What My Make-A-Wish Would Be

Maybe I’m an awful person, but I had a pretty in-depth conversation a while ago about what my ultimate wish would be if I only had a short time left on this planet. Granted, they would NOT grant a “wish” to a 30-something woman with a terminal illness, but if such a tragedy were to enter my life, I think it’s important to be totally prepared. (Sidebar: they should totally grant wishes to terminally ill adults. Does anyone do that? Someone should do that. Adults have wishes, too.)

In order to fully embrace my narcissism and get really specific, this is what my “wish” would look like:

An episode of Saturday Night Live wherein:

  • Jimmy Fallon is hosting
  • Taking Back Sunday is the musical guest
  • Tina Fey makes a cameo on Update
  • I get to do one of those side-characters on Update

Truly, at that point, I could indeed happily shuffle off of this mortal coil.

But as a bonus, I would’t mind hanging around 30 Rock with the writers and co during the week while they hash out the show.

Dream. Come. True.

What I Really Think About Idioms

I recall writing an editorial for my college newspaper, years ago, about personal etiquette. A rant, if you will, no doubt written whilst recovering from a lengthy night out drinking. I referenced the phrase “gets my goat” as being a vague, unclear idiom.

Recently I used the expression “have a leg up,” while speaking with an incredibly hilarious friend who quipped that the expression seemed kind of slutty. As a result I took to the internets to find some of the finer idioms that are part of our advanced American vernacular.

Here, my friends, (and by friends, I mean the 4 bots that view my page as code), are the highlights of the idioms that struck me:

  • “Hit the sack”
    • Dirty. This one reads as double entendre. If you use this with me, I will most likely fail at stifling laughter.
  • “A penny for your thoughts”
    • If we are friends, my thoughts should be worth far more than a penny to you. Don’t say this out loud to people you care about.
  • “Blessing in disguise”
    • Don’t be a dick. Never use this while someone is going through bad shit, wait until you see the merit of the situation and it is far, far in that person’s past.
  • “Caught between two stools”
    • What is this one? Where did it come from? Are they bar stools? That’s a really bizarre visualization – someone spread eagle on two stools at a bar. “Seat’s taken….This one, too.”
  • “Don’t quit your day job”
    • Best used in a biting comedic sense. As in “don’t give up your day job to write in your blog.”
  • “Take it with a grain of salt”
    • Since when is salt a measure of how serious something is? And why?
  • “Ball is in your court”
    • Stoppit, don’t say “ball.” “Ball” beings me to “balls,” which brings my mind directly back to “Hit the sack.”
  • “Cost an arm and a leg”
    • I use this one. It’s violent, a little gory, and quite frankly, the perfect idiom to describe the financial fuckery that is my education. As in, my degrees cost an arm and a leg.

After a brief review, I have arrived at the conclusion that my problem with idioms is ME. The problem, quite simply, is that I’m either too literal, or have the critical reasoning skills and sense of humor of a 12 year-old-boy.

Why Being “Eighteen Forever” May or May Not Be Appealing

Pandora is awesome. I listen to it in my car almost every day and let it feed the questionably unhealthy nostalgia I cling to, through my music choices. If it didn’t come from 2001 – 2005, I’m probably skipping or “disliking” the song.

Driving along, just as I made a left, passing both my high school and middle school, one of my old favorites was playing. Brand New’s Soco Amaretto Lime, a quiet acoustic song tied to many fond old memories with longtime friends. I sang along, as I always do. I am an aficionado of loud car-singing.

I’m gonna stay eighteen forever/so we can stay like this forever/and we’ll never miss a party/cause we keep them going constantly…”

In spite of myself I laughed. I just turned thirty-two. Eighteen was fourteen whole years ago. As I sang the familiar words, I thought of what it was like to sing this song at twenty-two, when its album was only four years old. At twenty-two, I didn’t quite get the appeal of being “eighteen forever.”

Cool things were happening in my life at that point in time. I’d graduated from college, started a job, and felt the infinite freedom of living in a place where the beach was ten minutes away, and late nights turned into morning sunrises. I thought at twenty-two, I knew just how life was going to play out. Everything was made of awesome, then soaked in booze, and resulted in little-to-no consequences. I didn’t even get hangovers back then. I thought I was some kind of medical miracle. An anomaly. Or a superhero, with a strange, somewhat useless super power. I was blissfully unaware that when I reflected on twenty-two, my feelings would be a little bit different.

Then, still singing, I began to think about what being “eighteen forever” means at thirty-two.

Thirty-two means “eighteen forever” is a lot more appealing.

At thirty-two, being eighteen seems to mean less of everything. At eighteen, there was less responsibility. Less alarms being set. Less bills. Less worries. Less concern about how awful it would feel in the morning if I ate a heaping plate of diner mozzarella cheese fries, while I was too drunk to feel feelings, at 4AM.

Of course, eighteen did mean more time with friends, and a faster metabolism.

So, what’s awesome about NOT staying eighteen forever? About aging awkwardly and ceaselessly?

At eighteen, I drove a crappy car, whose belt screamed like a banshee every time I approached my friends’ homes to drop them off late at night.

At eighteen, I lived with my mom, and had to sneak alcohol into the house when she went to bed early.

At eighteen, nothing I owned was really MINE. It was all borrowed. Borrowed living space. A car registered and insured under my dad. A collection of Christmas and birthday gifts. Nothing that I truly worked for and OWNED myself.

In my thirties, as much as I try to deny my “advanced age,” I’m coming into my own. I’m finally completely comfortable with being goofier and quirkier than most. And I OWN stuff. I own my car. I have an apartment. I own my furniture. I own my career successes. I take CARE of things. I keep a clean home. I discuss finances and futures with my wonderful friends.

Given the chance, I’d still try to talk eighteen-year-old me into not signing those student loan contracts! Woman! Go to community college for two years! Save your thirty-two-year-old self from the crushing weight of educational debt!

But eighteen-year-old me would have never listened. She had no worries, no concerns, and she was listening to her music full-blast in her 1986 Nissan Sentra with the cassette adapter and a primitive MP3 player.

I still sing as loud, if not louder, than eighteen-year-old me sang. And I’m cool with that.

Why Living Alone is Fantastic

I’ve come upon a really fortunate period of time in my life, wherein I have been once again emancipated from the domicile of my parental units. I, glorious, gleeful I, am living on my own once again. One of the things you get when you’re on your own two feet again is the ability and the time to actually think about things whilst your dog lays snoring contentedly on your couch, with his eyes open just enough for it to be somewhat creepy.

As someone who lived free of my parents for approximately 8 years of my life (19-27 for those of you being nosy) I’ve found that in only 12 weeks of being on my own again, I’ve fallen easily and happily in to some of the old patterns that I became oh-so-used-to and had to “unlearn” when I returned from my adventure in NC to live with my dad and brother former roommates.

For one, when you live alone, you have free reign of your space. So, if you want to leave your currently uninstalled bathroom shelves on the top of your toilet tank, you CAN. You’re the only one who is going to have to look at the unsightly-ness of it every day.

Hypothetically, you can enjoy any or all of the following activities:

  • Fall asleep on your bed face-down after your post-gym shower, wearing only sweatpants and a towel which is artfully wrapped around your hair
  • Talk to and reason with the dog, as if he has a higher understanding of all of your explanations and language, without judgment or looks of concern from other family members
  • DVR as many shows in as many genres as you would like (though let’s be honest, it’s mostly 30 Rock and Doctor Who)
  • Eat whatever you would like for whichever meals you eat in the privacy of your kitchen…or living room…or standing by the sink to prevent spillage.

It’s funny, because when I moved in, I thought, WOW, wouldn’t it be great to have people over, to entertain again? As much as I want?

In 12 weeks? No people. Not even once on purpose.

Why?

Because tonight’s dinner will be a Magnum Double Caramel ice cream that I eat on my couch in panties and a t-shirt. Please don’t knock if you stop by. I still haven’t gotten curtains and I’m not in love with wearing pants.

I’d be remiss…

…if I didn’t take just a few moments today to take some time and say that I’m so deeply saddened by what happened at the Boston Marathon this afternoon.

I’m preparing for bed, but finding myself equal parts angry and sad that so much hate continues to exist in a world where we are educated and exposed to enough to know better.

I’m not quite sure where to go with these emotions, so, I brought them here, to a blog where I try to approach things with a touch of humor, but today is no day for that.

Today is a day that no matter how broken we feel in light of the event that took place; we should remember that, like Mr. Rogers said, there are always helpers in dark times.

And those helpers, well, they are the people who I am eternally grateful for.

Mr. Rogers was one smart man. 

Why I Suck at Redbox

Back in the day (which was obviously in my post-collegiate early 20’s) I did a 2.5 year stint working for a now-extinct movie rental chain. At around the same time I rose to the prestigious position of Store Manager, Redboxes started cropping up on the home front, and I had to scout out their locations for my ever-important and balding District Manager. 
 
Redbox was the enemy. That smooth, red, metal box, well-endowed with a touch-screen was a temptress who was single-handedly killing the DVD rental industry, almost faster than anyone could say “Uncle Buck.”
 
I avoided Redbox like it was the plague, for a long time. I just didn’t know any other way. It was killing my job before I could escape the industry with dignity. Redbox was scary.
 
I’ve come a long way since then. About 4-5 years and a few free months with Netflix later, Redbox is finally a viable, friendly rental option for me. Sort of.
 
Currently, I have a love/hate relationship with Redbox. We’re friendly enough with each other that Redbox will text coupon codes right to my phone. Free rentals! Fantastic. 
 
Recently, a long-awaited new release became available on Redbox, and I was all too stoked to rent the DVD. Delirious with fever, I ordered some soup from my favorite Italian restaurant, and walked my sick ass over to the adjacent 7-11 to hit up Redbox. 
 
I returned home, sick, and generally lazy; it was practically a wasted Saturday night wherein I had the house to myself but was too ill to seize the moment and entertain a few select friends. I eagerly returned home with my soup and my movie. With my free rental, and my soup, I spent less than $6 for one glorious night of movie watching in the comfort of my own home, wrapped in a penguin-print snuggie, eating soup right out of the plastic container with the plastic spoon. 
 
The rules of Redbox dictate “thou shalt return thine movie before 9PM the next day.” 
 
Except, if your reading comprehension skills have not failed you, you may notice that I described myself as “generally lazy” on this particular evening. Even as my fever broke the next day, I just could not get myself back to the RedBox.  My free rental was suddenly $1.30 rental. And the following day, a $2.60 rental, before I managed to return it. I’m almost ashamed to admit I’ve done much worse rental damage. I should mention this particular RedBox is less than 2 miles from my front door.
 
I’m actively contributing to Redbox’ great success. $2.60 for a “free” rental.
 
Sneaky, sneaky, RedBox. I see what you’ve done here.

A Marriage of Inconvenience (Resurrected from June 2005)

After graduating college into a world of unknowns, I began some soul searching. A week later, I did what any self-respecting individual with a bachelor’s degree, debt, and a dream might do: I joined the gym. 
 
There is a certain intimidation factor that plays into joining a gym. The first day, I had visions of muscle – bound, shiny looking men in spandex and tiny women with perky breasts and bleach blond hair dancing in my head. We’re talking Mattel’s BARBIE line, personified, minus all of the pink. I was horrified to even pass through the threshold of the gym, for fear that the workout world would STOP and observe my lack of fitness in shock and dismay. Oh, the anticipation. 
 
Upon entering, I was referred to a manager. Said manager is approximately 300 pounds of overgrown fraternity boy. I am still having trouble wrapping my head around that one. What this man has demonstrated is quite peculiar…think of it this way: it’s like working in a supermarket and going hungry because you forgot to pack your lunch. Your wallet’s there, but you’re just NOT buying. 
 
More entertainment: on the visit after my first [henceforth known as the second visit] I faced a rather interesting horror. Not ONLY was my usual cardio machine taken, but I had the pleasure of doing 15 minutes of cardio behind a woman in her mid-fifties. Innocent enough, right? Nope. 
 
She wasn’t wearing any underwear. 
 
I know this because I could clearly see her crack through her too-tight pants, which were made of a magical material that becomes transparent when worn. Not for nothing, but I don’t like to see the moon before dark. And I PARTICULARY don’t like to see a moon that does not dwell in the sky. It was like I was running the eternal race to nowhere, only the proverbial carrot was a much less asthetically pleasing bait. Yes, it was rather like running towards a bucket of vomit. As a patron, I propose that the gym amend it’s policy to include mandatory wearing of panties. Panty checks at the door. Or, just wear sweatpants. 
 
Possibly my favorite thing about the gym is the parking. When I went for my trial workout, the gym gods bestowed upon me a pretty sweet parking spot. Of course they would, being that the gods can sense when a wallet enters its sweat-ridden interior. Since then, this is not so. I listened to an entire song as I quested for a parking spot, circling the same area of the front lot, hoping to not have to park ALL OF THE WAY in the back. 
 
Now, I am navigating my 93 Ford Monstrosity around a barely there parking lot, desperately trying to turn my corners in such a way that will not disturb any of the cars to my front, rear,left, OR right. As my song came to a close, I resigned and headed to the back lot for parking. The walk to the back doors of the gym seemed to last forever, and the other questors who had circled in the front walked with as disgruntled an expression as mine. 
 
This is the gym, friends. We were all going to work out. What’s the big deal? Can’t we park just a little bit farther??? Popular opinion: The gym should be a marriage of convenience. In fact, I’ve got a novel idea – put the parking IN the gym. I mean, the place is so damned crowded with scantily clad middle-aged women, would anyone really be able to tell the difference? At least the cars would be a pleasant distraction from the guy running next to me, who eerily keeps checking my speed. We’re not racing, buddy. And, in fact, after seeing you about-face and walk backwards …. I’m not impressed, or up to the challenge.