Thursday, May 29, 2014

Vegas (Part One)

I've arrived in Vegas, y'all!

And I didn't write shit this week.

Sorry 'bout it.

Look out next week for my recap of the weekend's shenanigans.

Nothing of note has happened thus far. I drank a bunch of drinks. We got kicked out of a pool party that we definitely weren't cool enough for. I ate Dorito Mac & Cheese (and I won't be eating anything else for the rest of my life), and I drooled all over myself during a nap by the hotel pool.

See you next week!

Thursday, May 22, 2014


If you've spoken to me in the last month or so, odds are our conversation has steered towards one of three topics: my trip to Vegas (which is now less than two weeks away), the correct pronunciation of the word "often" (I call bullshit on the silent "T"), or (the most likely of the three) drag queens.

I'm a well established pop culture junkie, and I've been known to become far too emotionally involved in the lives of television characters (both reality and completely fictional). To this day I haven't forgiven Kevin Williamson for not writing Joey and Dawson together at the end of the Dawson's Creek season finale. I'm madly in love Logan Echolls in Veronica Mars (I don't care if he's not real), and the episode that they killed Dana in The L Word literally broke me. When it was over (and I'm not even being hyperbolic about this) I sobbed hysterically for an hour and a half before calling Chelsea and screaming into the phone, "OH GOD, MAKE IT STOP!"

That all pales in comparison to how involved I let myself get in RuPaul's Drag Race. Starting in FebRUary every year, I'm a man possessed. The minute the cast is announced, I'm frantically reading bios, watching grainy cell phone videos of club performances, and forming unhealthy attachments to contestants before the first episode even airs.

Never before have I grown as attached to a contestant as I was to Bianca Del Rio this year. She's everything I want in a drag queen. She's over the top, she's glamorous, she's quick witted, she's mean, and she can side eye a bitch like you wouldn't believe.

She's my spirit animal.

Week after week she slayed the competition until she was in the final three...and I was full on crazy, stalker obsessed. This finale, and Bianca winning, quickly became the most important thing in my life (sorry 'bout it, people I actually know).

Because I'm a poor person who can't afford cable television (or shoes without holes in them...I'm basically a really pretty hobo at this point), I've always had to get my fix online the day after the show airs. During the 24 hours between when a new episode airs and, social media becomes a minefield of potential spoilers. The last three years I've had the finale ruined for me within an hour of waking up the day after. I wouldn't be standing for that this year though. This year was too important!

24 hour social media blackout.

It was the only answer. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Instagram. No Tumblr. No Pinterest. Hell, I even planned on staying away from Goodreads...just in case.

The solution seemed simple, but I started think about whether I'd ever done this before...and I couldn't place a single time in the time since Facebook became a thing that I consciously decided to avoid social media. I'm certain it happened early on, but I highly doubt that I've gone more than 6 hours at a time without checking in online in the 5 years that I've had a smartphone.


7 o'clock rolled around and I set my final status before the blackout letting everyone know I'd be gone for 24 hours, and I set my phone aside. The feeling of relief was instantaneous. I felt more involved in the world around me. How nice it was going to be to not be needing to check my phone every twenty seconds! I made eye contact with strangers as we passed, smiling and offering a friendly "Hello!" I noticed how green the grass was, and that the leaves on the trees were finally coming in. The real world was beautiful, and I was ready to be a part of it!

It really was a magical five minutes before I received my first Facebook notification.

Someone had left a comment on my status.

It could be important.

Checking it REAL quick couldn't REALLY hurt anything. I mean, the finale hasn't even started yet, and that's the whole point of this. I'll just keep an eye on this one status for just a little bit, and then I done...really done.

My need for internet validation is stronger than I anticipated.

I fought the urge all night. I'd find myself constantly, and unconsciously, picking my phone up, hovering my thumb over the Instagram icon, catching myself, and setting it back down again. I saw hashtags referenced on the TV shows I was watching, and almost searched Twitter for them, and at one point I found myself typing out a humorous Facebook status update about how good I'd become at staying off of social media.

The next morning didn't go much better. I'd accidentally checked Facebook twice before I even got in the shower. I realized that if I was going to resist the urge, I was going to need to eliminate the temptation. I mean, you don't just let a crackhead keep their pipe.

I was going to need to turn my phone off and leave it at home.

After a lot of inner turmoil, I convinced myself that for safety reasons (I'm nothing if not responsible about my own safety) I couldn't just leave my phone at home, but I would not be turning it on, and I would leave it in my car.

I was a wreck all day. I kept reaching for the place where my phone usually sits on my desk. I felt phantom vibrations in my pocket. I had nothing to distract me while on my breaks at work, and turns out, when you're not staring at a screen with ear buds in, shooting annoyed side eye when anyone walks too close, people will actually try to talk to you. I was having real social interactions.

Like, I had to use actual facial expressions instead of emoticons.

The only thing that got me through my work day was the knowledge that when it was over, I was going to be able to turn my phone back on, and be overwhelmed with the number of texts and voicemails I'd received over the last eight hours. I resisted booting back up until I got home to avoid feeling the need to try to respond while I was driving, but I hit the power button the moment I walked into my front door.

Zero new messages.

So that hurt.

I was in the homestretch though. It was finally time for me to watch the finale, and I was in full on tears (from my seat at the coffee shop whose internet I was using) when they crowned Bianca as this year's winner.

Worth it.

I made my glorious return to social media only to find I'd missed one friend request, just a few likes, but a troubling number of messages all saying basically, "You're going 24 hours without checking Facebook? That's not gonna happen."

Just because you're right, doesn't mean you get to be all snarky about it, you guys.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

10 Recent Google Searches That Prove I'm Not Ready to be a Grown Up

1. How do you pronounce "Quinoa?"

How is it that quinoa has become the most popular health food (for people who hate delicious things), and I've only ever seen it in print. Seriously, it's shown up on multiple menus, and I've had follow up questions that I've been too embarrassed to ask without knowing for sure how to say the stupid word.

Follow up questions like...

2. What is quinoa?

Apparently it's a lot like couscous.

So once I figure out what couscous is...

3. The Simple Life season 1 where are they now?

I want desperately to know if the sons from the family that Paris and Nicole lived with ended up being hot (not the little one, he's got about four more years before I don't feel weird about Googling him). So desperately that I spent an hour attempting to figure it out the other day. An hour that could probably have been better spent running out to get light bulbs so I don't have to keep doing my hair in the's not cute.

Other phrases tried: "Leding Family 2014" "Cain and Justin Leding" "Leding Family Pictures" "Leding Boys, hot?"

It wasn't until I started typing this that I remembered that Facebook is a thing that exists...and I found one of them. His likes include the entire cast of Duck Dynasty, Paula Deen, Ted Nugent, and "Beautiful Bitches." So it doesn't really seem like I'd be his type...

4. How do I get out a really old chocolate stain?

Every summer I try and make white shorts happen, and every summer it ends the same.

5. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants New Movie

Were you all aware that this is happening? Do any of you care that this is happening?

I read a news article about this the other day and I freaked. the. f#%!. out. I'm serious. It was a really scary moment actually. Everything went blurry, time seemed to slow, I went momentarily deaf. The shock to my system was so intense that I'm pretty sure if I ever get asked at a doctor's appointment about any history of heart problems, I'll have to be like, "Well there was this minor cardiac incident on April 23rd 2014 when I found out about 'Sisterhood Everlasting.'"

My connection to these movies is real, it's intense, and it's completely unexplainable.

6. RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6 gifs

I started this blog as a way to develop my voice. I don't have any real expectations that it will make me internet famous, but I wanted to start writing something. I needed to find my strengths, and I wanted to learn what I needed to work on. This way, hopefully sometime down the road, I can take what I've learned and apply it to something that will actually make me some money.

Instead I've started a weekly ritual of spending 5 hours searching the internet for funny gifs and then spending twenty frantic minutes trying to write something that I can use them in.

But, come on. Courtney Act trying to use a straw...

7. What is a TED Talk?

I've legitimately been smiling and nodding for a year when people talk about amazing things they heard on a TED Talk, silently praying that no one asks any follow up questions, and quickly changing the subject to something I have more of a metal grasp on. Like videos of cats eating lollipops.

8. Prince Harry, butt.

Sometimes after a long, hard day, I just need to be reminded that these photos exist.

9. Olivia Pope wine glasses

Because even though I've got a late cell phone bill, a car that needs a new whatever the part is that keeps coolant from hemorrhaging onto my parking lot, a refrigerator whose only contents is moldy pineapple and an old box of wine, a pile of laundry that is legitimately almost as tall as I am, and absolutely no money to pay for any of it, I still recently pondered spending $12 per glass on a full set of the gorgeous wine glasses that Olivia Pope uses on Scandal.

Just think of how f#%!ing classy I'd look though!

10. What is dub-step?

Nevermind. Disregard all previous evidence to the contrary.

I'm old as f#%!.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime

I had an especially rough day at work last week. Customers were being assholes. Coworkers were being annoying (seriously...who clips their nails in PUBLIC?!). My hair decided halfway through the day to just quit cooperating entirely, and at the end of my shift I had an especially infuriating conversation in which someone repeatedly said to me, "You don't understand, this is a mute point."

You mean "moot" and you're still using it in the wrong context...f#%!er.

I was full on raging as I walked to my car. The kind of intense, misdirected rage that if you tried to explain, would seriously make loved ones consider putting  you away. I dropped my book while I fumbled to unlock my car door, and it lead to the following inner monologue,
"You've got to be f#%!ing kidding me! No wonder everything in my life is shit! What the hell is wrong with me? How hard is it to unlock your f#%!ing car door?! You should just leave it there. It's not like you were enjoying it anyway. Nicholas Sparks is the worst. How is he this successful?! I'm probably never going to be as successful at anything as Nicholas Sparks is at writing idiotic, sappy, melodramatic love stories for middle aged women who hate their husbands. It's almost like he gets off on making people cry. What kind of man feels that way? He's a broken human being. Plus he's wearing a dumb shirt on the book jacket. God, I hate Nicholas Sparks! If he were here right now I would tell him too...and then I'd spit on him...I do kinda want to know how this stupid f#%!ing book ends though. Just calm down, pick up the book, and go home. There's no reason to get this upset. Everything is fine and no one is--WHY THE F#%! IS IT SO F#%!ING HOT IN THIS CAR?!" 

Toward the end, my inner monologue became more of a loudly shouted, hysterical outer monologue.

After taking a moment to collect my emotions, I realized something. It was hot in my car. Like legitimately too warm for comfort. Ummm...wait a second, is summer actually going to happen this year?!

The snow is gone, the grass is green, there are buds on the trees, last weekend we actually experienced three entire days in which it was above sixty degrees without a drop of rain, and I'm pretty sure I saw two squirrels banging the other day. This heinous bitch of a winter is over, we're fast forwarding through spring, and summer is right around the corner!

It made me so happy, I almost cried.

Then I remembered all of the shit I have going on this summer, and how much money all of it was going to cost, and I really almost cried. I leave for Vegas in three weeks. Pride weekend is a month after that, and then a month after that I'll be making the trip back home for TCD in the VoB (and my 10 year high school reunion...gulp). I started imagining the budget I'd need for each event, wondering if my car is even capable of making the drive home, freaking out about needing to fit into the perfect class reunion outfit, and just generally flying off the goddamn handle.

I needed a plan. Grown ups handle stressful situations because they come up with plans. I've got plenty of time to work through this, and if I just take things one at a time, everything will be fine. My most pressing issue is clearly how I'm going to pay for all of these things. So I was going to sit down, take a deep breath, and make a budget.

I got out my notebook, made sure my pen worked, poured a glass of early afternoon wine, and I thought... 

"I should learn how to grill."

Jump to an hour later, and I'm at my friend Emma's sitting in front of a fire pit with a glass of wine enjoying the amazing smells wafting over from the grill.

If ignoring responsibilities was an Olympic sport, I'd be the Michael f#%!ing Phelps of the event.

Let's be fair though, grilling is super grown-up-y, and it's something I definitely should know how to do. So the afternoon wasn't entirely wasted (until the part where I was wasted in the afternoon).

On the way to Emma's a swung by the grocery store to pick up some supplies. As I was browsing for things that I was pretty sure you could put on a grill, I stumbled upon some prepackaged asparagus spears touted as being "Great for grilling!"

So that really couldn't have worked out any better for me.

The stupid thing was like $9 though, and I was broke as a joke. It looked like it was just asparagus, some garlic, and lemon slices. I already had some garlic, so I just bought some asparagus and a lemon, and I saved myself $5.

See...I'm totally responsible.

Preparing and seasoning my own meat would probably have been more impressive, but I really didn't have time for that nonsense, so I grabbed a bacon cheddar hamburger, and a cilantro lime chicken breast. I reasoned that I needed to learn how to properly prepare more than just one kind of meat which made me feel just slightly better about mostly just wanting to eat a truly unhealthy amount of food that night.

I got there, Emma and I threw our stuff on the grill, and I turned to her and asked, " now what?" to which she responded, "I dunno, what do you think?"

"You mean, you don't know how to do this?"
"Well, when you suggested it, I kind of thought you knew what you were doing!"
" assumed since you had the grill that YOU would know what YOU were doing."
"No, I've never done this before..."
"I came over here for you to teach me! Are you telling me we're flying blind here?!"
**We both retrieve our cell phones and start frantically Googling**

The theme for the evening quickly became, "I dunno, what do you think?"

"Should we flip this?"
"I dunno, what do you think?"
"Is it supposed to sizzle this much?!"
"I dunno, what do you think?"
"Will I die if I eat under-cooked chicken, or just get really sick and lose 15 lbs from all the vomiting...'cause there's this class reunion coming up?"
"I dunno, what do you think?"

It was stressful as f#%!, but we did it, and everything tasted delicious!

So after my first ever cookout, I've officially kicked off summer. I've broken out the "Summer Jams" playlist, and I'm prepared for all of the shenanigans the next three months will undoubtedly bring. I can't wait to share them with you!

**Update on last week's post**

One of the matchmaker guys emailed me to introduce himself. He was all, "I love snowboarding, playing hockey, frisbee golf, and hiking"

I was all...

Soulmates, obvies...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Online Dating: Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Last October I shared with you some of the more horrific experiences I've had as I've explored the creepy world of online dating while trying not to lose complete faith in the male species. If you've forgotten that specific entry, it was the the one where a guy asked if I'd fart on him. (Relive the horrors here).

It hasn't been a successful journey thus far.

For every one nice, sweet, funny message I've gotten from a cute guy I'd consider having coffee with, I've gotten about twenty vulgar, offensive, and grammatically incorrect ones from penises without faces that I'd consider taking restraining orders out on. I don't know what it is about sitting behind a keyboard (and a digital camera) that makes people lose every single one of their inhibitions.

Seriously, as I was typing that last paragraph from my table at a local coffee shop, a man walked by and I thought, "Oh, I've definitely seen your genitals on the internet."

I'm troubled by the complete lack of effort put forth when trying to elicit sex. Is it really too much to ask that you compliment my eyes, smile, or haircut (or any combination of the three) before moving on to the boot knockin' portion of your pitch?

And you expect me to make the trip to you?! I've been out of toilet paper for two weeks, I'm almost out of paper towels, and I don't have a Plan C...and that hasn't been enough for me to make the five minute drive to Wal-Mart. I'm certainly not putting on shoes for your lazy ass.

As obnoxious as that message was though, at least he got to the point and asked what he wanted. Nothing drives me crazier than getting a message that just says, "hi." What that says to me is that you want to talk to me, but you'd really prefer if I did all of the work for it.

I'm not even going to dignify that with a response, Tarzan.

Possibly my favorite message that I've ever received came on a Saturday morning last November. It was the day of Friendsgiving., and I was in the middle of my annual sage related meltdown when I heard my phone chirp with the arrival of a new message.

I mean...

I searched my profile for anything pointing to why I was being perceived to be a working girl, but it just wasn't there. Maybe too many references to my love for Glee, which at the time of creating this profile was apparently a big enough part of my life that it warranted three mentions (and I wonder why I'm still single). Not once did I mention that I was "needing some help" or "running a legitimate massage business," and even if I was a prostitute, I certainly wouldn't be willing to make outcalls.

It would be a lie to say that I didn't briefly consider responding just to see exactly what kind of services $100 would require. My actual thought process went something like,
"Well, what if he's just like a foot fetishist or something and he just wants to take pictures of my toes or whatever? I could do that. My toes are adorable. Yeah...but what if he wanted to lick my toes? No...that's gross...that's the line. But maybe for $200? I wonder if we'd just do it in the Cabela's parking lot?"

I mean...I've got bills to pay.

So you can see why I'd recently begun to feel like I'd seen it all. I quit trying to work up intelligent responses, and usually just deleted the offending message on sight. I did have some fun with one guy who seemed to have a limited knowledge of English. I repeated every message he sent to me, exactly as he sent it to me. He started out confused, moved on to angry, then to really angry, and after about thirty messages I'm pretty sure he was convinced that his messages were somehow bouncing back to him, and he was considering lodging a formal complaint against the site itself.

A few weeks ago, however, I received something new. Something I really wasn't prepared to handle.

Okay, we'll get to the rest in a second, but are you kidding me with, "I am not a robot."?! I wasn't afraid you were a robot...but I am now! Don't you think that, "I am not a robot." would be the first thing that a robot would say if trying to convince me that he wasn't in fact a robot?!

Thanks for those Terminator nightmares, f#%!er.

My first thought was of course that this is some sort of scam, but my second thought was, "Remember that time you choked on a piece of chicken alone in your apartment, and you had to decide between continuing to try to dislodge it or putting on cuter underwear (for when your body is discovered) before you lost consciousness? Maybe it's time to meet someone?"

So I responded letting him know that I was pretty sure it was a scam (and I was iffy about him being a cyborg), but I was willing to give it a try, and I gave him my email address.

He responded almost immediately with an official looking email with his company name (which I Googled, and it looked legit). He included pictures of a super hot guy who apparently loves books, and movies, and his family, and who also has a job in, corporate, fiscal, collateral, economics (some title filled with words that don't mean anything to me, but probably mean that he's loaded).

I was in love.

Of course I said that I'd be thrilled to be set up with this person and immediately began planning the outfit I'd wear for our first date.

Andreas, our matchmaker, responded that he'd pass my information along, but first he needed to double check that I had been truthful in my online profile.

Now, it's not that I was lying intentionally, but this was a site called Manhunt. I really wasn't expecting anything from it, and I kept the profile open more out of habit than anything. I hadn't updated it in two years. I have had a minor freak out about turning 28, but it's not something I'm hiding, and sure the pictures were kind of old, but I don't look that different. Still, I was feeling really self conscious about what this would look like from an outsider's perspective.

So, like a puppy who had just been smacked on the nose with a newspaper, I sent my response with my real age and with a few updated pictures. Andreas's response came back shortly after that letting me know he'd be passing along my information. He told me that I should expect to hear from my potential new husband within the next days, and he ended his message by saying, "I hope you check your email often!"

And check my email often, I did. I was a man possessed. For days I was pulling my phone out every four minutes hitting that obnoxious swirling refresh button, desperate for the first contact from the new love of my life. I waited.

And waited...

And waited...

A week went by, and I'd heard nothing. In fact, in that week, I didn't receive a single email that wasn't a Facebook notification, from a pharmaceutical company offering pills to compensate for a problem that I promise I do not have, or one of the daily messages, which I'd jokingly signed up for on an especially drunken night out with Beth and Travis. I'm not kidding, every single day sends me an email filled with potential matches, and it's almost like they understand that I'm gay, but also kinda just think I haven't met the right girl. Each email is filled with pictures of rugged looking guys pledging allegiance to their John Deere's or quoting overwrought country lyrics, but they also sneak in at least one pretty little country girl in daisy dukes and a pink straw cowboy hat, almost as if to say, "We're completely fine with your 'alternative lifestyle,' but do you think maybe it could be just a phase?"

I'd moved on entirely from the man that I was pretty sure was the love of my life just a week before, when I received another email, from a new matchmaker, Nick, "Just a reminder, We've passed your information along to our client, you should be hearing from him any day now!"

I started really thinking through the situation at this point. I hadn't stopped to consider previously why exactly I had been chosen as a match for this person. My profile was in no way a detailed description of who I was or what I was looking for. What sort of guidelines are these matchmakers using to pair up their clients? Also, my "match" was from Minneapolis, an hour and a half away. You honestly couldn't find someone suited that also lived near this dude?!

Basically, I'd been contacted by someone who's job it was to browse dick on the internet (something I've been doing for free for years), so long as he picked a random out every now and then and sent his contact information to his client. And speaking of this client, what kind of person is paying someone to browse dick on the internet for him. How is it that this system exists?! And, more importantly, how do I make it my job?!

Another week passed without any further contact, but at this point I didn't have any expectations that it would. I ended up meeting a guy completely organically, he's sweet, cute, and smart. I don't think anything will come of it, but it was a nice reminder that meeting someone doesn't need to be such hard work. If I just relax and let it happen. I felt more relaxed about being single than I have in a long time.

Until I checked my email...

He included two pictures of a slightly nerdy, but totally gorgeous, blonde man with a killer haircut.

I think he's the one, you guys...