Tuesday, October 27, 2009

some recent isht

...that I've purchased:

--food at the grocery
--a bunch of cold medicine
--socks for two really cute little boys
--a bunch of gasolina
--a car wash
--a penguin book for cousin
--some Frankenberry cereal for Frank(enberry)
--tickets to see Mika
--tickets to see Regina Spektor
--the new Britney single on iTunes
--toiletries galore (how is it that I run out of contact solution, toothpaste and shampoo almost simultaneously every time? I do NOT use them on the same rotation.)
--a T-Pain voice app on my iPhone
--the new Dan Brown book (which is not as good as Angels and Demons, but DaVinci Code? Of equal good, at least)...but I'm planning on returning that. Is that wrong?
--a plane ticket to Chicago

So I've clearly fallen off the "no presents for others" wagon...but to a small extent. And I went to two concerts that were the bizzzzz...but for some reason, I didn't consider that shopping. Same with Britney and T Pain.

Not sure why not.

But still no mall/Target/any other awesome purchases, other than eyeliner.

And on that, I do not spend $28 on eyeliner because I'm elitist or love spending money. I do it because it's the best damn eyeliner I've ever used, it lasts forever, it doesn't smear, and if I don't shower (often), it often stays on all night. That's worth FIFTY dollars.

Ooh, not really. I would never spend that on eyeliner.

But here's the real deal...here is the isht I've WANTED to buy recently:
--this amazing owl cookie jar at Anthro
--this amazing dress at Anthro
--almost everything at Anthro
--t-shirts at both concerts I went to
--every other piece of makeup at the counter
--a NetFlix subscription
--hair color (about 11 times...I have never colored my own hair)
--about 11 cheap tops at Target
--a Sham-wow
--an external hard drive (may have to cave and buy this...too...much...music...)
--a tattoo
--shoes. So many shoes.
--this amazing scarf...at Anthro
--a plane ticket to Seattle
--a KitchenAid mixer (???)

There's more. I can't even go on.
Fight the good fight...get me out of here...I still have 20 more days on the road to not buy anything...but now that the gift ban has been lifted...be ready, everyone.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two reflections in my lifelong quest to stop being that girl who always says yes to things I don't want to do.

So I have a really hard time saying no to people. To anyone, actually. Case in point: CaseS in point, actually.

I was on jury duty in January, and got put on a two week trial. Every day on our eternally long lunch break (really...I do NOT need two hours! Give me a tuna sandwich and I'll eat it in the jury box if it means I can go home early), I walked past a guy who was signing people up for Greenpeace newsletters. I managed to catch him with other people for the first five days, but day six…he was alone and saw me coming. He was so nice…he was just so nice…I listened to the schpiel, and managed to at least tell him that I wasn’t sure if I could be a contributing member to Greenpeace yet. He seemed to be so sad about it…and he loved the environment so much…and, I mean...I like it too...I had to tell him that I would think about it over break and talk to him on my way back. I know that most people would not actually stop back by, but all I could think about are all those jerks who lie and tell him that they’re going to stop back by, then don’t, so for some reason, I HAD to be that person who actually stopped back. And I signed up to be a monthly contributing member of Greenpeace. And although I promised myself I would never tell anyone this, I have just decided to—I said I would contribute $10 a month, which is 100% more than I wanted to contribute, and he said “Can you make it $15?” And I just said yes.

Second case in point: I went to the optometrist the other day (I say the other day...it was like 6 months ago) because I needed a new contact lens prescription, and when I was in the chair (one, or two? One, two? Two, Three? Two or three?), I mentioned that I eventually wanted to get new glasses as well. So after the exam, working my new contacts, he sent me out and said “Ok, go ahead and choose your new frames!” I didn’t really mean to get new glasses right then, so I already was a little overwhelmed. You know...you kind of have to be in the mood to pick out glasses frames, right? This from a girl who sometimes drives to three different restaurants before actually deciding what I want for lunch. But thought that I may as well, since I was there and needed them, as it had been eight years since my last pair. Problem arose when a really nice and not bad looking Aussie came up to me and started helping me. He actually worked there, so it wasn’t that weird, but I was immediately flustered—I wasn’t even expecting to GET glasses, you know? And now I have this hot accent helping me out by picking frames and saying they look “sao noice, sao noice.” COME ON. How does ANYONE say no to that guy?? Anyway, long story short, I ended up with a pair of frames that I likely never would have even tried on myself, just because he said they were sao noice, and he had an accent. Damn it. This direct quotation should help you envision what I bought: “…and when you go out downtown, these can serve as an accessory!” Really?

That is my life. I buy things I don’t want or need because I hate telling people no. Once, at age 21, I bought a timeshare. But that's for another time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Naz church

So I visited a Naz church while on the road...you know...it's what we do, it's what we do. It was actually a nice break in my weekend of horrifying-non-shopping-boredom. But really...it was a surreal experience. This church, which shall remain (forever) unnamed, may as well have been a time warp, because once I drove onto their property, I'm pretty sure it became 1995. This place had EVERY stereotypical 90's church thing going for it, and it was made evident from the moment I walked in the doors.

I was greeted outside by a 55ish man, who asked my name, and said "Welcome, Janet!" When I went in through the glass doors with the black crash bars (of course), an 85-90ish TINY lady extended her arm for a hug. When I gave her the welcome-to church hug, she kept her arm wrapped around my waist (that's how tall she was) and said "Are you new?"

Pause for a moment to say that I'm so glad I wasn't some stranger who just thought "I don't know...maybe I'll try church today." I would have left as soon as some stranger tried to hug me.

Anyway, I told her I was new, and she guided/pushed me over to a Welcome Table, where another older lady was standing. I told her that I was from Point Loma, and she said "Poynnt Laoma?? Oh maaah...maa daw-tuh awlmawst we-unt theyrr, but ayt thuh layst sec-und, she dee-sided teau gaugh teau Ow-klugh-how-muh. Nah-ow she's murried aynd hay-us the cuh-yutest bay-bee Ah hay-ve aver sayne!!"

Texas and THEN some!! What are you doing in Reno???

Anyway, as it turns out, I know her daughter, who works at a church near Sacramento, and the best part about that is that they actually have two kids, but one of them is older and apparently not a big deal anymore, now that they have a baby. She didn't mention the older girl once, but proceeded to talk about the baby for a few more minutes.

So she made me fill out a Welcome card with all my personal business on it, then gave me some cookies and a free coffee coupon at...wait for it...the Holy Grounds Coffee Cart.

Do it, 1995!!

I could write about 10 pages about how awesome it all was, but in order to leave my office before it gets dark and because it's likely that no one has actually read this far down, I'll bullet point the rest.

--I was introduced as "Sharon Hutchinson"
--the "worship team" was ordered boy-girl-boy-girl-boy, and all the boys had dress pants, and all the girls had long dresses or skirts on
--the "worship band" was made up of a piano (leading, of course), drums, a guitar and three flutes. Awesome.
--they had special music. It was a piano solo from a girl who was home from college, and her new college boyfriend sat with her and turned the pages when she nodded very indiscreetly
--during the special music, the screen that typically had the words to the songs had a PowerPoint slide that was a close up of piano keys
--there was a sermon outline with at LEAST 30 blank spaces
--the pastor had an alter call in the middle of the service and said "you don't have to be a member of this church to come and pray"
--multiple people said "Amen" (including three when I was bringing greetings from PL).
--the carpet was pale-ish pink
--the sermon included three humorous-and-not-quite-relevant illustrations
--the bathrooms had "please don't flush your fem products down the drain" signs with clever Publisher clip art of a toilet freaking out.

Amazing, right??


All in all, although I openly mock, it was a warm fuzzy shout out to my entire childhood, and I'd do it again!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

bathroom buddies

So here's something I think everyone needs: a bathroom buddy. Not someone who goes to the bathroom with you (that's stupid)...but someone that you can tell all the awkward-but-somehow-inevitable bathroom stories that arise to without it being weird.

My bathroom buddy (thanks Cat) is gone for the day, but I need to say this:

It is not normal for acquaintances to have a "one-in-the-stall, one-out" conversations.

I was just in the bathroom at work and a really nice lady from the office across the hall was washing her hands when I walked in, so of course, I said hello, and (as I know she's a talker) even hesitated just a second before I went into the stall to see if she was going to say anything after "Hi." She didn't, so I went in and shut the door. As I'm physically starting to pee, she says "So did you guys hire a new counselor?"

At this point, I know she is speaking to me, and I know that, as I have to pee REALLY bad, if I continue to pee, I may not be able to hear what she's saying, and she might feel weird because I'm talking to her and she's listening to me pee. So I stop peeing (I just found out a little while ago that not all boys can stop peeing once they've started. What the hell--doesn't that seem like a natural thing??) and said "Oh yeah...started Monday!" to which she paused, so I started to pee again, but immediately had to stop, because she said "Yeah, well I wasn't sure...I saw a new face, but I was like 'is she new??'" I fake laughed.

The only thing worse than really having to pee is to be sitting ON THE TOILET, skirt up, in pee position, and not being able to pee.

So I said "Yep, she's new alright." She replied "Oh great, I thought I was going crazy!" and then laughed for an unusual amount of time for that comment. So at that point, I'm having to extend a fake laugh longer than is ok, and not pee.

Also, I didn't have real lunch today...I just had a third cup of coffee for lunch. And I haven't peed all day. And it's four.

ALSO also, when one person is in-stall, there are no non-verbal "cool, this conversation has been over for almost a full minute" signals you can send, so she's just standing there, and I'm (obviously) just sitting there.

So I say something like "Yeah, no, you're not crazy, ha ha good one...I now have a bladder infection" (not really on the last part), and she goes "Well ok...well...goodbye!"

Yes, definitely, goodbye. This has been a great little catch up for us.

Anyway, all of that to say..."one-in-the-stall, one-out" conversations are SOMETIMES okay if you're with your best friend ever...and then never okay again. Two-in convos can be okay...maybe...two-out convos are just flipping fine.

Monday, October 12, 2009

personal intervention

Oh man, this weekend sucked big time in the No Shopping Challenge of 2009.

So I'm in Reno, and have been since Friday afternoon, and they have NONE of my normal "stop the shopping urge" fixers. In Sac, when I feel like I have to buy something, I go to It's a Grind, because they have delicious drinks and wireless and cupppcaaaaakessss...or Panera, even though I don't like their food, because of the wireless and iced tea.

Oh man, I love iced tea so much, and theirs is so good.

Anyway, I can spend hours in both of those places. However, Reno has no Paneras, and when I put It's a Grind in the GPS, it took me to an abandoned building. Thanks, Reno.

So Friday, I checked into my hotel (it was Harrahs. It. Was. Harrahs.) and was so bored immediately that I went to eat dinner at 530 (only old people--I thought it was a 530 thing, but I soon realized that it was just a Reno-in-general thing), and went back to my room and watched TV until I fell asleep. Seriously. Awesome.

Saturday, I woke up at 7 (probably because I basically went to bed at 7), and drove around for two hours (no lie) looking for free wireless that wasn't at a bar. When that didn't work out, I camped at Starbucks and worked for a few hours until I was disgusted with myself, at which point, I tried to find a movie theater. The first one the GPS took me to was at the back of a stadium sized parking lot with about 11 cars in it, and abandoned lots all around. The second theater, however, was perfect.

Everything about it was perfect.

It was in a new shopping center that had so many perfect stores...and they were all new...and so pretty...and I wanted to go in them so bad. They had everything I loved, and all these amazing looking onesie boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops...it was just perfect.


So I parked outside, told myself that I'd be fine, and that I could just look around and appreciate all the newness of it all. Then I turned the car back on and drove over to Buffalo Wild Wings (more out of frantic-ness than anything...because I knew I had to get out of there) where I ate, although I was not hungry. Then I went to see Fame

(which was SO HORRIBLY BAD)

and immediately left the plaza after.

The next morning, I had to visit a Naz church, which I did (more about that later, because it was epic), then I happened to find myself at the same shopping center.

All of this was made so much worse by the fact that it's been in the 40s and 50s here, and I didn't bring a sweater, scarf or jacket at all. I've been FREEZING in my work dresses and skirts.

So I ate lunch first, then drove past the movies...then around the plaza. I parked outside of four different stores and a nail salon before just driving back to the hotel. I'm sure most people around thought I was crazy.

I proceeded to eat again, although I wasn't hungry (more hot wings, oddly enough). I did that a FEW times this week when I've wanted to shop. Be ready for "storing a little fat for the Fall" Shannon.

But, America, I didn't buy a damn thing for myself this week, other than nail files, which I really needed.

Aaahhhh this sucks!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'm 99% sure

that someone peed all over the air filter of my rental car. Every time I turn on the vent, I get a face full of pee smell.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

scenes from a college fair

So I've been noticing some interesting trends at college fairs this year.
I do not understand 95% of high schoolers, and the ones I do understand are the weird ones. Cases in point:

--skinny jeans on not skinny girls. I mean, I understand wanting to fit in (with the crowd--clearly fitting into pants is not a concern) and all, but stop it with the skinny jeans. In fact, America, stop making skinny jeans in any size over a four. I know I can't wear those things, so I don't buy them. Every girl in high school only wears skinny jeans. Girls...they even make you size 6s out there look fat. Sorry. Stop it.

--colored skinny jeans. Really? As if drawing attention to the ill-proportioned hips most girls have wasn't enough...let's do it in purple.

--boys with hair like they just don't care. Come on...hair that perfectly unperfect is just as obvious as super done up hair. Stop it.

--white girls who think they're going to Princeton. I only got tired of this because I was next to them at two fairs, and their reps were this awesome old guy and this surgeon alum, and when I wasn't talking to someone, I was listening to them. They were oddly positive to every person who spoke with them...and I realized that they want every person ever to apply to Princeton so they can be more selective. Smart. But it made me want to say-in-caps: WHITE GIRLS OF AMERICA...YOU AREN'T GETTING INTO PRINCETON UNLESS YOU WERE HOMELESS OR ONE OF YOUR PARENTS IS ON DRUGS OR HAVE A WOODEN LEG!

--mom jeans. I thought those were things of the past, but they're still there in full force...and apparently they're making new ones, because I saw mom-jean-capris, and embellished mom-jeans too. Sick. Stop it!

--gifted education program t-shirts...never cool...even if you write in gangsta font. "Advanced Algebra, boyzzz!"

--admitting that you don't know your address will never, ever get you points with colleges. Seriously. I can't even tell you how many people (ok, girls. all girls) don't know their own addresses. Either that or they're acting stupid for the boys that are with them. I hate it either way.

--C.A. is not an accurate abbreviation for California.

--making your college decision on whether the school has a color guard team is a mistake.

--each high school group of girls still consists of: the cute friend, the funny friend, the girl with a boyfriend and the girl who everyone wonders how she is in the group in the first place. Good to know that that hasn't changed.

College fairs...I'm over them. Last one (until November) tonight!!

Two other things:

1--last night, one of the high school counselors walked around the fair with Purel hand sanitizer for us. That's nice--we shake hands all night, and I'm sure people who are concerned about germs are grossed out by that. However, she gave some to the guy next to me, who said thanks, to which she replied "Sure, it's always good to have a little sanitizer on hand." I laughed out loud...she looked at me...she did not laugh. Pun clearly NOT intended.

2--also last night, another rep sitting to my left (this matters) and I were conversing about the number of kids with facial piercings at the event. This was actually a weird stand out at the event--there were at least 30 under-18-year-olds with multiple lip, eyebrow, ear, nose, tongue, etc piercings. Different. Anyway, the girl is from a really small, really conservative Christian school, and told me all about how facial piercings are a sign of internal conflict, and are another way of cutting, self-mutilation, etc. As I knew it would only get more awkward, I turned my head to pretend to look behind me so she could see my nose ring, at which point she said "Well I'm sure not everyone who does it does it for those reasons..."

Purchased nail files last night, because I go crazy without. 86 cents...to good use!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

oh yeah...

...a lady in the baby clothes section at Macy's (see uncomfortably long post below) referred to her three year old niece as "a total clothes whore."

I haaaate those little toddler whores.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

here's something I hate

...when people say "prior to the beginning of..."

Really? Before the beginning of the beginning of?

Come on.

on the road...again.

So I've been back up in Sac for a couple days, with no down time to do anything awesome...or even a little cool. But I have several things to confess:

the isht I've bought:
-a baby gift
-a little kid bday gift
-a Christmas gift
-an iPod cord

Chord? Cord.

So I bought something for myself...but I felt like it was necessary...because I really need to be able to listen to my books on tape up here.


I was SO HAPPY to be purchasing something again when I needed a baby gift that I may have gone a little crazy in the mall. Not like "bought everything" crazy, but more like "lost my mind a little" crazy.

So I was in Bakersfield (for work...and noooo other reason), and the girl who helps me coordinate the college fair up there told me that she is pregnant. Now...we are friends, but we're not FRIENDS friends...I would go to lunch with her, but I wouldn't invite her to my quincenera, you know? And we do share a love of designer denim. But I see her once a year, every year, in late September. The first time we met, she was dating, then dating again the next year, then just engaged the next year, just married last year, and just pregnant this year. They just found out that it's a girl.

So clearly, I felt like baby girl needed a present.

Did I tell you that I really love other people's kids? Not all of them, I guess, but I LOVE my friends' kids. I want to be everyone's Craaaazy Aunt Shannon. And I LOVE to buy things for people I LOVE to love.

Anyway, I was so excited for my once-a-year-friend, and perhaps a little fueled by the fact that I hadn't even walked into a mall for a month, and went to the glorious Bakersfield Town Center.

Not even Towne Centre. Just Town Center.

I also have to tell you that when I'm in gift mode, I have this idea in my head as to what the gift is going to be, and if I can't make that exact gift happen, I'm EXTREMELY disappointed. The recipient would have no idea what I intended, but I do, and when I give it to them, all I can think is "oh man...it would have been so much better if only I'd been able to find ______!", and it ruins it.

So I had this perfect gift in mind, and went to Nordstrom. Oh wait--there isn't one in Bakersfield. There isn't one for HOURS. So I just stood in the mall for a while, and tried to convince myself that I could come up with an equally cute back up gift.

Oh yeah, and when my perfect gift idea gets messed up, I also become really frenetic and buy a bunch of unrelated things for no reason other than the fact that I don't have a perfect gift in mind.

So I decided that I was going to get the new girl some baby jeans. I mean, that's about how deep my friendship with her mom goes, because I see her once a year, so it made sense. Because great gifts have to connect to something bigger!! And they have to be awesome. And they have to make sense.

Sidenote--one time I labored over a gift for my favorite two year old, and ended up (after an hour) with a toy cell phone because he always used to pretend to call me on my cell phone. What a meaningful gift...for a two year old. What the heck. Which two year old sits down and thinks "I mean, gifts are great, but this gift...this gift is something special...because this gift connects to something so much bigger." He probably would have had more fun with a Bumbleball.

Remember those?

Back. So anyway, the jeans present, in my mind, wouldn't be cute or meaningful if they weren't some sort of designer jeans. That's a little embarrassing to admit. In fact, I was embarrassed to myself at the moment I thought that, so I immediately went to Old Navy and found a pair of baby jeans for like $4. Amazing, right? But I (completely seriously) stood in the store for a full 45 minutes, and couldn't make myself buy them. Her mom and I don't connect over ill-fitting Old Navy jeans. We connect over delicious designer jeans that we try to get on sale when we can. So I put the Old Navy jeans back. They weren't very cute anyway.

I also went into Gymboree and some other kid store, but those also were not up to par. I did, though, in each of those stores, frenetically-almost-purchase about ten other things, because I kept thinking "WHAT IF I CAN'T FIND THE PERFECT JEANS WHAT IF I CAN'T FIND THE PERFECT JEANS?" (in caps, for sure)

On a whim, I went into the Gap, in hopes that there would be a Baby Gap in the back. There was not, and that was a mistake. I almost left there with a pair of khakis, because we have to wear them on our Preview Days at work, and my khakis are sick (not in the cool way), some spray scent, juuust because I used to love it in college, and a headband (I have never worn headbands). But after a little internal battle, I left, sans anything for me. Whew.

I finally ended up in Macy's, which was second best, I guess. I found some cute baby Hurley (as designer as kids clothes at Macy's go) jeans...baby skinny jeans...come on...that were what I wanted.

Then I decided that the gift would only be perfect if I got her THREE pairs...one 0-3 mos, one 3-6 and one 6-9 pair. I mean, what good are pseudo-expensive (not really--just expensive for tiiiiny ones. If I could find my size for that price, I would put them on and immediately pee in them.

What??) jeans if the new girl can only wear them for three months?

So, America, here was one of the first compromises I've ever made between a gift and myself and haven't left feeling like a gift failure: I bought one pair of baby jeans and an on sale tank top, and was done with it.

Cheers, cheers. One step on the eternal road to not being a crazed shopper for the rest of my life.

And new mom loved it, and I felt okay about it.

That was a long story with no real purpose. Sorry about that.

Anyway, since then, I've purchased a kid birthday gift (no need to go into that story), and an iPod cord. Chord. Cord. And one small Christmas present. But it was really small...and seasonal...so I had to buy it now.

Oh, by the way, I just gave a PLNU presentation to a group of about 50 with the middle button of my shirt open.

Awesome. And I thought they were all smiling because I was doing a good job.

Friday, October 2, 2009

state mandated sexual harrassement training (but not like "how to sexually harass," more like "it's bad!")

After spending my required one hour, 57 minutes perusing my work’s state mandated sexual harassment training, I was struck with the idea that sexual harassment can happen in many ways that I didn’t even realize. I wanted to share this with you, my friends, using some of the photos used in the official training.
Please take your time in considering your answers...sexual harassment can hurt a lot of people, and can happen without everyone knowing it.

Sexual harassment…or one woman talking to another woman about how their clothes are outdated?

Sexual harassment…or a photo shoot where the models were told to appear “wanton”?

Sexual harassment…or a teenage boy looking past a teenage girl who is angry that she almost ran into a large column?

Sexual harassment…or a girl angry because she doesn’t have a computer?

Sexual harassment…or two people?

Sexual harassment…or a nice lady with bangs trying to share in a joke that the mustachioed man didn’t find funny?

Sexual harassment…or a woman distracted by her coworkers child-like tiny hands?

Sexual harassment…or a man casting a Wiccan spell on a passer-by?

Sexual harassment…or actual assault?

Sexual harassment…or a man with eye makeup being disturbed by a man who has very clearly had either a face or a scalp transplant?

Sexual harassment…or a man trying to warn a woman that their office is being swallowed into a vortex?

Sexual harassment…or a poor-quality photograph?

Sexual harassment…or painful nose injury?

Sexual harassment…or a guy with a cardigan dancing in front of a math problem?

Sexual harassment…or the library?

Sexual harassment…or a girl about to start something fierce?

Sexual harassment…or all the life being sucked out of that woman because of the extreme colors that surround her?

Sexual harassment…or a girl unsure as to whether she should go left or up?

Please contact me if you want to discuss any of these situations…especially if you have found yourself in any of these situations, and now, find yourself unsure where to turn. Also, maybe see if you can get HR to let you get a few minutes off of your required time in your training.

Thursday, October 1, 2009