Instagram is Hard

So I finally broke down and joined Instagram. The social pressure (that I totally created in my head) was just too much and I couldn’t take it anymore. So I signed up … twice, because I decided to change my username.

There are a lot of self-portraits or what the young people call selfies on Instagram. That made me think that maybe I should try taking a few selfies too.

Why is it that everyone else in the world seems to look great in a picture taken on their cell phone? I don’t know how they do it. When I take a selfie I look like an eighty-four-year-old woman with a facial deformity. Do I really have that many chins?

I’ve tried different angles and they just don’t seem to work. If I were technically advanced enough to transfer pictures from my cell phone to my computer I’d share some examples of bad photos here. Too bad I’m not willing to take the time to figure that out … not even for comedy.

A cell phone camera held at arm’s length just seems to magnify every wrinkle, line, freckle, and blackhead on my face. It’s insane. Maybe I’ve reached the cutoff age for taking selfies. Maybe the mirrors in my house lie and this is what I really look like. Maybe I should never turn a camera on myself again.

Instagram is hard. I should stick to pictures of sunsets and my dog. Dogs always look good in pictures.

If you’re on Instagram follow me. I may or may not continue posting pictures. Don’t you just love my commitment.

Using a Tape Gun

You would think using a tape gun would be easy. Well it’s not. It’s especially not easy when your dog is barking at you because he doesn’t like the tape gun. Maybe he thinks it’s a real gun. Maybe he just senses my stress and would like to add to it.

I bought a tape gun because everyone seems to think that using one will make it so much easier to pack the millions of boxes I have to ship out everyday. I was excited when I got it because I’m all about simplifying my life.

Anyway, it should be called a make-all-the-tape-crooked-and-bumpy gun because that’s what seems to happen every time I use it. At first I thought I’d just loaded the tape wrong, so I checked. I hadn’t. The tape is loaded as per instructions. I complained to my husband this faulty device because that’s what husbands are for.

Me: This thing doesn’t work right. (Throwing the tape gun on the bed like a tantruming toddler.)
My husband: (Picks it up and tapes a box closed perfectly) Works fine for me. You must not be using it right.

He’s such a smarty pants. He thinks he knows everything about tape and guns. I’m back to using a plane roll of tape to close my boxes. It works best for me.

I was thinking about buying in an actual gun, but if my experience with tape guns is any indication of how that would go I guess I should just buy the bullets and skip the gun part. An intruder would run away if someone started throwing bullets at them, wouldn’t they?

Note: I would never buy an actual gun … unless it was a laser gun … and it was pink … and it was on sale for 99 cents.

Another Note: I’m taping up so many boxes these days because I’ve been selling random items on eBay to make end meet.

One more thing: I don’t think it’s physically possible for my ends to meet. Maybe I should do more yoga.

When Life Give You Lemons … Dry Them

Do you remember when Martha Stewart spent time in prison? I’m not sure if she was convicted of insider trader or making me feel guilty about the state of my house. Personally, I think the latter offense deserves a much longer sentence than she actually got.

When she was released from prison a reporter asked her what she missed most while she was in the joint and Stewart responded, “Lemons.” When the reporter asked if that was it she said, “Just lemons. Oh and my friends and family of course.”

Some people thought that her response was cold hearted. How could you only miss a lemons in jail?

Those people don’t understand the true joy of a lemon. Not only can you use it to make lemonade, but a squeeze of lemon can enliven a sauce or make a glass of water that much more refreshing. Oh the humble lemon, it may make your mouth pucker, but it makes your heart dance with joy.

You may be wondering why I’m going on about lemons. I recently discovered dried lemons. If you thought a fresh lemon was something to write home about baby you ain’t seen nothing yet. Dried lemons will make your stew taste so good your head will spin. Trust me on this.

I made Persian stew the other day with dried lemons that was so good that I was starting to think that I didn’t really make it at all. Maybe some little elves scampered into the kitchen when I wasn’t looking and added a little bit of this and a little bit of that to make the stew a little bit of heaven.

Then I made a chickpea and veggie tagine with dried lemons that was so good my head nearly exploded. Trust me that’s really good.

This is all great news because as of late I’ve been in a bit of a cooking slump. I might just start putting dried lemons in everything.

Here’s a Daily Show clip from when Martha Stewart got out of jail to brighten your day.

In the Doghouse

Chompyface is in the doghouse today and he doesn’t even seem to realize it because he just keeps looking at me and wagging his tail. His tail wagging tricks and soft half floppy ears won’t get me this time though.

Last night he was up to no good. When we first got him he couldn’t be trusted around food at all. Anything out in the open seemed like fair game to him, but we’d since trained him out of the habit of trying to eat our food or at least I thought we’d trained him out of it.

Last night’s dinner was suppose to be a delicious combination of salmon cakes with chipole mayonnaise, black beans and rice, and lemony roasted broccoli. I’d broken up the salmon in a bowl on the kitchen counter then left the room to look up a mayonnaise recipe on my computer. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. That’s right, somebody whose name I won’t mention, but he is white and brindle and walks on four legs, decided to jump up on the counter and help himself to the salmon.

I didn’t catch him, my husband did. “What happened?” I asked.

“He was licking the salmon,” he said.

“Are you sure because I thought he didn’t do stuff like that anymore?” I said.

“I’m sure.”

“What should I do? Should I make it anyway? I’m sure cooking it will kill the germs.”

My husband scowled at me. “I’m not eating that after his tongues been all over it.”

“But it was going to be so good.” I picked up the bowl. “Should I give it to him. It’s perfectly good salmon.”

“You can’t reward him for jumping on the counter. Throw it away.”

… and so I threw away the salmon. That was such a waste that it made my heart ache. It made my taste buds ache too because I was looking forward to those salmon cakes.

A Special Offer

So I got an email from my internet provider the other day, and I was excited to open it because it said it contained a special offer. I was hoping that they’d decided to provide me with a lifetime of free massages and fancy imported cheeses. No luck. Instead they were offering me cable with DVR, internet, and phone service for the low price of $119 a month. I laughed out loud when I read it.

Who uses a phone anymore? Except for me. I think we’re the only people in the world under 75 who has a home number.

Who watches TV anymore? Except for me on Sundays at my parents house.

Who uses the internet? … well actually just about everybody.

$119 a month just doesn’t seem like a great offer to me. They have to do a bit better than that. I’m already annoyed that I’m paying $50 a month for internet. In the UK I only paid 11 pounds a month. British internet providers spoiled me.

When I moved into this house I thought I’d be able to shop around for internet. I think shopping around is suppose to be a big part of what makes a capitalist society work, but I was told that only one company provided internet in my neighborhood. It was the company I hate most … well second most my most hated company is actually Verizon … and Walmart … and Halliburton … and Monsanto … and … Anyway, it was a company I hate because their commercials are always a million times louder than anything else on the television.

Now we’re stuck together. Me and my internet provider are like two peas in a pod. I pretend to like them. I smile at them when they give me special offers while I curse them under my breath.

Have you heard about the Outernet? Now that’s the business. You can read about it here. Once they get their satellites launched they’ll be offering free internet to everybody. That sounds promising. If they can figure out how to offer free massages and White Stilton Gold to everybody too, I’ll be all in.

Toothpaste, Cake Mix, and Live Worms

I don’t use toothpaste. I assure you that I don’t have dragon breath so don’t run away yet, hear me out. I don’t use toothpaste because I make my own tooth powder at home. I have two recipes that I use. I could share them with you if you like. I also make my own moisturizer and deodorant. I’ve been thinking about learning to make soap and shampoo bars too.

Yeah, I’m one of those people. You know the kind that avoids prepackaged foods, ferments vegetables, and filters the fluoride out of her drinking water. I consume raw dairy, feed my family organ meat, don’t store my food in plastic, and talk about the virtues of a wide palate. In short, I’m weird. I think some people call it being crunchy. I just call it being me.

I’ve been living this way for so long that I forget that it’s not normal until a situation arises that makes me realize how abnormal I am. Recently, I decided to try a new business venture that relied on me being normal. Let’s just say that it didn’t work out.

I was going to sell things on Amazon via Amazon’s Fulfillment program. There are plenty of people doing this and making really good money at it. Two of the best categories to try to sell in are the grocery and person care categories. Selling products that people need and buy regularly gets you more sales. The problem was that I didn’t really think this whole thing through.

When it came down to it buying a bunch of buy-one-get-one-free cake mixes from Winn Dixie to sell to people went against everything I believe in. Buying toothpaste from the Dollar Tree (one of my most hated stores) that is full of chemicals you really shouldn’t be putting into your month and selling it at a higher rate on Amazon was just too much for me to handle.

If any of you are interested in selling things on Amazon using the FBA program I encourage you to look into it. You don’t have to sell groceries. You could sell toys or books or live worms. It’s not for me right now. I’m already spread too thin and when I really think about it, I’d rather sell my own homemade personal care line on Etsy … one day … in the future … once I figure some things out … and get my act together … which might never happen.

Note: I’m thinking about starting a worm farm because who doesn’t like worms and farms?

A Nebulous Superbowl Recap

My father likes to pretend he watches football. We went to his house to watch the Superbowl and he talked like a machine during the game and attentively watched the commercials. Granted some people only watch the game for the commercials. Superbowl commercial hype is just a trick to try to make you watch a bunch of nonsense you’d normally fast forward past on Tivo. Do you have Tivo? I don’t either, but somebody must have it.

There seemed to be 50,000 commercials during this years game and there are websites that are featuring the best ones today. If you care about commercials that much go to one of these websites, because I’m through talking about commercials now.

Other people only watch the Superbowl for the halftime show. Bruno Mars was all James Browning it up this year. Since I’m married to a bass player I tend to notice what the bass player is doing in a band and this one was so busy dancing that I don’t see how he could’ve really been playing that bass.

Isn’t it about time for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to start wearing shirts on stage? They probably figure that since Iggy Pop never puts on a shirt and he’s 105 that they can still squeeze another 50 years out of this whole shirtless thing. They’re wrong. Iggy Pop is wrong too, but I won’t go into that now. I’m not conservative, I just have a fondness for shirts. They come in so many nice colors. They have buttons. Who doesn’t like buttons?

Spoiler Alert:

I didn’t watch the end of the game, but I hear that Denver lost. Too bad for them. Hey Denver, cheer up. There’s always next year.

In short I give the Superbowl this year two out of five stars.

The Thrift Shop

My husband made a new discovery last month. It’s called the thrift store. I’ve been a thrift store aficionado since high school, but somehow my husband never really caught on. I’ve been trying to figure out how this happened, and the only thing I can think of is that the only time he’s been with me to a thrift store was when I went to the charity shops in the UK. Brits must not have nearly as many things to throw away as Americans because those shops are tiny. American thrift shops contain acres of items. It’s a regular bonanza of discovery. (I just wanted to say bonanza. There’s something satisfying about that word.)

The first time I took my husband to my favorite thrift shop here he marveled at the number of items there. “There are just so many clothes,” he said as we started sifting through button-down shirts. There were tons of clothes, but because my husband is so thin, there were only like six shirts in his size. That happens no matter where I take him to shop. Pants choices are usually limited to four, shirt choices maybe ten. It’s so annoying.

“I can actually have enough gig shirts without spending a fortune,” he announced holding up a blue button-down. My husband somehow manages to ruin clothes. I’m not sure what’s going on, but after only a month his new shirts start looking like they’re ten years old. I can have clothes for years and they still look brand new, but he’s got a special talent for ruining clothes. Well everyone is good at something.

patrick

Live from the Grammys

I’m writing this from the Grammys. I don’t know if you noticed me, but I was the dude in the clown mask on the red carpet. Since this blog has increased in popularity over the years, I’ve found it helpful to disguise myself as a white man in a clown mask when I go out in public. It confuses my throngs of adoring fans and allows me to live a somewhat normal life. Well, as normal a life as a person in a creepy clown mask can have.

Here’s a little advice from me to you. It’s best to remove your mask when going to the bank or the local 7-11. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve been greeted by people dropping to their knees, holding their hands in the air, and saying things like, “You can take all of the money just don’t shoot me.” Come to think of it, that’s probably more because of the gun I’m carrying than the mask. Or maybe it’s a combination of the two that makes people assume that I’m serious when I slide them a note that says “This is a hold up.”

People just don’t know how to take a joke anymore. I remember the good old days when you could stick a gun in a stranger’s back and end up having a laugh together over a pizza a few minutes later. The stranger would pay for the lunch of course, because I did have the gun … and the mask. People are so closed off from each other these days and so afraid of getting shot. It must be because they just watch way too much news. You know what I say, “All news and no episodes of Bad Boys will make you really jumpy.” Okay I never say that, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, the Grammys were a blast. I especially enjoyed the part when Daft Punk let me switch out my clown mask for a robot mask and sit in on the drums. You didn’t know I played drums, did you? That’s because I didn’t until last week.

If someone in a clown mask gets in line behind you in the grocery store, don’t let the gun in your back put you off. It’s probably just me trying to get you to buy me lunch.

A New Job

I’ve been trying to come up with a good way to earn a little extra money. It would have to be something that challenged me both mentally and physically. It would also have to pay at least $94.13 an hour. Anything less than that isn’t really worth my time.

That’s why I decided to try out to be a cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. First of all it requires tons of memorization. You have to learn cheers and dance steps. Have you seen me dance yet? Oh yeah you have …

My memorization skills are spectacular. That’s why it took me almost a year to memorize my cell phone number.

The job would also require some acting because I’d have to pretend I was interested in football. Anyone who’s seen my You Tube channel knows that my acting skill are second to none. Every year that I’m not nominated for an Oscar I’m shocked. What in the world is wrong with the members of the Academy?

I have all the skills necessary to be a cheerleader. I was going to call the folks at One Buccaneer Place to let them know that I’m available to lead some cheers next season when I found out how little cheerleaders get paid. That’s nowhere near the $94.13 an hour I require. It looks like it’s back to the drawing board.

I wonder how much pilots make. They are responsible for many lives so it must be tons, right? I’m sure I could fly a plane. I mean how hard could it be?

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