My Thanksgiving Documentary

Thanksgiving morning wears on as I watch people fret over whether the oil is not enough in the turkey fryer. While I want to appear helpful, I move back from the flaming propane tank under boiling oil. Determined to make the most of the day, I go inside to the bag of Honey BBQ Cheetos I plan to taste test in honor of The Little Johnny Club (@debihen, @daralynneiloo, and @haircuter).

Look everyone! Honey BBQ Cheetos.

Wow. These are terrible.

My mother-in-law, sees the Honey BBQ Cheetos, and, much to my amusment and dismay, treats them like an actual food item. She gets a bowl out for them, because no civilized snack can just sit out on the table in its own bag.

It’s all in the presentation.

It may have in fact been the bag throwing them off. Once she put them in a fancy bowl, people were raving over them. Even @lahikmajoe was convinced, “I don’t even particularly like Cheetos, but that presentation is making me hungry.”

This is about the time the box Salt and Vinegar Crickets arrives. I know you are thinking that if there are crickets available as snack food, that they MUST be the same crickets I took pictures of and posted a while back on Twitter. However, these are totally DIFFERENT crickets. My sister-in-law’s boyfriend’s brother brought them because he was “interested in trying new foods.”

If I had brought crickets to Thanksgiving, I’m pretty sure it would be considered an act of war. I actually brought a stryofoam cup once and tried to hold onto it for the day, which wasn’t received very well. Crickets would have been way over the top. But somehow, when someone else brings bugs, it is whole different game altogether. Maybe there is some parallel universe out there where my snack crickets are better received.

At any rate, the crickets were treated with the same pomp and circumstance as Cheetos and placed in a dish of cut crystal. It was about this time that @LittleGirlGrey sends me a beautiful picture of her gourmet bruschetta creation, complete with Blackberry Lemonade Fizzy.

Cranberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Blackberry Lemonade Fizzy

So, of course, I send her a picture in return.

Salted Crickets in Cut Crystal… WINNING!

@LittleGirlGrey, like most of my Twitter friends, was quick to show her support,  “Don’t forget to add a caramel dipping sauce! It will make that salty cricket taste GOLD!”

I was a little concerned when I couldn’t find a pumpkin or gourd with my name on it at the main table. Turned out, I finally made it to that little table off to the side where they put all the odd relatives and children.

Some people call it the kid’s table. I call it the table for the drunk and disenchanted.

By brother actually made it to the big table. He is little more civilized than me, I suppose. I exacted my revenge by giving him all the crickets left over from snack time, a surprisingly large percentage.

My brother has a surprise at his place setting.

Dinner commences and the afternoon wears on. For the entire day, I have really just wanted to take a break from everything and write my sappy Thanksgiving blogpost. @lucysfootball got to write one. I know, because I read it while I was hiding in the bathroom (Gooble Gobble Goo and Gobble Gobble Gickel; I Wish Turkey Only Cost a Nickel).

After dinner, when it seems like everyone is distracted watching the Cowboy game, I quietly take out the laptop and begin to type. I have not yet even typed one sentence when I notice someone reading over my shoulder, uncomfortably close to my face. I pull back with what I hope is a look of quizzical annoyance. “Watcha doin?” they ask.

I shut the laptop. Nothing. Now I am doing nothing.

The evening wears on. The room begins to darken. Cheers rise and fall in the background as someone wins the football game. Then people begin to leave. “Drive safe. See you soon,” we tell them, with hugs all around.

The night wears on. Someone builds a fire outside. My father in law grabs his guitar and heads out, yelling, “Fireside sing-along everybody!” Oh shit, I glance down and realize my phone battery is at twenty-percent. I should have been more careful taking all those Cheeto pictures then not charging it. Hoping for a Thanksgiving battery-life miracle, I head out toward the singing and general merriment. Neither of which I am good at.

The phone held in for a little while. Before I ran out of battery, I was able to accuse @AIRIGOAGAIN of being a van and somehow inspire @jbrown3079 and @lucysfootball to convince me to care about either dogs or Sarah McLacklan.

When the fire finally dies down, my sister-in-law and I head indoors, get our laptops and retreat to the dining room. Neither of us bothers to turn on a light and the darkness works its magic. Despite the eerie white glow of our computer screens, we become invisible as everyone moves past us for more pie, or to wipe the stickiness of the fireside smores from their fingers. I finally get to type.

When I get started on something, I am pretty good at tuning things out. So, once this blog thing gets rolling, I am determined to finish despite interruption. At some point, my sister-in-law starts singing show tunes, or a song from the Little Mermaid 2.  She was telling me about it, but I was too busy typing like mad to pay close attention.

Then, my mother-in-law comes in and for some reason beyond my comprehension, starts telling me about breakfast. I give her the same agreeable nod I gave to my sister-in-law in response to the show tunes. Then she says, “I hate to do this,” and literally starts pulling the tablecloth out from under my laptop. The tablecloth apparently needed to be washed… at midnight. I lift the laptop, and pause typing, never taking my eyes from the screen. Finishing my sappy Thanksgiving blog is only thing I really wanted to do all day and I will not be deterred, not by show tunes, and not by table clothes. And no…. I don’t want pie.

So, I type through the whir of dessert. Forks clink amidst the banter of a late night talk show host. Someone makes coffee, most likely decaf. Then, suddenly, the most amazing thing happens. Silence. Amazingly, everyone finally went to bed.

Alone in the darkness, I add a last few words to my Thanksgiving blog. Finished. With the feeling of gratitude I sometimes get when my life almost makes sense, I hit the magic button… ‘Publish.’ Like a message in a bottle, my sappy holiday post drifts out into the world, waiting to be found.

A sense of relief washes over me as Thanksgiving slides away, leaving only vast amounts of refrigerated turkey in its wake. The new day finds me on my own at a table once teeming with activity. Enjoying the small achievement of holiday-accomplished, I check to see who is awake with me on Twitter. Then, a timely  message appears onscreen from @heinakroon:

“Well, I’m glad you survived. On for Christmas!”

Sigh. Bring it, holidays. Bring it.

Side Note: I am totally aware that from an alternate perspective, there is a woman out there perplexed that her lovely formal dinner was waylaid by crickets and Cheetos. But, the world belongs to people who write shit down. Remember that. Or, you can just link here and refer back to it.

How to Improve your Karma

If you have not read Good at Heart, @lahikmajoe’s post on his new non-tea blog about obnoxious Americans, I suggest you do so immediately. I should note that @lahikmajoe insists that the post was NOT about obnoxious Americans, but a quest into the human soul. His goal of writing the post was to ask the question of how people combine their rude behavior with the self-created story of their own inherent decency. However, all I heard was the part about obnoxious Americans ruining a Wilco concert in Munich.

I have a story of my own. It is about obnoxious tea drinkers. You see, I was at a venue very similar to a Wilco concert. There were, of course, a few minor differences. Instead of a concert, it was a tour of the Natural Bridge Caverns. Instead of a band, there was a college kid with a microphone. I am trying to learn about cave formations and these tea people were running around all hopped up on anti-oxidants and ruining the whole experience for me. Among them was a bearded fellow with an orange tea flask. He was clearly their leader, urging them on to take over the caverns in the name of Oolong monkeys.

Okay fine. That didn’t happen. Actually, there was a large group of Asian people who kept holding up our progress through the cavern by constantly stopping to take pictures, of EVERYTHING. They were also talking during the entire tour so that I could barely hear the college kid telling us the difference between stalactites and stalagmites. Now I will never be a geologist. Is discussing that picture you just took of a rock really more important than my future geology career? Is it ??

Some of you saw this one coming.

Rude behavior is like truck balls, really. These guys don’t think twice about how I would rather not be stuck in traffic looking at the ball sacs they have carefully centered at the rear of their pick-ups. It is clearly all about them and their desire to prove they have huge balls. Or to prove that their truck has huge balls. Really, in proportion to the truck, these balls are rather on the small side. Maybe one day, when I meet one of these truck ball people, I will point this out to them. I am sure they will appreciate a little constructive criticism.

Looking at this from another angle, there are times when I am probably rude and don’t realize it. Or possibly that I am rude and don’t care. Let’s take shopping, for instance. Since I work during the week, I use the weekend to acquire supplies for my family.  In the hunter-gatherer days, I would have been out picking berries and hauling water around in some sort of animal bladder, but in this timeframe, it means a trip to Wal-Mart.

I have the layout of every Wal-Mart in this vicinity memorized. I carefully order my shopping list and divide it into sections (produce, canned goods, dairy) so I can go through the store as quickly as possible. I know the exact brands of toilet paper, cereal, yogurt, and laundry detergent we require. I can locate and grab these items from the shelves in a matter of seconds. I am a shopping machine.

The only problem with this scenario is that everyone in The Wal-Mart insists on standing directly in my way. There is no need to stand right there in front of the toilet paper like you are perplexed by it. There are no cryptic messages incorporated in that cartoon bear, just put it in your cart, or not, and GET MOVING. And when I say move, let’s all be moving at a rapid clip, and not creeping along in the middle of the aisle. Also, I don’t care if you are eighty, get that damn motorized cart you are sitting in out of my way. As you can see, I am probably not very well-liked in the cereal aisle.

So, back to the obnoxious Americans, Lahikmajoe seems to think that despite their rude behavior, these people deem themselves to be good, playing the role of hero in their own story. I beg to differ. You see, @whoremongers loaned me this book called Assholes Finish First. The ‘author’ of this book, Tucker Max, plows through life with no regard for other people. He cruelly makes fun of everyone he doesn’t deem worthy enough to have sex with or get drunk with. He does, however, end up hung over in jail cleaning his own vomit from the floor.  No matter how many people I am rude to at Wal-Mart, I have never found myself in this situation.

In Lahikmajoe’s blog post, the guy acting like a jerk suddenly realizes he is about to miss his train and has to beg some people to let him have their cab. @jbrown3079 attributes this to Karma: “You get what you give sometimes.” Personally, I am glad @jbrown3079 brings the concept of Karma into the discussion. Lucky for me, I can now be as rude to people in Wal-Mart as I want. Thanks to my friend @heinakroon, I have an inside track on this Karma thing. In fact, I get to be reincarnated as anything I choose. I am choosing octopus, by the way. Life is shorter and you don’t have to brush your teeth. Imagine a life without plaque! My next life is going to be awesome. In the meantime, back to this one.

While you are all waiting to be reincarnated as octopi, allow me to help you a bit with your Karma by way of t-shirts.

This shirt is for those of you who are unintentionally obnoxious but genuinely good at heart.

 

 

@jbrown3079 has a good point. Where are my manners?

 

This shirt is for those of you plowing through life with no regard for others. By wearing the shirt, you will alert people to move out of your vicinity, thus reducing the total number of people you treat badly, therefore improving your karma. I guarantee this will increase your Karma by at least 35%. Of course, there is no way of proving my claim, so you will just have to trust me. Also, I will give you extra Karma if you will go take those damn balls off your truck. Thanks.

Thanks

It is the end of the day, Thanksgiving, and I finally feel inspired. I was supposed to be inspired yesterday, but a hell day of traveling in Thanksgiving traffic sapped every ounce of inspiration right out of me. I wanted to feel inspired earlier today, but the house was too busy, and everyone kept asking me what I was doing on the laptop. Actually, most people just leaned over my shoulder uncomfortably close to my face and said, “Watcha doin’??” in a cute high-pitched voice. Nothing drains inspiration like having to explain yourself.

I have wanted for a while to tell you all the story of how you came to be. Or, maybe it is a story about how I came to be. Maybe it is the story of how I have had too much wine.  I have probably been drinking more than my allotted amount. To my credit, I wanted to go to bed hours ago but circumstances would not permit. Now things have settled down, everyone is watching football, and I am typing away invisibly in a very dark dining room. My sister-in-law has now joined me. Our laptops feebly light the space in eerie white. I pour a new glass of wine, contemplating the percentage chance of tomorrow’s headache. But… I have packed ibuprofen. Tomorrow be damned! Here we go….

Once upon a time, my friend Jenny sent me an email asking if she could post some of my Facebook status updates to her blog, The Bloggess. I was actually thinking I needed something interesting to happen that day. I love my job, but it can feel isolated at times. I was thinking it would be nice to come in one day to a witty comment, or hear a funny, sarcastic remark once in a while. You see (really… I don’t expect ANYONE to understand this) I am in a very unusual situation. I work for, and with, people who are genuinely nice. These people are not prone to sarcasm or wittiness, to no fault of their own. Please note that I am in no way complaining about my generous and kind employers, I am simply noting that something crucial to me was missing from my life. Disgruntled addled people? Definitely not, but sometimes too much sweet leaves you craving for something salty. That is all I’m saying.

Just when I was sitting at my desk, contemplating my unlikely dilemma, I got Jenny’s email. She said that she was writing a book and needed something to fill in her blog. She told me she would like to use my Facebook postings and also that I “wouldn’t have to do anything.” While I did have some serious doubts about people’s willingness to read a bunch of my status messages on a blog, I figured that any disenchanted readers would complain to her and not to me. Also, she did say that I wouldn’t have to do anything. In retrospect, my favorite part of this whole scenario was the not having to do anything. I will do favors for everyone all day long that require no effort on my part. So, I responded back with a long rambling email, the gist of which was, “Knock yourself out.”

A few weeks later, Jenny sent me a link. The outpouring of her fans for the inanity of my Facebooks posts was astounding. And addictive. I should admit here that I have always read Jenny’s blog, usually leaving pissed off that I could never be that funny. In fact, one of the Facebook statuses she incorporated in her blog was directly related to how inept I felt after reading her blog. Irony rarely works for me so well.

So, with a fresh batch of inspiration, and a few very kind links and mentions from The Bloggess, I started a Self-Help T-Shirt Blog, and dusted off the Twitter account I’d been ignoring. This is also about the time I met my in-person friend, Michiel. I remember distinctly, for whatever reason, telling her, “My friend Jenny has this blog….” At this point, Michiel interjects with, “You mean, THE BLOGGESS??” It was incredible. Astounding, really. We bonded on the spot. Later, she took me shopping for metal chickens.

Today I was reading @lucysfootball’s “squishy” Thanksgiving blog post. What touched me most was a description of her unexpected connection with the Geek Girl’s Book Club  and how it was “Kind of the best thing that ever happened.” I can relate to best things happening this year. Through Jenny, I got an unexpected instant bond with a great in-person friend. Not only that, I have made bonds with people on different continents, in various time-zones, and in an assortment of life situations. We laugh together, make inappropriate jokes, wear terribly inappropriate t-shirts, and I deeply appreciate all of you. You are all the sprinkles on my cupcake and “kind of the best thing that ever happened.“

I am loath to say names at this point, out of fear I will leave someone out. Just know that you provide my commentary for life. You help me through difficult situations, and joke with me during otherwise uneventful moments. We read each other’s blogs, sometimes making a tangled mess of blog/Twitter connections I’m sure is almost impossible but for the most devoted to follow. Whether you connected to me directly through Jenny or not, she sent you on my path and, essentially, brought you all to me. There are a few key moments in life when you don’t know the value of the gift you are receiving. This was definitely the case that day I got that email.

Today, on Thanksgiving, I want you to know how grateful I am for all of you, and how much I count on you daily for humor and insight. Also know, that if The Bloggess ever knocks on my door and asks to have you guys back, I am NOT giving you up. I am scattering you around the house and acting like I have no idea what she is talking about. You are mine now. MINE!!! No backsies, Jenny!

So, that is my squishy Thanksgiving post. I can just get it in under the wire.

How NOT to Make T-Shirts on Zazzle

Does everybody remember when @Handflapper won the How to be funny on Twitter contest hands down? Well, the prize for that contest was a virtual t-shirt, which @Handflapper immediately stated she was going to WEAR. I was a little concerned about how someone would wear an imaginary t-shirt, but I live pretty far away from @Handflapper, so I figured the situation was indisputably out of my hands. Then, to my complete surprise and delight, @Handflapper created an actual t-shirt, with “Fucking Bells” in bold print, and wore it… in public! Here is my proof:

FUCKING BELLS, motherfuckers. It’s the new “Happy Holidays.”

So when @0Brenna0 said, “You really need to open a Zazzle store to sell your T-shirts for real,” I had to take pause. People have told me several times in the past that the shirts should really exist. I usually tell these people that no one is going to shop for, purchase, and then wear a shirt with absurdities written all over it in black letters. Clearly, I was wrong.

So, with @0Brenna0′s support, I go over to Zazzle to make a t-shirt. The Zazzle homepage immediately presents me with some compelling reasons to join their site. The first of which is that they are free. Good start, Zazzle. They are also the “ideal way to showcase my artistic presence.” Awesome! Zazzle thinks I have “artistic presence.” This is almost as good as how I got that WordPress site! I click the “Sign Up” button sitting under bold letters which read, “Start making money today!” I look at my computer wondering where the money will start pouring out. The CD-ROM drive seems the most logical place.

Getting started at this stuff is never as simple as they make it out to be. The first thing they want me to do before pouring money into my CD-ROM drive is to pick out a store name. I have learned from starting Twitter and making a blog, that thinking of a name is the most important thing. Name selection may be the most important thing, but right now it is the main obstacle in getting this t-shirt made before for my attention span fades.

I know this name has to be memorable, descriptive, and easy to type. “Fucking Bells” comes readily to mind. But surprisingly, it is unavailable. Could it be taken? What person on this planet would wear an entire “Fucking Bell” clothing line? Oh yeah, we have already established that.

I tell @0Brenna0 that my first name choice is unavailable. She is equally dismayed: “No way. Maybe it’s not available in a, ‘You can’t use swear words in your store name, you idiot’ kind of way.” Now THIS makes total sense. That is why if you don’t have someone like @0Brenna0 in your life, you need to go to Twitter and follow her immediately. If you are not already on Twitter, you need to go to Twitter, start an account, pick a meaningful username that is easy to remember and doesn’t take up a lot of characters… forget it. Let’s go on.

In the meantime, @ocean1blue has suggested the alternate names, “Fucking Store” and “Buy Something, Dammit.” Since @0Brenna0 found the flaw in using curse words as store titles, these suggestions are useless. And besides, I am pretty sure “Buy Something Dammit” would be gone all the same. That name is a gem!

I finally decide on “Helping Shirts.” I am after all, providing a valuable service. I try to get “Helping Shits” as well, in case someone makes a typo, but it proves to be unavailable. Either @0Brenna0 is right about the curse word theory, or someone has cherry picked all the really good store names.

Now that I have a valid store name, I am finally in Zazzle. It is amazing what they have in there that you can print curse words on. There are so many items waiting to be ruined by me writing words on them. They have binders! Think of all the ways you could inappropriately customize a binder! The possibilities are endless.

Realizing I am getting sidetracked, I decide to get right to the job at hand, making the t-shirt. I find the image size requirements, and type “Fucking Bells” in bold black font. –Wow, Zazzle was right, I DO have artistic presence!– Now I am ready to put this thing on a t-shirt. I select “T-shirt” and the entire light colored product line. Three seconds later, much to my horror, I am confronted with THIS:

I had NO IDEA I was designing “Fucking Bells” children’s wear!  Despite the fact that I am shocked at my new line of children’s clothing, I decide Twitter has to see this. I take a screenshot and post it, along with a statement about my angst in a designing a “Fucking Bells” onsie for babies.

@0Brenna0 takes this all in stride. Despite the baby smiling up at us while wearing the word ‘fuck’ in bold print, @0Brenna0 is very supportive, telling me that the “looks on the models faces paired with those shirts are just perfect. The young girl looks sheepish, the boy pissed off. Perfect!” She does show some concern about the onsie, admitting, “I’m pretty sure a parent dressing their kid in that might be investigated.”

In the meantime, I am wondering why they are showing the baby there in the first place. How do you know you won’t get an entire baby along with the onsie? Just when I am convinced Zazzle is cloning children, @Handflapper gets wind of my project, posting: “I am so excited about this Zazzle site my stomach hurts and I might have diarrhea.”**

Now I am appalled that not only is Zazzle cloning children, but I am promoting purchase of said children. To make matters worse, not only am I asking that people go to Zazzle buy cloned babies, but cloned babies with obscentites on their onsies. I immediately tell @Handflapper to cease and desist her support of my product line, “NO! Don’t promote this! I think they are making babies along with the shirts! There is no other explanation.”

@Handflapper realizes the gravity of the situation immediately and begins yelling, “Abort! Abort!” Not the babies, of course, but the Zazzle site. The problem is that I live in Texas, and you can’t go around yelling abort anywhere near the topic of babies. Everyone is hugely against aborting anything here, and they also all have guns. They will save the babies, but they will take you out no problem, so watch yourself. Unless, of course, you are a baby, then you are in the clear. I am not sure how long it is after you are born when it is okay to shoot you. There is probably some guideline that comes with the gun.

So that is how I almost died making cloned babies on Zazzle. Here is my proof:

Who needs 24 hours to make a t-shirt? They are going to send you the ENTIRE baby, people. Mark my words.

If you want to go to my Zazzle Store, knock yourself out: My Zazzle Store – Helping Shirts. Just be aware that there are babies in there wearing some questionable onsies. Sure, Zazzle might only send you the outfit and not an entire cloned baby, but putting this clothing on a child could definitely land you on a Child Protective Services watch list.

If you feel like shopping at Zazzle without being offended, @0Brenna0 has a Zazzle Store where babies are not wearing obscene onsies. You will like it much better over there.

** Please do not worry about developing intestinal issues while visiting Zazzle. It is possible these are symptoms of eating bad pasta and not Zazzle store side effects.

Side Note:  At first I couldn’t see the shirts on Zazzle, and I was very distraught about this. Also distressing was the fact there no money seemed to be falling out of the CD-ROM drive. I looked under the desk and everything. There is, however, an explanation. Apparently the fact that Zazzle declared my holiday line of t-shirts to be rated R means that you can only see them if you start an account and click the ‘Porn’ setting.

To remedy the appearance of an empty store, I will be getting a line of cute kitten t-shirts online immediately. This action will simultaneously cause money to commence falling out of CD-ROM drive. Problem solved.

Side Note: Does anyone have a picture of kittens I can borrow? Preferably cute.

How not to be an asshat on Twitter – Lucy’s Football


The next t-shirt prize goes to Lucy’s Football for this invaluable Twitter Guideline: Rockin’ Robin went Tweet, Tweet, Tweet? Birds Have Internet or as I like to call it, How not to be an asshat on Twitter.

If you break these rules, @lucysfootball will personally hit you with a hammer. I actually went through the list doing each thing deliberately. You can imagine my distress when I got through the entire list and THEN found out about the hammer.  I am going to do you a favor and summarize all of the rules for you. You might consider going over and reading them for yourself though. @heinakroon has told me that sometimes I lack attention to detail.

  1. No spamming. I thought I would be really good at not spamming. However, I just found out from WordPress that if I keep putting people in my blogs all the time and then asking them to go look, that it basically amounts to spamming. I don’t think WordPress understands that this is the only way I can get @lahikmajoe to read my blog. He always seems to be out on trains with the madmen.
  2. You have a limit of 7 RT’s, so watch your step. Unless, of course, @lucysfootball finds them entertaining. Then you have a pass. I suggest you check with her immediately upon RT so you know how many you still have.
  3. Don’t get drunk on Twitter. Or don’t get drunk and erase your tweets. Or don’t say you are getting drunk if you aren’t. I am a little hazy on this one as I was drinking.
  4. Ashton Kutcher is going to quit the Internet and give away eleven billion followers. I don’t know about you guys, but I want IN on this!
  5. Don’t say stupid things like, “I am listening to a song.” You should say interesting things, like what you are eating
  6. Don’t sell things on Twitter unless you have 64-pack of crayons you can trade for colanders. Or unless you and @edrafalko have started a banjo Etsy site with @SteveMartinToGo.
  7. Don’t make typos. For example, @heinakroon once said “Nuclear Pants” instead of “Nuclear Plants” and now he is winning at typos on Klout. So, everyone go give @heinakroon +K in typos. Do it now, I can wait.
  8. Don’t constantly tweet famous people as if they are your friends. However, I should add that I am exempt from this rule. @lucysfootball said that @SteveMartinToGo is going to follow me back any day now. Wait until I tell him he is in my blog! I’ll bet you can all hardly wait to be reading the same blog that Steve Martin is reading!
  9. Stop trying to get celebrity retweets. Again, @lucysfootball says this one does not apply to me. Especially since Steve Martin and I may or may not have that Etsy Banjo project down the line.
  10. Trolling people is not funny. That may be true, but making other people troll for you is freaking HILARIOUS! Right @blogginglily?

Now that I am at the end of the list again, I notice that no one is HITTING with the hammers, because the hammers are THROWN. And also, I notice that @lucysfootball gave me hammers to throw as well. This is awesome! Why am I hanging around here when I have hammers to throw?!?

Oh, before I gather up all my hammers and get out of here, @lucysfootball… here is your shirt. Wear it with pride.

You will save so much time by wearing this in not having to explain to people to not be asshats.

Actually, I had to give you more than one shirt. Three if you count “They’re YOUR friends, Jesus.” I am still totally stealing that. I don’t care what Neil Simon says.

I have hammers too, you know. Admittedly, I am a little apprehensive in throwing them.

If you don’t have to rush off anywhere, check out the Lucy’s Football (and friends) new web project:
The Loser’s Table: Sarcasm is an Art Form. Where she redefines crazy. Literally… I saw Webster taking notes.

How can they STILL be out of monkeys?

The next few posts will be about things I learned on the InterBlogs, and people who deserve their own t-shirts. 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.

Special Medical Alert: Surviving Hemorrhages

I went to the eye doctor last weekend. The doctor dilated my eyes, which I always find a little ironic because the dilation makes it almost impossible to see with your eyes. Seeing with my eyes is specifically the reason I go to the eye doctor. Therefore, I am actually paying a person to accomplish the opposite of my initial goal for seeing them. There are a lot of messed up things in the world I would like to fix, and I believe I would start somewhere around there.

Anyway, I’m blind and my dilated eyes look like I am in a Disney movie. The eye doctor, not satifisfied with this, is making me look to the right and the left while shining bright lights at me. I am trying to cooperate, even though I am beginning to suspect foul play, but I keep getting mixed up. To make matters worse, he keeps telling me your OTHER right and your OTHER left, like I am not doing it right just because I am deliberately looking the opposite way of what he says. I am getting pissed off because I just wanted more contact lenses and I didn’t know this appointment was supposed to be some sort of review on my knowledge of directions. He is already making me look at all these letters and numbers. I suppose next, he will be telling to look East and West.  Then, yelling at me, “NO! Your OTHER East.!”

Finally, he tells me that my retinas look good and that my eyes are NOT hemorrhaging internally. I had to double check on that last one, because when someone says the word hemorrhaging, I want to be clear. So I repeat to him, “You said I am NOT hemorrhaging from my eyes, right?”

That was fine and good. It is always good to find out you are NOT hemorrhaging. But, now I am overly worried about about hemorrhaging. What if I am hemorrhaging at this very moment? I can’t go back there every day to make sure my eyes are not hemorrhaging.  That would be odd.

Of course, I can’t be the only person in this situation. You too might be worried about your eyes suddenly hemorrhaging…. or anything else suddenly hemorrhaging, actually. I don’t know how many things there are on the human body just waiting to bust out into hemorrhaging, but there must be several.

While I am not a medical professional, I may have the solution.

Avoiding unnecessary hemorrhaging is simple and easy, with t-shirts from my blog.

This handy t-shirt will automatically cause the people around you to watch for hemorrhaging. If they observe any hemorrhaging, they are instructed to notify you so you do not die.

I should attach my blog to some news alert system. It is a public service, my blogging. The people promoting National Good Deed Day advised that when you do something altruistic, that it makes you feel better as a person. I must say they are right. Saving all of your lives right now has really made my day. You are so welcome!

P.S. Do I have to admit I only did it so you will be around to adore me? I don’t, do I? If you guys leave me, honestly… who ELSE is going to read this stuff??? Please don’t hemorrhage.

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.

It started out when a friend of mine told me to read this 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, all 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 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: Use of this shirt could disrupt the natural flow of conversation, causing people to revert 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.

How to be funny on Twitter

It has come to my attention that some of you don’t know how to be funny on Twitter.

For example,  @I_am_Just_Marc, writing me on Twitter to tell me that you left your phone at home is not funny. Even though I do know you in person, and it was a little funny that you left your phone and hence had to resort to communication through social media. I am sorry that I have to tell you this in my blog, but I left my phone in the other room.

Another example, is @AlexBlog93, who unfortunately, chose the wrong people to notify about his new political blog.  His writing was clean and he had some good points, but the whole thing was very serious, and very political, and just not very funny. However, we did make fun of him for spamming us. Also, Lahikmajoe Drinks Tea got some good tea blog material out of it (tea for the long slog of a campaign), but that guy can write a tea blog about ANYTHING.

Anyway, back to my point. It isn’t that hard to be funny on Twitter.  It helps if you pick a topic and go on and on about it. People really love this because it shows you are dedicated. For today’s topic, I will select the Salvation Army bell ringers.

For those of you who may not know, the Salvation Army is a charity. Every holiday season they send people out with red buckets and bells to stand in front of EVERY SINGLE store in the United States.  The idea is that the ringing bell will attract you to the bucket and convince you to place your spare change inside.

It isn’t even mid-November yet, and the bell people are ALREADY out there. Some of the bell ringers seem incredibly cranky, while others are good tempered. Some will even sing and dance to entertain the passers-by. There is no guarantee what type of person will be ringing the bell. The only guarantee is that the person will be there, and the bell will be annoyingly loud.

I will now give you some pointers for ranting about the bell ringers so you can begin being funny on Twitter immediately.

Technique 1. Overdramatize the situation. 

While bell noise may not literally be killing you, it is most likely diminishing the quality of your life in a crucial way.

The Salvation Army people are already out in force with the ringing bells and it is not even Thanksgiving yet. The plague of the holidays is upon us, making the air heavy with the sound of bells and pervasive cheer.

Technique 2. Use curse words.

Damn bell ringers.

Note that you don’t really have to make a point when you place a curse word appropriately.

Fucking bells.

See, the right word will do all the work for you.

Technique 3. Bring people in to support you.

I’ll bet @whoremongers wouldn’t put up with these stupid bell ringers.

Do people in Germany go around ringing bells, @lahikmajoe? I’ll bet they don’t.

Technique 4.  Threaten violence.

I couldn’t get past the Salvation Army bell ringer to get into Wal-Mart, so I stole the bell and the bucket and stomped on them and cursed. Small children were also crying which I pushed aside with indifference.

Note: I really just put in a quarter and the guy said ‘thanks,’ but this is NOT the type of thing that entertains people on Twitter. You should always go with the stomping.

Technique 5. Try Sarcasm.

It fills with me with Christmas joy to go CostCo and find the Salvation Army guys out there with the bells ringing.  Good thing I get my toilet paper in bulk.

Now that I am done, this list seems incomplete.  The person who comes up with the best, or the most, suggestions on how to be funny on the topic of Salvation Army and bells, will win the imaginary t-shirt below:

This shirt diminishes unsolicited holiday cheer and will automatically exempt you from most volunteer committees.

No More T-Shirts!

I know some of you are upset about no longer having the self-help t-shirts, but I have decided with a new blog, I need a new direction. Something completely different than imaginary t-shirts. The imaginary t-shirt thing was an ill-thought-out whim that got completely out of hand. So, after careful consideration, I present you with…

So, what do you think?

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