Category Archives: Misguided attempts at holiday blogging

My Photographic Journey Through 2012

 

Last year I posted a blog entry at the end of January to depict my photographic journey of 2011 , and while no one read it including myself, there was something gratifying about commemorating all of the non-moments in my life at once. So I’ve decided to do it again for New Year’s Eve.

I can only hope you have found a better way to spend New Year’s than reading amateur WordPress blogs. But on the off chance that your life is as uneventful as mine, enjoy! Or at least pretend to.

January 2012

 

jan

 

At some point in January I decided that cleaning my purse was easier than dealing with arthritis in my shoulder the rest of my life. I photographed my efforts and now have concrete evidence that at any given time I can be found carrying items ranging in unimportance from detached bra under wires to opened and unusable tampons.

Oh. And that’s my foot in the corner. Not typically found in my purse.

 

February 2012

 

feb

While this photograph mostly represents my narcissism, I am including it because it also represents the beginning of a long and disappointing journey known as “Lena’s 2012 employment history.” In 2012 I held 4 different jobs ranging from coffee shop waitress/concubine, receptionist in an administrative office at a college, front desk receptionist at a hotel, and admissions representative at a tech school. Who says college is a waste of time?

March 2012

march

During the last week of February and first week of March, I volunteered in the Dominican Republic. I can’t make this funny. It was one of the most profound, fulfilling experiences of my life and I feel extremely lucky to have had it. Plus I got hit on a lot there…score?

 

April 2012

april

After convincing everyone in my office to buy raffle tickets from a student organization trying to save a sick llama, the universe had my back and helped me win this wine basket.

This is without question the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. Or at least that is what I told the student who brought it to our office.

June 2012

may

“This looks like a whore house.”

My mother, as I dried my clothes in her kitchen.

 

June 2012

july

This was my Bob Dylan vinyl collection back in June. I have since added five more. For Dylan geeks the total includes: Times They Are A-Changin, Another Side of Bob Dylan, Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Greatest Hits Vol 1&2, Nashville Skyline, New Morning, Before the Flood, Blood on the Tracks, Desire, At Budokan, Street Legal, Empire Burlesque, Real Live, Modern Times, Bootleg Series Vol. 4 (Live in 1966), and a VERY rare bootleg recording from the mid 60’s.

Bad ass.

July 2012

july 2

In July I was Freshly Pressed and it brought me greater pride than any other accomplishment of my life, including birth and learning how to read.

September 2012

september

I’m not sure if you heard, but there was this thing called Hurricane Sandy. Because I’m unbalanced and deeply afraid of heavy wind, despite the relative mildness of the conditions in my area, I thought it necessary to relocate my mattress into the living room where there are no windows, but quite prevalent feelings of being locked in a dungeon. Don’t even tell me this was overkill!

October 2012

 

october 3

I am a high/existential bee. I also throw great parties and enjoy practicing calligraphy in my free time.

October 2012

october 2

She was drunk again, smiling and laughing in his orange face. He was contemplating a murder-suicide.

Pumpkin love between me and my boo.

Pun INTENDED. Hehehe.

Someone take away my blog.

October 2012

october

My boyfriend and I are in some ways the same person, hold the genitals, or however I can more discretely put that. Nevertheless we are into things like all natural soap-making and even more into talking about how it makes us better than everyone. This is an example of how.

November 2012

november

So we sort of like each other.

“Do you love me even when I’m crazy?”

“I love you especially when you’re crazy.”

I can dig that.

 

December 2012

dec 4

Both of our tongues are sticking out. Need I say more?

December 2012

dec 2

Being better than everyone we meet is exhausting, as evidenced in this handmade “basket” of handmade products given to our families for Christmas. Soap, lip balm, air fresheners, jam, and inconceivable arrogance.

December 2012

december 5

I…I don’t know what is wrong with me.

December 2012

december

You know you’re 1/4 Italian when after a lifetime of cooking a traditional Christmas Eve family recipe you still have no idea how to spell what you are making. You know your mother is 1/2 Italian when she tells you she will disown you if you share the recipe.

December 2012

dec 1

“I can’t see the TV, there are too many presents in the way!”

…First world problems?

December 2012

december 6

There is currently a gigantic ice sickle in my freezer. I think I will keep it and use it as a weapon when a heroin addict inevitably returns to my apartment in search of the former tenant.

 

So long, 2012! Howdy, East Orange.

 

Love,

The girl with no (public) resolutions, but many (private) disappointments

 

Christmas, Gangsta Style

Either a gangsta or a Christmas penguin with polio.

securedownload

My money is on a penguin gangsta with Christmas polio. It’s a condition. Look it up.

Love,

The girl with penguin p0lio, Christmas gangsta style

This Thanksgiving I am Fat and Grateful (these things are not related)

Obligatory image reminder that this post will at some point mention Thanksgiving. Also I drew this today at work. Be jealous.

They say that you know you’re gaining weight when black guys start hitting on you.

I’m not sure if anyone says this.

But I know I am gaining weight because aside from black guys hitting on me and the self-abusive conversation I have with myself each morning about the progression of my third trimester (I’m not pregnant), I recently got a speeding ticket. I know that is not a measurable factor here, but I have never been ticketed in the past. This is typically what happens when I get pulled over:

I lean out the window and ask, frantic and alarmed:

“IS EVERYTHING OKAY?!?!?!”

As if I am being pulled over to counsel him on marital troubles or American Idol voting techniques. He replies something about a child chasing a ball, and no crossing guard around, and federal imprisonment. I sigh, relieved, and hand him my license, unable to find my insurance or car registration.

After about 12 minutes of probing questions, among other things 😉 I am asked to avoid schools zones and any properties containing live, white children, and detour through the ghetto anytime I want to drive recklessly.

Pretty solid.

But unfortunately that only works when your body is not protruding past the restraint of your seat belt and your eyes aren’t being forced back into their sockets by pounds of cheek and eyebrow fat. Therefore I maintain that the only explanation for my receiving a ticket is the blubber effect. Definitely not the driving 53 in a 25. No. That can’t be it.

I’m blaming my weight gain on a number of factors, most of which I will not have the time or patience to tell you about. Here are three I can stomach. Hehehe. I’m so clever.

1. My ever increasing American guilt. Perhaps it is my preference to radical liberal politics over false patriotic conservative politics that results in the inordinate amount of time I spend each day mourning Middle Eastern people I will never meet. Not just because they’re dead. But mostly because they’re dead. This leaves me depressed and anxious and forced to resort to binging on food no Middle Eastern person would ever eat. Not just because they’re dead. But, really, mostly because they’re dead.

2. Sushi. When eaten by Japanese people or bulimic teenagers, sushi can be very healthy. But when eaten by an American woman at a Chinese buffet 10 minutes away from her house, once a weekend, sometimes twice, depending on how much she hates herself that day, it is not good. It is embarrassing. Not quite a “legitimate rape” comment, but definitely a “binders full of women.”

Too excellent to not be shared

3. Co-workers birthdays and other work-related food-oriented events. Every day in my office someone is either turning 50, hitting menopause, or inviting a politician to tour the school, all of which are equally disgraceful and handled with mass quantities of food. Even when I am trying to eat healthy I am bombarded with oatmeal cookies, or cheddar cheese slices, or Halloween candy hoarded away in my desk drawer. There is no escape!

I realize this doesn’t sound like a Thanksgiving Day post yet, but allow me to explain. My obsession with my weight sounds a little insecure. But I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m grateful that I am insecure and in a constant state of emotional anguish. Why? It keeps me from being a dick.

If you know anything about me, you know that the leading cause in my life is asshole prevention. If I lost weight and became confident and hot, I’d become even more self-involved and arrogant than I already am, and before you know it I’d be someone really evil like Kourtney Kardashian.

So to sum this whole thing up, this Thanksgiving I am grateful for many things.I am grateful for insecurities that keep me grounded. I am grateful for police officers that don’t tase me. I am grateful for the black guys who hit on me. I am grateful for my sister who is a registered dietician who will help me lose weight again. I am grateful for my boyfriend who I never talk about but exists quite fully in my life. I am grateful for the new wiper blades on my car.  But lastly I am  grateful for this, taken from the Facebook page of a person I actually know:

Doesn’t get much better than that.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I hope you are all grateful for something (me).

Love,

The girl who last year was thankful for assholes, but this year is thankful for mouths. Ew.

Stop Calling Me Short, 50 Cent!!!: My 24th Birthday and 23 Accomplishments of the Last Year

On this day, last year, I reluctantly turned 23. I welcomed my inevitable aging with 2 bottles of Arbor Mist and FX reruns of Superbad, followed by fits of crying  and my now infamous Waffle House date. I wasn’t going into 23 with dignity if I could avoid it. Well, ladies and gentleman, I am pleased to tell you that after 365 days of fighting against this change, I have prevailed. As of today, I am no longer 23.

I’m not going to lie to you; 24 doesn’t feel all that different, aside from my overwhelming desire to kick back in some orthopedic shoes and watch my programs for a few hours. I’m actually feeling relatively decent about getting older. My biggest bitch is knowing that I am slowly inching my way toward an age where I will be too old to get away with my lack of life plan on account of being “young and exploring options.” That alone upsets me more than death or any amount of Rhianna remixes.

So to avoid that penetrating reality one more day, this is my plan:

  1. Shower
  2. Wash dishes
  3. Walk downtown and buy a scone
  4. Feel bad about buying a scone
  5. Eat the scone anyway
  6. Consider bulimia
  7. Go to my mom’s house where she, my sister, and brother will be hanging out for an obscenely long period of time because we are way too close and somewhat unhealthy
  8. Weep tears of gratitude for each present I receive because I’m emotionally unstable and incredibly charming
  9. Compose a mental list of goals to be completed while 24, knowing full well that no matter how much I do, the very idea of turning 25 makes me want to use my small intestine as a noose
  10. Go to bed happy

If anyone’s got his/her shit together, it would be me.

Now, last year in order to commemorate blossoming into my new age, I reflected on my 22nd year and compiled a list of 22 accomplishments. Using that logic, one might expect a list of 23 accomplishments, however being that I was kind of lazy and unmotivated this year, there’s a good chance it will stop at 6. Let’s see how far I can get:

  1. Started www.thegirlwiththeblog.com; which really, barely counts as an accomplishment if we’re being honest.
  2. Volunteered in the Dominican Republic
  3. Made $800 selling Christmas cookies
  4. Gained 15 pounds eating Christmas cookies
  5. Lived with my mom for 7 months

    “There’s no one here but us chickens!” – The Grey Gardens model for my own mother/daughter relationship

  6. Spent 24 hours on the courthouse steps for Occupy Nashville
  7. Gained an appreciation for the 40 hour work week through periods of unemployment and current over-employment
  8. Met one of the best friends ever from Murfreesboro, Tennessee 🙂
  9. Increased my credit score despite consistently late student loan payments
  10. Watched every Republican Presidential Debate
  11. Moved into my own apartment again
  12. Doubled my record collection
  13. Discovered Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Parenthood.  I should probably be embarrassed by watching this much TV
  14. Like a fat Samantha Brick, been unjustifiably hit on more in my life than ever before
  15. Saw Titanic in 3D

    “He likes your yabbos”

  16. Developed an obsession with tights and stockings
  17. Reached 150 pages in my novel
  18. Realized an emphatic hatred for touch screen technology
  19. Was traumatized by my New Year’s Day horoscope that said I will struggle in love for the next 14 years
  20. Have become significantly happier since last year
  21. If my blog viewing stats page is correctly, hopefully made 30,000 people laugh. Or at least 12
  22. Most recently, met someone pretty awesome 🙂
  23. Came up with 23 quasi-accomplishments for this stupid list

That took way too long. Next year I’m using some form of intellectual Ex-lax to speed up this process. Or maybe I should just do more cool shit. Whatever.

Love,

The girl who is now 24 and still childishly obsessed with birthdays

“How I Came to Love Bob Dylan”

WARNING: This post will probably not be very funny. In fact, this post will not be funny at all. If you want funny, go to Yahoo News. They’re terrible reporters. It’s a hoot.

For those of you who have read this blog before, you have probably detected my slight obsession with Bob Dylan. By slight obsession I mean borderline psychotic feelings of love for him, comparable to that which a mother feels for her child or Hugh Hefner feels for implants.

He’s so cool

 

But as a 23 year old woman who admittedly listened to complete and utter garbage until the age of 18, you may be asking yourself “How Lena did you get from Dashboard Confessional suicide tracks and Nelly remixes to Bob Dylan”? I know. The anticipation is ruining you.

So I thought to myself, what better day to answer this question than Bob Dylan’s 71st birthday.

 

Here is the true, very unfunny story:

 

In the fall of 2007 I was a sophomore at a mid-sized college in Pennsylvania; a rural setting settled between two small, somewhat ghetto fabulous cities. Despite this, the college town and campus were relatively safe places for clueless, lightweight 19 year olds such as me to roam alone at all hours of the night and even for the occasional tryst to class.

 

But just two weeks into the fall semester things drastically changed.  On the streets of our small town a student was brutally murdered by a group of non-students visiting a downtown bar. The story went that the student was leaving his brother’s house in town and walking back to the campus, alone, around 2:30am when a group of men he did not know attacked him in a completely random act of violence, beating him to death and leaving him to die on the street.

 

The crime shook the campus. What always felt like a safe place suddenly felt extremely unsafe. Charges were filed and the men in custody were rung through the legal system with too much leniency in my opinion. In the week following his death, those who chose to pay attention learned a great deal about the student through University newspaper articles and press releases. Apparently he was a cute, 19 year old history major, who wrote poetry, hated pop culture, and loved Bob Dylan.

 

Reading about this boy, reading his poetry in a book the school published in his memory, made me feel extremely connected to him, despite the fact that we had never met. Every day following his death I read his Facebook wall; the heartbroken posts from friends, family members, his girlfriend, all asking the same questions and mourning the same loss of one person who was victimized by brutality that had nothing to do with him.

 

On the one week anniversary of his death, word got around that the school was organizing a candlelight vigil for him at the time and site of his death. I was determined to attend and after talking to my roommate she agreed to go along. We left around 2:00 am to walk downtown to the site, after gathering a few more reluctant girls from our dorm reminding them that if this was their brother or sister or friend, they would want as many people as possible to show.

 

Small groups of students filtered out of their dorms and off campus apartments, dressed in hoodies and pajama bottoms, some holding candles, others only holding back tears. Most of us didn’t know the boy who was killed, but that didn’t seem to matter. At the site there were police barricades, hundreds of students, and soft pools of candlelight filtering through the night air, as we encircled the spot of pavement, still stained with his blood and freshly blotted with tears.

 

I took a candle from someone passing them out and stood quietly in place. For the distance of the street, students continued in crowds in an act of solidarity I didn’t expect to exist. Some representatives of the University spoke, thanking us for our attendance and offering emotional condolences to the family and friends of the boy.

 

His brother stepped up and thanked us all saying he never imagined so many people would come. He said his brother was one of a kind, a free-spirit, a loving, creative, energetic force, who believed in the powers of love and imagination. He said a few days earlier, at his brother’s funeral, as they lowered him into the ground they heard a train whistle in the distance and all collectively felt that this was his way of saying goodbye. He said that if there was anything his brother would want it would be for all of us to be kinder to one another, to stop watching TV, to step outside and enjoy the wind and the rain, and read a book, and fall asleep under a tree. And then he said, after a few seconds of silence, “just listen to Bob Dylan.”

 

I’m not sure why, but I heard this in a very real way. After his sister and his girlfriend cried together, they announced that they were going to play his favorite Bob Dylan song and they asked anyone who knew the song to sing along.

 

I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back I think it was either “Girl From the North Country” or “Boots of Spanish Leather.” Either way it was the first time I ever heard the song. After it ended, we all returned to our rooms and the warmth of our beds. Days passed and conversations resumed to topics discussed before this tragedy, but I couldn’t forget about the boy who died and I couldn’t forget about his brother’s words to “just listen to Bob Dylan.”

 

After a few months of Dylan discovery I began to understand and five years later as a passionately enlightened fan I fully do.

 

Bob Dylan is more than just a musician or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee. He is more than the songs played on classic rock stations and the influence for every singer-songwriter with untraditional singing voices. Bob Dylan is a human being who has been able to transcend generations, genders, races, religions, and political ideologies with his unique ability to capture the collective feelings of failure and success in the human experience. His words inspire in his fans to live and to be a certain way that has nothing to do with fulfilling expectations of others or herding with the masses, but rather to be true deep down in the soul of our individualism, to who we are and what we believe in separate from societal pressures. He captures the raw ugliness of human emotion and flaw and makes it something beautiful. Bob Dylan manages through his words and his music to connect so deeply with his fans that at a candlelight vigil to honor an untimely death of a young man, his music is that which is played and his influence is that which is mentioned.

So I’d like to take a moment to wish Bob Dylan a Happy 71st Birthday and remind him that I would still pay to have his babies. Anytime, Bob. Anytime.

 

Love,

 

The girl who will be funny again tomorrow. Or not. Whatever.

One of the best versions of one of the best Bob Dylan songs EVER

“I Got it From My Mama” – GWTB Mother’s Day Edition

This makes my mother nervous; my blogging about her. I told her it will only be mildly humiliating, to which she responded with a giggle, then a sigh, then a blank stare, then an assertion that no one reading is a God so who cares. Right.

Right.

But since I am writing this for Mother’s Day, it is probably best that I don’t do anything so offensive the she decides to revoke my dowry (what?). Instead I decided to honor my mother, by highlighting three of the personality traits she passed onto me during labor, with three of my favorite quotes.  

  1.  “She’s destroying my world.”

 – my mother, referencing Molly, our 6 pound shih tzu.

The Drama – Always too hot and never cold enough, my mother passes her time getting “seriously depressed” by driving past a Pizza Hut she had lunch at once in 1987 and speaking in long-winded, passionate diatribes before saying things like “I’m not even that upset about it.”

 

2. “She looks like she walks around with a 24/7 yeast infection.”

– my mother, referencing Cynthia Nixon from Sex and the City

The Inappropriateness – You wouldn’t know by looking at her, but my mother can out talk a sailor most days of the week. She’d never admit such a thing, but the words I have heard her use in reference to power struggles with Molly, the 6 pound shih tzu, have been so shocking, I could only reply with a gasp and a trip to the fainting chair. When you call her on such things, reminding her that her language/comments/general thought process is highly inappropriate she throws her head back and laughs joyously before muttering the phrase, “I’m only teasing.”

3.  “My God, I just want to gnaw my foot off!”

– my mother, referencing her life.

Restlessness – Beekeeper, woodcarver, guidance counselor, chocolatier, dried flower florist,   field biologist, children’s book author, lawyer, college professor. All career paths my mother has considered…in the last two years.

All in all, she’s f***ing nuts, in a way well within her control. But if she were not her, I would not be me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama Bear!

Love,

The girl you pushed out the easiest

Valentine’s Day Gestures Suggested By a True Romantic

Valentine’s Day is the festering sore of non-religious holidays. I’m not just saying this because I am single this year (correction: that is the only reason I am saying this) but rather because Valentine’s Day is the one holiday everyone sort of wishes didn’t exist, but still has to acknowledge. Kind of like herpes. That’s it. Valentine’s Day is like the herpes of non-religious holidays; you can pretend it doesn’t exist, but at the end of the day, you still have scabs on your nether region.

afternoon self-portrait

For whatever reason, women take this holiday very VERY seriously. I’m not excluding myself from this. Before I was a used-up, jaded, old hag, V-Day held a special place in my heart, now reserved for Arlo Guthrie vinyl records and that green cake icing that comes in a tube. Each year, on February 13, my sister and I would sit on my bed in our nightgowns, braiding each other’s hair and harmonizing to “When You Wish Upon a Star,” discussing the love we were bound to discover the coming day, through some romantic, male-orchestrated gesture involving skywriting and the performance of a Lifehouse song. Actually that never happened. But for those who don’t know, Lifehouse songs really f***ed me up.

Needless to say, VDay is very important to most women. It’s not so much because we actually think it’s an important holiday but more because there will always be that one guy dating that one girl we secretly hate, who very openly shares how romantic her boyfriend is

on Facebook, posting pictures of the hand-sewn teddy bear given to her for Valentine’s Day. Forget the fact that over-the-top Valentine’s Day gestures are generally compensation for sub-par bed play and yet-to-be disclosed homosexuality, on February 14th all that truly matters is how big the gesture is and how many people know about it.

So to help all the fellas and ladies (I don’t judge) who have a demanding, over-bearing woman expecting something grand for this worthless consumerist holiday, I am going to provide five romantic ideas to woo your gal.

1. Write her a poem. Here’s an example.

Rubies are red,

Sapphires Blue,

I can’t afford either,

When I’m paying for you.

Whore.

OH YEAH. Girls eat that shit up. I should know. I’m a girl, despite what you may read.

Just kidding. There are no transvestite rumors about me.

Until now

…anyway.

Use this. She’ll dig it.

2. Propose

You don’t have to mean it. No one ever does. If you really want to blow her mind, do it with a tattoo! Nothing says “I love you” like a permanently emblazoned question, personal enough to result in divorce, impersonal enough to be used next year on someone else.

this guy has the idea...

3. Get a love tattoo

Along the lines of the creepy proposal, you can’t put a price on an even creepier love tattoo, except maybe your dignity. You could go for the traditional first name tattoo if you want to be a pussy about it, but if you really want to make an impression go for the ultra-intense portrait or first name acronym tat. For example, if a man were going to get a tattoo of my name, I would suggest the following:

L – usciously

E – ndowed

N – oble

A – ssociate

Associate? That’s right. Anything else would be too big a commitment.

4. Cook her dinner

Ok, I know what you must be thinking. “Damn, bitch, now I gotta cook for this skank-ass honey?” and to that I say, “you’re white, stop talking like that.” Yes, you have to cook for her. I know this is an overwhelming prospect since she will inevitably find out that you know how to cook and therefore may expect it to happen more often. If that idea frightens you than I suggest that you cook something so inedible she will be hospitalized. Not only will that ensure you will never have to cook again, but hospitals are filled with unaccounted for flower bouquets waiting to be seized by you.

 5. Break up with her…then take it back

and you can give her this card!

For all you stingy SOBs out there, this is the cheapest, easiest option, requiring little effort, and excessive cruelty. Convince her it’s over. You’re tired of “Dancing With the Stars” and sharing a toothbrush. You don’t need a man cave you need a man grave if you’re going to stay one more day with her! (use that line, it’s golden!) Once she is a blubbering mess, cradle her in your arms and tell her you will take her back. She will be so happy to have a boyfriend again, she won’t even care that you didn’t get her anything for Valentine’s Day. If the plan backfires and she ends it with you, at least you don’t have her name tattooed on your ass.

So…yeah.

If you don’t like any of these ideas, that’s probably a sign that you’re a decent human being. Whatever.

Good night and good luck.

Happy Valentine’s Day all you happy people doomed for divorce and alimony payments.

Love,

The girl who just wants somebody to love, Jefferson Airplane style.

 

My Cell Phone’s Photographic Journey Through 2011

It is January 27 and I still have yet to start any of my New Year’s Resolutions. I’d like to say it’s because I am too busy, which I often feel I am, but since I managed to devote 15 minutes today trying to learn how to finger whistle, and over an hour researching strange facts about cows, my argument is sort of beat to shit, for lack of a better term.

Therefore I have decided to restart 2012 on February 1. I’d like to commemorate 2011 and all its 13 months of glory, with a blog entry depicting its brilliance with photographs taken throughout the year. Since I can’t own an electronic without breaking it in a very dramatic and embarrassing fashion, my cell phone has been my primary photographic tool. Aside from countless pictures of my butt, in various pairs of pants, my cell phone is actually filled with some photographic gems. So I have decided to use a sampling of those and can only hope by the end of this read, family, friends, and internet bullies alike, will still find something endearing about me.

January  2011

My Old Cubicle

In 2011, my cubicle, like my existence, was a train wreck. While the Ansel Adams’ photography, saliva-scented water bottles, and countless piles of garbage may be only slight windows into my growing psychosis, the off-camera stacks of magazines, drawers filled with oatmeal, and affectionate snapshots of Bob Dylan pasted on pieces of construction paper outlined with heart doodles, show a young woman on the brink of “exhaustion” (I feel you Demi, I feel you).

(also) January 2011

My drawing of Bob Dylan

Umm…yeah, so…I was REALLY lonely in 2011. I know locking myself in my apartment, crying while drawing pictures of Bob Dylan didn’t add much to my social life, but its better than getting date raped at a Scranton bar.

February 2011

Sales Material for My Old Job

So I like, totally wrote this poem. I know. BE Jealous.

March 2011

Mah ve-hic-le gettin' effed up by a snow storm

Sometimes it snows in Pennsylvania…no big deal. Of course one might assume that if someone were to grow up in Pennsylvania, they would be adequately prepared to deal with this gigantic dump bird shit. However, I am not as bright as this blog so consistently implies, so I had to use a dustpan and an old Swiffer to dig my car out. It was so fetch.

So apparently nothing in life was worth photographing during

April 2011

or

May 2011

I know. Sad. Pathetic. You can feel sorry for me, I get it. I would too. Except I’m lying. I took lots of boring, unbloggable pictures during these months. So let’s just forget they ever existed, k?

June 2011

Wall painting at my Tennessee Apartment

I was quite the tortured artist in Tennessee. So tortured, I painted these sunflowers on my wall and drifted into a life of hard drugs and street hopscotch.

July 2011

Nashville Street Musician

This is one Bad Ass Motha-Fucka. Had he a beard, we probably would have been betrothed on the spot, and today I’d be found living under a bridge next to Willie Nelson.

August 2011

Private Office at my Tennessee Job

 I was like, so important. See that bag of carrot sticks sitting in front of the computer? All mine, baby. All mine. You can look but you can’t touch it. IF you touch it, I’ma start some drama.

And you don’t want NO drama.

No, no, Drama.

No, no, no, no, drama.

I hate the Black-Eyed Peas.

September 2011

Saliva of my Tennesse "boyfriend"

I lived in Tennessee for 4 1/2 months and for 8 weeks I dated a very nice gentleman, we’ll call him Andre. (In respect to “Andre” let me say, he was not as gay as this fictional name would imply. Far from it, if you catch my drift…this is getting weird) Anyway, one day in September Andre took me to a beautiful state park, a few hours into the Tennessee countryside, filled with beautiful waterfalls and vigorous hiking trails. Quite the panty-dropping experience. Or it would have been, had he not suffered several allergy attacks. Upon hiking to the bottom of a waterfall, Andre was overcome with a coughing/sneezing fit, and hacked up this lovely wad of saliva. Enthusiastically entertained by everything, I took a picture with my cell phone, much to the displeasure of Andre who had been trying to overcome his condition for hours to make the trip romantic. While he scoured the rock formations in search of the perfect heart-shaped stone to give me, I took pictures of his spit and made him help me clean up garbage people had left at the bottom of the waterfall. Is it any wonder why I am single?

September 2011

Toothpaste in my contact case!

One of the greatest mysteries of 2011 took place one September morning when I tried to put in my contacts. I walked to the bathroom like any other day, half-dressed and ready to defecate, when I decided to put in my contacts first. I opened the case, anxious to regain my man-made vision, when I saw what appeared to be two globs of toothpaste in lieu of my contacts. I was perplexed. My roommate was gone for the weekend and I had spent the night alone, leaving no room for foul-play. Utilizing the safety precautions learned in high school Chemistry, I jammed my fingers into the unknown substance, anxious to determine what it was. The gritty texture did not feel like toothpaste, nor did it smell like anything that could reduce bad breath. After much deliberation, I decided that my contacts somehow disintegrated overnight, turning back into their liquid form, which is evidently, toothpaste-colored gobbledygook.

September 2011

Everything that's wrong with America...or something less dramatic

During one of my bi-weekly grocery trips, I spotted this painfully obnoxious vehicle. My first instinct was to throw a shopping cart through the window and run away screaming, but I decided taking a picture would be less illegal and unfortunately less awesome.

September 2011

Road Sign Outside of Nashville

So, apparently all I did in September was take really stupid pictures, of really stupid things. This is another. While living in Tennessee, my fictional ADD was in high gear. One afternoon I found myself aimlessly driving around the outskirts of Nashville and nearly flipped my car, (by calmly pulling over) when I saw this sign. The Band is probably my favorite band, and the song “Up On Cripple Creek” validates my existence.

October 2011

A fake tattoo that only made me look cool in the mirror and my imagination

Not only is this the 3rd reference to Bob Dylan made in this blog post; as the text of this fake tattoo is a Bob Dylan song title. But it is also quite possibly the lamest picture ever taken in this history of photographic technology. In October I was packing my belongings, readying myself to move back to Pennsylvania. Since I’m the most bad ass 23 year old alive, I thought it’d be totally bitchin’ to draw a fake tattoo on my arm with black liquid eye liner, then take a picture of it to commemorate how cool it was. I almost want to stuff myself in a locker, for this.

October 2011

Puppy Hate

Trying to make something love me, that doesn’t, is the tagline of my life. Exhibit A, taking a picture with Molly as she violently squirms out of my arms, desperate to free herself from my overbearing grip. And I had only been home for three days. Where is the love?

…The love

…The love

I still hate the Black-Eyed Peas

November 2011

Meal worms...in the fridge...yeah

Right next to the organic orange juice, a brown paper bag of meal worms. This is what happens when your mom is a high school biology teacher. Or a fisherman.

December 2011

This is my sister, isn't she pretty?

In December my stepmother had non-invasive brain surgery that required her head to be restrained with this mask, which highly resembles a Medieval torture device. Needless to say, she was into it. So she showed us her mask and while my head was too fat and sassy to fit, my sister excitedly shoved her face into it, allowing for this Samsung moment.

Yes, my family has problems.

So that was all kinds of fun, huh? No? Screw you.

Bring on 2012…er…again!

Love,

The girl who learned today that the average cow produces 25 gallons of saliva each day, while simultaneously bringing sexy back.

New Year’s Resolutions That Make Me Better Than You

Facebook has ruined New Year’s Eve.

Just me chillin' with mah girls

Instead of feeling delightful satisfaction in my evening plans of spaghetti and “To Catch a Predator” reruns I feel, dejected…forlorn… bloated? That’s unrelated. I’m seeing status updates of friends, of friends, of people with too few privacy settings, making plans to welcome 2012 with inviting, boozed up arms, and I can’t help but think to myself; should I too be a part of the drunken masses? Should I feel bad that at 23 years old the most exciting thing I have done on this New Year’s Eve is complete a graduate school application and attempt to tune my ukulele? I’m not sure. I’m not much of a drinker, partyer, socializer, coke-snorter, or any other category of people who really get off on New Year’s Eve celebrations. Yet, I can’t help but feel as though I am missing out on something.

I read an article a year or so ago regarding “Facebook depression,” a condition plaguing the minds of individuals, ranging in age from teen to middle-aged adulthood, who spend more time social networking than living a social life, and whose first names start with L and end with A. While this article, obviously has little to do with me OR my increasingly uni-bomber existence, I think it’s a little sad that it even had to be written. Sadder yet is the fact that a year later I am still thinking about it as I sit at my dining room table, drinking Theraflu in my glasses and pony tail.

So to combat any temporary feelings of inadequacy, I’m going to out resolution all those suckers. Though my true list is too lengthy and graphic to be shown on this blog, I am going to delight you all with an abridged version.

 1. Finish my novel – Last December I started a novel. I planned on finishing it by today but between moving three times and joining Twitter, I just didn’t have the time. So this year will most definitely be THE year, that my novel is completed, and I can start feeling like my writing degree isn’t entirely useless.

2. Chill with Bobby D –  I won’t go as far as saying that I’m going to coerce some sort of romantic relationship with Bob Dylan, that would be crazy; our love is too strong for the confines of a BF/GF status. Nevertheless, I am going to chill with Bob this year, whether in person or in spirit is yet to be determined. Each year, Dylan fanatics throw a festival in his hometown of Hibbing, MN called “Dylan Days.” Last year I didn’t go for a number of inexcusable reasons. This year, nothing, NOTHING will stop be from going. Not financial barriers, not the INS. I will be there, in the North Country, pretending I’m a girl from it.

3. Stop giggling at words that do not make any other adults giggle – Why can’t I pass a “Tire and Lube” shop without giggling “lube” under my breath? Why can’t I submit to a customer request for a second teabag without thinking something like “I bet you love your teabags” or “what a whore?” Why can’t I drink a blueberry muffin gas station cappuccino without saying to my sister, “damn gurl, how you get yo muffin to smell like blueberries?” WHY? I am 23 year old, semi-professional, semi-classy woman. I need to get my obscene mind under control or at least start making money with it!

4. Lose weight – BORING! Not only did I already discuss this in a previous blog entry, but it’s also the most used up resolution in the book. This hardly makes me better than anyone and considering I will likely fail, I am just depressing myself with my conformist tendencies.

Lena's Songs of the Ukulele: Album Cover

5. Read one book per month – I realize this goal makes me sound like some sort of degenerate Kentuckian, since most people I know read 12 books a week, but I have a hard time with reading. I get caught up in an author’s stupid word choice, or poor sentence structure, or shoddy cover art, and I can’t get beyond most intro paragraphs. Since it is unlikely that I will be able to accomplish this with traditional literature, I am going to include erotica novels and Gilmore Girls fan fiction as possible options.

6. Learn to play ukulele – Despite the flattering snapshot featured above, I must admit I don’t currently know how to play ukulele. I’m a fraud. A phony. A washed up dreamer. Since most of the songs I write are depressing to the point of self stranglization (not a word), I figured having a ukulele will force me to write about happy things like puppies, rainbows, and bourbon whiskey.

Unfortunately due to threats of SOPA, this is all I can write. In fact, I’ve probably written too much already…Nevertheless, I have accomplished what I hoped. Not only are my resolutions straight up awesome, but if I actually accomplish them and end 2012 as a thinner, well-read, ukulele playing, well-mannered, author, friend of Bob Dylan, it goes without saying that spending New Year’s Eve eating Sherbert and watching Judge Judy is probably more productive than anything else I could have done.

Happy New Year, every body!

Love,

The girl so sick she can hardly swallow

(giggle, giggle…dammit!)

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving to All the Assholes I Know

In my family, giving thanks is a pressure-packed experience.  No matter which side of the family I am visiting, I feel unreasonably burdened to announce some profound reason to be thankful, that will on one hand encapsulate my intelligence, wit, and probability of getting to heaven, and on the other, not come off as cliché, mind-numbing, or worst of all “hack.”

You may be asking yourself, why? Why, Lena, are you concerned with coming off as a holiday hack? The entire purpose of giving thanks on Thanksgiving is to make up for a full year of not appreciating anything or anyone in your life. No matter what you claim to be “thankful” for, it is going to sound original and unique, since nine times out of ten it’s the first time you acknowledged it this year. And to you I say, true.

But this year, I am visiting my Dad’s side of the family. They are thoughtful, they are insightful, they excel at games like Taboo and Scattegories. They aren’t going to be impressed if I say I am thankful for NBC’s hit show “Parenthood” airing Tuesdays 10/9 central, or the giant one pound container of Sabra hummus now being sold at Wal-Mart. They will scoff. They will throw strawberry jam in my face and ham loaf in my eyes as they laugh me out of my grandparents’ house and into the cold, icy, atmosphere of a world where people say thanks for stupid things and Mitt Romney is a Presidential frontrunner.

But I don’t want to be in that world. Not when there are other options, like gracious appreciation and Ron Paul. No. This year I am going to blow their minds with thanks that are so original, so poignant, so “non-hack,” they will have no response other than to weep tears of joy for the fact that I exuded such wisdom during the fifteen seconds of floor time I have when going around the table.  Don’t believe me? Read on, suckers. Tell me this doesn’t make you cry:

Lena’s Thanksgiving Speech (to be read verbatim) at Thanksgiving Dinner

Family, friends, and relatives I only see once a year. We have all gathered here today, to show our appreciation and our thanks, on this loveliest of all fall holidays.  I am sure you are all anxiously awaiting the unveiling of my reasons to be thankful on this Thanksgiving 2011. So please, kick back, take a load off and put the load right on me, as I regale you with unnecessary descriptive detail of the number one thing I am thankful for this year.

This year I am thankful for:

Assholes.

Yes, I said it. Assholes. Not physical assholes, but euphemistic assholes. The kinds who speed up to pass you and then proceed to drop 15 miles below the speed limit for 9 miles of one lane traffic just to be, you guessed it, an asshole. The kinds who you haven’t talked to for several months or years but email you at random just to tell you that you misspelled something in your Facebook profile just to be, you guessed it a condescending asshole. I think you grasp my meaning.

But the thing is I have come across a lot of assholes this year; and not just petty, douchebag types as described above. The assholes I know, don’t mess around when it comes to being an asshole. They are real, serious, no-nonsense, “I act like this year round, go swallow some lighter fluid if you don’t like it,” kinds of assholes. Assholes who give buckets of rotten fruit as gifts to people recovering from heart attacks. Assholes who get involved with you just to have their girlfriend text you a few weeks later. Assholes who leave their wife and screw around with someone else while their wife pays for the mortgage, debt, and marital costs on her own. Assholes who go to the doctor, just to ensure one more day of being an asshole. I think you grasp my meaning.

The only explanation I have for the abundance of assholes I know in my life, is that I too, am probably an asshole. But that is another issue, for another holiday. Probably Easter.

On this holiday, Thanksgiving, I say I am thankful for assholes. I am thankful because, if it were not for the assholes in our lives, we would not have any ability to appreciate all of the non-assholes we know.  Because of them, we always have someone worse to compare our friends, family, spouses, and co-workers to, who will make those freeloading jackasses seem like a good deal.

So this Thanksgiving, don’t give thanks for your mediocre husband. Give thanks for your previous asshole boyfriends who messed you up so much you are willing to settle and even be thankful for some second-rate toolbag, instead of someone awesome.  Don’t give thanks for your obnoxious but reliable friends. Give thanks for the asshole people you knew years ago who lowered your expectations so far that you are willing to tolerate some boisterous loser instead of someone fabulous. In short, give thanks that the people in your life, aren’t as bad as the assholes who aren’t.

So? Tears of joy? Tears of Rage? Tears of boredom? I don’t care! Because you know what?  I have achieved the impossible. For the first time, in all of my years, my Thanksgiving thanks is NOT going to be hack! It is going to be interesting! Funny! Insightful! In desperate need of censorship! Regardless, I have fulfilled my duty, now it is time you fulfill yours.

“What are you, dear readers, thankful for this year?” I ask aloud in bemused wonderment. Could it be me? The girl with the blog? I doubt it. I’m the only one thankful for assholes. But share with me and share with the world. Or don’t share at all. I don’t care anyway.

Love,

The girl who is thankful she managed to cleverly make two references to The Band in one blog posting.

PS: Find both references and I will think life is a carnival.

PPS: I just made three.

PPPS: Happy Thanksgiving, Holla.