Meet Your Experience Escort

Did you know that the SNL skit Pretty Living was written by Molly Shannon and is based on an ad she saw in a newspaper where a woman was advertising herself as a “Joyologist”? I found that out in her book Hello, Molly! 

I wish life coaches still called themselves this.

Anyway, reading that sparked a memory and I think I may know why I have such a problem with these self-proclaimed masters of life.

When I was 12, I got hustled by a woman who claimed to have the secrets that would help me live the life I want.

She was a phone psychic I called in the 90s and she couldn’t even tell that I wasn’t 18. I was away at cheerleader camp when my parents got the bill (thank God) and upon my return, they treated me to McDonald’s then presented me with the bill and promptly grounded me for about 4 months. #bossmove

“Did she predict you’d get grounded?” my dad asked.

“Well, she couldn’t predict that I wasn’t an adult so no.”

I forgot all of her predictions almost immediately which is a great sign that it was a bunch of bullshit, especially since I had 4 months of solitary confinement to try and remember them.

As a kid, I didn’t understand how this woman got hired as a psychic. Was there a test? Did they do that thing where someone goes “guess what number I’m thinking of?” and the interviewee goes “3!” and the hiring manager is like “you’re hired!”

How does one become a psychic?

As an adult, I know the answer. 

You just say you are one. And I know this because that’s how you also become a life coach and/or self-help guru. The requirements are the same too: you just have to be good at bullshitting. A skilled salesperson if you will.

I talk A LOT of shit about life coaches, particularly the 20-something-year-old Instagram ones, but that’s only because I, respectfully, find them to be full of shit. 

I realize how judgemental I am about this subject and believe me, I don’t care. 

For the record, I don’t think the people who seek out these internet snake oil salesmen are crazy or stupid.

Seeking help (period) is not stupid. It’s incredibly brave. 

The people who proclaim to have a secret that nobody else has and convinces others who are vulnerable and in emotional need to pay anywhere from $500 a month to $85,000 a year to learn it? People who lack the education or even experience to position themselves as some sort of emotional healer? THAT’S the shit I’m not cool with.

I mean, even Oprah’s favorite book The Secret – which tells you the whole secret (envisioning your goals, putting them on a vision board if you’re into that shit, and then doing your goals) in a matter of pages – costs like $20. 

Those above mentioned rates may sound made up and oddly specific but there’s a reason for that: a gym friend of mine has worked with life coaches that both charge and pay other life coaches that much. 

I’ll explain.

This friend first worked with a 20-something-year-old life coach to help with her marriage. This self-proclaimed life coach (and now astrologer, I just found out) has never been married and at the time, was dating a man that recently got served by his divorce lawyer for non-payment and was about to lose his own law license. 

As you may have guessed, her lack of experience in this field didn’t work so my friend moved on to another woman claiming to have “the secret”. 

And where did she get said secret?

From none other than Mr. Tony Robbins of course. 

I did not know that Tony Robbins’ business was more than just his motivational speaking and his books. Apparently, you can become one of his disciples/coaches by paying thousands of dollars to ascend the ranks. Kind of like Scientology. 

Or a pyramid scheme.

My friend began attending retreats hosted by a Tony Robbins disciple/former gym member named Laura (who actually came into the gym one day pretending to visit everyone but was actually there to “feel our energy”) and became a different person.

I wouldn’t call her enlightened so much as I would call her cold as fuck.

She went from joking around and dancing at the gym to ignoring all of us and shutting everyone out, including one of her best friends. And after Laura’s visit, she started saying that the gym was full of bad energy. 

She continued to show up, however, and (ironically) spread her bad energy  around the gym, to the point where a week-long absence for a work trip was celebrated by a couple of the coaches and some of the members. Everyone was tired of her coming in and being, to be frank, painfully unbearable. Like an abscessed tooth. 

Or a pyramid scheme pitch. 

And then there were the psychedelics. At first, my friend and her husband would attend these retreats and spend the weekend just staring at each other – which I admittedly thought was weird because I do that with my husband for free. But then the staring eventually turned into tripping as they were now being doped by psychedelics.

Our other friends and I couldn’t understood what she was doing but, honestly, it wasn’t for us to understand. It was her thing and as far as we knew she was doing this to help her marriage. But we also knew that since she’d started these $1500/month shroom sessions she’d retreated from everyone but Laura, who she was now referring to as her mentor. 

You know who else was a mentor?

George Costanza.

This is when we started to think she was in a cult because that’s what cults do – separate you from your friends and family that aren’t associated with the cult. Even Laura had quit hanging out with some of our other friends from the gym, people she’d been friends with for years.

From there I began to think this was some bullshit. And that thought led me down a rabbit hole where I discovered the podcast Sounds Like a Cult (which is awesome and you should listen to it!) and also found that to be the type of Tony Robbins disciple that is allowed to host these retreats and continue to learn about life or something (what Laura does) can run up to $85,000 a year depending on what level disciple you are.

I realize this might just be me but I’m not paying $85,000 to learn about life when I live it every day and that alone requires me to give money to the government. 

And excuse me but when do you actually learn the “secret”, from Tony or your life coach, anyway? 

The answer is: you don’t. These coaching programs are meant to be ongoing. 

Now, there are some people who will tell you whatever coaching they received changed their life, and I think that’s fantastic. But when someone charges any amount of money for guidance they may not be equipped to provide, that’s where shit can get dangerous and expensive. 

Additionally, Tony Robbins clearly states in his disclaimer (that I found buried in his website) that his coaching is not meant to be any type of counseling and even recommends getting help from a licensed professional if you’re in need of one.

Further, he only absolves himself, not his “coaches”.

Side note: I wouldn’t write that you’re a Tony Robbins coach on your resume unless you want to sound like I did when I used to write that I was Miss San Antonio Latina on mine. Yeah, I really did that but in my defense, I got that title the way Tony Robbins’ coaches get there’s: I paid for it.

Look, professional counseling (which Tony Robbins makes sure to state in his terms that he doesn’t do) is one thing. It just doesn’t sit well with me that there are people reading Brene Brown books and then charging people hundreds of dollars to regurgitate her advice to them.

That’s not life coaching. That’s plagiarizing. 

It’s important to note that my thoughts on the Tony Robbins stuff is based on my friend’s complete attitude change and the fact that her husband has made comments about it that imply he’s a little concerned as well.

Again, if it’s worked for you, cool. I just happen to be witnessing the type of transformation you normally see in possession movies.

Anyway, I’ve complained about this ad nauseam for God knows how long so I finally decided to do something about it.  

Beginning next week, I’m going to start pulling posts from various Instagram life coaches, organizing them into categories (because all of their posts are nearly identical to each other), and telling my own life stories that align with said posts. 

Real stories. Shit that actually happened and how I dealt with it. Not made-up stories or excerpts about how one time I looked like a deer in headlights because someone asked me what things I like and I didn’t know an answer. Spare me.

This is really just my petty way of showing y’all how similar (nearly IDENTICAL) these life coach posts are. Also, it’ll help me tell more stories.

Oh, and all of these here’s-what-happened-to-me-but-do-what-you-want stories will all be free. 

No monthly fee. No retreats where I make you yell in a canyon.

My goal is to post once a week but I have a real job that doesn’t involve swindling people so I guess it’s also time permitting. 

Welcome to a new era.

Welcome to your Experience Escort.

PS: I’m not the only one who feels this way. Check out this article by Rachael Albers. She does a deeper dive into this online marketing gig (because that’s what these life coaches do) and describes the problem with it way better and more mature than I ever could.

There’s something for everyone in the Abercrombie documentary on Netflix

I can’t explain why but I have been waiting for the Netflix documentary White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch since the release date was announced on Netflix’s Insta like a month ago.

Maybe it was to finally get the validation I’d been wanting since I was in high school, which was that yes, Abercrombie was for douches. Maybe it was to see if anyone still wore their jeans and shorts, like me (I love the way they fit, and also I was never their demographic so that makes me not a douch!). 

Whatever the reason, the documentary debuted and I could not wait. 

With a full schedule of shit to do for work, I turned on my iPad, clicked on Netflix, and took a trip back to the late 90s/early 2000s.  

Here’s a little about how Abercrombie worked for me back then. I’m from a border town. A border town with a mall that has a Ross, a Bealls, and a vast amount of places to eat. It’s basically a food court with a few clothing stores in it. When I was in high school if you wanted name-brand clothes you had to drive 3 hours to the nearest “big city” mall where you’d find all the places to shop such as Forever 21, Wet Seal (holla!), and an overly-cologned Abercrombie

At that time, the only thing I really knew about it was if you were rich and in the popular crowd, Abercrombie was practically a uniform. Obviously, I never shopped there as I was neither of those. 

When I watched the documentary, I wasn’t surprised at all by the claims that they only wanted “cool kids” to work there so that “cool people” would buy the clothes. Uh hello, remember the models on their bags and on the store signage?

Just a bunch of cool kids hanging out in a meadow throwing a football and joking around. Nothing like the “cool kids” in my school whose outings included skipping out and going to the clubs in Mexico. I don’t remember any of the graphic tees being designed with puke stains but I didn’t wear their clothes back then so what do I know?

Anyway, these marketing tactics worked. Abercrombie became the brand to wear and the place to work, and even though I wasn’t into the brand in high school, they fucking got me when I was 19.

It all started the way it usually does: with a boyfriend.

Just like the former CEO of Abercrombie, my then-boyfriend was shitty. And because he was my first serious boyfriend, his shittiness made me insecure. That led me to do things I would never do. Things that would make me feel cool like the girls he was cheating on me with.

Things like get a job at Abercrombie.

Yup. He worked at Abercrombie. One of the girls he liked worked at Abercrombie. So I thought, I’m good enough to work at Abercrombie. And I was.

My experience wasn’t like the ones in the documentary, however. People were fired or not hired at all based on their appearance. Or, people were hired and scheduled to work on the night crew – the crew that no one saw because they were deemed unattractive.

Because of their discriminatory practices, the company faced a massive class-action lawsuit by more than 250,000 former employees resulting in a $50 million dollar settlement. Beyond their affinity for hiring pretty white folks, their photographer was also a perv, and some of the male models that didn’t accept his advances were ultimately let go from their modeling gigs.

Mike Jeffries, the former CEO whose only dream was to be young, eventually stepped down from the company but not before receiving $25 million. You know, how most of these stories go. 

Today, the company is run by a new CEO and features a more diverse cast of models as well as plus-size clothing, something they’d refrained from in the past. 

In the documentary, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit remarked that her mother had, at one point, asked her why she wanted to work there.

She didn’t really answer the question but we all know the answer. 

To prove your cool status.

Or get a fat discount.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone is some version of an idiot in their late teens and well into their twenties. You have to be to think that getting a job at Abercrombie will show your loser boyfriend that you’re just as cool as the girls he cheats on you with (i.e. ME).

I’m happy to report that my time at Abercrombie lasted only a day. Retail sucks and the unreasonable amount of cologne in the air was nauseating and burned my retinas, so I never went back.

I’m even happier to report that while, yes, my then-boyfriend worked at Abercrombie, he worked on the night crew.

And he never got moved to the floor. 

I hope he saw the documentary.

🙂

Picture from: shape.com

At least the rabbit’s ok

I am allergic to everything. I’m allergic to nickel. I’m allergic to latex, which was a real blast when my last dental hygienist blamed “baby brain” as the reason for “accidentally” using latex gloves for the start of my cleaning, resulting in hives all around my mouth. I’m allergic to certain types of rubber including the ends of the dumbbells at my gym.

When I began breaking out thanks to my IUD (that’s a story for another time), my dermatologist and I created a real fun game called “Try It” where I would take a medication or apply an ointment and if I broke out in hives, then we would rule that out as a treatment option.

This, and this alone, is the reason I’m terrified to get my lips done. My fear is I’ll be allergic to whatever’s in lip filler and my lips will be swollen for at least 2 months. However, a friend of mine recently got hers done and the result was making me more confident in the idea that hey, maybe I’m not allergic to everything.

That all came to a screeching halt yesterday.

Yesterday morning, I walked into the gym like I do every morning, only this time I was greeted by my coach’s eye before the rest of her. It was like she was morphing into a character from my Resident Evil games.

“Oh my god, who did that to you?!” was my first question. Accusatory, yes. But eyes like that don’t just happen. Unless you’re me and you discover the hard way that you’re allergic to certain lash growth serums.

She responded: “my esthetician”.

The day prior, my coach had a facial and during it, was asked if she would be willing to have a procedure performed on her that was designed to help collagen production resulting in fewer wrinkles. Wrinkles that she doesn’t even have.

She agreed because who doesn’t want better eyes for free?

Her esthetician began the procedure which include some sort of needle gun, a topical cream for numbing, and some sort of serum. The type of supplies you see a “doctor” using in a B horror film.

The end result was one kind of swollen eye and one that was nearly swollen shut, like the kids from The Hills Have Eyes.

THAT is my nightmare realized. I am as vain as they come but not vain enough to risk deformity. That’s where I draw the line.

“Can’t you ice it?” a friend who had joined the conversation asked. “No, she told me not to.”

“You mean the woman who did this to you? I would get a second opinion if I were you” our friend advised.

I felt terrible for her, especially because she still had to coach like that (swollen and in pain). She started class and during our warm up explained to everyone what happened.

“Basically,” she said, “I was her guinea pig. I let her test out her new tool on me and this is what happened.”

Everyone listened intently, with sympathy in their eyes and heart.

Then, from the side of the gym, came the voice of one of the new guys.

“Well, at least the rabbit’s OK.”

The smartest part of your body

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ring. Ring. Ring.

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

“You’re not going to believe this.”

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

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

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

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

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

Vivarium and The Room: weird houses and jerk kids.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How could this go wrong?

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

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

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

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

Vanilla Ice Saves a Blogger

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

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

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

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

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

On a Saturday.

Arriving at 4:30 p.m.

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

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

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

And then it hit me.

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

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

image0                                                                        Danny Trejo is cool

But then the next day…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I tried to wave them down.

They ignored me. 

Typical LA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It didn’t.

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

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

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

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

Freelancing for Dummies: Shiiting Your Shot

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

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

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

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

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

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

And you know what?

He replied!

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

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

Fuck me, man.

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

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

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

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

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

Side Effects of Facebook Marketplace

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

I should’ve known the watch was a fluke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As seen on bad sitcoms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I did not.

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

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

A zip-lock bag.

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

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

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

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

I left it there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It never did.

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

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

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