Never Underestimate the power of info-commercials

Never Underestimate the power of info-commercials.

Info-commercials. Those LONG, and I mean LONG commercials, featuring some rather outlandish gadget full of promise and sometimes the potential to change your life, a narrator which is on the verge of yelling due to feigned excitement, and a cluttering of the following phrases: BUT WAIT! There’s MORE!, TWO HUNDRED easy payments of $19.95, CALL NOW TO RECEIVE A SECOND…blah, blah.

info

You are probably thinking you are immune. Info-commercials have nothing on you. I mean the Snuggie, come on!?

Others of you who may know what I am talking about are probably nodding your heads, filling with regret at the memory.

I once thought I was immune. I once thought info-commercials had no power over me. But then…one day…

A short story of my personal experience of underestimating the power of the info-commercials:

It was late, and I had taken my little sister to the emergency room. We sat there in the hospital waiting area for…you know how it goes…forever. After picking through almost an entire stack of magazines, we were running out of ways to entertain ourselves.

Then it happens. A voice fills the air. A voice filled with excitement, so unlike all of us members of the waiting room who are in desperate need of sleep, medication, or coffee. The voice is coming from each of the four TVs placed at each corner of the room. Half of the people in the room all are suddenly drawn to the bright lights, the annoyingly energetic narrator, and the product that will revolutionize our lives.

The Brazilian Butt Lift. A workout promising a gorgeous, sculpted body– which with this convenient DVD pack could be achieved in a matter of 60 days. A workout specially and scientifically designed to maximize calorie burning, target “trouble areas” and designed….FOR YOU. BUT WAIT! (Oh, the magical words) this workout is FUN!

but-wait

I listened, at first just out of shear boredom, but then…I started to sit up straighter, my eyes began to focus again. At the time I was about 20-25 lbs. overweight. After dutifully running for miles and miles and hardly losing an ounce, I was frustrated. Suddenly a light seemed to come down, shining like a spot light on the TV and the words, “Brazilian Butt Lift”. 01-spotlight

THIS IS THE ANSWER, AUTUMN. THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. Something inside of me whispered. Then came the testimonies of people who had lost 50, 60, 100, 200 lbs. from The Brazilian Butt Lift workout. The commercial went on and on at least for 30 minutes, featuring snippets of the workout and testimonials, deals and prices. Meanwhile my sister finally got called into the doctor’s office. So I was left there in the waiting room, vulnerable and alone…

As the rather hefty price for a set of DVDs played out again on the commercial, I fought with myself. Autumn, you can just go running, more running…you love running (NOT!).  Then another testimonial played, “I had 20 stubborn pounds I just could not lose, but after trying the Brazilian Butt Lift, the pounds melted off!”

THIS IS THE ANSWER, AUTUMN. THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.

I grabbed my phone and dialed the number.

Several days later, The Brazilian Butt Lift arrived.

To this day I have probably used it about 5 times. (And I just want to say, it wasn’t a bad workout and not saying that it couldn’t work, it…just…I don’t know-not for me! I ended up losing the weight from a strict diet and playing Ultimate Frisbee everyday! Ultimate Frisbee was actually, truthfully fun, which is why I was able to do it every single day!)

Never Underestimate the power of the info-commercial. No one is safe.

I would love to hear your stories of items you’ve bought online or through the TV in a moment of weakness? What did you think of them?

Never Underestimate the eyebrow

NEVERUNDERESTIMATE

Much in life is underestimated. Whether it is people, places, or things…whatever it is…we often don’t realize the real value of so much in life until way later, way, way later or in some cases never at all.

Today’s NEVERUNDERESTIMATE is simple.

Without further ado…

Never, ever underestimate eyebrows.

eyebrow

Eyebrows?! Are they really that big a deal?

Yes. Yes, they are.

I can’t really seem to even describe in words what eyebrows do for the face, so here is a picture:

Mila Kunis

And another….tom cruise no eyebrows

So what is the moral of this story?

Don’t underestimate your eyebrows. Tame them. Trim them. Wax them. DON’T REMOVE THEM, please. (See above pictures).

I have very…rebellious eyebrows. It has taken me YEARS to even attempt to tame the two beasts (who really, truthfully want to be ONE beast). Every now and then, they STILL rebel on me.  So I know the struggle. I know the pain of tweezing, shaping, re-shaping, plucking, waxing…it all. (Except threading…haven’t tried that one yet!) But…it is worth the struggle. It is worth the pain.

Eyebrow Manicure Tip:

Like me growing up, you may have wanted good eyebrows but feel powerless to achieve them. Here is my tip: Always remember eyebrows are like bushes. Just as shrubbery adds something special to a lawn, eyebrows add that key sparkle or necessary definition to the face. All they need is A LITTLE trimming from time to time. If you hack away too many branches…you will have a barren, spindly, bald looking tree. If you never trim, then the bushes will become wild, overgrown, house small or even large creatures, and…frightening. Use your natural eyebrow shape to guide you as you tweeze or wax. If you are really unsure about shaping see a professional…someone you or one of your friends trust in the eyebrow department. (If the said individual has frightening eyebrows themselves…back away slowly. Advice from my own personal experience of getting my brows waxed for the first and last time. I didn’t back away and I walked out of there with basically NO EYEBROWS! It was horrifying!)

Not really sure how to end this so…good luck with your eyebrows and CHEERS!

Disapearances, socks and other mysteries of the universe

The universe contains many mysteries…

One show that scared the living daylights out of me when I was little was Unsolved Mysteries.

Apparently his name is Robert Stack

Apparently his name is Robert Stack

For those of you who ever watched this show, do you remember THAT MAN, the host? He was a rather frightening individual. I call him THAT MAN because I don’t know his name or anything about him. All I know is his voice had a way of sending chills down my spine, his face haunted my sleep, and he had a way of making the unsolved mysteries forever seem unsolvable.

1958, Northern Wisconsin

Norma Jean is thrilled about her brand new laundry machine. Her dear husband who bought it for her, has been away on a business trip in Chicago and will be arriving in just a few hours. The children were packed away a hours before and are spending the weekend with Grandma. Norma Jean is all alone in their neat little house on the end of the street. The laundry is washed and dried, all that is left to do is fold it. She sits in front of the television, and folds.

The house is quiet.

Too quiet.

And dark.

Too dark.

Norma can’t help but notice how her heart seems to be beating much to quickly and her arms dot with goose bumps at every creak and groan the house makes. She turns on the television, to drown out the silence. I Love Lucy. Norma groans, Lucy has always reminded her of that little tart of a secretary at her husband’s firm. The girl wears nothing but skin-tight red skirts and blouses, and spends her day giggling at Mr. Jean while blowing kisses with her red lips, tapping her red nails, and puffing her red hair. Norma’s cheeks flood with heat at just the thought of the little hussy. At least her mind has moved on from the strange creaks throughout the house.

Lassie, the collie has growled twice now. Every time she walks past the laundry room, she whines. Norma’s hands shake and she folds faster and faster. She tries to focus on the annoying little giggle the secretary makes each time Mr. Jean smiles at her. Speaking of Mr. Jean, where is he? She glances at the clock on the wall. He was late, half an hour late.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. The incessant clock’s ticking has seemed to become louder and louder, barreling in through Ricky Ricardo’s smooth Cuban accent. Lassie stands outside of the laundry room door, looking like a soldier on duty. She is stiff, ears twitching, listening.

Bark! Growl! Bark! Lassie’s bark is so loud, Norma jumps. Lassie sniffs at the air then sniffs her way out to Norma Jean and the basket of laundry sitting in front of her. Norma tells Lassie to pipe down and turns the television up higher.  She folds and folds, casting a glance towards the laundry room every now and again. Her fingers have hit the bottom of the laundry basket to find the only thing left to fold are her husband and children’s socks.

I sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. She pairs together the socks, one after another. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle.

The light above her flickers. At the same instance the house groans, the floor boards from upstairs creak. Norma freezes. She stares at the laundry room. “It’s just the wind,” she whispers to herself and Lassie. She can’t help but feel something is wrong– something horrible is about to happen.

She resumes folding, her fingers trembling. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock….

Norma Jean’s scream pierces the air. She stares at the object in her hand, her entire body is shaking. “NO!” She screams. She bolts up and dashes to the laundry room, throws open the lid to the washing machine and looks in. She screams again, sending little echoes throughout the room.

Vanished. The word forms in her brain and lodges it’s way into her throat, refusing to come out. Vanished.

Right from in front of her.

Never to be found.

A sock’s soul mate was stolen in the night, never again to return.

The Vanishing Sock has never since been found…and remains an unsolved mystery to this day. Still one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in the world, hundreds of people have attempted to come up with products to ensure the protection and survival of socks, to little avail. Disappearance of socks with little or next to no explanation has become a global matter, and haunts each and every sock on laundry day. Not one sock is safe. The journey through the wash cycle is a dangerous one for socks, there are no guarantees and there have been no recoveries.

To the lost socks of the universe, we have not forgotten you.

This story is a contributor to the thousands, millions of case files trying to solve the age-old mystery of the disappearance of socks–a mystery which has gone quite cold  and may remain forever in that old storage room filled with mysteries of the universe.   Missing

Bathrooms, wall to wall carpet and other mysteries of the universe

The universe has many mysteries.

One such mystery is why…oh why, did people ever decide wall to wall carpeting in the bathroom was a good idea?

bathroom-carpet

I suppose this mystery isn’t completely unsolved to the masses of the world. You may be one of those individuals who put carpet in your bathroom. WHY???

I am bringing up this topic today because I am one of those people who own (I guess I should say rent? but that sounds strange!) a bathroom in which the entire floor is blanketed in carpet. I should note that I DID NOT put the carpet there. I’m pretty sure it’s been there for nearly 50 years. (Along with all the appliances in the house! The house is like a well preserved view of life and interior designing in the 1960s.) At one point I think the carpet was pink, matching the tiles on the wall and shower; slowly it has faded into a dull, liver and pink colored monstrosity.

You ask: Autumn, why not just rip the carpet out and tile the floor? Stop fussing!

My answer: I rent.

The people I rent from are ever so nice! They are literally the nicest of the nice. But they like the carpet in there. I cannot bring myself to ask why. It might change my opinion of them. I’M KIDDING! They like it because tiles are cold and hard and carpet is a softer, warmer option. All I can think is: True…but what if the toilet over flows? What if you spill your hair gel on it? And again…what if the toilet over flows???

Another reason I am bringing up this topic today is because over the weekend an incident occurred involving the said carpet.

It all started on Friday.

As I was getting ready to head out to work, I run into my bathroom and do a final “did I unplug the curling iron & straightener check.”

Whoops! I didn’t! Glad I checked. The cords are ripped from the wall and I am whirling around to turn off the light and leave.

But then…

Huh? Is it just me, or does it look like a section of the carpet is extra dark– more liver colored than the rest?

Perhaps it is just the lighting. I inch closer. Strange. Then I remember the time. Got to go! I will investigate later.

Later…

I return from work, walk into the bathroom and jump back.

Yeah…that’s not discoloration. Or the lighting.

It’s Lake Eyrie.

A sopping, puddle of what I imagine probably emerged from the toilet has taken over more than half of the bathroom.

The only thing one can do in this situation is scream in horror.

Toilet water. It may be clean looking, but we all know the word clean should never be used to describe toilet water. Oh! And how the carpet loves it. It is drinking it right up.

I have no idea how the water has escaped its ceramic prison, as no one used the toilet at all that day, but the fact of the matter is… it has.

I am an adult. And being an adult means you have to do things you don’t want to do. You have to pay for things you don’t want to pay for. I had to clean this mess up. After soaking up the water the best I could and pouring sterilization cleaners on the carpet I realized…how can it ever possibly get truly clean? Carpet has so many nooks and crannies, twists and turns.

Light bulb!

I could burn it. I could burn the blasted carpet and be rid of it FOREVER and the bathroom would be clean once again.

It is too bad burning it was out of the question. But I think I just might have the winning argument for ripping the carpet out and tiling. Cross your fingers!

I’ll end my story now, and put it in that lovely storage room of case files filled with the mysteries of the universe. With a big permanent marker I’ll write across the top, “This file contains information to solving the mystery as to why people carpet their bathrooms wall to wall…and evidence on how this practice SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!” Lengthy, but necessary.

Dogs, mailmen and mysteries of the universe

The universe contains many mysteries.

One such mystery is the hatred dogs have for mailmen. It’s not all dogs of course, for instance I imagine a mailman’s dog doesn’t hold these prejudices. But the undeniable fact is that there are a good number of dogs who turn practically werewolf at the sight of a mail delivering vehicle. And it’s not just the US Post Office anymore… it’s FedEx…it’s UPS…it’s any form of parcel delivery.

When I was a child I witnessed this…this fury first hand. One of my Mom’s best friends had a German shepherd who probably held meetings with the local neighborhood dogs on how to rid the world of mailmen. I remember watching this German shepherd one particular day barrel through the front door….leap over the fence…and chase down the mail truck as if the entire future of the world depended on this one moment. The spit was flying. Her legs were flying. Her fangs gleamed in the sunlight. Thank goodness those Postal cars have a little more power in it than appears. (They remind me of a carton of milk. Doesn’t exactly scream speed demon.) The point is…the mailman got away…unscathed. The dog, however…got in a lot of trouble.

usps

For many years, the attacks on mailmen ceased (in my part of the world). The world was at last at peace.

Until…

I was at my parent’s house. Alone. Well, not exactly alone. They have four dogs.

There is one little Rat Terrier, Joey. Two words to describe Joey: boundless energy. He doesn’t even drink coffee…fancy that.

Then there’s Ginger. She’s a Jack Russel lab mix. Ginger knows one word in the English Language: BALL. At 12 years old, she’s a lot slower and more rickety, but say the word “ball” and a newer, younger dog emerges.

Cooper. Cooper is my baby. He is a fluffy husky mix, with a curly tail and the sweetest eyes you ever saw. Cooper has moments of insecurity (also known as keep away from small children).

And lastly, there is Hachi. Hachi is just…the PERFECT dog. Some things he does seem slightly human….weirdly human. He LIVES for making friends with all people and dogs alike.

All in all they are a good pack of dogs. Who have no issues or hold no grievances against the postman.

DING-DONG!

The ring from the doorbell echoes throughout the house. And so ensues barking from all corners…

I notice the barking isn’t just “there’s someone here” barking. It’s wild…uncontrolled. Hmmmm….

Then comes the growling.

GULP. Who is at the door? Images flood my mind. Darn you Criminal Minds! I tell myself I am never watching that show again as I head towards the door where all four dogs have formed a group– barking wildly, snarling at the unknown object on the other side of the door.

Should I have grabbed the baseball bat?

I tip toe towards the door, I can still pull off the there’s no one home trick if necessary. I clutch the handle and hesitate. The dogs are geared up, ready to pounce–ready to lunge and devour whatever is on the other side of the door.

Then it hits me. Autumn…it’s in the middle of the day; it’s probably just the postman or FedEx guy or something. I beg the dogs to calm down and squeeze in between them, opening the door just a crack. Just as I suspected there is a box lying on the porch. I sigh and relax my grip on the door.

BIG MISTAKE. Had I not noticed the dogs were still on the verge of transforming into werewolves? Had I not felt them pressing against the door…trying at anything to burst outside? APPARENTLY NOT.

Just as I notice the departing image of man in a brown uniform, I am thrown forward….and the door flown wide open.

Out burst four dogs…fangs ready.

“NOOOOO!”

I reach out and manage to grab Hachi’s tail but it’s no use. The next thing I see is the UPS guy’s face fill with shock and horror as the beasts are closing in on him. It looked like one of those National Geographic Documentaries where the lions close in on a gazelle. “And so the lionesses’ hunting ends in a smaller meal, but they are grateful. It is enough to keep the pack alive during this retched drought,” -said in a British Man Voice.

cheeta

The UPS man wasn’t ready to give up. He must have grown wings and flew–somehow…he escaped. He leaped into his truck….cursing up a storm. Not that I blame him. He almost became a chew toy.

At this point I managed to pick myself up and chase after the dogs. “Get over hear now! Stop it! Stop it!” Of course, it was all futile.

The dogs were now circling the UPS truck. They looked like vultures. It was ridiculous.

How I wrangled all of the dogs together…I don’t know. But what I did know was that the UPS guy was FURIOUS. Once again…not that I blame him.

Through the swirl of curses he hurled out at me, I made out three words…wait, four. “Control your dogs, lady!”

YES SIR. I’M SO SORRY SIR.

Please, God let me never see that man again.

Life is always full of surprises.

And months and months later, I DID see the UPS guy again. He of course never came back to our house, he appeared elsewhere. Yes, at my work.

I worked as a teller at a bank. And guess who our UPS delivery guy was? That’s right! The UPS guy…the very one. I remember walking to the front and freezing when I saw him. (And the color draining from my face.)

Please, God let him not remember me…or my dogs.

He walked up to the counter, eyeing me.

I plastered on a smile and said, “Hello!” Gosh! It was a bit too cheerful sounding.

He grinned, but was still studying me. “You look so familiar. Like I swear I’ve seen you before.”

You have….just as you saw your life flashing before your eyes. “Oh, I get that a lot. Apparently I just have one of those faces.” Please don’t remember!

He just stared.

Oh no!

Then he shrugged his shoulders and grinned once again. “I-guess you do!”

Whew!

He ended up being the nicest UPS guy ever but I could never ever confess to him the truth. And so this story is just another case file put in storage under the unsolved mysteries of the universe: Why Dogs Hate Mailmen.

Does anyone out there have a theory to why dogs hate mailmen? Or do you have a story on what your dog has done to a mailman?

It’s April 1st everyone

Hello Everyone!

Wondering about the April Fool’s jokes going around today? Anyone up to no good? 😉

If you need a good joke to play here’s one I did last year: 

What you need: Reese’s Peanut Butter Easter Egg Candy, chocolate chips (just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to get them melted), and cherry tomatoes.

People love chocolate. And typically chocolate covered things are flat out irresistible (unless you are like me and can’t have too much sugar!). So I thought, why not cover something nasty with chocolate? I went to the store and bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Easter Egg Candies and I also bought a little box of cherry tomatoes. I melted down some chocolate chips and dipped the cherry tomatoes in the chocolate and then put them in the freezer so the chocolate would harden. I unwrapped about six of the Reese’s eggs, this was the tough part, keeping the wrappers from ripping, and set the wrappers aside. I pulled the chocolate dipped tomatoes out of the freezer and carefully wrapped them up in the Reese’s Easter Egg candy wrappers. I put them in a candy dish along with some genuine Reese’s eggs…and waited. Yeah, watching someone take a bite out of one of those was a pretty good moment in my life. 😉

What’s the best prank you’ve played on someone? What is the best prank someone has played on you? 

Have you ever laughed at someone else’s misfortune…that YOU caused??

And you tried not to laugh, you really tried, but it could not be helped. The laughter came out in suppressed waves of giggles and then finally erupted into flinging your head back into the air or hugging your stomach that hurt because you could not stop laughing. You kept trying to stop, but you were no longer in control. You felt like the terrible person you were.

This is one of those stories.

It was another summer day at the zoo. We had just experienced what we termed “A Rain-Forced Rush”. A Rain Forced Rush was the unexpected and sudden visit of thongs of people filling the restaurant do to rain. On a day that had been already so busy our food supply was nearly wiped out, we were unprepared for the sky to turn gray and thunder to rumble and drops of rain that sent a literal mob of people that were all “Hangry”.

People of all shapes and sizes squeezed into the restaurant, exceeding the max capacity by a crazy number. They filled practically every corner of the place, and it didn’t help half of the them were manning monstrous strollers that were practically the size of a smart car (you know those strollers with three wheels and enough seats for the entire family to be pushed around in). Kids were screaming, adults were screaming. It was madness.

By the time the people were done with us we had about two ice cream cones, a hotdog, and a squeezed beyond recognition bag of cotton candy left over.

Then! There is was! The sun! Breaking through the clouds the sun beamed into the restaurant signaling the rain storm was over and we were saved. The people left just as quickly as they came (so quickly I was afraid someone would be trampled!) and in their departure a disaster. Cups strewn across the tables and floors, red cherry slushy mixture and melted ice cream puddled the floor, napkins here there everywhere, tables and chairs upturned, mashed French fries and half eaten corndogs littered the area.

Our manager knew that the day was rapidly coming to an end and there were still nearly half of the staff that had not gotten a break. He sent them all on break and the rest of us unlucky ones who already had our break were on clean up crew.

I had the wonderful task of tending to the trash. There were about 10 trash cans, each of them filled and overflowing and foul. I put gloves on and moved from trash can to trash can, lugging the 30 lb. filled bags back to the backside of the restaurant where the dumpster was. trash

For my story to make sense I have to quickly explain the room where the dumpster was. It was like a mini “garage” attached to the end of the restaurant.  The dumpster was elevated about two feet above the small walkway, I’m not sure why this was done but I can tell you it made tossing trash into it quite the exercise, especially for those of us who are short. Opposite side of the dumpster were two chairs and a bucket for cigarette butts, this was our lovely “break area”. Not even a coffee corner! Haha! Most of the time I ate outside, I mean facing a trashcan while you are eating your lunch is hardly appetizing.

Once I had gathered all the trash bags in a nice pile I set to work on getting them into the dumpster. I greeted my friends Will and Mike who were on break and occupying the two chairs in the “break area” and joked about how I was going to have crazy arm muscles after all of this heavy lifting. I had an art to how I got the trash in the dumpster, I perched on the edge of the stairs that were the same height as the dumpster and tossed the trash bags in from there. It was an angled toss, but I had become an expert. Quickly I tossed in bag after bag, feeling disgusting by the revolting smell that seeped from the each bag. Mean while Will, the Zoo’s jokester was making joke after joke and laughing in his usual way.

Every now and then you will get a trash bag that I call a “juicer”. Juicer trash bags are the worst because like the name implies they are filled with “trash juice” (an unholy mixture of all liquids that are in the bag…diaper juice, oil, ketchup, soda, ice cream, slush, etc.). I picked up the bag, it was the last one! When I picked it up, I didn’t notice the bag was punctured and trash juice was spilling onto the ground. At the exact moment Will opened his mouth widely, roaring with laughter at some joke Mike cracked, I tossed the trash bag into the dumpster. All I saw was a reddish brown juice fly through the air. And splash! It made contact with it’s victim.  The juice flung across Will’s face…and into his wide open mouth.

It was like everything was in slow motion for a few seconds. Me and Mike stared at Will in shock…and then at each other. Did that just happen? Will’s eyes were huge and filled with the most awful look of horror. The red juice dripped down his face and his open mouth was frozen in position.

Mike said, “Dude…”

And I…began my apologizing. “Will! I am so sorry! Oh my gosh, I’m so so so so sorry. I can’t believe….bahahahahahahahahahahaha!” The laughter began to take hold of me. My voice began to shake and my body trembled because the laugher longed to escape. Finally I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Wild laughs exploded out of me. I felt awful but I couldn’t stop! I tried, but I just… was rolling.

trying not to laugh

Trying not to laugh

laughing

Not succeeding…

bursting into laughter

laughter has taken over

Will got up, groaning in horror and ran to the dish washing sink and using the commercial sprayer sprayed his mouth and entire face off.

Meanwhile, I watched, still laughing.

Will did forgive me

….eventually.

When your alarm throws in the towel

My eye lids slowly blinked open. I felt like I just woke up after spending three months in a vegetative state.

How I look waking up..

How I look waking up..

Even though darkness filled the room, I started to hear the zoom of the first wave of the morning rush. Sigh. I would have to wake up soon. I wondered how much time I had, if I was lucky it was the earliest crowd heading for a long commute to DC. If that were so I still had 2 blissful hours to sleep. It certainly was dark enough and I was certainly tired enough.

I picked up my phone and squinted at the blinding light and read 7:25am. I closed my eyes, shook my head. I must still be dreaming. There was no way it was 7:25, if it were true I would have to leave for work in 5 minutes. I reopened my eyes, forcing them to look into the light.

7:26am.

I paused for a moment, staring at the time in horror. I had set the alarm for 6:30am. I had set the alarm and I had turned it up to the highest volume, I was 100% certain. Then the phone buzzed and went dark. It buzzed again, almost angrily sounding; a small box popped up on the screen announcing that google play was shutting down (definitely was sleeping,  not playing fruit ninja), next it buzzed with the message that messenger was forced to close (I didn’t even have it open), after it announced that the phone was pretty much throwing in the towel, quitting everything.

7:27am.

Then it hit me-Autumn, you have to leave for work in 3 minutes, why are you staring at your disloyal phone?

The adrenaline kicked in and I flew out of bed and ran to the kitchen to check the clock on the microwave, just in case.

Still 7:27….wait no, now it’s 7:28!

I let out a little scream and dashed to my room to throw on some clothes. I should note that, I’m that employee with the special parking lot for perfect attendance and always being on time. Haha. Not really! But I really strive for punctuality and always being at work on time or early. This could not be happening!

I looked at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and winced. My hair was wild, like I had been riding in a convertible for hours….in tornado alley. Already 7:31, I had no choice but to braid it. I thought that might look a little more put together than a pony tail. Braid done. Next was the makeup, I had fallen asleep still wearing my make up so now I had mascara crumbling on to my cheeks and eyeliner smeared under my eyes.jack sparrow I looked like Jack Sparrow, pretty much. I tried to scrub it off, but then I remembered that my eyeliner is water proof. The smudges became even thicker. And it was 7:34 now. I was frantic. I grabbed the eye makeup remover and wiped away the dark smudging the best I could and reapplied mascara over the crunchy stuff already on. Now my eyelashes looked like tarantula legs. At least it is near Halloween, maybe I could get away with it. 7:36. I needed to leave, and of course I couldn’t find my shoes! I saw my hot pink flip flops in the corner, but no I couldn’t wear those to work and definitely not on a freezing drizzly day. 7:37. The hot pink flip flops were on my feet and I was finally out the door.

When I got to work I ran into my office and closed the door, I had for the most part slipped in, unnoticed and I was on time! YES! Now all I had to worry about was avoiding people and at least I could be grateful that my boss had just left for vacation yesterday.

Several hours into the day, I had a spare moment so I slipped into the bathroom to help tidy my appearance. I looked in the mirror (with better lighting than my own) and it was bad. With my straggly braid and frightening eyelashes and drippy makeup I looked like I had just been on set in the Hunger Games. There was little I could do but once again utter a prayer of thanks that at least my boss was on vacation.hunger games

I was back in my office when I heard the deep voice rumbling through the hall ways. It can’t be. Oh! But it was. The voice grew louder and louder. He was headed my way. He popped into the door and I said a chipper, “I thought you were supposed to be in a car heading to the beach!” My insides were squirming, praying he would stay near the door and at least not catch a glimpse of the hot pink rubber flip flops. He greeted me saying he had forgot to tell me about a detail he had for a project I would be completing in his absence. He was bringing his dog to the kennel and decided to just drop by the office, since it was on the way. The dog was with him and everyone knows I love dogs so I had to go over and pet it or he would know something was up. I got up from my desk and my hot pink flip flops were exposed.

I waited for something, a comment about the unprofessional, blindingly neon pink shoes. But he didn’t say anything!What a relief! Perhaps he was lenient because he was headed to the beach himself? Well, I set the alarm on the radio clock…hopefully that won’t quit on me!

Have you ever woken up late and had to scramble to get to work? Would you rather be late or wear hot pink flip flops to work? (I am questioning my judgment on this…maybe I should’ve taken a few more minutes? But I HATE being late!)

Jet Skiing Adventure

Has there been something you’ve dreamed of doing, something you knew would be so fun, so enjoyable, an absolute blast, but when you were actually able to get around and do it, boy-you were so wrong? That’s what happened to me when I recently went on a vacation to the Outer Banks with my boyfriend’s family.

When we crossed the North Carolina border we were greeted with sheets of rain, howling winds, and thunder that made the ground rumble. As the gray clouds got thicker and thicker, I whipped out my phone to check out the weather. Josh’s mom said that we had 6 straight days of sun in our vacation forecast. I was finally, going to the beach, finally days under the sunshine. I desperately needed a vacation. The last one was a trip to Colorado for my twin sister’s wedding (btw the plan for a co-owned blog by my twin sister, Andrea and myself is in the works. Stay tuned!) but a “wedding vacation” isn’t ever exactly a vacation. I looked at my phone and felt my entire body slump in disappointment. Rain. Rain. Clouds. Rain. Thunderstorms. Rain. Gray. No Sun. WHAT?? This can’t be possible. I checked another sight for Duck, North Carolina, and it was basically the same prediction, but it did promise one partially sunny day. I was depressed. There is nothing like going on a vacation to the beach and having it rain 24/7. I tried to remain positive saying to myself, “Rainy days make good writing days” but I certainly wasn’t feeling it.

About two days into the vacation, the sun broke out. I hadn’t seen it in so long I started checking the people around me for any glittering skin, The Outer Banks had transformed into Washington State so one can never be too careful (horrible Twilight joke I know).

edward

What I actually did was throw on my bikini, grab my boogie board and try to shuffle everyone straight to the beach. En-route, Josh’s step-dad, Tim, announced that before we headed to the beach we were going on a little adventure. The adventure was…JET SKIING!!

I clapped with joy! I have never ever been jet skiing in my life, and it was one of my life long dreams to go. I love boating, and what couldn’t be more fun that gliding across the gentle water on a “motorcycle of the seas”? As we drove to the Jet Skiing retail docks Josh told me story after story of his jet skiing adventures. All of the highlights of his adventures included someone flying off the back of the jet ski. My favorite description he gave was, “Yeah, Dad flew off the back of the jet ski so hard he looked like a rock skipping across the water! He was in so much pain the next day, it was hilarious!” Inwardly I grimaced and thought about how weird guys are. For so many of them “bonding” or “having fun” most always includes pain of some kind. With each story, my excitement turned into uneasiness. I would be the riding with Josh. I would be the victim. I would be flung in the air, skipping across the water.

We all signed waivers and then walked down a boarded walk to the dock where about 15 jet skis’ sat waiting to be used. The guy that worked at the dock was tall and so thin I thought he would disappear when he turned sideways. His skin was perfected toasted from what I could tell was a summer spent working in the sun. He mumbled a memorized speech of instructions and before I knew it we were pulling on life vests. It took me forever to find one that wasn’t too big or the home of a spider.

By now my hands felt clammy and my stomach felt like a twisted knot. I looked over at Josh and said firmly, “Babe, you can’t go too fast and you can’t throw me off, ok?”

He patted me on the back and insisted I would be ok. “I promise not to go too fast. But going fast is fun!”

I gulped. Our definition of “fast” was far from close. If I was Miss Daisy, he was a “break the sound barrier” wanna be.

We got on and I clung on for dear life, hoping that in the words of American Ninja Warrior, I had enough “grip strength”.

Once we got out of the no wake zone Josh hit the gas. The jet ski flew across the water. Let me just say, it didn’t feel like we were riding on water it felt like we were riding on concrete. I imagined the pain that was bound to happen flying into that rough water. The wind and water hit my face like little needles and I screamed feeling totally lame. I tried to be brave, but I felt my fingers slipping.

“Too fast!” I cried.

He slowed down a little and looked for waves to “bounce around”. “You’ll like this!” He called back to me.

We were crashing into waves and I held on like I was holding onto a bucking bronco. That’s how it felt to me anyway. He spun around in huge circles and then in little circles. We flew into the air after “bouncing” against the waves. I watched my life flash before my eyes.

 bronco

At one point the seat had gotten completely soaked and I was literally sliding off, bouncing around. He asked how I felt and I called back, “I feel like butter in a frying pan! I’m sliding all over!”

Josh suggested that I try to drive it. We came to a stop and I finally was able to breath again. When I drove it I realized I didn’t feel paralyzed with fear going 20 miles per hour or under in a perfectly straight line. I was lame. I was Miss Daisy.

photo credit: Driving Miss Daisy

photo credit: Driving Miss Daisy

I felt so bad for Josh so I begged him to drop me off at the dock, so at least he could enjoy himself more. He said he didn’t want to do that, he wanted to jet ski with me and he would just go slower. I felt awful so I told him to speed up to around 35 mph even though I was scared.

I had not imagined jet skiing this way. I imagined that I would love it. That I would save up and buy a jet ski one day. I had not imagined feeling relieved when the guy that worked there signaled for us to come back to the dock, and our time was over. When we docked I leaped off the jet ski to discover my legs and arms and fingers felt like they were frozen into position and I ended up being sore for days because I was clutching on so tightly.

I am glad I got to mark something off of my bucket list, but am sad that I didn’t enjoy jet skiing as much as I thought I would (I mean doesn’t every cool person like to jet ski?). But I do have hope for perhaps competing on The Next American Ninja Warrior…clearly I have killer grip strength. 😉

photo credit: American Ninja Warrior

photo credit: American Ninja Warrior

What is something you thought you’d love and ended up hating/not loving it after you tried it?

Bowl Cut

I always love hearing the stories from my parent’s childhood. You know those stories they share around the Thanksgiving table or their relatives share for them (when that happens it’s like looking at your parents for the first time…who is this person that has been raising me!!???).  Those stories are the kind that never get old, no matter how many times they are shared. They become an important part of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, and if they weren’t told it would be like having Thanksgiving meal without having any turkey.

This is a funny story I just love that my Mom tells every year.

Growing up my Mom lived in a run-down neighborhood in the mid-west which, when I was little, sounded like it was filled with endless adventure. Now that I am older, and have been given the “grand tour” it actually was a scary place to live. Random mobile homes are burned throughout the neighborhood and for the longest time there was no police force whatsoever. Any way, back to my story. My Mom came from a huge family (she had 9 brothers and sisters!). My Mom was second to youngest with the sister she was closest to, Candy, coming in last just a year younger than my Mom.


“Pat!!!!” Patricia jerked her head up at the sound of her Mother’s stratchy voice coming from somewhere inside their small house. The house was painted the exact same color of her Grandmother’s coffee after she had added what her Grandpa referred to as “an ungodly” amount of cream. There were tall green weeds surrounding the edges of the house, and paint the was peeling off the sides. Patricia froze, her fingers still deep in the mudd she had been using to mold into a cake. She was a good 200 feet away from the house, the wind was blowing, the neighbor was mowing the lawn and yet her Mothers voice managed to carry out practically drowning out all the other noises. “Pat!!!Get inside now!” She bellowed.

Pat, they all called her Pat for some reason. It was a family thing, no one was called by their actual name. Barbara was Barb. Jonathan was Johnny. Patricia was Pat. She hated being called Pat. Wasn’t it a boy’s name? Her Mother called again, but Pat remained still. She couldn’t make her feet go to the house, not yet. She knew what was coming and if she could hold off the inevitable for at least a few more minutes, she would. She wiped the mud off of on of her hands onto her jeans and then touched her dark brown hair.

“PPPPAAATTTTRRIIIICCCCIIIIAAAAA! Patricia Denise Borets, you get in here NOW!”

Pat felt her hair once again and there it was! The bubblegum. Who knew that gum could become a permanent fixture in your hair? She and her sister, Candy (sort for Cassandra) had just been having fun trying to blow the biggest bubbles in the world. Pat wasn’t even sure how the gum ended up in her hair and in her sister’s hair…but there it was, creating a giant tangle.

Pat turned away from the house, devoting her full attention back to her mud pie. A few minutes passed of silence. Maybe her Mom gave up after all. Pat knew that wasn’t true. She would be sending out a “messenger” (aka one of the other kids) to go and retrieve Pat at any moment.

“Pat,” came a quiet, almost feeble voice. The voice of someone who had just endured something awful. It was the messenger.

Pat turned around and stared at Candy. Her nine year old sister’s once long, golden locks were no where to be found. Pat gasped. Her hair was cut like a gross boy’s hair.

“Mama says you better come inside, it’s your turn,” Candy said quietly. Her eyes were puffy and swollen from crying.

*

When Pat got inside her Mother had her sit in a chair by the kitchen sink. She was muttering how she didn’t want to do this, but she had- had it! The girls were too rambunctious and their hair was constantly tangled and the gum was too high up to do anything other than cut it very short. She grabbed a bowl that was normally used to eat corn flakes out of and shoved it onto Pat’s head. She took her scissors and, using the bowl as a stencil, cut Pat’s hair off.

*

A few days later, Pat and Candy sat in the front row at the little Baptist Church down the road. Their Mother and Dad sat several rows behind them, melting into the congregation. For little kids something about being “in the front” that makes you feel utterly important. Like you are number one. It doesn’t matter if it is the front pew of church, the front of a line, the front of a roller coaster seat, the front of the car-sitting in the front is a symbol that you have arrived.

The pastor was known for his abilities to put even the most hyper and caffeine filled people to sleep. His voice was like the ocean, rolling back and forth, slowly creating a melody. For Pat and Candy, a single sermon felt like a life time. Since they were in the front row, away from their parents, they decided to occupy themselves with poking each other and giggling at the people falling asleep in the choir chairs.

Their giggles became louder and louder with each poke and point. Suddenly, Mr. Strombly, a member in the choir started to head nod. His eyes looked like they had weights on them, pulling them down and down. Then Miss Tilda’s head went backwards and her mouth hung open. Pat and Candy laughed and then Candy imitated Miss Tilda dramatically, making Pat laugh so loudly several people around them woke up. The room began to stir.

The pastor paused and stared stone faced at the girls.

Suddenly, he seemed like a different person, with emotions and feelings.  He said angrily, “If those two BOYS in the front row don’t stop goofing off I will have a word with your parents, young men.”

Pat and Candy looked around for the boys he was speaking of. There was no one else sitting in either front row. Suddenly they realized the pastor’s blazing eyes were fixed on THEM.

BOYS???!!!! And what was this nonsense about having a word with their parents? Their parents were in the room already!!??

“Candy, he thinks we are boys!” Pat whispered with a horrified gasp. She said the word, “boy” like it was the most disgusting thing in the entire world.  She looked at Candy with her bowl-cut hair, pants and stripped shirt. She did kind of look like a boy…

Candy’s eyes grew wide and filled with a sheen a tears.

Pat grabbed Candy’s hand and using all of her courage approached the podium where the pastor had once again continued his oceanic melody. They walked up the couple steps and then were right next to the pastor on the stage.

“Excuse me, ex-cuse me!” Pat said tugging on his suit coat.

The pastor looked down, startled.

“Wh-at are you boys doing now? You are being very disruptive,” he said flustered but managed a small, fake smile. His eye twitched beneath his thick glasses.

“We, we just wanted to tell you that- ” Pat paused suddenly feeling nervous. There were a lot of people in here and all of them were awake and attentive. She had to make sure the pastor knew though. She had to tell him, at least for Candy’s sake. She swallowed and then said,”We wanted to tell you that WE ARE GIRLS…..NOT BOYS.” 


I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I have!!!!!!!

What is your worst child-hood hair cut? Any family stories you’d like to share?