Have Yourself A Manic Little Christmas

Anyone else feeling the holiday hassle yet?

No?

Just me?

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Christmas. I mean, you could argue that I love the holidays even more than Clark Griswold.

But.

I stood in line at the post office yesterday for 30 minutes, while the one person working was in no real hurry and that really chapped my ass and put me in the opposite of a holiday mood.

It didn’t even matter that Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You was playing, because all I want for Christmas is another person manning the counter.

I’m also hating that my usually quiet Target has been invaded by, what has to be, Closet People, because where else have they been all year?

Amazon Prime, people. You won’t ever have to leave your house again.

Another thing, the boyfriend and I are going to a fancy shmancy Christmas party at the Governor’s Mansion. Said boyfriend has expressly told me leggings are not a clothing option.

So, I have to wear, like, a real formal dress.

I have one from years ago, but I’ve been putting off trying it on, because I don’t even want to know how much fatter I’ve gotten.

Speaking of being fat, do you know how fucking hard it is to eat well when cookies are practically raining from the fucking sky and you can get egg nog-everything?

Not only are the crowds annoying and the over-abundance of treats gut-expanding, the pressures to have the absolute best holiday yet is EXHAUSTING.

Not only do I overbook myself with social engagements, I seem to always feel the need to add just one more fun craft project/event to the long list of holiday must-dos.

When will I ever learn that the best experiences happen when I have zero expectations and almost next to no plan?

Never. Never is when I’ll learn.

So, what are you stressing about this holiday season? How do you combat the manic-like need to do all the Christmas things?

Oh, the stress.

We’re Not Allowed There Anymore

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my Uncle Gary and Aunt Renee came to visit. This is the same Uncle Gary of WTF Family Photos, Pure Gold, and The Cabin fame.

If you don’t know already, he’s our family’s John Candy.

Even though time and that slippery son-of-a-bitch-health hasn’t always been too kind to him, he’s still the funny, snarky, wisecracker he’s always been.

He may still love to crack a joke, but he isn’t into shopping as much anymore.

Back in the day, he’d be right there with my mom, grandma, and aunt, digging through marked down Christmas bows and wrapping paper in the after-Christmas-sales. He’s the only man I’ve yet to know who truly enjoys shopping and finding good deals on a car-load of Christmas wrapping essentials.

On Black Friday, Aunt Renee wanted to hit up Junkee, which is a very popular thrift and antiques shop in Reno. It used to be the only place I’d *have* to shop at when I lived in Elko and came to Reno (Well, and Target. Lord Almighty, how’d I almost forget Target?)

However, after Junkee bought out all of the ugly Christmas sweaters from every local thrift store and marked them up an ungodly amount a few years ago, I stopped giving them as much business.

They completely took the fun out of looking for and finding some positively horrendous mauve and cream colored poinsettia Christmas sweater at a thrift store for $1.

Here, check out the Yelp review I wrote about my disdain:

So, I usually avoid the place, because I know it’ll just be a bunch of overpriced crap someone found on a dusty rack in another thrift store, but since Junkee is cool with the hipsters, that late 90s era coffeemaker is now worth $25.

ANYWAY.

I decided to push aside my bitter disdain, so I could join the Always A Party, But Also Kind of a Shit Show party train.

Uncle Gary’s socks. We aren’t afraid to admit it.

Also, the independent artists who sell their handmade wares are always worth a look-see.

Because, as I mentioned earlier, Uncle Gary is not much for shopping these days (which is good, because we might have been there three additional hours had he also been one of the look-at-positively-everything-and-then-talk-about-each-item-for-twenty-minutes shoppers), he planted himself in the seating at the front of the store.

After quite some time, as in hours, most of our group was done.

At the front of the store, there was an elaborate Christmas backdrop for pictures. On hand were ugly Christmas sweaters, funny hats, and wigs.

Surprisingly, Aunt Dana (and not yours truly) begged us all to take a picture.

My mom flat-out refused at first, saying she doesn’t like to pose and doesn’t know how to make silly faces (I have an entire album on my phone that completely proves her wrong on both fronts).

My uncle, bored to tears waiting for the shopping to be over, eagerly agreed for something to do.

I’m always game for anything Insta-worthy, so that just left Aunt Renee.

Aunt Renee was still standing in line with her 38 treasures she couldn’t pass up.

As she was paying, a store clerk helped us get into all of the outlandish gear. My mother was helped into a flamboyant green and red monstrosity. I was given a vest that I swear I saw hanging in my mother’s closet not too long ago. Aunt Dana was given a super sweet pair of hipster glasses. And, Uncle Gary got an Afro wig.

The sight of my aged uncle with his salt and pepper beard, Sasquatch Sighting shirt, and an Afro wig was just too much.

As I was peeing my pants in absolute donkey-impression-worthy laughter, my aunt informed the clerk that one member from our group was still paying. She explained that she was the one in the pink sweater.

When I finally came to, some random woman in a pink sweater was being forced-with-a-smile into a glittery reindeer number. The look on her face was pure confusion and unadulterated fear. She cooperated with the clerk, who was insisting she’d look, “Awesome!”, despite the fact that she was eyeing us like we had rabies.

When we started to get situated, Aunt Dana realized a stranger was being forced against her will into our impromptu family Christmas photo straight from Honey Boo Boo’s family picture album and said,

“Oh! Not her! We don’t know her. The other woman in the pink sweater!”

The woman, released from the Crazy Train, tore off like a bat out of hell.

When Aunt Renee was finally located and locked down with an ugly sweater, the photographing of our craziness commenced.

This was the outcome:

I made the same face in all 82 pictures.

With all of the ruckus we caused and the general shenanigans we created, I wouldn’t be surprised if they printed one of our pictures and they have it up in a staff room with the description: Just Say No.

Merry Christmastime from the Clampetts, ya’ll !

I’m a Hot Money Mess

So, it turns out that I’m not only completely inept in the Eating Healthy and Working Out arena, I’m also a hot mess in the Saving (Having) Money department.

I’d like to reassure any and all who think I’m somewhat of a productive, responsible member of society by saying I always pay my bills on time, and despite having more debt than I’d like, I have excellent credit.

This is where the positives end and the what-are-you-some-kind-of-moron-or-something begins.

Without fail, the week leading up to my monthly payday, I am firmly living under the poverty line.

So, that’s why right now I’m on the struggle bus careening straight toward Mental Breakdown Town.

I’d really like to blame my monthly financial crises on my lowly teacher pay, but, no, it’s 100% me.

(That’s not to say I don’t think teachers all across the world deserve pay that accurately depicts the jobs they perform, because they do.)

True talk, my monthly salary is totally enough to pay my bills, buy groceries, spend on occasional fun, and put aside some (meager) savings. Now, I can’t go all crazy and buy a house or go on a trip or anything…

So, why am I washing our paper plates and rinsing and drying out paper towels, you ask?

(Speaking of fucking paper towels, Target recently halved what they give you on their 99¢ rolls and thought we wouldn’t notice. Assholes.)

Well, let me just plainly list the reasons why I’m forever transferring money from my savings and overdraft to my checking account:

1. I am paying for too many monthly subscriptions (Ipsy, Snack Crate, Weight Watchers, Netflix, Hulu, and numerous educational related apps and services).

2. I have an addiction to Starbucks. My “Once a Week” deal has turned into, “Manic Monday”, “Friyay”, and far too many trips over the weekend. If it has a cute, made up name for the excuse and it’s easier than pushing the Keurig button, I’m game.

3. I go to Target every weekend. I am firmly anti-Walmart, so our non-grocery essentials are bought by moi at the Happiest Place on Earth. It’s just that I’m-going-for-toothpaste, turns into shit-fuck-how-did-I-spend-$100?

I got $99 problems

I got $99 problems

4. I need, like, I’m not joking that it feels like needing-to-breathe-need bullshit things like these:

Amazon

RoseGoldRebel

FabFitFun

If I don’t buy/have a rose gold Starbucks travel cup, I don’t know how I can go on living.

Our Earth is really just a spinning globe of garbage, but I feel an intense need for endless crap that I’ll forget I own in 6 months.

It’s pathetic, really.

5. I will have a fridge full of food, but cooking sounds like hard labor, so I’ll pick up food whenever I’m feeling lazy. And that’s all.the.time.

Source

Me, when I have to cook literally anything.

6. I can’t start walking, hiking, doing yoga, or journaling without buying the latest and greatest accoutrements. When someone told me about the “envelope method” for spending money, my first thought was, “Well, I’ll have to get a really cute envelope. I wonder if they have fake leather ones in a gorgeous mint color?” WHAT THE FUCK EVEN IS A “CUTE LEATHER MONEY ENVELOPE”? (Google didn’t know either.)

Really, I could go on, but I’ll just quit while I’m not even close to being ahead.

So, I know. I need therapy, Dave Ramsey, and Shoppers Anonymous in a major way.

Because I don’t spend my money on things that will actually prove useful in time (*Ahem* addiction therapy), I’m going to list the ways I’m planning to attempt to straighten up my money act.

1. I’m finally quitting Ipsy (along with Snack Crate). I know it’s only $10 a month, but, holy shit, did you know that 10 times 12 is $120? Also, I already have 82 black eyeliners and 45 mini tubes of mud mask. How many black eyeliner pencils does one need in a lifetime? Because I think I have that many. Not to mention, this month’s ugly bag was just…I can’t.

This is not my favorite.

2. I’m going to get serious about Acorns. Haven’t heard of it yet? Y’ALL. It’s awesome. Basically, what they do is round up to the next dollar all of your debit purchases and that amount is “invested” into your Acorns account. You can also arrange to have a monthly payment invested into your account. I legit saved over $80 the last month (you better believe Homegirl wears out that debit card).

The beauty of this is that you hardly notice 23 cents being taken out at a time.

The downside? You can withdraw your funds at.anytime.

So, what I meant by “get serious” is I need to start actually leaving my savings the eff alone. Had I just not touched it from the moment I downloaded the app, I’d have so much money saved.

Ugh. I can’t even think about it.

P.S. If you like the sound of Acorns and you want to set up an account, follow this link so I can get credit for referring you. If 10 friends start using Acorns, I get a $500 bonus. (I’m not being compensated in any way by Acorns, it’s just legit one of my favorite apps).

P.P.S Thank you to Angela at Hot Mess Memoir for introducing me to Acorns.

3. I’m going to slowly back away from Starbucks. Not only is their coffee grossly overpriced, unless you do the sugar-free thing, the sugar in their drinks is through the roof. I hate how convenient they are, though. I have one so close to home and on the way to work. I can slip in and out of the drive thru and be on the freeway to work, before I realize I did it again.

My new deal is one Starbucks visit a month. It gives me heart palpitations just typing that. Also, I’m on the market for a shock collar that’ll give me a good wringing the second I start heading to the ‘Bux.

SEE I CAN’T SAVE MONEY WITHOUT SPENDING IT.

4. I’m going to give myself a weekly spending allowance of $80. This will include spending for dinner out or other entertainment on the weekend. On Sunday, I’ll withdraw the cash and only allow myself to use that cash for any and all purchases.

$80 sounds like a lot, but it’s mind blowing how much I spend when left unsupervised.

Maybe at some point I’ll be able to live off even less per week?

I mean, stranger things have happened.

So, what are your budgeting strategies? How do you save money? What’s something you struggle with not spending money on? Let me know in the comments!

Haircuts From Hell

If you’ve been reading my crazy ramblings for some time now, you know that it’s no secret that my family and I have had almost zero luck in the attractive hair department. In case you haven’t caught the posts I’ve done on hair fails, I’ll link to those AND provide photographic evidence later on.

What almost no one knows, however, is that total epic hair fails also extended to my dad and to a major motion picture. As in, The Godfather II. Intrigued? Maybe even more appalled?

Well, come along. I’m warning you, though. It’s gonna get hairy.

Back when my brother was nine or ten, my dad decided that he’d cut his son’s hair instead of drive two miles to have a professional do it. I’m sure he figured it would be easy. I mean, the professionals make it look pretty damn effortless, don’t they?

I was not present during the actual cutting of the hair and the two who were, do not speak of it to this day. If prodded, my dad merely says, “I cut his hair. What can I say?”

I recall that when I arrived home, I thought someone had died, because it appeared that my mom, dad, and grandma were in mourning.

All three were sitting in their places at the kitchen table with their heads down. I was actually quite concerned, because I didn’t think I was emotionally prepared for them all three to be crying.

“Uhh…” is all I said.

My mom “shushed” me and went back to their weird mourning/devil worshipping/group napping.

It was then that I noticed their shoulders moving up and down. If they weren’t crying, they had to be laughing.

“Mom…” I implored.

“Just. Don’t.” She was able to get out.

Upon further observation, they were crying, but because they were laughing. Silently. They were sitting around the kitchen table, red-faced, silent cry-laughing.

I just figured they must have started Wine o’ Clock early, so I moved on from their weirdness into the living room.

That’s where I saw it.

He was laying on the floor, watching TV. Even from behind, I could see the dejection in his shoulders and in the way he propped his head up with his hands.

The form appeared to belong to my brother. But, it was…not right.

He looked like some creature from Goosebumps. He looked like he was infectious. He looked shocking.

His head was part red, naked scalp and a smattering of one-inch tufts of hair.

There was no order to the madness. The random clumps of hair looked as if they were just glued, helter skelter, onto his angry, raw skin. Yet, in some places, instead of bare skin, there appeared to be what was likely the desired outcome- a short buzz cut.

It was simultaneously grotesque and comical.

All of the above I took in in a split second and I responded accordingly.

I responded with my trademark, “WHOA!”

(In my, I Was An Asshole post I explain a little more about my natural “whoa” reaction to all things fucked, funny, and far-fetched.)

I’m obnoxious like that.

Well, my “whoa” set off the fools in the kitchen. They couldn’t contain themselves anymore and they each lost their collective shit.

I swear, to this day, that amidst the snorting and crying and laughing, my brother’s head made a complete 180, he stared at us with exorcist eyes, and he yelled, “LEAVE ME ALONE!”

I swear.

Don’t fret, though. My mom took him to a Supercuts the second she was able to contain herself, and my dad was forever disallowed to even look at the clippers.

My mom did admit that the entire ride to Supercuts, she tried really damn hard to do the Good Mom thing by reassuring him. But, “It’s OK. It’ll be alright. It doesn’t look that bad.” is not one bit convincing between snorts and ugly cry-laughing.

This could totally be us reenacting the Clipper Incident of 1997.

Our second Haircuts From Hell story involves a different set of electric clippers, another beauty school reject, and The Godfather II.

Back when my mom was in college, she was friends with a guy who played the violin professionally. He actually started the Reno Chamber Orchestra. So, he was legit.

Not only was (is) he super musically talented, he was apparently a real hoot to hang around. Some of my favorite stories my mom tells of her college days include this guy.

A kinda related aside:

I arranged for him to come to my mom’s surprise retirement party that I planned a few years ago. They hadn’t seen each other for close to a decade. So, the look on my mom’s face when she saw him was absolutely priceless. Well, now that I’m thinking, I wonder if she was simultaneously elated to see him and worried he was there to finally seek vengeance with a rusty hair clipper.

So, the story goes…

Close to midnight one night, my mom heard frantic knocking at her door.

Brave, or delirious from sleep, she opened the door to find her buddy, all in a tizzy.

He was scheduled to play with the Reno Musicians’ Union Local 368 for The Godfather II the very next day.

He needed a haircut to look professional for this incredible opportunity.

(My mom still chides him for waiting until all the salons and barbers were closed to get such an important haircut done.)

The only problem was- my mom was most definitely not Rhonda from Tousled Tresses.

Here’s some proof to back up that my mom is not exactly the first person you’d ask for a late night, last minute hair job (too bad these horrendous hairdos happened after the Clipper Catastrophe of 1973 and were of no help to her pal):

Now, mind you, my mom can’t be held totally responsible for all of these, but she approved these looks, so there you go.

Because it was a big deal to have a part in a major motion picture, she acquiesced and went to town with electric clippers.

My mom recalled how often she saw her mother clip her brothers’ hair. She said it looked incredibly effortless and easy.

“Your grandma just went ‘Buzzzz’ with the clippers and–‘Voila!’–they had snazzy new ‘dos!”

What my mom didn’t realize was that, unless you want next to no hair left, one uses a guard on the clipper head.

After just one swipe it was clear that she had made a huge mistake.

“Shit.”

Without the guard, she sheared a landing strip clear down to his scalp.

I’m sure there was a lot of yelling and freaking out, but in the end they just left it, because my mom had done enough.

When the movie finally came out, my mom, excited to hear her friend play in such a big time movie, almost choked on her popcorn and Charleston Chews.

There, very clearly in the Tahoe party scene, was the back of her friend’s head. His awkward strip of scalp practically glowed.

In the words of my mother’s very good-natured friend, when I sent him the screenshot of his head, “My bad haircut can live on in posterity!”

At least he’s a good sport.

Here’s the scene in the movie where Haircutz By Judy has a starring role:

Here’s the screenshot:

Before I go, I have to share one more haircut fail. It’s actually more of a hairstyle fail.

The night my family and I were laughing about the above stories, we were also looking through family albums. My aunt came upon this picture:

She said, “That’s weird. Why is Mark decorating the tree with Jarrett?”

My uncle: “Why is Mark wearing a Betty Boop shirt?”

My boyfriend: “Whoever Mark is, he’s a real dweeb.”

I take a look at this, now infamous, shot of elusive Cousin Mark, who, apparently, made an appearance at Christmas in a Betty Boop sweatshirt and then go, “WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL? THAT’S ME!”

They then proceed to debate about whether or not it’s really me or Mark for the next ten minutes.

What a bunch of assholes.

It’s no wonder I’ve had such a hard knock hair life- look at where I come from!

My Hairy Life

Where My Hairy Ladies At?

Meh, Blah, Eh

I’ve been feeling so IDGAF about things lately.

Anyone else?

I have an actual, honest-to-goodness post almost finished and ready for Friday. It was supposed to be my post for tomorrow, but, life.

Ya know?

All I have to do for this post is add pictures, links, and do some fact checking- all the shit that really sucks when you’re getting a post ready to *publish*.

Am I right?

Also, I’ve been wondering why I feel it necessary to “have to have a post done by *insert day of the week here*” like my life depends on it.

It doesn’t.

This isn’t a job. No one is supervising me. I won’t be receiving an evaluation for my work (or lack thereof).

I’m sure my loyal followers will be around whenever I decide to grace them with my presence. Or they won’t.

I keep seeing people all around me with incredible side hustles, and here I am just doing my regular full time job and blogging whenever the mood strikes me.

Sometimes, I feel insanely stupid for spending so much of my time doing something that yields absolutely zero income. I’m aware enough to know that money doesn’t always buy happiness, but it does pay off debt and allows for luxurious travel and isn’t that the same thing?

I have been really needing a side job, but I know that if I do, my writing and blog will suffer.

(Or, I just need to write a book, but how will that ever happen when I can barely get a new post out every week?)

Whenever I realize this, I feel utter panic. This blog, my writing, my incredible followers mean a lot to me. They mean everything.

Unfortunately, these beautiful, wonderful, necessary-for-my-sanity things aren’t helping me pay off my debt or save for my upcoming trip to the U.K.

Well, that was depressing.

Let’s move on to another topic.

Along with the supremely deep pondering I’ve obviously been doing, I’ve decided I have an unhealthy relationship with popcorn.

I’m not even joking.

I legit eat three mini bags a night. It used to be two bags, but that didn’t bloat my stomach quite enough, so we’re on to three effing bags now.

Also, I feel I need to be totally transparent-I don’t just eat the popped kernels…

I…I eat the un-popped kernels.

They are probably growing a massive popcorn tree in my bowels as I type this. I might as well draft up a will.

But, seriously? Is eating kernels hazardous to one’s health?

Another awesome thing going on right now is that I’ve mysteriously hurt my ankle.

It’s swollen and puffy and sore.

Almost two weeks ago, I engaged in a 5k for the program Girls on the Run. I say “engaged”, because I sure as hell didn’t run and “walked” sounds even more lame.

Looking pretty decent, but this was 100% because this was taken before the race started.

So, somehow, while merely walking I hurt myself.

As if that’s not enough, my eczema is flaring up. I have itchy splotches of diseased-looking rashes all over my already-gorgeous body.

There ain’t anything sexier to a man then, “Babe, can you come put some cream on the eczema I can’t reach?”

You might as well just take me and my popcorn-growing eczema guts out back, because what in the actual fuck?

Meh.

Apple Hill Shenanigans 

This is a rant and a dedication. So, buckle your seat belts, people. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

After yet another carb-filled and merrymaking trip to Apple Hill, I’ve learned more than just how far I can push the load-bearing limit of my clothing or exactly how many fruit-filled pastries I can eat before my stomach implodes. I learned this year that:

1. People are assholes, even when they are surrounded by apple pastries, alcohol, and an endless assortment of exciting crap to buy.

2. Surrounded by said assholes, if you’re among non-assholes, you are far richer than the dick in the Tesla who thought it was cool to park in the pick-your-own apple orchard.

This Apple Hill year, I brought along my childhood best friend. We’ve legit been friends since we were two. Some years we’ve hated each other, but, somehow, we always find each other again.

This is the absolute epitome of our friendship over the years. Me, being a complete and utter tool and her, 1000% over my B.S.
This is us totally rocking the thirteen-and-awkward-af stage.
Thank GOD we discovered flat irons and tweezers!

The first time this friend attended our Apple Hill shenanigans, my mom almost lit the motel bathroom on fire trying to light a Hostess Sno Ball turned into a birthday cake fireball from hell. My aunt almost didn’t see her 45th year.

Since, my friend has admitted that her trips to Apple Hill without us are just not the same. 

We left for The Hill in the morning on a sunny, way-too-warm-for-fall Friday. Despite the fact that the weather report said it’d be almost 80, I wore a scarf and ankle boots, because, HELLO, it’s practically a basic bitch law that if you go to a pumpkin patch, you wear a scarf and boots.  Bonus points if the pattern on your scarf is chevron.

Our first lunch was spent at a popular spot, so it took almost an hour to stand in line and get our food. Because it was still early, the wait and the endless people didn’t affect my mood too much. 

I totally had my selfie stick and I wasn’t even ashamed, except I still can’t take a decent selfie. HALP!

Right after devouring a cheeseburger and garlic fries, it was sprinkled caramel apple time! It’s tradition!

SPERNKLES

#sprinklesporn

After I got my sprinkle fix, I was pretty much over walking around in the heat, looking at the same stuff, different farm.

While my mom and aunt looked at every single item, at every single booth, making friends with every single crafter as they went, my friend and I parked ourselves in the shade with an apple cider slushy.

We are sweating our balls off in this picture. Can you tell?
Note to self: apple cider floats > apple cider slushy 😑👎🏻
 

After way too much time in the sun and heat, we decided it was beer o’clock, so we headed to the Jack Russell Brewery. It’s the only brewery in the area, so it is a must-do every time we go to Apple Hill.

Without a doubt, every visit to Jack Russell is memorable, and this time was no different. 

This year, though, we decided that we very much dislike the people who own/run this establishment. They are rude with a capital bitch-eat-a-Snickers. 

Due to the unseasonably warm weather, the umbrellas were a hot commodity. After a table full of college-age girls near us had left, we tried to position their umbrella so we could get some shade. As we were trying (and failing) to make the umbrella grace us with sweet shade, one of the Cave Bitches (their meadery is in a cave-like room and they are serious bitches, thus their apropos nicknames) started going around closing the umbrellas.

Um, are you blind

This incredibly unfriendly lady wouldn’t know customer service or kindness if they each, in turn, smacked her upside her RBF. 

So, after being so kindly assisted with the umbrellas, we decided to just move one over to our table. In the process of doing this, we struggled a bit as the umbrella was awkward and there were quite a few trees. 

From the meadery cave, about 20 yards away, the Cave Bitch started screaming at us. 

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! YOU’RE HURTING THE TREES!” 

This terrible person couldn’t even crawl out of her rotting crypt to speak in a regular voice level or to, gee, offer to HELP US?!

I hope we ruined your tree, Cave Wench. 

I had had just enough alcohol to feel brave, so in order to not make a scene, we moved to the other side of the outdoor seating area and drank an ungodly amount of beer. 

Apple Ale- similar to cider, but not as sweet 😋

The next morning, it was Apple Cider Donut Time. Along with Beer o’ Clock and Cupcake Thirty, it’s one of my favorite times of the day! 

A friggin masterpiece

I was pretty much in heaven as I devoured my fried cake and coffee. But, then, some asshole’s dog wouldn’t stop barking. 

If you know me personally, you know I’m obsessed with dogs. I love the shit out of their drooly, adorable faces, but sometimes dogs can be left at home. 

I know that’s a novel concept for some people.

This particular dog, the one who majorly interrupted my enjoyment of the sound of my gluttony, simply could not handle the sight of other dogs. 

So, one must ask…

WHY THE FUCK DID YOU BRING YOUR OTHER-DOG-HATING DOG TO THE MOST CROWDED RANCH, WHERE OTHER DOGS ARE SURE TO BE FOUND? 

Because I’m an asshole (that’s Asshole speaking). That’s why. 

After this, I had a mediocre apple treat that contained, precisely, one slice of apple, bought a metric ton of fudge, and drank even more cider.

I mean, I love me some pastry, but just pastry is too much pastry.

When we were attempting to leave the 80th farm of the day, a woman, unearthing her child from underneath all of the crap she bought and was storing in her stroller, decided a fine place to do this was smack dab in the middle of the narrow roadway.

At this point, I was still hungover, sweating profusely, and had killer acid reflux from all of the apple I had eaten. 

I couldn’t even. 

After six hours, she was finally done unloading the stroller and we were able to leave. 

I may or may not have rolled down my window to thank her for making us late for more eating.

Don’t keep this fatty from her eighth apple brownie. Don’t even.

Despite the rude and pretentious people we encountered, the bullshit heat, and the unbearable indigestion, being with people who made my food baby bump jiggle from infectious laughter made it all worthwhile.

My favorite part of the trip was leaving the brewery, drunk and laughing obnoxiously at the spaceships we found by the Porta Potties (they were bee catchers). We piled into the car (don’t worry, my aunt was driving and totally sober and capable), excited for impending Chinese dinner (as if we had not had enough). My mom kept yelling, “Look out, Dana, there’s a car!” every time we passed every reflective sign on the road. I was laughing so hard, I could barely breathe, as I sang along (horribly) to Eric Church’s Springsteen, head back, staring at the endless stars in the sky through the moonroof. 

So, take that Idiot Dog Owner, Stroller Simpleton, and Cave Bitch, you were no match for 10,000 calories all from carbs, fabulous, but unnecessary junk, and 100% necessary-for-my-sanity ladies who know how to party. 

Apple Hill 2017 is one for the books. 


I won Apple Hill!

When I think about 17, I think about my best friend. 

Just Call Me ‘Prudence the Procrastinator’

I’m the biggest procrastinator. I put things off until the bitter end- blog posts, car registration renewals, diets. You name a task and I’ve done literally everything else there is to do before starting on said task. 

At the same time, I overthink things to the point of obsession. When it comes to my writing, even though I don’t have numerous posts written ahead of time, scheduled and ready for publishing, I have ideas, phrases, and themes constantly swirling and developing in my head. 

Getting my thoughts into a blog post is always my biggest challenge. It’s not that I don’t like to write, in fact, it’s the direct opposite (obviously). I fear that if I’m not in the perfect frame of mind or mood, my writing won’t come out the way I hear it in my head and feel it in my heart. 

Thus, the endless ideas swimming around, stuck inside my obsessive, yet lazy mind,  never seeing the light of day. 

So, all of this rambling to say my post I was working on for today is not ready. I didn’t devote the time needed and now it’s nearly 10 PM. I can’t half-ass it just to have something to post on my usual post day. 

I’m better than that and you all deserve better than that. 

So, instead of a *real* post, I want to hear from you. What does the creative writing process mean to you? Do you struggle with producing? What about any writer insecurities? What do you do to ignite inspiration? 

Talk to me! 

Always overthinking to avoid real work. Someone’s gotta do it!

21 Minute Survival Challenge

Just in case we needed more proof that I’m inept and would be 100% useless in a survival situation. Happy Flashback Friday, folks! 

It all started with this picture:


Actually, it started with Silver Donkeys at The Depot. Day drinking never, ever makes for a dull time.

Add some binge watching of Naked and Afraid, mix in my crazy friend, Alyssa, and you have our insane 21 Minute Naked and Afraid Challenge in the wilds of Oxbow Park, in the heart of Reno. It was intense. 

In all seriousness, this started with her idea to spoof the above picture. Obviously, the woman above is quite talented and lithe. We are not. We are the direct opposite. She thought it would be hilarious to go out into nature and take ridiculous pictures of our pudgy bodies, attempting to contort into serious yoga positions. It was insanely entertaining. Either we are hysterical, or just really, really immature 30-somethings. Well, here are our yoga spoofs:

 This is Alyssa’s version of the tree pose. It’s called, “Ride Em Cowboy”. 

  This one is called, “Smelly Poop Lip”. 

  I’m becoming one with Mother Nature. I need to work on my “serious face”, because it’s the same as my “pooping face”. 

 

  
 These are called, “We Can’t Believe We Didn’t Break the Bridge!”

  
 These are “The Warrior”, but because it took us 10 minutes to get to the rocks we stood on, these have been renamed, “Take the Damn Picture, I’m Done, and the Rocks Are Burning My Fucking Feet”.

Now, at this point, we are incredibly winded and tired, but we have more poses to do, so we forge on. Along the path, we are accosted by flying insects and there are red ants everywhere. It’s hot, we are sweating, and our mouths are parched. Suddenly…it turns into Naked and Afraid (Except, we didn’t get naked. Getting arrested for public nudity is usually frowned upon amongst the responsible adult crowd I’d like to say I’m a part of).

We decide to make shelter, find weapons, and pretend to make fire, all in the name of survival. We know we would hardly make it an hour in serious wilderness, so we named our wilderness attempt, the “21 Minute Survival Challenge”.

We took photos of our attempt to survive our harrowing journey through a city park. Enjoy.


Just chilling in our shelter. We scored and found a busted guitar. It will provide great rain coverage. Two minutes in and we are really feeling the effects of dehydration. We are sweating too much. It must be 88 degrees, and the walk-in was exhausting. I don’t know if I can do this. 


Attempting to make fire and I break a nail. I was close to my breaking point here, and if it wasn’t for Alyssa’s support, I would have tapped out. It was that close. 


8 minutes in and we are still in search of food. We are dying of hunger. The energy we are exerting in search of nourishment is depleting our fat stores. We can feel our body eating our fat. We also almost died crossing this dangerous canyon. It had to be at least 2 feet down. It was the most terrifying moment of our ordeal. 

 Alyssa’s breaking point. Crotch sweat. Unacceptable! 


We decide to not expend any more energy in search of water and food. We cuddle in our shelter to stay warm. Except, it’s almost 90 degrees, and what was that? Your walking stick? 


Red ant attack! Additionally, cuddling proved awkward. 


Desperate for protein, we shamefully, hungrily consider the used condom caught while fishing. That was our low point. 12 minutes in, and things are bleak. Morale is low. Our stomachs are growling and our lips are cracking from dehydration. 


Success! Alyssa catches a water-logged, half-eaten hamburger encased in its wrapper. It looks to be only a few days old. In desperate times, one must take desperate measures. We still have diarrhea, and we are afraid we have caught a sexually communicable disease from the river. This survival shit isn’t for the weak. 


Weak from exertion and lack of food and water, I cannot make it back up the hill from the river. Alyssa uses her last bit of strength to rescue me. I thought she was a bossy bitch at first, but we have built a bond that can’t be broken through this experience. 


Operation Retrieve Flip Flop was a success. We really needed this win for our morale. 


Silly times! Look! We’re dirty!


Due to vicious red ant attacks, we resort to resting on a log. Lesson learned: red ants live in logs too. Only 6 minutes left. We are running on empty and are motivating each other by reminiscing about our favorite meals. What I wouldn’t do for some ribs! 


My joints are stiff from lack of water, and it takes me almost 3 minutes to exit log. We are almost late to hike to extraction! 

 
 I have never been so happy to hear a train in my life! We are so ecstatic, we cry, and hug, and cry some more! 

After our grueling 21 minutes in the wild, Alyssa and I have learned a lot about ourselves and nature. First, nature sucks, and it messes up your manicures and pedicures. It also makes you sweaty and dirty. Ick. Second, we are both confident that given an opportunity to travel to some remote location as a part of the show, Naked and Afraid, we would survive for precisely 10 minutes. Nature isn’t for the weak or lazy, and we are lazy as fuck.

 The chick at Starbucks acted like we were rabid, or on crack. We forgot we smeared charcoal on our faces. Oops. 

Zombie Apocalypse Fail

In preparation for the new season coming up, I am crack-addict binging on The Walking Dead, and all I’ve been thinking about is how I’d be dead on the very first day of a zombie apocalypse. 

When the boyfriend and I got to the episode where the group makes it to Alexandria, I said, “OMG. How has Darryl not taken a shower yet? That’d be the first thing I’d do. And brush my teeth!” 
(Now the running joke during every episode is: “Has Darryl taken a shower yet?”) 

My super sweet boyfriend responded with, “Babe, you would have been dead months ago.” 

Indignantly, I protested, but when it came time to detail the myriad reasons he was wrong, I had nothing. Nada. 

Holy shit. If there was ever a zombie apocalypse, I’d last precisely an hour, if that. I’d be that inept idiot in the first episode no one even remembers.

Since my asshole boyfriend was right (don’t tell him I said that, he’ll take it and run with it), I thought I’d share the reasons why I’d never last in a zombie apocalypse:

1. My asthma 

I get out of breath walking around my classroom and talking at the same time. Really, I could just stop here. Asthma is reason enough for why I’d be one of the first people to be eaten alive by zombies. 

It took me two months to get to the point where I could jog (and by jog, I mean move at a slightly quicker pace than walking) nonstop for two blocks. So, if the time ever came for me to run like my life depended on it for more than a minute, I’d be done just like that. 

2. My sciatica 

I first had a flare up with my sciatica when I was in middle school. The pain from my big ass all the way down my leg was like nothing I’d ever felt before. I recall barely making it out of the fast-paced school halls alive. Once home, I milked it for all it was worth-Advil around the clock, Mom’s special Home Sick Sherbet and Ginger Ale, and hand delivered meals. 

It was simultaneously one of the best and worst times of my life. 

Occasionally, my sciatica flares up and quick movements just ain’t happening.  I tried to show off my sweet Tae Bo skills to my boyfriend the other night and I pulled a muscle and pissed off my sciatic nerve. And, just like that, I was infirm. 

So, if my sciatica were ever to act up during the apocalypse, I wouldn’t be able to run or karate chop a zombie in the head. Anyone I’d be with would quickly realize what a dud I was and they’d leave me for dead as soon as they had a proper excuse. I mean, I wouldn’t blame them.  

3. My acid reflux and digestion issues

I’m an absolute mess in the guts. If I ever run out of Tums, probiotics, Imodium, or acid reflux medicine, you might as well just leave me for dead. 

Not only am I not exactly fit for zombie battle when my stomach acid coming up my esophagus feels like hellfire, my bowel movements when stressed could potentially attract a horde of zombies from miles away. 

4. My germaphobe rituals

When you’re running for your life from zombies and terrible, evil people, warm running water and soap aren’t exactly a priority. Hand sanitizer would never be on the grocery list between water and food. 

As such, I’d probably never make it to my first meal of road kill surprise. Not only would I have the hardest time not gagging while eating hastily cooked raccoon, I simply would not be able to eat with zombie brains under my finger nails.

Nope. Just leave me for dead. I couldn’t.

5. My beauty essentials/routine 

And, let’s not forget the benefit to being appealing-looking and how that might aid in the continuation of one’s life. I would not be a looker after just a week without my electric razor, dry shampoo, and foundation.
I know that beauty is not exactly essential for survival, but when the broad with a beard and noxious gas needs your help again, you just might be tempted to leave her in the woods.

Honestly, I’m really disappointed in myself and quite terrified that I’ll never be a Carol or a Maggie, but an Idiot Girl-Episode 1. 

So, do y’all have any tips for me to beef up my zombie survival skills? Or, am I a lost cause, so I should just keep doing what I do best-avoiding any and all physical exertion and marathon eating Skinny Cow desserts?

 That’s what I thought, too…

*unwraps a Skinny Cow Simply Amazing Salted Caramel Pretzel bar*

My First FabFitFun Box

Ya’ll! I finally broke down and joined every other basic bitch and got me a FabFitFun box. It was a splurge (even at the discounted price of $39.99) that I really didn’t need, but TREAT YO SELF! 

I love, love, love the excitement that exists when you know a package is headed your way. It’s why I do Snack Crate and Ipsy, and why I order far too often from Amazon Prime, Zulily, and many others I’m too ashamed to list.

I decided to spare everyone a cringe-worthy Tori Spelling-esque “unboxing” video. I’m super awkward on film, and so many other *greats* like Snooki and Teresa Giudice are doing video “unboxings” for your viewing pleasure. 

So, let’s just get on with it, eh? 

What a beautiful fucking sight. This is totally staged, btw. How I really found my box was dented, dirty, and wedged into the bushes. I think our mail delivery people just toss our packages from their truck. It’s the only explanation.

The very same day I received my box, my darling guy got me this sweet and quite apropos treat, and somehow, my FabFitFun box didn’t seem quite as fabulous.

10000% my kind of gift

So, when I was done feeling all the feels, I finally got around to opening my box. 

The packaging is nice, and I like how they add the paper “grass” (what is that shit called?).

What I didn’t like is that these “high end” items come in mass-produced-feeling  plastic. This type of packaging takes away the “expensive” feel of the items.

Now might be the time, especially if you’re not familiar with the concept, to mention that FabFitFun profess that their $49.99 box is worth $200+.

More on that as we continue.

Let me show you my perfectly staged photo of the contents. Aren’t I so talented in such a basic-bitch-taking-a-photo-for-Insta-way?


Now, let’s review each item and their supposed cost. 


The MER SEA & CO scarf is one of the items in the box that I feel lives up to its apparent cost. Even so, there is no way in hell I’d ever intentionally buy a $98 scarf. With Target, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx’s amazingly low priced on-trend pieces, I can get a decent scarf for $12. 

I asked my live-in photographer (boyfriend) to snap a couple shots of me in my new scarf. What you will notice in the images is that the scarf is behemoth (maybe that’s why it’s so expensive-each one is made from 50 polyester trees) and that my Blog-Instagram Boyfriend was not having it, as I now have 82 random, blurry images of me getting ready to pose. Great job, Babe! 

Had to pick off all of the paper confetti from the box that was stuck on the scarf.
After spending “10 minutes” positioning the scarf in the mirror. 67 of the 82 images are of my wide ass at said mirror.
What an awesome, artistic action shot of my three chins!
Really glad he got such a great shot of my Bingo Wings!
After all of the prep, I was not pleased with the photo, but the photographer was 100% not having it anymore.
But, guess what? This beast of a scarf can totally be worn as a shirt! Fucking score!

Also pictured in the above images is The Jetset Diaries cable knit beanie. This is probably my favorite item, because my day 4 hair loves the crap out of beanies. This came-in-plastic beanie is supposed to be worth $49, and I just can’t. I bet you all that right now, this very minute, in any Target across the nation, sits a black beanie, almost identical to the one from the box and it’s $10. Again, why is a thin cable-knit beanie $49? Who are the idiots buying $50 beanies? 

Next up is the Mytagalongs hot and cold pack ($15). I am actually really excited about this, because I totally needed another ice pack to add to the 20 already in the freezer. The reason: IT SAYS, “ICE ICE BABY”. 


This was totally appreciated, because BUTT WIPES ARE EVERYTHING, YO. 


I can’t speak too much for these products, as I have yet to use them. I am totally excited to try the apple cider vinegar hair rinse, though! I’m also really looking forward to never using the lipstick, because I don’t wear lipstick. The Whish Beauty mud mask is valued at $48, the DPHue rinse at $35, and the Trèstique lipstick at $28. 


The Deco Miami lavender cuticle oil is just too cute. When I was first opening the box, I thought it was nail polish. I was so bummed, because I get gel manicures, so nail polish is useless to me. When I used my reading decoding skills and saw that it was cuticle oil, I was giddy. My cuticles are inexcusably ghastly! The oil is priced at $12.50 and is the only reasonably priced item in the box (save for the Cottonelle buttwipes). 


The imm-Living ceramic and wire geometric heart jewelry holder is the exact thing I’d use my last $5 to buy at Ross. It really is adorable and is already proudly on display on my vanity. That said, IT’S A PIECE OF GARBAGE. 

When I got it, there was a nub of ceramic in one of the holes where the wire base goes. I had to take some skinny scissors and jam it loose. Even then, the hole was too tight (that’s what he (?) said) and upon jamming the metal into the hole some of the “metal” flaked off. 


This cheaply made piece of poo is priced at $33. Fuck me.

I saved the coup de grâce for last.
When I first saw the fall box on Instagram, I saw a gym bag that read, “Will Workout For Cupcakes”. That sealed the deal. I had to have it.

Well, in my box I got a Walmart special that reads, “Meet Me at the Barre”. I’ve never been to a barre fitness class, and this bodacious bod has never, ever been confused for that of a ballerina’s. There’s no way I’d ever carry this bag. Just embarrassing. 

Not only this, FabFitFun is claiming that the thin canvas Private Party bag is worth $59. Excuse my French, but FUCK YOU VERY MUCH. 

I don’t shop at Walmart and haven’t for a solid four years, but I guaran-fucking-tee that they have a similar bag for no more than $10. If not Walmart, Wish is guaranteed to have it for $1.50. 

So, I’m still laughing that Private Party and FabFitFun thinks this bag is worth $59. 

Final Thoughts 

I have a really, really, really effing hard time believing the items that came in my box truly total $377.50. If this is indeed an accurate sum, I’m appalled at what is deemed high quality just because it has a high price. If this is the true state of the world now, maybe I can start harvesting my boyfriend’s belly button hair and sell it as “organic inner ear warmers”. I bet I could get 40 bucks per pair. 

I do believe I got my $40 worth, though. For sure. I just don’t like being taken for a schmuck. 

***When I realized that I didn’t get the cupcake bag, I immediately emailed FabFitFun and asked if I could make an exchange. I explained that I was Fatty McCupcakes and that I needed the cupcake bag. I said I’d write a blog post about my box and everything.

They got back to me very quickly and said that they’d exchange the bag “as a one time courtesy”. No, “We’d love for you to write a blog post about us, and not only will we send you the “Will Workout For Cupcakes” bag, we’d like to offer you a job as a paid blogger for FabFitFun” or anything. Rude.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful they are exchanging the bag, but the wording “as a one time courtesy” sounded kinda bitchy. 

Don’t let me discourage you. It really is a fun way to spend $39.99-$49.99. Just remember, it’s Reba Fancy, not Real Fancy.