The smartest part of your body

This is going to sound crazy but just like Jon Edward or Tyler Henry, I too am not psychic. Never have been just like they haven’t. While we may all be solidified non-psychics, there is something that they do that I don’t, aside from not predicting anyone’s future or speaking to random people’s loved ones. None of us can do that. 

They are very good at acting on their gut instinct, which is how they’ve become famous for being phenomenal at cold reading which they call “being psychic” but as I’ve already explained…

I’m terrible at going with my gut, like the time I had a feeling I should move my mother-in-law’s ashes from our mantel, and the next day our gigantic clock fell off the wall (thanks to the lack of anchoring from my husband) and my mother-in-law’s ashes went flying into the dog food. I had to scoop her ashes out from the dog food and put her in a ziplock bag until I could get another urn/canister to put her in.

So, yeah, I could never be a cold reader, er, psychic.

My best friend Ileen, however, could. She can read people like a book, like when she met her ex-sister-in-law’s parents for the first time and immediately thought they were fraudsters, and a few years later they were raided by the FBI for their business practices.

She has some good inclinations about people, so when she interviewed for a job last summer I wasn’t shocked when she explained why she turned down the offer.

“I get a bad vibe from that lady,” she said. “And she sounded like she didn’t even want to work there. I’m not doing it.” 

She’s since gotten a job – one where she gets to play on the Internet all day, which means she’s always up-to-date on her local news. 

Ring. Ring. Ring.

“Dude!” That’s the first thing I heard when I answered her call the other day.

“You’re not going to believe this.”

Apparently, the woman Ileen interviewed with was getting ready to go to prison. It turns out that Ileen’s gut was literally and figuratively protecting her and itself.

The woman had been poisoning her staff with colon cleanser, making all of them sick and at least two of them seriously ill. When questioned, she told cops that it was “just a prank”. 

Who knew you could use “just a prank” as a defense for attempted murder? I watch a lot of true crime and I’ve never heard that one. Although, if Netflix sees this the “prank defense” might be about to global. 

Can you imagine being poisoned by your boss? Laying on the floor, writhing in pain while they nudge you and say “get up, I was just playing”. I’ve quit jobs for far way less than that so that was pretty ballsy of her.

So anyway, the next time your gut is talking to you, listen to it. If it’s gurgling, you’re too late. Live (hopefully), learn, and listen next time. 

Vivarium and The Room: weird houses and jerk kids.

I’ve known I wasn’t meant to have kids since I was 13 and a friend of mine gave me her Tamagotchi – one of those electronic aliens on a keychain. I’d never expressed interest in it nor did I even know what its appeal was, but I accepted it thinking she was just being nice. Immediately I realized why she gave it to me. She hated me.

I couldn’t get it to shut up and I didn’t know how to turn it off. The first night I had it my mom stormed into my bedroom in a full-on rage, pissed because the bloody thing kept beeping and I couldn’t hear it even though it was right next to my head. After a couple of days it finally died – not the batteries, the actual digital alien or baby or whatever the hell it was.

These days I’m particular about what items I accept, and that includes children. Don’t even ask me if I want to hold your baby. Thanks to that Tamagotchi, the answer is I do not. I’m not falling for that one. Not like the dumb-dumbs in Vivarium did.

Vivarium (streaming on Amazon Prime) starts off with a couple in search of a home, finding themselves in a neighborhood that looks like it’s straight out of the Monopoly game. Even though every single house is identical, they keep their appointment with their weird AF realtor, doing a walk-through of what might be their new home. They’re like “mmm, I don’t know” and then try to drive out of the creepy neighborhood but as you may have guessed, they cannot.

So, they end up staying in their creepy dollhouse and while they may not be able to find their way out, Amazon can as they receive daily packages – one of them being a FUCKING. BABY. Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) is like “um no” and Gemma (Imogen Poots) is like “we have to it’s ours”. And thus begins an hour and a half of screaming, tantrums, fighting, and trying to escape but ultimately realizing there’s only one way out.

If you’re on the fence about having kids or would like to know what my 48 hours with a Tamagotchi was like, watch Vivarium. Warning: it’s weird as fuck.

2019 must’ve been the year for movies about weird houses and jerk kids because at the same time Vivarium came out, so did The Room (streaming on Shudder), except in The Room, the featured couple conjures up a devil child as opposed to just being left with one. I’ll explain.

Kate (Olga Kurylenko) and Matt (Kevin Janssens) have just moved into a home that’s special because a murder was committed in it. As a consolation prize, the room where the murder was committed grants wishes – a peace offering if you will. They both quit their jobs and decide to live off The Room, wishing for all sorts of bullshit. However, the one thing they both really want is a child so naturally, they wish one into existence.

How could this go wrong?

Well, for starters, they didn’t read the instruction manual on the room because if they had, they would have known that all of their wishes cannot be taken outside of the home or they’ll turn to dust. So it’s like the people on Instagram who pay to take staged photos in private jets but they don’t actually fly in private jets – like that.

The rules apply to the child as well, a fact they discover after Kate takes the kid outside and he turns into an 8-year-old or some age like that. Then he really turns into an asshole. He’s pissed because Kate won’t let him go outside and Matt doesn’t like him so he lashes out. But things really take a turn when he turns himself into an adult, and then we have a whole Oedipus situation going on.

It’s either the parents or this manifested little jerk – who will win? You have to watch The Room(streaming on Shudder) to find out. Or, if you don’t want to invest your time in it (and I kind of wouldn’t blame you), let me know and I’ll just tell you.

**My series and movie reviews will now be moving over to jennavision.blog. Enjoy!

Vanilla Ice Saves a Blogger

Once, on a flight to Vegas, I sat between a large man who took up part of my seat and needed a seatbelt extension and a woman who had her face in the vomit bag before the plane even took off. Meanwhile, my husband sat between two hot blondes. Another time, on a flight to Colorado, the man sitting next to me farted the entire way there. Only it didn’t hit me in the face until we landed and he stood up. Till then it had been muffled, building up for its grand entrance to my face.

Then there was the time we were heading home from Jamaica when our driver got into an accident with a motorcyclist on our way to the airport. 

All of those traveling instances were 87% less annoying than traveling in today’s climate. It’s not so much the rules and regulations that are a pisser (I will say, though, that for all the publicity masks get, they don’t protect against farts. You need actual Covid for that, which I find ironic). It’s the aftermath that’s made traveling less-than-ideal.

Recently I paid a visit to California after a 7-year absence. The political reason I was there was to support my husband at an event. The actual reason I was there was to finally get to see SUR: the setting of Vanderpump Rules – a show I used to write about and now really can’t stand but I’ve been planning a trip to SUR for years and wasn’t ready to give it up.

In years prior, I’d always flown into Ontario or Burbank. But since I wasn’t sure when I’d be heading back to California, I decided to arrive as a real-life tourist. So I opted to fly into LAX. 

On a Saturday.

Arriving at 4:30 p.m.

Following my anti-climactic arrival, it was time to start the driving portion of the trip. It had been a minute since I’d driven a car that wasn’t mine and also, I’d never driven by myself in LA before. I picked up my rental and off I went, all Britney Spears Brave New Girl style.

For a while, I was really feeling the LA vibe which was nice considering I’d been in need of a confidence boost. Driving down the 101 was helping. At one point, a guy who was easy on the eyes was signaling at me which made me giggle like I did when I was in high school and Kenny the hot senior patted me on the head (which I took as flirting because of course I did).

Anyway, I needed some better music to go with my mood but changing the station was a pain in the ass because it was dark and I couldn’t make out the dials. 

And then it hit me.

Why the guy signaled at me and why a handful of cars had been flashing their lights at me.

I’d been driving with my lights off and the people flagging me down were trying to keep me from killing them. In my defense, I am an incredibly spoiled American and have a car that has auto-lgihts. So I forgot that sometimes they need to be turned on manually. I am also a dumb American. I miraculously made it to the event, which went better than my drive to it. I got to meet Danny Trejo so that was cool.

image0                                                                        Danny Trejo is cool

But then the next day…

In planning my excursion to SUR I thought I had everything covered. I knew what I was going to say if I ran into Lisa Vanderpump, how I would get on camera, how Stassi would be there and we’d become best friends. I was prepared.

What I hadn’t prepared for was nearly the entire city of West Hollywood being closed on Mondays – the day of the week I happened to be there. 

In an attempt to cheer me up, my husband and our friends (a couple that accompanied us) took me to the Santa Monica Pier, the only thing that appeared to be open that day. It didn’t help. Fortunately, we didn’t stay long because the fog rolled in and we had to outrun it. 

I couldn’t believe I’d come all this way just to be in a straight-to-DVD sequel of The Fog. So, I decided, fuck it, we’re going to SUR. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to just pass by it or break into it and snap a pic, but I came to California to see that stupid restaurant and I wasn’t leaving until I did. 

So off we went, being chased out of Santa Monica by the rolling smog of death.

20 minutes later there it was, looking nothing like I thought it would. 

I needed to get closer so we parked… illegally because at this point what did it matter? What did anything matter?

There I stood, peering into the window where I watched 2 workers move furniture around. 

I tried to wave them down.

They ignored me. 

Typical LA.

Anyway, I got my pictures of SUR with absolutely nobody from the show in them so who cares.

image3                                                                                       A pic of the closed entryway, blocking off my dreams

image1                                                                               “How do I get inside SUR?”, I wondered to myself

image2                                                                              “Lisa’s in there, I know she’s in there.”, I said aloud

I’m not the only one who missed out on some good Instagram footage. It turns out, my friend Hannah had her own Typical Jenn vacation only 95 times cooler than mine, which is very typical for me.

Last month, Hannah, her husband, Kirk, and his parents headed to Steamboat for some skiing and to take in some shows from a few of their favorite Americana bands. In addition to Covid, their flights were of some concern as they were traveling during the 2 weeks when all of those flights were getting canceled.

They made it to Denver fine, and then stayed there the rest of the day as their final flight to Hayden was canceled. The next day, they barely made the last flight to Hayden for the weekend. Unfortunately, their luggage did not.

After purchasing a wardrobe for the weekend, they discovered that skiing was going to be a bit of a challenge as the venue was completely packed. Everywhere they went, a crowd seemed to follow made evident by the fact that when they went to the concert venue they were unable to get into the majority of the concerts they wanted to see due to the place being at max capacity.

Right when she decided that she’d fucking had it, a superhero came in and saved the day.

A superhero who, by day, goes by Rob Van Winkle. At night and in times of need, he goes by Vanilla Ice. For reasons we’ll never know, Ice took the stage and performed his mega-hit Ice Ice Baby, and he wasn’t alone.

Performing alongside him, dancing to a beat of her own, was Hannah’s mother-in-law. While her MIL had the time of her life, Hannah and Kirk stood there and watched, emotionless, waiting for it to end.

It didn’t.

Her performance got her, Hannah, and Kirk backstage passes to hang with Vanilla Ice. Hannah’s MIL happily accepted and spent the remainder of their time there taking shots with Mr. Van Winkle and having the time of her life. 

And they were unable to document any of it. Ice’s security guard wouldn’t let them take pictures or video. They also wouldn’t let Hannah’s MIL keep any memories. After one too many shots, Kirk literally carried her over his shoulders to their Airbnb and, when briefed on her night with Vanilla Ice, she couldn’t remember a thing.

With no luggage, no souvenirs from any concerts, and no account of the conversation that Hannah’s MIL and Vanilla Ice had thanks to her alcohol lobotomy, they headed home, concluding one of the best shitty vacation stories I’ve ever heard. Way better than my I-didn’t-get-to-go-to-a-restaurant story. 

Tune in next week when I complain about my Apple watch not holding a charge. 

My night as a professional ghost hunter

As most of you may know by now, I love Halloween. I love horror movies. I love ghost stories. I particularly love when I’m a part of the story. I love Halloween. Every year I try to do something Halloween-ish so I can write about it and every year I fail. 

Not this year.

This year, I kicked the season off right by staying in one of Texas’ most haunted locations, the Magnolia Hotel in Seguin. Every paranormal investigator knows (or should know) about the Magnolia Hotel. The site has been featured on Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, and Paranormal Files, just to name a few. 

A quick background on the Magnolia Hotel. Built in 1840 by Texas Ranger, James Campbell, the Magnolia Hotel started out as a two bedroom log cabin that included a large basement built under the cabin that was used an Indian Raid shelter and a jail. So already you know it’s fucked. The cabin would eventually be sold to a businessman named Joseph Johnson who would turn the cabin into Seguin’s first hotel. The hotel would then go on to get sold about a billion more times before ending up in the possession of the current owners, Erin and her husband, Jim Ghedi.

Throughout the years, the hotel has been home to some serious shit resulting in its alleged haunting by 13 ghosts (because obviously) ranging from jilted lovers to children as well as the spirits of some that committed suicide in the hotel. But the real story of the Magnolia Hotel (or at least the most popular one) is the story of the murderer.

Back in 1874, a man by the name of William Faust allegedly murdered 12-year-old Emma Voelcker at her  home in New Braunfels, then fled to Seguin and hid out in the hotel. I say “allegedly” because Erin believes the man who actually killed her is an individual by the name of MP Deavers. Supposedly Mr. Deavers confessed to the murder on his deathbed, claiming it was actually he who stayed in the hotel that night. So who the hell knows who the killer actually is or who the ghost is.

Anyway, Erin claims to have made contact with all of the spirits and goes into detail about them during her ghost tours. I didn’t attend her last one but my friends, Joanne and Becky who joined me on this adventure, did. They got the rundown on what spirits inhabited the building and got to check out the bed and breakfast where we’d be staying as well as the connected, unrestored (most haunted) portion of the building. Apparently during the tour, a woman became ill and began dry heaving when she walked in the bed and breakfast as well when she got to the stairwell by the murderer’s room. When Joanne told me this I thought the woman was just a part of the show but whatever. I appreciate theatrics. 

The night of our stay, my friends and I arrived, got settled in, and then went to the closed off section of the B&B where all of the paranormal activity is said to take place. We took a look around and got familiar with the place, learning the layout since it was going to be nearly pitch black in there. We also thought it’d be fun to include our side of the B&B in our ghost hunting so we took a couple of balls from the haunted baby’s room and put them in our living room to see if they’d move or fly across the room or explode, whatever ghost balls do.

It was still daylight so we decided to go to dinner and load up before our night started. We headed outside and while Joanne took a smoke break, I took a look at the outside of the building trying to see if I could see any ghost faces in the window like I’d seen in some of the pictures hung up inside the B&B. Nothing. Just the kitchen curtains moving from cranking up the A/C because Joanne likes to feel like she’s in a meat locker.

When we got back, we got Becky’s ghost hunting equipment and the equipment we rented from the hotel and began our search. 

3 hours went by and nothing happened. We walked around the sectioned off part of the building looking for ghosts, calling out to ghosts. Nothing. Hey, what’s that over there?! Nothing. At about 11 p.m. we started to figure this was it. Just a self-guided tour of a supposedly haunted hotel.

That was until we stopped in the hallway right in front of the murderer’s room. 

Becky had an infrared camera on her phone from an app and a device that plugged into the charging port. While we stood in the hallway calling out to whatever could hear us, the camera was picking up blue specs which Becky said was an entity. Honestly, I had no idea what I was looking at so I kept my gaze on the corner of the room where her camera was aimed while holding my EMF reader.

This same EMF reader that hadn’t done shit all night began going off. Now, here’s how those things work. They gauge electricity (which there is none of on that side of the hotel) as well as drastic temperature changes. Throughout the night we took breaks so every time we switched from our side to the other side and vice versa, I had to turn the temperature gauge off because the difference in temperature between both rooms was nearly 20 degrees. When Becky was talking to whatever it was she could see on that infrared, I could not get the temperature gauge to turn off.

She announced that this thing was coming closer to us (actually she asked it come closer to us and I said no and it fucking didn’t listen) so I took out my camera trying to captured whatever my regular camera could capture. But my live option wouldn’t work and when I hit the button I was prompted to “hold still”. And right as my camera was trying to compose itself, A FUCKING LIGHT ORB FLEW AT ME. As soon as it flew past me, my camera went off.

After that, it was break time.

We went back to our side and started going through all of the pictures that Joanne took. Now, Joanne only used her live feature, so it was disturbing as fuck when this picture showed up, and it was the only still pic in the series.

image1-3

The next picture was a live picture (taken at the same time as the one above) and it scared the hell out of us. Give it a listen.

We think it’s saying “get off it” but I would love to know if you hear something different.

I was out after that. I was done ghost hunting. Zak Bagans could have it back. My friends were out too. Fuck. That.

There was just one problem.

We needed to put the ghost balls back that we’d grabbed earlier and I sure as shit wasn’t going to do it.

Becky is braver than I am because I don’t think she’s seen as many possession movies as I have so she volunteered to put the balls back. Joanne accompanied her because she’s nicer than me. Clearly, I’m just a terrible person.

Becky and Joanne took the balls back with Joanne taking more live pics of the ordeal. I stayed by the door in case I needed to call 911 or a priest. This would be the last time any of us would go on that side of the hotel that evening. When we reviewed Joanne’s live pics, this is what we heard.

Yup. Joanne and Becky were told to “leave”. The voice says it right at the beginning of the video.

Had this voice been picked up on the voice recorder or spirit box that came in the rented ghost hunting kit, I would’ve called bullshit on it. But those items picked up nothing. Additionally, we didn’t hear anything at the time her phone picked up this voice. We were the only 3 in there.

Needless to say, it wasn’t a very restful sleep. In fact, I slept with the lights on. We did go back in there the next day but by then, whatever was in there the night before was gone.

In the living room there’s a guest book where you can write about your experiences. I sat and read through just about all of them and for the most part, the experiences were pretty light. A couple of people claimed to have heard voices but the majority of the entries claimed they’d been visited by the spirits of the little girls, Itzy and Emma.

I don’t doubt their accounts. My opinion, however, is that there are no kids in that place, or at least not on the side of the hotel we stayed. Whatever is in there is dark and not happy. And it’s probably getting angrier. I will say that there’s a sign on the door warning people that there is a heavy spirit in that place, but heavy might be putting it lightly.

We sat in the kitchen and must’ve listened to these live pics about a hundred times, and while we did I kept thinking of the girl who kept getting sick in the exact place we picked this voice up. I stared at the curtains in the kitchen as we listened, and I noticed they were motionless which was weird because the A/C was on full blast. I looked up above the curtains, then the rest of the ceiling in the kitchen. There were no vents in the kitchen. 

I don’t know who or what was fucking with the curtains earlier that day, but I do know that 100%, the Magnolia Hotel is absolutely haunted.

Halloween season has officially begun. 

Here are a few more pics from the hotel

Freelancing for Dummies: Shiiting Your Shot

Did I ever tell you about the time I played varsity basketball and softball? That’s because it didn’t happen, at least not in reality. In my head, I was both so that’s I told people I’d be. Unfortunately, my athleticism didn’t get the memo because I was cut from both sports before tryouts were even over. It was for good reason. I was terrible and the lack of trying to get better didn’t help.

Yet, I put myself out there and showed up. My problem wasn’t a lack of confidence or belief in myself, which could easily have been mistaken for zero self-awareness. No. My problem was that the only reason I tried to get on either team was to gain notoriety. Get my name out there was my goal. What I failed to understand – and am evidently still learning – is my interest only went as far as “maybe this is how people will hear about me!”

I was never really interested in playing these sports, I was interested in the attention I could get by playing them (in my hometown, sports was pretty much all we had). By the way, I didn’t end up on any of my high school teams but I did end up with the nickname Varsity courtesy of a guy named Jaime who thought my false claims of high school sports superstardom were hilarious. This is why I cringe when people claim themselves to be “funny”. I’ll be the judge of that, Varsity.

Anyway, as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that finding your people and doing what you love it where it’s at in life. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to find that. When it comes to my writing, I’ve set some pretty ambitious goals for myself but what sometimes hinders my progress is my patience – I have none. So, from time to time I’ll apply for something or put my writing somewhere it doesn’t belong or put something out there just to put it out there – all to get noticed as quick as possible and possibly get a book deal or a job writing jokes for scripts.

It always works out in my head. In reality, it mostly backfires, like it did this past weekend.

If you’ll recall, a goal of mine has been to write for the Alamo Drafthouse – a goal that seemed more attainable before fucking Covid. When the one where I live closed down permanently, I knew that goal would be a little harder to achieve. But I didn’t quit. I created Watch This, Not That so I could have an outlet to talk movies (which I absolutely love). I worked on my resumé and cover letter. Then, I managed to find the contact info for the Senior Content Editor and, after cyber-stalking him for a couple of months to try and get his vibe, finally sent him my Drafthouse Content Writing submission.

And you know what?

He replied!

He said it’s probably going to be another year before a content writing position will be available and also THERE WAS A TYPO ON THE RESUMÉ.

A typo. On my content writing resume. The one I spent MONTHS working on.

Fuck me, man.

When I was 13 and wanted to be a famous singer, my 9-year-old cousin and I spent an afternoon cold-calling record labels to get information on how to break into the biz. One of those labels was Jive Records and the receptionist, Greg, yelled that I needed to buy a book on how to break into the industry. Before I could ask him where to find such a book (I didn’t have my normal consultant, Google, at the time), he hung up on me.

Even though the response from the SCE of the Drafthouse wasn’t anywhere near as harsh as Greg’s – the dream killing receptionist – this incident reminded me of that one. HOWEVER, it was another 7 years before I officially gave up on my singing career. I called it a day after I bombed my audition for Bobby Bones’s version of American Idol (I think it was called Austin Idol but I didn’t make the first cut so who cares).

The point is, I have no intention of giving up, at least not yet. In a year or whenever that job comes back, I’ll apply for it. And I’ll continue to work towards my goal, and maybe I’ll write for the Drafthouse or maybe my work will lead to something else. Either way, I’m just going to keep going.

So, if you’re struggling or dealing with your own Greg – Jive Records doesn’t exist anymore so suck it, Greg! – the receptionist, just keep going. If you found what you love and it makes you happy, don’t let one mistake stop you from pursing it. Keep working (assuming it’s something within the confines of the law. I can’t help you past that nor do I want to be an accessory).

And if you need more inspiration, those Modelo commercials have a lot of it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a movie on Prime called Santa Jaws that I really think the Drafthouse or a recluse would like my take on.

Review: The Dirt | Mötley Crüe & Neil Strauss

“Her name was Bullwinkle. We called her that because she had a face like a moose.” This is the first line of The Dirt: The Autobiography of Mötley Crüe and the second I read it, I knew the book would be just as crazy and incredible as the movie.

It was better.

I’m a huge Mötley Crüe fan, so much so that when my husband called them “posers” I contemplated putting him through shock therapy where I’d make him watch the movie on repeat until he changed his mind.

The men of Mötley Crüe are not posers (OK, Tommy Lee doesn’t have the best track record but the rest of the guys, no), made evident by their movie that only tells about two-thirds of their story. The book is really where you get the dirt, if you will.

How these guys – specifically Nikki Sixx – are still alive is beyond me. I mean, holy shit. My favorite aspect of the book (besides being co-authored by Neil Strauss) is it’s told from everyone’s individual perspective, even their former managers. It’s interesting to see how the stories coincide with each other right up until things really went south.

Till then, the stories are unreal.

They’ve done every drug 800 times and probably invented new ones. Your drunk uncle? Lightweight compared to any one of these guys. And the number of women, well, wrap it up boys and girls.

I saw the movie before I read the book and I have to say, I’m glad the movie wasn’t made immediately following the release of the book. The Dirt was originally released in 2001 and as we all know by now, there was so much more to their story.

Mötley Crüe is amazing. Their book is amazing. The movie is amazing. If you’re looking for something read and/or watch this weekend, make it The Dirt.

image1

Side Effects of Facebook Marketplace

The first time I listed something on the market I was hooked. It was my Fitbit Versa 2, it sold in an hour and it was a quick and painless transaction. Forget that I originally paid $199 for it and only sold it for $65, and the Versa 3 hadn’t even come out yet. Didn’t matter. That high was enough to keep me selling. I did some spring cleaning and gathered everything that I was no longer using and listed it all.

I should’ve known the watch was a fluke.

The first item I sold after the watch was my tactical vest. OK, I use that thing for CrossFit so I assumed that fellow CrossFitters would be the ones bidding on it. What actually happened was I sold it to a guy who is either a doomsday prepper or is going to be a part of the next coup. I should’ve known since he asked me what kind of plates were in it then sent me names of bulletproof plates, which I didn’t look up until AFTER the sale. I told him they were Rogue which I hope he knows ARE NOT bulletproof (in case he’s reading this which I doubt because my blog isn’t decorated with flags or bald eagles). Anyway, this leads me to my first side effect: paranoia.

Ever since that encounter I’m weary of everyone I’m selling to. It’s so bad that I felt the need to vet people when it came to the sale of my waffle iron. And even then someone haggled me over the $10 price tag. It reminded me about the time I was in Chinatown in New York and saw people haggling over fake brand name bags, which I later found out is normal, which makes me really fucking terrible at this. 

And I’m only getting worse. I have a jacket that had 2 people interested: one whose profile picture weirded me out and another who I won’t sell to because it involves shipping. I’m barely capable of dropping off an Amazon return Kohl’s.

I have a purse I’m trying to sell and so far vetting hasn’t helped because they’re all flaking. One woman kept putting off meeting me so I canceled with her and agreed to sell it to a woman who said she would meet me this weekend assuming she got approval from her doctor to leave the house, and now she’s ghosting me too (not literally though, I hope). This has all led to the 2nd side effect: buyers remorse. 

I have piles of stuff that I’m selling that I have no idea why I purchased in the first place. And everything is being sold for way less than I purchased it. I feel like a complete asshole, which leads me to the final side effect: regret.

Not just regretting buying shit I didn’t need but also making the mistake of telling my mom about my new side hustle. After 13 years of hanging on to some collectibles of my deceased grandmother, my mom has decided that now is the time to let them go. Now that she has a way to get rid of them.

Last week she came to visit me and while she was here, dropped off a huge tote full of Egyptian collectibles from the 80s and 90s. Several pieces of Egyptian figurines, all surrounded in bubble wrap with about a roll of tape around each individual piece.

It’s too much. I’m not unwrapping each individual item, photographing it, then listing them one at a time. I could do one big group pic and sell everything in bulk but that doesn’t eliminate the issue of unwrapping all of it. On top of that, these aren’t, like, authentic pieces. My grandma didn’t get them while backpacking through Africa. She got them from QVC while sitting in her sweats, so I don’t even know what the actual value of them are. 

The moral of the story is this: unless you’re ok with all of these side effects, don’t buy things you don’t need or absolutely love and can’t live without because you’ll end up like me – selling things on a platform you actually hate, probably providing items that will assist someone in making headlines for trying to overthrow the government. Or being haggled for $5. Either way, it’s not fun. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go. Someone just inquired about that purse so I need to jump before they lose interest. Real fun stuff. 

As seen on bad sitcoms

It all happened one day about a week before my father-in-law returned with Covid and a new girlfriend to give it to. I’m sitting in my office pretending to work before I need to head out to an event. As I’m reading god knows what, I hear a loud crash in the living room and immediately know what I’m about to walk into.

The loud crash was our very large clock. A large clock that hung above our mantle. The mantle that held my mother-in-law’s ashes. Or use to hold her ashes.

That’s right: use to. As in no longer was. As in, the cute glass Hobby Lobby canister that we placed her ashes in was now laying half broken, still in its decorative holder that contained the canister, on my dog’s food bowls.

Me, my lab, and my two min-pins stood there, staring at my MIL’s ashes piled up in their bowls and on their food mat.

I was supposed to be leaving my house in an hour. Typical.

After a few minutes of debating if this happened because my house is haunted or because my husband didn’t anchor the clock like he was supposed to, I grabbed a mask, some gloves, and began the process of picking glass and dog food out of my MIL’s ashes.

Oddly enough, this is something my MIL would’ve thought was hilarious.

I did not.

I stood there for an hour sifting through human remains like I was gold mining. I actually considered using our spaghetti strainer to expedite the process however, I had already racked up a good amount of items to throw out so I just kept digging. Also, I didn’t have anything to strain her into which led to my next conundrum: where would I put her until the next day when I could buy a new urn?

I’m a bad hostess so I don’t have random glass jars that can double as urns just lying around. And I couldn’t just leave her out, that would’ve been a little too B-movie for my liking. So I put her in the only place I could think of where she’d be safe and would prevent any sort of poltergeist activity:

A zip-lock bag.

The next day I squeezed in an extra errand into my schedule and purchased a new canister/urn to put her in – a plastic, shatter-proof one. I also placed her in an area that, if she were to fall again, would let me know our house is FOR SURE haunted.

But before I placed her in her new spot, there was the matter of pouring her ashes in the new canister. When I did, I noticed that some of them were clumped together, making them look like actual kitty litter. My OCD and conscience wouldn’t let me just leave them like that so I grabbed a butter knife (another casualty of this incident) and broke up the clumps.

I sealed the canister, gave it one more look-over, and that’s when I noticed it.

There was still a piece of dog food in the ashes.

I left it there.

I’d done all I could do and had thrown away all of the kitchen utensils I cared to throw away.

And so it remains because my husband won’t get it out either.

I’m pretty sure part 2 of this story will happen just in time for Halloween season.

Watch This, Not That | Kevin Can F**k Himself vs The Crew

I love a good underdog story. Did you know that right before she landed Schitt’s Creek, Annie Murphy was broke and on the verge of giving up acting? We almost didn’t have have the national treasure, which means we almost didn’t get to watch her in this incredible new show Kevin Can F**k Himself.

Holy shit, this show is amazing. Kevin Can F**k Himself rotates between corny CBS-type sitcom (husband and wife where the husband’s “jokes” are followed by a laugh track to drown out the sound of the channel changing) where Annie plays Allison, a dutiful housewife married to a chauvinistic prick and her real life where things are dark and she’s married to a chauvinistic prick.

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Immediately we see that she’s done with his shit, his dad’s shit, and the neighbors shit. Immediately, women everywhere feel seen. Anyway, after Allison discovers that her dream of owning a home is going to have to remain a dream thanks to Kevin blowing all of their savings, she decides there’s only one thing she can do: kill him. 

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Will she? I don’t know but he’s got it coming. Let’s find out together. Join the lot of us dealing with our own sitcom-Kevin and tune in to Kevin Can F**k Himself every Sunday on AMC at 8 p.m. central time.

Speaking of “sitcom-Kevins”, my Not That pick features a Kevin that I’m sure Kevin Can F**k Himself is mocking. I’m talking about Kevin James and the Not That I’m referring to is his Netflix series The Crew.

First off, The Crew uses a laugh track, and not in the mocking way that Kevin Can F**k Himself does. I mean in a way that they have no choice because it’s the only way they’ll get laughs. The Crew is about a NASCAR team crew chief (Kevin James) that sucks. And that’s about it. I guess. It’s all I could watch.

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The first episode was all over the place. We’re introduced to the shit driver, then there’s a party for the owner. One crew member is talking about squirrel sausage while another talks about fighting with his wife about bed shams. Then the owner retires and makes his twenty-something year-old daughter the new owner (duh) and then I’m assuming that’s when hilarity was supposed to ensue.

It never did.

In fact, the entire dialog between the actors sounds like they were just winging it. It was like Kevin James had to fulfill his contract obligations so Netflix gave him a set, some actors, a production team, and yelled “go!”. The outcome? Another unfunny Kevin.

Don’t be a Kevin. Get in on something funny, original, and fucking brilliant. Watch Kevin Can F**k Himself.

First pic by thewrap.com. Second pic by tumbral.com. Third pic by variety.com.

Freelancing for Dummies: When first world jobs collide with real workplace problems

Well, well, well, what do we have here? It appears we have a couple of “influencers” who’ve experienced a real world dilemma, bursting their dream job fantasy. Welcome to my world, it’s a bit of a pisser.

The other day while scrolling through Buzzfeed during a busy day of work, I came across a story on influencers not being paid by an influencer marketing agency (Christ, man) called Mediakix. My first thought was “that’s because it’s not a real job”. My next thought was “sucks to be them because this could potentially turn into a thing.”

If you’ve been following me you know how I feel about influencers: I don’t consider “influencing” – the act of getting people to follow you and do things you do or like because you appear cool but didn’t we get past this in high school I swear to god we never leave high school – to be an actual job. I don’t see what the appeal is over someone who’s only talent is posting different versions of the same photo with stupid captions.

HOWEVER, as stupid as I think it is they also get a tiny bit of acknowledgement that it is something and here’s why: there are plenty of gigs that started out as something that at one point probably didn’t make sense. If you go back to the beginning of typicaljenn.com, you’ll find posts where I’m ripping into social media marketers. I believe I referred to them as people who are really just unemployed, sitting on their couch playing that farm game on Facebook. Jump to about 6 years later and it’s part of what I do for a living (social media marketing not building a pretend farm).

I’m not above eating my words, I actually enjoy eating thank you very much.

Anyway, as fairytale as their job is, what’s not is their money problems and the fact that this isn’t anything new. Just like every meme on the internet, this bit has been done before. And unfortunately, I’ve witnessed it firsthand.

Back in the early 2000s, I was preparing to move and part of that process involved job hunting. I was moving to a bigger city than my hometown so instead of looking for a boring desk job, I sent my resume to a bunch of local talent agencies – and one actually called me back.

I interviewed for the receptionist position, got hired, and started my new, exciting, sure-to-make-me-famous job a week after moving. My first day began with me meeting the 3 people who worked in the office and being given my first important rule of the job: never let anyone talk to the bookkeeper.

For everyone out there, this is a red flag for ANY job you’re starting. But I was 20 at the time so I was like “ok cool”. I just figured she was busy doing number things. She was and those number things happened to be helping the owner of the agency embezzle from herself.

About a month after I started this job the bookkeeper quit without notice. I don’t know how long she’d been there but red flag number 2 is when the person handling the finances abruptly leaves. That left the owner to handle the books and that’s when things got really bad.

I would get, at minimum, 3 calls a day from talent asking where their money was, and this was after they’d waited standard 8 weeks for payment. I knew we’d gotten the money in but the owner was using it to pay her bills. And it’s not like we had talent booking feature films. They were booking, like, local modeling gigs and Church’s Chicken commercials. We weren’t making that influencer money.

At one point I had a woman tell me that our agency owed her over $10K. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. I know that’s chump change to some of the popular Insta-people but back then (shit, even now at least for me) 10 grand was a lot. And that was just ONE of the individuals we represented.

Every week the owner tried to get caught up but it wasn’t happening. On top of that, overhead was insanely high. I understood we needed to have some sort of presentation but I thought what effected our reputation the most was, you know, stealing from people.

We did have alternative ways of bringing in money but they weren’t anymore credible than the way the money was handled. The owner would convince people that they could be a model if they got head shots and took her modeling class, which people actually paid for.

I know we’re all about not body shaming but I’m telling you right now, you ain’t walking the Victoria’s Secret runway if you’re built like me (5’3″, thick legs from CrossFit, looks like a baby deer walking for the first time in heels – me and the deer). Watching the owner tell every person who came in our office they had a shot was disheartening at best, fucking criminal at worst.

To me, it’s no different than the assholes selling you on the MLM of the week, convincing you that you can actually make a decent living selling their shit online. You can’t. No, you can’t. End of discussion.

Anyway, in the article Buzzfeed reached out for comment and were told that Mediakix would no longer take contracts until the money was sorted out. I’m not sure how that would work for them. At the agency I was at, we constantly had to have money coming in to try and compensate everyone we owed. So if things are that bad off at Mediakix, I don’t know how you catch up not bringing anything in.

Again, I don’t know shit about this company or what got them into this conundrum so I’m not in a position to say if these influencers will get their money or not. I don’t work there, thank god because I looked at their website and it reminds me of the advertising agency I worked at where I once got in trouble for having a meeting in the “game room” because it prohibited 2 employees from playing ping pong. All I know is I’ve seen this before and it’s pretty shit cycle for everyone involved.

I myself have, on more than one occasion, been stiffed and it was a bag of bullshit. It even happened to me when I worked a for real job that required a W4. What I didn’t have that influencers do is a large platform with a huge following (for reasons I’ll never get – there’s no delineation between influencer accounts, they all look the same, people!).

So speak up. Put that shit out there. This goes for anyone who has a job, real or pretend. If you made an agreement and somebody owes you money, don’t let them skate on you. It is not your problem that they are bad with money management. It’s no different than promising someone work and not being able to do it because you couldn’t manage your time (something I’m also guilty of but that’s for another day). You’d be held accountable, right?

They should be held accountable too.

So go on. Use your social media power. You know, the same way you do when you convince people to buy that face serum that doesn’t work or when you make people think your life is glamorous because you posted a pic on a PJ but you actually just rented the PJ for an hour to take pics on. Like that. Go get ’em!