All My Pets Are Dying

Party Animal
May 5, 1998 – July 23, 2013

Recently, my two favorite pets died. Our 15-year-old Golden Retriever, Skye, was put down last month and last week I came home to find that one of my two pet guinea pigs, Symphony, had died during the day. I think it must be one of those getting older things – just like the fact that all my (at least Facebook) friends are getting married or having babies, all my pets that have been with me for so long are dying. It’s awkward to harp on about your pets, but I want to tell you guys a little about them both.

I’ll be the first to admit that my obsession with animals is borderline weird. As a child, the only thing that mattered (other than my My Little Pony collection) was getting more pets. Over the course of my life, I’ve had turtles, every type of fish you could find at a suburban pet store in the 90s, sea monkeys, hermit crabs, two bunny rabbits, over 15 guinea pigs (that is another story for another time), 4 kittens, at least five birds and two dogs.

I hit the highlight of my scamming-my-parents-into-getting-me-pets career in 6th grade. My dad’s job relocated us to São Paulo, Brazil. Air Bud had just come out, and my little brother and I were obsessed with Golden Retrievers. At some point we came up with the idea that if we were to move to a foreign country, we required a puppy.  And sure enough, we got us a puppy.

Not quite Air Bud, but look at that flexibility.

The litter was born on Cinco de Mayo, which seemed fitting, because it would make sense that we’d get a dog with a little pseudo-Mexican flair. The owner allowed us to come over and choose our puppy before the litter was even able to open their eyes. Claude and I were taken with the tiny little puppy who had a white diamond on her forehead.

We waited the five painstaking weeks until we could take her home, and in my memory of that time, the idea that the puppy was coming lessened the pain of packing up our home, saying bye to our friends and planning to move somewhere far, far away.

Aeropostale sweater tee, WWJD bracelet, chipped blue nailpolish. Yup… it was 1998.

Some other important facts about Skye: 

  • She was a fast learner: She brought new life to Amadeus, who was arthritic and near death, but never missed an opportunity to hump her. I guess she thought it was a game, because once she was large enough she would jump on him and start humping him.
  • We thought adding the ‘e’ to Sky was super hip: If you remember, the momma dog in Babe is named Fly, and then there was this girl on my bus named Skyler who I thought was really cool.
  • She had a hot boyfriend: We were about to get Skye spayed when our minds were changed after watching an episode of “Full House” where the family golden had puppies. Somehow, we convinced our parents that this would be a good idea for us, and set up a date with a neighbors dog. Buddy was a pure bred Golden Retriever, so I can only assume that in dog standards that means he was HOT. Their baby-making attempt was unsuccessful, but I did learn a lot more about dog sex than I ever needed to know.
  • She was not the brightest/ loved cars: We were pretty sure that Skye was eventually going to get run over because she LOVED cars. Not chasing cars, or barking at cars… just, cars. She’d run right up to them as if expecting them to be humans who would pet her. It was terrifying.
  • She provided the entire family with endless entertainment: For example, this video of my brother carrying old, limping Skye around the kitchen so she could chase after this piece of meat my dad was holding.

  • She was a party dog: She really liked licking beer off the patio whenever it was spilled during parties.
  • While she didn’t age gracefully, she didn’t seem too upset about it: Here’s a video I took of Skye the last time I saw her. She had a cone and weird booties, as well as a limp and was completely deaf… But she was as happy as ever.

Seriously… endless entertainment.

_____________________________________________

After a few years in college, I started to really miss having pets.Not having a furry something to cuddle felt wrong. During my senior year of college, my little brother lived with me and we started to plot the purchase of pets again. As a child, I’d had at least 15 guinea pigs so they seemed like the natural go to when we started talking pets. Before I knew it, we’d purchased two baby guineas and named them Symphony and Professor Commonwealth, after nearby streets in Boston.

AKA Pat and Vanna, if you’re calling from Wheel of Fortune

While guinea pigs are nowhere as exciting as dogs, they have provided me with a lot of entertainment in the past 4.5 years, and holding Symph’s poofy little body comforted me during a lot of my quarter life crises.

Some facts about Symphony:

  • She was definitely the leader of the pack: I don’t think Professor ever walked anywhere that wasn’t directly behind Symphony’s butt.
  • She got around: The guineas have lived with me in Boston, Atlanta and New York. That means they’ve been on a plane and in a Uhaul for a cross country trip.
  • She might have been a bit of a stoner: Back in my college days, as the scent of pot smoke waft through the floors of my music school apartment building, Professor would sneeze and hide in the corner, while Symphony would walk up to the front of her cage, place her paws on the metal bars and sniff as vigorously as she could. I think sometimes it made her paranoid though, because she started some pretty nasty fights with Professor.
  • She was my favorite, but we had our differences: During our New York move, a few bars on the guinea’s cage came off, creating a tiny little window out of which they could stick their heads. I thought this was adorable, until I realized Symphony would sneak out the cage during the night and poop on everything under my bed.
  • There must have been something in her hair: Because Professor ate so much of it that I took her to the vet TWICE thinking she had mites-induced hair loss.
  • I buried her at sea, like the fucking sailor she was: Is it sailors they bury at sea? Anyway, whoever it is. The awkward part of losing a pet in the city is that you don’t really know what to do with it. All my previous guineas were buried in my backyard, with proper little guinea gravestones. This time, I wasn’t sure what to do so I decided the most romantic thing would be a burial at sea – er, river. I brought her down to the tip of Manhattan so I could put her shoebox coffin in the Hudson, near the Statue of Liberty. As it turns out, finding a break in the fence and throwing something into the river isn’t so romantic, because I was pretty terrified someone was going to See Something and Say Something. Either way, her tiny body will forever lie at the bottom of the Hudson, close to Lady Liberty.
  • Yes, the means I brought a dead rodent on the subway. She was in a box, and a bag, and concealed and it was a grief thing, ok guys?!

In light of all this, I still have one pet left. Professor Commonwealth and I are bonding over our mutual feelings of loss (that I assume she also has) and now at night she sits on my chest and eats my hair while I watch TV. It’s pretty creepy/adorable.

Peace, love and hug your pets, 

BWCE

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All Energy Everything

Checkout this total product development fail I found the other day –

Cracker Jack, why you gotta give us coffee too? You already give us prizes!

Whenever I see stuff like this, I like to imagine all of the steps it took for this to go from an idea to an actual product in Duane Reade, during which no one was like, “um. Hey, guys? This is a terrible idea.”

There were at least this many steps, in some sort of order like this:

  1. Person had idea, decided it was good.
  2. Person edited presentation, decided to keep caffeinated Crack Jack idea on list of ideas.
  3. Person gave presentation, likely involving graphs and charts about how much people like ‘energy’ food.
  4. Other people decided this was a good idea, passed on to team of food engineers/ robots/ factory in china.
  5. Food is manufactured, taste-tested, moved on to packaging.
  6. Packaging (including the name “Cracker Jack’d”) was created and no one said anything about this being an AWFUL idea.
  7. Product presented to supermarkets/ stores everywhere. Product is purchased by these stores.

Either that, or there was a massive chocolate/coffee incident at the Cracker Jack factory and they decided to cover their losses by creating this. If that’s the case, I have tons of respect for them. Otherwise, WTF dudes?

I get that suddenly everything is supposed to magically energize us, even though it’s crap that’s giving us toe cancer, hair arthritis or, at the very least, lots of belly fat, but a line has been crossed. Coffee in my candied popcorn product? Or, whatever the hell those weird brownie things on the bag are? Java nougats?

I know that there have been some really important things happening in the news with civil rights, and coups and whatever, but THESE ARE THE REAL ISSUES, PEOPLE.  It’s like that old saying –

First they wanted to add a shot of espresso to my coffee,

and I didn’t speak out, because that seemed kinda nice.

Then they came for my diet soda,

and I didn’t speak out, because ‘ginseng’ and ‘guarana’ are fun to say.

What’s next? Is any junk food sacred anymore?

Will make it even more marketable to college students, although I assume the price may go up… Gives new meaning to ‘speed reading’?

What about the great American breakfast staples?

This may prove that I don’t know what color meth is… unless it’s green. I promise I have never seen nor done meth, guys.

And can you imagine how much Pizza Hut is going to go to town with all of this? They LOVE stuffing things into crusts. Don’t think they’ll stop at things that raise your cholesterol…

That blue and white thing is supposed to be a pill #powerpointfail

Little Ceasars is probably going to have to change their slogan to make it seem more energized –

THERE IS NO END TO THE MADNESS AND I HAVE TO MONITOR MY CAFFEINE INTAKE OTHERWISE I SLEEP POORLY.

Also, what will energy drinks do? Start adding food to their drinks? Our hearts are going to explode, guys.

Stop the madness. Quit buying ‘energized’ food. 

Peace, love and crack-infused ketchup, 

BWCE

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Wishlist for 2015

With the rate that technology is advancing, I feel like I can wish for almost anything hard enough and by 2015, it’ll exist. Here are some things I’d like to have:

Hologram boyfriend- 

Sure, I have a boyfriend now, but I’ve heard rumors that unmarried women in New York are dumped by their significant other on their 30th birthday, and are then welcomed into spinsterhood and gifted a cat and a pair of mom jeans. This *might* be a rumor, but I like to be prepared. By my 30th birthday in 2015, I’m gonna need a hologram boyfriend, science. 

This has got to be right around the corner, I mean by 2008 we had the worst choice for a first public hologram ever, Will.I.AM.

CNN, I will never forgive you for this

Since we clearly don’t care that much about holograms, despite the fact that they seemed like they’d be THE HEIGHT OF SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPLISHMENT to 80s kids like me, there’s got to be some sort of DIY hologram kit in the works. Think about it: you’re going to a wedding or a holiday party and you don’t have a date (re: cats, mom jeans, spinsterhood)… Don’t fear! With the help of Hologram Boyfriend (patent pending), just glue your hologram projector to your shoe and voila! Instant boyfriend.

I’d imagine that the biggest challenge here is generating the movements and mannerisms of each different hologram boyfriend prototype. I’m not picky, though. I’ll reuse hologram Tupac.

Look at how much fun we had together last Christmas!

Of course, I’m a realist, so I understand that even human-hologram couples have their issues.

“Hologram Tupac! Where are your manners?! Put on a shirt!”

In the end though, we’d always work it out. Or I could turn him off.

Seriously, why hasn’t anyone made hologram boyfriends yet? To the computer genius who is reading this blog and one day owns the patent to hologram boyfriends, you owe me at like half of your net worth. You’re welcome.

Remote into a party

Ok, so maybe faking a relationship by the use of lasers isn’t your thing. I get it, you’re a romantic like that. There should still be ways to avoid all those social events you really don’t want to go to, or even ways to get the best of both worlds – interacting at a cocktail party, seeing everyone you want to see from the comfort of your own home.

My ideal version of this technology involves using one of those iChat type backgrounds as the foreground, basically superimposing my face into a thinner, made up version of myself. I’d love to “attend” an event looking ten pounds lighter, my hair perfectly coiffed, in designer clothing I can’t afford, all while sitting on my couch, wearing my favorite sweats and chowing down on a burrito.

Zombie Apocalypse endings to all your favorite shows –

If we’re all in agreement, we could make this happen pretty soon, guys. Think about it: It’s season 8 of your favorite show, and the plot lines are starting to get super boring. I say if enough criticism exists and ratings drop below a certain point, TV writers should be FORCED to set the rest of the show in a zombie apocalypse.

How much better would last season of How I Met Your Mother have been? They can set their own zombie apocalypse rules, the characters can survive and restore the world, but having Ted’s last line to the show be, “and kids, that’s How I Met Your Mother… When she shot your aunt zombie Robyn in the face with a bazooka right before she bit me in the neck. Obviously uncle Barney became a mad scientist and was able to get the antidote to her before it was too late.

It would be Legen-wait-for-the-zombie-apocalypse-to-end-DARY

Control top panty hose that doesn’t push all your fat above the control top –

I mean, science. Have you really not figured this out yet? I feel that by 2025 I should no longer have to buy panty hose size quadruple Z (which according the the size guide is for a 4’7′, 327 pound woman, yet it STILL gives me a muffin top). I’m getting really sick of the weird looks from the checkout girl at Walgreens.

Personal climate control bubble – 

Really, I’m surprised Brookstone didn’t come up with one of these a long time ago. So, one of the things about living in a driving city (ATL REPRESEENNNNNNTTTT) is that we never have to worry about the weather, except for those three minutes a day we spend walking to and from our cars. Most of that is done in garages though anyway. I’m pretty sure this is why the south doesn’t care about global warming. Outside is that thing you see from a window of your house or car while the air conditioning is gloriously showing your face with recycled air.

So! Rather than fix global warming (too many Republicans… seems hard), we should create climate control bubbles for everyone. While the primary use would be on the street when it’s raining — because fuck umbrellas those things are the worst — there are so many other uses! A.) In your office when the heat is turned on too high, B.) On the train when someone smells like Paris Hilton’s perfume, C.) In the snow, D.) In any public restroom, ever.

That eye makeup machine Milla Jovovich uses in The 5th Element- 

And while we’re at it those pills that turn into rotisserie chicken in the microwave, too. Actually, forthcoming – an entire blogpost dedicated to how amazing The 5th Element was.

Trying to find a picture of this scene by Googling, “Chicken. Good.” led me to way too many pics of delicious-looking rotisserie chicken and now I just want chicken.

Background music to the songs I make up in my head – 

After two choruses of “Where did you go, my house keys?!” the song I sing to all missing items I’m trying to find, I realized how much better it would be if No Mercy’s background vocals and that thumping pop synth would be really helpful. Particularly because it always gets stuck in my head and then I’m left singing “Where did you go, my Metrocard?” for hours afterwards and I look like a weirdo on the street.

Augmented reality should get even more real –

If you’re thinking, “AugmentedWTF?!” here are some examples – 

T-rex attack, rapper shark attack and blazing sour patch dudes brought to you by Snaps!

These pics are examples of augmented reality – basically something that allows you to superimpose graphics onto pictures of your stuff. With this particular app, you can get prizes and stuff for it too. OH AND BTW YOU SHOULD GO VOTE FOR IT ON THIS WEBSITE – http://projects.wsj.com/soty/rankings. Seriously, vote for Snaps!, it’s my friend Austin’s app.

BUT ANYWAY, Snaps! would be the perfect platform for what I want. Which is basically an augmented-er reality. My phone is with me for pretty much every choice that I make in my life, so if it could reach out of the screen and slap me for every bad decision I make, I would be a better person for it.

“Step away from the overpriced eyeliner”

Now that I think of it, Google Glass has probably already created all of these technologies. Can someone please send me a pair??

Peace, love and hologram Tupac, 

BWCE

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Summer in the Cubicle

Summer is glorious. It’s pure bliss filled with swimming pools, beach trips, long days and summer thunderstorms that make the perfect soundtrack for a midday nap and – oh yeah – still having to go to work. Damnit.

I absolutely love the summer, but ever since I started working I realized how it’s a double-edged sword. During the winter, I’m excited to get inside, sip some free coffee and order food delivery to my desk for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also have the perfect excuse to never go out during the week, and hop into bed by 9 PM on the weekends. Summer lures me out of my TV cave and demands that I spend almost every night going to dinners, events, drinks or social events. By the time summer is over I’m TOTALLY exhausted because I’ve completely overextended myself in order to soak up all of the summery goodness that is for the most part cannibalized by the annoying need to pay my rent and have food to eat or whatever. Everyone should get free rent/ free food for the summer. Am I right? Me for President, guys! I’ll make it happen.

Anyway, this summer I’ve been trying to make the most of it a little more so that I don’t spend all my time sitting angrily at my desk, cursing the fact that I’m located directly underneath an air vent. I will never understand why people find it necessary to make the inside temperature hotter than summer in the winter and colder than winter in the summer.

This is why we never have office margaritas

Here are some tips for keeping yourself feeling summery while you’re inside. I take no responsibility if you get fired.

#1 – Wear your bathing suit under your work clothes at all times. Double points if you use this to avoid doing laundry for another day.

#2 – If you’re hungover, go outside and throw up in the park instead of the office bathroom. There’s nothing like vomiting in the bushes and looking up to see an audience of bewildered squirrels. Oh, the magic of nature.

#3 – Instagram a picture of being outside, every. single. time. you’re outside. When you look back on your feed it will make you feel like you spent a lot more time outside than you actually did.

“Look guys, I’m outside!” “Here I am… outside again!” “This time I’m outside AND I HAVE FOOD” “Outside in black and white LOL”

PS, those are all my Instagram photos. So I am VERY GOOD at taking my own advice.

#4 – Use summer occurrences as an excuse to be late to everything work related.

  • “Dear work, the rain is making all of the subway trains flood. I am afraid I have to work from the park – er, I mean home. You know, because it’s raining so much.”
  • “Dear work, there is some sort of Dominican Republic/ Gay Pride/ Mermaid Parade going on and they’re not allowing me to cross 14th Street.”
  • “Dear work, Occupy Wall Street is back. I’ve decided to join them this year. #Occupy!”
  • “Dear work, ain’t nobody got time for this heat.”

#5 – Everyone loves the “It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere” approach. Except for maybe authority figures. So just to make sure you’re covered, keep one of those cocktail flavored gums on your desk next to your beverage in a smoothie cup.

“Oh, no. This is just a smoothie. It’s the gum that smells like booze.”

And, if all else fails and you are totally stuck in the office all summer long, you can just beachify your cubicle. After all, there’s nothing like the feeling of packing peanuts between your toes amIrightamIright!?

Ikea should sell this as a box set.

Peace, love and is it 4th of July weekend yet? 

BWCE

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Where’s the Sign Up Sheet to Become a Celebrity?

So a few weeks ago I moved to the bedroom across the hall. The thing about moving rooms within your own apartment it’s almost harder than a normal move because I didn’t get movers. Also, I decided two years ago that I wanted to realize my childhood dream of having a canopy bed, so I bought one from Ikea. I regret this decision most days for the following reasons: #1 – The bed bugs loved the canopy when I used to have all this black tulle wrapped around the frame. #2 – Ikea.

Can we all agree that the creators of Ikea were malicious sadists? Seriously, when I think of the conversation that lead to the founding of Ikea, I imagine that in between rounds of torturing fawns one of the dudes was like, “Hey, you know what would be fun? What if we made a furniture store that was absurdly cheap.” and the other guy was like “Why would we do that? Hey, hand me those hot coals.” and the first guy was like, “Because if we make a furniture store that’s absurdly cheap, we can get everyone on the planet to think it’s awesome but actually create the world’s worst maze for people to walk through.” So the second guy was like, “That seems like an ok use of my time, but not murder-y enough.” And so the first guy went, “WELL HERE’S THE THING. Not only will the maze they have to walk through to get to the checkout be terrible, we will also name all of the furniture names in an unrecognizable language, and we will pump the smell of cinnamon buns through the store, despite the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to find the area in which the cinnamon buns are sold because it’s a furniture store, not a restaurant and we will make ALL OF THE DIRECTIONS FOR ASSEMBLING INCREDIBLY HEAVY FURNITURE IN HIEROGLYPHICS. AND THE CINNAMON BUNS WILL SUCK.”

And then the second dude was like, “Oh. Sweet. I’m in.”

“If you have a problem, just call us!” Have you guys every tried *calling* Ikea for help? THE WORST.

I spent most of a Sunday afternoon dodging giant pieces of canopy bed as they fell apart on top of me, cracking pieces of my canopy bed, looking up new beds online while I considered selling my bed and inexplicably ripping the paint off of my wall with a piece of the bed. Eventually I prevailed. Well, sort of… there were a couple of pieces of the bed that no longer seemed like they mattered so now they live under the bed, and I”m probably going to have to duct tape one side of the canopy because it’s broken in half and sagging over my bed. At the end of it all, I sent Chris a very long text describing all the ways I planned to dismantle and burn the hell bed, video tape it and send it to Ikea whenever I am finally able to afford a different, non-Ikea bed.

It looked a lot like this.

Anyway. The reason I’m telling you about all of this, is to tell you why it’s terrible that I started following Rihanna on Instagram. Really, I shouldn’t follow any celebrities on Instagram, but Mindy Kaling at least keeps it down to earth and makes it seem like she’s working hard for the money.

The whole time I was at risk of severing a limb with particle board made by Satan’s minions, Rihanna was in Barcelona. BEING BLONDE. Every time I’d check my phone, hoping that someone on Facebook would post about wanting to buy a canopy bed from Ikea, I’d see Rihanna… shopping at Chanel; sitting on stairs smoking a cigarette; wearing things with cutouts in them. Rihanna’s Instagram feed basically says, “Look at how much better my life is than yours.”

I think that was literally one of the comments on her photos. It was at least a hashtag.

When I was younger I wanted to be a celebrity because I wanted people to ask me weird questions about myself that no one asks you in real life like, “What do you was think the key to getting were you are today?”  Then I realized I can just write a blog and make the questions up for myself (new post idea: Getting interviewed by an imaginary Diane Sawyer). For a couple years I was like, “wow. Now I don’t need to be a celebrity. Look at me… having it all.”

And then Rihanna’s Instagram had to go and ruin it for me. I want to be a celebrity again. Celebrities have so much downtime. When Amanda Bynes threw that bong out the window and everyone was reporting on it, I was sitting at my desk like, “That lucky bitch doesn’t have to be in an office right now?! I’d kill to live on 47th street. Who has time to go wig shopping? ”

The rest of us have the raw end of the deal… don’t we? Celebrities are always complaining about how busy they are and justify it by saying, “I suffered from exhaustion last year. You know? I had to go to A SPA.”

I suffer from exhaustion every WEEK. It’s called Monday, celebrities. Seriously though, based on her Instagram feed, here’s what I think Rihanna’s typical day is like versus mine. These are the busy ones when she has a concert or something.

Given this new info (that yes, was entirely made up by me), I have been strategizing again. Trying to figure out how I can become a celebrity. Seeing as that I don’t really act, dance, sing or start fights with everyone around me, I’ve ruled out pretty much everything in terms of the performing arts and reality TV.

Do you guys have any thoughts? How else do people get famous?

Peace, love and death to Ikea, 

BWCE

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The REAL Home Grocer

I loved 1998 – 2001. I’m sure living in Brazil and those being my first real years of consciousness contributed to the love, but I also think those years were amazing in general. They were the first years where the internet was really changing things for normal people – Napster existed, Amazon was out there. There was a certain electricity in the air, a collective feeling that everything was about to change or at least that Y2K would destroy us all.

The summer after 8th grade was my favorite summer during adolescence. We’d always come back from Brazil during school breaks, but instead of staying in the Camden Suites that was located in the scenic parking lot behind the Target (with “penthouse” views of the hospital from across the highway!) we weren’t renting our house out that year and we were able to spend the summer there. It was The Summer of Rap, the summer I wasn’t fat and the summer that Rachel got to stay over basically every night. Rachel was my best friend all through middle school, and the glue that held our friendship together despite my living in another country was that we both loved to make stupid shit. It started with our development of a village for tooth beavers. Tooth beavers were Rachel’s creation from I dunno when, but I learned about them when she used them to defend me from this boy who was making fun of me in 6th grade. I was wearing two WWJD bracelets that happened to be purple (“God’s Royalty”) and rainbow (“God’s Promise”) without understanding that those colors were fairly popular symbols of gay pride. Poor pre-adolescence Tiffany, realizing stuff was gay would not be my strong suit for the next 10 years…

They were SYMBOLIC, people.

So anyway, earlier that day I was wearing the bracelets when this scary goth chick named Cassidy stopped me to ask me something. By default, anyone with any sort of identity was cooler than me because all I had going for me was that I was The Girl Who Had Green Highlights On St. Patrick’s Day, which was kind of cool until I nervously explained to everyone that “oh no, this wasn’t intentional. I didn’t wash my hair after swimming and the pool dyed my hair green” so that’s not saying much. So Cassidy goes,

“Are you hetero?”

And I have NO FUCKING CLUE what that means. So I’m like,

“… Am I… head-ro?”

“No. I said are you HET-ER-RO?”

“What’s a head-row?”

“HET.      Er.          ROOOOOO.”

“I’m really sorry. I don’t know what a head ter row is. Can you explain it?”

“Just forget it.”

Later on in Journalism class, this boy Matt started making fun of me for the bracelets and I figured out what Cassidy was asking me.

“Haha. Your bracelets are gay.”

“No they’re not! They’re What Would Jesshsus Do bracelets. They’re like the opposite of gay.” At that point I still had the lisp.

“Why are you wearing purple and rainbow together then? Are you gay?”

“Purple issssh royalty and rainbow is God’sh promish!”

“Purple is gay and rainbow is also gay. Are you gay?”

This is when Rachel swooped in with her wonderful, weirdo tooth beavers.

“Matt the tooth beavers are gonna eat your teeth and paint a giant rainbow tooth beaver on your garage if you don’t shut up.”

“What are tooth beavers?”

“They’re the things that cause cavities. Duh.”

Then Rachel spent the rest of class drawing pictures of Matt’s garage door with rainbow tooth beavers on it. I thought they were hilarious, and they become our joke for the rest of the year. We made cardboard cartoon tooth beavers and tried building a village for them. We made them costumes… the whole shebang. When I moved to Brazil the tooth beaver project was tabled indefinitely, but my trips to the US gave way to new jokes, dances, songs and entire imaginary universes around the characters we’d create.

Ice Jam 2000 was the birth of “No Stubs,” our incredibly offensive amputee-themed parody of “No Scrubs”. I wonder what my mom was thinking as she drove around two girls gleefully singing, “If you have no legs and you’re hoppin’/ Oh yes son/ I’m talking to you”. But that summer we blew “No Stubs” out of the water. HomeGrocer had just come out, along with WebVan and bunch of other services that would deliver directly to you. My father had been telling us for years that this was going to happen. “One day you’re not going to need to leave the house to rent a movie! That’s the future!”

For some reason, Rachel and I decided that Home Grocer was gangsta as F and that he was just one dude driving around in a peach van, bringing the whole city of Atlanta their groceries from his peach truck.

I stole this photo. I don’t know where it’s from, just google ‘homegrocer’ if you care.

So, because it was The Summer of Rap, I made up a few rap parodies about Home Grocer. They were basically all Eminem songs, but “The Real HomeGrocer” was my absolute favorite. And I want to share the lyrics with you guys, because I still remember them. I can’t tell you any important dates in US history, but I can remember the lyrics to a rap song about groceries I wrote in middle school. As a disclaimer, in middle school things like cheese and the name “Bob” were hilarious to Rachel and me. Was that everyone or just us? I’ve never been able to tell, but this song references cheese a lot for that reason. Other than that I need to remind you guys that I WAS ONLY 13 WHEN I WROTE THIS. Yes, I know. I’m brilliant. People tell me far too often.

If you want to try to rap along, here’s the link to The Real Slim Shady. I’m giving you the edited on because that’s how I learned it in 8th grade.

The Real Home Grocer

May I have your attention, please?

May I have your attention, please?

Will the real Home Grocer please stand up?

I repeat. Will the real Home Grocer please stand up?

We’re gonna have a problem here.

Y’all act you never seen a Home Grocer before

Cheese all on the floor

Like pans and muffins just burst in the door

He started deliverin’, first to your door

First was ignored

Fruit stains on the furniture – ah!

It’s the return of the ah, wait, no – wait?

You’re kidding

He didn’t just eat what I think he did, did he?

And Web Van said –

Nothing you idiot! Web Van’s dead he’s locked in peach truck

All of the women love the HG man

cheezy cheezy cheezy

Home Grocer, I’m sick of him. Look at him?

Drivin’ around, bringing us who knows what

Bringing it to you know who

Yeah but he’s so cheap though!

I probably got a couple of screws up in my truck loose

But no worse than what’s going on in your parent’s fruit juice

Sometimes I wanna get on the highway and just let loose

But I can’t, but it’s cool for Web Van to sell a dead moose

“His cheese is good on chips, his cheese is good on chips,

And if you’re lucky it might not burn your little lips.”

And that’s the produce that we deliver to little kids

And expect them no to know what blue cheese really is

Of course they gonna know what mold spores is

But the time they hit fourth grade

They got the science lab don’t they?

But if he can sell dead animals and cheese that’s old

Then there’s no reason I can’t sell rotten cantilope

But if you feel like I feel, I’ve got the antidote

Women I sell panty hose, and the chorus – here it goes

Cuz I’m home grocer, yes I’m the real grocer

All the other web vans are just imitating

So won’t the real Home Grocer drive his truck?

Drive his truck?

Drive his truck?

“Forgot about Cheese” was also a favorite of mine. For what it’s worth, I always imagined the HG man to look something like this –

After Googling HomeGrocer, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the company and it’s totally shattered my childhood dreams of the mystical one man HomeGrocer. And that’s why Wikipedia shouldn’t exist.

Peace, love and mold spores, 

BWCE

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Title Fails

Sometimes stress and being super busy leads me to have great ideas for blog posts. This month, that hasn’t been the case. I STILL can’t think of any longer posts to write, but I promise it’s not for lack of trying. When I was in college, one of our songwriting exercises was to come up with titles in order to inspire lyrics when we were facing a block. We’d look at the newspaper and come up with a title and I remember that basically all of mine sucked. I’ve been trying to do that for blog posts and the outcome is similar.

Here are some titles for tentative blog posts I’ve come up with in the past week or so. I’m not sure if any of these would be entertaining, but at the very least they’re an indication of the combination of stressy, boring and food-obsessed (cure for stress) they are.

  • All of the Ways You Can Take the Wrong Train Uptown on a Holiday Weekend
  • The Effectiveness of TGIFriday’s ads when projected on large screens
  • Being Broke Seems Like a Perfect Excuse to Try The Master Cleanse (But How Expensive is Cayenne Pepper?)
  • The Pluses and Minuses of Leaving Facebook Chat Active
  • The Bed Bugs are Gone, But I’m Still Itchy
  • Things I Would Do to a Chocolate Lasagna (That May or May Not be Illegal in Several States)
  • Things the Internet Doesn’t Tell You About Knee Injuries (alternate title: Things the Internet Does Tell You About Knee Injuries That Will Keep You Up All Night)
  • A Run Down of My Recent Nightmares: From Broken Roller Coaster Tracks as Roads to Something Involving Git Hub That Made Git Hub Seem More Like Facebook and That Doesn’t Seem Right
  • Does Halal Meat Contain Gelatin? (And Other Food Truck Related Questions)

What do you guys do for “writer’s block”? Asking for a friend…

Peace, love and phantom itches, 

BWCE

High School Journal Part 1

There’s something about summer that makes it impossible for me to write blog posts (drinking on patios), so, because I didn’t manage to do anything this past weekend in terms of writing posts (because I was drinking on patios), I’ve pulled a post I wrote over a year ago, back before anyone read my blog like ever. I will be back with new posts soon, I promise. In the meantime, I suggest you go get yourself a drink on a patio. Patios are the best. 

Adolescence was not a fun time for me. I kept a journal from ages 18-22 and this morning I pulled it out to reference some over-emotional writing that came from my long period of infatuation with Austin in college. I ended up reading most of it. I realize that my words paint a very accurate picture of my teenage self; awkward, sort of fat, a cripplingly devout baptist and desperately trying to find my dark side. I spent years consoling myself by ranting about how my dad was wrong, I was definitely going to be a famous musician, and oscillating between being “SO over” and “SO going to end up with” my first boyfriend who’d long since forgotten we ever shared a romantic history.

I’m going to start sharing some of my formative high school experiences, as evidenced by my journal. These are the reasons I will never take myself seriously.

#1 – Teen Tiffany was convinced she’d become a famous musician. She didn’t realize the most money she’d ever make off her music was at her very first performance at the talent show.

When you’re 18 and so tragically uncool that it actually hurts you to think about as a (still not cool) adult, the only way to cope with your unbearable level of loserdom is by telling yourself that one day you’ll become as hot/famous as Britney Spears and everyone will feel foolish that they didn’t worship you.

My father saw this burning desire and tried to save me before I derailed the promising career-oriented future I had as a nerd. Unfortunately, this was the one subject on which I allowed myself to react like a defiant teen. My attitude was all “Whatever, Dad. It’s not like you know anything anyway, you just put yourself through school and became the CEO of a company, you don’t understand what it’s like for girls like me and Britney,” and I sadly made the hormone-fueled choice to go to music school. Sigh.

My journal is filled with pages like this – rants about my dad just “not understanding and after all it’s my life.” These pages reminded me of one particular story from high school.

This happened at my 10th grade school talent show.

I’d started writing songs at the beginning of sophomore year, and I found a friend to play guitar for me so I could perform them. I was so excited for our school talent show to finally debut one of my songs, but was too embarrassed to admit that I wrote it and demanded that the song be listed ‘by: anonymous’ in the program. I don’t know why I needed to include the songwriter, I don’t remember any strict high school talent show program submission guidelines, but I felt it necessary. “Crashing Down” was my finest work. It started with an incredibly drawn out metaphor about my heart being a curvy road inspired by my driver’s ed classes and had vaguely to do with the huge crush I had on a questionably gay guy I met participating in the school play.

Before I went onstage, I stood nervously behind the curtain. I was wearing my favorite floor-length denim skirt and my platform heels. I’d straightened my hair, put on some glittery lipgloss and I was feeling not super fat so confidence was high. It was hard to concentrate, but the emcee made some joke about how we played for coins on the street, so feel free to toss a few my way. I walked out, and to fully picture this you have to know that it was in a black box theatre with stadium seating on three sides, so I was surrounded by my audience.

I started into my song and after a line or two someone threw a handful of change onto the stage. Everyone laughed, I blushed and tried to remain calm while singing about feeling so far away from the start of the road my heart was on, and the joke had run its course. Or so I thought. Another line or two passed and a couple more threw change on the stage. People thought this was hilarious.

By the time I was halfway through the first chorus, I was being full-on pelted by about 150 of my peers, their parents and a few members of the faculty. It wasn’t until I got backstage and burst into tears that I think everyone looked down at the coin-covered stage and thought about it from my perspective. There was a long pause before the emcee went back out to introduce the next act and after the show ended my mother, who witnessed the scene, took me to the CD store and let me buy anything I wanted. All I can think now is I really should have picked up all that change, I probably made like $20 that night.

Maybe It’s Because I Need to Install My AC

I really can’t handle the Internet today. The past couple of days I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, for really no particular reason and my brain can’t really come up with anything exciting to say. Also I fell off my bike and got a gnarly knee scrape on Friday so I’ve been spending most of my free time bending/unbending my knee, Googling things like “IF I HAVE STAPH INFECTION HOW DO I KNOW? MY KNEE ISN’T RED,” and I think I’m making it hurt more by walking weird to overcompensate for the injury.

SO, in lieu of writing things, here are some links I think are important. I am mostly stealing things from other blogs:

The second coming of Allie – Allie’s blog, Hyperbole and a Half, is totally awesome/ Internet famous and she’s been gone for about a year. In her newest post she explained why. The Internet is so glad to have you back, Allie.

Turn things into cats – Hibben sent me this from the The Blogess. Click the link to make things cats.

Stephanie Georgopulos’ TC Favorites – I had the amazing experience of working with Stephanie when she edited my eBook, but long before that I was an avid reader of hers on Thought Catalog. I’m pretty sure Bring Your Hangover to Work Day was the piece that made me realize I needed to read Thought Catalog every. day. Now she’s moving on to Gawker, and she posted this collection on her Tumblr. I love every part of it.

Kanye hits head on sign, freaks out – Oh Kanye, I will never tire of your antics. Kisses.

There’s a new Vampire Weekend album out – It’s super rare than a band produces three great albums in a row. VW did it. They are so great. Get their album here.

Peace, love and why is my knee making that clicking sound?

BWCE

Talkin’ Bout My Generation: Millennials

I really need to buy photoshop. This powerpoint/paint combo is getting exhausting.

I usually try to avoid engaging in whatever happens to be The Conversation on the internet (unless it’s Kanye-related, duh) because if I start taking myself too seriously I’ll turn into a douche faster than the baby gremlin turned into all the scary gremlins.

Seriously, how do the cute ones turn into THAT?

BUT this time I have to chime in – peeps be hatin’ on my generation. TIME MAGAZINE BE HATIN’, GUYS. Actually, I haven’t read the full article (I know, bad blogger!) because I have to be a subscriber or actually buy a magazine so this isn’t really a commentary on what they wrote. I could be saying the same things, I have no idea. This is a collection of thoughts I realized I have about Millennials that was spawned by all the awesome photoshopped versions of the magazine cover. Also, if for some reason I offend people or seem preachy I’m pre-apologizing with this picture of my spirit animal, the bear –

Like me, the bear is fierce and sleeps for half of the year. We both enjoy waving at people and being talked to in baby voices. (pic from http://www.bearbabbleonline.com)

Ok, here we go. I have to be honest, at first I was like “WTF is Time Magazine? I’m too busy looking at myself in a mirror and writing about my feelings on the internets to know about these things.” But then I had a flashback from a repressed childhood memory – my house used to have these booklets of paper that were somehow interesting to my parents. I get it, they didn’t have Angry Birds back then.

Doesn’t it seem like every two months there’s some new article about Millennials?

Quit having a big lesbian crush on us already

Did people write this much about Gen X? No seriously, as a Millennial I don’t read anything I didn’t write myself, so it’s difficult to figure these things out.

As a generation, we’re pegged as lazy, entitled and narcissistic. My opinion is: Yes. I know people my age like that. I have at times been all of those things. I’m probably being at least one of those things right now, but there are a lot of other ways to describe Millennials and I’m not talking about the fact that we ALL hate the new Facebook.

Here are the things that I think are the best and worst part of our generation.

BEST: We know how to use a computer 

Seriously, older people, if I hear one more of you say “I’m just not a tech person” I’m going to go ballistic. The Internet is easy. You guys understood how to use card catalogs and kept rolodexes, you can certainly figure out how to update your browser to the newest version. My 80-something year old grandmother has a Facebook account.

WORST: Selfies

Translation for older people – a selfie is a photo someone takes of him/herself, usually making a “duck face” so their cheek bones will look more defined. Example –

We could do without 99% of these.

 BEST: We’re figuring it out

Graduating college in 2009 felt rough. Graduating with a Music Business degree felt ABSURD. The moment I realized that was when I was sitting in a college classroom and my professor, who was one a music industry hot shot, said “I dunno you guys. It’s different now… you’re just going to have to figure it out.” I’m pretty sure the entire class shared one thought at that moment – WHY THE F ARE WE PAYING $30K A YEAR?

I totally bailed on the music industry because that seemed hard, but I’m amazed by how many of my peers really did get music business jobs. They’re the very people who are figuring it out, and hopefully building it back up.

WORST: We think we’re “special”

Through nothing but good intentions, our baby boomer parents were too nice. Our parents were so good to us. We were told we could be whatever we wanted. Our finger painting skills rivaled Picasso. Exposure to the real word is a harsh reality for a lot of us. I think I spent my first few years of college being like “Y U NO THINK I’M MUSIC PICASSO?” For me this also happened with sick days at work. I didn’t understand why I no one believed that calling in for “a tickle in my throat” wasn’t code for hangover. It took me awhile to realize that no one but my sweet, loving parents cares about my ailments.

ADDITIONAL WORST: Overcorrecting to prove you don’t think you’re special 

There are people who go the other route and act irrationally strong – “If I pass out in the meeting, just slap me in the face. I’ve got a touch of menengitis, but it’s NBD.” Go home you sickly jerk.

BEST: We take on and deal with massive debt to get a higher education 

I’m so unbelievably lucky to not have any college debt (parents, u da u da best), but the reason I thought of this point is from watching one of my college roommates take on probably $100K in debt to get a music education degree. After she graduated, she got an office job that paid OK and quit after three days because she knew it would eat her soul and she wanted to use her degree. She worked at a restaurant for several years so she could work a side job doing what she loved for basically no money. She paid her rent, made loan payments and got an Amex so she could earn miles. She showed me her budgeting spreadsheets and I couldn’t believe how much of a financial boss she’d become in a matter of months. After a few years, she got a full time job teaching music.

WORST: We don’t have a big, unifying activist movement

Once, on an OkCupid date, a dude referred to “getting stoned and getting Family Guy back on the air” as a great activist feat of our generation. I deactivated my account the next day. Maybe it’s because a lot of the major barriers have been passed. Maybe we’re lazy? There’s gay rights and Occupy Wall Street, but I don’t think we’re doing any big Vietnam-esque stuff. Are we? Am I missing something?

BEST: We’re awesome at nostalgia

For stuff like Web 1.0 and the 90s, not like farms. Stuff like the Geocities-izer and basically every BuzzFeed article that’s not about cute animals.

WORST: We’re narcissistic

I’m really only saying this because it’s a major complaint against us. Isn’t everyone? If your diary from when you were twenty was publicly accessible, wouldn’t it be about you? Mine is in the form of a livejournal somewhere, and it’s definitely all about me. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent trying to find the link. Whenever I find it I will post.

I’m going to end on a positive – SERIOUSLY, WE’RE FIGURING IT OUT.

When I got my first job offer, I was sitting in a bathroom stall at my hostess job. My iPhone had pinged, and I was hoping that maybe someone in New York, the city in which I was already paying for an apartment despite living in Georgia, would hire me. Gen X people have told me about this thing called “hiring bonuses.” Like, people would PAY you to take a job. I cannot fathom that happening to anyone now. Every time I interview for a job, this is my thought process: “How much can I deduct from what I really think my salary should be to beat the person who interviewed before me without getting evicted? God I hope they didn’t go to an ivy. I’m so screwed. Can we fight to the death or something? I think I could take him.”

Jobs are hard to come by and the rent is too damn high. We’re told all the time that everything is hopeless. Even so, we are singing, blogging, tweeting and YouTubing our ideas out there. Are some of them shitty and self-involved? Hell yeah! Are some of them so awesome that they go viral? Hell fuckin’ yea. Besides, sometimes after a long day of working, it feels good to be a little narcissistic and look through all your old FB photos. So sue us. But seriously don’t because we don’t have any money.

Peace, love and who run the world? MILLENNIALS. (Ok, not yet… but one day?), 

BWCE

PS – Here’s another picture of a bear.

(Pic from amusingplanet.com)

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