Annapalooza

Here’s What Makes Me Cry (And It’s Kind of Embarrassing) August 14, 2017

Filed under: Humor,Uncategorized — aniederkorn @ 10:18 pm
Tags: , , ,

The other day a friend texted me:

I was at a meeting today where someone I’ve known for years told us she has breast cancer. I started crying and couldn’t stop. I still feel like I could burst into tears – what is wrong with me? It’s not like we are close, just mommy friends…our sons are the same age. I don’t know…one of my worst fears I guess.

I texted back right away:

There is nothing wrong with you; that is heartbreaking news. And it shows you have a big heart. Hell I cry at the drop of a hat nowadays.

And this is true. There’s something about the past few years (hormones maybe?) that have made me much more susceptible to crying, even when it’s totally unexpected. I’ve basically turned into my mother, crying when I see a First Communion.

I think in some cases my tears are fully justified. For example, the other day the verdict came out on the “suicide texting” case. If you’re not familiar with the case, a teenage girl basically texted her boyfriend that he should kill himself. He was already seriously contemplating it, and she sent him several texts encouraging himself to do it already. And he did.

The entire case garnered a lot of national attention, and now here she was on live television, about to get sentenced. As I sat and watched the closing comments of her lawyers and then the sentencing, I couldn’t help myself. I just cried. The entire situation was just so horrible and sad; the girl looked like a complete zombie, her eyes barely fluttering to stay open. I couldn’t help but cry for everyone involved.

But then we move on to two other situations where my tears just flowed from out of the blue:

Scenario One:

Last fall I participated in running a relay marathon. (And when I say “running”, I really mean slowly jogging and wishing it all would end.) My part of the relay was just 5 miles, as opposed to all the folks running 26.2. After my relay group had finished, had a snack, took some pictures and patted ourselves on the back, we started walking back to the car (well, actually to the bar, if truth be told). On the way there we continued to watch all the marathoners finishing the race. Now by this point we were down to the slower people, but by all means I’m not judging…because they just ran 26.2 miles. I don’t care how slow you are, you had the discipline to do it, and that’s about 21 more miles than I ever care to run.

So as I’m watching the runners, all of a sudden I see an acquaintance, someone I used to work with. He was clearly suffering; every step he took looked painful, and he could not be any more drenched in sweat. At this point it was all he could do to finish the race. Man, this guy needed as much encouragement as possible, which lead me to scream out his name and keep shouting, “Good job! Keep it up! Keep going! Woo hoo!!”

Except I just barely got the words out. Because I was crying.

My husband looked at my oddly.

“Honey, are you crying?”

I looked away, slightly embarrassed.

“Well, yeah…”I started. “It’s just that he did it but it looked so painful…but he did it…” I drifted off. I couldn’t explain it. I was just so proud of this guy because I knew he wasn’t a typical runner; he just happened to have this goal and he trained for it and accomplished it. What could I say? I was verklempt.

But perhaps the most embarrassing of my sobbing happens at other happy times. Nope, I’m not talking about graduations or wedding speeches or gender reveal parties.

I’m talking about The Price is Right.

First of all, you can’t help but get happy when you watch The Price is Right. Having a crappy day? Life got you down? Trust me: Turn on this show and you will immediately be cheered up. No wonder so many unemployed people watch this show! (I’m guessing) And did you know they have a guy model on there too? Yes, a male Barker’s Beauty! (Insert purring noise here.)

Everyone on the show is just so freaking excited to be there, you’d think they’d all won a million dollars, whether they were sitting in the audience or had just won a brand new car. You seriously can’t tell the difference between the two.

But most of all I just plain love it when people win. You can tell that these people don’t have a whole lot happening in their lives, and being on The Price is Right will probably be the best thing to happen to them. So they just completely lose their shit whenever any prize (no matter how small) is announced. Years’ supply of Rice o’Roni? Hell yes, somersaults! Some jet ski that costs more than their double wide? Bring it on!

Spinning one dollar on the big wheel seems to give the biggest reaction, even though it’s only a thousand bucks. But to most of these people, that is a huge deal. And so I cry. And one time I saw the historic occasion when all three people spun $1.00 on the wheel. That was a veritable sob fest for me, not just because I was witnessing game show history and everyone was freaking out, but everyone was just so happy for each other. Even when only one person could eventually move on to the Showcase Showdown, the two losers were still hugging and rejoicing and congratulating, just so excited for the winner. (Basically if you want to see good sportsmanship, all you have to do is watch The Price is Right. Sure, the people on Wheel of Fortune are clapping for the other contestants, but if you look closely, they’re cursing under their breaths when the dumb-as-rocks person ends up winning because everyone else landed on Bankrupt.)

And don’t even get me started when Drew asks everyone to spay and neuter their pet.

But…he’s carrying on Bob Barker’s legacy with such class.

SOB.

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Here’s What Happens When Your College Kid Comes Home for the Summer July 7, 2017

Filed under: Humor,Uncategorized — aniederkorn @ 8:23 pm
Tags: ,

Maybe he grew a beard. Maybe she got a beer gut. Or maybe you hardly recognize this stranger in your house who apparently didn’t do any laundry the last month of school. But they’re home. They’ll probably challenge your boundaries and drive you crazy, but gosh darn it they’re your kids. And when they aren’t doubting your advice and your overall awesomeness as a parent, they can be pretty cool.

But let’s not kid ourselves; our normal household routine is definitely disrupted when the kid(s) come home from college. In the grand scheme of things, these things don’t annoy me as much as they kind of fascinate me, and they boil down to three things:

Odd Hours

I came home from a party one Saturday night around 11:30 (yes, p.m.) to find my husband playing poker with my twenty-one-year-old son and his friends. (No, there was no drinking involved since some of them were underage.) After a few minutes the game wrapped up, and everyone under age 49 decided they were going to go work out. Huh? Of course… because that’s totally reasonable. It’s not like they were getting off 3rd shift at the mill and this was part of their regular schedule; they just consciously chose to go work out around midnight on a Saturday. On one hand I’m impressed how they don’t let anything dictate their schedule; on the other hand, I’m wondering how they ever got to sleep that night. It truly boggles this lady’s mind.

Mysterious clothing

It’s inevitable that strange clothing will appear in my son’s laundry after I haven’t seen him in a while. A shirt with bananas on it? Where did that come from? Does he really like it, or is he just trying to be funny and ironic? And good grief, these are the towels that he used all semester? Those rags look like I should have been doing a welfare check on him. And then there’s all the friends’ clothing that make it into our house. On any given day there will be three pairs of friends’ shoes at our doorway (or maybe even some shorts and tee shirts) that seem to rotate among four of them, depending on who needs what when and where they’re going. Forget Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; it’s more like Brotherhood of the Traveling Shorts at my house.

Hungry friends

Speaking of friends…even though they forget their clothing, personal identification and even their keys at my house, they never ever forget to eat at my house. My son’s friends have been known to come by for their “second supper”. (We caught on to that trick pretty quickly.) Sometimes they call around and do a comparison before deciding where they’re going to eat. (Wait – wasn’t that an episode of Leave it to Beaver?) But in any case, I’m still surprised at how quickly our food disappears. That movie theater candy I got on special at Walgreens? Gone. The expensive Bai 5 drinks I got at Costco? Drank like they were overflowing fountains of water. (Note to self: Must hide Bai 5.) The empty wrappers and containers lying around my living room? A downright paradise for Templeton the rat.

 

 

Seven more weeks until school, folks!

 

 

 

Things I’m Supposed to Like February 21, 2017

Attention, marketers: I’m not picking up what you’re laying down, so you can take your Chicos fashions and move right along: I’m not buying it. Along with the rest of these things that 43-year-old women are supposed to like.

Paint Your Own Picture or Paint Your Own Pottery

I know I will probably offend some of my friends when I say this, but I have no desire to go to a studio and drink wine while we all paint the same picture and then pose with our artwork in a proud group photo, undoubtedly comparing our skills to each other. Not gonna do it. And to be honest, the fact that so many ladies do this makes me not want to do it even more. (I know, that makes me a total badass.)

Jennifer Aniston Movies

Mother’s Day? Really? Blech. Drivel.

Bath and Body Works

Do I want a basket to help me shop? No, I don’t. Ever.

Fifty Shades of Grey

This is our modern day idea of romance? That is seriously screwed up. Give me Daniel Day Lewis removing Michelle Pfeiffer’s glove in The Age of Innocence. Or Lloyd Dobbler watching over Diane Court at the senior party.

Victoria’s Secret

Don’t get me wrong – I love me some nice lingerie. It’s just that I don’t think Victoria’s Secret is all that great. And yet thongs – I mean throngs – of women flock to it as if it’s the Holy Grail of lingerie. Stop buying that overpriced crap, people! I’m also a bit disturbed that the company is marketing the Pink brand to pre-teens and teenagers so they can feel “sexy”.

P.S. I may still feel some resentment and/or creepiness over trying to order several catalog items from them years ago. A man took my order and proceeded to giggle at everything I said, including the fact that I was from Wisconsin. Like it was that odd that someone from Wisconsin would actually be ordering sexy underwear. It turned out every single thing I tried to order was mysteriously out of stock, so he then tried to sell me a Dream Bra (like a Miracle Bra) right over the phone. Needless to say, I never called them again.

Leonardo Dicaprio

Please tell me I’m not the only woman who doesn’t find him attractive. Even in his Titanic days he had the body of a little boy. I’m not into that. I’m also not into self-righteous movie stars who only date supermodels.

Brad Pitt

Okay I do feel a bit bad for him because Angelina is truly batshit crazy; she seems like one of those moms who lets the kids run rampant and then gets upset when Brad tries to step in and say, “No, Pax, you can’t do whatever the f*ck you want, because you are a CHILD.” But that aside, it seems like he doesn’t shower enough.

Coldplay and Adele

Yeah, I know…I lost my white person card right there. It’s not that I hate them, it’s just that I am so freaking sick of them. I never saw what was so great about Coldplay, and Chris Martin lost even more points when he married Gwyneth Paltrow. Adele is obviously very talented, I get it. But if I hear Hello one more time I might set fire to the…never mind.

Chrissy Tiegen and John Legend

Sigh. I know everyone is having this giant love affair with this beautiful couple and their beautiful child, but I’m over it. I think it started recently when they decided to sit down on the red carpet in the middle of the Golden Globes. Hmmm…not enough attention is being paid to us, so what to do, what to do…Oh! I know! Let’s sit down on the red carpet!

The sad part is, this shit made headlines.

And lastly…

Apple Products

Sorry, Apple, but I will not get sucked into your cult! Again, I find it disturbing that people wait in line for hours for a new (super expensive) phone that is basically 99% similar to their previous phone. If people are really honest with themselves, it’s not because of the new “features”; it’s so they can brag to their friends that they have the latest phone. Oh and it’s also because all the cute phone cases are only made for the latest iPhones. Seriously, have you ever tried to find a hip phone case for a Samsung Galaxy S5? It doesn’t exist.

Bonus reason: I don’t even think Apple products are that easy to use. ITunes? Disaster. Personally I like how I can go to Amazon Music, buy or download a song from Prime, and then automagically all my music is on my phone. It’s brilliant and cheaper and I love it.

 

Spinderella Cut It Up One Time (Or, What I’ve Learned from Spin Class) January 29, 2017

1) Don’t Wear Mascara.

The first time I went to a “real” spin studio, I was in the South. From what I’d seen and read (perhaps from Steel Magnolias?) I thought that Southern ladies pretty much slept in their make-up. Therefore I didn’t want to show up to the 6:15 a.m. class looking like…well, looking like my natural self. I put on a little concealer and my normal Dior Show mascara and headed out the door. About one hour later I was literally soaked with sweat but super proud I had done the class while not looking like too much of an idiot. (Wait for it.)  I then walked the 1.5 miles back to my hotel. Only when I got into the bathroom did I realize I had two huge raccoon eyes; that damn drag queen mascara was all over my face. I basically looked like I had just walked out of the Kentucky coal mines after a long days’ work. (And I should know; I’ve watched Coal Miner’s Daughter at least twenty times.

2) The Instructors Look Like Athleta Models.

This, of course, makes me instantly resent them. Many of them have ultra hip names like “West” or “Tedrick” or “Dannan”, a long blonde ponytail, abs of steel, and a sizeable thigh gap even my skinniest self has never seen. They were all former cheerleaders and/or dance squad captains at some big college, and I am constantly left to wonder how the hell they got their bodies. I’m sure it’s not all from spinning, despite what Kelly Ripa may tell you.

3) But I Still Love the Instructors.

Even though I resent their perfect bodies and perky demeanors, I still can’t hate them. The fact is, they’re good and inspiring and so darn nice. One instructor in particular, who reminded me of that perfect blonde Athleta model from every catalog (you know the one I’m talking about, ladies) does a fantastic job of making sure we leave all of our stress, insecurities, pain, etc. at the door and just focus on being good to ourselves. “Nobody is ever as perfect as they seem,” she (ironically?) said to the class. “Everyone has their thing, everyone has their own issues even if they don’t show it.” I couldn’t imagine what perfect blonde Athleta model’s struggles were, but I decided there must be something and just went with it.

4) You Rarely Sit Down.

I don’t know why this was a surprise to me; the instructors sure as hell didn’t get those bodies by taking leisurely rides like they were in a Schwinn banana seat. Once you get on the bike, your keester is up and out of the “saddle” most of the time. Sometimes when they dim the lights really dark I sit down and pretend that nobody can see me, but I know better. Plus I’m too competitive and self-conscious to be sitting too long, so I savor those 5 seconds of rest and then go back for more before the instructor sees me. Yes, it’s painful, but after awhile you get used to it.

5) There’s a Weights Section.

I’m usually jumping for joy and relief when the weights part of the workout rolls around. (Well, okay maybe not jumping…since my thighs are burning so much I pretty much have spaghetti legs by then, if you can imagine spaghetti legs with a little more than the desired amount of thigh meat.) I enjoy the weights because I can rock them out better than a lot of people in class, and for a few minutes I feel better about myself.

6) The Music Keeps Me Coming Back.

Bruno Mars vs. Michael Jackson theme nights? Old School Hip Hop? Yes, please! The music is always fantastically motivating and super loud, and sometimes it makes me forget I’m suffering (and paid an enormous amount of money for a 45-minute class.)

(That reminds me: Must suggest New Edition/Bobby Brown/ BBD theme night, based on recent success and hype of The New Edition Story miniseries. Spin instructors reading this, feel free to use my awesome idea. You’re welcome.)

 

Running Sometimes Makes Me Angry September 5, 2016

Filed under: Humor,Life Lessons,Uncategorized — aniederkorn @ 8:30 am
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I am not a runner. I am someone who sometimes runs and even sometimes signs up for things like 5K’s or even marathon relays, but I still don’t consider myself a runner. There are a variety of reasons for this, but it’s probably because 1) I don’t usually run on a regular basis (unless I’m training for something), and 2) I am slow as sh*t. I figure if I’m ever going to get any enjoyment out of running, I don’t want to suffer too much…hence I keep a very steady and slow pace just to avoid too much discomfort. Most days I would much rather do forty-five minutes of Insanity than run. Running is just such a constant mental battle for me: Can I keep this up? A car is coming, I’m going to speed up a bit. Seriously, how can that only be 1.5 miles? There’s another runner. Do I give him the runner’s nod, even though I clearly am not at his level? Is he mocking me? Etc. Etc.

Besides, I don’t even have a runner’s body; I have a long torso with short legs. A “regular runner’s” stride equals about four of mine. (On a side note, my body is apparently better suited to swimming. I’ve tried swimming fast. It never happens.) The truth is, running can scare the sh*t out of me. And here’s why: I never know when I’m going to have a great run or a terrible run. One day I could be feeling like a rock star and the next I have such a terrible run that I end up questioning my entire fitness level and abilities. And this makes me angry.

If you’re a runner and you enjoy it, I really envy you. I do. You most likely have impossibly long legs and weigh next to nothing. If you think I hate you for this, you’re probably right.

But seriously… if I really examine where my anger towards running comes from, I’d have to look back at my brief and totally non-illustrious personal history with running. I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to this list:

Runners Who Run BEFORE the Race

There are actually people who go on runs around the course before the race even begins. At a high speed. I am not one of those people. I need to conserve every ounce of energy I have before the race, therefore the walk from the parking lot and maybe a few half-assed stretches are all I’ve got. There is no way in hell I’m going to run a 5K before I run a 5K. Who are these show-offs? They’re runners. These people make me angry.

The Walk-Sprint People, a.k.a. Annoying Children

These are the 5K participants who have not prepared in any way for the race, so they decide to do a combination of short sprints followed by walking. They are usually clueless children who had no idea how far a 5K actually was, so they start out the race by sprinting for about a tenth of a mile, then suddenly realize holy sh*t I can’t keep this up (at least that’s what the foul-mouthed children are thinking.) So they walk. The second I catch up to them, they will inevitably start to sprint again. And then they will walk. And then I will catch up to them, and then they will sprint away from me again. We will play this little cat and mouse game almost the entire time until I finally can’t take it anymore and pass those little bastards once and for all.

Jean Shorts Guy

There’s always some scrawny guy in the race who looks like he rolled out of bed, threw on some jean shorts and some Chuck Taylors and decided, “I think I’m going to run this charity 5K today.” Even though the last year of his life consisted mostly of time spent in front of the penny slots machine, he passes me on the course and beats my time by about 10 minutes. Yup. I just got passed by a guy in jean shorts. And you wonder why running sometimes makes me lose my sh*t.

Incompetent Race Direction-Givers

One time a few college students who were supposed to direct people where to go on the course apparently missed the memo…and I went the wrong way.  (Yes, this would only happen to me. As if the actual running part was not hard enough, I now had to guess where to run.) As I passed others who were running the opposite direction, I wanted to scream at the boys: You had ONE JOB PEOPLE!! ONE JOB!! I ended up going about 3.5 or 3.6 miles instead of 3.1. Who knows. All I know is I was suffering badly. But Anne… how does this even happen, you ask? Read on.

Runners Who Run AFTER the Race

So apparently I went the wrong way during a race because I saw some other people way ahead of me…and I followed them. And the direction guys did not stop me. Seems logical, right? Well apparently not, because those people who finish the 5K so frickin’ fast then feel the need to actually go back onto the course and RUN. SOME. MORE. In the wrong direction. In any direction they feel like. So people like me see them and follow them.

Here’s a thought: Once you’re done with the race, F*cking. Stay. Off. The. Course. Want to go run some more? Fine, go knock yourself out. But don’t go back on the course. The fact that I am still struggling to finish while you are doing your “cool down” (at a pace still way more fast than more normal one) only makes me feel bad about myself. Oh, and angry. And here’s another thought: If you like to run so much and wanted to run more than a 5K, then why didn’t you sign up for the half marathon instead? These tiny distances are clearly way too easy for you, and I’d much rather avoid your condescending little looks of encouragement in my direction while you pass me during your cool down.

You’re welcome.

 

Despite all my embarrassing running moments,  there are actual times that running makes me feel good. And perhaps that’s why I continue to do it…to prove I can. To prove that despite my body type and overall general attitude towards running, I can actually do it if I set my mind to it. Even if I’m angry.

 

 

GPS Fail May 22, 2016

It all started out so innocently. I had booked the training in Atlanta because I was genuinely interested in the session and San Francisco was probably out of the company budget (not to mention a long way to go for a one-day seminar). I was savoring the chance to get out of the office and read on the plane, not to mention a hotel room and remote all to myself. I had heard the traffic rumors about Atlanta, but I honestly thought, “Meh, how bad can it be, right?”

I was so very wrong.

My trip actually starts out pretty well. My flight arrives early, and I’m the only person in line for my rental car place. I get to the expressway just fine, as I have to travel to the north side of Atlanta (the airport is – of course – on the far south side of the city). I’m cruising along, slightly slowing in the middle of the city but for the most part keeping a steady pace.

I get off the expressway and onto another highway, then take my exit to my hotel. This is where the trouble starts. According to my GPS, my hotel is “on the right”. That isn’t really specific enough, and I don’t see my hotel at all, but I could figure that out later. That’s because my hotel exit also featured a sign for Chick Fil A, and I was hell bent on getting some delicious chicken before hunkering down for the night. The sign had said the restaurant was maybe a half mile down the road, however it became clear that they either lied, I had missed it, or it was very cleverly hidden.

In the meantime I get completely turned around and confused and somehow end up in a mall parking lot. Right in front of Nordstrom, specifically. If you know me, you realize the irony of this situation.

But at this point I was so frustrated and bordering on hangry that even a beautiful shoe department could not deter me on my quest for chicken. I regroup, punch Chick Fil A into my phone’s GPS, and wait for my instructions. The calm voice tells me to do something like “Head Northwest”.

“Well bless her heart, she honestly thinks I know which way is Northwest,” I say in my best Southern accent.

Honestly, I’m more of a “turn right at the McDonald’s” kind of gal, so the GPS may as well have told me to “Go Table”.  I end up flipping a coin and hoping for the best. Of course by the time I realize I should have turned left instead of right, it’s too late. I have to turn around in some residential community that looks like it could house a poorer Real Housewife. Maybe Kim before she met Big Papa.

Honestly, how do people ever make a left turn around here? If there’s not a light, you’re pretty much screwed. I have no choice but to somewhat pull out in front of someone, and then I realize how painfully close I was to Chick Fil A all along and I feel like an idiot for wasting the last 30-45 minutes looking for it. But I do get my chicken and kale salad, and then I vow to walk to my training in the morning. After all, it’s less than a mile away and not worth the hassle.

As luck would have it, it’s pouring rain in the morning (of course!) so I decide to just suck it up and drive. The GPS directs me right to the building and tells me to go in the two left hand lanes. I do this and decide I will then go to the back of the building and park. Except that the lanes do not lead to the back of the building. They lead to the expressway.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Note: The GPS will just get you to the front of the building. It will not mention that you need to get into a certain lane to find the parking garage for the building. This lacking functionality completely effs up my simple commute, which has now turned into a COMPLETE NIGHTMARE.

I let the f-bombs fly as I realize I will now be late for my training, since not only is traffic crawling, but the next opportunity to get off the highway is about 5 miles down the road. So even though I left 30 minutes early to travel 1 mile, I still end up LATE for my training. I hate being the late person.

Honestly ATL people, I don’t know how you do it. I loved how you had the three C’s covered in a small radius (Chick Fil A, Container Store, Costco), but if it takes an hour to travel between them all, that kind of defeats the purpose of this beautiful trifecta, am I right?

Even as I traveled to the airport at 6 a.m. the next morning, the traffic was hectic…not because of the number of cars, but because of all the maniacs who were frantically trying to avoid the impending rush-hour. Their motto seemed to be, “Screw that. I’m going to work at 6 a.m. and driving 90 mph to avoid all you other suckers.” Fair enough.

Never again, ATL. Never. Again.

 

 

 

A Brief History of My Pet Peeves (Part Two: Current Day) March 7, 2016

 

In yesterday’s blog I gave a brief history of my pet peeves, starting with Kindergarten and ending with my thirties. Not surprisingly, all of them continue to bug and haunt me in some way, and each one is probably as childish and petty as the next. (I guess that’s why they are called pet peeves and not actual problems.)

 

So in other words, my current pet peeves will definitely not show how I have evolved as a person. They continue to remain insignificant, struggle-bus, pesky little critters that drive me crazy. Here they are, in no particular order or level of maturity:

 

Uniqlo.  When I first visited Uniqlo in New York’s SoHo several years ago, I didn’t really understand the hype. As far as I was concerned, it was just the Japanese version of Gap.  I decided to give it another try this past fall when it finally opened in Chicago, and on opening weekend no less.  My excitement at receiving a free tote bag quickly dwindled when I actually started shopping and walking around. Apparently the Uniqlo people think it’s quirky and funny to have its employees stand in the middle of each department and continuously shout out a sales pitch. One such pitch may go something like this: “PEOPLE OF CHICAGO!! ARE YOU TIRED OF FREEZING YOUR BUNS OFF THE SECOND YOU STEP OUTSIDE YOUR DOORSTEP? LOOK NO FURTHER AS OUR SUPER WARM LONG UNDERWEAR WILL PROTECT YOU FROM THE STRONGEST GALES OF THE WINDY CITY!!!!”  Now this was charming perhaps the first two times I heard it, but after a while I wanted to curl up in the fetal position and cover myself with their mountains of cheap cashmere sweaters. Plus I couldn’t get away from the overly-enthusiastic salespeople who constantly wanted to help me. When I did actually manage to try on something, I ended up breaking a sweat as I contorted my body out of a sweater that was surely meant for a fourteen-year-old Japanese supermodel and not an American white lady with muscular upper arms. In the end I was running for the exits, dodging all the Japanese-Americans with gleefully smug looks on their faces.

 

“Top Ten List” Internet Articles.  These are all little useless nuggets of pop culture information that I absolutely must read about ASAP.  So I click on the link, and instead of giving me a nice little list I can scroll through, I get the list one at a time. In order to get to the next item on the list, I need to keep clicking on an arrow. Except there’s one teensy problem: the page contains about four different arrows and “next buttons”, all meant to confuse and trick me. Therefore if I choose wrong, I will be taken to some completely different page whose number one purpose is to distract and scam me . From there I am stuck in a death spiral, desperately trying to get out of the scam page and return to my article…because all I really wanted to do was find out which former child stars have grown up to be really (pick one) ugly/hot/bankrupt/friends of George Clooney.

 

Queue Drifters. There is a recent phenomenon happening in retail, and every time it happens to me I look around the store incredulously and want to ask other shoppers, “Did you see this? Is this really happening? Does this only happen to me? Or am I in some parallel retail universe?” Maybe I’ll actually try that next time.

 

But anyway,  here’s what happens:  I will innocently walk up to the line next to the cash register, only to have someone behind me (in a faraway voice) say, “Excuse me, I’m in line”. This person is nowhere near the register, and is just kind of hanging with their items in hand. This is not the case of two registers open at the same time where everyone just kind of waits in the middle until one of the registers opens up. There is one line and one line only, and apparently everyone else missed the memo that the line forms at the register. This isn’t an ATM, folks – I don’t need to give the people checking out that much privacy, even though I may seriously consider their fashion choices as the clerk rings up their sale. All I ask is if you are going to stand in line, then STAND IN LINE. Commit to it. Don’t be tangentially involved in the process. Thank you.

 

The Balsomra Commercial. I know you’ve all seen this commercial, otherwise known as the creepiest commercial known to mankind. If not, here’s the summary: Balsomra is a sleep medication. In order to illustrate to us how it helps you stay awake and fall asleep at the right times, it has created a little video of a woman  that includes the words “Sleep” and “Wake”…only the words are in the shape of furry cat-like critters. Word pets, if you will. So as the woman goes to bed, she cuddles up to the “Sleep” word pet and shoos away the “Wake” word pet. The only thing is, the word pets are some the most terrifying, creepy creatures I’ve ever seen. Who in their right mind would want to snuggle up with these things, or even hang out with the “Wake” word pet during the day? These are the things of my nightmares, folks.

 

Drive-Thru Window Ineptitude. Words alone cannot describe my irritating drive-thru experiences, so I will instead give a sampling of my typical experience:

 

 

Fast Food Restaurant Recorded Voice (FF): Hi, welcome to Fast Food Farm. Would you like to try our sloppy joe grande pot pie combo?

Me: No thank you. (Although that does sound tempting, I think.)

Silence.

More silence.

Uh…did the human get the microphone yet? Am I supposed to go ahead and order? Or do I wait until I hear another announcement? Normal conversation would dictate that the restaurant person should now speak and ask me for my order, since the first question was truly just asking me if I wanted to try their latest special, and I already said I didn’t. I’m so confused.

 

What seem like several minutes pass, and eventually I just give up and start talking.

 

Me: Okay I’d like a small burger meal with ketchup, pickles and mustard only. And that’s it.

FF: You want cheese on that?

Me: No, ketchup and pickles and mustard only. And that’s it.

FF: Okay did you want an ice cream cone too?

Me: No, that’s it.

FF: Oh and did you said the meal or just the sandwich?

Me: The meal.

FF: Anything else?

Me: (Shaking my head, ready to scream) No.

FF: (Several minutes later): Okay that will be $5.23. Please drive ahead.

 

I pull to the window to pay.

 

FF: Okay so you said no cheese, right?

 

The struggle continues to be real.