Weighing the Pros and Cons

Excellent things about the Internet:

1) Shopping. J. Crew, Sephora, Gap, Nordstrom, etc. Mind you, I have all of these stores within a ten-mile radius of my house but going there would mean dealing with those slow, weaving mall-browsers that cut down on my efficiency. Are you people drunk? Get the hell out of my way! No time for lollygagging. When it comes to the mall, Get In and Get Out. That’s my mantra. Plus, going to the mall means getting off my lazy ass and really, who wants that?

2) eBay. I love eBay. Just call me Queen of Swoop. All of those poor, unsuspecting eBayers bidding on an item, thinking they will win, when BAM! 23 seconds to go, swoop in, put in my bid, and I win AGAIN. I have never been successfully swooped upon and I am damn proud. And really, what’s with all of the people who start bidding a day in advance? Do they not realize they are just unnecessarily driving the price of the item up? Hate. Haaaaaate. Hate.

3) Live customer support. This means not having to talk on the phone. Glorious. I don’t like talking on the phone- please don’t ever call me. Don’t get me wrong, I like you! But my Get in, Get out mantra also applies to phone calls. Can’t we just email each other? I never answer my phone unless it’s my husband, and I average a 5-7 day delay on returning personal phone calls unless it’s family. Luckily, my peeps know just how much deeply-rooted strength I must muster to dial the digits and they’re sympathetic to the issue. Oh, and Liz, your 5-7 day period is this Thursday through Saturday…be on the lookout. ;)

4) Makeupalley.com. 5,900,000,000 product reviews at your fingertips. I have a thing for makeup*, lip gloss especially, and when I feel a haul coming on, I just read all the informative reviews of a product to help make my decision.

Not that anyone gives a rat’s ass, but here are my fave lip glosses right now.

gloss.jpg

While we’re at it- presenting the best blush ever. Tried and true. Scary in the compact, perfection on the cheeks.

*I love makeup, but generally look like a Russian whore if I wear more than mascara, blush and lip gloss.

Moving along…

5) All of this online purchasing means lots and lots of packages! Delivered to my doorstep! All the time! My UPS man commented, “It’s like Christmas everyday at this house.” Damn straight. Ok, Ok. So I might have a little addiction to receiving packages in the mail. At least it’s not crystal meth.

6) My favorite blogs listed in my sidebar. Making new cool-as-hell friends from blogging.

7) Online Bill Pay. Access to all of my accounts.

8) Pink Is The New Blog.

9) This Site. Ya know, just in case.

Not-So-Excellent Things about the Internet:

1) The wealth of information about very very bad things that can happen to you from one seemingly harmless symptom. Like, I don’t know, when your husband has a muscle twitch in his arm for two days straight and you have completely convinced yourself he has Lou Gehrig’s Disease or a Pulmonary Embolism in the works. Thank you, Internet.

2) The amount of time I spend reading blogs. I’m beginning to think I have a problem. No, I know I have a problem. Is it really neccesary to check my favorite blogs 10 times a day? Is there a Bloggers Anonymous? Should I start one?

3) Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

4) My increasingly believable rationalization that writing an entry (or taking photos of my makeup, for God’s sake) for my blog is more important than doing my job. Like this shit is paying my bills or something.

5) The decline of face-to-face contact in our daily lives. For instance, ordering items online instead of buying the items at the mom-and-pop store across the street. (Who I am kidding? I love this, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for me.)

6) All in all, I guess I’m just like Troy in Reality Bites. As Lelaina so eloquently put it, “You are a master at the art of time suckage”.

Bishop Stu Tu

So I called my dad last night to say howdy and see what was going on halfway across the country. He was installing his iPod into his Mini-Cooper before heading down to his recording studio where he was finalizing a new song.

Stop right there.

How cool is that? My dad rocks! He is such a cool cat. Honestly, if you met my dad and didn’t like him, I’d probably persuade you to head on down to the nearest mental hospital ’cause you might be a little unhinged. He’s successful! He sings! He plays the guitar! He solves complex mathematical equations with the greatest of ease! He can fix anything, whether it is an antique watch or an entire air conditioning system! For God’s sake, the man even cut my hair when I was younger, and people, I am pretty damn picky when it comes to the locks. How can one person be so talented at so many damn things? I’m intrigued.

If that wasn’t enough, presenting More Cool Things About My Dad!

1) He does all of the grocery shopping. Our family is prepared for a complete nuclear disaster- he has acquired more canned goods than the local food bank. Now, I could argue that sometimes he goes with the generic stuff (blech), but he makes up for this with The Infamous Candy Drawer. A bona fide candy drawer filled with every kind of confection you could dream of. Snickers? Check. Blowpops? Check. Chick-o-Sticks? Check. Also, looking for some gum or Good & Plenty’s? He is always in possession of these two items. Oh, and don’t get him talking about the different kinds of black licorice. Give him the wrong kind of black licorice, and it’s like handing Superman some kryptonite. Complete meltdown.

2) Interested in sound financial advice? Need to create a new budget? He’s your man. Now, sometimes this “financial advice” has been a bit unwarranted, like the time I asked him a general question about interest rates, only to be lectured about the “blood bath” economy for three hours, trying to feign interest while feverishly searching the room for a pencil to shove into my eye socket so I could call 911 and get out of the house pronto.

3) He doesn’t mind driving halfway across the city to get the best pizza in town for Sunday pizza dinners. I tend to think this is due to his sneaking suspicion that the pizza shop owners might be part of the Taliban and is hoping to intercept some crucial contraband. Okie dokie. And if pizza doesn’t sound good, he makes the world’s best chilidogs. They are excellent and also his cure for anything ailing you. Hung over? Eat a chilidog. Feeling blue? Eat a chilidog. Bad haircut? Eat a chilidog. Your pet died? Eat a chilidog. You get the picture.

4) My personal favorite- He didn’t send me to a Swedish boarding school at age sixteen when I managed to wreck all three of the family’s cars in a 48-hour period. Oops.

5)Most importantly, he is one hell of a father to my sister and I and one hell of a husband to my mom (who happens to rock the casbah, as well).

I miss my dad.

I’m Melting. I’m Melllllltiiiiiiing…

I have been held hostage at my Corporate POA meeting this week. POA, you ask? Plan of Action, or as I like to call it, Parade of Ass-kissers or Plethora of Assvice. Do sales people EVER stop talking? Really?! My manager inquires as to why I’m not contributing much to the discussion. BECAUSE I CAN’T GET A WORD IN EDGEWISE AND WE ARE ALREADY RUNNING BEHIND SCHEDULE BY TWO FREAKING HOURS! How did I end up here? I swear if I hear the term empowerment, evidence-based selling or super-probe one more time, I will personally super-probe my darling J. Crew flat up your anal cavity.

Did I just refer to the butt 3 times in one paragraph? My brain… it’s withering away…

Luckily, I had a couple of much-savored minutes to re-introduce myself to my Mac. Oh, how I missed you! A friend sent me this circulating email and it actually helped me forget about my meeting for 5 minutes and have a good laugh at the expense of my fellow Southern Californians.

Hollywood Power Outage Sends City into Chaos.
No electricity for 56 minutes. ‘This is our Tsunami.’
By Joshua Gates Actor, Photographer…Victim

LOS ANGELES, CA, September 12, 2005 – Horror and disbelief swept through the greater Hollywood area this afternoon as a minor power-outage turned the city into a virtual war zone and local residents struggled to deal with the devastating aftermath.

The outage struck at 1:35 PM, during L.A.’s busy afternoon coffee and Pilate’s rush hour. Traffic lights fell dark, local gyms and sushi restaurants were without power for nearly 30 minutes and many businesses were illuminated only by the light of the sun and its blistering 78 degree heat. “It was horrible,” said out of work actor and voice-over artist Rick Shea. “I was in a Jamba Juice on Melrose when it hit and the blenders simply shut down. A woman lunged for my Berry Lime Sublime and after that, well, it got pretty ugly.”

In the ensuing panic, local radio stations broadcasted conflicting reports as to exactly which local businesses would be offering relief supplies. Almost 100 people flocked to the Starbucks at Santa Monica and La Brea only to find helpless baristas, no hot coffee and a totally meager selection of baked goods. “My mother is 83 years old and we heard on the radio that this Starbucks was going to be up and running. If she doesn’t get a venti Arabian Mocha Sanani, I don’t know what’s going to happen to her, I really don’t.” said Lucinda Merino of Los Feliz. To make matters worse, those few people who did manage to get coffee were further thwarted by a total lack of artificial sweeteners on site.

“Sugar in the Raw? Are you frigging kidding me?” sobbed local homosexual and avid salsa dancer, Enrique Santoro. “I’m on the South Beach Diet and my insulin levels are going to go crazy if I use this. Why isn’t the rest of the country doing something?”

Deteriorating conditions will force authorities to evacuate the thousands of people at local Quiznos, movie theaters and upscale shopping centers, including the The Beverly Center, where a policeman told CNN unrest was escalating. The officer expressed concern that the situation could worsen overnight after patrons defaced multiple “So You Think you Can Dance” posters, looted a Baby Gap and demanded free makeovers en masse at a MAC cosmetics store during the afternoon.

At least 2,000 refugees, a majority of them beautiful, will travel in a bus convoy to Beverly Hills starting this evening and will be sheltered at the 8-year-old Spago on North Canon where soft omelettes with confit bacon and Hudson Valley foie gras was being airlifted in by The National Guard.

Honorary Mayor of Hollywood, Johnny Grant told a group of embedded reporters at a Koo Koo Roo Chicken restaurant on Larchmont that, “The scope and scale of this disaster is almost too much to comprehend. Local car washes are at a stand-still, the tram tour at Universal Studios has been on hold for almost an hour now and I’ve been waiting for a rotisserie leg and thigh with a side of greens beans for upwards of 15 minutes. This truly is our Tsunami.”

“We want to accommodate those people suffering in the Beverly Center as quickly as possible for the simple reason they have been through a horrible ordeal,” Grant said. “We need water. We need edamame. We need low-carb bread,” said Martha Owens, 49, who was one of the thousands trapped in the Beverly Center when the escalators stopped moving. “They need to start sending somebody through here.”

Along miles of coastline, the power simply surged, causing writers to lose upwards of a page of original screenplay material, causing Direct TV service to work only intermittently and forcing local residents to walk outside and look helplessly at the Pacific from their ocean view decks. “I can hardly begin to put this experience into words,” said longtime Two and a Half Men writer John Edlestein. “I was just getting into my rhythm and making some real headway on a scene where Charlie Sheen parties with a busload of female volleyball players when my Power Book crapped out. I have nothing. Simply, nothing.”

Delivering his weekly radio address live from the White House, President Bush announced he was deploying more than 7,000 additional active-duty troops to the region. He comforted victims and praised relief workers.

“But despite their best efforts, the magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area this sunny and trendy has created tremendous problems,” he said. “The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in the
Hollywood Hills, and that is unacceptable.”

The Magnate

Looking for some new dysphemisms to use in your daily dialogue? Let’s peruse my new and improved smorgasbord, shall we? Besides exploring, drinking vast amounts of vodka and belting out some serious karaoke in Montana, I was privileged enough to spend a week with my sister’s husband, aka The Dysphemism Magnate. This man should be nationally recognized for his uncanny ability to roll these things off his tongue without so much as batting an eyelash. Seriously, he rattles off about 10-15 a day.

Four things you should know about The Magnate:

1) He and my father, Bishop Stu Tu, are currently deadlocked in the race towards becoming “Greatest Storyteller on the Planet”.
2) He eats massive quantities of beef. Guinness Book of World Records might be calling soon.
3) His disposition can turn your shitty day into a personal best within ten minutes.
4) His initials speak volumes about his demeanor- A.O.K. It’s all good.

I’m pretty confident he could publish a book with at least 500 of these bad-boys, so consider this a sneak peek of the genius that is The Magnate.

“I’m so hungry, I could eat the ass end of a rhino running from me.”

“I’ve known him since Moby Dick was a minnow.”

“We’re richer than two feet up a bull’s ass.”

“Damn, it’s hot. I’m foaming up like a thoroughbred on race day.”

“I’m hornier than a three-peckered billy goat.”

“I’m so hungry, my stomach is rubbing a blister on my backbone.”

“We’re lower than snake shit in a wagon wheel track.” – or did Bishop Stu Tu say that?

“I’m drunker than a nine-eyed rat.”

“It’s hotter than two racoons fucking in a rat house.”

Ouch.

Remember when I mentioned my generalized distaste for group exercise classes because of my red-face problem? I have been contemplating trying out this kickboxing class for months now, but I chicken out every single week. I am such a wimp! I just really don’t want to deal with people thinking I am dying and then proceeding to administer mouth-to-mouth for no reason. Then I thought, why am I being so vain? I know better than anyone else that nobody cares about me because everyone is worried about what THEY look like and to GET OVER MYSELF AND GET MY ASS TO CLASS. Well, I finally did it yesterday.

Help me.

I can’t walk. I can’t move. I can’t sit. I can’t poop. I don’t think I can go to work. The pain is permeating every cell in my body. Why did I think I could do 79 round-house kicks at full force on the first day? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? I should have listened to my body around the 40th minute- I was getting tired and achy, but I looked over and there was a 65 year-old lady all fresh-faced and glowy busting some serious power hooks with no problem and here I was, purple-faced, dripping in sweat and now seriously considering that whole mouth-to-mouth option. Well, there was no way in hell I was going to stop then…I’ve got thirty-five years on that lady! I power walk! I circuit train! Screw this shit! You wanna go, little lady? How bout this? DOUBLE KICK! And some of this! JAB JAB HOOK! Don’t forget this! TRIPLE ROUND HOUSE KICK- HI YAAA!

Clearly, I have some competitive issues. Trust me, I’m paying for them.

On a completely unrelated note, has anyone tried the fiesta chicken and vegetable salad from Trader Joe’s? By God, it is the best salad I have ever put in my mouth. You must try it pronto.

Rockstar: Montana

We’re back! We had a great time in Montana- it is truly beautiful and trust me, we have evidence (photos galore). We spent time exploring small mining towns, witnessing the Big Hole National Battlefield, and ascending 5,000 feet driving up unpaved roads to tops of mountains only to find some of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing there is still so much raw land in the Northwest.

However, the award for most memorable moment goes to our Thursday night outing to the Ponderosa Saloon in Hamilton, Montana for Karaoke Night. Gorillabuns would be so proud. Earlier in the week, while running errands, my sister and I noticed a sign hanging outside of what seemed to be a casino or bar advertising Karaoke on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It took us all of 2 seconds to decide that we were in like Flynn. I guess Rockstar: INXS is really getting to me these days.

My sister and I have been known to dabble in what we like to call “Performance Art”. Performance Art includes choreographing bizarre dances, singing, lip-syncing, air guitar and drumming – basically anything to get a laugh. Actually, we’re completely satisfied with laughs, looks of disgust, fainting or generalized shock. Now, since I have entered my thirties, my performance art has diminished greatly. Sad, but true. I reserve the art for close friends and family, and considering my partner-in-crime lives halfway across the country, the opportunities are few and far between. My friends, opportunity came a knockin’ at the Ponderosa Saloon.

Around 9pm Thursday evening, after some cocktails and dinner the six of us (mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, D and me) set out for the saloon. Feeling good and ready to wail. I had envisioned the Ponderosa (or the Pondy, as the locals call it) to be dark and smoky, with less than ten patrons sitting at the bar, most of them over 70 and very weathered. I was very excited about this because my sister and I could make our family laugh all night long without too many blows to our ego. Considering Hamilton has a population of 4,059 people and what seems to be 4,000 casinos, I couldn’t imagine that this little place would be busy on a Thursday night. Oh, was I wrong.

We walked into a full house, and the patrons weren’t geriatric farmers like I had hoped. Nope, mostly twenty and thirty-somethings, and might I say very big. Turns out the Hamilton volunteer firefighters were there, and those boys are enormous! Damn, they must eat a lot of beef. So, you know in the movies, when someone walks into a bar and everything becomes dead silent? That’s pretty much how we felt- city folk in a country bar. We ordered up some domestic bottles, grabbed a couple of bar stools, and tried to look as inconspicuous as possible. I looked at my sister and mouthed “No fucking way”. She agreed. This was the look on our faces during our first hour at the Pondy. We resigned ourselves to drink and play video poker for the rest of the night. Then, people started to sing. Lots of people. And guess what, they all SUCKED! I’m in no way the karaoke entertainer of the year, but I at least try to have a good time. These people were totally and utterly serious, like they thought maybe some record label executive just HAPPENED to be at the Pondy in Hamilton, Montana and this was their one and only chance at stardom. Most were singing slow country ballads and were either completely off-key or had mousy little voices that you couldn’t hear at all.

This turn of events coupled with multiple beers suddenly put us in a very different mindset. Now, it was on. We decided to warm up the crowd with a little “Love Shack”, by the B-52’s. We enlisted a man who had just finished singing “Ain’t Talking Bout Love” by Van Halen to sing the male part. We liked Jeff because he was the only person that sang an upbeat song and actually cracked a smile while performing. We later found out that he was previously a roadie and back-up drummer for Tesla. Do you remember Tesla? Only in Montana – I nearly pissed my pants laughing. Jeff was a great guy and is in one of the photos, and by the way, he was the smallest man in the bar (well, except for my father and husband- sorry honey). We finished the song, the crowd cheered, and we officially entered the we-are-the-best-fucking-karaoke-singers
-in-the-world mode. We high-fived some of the patrons on the way back to our bar stools, where we devised our next performance. There was no question; it had to be “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard. My father was not too thrilled with this choice, but we just ordered him another rum and coke and pretended we couldn’t hear him. We slugged another beer and waited for the DJ to call our names.

Finally, we heard our names and approached the stage. The music started- I grabbed the microphone and yelled at the top of my lungs, “Hamilton, Montana! Are you ready to ROOOOOOOOOCK?!” We got the deer in the headlights look for about 20 seconds, but they were on their feet in no time. The crowd danced and sang along to all the words- it was hilarious. Well, it was hilarious until my sister yelled “GOODNIGHT! SPANK SOME ASS!” at the end of the song, and our father and husbands yanked us out of the bar by our ears. We were totally oblivious as to why our family was so quick to get us out of the bar, until they later told us that my dad got bulldozed by some chick who was dragging her husband out the door screaming, “WHAT PART OF ‘WE’RE FUCKING LEAVING’ DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND, ASSHOLE?!”. Turns out this guy was getting a little too excited by our vocal stylings, and his little lady wasn’t having any of it. Thus, our time at the Pondy came to an abrupt end, but we will always have a little place in our hearts for the Ponderosa Saloon. Oh, and Tesla too.