Will Breakdance for Likes

I can’t speak for everyone else (at least not until I’m elected the leader) but, for me, it’s weird that one of my closest friends has a daughter that is now the same age we were when we became friends. Is anyone else experiencing this? When did this happen?

Her daughter is 13-years-old and every time I’m around her all I can think is, time is going way too fast. OK, that’s not completely true. The other thing I think is, there’s no way I was this fucking stupid when I was 13. Impossible. She thinks filming herself underwater throwing peace signs is a talent. She once claimed she could play the ukelele, trying to prove it by showing me a video of her strumming it. Not playing a song or chords, merely strumming it. I had no other choice but to tell her that, in fact, she could not play the ukelele and she should probably not tell people she could. (Listen, it was for her own good, just keep reading)

The real kicker was when her mom (my friend) and their family came over for a BBQ and she decided to show me her latest claim to fame: dancing. Yes, thanks to YouTube she has learned every new dance there is, including one where she shook so violently I thought she had recently developed epilepsy.

“What in the fuck is she doing?”, I asked her mom. Supposedly, this was the latest dance craze. Since my viewing habits include reality TV, anything horror, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, I really couldn’t dispute this claim. What I could do was think how ridiculous she looked. How do you win friends when your dancing can possibly injure them? I just didn’t get this stupid fuc….

And then I remembered.

It turns out when I was 13 I actually WAS this stupid, maybe worse.

I, your beloved Typical Jenn, was a breakdancer.

Yeah.

I even had a breakdancing name.

Lil’ Kaos.

Fuck.

It was 9th grade and I was still trying to figure out who I wanted to be (i.e. what I wanted people to think of me). I had been a cheerleader but it was awful – the majority of the girls were assholes and I genuinely didn’t give a shit about cheering anyone on. I tried basketball but I was even worse at that. Everyone made the team except one girl and it was only because she was the slowest runner. I played softball but was mediocre at best, and by that I mean I could catch and that’s it. The worst part was I genuinely thought I could walk into these sports without ever having played them, ever practiced them, and with zero talent and be good. So you can imagine how confident I was when I tried breakdancing.

It was 1998 when breakdancing made a comeback. It was a simpler time back then. Instead of fighting (at least for that year) people would have dance battles – it was like being in a live version of West Side Story. For you younger kids it was like being in a live version of Step Up. The first time I saw one of these battles I thought, how hard can this be? I used to be a cheerleader and my cartwheels were on point. I could totally do this. THIS was the thing that was going to get me noticed.

My “in” came in the form of my friend Raul who was one of the best breakdancers in school. He taught me a couple of things like how to initiate a battle (some steps and arm movements), how to do a K-kick (I’m pretty sure I would break my arm if I tried it now) and gave me a breakdancing name: Lil’ Kaos. There were no tryouts, no auditions, no panel of judges laughing at me – at least, not in the beginning.

Now that I was officially a “breakdancer” with a new name and everything, I needed an outfit to complete the part. I begged my mom to buy me what I thought I needed to be considered legit: a red and black Adidas tracksuit. And she did.

I. Wore. That. Thing. EVERYWHERE. And I looked ridiculous.

I wish I still had it.

Oh, it’s important that I mention the only time I practiced breakdancing was when my friend taught me those couple of moves and one other time when another friend tried to show me how to do windmills. Have you ever tried to do a windmill? It’s fucking impossible, at least if you’re me. Yet, my lack of ability to even get the concept of a windmill wasn’t enough to make me say, “you know, this probably isn’t for me.” I just figured it was just ONE thing I couldn’t do.

After those two practices, I went to my first battle which actually didn’t go too bad, primarily because I only went in once, did a K-kick and a split and called it a day. I don’t think you can even call it breakdancing, but at the time that’s exactly what I called it. I was a pro, and I was ready to Step Up.

As it turned out, when you’re a breakdancer you actually DO have to go through some sort of audition at one point if you want to breakdance with the best of the best. So I put in a call to the best crew in town, who also happened to be run by a guy I had a huge crush on – AKA the other reason I tried to be a breakdancer. I invited them over to my grandma’s house (her floors were perfect for humiliating myself) for my audition. Also, I don’t know if “audition” is proper breakdancing lingo but that’s basically what it is so I’m sticking with it.

My crush and his friend arrived ready to judge my talents. I was ready, too. I had practiced a million times in my head and had nailed everything. Plus, I was wearing my tracksuit – where do I sign, boys? (Side note: I still can’t believe my grandma allowed this to take place in her home, but, as is the case with all Hispanic grandma’s, she’s all about “that way you learn.” And I did, at least when it came to breakdancing.)

We pushed the couches out of the way and my audition commenced. First, they asked me to do a K-kick. Pfft. Simple. Except my grandma’s house has very low ceilings so when I did it I managed to kick the ceiling fan chain and shook the shit out of the ceiling fan. Once that was settled, they asked me to do something closer to the ground: a crab walk.

break_dance_loop.gif

Like this but with both arms. I got on the ground, repeatedly tried kicking myself up until… I had it! I was balancing myself! For about two seconds, then I fell forward right onto my face. Instead of calling it a day, I sat up, gathered myself… and tried to do headspins.

breakdance_headspin_learn_the_head_spin.gif

I went into a headstand only to kick up too hard and land flat on my back. I didn’t get it. Headstands were easy when I was like five. When I stood up both guys were laughing so hard they couldn’t talk. They couldn’t even answer if I’d made it into the group or not.

My breakdancing ambitions (and crush) ended that day. I didn’t even really want to be a breakdancer, I just wanted people to be like “oh, that’s the girl who breakdances.” I wish I could say I never tried to be something I’m not after that but unfortunately, I didn’t quit that until I turned 30. But we’ll get to those stories another day.

Today, the moral of this story is, whatever it is you’re into, don’t half-ass it or think you can do it just because you can do it in your daydreams. You have to work for shit. This is the main reason I haven’t quit my content writing job. I hate that job. I write for audiologists all day and just got told that I’m about to start writing for another boring profession: dentistry. It sucks, and even though I want to light my office on fire on a daily basis, I can’t because I know there is still a lot I have to learn that will help me in the future. (that and I don’t want to go to jail, but mainly the first reason)

So keep working, especially when no one is watching. That’s when it counts. That’s when windmills happen, apparently. #thatwayyoulearn

 

The Best Part About Picture Day is Nothing

So, I’ve been at my new job for a week. I love it, except for one thing – I had to have my picture taken for the website. I’m not photogenic AT. ALL. On top of that I’m, apparently, ridiculously allergic to mountain cedar which is at an extreme high right now. Thursday was picture day and my eyes, no, my entire face was swollen. Our graphic designer received my picture and asked me what I wanted him to do with it. This guy is one hell of a graphic designer. He had to touch up Tony Stewart’s promo picture and the result was Mr. Stewart looking about 10 years younger. The possibilities were endless for my photo! BUT, I declined. Unfortunately I was not able to let him touch up my photo…

One of the first tasks I was given at my last actual marketing job was to switch out all of the staff photos on the website. It was awful. First off the marketing job was in retail and as you may know, the turnover rate in retail is high, so switching out photos is almost constant. But that wasn’t even the worst part. Because I also do graphic design a lot of the staff asked me to make them look skinny or alter their photo in some way. After about the 5th person those requests lost their novelty and then I lost it.

I blame all of these apps that can make you look like a completely different person. Listen, I’m no exception when it comes to not always posting my unaltered photos – lord knows I use the shit out of Instagram filters. But I’m not using apps to give myself a different nose and slim myself down about 15 pounds. That’s one step below using someone else’s photo altogether.

“Can you make me look different in my photo?” Yeah, I can, but then I would be catfishing customers because the only way that’s going to work is if you print out your altered photo and wear it like a goddamn sandwich board. Also, I’m not trying to be accused of being a wizard. Once people find out I’m a wizard the requests will never end and each will be more ridiculous than the previous one, just like in those Bud Light commercials.

The point is I told everybody no. A) it was going to be way too much work than I was interested in doing and, 2) I thought everybody looked great the way they were. On top of that they were all photogenic, a trait I lack. So everybody had to deal with their photos as is, I was not changing shit.

Skip to last Thursday and I immediately thought of about 23 things I would change about my photo. But right before I told our graphic designer what to change, I had a flashback of the tantrum I threw about changing everybody’s photo and told him to just leave it. I had to. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. I felt like it was a very grown up decision I made, and that was some bullshit. The moral of the story is: The next time it’s picture day I’m hiring a make-up artist, hair stylist and someone to do lighting.

Why My Blog is Called ‘Typical Jenn’ and Not ‘Everything is Coming Up Millhouse For Jenn’

Yesterday I was super excited about getting my MacBook fixed. Here’s how that ended. First, the back story:

The first marketing job I ever had required me to learn graphic design so I could create their advertisements, as opposed to outsourcing. However, they didn’t want to pay for the software I needed so instead they downloaded a hacked version and put it on my computer. 3 computers later I buy myself a MacBook and a friend gives me a copy of the Adobe Suite (a legit one), so our IT guy installs it. Or so I thought. Eventually my MacBook went on the fritz.

The cursor developed a mind of its own and moved like it was having  seizure and for added fun it switched pages on me. It was possessed. Whoever I pissed off in a past life came back as my cursor and really fucked with my head. One day I got so pissed that, and I didn’t know this was possible, I fazed. It turns out you don’t have to be a man to turn into The Hulk. If my computer didn’t work then no one else’s would. I went back to my original employer, who screwed up every computer I used while working for them, and smashed every single computer in that place.. in my head. In reality I hammer fisted my track pad, rendering it useless (unless you like rubbing the skin off your fingers). And the cursor? Apple cursor = 2, Typical Jenn = 0.

After I left, my next couple of employers had computers for me to use and eventually I got an iMac. On Monday I start a new job and while they’ll be providing me with a computer, I still wanted to take my own but can’t really afford to buy another MacBook right now. Still hadn’t occurred to me to get it fixed, UNTIL… My current employer took 2 of our office Macs to a local computer repair guy and told a tale of the guy fixing both Macs, installing a new hard drive in one, and basically making them like new for only $500.

If those 2 only cost $500 then surely my haunted MacBook wouldn’t be too costly to repair. So last week I call the guy and he explains that he’ll be out of town but I can drop it off this Wednesday. I was stoked. I even put a computer sticker on yesterday’s date in my new, obnoxiously happy planner so I wouldn’t forget. I arrive at his office ready to hand my MacBook to this wizard who is going to make it work again. I walk up to the door… it’s locked. The only note on the door says if he’s not at the office it’s because he’s on an appointment but one can drop off their computer at an office next door, as he has an agreement with them that allows them to serve as a drop off. I’m weary of this but decide, fuck it, he’s a magician and must be swamped so I’ll comply.

This was at about 10:30 AM. I ended up having a busy day at work as Wednesday’s usually are for us and I’m also training the guy that’s replacing me. (Side note: I think he has a serious addiction to Apple products. I’m convinced he thinks I’m Siri because he keeps asking me questions and expects me to answer them. It’s so annoying. I don’t know how teachers do it.) Anyhoo, it wasn’t till about 6PM that I remembered my computer. He’s busy, I thought. I’ll check in in the morning.

So, at 10AM this morning I call him. His phone isn’t accepting phone calls. I’m trying to stay positive because I really want my computer fixed and I want it now because he did it for my boss so he can fix mine in the quickness too so I want it working today even though I haven’t touched it in almost 2 years. So I call the office I dropped it off at and they inform me he hasn’t been by. My optimism has turned into “WHERE IN THE FUCK IS THIS MAGIC HEALER WHY HAS HE FORSAKEN ME.” I let them know that if I haven’t heard from the computer witch by this afternoon I will be by to pick up my silver paperweight. Between then and lunch time I call his phone repeatedly. Meanwhile the new guy is rudely interrupting me with questions like “I think I messed up, how do I fix this?” and “what does this error message mean?” Some people.

My boss and I had lunch with one of our main clients and on the way he took me by the supposed computer guru’s office to see what the deal was. His office was still locked and the woman in the open office next door informed us that she hadn’t seen him since last week. She hadn’t even heard from him. I called his phone again, and it was still not accepting calls. Typical. This would happen to me. Since then I’ve been on the phone with other techs and finally with Apple, who’s genuinely doing their best to help me and who I should’ve gone to in the first place, but it’s just fucking typical that I would be ready to fix a computer I haven’t used in 2 years and had no intention of ever using again and was going to put it away and show to either my future kids or my niece how MacBook’s looked in the past and we would all laugh and I wouldn’t be considered a hoarder because this thing is considered a relic and right when I think I’ve found someone who can fix it without me having to drive to the Apple store, he disappears. At this point I’m not even convinced he existed and my boss probably brought computers from home and made up that whole story about this mysterious man and the number I called was probably a ghost number and that ghost is probably the one living in my MacBook and now it’s: Apple Cursor = 3, Typical Jenn = 0.

 

#allthewords

On Monday Vanderpump Rules returns… Don’t act like you’re not excited. I’ll be writing about each episode, of course, but this season I’m adding a fun game called “What’s the Word?” and it’s played as follows: If you can guess what the buzzword or catchphrase of the season is in three episodes or less you win, and the prize is I’ll guest write on your blog. So really I win, but you should still play – it’s a barrel of laughs and is guaranteed to trigger instant rage from the depths of your soul every time you hear somebody say whatever it is the cast is parroting to each other.

Two years ago the word was “ratchet” and the catchphrase was “sorry, not sorry” – a catchphrase so infuriating I just now had to take a 5-minute time out as the mere act of typing it made my hands ball up into fists. Literally – which happened to be last year’s buzzword, except it was constantly misused by nearly everyone on the show. Now would be a good time to add the disclaimer: playing this game requires watching the show, which can cause you to believe that words have officially lost all meaning, like the word “entrepreneur” has. You’ve been warned.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I hate all the latest buzzwords and catchphrases, which I understand is a bit ridiculous but I can’t help it. Thanks to television, advertisements, social media, and people, I can’t escape whatever just came out of popular culture’s mouth. Now, to be fair, I’ve never been one to latch onto whatever is popular at any given time. And it’s not because I’m too cool or I’m trying to be different; quite frankly it’s because I’m too lazy and also I hate everything. And it’s not just popular words and phrases; it’s clothing (here in Texas those stupid doily shorts are all the rage but doilies are for toilets), songs (I’ll listen to the radio again when they make Despacito stop), movies (we’ll get there), everything (everything).

When I was a junior in high school “dag” was the word of the year. I don’t even know it’s true meaning or origin but I used it once and felt so stupid that I swore off speaking for a whole day. It’s all been downhill from there. I became a pop culture snob. If I hated it or thought it stupid I wouldn’t repeat it, making me inherently uncool by default.

I guess I just don’t see the appeal. Like people who end something with “AF”. I like cursing so abbreviating “as fuck” is a waste of words. And when people say that they’re “adulting” I want to simultaneously punch them and myself in the face, them with my right hand and me with my left, because it’s the weaker of the two. Or god help me when someone uses “beast mode”. Excuse me but I just find it hard to believe you’re going “beast mode” at Planet Fitness – I used to have a membership at Planet Fitness and can attest to it being hard to go “beast mode” when there’s so much good television to watch while you’re on the elliptical. “Just saying” is another one. I know what you’re just saying, because you just said it. There was no need to clarify that you just said something. I wish that one would die already. I could go on and on but I think you get the gist of it.

Do I stray away from every single word or phrase that’s currently trending? Of course not, made obvious by my use of the word “trending”. But I do stay away from the majority of them because they’re just a little too Grease for me. What does the movie Grease have to do with anything? Well I’ll tell you. I hate it (you saw that coming). But I have a theory: so does everyone else, but it’s not considered cool to say you hate Grease so you say you like it just to avoid any conflict because arguing with someone who’s either a genuine Grease fan, or making sure you think they are, is futile and will make you want to kill everyone in the world, starting with the original cast of Grease and ending with yourself.

Anyway, my point of all of this is “What’s the Word?” officially launches on Monday with the premiere of Vanderpump Rules and I’ll try to have my guess in by Tuesday when I write about the show. So then, off you go. Enjoy your weekend, and I’ll see you Tuesday, with more words.

#Todaymybosssaid

#Todaymybosssaid that Trump was helping take down the Illuminati.

Actually he said this the other day but it’s definitely a thing that he said.

Hello everyone! I apologize for my absence. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out how to fast track my writing career so I don’t have to hear bullshit like that anymore. Turns out, it doesn’t work that way. So instead of being annoyed on a weekly basis I decided, fuck it, I’m just going to share some of the things he says that invoke a response of “what the fuck” and/or “hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha”. We should all be in this together.

It’s important to note that I actually like my job, primarily because it affords me the time to write. The problem is my boss is a right-wing conspiracy theorist who fights with people on Facebook, and it’s gotten 935 times worse since the election.

I always knew he was into politics but the first time I heard his rhetoric was during the election when everyone thought Hillary was going to win. I kept hearing him say “yeah, this is all by design. She’s going to win because the government is corrupt and the whole thing is rigged and it’s just all by design.” Then when Trump won he was on the phone telling someone “this is all by design, he’s supposed to be there, he’s there for a reason. His win is all by design.” Well which one is it because it can’t be both. I guess I just don’t know how conspiracy theories work.

From there it gradually got worse. One time he told me that all the bad people in government had been exposed but nobody else knew about it because they didn’t know where to look but he did. I actually found it fascinating that he was one of the few people in the world to have access to this kind of information, considering that when he asks me things that are easy to look up I always respond with “you can Google that”, and then he doesn’t believe me so I end up Googling things for him. My job title should read “Ask Jeeves”.

Last weekend he didn’t want to leave the house because he read that the power grid was going to get shut off and we were going to be without power for three days. Yeah.

Then there’s the other day. He told someone that Trump was recruited to be president because he was the only one who could win the war between good and evil and then he made the Illuminati comment. I took the best notes I could, at one point I rolled my eyes so hard I saw my brain. For a while I had to have a lie down next to my desk to prevent my head from exploding. When I recovered I thought “he really said Trump was helping bring down the Illuminati.”

I’m sorry but last I checked the FTC wasn’t working with Trump or anyone else to help take down the Illuminati. What does the FTC have to do with this? I’ll tell you. If the shape their business model makes is anything to go by, pyramid schemes are the actual Illuminati and they’re not going anywhere. Oh, don’t believe me? They’re the only ones who’ve mind-ninja’d people into selling their bullshit from home and recruiting other people to sell their bullshit all while they’re the ones making all the money. Boom. I just blew your mind.

Listen, maybe I’m one of the millions of sheeople who are blind and my boss has it all figured out. Fine. But it’s getting harder and harder to hear it so I’m going to do the only thing I know how to do in order to deal with it: I’m going to make fun of it. And because I’m a giver I want all of you to get in on it. Be your own boss and join in on #Todaymybosssaid and let’s all have a laugh together. It can be anything because let’s all be honest, sometimes they say some crazy shit.

Are you with me?!

#Todaymybosssaid ………….

 

 

Driving Etiquette

So I was going through my drafts and found this little blast from the past. I wrote this on my first blog (on blogger.com) with the intentions of doing a whole series on things people need to quit doing while driving. Well, I’ve decided I’m nobody to talk, proven by my fear of becoming a meme story so I won’t be doing follow up’s on things-not-to-do-while-driving but I didn’t want to edit my original post so I’m publishing as is. This was also my last post containing a drawing of some sort; I’m just not very good at it, and you’ll notice that when you see that the Barbie corvette I drew looks like a pink dildo. Without further ado, I bring you Driving Etiquette.

Let’s just all be honest, if DPS truly cared about everyone’s safety then the majority of us wouldn’t have a license. I’m no exception: I guessed my way through my license renewal eye exam with the help of the clerk. Over the last decade or so I’ve become a more cautious driver and while I’m by no means a super fantastic driver, I try not to be an inconsiderate prick to other drivers and I can usually keep my road rage down to about a 4. I like to believe my parents are grateful that I matured as a driver because when I was a kid they hoped I would become a millionaire by the time I was 16 so someone could just drive me around.

When I was younger I couldn’t wait to drive; my roller blades didn’t work well on grass and I had retired my bike for a while after a painful crash that ripped up my favorite Bart Simpson shirt. So when I saw a commercial for the Power Wheels Barbie Corvette I knew I had to have it. I was 8 and because my Christmas list grew more expensive each year I had been given the There’s-No-Santa talk the year prior, which meant I had to present a good case to my parents as to why I should have the Power Wheels. I couldn’t argue that I had been good all year because we all knew the truth about that. The only thing I could come up with was, “just think of how good a driver I’ll be by the time I’m 16!”. By the way, I really thought the car would last me till then. I was a very wishful thinker at that age. In reality all I wanted to do was drive to my grandmother’s house (who lived next door), pick up my cousin (who lived there along with my aunt and uncle) and drive us to the local mom and pop convenience store that was only 2 blocks away.

Christmas Eve arrived and I remember not wanting to sleep so I could listen to my parents putting out the presents, thus determining whether or not I got my car and if I’d make a good spy in the future. My little brother was still about 4 years away from having his childhood ruined with the There’s-No-Santa talk so until then my parents continued with the charade. I ended up falling asleep (horrible spy), but woke up at the ass-crack of dawn on Christmas morning and bolted to the living room. I waited for and woke up no one. There it was, my very first car sitting under the tree, waiting to be driven off into the sunset/convenience store.

My scream woke up the rest of my family so they got up and joined me and the rest of the presents. I sat in my corvette while we all opened presents. I don’t remember what else I got, and I’m pretty sure at the time I didn’t care, which I’m sure my parents appreciated. After everyone finished opening presents I was FINALLY allowed to practice driving my new ride but, out of fear that I might think I knew what I was doing and would accidentally drive into real-car traffic, my parents made me practice inside.

If you had a Power Wheels or have ever driven one you’ll remember that the only thing you had to do to make it stop was take your foot off the pedal.

Unfortunately I had quite the hard time grasping this concept and drove right into the Christmas tree; up it to be exact. My very loving parents took the blame on this one and decided that I didn’t have enough room to practice, which they optimistically figured caused the accident. They were also hopeful that this wasn’t a glimpse into the future, the prequel to “Jenn Drives a Real Car”, if you will.

So after breakfast my parents carried the car outside and positioned it so that, if driven straight, would take me directly in front of my grandmother’s house.  My parents stood in the front yard to see me off and, before I began my journey my dad said, “don’t forget to take your foot off the pedal to stop.” At 5 MPH it took me a couple of minutes to get there, which should’ve been enough time for my father’s instructions to sink in. It wasn’t. My 5-year-old cousin just happened to be playing outside with her new toys and got really excited when she saw me drive up with the new getaway car.

 That was until I still hadn’t remembered how to stop and ran right into her, pinning her against our grandmother’s porch. (I didn’t draw a panel showing her actually pinned against the porch because I’m sure I can go to prison for that, I don’t think there’s a statute of limitations on Power Wheels accidents)

 

Listen, at 5 MPH I’m sure a Power Wheels doesn’t sound like much but to my pinned 5-year-old cousin I may as well have been driving a tank. My parents walked up right as it happened and were completely horrified, as would any parents who just discovered that their child was capable of vehicular manslaughter at age 8.

My dad made me get out of the car so he could push it back home while my mom, aunt, uncle and grandmother made sure that psychological damage was the only thing I caused. Fortunately, other than ruining her Christmas she was fine.

Eventually I learned to take my foot off the pedal to stop the car but that Power Wheels driving experience did kind of set the tone for what kind of a driver I would be from ages 16 to about 22. I’m humble enough to admit that I was a tremendously terrible driver who probably should’ve been forced to ride the bus. Everything you read in my Driving Etiquette posts are almost all things I’ve done, however I like to believe I’ve learned the error of my ways and, now, only do these things sometimes. I’m not the greatest driver in the world, nor will I ever be. But when I see someone who is visibly older than I am texting and swerving into other lanes or, I don’t know, being a complete dick and not moving out of the right lane so others can get on the highway, I just feel like “come on, dude. You’re like 50. You know better, you asshole.”

I’m nobody to tell anyone how to drive but these things drive me nuts so I’m going to write about them anyway. Enjoy!

Memeofmephobia

It must be nice to go through life being able to pretend you’re not scared of anything. How lovely it must be to act like driving over bridges isn’t worrisome or that ice skating doesn’t terrify you, because let me tell you, if you fall down someone is skating over your fingers and severing them. According to my brain it can happen, but it’s OK, you just keep pretending. Hooray you.

I, on the other hand, am incapable of hiding my fears; in fact those are merely a couple of them. Other fears of mine include clowns, because they can murder you while hiding their identity. I’m scared of dolls, because they can murder you while hiding their identity. I don’t know what this fear would be called but when I moved into my first apartment I requested to be placed on the 3rd floor because I was convinced that if the building collapsed (whatever that fear it called) I would survive on account that I would be at the top crushing people as we fell, instead of me getting crushed. I don’t know if that’s how it would work but you have to admit, it’s hard to argue with that logic.

For a while I was terrified of water park slides but that was primarily because I was scared karma would get me on one. During the summer of my senior year a girl I went to school with, who was working as a lifeguard, tried to prove she could go down one of those swirly tube slides the fastest by building up a bunch of water before she slid down.

stock-photo-aquapark-slide-tube-isolated-181637879

Like this but about 3/4 of the size.

She built up so much water that on one of the turns she ended up flying off like a cartoon. It was like a video you’d see on Tosh.O, and like all of the other videos on his show, when I heard the story, I laughed. 16-year-old Jenn was a nightmare. At that moment I knew 2 things: 1) I was pretty sure my reaction was my ticket to Hell, and 2) do not get on a water park slide again, ever! That didn’t last long because the following summer I accompanied my aunt, uncle and cousin to a water park that had tons of slides. My first and only slide of the day was one of those tall slides that are pretty much parallel to the ladder. As I prepared myself to slide down it all I could think was “don’t look down, don’t look down, don’t look down”, which is precisely what I did. Couple that with the fact that you travel down that thing at a unreasonable amount of speed and you can imagine my reaction: I stuck my arms and legs out as wide as I could like a starfish in an attempt to slow myself down. It didn’t work and I think made me go faster, and because I was so focused on not tumbling forward to my death I forgot to plug my nose and ended up choking on a bunch of water when I finally made it to the bottom.

Anyway, all of those fears are child’s play compared to what’s plaguing me now. A few weeks ago while driving home I was nearly side-swiped by an asshole who was texting while driving a fairly large truck. I. Was. Pissed. So I did what any other angry driver would do: I sped up to catch up to him. Yeah, that’s right, I became just as reckless just so I could show him my pissed-off face. As soon as I caught up with him I noticed a woman on the passenger side holding her phone up, pointed in my direction. I immediately slowed down. That’s it, I thought. My new fear is about to be realized. Now mind you the windows were incredibly tinted so there’s a good chance the woman was simply taking a selfie, but that’s not how my brain works. My brain makes me think the worst and that worst would be becoming a meme. Yeah, that’s right. I’m terrified of becoming a meme. Not the fun kind where you come off looking witty, I’m talking about the one’s that make you want to never leave the house again. And for an introvert like me that’s a hard feat to accomplish.

My fear stems from a couple of things. First off I’m not at all photogenic, to the point where I feel like my photos should come with a disclaimer. I don’t need a stranger posting a unflattering picture of me, I do that on my own just fine. Second, I don’t want to be known for whatever face I was making when the meme was created because I have self-diagnosed Tourettes of the face and I can assure you the picture will do me no favors. Recently my husband and I had dinner with another couple and their kids – one of those kids being 12-years-old and whose aspirations include becoming a YouTube star. While taking her daily 694 Snapchats she happened to catch me in the background of one of them, which she proudly showed me. Like all my photos it was very unflattering; if it were a meme the caption would read “when you’re drunk and hungry and everyone gets their food before you do.” And while that’s precisely what was going on if I’m going to become a meme I’d like to be the one who willingly created it. When I arrogantly asked her to please not post pictures of me without my permission (who the fuck am I, seriously) her response was “um, you got in my picture.” 12-year-olds are assholes.

I Googled “fear of becoming a meme” and couldn’t find a word for it so I invented Memeofmephobia, and now that it has a name it’s a real thing. Feel free to use it and share it, except with a therapist because it’s so new they may not be adequately trained on how to cure it, or they haven’t heard of it at all. Some therapist.

Little Miss Insecure Sunshine

Like everyone else I’ve gone through phases where I’ve had some pretty low self-esteem. Listen to me, I said everyone but I didn’t mean YOU Colleen. Of course not. You NEVER have self-esteem issues. You’re always confident and secure and your life is just one torn down stop sign after another.

Anyway, low self-esteem. It’s not a problem in my 30s because by now I’ve quit caring about things but in my 20s it seemed constant, and living with a pageant princess whose presence reminded me that I never quite grew out of my tomboy phase did not help. While she sat in the living room reading Vogue, I sat in my room playing Resident Evil. She spent every morning curling her hair, I spent every morning sleeping in as long as possible. She spent her money on clothes and accessories, I spent my money on, oh I don’t know, rent, bills and food. Look, the point is we were polar opposites – so calm down, Colleen, I’ve made sure to let my tens of readers know that we couldn’t be more different than if I wasn’t human at all.

Coincidentally that’s the exact look you get from pageant queens when you’ve decided you’re going to infiltrate their world and try to become one. How do I know? Because in an attempt to tap into my girly side and boost my self-esteem I decided to enter a pageant. No, seriously. Don’t worry Colleen, I made sure it wasn’t any pageant you had previously or were at that time competing in. God grow up.

The only thing I knew about pageants was what I had gathered from the Miss America and Miss USA pageants: bathing suit, fancy dress, try not to sound like an idiot but make sure you keep grinning like one. How hard could it be? The answer is ‘extremely’ when you’ve never done a pageant and lack any sort of pageantry etiquette. What’s worse, Toddlers and Tiaras wasn’t even a show yet so I had zero guidance. Yeah, because I wasn’t about to ask you Colleen. You who laughed at me when I asked what you thought of my birthday outfit, which consisted of a long flow-y shirt that looked like a strapless brown paper sack, extreme boot-cut jeans, and clear, thick high heels.

These also happen to be the heels I bought for the pageant. I don’t walk in heels very often so I figured I should get a thick heel so I wouldn’t embarrass myself on stage. I’m a planner. I also bought the heels before I even had a pageant lined up to compete in because when I saw them I thought they were perfect pageant shoes and I didn’t want anyone else to buy them.

pageantshoesOn the left is what the top of the shoes looked like and on the right is what the heel looked like.

Clearly there was no threat.

Anyway, now that I had the shoes it was time to find a pageant, which turned out to be surprisingly easy. There are pageants everywhere. EVERYWHERE. So many in fact that there’s no reason why every woman in the country shouldn’t have a pageant title of some sort. The pageant I picked was the Miss Texas Latina pageant which was to be hosted in my home town where I was conveniently spending my summer home from school. So I called the pageant director to sign up and her first question was “what city are you representing?” I thought “shit” but responded with “ummmm”. She then asked where I lived and I let her know that while I was home for the summer my full time residence was in San Antonio. Then she said “perfect, that title is still available if you want it.” “Is there anything I need to do for it?” I asked. There was: stop by her house, pay her a $50 deposit and boom, I was officially Miss San Antonio Latina. I even got a sash AND crown. That’s right Colleen, I’m on to you. Now I know how you got all those bullshit titles. I just got on your level. How do you like it?!

Fuck yeah! I was now an official title holder. But more like unofficial because big, legit pageants don’t work that way. The realization that I had just bought my beauty queen status set in, along with embarrassment, the exact opposite of what I was trying to achieve. There was no way in hell I was going to tell people how I got this title – 1) because the first response would’ve been “that explains it”, and 2) I wasn’t in the mood for people’s jokes, even though they probably would’ve been good. (I was very unappreciative in my younger years) Whenever the topic of my title came up I would tell people that the winner was decided by a lengthy interview process and I beat out a few other girls. I don’t think anyone believed me but they rewarded my effort by not saying anything. Coincidentally what did you tell people, Colleen? It better not have been that you won those titles to compete in those BS state pageants because now you know that I know the truth.

Now that I had my title it was time to start getting ready for the pageant – something I had no idea how to do and less than a month to figure out. Fortunately my first duty as pretend Miss San Antonio Latina was to attend another pretend pageant with bullshit titles. I figured at the very least I would get some sort of direction, which is actually something I needed prior to attending this event. My instructions on attending this event were to show up and represent my title; the only thing I knew about “representing a title” was from what I’d seen on TV when old Miss America would crown new Miss America. Ssssooooo, I showed up to this pageant wearing the only dress that I had: a long, spaghetti strap maroon dress that had previously served as my maid-of-honor dress for my best friend’s wedding.

dress

The original dress was just a tad lighter shade of maroon but basically this was it. I mean, seriously, somebody douse me with a bucket of pigs blood.

I paired that with my clear hooker heels and topped it off with my sash AND crown. Whatcha think of me now Colleen? I’m a mother fucking pageant queen!

At least I was until I walked into the venue. Every other fake title holder was wearing a cute sundress or some other variation of casual, and NO ONE was wearing their crown. I looked like a fucking parody. Slap some zombie make-up on me and I would’ve been wearing a great Halloween costume. BTW, this was also the dress I was going to wear during the evening gown portion of the pageant. Yeah. I stayed until the first intermission and then got the hell out of there. One could argue that I should’ve stayed to help boost my self-confidence, and that person would be Colleen because she would’ve gotten a kick out of the whole ordeal.

The following week my pageant career ended… sort of. I dropped out of the pageant but I’d paid $50 for that fake title and I was going to get my money’s worth. That stupid sash and crown was on display in my apartment, and then in my bedroom of the house I shared with my cousin and her boyfriend. And any time I applied for a job, under the section ‘Special Awards or Accomplishments’ I would write that I was the reigning Miss San Antonio Latina. I sure fucking did. Don’t act like your fake titles aren’t listed on your resumé Colleen! I’ve seen your LinkedIn.

I only recently threw away the crown because it made me feel like a hoarder, although I did make sure to get a picture before it went in the garbage. I did, however, keep the sash, partly as a reminder to always do my own thing, but also as proof that we can all be beauty queens, Colleen!

image1

An Open Letter to Ted Cruz

Hhhiiiii,

It’s been a few of days since you accidentally (wasn’t sure if I should put that in quotations) revealed to the world you watch porn so I figured now would be a good time to reach out. How are you? Been better I can see. Listen, don’t beat yourself up about this…. Ummm, let’s try that again. Listen, shit happens. Everyone at some point in their life gets caught looking at porn. It’s just a rite of passage that you experienced about 30 years after a person normally experiences it. We’ve all been caught and if I could, I’d like to offer some words of encouragement and advice.

First, watching – even liking – porn is totally normal. It is, honest! It makes you human, something you should be grateful for because none of us really believe that you are. I don’t know why, Ted (now that I know this secret of yours it’s cool that I call you Ted, right? Excellent). It might be because of your face, or the way that you speak, or the fact that you come off as a robot. I don’t have an answer, I’m not a psychologist. The point is NOW you’re a human. This is working wonders for you already! (Trust me, OK Ted, I used to work in PR)

With that being said I have to be honest and tell you that you’re going about this all wrong. In fact you’re handling this like a 15-year-old who just got busted would so I’m starting to believe this truly is your first time getting caught. So either you never watched porn as a teen (doubt it), or you were an incredibly sneaky adolescent. A true born politician – you’re really missing the boat on all of these wonderful opportunities for your next campaign.

Aannyyy whhooo, back to how you’re completely fucking this up. I just read an interview you did where your response to this whole Twitter debacle was “It was Not Me.” Ted, Ted, Ted, Ted. Come on. That’s the first thing a guilty person says. I just Googled your age and based on your date of birth I’m guessing that you’ve never heard the song nor seen the video for “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy. Well, Mr. Cruz, don’t let the title fool you because I can assure you that it was in fact, him. And that’s what you sound like, because that’s what I sounded like when I got caught. Congratulations, Ted, you have something in common with one of the people you technically represent! (I say technically because I didn’t vote for you, just in case you were wondering) Except unlike you who’s kept their love of porn in a metaphorical closet, the evidence that got me busted was in my actual closet, in VHS form.

You know what, let’s talk about that. Here you are whining all over TV about how it wasn’t you, completely unappreciative of the fact that you were watching from the privacy of your phone. Back in my day I had to steal VHS tapes and wait for my parents to leave to use the VCR. AND GOD FORBID you leave the tape in the VCR. You know how stealth you have to be to pull that shit off? Neither do I because I got caught. And you? All you have to do is keep your finger off the Twitter heart. Jesus, have a little perspective.

Anyway, now that we all know the real you it’s time you just own it. You’d be surprised how many people would be like “finally, a politician who’s also kind of real.” And don’t worry about the whole hypocritical I’m-all-about-the-Jesus-I-would-never-do-that thing, people will get over it eventually. In fact, me being the nice person that I am, I’m going to reach back from my PR days and write you a statement to release to the press when you’re done with your “I didn’t do it” tour.

Ready?

Here it is:

“I was drunk. My bad.”

It’s real with a hint of a lie so you don’t lose your street cred. (I’m just assuming you weren’t drunk, I don’t know, I’m not your sponsor) I mean really, Ted, who does your PR? You know what, I’m not even going to charge you for that statement. You’re welcome.

You’re free now, run along. Go back to being the senator of our state. And if you need more help not fucking things up you know who to turn to.

Not Twitter.

The Affliction Known as Diet: Week 1

What began as a nutrition and fitness challenge has quickly turned into a psychological experiment. Jesus this competition or challenge or whatever the hell it is I’m doing takes a type of will power I’ve only seen in weight watchers commercials. I have failed miserably so far; way worse than I thought I would. Not even my upcoming competitions have stopped me from eating doughnut holes and drinking beer like it’s about to be outlawed. Fortunately I didn’t pay to participate so the only thing I’m losing is my self-esteem and my ability to believe in what I’m capable of.

We’re supposed to keep a daily log which I did this up until Thursday and then quit caring until today so I had to go back and update everything. Below is what I’ve accomplished in week 1 of this challenge; I’m drinking a coke while I type this.

Monday, May 9th:  And we’re off! Today is day one of the nutrition and fitness challenge that I’m unofficially participating in. So far it’s not so bad, I’m still full from binging on food and beer over the weekend so being limited on what I can eat has been a welcomed change. Also, we’re half way into day one so of course it’s not that bad, yet. Dinner is going to be difficult; we’re having chicken and nothing sets off the taste of chicken like mac and cheese. I can’t have that so I’ll be eating brown rice and vegetables sprinkled with sadness and topped off with a glass of water.

I’ve already done the working out for the day and the stretching for 10 minutes, which seemed to last longer than the 20 minute workout. I’m sure I’ll feel better physically but mentally it messes with me; 10 minutes is a long time to stretch and it makes me feel like time stands still. Which is probably why I’ve never done Yoga.

This morning I learned what the Daily Challenge is for the week: post a positive/motivational quote in WhatsApp. No, I will not. Primarily because I opted out of getting on WhatsApp and I stand by that decision. But also, and you know this if you’ve read some of my other posts, I hate that shit. Have you ever read some of those quotes? Some of them make absolutely no sense, NONE. The worst are the one’s from those Jesus accounts: “Jesus wants you to be happy”, “Jesus is always with you”, “Jesus only gives you problems you can handle”. Obviously Jesus isn’t an asshole, but I also like to believe he’s a realist and if he really had anything to do with these quotes they would say something like “if you want to move forward then quit looking for inspirational quotes on the Internet, put down your goddamn phone and get to work. Quit waiting for me to tell you that today is the day you make changes, I’m not a fortune cookie.” In fact that’s probably my motivational quote for the day. There you go, now go make things happen. That’s truly all I have in me; years of coming across these quotes on social media have done the opposite of what I think they’re supposed to accomplish. My loophole is that I just have to post daily so I can post my type of motivational quote and still get points, points that don’t count. This will be harder than the nutrition, maybe. I can’t tell because it’s only day one.

Motivational Quote of The Day: “if you want to move forward then quit looking for inspirational quotes on the Internet, put down your goddamn phone and get to work. Quit waiting for me to tell you that today is the day you make changes, I’m not a fortune cookie.” – Jesus

Anyway, this is where I’m at so far. You’re welcome for the motivation.

Tuesday, May 10th: I already lost my food points. Listen, beer just has this hold on me, OK? I’m giving it another go today.

Wednesday, May 11th: Well, I failed again – this time on nutrition AND the stupid quote. We ended up going out for dinner so that blew it for nutrition, and coming up with a motivational quote is hard when I can barely keep motivated myself. Also, there’s a half-pint of rocky road ice cream in the freezer – how am I supposed to concentrate when that is just screaming my name? I can’t even focus right now. Anyway, so far I’ve done good so my goal is to keep it going, even though I said that yesterday and before this thing started.

Thursday, May 12th: So I got my nutrition points but not the daily challenge points. I’m all sorts of failing these things. I have to go out of town this weekend and all I can think of is eating a doughnut for breakfast before I leave. I don’t think I’m cut out for this strict of a diet. I swear all I can think of right now is doughnuts. Does anyone else have this problem? I can’t be the only one who thinks like this.

Friday, May 13th – Sunday, May 15th: Well, my food points went out the window all of these days, I posted no motivational quotes, I didn’t stretch, I didn’t work out on Sunday. Also I’ve been keeping track of this all wrong. I’m supposed to write down what I eat and basically detail how I earned my points, which isn’t really that hard because I’m doing a great job not earning any. I managed to get 0 points on Sunday. ZERO! And I guarantee I’m the only one who accomplished such a feat. Oh, and in case you were wondering yes, I ate the rocky road ice cream. I’m not wasteful.

Total Points for week 1: 104 out of 210.

I almost quit this thing, unofficially because I’m not officially doing this. Then I started writing a “I Quit” paragraph and really felt like a loser, unofficially. So I decided to keep going even though this week is off to a terrible start. So check back next Monday and read all about the moment I start taking this seriously, unofficially.