Saturday, December 24, 2011

White Rock Marathon

I finally did it. I ran a marathon.  Still not exactly sure what provoked me to do such a thing. Possibly, the fact that I recently turned 26 and am just beginning to come to grips with the fact that the prime years of my life were at least 4 years ago. Back when Jack and Kate were still trapped on a island, Lauren Conrad was still friends with Heidi Montag and Marissa Cooper had just OD’d in TJ.  Ahhh, the golden years. Thus with only a few more good years left before the arthritis kicks in, time is of the essence. And besides, bucket lists don’t check themselves off! I had it narrowed down to the race or skydiving so I went for the slightly less terrifying option.  I started training back in the summer but once I moved to Texas where it was a cool 100 degrees by 11pm, the whole workout plan sort of fell apart. Especially, after the 3rd minor heat stroke. Once October came around I started to hit it hard again and was really starting to put some miles on my new pair of Asics. Then came daylight savings and although I hate running in the dark I tried to make the best of it. For obvious safety reason I started running with an elastic headlamp around my waist as a way to light the way as I frantically prayed to God to send down a few ripped guardian angels to keep me and my iPod shuffle safe. Unfortunately the baby muffin top I‘ve acquired from my mixture of a year living with mom’s home cooking/ being drawn to In n Out like a moth to the flame, had a knack for pressing the on/off switch as I made my way down the road. Giving off a sort of strobe light effect it’s highly likely I sent several night drivers into fits of epilepsy.  My bad. Safety first people!

The 3 weeks leading up to the actual marathon weren’t pretty. I had come down with a slight chest cold right before my birthday and it ended up staying with me for 3 weeks, which really put a damper on my training regime. I was starting to wonder if I should call it quits because I had never run more than 13 miles at any given time. Seeing as I’d already spent half my birthday money on this non-refundable gift I decided to suck it up and give it my best shot. After carb loading like a mad man the night before, the morning of the race I awoke at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am to the sound of torrential downfall. I was not pleased. I hadn’t really done my research on weather conditions for the day of the race so I wasn’t really equipped with the most appropriate attire. Luckily I had red emergency rain poncho that I’m guestimating I purchased back in 2002 and I’d been saving for a time of crisis. The time had come to break that seal and wave my poncho in all it’s glory, even if it did mean covering up my new slim fitting Dri Nike running shirt I’d purchased specifically for the occasion. I had totally dressed to impress because even if I didn’t make it to the finish line, I still wanted to look as Sporty Spice as possible.

I had 3 big fears going into racing day: 
Number 1 –
The possibility that I would shit my self myself mid race
Number 2-
The big unknown of where chafage might and most likely would occur over the course of four hours.
Number 3-
What would happen if my Ipod battery died and I no longer had the thumping beats of a Britney remix to keep me motivated??
As usual, I hadn’t done a very in depth research on marathon running and it wasn’t until talking with my friend Tamara the night before did I learn that it’s a common problem for people to poop themselves while running over long distances.  Thanks to a deadly combination of a generous helping of granola the morning of and pre race jitters, upon arriving at the starting line I had one of those “gotta go gotta go gotta go right now sort of moments.” Apparently I was not alone in the feeling and after standing in line for the honey buckets for almost 15 minutes I was finally able to take care of business before my ass exploded all over the streets of Dallas. I was sort of relieved in a way because I figured I probably wouldn’t need to go again for awhile, although due to my impromptu pit stop I was late for the start of the race and I totally missed the singing of the star spangled banner. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

Aside from the fact that it was cold, rainy and I looked like the red M&M with my bright red poncho and icy white hands….Oh and did I mention I had to keep taking off my glasess every mile or so to wipe away the rain with a torn up Hanes shirt?? Yeah, that made me feel REAL cool. All that aside, the first 20 miles of the race were great. I was excited to be there.  I was tossin’ back Gatorade and electrolytes gummies like they were Jell-O shots. There were lots of enthusiastic people with hilarious signs like ““It’s long and hard, so do it fast” ,“Beer misses you too”, “1 Hours till Margaritas”, “Just keep swimming”.  I was digging my playlist and I had gotten a dry pair of socks at mile 9 from Bart, Tamara and KT, which put a little spring in my step while the rest of me was soaked to the bone.

Then came mile 20. Like a freight train. Turns out the episode of The Office where Andy’s nipples start to bleed during the company fun run were based on true events. I mean I had totally put Vaseline on the ol’ nips but I think a mixture of rain and sweat had swept it away miles back. In other words my chest was beginning to resemble a crime scene. I sure didn’t remember this part of “Chariots of Fire”??!! Thank goodness I’d gone with the black windbreaker instead of the white one cuz that would have been embarrassing. I was desperately looking around for anything to ease the pain and was keeping my peripherals peeled for someone with a tube of lip gloss, Chapstick, a maxi pad….ANYTHING to form a barrier between me and my wet shirt. I eventually gave up on that dream and went with the no pain no gain mentality.  As if I weren’t in enough agony, my legs started cramping up like crazy around this same time and I was pretty much over the whole marathon thing by mile 23. I tried my best to imagine myself gliding along on a Segway but it wasn't really helping. Deep down I was praying some random civilian would come out of nowhere and go all Nancy Kerrigan on my legs with a crowbar. At that point they would have been doing me a favor. I know that was so the 1990’s but at least that way I would’ve had a legit reason for not finishing the marathon and still left with some dignity.

26.2 miles and a copious amount of pop songs later, and by the grace of God, I did make it. It’s all a bit of a blur after crossing that finish line because I’m pretty sure hypothermia was kicking in big time at that point and I hardly had the strength to peel a banana for nourishment. After slowly and painfully stumbling around the fairgrounds parking lot in search of my car whose location I had completely forgotten, I was finally able to crank up the heat and thaw out before losing any of my limbs to gangrene. What. A. Relief.  The craziest part of the whole thing is I kind of want to do it again….but next time I’ll be sure to have these….

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Keeping Up With the Robs

As if taking New York and Miami weren’t enough….US weekly has confirmed that several members of the Kardashian “Klan” are making the move to Dallas. Read story here:

Can’t say that I blame them. Word travels fast these days and it was only a matter of time before the cool kids learned of my move to the south. I tend to be the epitome of a trend setter and I would like to go on record as the person who told Gaga that mint is going to be very big in fashion this spring. Marry the Night? Anyone? Yep, totally me.  The real curve ball in this whole scenario is that Rob Kardashian is moving along with Kloe and Lamar. What a good brother.  Hopefully there is enough room in this town for another Rob because if I had a quarter for every Robert I’ve met since moving here I totally could have afforded a rental from Red Box tonight.  What I wanna know is what an average day in the life of Rob Kardashian is like? Let’s be real, someone must have switched us at birth because he is clearly living the life I was meant to lead. Plus Kourtney and I basically look like we could be twins. Some guys have all the luck. Dating a Cheetah Girl? Unemployed and living off the wealth of his sisters? Almost wins Dancing with the Stars?  Rob! If you’re reading this, TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!

Now, I know I’ve said it before, but this is a TOTAL God thing. This is my ticket to getting on a reality show cuz you know they’ll be taping down here. I knew turning down casting offers from the A-List or Most Eligible Dallas producers was a smart move. This could be my perfect debut to the American public.  I mean seriously, how great would it be if Rob’s two best friends on the show were recent/fabulous Dallas transplants by the same name? You just can’t write this stuff!!!! Obviously we’d have sooooo much in common and sooooo much drama to talk about during our staged life debriefs as we scour the shelves of the bound to be opened Dash store before grabbing happy hour at Uncle Julio's. And just think of the spin off show possibilities. “Keeping Up with the Robs”. “Rob, Rob, and Robbie take Dallas.” Dallas’s Most Eligible Robs”….they’ll love it on Lifetime. Before you know it I’ll be running out of places to put my daytime Emmy’s. BRB, I think Ryan Seacrest is calling.....

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Brit Brit!

In honor of the legendary Miss Britney Spears who is turning 30 today, my roommate Robbie and I took it upon ourselves to write a lil ditty in the form of a special birthday message to the woman who made us STRONGER THAN YESTERDAY  and who will keep us dancing TILL THE WORLD ENDS!!! Happy Birthday Britney! Love you!
xoxo Rob and Robbie 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, Monday

 Maaaaaaan alive. I had a feeling the Monday following Thanksgiving was gonna be a rough one.  Let’s face it, there’s really nowhere but downhill and a snap back to reality when you’ve spent the past 5 days being spoiled rotten by the parents, taking naps every afternoon, getting tipsy on Martinelli’s Sparking Cider,  taking in majestic views of the Blue Mountains, and being showered in puppy kisses by my baby girl Elly. After a lovely getaway to the recently crowned “Nicest Town In America”, me and my 48 lbs. of checked luggage ( it was an early Christmas miracle I kept that sucker under the 50 lb. limit) took a jet back to my current residence of Texas where I rolled into DFW at midnight. That whole time change thing can be a real pain. Luckily I have a roommate who loves me enough to drop me off at both 5 in the morning and pick me up at all hours of the night.  Love you Vobbie! After hugs and the usual “never leave me again speech” Robbie laid down the cold hard facts that my car battery was dead. It wasn’t much of a surprise seeing as I had received a text from one of my neighbors when I was still in Washington, alerting me to the fact that I’d left my lights on. My neighbor is also the #1 smoker of our tiny apartment complex and seeing as he finds himself outside a majority of the time he usually knows what’s going on in everyone’s life; or in my case whether or not I remembered to turn off my lights. This was not the first time this had happened and I dare say it won’t be the last. The thing that was different about this incident was that the lights had been on for 3 days. I called Robbie to see what he could do and try as he and Bart may they couldn’t revive the Matrix.  Luckily my dad still has me on the AAA plan and Bart, being his usual giving self, let me borrow his car to get to work. Love you Bart! I made an appointment to have AAA work their magic earlier this evening and by God’s good graces the nice tow truck man was able to get the car started with no trouble. I decided to go for a ride and upon realizing I had nothing in my apartment to eat, I of course headed to my friendly, neighborhood Wal-Mart, because aside from Subway it’s the only place I have still have a gift card. I had driven the car for about 10 minutes so I thought the battery would be charged enough for a quick shopping trip. Mmmmm turns out I was mistaken.  Let me tell ya, it’s a pretty humbling experience to come back to a dead car battery in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot. I really couldn’t imagine a worse time or place for this to happen. It was 7 pm and you know that everyone just got off work and are probably about as happy about it being Monday as I was. There really wasn’t much I could do but sit and wait like a creeper for people to park around me or return to their mode of transportation before approaching them with my sparkling charm and shiny set of jumper cables . My first victim told me she would have helped me if she didn’t have a kid before hurriedly slamming her door in my face. I’m still trying to figure out what the kid had to do with anything but then again maybe she took my tearful plea for help as a pickup line in hope for a future date? Victim #2 was a quick one and on the spot came up with unlikely story that her battery happened to be locked up in her trunk. I had my suspicions she was lying but I also know next to nothing about cars so I didn’t push the issue. Victim #3 was holding an angel food cake and clearly didn’t see me coming because she turned around with a look of terror when I yelled out “excuse me maam!?”!As with the others, she had an alibi of having to get somewhere in a hurry and assured me that she’s usually the type of person to help others. Yeah, like I hadn’t heard that one before. By this point I’m looking around in my back seat to see if there are any warm blankets or possibly some kindling, in the likelihood that I end up spending the night in the hatchback as I play big spoon to my jug of milk that’s going bad by the second. All of a sudden, out of the darkness, comes my night in shining armor…driving a red Nissan. Well, in times like these one can’t be picky. Although I would have preferred an Audi. I didn’t catch his name but he is already my new favorite person and I may have come off a little too enthusiastic when he agreed to pop his hood. I told him he was the nicest person in this whole parking lot and that it’s moments like this that give me hope for humanity. Hopefully our paths will cross again someday, most likely at Wal-Mart and maybe I'll buy him a pack of gum or some Great Value yogurt? It’s the least I could do.

But really the biggest let down of my Monday came at work when I discovered that after spending every weekend here for 4 straight months, the ONE weekend I decide to leave Dallas, freaking Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are in town!!!! WHAT. ARE. THE. ODDS?! Yes. THE Justin Bieber who I have supported and defended since day one. The same Justin Bieber who’s Christmas album I listened to 99% of my flight back to Walla Walla.  The same Justin Bieber who’s movie “Never Say Never” I rented from RedBox and was subsequently late to a birthday party because I was so engrossed by his inspiring tale of rags to riches. And yes, THE Justin Bieber who is arguably one of the most famous people in the world as we speak! The news was almost as heart wrenching as when I found out I had been a mere block from Aaron Carter in downtown Hollywood, which my friends all knew but had decided to keep from me because they thought I would pull over the car into the nearest no parking zone and take off running down the street in his general direction. Please. People don’t give me enough credit. As I told the woman at Wells Fargo who hooked me up with a free checking account, I’m used to being around fame. I mean Tanya from the Real World took her senior pictures in my backyard. NBD. My boss’s daughter is the one who filled me in on this tasty nibble of local celeb gossip because she’s actually the one who spotted the prince of pop at the movie theatre she was at, which I might add was a mere two minutes from my apartment. Him and Selena totally could have stopped by for an early dinner of fish sticks and cinnamon toast crunch (off brand of course). To be honest my friend may or may not have been tipped off that he was at the theatre and possibly that he was taking to Selena to see Twilight. Sadly Justin changed his mind last minute and ended up going to see The Muppets Movie. He’s so spontaneous! But I must say, it is ironic because wouldn’t ya know, I had also made plans to see The Muppet  Movie the same day…but opted out for a nap instead. BUT still!! It’s almost like our lives would have been connected for a small moment in time as we laughed at all the same jokes, chewed on our candy of choice( milk duds obviously), cried as Kermit and Miss Piggy had a falling out…you get the idea. But I haven’t given up hope that Justin and I will become friends. New Years is around the corner and I’m sure him and Selena will be back for another movie date and this time I’ll be ready!

P.S. Jess Miller: today’s voicemail where you serenaded me with Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” was by far the highlight of my day….aside from getting jumpstarted by a total stranger which came in a close second. I’ll call you soon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


November really is the best month out of the year. I mean think about it. It’s the time of year when you finally get to bundle up in your scarves and sweaters, all Urban Outfitters tank tops are finally on sale, a Twilight/Harry Potter/Pixar movie is bound to be in a theatre near you, Justin Bieber Christmas music fills the air, pumkin spice latte’s are practically falling from the sky like manna from heaven, and of course it’s my Birthday! This year I turned the big 26 and as one of the cards I received said, “you’ve finally reached an age of no significance at all”. I couldn’t agree more. Gone are the days of having a birthday to look forward to. Birthdays that meant you would be able to drive a car, gamble away in a casino, buy a pack of smokes, enjoy a nice glass of wine, or have lower monthly rate on your car insurance.  More than anything I miss the days of my youth where threatening to uninvite someone from your birthday actually meant something. That was real power.  Reflecting back on my oh so recent life, I’m realizing that I seem to have trouble staying in one place. Over the last 4 years I’ve celebrated the day of my birth in both Washington, Iowa, and California and now Texas is being added to the list.  This time around I thought it would be fun to go with a theme for my party and what better way to ring in the 80 degree Dallas autumn than a Paul Bunyan party? Am I right?? Plus I’d just bought a pair of super cute Clarks boots and I was looking for any reason imaginable to bust em out.  I opted for the hipster Paul Bunyan look and paired my boots, suspenders, J Crew socks and flannel with a pair of cut offs and all I’m saying is the hipsters in Seattle would have been eating me up with a vintage and slightly overpriced spoon. Everybody got real into the theme and I even had a friend dress up as Babe the Blue Ox, complete with a nose ring he bought at Claire’s. It. Was. Awesome. Another friend was generous enough to buy me a birthday cake for the celebration and had even placed a special order with a bakery where he stressed the keywords of PAUL BUNYAN,  AXE, FLANNEL, LUMBER JACK when describing what he wanted the cake to look like.  Something was obviously lost in translation because come a week later, the lights are off, the candles are lit, my friends are singing happy birthday and I look down to see a giant Viking helmet and axe adorning the top of my cake. I mean at least they got the axe part right but I think someone at the bakery needs a little American folklore brush up before they attempt to take the SAT’s for the 5th time.

With all the love and surprises that came with this birthday also came the inconvenience of having to renew my Driver’s License.  Talk about a buzzkill. It was a huge pain in the butt because of all the paperwork they needed and registering of the car, etc., etc., etc. After hours of internet research, phone calls home, finding the perfect outfit for the picture, and picking out a DMV (or DPS as they call them here) I was finally ready to get er’ done. I made an effort to arrive at the DPS early but after my GPS decided to take me to an abandoned IHOP instead, I was only there 5 minutes before the place opened and it already looked like the line for a homeless shelter. After waiting in line for 45 minutes I finally made it to the front desk to get a number. I thought being an American and having to move to Texas sucked, but it turns out my Korean friend ahead of me in line had me beat. I’m assuming the poor man had just moved here from Korea and like myself he was also on a mission to get a license. Unfortunately he hadn’t been notified that his old Korean license had to be professionally translated before he could get a US one and therefore he waited in line for nothing. My heart went out to him….until it dawned on me that this meant that I had one less person to wait in line behind so I got over it real quickly. The next 2 hours that I spent waiting for my number to be called were pure torture. There had to have been at least 50 people crammed into the waiting area where one baby was screaming bloody murder for a majority of the time and somehow everybody was getting called ahead of me. I of course was alone with no reading material or smart phone to keep my mind occupied so I tried to make small talk with the lady sitting next to me. She was a nurse who had just finished working the night shift at the hospital, which lead to a lot of one-sided conversations as she nodded in and out of consciousness while I just looked like a crazy person.

Now as I previously mentioned, one of the best parts about November are the Twilight movies and I am happy to inform ya’ll that I have indeed gone to see Breaking Dawn: Part 1.  Seeing as I am quickly turning into an old man, I decided to turn down free tickets to see the midnight showing because the thought of getting 4 hours of sleep before work made me want to vomit. Had it been the year 2007 there is no doubt in my mind that I would have been there with my Team Edward t-shirt and body glitter that I picked up from Hot Topic. Many of you may be surprised to hear that I wasn’t too quick to join this whole Twilight wagon. For one thing I’m not much of a reader unless Oprah puts it in her book club, and secondly I thought Vampires were super lame. My friend Meghan convinced me to go to the first movie with her and within 10 minutes I was hooked. Set in Washington?? Forbidden love??? Sexual tension you could cut with a knife?!??!? Non-stop depressing hipster love songs??? Main actors name is Rob!?!?! Seriously, what’s not to love.? All I’m saying is, as usual, the tween inside of me won and since then I’ve seen all the movies, read the books, listened the soundtracks, set up a savings account to save up for my trip to Forks, and regardless of gender I plan on naming my first born EJ (Edward Jacob).  Speaking of first-borns; highlight of the matinee by far had to be the group of teenage girls who left the theatre shaking and crying with their hands covering their eyes as Bella gave what looked like the most painful birth of the century. Shit got real. That scene may just be the best form of birth control Hollywood has ever put out there. Now if only Justin Bieber had made it to an advance screening…too soon?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Car Troubles in Dallas

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
5:36 PM

Well I’m patiently awaiting the return of the stressed out looking Discount Tires man who is gonna tell me why my tire is flat and whether or not I’ll be spending my whole month’s salary on a new pair of tires. Happy Birthday to me…….*begins to sob uncontrollably* Ugh. Cars. Can’t live with em. Can’t live without em. My boss’s daughter was the one that first alerted me to the problem. I wasn’t too surprised after I remembered how a light with an explanation point had been lighting up my dashboard for over a week now. Maybe my car had been trying to tell me something? All I know is I’m already missing my Les Schwab Tire Store with their friendly service and endless amounts of popcorn. This is the second time this week I’ve had the luxury of lounging in an auto mechanic shop and my big question is how the hell does someone get a People magazine around these sorts of places!?? I ran into the same problem yesterday at Kwik Kar but wasn’t about the address the problem because I knew I’d be wasting my breath with people who not only misspelled the word “Quick” but “Car” as well. Public schools these days……You know it’s bad when your best option for light reading is Seventeen Magazine, but I was getting desperate because it was either that or ESPN magazine *shudder*. The funniest thing about the whole experience was that one of the guys working on my car kept taking mini breaks by coming into the lobby to watch whatever football game was on TV. He must have felt we had some sort of common interest in the sports because he kept talking to me about the game and would make loud cheering noises and then look awkwardly at me and await my response to the latest touchdown. Did he really think a 25 year old man who was browsing the pages of Seventeen with Britney from Glee on the cover and lightly skimming through the article that went into vivid detail about how Lauren Conrad died her hair 3 different colors in a single week gave a flying rip?!?!? Apparently I’m REAL good feigning interest.

All this has to be God’s way of punishing me for waiting beyond the 30 day limit in which a new resident of Texas is allowed to register their vehicle. It’s something I’ve been dreading. Both for financial reasons and pure laziness. Also it’s a bit of a thrill to drive through the freeway tolls for free thanks to my Washington license plates. I’m sure going to miss those moments. I honestly probably would have put the whole thing off longer if my license wasn’t about to expire in less than two weeks, thus making it very necessary.  Especially if I have any desire to buy a celebratory drink on my  B-day. I’m not totally opposed to the idea of getting a new I.D. card. Especially since I’ve run into several situations where people looked at me like I’d handed them a fake drivers license. Sorry big bouncer man at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, 2006 was a long time ago and people change.  But it will be nice to have a picture that is more to my likeness. The lame part is that I have to retake my driving tests all over again which I think is just ridiculous. Pretty sure my grandfather was driving late into his mid nineties with no questions asked by the local government, and here I come all young, quick minded, with a perfect driving record having to prove that I still remember how to turn on my blinker when changing lanes. Where’s the logic?? And don’t even get me started on how parallel parking is one of my many if not most utilized spiritual gifts. Don’t even go there girlfriend, mkaaaaay.

Uh oh. The girl sitting to my left just started crying. She also must have noticed the sorry excuse for a magazine rack….

Thursday, November 3, 2011
9:19 AM

I’ve only been awake for 2 hours and I’m so ready to go home, lock my bedroom door, crawl into bed and hibernate till say mid March.  It’s been another Red Letter day and in my attempt at being a just, upright, and outstanding citizen I bit the bullet this morning and headed to downtown Dallas to get my car registered.  I should have taken it as a bad omen when I realized that the Dallas County Tax Office is located several yards away from where Kennedy was assassinated, but I had other things on my mind. Street parking was hard to find but I eventually found a spot with a parking meter. After ravaging my car for change like a meth addict I luckily found a quarter that I had missed during last weeks search for laundry money which meant I had enough change to buy me 23 minutes of time. I knew I’d be cutting it close but it’s the best I could do. It was all rather frantic as I was throwing all the necessary paperwork into a folder and wiping away the spilt coffee off my jeans (I’d left my thermos at work so I had to make due with my Paris Starbucks mug….found out the hard way there are a few potholes in downtown that need IMMEDIATE attention). Anyways so frantic was I that I failed to realize at the time that I was parking in a tow away zone. I swear I’m dyslexic when it comes to tow away signs in that I usually see the opposite of what the sign says. It’s happened before and I’m sure it’ll happen again. So I run like a madman into the building before catching my death of pneumonia because we had our lowest temperature for the year this morning which was a staggering 44 degrees as of 8am, which after a 110 degree summer my body is not prepared for in the slightest.  The whole process of getting the plates went way more smoothly than expected and I left with a much smaller bank account but an optimistic outlook on the day. All that went down the crapper once I returned to my car to find six minutes remaining on my parking meter and a whopping parking ticket on the windshield. I debated screaming and throwing garbage cans into the street but remembered I could no longer afford a fine for appearing to be intoxicated in public.  But seriously Dallas, I just gave you an ungodly amount of money for 2 license plates that probably weren’t even American-made and I’m giving you a full year of my life that I’ll never get back. What more do you want from me and what kind of grace filled community am I living in!?!??!?! And on top of it all I totally could have saved that stupid quarter, either for next week’s laundry or for my state quarter collection, which by the way is nearing completion.

In retrospect of this mornings events I suppose I have more in common with JFK than I ever realized? We both rocked the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, both shared a love for classic movie stars and we both got screwed over by the city of Dallas in the month of November. Guess we should have looked into that whole public transportation thing...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Big Boy Job

My favorite season has finally arrived. Fall. Autumn. Call it what you will. Either way, I love it. Unfortunately, the Dallas version of fall is a far cry from what I’m accustomed to. I suppose I’ve been spoiled by the beauty of Washington with it’s cold crisp mornings and all the colored leaves falling to the ground.  Down here we’re still having 90 degree weather (not that I’m complaining) and our leaves still have the parched and slightly green tint to them. I was informed today that the leaves here go straight from green to dead and gone. No room for vibrant reds, or oranges around these parts so I shouldn’t hold my breath for anything remotely New England-esque during this season. This morning was exciting because I woke up to cloud cover, a slight drizzle, and 70-degree weather. I was so happy. Finally a day that felt like fall in Seattle! In celebration I decided to throw on my new corduroy’s and a cardigan, turned up my new “Carpenters Gold: 35th Anniversary Edition” album (AKA fall soundtrack) and bought myself a Pumpkin Spice latte. I know, I’m so Seattle right now and I’m loving it.

This whole week has actually been really great because Robbie and myself both got jobs! I started work at a small design company called “Black Tip Media” and Robbie got offered a position with some company doing whatever it is people with biochemistry degrees do. The jobs couldn’t have come at a more opportune time because I had come to the point where I was wondering how next month’s rent was going to get paid. To make ends meet during this whole shit show of a job search Robbie had taken a job at the Walgreen’s pharmacy and I was working as a server at a Mexican restaurant called “Uncle Julio’s”. I’d never been a server before (although that’s not the story I gave the person who hired me) but seeing as I grew up in Eastern Washington I felt that Mexican food would be right up my alley even if  I wasn’t working at a taco truck. Turns out I am sooooo not cut out to be a server. I was a stressed out mess every shift I worked and everybody had to keep reminding me to smile.  Smile?? Really?? What’s there to smile about when you’re working a customer service job that pays $2.15 an hour plus minuscule tips that would hardly be enough to buy me a margarita after my shift to ease the pain. The worst part of the whole situation was I had to shave my face every day before my shift, which was an inconvenience and I felt so naked/exposed with my shaved baby face. I mean ever since No-Shave November of 2006 there have been very few times I’ve gone without my scruff so I guess it’s kinda become part of my identity. Plus every time I passed a mirror I would become startled because I didn’t recognize myself.  So when my new boss Kevin offered me the new job I pretty much broke down into tears of pure happiness. Pure happiness at the thought that I’d be able to put my beard trimmer back to use and pure happiness at the thought that never again would I have to ask the customers sitting in my section if they wanted green, red, or sour cream sauce on their chicken enchilada.

So far my newfound life as a young business professional is off to a great start. I mean there was really nowhere to go but up but I feel really blessed to have this job. There are moments where I really can’t believe that I get paid to sit down, listen to show tunes, wear cute and trendy work clothes and create art all day! Plus my boss buys me donuts and Sonic happy hour slushies on a regular basis. WINNING! There are days it can get pretty intense though, especially when we are working on several projects and trying to get them finished as quickly as possible. It’s only been two weeks and my face is already breaking out from stress of a big boy job. Side note: I’m really kicking myself for years ago not taking my dermatologist up on her offer to prescribe me Accutane. If I could turn back time…

The biggest non-perk of the new job is the fact that I have to commute to suburbia (suburgatory if you will) every morning. The town itself is called Carrolton and it’s big claim to fame is that it’s where Robert Matthew Van Winkle, more commonly known as Vanilla Ice, was born and raised. The drive itself wouldn’t be that bad except I have very little respect for Texans when it comes to their driving capabilities. I’ve never seen so many traffic accidents in my life or traffic jams that appear to be happening for no reason. Now I’ve somehow managed to make it through my quarter century of  life without ever being in a fender bender *knocks on wood* but I’m thinking my time is coming. It almost seems unavoidable, especially since the main highway I take to work every morning looks like a two lane highway that they somehow squeezed a third lane into. It's scary. The commute would be made more bearable if my iPod hadn’t plunged to it’s watery grave the weekend before the new job started. The last/swan song played was “ Monster” by Gaga before being dropped into a half cup of melted ice from one of my countless interview that got me nothing but a cluttered inbox full of messages saying “At this time, another qualified candidate has been selected for this position”. I attempted to revive said Ipod by putting it into a tub of rice for 4 days and although the power still works, the touch screen function is long gone and therefore completely useless. You’d think Steve Jobs (may he rest in peace) could have taken a little more time making these things water proof. Instead I‘m left with an iPod that would cost as much to fix as it would be to buy a completely new one. So for the present, I’m back to living my not so distant 2003 life where cd mixes were the rage.  Another side note: I’ve been reduced to listening to the radio on days that I’m bored of my mixes, and I swear to God if I hear Pumped Up Kicks or Last Friday Night one more time I may be forced to do something drastic. Like join a monastery.

In honor of the changing of seasons, here is a very under-rated pop gem by Britney. Happy Fall Ya'll!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Strangers on a Plane

Last weekend the fates threw me a bone and gave me a weekend escape from Dallas. Thank goodness, because I was in serious need of a getaway. The destination was beautiful San Diego where my cousin John was getting married. This was perfect because the smell of the ocean and the feeling of a nice cool breeze had become nothing but a foggy and very distant memory. One thing that I was most looking forward to was the plane ride to the golden coast. Not sure what it is but I just love the chance to fly somewhere. Maybe it’s the free drinks, the thrill of being a mile above the earth, the hour spent browsing the pages of sky mall as I update my Christmas list? The jury is still out on that one. Regardless, few things make me happier than a window seat with my ipod shuffling through my current pop music obsessions. The one drawback to it all is my fellow passengers and seeing as I don’t have a budget for my own private plane just yet, I have to make the best of flying coach. I’m not really one to chat or even acknowledge the existence of the person sitting next to me on a plane. That is, unless I’ve had a few too many cran-apple cocktails and need the person seated next to me to put their tray tables in their upright position and get the hell out of the way before I wet myself. 

This round-trip from DFW to SAN presented me with a variety of interesting characters. Passenger number one was seated in the window seat and had his sunglasses on for a majority of the flight. The plane left the Dallas runway around 6:30 PM so I didn’t really understand the need for them and I’m sorry, but unless you’re Lenny Kravitz or Nicole Richie, you just come off looking like a douchebag. He also wasn’t winning any popularity points with me when he put the window shade down before we’d even left the runway. It’s not like I was going to be getting any breathtaking views of mountains, bodies of water, or dare to dream an evergreen tree, as we took off, but I wouldn’t have minded watching the sunset since I seem to be averaging 2 plane rides a year. We were 10 minutes from touching down at my layover in Phoenix when the pilot came in over the intercom to tell us that we would most likely have to circle the area for an hour before a torrential dust storm in Phoenix subsided or we simply ran out of jet fuel. I assumed the people at the airport were being a tad bit over-dramatic at what was probably two tumble weeds and a dust devil that had crossed a runway. Praise be to God our pilot found a window of opportunity to land the plane just minutes ahead of the storm. In all honesty it was pretty crazy to look out the window, my neighbor had finally raised the shade and taken off his sunglasses, and see this enormous wall of dust heading straight towards the airport. I felt a little like Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” when her world is all sepia. I was even about to play some “Over the Rainbow” on my IPod, purely for dramatic effect, but the nosy stewardess told me I had to prepare for the landing and turn off all electrical devices.

I finally made it to San Diego and was quickly reminded of everything that the city of Dallas lacks. It has beaches, a fun and trendy downtown area, outdoor activites that don’t involve the Sonic drive-thru, inhabitants who can leave their homes in the middle of the day without the fear of melting…etc., etc. The only complaint I had was that for being located in sunny California and roughly 10 minutes from Mexico it sure was cold! I mean a day at the beach really isn’t the same when you’re wearing a hooded sweatshirt and shaking uncontrollably as you lie on the towel you “borrowed” from the hotel. Granted the 110-degree weather here in Dallas hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park and I‘m getting a little sick of walking into an interview with my back feeling like I just stepped off of the Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland. All that aside, it’s always nice to go back to your roots and spend some quality time with the family.

On the flight back home I was excited to see that I was given a aisle seat which meant I could have as many inflight drinks as my little heart desired, without worrying about being a bother to my neighbors during my frequent visits to the bathroom. Side note: why did no one ever tell me that the drink options of the airlines were printed on the back of the inflight magazine??? This could have saved me approximately 18 minutes of my life that I’ve wasted playing 20 questions with the flight attendants regarding my limited drink options. Plus, I could have been cutting down on calories by ordering Sprite Zeros vs. Sprite. This was almost as much of an epiphany as the day I realized that the squiggly lines on the Arby’s sign are in fact in the shape of a cowboy hat. Or the day that someone broke the news to me that Col. Sanders of KFC fame was not the chubby nearsighted Asian man with a goatee that I had been led to believe for the past 21 years. I am still a little skeptical on that one, unless his squinty eyes are a result of him being incredibly light sensitive? Which I could totally relate. And for the record I am not being racist. As a child, I too was mistaken for being an adopted Asian child around the time I was around 14 months. Understandably so, seeing as I had a gnarly bowl cut, was a little on the chubby side, and 99% of the time had the look on my face that I was mid fart which resulted in my squinty eyes.

As I walked onto my final connecting flight,  I saw to my horror every travelers worst nightmare. Yup. I had been seated next to a mom and her two babies. The first thing she said to me once I sat down was “I just want to apologize ahead of time for whatever happens during these next two hours”. Translation: Good luck catching some Z’s on this flight. The one thing that made the situation better were they were two of the cutest kids I’d ever seen. I accredit this to the fact that I’ve never seen an African-American baby that I didn’t think was cute and all I kept thinking was why were they on this flight to Dallas?! If they had been my kids they would have been hard at work on location with Annie Liebovitz doing a photo-shoot for the fall Baby Gap campaign and talking to Suri Cruise on their cell phones during their breaks. Tomato, tomato. For the record, the kids were actually really well behaved for the flight even though I wasn’t able to catch the catnap I had hoped for. Baby #1 was probably 3 months old and having some serious gas issues that kept bringing Taco Bell burritos to mind….and not in a good way. Baby #2, who I guess would qualify as more of a toddler, had of fear of heights and 2.5 seconds after take off he let all of us around him know how he felt. It wasn’t long before his mom shut the window shade so that we could pretend we were on a greyhound bus heading for Dallas. I was a bit perturbed because seriously, what does everybody have against watching a sunset from an airplane??? But the craziest thing of all is that after spending a few days away, I was *gasp* starting to miss Dallas?? How did this happen? Must be the heat getting to me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Oh So A-List Life in Dallas

It’s been two weeks since Robbie and I first set foot onto Dallas soil and at this point all we really have to show for it are a few tan lines and a few empty In N Out rappers left from our excessive weekly visits. Whoever wrote that USA article with the headline “Need a Job? Move to Texas” seriously has a sick sense of humor. Turns out jobs don’t just grow on trees down here like the article had suggested. Part of the problem may be that I’m being a little picky at this point because I’m really not ready to go back to a retail job, especially since my soul has finally recovered from working the Macy’s holiday season last Christmas. It’s just too soon. Robbie actually had a job for about a week but he quit this morning because he just couldn’t handle the thought of serving tables again.
Last week we had a minor freak out moment as we were laying by the pool wondering how we were going to pay for our next Lean Cuisine. In the moment of panic Robbie decided we should try applying for work as actors. I had my initial reservations but was encouraged by the fact that I had just watched the E! True Hollywood Story of Selena Gomez who turns out was actually discovered by Talent Scouts in Dallas! And seriously, what’s she got that I ain’t got…..ok….aside from teen heart throb and the voice of our generation who goes by the name of Justin Bieber??? We saw on Craigslist that a film company was in search of young, attractive, local, talent. Obviously we felt we were overqualified for the positons but we figured it was still worth a shot. Only downside was it was a Vampire movie with the working title of “Vamps”. Super lame but everybody has to start somewhere. Robbie read for the role of the lead brooding male character named Nick and I read for the part of the Colt. I don’t like to brag but we kinda nailed it. Granted it took a few retakes on the webcam due to our random breakdown into school girl giggles over how terrible the script was. Here’s the scene we read for and all I can say is brace yourself for some writing that makes The Hills look like a Pulitzer Prize winning literary masterpiece.
You're not going to believe me.
Try me. This screwed up world never ceases to amaze me.
It's true! I'm not crazy! They've been after me my whole life!
Those three guys?
Not them, them. But others like them. They found me in this town, again.
How do you know they're vampires? I didn't see any fangs.
Trust me. They are. They also show up in mirrors. Don't trust movies. Or books. That's all fiction.
Still. How do you know?
They've been after me since they killed my parents years ago. They've left me messages from time to time--
Yes. Like the killings at the hotel. Those were messages for me!
Aaaaaaaaaand end scene.

I don’t know if ya’ll have heard but Dallas is kinda turning into the new LA. In other words, I couldn’t have moved at a better time because they are currently filming three different shows here in town, which is great because I love to have options. First, there’s the revamp of the classic show "Dallas", then there’s the “Most Eligible Dallas” which follows around a group of single men and women, and then there’s "The A-List: Dallas". With all this going on around me, how could I not be discovered??? Just like Lana Turner was discovered at Scwabb’s Drug Store, I’m pretty sure any day now some big Hollywood agent will spot me out of the corner of his eye as I make my way to the counter for my free Tall Starbucks Black Iced Tea refill. I’m on the verge of my big break. On the edge of glory! It’s obviously the reason God brought me to Dallas.
Being surrounded by the flashing lights of paparazzi and rubbing elbows with celebrities is something that I’ve grown very accustomed to during fast paced life as a Walla Walla socialite. Prepare yourself from some major name droppin. Did Tanya from the Real World have her Senior pictures taken in my back yard? Yes. Did I make eye contact with Josh Duhamel in the Vatican during my European travels? Yes. Did I wait at the same baggage carousel at SEATAC as Toby McGuire, also known as Spiderman? Yes. And last Saturday, did I meet and possibly offend a current cast member of the The A-List: Dallas? HELL TO THE YEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!! My first run in with said Dallas celebrity happened last Saturday night. It was my first night out on the town and I was hanging out with some friends around a pool table at a local bar when this guy who’s name I would later find out was Chase put his designer man bag down on the pool table next to us. It happened to be in the spot where my friend Zack had been sitting so I politely and eloquently yelled, “HEY! Could you move you’re Claire’s bag so my friend can sit here?!?!” Chase got a tad bit defensive over my insinuation that his bag had been purchased at every teenage girls favorite store known as Claire’s and he worked himself into a lil tizzy telling us Lord knows what brand it was and much it cost. Blah blah blah. Don’t care. Bored by the story. Talk to the hand. Then along comes my friend Philip who it turns out knows the guy and quickly explains to me he’s a cast member of The A-List: Dallas. I immediately go in for damage control and turn on the charm with the hope that I’ll be invited to become a witty reoccurring cast member on the show. I’m still waiting for the Evite on that but Chase did say they are filming the show for the next 2 months and that he would try to let me know the next time they need extras for background scenes. So don’t change that channel, because I may be coming to a living room near you, real soon, in High Definition!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm in Texas Ya'll!!!!

Howdy ya’ll. I’m coming to you live from the brand spankin new headquarters of ROBSESSED. That’s right. Dallas, Texas – or more specifically, a blow up twin-sized mattress in a dark, tiny room with a window covered in Reynold’s Wrap to keep out the sunlight. But don’t worry, I am not being held hostage in Bart and Brett’s apartment. This is all consensual because I really did choose to move here even though every person I told beforehand informed me I was crazy. It’s been a week since the new roomie Robbie Baker and I took one last look at Walla Walla in the rearview mirror as we set out on some lost highways (Jess Miller, I did this reference for you) towards the great state of Texas!

So here I am, 1,789 miles later. It was a pretty smooth trip for the most part. I had a bit of an uneasy feeling most of the drive because there seemed to be an alarmingly large of amount of traffic heading in the complete opposite direction of Texas while Robbie and I were usually the only two cars for miles heading south. Was there something people weren’t telling us? The drive was boring as hell for a majority of the ride. Don’t even get me started Wyoming. All I can say is thank God for Little America and its 50-cent cones. Luckily Robbie and I both have Verizon cell plans so we were able to talk on the phone for hours on end without worrying about using up our minutes. The original plan had been to use walkie talkies as a form of communication but they got packed away with the UHAUL with the Karaoke machine so our homage to the 90’s didn’t end up happening. Another bump along the way happened 5 minutes from the Oklahoma border when I was allegedly speeding through a 35 MPH zone at an alarming rate of 45 MPH. Again, I stress that these are pure allegations. Robbie was hot on my tail with the UHAUL when I looked behind me to see the all too familiar glow of red and blue lights. Robbie was most likely texting, reading a book, or falling asleep at the wheel during this time because we drove about 2 miles before he even noticed the cop. I was torn between pulling over with him or driving on a head. I chose the latter because I wasn’t about to give this Colorado cop a 2 for 1 special, I was in serious need of a power nap, and I had packed away my Geico Insurance cards so if the cop got all chatty Cathy and up in my business I would have been screwed. The second run in with the law happened later that night just as we were pulling into Dallas at the ungodly hour of 3:30 am. I was completely delusional and reciting monologues from NPR at this point to keep me from losing it when once again, the all too familiar glow of red and blue lights came on. This time I was completely not at fault because Robbie had forgotten to put on his blinker when changing lanes. Before I knew it Robbie was facedown on the ground in handcuffs while the police officer searched through our UHAUL with the accusation that we were smuggling illegal aliens in our 8 x10 trailer. The main giveaway that two white boys from Seattle were obviously human trafficking was the fact that our tags were expired. And when I say expired I mean they expired in 1996. How this minor and vitally important detail had gone unnoticed by UHAUL Enterprises for the past 15 years will always remain a mystery.

All that drama aside, you will all be pleased to know that Robbie and I are fun, flirty, and thriving down here in Dallas. It’s incredibly different from the big city yankee life I’ve grown accustomed to in the Pacific Northwest and I still have a lot to learn but here are a few lessons learned so far:

1.Never under any circumstance should one attempt to use chapstick that has been sitting in a car for hours on end in 110 degree weather. It will only result in second degree burns and leave you looking like you just made out with a glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut. Just trust me on this one.

2. Never attend a pool party unless you’ve been given a 24 hour notice. Robbie and I were invited to our first pool party approximately 1 hour before it was planned to start which coincidentally was the morning that I decided to go on a carb binge and devour a plate of spaghetti, a bagel, and a bowl of cheerios all before 11 am. Sadly I attended my first pool party with a food baby that made me look like I’d just entered my 3rd trimester, which wasn’t exactly the kind of splash I was hoping to make.

3. Never go through the 4 lane drive thru line at the local In n Out on a day when there is a heat advisory of 110 degrees and the local news anchor tells you not to leave your home even if an intruder with a knife breaks in. Robbie and I thought we were stronger than these pansy Texans who couldn’t handle a little heat and set out for our favorite fast food restaurant. Before we knew it the car had overheated and was utterly incapable of producing air conditioning. We of course were stuck in the drive through line at this point with sweat flowing down our bodies like Niagara Falls. I was about to pass out at the wheel when we miraculously pulled up to the pick up window. We had ordered 5 different beverages and I voraciously took giant gulps out of each one as I passed them over to Robbie who by that point was unresponsive and had the grip of a newborn kitten. Luckily we were in his car so it wasn’t my problem if the strawberry milkshake fell onto the upholstery. Once we got our food we made the decision to make a run for it into the In n Out where after being revived by the friendly staff enjoyed a lovely air conditioned meal.

In more important news, I would like to draw your attention to the above picture. This is my GOOD friend Maddie. Yesterday, Maddie drove two hours out of her way with the sole purpose of seeing my smiling face BECAUSE SHE’S A GOOD FRIEND. Take notes people, real friends visit their friends who are stranded in Texas without enough money in the bank to afford a one-way ticket back to Washington. Thanks Maddie. You’re the best. Also, in case you were wondering, Robbie and I will be moving into our new, adorable, 1950’s apartment next week where the floor, coffee table, and bathtub will always be available for visitors and weary travelers who need a place to sleep. See ya’ll real soon J

P.S. A special thanks goes out to: Jess Miller, Lauren Suerth, George and Cathy, Adrian Fry, and the Widstrom Family who all provided Robbie and myself with food and shelter during our longer journey. Love you all!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back to the Fruistand III

Well. I sure didn’t see this coming, but we are in a recession so I suppose nothing as far as job opportunities should surprise me at this point. Heck, at this point I could see myself dressed up as the Statue of Liberty and waving my sign along the streets of Ballard as I lure passers by into Liberty Tax Service for a free consultation. In other words, I got my old job back at the fruit stand. After going to college for 4 years and getting a degree you really hope that you don’t end up back at your first job. However, due to my lack of other options and that fact that if I had to ask one more non English speaking person who forgot their ID at “home”(AKA Tijuana) if they wanted to join the Macy’s Star Rewards Program I may have gone plum loco.

It’s really not so bad being back. I started the job in early April after my old boss called me up because he had heard from my old coworker Charlotte that I was looking for work. After explaining the position he told me exactly why I would be great for the job. “Well Rob, I know you won’t steal from me. The old women who come in to the store just love you. And you’re under the age of 60.” This may be the only time in my life where I am practically over qualified for a job. How could I refuse?? Plus he offered to pay me more than Macy’s, and money talks. Also, the thought of getting my arms back in shape was a rather appealing thought. You see a big part of my day at work revolves around me scooping ice cream for the customers, which gives the old gun show quite a work out. Well, at least my right arm that I scoop with is slowly getting back to Michelle Obama arms status. The left arm still looks about as solid as a pile of undercooked pancakes. Luckily, watermelon season is coming up which will hopefully evenly tone everything out.

My one big fear with taking the job was thought of what it would do to my waistline. You see, although on the outside I may appear bronzed and toned with an eight-pack you could bounce quarters off of, deep inside I am secretly a fat kid. Thus being surrounded by tons of candies, cheeses, salami, and the best ice cream in the world (Upqua to be precise) can prove challenging. All I can say is God bless the woman who invented spanks. The first summer I worked at the fruit stand I consumed roughly a quart of Huckleberry Chessecake/ Pralines N’ Cream a day which caused me to gain roughly 10-15 pounds in less than 2 months. It wasn’t pretty and I have tried to limit myself to one to 2.5 scoops a week but I don’t know how much longer I can keep up this sort of self control.

One of the things that really drove me crazy about my last job at Macy’s were the high maintenance customers who seemed to flock to my check out stand like a moth to the flame. And although it’s definitely less of a problem these days I still get to deal with the joys of retail. The biggest problem with the fruit stand is having to on a daily basis explain the whole bathroom situation to a bunch of female overactive bladders. You wouldn’t believe the looks women have given me when I tell them that our restroom is a portable located in the parking lot. They always give me these disgusted and shocked looks as they slowly walk away shaking their heads. I don’t get it!? I mean what’s really the big deal. You’d think I was asking them to pop a squat outside against the Maple Tree and use the fallen leaves as toilet paper?! Come one people. There are kids in third world countries who give up their pair of brand new TOMS shoes to have that honey bucket as their bathroom so let’s take a chill pill and don’t forget to use the hand sanitizer on your way out.

Aside from el banjo, there’s always gonna be that one person who’s unhappy with our products. The other day a man came in with a more than half eaten bag of caramel pecan popcorn and before slamming it down on the counter he had he audacity to tell me that he had bought it yesterday and that it “tasted old”. Considering the fact that he himself was old and had taste buds that probably have less than 5% of battery life left in them I assumed he was just looking for a freebie and I was not about to give in. After several seconds of awkward eye contact I think he started to read between the lines that I wasn’t about to just give him a new bag. So I asked him if he minded if I try it. I told him I found it to be delicious and quickly finished the rest of the bag before he stormed out without as much of a “enjoy your evening” or “thanks for your help”. Of course now that I think about it that was probably a poor life choice. He definitely isn’t a regular and he totally could have roofied the caramel corn, thus causing me to wake up in an old grain elevator with my brand new pair of Keen's nowhere to be found, 52 missed calls, 35 voicemails, and 10 picture messages of Elly sleeping. All from my mother, of course. Let’s be real, you just can’t trust anyone these days...even if they do look like they’re a member of the Country Club.

Shortly after this incident another old man and his son came in. After asking the man several times if he needed help finding anything and being blatantly ignored, the son told me that his dad was looking for a tomato plant. Something had obviously crawled up the old man’s butt and died that morning and I almost asked him if maybe that’s where his beloved tomato plant had gone but held my tongue because I can’t afford to lose this job. “Sorry we’re totally out of those right now”, I politely explained. “But Kmart is about a mile down the road and they have wonderful lawn and garden center with quite a selection” The old man whipped around and retorted,” Now you know g-damn well that Kmart’s got nothin’ but shitty plants that ain’t gonna do squat once you plant them in the ground. “Well actually I didn’t know that” I replied. “I’ve actually always been a big fan of the blue light specials, and in fact I just found a beautiful pin striped pant suit from the Kathy Ireland Collection last weekend that’s just to die for. Forget the fact that it’s a thread count of 20 that feels like a burlap sack against my skin, because I haven’t had this many compliments since I bought my size 6 Gloria Vanderbuilt shorts at a random Goodwill in Alabama!”

If you haven’t noticed yet, I deal with a lot of old people on a daily basis. I would say that nearly 50% of my customers are over the age of 65. Most of them require a shopping cart, not to fill with food items mind you, but because without it they would collapse onto the floor within two steps down the antique isle. I keep telling my boss we could make a fortune selling tennis balls for all of our regulars to put on their walkers. I could even bedazzle them on really slow days….he’s not totally sold on the idea, but give it time and he will see the light. More often than not my interactions with these adorable old men and women can lead to nothing but hilarious/confusing conversations. Conversations such as women telling me how much they would love to buy a bag of salt water taffy but they know their husbands will find it and they just can’t afford to buy them any more crowns for their teeth. Then there was the lady with her toy poodle who for no reason whatsoever felt it was necessary to convince me that her dog absolutely loved asparagus. After several moments of practically shoving a whole stalk of asparagus down the dog’s throat, it proceeded to regurgitate his so called favorite vegetable all over my recently mopped floor. I was not amused. One of my recent and enlightening convos happened as I was scooping some ice cream and the woman waiting in line was explaining to me in a very concerned and alarmed voice that Mexicans are taking over McDonald’s. She was adamant that the white people who needed those jobs at the drive thru window were being thrown to the curb due to this underground Latino based conspiracy. I proceeded to give her directions to the nearest Red Box where I gave her specific instructions to rent the documentaries “A Day Without A Mexican” and of course “Super Size Me” cuz gurrls not doing herself any favors by having a sausage McMuffin every day of the week.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Elly & I

It’s happened. My prayers were answered. Either that or my parents are experiencing the early onset of dementia. Regardless, I have a Wire Haired Pointing Griffon puppy named Elly Mae Sesser. Well, she’s not just mine, it’s “the families” but let’s be real, I’m obviously the most fun person in the group and therefore her favorite. I’m honestly still in a state of shock that my parents decided to get another dog, Especially after they swore seven years ago when they got rid of the two dogs I had grown up with to never get another. Their names were Jasmine and Lady, and yes growing up I did name all of my animals after characters from whatever happened to be my current favorite movie…i.e. Lady and the Tramp, and Aladdin. I usually stuck with the Disney theme except for when I named my first goldfish Curly. You know, in reference to the main character from the Broadway Rogers and Hammerstein smash hit musical known as Oklahoma??? Yeah. I was a big fan at the age of seven. What can I say? I matured early in life. So seeing as this was going to be my Dad’s dog I figured I should let him name it, especially since my current favorite Disney movie is Tangled and I don’t know how I feel yelling out the name Rapunzel on a crowded street. My dad played around with the idea of naming her Francy for a while but on the drive back from her birthplace of Yelm, Washington, we both felt that Elly was a better fit.

I’ve always been a dog person for as long as I can remember. Cats just weren’t my thing. The first of two cats we had growing up was named Feliz and she was an absolute terror. That mean ol’ furball used to hide around corners just waiting for me to come walking by, minding my own damn business, before she would jump out and attack me without warning. This usually caused me to drop the raspberries I had spent all morning collecting which then sent me into a fit of tears and muffled sobs as a lay in the fetal position surrounded by a crimson pool of raspberry juice. I was a little dramatic in those days. Then there was Amy. Too be honest I did enjoy having her around. She loved to be petted and you always knew when you were scratching her favorite spots because she would start to salivate at an alarming rate. Things didn’t end too well with Amy because after she went missing for a week I happened to stumble across the remnants of a calico tail and two hind feet that in their mangled state look all too familiar. Damn possums. I’m still attending counseling sessions to help me get past this traumatic event. Thus you can see why I’ve stuck with dogs. Growing up in a small rural town, I was actively involved in the group known as 4-H and I decided to give the whole dog show thing a try. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I will say that Jasmine and I did pretty well back in the day. Yes, you may have read in the papers that we were the Grand Champions at the 1996 Walla Walla County Fair Dog Show. And yes, I was wearing an original fitted vest made by my mother that had fabric with puppies all over it that felt like it could have been used to reupholster a dining room chair. Fit like a freakin glove. The best part about dog shows was that sometimes the local television news stations would come by and take footage of Jasmine and I. Well mainly Jasmine. It usually resulted in full body shots of Jasmine while only my butt in my super tapered 90’s jeans was seen. Hey, like I’ve said before, I’ll take any sort of 15 minute of fame I can get.
Back to the present, life with Elly in the beginning was so easy. She was travel size. Easy to lift. Slept 23 hours out of the day. Enjoyed cuddling and waching Disney animated movies with me. She showed signs of understanding that we appreciated it when she peed and pooped in the grass OUTSIDE. Every single thing that she did was out of control cute. Even her little puppy farts made me giggle. Myyyyy oooh Myyyyyyy how quickly things change. These days I feel like a single mother raising a bipolar autistic child. SHE. IS. OUT. OF. CONTROL. She’s got what you might call an oral fixation in that she’s constantly trying to puncture skin. Be it me, mama, papa, grandma, small child on the playground with baby fingers that appeared to be appetizers. We seriously don’t even know what to do about it at this point. We shut her mouth and grab her loose neck skin, which is what her Vet instructed us to do. We pin her down. We yell NOOOOO! We give her a time out in the kennel. Er’thing. Doesn’t give a damn. I’m on the verge of having to buy a Costco size bottle of Neosporin to keep up with the lacerations my poor body has suffered from her constant biting. The night before Easter Sunday she decided it would be cute to slash my forehead with her razor sharp teeth thus leaving me with my already bruised and battered body looking like a victim of domestic abuse. Luckily mom let me borrow some of her foundation so unless you were really close during the meet and greet at the Easter Service I don’t think you could really tell. But still. Ever since the whole thing happened with Rihanna and Chris Brown, people talk.

Now it’s not like its been all bad. She does have her moments. It has been fun having a copilot who doesn’t complain about my latest pop music fixation. She also just discovered the awesomeness of sticking her head out the window as I drive down the road. Unfortunately she doesn’t realize that if she falls out the window I won’t be able to catch her and she will die. Therefore I keep a pretty tight hold on her collar. She definitely loves people, although she has strange ways of showing it, and she always comes running up to me to have her chubby belly rubbed whenever I come home from work. She’s totally infatuated by my morning ritual of making drip coffee and one of these days I need to give her a sip so she realizes she’s not missing out on anything. Lately she’s become incredibly good as schmoozing it up whenever she gets scolded for doing something wrong. She’ll always retreat to her bed and look at you from across the room with those sad puppy dog eyes that make her look like her heart will explode into a million pieces if you don’t forgive her. It’s just so hard to stay made at her for long. But these days the thing I enjoy the most about Elly is our date nights where she is content to just sit on my lap as we watch episodes of Modern Family till our abs hurt from laughing. We both agreed that Mitchell’s comedic timing in the Lady Gaga episode was 110% dead on. Our only complaint would be the limited commercial interruptions concerning kids with cancer. I mean really Hulu??? Is it too much to ask for 20 minutes of ignorant bliss from the cold cruel world we live in where kids lose legs from cancer and can no longer ride their bicycles??????

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

If you’ve browsed through any news source today you may have noticed that Elizabeth Taylor passed away this morning. I found out once when I saw the front page of CNN and as usual when I hear of a classic Hollywood stars passing I quickly slipped into a moment of intense grief and mourning. I don’t know what it is but whenever one of those old movie stars pass away I get all crazy emotional and it’s a total buzz kill to my day. You should have seen me on the days that Deborah Kerr and Charlton Heston passed away. I WAS A WRECK. A stranger would have thought they were my grandparents or something. This just goes to show that I wasn’t joking when I ‘ve claimed to have an unhealthy fascination with all things pop culture and celebrity. All I’m saying is that the day Britney Spears kicks it I will NOT be attending my daily game of Bingo at my retirement home in Palm Springs. Lord willing I go first because I’m not sure if my heart could take the pain.

So normally during these dark times I crave a good movie marathon as a way of remembering the movie legends and I’ve found it’s a healthy way to channel my grieving. Now since my parents are still using rabbit ears to get the news, I obviously won’t be tuning into the 24 Hour TCM Elizabeth Taylor marathon *Sigh* :’(. However we already have quite a few movies of hers and I even went out and rented Cleopatra and Butterfield 8, which I’ve never seen before so I’m super stoked. I was really hoping to add National Velvet to the marathon but after spending most of my morning scouring the shelves of Shopko, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Bi-Mart, Hot Poop, and the public library I came out empty handed. It’s days like this that I loathe living in a small town because we have no selection! I was really surprised that Bi-Mart didn’t have it because 90% of their movies have a horse or John Wayne on the cover. I will give them this, they obviously know who their target audience is these days.

The main reason that I had my heart set on National Velvet is because it’s one of the first movies I remember seeing as a young tyke and and it was also the first movie starring Elizabeth Taylor. Even though it's been like 20 years I remember being super into it. I mean how could you not be? Elizabeth Taylor? Mickey Rooney? Angela Lansbury pre-animated teapot fame??? My first viewing of the movie was also around the time my mom’s favorite scent was White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, what can I say she’s a classy lady, and I totally got it for her as a Christmas present one year. Since those days I’ve become much more acquainted with her film work such as Little Women, in which she is absolutely hilarious. A Place in a Sun, which is super good and she looks AMAZING and it stars one of my other favs, Montgomery Clift. Then there’s Giant, where she stars alongside Rock Hudson and James Dean. Another fav would be Cat on a Hot Tin Roof which was written by Tennessee Williams so how could it not be good?? But I really think the quintessential Liz movie would have to be Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf. It’s just so different from anything she ever did and it’s also what got her a second Academy Award. If you haven't seen any of these movies I've mentioned, shame on you. Fix it.

Now that I think about it I guess I can’t recall a time of life when I didn’t know about Liz which I guess is why a feel a tinge of sadness with her passing. It’s strange how we can grow attached to people we’ve never met. I remember hearing about a man who was interviewed in some documentary about film addicts and he said that the day Audrey Hepburn died was worse than when he’s lost family members. HOW CRAZY IS THAT! Hopefully I don’t ever get to that point….. however I will forever love Liz and be fascinated by her life. Her work as an artist. Her Beauty. Those violet eyes. Her private life dramas. And I mean I know that she made some poor life choices, eight marriages was a bit obsessive, but I mean we’ve all made mistakes. Above all else, I do truly admire her for the work she did raising money and awareness for the fight against AIDS during a time when people were very judgmental and unsympathetic to those affected by the disease.

RIP LIZ. You rock my socks off.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Just got back from a 24 hour road trip to Boise, Idaho and it was a true delight. Due to the fact that the Walla Walla airport couldn’t convince enough people to take a direct flight to Boise on a daily basis, me and Lo (my new car) had to drive it. I had my reservations about making the 4 and a half hour journey because the last time I drove to Idaho I was pretty certain I was about to meet my maker. This was back in 2005 when my friends Heather, Michael, Meagan and I had all planned a Christmas road trip. The plan was to all meet in Nampa, Idaho where Meagan’s family lived and from there head to McCall to hit the ski slopes at Brundage Mountain Resort. This was the Christmas where I worked at Klicker’s Fruit Stand selling Christmas trees so I had to join the gang a few days later. Fortunately, at that time there actually was a flight from Walla Walla to Boise. Unfortunately, Walla Walla is in a constant state of fog during the winter, so of course my flight got cancelled. This upset me because I was really looking forward to the some mile high free time. I had just bought Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and was looking forward to hopping on the Hogwarts bandwagon. And if you know me at all you’ll know that it takes a Christmas miracle/ a stack of Bernstein Bear books to get me excited about reading so time was of the essence. Due to events out of my control I never had a chance to read the book, but I did see the movie. Which is basically the same thing, right??
With the cancelled flight I was left with no choice but to drive to Idaho, which my parents were not at all thrilled to hear. I was a lot more fearless when it came to winter driving back in those days. I attribute this to the fact that it occurred before the Christmas Break of ‘06 near death experience. It all went down a little bit outside of Ellensburg, WA on my way back to Seattle. Snow was coming down like crazy and the roads were incredibly slippy and nearly every five minutes you passed a car stuck in a snow bank. So there I was, driving Burt, just minding my own business. I was going through a huge Kelly Clarkson phase at the time and I remember I was belting “A Moment Like This” at the top of my lungs. Talk about ironic. All of sudden a big ol’ semi came out of nowhere so I decided to quickly but carefully change lanes, which would have been fine if there hadn’t been a patch of black ice that sent me and Burt spinning into a 360 before hitting the snow bank. Luckily I had spun to the left otherwise I would have crashed right into the semi truck. BTW, thanks God for throwing me a bone that day. Its been a real treat to go on living.

This past Monday I was all packed and ready to hit the open road but I had a feeling that I was beginning to battle a cold so I had to act fast. Over my dead body was I going to be sick on vacation. NOT TODAY ZURG!!!! NOT TODAY!!!! Thank the good Lord my parents had a stash of Airborne in my favorite flavor, key lime -- so I chugged that the whole way to Boise. Downside to that was the fact that I have the bladder of an 80-year-old man, thus I felt the urge to pee almost every half hour. As fate would have it, it quickly became apparent that Oregon and Idaho had a limited budget that allowed them to place rest areas about 50 miles apart. I’ll admit it. There were some close calls. And when I say close calls I mean my fly was down and I was reaching for my empty Wendy’s value menu cup to take care of business before my bladder exploded. At that very moment an angel appeared and placed a sign on the side of the road that read “Rest Area 2 Miles”. It was a total God thing.

This drive to Boise turned out to be quite the contrast compared to the drive of ‘05. This time the sun was shining in place of snow that my wipers could barely keep up with. If you’ve every attempted to drive up Cabbage Hill during the winter you know how bad it can get. It’s an incredibly steep incline and there are emergency exits every half-mile for semi trucks who aren’t able to stop. SCARY!! Oh and then to top it off, the whole drive up the hill you keep seeing signs for the exit called “Dead Man’s Pass”. Yeah, real comforting. What I want to know is who the hell thought that would be a good name for a highway? Who in their right mind would take it???? Another big help on this trip was my GPS. How I managed to arrive to any destination before getting this piece of technology I’ll never know. On the trip to Nampa, in place of a GPS I had about 10 pages of MapQuest instructions on how to get to Meagan’s house. They weren’t much help and I ended up getting majorly lost out on some backcountry road called Chicken Dinner Lane (I swear Idaho has the strangest street names) with the only landmark being a farm that raised Buffalo. Seriously, only in Idaho.

But despite the risk factors and ever-looming thoughts of death, road trips to Idaho have always resulted in nothing but fond memories such as:
· Watching my friend Michael get got off of a chair lift for the first time and while doing so knocking down two elderly woman. The best part was he hadn’t learned how to stop on skis so he couldn’t even get a chance to apologize.
· Going to Denny’s for breakfast and being served by a lady named Peaches who looked like she had been trapped inside a tanning bed for the past 30 years.
· Visiting Michael’s grandparents home in Fruitvale where Heather, while in the middle of taking a tinkle, was slightly alarmed to find a dog in the bathtub staring her down.
· Watching almost the entire second season of the OC with Meagan as Heather and Michael put a puzzle together. I know, I know, some people just don’t have their priorities straight.
· Attempting to make virgin pina coladas during the 3 hours it took to cook lasagna that was harder than a frozen tundra. Worst idea ever.
· Playing apples to apples and someone putting down Oprah, for the card Blank is the new Black. I nearly died laughing.

This weeks trip was no exception to fond memories as I got to spend nearly 24 hours with my dear friend Jess Miller who was on her spring break from the college where she works. We painted that town of Boise red, figuratively speaking. First we caught up on life at Rembrandt’s coffee before indulging in some retail therapy at the Macy’s clearance rack. I found a sexy new black polo for my next night on the town and Jess found a cute 60’s checkered dress. Meeeeeoooow. After shopping we saw the movie Tangled for 3 bucks, which was AMAZING. We laughed. We cried. Well…… at least I cried. Jess is so much stronger than I. Let me tell ya, there’s nothing like a Disney Princess in distress to turn on the ol’ waterworks. After that we grabbed dessert with our old friends Meagan and her husband Levi before taking in some local “night life”, if you could call it that, in downtown Boise. The night ended with us indulging in the guilty pleasure known as the season finale to “The Bachelor”. SO MUCH DRAMA. SO MUCH WATER PROOF MASQUERA. I was eating it up with a spoon.