Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Country Farewell

Update: Once again, this is about three weeks old, but I am not going to edit it, so just transport yourself back in time….

These might just keep getting better and better, or worse and worse, depending on your perspective. Night two of limited sleep. Not sure what’s going on with me, I guess insomnia comes in cycles-I used to have problems sleeping in high school, college…. oh wait, maybe it’s just always been there. Actually when I got my tonsils taken out in college, that really helped. The doctor thought that my enormous tonsils were causing me to have sleep apnea.

Went to bed around 2 last night, woke up at 5:30 for no reason whatsoever, laid in bed and heard my neighbor’s alarm go off at 6:15am, god I hate that alarm. Fell back asleep at some point until 7:30. Pretty good night-I’d say in total a solid 4 and a half hours of interrupted sleep! I slept a lot in the days after my sinus surgery (more to come on that recovery process), but I did end up going out last weekend, so I feel somewhat to blame for my irregular sleep patterns.

However, I really had no choice but to go out.
 The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and Take Steps is losing a valuable team member and I had to attend her going-away party. Since we are losing her to Houston, Texas, where did we go of all places? Red Rock Saloon. Red Rock Saloon is a fairly new bar on Water Street in Milwaukee and Water Street's "attempt" at a country bar. I have not been on Water Street in quite some time because I don’t like the threat of rape from frat boys, annoying drunk girls, or the chance of getting shot by some white dude who thinks he’s gangsta. I don’t think I was mentally prepared for what was to come.

I walked up to the bar and gave my ID to the bouncer, who I probably babysat for (if I was allowed to be around young children-parents for some reason don’t’ like swearing). I’m not going to spend too much time talking about the bar, since the real point of the evening was to celebrate/mourn the loss of an AMAZING woman. However, something must be said. The “kids” that were in the bar looked like they were going to their high school prom and/or wanted to rape me. My friend and I walked through the bar looking for the group. I almost ran screaming out of the bar when we went to the back bar and saw people slow dancing to country music on the dance floor. Yep, worst country prom ever.

But I was there for my friend!! So I decided to suck it up. We ended up being in the “VIP” section, which is front-row seats to the mechanical bull. This brought back horrible memories of my time in Wausau (aka the sweaty armpit of the MidWest). Although my normal cynical self would say that these girls molesting the bull for attention was sad, I decided to put on my “happy face”! This was going well and I was having a great time with all my Team Challenge folks. Then I saw what, or I should say “who”, was behind the bar. The bartender forgot to put her pants on. Plain and simple, she was standing there in her underwear, cut up tank top and I’m guessing a water bra. I shouldn’t say she wasn’t wearing any pants. Technically, I guess you would call them “ass-less jeans”. Or maybe the technical term is Ass-less denim chaps? It was really just two strips of denim down the side of her legs and then full jeans from the knee down, which was sort of weird. Why bother wearing shin jeans? I don’t want to be the old grumpy woman, but I will be. I don’t care how young you are, or how skinny you are, put some damn pants on. You know what’s nice though? That they leave something to the imagination…

A graphical representation of the amazing bar scene that is Water Street.
One other thing I just had to mention was when we walked past the main bar, I think a sewage pipe had burst, or maybe it was the rugby team we walked by, but something smelled b-a-d. The “DJ” was playing “country” music, which somehow everyone knew all the words to yet I had never heard of any of the songs. I looked at who I thought were my friends with disbelief. “Oh I have a tractor and a white shirt on, I want my toes in the sand, my wife left me, my dog died, etc.” Seriously?

But then…all of a sudden….out of nowhere, the DJ redeemed himself! Last Resort by Papa Roach comes flooding through the speakers. I was shocked how country music and 90’s alternative lead to hard rock, although it is an older song, but I didn’t question this diamond in the rough that fate had given me. This was my “pump-up” song I used to listen to before soccer games in college. On repeat. It was on. All those people I had made fun of earlier for singing along…..I was them times 100. “Suffocation!! No breathing!!! This is my last resort!!” I was a hypocritical head-banging obnoxious mess.

Red Rock Saloon didn't know what hit them. There was also a lot more jumping and lip-synching.
The song was over and it was like a dream. Did it really happen? I take back everything negative I said about this bar. It’s awesome-I'm getting on the bull!! Okay, maybe not that far…

On a final note, we stopped by coyote ugly to hear if it was as bad as I heard. It was. The story I heard about coyote ugly is that a beer is about twice what it would be at any other bar, the girls, you know, from here, and my friend said he stopped in the bar, paid a ridiculous amount for a drink and then the bartenders were yelling at him from a bullhorn. Funny part was, he looked around, and there were only about 3 people in the bar. I would say this bar is exactly like what you would expect if Coyote Ugly came to Wisconsin. My prediction is this won’t last through next winter.

But on to better and brighter topics! Bottom line, it was great to spend time with the amazing people that are Team Challenge and I had a great time despite the lack of clothing and country music, that's how great these people are! And I am losing not only my Take Steps coordinator, but a good friend.

Shameless Plug: Where will you be on June 5th? Walking with me Take Steps at Miller Park, that's right!!!
Oh the times in Vegas, chillin’ in your hotel room when my plane finally got in at midnight. You watching me puke with joy….It has been great having you part of the team, I hope you continue to support Crohn’s and Colitis and make it back to Wisco whenever you can. Or perhaps I will have to meander on down to good ol’ Texas and see what I’m guessing a real country bar is like. You will be missed...and, of course, I will wear my Take Steps tattoo in your honor this year.
In true word bubble fashion.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hot Things #4

Some things never change. I’m sure this will come as a great shock to you all, but I burned myself yesterday trying to straighten my stupid hair. Seriously, when are perms going to come back in fashion? That would be great for me.
This time the flat iron fell down into the sink so I was trying to grab it while doing 3 other things and not really being awake because it’s stupid morning. I reached to put the flat iron back on the sink but I bypassed the handle and grabbed the hot part of the iron. For those of you wondering, this is not smart. It hurt enough that I decided I should actually put cold water on it. After a couple minutes it was numb, almost as if I hadn’t learned my lesson at all. I went along with my day, thinking that was it for a while and perhaps my hot flashes would be done for at least a while.

The next day, i.e. today, I went downstairs to our cafeteria to get some coffee because I didn’t get up early enough to stop for “real” coffee. I went down at a time when I thought the mad rush would be over. But no, other people dared to be getting stuff at the same time I was. I normally put down my coffee and add my substitute sugar (aka one of the 5,000 things that will give me cancer) right away and then take it upstairs. But since there were waaay too many people in front of the coffee extras (what is the correct word for this by the way, condiments, coffee accessories?) (additional side note-there were 2 people in front of the coffee stuff), so since I had already waited my normal amount of time that I will wait for anything, .00004 seconds, I grabbed my splenda and mixing stick and was on my way.
Caution: Contents are h-o-t (like you are!).
I think it would be more inspiring if those lame warnings that lawyers make manufacturers put on their products (worry warts) came with positive affirmations. Just a thought.
My small hands don’t have the capabilities to carry more than 2 things so with the coffee cup with the ill-fitting lid, splenda, mixing stick, napkin, credit card…it was a recipe for disaster. It actually could have been much worse. The lid popped off a little and the hot coffee spilled out onto my hand. Considering how fast it cools down and it’s lukewarm taste, I was surprised at how hot it was. I guess this is why that lady won all that money from McDonalds back in the day.

For some, swearing loudly in the workplace before 8am is considered a negative.
I swore loudly and had to walk to a table to put down the cup, mix in the splenda and go upstairs while the men and women sitting down at the tables got to watch. I put my hand under cold water briefly but got impatient after a couple of seconds. So now, somewhat very similar to my burn from yesterday but on the other side, the inside of my first fingers is red and inside of my thumb. Some may argue that the lesson to be learned here is not to make the same mistake twice, maybe to have more patience when around hot items, but I disagree. The real lesson is other people should not be in my cafeteria when I am there and straight hair is overrated.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bathroom Etiquette

Before you shut down your computer, clean your computer screen and run to start washing your hands, please note that I am limiting this post to women’s bathroom etiquette as I don’t think I have the stomach to venture into the unknown disgusting territory that is called the Men’s Bathroom. Guys, I really don’t know how you do it.

Guys are gross.
Unfortunately for you (and me), it turns out women are just as gross. Okay, well not all women. And maybe this isn't that big a deal for some people, but since I have Crohn's and I spend so much time in it (ohhhhh I love a good Crohn’s potty joke)), perhaps that is why I have some serious respect for the bathroom. I think it should be respected and clean, like a clean room or a throne (too much?). Although I might not be the “neatest” person in the world, some may say organizationally challenged, one of the first things I clean is the bathroom. And yes, there is a difference between messy and dirty. Dirty is not something I can handle.

I work in a very large organization so the bathroom is not one of those 1-2 stallers, I’m talking 10 stalls, 4 sinks, mirrors and garbage cans galore. Yeah…you’re jealous. Okay, maybe not. Anyway, FOUR sinks…. so ladies, you have NO excuse not to wash your hands. Yes! Some women don’t wash their hands!!! This was the GROSSEST thing I have ever seen or found out about. Well, I shouldn’t say ever-life is a mysterious stream! Regardless, it’s pretty freakin’ gross. It makes me want to wear gloves at all times and never shake anyone’s hand again. I would just look at people I meet at work as they slowly reach out their hand in disgust. You begin to realize maybe why it wasn’t so weird for Michael Jackson to wear those gloves and face mask all the time.

This is from the toilet paper cover. As a general rule if a toilet paper cover gives you information that could SAVE YOUR LIFE, I say you follow it.

Also, what is with these noises people make when they are going to the bathroom? This is probably the worst thing to me and the word “gross” doesn’t even begin to properly convey my feelings of disgust. I’m talking about the heavy sighing and breathing. You are going to the bathroom, not doing a power yoga breathing exercise. Pee and get going.

And ladies, don’t pee on the toilet seat. I know guys hate that, and guess what, I do too. I don’t want to clean up after you. As I mentioned, I don’t really like cleaning up after myself that much so I sure as crap don’t want to clean up your pee. My workplace is nice enough to provide those toilet seat covers. Guess what they’re for? Yep… think about it. Also, they have a nice little picture/cartoon on the actual toilet seat cover demonstrating how to use one. I assume this for those people for which putting on a toilet seat cover is a mentally challenging activity. For me, the cover isn’t necessarily a free pass to sit on the toilet. I will not touch a toilet seat in public. You know why? Because I don’t want to die a slow disgusting death from an infected disease, that’s why.

That gray thing on the right has toilet seat covers in it (no, it's not a purse holder). The gray thing on the left is for feminine products. "Now You Know".

Oh my, how could I forget the extremely important etiquette guideline of flushing. I know I’m throwing a lot at you right now, but trust me, every single step in this process is vital. Especially, and yes I know it’s gross, but especially if there are feminine products involved. Guys, feel free to cover your eyes for this part. And men, I can tell you, even as a woman, I’m grossed out by that. I mean…I don’t want to see it. Period. No pun intended.

Nope. Not going to draw a picture of that.  Just not going to do it.
One final consideration that ties in with hand washing is hand drying. I am not sure if people just flail their wet hands around attempting to spray water on as much surface area as possible, but I can think of no other explanation for why the countertops and mirrors are soaking wet. Are people taking baths in there? There are several techniques for keeping the common areas dry and no, not washing your hands, is not one of the options.
What I think happens when I'm not in there...
One, after drying your hands with some paper towel, use said paper towel to wipe up any mess or water you may have spilled. Two, make sure your hands aren’t sopping wet when you reach for the paper towel. And yes, this involves patiently waiting for a couple of seconds or the “flick” technique to remove excess water. Since I have the patience of about .000001 seconds, you can guess which technique I use. You don’t have to guess…it’s option one!!! got a little too excited about that, but what are you going to do?! Keeping the counter dry helps so that if I have work documents, they don’t get wet when I set them on the counter. In another instance, let’s say hypothetically someone looked like they peed their pants and a lot of people made fun of them for this. Well guess what, wiping off the countertop just saved your friend some pee-panting jokes! Now that’s Miles Davis cool.

So in summary:

1) stay clean while you pee,
2) stay silent while doing your business,
3) F-l-u-s-h (pretty self-explanatory),
5) and keep the counter area dry and super fly.

That’s it for now-enjoy your pottying time.

UPDATE: It’s as if the bathroom gods themselves knew I was writing a Bathroom Etiquette post and bestowed upon me another lesson to convey. This one is probably more true for the ladies-the bathroom is not the water cooler. I get really uncomfortable when someone tries to talk to me. Think of the stall as a mute button-you go in, the conversation automatically stops. You get out, let’s walk outside the bathroom to talk because it’s not the living room. I don’t want to be talking to someone, let alone about business matters, while having to listen to someone do their business or that creepy heavy breathing.

The reason this comes up is because I was literally stuck in the bathroom. I went in, peed, and was taking care of the clean-up when these two women walk in and I hear one women say: “Can you believe that bitch!?” That is my cue to shut up. Well this woman was bitching about another one (very loudly might I add-do they know that the walls are not soundproof?), vacation days, not doing her work, blah blah blah… I don’t care. I didn’t know them (mostly because I don’t know anyone), but I definitely wasn’t going to walk out in the middle of it. I was literally standing there, fully dressed, waiting to flush the toilet. I was in……..the most uncomfortable 10 minutes of my life.

I’m not kidding, she talked for 10 minutes (what felt like 20)-it was beyond uncomfortable. After they got done complaining about work, they moved on to their personal lives. “I heard that so and so gained 20 pounds!! And he doesn’t even like her, I heard he cheated on her with so and so” This is one thing I dislike about women (and men gossips). I’m just not that into gossip. It’s none of my business what someone else is doing. If they want me to know, they’ll probably tell me. And if someone is cheating on someone and they are your friend, go tell her so she can dump his pathetic ass!! (another story though-don’t even get me started).

Okay, moral of the story is save your chit-chat for the water cooler, or better yet outside of work, or better yet…..not at all.

Now go on and enjoy your clean bathroom time. You deserve it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sleep deprevation-it's a HOOT

Warning: this post was written on very little sleep, addresses about 8 topics and may cause seizure in animals and small children.

Although I used to tease my parents that I was adopted because there was no way someone as cool a kid as me came from them, I have decided that this might actually be true. I now believe myself to be part-owl.  Yes Charlie-Sheen, my owl-blood trumps your tiger blood (and jumping on the bandwagon). This hypothesis stems from my habit of not sleeping all night, be tired all day, and my ability to get to the center of a tootsie pop in 3 licks.

Today I am seriously sleep deprived. When I was first going to write this (30 seconds ago), my explanation for being tired was because I couldn’t fall asleep until 3:30 last morning and got up at 7:25 this morning, which for those of you math majors equals about 4 hours of sleep. Then I started to go back and realized that last night was a culmination of bad decisions for about a week and a half, starting with coming back to work after 3 days off for the surgery. This all started last week when I started working on Monday, only a few days after the surgery. I worked from home Monday and Tuesday and then went in on Wednesday as the Boss was going to London for a week and a half and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. Turns out that page is everyone freaking out at work, and me being exhausted. I stopped taking my pain meds because I just can’t think clearly enough when on them. Stupid job requiring me to think and put together coherent thoughts.

And I didn’t exactly get to ease back into it. This is how my work week ended last week.

Boss: “Don’t worry about these deals A,B, and C, I will handle them-you don’t have to/shouldn’t touch these.”

Boss leaves. Approximately 3 seconds later...

5 million work people: “Oh my god!!! Deals A,B, and C need to get done in 7 seconds and Boss is gone…you need to approve immediately or we will lose $8 gazillion dollars!!!”

Needless to say, the stress was fantastic. In the middle of me doing my best to handle everything and hopefully put out some decent work product, the Boss’s Boss came over to ask me how things were going. She took this time to point out that I should put together a little "memo" of all the issues I receive and my responses "in case I'm out or we bring someone else in"...or something like that.  Wow, I've just been motivated. I'd love to put together a little book for a potential replacement-thanks for crushing my energy. Unfortuatnely the entire point of my position is to review things that are not sure how that is going to work, but I am looking forward to it!

To counter the effects of no sleep, I, like every other good American, have used artificial “quick-fix” substitutes to replace natural healthy options such as sleep. I drank my yummy non-fat hazelnut latte and jamming out to itunes top 100 singles.

Pretty representative actually.
J-Low has a new song called on the floor, Brit-brit has another song called on the floor… oh no? Okay, well I can’t tell the difference. I heard a rumor that all of music will be digitally done by like 2015, so there will be no actual music being made anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I love this music, especially when I’m tearing it up on the dance floor (oh…that’s where they got that idea). And some of these artists are really talented, others….almost seem to be created in a lab (aka studio)-it is these producers that should be getting grammys for making them sound good. Plus I think that most people like the songs for the beat and not necessarily for their deep-thought provoking lyrics (If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me? really?)

I don’t know how the latest offender, Kim Kardashian, was allowed into a studio. And I know she has gotten a lot of negative feedback on the song...well, maybe for a reason. And she is only the latest in a line of fails-Paris Hilton, etc. Kim Kardashian is not a musician, she didn’t create the song, didn’t write the lyrics, didn’t develop a melody or the beat. So what is her one contributing factor? (okay besides her fame)-her voice. So shouldn’t she be a good singer? Turns out no! That detail doesn’t matter. I actually saw her reality tv show when she went into the studio and sang, because after all of the negative feedback from the song I thought they would have some response to that.

Instead, and this is great, they showed the footage of her singing before it was altered. Okay, it was probably already altered, but still…it’s bad. I mean her voice is high and nasally…that doesn’t really translate well to song, or to talking actually. And she was a bit off-key to say the least. It was honestly laugh-out-loud funny when they showed the clip of her singing and then her listening to the finished song. She was like “this is good!”. Yes, you sound surprised and so are we, because that sounds about as different as when you were singing as possible.

This is the most clothes and the least amount of makeup Kim Kardashian has ever worn.
This is why I feel there should be no lip-synching. Black Eyed Peas got a lot of negative feedback for how bad they sounded at the SuperBowl. I still smile with nostalgia at the image of Ashlee Simpson 2.0 (post 12 plastic surgeries) doing the jig on SNL and getting booed at that Football game. We are their audience, we give them a career-we have the power!

Okay, got to run-need to download new Ke$ha song. yesssss!!!! Definitely overtired.  And up posting this at midnight. Hoot-hoot!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lady Gaga's Born This Way-the first critique

I just saw Lady Gaga's video of Born this Way, and felt I had to express my opinion, because only like 5,000 other people expressed their opinion on this so far.

I heard this song on the radio, but disregarded it because: 1) Um, it's called Madonna-Express Yourself-she is just singing the wrong words, and 2) it's not that great a second time.

After seeing this video (okay I didn't get through all 7 minutes and 20 seconds, I'll admit it) that apparently brought tears to the choreographer's eyes, I am convinced that this occured when he ate an onion sandwich during their lunch break (during which Lady Gaga did not eat).  I almost didn't want to link to the video here because I didn't want to encourage people to watch it, but I figured, what's 7 more people?  To summarize, this "music video" involves an anorexic woman posing on a unicorn, with a third eye, then she is an anorexic women in a skeleton/skull costume, and then she is an anorexic women dancing (poorly) in a bikini and I think half of a flip-flop? I think that pretty much summarizes the main points.

If you don't feel like subjecting yourself to the actual video, this is what it looks like and yes, that is an eyeball on her chin. I wonder if that adds to a Lasik charge...

I think if you looked up "trying too hard" in the dictionary-there would be 7 minutes and 20 seconds of this glitter, unicorn, birthing, skull thing.  Don't get me wrong, I'm actually a big fan of a lot of Lady Gaga's songs although they normally take me a few times to get into them and then I lose interest in them after some time (still upset I spent that 99 cents everytime I skip over Alejandro on my ipod)--of course I shouldn't be too harsh, as that is sort of my m.o. when it comes to all songs.  I overplay them, get sick of them, find a new song---I know, it's so Generation Y.

However, Lady Gaga is trying soooooooooo hard to be different that it's actually turning into something pretty unoriginal. Am I missing something-was this an omage to Madonna and I just wasn't in the loop? That is entirely possible.  Also, giving birth to yourself has been done-it's called film noir and Pedro Almodovar.  Look it up Lady Gaga.

I saw this link about Lady Gaga before she was famous, the video at the bottom didn't work for me but there are some pics, but apparently she was on MTV's boiling point before she was famous. Not sure if you remember this show, but it was an MTV show where you got cash if you didn't get upset or swear within the time limit.  Apparently Lady Gaga went Lady ApeShit.  I guess boiling point wasn't high enough-maybe her lack of intake of food has made her more calm. So what have we learned from this: 1) that she wasn't always "Lady Gaga" and that that is a made-up image to make millions of dollars (granted-it's working-you go girl), and 2) She does know how to eat.

Okay, I'm done now.  Also, if Lady Gaga does read this (and I'm fairly certain she will), I have now seen enough vagina shots that we'll call it even for like....ever.  And if you want to criticize this post, go ahead, but in my defense, it's not my fault, I was born this way.