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Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Get a Tattoo


How to Get a Tattoo

Subtitle: Because I keep getting asked if it hurts like I am the gosh darn expert on it. I only have what, 4, 5, 6, dammit, never mind. 


Step 1: Choose your design.  Of all of the steps this very well may be the most important.  In case you didn’t know, this will be with you for the REST of your life.  Oh, wait, did you just ask about tattoo removal? Hang on a sec.... Here, read this: http://www.realself.com/Tattoo-removal/reviews  You still have the mess there and it looks worse, like a burn, so pick a good design.  Here is a short chart of some things that you should never get.  


Type of Tattoo
Why you should NEVER get it??
Name of a man/woman
Besides the fact nothing in this life is guaranteed, I would just like to refer you to my posting on: MAN NEEDY. Read this pronto. 
Chinese Characters
Because they NEVER mean what you think. And my Chinese friends are laughing at you and translating for me.  
Naked folks
I shouldn’t not have to explain this but, well, ewww. 

Anything on your face
A friend told me about bubbles on cheeks.  I have  even heard of tears. Let’ s forget for a moment that you have to hold down a job but did we forget THIS SHIZNIT HURTS!!! It’s your FACE!!

Swear Words
Unless they are in Spanish. In that case I approve.  



Step 2: Find an artist. Note the use of the word ARTIST. Do not just walk into a parlor and strip to your skivvies (Although that would be hysterical) and point your butt at the first punky person you see (she might be the receptionist). Ask friends, go online and find someone that specializes in your design, because believe it or not artists have specialities.  Seriously, you don’t want the graffiti guy drawing flowers on your back or the woman that specialized in line work doing a large Sci-Fi fill-in piece.  Bring a picture and have them sketch it free hand to see how they do. Then decide.  I’ll repeat: It’s PERMANENT. 

Step 3: Price your ink.  Once you have found a few artists you need to ask for estimates.  They will give them to you if they are legit.  I’ll wait a moment for you to ask.  Yeah, they just said that.  Yep, it costs more than your Playstation. Did you think it was free?  Let’s put it in perspective: Would you WANT to only pay $20 for something that is carved into your body till the end of time? Thought so. Pay up or save up. I’ve got some tips for that too.  

Step 4: Save your pennies.  Now that you have determined that your giant Iron Man back tattoo (which is not intended to be mockery, Iron Man is cool)  OR your full head tribal tat (thank you Corin!!) You might need to find an outlet for extra cash, mowing lawns, making YouTube videos, selling meth (that is a Breaking Bad joke people, don’t start messaging me). Me?? I tutor and translate for tattoo money.  For real. I’ve got it down to a science that 3-4 tutoring appointments OR 1-2 pages of translation = 1 tattoo.  That way, Hot Roommate does not kill me for wasting money.  And I’m still doing a good deed. Moral superiority and all. 

Step 5: Find a friend.  Honey, I ain’t gonna lie to you...it hurts.  A lot. A whole lot. I have a crazy high thresh hold for pain and I still like someone there holding my hand so I can cut off the circulation to their fingers while a almost total stranger pulls a tiny needle across my flesh. (And yet, I really love this experience). This friend also needs to be someone that can tolerate blood well.  Ergo, I do not take Hot Roommate, because for some reason he watched my doc cut my gut open and remove our children but cringes when the tattoo artist wipes away the blood while they work.  Because that makes sense honey...

Step 6: Think happy thoughts.  Do not think about the tattoo.  Think about things that make you smile.  Think about...Michael Shanks.... yummy.... as Daniel....as Daniel descended (we fangirls know how THOSE episodes went, don’t we??)...as Daniel all buff...as Charlie Harris...in that tux.... OW!! Watch that needle!! I was daydreaming.  Not a Shanks fan?? The Fashionista in Training always says “Just think about bunnies.” That’ll work too. 

Step 7:  Tip your artist.  Now, normally, tipping annoys the living SNOT out of me because I am paying your extra for doing your job and your job is not a service job like a waitress, you just handed me a freakin’ premade bagel, but in this case, you’re preparing for your second tattoo.  Yes, your second. They are addictive. Veeeeeery addictive.  Remember I said I tutor for tattoo money? I tutor a lot, always for the next tat. So, you really don’t want to piss off the person that is going to carve with ink into your skin or one of their friends.  That could be messy and, well, painful. 

Step 8: Soak your tattoo.  I am serious, though this may prove difficult if you got something done on the inside of your ear (although I would love to see that) or your arm pit (but I guess a bath would do), but this totally works.  Helps with healing, scabbing (did I forget to mention that. Yeah, it scabs, you bled remember?) and retaining the color (no, this is not a sharpie marker tat like middle school). Just plain old hot water.  Don’t buy the gimmicky stuff. If you are being sold the gimmicky stuff, you are probably getting  a tattoo at the shop in the mall. Which I should have nixed in step 1. No one should get inked near a food court. 

Step 9: Show your tat with pride.  Of COURSE you should post every picture known to man on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr (am I forgetting any social media here??), no matter where the tattoo is, even if it is in your butt crack. (Hope you know I am being sarcastic).  But in all seriousness, show it off and be proud. And for those who will say “What’s it going to look like when you are old?” you need to respond with “I will be the grandma/grandpa the other old farts will be scared of at the nursing home. In yo face!!” 

Step 10: Bottom’s up. Woah there shug, take it easy...didn’t you ever listen in school? Alcohol thins the blood, did you hear me? It thins the...see...dammit, I told you. Now you gotta change the bandage. Oh no, don’t stop by all means, you might as well just keep going at this point.  Cheer’s and it had better be Spanish...

Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Give the Perfect Gift


How to Give the Perfect Gift
Subtitle: I don’t believe in serious gifts.  Serious gifts suck. Life’s too short to be serious.  About nearly everything.  Trust me.  
Step 1: Know your recipient.  What are their likes and dislikes? What makes them tick? Or, more importantly, what pisses them off? Drives them insane? Makes them batty? Forget what they want for their special day, we are trying to mess with them.  Because everyone else is going the sweet and sentimental route.  You want to be remembered. This will get you remembered.  Trust me. 
Step 2:  Shop in unconventional places.  It is important to know that you will never find a gift that is worth a darn at the mall. Even at those gag stores like Spencer’s because gag stores have pre-empted this attack and really only have one type of gag gift, dirty. Not that we have a problem with dirty, as long as it is used in the correct context mind you, otherwise they make about as much sense as fart jokes for adults.  No, you my friend, need something better, something smarter.  Remember, we are a superior human. 
Step 3: Avoid store assistance and displays.  As well meaning as the nice shop-keep might be, they are knowledgeable about one thing and one thing alone, making money. AND they will try to sell you what is popular, which of course we never want to buy, unless it is ironic. Like buying a Pillow Pet for an Insomniac that hates children. That’s ironic. Just take your little list for #1 and start digging.  
Step 4: Think outside the box and create a story.  Ok, so there is nothing at the bizarre for your friend and you are thinking of going to buy a gift card? What kind of friend are you? It’s not that hard to take whatever you can get your hands on and make it stretch.  Case in point, let’s say your aunt is getting married and is marrying a real idiot.  A colossal why the hell do I have to witness this wedding kind of idiot. What do you get them?? Easy, a small tree with a cute little note that reads: May this tree grow as you loves does.  Translation: You won’t water this, so I hope that your marriage dies faster than the poor tree.  See, you look cool and you got your point across. 

Step 5: The side gifts.  Yes, I am one of those people that believes that side gifts are essential.  A side gift is a small trinket type item that can enhance the joke or are just an essential part of the joke itself.  Candy is always good for this and cool stores like “World of Mirth” at Carytown in Richmond, VA, have the best gag gums and candies and general silliness.  Here is a link to a few: World of Mirth Website
I like the Squirrel underpants.  Something about them just makes me giggle. 

Step 6: The card. Now, I know that FaceBook has completely eliminated the need, well, the human courtesy of sending a card in the mail (Yes, I’m guilty too ok....) but you HAVE to get the perfect card to compliment the perfect gift.  Again be creative here. It does not have to be pre-made based on your occasion.  Imma let you in on a secret that only Saving Hope fans will get. I am writing a thank you letter to Shanks.  I am going to put it in a card.  A get well soon card..... get it? See... clever.  
Step 7: The wrapping. Please, please, please, por favor,  S'il vous plaît, Bitte, Quing don’t buy a gift bag. That is SOOOO lazy and cliche.  I mean, for a kid’s birthday party, sure, but for a friend or a loved one, you have got to go over the top.  Put the gift in seven layers of oddly shaped boxes so that the recipient has NO IDEA what in the heck it is.  Or, wrap it in newspaper, because then they get all worried about what it is because you spent so little on wrapping paper.  Wrap it like a piñata and then make it have a candy hole that you fill that does not really lead to the gift but instead to another box.  Why all the trouble? I’m a sadist, plain and simple.  
Step 8: The presentation. Let’s face it, why in the heck go to all of this trouble if no one is going to see it.  Make sure that even if you are not at an occasion like a party, or a dinner, or a holiday gathering that you have an audience for your little scheme, one that can enjoy, appreciate and make fun of the gift itself.  Unless you might lose your job. Yeah, you know about those kinds of gifts.  Keep those at home.  Giving it is enough.  
Step 9: No re-gifting. Ever. Look, not only is re-gifting tacky as all hell, but unless you are the type of person that never forgets anything (which if so, can you call me because I lose my keys and phone at LEAST 8 times a day) OR are the type of person that keeps lists of things like this, you will screw this up. And the regift is never funny.  Usually you are re-gifting because the present itself was so generic and “not you” that you really think passing it on to the next person is going to make this better?? It’s not.  Be original.  Go back to step 1.  
Step 10: Rewards. Yay! You did it! Welcome to the wide world of sarcastic gift giving. In case I forgot to mention though, once you have done it, the stakes only get higher and higher and people expect this kind of gift from you.  So, for now, get a glass and start brainstorming.  I find I get quite inspired with a glass of Pinot Noir.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

How to Behave at the Beach



How to Behave at the Beach

Subtitle: Have some decorum here people!! Half nekked or not, we are in public.  This is civil society, isn’t it?

Blogger's Note: To answer your question, I am not over this weekend. Not by a LONG shot.  But, I need to pretend I am so carry on...


Step 1: Select the proper attire.  Now, I thought I had already covered this in my “How to Vacation in Style” entry (click here if you need a reminder) but apparently my advice was not heeded. With that in mind, let’s recap, shall we? I wear a bikini.  I wear a bikini because I work out 1-2 hours a day. Yes HOURS. And I still don’t look like Beyonce, but what I am not is hanging all out of my bathing suit like marshmallows out of a Moon Pie (dammit, I bet you actually HEARD my twang while reading that, didn’t you?). Most of my fellow bikini wearers are. Leaking that is. It’s not pretty. We don’t want to see that, ok?

Step 2: Wear sunscreen. Besides the fact that forgoing the sunscreen can give you the cancer (note the usage of the definite article, this be serious business), burns hurt like a bitch and your wife does not want to listen to your ass whine for the rest of the trip.  And not to mention, aloe vera is a gross green sticky mess that I don’t want in my bed and I am fairly certain that I am not gonna like the smell either. So, do us all a favor. Leave the lobster for dinner. 

Step 3: Bring TWO towels per person, because without fail, some snot nosed kid is going to blast by your little set up and kick sand all over your towel, cooler, and cover-up, while their parent sits and does nothing because his acting like an asshat out in public is perfectly acceptable here since it is out of doors. It’s not. But I digress.  If you have an extra towel stored away for safe keeping, when said evert occurs, and trust me, it will, you are prepared to dry your body without given yourself the beach equivalent of a sugar scrub all over your sensitive parts.  

Step 4: Children. I would like to preface this step by saying I am a proud mommy of two, however, I am not a loon.  First, my kids are not the little asshats in step 3 because with one cut of my eye or one cleverly worded Spanish phrase MY little asshats are trembling at my feet (I have the POWER... sorry, He-Man moment). Secondly, I am also not hovering, no literally, like standing behind, bending over peering down and walking bent around the edge of the water doing this strange duck waddle thing and as you shoot a glare over at me because I am not doing the same. Suck it.  You go ahead and hover over you little baby and we’ll see whose kid is living in the basement when they are 35. Won’t be mine...

Step 5: Leave yo bling at home.  Yes, on TV we get to watch all of the beach hottie shows and reality programming where they’re just a tweetin and textin to beat the band, covered in their huge gold chains and diamond rings.  Go ahead, try to impersonate the Jersey Shore, because that wave is gonna knock you down once and adios valuables.  Don’t believe me? There are actually people who make a living over metal detecting on beaches to find that stupid shit you lose.  See?? And this was JUST one website of hundreds: http://gometaldetecting.com/tips-beach.htm But fine, if you like to replace $5000 rings after every trip, knock yourself out.  Oh, and I want a 1965-72 Volkswagen Beetle for my birthday. Thanks. Hell, you can afford it. 

Step 6: Know your physical limits.  Most likely, you are not a surfer since only a very small percentage of the population really is. So, do not go to the beach and buy yourself the newest board, a can of sex wax (yep, it’s called that, and I am just immature enough to laugh at it) and a wet suit and head out into the waves. You will fall flat on your face.  The life guard, who is NOT Pam Anderson, will have to come and save you.  They will call 911 and you will play $2375903 for the trip to the hospital. And once, again, I will laugh at you.  I really can be kinda a jerk, can’t I?

Step 7: Be realistic. Ok, so we’ve talked about the clothes, surf boards, Snooki and her pals, but you are you and this is a beach. Nothing drives me crazier than going to the beach with a person who acts one way and then turns into Baywatch the minute their toes touch the sand.  Dude, you live in the city, practically a parking lot. You know nothing about the beach and stop naming tides and shit like you do. Go back and sit on your towel. But we can dream right? Pretend we are someone else? (Silently, to ourselves..) There I am. On the beach. In my purple bikini.  And here comes Mr. Canadian Hot Pants...dear Athena I can STILL feel his arms around me.. (dream censored at this point....turn away, give me a sec, be right with you...) 

Step 8: Don’t try non beach activities. On of the things I find the strangest about going to the beach is the sheer number of people who act like their lounge chair on the sand is their personal living room and in some cases, bathroom.  Do not paint your toe nails. There is sand here, and it will get into your paint, and I am sitting and listening to you curse and swear like you expected it not to do that.  Or shave your legs. I don’t want to see that anymore than I wanted to see your marshmallow waves cascading from your waterproof Spandex.  I’m still not over that yet as you can tell. 

Step 9: Find seafood. I mean you’re at the beach right, you gotta have seafood. However, I must caution you to throughly research your place of choice BEFORE you go.  First, there are seafood places on the beach that are getting their food shipped in from other beaches.  That means that fish has been going, all, well fishy to get to you because someone if too lazy to go stick a pole in the water. But you also want to make sure to go to a place where when they plop a lobster on your plate you don’t want it looking at you. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love meat, way too much to give up but I like to pretend it didn’t use to be alive.  To me, it’s just easier to pretend everything is just tofu. Leave me alone. Stop telling me otherwise. Fingers in ears *lalalalala*

Step 10: And, without fail, don’t forget your wine. Or beer. Or pre-made Margarita in a plastic bottles. What? No booze allowed on the beach? Uh...hello...soda bottles. Throw some rum in the coke and bring it with you. Because no one is going to read this list. No one ever takes my advice the first time.  You’re gonna need to deal with the pain.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

How to Survive a Stargate Con


How to Survive a Stargate Con

Subtitle: Yes this is different. Especially if he is taking you 13-14  hours away to hug another man.  There’s some prep work involved. 

A diary of my first convention, bear with me, I’m a dork. But I don’t live with my parents. So that’s a plus, right?

Step 1: Find your event.  For this I strongly suggest Twitter.  We all know my goal was to meet Mr. Canadian Hot Pants so I just twitter stalked the hell out of him. But not obsessively, I mean I do have a lot of other stuff to do with my insane students and dealing with Adorable Nerd child and Fashionista-In-Training. But, I do follow people with whom I have a shared interest and the day he tweeted “I’m going to ChiCon” I literally went screaming through my house. Like a maniac. I have witnesses.  

Step 2: Make it tie into an already existing event.  For me, it was just so convenient that it was our 9th wedding anniversary the same week as the convention, so I simply asked for it to be my anniversary present.  Yeah, I know right.  Can you just imagine that conversation...

Me: Jack, I know what I want for our anniversary. 

Jack: Good, because you are so damn difficult. What? Another tattoo? 

Me: I want to meet Michael Shanks. 

Jack: We don’t have a passport and you are not going to stalk the Saving Hope set. 

Me: It’s a Stargate convention in Chicago. No passport. No stalking. 

Jack: (silence) (I mean, what can he say.  Game. Set. Match) 

Step 3: Start planning.  Now, since conventions have certain rules and things, and my work already started, I really needed to get everything down just right.  First, I booked at room at the hotel the DAY he announced. Second, I called my friend Bryce, in tears, to figure out what to buy.  (And he helped me without mocking me, imagine that). Third, get to hustling. Remember those mad crazy extra skills I told you earlier that you need.  Now is time to play your hand.  I whored myself out for tutoring like a mad woman. Ok, so trip, PAID. 

Step 4: The travel. To quote Mr. Canadian Hot Pants: “You seriously drove 14 hours.  Straight? Wow.” Ok, before you act like this is insane, please remember whose blog you are reading, you people know how Hot Roommate and I like to travel.  Now, as I mentioned, it is going to take quite a bit of convincing to get your significant other to drive you to hug your celeb crush, so you need to make the drive as painless as possible. Ya gotta give in. Let him buy junk food. Let him listen to his odd combo of 1980’s music and whiney white boy.  Talk about anything you can OTHER than Michael Shanks. Kiss his ass. You are in the car together for 14 hours..... 14.  Yeah, straight.  

Step 5: Don’t panic.  Now, if you are like me, you will arrive, early, with the nerds.  Not that I’m not a nerd, but come on, this was like a Howard Walawitz family reunion (yeah, I prob spelled the name wrong, so sue me? I am NOT that kind of nerd when it comes to detail).  I am telling you not to panic because the cool people just like to arrive late. Sometimes looking like a different person that they did on Twitter. And sometimes they don’t show up until Sunday, right beside your seats from Saturday ;) 

Step 6: Be yourself. After having my awesome twitter girls calm me down all week long, I finally took their advice. Bri = crazy. Good crazy. Fun crazy. And, as much as I try to hide it, I’m Southern, from my head to my feet.  I have an accent. So I just decided that  I was gonna give each and every one of the stars me, unfiltered, uncensored.  And guess what? It worked. Here’s how it went down.....

Step 7: Grow BALLS OF STEEL. (Special wink to Sarah here) There they are, Tony Amendola and Cliff Simon, two of your favorites from the series.  You want to ask a follow up question to another fan question. Do it.  March right up there, take a deep breath and when you open your mouth and “Y’all” is the first word that comes tumbling out of it, no matter how much you coached yourself not to talk like that, just keep going.  Because after they chuckle and answer your question, you’re going to run into Cliff Simon at the cafe.  You will discuss martial arts. Then he will ask you for your name and where you are from.  And THEN he will tell you your accent is cute, that he loves it and will shake your hand.  And you won’t faint.  In fact, your balls will just get steelier. You will march up to Steve Bacic and ask for directions to the club he was talking about. And he’ll stop, give you exact directions and tell you to have fun.  See how helpful those balls are.  

Step 8: Wake up Sunday. Rinse. Repeat.  March right up to that mic again to ask David Nykles a question, but have a funnier comment pop into your head and go with that. Here’s how it will go down. 

David: (finishes answering yet ANOTHER question about his outbursts in Chech on the series). Yes. 

Me: Well, I had a serious question, but now I really just want you to teach me how to speak Chech.  

David: Laughs and says something about it being hard. 

Me: Serious question.

David: Serious answer. 

Me: Thanks and can you teach me just thing in Chech, please.  

David: (smiles). Ok, (and then says something in Chech). 

Me: Repeats said phrase

David: (still smiling) Yes, that’s it.  

Me: Thanks (turns to leave)

Woman Behind me: Do you know what he said? 

Me: No idea

Woman: He said you are beautiful. 

Me: (RED AS A BEET)

David: (Still on stage apparently watching). Yes, I said you are beautiful.  (Into mic. In front of the crowd.  The full room. OMA)

Me: Somehow managed not to hit the floor.  

Step 8: Make new friends.  Not only did I get to meet one of my awesome twitter gals in person, but I met a hysterical chica from ChiTown with a hilarious laugh.  You will need these new friends to help enhance your insanity.  They need to be right there with you when Michael dear Athena he is more beautiful in person if that is even possible Shanks enters the room.  Include them in your madness, because you are about to become a fan girl story.  That goes a little something like this.  

Kelli (my new squeaky friend): I have a question for him (she is writing on her hand) what are you going to ask?  

Me: I have a serious question, mostly because I am obsessed with True Blood, but I was going to open with “Will you marry me?”

Kelli: Really? 

Me: Yep.

Kelli: Let’s do it together. 

GAME ON

In line at the mic Mr. Canadian Hot Pants (Dionysus he is RIGHT THERE) makes a joke.  You and friend laugh.  Friend has an insane laugh that is a squeaky hiccup. Friend looks at you in horror, face red, because he heard.  He is laughing and looking at you both.  Now we are all laughing. No one else gets it yet.  He starts to pick on friend and then says he loves the laugh.  Friend laughs more. Finally, three of us are able to compose ourselves and he returns to answering question. Now it’s our turn. 

Kelli: Ok, I’m not going to laugh, I have a serious question. I wrote it on my hand so I wouldn’t forget (Shanks says something about her not laughing, I am too lost in his voice to really listen). Did you study any archaeology before playing your role as Daniel Jackson.  

Shanks: Nope. (laughs, more squeak, puts mic in lap and we all laugh. Looks at me) Did you write your question on her hand too?

Me: (laughs) No, it’s short, easy to remember. Would you ever play/ want to play/be interested in playing a vampire?

Shanks: A vampire? 

Me: Yes, pretty please. 

Shanks: (laughs for a sec, stops and thinks). Yea, I’d do that. It might be cool. 

Kelli: (pulls me back up to the mic) Ok, and we wanted to ask you if you will marry us.  

Shanks: (mic in lap again, laughing) Aright, (lifts hand) I now pronounce you wife and wife.  

Crowd roars. Kelli begins to squeak. I am laughing so hard I hurt.  Kelli dashes off. I run back to mic.  

Me: Thanks! Oh, and I love you! 

Now, things will proceed as normal.  As normal as it can. But Shanks is going to be funny again (Dear ZEUS this man is such a smart ass. We would get along delightfully!!) and Kelli will squeak.  He will bust out laughing again.  You will point to Kelli in crowd to embarrass her.  He will inform you that he knows where she is, where we both are.  Holy shit!! He watched us sit down. This is awesome.  Girl will come to mic.  She will vow to fight us.  I will inform her of my Black Belt.  Kelli will inform her about being a bad ass midget.  Shanks will inform us in a Stewie voice that he can make a four way marriage work and assign us all tasks.  You my friend have made a fan girl story. Congrats. 

Step 9: You only live once. It’s photo time.  Remember those balls from yesterday.  Did ya bring your polish? Time to shine.  Fix your make-up, kinda dress up like your original fan fic Mary Sue. Here’s your photo op. And here’s your script.  

Shanks: Hi there. (smiling, he must remember the proposal) 

Me: (prancing right up to him) I drove 14 hours to meet you, hug you and thank you. (Leap into his arms and hug him. He WILL hug you back.  Then kiss his cheek. Do it.  He didn’t flinch, and I was wearing lip gloss ;) ) 

Shanks: 14 hours? Really? To thank me?

Me: Yeah, I wrote a letter, but I will give it to you at the autograph session.  Ok? 

Shanks: Yeah, that would be great. I’ll read it.  Alright (starts to put his arm around you) let’s do this.  

Me: No, no, it has to be back to back. It just does (Anyone know why??? Are you good readers??).

Shanks: Ok, we can do whatever you want. (Pauses and then laughs and starts to turn). Well, maybe I shouldn’t have said that, anything you want...

Me: (now leaning back to back with Michael SHANKS!! looking into camera) Yeah honey, that is a pretty dangerous thing to say to me, trust me.  

Shanks (is now laughing, I FEEL him convulsing at my back and is still laughing and trying NOT laugh to while our picture is taken)

SNAP

Shanks: (turns back around to face me and saying something about the card/letter, but I am still so freakin’ enchanted that all I can do is hug him again) 

Me: Thank you, just thank you. The card will explain everything. I just adore you. (Hug him tighter) 

Shanks: You are so sweet, I’ll see you at the autograph session.  

Try to leave without doing a cartwheel in the hall. Because even for you, that’s over the top.  

Calmly tweet, text and call every person you know.  Walk laps around the hotel to calm your nerves and get fresh air.  Go pick up your picture and note you can tell he is trying not to laugh. Makes it that much more awesome. You made Michael Shanks laugh by just being yourself. And you look great.  Because you changed your stars.  

Head on into autograph session. Nerves are gone.  Now you’re excited, you just want to see him again.  Get in line, chat it up with the people near you. And then....there he is again...

Shanks: Your laptop?

Me: Yeah, it’s my laptop. 

Shanks: No, that’s cool. Where do you want me to sign it?

Me: (Points and explains)

Shanks: (As he is writing) So, you really drove fourteen hours? 

Me: Yeah. 

Shanks: Straight?

Me: Yeah. 

Shanks: I hope you stopped to pee (laughs)

Me: (laughing too, again, this seems to be how this goes down every time). Yea, I am a girl.  

Shanks: (laughs and makes sure autograph is alright) 

Me: It was worth it, I had to give you this. (Reaches to set card in front of him while he looks over autograph before handing computer back)

Shanks: Oh, that’s right, the card.  (takes it and places it by his water bottle on the floor) I will read it, I will.  

Me: Oh and thanks for the tweet of good luck for my first 10K race. That meant a lot. 

Shanks: That was you? I remember that! 

Me: Yeah, and you’re right, I am a masochist (both of us laugh again and he looks up and I start to tear up) 

Me: Just, please read the card and thank you again (I reach out to hug him and he stands right up and hugs me back, so, I kissed his cheek again and he sits back down as handler places Jan’s puck in front of him) 

Shanks: Bye sweetheart

And then it was over. I’m trying to NOT cry as I write this. I hope he reads the letter.  I hope he understands and doesn’t think I’m crazy.  I meant every word of it.  EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. I just needed him to know. 

Step 10: Spanish wine, right? Not this time my friend.  You have to drive back 14 more hours home.  Be safe, drive careful and rest when needed.  Because this is not the end. It’s just the beginning.  Back to twitter stalking.  



Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to throw a Bachelorette Party


How to throw a Bachelorette Party

Subtitle: She does have to make it to the wedding. Physically and Morally. Try to keep it classy. 
Step 1: Know your bride.  There is a good amount of background information you will need on the woman of the hour and her hubby to be so that everyone will have a good time and no one will end up in jail or with a FaceBook status as single on Monday.  (Because we all know that posting your status on FaceBook is the first freaking thing people do the second they split, ugh). Make sure to plan based on this knowledge.  If you do not know the bride well enough to make wise decisions then you shouldn’t be throwing the party.  
Step 2: Book a hotel room.  First, you don’t wanna clean up very much, especially if anyone gets sick.  Second, your significant other is not there.  If you want some crazy shenanigans going down, it is best that your own better half is not involved.  Not that I wanted to do some crazy things or anything, but Hot Roommate would have sat there and laughed at me and told embarrassing stories on me (like the damn Bride did anyway; there is officially NO ONE in the Ashland area that does NOT know I am in love with Michael Shanks- thanks Caitlynn). Third, everyone can crash there. Which is not funny, it’s just safe.
Step 3: Keep the bride away until you are ready. I suggest booking her a massage.  That way, no matter how bad her week has been leading up to said party, she arrives all relaxed and ready to go.  But get a long massage, a good long massage.  Because streamers are a B*$CH to hang up in a hotel room with no ladder (so it takes FOREVER) and CLOSE the blinds lest creepy old men peep in the front windows as you hang up streamers wearing yoga pants.  Yuck. It happened.  I feel violated. 
Step 4:  Have an opening activity. Chances are that none of these people know each other, so have a cute little opener that involves the bride.  We did wine goblets with little adjective stickers that the bride chose a few days before without knowing why.  Then I got to hand out the cups and let everyone know what she thought of them. Awkward.  Especially when she gave the preacher “naughty”.  Yes. We had a preacher there.  She was cool.   
Step 5: Book a party within a party.  By this, I mean something like 31, Scentsy, Mary Kay, Party Lite or other things.  This will take care of two things. One, it takes up some time as the evening gets later and the city gets wilder.  Two, no gifts to worry about for the bride, because the bride goes in last and finds out how much free stuff she gets (not just hostess credit but also money everyone kicked in while they placed their order).  Just watch how much wine you serve at the party because the bride will have fun. And tell tales on you.  And a few glasses of wine in, you are a crappy liar.  
Step 6: Wine tasting.  Forget strippers, that costs a lot and are not as hot as Joe Manganiello in Magic Mike (or Michael Shanks.....make me MELT). A wine tasting is classy, fun and tasty.  Rent a small local shop (I recommend the Caboose in Ashland) and have the owner pick out some wines that NEVER would EVER be sold at the grocery store OR the gas station.  So no Moscato.  And try not to drink too much before you go because the guy probably has interesting things to say.  And you are paying him to say them. 
Step 7: Desserts. Sure, you can bring food and you probably will want food at your *cough* candle partly, but we woman only really want two things in life: Chocolate and Cheesecake.  Take note gentlemen, these two things can make for a better marriage.  Chocolate and Cheesecake.  What better way to enjoy all of the wine you bought at the shop after your tasting than to nibble some New York style cheesecake and chocolate mousse. And no, I don’t care about the calories right now.  Throwing parties for your friends burns calories. And I can run extra tomorrow. 
Step 8: Games. No, I am not 12. Yes, games are fun, and I am not talking about beer pong either, that’s for frat boys. I’m talking about Apples to Apples (which I went out and bought myself so you people can get me something else for my birthday - how about a kiss from “You Know Who....”). Because nothing is more hysterical than a group of giddy woman, wine, cheesecake and Apples to Apples. You have no idea what will come out of their mouths, no matter how twisted or offensive.  Oh, and these ladies never forget.  Let’s just say it quickly turned into “Let’s harass Bri about being a fan girl” festival.  Sigh.   Oh! And throwing the “In a Coma” card proves you are watching it too!!! So there!!
Step 9:  Get these b$*ches out of here or to bed. Really, if you are sober you need to help me clean up or leave and get the drunks to bed.  Yes, I am serious and it is 2 a.m. and I have been up since 6 because I ran a race this morning.  I know, I know, bad planning, just be careful with those streamers, don’t rip the paint off the walls. The bride? The bride is relaxing and reading, leave her be.  She deserves this.  
Step 10: Wine? Are you kidding me?? I have had so much wine tonight that I will be running at least 1000 extra miles this week and I am not sure if my blood is blood anymore.  Oh, but there is that box out there on the table, of tasting leftovers.....  I just gotta run to my car for a sec.... I’ll be right back..... 

*** On a side note, Happy 9th Anniversary to Hot Roommate: I couldn't do any of this without out ***

Monday, August 13, 2012

How to Master Indentured Servitude


How to Master Indentured Servitude
Subtitle: It’s not slavery because I pay them.  It’s called Advanced Allowance. Best.System.Ever. 
Step 1: A lesson in history. Let’s take a trip back in time, shall we? Back to 1607. Jamestown VA.  Now, while a great number of the original settlers in the good ole US of A were scumbuckets that England was trying to get rid of (cough John Smith cough...what don’t make that face at me, look it up!) there were a few strapping young lads that wanted to get over here like nobodies business.  So, these lads sold 4-7 years of their life to pay for their passage and escape mommy and daddy.  They were not slaves.  See?? http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/feature/indentured-servants-in-the-us/  So, my kids are not my slaves and as a teacher I used this little scheme to throw in some school.  Of course, right? 
Step 2:  The bait. Now, normally I would never advocate sitting your child in front of the idiot box for hours and hours on end, I mean I am addicted to a few shows but only a few (Like Saving Hope with Mr. Hot Michael Make Me Melt When You Speak Shanks) but you need the TV here for this to work.  And not the shows, I mean you can just skip them. What you need my friend are the commercials, because the commercials that are on kids shows are for three things and three things alone: 
  1. stupid toys
  2. sugar cereal
  3. Chuck E Cheese
Now as we have discussed, Chuck E Cheese is not all bad, and if you forgot why please see my post on Birthday Parties.  What we need is for your little booger to fixate on choice A. 
Step 3: Research.  Now if you are going to do this you want it to cost you as little as possible. At this point your child has fixated on an item (oh, need to add in here, don’t let them buy those damn dumb pillow pets, I still cannot figure out for the life of me how those became popular - silly bands I get, I wear those, but pillow pets, no) and you need to see where you can get it cheapest.  And believe it or not, it may not be Walmart. It may be Amazon.com. Or Craigslist. Or a good friend who can hook you up because they have tired this before and are passing on the love.  Get it cheap, but know where it is most expensive. You’ll see why...
Step 4: Buy the item and make a fake tag.  Now it helps that my husband works in retail, but really, if your kids are young enough you don’t even need to worry with the tags.  Just make up a price and call them into the kitchen. However, you will need to choose your words carefully.  Here’s a script to help: 
You: INSERT CHILD’S NAME HERE IN A BABY SWEET VOICE you remember that WHATEVER you wanted? 
Child: Yeah, but you said it cost INSANE PRICE YOU MIGHT JUST HAVE TO MAKE UP.  
You: Yes, it does, but I thought about it and well (DRAMATIC PAUSE & THEN PULL OUT TOY & WAIT FOR SCREAMS TO DIE DOWN) I wanted to get it for you but.... (A SECOND DRAMATIC PAUSE) 
Child: But what? 
You: Well you can have it now, because I don’t want you to wait any longer, but you’re going to have to pay me back.  
Child: Sure, anything? What do you need me to do? 
Step 5: You should have had the list ready.  Ok, so my editing team of few close friends and Hot Roommate need to do a better job on this but you need to have a list ready when this question arises.  Depending on your kids age these things can vary from cleaning their room, to weeding, to washing dishes to detailing the car with a toothbrush. As soon as that question crosses their sweet little lips BAM have your answer ready.  
Step 6: The countdown.  There is always a chance that you have in your household a smarty pants.  The kid that knows that sacred Lego Batman Video game was $37.88 at Sam’s Club and wants to know exactly how much emptying the dishwasher will decrease this total. This is also something you might want to think about in advance since if you make emptying the dryer $1 then something gross like rinsing the dishes is gonna cause them to demand more.  And if you have learned nothing else from me, it is that kids are smart, really freakin’ smart and make us look stupid.  Don’t let your kid outsmart you. That's just embarrassing.
Step 7:  The pay off. Alright, so you got the little booger to work it off and now according to your (hopefully) careful calculations, they have completed their service. In order to cap this all off, you need to bring the newly debt-free child and all of your other children for the closing ceremonies.  Dramatically tear up the debt, which is best hung on the fridge if I forgot to mention, and announcing to the other children about how hard work earns you rewards, blah blah, you get the idea.  Hopefully, they’ll catch on.  But probably not, they are smart, remember? 
Step 8: (Oh crap, we’re finished and at step 7.... what else could I possibly talk about...gotta think here... I could talk about how I am DAYS away from meeting Mr. Canadian Hot Pants and am really scared that I am going to faint in his arms and that he will think I am silly, which I am, but in an adorably cute kinda way right, I mean I need to plan my outfit because my Mord Sith costume won’t be ready by then, so maybe that is why I am so nervous but... Wait? You don’t care do you? Well, I managed to kill a step, so there, and you kept reading. Joke’s on you!) 

Step 9:  Rinse, repeat. Return to step 1. 
Step 10:  And since somehow this turned into a mini history lesson, I would like to close today with a quote from one of our founding fathers. 
Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. - Benjamin Franklin
This is why this man in on the hundred.  Ole’ Georgie called wine plain.  That is why he is on the one.  Trust me. I have a Master’s Degree ;) 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to be a Redneck


How to be a Redneck 

Subtitle: A Primer for those of us who are members of the Upper Middle Class. To not follow these rules makes you a Fake Yuppie Redneck. And EVERYBODY is making fun of them.....
Step 1: Move to a rural area. By rural, I mean, the country. The real country.  If you can make it to a 711 in less than 15 minutes, you’re not in the country.  If you have the option of any television that does not involve rabbit ears or a gigantic satellite dish, you’re not in the country.  If there is not a chance that you will be late to work because of the tractor, you’re not in the country.  Oh, and if the place you life has an entrance sign and a proper name, rather than a brown private road sign with the last name of one of  the three families that dominate the area  :-) (LOVE YOU GUYS) then you’re not in the country.  Move to the country. 
Step 2: Buy a truck. A real truck.  If it has the word hybrid anywhere in it’s title, it’s not a truck.  Your truck needs to weigh at least 1/2 a ton (sorry, no idea of this metric friends) sit up high enough where you actually have to climb to get into it and either come pre-dinged up OR be the kind of truck that you are not afraid to ding.  You need all of this horsepower and size because you are going to be hauling critters (yeah, critters, you will need to start learning these words), taking your trash to the dump (no garbage pick-up out here, unless you are one of THOSE people) and picking up mulch (because we do our own landscaping).  Oh, and your wife likes them. She looks hot in a big truck. And we like it when the wife is happy. 
Step 3: Buy a gun. Now, before you go getting your panties in a twist, you NEED a gun.  Remember my country livin’ entry? Well, thems critters got the rabies and when they waltz their happy asses onto your porch like they own the place you will need to blast them off of the planet.  I am not advocating killing innocent creatures, but remember that there is no cure for the rabies and these critters will bite you.  So, you need a gun. And not a pansy gun either.  You need a GUN, a REAL gun....
THIS is a gun: 
(Link if pic does not work: CLICK HERE)
This is NOT a gun: 

 (Link if picture is busted - scroll down : CLICK HERE
Honestly,  the fact someone made a pink gun like we needed it all pretty-fied is just damn outright insulting.  Buy a real gun. Go to Green Top. 
Step 4: Get a hunting license. And a fishing license.  In the country, we rednecks hunt.  Now, fake rednecks hunt for fun.  They spend crazy amounts of money on supplies and tree tents and decoys, so much so that real rednecks, who just tote a igloo cooler of beer into the woods and wait, die laughing at them.  Then, these impostors kill the animal, get there picture taken with it and stuff it.  Yes, my real redneck friends, they don’t even EAT IT! What a waste!! That’s good eatin’.  Nothing better than deer jerky or a good venison rump roast.  You will need to get this license(s) to stock your fridge with your winter meat.  Because only yuppies don’t keep venison in the freezer.  Haha, even me. I usually have at LEAST one package of it. No joke. 
Step 5: Invest in duct tape. Duct tape can fix anything and is socially acceptable in any situation.  Broken pipe under the house (yes, we fix those ourselves), duct tape.  Dog pen falling apart (yes, we keep outdoor dogs, not because we are animal abusers, but because WE are the ones caring enough to take in the ANIMALS you think it is cute to release like ‘Born Free’), duct tape.  Bumper falling off your truck cuz you got the urge to take that baby through a stroll in the mud (Think you’ll never get the urge. You will.  Unless you didn’t listen to me and bought one of those stupid trucks that you’re afraid to get dirty), duct tape. It is the most versatile tool that you will have in your arsenal and it even comes in cute colors now: http://www.duckbrand.com/Products/duck-tape.aspx
Oh! by the way.  Anyone make these? I would like a cute duck tape wallet.  Neon pink or yellow.  Thanks! 
Step 6: Embrace redneck culture. Listen to country music.  But to be REAL country, you have to listen enough to know the words and sing along. Start buying clothing in camo or blaze orange.  But it doesn’t count as Redneck if you keep it neat and tidy and hole free.  Or if it ever goes to the dry cleaners.  In Redneck, dry cleaning means you shook it out on the porch.  Spend time at the local Fasmart. See, OUR Fasmarts have little “cafes” but it is really a place where you grab a big ole canned sweet tea and a corn dog and talk about how little rain we’ve gotten this year.  Gotta try that one too.  And use the word ya’ll. A lot.  Honestly, you might think it’s silly but it is hand to God one of the most used words in my entire vocabulary, no matter how much I try to cover up my redneckedness.  Ya’ll know what I mean?
Step 7: Do everything slow. While we are embracing the redneck culture, you need to realize that you have to slow things down.  Everything.  Your speech, your movement, your driving.  Slow down everything.  Walking across your living room should take a full five minutes, not counting if you stop to ponder whether or not you want a Bud or a Coors one you make it to the kitchen.  Checking out at the grocery store should take at least 15 minutes for every twenty or so items as you pull each of them from the cart and discuss with the cashier why you got it, how good the price was and how you don’t understand those organic food eating yuppies. However, I caution you, this slo-mo way of life does not mean the rednecks are dumber. At all.  They just like to take their time to smell the roses so to speak.  You’d better not call them dumb, especially because they create the food supply.  Yeah, that’s how science works, they grow the food.  We should be nice and patient for the people that grow the food. 
Step 8: Buy a boat.  If you have a boat it must go in the water. Not in your driveway. Because that makes you look like an asshat. A fake wannabe move back to the city because you look so stupid out there moving that dumb thing around that other people that live near me ask if you are as snotty as you appear and I have to answer yes and pray everyday that you will be surrounded by coyotes over by your precious matching shed and they will keep you trapped until you dehydrate and start seeing signs from the heavens that you need to move.  Oh yeah, and your house looks like a funeral home.  You know, if you just USED the boat, even if you aren’t fishing, just docked it at the Lake that is NEARBY, I might not think you were such a moron.  But alas, there will always be phonies.  You are one of them...
Step 9: Refer to anyone in your former life as a Damn Yankee. Even if they are not.  We Southerners are still fighting the war and fighting it hard (Don’t get mad guys, you know it’s true.... even though we are WELL over the slavery thing and to be honest have embraced African American culture.... we’re still kinda peeved they came down and kicked our butts...and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon...). And you’ve gotta make sure that you are saying it right, it is NOT pronounced Damn Yankee, it is more like dAmn (strong ‘a’ like when a baby goes WAAAA) Yan-kay (where the ‘ee” is more of an ‘a’) and it needs to be one word, muttered under your breath “dAmnYankay.”  Try it a few times.  There you go! You got it! It really does complete the transformation... funniest moment of my life when I first heard Hot Roommate refer to someone else as a “dAmnYankay.” It was so funny I wanted to make it my ringtone, but he won’t let me record it.  Asshat.
Step 10: Forget the wine drink the shine! (OMA - I just invented a NEW bumper sticker- get it made people get on it!). Remember that drinking moonshine not only tastes great but supports a local business and before we became a redneck remember we were all about supporting local business. (And actually, rednecks are AMAZINGLY supportive of local business - we buy from veggie stands people and NOT Whole Foods!). You need to fully support moonshine and those wonderful runners that bring it to us like its smack dab in the middle of prohibition.  See how fun the whole culture is! Ok Mr. Shanks, I hope to Athena your PR person directs you to this one.  You are cordially invited to the country to enjoy some moonshine and get cultured, southern style.  It’ll be a blast. I promise.  If not, well, the moonshine can fix that too.