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Archive for the ‘daily dilemmas’ Category

The other day, when I was hard at work on the internet,  I accidentally came across a salad recipe that commanded my undivided atttention.  I know what you’re thinking, and no, I’m not one of those birds who eats salads and drinks skim milk.  I had just polished off an entire box of Peppermint ice cream (cus you have to get enough while it’s still in season) when I came across the recipe.   And it fit my criteria perfectly – it had linguini in it.  Cus if I’m going to have salad, you better believe there’s gotta be some pasta in there somewhere.

man-grocery-shopping

Unfortunately, this salad is so unique and appealing that it contains not one solitary ingredient that I actually own.  So I make the list of random ingredients that I’ll only use half of and then have to throw away because I don’t make anything else cool enough to warrant such ingredients as “nappa cabbage.”   So I send the boyfriend to the store.  He was going ANYWAY, chill out. 

He comes back, and a shock of excitement runs through my veins as I think of the new creation I will be making.  Oddly, he walked in with one bag.  I was thinking, huh, that just doesn’t seem like it would have enough stuff in it for this salad.  Then, I start to put the stuff away and this is the following conversation:

me: um, honey, why isn’t there any of the ingredients in here?

him: well, when i got there they were remodeling the store and they had everything moved around. 

me:  but there was still food there, right? 

him:  yea, but I couldn’t find anything.

me: so you couldn’t manage to find ONE ingredient on my list, yet you were able to navigate through the terrain and locate the frozen pizza and the Coke zero?

him:  no.  i got you cilantro.

me:  oh, thats right.  thank you.  but WHAT THE HECK am I supposed to do with a gigantic bunch of cilantro?

cilantro

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[OR The Secret to Financial Freedom]

When all you do is write for a living, you become a hermit by default.  When I say hermit, I mean that I’m skeptical as to whether or not my car will even start due to how long it’s been sitting in my garage.   Between the endless writing and working on my new business [which I hope to launch in the Spring but will not announce because as soon as there is a deadline I will crack under the pressure that only I have imposed upon myself]  I have no choice but to sit in front of a computer all day, unshowered and in sweats. 

It’s really okay though, for I have found the secret to financial freedom is in not going anywhere.  It’s 99.2% affective that you will not spend money if you don’t leave your house.   I say 99.2% because there are those of you out there who will find ways to scam the system and buy things via the internet or Home Shopping Network.  In which case, you are a lost cause anyway because you are attracted to things like Snuggies  (or as the YouTube video below refers to them – the WTF blanket) and ShamWows.  There is no hope of you ever saving money when you buy crap like that.  Enjoy your lifetime of financial ruin.

 

Today, I reached the breaking point;  the point at which I had no choice but to leave the “den” as my friends lovingly refer to it.  And I say lovingly because they too LOVE the den.  There’s something magical about my room that forces people to be lazy, maybe it’s the fact that I allow nothing other than ambient lighting.  In fact, I don’t think any of my friends have sat on my couch.  As soon as they enter the door, they head straight for the bed, where they can be assured to view mindless daytime TV, feast on an assortment of leftover holiday chocolates conventiently located on the nightstand, and check this blog from my laptop to see how I embarrassed them recently.  When you enter my life as an acquaintance or luckier yet a friend, you run the risk of me publicizing your life in any way I see fit.  And usually, the way I see fit is to make a mockery out of it.   OK.  Will you stop distracting me?   Anyway, today I realized that I’d eaten everything in my fridge except a very questionable  rotten pomegranite and some Ferro Rocher’s in the shape of a Christmas Tree.   I had to leave.

So I went to the grocery store and just as I suspected, I spent money.  If I would have just stuck to my plan I’d still be on top of the game.   So now that I have offically conducted a double blind experiement of my hypothesis, I will be re-writing this cost saving plan into an e-book, which will be available for purchase on my website.

snuggy-blanket

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[This is a 100% true blog, that chronicles my outing yesterday with my best friend, who is a new mom.  I did warn her that I was writing this blog and there was nothing she could really do to keep that from happening.  don’t be scared by the length of this post, it is worth every moment]coupon-organizer1

There’s something magical that happens the very instant you become a mom.  I’m not sure of the details because I have not yet crossed that ravine, but genereally speaking: you become the cheapest person alive. 

I get in her car yesterday and immediately she throws the largest coupon organizer of ALL TIME onto my lap.  The coupons were alphabetically organized.  She says, “this is going to get us through the day.”   She’s starving and so we roll up to McDonalds because she has a buy one extra value meal, get one free sandwich coupon.   I thought, ok, thats fine, free sandwich.  For the next 10 (and I am NOT exaggerating) mins, I was but an innocent bystander to the following drive thru conversation:

friend:  Yes, can i get the grilled chicken value meal? 

lady:   sure.   drink?

friend: I’d just like water and actually I dont want any fries with that cus I’m trying to lose weight.  And then I’d like another grilled chicken sandwich, lettuce only. 

lady: okaaaaay.  $9.42. 

friend:  And no mayonnaise on both.  (we pull ahead to the window and she hands over the coupon)  Okay, I have a coupon, so I should get the second sandwich free.

lady:  OKAY. SO  your new total is $6.12

friend: UM.  Now, shouldn’t the total be less than that?  because the sandwich is free and i only ordered an extra value meal -but I didn’t even get fries and I only got water.

lady:  Well, why don’t you just order two sandwiches then? 

friend: Because the coupon says I have to order an extra value meal in order to get the other sandwich free.

lady: OKAY. SO you want the extra value meal, with just the sandwich and the water?

friend: yes.

lady: well, the bottled water is actually more expensive than the other drinks, so it’s still going to be that amt.

friend: ok, then no water.

lady: OKAY. SO you just want  the extra value meal – with no fries and no drink?

friend: yes.

(at this point, the lady is rendered speechless and has to get the manager)

(this is also the point when i call my dad and have a five minute conversation, while trying not to leap out the car window and thrust myself into moving traffic.)

drive_throughFinally, they tell her just to pay three dollars and they hand over the sandwiches.  As we’re leaving, she tells me that later we’ll have to go back cus the Mochas are buy one get one free from 2:00-5.   Then we go to Babys R Us.  She rolls up to the checkout with a cart full of stuff and hands the elderly cashier AN ENTIRE STACK  of coupons.  Then, she says:

friend: but here’s the thing, they are all expired.

cashier: um, so you want to use a stack of expired coupons for your purchases?

friend: yes.  George said it was okay because I live out of town and only come around once a week.

cashier:  George doesn’t work here anymore.  Let me get the manager.  (at this point, I start to get uncomfortable)

friend:  Oh, and I’m supposed to get a free box of diapers because I bought three Pamper products.

(Knowing what is about to come, I just walk away.  I stand by the door for a good 15 mins before going to the car, where I waited for another 10 minutes.)

As soon as she gets in the car, I tell her that she took so long that we might miss the 2-5 timeframe in which to get the free mocha at McDonalds.   I start driving, when I notice some rustling in the passenger seat.  Before I know it, she has plugged in her breast pump and was holding two empty bottles.  I just looked over  and she says, “Don’t you worry, I got this under control.”   We ended the day by going to JCPenny, where the clearance items were also buy one get one free.  Then there was yet another confrontation with an elderly cashier when my friend asked if she could do two separate purchases in order to get more things free.  The lady said that wasn’t really fair to JCPenny, to which my friend replied that she has to do what’s fair for her wallet

Who’s the Elephant?

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its not quite this bad

its not quite this bad

Let me start by saying that I currently drive a plum-colored Saturn with duct tape on the hood.  The reason for the duct tape is to cover an actual hole in my hood that was created by veering off the road and crashing into a road sign, which fell on my car and poked a hole straight through it. 

So heed my advice at your own discretion.

So back to this whole matter of me being in a beauty pageant.  Typing that very sentence makes my skin crawl, but you brought it up.  Let me first say, that I hate pageants and all the creepy girls and moms associated with them.  Okay.

Once upon a time, I was dating a charming young Italian gentleman, who I thought at the time was my long awaited knight in shining armor.  Ok.  Let’s start over.  Once upon a time, before developing my completely pessimistic realistic views on the ways of the world and men, I happened to get the wool pulled over my eyes by an Italian nutjob in preppy clothing who sang in a band.

As most young women who pay their way through private college, I was broke beyond my wildest dreams.  My brilliant nutjob was friends with the director of the local Miss America pageant sector, and they came to the ridiculous conclusion that I should be in a pageant.  My immediate protest was stiffled by the mention of  “but you can win alot of money.”    I have a habit of doing things spur of the moment, without much thought or consideration to what said thing will entail, so after a couple weeks I said, “fine. what do I have to do?”   Let me interrupt this story to comment on the time line for a moment.   Pageant = August.  When I was informed of said pageant = July.

four-inch-clear-heelsAfter having said yes, but then realizing the pageant was one month away, I recanted my admission.  Then I was further coerced by the boyfriend and director that it would be no big deal to prepare for.  Lies so big even Satan was shocked.   In one month I had to:  find a pageant gown [um, haven’t seen any of those around town lately] and 4 inch clear  heels [am I a stripper?], figure out a “talent” [I can’t sing, dance, or do anything requiring hand-eye coordination], get a professional picture for the program, learn how to walk in 4 inch clear heels [again. can’t do this], learn the group dance routine [there’s a what?],  get a swimsuit that I’d be comfortable wearing in front of thousands of people, freak out, and actually stop eating enough food for a small lacrosse team so that I could not embarass myself while wearing the swimsuit.  

My first problem is that I make impulsive decisions, my second problem is backing out of them.  I can’t do it.   So after one month of freaking out, chewing the Italian a new one, and eating nothing but apples – I competed in the pageant.

My talent?  A comedic monologue about my teenage acne.  Yes.     And you are correct if you are thinking that you’ve never seen anyone do a comedic monologue at a pageant before.  I don’t believe anyone ever has.  Probably because they can sing and dance like all the other pageant freaks.  Did they love it?   Does Geraldo Rivera love his mustache?

Swimsuit competition?  You know I rocked that.

Who’s the Elephant?

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Today, I conquered the world.   Or so it seemed.  Granted, my own imaginary world, where only I exist, but it was still something to behold.  It started with me actually prying myself from the computer which I have been diligently placed in front of for the better half of a month.  First, I returned the dvd’s which had been patiently awaiting next to my door since New Year’s Eve.

  Then, I mailed three books that I sold on Amazon two weeks ago, but agreed to ship within 2 business days.  After this, followed a triumphant moment in which I deposited my check from Chicken Soup for the Soul.  Triumphant only this isn't actually me.  but a good likeness on any given day.to me, I realize.  Then, as I was driving home, I attempted to read the book that was glaring up at me from my passenger seat. 

<—–not me, but a good likeness on any given day.

I think I’ve made it clear before that I don’t read books.  And that still holds true, except in the event I find a book that offers me some sort of meaningless and hilarious commentary.  Books which have fit into this category include: 

Couplehood by Paul RiserSein Language by Jerry Seinfeld, and He’s Just Not That Into You by [whatever guy helped write Sex and the City].  That’s about it.  Of all the stacks of amazing books that I own, these are the only ones I have actually cracked open.  Add to that list: I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley.   With a title like that, you can imagine why I was willing to risk my life  [and the lives of several others] today in order to read the first paragraph.

Exciting things happening in the Elephant’s life these days.  New clients, a new business on the rise, and most excitingly I’m starting to take this whole book writing thing more seriously.  The problem is with creative people is that we have TOO many ideas.  Know what I mean?  The thought of choosing one, just one measley little topic to write a book on is the most daunting challenge I can imagine.  Which is exactly why I’m not doing it.  I’ve come to the conclusion that my book will be:  a) non-fiction of course;  b) non-serious of course;  c) either short stories or essays compiled with some cohesive theme.   Choosing that theme will probably take another couple years… yea. 

 

Okay, so I really didn’t get anywhere today.

www.wordsbybrit.com

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grandma_wii_bowlingI woke up the day after Thanksgiving with a massive headache.  No, I wasn’t hungover.  No, I wasn’t getting sick.  It’s just the after effects of a very stressful week.  Friends visiting, friends having babies, grandpas in the hospital, the usual.  Of course, as you know, I witnessed my best friend give birth to a child, which was at the very least:  horrific.  But not as horrifying as it is two days later when the images keep popping into the forefront of your mind.  Then my Thanksgiving consisted of watching my grandma, who is a self-proclaimed Wii bowling champion at her assisted living home, battle it out with my uncle and dad.  Well, she currently has a bad hip and wears frog green polyester pants, and everytime she pulled her arm back to release the bowling ball, she let out a fart.   Pretty soon I had to move to the other side of the couch, where my mom and my aunt were having a huge fight about who was going to host Christmas.  

 [Let me preface the next section by saying that my 99 saturn with duck tape covering a hole in the hood, although esthetically phenomenal, is not an all-terrain vehicle.  More on that later. ]

So I had made my annual plan to go shopping on Black Friday.  But when the morning came I called my girlfriend, who was supposed to accompany me, but she actually was hungover.  And depressed.  So I called Kenny.  Kenny’s always up for shopping.  Well, Kenny was depressed too.  I guess depression rates really do rise around the Holidays.  So after five hours of trudging through crowds of unruly shoppers by myself, I had seven bags on my arm cutting off the circulation to my heart.  After narrowly escaping a heart attack, I went to pick up my yellow Salvation Army chair with Kenny.

So I accidentally wandered into the Salvation Army again last week, and took a liking to a yellow chair, which I asked if i could pick it up later that day.  Of course, five days had passed since that conversation took place.  So Kenny had no choice but to help me.  For over 30 minutes, we were shivering in the parking lot (with several onlookers) having the following conversation:

me:  its GOING to fit

kenny:  no.  no it’s NOT.  how in the world can you think this is going to fit?

me: cus it’s not that big!

kenny: thats what she said.  haha.  ok seriously, yes it IS THAT BIG, because we can’t get it in!

me: thats what she said.  haha. ok, seriously, if we could just take the legs off it would be fine.

kenny: yea, thats a really good idea.  except they are attached.

me: well, lets try it diagonal in the backdoor again.

random guy:  you know, I used to move furniture for a living.  .. do you guys need some help? 

Kenny and me:  NO, we’re fine.

random guy:  well, do you mind if i just stand here and watch?  cus this is pretty entertaining.

kenny:  we’re just gonna have to put it in the trunk.

chair-in-trunk

me:  but i won’t be able to close it AT ALL.  isn’t that illegal?  isn’t that a hazard?

kenny:  we’re gonna have to come back then

me:  it’s already been sitting here 5 days, i have to take it.  but how will we tie it down?  I don’t have anything.  Go find some twine.

[kenny goes back inside, comes back after ten minutes, holding what appears to be rope]

telephone-cordme: you are AWESOME!  this is why i love you.   [ I grab the rope and start putting it around the chair]  wait, what is this?

kenny:  a telephone cord.

me: A TELEPHONE CORD?  what the?!  how am i supposed to tie anything with a telephone cord? 

kenny:  Don’t worry, i got two of them.  and a scarf.

me: SO?@$%

Check out more of the Kenny Chronicles:

How to talk yourself out of dating almost anyone

A Conversation at Starbucks

A Bad Gordita and Some Classy Water

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I shall now introduce to you the newest category here at The Daily Elephant:  The Kenny Chronicles.   What exactly are the Kenny Chronicles?  Well, due to overwhelming feedback on the blog I wrote last week referencing a dating conversation between my best friend “Kenny” and I, I will now be dispensing more blogs of this nature.  I’ve always got your best interest in mind.  If you didn’t get a chance to read the first one, please do so here because the second installment is comin at ya faster than an outta shape asthmatic kid chasing after an ice cream cart.

Kenny and I meet at a bookstore or Starbucks on a quasi-regular basis to discuss our issues.  I think we feel that the bookstore-ish surroundings make us more intellectual than we actually are, which in turn helps us more quickly penetrate to the heart of our problems.  Of course, this isn’t really successful because everyone (except us) acknowledges that merely sitting in a bookstore does not make you more intellectual.

lemon-cookieI arrive to find Kenny sitting out on the patio, sipping on an overly-priced mountain of coffee flavored whipped cream and looking rather introspective.  As I park my car, I instantly notice a drastic change upon my friend’s all too familiar face.  I don’t like change.  Before I sit down, I go inside and purchase the ridiculously too-big cookie of the day, which is always some random shape that makes no sense.  That day it was a lemon wedge.   And the following conversation begins: 

me:  seriously?  you got your hair cut.

kenny:   i couldn’t stand it anymore.

me: but Richie’s wedding is next week.

kenny:  I know.  but it’s sooooo hot outside.

me:  sooo hot?  my hair is black and 3 feet long  and you don’t see me buzzing it off do you?

kenny:  relax.  IT’S HAIR.  it’ll grow back.

me:  not in ONE WEEK!   how many months have I been saying that we need to get some good pictures at this wedding?  and you keep it long this entire time and a week before the wedding you get too hot.

kenny:  i know we need some new pictures.  we’ll get some.

me:  no we won’t.  because we cannot possibly have cute pictures with your hair hacked off like that. 

kenny:  it doesn’t look that bad?

me:  well it doesn’t look that good.  you don’t even look like yourself. 

elaine-from-seinfeld

kenny:  Yes i do?  how can i not look like myself.

me:   you know I like your hair longer and spikey.  when was the last time we took a good picture?  like two years ago? 

kenny:  oh, get over it. 

me:   I can’t believe you did this to me.

After we got that out of the way, I brushed the cookie crumbs off my sweatshirt and referenced how I seriously need to start working out.    Kenny talked about another girl that he isn’t dating, but if he was dating anyone right now, it might be her.

Check out more of the Kenny Chronicles:

How to talk yourself out of dating almost anyone

Black Friday, depression, and a Salvation army chair

A Bad Gordita and Some Classy Water

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