This Month I Said…

We’ve all done it. We all dwell on it. There are even ridiculous amounts of memes dedicated to it. It’s an epidemic that we’ve let affect us for too long.

I’m talking about foot-in-mouth incidents and today, I take a stand against the effects these misfortunes have on me. Today, I will free myself from the shackles of shame. Today, I share with you the things I said during the month of July. There are only 2 of them because I literally just decided yesterday that I would do this and these 2 were the only ones I could remember. I need to get better at writing things down. Anyway, let’s begin.

At the beginning of the month, our neighbor invited my husband and I over for dinner. We’re always down to not cook so we gladly accepted. Now, we don’t really hang out with our neighbors very much, even though we’ve known them for a long time and I also used to work for the husband. You remember him; he’s the right-wing conspiracy theorist. Anyway, we don’t spend a lot of time with them and we also don’t have kids (they do) so conversation, especially for someone socially awkward like me, isn’t the easiest thing to partake in. The wife is actually really awesome, I just don’t know what to talk to her about.

Well, I’m not sure how I did it but I miraculously steered the conversation towards a topic I know very well: the show My 600lb Life. Yes, I watch the shit out of that show and know all their business. By the way, am I the only one who gets annoyed when they lie to Dr. Now about what they eat? Like when they’re supposed to lose 50lbs but gain 80lbs and are like “but I only eat chicken and vegetables” even though we saw them eat 4 pizzas for dinner?

OK, back to my story.

So we’re talking about My 600lb Life, for some reason, and I say “the ones who take the program serious blow me away. Some of their transformations are amazing; I saw one lady who got down to like 140lbs!”

The wife replied, “that’s smaller than me.”

Then I said, “yeah!”

Then I awkwardly laughed.

I didn’t even hear what she said until after I responded! My brain sometimes does this really fucked up thing where it’ll process someone’s words after I’ve already replied with the most inappropriate response possible. I tried to backtrack but as you know, that’s impossible without making shit more awkward. So, I just put it in my “remind me about this when I’m feeling good about myself” reserve and called it a day.

AND THEN…..

So I just took on another client: a local bar that’s staffed with a bunch of 20-year-olds, one who wants to be a Kardashian. Nonetheless, their pictures do great on social media so I photograph them every chance I get. Welllll…..

Yesterday I took a picture of one of them and it took us several takes before I captured one that she approved of. And by “approved of” I mean it was the only one that she didn’t say no to right away.

As I stood there waiting for her thumbs up, I told her “don’t worry, I’m going to use a bunch of filters and stuff.”

I didn’t mean it that way!! I was trying to put her mind at ease, not tell her that the only way she would look presentable was if I made her look like a completely different person.

Baaahhhhh!

So there you have it. I say stupid things. You are not alone. And so you feel less alone, I’ll be sharing these stories once a month because I say/do shit like this all the time.

Please feel free to share your stories in the comments. Let’s unburden ourselves together!

Review: Failure is An Option | H. Jon Benjamin

image1-4OK, so here’s the deal with this book: it’s hilarious. I’m talking it made me cry-laugh. H. Jon details his failures from childhood to his most recent – failing to do two different voices for Bob (Bob’s Burgers) and Archer (Archer, duh). What I love most is this book never turns inspirational. There’s no advice on how to achieve his level of success. Nothing on how to become a voice-over artist or secure spokesperson deals. None of that.

No. This isn’t a book about failing your way to success. It’s a book about failing at things and I, for one, am all about hearing these kinds of stories. Inspiration is so 2014. It’s time to embrace our shortcomings. Stories of failure are the greatest, especially because I have so many.

I failed at becoming a singer. I failed at every sport I ever played. I failed at being a breakdancer. I failed at being in a beauty pageant. I failed at working for the UFC. I failed at convincing my parents to let me miss the first day of my senior year of high school because I had told people I was moving to Dallas and I thought missing a day would make it believable. I have failed, and nothing makes me happier than to share these stories with you the way H. Jon Benjamin shared his with us.

So, if you want a good laugh and are interested in reading stories that might spark memories of your past failures that might also make you laugh, this is the book for you. H. Jon Benjamin is a treasure and so is his book. Enjoy!

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.

 

 

 

Review: Next Level Basic | Stassi Schroeder

Next Level BasicAs all 5 of you know, I used to write about the show Vanderpump Rules – first on my site then for the entertainment blog Taste of Reality. Writing about the show was fun but there’s like 28 episodes a season and they’re in season 7 – there are only so many jokes you can write about these people before you start to plagiarize yourself. These days I’m more of a fan, and Stassi’s book is now included.

I could not stand Stassi the first, oh, 4 or 5 seasons of Vanderpump Rules. I believe I used to refer to her as a satanic wizard in my early days of writing about the show. She was awful. Bossy, conceited, a complete asshole – traits that, I’m sure, are what got her on the show. Then, something happened.

In season 3, she left her job, her friends, and California to be with her then-boyfriend Patrick, and you know what happened? It didn’t work out, which some people would refer to as karma. She returned to L.A. and had to beg for her old life back. A humbled Stassi was better than an entitled Stassi. After a season (5) where she became follow-the-leader-Stassi, she emerged as the Stassi we all love today. Hilarious. A little more self-aware. The woman you can go have a drink with or take in a seance.

In a time where we’re told to “not be ‘basic'” (euphemism for ‘yourself’), Stassi preaches the opposite. Love all things horror (me)? Embrace it! Did cartoons take a backseat to Tales From the Crypt (I’ll sing the Miss Autopsy song at the drop of a hat)? Tell people about it! Still into Ed Hardy? Thank Jesus I grew out of that but if that’s your thing, wear it! Being basic is all about doing what makes you happy, and that’s what this book is all about.

If you’re into feeling good, laughing, and reading, this is your book: Next Level Basic by Stassi Schroeder. Enjoy!

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

 

Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin

So, as you probably don’t remember, I have set a goal of reading at least 35 books this year. While the next 34 will be ones I’ve never read, the first one I chose for the year is one I’ve read more times than I can count. Regardless of anyone’s opinion of her this is still one of my all-time favorite books. First, it’s hilarious. From beginning to end it’s like you’re having a comedic conversation with her about her life. But aside from just being funny I found it to be pretty inspirational. I don’t mean inspirational like it’ll make you stop turning tricks and get off the smack (or maybe it will, I don’t know I’m not a counselor), I mean inspirational in that it’ll make you feel lazy and make you want to get off your ass and get to work. At least that’s what it does for me. If you’ve read it you know what I’m talking about. Since purchasing it when it first came out, anytime I’ve lacked motivation or needed a pick-me-up I’ve turned to it, so I decided to kick off my year by re-reading it. It still makes me laugh. And it still reminds me that no matter how tired I am, if I really want to accomplish something then I better get to fucking work. My first selection for the Typical Jenn Unofficial Book Club is Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin. Enjoy!
Griffin_Back_Cover_lg

Vanderpump Rules

When I was younger I used to make fun of my mom for watching All My Children, a soap opera from the 1900s that I found to be absolutely ridiculous. People would disappear and reappear at random, story lines became more outrageous or were repeated using different people, and there was always the possibility of an affair between friends. Pfft, garbage. “I don’t know how you watch this crap”, I would say to my mother, a comment that got me in trouble for my use of the word “crap” (which is probably why I curse so much now). Anyway, the point is my mom watched crap.

And here I sit, more than 20 years later, preparing to give you the rundown on a show where people disappear and reappear at random, story lines become more outrageous or are repeated using different people, and there is always the possibility of an affair between friends. (I’m not my mom. I’m not my mom. I’m not my mom)

That’s right. Vanderpump Rules is back and their reality is better scripted than ever! We’re only one episode in but already half of the casts’ lives are in peril and the other half still has the rest of the season to go. And just like their writers did for the season premiere, let’s go ahead and dive right in.

So how about that Scheana? I’m not paranoid or anything but last season I couldn’t help but feel like Scheana’s sole purpose on the show was to annoy me. All she did was whine and cry and performed circus tricks for acceptance, all while simultaneously staring at herself in a mirror and ignoring her husband. A mere few months later and Scheana 2.0 has a new boyfriend, is now friends with Lala, and no longer speaks to Katie and Stassi. In fact, the days of Scheana crawling behind Katie are so over that she makes it a point to tell Katie that she isn’t invited to her birthday party. In addition to reinventing her attitude she’s also reinvented her apartment; she took it from a Scheana shrine with an occasional photo of Shay peppered in and turned it into a Scheana shrine with a bedroom that’s been converted into a walk-in closet. “A dream come true” she proclaims.

Katie and Stassi seem to have adjusted to life without Scheana. Stassi has a new apartment and is back with her ex-boyfriend, Patrick. Katie is enjoying married life, reassuring us viewers that her and Schwartz are headed for the ultimate in #couplegoals – death. Mazel tov. However, before they can get there Schwartz (finally) has some business to attend to: making the restaurant Tom Tom happen with Tom Sandoval. How hard could it be? Incredibly if Tom Sandoval has any say in it, which he believes he has all the say in it. It turns out the deal Tom squared was offered was an investment deal that made each Tom a 10% owner with an investment of $100K. Sandoval isn’t quite clear about how this works and while at SUR, voices his concerns to Ariana regarding Ken and Lisa’s control over the whole project. And just around the corner, Ken and Lisa sit, overhearing every word. (Dun dun dun!) As expected Lisa is pissed and it looks like Sandoval may have blown this whole thing.

Good job, Sandoval. Surprisingly that wasn’t even the biggest fuck up of the episode. Nope. It’s Scheana’s birthday party and everyone is there; even people you forgot were on the show once. First, Scheana introduces her new boyfriend, Rob, to Lisa and boasts “this is all I’ve wanted for 10 years” to which Lisa responds by shutting her down and reminding her that she WAS married at one point and not to discount that. THEN former SURver Faith tells Brittany how beautiful she is, then proceeds to tell James that she slept with Jax and could be pregnant. (Dun dun dun!) Sandoval has already heard this rumor and could have easily called Jax about it but the party seemed more like the perfect place to discuss it. Jax, who’s had so many nose jobs he’s starting to sound like he has permanent allergies, denies the allegations because he’s Jax. It gets back to Brittany and the episode ends with Brittany threatening to take the dogs and leave him if the rumor is true.

Other things that happened were James’ girlfriend is back, Kristen got a combined total of one minute of air time, Jax and Brittany live down the hall from Katie and Schwartz, Ariana cut her hair, Sandoval did not know nostalgia was a word.

Speaking of words it’s time to play “What’s the Word?” But because this is 2017, the year that declared war on me, they’ve all decided to recycle the word “literally”. No worries, we still have two more episodes to go before we have to guess the official word or phrase of the season.

In the meantime we have so much more to figure out: did Jax cheat on Brittany? Is Faith pregnant? Will Tom Tom still get to be part owners of Tom Tom? Will they say more words so the game I invented won’t be a total loss? Find out next week on the continuing story of Typical Jenn writes about Vanderpump Rules.

Photo credit: hulu.com

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

Scrappy Little Nobody by: Anna Kendrick

I’ll admit, I haven’t watched very many of Anna Kendrick’s movies. In fact I can probably only name about four movies she’s been in. In all honesty it was her Twitter account that made me want to read her book. If she’s that funny on Twitter her book has to be just as hilarious and readers, it is. While she talks about how she got her start and many facets of her career it’s her honesty about who she is that I loved because basically she’s like all of us. You’re not alone, Anna, I’m an adult-child too! It’s nice when people admit they’re still trying to get their shit together, aren’t we all? I am, and Anna Kendrick’s book made me feel better about it. I highly suggest this read.

image2

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by: Jenny Lawson

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to discover the writings of Jenny Lawson. After spending a few weeks reading everything I could on her website I finally picked up her book and couldn’t put it down. What I love most about her writing is it feels less like you’re reading her story and more like you’re having an actual conversation with her. And anyone who deals with having social anxiety can absolutely relate to her.  I promise you’ll love this book. Read it!

image1(1)