Friday, December 2, 2011

When Travelling Lightly Backfires

Every time I fly, there is always one person in the airport security line who doesn’t know what he/she is doing. There’s the, “What do you mean I have to take my shoes off?” girl and the, “Since when do I have to take out my laptop out of the bag” guy and, my personal favorite, the woman who says, “But that moisturizer is $100 a bottle! What do you mean I have to throw it out?!” Usually, I am the one stuck behind this person and get very irritated at these ignorant and unobservant people and end up angry because their delay means I have to choose between my pre-boarding bathroom break or getting coffee. (You can guess which one wins.)
Well, the last time I flew, I was that person.
I usually don’t pack lightly, and when I fly Southwest, I don’t really care. If I don’t have to pay a fee for a bag, who cares if I check it? But, after all the times I’ve travelled with a large suitcase and then had to battle on public transportation, I decided if I can fit it all into my carry-on sized bag, I would do it. Then I thought about all the times I have a panic attack at baggage claim because my bags aren’t the first out, and I realized if I can fit in all in the carry-on, then why the bother checking it?
I went out and bought a few “TSA Approved” size bottles for my shampoo and conditioner and came to terms with the fact I would have to use whatever hairspray my cousin had at her place. I only brought the curling iron instead of the usual hair dryer-flat iron-curling iron combo I typically take with me everywhere. I cut down the amount of shoes from 6 pairs to just 3. I even pulled out all the liquids from my makeup bag and put them into the one quart Ziploc baggie. I thought I was so prepared.
Until I went through security and they had to open my bag because there were not only tweezers in my makeup bag but also scissors.
In all my careful planning, I hadn’t thought to take the stupid fracking tweezers out of my makeup bag. I honestly had forgotten about the little travel scissors that I stuck in my makeup bag a few months ago while furiously cleaning my bathroom before a guest came over and realized how incredibly vain I am with all of my products and tools. I stood there,  not arguing at all with the TSA agents who are all looking at me like I’m crazy. I think most of the crazy looks were not because I had forgotten to take out these “weapons” from my bags, but because I wasn’t arguing. I was well aware that I had done and was owning up to it. I even let them throw out my tweezers and scissors without protest. The poor TSA didn’t know what to do with someone who was being cooperative.
In the end, I got through security and made it to San Francisco.  Not, however, without a few angry looks from the passengers who got stuck in security behind the dumb girl who couldn’t remember that scissors and tweezers in a makeup bag makes you a possible terrorist instead of just a high maintenance woman didn’t think to check her makeup bag for heavy artillery. I did, however, make it in time for my pre-boarding bathroom visit AND coffee.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Charlotte Woes Continue...

I have said before how much I love pomegranates and, being fall, they’re baaccck! Nothing makes me happier than walking through my local farmer’s market and seeing those lovely red fruits at every stall! I bought two and am already ready for more!
What got me even more excited was when, on a walk with my friend Meaghan, I saw that an apartment building on my street had some of these wonderful treats growing over the sidewalk.
I have been told before that it is not considered stealing if the fruit is hanging over the sidewalk, so, naturally, I reached up to pluck one and take it home with me. I was twisting the fruit to make sure it wasn’t rotted or anything and there was huge spider covering the entire backside!
Needless to say there was some screaming and running down the street on my part and lots of laughing and mocking on Meaghan’s part.
I believe it was karma for trying to take the fruit off of someone else’s tree. I think I’ll stick to purchasing mine from the fine farmers who get rid of the spiders for me first.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm Checking in at Winterfell

I know it has been quite some time since I have posted anything, but it isn't my fault. George R. R. Martin is to blame. 
I started reading it about a month ago, after reading a post about the awesomeness of the HBO series, A Game of Thrones. Since I am a bit financially challenged, I decided that reading the book would have to be good enough. When I started reading the description and found out it was a series, I suddenly remembered someone recommending it to me a few years ago, saying how much I would enjoy it. As I am not normally a fan of fantasy or of medieval anything, I wasn’t originally intrigued, hence the years of not bothering with it. If I hadn’t gotten the recommendation, I probably wouldn’t have picked up the books after seeing the first book consists of over 800 pages. But, when someone tells me that something is good or that I’ll like it, I always give it a try.
I wasn’t expecting to get as involved in the story as much as I have. I am torn between loving and hating almost every one of the characters. I’m not sure who I am supposed to like, respect, fear, or hate, which is why I see its brilliance. I have never been a fan of traditional good guy/bad guy roles and therefore when I read something where, even though there are protagonists and antagonists, I am much more drawn to those protagonists with faults and antagonists who are not necessarily just evildoers.
All that being said, I am not incredibly frustrated because I cannot read anything else! I am usually someone who reads 3 or 4 books at a time, partially because I am a slave to my moods but also because I like switching between different genres and getting involved in different stories. With this series, however, I haven’t been able to put it down. It has been so engrossing, that even when I am reading something else, I begin to wonder where Tryion is and what Daenerys is doing. It is very frustrating.
So, in conclusion, if I don’t post for a while longer or if when I do I write about khals and maegis and measters, don’t mind me. I’ve only got 3.5 more books to go.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Little Fatherly Advice

It never ceases to amaze me how much my dad taught me. Or how inappropriate some of these lessons were.

When I was growing up, I hardly ever stood up straight, to the great chagrin of both of my grandmothers.

“You’re a beautiful girl! If you would just stand up straight!” my mom’s mom, BJ, would say.

“If you don’t stand up straight, you’re going to end up with a hunch back!” my dad’s mom, Marybelle, would say.

“If you don’t sit up straight, you are going to end up with hair in your food and syrup in your hair,” Marybelle said over the breakfast table.

“Don’t hunch over your food like that, unless you want me to put it in a bowl on the floor and you can eat like a dog,” BJ would tell me over the dinner table.

“Kimberly, this dress was not made for shlumped shoulders!” Marybelle told me while making my Homecoming dress.

“Kimberly, I swear, I am never taking you shopping again if you don’t straighten up!” BJ told me in a fitting room at Fashion Island.

(I always knew I was in trouble when a family member called me “Kimberly”)

Despite all of this, I wouldn’t listen. As I’ve said before, I really never stood up to my full height unless I was on a basketball court or a softball field. Even to this day, I have trouble remembering to stand up to my full height and at a dinner table I still have to remind myself to plant my butt at the back of the chair and keep my shoulders back.

However, of all the advice everyone gave me about standing up straight, one piece of advice still pops into my head every time I catch myself slouching.

It didn’t come from my grandmothers or from any etiquette book or fashion magazine. I didn’t hear it from my mom or from a movie or television show.

It came from my dad. Here it is:

“Stand up straight and put your shoulders back. It’ll make your boobs look bigger.”

I don’t remember what age exactly he started saying it, but I do remember my grandmothers being appalled and mildly offended by it. He did not mean it as a serious comment or in some creepy, incestuous way. Like me, my dad would make a joke out of anything and it would usually be inappropriate.

Even though he was saying it as a joke, I knew that he meant not to slouch because it made me look like I was not confident and that I was unsure of myself. He might not have always been proud or self-assured, but he made sure I was proud of all that I have to offer the world.

Boobs included.

On a side note, last Halloween, when I wore the Elvira costume, this was the conversation we had as I left the house:

Dad: Make sure to stand up straight and put your shoulders back.

Me: Dad, I don’t think I need my boobs to look any bigger.

Dad: No, because if you don’t your boobs will fall out of that dress.

Sometimes, father does know best.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Karaoke Queen

I have a new found appreciation for something I never thought I would enjoy: karaoke.

Oh yeah, you read that correctly. I thoroughly enjoy karaoke.

Here’s how it started: My friend Meaghan was turning 21. When I asked her what she wanted to do and she said KARAOKE! (Yes, with that amount of enthusiasm.) I organized a party and got everyone together, and while some things prevented me from being there all night, I made it just in time to do a lovely rendition of “Love is Battlefield.” And I realized something: I wasn’t completely hammered and it was still fun!!!!

So, a few weeks later, we went back to the karaoke bar and did some more songs. A few weeks after that, it was the eve of my 25-again birthday and we were at a small dive bar. Not only did I do a little Joan Jett “Do You Want to Touch” (Gwenyth Paltrow on Glee can suck it), but I did “Girls Girls Girls” with Meaghan and realized that I love watching my friends make fools of themselves singing. Or just watching strangers make fools of themselves.

Since then, I have become a regular at karaoke. I don’t know if it is my constant need for attention or my constant need to entertain everyone or if it is just my love of making a fool out of myself and then mocking everyone else that keeps me going, but no matter, I love it!

All that said, I feel that I should post some video evidence of myself doing some karaoke. While it may be embarrassing, if I am truly writing a blog about living versus existing, then I think everyone needs to see proof.

I may regret this later…

Or possibly right now...

Fyi, it takes a great deal of talent to dance around like that and not spill my drink. Can you tell I'm a professional?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sorry, Charlotte, You're Not Welcome Here!

As excited as I am to be living on my own, there is one thing that I am simply not ok with: spiders.

I was taught from a young age that spiders are not to be killed. My dad used to tell us you want spiders around because they catch and eat all the other bugs. So, if you see a spider, don’t kill it! That being said, I don’t particularly like spiders. I am not afraid of them, like I am of birds, but I don’t really appreciate that spiders can crawl up into my nose and burrow into my brain. I also don’t like how they will suddenly drop from the ceiling and chill right at eye level so when I walk into a room and run into it, I am suddenly doing an embarrassing dance to get the thing off me. I won’t lie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets didn’t help a whole lot with my dislike either. As stereotypical and traditional as it is, Dad was always the one to get rid of spiders. I made a deal with him from a young age that if he would take them away, I would not kill them.

Therefore, when I was in my very own apartment where there is no Dad, I had a bit of a panic attack as I watched my first spider crawl out of my air conditioning vent.

It wasn’t a huge spider but it was definitely one capable of eating any other bug in its path. It crossed the entire wall above my bookcases and television set and settled into a corner. As I began drafting a letter to my landlord in my head,(Dear Tony, A big spider has moved in with me. While I appreciate all that spiders do in the way of keeping the bug population down, I do not feel like this new arrangement will work. Since my dad has passed away and can no longer help me get spiders out of the house, I have to concede and give the apartment to the spider. Best, Kimmi) the spider crawled a little closer to me and I had an enlightened moment:

I’ll trap it in a glass then take it outside.

It really was a perfect plan because the spider had moved closer to me and was now flat on the wall. I went to the kitchen and, after much speculation, decided to use a margarita glass. It had the widest mouth but it was shallow so there was very little chance I wouldn’t be able to get the spider out. I grabbed the old Ulta catalog and in just one try got the spider safely trapped in the glass!!!

With one hand under the catalog and one hand holding the stem of the margarita glass, I made it all the way to the door before I realized one thing: how do I open the door? Very carefully I balanced the margarita glass on the catalog and opened the door.

I got two steps from my door and lifted the glass. The spider took off so fast it made me jump and I ended up just throwing the catalog and running back into my apartment and locking the door behind me.

I’m not sure which is funnier: that I tried to save a spider and ended up getting freaked out and throwing it out onto our driveway and then locking it out or the picture of my landlord going to get into his car and seeing my Ulta catalog on the ground and wondering what the hell kind of tenant he has welcomed into his building.

On a side note, I saw another (or maybe the same?) spider in my shower a few days later. This time, I turned the water on and drowned the bastard. I figure since Dad is not around to take the spiders outside, my agreement to not kill them is null. Sorry, Dad.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fire Alarm Fun

For lack of a something better to write about I am piggybacking off of my last post. My cousin Lisa is to thanks for the inspiration, and she may be a little embarrassed that I’m sharing this, but well, that’s the price you pay for doing something embarrassing around me.

When I was in college, I lived across the Bay from Lisa and her husband, Derek (also know as my favorite cousin…but that’s another story). They had my sister and I over for dinner one night and Lisa was preparing a tuna casserole that was SUPER cheesy. (A huge plus in my book because, well, I love me some cheese.) We were drinking and playing pool and just hanging out while the casserole was in the oven.

All of a sudden, we smelled something burning. Naturally, Lisa opened the oven to check on the dish. Turns out, the casserole was a little bit too cheesy and the dish had bubbled over and there was cheese burning on the bottom of the oven. The whole apartment filled with smoke and even after opening all the windows, it was still like Backdraft in there. In a fit of possibly intoxicated genius, Derek opened the front door, clearing the smoke from the apartment into the hallway.

Where the fire alarm for the whole building was located.

Fun fact: when the fire alarm in an apartment building goes off, the fire department comes and the whole building has to evacuate.

Now, I thought this was hysterically funny at the time, but my dear cousin was mortified. So much so that she made me, the loud, outgoing, one, go downstairs and talk to the fire department and face the angry tenants. Why I went down is still beyond me…I blame it on the alcohol.

When I got to the lobby, there were about 15 people who all looked unhappy. I told the firemen where to go and they headed upstairs, along with the building manager. I told everyone the story and instead of laughing at how silly the whole thing was, they got more irritated. They said many things that were not very nice, but since I have always been a professional at dealing with irate people, everyone got over it by the time the firefighters came back down. Everyone was allowed to go back his or her respective home and all was right with the world.

Another fun fact: When a fire alarm in an apartment building goes off, the elevator is shut down. Therefore, when everyone was headed back up, I got many an angry glare from the same people I had just calmed down. If it had been my building I would have said, “Whatever fatties, it’s one less trip to the gym.” But things were going bad enough for my cousin already.

The best part however, was that on my way back up, I was attempting to apologize and one of two clearly single girls said, ”Hey it’s ok. We got the numbers of two of the firefighters.”

Fire alarm matchmaking. It’s all the rage.

(DISCLAIMER: I don’t recommend this method of matchmaking. It costs taxpayer money and really, the fireman thing is only good in fantasies or strip clubs. Otherwise they have strange hours and usually have hero complexes and…I could go on but you get my point.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My New Roommate

One of the things I was looking forward to most when I was moving into my new place was being able to cook whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No more commentary from the living room about the amount of garlic I was using or how I was burning something, followed by “Oh that looks good. How come you don’t cook for me?” Not to mention the talks about the amount of wine I am drinking with dinner, and the subtle hints that I’m an alcoholic…but that’s another story.

So, after the big move and the Great Debate, I was ready to cook my very first breakfast for myself in my new place. It was going to be simple breakfast of eggs and bacon. I got the bacon going and was cracking the eggs when: BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Son of a bitch. The stupid smoke detector was going off. What kind of idiot puts a smoke detector right outside of the kitchen?, I though to myself.

Well, it got better after the third beep.

Woman’s voice: FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!

“What the fuck?!,” I said out loud to my apartment.

It continued for three cycles of BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Followed by a woman’s voice saying “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!” until I managed to get Smoke Detector Sally to shut up, by which time my bacon was totally burned.

After a bit of investigation, I realized that it was my own fault for not turning on the fan above the stove. Of course she’s going to go off! The kitchen window was blowing the steam and smoke from the bacon directly at her!

So, with the oven fan on, I began again. Bacon was getting going and then, sure enough, BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!

I didn’t need coffee that morning because almost having a heart attack twice will really wake a person up.

After a few more attempts, I just let her go off. We have come to an understanding that I will cook on the back burner and she will only go off when I am by myself, never when company is over. That way, when I tell this story, all my friends think I’m nuts because I can’t get the talking smoke detector to go off.

Although, naming my smoke detector Smoke Detector Sally doesn’t help my case, does it?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Who Doesn't Love a New Nickname?

I was recently on the set of my friend’s movie, happily being Gossip Girl #2 in the background of a restaurant scene. I had to get up at 6 am, dress up like I was going out on the town, and drive down to Hollywood. I looked like a reverse walk of shame.

While I was there, I got two new nicknames and I thought I should share them.

The scene was in a restaurant and I was sitting with my friend Meaghan (who had also gotten all gussied up for a reverse walk of shame). We were just supposed to sit there looking bitchy and hot. I hate to admit that we were a little too good at this. While they were lighting us, they had a little trouble. Turns out that in a movie starring primarily black people and sitting next to my half-black friend, I’m incredibly white. Actually, I’m just incredibly white in any situation. The lighting guys did their best to light us by sight and then looked at the monitors and one of them said, “Well, it looks like we need to take some of the light off of Lite Brite over there.” It took me a moment to realize that Lite Brite was me. I retorted with an observation that the reason we don’t see more diversity in the movies is because lighting all the different skin tones is too hard for the lighting people and they don't want to work that hard. Thank goodness they had a sense of humor.

After the lighting debacle, we went outside to eat breakfast. One of the actors, Bobby V, was behind me in line. He made the keen observation that I am incredibly tall, especially when you compare my 6’2” to his 5’3.” After his observation went unanswered, he continued by saying, “Damn girl, you so tall you like Tree Top.” (To which I almost replied, “So what does that make you? Tree Stump?” But I love my friend and he was directing and the last thing he needed was an actor being bitchy because I have a smart mouth. You’re welcome, Jason.) After that, everyone kept calling me Tree Top.

Cut to a few nights later when I’m signing up for karaoke. There was another Kim and even with Kimmi it can get confusing, so I decided to use a nickname. The karaoke host loved it and from here on out, I am known at Corner Bar in Burbank as Tree Top

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great Need Vs. Want Debate of 2011

Anyone who knows me knows that I can logic my way out of a paper bag, especially when it comes to shopping. I can convince anyone that spending $100 on a new dress is totally worth it in 2.5 seconds flat. Does my logic make sense? Not always. But usually people get so annoyed with me that they just let me win to change the subject. Or they are left paralyzed in confusion, thus allowing me to make my purchases in silence. However, when it came to getting the things I needed for my apartment, I needed to make sure I didn’t get too carried away.

I was searching for mostly kitchen stuff. Plates, bowls, glasses, pots, pans, utensils, etc. As it turns out, the only things I owned for a kitchen were as follows: A popcorn maker, a French press, a coffee maker, a coffee grinder, a cocktail shaker, a collection of shot glasses, a set of margarita glasses complete with a pitcher and a salt plate, and a mug that says “The Bitch is Back.” (Purchased on my first adult trip to Vegas while Elton John was still there. The fact that it’s totally appropriate for my life right now is not lost on me…) However, unless I was planning on eating nothing but popcorn out of the bowl it is popped in while drinking margaritas shaken in the cocktail shaker followed by coffee in a “The Bitch is Back” mug, I needed a lot of stuff.

In addition to needing the essentials, I had a few essentials that were essential only to someone like me. I had been saving up for a very long time to live on my own. Free couch aside, I was not going to buy used pots and pans at a garage sale or get mismatching plates from the 99 Cents Store. I will not use glasses that are chipped or that don’t go together and I will not be content drinking wine out of my “Bitch is Back” mug. If I was going to make my own home, I was going to use my hard-earned money and do it how I see fit.

To keep me on track, enter my friend Meaghan. She suggesting that I make a list of needs and one of wants and then she would help me decide what really was a need. For everything on my “need” list, she made me come up with three good reasons and then she would be the final say of what was a need and what was a want and whether those “wants” were worth the money. Hence, the Great Need vs. Want Debate of 2011 began.

For example: A Crock-Pot? I could start something in the morning and then come home to a finished dinner. I can make large batches of soups and stews and then freeze them to have ready-made food for when I get home to late to really cook. I can make chili. (On a side note: Meaghan loves my chili and I knew I would win with that. I really should’ve gone to law school…) Needless to say, she let me get a Crock-Pot.

There were some items I wouldn’t budge on (Wine glasses and mortar and pestle.) and others that everyone insisted I needed (a blender…That I have used once in two months. Thanks guys) and some that were just plain shot down (Martini glasses…Apparently I’m not Frank Sinatra and am not encouraged to live like him…They are still on my list though.) Yet, the longest leg of the debate involved salt and pepper shakers. Every argument I had, Meaghan had a counter argument. This is a paraphrase of the argument that lasted about 30 minutes in an aisle in Target.

Me: I need them because I will need to put them on the table. What? I’m going to use the big container I buy salt and pepper in?

Meaghan: You don’t even have a table. Or room for a table.

Me: But I have the counter. And I’ll have stools.

Meaghan: Eventually. You’re not buying stools right now because you can’t find any that you like or are in your price range. So, therefore you don’t need shakers.

Me: But what about when people come over? What am I supposed to do?

Meaghan: Give them the containers they come in.

Me: No.

Meaghan: Actually, you can buy disposable shakers at the grocery store for a lot cheaper that these.

Me: Yes but what about the environment? I want something I can reuse.

Meaghan: So why not buy cloth napkins and extra dishtowels so you don’t have to use paper towels?

Me: Because washing all of that costs money. I don’t pay for water, so washing and reusing shakers is a cost efficient way for me to help the environment.

Meaghan: Yes, but why not just collect bottles and cans and then that would offset the cost of washing. Plus, then you can afford to continue to buy the disposable ones.

Me: But the disposable ones are so ugly.

Meaghan: Being pretty doesn’t mean it’s a need.

I eventually gave up, letting her know that I would buy some as soon as she wasn’t with me. But at dinner that night, I permanently borrowed some from the restaurant.

I would call that a happy compromise. (Except maybe for the restaurant…)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Age Ain't Nothing But a Number...That I'm Going to Choose

My 25th year was a rough one. In May, one of my good friends died in an awful car accident. In June, I quit my job at a newspaper and went back to Starbucks full time. In November, my dad passed away. In March, my best friend’s boyfriend passed away.

Not to say that good stuff didn’t happen, but for the most part, it was an awful year. Therefore, when it came time at the end of April for the big 2-6, I said I didn’t want to be 26. Not that I have anything against that number in general, but I don’t feel 26. Plus, I didn’t really get a chance to be 25 because I was too busy with all the funerals and job and soul searching. So, I decided that I wasn’t going to be 26. I was going to be 25-again.

As it turns out, when I tell people I am 25 again, they either get the joke and think I’m funny, or they think I am one of those sad women who think that my value is somehow tied to my age. Or they just think I’m crazy.

One person flat out told me I wasn’t allowed to do it. That it didn’t make sense and I can’t go back in time. I won’t say he got a little hot about it, but there may have been a bit of redness in the facial area. He said that I need to accept that everyone has years that aren’t as good as others and I just need to look forward to having many more amazing years ahead of me. Thanks Positive Paul, but this isn’t about being negative.

It’s like when you go to a restaurant for the first time. If you have a bad experience the first time, in order to truly judge it, you need to give it one more try. (Unless the first time ends in food poisoning. If it does, just don’t ever go back.) Sometimes just your server is bad or you order the wrong dish. But, if it’s still bad after the second try, the restaurant really is awful and you shouldn’t go back. It’s the same with age. I had a rough time with 25 the first time around, so I want to do it again to see if it was just a bad first run or if 25 just sucks in general.

When I told someone else this theory, they asked me why I didn’t just do 2010 over again. That’s because the whole world is run by a certain calendar and therefore I would need the whole world to agree to change back to 2010. Even with Facebook, I don’t think I could get the entire world to go with me on it. (Although it would be tempting to try) Plus, a few of the bad things happened in 2011, so it really isn’t fair to the first 4 months and 29 days of 2010.

So far, I have to say, 25-again has treated me well. I moved into a new apartment and I got a promotion, plus I have three weddings to attend. (And hopefully no funerals.) I’m not saying that it’s not going to be without it’s challenges and struggles, but I think 25-again will a good year. Like the blimp.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Tale of a Free Sofa

When my grandparents were moving from their three-bedroom house in Palm Desert to a much smaller apartment in Newport Beach, they had a ton of furniture to get rid of. Most of my cousins are already living on their own with husbands and kids (and the resources to purchase new furniture) or are just about to start college and have no use for a seven-foot tall armoire or glass dining table with a wicker bottom. (Yeah, wicker. For inside. I don’t know either...)

However, there was one granddaughter who would be moving out within a few months and probably would have some use for this lovely yet dated furniture: Me. Therefore, my grandmother called me everyday to ask me if I would be interested in (insert your choice of dated, worn, or just plain awful furniture here). I tried to explain to her numerous times that I would probably be moving into a very small place and her stuff would simply not fit. I kept that fact that I am not 80 and do not enjoy the “Palm Beach Retirement Community” style to myself.

After many mind numbing and repetitive conversations, one piece of furniture kept coming up. My grandparents had inherited some of the furniture with the house, including two sofas. Now, they are not the prettiest of sofas, but they are incredibly comfortable. Nice and wide so without the pillows, they work fantastically as a bed. With the pillows, they are plush enough to sit on for long periods of time, but not so soft that you get stuck in them. My grandma just could not bear to get rid of such quality pieces. After much debate, I told her I would take one of them("No Grandma, I will not need two sofas...Grandma I work at Starbucks and will probably be living on my own. I will not have some huge loft that two sofas would fit in."), but she had to store them with the rest of her stuff no one would take and she couldn’t bear to get rid of. I wasn’t moving out soon enough to be willing to store it at our house. She told me I had six months and that I would have to come get it when it was time. Thus a deal was struck.

Cut to eight months, two tragedies, and a promotion later, and I was finally ready to move out on my own. I rented a truck and drove down to Orange County to get my sofa. Which was much bigger than I remembered…and had twice as many pillows as I remembered….and was much yellower with more flowers that I remembered…

After lots of muscle and hard work, the sofa actually fits perfectly. It’s still yellow and covered in flowers, but it’s free so I can’t complain (too much). What’s really funny is that none of my friends think it’s as bad as I do. All agree, however, it is incredibly comfortable. And since it came from my grandparents, I don’t have the same fears I would have if I had bought a used sofa from another source. (You never know who sat naked on that sofa you bought on Craigslist or what those naked people did while on said sofa. Think about it.). Now if only I can get her to relinquish those reading chairs….

Saturday, May 21, 2011

No Need to Alert TLC....yet...

As I mentioned last time, I moved. Not only did I move, but I moved out of my mom’s house. Therefore, a lot of purging was done and I discovered a little something about myself: I have hoarding tendencies.

Now, anyone who has ever watched Hoarders on TLC knows that the first excuse a hoarder will make is that there is value in trash. How many times have I watched someone say “Oh but I bought that with my dad 20 years ago and even though it has no use whatsoever and is damaged beyond repair, I need to keep it for sentimental value.” I sat there every time and nodded along when Callie Cleanup came over and ever-so gently explained how worthless said nostalgic items really were. Then, when it came time to go through all my shit, I wasn’t so much in agreement.

Not to say that I had to tunnel my way to my bed. I’m not that bad. But there was definitely some stuff that I couldn’t even figure out why I saved.

A broken Walkman? Not just broken, but it was as if I had stepped on it and then said, “Hey, maybe I’ll use the pieces for something else!” Guess what, I didn’t.

A white t-shirt with nothing on it that is clearly 3 sizes too small? I can’t even begin to figure out what the sentimental value of it was, because there were zero distinguishing marks on it. (And if anyone makes a joke about it was a “token,” it was a girl’s shirt and I’m straight.) (Also, if anyone needs an explanation about what a “token” is, message me.)

A pamphlet I got on my first trip to New York explaining how sinners will be punished in hell unless they repent? That’s just funny.

The king of the useless crap, however, was the drawer full of old bills. And I don’t mean from a few months ago. I found a bill from Verizon dating back to 2003. It was not a particularly special bill. There was no new terms or upgrades. No special coupons that never got used. Not even a handwritten note saying “THIS WAS PAID. ON…CALL IF THEY TRY TO CHARGE YOU DOUBLE.” (Oh yeah. That was worth a laugh.) Nothing. Just a whole drawer dedicated to old bills that no sane person would keep. Which possibly explains why I kept them….

That’s not to say I didn’t save some of the random crap. My Carebears pillowcase from when I was a kid. A dishcloth that I decorated with my grandma and sister that has some questionable artwork. A bunch of Dad’s t-shirts that are only good for sleeping because no one should see them. My old softball uniform. My old basketball uniform. All that stuff at least is good for the memories, even if it is useless and just takes up space.

All this being said, I am making a valiant effort to stop holding on to stuff that is only going to drive me nuts when it comes time to move again. Not that I’m going to move any time soon (I LOVE MY APARTMENT!!!), but when I do, I’d rather not find takeout menus from places I never ate at in Chicago. Collecting shot glasses from everywhere I’ve been is one thing, but takeout menus officially makes me a hoarder. (Although what does collection shot glasses say about me?)

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Long-Lost Love Rediscovered

Boy has there been a lot going on! Obviously, since I haven’t written anything in two months, which I am very sorry for and will work very hard to make better! I have birthday stuff and moving stuff and work stuff and life stuff and more stuff than I even think I can write about! However, as I am a bit rusty, I am going to talk about an old love I had forgotten about and am now rediscovering.

What is this long-lost love? The Laundromat.

Oh yeah. You read that correctly. The Laundromat.

This love affair started many many years ago. My grandparents introduced us. They didn’t have a washer and dryer at their house for almost my entire life. So, every Thursday night, they would load the station wagon full of all the laundry from the week. Clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, everything. They would head to the Laundromat and proceed to take up an entire row of washers. Then, Grandpa would take me for ice cream at Baskin Robbins next door while Grandma did…well I have no idea what because I was too busy with my ice cream. After the clothes were done in the wash, we would separate out the ones that went in the dryer from the ones Grandma was going to take home to line-dry. After another hour or so, all the laundry would be dried and packed back into the car and we would head back to the house. It was never overly exciting or eventful, but somehow that two hours every week was one of my favorite times.

Back to the present. I went to the Laundromat for the first time in since my grandparents passed away. I had about 4 loads of laundry to do and while my new building has 1 washer and 1 dryer, I did not want to spend my entire day doing laundry. Not to mention the fact that there are 7 other apartments with people who may also need to use the machine, thus making it a gamble as to when I’ll actually get to start. So, if I go to the Laundromat, I not only can put all my loads in at once, I am sure to get to use the machines when I am ready without waiting or inconveniencing my neighbors by hoarding the machine all day. Plus, the Laundromat is on the corner so it’s not all that far away and it costs the same.

While I was there, I got a lot of reading done. I also got a phone call from my best friend, so we caught up. I’m sure if I brought my laptop, I could have gotten a few more posts done. But I’m not that cool.

Even with all of this, the main reason I love the Laundromat is the people.

I saw a girl who was guarding her purse like it held the winning envelopes for the Oscars while she strutted around in her heels. I saw a lady who was washing what I could only assume was all the white tablecloths in all of the world. There was a dad with his young daughter teaching her how to do laundry and then buying her Cheetos as a reward. A mom who made me wonder if her children were at home naked or if she just lives in a department store with an endless supply of clothes. A guy with 6 bags of laundry who, when one machine wasn’t working, proceeded to kick the poor thing like it was the machine’s fault he put in 2 bags and clearly overloaded it.

So, yes, it might be easier to just do laundry at my apartment building or even take it back to mom’s house and do it there for free. However, it would take 3 times longer and I wouldn’t get to participate in my favorite activity of people watching. And really, with all the entertainment I get from the Laundromat, what do I need cable for?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Goin' Out To Da Club...In a Mall?

In case anyone was wondering how I spent my Friday night, I went to a club.


I was with a friend from out of town and she wanted to go over to the next county to hang out with her cousin. She was driving, so I really had no reason to say no. When they said we were going to a club, I was like, "Dancing is sorta my thing, so as long as there is good music, I’m there." We drove to another town (I had a bit of a tour of Ventura County that night) and as we are turning into the Westfield parking lot, I ask, “Is the club in the mall?” The way our driver answered “yes” like it was a totally normal thing was just the beginning.

Now, to anyone who doesn’t live in a big city (or even a medium sized one), perhaps this isn’t strange. But to those of us who live places where going to the mall means you are either shopping, loading up on junk food, or going to a movie (or doing all three), clubbing is not usually considered a mall activity. Sure, there might be a restaurant or lounge outside the mall where people go to unwind, but I have never in my life seen a CLUB in a MALL.

Not to say that it was all negative. There was ample free parking in the parking structure and there was not a line at the door. No cover was a pleasant surprise, but then I remembered that I was at a club in a mall, so if there had been a cover, I would have gone to a movie instead. (Oh yeah, club right across from the movie theater. Fantastic.) I was a little unnerved by the fact that they weren’t even half-heartedly checking purses for weapons, though. If only I knew, I would have brought my gun, my knife, and all my drugs and really partied. (Please recognize the sarcasm.) I had to remind myself that I was in suburbia, not Hollywood, therefore this place was not prepared for any problems. The steroid patrol that was their security was slightly comforting. Except they were all shorter than me and tattooed with possibly racist meanings (Me: I think that security guard has a swastika on his neck. Friend: Well maybe it's the Hindu one. Me: Ummm, a white guy, roided out. Somehow I doubt it.) However, the best part came when I went to the bar.

After asking for a Long Island (a go-to at a club. It’s like two drinks for the price of one), the bartender asks, “Do you want a small or a large?”

Wait, I have size options?! I can have a small or a large cocktail?! Where am I?! McDonalds with liquor? I then thought it might be like Vegas, where, yes, you can get a large, but it’s $20. Nope, it was $11 for 24 oz. To put it into perspective, that’s a VENTI-sized Long Island Iced Tea. In a club, $11 is a good price for a regular cocktail, let alone a large one. Needless to say, I was totally sold.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t sold on the rest of the club in the mall. In addition to the Justin Bieber hair (on more than one guy, plus what looked like a girl but may have been an overly effeminate man) and the outfits that even 1999 doesn’t want back, the DJ was horrible. I have heard my fair share of horrible DJs, but this one couldn’t pick a song, and when he did, it was not the actual song. He mixed it with another song that, for the most part, didn’t match. I’m sorry, but “Back that Ass Up” is already a good dance song. Adding a techno beat behind it completely ruins the song. And playing Journey is never ok, but when it is turned into a dance song with a beat that doesn't even remotely keep time with the lyrics, that's just failing. Miserably. There’s a reason he’s a DJ at a club in a mall. I think this might be what DJs would call “rock bottom.”

Although, much of the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves, so I may be judging just a little too harshly.

But it might be that these poor people living in the sticks just don’t know any better, so they are blissfully enjoying their ignorance.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Doing Something Nice for the Children

Anyone who knows me knows that I consider my time precious. Granted, I spend most of it either asleep or doing something most people would judge as wasteful, but in that respect, I agree with John Lenon, who said, “Time you enjoyed wasting, was not wasted.” In other words, it’s only wasted time if you didn’t have fun wasting it. And I have plenty of fun!

So where am I going with this?

I work at Starbucks and part of their whole mission is to be involved in the community. There are always projects going on and ways for us to help out, but I tend to either ignore these things, or just flat out not want to do them. I am not a tree-planter, house-painter, garden-hoer, or homeless-feeder. So, when my manager informed me that part of my development in moving up with the company was getting involved in my community, I got nervous.

What was I, a woman afraid of bugs and birds who calls transients “hobos” and would win the award for “Most Likely to Kill Someone Accidently with a Gardening Tool Because She is Incredibly Klutzy,” going to do in my community? I sat down with my manager and hashed out the things I could do and what I was actually willing to do. Aside from the manual labor and pretending like I don’t get uncomfortable around the homeless, there was one major category left: children.

Now, I’m not what most people would describe as “kid” person. This is mostly because I always have something sarcastic and judgmental to say when it comes to children, but really, I don’t mind them. So, after some thinking and very little organizing, one of my regulars mentioned that some of the teachers at her school needed some readers for “Read Across America,” an annual event that focuses on the importance of reading. I got a few of my fellow Starbucks partners together, we put on our finest pajamas (it was Pajama Day at school), and we headed off to read to some kids.

The first classroom I went to was first grade. I read a book called “Gerald McBoing Boing” (Yes, I am aware that the one book I picked up was the one that could easily be turned into a euphemism for something wildly inappropriate for children.) I don’t do voices, but since this book has a few sound effects, I had some fun with it. Afterwards, the teacher let the kids as me some questions, one of which was “I had a Dr. Suess pajama party last year?” I didn’t know what to say, so I just said “Oh that’s nice.”

The second classroom was kindergarten and, I have to say, they were adorable. They sat still through the story and, while that teacher wouldn’t let them ask questions, they did have a few things to say, such as “You’re pretty” and “You have nice hair.” It’s amazing how little kids know just what to say to make your day!

The other readers had a lot of fun too, reading to all ages from kindergarten through 3rd grade. Some of them even got forms to go back and volunteer more often, while another offered to donate some books.

Overall, I have to say that taking an hour to read to some kids wasn’t the worst way for me to spend an hour. While I might not be volunteering on a daily basis, it was nice to go and do something that had very little benefit for me.

Plus, I managed not to curse or say anything inappropriate to the 5 and 6 year olds, so I would call that a success.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This is Why No One Walks in LA

Just because I live in LA doesn’t mean I don’t take public transportation or walk anywhere. The best part about doing this is that I usually get a blog post out of it; one that hopefully will not bring the 5 people who actually read this to tears.

I decided to take the Metro down to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for two reasons: 1. Parking is $10. Add that to the cost of getting in and the skyrocketing price of gas, and the $6 to ride the Metro looks pretty damn good. 2. I had no time limit, so therefore I’m going to let someone else stress out in Friday traffic while I listen to music and read on my Kindle.

The ride on the subway was pretty uneventful, other than the 2 kids getting pulled off the train for not buying a ticket (oh yeah, that “honor system” is really working LA.). When I got to Hollywood and Highland, I came out of the station bombarded by tents and tourists. I had completely forgotten that the Oscars are this Sunday and Hollywood Blvd. is shut down. Now, in order to get to the bus I need to take, I have to walk half a mile, through all the chaos that is Oscar week. (Trust me, it’s not as exciting when you not only live here, but when you have been part of the crew that sets all that crap up.)

On my walk, I was assailed by the Hollywood Blvd. regulars: Batman, Spiderman(who was climbing on scaffolding, much to the chagrin of the underpaid security guards), Darth Vader, and the guys trying to sell me maps to the stars. One of these guys decided that he would get fresh with me.

“Hey girl, can I roll my red carpet out for you?”

Now, I have this disease that doesn’t let me keep my mouth shut and keep walking when someone makes a very poor attempt at a double entendre, forcing me to make what I consider an even better one, albeit much more perverted.

“No thanks. I have my own.”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Art Imitating My Life a Little too Closely

I have always been an “escapist” when it comes to TV. I watch because I don’t want to think about my life for a 30-minute period. I watch because I want to laugh when my life really isn’t that funny. I watch because sometimes I know that, for the most part, my life is incredibly different from the characters on the show.

Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite TV show on right now is How I Met Your Mother. It’s hysterical and all the actors are fun to watch and, honestly, my goal is to play, “Hi! Have you met Ted?” with one of my single friends. However, this season, they have taken a direction I am not exactly enjoying.

Let’s back up a little bit.

My favorite character on the show is Marshall. I think a lot of it has to do with his unfailing belief that he and Lily (his college sweetheart and wife) belong together (I have a soft spot for love stories. Don’t make a thing about it.). He is constantly striving to be a better man and follow his dreams, even if he has to take a few detours. Plus, he believes in the Sasquatch. This season, they really emphasized how close Marshall is with his father, which may have frustrated Lily, but it made me feel closer to his character. While I enjoy Barney’s antics and the constant embarrassment of Robin’s past, Marshall has always been the most endearing to watch.

I really was loving this season until the episode that aired January 3, when the writers and producers of my favorite show decided that art should imitate life. More specifically, by having art that I enjoy as a way to escape my life, imitate my life. At the end of “Bad Days,” Marshall finds out that his dad has died.

Ok, so I realize that the writers and producers of How I Met Your Mother were not specifically targeting me by having Marshall’s dad pass away. I also think that this is a great opportunity for Jason Segel (who I officially have a crush on… but that’s more Forgetting Sarah Marshall based) to show what he can do as an actor. It also gives the show something truly real to deal with beyond the struggles of love and marriage, which get done on every single sitcom. Additionally, there are humorous moments everywhere, even in death (as Jason, Alec, and Alexis, who sat out on the front porch with me while we were waiting for the funeral home the night my dad died, can attest to) and it is important for people to see that. However, that doesn’t make me any less annoyed.

After “Last Words,” which is an episode about Marshall’s dad’s last words to him and the whole group’s struggle to help him, it seemed that I would still be able to watch. Marshall’s life is so different from mine (he’s a lawyer trying to have a baby with his wife; I’m single, broke, and still living with my mother and fighting with several family members) But then one line from the episode aired last night brought all that to a halt.

“He won’t get to see how I turn out.”

My dad won’t get to see how I turn out. He was so proud of all I’ve done so far, and in my opinion, I haven’t really done much. How proud of me will he be in 20 years, when, hopefully, I’ve accomplished something? He won’t get to meet and scare the crap out of the next guy I date. He won’t get to tell me that the next pair of shoes I buy are kind of slutty. He won’t get see if I ever get out of Starbucks or eventually take over for Howard Schultz. He won’t walk me down the aisle or get to be a grandpa.

After about 30 minutes of crying, I got to thinking. All the people who have been a major part of your life will always be there, because they have helped put together the 3-D, complicated puzzle that ends up being you. So, while it might suck that these people are not in your life anymore, for whatever reason, they did something to change you into who you are now. Therefore, when those big moments happen, they are with you because they are a part of you.

So, while my dad might not be able to do all those things, he will in a way because he made me the person I am today, and no matter how hard it is for me to see now, his death will shape how the rest of my life goes. Every time I meet a guy, I will always have his influence in the back of my head. When I am working, no matter what I’m doing, I will always have his voice in my head, singing along to CCR: “Don’t let the man get you do what he done to me.” I will take everything he ever taught me, everything he ever showed me, and everything he wanted for me with me everywhere for the rest of my life. While it is definitely not the same thing as having him alongside me, it is something I will remind myself every time I think of all the things my dad won’t be alongside me to experience.

I’m still a little angry with How I Met Your Mother, though. I may have to defect to Big Bang Theory.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's Always Sudden

Two months ago, I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my dad before I went to the movies. It was “The Body,” the episode in which Buffy comes home to find her mom dead on the couch. The episode had always been one that brought tears to Dad’s eyes and whenever we caught it, we would watch in silence. Mom would always ruin it with commentary about how many times we must have seen it and each time, including this time, we would shush her because she didn’t understand the brilliance and realism of the episode.

Dad started watching Buffy with me during the second season. It was just the right mixture of horror, thriller, drama, violence and comedy. He eventually became even more obsessed with it than I did, even going as far as to Google certain producers because he saw their names attached to other things and wanted to make sure that it was the same producers. If you knew my dad, Googling something was a bit of an adventure, since typing a name might take an hour. He would recognize an actor who played a bit part in one episode and joke, “I have no life.” However, if anyone wanted to play “The Seven Degrees of Buffy,” he would slay any opponent.

There is one scene in this episode that always made our silence go from one of attention to one of genuine immersion and relation. The Scooby Gang is getting ready to head to the morgue. Willow keeps changing outfits, trying to figure out the most appropriate, panicking about what to wear. Tara, always the comforting and loving one, doing everything she can to help Willow. Xander is angry and trying to find anyone to exact some revenge upon, whether it’s a supernatural force or a wall. Anya, a 1,000 year old demon who has never had to deal with death on a personal level, is just trying to understand. By the end of the scene, they all calm down and realize their job is to get to the morgue and be there for Buffy. Dad always loved this scene and I always knew it had a lot to do with the different ways everyone deals with death. But, I also knew that someone, if not all of them, reminded him of himself when his parents passed away. I could relate to it somewhat, because I had lost my grandparents, whom I loved very much, but it wasn’t until later that night I truly lived it and understood why it resonated so much with him.

Because, suddenly in the middle of a movie, I got a call that my dad, the most important person in my life and the only person who could sing along with me to every song from “Once More with Feeling,” was dead.

That night and ever since then, the following speech has been stuck in my head. Joss Whedon, I just have to say thank you writing my response for every person who wonders how I’m doing.

"I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's... there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore. It's stupid. It's mortal and stupid. And Xander's crying and not talking. And I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever. And she'll never have eggs or yawn or brush her hair. Not ever. And no one will explain to me why."

Unfortunately, the world does not stop when something like this happens, as evidenced by my continuing to write and update this blog. I will not stop going to work, stop hanging out with my friends. I will attend the 3 weddings I am invited to this year and I will celebrate happily. I will take Meg out for her 21st birthday and make sure she has one to remember. (Or possibly not. It is her 21st afterall!) I will pay my bills and drive my car and read books and I will continue living. I will, however, never understand and I will never stop missing him. On the other hand, I will always do everything knowing that Dad is with me, especially when I am singing along to “Rest in Peace.”

And if you don’t get that last reference, look it up. You’ll like it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Your Booty Call Should Take Place in Private

Everyday I am amazed at how private conversations are taking place in public. Here is what happened when I was leaving work yesterday.

There is a fire lane right outside of my Starbucks, where people park all the time. I understand the need to run in and grab coffee, but if you’re in that big of a hurry, you should probably just go to your destination and wait on the coffee. Or, if you’re just that lazy, you should probably just re-examine your life in general. Anyway, not the point…

So I was leaving yesterday and there was a guy parked in his car in the fire lane, facing away from the patio where several people were sitting. He had his window down, and was having a conversation about how this woman he is seeing is treating him like a “booty call” and he was tired of it. In the 3 minutes I stood there to listen to his conversation, he used “booty call” at least 5 times, and each time I wanted to tell him that she probably just didn’t want to have a relationship with a man in his 40s who uses the phrase “booty call.” He also described how even though he enjoyed having a “booty call” every now and then, he really liked this woman and he wished she wanted more. He also didn’t want to seem too insecure by saying anything to her about feeling like nothing more than a “booty call” and thought she might stop talking to him if he said anything. I’m going to assume that when he got quiet, the person he was talking to on the other line was giving her advice on the situation. Hopefully, that person was telling him that he was too old for this and to grow up. But possibly not.

I walked away laughing as pointedly as I could to ensure he knew I was listening to his conversation.

Now, before you get all “well you shouldn’t be eavesdropping and why are you being so judgmental,” I beg to you hear me out. First of all, this man was parked illegally and in my way. Anyone who is going to block the walkway on my way out of work is already subject to ridicule. Second, he had his window down and was making no attempt to be quiet about what he was saying. I talk loudly so I know how it feels to sometimes be louder than intended, but if I’m having a conversation about being a booty call, I’m going to be a little more conscious of my volume. Lastly, DON’T HAVE THE CONVERSATION WITH YOUR WINDOWS DOWN UNLESS YOU WANT PEOPLE TO OVERHEAR YOU. If you want people to overhear you, then you had better be ready for judgment and mocking.

So, let this be a warning to everyone, if you are going to have a conversation in any public place, I will mock you in my blog. Unless I’m feeling particularly ballsy and mock you to your face when you hang up.

(On a side note…as I was writing this Wilmer Valderrama walked in and was talking on one cell phone, had one in his hand and another on a holster on his hip. I don’t know why he needs to many phones, but at least he was only having a conversation about when his friend was going to get there…Now that’s the kind of conversation appropriate for public places! Way to go, Fez)

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Officially Hate Christmas, Part 3: Taking it All Down

10 Reasons Putting Away the Christmas Decorations was Worse than Putting Them Up:

10.) Broken ornaments made Mom cry, even when it was only a few of the cheap, colored bulbs.

9.) Laughing hysterically at the fact that she was crying over broken colored bulbs and how funny “colored bulbs” are only made things worse.

8.) Climbing up on the old, unsafe ladder was not a good idea in the first place, but became an even worse one because it had been raining and the ground was not solid. Therefore, it sank about 3 inches with each climb, in addition to wobbling like a weeble.

7.) I don’t know how one of the strings of lights became wedged between two roof shingles, but getting it out of there was like an extreme sport. Yanking the damn lights off while on the old, unsafe ladder, was indeed, unsafe.

6.) While on the old, unsafe ladder, there was a preying mantis on the window screen, daring me to make a move so it could attack. I jumped off the ladder, missing the last 4 rungs. It can have the house...and some of my dignity.

5.) Nothing fit into the box it originally came out of, even with a significant amount of brute strength.

4.) Even though no new Christmas stuff was purchased, there seemed to be twice as many boxes as when I brought them down.

3.) Dragging the tree outside and then taking off the $11 stand was more work than putting the damn thing up.

2.) Tied to the roof on the way to the park for recycling, I prayed: “If the tree falls off, please let it be somewhere that will not hurt anyone and where there is no one around so I can just drive away.”

1.) After putting everything away, cleaning up, and getting dusty, sweaty and gross, but feeling overall accomplished for a job well done, I realized that the $11 Christmas tree stand was still on the front porch. I threw in the garage and hope it’s still there next year when someone else puts up the fucking decorations. I’m done.