Double Caramel Magnum

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We.ran.like.hell.

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

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

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

#WillRunForDoubleCaramelMagnums

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

Tomato Poop

I have missed complaining about how fat I am (while doing fuck all about it) so much. So much.

I’ve been pretty focused on my travel posts, because of my trip coming up (in two months-cue the obsessive worrying about literally every possible eventuality), that my I’m-a-failure-at-adulting-because-I-can’t-be-assed-to-put-my-registration-sticker-on-my-license-plate-for-four-months-until-I’m-pulled-over-and-I-eat-entire-tubs-of-Cool-Whip-in-one-sitting posts have kind of been put on the back burner.

But, good news (or not, depending on who you are) I’m finally getting around to trying to lose some weight before my trip, so I’m posting a diet fail post!

I think I’d have really shocked myself and disappointed you all had I attempted to get my dieting shit together in a timely manner.

No, just as can be expected with Fatty McCupcakes, I’m due to depart the states in two months, so now, when it’ll be next to impossible to make much of a dent in my blobby body, I decide it’s finally time.

I’m a fucking genius and I’m winning at life SO HARD.

So, I think I’ve mentioned that I’m a hardcore fan of Weight Watchers. Not only have I had success on the program (I lost 50 pounds 10 years and 60 pounds ago), I’m not keen on restrictive diets that don’t allow me a fucking doll-sized piece of cake even.

I LOVE that I can basically eat anything (within reason and expertly portion controlled) and still lose weight.

However, with the latest WW program, the points are less and the good stuff is worth more. Sugar is more of a sin than fat now. However, there are loads more zero point foods (chicken, eggs, beans, fruit, most vegetables, plain Greek yogurt, etc.). So, I guess it’s supposed to be easier or whatever.

Y’ALL, I CAN BARELY EAT ANYTHING.

If I want to eat my favorite Naked granola with my Greek yogurt for breakfast, there’s no way I can have carbs for lunch or dinner AND eat half a pint of Halo Top ice cream (Halo Top, your deliciously sinful, yet low-cal ice cream is my SALVATION).

So, choices.

It really blows I can’t eat granola AND ice cream. It’s not like I’m asking for donuts and whole pints of Ben & Jerry’s, damn.

I’ve decided that I’d rather eat Halo Top and popcorn like a fat piece of shit in the evenings than eat carbs during the day.

Thus, I’ve had to get creative.

Tuesday night I had beef stroganoff over broccoli, ya’ll. BROCCOLI. I got to *enjoy* my broccoli masterpiece while my boyfriend ate his stroganoff with egg noodles. The fucker.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, we had stroganoff for leftovers last night and since I’d eaten all of the broccoli like a starving sugar addict on day five without the white stuff, all I had left were Brussel sprouts.

Brussel sprouts and stroganoff DON’T MIX. It was not my favorite.

Brussel sprouts are not pasta. As my boyfriend says, “Barfel sprouts are the devil’s nads.”

I’ve also had to get more creative for lunch. I’ve been eating nitrate-free salami, cheese sticks, and cherry tomatoes. I swear it tastes almost nothing like antipasto salad.

But, it’s not terrible.

Well, yesterday, my organic greenhouse-grown cherry tomatoes were still a little wet from when I rinsed them that morning.

I was absentmindedly wiping them off onto a paper towel as I popped them into my mouth, eyes glued on my phone.

When I went to wipe my mouth, I did a double take. It was covered in yellow-green-brown stains.

The offending stain

I thought something smelled funny. I knew it wasn’t that fart.

Wait.

That doesn’t look right.

Fuck.

I knew I should have scrubbed them, instead of just splashed water over them.

Oh.Gawd.

At this point, I was obsessively smelling my paper towel, while one of my students, inside working on make up work, kept stealing “What-the-hell” glances at me.

Then, I smelled my fingers, the inside of the tomato tub, and the paper towel 34 more times.

Poop. It smells like poop.

Instant fucking panic.

While I was wondering how long it’d take for the tomato poop to make me get sick and die, I messaged my boyfriend.

His response, “Baby, I highly doubt your tomatoes are covered in poop.”

Because he had to be wrong, I took to a Facebook group I started to get a woman’s opinion. I shared a picture of the paper towel and basically asked how long I had.

Then, I sat at my desk, just waiting to die.

Oh no. My stomach is gurgling.

I probably have some deadly intestinal disease now.

I better just be proactive and put in for a substitute.

I wonder if the hospital would like a heads up?

*ding*

I got a response to my picture from a very professional-sounding person who regularly grows tomatoes in a greenhouse.

The green-yellow-brown stains from the tomatoes were tomato tar.

I’m still not excited that I ingested something called ‘tomato tar’, but it wasn’t poop. It.wasn’t.poop.

Another near death crisis averted.

See what perils I am faced with when dieting?

#donutsdonthavetar

I don’t know who said this, but they are my people

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: More Idiot Travel — Part 1

On my first trip to the British Isles, we literally pulled a Neal Page and Del Griffith. We took a plane, then a train, and then an automobile (actually, three automobiles) to travel all over the British Isles.

(If you’ve never seen the classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles, you’ve really missed out on life. Check out the clip below to get an idea of what I mean.)

It was eye-opening, exhilarating and gray-hair-inducing all in one crazy, no-not-that-way-that’s-on-coming-traffic-OMG-we’re-gonna-die ball of fun.

I didn’t subject anyone to my foot odor on the plane, but I did wear slip on shoes that had zero tread, so walking down the slick, strangely hilly terminals in Heathrow was more like sliding and slipping every which way (while my boyfriend pretended he wasn’t with me). This was the first impression I made on England.

I didn’t catch the arms of my jacket on the seat while driving, but I did get Magnum bar all over the seat belt.

We didn’t catch the car on fire, but we did lose a hub cap on the motorway (oh, so, that’s why people zip tie their hubcaps on).

We may not have gone full on Neal and Del, but we did have quite a few traveling mishaps and adventures.

I am going to organize my retelling of some of my favorite transportation stories from my first trip to the British Isles as a three part series. It’ll be a far easier read that way, because ain’t no one got time to read 5,000 words in one sitting. You’re welcome.

Planes

Surprisingly, my favorite plane story does not involve the man picking his long brown nails the entire nine-plus hour flight to London, but it does involve flying out of London, delicious karma, and plane poop problems.

When we got to Heathrow after three glorious weeks spent all over the British Isles, my travel partner paid $100 to get onto the same flight I was on. His flight didn’t leave for a good five hours, so he felt it was an investment well spent to not have to sit in a packed airport for hours.

Had he known beforehand who his seat companions would be he probably would have taken the shoulder-to-shoulder seating areas, the overpowering perfumes from Heathrow Boutique, and the endless boarding announcements that were never for him over his Flight From Hell.

When we got onto the plane and found our respective seats, I was pretty pleased to find a nice-looking middle-aged British couple as my seat mates. This was pretty much the ideal situation as my last seat mate, as we all know, chose the crusties under his nails for his in-flight snack instead of the usual dry roasted peanuts.

My friend, however, hit the airplane lottery and appeared to have no seat mates.

Time and again, people would come down the aisle, pause a couple times to deduce whether or not their seats were nearby, and then keep going past his row.

I tried everything to get him to let me sit with him. I offered up my favorite souvenir- my Odd Irish Socks and in pure delirious desperation, I even offered to pay the $100 he forked over to get on my flight.

He flat-out refused as he rudely spread out and (likely) farted all over all three seats to mark his territory.

Finally, I gave up and returned to my squashed seat, but I kept looking back to give him my saddest puppy dog pout, but he just acted like he didn’t see me as he haughtily made a bed out of his jacket, backpack and more than his fair share of airplane blankets.

Right before the door was shut and locked, a harried woman and man and their screaming toddler made their way to the only remaining seats on the plane- the ones my friend had already set his stuff up in like he was some kind of Economy King.

When I looked back at him, his face was pure karma in action. He looked just like every last dream he ever had had been demolished.

Not only did his luck majorly run its course and he wouldn’t be able to stretch out the whole flight, he had to sit right next to a kid who was blowing snot bubbles out of his nose as he screamed.

Even better, SO MUCH BETTER, the toddler barfed the.whole.way to Toronto.

I guess that’s what you get when you don’t share. I more than enjoyed that prompt delivery of karma.


Later on during our travels home from London, we were diverted to an abandoned landing strip in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Colorado due to a severe thunderstorm in Denver.

I was quite disappointed, because I really, really, really needed to use the restroom.

Bad.

After the first hour of just sitting on an airstrip surrounded by cacti and tumbleweeds, I started to get desperate.

It was pretty dire because it was getting really close to go-time, but because they had to turn the AC off, I’d have to be that person who takes a huge, toxic shit on a plane with no AC or ventilation.

I kept lamenting, praying and cursing under my breath.

Finally, after mentioning I needed to poop about 87 times, my friend loudly declared, “OMG. I’m sick of hearing you have to poop. There is a bathroom right over there!”

As he so helpfully pointed, everyone on the plane looked to the bathroom and then to me.

Needless to say, I didn’t even get out of my seat. I thought murderous thoughts the remainder of the trip, and because I held it for too long, I got majorly constipated and didn’t even end up going until I was home.

I could have died.

After the hellish 17 hour trip from London, we finally landed in Reno at two in the morning, and I discovered that my bags had been lost. It was the proverbial cherry on top of the all-too familiar shit sundae.

This is how I ended up having to wear a pair of my mom’s war-torn Hanes (you can read more about that here).

Next time, we will explore train travel. Hint: it’s just as fun as air travel.

So, tell me about a memorable time you had in the air. I bet you’ll all have some doozies! I can’t wait.

Just Call Me Becky Bloomwood

Remember that girl who published a Travel Tips For Idiots post (I linked it in case you haven’t checked it out yet) wherein she emphatically proclaimed that one does not need to purchase all new of everything before a trip? Remember how she said she’d reign it in a bit for her upcoming trip this summer?

Well, since posting those lies, she’s purchased:

  • An IT suitcase (it was on sale on Amazon for only $60, though)
  • A Calvin Klein crossbody (also majorly discounted at Marshall’s-only $50)
  • A travel pillow that can zip into a rectangle or a neck pillow-shape (I mean, come on. Necessary. I also had a coupon. No.brainer)
  • A zippered headphone case (not necessary, but really fun, because it has a little picture of earbuds on it)
  • Floral-print packing cubes (still not sure I’m even going to use packing cubes, but they were only $12, so they basically cost nothing)
  • RFID blocking rose gold-colored wallet (absolutely, without question, necessary. I do not need anyone stealing my identity*)
  • A pashmina scarf (it has myriad uses, so out of all of the purchases, this one was the most practical)
  • A compact teal-colored umbrella (when you’re headed to the British Isles this is a no duh)
  • A pair of Blenders Eyewear sunglasses (because you really need sunnies in England)

I don’t think I need to continue with the nonsense, but while we’re at it, this Idiot Girl still needs:

  • A travel-sized Too Faced eyeshadow palette (it has every color I need PLUS the perfect brown for my balding eyebrows)
  • Headphones (I do not have a Bose budget, but I need a pair that’s comfy and noise eliminating or, at the very least, noise isolating**)
  • Comfy, but not I’m-a-50-year-old-Stein-Mart-addict sandals
  • A cute, but hours-on-a-plane friendly outfit
  • Decent pajamas that won’t scare my travel partners (my current pair are holey and stretched out in all the wrong places)
  • A whole new wardrobe, but I’m leaving this to the bitter end, because I’m not holding out hope that I’ll spontaneously drop 50 pounds (stranger things have happened)

So, I think what I’m trying to say here is that I’m a fucking liar, and it’s impossible to not buy a load of crap when you’re preparing for an extensive trip abroad.

I mean, I guess if you’re a minimalist and you aren’t materialist AF like me, you could probably get off with just a new backpack and a nice pair of walking shoes.

All of this insane buying and hoarding of travel “necessities” reminds me of my favorite book heroine- Becky Bloomwood.

In Sophie Kinsella’s first book in her Confessions of a Shopaholic series, Becky decides, after receiving a shocking credit card bill, she needs to start budgeting, but not before she buys really cute budgeting essentials.

SOUND FAMILIAR?

I don’t know if I’ve always been Becky Bloomwood or I’m Becky Bloomwood because of Becky Bloomwood.

Either way, I need a Shopaholics Anonymous STAT.

All of this makes me sound like I’m spending with wild abandon, but really, I’m just buying travel items here are there when I find them and if need be, I just don’t buy food for the week. Really, it’s a win-win (sayonara, 50 pounds).

So, I guess it’s not entirely surprising that I’m still on track to have my trip paid off before the end of the summer *knock on my IKEA particle board coffee table*.

Stay tuned for my “I’m Already Having the Nervous Poos: 18 Unrealistic (and Two Realistic) Travel Worries I’m Currently Obsessing About”

*This travel wallet with thief-repelling properties is now more than ever the smartest buy I’ve made, because some asshole in California stole my debit card number and went to town on $18 worth of food at McDonald’s. Way to really steal someone’s money, idiot! You could have at least made it worth it and gone to Chili’s.

**I was this close to publishing this post with “nose eliminating” instead of “noise eliminating”, because my phone hates me. I almost left it, because if there are headphones that help eliminate the size of someone’s nose while wearing them, I’M SOLD.

So, help me feel like less of a deluded pig…what do you splurge on before a trip?

Saturday Stories- The Random Bandaid

It’s no secret now that I’m a teacher. I have 20 little eight and nine year olds who keep me on my toes on a daily basis.

Source

I could easily fill an 800 page book with the things I see and hear and have to say (you know, things like: “Please don’t use your scissors to cut your nose hairs. You have at least 20 years yet until that becomes a necessity.”). They really are funny little people who give me endless material to chuckle about constantly.

For some reason this year, it’s really cool to sit under the kidney tables (a big table, shaped like a kidney that’s usually used for reading instruction). I’m really not sure why this is such an exciting thing, but alas I am constantly saying, “Please get out from under the table, we are all leaving for lunch/music/recess/home.”

I don’t get it.

Well, one of the boards that I use for process grids and charts happens to be right behind one of the blasted kidney tables. I teach at this board a lot, so I’m also having to say, “Please get out from under the table, so you can see what’s happening up here,” A LOT. I mean, I really just ought to get a recording of this exact quote, because I’m really freaking sick of saying it.

So, the other day, as I was emphatically explaining how the Inuit tribe would use trained dogs to sniff out seal breathing holes, I see one of my more precocious darlings under the freaking table.

“Um, Sally (obviously, not her real name), the learning is happening up here!” I even helpfully waved.

Source

She lifted her head just enough so that her eyes, wide like saucers, were the only things visible.

She went, “Oh, hi.”

She looked like she had no idea who, what, where, why, when, or how. I’m sure, like every other eight and nine year old I’ve ever known, she got distracted by her shoelaces or the texture of the carpet. Basically, ANYTHING OTHER THAN MY TEACHING.

When she slowly lifted the rest of her face above the table, I saw that she had the two ends of a bandaid (you know, the sticky end) on both sides of her upper lip.

She looked exactly like I do when I’m waxing my upper lip.

Exactly.

I just stood there and stared at her bandaid mustache.

I knew if I even moved a muscle, I’d lose all semblance of control and start laughing like a crazy person.

So, we just stared each other down.

She was a deer in headlights, because she knew she’d just been found out with someone’s random bandaid on her lip.

I was a deer in headlights, because every cell in my body wanted me to laugh and say, “So, it’s mustache day, I see. I feel ya.”

But a real, grownup teacher never says things like that (we only think them and write about them later).

So, after what felt like hours in a Mexican stand off between my adult self and my immature AF self, I was finally able to say, “Sally, we don’t put random bandaids we find on the floor on our face,” like a real grown up teacher.

She just said, “Oh. Gotcha!”

How to Not Want to Smother Your Travel Partner in Their Sleep

“If I hear her clear her throat one more fucking time…”

“We are sightseeing. Why do we have to sit every ten feet. WHY DO YOU ALWAYS WANT TO SIT?”

“For what purpose do you unpack every single item in your suitcase and inspect it, to then put it right back into your suitcase the same way? WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?”

I don’t care if it’s your nicest, never-been-in-even-the-smallest-fight friend, you’re gonna hate her/him at some point in your travels. The littlest things they do will grate on your nerves extra-rusty-grater-like.

Whenever someone spends every waking moment for an extended period of time with literally anyone, they’re gonna want to throttle them at least once.

It’s basic human nature.

It is possible to minimize and, if you’re lucky enough, eliminate becoming irrationally annoyed with your travel companion(s) with these failsafe tips:

1. Don’t be an asshole, (but if it happens, be a little understanding)

This one sounds pretty simple, but not being an asshole can be pretty hard when you’re sleep-deprived, you have traveler’s diarrhea, and/or you haven’t quite adjusted to your new cultural surroundings.

The best bet here is, if someone you know is always an asshole, don’t agree to spend six days and seven nights with them on a trip where escape is impossible.

If you or someone you know isn’t known for being an asshole, but you/they have suddenly morphed into Kanye West, blame it on the travel diarrhea. It’s not you, it’s the chapped butthole.

ALWAYS BLAME IT ON THE DIARRHEA.

2. Be prepared to battle

It’s gonna happen. Prepare yourself mentally for the inevitable fact that you will annoy each other and that it will likely lead to a nasty and probably public disagreement or argument.

And then, to make up, they’ll make this face to make you laugh and wait until you notice as you are actively avoiding them while waiting for your meal at a crowded restaurant.*

When you’re expecting it that your pal’s incessant throat clearing or tendency to dominate conversations and decisions will eventually annoy you, you can be better prepared to act in a positive fashion.

However tempting, leaving your travel partner alone in the Theatre District in NYC doesn’t do wonders for a friendship. Also, you’ll feel really bad if your friend gets shanked.

3. Be more flexible

This pretty much goes along with the previous two suggestions. No one who isn’t able to adjust and be flexible is fun to travel with. Sorry. It’s fact.

Source

If you have a hard time going with the flow, not only will you miss out on awesome travel experiences, the people traveling with you will want to send you packing.

Despite the fact that snoring and having to use the bathroom right after someone drops a Beijing Bomb is unpleasant, it’s all part of the experience when traveling and sharing a room with others. Embrace it.

4. Plan time apart

The best way to get back to semi-liking your travel friend is to not have to see their face or hear their mouth breathing for a couple of hours.

Plan some dedicated time when you can part ways for a chunk of the day. Maybe you’re into museums, but your friend is more into shopping. Perfect. You can each do what you want and get that much-needed if-i-have-to-spend-five-more-minutes-with-you-I’ll-do-murder-break.

Checked out some awesome Edinburgh back alleys. I swear I wasn’t looking for a place to dump the body.

5. Focus on what’s around you

Don’t get so in a tizzy that you forget what you planned months for and paid out the ass to see. Sure, part of why you planned the trip was to spend time with your friend, but let’s be real, an even bigger reason was to see the Eiffel Tower/Grand Canyon/Great Wall/Loch Ness.

Focus on the sights, smells, and new sensations all around you. Immerse yourself in your experience and ignore the reality that your travel companion feels the need to read to you every sign, banner, billboard, shop window, and names of businesses as you pass by.

This one was amusing, though.

6. Just get drunk

If all else fails, drink.

Bottoms up!

*I think it took a lot longer for me to eventually see his ridiculous face than he had anticipated. The entirety of the restaurant and 20 people walking by gawked and pointed before I turned to look and subsequently threw a breadstick at his stupid face.

Also, I’ve been given express permission to post his image. I’m just not sure he remembers me taking this one…

Don’t Be *That* Person On the Plane

People are really, really annoying. There’s no doubt about it. Despite my desire to maintain the overly sunshine-and-rainbow delusion that all people are lovely individuals who almost never clip their toenails in public, it’s just not reality.

Chances are, the majority of the people you have encountered and will encounter on a plane have been perfectly normal people who don’t talk to you nonstop on a nonstop from San Francisco to Paris. Most likely they’ve kept their mouth breathing to a minimum, and they didn’t seem to ooze odors from every orifice. Most likely.

Sometimes, you’re not so lucky. Sometimes you get Del Griffith as a seat partner.

Behold, four airplane travel types that no one likes (please don’t be any of these people):

1. The Cougher

Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze is covered in Kindergarten and is practically a curriculum standard. However, some people don’t retain this information into adulthood.

When you’re on a plane, it’s already bad enough that you’re confined in a space that’s 50% recycled air. It’s perfectly ghastly and inexcusable that a grown adult chooses to blast their germ-riddled spittle into the air and onto every surface around them in such a confined space.

Source

Sharing is NOT caring on an airplane.

Cover your fucking mouth like the civilized human you are pretending to be with your Ann Taylor pant suit.

And, for your convenience:

Source

2. The Farter

OK. Lemme be real a minute. We all have to fart. In fact, I’ve heard holding in your farts can be hazardous to your health. So, it’s unreasonable to expect anyone and everyone to cease farting the entire length of their flight (especially when you’re flying halfway around the world on a 9+ hour flight).

However, if after your test fart (the little baby toot you let out to test the waters, er-air) you’re met with something that could melt the fuselage, I hate to break it to you, you’re gonna have to hold those in.

When you have one of those metal melting farts, this better be you.

Source

Some things you can do to prevent excess gas during your flight are:

  • Eat smaller portions the day before and immediately leading up to your flight
  • Take Beano or other gas-reducer
  • Avoid greasy, fattening foods, as well as wheat, lactose, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, lentils, beans, carbonated soft drinks, onions, pears, and all other foods
  • Essentially, eat NOTHING before a flight

Really, it’s for the common good.

There are no private trees to fart behind on a plane. I repeat: THERE IS NO WHERE TO FART (other than the bathroom, but do you really want to be the person who destroys the bathroom on a long flight? No, you don’t).

3. The What Was That(er)

Farts aren’t always the worst thing that can come out of someone sitting next to you on a plane.

Sometimes, your next door neighbor sounds like they are working on an almighty hair ball. Sometimes, your seat partner coughs up mucus and spits it out in their barf bag. Sometimes, people moan/whisper/belch/mouth breathe/mumble/groan without end or for any discernible reason.

My favorite idiot. This was on a bus, but you get the idea.

No one wants to listen to the plethora of noises your body makes. If you can’t help it and your repetitive throat clearing is a verifiable tic, I feel for you and you’re excused.

But, if you can hold in your whispered devil worshipping incantations or that weird belch/cough thing, quit being an annoying asshole already. Please and thank you.

My favorite annoying asshole.

Source

4. The Groomer

In case anyone here wasn’t already aware, it’s not proper etiquette to do any sort of extreme grooming in your seat on the plane. Basic freshening up, like running a brush through your hair, applying a covert swipe of deodorant, or wiping your greasy face down with a face wipe can all be tolerated.

What should never be tolerated, however, is:

  • Clipping your finger or toe nails
  • Filing your finger or toe nails
  • Cleaning wax out of your ears (especially when you place your wax-coated q-tips on the tray table)
  • Popping zits or squeezing black heads out of the end of your nose
  • Scratching excessively anywhere below the belt
  • Picking crusted crap out from under your long, brown finger nails

This last one I actually had to endure during a 9 hour flight from Vancouver to London. A man sat down in the aisle seat next to my boyfriend, settled himself in his spot, and then proceeded to pick his long, poop brown nails the ENTIRE FLIGHT.

It was a real test of my gag reflex not to barf all over him.

If you have a gross habit that is not exactly socially acceptable behavior, IT DOESN’T BELONG ON AN AIRPLANE WHERE YOU ARE INCHES AWAY FROM A STRANGER FOR HOURS ON END.

*Bonus* When I was *that* person on the plane

Sometimes, we really have no intention of being *that* person, but it just happens.

Years ago, on a domestic flight with my then-boyfriend, I tried an Airborne immune supplement for the first time. Both my boyfriend and I had no idea how to take one. We popped them into our mouths, feeling pretty smart and proactive about our health.

Just seconds later, we discovered our horrific mistake as our mouths ballooned with ever-growing fizz. Pretty quickly, we were literally frothing at the mouth.

The fizz was growing ever bigger and we both tried to swallow it down, hoping to minimize the embarrassing mistake we had made. Instead of swallowing it all quickly and silently, because the fizz was coming and coming with no end in sight, we both gagged and coughed and spit as orange-tinged froth overflowed and spilled down over our chins and all over our clothes.

The people next to us and across the aisle looked at us, shocked and disgusted, as we literally looked rabid.

The boyfriend was irate that I didn’t read the packaging and didn’t know you were supposed to put the tablet in a bottled water to dissolve before ingesting. Oops.

So, even without trying, one can be shocking, disgusting, and annoying.

If we all just read label directions more thoroughly, tried breathing through our noses more, and picked the dried crap out of our nails before getting on the plane, air travel would be so much more enjoyable.

What annoys you the most about the people you have to share a plane with? Let me know in the comments.

I Can’t Be Allowed to Adult Unsupervised

Somehow, someone deemed me fit to be an adult.

WHO APPROVED THIS?

Someone in the Adulting Main Office must have had no more fucks to give the day I was being reviewed. So, when my file came across their desk, they just stamped “ADULT”, without even reviewing it and, thus, allowed my incompetent ass to slide right through into fully verified adulthood.

That’s the only way I can figure I’ve been allowed to adult for this long. I’m wholly unqualified.

If the garbage disposal confusion wasn’t evidence enough (I never knew it wasn’t meant to ground up fully intact foods, like an entire chicken breast), I reckoned they’d figure me out when I failed to ever check my engine oil. On more than one occasion in the not-so-distant-past, the service station attendant has had to deliver the shocking news, “Ma’am, you have no oil. Like, none.”

I knew the Adulting police had to bust me for not owning an ironing board and ruining my kitchen table trying to hastily iron a dress for a wedding I was running late for, because I was playing Words With Friends, instead of watching the time.

Yet, no one has come to revoke my Adulting license.

HOW CAN THIS BE?

Had someone interceded, or, at the very least, monitored my every day Adulting charade, perhaps I’d have learned that leaving a candle burning for too long is not only a fire hazard, but a smoke stain disaster waiting to happen.

HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?

I wanted to get rid of a winter-themed candle from Bath & Body Works that I have in my bathroom, because spring is bound to show itself eventually.

I figured I’d let it burn for an evening and I’d be well on my way to having room for my spring-appropriate bathroom candle (this is a very important thing, obviously).

What I found when I went to brush my teeth for bed was nothing short of shocking.

First, the candle was on fiiiiiiiiiiya. Like, duh, it was burning, so fire. But, it was raging. It was also hot to the touch (and on the top of a cabinet), so I’d have to stand on the toilet to blow it out.

Because I didn’t want to rip the toilet out of the wall, I sort of stood and half-leaned with my right hand on the bathroom counter.

At this awkward position, I couldn’t really get at the top of the candle to blow the son-of-a-bitch out appropriately.

I decided one, quick stand on the toilet to blow it out would have to do the trick. Crossing my fingers for the safety of my toilet, I stood, blew, and was thanked with a splatter of hot wax all over my face (how it didn’t splatter the wall really just explains how things go in my life).

On the way down, I noticed the wall above the candle looked curiously dark.

When I looked closer, I realized the wall next to the candle was also a nice shade of charcoal.

As my gaze widened, my shock went much like this:

First, I was all:

Then, I was like:

And, finally, I went:

(I wanted these all to be gifs, but my WordPress app wasn’t having that for some reason.)

The candle I had burning for hours, spit out a coat of black soot on all four walls and the entire length and width of the ceiling.

The offending candle. My mom says only cheap candles coat entire rooms with soot. Hmmm. What do you have to say for yourself, Bath & Body Works?

In panic mode and since I’ve been binging on Nightmare Tenants and Slum Landlords, I quickly wet a rag and went to town wiping off every square inch of the bathroom walls and ceiling. I can’t ever be confused for the disgusting pigs that destroy other people’s property.

After cursing, re-wetting and wringing-out a now black rag, scrubbing furiously, and basically having a FREAKING heart attack for a good half hour, I felt my bathroom had been returned to its former glory.

I sheepishly went out to the living room, sweaty, covered in soot, and sat calmly on the edge of the couch. I turned to my boyfriend (WHO WAS MERRILY WATCHING TV THE WHOLE TIME) and asked him if I was the only 30-something who didn’t know burning a candle for too long would turn a small, confined room into the inside of a chimney.

He just responded, “Baby….how did you not know that?”

I DON’T KNOW.HELP.I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

If anyone reading this has some pearls of wisdom they think I need, please, share them in the comment section. I need all the help I can get.

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?