Wednesday, September 24, 2014

If This Had Been A Real Emergency....

If you know me, or read this blog, or have seen/heard me talk about this, you know I am afraid of flying-or as I call it-afraid of suddenly not flying. I have even dedicated an entire blog to helping you understand (and laugh at) my anxiety with this.

So knowing that, you can imagine my horror in learning that for about $300, I could experience a fake flight disaster at British Airways Flight Safety Awareness Course
According to the Huffington Post, this course is designed so it "encourages passengers to be aware of their surroundings and familiarize themselves with what happens in an emergency." It also is supposed to make you feel more confident about the skills and experience of your captain and crew. The idea is if you are confident and prepared, you won't panic. But to be honest, just reading about what this course experience all entails, I was in a total panic.
You board a simulator plane, take a seat, and then there are sounds and motions to create a take off. Shortly after that, you enter my worst nightmare, as they fill the simulated craft with smoke and the crew yells "Brace! Brace!" At this point, I would probably pass out from hyperventilating. Even knowing this is fake.
Part of the curriculum is teaching you the proper brace position. You know the "put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye." They explain this procedure in detail and it should involve placing your head down, feet firmly planted and slid back towards you, with your dominant hand on top of your head and your other hand on top of that hand. The reasoning for this hand placement is that if something happens and your top hand is impacted and consequently shattered, your dominant hand can still unbuckle your seat belt so you can evacuate the plane. Great.
Next in this fun experience they yell at you to evacuate. This is described as a "scramble." And apparently opening those emergency exits over the wing is not as easy as you think. So think carefully about selecting that seat just for the tempting extra leg room. You don't want to get stampeded by angry passengers in a panic if you take too long working at opening it. But also, I'm not sure it matters, as they also explain that the doors of the plane allow 6-8 passengers to get out in the time it takes 1 to get out that smaller door over the wing exit and in the disaster every second matters. Ahhhh I'm stressed out just reading this.
Another little helpful tidbit in case of emergency is to not inflate your life jacket on the plane, because apparently "if water fills the cabin, passengers with inflated vests can be pressed up against the ceiling, unable to swim down to the door." Just let that image sink in of you floating around like Charlie breaking the rules in the Chocolate Factory chamber. Except instead of farting your way down to a stern talking to by Willy Wonka, you die.
Probably the only thing that makes this course worth the nightmares it will induce is the fact that you get to go down that slide that you always hear these planes are equipped with, but you don't ever get, or really want, to see.
So, yeah, if you want to experience a disaster, in a controlled setting, go ahead and sign up for this class. But really, for the cost of the class you could go on a trip, ideally on a plane where none of this occurs.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It's the Great Gross Pumpkin

I am still clinging to summer. It is warm enough out and we have a long winter ahead of us. Why rush? I hate when September hits and everyone pushes into fall, or even worse-the holidays. It fills me with sadness. It is like seeing a child acting like a grown up. Carefree childhood, like the heat of summer, is the shortest most magical time, everyone should cling to it, because we have so much more time to wear coats and worry.
But, thanks to the bizarre obsession with freaking pumpkin spice, everyone is all about fall.
You can get pumpkin everything. But do you really need to?
Honestly, I'm not a fan of pumpkin. Actually the smell of carving a pumpkin at Halloween literally makes me gag. So I just don't get the "basic bitch" obsession with the parade of pumpkin products.
And I'm noticing this year there is even more than the usual latte and candle out there.  Although, we can all breath a sigh of relief that the Durex Pumpkin Spice flavored condoms were in fact an internet hoax. But you can get:

Obviously Pumpkin Pie vodka

Pumpkin Spice Jello Pudding

This is perhaps the most odd of all to me-
Pumpkin Spice Whey Protein Supplement

For gym rats to post pumpkin spice protein shake fall "healthies?" Or this guy? He definitely is into that.

Oh, even your precious pooch get in on the action
With Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats. What the hell?

 Instead of regular buttery spread, you can switch over to this for the season
Country Crock Pumpkin Spice
The worst is you are right now probably thinking how putting Pumpkin Spice spread on your pumpkin muffin or pumpkin bread along with your Pumpkin Spice Latte would be delicious and not at all overkill. Just No.

These might be the most palpable of this crazy pumpkin spice patch-
Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts.

Pumpkin Spice M&Ms

These just look gross. Even the M&M guy on the bag looks upset about this.
Pumpkin Spice Oreos were inevitable
Admittedly, this recipe for brownies with them does seem ok.

Definitely not ok, is smelling like pumpkin wearing this Bath and Body Works Sweet Pumpkin spray.
And worst of all, is going as Pumpkin Spice for Halloween in this ridiculous costume.

All of this pumpkin makes me feel like this:
Let's just please stop this nonsense now.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ceci n'est pas Hello Kitty.

I am in Chicago studying comedy at Second City and took some time today to go over to the amazing Art Institute of Chicago for some inspiration and culture and because as an Art History major, I totally geek out for art.
Their current featured exhibit is the bizarrely beautiful art of Magritte, possibly most famous in pop culture for his painting "Ceci n'est pas une pipe."
As I stood there looking at this painting, questioning its meaning, I found myself having nothing short of an existential crisis. The concept of "This is not a pipe" despite the fact that it is clearly a freaking pipe brought to mind the disturbing news from today that was equally as confusing and earth shattering-the fact that Hello Kitty is not a cat despite the fact that she clearly looks like a freaking cat.
A University of Hawaii anthropologist unearthed this paradigm shift while curating a retrospective of Hello Kitty for the Japanese American National Museum. She then broke the news to the LA Times saying that when she referred to the beloved character as a cat, the icon's creator Sanrio corrected her saying, "Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty."
So all this time you were thinking that bow wearing bitch was a cat, but she fooled you. This is not some silly scenario like Disney where Mickey has both Pluto, a pet dog who embodies dog qualities, AND a friend Goofy, who is a dog but has man qualities. Don't be ridiculous. Sanrio wants you to grow up and get reasonable and see that Hello Kitty is logically human because she walks on two legs. Duh. She just looks like a cat.

Ok, so if she's human, why does she have whiskers? Is that supposed to be make up? Or some bizarre hair style? And more importantly why doesn't she have a mouth? Sanrio did answer that saying that she "speaks from the heart." This is all sounding more and more absurd and confusing.
Though, I guess now that I'm really analyzing her, I can slightly accept her being representative of a human child as she is anatomically vaguely similar to a Peanuts cartoon kid who we accept as human.....I just don't know......
So hence, there I stood in the art museum, staring at the "not a pipe" painting and profoundly thinking how if Hello Kitty is not a cat what else in my life has been a lie?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Subway Yoga, Ice Bucket Costume, and Stupid Men......A Few of My Least Favorite Things

It's only Tuesday and already I have so much to be mad about this week.

Yoga on the Subway. No thanks. Please don't try to prove you are better than me while showing off your hoohah in your see-through Lululemon pants. If I wanted to suffer this awkward inferiority in a sweaty, hot, crowded space, I'd go to a freaking yoga class. Ugh, I'd prefer the subway break dancers. They were actually less annoying.

While I am actually kind of ready for summer to be over, I see things like this and begin to dread the Pumpkin everything season. Come Halloween, everyone should have permission to dounce anyone they see wearing one of these stupid Ice Bucket Challenge costumes with freezing water in the chilly autumn air.
The news of the Nutella (really hazlenut) shortage is yet again another example of the media over-hype that attempts to appeal to the alarmist in all of us. Remember the great Bacon Shortage of 2013 and Cheesepocolypse of early 2014? Or even worse, the threat of wine shortage? Life went on and we have yet to run out of any of these indulgences. So let's all calm down and put our focus on things like...countries that really do need food.
But let's not let Miley Cyrus be the spokesperson for that. I know she is trying to do something good here, but I can't help but be disgusted by the media stunt of her taking a formerly homeless young man who resembled a circa 2000 Hanson brother as her date/mouthpiece for award acceptance to the VMAs. She also really splurged to show him a classy time and took him to In and Out Burger. Yes, homelessness is real and is a problem, and it is wonderful she is using her fame for something other than dry humping objects, but I think this seemed to exploit the issue in a self-indulgent manner-so typical Miley.
But maybe you are better off just finding a homeless man as your date. I am loosing faith in men. A man in England, with the help of a buddy, told his girlfriend he had been kidnapped just so he could stay out partying without her annoying him. This of course resulted in the concerned girlfriend getting the police to go on a futile manhunt eventually ending in the man getting busted and charged.
I need a drink.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Workout Hair? Ain't Nobody Got Time For That

So Lululemon found another way to make me hate them even more, which I didn't think was possible. How do you get more ridiculous than $175 see-through size 00 yoga pants? Well clearly, in a meeting that I imagine took place in a room smelling of nag champa filled with skinny executives sipping coconut water this was discussed.
And hence they came up with ridiculous "running hairstyles."
Seriously, it's a blog tutorial on their site for an insanely complicated braid hairstyle that would take longer for me to do than I could actually spend running. And, if you are like me, attempting braids just results in your arm muscles burning from holding your arms up and behind your head. So does that validate this preposterous style because, in doing it, I'm getting a work out for my clearly feeble arms?
Look at this nonsense. It looks like the rope in gym class I couldn't climb...also due to my feeble arms.
 I don't even make my hair look as good as this to go out on a Saturday night so I'm sure as hell not putting in that kind of time and effort to become a sweaty mess as I jog about my neighborhood. Fancy work out hair? Shut up, Lululemon. 
This is my problem with the ideology behind the company Lululemon. Well, one of the problems anyway. This is a company that pushes the "look" of fitness more than the actual act of fitness. 
Most women running around in Lululemon's clothes aren't running a marathon or just stepping out of a yoga studio. They are wearing these over-priced gym clothes to the grocery store, to work, to a a status symbol to non-verbally, but aggressively, declare that they work out even if they haven't set foot in a gym for months. And also to get dudes to check out their butts because, admittedly, there is strange black magic going on where these spandex pants act as a push up bra for asses. Workout clothes outside of working out is like hipsters wearing glasses that don't actually have prescription lenses in them. Well, Clark Kent uses fake glasses to hide his Superman identity so maybe women are thinking wearing yoga pants and gym clothes is like hiding their secret. "Was I at the gym or binging on the couch? You'll never know."
And now the fancy braided updo is in on the ruse.
No thanks. 
Working out means you should be a sweaty, gross, unattractive and tangled mess. It means you are doing it right. Spending time to get glammed up to work out?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Live Like Shark Week

It's Shark Week! The week where sharks make Discovery Channel their bitch and I get seasick on my couch from watching far too many hours of bouncy, underwater footage.
So to live this week to its Shark Week fullest, I am proposing that we get some celebration inspiration from the guests of honor themselves. Make like a shark this week so that everyone around you feels constantly nervous. You'll really get the party started with this behavior.

1. If you see something, eat something. Sharks eat food when they find it, regardless of time or hunger.

2. Sharks never stop moving, so go ahead and constantly pace and move about-preferably in your about to attack zig zag pattern. This will go over great at work and especially well in small spaces like an elevator.

3. Sharks can travel hundreds of miles in a day so use the power of facebook to confuse your prey/friends by checking in at places all around the world regardless of the fact that you are on your couch. In Peru one hour, in Japan the next. That's power.

4. Wear a dorsal fin all week to let people know that when they see you coming, they should fear you.

5. Sharks don't have vocal cords so refuse to speak. Just stare people down with your cold, dark eyes.

6. It is a fact that you are actually more likely to get bit by a person than a shark. Don't be afraid to demonstrate this/prove its veracity.

7. A female shark can on occasion reproduce without any contact from a male. So ladies-tell your man to back off because it's Shark Week and you don't need him and then keep taking lots of pregnancy tests.
8. But ladies look out, shark mating rituals involve the male biting the females.

9. Sharks are the top of the food chain and help keep fish populations under control. So strut like you are the bad ass boss in control. This is how crowds will part on the sidewalk for you. Yeah, that's right. Step aside you peasants.

10. And if watching hours of Discovery Channel and shark movies has taught us anything, the best thing you can do to channel your inner sharkness and make the most of this week, is to just effortlessly not give a shit because you are a shark.

In Which I Try to Come To Terms With Summer Expectations

It's that time of year again.
The time of year when annoying back to school ads take over-all the while reminding you that it has been a decade since you needed to purchase back to school supplies. Nights get darker and chillier and you begin to recall with disgust what it feels like to get out of work when it's already dark out. Yet your cheap flip flops are worn out and breaking, leaving you limping in one shoe down a dirty city street. And you actually feel like you just can't eat anymore Mister Softie.
Yes, the end of summer is coming. 
My favorite dive bar has already taken the summer beers off tap.
And as we face the mortality of our summer selves, there is a sense of panic and regret that you haven't lived these hot, sunny days to their fullest. Back in June, when the summer seemed endless and pregnant with possibilities, talk was cheap. But now, those summer bucket lists sit with far too few things checked off. And, if you are anything like the over-thinking and over-dramatic me, you begin to realize this all could be foreshadowing your youth and life in general, and how you may never accomplish anything on your life's bucket list. And then you panic. Then pour yourself a gin and tonic to try to cope. Then realize that maybe if you had spent less time sipping gin and tonics on your porch this summer, you could have gone out and done those things you wanted to do.....and oh god.....
This summer I ran in a 5K, went to the beach, had BBQs, lounged by the pool, got a sunburn, ate seafood in salty air, went to a carnival and ate fried dough, went to concerts, saw fireworks, ate strawberry everything and giant slices of watermelon, toasted s'mores over a fire, watched Sharknado 2.... I mean, really what more could you ask for our of your summer? 
And yet, as happens every summer, I keep feeling that there is so much more I wanted to do. I wanted to have a water gun fight, I wanted to go on a boat so I could hashtag #ImOnaBoat, I wanted to make all those crafts I pinned while enjoying boozey popsicles with fresh fruit in them, I wanted to go on a road trip in a convertible and discover places......
The problem is, summer, like the holiday season, often goes from being what should be a wonderful time to actually being stressful and frustrating because I enter both with these totally unrealistic expectations. And of course, as the turkey burns and the tree falls, and the expectations can't be met, I end up disappointed and cranky.
So my summer (yet again) did not find me doing everything on my bucket list or, say---making out in a waterfall
From the movie "A Walk on The Moon" about the life changing summer of '69
I didn't learn to surf, I went on no epic adventures, and there were no exciting shark sightings the two times I managed to get to the beach-though I did get and wear this amazing bathing suit:
But maybe that is ok. Maybe summer is just about those simple pleasures. Setting goals and having grand expectations is fine, but I'm thinking it's important to remember to just be happy with all the wonderful and simple things I did do. It's summertime after all. The living should be easy.
With that said though, before giving up and putting on a cozy sweatshirt to head inside to hibernate with Netflix, know summer is not over. There are a few weeks to squeeze every drop of juice out of those lemons of summer and make some lemonade. With vodka in it. Drink it all up.