Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

Facebook: My ultimate form of escapism. I can easily waste an entire day browsing Facebook, looking for dumb groups to join, which might explain why I'm now a proud fan of "Bob Ross and His Happy Little Bush" and a member of "Hardee's Breakfast is the Sh*t."

Cheaters: I originally began watching Cheaters when I moved to Dallas and found out that it was a local show. I got really into it when I moved to New Jersey...I recorded all the episodes and would always try to figure out where they were in the metroplex, as if one crappy apartment complex looks any different from the next. I'm pretty sure I've lived in at least two or three of them, though.

Chips and French onion dip: I can imagine what I must look like stuffing my face with handful after handful of chips (corn or potato, doesn't really matter), dripping in French onion dip, and then pretty much licking the jar clean. Hot. There is a reason this is a guilty pleasure.

Craigslist Missed Connections: Don't know about it? You better get up to speed. Missed Connections is a mix of lonely dreamers, pathetic dumpees who long to reunite with their exes, and spouses who are attempting to cheat with the hottie they met at the party last weekend. It is junk food of the Internet.

Fashion don'ts: I like when celebrities look like shit. Especially when they look like shit and fat. It makes me feel good about myself. Yes it does.

Napping on the couch: Especially in the winter, or on a rainy weekend. Necessities within arm's reach? Some type of snack cake, the remote control, and...ahem...my woobie...

The entire bakery section at the grocery store: It doesn't really matter if something is about to expire. To me, that just means it's cheaper. I'm going to eat it all in one sitting...pie, dozen cookies, pound cake, whatever.

The mall: I am really ashamed of loving the mall so much. I don't know why this is. It's a place that I only like to go by myself, and I usually look as grubby and unrecognizable as I possibly can. I even have a ritual, which always, of course, includes Sbarro...and Forever 21.

Jerry Springer: Yeah, yeah, yeah, so this is what the world thinks of America. That's way too much thinking when I've got a midget food fight and a Reverend Schnorr wedding going on. Look down at me all you want. I wouldn't be caught dead watching "Dancing with the Stars" or "The Bachelor."

Really, really, ridiculously long showers: I mean, the kind that turn your skin bright red and only come to an end when you run out of hot water entirely. My dream house (that I'll have when I get rich...really soon) will have one of those glass-enclosed marble showers with a seat. Droooool...

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tuesdays with Allie

In my book, there’s never been anything special about Tuesdays.

Mondays beg to be hated. Usually a painful mixture of meetings and hangovers, every Monday you make it through is like a tiny victory. And at least Mondays have football for a few months of the year.

Wednesday is, of course, “hump day.” And back in the day, Wednesdays were ski days at Massanutten.

How can you hate on a Thursday, the official (if you’re in college, or like me and most people with whom I choose to associate) start to the weekend? It’s widely understood that late Friday mornings receive automatic forgiveness.

Fridays, my loves. I used to save my coolest outfits for Fridays. In middle school, I would wear my purple Guess jeans and silk printed shirt...and in high school I graduated to my UVA sweatshirt with my dad’s old ripped Levis. Now it doesn’t really matter what I’m wearing, so long as there’s a cold beer waiting at the end of the day. Which there always is.

Tuesdays? Now, OK, there are “Twofer Tuesday” things...drink specials and (long ago) radio plays. But that’s about it.

This past Tuesday was especially wah waaaahhhh.

So I’m running in this Warrior Dash. (I still have yet to come up with an outfit - suggestions are welcome.) After weeks of procrastination (which I have turned into productivity, so bite me), I set my alarm for 5 a.m. and dragged my happy ass out of bed. I knew from the beginning there was no way I was going to work out after a 10-hour day at the office when I could be drinking, so the butt-crack of dawn it is.

When I arrived at Globo Gym, I realized I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. Some of you might not know this, but I used to be a pretty hard-core swimmer, and a hard-core swimming program includes weight training. But that was a lifetime ago, and even back then, I wasn’t a gym rat. I tend to be more of a “just make sure you don’t eat too much McDonald’s” girl.

However, I had a little motivation after attending my “Fit Test,” a free perk thrown in for joining Globo Gym. For this “Fit Test,” I met Linda, an adorable Asian 20-something in a windbreaker and tight black pants who confided that she was embarrassed about her panty lines on her fat-free ass...tee hee hee! She seemed surprised when I told her I was 30, was impressed with my flexibility and strength, and even called me thin at one point. When I found out we both graduated from UTA, I really thought we were bonding. Wow, it was so easy to make new besties! When it came time for my assessment, I didn’t sweat it, piece of cake, heck, I probably didn’t even need a gym membership. Dun dun dunnnnn. Linda stopped smiling, her eyes glowed red...and I think she started growling. The print-out indicated that I needed to lose 10 pounds, my flexibility and strength are “less than optimal,” and while I technically have the body of a 28-year old (yes I will be using that line at the bar), ideally I need to have the body of an 18-year old at my age. “It’s OK, though,” Linda assured me. “We have great trainers here, and you’ll see results in no time.” As I left hurriedly with my fat ass and my print-out with the break-down of the $276 a month trainer fees (and no new bestie), I got to suspecting that maybe that “Fit Test” was a way to make money...

So here I was on my first official workout (sans-trainer). After battling with the fancy ID card-locker-key release mechanism (wow, I’m dumb) for about 10 minutes, I grabbed a towel and made my way out of the locker room. Because I have this grueling 3 (point-something)-mile race coming up, I assumed the most natural place to start out would be the treadmill. Looking around, I realized I was carrying a bath towel. Not that I was self-conscious at that point. I found the nearest - and most remote - treadmill, and hopped up.

Treadmills have really advanced since I’ve last used one, I guess? What happened to the ones with just the metal rollers that had no buttons? Do they not have those any more? I pressed “On.” Lights came on. OK, good start. Why was the tread not milling? Hmmmm. Commence pressing all buttons in sequence. I just pictured myself hitting the “eject” button (they do have those on treadmills, right?) and flying off the back. I finally got that figured out and started running...”running.” Jog-walking. Realized I forgot my iPod, started thinking about it, tripped over my own foot on the treadmill....yeah, try looking cool tripping on a treadmill.

After a tough 12-minute jog-walk, it was off to the free weight area with the big boys. Surrounded by pairs of spandex-clad ripped chicks tossing medicine balls to one another and doing leaping lunges, I grabbed the girlie weights and fumbled through a few of the arm exercises I remember from my athletic days before booking back to the locker room.

There was one fully naked woman in the whole locker room. One. And I tried to open the wrong locker right next to her. So I got an awkward face full of boob, mumbled something about a broken locker key, and slinked into the next row.

Exit gym.


7 p.m. Walmart. I'm choosing floss. A voice behind me asks, “Excuse me, do you work here?”

“Huh? No.”

“Oh, well I’m just looking for the Band-Aids.”

Sigh. “Next aisle.”


I guess I could have put a little more thought into my outfit that day, yes. I'm not your typical Dallas girl. This is proving to be problematic dating-wise. Since, you know, I currently live in Dallas. Aside from the fact that I'm getting older, I can't honestly post any photos that look remotely like this:

Mine are more like this:

Except sans boobies.

And I'm also growing out my hair, which I know guys just love. Remember when Katie Holmes chopped her locks? Well, I followed suit a few months later. (But guess which one of us can afford extensions.) So now I'm feelin' Katie in her painful grow-out period.

Please be a pal and keep me away from salons and sharp objects.

Google "Why Tuesdays suck" for proof that they do.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So I moved.

This week I moved again. I officially fit everything into my Subaru wagon. (That is, of course, not taking into account the fact thatI have belongings in a basement in Virginia and an apartment in New Jersey...and possibly other locations I've forgotten, which renders those items obsolete. If you aren't one of the two aforementioned holders, you may hereby adhere to the Finders-Keepers rule.)

First description of my new abode: shabby-chic. My roommate has lived in the house for more than 10 years, and she has transformed the tiny, (I'm guessing) 1950s home into a cozy hideaway - a combination of country (think quilts, embroidered quotes in frames, and vintage hats) and southwest (think boots, longhorn skulls and old farm doors). She is the composite of every stereotype of Texas girls; she has it all - the big hair, the tan, the makeup, the sugar-sweet twang. As far as I can tell, she holds the following near and dear to her heart: her family, rodeo, cowboy boots, and anything with rhinestones, sterling silver or turquoise.

But when I say it's cozy, I mean cozy. I am packed in my room like a sardine. And as I mentioned, I only own enough belongings to fit in my car. I was five minutes late to work this morning because I literally could not find anything to wear. This layout will call for some Inspector Gadget-esque innovation. Or I could just go to IKEA and let those Swedes figure it out for me.

Second description of my new abode: temporary. This is for many reasons...although there is a Cracker Barrel 0.2 mile away, which is almost reason enough to stay FOREVER. Refer to my previous post on living alone. I like it. When you read it, I guarantee you'll want to live alone too. I am also not sold on Texas, and I've had the East Coast itch ever since I left New Jersey. Also, the running situation in my neighborhood is abyssmal. I have an interstate practically in my backyard. This is problematic, since I signed up to participate in the Warrior Dash in two months. (See photo below. I'm trying to come with a bad-ass outfit.) At least I finally found the time to join a gym. (An aside: This is the best gym ever, and it's only $39 a month. An aside aside: If anyone wants a great money-making idea for the DFW metroplex, please invest in a kickboxing gym a la this place. There isn't one here, and people would flock to it.)

At least I got out of my former living situation. Picture all the strange individuals in North Dallas living under one 4,000 square-foot roof, with the Queen Weirdo as their supreme leader. It is (unbeknownst to me at the time I found the place) essentially a boarding house - the owner and four random tenants at any given time. Queen Weirdo lives downstairs in her lair - complete with a ginormous canopy bed draped in animal print (what else?), fuzzy rug, and motivational collage, including words like "sexy" and "blessing" - with her two little asshole maltipoos in baby clothes (what else?), which she feeds lambchops for dinner every night. The four tenants live upstairs, two to a bathroom. As the months passed, stranger and stranger tenants moved in.

Queen Weirdo informed me that someone would be moving into the room adjacent to my bathroom - a male occupant this time. I had been sharing with an unemployed, chain-smoking female cruise singer in her 50s who couldn't pass the Texas teaching exam after three attempts and so finally moved to a retirement community in Florida to live with her parents; and then a female community college music student from Brazil who, at 35, didn't know how to hold her liquor and would blast horrid rap music, get sloppy and make out with the other (male) roommates.

"He is really cute," Queen Weirdo told me. "I mean, gawd, not for me...but for you..."

Queen Weirdo is 55 and dating a 32 year-old chubby private pilot who lives 2,000 miles away - a former tenant (what else?). So I was more than a little thrown off by this comment. I was also beyond uninterested. I finally met the person I was sharing a bathroom with - after a couple of days of seeing organic oatmeal shampoo in the shower and Tom's toothpaste on the sink. "Leland" was divorced, 50 if he was a day, his gray hair in a butt-cut. He began leaving his door open all day and all night (about eight feet from my door), and he moved his bed right by the door, and he would sit there all the time, so that he could watch me coming and going. I had to assume he was unemployed, since I never saw him leave the house.

Yeah Queen Weirdo, you found my dream dude: an old, crusty, divorced, unemployed, hippie, psycho-killer. Also, I'm moving out.

So I guess a Cracker Barrel-adjacent cottage in the hood is looking more chic than shabby.