Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Awkward Situations Diffused: A Guide

Travis and I attended a hockey game last night (Go Preds) and if this game made several things abundantly clear they were 1.  I know absolutely nothing about hockey.  2.  But I do love watching people who clearly think they know more about hockey than anyone in the entire arena and 3.  You should be prepared to be on the Jumbotron.  After watching several lame attempts at humor on the dreaded big screen, I mentally decided my plan of action should that hallowed camera fall on me.  I would share my plan, but I don’t need anyone else pretending to strangle the person next to me you while mouthing something unpleasant about the goalie’s mother into the monitor.  Really.  So, without further ado, I present to you my plans for the unusual events that may or may not happen to you in life.  I’m prepared.  Are you?

Situation #1:  You wake up to Ty Pennington screaming into a bullhorn in your front yard along with an assortment of designers, bus drivers, and people with cans of that stuff that makes you cry.  What do you do?  My first response would be to hide in whatever shell of a house I have left, but I figure Mr. Pennington would tire quickly of that and come in and demolish me along with my ramshackle abode.  To avoid this, I now have a harpoon situated at all ground-level windows and several nets hung in the trees in my front yard.  Go ahead and move that bus, Ty.  Because you just covered up the shallow grave in which I’m going to vainly attempt to hide you and your stupid Sears endorsement.

Situation #2:  Michael Moore accosts you on the street and asks for your opinion on some topic you should probably know more about, but don’t.  This one is easy.  Take out the spare Twinkie from your purse and throw it across the street.  You probably won’t get the cameras out of your face, but you will distract Mr. Moore long enough for you to run around the corner where you will subsequently get attacked by Borat. 

Situation #3:  You’re invited to go on a talk show, only to find out that your sister’s husband’s dog is accusing you of premeditated car surfing on national TV.  This is where that unfortunate picture of the accuser licking himself after Thanksgiving dinner 3 years ago is going to come in miiiiiighty handy.  And you thought I was silly for carrying that around.  Exactly who is laughing now?

Situation #4:  You’ve just made your weekly crack pick-up and now realize that half of the Metro police force is following your every move.  This sucks, but you must remember not to panic.  Follow these steps:  1. Give all of your crack to the hooker in your front seat.  2. Push said hooker out of the moving vehicle, preferably into the path of the cops following you and 3. Drive away quickly and proceed to perform whatever government job it is you do that allows you such frivolities. 

Situation #5:  You realize that those people from that “What Not to Wear” show are following you around Goodwill and snarkily criticizing your fashion choices.  There are actually 2 courses of action that can be taken here.  One would be to unabashedly attack them and the chip on top of their designer jacket’s shoulder while screaming like a banshee in your cut-off jeans and Hyper color shirt. The second course of action is to hide in the cushions of that tufted couch with the horse and buggy theme until they give in to the inherent stench that comes along with thrift store and pass out. 
Situation #6:  You encounter an eccentric gentleman while strolling down Broadway with extremely pale skin, a rumpled hat, and hair that looks like it was last combed with a windshield scraper.  First, pocket your holier than thou attitude about the homeless and second, turn back around and dry-hump his leg.  Because that was Jack White. 

Situation #7:  You realize, after several unfortunate hand gestures, that the man who you just wished death upon in traffic is your boss.  Again, push the hooker in your front seat out into the path of your boss’s car.  Situation. Averted. 

Situation #8:  You’re chit chatting at the latest neighborhood block party and discover that the party mix you’ve been mindlessly shoving in your mouth for the past 15 minutes is actually potpourri.  People have started to whisper.  One might go for the obvious solution of pretending like potpourri has hidden health benefits and attempting to laugh the entire thing off, but your neighbors are already suspicious of anyone who eats cedar chips.  My solution is to spike the punch with napalm and say goodbye to your neighbors with the spirit of Jonestown on your mind and the faint scent of lavender on your breath.  This rids you of two problems:  1. Explaining the fact that you ate air freshener and 2. Mrs. McGillicuddy's weekly complaints about your 5am newspaper runs in your underwear are suddenly non-existent. 
Situation #9:  You drunkenly spill out of the Greenhouse and accidentally trample a midget.  Run for your life because that was Keith Urban.  And his freakishly tall woman you mistook for his nurse is chasing you down right in front of Bread & Co. where she most certainly will NOT be stopping for her usual oatmeal and egg white omelet breakfast is Nicole Kidman.  I actually have no advice to get out of this situation other than at least to film the ensuing melee.  While you’re in recovery, you can shop it around to TMZ in an attempt to pay for the leg she broke with her freakishly-strong arms. 

Stay tuned for my next column detailing steps you can take to determine if you're a hipster!  Once you're off the crutches, that is.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Rockford Files: A Lesson in Life

As some of you may know, Travis and I have recently gotten a bit hooked on episodes of “The Rockford Files” available through Netflix streaming.  This awesome drama about an ex-con turned private investigator really has everything the two of us would ever want in a show:  awesomely-dressed characters (think polyester suits and general ‘70s awesomeness,) a charismatic, funny lead character (yes, James Garner.  You were, and still are, the bees knees,) and enough recurring elements to warrant several laughs per episode AND this blog!  Without further ado, Travis and I present:

What We’ve Learned from “The Rockford Files:”
1.  No matter what you may think, someone IS always following you.  This person is going to continue to follow you while you try to dodge the follower – by pulling into a gas station or making several hairpin turns - and as soon as you begin to squeal tires when you come around a corner?  Then it will escalate into a car chase.  This chase will last as long as you can continue to make your gold Firebird outrun whatever land boat the enemy is driving.  And when you finally do come to a stop, the bad guys will either try to kidnap you or give you a warning from their boss about what’s going to happen if you don’t (fill in the blank with something sinister but sort of innocuous, like, “Give me $1,000 and we won’t throw you in the pool at the end of the show.”)  Another rule of thumb is to never play “Slug Bug” with the Rockford Files car chase scenes.  They pass more VW bugs than hookers on Dickerson Road.  You will end up with a severe hematoma on your bicep and your divorce attorney on speed dial.  Now, if they DO kidnap you:
2.  Just get in the car.  Chances are they’re not going to hurt you – they’re just going to get out whatever information they can out of you and then drop you in the middle of the desert while they drive off.  I mean, no one really dies in the Rockford Files, except possibly the guy at the very beginning that prompted the entire “hire a private investigator” situation in the first place.  And the guy at the beginning had no story line, so it’s completely cool that the gardener found him facedown in the begonias surrounded by a pool of blood.  Otherwise, who is going to chase James Garner?  The guy who DIDN’T kill Mr. Begonia?
3.  A good rule of thumb when watching the show is that A Bad Suit + A Good Moustache = Not Great Morals.  9 times out of 10 this equation nets you a criminal. 
4.  It’s always a good idea to carry some sort of weapon when entering your house.  Odds are, some goon is waiting inside and will bash you with your crystal ashtray when you walk in the door.  You’ll wake up a few hours later with nothing more than a slight scratch on your forehead and a ransacked trailer.  At no point will this cause serious brain damage.  And maybe you should hide that ashtray?
5.  Identity theft is okay as long as your intent is to catch a criminal.  No, you don’t have to be an undercover police officer to partake in a little nonchalant role-playing.  You just have to be a street-wise PI on a mission to take down evil.  So go ahead and pretend to be an electrical technician in order to gain access to someone’s house and personal records.  It is completely fine.  And if someone asks questions, tell them about your brain injury from that unfortunate ashtray incident. 
6.  If you are chasing a bad guy around a fancy house, odds are one of you will end up in the pool. 
7.  Being a private investigator will afford you a cheap trailer on the beach.  Adding a semi-nice desk, a blotter, and a rockin’ answering machine will turn this ramshackle arrangement into a “business office.” 

Potential clients will walk in, look around in disgust, and subsequently pull large amounts of cash out of their pocketbooks (they’re almost always women.  Who else is going to swoon over your investigational prowess?) in order for you to solve their problems.  These ladies have usually tried to solve the problem themselves, but to no avail.  That’s why they’re coming to you!  This brings me to my next point:
8.  For the modest outlay of $200* a day (plus expenses) you can secure the solution to your problem, via private investigator.  Now, I’ve done the math on this, and making the assumption that he worked an average of 5 days a week, and he worked every week, that would give Jim Rockford an annual salary of a cool $52K.  And that was in the late ‘70s!  One would think he would be able to afford something better than an aluminum box in the sand that might as well have a “Come Bash in my Head and Possibly Kidnap My Father Who is Always Hanging Around and Drinking My Beer.  On Second Thought, Go Ahead and Follow Through on that Last Part.  I’m Tired of Buying His Booze and that Might Explain Where All of My Money is Going” sign out front.
*Plus a 10% commission on collection jobs. 
9.  The Firebird is In.De.Structible.  This car sees about the same amount of action as the General Lee (sans doors that are welded shut) and yet is ready to take down a crook at a moment’s notice. 

And there you have it folks:  A Survival Guide a la Rockford for your reading pleasure.  If you haven’t watched this fine television show, Travis and I highly suggest you do.  And if you don’t take our advice, don’t call us from your next ashtray-induced headache. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More Stuff from Harriet Carter? Yes, Please!

It's that time again - a glorious, glorious walk through my favorite piece of junk mail - The Harriet Carter Catalog!  Here are some of my favorites from my latest perusal that I thought I'd share with you, oh dear yet probably insane if you're reading my blog reader!  Enjoy.  And I apologize in advance if you actually own any of the products.  But really.  Shouldn't you be the one apologizing? 

No Slip Ice Treads
Let you walk safely on ice and snow. Heavy-duty rubber treads have sure-grip stainless-steel cleats that steady footing no matter how slippery the surface. Simply slip over shoes or boots- they stretch to fit entire foot; fold to carry in purse. Pair.

Finally!  An answer to my dilemma.  You see, I want to climb Mt. Everest, but climbing shoes are soooo 1984, if ya know what I mean.  Now I can strap these puppies on my Jimmy Choos and I’ll be planting my flag on top of that hill in style.  These will also come in handy when I want to go from a day look to a “playing football at night” look without changing my footwear.  Beware, Bo Scaife.  THIS tight end will look even tighter when I’m gunning for the end zone in my Laboutins!

Fushigi™ Magic Gravity Ball is the ultimate contact juggling ball! It’s mysterious, it’s mesmerizing, and it will appear to float and defy gravity. Includes “how to” DVD to teach you dozens of mind-blowing maneuvers that will amuse and amaze everyone. No strings, no tricks!

This should have been invented in 1967 exclusively for Grateful Dead shows.  I have a feeling the only way it’s going to have a “mesmerizing” effect is if the viewer is mesmerized by some other effect.  And under the effects of extremely potent LSD, your audience won’t notice that you look like a mannequin with freakishly realistic arms.  And that you’re an adult that plays with a floating ball. 

My BFF - Best Fish Friend
Grow and raise your own best fish friend™ ! Amazing, but true – up to 8 fish will come to life before your eyes just 24 hours after placing the BFF miracle pouch in water! Kids and adults alike will have hours of fun watching their new aquatic “pets” grow into beautiful, colorful fish. Set includes fish pouch, 1-month supply of fish food, feeding and measuring tools, magnifying glass, instructions. Deluxe version comes with gallon-size fish bowl. For ages 3 and up.

Is your child begging for a pet, but you feel the responsibility of a “realistic looking fake cat that actually breathes” is too much to handle, then the BFF is the fake pet for you!  In just 24 hours, you could have a piece of floating plastic that somewhat resembles a cartoon fish on your hands.  And it even survives after dipping a tea bag in the water, like that deranged kid in the photograph.  Rest assured, you will have a fish-filled afternoon of fun watching these things magically grow…and wear sunglasses while striking a “it’s cool if you don’t feed me.  I’m a fake fish!” pose.

Fish Suspenders
Fish Suspenders are a great catch for your favorite angler! Handsome X-back elastic suspenders feature a school of fish “swimming” across a bright blue background. Adjustable two inch wide elasticized polyester bands have a split leather patch and large, strong-grip stainless steel clips. 48" L. One size fits all. Made in USA.

And once your fake fish die, why not commemorate their long and fruitful life with a pair of suspenders covered in their likeness?  Never fear, Grandpa.  The fish aren’t REALLY dead.  They live on in the memory of bad fashion sense and pants that will never fall down.

Little Old Lady Book
How not to act like a little old lady is packed with tips and advice to help aging adults stay young at heart. Want to make your golden years more fulfilling, fun and meaningful? Stop acting your age and start thinking young! This lively book is full of ways to enrich each day, be happier and approach life's ups and downs.

What better way to NOT act like a little old lady than to shop in a catalog full of products targeted to senior citizens?  Chapters include:  hiding the bulge of your Depends in your skinny jeans, how to use your AARP card to get discounts at da club, and popping that bottle of bubbly with the handle of your walker.  You’ll be rocking your orthopedic kicks in the VIP room in no time!  Deluxe edition includes excerpts from the Urban Dictionary so you can talk a big game without being lame! 

The removable insert creates a well for your favorite filling-pudding, ice cream, whipped cream, fresh fruit, mousse - the possibilities are delightfully endless. Have fun decorating your Big Top Cupcake with frosting, sprinkles, or even your favorite type of candy-let your imagination run wild.

I have a confession.  The Big Top Cupcake is actually not a product of the Harriet Carter Catalog.  It’s part of something much bigger.  Mainly, America’s waistlines.  A simple click on the “As Seen on TV” website nets you America’s biggest cupcake.  Why settle for a confection that is meant to be handheld, portable, and for the most part, edible in 3 – 4 bites when you can have a giant mound of cake and frosting guaranteed to send you into early-onset diabetes just by looking at the ad?

The Crazy Cluck Chicken flaps and waddles around while doing the "Chicken Dance," clucking and flapping his wings in sync with the melody! Grab him by the neck and lift him up while he does his annoying little dance, and he will squawk and cluck like mad, flapping his wings wildly as if he is gagging and choking! So go ahead... choke the chicken and watch him go wild!

You know you want to – go ahead.  Choke that chicken!

Gumdrop Tree Stand
Gumdrop tree stand lets you create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece for serving these classic candy treats! Clear plastic tree features dozens of branches that hold a colorful array of your gumdrops and goodies. Makes a “sweet” decoration for parties and holiday celebrations!  Holds approx. 60 gumdrops; stands 12½" H. (Gumdrops not included)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been practically screaming for a decorative way to display my outdated candies that no one in his right mind will ever eat!  Tired of your gumdrops collecting dust with your butterscotch and other hard candies?  The gumdrop tree stand is for you.  Make a party even more festive by replacing some of the gumdrops with outdated laxatives and other medicine cabinet leftovers.  Then play, “What’s THAT person’s problem?"  Fun for the entire family!

Animal Clock
Meowing cat clock features images of 12 popular cat breeds on the dial, and chimes with one of 12 meow sound effects at the top of every hour. Light sensor deactivates sounds when room is dark. Includes sweep second hand, a built-in hanging hook and desktop stand for display. 8" diam. Uses 3 AA batteries (not incl.).  Dog Clock also available.

What time will Aunt Bessie be here?  Why, half past a hairless Persian, that’s when!  Make time fun again with the addition of an odd assortment of cats that no one who hasn’t read Cat Fancy would ever recognize.  Who needs a boring cuckoo clock when you can add the cherry to the top of the Crazy Cat Lady sundae with a timepiece that meows every hour, on the hour?  “What’s that you say?”  “Oh, the Siamese just went off, honey.  Time for your lithium.”
Blind Spot Mirrors
Don’t risk an accident! Blind spot mirrors let you see every angle clearly. These adjustable marvels provide an extended view on both sides of your car, truck or mini-van. Make it safer and easier when changing lanes, backing up, or driving on crowded highways. Each mount in seconds to any vehicle’s rearview mirror with included self-stick backing. 4" x 2-3/4". Set of 2.

Prevent blind spots by adding an obstruction on your windshield!  Now you can worry about the things behind you because you can’t see the things in front of you.  Drive down the interstate in reverse with ease with Blind Spot Mirrors.  Sponsored proudly by State Farm Auto Insurance.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jamiepolitan: What's in Your Mailbox?

The Hot and Not-So List...

I recently renewed my subscription to Cosmopolitan.  I would not have done this if I hadn’t had a huge back log of Coca-Cola rewards points, seeing as though I’m approaching 30 and the promise of “19 Ways to Snag a Guy TONIGHT” doesn’t really appeal to me because of the whole marriage debacle and all.  So, I’ve decided to write my own articles for the non-insane people who just want to escape from reality for an hour without learning the "23 Ways to Tell if Your Boss Hates You" (hint: reading this blog at work probably won’t help your case if he/she already kind of hates you.)    

The Hot List:
-  Making every thing possible into a casserole to dirty fewer dishes.  I am Southern, so the idea of casseroles already appeals to me.  But what REALLY appeals to me?  The thought of only cleaning one dish!  Why should I bake chicken, boil up some lima beans, and throw together some corn bread when I can throw it all in a pan and call it Jamie’s Cornbread Chicken Bean Surprise?  Nothing’s stopping me, and nothing’s stopping you ladies!  And less time doing dishes means more time doing more important things:  like hurling catty comments about badly-dressed celebrities and gossiping about the new girl at work.  Seriously.  I hear she used to be a yak. 
-  Only going into Victoria’s Secret when you have a coupon for free underwear.  I know the girls at the VS in Green Hills are totally sick of me.  I never take up their offer to “take $10 off a bra today only!” and I always lie and tell them I’m already on their e-mail list to avoid giving out the e-mail address of someone I hate again.  I’m usually in a bad mood anyway due to the badly-parked SUV’s of the Green Hills Old Money Society and the fact that some kids from Hillsboro High School just walked by me with a purse that cost more than my car.  It’s all totally worth it, however, because I have my own little secret, Vicky.  The coupons.  Just wait for the freakin’ coupons.  
-  Non-stupid people.  Intelligence will always be hot in my opinion, and will almost never end with me strangling you with a telephone cord because you’ve asked me the same question for the 47th time. 

Unfortunately, the “Not-So” list is much longer.  Why?  When have you ever known me to not have a long list of crap that bugs me?

The Not-So List:
-  Gwyneth Paltrow making an entire freakin' album.  Why don’t you stick to playing a drunk country music star and leave the actual drunk country music stardom to people who already know how to do it correctly.  Namely, Gretchen Wilson.  Furthermore, I doubt you actually ate any fried chicken while you were in Nashville.  I’m fairly certain you made your assistant clog his arteries with the fatty deliciousness that is hot chicken while you happily thought of new ways to torture followers of your asinine GOOP blog.  I’m thankful for the good publicity for my fair city, but your 15 minutes was up 14 minutes ago, Ms. Paltrow. 
-  Hipsters.  Will this fad please end?  If I see one more effeminately-dressed guy in a scarf and a plaid shirt, I’m shooting him.  I’m sick of their outfits made to look like they were bought in a thrift store (they weren’t.  They were purchased for an insane amount of money on the American Apparel website.)  We get it.  You’re attempting to show how different you are by conforming to what a large group of d-bags  marketing geniuses from PBR has deemed cool.  So let’s stop with the weird shoes, the skinny jeans, and the fun hats.  I only throw that last one in there because I would like a better selection of cool hats when I go to Goodwill.  I shop there because I have to.  Not because I want to have an air of cool nonchalance when asked where I procured my entire freakin’ wardrobe. 
-  People who don’t use turn signals.  Seriously?  How lazy can you be?  I hope some hipster runs you down on his made-to-look-vintage scooter. 
-  That Duggar family on TLC.  Wow.  Look at you!  You obviously paid attention to last month’s article on “The 23 New Additions to the Karma Sutra” and took that shiz to heart!  Why on earth should I watch a show about a couple that is making a living by reproducing?  You have a lot of kids.  Congratulations.  I mean, kudos to you for making a living in an industry formerly ruled by porn stars, but stop it.  The world has one Jon Gosselin too many already. 
-  Having your cat wake you up by sitting on your head.  I don’t really think I need to expound on that further. 

Stay tuned for next month’s issue, complete with “Horrifying Stories from the Conference Room:  One Woman’s Fight with Pantyhose” and “The Aloe Plant Diet.” 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Are You Really Surprised These Things Annoy Me?

While I’m sure you’re busy cursing the fact that all of your winter shoes are wearing blisters on your still-used-to-rocking-flip-flops feet, I’ve been busy cursing other things.  A lot of other things, actually, and I feel the need to share these things once again.  I’m almost positive you don’t care, but think of it as a little 10-minute break where you can stare intently at your computer screen, furrow that brow, and look completely engrossed in work when your boss walks by to see if you’re on Facebook.  And for that, you’re welcome. 

Things of Aggravation in My Life:
1.  The people who re-designed the bottle for my contact solution.  Do you really think it’s funny to mess with people who are practically blind without the aid of contact lenses, Opti-Free?  Here I am, struggling to extract the demonic pieces of plastic that are suctioned to my eyeballs and you decide to make the process even harder by redesigning a bottle that’s been the same for years…and that I only use when I can’t see?  Here I am, completely blind, and struggling to figure out your stupid new “leak-free” cap.  It didn’t leak in the first place.  The wheel doesn’t need to be re-invented and neither does your packaging.  Freakin’ sadists, the lot of ya. 

2.  People who make completely vague comments that kind of sound intellectual in a social situation.  I bring this social faux pas to light because I actually did it the other day and annoyed myself.  We were watching the Titans game a couple of weeks ago.  Towards the end of the first quarter, the score was 0 – 0.  I stated that, “Wow.  It’s really been a defensive game.”  Really, Jamie?  Ya think?  Neither team has scored, which would put the offensive action at….absolutely nothing.  Way to point that out, Captain Obvious.  Now, I’m going to go back to figuring out the color of the sky, the shape of the earth, and the actual beginning and end of  Old Hickory Blvd.

3.  Online Security Questions.  I know that these are put into place to protect my online identity (because someone wants to steal a lot of pictures of mullets, I just know it.)  Regardless, when I set up these questions, I always answer with something I just KNOW I’ll remember.  First job?  Hmph.  Easy.  Wait.  Did I put “server” or “waitress?”  Did I capitalize it?  Hold on a minute, maybe I just put “tomato picking slave.”  Sheesh, that’s not it.  So I’ll skip that one and go to an easy one:  “What’s your favorite color?”  Amazing.  I have put in all of the 64 Crayola “Big Box” colors and not one has worked.  I even tried “paisley” in case I was in a spunky mood that day.  Nothing.  Hmmm…let’s see…first pet?  I GREW UP ON A FARM!  Screw this. 

4.  Katy Perry.  Yes, that’s correct, I still hate Katy Perry.  The fact that she shoots flames from her cleavage has officially her on my “Celebrities I’d Assassinate if I had Three Names” list.  It’s just that she tries so hard…and that she’s flat out annoying as crap.

5.  Youtube.  This monstrosity of a website is sucking away at my life, 4 minutes at a time.  All these people have done is taken one joke – ONE JOKE – and are riding the gravy train all the way to the “Hide Your Kids Credit Union.”  How do you think Mitch Hedberg feels about this, kids?  Hmmm??  HMMM???

6.  Anyone who answers the question, “So, what kind of music do you like?” with “Oh, you know.  Anything, really.”  Really?  I highly doubt that you actually like all forms of music.  How do I know this?  Because no one actually likes Bjork.  You can make fun of that stupid swan dress all you want, but I dare you to sing one of her songs…and not while you’re choking on a hot dog.  That’s cheating. 

7.  Late trick-or-treaters.  I haven’t had a single trick-or-treater in the four Halloweens I’ve spent at my house and I assumed this year would be no different.  Little did I know that at 9:15 on Sunday night, when I was fully absorbed in the new AMC series, “The Walking Dead,” that 3 of these people would show up on my front porch and knock like the apocalypse was upon us.  After grabbing the cats off the ceiling and discerning that a police squad wasn’t outside with a battering ram, Travis and I began the frantic search of the kitchen for something to give these kids.  They got apples and granola bars, therefore making us “that house” on their Halloween route.    This isn’t really their fault, per se, I just feel the need to blame someone for making me feel like a Halloween grouch/healthy person.  Aaaand….done. 

And now, in keeping a yin with the yang of this little rant:  Things that Actually Make Me Happy:

1.  Writing in Sharpie.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been forced to use blue or black ink on every document ever in my life, but signing checks in purple marker makes me happy.  They probably don’t serve the same purpose to the bank tellers to which I hand said checks, but whatever. 

2.  Thanksgiving.  Yes, this makes me sound like a complete glutton, and I don’t care.  A holiday centered around large amounts of cheese and cream of mushroom soup?  Yes, please.  And a holiday where I don’t have to burn down my house with a highly-flammable tree encased in lights OR buy gifts for people I don’t like?  Hell yes, please.

3.  Katy Perry.  Do not adjust your eyes (but you may want to put down that “water bottle” of vodka you’ve been carrying around.  I can help with your Facebook habit at work, but HR is really starting to catch on to fact that you smell like Nick Nolte on a Wednesday afternoon.)  Yes, Katy Perry is on my most-hated celebrity list, but thanks to one Mrs. Rachel LaCroix (oh yeah, I’m calling you out) I have actually started to like that blasted “Teenage Dream” song of hers.  Am I contradicting myself?  Yep.  Is this my note so I don’t give a flying turkey leg?  Yes.  I’ll admit it.  I hate Katy Perry but that one song is etched in my mind and when it comes on the radio (for the 43rd time that day) I will crank the dial, roll up my windows, and sing “I’ma get your heart racing in my skin-tight jeans” while a flood of shame overcomes me in the form of horrible dance moves.    

4.  The mountain of Halloween candy that’s appeared on my desk since Sunday.  I have a candy bowl that I like to keep out at work.  I don’t get much foot traffic on my side of the office, so I use the candy to make people walk over and talk to me.  Sneaky AND fattening?  Yep.  But now my co-workers are bringing me their extra Halloween candy and all the stuff they took from their kids to “contribute to the fund.”  I have news for everyone I work with – I’m hiding all the Butterfingers in my bottom desk drawer and leaving the Smarties for everyone else.  It’s the sales assistant’s revenge!  Hee hee!! 
5.  The fact that I attempted to get into someone else's car yesterday.  While he watched me.  I pull up to the mailboxes at our complex behind two other cars.  Two gentlemen are chatting in front of the mailbox.  I nod politely, get my mail, and, in a self-absorbed flurry of misspelled junk mail, attempted to get into the first white car I saw out of the corner of my eye.  The first white car I saw out of the corner of my eye, however, WAS NOT MY CAR.  The two men just stood there and looked at me like I was a complete lunatic while I scrambled into the safety of my own Dwight-Yoakam-blasting Honda Civic with a reddening face and the uncontrollable giggles.  While this probably didn't make one of my neighbors very happy, it tickled the crap outta me and I hope it has the same effect on you, dear reader. 

More Annoyances. Yay you!

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, but believe me when I say it hasn’t been that long since something’s annoyed me.  I’ve compiled a new list from society’s crap heap and I’m bothered.  Let me share the botherance.  Please.

1.  People who say, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.”  Really, crazy gardener lady in Better Homes & Gardens?  If that’s true, why is my house not featured in the garden section this month?  Because all of my plants died during the “Summer Jamie Forgot about Them” of ’05, THAT’S WHY.  I’m very happy you seem to have a keen sense of how to raise a variegated Spanish moss bush, but I do not.  It’s neither cute nor humble when you say “Oh believe me.  It’s not hard.”  It’s dumb and completely false.  And it annoys me.  Which makes it dumb, untrue, and annoying.    I’m going to go now so I can return home and encourage my cats to pee on your fern tree. 

2.  When you’re in a presentation and the presenter reads anything verbatim from a PowerPoint presentation.  If the presenter is assuming I can’t read, I’m assuming the presenter is boring.  I immediately tune out and proceed to make a mental grocery list in my head that I will promptly forget as soon as I’m called upon to read the next paragraph on the screen. 

3.  Anyone who says anything to the effect of, “Oh, this winter’s not that bad.  Try living up north.”  There is a reason I don’t live up there.  IT’S FREAKIN’ COLD.  Due to an innate hatred to cold weather, I’m quite happy to live here where winter really only occurs during January and February, and where it very rarely snows.  If you like subzero temperatures so much, move back to Illinois.  I’m sure you’ll have fun trying to break into country music by walking around Springfield attempting to play a guitar with three pairs of gloves and a ski parka.  On another note, I’m going to come find you when it’s 97 degrees with 105% humidity at the beginning of May and say things like, “This?  Oh this is nothing.  What’s that?  You’d hit me if we weren’t in the middle of a heat wave?  This isn’t a heat wave.  This is what we call Tuesday.  Bless your heart.”

4.  The fact that someone…and I won’t mention names…has now gotten me extremely self-conscious about how to say “especially” and “espresso.”  This person correctly pointed out that many people say “EXpecially” and “EXpresso.”  I understand that someone could be annoyed by a mispronunciation – hatred for those people is the only thing keeping me awake some days.  However, while I’m fairly sure I pronounced them right in the first place, I’m now terrified every time I try to espress myself.  See?  ACK!!! 

5.  I sometimes wonder about what annoys other people, which slightly annoys me.  For example, I wonder if Netflix bugs the crap out of postal workers.  Seeing those stupid red envelopes everywhere would certainly make me pull out an Uzi and shoot up my co-workers (not to worry any current co-workers who are reading this.  I don’t own any fully-automatic weapons.  Now semi-automatic is a totally different story.)  And then I wonder if it bothers them when I mark a package as “fragile” or write, “Do Not Bend. Photos.” on the outside.  Is it annoying when I write stuff like, “The Nashville Christmas Nazis” on the return address?  I bet it is and I feel bad.  But I don’t stop doing it.  I just feel a little pang of possible guilt when I do it. 
6.  Bathroom attendants.  Maybe I’m just of the school of thought that says, “I can dry my hands without you handing me a towel.”  Old school, I know.  I hate the thought of paying to use the bathroom because I feel bad if I don’t give them something.  I mean, they sit in the bathroom all night and deal with drunks, inevitable alcohol-induced sicknesses, and a variety of other humanity-laced indiscretions.  I can at least give them a dollar.  But dangit.  Now I’ve broken the seal and I will be back.  And I’ve set a precedent.  Screw this.  We’re going to Red Door.  The only bathroom attendant there is the best friend you enlist to hold the shower curtain door shut while you pee. 

And now, to lighten the mood, things that make me happy!

1.  British people cursing.  I know cursing is unladylike and unprofessional – blah, blah,blah.  Whatever.  British people cursing is absolutely adorable and I dare you to get offended when a Brit drops the f-bomb in your presence.    

2.  Fun bathroom graffiti.  Why disgrace the name of your enemy when there is poetry to be left?  Sure Amanda W might be a woman with questionable morals, but I’m going to forget that and whatever she did with your boyfriend by the time the bathroom attendant offers me a paper towel.  In a world of the sought-after total captivity, make me remember your rants, raves, or general thoughts on life.  For instance, some of the best graffiti I’ve seen I found written on the walls of Spicy’s in the Old City (Knoxville peeps, represent.)  One said, “I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.”  The other said, “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read anyway.”  Spicy’s closed several years ago but a young person’s wit and accessibility to a Sharpie has been forever etched in my mind…and the occasional birthday card when I have absolutely nothing to say to the person. 

3.  The fact that we’ve finally decided to replace our downstairs carpet in preparation for “Selling Our House: Round Deux” and now I could care less when I drop something on it.  I’m thinking of having a “Stains and Canes” party.  Much like a “Pimp and Ho” party, attendees will be encouraged to dress up in feathers and large hats while bringing some sort of extremely stainable beverage to enjoy.  Complimentary grape juice will be served, along with a myriad of other cringe-inducing mixers, including red wine, motor oil, and cherry Jell-O. Spill away! 

A Home Owners Association for Sane People

A friend of mine recently commented on Facebook about the fact that his HOA had chastised his wife for putting a ribbon around their lamppost, or something innocuous like that.  I, too, have gotten yelled at by the HOA for what I found to be rather stupid complaints and that got me to thinking – if I ran a neighborhood, what would my rules be?  Hmmm…

  1. No inflatable decorations.  I know I mention these.  A lot.  But I hate them.  I truly believe they will one day overtake the world by inflating to outrageous sizes and then deflating to suffocate us all while mummifying our bodies in the fake snow that’s supposed to blow around in the ones made to look like snow globes (hint:  They don’t look like snow globes.  They look like they’re in a “Don’t” yard in the Glamour Christmas issue.)  Also, let’s refrain from decorating your front door like a Christmas present.  Also, no inflatable pumpkins at Halloween, and please refrain from the trash bags that look like jack-o-lanterns.  You’re not fooling anyone. You’re simply decorating your trash.  And the JOA (Jamie’s Organization of Awesomeness) is sending you a cease and desist.  And a large fine.  I got a parking ticket this week and need to get that paid. 
  2. Anyone coming by and leaving take-out menus on my door will be shot.  I don’t mind getting word of a new restaurant, especially if that restaurant delivers.  What I hate is the menus left on vacant houses flying around and landing in front of my house, usually in some very prickly bushes that are encased in bee nests.  I will never try your “awesome gyros” Awesome Gyro Company, because I’m nursing wounds I sustained trying to get your $4.99 menu out of my shrubberies so I don’t perpetuate the myth that I’m completely white-trash…a rumor already started by the fact that I keep hoarding glass bottles and other trash in the trunk of my car (I’m taking them to the recycling center.  At some point.  I promise.)   
  3. Anyone who can’t seem to get their trash in the actual dumpster will be forced to  live in the dumpster for a week.  I apparently have completely idiotic neighbors.  These people can manage to get their trash TO the dumpster.  However, getting it IN the dumpster is a chore to them, as they routinely leave bags of trash beside the actual trash receptacle.  These people are obviously incapable of interaction with society, so I’m actually doing them a favor by forcing them to live in trash.  They’ll be there on their own soon enough anyway. 
  4. Everyone will be forced to back into their parking spots.  I do this at home and at work (even under the constant chastisement of one Mrs. Dana Tucker.)  I have always done it because it makes getting out of a parking spot a lot easier, and given the fact that my depth perception would make a bat gasp incredulously, I can use all the help I can get.  But, this isn’t about me, this is about the community!  I am laying down this law so we all look totally badass when other people drive by.  They’ll think, “My, what a put-together community.  Ready to leave at a moment’s notice.  Wonder what they know that we don’t…”  Anyone failing to abide by this law will be the first to get eaten in the zombie apocalypse. 
  5. I would like to put in a few rules for enjoying the pool:
    1. If you are drunk and we have a guitar, please don’t ask to play the guitar while you drunkenly sing, “House of the Rising Sun.”  It’s weird.  And yes, this happened. 
    2. Don’t glare at me when I open my cooler.  There isn’t any glass in there, so calm down.  All the glass is safely kept in the trunk of my car. 
    3. It isn’t necessary to have a sign-in book at the pool.  Really.  All I’m going to do is write in names of serial killers and the unit numbers of the neighbors who leave their trash beside the dumpster. 

6.  The little stop signs that have mysteriously popped up in our parking lot?  Gone.  You know why?  It’s a parking lot.  I now blow through them with added joy because I know there’s someone, somewhere, who petitioned for these stupid things and that person obviously needs a hobby.  Like yelling at me because I failed to stop at your pitied attempt at control.  You can tell me all about it the next time you’re signing in people at the pool. 

And there you have it.  The glorious lay of the land enjoyed in the Jamie subdivision.  Bring us your cold, your weak, your huddled masses.  Just make sure they throw away their trash and back in their car.  The zombies really could pop up at any moment.