Monday, March 26, 2012

Everyone has one

Today I found my doppelganger:

To be fair, I only share her maiden name.  But I can't help but be happy that this Beth doesn't bleed skulls and roses and semi-gothic shiny fonts.

If I had to bleed something that wasn't blood, it'd probably be chocolate or coffee...and throw in some cigarettes for good measure.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You know you're an 80's/90's kid when....

You see a cookie jar and 1) you know his name is Grimace, and 2) you wonder how many little McDonalds cookies it would take to fill it up.

Monday, March 19, 2012

*steps onto soapbox*

The Devaluing of Education in America or Why I Blame Guidance Counselors for the State of Our Economy

Let's take a trip about 11 years in the past.  I was a fresh-faced high school senior, ready to take on the world, every opportunity at my fingertips, I'm going to make the world a better place and get lots of money in the process!!  Woohoo!!  So during that extremely impressionable time of my life, every adult said the same things, "What college are you going to?  Where are you going to college?  Well you have to college!"  And being an impressionable, fresh-faced youth, I listened to my elders and spent four years in an institution of higher learning.  Now I can definitely say that those four years were some of the best of my life, but other than being a respite from responsibility, what exactly did it get me?

I can tell you what it got me:  debt.  And a shit ton of it.  By the time I was out of college, society had changed.  When the adults told me to go to college, they saw it as an amazing opportunity to grow my education and have a better chance at getting a good job.  But after those 4 years, it turned out that the adults in everyone's lives told everyone else the same thing and now there's this flood of "educated" 24-year-olds descending upon the job market, expecting to get positions that will outweigh their ridiculous amount of debt.  And when you have 80 bagillion 24-year-olds who have all the same slips of paper, then that little "Education" portion of their resume doesn't mean shit.

And this, my friends, is where we are right now.  Everyone has a bachelors degree and it's become the new high school diploma.  It's assumed that everyone has the education, but the big issue here is that entry-level jobs don't compensate based on the fact that most of the applicants have had to pay out of pocket for their education.   This.  This is why the middle class is going down the tubes.  Because high class?  They don't have SallieMae to deal with, and the lower class?  They probably didn't go to college and don't have the debt.  So it's the middle class schlubs like me that get stuck in retail for entirely too long and are faced with the fact that for the rest of their lives, they will never be able to call their money their own.

I am grateful for my education and I wouldn't trade that time for the world.  But will I ever encourage another starry-eyed high school senior to blindly go to college?  Hell-fucking-no.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Link Love: Super Happy Awesome Fun Time with Sean and Alice!

Wanna have a Super Happy Awesome Fun Time with Sean and Alice?  Because honestly, who wouldn't like to have a Super Happy Awesome Fun Time with Sean and Alice?  Sean and Alice live in Japan and blog about Japanese pop culture, Mc Donalds' offerings, kotatsus and more (don't worry, I didn't know what a kotatsu was until I found their blog, but now I do and I WANT ONE).

I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture.  In fact, when I was little I was so enamored with Big Bird Goes to Japan that I had always hoped I would grow up to be a Japanese woman.  (Hey, no judgment.  So you wanted to be an astronaut?  I wanted to have naturally thick dark hair and beautiful skin!)  What I really love about Sean and Alice's blog is that it gives glimpses into everyday life in Japan.  Sure, you can learn the language and get the textbook history, but that doesn't really tell you how it is to live somewhere else.

And if it weren't for Sean and Alice, I wouldn't know the amazingness that is Kyary Pamyu!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tips and Tricks: IKEA building

I think I may be one of the few people who absolutely love putting together IKEA furniture.  I understand the pictorial directions and can just follow along without an expletive to be shouted.  I realize that this isn't the case for everyone else in the world, so I thought I would compile my personal tips and tricks to building IKEA furniture.

1)  Use the instructions.  I know, should be a total no brainer, but it's amazing to me how many people wanna just grab an allen wrench and start shoving in wooden pegs.  You have to remember that IKEA furniture is very well engineered and just because peg A would logically go into hole B to you, doesn't mean that the engineers have the same idea (or think it should be done at that time).

Also be sure to use the little diagram that shows you how many of each hardware piece you should have.  Yes, this means making little piles of pegs and screws and counting.  On of the most suck situations to end up in is one where you run out of screws and have to leave a half-finished project in the middle of your living room floor, and then run to the hardware store to find a replacement, only to realize that you already put all of them into the table and that you have no idea what size wood dowel to buy so that you can cut it into a little peg shape, so you have to buy 4 different sizes of dowel and then you come home and see that they're all too big, so you just say "fuck it" and don't put anything in that hole and you have a permanently effed piece of furniture...not that anything like that has ever happened to me. *ahem*

2)  Prep your space to get building.  Clear a space on a carpeted area.  If a carpeted area is not available, throw a blanket down on the surface. It will prevent scratching and extra stress on the materials.

3)  Only use the tools that are recommended.  Which means NO POWER TOOLS.  Although a drill is gonna make those 48 screws go in lots faster, you will inevitably damage the wood/particleboard/etc. in the process.

4)  Easy does it.  If the diagram shows you four screws that need to go in at once, put them all in a little bit at the same time and tighten them at the same time.  Don't put one screw in all the way, then move to the next. 

5)  Simmer.  (simmah dahn nah)  Don't get yourself worked up or rush to get it done.  The more frustrated you are, the more inevitable a mistake.  Remember that most IKEA furniture is meant to be put together once and once only.  Sometimes you really can't go back and fix your mistakes, so be sure to take your time and get it right the first time.

What are your personal tips and tricks for furniture assembly?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vintage Everyday

Maybe I'm just late to the party but I just found the blog, Vintage Everyday.  It shows just old pictures.  Which may sound boring to some, but what's great about it is that they show just random old pictures.  Something that mainstream culture doesn't really show about the past is what it was like to be a regular ol' guy then.  Roughly before the year 2000 (I am totally guessing on that.  Wait, I'm on those internets, let me find out how wrong I am...ok, so in 2000 the first camera phone came out, and this timeline doesn't really say when digital photography really started to rise, so I'm going to stick with my original guess), yeah so before the years 2000, taking pictures meant spending money.  So when you took a picture, you typically were documenting an occasion of some merit.  This is more true the further back in history you go since film only got cheaper and cheaper.  You're lucky to see an impromptu picture from the 20's unless it's for a new story.

I love being able to see awkward moments from teenagers in the 50's and a bright sunny day at the beach in the 60's.  I feel like the subject-less pictures like these paint such a better picture of life at the time.

Friday, March 9, 2012

IKEA is the cutest

I made a pilgrimage to IKEA today so I can get my craft room in order (some befores and afters to come) and even when they're doing construction, they are still just so precious.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vacation, all I ever needed...

Who doesn't love a good vacation?  Sitting on a sun-soaked beach, sipping Mai-Tais, sporting a floppy straw hat and oversized sunglasses...not me.

I realized in my old age that, despite the cultural norm, I don't like the beach.  When I was very young, my mom would apparently take us to Ocean City, Maryland often (I say apparently because I honestly don't remember ever going with my family).  I've been to Ocean City, New Jersey a handful of times (thanks to the family of a very dear high school friend) and had an amazing time, but my amazing time never had anything to do with the actual beach.

You see, I'm a very pale person.  So pale that no brand makes makeup that works with my skin tone except the Halloween ones.  And beaches?  You know what they mean?  Sunblock.  My ghost-white complexion of course sunburns easily.  I only use two types of sunblock that exist because I have gotten burned through every single other brand.  And maybe you lovely olive-skinned goddesses out there don't understand this, but sunblock is really, really, REALLY annoying.  It clogs up your skin and makes you feel like you're wearing a trashbag that's suction cupped to your body.  Add sand and you've got your self a gritty trashbag body suit.

Beaches?  I'll pass.  Give me a dark room and some video games and my vacation is set.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The first lie I ever told

Don't ask me what I had to eat yesterday or what the guy at Trader Joe's (where I was about one hour ago) looked like.  I have an awful short term memory, but I have an acute emotional memory.  I can remember the first lie I ever told.

I was in first grade with my favorite-teacher-of-all-time, Miss Rains.  We had to write a funny story.  But I didn't have a single funny story.  As far as I knew, nothing funny had ever happened to me.  So my little brain began to whir and get freaked out that I was going to flunk an assignment!  So I made up a lie, what seemed like an innocent lie.  I lied and said that during a tap dance recital, I kicked off my tap shoe and it hit someone in the audience in the head.  Mind you, at this point, I hadn't even had one recital for dance class.  I remember vividly retelling this story to my best.friend. Shannon and forcing giggles to make the story sound so believable.

Now why is it that I remember that time in first grade, how nervous I was telling that lie, but I could not, for the life of me, tell you the color of my own damn underwear unless I checked.

Do you remember the first lie you told?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

just keep walking...just keep walking...

By nature, I'm not exactly an outgoing person which is why I love the Facebook.  I like that I don't have to talk to people over the phone to get updates on them or deal with large emails full of pictures.  I'm sure that you all are reading that and thinking that I'm a) insensitive, b) lazy, or c) a stalker.  I will admit guilt about being lazy, but stalker?  Definitely not.  Facebook wouldn't have a news feed if you weren't supposed to read what people write.  We all know what some guy from high school thought about his lunch and how many pounds our college roommate needs to lost to get to her pre-pregnancy weight.  I hate that there's this stigma in saying, "I saw it on your Facebook."  Everyone needs to get the hell over it.

Anyway, so I've never really been good at talking to strangers.  It kind of makes me have panic attacks.  All the painful small talk, "Hey!  How are you?  What have you been up to?  How's it going?  Good to see you!" it all makes me want to vomit.  Or the king of them all, "We should catch up/hang out/grab a coffee sometime," because when people say that, it's barely ever true.

Today I saw a not-so-stranger walking toward me, an old coworker who is also listed as my friend on Facebook.  This was one of those friend requests that I accepted because I couldn't think of a good reason not to, even though we never talked once outside of work.  At that point, the panic set in.  Do I say hi?  Do I pretend I don't see her and then risk being the ass who didn't acknowledge her first?  I mean, it's not like we have a damn thing to say to each other, and I'd be completely lying if I said I missed her.  I was on my lunch break, so I could have said hi, made an excuse and said I had to get back to work, but then I couldn't do that because I was actually going out to smoke, not back into work, and then I'd have to go into work, hide for a minute and then go out to smoke.  Gah!  Awkward!  Panic rising!

So I did what any lazy introvert would do, I pulled out my phone.  Acted completely engrossed in something and was able to slip away unnoticed.  It's rare times like this that I'm glad I currently have semi-natural, bland, hair coloring.