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: 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.

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

84583A8A-CE56-4AB3-BC32-A33C4BAEA658
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.
CF514301-8776-4C3A-932A-C96BCA400778
 


A tiny Old Man of Storr 
162537B2-0939-4820-8D6B-B87C13180E27
Hehehehehe
D90A5D23-E872-483C-ABAA-45FC02B3CDBD
Portree
126FD129-B569-4837-B985-94FB7CED7FA1.jpeg
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.
FE3E04A0-915D-4C91-8B31-264F69FF0A9A
67EB1D65-4FBF-4C56-A29F-ED9F1855AF87.jpeg
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.

Global Warming Ruined My Trip to The British Isles

OK. So, global warming didn’t really ruin my trip, but it definitely whooped my ass pretty good and hard.

Hiding from the sun at Roche Abbey.
I got back from my five-week-long trip last Friday and my brain is just now starting to function again. I felt pretty discombobulated and spacey for several days after being awake for 24+ hours as I crossed four time zones on my long trip home.
I completely blanked on my dentist appointment the other day that I had rescheduled twice (currently looking for a new dentist, because I can’t show my face there now) and I’ve woken up every morning at 3 AM ready to rock and roll. Jet lag is real.
Or, maybe I had heat stroke and it’s still affecting my brain?
Yes, heat stroke.
You might not be aware, but the U.K. (and Ireland and probably most of Europe) is having a heat wave of epic proportions right now. We touched down right in the middle of this insanity.
I was not fully prepared.
I packed layers. I packed sweaters. A knit hat. Scarves. Long sleeves. A fucking coat.
We had a few glorious days in Scotland where a sweater and a coat was necessary. After that, Mother Nature said a big “Eff you” to my plans of having a lovely, cool, “typical” British summer.

The kind of summer where I get to wear layers to cover my never-ready-for-summer-body is precisely the kind of summer I want to have. (Edinburgh Castle)

There were a couple of days on the Isle of Skye when it was so chilly, I couldn’t get warm and it was everything I hoped it’d be.
(The Skye Museum of Island Life)
Crazily, it never reached higher than 85 degrees, but it felt like it was way hotter. Way.
WANT TO KNOW WHY?
1. It was pretty humid and humidity makes things that much more awesome.
Where I live, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach triple digits in the summer. It blows. I hate the heat. I hate the heat even more than I hate low carb diets. It’s that serious. However, if I had to choose my heat, I’d choose dry heat a million times over humidity. 77 and humid feels like dying a slow death on the surface of the sun.
2. There was no AC in most places. I repeat: NO AIR CONDITIONING (this included no trace of a fan anywhere).
When the weather normally only gets uncomfortable for a couple times a year, it’s not smart to invest in an air conditioning system. I get it. I was prepared for the no AC thing, because it wasn’t my first time in the U.K. I could have handled the odd couple of days of uncomfortable heat, but it was hot LIKE EVERYDAY.
It wouldn’t have been too horrible, but the places we lived in for up to a week had nothing to move the hot air around with. When you only have three pairs of pants that you plan on wearing more than once, it kind of sucks that you have swamp ass from sun up to sun down.
3. HEAVY DUVETS EVERYWHERE
So, it was hot. It wasn’t the end of the world. We were on a dream trip and we enjoyed every sweaty moment of it. I soon got used to feeling damp on every inch of my body, but what I never got used to was the lack of a certain essential element of American bedding- the top sheet (also referred to as a flat sheet).
Had it not been hot and muggy most nights, a heavy duvet wouldn’t have been a problem at all. However, when you’re a freak about your bedding and you have to be covered with something, the lack of a thin, cool flat sheet was really fucking terrible.
I’m sorry to every owner of every bed we slept in. The smell will probably never come out.
The one night my mom and I thought we were smart and took the cover off the duvets and just slept with the covers, it got really cold. Of-fucking-course.
So, that’s how global warming ruined my ideal British summer. Is there somewhere I can send my complaint to?


I am so excited to be back (well, actually, I’m really missing proper scones with clotted cream and jam, British pints, Mr. Kipling Bakewell Tarts, M&S Percy gum, and English mustard and ham crisps, but I’m dealing) and I’m ready to share all about our trip of a lifetime.
Check back each week for another travel satire post!


This is a satirical post, but global warming is real and it’s happening, ya’ll. When we were in Dublin, the server at a pub we went to said Ireland was on a 40-day no rain streak and he had never seen so many days without rain. This broke my heart, because what makes Ireland beautiful is the presence of rain-lots of it.
I know I’ll get some comments about global warming. I’m really not up for a debate on something that has tons of scientific evidence backing it up. If you do want to leave me a comment, please let me know what you think about this warm (hot) weather in Britain and elsewhere (if it applies). Or, tell me about a time you had some surprise weather on a trip.

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?

How Do I *Make Shit Happen*?

Sometimes, I look at the lives of really successful, happy people and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.
All around me, people are purchasing their first homes, buying appliances and custom cabinets for said home, adopting pets, traveling, investing in IRAs.
And, here I am, buying a coat rack and feeling like that means I’m an adult.
It’s not like I haven’t tried.
I have.
It’s not like I sit around feeling sorry for myself all the time.
Sometimes I do, though. And, when I do, you better believe I really go all out with crying over dog videos in my onesie pajamas.
I tried really hard last year to find an affordable home to purchase that would provide me with the next step: adopting a dog.
I never found that home.
Maybe I was too picky, too hesitant, too scared of a major first step, but I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt on this one.
I chose one of the worst times to look for a home to buy in my area, as home prices are at a record high. I also wasn’t comfortable buying an overpriced home in a bad area. I’m no home buying expert, but that didn’t seem a wise investment.
Yet, still, I see people my age buying homes in my area.
What the actual fuck?
I’m planning a trip for this summer to the U.K., while at the same time, I can barely afford the gas to get across town during my monthly “week of poverty” before payday.
How are people, with huge families no less, able to travel so much?
What the genuine fuck?
I wonder sometimes if it’s my outlook. I try to have a positive outlook on things, but that’s hard when you feel like life is constantly beating you at some game you never knew you were playing.
I know a great many people will say that the power of positive thought truly exists. I’m not here to say I necessarily disagree.
But…until positive thought pays off my student loan debt, I’ll probably be a semi-skeptic.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m not a hard enough worker or I lack gumption.
I’ve been looking for a side hustle to help pay for aforementioned trip.
I’ve looked into VIPKID, which is an online tutoring company. You tutor kids in China, so that means I’ll have to tutor with my Flock of Seagulls bed head hair and with sleep crusties still in the corner of my mouth, because the time slots for my time zone are un-Godly-early.
(I’m still highly considering VIPKID. I’ll just be a total sleep-deprived grouch is all.)
I’ve gone so far as to schedule a vehicle inspection with Lyft, but I keep getting this text message:

I’ve rescheduled twice, and Lyft doesn’t like to give out a phone number so one can problem solve using spoken words.
I didn’t even want drunk people puking in my car anyway, Lyft.
I should probably just figure out a way to make a side job happen and quit my bitching, but a very dominant, stubborn part of me knows I already work my ass off as a teacher, so I’m not thrilled at the realization that my career isn’t cutting it in the having-money-department.
So, all this to say, my goal for this year is to learn the secret to making shit happen.

Maybe it really is positive thinking? Maybe it’s not being more concerned about binging on Call the Midwife, but binging on bringing in some Benjamins? Maybe it’s not worrying how old I’ll be when I finally own my own refrigerator?
In fact, my first order of business is to quit worrying about everyone else.
(Maybe I can get this tattooed on my forearm?)

So, do you know the secret to making shit happen? Sharing is caring!

Random Why Wednesday

Why do I have all the time in the world to binge watch shows on Netflix, play Words With Friends, and spend hours scrolling through a comment section on a video about rat tails as a hairstyle, but when someone mentions working out, I’m all, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
Why do bank tellers and cashiers ask people what their plans are for the night or weekend? I really don’t want to tell you my only plans for the entire weekend are to not shower, eat an entire pint of ice cream, and work on a Thomas Kinkade puzzle, OK? SO, QUIT ASKING.
Why do people pick their noses in their cars like we can’t see them? Your windows are tinted, not translucent.
Speaking of cars, why do I still worry people know I’m talking to myself when I could easily be speaking to someone on the phone through the Bluetooth in my car?
Why you no share our Facebook Friendsaversary? I don’t care we’ve only been friends for two months. CELEBRATE IT.
Why does IKEA shape their rugs like squatty penises, and when will I eventually unsee a penis rug every time I look at it?

Why do I recently sound like I’m giving birth when getting into bed every night? It’s like the weight of my day is being expelled from every pore and orifice and I need to be really vocal about that.
Why do I feel the need to take 18 different vitamins every day like they will somehow counteract the 20 Hershey Kisses, three bags of popcorn, and two pounds of pasta that I eat on the daily?
Why was I not born a Pygmy three- toed sloth?
Why is collecting enough Bath & Body Works hand soap for all of humanity to wash their hands for all eternity more important than paying my debt down?
Why are there always umpteen old people in every aisle at the grocery store when you’re running late?
Why did I look like this when I was 12…

…but twelve years olds today know how to contour their faces and draw on an expert-looking set of eyebrows? SHIT AIN’T FAIR.
Why are my leggings always inside out when they come out of the laundry when I put them in right side out? WHY? HOW?
Got any burning questions you’d like to share? Have any good answers for mine? Share in the comment section, because sharing is caring (unless it’s lice, the clap, or something you want me to eat that you touched with your bare hands).

Have Yourself A Manic Little Christmas

Anyone else feeling the holiday hassle yet?
No?
Just me?
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Christmas. I mean, you could argue that I love the holidays even more than Clark Griswold.
But.
I stood in line at the post office yesterday for 30 minutes, while the one person working was in no real hurry and that really chapped my ass and put me in the opposite of a holiday mood.
It didn’t even matter that Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You was playing, because all I want for Christmas is another person manning the counter.
I’m also hating that my usually quiet Target has been invaded by, what has to be, Closet People, because where else have they been all year?
Amazon Prime, people. You won’t ever have to leave your house again.
Another thing, the boyfriend and I are going to a fancy shmancy Christmas party at the Governor’s Mansion. Said boyfriend has expressly told me leggings are not a clothing option.
So, I have to wear, like, a real formal dress.
I have one from years ago, but I’ve been putting off trying it on, because I don’t even want to know how much fatter I’ve gotten.
Speaking of being fat, do you know how fucking hard it is to eat well when cookies are practically raining from the fucking sky and you can get egg nog-everything?
Not only are the crowds annoying and the over-abundance of treats gut-expanding, the pressures to have the absolute best holiday yet is EXHAUSTING.
Not only do I overbook myself with social engagements, I seem to always feel the need to add just one more fun craft project/event to the long list of holiday must-dos.
When will I ever learn that the best experiences happen when I have zero expectations and almost next to no plan?
Never. Never is when I’ll learn.
So, what are you stressing about this holiday season? How do you combat the manic-like need to do all the Christmas things?

Oh, the stress.