How the Interwebs Ate My Soul

In mid-December, with a six-week break before the spring semester started when I’d once again be responsible for shaping the young minds of tomorrow, I knew I’d have a lot of time on my hands. I’d also recently made a list of intentions for the first month of the New Year – one of which was to create something every week. With so much time, and a renewed interest in art supplies, I had the brilliant idea of getting a part-time job at Michael’s.

It will be funThe application process was simple enough.

application2But, after filling out the equivalent of a three-minute relationship quiz in Cosmo, I got bored and decided I probably didn’t really want a part-time job at Michael’s. As quickly as I’d forgotten about the endeavor, the evil trolls of the Interwebs siezed upon my naivety. The next morning, I was mortified.

stop emailing meI knew time was not on my side. I prayed I could unsubscribe from every possible marketing list before the “they” of the Interwebs released the Kraken and my personal email address of nearly 15 years would have to be abandoned for safety.

KrakenSuddenly, the paranoia of being metaphorically eaten alive by my email got the better of me. Not only did it seem vitally important that I let the underworld know I did not want a retail job and to forgive my entering their domain, I wanted to ensure the sanctity of my email home, so I promptly began unsubscribing from every possible email list I’d willingly (or hadn’t minded being) opted in to.

Must winSome marketers make it easy to opt out of their lists, and their polite responses were a breath of fresh air amidst the sulfuric smell of the Interweb Hell I was trapped in.

GapOthers played mind games – taunting me but never confirming I’d unsubscribed.

received requestI will not be defeated2Then I came up against this. It seems harmless. But, I dare you all to sign up for either Kohl’s or Bliss’s email lists and then try to get out of them. Both send you in an endless loop back to the same screen and never actually let you unsubscribe.

Bliss part 2Kohl'sThus, I began preparations to sacrifice a goat. The Interwebs were not appeased.

DeathI wish I could report that this story has happy ending. But, alas, for the last 8 days, this has been my existence…

The End

 

 

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Why Vision Boards Terrify Me

comic vision board 1fix

 

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Helpful Emotions Charts for Anyone Who Knows Me

I’ve always been a really sensitive person. When I feel things, I REALLY feel them. Sad isn’t just sad, it ranges from mildly unhappy to feeling like I’m dying from Ebola. The intensity of my feelings can be challenging for those around me because 1) I don’t know how to talk about the intense feelings I’m feeling and therefore, 2) I hold them in and display a much more socially acceptable version of the feeling. Anyway, to aid myself and my friends I thought I’d create a few Emotions Charts to help people I know more accurately interpret and understand what’s going on inside of me.

Emotions Charts aren’t anything new. They are used in schools and in therapeutic settings to help individuals with processing challenges recognize human emotions. Here’s a standard Emotions Chart published by the American Psychological Association:

PSA-2011-05-matsumoto-fig1_tcm7-115934

Oh…where to begin…First, I think our friends at the APA need to work on their chart. Here’s how I read the above:

Joy: “Hey look, I just got my teeth cleaned.”

Surprise: “You want me to do what to your penis?”

Contempt: “I’m feeling a little constipated.”

Sadness: “You ate my ice cream.”

Anger: “Look at me – I’m a dragon. Rawr.”

Disgust: “My Botox isn’t working.”

Fear: “I didn’t take my meds today and I just sharted.”

Secondly, these pictures don’t accurately capture the depth of anyone’s – and particularly my – emotions. Below are the charts that I’d like my friends and family to go by when evaluating my emotional state. (A note: the Anger chart can be used to interpret Disgust and Contempt, too. And, I didn’t create one for surprise because, quite frankly, when I’m surprised by something, the feeling very quickly changes to one of the four listed below.)

 

Emotions Chart_Joy3

1.  “Yay! I’m happeeeeeee!”

2. “The world is beautiful and I can almost send good vibes to the bad people in my life.”

3. “Can’t…speak…poopin’ rainbows right now!”

4. “Thank goodness for Kegel exercises otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to cut off the pee stream just now and totally would have wet myself!”

 

Emotions Chart_Sadness

1. “I feel empty inside. Am I invisible?”

2. “Hey, guys…I think a flesh-eating bacteria is eating me alive from the inside out.”

3. “Please, please, PLEASE…someone…anyone…I’m not fucking around….help me! I’m legitimately dying here!!!”

4. “Just because the pain has stopped does not mean I’m okay. I’M FAIRLY CERTAIN I’M ACTIVELY IN THE PROCESS OF DYING!!!”

 

Emotions Chart_Anger2

1. “The fact I haven’t disemboweled you yet is a testament to my good nature.”

2. “You should probably remove the sharp objects from the room now.”

3. “OH MY GOD, AT ANY MOMENT I MIGHT ACTUALLY RECREATE A SCENE FROM THE MOVIE ALIVE.”

4. “Red rum. Red rum. Red rum. RED RUM. RED RUM. RED RUM.”

 

Emotions Chart_Fear

1. “Dear Jesus. I know we had a parting of the ways a while back, but I just want to say…”

2. “Um…hey, guys…I feel dizzy, nauseous and am about to black out. Can someone please hold me?”

3. “La-la-la-la I don’t care what anyone says, my feelings can’t find me here. La-la-la-la”

4. “MY FEAR OF BEING MAULED TO DEATH BY RABID SUBWAY RATS IS ACTUALLY COMING TRUE.”

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Daily Dose of Cuteness #1

Recently we went on an urban chicken coop tour. It’s amazing the ways people are incorporating gardening and farming into their everyday lives. On one stop, there was a pair of baby dwarf goats. I want one. A lifetime of adoration and goat-inspired gifts for anyone who can convince my boyfriend to let me have one as a pet.

baby goat

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10 Things I’ve (Re)Learned Since Moving Back to Dallas from NYC

1. When someone offers help, a drink, or free-flowing conversation do not assume the worst. Most likely they do not want to mug or physically or sexually assault you, so you need not cringe.

2. When planes fly in low over Dallas, you do not need to duck. It is most likely not a terrorist attack.**

3. Things move slower in TX. When at a bar, remain calm – the bartender heard you the first time and will get to your drink soon enough.

4. When meeting someone for the first time, it’s safe to assume their religious and political views are vastly different from what you’ve experienced in NYC. Don’t be alarmed by the vitriolic, EvangiPublicans. Texas does still have rational humanists – you just have to look for them.

5. When summer hits, revisit your wardrobe. If your signature color is still black, you risk dying from heat stroke.

6. When in Dallas, you understand that there is a reason for the stereotype of big hair and fake boobs.

7. When in places outside of NYC, you can actually, quite often, see the moon during the daytime. No, it is not a second star like in the famous desert scene on the planet of Tatooine in Star Wars. It’s the moon. It’s quite pretty and bright and you’ve missed it in all the time you were being swallowed alive by tall buildings.

8. When in the countryside 30 miles outside of downtown, stop and listen. That’s what nature sounds like without cars, subways, buses, vendors, tourists and screaming people. It’s beautiful and is rejuvenating for your battered soul.

9. When falling in love with someone who hasn’t had to wear a proverbial suit of armor to battle everyone everyday for 17 years, remember to let your guard down, be kind, and trust. Only then can love grow.

10. When dusk hits, bug spray is your friend. Like everything in TX, the mosquitoes are bigger and will bite you in places you didn’t know they could reach.

 

** True story: I lived in NYC on 9/11 and in my first week back in Dallas saw a plane coming in for a landing. As it flew over my office building in downtown, I freaked out and started telling everyone the plane was too low and was going to crash. FYI: not a crowd-pleaser.

SW_binary_sunset

 

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NYC Girl Takes On Country Living

A little background narrative:

I’ve lived two very different lives in my 38 years. The first 20 years of my life, I was raised in Texas where I camped, fished and was taught to shoot guns at a young age. While I grew up in the Dallas suburbs, my grandparents had a farm and I spent many summers riding horses and staring at cows.

In the 7th grade, we had to choose an arts elective and I chose drama because I was shy and thought it would help me talk to people without turning a weird shade of crimson bordering on grape. What started out as a hobby has become a lifelong career. And, at the age of 20 I left Texas for New York City where I attended NYU. I stayed there for 17 years.

For the first 14 or so years, I loved NYC and was the quintessential New Yorker. Black was my signature color. I would never be caught going out on the town in jeans. I knew which art exhibit or show to see when. And, I drank enough $20 foo-foo drinks to make a dent in the national debt. Yet, toward the end of my time there, I longed for a simpler, quieter, more peaceful existence. So, in May of 2012 I moved back to Dallas.

Seven weeks after returning, I met and fell in love with a guy from Amarillo who lived out in Wylie, which is as close to country as one can get without cows. In April of 2013 I moved in with him. If you’ve ever seen the reruns of Green Acres with Eva Gabor, you have a sense of the adjustment I’ve been facing going from NYC to living in the country with a garden, bugs, snakes, coyotes and such. And so, I give you a true story (with pictures) of one of my early encounters with mother nature in Wylie, TX…

 

Me vs. The Tree

 

We’d had a particularly hard rain the night before. It was a Saturday morning and Brett was out playing golf. So, I took a tour of the garden to survey the damage. That’s when I discovered a downed tree near the arbor.

 

Me and weed 1

 

I really wanted to impress Brett (for some reason, he thought I was a fish out of water when it came to gardening and such). So, I decided to save the tree before he got home.

In order to “save” it, I was certain I had to stand it up and somehow secure it. Even though the tree had some prickly thorny things, I was willing to endure injury to save this ugly little tree.

 

Me and weed 3

 

There were minor setbacks.

 

Me and weed 4

 

But, I was on a mission and would not be deterred…at any cost.

 

Me and weed 5

 

Me and weed 7

 

After nearly three hours of blood, sweat and near-tears, I was ready for the big reveal when Brett arrived home. My “ta-da” moment, was first met with silence….

 

Me and weed 9.2

 

….followed by laughter…..

 

Me and weed 9.3

 

That’s right. I had spent three hours saving one of these things that had gotten to be six feet tall:

 

nettle

 

And, I spent the next week covered in anti-itch cream.

 

M_B_Green Acres2

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Why My Employer Should Pay Me in Skittles

For all of you who don’t work in the pseudo-glamorous world of theater, I have a secret to share…PEOPLE IN NON-PROFIT THEATER MAKE NO MONEY. Given that, I have recently considered that those of us working in theater should be paid in…

(wait for it)

SKITTLES

Having moved from New York City to Dallas thinking I’d be better off financially (the whole “lower cost-of-living” and all), I’d like to share a pictorial representation of my financial well-being since the move last year:

List of BillsMy co-workers and I are all in the same boat financially, so perhaps they’ll agree to the following payment arrangement: have our employer pay our “hard costs” directly to the payees and then pay our “discretionary” income to us in the the form of Skittles.

I know this might sound a little crazy, but I’ve seriously contemplated the use of Skittles and offer this…

First: We can eat them.

Second: Watch a small child try to negotiate the concept of money. If you offer this child the choice of 20 pennies or 1 quarter, the child will choose the pennies (duh, more objects OBVIOUSLY mean more value in life). After paying my hard costs I could convert what’s leftover into Skittles and own about 12,000 of them.

TWELVE THOUSAND MULTICOLORED OBJECTS THAT ARE EDIBLE AND FILLED WITH SUGAR.

I don’t even like candy, but I’m sold on this. Think of all of the options.

I could spend hours at the office putting them into monster piles…

single stack skittles

 

I could spend hours sorting them into separate piles by color…

 

different stacks of skittles

 

When bored or in need of a dye job, Skittles hold many functions and could be used to dye my hair any number of colors…

 

me all hair

 

When I get tired of playing alone, my co-workers and I could take our thousands of brightly-colored objects and play games like “projectile sugar”…

 

Throwing skittles

 

And, when we we are feeling really depressed about our career choices, we can use Skittles to make flavored vodka! Lest you think I made this up, it’s a real thing and I’d like to ask my co-workers to consider this option with our next paychecks (click on the photo for a link to three recipes).

 

550px-Make-Skittles-Vodka-Step-1

Yesssssssss…..

vodka

 

 

Posted in Things That Make Me Crazy, Work | Tagged , | 1 Comment

A Short Post About Work Before a Really Long Post About Work And Life

So, it’s been a while since I posted. Needless to say, I’m slacking on my New Year’s resolution to write one sassy post per month. That means I have to crank out at least 12 posts over the next 220 days. I’ve actually been working on two for a while now (and, let me tell you, they’re super awesome). But since I’ve got grand plans to add comics to all posts, it’s taken a while. So, here’s a short post to hold everyone over until next week…

Last Thursday, we got an upgraded copy/printer/fax machine at work. It’s the newer model of the same one we’ve all been using effortlessly for some time. Sure, it has a few more bells and whistles (like detecting blank pages in a copy and omitting them). But, for all intents and purposes, it’s the exact same machine.

Even though it’s the EXACT SAME MACHINE, EVERY PERSON IN THE COMPANY HAD TO SCHEDULE A MANDATORY TRAINING SESSION BEFORE BEING ALLOWED TO USE THE MACHINE. (Surely by my overuse of all capitals you can sense where this is going.)

Being the type of person who eats all of her beets before the yummy food on the plate, I signed up for the first slot (along with two others) to get it over with. For 34 minutes I listened politely and tried to keep my face in a somewhat neutral expression as the tech took us through the basics of making copies (one sided and two sided) and faxing documents. For 34 minutes I contemplated the thousands of dollars in student loans I owe for my two Master’s degrees which surely mean I’m smart enough to know how to copy and fax. For 34 minutes I wondered about all of the amazing and/or potentially life-changing things I could have done with those 34 minutes. Here are a few I came up with:

I could have run a 5K

I could have taken and posted 30 street art photos

I could have had my teeth cleaned or had my annual gyno exam

I could have written a blog post about the stupidity of my day

I could have done all of my online banking for the next month

I could have conceived and completed an art project

I could have masturbated to orgasm…more than once

I could have done our grocery shopping for the week

I could have done all of my online Christmas shopping…seven months in advance

I could have answered the time-honored question of how many licks it actually takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop

I could have launched a space ship and reached orbit (it takes 8 minutes total, so actually I could have done that a couple of times)

 

 

Instead, I can now, most assuredly, get a job at Kinko’s

 

 

Copier

 

 

 

Posted in Things That Make Me Crazy, Work | Tagged , | 1 Comment

My Top 4 Worst Dates Ever

About a year ago, I had this brilliant idea to start a blog. I know. Novel.

When I first conceived it, I knew that my blog-of-greatness would not be just any blog. It would, instead, put my sassiness on full display, would come complete with cartoons and would cover topics that would make my mother want to disown me. Long story short, I lost patience with the whole setting-up-the-blog-site-thing and only managed to get one round of drawings finished before collapsing into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in my bedroom in Brooklyn.

Now, one year later, I find myself back in my home state of Texas 17 years after I first left. Whoa, ya’ll.

“My Top 4 Worst Dates” was the first and only post on my old never-seen-but-totally-awesome-blog and seemed a suitable post for the unveiling of my new blog-of-greatness: A Spoonful of Sass.

Why, you ask, am I going to be any more successful at actually sticking with it this time around? One of the reasons this project has been resurrected is because I met a guy on match.com. That’s a story for another day, but suffice it to say that he isn’t anything like any of the dudes I’ve dubbed “My Top 4 Worst Dates Ever”. I showed him my original blog site, for whatever deluded reason he thinks I’m funny, and he convinced me to start this up for reals. He even set up this url for me. So, away we go.

Why “Top 4″ and not a much more socially acceptable number like “Top 3″ or “Top 5″ worst dates, you may ask? Well, quite simply: I couldn’t narrow it down to three and it seemed unfair to unleash my sassiness on a 5th person for no other reason than the date was pleasant-but-not-very-interesting-bordering-on-me-wanting-to-stab-my-eyes-out-with-a-spoon. I may be sassy, but I’m not mean.

So, Top 4 it is. These are not made up. These are real scenes from real live dates. They all happened in NYC in 2010 and made me realize that, not only would I never find love in the Big Apple, but if I stayed there I’d very likely die alone with my cat feeding on my face… Here we go.

 

Ambien Dude

 

Downer Dude

 

The Dude Who Almost Provoked Me To Commit Mass Murder Over Margaritas

 

Skeletor

 

The irony of “My Top 4 Worst Dates Ever” is that two of these four were arranged by people who claim to be my friends. Assuming that to be true, I feel like my friends might need a little help in the matchmaking department. With that in mind, I created the following Helpful Matchmaking Flowchart. Like I said, this was originally created a year ago and now, I’m head-over-heels in love with a guy named Brett (who insisted I call him by his real name in this blog and not some anonymity-protecting moniker like “Boyfriend” or “Dude”). So, Dear Friends, I’m all set in the matchmaking arena for the moment. But, if for some reason, Brett and I decide we’d rather be gored to death by rabid, rampaging porcupines than continue seeing one another, please keep the following flowchart in mind when thinking of my dating well-being.

 

 

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