Wednesday, August 19, 2009

That's Not What I Saw On TV, Damn It!

We’ve all been victims of this new television trend. We see these new products pop up everywhere, and somehow they’re remarkable. You know the ones, the backwards robe that supposedly can do what a sweatshirt can’t do, a sponge towel that cleans up messes that, god forbid, a towel can’t pick up, and magic glue that is stickier than normal glue. Welcome to the wonderful world of infomercials, a world that kicks our every day products that we take for granted to the curb, and replaces our prized possessions into crap. Seriously, the Snuggie? For forty bucks, I think I’d rather pay more money for a coat at Burlington that I could actually wear out in public without getting beat up. If it still doesn’t have that “Snuggie feel”, I could just put it on backwards when I’m prancing around the house. There, problem solved!

Unfortunately, my boyfriend and I too have been blinded by the light of the deceptive infomercial. No, we didn’t pay for forty dollar Snuggies (we were tempted to though… ) Nonetheless, the products we bought were similar in the way that they were pointless, a waste of money, and could have been replaced with less hassle by normal products laying around the house.


This seems like a gift sent by God himself. Wow, are you telling me that the strange two-year old stain on my favorite shirt will go away with a little help from this stuff? Geez, let me at it! With this new army of OxiClean, ketchup, grass, and wine stains don’t stand a chance (so the commercial had us believe).

I’m not exactly the cleanest eater or drinker. If I eat a pizza by the couch, there’s bound to be crumbs everywhere. As much as I try to hide the evidence, my Mr. Magoo vision misses a heap, if not all of the crumbs. Well, one night my boyfriend and I were laying on the couch together and he noticed tiny drops of wine stains on his blue rug. Automatically, I was the prime suspect of this crime (I still think I should have a lawyer present). Anyway, the drops were really small, probably the size of half a pea. As we were laying there, we see the OxiClean commercial! It was settled, the next day we would try the stuff out.

Excited of his new purchase, my boyfriend read the instructions on the OxiClean container, and automatically went to work trying to eliminate the stains. The two of us waited in suspense, crouched on the floor like a pair of cave people discovering fire for the first time. To our dismay, we notice the wine stains disappearing, but instead of a maroon color, it started turning a light brown. We waited for a little bit to see if the brown would fade lighter, but all of a sudden, a huge brown ring the size of a tennis ball started to form around the drops of wine. In horror I gasped: “Take it off! Take it off!” But it was too late.

My boyfriend washed the remaining OxiClean off with water, attempted to dry it with a hair dryer, vacuumed the rug, all in hopes of diminishing the huge brown patches. Nothing worked. We looked at the aftermath of the OxiClean trial. His once perfect blue rug with tiny drops of wine stains, now looked as if a drunken frat boy had barged into his apartment and vomited all over the rug. We were standing in a battle ground of faded brown patches. In the end, at least I could say: “Well, at least I didn’t do that!”

Smooth Away

One day I gave my boyfriend a simple kiss on the cheek and he kept giggling, nonstop. A brief giggle is normal, but a continuous giggle, I knew something was on his mind. “What?” I asked him. He looked at me and couldn’t keep a straight face. “Don’t take this the wrong way… But you have little pricklies.” Being self- conscious about the way I look, I automatically cupped my hands around my face and stared at him wide-eyed. “What do you mean pricklies? Is there something on my face? A beard? What?!” He started laughing and responded with: “It’s nothing! It’s just your upper lip… You have little hairs. But every girl has that! It’s no big deal.

I’m glad that he found my little Chaplin moustache amusing, but I wasn’t having it. I admit it, I wasn’t thinking at the time, and I made a drastic decision to… shave… a little. Maybe that wasn’t the brightest idea? When I told my boyfriend what I did, he scolded me for days about shaving my little friend. He kept telling me that it would grow back thicker; I kept telling him it was an old wives tale, and this went back and forth for days.

Anyway, I wasn’t paying 20 bucks to have a little fuzz on my lips removed by waxing. I tried plucking it out and that was a painful process, so then I discovered this box of Smooth Away in my house. I’ve seen the commercial of this product several times on TV and it seemed like a miracle! Wow, a scrubber that scrubs away hair without the fuss of shaving and nicking yourself with a razor… Brilliant!

I set up the product, and automatically started circling the area of mild fuzz clockwise, just like the instructions said. Now, keep in mind, I have thin hair and maybe three or four hairs sticking out of my upper lip. I kept on circling… Nothing. Two minutes later and my lip started getting red. Five minutes into the process, and voila! The hairs were gone. It took me five minutes to remove five hairs from my lip and rub my face raw in the process. Thanks but no thanks, I’ll just have to be Chaplin’s twin for a little longer until I can afford laser hair removal to remove the pesky pricklies for life.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Are You Too Cool For Mother's Day?

Alright, so you heard about my little "Mother's Day crisis" last night. Well, today the whole Mother's Day plot thickens! *cue doomed music* So, when I left off with the lady on the phone yesterday, she told me yada, yada, yada, they can't get in touch with the florist, yada, yada, yada, but there would be a guaranteed flower delivery for my grandmother tomorrow (today) morning. 11 o'clock rolled by and I didn't get a call from my grandmother saying she received her flowers. I was beyond pissed. Once again, I called Florist Express/ ProFlowers, and waited for an hour to speak to a representative. When I finally had the opportunity to talk to an actual human being, the conversation went something like this:

Jade: Yeah, I paid $70 for an orchid arrangement that was supposed to be delivered by Mother's Day. It's officially a day after Mother's Day, and she still hasn't gotten anything.

Representative: I'm so sorry about the delay ma'am, what's your name and order number?

Jade: *repeats order number* I'm Jade.

Representative: Ok. I'm sorry ma'am but we tried getting in contact with the florist yesterday with the idea that they would have the orchid arrangement.

Jade: And they don't have the arrangement?

Representative: No they don't, but--

Jade: And you guys were planning on telling me this when??

Representative: Once again ma'am we're sorry for the inconvenience. What we can do is upgrade your order free of charge with an apology letter along with your Mother's Day card. Would you like that?

Jade: But what exactly is going to show up? Is it going to be the same orchid display that I saw online or something different?

Representative: It's going to be a little different, since the flowers are coming from another company in your area. Since you live in Miami, there shouldn't be any problems finding an orchid display, but just in case they don't have anything, would you want another arrangement of some fabulous roses and lilies?

Jade: *sighs* whatever...

Representative: We're on it now ma'am. Your flowers will be delivered by today. Once again, we offer our sincere apologies for this mishap and hope we will do business with you again.

Jade: Today huh? Sounds fabulous.

Representative: Yes today, we're working on it now.

Jade: Alright thanks.

Sounds pretty sweet and simple right? Well, after all that happened with this company, I wasn't any bit assured. So I went to class with a bucket of anxiety in my stomach. On one of my breaks, I got a text from my Mom saying that my grandma did indeed receive the flowers and they were orchids. When I called my mother back, I asked her what my grandmother's tone was like. Did she sound happy, disgusted, confused? Did she say the flowers were pretty?

My Mother's response? "She said they were interesting."

Ok... A two headed chipmunk is interesting. A chicken with eight legs is interesting. Watching a dog take a dump in the garden is interesting. Interesting isn't exactly the word I would use for $70 orchids.

"She wants you to come over and see them" my Mother said.

I had to mentally prepare myself to see the flowers... Mentally prepare myself for the $70 disaster.

When I finally arrived at my grandmother's house, I rushed in to see almost the same orchid piece I saw online. They weren't as bad as I thought... In fact, they were interesting, and the vase was pretty nifty. $70 worth? Not really, but I could deal with that. At least it wasn't a total disaster.

My grandmother gave me a kiss on the head and thanked me for my present, and I slumped down into the couch with relief, until my eyes caught a glance of the scribbled mess of a "Mother's Day" card on the table. I was expecting a cute image of a teddy bear hugging a heart with my neatly printed message inside the flap, but instead I got a damn post-it with chicken scratch scribbled on the surface. That's not even the best part. The best part was the message that read something like this:

To the best grandma in the Happy Mother's Day
Love, Baba

By the way Baba isn't my name... Baba is what we call my grandmother. And apparently she's the best grandma in the Happy Mother's Day...

After the whole flower fiasco, I couldn't help but laugh at how ridiculous this Mother's Day was, this Mother's Day which spread to a span of two days. At least Baba found it amusing. She said she'd have the card framed.

In order to vent out my frustrations and amusement, I contacted my boyfriend. This call was a venting party for the both of us, because apparently, he had a Mother's Day mishap with his Mother's present too.

Pretty much the same thing happened with him. His mother didn't receive her Vermont teddy bear for Mother's Day either, but his call went something like this:

Boyfriend: Yeah, I placed an order to be delivered by Mother's Day. It never got to my Mother's house.

Representative: Hmm... According to my records, someone signed for them.

Boyfriend: WHAT? That's impossible she said she never got the gift.

Representative: Well it says here that a Juan Martinez signed for it.

Boyfriend: WHO?!

Representative: A Juan Martinez signed for it sir.

Boyfriend: Look, there isn't a Juan Martinez living in that house.

Representative: A house? Are you sure it's a house sir and not an apartment?

Boyfriend: I think I would remember where my Mom live-- wait a minute. Do you mind telling me the address to the place you sent it?

Representative: *gives him the address*

Boyfriend: Oh my God... You sent the bear to my apartment.

Representative: Oh no... Are you serious?

Boyfriend: Yes.

Representative: Well, if you'd like, you can ship the bear back to us and we can send it to the proper address!

Boyfriend: No thanks. I'll just ship it to her myself.

Representative: I'm sorry for the inconvenience sir!

There you have it... A list of Mother's Day "inconveniences". As crappy as these stories seem, I'm not going to hold a grudge. In the case of the Mothers in our lives, this will at least be an unforgetable Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Is A Time For Ulcers

Mother's Day... We see it every year on television. We see a mother praising her husband for her "every kiss begins with K" jewelry, a mother jumping with joy at a lame card that says "Mom, you rock!" on it, and a mother cherishing her four year old child's fruit loop art piece of a random donkey. In reality, does Mother's Day have that perfect ending? Not exactly. In reality, the angry wife raises a brow at her husband's attempt of appreciation with his swap shop jewelry and replies with "that's it? I pushed out YOUR child, and this is the thanks I get? A paper clip on rope?" The Mother whose teenage son/daughter gave her a "you rock!" card never seems to find the card anywhere in the house, and when approaching the mother with the topic of the mystery disappearance is answered with the classic "Oh! it's in my files somewhere (funny thing is... There doesn't seem to be a single file in the house. The day Mother's Day is mentioned, mothers worldwide turn into file clerks). And that fruit loop art piece? It ends up making a nice Mother's Day present for a family of roaches and ants.

I thought this Mother's Day was going to be different. I wanted to get my mother and my grandmother something nice for Mother's Day, rather than the typical card and chocolates. After all, my mother and my grandmother spent a fortune on me this winter on clothing for my New York trip.

The Day was supposed to go something like this:

- Eat brunch with boyfriend and his mother.

- Go to grandmother's and wait for $70 orchid set up and make it all pretty before she gets home (she went to the Keys with my Uncle and his wife).

- Have Mom praise me for the $200 necklace that arrived today and then go out to a movie of her choice.

Did that happen?

Of course not.

This is the story that the television doesn't tell.

The plans were already getting out of place when my boyfriend's mother contacted him saying that she couldn't come down to Florida this week. Well, he had already made reservations to eat at Acqua at the Four Seasons. Cancelling it at the last second, he would have had to pay a fee. So we just said "screw it" and decided to go on our own for brunch. The whole morning, we were trying to get in contact with our mothers and had no such luck. My mom was in bed sleeping, and his was busy. The two of us were quite the random pair. While tables were full of generations of mothers and their children, there sat the table for two. It's ok though. That part of Mother's Day was actually the fun part. Even though we felt a tad bit awkward being in the family oriented environment, we didn't have to worry about screaming children at our table. The only children we had at our table were six of them. All of them going by the name of Mimosa and Bloody Mary. Unlike everyone else's children, ours made us relax!

After the entertaining brunch, it was my turn to spend quality time with my Mother (who was sleeping all day). When I asked if her Mother's Day present had come yet, she said no, mind you... It was already past one. When I asked her if she'd like to go to the movies with me, she replied with: "no not really." (No present and a rejection from my Mom... MAN! I felt good.) When I arrived at my grandma's, hoping to be greeted by a box of flowers by the door, I was greeted by an ugly gecko in the place where the box should have been waiting.

I wasn't too worried. I've received packages around 4 sometimes (but typically they come in early afternoon). Four o'clock rolls by... No knock... six o'clock rolls by... No knock. By seven o'clock my grandmother already came back home... So when asked what I was doing there, the surprise was ruined. I called Florist Express/ ProFlowers (Express/ Pro my ass), and at first, I was greeted with a recording that said this:

"We're sorry, but due to the busy holiday, calls cannot be completed at this time. To make an order go to our website, to talk to someone, please send our customer service representatives an e-mail."

WHAT? Oh boy... I sent them an e-mail. I sent them a five paragraph e-mail chewing the company out, telling them how unprofessional it is to have a recording talk to dissatisfied customers, and how they were eager to take my money the day I ordered the flowers rather than having a customer as their top priority. Ironically enough, when I called thirty minutes later, I didn't talk to a recording but an actual person.

I explained to the woman that my gift for my grandmother didn't arrive the day I wanted it to (I paid an extra 13 bucks to have it delivered on Mother's Day). She assured me that it would be delivered by tomorrow morning. I demanded for a refund and at first she refused to give me a refund for the thirteen dollars! I explained to her that it wasn't fair that I paid thirteen dollars to have it delivered on Mother's Day, and now it's getting there a day late. The response I got? "But it's getting there tomorrow..." Look, my grandmother is old. By the time tomorrow rolls by she's going to forget that Mother's Day was the day before. It just doesn't have the same feeling! Eventually, justice pulled through and I got my refund.

As for my Mother's gift? That's another call I have to make tomorrow.

Sorry Mom and Baba, but for next Mother's Day, it's back to the "you rock" cards and chocolates.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jeepers, Who Lied To You?

A few years ago I wanted a change. I've had my hair long for the majority of my life, so I thought to myself, Hmm... I'd like to spice up my appearance a little bit and put a little "edge" in my hairdo. Naturally, I was terrified. I didn't know how I would cope with my lost locks, but I figured I'd suck it up and cope with it afterwards, no regrets. I remember I changed my hair the day after New Years. I randomly made an appointment with my hairdresser, walked in her mini salon, and told her "chop it off... I want my hair short, bright red, razored, and edgy." Naturally, Titi (my hairdresser) and my friend were shocked. No one was expecting this request. But, being true to my orders, Titi pulled through.

I was going for the cute pixie look. Unfortunately, I realized that not everyone could pull off the Alice Cullen look. At first, when I looked in the mirror, I was about ready to cry. It wasn't "horrible", but it just wasn't me. Suddenly having my hair stripped away and dyed an intense red after having plain brown long hair for more than fifteen years was a huge shock for me. Titi, of course, was marveling at her work, telling me that I could be a supermodel with that hair! Obviously that increased my self-esteem a smidge, but the deciding factor would be from the best friend. I turned to my friend at the time and asked her opinion. Of course, she was jumping with joy and said it was great!

Seeing the great response I was getting from people, I managed to look at myself in the mirror and appreaciate the "artwork". It was what I wanted... Spunky, edgy, and most of all, different.

A year went by, and my hair finally grew back. As different as my hair was the previous year, I couldn't help but compare myself to a familiar, plastic, red-headed, horror villain. All I would have to wear to complete the wardrobe would be a long sleeved rainbow shirt and faded blue overalls. Yikes! So, I went for another look. I would keep the long hair and dye it black. Again, it was quite a dramatic transformation.

As soon as I had the new look, everyone who supposedly loved my pixie hair suddenly decided to change their minds and tell me: "Yeah, I like this look so much better. The last hair experiment was a disaster." I couldn't believe my ears. My reply was simple: "So you let me walk around a year looking like a freak without telling me? No wonder I was single for so long!" Thank you for allowing me to prance around looking like an overgrown Chucky doll. I greatly appreciate it.

Again, I changed my hair a couple of years later. I thought the black was a little dramatic with my appearance... Black hair, light skin, green eyes. Although it might work with some people, I didn't think it quite worked with me. So, I went to Ugo di Roma to fix the disaster of hair that the black left in (black is a really hard color to get out), where it took thirteen hours to fix. Ok, chances are... If they take thirteen hours to FIX your hair, your hair most likely was a war zone. This time I loved my hair. It was a natural auburn color, long, and slightly layered. I finally looked in the mirror for the first time and said: "This is me. This is what I was looking for."

When I went home to show off the new look, I got the same gasps and Oooo's from the previous hair experiments, not to mention the same responses: "Wow, this is great! Don't change your hair, this looks so much better than the last time!"

What the hell?! Ok, if I look like crap, admit that I look like crap, especially if it's something as simple as hair. On the other hand, if I'm naturally hideous, keep it to yourself, because that's something I just can't fix. But something as simple as hair? Tell me when I look like a serial killer, damn it!

It doesn't stop with hair, it has happened with makeup, wardrobe, and assignments. Don't tell me a paper is "amazing" and then I get it back with a dreaded B or worse on it. If I look like a parrot before walking out, let me know, "Hey Jungle Island called, they want their macaw back."

Now, that doesn't mean being rude and pinpointing every flaw. If I have a zit the size of Alaska on my face, I don't expect someone to point it out and say "Hey! That looks horrible!" I know it looks horrible, but obviously that is something that can't be helped. I didn't put the zit there as a fashion statement... -or- the classic "Man, you're tall! Why the hell are you wearing heels? You don't need heels!" Gee, the next time I decide to wear a dress, I'll consider wearing sneakers and try to be pseudo-short. Thanks assholes.

But I do appreciate an honest statement for something that can be helped. For example, my boyfriend and I were going to Sandbar in Coconut Grove a few months ago to watch a football game. Well, I wanted to "try" wearing a risky top... It was a blue, open back, tunic, that was slightly baggy around the arms and chest. It looked cute at the store, but somehow, it didn't appeal to me the more I looked at it in the mirror. I walked out to show my boyfriend, did my little turn, raised an eyebrow and asked: "This looks like shit, doesn't it?" At first he didn't respond, and I noticed him holding his mouth with his cheeks puffed out, trying to hold in the laughter. All of a sudden he responded with: "You're wearing an evil casters tunic!" Naturally, I turned red from the response, but that comment was so hilarious, I couldn't help but laugh. Not only did he save me from humiliating myself, but now we have an inside joke that'll live on in our memories.

My advice? It's normal to want to try new things. It's also normal to get it wrong when trying these new experiments. Chances are, if you're not happy with what you're wearing, other people won't be happy with it. Don't ever doubt your gut instinct. If that new outfit you picked out seems to be sending you waves of doubt, throw it aside or give it to the friend that insisted you looked good in it. If you feel confident in what you're wearing, rock it and don't give a second thought what people think.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Frosted Flakes... They're Not So Great

I'm very picky when it comes to choosing my friends. In the past, I've done the whole Sex and the City cliques, and it didn't work out so well. What I've noticed when there's a whole group of female friends, something always taints the group. If two members of the group start fighting, the two girls will try and influence the other group members to turn against the other girl, which causes all kinds of back-stabbing, secrets, and hidden cattiness. Needless to say, I don't do well with drama. I don't like choosing sides, and I don't appreciate "gossiping" about other people, even if the gossip isn't about me. Because chances are, if someone's willing to talk behind other people's backs and not confront the person to their face, there's a chance that something has probably been said about you in the past.

When I choose friends, I like a buffet line. I don't want to hang out with only one group of people, I hang out with different people. Unfortunately, when you meet one friend, chances are you're going to befriend other members of the group which causes another social "clique". And that's when problems start.

I've been friends with this one girl for seven years, referred to as Matrix in my previous blogs. And I'm sorry to say, but I've been involved in several "cliques" with her. And all of these social friendships ended in some form of deceit and cattiness. The two main cliques were Matrix, myself, and another girl I'll refer to as Chuck Wagon (What can I say? She liked Chuck Wagon!)And then there was a clique between the two of us again, and another girl I'll refer to her as Skinny.

Well, both Chuck Wagon and Skinny are interesting characters. They're both fun girls, but can be tolerated in small doses. While Matrix and I are more "loners" and appreciate space every now and then, Chuck Wagon and Skinny love being around people all the time. Here's the difference between Matrix and I. Although I get annoyed sometimes by these characters, I deal with them to the best of my ability and still keep them as friends. Matrix on the other hand has the tendency of pushing herself away from these characters that don't really suit her needs.

In the first clique, Chuck Wagon, Matrix, and I were extremely close. Matrix on the other hand got tired of Chuck Wagon after a while, and just decided to ignore her completely. So I started hanging out with the two of them separately. Of course the persuasion began. Chuck Wagon told me about times Matrix said I was annoying, and then Matrix was trying to persuade me not to see Chuck Wagon. UGH! And these are my friends? Needless to say, I kept Chuck Wagon as my friend either way.

The second clique with Skinny was very brief. Skinny has a very persistent character which I admit, can be overwhelming at times. Matrix basically cut her off completely, until she saw that I started a serious relationship with my boyfriend.

Here's the thing, when someone's in a serious relationship, obviously they can't do the same things they've done when they were single (although some people don't let their relationship status stop them). All my friends have had boyfriends/husbands, so I know the whole bonding process. And yes, it does stink and feels cheesy watching the puppy love develop, but I respect it because I know the feeling.

To make a long story short, Matrix started ignoring me when things started getting serious with my boyfriend and I. To make matters worse, she randomly decided to pick up and move to Colorado, had a farewell party with Skinny, and didn't even bother telling me what day she was leaving. What ticks me off even more is that another friend of mine spotted them at this place, told me the exact day they went, and while Matrix completely ignored me, the other one had the audacity to lie to me and say she hasn't heard from Matrix.

Months have passed by and I got a lame Merry Christmas text and a "sorry I haven't responded. I've been busy with the big move" from Matrix and nothing more. I've learned my lesson and choose not to make the same mistakes with friend choices again.

Honestly, I respect those "bitchy" girls a lot more than the flakes. At least they'll say what's on their mind when they're thinking it, rather than gossip about it behind my back. So for Tony the Tiger that says those flakes are great, he can just shove it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Operation House Patrol

We all know about my pesky neighbor problem. To escape from my dysfunctional town, I tend to retreat to my grandmother's abode. Picture this, just coming out of the ninth gate of hell and escaping to this serene, quiet, oasis. This is a place where all the devil dogs are saints, and all the neighbors keep pretty much to themselves... Well, most neighbors.

After class, I go to my grandmother's. Not only is she an amazing woman and easy to talk to, but her house comes complete with things to spoil me. A beautiful view of a lake in the backyard (for my entertainment), a treadmill to run on like a hamster (for my health), and piles of junk food in the fridge and cabinets (to completely ruin my health!)

Although her neighbors aren't half as bad as mine, there are a few crazy characters. While my neighbors are on the annoying side, her neighbors are more.... mental? There's a woman we like to call "The Crazy Lady" who walks her dog every afternoon in a baby carriage making conversation with it, as she strolls on by in her bath robe and bedroom slippers. And then there's "Leatherface" (I'll just call her that because her whole family reminds me of something out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Leatherface is actually a nice character, despite the movie. However, there's several things that bother me about her.

A) She's a pathological liar. She'll make up crazy stories about everyone in the neighborhood, just to keep the gossip flowing.

B) She patrols the neighborhood. God forbid you pick a wedgie... This lady sees ALL and tells ALL.

C) She talks bad about the rest of the neighbors. How can you talk to someone like that? If she talks bad about everyone else, gee... Chances are, you're a topic in The Leatherface Times.

My grandmother is out of town this whole week, and who do you think she gave her spare keys to? Yes... The legend herself. Well, I refuse to give up my routine. I don't care if Leatherface shows up or not, I'm still going to escape to my oasis damn it!

I was actually dreading going to my grandmother's house all week. What if I happened to be there and Leatherface walked in? I would have to talk to her for hours about things that may or may not have happened. What if I scratched my nose? Would she run around telling people I was digging for gold in her presence? Monday went by... Tuesday... Wednesday... Thursday. Today I just couldn't take it anymore. With Scruffy barking, and Pee Wee's playhouse blocking any hope of relaxation, I needed to get away.

At first my routine started off regularly, I did 50 minutes of cardio, jamming along to my music. Surprisingly, no Leatherface. I finished up my readings for class, no Leatherface. Finally, a couple of hours roll by and I'm watching television, and I see Leatherface strolling on by in my grandmother's backyard. While I was looking at her with this confused face, she was acting as if no one was looking at her, probably trying to avoid the embarrassment. So what does she do instead? She just scratches her head and looks up at the roof and the sides of the house. Seeing that no one ran off with the roof, she went back home. After the brief Leatherface sighting, I was in my happy zone for another hour or so, until I heard the hose outside. Leatherface was "watering" my grandmother's flowers in the front of the house at nine o'clock at night... For a good twenty minutes... Only five flowers... Come on! She must've been so concerned that a burglar had neatly opened my grandmother's door with a key, done some cardio in her house, ate a snack, and then sat down in the bean bag chair watching Hell's Kitchen.

When Leatherface's gardening attempts were over, I just left. I couldn't take it anymore. At this point, I'd rather snuggle up to Scruffy the devil dog.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Song For Mrs. Coffee

Since Mrs. Coffee has been such a wonderful teacher this semester, I thought I would dedicate a song to her. After all, the semester is almost over!

If you want... Feel free to sing along. *Sing to the tune of Celine Dion's Because You Loved Me*

Because You Taught Me

You were my Ambien when I couldn't sleep.
You were so strange when we did meet.
You were so awkward in front of class.
Thanks for being a pain in my ass.

You bashed my papers, I don't know why.
Thank God next week I say bye bye.

I regret taking your class.
Because you taught me....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

ABCs and 12Zs

School... This is a word that has been genetically embedded in our brain for generations to send emotions of dread, fear, and overall annoyance to our mind. While some people enjoy the idea of being trapped inside a cell with Mr. and Mrs. Monotone lecturing, and furthering their knowledge by "good quality education", others do not find this schedule too appealing. And then there are people stuck in the middle, like me.

I wasn't always like this. I used to be one of the ones who actually enjoyed waking up to go to class. But through the years, I've become numb with the agitating nonsense that goes on within the classroom. I still enjoy studying and believe it or not I do enjoy learning, but there are a few characters that make me question going to class in the morning.

  • Professors who insist on being late to class: If I have to wake up early in the morning to deal with obnoxious characters, I expect the professor to be there on time. One semester I had a professor constantly come to class ten minutes late. That's ten minutes I could have been relaxing in bed.

  • The laugh at their own jokes professors: These are the awkward professors who typically have a monotone voice (I've noticed). It's awesome when there's a lively, energetic, funny, professor. Unfortunately, that's rare to find. Instead, there's the extremely boring, nervous, repetitive, professors who decide to break the ice by having their own comedy routine. Of course, being a student, you have to laugh at the lame jokes to avoid being labeled "the bad student". I have one teacher this semester who I'll call Mrs. Coffee (whom you'll be hearing a lot about in this section). Mrs. Coffee enjoys opening up the class with her played out punchline with her tired, monotone voice: "I guess I should have had my second cup of coffee this morning." The first day of class, I admit it was "cute", but now she seriously needs some new material.

  • Group Projects: This is a growing trend in classroom assignments. I've noticed that a bunch of people love the idea of group projects. I always wondered why, and now I know. These are the people that don't do any work. I understand that the point of a group project is to get different ideas and feedback from other people, but somehow, that's never the case. In almost all instances of group projects, I end up getting screwed over. There's always that one that doesn't do work, never shows up, never turns in their information on time, comes up with stupid excuses. Give me a break! And my grade is based on their laziness? Thanks!

  • Professors who don't respect opinions: Mrs. Coffee fits in this category... I've never seen so many comments on any of my papers as much as I've seen on her assignments. She has even commented on my titles! Are you serious? You're going to bash my title? You haven't even read the damn paper yet! In her assignments, her students are asked to analyze aspects of certain literature works. Ok... Well, different people interpret literature in different ways. In her class, there's only one way to interpret a meaning and that's her way. Creativity is dead in this class.

  • Being put on the spot: We've all been there. "Ms. Mason, what do you think about this situation?" Of course Ms. Mason has a phobia about public speaking... If a student doesn't feel like verbalizing their opinions, I don't think it should be counted against them. Some people are shy and get nervous ( ie: ME), a topic may not be appealing to that person, or that person could just be having a bad day.

  • Stretching out class time as long as possible: It's 12:10, you look at the time, and...YES! It's almost 12:15. The teacher has run out of material (Mrs. Coffee), surely, class will be let out early. Of course not... Mrs. Coffee decides to hold the class till the very end rambling on and on about everything not related to the lesson. And if Mrs. Coffee isn't rambling, there's always someone eager to share their life story to the class PAST the ending time.

  • Constant research papers/projects: Ever since third grade, I've been bombarded with meaningless projects and papers. What's wrong with a couple of papers or a couple of projects? To be honest, when you tell me to write a ten page research paper, that I could have sworn I wrote another one about this very topic, I stop learning. All I want from this point on is to finish the paper. And what's with these projects given to elementary school students? Making a dinosaur clock never made me learn a damn thing about Godzilla.

When I walk into most classrooms, the passion for learning is dead. The reason for this is because the passion for teaching is dead in some teachers. Most of the time, they're just trying to fill in another slot in their lesson plan. And people wonder why education is going downhill. Well, if a lesson is just another thing to fill the spot in a lesson plan, school is just another thing to fulfill a degree.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Is There a Doctor in the House?

As mentioned in a previous blog, I've been debating whether or not to get surgery done to fix my hyperhidrosis. I've finally come to the conclusion that I want to get this done. I've been weighing the pros and the cons of this surgery, and the pros do indeed outweigh the cons. While there's only a small chance something may backfire, there's a 95% success rate. The 5% drawback includes mild sweating occasionally on the back or face, and most of the people who do actually experience this say that it really doesn't bother them too much.

So let's put this in perspective, a 95% chance of getting rid of the Niagra Falls hands, or a 5% chance of experiencing a mild sweating on my back or face. Surgery, here I come! I think...

What influenced me into finally getting this surgery? Was it the fact that my boyfriend can't get a decent grip on my hand? Or perhaps it's the fact that my pen kept on slipping out of my hand during my last mid term exam. Well, to answer that question, it's both A and B, among a gamut of other reasons. But what really made me pick up the phone and call was an advertisement on the radio, introducing The American Institute of Hyperhidrosis.

After days of debating whether or not I actually wanted to go through with the surgery, I decided to fill out a form for a free consultation. I didn't know what to expect.

Surprisingly, I got a call the very next day (which was comforting). The only thing that irked me a little bit was that the woman called around 1 o'clock, when I specifically put on the application 3 o'clock was the best time to reach me. Of course I missed her call and had to play a game of phone tag with the receptionist. Needless to say, I never got in contact with the original girl that left me that message.

I did manage to talk to another woman who got all my health insurance information, and she assured me that someone would get back to me with precise details of the surgery, followed by the actual call from the doctor the very next day. A week has gone by and I still have not spoken to anyone about the surgery. It has been a constant juggling game between the receptionist and myself.

To make my blood boil further, I received an e-mail that was extremely unprofessional and random. Here's an exact replica of the e-mail:

(Phone Number)
Call for an appointment. The surgery works great.

"The surgery works great." Are you serious? The surgery works great? I've been trying to get in contact with these people for a week and I get an e-mail with no Dear, no sincerely so and so. Who the hell sent me this? What professional institute sends out letters like this? There are people who are jobless, and I have some idiot, who has a job, who is getting paid, to send out letters like this.

Now I'm really debating whether or not to get the surgery done from this place. If the receptionist sends out e-mails like this, I can't even imagine how the surgery will go.

(Cut here)
Bad news, I ran out of sutures. But on a lighter note, the surgery works great!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Customer's Always Right

Being a member of the retail world, we have a saying: "The customer is always right." Unfortunately, I'm going to rebel against that statement and say: "No... The customer is not always right!"

Every job has its ups and downs. One of the perks is that I only get to work part time and practically get to manage my own schedule. On the other hand, we're working for minimum wage and working for some pretty rude characters. I'm not saying it's not my job to make the customer happy. It is in fact my job to make sure that the customer has a "happy experience". But I've found that working in the world of retail, some people make it so hard. Until I get a real degree and get out of school, I'm stuck dealing with the world of retail, so why not just make this mediocre job an interesting blog post by listing a few of these annoying characters?

  • Unpleasant customers: Anyone working in any job, will tell you that it's not an enjoyable experience working with irritable people. Nothing compares to the fury of a grumpy customer. At Hollister, I admit, some of the clothes are teeny tiny. The largest size we have in women's is an 11 (which feels like an 8 or 9 in regular jeans). One woman came up to me, her face bright red, her arms shaking in madness, waving these jeans in the air. To begin with, she tapped my shoulder (or I should say finger punched), almost putting a dent in my shoulder blade and said: "EXCUSE ME. I'm a size 11, and I know I'm a size 11. These jeans don't fit. Do you have a larger size?" Being a trustworthy retail worker, going by the code: "The customer is always right", I put on a smile, and explained to the woman that our largest size in women's jeans is size 11. I also explained to her that the sizes do run smaller in this store, but I would be more than happy to go in the back and find her similar jeans that may fit better. I don't know what part of that explanation translated into: "you're fat", but she accused me of calling her a whale, threw the jeans at me, and stormed out the store.

  • The Tattle Tale: These characters, I absolutely ADORE! These are the people determined to get you fired, no matter what it takes. Fortunately, I've only had to deal with two of these characters. The woman that stands out in my mind, made a big deal about a scarf she wanted to hold until the day after(a scarf... In Miami... ). Unfortunately, Hollister does not hold any items. I tried to explain this to her and she refused to listen to me. Going on a scarf rampage, she asked for my name and asked to speak to a a manager. Having absolutely no worries, I gave her my name and took her to the manager myself. Of course... when the manager explained the same exact spiel I did to the woman, she made a whole scene and stormed out the store. I guess she didn't like the idea of her not being right.

  • The "That's Their Job" People: These are the people that think it's ok to totally screw up the displays and knock down articles of clothing from hangers with the assurance that: "they'll clean it up. It's their job!" I was working one day, and I had just finished neatly organizing a display case, when a group of women (seeing that I had just done this), started browsing through the clothes and started throwing them all over the display table. At least have the common decency to mess up the table when I'm gone, not while I'm standing there.

  • The Fitting Room Slobs: These are the customers that try on a mountain of clothing and just leave it in the room. Come on... I'm standing right outside the door, you can't hand me the clothes that you've just tried on?

  • The Indecisive Customer: These are the people that typically have a large amount of clothing to buy, the natural born shop aholics, that decide at the last minute they want to check out the cute little top in the corner over there. Meanwhile, there's a line of customers out the door, and you still have this pile of clothing on the counter, and some clueless person roaming around the store taking a half an hour to make up their mind.

  • Managers Who Don't Lift A Finger: I understand that managers have their job to do, and the minimum waged retail workers have their job, but from what I've seen from some managers, their hard earned cashed is earned through chatting, flirting with the customers, and calling friends in the back room. When the days are busy, somehow they disappear, and the retail workers have to juggle the retail jungle by themselves. Fair? I think not...

There are some retail workers out there that do not know what they're doing and are lazy, but not all of them are. If you see someone trying to help you as much as they can, don't take it for granted. As much as people like to believe: "the customer is always right", in reality, that's not always the case.

Friday, March 20, 2009

10 Things I Hate About Shoes

People often say that the hair is the icing on the cake in a person's appearance. I disagree. Believe it or not, I think people can get away with the Mowgli look or even go back in time to the 80s ( just as long as you have the fashion sense to back it up). But nothing makes me cringe more than the sound or appearance of disturbing shoes. I could deal with a mullet, just for the love of God put on a decent pair of nice, clean, matching, simple, shoes. So here it goes, a list from one through ten of my common shoe problems:

  1. Guys wearing sandals with long pants: I don't know when this fashion trend started, but can it please stop? For crying out loud, are you going to the beach or going on a date? I can't help but feel confused when I see this. First I see a nice shirt, some casual jeans, everything is covered up except for a pair of hairy feet. Why? I can understand wearing this mismatching combination when lounging at the house or not really doing anything that day, but out at the mall? I'm hoping that these mismatching faux pas are going to the mall to buy a new pair of shoes, because that sense of fashion just doesn't mix.
  2. Loud Sandals: In this case, I understand that the "flopping" sound cannot be helped. I have a pair of these and it's impossible to shut them up. The light flopping I can take, but it's the shoes that sound like a broom is being beaten over a desk that I can't stand. These are normally caused by large platform sandals that girls wear. Get lighter sandals! You're tugging around huge logs on your feet, no wonder it sounds like a drum session.
  3. Overly High Stilettos: I understand that some girls want to "appear" taller, just like some girls want to appear to have a larger chest, a smaller waist, and inch long eyelashes (yikes), but there's nothing wrong with a "little" heel. I always find it awkward when I see a girl dressed nicely, and then all of a sudden I see her with a pair of stilts. Meanwhile, they're stumbling around trying to act sexy in seven inch heels.
  4. Stinky Shoes: Have you ever been in the situation where you're sitting in class or at the office, when all of a sudden you get a whiff of something that smells like road kill? Well, that's happened to me plenty of times. This typically happens with open toed shoes. Closed toed shoes are okay, because I don't have to smell them. It's the open toed ones you really have to watch out for. Here's some advice... Feet sometimes sweat,and sometimes they get wet from puddles. Whenever feet get wet, bacteria starts to grow inside the shoe. Since you're walking in them all day, and they don't have any room to breathe, the bacteria locks in and voila, that is when the smell comes. It's good to retire a pair of shoes and let them air out. Switch shoes every now and then. And in between breathing breaks, wash them out and spray them with Lysol. Once everything is sanitized, let them air dry in the sun. This will usually get the smell out.
  5. Dirty Shoes: There's nothing worse than a pair of white shoes that turn grey with dirt and filth.
  6. The War Shoes: These are the shoes that people refuse to give away. It's normally a favorite pair that has survived many heartbreaks and experiences with the owner for a couple of years. You know the ones... After years of walking in these shoes, they slowly but surely start to tear away. They're hanging by a single strap, or have barely survived through dog catastrophes. there comes a time in everyone's life when you just have to let go and toss the shoes in the trash. I have a friend that has a pair of these "war shoes" that she has had for over three years. She superglued/stapled/and taped these shoes to the best of her ability. But the mending won't fix the areas of cat scratches and strange stains. So I told her to let the shoes go... Unfortunately, it's a hard process for some people.
  7. Tuxedo Shoes for WOMEN: Here's the story... I was in jury duty, doing some people watching (I refused to watch the Julia Robert's movie on the tv), when all of a sudden a girl sat next to me. At first, naturally I looked at her and said to myself: "wow, this girl is really dressed nice. I love her outfit!" when all of a sudden I looked to her feet and stared in horror at these hideous tuxedo heels. Luckily, I was one of the first group of people called into the jury room.
  8. The New Trendy Shoes: There's one thing that has been really irking me recently and that's people trying to keep up with shoe trends. So often we (mainly girls) are influenced by shows like What Not to Wear and Sex in the City, that they try mimicking these shoe trends. These shoes come in all different colors, stripes, shapes, designs. It drives me crazy to see a girl wearing a leopard print dress with shiny red shoes. Come on! Are you telling me leopards wear shiny red heels in the jungle?
  9. Beaded Disasters: These are the gaudy shoes that I've seen adorned with all kinds of glittering gems, beads, you name it. There's something about jewelry on a foot that just doesn't sound appealing to me.
  10. Tight Shoes on Chubby Toes: There's something about Chicken Mcnugget toes jammed inside a nice pair of stilettos that I just don't understand. I know it's hard to give up the shoes you've been eyeing for a month because they didn't have your size, but that doesn't mean to get a smaller size! I've seen this so many times, where big feet are cramped inside this tiny little shoe. That's like trying to squeze a picture inside a picture frame. If it doesn't fit, there's going to be a crease there, a fold there, and just one big mess.

There's the icing on the cake. Although hair is an important factor in the fashion equation, shoes can really be the hit or miss of a person's wardrobe. You can have your opinion of what really tops an outfit, but I'd rather walk in my own shoes and keep mine.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Theirz Someting Rong Here

Ah, yes. Spring break is here. Classes are out for a whole week. While the majority of the population is out on exotic vacations with their best friends Johnny Walker and Sailor Jerry, I'm at home reading novels and trying to catch up with an unlimited amount of research papers. While most girls are debating about what shade of pink earings go better with their new tunic top, I'm sitting here wondering how some people ended up in college. Normal? Probably not. But what can I say? I'm a dork at heart and even on vacation, literature and grammar sound appealing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect when it comes to grammar, especially when my mind is in that "zone" and I just want to throw information out there without worrying about every period and proper punctuation. It's more of a careless act. However, just before the break, I couldn't help but note on a fellow classmate's paper a certain grammatical error that I've seen a lot in my college years. You'd think after elementary school, people would know the difference between a contraction and their thumb.

I actually didn't start thinking about these grammatical clashes until I read this one blog. This blog was the muse to my newest post. I thought it would be entertaining to add on to the loose vs. lose mishaps. But my little annoyance is with certain contraction words.

They're VS. Their VS. There

They're: This is what we call a contraction. These are our friends. You know why? They shorten words and make life easier! They're is made up of the words "they" and "are. So here's a simple rule, any moment you want to say: "they are doing something", use the word they're, not their or there for crying out loud! Here are some examples:

  • They're in some serious need of some schooling.
  • They're not going to get a diploma if they can't spell (which apparently is a total lie).

Their: This form indicates possession of something, such as: their ticket, their boyfriend, their dog, or their horrible grammar. If it doesn't indicate possession, then please refrain from using this form of their.

There: This is the most common form of there I always see in place of their and they're. This talks about location, whether it's concrete, as in: "over there by the car", or more abstract, such as: "I don't know how they live over there".

You're VS. Your

You're: Again, this is another contraction. The two words that make up this contraction are: "you" and "are".

  • You're lucky that you graduated.
  • You're cute.

Your: This also indicates possession. Whenever you want to say something belongs to you, you use this form of your. Some examples are: your shoe, your diary, your ideas, or your ankle. The list is endless.

There are other mishaps that are common mistakes, but I'll just leave it to my two main peeves. By following these simple guidelines, writing will become second nature, and you won't even have to think about whether he is their or there. In the end, it's just remembering the basics and taking it from there.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Music To My Ears

So what makes a song 'catchy'? We aren't exactly living in the Sinatra era, where simple lyrics such as: "I love you... Just the way you look tonight" doesn't appeal to listeners anymore. Why is that? There is something beautiful behind those lyrics. It's short, sweet, and guaranteed to get an "aww" response from any woman. Is it just me or are songs like this just lost in the sea of pop culture?

"I love you...Just the way you look tonight"doesn't cut it anymore. Nowadays in music, it seems as though that simple statement just can't pass. Instead, these words are corrupted by cheesy lyrics explaining everything a person could love about a person, ranging from the truly heartfelt lyrics, to the nasty, "did they just say that?" lyrics. I have to admit that I'm quite the hypocrite, because I've found myself getting drawn to these teeny bopper beats. But as I'm sitting there, jamming to these new stars, I can't help myself catch these ridiculous lyrics! There's millions of undiscovered talent out there, and these people are making millions off of retarded lyrics. All I'm asking for is a catchy song with some originality, not something you wrote on the toilet or coming home from being hammered.

Originality is dead in the music industry. Once we've heard one song, there's another artist coming up with the same concept and a similar beat. Here are a few 'themes' I've discovered in the new music era:

Fill in the Empty Space

Soulja Boy 'Kiss Me Thru The Phone'
She call my phone like da(20x)
We on da phone like da(20x)
We takin pics like da(20x)
She dial my numba like da(10x)
678 triple 9 8212

Britney Spears 'If U Seek Amy'
I can’t get her out of my brain
I just wanna go to the party she gon’ go
Can somebody take me home?
Ha ha he he ha ha ho

Pay attention to the emphasized 'sounds' in both Britney Spears and Soulja Boy's lyrics. It seems as though a lot of music in this day and age run out of lyrics and just put anything to fill the void. Let me tell you something, if I was ever in a conversation with someone and just ran out of things to say, I don't think I would bust out with "da da da da da da da da". That's how people end up in mental institutions. In the case of running out of material in a conversation, I just sit back, and think about another topic to discuss. These artists should seriously consider doing that. It's not that hard!
The Men Bashing Songs
Jazmine Sullivan 'Bust Your Windows'
I bust the windows out your car
And though it didn't mend my broken heart
I'll always have these ugly scars
But right now I don't care about that part.

Carrie Underwood 'Before He Cheats'
I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive
Carved my name into his leather seats
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
Slashed a hole in all 4 tires
Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.

First and foremost, I would like to thank these ladies for scaring men from the dating scene. Great job! I understand that when this happens to someone, yes, internally, they feel like doing this, that, and all the above. But keep it to yourself... Because there's one word that sums up these ladies lyrics: psycho.
Did They Seriously Say That?

Kanye West 'Heartless'
How could you be so Dr. Evil, you bringin' out a side of me that I dont know...

Nickelback 'Something in Your Mouth'
And tease them all by sucking on your thumb
Your so much cooler when you never pull it out
Cuz you look so much cuter with something in your mouth

Dr. Evil? Are you serious? It couldn't even be "freakin' evil"? I have to say that I do love Kanye West's music. In the beginning of his song Heartless, I have to admit that the lyrics were quite good. You can actually feel pity for this man whose heart was torn by a "woman so heartless". But then he kills the song by putting Dr. Evil in the mix; I just don't understand it. And Nickelback's song... I think the song will sound cuter with a sock put in his mouth.
Just Rockin'!

Kevin Rudolf 'Let it Rock'
Because when I arrive
I, I bring the fire
Make you come alive
I can take you higher
What is this, forgot?
I must now remind you
Let It Rock
Let It Rock
Let It Rock

Pink 'So What'
I'm alright
I'm just fine
And you're a tool
So what!
I am a rock star
I got my rock moves
And I don't want you tonight

From my experience, anytime anyone has tried to convince me over and over again that something was going to "rock", it was quite the contrary. And I don't know how "cool" it would be if I saw anyone attempting rock moves. As for these songs... They rock, they rock, they rock.
Someone Was Drunk...
Lady GaGa 'Just Dance'
Wish I could shut my playboy mouth, oh oh oh-oh
How'd I turn my shirt inside out? Inside outright
Control your poison babe, roses have thorns they say
And we're all getting hosed tonight, oh oh oh-oh

Jamie Foxx 'Blame it (on the Alcohol)'
Blame it on the goose Got you feeling loose
Blame it on petron Got you in the zone
Blame it on the a a a a a alcohol Blame it on the a a a a a a alcohol

I don't know about you, but whenever I've been drunk I've never discovered that my shirt was inside out. And whenever anyone does make an ass out of themselves from drinking too much, I don't blame the goose or the patron. I blame it on the idiot that can't handle their alcohol.

So there you have it, the men bashing, random, sexy, rockin', alcoholic, lyrics of our era. What is this world coming to?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Now This is What I Call Fine Dining

We've all been through this experience. Just think about it. It's a Saturday night and you and your special someone have planned a romantic dinner someplace nice. The two of you get dressed in your best attire with high hopes of wooing each other across the candlelit table.

Once the two of you reach your destination, everything seems so perfect, just like a cliche out of a romance novel. The surroundings seem so elegant, everyone looks fabulous, the meals on the table look like dishes to die for. One word crosses your mind, and that's perfection. Surely nothing would be able to taint this night (knock on wood).

Unfortunately, in some situations there isn't any wood to knock on. As lovely as some of these dinners are, there are still the obnoxious characters that have to be the fly in the oinment of the evening.

Table For Two, Anyone? These characters are the actual hosts of the fine dining experience. No matter how long you've waited in the restaurant, somehow you and your party become the incredible "invisible" people. It's like that episode in Seinfeld where Jerry and friends wait for more than an hour at the Chinese restaurant. In this situation, the evening goes something like this:

At first the man or woman waiting at the front lets the party know the wait time.Typically it runs anywhere from fifteen to forty-five minutes. By the looks of the people scattered around all over the place, that's practical...It does look pretty jam packed. Fifteen minutes go by and people start disappearing; your stomach turns and everyone starts getting anxious. The fourty-five minute mark rolls by and almost everyone is seated but your party. When you finally decide to go up to the host/hostess, they assure you that you'll be seated in another...say...ten minutes. The ten minute mark rolls by, followed by fifteen more minutes, and you notice the crickets get a table before you... When the host is approached again, surprise, surprise, they skipped your name. I could have had a cheaper meal at McDonalds already, damn it!

Child's Play: Oh yes... These little critters... They look so adorable from afar, but once these blonde, blue eyed, little cherubs, start throwing spit balls across the room and banging their juice cups on the table, they don't look so cute anymore. Meanwhile, the parents just sit back and allow their kids to do the Macarena on the table.

Loud Cell Phone People: It's a wonderful feeling when you're getting into that romantic zone with your boyfriend. The two of you are looking into each others eyes,wondering what the other person is thinking. He's holding her hand, and she responds by smiling shyly, when the moment is ruined with: "Yeah, we were going to go to South Beach but Junior threw up in the hotel. That stuff got everywhere! It got on the walls, the sink, the floor, and even in my hair!" Hmm... would it be a good time to say I love you now, Snuggles? Please... For all those cell phone people out there, at least have the common decency to use your "indoor" voice. Frankly, I don't want to hear about who threw up on who, or how your visit went to the gynocologist. Thanks...

The Alcoholics: Sure, I understand that it's the weekend. No one has work for the next couple of days, so most people want to go out with their friends, drink, and have a good time. Can I make a suggestion? If you're a lightweight and have been known for making an ass of yourself after having one too many... GO TO A CLUB! People won't notice! When there's a drunk old dude practicing his golf swings right by your table on Valentine's Day, that is the ultimate mood breaker.

Is Everything Good? Don't get me wrong, great service is a good thing. But there is such a thing as too much service. Being a customer, I go out to eat because: A) I'm hungry, and B) It's a good social setting to kick back and talk. When I'm talking to the people I'm eating with, I don't want to hear "Is everything good?!" every five minutes, particularly when I'm stuffing my face with rib rolls.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are the characters you're bound to come across in the fine dining experience. As much as we hate 'em, we can't get rid of them. So my advice? Just relax, eat, drink, and enjoy the freak show.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Honey, You've Got The Potential!

I just love how every year I hear about these open calls from so called "model" and "talent scouts" on the television or on popular radio shows . Can I tell you from personal experience what these open calls should really be called? One word: SCAM. That's right, any audition that requires a payment to see a "potential" model is called a scam. That's like saying: "Hey! You're really good at playing baseball. You should become a professional baseball player. There's a catch though... You need to cough up thousands of dollars in order to make it big!" Modeling isn't something that can be taught or "helped" into. It's like any other job. Either you have what an agency is looking for, or you just don't. I once fell victim to these scam artists. So I can't help but feel a sense of sympathy for other people that have been brainwashed into believing that this is the way to go.

When I was in high school, I was told by a couple of people that I should be a model (mainly because of my height). However, I knew deep down inside my heart, I wasn't "model material". Not as of then anyway. In the modeling industry, you either fall in the skinny category or the plus size category. Needless to say, I was just getting over my awkward stage from middle school, and I was neither A nor B. I wasn't terribly hopeless, but let's just put it this way, I would be one of the last girls to get a date for prom (which was true. My prom date was my best friend at the time. I like to call her "Matrix"). I did have hopes of one day becoming one of these gorgeous women I saw in the magazines and in runway shows. So I thought I would finally have my opportunity, when I heard of a little event called Model Search America mentioned on a radio show in Miami, Y100.

When I went to this event, we had to do a mini interview with one of the scouts (which I thought I screwed up on). He asked me one simple question: "What grade are you in?" And I was so nervous and awkward, I responded with: "first". (I was in 10th grade at the time). After that horrible display, I was about ready to throw in the towel, when he called my number to stay in the room. I was absolutely thrilled! But as I watched the other people who left the room, I noticed that a bunch of other questionable characters stayed behind. Only about ten people left. It didn't matter; I still considered me "special" at the moment. When the rest of us stayed behind, we heard the usual speech, and usual tag lines for all of these scam agencies:

  • "The reason all of you are sitting here today is because we see potential in every single one of you".

  • "Thousands of models have been discovered by our agency."

  • "In order to advance in this career, you don't need a portfolio or to pay a cent."

  • "But in order to meet the different agencies, you will need to pay $600 to advance. And don't forget to bring pictures to show them! It doesn't have to be professional, just three regular Kodak pictures will do."

Does this sound familiar to anyone? For anyone who has fallen victim to these scams, I'm sure you've heard this dozens of times. To sum up my story, I basically attended the second conference in Orlando for the cost of $600 (not including the hotel, the gas, the food, and other essentials). Let me just say, it wasn't worth it. I went to this thing, did my little strut on the runway, only to see thirty something "so called" agents bored out of their mind, drinking their coffee, making paper planes, and looking at everything but the stage. And then when it was time to walk around the room and show the agents these pictures, none of them looked up for anyone. That was the biggest waste of $600 I could spend.

A little later on in my life, I've come across other scam agencies that I've attended or tried out online, but never once paid a cent (after learning my lesson the first time). Some of these agencies include:

  • Once Source Talent: I think these people are worse than Model Search America from what I've read and heard. I didn't stay in there long enough to find out. Again, a scout contacted me on Myspace and said that there was an open call in downtown Miami, and she "thought" that I might be what they were looking for. Just grinning from ear to ear, I agreed to go. What would it hurt? I didn't have anything to do that day anyway. As usual, it was the whole Model Search experience all over again. Again, there were a bunch of people cramped in one room, one by one we were called for an interview, and again I was selected to stay behind. While I was looking at all of these bright eyed faces in the room, I couldn't help but laugh to myself and say: "this is total bull****". The lady of course said this agency was the best (that's funny... Model Search America claimed they were the best). And then the big joke was in the room..." You won't have to pay a cent when you are with this agency, but you will have to pay $400 for your test shots. You'll pay thousands of dollars elsewhere. By the way, all of you have potential of becoming a model." That last word killed the deal right there, and I wasn't bought for a second (not that I ever was). So, everyone was setting up appointment dates for the following day, and the woman kept hastling me: "So you'll come with the $400 tomorrow, right?" I just nodded and smiled and never showed my face there again. When I didn't show up for my "meeting", they kept trying to reach me over and over again, leaving me nasty voicemails and e-mails for two weeks to top that off! When I finally responded to one of their e-mails saying: "I'm broke", I never heard from them again. I wonder why?

  • I was on this site for a while. I didn't realize in order to get e-mail I had to pay cash, yet again. Needless to say, my face is still on this site lingering, but till this day I still can't check my e-mail. I don't have much to say about this site from personal experience, but I can say that my friend spent over $40 a month on this site and always had problems with it and every once in a blue moon would get audition notices that never pulled through or cancelled at the last second.

  • John Casablanca Model & Talent Agency: This is the same deal as One Source Talent and Model search America. They make hopeful individuals believe they have the potential of being a model or actor and end up giving you the same spiel about how they're the best. However, their tactic is a bit different. Instead of saying: "You don't have to pay a cent! Just for this and that..." they'll say "You know...You do have the potential of being a model, but you could use some work. So pay $2,000 and we'll get you a job when you graduate." No thanks, I'll just stick to a real degree from a real University, rather than some teeny bopper club with dozens of hopeful little girls and boys having their dreams crushed by their graduation day...

Stay away from the bogus scams. If modeling is a career you feel like pursuing, do it the old fashion way and join a legit agency. Don't let anyone contradict themselves and say you don't have to pay a cent for the agency, meanwhile, they're running up a tab for invisible fees. The truth is, yes, to be a professional model, you will have to throw some money out there for comp cards and professional pictures. It's the resume of the modeling business. But don't throw your money away to these agencies trying to "take you a step further" into La La Land.

So the moral of the story? Whenever you hear one of these scammers on the radio or tv, just say to yourself : "These guys can potentially put quite the damper on my bank account".

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Never-Ending Villain of Horror Movie Sequels

Before I start bashing these horror sequels, let me first start off by saying that this genre is by far my favorite. I grew up watching good ol' Freddy, Michael Myers, and the infamous Chucky. There was something appealing about a psychopathic, red-haired, freckled, blue eyed, Good Guy doll trying to take over little kids souls.

What is remarkable about these horror sequels from the past is that they make the unreal or impossible seem real. For example, we have our share of psychos and killer sharks, but the chances of getting attacked by one? Highly unlikely. But thanks to movies like these, we still feel the urge to turn a light on in the middle of the night and splash around like a wounded fish whenever we see a foreign object in the ocean.

Is it just me, or does the magic sort of die when these creatures keep coming back from the grave? I know after a while I stopped checking under the bed and stopped checking the closets because I figured if I ever caught and killed one of these monsters, they'll come back anyway. I might as well coexist with them rather than piss them off and have them track me down with a missing head or limb.

After a while with all of these sequels, the whole plot behind the original story would have been forgotten by the viewer. One prime example would be my favorite little redheaded basket case, Chucky. The sequels were as follows:

  • Child's Play: Friends think I'm crazy for liking this movie, but I can't help it. I thought the plot was outrageously unique. How many Good Guy dolls out there are possessed by a serial killer's spirit? Hmm? And how many killer toy stories were inspired by this concept?

  • Child's Play 2: OK, so Chucky comes back AGAIN after being fried to a crisp and having his head and limbs shot off. In this movie, his one purpose is to track down the little boy from the previous movie, Andy, and take over his soul (the deal was, in order for him to get out of the doll's body, he would have to transfer his soul into the body of the first person he told his identity to, which happened to be this six year old boy). Chucky tracks him down and surprise, he dies again in a pool of hot wax.

You know what? From this point on, I'll spare you the cheesiness. In the following sequels, Chucky comes back three times. In the third movie, Chucky plays Rambo. In the fourth movie he gets married, and in the fifth movie he has a hermaphrodite child. Can I just stop there and say: "What?!"

As much as I love the little Good Guy, I wish directors would just let him and other artistic aspects of the horror movie sequel rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God Created Stories; Idiots Created Metaphors

Being an English major, I've come across a wide variety of characters in the classroom. Some of the characters I've liked, some of them a little loopy, and some of them that just get on my nerves. It's not only the students either. This includes the whole spectrum: Professors, students, books, you name it.

I know what you're going to say: " You're an English major and you don't like books?"

That's not it at all. The reason I became an English major, is because I like the creative aspect of writing. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy reading what other people have to offer. However, it gets to a point to where Literature is absolutely drained of all its quality and main purpose (to entertain) when people downright over analyze every bit of a story!

I remember one time in high school, I was so proud of myself when my sixth grade English teacher read a story I wrote about overcoming my fear of roller coasters. She started reading it and my self-esteem was at a high point, when all of a sudden, she decided to put a few "closing statements" on my paper. Instead of praising my actual story, she started to praise "secret" messages in the story that I wasn't even aware of putting. According to Mrs. Big Bird (we'll call her), when I screamed at the very top of the roller coaster, I was releasing all my anxiety and freedom through my vocal cords. Hmm... and all this time I thought I screamed because I was scared out of my mind. Thank you for clarifying that I had freedom vocal cords Mrs. Big Bird, I'll keep that in mind the next time I write my next story.

Coming back to this day and age, I start looking around the classroom and realize that the students are just as bad as the professors! I have two literature classes in a row, and I have to read stories about teenage boys beating a hare for supper, in Phyllis Bottome's A Mortal Storm and at the same time listen to people in class say "The hare represents the downfall of their society!" Hmm... Yes it's true that their lives weren't that grand, but could it be a possibility that the young boys were beating the crap out of this rabbit because they were hungry and couldn't afford food?

The over analyzing gets better. In my next class on regionalism and American imperialism in Literature, we have to read and listen to a gamut of articles written by more people over analyzing a book and discuss it in class. In addition to these crazy articles, you have the "classic" literature characters jumping out of their seats all enthusiastic about the articles and agreeing with them. For example, we just finished reading: The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett. Now... I don't know if anyone knows a little bit about Sarah Orne Jewett, but people claimed that she was a lesbian. Back in the day, it wasn't called that. Instead, her and her partner were involved in a "Boston Marriage". So because of her acclaimed preferance in lifestyle, a lot of people (within the class and in these articles) claim that her work has "hidden lesbian agendas". Without knowing her history, I wouldn't have even looked at the novel in that way. Instead, I would have just seen it as two women bonding and telling stories. But no... In the eyes of other people, they have to over analyze the whole "relationship" and say that these women were together all the time because they're "gay". "Oh look! They're holding hands, and all their husbands are dead! So that must mean Sarah Orne Jewett wants us to join the lesbian fan club..."

Unfortunately, due to professors and students over analyzing these stories and jumping to unnecessary conclusions, I often times feel lost in the actual plot. So my advice? Just relax a tad bit. Yes, there's a possibility the author wanted a secret meaning or symbolism in his/her work, but I don't think he/she wants to take away from the actual pleasure of reading a good book.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Neighbors From Hell

We all dream of the day when we move into the perfect house with the perfect scenery, the environment which involves the white picket fence, a decently sized peach three bedroom, two bathroom house, with the perfect roof, perfect green grass with a charming little labrador puppy rolling around with its favorite toy. The sweet little peach house seems to be highlighted by clear azure skies every single day, along with a friendly little community of neighbors surrounding it. In reality, do we always get that? Not in my case!

Forget the charming little labradors next door that you can greet with a smile and "Hey Rover!", instead, there's an unfriendly Cerberus, barking all hours of the morning and night. Forget the clear azure skies, because that's blocked off by a fellow neighbor's ugly wooden fence and overcrowded amusement park in his backyard. Forget the sweet family with two flawless parents and two darling children, because that family expanded into an overpopulated town filled with loud, abnoxious, inconsiderate people. These are my neighbors. Aint it grand? Surrounding my depressed little house are my neighbors I like to call: Amusement Park Neighbors, Single College Guy Neighbor, and Sardine Can Neighbors. Here's a brief overview, ranging from the "not so bad" to "holy crap!"

  • Amusement Park Neighbors: This is the family that lives to the left side of me. Now, personality wise, these people are tops. The family consists of a wife and a husband and their two sons ages five and seven, and their adorable dog Spike. I have absolutely no conflict with these people, personality wise. They say "good morning" every morning, and chat about their days in the afternoon. However, here's where the problem comes in. This man is ALWAYS doing some sort of construction with his house, or doing something ridiculous to his lawn. I understand that it's their lawn, and their business, but it's kind of annoying when you have to drive by Pee Wee's playhouse every day and night. It first started off cute. "Oh my goodness! How adorable, they have a little pond by the house." a few weeks later: "Oh wow... they're really expanding on the pond. Look at all those rocks." A few months later: "What the hell is that? A mountain?" A year later: "Ok seriously, who the hell needs a moat in their backyard, guarded by a dozen hideous garden nomes?" In addition to the moat in the front of the house, there's a series of tacky lights leading up to the doorway, followed by a HUGE playground for the kids. That's right... You heard me correctly... Not a little swingset, it's an actual playground that is BIGGER than the house (Keep in mind, the backyard isn't that big at all. I live in a typical middle class neighborhood). Our houses are separated by one ugly random wooden gate (the rest of the house is surrounded by a wire gate). And there's all sorts of floral decorations all around the house. To keep up with the tacky greenery, he waters the plants every night with the sprinkler. Well, since the plants are closer to my house, where do you think the water also goes? In order to get into my house, I have to squish through the mushy grass to get to the door. This is not a fun process.

  • Single College Guy Neighbor: Now, this guy has lived on the right side of my house for quite some time now. Here's the catch: when he was growing up in this house, he lived in the company of his parents and his sister (whom was my best friend growing up). For years,I've never had any trouble with this house. It was always peaceful and quiet. The mother was a very sweet and caring person. The father was questionable, and kind of irritable, but nonetheless, QUIET. I had absolutely no problems. Well, within the last few years, my best friend moved out to attend school in Georgia, and the parents followed shortly after, moving closer to the father's occupation. With everyone being gone, this left the whole house to this single college guy. Two words... FRAT HOUSE. I'm not even sure if this guy is taking classes, because there's always a group of guys and a couple of girls going in and out of the house, and every once in a blue moon, they'll play loud music in all hours of the night (did I mention that the house is right by my bedroom window?), meanwhile, I have class at 8 in the morning. I don't know what has been going on lately, but I thought the concerts were over and the frat house was officially closed, however, there's a new annoyance in the mix. I have no idea where this guy goes, but I hardly ever see a car there. So all was peaceful until Scruffy was put into the picture. I love animals, don't get me wrong. I practically have a zoo at my house! However, this is the dog from hell. This is the sort of dog that a person looks at and wonders, "why the hell did you get this thing?" For starters, it's not cute whatsoever. It looks like an evil spawn of Satan, it's not even friendly (it snarls at me, and barks at the owner when he comes home), and he barks nonstop morning till night. Now, I know my neighbor doesn't have a problem with this ugly thing because he's never home, but I sure as hell do!

  • Sardine Can Neighbors: These are the type of people families pray they never move next to. Well, these people live across the street from me. While the other neighbors I have, have rather pleasant personalies just annoying habits, these people are the unfriendliest, rudest bunch I have ever met. For starters, there are over ten cars constantly parked at that house. To be quite honest, if I saw a person standing in front of that house, I would probably not know whether or not that person lived there (it's that crowded). They're the type of people who celebrate every occassion. "Little Amelia lost a tooth? Let's celebrate till 4 in the morning! Why the hell not? Let's YELL AT THE TOP OF OUR LUNGS to celebrate this joyous occassion!" On New Year's I almost had a heart attack. There were five people on the roof shooting a gun in the air screaming like a bunch of maniacs. To top that off, they always have new cars added to the collection of cars in their front lawn, and when there's no space, where do you think the cars park? You guessed it correctly... In front of our mushy lawn, with the idiot Scruffy yelping and barking on top of that noise. There was even one time two women let a little girl inside our gate to play with our dogs (without asking). I walked outside to get the mail, and there was a little terror wrestling with my dog! The ladies just stood there with no greeting, not even regarding my presence. They just stood there like a couple of turkey buzzards.

There you have it. This is my oasis, my utopia, my dream. I'm hoping one day my time will come when I can live in my perfect home. But in the meantime, I'll take what I can have, mushy grass, turkey buzzards, devil dogs, and all. For now this is my home sweet home, flaws and all.