Uncle Fatty- A Guest Post

Happy Friday, folks! “Aunt Fatty” is on hiatus, so “Uncle Fatty” from The Midnight Goose blog is taking the hell over for the day.

Hi. I’m Allen T. St. Clair. We might not have met before, but let me assure you, I’m actually a decent person. I’m generally kind, friendly, supportive—a real cheerleader for my family, friends, fellow bloggers and authors. Making others smile is one of my favorite hobbies and makes me feel better about myself…which I guess means I’m not being entirely altruistic, if such a thing exists.

However, I also am (internally) a total douchebag. I’ve constantly got an internal monologue going on about what I think but don’t say out loud. Don’t we all, though? We all have thoughts we’d never share with others because, well, we don’t want people to know how truly horrible we are in real life, amirite? In my defense, though, usually my mean thoughts are about people who deserve them.

People I refer to as “Dusty Bitches”. Now, when I call someone a “Dusty Bitch” out loud, it’s meant with love. When I think: “Oooooh, look at this Dusty Bitch”, it’s not meant out of love. It means I’ve hit my limit with someone’s particular brand of bullshit and wish they’d get a tape worm from eating buffet sushi. But I try really hard to keep those thoughts to myself.

Dusty Bitch

So today, I’m going to make an incomplete list of the Dusty Bitches we’ve all encountered at one time or another. Buckle up, ya’ Dusty Bitches, ‘cause we’re all going to Hell with this post.

Dusty Bitch Type #1

Karen, I know you want your venti almond milk unicorn latte with three pumps of raspberry flavor and rainbow sprinkles mocha chocha latte ya-ya served in the skull of a Shih-tzu at 195 degrees, but I ain’t got the time to hear you tell the barista that, okay? I was late to work the moment you started thinking about ‘Gramming your drank. Get a gawt damn “mocha” like the rest of us and move on with your day. You’re a Dusty Bitch.

Dusty Bitch Type #2

Thank you for telling me the best dog food I need to be feeding my pet, Moon Flower, but not all of us live on a communal hairy hippy ranch where we don’t have jobs and have all the damn time in the world to freshly puree yams mixed with Yak milk and blood larvae, okay? Purina is perfectly fine for my dog. She’s got 6 years (at best) left in her regardless of how much money I spend on dog food. Besides, she was more than happy to eat that cheese covered tater tot I dropped on the kitchen floor that immediately collected all manner of her own hair and floor germs. I’ve seen the things she licks, so I don’t think she’s all that concerned with her health. Go build a Yurt with your other friends who possess ample pube hair and names they gave themselves after a ceremony of dancing naked under the full moon while swinging friendship beads and dead cats who were possessed by the spirit of Jerry Garcia. You give me angina. And you’re a Dusty Bitch.

Dusty Bitch Type #3

Look, Brenda. We all respect the fact that you feel that since you have a bi-level blonde haircut that you should be treated better than everyone else when shopping at the Tar-zjay. I get it. You’re important. Only someone with that much confidence would rock a haircut even Cher would look at and say: “Gurrrrrrrl. No.” The manager doesn’t want to speak to you and your brood of children all dressed like they fell out of a early aught’s Old Navy commercial. Put your expired coupons away, pay for your shit, slide your sparkly oversized sunglasses over your overly mascara’d eyes, and let us all get on with our lives. You’re a Dusty Bitch.

Dusty Bitch Type #4

Okay, John. We’ve been in an environmental crisis since two dingleberries* said: “I bet if we dig up this congealed dinosaur shit, we could make the things go faster and emit smoke that we can all choke on ‘til we die.” For the record, oil was discovered in 1859, so this shit is getting old. I don’t want to avoid getting crushed by your lifted quad-cab with tires fit for Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox “Babe”. Your penis is huge, okay? We get it. But we don’t all want to be wading in salt water in Iowa, so why don’t you cut it the fuck out? You’re a Dusty Bitch. Yes, dudes can be Dusty Bitches, too. Congrats for proving it.

*Those “dingleberries” were George Bissell and Edwin L. Drake. Look there! We’re all learning.

Dusty Bitch Type #5

Spencer, Brandon, Booker, Tucker, and every other entitled guy with a trendy non-name nowadays who is being told by they momma how special and unique they are and how they are a “prince”. Stop sending your unsolicited dick pics to…everyone. No one wants to open their phone and think: “Who licked the orange dust off a Cheeto and sent me a picture of it? How odd…oh. My. God.” Hardly anyone gets turned on seeing a picture of your nasty, shriveled business that you’re incredibly proud of for some reason. Keep it in your pants, leave people alone, and learn to flirt like a civilized human being—with displays of ritualistic dancing, offering dowries, and challenging competitors for affections to duels at sunrise. It’s called “being a gentleman”? Look it up. You’re Dusty Bitches (well, before you licked the dust off).

Anyhoozles, this concludes the first edition of “Allen’s Dusty Bitches”. Feel free to comment the Dusty Bitch tropes that annoy you—and leave “Aunt Fatty” some well wishes.

I gotta go.

WTF Wednesday: Blogging Truth Bombs and Beefs

It’s about to get beef bomby up in here, so prepare yourselves. Depending on how you interpret that, you could be feeling very different things right now.

Blogging, ya’ll. What is it even?

I’ve mentioned a time or 10 how I’m a writer who just so happens to use the blogging platform to get my writing “out there”. As such, I’m by no means an expert on the topic. However, I’ve been doing the grunt work long enough to have noticed a few things.

Ready? Let’s go!

1. The “Market” is Saturated

Ya’ll, we’re all just one of millions. Literally millions. There are millions of blogs on the interwebs. If you are doing this blogging thing to be noticed; if you’re blogging to earn money; if you’re writing on the blogging platform to get your writing read and/or to be found, GOOD LUCK.

I’m not saying that sarcastically either. I really mean it. You’re going to need some serious luck of the Irish or some other historically magical luck to distinguish yourself in a major way.

I’ve had many discussions with fellow bloggers on this topic, and the general consensus is that bloggers who have ended up rich and famous started blogging and writing smack dab in the middle of the sweet spot of the Blogging Leads to Fame and Fortune era.

There are plenty (actually a fuck ton) of bloggers who make income from their blog via affiliate links, advertising, and utilizing SEO like bosses, but I’m not referring to them here. I’m talking about bloggers who have used their blogging platform to become extremely well known, published authors a la Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) or Allie Brosh.

So, if blogging is just a step in the direction of your ultimate goal of being a published writer, just get to writing on your book, baby.

I used to actually, and don’t laugh when you read this, think I’d be “discovered” because of my blog. I know, embarrassing, right? The reality is, though, among millions of other bloggers vying for readership, I’m just another asshole who thinks my blog is going to become famous. Learn from me, just write the damn book.

2. They’ll Help You, But For a Price

If you are currently blogging about blogging or offering e-courses on SEO, rock on with your bad self. Anyone smart enough to monetize where the gettin is good is money goals in my mind.

That doesn’t make the bad feeling I have about this business go away, though.

Whenever I wish to educate myself on monetizing options for my blog, I usually click on a blog post about SEO or affiliate links and I’m lead down a veritable rabbit hole of advertisements, newsletter pop ups, and the promise I’ll turn my lame blog around just so long as I sign up for an e-course or I pay an un-godly amount of money to receive consultation on my brand. This inevitably reminds me of all the times I was dumb enough to invest in and try to sell Mary Kay or Scentsy or dōTERRA.

They get you with the promise of a “nominal” fee and the insistence that you’ll be CEO of the business in “no time”.

It’s the same thing with blogging courses and blog consultations. Maybe you will learn something and be successful like them or maybe you won’t, because remember- there are millions of others doing the same exact thing as you.

I’m not saying these courses are all crap or the people offering them are part of some pyramid scheme, but what I am saying is nothing in the blogging world is free or guaranteed. Be savvy about how and where you invest your money, especially if you started your blog as a hobby and you are literally making zero money doing it.

3. The Dumbing Down

I don’t care if this isn’t a fact- or researched-based opinion, because what I see with my pretty perceptive eyes is that a huge amount of people on this planet are dumb as fuck.

The kinds of things that go viral all over social media are quick and easy to read memes, gifs, funny videos, and graphics. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good meme or gif. In fact, I can entertain myself for an embarrassingly long amount of time just scrolling through funny bullshit on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. But, I fear that this is the limit to many people’s attention spans or interests- a pretty picture or easy to read snippets of information.

When you’re a writer, you put blood, sweat, and tears into content for people on the internet to (hopefully) read, but many just click onto your post to watch the funny gif and then they leave.

I have heard/read the words, “People just aren’t reading blogs as much anymore” far too often in the last year.

I think it’s true. And, I think people are choosing to read an eight word meme over your 800 word post because it’s quicker and easier.

4. The Balance

Probably one of the hardest aspects of being a blogger is finding the time to keep up with the blogs I follow. Not only do I want to read them, it’s also nice to comment, like and, perhaps, even share on various social media outlets. I mean, I want other people to do the same for me, so I can’t not return the love.

This is where things become a precarious balancing act.

When I have to decide between 20+ blog posts to read during my rushed 20 minute lunch, I either read only one or two or I skim read them all.

I don’t have an endless amount of time to read blogs, as much as I’d love to be able to do that all the time (how glorious of a career would Professional Blog Reader be?). Yet, I hope others will have the time to read my blog.

It’s such a crazy, fucked up thing, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this balancing act. It’s like we’re all saying, “I don’t have time to read your blog, but read mine, mmmkay?”

But, if we all do that, though, no one will read any blogs. And then, the blogosphere will implode, and all of our hard work will die a terrible death.

I’m still working on how to read all of my favorite blogs and sleep…

5. The Like vs. Traffic Debate

How much traffic your blog receives is only revealed to you, unless you wish to share it. However, how many likes your post gets and the amount of quality comments at the end of your post is viewable and it means something.

I mean, it should mean something.

To me, likes and comments are like passport stamps from the visitors of your blog. They are trophies. They are getting the gold.

The more likes and comments I get, the prouder I feel about my post and how it was received by my readers.

Likes and comments are also a visual to new visitors that make me look more credible as an established blogger. As much as you don’t want to accept this fact, we all know you’re secretly ashamed of that post you did last year that only garnered two likes and zero comments. At least, that’s how I feel about that asshole post…

That said, this is how I measure the success of my posts. Not everyone is the same. Many people consider traffic to their blog to be more important and that’s just fine, especially if they’re monetizing. In that case, traffic is the gold.

The great thing about blogging is that it can literally be and mean anything to you. Find value where you wish.

If you’re new to blogging or you are just not seeing the amount of likes or comments on your posts that you’d like, assess how welcoming you are to visitors. Does it take you a week to respond to a comment? Do you not respond in a way that keeps the discussion going? Are your responses pretty canned? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you need to up your commenting game.

Also, asking a question that is related to your post topic, like, “What do you think the little hole in the crotch of Spanx is for?” (that’ll really get ’em talking) can help facilitate discussion in the comment section.

I could go on. There’s so much more I can say about my blogging beefs and truths, but I think this is more than enough for now.

Blogging isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, so spill it. What grates on your nerves. What annoys you the most? Let it out, babes.

WTF Wednesday: When Do I Ever Get a Cupcake?

I’ve been deciding it’s high time to get my act together, diet-wise (Want to guess how many times I’ve said that exact statement? Hint- a fuck load). I haven’t quite come down from my vacation eat-everything-I-possibly-can mode. I’ve totally been living the vacation food life sans the walking miles everyday aspect of that life, so the pounds really have the ability to pack on.

Literally me every time food was in front of my fat face on my trip.

I’ve probably gained at least five pounds since I’ve been home. I have no idea, though. My scale is propped behind my bathroom door with two inches of dust on it, because The Boyfriend doesn’t sweep behind the door, if we’re pointing fingers here, AND because I’m Anti-Scale. When my jeans fit again, I’ll know I’ve lost weight.

My blog buddy and sister from another mister, Cinzia, suggested we be diet accountability partners on MyFitnessPal.

Because I love the ever-loving-shit out of Cinzia and because I finally deleted my Weight Watchers app that I’ve been paying $20 a month for for the better part of a year, yet wasn’t even using, I was happy to agree.

We arranged to share each other’s food diary by way of a passcode. Essentially, she was able to see all of the ridiculous shit I put in my mouth and I could see how many pieces of lettuces she ate and miles she ran in a day.

It was great fun. Here is a rundown of some of the things I might have said to her about her diet:

“Wow. No dessert again. You’re doing that everyday now? Is that a thing?”

“You ran five miles? Are those the same kind of miles we have over here in the states?”

“AREN’T YOU EVEN HUNGRY?”

Now, here are some things she probably said (I can’t be certain. People say a lot of things to me everyday. So…):

“Girl, did you really eat a donut for breakfast on the first day of tracking?”

“You did so good all day. Well, except somewhere around ‘Taco Bell Nachos and Large DQ Cookie Dough Blizzard’.

And…

“What exactly does ‘small bite of entire Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch cheesecake’ mean?”

Basically, I’m utterly failing.

Here’s the deal, and I’m just gonna be real forthright and candid with ya’ll.

When do I ever get a cupcake, though?

With MyFitnessPal, you get the calories you get and you don’t throw a fit (Except, I did throw a fit. I threw a full blown fatty fit, complete with legit crying over not getting to eat a chocolate cream pie * ever again).

This is why these kinds of diets and eating plans don’t work with me. I need to know that eventually I can have a cheat fry or two. Or, that the cupcake I inhaled on one of my students’ birthdays doesn’t mean my entire diet for the day/week/month is derailed.

I need some wiggle room, ya’ll.

I’ve mentioned quite a few times the success I had on Weight Watchers (like, 50 pound-weight-loss-success).

This is why:

You get extra weekly points.

This may sound like an excuse to eat what you shouldn’t on a “diet”, but hear me out…

If you strictly follow your daily allotted points, your weekly points don’t hurt your progress.

They don’t make hurt your progress, ya’ll.

As long as you track and don’t go balls to the wall insane, you can lose weight while enjoying the occasional french fry or 20 or the odd cupcake or three.

So, what I’m really saying is restrictive af diets aren’t my jam and life is way too sucky to not eat cupcakes.

I mean, right?

So, if you’re reading this, and I kinda think you are, I have a question for you, Cinzia…

Will you be my Weight Watchers Girl Friend?

I totally will only be a little sad if you want to stay with MyFitnessPal since he’s done a body good. I just don’t think he’s that into me and I miss my cupcake points.

Now, I just need to find the willpower to sign back up with Weight Watchers and count my points without cheating, and I’ll be on the right track to losing this is-she-preggers-or-just-fat belly.

The struggle is real, folks.

What diets or food plans have worked for you and if you say paleo or keto totally works without cheating ever, I want your proof! For realz, show me it’s doable and I’ll maybe consider it…

*whispers* No, I won’t.

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.)

WTF Wednesday: 10 Things I Positively Hate

I’ve seen other bloggers put together lists of things they hate (and love) and I always felt I needed to do a list because the hate is strong with this one. I’m finally getting around to writing down what makes my eye twitch.

Unreasonable ridiculousness, injustice, ineptness, and my own stupidity makes me feel white-hot hatred on the daily.

So, because hatred is so fun, I thought I’d share some of mine. Aren’t ya’ll so lucky?

Because it’s Fall Ya’ll and this is my most favorite season, my Basic B-ness is just bursting with PSL-flavored excitement, so I’ll also be putting together a list of things I positively love. So, haters, back off my hate list- there will be a love list so sickly sweet, you’ll beg to be brought back here.

So, why don’t we just get on with it, eh?

1. When the TP doesn’t come off cleanly

I don’t mean when the roll is done and you claw off shreds of useless toilet paper. I also don’t mean when your butt crack wants to keep some of the TP to form dingleberries.

No, I mean when you’re breaking off your chosen amount of squares and the last square doesn’t cleanly break away from the square you’re leaving for next time.

If this happens to me, I simply rip off the unruly pieces and add them to my already-way-too-big-that’s-definitely-clogging-the-toilet-wad. But, someone else who lives in my house who shall remain nameless, does not and I can’t even when I see the unruliness of our TP roll.

I know in the grand scheme of things, “unruly TP” rates pretty low as a problem, but for me IT’S A PROBLEM.

2. People who stand at crosswalks who aren’t planning on crossing any time soon

WHY ARE YOU STANDING THERE? WHY?

As a law-abiding citizen who realizes that walking on any city street in any corner of the world is equivalent to walking through a battlefield blind, I am always watching out for pedestrians. Because I’m actually concerned for their safety, I stop for them whenever necessary.

But, when I bring my car to a full stop for you at a crosswalk and you wave me on like I’m wasting your time, I get pretty eye-twitchy. Maybe stand LITERALLY ANYWHERE ELSE?

My favorite is when the person is surprised by my stopping and they guiltily glance over like oops-I’m-just-standing-here-picking-my-ass-don’t-mind-me.

If you’re just lurking, don’t lurk at the entrance to a crosswalk, mmmkay?

3. When my knees absolutely refuse to get with the program

When it’s Shaving Day, it’s a pretty big deal. I basically have to completely clear my schedule for the day to do a full-body job.

Shaving all of the areas that make me socially acceptable takes so long, I’m left with pruney fingers and an achey back.

So, it’s no surprise that after five hours of shaving, I’m a little angry when I emerge from the shower with knees that look like a bad combover. WHY U NO SHAVE, KNEES?

4. When someone recognizes me and I have not one clue who they are. Not one fucking iota

I hate this, because it’s the most awkward social interaction on the planet when someone recognizes someone who doesn’t recognize them back and vice versa.

The.worst.

This last happened to me just the other day when I was getting my car smogged. The guy asked me what high school I went to and when I told him, he said, “I knew you looked familiar!” Even after learning his name and wracking my brain for hours later, trying to place his face somewhere in my, obviously, blurred high school memories, I got nothin.

The weirdest and most awkward Recognizing was at an Auto Zone a couple of years ago. The girl working there recognized me from high school and even called me by name. She asked me about some guy we were both supposed to have known, let’s call him Bobby. She said, “Isn’t that crazy about Bobby? I really had no idea.” Because I felt like I had stepped into the Twilight Zone of High School Past, naturally, I responded with, “Well, I kind of had an idea…”

Before I could make it really good and awkward, I left with my wiper blades, wondering why people I swear I’ve never seen before in my life remember me so well.

I’ve decided it has to be the greasy bangs and poodle perm, as they were pretty hard to forget. It has to be something God-awful.

5. My Jekyll and Hyde head

I hate how when I leave my hair naturally wavy, one side of my head cooperates and, I shit you not, looks right out of a magazine article about how to achieve perfect, effortless beach-y waves. The other side, however, always looks like I just woke up from a long winter’s nap in my filthy bear cave that I’ve been too busy to clean, because I’ve been sleeping on one side of my head for six months.

I can’t have a full head of nice-looking hair ever.

6. Public bathroom noises

Using a public restroom is a terrifying enough occasional necessity already, so why do some people make it even worse for everyone? Why are you sighing? Stop. Just. No. Save your pleasure pee noises for the privacy of your own home. No one, ain’t no one, wants to hear anything from your stall. The shotgun fartsmake us all uncomfortable enough.

Go in, do your business-making no noise whatsoever, wash and leave-using your shirt sleeve to open the door like the rest of us. For shit.

7. That itch you can’t scratch

Absolutely the worst thing in the world is to get completely comfortable in bed only to have a hair blow over my skin which causes an intense seizure-like-freak-out-body-contortionist-act as I try to scratch an impossible-to-reach spot on my back. After trying to bend my arms in a totally inhuman way, my comfortable spot is gone and I question why bad things happen to good people.

Then, it happens over and over again and it’s exactly how I imagine Hell.

8. When people aren’t ready in the drive thru

Nothing fans my burning hanger flames more than people who take up far too much time deciding on their order in the drive thru.

“You’re such a bitch, Katie…”

Hear me out.

When there are 18 cars behind you and you’re asking the high school-age fast food worker, who doesn’t give two shits, if they prefer the Beefy Fritos Burrito over the Beefy Mini Quesadilla, you’re just being an asshole.

IFYOUHAVEMORETHANPRECISELYTWOQUESTIONSGOINSIDE.

9. People who drive just slow enough so that you don’t get through the light

Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing, Gladys. We all know your game. You’re not fooling anyone with your adorable white cotton candy hair and “World’s Greatest Grandma” license plate frame.

I know you go slow approaching the light and then quickly speed up so you’re the only one who makes it through on purpose.

Maybe it’s your way of sticking it to us youngins. Maybe your adorable elderly look is all a sham and you’re really Satan’s great aunt, sent to destroy us all, one road rage breakdown at a time.

She may look adorable, but her favorite hobby is going 10 miles under the speed limit on a two lane residential street, because she knows you can’t pass her.

10. Magically appearing chin hairs

Once a week (well, actually twice- you’ll see), I really go to town with my tweezers. I find that one really good plucking job will last *most* of the week.

Like clockwork, though, the day after Chin Day I’ll find 18 hairs that were, I SWEAR, not there the night before.

I am convinced that I am being paid back for something from a past life in the form of a chia pet for a chin.

This is literally me checking to make sure I got all of those sneaky bitches.

(Check out the link where I got the above gif. You can learn all about how to give yourself a French facial, not how to check for chin hair stragglers.)

*Bonus* 11. When I don’t realize I’m done with my food before I can fully appreciate my last bite

This has to be my most hated thing on this list. I had to include this, but I couldn’t have 11 things. That makes my OCD cringe.

Almost always, I take full inventory of my food and I know exactly how much I have to eat and how much longer I have to enjoy the act.

But, sometimes, the last bite sneaks up on me and I cannot fully prepare myself.

Friends, I can’t fully explain the pain and suffering this causes me. It’s such a sad, and agonizing occurrence that even my fat cries out in guttural wails that could wake the dead.

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it usually ends with the boyfriend making a ten PM 7-11 run for some second-chance-Skittles. He’s got himself a winner.

This list makes me sound like a pretty hateful person, but in reality I’m only full of hate about 70% of the time. That’s not too bad. Not too bad at all.

What do you hate? Let me know in the comments and let’s keep the hate train going.

WTF Wednesday: Sometimes I’m a Basic B*tch

The Fatty is back!

It’s been a stressful start to the new school year, but that’s how it always is, so I’ve decided to make my blog-which is something I highly enjoy- a priority regardless of the stress I feel every.single.damn.day.
That’s life, man. We’re all stressed. I might as well make this crazy, awesome, shitty, whirlwind of what-the-fuck enjoyable by doing what I enjoy. That should be a no-brainer, but I have the Dumbs a lot.

I’d like to start with bringing WTF Wednesday back to its former glory*. I realized this morning that I can write a WTF Wednesday post that isn’t 8,000 words long. Not only will this be a more reasonable aspiration, ya’ll will appreciate reading the Facebook version as opposed to the novel.
Speaking of Facebook, that’s where I first shared this Worry Bout Yo Self tale.

So, if you’re a Facebook, sorry, you’ll be seeing this again. For your reading pleasure and ease, I’ve revised and added to the original story.
So, for the return of WTF Wednesday- the Mind Your Own Business Captain Obvious story:
Last Friday, on my way to get my weekly treat of sugar coffee and whatever carb bomb that totally wrecks any semblance of eating healthy I did all week, I stopped at the ATM to get my “weekend money”.
The ATM that I go to on the way to Starbucks is in a weird alley-type street. It’s between a two-way street and a one-way street.
The one-way street I call The Street That Takes You to Starbucks, because I have not one fucking iota what it’s called.
(If quizzed, I probably know very little street names in the city I was born and raised in. This is because all I need to know is if it takes me to Target or somewhere else mind-numbingly how-did-I-just-spend-300-hundred-dollars awesome.)
So, after using the ATM, I almost always go to Starbucks. It’s like my reward for doing adult things. Depositing and withdrawing money from an ATM is a really hard adult task, obviously.
The issue with this is that the Street That Takes You to Starbucks is one way the wrong way if you want to get to the Starbucks drive thru from said ATM.
Well, it’s actually not really a problem at all, because I make that one-way street my bitch and go down it any damn way I want, so fucking there.
Well, really, I’m not a rule-breaking badass at all, because I drive the wrong way on the street for precisely three seconds as I pull out from the Street the ATM Is On and then almost immediately into the drive thru. I’m 0% gangster.
I’m not a complete dumbass, so if a car is coming, I wait. If a car isn’t coming, I pull out and in really quick (that’s what he said) and all is right again with the world.
Further evidence for why this isn’t a big deal at all:
1. Whenever this occurs it’s ungodly hour o’clock
2. There’s never any cars coming
3. I drive the wrong way for precisely THREE FEET
On this particular Friday, Captain Street That Takes You to Starbucks Patrol in his Tesla was pulling off of the street into an underground parking lot that’s right next to the Starbucks. As I was sitting, waiting for him to pass or pull in (because I’m not a dumbass- see above), he was staring at me out of his open window.
I stared right back.
He continued to stare at me as he was driving down into the parking garage and as I started onto the street towards the entrance to the drive thru.
I’d like to take this moment to point out that his head was almost completely turned around, much like in the Exorcist and his mouth was agape, all while driving into the garage.
As he was not even looking at where he was going, he yelled, “OMG! ONE WAY STREET!”
He yelled this as if I were entering an eight lane freeway where all the cars are going 90 MPH and I’m going the wrong way, which was a HUGE exaggeration, as I was entering a lonely, empty street at 6:30 in the fucking morning.
Matching his intensity exactly, I yelled back, “OMG! I KNOW! I’M GOING TO STARBUCKS!”
So emphatically did I yell, that my basic bitch homeless person bun bounced with every over-enunciated word, especially on the word ‘Starbucks’.

The BEST definition I’ve ever read on Urban Dictionary. It even included the Starbucks. OMG.

Had I already gone through the drive thru, this would have been my face EXACTLY.
I sounded like the most ridiculous basic bitch ever. I really should have added “…to get my PSL and pumpkin scone, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!” for the full effect.
But, Captain Quiet Street With Nobody On It At 6:30 AM Patrol should really have minded his own damn business.
Let basic bitches be.

Do not get between a B.B. and her PSL. DO.NOT.
*I’m not quite sure it was really ever glorious, but whatevs.

The Isle of Skye: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

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The Isle of Skye is legit an otherworldly realm straight out of a Tolkien novel. One moment, you’re bumping along on a lovely one lane road riddled with potholes, surrounded by strangely-shaped mountains carpeted completely in a soft green and then, you round a bend and you’re somehow in a rough, craggy atmosphere, where a purpley-brown growth is springing out of a mist-covered ground and you are convinced you somehow landed on a planet not in our solar system.
(That was the longest fucking sentence I’ve ever written. It’s probably not even grammatically correct, but we’re just gonna roll with it.)
This is not a homage to Skye. In fact, my favorite part of Skye really had nothing to do with the actual place, as I could have met one of my favorite bloggers (more on that later) in Timbuktu if that was where she lived (and I happened to be traveling to Timbuktu).
This is going to be a post that fully prepares anyone wishing to go to Skye for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So, let’s just get on with it, eh?
The Good
Really, the best way to show the good side of Skye would be with the pictures I took. So, I’m going to show and not tell. Besides, even my amateur photography would better serve to express its raw beauty than any vocabulary I possess.

This was 10 PM on the Isle of Skye. 

That water, though…

Every conceivable shade of green can be found on Skye.

The coolest coffee shop that served me the best latte I’ve ever had.

The best latte I’ve ever had and my first time trying oat milk = OBSESSED.

Beauty around every bend

The skies really made that green pop.

An old cemetery by the sea

Too beautiful for words

The sheep. OMG the sheep. I loved them so much. I miss those wooly butts so bad.

A stretch of road with no one on it is how I hoped it’d be.

It was so quiet and peaceful at this spot. Right here. Right here is Scotland to me.

It legit looks fake.

What planet is this even?

Out of this freaking world!

Being introspective af

I really hoped we’d see a hobbit at the Fairy Glen.

This is Skye.

This is the Skye I want to never forget.
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A tiny Old Man of Storr 
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Hehehehehe
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Portree
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We got to this one before the hordes invaded.
The Bad
The Roads
Holy shit, the roads. Probably 90% of the roads on Skye are one lane. I don’t even know if that figure is at all accurate, but numbers don’t matter here. You’re gonna feel those one-laners and that’s all that matters.
Not only are the majority of the roads one lane, they are full of locals who don’t have time for tourists and their inept driving. One thing can be said about those locals: they have a system and they all religiously abide by it (You pull over if the pullout is on your side. If it’s on the other side DO NOT, FOR FUCKS SAKE, PULL OVER ON THE OTHER SIDE OR YOU MESS UP THE WHOLE SYSTEM, JANET.)
So, yeah, the actual Skye residents drive like bats out of hell and literally everyone else has no idea what they’re doing.
As if that ain’t bad enough, after every other sheep in the road (that’s not a figure of speech, btw, they are literally in the road) is a pothole the size of any one of the Kardashians’ massive fake asses, and considering the entire island is only 639 square miles, that’s a lot of freaking potholes.
Our rental car probably needed all new suspension after a week of those roads, and my chiropractor is rolling in the dough (literally and figuratively).
The Tourists
So, yeah, we were tourists, but we weren’t those tourists. We weren’t touristy tourists. We weren’t literally-push-like-we’re-in-Kindergarten-tourists.
Actually, I encountered pushy, rude tourists the most in really crowded touristy places like Edinburgh Castle and the like.
I don’t recall any one tourist from the Isle of Skye, but that is probably because we encountered 8,565,723 of them. To be fucking precise.
I get it, people want to see beautiful places. We all want to see The Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools, the Quiraing. Realizing that doesn’t make it any less annoying that you and literally everyone’s brother are trampling along to see a famous rock structure and not one bit of it feels like it should.
When you look at pictures of Skye, it looks so unspoiled, unpopulated, “unruined”. Unless you’re visiting during the off season, those remote-looking images are straight up false advertisement. It’s hard to take in and truly appreciate the raw natural beauty of the Quiraing when you’re fighting with hordes of tourists with their selfie sticks.
There were quite a few times we drove by beautiful waterfalls or odd-shaped alien formations and didn’t stop because the area would be literally crawling with people.
My favorite waterfall was this one…

…because strangely, we were alone on the road, and there was not a single person for as far as the eye could see. We barely caught a glimpse of the waterfall as we passed, so we stopped so I could run back to take a picture. As I was heading back towards the waterfall, the only sound I could hear was the sound of rushing water and just the wildness that Skye is when it isn’t overrun by people. It was my favorite moment, hands down.

Alone on the road with this made me feel so completely in Scotland.
The Ugly
The Lack of Amenities
The bladder is a sympathetic organ. It feels bad for you when there are no bathrooms anywhere to be found. So, to show how sorry it is, it makes you need to go to the bathroom far more often than is even humanly possible. The bladder is also a stupid asshole.
You know who else is a stupid asshole? The Isle of Skye.
Ya’ll, there are literally no public toilets on the entirety of the whole damn island. Maybe that’s an exaggeration as we didn’t explore every square inch, but where we did go, we didn’t see one. Not a one.
What is the result when a council/area/agency fails to provide public restrooms at popular tourist sites?
Well, let me fucking tell you.
TOILET PAPER EVERYWHERE. EVERYWHERE.
You have no idea the amount of stress I had knowing the bathrooms would be few and far between. And, that wherever I’d find to “wee” behind a bush, there’d already be toilet paper and I DON’T EVEN WANT TO THINK WHAT ELSE.
It was gross. Inexcusable. And, exactly what happens when a place is perfectly happy taking tourists’ money but can’t be bothered to provide sanitary ways to relieve oneself.
I’m just glad that one of my fears- having an attack of the travel trickle in the middle of nowhere- was never realized, because I really didn’t want that to be the highlight of my time on Skye.
The Locals Who Are Jerks
When we arrived in Portree on our first night, it was a really busy Saturday evening. The tiny Co-Op grocery store was a happening place, as everyone was trying to get their provisions for the evening. There is next to no parking in Portree, but we somehow lucked out with a spot directly in front of the store. In case we needed to move the car for some reason, my aunt and uncle stayed in the car and my mom and I went into the store.
As we were looking for a handful of basic groceries, my aunt was approached by a woman who ever so nicely (that’s sarcasm) told her she couldn’t park in the spot we were in all night. My aunt said something like, “We weren’t planning on staying in the grocery store all night, but thanks…”
This woman then proceeded to tell her how annoying tourists are and how she can’t stand them.
She said this to a person who is obviously not a Skye local, but a fucking tourist.
Our first introduction to the Isle of Skye was a woman who told us how much she hated us.
Awesome.
There were a few people who were kind and accommodating, but for the most part, the people we encountered on the Isle of Skye weren’t especially nice.
Even worse, we were told that the general consensus is that tourists suck and that fixing the roads or the lack of amenities is totally not worth it, but the money they get from the hated tourists? They’re cool with that.
Look, I get it. Tourists can suck. Especially the ones who push you out of the way so they can take 18 different selfies in front of whatever isn’t quite as cool as they are. If you live in a touristy town, hordes of tourists invading your area can get old pretty fast, but being rude isn’t going to make them go away.
What took away some of the sting of being treated like an invasive species was getting to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Lorna, from Gin & Lemonade.
Her and her hubby and darling daughter were so accommodating, kind, and an immense treat to spend time with. Because of them, I’ll always love Skye and when I think of my time there, I’ll feel a connection that can’t just be made by merely seeing and visiting, but by experiencing and truly getting to know the good that exists there.
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MASSIVE love to these people.
If you’re reading this and you’re a Skye local and you take offense, take it up with the lady who stands outside the Bank Street Co-Op-the one who warmly welcomes your guests.

Don't Be *That* Person On the Plane

People are really, really annoying. There’s no doubt about it. Despite my desire to maintain the overly sunshine-and-rainbow delusion that all people are lovely individuals who almost never clip their toenails in public, it’s just not reality.
Chances are, the majority of the people you have encountered and will encounter on a plane have been perfectly normal people who don’t talk to you nonstop on a nonstop from San Francisco to Paris. Most likely they’ve kept their mouth breathing to a minimum, and they didn’t seem to ooze odors from every orifice. Most likely.
Sometimes, you’re not so lucky. Sometimes you get Del Griffith as a seat partner.
Behold, four airplane travel types that no one likes (please don’t be any of these people):
1. The Cougher
Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze is covered in Kindergarten and is practically a curriculum standard. However, some people don’t retain this information into adulthood.
When you’re on a plane, it’s already bad enough that you’re confined in a space that’s 50% recycled air. It’s perfectly ghastly and inexcusable that a grown adult chooses to blast their germ-riddled spittle into the air and onto every surface around them in such a confined space.

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Sharing is NOT caring on an airplane.
Cover your fucking mouth like the civilized human you are pretending to be with your Ann Taylor pant suit.
And, for your convenience:

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2. The Farter
OK. Lemme be real a minute. We all have to fart. In fact, I’ve heard holding in your farts can be hazardous to your health. So, it’s unreasonable to expect anyone and everyone to cease farting the entire length of their flight (especially when you’re flying halfway around the world on a 9+ hour flight).
However, if after your test fart (the little baby toot you let out to test the waters, er-air) you’re met with something that could melt the fuselage, I hate to break it to you, you’re gonna have to hold those in.

When you have one of those metal melting farts, this better be you.
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Some things you can do to prevent excess gas during your flight are:

  • Eat smaller portions the day before and immediately leading up to your flight
  • Take Beano or other gas-reducer
  • Avoid greasy, fattening foods, as well as wheat, lactose, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, lentils, beans, carbonated soft drinks, onions, pears, and all other foods
  • Essentially, eat NOTHING before a flight

Really, it’s for the common good.

There are no private trees to fart behind on a plane. I repeat: THERE IS NO WHERE TO FART (other than the bathroom, but do you really want to be the person who destroys the bathroom on a long flight? No, you don’t).
3. The What Was That(er)
Farts aren’t always the worst thing that can come out of someone sitting next to you on a plane.
Sometimes, your next door neighbor sounds like they are working on an almighty hair ball. Sometimes, your seat partner coughs up mucus and spits it out in their barf bag. Sometimes, people moan/whisper/belch/mouth breathe/mumble/groan without end or for any discernible reason.

My favorite idiot. This was on a bus, but you get the idea.
No one wants to listen to the plethora of noises your body makes. If you can’t help it and your repetitive throat clearing is a verifiable tic, I feel for you and you’re excused.
But, if you can hold in your whispered devil worshipping incantations or that weird belch/cough thing, quit being an annoying asshole already. Please and thank you.

My favorite annoying asshole.
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4. The Groomer
In case anyone here wasn’t already aware, it’s not proper etiquette to do any sort of extreme grooming in your seat on the plane. Basic freshening up, like running a brush through your hair, applying a covert swipe of deodorant, or wiping your greasy face down with a face wipe can all be tolerated.
What should never be tolerated, however, is:

  • Clipping your finger or toe nails
  • Filing your finger or toe nails
  • Cleaning wax out of your ears (especially when you place your wax-coated q-tips on the tray table)
  • Popping zits or squeezing black heads out of the end of your nose
  • Scratching excessively anywhere below the belt
  • Picking crusted crap out from under your long, brown finger nails


This last one I actually had to endure during a 9 hour flight from Vancouver to London. A man sat down in the aisle seat next to my boyfriend, settled himself in his spot, and then proceeded to pick his long, poop brown nails the ENTIRE FLIGHT.
It was a real test of my gag reflex not to barf all over him.
If you have a gross habit that is not exactly socially acceptable behavior, IT DOESN’T BELONG ON AN AIRPLANE WHERE YOU ARE INCHES AWAY FROM A STRANGER FOR HOURS ON END.
*Bonus* When I was *that* person on the plane
Sometimes, we really have no intention of being *that* person, but it just happens.
Years ago, on a domestic flight with my then-boyfriend, I tried an Airborne immune supplement for the first time. Both my boyfriend and I had no idea how to take one. We popped them into our mouths, feeling pretty smart and proactive about our health.
Just seconds later, we discovered our horrific mistake as our mouths ballooned with ever-growing fizz. Pretty quickly, we were literally frothing at the mouth.
The fizz was growing ever bigger and we both tried to swallow it down, hoping to minimize the embarrassing mistake we had made. Instead of swallowing it all quickly and silently, because the fizz was coming and coming with no end in sight, we both gagged and coughed and spit as orange-tinged froth overflowed and spilled down over our chins and all over our clothes.
The people next to us and across the aisle looked at us, shocked and disgusted, as we literally looked rabid.
The boyfriend was irate that I didn’t read the packaging and didn’t know you were supposed to put the tablet in a bottled water to dissolve before ingesting. Oops.
So, even without trying, one can be shocking, disgusting, and annoying.
If we all just read label directions more thoroughly, tried breathing through our noses more, and picked the dried crap out of our nails before getting on the plane, air travel would be so much more enjoyable.
What annoys you the most about the people you have to share a plane with? Let me know in the comments.

No, Karen. They Don't Have Your Brand of Bottled Water

Travel diarrhea, lost baggage, shady hostels-oh my!

These are the best parts of travel, amiright?
I’m actually only being half-sarcastic. The super crappy (often times, literally) parts of travel are always the most memorable.
My memories of The Rainbow Hostel in Dingle, Ireland are some of my fondest, and not just because I didn’t contract hepatitis. But, said memories do have something to do with a coed shower room.
(Hang tight for a blog post about this gem.)
I’m the kind of international traveler who realizes that when traveling in another country, THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE MY FAVORITE TOILET PAPER AND THAT’S OK.
Also, I realize that my accommodations might not be decorated to my tastes and the free continental breakfast might include gray-brown lunchmeat.
IT’S ALL PART OF THE EXPERIENCE, SO SHUT YO MOUTH AND ENJOY IT.
I’m always amazed (but not really, because people) at the kinds of concerns and non-issues people have/had when on vacation.
Whenever you have some time to spare, scroll through some Trip Advisor or hotel reviews. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Here are some “issues” I’ve read about from review and comment sections that are ridiculous with a capital “maybe you just shouldn’t travel”.
1. Complaints about decor:
WHY DOES THE DECOR OF THE HOTEL/HOUSE/YURT/TREEHOUSE DETERMINE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR TRIP?
Maybe I’m missing something, but do people really go on vacation for the sole purpose of staying in a well-designed hotel room? For example, do people want to see France only if they can stay in an all-white hotel room?
Balthazar, I am not going to Scotland unless we stay in a house that is all tartan. And, when I say “all“, I fucking mean if the carpets, wallpaper, and coffeemaker aren’t tartan, it will ruin my entire fucking experience!”
No?
So, why are these people filling up the review sections with gripes about the decor in their accommodation? ALL I want to know is if it’s decently clean and bed bug-free. THAT’S IT.
You also don’t need to tell me you found a pube on the bathroom floor. I would like to know, however, if you found any kind of hair in supposedly clean sheets. That’s just nasty.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a nice hotel room or house rental, but if how it’s decorated can make or break your entire trip, how about just stay home?

Our gorgeously hideous London hotel room. Sure, none of the furniture matched and their “AC” was a stand fan, but it was close to a tube station, was affordable, and they folded our towels on our bed fancy-like.
2. Food options:
How can people be so unaware that they don’t realize beforehand that a place like Myanmar maybe won’t have a drive thru Taco Bell? This is totally my own made-up not-so-exaggerated exaggeration. But still.
I’ve read about travelers complaining about India having curry, and expecting to find a Mexican server at a Mexican restaurant in ITALY.

Read more of these idiotic and true traveler reviews here.
When I went to the U.K. for the first time I ate cheese and tomato sandwiches literally every day. Only a few times did I deviate from my newfound comfort food. I chose this option because it was (is) freaking tasty as hell and also because I’m not very adventurous, food-wise. I knew ahead of time to be prepared to eat different foods. Instead of complain how a different country from mine had different foods (shocker), I found new foods that I could enjoy without activating my gag reflex. It’s really not that hard.

My mother swore up and down she found the last and only jar of mayo while in England. It was found dusty and alone on a top shelf in a tiny shop. My good friend professed that not a bottle of ketchup could be found anywhere on the British Isles. Naturally, I had to take photographic evidence of their LIES.
3. Expecting things to go your way and ONLY your way:
Another thing that really chaps my lips (I don’t like the phrase “chaps my ass”, because when does an ass get chapped? And, chapped lips are the worst) is how too many travelers don’t leave their stubborn ways at home.
When you’re in another country, with an entirely different culture, maybe you won’t necessarily have experiences that are exactly how you experience life in your home country. In fact, I know you won’t.
One of these differences I learned the hard way was how some English toilets flush. After a long flight and no comfortable bathroom time, it was no surprise that when I got to our hotel room in London, it was go time. When it came time to flush, it just was not happening. Thank God my boyfriend at the time figured out that pumping the handle did the trick, because having to call down to the front desk for help flushing my plane poo, would have been embarrassing.

Actually, now that I’m thinking, that would have made an even better story! Damn.
So, I learned that many of the toilets I’d encounter required pumping. No big.*
(This same toilet also tried to kill me when I sat down on the seat and went sailing off the base of the toilet, because it was just sitting there, not attached at all. And, you don’t see me complaining.)
If you check out the above link, you’ll read about people complaining how a beach was too sandy and how Spain has too many Spanish-speaking people. You’ll read it and instantly feel better about yourself. You’re welcome.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, if your outlook is so cloudy and full of shit that you can’t enjoy the weird/funny/exotic experiences you will have when traveling abroad, why even do it?

Just splash the hot and cold together to get warm (Sage advice from a friend). Duh.
So, unless you’re complaining about travel diarrhea from tainted escargot, lost or tampered with baggage (because there ain’t any way to make that a positive), or filthy, insect-ridden hostels, maybe check yourself before you wreck yourself. Your absurd review could end up on the next “Ridiculous Travel Complaints By People Who Suck”.

The person who sat down next to us, took her gum out, placed it on this ledge to eat her chips AND THEN LEFT IT THERE is totally Karen’s weird cousin, Gayle. She for sure complained about the hostel’s lack of trash receptacles.
This is the first in my Travel Tuesday series in honor of my upcoming trip abroad this summer. I can’t wait to share some travel stories, tips only idiots need, and much more! Buckle your seat belts and ready your barf bags, people. We’re bound to hit some gnarly turbulence.
*British friends, was I imagining this or are many toilet flushers pumped to get the toilet to flush?

WTF Am I Even Thinking?

It’s no secret I am currently conspiring to write a book. Well, not simply conspiring. I’ve actually got *most* of it written. It’s just a messed up hodgepodge with almost no direction or central idea/theme/vision, is all.
No biggie.
Excuse me while I go throw up.
Actually, excuse me while I go procrastinate by doing literally anything other than write for my book.
*sits on edge of bed, staring off into nothing for the better part of an hour*

I’m struggling to find a central theme for my ramblings.
Not only that, I’m struggling to write solely for the purpose of someday maybe publishing my words.
I love me the instant gratification that is blogging.
Don’t even lie and say you totally weren’t shaking your head in agreement. You were. I saw you.
I write a post and, almost instantly, I’m met with feedback that feeds my soul (and that ever-present need to be validated).
It’s a really great rewards system.
“Writing” a book is the direct opposite of this.
I *have* to write and then afterwards no one rings a bell or gives me a high five or anything. It’s really disheartening.
So, I’m struggling, ya’ll.
Further, I don’t know what posts to save for my book and which to go ahead and publish on my blog.
So, not only do I have no direction whatsoever in terms of my “book”, I have no blooming idea what I should blog about.
A good example of this conundrum would be an idea I have for a travel series in honor of my upcoming trip to Amsterdam, the U.K. and Ireland.
Many moons ago, I went to the U.K. and Ireland for the first time, and it was, single-handedly, the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. Not only was it epic to experience being in another country, having the time of my life, but also, so.many random and hilarious things happened while there.
Now that I’ve gotten serious (and by gotten serious, I mean I’ve saved some Word documents with some possible already-written blog posts) about actually maybe putting a book together, I don’t know if I should include my travel stories in my book or on my blog.
And then, there’s the crippling self-doubt.
There’s always that.
I don’t want to rush-procrastinate and ruin my only future memoir. It’s not like I have a whole other secret double life that I can write about if I totally bomb telling the first life.
Would anyone notice if I tried to write it again?
Really, WTF am I even thinking?
This is the epitome of first world problems in case anyone needed a good psychotic example for a college paper or whatever.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the perfect time to use my favorite Andy from Parks & Rec meme. I think it fits. Every time I sit down to write, it’s like wiping a poop marker- “Still poop, still poop”.