Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30th!!

Oh my word - it's June 30th and I haven't updated my blerg a single time this month! My poor blog - so abandoned! It's going to be on one of those Mental Floss articles titled, "Check out spooky pictures of these abandoned blogs" and attached will be something like this:

I've just had a very, very busy month. I went to my phone to find photographic evidence of what I've been up to lately, but all I found was screen shots from tv shows I've been watching on my phone to send to my sister. Not exactly compelling evidence of a busy life. But can you blame me for having to capture this classic Jessica Fletcher look from an episode of Murder, She Wrote?

Or this hilarious shirt Tracey is wearing in an episode of 30 Rock:

Did I tell ever you about the time I accidentally referred to George W. Bush as George W. Smith? It happened on New Year's Eve, 2014, if that means anything, and I don't think it does.  Also (and this is important), I said the name with conviction. George W. Smith. What happened to my brain that day remains a scientific mystery.

But really, things have been very busy at work this month. And then suddenly last week, I got really sick! In the summer time!! I was outraged.

Anyway, here's my June post. I've saved my blog for one more month. Hopefully next month I'll have at least two posts.

Happy June 30th.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Violent Earth

Back in high school, we had an eclectic group of substitute teachers. Some were "normal" and some were anything but. One of them, who I'll call Mr. Mob, would try to convince us that he used to work for the goon squad. We all figured it was just an attempt to scare us into staying in line. And this wouldn't have worked except that he was actually a pretty cool guy. He was laid back, quirky, and the whole goon squad thing was probably a joke, but just in case it wasn't....

Anyway, one day I walked into my earth science class to see Mr. Mob writing on the chalkboard. In true substitute teacher fashion, the agenda for the day was to watch a video. If memory serves me, the video was called "Violent Earth" and was about earthquakes. Since Mr. Mob was no ordinary substitute teacher, he had illustrated the name of the video on the chalkboard in a colorful fashion:

It was at that moment that I learned something valuable: The earth could be violent. And class would be easy that day. And Mr. Mob wasn't that great of an artist. But mostly, the earth could be violent.

Fast forward to the present.

Last Saturday after the farmers market, my sister, Katherine, was helping me load up my car. On the grass by the curb, there was a trench where some pipe or wires had been laid and the soil hadn't been filled back in. After almost tripping in it, I warned Katherine to watch out.

About 7 seconds later, my foot got caught in the trench, and I fell to my knees:

Ok, at this point, here's what normally would have happened: I would have laughed at my clumsiness and stood up. But no. That happened to be when the violent earth struck and Michigan experienced a very rare phenomenon: an earthquake.

It was 12:22. Confused about what was happening, I hit the ground then I started rolling. I was out of control! I couldn't stop myself! I rolled right down into the street, where I lay, laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of it all.

I was also a bit confused. Why couldn't I stop myself from falling? It was strange.

A little bit later, I started seeing updates on social media, "Did anyone feel that earthquake?" At first I thought I hadn't felt it but then it all started to add up! The timing of it was exactly right. I hit the ground, THE EARTH SHOOK, and I fell to my death. Or rather, I rolled over the curb.

Katherine, who witnessed the whole thing, said that it had nothing to do with the earthquake, but what would she know?

Here's the evidence: 

1. The timing - I tumbled into the road at the exact same time the earthquake hit (I think)

2. WHY would I fall so much if the earth wasn't being cray-cray?
3. That's all. I just felt like two points weren't enough. 

So, while everyone else was sharing memes like this...:

...I'm remembering laying in the gutter like a drunken Edgar Allen Poe that fateful day... the day the Violent Earth took me down.

Friday, May 1, 2015

On why it's hard to have a political opinion

I'm scared. We're in the season of a presidential election already. Goodbye, friendships! Goodbye, Facebook news feed! Goodbye calm, rational group conversations!

You know what's also scary? Forming an opinion about a candidate and telling someone. I mean, it's one thing to be an observer. It's another to express participation in the process. Here's a terribly drawn comic I made to demonstrate what often seems to happen:

Or it might go like this:

Person A: You know who I like?
Person B: Who?
A: So-and-so
B: What!?! What about that time they ____________?
A: Oh.. Well, I'm not sure about that. I know that I like this, this, and that about them though.
B: But what about this, this, and that? 
A: Well, from what I heard, they had a reason for that (and the reason was)...
B: But what about the fact that they hate Mexicans?

B: Well, they hate tacos. Or at least, they hate Taco Bell. Well, they hate Taco's Bell's Mexican pizza. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT?
A: Well... it is kind of soggy.

Or maybe, heaven forbid, you know ten things you like about the person, and three things you don't really like. How do you answer for those three things? Because if you tell anyone you like that candidate and they disagree, they WILL bring those three things up and because you said you liked that person, you may as well have done those things yourself.

Or you have to defend your patriotism.

B: You like that candidate? You must hate America. Have you never read the Constitution!? 
A: No, have you?
B: No, but I've heard things.

Another possibility is that you'll have to defend the candidate's character.

A: I think I'm going to vote for __________.
B: But he/she cut in line for the slide when he/she was in third grade!
A: Oh. I guess I was just voting based on their voting records and social changes. I didn't realize I had to go so far back.
B: Idiot.(Walks off humming "Proud to be an American.")

It seems to me that there are three ways to avoid the scrutiny of having an opinion about a candidate:

1. Know everything about that person and be prepared to defend everything they've ever done.
2. Only know one thing about that person but care SO much about it that everyone knows there's no point arguing with you.
3. Know almost nothing about politics but be so passionate about politics people realize there's no point arguing with you.

I'm thinking of voting for Bernie Sanders because I think he might be related to Colonel Sanders and could possibly get our national bird changed to the chicken. Is that a good enough reason? TRY arguing with me about chicken. Just try. (Just demonstrating points 2 and 3.)

The thing is, most conversations with people who you strongly disagree with are pointless. This past week's episode of This American Life is called, "The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind," and it talks about this very subject. If you want to vote for Hillary, and someone else wants to vote for Mitt (I know he's not running but I don't know any other Republicans)... is there any point in having a conversation? I mean, the point of the conversation will be to either defend your opinion or try to change theirs, right? Will either person come out with good feelings at the end?

Am I getting too jaded, or is this everyones experience?

I'll just be hiding in a tepee for the next year or so, keeping my opinions to myself until it's all over. Or at least, I'll try.

In the meantime, let's listen to a patriotic tune we can all get behind:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

iPod Confessions

Like most humans with the ability to hear, I love music. I have a wide variety of tastes in music, and have a really hard time categorizing my taste. If I had to, I'd say, "All, but only a little country."

I was looking at my iPod and saw some wild inconsistencies in my tastes. I have something like eight or nine hundred songs downloaded, so there's no way I could go over the list that closely - no one has time for that. But I scrolled through my ipod (phone) and made some lists in case you are REALLY bored today!

Please especially take note of the second group if you're looking for new music.

Top 7 most embarrassing finds:
1. Boyfriend - Justin Bieber
3. Several songs by Miley Cyrus... and.....
4. Some One Direction and even worse.....
5. Several more songs by Justin Bieber (other than the one already listed)
6. We built this city - Starship (I should be more embarrassed about this song than I am)
7. Several Britney Spears songs

Top songs I most recommend you listen to (my favorites) (if I made you a mix tape, this is what would be on it):
1. All the girls are complicated -Laura Cantrell
2. Dance me to the end of love - Madeleine Peyroux
3. Don't stop me now - Queen
4. Hands in pockets - Laura Gibson
5. Hey Brother - Avicii
6. Horchata - Vampire Weekend
7. Lily (Con Estrella Morente) - Chico & Rita New York Band & Orchestra
8. Little things - Pomplamoose
9. Love of mine - Nickel Creek
10. Out in the Twilight - Tally Hall
11. Simple Girl - Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
12. Space Oddity - David Bowie
13. Scarecrow - Counting Crows
14. Still - Gretchen Parlato
15. Surrey with the fringe on top - Blossom Deary
16. Tapioca Tundra - the Monkees
17. Truckstop gospel - Parker Millsap
18. Wild child - Brett Dennen
19. Domino Man - The Beautiful South

1. Fancy - Iggy Azalea
2. All about that bass - whatshername
3. Happy - Pharrell
4. Royals - Lorde (make it stop)
5. Take me to church - Hozier

Top 3 most random songs:
1. The Courtship of Eddie's Father (theme song)
2. Hail to the chief - US marine band
3. Snowbird - Anne Murray

Top what was I thinking when I downloaded this song??
1. Bed intruder song - Antoine Dodson
2. Down - Jay Sean (what the!?)
3. I gotta a feeling - Black Eyed Peas (omg)
4. Lollipop - Lil Wayne (ew - don't listen to this song. What was I thinking!?!)
5. My style - Black Eyed Peas (oh my gosh, I have two songs by them on my ipod?? who am i?!)

Top 12 nostalgia (school days) songs:
1. All I want - Toad the Wet Sprocket
2. Cornflake girl - Tori Amos
3. Eternal flame - The Bangles
4. Fall on me - REM
5. Find the river - REM
7. Hole hearted - Extreme
8. To be with you - Mr. Big (still love this song so, so much - just TRY to listen to it without singing along. Can't be done. Physically impossible.)
9. I'd die without you - PM Dawn
10. Shake the disease - Depeche Mode
11. Spoonman - Soundgarden
12. All songs by Jellyfish

Top TURN IT UP songs:
1. Back in black - AC/DC
2. Houses of the holy - Led Zeppelin
2. Closer to the Heart - Rush
4. Doctor Feelgood - Motley Crue
5. It's tricky - Run DMC
6. Sabatoge - Beastie Boys
7. E-pro - Beck
8. ALL Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Rush songs - too many to list

Random iPod observation:
There's a lot of music by: Counting Crows, They Might be Giants, Disney movies, boy bands, Jellyfish, Led Zeppelin, Metalica, John Mayer, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Billy Idol, Simon and Garfunkel, and Kanye West (?!). And even some Eminem.

I would love to hear about some of your iPod confessions if you feel like sharing.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Facial Blindness

The other day at Target, I found a yummy looking bag of jelly beans. Figuring one bag wouldn't be enough for Easter, I looked for a second bag of the same kind. However, it seemed that this bag was in the wrong place, so I had to search all over to find its family of yummy jelly beans.

A woman who works there saw me searching and offered to help. I thanked her and she said, "It's no big deal - I see you here all the time and we went to school together!"

I have no memory of this person, but believed her. She went on and on about how she likes seeing me there because I'm a familiar face. The next day when I went back to get something I'd forgotten the day before, she came out of the back room saying, "Hi, friend!" I said, "oh gosh, I'm so embarrassed - yes, I'm here again." She said, "It's ok! I feel like we grew up together!"

Hm. Who is this person?

The next day I told this story to a guy who also has a booth at the farmers market. I told him the story hoping he would be able to help me identify her because he went to the same high school as me. I described her to him and told him her first name.

He asked, "was she in band or orchestra?" I said, "oh, good question. That would help a lot." Then I asked, "Which were you in in?" He said, "Band. I played the trombone. With you."

Oops. I have no memory of him in band. In my defense, however, he is several years younger than me which in high school is a lifetime.

Overhearing our conversation, several venders at booths near us went, "ooooooooh! You were 'that' kind of girl!" Indicating a snob, I think. But I was in no way a snob! I was a fake grunge person. It was the 90's and Nirvana and Pearl Jam were big and I was trying to be grunge, but was such a poser in retrospect.

I think the main reason I don't remember these people is because high school was 100 years ago. Or maybe I have facial blindness.

Have any of you had similar experiences?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday Thoughts

Let's go back to the old style of sharing random thoughts on a Wednesday, shall we? Here we go:

1. Is buying baskets ever a good idea? A friend and I were talking the other day about how you always find baskets at garage sales. It's the one thing you can count on. Yet, I am always tempted to buy them. "Oh, this would look so cute with apples or cloth or something in it..." Stop tempting me, baskets!!!

Just walk away.

2. I went to an ear, nose, and throat specialist this morning. Yesterday I filled out all the paperwork online about my health history. This is a new one:

Finally a doctor who gets me.

3. My general feelings about today:

4. So, I've been watching a show called Supernatural on Netflix. Have you guys seen it? It appeals to me because it's about scary stuff like ghosts and monsters and mysteries. Also, the main characters are ok on the eyes. However, I think it's a show for dudes. The two brothers always have the same looks on their faces and they're always yelling about how they don't want to talk about their feelings. One of them occasionally talks about his feelings and tries to get the other brother to as well, but it always ends up like this:

Sam: Dude, I know you're hurting about so and so.
Dean: We're not going to do this right now.
Sam: It's not going to go away! You need to talk about it!
Dean: Don't do this, man! I'm fine!
Sam: You're not fine. I can tell. I'm your brother.

Dean: Look, I don't know what you're talking about. 
Sam: Ok, but (heartfelt look), when you're ready to talk, I'm here for you.
Dean: Whatever, dude.

We're both pretty.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nope-ril Fools

I'm anxious today. April Fools' Day can be unbearable in some ways. Mainly when it comes to social media. Here are two pranks I BEG of you to not lie about on social media tomorrow:

1. Fake pregnancy
2. Fake engagement

Every year on April Fool's Day, I quickly scroll past so many of these on Facebook, rolling my eyes and cringing at the comments, "SO happy for you!!" "You two are so cute together!!" "Wonderful news! - grandma"

I am not a total April Fools' Day Scrooge. I think some pranks are funny. My kind of April Fools' joke is when the victim is laughing and not humiliated or damaged in any way.

Here are some examples of big NO'S!

Here are some I think are funny:


Here's one I can't decide if I like or not:

Everyone has a different idea of what's funny and acceptable for April Fool's Day. Personally, I tend to gravitate toward the googly eyed variety of pranking, which won't surprise a single one of you. No one is hurt. Everyone is a little amused. No damage done.

What's the best prank you've ever done? How do you feel about April Fools' Day?