Category Archives: Things that confuse me

A fair weather fans defense of Eagles fans

I don’t care about sports, like not at all. The only reason that I appreciate them is because they’ve created things like the ‘wing bowl’ and other deeply fried finger foods that you get to eat while you watch them. But in general sports exists somewhere on the periphery of my consciousness. Except for now when my entire city is funneling beer in one hand and painting their entire bodies green with the other. It’s a hard thing to block out, you know?

Look we don’t have a lot of good stuff going on here in the city of brotherly love, crime is up, housing is unreasonable and to quote a recent article in the Washington post, “the city reached its peak of importance more than two centuries ago”*. We are the poorest of America’s 25 largest cities and if sports helps to distract us from our everyday rage over the inherent unfairness of life than I say funnel away!

I love Philadelphia, I love the passion with which we love and hate things with equal and complete thoroughness and gusto (see why crime is up). I like how nearly everyone downtown today has either a shirt or a hat on it that reads “No one likes us and we don’t care.” I mean, come on – I want to be friends with those people.

I know that the rest of the world is slightly (if not completely) baffled that there are city workers out today greasing every lamppost in the city. But I also know that come Sunday night some incredibly inebriated locals are only going to be excited for the extra challenge of getting to the top of those polls. And that my friends is true grit. And isn’t that what sports are all about? No, really I’m asking because I don’t know… I’m a librarian.

* Opinion | With Eagles in the Super Bowl, Philadelphia fans set themselves apart – The Washington Post

The Most Expensive Place On Earth

Just recently, despite my better judgement, I purchased a Disney vacation for my family* and if this doesn’t buy their unconditional love, I don’t know what will. Disney is EXPENSIVE. And I get it, you can’t put a price tag on these kind of family memories blah blah blah – but you can actually, you can put a big price tag on it.

I don’t mean to sound jaded but Holy Moly I have spent the last week or so ruminating about all of the other things I could have used this money for instead. Here is a list I compiled on my way in to work this morning:

  • Lasik eye surgery for me and a frind
  • A quarter of my remaining student loan debt
  • A top of the line John Deere riding lawn mower
  • 6 nights in Paris (France, not Epcot)
  • slightly used pair of jet skis
  • A Hot Tub
  • A 3D Printer
  • A baby grand piano
  • 80″ Plasma TV
  • New vinyl replacement windows that will keep my house warm
  • A lifetime subscription to the wine of the month club (for me and a friend)
  • Three years of monthly maid service
  • Full spelunking equipment
  • A Camel
  • A Vespa
  • 1/2  years tuition at the cheapest public university in  PA

Like I said, I’m not jaded – I love my family and now they have no excuse but to love me back.

*This is a surprise, no one tell Lucy

A Case for the Uniform

Yesterday was my first post-layoff job interview. The email confirmation I received from them gave me the time and address of the meeting as well as reminder that it is a ‘casual office’.

Hm, this means I can’t wear a suit. But how casual is casual? I assumed that they would be in jeans, but I can’t wear jeans. Maybe black pants? Ok, except that my black pants need to be ironed and I don’t do that very well.

Ok, so a dress, but which one? A ‘casual’ dress? Those make me look like I’m headed to a party or out for date night. A business dress? It’s practically the same as a suit but without the jacket.

Ugh! Why are you messing with my head! I tried on 7 dresses and one skirt, two different colored tights and three pair of shoes.

In the end I had about 2 and a half minutes to get out of the house and grabbed the first dress I had tried on, threw on my coat and tried not to obsess over it.

My meeting was with two women both in jeans, I confessed that I had changed about 5 times to be casual but not too casual and they also confessed that they were pretty dressed up, but they didn’t want to dress up too much because they had told me they were casual.

If I get this job, I’m pretty sure it will be because of our shared fixation on fashion. This seems like as a good a reason to hire me as any, right?

Footnote to this story: Last night I had a dream that I got this job and showed up this first day in a t-shirt, just a t-shirt, no pants, no underwear. It was not a long t-shirt. No one seemed to notice.


How to Fix the World with Kittens and Beer

The fact is there is nothing good to read on the internet. Seriously, I scroll though blog after blog on wordpress and you know what I find? A lot of political ranting, some uber feminist babbling followed by more political ranting. Sometimes there is a side note in there about environmental ruin and the destruction of life on earth as we know it.

This makes me feel personally responsible for bringing joy and light to my fellow human beings, which is hard because I’m not really full of joy and light, mostly because so many things piss me off.

Also, why do we need so many blog posts about politics and the environment? Seriously, if you have been alive for… (I’m guessing) 20 years and have paid attention to anything than you already know that we, as a species, are ruining everything and that we cannot collectively elect a leader that makes anyone happy. I don’t really see the point in belaboring these facts by blogging about them. That is what the news is for. Want to see how terrible everything is? Turn on CNN.

I know I’m coming across and trite and glib but fo’ real – in a world of mass shootings and terror extremists what we really need to do it shut the fuck up and stop feeding in to it. We need more pictures of kittens, we need more stories of families and communities coming together for something good (like beer).

We should all go out right now and buy some random person a beer and hear their story and if we all did that everyday than we’d all be happier and probably 15 pounds heavier and have lost our job because I’m writing this at 8:42 in the morning. But honestly people, if your job doesn’t support you buying strangers beer before breakfast than you need to rethink your job.

I have no proper ending to this post; here is a picture of a cute kitten:


What not to get me for Christmas

The last post that I wrote really got me to thinking about things that I hate. Not regular things like terrorism or cancer or trying to call your insurance company to get conformation about what your policy covers (that shit is terrible). I mean the seemingly everyday things that most normal people have no problem with. Here are my top choices in no particular order:

SOUP: Why do people consider soup food? To me soup is just a hot beverage, and if I want a hot beverage I’ll drink coffee thank you very much. But seriously, there are millions of people out there that “eat” soup as a meal. Personally I like to chew my meals and if I’m going to invest in the calories (and some soups are calorie laden) I want to chew them. I know most of you are thinking, what about when you are sick? No, not even then, the entire point of getting sick is to lose weight (Isn’t it?) so why fill up on stupid empty soup calories? East some dry toast, go back to bed and when you are better you can have some coffee (coffee= warm caffeinated soup in a cup!)

VESTS: I hate vests, and I don’t mean the kind that men (and sometimes women) wear under a nicely tailored three piece suit. No, I’m referring here to vests that people wear to keep themselves warm, fleece or down vests, anything meant as “outerwear”. First they just look stupid, they made you bulky in the places you don’t want to be bulky. But besides being aesthetically unpleasing they are also useless. Physiologically speaking* when a person gets cold they feel it most in their extremities, don’t your fingers gets cold before your boobs? Why wear a garment that is only going to keep your boobs warm, not your hands, and as a bonus make you look fat in the process? Vests, I hate you, get sleeves and turn yourself into a coat.

THE MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY LINCOLN COMMERCIALS: Not only is this like the definition of pretentious actor buyout, but the sound of his voice makes me illogically angry. Also his face, there is something super irritating about his smug stupid face. When his commercials come on I feel a deep seated rage well up from somewhere deep inside me, I can’t explain it, this is just the way it is. Matthew Mcconaughey, you are right it isn’t about hugging trees, it’s about getting you off of my TV. Also your last name is ridiculously hard to spell. Go away.

How is this cool?
How is this cool?

  • I am not a doctor, I’m really not even sure what physiologically means

Wherein I Seem Angry for no Reason

WTF is up with Fall? And by that I mean when did the season of autumn become an event? Did I miss something? My daughter has had her face painted EVERY weekend since Labor Day.

When I was a kid we each got a pumpkin for carving, we hung some Indian corn on our door, we spent one day trick or treating and then we hunkered down and waited for Christmas. Now it seems that suddenly the entire months of September, October and November have become a giant pumpkin eating hayride of harvest festivities.

And what really makes me stay up at night* is what came first, did I miss some kind of universal change in humanity when sometime in the mid aughts everyone woke up craving pumpkin flavored pastries and the opportunity to pick their own apples? Or did one group of farmers accidently plant so many pumpkins** one year that they were forced to conspire with bakeries and Starbucks across the country to get rid of their product?

Either way it happened I am fascinated by it and how everyone seems to be on board. Nary a weekend has gone by where someone hasn’t texted me with “you want to go pick some apples on Saturday?” and the thing is I like to go apple picking, I like being out in an orchard when the trees are turning and the smell of apple ciders in the air and all of that, but it’s really easy to pick apples ( I mean on a small scale, I certainly wouldn’t want to do it for a living) while meandering down rows of loaded apple trees dropping those within easy arms reach inside of a paper Trader Joe’s bag I can gather enough apples to get my family of three through the winter in about 10-15 minutes. So why do I need to go apple picking every single weekend? Maybe I can set up some kind of 2nd run apple stand for people who are too lazy to get in their cars and drive to an orchard to lift up their arms? I don’t know maybe I’m on to something here, but I feel like the people who invented grocery stores might have already figured out this business model.

Also, while we are on the subject of seasonal festivals, why just fall? Why not have spring festivals and summer festivals and maybe one smack dab in the middle of Winter, I feel like that would really help people get through February if the entire month was devoted to “Mid Winter Fiesta!” we could use the old apples that never gotten eat from all of the apple picking in fall to make mulled apple cider, or maybe we could just throw them at snowmen as we primal scream to let out our frustration that its only fucking February (with sparklers, cause nothing says Mid Winter Fiesta like apple chucking and sparklers).

*This is a lie, nothing keeps me up at night (except maybe an ill timed double espresso) I’m so tired that by 10:00 rolls around I couldn’t stay awake even if the house caught on fire and I was forced to leave. I’d probably just stay in bed shouting “tell me family I love them!”

** This is easier than you would think. Watermelon and pumpkin vines look a lot alike. This past spring I planted both of them in my garden and around the first of August my husband excitedly told me one day that our first watermelon was growing big and nearly ready to be picked. A few weeks later he picked and (fortunately) before cutting into it examined the underside and realized that it was orange, it wasn’t a watermelon at all but a not-yet-ripe pumpkin. See, if it can happen to us it can happen to anyone.

Sometimes its hard to tell
Watermelon Pumpkin

Men are from Mars

There’s a lot of differences between my husband and I, many of them stem from our own kinds of personal grooming techniques, some are related to the length of time we can talk to any one person on the phone. Many of our differences originate from our organizations skills and our ability or inability to multitask (he can talk longer on the phone but I can do two things at once).

We’ve been together quite a few years my husband and I but there are still moments that amaze me. Ever since we purchased our new home I have invited friend after friend over to give them the grand tour to show them the awesome huge pull out drawers in the kitchen to say things like, “and on this wall imagine a big focal point like lots of family photos interspersed with art and cool fabric swatches…” my friends ohh and aww over the potential that they can see in our unfinished rooms. But last weekend my husband had some of his friends over and when I got home they were just drinking beer and hanging out in the driveway. I invited them, but they declined. Later after they had gone home I asked my husband if he gave them a tour of the house and he said ‘yeah, I took them downstairs and showed them the beer refrigerator’. Really? All this space all this unlimited potential and you take your friends to the utility room in the basement and show off our second refrigerator? I was incredulous and he was perplexed by this.

Sometimes I wonder how men and women have managed to coexist for so long, I mean despite the fact that our parts fit together so easily. I guess this is the reason there is both HGTV and SPIKE TV.

Call your friends – call them now.

Ten years ago I landed a gig shelving books and telling people where the bathroom was at Barnes and Noble. It was a thankless job but it allowed me to manhandle books and drink really cheap coffee all evening long.  Hands down the best part about being a bookseller was the people I met.

Emily Morris and I met at cash wrap early one Sunday morning when we were both under-caffinated and surly, we immediately realized that a.) we both had the same intense obsession with good books b.) we both intensely hated Sunday morning book shoppers and  c.) we lived four blocks from each other. I was drawn to her, she was so sarcastic and so dry and had the most amazingly infectious smile. Unlike myself, with my weird social anxieties Emily was friends with everyone in the store, and I think we were all glad to be part of that club.  There was no subterfuge with Emily, she told you how it was – even if the truth was that you were being a total ass, she told you with a smile but she told you.

We spent a lot of time hanging out, discussing books – rummaging through thrift stores, eating, drinking – I valued her honesty and went to her when I needed a solid opinion.

One fourth of July Jason & I spent the day at her childhood home in Lebanon, we lounged by her pool becoming much better friends with her dogs than her parents (who I think were secretly horrified we showed up with a case of beer for one afternoon), and when it got dark she drove a drunk Jason and I  to some random cow pasture to watch fireworks off of the hood of her Volkswagen –  it was the best fourth of July ever.

There came a point when we unknowingly grew up, Emily moved to Norristown and became the first single 20-something I knew to buy her own home, I got married and knocked up. Our communication became sporadic, we would email and talk and not nearly often enough I would drive out to Norristown to check out her crazy DIY projects.  And of course I was always invited to her annual birthday bash that she threw every year on her birthday – Groundhogs day

But we continued our shared interest in books, Emily was a writer and when I started this blog she became one of my number one fans, it was amazing because I longed for her approval.  Last year I started a book club and as soon as she caught wind of it she asked to join – I was thrilled that this meant she was obligated to hang out with me once a month, we emailed back and forth and made plans and then life happened and the meeting got cancelled and then I got sick and then and then… I emailed her a couple of times but never heard back – I assumed she was busy, besides writing for two newspapers she also taught community college courses and spent a lot of time fixing up her house and vacuuming up the fur from her English Springer spaniel and three kittens.

In December I sent her a Christmas card and a few weeks later I got a message via facebook from a friend of hers telling me that in April Emily died in a horrific car accident.

I have never known anyone as full as life as Emily – no one who has laughed louder or harder, no one who exuded the kind of energy force she did. I cannot even understand or wrap my head around a world that is so cruel in its randomness.

Its been hard for me to accept or share with anyone – how do you begin? I do not know. All I know is that Saturday she should be turning 32 and she should be at home, with 47 of her closest friends, handing out free Punxsutawney Phil paraphernalia  My phone keeps reminding me its coming up – how do I delete that?

I miss you my friend.

Yet another reason we need to move to a better school district

I have spent a life time answering stupid questions, perhaps it’s because of my career path and all the years I worked in customer service, but now that I am a librarian it’s gotten 100 times worse. People come to me to ask me all manner or bizarre and often times droll questions (i.e. “what’s a synapsis?” “what’s a thumb drive for?”) and it makes me wonder what they are teaching in high school these days.

But, last week I got one that made me do that double look “Whaaa?” face. A student was in the library buying hair extensions on-line when she turns to me and asks, “How come they are still making iPhones if that guy is dead?”

Hm. What?

So, I saved the retention report I was working on and took a moment to explain how Apple is a huge corporation that still employs many people who are working on manufacturing and developing the iPhone. I tell her that it wasnt just Steve Jobs sitting in his dining room constructing each phone by hand.

A look of pure shock & revelation came across her face and says “Oh, I never thought of that before I thought it was just him doing it.”

It makes me want to revive my love of calling random strangers and look up the number to the Philadelphia Public School system and call them and ask them where they went wrong.

Deep Thought Thursday

Things I have  learned discovered in the recent past:

Yesterday morning in the shower for no apparent reason “Devil Inside” popped into my head and it kicked off a long internal rambling monologue that ended with the realization that INXS is a word play for  in excess – sometimes it takes me 20 years to draw conclusions most people get right away.

Last weekend I found out that it is inadvisable to wash your windshield when your sun roof is open… good to know.

I am in the middle of reading Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi – it’s a very good book, a veritable page turner about what she (and probably most female actors) go through to stay thin in Hollywood. It really makes you think about our society as a whole and our unconscious expectations. But what is really makes me wonder, is why can’t I have the strength of will and determination to develop an eating disorder? I simply don’t have the staying power… so sad.

Wherin Google connects me to humanity

I have the top ten Google hot trends listed on my iGoogle website – I am all about all things Google. I think any internet browser who spell checks everything for you totally rocks (I love you chrome!). But I am constantly amazed at the random menagerie of searches people perform. This morning when I got to work the #1 search in the United States was “what time is it” and I have to ask myself – if you have the ability to connect to Google than you must, by default, be using a devise that has the capability to give you the time, right? Why would you Google this in the first place,? And why would so many people be googling it that it made it not only to the top ten list, but all the way to number 1?

Also on my iGoogle home page is the “How of the Day” – sometimes this is really really helpful, like the day it taught me how you calculate your GPA (yes, I have three degrees… there are clearly holes in the educational system). Today, however it is teaching people out there (I assume the same people who have no idea what time it is) how not to be afraid of cattle. Is this really a problem? Is there a large portion of our population unable to sleep at night for fear that a rouge Holstein is going to find its way into their bedroom and… what? Lick them to death? Now, there are a lot of things in this world that I am afraid of – guns and squirrels being top of the list (stupid rats with big fluffy tails, able to roam freely throughout the city…) but honestly, I have never ever thought that cows presented a problem, am I wrong?

Lyrical misunderstandings

I’ve never been particularly adept at deciphering song lyrics. Either I completely misunderstand the words that are being used or I miss the point of the song altogether. Perhaps my best known song faux pas is John Fogerty’s “Put me in coach” which until I met my husband I believed was about flying in an airplane and my entire life I could not figure out why you would want to be put in coach, I mean wouldn’t first class be better? There’s more room up there.  It made no sense to me.

Regardless of what is says on my resume, attention to detail is not my forte.

My husband also informed me that Dio’s “Holy Diver” is not in fact, “Holy Tiger” like I think it so clearly says in the song. And B-52’s “Roam” is not “Roll” (Roll around the world… right?)

This brings me to this afternoon when I am driving home from work . Since I get exactly 15 minutes to myself all day (in the car traveling from the office to daycare) I like to blow off steam by opening all the windows, turning on the heat (cause it’s not quite warm enough yet) and blasting music (usually hip hop)  disproportionately loud. Let’s just say I often feel like Michael Bolton in the opening credits of “Office Space.” But, today, I was listening to Justin Timberlake (don’t judge me) bringing Sexy back. This is a classic example of a song where I just cant figure out the words he’s using. There is a point in the song where I’m pretty sure he’s saying “Whose your sexy Ho? Whose your sexy ho? Whose your sexy ho?” and this is what I was singing really REALLY loud, when I looked over and saw the head of the mommy group that I tried ever so hard to get into but who ultimately rejected me when I went back to work. Ugh.

Hey, Sarah – who’s your sexy Ho?