Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How I Am Going To Win- a post of hope and happiness

   While you all wait on the edges of your seats of varying degrees of function, style and comfort for my next real blog post.. which is going to be just astounding I promise..I totally have it all planned out. In fact, I'm like halfway through writing it.. it's practically done I'm just editing out the bits that weren't quite awesome enough to make the final cut.. I thought I would pause to thank you.
    I just want you all to know that I am so excited about the sheer amount of page views I've had in the last two months! As many of you know one of my goals has been to take over Facebook. I have decided to broaden that goal and attempt to take over the rest of the internet as well, thus making me a winner, which I would enjoy.  
    So thank you to everyone who is helping make this conquest a very,very slow reality...every once in awhile I log on and I have one more official follower and it makes me feel like this:

Gravity can kiss my butt- I'm gonna be mildly famous someday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Public Address to Our Friendly Neighborhood Tweakers.

   Psssssst...... hey.... hey you guys..... guess what? 
  The Canadians know about me! I know right? It's crazy! (I'm whispering right now so as not to spook them, I'm so excited to have followers in other countries it makes me all tingly and I don't want to scare them away) So anyway, I'm freaking INTERNATIONAL now. Do Canadians like Mr. T? Would a Mr. T gadget attract more Canadians? Or would that be like adding a George Bush gadget to attract Europeans*? ..........Hi Canadians! Don't go away okay?

                    *Anyone who doesn't get that joke is either not European, has never talked to a European, or doesn't ever watch BBC.
     Anyway, today's topic is about drug addicts, because oddly enough I deal with them more that I think I should working at a store that sells blenders in the middle of one of the largest retirement communities in Colorado.

   I feel like I should have a disclaimer here, but I'm not sure how they work so....

**Disclaimer: Don't do drugs. They are bad for you and will make you act like the people in this post.**

   Now that that's out of the way:

     Hi Tweakers! Let me begin by saying how amazed I am at how many of you there are in a retirement community that -let's be honest here- should just pick itself up and shift on down to the Bible Belt where it would be more comfortable than it currently is with it's upsetting proximity to Boulder.
      While you are all near and dear to my heart, there are a few of you who stand out in the crowd. We have come to know each other over the last few months and I would like to address you individually.
      I'd like to specifically point out this gentleman up front. No, not you sir, the middle-aged gentleman to your right, yes the shifty-eyed one who forgot to put one of his shoes on this morning.
      You sir, are astounding. You deserve an award for the amount of effort you put into your high. You come in every few weeks and put so much work into your performance that if you didn't have that inconvenient twitch I would tell you to head for Hollywood because an Oscar is definitely in your future.
      You wear the same outfit every time, so as to make yourself easily recognizable, yet you sneak around as if your red baseball cap, ripped up jeans and tank top are a camouflage suit made to blend in with the decorative pillows and stand mixers that occupy the terrain.
     You "nonchalantly" peruse through window treatments as if you are here to redecorate, even picking one up every so often and reading the back label with such intense facial expressions that one would think it was an excerpt from a Tom Clancy novel. You then move on to bedding, where you watch an infomercial in it's entirety, nodding to the pitchman as if to say "Oh that is so true".
    You painstakingly make you way through the entire store like this until you make it to your ultimate destination: The baking section. It is here you have discovered the ultimate prize and you know if you play your cards right it can be yours. Nestled in between the creme brulee dishes and the cupcake decorating guide you find the homemade whipped cream kit.
     Your brilliant, drug addled mind has somehow decided that the replacement CO2 cartridges for the pressurized dispenser are better than anything you could buy on the street, and at ten bucks a pop are definitely worth this excursion behind enemy lines.
    You become visibly excited at the sight of them and your twitch becomes a bit more severe. You play it cool,  checking over your shoulder every few seconds while slowly reaching for one of the precious boxes. The second your fingers curl around the tiny treasure however, your excitement bursts through and you hastily grab six more boxes. At this point you realize how suspicious you look and quickly open the cupcake guide and begin studying the proper technique for forming fondant roses.
    After the panic wears off a bit you make your way to the front of the store to checkout, (because of course you're going to pay for them I mean what are you, some kind of criminal?) and once again encounter a problem. You need to pay for your six boxes of CO2, but you know the cashier is going to be suspicious of your purchase. While you visibly talk yourself through the risks and benefits of your next move you pause every few seconds to peek over the top of the bath-mat display you have chosen as a hide-out to see if anyone is eyeing you suspiciously. This of course is when we finally make eye-contact.
    We stare deeply into each other's eyes for a moment before you duck back behind the display and I hear you mutter something to yourself. There is an awkward moment as you step into view when we both think you might just run out the door, but then you paste on what you think is a perfectly normal smile and saunter up to my counter in a way that makes me think you own the entire John Wayne collection and watch it often.
     I ring up your boxes and bag them neatly, set them on the counter and tell you the total. I hope you remember this next moment as fondly as I do Sir, because it will forever be a memory dear to my heart. Do you remember? Please say you do... I said:

  "Your total today is $67.85" 
    and you said the most fantastic thing you could have possibly said in that situation:
   "Hang on, I have a coupon for that."

   That's right, this man knows how to play the game. Not only did he get twenty percent off his special purchase, he paid with a credit card.
    I don't blame you Sir, I mean in this economy who can afford to pay full price for a high that's only going to last five minutes? I applaud you and your coupon clipping ways, and just know that I imagine you walking out of the store and joyously flipping the bird to all those suckers on the street paying some dealer full price in cash for what you just bought from a legitimate retail location. I hope you enjoy those CO2 cartridges, and I wish you the best of luck tracking them down at other locations, because unfortunately for the both of us I'm not allowed to sell them to you again unless you can prove you own a pie shop.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Of underwear models and recessive genetics: A brief conversation with my mother.

Mom: So I read your recent blog post. Posting pictures- you know your little brother was looking over my shoulder!

Me: Come on, that chick was more clothed than a Victoria's Secret Billboard- he's seen worse. Or are you referring to last week's butt/thigh diagram?

Mom: Oh I didn't see that one.

Me: You should definitely check it out. 

Mom: You're kind of weird.

Me: I like to blame it on a combination of odd genetic material and outstanding parenting skills....

Mom: Ok that's fair. Oh I'm cleaning out the cupboards- we have food in here from when you were in high school!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Post Traumatic Stress or, Boobies.

   I need therapy. I might have post traumatic stress. I saw something today... and I can't stop thinking about it. I can't stop seeing it in my mind. It will haunt me forever and I just need to tell someone:

    A woman walked by me at work today with her phone stuck in her cleavage. Now I know this is not abnormal. My cellphone and ID- among other things -have been known to inhabit my bra now and again at shows or while out dancing, but this woman's bra was in no way involved. Her shirt was so low-cut she had simply stuck her iPhone between the girls about halfway down the crease so it stuck there in plain view for everyone to see.

   It's hard to describe it in a way the conveys exactly how disturbing the sight was. Thank goodness for the internet.

 Exhibit A:

Is this a thing now?
Also, isn't this arbitrary? Who thought the phone was needed to get men to look at those things?

  Okay now instead of a hot Asian girl, imagine this with a 250 pound, 40 year old white lady. 
   It hurt my eyes and offended my soul.

   Mam: you are not a kangaroo*. You do not have a biological fanny-pack. If God had intended that astoundingly vast crevasse to be used as a skin-pocket, he would have given everyone one and went ahead and made them big enough to fit a baby in.

          *We are vastly inferior to kangaroos.

  Perhaps even more disturbing were surrounding bystanders reactions to this event. While I was left sobbing in a corner and scratching at my eyes, no one else even looked twice. When I described to a co-worker what I had seen he simply shrugged and said, "So what? Girls do that all the time." 
  I was not aware of this, and am therefore hesitant to believe it. I'm still not convinced he, or you all for that matter, still understand exactly what I saw, so once again I have provided a brief sketch: 

Notice how the object in question is nowhere near a bra.
P.S. please forgive the quality of this sketch- imagine it's "impressionistic".

   Please tell me you are as traumatized by this as I am.

     Anyway, being the kind and caring soul that I am, I have scoured the internet and discovered the solution to what has apparently become a problem.

    In the event that you find yourself purse-less, pocket-less, and weird-friend-with-a-fanny-pack-who-will-carry-your-crap-less, and need more space than a normal persons bra can provide, I present to you: The Cleavage Caddy.

    That's right, this is a thing.*

At this point I realize this post is decidedly female-oriented, which oddly enough is not usually the way I go- girl stuff makes me awkward. I apologize and promise to not talk about bras and/or boobs for the rest of the month.

           *A thing that I imagine would leave dents in your boobs if you actually stuffed lip-gloss in there.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vicarious Heisting: Why I will never be filthy rich.

    To begin I feel like I should let you all know that I was browsing through my settings and discovered a whole mess of gadgets that can be added to the side of this blog. For instance if I so chose I could have a world clock, teeth whitening tip of the day, and a slideshow of cute baby animals running down the side of this post! 
   Don't worry I would never do that- although I have to admit I was rather infatuated with the "Mr. T quote of the day" gadget. I'm still thinking of adding it- because who doesn't need a little more Mr. T in their life? I'll let you all weigh in on that yourselves. Anyway...
     I would make a great criminal. Really I would. I'm smart enough and have an unhealthy addiction to heist films. Any movie where the bad guys are the good guys and somebody manages to con some mean rich guy out of millions is probably already on my DVD shelf.
    Even as a child I was able to convince adults of almost anything in order to get what I wanted. With the right incentives I can make myself pale and sickly looking or easily allow people to think I am in charge of any situation. Also I'm pretty sure that if you walk into any establishment wearing a business-casual outfit and sexy heels people will believe you. (You see what Leverage has done to me?)

   The thing is I can't handle the pressure. I'm easily stressed and have an overwhelming fear of being caught. I believe my parents are mostly to blame for this. My entire childhood was rife with an "actions have consequences" mentality. The media will lead you to believe that criminals had bad childhoods. My recent experiences tell me they also never got spanked. There are now thousands of people entering adulthood that don't understand the fear of getting paddled across the backside with the wooden spoon of the law.*

     *I only got spanked with a wooden spoon once that I can remember and in my parents defense I totally deserved it. I was the sixty-pound female version of Jekyll and Hyde.
    While I believe I am capable of being the mastermind behind some devious scheme, I would also be the person following everyone around as they sneak through empty skyscrapers full of money, giggling nervously and whispering things like "Oh we are sooooo gonna caught you guys!..... Seriously I'm freaking out right now..... check the security cameras again please... how is there not a single person in this building right now?.... I have to pee 'cause I'm nervous....."

   The point is sometimes it's annoying having been raised in such a well-adjusted environment. I'm sure I could be making bank as a small-time thief if only I'd had an absentee father and a mother who didn't care what sort of trouble we got into. Although I also might not be as smart since if it had been up to me I would have dropped out of school at age seven. It's my own little Catch 22.
   The thing is I feel torn every time I walk into a store. My first instinct is to figure out exactly how to steal something or take advantage of them in some way, but then my second instinct is to immediately warn them about these holes in their security, because it's the right thing to do.

   However, there are certain branches of criminal activity that are less morally black and white. For instance I am pretty convinced I would make a great Pot Dealer. I know this because during finals week I have at least two people a day come up and ask me if I have any.
    At first I dismissed this by rationalizing that these people are probably just asking everyone that question, but then a friend pointed out that I always look completely stoned during finals. This is due to the red-eyed result of sleep deprivation combined with the fact that I have abnormally large pupils regardless of lighting.
   This has been a problem in the past: I was asked by several different teachers in high school if I was high. I assumed it was a natural response to my artistic inclinations, since roughly 96% of the "artists" in my town actually were high (although that number is probably accurate for most of Colorado).

    If it weren't for my annoying moral compass I would just take advantage of this misunderstanding and just start selling the stuff. I've seen Weeds*, I know how the business works. Also I still have left-over Vicodin from my knee surgery and I hear that stuff is almost as good as crack on the street.
                   *At this point it has once again become apparent that TV has taught me everything I need to know about being a criminal. Hollywood, you're despicable and I love you.  

    But there are even more road-blocks on this career path for me, most of which are once again traced back to healthy family dinners and Sunday-school lessons. I can't be mean to people. Oh I want to be. You are all too well aware of the thoughts that run through my head on a regular basis. The horrible things my brain snarls at people who inconvenience me even a little.... but I can't say them. I like to blame it on my job- I say I have to be nice or I'll get fired. Yet even when I'm not at work my default mode is "begrudgingly polite".
   This is because I was raised by one of the nicest people ever. Seriously it's obnoxious, my mother is one of those people who sees the good in everyone and will most definitely end up as the old-lady-with-cookies that I so idolize and will never be.

   So imagine I am a drug-dealer and someone can't pay me. Inside I would be all "You'd better get me my money Mo-Fo or I'ma* bust a cap in yo' ass!!!" and then to their face I would say "Oh... okay well that's fine, if you could just work on that I would really appreciate it... thanks." You see the problem here?

                  * I am so un-gangster I'm not even sure how to spell the improper contraction for the phrase "I am going to"...

   I guess I'll have to settle for heisting vicariously through others. At least on TV criminals look like this:

I would rob an imaginary bank with this man any day.





Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We Apologize for the Convenience: adventures in customer service

  Welcome back to the retail-related section of this blog!
   Due to an outstanding amount (see: two) of requests for a post on this topic, today's lesson will be: Dressing for Success or, How to Not Make People Cringe.

   - On a completely unrelated note, I now have enough followers that you don't all fit in the box! They had to put a "more" button in! How freakin elated am I? Outlandishly. Thank you so much!

 Back to business: It has been brought to my attention (mostly against my will and at the expense of my innocence) that many people (ie: roughly 75% of the population) are unaware of the unspoken dress codes that should, but apparently do not, come naturally to anyone who is visiting a retail location.* Because of this I have put together a list of guidelines addressing dress-code violations that I have personally witnessed.

   *I also have a complete list of guidelines for dressing in private, because even though others don't have to look at you, you're bound to catch glimpses of yourself in a mirror and I know that can have a severe effect on one's psyche. However for the sake of taking things one step at a time we'll stick to public appearances for now.

      To answer the first question that I'm sure just popped into your head: "But what's public? How do I know when these rules should be followed?" 
   If you are ever unsure if you are in a situation where these rules should be utilized, stop and answer these qualifying questions:

               - Are you shopping for anything at all?
                          -If not, are you somewhere where things (ie: food, clothing, a new shower-head) are meant to be purchased?
              - Are you inside a building that is not your house?
                - Can you see other people?
                           -If no, take a few steps to your left, re-evaluate.

             - Can other people see you?
                           - note: this also includes hypothetical people, ie: if a person were to walk down this aisle or come around that corner to your right, would they catch an unfortunate glimpse of something on your body?

               - Are there any electronic devices in the area that could capture your image?
                        - ie: security cameras, video recorders, cell phones

    If you answered yes to any of these questions you are in a public location, most commonly a store.

  "So the second I walk out of my house I'm in public? That's a lot of the time!"

     It certainly is, imaginary person hanging on my every word, which is why it's especially important to understand social and cultural expectations concerning clothing whilst fondling peaches at the grocery store. Let's start with the basics. I hope to go more in-depth in the future, but there is so much to cover and I don't want it to take you an hour to read one post.

         - Underwear
                - Must be worn at all times by all individuals.
                -Absolutely no exceptions ever.

            - Bras
                - Bras are not meant to be optional. It is not a necklace. I don't care what your magazine told you, regardless of the size, shape, or elasticity of the parts in question, you cannot just opt out of this garment. If Jennifer Aniston couldn't pull it off neither can you. Here are the only instances in which it is okay to not wear a bra:
            -If you are a man.
            - See: above.

 "But Baylee, what about when I'm out shopping and want to wear my formal backless ball gown?"
     Remember that swimsuit modeling scene in Miss Congeniality? I don't care if you have to paste, tape, and put together a pulley system, there should be no nippleage ever under any circumstances. Just because someone showed theirs at a movie premier once does not make it okay.

            Fact: Memory foam makes an excellent mattress topper but makes and even better bra-liner. 

            - Nipples make all people uncomfortable. They make men awkward, women self-conscious, and children curious. All of these things lead to bad places.

         Additional notes on undergarments: While these are required at all times, they should also be hidden at all times. I'm speaking to you, robust 60 year-old lady wearing a mesh top with a hot pink bra underneath- That was cool for three days in 1987 on girls between the ages of 18 and 24 and was still trashy. 
    Moving onward and outward:

         - Shirts
               - Shirts come in a variety of shapes and sizes! Remember this when you put on a shirt and things that are not your arms are coming out of the top, bottom, or sides.
               - A little cleavage now and then is alright. Cleavage does not include the underside of your breast, the side of your breast, or the entire top half of your breasts.
              - That flap of skin between your breasts that wasn't there in your twenty's is a result of aging- that's nothing to be embarrassed about- but should also NEVER BE SEEN.
               - Happy Bunny* shirts are not okay for everyone. Here is a list of people who can wear Happy Bunny shirts in public:
                   -Socially awkward teenage girls.
                  - Socially awkward gay teens.
                  - Effeminate emo kids (see: closeted gays)**

                                *If you don't know what a Happy Bunny shirt is, be content with the knowledge that you probably don't have one.
                                                ** These three groups of people have distressingly similar wardrobes. We can only watch them attempt to mature and hope they grow out of it. And if your kid is gay, take him to Express not Hot Topic. Hot Topic is a minefield for homosexual people, male or female.
          - Shirts should never be see-through unless you are wearing another shirt underneath. I don't care if the mannequin was wearing it like that.
              - Mesh shirts were designed by the devil. If you ever wear one, regardless of your age, weight, gender, or job, you will be sent to the seventh circle of hell, which is actually surprisingly frigid, and you get to wear the mesh top. The upside is you will get to hang with a lot of washed-up 80's rockstars!
                - There should never be words on your butt. I am well aware of the plethora of sweatpants available with words such as "juicy" or "sexy" plastered across what is for most of us not our most attractive body part. This is a travesty, but I'm going to tell you the hard truth: Just because it exists doesn't make it okay.
                 -Avoid displaying crevasses of any kind.
                - It is not okay for anything so be hanging out of the bottom of your shorts/skirt that is not your legs. There is a very distinct line between your butt and thigh.  In the event that you have trouble finding this line I have provided this handy diagram:

    I have much more to say about bottoms in general. Another time perhaps, for now lets move on to:
                      - Like undergarments, shoes are not optional while shopping. 
                      - Sandals should only be worn by people with normal feet. If you are unsure if you have normal feet, ask anyone that is not your mother. They have most likely been trying to find away to tell you anyway and giving them an excuse to point out your fungus, or you horrendously long yellow toenail, will lift a burden from their shoulders.
                                          - In the event that your feet are not normal for biological reasons (say, an extra toe) get a second opinion.

                      - Crocs are wrong.This is not opinion, this is fact. There is also a circle or hell for croc wearers, and they only serve boiled Croc there. Not the animal, the shoe- because ya, everyone knows they're freaking edible. So is cardboard, but you don't see me wearing the box my toaster-oven came in as a pair of shorts do you?*
                              *The only edible thing that should ever be worn are candy necklaces.** Those are cool unless you are a man over the age of 25 in which case it makes you look like a pedophile.
                                           ** Ring-pops are tricky. Good rule to go by- if it doesn't fit on your finger you are probably too old.

             - Accessories
                     - Animals are not an accessory. Many people seem to confuse live creatures with jewelry so I'll be more specific.
                                - Just because that dog fits in your purse doesn't mean it should.
                                - The python draped around your shoulders makes other people uncomfortable and has a habit of trying to consume small children while you are tinkering with the blender display.
                                - When the parrot on your shoulder causes someone to have an allergic reaction or poops on a 400 dollar duvet cover, no one is going to care that he can apologize.
                                - Rodents are meant to be in cages, not hanging out in your shirt pocket while you browse for toilet-seat covers. When it hops out and gets stepped on, no one is going to mourn but you, and the employee who has to scrape it off the floor will not give it a proper burial. Your beloved pet will get to reenact the trash compactor scene from Star Wars.

               - Make-up is not an anything goes area. For example: Bubblegum-pink lipstick is not acceptable for everyone, and yet I have seen it on more middle-aged women than I can count. Here is a list of when it is okay to wear this shade of lipstick:
                                        - If you are a 12 year-old girl.
   I know there is so much more to discuss concerning dressing in public. Frankly it is a bottomless pit of denim and velour related tragedies. Crimes are being committed against humanity every day by large women wielding be-dazzlers. I intend to cover each and every one of these calamities in due time. For now please take these very basic guidelines and try to follow them, for everyone else's sake.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Misunderstandings of Excited Utterances: Why I'm not an alcoholic.

  I don't drink. I mean I do... but not often. I've never even been drunk. Well there was that one time but it was my birthday alright?
    However, I'm afraid people are getting the impression I'm a functioning alcoholic. I finally realized that's what was happening when I told someone at work that I had recently bought a bottle of raspberry rum and had to fight the urge to put some in my coffee that morning. This comment was not well received.
       What I meant was: I had a raspberry mocha latte and I bet extra raspberry would have tasted yummy, but my raspberry flavor has a pesky amount of rum in it so I couldn't. It's really not about the alcohol.

    I also found Irish cream flavoring for my morning coffee and exclaimed (also at work in front of my boss)
         "Isn't this awesome? Now I can have Irish cream 24/7 without a DUI!"
   What I meant was: Irish cream is yummy, but the real kind makes you sleepy. I just like the taste, hence the flavored syrup.

   Then the other day I saw a strawberry-cheesecake shooter made of strawberry vodka and cream and said
           "Oh that looks so yummy!"
   What I meant was: That reminds me of actual strawberry cheesecake, which is tasty and I wish I had some.

   Also I told a group of strangers that I would probably like kids more after a drink or two.
   What I meant was: Children make me nervous and self-conscious because you never know when they are going to point out that you aren't as skinny as that other girl, or ask you why your face looks funny. Alcohol makes me less self-conscious.. you see where I was going? I never meant to imply I would drink while caring for children.
    -To my own detriment I also happened to be holding a margarita and having an uncomfortable staring contest with a stranger/baby when this sentence popped out of my mouth.

   I also made the mistake of telling a guy immediately before downing my first Irish Car-Bomb that I have a family history of alcoholism.
   What I meant was: Don't worry, I'm very aware of the dangers of alcohol. I appreciate this drink but will handle it responsibly and you don't have to be concerned that you are assisting me down a dark and deadly path to addiction.

  The point is, not everyone who considers putting rum in their morning coffee is an alcoholic. I intend to gauge my addiction-meter based solely on the motivations behind these questionable moments. For instance:
     Are you drinking that mimosa at 10am because: a) it's the only thing that will get you through the day, or b) because it tastes fantastic and you have nowhere else to be all day?
    Answer a: Alcoholic
    Answer b: Totally fine

   Are you having a third gummie-bear shot because: a) you want to get totally hammered at this bar so you lose all your inhibitions and have the courage to dance with that guy, or b) because they taste exactly like gummie-bears you guys! How is that not cool?
     Answer a: Alcoholic
     Answer b: Perfectly acceptable, also: how are those not cool?

   Do you insist on buying your friend who never drinks and is a total light-weight a Long Island Iced-Tea because: a) you feel self conscious drinking alone but you can't not drink, or b) it's hilarious.
     Answer a: Alcoholic
     Answer b: Understandable.

  And the final and single most important question I ask myself in order to properly gauge whether or not I am becoming an alcoholic: Does this seem like a genius idea:

Kinda, although my sign would mention pomegranate martinis.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We Apologize for the Convenience: Scenes from Retail.

Me: "Thank you for calling ___ ____ _____, this is Baylee how can I help you?"

Customer: "Ya, I just bought a blow-up bath pillow and it won't blow up."

Me: "Oh well just bring it back in and we'll either give you a refund or exchange it for one that will work."

Customer: "I live two hours away from your store. I don't want to drive back."

Me: "Well unfortunately we cannot give you a refund without the merchandise sir."

Customer: "Well I don't want another one, the package says it's made in China, that's why it doesn't work."

Me: "I see. If you're unhappy with the product we can issue you a refund if you come back to the store."

Customer: "I don't want a refund, I want one that will work."

Me: "Well I would be happy to exchange the pillow for one that does work."

Customer: "Well none of them will work because they're all made in China."

Me: "If you don't trust the product sir, I would be happy to give you your money back."

Customer: "I don't want my damn money I want something that's not made in China! I bet everything in your whole store comes from China doesn't it?"

Me: "Well actually no sir. Just to clarify, would you like your money back, or would you like to exchange the product?"

Customer: "I want THIS product to be made in the damn UNITED STATES!"

Me: "Sir, it sounds like your problem would be better handled by the manufacturer of the pillow itself..."

Customer: "Well, can you connect me to them?"

Me: "No sir, no I cannot."

Customer: "Well....... do you have anything made in..... I dunno, Taiwan? I like Taiwan."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Laughing at Head Wounds: Indications that I'm going to end up a horrible human being

    I want to think I'm going to end up as one of those nice old ladies that all the neighborhood kids call "Nana" and has a million family members who love her so much she never has to pay anyone to do anything.
   You know, that 90 year old lady who talks to her dead husband. Not in a "time to adjust Granny's meds" kind of way, but in a "isn't it sweet how she still loves him so much" way. She still walks her dog everyday and bakes cookies and always feels healthy until one day she just croaks in her sleep with a smile on her face and whoever finds her just sighs and says,          
     "Well, she had a great life."
  And then they would go downstairs to call the funeral home and find this note by the phone:

       "Felt tired today, took a nap. If I don't wake up here's my Will and Testament and there are fresh almond cookies in the cupboard for the funeral."

    You know, this lady.

      Unfortunately I have this sneaking suspicion that I'm going to end up as the lady who lives down the street from that nice old lady. The one that all the neighborhood kids are scared of because she likes to throw rocks at passersby and has a habit of calling the police every time someone hops a fence to retrieve a soccer ball.
     That lady never opens her windows and wears 1850's style dresses in august, and has several cats but never got married. She always feels sickly, like she's about to die but much to everyones amazement and distress never really will.

   I don't want to be that lady, but I keep catching myself doing things that indicate I'm on that path. For example:

     - The other day I totally beaned a kid with the corner of a very large and heavy box. Hit him right in the forehead as I was walking by, and my first reaction was to laugh. I didn't even wait to see if he was okay first, I just let out an inappropriate cackle and kept walking. 
        - I assume he lived since no one came looking for me. I want to feel bad because hey, it's a child, but I still don't, because at the same time I like to think I taught him a valuable lesson: Always be aware of your surroundings- especially if you're short.

    - Every time the neighbor's Shih Tzu  scurries over to greet me I have to fight the urge to give it a good kick, just to see how far it will go.
               -This dog had never done anything wrong except exist.

   - A group of neighborhood kids were playing in the street and I actually had the thought "Hooligans better stay off my lawn."

   - I was having coffee with someone once and had the upsetting realization that I would rather be at home hanging out with my cat. 

   - I'm too lazy to bake. Too lazy to even make the cookies I could be eating while I watch TV.

   - I judge people based on arbitrary things, like their choice of lawn ornaments or how quickly they can order a drink at Starbucks.
                        -If you can't say "triple grande soy caramel macchiato, no whip, extra caramel" without stumbling you have no business being in the drive-through at 8am on a Monday morning.
   - I was taught never to say "I forgive you." unless I really mean it, which means when people in front of me at the checkout turn to me as they are finally picking their crap off the counter and tottering away and wheeze out the phrase "Sorry for taking so long." I just say something like "alright" instead of the expected "Oh no problem at all I'm in no hurry take your time dear!"* because damn-it I AM in a hurry.
            *I imagine my mother is not proud of me at this point. But hey, when you teach morals to kids, you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences.

      I hope all of these things* aren't sealing my fate as the aforementioned "lady down the street from the nice old lady". I hope they aren't as serious as all that. In all honesty I'm not a mean spirited person, I just have my moments like everyone else, except for some reason I keep admitting them to all of you, instead of hiding them deep down in my soul and letting them stew, all the while smiling like crazy and commenting incessantly on how nice the weather is.

              *you can call them character flaws if you want, I prefer the term personality irregularities

   Plus I'm pretty sure even the nicest people in the world had their bad days. Let's not pretend there wasn't just one time when Mother Teresa  was like,
         "Dang this is a lot of poor people, how about some manna from heaven here God?"
    And I imagine the Dalai Lama rolls his eyes just a little every time a politician promises to head his advice.

    So maybe I won't be the nice old lady who bakes cookies every Friday for the neighborhood and has sweet little conversations with her dead husband.

   But I can at least aspire to be a nice old lady who buys cookies for the neighborhood, has regular conversations with her still alive husband, and loves almost everyone- except that obnoxious little dog a few houses down, which she kicks every once in a while just to remind it who's boss.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hopeless Romanticism: Why Meg Ryan is to blame for my skewed view of the world.

      People constantly mistake my penchant for sarcasm as pessimism. It's true that my first instinct in any situation- however serious- is to crack a joke, but this is mostly a defense mechanism to avoid admitting to others that I have an even more serious character flaw:   I'm a hopeless romantic.
    It's not my fault- I can trace it back to when I was six, watching Dirty Dancing and simultaneously singing Disney songs while eating macaroni and cheese as my mom baked cookies in the background. That kind of sensory overload would distort anyones brain.
    Combine that with a vivid imagination and tendency to over-emote and stick it all inside the anxious mind of a small girl and you have my entire childhood.
    "Being a romantic isn't a flaw!" you say? Well perhaps not but it's certainly hindered my ability to handle relationships with any modicum of realistic expectation, the earliest example of which dates back to 1997.

    It was the summer after second grade when I first decided to fall in love.

    I had just watched Sleepless in Seattle without my parents permission and decided it looked like fun. My older sister obviously thought so too since she was in love with a boy named Jeffrey, although neither of them would admit it. This also posed a problem because Jeffrey was the only boy I knew and regardless of what they will tell you, he was taken.

     I realized that falling in love was going to be much harder than I thought, and I set out immediately, leaving no time to waste. As I walked through town looking for reasonable candidates, I spied Jeff and my sister under a tree in the park. My sister was reciting the mutiplication tables and licking a ring-pop while Jeff was munching on an entire package of Rolos, trying to crush ants with the end of a stick. It was the most romantic scene I had ever witnessed in person and I was determined to take part in this thing called Love.

     I wandered and searched for an eternity. Later that same day I was walking past the ditch that ran through the middle of our little town and saw a lone figure sitting on the bank a little way off, his bare feet dangling in the water. He was gazing at something in the distance that probably didn't exist in the real world, and he sported a rather blank expression on his dirt-flecked face.
    Still, he was the same age as me and anyway he was probably the best I was going to get. I walked up and introduced myself, launching into a long explanation as to my actions. He just kept staring off into space, all the while slowly raising one skinny arm toward me until his hand formed a gun pointed directly at my chest.

     He said it quietly, and then repeated himself several times in a much louder voice as I kept trying to speak over him.
     "Bang! Bang! Bang!"

     I finally stopped talking and he stopped shooting, and it was the beginning of what I could tell was going to be love.
     It was beautiful but brief, as love tends to be when you're eight years old. We wandered around aimlessly for a few hours until he found a grasshopper, pulled all of it's legs off one by one right in front of me and then threw it in the ditch.

     I told him it had been wonderful but I was getting a divorce and how lucky it was that we never had children because it would have been so hard on them. I trudged home in the deepest throes of agony and he sat down by the ditch, staring once again at something in the distance, having already forgotten me.

    Still, I look back on our relationship with a certain fondness, especially since it's still the closest I've ever gotten to actually being in love.

Friday, June 3, 2011

We Apologize for the Convenience: Scenes from Retail.

Me: "Hello how can I help you today?"

Woman: "I need a device that lets you hear the birds chirping outside from inside your house."

Me: "So......a window?"

Woman: "NO! I can't open my windows the air will get in! I want to hear the birds with all my windows closed!"

Is this actually a thing? Are there are enough agoraphobic birdwatchers that someone is making money off this device?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ode to Small Town USA: Why country music makes me want to simultaneously punch someone in the face and burst into tears.

   I'm so quick to forget how small towns work. Having grown up in one and moved to a larger city I like to think I've adapted fairly well. I feel like a dual citizen of two very different worlds. One isn't better than the other.. cities and villages both have their gems- and their dirt.
    I spent memorial weekend back home and was reminded once again how the western slope in general functions, in good ways and bad.
    Example A: News travels extraordinarily fast.
         Someone robbed the bank across the street while I was sitting at breakfast. I had a feeling something was going down when we drove past a policeman wearing a bullet-proof vest and armed with a semi-automatic hiding behind a fence.
     Since I'm accustomed to receiving information via "legitimate" news sources, I continued about my day making a mental note to check the news tomorrow.
    However, small towns do not operate this way. To hell with the papers nobody trusts them anyway. By the time I got to my parents house my mother had every detail any cop that side of Vail had.
      This is literally how the chain of information works.
             Mom: "Well you know Dennis down the street? His cousin works for the police department, so he told Dennis, who told Anthony- you know him he lives behind us, always having those fun little parties, grows great zucchini? Well we were out gardening at the same time and he told me all about it. Apparently the guy was wearing sunglasses and carpenter's mask but looks a lot like your sister's boyfriend*. He took off on foot headed west, probably had a car waiting on the other side of the park."

            *My sister's boyfriend did not rob the bank, but people all over town are still giving him the evil-eye.
         I'm not saying things never get twisted in this community grapevine, but if aliens ever invade Washington and replace the president with a robot, my mother will probably hear about it over the back fence way before CNN has time to get anything together.

     Example B: Everyone, I mean EVERYONE is armed.
     Only in small towns can you go to the shooting range on a Saturday morning and run into your Pastor shooting off some of his handguns. It makes you feel uneasy, and yet somehow safer, like you know someone is eventually going to accidentally shoot his cousin, but if the Russians invade you just might make it.

    Example C: Perverts aren't prosecuted they're labeled "eccentric" and "just lonely".
            I was at the grocery store renting a movie for my youngest sibling one night when a large old man pulled up behind me in an electric scooter. (I should point out now that I recognized him immediately since he's been hanging around the grocery store "visiting" with people for years now.)
        Rather than waiting quietly and at a safe distance for me to finish picking a movie from Redbox, as is the social custom for anyone living in a city of more than 10,000 people, he pulled up next to me and began giving his personal reviews of every movie I acted interested in. He finally got quiet for a moment and then asked
     "Where do I know you from?" I knew that question was coming and reluctantly admitted to having worked in the grocery store several years ago. He then gave me one more creepy up-down and sputtered out:
      "Ok that makes sense, I knew I recognized that body."
     It creeped me out so bad I panicked and rented the first PG rated film I saw and fled the store.*

    * I was later informed by my eleven year-old brother that Tangled is "Totally a chick flick" and "can't we just watch Flashpoint instead? At least when people kiss in that show it usually results in someone getting shot."
    The thing is, this man has been doing this to women for at least as long as I can remember and everyone just rolls their eyes and explains that he's just a lonely old man whose trying to connect with people. Ya, he's trying to connect alright- trying to connect his The rest of this sentence has been removed for the sake of family members, but you get where I'm going.

     Example D: What city-dwellers refer to as "Hicks", we know as "my neighbor Bill".
        There is an outstanding multitude of douche-bags with camo pants and confederate flag tattoos, driving their girlfriend's F150 while blaring Nickelback and winking at anything with boobs.
     Despite the gross old man in the grocery store, the fact that the closest movie theater is half an hour away and going out to breakfast means your omelette will most likely be made by a fat drunk man sporting cut-off shorts and  a "These colors don't run" American Flag shirt, I love my home town. There is something to be said for places where no matter where you are you'll run into someone you know.
     There is something to be said for the fact that one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country is 10 minutes away, and there is something magical about seeing a bunch of Hippies, Rednecks, Artists, Teachers, Students, Athletes, Tourists and Locals all sitting down in the same cafe to eat breakfast, because it's the only place to go.
       Oh, and don't worry, that explosion you heard is just a meth house going up outside town.