Anecdote, Awkward, Food, Home, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

How Southern Have I Become?

I’ve been scaring myself lately. I’ve had many moments where I stopped and said, “That was awfully Southern, Jess.” I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed my time here in the South. The only section in America I haven’t lived in is the Midwest and no thank you. There have been certain aspects to the South I’ve experienced over the last six months that you can only experience in the South. Kind of like New England with their Autumn – apple picking, cider donuts, jumping in the leaves, and oh my god I think I might cry. (You can experience those things outside of New England but it’s not the same.)

So here are some Southerner things I’ve dealt with that is so Southernly Southern that I now feel the need to rate myself on a scale of 1(Southern) to 10 (Northern).

The Food

I ordered Chicken and Waffles the other day for breakfast. I was ashamed as I was ordering it, and I felt the button on my shorts ripping at the seams. Chicken and Waffles is still a completely weird and foreign meal to consume but I’ve heard nothing but good things and decided to try it.

It was disgustingly delicious. For those of you unfamiliar with this meal, it’s a giant waffle with a piece of fried chicken on top. And yes, you dip both the chicken and the waffle in maple syrup. How the hell do they come up with this? And we wonder why the South contains the fattest population in America.

Scale – 1 (Dude…that was so Southern.)

The Pace

It’s very, verrrrrryyyyy, verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyy slow down here. Some mornings, it takes me fifteen minutes just to get my coffee. Nearly every coffee shop I enter, even the Starbucks, there’s no more than two people working the counter, even on the busiest mornings. And they take one order at a time.

They take the order. Spend five minutes making the order. Give the order to the customer. And then so on. They for some reason don’t take multiple orders and try to do everything at once. AMATEURS. 

But I’ve learned to buy myself some time. I wake up earlier, skip down the street and order my coffee, which the place I typically go to now knows my order by heart, and we will make small talk as I’m waiting. The pace down here has been bearable if I allow it.

Scale – 5 (You’re adapting…)

The People

Southerners have a certain quality in them that’s erie. Ever seen Fargo? All of the characters are so wonderfully nice and jolly while they’re trying to solve a murder.

This might be a better example: You can automatically tell when a New Yorker or a Bostonian is angry just by making eye contact. They will get up in your face with a rage you’ve never seen, all because why? You didn’t put the cream in their coffee like they asked. They’ve got places to be man!

But Southerners, they are all about the passive aggressive banter. Take my landlady for example. I got a voicemail from her last week and she said, “I was just driving by y’all’s place and noticed the recycling bin isn’t out, and I just can’t help but wonder…why???” And then she hung up. Bitchy, right? Yet her tone was so charming. She then texted me and Colleen asking about it, and I apologized and said we just aren’t used to taking the bins out because we’ve never had to anywhere else we’ve lived, but we can work with the girls next door to figure out some alternating schedule.

Her response was, “I completely understand and I know I clumsily forget as well. But that’s just part of being an adult living in a city. I’m putting money into making your home feel special and it would be nice if you appreciated it.”

I completely lost it. This woman tends to act like she’s my mother scolding me. I already have a mom. I don’t need another one. And then to accuse me of not having my shit together like a normal adult was downright insulting. However, if there’s one thing I learned about Southerners and they’re clever passive aggressive banter, it’s that it doesn’t usually last very long when you bite back because they hate confrontation. So I said, “I’ve lived in many cities larger than Charleston, so I’m aware that it works differently everywhere.”

Her response, “Alternating weeks sounds like a great idea! *Inserts smiley face*”

Scale – 10 (NORTHERNER! ALERT! ALERT!)

As long as my northernness never leaves me entirely, I’ll live. I don’t think it’s possible, honestly.

 

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Family, Festivities, Food, Humor, Thoughts

25 Things I’m Thankful For: Part 2

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to my fellow Americans! Once again, I pray I don’t end up in that awkward circle at the dinner table where we express all of the things we are thankful for because mine are typically pointless and embarrassing.

1. Taron Egerton’s jaw (once again)

2. WordPress

I got to meet all of you beautiful people.

3. Cookie Butter

Last year it was peanut butter, but this year, the game has changed.

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4. Loryn Brantz Comics

5. Connecticut

Even though most people hate you, I appreciate your farmland,  overbearing parents, and the rich New England atmosphere you present.

6. My cat, Mumford

He keeps me company.

7. Netflix

You’ll be presenting the Gilmore Girls revival on Friday. I’m so happy and excited I could cry.

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8. The Obama Biden Memes

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9. The Starbucks “You Are Here” Mugs

Because how else will I remember my trip with a Starbucks mug? (I have like, 10 of them.)

10. Donuts

11. ModCloth

12. My Maintenance manager

Because he never bothers me.

13. Moisturizer

Because every time I enter the state of New Hampshire, my skin turns to dust.

14. Post-Its

15. The Christmas Tree Shop

16. Hot Cocoa

17. Michael’s Craft Store

You’ve helped quite a bit with my small painting career.

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18. Goodreads

19. My flannel comforter

20. The Internet

It’s a love-hate relationship.

21. My desk

You store so much of my useless junk.

22. Paper Shredder

23. Garbage Men/Women

Because they take care of your garbage.

24. Cardboard boxes

I’ve kept all of my boxes over the last six months. And now I have boxes to use for Christmas wrapping purposes because I’m schmart.

25. Group Chats

They make my day brighter.

 

Everyone have a wonderful holiday! And I’ll be silently rooting for you as you snatch the boots out of some lady’s hands on Black Friday.

 

 

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firstdate

Cartoons, Food, Girls, Humor

First Date

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Anecdote, Awkward, Connecticut, Food, Humor, Rant, You're Fine

I met the most pretentious Mexican ever and it weirded me out.

Some of you don’t know that I’ve recently started dating someone. I won’t give his full name away because I’m not even sure how he feels about that, so let’s just call him Mr. Jess. I bet he’d be keen on that name anyway. I’ve met many of his friends in Connecticut and some of them invited us Taco Night last Friday.

While in the car gazing at gorgeous Connecticut farmland, Mr. Jess turned to me and said, “There’s one guy that will be there, and I’m curious to know what you’ll think of him.”

“Why is that? Is he weird? An ass?” I asked.

“Eh…he’s…interesting.” Mr. Jess explained that this guy, who we can call Mr. P (P for Pretentious), has been showing up to his soccer games every week and the encounters haven’t been pleasant. He brags about running 15 miles a day (which by the way, if you’re running 15 miles a day and you’re convinced that’s healthy, you have other issues you need to work out). From what Mr. Jess described, he sounded like an egomaniac.

As soon as we walked in the door, Mr. P was standing in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Everyone boasted how great of a chef he was, so I naturally was looking forward to these tacos. As some of you have been reading about for the last two years, I make it pretty known that I’m a TERRIBLE Mexican. My tacos consist of meat and cheese. That’s it. MAYBE a little avocado, if I’m feeling adventurous that evening. The only thing possibly authentically Mexican about me is that I can hold my own when it comes to spicy food. While the girl sitting next to me was sweating through her eyeballs, I was heading over for a second round. I will admit, his tacos were pretty delicious.

That is until he spent twenty minutes explaining the process for cooking the shredded chicken, and the beans, and the perfectly intact corn tortillas. You’d think this guy made a ten course dinner with a lemon drizzled duck displayed with an ice sculpture. THEY’RE TACOS. Probably one of the easiest dishes to learn. One kid asked, “Is there any rice?”

Mr. P smirked and said, “They’re corn tortillas…”

I stopped mid-bite. The kid looked perplexed.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

Mr. P said, “You don’t eat rice with corn tortillas.”

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I almost dumped my tacos on his head.

Now, I know what I said before. That I’m a terrible Mexican. But even I knew this was a bag of bologna. I began shifting in my seat and Mr. Jess noticed that I had much to say in this matter. If there is one thing I know about Mexicans from my family and visiting the country a billion and one times, it’s that Mexicans eat rice and tortillas with EVERYTHING. Most even put the rice INSIDE their tacos. My heart was pounding out of my chest. This all felt like a dream. It was hands down the most ridiculous statement I had ever heard.

That’s like saying Italians only eat fettuccine pasta with Alfredo sauce. Absurd.

That’s when I established that this guy made himself sound knowledgeable of things, when in fact, he wasn’t. He’s like that guy in Midnight in Paris who just knows everything about every subject you can think of when what he is saying is wrong 75% of the time. I immediately turned to Mr. Jess to confirm that this in fact, is not a thing.

It gets better guys.

One of the girls offered me a glass of wine. I would normally accept this offer, but lately wine has been slaughtering me. One glass, and I’m that girl walking around town with no shoes. It’s not usually like this, but my body is going through a weird phase so I just have to go with it.

Mr. P asked why I wouldn’t take a glass of wine.

“Well, I threw up from wine last week. It was just really sweet.” This part is true. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t like sweet wine. It makes me feel like I’m on cocaine or something.

“You look like someone who would throw up from drinking…”

dfsd

I’M NOT ACTUALLY. BUT THANKS.

“I don’t usually. It was a rare occurrence in college, in fact,” I answered with a stone cold face.

“What college did you go to?”

“University of New Hampshire.”

“Oh…that’s why,” he said.

dsfds

“………………………………………………………………………..what do you mean?” I asked.

At this point, Mr. Jess is picking a mark on the table and staring at it. Although, he did grin at my reaction.

“Well, I went to UCONN.”

“…..okay. And?”

“UCONN is a huge party school,” he answered.

“So is UNH….” I shot back.

“No…UCONN parties Monday-Sunday.”

“So does UNH. Our state motto is ‘Live Free or Die’. We take our motto seriously,” I said.

Mr. Jess turned to me and said, “Do you want a brownie?”

I was confused and didn’t understand why he was randomly asking me this, especially since I wasn’t done with my taco.

“COME HAVE A BROWNIE WITH ME.” I realized this was code for “Take an effing brownie and meet me outside to eat it, away from earshot.” I grabbed a brownie and ran outside where he was thrilled to hear that I too, thought this guy was a total douche.

“Oh good. It’s not just me,” he said.

I later learned that Mr. P supposedly spent some time in Mexico City visiting family, which is where he learned to make Mexican cuisine. Gag me.

I know everyone is different in their own way, and I’ve met many, many Mexicans in my life, but I’ve never met one that was so pretentious and egotistical before. Most Mexicans are pretty modest individuals. Let’s just say, I may drink all of the wine next time I’m in a room with him.

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Art, Humor, Things I Should Have Solved A Year Ago

Art Project: Mini Fruit Series

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Over the past few months, I’ve gotten back into painting and drawing, and it’s so liberating! I’m trying to dive back into my favorite mediums, or mediums I’m not quite used to. All throughout high school and college, I’ve loved using charcoal for my drawing classes. Anything chalky was my best friend. Now it seems that watercolors have stolen my heart. I’ve decided that with my increasing number of paintings that are scattered around my apartment to dry, I’m going to try and sell them, which is partially why I’ve begun posting my work to Instagram.

I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about posting my work because as some of you may know, I don’t like to take selfies and it felt equivalent to that. But I sucked it up and have found amazing artists from around the world who we now show support during our creative releases.

This past week in my studio (aka studio apartment):

Florals

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Carnations w/ Rozes, 9×12, watercolor

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Lavender, 3 1/2 x 10, watercolor

What I love most about painting flowers is that there are no rules. If there’s anything I’ve learned since I stopped my studio art classes in college, it’s that it’s okay to bend the rules. I find that if I have too much direction when it comes to painting and drawing, my work rarely comes out the way I envisioned it. Remember that next time you attend Wine and Paint night! Yes, there is someone there telling you what to do, but it’s okay to only give 25% of your full attention.

Mini Fruit Series

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Watermelon Mini’s, 4 x 4, watercolor

I’m really excited about my mini fruit series collection! It’s impossible to go to the grocery store these days and not see giant watermelon’s outside in the sun. These little 4 x 4’s will be placed inside a 12 x 12 photo mat with four slots as one whole piece of work. I would love to take a whack at other fruit too (i.e. pineapples, oranges, apples, pomegranate, kiwi, etc.). Any fruit suggestions would be wonderful!

I’m still in the process of “setting up shop” but I will keep you kids updated. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me by Twitter, Instagram, Email, Carrier Pigeon, etc.

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Anecdote, Awkward, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, Out of the Ordinary, You're Fine

If There’s a Fire, Don’t Put Me In Charge

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago called “Dear Ashely” that told a dining out experience I had of two ladies being utterly rude to their waitress. This got me thinking back to the day I realized I was just about done with waitressing and the food industry that I almost made up the term, “I can’t even.” I could not tell you the time of year with confidence, but I’d say it was probably the summertime in 2011. I had been with my restaurant for a year and a half. Sadly.

I was hosting that night, and it was a busy, chaotic evening. My feet hurt, my head hurt, and I’m sure I had been yelled at by many people throughout the course of the day. It was pushing 8pm when a man came rushing in. He was out of breath and nearly pale from fright.

“Your roof is on fire!” he yells at me. His eyes are wide as he points to the ceiling. Now, the normal reaction would be something like, “What?! Oh my God! I have to call 9-1-1 and get these people out of here!”

But my reaction looked more like this:

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It’s not that I didn’t hear him, nor believe him. I think my initial reaction showed how much I.Did.Not.Care. So I calmly said, “Come again?”

“Your roof! It’s on fire!” He’s gasping at this point.

I’m not proud of the fact that I was a little jazzed about this. A little thrown off by the course of the evening I said, “Okay. Just give me a second.”

“No! You need to call the police!”

“….yeah. Hold on.”

I slowly pranced my way to the back in the kitchen to find my manager by the food window, sweating and organizing the plates of food. He looked at me all frustrated like, “Dude, what the fuck do you want?” It wasn’t so violent, but that’s how I was spoken to on a daily basis, hence why I clearly did not care that the building was burning down in this moment. It’s not like I could smell anything.

“Hey, yeah Mike. The roof is on fire. We should probably evacuate.”

200-66He’s all confused but I could see a twinkle in his eye. He drops what he’s doing, shuffles outside, sees the tiny little fire on the roof that looks like it’s about to make its way to the tree next to us and probably combust into flames before one of the waiters takes it upon himself to announce to everyone to get the hell out. Everyone evacuates without having to pay as I stood on the grass wishing I had popcorn as I watched the firefighters pull up to the restaurant and put out the flames. Me, being the hostess for the night and at the bottom of the totem pole said, “So, you don’t need me right? I can leave?” They said yes and I merrily went on my way.

I never found out what caused the fire because that’s how much I cared. It’s probably concerning to most of you, but that may be because you haven’t worked in the food industry. I’d say this is fairly normal, considering the circumstances.

You could say I was in shock or something. If you are ever in a room with me and suddenly the curtains flame up, I will not just stand there and giggle without any regard to your well-being. I would care like any normal person. However, this place had the audacity to call me every name in the book. If I was in the way, if I didn’t know how to do something, or God forbid I asked how another waitress’ day was, I was considered useless to the corporation. On my last day, nobody even knew it was my last day. They paid no notice or even a bitter good-bye after putting in my two and a half years. The last restaurant I worked in threw me a party for my last day.

So yeah.

Judge on.

200w-10


 

You guys have 8 days to send me your holiday stories for the first You’re Fine Holiday Contest! Send them via email to jreyna91@gmail.com by December 24th for a chance to be a guest blog on Christmas Day and have a personalized New Years present sent to you directly from me!

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Festivities, Food, Humor, I'm not a mommy blogger, Internet Things, Manic Monday, Sarcasm, Things I Need

The Not-So-Pinteresty Post On Slutty Brownies

SluttyBrownies

Every year, I’m pretty bad at putting together Christmas gifts in a timely fashion. Once I’ve realized Christmas is only a couple of weeks away, I then resort to baked goods. Everyone loves baked goods. They may hate you for it at the end of the day because you basically force fed them an additional ten pounds to their waistline, but it’s still always appreciated. When in doubt, bake out.

This is my second year making Slutty Brownies, and they are always a big hit. They are delicious, creative, and they have a kickass name. I’m here to share with you the recipe that will give your relatives and friends diabetes.

P.S. I most definitely found this recipe on Pinterest. Therefore, I will add my own commentary to this recipe to give you a better visual.

What you need:

Brownie Mix

Cookie Dough

Oreos

Vegetable Oil

Sexual Healing

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What you first need to do is start with some foreplay. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. That will really spice things up for all of this sugary magic. Then grease the pan gently with some vegetable oil. Maybe turn on some Marvin Gaye while you’re at it to really set the mood. Dim the lights. Dance with the cookie dough to make it feel loved and special.

Pull apart the cookie dough and spread it evenly across the bottom of the pan. I first used a spoon to spread it out, but that may be too Fifty Shades of Grey for the cookie dough and you don’t want to freak it out too much. If that happens, ditch the spoon and just massage it into the pan.

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Once the cookie dough feels comfortable while in your presence, start placing the Oreo cookies on top of the dough. Just one by one, line them up like you’re about to snort a line of Oreo.

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Start creating the batch of brownie mix! Just follow the instructions on the box. If you can’t do that, just drop dead now.

Once the brownie mix is whipped and tossed, and possibly licked off of a spoon a few times, lather the batter on top of the cookie dough and Oreos like it’s a scene of JFK behind closed doors and Jackie O is out running errands. Pour the batter evenly on top.

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Now that the deed is done, place it in the oven and let bake. Most of the recipes on Pinterest tell you 30 minutes, but that’s a lie. It takes more like an hour. After about 40 minutes, poke the top with a knife or tooth pick and if brownie fluids come out, bake it for longer. Common sense.

Voila.

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A baby. A beautifully delicious, most likely out-of-wedlock brownie baby.

Heat it up and add a scoop of ice cream if you want to get really crazy.

Now, I don’t want to ruin my first Holiday Contest New Years Surprise Box to whoever the winner will be on Christmas Day, but I MAY just add a few of these lovebirds in the box. You can’t go on living without trying at least one. You guys have until December 24th to send me your holiday stories via email at jreyna91@gmail.com! Check out my post here!

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Anecdote, Awkward, Food, Humor, I'm not a mommy blogger, Rant, You're Fine

Dear Ashley

There are rare moments in my life when I think, “I really miss waitressing.” They happen from time to time, usually because waitressing means interacting with everyone on a daily basis. I don’t miss the dirty aprons, or the constant scent of grease on my skin, or the fourteen hour shifts on both Saturday and Sunday. I don’t miss my feet cramping up midway through my shift, or hearing a group of guests walk in and joke, “Party for fifty please! Hardy, har-har-har.” I don’t miss the stare downs with cooks because the order I put in was “too complicated and just plain stupid,” or carrying a food tray bigger than my own body with ten different plates of food.

Today, when Sam and I went out to breakfast, I had a breakthrough moment that made me realize how much I do not miss waitressing. We sat at a cozy warm table near a fireplace, and just a couple of tables down were two ladies, roughly in their forties or fifties, one brunette and one blonde. They are just chatting away about the latest gossip in their friend zone when the waitress walks over to get their drink order. The waitress then walks over to us, and we order two coffees and two waters. Not only does she have these two tables, but I observed she had about two or three other tables as well. Approximately five minutes goes by and the blonde begins perking her head up in search for the waitress.

“I’m listening. Keep going, I’m just wondering where the heck our drinks are,” the blonde says as she obnoxiously shakes her head around the restaurant. At this moment, I think, Oh God. That poor waitress still has an entire meal to wait on before these assholes can leave. Now both ladies are searching around, agitated and shouting to another waiter to say, “Um, yeah, hi? We ordered our drinks kind of a while ago….”

Need I repeat…it’s been five minutes. Since I was a waitress at one point, I know that a number of things could be happening. Not only is she taking care of their drinks, but she is taking care of ours as well as another tables. That’s a lot of effing drinks. Secondly, the coffee could have run out, which happens quite often on a Saturday morning. She could very well be waiting on the coffee to brew. News flash ladies: there’s no Keurig back there. You have to wait the old fashioned way.

About thirty seconds later, this tiny little waitress comes stumbling back to her section carrying a tray of what looks to be about ten waters and five coffees. She lightly puts the drinks down on their table and I don’t even hear a “thank you” from the two women who needed these drinks oh-so-badly-that-they-might-die. I’ve now got my eye on them.

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The ladies order their food and it sounds a little something like this:

“Yeah, get me the western omelette, but without the bell peppers, and um, the tomatoes on the side. And can you hold the onions too? And maybe add some spinach, and some kale if you have it. I’m sorry, I’m just all over the place. Oh, and no toast. No, no, no to the toast.” But of course she’s demanding this order at the speed of light, making it impossible for the waitress to scribble it all down. I hope you choke on your omelette. The brunette also answered her phone in the middle of ordering.

After the waitress takes their order, she comes around with a pot of coffee to freshen it up for them. They didn’t want it. About two minutes goes by before the blonde is in search for the waitress again. She keeps looking back at me, giving me the stink eye for whatever reason, probably because Sam and I have nothing to complain about, and is now yelling, “Hello? Yeah, can you come here?”

“Like, what is she doing?” the blonde says.

“She’s hanging out over in the corner over there,” the brunette says. I can’t help but think, she was just over here! What on earth could you possibly need? The male waiter is now being summoned once again.

“Um, yeah, can we get someone over here to freshen up our coffee?” the blonde says.

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD.

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I start getting that zing feeling in my chest that I’m pretty sure murderers must feel before they are about to kill. The waitress scurries back over and freshens up their coffee. As soon as she walks away, they start complaining about her and the service. It’s slowly killing my brain cells.

Their food finally arrives.

“Are these the scrambled eggs?” the blonde asks.

“….Yes,” the waitress responds.

“Are both of these dishes spicy?” the brunette asks.

FIRST OFF: shouldn’t you know that what you are ordering is spicy? And define spicy for me, because I really hated it when people asked me this question. My idea of spicy could very well be entirely different than your idea of spicy. Are you sensitive to spicy? Or do you order the triple hot buffalo wings in a sports bar as a dare? I. Don’t. Know.You.

“Um, yeah, they are both relatively spicy,” says the waitress. “Is there anything else I can get you guys?”

“No, thank you.”

Waitress walks away, and not even thirty seconds later…

“These eggs are burnt. Where did our waitress go?” the brunette complains. They flag down the male waiter for the third time. “Yeah, can you get our waitress? These eggs are just so burnt.”

Waitress comes back, apologizes, and says the cook will start her a new omelette. She walks away again and I hear, “I said no bell peppers. I mean, I like them, I just didn’t feel like eating them today.”

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I’m already informing Sam that we are leaving this waitress a big tip, and perhaps a vodka nip as I’m sure she needs it right now. The waitress brings back the second omelette while the brunette feels the need to remind her how hungry she is. As they are nearly done with their meal, chatting up a storm about their christmas shopping and this horrible waitress, the waitress comes back to check on them.

“Yeah, I’ll actually have that toast now,” the brunette says.

How about I shove that toast up your…..what? I’m not thinking evil thoughts.

We decided to leave the waitress a 100% tip and little love note that read:

Dear Ashley,

This tip is for your friendly service and for serving those ladies. I would have

punched them in the face. Cheers! 🙂

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Family, Festivities, Food, Humor

25 Things I’m Thankful For

thanksgiving

It’s that time of year when we Americans hold hands around a large dining room table with a stuffed turkey in the center singing “Kumbaya” like we are trying to bring back our dead pilgrims. It’s that time of year when it’s socially acceptable to eat three rounds of turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables and try every single one of those 15 pies in the kitchen with a scoop of ice cream, only to grovel in pain on the couch the rest of the evening while watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It’s that time of year when you can continuously drink wine throughout the day because chances are, you are not driving anywhere. It’s that time of year when we all share what we are thankful for, and then ignore everything we say once midnight hits for Black Friday.

It’s Thanksgiving season.

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When it comes time for my awkward turn around the table to express what it is I’m thankful for, my immediate response almost always is, “I’m thankful for my friends and family.”

Sure. Don’t get me wrong. I love my friends and family, and having them around is swell. But let’s be honest here. I’m thankful for a hell of a lot more than that, and much of it is probably stupid. So here is my honest list of all the things I am thankful for but I won’t actually express any of them at the table:

1. Taron Egerton’s Jaw

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2. Cow-tipping my cat Mumford

3. Peanut Butter

4. Netflix

5. Any show on TLC

6. The fact that cooking spaghetti takes approximately 20 minutes and doesn’t require me to clean up my kitchen.

7. Steam Cleaners (It’s on my Christmas Wish List)

8. When you buy headphones that last longer than 6 months.

9. Headphones in general so you can ignore social situations while walking down the street.

10. White Wine — because Red Wine sucks.

11. Puppies

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12. Gilmore Girls, for giving me everyday quotes to live by, and copy.

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13. Mac Computers, because every PC I touch turns into a virus.

14. Paper towels, not just for spills, but for when the baby sneezes after I’ve just given her a mouthful of sweet potato.

15. The satisfaction I get when a car is following me in a parking lot, hoping to snag my spot, only I’m not leaving.

16. Amazon – For when I’m too lazy to get in my car and buy whatever it is I need to buy.

17. Coffee

18. Breakfast Burritos

19. Investigation Discovery Channel for causing distrust with every individual I meet…but at least I won’t get murdered.

20. Investigation Discovery Channel commercials. Your “Southern Fried Homicide” commercial was by far the best.

21. NyQuil

22. Ben & Jerry for coming up with the best ice cream combos.

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23. J.K. Rowling

24. The ocean mostly because if I had to swim in a lake my whole life, I would just die. (If you’re not freaked out by lakes, have you ever seen an Investigation Discovery Channel show?)

25. Adele for her chillingly beautiful voice.

That about sums up all of the weird and lame things I am thankful for. What are some of the things you are thankful for this season? And don’t just say your “family and friends” because I will call you a liar.

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Anecdote, Awkward, Family, Food, Humor, Memories, Out of the Ordinary, You're Fine

Reasons I Make a Terrible Mexican

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There are many factors to being a Mexican, or a Mexican’t. I hover between the two, but for the most part, I’m a total poser. I may have a Spanish last name, but I can’t talk the talk or walk the walk. There are some days where I just feel very authentic. Perhaps my hair is a bit thicker one day, bouncing around with natural waves of dark roots or the fact that I can stand outside for an hour and get a tan that lasts three weeks. Some days, I just have it, while other days I don’t.

The other half of my blood is English, mostly. Throw in some gross English boiled sausages into a pot of salsa, that’s me. I have ancestors that came over on the mayflower so I’m basically royalty.

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I also don’t speak Spanish. I took Spanish in middle school and hated it. I never got past naming the colors. I didn’t have much interest in learning the language which is ironic since it’s like, America’s second language and would be the most useful to me.

I’m not quite up in the times when it comes to Mexican food either. For a neighborly BBQ one day over the summer, my friend Aimee asked me to pick something up at the grocery store. I can’t remember what it was called so we can go with Mexican-Food-I-Had-Never-Heard-Of.

“Hey, can you pick up Mexican-Food-I-Had-Never-Heard-Of?” asked Aimee. 

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Nervous, I pretended to know of this food, but just as a caution, asked her which aisle it would be in.

“Oh you know, the Latin American section next to all the salsas.” 

So I walked down the aisle, searching, searching, searching, not remembering/understanding the name of the thing she wanted, and texted her saying, “Oh darn. They don’t have it in this store. OH WELL.”

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If I was honest with her, she’d just make fun of me for being the world’s worst Mexican.

When I eat salsa, I just dip the tortilla chip in the jar lightly enough to get some salsa juice on it because long story short, I don’t like peppers, tomatoes, or onions, which basically is the substance to salsa.

I went to Margaritas one time and while ordering a Dos Equis, the waiter looked at my ID and said, “Ohhhhh. Rrrrreeeeynnaaaa! We have a Mexican in the house.” I’m sure he was making a big deal out of it because no actual Mexican eats at Margaritas so this was new to him. He began speaking in my “native language” until I stopped him short and said, “It’s okay. I’m a fake Mexican. Give me that cheese quesadilla.”

Just recently, my neighbor Janine introduced me to Mexican Bread. I didn’t even know that was thing until I tried a loaf bite and was completely hurt that I had never had it before. I tried to impress someone one time of my cultured life by saying I love buñuelos with coffee but to be honest, I’ve had them like, three times. They then commented, “So you’re like, super Mexican?”

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When I go to the movies or shopping, I don’t invite fifteen of my closest relatives to come with me. This is stereotypical, I know, but it’s real. Any time I see a Mexican woman at the grocery store, she has at least six other relatives by her side arguing over which ice cream tub they should get.

I can’t hold my tequila. Tequila is one of those deadly liquors where you have one bad night, and you swear off of it for at least three years before you can even smell it again without vomiting. I even tried that whole salt on your wrist thing and I thought it was heinously disgusting.

I’ve always thought of myself as a weird illusion. White people usually can’t seem to figure out what I am just by looking at me. One time in high school, a girl in gym class asked if I was Japanese.

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“That’s a new one,” I said. 

“Your eyes. They’re just so squinty when you smile,” she said. 

Everyone else, however, can make a wild guess by simply noticing my almond-shaped eyes and are usually correct.

But no matter how many times I blow it off, it can actually be a struggle coming from the best of both worlds. For instance, I hate going to a new doctor. Not because they make me weigh myself or the possibility that I might have some incurable disease, but filling out the forms can be a real pain.

I’m not sure how it is in other countries, but in the U.S. you have to circle one of the following:

  • Asian
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • African American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Hawaiian Native/Pac Island
  • Other
  • White, Non-Hispanic

So, if I circle white, I’m claiming to be “Non-Hispanic”, which is a lie, and the doctor’s could clearly see is a lie given my last name. But if I circle hispanic, I’m claiming to not be white, which is my entire life. I sometimes circle both if I just really don’t have the time or energy to make the argument in my head. And then the receptionist looks at me like I’m Medusa and tells me to pick one or the other. Why can’t I be both? My mom is white, my dad was Mexican. It’s as simple as that. My neighbor goes through the same struggle. Her mom is white, her dad is Mexican. Why is it so hard for some people to grasp that I can be both? I could really throw them for a loop and circle American Indian, but that’s a stretch since I’m only 1/16 Native American.

Sometimes, these struggles work out in my favor. When I was applying to college, my mom told me to put hispanic on all of my forms because colleges love diversity. She was right. I got into all five colleges, and when I finally accepted one offer, I got “International Student Newsletters” in my email every week through those four years.

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I guess my point in this post is that I may have grown up in an area where 97% of the population were white civilians, but that’s what makes my Mexican side so fascinating and exciting to me. I may not hail from Mexico or tried to be all “Chola” (I just recently heard that term on a comedy sketch), but I still am proud of where the other half of my blood belongs to. It’s fun to play around with that culture when I feel inspired. So to all the white people who reminded me that I’m a little different, thank you. I don’t know where I’d be without it.

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Awkward, Beauty, Exercise, Food, Girls, I'm not a mommy blogger, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Things I Should Have Solved A Year Ago, You're Fine

It’s My Body, I Can Diet If I Want To

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I don’t like to talk about dieting, even if someone else brings it up. It has been an uncomfortable topic for me mostly because if I try to relate to it, I get the whole, “Oh my god, shut up. You don’t need to diet!” They genuinely get annoyed by me putting in my two cents. There are so many reasons why I hate when someone says that to me. First of all, it makes me feel stupid. Secondly, they don’t know my body like I do.

The only person who knows the inner workings of my insides is me. Like many other women, I know when I’m getting my period a good week before it happens. It’s just like how the air changes when there’s a storm coming, and you feel it rumbling in your gut even before it happens. My childhood dog used to eat the grass in the front lawn like a maniac right before a storm. It’s the same idea.

And nobody knows how my body reacts to food like I do.

As a teenager, I could head over to TGI Fridays and eat mozzarella sticks, a cheeseburger and fries, and an ice cream sundae afterwards, and that was just dinner. It took a lot of effort for me to gain any weight. My entire high school career I was 90 pounds and couldn’t even donate blood no matter how much I wanted to. I used to have a best friend who was overweight, and she always made me feel inferior and that I couldn’t help because what would I know, right? Then a shift changed in the universe: college happened. I can’t eat like that anymore. I’d say that’s pretty normal for anybody. I especially noticed my weight gain when I studied abroad. I traveled so much nearly every weekend, trying new foods and eating a lot of food on-the-go that I came back ten pounds heavier than when I left. I blame Italy for most of that.

So now, here I am, in my early to mid twenties, and I’m not happy with my body. But, like I stated before, I don’t announce to people that I’m on a diet because who wants to be the Debbie Downer? I don’t tell anyone because I’m pretty tired of how people react. I’m not overweight. I’m average. However, I am pretty short standing at 5’1”, so even the slightest bit of weight gain is noticeable. I’m going to tell you my reason for having a goal for myself, and it’s going to sound a little nutty to some of you.

I want to have kids. Not now, but I’d say in five years, it’s a possibility for me. It seems like forever away, but it’s really not.

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I don’t want to look like a Victoria’s Secret model (well, that couldn’t hurt), but I’d just like to be comfortable so that when the time comes to grow another human inside of me and the doctor says to gain thirty pounds, I’m going to be okay with that. Right now, I’d laugh hysterically and ask if they are crazy. With the way my body reacts to eating a cheeseburger, my body will blow up like a balloon if I have to gain 30 pounds plus a baby. Does that make me selfish? Maybe. But that’s because I have no intention of having a baby right now.

Just because someone diets doesn’t mean they think they are fat. I don’t think I’m fat. I’m literally just trying to prepare my body, mind, and soul for the future child I give birth to.

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Which means I cannot afford to gain any more weight. Period. If I want to be happy and healthy, I need to prepare now, especially if I plan to have more than one kid.

Another major reason for my diet control is I have a long family history of heart attacks and high blood pressure on my dad’s side of the family. Which means monitoring the way I eat. Why not start a habit now rather than wait for a big health risk in twenty years to get my priorities straight? It’s the first thing doctor’s start asking me about the second they look at my paperwork during my check-ups.

Is it an excessive diet? No, not really. But snacking on potato chips and eating pizza every night for dinner is not an option for me. Exercising regularly is a must. I splurge every once in a while. Like this past Saturday when I went to Hooters and shoved boneless wings in my face along with a cheesecake. But I will be paying for that during this whole week.

There are so many celebrities and inspirational memes telling you to love yourself and the body God gave you. I get that, I totally do. But there’s also nothing wrong with improving yourself to your own standards. Just because Demi Lovato says to love your body, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t strive for a better lifestyle.

I’m just tired of the misconception that people who are considered “thin” and “fit” are not allowed to have an opinion on diet control and weight loss. Everyone’s bodies work differently and they change throughout the years. Next time you have a friend who you consider thin talk about dieting and exercising, hear her out. There’s a chance she’s not trying to sound like an asshole.

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Humor, My Idea Of Being An Adult

The Office

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It’s been a few months since my last office job and even though the stability of work and a paycheck was nice, I’ve come to terms with the fact that working in an office is not for me. Some people enjoy the same routine over and over again, day after day and I honestly wish I got that same satisfaction. I look back on my office days and can’t help but feel dread and gloom. Here are some reasons why working in an office is not for me.

1. I Eat My Life Away

When you are sitting at a desk for eight hours, you can’t help but reach for the chips, chocolate bars, and pastries. It’s just like when you are watching TV. You have to snack on something to pass the time.

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2. Everyone Is On A Diet

Just like you, everyone else is snacking. Therefore, all of your fellow employees are on a diet. So when you reach for that third miniature candy bar, they snatch it away, letting you know they are doing you a favor. And you also get to feel like the cow of the group when you head out to lunch together and order a burger instead of a salad, dry.

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3. You Have To Fake A Smile

When your boss approaches you saying they have a really awesome project for you with animation and jazz hands, only to find out you will be picking out the new file cabinet from Staples, you force that award-winning smile. And it’s ridiculously painful.

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4. You Get Thrill Over Silly Things

You never thought of yourself as a person who got excited over mundane things but when you’re stuck behind a desk, you become that person. Your entire day is mapped out before you, so when you get a mysterious package on your desk that actually doesn’t belong to you, it means you get to walk away for a whole five minutes to find the owner.

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5. You Are Never Sure Who To Trust

It’s always nice to have that best bud from work who you can complain with, and tell each other the latest office gossip. But sometimes, you don’t know who you can actually trust. Is that best bud going to use your friendship as a ploy to reach to the top? Or is she going to continue the frivolous friendship like you hope?

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6. Work Parties = Awkward Social Gatherings Where We Discuss Work

You’d think with the free wine and food and happy-go-lucky atmosphere, that work parties would be the time and place to break out of your shell a bit. Get to know your co-workers on a more personal level, and find out that Grumpy Dan from Accounting actually has a sense of humor. But in reality, you will be meeting more people at your company you had no idea existed, and then you are forced to make conversation with them, and naturally the first bit of conversation that comes to mind is about work. So it’s just more work…away from work.

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7. You Still Have To Deal With The Public

I always thought that outside of my restaurant and retail job, that I would eventually land an office job that included not talking to the public. People suck. End of story. But I have yet to come across a job that doesn’t require you to deal with shitty people. I’m convinced they don’t exist. To some level, you have to deal with someone at some point.

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8. Fluorescent Lights

I’m reliving my middle school dances all over again.

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9. When Projects Go South

Your manager says, “Hey, can you build a schedule for me, and color code it? I just need to stay organized but I don’t have the time to do it.” Coloring? Hell yeah! So you create this wonderful schedule, perfectly neat and outlined to help with her chaotic life. You are so proud that your graduated skills of coloring in between the lines has paid off. Until she sees it and says, “Hmmm….could you actually start the calendar week with a Monday instead of a Sunday?” And then you start over, but you don’t care. It’s fine. She didn’t specify. So you fix the masterpiece until she says, “Actually, can you label my PTA meetings in red instead of blue? It just makes more sense for me.”

….sure. So you fix it. Then she says, “Mmmm, no wait. The PTA meetings in blue were fine. And can you actually make the boxes bigger?”

You want to say, “Why the hell didn’t you just make it?”

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Perhaps my next office job, if I get one, will be slightly better. It always depends on the actual job. Sitting at a desk reading and editing would be a dream. If only Michael Scott was my boss. 

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Festivities, Food

How To Throw A Killer Fundraiser

I haven’t thrown a fundraiser since my high school days. As part of my senior year project, my friend and I put together a Mr. WHS Pageant, where ten high school boys competed for the crown. It was hilarious. They did runway, talent show, and showed off those pretty hairy legs. The entire auditorium was full, and we raised $2,000 to go towards charity.

That was the only time I ever put together a fundraiser, and I mean I’m not bragging, but it was pretty kickass.

Since I am now raising money for charity once again, I decided it was time to throw another fundraiser!

Before I moved into my apartment building, my neighbors used to throw a Chili Cook Off. I infiltrated the Cook Off and suggested we use the event as a way to make money for my Chicago Marathon Team. One of my neighbors who calls himself “The Old Guy” was all for the idea since in a few months, he will be retiring to Las Vegas.

Here are the ingredients to an awesome fundraiser:

  1. Fabulous people
  2. Lots and lots of food
  3. Lots and lots of alcohol
  4. A chunk of a street to play football resulting in nearly damaging several vehicles.
  5. Ending the night with Cards Against Humanity.

There were 16 entries in the Chili Cook Off.

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SIX EFFING TEEN. At the end of the day, people were just throwing numbers down for the Best Chili, Worst Chili, and Hottest Chili because for the most part, they all tasted pretty much the same!

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Everyone who showed paid $5 or more towards the Lung Power Team in order to try the chili’s and vote. We raised a total of $184!

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A successful day indeed. Even more successful because I got to play one of my favorite games.

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Food, Humor, Things I Need, Things I Should Have Solved A Year Ago

Italian Food Owns Me

Italian food is a food group. It’s the one food group that turns me into a vegetative state of mind filled with enough carbs to feed a third world country – and now I feel really bad about that. You can never have just a “little bit” of Italian food. No, no, no. You eat so much pasta, pizza, bread, and wine that you are no longer yourself. You’re just a gigantic slug, moving slowly and grumpy through life, waiting to be squashed due to your bad choices. I praise Italians and their wonderful, godly foods.

I have an Italian friend, and one day when she was giving me a ride, I walked into her house, only to stay for a few minutes. Her Italian father freaked, rummaged through the fridge to whip me up some food in case I was hungry. I don’t know where he got all of it, but within seconds, I had grilled shrimp, garlic bread, ravioli, bruschetta, and meatballs sitting under my nose. And I felt obligated to eat it all.

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Sam and I recently tried an Italian restaurant down the street from our apartment. I’m a little upset that we’ve been living here a year and never tried the place because it was the best Italian food I’ve ever had. We loaded up on pizza, Chicken Alfredo, wine, and I swear I had eight large pieces of garlic bread. I wobbled home.

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I don’t regret any of it. Even if my scale states that I gained 10 pounds in a matter of hours. Even if it felt like I was giving birth to an alien. Even if I rolled around in bed like a beach ball because of how uncomfortable I was. And the fact that it’s been 95 degrees everyday and I’m eating a shitload of carbs? Still don’t regret it.

Italian food…what do you do to me?

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Awkward, Humor, Manic Monday, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Rant, You're Fine

The Self Check-Out Line

I loathe grocery shopping. It’s usually a train wreck of a situation because no matter the time of day I go, it’s always chaotic and crowded. I’m never thrilled to go grocery shopping because that just means I’m dropping an X amount of money for food that will last three days. There are a million reasons to hate grocery shopping.

  • Those assholes who take up an entire aisle with their cart and completely ignore you when you try to scoot past them. (P.S. I will stand there like a gnat buzzing in your ear until it annoys the shit out of you that you move.)
  • The line for check-out goes all the way through the chips and crackers aisle and wraps around the display of $20 steaks.
  • To buy fruit or not to buy fruit? Only for it to rot the next day.
  • Finding creative ways to make one trip from your car to your apartment.

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When I know I need to do a big spending spree of a week’s worth of food, my goal is to be in and out in thirty minutes. And that’s a long time for me considering how much I hate grocery shopping.

I’m sure we’ve all noticed the “Self Check-Out” registers grocery stores have installed now. They’ve been around for a while, and they claim to be faster than standing in line waiting for the 15 carts one customer has piled food into. This is a lie.

I know what you’re thinking – the self check-out line is not for people who are buying food for their seven children and four pets. I agree. The only people I’m buying for is myself and Sam. So our “big spending spree” consists of bananas, a few frozen dinners, two nights worth of actual dinner making, and cereal. Therefore, I feel entitled to use the self check-out line anyways.

The self check-out line was made by the writers of Pretty Little Liars who say, “Faster? Hahahaha false alarm!”

The self check-out line was made by your mom, who constantly checks on you to make sure you’re okay.

The self check-out line was made by the Patriots, who can’t seem to get away with anything. Not even lying about how many paper bags they’ve used.

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The self check-out line is a heinous joke on humanity. At least it is at Ralph’s. For some reason, I always go through it. And every time, I regret it instantly. It’s like taking those tequila shots at the bar with your friends. It always seems like a good idea, convenient even, and then you wake up the next morning wanting to bash your skull against the wall.

They squeeze in six registers in a tiny little space that should only hold like, four. My cart can barely fit next to the register.

You must, I repeat, you must place the item you just rung up on the register, and put it inside the bag on the weight station. Otherwise, “An attendant has been notified to assist you.”

If you’ve bagged up four paper bags, they must all be kept on the weight station and not put away in the cart like a normal situation, otherwise, “An attendant has been notified to assist you.” 

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Is the register having a hard time finding the bar code? “An attendant has been notified to assist you.” 

You constantly have someone watching your every move. It’s vital to the self check-out process, but it also feels like I’m on probation wearing a neon orange jumpsuit picking up trash on the 405.

Yet, I still always come back to it. I guess that just means I have faith, or I’m an idiot. You decide.

What are some of your horror stories from the grocery store?

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