Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ali's and my Super Special Mystery Date

When Ali and I went to Target on Saturday, I swore I would not succumb to its crack-like beckoning and get sucked into its lair of rock-bottom prices on shit I didn't need. I was on a super-tight budget because of spending more than I intended on booze the last two Friday nights, so I couldn't afford to make any impulse buys. I resolved to ignore the voices coming from the $5 DVD shelf that said, "Come on, only $5 for The Goonies! $5 is nothing! $5 will not send you to the streets! Did I mention that it's The Goonies? It's a frigging classic! AND IT'S ONLY FIVE BUCKS!" I would tell myself that all the clothes on clearance were crap. I knew Target's wily ways, and I wasn't biting.

But then we wound up in the toys section, and found a game that shared a place with such favorites as Dream Phone and Girl Talk.

"Oooh, Mystery Date!" Ali squealed, grabbing a sparkly box.

"WHAT?!" I grabbed the box from her and examined it. "That's so awesome this game is still around!" I started reading the back description. "It's the game of Mystery Date all dressed up in sparkles and glitter!...Spin the knob and open the door...will you meet your matching date? Or will you meet the Nerd--oh no!--and lose your cards--"

"--Hey, what's wrong with the Nerd?" Ali asked.

"Nobody wants to be with him. He'll make you lose your cards."

"But the Nerd is the guy who will grow up and go to MIT and become rich because he's smart. These other guys will be the type who will end up working on my car."

"Ali, this game is for girls who are, like, eight," I said. "They don't have the life experiences we do." I turned the game over and couldn't help but notice the little red clearance sticker in the corner: $7. Only $7!! Really, what was $7 in comparison to a night of cheap thrills and silliness and revisiting childhood? It was practically highway robbery!

"I'm getting this. I have some Jack Daniels at the house, we're gonna get some Coke, and when we get home, we're drinking and having Mystery Date night." Ali was on board, but I didn't have any doubt that she would be. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend a Saturday night consuming alcohol and playing a child's board game? It's a recession-friendly activity.

And you thought I was lying.

Checking out reaffirmed that I was making the right decision by buying the game, for even the check-out guy got excited. Well, actually, I thought he was excited for the same reasons we were, but in retrospect, I think he was just making polite conversation, figuring we were buying it for a younger sibling or a young niece or something. Sometimes, I forget that outsiders "don't get" Ali's and my quirky senses of humor. We can come off as being downright weird, actually, and this is exactly what happened with the check-out guy. I mistook his enthusiasm as coming from the same place as our enthusiasm, so I decided to let him in on our plan: "We're totally drinking Jack and Cokes and playing this tonight!"

"Uh--okay," he said, the light of his excitement becoming noticeably dimmer. At first, I couldn't figure out what the hell his deal was, but then it hit me: it probably looks really strange for two grown-ass women to buy a little girl's board game and use it for their own entertainment instead of buying it for a little girl. Then I remembered that I didn't really care how we looked to him, and just paid for my purchase.

Later on that night, after eating way too much sushi and getting a couple of McFlurries (we decided to forego the booze), we played Mystery Date. We were actually pretty hard-core about it; we didn't talk much during game play because only one thing was on our minds: getting our date outfits together and finding out if we matched our mystery date. For the record, I owned at this game, winning two out of three games. So I feel pretty confident in saying that I can kick pretty much anybody's ass at Mystery Date.

You can't see it here, but all the playing pieces are girls in their PJs. I was concerned, but then I realized they were in their PJs because they were getting ready for their dates, not because they were huge whores.

Mystery Date is so awesome, even Ava wanted to play. And she's a dog.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Dog Has More Game Than Me

While walking my dog over the past few weeks, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon: almost every man we've come across has unabashedly cuddled with her. They pet her, they kiss on her, they let her kiss them--and these are young guys we're talking about, not necessarily old men, although they love her as well. It hit me: bitch has more game than I do.

Since I've had this revelation, I haven't figured out whether I should kill myself or get into my PJs and listen to sad bastard music by Chicago while shoveling heaping spoonfuls of New York Super Fudge Chunk flavored with the salt of my tears into my mouth. Let's go over some instances where Ava has pwned me in the men department, shall we?

1. Cute dog walker boy: NOT SO AWKWARD AROUND MY DOG.
A lot of times while walking Ava, I run into the guy who lives a few complexes down walking his dog. Ava has barked at both this guy and his dog on several occasions, yet last week, they shared a moment in which the guy squatted down and let Ava kiss his cheek. I, on the other hand, have been nothing but pleasant, and what do I get? Polite, yet incredibly awkward, conversation. Pwned.

2. Tough bicycle dude: NOT SO TOUGH AROUND MY DOG.
For the record, when I say "bicycle dude," I mean a literal bicycle NOT a motorcycle. So maybe the guy wasn't that tough after all. He was in a wife-beater and had tattoos on his arms, though, and that looked pretty tough to me. Okay, I'm getting side-tracked. ANYway, he was on the sidewalk, fixing something on his bike and Ava and I started to walk by. Little attention whore that she is, Ava lunged over to him, and basked in pure glory as he pet her and fawned over to her. Then he looked at me and said, "Beautiful." Meaning my dog. Not me. Pwned.

Maybe I'm missing out on a golden opportunity here. Maybe Ava could be an asset in helping me meet people. Maybe if I went somewhere that had a lot of single guys around, I could just pick her up and hold her out at arm's length in their direction as if she were a giant magnet. Maybe she doesn't have to pwn me. You know what? I think I'll try that. Buh-bye, Chicago.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Songs I Am Loving Right Now

I don't have anything pithy or funny to write about at the moment, so I decided to link to some songs that I am LOVING THE CRAP OUT OF RIGHT NOW. Enjoy.

David Thies-Restless
This guy is kind of like a Catholic John Mayer, except without the questionable Playboy interview.

Busy Signal-Night Shift/One More Night
I love reggae. I also love the song, "Night Shift." So when I found out that the two were combined, I nearly pissed myself out of pure joy. Okay, not really. I just exclaimed something like, "Hell yeah, I am feeling this!"

Matisyahu-Time of Your Song

A Jewish guy singing a reggae-ish tune. With soul. My head is about to explode.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Well, This is Awkward...

So apparently Teen Kitty is also the name of a porno site starring girls who, in the words of my friend Ali, "have daddy issues."

Sorry, one person who Googled "teen kitty" looking for my blog. Unless you were looking for the porno site and instead stumbled across my blog, in which case I feel dirty. :-/

Monday, July 11, 2011

Teen Kitty Adventure #1, Part Three

Adventure #1 wraps up in this final and underwhelming chapter. Will Eleanor defeat her evil supervisor, allowing justice to triumph over all? Probably. Will she finally get some R-E-S-P-E-C-T at school? Eh, probably not. If you still need to catch up on what the hell is going on, I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO. And I guess you can check out parts 1 and 2, GOSH.

* * *

As soon as Eleanor reached the Kitty Loves Cat Shelter, she had a vision. In it, she saw her boss in his secret lair within the shelter, pacing back and forth nervously. Gritting her teeth, Eleanor snuck into the shelter and made her way to his secret hideout. She knocked on the door three times. The movement inside stopped.

"Who's there?" asked her supervisor.

Eleanor grabbed the doorknob, turned, and swung the door open dramatically. She remained standing in the doorway. "Feline justice," she said. "Now the claws come out."

"I knew something was different about you!" her supervisor said. "You were a weird kid before, but now you're just a freak." A mean grin spread across his face.

"A freak you created," responded Eleanor evenly. She easily jumped over the hole where a trap door had previously been. "And now you're going to have to deal with it."

Her supervisor froze momentarily, his finger on the trap door button. The he regained his composure. "What are you gonna do? Claw my eyes out?" he asked sarcastically.

Eleanor flexed her hands, and razor-sharp claws protruded from her fingertips. "Maybe." She lunged at him, but was only able to scratch his cheek before he pushed her away. Five thin strips of blood appeared.

"Wow, did anybody ever tell you how much you ABSOLUTELY SUCK AT FIGHTING?" asked her supervisor. "Seriously, my dead, retarded grandmother could do a better job. AND SHE'S DEAD!" He lunged back at her, but she jumped easily over him and landed on the other side of the room, next to a shelf with an open bottle of rubbing alcohol on it. In the blink of an eye, she grabbed the bottle, lunged at him, and threw it in his face.

"AAAAHHHHHH!" he said, stumbling around, clawing at his face and eyes. "IT BURNS!" Eleanor shoved him hard, knocking him off his feet and sending him down the trap door's hole. She stood over the hole.

"'Retarded' isn't politically correct," she said, as the tigers descended on him. She saw something move out of the corner of her eye. In her boss' armchair was Fluffy, who had somehow rolled onto his back and couldn't roll back over. She walked over to him and picked him up.

"Let's go home, Fluffy. Our job here is done."

* * *

Back at John's Pass was a motionless feline body. To the naked eye, it looked dead. But then its paws started to flicker, followed by its tail. The eyes opened, and the cat was fully awake, standing on all fours. It had been in shock. Suddenly, a shadow appeared, and a pair of hands reached down and picked it up.

"I've got you now," a voice said.

* * *

What? A cliff-hanger? Oh no I di'int!

New Article

Been a long time comin'. For this entry, I reviewed a lovely little spot in New Tampa called The Coffee Beanery. Ch-ch-check it out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Capturing Lightning in a Bottle

Lately, it seems that my life has been peppered with a lot of awkward interactions with complete strangers. People who know me will probably scoff at what I'm about to say, but I am actually completely terrified of just going up to strangers and talking to them. When I'm in these types of situations, I can feel myself reverting back to that shy little kid who was too afraid to initiate conversation, preferring to wait until the other kids noticed her and started talking to her.

To my credit, I've been working on it. I'll actually force myself to go into situations where I don't know anybody and make conversation. Usually after I make that initial contact, I'm over it, and I'll ramble on all the livelong day about everything from work to the weather, but lately it seems that every time I've done this, the interactions with people have been suicide-inducingly awkward. (Just made that phrase up. Go with it. It'll become a thing.) Then I get all paranoid and think, "OH MY GOD, WHAT IF I'M THE AWKWARD PERSON AND THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAVE SOCIAL SKILLS AND I'M MAKING THEM WANT TO COMMIT SUICIDE JUST SO THEY'LL HAVE AN OUT OF THIS CONVERSATION AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND?" Then my head explodes.

Earlier tonight, I found myself in yet another awkward conversation with a complete stranger, and the paranoia set in. But before it got too carried away, it got me thinking: I've met so many people in my life. I've had so many interactions, from awkward conversations, to just brief pleasantries with strangers. But only a handful of these interactions and meetings have resulted in friendships. When you really think about it, meeting someone with whom you connect instantly is like capturing lightning in a bottle. You don't come by it often, but when you do, it's special. When you really think about it, making a friend relies on the perfect mixture of timing, fate, and a kindred spirit connection. (Just made up that phrase too. LOOK AT ME, ADDING TO THE AMERICAN LEXICON!) You can't just forge a friendship with anybody.

When I met all of my closest friends, there was an instant connection, an instant feeling of, "Yeah, I'm totally going to wind up being friends with this person." I can pinpoint exactly where and when we met (in no particular order):

If you were to ask Margie how we met, she would tell you that it was at cheerleading try-outs in sixth grade. I was sitting on the bleachers in the gym, and she sat beside me. Apparently my opening line was, "Hi, I'm Sarah. I'm having an asthma attack." I don't recall this incident, but I've said some random shit in my life, so it's not out of the realm of possibility. I'm just glad she didn't hold this first meeting against me later on in eighth grade when our friendship started to blossom, and in ninth grade when it finally solidified. I knew she was a kindred spirit when we paired up in biology class to dissect an earthworm, a frog, and a pig, and we went at our task with the RECKLESS, GIDDY ABANDON OF SCHOOL CHILDREN ON PIZZA WEDNESDAY.

I met Meagan in choir practice shortly after moving to Perry. She just seemed like a nice, approachable girl, and I sat beside her during choir practice and youth group meetings and talked to her, pretty much forcing my friendship on her. If you were to ask Meagan her first impression of me, she would tell you that she thought I was an adult because I acted very mature. I was twelve. Ironically, after fifteen years of friendship, I now act like I'm twelve.

Ali was the first friend I made when I moved to Tampa. We both worked at Victoria's Secret. For my first day of training, I had to be at the store at ten, and she was working that morning as well. We sat and chatted while waiting for the manager to come and open up the store. Ali can non-awkwardly talk to anybody and make them feel at ease, and it was this quality that let me know that we would wind up being friends. Seven years later, I consider her my soul mate.

I actually met Arleen online. When I first moved to Tampa, I was naive about a lot of things. I had just transferred to USF from North Florida Community College, a tiny school in north Florida. Students didn't send out mass emails to their classmates at NFCC. There was no reason to; the classes were small, and everybody knew each other. So when I got to USF, I wasn't versed in mass email etiquette, and would respond to every single mass email I got. I wanted to be polite, you know. Arleen sent out one such mass email to everybody in one of our classes, asking if anyone was from Spring Hill. (I think she was looking for people with whom she could carpool.) I emailed back and said that I wasn't, but that I had an uncle who lived in Spring Hill. From there we started emailing back and forth and decided to meet up in class one day. The rest is history.

Jenna and I bonded over laughing at a girl falling on her ass after class one rainy day. And, yeah, Judgey McJudgerson, I know that was kind of mean girl of us, but come on, can you honestly say you've watched someone fall and not cracked up? I know you've seen "Scarlett Takes a Tumble." THAT SHIT IS FUNNY. Anyway, we sort of knew each other from class; we sat next to each other, and we were working on a group project together. But that rainy day propelled us from mere acquaintances to fast friends. As we were leaving class, Jenna ran up beside me and said, "Did you just see that girl fall on her ass?" which then started a conversation about how people falling on their asses is HI-larious, which then turned into friendship.

Olivia and I were on USF's newspaper staff together, but I don't remember us really becoming friends until our Critical Thinking class. I think we bonded over the fact that the class was a joke and the professor was a douche bag. We're also smart asses, so our personalities just meshed.

I worked with Monica at Ann Taylor Loft. She was one of the assistant managers, and I thought she was way older than she actually was. Monica is my age, but because she was so well-composed and so...managerial, I thought she was in her thirties. It wasn't until we were working together one night and started talking that we found out we had a lot in common, including our desire to go country line-dancing. I still remember that first outing. We were on our way to The Roundup, a Country Western club. Monica was driving, and she was driving fast. We whipped around a curve, and she giggled maniacally and was all, "TEE HEE HEE, I HAVE SUCH A LEAD FOOT FOR SUCH A LITTLE PERSON!" Not gonna lie, I was pretty terrified, but she got us to the club alive and in one piece, that night and numerous nights since.

I met Kathy in the same class in which I met Jenna. The three of us sat next to each other, and we were also working on the same group project. Like Ali, Kathy can pretty much talk to anybody about anything, making you feel as if you've known her your whole life. And, as with Ali, these qualities let me know that we would end up being friends.

When you really think about it, making friends is like capturing lightning in a bottle. I feel blessed to have captured lightning eight times.