Travel Tips For Idiots

If your passport has more stamps than my Cold Stone Creamery punch card (hint: a lot of stamps), you are always jetting off to some exciting city, or you fly to Iceland every year for a private viewing of the Aurora Borealis, this maybe won’t be your jam.

(Or, maybe you want to stick around for the inevitable comic relief? Everyone’s welcome.)

Either way, this post is for newbie travelers and the truly inept who never seem to learn (I fall into both categories, BTW).

So, here are some super obvious (to Tammy Traveler) travel tips for the amateur or idiot traveler:

1. Not only do you need a plug adaptor, but you also need to check the voltage on your appliance

I thought I had done extensive research on how to work my can’t-leave-for-the-weekend-let-alone-the-country-flat iron for my first trip to the U.K. I knew for certain that I’d need a plug adaptor to be able to use it and all of my other necessary hair appliances and other electronics.

What Rick Steve’s travel forum and other travel sites need plastered on their front pages in gigantic, glaring letters is “YOU ALSO NEED DUAL VOLTAGE APPLIANCES, UNLESS WHAT YOU’RE GOING FOR IS THE FRIED LOOK, DUMBASS!”*

This’ll be mind blowing to anyone who wasn’t already aware, but there is this thing (some kind of force) called voltage that varies from country to country. In the US, we use 120V and much of Europe 230V.

What happens if you try to use your flat iron only meant for 120V in an outlet meant for 230V is you’ll burn up your device and your hair will be hideous for 95% of your trip (because, you might get in a day or two before you almost burn down your hotel).

I’m not sure you’ll actually really explode anything, but you will ruin your $100 hair appliance and isn’t that just as bad?

I had to wear this stupid hat almost everyday after I blew out my flat iron.

2. You don’t need to buy everything new before a trip

I’m the kind of traveler who feels compelled to buy an entirely new wardrobe, new toiletry bags, state-of-the-art sound canceling headphones, and a Mulberry silk neck pillow before a big trip.

I’m also the traveler who wonders why she can never afford to travel.

I try to think if I had the opportunity to travel to one of my wanderlist sites like right this very second, so I had to take my horrific clothes that I own currently, along with my old luggage, would my trip really be made less awesome?

No, man. It would still be amazing.

For the upcoming trip I’m planning for this summer, I’m trying really hard to validate with a normal person’s rationale if I really need a $20 eye mask just because it says, “Wake me up when we get there” or another cross body purse when I already have 15. I ask myself if the purchase will make or break my trip.

Sound canceling headphones so I can try to get some shut eye on the flight? Yes. Proceed.

New, snazzy luggage when my battered, but perfectly usable suitcase will do? No. Put the floral-print Jessica Simpson suitcase down and back away.

(Besides, luggage is practically mauled to death during its voyage to your location. Buying gorgeous luggage that might get some dings and too much wear and tear gives me heart palpitations.)

Super cute mint-colored packing cubes? No. Get your extra ass out of Target and on a travel site where they offer free packing advice.

Comfortable, yet stylish Adidas walking shoes found at TJ MAXX? Yes, girl. You’re thrifty and your feet will thank you. (Converse are cute, but they have no arch support and they’re flatter than a gluten-free pancake.)

OK, so I bought a new bag for my toiletries, too.

3. Learn how to read a damn map, yo

Back before everyone and that homeless man on the corner had a smartphone and a GPS device, people had to actually rely on paper maps.

In 2010 (right around the time that poor woman showed the world her AT&T iPhone bill that weighed 83 pounds), my boyfriend at the time and I bought a Blackberry specifically for our trip abroad because we were explicitly told it would work in the U.K. Guess what, folks? It didn’t.

Even if it had, it wouldn’t have helped us much in getting from point A to B, because the Google Maps app for phones wasn’t even a thing at the time.

The first purchase we made when we got our rental car was a road atlas. That wrinkled, coffee-stained God-send really came in handy (that is when the boyfriend was using it. My other travel friend did not have map reading skills at all, thus a very comical drive into Blackpool late in the night. Wait for a post on that adventure).

Again, even in our über modern literally-everyone-owns-a-smartphone 2018, the first purchase we will be making at the very first petrol station we come to will be a paper road atlas.

(I’m really going to need to bone up on my map reading skills which are basically non-existent, currently.)

Want to know why we won’t be running our Map apps during our five weeks of car travel all over the British Isles? Because we aren’t bazillionaires, that’s why.

The very helpful assistant at Verizon told me that a travel plan would cost me $40 extra for the month I’m abroad (not bad at all), but that would only cover calls and texts, not data! He very emphatically urged me not to use my phone for anything other than calls or texts unless I’m on WiFi, because if I do, I’ll be receiving a really expensive bill for overseas roaming. Unless the entirety of the British Isles is a WiFi hotspot, I think we are going back to 2010, baby!

So, even though we all now own truly “international” phones, that doesn’t mean your phone will be as useful as it is in your home country.**

4. Check the amenities that may or may not be offered at your hostel or house stay

I hate to break it to you, ya’ll, your house rental MIGHT NOT PROVIDE TP!

When my mom and I realized the houses we will be renting won’t likely have toilet paper, she wrote down in her travel journal, “Costco in U.K.?????? *shocked face*”. I fully understand her fear as I’m a massive toilet paper over-user.

It’s just a good thing we read the fine print and we can be adequately prepared by buying a pallet of TP once we arrive.

Even if house rentals don’t typically provide paper products, most do provide towels, linens, and washing machines, which is a lot more than hostels can say.

Our first hostel stay during our 2010 British Isles trip was an independent hostel. Because I was not exactly gung-ho on the idea of hostels, I had done zero research on them. So, for your convenience, I’ll just say that with independent hostels you’ll be lucky if they provide you with sheets, let alone the damn bed.

DO YOUR RESEARCH.

So, needless to say, this hostel was a real trip. I can’t wait to write up my experience at The Rainbow.

I’ll just give you a little sneak peek:

Do you see the towels drying on the back seats? Those are car towels (you know, the kind that has scrubby mesh on one side and are the size of a hand towel) bought at a petrol station. We had to use those to dry off after showering in a coed shower room. Fun.times.

5. Don’t forget to pack extra underwear in your carry on for the trip back

Maybe this is a huge NO DUH from most, but I’m an idiot. Also, I’ve always figured, I’m heading home to where more underwear lives, so it’s no big deal.

Well, let me tell you, at least from my experience, the trip home is always ten times more painful, uncomfortable, and much longer than the everything-is-still-so-exciting trip to wherever you’re going.

On the return of the previously mentioned trip, our plane was a little delayed getting into Toronto. Then, due to an exceptionally long wait in the customs line, we almost missed our flight to Denver. Almost to Denver, our flight had to be re-routed to an abandoned landing strip in Adobe, otherwise known as the middle of nowhere for hours due to a severe thunderstorm. Thankfully, all flights were delayed going out of Denver, so when we finally made it to Denver, we didn’t miss our connecting flight. Still, we didn’t get into Reno until the early morning hours when it was originally scheduled to arrive around 10 PM.

What does this long-winded story have to do with needing underwear in a packed bag?

Well, after a hell trip home, the cherry on top was that they lost my baggage and I was still four hours from home, as I was living in Elko at the time.

Ya’ll, I had to wear a pair of my mom’s granny panties.

Sure, they were clean, but, *shudders* sharing underwear gives me the heebie-jeebies.

So, if you don’t want to have to wear a pair of your mom’s Hanes Cotton Comforts, pack a damn pair of underwear for the return trip!

6. If you’re squeamish about sitting bare-assed on a public toilet seat, prepare yourself now

I discovered while in the U.K. that toilet seat covers are essentially non-existent there. I had brought with me ONE travel-sized seat cover, so that was basically useless. After a few trepidatious days of testing the waters of sitting bare assed on an alien seat, my butt cheeks did not spontaneously explode, so I started living the way the locals did.

My travel friend? He never mastered the art of just letting it rest. One afternoon in a pub in Oxford he was in the restroom no less than 45 minutes. I had finished two ciders before he came out sweaty and looking like he had just been given a diagnosis of Toilet Seat Hepatitis.

I said, “What in the hell were you even doing? I’ve just finished two ciders and now I’m too day drunk to go site-seeing!”

His response, “You know how there’s no seat covers? Well, I kept trying to lay toilet paper on the seat, but it kept falling in. I used up all of the toilet paper.”

Day drunk in Oxford! There’s that hat again!

Folks, if you’re like my friend, you better start training now if you have a trip abroad coming up!

I hope this has been even a tiny bit helpful to someone out there. If not, I hope it was at least mildly entertaining to read while you tried to gag down your kale salad on your lunch break.

*This really would only apply to those living in countries, like the US, that have such different voltage when compared with other nations.

**This might be entirely different depending on the country you’re from or your phone carrier. Maybe Verizon just hates me.

No, Karen. They Don’t Have Your Brand of Bottled Water

Travel diarrhea, lost baggage, shady hostels-oh my!

These are the best parts of travel, amiright?

I’m actually only being half-sarcastic. The super crappy (often times, literally) parts of travel are always the most memorable.

My memories of The Rainbow Hostel in Dingle, Ireland are some of my fondest, and not just because I didn’t contract hepatitis. But, said memories do have something to do with a coed shower room.

(Hang tight for a blog post about this gem.)

I’m the kind of international traveler who realizes that when traveling in another country, THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE MY FAVORITE TOILET PAPER AND THAT’S OK.

Also, I realize that my accommodations might not be decorated to my tastes and the free continental breakfast might include gray-brown lunchmeat.

IT’S ALL PART OF THE EXPERIENCE, SO SHUT YO MOUTH AND ENJOY IT.

I’m always amazed (but not really, because people) at the kinds of concerns and non-issues people have/had when on vacation.

Whenever you have some time to spare, scroll through some Trip Advisor or hotel reviews. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Here are some “issues” I’ve read about from review and comment sections that are ridiculous with a capital “maybe you just shouldn’t travel”.

1. Complaints about decor:

WHY DOES THE DECOR OF THE HOTEL/HOUSE/YURT/TREEHOUSE DETERMINE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR TRIP?

Maybe I’m missing something, but do people really go on vacation for the sole purpose of staying in a well-designed hotel room? For example, do people want to see France only if they can stay in an all-white hotel room?

Balthazar, I am not going to Scotland unless we stay in a house that is all tartan. And, when I say “all“, I fucking mean if the carpets, wallpaper, and coffeemaker aren’t tartan, it will ruin my entire fucking experience!”

No?

So, why are these people filling up the review sections with gripes about the decor in their accommodation? ALL I want to know is if it’s decently clean and bed bug-free. THAT’S IT.

You also don’t need to tell me you found a pube on the bathroom floor. I would like to know, however, if you found any kind of hair in supposedly clean sheets. That’s just nasty.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a nice hotel room or house rental, but if how it’s decorated can make or break your entire trip, how about just stay home?

Our gorgeously hideous London hotel room. Sure, none of the furniture matched and their “AC” was a stand fan, but it was close to a tube station, was affordable, and they folded our towels on our bed fancy-like.

2. Food options:

How can people be so unaware that they don’t realize beforehand that a place like Myanmar maybe won’t have a drive thru Taco Bell? This is totally my own made-up not-so-exaggerated exaggeration. But still.

I’ve read about travelers complaining about India having curry, and expecting to find a Mexican server at a Mexican restaurant in ITALY.

Read more of these idiotic and true traveler reviews here.

When I went to the U.K. for the first time I ate cheese and tomato sandwiches literally every day. Only a few times did I deviate from my newfound comfort food. I chose this option because it was (is) freaking tasty as hell and also because I’m not very adventurous, food-wise. I knew ahead of time to be prepared to eat different foods. Instead of complain how a different country from mine had different foods (shocker), I found new foods that I could enjoy without activating my gag reflex. It’s really not that hard.

My mother swore up and down she found the last and only jar of mayo while in England. It was found dusty and alone on a top shelf in a tiny shop. My good friend professed that not a bottle of ketchup could be found anywhere on the British Isles. Naturally, I had to take photographic evidence of their LIES.

3. Expecting things to go your way and ONLY your way:

Another thing that really chaps my lips (I don’t like the phrase “chaps my ass”, because when does an ass get chapped? And, chapped lips are the worst) is how too many travelers don’t leave their stubborn ways at home.

When you’re in another country, with an entirely different culture, maybe you won’t necessarily have experiences that are exactly how you experience life in your home country. In fact, I know you won’t.

One of these differences I learned the hard way was how some English toilets flush. After a long flight and no comfortable bathroom time, it was no surprise that when I got to our hotel room in London, it was go time. When it came time to flush, it just was not happening. Thank God my boyfriend at the time figured out that pumping the handle did the trick, because having to call down to the front desk for help flushing my plane poo, would have been embarrassing.

Actually, now that I’m thinking, that would have made an even better story! Damn.

So, I learned that many of the toilets I’d encounter required pumping. No big.*

(This same toilet also tried to kill me when I sat down on the seat and went sailing off the base of the toilet, because it was just sitting there, not attached at all. And, you don’t see me complaining.)

If you check out the above link, you’ll read about people complaining how a beach was too sandy and how Spain has too many Spanish-speaking people. You’ll read it and instantly feel better about yourself. You’re welcome.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, if your outlook is so cloudy and full of shit that you can’t enjoy the weird/funny/exotic experiences you will have when traveling abroad, why even do it?

Just splash the hot and cold together to get warm (Sage advice from a friend). Duh.

So, unless you’re complaining about travel diarrhea from tainted escargot, lost or tampered with baggage (because there ain’t any way to make that a positive), or filthy, insect-ridden hostels, maybe check yourself before you wreck yourself. Your absurd review could end up on the next “Ridiculous Travel Complaints By People Who Suck”.

The person who sat down next to us, took her gum out, placed it on this ledge to eat her chips AND THEN LEFT IT THERE is totally Karen’s weird cousin, Gayle. She for sure complained about the hostel’s lack of trash receptacles.

This is the first in my Travel Tuesday series in honor of my upcoming trip abroad this summer. I can’t wait to share some travel stories, tips only idiots need, and much more! Buckle your seat belts and ready your barf bags, people. We’re bound to hit some gnarly turbulence.

*British friends, was I imagining this or are many toilet flushers pumped to get the toilet to flush?

Zumba, Zumba

You know, I really ought to finally give up on my dream to be a surprise breakout dancer.

I never learn from past fails, because time goes by and I forget all about when I was drunk dancing and thought I was the sexiest, smoothest dancer on the dance floor, but then I see the video one of my asshole friends took and I just look like a meth head really enjoying some fresh meth*.

THEN, I see a movie, like The Greatest Showman, and BAM! I’m determined to be the next America’s Got Talent breakout star.

I’d totally be a viable contender on Dancing With the Stars, too, except:

I’m not a star.

I have as much rhythm as a flag pole.

My body is entirely incapable of quick movements.

Well, since I have dance-shame amnesia, I took a Zumba class with a friend on Sunday. The only saving grace this time was that said friend is just as coordinated as I am.

Not surprisingly, we claimed a spot in the back corner, behind some old mats and a mop bucket. Absolutely not in front of the mirror and definitely not where anyone else could see us.

The class started out promisingly well, because they turned the lights off and added some strobe effects. Even better to disguise ourselves.

As soon as the music came on, the instructor busted out moves straight from a Shakira/Rihanna/J. Lo/Zendaya collaboration music video, choreographed by the dance gods.

Uhhhhh.

Back when I first did Zumba in Elko, the instructor would teach us the steps. I think she figured we were all inept, or maybe Zumba used to be more about actually learning a few moves versus trying to mimic a professional dancer with our strange, not-even-close movements.

Honestly, I think Zumba is now all about the instructors really feeling themselves and not caring that the fat chick in the back is 20 steps behind and looks exactly like Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers.

My friend and I just looked at each other and laughed, like, “NOPE!”

We tried (for awhile). We really did, but my hips do lie and they are never going to be mistaken for the hips of a gay Latin Zumba instructor.

During one of the songs, the group shifted so that half of the room faced the other half. Pretty quickly, I realized that we were taking part in a dance off.

Oh, hell no. Nope. NERP.

Not only did we have to engage in a dance off, the instructor started pointing at people, which meant, “OK, now let’s ALL look at this ONE person while they do a made up move they they come up with RIGHT ON THE FUCKING SPOT.”

I almost hyperventilated and fainted from fright right there.

For self-preservation purposes, I stood right behind a woman who looked like she knew what she was doing. I was literally on her heels and mimicking her every move so as not to be seen. I’m fairly certain a bead of her sweat flew straight into my eye, but it was worth it to not be called out.

Eventually, the asshole instructor was done giving the inept people cardiac arrest and the *dancers* moved back to their original spots.

That’s when I noticed him.

Now, I must preface what I’m about to say with the urging that I’m not making fun of this person. I’m really not. He just looked like the opposite of someone who would be at Zumba on a Sunday. This just goes to show that even when you look like you’d be the absolute worst twerker, you can really surprise people with your expert booty popping.

So, this awesome guy…he had curly, but thin-on-top hair and coke bottle glasses (on purpose). He was chubby, but it looked really good on him. He had on one of those “Straight Outta…” shirts.

I really wanted it to say “Straight Outta Nachos”, but when I finally got a good look, it said “Straight Outta Rehearsal”. That’s not even half as awesome.

He also could move his body in the most amazing way. I was jealous and felt instantly self-conscious. He was truly glorious and I was just a sack of potatoes rolling down a steep staircase.

I think what this all boils down to is that when you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you don’t, it’s time to quit embarrassing yourself at Zumba.

*I have no clue what being on meth is called. Is it a trip? A high? Help me out, people.

The following are some really blurry stills from a video taken during the wine walk. We were dancing in a cage, if that’s not immediately obvious. It was the direct opposite of talented or sexy. In fact, we’re only allowed back if we promise not to drunk dance ever again.

WTF Am I Even Thinking?

It’s no secret I am currently conspiring to write a book. Well, not simply conspiring. I’ve actually got *most* of it written. It’s just a messed up hodgepodge with almost no direction or central idea/theme/vision, is all.

No biggie.

Excuse me while I go throw up.

Actually, excuse me while I go procrastinate by doing literally anything other than write for my book.

*sits on edge of bed, staring off into nothing for the better part of an hour*

I’m struggling to find a central theme for my ramblings.

Not only that, I’m struggling to write solely for the purpose of someday maybe publishing my words.

I love me the instant gratification that is blogging.

Don’t even lie and say you totally weren’t shaking your head in agreement. You were. I saw you.

I write a post and, almost instantly, I’m met with feedback that feeds my soul (and that ever-present need to be validated).

It’s a really great rewards system.

“Writing” a book is the direct opposite of this.

I *have* to write and then afterwards no one rings a bell or gives me a high five or anything. It’s really disheartening.

So, I’m struggling, ya’ll.

Further, I don’t know what posts to save for my book and which to go ahead and publish on my blog.

So, not only do I have no direction whatsoever in terms of my “book”, I have no blooming idea what I should blog about.

A good example of this conundrum would be an idea I have for a travel series in honor of my upcoming trip to Amsterdam, the U.K. and Ireland.

Many moons ago, I went to the U.K. and Ireland for the first time, and it was, single-handedly, the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. Not only was it epic to experience being in another country, having the time of my life, but also, so.many random and hilarious things happened while there.

Now that I’ve gotten serious (and by gotten serious, I mean I’ve saved some Word documents with some possible already-written blog posts) about actually maybe putting a book together, I don’t know if I should include my travel stories in my book or on my blog.

And then, there’s the crippling self-doubt.

There’s always that.

I don’t want to rush-procrastinate and ruin my only future memoir. It’s not like I have a whole other secret double life that I can write about if I totally bomb telling the first life.

Would anyone notice if I tried to write it again?

Really, WTF am I even thinking?

This is the epitome of first world problems in case anyone needed a good psychotic example for a college paper or whatever.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the perfect time to use my favorite Andy from Parks & Rec meme. I think it fits. Every time I sit down to write, it’s like wiping a poop marker- “Still poop, still poop”.

How Do I *Make Shit Happen*?

Sometimes, I look at the lives of really successful, happy people and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.

All around me, people are purchasing their first homes, buying appliances and custom cabinets for said home, adopting pets, traveling, investing in IRAs.

And, here I am, buying a coat rack and feeling like that means I’m an adult.

It’s not like I haven’t tried.

I have.

It’s not like I sit around feeling sorry for myself all the time.

Sometimes I do, though. And, when I do, you better believe I really go all out with crying over dog videos in my onesie pajamas.

I tried really hard last year to find an affordable home to purchase that would provide me with the next step: adopting a dog.

I never found that home.

Maybe I was too picky, too hesitant, too scared of a major first step, but I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt on this one.

I chose one of the worst times to look for a home to buy in my area, as home prices are at a record high. I also wasn’t comfortable buying an overpriced home in a bad area. I’m no home buying expert, but that didn’t seem a wise investment.

Yet, still, I see people my age buying homes in my area.

What the actual fuck?

I’m planning a trip for this summer to the U.K., while at the same time, I can barely afford the gas to get across town during my monthly “week of poverty” before payday.

How are people, with huge families no less, able to travel so much?

What the genuine fuck?

I wonder sometimes if it’s my outlook. I try to have a positive outlook on things, but that’s hard when you feel like life is constantly beating you at some game you never knew you were playing.

I know a great many people will say that the power of positive thought truly exists. I’m not here to say I necessarily disagree.

But…until positive thought pays off my student loan debt, I’ll probably be a semi-skeptic.

Sometimes, I wonder if I’m not a hard enough worker or I lack gumption.

I’ve been looking for a side hustle to help pay for aforementioned trip.

I’ve looked into VIPKID, which is an online tutoring company. You tutor kids in China, so that means I’ll have to tutor with my Flock of Seagulls bed head hair and with sleep crusties still in the corner of my mouth, because the time slots for my time zone are un-Godly-early.

(I’m still highly considering VIPKID. I’ll just be a total sleep-deprived grouch is all.)

I’ve gone so far as to schedule a vehicle inspection with Lyft, but I keep getting this text message:

I’ve rescheduled twice, and Lyft doesn’t like to give out a phone number so one can problem solve using spoken words.

I didn’t even want drunk people puking in my car anyway, Lyft.

I should probably just figure out a way to make a side job happen and quit my bitching, but a very dominant, stubborn part of me knows I already work my ass off as a teacher, so I’m not thrilled at the realization that my career isn’t cutting it in the having-money-department.

So, all this to say, my goal for this year is to learn the secret to making shit happen.

Maybe it really is positive thinking? Maybe it’s not being more concerned about binging on Call the Midwife, but binging on bringing in some Benjamins? Maybe it’s not worrying how old I’ll be when I finally own my own refrigerator?

In fact, my first order of business is to quit worrying about everyone else.

(Maybe I can get this tattooed on my forearm?)

So, do you know the secret to making shit happen? Sharing is caring!

I Swear I Don’t Try to Be This Way

Ahhhh…massages. In a perfect world, massages are an über relaxing experience for the body and the mind.

But, when you’re an over-thinker, just because the lights are dim, there’s soft music playing, and you’re laying on a comfy, heated table, doesn’t mean your brain immediately takes a vacation. Usually this is when the brain is most active and alert.

The other day, as I was getting my massage, instead of finding my inner chill and namaste and all that other impossible-to-do-when-you’re-neurotic relaxation crap, I was instead obsessing over the fact that I forgot to shave my toes.

How could I have forgotten that those bristly bastards had gotten so out of control they were poking through my socks?

What else did I forget?

Oh.

Shit.

Did I wear my Limburger cheese boots without socks again?

Why are you the way that you are, dude?

They’re just really easy to slip on…

I’m forgetful.

I’m an asshole.

I’m sorry.

As my massage therapist worked closer and closer to my porcupine stubs, I reflected on all of the other things that I obsess/worry/think about before, during, and after a massage:

1. Did I shave everywhere? Like, what if an extra long downstairs hair pops out while she’s doing my thigh? Ugh. I’m basically Robin Williams’ knuckles.

2. For some reason, whenever it’s my monthly massage time, my body thinks it’s fart go-time. I probably am doing irreparable damage with all of the clenching I’m doing.

3. OMG. Can she tell I’m holding in a fart?

4. I always forget to have my boyfriend check for back decor. So, it’s almost 100% certain that at every massage I’ve ever gone to, I have some ugly, one-eyed puss monster that the lucky lady who has to touch me gets to rub over. *shudders*

5. I wonder if she notices how bloated I am this month? Bloated? Self, she knows you’re fat. She literally kneads your fat like bread dough. Never does she think you’re just “bloated”.

6. What does she think about as she’s rubbing my fat ankles and calloused feet? Does she think about having to hold down her lunch or is she mentally making her grocery list?

7. Do other people forget to shave their toes? Do other people even have to shave their toes?

So, now I feel the need to apologize to my massage therapist. I’m sorry that sometimes my body is prickly in random places and that my stomach sometimes sounds like a koala’s mating call. I swear I don’t try to be this way.

Anyone else feel like this during a massage or am I just insane?

Wintertime Fun

Since temperatures are in the FREAKING 50s and 60s over here, I’ll just have to reminisce about the time I got my ass handed to me by a baby snow hill. Happy Flashback Friday to all you people having a real winter. I hope you stay safe and warm, though, because as much as I’d like anything that resembles winter up in here, I think I’ll pass on the -20 degree weather!

While driving home after lunch with a couple work friends, I saw some kids attempting to make a tiny mound a sledding hill. They appeared to be having loads of fun. It’s funny how, when you’re a kid, anything that makes even the tiniest bit of a slope, instantly becomes fun. Like, regular, level ground is dumb, but if you can roll in a downward direction, even for just a second, it’s the.best.thing.ever.

Hell, even just yourself and a substantial hill makes for a good time. You know what I mean, and if you don’t, I’m sorry, your childhood must have sucked.

Image courtesy of someecards.com

This quick, drive-by snapshot reminded me of a time I thought sledding was a good time. It also recalled a time I must have had shit for brains because there was zero thought involved in any decision made that night.

Let me share with you why, today, I won’t go sledding. I won’t go, even for a cupcake. I won’t. Just no.

One winter, years ago, when I lived in little ol’ Elko, Nevada, it snowed absolute buckets. I have a post planned about my city girl adjustment to a little cow town, where it snowed for longer than 5 minutes, and it was so cold your snot froze in your nose the second you stepped outside. This little city slicker wasn’t prepared for country living, that’s for sure. But, that’s for another time.

Well, there was this hill. It was the renowned sledding hill. It also wasn’t for amateurs, pregnant women, or children under 5. This hill meant bizzness.

Now, before I go on, I have to explain that I’m the biggest, most unadventurous wimp you ever did meet. Roller coasters make me nauseous. I almost crapped my pants (like seriously) the first (and last) time I rode on the back of a dirt bike. I cling to my oversized flotation device, praying I don’t die in speed boats. I white knuckle it when I have to cross major intersections on my bike. I’m a dweeb when it comes to adventure sports, in that 10 times out of 10, I’ll wholeheartedly pass.

My time in Elko must have been spent certifiably insanely bored, because not only did I go sledding, it was my brilliant idea.

My boyfriend at the time, a friend, and I decided to go at night, so that the hill wouldn’t be crammed with snot-nosed middle-schoolers. We also decided at night no one would see the overweight idiots on too-small sleds.

Because everything I do must be a production, I had to wear my cutest knock-off Uggs, furiest ironically-ugly-hat, most stylish gloves, and my skull leggings. I was still too young and stupid to realize that snow was cold, and that fashion doesn’t matter when it’s -2 degrees.

Image courtesy of qtpiekelso via Polyvore

While, this is a very cute outfit (and likely almost the exact one I wore), it is not what you wear sledding in Arctic conditions.

I had precisely one good trip down the hill, the first attempt. It was stupid fun. After that, it all went downhill, literally. 

Because I chose to wear my “cute Uggs”, and not the sensible boots my boyfriend’s mom offered me, I had zero traction getting up the hill. If you don’t know, Uggs and many others like them, have very little tread, as in none. So, I looked like a hefty hamster in a wheel. I was definitely moving, but going absolutely nowhere.

It was pissing me off. My boyfriend and friend had gone up and down the hill numerous times, laughing like fools at all their fun, and there I was clinging to an exposed branch, halfway up the hill, praying I wouldn’t face plant again.

I had had it. 

The next time my friend came by me, trailing her sled behind her, I made her privvy to my plan to get myself up the hill. She was hesitant at first, but agreed after feeling a sudden pity for the girl who was still not back up the hill 20 minutes later. Besides, if it all went crashing and burning, it wouldn’t be her hurting.

So, I steadied one foot, then knee into her sled, while praying the other foot wouldn’t go rogue.

See, my plan was to have my poor, weak, 5-foot-tall, diabetic friend pull.me.up.the.hill. Herself.

My boyfriend must have been off fucking some sagebrush, because why he wasn’t my first choice, I’ll never know.

Obviously, the second I got my other leg into the sled, and allowed all of my weight to settle firmly into the plastic vehicle of death, she let go. How in fucks sake I ever thought she could hold my obese self in a sled with a measly rope, makes me question my intelligence.

So, there I went.

Careening, hurtling, literally flying down the hill. Backwards. 

Now, what I haven’t mentioned yet, because I haven’t even gotten to the part where I got to even fucking sled, is that the snow was so packed down due the traffic on the hill that it was hard as a rock. Due to the frigid temps, it was also pure ice. For future reference, there’s a very real, credible reason most people don’t sled at night.

Back to my terrifying trip to my eventual death.

I was screaming down an ice hill. BACKWARDS. 

As if that wasn’t enough, I was heading straight for the jump. Yes, a jump. On my best, most adventurous, wearing-all-the-padding-and-protective-equipment-in-broad daylight-day, I would not have even let going off that jump ever, ever cross my mind. And there I was, going probably 200 MPH, backwards, speedily advancing on that death trap.

I think, in my near shock-induced stupor, I faintly recall hearing my boyfriend and friend yelling, “Fall off! Fall off, ya dummy!”

Well, there was no time to do that, as I caught impressive air when I hit that sweet spot. It was all ass-in-the-air-red-butt-crack-flapping-in-the-wind-snot-flying-fuzzy-hat-peace-ing-out ridiculousness.

Obviously, I survived my harrowing trip over the jump. Barely. On the other end? Soft snow? A soft, dying patch of grass? A gymnast’s pad left by a concerned parent? No. Shit no. Dirt. Frozen ground. I hit like an obese blow up doll filled with marbles.

Friend and boyfriend came running, concern mixed with laughing. Assholes.

Why didn’t you roll off? 

I had exactly 2 seconds to realize what was happening, excuse me if I’m not Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

Aside from scrapes, a few bruised ribs, and an even more damaged ego, I emerged fairly uharmed.

I’m actually pretty impressed with the air I caught. Tony Hawk would be jealous. I guess there are some positives to being fat-greater momentum!

Weeeeeeeeeee

About right

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Random Why Wednesday

Why do I have all the time in the world to binge watch shows on Netflix, play Words With Friends, and spend hours scrolling through a comment section on a video about rat tails as a hairstyle, but when someone mentions working out, I’m all, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Why do bank tellers and cashiers ask people what their plans are for the night or weekend? I really don’t want to tell you my only plans for the entire weekend are to not shower, eat an entire pint of ice cream, and work on a Thomas Kinkade puzzle, OK? SO, QUIT ASKING.

Why do people pick their noses in their cars like we can’t see them? Your windows are tinted, not translucent.

Speaking of cars, why do I still worry people know I’m talking to myself when I could easily be speaking to someone on the phone through the Bluetooth in my car?

Why you no share our Facebook Friendsaversary? I don’t care we’ve only been friends for two months. CELEBRATE IT.

Why does IKEA shape their rugs like squatty penises, and when will I eventually unsee a penis rug every time I look at it?

Why do I recently sound like I’m giving birth when getting into bed every night? It’s like the weight of my day is being expelled from every pore and orifice and I need to be really vocal about that.

Why do I feel the need to take 18 different vitamins every day like they will somehow counteract the 20 Hershey Kisses, three bags of popcorn, and two pounds of pasta that I eat on the daily?

Why was I not born a Pygmy three- toed sloth?

Why is collecting enough Bath & Body Works hand soap for all of humanity to wash their hands for all eternity more important than paying my debt down?

Why are there always umpteen old people in every aisle at the grocery store when you’re running late?

Why did I look like this when I was 12…

…but twelve years olds today know how to contour their faces and draw on an expert-looking set of eyebrows? SHIT AIN’T FAIR.

Why are my leggings always inside out when they come out of the laundry when I put them in right side out? WHY? HOW?

Got any burning questions you’d like to share? Have any good answers for mine? Share in the comment section, because sharing is caring (unless it’s lice, the clap, or something you want me to eat that you touched with your bare hands).

Poop Happens

What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

Maybe it was that time you didn’t notice your skirt was caught in your underwear after using the restroom, so everyone in the office saw that you were wearing your faded, hole-y Tuesday underwear on a Wednesday.

Maybe it was when you thought your crush was waving to you from across the hall at school, so you thought you’d be daring and give a seductive, yet girly pouty wave, but he was waving to Marci. The bitch.

Maybe it’s a series of moments, like every time the box office assistant says, “Enjoy your movie!” and you respond with, “You too.”

My most embarrassing moment, up until a few days ago, was the time I got my lady business in 6th grade and didn’t know what to do. I had to wear my huge puffy jacket around my middle all while playing it off like I meant to wear a hot pink polar bear around my waist, as I moved around the classroom accidentally brushing people’s papers and pencils off their desks.

A few days ago, I went to the chiropractor for the first time. A local chiropractor was offering a $20 spine assessment, so I thought, “Why the hell not?”

Surprisingly, my most Embarrassing Moment of 2017 did not occur in the chiropractor’s office (which is a real shocker, because I was sure I’d choose the exact moment he was pulling on my feet to really embarrass myself. I was sure that’d happen to me).

No. The moment that will be forever etched on my mind and played in a loop in my subconscious, occurred precisely five minutes after leaving the chiropractor’s office.

I don’t know if the manipulation he did on my lower back set something in motion, or loosened things up too much, or what, but as I was driving down a quiet, gas station-lacking street, it hit me.

I’m sure you all know the feeling.

You know.

The feeling when your bowels suddenly have a seizure or a rave or whatever, and the need to get to a bathroom is sweaty and urgent.

I’ve had this happen to me before while driving.

I’ve always been able to simultaneously find my inner zen while driving like an Indy 500 driver on crack.

I’ve always made it home to the comfort and judgement-free environment of my own bathroom.

This time was different.

I don’t know if it’s age. Or karma. Or just luck. But I was left frantically scanning the street for a private-looking tree.

It was that bad.

Can I really resort to pooping behind a tree in a neighborhood? What if someone sees me and calls the police? Is there such a thing as a public defecation law? What if I get arrested? WHAT IF I GET ARRESTED FOR POOPING BEHIND A TREE IN A NICE NEIGHBORHOOD?

Then, I wondered how bad it’d be if I didn’t make it to an actual bathroom and it happened in my car.

Jeezus.

Bad. Real bad.

I’d have to throw the whole car away.

As my sweaty hands were sliding off my steering wheel, and my hair was matting to my head, and my bowels were imitating a whale’s mating call, I came upon a luxury apartment complex.

I’d been there once before when looking for an apartment with a friend. They were laughably beyond our price range.

They’d have to do.

I veered off the road and into a “future tenant” parking spot on two tires. I don’t think I even put my car in park.

Shit.was.dire.

It was far past regular business hours, so I figured I’d just have to find a big rock or a large bush. Or, maybe I’d just black out.

Somehow, beyond all understanding, the door to the lobby was open.

In my peripheral, I saw a woman in an office to the right. She was talking on the phone.

I didn’t say a thing. I didn’t look. I just prayed that if I didn’t see her, she wouldn’t see me.

As I was practically flying across the room, I had a very profound realization that it was entirely likely that, despite how close I was to salvation, I was probably going to poop my pants.

I was going to poop my pants.

I tried not to think about how I looked literally holding my bottom (like that’d make any difference) as I was racing across the lobby of a ritzy luxury apartment complex.

Somehow, my survival instincts (or just good memory) helped direct me to where I needed to go.

Glory be to God, I made it to the restroom.

I.didn’t.even.use.a.seat.cover.

It was that close.

Guys, since we’ve come this far, and I’ve been so candid up till now, I might as well tell you that I was 100% sure that I had crapped my pants. Literally sure of it.

Well, all of those times I took my cart back to the cart corral, all of the recycling I’ve done, and all of the times I didn’t yell at incompetent drivers really racked up my karma.

My pants were safe.

Just as the realization and relief that I was still someone who could honestly say they’d never pooped in their pants sunk in, the reality of my situation smacked me right in the face.

What’s that sound? Oh.my.god. It sounds like an alarm. The woman in the office thinks I’m a crazy street person and she’s set off the alarm. The police are going to come.

I was shaking and sweating buckets as I sat on the toilet, terrified, waiting for security to bust in.

They’ll be sickened. Disgusted. Maybe they’ll just feel sorry for me and leave me to my shame?

As I sat and waited for my fate, I realized nobody was coming, at least not immediately. I heard no voices. No doors opening. Nothing.

So, maybe that’s not the alarm? Maybe I’ve lucked out? But, how am I going to explain myself when I need to make my eventual walk of shame?

I needed a good excuse for why I practically busted down their door and then ran, pinched cheeks, for the bathroom.

I’ll act like I’m interested in an apartment. Yeah. That’s it.

I figured it was the only viable excuse. I imagined myself leaning against the doorway, hair still matted to my forehead, as I said, mid-burp, “Uh. Yeah. I was wondering if you had any one bedrooms available?”

Totally buyable.

I realized that whoever was in the office was likely waiting for me, so I begrudgingly readied myself to be seen.

After I scrubbed up like a surgeon (it was the only way I’d feel half clean), I apprehensively cracked the door and peered out.

No angry office woman in a Liz Claiborne pant suit. No Super Burrito security guard. No one.

In fact, the lobby area looked rather dark, and it was at this point I realized the door to the bathroom was through another set of doors that led into said lobby. In my frenzied poop panic, I must not have noticed that I opened an additional door before entering the bathroom.

I bet she’s gone. Thank you, Baby Jesus. I’ll never think a bad thing about the bums who pee in our alley ever again. I promise.

I was in pretty high hopes as I made to open the door that would release me out of my poop nightmare.

It was locked.

THE DOOR WAS FUCKING LOCKED.

That woman locked me in.

Either she never saw a half-crazed woman fly by doing the poop dance or she did and she purposely locked the door.

You have to be freaking kidding me. I’m locked in here. OMG. I’m going to panic. I’m not even a resident and I’m locked in their lobby bathroom.

HALP!

As it turns out, there was a door further down the hall that lead me outside. I was sure an alarm would go off when I opened the door, but so far, I haven’t made it on the news.

(I keep thinking I’ll be scrolling through Facebook and I’ll see a local news story titled “Police Still Looking For Woman Who Broke Into Luxury Apartment Complex To Completely Defile Custom Bathroom”.)

As for the “alarm” I heard? It was the air freshener alerting anyone who cared to the fact it was out of freshness. I lost several minutes of my life believing cops would be coming for me, when actually the Odor Blaster 1000 was out of Hawaiian Breeze.

To completely exit the complex, I had to wait for a car to come in through the gated entrance, and then I ran like the wind to my car and burned rubber out of there.

When I got home and had to confess to my boyfriend that why I didn’t have the buns I was supposed to pick up for our chili cheese dogs was because I got momentarily locked in a random apartment lobby bathroom, he asked if he should add Depends (to keep in my car) to the grocery list.

I’m highly considering it.

I thought I’d start the new year out with a bang, ya’ll.

I really needed to know why I almost pooped my pants. I’m kind of scared that spontaneous poop attacks will be my life now. I’m also planning a trip to the Bay Area, so I’m engaging in my usual OCD research.

Aerial Antics

Anyone else almost ready to start procrastinating about finally getting into shape in the approaching new year? Well, I’m about ready to start thinking about how I’d better finally do something about my overly curvaceous bod. Maybe I’ll try to become an acrobat again? What about you? What are you going to say for months you might finally get around to trying?

“What’s the weight limit?”

This is the first, most important question when you’re a curvier-than-most kinda gal, and you’re about to suspend your glorious bod on a silk hammock hanging from the ceiling.

I mean, right? That was the very first question that popped into my head when my friend first mentioned aerial yoga. 

Aerial yoga. 

I can’t even type that without chuckling.

Yes, I did aerial yoga. Not once. Not even twice. Three times. I’ve done aerial yoga three times, and for the hesitant, I have yet to yank the silks from the ceiling. That’s winning.

When I asked the instructor (who looked like she was freaking twelve and 100% for sure didn’t have a trace of cellulite any where on her body) what the weight limit was, this was how the exchange went:

Me (whispering): “Oh, um, hey. Uh, what’s, like, the, uh,(voice even lower) weight limit?”

Her: “Oh”

Freaking, “oh”? This chick is trying to give me heart palpitations before we even start doing hard stuff. Bitch.

Me: Just staring, sweating profusely.

If there is a weight limit and I’m over it, I’m just going to go drive my car into a vat of Rocky Road, because, fuck it. 

Her (finally): There’s a weight limit, but it’s like 600 pounds. You’re good.

Could you have maybe led with that, so that I didn’t have to spend 20 excruciating seconds thinking I’d have to leave because I’m too fucking large for hammock yoga?! 

Some people’s kids…

So, I thought I’d, for ease of reading, write three sections, each devoted to my three attempts at aerial yoga. Not only would it be easier to just skip to the part that has the most swear words, thus the more humorous of tries, but each event has been so incredibly different. Each time I was spastic in such varying, unusually interesting (in a I-want-to-study-your-ineptness-because-I’ve-never-seen-someone-not-know-how-to-work-their-adult-body-so-profoundly) ways, it’s almost sad. Except it’s fucking hilarious because it wasn’t you. It was me.

Attempt 1:

A friend from work first asked me to join her and her sister-in-law in aerial (every time I attempt to type “aerial”, my phone autocorrects it to “areola”. What the heck, phone?) three weeks ago. I was totally down, because, at the very least, I’d have great blog material.

Good Lord Almighty. 

I thought my friend would be more like me. As in, ridiculously inept and inflexible. In fact, I’m fairly certain she said she wasn’t very good at being limber on a yoga hammock. Liar! 

For the umpteenth time, I was the fattest, most incapable person in the room. It was OK, though, because I just laughed through the whole thing, so I wasn’t seriously trying to be an agile acrobat. It was all just for the laughs.

I laughed when the instructor modeled some impossible pose that involved wrapping yourself up like a 7 Layer burrito and then flipping yourself over like no big deal.

Ha. Yeah, that’s not happening. 

I laughed when everyone was doing aerial planks, and I face planted.

Ha. I meant to do that. 

I laughed (with relief) when it was finally time to lay in the hammock like an obese caterpillar in its too tight cocoon.

Ha. I made it to the best part of class; the lay down part.

It was a fun class that was spent trying not to look like I was seriously trying to be a real aerial yoga-ist.

Attempt 2:

The second time, I went with another friend from work. This friend has the body of a gymnast and the ass of a Kardashian. She’s uber fit and moves her body like a ballerina. The bitch. I don’t know why I continually put myself in situations where I’m suffocating myself with my stomach fat while she’s glistening gold sweat from her abs. Oh, I know. Because she’s hilarious, and no matter what we do, I get a good ab workout from laughing.

One of the first moves in this particular class involves falling gracefully sideways (while suspended with the silk, obviously), on your tippy toes, as you circle back around.

UH. YEAH RIGHT. 

Little Miss-I-Can-Do-Anything-With-My-Body-and-Look-Fabulous and I both were circling around like drunks trying to look sexy on a stripper pole. It was ridiculous. 

We could not.stop.laughing. I’m fairly certain that I tinkled a tiny bit at one point. Oops.

The rest of the class was actually more success than failure. It was amazing. Some of the poses that I didn’t even attempt the first time, I could almost do. I attempted hanging from my fat this time because I realized halfway through that I was actually a tad bit better than the first go-round. It was at this point I realized that I’d continue, and that this was more than just a stunt to get some good writing material.

My friend, of course, rocked the class like an expert. The bitch.

Attempt 3:

This time, my friends and I made up the majority of the class. I went with the friend who originally invited me, Khloe Kardashian, and another teacher friend (another lithe, surprise yoga star).

This was the class where all sorts of hell broke loose.

First, it was a different instructor. Right off the bat, that made me nervous. I had just begun moving past elephant-on-a-tightrope-graceful, into beginner stage.

This new chick is gonna eff it all up. 

And she did.

The new instructor was way harder. So.much.harder.

Who does she think we are, Cirque du Soleil performers? Come on! 

Not only were the moves she had us do harder, they required way more ab and arm strength than I have in my entire fucking body.

Ridiculousness.

At one point, she had us bent over the silks, hanging from the spot right below the hips. For future reference, this is a tender area. It hurts to hang with all of your body from this area. Maybe I’ll build up some calluses, or something. That’ll be sexy.

Well, it was at this point, I lost all control of my center, my body, my pride.

I don’t know how it happened. Maybe it was because my giant head weighs so much, or what, but somehow I ended up feet over head, and I just started flipping over the silk, like you see young children do on the monkey bars.

One flip that resulted in really no one noticing did not suffice. Two flips that I could have played off as on purpose was not enough. No, I flipped…I don’t even know how many times.

There was a point at which I genuinely thought I would die. Or, at the very least end up seriously injuring myself.

I kept picturing myself finally coming to rest flat on my face, breaking my nose and glasses into my stupid face.

Eventually, I ended up flat on my fat ass, with a large thump. Or was it more a messy schlop? I don’t know.

What I do know is my asshole friends were peeing their pants laughing. Everyone was. Even the instructor felt compelled to laugh before asking if I was OK.

Assholes.

I was totally fine, so I started laughing too. If you can’t beat em, join em (while deviously planning your revenge).

I bumbled through the rest of the class fairly competently until it came time to do assisted handstands.

The last time I could actually do a handstand I was in the 4th grade.

The last time I attempted a handstand was about a year ago when a friend and I accidentally attended an expert level yoga class. We laughed our way through the crane pose, the eight-angle pose, and all the other impossible yoga poses, not being able to do any of them. When it came time to do a handstand, we just flat-out refused and sat on our fat asses, watching the others stand on their hands with ease. The instructor took it as a personal affront and actually dragged our mats to the wall and pointed at them, like a pouty child. We half-heartedly made for the floor with our hands in position, chickened out, and just sat on our spreading asses again. That was my only adult handstand attempt. Until this class.

Somehow I found myself suspended by the silks, my legs high in the air, and my forearms resting on the floor. This was a feat in itself. Then, the insane instructor told us to take it to a handstand.

By pure miracle, I pushed myself up with my weak jelly arms, and I was in an assisted handstand.

Blood was rushing to my head. My arms were shaking impossibly, but I was doing it.

Then.

We were told the way to get out of the pose was to let go of the ground and pull yourself up the silk. 

At this point I’m pouring buckets of sweat onto the floor. Even if I wanted to let go and pull myself up, my hands were far too sweaty and I simply did not have the core strength.

Shaking like a leaf in the wind, I looked around and most of the asshole people in the room had pulled themselves up and they were out of their silks, standing.

Me: “Um. Help?”

Instructor (still laughing at me): “Hun, you’ll just have to kind of fall out of it.”

Wow. Really? How does she fucking figure that? 

Me: “Uh. OK…”

So, with everyone’s eyes on me again, I somehow untangled my sausage legs from the silks, and my behemoth body just schlopped onto the floor for the second time that night.

Ta-da!

And, there you have it, folks! Fatty McCupcakes does aerial yoga!

Despite my utter ineptness, I’m going again. It’s fun. When you’re tired you get to make the silk into a hammock and lay in it. AND my arms and abs are getting stronger.

#win

Straight outta any yoga

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