Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Non-pliments

So, I recently cut my hair. It's a pixie cut. And I love it. And the majority of my friends and acquaintances love it. However, some people don't seem to know how to deal with it. For some reason, a drastic hair change really freaks people out and they say awkward, Tourrettes-like statements while staring at a weird space above my head. And inevitably, they blurt out non-pliments. What's a "non-pliment?" Well, it's a compliment that's really not a compliment. Non-pliments range from innocent and poorly worded utterances to completely passive-aggressive dickishness. We've all received a non-pliment and most people just let it slide, in the interest of not turning our afternoons into a pointless tire-fire of anger. I, however, hold onto and internalize that non-pliment until it is a parasitic twin of insecurity in my stomach. I can tell you the date, time, place and barometric pressure of every non-pliment I've ever received. I have a hard time letting things go, is what I'm trying to say.
However, as guilty as I am for holding on to a non-pliment; I also have given them out...most completely unintentional and not meant to cause harm; I just chose my words poorly.  A few, however were WAY fucking intentional; like direct eye-contact, "Parker Posey in Dazed and Confused" intentional. I'm not proud of this. But it happened.

If you are still unsure of what a non-pliment is, I can give you a few examples...7 examples to be exact; with subcategories....because nothing encourages further blog reading like the word "subcategories." Do I still have any readers left at this point? A few? Blink twice if you are here against your will....No matter; on to the non-pliments!

1. The Factual Statement Non-pliment: This is when someone just states a fact, but thinks they are somehow paying you a compliment. Here's an example that I get at least twice a month: "Wow, your hair is really white." This is not a compliment. You are just identifying hair colors. You have not uttered one word that can be construed as a compliment in any way; so I have no idea how to respond to this. Which brings me to one of the major ways to identify if what you are saying to someone is a compliment or a non-pliment: can the person you are speaking to say "thanks" to your statement without it feeling awkward or sarcastic? No? Then what you are saying is not a compliment. Whenever someone tells me that my hair is white, I can't appropriately respond with the word "thanks," because that makes no sense. Usually what happens is I end up nodding and saying "yes, it is," then we exchange painfully awkward eye contact and I slowly back away. The thing about the Factual Statement non-pliment is that it tinged with judgement. Why did you feel it necessary to point out that my hair is white? Probably because it is different than yours? I'm guessing there are a lot of differences we have. Are we going to stand here all day and list them like a couple of Sesame Street puppets? If so, I call dibs on being Oscar the Grouch.

Other examples of other factual statements that are not compliments: "You are tall," "Your hair is short/long," "You wear a lot of black," "That lipstick is really red." And, when you add a modifier such as "a lot," "really," "very," etc., it really drives home the fact that what you are doing is not a compliment because you adding a superlative to your judgement. Not cool.

2. The Previous Time Comparison Non-pliment: Again, I'll use a hair related example because that's what's on my mind (Get it? On my mind? *crickets*). Anyway,  "I really liked your hair when it was long/red/curly/whatever." Ok, well it's not right now, is it? I was hot before but now I am an unfuckable mop bucket? What are you trying to say? Why are you bringing up old shit? 

Other examples of The Previous Time Comparison non-pliment: "That was you in high school? You looked amazing!" "I liked your old house," "Last time you added more butter to this casserole, and I really liked it!" You may think that you are offering constructive criticism, but you are just offering unsolicited criticism, which is a dick move. Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful to compliment someone on a past achievement, but comparing it to a current situation with a thinly veiled air of superiority is just rude. And it doesn't make anyone feel good. Don't criticize my current casserole with a comparison to my past casserole...you ass-erole.

3. The Marginalizing Non-pliment: Pretty much anything involving the words "unique," "unusual," "interesting," "eclectic," "exotic" or any other word that conveys an idea of being outside the norm. When you do this, you are not-so-subtly passing judgement. These words are not rude in themselves, but in certain contexts, they can be quite insulting. "You have a unique opinion," "Your singing voice is unusual," "That's an interesting choice," "your style is eclectic," or the worst: "Wow, you are so exotic looking." Um, you should only say that if you are speaking to a parrot...and even then, it's weird. Essentially what you are doing is comparing someone's looks, talents, abilities, etc. to the standard ideal and marginalizing them. Just say, "I like your style" and leave it at that.

4. The "My Priorities Are Different Than Yours" Non-pliment: Every time someone says to me "You're so dressed up all the time," or "How much time do you spend getting ready?" I want to cry blood...but that would ruin my makeup contouring. Yeah, I spend a lot of time getting dressed, putting on makeup, doing my hair, then subsequently changing my outfit again.
So. The. Fuck. What?
Does the fact that I spend anywhere from 10-40 minutes every day just applying winged eyeliner affect you in any way? No? Then why bring it up? Just say, your makeup looks nice. Or don't say anything at all. These kind of comments almost always stem from insecurity and/or judgement. How do I know this? Because I've given the "My Priorities Are Different Than Yours" non-pliment myself. I've actually said to people; "Wow, you spend a lot of time at the gym; I could never find the time." WTF? I just admitted that I spend about a fortnight (full disclosure: I don't know what a fortnight is) working on my "look," so how could I not have time to work-out? The truth is, I do have time; but it's not one of my priorities.... and I feel guilty about this, so I have to non-pliment someone who chooses to make this a priority, ultimately to make myself feel better. And that, my friends, is completely fucked up thinking. And I'm working on it. So, can we make a deal? I won't non-pliment your interest in hiking, camping, running, (and generally being a good, healthy person) if you don't non-pliment my shallow vanity and all-consuming quest for the perfect eyebrow arch.

5. The "Validate Me" Non-pliment: "I wish I could lose weight as quickly as you do," "You got a promotion? My boss hates me, I'll never get a promotion" "It sounds like you had a lot of fun in Maui. We can't afford a vacation right now." Or pretty much any sentence that involves the words "you're so lucky." Yeah, I will totally admit to giving these non-pliments with the end goal of having someone feel sorry for me and validate me somehow; and it's not ok. You are just sending out an invite to a pity party...and the person you are talking to can't even pretend they didn't see the invite notification. You have put someone in an uncomfortable position. Just congratulate them on their achievements and quit comparing yourself to them. Now, excuse me while I sheepishly try to follow my own advice.

6. Tattoo Non-pliments: I know, this seems like a bit of a detour and doesn't relate to all of my reader(s), but the tattoo thing needs to be addressed; especially when talking to a woman with tattoos. Consider this a PSA, if nothing else. Humor me. I'll feel better. Here's the deal, The Tattoo Non-pliment can encompass all of the above non-pliments, I'll demonstrate-

  1. Factual Statement Tattoo Non-pliment: "You have a lot of tattoos." Um, not really, but you seem to think so. "A lot" is a relative term; more than the Dalai Lama but less than a Russian prison, I suppose. What the fuck is your point? When you say things like that, you sound like a toddler speaking non sequiturs. What would you think if I just approached you and said "You don't have any tattoos." How would you react? Confused, at the very least? Exactly.
  2. Previous Time Tattoo Non-pliment: "I liked you better with out all the tattoos." This is usually followed by a long sigh, as your mom (or well-meaning, but disappointed relative) stares wistfully into the bottom of her Constant Comet tea. I know; this wouldn't have been your ideal vision of how I would end-up looking and it doesn't fit your world view, but luckily IT DOESN'T AFFECT A DAMN THING IN THE WORLD. So, let's move on, shall we.
  3. The Marginalizing Tattoo Non-pliment: "I bet you stand out in a crowd." Depends on the crowd, I guess...if it's a crowd of Mayflower pilgrims, then sure. I would also be burned at the stake, most likely. It's 2015; I stand out more for knowing how to use a rotary phone. And so what if I do stand out in a crowd? The only one that needs to worry about that is me. 
    • Subcategory: "What does your boyfriend/husband think of those tattoos?" Well, fortunately he approves. Of course, we also had to go to my father and obtain his permission. After they both signed a notarized affidavit, acquiescing that I could do whatever I want to my body, I took the document to my local constabulary and presented my case. After a 2 hour cross-examination of the placement and subject matter of my tattoos, I procured my Lady Tattoo Permit. Huzzah!
  4. The "My Priorities Are Different Than Yours" Tattoo Non-pliment: "I like your tattoos, but I could never do that. I have a career." Oh, really; a career? Fancy-schmancy. I bet you own more than 2 pairs of socks and you speak the King's English too. I have a career as well; granted, my career is that of an old-timey, sleazy n'er-do-well who hangs out in seedy juke joints or outside high schools flipping a quarter seductively and trying to lure innocent people into a life of opiate addiction and white slavery. The pay is decent, but the hours are crazy....Seriously. I get it. Tattoos are not in your wheelhouse and that's fine; but don't assume that I lack anything in my life because of them. 
  5. The "Validate Me" Tattoo Non-pliment: This one is SO uncomfortable, because it is always some dude "complimenting" my tattoos, only to show me his shitty "my buddy did this in his garage" tattoo. You just made it weird, because I have no idea what to say about your blown-out Marvin the Martian tattoo. I'm sad for you now. And I want to get back to my drink.
  6. Here's a bonus one- The General "I Like Your Tattoos" Non-pliment. What's wrong with this, you ask? Well, I forgot to include the context; this is usually said by a complete stranger, usually from a distance so he can't event tell what the tattoos are. This person usually has no tattoos and is just looking for an invitation to stare at you or touch you. What he really means by "I like your tattoos" is "I like the fact that you have tattoos. You are probably an easy/exotic/wild/bad girl and I want to stare at you in a freakshow spectator sort of way." And yes, you will notice that I used the pronoun "he," because I've never had a woman do this to me. Also, I asked my husband if anyone has ever done this to him. He said no. I do believe we'd be hard pressed to find a lot of men who have had this experience....which is why it is called: TAT-CALLING. Yep, you are essentially cat-calling a woman due to her tattoos. And it's annoying and it's not a compliment. Which leads me out of our subcategories and back to the final non-pliment of the blog......
7. Drumroll......The Making A Woman Uncomfortable Non-pliment: Yeah, you knew I couldn't go through a whole blog without dishing up some of my pesky feminist propaganda. Basically, it's this: if your "compliment" makes a woman uncomfortable due to the subject matter, the context, the time, the place, or just general inappropriateness....it's not a compliment. Telling the barista at Starbucks that you like her tight-fitting shirt while creepily leering at her mommy parts, is not a compliment. It's actually harassment. If she has to stop doing her job to uncomfortably mumble a forced "thanks," that should indicate to you that your "compliment" was at best, inconvenient. Read the room, dude. If you are disrupting someone to pay them a compliment, it's not a compliment. It's an annoyance; and harassment. " This may be tricky to discern, but if it's something you wouldn't say to your male co-worker, doctor, boss, or great aunt, then maybe swallow that jagg-off little pill and save it for your Men's Rights group. Oh, and while we're at it; Cat-calling is never a compliment. But, I'm assuming if you got this far, you already know that. I'm pretty sure I lost most of the cat-call prone readers (if I have any) at the phrase "feminist propaganda" anyway. Regarding cat-calls, I have so many things to say, that I wouldn't even know where to begin...but, I really love this What If Catcalls Were Cheeseburgers video, so I'll let it speak for me and close us out.




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Honeymoon Hosers

"I never thought we would have to compare two Mexican booze cruise Queen lip syncing acts; and yet here we are."

That's not necessarily the quote that defines our 10 year wedding anniversary vacation, but that's the one I remember; and let's face it: it's probably the one that piques the most interest. 

I'll back up a little. Just over a week ago, my husband and I spent a glorious week in Puerto Vallarta, the same city we spent our honeymoon, 10 years ago. A second honeymoon. Adorable, huh? Yeah, we know. 

The trip didn't start out adorable, though. Well more accurately, I didn't start off adorable. Our flight left at 7:55am out of DIA, which meant we had to be there at 5:55 am. The airport is a little under 2 hours away from where we live, which meant that we had to leave at 3:55 am, which meant I had to wake up at fuckoff:55 am. Yeah, not adorable. Not even vaguely cute.

But, we arrived at our south of the border location with relative ease. At least I'm assuming we did; I got "travel numb" off rum and ginger ales on the plane. Trip faced, if you will. Or if you won't. Luckily, my darling husband doesn't drink, so he got us to our hotel despite the extra drunken baggage. If our trip had a subtitle, it would have been "Whiskey, Fully Loaded." It's probably a good thing our trip didn't have a subtitle, because that was pretty lame.

When we arrived at our resort, they had a lovely anniversary suite set up for us, complete with rose petals, champagne and a freshly drawn bubble bath. I immediately grabbed the bottle of champagne, kicked off my flip flops and sat at the edge of the tub, feet immersed in bubbles, chugging that whole damn delicious bottle of cheap champagne. I am one classy lassie. Eventually, I realized how silly I looked. I changed into my bathing suit and got back in the tub; like a drunken sorority girl.

Troy made me some coffee, sobered me up (ish) and took me to dinner where I had the best table side guacamole I've ever had. I told the waiter as much. Loudly. My charm has no bounds.


(There's that drunken smile that Troy fell in love with all those years ago. photo by confused waiter)


The next day we spent lounging by the ocean. I layered myself with enough sunblock to protect a flock of Scandinavian school children and proceeded to do something I haven't been able to do in years: I relaxed. That didn't last long, however, as after about 20 minutes, I decided that I needed to check my email. I managed to get very worked up over the spotty wifi. Yep, you read that right. I was about 20 feet from the ocean and I was annoyed by the weak wifi signal. I'm the ugliest of Americans.

Speaking of ugly, pale Americans; the next day we set out for a walking and tasting tour of the city. If you've never been to Puerto Vallarta, you should experience it. I feel as though it's one of the most European-esque cities in Mexico. The buildings are older, there are charming cobblestone streets (although I'm sure daily drivers don't find the cobblestone charming) and there is a noticeable lack of "Wooo, spring break!" type bars. There are a few, but not as many as Cancun or Cabo.

We met up with Enrique, our guide for the walking and food tasting tour. First stop; carnitas! We enjoyed some spectacular carnitas tacos from a little hole in the wall carnitas shop. They were divine. We also had some horchata. AND we impressed our guide by knowing what horchata was. We felt smug. Ugh. Smug pasty white people are the WORST. Anyway, we had an amazing tour of the city and the food that it has to offer. At the last stop, we had THE BEST CEVICHE ON THE PLANET. I am not exaggerating. If you are ever in Puerto Vallarta, do yourself a favor and go to Mariscos Cisneros.
*Side note: when I typed "THE BEST CEVICHE ON THE PLANET," my non-Spanish speaking computer suggested the word "crevice," which made me giggle. How odd and inappropriate would it be for me to type "THE BEST CREVICE ON THE PLANET" in all caps? Oh, I guess I just did. Heh.

On Tuesday, we lounged by the pool and I got buzzed off of cervezas....well as buzzed as a girl from Colorado can get drinking Corona Lights at sea level; which is to say, not very buzzed. As I have declared before, I'm a fucking Olympian when it comes to drinking at sea level. Just don't let me chug an entire bottle of cheap champagne in the bath tub....

(Poolside Envy. photo by Troy Staat)

Wednesday, we went to an isolated private beach reserve called Las Caletas. It used to be director John Huston's private beach. It's now owned and leased by Vallarta Adventures, a tour group that provides an excursion on the island. This is where I got to hold a squirrel monkey. Yep. I held a squirrel monkey. And a parrot. And a hawk. But, did I mention the squirrel monkey?

(Squirrel Monkey Envy. photo by Troy Staat)

During this trip, we also learned that it's not just Americans that are loud and obnoxious (although we do seem to be holding down that number one spot pretty securely).  We managed to encounter the mythical loud and obnoxious Canadian. I know. Canadians are nice, gentle, respectful people. Americans pretend to be Canadians when traveling abroad to avoid the Ugly American connotation. Canadians are not loud and obnoxious. Usually.

We met the only loud and obnoxious Canadian. He managed a Home Depot garden center in Vancouver. His vacation was rerouted from hurricane-struck Cabo to Puerto Vallarta. He saw a newspaper picture of Robin Thicke waiting in line at the Cabo airport. He went scuba diving the day before. His wife stayed behind at the hotel (wonder why?). He planned on coming back next year.

"Oh, you must have had a lengthy conversation with him," you are undoubtedly assuming to yourself. Nope. We never spoke to this man. All of this information was provided to us, whether we liked it or not, via his incredibly loud, one-sided conversation that he was having with a poor helpless tour guide...from about 40 ft away. Surprisingly, the only thing we didn't know about him was his name. We decided to call him Scuba Hoser.

The next evening, we went back to Las Caletas for the Rhythms Of The Night show- a sort of hokey, wannabe Cirque de Soleil production...with mosquitos. The show wasn't anything spectacular or worth mentioning. What is worth mentioning is this: on the boat ride back to our hotel, we witnessed the second (and lesser quality) of an odd, confusing entertainment "skit" put on by the boat's crew. And it was the second (and lesser quality) lip-syncing Queen extravaganza of our trip. The first time we saw this was on the day-time boat ride to Las Caletas the day before. When I first saw it, I thought, "OK this is weird, but it looks like the crew worked hard on coming up with this entertainment, so I'll just sip my margarita and watch what unfolds." It reminded me of a child's impromptu performance when he/she wants attention and praise from adults. What unfolded was a confusing (and slightly homophobic) lip-syncing drag-ish performance to Queen's greatest hits, complete with front man who channeled John Leguizamo more than Freddie Mercury.

So, imagine our befuddlement when we saw a second and almost identical, but slightly inferior, production of the same thing on the boat ride that evening. Turns out what I thought was just a lost in translation, cutesy form of entertainment put on by that particular crew, was in fact a company-wide, deliberately written and rehearsed script. Which brought me to turn to Troy and utter the following: "I never thought we would have to compare two Mexican booze cruise Queen lip syncing acts; and yet here we are." Don't get me wrong, I love Queen. Freddie Mercury is an idol and a rock god. What they did to Freddie's good name was inexcusable.


We spent the remaining days of our vacation relaxing at the resort or wandering the city; and I did what I do best- I drank tropical drinks and I shopped. Usually at the same time.

(Still standing after day drinking. Where's my medal? photo by Troy Staat)

Scuba Hoser, shitty Queen tributes, mosquitos and all; our second honeymoon was nothing short of perfect. Nothing can test a marriage more than traveling together and we did it splendidly. Marriages are partnerships and friendships; after 10 years, I think we've mastered both. I don't think you can eloquently and effectively put into words an ideal marriage; it is lived and experienced. It's perfectly equal; no winners or losers, just two individuals who have figured out how to love each other, help each other, depend on each other, fight with each other, forgive each other and support each other.

No, a perfect marriage can't be put into words...But, I totally just put it into words- on the Internet- so I win! In your face, Husband! *Chants "I'm number 1! I'm number 1!" in true ugly American style.*


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Writer's Block and Roll.....oh, forget it.

It has come to my attention that I really should be maintaining this blog. My posts have been sporadic at best. But, in my defense, I've been really busy. There's been a lot of Buzzfeed quizzes that demand my participation (What Kind Of Dog Are You? Turns out, I'm a dachshund. Who knew?), a lot of great TV (Orphan Black took up pretty much ALL of my June) and I've been trying this "clean eating" thing (aka "cooking Amish"). So, you know. Busy.

But I'll set aside a few minutes of my whirling schedule to update the old blog.

*Blink, blink*

Oh, well- this is embarrassing- it appears that I don't have any idea of what to write about. Oh, right! THAT'S the reason I haven't been updating lately. I have writers block. 

Writer's block is TOO a real thing! 

Oops. There I go getting defensive over imaginary accusations from imaginary blog readers. Lets take it down a notch: writer's block is a real problem for writers and pretend writers like myself. It can last a few days to a few years. So, a few months of me not posting a blog is really NOT that big of a deal. Sorry, sorry. I'll tone down the defense.

Well, you say; "Name one writer that suffered from chronic writers block."

I can give you two: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Charles M. Schultz. And probably a few others who don't have initials in there names, but those were the first two mentioned in the wikipedia article I read.  Er- I mean those were the most prominent names that appeared in my tireless hours of research...

Um, so back to it. 

Writer's block may have a scientific cause: according to my extensive research (read: Wikipedia), when the brain is under stress, it shifts from the cerebral cortex (creative part) to the limbic system (reptile brain) and triggers the common "flight or fight" response. So, the way I understand it: your brain is stressed and feels like it needs to be ready for anything, it puts your creative thought process on the back burner so that you can fight wolverines if need be. 

That's one idea, anyway. 

Cures for writer's block? Well... you're looking at it. From what I can glean from my exhaustive research (again, thank you wikipedia) is that most writers and educators feel that just writing ANYTHING (free association, journals, list-making, etc.) will help shake off the shackles of writer's block. And, if you keep at it, you might not be reduced to using such cliches as "shake off the shackles of writer's block."

So there it is; my attempt to fight my way back into the literary circle. And back into your hearts.






Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Sandwich by Any Other Name...

I know that I hyped a new blog on facebook, almost a week ago…but as I like to say, the road to new blog posts is paved with good intentions. OK, I don’t really like to say that. No one does.

Basically, if you were paying attention on the FB, I tried to generate interest in my blog posts by holding a call to action for blog ideas. And I got a whopping 6 responses (give or take)…2 of them (give or take) were from actual readers!

The suggestions that I did receive were really quite good. Some of the ideas included: shameless selfies, kitties & puppies, coffee, movie bombs, Manitou, and sandwiches.

Here’s a breakdown of why/how I decided on my blog topic as I did:

Shameless selfies- Um, well…there’s already enough coverage of Anthony Weiner’s shameless selfie of his junk (and lack of actual junk coverage). I’ll leave that one to Fox and MSNBC to duke out.

Kitties and puppies- The avid readers of my blog- both of you- will note that I have dedicated a great deal of posts to kitties and puppies. Ad nauseum. I’m going to give my readers (both of them) a break from all that.

Coffee- Suggested by my husband. I felt it would be a bit of the old nepotism to use this idea.

Movie Bombs- Also suggested by my husband. Seriously, doesn't anyone screen these calls?

Manitou- This is a great topic and it was suggested right after the gorgeous city at the base of Pikes Peak suffered from devastating flooding (the town has since seen a community pull together in a beautiful show of support). My thought is this: There are wonderfully talented journalists in this area who have beautifully covered the horrible flooding and the consequent outpouring of help that occurred in the city; I could never do that story justice. Besides, haven’t the people of Manitou suffered enough? They don’t need to be highlighted in my crappy blog.

Which leaves me with sandwiches, or rather the suggestion from Anthony Graham: “Why sandwiches are the most perfect food.”

Well, congratulations Ant,  I am going to write about sandwiches! (Ant, by the way is a super talented photog. Check out his website: http://brokenglassphoto.smugmug.com/)

Except, I don’t know that I fully support the thesis of sandwiches being the most perfect food; I believe that tacos are the most perfect food (or close to it), but they are not sandwiches (a fact that will be backed up later). I do, however, think that sandwiches are pretty great. Pretty great, indeed.

So, let’s talk sandwiches (aka sammies around my house).

I’m sure you have all heard that the sandwich was invented by a dude named the Earl of Sandwich. Actually, his name was John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, a British statesman. And actually, he didn't really invent it. I mean, come on. Do you really think humans would wait until the 18th century to enjoy a sandwich? Sure, homeboy gave the thing a name, but people had been enjoying stuff between bread for a long time before that.

The sandwich, although not called that at the time, goes way back. The Jewish sage, Hillel the Elder (I don’t have a date on this, but if someone’s name is followed by “the Elder,” then you know that this shit is old as dirt) is rumored to have wrapped lamb meat and some herbs between two pieces of matzah. Mozel Tov! There’s also evidence of sandwiches, or sandwich like creations being used in Medieval Europe. Initially, sammies were considered the food of the poor; often being used with bread that was thrown out by the richies and also often associated with gamblers and drinkers who needed a hand free for their vice of choice. However, just like everything else great, the sandwich made it’s way from the streets to the bourgeoisie.

In comes the Earl of Sandwich.

It has been said that he enjoyed playing cribbage and would often ask his valet to bring him some meat between bread. His fellow card players would in turn ask for “the same as Sandwich.” Supposedly, this is how the word made its way into the vernacular. However, there is a less exciting version of the etymology: it seems that the Earl was a bit of a Renaissance man and had involvements in the navy, politics and the arts. He was a busy man and most likely consumed his sammies soberly at his writing desk, not drunkenly at the cribbage table. Pick whichever version fits your fancy. I usually root for the drunkard.

So, what constitutes a sandwich? There is actually a court ruling on the matter. A sandwich must include “at least two slices of bread.” This excludes tacos, burritos, egg rolls, Hot Pockets, falafel, etc. And why was there a court ruling on this? You are wise to ask. Here’s the deal- turns out a sandwich restaurant in Boston wanted to prevent a burrito stand from opening in the same shopping center as part of a non-compete clause. However, a Massachusetts court ruled that a burrito is not a sandwich and a sandwich is defined by having two slices of bread. Thus, the burrito joint was able to open in the same center as it did not break any non-compete laws. Ole!

There you have it. A burrito is not a sandwich. However, a torta (Mexican sandwich) is; so is a hoagie, sub, grinder, French dip, po’ boy, sloppy Joe, muffuletta, Reuben, and my favorite- a banh mi. Apparently, a hamburger is also considered a sandwich; but if I’m eating lunch with you and you order a “hamburger sandwich,” I will promptly leave the table. Only cult members and people from the 1930’s order a “hamburger sandwich,” Weirdo.

Want to find out about more sammies from around the world? Check out this great Buzzfeed list, guaranteed to make you want to go on an Around the World in 29 Sandwiches tour. http://www.buzzfeed.com/alexnaidus/around-the-world-in-sandwiches

Hope you enjoyed this. Now, let's all have sammies!




Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Country Grammar and Other Pet Peeves

I want you to think far back to a time before Facebook and twitter, and- hell- even the Internet. Think back to the time that you could have a long conversation with a good friend and have no idea that they were illiterate.

Yes, illiterate. Well, "illiterate" might be a harsh word. Maybe, "lazy" is more appropriate? 

I'll explain. Unless yours was the type of friendship in which you wrote each other lengthy letters back and forth, you probably had no idea that your friend did not know the difference between "apart" and "a part," or that he/she thinks the abbreviation is "ect." instead of "etc."

Then came Facebook and everyone's grammatical short-comings became abundantly clear. I remember cringing the first time I saw a dear friend post a status update using the word "hear" when she clearly meant "here." "That must be a typo," I thought to myself. But the "typos" continued; and they spread like a verbal plague amid the updates in my news feed.

I need to make it clear that I am no grammar saint myself. I have committed countless sins: splitting infinitives, incorrect subject/verb agreement, my spelling is atroshus, oh and run-on sentences that never seem to end; as well as my liberal use of commas, semicolons; parentheses....and ellipses. (See what I did there?...please tell me you see what I did there.) My point: I am not a Grammar Goddess (or Grammar Nazi as some of my friends would suggest). I'm not even close. Short of dotting my "i's" with hearts, I pretty much have the writing skills of a junior high school girl.

 BUT....

I know the damn difference between "your," "you're," "there," "their," "they're," "to," "two," "too," "where," "wear," "ware," etc. Or should I say "ect." because that does seem to be the most popular way to type that abbreviation, according to Facebook. Grrrr. It's an abbreviation of the word "et cetera," not "ec cetera!" Need help remembering the correct abbreviation? Think ET cetera, "E.T." cetera. As in ET phones home, etc.

Whew, where was I? Oh, yes- straying FAR off topic.

You'd never guess, but this blog post isn't going to be about grammar. Well, not really. The post is about pet peeves. My pet peeves. Yes, poor grammar is one of my pet peeves. But I have so many others. So, so many. And I am going to share them with you today. Because, that's what I do as a self-absorbed blogger; which is to say, blogger.

In addition to shitty grammar, my pet peeves are as follows:

1) Dreams. More specifically, hearing about your dream. I don't know how to put this delicately, so I won't: I don't fucking care about the dream you had last night. Unless, I'm in it; and even then, I will check out until you get to the part about me.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who feels this way. The next time you are going to share a dream you had, just remember that the person to whom you are describing your dream is most likely not listening to you. I can promise you that I am not.

2) Watching someone play video games. This one was much more applicable during my college days, but my angst still lingers. I mean, seriously, you invite me over so that I can watch you and your loser roommate play Mortal Combat? "Finish him?" Finish this. *cue my much perkier 20 year old ass walking out the door.

3) Racists who assume that I am also racist. Yeah, I realize that with my fair skin and platinum hair, I probably look like a jackass Aryan's wet dream, but be assured that I DO NOT share those views. I can't tell you how many racist jokes I've heard- no, not just heard- but someone has purposely sought me out to tell me those jokes, just because of my complexion. Hey, slow your roll Mel Gibson; you are talking to the wrong white girl. I do however, love the opportunity that follows, in which I get to tell the racist joker, that I do not find that type of joke funny in the slightest. I also love the part when I call the person a racist piece of shit. I also, really love the part where I tell every girl in the bar what a racist piece of shit that person is and they shouldn't fuck him even with someone else's vagina. Damn, I really hate racists.

4) Jam Bands. I used to refer to jam bands as ear rape, but I've since softened my stance. I think that jam bands are like ear date rape. They start out rather innocuous, but 20 minutes later, you realized that you've been slipped a musical mickey. Jam bands are self-indulgent assholes dressed as hippie nice guys. Do not drink their kool-aid.

5) Number lock. Number lock is bullshit. 

6) The word "realness." As in a selfie of yourself on Instagram that says "glitter eye-liner realness." Using the word "realness" to describe your appearance or your location is actually poor grammar "realness."

7) The word "moist." It's gross. I avoid using it, unless absolutely necessary.

8) The word "lover." Ew. Just ew. I quote Liz Lemmon: "The word 'lover' bums me out, unless it's between the words 'meat' and 'pizza."

9) Anthropomorphic food. You know, like the dancing hot dogs and sodas in the "Let's all go to the lobby" movie song. And don't get me started on Veggie Tales. That combines anthropomorphism and evangelicalism. That is something I'm just not ok with.

10) Passive aggression and guilt trips. Hey, by the way. I just happened to notice that voting starts today for the Indy's Best Of edition. Oh, and looky here- they have a best local blogger category. Did I mention that the name of this blog is "Bottoms Up! With Whiskey Darling." Or, even the name Whiskey Darling, should suffice. But you guys probably don't even like me. You're just reading this blog to be nice. I mean, it's not a big deal to me or anything; it's just that I got second place last year and I'd really love to at least hold on to that title. It would be a shame for me to have to tell my parents that I'm no longer Colorado Springs' second favorite local blogger....especially after my mom knitted me that "Springs' Second Favorite Blogger" scarf. I mean, do whatever. It's cool. I'll just go update my Facebook status to "no longer Colorado Springs' second favorite local blogger."

Of course, if you are so inclined, you can vote here: Colorado Springs Independent Best of Voting

Seriously, thank you all for voting for me last year and I am beyond flattered that I earned that title.

Oh, but before you go, here's some cute squirrel "realness" as a thank you for your time:)

 (photo credit: Troy Staat troutimagery.com)







  



Monday, April 8, 2013

My Day In Court (aka Call of Duty 2013)

The following is a "live blog" account of my jury duty experience today. I had an ipad, wifi, and a ton of time. You are welcome.


So, it has come to this. I tried everything to not be here. And by everything, I mean wishing really hard that I wouldn't have to be here. And by "here," I mean the juror waiting room of the El Paso County Courthouse.

Luckily for me and unluckily for you, they have wifi. So I can take this opportunity to rant....I mean blog.

First let me start off with the parking situation. It is stupid. There are about 400 people called into jury duty service and about 50 juror parking spots. Grrrrr.

I had to remove my belt at security. Grrrr.

Dude sitting next to me reeks of stale cigarettes and old fast food. Grrrr.

I'm thirsty. I'd buy a bottle of water, but I used all my change to pay for parking.

9:15AM
Now we are watching a video. We are supposed to pay attention, so I will.

Done with video. They made a point to tell us that the people in the video were not paid actors. They didn't have to tell us that. It was obvious.

9:47AM
Now we are watching a movie as we wait. It is National Treasure with Nicholas Cage. I thought the goal of jury service was to prevent an undue hardship.

The smell coming from the guy next to me is getting worse. I'm am nauseated. I've tried to switch seats but am having a hard time not being obvious about it. Hey, I'm a bitch internally, but I don't like to be one outwardly.

Anyway, while I wait, I will go over some of the ideas I had as ways to get dismissed:

1. Bring in my cat Maeby and ask where the child-care center is.

2. Solicit fellow jurors to form a flash mob.

3. Quote lines from National Treasure. Along with the the movie as it is playing.

4. Answer every question with "You can't handle the truth!"

5. Explain that my membership in the KISS Army will conflict with my juror service as I am required to rock and roll all night and party every day.

6. Two words: impromptu burlesque

7. Show up covered in cat hair....oh wait, I did that already.

8. Tell them that I'd love to serve, but I have to meet the Doc at the clock tower so I can make it back to 1985.

9. End every sentence with "meow."

10. Giggle uncontrollably every time someone says the word "duty."

Well. That took up some time.


I have now filled out a second questionnaire, which pretty much means that I will be called to jury selection. This is lame.

Very lame.

I'm gonna power down my iPad for the moment and await further instructions. Also, I think Smelly Dude next to me keeps looking at my screen. Back off, smelly.

11:08AM
I'm still here, but the good news is that Dude was called to a jury. Smell ya' later.

My meter expires in 45 minutes. I will not be reimbursed for a ticket as I didn't park in the overflow lot. Because I'm an idiot. And also because I didn't know there was an overflow lot. I guess I can't blame the system for my stupidity and lack of knowledge on overflow lots. There was probably a sign somewhere. I didn't read it. I don't have time for signs. I also don't like to pay close attention to things or examine them thoroughly. This should serve as a great reason for them to dismiss me from the jury.

They assured me I would be able to move my car before noon. I'm beginning to suspect that the judicial system does not move as promptly and efficiently as I had hoped.

11:14AM
Everyone who has not been assigned to a jury gets to leave. They leave smugly. I hate them.  Now it's just me, Nicholas Cage and some other assholes unlucky enough to still be here. I'm probably going to get a parking ticket.

Grrrr.

11:20
I'm hungry

11.28AM
I just remembered that I brought some sugar-free homemade flax cookies. They are...not good, at best. I has just occurred to me that I could easily get dismissed by offering to share my sugar free homemade flax cookies.....

Ugh. My civic duty is boring. And potentially expensive if I don't get to that parking meter soon.

11:58AM
Good news: I am home.

Bad news: I have to go back to the courthouse for jury selection at 1:30PM.

Even worse news: I got a parking ticket; even though I still had plenty of time on the meter. Yes, plenty of time on THE meter, but not MY meter. Yep. I put money in the wrong meter. THE WRONG FUCKING METER. I put $3 in the meter and got a $20 ticket from the City of Colorado Springs. Worst slot machine ever. But, there is no one to blame for this but myself. And I am fully aware of that. Still, it sucks.

I would like to point out that if this parking meter idiocy doesn't prove that I am unfit to serve on a jury, then I don't know what does.

I would also like to point out that there is a religious group assembled outside the courthouse asking people if they prayed while in court.

Here's my issue with this:

Aside from the obvious: street prosthelyzation is fucking annoying;  I'm also irritated at the fact that these people are willingly at the courthouse on a Monday afternoon. Some of us had to arrange to take the time off work and then complain relentlessly on Facebook about it. But these zealots are here willingly. Willingly! Also, I'm jealous about how open their schedules must be. I know I don't have the time to stand in front of a courthouse and bother people. Well, not when I'm sober anyway.

So my question is this: is this condoned by the city? If so, that is beyond- for lack of a better word- fucked.

1:15PM
It would appear that this is not condoned by the city as the Courthouse Jesus Gang has been apparently asked to leave.

Well, OK.

1:30pm
I'm now taken to a smaller room of the courthouse in which I get to hangout with my "peers." My "peers" apparently consist of a bunch of ladies in their mid-fifties, a sorority girl, and a cranky old dude.

2:20pm
I am called to the witness booth.

2:32pm
I am dismissed.

2:45pm
I went to work and finished out the day. Yeah, you hear that Courthouse Jesus Gang? I have shit to do. That's how we do up in the non-prosthelyzation hood.


I do want to note that, despite all of my joking about trying to get out of jury duty, I treated the experience with honesty and integrity. While I will not reveal the subject matter of the case, I did feel that it would be impossible for me to be impartial and objective given the questions I was asked. And this was not a ploy to shirk my responsibilities. This was an honest and conscientious response.

You wouldn't know it by the way I described my day, but I do think that jury duty is a great responsibility. An irritating, time-consuming, sometimes nauseating responsibility, but a responsibility nonetheless.

When I first got my summons, I posted it on facebook. Because I'm super mature. A weird, random lady criticized me for not being excited about my "precious gift." I can only assume that she meant jury duty as my virginity was re-gifted long ago.

Jury duty a "precious gift?" No. A kitten is a "precious gift." Apparently some sort of ring in Middle Earth is a "precious gift." Jury duty is an obligation. One that you should take seriously and fastidiously, but by no means one that you are required to be joyous about.

Oh- and I unfriended that wacko on facebook. No one posts the words "precious gift" on my wall. No one.







Monday, November 5, 2012

Vote. Seriously. Vote.

Ah yes, we've come to the point where I use my privilege as part of the "liberal media" to encourage you to vote.

Vote.

Do it.

If you don't vote, you are an idiot.

Sexy people vote.

People who don't vote tend to have weird scabs and smell funny.

Don't think your vote counts? Due to a matter beyond my control, I didn't vote once. It was during the 2000 election. I think we all know how that turned out. *shudder*

So I say to you once again: Vote.

Did I motherf*cking stutter?

Vote.

OK, I think I got my point across; so, onto the blog. I'm not going to tell you how I'm voting...
but O I'm sure B you can A read between M the lines A :)

What I am going to do is present you with some interesting election themed facts, to get you excited for voting on Nov. 6th. Yay!


  • So, why is Election Day always the Tuesday on or after Nov. 2? Well, November was chosen because it's after the harvest. Tuesday was chosen because old-timey people usually had to travel a whole day to go vote and most people couldn't travel on Sunday's because of religious reasons. And it couldn't be on Tuesday Nov. 1 because that's All Saints Day.
  • The presidents who won the most states? 1).Richard Nixon. Yep, Tricky Dick carried 49 states, all but Massachusetts. And 2). Ronald Reagan- he won all but Minnesota. Ya betcha.
  • Ok, what's the deal with the Donkey and the Elephant? Well, not much really. These symbols were both created by 1800's cartoonist Thomas Nash for Harper's Bazaar. That's really about all I could find...without reading, like, a WHOLE wikipedia article. Pshht.
  • "But more importantly," you ask "which president had a pet alligator?" That would be John Quincy Adams and Herbert Hoover. Other weird presidential pets include: Thomas Jefferson's two bear cubs, Teddy Roosevelt's badger, William Henry and Benjamin Harrison's goats and Martin Van Buren's 2 two tiger cubs.
  • James Garfield could write in Latin with one hand and Ancient Greek with the other. George W. Bush could barely read/write/speak English.
  • A presidential candidate must earn at least 270 electoral votes, otherwise the president is decided by the House of Representatives.
  • The 2008 election was the only election in which 2 sitting senators were running against each other. It was also the only election in which BOTH candidates were born outside of the continuous United States- Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and John McCain was born on a US naval base in the Panama Canal Zone. Take that, Birthers.
  • Some interesting presidential nicknames that could double as porn titles- James Monroe: "The Last Cocked Hat," John Quincy Adams: "Old Man Eloquent," Zachary Taylor: "Old Rough and Ready," James Buchanan: "Old Buck," Calvin Coolidge: "Silent Cal," and Harry S. Truman: "Give 'Em Hell, Harry."  Old-timey people were pervs.
  • The tallest prez was Lincoln at 6'4", the shortest was Madison at 5'4". Daniel Day Lewis is playing Lincoln in the upcoming biopic...no word on if Tom Cruise has accepted the role of Madison yet.
  • Jimmy Carter was the first president born in a hospital. Wait, what? Really? Where/how were the previous presidents born? Weird.
  • Speaking of Carter, he was the 6th cousin of Richard Nixon. Also weird.
  • Gerald Ford- yes that Gerald Ford- was a fashion model in the 1940's. He even graced the cover of Cosmopolitan. And, a little known fact- he was the first to do the infamous Burt Reynold's pose. OK, that part's not true...just seeing if you are paying attention.
  • Warren G. Harding once gambled and lost all the white house china in one hand of cards...I guarantee you that a woman president wouldn't pull that kind of crap.
  • Speaking of women, the 19th Amendment (women's right to vote) was signed into law on August 26, 1920. Some countries that had women's suffrage before the US: Tasmania, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, Rhodesia, Estonia and Latvia...to name a few. Yeah, motherf*cking Latvia gave women the right to vote before the US.
  • The 15th Amendment gave the right to vote to African Americans in 1870, but it wasn't until 1965 that congress passed the Voting Right Act, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices. It was about damn time.
People have fought long and hard to secure the right to vote. I think you owe it to them to get down to the polls and perform your civic duty. I'm so serious about this that I'm not even going to make a childish joke about my use of the word "duty."

I'd like to end with a quote from FranklinD. Roosevelt: "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."