Stereotypical Jenn

Over the years, I’ve been pretty vocal about the heartache I suffered upon discovering I was a millennial. After spending the better part of two decades not caring about or even seeing the point of these classifications, I was suddenly angered by the fact that because of a technicality (my birth year) I was officially associated with a group that consists of people who were responsible for creating Facebook and inventing the role of “YouTube star”. My disappointment was equivalent to that of the internet when everyone was moaning about how they hated the finale of Game of Thrones (a show I’ve never watched nor care to, which I think is the most non-millennial thing a person can do).

My real mental disconnect from being a millennial is the trendiness. I’m not a trendy person. I don’t think I slay, or you slay, or anyone slays, primarily because it just sounds stupid (also, I don’t see people using it anymore so the word either lost its trendiness or currently nobody is slaying – because it’s stupid). Up until last year, I hadn’t accepted that there was such a thing as Social Media Manager. And excuse me but when did being an “influencer” become a vocation? Why are we letting these jerks with selfie sticks tell us what’s cool? I’m sorry but I’ll stick to the original “influencer”: Google. Also, side note: if you use a selfie stick you are inherently uncool. That’s just the way it is. Google it.

The wardrobe, the sayings, the music, the insta-poses. I haven’t the energy nor the time to keep up, which officially makes me my parents. Whatever. That’s not enough to make me turn trendy. So when I decided to switch careers and ended up at a stereotypical startup, how do you think that went?

First, a quick background on my work experience. For a little over 10 years, I spent the majority of my time working in marketing, primarily in motorsports (there was also the time I was an MMA promoter but that’s a post for another day). Eventually, I took a job as an assistant art director for a local advertising agency, mainly because I would only have one co-worker (my boss) and I was told we would only be busy 2 days out of the week, so I had plenty of time and space to write. That’s when I launched this site and began working towards my career as a writer.

I’ve always wanted to write so for 2.5 years this was the best. But do you know how hard it is to get writing gigs when all you have is a website full of stories of your short-comings and annoyances, like how my hatred of 50 Shades of Gray deepened because a woman called it “mommy porn”? I knew if I wanted a shot I needed to get a job that pertained to writing so I could establish some street cred. So I got on LinkedIn and began adding every person I could find who worked at local marketing agencies in an attempt to get scouted as a content writer. In about a week someone reached out to me and, after a couple of interviews, I was hired. Even though we never talked about my job description I really thought, this was it! I was getting my shot! Soon I would get outside writing gigs that would lead me to a book deal!

Then I started the job.

Now, at first, I liked it because it was different and I felt super mature. That lasted a week. By week two, I felt like I was working in a parody. Whatever comes to mind when you think of the word “startup”, it was like that. It was everything millennial and I was surrounded by Gen Zers who carried themselves like little professionals and were serious about their Google and Facebook ads. I just wanted to have a legit writer job so I could leverage it into my dream career of writing jokes and books with more jokes and use the word “fuck” wherever it sounded good. Soooo, how did I do?

When I started I already had a scenario in my head that I thought would take me about a month or so, tops, to accomplish. I thought I would be given assignments and then I’d add my personal touch and then someone would see my writing and think I was sups hysterical and then they would hire me to write blogs with my touch of humor and then a literary agent would be like “who is this hilarious girl? I don’t even care about this topic but she makes me want to read about it because she makes me LOL.”

The for real scenario was I wrote for audiologists.

We worked with a company that was basically a monopolist of audiology practices, and the more practices they purchased the more I had to write about hearing aids. The 4 seconds it was enjoyable was the time we got a call from one of our audiology clients who informed us that a woman had called them to ask them why they were targeting her with hearing aid ads on Facebook. She wore hearing aids but didn’t want her friends to know and because the ad appeared in her newsfeed she was sure they’d find out. I wanted to create an entire campaign around it called “Don’t be a Sherry” that was all about not being embarrassed to wear hearing aids but got denied. Other than that it was lame-aty, lame, lame.

Hang on. Before anyone turns on me and starts with the “well at least you had a writing job you selfish millennial ass”, let me do a little clarifying. I did very little writing. That company had acquired so many audiologists that in order to keep up with the work I had to plagiarize myself. So content I wrote when I first started got spread across the nation and could be seen on the websites of like 60 audiology practices. Hold up, there’s more. I also had to help our web guy build websites and landing pages that were also exact replicas of those that came before them.

By law, I don’t think I was allowed to call myself a writer. I think my legal title was ‘clone-smith’. It was like a sweatshop but instead of Banana Republic shirts, I was churning out landing pages and websites. At least those kids were probably proud of their work. I wasn’t. Typical millennial.

My other grievance was, I just didn’t like it there. For starters, we began every day with a meeting. I came from a job where I hardly had to interact with anyone and now I was having to tell everyone what I was working on for the day. Who cares? It was the same thing every day: copy, paste, repeat. Then we had to talk about our “wins” from the day before. And a “win” could be anything, like a Facebook ad approval or a successful day of copying and pasting. *Side note: I use a Mac but at this agency, I had to use a PC and did you know that keyboard shortcuts are actually not shortcuts on a PC? Some of them require 3 keys. THREE! Who has that kind of energy? Seriously, the 90s called and they…. Anyway, doing your job was a “win”, and after every mention of these “wins”, we had to clap. You know how annoying it is when you see a social media post where the person has inserted the clap emoji between every word? This was like that but in person. We basically handed out participation ribbons in the form of claps. By June I had zero claps to give.

Once we were done communicating in person, we’d return to our assigned spots and communicate via the app Slack. First off, we shared a single room office so if you needed to ask anybody anything you didn’t even need to turn your head because we were so close to each other. I never understood what the point of using Slack was. We even had different channels, one for work and one for bullshit. I hated it. In an attempt to fight the man, any time somebody would send me a message I would just look at them and respond verbally. It made not one impact. While people giggled at each other’s “Slacks”, I silently wished the internet away.

It was the world’s happiest office for everyone else but I felt like Peter from Office Space, only I didn’t have a Michael Bolton or a Samir Nagheenanajar to share in my pain. I hated it. I hated the work (copy, paste, repeat – with a mouse!), I hated the meetings (fucking clap clap clap clap clap), I hated my boss’ catchphrases that EVERYONE would adopt. I didn’t like when Paris Hilton would say “that’s hot” on a loop and I didn’t like when my boss’ answer for everything was “that’s cute”, either. Also, if your answer to everything is “I’m into it”, just stop reading now. Go away.

The feeling was mutual, too. I could tell my boss really couldn’t stand me and I didn’t blame him. He’d created a fun environment for people just entering the workforce as well as those who needed a break from their former grown-up gigs and I just couldn’t buy into it. I had nothing to put in a portfolio. Nothing I wanted to show off. Nothing that would get me to my goal. All of this added up to me being a fucking nightmare employee, at least for my boss and the COO (who, BTW, used to swap out the ‘Tue’ in Tuesday with his last name because it rhymed. Some real “case of the Mondays” shit). I didn’t want office parties or ping-pong tables or video games (they weren’t even the good kind where you shoot zombies. Pfft.). None of that typical startup shit was going to get me a book deal. All I wanted to do was write things I wanted to write, which can be viewed as ambition or as entitlement. Whatevs. I had #goals.

For an entire year, I felt like I was wasting my life. On a scale of one to Charlie Sheen, I had completely lost my mind and, what was worse, on a daily basis I feared that the work I was doing to pay the bills would make me lose my voice as a writer. That terrified me. My days revolved around being boring and I was neglecting my blog (PS, this is the explanation behind my hiatus). By the end of the year I was so sick of audiology, hearing aids, hearing tests, ears, and anything associated with sound that I began to daydream about how I would quit. When I worked at Guitar Center in my early twenties, the entire region received an email from a guy on his last day of work that was full of those Chuck Norris jokes but instead of Chuck Norris he used his name. It was brilliant. I wanted my departure to be aces like that. But by now you know how things usually go down for me.

In the end, they let ME go. I know, right? And it’s not even because of the obvious like never wanting to play ping-pong or be the office DJ. It was because they wanted me to sign a non-solicit and proprietary information agreement and I wouldn’t. That’s it. My boring job ended in a boring firing.

I had my reservations about writing this because a) as I recapped my time there I discovered ok, yes, I am the epitome of a millennial and, b) there were actually a few people there that I genuinely enjoyed spending time with. But, as all 4 of you know by now, most of my stories have a point, and this one is no exception.

I fucking hated that job. There were days where I’d arrive and be sick to my stomach. I would sit in the parking lot contemplating driving home and getting back in the bed. HOWEVER…. I actually learned a lot about digital marketing there.

At the time I couldn’t see it but it turns out, there was a bigger picture. Had I not have taken this job I wouldn’t have learned the skills that got me a position handling the digital marketing (social media marketing and all) for my gym – a job that allows me to work from wherever, be around people I already love (I work out with all of them), and gives me the time to write again and focus on my blog as well as a book project I’m working on for a friend. I even received my first paid offer writing jokes. Ironically, the gig was writing jokes about the audiology world. Typical. The point is, I’m in the best position possible and I don’t think it would’ve happened if I hadn’t put myself in the most miserable position possible. And while I know it’s hard to believe based on what you just read, I’m incredibly grateful for that time.

Oprah has a saying (or at least she claims it as hers, but if Oprah says she said something then I think we just need to agree that she said it): Do what you have to until you can do what you want to. There are some people who are able to skip ahead and get what they want without having to struggle. Good for them. I’m not one of them. I like to think of my time at this agency as “paying my dues”. More dues will be owed as I go but if the end result is a better position, then I’m ready to pay up.

So, if you’re in the position I was, or if you’re thinking of taking a leap that could possibly get you to your goal, do what Oprah says. Even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s there. It might be blocked by hearing aids and ping-pong tables, but I promise, it’s there. God, it feels good to be back.

 

 

 

Apparently,​ Not Everyone Likes Butt Jokes

Being a content writer has been not as fun as I thought it would be. While it’s helped in some ways, I spend the majority of my time writing for audiologists – this does not help when all you want to do is write jokes. Additionally, I’m running out of ways to convince people to get their hearing checked. I’m one audiologist away from just saying “GET YOUR FUCKING HEARING CHECKED EVERYONE IS SICK OF YELLING AT YOU HEARING AIDS DON’T MAKE YOU LOOK OLD, THE FACT THAT YOU’RE 90 DOES.”

I don’t think anyone would go for that.

So when our CEO presented a new project for a meal-prep company to me and our creative team, I was pretty happy. Why? Not because I like meal-prep. I actually just finished meal-prepping for the week and every time I do it I’m one week closer to just giving up eating altogether. Spending hours cooking on a Sunday is a fools game.

Anyway, the new project. Per our CEO, this company wanted to change their tone, become a little edgier, and use humor similar to Thug Kitchen. Have you ever heard of Thug Kitchen? They’re incredible. I’m sure their food is good too, I wouldn’t know. They do all vegan and I am 100% carnivore. It’s the descriptions of their recipes that had me in tears. Take a minute and go ahead and check them out.

Good stuff, huh?

If you’ve followed my writing then you know this was right up my alley. I began writing immediately – the following are some of the paragraphs I wrote for the About Us page (names have been omitted so I don’t get fired):

One day, while driving around for no particular reason, Chef became hungry. Being in his car he was unable to whip something up, so he turned his attention to finding something healthy to eat. After spending minutes and minutes searching, he realized he’d basically been driving around in an amusement park full of restaurants serving processed heart attacks and diabetes in the form of burgers and chicken-like nuggets. Everywhere he looked, people were being rolled from one buffet to the next, like the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka. It may have been his hunger talking but he decided to start his own restaurant and make food that was easily accessible and also wouldn’t slowly kill people. Thus, Meal-Prep Restaurant was born. Meal-Prep Restaurant offers healthy, chef-prepared meals that are ready-to-eat for people on the go – and believe it or not, they taste good. Don’t believe it? Stop in and try us.

And by that we mean we have 3 locations, in 3 different areas, all easily accessible via motor transportation, and in some cases, by foot. Our refrigerators are fully stocked with meals made fresh daily (i.e. flavors do not include freezer burn) and are available for breakfast, lunch, dinner, even snack time. Don’t act like you don’t eat snacks. Grab your meals to go or take a load off and enjoy them in-store. Either way, you’re getting a quick, delicious, healthy meal that won’t rupture your colon.

Using the latest in Google Map technology, we will happily track you down and deliver your healthy, chef-prepared meals to you. You can’t escape us. We are so dedicated to helping you eat better, we even offer free delivery on orders of $75 or more. But let’s be honest, you can’t really put a price on not having to cook or clean or the hours you’ll save by not staring into the abyss that is the inside of your refrigerator, hoping that if you close the door and reopen it, something will appear that wasn’t there before. It won’t. But Meal-Prep Restaurant will – in the form of a delivery driver with your delicious, ready-to-eat meals. Whether you’re too busy to stop by, or you’re just being lazy (you’re already not cooking, so..) we will take healthy to you.

The goal, I was told, was to get them to sound like Thug Kitchen without the curse words, and toned down just a tad. Mission accomplished as far as I was concerned. I was particularly proud of my “rupture your colon” joke. I couldn’t wait to have our creative team place it on the new web layout and give me a copy for my portfolio. I don’t have a portfolio yet but this would’ve been a good time to start one.

Unfortunately, our CEO was mistaken and it turned out that the company liked the look of the Thug Kitchen website, not the tone. The owner of the meal-prep company walked into our office for a meeting and the first thing he requested was to change everything, especially the “rupture your colon” joke.

My creativity boner went flaccid. It was back to boring. No one was ever going to read my Willy Wonka joke.

And then I thought, fuck it. It’s going on my website. I’m pretty proud of my content and I want it to be seen. So I hope you enjoy the one time I got to write jokes at my grown-up job – purposely. Next week it’s back to audiology, trying to convince old people to GET THEIR FUCKING HEARING CHECKED CAN’T YOU HEAR ME HONKING THE SPEED LIMIT IS 45MPH NOT 15MPH.

And For My Next Trick I Will Make All Of My New Year’s Resolutions Come True

The end of the year has been surprisingly busy, except not surprisingly because I waited until last minute to do a lot of things and it all caught up to me as usual. And now that I’m caught up I have time to write about all of the things I may or may not do next year, because it’s good to have goals.

First, is anyone else as excited as I am that this year is finally coming to an end? I’ve had enough of 2017 – it’s been a pisser of a year. Admittedly I’ve spent most of it drunk, which hasn’t been as fun as it sounds. With this year goes a bunch of stuff I planned on accomplishing that I didn’t. They weren’t resolutions though, I swore off of those at the beginning of the year because I never accomplish them and as it turns out, I’m also pretty bad at accomplishing regular goals that I set for myself throughout the year.

But next year….

Next year will be different.

Maybe.

I’m going to try, primarily because I do not want to have another 2017. Nothing makes you want to work harder than having a year that you’d like to machine gun into oblivion. I’ve even bought a new planner that is nothing like one’s I’ve had in the past. It’s colorful, is all about goal planning, and each page features an inspirational quote – one more annoying than the next. It’s like one of those horrible Instagram pages that I can carry in my purse. It came with a few pages of stickers that I probably won’t use because they say stupid shit like “yolo” and “vacay”. This planner is the opposite of me but fuck it, it may help make my year a tad more colorful. (Although I’m sure I’ll eventually buy Halloween stickers to help offset some of the Care Bear tone)

Before I list all of the things I hope to make happen in 2018, I’d like to mention that I’ve accomplished one so far. In September I told myself that by January I would be starting a new job because I’d had quite enough of my current job. On January 8th I’ll begin working for a local marketing agency as a web content writer – a position that will definitely help me achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a ghostwriter. I couldn’t be more excited. Of course, this might mean the end of #todaymybosssaid, which only lasted one post. But who knows. The point is I can check one thing off my list which hopefully means I’m off to a good start. Here are the other things:

  • Revise my blog – logo, new header, everything.
  • Write every day – for work, in my journal, on my blog. Just. Write.
  • Tone down my drinking by about 75% – we’ll get to that blog post soon.
  • Have at least 2 of my works published.
  • Read 35 books.
  • Compete in at least 4 Crossfit competitions.
  • Pay off my student loan debt – I’m 34 and still don’t own my education.

That’s a pretty hefty load, at least it is for me. But I’m not done. There’s one more thing I’d like to do and my goal is to start it sometime next week. I only recently figured out that what I really wanted to do was make a living as a writer, and the reasons why it took me so long is what I want to write about. And all of you inspired me. I feel like us bloggers all have a little crazy in us, enough to tell the world what’s going on with us without giving it a second thought. It’s almost like therapy without the $150/hour fee. I’ve had numerous moments of crazy that eventually helped me get here and I’m either about to find out that I’m not alone, or that I should be institutionalized. It’s going to be loads of fun.

Things have been crazy for me this year, but I can honestly say that being a part of this online community has been a bright spot. I’ve made new friends, I’ve enjoyed sharing my stories and reading everyone else’s. I’m genuinely looking forward to what everyone has in store for 2018. Thank you for making me a part of this community!

This new planner is getting to me already – enough with the sappy. Now it’s your turn. What do you have planned for 2018?

 

Is your refrigerator running?

Ben's Bitter Blog

Refrigerator running…its mouth.

You know the old adage, “Love hurts?” I’m okay with the heart getting hurt. When some girl cold bloodedly tells you that she has been dating someone else for a little while at the same time and she likes him better. Or when you ask a girl to go steady with a big huge cut out heart because she asked you to a dance, and she says no, making the upcoming dance with her Suuuper awkward.

When it comes to romantic comedies though, why does it seem like the refrigerator is always running? Because it seems like someone is always trying to catch it. Every time you turn around someone is chasing someone. Whether it is a girl chasing a guy to the airport, a guy chasing a girl to a baseball game, or a crowd of girls in wedding dresses chasing a guy down the street…

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I Know a Queen When I See One

So the other day started off like any other holiday off where I go to crossfit and my husband does yard work. I returned home to find him still outside working so I decided to go inside, put my gym stuff away and then hang out with him outside so he wouldn’t feel like he was the only one working, even though I wouldn’t be helping. So I walk up to our front door and there it was: a spider the size of my head. Or the size of my palm, it’s all kind of a blur.

So I scream and run to the other side of our yard and my husband asks “did that bug freak you out?” and I said “that spider is huge, you have to kill it before it kills us.” And he says “that’s not a spider, it’s a water bug”, and I’m not good at science but I know a spider when I see one. You want to know why? Because my parents made me watch Arachnophobia when I was seven and I’ve be traumatized ever since. I still look under lamp shades before I turn off a lamp and I eat my popcorn one kernel at a time because I’m afraid to eat a spider and have it bite from the inside and that’s how I die, even though that part of the movie made no sense unless you swallow your food whole and that would make you insane, and also a snake.

I wasn’t going to die by spider so I went through our garage to get inside the house, dropped off my stuff and went back outside. My husband kept insisting it was a water bug (I think so I wouldn’t be scared) and we continued our debate for the next hour before he finally agreed with me. After I showered and changed I decided to go outside and handle business. I grabbed a can of hornet and wasp killer because I don’t have spider killer and went outside to protect my home and family. I’m prepared to go to war when I notice the spider isn’t where it was an hour ago. It had moved, and it moved to THE TOP OF OUR FRONT DOOR. It was getting ready to murder me! The killer spray I had wasn’t the sharp-shooter kind so I had to get as close to the spider as I could without the both of us engaging in hand-to-hand combat. I slowly made my way to my foe and the closer I got, the weirder the spider looked. Turns out it wasn’t just a spider, it was a queen spider with about 40 more spiders. It was holding baby spiders an army of spiders on its back!

It was 41 spiders VS me, a fact that I yelled to my husband but because I don’t study insects for a living he didn’t believe me. I shook the can, pointed it at my enemy, and it DEPLOYED ITS ARMY! Mini-spiders everywhere. I sprayed – more spiders. I sprayed as much as I could before screaming and running away. It wasn’t until I reached safety that I started having flashbacks of the scene in Arachnophobia where the guy is trying to climb out the window but an army of spiders repel down and he has to abandon that plan. THAT COULD’VE BEEN ME IF I WOULD’VE WALKED OUT OF THE FRONT DOOR!  I ALMOST DIED! My husband watched this whole scene go down and when he saw the severity of it he had to come save me because I didn’t know what kind of weapons the queen spider and her army had. After he finished the job I walked back to the front door to inspect the scene and found this:

image1The queen spider built a castle where she had been planning her attack for god knows how long. At least I think this was hers. Other than spider webs I’m not sure what other dwellings house spiders. I’m not an engineer.

The moral of the story is if you think it’s a spider it is and it probably has an army on its back and will kill you and it’s probably been planning the attack for a while. And if you’re not scared of spiders then do yourself a favor and watch the movie Arachnophobia so you can learn the truth. And if you see something that looks anything like this thing in the above photo, get rid of it. Use a power washer, a flame thrower, bulldoze your house, I don’t know, just get rid of it. You’re welcome.

 

The Correlation Between Zombies and the Weather

I live in Texas and as some of you may have heard half of us are about to get obliterated by Hurricane Harvey. Cities are being evacuated, people are flooding grocery stores for extra provisions, major highways are being shut down, the first day of school has been cancelled – all while Doomsday Preppers watch in amusement, comfortably from their bunkers.

Yes, according to every local meteorologist it’s the end of times and if you’re not one of the many being evacuated than you’re one of the other many who will be prisoners in their homes for the weekend. That’s right, do not – DO NOT – drive anywhere, which is a bummer because I was planning on visiting family this weekend. Not everyone will listen, of course, and the proof will be visible after the storm passes and various areas emerge as graveyards for cars. Idiots will trudge on believing their vehicles are capable of the impossible and risk their safety to make it to, oh I don’t know, the airport. How do I know? Because, dear readers, 2 years ago I was that idiot.

The day started out like any other day that starts out with thunder, lightening, rain and darkness. I’m not the most optimistic person but I was flying to Vegas so my inner monologue was “we can still fly in this”. So I turn on the news to get a professional assessment of the weather only to hear the meteorologist say that there were two tornadoes, Doplar radar couldn’t pick up their exact location but if you see one hide and also let him know where it’s at, please and thank you. I’ve seen better weather reports. This still wasn’t enough to make me worry, though, because my flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 3:30PM and I was sure that the tornadoes would have destroyed everything but the airport way before then.

Cut to about 12:30pm: I begin my hour long trek to the airport, but because part of the highway was underwater I had to take the toll road. On any other day the toll road is great – it takes you about 50 miles out of your way and costs up to $10 one way, but the speed limit is 85MPH which means I can actually go 88MPH and Doc and McFly would be proud. However, on this particular day the sane speed to drive was 50MPH. As I drove down the toll road I was blown away by the amount of overturned cars that were strewn across the grassy median, and by how many drivers did not view this as a warning and continued on at a speed of 85+MPH. I was Ricky Bobby after his accident, petrified of how fast everyone else was driving.

After about an hour of driving in shit weather I arrived at my exit only to make it 10 seconds down the road before coming to a complete stand still. I had no food and no alcohol; I was in no way prepared to be stuck on the highway for the next 6 hours. Just when I was about to get out of my car and have a cry a wave of determination came over me: I was not missing that flight. Before I could get boxed in with everyone else I began to back up and turn around. Then, as though we had all telekinetically banned together to make it out, other drivers started turning around and we formed a line back to the highway. At one point a sheriffs deputy drove past us and the look on his face was “fuck it, just do whatever.” Which we did. We made it out. Triumphantly I continued on.

I miraculously arrived at the airport only to walk into a scene that could only be out of a movie: shit tons of people in line waiting to yell at the people who take your luggage. I looked up at the flight board and one by one, flights were being cancelled. I had checked the airport website as well as the American Airlines website prior to my journey and both confirmed my flight was still scheduled. I was flying to Vegas for Christ’s sake, surely MY flight wasn’t cancelled. I called American Airlines and once it was confirmed that indeed I was shit out of luck, I yelled at a lady who had nothing to do with my flight being cancelled. Did I mention I’m horrible? After being put on a flight scheduled for the next day and feeling completely defeated, I began my drive back home in the apocalypse.

By the time I was back on the toll road the north bound lanes were completely congested. Halfway through my journey home I noticed people started trying to drive through the grassy median to get to our not-as-congested southbound lane, which didn’t make sense to me. Was there some portal at the end of the toll road that shoots you out to the end of the northbound lane that I didn’t know about? What also didn’t make sense to me was how people thought that they’d be able to traverse the grassy median AFTER IT HAD JUST FINISHED RAINING. I guess when you’ve lost your mind you forget what’s underneath the extremely saturated grass: mud. I saw one guy trying to shake his truck loose by violently rocking it back and forth – that barely works when you’re trying to get your stuck Milky Way out of a vending machine. Next up, a car stuck to the back of an 18-wheeler, the result of obeying the speed limit. It was chaos.

2 hours and a Taco Bell run later I was home. My point is, everyone is an idiot and loses their mind in inclement weather and you don’t need to worry about me because been there, done that. I’ll survive. Suck on that, Doomsday Preppers.

How 50 Shades of Grey Almost Ruined Porn For Me

You probably haven’t noticed that recently I started my Typical Jenn Unofficial Book Club. It’s unofficial because I don’t know what makes a book club official, and it’s probably best because I don’t always share the opinions of my fellow book lovers. You won’t find me discussing books about a terminally ill character finding love and then they die or their loved one dies or everyone dies. I don’t do self-help books. And if the plot has anything to do with a girl who meets the world’s most eligible bachelor and he falls in love with her even though she’s the world’s biggest yawn, well you’ll just have to find another book club because that’s a combination that will keep me away from a book, and the theater. Years ago I was tricked into reading Twilight by a screaming super-fan and ultimately learned the hard way that the more crazed someone is about a book, the more shit it probably is – which is why I’ve steered clear of 50 Shades of Grey.

To be honest I didn’t hear about 50 Shades of Grey until the first movie was about to come out and legions of former Twilight fans were resurrected and mooing about it on social media. However, I did just now research it (primarily so I wouldn’t sound like a total asshole) and in case you’ve avoided it like me here’s the story in a nutshell: There’s a man named Christian Grey who everyone wants and who likes to have sex like he just got out of prison and makes his lovers sign contracts stating they won’t tell anyone. And then a woman named Ana interviews him for a college newspaper and then he wants to have sex with her. So she does and it’s all dominance and beating and after a while she decides it’s not for her and she leaves him. Part 2 goes like this: She gets a job in Seattle and he wants her back so he just buys the company she’s working for (because who hasn’t?) and then fires her boss who sexually harassed her. THEN a woman who used to be one of his lovers breaks into Ana’s apartment and is about to shoot her when Grey walks in like Batman and talks her out of it and saves the day. So then Ana is like “this will never work because I’m boring” and he’s like “but that’s just what a good-looking millionaire who could have anyone they want and I mean anyone probably even JLo wants, marry me”, and then they embark on a “regular” relationship (i.e. he doesn’t beat her when they have sex) and he takes her to a boathouse where he properly proposes and waiting in the wings, pissed off and out for revenge, is the boss that he fired.

So then, based on this synopsis it appears as though my feelings were valid. It’s a cheap romance novel gone mainstream; the Cinemax After Dark version of Twilight, minus the mystical creatures. It works just like Twilight too, in that the character Ana has been created to be so emotionally relatable that anyone (i.e. all of its fans) can fantasize about being her. As awful as it sounds, that’s not what originally kept me across the galaxy from it.

Back when 50 Shades of Grey was just annoying me as a book, I ran into the wife of a co-worker who had just finished reading it. She had recently become a mother and every time we spoke I couldn’t help but notice that she managed to incorporate the word ‘mom’ into the majority of her sentences. I once complimented her on her shoes to which she replied, “thanks, they’re Steve Madden and they’re great for moms.” Christ. Anyway, on this particular day she greeted me by immediately going into her pitch: “oh my gosh have you read 50 Shades of Grey yet?!” followed by “everyone is reading it!” “I’m not” I replied in annoyance. “I promise you’ll love it, you have to read it.” “No” I responded in defiance, hoping this exchange would end there. It didn’t. She followed up with “well I liked it, it’s my mommy porn.”

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I felt my self-diagnosed Tourettes of the face kick in.

Mommy porn. You read that right. I’ve accepted the mom haircut, mom jeans, mom wine, shirts that specify you’re a mom. Your Louis Vuitton is now your diaper bag, I GET IT. But ‘mommy porn’? No no no no nope. When she said it time stood still. It was like a punch to the ear drums. I must’ve sworn off porn for a good 2 weeks. Mommy porn isn’t even a category on YouPorn and there are videos of pregnant women having sex for Christ’s sake! (Listen, to each their own, that’s just not my cup of porn. I guess I’m a prude) Don’t act all offended and like you didn’t cringe when you read ‘mommy porn’. Blegh. It sounds like something only a psychopath like Norman Bates or Peter Pan would watch. In fact, that phrase should only be used when punishing your children for watching it. Say it to them, go on; they’ll swear off porn and have a complex for life.

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You won’t find that kind of good advice in any of your parenting books – which, in the event that I procreate, I have also sworn off.

GIF’s from reactiongif.com and giphy.com

 

Vanderpump Rules Does Adult Things

Well, we made it. After drunken fights, cheating allegations, confrontations, name calling (and that was just the bachelor/bachelorette party), we finally made it to the wedding no one thought would happen, or at least hoped it wouldn’t. You did so think that, shut up. Anyway, the wedding: it was actually quite lovely. Lisa made an excellent officiant because she’s Lisa Vanderpump and she can do anything. And if you say Tom Schwartz’s vows didn’t bring a tear to your eye you’re lying because even my black-hearted self welled up. Fortunately I had tissue; Tom Sandoval had to wipe his tears on Butter, Schwartz and Katie’s dog.

So the wedding was good and great but let’s talk about the reception, where it all really happened. First, does anyone else think Kristen should be institutionalized for continuing to wear that fake engagement ring (aside from all of the other reasons, of course). I can’t remember why she wore it before (surely not to keep from attracting anyone, because one conversation with her and her head-twitching will do it) but it’s current sole purpose is to serve as a subtle hint, directed at her boyfriend Carter, that she’s ready to get married. Except instead of looking like a hint, it’s starting to look more like a command. She takes it one step further by trying on a friend’s engagement ring, showing it to Carter, and proudly proclaiming they wear the same size ring, in case he needed to know. This must be why they’re always making out – it’s the only we he can keep her from speaking. Although, that visual is just is just as obnoxious as Kristen. Have you seen them? It’s like watching two beta fish trying to consume each other.

Nightmares. Let’s erase that visual and replace it with Stassi serving Lisa her dinner at the reception; it was the most work she had done since leaving SUR almost 4 years ago. Once she’s dismissed Sandoval joins Lisa at the table to compliment her on the extraordinary job she did officiating Schwartz and Katie’s wedding, a compliment that went over very well because she offered Sandoval the opportunity to partner with Lisa on her new restaurant.

Meanwhile, back at the wedding-party table, Schwartz has stepped away for a moment allowing all the male guests to kiss Katie (on the cheek, you perverts), per Danish tradition. In my family we do the bride/groom money dance and make us some dollars. Just something to chew on for the next cast member who ties the knot.

Anyway, it’s time to talk about the real stars of the show: the triplets. It’s speech time and triplet #1, Billy, gives a lovely, drunk speech. Listen Billy, we’ve all been there so no worries. Next, triplet #2, Bert, gives a lovely, short, not-as-drunk speech. Triplet #3, Brandon, gives no speech, but because there are three of them there must be three speeches and Billy is more than happy to deliver an encore, which he does, drunkenly referring to Tom as a pimp in the process. Just before somebody yanks him off stage with one of those cartoon hook cane’s, he wraps it up. A few more speeches are made, most of which sound more like praises for Schwartz than congratulatory speeches, and then some more things happen.

First, Jax tells Brittany that things aren’t working out between them anymore. BUT, wait for it… He’s just kidding! A funny joke for a woman who has planned her wedding since she was a child and uprooted her entire life to be with this man. Then Jax tells her that they’ll get married “one day”; an even crueler joke.

Next, Sandoval tells Ariana about Lisa’s offer, and then he cries. Then he tries to talk marriage with Ariana, and cries some more, and then they both giggle. The serious talks continue with a more in-depth conversation with Lisa regarding the partnership. As it turns out Lisa’s plan is to open a new restaurant, have Sandoval run the business side, offer Schwartz the opportunity to be the face of the restaurant, and she’s going to name it Tom Tom. Yes, Tom Tom. Suddenly, and as though he was scripted to be lurking just around the corner during the conversation – which can’t be because this is a reality show and 100% real – Schwartz pops up and joins them. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to go in partners with Lisa Vanderpump on a restaurant that is partially named after them? The answer to that is Schwartz because the minute Lisa mentions the idea to him he says no, claiming “it’s too much pressure”. Also it would require him to work, but they don’t show him listing that as one of his reservations. Realizing she’s scared him with the mere mention of responsibility Lisa decides they should all discuss it later, and sober.

Another conversation that would’ve been best sober was the one between Ariana and Stassi. Sonoma-drunk Ariana was a barrel of laughs, but this wedding-drunk Ariana who weeps to Stassi about the struggles of trying to make something of herself and how she’s working so hard on her book and she’s doing her best? Swear to God, the minute she started boohooing about “doing the best she can” my brain immediately started playing the scene from Dane Cook’s comedy special Vicious Circle where he talks about having a good cry while repeating “I did my best. I did my best.” (If you’ve never seen it I suggest you YouTube it this second. Go on, I can wait. See?) Stassi is in heaven: she’s so desperate for Ariana to like her that she uses this opportunity to console her, attempting to prove she’s not so shitty. Then she practically does cartwheels around the venue when she discovers that her and Ariana share a common interest: they both like the idea of murder; they even create a special hashtag (#murder4lyfe) to commemorate the occasion. It was all very #thelma&louise.

It’s all love and happiness and bliss, and as the wedding comes to a close, Sandoval squawks us off with his tiny trumpet. The wedding may be over but the show doesn’t end there. Three months after Schwartz and Katie’s marriage begins, Scheana ends hers, and we all get to witness it in a very unnecessary scene, because unless you went off the grid and avoided television, social media, the internet, your phone, magazines, and people, UNLESS YOU DID ALL THAT, then you already knew they were getting divorced and why.

To be honest I’m more surprised that they showed the break-up scene than I am that they actually broke up. Shay was always a bit of background noise rather than a fixture and eventually he was just drowned out. Don’t act like you didn’t see it coming. Scheana herself gave it away by proclaiming how perfect her marriage was ad nauseam (even when no one asked), with Shay nowhere in sight to at least make it plausible. In fact he was so absent from this season I wouldn’t be surprised if he had been superimposed into the few scenes he appeared in.

Speaking of superimposed, unless that’s how this group is banded together for the show, a reunion special (a 3-parter no less) seems pointless. For Christ’s sake they work together, hang out at each other’s homes, they’re in each others weddings, they date each other, they take trips together, and based on their social media accounts it’s not just during filming. Contractual or not, every day of their lives is a reunion. It’s like the reality show version of “Friends” except half the cast is about 97% less lovable.

Still, I’ll be watching all three reunion specials; watching as they get paid to continue on with fights that happened months ago – all while I write about it, for free. Somehow I’ve become the loser in this situation.

The Celebrity Apprentice: “Scissors and Creativity”

So then, The Celebrity Apprentice is moving at warp speed and we’re already more than halfway through the season; not that you can tell, what with all the same tasks and same boardroom meetings and the same speeches the Governor gives about his days as a body builder and the same fights with Lisa Leslie. Samey samey same same. But it’s not, because this is The New Celebrity Apprentice. Shows how much you know.

Here’s what’s happening on Not The Same Celebrity Apprentice. Last week the women managed to dwindle themselves down to a quartet when Kyle created a less-than-impressive ad campaign for Kawasaki and was ultimately fired, er, terminated for this and her other two ideas being failures. Consequently the teams are divided and made coed: Team Arete now consist of Rick Williams, Brooke Burke, Laila Ali, Boy George, Jon Lovitz and Matt Iseman. Team Prima is now Vince Neil, Carson Kressley, Lisa Leslie, Porsha Williams, and Chael Sonnen.

Next to go is Jon Lovitz. Poor Jon, he’s had a rough go from the beginning, primarily because everyone hates his ideas. In fact, they hate his ideas so much that during the candy task (where they had to create a new candy for the Warren Buffet owned See’s Candy and then sell it) they send him away to present the final product to Mr. Buffet himself, just so he won’t interfere with the selling portion of the task. Jon blames this on the reason why he only raised $500, which is ultimately the reason for his termination, even though Ricky Williams -the project manager – fell about $200,000 short of what he pledged he could bring in. In Ricky’s defense some of his donors were in the cannabis industry so there’s a good chance no one was even awake during fundraising hours. Oh shut up, I’m joking.

Anyway, that was last week and this is this week, and this week Brooke Burke and Lisa Leslie have volunteered to lead their team in creating a publicity stunt for Lorissa’s Kitchen protein snacks. Well, Brooke doesn’t so much as lead as she does prance around and giggle like a school-girl, hoping (as she puts it) that “they’ll figure it out when they get there”. Surprisingly her let’s-hope-this-all-works-out approach works and Team Arete wins, while also setting women in the workplace back about 60 years. Lisa loses but fortunately for her Vince Neil won a shit ton of money with his win last week and ultimately votes himself off, even after Chael Sonnet tried to save him.

Chael Sonnen: he really takes the piss, doesn’t he? With his confidence and “chopping heads” remarks. Chael likes to put on a show, which he does during the reenactment of his scene where he cut a computer cord to buy his team more time to finish their Harry Potter digital brochure. I say “reenactment” because it was all a bit make-believe, which means the cameraman probably missed it when it actually happened and ordered a redo, which I’m sure Chael was more than happy to do because he was very proud of his stunt. And I say “proud” because in the boardroom he has no qualms about his stunt and believes he’s the only smart one to have found a loophole in the rules, as though he’s just cracked the code on how to properly interpret the Bible. Arnold (I’m tired of calling him Governor) is so blown away by his stupidity he doesn’t even use “you’re terminated”, and instead quickly blurts out “you’re fired”. After he composes himself he then fires Porsha for her inability to get to the point, leaving Carson Kressley and Lisa Leslie the sole survivors on Team Prima.

Like I said, warp speed. But no worries, I’m staying on top of it. I’ve even stopped blinking to ensure I don’t miss the next two episodes.

Photo by: Luis Trinh/NBC.com