Category Archives: Stories

Spirit Animals

Confession: The other afternoon I rage-tailgated (rage-gated?) a student driver for like three miles because she pulled out right in front of me on a country highway and almost killed us both. It was like slow motion: she turned into my lane off of a dirt road without even pausing to check traffic, and I was simultaneously scared for my life and slightly amused by the fact that the last thing I was going to see before dying was a middle-aged driving instructor doing this:

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SPOILER ALERT, we all lived, but I was really bothered by the fact that the last thing I ate before my near-death experience was a kale salad. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a bagel. I can’t have those kinds of regrets hanging over my head when my time actually comes, you know? So I made myself a motivational poster to remind me of what’s important in life.

Nuggets

On the other hand, I would have zero regrets if I spent my last 10 minutes on Earth Photoshopping a soft glow around a chicken nugget hovering over an ocean sunset.

I promise I’ll stop talking about this soon, but here’s what I don’t get: Don’t those driver’s training cars have special passenger-side brakes for the instructors to use when the dumbass child behind the wheel tries to kill you? Why was that dude freaking out like a little girl instead of pressing the damn brake? Although … if my  job was to ride around in cars with 15-year-olds, I’d welcome the opportunity to be broadsided at 65 MPH with open arms. Maybe his foot was hovering over the brake when she was like, “OMG this Bieber song is ON FLEEK” and he was all, this is it. This is all I can take.

Maybe this guy is actually my spirit animal.

Speaking of spirit animals, my friend Sarah introduced me to Matt Bellassai yesterday. Not in real life, which is probably a good thing because sometimes when I get really nervous the mechanism that allows me to swallow stops working and I stand there looking like I’m choking on air for like 30 seconds. Sometimes I wonder how I’ve managed to make actual human friends when my social aptitude is on par with the lady who feeds the feral cats in the creek bed behind Walmart.

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Anyway, Sarah tagged me in the comments on one of his Facebook posts yesterday. I then spent hours watching all of his drunken rants while doing that silent laugh where you shake really hard but can’t catch your breath enough to make noise. If you don’t mind colorful language and the soul crushing feeling that nothing you say will ever be as funny as what comes out of somebody else’s mouth, you really need to watch his Whine About It videos. Start with this one. And then when you’re depressed because you’ve watched them all, you can read his blog.

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DIY Cake Stands (and some other stuff)

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Last weekend I made these cake stands out of thrift store/dollar store finds for an upcoming party. I was going to post a tutorial, but it turns out it’s super simple and I don’t want this to turn into one of those Pinterest-bait “how-to” posts about projects that could be carried out by a moderately bright tapeworm.  I swear I once saw an entire post devoted to a “recipe” for raspberries stuffed with chocolate chips.

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Anyway, if you want to make these cake stands just do this:

– Find some vases/wine glasses/other glass vessels of varying heights.

– Buy glass plates at the Dollar Store.

– Glue them together.

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We were out of super glue, so I bought a tube of this super mega industrial strength adhesive at Walmart. I noticed midway through my project that the packaging was covered in warnings about cancer and/or kidney failure. I wasn’t in a well-ventilated area and got it all over my hands, so who knows how long I’ve got left. If a day goes by and I haven’t Instagrammed a cat photo, send someone to check on me.

Other things of note:

– Something keeps eating the flowers in our front yard, which pisses me off because for the first time in my life I’ve actually been remembering to water them. I’m pretty sure the culprits are either deer or squirrels. If you have some suggestions for wildlife-resistant flowers, I’d love to hear them because I’m pretty close to becoming this guy:

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– Dave is making mini blackberry-lemon cheesecakes with lemon-infused crusts for the upcoming party mentioned above. I’ll try and talk him into guest-blogging the recipe, because he makes the greatest cheesecake ever and also he’s a funny writer. Feel free to peer pressure him in the comments.

– Ally McBeal is on Netflix Instant, and I’ve been bingeing on it regularly because IT IS SO FUNNY. I remember watching as a kid and thinking of them as “old people,” and I was kind of appalled to find out that they’re only supposed to be in their late 20s. I’M OLDER THAN RICHARD FISH, WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Bygones.

Bygones.

I’ll leave you with a pic of our sad flowers. RIP, PETUNIAS:

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Back in the swing of things

Thanks to a work training and a quick trip to visit my family, I’ve spent one night in my own bed in the past week. This morning it felt SO GOOD to wake up and get back to my normal routine. (Coffee. Blogs. Work. Exercise. Sleep. Repeat.) My training was held at a casino in Reno, so basically my nights from Tuesday-Friday looked like this: tumblr_lzpm6hmfkx1rpq0uwo1_500_zps8ebddcf2 Just kidding! I was in bed by 9 every night and the only thing I was grinding on was the world’s biggest piece of New York style cheesecake, which I discovered at one of the casino’s coffee shops:

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That big boy lasted through three nights of Forensic Files marathoning. MUCH WILD. VERY PARTY.

We had a lot of downtime in the evenings, and one night I decided to go swimsuit shopping at a nearby mall. NOTE TO SELF: scrutinizing your thighs under fluorescent lighting after eating 5,000 calories worth of cheesecake is not a good idea. And speaking of scrutinizing thighs, I watched my brother compete in his first fitness competition on Saturday night:

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Apparently that’s what 4% bodyfat looks like. I’m depressed, pass the cheesecake.

He competed in the physique division, and I’m not totally sure what that means aside from the fact that he got to wear board shorts. This was great news, since I can’t imagine anything more uncomfortable than sitting next to my parents and grandma while watching my little brother flex his muscles in a bedazzled scrote tote. I spent most of the bodybuilding portion worrying that somebody was either going to poop their pants and/or have an aneurysm from the sheer force of their flexing, and the highlight of the bikini competition was my grandma shouting, “How does she even stand up?” when a contestant with particularly large implants took the stage. my-reaction-when-I-get-into-an-argument-with-women-homer-simpson-hide-in-bush-disappears Anyway, I’m pretty much in awe of his dedication – he worked out six days a week and basically ate chicken, egg whites and vegetables for the last five months in order to look like that. I was starting to question whether we’re actually related, but when we met up after the show he said that all he wanted to do was drink a beer and eat a really big burger. We may have also driven to two grocery stores at midnight to find some ice cream. That sounds about right. The rest of the weekend was spent visiting with my parents, whom I haven’t seen since they moved to Hawaii back in March. It was awesome to spend some time with my mom on Mother’s Day, even though she’s a jerk and texts me pictures like this all the time while I’m at work: 11182185_10206379527706077_9014370125745713902_n Rude, right? It’s a good thing I love her, or I’d be irritated 🙂 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM!

Life Lately

It’s spring, guys! I’m so grateful for the longer days, blooming plants, and all the cute dresses hitting the stores. This one came home with me last weekend, and this little number will join it as soon as it goes on sale. (Ann Taylor and LOFT have so many online sales that I refuse to pay full-price for anything there.) Anyway, enough about dresses: here’s some springy stuff we’ve been up to lately:

We’ve finally started Operation: Deck Beautification, thanks to these deck rail planters from Lowe’s. They’re only $12 each, and having a bit of color out there makes SUCH a difference:

Deck Flowers

On Friday night, we celebrated the arrival of spring at Scott River Ranch’s May Day Festival:

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Sadly, I did not drink enough beer to show off my sweet maypole dance moves.

They served a fantastic dinner of their grass-fed beef, a just-picked-from-the-ground salad, and warm potato salad. This ranch is so cool – their cattle live in green, wide-open pastures, they don’t brand or rope their animals, and they make the slaughter experience as decent as possible (read more here, if you want.) I may have had a few beers and then decided to purchase a $40 tri tip.

Note to city dwellers: this is REAL farm-to-table dining.

Enjoying a tasty steak dinner in a barn overlooking a pasture full of cattle. #sorrynotsorry

On Saturday, we headed over to a cool little brewery called the Drunken Goat for a tasting event. This might be my favorite local event ever: You pay $12 for a pint glass, and then they give you all the beer you want. So it wasn’t so much as a “tasting” as it was a mid-day bacchanal that left me with the world’s worst hangover. But still, it was worth it because $12 ALL YOU CAN DRINK BEER.

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I very much resembled that goat by night’s end.

After the beer tasting, we went to our friends Rob and Jenn’s house to watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Rob didn’t make us his famous grilled cheeses, but I’m going to forgive him because it was his birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROB! Now make me a grilled cheese.

I leave this afternoon for a work trip in Reno, and then the day after I get back I’m heading down to Redding to watch my brother compete in his first bodybuilding competition. My main goal from that event (besides cheering for my bro, obviously) is to get a picture of my grandma posing with some mostly-naked juiceheads. WISH ME LUCK.

I Might Be a Crazy Cat Lady

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know we have been trying to find a harness that fits Whiskers, our portly cat, for quite some time. I posted this picture last night, and my sister commented that it looks like we’re a heartbeat away from pushing him around in a stroller. This is when I realized that all my followers probably think I’m a mega creep.

Whiskers Harness

So I just wanted to clear things up: We don’t roam around with our cat on a leash, and I have never put clothes on him (although I’d probably force him to wear this if I thought I could get it on him without losing half my blood supply in the process).

No, the harness business all started because of Whiskers’ assholery every time we hang out on our back deck. If we’re out there, he paces up and down along the sliding glass door, making loud, obnoxious meowing noises that I can only assume are nasty words in cat-language. If you have to go inside to grab something, you have to execute a three-step maneuver that involves slipping your body between a three-inch crack in the door while simultaneously kicking your leading foot out blindly to dissuade him from darting outside, and then slamming the door shut as fast as you can behind you. After a few beers, this task turns into a Mission Impossible scenario, and we start questioning if it might be easier to just crawl in through the air ducts and rappel down into the living room.

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You know you wanted a visual.

Dave’s solution to this problem was to create a little cat run along the side of the fence. That way he can be outside with us, but he can’t jump the fence. (Our property butts up to a big field full of all kinds of animals who would love to eat our cat for dinner.)  Only finding a harness to fit his considerable girth has proved to be quite the fool’s errand. We could tell that none of the cat harnesses at Walmart would be big enough, so we figured we’d be safe with small dog size. When that was too small, we moved up to medium dog. Which looked like this:

Fat cat in a little co-ooat

Chris Farley, the cat.

Essentially, our cat is the size of a Rottweiler. Anyway, we finally found one that seems to be working. He hung out with us for about a half hour last night after dinner, eating grass and sniffing rocks and talking to birds. Apparently all that excitement tuckered him out, since he spent the rest of the evening passed out on our laps. My friend Corinna posted this on my Facebook, and I realized that I probably am a little bit of a crazy cat lady because I would totally buy it:

Cat beltSo yeah, maybe I actually *am* a little bit of a crazy cat lady. But at least this hasn’t happened yet:

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January Playlist

When I was in college, I developed an addiction to creating monthly playlists. I’d scour shady file sharing sites for cool songs and then burn them to CDs for my roommates, because that’s what we did back in 2006 when dinosaurs roamed the earth and One Direction hadn’t been foisted upon our eardrums and America’s Next Top Model was the best thing on television.

It was the best of times. Also, I’m old.

Anyway, I recently became the last person in the world to start using Spotify, and it’s rekindled my obsession with creating monthly playlists. I thought it would be fun to start posting them here, since it would be difficult to send each of you a CD every month. Although I totally want to.

Here’s this month’s playlist (hover your mouse to the right of the tracks to scroll – there’s 15 songs):

There’s kind of a lot of moody stuff on there, but that’s what happens it’s the middle of the winter and you work in a remote schoolhouse that’s encased in freezing fog all day, every day. (It’s safe to say that I’m ready for spring.) What are you listening to this month?

10 Valentine Cards That Don’t Suck

You guys, I had a breakthrough this weekend: I’ve been in the wrong business all my life.

Let me back up a bit. The scene: Dave and I were at Rite-Aid 10 minutes before a birthday party, trying to find a card that didn’t play Brick House upon opening or feature animals making poop jokes. (“Your gift is in the litter box HAR HAR!”) We finally pick the least stupid card of the bunch, get to the register, and it rings up for $7.99.

Things I’m OK paying $8 for:

– My monthly Netflix subscription
– A bottle of nail polish that will last me six months or more
– 8 songs on iTunes that will live on my iPod forever
– A pound of coffee to get me through a month of early mornings

Things I’m not OK paying $8 for:

– A greeting card that reads like the author suffered a serious head injury minutes before penning it, which will be read once and then thrown directly into the trash

Has anyone seen my shit? Because I lost it right there in the Rite Aid lobby. Clearly I missed my calling to become a greeting card author. With more than three functioning brain cells, I figure I have a leg up on the competition.

Anyway. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and if you buy your loved one a card from the drugstore there is a very good chance he or she will lose all respect for you and leave you immediately. I don’t want this to happen to you, so here are 10 non-stupid options that you can order online and present to your lover with pride this February 14: