Thursday, December 29, 2011

Month in Review

I’ve moved my blog to WordPress ( because I like the way the comment sections are set up, but now I feel bad abandoning my old Blogger blog. (Sorry, I didn't tell you Oscar, it would have been good to mention.) Is anyone still here reading this besides Oscar? If you are here, it is not because I have abandoned you and moved on. Okay, I have moved on, but I want you to come with me. Here is summary of what you are missing over at WordPress.

Milkshakes from the Past

Ashton Kutcher was being witty with me at McDonald’s and offered me milkshakes from the past. I was too preoccupied by obtaining McGriddles to take him up on it. There is also a nice t-shirt available for those of you who would like to avoid perfect strangers offering you milkshakes.

How to Survive a Year

This is a very helpful guide for surviving an entire year. I know you probably think you have been surviving the years already, but you can survive so much more efficiently using my simple guidelines.

Ants on a Branch

This is the post where I am slightly drunk and trying to win an argument with Andreas Heinakroon of by yelling out obscure statements like “Ants on a Branch” without bothering to explain them. I think I win.

Enjoy a life of crime, or scientific achievement, whichever

On further reflection, I have been spending a lot of blog posts trying to win arguments with Andreas Heinakroon. Did you know that scientific achievement and crime are both motivated by sex? Andreas fails to agree with me on the finer points of this. He thinks I am over-simplifying the matter. What he doesn’t know that I am purposefully doing this to win an argument. If you can’t win by distorting facts, it is hardly worth the effort.

Why Girls Rule and Boys Drool

Again, this post is part of an argument with Andreas Heinakroon. This time, my argument is firmly backed by science and also @whoremonger's brilliant statement that both proves I win, and also uses the term, “not in a million years jack wagon.”

How to Win at Christmas

If you haven't already won at Christmas, it is a little late to worry about it now. Especially you, Oscar, with your "Bah F*cking Humbug" ornament. Oh wait, I gave that to you. Never mind.

One last quick thing before I go, onions could be killing you, or saving your life. Just thought you should know.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Story of Texas

The concept of Texas has come up a lot lately, much in part to Lahikmajoe’s Non-Tea Blog. I have to say that I am most impressed with @lucysfootball and her take on the Texas culture and what outsiders may think of it. Let me take a moment to say that Lucy’s Football Blog slant on this topic is actually way funnier than mine, so now is your chance to bail.

Oh... you are still here. Great.

I have chosen to take this opportunity to consider what being a Texan means to me. You see, my family is perhaps one of the last of the stereotypical Texans. Despite my sarcastic and liberal demeanor, I am a direct link to rural Texas and what it means to be a real cowboy.

I grew up spending a lot of time out in the country with my grandmother. My grandmother was a tough woman. She grew vegetables in her garden, and pickled her own beets and cucumbers. Her house had no central air or heat and the television only got about three channels and that was on a good day. The phone was a party line. You knew by the pattern of rings if the call was yours. If you picked it up and there was someone talking, you were supposed to put the handset down quietly. Sometimes I would take a minute or two to listen in, but always found the conversation excruciatingly boring.

When “Nan-Mamma,” as we called her, needed to do laundry or pick up supplies, we went to 'into town' (population 6,000) to the laundromat and the “Dixie Winn.” I don’t think that particular brand of grocery store is still around, but if it were, the proper name of it would be pronounced, “Winn Dixie.” You wouldn’t dare tell that to my grandmother. That woman had a sharp tongue and a quick hand. The best plan was always to lay low. 

My mother currently works part-time in the office of a cattle auction. The people in that office love to make fun of the city folk who come in and do silly things. This makes it extremely fun to embarrass my mother when visiting her at work. I usually have someone ask for her to come out and speak with me about “buying the cow outside with the brown eyes.” It is like our code actually.

My dad was once a farmer/rancher. The farming part grew hay for the cattle. I remember seeing the hay balers and bright green John Deere tractors and combines, sitting powerfully still under the corrugated metal roof of the shed. At the time, I was impressed at their size as I had metal drawf-sized counter parts as toys at home. As an adult, I am astounded by the scope of the mechanical what-not that had to be properly greased and maintained. My dad has a knack for keeping things working. I have a AAA card.

My dad took me with him to the auction barn on the days he sold or bought cattle. I would play quietly with whatever toys I had brought along as he made his bids or watched his cows being sold. I distinctly remember the aggressive chant of the auctioneer, the sound of the cattle, and the faint smell of manure in the background. It is the same auction my mother works at today. Nothing has changed much, expect that my adult eyes see it as smaller than I remember.

My dad always drove a white Ford truck. When one gave out he bought another one just like it… one white Ford pickup after the other. I remember riding in the back of those trucks as my dad called 'the cow out to feed.' I asked him once if I could have a cow. He gave one each to both my brother and me. Although, I suspect he picked them out at random. It is just as well as I couldn’t tell one cow from the other anyway.

My parents had a double freezer and when we needed meat, they would “take a cow to slaughter.” We had every part of cow in that freezer. My dad would scramble the brains with eggs, telling my brother and I that it would make us smarter. I don’t know how eating cow brain could make you any smarter. Even if eating the brain could somehow transfer the brain of a cow into yours, the only skill you would gain is how to lick a block of salt and chew your cud. It just doesn’t pencil out.

I remember trips to the feed store. Of course, my memory is that of a young child. I remember the earthy, malty smell of the feed, but mainly I remember the bubble gum machine. There were two sections to the machine, and each took a penny.  One section contained tiny little square pieces of candy-coated gum, while the other had small round colorful balls. It was always a dilemma because the ball section only pushed out one piece of gum. The other section, if you turned the handle just right, would push out two or three. So, according to my childhood memories, the important takeaway from this is that Texas has gum. Don’t let them tell you any different.

My dad doesn’t have a ranch anymore. My parents own their own rental apartments now, and have long since sold their land in the country. My dad still drives a truck, but instead of baling wire for hay, the truck bed is cluttered with paint cans and sections of cabinet for apartment upkeep. He wears a cowboy hat, but only outside in the sun, because hats for real cowboys are for function, not for nightclubs. He doesn’t own a pair of dress shoes or sneakers. Instead, he has two pairs of boots, one pair for everyday, and one for Sunday.

So, that is my story of Texas. And now, with great pride, I would like you all to meet a real cowboy:

Me and my Dad. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Plan for a Road Trip

This blog is in transition and currently has no point to it whatsoever. If you are looking for the Self-Help T-Shirt Catalog, I moved it to WordPress. So you should click here. If someone is trying to make you leave your house to go on a road trip and you don't want to stop what you are doing, then keep reading.

This past week was Thanksgiving, and we were visiting my husband's family. It was that awkward day after Thanksgiving when the large dinner is sitting in the refrigerator, and guests are sitting around the house. We had just had breakfast, and my sister-in-law's boyfriend's mom said that they were going to drive over to her brother's or cousin's house for a visit. Somehow, like a row of dominoes crashing one into the other, this turned into the opportunity for a road trip. 

Looking back on that moment, as we were poised on the edge of a road trip to go sit in someone’s house, I realize that my family can be very difficult to move when we are not motivated. I really don’t want to go sit in someone’s house. Sitting in someone’s house is the most boring thing in the world. Especially when it is mid-morning after breakfast. There will be no food, and it is way too early for drinks. That means there will literally be nothing to do but sit. I felt incredibility unmotivated to sit but had already vowed to be pleasant during the holiday, so I gathered some things I thought my son and I would require.

Steps to ready for a road trip I don’t want to take are extremely detailed. First, there will be a long discussion about where we are driving, in what direction, and details on how long the trip will take. Then, we will have another discussion about what entertainment devices should be packed. Please be aware that all devices (iPad, iPod, NintendoDS, Kindle and laptop) will be packed regardless of the discussion outcome. Also finding all the devices scattered around the house will take longer than usual, as I will be checking Twitter or my blog comments instead of looking for them. We will need to pack a cooler of drinks to avoid possible dehydration. Once we are finally in the van, I will need to dash out of it at least twice for last minute items such as sunglasses or chargers for all the devices.

Steps to get ready for a trip we do want to take are a little simpler. After my mother-in-law announced that we did NOT have to go to shopping at the River Walk, but could instead take a trip to Natural Bridge Caverns, my son and I made it to the van in thirty seconds flat. Then, we looked at each other... wondering what was taking everyone so long. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to be Happy

In The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama tells a story about a guy taking a nap in a boat. Suddenly, a bump awakens him. He looks up and sees another boat. He becomes very angry with the person in this boat for deliberately waking him from his nap. When he arises to confront this jerk, he realizes the other boat is empty. When he understands it was only the current pushing the other boat into his, the anger dissolves. That is why I like to think of people as boats.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Popcorn Ceiling

First off, I should tell you that this is no longer the catalog of imaginary t-shirts. If you are looking for the shirts, go to my shiny new WordPress site: The Best Self-Help T-Shirt Catalog Ever. This is now the blog where I will go on about things that are too long for Twitter, and not really appropriate for Facebook. I have been neglecting my FaceBook page, actually. Need to think of something clever to put on there. I am drinking coffee right now. That should do. Hang on a minute...

Okay, I am back. I was thinking this morning that I need do something about the popcorn texture on our ceiling. Often, when my mother-in-law visits, she will complain about popcorn ceilings from the seventies and how awful they are. To her credit, I don't think she realizes that she is sitting in the very living room of a house from the seventies under a ceiling of popcorn that belongs to me. It is a little troubling to me all the same. So, here is my plan.

Step 1.  Win the lottery. I know you are going to tell me that it is nearly impossible for people to win the lottery, but I don't think they are trying hard enough. I should be able to do it in a week or so.

Step 2.  Pay all the decorating people and decorating books and magazines in the entire world to make popcorn ceilings come back in style again. This shouldn't be that hard. They are probably out there looking for the next new thing right now and it may as well be popcorn ceilings.

Step 3.  Pay for my mother-in-law to get a new stylish popcorn ceiling in whatever color she desires. Yes, they will be coming in colors--Bright ones.

And then.... I strike!

Step 4.  Get rid of our popcorn ceiling, go over to her house, and talk about how tacky they are.

Winning! And in ONLY four steps. I am so great today.

I know you are thinking that I should have not wasted my time bribing decorators with the popcorn ceilings. You are probably thinking I could have used all this time and money curing cancer or saving children or something. But this is MY fictional money, and I will spend it how I please. Thank you very much.

Side Note: I just realized that all I have to do is slap a picture of a t-shirt on this and it will be just like my old blog. I think the dual blog thing is giving me an identity crisis.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Galleria is Evil

The next few posts will be about things I learned on the InterBlogs, and people who deserve their own t-shirts. So, this blog is now a blog for the people who read my blog. Or read blogs that I read while I am writing my blog. Or write blogs that.... anyway, if you are still reading at this point, you must be entangled somehow, so let's get on with it.

My first InterBlog recognition and t-shirt dedication goes to Alura’s CrossWorlds Cafe for the post, “Sorry Lisa, they’re still out of monkeys… “

This clothing line is dedicated to you, Alura, for surviving the Teavana at the Galleria, and also obtaining your $50.00 pound of antioxidant tea. You will be able to fight oxidants for years to come.  At least you actually bought tea while you were there. I bought some sort of leafy substance called a Samurai Mate, which apparently, as Lahikmajoe pointed out in his post, “Don’t tell her it’s not tea,” isn’t even tea! I guess the moral of this story is that you shouldn’t go around buying things just because they have the word Samurai on them. On the other hand, what am I supposed to do a teashop, Lahikmajoe? Go around saying, “Are you SURE this is tea? What about this one? Is this one tea?” That would make me look like an idiot!

Wait. I know what you are thinking, and you are wrong. Demanding to see the Oolong monkeys does NOT make me look like an idiot. That makes me a discerning customer. Plus, they wouldn’t even bring out the monkeys! When I started getting agitated, they were like, “Oh, watch out! An oxidant!” Clever hippies.

I am just now realizing that Teavana never actually explained how to use my pounds of tea to fight the oxidants. Maybe you need lots of tea because you are supposed to be using it as ammunition in some sort of antioxidant weaponry. I should go back there. Maybe if I buy actual tea this time they will let me see the monkeys.

For a blog post that was supposed to be about someone else, this is sure starting to look like one of my typical rants. I blame Lahikmajoe. Back to the point of this whole thing…. Congratulations, Alura, on "investing in your health and well-being". Hope it didn’t set you back too much. Enjoy your t-shirts.

If this shirt actually gets you monkeys, you owe me one.
I wanted some sort of Clint Eastwood saying on this one, like: Do you feel lucky, Oxidants? Well do ya? but for all I know, Oxidants really do feel lucky and it wouldn't work.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Thanksgiving Post for the Travelers

Several of you felt a little left out during the Thanksgiving Survey because you will be traveling to other locations rather than sponsoring the event yourselves. Since you will not be cooking, you apparently don't need to choose between pork rinds or skewered green beans for your side dishes. So Joshuapack your kids in the car with the diapers and milk cups, because this post is for you!

For those of you feeling out of the loop, I want you to know that I too will not be cooking during Thanksgiving Dinner. In fact, I will never get to cook for Thanksgiving. You see, I took my own Thanksgiving Survey and answered mostly B.  A Type B cook is someone who doesn’t understand enough about cooking to know the significance of say, baking powder. If baking powder is so important for that batch of cookies, why does the recipe only call for like a teaspoon of it?

Apparently cooking isn’t that logical, because that little dab of baking power is fairly important to the performance of the cookies. And also, if you are trying to make brownies and you have no eggs in your house, there is nothing you can put in brownie mix that will substitute for the eggs. Don’t even try it. As you can probably guess, a lot of times when baking I tend to give up and just eat the batter.

So, being a Type B cook, no one ever lets me do anything in the kitchen during holidays.  I think the problem is that no one has appreciation for the unexpected. Cookies have to rise, and turkeys have to arrive at the table un-charred with absolutely no room for error. Therefore, I will be joining all of you who will get in a car and drive somewhere. Some of us, like Debihen, are driving to see friends. Some, like Elizabeth Francois, will be on the way to the in-laws. Some of you are joyful about it, some of you are apprehensive.

I belong in the crowd of the apprehensive. It has come to my attention recently, that some of you think there is something wrong with me. Not that there is anything wrong with having something wrong with me. Well, I guess there is something wrong, because wrong is the recognized definition of having something wrong. Anyway, I think you see my point. Or not.

This whole thing started out when a friend of mine told me to read an article for people with Asperger’s Syndrome. I was a little put out by the implications of this, but it turned out to be a good article (See How to Establish Rapport in the Workplace). Next, @eldergeek, in a totally unrelated situation, sends me a link so I can test myself for autism. A test which I PASSED by the way. Wait, which way is it if there is nothing wrong with you, to pass, or to not pass? Whichever one it is where there is nothing wrong with me, that is the way it went. Okay? So there is NOTHING wrong with me.

That being said, I think there might be something wrong with me. Take Thanksgiving, for example. These types of holidays usually involve getting together with extended family and hugging. I should point out here, that I don’t like hugging strangers. And by strangers, I am including distant cousins, close cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws and the elderly. Also, I hate that thing where people greet you by kissing you on the cheek. Kissing on the cheek takes the whole greeting thing way too far. My husband’s family is the kissing on the cheek variety. Some of them even want to even kiss both cheeks, which I definitely consider as overkill. Maybe, if I admit something is wrong with me, I can forgo all of this cheek kissing and live a normal life. Or an abnormal life, whatever it is you do after you admit to having a syndrome.

This should help cut down on the cheek kissing.
Another problem I have is people talking to me. Sometimes I don’t mind when people talk to me. Sometimes people say things like, “I read your blog and it is so funny!” I like talking to those people. However, my relatives never read my blog. Mainly because I hide it from them at all costs. So, they usually say something like, “How is your job going?” And I usually say something like, “Fine.” Then they look at me oddly because now the conversation is at a standstill. I try hard to think of something I can say that will be entertaining without pissing anyone off. Nothing ever comes readily to mind.

Caution: If you throw off the rhythm of the conversation, you risk pushing everyone to the default topic of football.
In an effort to keep the conversation going, I will usually expand upon my previous statement, muttering something like, “Really fine.” The disappointed relative wanders away and I consol myself for this failure with a few gulps of wine. Then, another relative approaches. There is hugging, a couple of face kisses, and finally an animated question to which I can tell they are expecting a compelling answer, “How is your job going?” Sigh.

It’s been a long life already. I should have been an octopus.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How to Create a Troll

When Lahikmajoe started his new WordPress blog, and told me had a ‘troll,’ I was intrigued. However, after a quick trip to Wikipedia, I was a little disappointed to find out that a ‘troll’ is someone who makes inflammatory remarks on a blog that are often completely out of context of the blogger’s subject matter.  Not exactly a gruesome little figure hiding under a bridge, but close I guess.

It turns out that this ‘troll’ entered the world based on a combination of two events: Lakimajoe deciding to create a new WordPress blog, and my decision to use my Blogger blog to promote my WordPress blog. 

I am merrily typing away, as usual, with reckless abandon. In doing so, I place a link to Lahikmajoe’s new blog inside a mess of other links embedded in a conversation about blowjobs and next to a large image of a t-shirt saying “Fuck the Bells.” You may have seen it.  

Our friend, Jim, who is very nice by the way, reads about the blowjobs, the fuck bells, and so forth. Despite this, he somehow decides to visit my shiny new blog in the land of WordPress. Fatefully, he clicks the link to Lahikmajoe’s shiny new blog in the land of WordPress.

As you can imagine, a person showing up suddenly talking about blowjobs and “fuckbells” when you in the middle of politely introducing your non-tea blog, can be somewhat disconcerting. Lahikmajoe thought Jim was completely mad. While I do feel that I have owed Lahikmajoe a madman for some time now, I in no way wanted to get Jim mixed up in all of this.  So, Jim… please accept my formal apology in the form of this t-shirt.

You are welcome, Jim. Wear it with pride.

So, in the interest of improving communication, and in making my blog less of a confusing muddled mess, I am going to provide you with some links below. Clicking on these links and responding to them will probably not make you seem like a lunatic, but there is clearly no guarantee. 

Here is a link, clearly marked as such, to Lahikmajoe’s new WordPress blog.  I have no idea what he plans to do with it, but it will no doubt be interesting.

Here is a link to my new WordPress blog. I would caution you not to go in there just to yell “fuckbell,” but the term is rather endearing and we like it now. So, knock yourself out.

Here is a link to the Lucy’s Football Guide to Twitter Etiquette. I think we need one for blog etiquette regarding t-shirts with bell obscenities. This is unmarked territory.

Lastly, here is a link to Jim’s site, your FACE is my blog. He has been a champ about all of this, so go encourage him on the Nano novel that he is not writing. Apparently, while Jim acknowledges the motivation Nano provides, he does not enjoy ‘pooping out words.’ Personally, I hear they are high in fiber. 

How to be funny on Twitter

Come and see my new WordPress post, “How to be funny on Twitter” in which Handflapper ruins my Blog Contest by winning it hands down in 30 seconds with a blowjob comment.

However, some people might be offended by blowjob comments. If this is the case, and blowjob comments offend you, there is also a compelling story from Andreas Heinakroon  about how to steal Salvation Army uniform jackets. Or at least, that is what I got out of the story.

In the event someone steals your Salvation Army uniform or, less likely, it happens to blow away in the wind, there will also be t-shirts:

Was going to explain that this really makes more sense in context, but who am I kidding?

If you are still not compelled to visit my WordPress blog, don’t worry, I have left the best part for last. When you visit my WordPress blog, lahikmajoe will share with you the proper spelling of the name, Kaddafi. Or Gadaffi. I should have been paying more attention.

Please note that my spelling here, of the name Quadafi, is most likely not the proper spelling. But then again, I have to make sure you visit the site, don’t I? Or do I? You know what? Never mind about going over there, just leave all your flattering comments right here. Those people are a bunch of flakes anyway. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

My New Place

Some of you may know that I have a new place over at WordPress. It is really nice over there, but I’m not quite moved in yet. 

I meant to use the opportunity of a fresh new start to write a grown-up blog instead of rambling on about t-shirts. In the spirit of setting up my new blog properly, I decided to follow WordPress’ advice and refer to the DailyPost for inspiration. Then, that is when Kristen, in Ways to Develop Your Unique Writing Voice, told me that unless I develop my ‘mature voice’ I am going to end up wandering around and making a mess of things.

Andreas Heinakroon commented, “Great new blog! Very grown-up, very mature. You seem to have found a more substantial tone of voice, a more confident writing style.” With this comment, and my new mature writing style, I was well on my way to world domination. Then, I posted a picture of a butt.

I guess a mature writing style just isn't my thing.

So, give me time to decorate and move some things over there, and I will take all of you with me to my glorious new place. Assuming you are willing to get into the back of a windowless van.

For Further Research

To develop your writing voice:
Ways to Develop Your Unique Writing Voice | Kristen Lamb’s Blog

To see my new blog page:
(Keep in mind it's not done yet. Or even started, really. I'm planning to have widgets.)

To be reincarnated as an octopus:
The dread of reincarnation
(This does seem a little off topic, but you never know when an article about octopi incarnation will come in handy.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Survey

Preparing for Thanksgiving guests can be stressful and time consuming. Improve the quality of your Thanksgiving dinner by answering a few simple questions about your food and serving preferences. Based on your input, you will receive a helpful t-shirt as well as some tips to improve your preparation process.

1. How do you typically serve the Thanksgiving turkey?
  1. Fried in a large vat to the internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Feel free to verify the temperature by stabbing the turkey with the meat thermometer while it is hanging directly over
  2. With crisp black skin on the outside with raw/frozen turkey carcass on the inside.
  3. On a 19-inch Italian hand-painted turkey platter.
  4. From a package that says Oscar Mayer.

2. What types of beverages will you provide?

  1. A Pinot Noir with nuanced flavors and subtle earthy undertones. Don't forget the wine opener, it was really awkward last year when you opened that bottle with the umbrella.
  2. Instant powered tea that is always too dark or too light because the instructions on the side of the jar are vague and hard to follow.
  3. The beverage doesn’t matter so much as the fact that all the stemware matches.
  4. Natural Light

3. What types of side dishes will you serve?
  1. Probably something you can skewer and cook over open flame. Like green beans.
  2. Holiday Jell-O Salad with cream cheese, seedless grapes, and cherry Jell-O. It is fine if you only have green Jell-O and you can substitute cottage cheese for cream cheese since it is about the same thing. However, you will realize at the last minute that you don’t have the right kind of pan to mold it all together, and the whole concoction ends up looking like alien vomit.
  3. The fruit salad one of your houseguests agreed to bring over. Of course, you will have to immediately stop what you are doing in order to transfer the salad from their Tupperware container to a more appropriate 12.5" Diameter Lace Cut Crystal Serving Bowl, then quickly wash and hide the plastic container from view.
  4. Pork Rinds.

4. What type of dessert will you be serving?
  1. Caramel Apple Flambé or Pumpkin Crème Brûlée. It really doesn’t matter which, as long as you get to break out your new butane torch.
  2. Cookies. Except you were out of baking powder, so you left it out. Apparently, the baking powder is a more crucial cookie ingredient than it seems. You call someone to stop by the grocery store to pick up a cake.
  3. Dessert will be served on delicate china dessert plates with sterling silver tiny forks. You also plan to serve coffee in tiny cups on matching saucers with miniscule silver spoons for stirring. This ensures that everyone has twice as many plates and utensils as they actually need while simultaneously making them feel like huge cumbersome giants.
  4. Twinkies with chocolate syrup.

5. What types of centerpieces will adorn your table?
  1. Your last centerpiece unexpectedly caught on fire during dessert after you got carried away with the butane torch, so you try to avoid them.
  2. You were going to get a cornucopia at Wal-Mart but you forgot.
  3. Nothing says fall like a glorious harvest wheat centerpiece.
  4. The carved pumpkin from Halloween with the sagging part strategically angled.

6. What kind of dinnerware will you be using?

  1. Thick earthenware plates that are chip resistant and fire retardant. And skewers.
  2. Thanksgiving dishes mixed with two or three from the Christmas dish set because you dropped a few of each last year and now nothing matches.
  3. Delicate Autumn Themed China.
  4. Paper plates left over from your kid’s birthday party.

All done? Great!
Now it is time to view your results and begin enjoying your imaginary t-shirts.

If your answers were mostly A, here is your shirt:

This is really a shirt to help everyone else and not so much you.

Please take care when constructing your Alton Brown Turkey Derrick. Failure to follow the instructions can result in fire or explosion, most likely leading to property damage, personal injury, and/or death. Oh… and check the settings on your butane torch. You had the flame up way too high last year.

If your answers were mostly B, you get this one:

Who needs a cornucopia anyway? Even the word is strange.

Thanksgiving isn't really your holiday. You should delegate this holiday to someone else and focus on traditions with fewer variables. St. Patrick’s day, for example, is holiday that is more your speed. You invite some friends to a bar, have some green beer, and you’re good to go. No one even expects you to decorate.

If your answers were mostly C, here you go:

You will probably want to BeDazzle this later.

You may be finding it difficult to refrain from putting up Christmas decorations until this lesser holiday has passed. I know Thanksgiving really doesn't have the glitz and glitter of Christmas, but you can still make it work. In her Thanksgiving issue of Over-Decorating, Martha Stewart has included  instructions for several time-consuming and overly large centerpiece creations for Fall. By the time you finish arranging your citrus fruit, nuts, branches and wheat sheaves, it will be time for you to put up that long awaited Christmas tree.

If your answers were mostly D, nice work, this one's yours:

Nothing says the holidays like gas fumes.

Relax, turn on some Robert Earl Keen songs, and enjoy chain smoking through this holiday season with your kinfolk. For holiday meal ideas, you can turn to Paula Dean. She has a great bread pudding recipe that uses day old Krispy Kreme donuts, plus she does things with butter that you’re going to love.

Thank you for taking my Thanksgiving Survey.

If you, like plumsauce10, happen to “live in a country that insists of celebrating things only when completely necessary,” and you are currently “sailing through to Christmas.” You have my eternal envy.

However… you don’t get a t-shirt. Sorry.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Holiday Dinner: A Field Guide

If you are like me, and disturbed by situations that seem common place to others, you are a little bit freaked out about the upcoming holidays. For example, on Thanksgiving Day, it may seem confusing to you that family members who have spent the entire year telling you not to eat carbs are now loading you down with cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, bread rolls, and three types of pie. This is part of the bizarre nature of the holidays and you will have to learn to cope without seeming odd. Luckily, this year I am writing a field guide to get you through these types of events.

First, upon entering any dining area, you should immediately assess the number of items on the table. This will be your first clue as to the length of the meal. As a general rule, the more stuff there is on the table, the longer you will be required to linger over the meal making small talk. A good sign is to see one plate on the table per person. Also, one knife, fork, and spoon per person is a good ratio. This means that the individual in charge of planning the holiday meal has not set unreasonable expectations for the experience. You will therefore be able to eat your food and get on with the rest of your life without unreasonable delay.

However, if you enter the room and see chargers*, bowls on top of plates, multiple sizes of forks, candles, and a centerpieces of any kind, you are in for the long haul. This stuff took a long time to set up and you can’t just put food on your plate and take it to the living room to go watch TV.

You will now be required to load a plate down with food to eat while talking about relatives you barely know. You should probably go ahead and figure out what to tell people when they ask how your job is going, and why are aren’t planning to have any more kids. Despite the fact there are numerous hand-held devices with which people can be entertained, they have set up this table and prepared this food so that you will entertain them by talking. And, no… you are not allowed to piss them off.

If you are not afraid to seem odd, this shirt might deflect some unwanted attention.

Despite your enormous plate of food, you will most likely get bored at some point during this process. To aid you in making it through the experience, I have provided a list of appropriate activities you may use to distract yourself during the holiday meal. These are all approved activities. When performed within the parameters documented below, these actions will not draw undue attention to the fact that you just want to ignore everyone and play Angry Birds on your phone.

Proper dinner activities include:
  • Pushing food around the plate with your fork. This will work as long as you do not get carried away and create entire food sculptures or castles with gravy moats. Also, do not ask for extra cranberries for the finishing touches on your potato snow man. That is going way too far.
  • Intense study of the formal centerpiece. You should note that it is important not touch or prod the centerpiece in any way as they are extremely top heavy and can tumble over without warning. I don't care if you are wondering why there is a little bird in there with a pumpkin, DO NOT touch it.
  • Asking for extra ice so you can watch it melt. This activity is limited to ice placed IN the glass ONLY. Do not place melting ice in any other location.
  • Drinking more wine. 
This year, I will also be taking mental notes to enter into Twitter. This is going to be my first annual Twitter Event in which I bitchtweet** all through Thanksgiving day. I know I will have lots of time to type things into Twitter while pretending to watch the football game. I may even attempt to complete Twitter entries during the meal itself, I will let you know how this goes over. If anyone has any advice for concealing Twitter-related devices during a formal Thanksgiving type situation, I would be glad to hear it.

Explanation of Terms:

*Charger - A plate you put underneath another plate which is not actually used for eating but that you will be asked to wash by hand once the meal is over. Do not ask why you have to wash a plate that no one has, or will ever, eat from. You will never get a satisfactory explanation. Unless, of course, you ask The Bloggess. She will tell you: “They’re those fancy plates that you put plates on. They’re ridiculous. I’m not using plates for plates.” I fully agree.

**Bitchtweet - To bitch about a specific topic on Twitter. Here is an example of proper usage in  which BlogDramedy encourages me to join NaNoWriMo, a 50,000 word writing challenge: “Join in…you, me, Shouts. We can be writing buddies and sit around and bitchtweet about how many words we have not written yet.”

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Workplace Guidelines for People who are Me

I’m not sure why it is so difficult being me. How do seemingly simple tasks get tangled and become obscure? To figure this out, I have decided to break down an uncomplicated task that inexplicably went awry. You are coming with me to work, ready? The job for today is to add new course names to each course in this eLearning catalog. Here is the list of courses and the new course names on an Excel spreadsheet. Looks like all we need to do open each file, change the course number, republish the course, and mark completion on the spreadsheet. Simple enough. Let’s get started.

How to be Me:
  1. Open Spreadsheet.
  2. Open the first file.
  3. Suddenly remember that the intern who was testing the courses last summer found a glitch that was never addressed.
  4. Decide to take matters into your own hands.

Looking up the documentation, you see that the intern was getting unexpectedly ejected from the end of course exam. Opening one of the files, you notice that the hit area for the Cancel button is a larger size than the actual button. Clicking next to the button could cause users to inadvertently eject themselves from the scored exam. Test this for yourself to find that you are indeed unexpectedly tossed from the scored exam.

Decide that as long as the courses are being updated anyway, that this is an issue that clearly must be addressed. Add issue to the spreadsheet. Looking at the documentation, you notice another issue. The page number text field is a little too small for double digits when viewed in certain browsers. Decide to fix this issue as well and add to spreadsheet. You can also make a new spreadsheet if you feel the first is getting too crowded.

Browsing through the courses, you notice that some have the Cancel Button issue fixed while others do not. Now you need to document which courses actually need the additional updates. Feel free to start another spreadsheet for this.

Start fixing the courses, but for some reason, don’t start at the beginning of the list. You won’t remember why you started in the middle or one-third of the way through, just that it seemed like the logical thing to do at the time.  You should also consider getting so involved in making the additional changes that you forget to change the course numbers. Changing the course numbers may have been the entire aim of this project, but now it hardly seems important.  Realize, suddenly, that all spreadsheets are now completely non-informative of actual progress.

Once you have the state of the courses in complete disorder, a co-worker will ask you where you are on the project. He will also probably want a copy of the spreadsheet so he can ‘help’. Of course, he will know nothing about the Cancel Button or text field changes, or the additional 3 to 5 spreadsheets and their new fields, so any help at this point is going to be anti-help. This will be way too hard to explain. Despite the fact that he seems to think he has asked a relatively straight-forward question, look at him blankly.

He will persist. You might as well just tell him you have no idea where he should start on the spreadsheets, or even which spreadsheet as there are now three of them. He will now give you a familiar look of condescension to which you are immune.

Showing Progress

Of course, you will need some way to report progress that is specialized for this unorthodox method of completing a project. Allow me to provide with some guidelines:

Your boss, at some point, will want to know how your team is progressing on a given project. When reporting progress, always go with a percentage.  I usually go with 85%. Sometimes, my boss will look at me funny and insist, “That is exactly what you said when I asked for a progress report on the other thing.” At this point, I try to look both surprised and enlightened, before changing the number to 82% or sometimes 86%.

If at any point in this process, people become agitated with me, I usually explain that they only have to put up with this for less that 8 hours a day, while I have to live with my brain all the time. They seem sympathetic.

How to NOT be Me:

Just change the damn course numbers.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Zombies are People Too!

Today's righteous indignation is brought to you by @jwlucasnc who was kind enough to forward me the very best of her spam messages.

At first, I was pleased when I saw the title of the email in my inbox, “Zombies Make Over $5 Billion in the US.” I thought it was nice that zombies can be financially successful. I am not sure how many zombies there are in the United States, but even if there were a billion, that would pencil out nicely. I was a little surprised the luxury car market wasn’t targeting them more.

Then, my pride in Zombie accomplishment fell quickly into distain. This was not a message about helping zombies, or rejoicing in their success. This was a marketing ploy implemented by GoGo Training, taking advantage of zombies to sell Android Programming Classes. Calling zombies stupid and brainless, the GoGo Training specialists encourage you to become a Master Android Programmer solely for the purpose of deteriorating fragile zombie-human relations. The ad links to games showing zombies slouching across the screens of various phone platforms with vacant eyes. Do you know how hard it must be to walk around craving brains all the time with your limbs falling off? Zombism is a real issue, NOT a marketing tool.

A shirt to help Zombies keep up with their limbs... because I'm altruistic.

We should be promoting zombie tolerance rather than hatred. I encourage you, this Halloween, to rejoice in our diversity. Do NOT take advantage of the "Zombie Eating Halloween Special" at GoGo Training. Why would you want to save $100 off Android Programming classes when you will end up stuck in a room with a bunch of dickheads waiting to kill you if your arm happens to fall off? You wouldn’t.

I am sure you now all recognize there absolutely no need to make lives of the local zombies more difficult by pummeling them with bullets, grenades, and buckshot. However, I must admit that I did stop being indignant enough to consider calling the GoGo Training “Zombie Hot Line.” Not to sign up for a course catalog, as recommended, but to report zombie sightings. My guess is the people running that phone line have had a hell of a day.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Costume Series: Robot Zombie Killer

This costume is based on my new Pulitzer prize-winning novel about the future and robot zombies.  I’ve been the future you see, and the phones that we created to drive our cars have turned against us.  They are now zombies that must be taken out by any means necessary.  This book will probably win for the best non-fiction since it is about facts in the future and I don’t think anyone has written a book yet about facts in the future.  Therefore, being the one and only book in the category, it HAS to win.

Actually, I am writing the book in the future as we speak.  The best thing about this method is that I am not procrastinating. I am waiting for future self to deliver the book via time machine, or by UPS.  I am not exactly sure how these things work.

Everyone who wears this shirt will be promoting my future book and you will be well compensated when I hit the bestseller list any day now.  I will also be famous, so bonus points to you for knowing someone famous.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Special Orders

Fine. Here are your special orders. Just remember, I'm not made of imaginary t-shirts, people!

This one is for Joshua of Vive Le Nerd. I would have actually put the fake vest and bow-tie on here, but I didn't feel like drawing stuff. Apparently, I am too lazy to draw on these shirts... or even change fonts, apparently. No one is ever going to buy these.

This one is for Debihen of So... I've Been Thinking. Congratulations! You are now King of the World.

This is for those of you who might be a little more goal oriented than Debbie. I had to cover my bases because I can't stay up all night making these things.

This is for those of you who are LESS goal oriented than Debbie.

Just kidding, this shirt is dedicated to @zippy219. May we ALL be lucky enough to get fake books on Oprah's Show. Wait... is Oprah even doing a show anymore??? Why am I writing a fake book? Damn.

Halloween Costume Series: Pulitzer Prize Winner

I heard someone say once, and this has always stuck with me, “Most people don’t want to write. Most people want to have written.” The truth about writing is that unless you are writing some ridiculous blog about non-existent t-shirts, it is a lot of hard work. You pretty much have to do all of this hard work whether or not the crap you generate wins a Pulitzer prize. A lot of people just aren’t cut out for that. I’m not cut out for it. Why would I do all that work and NOT get a prize?

This costume is your chance to enjoy the fame and admiration of winning a Pulitzer for your best-selling novel, without the time and energy it would take to actually write a Pulitzer prize-winning, best-selling novel. The beauty of this plan is that you won’t even have to sacrifice the time and energy it would take to create a non-Pulitzer prize-winning crappy novel.

You will still need to think of a fake name and part of a plot for the book that won you this celebrated prize, but that is small price to pay. I would help you think of a name and plot, but it sounds like a lot of work. If I were going to do all that, I would just go ahead and write the damn thing and win my own Pulitzer.

I will, however, be willing to give you some tips based on my own extensive experience of not writing books. One tip is that your plot should be about zombies. They are hot right now. Oh wait, better yet, robot zombies… from the future. Get to work.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How to be Normal

When @eldergeek sent me a link to the AQ-Test, I thought, “What now, a test?” So you can imagine my relief to find it is only a 50 question online quiz to see if you have Aspergers. I know, right? Again with the syndromes.

I realize this is the second time I’ve posted this t-shirt, but you probably need an extra in case the first one is dirty.

If I have to take this Asperger test, you are coming with me. Ready? Here’s the link: I am including all the answers below in case you need to take it for work or something to prove you are normal. You can thank me later.

Notice that the disclaimer before you even take the test reads, “If you’re concerned about your score, you should consult a doctor.”

So, based on my concern for my social disorder, I should call someone up on the phone, arrange for an appointment, then go over there and TALK about it? There is no way in hell I am ever doing all of that. See… there is nothing wrong with me already.

Let’s get started…

“1. I prefer to do things with others rather than on my own.” I always do things with others. That is what Twitter is all about. And people read my blog sometimes. At least three people have told me they read my blog, so that is doing things with others.
–Definitely Agree

I’m winning at this test already.

“2. I prefer to do things the same way over and over again.” Yes. Because that is how you should do things. Otherwise, you spend a lot of time trying to figure stuff out that you have already done. I could do things totally differently each time if I wanted to, but that would be stupid.
–Definitely Agree

Winning! I am going to be so normal.

“3. If I try to imagine something, I find it very easy to create a picture in my mind.” Imagining things, yep. Good that that. Winning.
–Definitely Agree

“4. I frequently get so strongly absorbed in one thing that I lose sight of other things.” Yeah, all the time. There is too much crap to keep up with. Like remembering to eat, for instance. Did I eat? I can’t be bothered with that right now. I’m in the middle of something.
–Definitely Agree

“5. I often notice small things when others do not.” Yep. I found a penny on the ground just the other day. Win.
–Definitely Agree

“6. I usually notice car number plates or similar strings of information.” Man. This is a tough one. I don’t even know what this means. I am going to pick what seems the most normal.
–Definitely Disagree

Is it me, or does this test seem long? Forty-four more questions to go.

“7. Other people frequently tell me that what I’ve said is impolite, even though I think it is polite.” People shouldn’t be so freaking sensitive. That is what I think.
–Definitely Agree

God, this test will NEVER END.

“8. When I’m reading a story, I can easily imagine what the characters might look like.” Another tricky one. Sure, I can imagine what they look like, but then when the movie comes out, I am always wrong. I guess all the movies can’t be starring Johnny Depp. He would be way too busy.
–Slightly Agree

“9. I’m fascinated by dates.” Definite ‘no’ on that one. Dates are the stupidest fruit ever. Are they really out there growing like little dried up squares in the wild? I can go my whole life and never see another damn date.
–Definitely Disagree

“10. In a social group, I can easily keep track of different people’s conversations.” If they were talking about stuff that was interesting, then sure, I would be right on top of it. But are they talking about what sports their kids are playing? I don’t really care so much about that. Maybe if they are talking about how much they like bacon. I really like bacon.
–Slightly Agree

“11. I find social situations easy. “ I was pretty good at having lunch at that conference. Yeah, never mind. That was hard as hell.
–Definitely Disagree

“12. I tend to notice details while others do not.” What kind of details are we talking about here? Like stuff people are wearing? Did you just get a haircut or is your face a little off center today? I would notice that. I guess. Wait… I noticed that my cubicle mate had on shiny shoes today. Win for me.
–Definitely Agree

“13. I would rather go to a library than a party.”
–Definitely Agree

Did you see how I didn’t even need to think about that last one? I must be getting EXCELLENT at this!

“14. I find making up stories easy.” I make up stories all the time. Remember that whole bit in my blog about time traveling and the cars driven by phones? That NEVER happened! Yep. I made the whole thing up. I guess that wasn’t really making up a story though. It was more like rambling on about crap.
–Slightly agree

“15. I find myself drawn more to people than things.” I talked to people in the elevator today about their commute. That was sort of fun. Things, on the other hand, can be fun too. Like a stapler. Staplers would actually be more fun than people talking about a commute. But sometimes people have food. If someone is sharing Chinese food, I would definitely rather be with that person than a stapler.
–Definitely Agree

“16. I tend to have very strong interests which I get upset about if I can’t pursue.” I will have you know that me typing into my blog is JUST as important as you and your stupid football game you are watching. So yeah, don’t interrupt me.
–Definitely Agree

“17. I enjoy social chit-chat.” Social chit-chat? That is the most ridiculous phrase I have ever heard. If you hear anyone speak the words, ‘social chit-chat,’ you are completely absolved for hitting them.
–Definitely Disagree

“18. When I talk, it isn’t always easy for others to get a word in edgewise.” Why would anyone want to interrupt me while I am talking? I am freaking brilliant.
–Definitely Agree

“19. I am fascinated by numbers.” Are these numbers on a lottery ticket that I am winning? I would be enthralled by those numbers. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket. Would it be cool having tons of money? Or would it be a pain in the ass? Maybe I should get some secret money, like a pirate. I don’t need numbers for that.
–Definitely Disagree

“20. When I am reading a story, it is hard for me to work out the characters intentions.” The characters in that Zombie Field Guide I was reading were all running from zombies because they did not want their brains to be eaten. I was able to work out their intentions fairly well.
–Definitely Disagree

“21. I don’t particularly enjoy reading fiction.” I really don’t. But it isn’t my fault. If people would write some interesting fiction books, I would totally read them. Quit writing about whiny vampires and maybe I’ll read your damn book.
–Definitely Agree

“22. I find it hard to make new friends.” I have 792 Twitter friends. I find it easy to make new friends. Of course, I used to have 804 Twitter friends. I wonder what happened to the other twelve. Maybe I said something impolite that I thought was polite. Damn, this test is getting to me.
–Slightly agree

“23. I notice patterns in things all the time.” Patterns, like what? Plaid? I guess so.
–Slightly agree

“24. I would rather go to a theatre than a museum.” What kind of theatre? Like a live performance? Will there be singing in the theatre? I hate it when people sing. I’ll choose museum just to be safe.
–Definitely Disagree

“25. It does not upset me if my daily routine is disturbed.” That routine is in place for a reason. I have important shit that needs to get done. I don’t have these routines in place just for a whim, people! Jeez.
–Definitely Disagree

“26. I frequently find that I don’t know how to keep a conversation going.” Wow… I am usually trying to end the conversation as quickly as possible. I guess that would have to agree.
–Definitely Agree

I can’t tell anymore if I am winning.

“27. I find it easy to ‘read between the lines’ when someone is talking to me.” People should just say what they mean. I can’t be held responsible for whatever interpretive dance you have going on here.
–Definitely Disagree

“28. I usually concentrate more on the whole picture, rather than the small details.” This is a tricky one. I can usually see both the picture and the details. There is no way to select both though. I have to agree to this or not. What if the picture is really far away? If the picture was far away, then I wouldn’t be able to make out all the details without squinting.
–Slightly Agree

“29. I am not very good at remembering phone numbers.” I don’t have to. They are in my phone. Win.
–Definitely Agree

“30. I don’t usually notice small changes in a situation or a person’s appearance.” I noticed a co-worker wearing shiny shoes today. They were really shiny though. But it still counts. Also, if someone is on crutches, I know that you are supposed to ask them what happened. Even though I never do because I figure they are probably getting tired of explaining it. But I do notice and that is what counts here. I still get points.
– Definitely Disagree

“31. I know how to tell if someone listening to me is getting bored.” Why would anyone listening to me get bored? I’m freaking brilliant.
–Definitely Disagree

“32. I find it easy to do more than one thing at once. “ What does this mean? Like juggling? I’m terrible at juggling. I can’t think of any example now other than juggling.
–Definitely Disagree

“33. When I talk on the phone, I’m not sure when it’s my turn to speak.” I shouldn’t even have to answer this one. Everyone who has my number knows NOT to call and try to chat with me on the phone. Call me, state your concern or situation, then hang up. Also, you could probably just send a text. That would be preferable. As you can tell, I have the phone thing completely covered. Win.
–Definitely Disagree

“34. I enjoy doing things spontaneously.” Yes, I do enjoy spontaneous things. But only if you tell me about them first and give me a lot of time to pack. And also, I may need to bring some things in case I get bored. Are we going to be near water? I don’t want to bring a lot of electronic equipment if it might get wet. Should I bring a book? I don’t want it to get lost. If I bring a book, what percentage chance will there be of the book getting lost? Are we going camping? If so, is it possible that I might need to run from a bear? Also, I like to bring toilet paper when I go camping. I should probably take toilet paper anyway, even if we are not camping, just in case. You know what… just forget the whole thing. I’m not going.
–Definitely Disagree

“35. I am often the last to understand the point of a joke.” It must have been a pretty dumb joke then. I really don’t see how I can answer some of these without a proper example.
–Slightly Disagree

“36. I find it easy to work out what someone is thinking or feeling just by looking at their face.” If you want to tell me what you are feeling, then just tell me. Or maybe don’t tell me. Unless your face is telling me you feel like bringing me Chinese food. Of course, I would be able to gather that much from the Chinese food without even looking at your face. This is a stupid question.
–Definitely Disagree

“37. If there is an interruption, I can switch back to what I was doing very quickly.” I suppose so. However, it really depends on what was I doing. Was I making a vase on one of those potter’s wheels? I have done that before and that shit will collapse at a moment’s notice. You have to really focus on what you are doing with a potter’s wheel. Also, the guy I share a cubicle with has a squeaky chair. Sometimes I am trying to concentrate and when the chair squeaks, I can never tell if he is about lean over and start looking at me or talking to me. It is a little distracting, but not really an interruption. Just don’t interrupt me, okay? I definitely agree that I do NOT like being interrupted. That seems normal.
–Definitely Agree

“38. I am good at social chit-chat.” Didn’t you already ask me that? At least change these up a bit. Also, I should hit you now.
–Definitely Disagree

“39. People often tell me that I keep going on and on about the same thing.” No one has EVER told me that. Except for my husband, but what does he know? That shouldn’t even count. Okay… fine.
–Definitely Agree

“40. When I was young, I used to enjoy playing games involving pretending with other children.” What the hell does THIS have to do with anything? I “slightly agree” that your question is stupid.
–Slightly Agree

“41. I like to collect information about categories of things (types of car, types of bird, types of plant, etc.)” Like you thought I was just going to fall right into that one.
–Definitely Disagree

“42. I find it difficult to imagine what it would be like to be someone else.” I just imagined being a pirate earlier in this test.
–Definitely Disagree

“43. I like to plan any activities I participate in carefully.” Well, of course! You have to know what kind of shoes to wear. This one’s a no brainer.
–Definitely Agree

“44. I enjoy social occasions.” Just because I already have a feeling of dread thinking about having to sit through dinner at Thanksgiving does NOT mean there is something wrong with me. That happens to everyone. I also really hate those parties where girls invite you over and want you to look at jewelry with them. Those suck. And I hate party food. If I wanted to stand around eating carrot sticks and stuffed olives, I would do it in my kitchen.
–Definitely Disagree

“45. I find it difficult to work out people’s intentions.” I think we have established that people should just say what they want. I don’t have time to sit around guessing if you went to the kitchen because you love waffles.
–Definitely Agree

“46. New situations make me anxious.” Yeah, that conference I went to really sucked. I am better at being in a cubicle where everything is controlled.
–Definitely Agree

“47. I enjoy meeting new people.” Where are these new people coming from, and what do they want from me? Do we have to do that whole bit where we shake hands and tell each other where we are from? I hate that.
–Definitely Disagree

“48. I am a good diplomat.” I am not a diplomat. I don’t even really know what it is they do, but I get the feeling I would be terrible at it. Don’t they have cars with flags on them? I might want to be one so I can get a car with flags on it.
–Slightly Agree

“49. I am not very good at remembering people’s dates of birth.” I am not good at that at all. Sorry everyone, for forgetting your birthday. I suck.
–Definitely Agree

“50. I find it very easy to play games with children that involve pretending.” That sounds hard as hell. Have you ever played with children? It is exhausting.
–Definitely Disagree

Score: 34 - One point away from high functioning autism. That’s good, right? I’m winning! Just in under the wire people… I am officially normal. Someone send me a plaque. Yea me!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Costume Series: Time Traveler

I’ve seen the future. It’s pretty much like the past only later in the day.

The beauty of this costume is that no one can prove you are NOT a time traveler.  To prove that you are not a time traveler, the person would first have to become a time traveler, then travel to the future to find that you are not actually in the future.  Then the person would have to travel back to the past, which is now the present, in order to actually prove you wrong.  Even if they do all of these steps, you can always nullify their efforts by saying you had that day off.  If you can tell that someone is about to go through all of this effort just to publicly invalidate your costume, you should tell them not to bother.

However foolproof this costume may be, it does require a bit of preparation.  People will be asking you what the future is like, so you will need to know how to describe it.  Don’t tell go around telling everyone there are floating cars, it is an amateur mistake and @heinakroon has already rejected that idea. Besides, people are terrible drivers now that they are one the ground, you wouldn’t want them up flying in the air.

In the future, our phones will be driving. They already have navigational systems, it is only one extra step to just plug them into the car and take off.  However, the driving phone really doesn’t solve my problem that I want to be able to text and drive. I would hate to distract my phone while it is driving by using it to text. Maybe in the future, we will all have multiple phones.

But having multiple phones isn’t really ideal either, because the whole point of having the phone combined with your music playing device and your Twitter machine is so you don’t have to keep up with so many things. No one is going to want to carry around two phones so they can text and drive. That would be ridiculous. Don’t worry. I’m positive I’ll have this worked out by Halloween. Be sure to check back later.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How NOT to go to a Tea Shop

So, I finally went to a tea shop.  More specifically, I went to a tea shop at the Galleria.  Even more specifically, I went to a tea shop at the Galleria after helping a friend put up outdoor Halloween decorations.  Also, I spent a lot of time petting my friend’s giant enormous horse of a Great Dane while I was over there. But Scooter is so lovable, what can you do? Plus, he folds one leg up in your lap and kind of sits on you like a chair. I almost got a picture of it but… oh wait… yeah... we were on our way to the Galleria, sorry.

For those of you unaware, a Galleria is like a mall on steroids… or maybe Botox. It is filled with people walking around looking purposefully indifferent in clothes you know must be stylish because they are completely and utterly odd.  Today, there was a girl with cutoff shorts and knee length black boots. I can only assume the boots were Jimmy Couture or Juicy Choo or whatever.

My friend in need of Halloween decorating assistance happens to live near the Galleria.  In the Galleria happens to be a tea shop.  Brilliant plan, right?  So this is how I find myself at the Galleria in the same t-shirt I was wearing to hang some kind of black outdoor Christmas lights from Satan.  Also, my hair is completely windblown and I smell like dog.  While I am in the bathroom trying to fix my hair, I happen to notice there is black glitter all over my face.  However, we had just passed a store selling “hand-made” make-up.  One could only hope the black crap all over my face would pass as stylish.

I’ve been reading tea blogs lately, so I was bound and determined to get to a damn tea shop, even if I had to get through the Galleria smelling like dog to accomplish it.  After going past the Banana Republic, Brookstone, Abercrombie & Fitch, Brighton Collectibles (people collect purses now???), the ice skaters,  and a store completely devoted to selling sweaters for poodles, we finally arrive at Teavana.

As if getting through the Galleria itself wasn’t bad enough, the entryway to Teavana is a total bombardment of the senses. Hippies with long hair and goatees impose tiny cups of sample tea at us left and right, all the while yelling about antioxidants. Undaunted, we push our way into the store.

Inside, sits a very calm looking gentleman who encourages us try the store’s most rare tea, Monkey Picked Oolong. He asks us, in a dramatic voice, “Do you know about the Oolong?” I am so excited, because yes! I have read about Oolong!  I was about to say: “Simply put, green tea is not oxidized and black tea is fully-oxidized. Oolong falls somewhere in the middle between the two. Some Oolong is lightly oxidized, some is allowed to oxidize much more but not fully.”

Okay, fine… I DID just cut and paste that entire speech from Lahikmajoe Drinks Tea

No matter, it turns out the question was rhetorical anyway. Immediately after asking, Oolong man launches right into the spiel about antioxidants. Apparently, we are all dying from lack of tea. Then he shows us a cast iron teapot, the best way to brew the tea. He does mention in the course of demonstrating the cast iron teapot, how the tea got its name because Buddhists trained monkeys to pick the tea leaves.

I tell him that I will not be purchasing a cast iron teapot, but if they have one of those trained monkeys in the back, I would totally buy one of those immediately.  He doesn't laugh, or offer to bring out a monkey. Now I am uncertain where I stand with the Oolong man. Plus, I don’t even really need a monkey.

Finally, I decide what tea I want to buy. I want to buy caffeinated tea, really caffeinated - with or without antioxidants. I am more worried about how to stay awake right now than how to stay alive. 

A guy behind the counter, complete with the requisite goatee and long hair, brings out two rather large bins of tea, wafting the metal lids of each towards us so we can smell the leaves. I desperately want to lean forward slightly, intentionally causing this gentle and soft spoken hippie to hit me in the head with a giant metal tea lid. However, I fight the urge. I am trying to be nice to the tea people. Especially after the monkey comment was such a major fail.

One bucket of tea, White Ayurvedic Chai, has a weird name and 1% the caffeine of coffee. The other bucket of tea, Samurai Chai Mate, is apparently named after Samurais and has 100% the caffeine of coffee. Now THAT is my kind of tea. So I tell long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy that I want the tea with the caffeine. Long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy says, “But you HAVE to get the 50/50 mix of the two teas or it WON’T taste like the sample.” So I tell long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy, “I don’t CARE about the sample. I want the tea with caffeine.” Then he starts describing how the caffeine in tea is metabolized and also something about the antioxidants. I think he is just trying to distract me so he can sell me the odd tea later. So I tell him to just give me six ounces of the Caffeine Samurai Tea, thank you very much.

Then he asks if I want the German rock cane sugar crystals. I tell him I do not, in fact, require German rock cane sugar crystals at this time. Then he says, “But you HAVE to get the German rock cane sugar crystals, or it WON’T taste like the sample.”  So I calmly tell long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy to give me my damn antioxidants and my monkey so I can get out of this freak show.

But I didn't really say that. Actually, I think I said something about how he was way too attached to those samples. The end result was that long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy looked just as offended as if I had yelled at him about the monkey. The lesson here is to always go with your first instinct, even if it involves yelling to people about Oolong monkeys.

So, long story short, that is how I got my tea…. and my antioxidants. I will be living forever now, all the while writing completely ridiculous and useless blog material about non-existent t-shirts. The hippies should have probably saved the antioxidants for someone else.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rapture Preparation

Is it just me, or is this Rapture Apocalypse not as good as the last one? I was shocked when @mylifelyrics sent out a reminder earlier this week that we had a Rapture scheduled for Friday, October 21, 2011. Why did I not hear about this sooner? The last Rapture Apocalypse was hyped up for months. I haven’t even seen any billboards for this one.

A good Rapture is like a movie, we need propaganda and previews, something to build the suspense. You’d think, given the feeble effort in promoting this Rapture that everyone had already spent all their money on billboards for the other Rapture. I found out today that no one has even scheduled a time! This is not how you run a Rapture, people! At the rate you are going, there might not even BE a Rapture.

The Naysayers: You are the problem with a good Rapture Apocalypse.

I find it disappointing that some of you show a certain lack of enthusiasm for Rapture related activities. @debihen states “The Rapture and killing crazed dictators have all been done before people. Do we not have ANY original thinkers out there?” Well, @debihen, the answer is NO. We will keep having Raptures until Zombie Apocalypse happens, so you might as well get used to it. However, we may be out of dictators to kill. I’m not sure.

Some of you aren’t even going to the Rapture! For example, @daralynnieloo says, “I’m not going because I’m sure there’s gonna be a ton of republicans and super Christians there.” You are right, @daralynnieloo, the place will likely be littered with them. Do you think the super-Christians will be getting capes? I wonder if it is too late to transfer over to that group.

@lahikmajoe is not helping matters. He is probably worried there is no loose-leaf tea in the afterlife.  He seems to think that the “last rapture really was the one to be remembered, wasn’t it? This one’s supposed to stay quite. Keep it down will you?” No, @lahikmajoe, I will NOT keep it down. A quiet Rapture is a boring one. Are we all just supposed to sit around while people are naked skydiving and demons are running around? I don’t think so. Oh, you haven’t heard about the naked skydiving option?

In case you are unaware, @larwe will be “skydiving naked during the rapture so the ascending ones will think I’m going with them and have second thoughts.” See people, THIS is how you do a Rapture. Thank you, @larwe for embracing the spirit of the occasion. To show my appreciation, I made you and anyone who would like to join you in naked skydiving, a free t-shirt.

Yes, I realize that making this shirt was a complete waste of time. Thanks.

As if I don’t have enough to deal with, @heinakroon is on the verge of ruining everything, “I didn’t want to say anything, but it’s my army of killer robots helping me to take over the world. Don’t worry and stay calm.” Great, @heinakroon, I am having enough trouble generating excitement for this month’s Apocalypse already. I don’t need you sending out killer robots to distract everyone. You need to get these things on the calendar in advance. How’s February for you?

Of all the naysayers, @IbecameMyDad is the worst of them, suggesting the whole thing is the result of old pipes, “I think you’ve been misled; this time around it’s the “Rupture.” It’s just a plumbing issue. Get some boots and you’ll be fine.” He’s probably right, but I like to stay optimistic and think the end of the world is at hand. Plus, I just had the plumber out last week and I really don’t want to pay for another service call. So, let’s get ready for this thing.

Rapture Apocalypse Dress Code: No, we are not going naked (except for @larwe, obviously)

Since the day of Rapture Apocalypse is at hand, I will at least help everyone with the dress code. Some of you, like @rebecca_ods, are not satisfied with just dashing off into the sky naked. “I need more info! Once again I have no idea how to dress! Should I sleep in my clothes just in case?”  Rapture Apocalypse is, after all, a special occasion, and some of us would like to be able to dress for it. Also, I am on the same page with @BanterBurbia, “if that means I have to spend my last day on earth shaving, I’m out.”

@jbrown3079 definitively stated that the dress code for the upcoming Rapture will be “Disaster Casual.” But just what is Disaster Casual? Let’s consider our options.

@_viouslymaggie suggests, "Dress for Halloween in case we don’t make it. Also, it will be easier to sort the saint and sinners that way." This is a terrible idea by the way. I have only had the chance to blog about two of my Halloween costume suggestions. Three if you count the meth lab t-shirt. Everyone is going to be wearing shirts about being drug addicts, serial killers, and having meth labs. There is no way Jesus is going to let someone past the gates wearing a meth lab shirt. Sorry @_viouslymaggie, nice try but we will NOT be wearing our Halloween costumes.

@daralynnieloo will be wearing “my new slippers, new jeans, favorite t-shirt, my new pea coat and scarf. Don’t wanna miss out on getting to wear the new stuff.” There is nothing worse than buying a new pea coat and never getting a chance to wear it because of Rapture Apocalypse.

@debihen is going with “flowing robes and pipe cleaner halo.” She suggests you “check the Halloween dept for wings. That ought to be appropriate.” Can you bring some extra pipe cleaners, @debihen? I don’t have time to go to the craft store, and I really want to get in. I have some questions I want to ask God.

@me_mumstheword says pajamas, “my favorite attire for all important events,” are the way to go. Pajama attire also solves @rebecca_ods’ dilemma of whether to sleep in your Apocalyptic attire. Two birds, one stone. Well done, @me_mumstheword. Except, you probably shouldn’t be throwing rocks at birds.

So, do you hear that, Rapture Planning committee? “Disaster Casual” is any recently purchased clothing, wings, pipe cleaner halos, and pajamas. Write that down.

Packing for the Afterlife

Another little known fact about Rapture Apocalypse is that you can pack a bag. You are allowed one carry-on item of any size. A hand basket is a nice choice, in case you end up going to hell in it later. It is always more convenient to go to hell in your own hand basket. A trip to hell couldn't be that much worse than a shopping experience at your local Wal-mart. Just pack whatever xanax and wine you would ordinarily take for that type of outing.

Have a Nice Apocalypse

So, when you see @larwe skydiving naked with a pipecleaner halo, you will know the big day has arrived. If you see killer robots, then @heinakroon has ruined everything.

Happy Rapture everyone!