What do you like better…Christmas or Wedding Season?

So my last post was about how I was bridesmaiding it up in a billion weddings this summer/fall, and how I was a little bit worried about how I was going to handle all of the dress fittings/bridal showers/bachelorette parties…turns out I was right to worry.

This summer was the single most exhausting/awesome/terrible/crazy/sweet/genius/insane/neat/evil thing ever.  I had so much fun seeing all of my friends every weekend.  I cried on more than a few occasions when I checked my account balances on my checking/savings/credit cards.  I have awesome pictures and amazing memories from my nights out on the town.  I have done irreversible damage to my liver.  I didn’t spend any time alone, always surrounded by people.  Oh, and I never got to spend any freaking time alone, unless you count driving back from Chicago, slowly dying from dehydration and lack of electrolytes.  I decided to take a moment and think back on the past few months, and think about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good: 
Getting to see the looks on my friend’s face as they married their best friend.  Very cool, totally emotional to watch, and super inspiring.

Shannon’s bridesmaid dress!  The dress was super fitted at the natural waist, sweetheart cut, and LONG!  I got to wear low, not all that attractive shoes, and nobody saw or judged me.  I didn’t have to sit like a lady.  I got to juke on the dance floor like a mother effing champion.  In the battle of bridesmaid dresses, we had a clear winner.  (I liked the other ones just fine, but as a person who rarely wears dresses, I have to give my vote to the long one that allowed me to be the most comfortable!)

Bachelorette parties!  I really should have bought stock in penis-straw companies before the summer began.  I would have made a FORTUNE.

Seeing my friends EVERY weekend!  A large percentage of my friends live at least 2-5 hours away from me, so getting to see them nearly every weekend was an amazing bonus 🙂  Oh and when we’d go to say goodbye when it was time for me to leave, we’d just give a casual hug and say “See you next weekend!”  Far superior to the usual situation.

St. Simon’s Island.  I completely fell in love with this part of Georgia and will DEFINITELY be going back.  Oh, and turns out I really enjoy sweet tea 🙂

The Bad:

Strapless bras/spanx.  I don’t think I need to say any more.

My wallet. I open my wallet and either one of two things happens.  Either moths fly out of the section that SHOULD hold my cash, or my debit/credit cards are super over-heated from being swiped all the time, and I burn my hands when trying to grab them.

Feeling like I couldn’t give 100% to each of my brides this summer.  I had so many events to juggle that I often felt I was letting people down by not making it to everyone’s festivities.  I even had to miss a few good friend’s weddings because I wasn’t able to make it work with my schedule or with my financial situation.  😦  That was SUCH a bummer!

The Ugly:

My freaking tan lines.  I got ONE sunburn in early June.  Got some unfortunate tan lines on my shoulders while watching a fabulous parade with no sunscreen.  Well, you’d think that going tanning 1-3 times a week for a few months might be sufficient in evening out those lines.  Well, you’d be wrong.  I have those mother effing tan lines in EVERY wedding photo.  Brides, I’m sorry.  I tried.  (and I was way too scurrd to get a spray-on tan, for fear of a tanning salon attendant getting to see me nekkid, or going into a machine and pulling a Ross Geller.)

My car: I have discarded bags of chips, empty water bottles, a STUPID amount of mileage on my odometer, and lots of random debris hanging out on the floorboards.  I insisted that a friend of mine borrow my car for a quick trip to the grocery store, and lost a mirror in the process. (That’s what I get for peer pressuring people…just say NO, kids!  Oh and Nat, I still love you.  So does Cami.)

Really, I had an amazing summer, but must admit I’m totally glad that wedding season is FINALLY over.  I am also so excited that my sexy friend Laura is getting married in the Spring, so I will be all refreshed and ready for round 2 of wedding shenanigans.  Now if you’ll excuse me, time to call my stock broker.  Gotta buy some shares in “Peen-Straws-for-U.com”

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Always always always always a Bridesmaid

Yes, I haven’t blogged in ages, I’m aware.  When you try to balance a full time job with a collegiate coaching position while going to graduate school, then you’ll be allowed to give me crap.  Until then you’ll take the blissful silence from my snarky comments and LIKE IT!

So, since the dance team is on a break until August and I FINISHED SCHOOL (!!!!) I am fully capable of getting back to a regular posting habit.  I haven’t told you guys about Italy!  Instead of doing a full blog about every aspect of the trip I’ll just share with you certain ridiculous stories that I find particularly entertaining.

What I’d like to talk about today are weddings.  Namely, my friends’ weddings that are coming up in the next 12 months.  I have been blessed with an amazing, wonderful, super-hot group of friends who naturally found amazing, wonderful, super-hot guys to marry, so 2011-2012 is turning into the year of weddings for me.

Exciting stuff, right?!  Open bars!  Pretty dresses!  Chicken dancing! Penis-themed bachelorette parties!  And not only do I get to go to these weddings, I got asked to be in several of them.  (Bridesmaid in 4, singing in another.)  That’s 5 weddings, friends.  How cool is that?!  I am super amazingly excited to partake in everyone’s happy moments and share in their special day, and ignoring the silent protest coming from my quickly diminishing savings account.  (Hush, savings.  You were never very impressive to begin with.)

So when I saw a trailer for the movie “Bridesmaids,” I immediately knew I would love the movie.  Kristin Wiig is phenomenal, and I’ve loved Melissa McCarthy since her days as Sookie in Gilmore Girls!  (They put her in much more flattering ensembles in GG, to say the least.)  Heather and I went to go see it this week, and I prepared myself for a good time.

As the movie went on, I found myself wondering which of the bridesmaids I would identify the most with.  What kind of bridesmaid am I going to be?  Am I the perfect little planner?  The goodie-goodie that people think is sheltered and oh-so-nerdy?  The slut who wants to escape from her normal life for a while and rock a Vegas bachelorette party?  No, in all likelihood  I figured it would probably be the maid of honor character, desperate to keep her best friend and throw her the best shower/bachelorette party she’d ever seen, secretly wondering why everyone else seemed to be pairing up but her?  (Wiig’s character.)  There were some similarities that came through in the movie, and I was thinking “wow, this movie might be about me!”

Then as the film went on, I realized that character was juuuuust a little too dramatic and self-involved.  She blamed all of her problems on other people and was more of a hot mess than I’ve ever been on my worst day.  I thought “OK, this movie isn’t about me.  I’ll just sit back and enjoy.”

Well.

Melissa McCarthy’s character, Megan, is the unattractive, chubby, clueless, crazy bridesmaid that everyone is nice to but at the same time they wonder “What the mother of crap is wrong with that girl?”  Think of the female version of Alan from “The Hangover.”  Now take away his satchel and switch it for a carpal tunnel wrist guard.  That’s “Megan”

Well, in one scene her character gets real, sits down on the couch and starts talking about her life, and how she’s super happy with the person she’s become.  She doesn’t worry about what other people think about her, and she’s generally just a content person because she does what makes her happy, and she loves her friends.  I thought “OK….that sounds like me.  Weird”  Then I thought back to a previous scene, where they showed her at work.  She worked in IT, surrounded by nerdy boys and computer screens.  Ok….yeah that’s kind of my life.  Then she dropped a bomb:  she worked for the federal government and held a security clearance.

My jaw dropped.  So, apparently I’m THAT girl.  Behold my future.

Epic Mickey has nothing on me

Hello faithful blog-followers!  I’ve gotten enough texts, emails, and messages telling me I need to get off my lazy butt and do a new post, so your requests will not go ignored.  Plus I got an email telling me my domain name is about to expire, and in order to justify renewing it I figured I should probably…oh I don’t know….update my freaking blog.

So what’s new with me you might ask?  I’m living in my new condo, after one horrifying episode with a leaky roof (which caused a hyperventilating Brenda.)  Christmas and New Years have come and gone, with the expected damage to my wallet and liver.  I’ve found SEVERAL grey hairs on my head, in the very front by my bangs.  In reality nobody can probably see them, but in my mind I look like Rogue from the X-Men.  You might know her better as the now-blonde Sookie Stackhouse.

Behold, my future

Anyway, you might be asking what the eff this all has to do with the title of this post.  I’m getting there.

While wading through the influx of commercials during the holiday season, I was horrified to realize that not only was Disney trying to put out a fantastical game to replace my much-beloved “Kingdom Hearts,” but they were calling it EPIC MICKEY.   really?!?!

I am more than a little bit pissed at Disney for trying to reclaim this word as their own.  (I have dealt with the fact that the phrase “Epic Fail” is now very common, as it is generally reserved for failures of the greatest magnitude.)  But Mickey?  As in the cartoon mouse, Mickey?

My affection for this word began in college, when I realized I needed a word to describe when a night out on the town got completely, flat-out, ridiculous.  A group of my friends would describe their night as “O.C.” (as in out-of-control) but I found when I used this word I’d often get several people thinking I meant the crap-tastic TV show.  I settled on “Epic” and it never let me down.  Often people will ask me what really constitutes an epic night, and it truly is hard to describe.

An epic night starts at a particular bar/club/house/basement, but will inevitably end at a different location.  It will go into the wee small hours of the morning, though a walk of shame is optional.  It generally includes libations outside of the typical beer and wine.  (Not necessarily vodka, my latest one consisted of little more than watermelon-flavored Four Loko.)

At any rate, I have decided that along with my advanced age, I should choose a new word to go with describing a particularly debaucherous evening.  Upon much soul searching and internet-surfing, it became clear.  My new word will be LEGEN…..wait for it…..DARY!!

My hero, Barney Stinson, from whom the bros have learned so much, will be my spirit guide into the world of legendariousness.

And if you don’t watch How I Met Your Mother and do not appreciate the glory that is NPH…..well, friendship over.

Bed Bugs

Holy HELL. Brenda is typing words on the internet?!?!

Yes, its been a while. Nope, I’m not sorry. Been busy as hell and while I do love each and every one of my followers, sometimes getting that extra hour of sleep is more important.

So, I live in my new condo, with my heavy bookshelf, and the occasional house centipede. You know how terrifying spiders are to see scurry across your wall? A centipede is even scarier. Those little boogers are FAST and have 18 billion hairy little legs. Granted, they don’t bite, and I’ve only found a small few of them, but generally bugs in any shape or size are not welcome in my home. Plus, if they are crawling on the wall, how do I catch them under a cup?

Speaking of terrifying bugs, I probably told a few of you about my reoccurring dream where a spider is dropping on me from the ceiling. Well, the good news is that I no longer have that type of dream. The bad news is it was replaced by an even more terrifying version: a spider crawling out from between my sheets. The worst part of the story? THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME.

I spent the weekend out of town, so I got back to my place and was exhausted. It was only 9:00pm, but I was so tired I was just gonna crawl into bed and call it a night. So I go to my room, and pull back my flat sheet. To my absolute terror, a spindly little spider dashed towards my pillow, and into my nightmares. I SCREAMED and tried to grab for the nearest smushing object, none could be found. The spider ducked back into the sheets. After finding a shoe I took a deep breath, pulled back the sheets and killed the little m-er efffing life ruiner. Oh I made him suffer too. This was no kind killing, I probably twapped that stupid guy with my flip flop no less than 15 times.

So spider is dead, and Brenda is shaken. Then I remembered something my friend Jenn told me: You will never find just one spider. There are always at least two. So I tear off the sheets, blanket, and comforter, and found nothing. Just to make damn certain that I didn’t miss anyone, I figured there wouldn’t be any harm in just throwing all of it in the washer, just in case there might be a rogue spider that I need to drown. So then I removed the pillows from the pillowcases, and found nothing. Figured I might as well wash those too. I then realized I had pillow shams laying NEAR the bed, who knows what might be hiding in those. Washed them too. Bed skirt? That too. I shook out the curtains hanging a few feet away, no spiders. I’m telling you, if this spider had a buddy, he was a freakin ninja spider. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t pull back the sheets on my bed EVERY NIGHT before going to bed, looking for that damn ninja spider. When I find him I plan on pulling off his eight little legs and beating him senseless with them.

So. Enough about that. Let’s move on.

So with home ownership comes great amounts of responsibility. Read: bills. Costing lots and lots of monies. So I’ve had to cut costs here and there, and one huge way I’ve managed to cut back on my spending is by deciding not to have cable TV. That’s right, friends. No cable. No pretending to care about ESPN when boys come over. No Kleinfelds to remind me that I’m probably never going to buy a $5,000 wedding dress. No real housewives to avoid. No Situations and Snookies to cringe through. No Kardashians that are so annoying they very well might drive me to murder. And for the love of all that is holy, will everyone PLEASE stop talking about Tosh? Is that seriously his name?

I must admit not having cable is amazingly liberating. When people ask me if I caught Top Chef last night, I don’t have to explain “Actually no, I kind of have a show I watch that night so I didn’t really wanna add a new show. Plus I didn’t really like the DC season and the Just Desserts series looks kind of stupid.”

I can just say this: “I don’t have cable.”

Done. No more questions. No “OMG it’s soooooooo good you totally have to watch just set your DVR because last season was kind of off its getting back on track and there was this one guy last season was so blah blah blah blaaaaaaaaaaaah.” Nope. None of that. I get the shows I really want through my antenna: House M.D., Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, and LOST. (No I haven’t been able to get over the fact that LOST is actually over. It just can’t be.)

So, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for House. And I’m gonna watch it, FO FREE!!!

Moving madness!

Hello blog fans, remember me?   To be fair, I didn’t get internet at my new place until one week ago, so I did have a decent excuse why I haven’t been blogging.  Plus I’ve been busier than a one-armed-paper-hanger (who came up with that expression?)

So as many of you know, I FINALLY got my new place in St. Louis!  After a stressful and crazy experience with my mortgage company, and more than a billion phone calls to my Realtor, I got the shiny new keys to my very own home.

I feel the need to say that again.

MY VERY OWN HOME!

I have a washer and dryer!  I get to put holes in the walls!  I can paint if I want!  I have a zillion sheets of paper with my signature on them!  I have mortgage payments (booooooo!) For the most part, home ownership hasn’t been much different than home-rentership, but it just feels different somehow.  I feel more accomplished, more grownup than I did before.  And not the sucky, boring kind of grownup, the AWESOME kind.  The independent, I do what I want, I fend for myself, I can paint my walls neon green if I want kind of grownup!  Feels pretty fantastic.  (And no, my walls aren’t neon green…but its nice to know I have options.)

Moving into the new place was relatively uneventful, depending on who you ask.  God bless the men in my life (father, brother, brother in law) because without them I would STILL be hauling boxes up three flights up stairs.  Mother nature, that tricky bitch, decided to make it 90+ degrees outside, so all of the moving and stair climbing was exhausting to say the least.  Luckily my couch fit up the stairwell, and we didn’t even have to resort to any Ross Gellar “PIVOT” moments.  And happily I’m not fancy enough to own super fancy furniture (aka all of my stuff is particle board) so nothing was too terribly heavy either.

There was only one big project we had to undertake when I moved in, and that was hanging up a kitchen cabinet.  See, I have a small kitchen.  When I say small kitchen, I mean I have one drawer.  Go look in your kitchen right now, chances you have at least seven.  Well I have one.  So there was this big empty spot on the wall next to the window, and I asked the seller to provide me with a cabinet.  They agreed, but said they wouldn’t provide the labor, they’d just provide the actual cabinet.  Alright then, I have a fairly capable father, I’m sure he can hang up a cabinet pretty easily.

So we unbox the cabinet, and my fa-ja begins the process of trying to screw it into the wall.  He ran into one problem…he couldn’t tell if the studs were metal or wood, and his stud finder wasn’t quite finding the studs reliably.  He needs to see behind the drywall, but left his X-Ray glasses at home.  So I’m sitting at the kitchen table, visiting with my friend Heather, and all of a sudden I see my father start HACKING AT THE DRYWALL IN MY KITCHEN WITH A HAMMER.  My brand new home.  My pretty new drywall…and my father is beating the piss out of it.  I immediately whimper/scream, sink lower into my chair and then went into the fetal position, all while my mocking family points and laughs at the destruction.  Through the newly created hole in the wall he is able to find the metal studs, and he feels confident hanging the cabinet…just as long as I promise to keep my lightest items in there.  His suggestion?  Cotton balls, feathers, things like that.  Useful kitchen items like that.

So since I am not exactly a Rockefeller, I haven’t purchased that many new items for my home, with the exception of a bookshelf.  This particular bookshelf was a $30 cheapie from Target, and was very clearly labeled a “2 Man Carry” on the outside of the package.  Well I don’t have two men, so I figured I could lift the damn thing myself.  I’m fairly strong, so I was able to lug the stupid thing up a few stairs at a time, (lifting with my legs, not my back!!) and would take a break every few seconds so I wouldn’t pass out.

Well, I’ve mentioned that I live on the third floor, but somehow I had forgotten that small fact.  In the heavy-bookshelf blur, I somehow mistook the 2nd floor for the 3rd one.  I lugged the furniture over to “my door” and stuck a key in the door.  Huh, funny, the knob wouldn’t turn.  So I take the key out, check to make sure it’s the right one, and stuck the key back in.  Again, it wouldn’t turn.  I’m starting to get really confused when all of a sudden I hear “Uhhhhhh….HELLO?” from the other side of the door.

My immediate thought is “SOMEONE HAS BROKEN INTO MY APARTMENT!!” (and apparently they changed the locks?)  Then I realized it.  I didn’t see my doormat.  The number outside of the door is not right.  And oh yeah, I’M ON THE WRONG EFFING FLOOR.

I immediately squeak out an “OH! I’m sorry! Wrong apartment!” and with a massive dose of adrenaline, I hoisted that billion pound bookshelf over my shoulder and RAN up the stairs to my place.  I have avoided the 2nd floor like the plague, and haven’t run into her since.  She probably bought a security system anyway.

So that’s how I met my downstairs neighbor.  Can’t make this shit up.

Underwriter from HELL

Alright, there’s some serious  shizz going down with the condo I’m supposed to be closing on today, and rather than trying to describe this to a bazillion different people, I’d rather just do one blog post then completely ignore the subject for the rest of my life.  Much how I handle my breakups.  Ready?  Ready.

So I am in contract on a B-E-A-UTIFUL condo in St. Louis, on the north side of Forest Park.  Hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, top floor of the complex, i’m telling you this place is awesome.

I initially started my mortgage application with Commerce Bank, they’d been my bank for ages and I thought why not just keep all of my accounts in the same place?  Got all done with the paperwork, they started underwriting (checking to see if all my info was legit, making sure I didn’t have a shady past, etc) and we ran into a little snag.  Turns out Commerce Bank doesn’t really care to do FHA loans (government insured loans with as little as 3.5% down) on Condos….so I wasted a couple hundred dollars and a week’s worth of time on these losers.  You think my loan officer might have known this from the start, but you’d be wrong.

Per the suggestion of several of my friends, I decided to contact Gershman Mortgage, in O’Fallon.  These guys were great, their rates were low and my two mortgage officers were super nice and I figured this was going to be a snap.  They ran my credit, everything checked out, I put down some earnest money, and arranged for an extra several thousand to be put down as a downpayment.  We agreed to close on May 21st, and that I would move on May 22nd.  There were a few little kinks to work out but I was assured that we would close on time, no problemo.  I went ahead and arranged for my friends and family to join me in moving, I packed up ALL of my belongings, rented a moving van, arranged for my utilities to be transferred to my name, the whole nine yards.

Imagine my surprise when I get a phone call from my Realtor YESTERDAY stating that all of a sudden, the mortgage company has a problem with the property.  Whenever you take out an FHA loan on a condo, the entire condo itself has to be FHA approved, and my property has been approved since March 2009.  Well, I guess the mortgage company decided that they needed more PROOF that the condo was FHA approved.  Nevermind that FHA confirmed it verbally over the phone.  Nevermind that it shows up on the approved condo list on FHA’s government website.  Nevermind that it’s been approved for a YEAR and several other tenants have been occupying the space using FHA loans AS WELL.  They wanted an actual document that nobody can find that nobody is even sure if it exists.  Awesome.

OH, BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!!

Apparently the condo company that I’m going through also owns a parking lot on that same street that is for sale.  Well, Gershman doesn’t really like that the condo company is doing residential AND commercial business, and unless they basically say they won’t sell the parking lot as commercial space, they are uncomfortable with this application and we won’t be able to close.

So here’s a few key questions you might be wondering about:

Are these legit concerns?  According to other underwriters/loan officers we have spoken to: NO, THEY ARE BEING CRAZY!!

Is the lease up on my apartment on May 28th?  Yes, yes it is.

Is all of your stuff already packed and in boxes?  Yup, all of it.

Is it entirely possible that you will have to go with a different lender because the Gershman underwriter has LOST HIS DAMN MIND and decided to nit pick at the 11th hour?  Uh huh

Does this mean you will have to wait another 2 weeks or so to close?  Won’t you be in Hawaii on vacation?  Indeed.

So there’s my fun little reality, I hope you have a lovely weekend, because I was supposed to close on my condo in an hour and a half, and it just looks like that won’t be happening.  Instead I think I’ll have an anxiety attack.  Or possibly some Xanex and a vodka chaser.

*****UPDATE!!!*******

There is a GLIMMER of hope, I just talked to my Realtor and it is entirely possible that everything Gershman asked for might actually happen.   MAYBE.  I’ll keep you posted, so send lots and lots of happy thoughts my way!!

W.W.P.E.T?

Have I mentioned how awesome my family is lately?  I have a dad who is the hardest working man in the Fertilizer business, a mom who is pretty much my twin (just 25 years older,) a wise older sister who tries to make me a better person (with mixed results,) a goofy little sister who never fails to make me laugh/want to punch her, and super-smart little brother who is going to become a pharmacist and smuggle me pills someday (jokes!)  And I suppose I need to mention my little Lex Danger, who is getting chubbier and cuter every single day.  And her Mohawk gets a little more noticeable every day too!

Yet there is one member of my family who I have yet to mention, and that is my bro in law, Phil.  This dude is in a class all his own.  He is a slavedriver at work, a good hubby to my sister, a great daddy to Alexis, and overall he’s pretty cool.

But my favorite thing about Phil, besides his borderline narcolepsy?  He will eat ANYTHING.

It started out pretty innocently, really.  Everyone would finish their food and Phil would offer to finish their leftovers.  Or he’d make random dinners out of bits and pieces of different meals, making weirdo combinations I’d never consider.  Once he made a frikkin omelet using CHILI.  We all tried to talk him out of it, but he was convinced that it would be a mind blowing combination.  If I’m not mistaken, he hasn’t made a second one, so I guess I was right.  Boom.

After realizing Phil’s adventurous food nature, it has kind of become a little bit of a game to see what we can convince Phil to eat next.   For instance, I bought some microwaveable bacon for Mardi Gras, because I was under the impression that there was a microwave on our floor that we could use to heat it up for breakfast.  We got to the hotel and discovered that no, there was no microwave, so if we wanted to eat the bacon, we’d have to eat it at room temperature.  (It was technically pre-cooked, but you still couldn’t have paid me to eat it.)

We started wondering, “What are we gonna do with this bacon?  I mean, is anyone gonna eat it?”  Then it came to me:

Phil will totally eat it.

Sure enough, Phil and Mel show up to the hotel room and nearly immediately, we have convinced him to eat this semi-raw bacon straight from the package.  Melanie tried to talk him out of it, but the challenge was officially extended and he knew that his manhood was at stake.  The result?

Mmmmm....rubbery bacon

Since then, I wondered what other weird stuff I could make Phil eat, simply by daring him to do so.  I was at work one day, heating up a bagel for breakfast, and I decided to flip through our “Wheel of Death” vending machine.  This is no ordinary vending machine, my friends.  It doesn’t carry chips or candy bars, oh no.  It carries pre-packaged sandwiches and homemade meals from a company in St. Louis, and as a rule the stuff is usually pretty disgusting.  So here I am, flipping through the contents of the machine, minding my own business, and I see it:

A BACON AND VELVEETA SANDWICH!!

There it was, the perfect challenge.  The grossest sounding thing I could EVER think to eat from a work vending machine.  Challenge extended!!

I purchased the delicacy and brought it to Phil’s desk (which happens to be the desk connected to mine.)  He called his buddy Lance and told him to come over and check out this sammich.  Sure enough, there were two pieces of toast (kind of burned,) about 6 pieces of bacon, a THICK slice of Velveeta (classy) and a small package of Mayo.  (Ok, I can get down with a bacon and a manufactured cheese-flavored-food sandwich, but the thought of adding mayo makes me want to puke and die.)  Mayonnaaaaaaaaaaaise!! (inside joke, fools.)

Tons O' Bacon!

He scarfed the thing down, and said it was actually pretty tasty.  Then it was decided: this was going to become a weekly tradition.  Lance and I would buy Phil an item from the vending machine once a week, and Phil would be forced to eat it, whether he wanted to or not.  This week’s choice is either a Sweet Baby Ray’s/McRib imitation sandwich, a fried chicken platter (from a VENDING MACHINE), a sandwich simply labeled “The Kendall Jackson special” or the “Big Az Bubba Twin Chili Dogs.”  Should be interesting to say the very least.

And don’t worry, we already decided what next week’s challenge will be.  Mortals, rejoice!  Behold the KFC DOUBLE DOWN!!

Cheese, bacon and sauce between two pieces of fried chicken

Screw Man Vs. Food, welcome to W.W.P.E.T.  (What Will Phil Eat Today?)

The customer is sometimes wrong

So I was out to dinner with my sister one evening at Houlihans.  The waitress approaches, and asks if she can take my order.

Me:  I’ll have the stuffed chicken breast

Waitress: Ok then, is asparagus ok for your vegetable?

Me: Umm, what other choices are there?

Waitress: Well we only have asparagus.

Me:  Well…I suppose I’ll have the asparagus.

Seriously woman, what kind of a question is that?  (The asparagus was fine, by the way, but really….come on.)  I have got to say though, even when someone in the service industry asks a question like that, I can’t get too annoyed.  Having worked several jobs in the service industry, I get how annoying and needy customers can be.  Here are some of my favorite moments from some of my least favorite jobs:

Bed Bath and Beyond

Customer: Excuse me miss?

Me: Yes sir, how can I help you?

Customer:  Do ya sell, uhh…..vibrators here?

Me: SIR?!?

Customer: Ohh!! I uhh mean, back massagers!  Do you sell back massagers?!  He quickly walked away.

Bed Bath and Beyond….again (this place provided me plenty of stories)

Customer:  Excuse me miss?

Me:  Yes sir, can I help you find something?

Customer:  Yeah….do yall sell those, uh, whadayacall um….body bags?

Me: BODY BAGS!?  As in….a body bag?

Customer: You know, those blankets that you can put around you and they snap or zip or button or whatever so they don’t fall off?

Me:  Sir I’m not sure I’d call that a body bag.


Enterprise Tech Support Desk

Me: Enterprise help desk, this is Brenda, how can I help you?

Customer: Yeahhh, uhhhh, I need to reset my password and uh, how do you type a capital seven?

Me: Sir?

Customer: You know, a capital seven.

Me: Sir numbers don’t have cases.

Customer: Maam, now I’m lookin’ right at it.  CAP-I-TAL  SEV-EN!!

Me: Sir I appreciate the clarification, what does a a capital seven look like?

Customer: You know….that squiggle sign above the 7

Me: Are you talking about an ampersand?  That’s not a capital seven, it’s a symbol for the word “and”

Customer: *click*

And this final one I sadly can’t take credit for, this happened to my friend while were working at Bed Bath and Beyond together.  I must say it’s my favorite:

Customer: Excuse me miss?  I need help finding a frame.

Worker: Sure, what size were you looking for?

Customer: I need an 11 x 17 frame

Worker: Oh no problem, there’s a whole section of them right here.  (Worker picks up the frame and shows it to the customer.)

Customer: Well, you see, these frames are 17 x 11, do you have any that are 11 x 17?

Worker: Um, well yes…..*flips frame horizontally* Now it’s 11 x 17.

Real Estate is real(ly) stressful

First of all, let me say that I’m a big fan of renting.  And moving. As a single chick I really enjoy the fact that I don’t have to shovel my driveway, or mow the grass.  And I like calling the landlord when my AC breaks, or when my drain gets clogged.  Granted, renting is pretty much like lighting your money on fire (not unlike buying baby Nike Shox.) And since I was 18 years old, I have yet to stay at a single location for more than 12 months. 

My family is getting tiiiiiiired of moving me.

So I hadn’t really put too much thought into buying a place, because I didn’t think I was quite ready for that serious of a decision. Then Uncle Sam decided that if I decided to buy a place, he was going to give me $8,000 free dollars. It became way too good to resist. So here I am, looking at real estate listings as if my life depended on it.

I just want to know, DOES ANYONE ENJOY THIS?! Is house shopping supposed to be fun?

Well let me just say, this has been one of the most stressful experiences of my life!   Granted, my circumstances are a little different than the average buyer.  I love getting to tell my potential lenders that no, my daddy will not be co-signing on this loan.  And no, my husband won’t be joining me.  Yes, I’m ok with living by myself.  I imagine this whole thing is much easier when you have a person to give you a second opinion, bring up questions you may have missed, and oh yeah, pay half of the mortgage.  But you know what?   I’m going to sing you a song:

I N D E P E N D E N T you know what I mean man?

I N D E P E N D E N T you know what I mean man?

She got her own house, she got her own car

Two jobs, work hard You a bad broad!!

It was nice of them to call me a “bad broad.”  I think.

So I decided that moving to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis was a bad decision.   Don’t get me wrong, if I had kids and all that this would be the perfect place for me, but I found myself yearning for the excitement of living in St. Louis again.  So I decided I was going to head back to the city.  Woohoo!

Small problem: stuff is way more expensive over there, I’d be living by myself so I want to live in a safe (read: expensive) neighborhood, and my commute was going to be kind of a bitch.  So I set out to find my perfect neighborhood. I initially moved to Clayton in 2007, and while that neighborhood was BEAUTIFUL and safe and treated me very well, it was just a little too fancy for me.  I felt like whenever my car (at the time it was a 96 Cutlass…heyo!) was parked in the lot, I brought down the property value of the building I lived in.   So I decided to go for a less fancy location, and tried Benton Park. Now the street I lived on was very nice, but the surrounding streets in that area were shaaaady, so I found myself yearning for the safety of the suburbs.  I moved to O’Fallon IL and really enjoyed the 10 minute drive to work, but really missed being able to take a cab on a night out, and being able to pop over to Forest Park on a gorgeous day, so back to the city I go.

Yes, it’s true!  I haven’t been a true “St. Loser” for this past year!! My blog has been a LIE!!  The homepage should have looked more like this:

I initially found a condo in the Shaw neighborhood, which I LOVED. I’m not terribly familiar with South City, but people who live there really seem to love it. I was right by Tower Grove Park and the Botanical Garden, and the develop was a full rehab of an old apartment building. It came with top of the line amenities and seemed like an ideal fit. There was only one problem: the crime statistics were a little intimidating. While my street was technically fine, looking up the amount of burglaries in that neighborhood could not be ignored, so I decided I needed to look elsewhere.

I kind of figured that the Central West End would be out of my price range, but I was lucky enough to find a development that was just being finished up in that area that suited my needs to a T. The unit was on the 3rd floor, (top level, no clomp clomp clomp of footsteps overhead) had the original hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a full sized washer and dryer (I’m ashamed of how EXCITING this is to me!!) Parking was gated and the view from the living room is of a beautiful, tree lined street.  The metro is within walking distance so I could take it to work, and Forest Park was right around the corner.  Its official: I fell in love with the place.

So I took a deep breath and told my Realtor that it was time to put in a bid, so we sat down and decided what a fair asking price might be, and I signed my name about 248060 times during that meeting.  I put in the bid at around noon on Saturday, and they have until Monday at 5:00pm to get back to me.  The suspense is KILLING ME!! I felt like I put in a pretty good offer, but of course my mind has been racing lately with fears that they will laugh at my bid.   Or that I asked for way too many freebies and they’ll be so offended they won’t even counter.  Or even worse, they will accept right away and I will know that I came in too high.  So by tomorrow night, I will find out if this place is destined to become my own. I’m nervous and scared and excited and I honestly believe that it is making me physically sick right now.

However, once this part is all said and done, the FUN will begin!!

I’ll get to actually PAINT the walls whatever colors I want!

And best of all… …my family will get to help me move again!!  Up 3 flights of stairs!! Hooray!!

Love/Hate

So my last blog post was mega sad, and I felt the need to keep things as upbeat as humanly possible.  So I decided to make fun of myself.  (Always an easy topic.)  There are aspects of my life where I can say that I have great taste.  I tend to own pretty nice shoes.  I know how to buy really nice sheets and pillows.  I think that I have decent taste in clothes.  However, there are some things in life that I have no business liking, but I secretly or not so secretly loooove.  Here is a list of things that I love…and I shouldn’t.

Spaghetti O’s- like tomato soup only chewy.  However this + grilled cheese = greatest snow day meal in the history of the world.

Kool-aid- I don’t care that this is for little kids, when I’m 80 years old I will still be making strawberry Kool-Aid.  However as I’ve grown older I’ve switched to artificial sweetener.  I should get a little credit for that.

Golden Girls- The jokes are predictable and it’s about old ladies having sex.  Yet if there is a marathon on I can watch this all day, every day.  I’ve probably seen every episode…about three times.

And since I’m listing things that I’m slightly embarrassed to love, I will now list things that everyone else loves, but I actually can’t stand:

Sushi- disgusting.  Nobody will ever convince me otherwise.  Ever ever. EVER

Apple- I don’t want an ipod, an iphone, a mac book, an ipad, or anything else that Apple makes.  Steve Jobs can suck it.

Hardwood floors- they are cold and noisy and they show dust and you always have to worry about scratching them.  I don’t care that they are technically fancier than carpet and they add to a home’s value, I don’t like hardwood floors!  (Though my would-be new condo has it in the living room.  I’ll deal.  And buy an area rug.)  It looks pretty, I’ll give you that.

Twitter- look, I know I’m not one to talk about shameless self promotion.  I update my Facebook status and I post this blog on a semi regular basis.  But honestly?  My life is just not that interesting to warrant updating a status every few hours.  And neither is yours.  Neither is John Mayer’s.

and the one that will blow EVERYONE’S mind….

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brian- I never watched the Late Show with Conan O’Brian and I never watched The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brian.  The random clips of his show that I would see made me laugh, and he’s a funny dude, but I couldn’t get too terribly upset about him getting canceled cuz I never watched him in the first place.  Sorry, team CoCo.

Why do I feel like I just lost all of my readers with that last post?