I Just Want To Make You Laugh

I felt I should, out of respect and because I’m a teacher, mention something about the senseless tragedy last week.

It was and is horrific that these acts continue to plague our world.

But, because this blog is not the platform I would like to use to speak my mind on hot button issues, I’m not even going to go there with a political stance or a statement on what’s happening and why.

(But if you do want to lose friends over a difference of opinion or get in a fight with your childhood best friend’s mom, Facebook is open all day for your convenience.)

This blog space has and will always be a place for everyone, regardless of sex, gender, race, political affiliation, or stance on whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza (it does, in case you were wondering, but I totally still love you if you hate it).

Not only do we have enough of the ugly side of the real world all over our social media, we need some comic relief, even during the darkest of times.

It’s this reason I’m not sharing politically-fueled or potentially segregating posts here and why I’m going to continue spreading my humor.

This can be your place (if I so humbly declare) that you can come to to maybe get a chuckle or to not feel so alone because you realize now that you’re not the only one with overly hairy toes.

So, amidst the sadness and fear I feel for my students and my fellow teachers in the trenches, I feel a need to continue to smile, to find the good, to laugh.*

source

*This doesn’t mean you can’t also fight tooth and nail for what you believe in, because do that too ✊🏻.

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?

The Avocado Incident

You know how when you have a really stressful, crappy day the only thing that will make it better is massive quantities of carbs and a good angry conversation with yourself in the car on the way home?

Well, when you’re on a “diet” and all you have at lunch that even halfway resembles cake is an avocado (and it’s not even close to car convo time), that shit’ll do.

I brought an avocado for lunch with the intention of cutting it up and adding a few pieces to my Mexican-style salad.

After a morning where positively everything went wrong and after hearing some not-so-happy news, my emotions were conflicted and I was HANGRY.AF.

I almost forgot I even brought that damn avocado and didn’t recall my salad’s one saving grace until I had already choked down my plain lettuce and farty black beans.

I also forgot the butter knife I meant to take so I could cut said avocado.

It was almost animalistic what happened next.

I needed that avocado and not a few measly I-have-self-control-look-at me pieces.

I took the end of my fork and I just mauled that avocado like a savage until the skin was ripped to shreds and I could start inhaling the poop green goodness.

I sat and angry ate an entire fucking avocado.

And, it was a big boy, too.

Even when I bring healthy food options, I end up figuring out a way to royally fuck it up.

I need help.

Have you ever eaten a whole avocado in one sitting? Maybe I’m impressed/shocked/disgusted over something that’s not even a big deal. If not an avocado, have you ever eaten an entire *something* and then immediately felt like a fat bastard?

I need to know.

Things My Optometrist Says

My family and I have been going to the same optometrist for decades. My grandma and grandpa saw him for their ocular needs many moons ago and my aunt first started seeing him when she was in high school in the late 70s. I first met him when I was around five and I got a piece of shell stuck in my eye.

We’ve loved him like he… Oh, you want to know how in the heck I got a piece of shell stuck in my eye?

(I’m gonna be really long-winded here, so bear with me.)

Well, so, there’s this lake in our neck of the woods that is all dirt, shells, clay and, of course, water. Not a single tree or bush, save eight billion sagebrush bushes. No matter the season, time of day, or day of the week, it’s windy as a mofo. I’ve witnessed more tents, sleeping bags, water floaties, and coolers succumb to the elements and be dragged out to the middle of the lake to never be seen again than you can even wrap your head around. So, I think you can imagine now how a piece of shell could lodge itself in one’s eye. Thus, my first encounter with Dr. M.

When I turned 12 and was immediately struck nearsighted, (actually, that’s not how it happened. I was probably half blind for a year before anyone realized that why I was so bad at math was that I just couldn’t see any of the equations on the board. Except, that’s TOTALLY not why I’m bad at math. Anyway…), I started going to Dr. M regularly.

My grandpa died when I was a mere babe, so getting to see Dr. M every year for my check up was what I imagined hanging out with my grandpa would have been like.

My entire family and I are truly fond of him, and whenever one of us has an eye appointment, the rest of us wait with bated breath for a new Dr. M story or classic line we can chuckle about for years.

So, without further ado…

Things My Beloved Oldster Armenian Optometrist Says:

“Let me get you some extra sample contact solution, but you can’t tell any of *them*. You have to put it in your purse. Is this going to fit in your purse? Open up your purse, let’s see if it will fit.

“Do you use the good contact solution? No? Do you do lattes? Yes? Well, no more lattes and you can buy the good contact solution. Done.”

“You know *insert really famous actress he actually knows personally here*? She’s a really interesting person, but she is not a looker.”

The optometrist’s assistant *In a keep-this-on-the-DL-way*: “We are going to start in this room, but we will be moving to exam room 1 when it becomes available, because this room is too stuffy for Dr. M.”

Dr. M, leading me out of the too-hot exam room: “Let’s get out of here. This room is too hot. I don’t do hot!”

“I remember walking through the war-torn streets for bread for dinner. I was very young, but reliable enough that my mother trusted me to walk many blocks for our daily meal.”*

Saying to me about the optometrist assistant who was helping me find frames: “I have to ask her before I can leave. Can I leave now?

And, my mom’s favorite story about how he is too cheap/stubborn to get AC in his house, so he walks around his house naked, but his wife won’t let him sit on any of the furniture. He likely told my mom this story to garner some sympathy for his terrible plight.

Whether it’s a story about his famous celebrity friends he made while living in LA or it’s a randomly comical observation about the state of the world today, visiting with Dr. M is never dull or without feeling like I’m being attended to by someone who genuinely cares about my health and latte-buying financial choices.

I just hope that Dr. M knows how much he is revered and loved by all who have been lucky enough to know him.

*I’m not sure I got this right. Or, maybe Dr. M didn’t get it right? Either way, if he was referring to WWII war-torn streets, he lived abroad and he looks really good for his age. He might be referring to another war, or, hell, he’s a really great storyteller. Either way, needing to know more about this man’s fascinating life is a great excuse to make another eye appointment.

A face only a friendly optometrist would love.

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”.

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Eat Twelve Cupcakes If I Want To

In honor of my big how-am-I-already-thirty-five-and-still-fat-and-poor-day, I’d love it if you’d share one of your latest/favorite/needing love posts.

My cousin knows how to celebrate a birthday!

I’ve never done this before, but I love the “giving back” idea of it.

In fact, I hope that you get the love your post deserves and you gain some new followers, even.

I don’t have thousands of followers, but I do have quite a few amazing people you may not know about yet!

I have been given so much by my readers in the form of support, love, and even amazing care packages.

Now, today is all about you beautiful people.

Besides, I need to be distracted by the fact that I’m probably not getting 10 million dollars as one of my gifts this year.

Have a cupcake (or ten) in my honor!

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?