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!

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.

The Cabin

I think of it often. My heart never forgets its pull. In my dreams, it’s just as it always was when I was young. Its imprint on my memory, it’s image like a photograph, burned into my heart. When my eyes close, I see it. There sits a humble cabin on a quiet bay of a picturesque mountain lake. 

Every summer of my childhood was spent in heaven, paradise, our own personal Elysium. Every month, week, and day leading up to the summer was spent in heart-aching-anticipation of this special place. 

From my earliest memories, I recall the cabin on Coeur d’Alene Lake and it’s profound magic. 

The cabin is many things, but mostly it’s…

800 miles of sticky skin on sticky skin, drooling cousins, hot air whipping in through the windows, and knowing it all will not be in vain. 

A dark-haired, pig-tailed girl and a toe-headed boy eagerly sharing they are “going to Idaho” to anyone they meet along the way in Idaho who inquires. 

Friends. Foes. Ballers. Cousins.

The lazy susan that just maybe will reveal Lucky Charms on its next go-round instead of Raisin Bran.

Soft sunlight peppered through the curtains, the sound of familiar voices, the smell of coffee and toast, the feeling of an unburdened soul.

Bud’s Big Burgers and the time someone tagged, “Bud’s Big Boogers” on the side of the building. 

The smell of our family’s past in the musty throw pillows and dusty books. 

The taste of milk in vintage Harvest Yellow plastic tumblers and powdered Nesquik sprinkled on Darigold vanilla ice cream.

That particular bend in the road as you’re  coming from town where the temperature drops ten degrees and you know you’re truly at the lake.

Grandma’s tomato soup with elbow macaroni and the best dried garden herbs from The Herb Lady. 

The crystal clear waters that cleanse the soul and clear the mind.

The summer when Return of the Mack was popular and Mom thought Mark Morrison was singing, “We’re Tearing Up the Moon”. 

Check out this video on YouTube:

It totally sounds like that, Mom. (No, it doesn’t.) 

The sound of a car door on the landing, followed by Uncle Gary’s unmistakable voice, and the exciting knowledge that he’ll either have ingredients for an exotic dish, a new lake floaty, or, even better, a new crazy story. 

Captain Gary

Water-logged, pruney, sun-drenched skin and a satisfying tiredness that only comes after a day on the lake. 

Grandma’s favorite-Julio Iglesias, or Lee Greenwood’s Mornin’ Ride (that we only recently discovered is not about an early morning horse ride) blaring in the car, as we hug the curves around the lake, toward the cabin. 

Check out this video on YouTube:

I envisioned an innocent horse ride through a dewy meadow. My brother always thought of a virtuous truck ride in the early morn. When we discovered the true meaning, my mom was appalled and my Grandma never chose to believe it was about a ride in the hay, and by hay, I mean bed. 

The smell and presence of Grandpa in the old board games stacked in the closet, the ancient, but clean linens, and the worn gold-colored armchair. 

Pool Noodle Ballet in the deep and how that’s the only kind of ballet Mom and I will ever be good at. 

Fireworks, reflecting on the water, damp life jackets, and the sound of gentle waves lapping against the boat. 

Finally entering the Idaho farmland from the desolate desert drive and feeling the pull of the cabin and the lake in your bones.

The time Uncle Gary lost his teeth in the lake and offered up $20 to whoever found them. That was me. 

The tiny Jewel Box Gem Shop in Harrison and the treasures you could find there.

“The Hootie”*, its unpleasant smell, and the time my brother almost lit it on fire, used the Brita water pitcher to put it out, and then dropped the pitcher down the hole.

Isn’t she cute?

Butt to butt in the tiny kitchen, the smell of bleach water, and calling dibs on being the dish dryer. 

The annual Great Carlin Bay Swim: 42 people belonging to one family, 672 floaties, and a whole lotta racket, echoing off the water of the bay. 

The scary night when we almost became a bear’s midnight snack, my heroic grandma and how she scared the garbage-can-digging-by-the-window-creeping bear (It was a dog).

Night swims that sometimes turn into skinny dipping, and the time the neighbors came home and turned on all of their 8,000 lights. Mom and Aunt Dana are still pruney in places. 

The sound of a faraway boat, speeding down the channel. The creaking of Grandma’s hanging Rattan chair, and her melodious humming as she stares, her blue eyes a perfect reflection of the water. 


There are so many more things that make the cabin what it is and was to every member of my family. I don’t know why I was suddenly inspired to write a post about my summers spent on Coeur d’Alene Lake. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been in many years and I feel the pull of it in my bones and I crave a swim in its cleansing waters. That must be it. 
*”The Hootie” is our very fancy outhouse. It comes complete with its own deck, curtained-window, built-in magazine rack, and a very intricate ventilation system that Uncle Gary jerry-rigged together after a particularly hot and smelly summer.
 

How Fatty Got Her Groove Back-The Journey

I was going to post a satirical piece about how I’d fare in a zombie apocalypse, but I felt that topic and type of humor would be in poor taste in light of recent events. To that, my thoughts are with those who have been forever affected by the shooting in Vegas. 

I will save the zombie post for another time. 

In its place is a throwback post about an experience I had with a friend in a Warm Flow yoga class. 

This is a humorous post, and I’m choosing to share this, because laughter is what gets me through tough times. I wish no sufferers and family members of victims any disrespect, and I only hope that they find again some happiness and humor in this scary world. 

Last week, A and I decided to give yoga at The Studio another shot, as our heated Vinyasa experience wasn’t the shit show we had envisioned it would be. We have a very limited availability while school is still in session, so our time frame in which to subject ourselves to exercise misery is tough to manage. 

We have both admitted that if we went home prior to working out, upon entering our respective homes, the pull of our couches and fat pants would be too great. 

Because we both understand the large scope of our eternal laziness, we felt it best to not even go home, but to drive straight to the studio. Do not pass “go”, do not collect any slurpees at 7-11 on your way, just get there before the tiny, minuscule flicker of desire has died. That’s been the game plan. 

A different class was offered at our preferred time called, Warm Flow. The name calls to mind a nice warm bath, a calm breeze on a summer day, the natural ebb and flow of the tide. In fat girl speak, it sounded easy.

However, we quickly found out it was anything but. What I didn’t notice upon signing up, was the level of this particular class. The level was a 2-3. In case you aren’t yoga literate, that level means: DA-FUQ. 

Yes, we attended a far too advanced-way hotter than heated Vinyasa-I’m glad I’m still alive to tell about it-yoga class. If heated Vinyasa was hot, this was the pits of hell unbearable. To make matters so much more uncomfortable, I noticed halfway through the class that we were directly underneath the heating vent. It was not even halfway pleasant. The only positive thing I could think of was, “At least I’m sweating my fat off. At least that.” 

Now, as this was a higher level yoga class, the moves were embarrassingly out of reach for us both. A faired slightly better than I, but overall we were both sweaty piles of disgrace. With the heat and the impossible contortions happening, I was actually not even embarrassed that I spent 99% of that class in child’s pose, or sitting slumped over on my mat, in a stupor. 

That was, at least, until the “Starer”.Yes, folks, we had an ogler. 

It was always my understanding that yoga was a kind of private experience. I always thought everyone would be too busy “ohm-ing” and listening to their breath to notice the ineptitude of others. Well, the “Starer” did not get that memo.

When there were only 15 glorious minutes of the class left, the instructor told us we would have time to practice our hand stands. After a snort and an eye roll, A and I decided we would just continue standing awkwardly in the middle of the room. The instructor must have thought that wasn’t kosher, because she actually moved our sweaty mats to the wall in a you’re-gonna-still-try-ya-fatties way. 

We tried the downward dog jumps in place of handstands, because, come on, I saw a broken nose in my immediate future. It was after this that we all found ourselves seated (yes!) on our mats, more or less, facing each other. It was at this point, I noticed the “Starer”. 

The way this person looked at me was more “OMG I can’t believe I’ve just seen the rare Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth” and less, “Wow, it’s a fat person attempting yoga.”

The “Starer” seemed shocked, curious, amused, and slightly disgusted all at the same time. What I wanted to say to this person was: “I know I’m not your usual level 3 Warm Flow yoga participant, but maybe you need to worry more about yo’self and your breathing or that really painful looking camel toe you have going on.”

I knew saying that wouldn’t have made me any friends, and I still have eight classes left on my Groupon for The Studio. I would actually like to show my sweaty face there again. 

And…I’ve discovered I actually want to continue this “yoga thing”.  It seems unbelievable, but I used to be a fairly limber child. When I was just learning to get up as a baby, I would do the splits. My mom thought something was wrong with me, but maybe I’m just naturally flexible? 

Before I got super awkward and tall, I did dance and gymnastics. My body actually used to be able to contort into a handstand backbend. I think I lost my flexibility, but Imma get it back. 

So, to the “Starer”, just you wait. Just.you.wait. *fist waving in air*

“How Fatty Got Her Groove Back” my journey will be called. 

Me, contemplating going back to yoga 🤔

Update: I have yet to get my “groove” back. 

Emetophobia? Say What?

I think I’ve mentioned here a couple thousand times or two that I’m a germaphobe. If you know me personally, you would most definitely say that hand sanitizer is the one item I’d choose to take to a desert island. 

It’s true.

I always try to play it cool, like I’m not afraid germs will jump right off surfaces straight into my mouth. 

When I first started at my school, I tried not to be the token germaphobe teacher. I thought I was doing well until our old (as in, not-at-our-school-anymore-old) counselor made some joke about me almost certainly having a black light app on my phone (We were in a really shady bus. I’d explain why we needed a black light, but I think you know). 

I remember thinking, “How did she know?” 

After some self-reflection, I realized she knew, along with everyone else who’s come into contact with me, because I put on hand sanitizer precisely 537 times a day. 

I really thought I was stealth about my hand sanitizer use.

Also, I’m that person sending death glares to adult you-should-know-better creeps who don’t cover their mouths. 

Additionally:

1. I have to be minutes from death before you see me in an ER.

2. If someone close to me looks like they’ll be sick, I’ll run for the hills/call for an adultier adult/point to somewhere far away from me, indicating that’s where I’d like them to be.

3. I use my shirt to open doors with questionable handles. 

4. I ask my boyfriend if he washed with soap after he uses the bathroom. 

5. I’ve been known to put hand sanitizer in my nose if forced to breath in someone’s sneeze or hot death fart. 

In all seriousness, I have problems.

I’ve always had a fear of vomiting-hearing it, seeing it, smelling it, doing it. Nope times ten million. 

Also, I hate having someone see or know I’m sick. Just leave me alone. Better yet, let me hide in the hole I’ve just dug until I’m human again. 

Shit got real about 10 years ago when I worked at a daycare during college. There was a huge norovirus outbreak, and it fucked with my mind in a major way. Like I mentioned before, I’ve never been a fan of puking, but when we went so far as to bleach crayons and books to prevent the spread of a virus, something clicked in me. 

This is bad shit. Literally. I don’t want to puke and poop, involuntarily and simultaneously. How long does this illness from Hell last? Will I have to go to the ER with a puke bucket? OMG. No. We’re all gonna die. HELP. We’re.All.Gonna.Die. 

So, during the great Norovirus Outbreak Freak Out of 2006, I would go to serious OCD extremes to “protect” myself from getting sick. Really, these were just compulsions that made me feel safe. 

When I got home after being stuck in the hot box of germs all day, I’d strip at the door. Before scalding myself in the shower, I’d wipe my purse, keys, and phone down with Clorox wipes. 

This was an everyday thing and I didn’t feel *OK* until my routine was done. 

So, yeah. 

*coughs

Whenever an illness starts making its rounds, I try to play it cool. Even after I hear of the 58th person I know to bite the dust, I try to act like I’m not about the worrying life, but then I find myself spraying my face down with spray hand sanitizer whenever someone’s breath comes a little too close to my face holes.
As much as being sick sucks, I realize that vomiting is not the end of the world (I mean, if you are vomiting due to Ebola, that might mean the end of the world. But, that was so 2014). 

I’m not as OCD about getting sick anymore, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend two days on my bathroom floor.

So that I’m not the only freak in the room, tell me what you’re phobic about. Any fellow emetophobics? If so, how do you calm yer tits when shit gets real? Let me know in the comments! 


Remember this from my But Don’t Do That post? Even this is a lie. If you’re puking in my house, I’m packing and heading for Mexico. NOPE.

We Were Stupid AF

“Um. Dude. You might want to leave work…” 

“Uh…why?”

“Well, we have to be out of the apartment by five tonight, or they’ll be calling the police to escort us out…”

At some point in everyone’s lives they’ve had a stupid-af-era. If you’ve never had one of those, you’re the exception, not the rule. Count yourself lucky, too, because you probably have minimal debt, own an appliance larger than a blender, and you know what an annuity is, and you likely have one. 

So, none of the above is me. I’ve had my stupid-af-era, and to be quite honest, I’m not sure I ever left said time in my life. 

Back when I moved out of my parents’ for the first time, I lived with two of my best friends. 

We were all almost 21, and so idiotic it was a wonder anyone was brave enough to give us our own apartment. 

We apartment hunted for a long time, wanting a cheap apartment in a not cheap neighborhood. Finally, we had to settle on a two bed, one bath. Best Friend #1 and I had to share a room, but it was worth not being woken up by my dad banging on my door, looking for the crusted-over bowls hiding under my bed. 

Living on our own was better than I had ever dreamed it would be. On the first night, I overflowed the toilet. The second night, our secondhand dryer broke. On the third night, we spilled Sour Apple Pucker on the carpet. Really, we should have stopped while we were ahead. Yet, every moment was magic, because independence was a beautiful thing. 

It was simply glorious being footloose and anal-retentive-parent-free. 

We stayed up till all hours, drinking Bartles & Jaymes Wine Coolers and watching Santa Clause 2. 

No one (Mom) ever yelled at me for hogging up the phone line so I could change my AIM away message twenty times in one day.

If all we wanted in the fridge was a jar of questionable pickles and eight varieties of Boones Farm, so be it. 

We were independent ladies, forging our way in the world. 

Along with the wild 8-and-up card game nights, we also had nights when we fought. 

My two best friends, while being my good friends, didn’t exactly love each other. 

One was too over-bearing and motherly. The other left her thongs, crotch up, in the bathroom. 

Some nights, we’d throw keyboards, curling irons, or said thongs at each other. 

Other nights, we’d drown each other out with loud mariachi music. 

During the six months that we lived in the apartment, we never once got a complaint from a neighbor. I’m not really sure how that was even possible. Maybe our downstairs neighbors were as loud and obnoxious as us? Or, they were stone-deaf. 

This gorgeous chaos soon came to a head after Best Friend #2 brought home a cat, which was against our lease agreement (it also didn’t help that the little fucker’s favorite thing to do was hide under the couch or behind the bedskirt and then attach itself to our flesh when we least expected it). 

Best Friend #1 and I were a lot of annoying, juvenile things, and one of those things was we were big rule followers (I guess that didn’t apply to underage drinking, though). As soon as we could, we returned the cat to the humane society.

Obviously, hijaking someone’s cat and taking it back to the cat store doesn’t sit well with some people (most people). 

This single act started an epic war between three extremely petty, passive-aggressive bimbos.

Because living at the apartment was becoming awkward as fuck, Best Friend #1 went back home and I sought refuge at the new boyfriend’s house.

When the portion of the power bill owed by Best Friend #2 wasn’t paid, we snuck into the apartment and removed every single lightbulb. Our not-quite-fully-developed brains figured this was the obvious solution to an issue that could have been handled by simple communication.

Best Friend (or Enemy, at this point) #2, went to management and told them all about our drama. 

Turns out, shady apartment managers don’t like dealing with dumb college girl drama. 

They didn’t even want to hear it and told us we all had to be moved out before 5 PM that same day. 

After quite a few years under my belt, and some serious renting experience, I realize now that what they did was likely illegal. 

Well, after the phone call from Best Friend #1, suggesting I maybe come home to completely vacate in less than 5 hours, I called my mom. 

(Shamefully, I’m pretty certain that every gray hair and wrinkle on my mother’s body is thanks to my brother and I.) 

Her response was: “Well, that’s just fabulous. You better call every Goddamn person you know to help you. You also better call your father, because I’m not. Good luck with that and goodbye.” 

At some point during the Great Pack Up, Best Friend #1’s mom was on her hands and knees, in the kitchen, frantically throwing kitchen items into a box while simultaneously yelling about how disgusting we were. 

My brother was vacuuming for the first time in his life, going over and over every square inch of carpet like his life depended on it.

My aunt was asking what she thought we should do about the moldy towels in our 6-months-broken dryer. 

My mom was yelling orders at all of our family and friends, and even some random people she caught walking down the street. 

My cousins were hauling loose items like lamps, throw pillows and towels to our cars, while cursing us under their breath. 

Best Friend # 1 and I were throwing belongings into boxes, not caring whose crap it was. I think there’s still some random storage shed somewhere with our priceless Anne Geddes art and plastic blow up lounge chairs. 

And, Best Friend #2? What was she doing? At precisely T-Minus two hours, she was still crying in her room. 

After attempts by my mom and Best Friend #1’s mom, my dad had to finally pound on her door and threaten her with his dad voice. Eventually, she appeared with 85 garbage bags, filled to the brim with her stuff, ready to be hauled out.

Somehow, we all (Mom, Dad, Brother, Best Friend #1’s mom, dad, and brother, Best Friend #2, a handful of friends, my cousins, and random passerby) managed to leave the place looking spotless (not even a random hanger or a half-used roll of TP was left) with only two minutes to spare. 

I learned a lot of lessons from my first time living on my own. Namely, don’t live with friends and don’t leave bitchy notes for your roommates that read, “I love waking up to your bowel movements everyday. Can you please run the fan and courtesy flush? Also, the phone bill is due. K thanks.” 

I’m still learning. 

I just learned the other day that disposals aren’t made to mash up large quantities of food. They are just for those odd bits. Who woulda thunk? 

Also, don’t prop up your feet that have been in your sweaty shoes all day on the coffee table within five feet of someone. Especially when they’re eating. 

So, even though I’m doing slightly better than I was when I first lived on my own, somedays, I think I’m still firmly planted in the stupid-af-era. And, some days, I change the batteries in the smoke detector all on my own. 

These days, Best Friend #1 is winning at life. She owns her own home and seems to always be jetting off on some trip. The bitch. 

Best Friend #2 is married with two beautiful children. I don’t think she owns a cat. 


For some reason, this is the only picture I could find of our first apartment. Notice the message board, where super friendly (bitchy) messages were written. I have no idea who the half-naked guy is, but a poster of a wet/greased up/sweaty guy in the kitchen is always a good idea. Also, WTF is happening with my “bangs”? 

Autumn-Loving and Basic AF

Whenever summer starts to loosen its death grip on the weather, and crisper mornings start to require a little more clothing, I feel my heart become lighter, brighter. 

Surely, we all know, since I’m Fatty McCupcakes, that part of why I love autumn so much is because it means no more exposed chub. Hands down, autumn and winter fashion is my favorite, not only because more of my body is covered, but because I love what I get to cover my body in-cardigans galore, plaid scarves, and every type of boot imaginable.

Pumpkin-flavored-everything starts to be available, and my inner, wannabe-baker starts to stockpile sprinkles, sugar skull cupcake liners, and bags of baking sugar. And, sometimes, I actually get around to baking something delicious. 

Warm, rich stews appear in the dinner rotation, and suddenly, homemade hot apple cider sounds like a good idea. 

I start to purchase huge bags of candy for trick or treaters (no, these never get busted into before Halloween), and I start creating my next, too-involved Halloween costume for school.

So, essentially, I’m just like every other basic, white bitch, dusting off her Uggs. 

And, so-fucking-what? 

If it’s basic to love a season so much that you go hog wild on doing positively everything that makes said season fun as shit, then label me Basic AF, with a capital Chambray and Chevron. 

I don’t even care. 

But, if you love autumn and all that comes with it with every fiber of your being like I do, it’s likely due to something deeper than PSLs and artsy wet leaf Instagram shots. 

You probably had loving, involved parents  who pointed out the changing leaves and talked to you about why the seasons change. 

You likely had a family who took you to pumpkin patches to pick the *perfect* pumpkin to carve. And then you went home to make hot apple cider. 

Maybe your mom took you on Sunday drives in the rain, so that you could witness, first hand, the changing season in all its resplendent glory.

So, it’s settled. I’m a basic, but Canva-graphic-deep, autumn-obsessed bitch. 

I’ve said in earlier posts that when the seasons change, I think of Elko. I don’t know what it is about that place. Especially since I positively hated living there the better part of the first year. 

Still, after so many years, when autumn arrives, it reminds me of the beauty that is Elko. 


Ready for the deep, artsy wet-leaf-Canva-graphic part? 

Here’s what really sings in my heart when autumn rolls in with the dry leaves and fireplace smell: 

Muddy roads and slanted rain on dusty windows.
The smell of rich earth, wet leaves. An old heater. Burning wood. 

Heavy, low-lying clouds, blanketing brown sagebrushed hills. Wet, dark, slate.

The blue-tinged sunshine. Crisp blue skies. Orange, brown, red. 

The taste of cinnamon and cloves. Pumpkin. Yeast. 
Enveloping darkness and lighted windows projecting warmth and a story. 

This is autumn. 

This is autumn, bitch. 


Namast’ay Fat

As I was standing in the line at the grocery store, wearing my “Namaste In Shape” tank, I pondered how bad it looked that I was buying two pieces of cake, a bottle of Moscato and a bag of Cheetos. 

I mean, I know people were judging the chubby chick buying, at least, 4,000 calories worth of junk, in a shirt that proclaims she’d rather stay in shape. 

I’d be judging me too. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not delusional. I know this tank doesn’t magically make me look like a yoga-obsessed health freak. As much as I’d like it to camouflage all of my lumps and bumps, and be the fat person’s version of the magical Cloak of Invisibility, I know it’s not. 

Apparently, my fake look-like-I’m-working-out-with-my-vices-joke pose is the same as my poopin’ face. For shame. Utter fail.

I just like the color and the fit. It doesn’t cling to my stomach and it doesn’t get wedged between my back fat rolls. 

It’s the perfect compliment to my fat pants. 

It just so happens to make a false statement.  Extremely false. A bold-faced lie. 

I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ll just lift my beer and the remotes a few times and count that as my fitness for the day. BTW, WHAT’S WITH MY FACE?

I’ve never been fit. Literally never. I’ve gone from baby fat to teenager fat to adult fat. 

So, as I stood, balancing my evening of fuck-it-I-had-a-bad-week, I got to thinking about all of the ridiculous things I’ve done in my favorite tank o’ lies:

1. Walked to 7-11 to purchase chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes. At least I walked. (If you’ve never had these cupcakes and you like peanut butter, you’ve been majorly missing out.)

2. Stood in line outside at our neighborhood burger and wing stand. Drool stains. No bra. Zero fucks. 

3. Sat on the couch with a paper towel bib as I balanced half a watermelon on my lap.

4. Made a tray of no-bake Reese’s diabetes bars that I hid in my sock drawer and inhaled over the next two days. 

5. Rode the elevator up two flights of stairs to the gym, where I just used the bathroom. 

6. Laid on the couch with Netflix and three beers, not getting up to do the dinner dishes  or even to get first dessert. 

7. Drove, not even two blocks, to mail a letter- a letter officially cancelling the gym membership I had for a year but never used. 

It’s been super fun going over all the fun I’ve had in my trusty tank. Maybe, at some point, before it becomes more chocolate syrup stain than cotton, I’ll wear it to exercise. 

Nah. 

If y’all ever see a shirt that says “Namast’ay Fat”, let me know ASAP. 

Comparison is a Bitch, Man

We’ve all heard the quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy” by Theodore Roosevelt. If you’ve never heard this one before, you’re welcome. 


Source
Ever since coming across this six word, seemingly inconspicuous sentence, my view on comparison has been utterly transformed. I think I’ve always known, we all know, that comparison kills the joy you possess for what you have in life. 

But, it’s just a subconscious understanding, only nibbling at your consciousness when you feel like poop after comparing your cracking pleather Target purse with your friend’s (still nice) pleather Coach bag.

So, I’ve always known on a deeper level that comparing myself with others never ends well, but it wasn’t until reading that quote did it marinate and sink in.

But, because I’m me, it was not a quick fix. I still compare myself, despite knowing it’s not helpful. This is akin to eating a donut everyday for breakfast. I know it’s not good for me, yet I still have chocolate cake donut in the corners of my mouth on a daily basis. 

I’m about to be real with ya’ll.

(I think by now you’ve probably gleaned that this isn’t my usual satire post. I hope I haven’t lost any of you from forehead-on-keyboard boredom.)

Lately, despite considering that quote on a regular basis, I’ve been comparing hardcore where I’m at in life, and with my blog with literally everything and everyone I deem “better” than me. 

Here are some examples:

So and so (x 10) bought a house, so now I feel like I’m failing at adulting. Some of my friends and acquaintances own more than one bed and the latest front-loading washer and dryer. The largest appliance I own is a fucking microwave. It’s easy to get down when you aren’t there yet, despite trying really hard to be. It’s especially fucky when you’re in your mid-30s and you’re still not quite sure how to become a real adult. 

So and so goes on luxurious vacations twice a year and I’m just over here like, “I went to IKEA in Sacramento…” It’s too easy to feel anxious and stir-crazy jealous when you witness endless world traveling on Facebook while you sit on your couch with a pint of ice cream and your only door, at the moment, to the rest of the world-Karl Pilkington and An Idiot Abroad. 

So and so can wear a tank top without fear of knocking over someone with their swinging turkey wings. This ones rough, because nice arms can be obtained, but it’s harder than all the effort needed to achieve everything else in this post combined. 

So and so has thousands of followers after less than a year and gets hundreds of likes on their posts in less than 24 hours. When I come across crazy successful bloggers, I wonder what I’m doing wrong. Why have my posts never gone viral? Why have I never been Freshly Pressed on WordPress (and what is that even)? It’s almost scary how easy it is to compare yourself with other bloggers. When I do this (all the fucking time), I instantly feel less than or worry I’ll be completely irrelevant tomorrow*. 

After many discussions with my blogging buddy, An Historian, I’ve decided enough is enough.


Not only is comparing myself to others depressing, it’s killing my inspiration to be creative in my own unique way. 

It’s time I re-read, more than usual, if necessary, my favorite quote. Here are some truths I’ve learned since my comparison-quote-awakening:

1. Apartment-living ain’t half bad. Not only do I never have to pull a single weed or replace window screens with my own money, when I plug up the toilet beyond basic plunger repair with my abundant toilet paper use, I can call the landlord, instead of the plumber. Also, some people live in squalor. I have granite counter tops in my bathroom. Basically, appreciate the shit you have. Also, if I’m ever destined to own my own house, it’ll happen when it’s meant to happen. 

2. So many other less fortunate people in the world would kill to have my TJ Maxx special, but they’d use it to carry food home to their starving family. Buck the fuck up, baby! 

3. Further, it’s not about the material. When you’re dead and gone, your more-than-my-rent-expensive handbag might find its way to a thrift store where some meth head might steal it to store their meth. Or, some careless person who gets pen marks all inside might own it after you. Shit, maybe it’ll find its way onto the giant ocean garbage mountain and some Humpback Anglerfish might use it as its home. Did your bag really matter that much in the grand scheme of things? The answer is “no”**. 

4. Travel is one of the most sought after things in life. It’s worth it to skip the Starbucks to save a few bucks that can quickly turn into a few hundred bucks. All of that can be used to go somewhere that can mean more than any material object (even an Ombré Pink Drink). 

5. My body isn’t perfect and never will be. Other than a few freak alien exceptions (Candice Swanepoel anyone?), we all have imperfect bodies. We all have body parts we wish were firmer, smaller, bigger, flatter, etc. Whenever I get to feeling really self-conscious around taught-skinned gorgeous women, I pretend they are hiding a huge skin flap on their butthole (I saw that on an episode of Embarassing Bodies, so that’s a thing now). Also, we can’t all be hilarious and gorgeous. 

6. Comparing myself with other writers, especially those in my same genre is the most detrimental comparing I do. I’ve decided that just because someone else is an exceptional writer and is genuinely funny, doesn’t negate the fact that I can be too. I have my own style and so does the next funny guy. We can all be funny. We can all support each other. Kumbaya and all that shit. 
 

7. Finally, there will always be someone who has better, looks better, and seems to always have all the luck. On the flip side, someone is probably looking at me, thinking, “Why, oh why, can’t I be like that magestic beast?” 

OK, that last one made me choke on my oatmeal cookie Halo Top. 

But, you never know.

Life is mysterious. Live your life in a way that makes your heart sing, your creativity blossom, and your belly feel happy and full without worrying about anyone else.

Fuck yo couch. 

*This in no way denotes that I do not appreciate the massive recognition my blog gets from my amazing supporters. I love you all times one million cupcakes. *muah*

**If you love material things, don’t be offended. I love the shit out of material things. Why else am I at Target every weekend scrounging through the discount bins for my 1,453rd cute pencil/magazine/flower/makeup/whatever holder? I feel you.