Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Awkwardness Level: Expert

So we have a new teacher here at work. He's cute. Now, I haven't actually met him. I haven't talked to him for reasons forthcoming. He could have the personality of toast, he could chew with his mouth open, or he could be a Sox fan. I have no way of knowing. He's likely many (read as twenty) years younger than me. I'm not infatuated with him. I don't know him. And even if I did, I realistically would probably not actually be interested in him. But he's cute. Therefore I cannot talk to him like a sensible, relatively sane adult. I don't know why this is a thing, but trust me - it most definitely is.

The first time I saw him, I ignored him. As I write this I realize that is psychotic behavior. At the time, it seemed like a perfectly sensible thing to do. Instead of simply saying hi and introducing myself, welcoming him to the school, or even just offering a friendly smile, I ignored him. That might have been okay. I mean, if I had just left it at that, he probably would've assumed that I'm an introvert. Or a jerk. Which would be fine. But nooo. Nope, I did not indeed leave it at that. Instead of leaving it like that, I spewed a nonsensical stream of mouth diarrhea to another coworker standing nearby. I stuttered on about paramedics in a story that was neither relevant, nor comprehensible. As I was babbling, my brain was begging me to shut up. "Stop talking! Stop talking! Oh for love of all that is holy, STOP TALKING!" But my mouth wasn't getting the message. When I'd finally exhausted my seemingly endless supply of words, I was met with awkward silence and looks that clearly indicated the general consensus from everyone within hearing range was that I'm mentally unstable.

I ran into the new guy again yesterday. Instead of saying hello like a normal person, or even putting my head down and walking quickly away, I tried to make conversation. Because I don't learn from past mistakes.

While having what could only be described as the lamest conversation in the history of the spoken word, I walked into a door. I literally walked. Into. A. Door.

Don't worry. The whole smashing my face against the window of the door was actually a good thing. It ended the painful conversation that went like this -

"It's hot out today." (I'm excellent at stating the obvious)
"I was at the beach yesterday and it was nice. But it's hot today." (RE-stating the obvious just in case he didn't fully grasp my level of awkwardness the first time.)
"But my sister sent me a picture of snow. I mean, it snowed in Chicago and my sister sent me a picture of it because she lives there in Chicago where it snowed in April today."

You'd walk into a door to escape that too.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The One In Which I Dye Everything But My Hair Blue

After Hurricane Irma, when we had no power and were off school for a week, I got bored so I had the brilliant idea to chop off all my hair because I do stupid things why not? I immediately regretted my impulsive decision and cried. A lot. Last night when I got home from work I contemplated what I should do with my Friday evening: meet some friends for a drink, watch a movie, write, read. Oh, I know, I'll dye my hair blue! Because again, I do stupid things why not?

I got this product.

The fact it's called Splat should have been a tip-off to how this whole venture would turn out. And now I understand that there is a very good reason why this product is on clearance. 

I opened the box and looked for the directions. The directions weren't in the box. The directions were the box.

Despite the box urging me to STOP and follow the directions, I figured - Eh, I've been coloring my hair for over 10 years. Who needs directions? To that end, I donned the enclosed protective gloves, opened the bottle and started squirting it on my head. It was pretty runny and it dripped on my foot. And the floor. And my shirt. And the sink. And the countertop. And my forehead. And my ears. And my neck. Wait, let me rephrase this. I'll list the places the dye did not get. 
1.  Inside the toilet. 
That's all. 

But I didn't think it was any big deal. I let the errant drops spill where they may like I always do. As soon as I stopped applying the color, I started wiping up the spills like I always do. But the dye did not wipe away like it always does. No siree. It instantly stained everything a bright Avatar blue.

The directions said to leave the color on for 30-60 minutes. I set my timer for 45 minutes because what could go wrong if I split the difference and went for the average amount of time, right? While I waited for the the dye to do its magic, I set to work scrubbing the color from every conceivable surface in my bathroom as well as my head, ears, and neck.

When the timer went off, I hopped in the shower and started rinsing. Oh my good gravy, the blue! THE BLUE! It was EVERYWHERE! It looked like I was bathing with a gallon of Ty-D-Bol! Do they still make that stuff? Do you know what I'm talking about? That cleaner that turns your toilet water blue? After thoroughly rinsing my hair, I washed it. Then rinsed it. Then repeated. Again. After 3 washes, rivulets of blue inkiness were still cascading down my body, puddling in a swirling blue pool at my feet. I glanced around the shower to find the walls and curtain splattered with blue. My hand was solid blue.

It reminded me of when Bert's hand turned purple and Ernie "fixed" it by putting mittens and a hat and scarf on Bert. That's it! I can wear gloves and a hat, I thought, only slightly maniacally. So what that I live in Florida where it's currently 85 degrees. This can work!

After I bled blue onto the towels, my pajamas, and possibly the couch, I unwrapped the towel from my head to assess the damage see if my hair had turned out like the model on the box of dye.

Nailed it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Extra Brussels Sprouts, Hold The Bacon

Well, the cat's out of the bag. I have no idea where this saying comes from. Who would put a cat in a bag? And if you did, hypothetically, put a cat in a bag, it's probably not a good idea to let it out. Because it'll most likely be pretty ticked off that you put it in a bag to begin with. I'm assuming. Although admittedly I'm not an expert on cat behavior. I do, however have a fair amount of experience dealing with people who do stupid things that tick me off though. And being put in a bag would definitely tick me off. But I digress.

I made this comment on Facebook - You know when you take banana bread out of the oven and the recipe says to "let cool for one hour before slicing?" That's basically the same as 5 minutes, right? Among the responses was someone asking me for the recipe. Without thinking, I shared the link to the recipe for the vegan banana bread I’d made. And then my friends started messaging me. You used a vegan recipe? On purpose? Why? Why would you want to destroy a wonderful baked confection by removing all the taste? Why indeed. 

It started at Christmas. Actually, it started a couple years ago. My sister lost her mind and started doing the vegan thing. Then several months later, my parents caught the disease and jumped on the tofu train. When my mom first told me that she and my dad were eating a plant-based diet with no animal products, I channeled Aunt Voula. 

No seriously, why would you do that? I mean, I could cut out meat without much of a sacrifice because I’m not a big meat eater to begin with, but cheese? How does one live without cheese? I’ve heard tales of a tribe of humans who survive without cheese, but I thought it was just a myth. My motto in life is – Everything is better with chocolate or cheese. Some things, like pretzels, are better with either chocolate or cheese! I maintained that my parents had lost their minds in their old age, and I certainly didn’t have any plans to join them in their diet of sticks and twigs. 

Back to Christmas. I was visiting my parents in Chicago when my mom handed me a giant box full of jeans, pants, and capris, some new with tags. They were all size 16. “Here you go, Dawn. You can have these if you like them. They’re way too big for me and I will never let myself get that fat again!"

Gee. Thanks. Mom. 


That was when I started seriously considering this whole “vegan thing.” You know, right after I slit my wrists. Then I watched a program on Netflix called Forks Over Knives which compelled me to give it a try. So when I got back home, while being taunted by a closet full of my mom’s discarded fat clothes that I couldn't even fit into, I decided I’d try to survive without cheese for a month. No meat, no milk, no eggs, no cheese, no processed foods or other kinds of garbage. I resigned myself to eating the stuff you scrape off the bottom of your lawn mower. Did you know that has a name? It’s called kale. And I learned that the word tofu is Chinese for cubes of gelatinous gunk that tastes like a sweatsock.

I decided I would eat like this for one month. One month. 30 days. No more. Just to prove to my family that sticking to a plant-based diet is impossible, and more importantly, it's stupid because it doesn't contain doughnuts. It has been three months now, and I’m completely shocked to admit that it has actually been pretty easy. Surprisingly easy. I haven’t missed cheese. And no, of course I don’t expect you to believe that. I don’t believe it either. I'm not entirely convinced that aliens have not messed with my brain and changed my taste buds to think that cheeseburgers are icky and chick peas are delicious. But I’ve lost 15 pounds so far. It would probably be more, but I can’t manage to exercise at all for legitimate reasons, namely - I’m too lazy, and I don’t wanna.

I’ve been cooking more and trying new recipes every week. I feel great. And let me tell ya, I have never been so regular in all my life. Those lawn mower clippings have a lot of fiber! My kids have been eating a huge variety of vegetables and I haven't even had to threaten them with wearing a muumuu to their next school function, or even worse - taking away their Play Station so they can't play Fortnite.

I don't know whether to be proud that I've been sticking to a diet high in fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains, and legumes, or if I should just keep quiet about it lest people know that I'm the sort of weirdo who would purposely choose eggplant over bacon. It's kind of like when you reach level 782 on Candy Crush and you don't know whether to brag about it or hang your head in shame.

And to top it all off, now that Lexi has her driver's license, I could be sending her to the store for emergency chocolate. But noooo, I have no reason to send her to the store because there's no such thing as a craving for okra or bulgur wheat. Believe me. So my poor teen is left with a brand-spanking new license and she's sadly errandless. Thus are the tragedies of eating veggies.

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