Destroying Your Carpool: A Tutorial

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Be it a carpool for work, extra-curriculars with the kids, vacations, school – you name it, there are a lot of reasons people carpool. If everyone in the carpool is on the same page, it’s great. But for every carpooling success story out there on the Internet, there are about ten times that in horror stories. It’s as if these people are actually hellbent on destroying their carpool from the start; or, they just don’t care about anyone but themselves.

I’ve mentioned a few times, both in recent blog posts and on my blog’s Facebook page, that my husband has been in a carpool from hell for a little over a month now. What made the situation that much worse was that my husband just thought it was the next best thing to my vagina and a bowl of pistachio-flavored ice cream. The woman he was carpooling with was in the exact, same sector of the film industry as him, so he just lapped that shit up like a lost puppy dog wandering the streets in search of anything. I imagine that every day they sat there and just blew their editorial, industry bullshit up each other’s assholes the whole way to and from work (well, that is when they actually carpooled on the days they were supposed to carpool). I fully believe at this point that were that woman single, I would have had something to worry about. Maybe I still did (or do). That is the depth to which Poor Nick seemed to be taking this relationship, and what he was willing to sacrifice to maintain it. In the end, the carpool is no more, though. Too many things stacked up against their woe-begotten arrangement, which has led me to throw together this little tutorial on how to destroy your own carpool.

Because that bitch didn’t just destroy their carpool. She dropped a fucking nuclear bomb on it.

Let’s go step by step on how you – too – can lay waste to your own carpools. We’ll use film industry ass can lady as our tutor.

Always Show Up Late In the First Leg Of Your Carpool

Doesn’t matter what you are carpooling to, if you want to fuck your carpool up worse than you fucked up your marriage, just always show up late in the first leg of your carpool. By “first leg,” I mean the “to” part; so if you are driving to work (for example), I mean driving there.

Never let the other person or people know you are running late either. When you get there twenty minutes late, act as if there is nothing wrong with you being late.

Film industry ass can lady was the best at doing this. Once I had to use my husband’s car when mine was in the shop and she knew we would be sitting there waiting – half asleep and waiting to go back home – and that bitch showed up twenty-five fucking minutes late. To make matters worse, she was disheveled and her kid was in the car with her. Which leads me to our next lesson in destroying your carpool …

Expect Your Carpool Mates To Run Your Personal Errands

I always thought that no matter what a carpool was for, it was totally tacky to run errands and shit while your carpool mates are in the car. Say you are carpooling a group of kids and their moms to a soccer game. Would you stop at Ralphs and pick up some bread on your way there, then pick up your dry cleaning too (I mean, it is on the way..)? Fuck no, you wouldn’t run your bullshit errands while you are carpooling. It’s rude and reeks of the notion that others have nothing better to do with their time but sit in the fucking car for no reason.

So film industry ass can cunt lady would sometimes have my husband go along with to drop her kid off at school. Happy fucking family that they were: dropping the daughter off to preschool and waving good-bye on their way to pursue their illustrious careers in film industry ass can cunting. I asked my husband where the fuck this lady’s husband was, to which I got no response.

Indeed. Run your fucking errands into the motherfucking ground if you want to destroy your carpool.

Never Do What You Say You Are Going To Do

This must be a film industry thing, because my husband often does not do what he says he is going to do either. I mean with regards to me.

They agreed to meet at the carpool point near her home on days that she drove, and at the carpool point near our home on the days that he drove. He drove a lot of fucking times. I mean a lot. She met at the carpool point near our home once. He went to her every other fucking time.

If you want to bury your carpool, never do what you say you’re going to do. If you say you are going to meet in one place, meet in another. If you say you are going to leave earlier, leave later. Always expect others to cater to you when you don’t do what you said you would do too.

End the Carpool Day By Expecting Everyone To Wait For You

At the end of a long day, I think the last thing I ever want to do is sit around and wait for people. At the end of a long vacation, the last thing I want to do is be delayed in getting back to my regular routine too. I could go on with every scenario in which one might carpool; you faithful blog followers get the point. The real surefire way to destroy your carpool like film industry ass can bitch cunt lady did is to always make people wait for you at the end of the day.

This bitch was so ballsy about it. She’d just show up forty-five minutes after they were supposed to leave, and act like there was nothing wrong with it. Once it was an hour and a half. The worst was when she kept telling my husband to wait for her until it ended up being two hours after the work day ended. He got home that night at 10:15. Family? Household responsibilities? No such thing can exist or be considered for anyone in the carpool, if you want to destroy your carpool.

In the end, the real kicker was that driving to and from this woman’s work in city traffic from my husband’s work, as well as to and from her home since she could never make it down fairly for him, added our gas bill up to such a point that he spent more money on gas in the month he carpooled than in the months he drove himself. Between the extra driving, and the many times she just never showed up, this was the end of this cuntly behavior affecting our lives.

He has yet to tell her she destroyed the carpool. They are off carpool this week and he is probably coming up with ways to justify continuing to do the carpool anyway. I’m sure he’ll blame me, like he always does. Not to emasculate my husband, but he doesn’t really seem to even want to have the cajones to be honest with anyone. But me, of course. If it were me he would have told me I was a film industry ass can bitch cunt face and that the carpool was off on the second day (which is another blog post altogether).

If you want to destroy your carpool, I highly suggest you follow that broad’s behavior, with her nappy ass hair and her disrespect for anyone’s priorities other than hers.

Good riddance, carpool!

Funeral Fails

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So I mentioned almost two weeks ago (the last time I blogged, actually): my grandpa passed away on February 6th. It’s been very difficult to get through it – my grandparents and I have had a very special relationship from Day One.

Fortunately, the funeral events are finally over with. Between my husband’s uncle dying last month and my grandfather passing away on the 6th, we had a total of four funeral days this past week to attend. Are you with me on the overwhelmingness faithful blog followers? The schedule went like this:

Sunday, February 10th 

Scattering of Uncle Stevie’s ashes, breakfast with the family, and memorial luncheon

Tuesday, February 12th

Grandpa’s wake near our home and birthday dinner for my mom

Friday, February 15th

Grandpa’s wake near his retirement home – 250 miles away outside Yosemite area, followed by a military burial, followed by a memorial church service, followed by a reception in the church, followed by photos and flowers by the graveside, followed by scattering bird seed around near their old home (like my grandpa used to do), followed by a family dinner at the casino.

… followed by my husband and I driving home just 24 hours after we had made the trek up

Sunday, February 17th

Grandpa’s memorial and celebration of life locally (they lived around where we live for the majority of their careers, then moved back for the last two years of Grandpa’s life), followed by a reception, followed by another party at our house

To say I am tired of all this shit doesn’t really even cover it.

But in the last week, I have spent an unprecedented number of hours and days with my mom, and quite frankly a lot of people – something that is typically considered a nightmare to misanthropes such as myself. I was talking to my Uncle John yesterday, and said that this is the most time I think I have ever spent with my mother; and his response was that he knew I was ready for some space. That’s putting it nicely, though. It was a fucking nightmare. My worst nightmare, wrapped into a huge ball of anxiety and sadness and missing my grandpa.

And there were a number of funeral fails, or death-related pet peeves that came out of it all.

Funeral Fail #1:

Expecting Everyone To Grieve The Same Way

179783_659293169593_1073053114_nSure, I was sad about the fact that my husband’s uncle died. He was hit by a truck while walking across the street – a tragedy in itself; and his life was very tumultuous as well.

But I also didn’t know him too well, so expecting me to break down crying while we scattered the ashes was a little weird. And still, I was asked by one of my husband’s cousins if I never cry at a funeral, or if it was just them. I understand, people are sensitive with their pain, but my God. I said “I just am glad Stevie is finally at peace in the ocean with the other surfers” and I got a cold shoulder.

I’m sure it didn’t make things any better that I proceeded to then walk back from the edge of the pier to wait for them. I just couldn’t be expected to start sobbing, or be interrogated for not doing so – especially when I was trying to keep myself under control after my grandfather had just passed away a few days beforehand. Nonetheless, it made me think about how many people out there truly do expect people to all grieve the same, exact way.

Funeral Fail #2:

Scheduling Funerals On People’s Birthdays

48119_659676985423_1001985731_nI understand the already-sensitive nature of scheduling a funeral, wake, memorial service, and so on, between the schedules of the churches, parties involved, and funeral homes. But I also think there is something inherently wrong with scheduling funeral events on someone’s birthday.

Two of the dates of my grandfather’s funeral events were scheduled on people’s birthdays. What was particularly frustrating about this was that everyone expected to be able to leave the wake and just chipper up for the birthday celebrations immediately afterwards. To make matters worse, the first was my mom’s. Even in a time of grief and sadness, she still managed to try and micromanage and drama up the entire thing.

First she yelled at me for suggesting that we have a potluck-type thing at my house, since my grandma would no doubt be too exhausted after the wake to go out into a restaurant for dinner. Then she yelled at me for saying it should be potluck, and then told most of the people coming over just to not really bring anything. And in my mother’s typical fashion, when everyone sang her “Happy Birthday,” she just had to call her Hillbilly Husband out in New Mexico, put him on speaker, and involve him in the festivities. She always does that – puts him on speaker, as if this will rectify the fact that the family has either never met him, or only met him for a brief time years ago. This is as if to make OK the lies this guy has told, the fact that they eloped and never really included the family in any kind of celebration afterwards, and all the other egregious offenses that have occurred since this Trailer Park King entered into our lives … but I digress.

None of it would have been necessary had we just been able to schedule the wake the day before.

Funeral Fail #3:

“Do You Remember Me?”

Let me start this final rant off with something nice: I very much appreciated all of the people that came to visit and mourn and pay their respects to my grandfather. He was an amazing guy, who made a lot of friends and treated everyone he knew like family.

To their credit, most of the people that came to any of the three of my grandfather’s funeral days were very understanding of the fact that I might not recognize them. “Of course you wouldn’t recognize me – the last time I saw you, I held you as a little baby!” and so on. Those people were fine.

But then there were those motherfuckers that had to just expect me to know every faceted detail about them, in spite of the fact that I haven’t seen them since I was five. And then there was the lady whose pants fell off while she was looking into my grandfather’s casket (I shouldn’t joke about it, I’m sure it was embarrassing) who kept saying “well, I would expect you to remember me, but I just can’t remember you…”

By contrast were the vast number of people who said the words “oh, I didn’t know your mother had a daughter …” – a statement which speaks volumes, but we will gloss over for the moment.

Yesterday’s was the final straw for me. A woman walked up to me and said “Heather, do you remember me? You used to be my pharmacy technician! Are you still there?” I said that I was not. That I haven’t worked in the goddamned pharmacy since I graduated from college almost six years ago (I left out the expletives). I thanked her for coming to “my grandfather’s memorial,” which is when she said that my grandpa had hired her to work at the church we were in. But then, right as she started to walk away, she turned around again and said “I can’t believe you don’t remember me – I mean, I got a lot of medicine at that pharmacy while you were there…I thought you would have at least taken the time to remember me…”

Really bitch? My grandfather – who, you just explained to me, you wouldn’t have a job here if it weren’t for – just died and you are giving me shit about the fact that I couldn’t necessarily recognize you from a two-bit, part time job I had just to give me some extra cash while I was in college – over half a decade ago? REALLY?!

The moral of the story is that people should really just stop dying. Since that is not going to happen, I suppose the other moral is that when you have multiple funeral events to attend, and are in a position of extreme sadness and grief, you should probably just fix yourself up daily Valium-Wine cocktails. That’s essentially what I did (well, the wine part) this last week. God only knows what I would have done had I not…

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By the way, doesn’t my grandma look amazing for a woman who just lost her husband of 63 years? I think so. While I am absolutely devastated at the loss of my grandfather, I think I can speak for both myself and my grandma when I say that this next phase of life in his honor is pretty exciting. I’m starting it with making a quilt out of his shirts for my grandma, having her come over more to teach me to cook her most famous dishes, and letting my grandpa wrap his arms around me every day as I wear his oldest and most cozy cardigan sweater. I love you, Grandpa.

48 Hour Technology Strike

Keep track of my strike time at http://countingdownto.com/countdown/223092

I’m going on strike. Not from a job because – I think we all know – I don’t work. I mean I work at the most thankless job on the planet (housewife and SAHM), but there is no monetary compensation for that.

Yet.

No, I’m going on strike from technology. For the next 48 hours I’m ditching my cellphone, laptop, and iPad, and I think you should too. Here’s why:

#1 There Is A World Outside Your Cellphone

I just have had it up to about my eyebrows with sitting at dinner with people that spend the entire time texting and BSing on their cellphones. My husband is notorious for doing this; and the most egregious part is that he’s just scrolling through his apps doing mundane updates that are entirely unnecessary. It’s so rude, and reeks of the implication that the only world that exists to the people committing this etiquette faux pas is within their cellphone and computer. That the world in which I am – sitting across from them at the table – does not exist when the world of technology is around.

There is a world outside your cellphone. And your computer. Not getting Facebook updates is manageable, dare I say – not a big deal.

Just today I read an article about the growing problem of Facebook addiction, in which it was reported that as many as 1/3rd of people that were interviewed admitted to experiencing feelings of envy when viewing photographs and other updates of others on Facebook. This implies a number of things, but as for this point I think this has a lot to do with the fact that some of us think there is no world outside of Facebook.

1313897240072_6858395Do you faithful blog followers actually believe that life is as wonderful and exciting as it appears to be for some people on Facebook? Every photo is from a party; therefore life is a party? Every update is positive, fun, and full of excitement; therefore nothing bad ever happens to the people on your Facebook page? Nonsense! The only reason why people post on the social networks great and wonderful and awe-inspiring news is because it’s looked down upon to report anything real that happens. People call reality “bad” and “negative” – two words that have been demonized by our terribly childish social network culture.

There is a world outside of your computer. A real world. A world where you are not alone.

#2 Capturing Photographs Is Not the Point

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Recently I realized that I spend more time capturing some moments than actually experiencing them. A blogger, I’m constantly trying to shoot things that can be used for my blogs; but now it’s leaked into every aspect of my life. Yesterday I snapped over twenty photographs of my car being towed. The experience from beginning to end was captured on photograph, and yet when it came time to recall the tow truck driver’s name today when AAA called to survey the experience, I had no idea. The guy really went the extra mile in taking care of us and I was so focused on my own photographic evidence that I couldn’t even take the time to learn his name.

The point of having a good meal is not to capture a photograph of the food. The reason for going on a hike is to get exercise, fresh air, and experience the outdoors. I have friends that have so many photographs of their experiences that I wonder if they even would remember what happened if it weren’t for the photographs, much like I can’t recall the tow truck driver’s name.

And is a memory not sufficient anymore to prove that something happened? Take a picture of your kid at this park, then that park, then this other park, then another. We get it! You take your kid to the park. We would have believed you if you just said it once. 7,000 shots a day of the kid running in the grass gets old. Really old. This isn’t to say that the kid isn’t cute, or the food doesn’t look as tasty as you describe it.

It’s just that technology is replacing even our most intimate moments and experiences.

#3 Technology Really Makes Me Hate People

And lose respect for them. This person didn’t respond to an email I sent in due time. A text message got ignored. People didn’t “like” or comment on my blog.

How many times have you Tweeted someone for them to never respond? How many times have you followed a blogger only for them to ignore you, as if they are too “big” to follow back?

The list of Internet etiquette grievances is a long one – not just mine, but the conglomerate list of all the billions of people using the Internet regularly. Sometimes it makes you hate people to be connected all the time. It makes you hate how not everyone operates by the same standards you do. And it makes you loathe the ways in which they think and act – from political posters on Facebook, to people that use their cellphones and computers as a way to bully; technology has just made it easier for the whole of humanity to act like assholes.

While I am definitely a fan of general misanthropy, I get too angry when I’m online too much.

#4 I Need a Break From Web MD

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I need a break from Web MD. And the news. And Google flu trends. And Sickweather.com. I’m such a hypochondriac, with a glaringly unhealthy level of OCD, that I am obsessed with what’s going on around, who has which diseases, and whether or not I have [insert obscure, unlikely disease here].

I need a break from all that nonsense – I wash my hands; cover my cough; and avoid sick people. How exactly does checking up on where people are sick in my area every day make us any more safe? Am I going to avoid running errands because a few people Tweeted that they had the stomach flu in my area? No. No – we still need milk, eggs, and bread.

But it’s also a matter of not just health, but of the news. This is another thing my husband is horrible with – he is obsessed with the news, and occasionally I am too. It isn’t just one article on something that happened, or a study that was done; it’s all of them that show up in the Google News Aggregate. While I don’t think it’s good to stick our heads in the sand, sometimes shutting it all off is for the best. There is nothing I can do about the fact that North Korea issued another threat to the United States. The fact that emergency room visits from energy drinks have increased by 47% bears absolutely no effect on me.

Obsessing over all of these things is just another way that technology has a hold of our lives, just as in the case of cellphones leading us to believe there is no world outside, and photography applications robbing us of having actual experiences.

Realistically, 48 hours off technology is nothing. I still remember a day when I never used a cellphone or a computer. When I never used a computer – oh what I would give to say I still did that now. What I would give to be able to say that any of us could be successful at anything without all the advances computer and cellular technology can offer. Sure, my Klout score may go down about a point from being offline for 48 hours. I may offend someone much in the way I have been offended by not responding soon enough to an email or a text message. But think of all the things that can come of unbinding myself to the chains of my technology. I don’t even know what the next 48 hours holds. It’s kind of exciting to know that they won’t involve a cellphone or computer.

The real question isn’t “why should I do it?” though. It’s “can I do it?” Can you?

When Your New Car Breaks

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Try and stay positive!

I absolutely loath when people say that. First, and foremost, I think talking about people being “negative” or “positive” is – in a word – childish. Those are just more labels we as a society use to peg people that we think are doing something either right or wrong, by our standards.

So I really and truly want to punch people in the nads that throw that “try and stay positive” crap in my face. Sometimes, you just have to be realistic. Sometimes staying positive is a recipe for getting your own self punched in the nads.

When your new car breaks, I would highly recommend not trying to stay positive. I would highly recommend flipping out, because as soon as you come down from your moment of temporary insanity, it’s a lot easier to figure things out realistically.

I bought a new used car approximately three weeks ago. My husband crashed his car into some 16 year old on the way to work back in October, and after months of deliberation the insurance company finally decided to total out his car. My Yaris got amazing gas mileage; I needed something bigger … so we did a little swap. I got the money for the insurance pay out and bought a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I did the research. I drove it multiple times. I did everything right; and (despite the fact that I was pretty sure the private dealership was owned and operated by the leaders of the local mob) it seemed like the right decision.

I should be clear, I have been hit (not hit others) in quite a few car accidents since moving to California, so I have a lot of experience buying cars. The Jeep was my fifth purchase.

Now today I was driving on the freeway from our lunch out to Barnes and Noble. I made it no more than two miles down the road, though, when all of a sudden my car started jerking, and violently. I got off at the next exit, called my husband then my father and both said I should try and make it home. When I put the car back into “D” though, it made this horrible, loud thud noise and the entire car jumped. It was barely drivable after that.

We ended up getting towed. Within a few hours I learned that the entire transmission needs to be rebuilt, of course not a covered item on the 90 day limited warranty. Blah blah blah. Let’s get to the positives.

But wait! I said I didn’t want to try and stay positive. I said that when your new car breaks you should let yourself freak out, rather than living in a false sense of naive idealism that everything will just magically work out for you!

Those aren’t the kinds of positives I’m talking about. I’m talking about the stories that come from being towed.

Humanity Is Evil

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The tow guy got there and attempted to drive my car up onto the tow ramp. But as he was backing the Jeep up to pull it on, this crazy broad pulled up behind him and started honking her horn. Then she yelled “get out of my way!!” The tow guy pulled the car in front of his tow truck, which was a huge mistake. No less than twenty cars then proceeded to drive past the tow truck, no one stopping for him to get my poor, broken Jeep up onto the ramp.

You may be thinking this is normal for a street, but then I have to tell you the best part: I was in a goddamned parking lot with about ten others rows that people could have driven down instead of the one we were in.

Nothing says “this was a good a experience” like a harsh reminder that humanity is evil.

Some People Are Truly Amazing

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But then – when all seemed to be at a total loss – a woman walked up to me and said “is that your car being towed?” I told her that it was, and then told her that no one was letting the poor tow guy get it up on the ramp, though.

She said: “hold on, I just had lunch with my ex-husband and I’ll have him pull up and block the driveway until your car gets up there.”

No, I am not kidding you, faithful blog followers. The guy pulled up and blocked the way, then pulled forward and asked if he could help with anything else. I thanked him, he drove off. Then the woman asked if we were being picked up, or if she could drive us home.

As horrible as this world is, every once in a while there is a light of hope hanging on.

People Are Full of Surprises

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Once the Jeep was loaded, we just had to get into the tow truck and ride with him to the auto care center, closer to our apartment (about fourteen miles away). There, my dad was going to meet us and help me get everything handled.

As we got into the tow truck, the tow guy – who seemed like your average, run-of-the-mill tow truck driver – took the kid’s stuffed bear, set him in the middle of the backseat, and clicked him in. Pookie smiled, said thanks, and held the bear’s hand the whole trip.

I have never seen a service person, who deals with the nastiness of public on a regular basis, show such an unbelievably humbling sweetness in my entire life.

The only other note of excitement for the trip was that we had to go through a weigh station, since we were over a large hill that the heavy truck was going to have to go down. I had never been through a weigh station before, and always thought it was some sort of complicated ordeal involving scales and measures and paperwork and police. Sadly, it was not as exciting. We pulled through it, just driving slowly, and continued down the hill.

When your new car breaks, I highly suggest freaking out. Don’t listen to those assholes that tell you to try and stay positive, because there is nothing positive about car repairs. There are, however, pretty awesome reminders you can learn along the way – no matter how ugly or unbelievably touching they may be.

STFU Fridays: All Hail Herr Nietzsche

For those of you that haven’t caught on yet, I went to graduate school in philosophy. Yes, I am one of those people. I think a lot. By a lot I mean all the time. I took a little too much to heart the lesson in humility from Socrates, though, so I really do believe I’m a dumbass (thanks a lot, jerk). But I also believe that my education was far superior to anyone else’s, even though it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. (The old philosophy student’s joke was: What is the first thing a Ph.D. in Philosophy asks on the job? Would you like fries with that?) And for five years or so, I’ve been in a perpetual existential crisis. What does it all mean and all that high-fallutin crap.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about Nietzsche lately. For those of you that have no idea who I am referring to: (1) you for real need to wake the fuck up; and (2) he was a German philologist, one of the fathers of modern philosophy, and the dude had a whack mustache. Your Movember ‘staches and wanna-be Fu Manchu hipster shit has all got nothing on Nietzsche’s facial hair.

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I will be providing further tutorial on Herr Nietzsche after we discuss this week’s Shut the Fuck Up. For now, let’s leave it at: the dude was pretty rad.

Now I’m getting ready for my kid’s birthday party. It’s in about a week (seriously guys, if it weren’t for Shut the Fuck Up Fridays, I would have no concept of day or time). All I know right now is that it’s turned into the event of the goddamned century.

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There are going to be four little girls and a ton of adults there. It’s a tea party. Everyone is getting really dressed up. There will be crumpets. There will be doilies and tule. We will have three cakes and a cake table: a standing princess cake, a Cinderella’s carriage cake, and cupcakes.

And then yesterday we realized that the kids needed games to play. Duh, it’s a kid’s party. It isn’t just eat and go to them. So now we’re making games: pin the shoe on Cinderella, learn your tea party etiquette, and the coupe de grace of the event – the Cinderella pumpkin carriage piñata. (Which I am making.)

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So Herr Nietzsche.

Yesterday I had to get the rest of the supplies I needed to make the games, finish the piñata, and so on. My mom called and said that she had a coupon for 40% off the entire purchase at Michael’s, and while I did want to avoid my mother yesterday, I couldn’t pass up on the deal. As we walked around the store, though, picking out the things that I needed, looking at the Christmas stuff, navigating the holiday shoppers, and grabbing impulse buys along the way, my mom went into this little tirade about how the birthday party was “too nice.”

“You’re going to make people feel weird with everyone dressing up,” she said.

“What, a simple Vons cake isn’t enough for you people?” she whined.

“I think you guys are acting a little pretentious with all the decorating,” she griped.

After some hearty thinking, I realized that her problem is she is jealous. She isn’t in charge of the party. She isn’t even throwing it – it’s being held at my mother-in-law’s. My mother has nothing to wear. My mother would have just gotten a Vons cake – to hear that I am baking the carriage cake, a family friend is baking the standing princess cake, and my mother-in-law is baking the cupcakes was just the icing on her own cake of inadequacy.

Now let’s not get all “oh, you are leaving her out…” because you faithful blog followers know that my Trailer Trash Mom is unreliable, a drama queen, and a total flake. Up until yesterday she said she didn’t even think she would be coming to the party – and this was before she heard about all the pomp and circumstance that would be going on.

Nietzsche had this idea that people deemed what was right and wrong in the world by whether they were a master or a slave. Without getting into too much verbiage here, the people that get angry and resentful when something is nice, that find fault in things they cannot do, are the slaves. They see those that can as masters; as their oppressors. Nietzsche says that they have to cut down the masters so as to feel better about their own slave inadequacies. My mother’s slave mentality spews from her constantly. If she can’t afford a nice gift, well then gifts are over the top. If she doesn’t have time to throw the party, well then the party is pretentious and shouldn’t be done.

Basically, it’s about cutting people down so that you feel better about yourself. To this, I say: shut the fuck up.

Shut the fuck up with your bullshit that the cakes should be Vons cakes. Shut the fuck up with this “if I’m not in charge, it shouldn’t be happening.” Shut the fuck up with your underlying resentment over the fact that you squandered away all your money and can’t afford a nice gift. Shut the fuck up with all of it.

I’m sure you faithful blog followers all have a slave in your life; perhaps you just haven’t realized that their bullshit, narcissistic, weakling viewpoints were really just a matter of being jealous that they feel inadequate in one way or another. I think a lot of people call it “those that want people to be as miserable as them.” They are the people that need to make sure everyone knows how much they disapprove of things being nice. They are the people that need to make sure everyone understands that they think nice is wrong for some reason or another (excess, gluttony, whatever). They are the people that would rather not show up for a party because they think it is “too pretentious,” when in actuality they just need to cut others down to size to feel better about the fact that they – themselves – did not throw such a party.

They all need to take a lesson from Nietzsche and shut it right the fuck up.

* * *

Now for those of you that not only need to shut the fuck up, but need to wake the fuck up, here’s a nice little documentary on Nietzsche. It’s shorter than an episode of Dancing With the Stars. And while I know that you are going to be very busy right now pinning photos of cute DIY projects to your Pinterest, and uploading 7,000 photographs of your celebrity crush to your Facebook page, methinks you would all benefit from turning that shit off, shutting the fuck up, and watching this video right now.

All hail Herr Nietzsche!

The Worst Part About California

Don’t believe anything the tourist ads, or the hipsters with their million dollar trust funds, tell you. California has a lot of downsides.

Sure, the weather is typically pretty nice; although, there are even some bad parts to that. For one, you no longer have much change to the seasons, which is sort of depressing. There is something very beautiful about the fall of leaves; about the first snowfall; and, about the beginning of spring and of summer. You don’t get that in California. But it also rains a lot here during the winter, and California is entirely ill-prepared for it. We don’t have proper drainage, no matter how many floods there are. Despite all the landslides of mud and water, which kill people every year, we do nothing to put up proper drainage walls. And don’t get me started on the lack of fire protection.

The bad things about California go well beyond that, though. There’s the cost of living, which is exponentially higher than most of the country. The $27 cake at Whole Foods down the street from our apartment is only $8 at the Whole Foods just outside Chicago. Our electric bills are higher. Our water bills are through the roof (despite the fact that we live right along a body of water). And our rents are almost double what they would be in other, equally as nice, areas of the country.

The hipsters are overruling California, making the environment a terribly narcissistic and pretentious place to live. Every weekend there are local, hippy fests wreaking havoc on traffic and the peace and quiet some of us enjoy – crappy music festivals, art walks where people sell paintings of local scenery, farmer’s markets with absolutely no health standards at all. The last time we went to the farmer’s market, I bought strawberries and the guy put down his macaroni salad and licked his fingers, then grabbed my bushel of strawberries and got macaroni and mayonnaise all over the bag.

Then there is the overwhelming hillbilly population, leftover from all the Okies that came over during the Great Depression to pick fruit. They have racetracks in almost every city it seems. Every county has a fair, and it isn’t a classy fair; it’s an “eat fried butter and wrestle with pigs” kind of event. The streets are lined with trucks covered in mud from their most recent four-bying excursion. Guns are big. Overalls are big. Beating you wife is huge.

Everyone is trying to break into the film industry, which is an awful industry (to say the least). It uses people for everything it can, and then spits them out quicker than you can say “this was a mistake.” The people that actually keep a job for a while are expected to sacrifice everything. My husband is one of them, who sacrifices lunch breaks, weekends with his family, and night after night after night of just a little bit of quality time to satisfy his bosses. He doesn’t even know how many personal days he gets every year, it’s been so long since he took them. And when confronted with the low wages and high demands, the only response is: “most people in the film industry don’t have families.”

The lifestyle in California – even if you are not in the film industry – is so ridiculously fast-paced and high stress, everyone is always rushing. Everyone is always on the go. No one has time to be nice, or to say “hello” to a stranger. That’s considered rude. People cut you off, flip you off, and feel entitled to take your place in line because they are in a hurry. At the grocery store the other day, a woman cut in line in front of us at the deli because she said her daughter was waiting for her. Really bitch? The grocery workers just let it happen, because in California it isn’t what is fair or what is common courtesy, it’s who has the biggest voice.

It isn’t just all this, though, that is the worst part about California. And there are other miscellaneous nuances that make the place miserable. The traffic. The cost of doing anything besides breathe. The horrible public transportation. The jobs. The education. The public schools. The corrupt politicians. The union stranglehold. The homeless. The way people treat the homeless. The beaches with warnings that hypodermic needles could be buried in the sand.

All this and more is not, and never will be, the worst part about California.

No, faihtful blog followers. No there is a much different thing that is the worst part about California. None of this will ever top it, either. “What in God’s name could be so awful, so heinous, to top all of that?” I’m sure you are asking yourself.

Simple answer: the ghetto trash.

Yesterday I went to pick up some soup, because we’re all sick and I wanted something spicy to clear out my sinuses. I parked my car, went in to get my soup, and came out to find that a car had been parked next to mine, and it was completely blocking me from getting into my car.

The drivers of said car were standing outside of it, two of them making out and one of them smoking a cigarette. Clearly a gang bang was about to happen.

For a brief second I thought about trying to squeeze in, but when I saw that their mirror had been smashed down by my driver’s side door, I decided to just politely ask them to move the car.

I was very nice. They were kids – clearly teenagers, driving their parent’s car. I was very, very nice.

“Is this your car?”

The girl making out put her gum back into her mouth, looked me up and down and said “yeah, what’s it to you?”

Really?

“Ok, well I can’t get into my car without scratching up yours … do you think you could move your car just a little?”

The guy smoking said “sure, sorry about that ma’am.” Then the girl piped up again, “you don’t have to be such a bitch about it.”

The guy had already moved his car by then. I got in my car and drove off.

This is the worst part of California. It’s the medical assistant who acts like you’ve morally offended her because you called to schedule an appointment with your doctor. It’s the cashier at Starbucks who gives you attitude because you point out that she gave you the wrong change. It’s the waitress that acts like she’s doing you a favor to let you pay to eat in her establishment. It’s the girls in the bathroom at Target that tell you you’d better “watch your back” wearing clothing that people don’t like. It’s the trashy kids sitting on cars in the parking lot, making out and dressing like total skanks. It’s the people that are constantly on guard, totally abrassive, and ready to call people out for something they have not even done.

California is filled with it. It’s in even the nicest of communities – which ours is fabled to be. This ghetto trash, these bottom-feeders, are what make California intolerable. Because while the weather issues are annoying, the cost of living sucks, and the hipsters and film industry get under your skin, they don’t get in your face like ghetto trash does.

Is it just me, or are people taking themselves too seriously these days?

We went to Target today. I had to get some of those Clorox bleach wipe things, some of those toilet flusher things, and deodorant. Don’t want my pits to smell bad.

So we went to the “fancy” Target. It isn’t really fancy, actually. It’s in the ghetto-est town in our county, probably the ghetto-est town in the state. I feared for my life the entire time we were there too because I realized I was wearing my White Sox shirt, which happens to be what all the local gang members wear to represent their South-Oxnard drug and killing hood. It’s the “fancy” Target, though, because it has a parking garage and is brand new.

I don’t really know why I call it fancy.

Anyway, we were at the fancy Target and got our items, plus a couple of impulse buys. I spent a buck on an ICEE, which prevented any requests for toys. It was pretty in-and-out. As we left, though, we got in the car; I started the car; and, I went to back up, when a woman walked behind my car with a cart. Okay, no big deal. I didn’t even start to move because I was looking and I waited.

But that bitch stopped her cart behind my car, took her things out, got in her car, and pulled out in a hurry; her cart still sitting behind my car.

Clearly she was taking herself so seriously that she thought she was the only person in the parking lot – or the world for that matter – that was important.

Maybe it’s because I live in California. The land of dramatics. The land of the fruits and nuts and people that think everything they are doing was a part of some sort of predestined-I-am-the-center-of-the-universe plan. But really, it seems like people are taking themselves too seriously these days.

On the Internet

Take Freshly Pressed – WordPress’s daily list of blogs they deemed “cream of the crop”. Every time I scroll through it, it’s filled with all sorts of blogs on dramatics about cross-cultural issues and pithy commentaries on finding inner-peace. Or recipes. Or Blog a Day, which is assigned by WordPress and always particularly pretentious. Earlier this week they assigned people to post photo blogs depicting the word “solitary.” If you look at them now, there are thousands of posts where people have taken these terribly narcissistic photographs of themselves looking longingly into the unknown ahead.

Give me a break. Life is not that afflictive.

Or what about whenever people post things on Facebook these days? They always seem to be about women’s issues or cancer fundraising. Don’t get me wrong, those things are important, but can anyone feel lighthearted at all anymore? Someone once shamed me because everything I posted on Facebook was not about a serious, political issue. Really? Has everyone lost their ability to look at things humorously? Everyone seems to be so busy out saving the world – either by running a marathon, working at Starbucks, or creating political memes – that they seem to have lost any idea of what it means to relax and enjoy life once in a while.

In Person

Look at people we all know, in our daily lives. We all have that one person that never smiles. We all have that one person that never watches funny movies, or never laughs when you tell a joke.

My husband is one I can point to that takes himself way too seriously. When he talks at home, or on the phone to me, he sounds normal. He sounds relaxed. But whenever he talks to someone at work he takes an air of serious superiority. Everything is life or death.

Did I mention he works in video editing? There is nothing life or death about it. They do fucking music videos, baby shows, and Disney-type promos. iCarly is not and never will save the world. Snoop Dogg’s story may be interesting, but it most certainly is not do-or-die.

Even When Serious Is the Last Thing We Should Be

I was thinking of this the other day when I saw the Facebook update of the brother of a friend I used to work with. He had posted some photos from his birthday weekend and when I scrolled through them, in every single one of them he was in, he had this dry, I’ve-got-deep-thoughts-going-on look on his face. Did he really have deep thoughts going on? Do any of us? It was his birthday, for Christ’s sakes. Enjoy it!

Maybe if we stopped taking everything we did so seriously, we’d have to face some cold, hard facts. One of them is that we cannot save the world. Another is that we are not enjoying life if we never laugh. The most important is that we aren’t the only people in the world.

It isn’t immature to relax and have fun. And perhaps it is the people that have thought the deepest that know there is not much of a point to being so serious anyway. The lady at the fancy Target that left her cart behind my car was so rude. But she also was just taking herself too seriously. She really thinks her life is so important that she can’t have even the most basic sense of common courtesy. I feel bad for a person like that who cannot take even a moment to look around and laugh.