I looked super cute, but what does that matter when your feet can’t even the next day?

Maybe you’re one of the lucky assholes who can comfortably wear shoes with no arch support and zero cushion, but I’m, for sure, gonna leave my Converse at home on my next trip.

I’m constantly trying to marry comfort with style. And, by style, I mean if I could see my great aunt wearing them, they aren’t my kind of style. No offense, Aunt Mabel, we are just in completely different style eras. I’m sure when I’m your age, I’ll be wearing Velcro Hush Puppies, too.

I’ve just bought some walking shoes that I feel are pretty on par with what I feel will look good with most of my clothing, while at the same time, won’t have my feet screaming in protest. Here are the shoes I just bought for my upcoming trip:

I’m super excited about these. They totally don’t look like Dr. Scholl’s, but I know they’ll have my back (literally).

I also purchased these super lightweight Adidas walking shoes for the days we are going to hardcore walk.

I’m still deciding how best to couple style with comfort in a sandal. This is proving a daunting task.

SCARVES

I can’t tell you how many times a good scarf has saved me from feeling and looking like a total boob. Not only do scarves jazz up a rather neutral, but easy to pack color scheme, they can do so many other things.

Scarves can:

  • Be used as a blanket on a chilly plane (make sure you have a pashmina-sized scarf. I’m pretty sure a silk neckerchief won’t do the trick)
  • Be tied together to form an escape rope out of your hotel window (actually, please don’t do that. You’ll probably die)
  • Be used to wrap up and pack delicate had-to-have souvenirs in your suitcase
  • Camouflage those pesky chin or lip hairs that can crop up while on a 12 hour flight (you totally won’t look weird with a scarf tied around your face if it’s a Tory Burch)
  • Double as a bandana on those really terrible high-humidity-hair-days (but, I can’t guarantee you won’t look like Captain Jack Sparrow)

If you really want, you can buy this here

Funky Fabrics

I know next to nothing about fabrics. I’m the kind of person who completely wrecks delicate fabrics by ironing them on the setting for cotton (hey, at least I was ironing).

So, I’m not the person to really be advising people on what kinds of clothing, in terms of fabrics, to pack for their trip. All I know is what I’ve experienced.

I rarely, which means next to never, travel in the winter, so the only weather I’m familiar with is hot-as-balls weather. If you also travel in the summer and you also are a sweaty sloth like me STAY AWAY FROM SYNTHETIC FABRICS.

I don’t know what it is, but when I sweat in anything but cotton, IT NASTY.

So, if you’re planning on wearing clothing more than once before washing or your shirt needs to last longer than your two hour hop-on-hop-off bus tour, maybe wear cotton or linen. These fabrics don’t dry as quickly, but at least you won’t be the smelly one who Muffy and Farrah talk about the rest of their trip.

So, I hope this has either been helpful, mildly entertaining or it kept you from having to do some really crappy task.

Until next time!

*I am not a granny-style-hater. I love grannies and their adorable linty sweaters.

Fatty McCupcakes has been nominated in the Funniest Blogger category for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. If this gave you a chuckle, I’d really appreciate the love! You can vote HERE! Thank you, and as Leslie Knope would say, “I love you and I like you.”

Double Caramel Magnum

Since the voting for the blogger awards has officially gotten in my head and now I’m practically incapable of being funny right when it’s the most important, I thought what better way to get back into the groove than with revamping some of my (likely) never before seen early blogging attempts fails.

So, each week on #ThrowbackThursday before voting closes, I’ll be sharing an OG post that I’ve revived and corrected (all of the terrible grammar has, hopefully, been remedied*) just for your reading pleasure.

I truly hope you enjoy this lame, half-assed attempt at showing you what I’ve got.

The post I’m sharing today is nearly three years old and, I believe, the fifth blog post I wrote on Fatty McCupcakes. I think it got maybe three likes. Enjoy.


The rain had stopped, but for a few random drops here and there that danced on newly formed puddles. The air was heavy with moisture and the sweet aroma of grass, wet earth, and grateful flowers. It was the perfect opportunity to throw on the forgotten I’m-finally-going-to-get-serious sneaks and take a walk.

(I’ve really set the scene here, have I not?)

The boyfriend and I set off down the street, dodging puddles and catching raindrops on our tongues. We were child-like in our glee. I felt it the perfect time to start anew. The clean air filled my dusty lungs. My calves felt stronger with every stride.

I made up my mind that this beautiful, hopeful Sunday would be the day I set my mind to certain changes.

(For the 3,567,473 time I was going to really get serious about shit.)

We kept up a brisk pace, and with every step, I felt my muscles grow stronger and stronger still. I imagined my fat melting off. I was practically 20 pounds lighter. It was glorious.

As we neared 7-11, our pace grew quicker still, in anticipation of some healthy water or sugar-free gum. Healthy, responsible options.

(Because, those are the kinds of things that really make me want to break a sweat.)

As we pranced into the store, I repeated my mantra, “We’ve come for sugar free gum and water. That’s all you want. Mmmmm water.”

My eyes were fixed on the gum on the top shelf, but I was keenly aware that one false move would direct my gaze straight to the Kit Kat bars and gummy bears.

“Don’t look down, don’t look to the right, don’t look to the left, LOOK NOWHERE,” I whispered to myself.

I had expert tunnel vision, eyeing only the Orbit Bubble Mint like a good fat girl.

Then, a flash of gold to my right. Gleaming gold. Gold and creamy brown. I knew without looking, it was temptation at its rawest. It was a Magnum Double Caramel.

No. No. No. I came for gum. I came for fitness. I came to say I walked to 7-11 and didn’t buy a donut.

The boyfriend also saw what I was trying not to see, and the devious ice cream bar pulled him in as well. The draw of the Magnum is a force greater than love, magnetism, gravity.

Without actually feeling or knowing, I opened the sliding door, selected two bars, placed them on the counter and then somehow, I was outside, panting, sweating, shaking.

Without saying a word and with only a knowing glance, we both realized we needed to make it home with our spoils in one piece. Walking and eating ice cream like some kind of lame scene in a herpes commercial was absolutely out of the question. One can’t enjoy ice cream while wheezing and sweating. How were we going to prevent meltage?

We.ran.like.hell.

(Never before had we run with such conviction, such determination.)

My lungs burned. My feet pounded the pavement with the force of the gods. My calves seized, my belly shook, and my knees buckled. I can’t be sure what kept me going, but my guess would be the fear that the inevitable melting of the ice cream bar would compromise its integrity. This would compromise my enjoyment. And you absolutely can’t have that.

We made it home in record time to enjoy our ice cream the only way I know how- on the couch in previously ice cream-stained sweats and a good Netflix binge.

#WillRunForDoubleCaramelMagnums

*I’m almost certain that this post is riddled with grammar mistakes and incorrect verb tenses. I tried.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: More Idiot Travel — Part 2

Trains

On the same trip I’ve referenced a million times (because it was the only overseas trip I’ve ever gone on), we took the train only a handful of times. For the majority of our trip, we had a car, but we weren’t crazy enough to drive in London, so we took the train to and from Oxford when we didn’t have our car.

The train trip to Oxford from London was so pleasant. Idyllic even. The train was barely at half capacity, and we were seated across from a friendly couple from Denmark. We had a great time chatting and it made the trip really quick and painless.

The train from Oxford to London was a whole other story.

The train station in Oxford was balls to the walls insanity. It was packed. There wasn’t one seat to sit in and if I’m remembering correctly, you had to pay to use the restrooms. It was not my favorite.

When we finally got onto the train, we saw that, just like the station, it was packed.

I had booked our seats in advance and upon seeing the Mad Max situation that was our train, I was pretty grateful for my forward thinking.

However, when we had finally clawed our way to our seats, dragging our bags with us as there was no more room in the baggage compartment, we saw that an older couple was in our seats.

They were adorable. I mean, gray hair perfectly coiffed, matching linty sweaters, and they totally had Kleenex up their sleeves for later. They were the epitome of what every loving grandparent has ever looked like since the beginning of time. Well, ever since easy wear sweaters came into fashion.

We were in a real conundrum. We had two choices: Kindly ask the couple to move or schlepp ourselves and our bags all over the train looking for two empty seats that didn’t exist.

Even worse, there were people behind us trying to get by and there was nowhere to sidle over to as we discussed our game plan. It was act or be eaten by the angry, over-it people lining up behind us.

“OMG. What do we do?” I asked with a deer-in-headlights look on my face.

“I don’t know! What do we do?” Answered Friend, looking pretty freaked himself.

I don’t know. What should we do?” I repeated with more desperation in my voice.

From somewhere nearby came a voice that said, “If there are people in your seats, bloody well tell them to get out of them!”

We both looked at each other like, “OH GAWD”.

“OK. Go tell them. It’s your turn to do something embarrassing, ” I asserted (It was me who had to ask the cop in Blackpool for directions).

“No way. You’re closer and I don’t want to be an asshole. Look at them. They are Mr. and, the less well known, Mrs. Rogers!” He exclaimed.

“But, I was the one who had to go out of my way to reserve seats so that we would be sure to have seats. It’s your turn.” I proclaimed.

Another phantom voice rang out, “OMG. Sit or MOVE!”

“I’ll just go sit on my luggage by the door,” decided Friend.

Out of nowhere, a voice again, “You can’t do that. You’ll get caught and told to find a seat.”

The people behind us were, at this point, ready to murder us.

It looked like we really had no other viable option as we were blocking the aisle and the man to my left had had enough of having the side of his face smashed into the ten-days-not-washed ass of my jeans.

Just like always I had to be the adult in the situation.

I sheepishly cleared my throat and tapped the woman, who looked just like my grandmother, on her shoulder, prepared to be forever cursed by karma.

They ended up being really sweet, which only made things TEN MILLION TIMES WORSE.

I still, to this day, think of them and hope they found a seat or someone who wasn’t as big of a cunt as my friend and I offered their seats to them.

DON’T HATE ME. I WAS A TRAIN VIRGIN UNDER PRESSURE.

While I was majorly feeling the effects of being a terrible person, my friend seemed pretty lost in his thoughts, too.

Once we were situated, the only place left to put our bags was right next to the exit as this was as close to the baggage compartment as physically possible.

Instead of worrying about what an asshole he was for making me kick grandma and grandpa out of their seats, he was more concerned for our luggage.

“Look at our luggage. The next time the door opens, they’ll all go tumbling out. Just watch.” He ruminated.

“Mmmhmm,” I was too wrapped up in silently chastising myself.

“OK. I’m going to go stand by our luggage. I can’t take the stress anymore,” Friend said, throughly wrought with worry.

I didn’t even care about my luggage, because kicks-old-people-out-of-train-seats people don’t deserve luggage.

“I’m gonna do it,” he said again.

“You’ll get in trouble by the train police, but have at it, dude,” I said totally not caring.

For the first time in my life EVER, I was not the one who was worrying and obsessing.

It felt amazing.

I didn’t give two shits if my luggage full of dirty underwear got kicked out of the train or stolen by someone who would be very, very disappointed by my Target-special clothing.

My friend piled up our luggage, biggest to smallest and leaned on them the whole way to London. If someone walked by, he’d hug his body closer to the tower of American Tourister like he was guarding the secret to the afterlife in between his barf-stained jeans (hang tight for that post) and his questionably clean socks.

When we were nearing Paddington Station, he sidled up to me as I was peacefully resting my eyes (I’d finally accepted my dishonorable deed as a necessary evil of train travel, because the mean train people made me), and whispered in my ear, “I have an idea.”

I almost jumped clean out of my stretched-from-too-many-Magnum-bars-and-cheese-and-tomato-sandwiches skin.

“WTF is wrong with you? Only creeps whisper in people’s ears while they’re resting on trains minding their own business,” I hissed.

My comment didn’t faze him.

“I know how we can both get ourselves and our luggage off the train in one piece.”

“Kinda like how we got on?” I didn’t understand why he thought this needed a game plan. We’d trip over our luggage and our feet like we had getting on like total tourists. Duh.

“No. It’s genius. First, I’ll take my big bag-that’s the size of your small bag, by the way, and your big bag-the one I vehemently swore I’d never help you carry, because you just keep cramming new stuff into it and it already weighs more than a standard-sized car. Then, you’ll grab my small bag and your small-not really small, though, bag and we will all get off this god-forsaken train together,” he said resolutely, but with a noticeably twitching eye.

The rest of the ten or so minutes of the train ride, he kept pantomiming, with overly expressive eyes and wild arm movements, how this “genius” plan of his was going to look. He legit looked like that crazy person every train has.

Crazy person*

Someone even asked, “Who the fuck is that idiot gesturing to? Do you think he’s dangerous? Should we be worried?”

I just sat back and reveled in not being the worried, crazy one for once.

We did get ourselves and our luggage off the train, but I almost didn’t “mind the gap” and our attempt to not look too much like tourists, was wrecked by yours truly.

Looking a lot less psycho-on-a-train

Looking like someone who is happy to not be on a train with a psycho

*I’m not some asshole who posts embarrassing photos of others for my own selfish gain. I was given express permission** to share any photo and/or embarrassing story, because friend-in-story would “probably find it funny too”. That’s a pretty solid assurance if I ever heard one.

**For real, I really have permission!