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Pretty much my mental capacity in general right now

2 Nov

A Facebook chat between friend JP and I:

Me: UHG. I just threw up EVERYWHERE.

JP: WHAT? Are you serious??

Me: Oh wait, my bad. I totally meant “sneezed”.

JP: Woman, those are two VERY different things.

I think it’s time to (finally) catch up on some sleep.

On an unrelated note: OHAIGUYZ

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Ivory soap makes everything better (and also funnier)

3 Aug

After writing my rather emo post yesterday, I decided that it was time to get out of the house for a while. I took Dexter for a nice long walk, rode my bike, breathed in some crisp country air and came back in feeling refreshed. And also dirty. Gotta love that country livin’.

I wandered my way upstairs to the bathroom to clean up and, wouldn’t you know it, we needed a new bar of soap. So I reached for a new slab of Ivory and this is what I saw:

It was as if that little bar of suds had read my mopey post about life and happiness and was saying, “I feel you, sista. I FEEL YOU. But you know what? YOU’RE GOING TO BE OK.”

And I was INSPIRED, people! The soap was right! Everything IS going to be ok! Life is too short to spend it being a weiner! Grateful, I tore off the wrapper and made sweet, sweet bubbles with that soap right then and there.

Which is to say I washed my hands. Don’t be gross.

This epiphany of squeaky clean proportions made me realize that maybe all I needed was a little pick-me-up to get me back in the game. I needed to laugh like it was my JOB (seriously, wouldn’t that be wicked?). And so, I turned to the one true source of endless hilarity in my life: the Internet.

Because I love ya’ll so much and because you put up with my whining and also because I love to spread the good cheer far and wide (and perhaps also because I’m running obnoxiously high on endorphins and therefore am hovering dangerously somewhere between peace-loving-hippie and sugar-addicted-freakshow), I decided that I would share with you all my favourite online destinations for hilarious good times:

1) Wizard People, Dear Reader

WPDR was released as a sort of alternative narrative (or “book on tape” as it is referred to in the recording) of the first Harry Potter movie. According to Wikipedia, the recording surfaced back in 2004 and was written and performed by the ridiculously hilarious Brad Neely. It was intended to be played in tandem with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (Philospher’s Stone for the rest of us) on mute but is just as capable of making one wet themselves when listened to on its own (if you are unable to sync up the two or just don’t care to try but still are morbidly curious enough to see the outcome, YouTube always has a few clips kicking around).

WPDR remains, to this day, the funniest thing I have ever experienced. I stumbled across it once in my 3rd year of university and I can swear to you with great sincerity that my life has not been then same since. This recording is the only thing in the world that can make me literally ROFL, even after the obscene about of times I’ve listened to it. If you check out absolutely nothing else on this list, let Wizard People, Dear Reader be it (Also, if it doesn’t make you laugh then we clearly can’t ever be friends).

2) Alex Reads Twilight

I make no secret of my boundless loathing for Stephanie Meyers’ runaway vampire-werewolf-“romance” hybrid series of DOOM. I quite honestly detest everything about it (but don’t worry, I made sure to force myself through ALL FOUR OF THOSE WRETCHED TOMES before coming to that conclusion. My opinion is an informed one). There have been many occasions where I have sat down and attempted to write out my reasons and feelings but each time my attempt at being diplomatic and well-spoken turns into a rant the likes of which no one has ever seen complete with COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF CAPSLOCK and I need to stop myself lest I risk inciting the wrath of many a crazed fangirl.

Maybe one day I’ll find a way to tell everyone how I really feel, but until then, I’ve got Alex Day to do it for me:

Love Twilight or hate it, you owe it to yourself to watch the whole thing (at the time this post is being written I believe he’s only gotten to chapter 14 but be patient, it’s worth the wait). This guy points out nearly EVERYTHING about this book that drives me so batshit insane (and I swear it’s not just generic hate. Watch the videos and you’ll understand. Hopefully.) and yet manages to do so in a way that is just so damn entertaining that you can’t help but laugh.

Did I mention he’s British?

Once you finish with his bastardization of Twilight, be sure to check out his other videos.

(Note: I believe his friend Charlie may have actually have tried his hand for Chapter 15, so make sure you don’t miss that video. And check out his vids too. Love them both.)

3) Fuck Yeah! Slightly Amusing

FY!SA is a Tumblog curating the best (and sometimes less than best) of all things funny on the interwebz. Usually meme-based and often offensive, this site remains very true to its moniker -it’s not always hilarious, but there’s a lot about it that is. Unless you’re an absolute prude or not one for the randomness that is internet humour, you’re bound to giggle at this one at least a few dozen times.

4) Hark! A Vagrant

I’m fairly certain that I fell for Kate Beaton’s quirky artistic style and refreshing and unabashedly Canadian sense of humour back in my Livejournal days (which is to say, quite some time ago). Her comics focus mainly on history and literature and making learning fun! Or something to that effect (or is it affect? Help!). She all at once witty and charming, clever and crude. Not everyone is going to get it. If you’re among those that do, congratulations. Your gold star is in the mail.

5) Comics Curmudgeon

Speaking of comics! There’s a lot to be said about a man who choses to spend a portion of each day ripping apart the funnies page in the daily newspaper and sharing his reviews with the world on his blog (not all of these things are necessarily good, but I happen to be a fan). A writer by profession, Josh Fruhlinger’s (Seriously. How do you even pronounce that?) commentary is as smart as it is cynical. You’ll never look at The Family Circus the same way again. Trust me, he’s doing us all a big favour.

(If this one sounds familiar, it’s because I used one of his reviews to better illustrate my romantically challenged BFF’s delusional mindset in this post here).

6) Regretsy

I am so glad that this blog exists.

Etsy is, in life, a pretty wonderful website. I love being able to cruise through the works of thousands of artists and vintage sellers from the comforts of my own home. There are a lot of really beautiful and unique pieces to be found there, it’s hard to choose sometimes.

Other times, not so much.

Thats where Regretsy comes in. Taking the bullshit that plagues Etsy to task, author April Winchell does not fuck around. Her commentary and creative comebacks are just as hilarious as her finds are cringe-inducing. For every time you’ve found yourself wondering “Where do some of these Etsy people come up with this shit??”, there’s Regretsy.

(For all of my fellow anti-Meyers out there, be sure to give the Regretsy Twilight category a gander. I’ll make you smile on the outside and destroy you on the inside.)

Okay, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. Hopefully I’ve given y’all a few things to procrastinate over if nothing else. Now it’s your turn! If you have a favourite online destination for the lulz, leave a link and description in the comments!

Unless it’s 4Chan. Because, seriously, enough already.

Friday Quickie – Lefty Loosey

23 Jul

The other day I was sitting on Boyfriend’s lap, attempting to play Brick Braker on his Blackberry with my left hand. Because I’m right handed, this proved to be somewhat difficult.

Him: Geeze, you’re REALLY bad at this game.

Me: No I’m not! I’m just not good with my left hand!

Him: Well, I KNOW that’s not true. You’re just bad at the game.

Compliments – I take what I can get.

I’m off to some big city for the weekend to visit friends. This includes my romantically-challenged and wholly irrational Best Friend (whom I also happend to be staying with). Pray for me, will you? Or don’t. Either way, there’s a good chance that this trip could end up being a short one.

As always, I can’t seem to stay off of Twitter so if by some chance you find yourself desperately needing your fix of Jam, you now know where to find me.

Also, as I tend to do while traveling, I plan on picking up some postcards while I’m away. I’ll be sending out my first batch on Monday so there is still (and, let’s face it, ALWAYS) time to get in on some snail mail! Check the deets here

That’s it! Have a good weekend, my lovelies!

Wherein I attempt to get my shit together

19 Jul

Have I ever told you about my soul-crushing guilt complex? Because I have one of those and, let me tell you, it’s a major kill-joy.

Back in May I applied for a job. It was a great position at a great place. Bonus points? It was in my field AND it was referred to me by a big-deal contact on the “inside”. I was super qualified for the position and I had an in? I was ecstatic.

I slaved over my application, sent it and waited.

I never heard anything back. I was crushed.

At first I languished over it – how could I be SO qualified AND have an excellent inside reference and STILL not even get so much as a phone call? I couldn’t figure out how I kept going wrong with this whole “establishing a career” thing and I felt pretty hopeless. Eventually I got over it and even started to settle into my current state of affairs in such a way that was way more positive than it had been. I made a plan – I’d give myself until November (which would make a year at my current job) or until March (until the end of my current contract), then I would start looking again.

And then last week, as if the Powers That Be were purposely holding out to make sure I wasn’t a cosmic pussy, I got the call.

It was a woman from the HR department at the place I had applied to back in May. I had been shortlisted for the position and they wanted to interview me on Monday. Which is to say, what is now today.

This is about when the world around me slowed and went fuzzy and my heart skipped a few dozen beats before I realized that this was actually happening. My first reaction after gaining feeling back in my limbs was to quake with excitement – Yes! The want to interview me! It’s finally happening!

Everything was coming up Jam.

And then, like I always do, I started to get all wishy-washy.

I looked around my cubicle and I started to panic. I haven’t finished my contract yet. That’s bad, right? And what am I supposed to tell my boss? A man who has looked after me and made sure that I am always taken care of. What about my awesome co-workers? (don’t get me wrong, they aren’t ALL awesome) And what about the job itself? Sure, it’s not even remotely in my field and doesn’t pay enough for me to pay off the education I’m not really using AND be self-sustaining at the same time. But it IS a steady job that has been very good to me during an exceptionally turbulent time of my life and I’m just going to BAIL ON IT?

Guys, I was being ravaged by guilt over the very prospect of leaving my job (an easy pay-cheque) for a career. It was DESTROYING ME AS A PERSON.

“Are you fucking kidding me??” my Work Bestie snapped at me when I whispered her my news. She too is working on moving on to greener pastures. Her workplace loyalty is an all-time low, “It’s a job in your field at a cool place that could end up paying you anywhere from $12 to $20 grand MORE than what you’re making now and you’re feeling EMOTIONAL about leaving this place?”

“Yeah, but – ”

“I WILL PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.”

She’s a really positive motivating force in my life.

I called my mom and, I shit you not, I thought she was going to cry,

“This is amazing!” she all but sobbed, “This is everything you’ve been working for. Do you have any idea how much this is going to change your life?”

I felt like I was trying to keep a dirty little secret, “Shh, ma’! It’s just an interview! I haven’t gotten it yet, DON’T JINX ME!”

But I was thinking the same thing. I tried shoving all of that to the back of my mind – I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I wanted to be calm and level-headed about it. But the GUILT. The totally irrational, borderline-debilitating GUILT! It was starting to taint my opinion of the job entirely.

Not good.

I knew I wanted that job. I was genuinely excited about it. I even knew that my boss, although he would be disappointed, would also understand. He himself has said that he doesn’t except me to be here long, that this job is just a stepping stone and that people like me “don’t stay in places like this for long”. And that was ok. Hell, he even arranged for me to have career-planning sessions. I think he’ll be ok.

But still.

This is a problem. I attach so much emotion to things and places and moments in time that I come to have a hard time letting go. Uhg, I have SUCH a hard time letting go. I’m always afraid of disappointing people (who would never actually be disappointed, but my brain is too warped to realize it) or of losing those things that give me comfort (even when they’re not good for me or have already served it’s purpose).

You should see the boxes of stuff taking up space in my room and every available storage space in our house because I just don’t have the heart to get rid of it.

I cried the day we had to haul my first car off to the wreckers because even though it hadn’t run in over a year.

I often slip into fits of depressed nostalgia when a song on the radio reminds me of people or places or events from my past, even if those memories aren’t happy ones.

There’s probably something wrong with me. I have no idea.

I have passed up or settled too many time because I was afraid of letting go.

And after a few hours of fretting, I realized that, this time?

This time was not going to be one of them.

So I bought a pretty new dress and broke in some sassy kitten heels. I spent hours updating my portfolio until it was pretty much a fucking piece of art. I let myself do some what-if budgetary calculations (just a little though. It was sort of like stealing a smidge of frosting from a birthday cake before it’s been served – enough to get you excited about what’s coming but not so much as to spoil it). I studied and rehearsed and Boyfriend made my lunch for me so I could go to bed early.

I showed up half and hour early because I was too nervous to keep sitting at my desk. While I waited, the candidate that was interviewed before me finished and breezed past me with this smile plastered across her face like she was so damn proud of herself. And she probably deserved to be proud of herself but I was too busy judging the way she looked and the way she walked and the way she UHHG to care about that.

But it was her smile that I found to be so unnerving. She looked so confident. Unshakably confident. I smiled back and then looked down at the portfolio I was clutching in my hands. Why shouldn’t I feel that confident? I had no reason to feel anything BUT that confident. My portfolio was stellar, I was ridiculously qualified and, as Jaimie so eloquently put it, I am a consummate badass!

I decided to focus on something funny to help shake the nerves and settled on my favourite funny memory: I was at a conference with a colleague once and, in the middle of the presentation we were listening to he dropped his pen. Not wanting to draw attention to himself (or something?) he lunged down for it quickly. He also forgot to push his chair out when he did so and wound up cracking his forhead off the table so hard that his upper body bounced back up as fast as it went down. The only evidence that anything had happened was the suspicious swaying of his enormous Italian ‘fro (Think of that kid from High School Musical. You know, the one with the hair? SHUT UP YOU TOTALLY KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT) and a look on his face that screamed “WTF JUST HAPPENED”. Amazingly, I was the only one who witnessed it. We almost pissed ourselves laughing and how we didn’t get our asses hauled out of that presentation eludes me to this day.

But anyway, laughing helped. It continued to help as I revisited that memory several times over a period of 20 minutes that the panel kept me waiting before they finally invited me into the room. It’s helping even now. Oh god, SO FUNNY.

As for the interview, I truly believe that it went well, I don’t know that it was the most amazing interview I’ve ever given, but I was confident and gave what I feel were great responses. I felt comfortable and I knew what I was talking about. They liked my portfolio.

So now, I wait.

They said I should be hearing from them by the end of the week. That means four days of distracting myself and pretending it’s no big deal while secretly maintaining a vision of nothing but an absolutely positive outcome. And repeating my new personal mantra of “I WILL get this job, I am a consummate badass” several hundred time a day.

And maybe looking into finding someone to talk to about this all-consuming guilt thing.

One way or another, it’s a step in the right direction.

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – In settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”
– Nelson Mandela

Death by fan or, Of oscillating fans and convection ovens

9 Jul

My region, much like what seems to be a rather sizable chunk of North America if the tweets are to be any indication, is in the midst of a disgusting heat wave.

I hate heat waves.

But not enough to do much about them, so.

My family lives in an old farm house. It’s something like 150-years old. As you can well imagine, it doesn’t have air conditioning. My room is upstairs in the un-air conditioned 150-year old house.

It’s toasty.

The rooms of my parents and Middle Brother are also upstairs and two days into this grungy weather both of those rooms welcomed in-window air conditioning units.

“They’re only $100 you know,” he informed me as he stood in my doorway watching me languish all sloth-like and half-conscious on my bed.

“No. I’ve got more important things to spend my money on. Besides, sweating builds character.”

He shrugged, left, and returned a moment later with the tall oscillating fan that he had been using to keep cool up until that point.

He plugged it in and all was well. Parking my ass in front of the whirling blades, I thanked him for the relief.

With a completely straight face he replied,

“You know those things kills seniors, eh? They just blow all the hot air right into their faces and it turns them into human convection ovens and SNAP, they’re dead.”

And without missed a beat he turned on his heel and left me staring at my brand new death fan in jaw-dropped terror.

The other OTHER kind of beavers, or, Of sore arms and status symbols

25 Jun

When I was in the 6th grade I remember going on a field trip with my class. The trip itself obviously wasn’t very exciting because I can’t remember where we went but I do remember the bus ride. The only reason I remember the bus ride was because 1) it was the age of the Spice Girls and we (re: the ladies) were rockin’ out to Wannabe on repeat, much to the dismay of our male classmates and ornery bus driver, and 2) it was the very first time I bore witness to the game “beaver”.

I was just starting to doze off, face squashed attractively on the window when I heard a boy yell, “LOOK A BEAVER!” followed by his seat mate yelping with pain.

What the fuck? I thought, directing my attention out the window to where the boys were looking.

To the best of my knowledge at the time, “beaver” meant only one of two things: our noble national animal or vagina (yes, even in the 6th grade I knew what beaver was. Those are some important formative years and I had only brothers and male cousins around. I learned a lot of things from them that I would have been happier not knowing at the time). I had only been in the province for about 6 months at this point, so I was bewildered at what I was hearing. I was also worried about what I was going to spot when I looked out the window.

Obviously I was hoping that maybe this new province had an abundance of the animal beavers and that maybe, just maybe, they liked to chill on city streets. You know, maybe their habitat had been overrun by developers and the poor creatures had no choice but to migrate to the city in hopes of better lives.

Of course, while I was hopeful, I also knew that the obvious answer was that the boys were actually getting excited the other type of beaver and despite my better judgement I had to look to be sure. Not that it was necessarily something I wanted to see but if there was some random woman streaking through the streets I was sure as hell not going to be the only kid on the bus who wasn’t going to be able to have claimed to have been scarred by it.

What I saw on the streets was neither an animal (to my disappointment) nor an indecently exposed woman (to my relief). What I saw instead was what I then learned to be the third category of beaver: a station wagon wide wood panelling on the sides:

I'm not so sure I agree with you there, HAT

For reasons still unbeknownst to me, the boys were treating these vehicular monstrosities like Volkswagon Beetles and punching each other viciously in the arms (or gut, or balls, or face – whatever was most convenient when crammed in those pew-like bus seats) whenever they spotted them, following up each attack with a shrill “NO PUNCH BACKS!”

I have no idea where they got this from. Why beavers? And what the hell was wrong with the tried and true punch buggies? What all the H8, boys?

It didn’t really matter what the answers to those questions were because it took the rest of the bus all of 15 second to catch on. The rest of the trip was consumed by 30 pairs of eyes desperately scouring the streets in search of the next chance, flying limbs, howls of both pain and laugher and the Vuvuzela-like buzz of “BEAVER NO PUNCH BACKS!” punctuated by the occasional “ZIGGA-ZAG-AH!” courtesy of Scary Spice.

It was the best and worst field trip ever, all at the same time.

The reason I tell you this story, dear readers, is because yesterday on my drive home, I spotted a beaver.

I spotted a beaver and my arm instinctively started to ache and I glowered at the thing and thought to myself, who the HELL ever thought that was a good idea?

And by “that” I meant wood panelling on the side of station wagons (and the occasional PT Cruiser), not the game where school children beat the snot out of each other every time they see them.

I hate you so much

I mean, honestly, they’re butt-ugly. We’re not talking about the walls in some cottage in the woods or a two-bedroom bungalow circ 1970 – we’re talking about a vehicle. A weird vehicle with even weirder decals that make no sense whatsoever. What. The. Hell.

Still twitchy over the beaver sighting when I got home, I did what I couldn’t do back in the 6th grade – I Googled that shit.

Thanks to our friend Wikipedia, I now have some closure*:

The station wagon’s first incarnation was as a wagon that was used at train stations to shuttle passengers and their luggage around (oooh). Back in the day, these wagons were obviously made of hardwood. As vehicle production expanded station wagons eventually transitioned over to commercial use (a la vans and trucks). Because they were intended more for shipping and not more general consumer use, they didn’t bother paneling the sides with steel.

Eventually, once the vehicle started to be produced for mass consumption, the wood-bodied models (or “woodies” as they were apparently called. Ha! Beavers, woodies – station wagons are clearly the pervert’s preference when it comes to fine automobiles) came to be considered “superior”. Owning a woodie was actually a STATUS SYMBOL (guys, I can’t make this shit up). After World War II, all wagons were steel-bodied and the decals were added as a sort of throw-back to a more “innocent”, pre-war era of carefree penis-jokes and general perversion.

So there you have it, dear reader – the mystery behind the wood paneled station wagon can be laid to rest. Next time you see one parked beside you when you go to get groceries and/or beer, you can nod knowingly as you find yourself touched with a slight, inexplicable sense of envy that you were never able to place before.

And then you can lean over and clock the closest person within arms-length and inappropriately scream “BEAVER!”

Doesn’t that sound fun?

You’re welcome.

*Editor’s note: Wikipedia unfortunately did not provide me with the answers as to why “beaver” became the new punch buggie game among Canadian youth back in the 90s. I apologise if I got your hopes up.