Flashback Friday: Those Elko Feels

Elko 2
Fall means I think of Elko. A smell, the orange color of the leaves, a vivid memory, or just a fleeting thought ignites a chain reaction of intense longing. It happens every so often and when it does, it nearly cripples me for a brief, cathartic moment.
Elko is a place I had a love-hate relationship with for many years. Now, I just long for it in my bones.

It can’t be explained by one key event or moment. It was a series of moments, feelings, awakenings. It was carried by the electrically charged breeze during a thunderstorm. It was kicked up and then settled, into the cracks and crannies of my brain, like the dirt from the road. It came to me, pungent, in through the window, smelling of wet sagebrush and desert. It was changing oak leaves in the fall. The smell of coffee and wet pavement. It was the green hills in the spring. The thick, silent snowflakes in the winter. It was stillness. Jack rabbits. The moon and the stars. It was fresh, plump grapes. Fried chicken and biscuits. It was peace. Sleep. Renewal. It was faraway, twinkling lights, signaling home. It was something, somewhere, everything, always. It was Elko.

WTF Wednesday: R.I.P.

My post today was supposed to be a rant about diets, but instead I’m in mourning for my post likes.

Unbeknownst (I love this word. It makes me feel smart af when I use it- probably incorrectly) to me, when one migrates their site from WordPress or some other hosting site to self-hosted, their likes die a terrible death.

(I’m not positive it was a terrible death, but in my mind, it was terrible. They were screaming and crying and begging not to be left behind.)

So, yeah. I’m in my mourning attire. I’m crying into my Ben & Jerry’s. I’m not doing my eyebrows.

It’s serious.

For real, though, I’m crazy bummed.

Thousands of post likes that were basically my battle scars earned during the fight to be recognized, read, and enjoyed are gone. Gone.

A few really incredible blogger buds offered to and went about re-liking many of my posts. This just speaks to the unquestionable kindness of our blogging kind. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, you beautiful creatures.

As kind as that offer was, I’d rather ya’ll go and do something meaningful in the honor of my lost likes. Do a kind deed. Pay it forward in the Starbucks line (that reminds me- I need to do this too). Volunteer. Write a post to raise awareness on an important topic. Because as important as those damn stupid likes were to me, there are far more important things in life.

I’m trying really hard to let them go. I hope to be back up and running next week, because what else can I do? Blog posts, like life, go on.

For serious though, if you’re a like whore like me, realize that if/when you go self-hosted your likes won’t be going with you.

I wish I would have known. I could have at least said goodbye…

What’s been your biggest writing/blogging regret?

(I hope it’s a really good one, because I’m an asshole and I like to know I’m not alone in the potential bad decision department.)

Sisters From Other Misters

To a blogger, followers are everything. Fucking everything. I’ve yet to meet a writer or online content creator who is just doing it all for the sake of doing it. We love, we need and we appreciate our readers.

If followers are important to bloggers, their fellow bloggers/followers are their life blood.
The people who are doing the same damn crazy thing I’m doing- writing, editing for daaaaays, creating, compiling, and otherwise making damn word magic- give me life.
They are me.
I am them.
For some oddly awesome reason, the majority of the bloggers I’ve connected with are either from the U.K. (also Ireland) or they are expats living there. Jealous af.
(This just further fuels my crazy British obsession.)

It was an absolute necessity that on my trip to the British Isles that I’d meet as many of my Blogily* as humanly possible.
It was actually them (well, the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards) that was the reason for the trip. As if anyone needed another reason to visit the most beautiful corner of the world EVER, but, yeah, meeting my favorite bloggers inspired my trip this past summer.
In the end, I didn’t get to meet up with quite as many bloggers as I had hoped I would, because life always seems to find a way to ruin the fun (and trying to arrange specific meet up locations and times when you are constantly traveling and you aren’t the only one it affects is hard af). All this means is that there will have to be another trip.

Now, let’s get on with it. Here are the lovelies I met during the great Clampetts Do Europe 2018:
The One Who Writes Things That Make Me Ugly Cry
Lorna from Gin & Lemonade is one of my favorite blogging writers. She has a unique writing style that I could recognize in my sleep. All of her posts are gold, but this one gave me goosebumps, granted me a supreme reader’s high and made me cry all at the same time.
I got to meet Lorna at her house on the Isle of Skye on her daughter’s fourth birthday party day. If you don’t know Lorna, you’re also missing out on knowing her adorable, precocious daughter, Isla (that we get to know through Lorna’s posts about her).
It was such fun meeting this penguin-loving girl who will for-absolute-sure grow up to rule the world.
It was so, so amazing to laugh, gossip and plan (Reno 2019, baby) with Lorna. It wasn’t enough time. Not even. Hence the part about something amazing going down in my neck of the woods in 2019.
Here are the pictures we almost forgot to take, because every minute we were together, we were trying to cram in as much nice-to-meet-you-finally-I’m-only-in-this-corner-of-the-world-for-a-short-time-but-I-have-so-much-to-say-and-ask-so-let’s-not-waste-our-time-mmmkay.

The immensely talented Lorna and yours truly

Lorna’s hubby, Neil AKA The Car Packing Ninja and Isla
The One Who Fucking Hates Scooters, But is Just Lovely AF
Hayley is the kind of blogger you instantly want to be best friends with. Her posts are:
A. Well-written
B. Relatable AF
C. Funny/thought-provoking/important
D. ALL OF THE ABOVE DUH
When I read her post about her hatred for scooters, I knew we were destined to be friends.
To someone obsessed with anything British, Hayley is every beloved British chick lit heroine I’ve ever wanted to know IRL. She’s the girl you want to have a drink with after work. She’s the girl who’s funny smart and real smart. She’s the girl you can be real with, because she probably also has ruined a table by ironing on it and not, like, on an ironing board. She’s real and genuine and lovable.
Hayley picked out a gorgeous location-Angelica, a super posh restaurant on the sixth floor of a shopping center- to meet in Leeds. While eating the best fucking ravioli that have ever passed my lips, we (my mom and I) were treated to breathtaking views of downtown Leeds and to, of course, Hayley.
One evening was not enough to get to know her and listen to her quintessentially English accent at all. As we said our goodbyes, I realized how grateful I was to have a friend who was so hard to say goodbye to.

I LOVE this lady!

How gorgeous is this place AND THAT RAVIOLI?
The One Who, I SWEAR, Is My Real Sister Somehow
You know how once in a great while you meet someone who just gets you, someone you just completely and utterly click with?
Well, that is Cinzia.
Awhile back, I started a secret Facebook group for my lady friends, because sometimes we need a safe place to ask about period panties and WHY IN THE FUCK CAN’T HE PUT HIS SOCKS IN THE HAMPER, and that’s when I first started seeing comments from this just-like-me crazy funny girl invited by one of my blogger buds.
She would respond to threads and posts with gifs that are my absolute favorite gifs of all time and sometimes I’d have to do a double check, because I’d think something she said was something I’d said or vice versa.
When she found out I was coming to England to meet her friend and workmate who is a blogger friend of mine, we agreed she’d absolutely have to join in on the fun.
The day we met, we had drinks at a bar called The Magna Carta in Lincoln. See:

She walked up Steep Hill in the 85-degree heat to meet me. And, Steep Hill is literally what it’s called- a really fucking steep hill.
She rode the train for two hours to get to Lincoln from Nottingham.
She bought me our first drink even after trucking it uphill in the freakishly hot weather.
She took the Clampett Clan on a personal tour of the Lincoln Cathedral.
We laughed and talked like we had known each other for years. It was easy and fun and the hours felt literally like minutes.
I figured I’d only get one day with Cinzia, but she made the two hour train trip a second time and we took a boat ride on the Lincoln Canal and had lunch as we talked and laughed like old friends.
At the end of the day, my mom and I had to take a bus back to our house stay. Being total bus newbs, she figured out what bus we needed to take, told us to ask the driver to yell out the stop for us (that’s a hilarious story I’ll have to tell another time, btw), and saw us onto the bus (I secretly think she was worried we were learning disabled in public transportation and was genuinely concerned we’d end up in Wales or something).
As the bus drove out of the station, we waved and waved like two little girls and I couldn’t help but feel like I was saying goodbye to a lifelong friend or beloved family member.
She’s totally my Sicilian sister from another mister from across the sea (I don’t care if that doesn’t make sense).

Cinzia is now a blogger! Check out her work here.
The One Who Sent Me Tunnock’s Tea Cakes (AKA My Most Favorite Person Ever)
While in Lincoln, I also got to meet Frédérique, another blogger and follower of mine. It was pretty exciting to meet my Québécois package pal in person (that means we have sent each other packages with special sweet treats in Fatty McCupcakes language).
The funniest part of this whole meet up is that this girl is literally half my size and when taking pictures together, I was squatting down to appear not quite so gargantuan in comparison and she kept squatting down like it was a fun game I was trying to play. It was hilarious.

In case you haven’t met my massive nose yet, here it is. It says, “Nose to meet ya.”
So, I think it’s pretty safe to say that my trip across the pond was a monumental one and I had many memorable moments, but it was and will always be defined by the short, but influential moments I had with these wonderful women.
*Blogily:
blog•i•ly
noun
1. a group consisting of writer types from all walks of life, background, sexuality, ethnicity, and what have you, who band together to support one another in all manner of ways, including but not limited to blogging.
synonyms: blog family, tribe, sister/misterhood,

Throwback Thursday to When I Actually Blogged

Strangely, and for reasons I still don’t understand, I gain new followers every day (and here I am, still not rich and famous). To those of you who are new here, I swear I don’t always suck. I used to post religiously every week. Sometimes I posted twice. I was inspired. I was hopeful. I was excited. I was preparing to rule the world.
Something happened, yo.
This post could have been alternatively titled: Throwback Thursday to When I Actually Gave a Fuck.
It’s not that I don’t care about you. Every time I get a notification that I have a new like, comment, follower, a tiny voice inside me says, “Someone loves me. They really do love me.”
(Typing that out makes it sound so profoundly pitiful. *opens Google app to google, “Is it bad to think that strangers love me when they follow my blog even when I know it’s not possible they can love me and I only think it for, like, a split sentence?* Google wasn’t sure.)
I love the essence of blogging. I love writing. I love finding and reading good writing. I love the connections.
But, as much as I’d love to be that lucky bitch in every chick flick who has a mental epiphany/breakdown and leaves everything for a rundown, centuries old house in the middle of France and spends her days consuming goat cheese and red wine while writing her fifth novel on her antique typewriter at a table that looks out on a picturesque lake while wearing an oversized cable knit sweater that doesn’t make her look as big as a house, because she’s maybe a size four, I can’t because I live in the real world.
In the real world, I work a full time job, have debt, and spend an ungodly amount of time wondering how I’ll ever fund my next vacation, a house, or my next overpriced hipster donut.
For some time now I’ve considered the possibility of monetizing my blog. Only recently have I realized that I’ve been working my ass off at a part time gig and getting nowhere in the process.
I shouldn’t say ‘nowhere’, as I’ve actually gained something greater than Ellen hosting me on her show and then surprising me with money to pay off all of my debts*–I’ve gained loyal readers, many of whom I call true friends.
But, it’s finally time for me to put my efforts into ways to better my standing, my life, my writing game.
In the coming months, I hope to move to self-hosting. That’s just the first step in my Make Actual Money From Writing/Blogging plan.
Until then, you’ll have to bear with me and the construction zone mess this place will likely be.
If you are one of my newbies (or oldies, I’m not discriminating) and you’re still reading this mess, here are some of my older posts that I wrote when I was still young and full of writing zest. I hope they’ll keep you going until I figure my shit out:
I love sharing embarrassing personal stories about toilet disasters
Geez, poop AGAIN?
Now farts? Come on…
Because everyone likes to laugh at the inept one
I’m really hairy (Speaking of which, I skipped my mid-week chin plucking to write this. You’re welcome.)
Tell me more about your own writing struggles. Misery loves company and all…
*Well, actually, if Ellen would have me, I mean…I wouldn’t say ‘no’…

Just a pic my grandma took of our family dog taking a shit on our lawn, because I couldn’t think of any other pictures for this post.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Eight years ago, I took my first trip to the British Isles. It was a graduation gift from my parents (More like a graduation incentive–my mom begged me to finally graduate and going on an-all-expenses-paid trip was my motivation. You can bet your ass I made school my bitch after hearing I’d be sent across the pond after receiving my Bachelor’s).
The fact that my parents literally wrote me a $5000 check (that I had to pry out of my dad’s hands) to have the trip of a lifetime is something I can never adequately thank them enough for. It was a life-altering experience that I relive in my heart time and time again.
Now, forty five years after my mother went to England, herself, for the first time, she gets to go again. We get to go together.
I’m fully expecting a lot of laughs, maybe some tears, and for sure, some annoyances, but I only wish for this trip to be an experience we recall fondly for years to come.
In honor of my last trip, and in excitement and anticipation for the one coming up, I’m sharing some of my favorite pictures from The British Isles 2010.
Be aware that I’m not a photographer in the least, and my photos were taken with a $100 pink Samsung digital camera.
Some will be terrible. A few will be blurry. More than a couple will have random people or strange angles. None have filters. I also took these from my Facebook, so they’ll be terrible quality. But, aren’t semi-terrible photos all part of the fun?
Buckle your seatbelts, baby! Here we go!

Hands down, the coolest plane picture I’ve ever taken. I think this is the southern-most tip of Greenland.

A view of London from the window (that didn’t have a screen) of our hotel room. We stayed in Earl’s Court, which is a gorgeous district in Kensington.

Our hotel in London. It was definitely not a Marriott, but it was perfection.

Our London neighborhood. Those row houses, though.
I still crave Nando’s, and who knew you needed sunscreen in England??

This Maida Vale pub just screamed England to me. It was here we found out what Russel Brand meant when he sang, “Will you come for my bangers, my beans and mash”. Or, maybe he means something else.

I distinctly remember this was the moment I almost pooped my pants. I also recall thinking, “This is how we die.”

We took the train from Birmingham to Coventry, because driving was a big “NOPE” (I eventually got brave and became one of the most proficient American drivers the British Isles has ever had the good fortune to host). This is Coventry Cathedral. It was hauntingly beautiful.

Did ya’ll know Lady Godiva is one of my ancestors? It’s true. I was so excited to visit her statue, but, sadly…

…it’s not quite as grand as Primark.

Wait, y’all have dollar stores too, but everything is a pound (which is like a dollar, but not)? Mind blown.

British motorway rest stops are like freaking palaces!

The Conwy Castle ruins in Wales was my favorite castle. We were there, exploring, for hours.


The flowers growing out of the castle walls were almost too quaint.

I mean, just look at this!

Who knew one could find palm trees in Britain? Llandudno was exquisite.

I.did.not.want.to.leave.

WTF? I ate one. That’ll show them.

This was our one splurge stay. This is the Radisson Blu in Dublin. The grounds were my favorite part. This is where we discovered that Ireland’s air conditioning is not like “our” air conditioning. Hot.as.balls.

Kilkenny was quaint af. We wanted to stay at this hotel. It was way out of our budget, so the Pembroke Hotel was the lucky winner of hosting us for our barf-tastic wild Irish night.

TOO MUCH PRETTY

Y’all think this person likes Elvis?

It’s almost just as romantic as Italy. Except they were laying on the concrete in a pretty sketchy part of town outside an apartment building. Young love.

But, someone left kegs there. I found this way funnier than it really was.

Blarney Castle was awesome. I didn’t kiss the Blarney Stone, because Rick Steves said I’d get the herp if I did.

Eeeeeeeeeeeee

Seriously, I felt like I was on another planet while walking the grounds at Blarney Castle. It was otherworldly GORGEOUS.

The drive to Dingle Town, while poop-your-pants-scary was stunningly beautiful at the same time. It was a conflicting feeling.

Dingle Town! I couldn’t even with the adorableness!


I’ve never seen so much green.

Galway was a lively city full of sounds, smells and so many people. The energy was palpable.

Galway also has weird af people who put their gum on a public railing, that is literally right next people playing Scrabble, to eat their chips. She then just left it there.

Kinlay Hostel in Galway was our first dorm-style hostel and the entire night I was literally sweating profusely from the fear that people would come into our room and I’d have to share a room with…STRANGERS. No one came. THANK GOD.

Some ruins and a rainbow effect. No big

Some more ruins and some dark, foreboding clouds. This is like travel picture porn to me.

Ever been to Newgrange? They are prehistoric mounds that are older than the pyramids. Anyone else use the Egyptian pyramids as a gauge for how old something is?

A super narrow alley in Edinburgh we named “Stab Alley”. Not exactly sure why.

Edinburgh was my favorite. I have this one in black and white on my wall. Love.

Edinburgh Castle was too much. Too.much.



The views from the castle are AMAZING AF. Scotland is just the absolute best.

You never know who you’ll find on the streets of Edinburgh.

Loch Ness, my love. TOO BEAUTIFUL. Too.freaking.beautiful.

This path cutting through these delicate wildflowers led to the banks of Loch Ness. It was MAGICAL.



No words needed. Those are words, but, you know what I mean.

I could have stayed on the banks of this river in Inverness FOREVER.

This was taken somewhere between Inverness and Edinburgh. I didn’t realize Scotland was so green.

This was taken from Oxford Castle. Oh, England. You hurt my heart. You’re just too beautiful

Here I am in the haunted Oxford Castle. What haunts me to this day is how I thought I was fat. I wish I were as fat as I was when I thought I was fat, cuz, honey, now I’m fat.

The winding streets of Oxford. I felt studious and smart af in Oxford.

Oh my (said in a George Takei voice).

The River Thames. Le sigh.

The River Hotel was, bar none, the most *interesting* hotels we stayed at. There was the case of the stubborn pube (it was sitting there, on the bathroom floor waiting for us when we checked in and still there after the bathroom was “cleaned”). Then there was the fact every surface in the room had, at least, an inch of dust. Of course, I can’t forget the old lady receptionist who was meaner than a dog shitting tacks. And, of course that we were put in the Annexe, where all of the Americans and other unfavorables get a room. What a trip.

I was speechless the entire time we toured Westminster Abbey. If walls could talk.

When I first saw Big Ben, I knew I was finally in London (This is confusing as my pictures go in order, and I, obviously, was already in London. We started and ended in London. My second set of Big Ben pictures was much better than the ones I took three weeks prior, when I was still a London newbie).

Rick Steves told us not to waste our money on the London Eye, so we didn’t. I’m still not sure if I’m mad at Rick or not.

The only picture I got of the London Bridge.

I think this is Covent Garden. What I do know is we ate at a tiny Italian restaurant in this neighborhood. I had Chicken Carbonara. I never forget food.

One of my London “must dos” was to see a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. That was before a full day of walking. Also, before we realized that why our tickets were so cheap was because our “seats” were in the pit and we had to stand for all three hours of the play. Spoiler alert: we didn’t stay for the whole play.
Now I’m so excited for my trip and ya’ll are probably bored after looking through some random’s pictures.
So, tell me, what’s your favorite “take away” from a trip? Is it a souvenir, new knowledge, pictures, or something else? Tell me in the comments!

Bitty Blog Break

Hey, ya’ll!
Let’s just cut right to the chase.
I’ve been majorly stretching myself too thin. I’ve been trying to plan a huge, five week-long trip while teaching and working a side hustle.
Add trying to keep my home decent-looking, trying to eat healthier, attempting to get my 10,000 steps in everyday (epically failing, btw), running a Facebook group, and trying to have enough passion and energy to write and you have a pretty epic shit show.
Really, I’m managing fine, but I’m not enjoying the writing process and I’ve not felt inspired to write. I’m also not crazy excited with what I’ve put out there.
When this happens (because it happens, ya’ll) I have to just take a step back, recharge, and work on a little self care.
And, if I’m being candid here, I just need plenty of time to sit on my couch thinking about nothing, being a fat piece of poop in order to feel like myself.

I just need a little binge-a-show-I’ve-seen-a-million-times-time
Source
I’m hoping I’ll be able to write some more travel-themed posts before the big trip, but I’m not making any promises.
I hope ya’ll don’t give up on me.
Love and Cupcakes!

The Incidents

The First One
It was totally a gag gift. I swear. The second I got it home, after digging it out from the deepest depths of my purse, I threw it under my bed to never be seen again. I swear.
I’ll just come right out and be frank.
It was a massive pink dildo. It was huge. It was highly detailed, complete with a ginormous pink, wrinkly ball sack.
It was fucking terrifying.

My friend thought it’d be funny to put batteries in it so it’d be raring to go. When turned on, the pink bastard shook my brain three feet away.
So, that terrifying hot pink freak of nature lived under my bed, with the dust bunnies, a random sock, and strangely, a frying pan (so, that’s where it went).
If you ever care to know more about the events that led to what happens next in my story, head over to We Were Stupid AF.
I was at work the day I got that fateful call. I was working at a used online book company. It was, hands down, the easiest job I’ve ever had. The eight or so of us data entry temps all sat in the same room, at our respective computers. It was mindless work, so all we had to do was sit, enter ISBNs and listen to each other’s gossip.
It was nearing the lunch hour when I got a call from my friend on my work phone.
“We are getting kicked out, dude. You better leave work, because we have until 5 PM to be out.”
“Come again?” I asked, shocked.
“It’s serious, my mom’s here and everything. If we don’t leave by 5, they will call the cops!”
My goody-goody ass didn’t like the sound of that.
“Shit. I’ll have to ask to leave! OMG.OMG.OMG,” I said, trying to whisper my hysteria.
“You better! My mom and I are going to start on our room.”
Seven sets of ears were trained on my conversation. Their eyes were glued to their screens, their fingers flew across the keys, but they were keenly aware of every word I spoke.
Suddenly, my blood went cold.
Her mom. Moving out. Our room. The Pink Dildo.
Her mom is going to see my pink dildo and then I’ll promptly die.
“So, yeah, if you could leave work NOW, that’d be great.”
“Wait. Wait! So, umm. Remember my “Liberated From the Cheating Bastard Party” we had?” I whispered.
“Yes, why does that matter, right NOW?”
“Well, the thing is, I got a thing. You didn’t know about it, because Mary* thought you’d be a prude about it,” I mumbled.
“I hate Mary.”
“I know, I know. Well, there’s something under my bed.” I tried to sign over the phone.
The ears listening in on my private dildo conversation were now complete with judging, edge-of-your-seat eyes.
“OH, MY FUCKING GOD! What is it?!”
“Just please get it and hide it somewhere before your mom sees it,” I breathed.

“WHAT is it?”
“It’s a…dildo,” I murmured.
*click*
My friend was endlessly saving me, preventing me from dire fates, and always felt the need to be my second mother, because I was constantly being a dumbass.
The Dildo Incident almost did her in. She did, however, get to it before her mother (she wore gardening gloves to fling it into a box with my high school yearbooks and a long-dead philodendron.)


The Second One
For some inane reason, I kept the terrifying pink monstrosity for years. I reasoned that all independent, adventurous women needed to own a dildo of their own, even if all it did was live in the back of a closet under a pair of mangy late 90s era Steve Madden sandals.
Circa 2005, my boyfriend at the time and I moved into our first place together. His mom planned to visit as soon as we were all settled.
Now, let me just tell you a little thing:
Before she got to know me, I’m fairly certain she thought I was the (she)devil incarnate.
They were a ranching family from a small cow town. However, after the first year of college, her primed-to-be-a-Wrangler-wearing-Honky-Tonk son came home with black eyeliner, black hair, black band tees, and obviously, a black soul.

Not long after this, he brought home a girl with a lip ring and tattoos. She also happened to be an older woman. That girl was me.
She was pretty convinced I was corrupting her son, but she learned pretty quickly that he had plans to corrupt himself and I was just along for the ride.
So, back to her visit. We had a lovely day out lunching and shopping. When time came to get settled in for bed, she expressed her worry that she’d be a bit chilly with just the one blanket we had provided for her.
We both offered to get her another, but because she’s the kind of independent woman who never needs assistance from someone else (even when she seriously does), she insisted she could get one if we told her where.
We pointed her in the right direction and just when it was dawning on me that something didn’t feel right about the whole thing and flashing, red lights were going off inside my head, we heard it.

A sound like nothing I’ve ever heard before rang out. It sounded like the combination between a screech one might make when attempting to dodge a ball to the head that you know is coming no matter what you do and the long, low, pitiful moan of a dying soul.
Immediately after the most terrifying sound I’ve yet to ever hear in all my life, a thud. Then, a steady, whirring, vibrating that you could feel in your brain.
Finally, silence, as we all three contemplated the meaning of life.

The rest of her time visiting, she didn’t look at us once. Not once.
I guess that’s a pretty tame reaction, because usually the response from one who has been hit over the head** by a flying dildo from the heavens, belonging to a corrupt girlfriend of your only child, is usually so much worse (so, that’s where it went).

*Not her real name
**Years later, she was able to speak of the incident. That’s how I know it hit her square in the forehead.
All images courtesy of imgflip.
Fatty McCupcakes has been nominated in the Funniest Blogger category for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. If this gave you a chuckle, I’d really appreciate the love! You can vote HERE! Thank you, and as Leslie Knope would say, “I love you and I like you.”

Dingle Town

Lately, I have really been feeling the wanderlust. I am a travel blogger, by heart, who does not have the means to travel near as much as is requisite to be an actual travel blogger. Adulting and all that crap… So, when I prefer to be strolling the cobblestoned streets of Edinburgh instead of participating in the usual grind, I take a mental vacation back to the best vacation I have ever taken. Back in 2010, I got to spend three glorious weeks in the U.K. and Ireland (the parts not belonging to the U.K., hence why I said ‘Ireland’ separately-just thought I needed to clarify that). There are days I can still smell the curry take-aways in London, feel the salty Dublin Bay air on my skin, and see the smiling faces of my friends in Edinburgh. In honor of my intense longing to be anywhere but here, I am posting from my first blog, BigCityBetty, a post I made about Dingle, Ireland. I will be writing up a long-awaited review of the hostel we stayed at there, The Rainbow Hostel, because this funky place popped our hostel cherry, and what better way to do that than with stray, mangy cats, nude men, and pooping Frenchmen. Without further ado, my Dingleberry post:

On the way to Dingle. C
On the way to Dingle.

Dingle Town. Gaelic is taught at school as a means to preserve the dying language.
Dingle Town. Gaelic is taught at school as a means to preserve the dying language.

I mean, it is almost too beautiful.
I mean, it is almost too beautiful.

While planning our week in Ireland, my travel friends came upon a most amusing name for a town. This town? Dingle. Yes, Dingle. First thing my boyfriend says? “We HAVE to go to Dingle, so we can pick some berries!” I rolled my eyes and told him there was no way we were going to go clear across the whole of Ireland just because the name loosely referred to a poop crusted piece of toilet paper hanging from butt hairs. Did he think that was a silly reason to go somewhere? Heck no. So, obviously, from the get-go, I was not too keen on the idea of Dingle. Not only did I think of stinky butt crack adornments every time it was mentioned, it was incredibly far from anywhere else we were planning on visiting. Regardless, I had two whiny men simply begging to put Dingle on our itinerary. Just to silence the “picking berries in Dingle” and “shall we make a dingleberry pie” jokes, I caved and Dingle was to be a future destination. The jokes, however, did not stop. Men.After some research on Dingle, it didn’t really sound all that bad. In fact, Rick Steves, himself, calls it, “The epitome of Ireland”. I decided if Rick Steves liked it, I would too.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, we almost died on the road to Dingle. Several times. Well, maybe that is an exaggeration, but the entire time spent white-knuckling it to Dingle, I was growling that it better damn well be worth it. As we passed green, luscious, rolling hill after green, luscious, rolling hill to the far western coast of Ireland, I began to see why Dingle was the epitome of Ireland, and we hadn’t even gotten there yet. By far and wide, the area in the 100 mile radius of Dingle was the most green and gorgeous of all we had seen. It was almost too much. As we drove slowly into the town of Dingle, we saw row upon row of quaint shops and pubs, all squeaky clean and perfect. The town was nestled in the same green, rolling hills we had oohed and aahed over for hours. Dotting the hills were cream and yellow colored homes that looked straight out of a storybook; the entire town looked like one I had seen in one of my childhood fairytale stories. It was dusk and getting dark as deep, gray, foreboding rain clouds kissed the hills. As I exited the car, I could taste the sea and feel the wetness of rain yet to come on my face. We decided exploration of this incredible town was in order. Everything was in Gaelic; people walking past spoke the strange, beautiful tongue. This place was amazing. This place was Ireland. This place was worth it.
Our time spent in Dingle was too short and the hostel we stayed at was, well, let’s save that one for a later blog post…Despite our strange lodgings and the terrifying drive in, Dingle was one of the most beautiful and untainted places I have ever been. If I ever make it back to Ireland, Dingle will be my first stop.
Oh, and yes, there were berries to be picked, but they never ended up in a pie.

I Can’t Be Allowed to Adult Unsupervised

Somehow, someone deemed me fit to be an adult.
WHO APPROVED THIS?
Someone in the Adulting Main Office must have had no more fucks to give the day I was being reviewed. So, when my file came across their desk, they just stamped “ADULT”, without even reviewing it and, thus, allowed my incompetent ass to slide right through into fully verified adulthood.
That’s the only way I can figure I’ve been allowed to adult for this long. I’m wholly unqualified.
If the garbage disposal confusion wasn’t evidence enough (I never knew it wasn’t meant to ground up fully intact foods, like an entire chicken breast), I reckoned they’d figure me out when I failed to ever check my engine oil. On more than one occasion in the not-so-distant-past, the service station attendant has had to deliver the shocking news, “Ma’am, you have no oil. Like, none.”
I knew the Adulting police had to bust me for not owning an ironing board and ruining my kitchen table trying to hastily iron a dress for a wedding I was running late for, because I was playing Words With Friends, instead of watching the time.
Yet, no one has come to revoke my Adulting license.
HOW CAN THIS BE?
Had someone interceded, or, at the very least, monitored my every day Adulting charade, perhaps I’d have learned that leaving a candle burning for too long is not only a fire hazard, but a smoke stain disaster waiting to happen.
HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?
I wanted to get rid of a winter-themed candle from Bath & Body Works that I have in my bathroom, because spring is bound to show itself eventually.
I figured I’d let it burn for an evening and I’d be well on my way to having room for my spring-appropriate bathroom candle (this is a very important thing, obviously).
What I found when I went to brush my teeth for bed was nothing short of shocking.
First, the candle was on fiiiiiiiiiiya. Like, duh, it was burning, so fire. But, it was raging. It was also hot to the touch (and on the top of a cabinet), so I’d have to stand on the toilet to blow it out.
Because I didn’t want to rip the toilet out of the wall, I sort of stood and half-leaned with my right hand on the bathroom counter.
At this awkward position, I couldn’t really get at the top of the candle to blow the son-of-a-bitch out appropriately.
I decided one, quick stand on the toilet to blow it out would have to do the trick. Crossing my fingers for the safety of my toilet, I stood, blew, and was thanked with a splatter of hot wax all over my face (how it didn’t splatter the wall really just explains how things go in my life).
On the way down, I noticed the wall above the candle looked curiously dark.
When I looked closer, I realized the wall next to the candle was also a nice shade of charcoal.
As my gaze widened, my shock went much like this:
First, I was all:

Then, I was like:

And, finally, I went:

(I wanted these all to be gifs, but my WordPress app wasn’t having that for some reason.)
The candle I had burning for hours, spit out a coat of black soot on all four walls and the entire length and width of the ceiling.

The offending candle. My mom says only cheap candles coat entire rooms with soot. Hmmm. What do you have to say for yourself, Bath & Body Works?
In panic mode and since I’ve been binging on Nightmare Tenants and Slum Landlords, I quickly wet a rag and went to town wiping off every square inch of the bathroom walls and ceiling. I can’t ever be confused for the disgusting pigs that destroy other people’s property.
After cursing, re-wetting and wringing-out a now black rag, scrubbing furiously, and basically having a FREAKING heart attack for a good half hour, I felt my bathroom had been returned to its former glory.
I sheepishly went out to the living room, sweaty, covered in soot, and sat calmly on the edge of the couch. I turned to my boyfriend (WHO WAS MERRILY WATCHING TV THE WHOLE TIME) and asked him if I was the only 30-something who didn’t know burning a candle for too long would turn a small, confined room into the inside of a chimney.
He just responded, “Baby….how did you not know that?”
I DON’T KNOW.HELP.I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

If anyone reading this has some pearls of wisdom they think I need, please, share them in the comment section. I need all the help I can get.

From Gaerwen to Blackpool: At Least We Didn't End Up In the Black Pudding

We left off last time just barely arriving in Blackpool in one piece.
Despite having finally found Blackpool after what felt like 83 years of driving, it was now up to my car sick and useless-with-a-map travel companion to find our B&B.
We knew nothing about the B&B other than it had an available room with two twin beds and it was somewhere in Blackpool. Oh, and I guess we had an address. Duh.
We had no idea if it was near the shore or some other distinguishing landmark that might have served useful when explaining our dilemma to the 20th petrol station attendant we’d spoken to that day.
When we knew we’d be way past check-in time, we used our trusty Samsung Vodafone to get a hold of the woman managing the B&B to assure her we would be arriving, we just weren’t sure in what century.
She was super friendly and assured us she’d “keep the light on”. She even went so far as to ask where we were and tried to guide us that way.
“Oh, you’re by a brick building with white trim? Erm…”
“It’s by a fish and chips take away? Well…”
“What’s the street name? Egg Road? Dearie, I don’t think that’s a road…”
(It was Haig Road.)
After tons of miscommunication and a very poor explanation of our surroundings on our part, she eventually gave up and merrily predicted we’d be arriving in no time.
In no time, we still had no idea where the fuck we were.
When I recall this moment on my trip, I always wonder how we drove around Blackpool for a solid hour like complete imbeciles.
I guess the only real reason is that I have zero sense of direction. When I was in college, I’d leave one of the buildings, just blindly going in whatever direction felt right. My friend would have to run after me and steer me in the correct direction. Even after a year of being at the university, I had basically no idea where I was going every single day.
It comes naturally, as my dad is the same way. Except worse. So much worse. After a prime rib dinner at one of the downtown casinos one night when I was around ten, my dad and I left in his truck and lost the rest of the family convoy. Two hours later, we made it home, but not before circling the city three times and almost driving across the state line. My mom almost called search and rescue.
I’m not sure what my friend’s excuse was other than he must have been sniffing glue or picking boogers when they learned about maps in the 3rd grade, because somehow he was worse than me at directional intelligence, and that is saying a lot.
Perhaps the most stressful aspect of all of this was the fact that we were inconveniencing some poor woman. Had we made arrangements at a hostel, we’d likely have just accepted defeat and slept in the car.
After our 10th orbit in one particular roundabout that we were sure had to let out on the street we were looking for if only we went round enough times, we noticed a police car parked further up one of the streets.
In utter desperation (and I was getting really, really cranky at this point), I decided we should go ask for directions.
“You can’t just drive up behind a police car and get out. It’s like the opposite of what’s supposed to happen. They pull up behind you and they get out to walk up to your car, so…,” replied super-helpful-friend.
“SAYS THE PERSON WHO CAN’T READ A MAP, WON’T ASK FOR DIRECTIONS AND HAS NO OTHER SOLUTIONS.”
I wanted to pummel him.
So, of course, since he was incapable of going into to the last 12 petrol stations to ask for directions, because he’d “for sure barf” if he did, I had to walk up to the police car after pulling up behind them like a total creep.
Turns out, they were very friendly (and pretty amused) and willing to take us in the correct direction as far as the edge of their beat. I totally didn’t feel like a moron asking for police assistance in finding our B&B. Not at all.
After the policemen got us going in the right direction, we very quickly found our B&B. It’s amazing what going in the correct cardinal direction will do for you.
The B&B was completely not what I had imagined. All of the B&Bs I’ve ever seen and stayed in have been older houses, with the rooms converted to accommodate for guests. This place looked exactly like the hotel in Fawlty Towers. I.shit.you.not.
The woman who we had gotten to know so well over the phone welcomed us in her robe, slippers, and, if I am remembering right, she even had rollers in.
She was really excited to see us.
She greeted us like long-lost, beloved family members. I think her overly-excited behavior had everything to do with the fact that she could now finally go to sleep.
I don’t even remember checking in. It was all a whirlwind of, “You both must be exhausted! Here, let me take that. Oh, it’s no bother! We’ll be going up the lift, if that’s all right. Well, not me, but you two. And your luggage.”
All I recall from check-in is her excitedly stuffing us and our four pieces of luggage into the smallest elevator in existence*.
We could barely utter, “Are you sure this is going to work?” before she used her entire body to push the rest of my fat still bulging out as the door tried to close.
Once the door was shut, we couldn’t move at all. I’m not even exaggerating when I say every square inch was taken up by our bodies and luggage. I had an elbow in my back, a suitcase handle in the neck, and a carry on bag somehow balancing on my head.
I risked decapitation by American Tourister to turn my head to get sight of my friend. He looked thrilled, his face smashed into my bright pink floral Vera Bradley carry on.
We were only going up two flights, but the ride TOOK FOREVER. Not only was this rickety contraption barely the size of a fucking refrigerator box, it moved about a millimeter a minute, and it sounded like it was dying a very painful and dramatic death the entire ride.
“WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?” I wanted to scream.
An hour later, the elevator stopped, the door slowly creaked open, and a cascade of bags, arms, legs, and a random shoe fell out of the elevator.
We stumbled, stunned and exhausted to our room.
After a few dazed moments, I asked, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?”
“Dude, I think this place is creepy as fuck, and she’s totally going to grind us up in her special human-sized meat grinder. We are going be served as black pudding tomorrow for breakfast, ” my friend asserted**.
Normally, I would have totally bought into the fear and would have been like, “OMG NO WAY HOW DO YOU KNOW ARE WE GONNA DIE?” but I was too tired to care that the place was a little off.
I told him he was ridiculous and rude and that was that.
Because we couldn’t even remember the last time we had eaten, we ventured out onto the boardwalk to find anything open at the ungodly hour it was.
I can’t even accurately describe Blackpool, other than to say it was exactly like my experience on the shore in New Jersey (other than the British accents). I’m sure it’s a lovely place, but I really have no idea.
The first open take away restaurant we found, we ordered, ate, and miraculously found our way back to the B&B in our exhausted stupor in short order.

My friend was so out of it, he thought he’d finally found his Irish goddess in all places- a dingy Blackpool fish and chip shop.
On our way up to the room, my friend noted that no one else was about in the B&B and for sure we were her only victims for the night. Or, the others had already been taken.
For once in my life (because I’m always the one who is sure a place is haunted and full of murderers), I was the rational one.
I told him he was crazy and that no one was around BECAUSE IT WAS ONE IN THE MORNING. I then promptly went to sleep while he stayed up, watching out for Norma Bates.
In the morning, after a full night’s rest (for me), all was right again. We saw the other guests (definitely none were murdered in their sleep) during our delicious full English breakfast in the dining room (just like the one in Fawlty Towers). But, we didn’t eat any of the black pudding. Just in case.

Instead of doing any sightseeing along the boardwalk, we decided to see the Irish Sea before heading off to Scotland.

We had no idea what these booger things were, but my friend had a pretty good guess.

For the end of June, it was really, really cold.
*How I didn’t feel it necessary to photograph said elevator is a total mystery.
**She was adorable. Don’t listen to him.