Tag Archives: funny

Why Don’t You Go Out More?

tumblr_mbjru9OW4L1r426i4o6_250I don’t go out much but when I do I like to envision myself as that person that you look at and say to yourself “why aren’t I having that much fun?” Like, I want you to watch me twerk it and try to get equally as low. Usually I can manage to balance between twerking it like B and ironically giving my best Maya Rudolph angry dancing face.

And if you’re like most girls my age, you’re a sort-of-recent College graduate playing Sex in The City on the weekends while you make almost enough money to pay your student loans each month. But if you’re like me, you go out once a month to some place that can be construed as a “bar” to socialize with the other children and still can’t pay your student loans. Asking me to “go out” on the weekends is too often akin to a child being asked: “I was thinking we could go buy that third Ipad you’ve been wanting so badly but then I thought hey, why not take you to the dentist instead?”

Lately, however, I’ve been trying to make an effort to be more social, like, not just talk-to-my-friends-on-the-internets social.

My first brush with the harsh reality of why I don’t go out was when we decided to go into a random bar on sixth street. You guys, we were the oldest people there. Granted, we should’ve judged the place accordingly when we saw the beer pong tables set up at the front, but my competitive mind only sees games as opportunities to win at something. Then I saw them. Two blonde girls wearing the same high-waisted, tribal patterned, Harem pants with identical black tank-tops tucked in. And they were best friends (obviously). And then I thought of the dialogue between them before coming to this very bar:

harem pants“I wish I could wear these pants out,” says Thing One.

“Why can’t you? They’re SO cute. I have like, basically the exact same pair,” says Thing Two, thinking to herself, I really wish I could wear mine out too.

“I just, like, don’t really know if I can pull them off, you know?” Thing One is surprised by her outburst of vulnerability, she never lets Thing Two see her insecurity, specifically because her life up to this point has been in competition with Thing Two.

“My mom always said the first step to pulling it off is putting it on.” Thing Two’s mom never said this. Thing Two’s mom would have told her not to wear the same exact pants as her best friend at the same time at the same place. “You know what?” Asks Thing Two. “Let’s BOTH wear them. Who cares? YOLO, RIGHT?”

“You’re right!” Thing One says as she pulls up her Urban Outfitters Harem pants, “We look HOT.” She thinks to herself, And at least mine aren’t from Forever Twenty-One.

*****

At Barbarella, the dance club that introduced me to Austin, we ran into that girl who isn’t aware of her personal space or of how much her dancing looks like a chimpanzee’s mating dance. (Do chimps have mating dances? I always imagined they did in my head and I can’t look it up in fear of my hopes being dashed.) She’s cute in the way Zooey Deschanel would be if she wore the same clothes but was twenty-five pounds heavier and had blonde hair — just as long as she’s wearing that “steal” of a vintage dress she found at Goodwill that looks more like the dress you wore at your brother’s First Communion than a vintage find. She’s dancing like no one’s watching, literally. And this is coming from someone who spent most of the night looking like this:

IMG_4177

The most accurate portrayal of “The Maya Rudolph Dancing Face” caught on camera (Or, just how I dance and look normally)

Last but not least, there’s that group of guys that are all wearing the same brand of flip flops. They are either wearing polos or t-shirts with the name of the pool they used to lifeguard at written across the back. To state the obvious, they call each other “bro” in lieu of ever learning first or last names so their brain space can better be utilized memorizing the scores of all the sports games.

As I sit in the only available chair and wait for Anna, Rich and Chris to get scrumptious drunk food I can’t eat, Bro One approaches.

“You’re not eying my sub are you?” He had Ron Howard’s face in Happy Days mixed with some Matt Saracen from Friday Night’s Lights. I immediately willed him to disappear as I blinked. He wouldn’t, so I got up and joined friends in the pizza line. But as we all walked back over to a table, friends with pizza in hand, Ron/Matt reached out and placed his douchey little hand on the space between my right shoulder and breast. This is the worst pick up line ever, mainly because it’s like, sexual harassment. I immediately had flash backs of being drunk in high school at a St. Johns dance, getting into an almost fight with another girl as my boyfriend of the day tried to “hold me back.”

“Don’t touch me, creep,” I said, only to be heard by Big Bro, a six-foot-five mess of a man with sauce stains all over his lifeguarding tee from the meat-filled sub he was chaotically shoving down his un-shaven gullet.

“He didn’t touch you,” said Big Bro, apparently suited to chronically being on the wrong side of every argument.

“Tell your friend you touched me!” I demanded of Bro One, my integrity hanging in the balance. He instead took it as a public outcry for a public apology to which Big Bro pretended not to hear.

“Yeah, I’m like sorry, that was totally an accident,” said Bro One, his eyes lighting up as he discovers Anna for the first time. It would have to do.

I felt satisfied enough when Anna, meaning to give Bro One her old cell phone number, actually gave him her mom’s number. You guys wonder why I don’t go out more.

Ways to Make Interacting Always Feel Awkward

"So I just hit reply all, because you know, screw him."

“So I just hit reply all, because you know, screw him.”

It’s Tuesday after a long weekend and you’re about to see a lot of people that are going to throw a lot of small, itty-bitty, pocket-sized talk your way. If you’re one of those lucky people that gets to spend your entire day with a bunch of sort of strangers in cubicles, rushing past you, stopping to waste your time, or not stopping to waste your time when you want them too, then you know what I’m talking about. If you happen to woman the front desk, then you really feel me.

I’ve began to categorize these people, these chit-chatters, or stare-at-the-ceiling passersby. I was lost playing the character of Jane Goodall in Office Chimps–the television series I have invented in my head–when I hypothesized that there were quite a few species of office talkers or non-talkers. Here are a few:

office-internet-down-workplace-ecards-someecardsThe sideways smile: This person isn’t completely sure of their place — like, in the world. Upon closer look of the sideways smiler approaching the front desk, you will see the indecisive nature of his stride, and the insecure anticipation oozing out of eyes that never really meet your gaze: “Will she look at me back?” He thinks. Or, “Am I sure I zipped my fly back up?” The key is that this person will never actually say a word to you, because then, their identity as a low key, has-something-better-to-do lone wolf will be meaningless.

The Walking By One-Liner: This could be a simple “How’s it going?” or “Good morning.” A key characteristic of this species is lacking original thought. They also are seemingly unable to stop walking. It’s as if they are floating on a work cloud that disallows them from ever not being in motion — unless it’s work related. Some types of One Liners are also known to do a “drive by” work assessment. Like, “Hey, get back to work!” or “Is that work related?” The one liner attempts to be cool in his drive by judging, but in reality he is thinking of all the ways in which he works harder than you. Also his job is more important — you’re just the angel that ordered the chocolate Mousse cake for this month’s birthday party in the break room.

"And I said to him, not bald. SHAVED head."

“And I said to him, not bald. SHAVED head.”
Photo Credit: Forbes.com

The lingerer: It’s an awkward job but someone has to stand by your desk uninvited for twenty minutes and confess he is “secretly” into restoring old cars. He just wants to get to know you, and your dietary restrictions. He’ll say things like “You’re vegan? No wonder your so trim.” And obviously, these comments are important to hear and always welcome, but it’s the remaining five minutes of summing up the conversation and shifting from left foot to right foot that makes it uncomfortably unmanageable. By the third “allllrighttt well…” you’re already about seven minutes past the time I’ve allotted in my mind for this conversation to begin, progress, finish, and wrap up again.

What I actually enjoy are the people that come up to you and ask a genuine question, like it’s actually conceivable they have remembered your name. I’ll also take a hardcore, eye smile because good for you. And I accept solid eye contact with a smile as a positive and meaningful exchange. You don’t necessarily have to come up to my desk and compliment me on my new shoes to win my affections, although that is always welcomed. On the flip side, why ask me how I’m doing if you’re not going to wait for the answer? I think I’m getting this office thing down.

How do you interact at work? Is working from home the dream I imagine it to be?

Have you guys been hanging out without me?

I have officially relegated ya’ll to second cousin I don’t keep in touch with status and I’ve had enough. (I’m beginning to think my digestive system is punishing me for not posting in the form of it no longer working.)

work ecardI got a job, everyone. I started on Monday and deciding what to wear each day has felt like one of those choose your own adventure dates where I ultimately will end up wearing a short skirt in a trampoline factory with my laundry day panties on.

The problem is I hadn’t stepped in the office yet to observe the casual dress cues, the dos and don’ts, the don’t-ever-wear-as-much-cheetah-print-as-Susan-from-Finance-has-on warning. I was interviewed through the interwebs, with two people that work in the New York headquarters, not even the Austin office. The women’s top half, from what I could tell, was dressed with a simple peach/beige button up shirt, presumably from Banana Republic or Ann Taylor. I would have to start becoming okay with shopping at the Loft. I could do this. I was a shopper at heart, anyways.

It was also just a few weeks ago when I realized it was no longer appropriate for me, as a 24 year old, to shop at Forever 21. This was a tough call to make — I had just bought a super cute Mexican inspired high-low skirt and was wearing it doing errands when I was stopped by an eleven-year-old girl who asked me where I got such a cute skirt. Instead of acknowledging the compliment, I stopped, as if  I was tapped by a five year old playing freeze tag, and hoped she’d move on to mortify the next 24 year old dressed like a preteen, who might not take it as such a vitriolic personal attack.

But before the whole I-got-a-job-and-the-world-is-right-again attitude, I had a few breakdowns. Hence the not posting for two weeks. The last two weeks can be characterized by images of Matti playing me the song “True Colors” and “Hakuna Matata” while I watch Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, and by me buying eight of the same Banana Republic cardigans in different colors and trying on twelve different variations of the same outfit for my first day of work like I was trying out for the lead part in Working Girl 2. There would also be a picture of me shamefully discovering and subsequently, devouring the reality show Below Deck with Matti in the background cupping his face in his hands defeatedly because he’d rather read Murakami while listening to Joni Mitchell than watch most television programming (hands off, ladies).

So it seems I had been out of the game too long. And by game I mean getting dressed and leaving the house. Monday would be interesting. And it was. Mainly in the sense that I didn’t ruin everything I touched. Oh, and being an Office Coordinator AKA Pam Beasley (more glamorous) is nothing like being an After school Director — it seems that children need more directing and coordinating than adults. Also, childcare employees need to get paid more like a billion yesterdays ago. Basically, I spent most the of the first day amazed at the socially accepted practice of writing an email message solely using the subject line. Come to the front office for your package, you animals!

oh, and I also learned this

oh, and I also learned this

I think I’m gonna really jazz the place up and hopefully get some of those “health benefits” I’ve heard so much about over the years. I feel a little rusty, but the Leslie Knope inside of me cannot be silenced–but If I don’t witness some serious office hijinks soon I’m gonna be so pissed.

Yeah Write…it feels so good. 

Saying it Out Loud and Meaning it

Following your dreams is super sticky, tricky stuff. In one moment, you’re Julie Andrews prancing around the house like it’s your first time without a girdle and the next second you’re curled up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor, shaking like a newborn deer, crying into a dirty towel you’ve been using as a bath mat. It’s emotional stuff.

julia andrews

This is what following your dreams looks like…

You know what the hardest part is sometimes? Saying it out loud. Admitting that you’re pathetic enough to dream. You have a childhood dream that you still strive to achieve!?! Off with your head, stupid, naive one! How dare you believe life should be filled to the brim with meaning and intent! Become a receptionist! Go into childcare — you’re a woman, you’d be super good at it! Well yeah, I am super good at it. But I’m also super good at eating an entire box of almond milk ice cream bars and blowing bubbles off my tongue so what are you trying to say?

The first step is saying it out loud and meaning it and not caring about that time Amy Poehler joked in an interview about there being no more room for funny writers in Hollywood. So yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do.

Fabrice Tourre

Shoulda given him to Nascar…

Your dream also can’t be getting filthy stinkin’ rich the quickest way possible because that’s a cop out and it’s a destination not an action. Being able to pay your bills, sure that’s a dream. Buying your mom a house to repay her for her love and support, of course that’s a dream. But allowing “getting rich” to be a dream is only allowing people like Fabrice Tourre to exist. Fabrice Tourre — you can call him “Fabulous Fab” — didn’t dream of making millions of dollars by selling bogus mortgage bonds to, in his words, “widows and orphans that [he] ran into at the airport.” Do you think this little sleezeball was using his Monopoly money at age six to trick people into buying shit? No, he was driving toy cars around his mother’s couch. Fabrice and guys like him were risk takers as little boys but instead of telling them to follow their dreams as Nascar drivers or Hollywood stunt men we allowed them to play risk with our money. And then we got mad when they lost it all.

So dreams will save us in the end…. Dreams help us not be douche bags in that they’re meaningful goals. Kanye and Jay-Z may sing about all the cash money they’re making but you know what? They’re living out their frigan dreams, man. (And if you’ve seen the Keeping up with the Kardashians scene with Kim and Kanye organizing her closet, you know he’s an actual human being and not just a bloated head with metal chains hanging down.

dream spongebobPeople are more genuine and honest following their dreams. They may be honestly douchey or genuinely a dick but at least it’s transparent — at least they’re not massaging your shoulders as they slowly steal the wallet out yo’ pocket.

Hello, my name is Aly and I have a dream. I dream about writing words and making people laugh. I dream about writing a show that a sixteen-year-old girl and a thirty-year-old guy can both laugh at. I dream of creating the next Abed character and working with Amy Poehler and maybe someday showing her my “Kaitlin” impression because it used to make the kids at work laugh.

And if you still don’t believe me, watch this guy change your mind/life (SO WORTH IT):


What’s your real dream?

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Shhhhh….I’m dreaming

“Don’t get anxious but…”

Was the preface to a story Matti told me the other day that got me thinking about how my boisterous little companion affects my everyday life. Obviously, one of the funnest things in the world is being a person with anxiety (said no one, ever). The best part about anxiety is the surprise factor, it’s so fun and unpredictable! Take for instance, bringing Tengo to Petsmart to get food:

Me: “Come on, Tengo, I’m supposed to be getting my period soon, my legs feel like I spent the last week in an uncertified trapeze training class and I’m trying awfully hard to retain my calm, assertive pack leader energy. I need to make The Dog Whisperer proud, damn it! Stop getting so excited! You’ve seen dogs before!”

If any of you know who Maria Bamford is, at the moment, I’m trying my best to to manipulate my voice into calmness. Homegirl can throw her voice like no one I’ve ever heard.

one-of-my-favorite-comedians-maria-bamford

Tengo’s tail is pinwheeling and he has his eye on the German Shepherd puppy approaching the store. As I take three deep breathes, he lunges for the dog, clearly sensing my impending menstruation and intuiting it as weakness.

“HEY! SIT!” Cesar Millan urges us to find a sound that reaches our dog like his “shhh” so mine is “HEY!” It’s more embarrassing for me then attention-grabbing for Tengo. At this point instead of projecting calm and assertive energy, I’m laser-beaming it out through my eyes. Cesar would tell me to envision the result. I’m envisioning the result. Tengo is now running in circles. I’M ENVISIONING THE DAMN RESULT. I’M ENVISIONING TENGO NOT BEING SUCH A FUCKING DOUCHE BAG.

“I SAID SITTTTTTTTTTTT!” At this point, calm is not happening, especially not for someone with anxiety that hasn’t been on medication for years and that counts being a recluse as a valid reaction to societal pressures.

We are now in Petsmart — I refuse to back down, he needs to be fed and I’m not getting the puppy police called on me for leaving Tengo in the car in 150 degree heat. We make our way to the food aisle, Tengo is thankfully submissive, his tail is lowered like we practiced, and I’m confident I have shaken my negative energy off at the door. Tengo has other plans. As he sniffs some plush toys in the middle of the main aisle, he lifts his leg up and starts pissing like a drunk guy in an alley way. Everywhere. On my feet and ankles.

cesar“Are you ffffffffffffff-kidding me!” I start to beg Tengo, “Please, please stop being such an asshole. I even picked you out chicken treats, how could you do this to me?” His face is how I imagine Anthony Weiner’s to be when looking at his wife.

The worst part about all of this is the employee’s acceptance of my dog’s inability to understand  my feelings.

“Oh, it’s okay! It happens all the time! He’s just soo excited” Says Carol, from dog grooming. You’re not fooling me Carol, I can sense you only got this job after you retired and realized spending time with pups was easier than being around your husband all day.

Really Carol, is it okay? So will you come to the vintage furniture store that Tengo shit in and explain that to them, too? Actually, matter of fact, come to the park with me too and tell everyone it’s okay as I start screaming his name to come but he’s too busy humping the other dogs.

Anxiety: 1 Aly: 0

Matti and I are driving to the supermarket when we park and the plans for the night are brought up, specifically, the lack of there being any plans.

peanutsparade-18

You always get me, Charlie

Me: “I CAN’T HANDLE THIS WHY AREN’T YOU COMMUNICATING BETTER I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE LET ME OUT.” I get out of the car, walk two cars down, and walk back to the car and get inside.

Me: “I HATE THE GROCERY STORE. I DON’T WANT TO GO IN. I DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY. YOU’RE JUST GONNA GET FROZEN CHEESE PIZZA AND I CAN’T HAVE ANY BUT YOU’LL GET IT ANYWAY AND I’LL EAT IT AND THEN I’LL BE DEPRESSED AND BLOATED WITH THE RUNS FOR THE NEXT WEEK.”

(Matti sits there calmly like a good fiancée who works as an intake specialist with mentally unstable people every day would.)

Me: AHHHH BUT I’M SO HUNGRY. WHY ARE YOU STILL IN HERE!? WHAT ARE WE EVEN DOING TONIGHT? HAVE WE FIGURED OUT A PLACE.?GAHHHH I CAN’T HANDLE THIS PRESSURE. (Starts sobbing while thinking about how good frozen cheese pizza would be right now.)

Anxiety: 2 Aly: 0

Tune in next time to see how I dealt with unexpected car trouble! Spoiler alert: Car seats survive after being assaulted by upper leg sweat!

How do you deal with life’s little surprises?

Wait, People Actually Live Like This?

littleprincessEver since I saw The Little Princess as a girl I dreamed of sitting atop an Indian idol, being splashed by an elephant with magical people painted blue surrounding me chanting my name. Needless to say, this never happened. The closest I ever got was a trip to Mexico with an old best friend and her family — to be fair, I did have a canopy bed for a while as well. My dad would castigate me later, holding the pictured proof in his hand, that I did indeed ride an elephant in Maine once, though this memory, like most happy, childhood moments were repudiated in favor of the more painful, gritty reflections that would provide better writing material in the future.

I was sixteen years old, a little bit squishy, with fake black hair and braces. So, I had a lot going for me (essentially just boobs). The trip was intense to begin with, mostly because my friend’s mom was the manicured fingers, Bebe-bejeweled rhinestone studded shirt, I-spent-a-thousand-dollars-just-shopping-for-this-trip type of woman. But she was super fun! I spent most of the trip in an awkward state of not wanting to get in the middle of Mary and her mom’s intense tiffs about who got to wear the most bedazzled Guess shirt. My mom had me when she was forty, so we never really had the sharing closet luxury (or curse), although I do now have an extensive collection of her vintage leather boots, shoulder-padded blazers and one kick-ass pair of high-waisted, checkered, pleated pants so, I win.

me-hotel-cancunWe stayed at the Omni hotel in Cancun. I thought it was so fancy that I would see a celebrity but imagine my dismay when instead, I learned the time-honored lesson that there is more than one type of rich person in the world. In Mexico, you can drink at 16, or I’m making that up to feel better about fact that I drank on a family vacation at sixteen. Either way, me and Mary had margaritas on the beach while Mexican men ogled our underdeveloped goodies (‘sup puberty?). We even danced like no one was watching.

Then the adventures began. You know what’s not the funnest thing in the world when you’re paralyzed by heights? Parasailing. Do you know what they frown upon when you’re parasailing? Peeing in the air directly into the water. We only went on one parasailing trip.

If people said YOLO back when I was on this trip I would’ve spent most days saying YOLO (to be ironically non-ironic). Next on the Kardashian summer getaway, were were to go four-wheeling and then finish off the day horseback riding into the ocean. Just like any middle class American family desperately holding on to their Bill Clinton wealth would do.

“Will my personal assistant meet us there?” I thought out loud, to the amusement of no one except Ian, a friend of Mary’s family who would later invite me to his senior prom because I was “the type of girl who could burp in front of guys.” I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I had game even with braces. Mona, Mary’s mom, was complaining about the heat and her hair, which consistently looked better than mine, when I saw the machines we would be riding.

We took the bus to the spot where our day adventure would take place with the help of my high school spanish and false sense of gumption.

“Are we going sand-duning?” I asked. Our safety instructor, a mix between Antonio Banderas and Beaker, was not amused.

“What about racing? Can we race?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Let’s pick teams. Can I be the captain?”

“Everyone ready to go?” Asked Beaker, clearly practiced in the art of debbie-downering.

I can make it through most days without feeling pathetic and insignificant by saying out loud to myself “I four-wheeled in the Mexican jungle.” But that’s also because I leave out the part where I’m a complete asshat:

My interpretation of how I looked attempting a wheelie

My interpretation of how I looked attempting a wheelie

We had been wheeling through the jungle for a while when I wanted to kick things up a notch, you know, YOLO and all. Carl, Mona’s fiancée was behind me, rounding out the troops, being a typical man. Until I fooled myself into thinking I was trying out for the X-games, attempted a wheelie, and tipped over while still on my four-wheeler as me and the machine both rolled off the track and into a Mexican mud pile. Carl raced to me like any adult chaperoning an underage child that is not his or her own would.

“So, horseback riding should be fun?” I said, assuring everyone I was fine and no I wouldn’t be suing them when I got home.

At the end of the trail we arrived at the spot where we would hop on horses and ride into the sunset. Just without saddles and all that other stuff that makes riding a horse safe, enjoyable, and not feel like your hoo-ha is being assaulted by bony, four-legged beast.

Mary hopped on her horse first only to have it immediately buck her off and start naying incessantly as Mary curled into a ball screaming “Get it away! Get it away!”

This isn’t me but it is how I imagine I looked minus the clothes and dignity.

But I was promised a kodac moment of me gracefully entering the water, barebacking a horse with my new blue Quicksilver bikini. I did not anticipate the reality of me being in the sitting position for the picture — the kryptonite to any self-aware stomach-conscious teenage girl. And although I relish the memory of my horseback ride into the Mexican ocean, the superfluous amount of times my mom exhibited the picture of squishy-stomached Aly for any and everyone to see was more painful then holding in my poop all vacation for fear of the boys hearing me.

It’s always fun going on trips with other families because you get to see a new brand of dysfunction completely different from your own. Your brand is comfortable, familiar, but for everyone else it’s an episode of Intervention without the hope of someone going to rehab at the end. Whether conscious or not, I was never invited to another one of Mary’s family vacations.

Did you ever travel far with a friend’s family? How’d it go? What about vivid memories of family trips gone wrong?

Shut Up, I’m Trying to Dream Over Here!

Bed_of_roses_Milan34863I remember the sound of the movie, the soundtrack, playing like a hopeless romantic lullaby to young 6-year-old ears. This was my introduction into the world of entertainment and hollywood. It was the movie Bed of Roses. OKAY, I realize that at six years old, you probably shouldn’t be watching an idyllic romance about a lonely woman who finds herself with the help of a mysterious florist who delivers her flowers after peering into her window and watching her cry. (Christian Slater at his best.) But to me, the movie was enchanting, mostly because Mary Stuart Masterson had my haircut and there was an actress named Aly. By age seven, I had grand ambitions of being Mary Stuart Masterson, starring in my own movie, and producing and recording the soundtrack.

I wanted to be an actor, a singer, a purveyor of twisted plot lines and quick witted retorts. I wanted to make everyone laugh but not in the way everyone laughed when my brother shoved cake in my face at my fifth birthday party. I wanted to be in all of the televisions!

I had an explosive imagination — I believed I could fly up until about age seven because I would climb my picnic table in the backyard and think really hard as I flapped my arms like bony little girl wings, fooling myself into believing I got a little higher each time. So becoming the female lead in a major motion picture didn’t seem too farfetched — I was already a little obsessed with myself and had already proudly garnered the nickname Ms. Photogenic. The amount of times my mother would explain to me, after I came home crying because the popular girls wouldn’t let in their beanie baby club, “Oh! They’re just jealous of you because you’re so special and beautiful and talented!” may have had something to do with my attitude.

I also had no problem rationalizing my dreams — it is what I wanted to do therefore it would happen (American attitude, much?). Oddly enough, I still have this outlook — If you can’t believe in yourself how do you expect your seventh grade Creative Writing teacher to choose your story for the famed wall of story-telling?

So, I did a lot of things to reach my dreams. Mainly I begged my parents to let me take lots of lessons — I had just learned the word novice from watching Family Feud and it did NOT seem like something I wanted to be. Guitar lessons, or the worst idea for a young girl with bony, child fingers were first and I quit after it hurt my fingers too much to play with my polly pockets. All the while I wrote plays in my journal where I was the star and my older brother’s cute best friend was the male lead. I had my priorities straight at a young age.

After guitar lessons, however, my parents were a little less inclined to drop serious cash to suit the whims of their seven-year-old soon-to-be starlet. Singing lessons were off the table so I’d have to settle for wearing glittery, blue, borderline Show Girl costumes at dance competitions like I was trying out for Toddlers and Tiaras. However, I did get some encouragement from Kaitlin, the overweight girl from down the street I played with before I became a social-standing-obsessed preteen (I’m sorry, Kaitlin). I was singing Mariah Carey’s “Always be My Baby” when Kaitlin looked at me and asked if I took lessons.

48d5ba38_Toddlers-and-tiaras

How to make your child have self-esteem issues volume one.

“No,” I said, my head inflating with every breath, “you know, I just think raw talent works itself out.” I was an awful ten-year-old egotist with larger than life dreams and a My-Size Barbie to offer emotional support.

Acting didn’t come till middle school (which is also where it ended) when I joined the improv club after school because Mr. G was the hip new teacher and my parents still didn’t take my hollywood hankerings seriously. I pretty much sparked a riot of hilarity with my impression of a person doing the backstroke! It was GOLDEN.

meinplay

Hit role in elementary school play, “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise”

Obviously the next step was to try out for the school musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown with a rendition of Britney Spears’ “Hit me Baby One More Time.” I remember staring into the trash can my entire performance and thinking to myself, I bet Mary Stuart Masterson didn’t have to go through this shit. Britney let me down that day, like she would in a year’s time when my mom, brother, and I went to meet her at Copley Square only to find out she cancelled the performance due to post-Rosie O’Donnell lip-syncing rumors. Apparently, I wasn’t meant to be the next Kristen Chenoweth either.

Chasing boys on the playground, becoming “Aly Dicky” at my new school and the burgeoning prevalence of kids in after school sports overtook my performance pretensions for a while. My writing never stopped, however, and I took every opportunity available to make people laugh — I still can’t believe LaToya beat me out for “Best sense of humor” in high school (she was just louder not funnier).

Although I no longer want to be the next Mary Stuart Masterson — let’s face it, she went way downhill after Fried Green Tomatoes anyway — I still dream of being the woman in the television inspiring a young, quixotic, Tweety bird-obsessed girl (probably more like One Direction obsessed these days) to follow her larger than life dreams no matter how tone deaf she is, no matter how often no one laughs at her jokes, no matter how many times she gets beat out for class clown and no matter how stupid she feels during after school improv class.

Dreams are there for a reason, you idiots, now go do something about it.

Daily Post Memory Challenge

Customer Service Karma and Becoming a “Gym Person”

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Anna has witnessed by bangs do the exact same thing (minus the man protein).

It’s as simple as when you wake up, go pee and then jump back in bed and spoon with your dog instead of staying awake. You pray you can get your shit together by 10:30 because at the moment, your right arm is entirely asleep and your hair is an enviable remake of Cameron Diaz’s in Something About Mary. Ughhh but there’s so many more episodes of Hell’s Kitchen to mindlessly stare at and having the queen bed to yourself for a few hours in the morning is just, everything.

This guilty, self-indulgent feeling is the mark of some serious karma coming your way. Feel bad about spending three hours of your life watching The Bachelorette? Of course you do. This week’s karma special: customer service.

***

“Where has she been the last few days?” is the question none of you are asking yourself right now and yet, I’m going to tell you. It all started with Groupon. Moving closer to my goal of a fulfilling career where I wear pencil skirts and Chiffon tops, I decided it was time to purchase the proper self styling tools — namely, a hair straightener. When I was an adorable four year-old camera leech, I had hair like Shirley Temple in the best way possible — all curls, no frizz. As an adult, my hair is more like Sarah Jessica Parker’s in Square Pegs.

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I’m happy that my life decisions have led me to a place where this split image can exist.

Like most services you pay for, you expect a package to arrive to its intended destination, especially when Groupon has already told you it’s been delivered. But somewhere in between pissing off everyone that works in my apartment’s office, getting to know Carol the USPS lady better than i’d like, Jim, also from USPS telling me I need to “open up an investigation,” and then giving me a non-working number to contact,  I started to feel like I wasn’t going to get my package but that I might finally get to engage in a revenge plot fantasy. So I did what any white girl with a dwindling savings account and business women aspirations would do: go buy a cheap straightener at Target.

***

Flash forward a bit to me impetuously trying to finish a post on Friday before Matti gets home from work. WordPress has always been there for me, how could it now be cutting out of connectivity, unable to load pictures, and unable to load the customer support page? The internet ganged up with karma and was sticking it’s tongue at me the only way the internet knows how: by choosing which websites it will functionally load like a security guard at the airport choosing which person to search.  That’s totally fine — I didn’t spend five hours on this post already or anything and I love dealing with technical issues more than most things… said nobody, ever.

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Even this cute little girl hates you, Time Warner Cable

I received an email (rather quickly) from my good friend WordPress telling me people with Time Warner Cable were having similar issues. Is Time Warner Cable a real company or is a big consumer April Fools joke? When I called up the big guys at TWC, aka Tim with customer support whose name was definitely not Tim, they told me that wireless internet is very “finicky” and do I have an ethernet hook up. Apparently TWC thinks 2001: A Space Odyssey is still a glimpse into the future because they are stuck in a pre 2000 dial-up, plug in internet world.

“You know what Tim? It’s weird but when I bought wireless internet I thought it meant that I would be provided with a working wireless connection. I must’ve missed that sales pitch when I chose your service: Our wireless is finicky but we still love your money! Should I assume every service you provide is “finicky” or is that just with the new and upcoming wireless technology?”

Time Warner Cable is so funny because it’s as if they don’t know how badly they suck. You’d think after losing CBS they’d be a little more self-aware. Tim told me a representative would be by in a few days to put a bandaid on my internet.

***

Cut to me on the couch watching Gordon Ramsey tell his contestants to piss off as I shove an almond milk ice cream bar down my gullet and contemplate the amount of ways you can cook beef cheeks.

“So I guess I’m not gonna go to the gym tonight,” I said out loud to myself, looking at Matti, as I grab and squeeze my tummy fat like a stress ball. Three hours earlier I told Matti he wasn’t allowed to not let me go to the gym that night — I think my overuse of negatives may have confused him into inaction. I GUESS I should also take responsibility for my own fitness…

pictures-gyms-funny_4615978502391325So I did. The next day I went to the gym and gleefully realized they have the machines with the TVs on them. After running on the treadmill for a mile, to the surprise of myself and everyone that has ever known me, I went to the elliptical and realized the ear plug jack worked! Karma be damned — I was about to burn off the 300 calories of pure olive oil I consumed that day while watching the Kardashian/Jenners pretend to be a family on a farcically posh Greece vacation. While I subconsciously tried to out-elliptical the girl next to me as we both laughed out loud individually at Kendall’s spoiled rich girl tantrum, I had an epiphany.

I always hated running and I hated every person that ever had the audacity to claim they loved doing it. I’m sorry, I don’t believe you and if I wanted to clear my head I’d take a bath. But for first time in my life I had muscles in my stomach that were almost visible and I wasn’t going to let that change! I realized I didn’t need to have a romantic parisian love affair with running or exercising to enjoy it — I just had to be watching trashy reality television (or Shark Week). I knew I would be back at the gym when I got offended by the girl next to me not wiping down her machine after she smeared her girl sweat all over the machine.

I stopped in the mailroom on my way out of the gym for no real reason besides I wanted the lady inside to see how exhausted I looked drenched in sweat to solidify my gym experience and as I opened the box I saw a slip with the words I had been waiting two weeks to see: You have a package in the office.

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Nailed it, karma.

Spit Out Your Gum and Bend Your Knees, We’re Going to Skateland!

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This is the women’s “fast skate” otherwise known as, “how the hell do they not crash into each other”

Welcome to adult skate night at Skateland in Austin, Texas. Walking in, I immediately like it better than my old hangout Rollerworld, because it seems more likely to be the setting of a movie starring Jessie Eisenberg – he and a Kristen Stewart type actress would work together at the ticket booth and share a cigarette outside on their break which is okay because the film takes place in the 80s. The walls are all primary colors because this place wants to be taken seriously, playfully serious. The crowd is a mix of teenage girls in high-waist booty shorts with a false sense of retro style and what appears to be retired drama teachers, wannabe thugs and very old men in the same shorts the teenage girls are wearing.

The rugs are just like my at my old digs, a black background with neon pops of stars, what appears to be the planetary system, and a myriad of other unidentifiable shapes; the mood is definitely beckoning for a simpler, more tubular time – a time where one would associate Sean Penn with Fast Times instead of Milk. And I’m totally in it — also because Anna looked like she was about to roller derby some bitches to the ground when she picked me up:

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Watch out Ellen Paige…

Anna described the friend from work I was about to meet as someone I would like because she’s just like me, to which I replied, “I don’t like people who are like me.” Turned out her friend from work is exactly like me if I were a super cute tiny blonde with perfect skin and a perky disposition. (OKAY, I do have really great skin). But I was immediately grateful for her presence when she told me that she liked my hair and I looked like a rockstar — flattery is the only main route to my heart.

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Cue chant: QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK

We head over to pick up skates and for some reason, whether it be the effect Anna and my beauty have on the sweaty, clumsy, roller skate attendant — who is a mix between Christopher Mintz-Plasse and The Brain (from Pinky and The Brain) — or the fact that we have on ridiculously colorful, badass long socks, we are immediately labeled as the girls that have never been here before (which I was sort of okay with). Putting on the skates didn’t help. Remember people, I was born in the 80s but just barely so the only objects I have ever put on my feet starting with the word roller are blades. For me, the rollerblading scene from Mighty Ducks was the ultimate aspiration. (Don’t even get me started on the Disney movie, Brink).

To be fair, we tried skating. We put on our “quads” and made our way, slowly, to the practice area. For a second before we put the skates on, I had fooled myself into thinking I did this before — like it was one of the many activities in my distant childhood my dad bitches at me for not remembering. But no such luck. There was no foreseeable way to turn in these things, the only thing I could think to do was walk carefully and briskly. With the skates on I morphed into awkward Gumby Aly, all limbs and no balance. Although this sultry picture may convince you otherwise:

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…or just confirm the obvious.

Within minutes I looked at Anna and mouthed “rollerblades” because although I had a lot of fun bonding with Tatenda, the only one that appeared more uncomfortable than me on the kiddy rink, I am really bad at not being good at things. Anna said she knew I’d want to come with her because I’m into things like bowling, and by into she means I was in a bowling league in high school because in my high school that was the coolest activity to do on a Saturday morning (besides every other thing teenagers my age did). Really I’m just super competitive.

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Rollerblade robot meets the fast-paced human world

We’re pretty sure the roller skate and blade attendant charges us more than usual for the rollerblade upgrade (yes, I consider it an upgrade) but we’re immediately no longer the worst people at the rink so all is good. It seemed like the retro mystique of the roller skates made a lot of people more comfortable with themselves than I was comfortable with. Like for instance, the referee that looked like a sausage coming up and asking Anna to dance during the couple’s skate. No thanks, it’s girls night and we’re fine sipping contraband vodka mixed with the dollar cokes we had to wait an hour for because Marjorie the fifteen-year-old concession stand attendant decided to close up shop to take a shit right as we were entering. And of course we get mobbed with the skate gang as we wait for our cokes, one of them even ended up going behind the counter to get a cup just to show us how much skater clout he  had.

I liked to think we looked pretty natural on our blades, now that I was able to turn and all. That was until an old man in short shorts zig-zagging backwards through everyone told me I needed to bend my legs and relax. First of all sir, my legs are bent so I’m sorry you cannot handle my awkward body proportions but I promise you I go most days without falling on my face. And also, don’t tell me to relax! This is like when an old or middle-aged white man interjects a “Smile, why don’t you!” as you’re walking down the street and what you’d really like to do is pick up the nearest shovel and show them what a genuine smile looks like.

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My best “what the fuck, man” face to a weaver brushing past me.

I was in a groove on the rink for a while, especially after I passed Tatenda and gave him a thumbs up as he clasped his friends hands tightly while they slowly circled the main rink. He told me I looked great, so, I’m definitely taking his word for it. And they were playing the same songs from my Rollerworld days — Some Shaggy mixed with Kung Foo Fighting and other oldies. Oddly enough this was more exciting than worrisome. What I would’ve liked to have done before we left, however, was to sabotage one of the many “weavers” on the rink — you know, the speed skaters that get boners off of almost making you fall every time they pass. That and I wanted to join the wannabe thugs in the middle of the floor to see if I could still drop it like it was hot.

By the time Anna and everyone wanted to leave I was in the groove, literally and figuratively — I had finally found a way to almost dance when “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk came on as all the regulars looked around like, “Who turned off Destiny’s Child?” I finally made my way off the rink, barreling toward the edge to get off because I never learned how to use the breaks, and just barely stopping myself without face planting.

“Nailed it,” I said to the guy who seemed to be more into the spectator aspect of the sport.

We took off our blades, leaving us with the weird feeling of no longer being able to glide on the carpet, and said our goodbyes. As we walked out an old man on buttoning up his leather jacket and approaching his motorcycle stopped us.

“This ya’lls first time?” He asked, and I was resigned to the fact I could never fit in as a regular here at Skateland without actually becoming a regular. But was I ready?

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Clearly, I’m more than ready…

Because Why Wouldn’t You Go Rollerblading?

If you want to know what I was like as a preteen, just imagine a glittery baby blue Limited Too cami, hair straightened with a clothes iron, too much eyeliner, and of course, Rollerworld. I ruled Rollerworld like it was Fangtasia and I was Pam. The Rollerworld of Saugus, Massachusetts is where I learned girl code, how to be Mexican (hey, I’m 25%),  and of course, how to grind while rollerblading. Friday night Rollerworld dances were my transition into the raunchy world of teenage desire, where shaking your booty to Lil’ Kim was mandatory.

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Actual photo of Rollerworld — I can’t help but imagine the number of semi-boners that existed on this dance floor at one time.

I only wish I had tapes made of me and my skinny twig legs rollerblading around with an underdeveloped ass and overdeveloped boobs trying to twerk my way into a boy’s line of vision. It didn’t help that the two girls I always went to these dances were mostly Italian and had Beyoncé (from Destiny’s Child days) booties without even having to drop it low. Mannn, I dropped it low though; but it didn’t look natural — I looked more like Gumby with blossoming breasts bending over than an attractive young female purposefully making dance moves.

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There I am!

So, obviously, when Anna asked if I wanted to go rollerblading tonight, I said yes. Because obviously I need to relive my raunchy youth more and as much as I loved almost dying after hiking yesterday, I’d prefer to exercise without realizing I’m doing it. (Ellen Page also really romanticized rollerblading for me in a kick ass way). Matti, however, when asked, did not understand the draw to rollerblading. My initial reaction to this was severe outrage which then obviously led to the questioning of our entire relationship and how I could be with someone who doesn’t see the inherit amazingness of floating on rollerblades in a giant indoor arena with a bunch of other adults trying to be kids. But then I realized, without Matti at our rollerblading adventure, I could TRULY relive my Rollerworld glory days. (Hey, babe, if you’re reading this, you cannot get mad at me if I bring home an 18-year-old rollerblader with an active spirit and a youthful disposition. You decided not to come and this is just who I am now).

Anyways, redoers, prepare for a literary feast of descriptions of me rollerblading to hip hop music with teenagers circling around me, chanting, “ROLL, ROLL, ROLL” tomorrow because that’s what us ‘bladers do. Tomorrow’s post will be rollerific (copyright?).

But now for truly important matters:

If you REALLY love me like you say you do, you will go right now to look at this picture of Sir Tengo, my princely pup, and comment with a caption for a chance to win amazingly unique and ridiculous prizes from me! (Seriously, where else can you win a homemade ninja star AND official US Postal Service postmaster junior stickers.) There are two awesome entries so far but we need more! You will also win my undying love and respect which, of course, is invaluable. Mostly though, Tengo likes to hear me read the captions to him out loud so he can imagine being on puppy adventures. You have till Friday, you animals.