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."







Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Don't Call it a Comeback

No really, don't call it a comeback.

I don't deserve a comeback. I've been a bad, bad blogger. One of the worst. I'm lazy, distracted- and all-around- completely unmotivated. I do not deserve your readership....

And yet, you all voted me 2nd Best Blogger in the CS Indy. I've won second place for doing absolutely nothing! For the second year in a row! Yes! The system works!

Now, before you look into allegations of voter fraud (as well you should), please keep in mind that I did absolutely zero pandering this time around (please refer to the aforementioned "lazy" adjective). That being said, I have no idea how this happened; but I'll take it! And thank you.

So what now? Well, I'm going to post a blog (my first since May...remember: Lazy) before the Blogger Commission strips me of my two consecutive titles for allegations of doping...in this case "doping" means being a dope and having a blog.

Where to begin? Well, let's try to figure out how the hell I won this title this year. As I think I've made perfectly clear, I don't deserve this. The first place award went to a lady who blogs about coupons...well, I'm not even going to touch that. In this economy, you can't win against a coupon lady. You just can't. The only thing more popular than a coupon lady is a sneezing LOL kitten...and if they learn to blog, we are all screwed.

The third place award went to my friend Damian Burford for his blog Mostly Harmless Podcast (check it out at: http://mostlyharmlesspodcast.com/). Did you look at it? Yeah, it's awesome! Way better than this lame piece of self-indulgent tripe that I write. I mean, he interviews bands and has a slick website. Did you see that he interviewed the Toadies? Yeah, the Toadies. What do I do? I drone on and on about shoes, jewelry, random trivia, my cat and my burlescapes. Pretty lame, Milhouse. I can say that without a doubt, Damian should have taken 2nd place and I should have received a dope slap.

So, let's figure out how this lazy, no-getter won 2nd place. I racked my brain and figured out that it comes down to one thing: I take my clothes off in public. Yep. That's the edge that I have. As I see it, not a lot of people read blogs; so when the ballots came out, I think a lot of people were like: "hey doesn't that drunken hot-mess blonde burlesque dancer have a blog? Man is she a trainwreck. Well, I'll put her name down until I think of someone else...Now, who has the best pizza in town?"

Other reasons I will accept for winning 2nd: 1) voter fraud, 2) simultaneous collective amnesia 2) and the existence of Bizarro World.

OK, so we've got the "winning" scandal out of the way. Now, let's catch up on what I've been up to since I last blogged. Oh, yeah. Did you think this blog was NOT going to be self-indulgent? You don't get "Peter Principled" to 2nd place by posting altruistic blogs.

Here's the highlights of the last few months:


  • May: I started an awesome job that I truly enjoy. Yay!
  • Also in May: I was a guest bartender for a day. I am awful at it. I only serve beer and shots and I flat out refuse to make a drink that has more than "2 pours." Again: Lazy. Good thing I found that awesome day-job, because I could never make the mortgage on my subpar bartending skills. (Photo credit: Anthony Graham of Broken Glass photography, who also placed in the Indy Best Of Edition. Check out his website: http://brokenglassphoto.smugmug.com/)







  • June: I managed to use my stage name as a clue in a game of Hangin' With Friends. Yeah, I'm counting that as an accomplishment.

  • July: I performed in the Colorado Burlesque Festival for the 3rd year in a row. I got very drunk the first night there and I don't remember much, but my sources tell me that I performed well and that I had a good time. My sources are fairly reliable.

  • Also in July: I GOT TO HOLD AND BOTTLE FEED A BABY TIGER. THAT'S RIGHT, A MOTHERFUCKING BABY TIGER!!!!!!!
  • August: I made a bacon thong. Please note- I did not make a thong out of real bacon; that's how you get swine flu (*cue rimshot). This thong is made of fabric that looks like bacon. Why make a bacon thong, you ask? Other than the obvious answer of "fucking duh, it's a bacon thong?" Well, the thong was for my Miss Piggy act, of course. 

  • September: I went to Mexico! Playa del Carmen, to be exact. I bought cheap wrinkle cream and tequila, tourista style. And I met a coati. A coati is this:


Isn't he cute? Photo credit: Troy Staat: http://www.facebook.com/troutimagery?fref=ts Check out his stuff! Not only is he wildly talented, but I happen to be sleeping with him....the photographer, not the coati. He happens to be my husband. Again, the photographer, not the coati.

  • Also in September: I got really obsessed with Gangnam Style for about a 2 week period. I bought the song, learned the dance, taught the dance to others, then quickly became un-obsessed with it. I'm embarrassed to admit that I came to the Gangnam Style party about 3 weeks late, but I left they party like a lady, about 2 weeks before the trend got out of hand. If you are still "Gangnam Style-ing," consider this: I think my mom knows how to Gangnam Style. That shit is over. Way over. However.....I will still tag this post with the keywords "Gangnam Style" in order to increase my search results visibility. Hey, I'm lazy AND shady.

  • October: I started a joke, which started the whole world crying...and was voted 2nd place in the CS Indy's Best Of edition.....No take backs!


  • Also in October; about 1 hour ago: I created a hot chocolate drink that is half regular Swiss Miss with marshmallows and half Sugar-Free Swiss Miss. I call this "Half the Guilt Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate." I'm pretty sure this will be my greatest achievement; which is good because I will need something to fall back on once they strip me of my 2nd Place Best Blogger award. 
Well, I guess that's about it. I could take this time to make a bunch of promises about trying harder and being a better blogger and putting your needs first. But we all know that- like a deadbeat ex-boyfriend- I'm just going to borrow your car, ask for money and sleep with your best friend...metaphorically.

In closing, I want to thank you for your votes. Maybe, this was the kick in the pants I needed to start blogging again. Only time will tell:)




Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's Not THAT Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday

Today marks my last day as self-employed person. Tomorrow at 8am, I will go back to the 8-5 world of multi-line telephones, MS Office suite and most importantly- a regular paycheck. Am I sad? Sure, a little. Regrets? Yep, tons. Would I do it all over again if I knew how hard it was going to be? Not a chance.

"What," you say, "I thought you were following your dream?" Yeah, I was. But I was just following A dream; I've still got about 146 other dreams to tackle. And, also, my boss was an idiot.

The savvy reader will realize that the idiot boss I am talking about is myself. I was awful. I had no idea how to run a company. I completely violated about every single OSHA regulation; I worked my employee non stop about 12-14 hours a day, denied her lunch breaks, blamed her for my failures, accused her of not working hard enough, and said awful, demoralizing things about her. All the time, paying her about 3 cents a day. Boys II Men were right about a lot of things, except this: It's not really that hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

I have truly realized that self-employment is most likely not for me. Not now anyway.

But, I did learn a few things. And, if you are interested in self-employment, here's a few tips:


  • DO NOT LISTEN TO THE NAYSAYERS. Don't pay attention to them. Instead, listen to and invest yourself in the positive people in your life who give you encouraging support. But, there will be naysayers and it's good to identify them right away. They break down like this: 
    • 1) The Well Meaners- these most likely include your parents or other family members, really close friends, spouses, etc. You can identify the "Well Meaners" by the phrase "What are you going to do if it doesn't work out?" They ask this question out of pure concern, but they have no idea how debilitating that question is to your confidence. My advice with dealing with the Well Meaners: Lie. Tell them what they want to hear. Say something like "Don't worry, I have a nest egg," or "I have a back-up job lined up." You already have way too much anxiety over your future, you don't need to pass it on to them too.
    • 2) The Broken Dreamers- these are people who have "been there and done that" and didn't fare so well. And, most likely, they know exactly how this is going to end up and they are just trying to save you from financial and emotional ruin...but there's also a little bit of bitterness in their prophecies of doom. I'd like to think that I am better than this, but chances are that I am going to become a Broken Dreamer. So, when you talk to me about your new business ventures, please don't be offended by my dream-puncing tendencies; I'm just wallowing in my own failures.
    • 3) The Green Eyed Monsters- These people are almost the worst. They won't support your endeavors out pure jealousy. You hit a nerve with trying to fulfill your dream and they will project their inability or lack of desire to take risks on you. They will try to belittle your actions by saying condescending things like "so, how's your little craft business going?" or "oh, are you still doing that?" Or, they will straight out refuse to recognize that you actually work hard and refer to you as unemployed. My advice to this? Ignore them. Don't waste your energy trying to convince them that you work hard. Let them think what they want. You know the truth. Don't let them throw salt in your game. I had trouble ignoring them, but hopefully you won't. And honestly, most of them don't really mean to be hateful; they just resent that you are doing your own thing and they aren't. I think there's a little bit of Green Eyed Monster in all of us.
    • The Schadenfreude-ers - This type of naysayer is the worst. To be fair, I believe that schadenfreude exists in all of us to some extent as well. Schadenfreude, most simply defined, is the German word that means "the pleasure derived from others' misfortunes." And, as I said, I think schadenfreude is present in most of us...I for one would completely delight in any sort of misfortune brought upon Rick Santorum, but that's just me. Back to my point. Schadenfreude will be present in your enemies as well as people you thought you were your friends. The will talk behind your back and sometimes to your face about the flaws in your plans. They will ask cloying questions about how you are doing, only in the anticipation of a "things are not going so great" answer. Some might even try to sabotage your success by spreading rumors to others, just to get the satisfaction from your failure. Luckily, I only encountered one or two Schadenfreude-ers during my year long self-employment, but they were very toxic just the same. My advice on Schadenfreude-ers: cut them out of your life as soon as you identify them. Also, make sure to keep tight lipped around friends of Schadenfreude-ers. Schadenfreude-ers thrive on bad news. Don't feed them. Ever.
  • TRY HARD AND TAKE RISKS. But don't be too hard on yourself when you fail. When I first started selling jewelry as my 100% full time job, I tried every new advertising measure I could. Some worked well, others failed miserably and ended up being quite costly. The majority of my risks ended in new sales, new connections, new business partners, and new friends. The minority of my risks resulted in lost inventory/revenue, embarrassment, and bad blood. When that happens, it's really hard not to focus on the risks that ended badly because they feel so devastating at the time. But, when you breathe and step back, you realize that they were just a small part of your overall operation.
  • DON'T LOOK AT THIS AS PASS/FAIL. Instead, I think it's helpful to grade yourself on the standard scholastic scale. I know that I keep referring to myself as a "failure" but I actually don't think that. If I were to grade myself, it would go like this: 
    • A in creativity and design as well as customer service and event vending. 
    • B in promotion. I know that I probably drove all my facebook and twitter friends mad with my constant item listing promotions, but the truth is that some of it worked. But I could have found better ways of advertising. Sometimes, friends who have known me from the "get-go" would ask "Do you have an etsy page or something?" Face palm. Clearly my etsy listing promotions weren't work as well as I had hoped.
    • C in aggressiveness. I would never go for the "hard sell" but I didn't try too hard at the soft sell either. In fact, my lackadaisical sales methods are rooted in my distrust of a few sales people and my desire to not be like them. Most of the time, I found myself talking people out of necklaces...I'm a weirdo.
    • D in business planning. I don't understand the economy, business practices, etc. and I don't wanna.
    • No F's. I don't think I all out failed in anything.
         While my above report card isn't straight A's, I didn't completely fail. Sure, I'm not going to get into a good college with these grades...but I did get into my "safety school," which I guess would be an M-F, 8-5 office job:)

So there it is. Interestingly enough, I landed this new job that I start tomorrow almost a year to the day that I quit my old job and started out on my self-employed journey. I told myself that I would give it a year and I did (give or take a few days). I'm extremely proud of what I accomplished, however, as I said earlier- If I knew how taxing it was going to be and how many friendships I was going to lose as well as the constant emotional roller coaster it would cause, I probably wouldn't have done it. But that's just me and that shows you what kind of person I am (read: scaredy cat). This was one of the hardest things I ever did and it put a lot of pressure on my family and friends- mainly, my wonderful husband who stood by me through the whole thing. I regret that I couldn't make it work, but now I know that it just wasn't right for me...or maybe it just wasn't right for me at this time.

Don't worry though, I've got about 146 other dreams to try, so stay tuned:)

Oh, that reminds me, and I better check with my soon-to-be-ex employer and see if my 401K rolls over. Probably not. I'm an awful boss.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Insomnia and The Colosseum

I am really having a hard time writing today's blog. I'm feeling completely uninspired and very, well, not smart. I can't even come up with better phrasing for the term "not smart."

This apathy could be due to the fact that I have been dealing with insomnia this week. And the insomnia is making me...not smart.

Bear with me folks. I have no witty segue into the blog topic, so here it is- 

The Roman Colosseum:

  • The Colosseum started construction in the year 70. Yep, a double digit year. According to various accounts, it took 8-10 years to construct. That, to me, is a staggering statistic. It makes me think of what I have accomplished in 8-10 years...and it's not building a Colosseum, that's for sure.
  • The Colosseum was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater because construction began during the rule of Emperor Flavian, but it was later renamed the Colosseum, due to it's proximity to the statue of Colossus. 
  • It was built as a gift to the Roman citizens as a venue for hosting free entertainment. The events that were held there were: executions, gladiator and exotic animal fights, religious ceremonies and mock naval battles*. (*note, in my intellectually depleted state, I almost typed "navel battles," which is a pretty funny image, if you think about it.)
  • Although admission was free for citizens, you couldn't just sit anywhere in the Colosseum. The lowest class had to sit in the top row and the upper class got the floor seats on the arena level.
  • Speaking of the arena, I just learned that the word "arena" comes from the latin word for "sand." Since the arena floor was mostly sand...well, you get it; I don't need to hold your hand through this deduction.
  • The Colosseum has 76 entrances and 4 grand entrances, kind of like an Ikea. The structure was designed so that it could be evacuated in 5 minutes, unlike an Ikea.
  • Here's the best fact I found: Upon touring the Colosseum, director Ridley Scott declared that it was "too small" for his film Gladiator. They ended up designing a fake "Rome of the imagination" set. Psshht. Hollywood.
Well, that's my sleep deficient blog today. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I....ZZZZZZZ. Huh? Wait? Where am I? I think I dozed off at the computer....

Anyway, here's the featured sale item of the day. Oh, hey. It's a Roman Colosseum necklace. What a coincidence. Weird.